Once, I attended a dinner at a friend's invitation. The host, Mr Cao Chung, introduced me to everyone and said, "This is Living Buddha Lian-sheng, Sheng-yen Lu. It is not easy to see him in person as he is simply too famous and too busy. He is known for his spiritual ability and he can solve every difficult situation and problem. Living Buddha Lian-sheng has the Divine Eye!"
Everyone looked at me, and remained silent. During dinner, the host Cao Chung asked, "Living Buddha, can you do a reading and tell us if we're doing fine?"
I scanned the group. Everyone remained quiet, waiting to hear what I had to say. I smiled and said, "Most of you are OK." The host picked on my words and said, "You say most of us are OK, which means some of us are not. Who are you referring to?"
I said, "Can I reveal? Anyone minds?"
"Of course we don't mind." Everyone agreed.
I said, "This Mr Pan, Pan Ching, has a little..."
"A little what?"
"There's a strange ambience around him."
"Can you be more specific about this ambience? Is it one of a sissy, kind of feminine, or one that which simply attracts women..." Everyone was teasing Pan Ching.
Pan Ching then said to me, "What ambience? Can you please state clearly. I don't really mind!"
I responded in no uncertainly terms, "It's the spirit of a dog on your body."
Everyone was stunned. Pan Ching said, "I don't feel anything!"
The host Cao Chung said to me, "Living Buddha, could you have mistaken?"
I said, "I am sure. This dog spirit only recently attached itself to him. It is not making any move now, but it might in the future."
Pan Ching said, "We'll continue with our meals. After which, I shall have a private word with Living Buddha Lian-sheng, Sheng-yen Lu. I don't want this to affect everybody."
After the dinner, Pan Ching invited me to another room. He was all serious when he said, "You're right on target!" Pan Ching then said, "I kept a German Shepherd Dog (Alsation or K9) at home. He was usually very loyal and adorable. But during the past few months the dog kept barking for no reasons. He barked in the day and barked at night. It disturbed us and our neighbours. Our neighbours could not stand it and grumbled. Despite our attempts to discipline him, he simply ignored us. We spanked him and still he kept barking. We were at our wits' end and finally we felt that the K9 must have gone mad. If we gave him away, who would want to keep a mad dog? If we let him go, we felt we're being irresponsible. Finally, I decided to mix an insecticide called Parathion with dog food and silenced him."
I nodded my head after listening to his story. Pan Ching asked me, "Now that the dog spirit is attached to me, what would it do?"
"I'm not sure myself."
"Will it stay for while and then leave?"
"I wish this is the case." Pan Ching said.
"This is most ideal!"
Faced with a dog spirit that attached itself to a person, I would not offer to help out if Pan Ching did not ask me to exorcise the dog spirit. Moreover, Pan Ching was fine and showed no signs of abnormality. He was not particularly worried and I said no more.
Three months had passed before Cao Chung came to me and said, "Pan Ching is dead."
"How did he die?" I was astonished.
"Acute Hepatitis. We sent him to the hospital but he didn't make it."
"Ah! So fast so soon!"
Cao Chung told me, "After Pang Ching died, strange phenomenon began to happen in his house. Pan Ching's family was terrified and now they would like to request Living Buddha to help them."
"What is the strange phenomenon all about?"
Cao Chung said, "Mrs Pan Ching is having recurring dreams of Pan Ching telling her to seek Living Buddha Lu's help. If not, everyone will be in danger. The strange phenomenon involves a pungent smell in the house which is unbearable. It smells like a stray dog that has not had a good bath for a long time. The lingering smell simply wouldn't disperse. One after another, the family members fall ill. Mrs Pan Ching's body is swelling all over, and her skin dries up and cracks. Pan Jing, the younger daughter has been suffering from headache. The elder son Pan Ming is even weirder, as his eyes have turned completely reddish, just like the rabid dog's eye. This occurs after Pan Ching's death. Pan Ming's behaviour also goes through a transformation. He becomes irritable and depressed, always pacing the house and appears very sad. The most interesting thing is that objects in the house seem to move about. Clothing placed on the east is found at the west. Shower cap in the bathroom appears at the sofa mysteriously. Books on the shelf fall onto the floor all at once, not just one or two at a time. Rubbish collected is scattered all over the place. The kitchen is unoccupied, yet the forks and knifes, pots and pans rattle. At night, when everyone goes to sleep, you hear noises in the house, as if someone is walking around. And not just sound of walking, but sound of knocking on walls as well."
