In traditional China, painting was revered as “silent poetry,” while poetry was seen as “painting with sound.” Both art forms found expression through the medium of calligraphy, which was considered the “art of handwriting.” Scholars and artist-scholars incorporated calligraphic brushstrokes into their paintings, viewing their artworks as vehicles for self-expression. Consequently, painting was not only regarded as an art form of equal purity and lyricism to poetry and contemplative thought but also as a means to evoke sensory experiences, emotions, and a holistic engagement with the world.
For Western observers, it may be intriguing why Chinese artists incorporate writing in their paintings and what significance the characters hold. By examining some of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III’s paintings, we can gain insight into these questions and witness the embodiment of the concept known as the “Three Perfections.” This concept represents the harmonious fusion of fine painting, poetry, and calligraphy within a single artwork.
This painting, titled “Song of the Waves in the Three Gorges,” beautifully captures the grandeur of splash-ink technique alongside the charm of water and ink colors. Its overall tone carries a weighty presence. The brushwork employed in this artwork evokes a powerful sense of momentum, lively charm, and a vividness akin to the scene of a long, flowing river just passing by. The inclusion of a few small sailboats adds elegance to the water scene as they gracefully navigate through it. The combination of the mighty river and awe-inspiring mountains, enveloped in mist and holding sacred spaces, has a purifying effect on one’s emotions. This painting possesses a quality that is reminiscent of both poetry and calligraphy.
Notably, H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III has inscribed an elegant Chinese poem onto this painting, which can be translated as follows: “The song of waves echoes in the gorge. Hanging colors of rocky cliffs burst with charm. A few cloudy, misty mountains reveal shades of blue. The vast water’s melody sets the sails in motion.” This poem aptly captures the beautiful and misty landscape of the Three Gorges, where the water and sky harmoniously blend, and human emotions become intertwined with the scenery. This painting serves as an artistic paragon, showcasing the mastery of poetic, calligraphic, and painting skills.
This remarkable painting showcases a rare combination of splash-ink and splash-color techniques, displaying the artist’s bold and skillful brushwork. The resulting natural effect achieved through these techniques is truly indescribable. Within the bold and dynamic brushstrokes, one can discern countless intricate details and traces of charm emerging from the flowing watery ink.
The painting depicts a scene of mountains and water during the approaching dusk, conveying a profound message. The poem imparts the wisdom that we should strive to engage in virtuous deeds rather than harmful actions, treating all living beings with kindness and respect. By embodying such a way of life, one can transcend to another realm and grasp the truth of existence beyond the concepts of birth and death. This painting offers a profound contemplation on the purpose and significance of human existence.
The calligraphy in the two art works are executed in a cursive style, known for its swift and dynamic strokes. Cursive writing is often characterized by its rapidity and vitality, effectively conveying the artist’s profound emotions.
The Title “A Lotus Pond Has Carp” suggests profound Philosophical implications that transcend everyday life. In addition to its masterful artistry, the painting contains subtle messages of the Dao and its fruits. The lyrics on the left and right sides of this work correspond perfectly with the image of the fish, forming a whole that awakens and enlightens, richly rewarding its viewers.
Why is this painting so artistically enchanting that it stirs the hearts of those who see it? One reason is that the fish are depicted with uncanny realism. The swimming carp are infused with vitality. The painting’s details clearly reveal the damage done to the carp’s skin, accumulated over a lifetime in the water, through lines that fade in and out. Appearing as delicate as a fine gauze, the translucent fins, for example, possess a natural realism. Texture and spirit are captured with utter precision, providing the viewer with stirring aesthetic pleasure. The surface and bottom of the pond are depicted with a wonderfully hazy charm, while the lotus flowers, leaves, and pods are portrayed in bold freehand brushwork with distinct and unusual brushstrokes rapidly applied.
The painting is mainly composed of back ink and rich colors. Only a few brushstrokes were used to create each vibrantly red flower, which seem to emit a pure fragrance. The hanging lotus pods embellish the painting, conveying an elegant contrast of hues and instilling a sense of vitality. As the fish swim about, free of any inhibition, the sunlight faintly reflecting off the water ripples provides the illusion of movement that occurs in the natural world.
When examined more closely, the painting has an intricate style to ascertain, for it seems to transcend realistic fine brushwork and convey the feeling of freehand brushwork. It is not in the style of conventional paintings. Instead, freehand brushwork was applied to produce the effect of fine brushwork with close attention to detail.
Fine brushwork was applied that transcends realism. The real and the surreal blend, resulting in a work that excels the beauty of a natural lotus pond. It represents a combination of techniques from the “Menglong” style of painting and bold, large-scale freehand brushwork.
For the painting, H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III composed these lyrics of a Dao song: “No Dao exists on the high mountain, yet hearts yearn to go there. A lotus pond has carp; men have inquired about them. Which path leads to the truth is worth pondering. It would be better to look tranquil to our original nature, like a lotus flower sitting over its leaves in tranquility.” These lyrics speak of mysteries unknown to the ordinary person – seeing fish, not as fish; seeing water, not as water; no Dao exists on the high mountain, so no value exists in searching for it; and the fish have neither life nor death.
