There is a rather famous tombstone in Westminster Abbey. There’s nothing so special about it, except for its inscription. I believe that many people have heard of it.
“When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits, I dreamed of changing the world. As I grew older and wiser, I discovered the world would not change, so I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change only my country. But it, too, seemed immovable. As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing only my family, those closest to me, but alas, they would have none of it. And now, as I lie on my deathbed, I suddenly realize: If I had only changed myself first, then by example I would have changed my family. From their inspiration and encouragement, I would then have been able to better my country, and who knows, I may have even changed the world.”
It is said that many world dignitaries and celebrities were deeply moved when they saw these words Some people say that this is a teaching of life, some people say that it is a kind of introspection of the soul.
There are similar teachings and philosophies in Chinese traditional culture. The Great Learning is a compilation of Confucian teachings used to address deeply important social behavior. In The Great Learning says: “The ancients who wished to illustrate illustrious virtue throughout the kingdom, first ordered well their own States. Wishing to order well their States, they first regulated their families. Wishing to regulate their families, they first cultivated their persons.”
“From the Kings down to the mass of ordinary people, all must consider the cultivation of the person the root of everything besides. It cannot be, when the root is neglected, that what should spring from it will be well ordered.”
In Buddhism, self cultivation is heavily emphasized as well. The first thing for all buddhist disciples is constantly cultivating themselves. In What is Cultivation, His HolinessDorje Chang Buddha III provides detailed guidance on self-cultivation. Self-cultivation is the fundamental and essential in the learning of Buddhism. Through self-cultivation, one will not only live a happy life and contribute the best of oneself to the society, but also can reach enlightenment and liberation.
Once upon a time the Bodhisattva – the Enlightenment Being – was born into a high class family in northern India. When he grew up he gave up the ordinary desires of the everyday world and became a holy man. He went to the Himalayan Mountains where 500 other holy men became his followers.
He meditated throughout his long life. He gained supernatural powers – like flying through the air and understanding people’s thoughts without their speaking. These special powers impressed his 500 followers greatly.
One rainy season, the chief follower took 250 of the holy men into the hill country villages to collect salt and other necessities. It just so happened that this was the time when the master was about to die. The 250 who were still by his side realized this. So they asked him, “Oh most holy one, in your long life practicing goodness and meditation, what was your greatest achievement?”
Having difficulty speaking as he was dying, the last words of the Enlightenment Being were, “No Thing.” Then he was reborn in a heaven world.
Expecting to hear about some fantastic magical power, the 250 followers were disappointed. They said to each other. “After a long life practicing goodness and meditation. our poor master has achieved ‘nothing’.” Since they considered him a failure, they burned his body with no special ceremony, honors, or even respect.
When the chief follower returned he asked, “Where is the holy one?” “He has died,” they told him. “Did you ask him about his greatest achievement?” “Of course we did,” they answered. “And what did he say?” asked the chief follower. “He said he achieved ‘nothing’,” they replied, “so we didn’t celebrate his funeral with any special honors.”
Then the chief follower said, “You brothers did not understand the meaning of the teacher’s words. He achieved the great knowledge of ‘No Thing’. He realized that the names of things are not what they are. There is what there is, without being called ‘this thing’ or ‘that thing’. There is no ‘Thing’.” In this way the chief follower explained the wonderful achievement of their great master, but they still did not understand.
Meanwhile, from his heaven world, the reborn Enlightenment Being saw that his former chief follower’s words were not accepted. So he left the heaven world and appeared floating in the air above his former followers’ monastery. In praise of the chief follower’s wisdom he said, “The one who hears the Truth and understands automatically, is far better off than a hundred fools who spend a hundred years thinking and thinking and thinking.”
By preaching in this way, the Great Being encouraged the 500 holy men to continue seeking Truth. After lives spent in serious meditation, all 500 died and were reborn in the same heaven world with their former master.
Hua Zang Si at San Francisco, has many Holy Treasures and holy manifestations. Several years ago, I was very fortunate to have a chance to see an unimaginable Buddha Dharma relic — Dharma Tent. According to mundane logical thinking, it is impossible for such a mysterious thing to have occurred in this world. However it truly did occur in tis world in front of a number of people! I would like to say that I do not know how to explain this. Ordinary language, high-tech principles, or the most advanced scientific theories cannot explain such a thing. This mysterious thing simply cannot be explained. It is truly wonderful, magnificent, and unbelievable!
The monastic introduced to me, the holy feat occurred in January of 2005. After the grand opening of the Hua Zang Si temple, Rinpoches and Dharma Teachers exhibited their ultimate artistic wisdom relating to carving vines. They made a dharma tent. They then went to H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III and asked him to consecrate their tent.
Kuru Rinpoche said, “This Padmasambhava dharma tent is an indestructible treasure that removes the negative karma of living beings.”
H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III smiled and said, “Everything that comes into being through causes and conditions illusorily exists. All sentient beings must die. All non-sentient things must perish. All of these things are impermanent.”
A Dharma Teacher then said, “This dharma tent looks very wonderful. It is not impermanent in the least.”
H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III replied, “In every moment, it is arising, growing old, and dying. In every moment, it is in a state of impermanence. Your ordinary eyes cannot see such a process. If in a few hundred years from now you take another look at it, you will see that those entangled vines on the top of the tent are dried up. Actually, with respect to time and space, there is no past or future. Today, the causes and conditions are ripe. Watch!”
