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The Padmakumara Mudra and the Method of Using the Bell and Vajra Written by Living Buddha Lian-sheng Sheng-yen Lu Translated by Cheng Yew Chung edited by Victor Hazen True Buddha Translation Teams


he origin of the mudra of Padmakumara, the personal deity of the True Buddha School, stems from an occasion when Living Buddha Lian-sheng entered into the Deity Samadhi and automatically formed the mudra. The right hand gesture signifies the expounding of Dharma while the left hand indicates the holding of a lotus. The Dharma Expounding Mudra symbolizes the fluent elucidation of all dharma while the Lotus Holding Mudra represents the purity of the six senses, the purity of body, speech and mind as uncontaminated as the lotus. Someone asked, “Since Padmakumara is Padmakumara, why should he be the transformation of Amitabha?” Let me clarify this. Take Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva (Guan Yin) as an example. This bodhisattva has many emanation bodies. In the case of the Six Guan Yin Bodhisattvas, there are already six: the Thousand Arms Thousand Eyes Guan Yin, Holy Guan Yin, Horse Head Guan Yin (Heyagriva), the Eleven-headed Kannon (Ekadasamukha), Cundi Guan Yin, and Nyoirin-Kannon (Cintamani-cakra). Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva is known to have thirty two manifested bodies, and is capable of infinite transformations. It is indeed inconceivable. As for Padmakumara, this Buddha is born out of Vairocana Tathagata, abides in Buddha Locana, and is manifested through Amitabha Buddha. You can say that he is the combined manifestation of Vairocana Tathagata, Buddha Locana and Amitabha Buddha, whose lineage is even more extraordinary. Another person asked, “The method of using the bell and vajra in the True Buddha School is different from that of Tibetan Buddhism and Japanese Shingon Buddhism. Why?” My reply was that when I entered into the Samadhi of my personal deity, I reached into the heart of Vajrasattva, and as I was holding the bell and vajra in my hands, I was transformed into Vajrapani. When Vajrapani exercised the method of using the bell and vajra, the method was transmitted. The reason it differs from others is that the method of using the bell and vajra is transmitted from the spiritual lineage, and not from the human lineage. Included in the True Buddha Tantric Dharma and the teachings of other Vajrayana schools are the common and uncommon practices. Since the Padmakumara Siddhi (Pure Land), the Padmakumara deity, its mudra, mantra, and the method of using the bell and vajra are available only in the True Buddha School, they are designated as uncommon practices. The inclusion of the personal deity, Padmakumara into the teaching as an uncommon practice is evidently rare.