To understand the origin of the painting, we must ask: where did the fish come from? What state of realization was relied upon and gave birth to this exquisite painting? What form of realization manifested this mysterious, hazy, and illusory painting? The magical illusion of the fish and water is nothing more than a superficial image. Spirit is within; A life force underlies spirit. Spirit is empty or nothingness. The original essence of all things is neither empty nor substantive. Everything illusory and impermanent quickly changes in time and space, but their original nature remains constant. Thus, the lyrics of the Dao song continue: “To find our original nature, do not seek the source, as the source is our original nature, tranquil and unmoving, like a lotus flower sitting over its leaves in tranquility. There is no such thing as arising, passing away, and change. From this surpassing wisdom, usages that arise from Buddha-nature will naturally manifest. These usages include calligraphy and painting. Only in such a way is a consummate work created.” Thus, one should understand the tremendous meaning of this song of Dao written in this painting. Profound mysteries are deeply hidden within it.
In case the viewer remains oblivious to right stanza, on the left side of the painting, the second stanza of the song continues with: “The carp rely on the Dao, and the Dao awakens the fish.” The Dao refers to the state of holy ones, a realm that transcends the realm of ordinary people. It does not refer to regular abilities. The artist created this carp painting based on such a holy state. “The Dao awakens the fish” means that this painting of carp in a lotus pond was accomplished based on the wisdom of the transcendent Dao. Only with such wisdom could this lifelike, graceful scene of carp swimming in water be painted, a setting that combines the real and the surreal, emptiness and substance in such a wondrously appealing way. This scene of carp complimented by the boldly and powerfully depicted lotus leaves results from the artist’s awakening to the holy Dao.
This painting of carp, then, is merely an expression of one who has attained the Dao and reached enlightenment. Thus, this work is not just an ordinary combination of brush strokes, color, ink, and water. Instead, it results from techniques derived from the beautiful application of holy wisdom. The profound mysteries contained in “A Lotus Pond Has Carp” cannot possibly be conveyed by the superficial meaning of the words in its title! Actually, this explanation is entirely unnecessary. All those with discerning eyes will understand once they see the lyrics of the Dao song and the calligraphic skills with which they were written on the painting.
Karma literally means action. It refers to the universal law of cause and effect whereby positive actions produce happiness and negative actions produce suffering. You must be willing to rid yourself of evil according to the principles of karmic retribution for doing evil and likewise be willing to do good for the same reasons. Only in this manner will you bring about true happiness and good fortune for yourself and others. All Buddhist disciples must understand cause and effect, but, as Dorje Pa Mu explains, merely understanding this principle is not enough. You must clearly believe in the principle and live accordingly. You must use this principle in your actual practice to solve your worldly problems. You end causes and effects through cultivation whereby you train your mind and correct your erroneous ways so that your actions of body, speech, and mind (also known as your three karmas) correspond with the teaching of your vajra master and the Buddhas. Remember that greed, anger (hatred), and ignorance are the three great obstacles of cultivation.
You must remember that the so-called good effects or bad effects of karma are not a judgment nor given as a reward or punishment by a supra mundane authority such as God. The good or bad effect produced by good or bad karma is purely and simply a natural phenomenon governed by natural laws that act automatically, with complete justice. It is just like the law of gravity and other similar rules. This Law of Karma, or cause and effect, is so powerful that it governs everything in the universe except enlightened beings or those who recognize their basic original nature. Upon enlightenment, the round of cause and effect loses its significance, just as samsara, or the round of birth and death, ceases with enlightenment. Since basic or original nature transcends all duality and is ultimate, there is no one to receive the effect, whether it is good or bad, and no one to whom any effect can apply. This unique explanation by the Buddha of the nullification of the Law of Karma is very important.
H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III has said, “Thus, only through learning from the Buddha, cultivating the conduct of the Buddha, and ultimately becoming a Buddha can we thoroughly liberate ourselves from the karma (cause and effect) that binds us to the cycle of reincarnation. Cause and effect still exists when one becomes a Buddha. However, cause and effect can not affect a Buddha. For example, the Buddha saw mountains of swords and seas of fire in the hell realm. The mountains of swords and seas of fire continued to exist as extremely painful means by which living beings undergo karmic retribution. When the Buddha suddenly jumped into the mountains of swords and seas of fire in order to undergo suffering on behalf of other living beings, the mountains and seas immediately transformed into a lotus pond of nectar. They transformed into a wonderful state. With respect to a Buddha, all bad or evil karmic conditions turn into the manifestation of good karma. Not only is there no suffering, there is instead a manifestation of great happiness.”
However, until we become enlightened, we must remember that it is as Dharma King Tsongkhapa said, “the things I’ve done, the white or black and what these deeds will bring to me, follow always close behind, as certain as my shadow.”
