Mahapratisara, Pratisara for short, is a transformation of Guanyin Bodhisattva. Mahapratisara is a deity in the court of Guanyin in the Garbhadhatu mandala of Vajrayana and has the Vajrayana name ”Wish Granting Vajra.”
The bodhisattva Mahapratisara always fulfills the wishes of sentient beings. Whatever you may wish, Mahapratisara provides that for you. Mahapratisara is therefore referred to as the ”Great Wish Fulfilling Bodhisattva.” She is also known as the ”Great Vidyaraja” because the foremost characteristic of Mahapratisara is that she manifests the most immense and glory brilliance. Within the sphere of buddhism, in both Sutrayana and Vajrayana, Mahapratisara is an unusual and extraordinary bodhisattva. Very few people, however, know of ”Mahapratisara.”
The most important merits of Mahapratisara are expressed in the ”Mahapratisara Great Liberation Dharani” mantra. Chapter 3 of the sutra, Pratisara Spiritual Responses, records all kinds of spiritual responses with Mahapratisara. By hearing, chanting, reading, writing, or propagating the Mahapratisara Dharani one earns the merits of passing through fire without getting burned, never able to be poisoned, subjugation of one’s enemies, breaking out of confinement in prison, and never in harm’s way of dragons and fishes. Subsequently, one will have peace and happiness and not be subjected to hardships and difficulties by the king, etc..
Concerning her efficacious spiritual responses, according to the Mahapratisara Dharani Sutra of Universal Illumination Supreme Wish Fulfilling Mudra Unconquerable Vidyaraja, while Rahula was still in the womb of Yashodhara in Kapila-Vastu his mother threw herself into a fiery pit. Because Rahula had the dharani in mind he converted the fiery pit into a lotus pond. Additionally, the king of the Magadha wished for sons but did not have any for a long time. His wish was finally fulfilled after his wife wore this dharani sutra around her neck.
Mahapratisara is called the ”Great Fulfiller of Wishes” because she is a bodhisattva who fulfills wishes. Although the teaching of the buddhadharma is, in essence, ”no-desire” or ”without desires,” this bodhisattva, out of compassion, still fulfills the desires and wishes of sentient beings. As fulfilling wishes is the greatest compassionate vow of this bodhisattva, she is called the ”Great Fulfiller of Wishes.”
Ordinary, worldly beings all have wishes and desires. Having wishes and desires is the common denominator of all people. Having desires is just the nature of people. Therefore, Mahapratisara Vidyaraja is compassionate toward ordinary samsaric beings, and the deity ”Mahapratisara” manifests in order to realize the compassion of the bodhisattva.
Mahapratisara (Ch: 大随求菩薩; Jp: Daizuigu) is a Bodhisattva belonging to in the Mahayana and Vajrayana sects. She is sometimes presented as the consort of Vairocana. Mahapratisara has four heads and eight arms. Mahapratisar is white in colour and her heads are successively yellow, white, red and green. Mahapratisar is seated on a lotus throne in vajraparyanka posture. She wears the diadem. In her right hands she holds a vajra, an arrow, a sword and in her left hands holds a trident, a bow and an axe while her two principal hands hold a wheel and a garment.
The recitation and sadhana of this protectress deity confer great benefit and protection. One such example befitting to this context is described in the first chapter of the Pancaraksha sutra. It is said that one who holds the dharani of Mahapratisara will be protected from all forms of illness, eliminate the past non-virtuous karma, protect from all sorts of dangers. They take rebirth in higher realms. Their body becomes a vajra body not affected by fire, weapons and others.
In Bhadrakalpavadana it is said that Buddha Shakyamuni renounced his palace life before the birth of his son Rahula. He touched his wife Yasodhara’s navel with his thumb finger of right foot and made a great vow that she be protected from great dangers which were to come to her in the future. After his great renunciation Yashodhara bore his child for six years inside her womb. Before the delivery of the child Rahula she was put to many hazardous trials and tribulations by his cousin Devadutta. But in all cases Yashodhara came out unhurt due to the miraculous power of Mahapratisara Devi. Nepalese Buddhists thus wear amulets for their protection against various sorts of unseen dangers. These amulets contain the dharani of Mahapratisara Devi.
Mahapratisara Bodhisattva is rich yellow in color. She has eight arms. Her uppermost left hand holds a lotus with a flaming golden wheel on top. The subsequent left hands [from top to bottom] hold a stack of palm-leaf scriptures, a dharma banner, and a noose. Her uppermost right hand holds a five-pronged vajra, followed by hands holding a trident, a sword, and finally a battle axe. How did she earn the name of Great Wish-Granting Bodhisattva? This bodhisattva is known to grant the wishes of sentient beings as long as they enshrine her statue, chant her epithet, and recite her mantra. By practicing in this way, all wishes will be fulfilled. Another name for this bodhisattva is Maha-Vidyaraja [Great Lord of Lights], which describes the great luminosity that emanates from her body.
This bodhisattva once taught me a secret that all lights are differentiated by varying degrees. This corresponds with what I have said in the past:
The Tathagata Amoghasiddhi radiates magnificent green light born from absolute purity, while the realm of asuras emits a dark, greenish, and ghostly light. There is a world of difference between the two.
The Tathagata Amitabha radiates magnificent red lights born from absolute purity, while the ghosts in the hungry ghosts realm emit weak rays of red light. There is a world of difference between the two.
The Tathagata Ratnasambhava radiates magnificent yellow lights born from the wonderful and pure wisdom, while the ghosts in the human realm emit weak yellow and bluish lights. There is a world of difference between the two.
The Tathagata Aksobhya radiates magnificent white lights born from the great mirror-like wisdom, while the ghost in the hell realm emit hazy and foggy white lights. There is a world of difference between the two.
“Differentiate the lights with your heart. When this kind of light shines on you and gives you a wonderful sense of comfort and lightness, then this is the buddhas’ light. However, when the light is unclear and messy, causing discomfort and disturbance, then you should know that this light comes from the ghostly beings. Moreover, the buddhas’ light always shines like a jewel with a luminous flame, that also has the brilliance of a real diamond. The light of the ghostly beings tends to be weak, tempting, and entangling, just like a fake diamond. One must discern these lights carefully to avoid entering into the wrong light and stepping into the wrong spiritual realm.
According to Mahapratisara Bodhisattva’s guidance, when one enters the deepest level of meditative absorption, beams of lights will emerge. These lights are the result of the union of absorption and wisdom. The brilliance of the wisdom lights will grow progressively brighter and eventually the lights will illuminate away all ignorance. Once ignorance is gone, there will be no more hindrances.
When the lights become absolutely clear and transparent, and the adept is able to maintain a stable condition, the adept’s lights will merge with the compassionate buddhas’ light that encompasses the Dharmakaya Tathagatas of the ten directions. It is like the lights of two mirrors that reflect off one another. The lights from the adept’s heart interact and interconnect with the buddhas’ light in such a subtle and intimate way that no outsider can possibly perceive or understand it. The union of these two forms of light is supremely pure and sublime, and when one abides in this state of union, this constitutes the Clear Light Yoga.
Chinese Buddhist Encyclopedia