I hope all of you are doing well.
Today is the third day of the Aspirations to End Adversity. Today, the texts we will recite together are the sutra and dharani of the Buddha Akshobhya. The Buddha Shakyamuni said that this dharani of Protector Akshobhya is supreme for purifying karmic obscurations, and therefore the dharani of Akshobhya is entitled the Dharani that Thoroughly Purifies All Karmic Obscurations.
Akshobhya has a particular ability to purify karmic obscurations. I think that this is primarily connected to the commitment he made when he first roused bodhichitta—“From now until I reach buddhahood, I will never feel malice or hatred toward any sentient being!” His commitment was so strong that he was given the name Akshobhya or the Unshakable One. He kept his oath firmly throughout the time he was a bodhisattva until he achieved buddhahood. Because he never felt malice or hatred toward any being, when he awoke to buddhahood, the maras didn’t even think to try and create obstacles for him. It is for reasons such as these that Akshobhya is supreme for purifying karmic obscurations, in particular those that arise from hatred and malice.
As you all know, in this universe, there are many trillions of worlds like this one where our Teacher Shakyamuni appeared. For example, to the west of here, there is Amitabha’s pure realm, Sukhavati. There are also many other buddha realms. It is taught that the Buddha Amitabha dwells in the realm of Abhirati to the east of here. If you want to read more about Abhirati, you can read the Sutra of the Features of the Tathagata Akshobhya’s Realm, which is in the Ratnakuta Sutra, one of the major sections of the Kangyur.
In our own world, we human beings act in ways that are causing severe harm to our world and many of the beings who live in it. Through climate change and other crises, we humans are turning into terrifying demons who are about to utterly destroy life on earth. For the sake of food, clothes, luxury goods, and the like, every day we inflict the suffering and torture of being killed and butchered on many millions of animals.
Actually, avoiding what harms us and seeking what is beneficial is not just a human right and freedom. It is a right and freedom of every single sentient being. Thus it is critically important for us to respect and protect others beings’ lives and happiness, to take on the responsibility of bringing them benefit and happiness, and to accept any hardships that entails.
Next, please join me in reciting these two dharanis of the Buddha Akshobhya with the kind intention of bringing benefit to all sentient beings.