About Dharani for Stupas

In Dharma Teachings, Lectures, Tsony by Tsony


Stupas may appear in a variety of sizes and shapes but the most common architectural design is usually consists of three parts:

A. The bottom part of the stupa:

The square base foundation represents the crossed legs and the lion-throne of the Buddha and the stability of the earth-element. The base foundation and the throne are the vital initial support for the stupa. It signifies the ‘path of accumulation’ to attain a great store of merits and wisdom that are essential to support the journey towards enlightenment. This is achieved through the following three stages:

Meditating on the four applications of mindfulness – that of (1) the impurity of body; (2) the feelings of sufferings; (3) the impermanence of consciousness; (4) all mental phenomena are of the nature of emptiness.

Meditating on the application of four opponent powers: (1) the resolve to avoid generating any non-virtues that have not arisen; (2) the resolve to abandon any non-virtues that have arisen; (3) the resolve to generate virtues that have not yet arisen; (4) the resolve to preserve any virtues that have arisen from deteriorating and to cultivate the accumulation of more virtues.

Meditating on the four samadhi states of miraculous power by focusing on: (1) the intention to attain freedom from suffering; (2) the diligence to attain freedom from the origin of suffering; (3) the attention to remain in a state free from suffering; (4) the discernment with antidote for attaining freedom from sufferings.

The four steps of the stupa symbolize the six classes of beings in the desire realm. It signifies the ‘path of preparation’ with which the ‘path of accumulation’ is connected to the ‘path of insight’ through four stages. The first two stages of ‘warmth’ and ‘summit’ are used to cultivate the five powers of faith, diligence, mindfulness, concentration and wisdom. The third and fourth stages of ‘acceptance’ and ‘supreme attributes’ transform the five powers into the five strengths once the opposing factors are overcome. The four sides of the steps signify the mind at this stage is still not free from the four conventional views of ‘existence’, ‘non-existence’, ‘existence and non-existence’, in addition to ‘neither existence nor non-existence’.

B. The middle part of the stupa:

The vase (bumpa) represents the torso of the Buddha, the fluidity of water-element, and the seven factors leading to enlightenment – mindfulness, discernment of phenomena, diligence, altruistic joy, pliancy, samadhi, equanimity.

Some stupas may have a window-recess on the front of the vase dome in which a statue or relics of the Buddha or a realized master is placed.

This middle spherical dome symbolizes the seventeen levels of the form realm. It represents the ‘path of insight’ – the first of thirteen Arya bodhisattva bhumis that culminated in the attaining of ultimate enlightenment. It signifies seeing the true nature of reality as it is – the first glimpse into the ‘primordial nature’ of the Arya beings – through the application of coordinating ‘non-conceptual wisdom’ (Jnana) with ‘discriminative awareness’ (Prajna).

Between the spherical dome and the conical steeple is a square box called Harmika, which represents the Buddha’s eyes. It signifies the ‘path of meditation’ which spans from the second bhumi to the tenth bhumi through attaining familiarity with the noble eightfold paths – right view, right intention, right speech, right action, right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness, right concentration.

C. The top part of the stupa:

The conical steeple represents the Buddha’s crown. It has thirteen tapering rings, which symbolize the vitality of fire-element and the thirteen Arya bodhisattva bhumis leading to enlightenment.

The parasol represents the spontaneity of wind-element, which fends off all negativity.

The sun and the moon symbolize skillful means and wisdom respectively. It represents the ‘path of no-more-learning’ – the ultimate transcendence of duality and knowledge in recognizing the non-confronting nature of emptiness.

The flaming jewel at the tip of the steeple represents supreme enlightenment – the ultimate state of non-conceptual wisdom.

The conical steeple together with the ornaments symbolize the four levels of formless realm.

The four sides of the stupa symbolize the four immeasurable of loving-kindness, compassion, altruistic joy and equanimity, as well as four of the five Buddha families – Amitabha (west), Amoghasiddhi (north), Akshobhya (east), Ratnasambhava (south).

Inserted right through the middle of the stupa is a specially prepared wooden trunk called the tree of life force (sog shing). It serves the same purpose as the central channel of subtle energy that course through the middle of a living being from the crown to the perineum, and symbolizes the Buddha family of Vairocana. It also represents the dharmadhatu – the absolute space of all phenomena – through the precious treasury that are interred within.


