UNDER THE PROTECTION OF THE LORD BUDDHA
BUDDHIST AMULETS: ANOTHER VIEW
"Within the members of the relatively small search team, Chinese all, was a Buddhist or Zen Buddhist. When they came across me, not knowing if I was the one they were searching for or not, the Buddhist amongst them noticed the small Chinese symbol hanging around my neck. The team was just going to abandon me, but the Buddhist, after seeing what I had around my neck told them I was under protection of the Lord Buddha and to leave me in such a state and in such surroundings would be bad Karma --- that nothing but bad fortune and and bad luck would follow them if they did not take me with them." (source)
The necklace, which seems to manifest an almost mystical aura about it, has interceded in my life in a positive fashion more than once as attested to in the above quote. However, my merchant marine friend and myself are not the only ones to find similar or like attributes ascribed by others to similar or like entities. During roughly that same period of time throughout the same region I ran into a number of similar attitudes as the above up and down the scale. Although you wouldn't know it from what has been put forth by or about them, three of the highest profile believers were in leadership positions over hundreds, possibly thousands in their roles of being warlords. The following is the take from the former Vietnamese Air Vice Marshall Nguyen Cao Ky:
"Many times death has taken those closest to me, but I was spared. No matter how great the peril I have encountered , I have emerged without harm. I am Buddha's child, and until my purpose in this life is fulfilled, Buddha will protect me."
His counterpart in Laos, the warlord Vang Pao is on record regarding the following:
"Their conversation turned to Buddha amulets of the kind Thong had worn. Joining in, Vang Pao explained that one kind of Buddha amulet protects from all bullets, and another attracts all bullets but causes them to ricochet."
Both of the above quotes and their sources as well as the view of the third of the three warlords, the Shan state drug warlord Khun Sa can be found at:
MEETING WARLORDS, ET AL
Many people take issue with the saying: "under the protection of the Lord Buddha" --- especially so in how it relates back to the Buddha and Buddhism --- and then in turn, how it relates back to me specifically.
However, implications or no --- or related to me specifically or not --- the quote is NOT of my own making. Although I have since heard it unsolicited a couple of times under varying circumstances, it first came to me from an apparent underlying belief held by the KMT Buddhist upon seeing the small Chinese character around my neck. Accurate assessment or not, it is what he believed. So too, in his own way, it is what Khun Sa believed as well. I have since run into people seeped in Buddhism that upon seeing the tiny medallion said the same thing.
One day, while still at the monastery, I was in a group of monks that went to the village some miles away. While there I sought out a villager that was able to speak some English. I was able to get him to write, in Chinese, a note to the master requesting information as to WHY the symbol around my neck afforded some sort of significance. Upon return the note was delivered by an intermediary. Some months later I was given a handwritten response --- in Chinese. After returning to the states nobody I showed the response to, who should have had the ability to read it, were able to translate it with any amount of accuracy.
In 1977 I was in Hong Kong to seek audience with the famous translator Upasaka Lu K'uan Yu. The purpose of that meeting was to get a better handle on what the Zen master wrote. The whole story is fairly long and complicated and most do not have the time or interest to delve into it at much length. However, the gist of the translation revolves around one King Dhatarattha, Bodhisattva, one time follower and confidant of the Buddha. Dhatarattha was the Lord of the East. The sun rises from out of the east, that is from the east of Mount Meru, out over the ocean that laps against the eastern shoreline of Meru and that extends continually eastward well beyond the horizon. The King's realm and power oversaw all that the ocean and beyond entailed --- the hidden lands of Fu Sang and all. If you recall, the symbol around my neck originally showed up around the neck of a merchant marine that had been found strapped to a piece of debris floating in the ocean.
In the Sutras, Dhatarattha, in addition to being Lord of the East, he is also King of the Swans, and he above all others was the Golden Swan. The King of Benares heard of the Golden Swan and wanted him. So he built a beautiful lake to entice him to come there, wherein, upon doing so he could capture him. To wit:
Not suspecting anything and trusting the words of the king's proclamation the Bodhisattva and his friends were enjoying themselves among the lotuses of the lake, when the foot of Dhatarattha got entangled in a snare. In order to warn the other swans of danger, he announced by a certain cry that he had been caught and the swans with a cry of terror flew up into the air. Only Sumukha stayed at the side of his Master and would not move.
The Bodhisattva urged his friend to leave him as he could not help him, but Sumukha answered: whatever thy fate is, my Master, that shall be mine also. I always attend on thee in thy prosperity and I will not leave thee in thy distress." The bodhisattva answered: "What advantage will there be of death of both of us?"
Sumukha answered:"The law of Righteousness teaches that one may not leave one's friend in distress, even for the sake of saving one's own life!"
The KMT Buddhist, not unlike Sumukha, who would not leave the Bodhisattva in distress, would not leave me in distress. Now true, we were not friends as Dhatarattha and Sumukha were, but in the overall scheme of things, seeing the symbol around my neck the KMT Buddhist apparently arrived at a kin relationship. As Dhatarattha moved up he became, as in the Atanatiya Sutta, one of the four kings discussing with the Buddha what was called the Atanatiya Protection, hence the relationship to protection by the Buddha. At the end of the Atatatiaya Sutta the Buddha closes with:
When the night had passed the Blessed One addressed the monks: "Learn by heart, monks, the Atanata protection, constantly make use of it, bear it in mind. This Atanata protection, monks, pertains to your welfare, and by virtue of it, monks and nuns, laymen and laywomen may live at ease, guarded, protected, and unharmed." (source)
Now, how it relates back to me and being "under the protection of the Lord Buddha," I have been told, and I have no way of knowing how accurate any of it is, is that it is not from any direct translation of the Chinese symbol that is of importance, but the power invested in the symbol itself, as it harkens back to it being an ancient relic handed down through the centuries and blessed through the Buddha by King Dhatarattha himself.
For more please see:
THE BOOK OF PROTECTION
PARITTA: The Book of Protection