H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III then pressed his hand upon the top of the dharma tent in the middle of the entangled vines. Halfway turning his hand, he then hit the vines once. A crackling sound could then be heard. A few minutes later, people looked at the vines and saw that their color had changed. They had withered and were dried up. In just a moment of time, they became a thousand-year-old cultural relic. They were thoroughly dried up, withered, and ruined. When the Great Dharma King lifted his hand, everyone saw that the Great Dharma King’s hand left an impression upon the vines when it pressed them down. Everyone also saw that the vines that were under the Great Dharma King’s hand did not wither, their color and luster did not change, they did not have any wrinkles, and they did not show any signs of dryness or aging. With respect to that part of the vines, no sign of the process of impermanence could be seen. Everyone was shocked!
At that time, H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III gave the following explication: “All such phenomena do not truly exist. They are illusory phenomena. The Buddha expounded the dharma for forty-nine years, which was also a manifestation of illusory existence. There actually was not dharma that he had spoken of. If you obtain the Mahamudra of Liberation and realize the true, original nature of all phenomena (i.e. the original essence of all being, the true thusness or reality-nature), then it is exactly like this hand imprint analogy–there will be no impermanence nor birth and death. The Buddha expounded all of the dharmas. Sages attained the state of realization, and such dharmas were thereby real. Ordinary beings were confused, and such dharmas were thereby false. But who can turn the false into the real? Who possesses the dharma that leads to realization? Thus, only the correct dharma of the Buddha turns illusion into reality. All of you should listen, ponder, and deeply understand the Great Master’s discourse entitled “The Essence of Seeing One’s Original Nature.” Receiving such an initiation is truly an indestructible treasure. Today you have seen signs of impermanence relating to the dharma tent. Such signs are only an analogy. Such a manifestation is illusory and was done for fun only. Do not take it as being the absolute or ultimate truth. It is just art that one can dismiss with a laugh.”
This lecture by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III has profound meaning and is worthy of pondering. Although this feat is illusory in nature, who else can manifest such an impermanent illusion? If one cannot manifest illusory phenomena, nor can one turn illusion into reality, then how can one give expression to one’s realization? How can such a person possibly claim that he possesses the Buddha-dharma?
The dharma tent with vines on top is a wonderful treasure and evidence of a holy feat. Monastics have already respectfully received it in San Francisco, where it is worshipped as an object of veneration at the Hua Zang Si temple.
Rinpoches, Great Dharma Teachers, and laypersons observe the holy signs of permanence and impermanence that appeared on the top of the Padmasambhava dharma tent. (Photograph by Ru-Jun Zheng)
Green Tara (Jetsun Drolma) statue from the Gyantse Kumbum Pagoda, Pelkor Chode Monastery, Gyantse, Tibet
H.E. Tangtong Gyalpo Bodhisattva (1361-1485)
It is through the understanding and practice of the Buddha-dharma that one becomes a holy person–a living jewel. Sainthood in Buddhism has a somewhat different meaning than that held in Christianity although both refer to people who live an exceptionally holy life, are very compassionate, and can demonstrate certain “miracles.” In Buddhism it also means one who has become enlightened—been liberated from the cycle of reincarnation and all its related suffering. The Christian saint aspires to be born in the Christian heaven, but this is not the goal of a Buddhist. A Buddhist saint is one who has escaped samsara or existence all together and gone beyond what is possible in the heavenly realms. A Buddhist saint would live in the Dharma realms or wherever he choses to be to help living beings. A saint in Buddhism is one who, like the Buddha, has become enlightened and realized his or her original nature, possessing the skills and wisdom of a Buddha. They have gained control over life and death and are thus liberated from the cycle of reincarnation. This is true happiness!
In Buddhism saints may not lead what is normally thought of as a “conventional” life. There are many examples of Buddhist saints who exhibited most unorthodox (“deliberate“) behavior. Examples of these kinds of happy, crazy saints are Han-shan and Shih-te, eccentric Ch’an (Zen) hermit-monks from Tang Dynasty, as well as Monk Ji-gong and Birdnest Roshi, but there are many others including the crazy yogis of Tibet like Padmasambhava, Virupa, Manjusrimitra, Tsang Nyon Heruka, and Tangtong Gyalpo. Saints can manifest in innumerable forms and may appear as humans or animals or live in other dimensions.
Japanese hanging scroll by Hashimoto Gaho of Han-shan and Shih-te (Kanzan and Fittoku), eccentric Ch’an (Zen) hermit-monks from Tang Dynasty, whose poetry is popular in the west.
It is important to know that one cannot fully understand what takes place on higher levels of the path. For example, those on the first Bodhisattva stage do not know about what takes place on the second Bodhisattva stage and so on up the path. Those on the second Bodhisattva stage see those on the first Bodhisattva stage as having impurities. Even those on the tenth Bodhisattva stage see those on the ninth Bodhisattva stage as having certain impurities. It is natural that the impurities and obscurations of those on the lower levels would be greater than those at the higher levels. Nevertheless, those who are kind and benefit others can guide and transform living beings no matter where they are on the path. However, ordinary beings and those at the lower levels of the path cannot possibly understand the behavior of true holy beings.
