Who is Treasury of Sandalwood Bodhisattva?

Discuss and learn about the traditional Mahayana scriptures, without assuming that any one school ‘owns’ the only correct interpretation.
Post Reply
User avatar
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Jun 14, 2024 8:50 am

Who is Treasury of Sandalwood Bodhisattva?

Post by robinsongbird »

Do any of you have any information about Treasury of Sandalwood (Ratnacandana) Bodhisattva?

Amitoufo. Hello, everyone.

I would like to humbly ask that if any of you have any information about Ratnacandana Bodhisattva? It is to my understanding the name translates into "Treasury of Sandalwood" Bodhisattva. Is this a correct understanding of the Sanskrit name? (If any of you are familiar with a Tibetan, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, etc., the translation for the name of this Bodhisattva might be additionally helpful in my search to learn more.)

According to The Medicine Buddha Sutra, it's to my understanding that this Bodhisattva and seven others within Medicine Master Buddha's retinue, at the time of one's death, will come to deliver them to the Eastern Lapis Lazuli Bliss Pure Land. The other seven bodhisattvas mentioned in the sutra are: Guanyin Bodhisattva (Avalokiteśvara), Dashizhi Bodhisattva (Mahāsthāmaprāpta), Maitreya Bodhisattva, Universal Solar Radiance Bodhisattva (Sūryaprabha), Universal Lunar Radiance Bodhisattva (Candraprabha), Medicine King Bodhisattva (Bhaiṣajyarāja), and Supreme Medicine Bodhisattva (Bhaisajyasamudgata). I have much more knowledge about all of the other aforementioned bodhisattvas in Medicine Master Buddha's retinue, with the exception of Ratnacandana (Treasury of Sandalwood) Bodhisattva.

As many of you are aware, many of the aforementioned bodhisattvas I listed are mentioned in The Lotus Sutra. However, I'm not sure if recall Treasury of Sandalwood Bodhisatttva also being in The Lotus Sutra.

This is just a hunch, my speculation, but does this bodhisattva perhaps fulfill a role similar to that of Samantabhadra (Universally Worthy All-Good) Bodhisattva? As many of you likely know, Samantabhadra Bodhisattva makes countless offerings to all buddhas. Though it is an inference, my hunch is that perhaps Treasury of Sandalwood Bodhisattva gives boundless myriads of sandalwood incense offerings to all the buddhas of the three times. What do you think? Does this seem right?

I know that sandalwood is both a very traditional and popular offering across virtually all Buddhist traditions. Additionally, if I recall correctly, there is also mention in sutras about sacred, mystical sandalwood from Mount Sumeru that is supposedly incredibly rare and valuable. If you know anything about this highly-prized sandalwood, please also further elucidate me.

If you have any information about: 1) Other translations regarding Treasury of Sandalwood Bodhisattva's name into other languages; 2) Information about this Bodhisattva mentioned in the sutras; 3) Any information about Buddhist literature that mentions sandalwood, including mystical/sacred sandalwood; 4) Or historical usage of sandalwood as an offering to deities, please share with me your knowledge.

This is my first-ever post to this forum. I am delighted to be here. Thank you all for your time to read this lengthy post and responding.

Wishing you all many blessings~

:heart: Om Mani Padme Hum :heart:
Posts: 150
Joined: Mon Oct 24, 2022 5:37 am

Re: Who is Treasury of Sandalwood Bodhisattva?

Post by VolkerK »

Sandalwood is also called 旃檀(Zhantan), 栴檀(Zhantan), 真檀 (Zhentan), 白檀(Baitan) in Chinese Language, its name comes from the transliteration of the Sanskrit “Candana”. “檀(Tan)” in Sanskrit means “giving alms”, meaning to give pleasure and help others to overcome difficulties. “香(Xiang, incense)” in Sanskrit means “Canda”, referring to all pleasant smells.

In addition, there are a number of sacred books, and objects and temples in Buddhism which are named after the sandalwood, such as “Zhantan melody sutras”, “Zhantan trees’ sutra”, “Part Zhantan sutra”, “Zhantan smear tower sutra”, Nanwu Zhantan Buddha, Nanwu Zhantan Incense Buddha, Nanwu Sumeru Zhantan Buddha, Shijiazhuang Liu-village Zhantan Temple, etc.

https://www.academia.edu/99062488/SANDA ... AL_CULTURE
Sentient Light
Posts: 378
Joined: Thu Sep 15, 2016 8:40 pm
Location: San Francisco, California

Re: Who is Treasury of Sandalwood Bodhisattva?

Post by Sentient Light »

From a Vietnamese website on the retinue of Medicine Master Buddha:
Bảo Đàn Hoa Bồ tát: đây là vị Bồ tát chỉ thấy xuất hiện trong Kinh Dược Sư Lưu Ly Quang Như Lai Bổn Nguyện Công Đức. Kinh Thất Phật dược Sư của Ngài Nghĩa Tịnh dịch rằng: có 8 vị đại Bồ tát tên là Văn Thù Sư Lợi Bồ tát, Quán Thế Âm Bồ tát, Đắc Đại Thế Chí Bồ tát, Vô Tận Ý Bồ tát, Bảo Đàn Hoa Bồ tát, Dược Vương Bồ tát, Dược Thượng Bồ tát, Di Lặc Bồ tát. Kinh Dược Sư của ngài Huyền Trang cũng dịch rằng: Nếu nghe được danh hiệu của Đức Phật Dược Sư, khi lâm chung sẽ có 8 vị đại Bồ tát dùng thần thông đến đưa đường chỉ lối.
My rough translation:
Ratna-maṇḍala-puṣpa-bodhisatva: this is a bodhisattva that only appears in the Sutra of the Master of Medicine Lapis Lazuli Radiance Tathagata's Vow. In [some Chinese translator I'm not sure the Chinese name of]'s translation of this sutra, it's described that the names of the Eight Great Bodhisattvas are: Manjusri Bodhisattva; Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva; Mahasthamaprapta Bodhisattva; Aksayamati Bodhisattva; Ratnamandala Bodhisattva; Medicine King Bodhisattva; Supreme Medicine Bodhisttva; Maitreya Bodhisattva. In Xuanzang's translation of the Medicine Master Sutra, he writes: If one hears the name of Medicine Master Buddha, at the time of death, these eight great bodhisattvas will appear to you and use their supreme power to escort you on the Way.
I assume "hears" actually means chants / recites / keeps in mind. But according to this at least, this bodhisattva only appears in this text. Maybe they are one of the supporting bodhisattvas of that land.
:buddha1: Nam mô A di đà Phật :buddha1:
:bow: Nam mô Quan Thế Âm Bồ tát :bow:
:bow: Nam mô Đại Thế Chi Bồ Tát :bow:

:buddha1: Nam mô Bổn sư Thích ca mâu ni Phật :buddha1:
:bow: Nam mô Di lặc Bồ tát :bow:
:bow: Nam mô Địa tạng vương Bồ tát :bow:
Post Reply

Return to “Sūtra Studies”