Grateful Bath of Head

Yutang Lin

To protect Buddha the Heavenly King acted despite his own safety.
He used his own head to ward off a gigantic rock thrown by a devil.
With deep gratitude we bath his head to ease his chronic headache.
Selfless sacrifice of one's body for the Dharma lingers in our hearts.


The Great Northern Heavenly King, Vaisravana, guarded Buddha despite his own life. Once he used his own head to ward off a gigantic rock thrown by a devil at Buddha. Consequently he had a chronic headache. Buddhists, in remembrance of his virtuous merits, adopted a practice of bathing his head to ease his pain. In my altar room I had set up such Dharma utensils, and every morning while I offered water to the holy ones I would also bath his head with profound gratitude in my heart. This practice expresses not only our gratitude and reverence to the Heavenly King but also our respect to and remembrance of all holy ones who had offered their lives to Dharma practices and services.

Written in Chinese and translated on May 22, 2007
El Cerrito, California

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