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Boundary Protection

2001-01-01 Seattle

There are disciples who tend to ask: `My residence is spiritually unsafe, what should I do?` or `How can I purify my shrine?` The answer is Vajra Protection, or Boundary Protection. Boundary Protection is an important method in Tantrayana for Mara prevention and shrine purification.

Tantric practitioners should highlight the importance of protecting oneself, one`s residence, one`s shrine, and even one`s temple. The method used for protecting oneself is known as Personal Protection, whereas Boundary Protection is the protection method used for living quarters and temples.

The purpose of Vajra Protection is to prevent evil and uphold good, and to separate the enlightened from the ignorant. It is a guide for discerning the mistiness between virtue and evil, and for defeating evil and proclaiming the greatness of virtue. Vajra Protection can be further divided into Magical Vajra Protection (Karma Boundary) and Natural Vajra Protection (Natural Boundary). Karma boundary can be performed in the shrine or residence, yielding protected areas of specific size. Natural Boundary, however, can be as wide as a country, a continent, a world, or even the limitless universe. Apart from this, Ceremonial Boundary Protection is a method that is applied during temple construction and shrine consecration. This method defines a certain boundary as protected, preventing Mara and evil spirits from entering. The smallest forms of boundary protection are used for Personal Protection, such as Armor Protection, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva Body Shrine Practice that Averts Disasters, etc.

Tantric Buddhism greatly emphasizes Vajra Protection. This is because Mara is very powerful, having the force that could destroy one`s prajna (wisdom towards enlightenment) and cause hindrance in one`s life and cultivation. Mara has the ability to terminate one`s spiritual life. The worst mishap would be destroying one`s cultivation with no recovery opportunity. Therefore, the practice of Vajra Protection is a must. In space and on earth, there are vast hindrances that come from the spiritual realm. If one is not careful, one may create the mishap for these hindrances to appear in one`s life. Consequently, a residence may easily become restless, a shrine may become defiled, the body may become injured, all causing great disturbance. Thus, the True Buddha School practitioner must know the art of protection. At the very least, one must practice Armor Protection during each cultivation session.

In terms of Boundary Protection and Personal Protection, we have the Great Compassion Dharani Water Boundary Protection, Vajra Scepter and Vajra Bell Boundary Protection, Taoism`s Golden Well method, the Nine Syllable Mantra method, Salt and Rice Boundary Protection, the Jian Lao Earth God (Firm Earth God) Boundary Protection, The Sitatapatre Boundary Protection, and the Four Levels of Vajra Protection (Sima Bandhana). Among these methods, the Four Levels of Vajra Protection is a very powerful and complete protection, which consists of:

Earth Boundary Protection (Vajrakila) - also known as Vajra Peg, which erects the pegs on the ground. This Vajra Peg is erected on a Golden Wheel or Water Wheel.

Four Directional Boundary Protection (Vajraprakara) - also known as Vajra Wall, which builds walls on the ground in four directions.
Space Boundary Protection (Vajrapanjara) - also known as Vajra Net, which spreads in the space right above the shrine.
Fire Boundary Protection (Vajraagni) - also known as Vajra Fire, blazing wide over the Vajra Net, with the composition of internal and external true fire.

With these Four Levels of Vajra Protection, one can protect oneself and the residing area, comprising a complete protection.

A True Buddha School practitioner must take refuge in the Root Guru, and learn to respect and make offerings to the Dharma Protectors. A practitioner who is accompanied by the Dharma Protector would be able to prevent many hindrances and negative influences. Practicing Vajra Protection can purify our shrine and residence, as well as protect our personal cultivation. Practitioners would be safe from disturbance by Mara and succeed on their cultivation path. One can have a safe cultivation journey with lesser hindrance, and with the protection from the Dharma Protectors, in a purified shrine, one will gradually reach enlightenment.
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