The key features of the various paths to becoming a holy being are summarized in the chart “The Way to Become a Holy Being or Saint.” It is useful to think of these paths as stages on the way to becoming a Buddha. It is interesting to note that the other world religions are also included as initial stages on the way to buddhahood in as much as they teach compassion, loving kindness, some aspects of morality, and discourage evil. Some also teach various forms of training the mind in meditation. Bodhisattvas do not only incarnate as Buddhists to help living being. The three pure precepts of Buddhism—cease evil, do good, and help others—can be practiced in many forms.
You must remember that ALL sentient beings are evolving toward the perfection of being a Buddha, whether they know it or not, and whether at the moment they may be very confused and behaving in foolish or even evil ways. This includes the minions of Mara and the demons of hell as well as the devas or gods in heaven.
A Treasury of Buddhist Wisdom for Children and Parents
Collected and Adapted by Sarah Conover
Once, some monks who could not stop quarreling came to the Buddha to ask his advice. “Brothers” the Buddha calmly replied, “ I have told you many times that fight and quarrels solve no problems – yet you continue. Remember, even some kings with great and powerful armies have learned gentleness. So much the more that you, living the holy life without possessions, should be like light in the world, known far and wide for kindness. Listen now to this story of a noble prince, who became a true hero in the world”.
Once upon a time, two kingdoms lay side by side. One kingdom belonged to the King of Kasi: a powerful ruler who possessed a great army and treasures nursing with gold. But in the nearby kings of Kosala lived a much poorer king. He led a meager army, possessed little gold, and held sway over a modest territory. And just as you might guess, the powerful King of Kasi eyed the small kingdom of Kosala and decided he should conquer it.
When the King of Kosala heard that a large garrison was headed his way, he knew he didn’t stand a chance. To avoid any bloodshed, he counseled with his ministers and decided to immediately surrender his army. As the attacking warriors approached, the King of Kosala slipped away to the city’s edge – he and the queen disguised as humble potters.
After time concealed among the common folk, the queen gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. He was secretly named and crowned, Prince Dighavu. They so loved their new son, that the king and queens only concern became his safety. The king feared that somehow – at some time in the future – the royal family would be recognized. He felt it was only a matter of time; a spy would see through their disguises and kill them all. So with heartfelt loss, the King and Queen of Kosala sent their young prince away to be raised in the countryside.
Alas, a dozend years later, events occurred exactly as the king had feared. The present barber of the king of Kasi had once been the barber to the poorer king. And one day, in the hubbub of the busy marketplace, the barber recognized the disguised king. He easily saw through the king’s charade. The barber fell back into the crowd and secretly pursued the king to discover where he now lived. Then the barber reported right away to the King of Kasi, knowing that he would be richly rewarded for the information. “I have news that right within the walls of this city live both the King and Queen of Kosala! I, who know the king’s face better than any, saw it with my own eyes – they live in a potter’s shed and are disguised as beggars!”
When the King of Kasi heard this report, he feared that if the old king and queen were yet alive, they had a hundred reasons to seek his own death and the return of their kingdom. Disguised or not, he anticipate they would find an opportunity to kill him. So he commanded his guards, “Go now to the potters’ sheds near the outskirts of town. Arrest the old king and queen! When you find them, it will be their last hour! Bind their arms, shave their heads, bring them outside the gates of the city and destroy them!” And thus the guards were dispatched to the capture the couple.
But very early this same day, the young Prince Dighavu awoke full of longing to be with his parents. Now old enough to travel from village alone, he reasoned, “It’s been months since I’ve seen my parents. I would so much like to visit them today! I will make them a present of ripened fruit and delicious cheese from the country.” And so the prince cheerfully gathered a few gifts, packed some clothing and money, and set out of the city.
By this time, however, the guards had found the royal couple – just exactly where the barber had betrayed them to be. They bound their arms tightly with thick rope and dragged them roughly through the streets. But the king and queen walked with dignity, even as they reached the city gates where they knew they would soon die.
And so it came to pass that just as Prince Dighavu was entering the city, he witnessed his parents being led to their deaths. In desperation, he made his way to the front of the surrounding crowd. Just sat the moment he spied his parents, they too, saw him amidst the mob. When the prince neared within earshot, his father shouted, “Dear Dighavu, do not look long! Do not look short! For hatred is not stopped by more hatted! No, dear one, hatred ends only by love!”
The soldiers thought the old know had lost his mind. “Who is this Dighavu? What gibberish you speak!”
But the king cautioned Dighavu twice more in the same way, finishing, “He that is intelligent will understand my meaning!” There were the king’s last words. As swords fell upon his parents’ heads, the anguished prince said a silent farewell so as not to reveal his own identity.
Prince Dighavu went to the nearby forest and fell to the ground. In agony he wept and wept until he could weep no more. Under the empty night sky, he considered the terrible murder of his parents and devised a plan to recover his family’s honor.
First, he returned to the city, and purchased some liquor for the soldiers standing guard over his parents. When the guards cucumber to the alcohol and fell asleep, the prince performed a funeral by the city gates. But at that same, exact moment, from the atop the splendid place tower, the King of Kasi happened to see the prince paying his respects to the murdered king and queen. “Alas!” Said the king in great alarm. “What misfortune will happen now? I will still have no safety or peace of mind while someone who cares for them wishes to reverse their deaths!”
