The Origin Of Ucchusma Vajrapala
The Surangama Sutra states that the Ucchusma Vajrapala 秽迹金刚 is actually an accomplished spiritual-practitioner during Shakyamuni Buddha’s time. At the Dharma assembly whereby the Surangama Sutra was first delivered, the Ucchusma Vajrapala 秽迹金刚 recounted His own experience at spiritual cultivation to Shakyamuni Buddha, “I remember that many aeons ago, when I was a lecherous mundane being, there lived a Buddha by the name of the ‘Emptiness King’. The Buddha preached that persons with strong sexual desire are like pathetic souls engulfed in great flames. Meanwhile, He taught me to be mindful of the cold and heated inner energies circulating throughout my body and limbs. Practising thus, I managed to gather and consolidate the Divine Brilliance within me, eventually enabling the transformation of my lust into the Fire of Wisdom. From then onwards, all Buddhas began to call me the ‘Fire Head’. “Utilizing the power generated by the Fire Brilliance Samadhi, I finally attained Arahathood. I made the great vow that I would become a Guardian Deity to protect the teachings of the Buddhas, and to personally subdue all demonic obstacles.” Due to His distinct method of attaining spiritual enlightenment, the Ucchusma Deity is also known as the ‘Fire Head Vajrapala 火头金刚.
The Ucchusma Vajrapala Sutra, on the other hand, asserts that the Ucchusma Deity is actually the Vajra manifestation of Shakyamuni Buddha. Legend has it that when Shakyamuni Buddha was about to enter into Nirvana, all heavenly beings, with the exception of the ‘Spiral Hair-knot Brahma King’, came to pay their respect to Buddha. The Brahman King was in fact enjoying himself with the heavenly maidens in his own celestial palace. The heavenly gods, being unhappy with the arrogance of the Brahma King, went to his abode and try to persuade him to attend the Dharma assembly. Upon reaching his palace however, the gods found themselves trapped in the defiled energy cast by the supernatural powers of the king. Even some of the Vajra Deities 金刚神 who were later sent to apprehend the Brahman King were imprisoned by the foul forces as well.
When Shakyamuni Buddha came to learn of this, He employed His Origin Wisdom, and the Light of Perpetual Joy and Pliancy was emitted from His heart. The Ucchusma Vajrapala 秽迹金刚 soon appeared from amidst the revolving radiance of the Buddha’s heart, and ascended to the celestial palace of the Brahma King. Despite the defiled energy hurled at Him by the Brahman King, the Ucchusma Deity was unharmed as He immediately turned these forces of contamination into ordinary soil. In no time, the Brahma King was subdued and brought to the feet of Shakyamuni Buddha. For this reason, the Ucchusma Deity is also known as the ‘Filth-eliminating Vajrapala’ 不净金刚.
The Ucchusma Vajrapala 秽迹金刚 is venerated in both Eastern Tantrism and the Tibetan Tantrayana School. Khro bo sMe brtzegs, mNol ba med pa, sMe ba brtsegs pa and Bhurkumkuta are some of His Tibetan names. Nevertheless, the Deity is more popular amongst followers of the Eastern tradition. This is especially so in the case of the Chinese Tian Tai Tantric sect, whereby the Ucchusma Vajrapala 秽迹金刚 is revered as a Deity belonging to the Karma (Enlightened Activities) group of spiritual practices. In the Shingon tradition however, this important position of the Ucchusma Vajrapala 秽迹金刚 is replaced by the Vajrayaksha 金刚夜叉Deity.
In addition, it must be noted that the cultivation-method of the Ucchusma Vajrapala 秽迹金刚 is not commonly known. Although the practice is recorded in the earlier collections of Dharani Sutras, it is not found in the later and major Tantric scriptures such as the Mahavairocana Sutra and Vajra Peak Sutra.
“The Ucchusma Vajrapala is also known as the Fire Head Vajrapala 火头金刚, the Indestructible Vajrapala and the Impure Vajrapala. His Origin Vow is to devour and eradicate all filth and impurities.
SOME BENEFITS OF THE UCCHUSMA PRACTICE
Elimination of Filth
This perhaps, is the most unique feature of the Ucchusma Vajra 秽迹金刚 Yoga. It implies the elimination of all defiled things, as practising the cultivation-method can not only enable the subduing of all demons, it can also convert sexual desire into the Fire of Wisdom. Besides, evil spirits and poisonous snakes will not dare to come near one who is cultivating the Ucchusma practice 秽迹金刚法.
‘Ucchusma’ in Sanskrit can be defined as ‘to scavenge for the leftover food on the mouth and hands’. This in turn reveals the Deity’s preference for foul things and likewise, His ability at purifying contaminated matters. For this reason, the Ucchusma Vajrapala 秽迹金刚 is often worshipped in the lavatories of Japanese temples.
Enhancement of the Masculine Energy
With the elimination of filth (which is considered a feature of the Feminine Energy), the Dharma-cultivator’s Masculine Energy is therefore enhanced. As a result, children of the Ucchusma practitioner will be sons rather than daughters, for feminine souls are unable to utilize the body of the cultivator to gain rebirth. In addition, the cultivator shall have no fear for spiritual disturbances and other forms of superstitious taboos.
Spiritual Enlightenment & Supernatural Powers
It must be mentioned that those who have achieved spiritual response in the Ucchusma method, will soon attain Buddhahood enlightenment. Subsequently, the accomplished Ucchusma cultivator can also perform supernatural acts. He is able to avert natural calamities and overpower poisonous dragons, simply by reciting the Ucchusma mantra 秽迹金刚咒 and pointing the Ucchusma mudra 秽迹金刚宝杵手印at his desired objective. He can even delay the death of a dying person, dispel black magic, erect spiritual boundaries, command powerful spirits and wild beasts, enable a dried lake to be refilled with water, a withered tree to produce new sprouts and a scorched hill to regain its greenery.
Practicing His method will result in the generation of tremendous merits. It can also, among many other things, allow for the eradication of illnesses and disasters, the attainment of great magnetizing powers, the prevention of dire accidental occurrences, acquisition of great fortune and the subducing of one’s grievance foes.
Ucchusma Vajrapala 秽迹金刚明王, In Japan
Ususama also Usushima is a transliteration of Sanskrit Ucchusma 秽迹金刚明王, originally an epithet of Agni 火神, the Indian god of fire, meaning “one whose crackling becomes manifest”. He is also known by various other names such as Eshaku Kongou 秽迹金刚 Jusoku Kongou 受触金剛 and Kazu Kongou 火頭金剛. He is regarded by some as the wrathful manifestation of Fukuujouju 不空成就, one of the five Buddhas of the Diamond Realm, Kongoukai gobutsu 金剛界五佛, and in the Tendai 天台 sect he replaces Kongouyasha Myouou 金剛夜叉明王 as one of the five great myouou “godai myouou” 五大明王 who are the fierce gods who preside over the five directions, in which case he oversees the northern quarter.
His cult appears to have been popular in China, and paintings of him are found among the murals of Dunhuang 敦煌 where it preserved the cave paintings of a thousand Buddhas from the T’ang Dynasty.
Ucchusma Vajrapala 秽迹金刚明王, was introduced to Japan from China by the priest 空海 (774-835), and he was invoked especially in rites for easy childbirth and the removal of impurities associated with childbirth. In the Shingon 真言 and Zen 禅 sects he is also revered as the tutelary god of the toilet.
Ucchusma Vajrapala 秽迹金刚明王, assumes a variety of wrathful forms with two, four, six or eight arms and is often adorned with skulls and snakes and enveloped in flames.