Once, I had the privilege of listening to a pre-recorded dharma discourse by the esteemed H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. During this enlightening session, His Holiness shared a captivating story that left a profound impact on my mind. It was the tale of Kumarajiva, a legendary figure who demonstrated his profound inner realization by consuming needles. Intrigued by this extraordinary account, I felt compelled to delve further into the remarkable life of Kumarajiva.
Kumārajīva was a Buddhist monk, scholar, missionary and translator from the Kingdom of Kucha (present-day Aksu Prefecture, Xinjiang, China). Kumārajīva is seen as one of the greatest translators of Chinese Buddhism. According to Lu Cheng, Kumarajiva’s translations are “unparalleled either in terms of translation technique or degree of fidelity”.
Kumārajīva settled in Chang’an during the Sixteen Kingdoms era. He is mostly remembered for the prolific translation of Buddhist texts written in Sanskrit to Chinese he carried out during his later life.
At Chang’an, Kumārajīva was immediately introduced to the emperor Yao Xing, the court, and the Buddhist leaders. He was hailed as a great master from the Western regions, and immediately took up a very high position in Chinese Buddhist circles of the time, being given the title of National Teacher. Yao Xing looked upon him as his own teacher, and many young and old Chinese Buddhists flocked to him, learning both from his direct teachings and through his translation bureau activities.
Kumārajīva appeared to have a major influence on Emperor Yao Xing’s actions later on, as he avoided actions that may lead to many deaths, while trying to act gently toward his enemies. At his request, Kumārajīva translated many sutras into Chinese. Yao Xing also built many towers and temples.
Yao Hsing was so impressed with Kumarajiva’s political acumen, intellectual talent and spiritual depth that he was impelled to try a eugenic experiment. He insisted that Kumarajiva move out of the monastic community into a private house staffed by female attendants. Yao Hsing believed that the offspring of Kumarajiva and carefully selected maidens would be as brilliant and talented as their father. Although Kumarajiva was repelled by the experiment, he refused to jeopardize the welfare of the translation centre by refusing to obey his emperor. He complied with Yao Hsing’s orders but was concerned about the effect his actions might have on the monastic community. He likened himself to a lotus growing out of the mud and enjoined the monks to attend to the lotus and ignore the mud.
However, it is widely understood that monks are expected to adhere strictly to the rules and precepts, diligently purifying their bodies and minds while maintaining purity in their six senses. Deviating from these principles, particularly by engaging closely with women and disregarding the precepts, can hinder the attainment of positive outcomes. Consequently, doubts began to arise among the Sangha regarding Kumarajiva’s integrity, leading to a decline in the commitment of some disciples to uphold the essential Buddhist rules.
When Kumarajiva became aware of the troubling trend spreading among the monks, he could not afford to be complacent. In response, he summoned all his disciples to gather before him, determined to address the issue head-on.
Before the perplexed audience, Kumarajiva unveiled a bowl filled with silver needles, their sharpness and gleaming appearance catching everyone’s attention. The monks were left wondering about the purpose behind Kumarajiva’s display.
In a solemn tone, Kumarajiva addressed his disciples, saying, “Not every monk is qualified to enter into worldly attachments and establish households. If you can swallow these silver needles as I do, then I will consider granting you permission to marry and have children. However, if you are unable to do so, you must never attempt to follow in my footsteps.”
Having spoken these words, Kumarajiva proceeded to place each silver needle into his mouth, consuming the entire bowl with a composed ease. The supernatural power exhibited by Kumarajiva left the assembled monks awe-struck, their eyes widened in astonishment. In the end, they were all convinced by Kumarajiva’s demonstration, believing him to be the true successor endorsed by the Buddha.
With this act, Kumarajiva showcased the potency of the correct Buddha Dharma. Consequently, no one dared to criticize him from that point forward. Instead, they committed themselves to diligent practice, upholding the precepts, engaging in self-cultivation, and abandoning any fantasies of pursuing worldly desires.
The community perceived Kumarajiva’s actions as an exemplification of self-sacrifice in the pursuit of the Bodhisattva Ideal, despite the disappointment he experienced due to the children of Yao Hsing’s experiment falling short of his grand expectations.
The High-Leg Treasure Horse is a thoroughbred horse with great stamina. When this treasure horse perspires, it appears to be bleeding due to the color of its perspiration. According to ancient legend, it is the most precious among all species of horses. It has the reputation of being able to travel over three hundred miles a day. Long mane hairs and a mighty, strong-willed, handsome appearance are its prominent characteristics. The High-Leg Treasure Horses in this painting have longer legs than horses commonly seen in paintings. The hairs of their manes are also long and strong. An extremely rare brushwork technique that combines haziness with clarity was applied to paint the hairs of the horses. The gossamer-thin hairs are strong but pliable. One can clearly see the natural effect of sunlight on the horses’ manes. Moreover, contrasting variations of dark and light are seen in every hair. The hairs of the horses are depicted with a realistic effect that nonetheless transcend their natural look.