According to the Two Stainless Cycles (Drimed Namnyi) the methods by which stupas are built in Tibet are based on teachings given by Shakyamuni Buddha in the human realm and the celestial realm. In spite of the existence of a variety of exterior designs, the consecration for the interior in every stupa remains identical to this day.

The text of Drimed Namnyi stated that at one time, the brahmin Sergei Dawa, a non-buddhist teacher had a premonition through meditation that he would die within seven days. Frightened and powerless to change his own destiny, he went to Shakyamuni Buddha for help. The Blessed One confirmed his dread suspicion of untimely death and informed him that due to his store of negative karma, he will be reborn repeatedly in the lower and lower realms until finally being reborn in the hell realms.

Overwhelmed by shock, Sergei Dawa made request to the Buddha for means to nullify this imminent calamity. The Blessed One gave him the location of a stupa and said that if he would repair, refurbish, and reconsecrate this stupa, the merits he would accumulate will be sufficient to prolong his life and exhaust his store of negative karma, and when his present life finally comes to pass, he will reborn in the pure realm of bliss. Sergei Dawa took the advice to his heart and used all his means to refurnish and to reconsecrate the stupa. Blessed by the transmission of the Buddha, and empowered by the diligence of his own unreserved effort, Sergei Dawa was able to restore health to his dying body and live for many more years.

At the request of Bodhisattva Sarvanivaranaviskambhin (Dripa Namsel), further elaboration was given by the Buddha on the choice of location, building materials, design, rituals, the way how mandalas, scriptures, dharanis (long verses of mantra), tsa tsa (miniature stupa), holy relics, precious offerings should be prepared, and how a stupa should be consecrated and sanctified.

According to Jamgön Kongtrul Lodrö Tayé, the most important texts to place inside a stupa are the Kriyayogatantra (Odzer Drimed) – Spotless Radiance Tantra – and the five classes of great dharanis (zung chen dé nga), which serve as the relics of dharmakaya (chökyi kü ringsel). These sacred texts energies and transform a stupa into the absolute body of the buddhas. The five classes of great dharanis are:

Ushnishavijaya (Tsuktor Namgyalma)

Vimaloshnisha (Tsuktor Drimed)

Guhyadhatu (Sangwa Ringsel)

Bodhigarbhalamkaralaksha (Changchub Gyen Bum)

Pratityasamutpadahrdaya (Tendrel Nyingpo)

A stupa which has been consecrated and energized by the relics of dharmakaya is no longer a man-made burial monument but a sacred entity that can bestow blessings and amplify the potentiality of benefits, restore positive conditions for anyone who sponsor its construction, see it, touch it, circumambulate it, or hear the breeze that blow by it.

There is a legend in Bodhgaya, which states that an underground crystal stupa exists beneath the bodhi tree – a stupa so powerful it will support and preserve this site of the vajra seat where all 1000 Buddhas of this aeon will attain enlightenment there.

Some tantra teachings state that a self-arising stupa existed in the sky above Bodhgaya at the time of Vipasyin Buddha (Sangyé Namzik) and Sikhin Buddha (Sangyé Tsuk Torchen), while at the time of the Kasyapa Buddha (Sangyé Ösung) who is the Buddha prior to Shakyamuni Buddha (Sangyé Shakya Thubpa), a self-arising stupa existed under the earth.

Another legend in Kathmandu states that stupa has existed in the same site as the Swayambhunath Stupa during the time that spans from Visvabhu Buddha (Sangyé Thamché Kyob), Krakucchanda Buddha (Sangyé Khorwa Jik), Kanakamuni Buddha (Sangyé Sertub) to Kasyapa Buddha (Sangyé Ösung).  To this day, on the 15th day of the sixth lunar month, an apparition of the original stupa has been known to appear in the sky. A true testimony to the existence of stupa on earth, in the sky and underground since time without beginning.

This teaching entitled ‘Stupa – The Enlightened Mind Of The Buddhas’ is presented here by Tenzin Gyalpo Drakpa Gyaltsen Dondrup Dorje as his homage to all the Buddhas of the three times in ten directions.


dhāraṇī (T. gzungs གཟུངས་; C. tuoluoni/zongchi 陀羅尼/總持) 

“A statement, or spell, meant to protect or bring about a particular result; also refers to extraordinary skills regarding retention of the teachings.”

