"Sūtra of the Whole-Body Relic Treasure Chest Seal Dhāraṇī
The Heart Secret of All Tathāgatas
Thus I have heard:
At one time the Buddha was at the Jewel Brightness Pond in the Immaculate Garden
of the kingdom of Magadha. Surrounding Him were countless hundreds of thousands of
Mahāsattvas, great voice-hearers, gods, dragons, yakṣas, gandharvas, asuras, garuas,
kiṁnaras, mahoragas, human, nonhumans, and others. At that time, in the assembly was
a great Brahmin named Immaculate Light, who was well educated and intelligent. People
delighted in seeing him. Having taken refuge in the Triple Jewel, he persistently
performed the ten good deeds. Benevolent, wealthy, and wise, he had the intention to
have other people acquire benefits, great fortune, and prosperity. At that time the
Brahmin Immaculate Light rose from his seat, came to the place where the Buddha was,
circumambulated Him seven times, and offered the World-Honored One incense and
flowers. He also covered the Buddha with priceless wonderful garments, necklaces, and
garlands of gems. After bowing down at the Buddha's feet, he stepped back to one side
and made a request, saying, "I pray that the World-Honored One and the huge assembly
will come to my house tomorrow morning to accept my offerings."
At that time the Buddha gave him permission in silence. Knowing that the Buddha
had accepted his invitation, the Brahmin hurried home. In the evening, he ordered
extensive preparation of food and beverage of 100 flavors for the banquet. Water was
sprinkled and the halls were swept clean, and canopies with streamers set up.
In the next morning, holding incense, flowers, and musical instruments, together
with his retinue, the Brahmin came to the place where the Buddha was. He said, "The
time has come, and I pray that You will grace my house."
At that time the Buddha greeted the Brahmin Immaculate Light with kind words and
made an announcement to the huge assembly: "All of you should go to this Brahmin's
home to accept his offerings, for the purpose of letting him receive great benefits."
Then the World-Honored One rose from His seat. Just as the Buddha stood up, His
body emitted all kinds of bright light intermingled with wonderful colors, illuminating
and touching the space in the ten directions. Being thus alerted, all set off on the road. At
that time, respectfully escorting the Buddha, the Brahmin held wonderful incense and
flowers with a reverent heart. He led the way, along with his retinue, the Brahma-kings,
the god-king Śakra, the four god-kings, and the eight classes of Dharma protectors such
as gods and dragons.
At that time the World-Honored One, having traveled not too far on the road, came
to a garden called Abundant Wealth. In that garden were the ruins of an ancient pagoda,
dilapidated and collapsed. With the courtyard covered by thistles and the doors sealed by
creeping weeds, the buried rubbles resembled a mound of dirt. At that time the Buddha
went straight to the pagoda. Forthwith, the pagoda issued vast, bright light, illuminating
and glowing. A voice from the heap of earth praised, "Very good! Very good!
Śākyamuni, Your action today is excellent! And you, Brahmin, will receive great benefits
Then the World-Honored One paid respects to the ruined pagoda by
circumambulating it to the right three times. He took off His upper garment, placed it
over the pagoda, and wept tears with blood. After weeping, He then smiled. Meanwhile,
all the Buddhas in the ten directions, looking on together, also shed tears, each emitting
light to illuminate this pagoda.
At that time the huge assembly was so astonished as to lose their color and wanted
to resolve their bewilderment. Meanwhile, Vajrapāṇi and other Bodhisattvas also shed
tears. Twirling the vajra in glowing flames, he came to the place where the Buddha was.
He asked, "World-Honored One, for what causes and conditions are these lights
manifesting; why did the Tathāgata shed these tears from His eyes; and why do the
Buddhas in the ten directions manifest the sign of vast, auspicious light? I pray that the
Tathāgata will resolve, in this huge assembly, my bewilderment."
Then the World-Honored One replied to Vajrapāṇi, "This great treasure pagoda of
accumulated whole-body relics of Tathāgatas contains immeasurable koṭis of the heart
dhāraṇīs, the secret seal of the essence of the Dharma of all Tathāgatas. Vajrapāṇi,
because of the essence of the Dharma contained in it, the pagoda has become tiered
seamlessly like sesame seeds. You should know that the bodies of hundreds of thousands
of koṭis of Tathāgatas are also like sesame seeds. Contained in the pagoda is the
accumulation of the whole-body relics of hundreds of thousands of koṭis of Tathāgatas
and even the store of 84,000 Dharmas. Also contained in it are 99 billion koṭi Tathāgata crowns. Because of these wondrous things, the site of this pagoda has great spiritual
efficacy and superb, awesome virtue. It can fill the entire world with auspicious events."
