Bodhi Seal of the Patriarchs

Yogacara Tripitaka Master Amoghavajra

--Written by the Venerable Master Hua
--Translated by Disciple Bhiksu Heng Shoou

      The Master was a native of Greater India. In his youth he went on an expedition to China with his uncle, a merchant. While there he met with the Vajra-master Chih (Vajra bodhi), who transmitted the principles of Yogacara, including the method of the Susiddhi to him, along with the Five Classics of India, including the Sabdavidya, a classic on granular. The master later traveled the length of India, finally arriving in Ceylon. There he met Master Lung Chih (Dragon Wisdom) who taught him the method for establishing an altar, as well as teaching him over five hundred sastras and sutras.

From Ceylon he returned to China, arriving in Canton where he met the Provincial Recorder, Liu Chu Chi. With the official's help the Master established an altar to perform the Consecration ceremony of Anointing the Crown. They were able to evoke a response and Manjusri personally appeared.

In the first year of T'ien Pao (742 C.E.) the Master used mantras and wizardry to save the city from besieging barbarians from the West. When they saw the Four Heavenly Kings appear on the battlements of the city, the barbarians fled. Pictures and a full report of the action were drawn up and sent to the Emperor, who honored the Master with the title National Master Kuan Ting (Anointing the Crown).

The Master translated over 77 sutras in 120 rolls. In the ninth year of the period Ta Li (775 C.E.) the Master became ill. While he was on his sickbed, the Emperor offered to install him as Duke of Chou, but the Master refused saying, "What need have I to steal more honors?" He set his body in a Mahamudra, entered Samadhi, and died. The Emperor awarded him the posthumous title of Ta Pien Cheng Kuang Chih Tripitaka Master, 'Vast Discrimination, Proper and Profound Wisdom.' When his body was cremated, over one hundred sarira were obtained.

A eulogy in his praise says:

Set in the position of anointing the crown,

The Master was adorned with Vairocana's seal.

In stillness his heart evoked a response,

Which like an echo, resounded in turn.

The noble Manjusri displayed his form,

And the heavenly kings obeyed his commands.

Is this not the secret merit?

Is he not the ineffable sage?

Another eulogy says:

Tripitaka Master Not Empty, you should be empty tool

Your eyebrows dangled, touching the earth, comprehending the genuine 


With the efficacy of Manjusri, and the secret Susiddhi,

In anointing the crown he entered into the clan of the Dharma King.

Throughout Ceylon, the Lion Land, you traveled far and near,

And in Five Sheep City, Canton in the South,

You enabled many living beings to cross over the murk.

In the Western lands and the Land of Han, your merit and virtue's a gauge,

Gazing from afar I bow in respect, to you my compassionate Lord.


Buddhist Calendar

July   2 Wei T'ou Bodhisattva's Birthday

14 Great Master Ch'ang Jen's Enlightenment

16 Great Master Ch'ang Chih's Birthday

18 Kuan Yin Bodhisattva's Enlightenment

Aug.  11 Great Strength Bodhisattva's Birthday

13 Ullumbana Festival Day of the Buddha's Rejoicing

22 Nagarjuna Bodhisattva's Birthday

27 Earth Store Bodhisattva's Birthday

30 Great Master Hui Neng's Birthday

Sept  18 Dipankara Buddha's Birthday

Oct.  10 Great Master Ch'ang Jen Left the Home Life

11 Venerable Master Hsuan Hua Left the Home Life

12 Great Master Ch'ang Chih's Enlightenment

14 Avalokitesvara Left the Home Life

Nov.   5 Medicine Master Buddha's Birthday

      30 Patriarch Bodhidharma's Birthday