An artistic technique was used to thoroughly capture on paper the charm and atmosphere of the grassland, lake, sky, and land. The “haziness technique” was applied to express a state of realization in which there is no distinction between emptiness and form. The ancient cypress tree was drawn in one shade of green without the need to add decorative touches in several different shades of green. Both the spirit and form of the tree were captured through the artist’s brush. In addition, elegant charm is revealed by a small number dots of red leaves in the background that compliment the scene. The most difficult part of this work of art was painting the roots, trunk, and leaves in a spontaneous, casual manner using the center brush-up technique yet maintaining a scholarly tone. Such mastery of painting cannot be easily attained and requires solid skills in calligraphy, literature, and painting as well as a noble moral character. From the brushwork style and details of this painting, we can sense the profound inner-cultivation of a renowned scholar. The abilities of a literary giant with abundant talent are visible everywhere. The scholarly tone and brushwork style are skinful and vigorous, totally free of any trace of the mundane, and reflect the highest level of painting and calligraphy. Anyone who lifts a brush in an attempt to paint such painting will appreciate the fact that this scholarly style cannot be accomplished by anyone other than a literary giant who is a great master of art. This painting coherently unites realism and small-scale freehand brushwork as well as the use of haze and clarity.
This painting is in the permanent exhibition of The International Art Museum of America. H.H. Dore Chang Buddha III, an artist of great talent, has created sixteen distinctive painting styles. The composition we are discussing here belongs to the “Menglong” style. This style combines realism and non-realism to capture the essence of the portrayed subject, resulting in a seemingly realistic but actually non-representational depiction. The brush strokes and color application in these paintings create a whimsical and dreamlike appearance, where the real and surreal merge into a lovely and hazy composition.
Although I am an ordinary RINPOCHE without any deep realization, nevertheless, I am very fortunate to have visited many Rinpoches. I have sought instruction from Great Dharma King Yangwo Yisinubu and from famous Rinpoches, such as Panchen Lama, Dalai Lama, Karmapa, Bo Mi Qiang Ba Luo Zhu, Dorje Losang, Dilgo Khyentse, Jiang Gong Kang Qin, Jiang Gong Kang Ce, Ga Wang, Zong Nan Jia Chu, Chuang Gu, Xia Ma, Hsi Jao, Bei Lu Qin Zhe, Tai Xi Du, Heng Sheng, Jia Cha, and Kalu. Especially with respect to nectar, I have a detailed understanding.
In general, nectar can be divided into five types: Most Precious Nectar, Great Precious Nectar, Long Life Nectar, Vajra Nectar, and Bodhi Nectar. These different types of nectar can also be divided into two different types: nectar that comes from sacred Dharma practice and nectar that comes from exoteric Dharma practice. There are several different types of nectar within the category of nectar that comes from sacred Dharma practice, depending upon the different manifestations of Dharma by each Buddha. Nectar resulting from exoteric practices is most prevalent in contemporary Vajrayana Buddhism. Basically, any Rinpoche can practice the Dharma to produce such nectar. Medicine or food is mostly used. Added to and mixed together with the medicine or food is sharira or a Dharma object that has been empowered. This is then made into powder to make pills. This powder is then empowered through practice of the Dharma and the recitation of mantras to become various types of nectar. Nectar that comes from exoteric Dharma practice is mostly used for empowerment, curing illnesses, and other reasons.
Nectar that comes from sacred Dharma practice is totally different from nectar that comes from exoteric, ordinary Dharma practice. The degree of empowerment from nectar that comes from sacred Dharma practice as compared with nectar that comes from exoteric Dharma practice is as different as ten thousand miles and one footstep. No words could adequately praise the nectar that comes from sacred Dharma practice. Ordinary Rinpoches and ordinary Dharma Kings who have been conferred such titles by the world cannot successfully practice the sacred Dharma to invoke nectar. Only those who are true Buddhas, or incarnations or transformations of Great Bodhisattvas, can successfully practice such Dharma. In the sacred Dharma practice to invoke nectar, the Dharma King conducting the practice will assemble over 100 Rinpoches to form a mandala. Gold, silver, and other precious items will be burnt as offerings. The Great Dharma King will then practice the holy Inner-Tantric Dharma to invoke the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to bestow nectar from the realm of the Buddhas. The Buddhas will assemble in the sky or will enter the mandala area. This holy scene will be seen by all of the more than 100 Rinpoches in attendance.
