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)