When the huge assembly heard the Buddha's words, they abandoned their emotional
defilements, ended their afflictions, and obtained the pure Dharma-eye. Since the
capacities of the multitudes were so varied, the benefits they obtained were different.
Each of them acquired one of the following accomplishments: some attained the fruit of
Śrotāpanna, Sakradāgāmin, Anāgāmin, Arahat, or Pratyekabuddha; some accomplished
the non-regress sarvajña on the Bodhisattva Way; some attained the First Ground, Second
Ground, or even the Tenth Ground on the Bodhisattva Way; and some fulfilled the six
pāramitās. The Brahmin abandoned his emotional defilements and accomplished the five
At that time, Vajrapāṇi, having witnessed these unusual, very rare occurrences,
asked, "World-Honored One, how wonderful and how extraordinary! Since people can
achieve such excellent virtue by merely hearing about this matter, how much virtue will
they achieve if they hear the profound truth and invoke their faith with an earnest mind?"
The Buddha replied, "Hearken! Vajrapāṇi, in future times, if, among male believers,
female believers, and the four groups of my disciples, there are those who are inspired to
copy this Sūtra, they in effect copy all the sūtras pronounced by 99 billion koṭi
Tathāgatas. It will surpass the good roots they had already been planting for a long time
in the presence of 99 billion koṭi Tathāgatas. All the Tathāgatas will support, protect, and
remember them like cherishing their own eyes or like loving mothers caring for their
young children. If a person recites this one-fascicle Sūtra, he in effect recites all the sūtras
pronounced by the Buddhas—past, present, and future. For this reason, 99 billion koṭi
Tathāgatas, who are Arhats, Samyak-Saṁbuddhas, will come, jam-packed sideways
without any gap between them, like sesame seeds in a pile. Day and night they will
appear and support that person. Thus, all the Buddha-Tathāgatas, innumerable as the
sands of the Ganges, will come. The first group of them has not yet left, and the next has
arrived. They all instantly move away and return again, like fine sands whirling in quick
water. Unable to stop, they come again as soon as they turn away. If a person makes
offerings of incense, flowers, solid perfumes, garlands, apparel, and wonderful decorative
objects to this Sūtra, he in effect makes an entire offering before 99 billion koṭi
Tathāgatas in the ten directions, of divine incense, flowers, apparel, and decorative
objects made of the seven treasures, all piled high like Mount Sumeru. Planting the good
roots can be accomplished in the same way."
At that time, having heard these words, the eight classes of Dharma protectors such
as gods and dragons as well as humans, nonhumans, and others, all harboring
wonderment, said to one another, "How marvelous is the awesome virtue of this old pile
of earth! Its miraculous manifestation must have been caused by the spiritual powers of
Vajrapāṇi next asked the Buddha, "World-Honored One, for what causes and
conditions has this pagoda made of the seven treasures now become a pile of dirt?"
The Buddha replied to Vajrapāṇi, "This is not a pile of dirt, but a wonderful, great
treasure pagoda! It is hidden because of the bad karmic fruits of sentient beings.
Although the pagoda is hidden, the bodies of the Tathāgatas are indestructible. How
could the vajra-store bodies of the Tathāgatas be destroyed? After I have abandoned my
body, the ending of the Dharma will be unrelenting in future times. Sentient beings that
act not according to the Dharma are bound to fall to hell because they neither believe in
the Triple Jewel nor plant the good roots. Because of these causes and conditions,
Buddha Dharma should be hidden. However, this pagoda will still be solid and will not
be demolished because it is supported by the spiritual powers of all the Tathāgatas.
However, ignorant beings, obscured and obstructed by their delusions, not knowing how
to excavate and make use of it, would leave the treasure in disuse. For this reason, I now
shed tears, and other Tathāgatas all shed tears as well."
