When I was young, my mother Lu Yu-nue told me a story. Once upon a time, there was an old woman, she had lost all of her teeth due to her old age. It was very difficult for her to eat anything without her teeth. Thus, she could only eat liquid food, and refrained from eating anything that was hard or soft.
The old woman's daughter-in-law was very filial and caring. She served her mother-in-law with the greatest care and was sad to see how the old woman struggled with food. She didn't know what to do to help the situation.
The daughter-in-law gave birth to a boy one day, and she breast-fed the baby. Incidentally, her breast milk was very nutritious and filling. After feeding the baby, she continued to produce milk. The daughter-in-law thought of her mother-in-law and instinctively cuddled the old lady into her arms and breast-fed her. Her mother-in-law was old and her weight was light, so it felt like she was cradling a small child in her arms.
The old woman had no teeth and she could only suck. So she sucked her daughter-in-law's milk and had a full meal.
The baby grew well, and the old woman's state of mind and health was much improved after the breast-feeding. The baby's teeth began to come through, but the most amazing thing was the fact that the old woman's gums began to harden. Eventually new teeth grew, all thirty-eight of them! Now tell me, isn't this amazing"
When I first heard this story, I thought it was simply impossible. My mother had mentioned that:
Breast milk is more nutritious than any manufactured milk products.
Breast milk is rich in calcium.
The filial act of the daughter-in-law moved the heavens.
This was a rather familiar story. Later in life, a traditional Chinese doctor told me that human breast milk is very nutritious. Babies that feed on their mother's milk usually do not fall sick very easily, and they have a naturally strong immune system.
The doctor told me that breast milk was known as the Celestial Wine in traditional Chinese medicine.
Here on earth you shall ready to find.
My life was touched by spiritual realities, and thereafter I began my mission to help and to liberate sentient beings in every way possible. Throughout all of this, I have encountered the strangest things, and some of these encounters were simply magical and beyond comprehension. One of them was connected with teeth!
There was a Buddhist by the name of Jiang Wei who came to me for a consultation.
"What would you like to find out?"I asked.
He kept silent. Instead he opened his mouth to show me his teeth.
I noticed a missing front tooth on the upper front portion and it was obvious to anyone that he had lost a front tooth.
Jiang Wei said, "I lost this front tooth naturally after it loosened and dropped off. Now I am stuck with this gap. First of all, it looks ugly. Second, there's a lisp whenever I speak. Next, my saliva shoots out uncontrollably, and lastly, according to the book of face reading, having a broken tooth contributes to a loss of wealth."
"You want a..?"I asked.
"I wonder if I can ask you for a talisman which can help me grow a new tooth to replace the old one."
"Ha!"I laughed, "You need a dentist to help you with that!"
Jiang Wei said, "It is costly to consult a dentist. Without the root of the tooth, you need a fixed-bridge supported by the adjacent left and right teeth. Thus, it is best that I grow a new tooth.
"There is no such thing as growing a new tooth, you know. You are not a kid anymore."
"I heard you are able to solve any problem."
"It's true. I am not pulling your leg here,"Jiang Wei said.
I told Jiang Wei, "What I have here are talismans to help an infant's teeth come through, to cure toothaches, and to treat inflammation of the gums as well as tooth decay. Your condition doesn't seem to fit into any of these."
"All I need is a talisman to grow a new tooth."
"No way."I said.
"That applies only to infants, and you're no baby."
Jiang Wei said, "I'd like to give it a try!"
"The efficacy of talismans depends on the sincerity of one's heart. There is no room for playing games."
"But my heart is sincere when I request a talisman that can help grow my tooth."
"That's for an infant."I repeated.
"Why don't you treat me as an infant baby then?"Jiang Wei insisted.
"If the talisman doesn't work, don't blame me."
I could not refuse Jiang Wei's repeated request. I drew a talisman that helped grow new teeth, which is meant for infants for his usage. It was clear that the talisman didn't and couldn't work on him.
Any infant whose teeth have not come through needs only this talisman to help push the teeth out. It works every time.
Jiang Wei was not about to give up so easily. He came to see me again.
"My friends told me you have the best solutions for everything and that you have great power,"Jiang Wei said.
"What is impossible miraculously becomes possible in your hands. I hope you can find me a miracle."
"To make an adult grow a new tooth" Aren't you stretching it a little too far?"I said.
"That would be a miracle. A true miracle."
I finally told Jiang Wei, "Alright! I do know that within the Tantric teachings, there is a Bodhisattva known as Vajrayaksa (Vajra Teeth Bodhisattva) I'll consult him and ask him how to help an adult grow a new tooth. Who knows, he may impart a solution for you."
Jiang Wei left happily.
