Thus I have heard, at one time, the Bhagavan (World Honored One) was dwelling in the city of Shravasti at the Jeta Grove, in the Garden of the Benefactor of Orphans and the Solitary (Anathapindika), together with his regular disciples of twelve hundred and fifty great Bhikshus and twelve thousand Maha Bodhisattvas Sangha in all. At that time the devas in Trayastrimsha Heaven were also having a gathering in the Good Dharma Hall. Among them was a devaputra by the name of Susthita who, together with the other great devaputras, was frolicking in the garden and courtyard, enjoying in the supremely wonderful bliss of heavenly life. Surrounded by devis they were extremely happy - singing, dancing and entertaining themselves. Soon after nightfall, Devaputra Susthita suddenly heard a voice in space saying, "Devaputra Susthita, you have only seven days left to live. After death, you will be reborn in Jambudvipa (Earth) as an animal for seven successive lives. Then you will fall into the hells to undergo more sufferings. Only after fulfilling your karmic retribution will you be reborn in the human realm, but to a humble and destitute family, while in the mother's womb you will be without eyes and born blind." On hearing this, Devaputra Susthita was so terrified that his hair stood on end. Tormented and distressed, he rushed over to the palace of Lord Sakra. Bursting into tears and not knowing what else to do, he prostrated himself at the feet of Lord Sakra, telling Lord Sakra of what had happened. "As I was enjoying the frolic of dance and songs with the heavenly devis, I suddenly heard a voice in space telling me that I had only seven days left, and that I would fall into Jambudvipa after death, remaining there in the animal realm for seven successive lives. Following that, I would fall into the various hells to endure greater sufferings. Only after my karmic retribution had been fulfilled would I reborn as a human, and even then I would be born without eyes in a poor and disreputable family. Lord of Heaven, how can I escape from such sufferings?" Lord Sakra immediately calmed his mind to enter Samadhi and made careful observations. Instantly, he saw that Susthita would undergo seven successive evil paths in the forms of a pig, dog, jackal, monkey, python, crow and vulture, all feeding on filth and putrescence. Having seen the seven future rebirth forms of Devaputra Susthita, Lord Sakra was shattered and was filled with great sorrow, but could not think of any way to help Susthita. He felt that only the Tathagata, Arhate, Samyak-sambuddha could save Susthita from falling into the great sufferings of evil destines. Thus, soon after nightfall that very day, Lord Sakra prepared various types of flower wreaths, perfume and incense. Adorning himself with fine Deva garments and bearing these offerings, Lord Sakra made his way to the garden of Anathapindika, abode of the World Honored One. Upon arrival, Lord Sakra first prostrated himself at the Buddha's feet in reverence, then circumambulated the Buddha seven times clockwise in worship, before laying out his great Puja (offerings). Kneeling in front of the Buddha, Lord Sakra described the future destiny of Devaputra Susthita who would soon fall into the evil paths with seven successive rebirths in the animal realm with details of his subsequent retribution. Instantly, the usnisa (crown of the head) of the Tathagata radiated multiple rays of light, illuminating the world in all ten directions, the light then returned, circling the Buddha three times before entering His mouth. Then the Buddha smiled and said to Lord Sakra, "Lord of Heaven, there is a Dharani known as the 'Usnisa Vijaya Dharani'. It can purify all evil paths, completely eliminating all sufferings of birth and death. It can also liberate all miseries and sufferings of beings in the realms of hell, King Yama and animal, destroy all the hells, and transfer sentient beings onto the virtuous path." "Lord of Heaven, if one hears this Usnisa Vijaya Dharani once, all the bad karma incurred from his previous lives that should cause him to fall into hells will be destroyed altogether. He will instead acquire a fine and pure body. Wherever he is reborn, he will clearly remember the Dharani - from one Buddhahood to another, from one heavenly realm to another heavenly realm. Indeed, throughout the Trayastrimsha Heaven, wherever he is reborn, he will not forget." "Lord of Heaven, if someone at death's door recalls this divine Dharani, even for just a moment, his lifespan will be extended and he will acquire purification of body, speech and mind. Without suffering any physical pain and in accordance with his meritorious deeds, he will enjoy tranquility everywhere. Receiving blessings from all the Tathagatas, and constantly guarded by devas and protected by Bodhisattvas, he will be honored and respected by people, and all the evil hindrances will be eradicated." "Lord of Heaven, if anyone can sincerely read or recite this Dharani even for a short period of time, all his karmic retribution which would lead him to suffer in the hells, the animal realm, the realm of King Yama and the hungry ghost realm, will be completely destroyed and eradicated without leaving any trace. He will be free to go to any of the Buddhas' Pure lands and heavenly palace; all gateways leading to the Bodhisattvas' abode are open to him unobstructed."