Chapter 11: The Meticulous Observation of Gods and Humans By the Four Great Kings
Then the Great King Vaiśravaṇa, the Great King Dhṛtarāṣṭra, the Great King Virūḍhaka, and the Great King Virūpākṣa rose from their seats, put their upper robes over one shoulder, kneeled placing their right knee on the ground, bowed with joined palms in the direction of the Bhagavān; and spoke to the Bhagavān in the following words: “Lord Bhagavān, as for this Sovereign King of Sūtra Teachings, the Transcendent Golden Light, it is spoken by all Tathāgatas. It is seen by all Tathāgatas. It is ruminated upon by all Tathāgatas. All the assemblies of Bodhisattvas completely embrace it. All the assemblies of gods bow to it. All the assemblies of gods make offerings to it. All the assemblies of god-kings deeply praise it. All the protectors of the universe venerate it and praise it; and speaking those praises, they intensively worship it. It illuminates all castles of the gods. It fully bestows all supreme bliss upon all sentient beings. It dries up all the suffering of sentient beings in the hells, animal kingdom, and world of Yama. It cuts off the flow of all danger. It totally wards off all foreign armies. It exhaustively pacifies all the terrors of famine. It utterly neutralizes all the horrors of sickness. It dispels all harm from planets. It ensure absolute peace. It completely calms all agony and disturbing emotions. It powerfully soothes a variety of harmful factors. It vigorously subdues one hundred thousand kinds of harm. Indeed it does!”
“Lord Bhagavān, if this Sovereign King of Sūtra Teachings, the Transcendent Golden Light is extensively, authentically, and thoroughly explained to an assembly, then through the essential juice of ambrosial Dharma nectar that comes from listening to this Dharma, for us, along with our four-fold retinue of troops and servants, our divine bodies will expand greatly in majesty. In our bodies, endurance, strength and power will grow. Brilliance, resplendence and vitality will be infused into our bodies.”
“Lord Bhagavān, we, the Four Great Kings, are imbued with the Dharma. We are orators of Dharma; kings of Dharma, indeed. Lord Bhagavān, through the Dharma, we work as the kings of Devas, Nāgas, Yakṣas, Asuras, Garudas, Gandharvas, Kinnaras and Mahoragas. We counteract the inexhaustible hordes of evil ghosts (bhūtas), who are without compassion, and steal others’ luster.”
“Lord Bhagavān, we, the Four Great Kings, simultaneously with the twenty-eight great generals of the Yakṣas, and many hundreds of thousands of [other] Yakṣas, always continuously observe the entire world with our genuinely pure divine eyes; which surpass those of humans. We guard it. We powerfully protect it.”
“Lord Bhagavān, for this reason, we, the Four Great Kings, have come to be named ‘The Protectors of the Universe’.”
“Lord Bhagavān, when any place in this world is endangered by the invasion of foreign armies, the terrors of poverty, the horrors of sickness, hundreds of different kinds of harm, thousands of different kinds of harm, or hundreds of thousands of different kinds of harm, then, Lord Bhagavān, we, the Four Great Kings, shall inspire the Dharma-expounding monks who uphold this Sovereign King of Sūtra Teachings, the Transcendent Golden Light.”
“Lord Bhagavān, when we, the Four Great Kings, have inspired those Dharma-expounding monks through miracles and blessings, then in whatever lands they go to, we shall cause them to extensively and authentically teach this Sovereign King of Sūtra Teachings, the Transcendent Golden Light, in those very lands. In whatever lands where things such as hundreds of different kinds of harm and thousands of different kinds of harm occur, we shall completely pacify them.”
“Lord Bhagavān, in any lands where the Dharma-expounding monk who upholds this Sovereign King of Sūtra Teachings, the Transcendent Golden Light travels, we will cause the human king of those very lands to render service to this Sovereign King of Sūtra Teachings, the Transcendent Golden Light.”
“Lord Bhagavān, the human king, having listened to and reflected upon thisSovereign King of Sūtra Teachings, the Transcendent Golden Light, will, in all ways, protect those monks who uphold this Sovereign of Sūtra Teachings from all attacks. If he thoroughly guards, thoroughly cares for, and thoroughly looks after them, then, Lord Bhagavān, we, the Four Great Kings, will, in all ways, protect the sentient beings who live all over the land of that human king. We will thoroughly guard, thoroughly take care of, and thoroughly look after them; causing them to be peaceful and happy.”
“Lord Bhagavān, if the human king makes the upholder of this Sovereign of Sūtra Teachings happy with all that brings happiness, whether they be a monk, nun, layman or laywoman, then, Lord Bhagavān, we, the Four Great Kings, shall cause the sentient beings living all over the land of that human king to have a prosperous abundance of bliss and all useful things; with all implements of happiness.”
“Lord Bhagavān, when the human king respects, treats as a Guru, renders service, and makes offerings to the upholder of this Sovereign of Sūtra Teachings, whether they be a monk, nun, layman or laywoman, then, Lord Bhagavān, we, the Four Great Kings, will cause all kings to greatly honor, greatly venerate, greatly attend, and greatly make offerings to that human king. In all lands, he will be copiously praised.”
FROM THE SOVEREIGN KING OF SŪTRA TEACHINGS, THE TRANSCENDENT GOLDEN LIGHT, THIS WAS THE ELEVENTH CHAPTER: ‘THE METICULOUS OBSERVATION OF GODS AND HUMANS BY THE FOUR GREAT KINGS’.
Erick Tsiknopoulos (b. 1981) is an American translator of Tibetan, a scholar, researcher and postgraduate student in Buddhist Studies, a teacher and tutor of Tibetan language, a writer and editor, a voracious reader in various subjects, and an experienced world traveler. He is the founder and primary Tibetan translator of the Sugatagarbha Translation Group, and the creator of their main website, Tibetan-Translations.com, which currently features English translations of over 400 Tibetan texts. Many of his translations have been published in various forms, including as books.
He has been a student of Buddhism since 1999, a student of Tibetan Buddhism since 2003, and a student of Tibetan language since 2005. He has been translating Tibetan texts into English since 2007, has been based in India and Nepal studying Tibetan language and Buddhism intensively and translating Tibetan texts since 2008, and has been working professionally as a Tibetan-English translator and interpreter since 2009.
He is available for contact via email at: EmptyElephant@yahoo.com and SugatagarbhaTranslations@gmail.com