At this time, the Buddha who corresponds to the particular nectar that is being invoked will descend. The appearance of that particular Buddha and its bestowing of nectar can be seen. There will be the emission of light and the manifestation of supernormal states when the nectar descends into the bowl. This Dharma bowl must first be thoroughly washed and must be empty. There is absolutely nothing in this world which has the mysterious and changeable shape of the nectar that descends into the bowl. It is exactly as what is described in the book Know the True Doctrines. According to people of great virtue, only this type of sacred nectar is true nectar. According to Tibetan tantra, nectar is the holy material used for initiations. No matter what type of initiation is performed, nectar must be used. Especially for the supreme yoga initiations, true nectar is an absolutely indispensable material for the initiation Dharma water. True nectar represents the causative factor that raises one from the ordinary world to the realm of the Buddhas. If true nectar is not used as the basis for an initiation, such as when man-made nectar created from medicine is used to empower, then such initiation is not an Inner-Tantric Sacred Dharma Initiation. Therefore, according to tantra, nectar is fundamental for liberation. Determining whether a Dharma King is the incarnation of a Buddha or Great Bodhisattva mostly depends upon whether he or she has the depth of realization to successfully practice the nectar Dharma. Can he or she commune with the Buddhas and successfully invoke them to bestow nectar? Any explanation other than this, no matter how many times said, is merely empty talk. This includes explanations such as, “I am the heir to a certain spiritual legacy… Since childhood, I have been officially recognized as a Holy One and have been so for many lives…. I am a Dharma King recognized by a certain Great Rinpoche…I am the head of a certain great temple.” This only proves that they are Rinpoches according to worldly regulations and teachings. Of course, they can save living beings. However, such explanations definitely do not prove that they are able to represent the sacred essence of the supreme tantra. Nevertheless, one cannot dismiss such people. They are persons of great virtue. It is simply a matter of different levels of attainment.
When visiting Rinpoches, I would speak of this matter of the Buddhas bestowing true nectar. Some Rinpoches who do not have the ability to successfully invoke true nectar become quite unhappy when this subject is raised. I think that this is not a big problem. If you think that you are a Great and Holy Dharma King or a Great Rinpoche, then conduct a Nectar Dharma Assembly in order to prove that you are someone whom living beings can fall back upon. Let everybody see that you have the Buddha Dharma within you and that the Buddha Dharma is true. This is saving living beings! Otherwise, use empowered medicine as nectar and save living beings while cultivating yourself with a heart of humility!
I would like to raise the following question for everybody’s consideration. Are the Dharma Kings who successfully invoke the Buddhas to bestow nectar in front of everybody able to represent the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas or are the Dharma Kings who only speak empty words able to represent the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas? This question is worthy of deep consideration! I and many people of great virtue believe that those who can commune with the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are definitely Great Dharma Kings. Those who can only reach ordinary states are ordinary Rinpoches!
On April 3, 2008, a solemn and dignified first-publishing ceremony of a fact-recording book entitled H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III, which published jointly by the World Buddhism Publishing LLC and the World Dharma Voice, Inc., was held at the Library of the Congress of the United States. The book was also formally accepted into the collection of the Library of the Congress of the United States. Only since that time, did people in the world know that Master Wan Ko Yee, who had been broadly respected by the great masses and who had also been known as Great Dharma King Yangwo Yeshe Norbu, had been recognized by the world’s leaders, regent dharma kings, and great rinpoches of Buddhism through official documents as the third incarnation of Dorje Chang Buddha, who is the primordial Sambhogakaya Buddha of the universe. The Buddha’s name is H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III Since then, people began to address His Holiness the Buddha by “NamoDorje Chang Buddha III.” This is similar to the situation that Sakyamuni Buddha’s name was Prince Siddhartha Gotama before attaining Buddhahood. However, after Sakyamuni Buddha had attained Buddhahood, His title changed to “Namo Sakyamuni Buddha.” That is why we now address His Holiness the Buddha as “H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III”
In particular, on December 12, 2012, the Senate Resolution No. 614 of the United States Congress officially used “His Holiness” in the name addressing Dorje Chang Buddha III (That is to say, “H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III”) Since then, the title and status of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III has been definitive by nature. And, as a matter of fact, “Dorje Chang Buddha III” is a name used legally in governmental and official legislative documents. Therefore, the previously used respected name and titles such as “Wan Ko Yee,” Great Master, and Great Dharma King no longer exist.
Several decades ago, Elder Dharma King Dorje Losang approached the Great Dharma King seeking clarification on certain Buddhist questions that troubled living beings. Provided below are the English translations of these questions.
The elder Dharma king asked: Living beings have certain questions, which I would like to ask on their behalf. Great Dharma King and respected Master who is supreme, would you instruct us? The Great Dharma King answers: If you have any questions, then raise them.
