Usnisa Vijaya Dharani Sutra is an ancient Mahayana sutra from India. An alternate longer Sanskrit title is the Sarvadurgatiparisodhana Usnisa Vijaya Dharani Sutra.

The purpose of this Mahayana sutra is said to be to help sentient beings in a tumultuous and troubled world.

Origin

This sutra originated from a blessing given to a man named Devaputra Susthila. Devaputra now lives in one of the great Primordial Worlds of Heaven, because of his actions on Earth. After his death, Devaputra Susthila was destined to fall into the animal realm for 7 successive lives.

Following that, Devaputra would fall into hell to endure great sufferings. Only after he had undergone this punishment in hell would he be born as a human being again. Even then, Devaputra would be born in a disreputable and poor family. Additionally, he was then destined to be born without eyes for 700 successive lifetimes.

Before his death, He prayed to the Lord of Heaven for mercy. Out of compassion for Devaputra, the Amitabha Buddha gave him a great blessing. According to the legend, The Amida Buddha (“The Buddha of Immeasurable Life and Light”), together with more than 100 million other Buddhas, proclaimed this sutra for Devaputra.

Immediately, numerous rays of light radiated from the crown of his head to the soles of his feet, illuminating the world in all 100 directions. Hence, Devaputra was completely liberated from falling into the paths of lower existence.

Usnisa Vijaya Dharani Sutra, translated during the Tang Dynasty by Buddhapala:

“The above mantra is known as the Usnisa Vijaya Dharani (Purifying All Evil Paths). It can eliminate all evil karmic obstacles and eradicate the suffering of all evil paths…

Again Buddha reminded Lord Sakra, “I now entrust this divine Dharani to you. You should, in turn, transmit it to Devaputra Susthita. Additionally, you yourself should receive and uphold it, contemplate, recite, and treasure it, memorize and revere it. This powerful Dharani Mudra should be widely proclaimed to all sentient beings in the Jambu-dvipa world. I also entrust this to you, for the benefit of all heavenly beings, that this Dharani Mudra should be proclaimed…

Lord of Heaven, you should diligently uphold and protect it, never letting it be forgotten or lost.”

“Lord of Heaven, if someone hears this potent Dharani even for just a moment, he will not undergo karmic retribution from the negative karma and severe obstacles accumulated from thousands of kalpas ago, that would otherwise cause him to revolve in the cycles of birth (Samsara) and death – in all kinds of life forms in the evil paths – hungry ghost, hell, animal, realm of King Yama, Raksasa, Asuras, Yaksa, ghosts and spirits, Kataputana, Putana, Apasmara, tortoises, mosquitoes, gnats, dogs, pythons, ferocious animals, birds, crawling creatures and even ants and other life forms.

Owing to the merits accrued from hearing for a moment this Dharani, once this very life is over, he will be reborn in the Buddha-lands, together with all the Ekajati-pratibaddha Bodhisattvas and Buddhas, or in a distinguished Brahmin or Ksatriya family, or in some other reputable and wealthy family. Lord of Heaven, this man can be reborn in one of the above-mentioned reputable and prosperous families simply because he has heard this Dharani, and hence be reborn in a pure place…

Finally, Shakyamuni Buddha said, “This Sutra shall be known as the ”Purifying All Evil Paths – Usnisa Vijaya Dharani”. You should diligently uphold it. “On hearing this Dharma, the entire assembly was extremely happy. They faithfully accepted and respectfully practiced it.”

Usnisa Vijaya Dharani prayer lyrics:

”Namo bhagavate trailokya prativiśiṣṭaya buddhaya bhagavate.
Tadyatha, om, visodhaya visodhaya, asama-sama
Samantavabhasa-spharaṇa gati gahana svabhava visuddhe,
Abhisincatu mam. sugata vara vacana amṛta abhisekai maha mantra-padai.
Ahara ahara ayuh saṃ-dharaṇi. śodhaya sodhaya gagana svabhava visuddhe.
Usnisa vijaya visuddhe sahasra-rasmi sam-codite.
Sarva tathagata aparimaṇe sat-paramita-paripuranni.
Sarva tathagata mati dasa-bhumi prati-sṭhite.
Sarva tathagata hrdaya adhisṭhanadhisṭhita maha-mudre.
Vajra kaya sam-hatana visuddhe.
Sarva avaraṇa apaya-durgati pari visuddhe, prati-nivartaya ayuh suddhe.
Samaya adhisṭhite. Maṇi mani maha mani.
Tathata bhuta-koṭi parisuddhe. Visphuta buddhi suddhe.
Jaya jaya, vijaya vijaya. sphara sphara, sarva buddha adhisṭhita suddhe,
Vajri vajra gadhe vajram bhavatu mama sariram.
Sarva sattvanam ca kaya pari visuddhe. Sarva gati parisuddhe.
Sarva tathagata sinca me samaavasayantu.
Sarva tathagata samasvasa adhisthite.
Budhya budhya, vibudhya vibudhya,
Bodhaya bodhaya, vibodhaya vibodhaya samanta parisuddhe.
Sarva tathagata hrdaya adhisṭhanadhisṭhita maha-mudre svaha.”