And so it came to pass that the very next day Prince Dighavu embarked on such a plan. He went to the king’s elephant stable and asked that the elephant trainer teach him his art. The trainer agreed to take on the eager apprentice. As part of the prince’s secret plan, he rose each day at dawn to play the lute and sing to the entire palace compound. His lovely songs were haunting and captivating. Just as the prince has hoped, the King of Kasi, standing on his palace balcony, heard the enchanting voice and asked his attendants from whence it came. “Your Majesty,” they replied, “it is the elephant trainer’s new apprentice”.
“Bring him to me,” commanded the king. “I must meet the one who possesses such a gift.”
All was proceeding exactly in accord with Prince Dighavu’s Plan. He came before the king, strummed the lute even more beautifully, and sang his most soothing melodies. The king was utterly charmed. “Young man”, said the king, “such a voice comes only from one with the finest sensibilities and depth of feeling. I would like you to have the honor of being my manservant.” So Prince Dighavu – still unknown for his identity – became the king’s personal attendant. He rose before the king, preparing the king’s affairs; he retired at night long after the king’s affairs; and he obeyed the king’s every command in between. And in due time, the king appointed Prince Dighavu as Councilor and Confidant – just as the prince had hoped.
But Prince Dighavu’s secret and grand scheme was far from complete. A year or so later, the prince had the chance he had worked and waited for. It so happened that one balmy, spring day, the king wished to go for a chariot ride. To Prince Dighavu he requested,”Harness the chariot, my best man; I wish to go hunting in the forest and I want you alone to drive me.”
“Yes, your majesty, right away!” Obeyed the prince. A magnificent chariot of gold and lapis was harnessed to two steeds. The prince firmly held the reins and hurried the chariot towards the city’s perimeter. As the city’s gates opened wide for the royal chariot, Prince Dighavu saw the king’s army go in the direction of the eastern forest; the prince steered the chariot towards the west. “I believe the hunting will be better in these quieter woods sir,” he assured the king.
“Very well, my man. Let us try it out,” replied the king.
The day was cloudless, and after an hour of travel, the heat oppressive. The sultry, midday sun made the king grow drowsy. “My man, unharness the chariot,” he mumbled. “ I am tired and I wish to lie down in the shade of some trees.”
“Yes, your majesty,” complied the prince. The prince watered and hobbled the horses, then rested beside the king under a large Banyan tree. The king placed his trusting head in the prince’s lap and fell immediately to sleep.
With the king’s safety resting utterly in the hands of Prince Dighavu, the prince’s plan was nearly complete. As the prince looked upon the sleeping king, he thought to himself, “The king of Kasi has done me as much harm as any man could. He has murdered my mother and father! He has robbed our kingdom of its treasury and territory! He has destroyed the honor of the Kingdom of Kosala! Now is the time for me to avenge my hatred!”
Ever so quietly, the prince unsheathed his sword. But as he raised his sword over the king, ready to inflict his punishment, his father’s last words seemed to shout within him: Dighavu, hatred is not stopped by more hatred! No, dear one, hatred ends only by love! Prince Dighavu could not disobey his father’s dying words. He could not kill this unsuspecting king. The prince slowly sheathed his sword. But then the same thought of revenge – the thought that had been his mission since the day of his parents’ deaths – rose in him more strongly! He had waited years for this moment! Again, he unsheathed his sword. But alas, he stopped himself once more; he could not act against his father’s last wish; he could not end his hatred with another murder.
Suddenly, the king awoke and sat bolt upright – pale and terrified! The prince’s internal struggle abruptly ended. “Your Majesty!” Said the prince, “what ever had occurred? Why did you wake so alarmed?”
The king gasped, “Right now, in my dream, the son of the King of Kosala – the heir and prince – wanted to kill me by sword. He was going to sever my head! I thought I was about to die!”
Then Prince Dighavu, gently touching the neck of the king with his left hand and drawing his sword with the other, told him the truth. “I, your majesty, am that prince! I am Prince Dighavu, son of the King of Kosala! You have robbed my people of food, territory, and treasure. You have even killed my own mother and father! This would indeed be the time to show my hatred and exact my revenge!”
At that admission, the king fell upon his knees at the feet of the prince and begged for forgiveness. “ Grant me my life, dear Dighavu ! Grant me my life!” Wept the king.
In his heart, Prince Dighavu now realized what his father had meant for him to learn. He told the king of his father’s forgiving words – his last words – and how they stopped the prince from ending the king’s life. The prince proclaimed that he would no longer carry this terrible hatred. “Although I have the power to grant you your life at this moment,” said the prince to the king, “you also have the power to grant me my life: for you can assure my safety in your kingdom!”
“This is very true,” agreed the king. “Grant me my life now and I’ll forever grant you yours. We will no longer be enemies, but vow to live in peace.” At that, the prince and king swore an oath never to harm one another and to protect each other’s well being.
Peaceful now, with a warm feeling of forgiveness, the two men harnessed the horses remounted the chariot, and leisurely made their way back to the palace. When the king returned to his court, he gathered all his ministers and councilors together. “Tell me sirs,” asked the king, “if it happened that you laid eyes upon Prince Dighavu, son of the King of Kosala, what would you do?”
A minister immediately spoke up, “ Your majesty, we would kill him on the spot!”
“Yes!” Shouted another. “We would chop off his head and cut him to pieces!” Many voices rose in a cacophony of agreement.