Q: What types of practitioners of Buddhism have the ability to successfully invoke nectar? A: Those Holy Ones and Great Dharma Kings who have reached the level of a Buddha or Mahasattva. Q: According to what the Great Dharma King just said, do all Dharma Kings within Vajrayana Buddhism have the ability to successfully invoke the Buddhas to bestow nectar? A: Not all of them are able. Q: Why are not all of them able? A: It is not necessarily true that all Dharma Kings are able to successfully invoke nectar. Q: What is the reason for this? A: Since there are those who are Dharma Kings in name but who have not attained the realization of a Dharma King, they are, therefore, not true Dharma Kings. Naturally, they are unable to commune with the Buddhas. How, then, could nectar be bestowed? Q: Can the present Dalai Lama successfully invoke the Buddhas to bestow nectar? A: I have not heard it said that he has such ability. Q: What is nectar? A: Holy food that corresponds with the miraculous powers and great wisdom of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Q: What is the function of nectar? A: To plant the holy seeds of Vajra in order to realize enlightenment. It can eliminate all karma one produced in this world. Ending the cycle of birth and death becomes as easy as turning one’s hand. Q: How big is the difference in power between true nectar and the five types of nectar in this earthly world? A: As big as the difference between the great ocean and a drop of water, between 10,000 miles and a small step. There is no comparison. Q: What is the reason for this? A: Those five types of nectar are called nectar. In fact, they are ordinary things of this world that are empowered by mantras. True nectar bestowed by the Buddhas is something sacred that has come from the realm of the Holy Ones and Buddhas. There is a world of difference. It is the difference between the ordinary and the sacred. How could they be mentioned in the same breath? Q: Have there been any ordinary Rinpoches who have successfully practiced the nectar Dharma? A: Throughout Buddhist history until the present, there has not been one. Q: You are the Great Dharma King and Holy Master in our world. Could you invoke some nectar to empower everybody? A. When certain causes and conditions of living beings mature, nectar will fall naturally. If the Buddhist practitioner does not possess enough merit, there will be no nectar. I am an ordinary practitioner of Buddhism. I do not have the ability to successfully invoke nectar. Q: Then why did I personally see you successfully invoke the Buddhas to bestow nectar? A: That was due to the fullness of merit of those who were able to partake of the nectar. I alone do not have the depth of realization to successfully invoke the Buddhas to bestow nectar. Q: In this world, how many Rinpoches are able to successfully practice the Dharma of invoking the Buddhas to bestow true nectar? A: All of those who have attained the realization of a true Dharma King can successfully practice it. Furthermore, they must practice it. O: Is it unacceptable not to practice it? A: It is unacceptable. Q: Why is that? A: With respect to the highest Dharma within Vajrayana Buddhism, the initiation of Ati Yoga, Great Perfection of the Vajra division, nectar is an indispensable holy element for cleansing one’s negative karma and is the resource for planting the seeds of Vajra. If the truc nectar Dharma is not practiced, then it is an ordinary initiation.
Q: The level of realization of Amang Nopu Pamu is extremely high. She is also able to successfully invoke nectar. Is she a Dharma King?
A: In order to successfully invoke the Buddhas to bestow true nectar, one must recite the holy mantras of a Dharma King, must put one’s hands in the mudra of a Dharma King, and must ascend to the throne of a Dharma King. Q: I would like to ask if the Great Dharma King’s Buddha Dharma is any different from her Buddha Dharma? A: The Buddha Dharma is the same. It is all passed down from the ancient Buddhas. Q: Does the Great Dharma King study the Buddha Dharma with Pamu? A: I have not seen her yet in this lifetime. Until now, I have not yet spoken to her. The Buddha Dharma is not the study of Buddhism. It does not contain the element of study. Only ordinary people of the world study it. Q: Generally speaking, what is the Buddha Dharma? A: It is cultivating yourself to live in accord with the law of cause and effect or karma. It is that simple. It is the same with nectar. Q: What is the reason for that? A: No reason. For example, you, Dorje Losang, have attained the position of an Elder Dharma King. However, your realization deepened and your beard grew only after you received empowerment from Pamu. This is cause and effect. Q: Can the Eight Great Rinpoches of Tibetan Tantric Buddhism successfully invoke the Buddhas to bestow nectar? A: Even the Four Great Dharma Princes do not have such power. Q: Why does each and every Rinpoche in today’s world have nectar pills? A: This is correct, but such pills are ordinary things of this world, such as medicine or other things, that are empowered by adding shar-ira and chanting mantras. After such empowerment, they are called nectar or the five great pills. Q: Thus, can 100 out of 10,000 Rinpoches successfully invoke nectar? A: It would not be a disappointing result if there were only 1 out of 10,000 Rinpoches who can successfully invoke nectar. O: If there are so few, how can they save living beings? A: All 84,000 Dharma methods can be used to save living beings. As long as any method is the Buddha Dharma, it can be used to save living beings. O: Which Dharma is the best and easiest method for attaining liberation? A: It is best to learn the Dharma spoken by Sakyamuni Buddha and the Dharma of true Great Dharma Kings. In today’s world, the Buddha Dharma that can liberate living beings most easily can be found in Buddhist books which are composed of commentary and instruction by Amang Nopu Pamu! O: Is there any usefulness in being initiated without real nectar? A: There is usefulness in being initiated by ordinary Rinpoches. As long as it is the correct Buddha Dharma, accomplishment can be achieved.