A dhāraṇī is often understood as a mnemonic device which encapsulates the meaning of a section or chapter of a sutra. Dhāraṇīs are also considered to protect the one who chants them from malign influences and calamities.

Dharani texts are long mantras, which are placed inside sacred statues and stupas

Dharani: Literally means retention. Refers to high levels of mindfulness (smriti) and insight (prajna) derived from spiritual practice. Term also used to denote longer mantras where the meaning can more or less be understood from the sounds. The four categories or doors of dharani relate to the retention of patiencemantra, words, and meaning. 

Dharani; A mystic form of praying, mantra or spells of Tantric order, often in Sanskrit, usually transliterated and not translated. It is believed that Dharani is able to lay hold of the good so that it cannot be lost, and those of evil so that it cannot

Five classes of great Dhāraṇīs གཟུངས་ཆེན་སྡེ་ལྔ་  

The five great dharanis or more literally the five classes of great dharanis (Tib. གཟུངས་ཆེན་སྡེ་ལྔ་, zung chen dé ngaWyl. gzungs chen sde lnga) — the Fifth Dalai Lama said that the most important relic of the dharmakaya (Wyl. chos kyi sku’i ring bsrel) in a stupa are dharanis.[1] In particular, Tibetan scholars, group together five classes of dharanis, which are inserted as dharmakaya relics. Jamgön Kongtrul explains that, whether elaborate or short, one kind of each of these five dharanis must be inserted in every stupa together with the KriyayogatantraSpotless Rays of Light (Skt. RaśmivimalāWyl. ’od zer dri med).[2]

  1. Ushnishavijaya (Skt. Uṣṇīṣavijayā; Tib. གཙུག་ཏོར་རྣམ་རྒྱལ་མ་, Tsuktor Namgyalma, Wyl. gtsug tor rnam rgyal ma) dharani
  2. Vimaloshnisha (Skt. Vimaloṣṇīṣa; Tib. གཙུག་ཏོར་དྲི་མེད་, Tsuktor Drimed, Wyl. gtsug tor dri med) dharani
  3. Guhyadhatu (Skt. Guhyadhātu; Wyl. gsang ba ring bsrel) dharani
  4. Bodhigarbhalamkaralaksha (Skt. Bodhigarbhālaṃkāralakṣa; Wyl. byang chub rgyan ‘bum) dharani
  5. Essence of Dependent Origination dharani (Skt. PratītyasamutpādahṛdayaWyl. rten ‘brel snying po)


  • See Kunsang Namgyal Lama. “Tsha Tsha Inscriptions: A Preliminary Survey.” In Tibetan Inscriptions: Proceedings of a Panel held at the Twelfth Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Vancouver 2010. Edited by Kurt Tropper, Cristina Scherrer-Schaub. Leiden: Brill, 2013: 1 – 42.
  • Bentor, Yael. “On the Indian Origins of the Tibetan Practice of Depositing Relics and Dhāraṇī in Stūpas and Images.” In Journal of the American Oriental Society, 115 (2), 1995: 248 – 261.
  • Bentor, Yael. “The Content of Stūpas and Images and the Indo-Tibetan Concept of Relics.” In The Tibet Journal 28 (1-2), 2003: 21 – 48.


  1.  Bentor Yael “On the Indian Origins of the Tibetan Practice of Depositing Relics and Dhāraṇī in Stūpas and Images,” in Journal of the American Oriental Society 115, (2), 1995: 254.
  2.  Kunsang Namgyal Lama, “Tsha Tsha Inscriptions: A Preliminary Survey,” in Tibetan Inscriptions: Proceedings of a Panel held at the Twelfth Seminar of the International Association for Tibetan Studies, Vancouver 2010, (Leiden: Brill, 2013): 25 – 26.