But the king said, “Hush! Sirs, in front of you is Prince Dighavu, son of the King of Kosala.” A great, astonished silence filled the hall. The king continued, “ You may not harm him. He has granted me my life and I have granted him his.” The king turned to the prince; “I would like you to tell them, young prince, the marvelous meaning of your father’s last words.”
All eyes in the court turned to the prince. He looked at his audience with courage and forgiveness. “When my father said to me in his hour of death, ‘Look not long dear Dighavu’ what he meant was, ‘Do not hold on to hatred, do not nurture it.’ When, Your Majesty, my father spoke, ‘Look not short,’ what he meant was, ‘Do not lose friends easily – be the most loyal of friends.’ When my father said, ‘Hatred is not stopped by more hatred!’ What he wanted me to learn was this: the king has had my mother and father killed. Were I to kill Your Majesty, your people wold want to kill me, and my people would want to kill those who had harmed me. Hatred would not end by further hatred. On and on it would go, with many lives lost and many hearts broken. But now,” continued the prince, turning towards the king, “ Your Majesty had given me my life ad safety, and I have done the same for you. So by love and forgiveness we have stopped this terrible cycle of hatred.”
The king blessed the prince, “Oh, councilors! Is it not remarkable how deeply the prince understands his father’s brief words!” And thus the king returned to Prince Dighavu the army, territory, and treasure that rightfully belonged to the Kingdom of Kosala. The prince and the king’s own daughter were soon married, and they all lived in peace, two kingdoms side by side, happily ever after.
“And so I say to you,” declared the Buddha to the monks, “enough of fighting! This is my advice, good brothers.” And the Buddha returned to the solace of his meditation.
The moral is : For never in this world Do hatreds cease through hatred; Through love alone do they end. This is the ancient and eternal law.
Since the announcement of the news that Namo Dorje Chang Buddha III and Fomu, Holy Mother the Great Mahasattva, have borne dark karmas for living beings and entered parinirvana, human and heavenly beings are weeping in grief. Buddhist disciples all over the world are praying whole-heartedly to beseech Namo Dorje Chang Buddha III and Fomu, Holy Mother the Great Mahasattva, to return to this world to save us living beings from our sufferings.
Unsurprisingly, some evil swindlers have taken advantage of the situation and started their ruses. To protect the public from being deceived, the Office of His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha IIIhereby announces as follows:
1. All the expenses for this Buddhist event are being paid for exclusively by Dharma King Jinba 金巴法王 and Dharma King Mohe 摩訶法王. The two Dharma Kings did not entrust any organizations or individuals to crowdfund or fundraise. Both Dharma Kings also do not accept any offerings or donations! They will not accept even a single penny!
2. This Buddhist eventis presided over and managed by Dharma King Jinba; all matters are handled by the Dharma King personally. Nobody has been entrusted to handle anything on behalf of Dharma King Jinba. If the Dharma King were to have you to handle a certain matter, the Dharma King will definitely speak to you in person or tell you directly over the phone. If anyone claims to be relaying messages, giving notifications, or handling any tasks on behalf of the Dharma King, they are lying! What they say is all deception! You must seek verification through the Office of His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III.
3. All teachings by Namo Dorje Chang Buddha III are contained in the audio-recorded Dharma Discourses, Dharma manuals, published Sutras,and in the “128 Evil and Erroneous Views.” Some people have taken advantage of the grief and distress of Buddhist disciples to create opportunities for themselves to gain fame and fortune, saying that Namo Dorje Chang Buddha III or Fomu, Holy Mother the Great Mahasattva, privately told them certain things, or instructed them to do certain things; or they say that they want to do something for Namo Dorje Chang Buddha III and Fomu, Holy Mother the Great Mahasattva, and so forth. What those people say is not to be trusted. They are deceiving people! Those are often their ploys to deceive others so as to reap their own benefits. Everyone must be very clear-headed about this. Otherwise, by the time you have been swindled, it will be too late for regret!
4. There is also one person who, for the sake of elevating their own reputation, even claims that when Namo Dorje Chang Buddha III imparted the “xx Sutra” some years ago, His Holiness the Buddha was indicating that He was about to leave this world. This person has the audacity to slander His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III and deceive the public for the sake of vaunting themself. They are simply filled with dark karma! Even Great Bodhisattvas would not know about what the Buddha does, how could a sinful ordinary being know? Let’s ask: If you knew when the Buddha would enter parinirvana, then do you know when you will die? We clearly tell everybody that this person does not understand the meaning of Buddha Dharma, and they don’t even have any compassion. They don’t even have the most fundamental goodness, sincerity, or gratitude that a Buddhist would have toward Namo Dorje Chang Buddha III and Fomu, Holy Mother the Great Mahasattva. All this person has is a body full of karmic hindrances. If this kind of person continues to slander and stir up rumors, they will not be permitted to enterthe Holy Miracles Temple! Any Buddhist disciples who listen to and believe what such a person says, whoalso follow this person, will only increase their own dark karma that will foil them from attaining liberation and accomplishment.