Furthermore, the Buddha said to Vajrapāṇi, "If a person copies this Sūtra and
enshrines the copy in a pagoda, this pagoda will then become the vajra-store stūpa of all
the Tathāgatas as well as the stūpa supported by the heart secret of the Dhāraṇī of all the
Tathāgatas. It will become the stūpa of 99 billion koṭi Tathāgatas as well as the Buddha-crown and Buddha-eye stūpa of all Tathāgatas, and it will be protected by their spiritual
powers. If you enshrine this Sūtra inside a Buddha's statue in a stūpa, the statue will in
effect be made of the seven treasures. This statue will be so efficacious and responsive
that all wishes will be fulfilled without exception.
"According to your ability, construct for a stūpa these things: canopies, nets,
columns, dew-catching wheels, fine eaves, bells, foundations, or steps. Whether you use
earth, wood, stones, or bricks, all will turn into the seven treasures because of the
awesome power of the Sūtra. Moreover, all the Tathāgatas will increase the power of this
Sūtra. Keeping a sincere promise, they support it incessantly.
"If a sentient being makes obeisance and gives offerings of only a little incense and
one flower to this pagoda, his grave sins which would entail* 80 koṭi kalpas of life and
death will all be expunged at once. He will be free from catastrophes during this life and,
after death, be reborn in the Buddha family. Even for a person who should fall to Avīci
Hell, if he makes one obeisance to the pagoda or circumambulate it once to the right, the
door to hell will be blocked and the bodhi road will be opened.
"Furthermore, the place of the pagoda or of its image will be protected by the
spiritual powers of all the Tathāgatas. The place will not be damaged by hurricanes,
lightening, or thunderbolt. It will be neither disturbed by venomous snakes, vipers, or
poisonous insects and animals, nor harmed by lions, rampaging elephants, tigers, wolves,
jackals, or scorpions. It will be free from the terror of yakṣas, rakṣasas, pūtanas, piśācas,
spirits, monsters, and epilepsy. It will not be troubled by diseases such as chills, fevers,
skin ulcers, carbuncles, scabies, or psora. One can avert all disasters by seeing the pagoda
briefly. Also, at the place of the pagoda, people including young boys and girls, horses,
and six kinds of livestock will not be plagued by epidemics. They will not die unnatural,
accidental deaths, or be harmed by knives, sticks, water, or fire. They will be neither
plundered by bandits or enemies nor worried about famine or poverty. They will not be
subjected to the power of sorcery or curses. The four great god-kings and their retinue
will protect them day and night. In addition, the 28 classes of yakṣa generals, the sun, the
moon, the five planets, and cloudlike comets will protect them day and night. All dragonkings will increase their vital energy and bring rainfall at the right time. All the gods
including those in Trayastriṁśa Heaven will descend during the three periods of the day
to make offerings. All fairies will gather during the three periods to sing songs of praise,
circumambulate, give thanks, and pay respects. The god-king Śakra and goddesses will
descend during the three periods of the day and of the night to make offerings. The place
will be remembered and supported by all the Tathāgatas. Such will be the pagoda because
it contains this Sūtra!
"If people build a pagoda using earth, stone, wood, gold, silver, bronze, and lead,
and if they copy this spiritual Mantra and enshrine the copy in the pagoda, as soon as it is
enshrined, the pagoda will in effect be made of the seven treasures: The upper and lower
steps, dew-catching wheels, canopies, bells, and columns will all be made of the seven
treasures. Also, the four sides of the pagoda will have the images of the Tathāgatas.
Because of the essence of the Dharma, all the Tathāgatas firmly protect and support the
pagoda, staying in it day and night without departing. Because of the awesome power of
the Mantra, the pagoda made of the seven treasures, which contains the wonderful
treasure of the whole-body relics, will soar high up into the midst of the palaces in
Akaniṣṭha Heaven. Wherever a pagoda stands like a mountain, all gods will view it with
reverence, stand guard, and make offerings day and night."
Vajrapāṇi asked, "Due to what causes and conditions has this Dharma such superb
The Buddha replied, "You should know that it is because of the spiritual power of
this Treasure Chest Seal Dhāraṇī."
Vajrapāṇi requested, "I pray that the Tathāgata, out of compassion for me and all
others present, will pronounce this Dhāraṇī."
The Buddha said, "Hearken, contemplate, and do not forget it! The radiance of the
emanations of all the Tathāgatas of the present and of the future as well as the wholebody
relics of all the Buddhas of the past is in this Treasure Chest Seal Dhāraṇī. The
three bodies of every Tathāgata are also in it."