1-Ushnishavijaya (Skt. Uṣṇīṣavijayā; Tib. གཙུག་ཏོར་རྣམ་རྒྱལ་མ་, Tsuktor Namgyalma, Wyl. gtsug tor rnam rgyal ma) dharani

The Uṣṇīṣa Vijaya Dhāraṇī Sūtra (Sanskrit: उष्णीष विजय धारणी सूत्रIAST: uṣṇīṣa vijaya dhāraṇī sūtra, Chinese佛頂尊勝陀羅尼經Pinyin: Fódǐng Zūnshèng Tuóluóní Jīng; Rōmaji: Butsuchō Sonshō Darani Kyō; Vietnamese: Kinh Phật Đảnh Tôn Thắng Đà La Ni; EnglishDhāraṇī of the Victorious Buddha-Crown/The Sūtra of The Supreme Sacrosanct Dhāraṇī From The Buddha’s Summit[1]) is a Mahāyāna Sūtra from India.

An alternate longer Sanskrit title is the Sarvadurgatipariśodhana Uṣṇīṣa Vijaya Dhāraṇī Sūtra (सर्वदुर्गतिपरिशोधन उष्णीष विजय धारणी सूत्र).[2]


The sūtra was translated a total of eight times from Sanskrit to Chinese between 679 and 988 CE.[2] It gained wide circulation in China, and its practices have been utilized since the Tang dynasty, from which it then spread to the rest of East Asia. The Uṣṇīṣa Vijaya dhāraṇī is associated with Mount Wutai, which in the Chinese Buddhist tradition is considered the bodhimaṇḍa of the bodhisattva Mañjuśrī. Sacred stone tablets with the Uṣṇīṣa Vijaya Dhāraṇī carved into them have been distributed widely in some regions of the Far East.[3]


The purpose of this sūtra is said to be to help sentient beings in a troubled and tumultuous world. According to this sūtra, beings will leave suffering and obtain happiness, increase in prosperity and longevity, remove karmic obstacles, eliminate disasters and calamities, remove enmity and hatred, fulfill all wishes, and quickly be led onto the Buddha’s way.[3]

It is held by some that when the dhāraṇī is heard, it can imbue the alaya consciousness with pure seeds that will help lead one to buddhahood. This mantra is also associated with Green Tara.

According to the text, major applications of this dhāraṇī include:[3]

  • Destroy calamities and rescue those in difficulties
  • Eliminate offenses and create good deeds
  • Purify all karmic obstructions
  • Increase blessings and lengthen lifespan
  • Attain anuttarā-samyak-saṃbodhi
  • Relieve beings in the ghost realm
  • Benefit birds, animals and all crawling creatures
  • Increase wisdom
  • Revert the fixed karma
  • Eliminate various illness
  • Destroy hells
  • Ensure the safety of the households, and having children to inherit the family pride
  • Harmonise husbands and wives
  • Be able to reborn in Sukhavati or other pure lands
  • Heal sickness inflicted by pretas
  • Request for rain, etc.

Some quotes from the sutra text include:

Lord of Heaven, if someone hears this Dharani even for just a moment, he will not undergo karmic retribution from the evil karma and severe hindrances accumulated from thousands of kalpas ago, that would otherwise cause him to revolve in the cycles of birth and death – in all kinds of life forms in the evil paths – hell, hungry ghost, animal, realm of King YamaAsurasYaksaRaksasa, ghosts and spirits, Putana, Kataputana, Apasmara, mosquitoes, gnats, tortoises, dogs, pythons, birds, ferocious animals, crawling creatures and even ants and other life forms. Owing to the merits accrued from hearing for a moment this Dharani, once this very life is over, he will be reborn in the Buddhalands, together with all the Buddhas and Ekajati-pratibaddha Bodhisattvas, or in a distinguished Brahmin or Ksatriya family, or in some other wealthy and reputable family. Lord of Heaven, this man can be reborn in one of the above-mentioned prosperous and reputable families simply because he has heard this Dharani, and hence be reborn in a pure place.[3]

Distribution of Uṣṇīṣa Vijaya Dhāraṇī Sacred Stone Tablets Throughout The World (1993–2007) by Usnisa Vijaya Dharani Chanting Group.[3]


According to the Sūtra a devaputra by the name of Suṣṭhita (Supratiṣṭhita) was enjoying the supremely wonderful bliss of heavenly life, but then he suddenly heard a voice in space saying,

Devaputra Susthita, you have only seven days left to live. After death, you will be reborn in Jambudvīpa (Earth) as an animal for seven successive lives. Then you will fall into the hells to undergo more sufferings. Only after fulfilling your kārmic retribution will you be reborn in the human realm, but to a humble and destitute family; while in the mother’s womb you will be without eyes and be born blind.