5. To pray for the return of Namo Dorje Chang Buddha III and Fomu, Holy Mother the Great Mahasattva, to this world by resolving to conduct life releases and to do good deeds are the things that all Buddhists should do, and they are meritorious. The two Dharma Kings have conducted life releases with their own money. However, the Dharma Kings did not organize other people to conduct life releases, nor did they ever crowdfund to conduct life releases! If any organizations, groups, or individuals want to conduct life releases or do any kinds of good deeds, these activities must be well organized, lawful, and be done in accordance with Buddha Dharma and ritual. It is also essential to take precautions to prevent anybody from taking advantage of the situation to swindle others!
6. Only the announcements published by the Office of His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III are factual, reliable, and accurate sources of information.
The Office of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III February 9, 2022
(Part Three Dharma That Every Buddhist Must Follow)
The second book I read was called Dharma That Every Buddhist Must Follow. From the title I knew this must be a very important book for all Buddhists. In the preface, the author herself, Among Nopu Pamu said: “Dharma That Every Buddhist Must Follow is very deep Buddha Dharma which must be relied upon and applied by teachers and disciples. Because of such conditions, if one dose not rely upon, dose not study, and dose not practice Dharma That Every Buddhist Must Follow, then no matter what Dharma one practices, one cannot attain liberation from the cycle of birth and death. …. Dharma That Every Buddhist Must Follow is the mother of the mother of all Dharmas.”
The book is a collection of discourses that Pamu gave to an assembledge of Buddhist masters of highest rank, over a period of a few days under a very special karmic condition. It lays out the path to enlightenment by pinpointing the many mistakes practitioners of Buddhism can and do make in their actions or non-actions of “body, speech and mind”. To me this book was a truly indispensable guide in my daily practice. As a beginner Buddhist, I did not have a master yet, and sometimes I felt lost and tangled by the different teachings. All my Buddhism knowledge was from books and tapes, and I knew they couldn’t be completely right, since the authors were not a Buddha or Great Buddhisattva. Plus when I put them into my daily practice, I also added my own interpretations and understandings. I didn’t know whether my conducts conformed to the right Buddhism rules and procedures.
In the book, Puma illustrates “The ten superficialities of practitioners”. 1. The superficiality of Reciting Passages without Belief. 2. The superficiality of Speaking about benefiting others when one dose not have great compassion. 3. The superficiality of Donating the one is miserly. 4. For those who practice vajrayana Bddhism, The superficiality of Practicing while not abiding by the Samaya Precepts. 5. For Buddhist monks and nuns, The superficiality of Practicing while not abiding by the Precepts. 6. For laypersons, The superficiality of Practicing yet not diligently cultivating oneself. 7. The superficiality of only studying Principles but not practicing the Dharma. 8. The superficiality of Practicing the Dharma without knowing the Essentials of the Dharma. 9. The superficiality of Teaching people while not acting in accordance with the Dharma. 10. The superficiality of Instructing others when one’s own actions do not match one’s words.
Among the The ten superficialities of practitioners, Number 6: “For laypersons, the superficiality of practicing yet not diligently cultivating oneself“ was truly a wake-up call for me. I was in exactly same situation as written in the book. Laypersons cultivate themselves at home, where there is no one to instruct them or make arrangements for them. In their worldly life lay practitioners are often bound by things of the world. They are entangled by matters involving family, society, children, relatives, and work…. I could always find excuses to miss my homework. Things like, today my friends invited me to a party so I should go and enjoy life, or I was too tired at work so I need to relax a little bit, or today I had an argument with my husband so I felt so bad and did not want to practice the dharma,…. so on and so forth, day after day passed — no wonder I didn’t have any progress in my practices. Here Pamu gave me the utmost guidance: laypersons should have a mind aware of impermanence, a mind determined to break away from samsara. They should constantly remind and admonish themselves not to become confused by matters of this world. They should always remember to diligently cultivate themselves!
I always felt it is difficult to attain enlightenment while being immersed in worldly affairs. It’s like the common Chinese saying that one cannot have both fish and bear’s paws. I couldn’t consider holiness and worldliness at the same time, in my mind they are mutually exclusive. From the book I knew my viewpoint was very narrow and stiff. That was why I had so many defilements when I dealt with worldly affairs and my cultivation. Sometimes I wished I could quit all worldly attachments and go to the temple. Again Pamu shined the light for me: One should know that since the Buddha Dharma exists within this very world, full enlightenment must include awareness of the ultimate realities of this world. To speak of the Buddha Dharma without being concerned with worldly matters would be engaging in empty and incorrect talk. To think of handling ordinary worldly matters and practicing the Buddha Dharma as being opposite to each other is totally against the teachings of Sakyamuni Buddha that householders or laypersons are also able to cultivate themselves.
I felt so grateful that Puma illustrated all of the mistakes a Buddhism practitioner often makes and how one can correct oneself by following the instructions that are in the book. I found out that my way of practice had many flaws. Due to this book I was able to critically examine my way of practice and to correct many mistakes.
Around the end of year 2001, I received a set of six books written by Ah Wang Nuo Bu Pa Mu. I remembered that in the book True Stories About A Holy Monk, Dharma King Dorje Losang said that even though he was the level of a Dharma King, he still must seriously study Entering the Door of the Dharma written by Ah Wang Nuo Bu Pa Mu. He said, “It is not fundamental Buddhist book! I have learned and practiced the five great Vajra dharma groups, the Atiyoga Supreme Dharma and the Great Perfection Mind Essence Dharma over and over again. Only now do I understand how magnificent the Buddha dharma books of the Holy Mother are.”
So I started to read the book Entering the Door of the Dharma.