To help Jiang Wei, I picked an auspicious time and date to construct a shrine for the Vajra Teeth Bodhisattva. In the shrine I stationed a lotus throne for the Vajra Teeth Bodhisattva, together with the offerings of flower, perfume, lamp, tea and fruit.
I chanted the Mantra of Purifying the Dharma Realms:
Om namo soha.
I formed the Vajra Teeth Bodhisattva Mudra and visualized the Bodhisattva descending onto the shrine to receive my offerings.
"May this scent of fragrant flower permeate the Dharma realms throughout the ten directions. To all Buddhas and saints dwelling in the uncountable Pure Lands, please accept this offering and extend your help. Please deliver sentient beings from their suffering and help them attain enlightenment together."
Devas of earth, water, fire, and wind, I summon you to appear.
May the requested deities respond immediately to this summon.
I pray sincerely to invoke the presence of Vajrayaksa,
Transforming these offerings to offer to you.
I saw the Vajra Teeth Bodhisattva descending from heaven, promptly seated on a precious lotus throne. His golden body emanated endless circles of light.
I went straight to the question, "Is there a method to help an adult grow new teeth?"
The Vajra Teeth Bodhisattva laughed and said, "Are you aware of my responsibilities as the Vajra Teeth Bodhisattva?"
"I only know about the teeth, but I do not know what the teeth are used for."
"I, the Vajra Teeth Bodhisattva am not here to help anyone grow new teeth. The Vajra Teeth symbolize the strength and toughness of teeth that grind away all demonic hindrances. The teeth also symbolize crushing all of the greed, anger and ignorance of men. I will bite all demons and ghosts into pieces should they dare approach me and thus, the teeth represent crushing all evil."
"I understand now," I said.
The Vajra Teeth Bodhisattva continued, "Ekajati (Single Braided Buddha Mother) also has single turf of hair, eye and tooth. Hayagriva ( Horse-headed Dharma Protector) has canine teeth as a symbol. Thus, together, we form the Trinity of Teeth."
"Is there a way to help an adult grow new teeth?" I asked.
"Who should I approach for help?"
"I don't know."
I saw the Vajra Teeth Bodhisattva off and knew the fact that no Bodhisattvas of the Ten Directions or any wise beings can offer a way to grow new teeth for an adult. Even the Trinity of Teeth cannot offer a method.
I thought I knew everything. I understood the ways of the heavens and earth, the ways of human beings, the Dharma, and the principles of things. Yet, in the end I realized how little I actually knew. I knew nothing and could do nothing. I was such an ignorant fool!
I thought of how the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas express their compassion. We need to help remove and transform the sufferings of all sentient beings and do it with the greatest joy. Besides purifying our own karma, we need to help others purify theirs.
When we help others resolve their karma, we need to enlighten them on the underlying reasons of the many causes and effects in our journey through life. We need to untie the knots of karma that bind us.
Only when karma is purified can the knots loosen. When all karma is resolved then the Buddha Nature surfaces. And when the Buddha Nature reveals itself through your cultivation, you are enlightened. Thus, helping our selves and others find enlightenment marks a truly compassionate Bodhisattva.
Having said this, I want to stress that to help save the world, you need to gain the ability, or attainment for the job. At least I am surrounded with Disciplinary Deities, Skanda Dharma Protector, Wrathful Protectors, Yamantaka, many righteous gods and the heavenly nagas.
I give an order and they would carry it out. We must have the ability to remove the sufferings of people so that we can lead them through the door of Buddhism. These are realistic issues and if you cannot help solve these matters, people are not going to have faith in you.
What I mean is that many embrace Buddhism because the Dharma answers their wishes.
Take the example of Jiang Wei. He had requested a new tooth. If he had no new tooth, he would not listen to you at all. If he had a new tooth, he would embrace Buddhism. That's how things are when you want to lead people to the Buddhist teachings.
Few walk the path to the Western Paradise.
Just one recitation of Amitabha's epithet denotes the highest teaching.
To lead people to Buddhism, you need spiritual responses.
If one receives a response, one is most willing to cultivate.
That is why I was so eager to help Jiang Wei. But I realized I was at a loss in helping him. I simply did not know how.
Despite the fact that I know the ways of heaven and earth, I blamed myself for not being able to help him grow a new tooth. There are so many gods and Bodhisattvas and yet none of them can help out. How are they supposed to save the world?
Can the power of Buddha open Jiang Wei's mouth and implant a new tooth into his gum so that it may grow? Or does the Buddha simply utter a magic word and out comes a new tooth? If none of the magical powers work, how do you convince anyone of anything?
I was really depressed. When I next met up with Jiang Wei, I told him, "I doubt you can grow any new tooth."
