A man by the name of Zhao Hui enquired about his destiny. When he stepped into my house I sensed a dark cloud was roaming over this person's head, and two ghostly entities were following him. However, these two ghosts were stopped by the Door Guardian outside my door. They were raising much noise.
Zhao Hui sat in front of me. I looked at him and his face appeared greyish; a stale energy lingered around him. I sighed as I observed this person from head to toe; his skin, his flesh, his bones, and all his past lives revealed nothing that was worthy of mention. What should I do?
Zhao Hui asked, "How's my destiny?"
I told him, "Seriously speaking, your life's destiny is something I rather not say."
"Its OK. Please speak frankly."
I said, "Your parents died when you're young. You're raised by your relatives."
"That's right. Damn! You're good!"
"You had a tough life during your youth. You left school and did odd jobs, got into fights, and was sent for rehabilitation."
"In your youth you became a thief and was jailed twice!"
"That's right. You even know about this."
"Now you have achieved nothing and people avoid you."
"Are you still mixing with the gangsters?" I asked.
Zhao Hui nodded his head. When I came to this point, I spoke no further. I knew that a person like Zhao Hui could be described with a modern usage, "scum bag". This was because he had never done something proper in his life. He fooled around, led a fast life and lived loosely. He went wining and dining, whoring and gambling. He took drugs, stole and robbed, swindled and cheated.
Zhao Hui asked me, "When will I become rich?"
I laughed bitterly inside but told him, "You may have to wait!"
"For how long?"
"I don't know."
Zhao Hui was not too happy and said, "People say you're the best in divination and you know everything. Now you are saying you don't know about my destiny. You had better be careful."
"Sorry. But the truth is your destiny is quite challenging to predict."
"Even a dog's life has its destiny. You better tell me about my life. If I am pissed off, I'll make sure you disappear from the face of this earth!"
It sounded like a direct threat! I said, "Zhao Hui, if I help you, will you do as I say?"
"Yes I'll listen. I may be a good-for-nothing, but I can tell who's good to me and who's not."
I said, "I want to help you change your destiny. In actual fact, your destiny is clouded and I'm afraid you will not have any success in your life. Only by changing your destiny then you can become rich. If you do as I say, I can help you change your life."
"Cut the crab! Tell me!"
I said, "You have two ghosts following you. If these two ghosts don't leave, you'll never have a good life. Where did these two ghosts come from?"
"Two ghosts?" Zhao Hui was all confused.
"You killed anyone before?" I asked.
"Nope. I have threatened to kill, but in reality I only hurt someone, never killing any."
"Think. If you haven"t killed anyone, where does these two ghosts come from? Have you offended any ghost somewhere?"
Zhao Hui scratched his head and then exclaimed, "Damn! That's it! I robbed someone's grave twice. Is grave robbing offensive to the ghosts?"
I replied, "Of course."
"Damn! I only stole his funerary objects. I didn't hurt anyone. What on earth are they following me for?"
"Grave robbing is a crime. If you dig up someone"s grave, the dead are not going to be happy. These two ghosts are following you and you"re doomed to bad luck all the time!"
"What then?" Zhao Hui asked.
At that time I was thinking of teaching him a mantra which could help turn his life around. But how should one balance all the causes and effects in his life?
To be charitable - one receives blessings.
To be miserly - one attracts poverty.
To release life - one gains longevity
To kill life - one suffers a short life.
I know that the teachings of Buddha is supreme, extraordinary and refined. The Tantric mantra functions like the Precious Mani Pearl, which can fulfill all virtuous vows and attain all matters of excellence. But is Zhao Hui worthy of receiving this Precious Mani Pearl? I reviewed the past lives of Zhao Hui and saw in one life he was a butcher and in another he ran a brothel. In this present life, apart from stealing and robbing others, there is nothing good about him.
I asked Zhao Hui, "Have you done any kind deeds?"
"Kind deeds?" Zhao Hui shoke his head.
"Do not kill, do not steal, do not commit adultery, do not lie, do not engage in worthless talk, do not gossip, do not insult, do not be greedy, do not get angry, do not be ignorant. These are the Ten Precepts."
"Ha! I have committed all evils!"
"Can you think of one good thing that you have done?" I could not simply impart the precious Tantric teachings to some rascal who had committed all evil doings.
Zhao Hui thought hard and said, "Once, I stole many things from a Buddhist temple, mainly, the money donated for incense offering. I stuffed myself full of cash and actually carried the whole damn offering box away. They got it locked but it's useless. I also picked a painting off the wall and when I got home I saw that it was the picture of Shakyamuni Buddha. When I realized it was the image of the Buddha, I had wanted to dump it away. Damn! How much can you fetch from this piece of work? I might as well dump it. But later, I thought it actually looked kind of nice and so I hanged it on the wall. I looked at the Buddha image, put my palms together and paid my respect to the Buddha. Is this a good deed?"
"Oh?" I was dumbfounded.
Would you consider hanging a stolen painting of the Buddha on the wall a good deed? And paying respect to this stolen painting with palms close an act of goodness? I was confused.
Zhao Hui said, "I did something really good. Hehe!"
"What great kind deed have you done?" I was surprised.
"I came to see you. That itself is a very good thing!"
"Oh!" I was again speechless.
I told Zhao Hui, "Every sentient being is born with the purity of heart. A heart so clear, it shines like the full moon. Should the hungry ghost from the Three Lower Realms recite the mantra three times, all of them shall receive the profound secret teachings and be liberated from the entanglement of all negative karma. They shall gain all merits. If I impart this mantra to you, your destiny will change and you shall have great achievement."
