The Heart of Shurangama Mantra
Mantra: The Heart of Shurangama Mantra
“The Heart of Shurangama Mantra” is "Xi Dan Duo, Bo Da La", and it is one of the phrases in “Shurangama Mantra”. After Shakyamuni Buddha has proclaimed “Shurangama Mantra” before an assembly of Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Arhats and devas, he continues to explain the benefits and merits of chanting “Heart of Shurangama Mantra”. “Xi Dan Duo, Bo Da La” is a short but powerful mantra that has inconceivable power to destroy hindrances, remove one’s afflictions, and facilitate one’s attainment of Buddhahood. This heart mantra is just as powerful and efficacious as the full “Shurangama Mantra”.
“Xi Dan Duo” is the Chinese pinyin of Sanskrit words, and “Xi Dan Duo” means "white". It represents purity and lack of defilement. Pure white Dharma is devoid of filth. “Shurangama Mantra” is pure white Dharma.
“Bo Da La” is translated as "canopy". Canopy is an analogy. This canopy provides shelter for those with myriad virtues. The function of this canopy is to protect those endowed with virtue and those practicing virtuous conduct. Without virtuous conduct, one will not have an opportunity to meet with this Dharma.
Reciting “The Heart of Shurangama Mantra” is simple because there are only 6 syllables. Yet, it contains as much merits and power as of chanting the full “Shurangama Mantra”. Therefore, due to the compassion of Buddha, the ultimate Dharma of “Shurangama Sutra” and “Shurangama Mantra” are not only for the intellectuals, but are also accessible to the illiterates through the path of “Heart of Shurangama Mantra”.
The advantages of reciting “Xi Dan Duo, Bo Da La”, are listed with great details in “Shurangama Sutra”. The key in reciting this wonderful mantra is to practice with a sincere heart and concentration. A scattered mind will not create a bond with the enlightened one, and recitation from an unfocused mind will become a vocal cord training only. The ultimate goal in practicing any mantra is to calm a person’s mind into a peaceful state, and gradually it can free oneself from attachments to six senses and the ordinary mind.
Some of the important merits in practicing “Heart of Shurangama Mantra” are listed below.
“Because the Thus Come Ones of the ten directions take up this mantra-heart, they subdue all demons and control all adherents of outside ways."
“…..how this mantra can rescue and protect the world, help people obtain great fearlessness, and bring to accomplishment living beings’ transcendental wisdom."
“And so it is in every other case, such that they cannot be possessed by any evil mantra or any heavenly dragon, ghost, or spirit, or by any essence, weird creature, or demonic ghost. These people’s minds will attain proper reception……"
“No evil stars, and no ghost or spirit that harbors malice in its heart and that poisons people can work its evil on these people. Vinayaka as well as all the evil ghost kings and their retinues will be led by deep kindness to always guard and protect them."
“The Heart of Shurangama Mantra” is an important mantra because it protects practitioners away from Demonic events and assist them to attain enlightenment. It is common to see “Xi Dan Duo, Bo Da La” are written on a paper and display in any chanting halls of a temple. In doing so, the halls will be more peaceful and harmonized.