"What? But they say you can solve everything!"
"It's just impossible." I was blushing.
"So much for magical power!" He was blaming me.
"OK!" I said to him, "I'll teach you a mantra. It's an effectively good mantra. All you need to do is to chant it one hundred thousand times and your wish will be fulfilled. If you chant it three hundred fifty thousand times, you shall attain all Siddhi, leave all illness and disasters. If you chant more, all demonic hindrances will be eradicated. If you complete chanting it eight million times, you will be reborn in the Pure Land of Amitahba."
Jiang Wei was moved.
"OK. I only want my wish fulfilled."
So I taught him the mantra:
Om Guru Lian Shen Siddhi Hum.
"What kind of mantra is this?"
"It's the Heart Mantra of Padmakumara, also known as the Teeth Growing Mantra," I said.
"Padmakumara or no Pakmakumara, I am not interested. What counts is that I get a new tooth."
So Jiang Wei began chanting the mantra and he was absolutely devoted. He would bathe and cleanse himself, light incense, sit properly with his hands clasped, clear his thoughts and image a Buddha appearing in the sky above him. The Buddha would radiate light on Jiang Wei and he would visualize a new tooth growing in his mouth.
And then he would chant: Om Guru Lian Shen Siddhi Hum.
After chanting one hundred thousand times, he dreamed of a Bodhisattva descending from heaven. The Bodhisattva asked him some interesting questions.
"Why do you hit the drum?"
"If I don't, it wouldn't sound." He replied.
"What brings you here?" The Bodhisattva asked.
"I have a missing tooth. How am I supposed to open my mouth?"
"Since you sounded the drum, I will fill the missing tooth in for you," the Bodhisattva answered.
The Bodhisattva placed his hand on Jiang Wei's head and gave him a blessing. He then proceeded to touch his face and pressed on the area around his mouth. Jiang Wei instantly felt a sense of relief and lightness. His gum seemed to harden, and a tooth appeared to be growing. Then, the strangest thing happened. Since that dream, Jiang Wei felt his gum was hardening. In between the gap where the old tooth was, a white spot was seen. As the white spot grew larger, it became evident that a new tooth had protruded.
Miracle! A miracle indeed!
This was simply incredible.
Jiang Wei came to inform me of the news and I said nothing. I only mentioned that once a 73 year-old lama from the Nyingma Sect had lost most of his teeth. The lama recited the Seven Syllable Heart Mantra from the Lotus Flower Division, Om-ah-lo-li-ge-soha countless times and his gums grew seven teeth. This incident was well known in Tibet and was told to me by a Tibetan Rinpoche.
I was happy for Jiang Wei. Actually when Jiang Wei's gum began to harden, I had my own interesting experience. My lower left wisdom tooth began aching.
I visited the dentist and he told me he could not diagnose the cause of my toothache. There was no decay in the wisdom tooth and no inflammation of the gum. The nerve was not infected and the wisdom tooth remained strong and firm. The dentist gave me an injection to relieve the pain. However, the pain returned when the effects of the drug withdrew.
I felt uncomfortable. I knew how to draw a talisman to stop toothaches and hence I drew one with great sincerity; burned it and drank the talisman ashes with water. Normally, this talisman was very effective but it did not work on me. Despite several repeated attempts to take the talisman as a pain-killer, the pain remained.
I finally realized the saying, "A toothache is not an illness, but its pain can kill you."
I returned to the dentist and he said, "Anyway, you need to extract your wisdom tooth when you reach a certain age, and it's long overdue for you. I suggest you get rid of it once and for all." "OK," I said. Once the tooth was gone, the pain left with it. On the very day my tooth was removed, Jiang Wei's new tooth came through.
Someone asked me, "Master Lu, are you taking on Jiang Wei's karma?" I laughed. Was it substitution of karma or simply coincidence? I did not have the answer.
I felt that it was kind of a waste to chant a mantra merely to grow a tooth. The Mantra of Padmakumara can deliver one to the Buddha Land and the very Siddhi that I have personally attained and verified. I do not lie. If you chant the mantra of Padmakumara, you become Padmakumara himself.
It was good to know that Jiang Wei did not stop his chanting and has since gained greater faith in this mantra. He told people, "This mantra brings great results and it's simply amazing."
Here is a verse:
Don't hesitate to chant mantra.
Its power can eradicate all karmic hindrance.
Behold! The world of samsara is just a prison.
Fame and fortune is but a candle melting in flame.
Birth, aging, sickness, and death run in a natural cycle.
All ties of love and relationships come and go.
Thus, engage yourself in cultivation through chanting.
When the time comes, you will find Paradise within reach.
This verse is a wake-up call.