Then the Buddha pronounced the Dhāraṇī:
namas tryadhvikānāṁ sarva tathāgatānāṁ | oṁ bhuvi-bhavana-vare vacanavacati
| suru suru dhara dhara | sarva tathāgata dhātu dhare padmaṁ bhavati |
jaya vare mudre | smara tathāgata dharma-cakra pravartana vajre bodhimaṇaalaṅkāra-
alaṅkṛte | sarva tathāgata-adhiṣṭhite | bodhaya bodhaya bodhi bodhi
budhya budhya | saṁbodhani saṁbodhaya | cala cala calantu sarva-āvaraṇāni |
sarva pāpa vigate | huru huru sarva śoka vigate | sarva tathāgata hṛdaya vajriṇi |
saṁbhāra saṁbhāra | sarva tathāgata guhya dhāraṇī mudre | bhūte subhūte |
sarva tathāgata-adhiṣṭhita dhātu garbhe svāhā | samaya-adhiṣṭhite svāhā | sarva
tathāgata hṛdaya dhātu mudre svāhā | supratiṣṭhita stūpe tathāgata-adhiṣṭhite
huru huru hūṁ hūṁ svāhā | oṁ sarva tathāgatoṣṇīṣa dhātu mudrāṇi sarva
tathāgata sadhātu vibhūṣita-adhiṣṭhite hūṁ hūṁ svāhā ||
After the Buddha finished reciting this spiritual Mantra, all the Buddha-Tathāgatas
from the pile of earth voiced their praises: "Very good! Very good! Śākya the World-
Honored One, you have appeared in this turbid, evil world to expound the profound
Dharma for the benefit of sentient beings that have nothing and nobody to depend upon.
Therefore, the essence of the Dharma will remain a long time in the world, bringing wide,
abundant benefits and joyful peace."
Then the Buddha said to Vajrapāṇi, "Hearken! Hearken! The essence of this Dharma
has inexhaustible spiritual power and boundless benefits! It is like a wish-fulfilling jewel
on the top of a cylindrical banner, constantly raining down treasures and fulfilling all
wishes. I will now speak briefly about one ten thousandth thereof. You should memorize
and uphold it for benefiting all sentient beings.
"If an evil man falls to hell after death, he will have to suffer uninterruptedly without
a date of release. However, if his descendants address his name and then recite this
spiritual Mantra, upon completion of only seven repetitions, the molten copper and
burning iron in the hell will suddenly turn into a pond of eight virtues. [This deceased]
will have a lotus flower supporting his feet and a jeweled canopy over his head. The door
of hell will break and the Bodhi Way will open. His lotus flower will fly him to the Land
of Ultimate Bliss. There, his all-encompassing knowledge will unfold spontaneously.
Delighting in expounding the Dharma endlessly, he will attain the rank of realizing
Buddhahood in the next life.
"Furthermore, for a person who, in retribution for his grave sins, is suffering from
100 diseases with a heavy heart, he should recite this spiritual Mantra 21 times. Then 100
diseases and 10,000 distresses will be eliminated at once. His lifespan will be extended,
and his fortune and virtue will become infinite.
"Suppose a person has been born into a poor family because of his karma of
stinginess and greed. His clothing cannot cover his body and his food cannot sustain his
life. Emaciated and haggard, he is despicable to others. This person, ashamed of himself,
goes to the mountain and plucks wild flowers not owned by anyone. He grates rotten
wood for incense powder. Then he goes to the pagoda to make obeisance and give
offerings, circumambulating it seven times, repenting in tears. Because of the power of
this spiritual Mantra and the awesome virtue of the pagoda, his poverty retribution will
terminate and fortune will suddenly arrive. The seven treasures will appear like abundant
rain. However, at this time, he should give to the poor and needy, completely honoring
the Buddha Dharma. If he is reluctant to give, his riches will suddenly vanish.
"Suppose a person, planting the good roots for himself, builds a pagoda at his
pleasure, using earth or bricks that he can afford. The pagoda is as big as a mango, with
its height about four times the length of a finger. He copies this spiritual Mantra and
enshrines the copy in the pagoda. Then he makes obeisance and offers incense and
flowers. Because of the power of the Mantra and his faithful heart, vast, fragrant clouds
will come out of the little pagoda. The fragrance and the light of the clouds will pervade
the dharma realm, infusing fragrance with dazzling radiance, doing Buddha work widely.