Cao Chung finished his talk in one go. I said, "Let's go over to the house!"
Pan Ching had lived in a luxury residence, a villa in the suburban area. The entrance led to a small fountain decorated with a concrete mountain and an artificial garden. The living room was spacious and the floor was laid with marble. The windows were adorned with decorative artwork and the furniture was exquisite and tasteful.
When Pan Ching was alive, he was responsible for the business of a major trading venture. Hence, he enjoyed a good life. Mrs Pan and the two kids were present and I examined Pan Ming. Pan Ming's eyes were reddish and despite taking the doctor's prescription, the condition Conjunctivitis, or Pink Eye simply wouldn't go away. This was because the dog spirit was attached to Pan Ming's body.
I said, "The dog spirit is on Pan Ming."
Pan Ming said nothing, stood up and stared fiercely at me. The family was horrified. I said, "Don't worry. I can deal with this."
Pan Ming then said, " I have an urge to charge forward and bite Living Buddha Lu, except that I am suppressing it."
"Don't worry. I can handle it."
"Living Buddha, you must drive out this spirit!" Mrs Pan said.
"There's no need for exorcism!" I said, "All I need is to sit in meditation much like the Buddha in yoga posture on the marble floor of the living area, forming the Dharma Realm Stability Mudra with the spine straightened and shoulders spread. I shall then nod and bend the neck downward to press on the Adam's apple with my tongue touching the upper jaw and my eyes still and focussed. Seated in stillness, I cleared my thoughts and balanced my body and mind.
"Om Sobawa Suda Sarva Dharma Sobawa Sudo Ham (3 times, Emptiness Visualization Mantra)."
With the power of blessing from the Buddha, from the Dharma Realm, and my own cultivation power combined, I was transformed into emptiness.
The dog spirit could not see me. I silently chant:
"Namo Sarva Tathagata Valokite Om Sambala Sambala Hum (3 times, Food Transformation Mantra)."
I was transformed into a pile of bones. Having been transformed into a pile of finger licking bones, the dog spirit would certainly be most enticed when he saw me. The dog spirit jumped and bit the bones, and thus entered my body. With this, the dog spirit left Pan Ming's body, and attached itself to me.
I stood up and announced to Pan Ching's family, "The dog spirit is on my body. I am bringing him away. From now onwards, your household will be peaceful and everything shall be fine." This was what I said, and the life of Pan's family indeed returned to normal. When I left Pan's house, the strange smell also disappeared. A stray dog that has not taken a bath, whose skin rots at the same time, produces an extremely pungent smell. When I left the place, the smell disappeared.
Mrs Pan's swollen body and dry skin texture recovered from that day onwards. She went through much urination and the swell subsided completely. The dry and cracking skin of hers also improved greatly, and within three days, all illness was cured. Mrs Pan found it a miracle, as she recovered without taking any medication.
Pan Ching's daughter headache lifted, as if someone had carried away a rock on her head, and thus felt much relieved. Pan Ming's reddened and inflamed eyes, much like that of the rabid dog, were healed. His behaviour showed a marked recovery and appeared much healthy and fine.
The strange phenomenon in the house also disappeared. There was no automatic movement of things, and no strange noises. The Pan family was very grateful for my help.
The issue now was not Pan's family. Rather, it became mine to deal with. I realized this Alsation's spirit had a great deal of spiritual power. It was dashing all over my body, wanting to break out. I was not ready to release him. My body was much like an iron cage, locking it within me. There was no escape. Having lost its freedom, it would not be able to harm anyone.
The dog spirit told me, "I will bite your liver!" I knew Pan Ching was bitten to death this way. I said, "Go ahead and bite!" The dog bit and broke his K9 teeth, as I had transformed my liver into a Vajra.
"I will bite your heart!" The dog proceeded, yet I transformed my heart into stainless steel.
"I will bite your intestine!" And the dog bit me. My intestine had been turned into a piece of granite. The dog barked and said, "Your heart is stone cold!" I laughed out loud.
Alhough this dog spirit could do no harm to me, its filthy energy affected my being. My physical body was polluted.
I chanted the Pure Water Mantra:
The Genuine Water of the Infinite.
Its liquid crystal clear.
Purify Soul and let wisdom grow.
Nurturing all living so they may flourish.
Cleansing and purifying everything far and near.
Through cultivation one advances towards the Jade Capital.