On hearing this, Devaputra Suṣṭhita was so terrified and rushed over to the Heavenly Palace of Lord Śakra. Bursting into tears, he prostrated himself and revealed what had happened to Lord Śakra. Lord Śakra immediately calmed his mind and entered into samādhi. Instantly, he saw that Suṣṭhita would undergo seven successive lives in the forms of a pig, dog, jackal, monkey, python, crow and vulture, all feeding on filth and putrescence. Lord Śakra could not think of any way to help Suṣṭhita. He felt that only the TathāgataArhatSamyaksambuddha could save Suṣṭhita from falling into the great suffering of the evil destinies.

Soon after nightfall, Lord Śakra made preparations and headed to the garden of Anāthapiṇḍada. Upon arrival, Lord Śakra prostrated himself at the Buddha’s feet, and circumambulated the Buddha seven times clockwise in worship, before laying out his great Pūjā (offerings/obeisances). Kneeling in front of the Buddha, Lord Śakra described the future destiny of Devaputra Suṣṭhita.

Instantly, the uṣṇīṣa (crown of the head) of the Tathāgata radiated multiple rays of light, illuminating the world in all ten directions before returning to the top of the Buddha’s head. The Buddha smiled and said to Lord Śakra, “Lord of Heaven, there is a Dhāraṇī known as the Uṣṇīṣa Vijaya Dhāraṇī. It can purify all evil paths, completely eliminate all sufferings of beings in the realms of hell, King Yama and animals, destroy all the hells, and transfer sentient beings onto the virtuous path.”

After hearing this, Lord Śakra appealed to the Buddha to give a discourse on this great Dhāraṇī. The Buddha, aware of Lord Śakra’s intention and his eagerness to hear His discourse of this Dhāraṇī, immediately proclaimed the Mantra. Then the Buddha told Lord Śakra, “The Mantra is known as the ‘Purifying All Evil Path Uṣṇīṣa Vijaya Dhāraṇī’. It can eliminate all evil karmic hindrances and eradicate the suffering of all evil paths.” Again the Buddha told Lord Śakra that this great Dhāraṇī is proclaimed together by Buddhas as numerous as grains of sand in eighty-eight koṭis (hundred million) Ganges Rivers. All Buddhas rejoice and uphold this Dhāraṇī that is verified by the wisdom seal of Vairocana Tathāgata.

Again the Buddha reminded Lord Śakra to transmit it to Devaputra Suṣṭhita and that he himself should receive and uphold it, recite, contemplate and treasure it, memorize and preserve it. He preached that this Dhāraṇī should be widely proclaimed to all beings in Jambudvīpa and entrusted him to this task for the benefit of all heavenly beings. The Buddha also reminded Lord Śakra that he should diligently uphold and protect it, and never allow it to be forgotten or lost.

After Lord Śakra received this Dhāraṇī practice from the Buddha, he returned to his heavenly palace to convey it to Devaputra Suṣṭhita. Having received this Dhāraṇī, Devaputra Suṣṭhita kept the practice as instructed for six days and six nights, after which all his wishes were completely fulfilled.

When seven days had passed, Lord Śakra and Devaputra Suṣṭhita, together with other heavenly beings, respectfully approached the Buddha and presented their grand offerings. Once they had respectfully circumambulated the Buddha a hundred thousand times and paid homage, then happily took their seats and listened to the Buddha preach the Dharma.

The World Honoured One then extended his golden arm and touched Devaputra Suṣṭhita on the head to bestow a prediction of Devaputra Suṣṭhita’s attainment of Bodhi.[3]