Zhao Hui was overjoyed and exclaimed, "Then hurry and teach me!"
I imparted the Usnisa Vijaya Dharani Mantra to Zhao Hui:
Om Amrita Teja Vate Svaha (Heart Mantra).
I took out a copy of the Usnisa Vijaya Dharani Sutra and showed it to Zhao Hui. The sutra reads:
Then the Buddha told Lord Indra, "The above Mantra is known as the "Purifying All Evil Paths Usnisa Vijaya Dharani". It can eliminate all evil karmic hindrances and eradicate the suffering of all evil paths."
"Lord of Heaven, this great Dharani is proclaimed together by Buddhas as numerous as eighty-eight kotis (hundred million) of the grains of sand of the Ganges River. All Buddhas rejoice and uphold this Dharani that is verified by the wisdom seal of the Maha Vairocana Tathagata. Lord of Heaven, if someone hears this Dharani even for just a moment, he will not undergo karmic retribution from the evil karma and severe hindrances accumulated from thousands of kalpas ago, that would otherwise cause him to revolve in the cycles of birth and death - in all kinds of life forms in the evil paths - hell, hungry ghost, animal... even ants. Owing to the merits accrued from hearing for a moment this Dharani, once this very life is over, he will be reborn in the Buddhalands, together with all the Buddhas and Ekajati-pratibaddha Bodhisattvas."
I told Zhao Hui, "Grab a handful of soil, recite this Dharani twenty-one times before scattering the soil onto the deceased and his Soul shall ascend to heaven."
When Zhao Hui heard this, he immediately put it into action. I led Zhao Hui outside the house and instructed Zhao Hui to cast the soil in the direction as directed, and with a loud "Bang!, the two ghosts vanished and ascended to heaven. When the two ghosts disappeared, the dark energy around Zhao Hui slowly faded away.
The Usnisa Vijaya Dharani states:
"When someone recites this Dharani, all his karma from a hundred kalpas shall be eradicated. He will be free from serious disease and receive peace and longevity; his destiny changed and at the time of his death he shall be reborn into the various Buddhalands."
I imparted the Usnisa Vijaya Mudra. I imparted the visualization needed during the chanting of the mantra. One visualizes his heart transforming into a Moon Disc, and above this Moon Disc imprints a Sanskrit syllable "Kham", emitting rays of light to illuminate all sentient beings. Whosoever connects with this light shall have his karma removed, rendering his mind and body in a state of purity. He shall attain great wisdom.
Zhao Hui was enlightened with an idea. After he had learned the Usnisa Vijaya Dharani, he practised diligently and felt that the instruction "Grab a handful of soil, recite this Dharani twenty one times before scattering the soil onto the deceased and his Soul shall ascend to heaven" was simply marvellous.
Zhao Hui told no one about this. He recited the mantra continuously with all his heart and visited the cemetery every night to scatter the mantra-empowered soil to every grave he found. It matters not whether he knew the dead. Zhao Hui felt that it was simply a meaningful thing to do.
When he completed scattering the soil at one public cemetery, he would proceed to another. Zhao Hui left his mark at many public graveyards.
Once, the sight of Zhao Hui gave me a fright. There were ghosts all over him. But these ghosts were not his debtors but rather a community of benevolent ghosts who were here to support Zhao Hui.
I said, "You have become a Ghost Keeper!"
Zhao Hui replied, "That's the only way I know how to do good!"
Zhao Hui's aura had changed. His countenance of dark greyish cloud of energy had faded, replaced with a reddish and whitish glow. He appeared to be very proud of himself.
The truth was, Zhao Hui's luck had changed for the better. His health was not good. After chanting the mantra, he felt he had more strength. His immune system strengthened (due mainly to the support given to him by the benevolent ghosts). His illnesses healed naturally. They simply diminished without medication.
Zhao Hui had always been taking protection fees from stores and hawkers in his territory. The hawkers were enjoying a good business and gave him good dividends. He was not greedy and returned the dividends to the hawkers. Thus, he gained more respect. His foster parents died and left a sum of money for him. With the money, he started a restaurant and to his surprise it made him lots of money. He went into investment and every investment was a success. He had become a wealthy man. He got married and had a son. From being the chief of the neighbourhood, he rose to become the borough warden, and then a magistrate of a rural township, and finally a councilor today. (Many had supported Councilor Zhao. In reality, his support comes from the many benevolent ghosts around him.)
Zhao Hui told me one incident, "Usnisa Vijaya Mantra can protect one from physical harm!"
Zhao Hui related an incident when an opposition candidate sent a hit man to kill him. The hit man positioned himself at close range and pointed his handgun at his chest. Zhao Hui immediately recited the mantra once, "Om Amrita Teja Vate Svaha". The gunner pulled the trigger and Zhao Hui felt he was doomed. Unthinkably, a cracking sound suggested a blockage of the bullet in the gun. The hit man shouted, "Shit! Something is spooky here!" The hit man ran away quickly. Zhao Hui said, "This is just one example of how a crisis was averted. There are numerous cases of such miracles. In the worst of times, there will always be a turn of events to resolve any crisis. It is simply unbelievable!" I saw the growing numbers of benevolent ghosts who had gathered to help him, and he would likely rise from being a city councilor to a provincial councilor, and eventually a member of the parliament.
Here's a verse:
Empowering the ordinary soil with mantra,
This scattering of soil over the deceased is a way of Dharma.
When one reaches the end of the tunnel and all seems lost,
A new world opens and awaits him.