Pronunciation of Original Text: Wu Ji Zhen Shui/Ye Ti Xian Ming/ Jing Xi Ling Tai Zhi Hui Sheng/ Wan Wu Zi Run Rong/ Xia Er Cheng Qing/ Xiu Dao Shang Yu Jing
I chanted the Heart Purification Mantra:
My spirit is genuine as I cultivate purely.
My mind is genuine as I cultivate purely.
My Chi is genuine as I cultivate purely.
My five organs are genuinely purified.
Pronunciation of Original Text: Shen Cheng Jing Xiu/ Yi Cheng Jing Xiu/ Qi Cheng Jing Xiu/ Wu Zang Cheng Jing
I recited the Speech Purification Mantra:
My throat is cleansed as I cultivate purely.
My tongue is cleansed as I cultivate purely.
My teeth is cleansed as I cultivate purely.
My three karma is cleansed and purified.
Pronunciation of Original Text: Hou Qing Jing Xiu/ She Qing Jing Xiu/ Ci Qing Jing Xiu/ San Ye Qing Jing
I chanted the Body Purification Mantra:
My body is clean as I cultivate purely.
I am cleansed as I cultivate purely.
I am neat as I cultivate purely.
My heart is clean and pure.
Pronunciation of Original Text: Ti Jie Jing Xiu/ Qing Jie Jing Xiu/ Zheng Jie Jing Xiu/ Yi Xin Jie Jing
I recited the Three Karma Purification Mantra:
The realms that exist within one's body,
All thirty-six thousand spirits,
Fulfill your duties within the organs.
From past to future,
May I enjoy good health,
May I always dwell in the Three Treasures.
When met with destruction,
My body shall remain forever,
As I recite this True Scripture,
The karma of body, speech and mind is purified.
Execute this order at once.
Pronunciation of Original Text: Shen Zhong Zu Nei Jing/ San Wan Liu Qian Shen/ Dong Zuo Fu Xing Zang/ Qian Jie Bing Hou Ye/ Yuan Wo Shen Zi Zai/ Chang Zhu San Bao Zhong/ Dang Yu Jie Huai Shi/ Wo Shen Chang Bu Mie/ Song Ci Zhen Wen Shi/ Sheng Xin Kuo Jie Qing Jing/ Ji Ji Ru Liu Ling
When I finished my recitation, my body and mind became purified of the filthy energy. And remarkably, the dog spirit became purified in its body and mind upon listening to my mantra recitation. It listened quietly. I was happy that the karma of the dog spirit was cleansed at the end of my chanting.
Finally, I chanted the Heaven and Earth Purification Mantra:
Heaven and earth is balanced with nature.
All pollution shall disperse.
The mystical wonders within the Heavenly Zone.
The illuminating Supreme Origin, Tai Yuan.
The powerful gods of the eight directions.
Let me become one with nature.
Talisman Mandate of the Numinous Treasure, Ling Bao
Announcing to the Nine Heavens.
Qian Lou Da Na.
Energy Wind from the Heavenly Zone of Supreme Mystery,
Sever demons and bind evils.
Kill tens of thousands of ghosts.
This Central Mountain Magical Mantra.
The Jade Scripture of the Primeval, Yuan Shi.
Recite this once,
Curing all sickness and prolonging life.
Circulate this order in the Five Mountains,
Throughout all Eight Seas it shall be known.
The Demon King shall be defeated.
Guard me in my resident.
All filth and pollution shall be eliminated.
The Tao Chi shall always prosper.
Execute this order at once.
Pronunciation of Original Text: Tian Di Zi Ran/ Hui Qi Fen San/ Dong Zhong Xuan Xu/ Huang Lang Tai Yuan/Ba Fang Wei Shen/ Shi Wo Zi Ran/Ling Bao Fu Ming/ Pu Gao Jiu Tian/Qian Luo Da Na/ Dong Gang Tai Xuan/ Zhan Yao Fu Xie/ Sa Gui Wan Qian/ Zhong Shan Shen Zhou/ Yuan Shi Yu Wen/ Chi Song Yi Bian/ Qu Bing Yan Nian/ An Xing Wu Yue/ Ba Hai Zhi Wen/ Mo Wang Shu Shou/ Shi Wei Wo Xuan/ Xiong Hui Dang Jin/ Dao Qi Chang Cun/Ji Ji Ru Liu Ling
(Translator's note: Similar to the Sanskrit mantras, most Taoist spells call upon the names of the supreme deities. Instead of translating only the sound, I have decided to approach the translation of the Taoist spells by translating the meaning of the words in Chinese. They should convey the same power when chanted in the English, when the readers can understand what they mean.)