The following Sanskrit version is derived from the Tibetan Canon (Toh 597 Degé Kangyur, vol. 90, folios 243.b–248.a):[4]

namo ratna trayāya | oṁ namo bhagavate sarvatrailokyaprativiśiṣṭāya buddhāya te namaḥ | tadyathā | oṁ bhrūṃ bhrūṃ bhrūṃ | śodhaya śodhaya | viśodhaya viśodhaya | asamasamantāvabhāsaspharaṇagatigagane svabhāvaviśuddhe | abhiṣiñcantu māṃ sarvatathāgatāḥ sugatavaravacanāmṛtābhiṣekair mahā­mudrā­mantrapadaiḥ | āhara āhara mama āyuḥ­sandhāraṇi śodhaya śodhaya | viśodhaya viśodhaya | gaganasvabhāvaviśuddhe | uṣṇīṣavijayā­pariśuddhe | sahasraraśmisaṃcodite | sarvatathāgatāvalokini | ṣaṭ­pāramitā­paripūraṇi | sarvatathāgatamāte daśabhūmipratiṣṭhite | sarvatathāgatahṛdayādhiṣṭhānādhiṣṭhite | mudre mudre mahā­mudre | vajrakāyasaṃhatanapariśuddhe | sarvakarmāvaraṇaviśuddhe | pratinivartaya mama āyurviśuddhe | sarvatathāgatasamayādhiṣṭhānādhiṣṭhite | oṁ muni muni mahāmuni | vimuni vimuni mahāvimuni | mati mati mahāmati mamati sumati | tathatābhūtakoṭipari­śuddhe | visphuṭabuddhi­śuddhe | he he | jaya jaya | vijaya vijaya | smara smara sphara sphara | sphāraya sphāraya | sarvabuddhādhiṣṭhānādhiṣṭhite | śuddhe śuddhe | buddhe buddhe | vajre vajre mahā­vajre suvajre| vajragarbhe | jayagarbhe | vijayagarbhe | vajrajvālāgarbhe | vajrodbhave | vajrasaṃbhave | vajre | vajriṇi | vajraṃ bhavatu mama śarīraṃ sarvasattvānāñ ca kāyapari­śuddhir bhavatu | sadā me sarvagatipari­śuddhiś ca | samantān mocaya mocaya | ādhiṣṭhāna | sarvatathāgatāś ca mām | samāśvāsayantu | budhya budhya | sidhya sidhya | bodhaya bodhaya | vibodhaya vibodhaya | mocaya mocaya | vimocaya vimocaya | śodhaya śodhaya | viśodhaya viśodhaya | samantaraśmipari­śuddhe | sarvatathāgatahṛdayādhiṣṭhānādhiṣṭhite | mudre mudre mahā­mudre mahā­mudrā­mantrapade svāhā

Translation of the Sanskrit Dharani:[5]

Oṁ veneration to the glorious Buddha distinguished in all the Three Worlds. Namely, oṁ bhrūṃ bhrūṃ bhrūṃ, purge, purge, purify, purify, O Unequalled Enveloping Splendor Sparkle Destiny Sky, O the One of Purified Nature, O the One Purified by the Topknot Victory, let all Tathāgatas consecrate me with consecrations of the nectar of the excellent Sugata’s words along with great seals and mantrapadas, oṁ bring, bring, O the One who Nourishes Life, purge, purge, purify, purify, O the One Purified by Sky Nature, O the One Purified by the Topknot Victory, O the One Impelled by Thousand Rays, O the One Beholding all Tathāgatas, O the One Fulfilling the Six Perfections, O Mother of all Tathāgatas, O the One Established in the Ten Stages, O the One Empowered by the Empowerment of the Heart of all Tathāgatas, oṁ O Seal, O Seal, O Great Seal, O the One Purified by the Firmness of the Vajra Body, O the One Purged of all Obscurations Resulting from Actions, turn back for me O Life-purged One, O the One Empowered by the Empowerment of the Vow of all Tathāgatas, oṁ muni muni, mahāmuni, vimuni vimuni, mahāvimuni, mati mati, mahāmati, mamati, sumati, O the One Purified by Truth and the True Goal, O the One Purged by a Burst Open Mind, oṁ he he, triumph triumph, succeed succeed, recollect recollect, manifest manifest, expand expand, O the One Empowered by the Empowerment of all Buddhas, oṁ O Pure One, O Pure One, O Awakened One, O Awakened One, O Vajra, O Vajra, O Great Vajra, O Vajra-essence, O Victory-essence, O Triumph-essence, O Vajra-flame-essence, O Vajra-born, O Vajra-produced, O Vajra, O the One with a Vajra, let my body become a vajra and that of all beings, let there be body-purification for me and purification of all destinies, O the One Empowered by the Empowerment of the Heart of all Tathāgatas, let all Tathāgatas provide encouragement, oṁ awake awake, succeed succeed, awaken awaken, wake up, wake up, liberate liberate, release release, purge purge, purify purify, liberate completely, O the One Purified by an Enveloping Ray, O the One Empowered by the Empowerment of the Heart of all Tathāgatas, oṁ O Seal O Seal, O Great Seal, O Great Seal and Mantrapada svaha

