How Is the Great Compassion Mantra Critical for Disseminating the Buddhist Doctrine

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  • Topic: Buddhism, Mahayana, Mantra
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How is the Great Compassion Mantra Critical for Disseminating the Buddhist Doctrine Grace Hu (0830800019)
Nov/26/2010

Making a general observation of the Buddhist doctrine, we can divide this complicated system into two main aspects, the religious aspect and philosophical aspect. The religious aspect is about Samsara and cultivation, while the philosophical aspect is about the truth of life and the universe. Buddhist people always get overwhelmed by this extensive knowledge and profound learning, and most of them learn Buddhist doctrine by joining one tradition and studying particular mantras. In China, most people choose Chinese Buddhism or Tibetan Buddhism. The Great Compassion Mantra, which is well known in Buddhism, is studied by many Buddhist people. How is the Great Compassion Mantra critical for disseminating the Buddhist doctrine? Firstly, this mantra comes from Avalokitesvara, so it reflects Avalokitesvara’s Buddhist teachings. Secondly, as a mantra, the Great Compassion Mantra has its advantages for people to remember it easily. Thirdly, every sentence of its content consists of different religious and philosophical doctrines of Buddhism. The first piece of evidence that the Great Compassion Mantra helps disseminate the Buddhist doctrine is that it reflects Avalokitesvara’s Buddhist teachings. The full title of the Great Compassion Mantra is Thousand-Handed and Thousand-Eyed Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva's Vast, Perfect, Unimpeded, Great Compassionate Heart Dharani Sutra. (Tanxiyong, 2008, 202.) The Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva is known as one of the most widely revered bodhisattvas in Mahayana Buddhism. According to the book of Jian Xiu Fa Man (Tanxiyong, 2008), the origin of the Great Compassion Mantra is that Avalokitesvara met a Buddha whose name was “Thousand Rays King Stillness Thus Come One” countless billions of kalpas ago. The Buddha told Avalokitesvara that he should hold a heart-mantra to give great benefit and happiness to all living...
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