Upon reciting this mantra, the dog spirit shrunk to half its size and became immobilized. It was being tied up. The dog spirit yelled, "Stop chanting. Stop Chanting. I am willing to take refuge."
"You want to take refuge. That's good." I said.
This dog spirit was rather clever. If it did not take refuge with the Buddha, all I needed was to chant the Heaven and Earth Purification Mantra three times and its spirit would shrink to an even smaller size, or disintegrate in a loud thunderclap.
"Let me go and I will take refuge!" The dog spirit screamed. Of course I would let it out. Since the dog spirit was attached to me, the fact that it would be taking refuge meant that I would be taking refuge as well. As I emptied my body and mind, the dog spirit found its release. At the moment of release, the cunning dog spirit wanted to escape right away. Its request to take refuge was only a bluff.
Dog spirit or animal entity usually has minor psychic power. As it leaped into the sky to escape, a god appeared and whacked the dog. It fell to the ground. Then it attempted to disappear underground but was stopped by another god. It dashed towards the left and there stood one god. It dashed towards the right and there stood another god. The dog spirit cried out, "That's it! That's it! The web of heaven and earth is laid and I can't escape. I must really take refuge with you." The dog spirit laid on the ground, and expressed its desire to take refuge. I laughed heartily and said, "You dog demon. You must be taught a good lesson before you learn to be good. I am well aware of this. Thus, I have secretly chanted the Earth God Mantra:
Under the guardianship of the Primeval Lord,
Notify all spirits,
Genuine sovereigns of the mountains and rivers,
Land and Area Gods,
Earth and Grain Gods in the altars,
Do not create disturbances.
Return to the right path,
Be purified inwardly and outwardly,
And station in one's rightful place,
Be prepared to guard over the shrine.
The Supreme One issues an edict
To capture the demons.
The godly Dharma Protectors,
Guard over one's sutra recitation.
Take refuge in the Tao,
And all shall prosper and well.
Execute this order at once.
Pronunciation of Original Text: Yuan Shi An Zhen/ Pu Gao Wan Ling/ Yue Du Zhen Guan/ Tu Di Zhi Shen/ Zuo She You Ji/ Bu De Wan Jing/ Hui Xiang Zheng Dao/ Nei Wai Cheng Qing/ Ge An Fang Wei/ Bei Shou Tan Ting/ Tai Shang You Ming/ Sou Pu Xie Jing/ Hu Fa Shen Wang/ Bao Wei Song Jing/ Gui Yi Da Dao/ Yuan Heng Li Zhen/ Ji Ji Ru Lu Ling
The dog spirit remained still, not daring to make a move. I gave the dog spirit the
I take refuge in the Vajra Guru. Namo Guru Bei.
I take refuge in the Buddha. Namo Buddhaya.
I take refuge in the Dharma. Namo Dharmaya.
I take refuge in the Sangha. Namo Sanghaya.
I recited the Four Refuge Mantra. This mantra can turn a polluted ground into Pure Land. (Om Pu Kam)
The dog spirit willingly accepted. I had planned to send the dog spirit to the Western Paradise of Ultimate Bliss (Sukhavati). But it had killed Pan Ching and remained cunning and shrewd. If I sent it to Sukhavati immediately, I felt it was all too easy for this dog. It would be difficult to imagine the victim still remaining in the netherworld while the dog spirit ascended to the Western Paradise, confounding right and wrong. That would certainly be unfair.
What about sending the dog to hell? That was not a good thing too. For some reason this dog spirit had come upon a Vajra Guru who gave it the Four Refuge. With the deliverance of the Four Refuge and mantra, the dog spirit gained an affinity with the Buddha. If it was sent to hell, I was afraid it would not find its way back to heaven. And hell is certainly not a place for cultivation. I found myself in a dilemma.
Then came an Earth God, leashed the dog and said, "Don't worry, Living Buddha. I'll take care of this!"
I was overjoyed and said, "This is great! You bring this dog to guard the temple. This dog can indeed watch over the temple altar!"
The Earth God waved and said, "Everything is taken care of."
Here's a verse:
Throughout heaven and earth lies the law.
The Buddhas in all compassion transmit the Heart Teachings.
If one takes refuge and obtains the mantra,
One shall return to find purity in the other shore.