Q: If accomplishment can be achieved through both real nectar and ordinary nectar, then why distinguish between real nectar bestowed by the Buddhas and nectar made from ordinary objects that have been empowered? A: The difference lies in whether the accomplishment is great or small and the time it takes for such accomplishment. If one cultivates oneself according to the Dharma after having been initiated with real nectar, then one day of such cultivation would be better than 10 years, or even 20 or 30 years, of cultivation after having been initiated with ordinary nectar of this world. After having been initiated with real nectar, one can achieve in this lifetime the Three Bodies. Q: Why are the initiations performed by many Rinpoches not called nectar initiations? A: Nectar is the basic ingredient used in any initiation. This basic ingredient of nectar is then mixed with other things according to different tantra. Therefore, there are different names for various initiations. Q: Are those who were able to receive an ordinary initiation also able to receive a true nectar initiation or a true nectar empowerment? A: If one devotedly practices the Buddha Dharma and lives in accordance with Buddhism, then this will be clearly known by the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. When one has accumulated enough merit, a Great Dharma King will initiate such person with nectar bestowed by the Buddhas! I already told you. Everything is cause and effect.
Many years ago, a disciple approached Master Yi Yun Gao (H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III) seeking guidance on how to apply Buddhist wisdom to navigate worldly affairs. In response, Master Yi offered some insightful advice, which was later compiled into a book entitled “Selected Philosophical Sayings About Worldly Matters”. The following are translations of excerpts from the book.
What makes the sun the greatest thing man has ever known? It is admired for providing light and warmth for all the beings under it. A truly great person is one who is willing to sacrifice his own benefit for the well-being of others.
A city does not need all the food a province produces, but that much food is far from enough to feed the whole country; it needs all the food the country can produce. The strength of an individual is nothing compared with collective strength.
The respect a person enjoys comes from his devotion to the well-being of other people. A swimming pool is admired in summer because it provides relief from the heat.
A person is established in character only when he truly knows himself.Why? It is difficult for a person to be aware of his own flaws, just as he cannot see his own back, though it is in plain sight ofother people.It is quite natural for a person to hide his own flaws, but overdoing it will alienate the person from those around him.When the person realizes this and feels ashamed, he turns to seek knowledge and adhere to moral integrity so as to establish his own character and win the respect and support of other people.
Deliberation is needed before one makes a move, but no conclusion is to be drawn from deliberation alone. It has to be tested in action. Suggested moves are not to be adopted in haste, nor are they to be rejected out of hand; they are not to be dismissed even when tests have proved them worthless, for in this case an inquiry into their legitimacy has to be made. When a rainbow is blocked from view by clouds, it does not mean that there is no rainbow out there.
What to do to beat your equal in battle? Attack him where he is most vulnerable with concentrated force and victory will be yours. A piece of wood with a sharp end can break another piece of wood that is just as hard as the wood you use to attack.
Intellectual and material resources work in opposite ways. Intellectual resources are limitless; the more they are tapped, the broader they grow in scope. Impermanent in nature and limited in quantity, material resources last but a short time, and the more they are consumed the sooner they are exhausted. The truth is that the former is non-quantifiable and thus infinite and everlasting while the latter is quantifiable and therefore diminishing and exhaustible.
In September 2016, I had the good fortune to attend the Dharma Assembly of Empowerment by Kuan Shi Yin Bodhisattva’s Great Compassion held at Hua Zang Si and received very magnificent benefits. I would like to take this opportunity to share my experience and feelings on that day with my fellow cultivators.
At the beginning of the dharma assembly, the presiding master told us to chant the mantra first. The rhythm of chanting was rather slow and the sound was very wonderful and beautiful. My feeling was completely different from my experience of the chanting I normally did.
After chanting for a short while, without knowing any reason, my father, my husband, and my two children suddenly appeared in my mind. The appearance of my father was especially clear. Sadness rose in me and tears streamed down through my face. I thought that they had not taken refuge in Buddhism and did not have the affinity to learn the true dharma of the Tathagata. That was the reason that I could not bear the sad feeling.
I stopped weeping and continue to chant. At that time, my grandparents from both my mother’s side, who have passed away and my father’s side as well as some other family members and relatives all appeared before my eyes. Though the view just flashed by me momentarily, I felt that I saw each of them clearly. I thought about the fact that some of them had not taken refuge while some others, though had taken refuge, were still not diligently making a good effort to learn and practice Buddha-dharma. Thinking that they would surely be in very miserable and lonely situations in the future, I could not suppress my sad mood and wept again.
Then I stopped weeping and continued to chant. Next, the faces of my father, husband, and children emerged before my eyes again. Every time I saw them, my heart was painfully pulled. I could not keep myself from weeping.
I once again stopped weeping and joined the chanting again. At this time, my ears clearly heard the voices of chanting the mantra from the crowd. However, my heart felt that I heard a voice of shouting for rescue. It sounded like a desperate yelling for help from someone who was completely surrounded by a situation of despair and horror. I had a very shocking feeling at the time. Clearly, this is the call for help from living beings, begging Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to rescue them! We are sincerely beseeching Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to save us and cross us over, to lead us to leave the abyss of pain and suffering in samsara forever! At this time, the sadness and bitterness in my heart were beyond description by words. Thus, I cried again with my face covered by tears.
