Dharma-Protection From The Earth God
At that time, the Earth God Firm and Solid said to Buddha, “World Honored One, I have respected and worshipped limitless Bodhisattvas and Mahasattvas since a long time past. They all possess inconceivable divine power and wisdom to cultivate and help all beings. However, the vow of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha, Mahasattva, is deeper and weightier than those of the other Bodhisattvas. World Honored One, this Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha, has a close relationship with beings in the worlds. Even though Manjushri, Samantabhadra, Avalokiteshvara and Maitreya all have incarnated themselves into hundreds or thousands of forms to cultivate and help those beings in the six level, their vows will be completed one day. However, the Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha cultivates and teaches all those beings in six level – the time Ksitigarbha made the great vow to now being hundreds, thousands and billions of aeons.
“World Honored One, as I have observed, if those beings now and in the future find a clean place located in the south of their own house and use earth, stone, bamboo or wood to make a shrine, or make an image of Ksitigarbha out of gold, silver, copper or iron, or paint an image of Ksitigarbha and place it in the shrine, often burn incense in worship and respect, and salute or praise Ksitigarbha, then they can obtain the following ten benefits:
1. Their land will be very rich and fertile.
2. Their homes and families will be peaceful forever.
3. Their ancestors will raised to heaven.
4. They will enjoy longevity.
5. They will fulfill their wishes.
6. They will escape floods or fires.
7. They will escape anything that frightens or exhausts them.
8. They will have no further nightmares.
9. Their every step will be protected by gods.
10. They will have many opportunities to encounter the Dharma.
“World Honored One, if those beings now and in the future can make such offerings in their own houses, they can obtain these ten benefits.”
The Earth God Firm and Solid continued, “World Honored One, in the future, any good man or woman who can have this sutra and an image of Ksitigarbha in their homes, and who can recite this sutra and make an offering to the Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha, will be protected and guarded day and night by divine power. Even the risk of flood or fire, robbery, stealing and any evil thing will be eliminated.”
The Buddha instructed the Earth God Firm and Solid, “The divine power you possess is much greater than that of the other gods. Do you know why? The land in all the worlds is guarded by you. Even every blade of grass, tree, sand, stone, straw, hemp, bamboo, reed, rice or treasure from the ground, grows or is produced by your power. Your constant praise of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha makes your merits, virtues and divine power a thousand times greater than that of ordinary earth-gods’.”
“In the future worlds, if there is any good man or woman who can make offerings to Bodhisattva and recite this sutra to others, as long as he or she practices the rules according to the Ksitigarbha Sutra, you should protect this man or woman by your divine power. Do not allow any disaster or unpleasant thing go through his or her ears, and do not allow them to suffer. Not only will you protect this person yourself, but the retinues of Shakra, Brahma, and the gods of the heavens will also protect them. The reason why this person is protected by many gods is that he or she respects and worships Ksitigarbha’s image and recites this Vow Sutra. These people will removed from the ocean of suffering and will be proof of the bliss of Nirvana.”