The first chapter was titled, “First talk about big or small Dharma, then discuss the wrong and right dharma”. This chapter was a warning bell to me. After all, the wish I had harbored in my heart was to learn a great dharma whereby I will become a Buddha in this very lifetime. I dreamed I could learn and practice the great Dharma, such as the Great Perfection (Dzogchen) of the Nyingma sect, the Mind Within Mind of the Kagyu sect, the Great Perfection of Wonderful Wisdom of the Sakya sect, the Kalachakra Vajra of the Geluk sect, and Zen meditation of the Zen sect of exoteric Buddhism, etc…. I wanted to jump to the highest level, quickly reach the liberation with nothing to fear or to suffer… my life will full of joy and good fortune…
What a naive and selfish Buddhism practitioner I was! I felt I was so foolish, wanting to build a tower on quicksand. Such a tower could not be built.
As I continued to read the book, I gained a lot of fundamental knowledge about buddhism. The buddhism theory is so deep and broad. One chapter is focused on “cause and effect”. Pa Mu said, “most of the disciples just know about cause and effect, but they didn’t understand what is cause and effect, therefore they do not truly believe in it. “ After reading this chapter, I pondered to myself seriously. Did I truly understand the law of causality, and did I truly believe in the law of causality? If I did, how come my mind still falls into so much confusions and chaos. I looked deeply in my mind, and found out I only believed in the causality when good things happened to me. When bad thing happened or I was very sick, I started to doubt about it, and complained why I deserved these sufferings and unfair treatments. I started to blame peoples around me, and began to wonder why Buddha ad Bodhisattva did not bless me.
I thought about my marriage relationship. I was always puzzled why my husband always blames me, yells and scolds me even for a small thing, but before we married he always tried to flatter and please me. From the law of causality, everything I experience right now were the results of the cause I have done in the past. Anything that happened must have a reason. I must have done a similar thing to my husband before. I started to change my attitude towards him. When he got mad at me, I would think, this is my opportunity to pay my debt back to him — continuing to argue with him wouldn’t do any good, except cause more tension and damage. It was really hard to do it at beginning, I needed to force myself to keep quiet and don’t talk back, don’t analyze what he is saying, focus on my inner peace, don’t get irritated by outside things…. After a while I gradually became more mentally freer and at ease.
From the book I learned that everything and all phenomena arise from causality, including of course the good and adversary karmic conditions between people. If we generate resentment or hatred or take harmful actions against the other side when subjected to bullying or unfair treatment, wouldn’t another evil cause be seeded, which we will have to pay for through suffering the malicious consequence?! Then, wouldn’t the vicious process continue forever without an end?! The only thing I could do is to repent all the evil causes I did in the past, and pay it back when encountering the situation without any complaints. I do not want to plant any evil causes anymore, since the law of causality never errs.
I was happy that I finally found the door of entering Dharma.
About twenty years ago, I worked at the research triangle park area in North Carolina. I got married and had children. We bought a brand-new single family house in a newly built community. The community was built in a large forest. It had well-equipped facilities, a lake, a swimming pool, tennis courts, basketball courts, children’s playground, etc. On top of that, it was less than a ten minute drive to the company where I worked. It seemed to be a perfect place to live for a long time. However, when I wandered along the forest trails in the community, I often felt somewhat empty and unsettled in my heart. This place was not where I wanted to settle down, but I didn’t know the reason why.
At that time, I had read some books about Buddhism and set up an altar at home. There were many statues of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. I thought I would enshrine as many as possible. At the time though, I still stayed at the level of superstition and didn’t really understand what Buddhism was and how to learn Buddhism. I was very fond of the Zen patriarch’s narratives about emptiness. The transcendent realm and the beautiful poems made me intoxicated, but the actual practice is too difficult. From the books I read, the patriarchs lived in a cave and meditated for decades. That was impossible for me, so I felt that I had no hope of enlightenment in this life. I also listened to a lot of recordings of a Chinese master who preached the Pure Land Sect, and read books written by him. I thought the Pure Land Sect is very good and simple. I just focus on chanting the name of Amitabha Buddha, and when my physical body dies, the Buddha and Bodhisattva will come and lead me to the Paradise of Bliss – I was really looking forward to that scene.
One day I got a free book about a holy monk <<The True Story of a Holy Monk>>. The Dharma introduced in the book was totally different from I had known. For example, the “nectar” from Buddha Kingdom — I never heard of that before. I was full of envy for the various real holy relics recorded in the book. This is something I had never seen before. What I had heard was that Buddhist does not talk about miraculous and supernatural powers… At that time, I was very confused. How can the Buddha save me without supernatural powers? Reading this book made me understand that although Buddhism does not focus on magical powers, the phenomena of magical powers are the byproducts in Buddha Dharma practice process. Practitioners cannot attach to supernatural powers, as that is not the gaol of Buddhist cultivation.
The book introduced, “After the blessing of the longevity nectar from the Buddha Kingdom, Vajra vellus hair grew from the eyebrows of the old Pharaoh Dorje Luosang, and grew one foot long later. If buddhists are predestined to take a bite, the blessings and wisdom will be immeasurable. “ It was such an extraordinary fact, and I was very longing for it in my heart.