After chanting the mantra, the dharma master announced that the dharma assembly would formally begin. I kept my body in a fixed posture and closed my eyes. I did my best to stay calm.
Very soon, the sound of patting came from behind. Also, people on my right side generated different kinds of sound. Someone before me was crying and fell to the ground. I sensed that she later moved to lie next to my feet (not sure whether she was actually lying down or not) and touched me a few times. I tried not to think about that. Shortly after that, she moved to behind me and started to pat the rear of my left foot and then my right foot. My right foot was hit with more power and more frequently. I dared not move myself at all and tried my best to keep my mind calm. However, I was still somewhat at a loss since I did not know what she might do to me next. When the patting stopped, I felt that she was still behind me. After a while, my right foot was again patted a few times. After that, she seemed to have left me. My eyes were always closed during this period. I dared not open my eyes.
My two arms felt more and more tired. I put my arms down twice and raised them again. After putting down my arms the last time, I felt that my neck began to rotate very slowly from right to left. After rotating two rounds, it went the opposite direction. At that time, I could not be sure whether this was an empowerment from Kuan Shi Yin Bodhisattva or a response made by myself due to being eager to receive empowerment.
Next, my both shoulders began to turn from the front to the back.
After that, I heard singing. I could not hear the words of singing clearly. At this time, my shoulders continued turning and the speed seemed to be faster.
Finally, I could hear clearly that the song was the Six Character Great Bright Mantra and “Namo Kuan Shi Yin Bodhisattva.” I first followed the singing with humming and then joined with my open voice. At this time, the movement of my two hands became bigger. My hands were swinging back and forth and left and right, as if doing a stretching exercise. However, all movements were spontaneous and beyond my own control.
At this time, I heard a fellow sister behind me speaking loudly in Cantonese. She seemed to be saying that we have committed lots of sins and evil deeds in the past and therefore we now must repent earnestly and so on.
My hands continued swinging. I followed the singing and joined from time to time. At this time, my hand movement changed and turned into a movement of dancing. That was the hand gesture in a Chinese classic dance. I was dancing to the singing. My heart was filled with the joy of the dharma. With a smile on my face and while singing lightly, I made all kinds of wonderful movement with my hands (At least I felt that my hand movement was very wonderful.). Totally without any control, I felt that all movements were so smooth, fluent, and natural. Though my eyes were always closed, my mind was very clear and very much open. I was clearly aware what gestures and movements were performed by my hands. However, the dancing and moving of my hands was not directed by my own mind.
My two hands kept waving and moving. However, when the master leading the dharma practice called out “Stop!”, my hands gradually moved to a position before my chest and stopped there.
After the perfect conclusion of the dharma assembly, the attending crowd went together to perform the ending practice of saving living beings from captivity. On the trip of driving back home, I unexpectedly noticed that my two feet were warm. This was something extraordinary to me. For quite a number of years, my two feet were rather cold. In particular, I must have a hot water bag prepared before going to bed. Otherwise I would not be able to fall asleep. Even if I went to sleep after having a hot bath or having my feet soaked in hot water, my feet would still be cold. Sometimes when I did not use a hot water bag, I would wake up at night with my feet being ice-cold. I could feel the chilly air from my bones and would even tremble. At that time, I had to have the hot-water bag ready immediately. After attending that dharma assembly, I fell the warmth from my two feet and no longer need to use a hot-water bag to help me fall asleep. Even when I wake up at night, I would pleasantly find that my feet warm.
I am grateful to the empowerment bestowed on me by the greatly loving and greatly compassionate Kuan Shi Yin Bodhisattva!
Additionally, I also had an unexpected discovery. The ankle joints in my two feet were no longer in pain. I could not remember since when my ankle joints started to ache, but it should have been for quite a while. I did not know what the cause was either. Normally, there was no pain if I do not touch them. However, it was very painful if the spot was pressed. Therefore, when I sat crossed legged to practice meditation, a towel or a blanket must be placed under my feet. Otherwise I would not be able to keep myself in a sitting position.
Yesterday evening, while chatting with my family members after dinner, I reached out to massage the ankle joints on my right foot as I used to do. I did not even feel any pain at all. I immediately pressed the ankle joints on my left foot and did not feel any pain either. I dared not believe that fact at the time and repeatedly pressed the spots many times. It was really true that I had no pain at all.
I once again express my gratitude to the greatly loving and greatly compassionate Kuan Shi Yin Bodhisattva!
This dharma assembly was very magnificent. The attending crowd were also empowered by Kuan Shi Yin Bodhisattva’s great compassion and were full of the joy from the dharma. Had I not experienced the occasion in person, I absolutely would not be able to imagine the inconceivable feeling and benefits I had when the empowerment from Buddhas and Bodhisattvas came to me!