Ksitigarbha is widely venerated in all traditions of Buddhism.
In the Chinese Mahayana tradition, he is known as 'Di Zang Won Pu Sa' (地藏王菩薩), Earth Treasure Bodhisattva. His great vow: “Until hell is empty, I shall not attain buddhahood.” His vows are recorded in the sutra, Original Vows of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva Sutra (中文, English, Comic Book). The sutra illustrates how Ksitigarbha became a bodhisattva and recounts his efforts when he was a brahma woman in a previous existence who sought the buddha’s help in freeing her mother from a suffering rebirth.
In Japan, he is known as Jizo, relied upon by those who have lost their children, born or unborn. His name in Tibetan, Sa yi nying po (ས་ཡི་སྙིང་པོ), translates as “Essence of Earth.” He is one of the eight great bodhisattvas in the entourage of Shakyamuni Buddha.
Benefits of Ksitigarbha Practice
Lama Zopa Rinpoche explains the benefits of relying on Ksitigarbha:
“This practice is especially beneficial for those who have heavy problems, serious health problems, difficulties in big projects and financial difficulties. I suggest they should recite either the long or the short mantra every day for protection, or at least four or five times or more, depending on the crucial it is for protection.
“This practice is also effective for people who want a good yield of their crops, and protection of their harvest and land. In the sutra of the bodhisattva Kshitigarbha are explained the extensive benefits that can definitely fill up the sky.
“By making offerings to bodhisattva Ksitigarbha, whatever prayers you make become most unbelievably powerful—a hundred million times more powerful for success, and it is much more powerful than praying to other bodhisattvas. It is the most unbelievable for great success to happen as quickly as possible.”
Lama Zopa Rinpoche also recommends reciting the Kṣitigarbha mantra and doing his practice to improve health and financial problems and also to avert disasters, such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and fires.
Mantras, Practice, and Sutra
Short Mantra: OṂ ĀḤ KŚITIGARBHA THLIṂ HŪṂ
Ksitigarbha Mantras – the long and medium length mantra.
Ksitigarbha Practice – compiled by Lama Zopa Rinpoche
108 Names of Arya Ksitigarbha and the Dharani Mantra