A passage from Dorje Luosang Pharaoh on the rebirth of the Buddha Pure Land in the book totally awakened me. It read, ”…… do you know what it will be like when you die? …..How many people are suffering in dying, struggling and groaning. If the world is unpleasant, it is called death. Of course, his mind will be Chaos. I have seen many people who have lost their minds at the end of their lives, ….. after reciting Buddha’s name throughout their lives, when they finally die, they “Oh! Help!” or struggling. You told him, “Recite the Buddha’s name! Bring up righteous thoughts!” But what you then heard was his groaning and tragic screams, and the voice of being overwhelmed. In fact, he has long been confused. This chaos is not something you can remove just by mentioning righteous thoughts. It takes time to settle down! It takes immense concentration, which comes from our daily practice and commandments. If you lose your daily practice, there will be no concentration. Seven kinds of disciples, listen! If you can just recite Amitabha Buddha without any confusion, the Buddha wouldn’t say eighty-four thousand methods, and the Buddha will not tell you the Six paramitas and Ten Thousand Actions! The Buddha will not torture sentient beings. He taught us, we need to practice the six paramitas and ten thousand actions and go through the three great asamkhyeyas of eons before you can achieve it…” .
I think this statement is so very true because we usually feel very uncomfortable when we are sick. I remembered how the heart-piercing pain during childbirth made me unable to think about any other things. I finally realized that I have many wrong opinions and preconceived notions about Buddhism cultivation. I pondered to myself, how do I recite the Buddha’s name with undivided attention? When I did my chanting practice in my altar without any outside disturbances, I couldn’t recite Amitabha Buddha single-mindedly for 10 times straight, for all kinds of thoughts kept coming up. I didn’t know how to control my mind and center on the Buddha’s name. For me, the most I can was attempt my practice a half hour daily. How could I be able to recite Amitabha Buddha without chaos? Those monks recite the Buddha’s name every day, but very few can go to the Pure Land when they die. In the book old Pharaoh Dorje Luosang gave me a light there is a better way to achieve the goal of re-birth into the pure land. I decided to follow that light to find the true Buddha Dharma, so I can reach the liberation in this life time.
In order to let my children understand some Buddhist principles, I bought them a book of Buddhist stories. While I read it with them together, one of the stories touched me. The story told about a poor girl who lived in poverty and hardship at the time period when Shakyamuni Buddha lived. After she got married and gave birth to a boy, her husband and family finally began to treat her well. She loved her son like a rare treasure. Her son was the joy and sunshine in her life. However, the good times did not last long, for a disease took the child’s life, which made her unhappy and unable to accept this cruel fact. She held her dead son and begged everyone she met to save her child. One person told her that perhaps only the Buddha in this world could help her, and took her to the Buddha’s residence place. The Buddha told her that he could help her, but on the condition that she must find a mustard seed in the city where she lived. The mustard seed should only come from a family where no one has ever died. She went from house to house for an entire day and did not find the mustard seeds that the Buddha said. In the end, she realized that death is a reality that everyone has to face. She buried her son and returned to the Buddha’s Sangha to begin her cultivation practice.
This story fills my heart with sympathy. I am eager to learn about death because of my father’s own death. In my third year of coming to the United States, I just graduated and found a job. My father left the world suddenly because of a car accident. When I heard this sad news, I couldn’t believe that my father just left forever? I will never see my dad again? I did’t even have a chance to see him for the last time? What was his final advice to his daughter who he was always been concerned about? My father served in the military for about twenty-five years, and was very strong and healthy. I believe my Dad would never expect he would leave this world so quick and sudden, without saying anything to his dear family member and closest friends.
My father’s passing away was like a warning bell, prompting me to think about death. I started to read books on philosophy, religion, and scientific researches on near-death experiences. One day I saw the book “Tibetan Book of Life and Death” in a bookstore. I bought that book because of the mystery of Tibetan Buddhism culture. This book made me deeply shocked and changed the horrible and terrifying concept of death. The book described the magnificent phenomena of some holy monks leaving this world, and the process was fascinating rather than scary. Those holy monks had cultivated to the realm of freedom of life and death. I was very longing for the superbly bright realm when they passed away. It made me long to learn the Dharma that one can escape from reincarnation and achieve freedom of life and death.
Yeas later, we moved to Los Angeles, California, where I was truly blessed to find a place that I can hear pre-recorded Dharma discourse spoken by the contemporary living Buddha H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. The Buddha’s sayings are simple and clear, and the profound Buddhist principles are expressed in an easy-to-understand way; there are no advanced academic terms, no deliberately crafted ornate rhetoric. Various metaphors and stories are often used in the Dharma discourses to make people feel lively and not boring. To my surprise whenever I felt sleepy (caused by karma) or not concentrated when listening to the Dharma, there would be fascinating stories in the Dharma discourse told in the infectious voice of the Buddha, that made me suddenly refreshed. This has happened many times. I really admire how the Buddha knows the mentality of sentient beings so accurately. This is the manifestation of the Buddha’s wisdom.
Through these years of listening to the Dharma discourses, I feel that my mind is becoming more and more peaceful. I no longer worry about many things. I hope that more people will have the opportunity to listen to the Buddha’s teachings and live a healthy and happy life. I believe that in this life, if I consistently practice Buddha Dharma according to the Buddha’s teachings, I will go to the western paradise. After I have achieved liberation, I will find my father in the six reincarnations realm and lead him to the pure land of light and bliss.