Alternate version

Another Sanskrit version is:

namo bhagavate trailokya prativiśiṣṭāya buddhāya bhagavate
tadyathā oṃ viśodhaya viśodhaya
asamasama samanta avabhāsa spharaṇa gati gahana svabhāva viśuddhe
abhiṣiñcatu māṃ
sugata vara vacana
amṛta abhiṣeke mahāmantra pāne
āhara āhara āyuḥ sandhāraṇi
śodhaya śodhaya gagana viśuddhe
uṣṇīṣa vijaya viśuddhe
sahasraraśmi sañcodite
sarva tathāgata avalokana ṣaṭpāramitā paripūraṇi
sarva tathāgata hṛdaya adhiṣṭhāna adhiṣṭhita mahāmudre
vajrakāya saharaṇa viśuddhe
sarva āvaraṇa apāya durgati pariviśuddhe
pratinirvartaya āyuḥ śuddhe
samaya adhiṣṭhite maṇi maṇi mahāmaṇi
tathātā bhūta koṭi pariśuddhe
visphuṭa buddhi śuddhe
jaya jaya vijaya vijaya smara smara
sarva buddha adhiṣṭhita śuddhe
vajre vajra garbhe vajraṃ bhavatu mama śarīraṁ
sarva sattvānāṁ ca kāya pariviśuddhe
sarva gati pariśuddhe
sarva tathāgatāśca me sama āśvāsayantu
sarva tathāgata sama āśvāsa adhiṣṭhite
budhya budhya vibudhya vibudhya
bodhaya bodhaya vibodhaya vibodhaya
samanta pariśuddhe
sarva tathāgata hṛdaya adhiṣṭhāna adhiṣṭhita mahāmudre svāhā

This Uṣṇīṣa Vijaya Dhāraṇī includes several additions to the original Sanskrit transliteration, for completeness, and in light of other versions.

In addition to the long dhāraṇī, there is the much shorter Uṣṇīṣa Vijaya heart-mantra:

o amta-tejavati svāhā

ॐ अमृत-तेजवति स्वाहा

o amta tejovati svāhā

ॐ अमृत तेजोवति स्वाहा[7]


D.T. Suzuki translated the Uṣṇīṣa Vijaya Dhāraṇī into the English language and this was included in the Manual of Zen Buddhism.[1]

Ten doors

According to the Records of the Teaching of Uṣṇīṣa Vijaya Dhāraṇī Sūtra by Great Dharma Master Fa Chong (法崇, of the Tang dynasty),[3] the great and unsurpassed merits of this Dharani can be categorised into ten doors as follows:

  1. The door of taking refuge under the sages (歸敬尊德門)
  2. The door of revealing the Dharma Body (章表法身門)
  3. The door of purifying evil paths (淨除惡趣門)
  4. The door of good and brightness initiation (善明灌頂門)
  5. The door of spiritual power protection (神力加持門)
  6. The door of lengthening the lifespan (壽命增長門)
  7. The door of integrating concentration and wisdom (定慧相應門)
  8. The door of Vajra offering (金剛供養門)
  9. The door of universally attaining purity (普証清淨門)
  10. The door of accomplishing Nirvana (成就涅架門)
See also
Further reading
  1. Suzuki, Daisetz (1935). Manual of Zen Buddhism. Rider & Company.
    1.  “The Korean Buddhist Canon: A Descriptive Catalog (K 319)”.
    1. “Usnisa Vijaya Dharani Sutra (Chinese/English/Malay)”.
    1. “The Uṣṇīṣavijayā Dhāraṇī / 84000 Reading Room”. 84000 Translating The Words of The Buddha. Retrieved 2023-08-15.
    1. “The Uṣṇīṣavijayā Dhāraṇī / 84000 Reading Room”. 84000 Translating The Words of The Buddha. Retrieved 2023-08-15.
    1. “Buddha-Crown Superb Victory Dharani, .
    1. “Buddha-Crown Superb Victory Dharani, .
External links