The virtues he will gain are just as I have already stated. In sum, all his wishes will be
fulfilled without exception. During the Dharma-ending age, if, among the four groups of
my disciples, good men, and good women, there are those who, following the
unsurpassed Way, do their best to build pagodas and enshrine this Mantra in them, the
virtues they will acquire will be too numerous to recount.
"If a person, wishing for fortune, goes to the pagoda, he should make obeisance and
offer a flower and a little incense to the pagoda, and circumambulate it to the right. From
his virtuous act, rank and glory will arrive unsought. Longevity and prosperity will
increase without effort. Foes and bandits will fall without being subjugated. Vengeful
thoughts and curses will return to their source without resistance. Epidemics and evil
forces will turn away without being purged. A good husband or good wife will come
without being persuaded. Beautiful good children will be born without being prayed for.
All wishes will be fulfilled at will. Even for ravens, owls, turtledoves, owlets, wolves,
jackals, mosquitoes, ants, and the like, which momentarily come in the shadow of the
pagoda and step on the grass there, their affliction-hindrance will be destroyed, and they
will recognize their ignorance. They will suddenly enter Buddha's family and freely
receive Dharma wealth. Not to mention human beings who have seen the form of the
pagoda, heard its bell tolling, heard of its name, or been in its shadow. Their hindrance by
sin will all be annihilated, and their wishes fulfilled. Their present lives will be peaceful,
and they will be reborn in the Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss.
"If a person, without extra effort, applies a glob of mud to the damaged wall of a
pagoda or uses a fist-sized stone to support a leaning pagoda, from this virtuous act his
fortune will increase and his lifespan will be extended. After death, he will be reborn as a
"After I have abandoned my body, the four groups of my disciples, in order to
rescue sentient beings in miserable existence, should come before this pagoda, make
offerings of incense and flowers, and recite this spiritual Mantra, making vows in earnest.
Then each and every word and phrase [they utter] will radiate vast, bright light,
illuminating the three evil life-journeys to extinguish all sufferings. Once those sentient
beings are delivered from sufferings, their seed of Buddhahood will germinate. They will
then be reborn as they wish in [any of] the Pure Lands in the ten directions.
"If a person recites this Mantra earnestly on the top of a high mountain, all living
beings within the scope of his sight, including those in furs, feathers, scales, and shells,
residing near and far in mountain valleys, forests, streams, lakes, rivers, and oceans, will
shatter their affliction-hindrance and recognize their ignorance. They will manifest the
three kinds of Buddha nature they innately have and ultimately attain the great nirvāṇa. If
people take the road walked by this person and if they are touched by the wind blown
through his clothes, step on his footprints, see his face, or converse with him briefly, their
grave sins will all be expunged and their siddhis perfected."
At that time the Buddha said to Vajrapāṇi, "I now entrust this secret spiritual Mantra
and Sūtra to you and all others present. Revere, protect, uphold, and propagate them in
the world. Do not allow transmission [of the Dharma] to end for sentient beings."
Vajrapāṇi said, "I am now honored to receive the trust of the World-Honored One. I
pray only that we will repay the World-Honored One for his profound lovingkindness,
day and night protecting, upholding, propagating, and pronouncing [the Mantra and the
Sūtra] to the world. If there are sentient beings that copy, uphold, and remember them
unceasingly, we will command the Brahma-kings, the god-king Śakra, the four great godkings, and the eight classes of Dharma protectors to protect them day and night without even leaving temporarily."
The Buddha said, "Very good! Vajrapāṇi, for the benefit of all sentient beings of the
future, protect and uphold this Dharma, and make it endless."
At that time the World-Honored One pronounced this Treasure Chest Seal Dhāraṇī
and did Buddha work widely. Then He went to the Brahmin's home and accepted his
offerings, causing humans and gods to receive great benefits. Afterwards, He returned to
the place where He was staying.
At that time the bhikṣus, bhikṣuṇīs, upāsakas, upāsikās, gods, dragons, yakṣas,
gandharvas, asuras, garuas, kiṁnaras, mahoragas, humans, nonhumans, and others in
the assembly greatly rejoiced. They all believed in, accepted, and reverently carried out
—Sūtra of the Whole-Body Relic Treasure Chest Seal Dhāraṇī
the Heart Secret of All Tathāgatas
Translated from the Chinese Canon, Vol. 19, Text no. 1022B