Sanskrit Wikisource has original text related to this article:

ऊष्णीष विजय ढारणी

2_Vimaloshnisha (Skt. Vimaloṣṇīṣa; Tib. གཙག་ཏར་ད་མད་, Tsuktor Drimed, Wyl. gtsug tor dri med)

Uṣṇīṣa Vijaya Dhāraṇī Sūtra and Vimaloshnisha Dhāraṇī Sūtra:

There are two Sutras given by Buddha Shakyamuni which describe the building and filling of a Stupa:

Tsuktor Trime (Uṣṇīṣa Vijaya Dhāraṇī Sūtra) was given in the god realm and Öser Trime(Vimaloshnisha sutra) was given in the human realm.

The stories connected with this two Sutras are similar. In case of the Öser Trime Sutra a Hindu yogi had a dream that he would die in seven days. He went to the place where Buddha Shakyamuni was. Since he wasn’t his student he stood shy in some distance until Buddha Shakyamuni addressed him directly and invited him to come closer. Then the Buddha told the yogi his close future exactly in the way the yogi had dreamed it. Thus he gained trust and asked the Buddha to help him. Buddha told the yogi to go to a Stupa and repair it. Therefore he gave the Öser Trime Sutra that explains how the Stupa should be done – particularly the Öser Trime Mandala inside the Stupa and the Lifetree. Doing this successfully the yogi prolonged his life and became Buddha’s student.

On a similar occasion when a high god was about to die Buddha Shakyamuni gave the Tsuktor Trime Sutra, which also describes Stupa fillings, especially the Tsuktor Trime Mandala

3-Guhyadhatu (Skt. Guhyadhātu; Wyl. gsang ba ring bsrel) dharani

4-Bodhigarbhalamkaralaksha (Skt. Bodhigarbhālaṃkāralakṣa; Wyl. byang chub rgyan ‘bum) dharani

Ornament of Enlightenment Dharani

(Tib. བྱང་ཆུབ་རྒྱན་འབུམ།, Skt. Bodhigarbhālaṃkāralakṣa; Wyl. byang chub rgyan ‘bum)

The Bodhigarbhalamkaralaksha dharani, is a profound dharani within Tibetan Buddhismemphasizing the cultivation of vast wisdom and the accumulation of merit necessary for attaining enlightenment. The word “‘bum” implies thousands or innumerable, suggesting the boundless potential of this dharani.

Practitioners recite the Ornament of Enlightenment Dharani to dispel ignorance, develop clarity of mind, and nurture the compassionate qualities essential for the bodhisattva path. It is believed to support spiritual progress, remove obstacles to realization, and ultimately lead the practitioner towards full enlightenment.


Byang chub rgyan ‘bum


“Ornament of Enlightenment“, “The Hundred Thousand Ornaments of Enlightenment

Associated Deity

While the Ornament of Enlightenment Dharani is not directly linked to a specific deity, it often evokes imagery of bodhisattvasBuddhas, and lineage masters due to its focus on developing wisdomcompassion, and the attainment of enlightenment


Promotes the accumulation of wisdom and merit

Dispels ignorance and cultivates clarity

Supports progress on the bodhisattva path towards enlightenment

5-Essence of Dependent Origination dharani (Skt. PratītyasamutpādahṛdayaWyl. rten ‘brel snying po)

Essence of Dependent Origination dharani. (Skt. Pratītyasamutpādahṛdaya; Wyl. rten ‘brel snying po)

ye dharmā hetu prabhavā hetun teṣāṃ tathāgato hy avadat teṣāṃ ca yo nirodha eva vādī mahāśramaa

This is the statement which Shariputra heard from the monk Ashvajit when asking for a summary of the teachings of the Buddha.

Shariputra passed the message onto his close friend Maudgalyayana and together they became followers of the Buddha, and went on to become his foremost disciples.

Khenpo Ngakchung explains that when it is used as a mantraoṃ is added at the beginning for auspiciousness and svāhā at the end for the sake of stability.


“All phenomena arise from causes;
Those causes have been taught by the Tathagata,
And their cessation too has been proclaimed by the Great Shramana.”