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At 8:30 am on October 4th, 2009, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche presided over the auspicious Great Indiscriminated Amitabha Puja for Transferring Consciousness of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism for the fifth time. In addition to the Taiwanese disciples and believers, over 13,000 people came to the puja, including 14 ordained people from Exoteric Buddhism, 18 Khenpos and lamas of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage and the Nyingma Lineage who came from Qinghai and Yunnan, as well as those who paid a special visit from Australia, Japan, India, France, the Philippines, and Canada.

Although the previous day happened to be the traditional Moon Festival and it was pouring rain since midnight, over 13,000 people still came to the Taipei Arena for the auspicious puja before 8:15 am regardless of the stormy weather. Prior to the start of the puja, a pre-recorded video of a dharma talk bestowed by His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche in India particularly for this puja was played in the venue. The teachings His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche bestowed are as follows: As Taiwan has suffered from the severe flood in August and many families have been broken, we are reminded that every phenomenon in the world is impermanent. His Holiness taught all attendee should practice and learn about impermanence in ordinary times in order to be able to face all the changes in working life with peaceful mind. Additionally, His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche transferred two million NTD through his heart son Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to the Department of Social Affairs in the Ministry of the Interior as a donation to the post-flood reconstruction in hopes to bring some help to the victims. Furthermore, His Holiness also announced that another grand puja will be held on June 6th, 2010, in Taiwan. Apart from commemorating the 830th anniversary of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage, the puja for the transference of consciousness will be conducted to commemorate the anniversary of this flood disaster in Taiwan as well. This is the second grand puja presided over by His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche ever since the 2002 grand puja with 10,000 attendees held at the Taoyuan County Stadium

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche took the Dharma throne at 8:30 am. After conducting the lamp offering and receiving mandala offering, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche bestowed the following teachings: With an earthquake around 1 am and two approaching typhoons, it is extremely auspicious to attend a puja in such weather.

Buddha Amitabha, introduced by Buddha Sakyamuni, is a Buddha with great vows. Amita means infinite light and life. The practice to be conducted today was bestowed upon Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche directly by His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche himself. The Drikung Kagyu Lineage with 830-year history has been uninterruptedly transmitted, started by the founder Lord Jigten Sumgon to the current 36th lineage holder of His Holiness Chungtsang Rinpoche and the 37th lineage holder of His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche. The founder Lord Jigten Sumgon prophesied that the Dharma lineage of Drikung Kagyu would be a pure one, which means that the lineage would be passed down with Kyabgons’ heart of benefiting the sentient beings from generation to generation.

In Tibetan Buddhism, today’s Dharma text is known as a terma practice, which is one of the many yidam practices found in caves, waters or kept by the dakinis, that had been hidden by Padmasambhava before he left Tibet. The Amitabha puja for transferring the consciousnesses, consisting of both exoteric doctrines and tantric doctrines, is a practice personally bestowed by Buddha Amitabha. Many people have curiosity and even doubt about tantras. Just like everyone else, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche started by learning Exoteric Buddhism. Nonetheless, when reaching a bottleneck, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche found himself unable to achieve what is stated in the Buddhist sutras. Till Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche started to learn tantras under His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche eventually realized that the Exoteric Buddhist sutras merely state the theories of attaining Buddhahood from Buddha Sakyamuni, which explain the attitude, positioning, and direction of cultivating the practice. In Tibet, the prerequisite for one to learn tantras is the completion of a 10-year study in Exoteric Buddhism. Tantras are methods to carry out the vows of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas for the benefit of the sentient beings.

A Rinpoche refers to the jewel among the human beings and is someone who is capable of benefiting the sentient beings. A Rinpoche can be incarnated from his past life or be someone who attains such achievement, recognized by His Holiness, in this life. Being a Rinpoche takes a lot of efforts. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche performed a retreat for today’s grand puja and completed the retreat at 11 pm the previous day. Nevertheless, an earthquake woke Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche up at 1 am and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche remained awake to preside over the puja in the morning. This incident took place because the sentient beings came to wake Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche up to get prepared for today’s grand puja.

Vajrayana Buddhism places great emphasis on one’s motivation for attending a puja. If the attendees all share the heart of benefiting the sentient beings today, enormous power will be generated and thereby will move all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to help all the sentient beings in the sea of suffering. No matter what our original intent was for attending the puja, we should know that it takes very rare cause and condition for one to be able to attend a grand puja with so many attendees. We should hope that all the sentient beings can have the cause and condition to be helped by the Buddhist teachings. The greatest offerings are the offerings of Dharma and fearlessness. Sutra recitation and dedication prayers are not always considered the offering of Dharma since the key lies in whether the reciting one actually has developed bodhichitta. If all of us have developed bodhichitta, we will be able to accumulate great merits from attending the puja and thereby to suppress or eliminate future obstacles in our Buddhist studies.

If one has all thoughts of benefiting himself only, he would earn the worldly merits and that merits will be used up quickly. On the contrary, if one has each thought of benefiting sentient beings, he would obtain the merits for Buddhism practice, and that kind of merits can not be used up forever. At the degenerate age of the Dharma, there are more and more disasters all over the world, and sentient beings have heavy karma. However, having heavy karma can drive us to learn Buddhism.

For the short decades in human life, people keep pursuing their desires. However, the happiness of desire fulfilled last not long but a few seconds. And then, they start again to look for another enjoying. However, not all desires would be fulfilled. Therefore, one will be in suffering and sorrow in his whole life. But if what one requests for is the liberation of the cycle of birth and death, Buddhas will be very happy and will definitely help him on that. One who listens to the Buddha’s teachings, attends pujas, and learns Buddha-Dharma, does have the conditions with Buddha. Having conditions with Buddha, there is nothing for him to worry about.

It will be most worrisome if one has his own thoughts when learning Buddhism. In 2006, His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche held a one-month empowerment and teachings in India. During the break of the puja, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, His Holiness Taglung Shabdrung Rinpoche and other great Rinpoches had tea in His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche’s room. The young His Holiness Taglung Shabdrung Rinpoche asked Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in English: “You don’t understand Tibetan. How do you learn Buddhist teachings?’ Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said: ‘Whatever instructions His Holiness gives me, I will do it.” Short sentences seemingly, a contest between two masters actually. What His Holiness Taglung Shabdrung Rinpoche’s question was that since Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not know Tibetan, how could Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche read the dharma texts and learn from it? Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s answer just presented a Vajrayana disciple’s obedience to his guru’s teachings. Just listen to what Guru teaches you and do not make any adjustment. One ought to maintain his mindset of learning Buddhist teachings like an elementary student, listening to whatever the teacher say.

Stages of this Dharma include the preliminary practice which is the part that could be referred to the motivation. Main practice includes making offering and the tantric practice, especially Phowa ritual. Phowa, personally taught by Amitabha Buddha, is presented only in Tibetan Esoteric Buddhism. The meaning of Phowa is “transferring consciousness”. That is, when one is dead, his consciousness is immediately transferred to the Pure Land of Amitabha. Hope you can attend this puja with reverence, mercy and compassion. It will definitely bring sentient beings as well as you great help.

Afterwards, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche started to conduct the ritual of the Great Indiscriminate Amitabha Puja for Transferring Consciousness. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also enlightened that: there are many offering rituals in this Dharma for that many sentient beings have not enough merits. Therefore, on behalf of sentient beings, the offering rituals are conducted to fast accumulate merits for them.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had already arrived in Taipei Arena at 7:15 this morning. Watching the venue status through LCD monitor inside the VIP lounge, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche observed that some people who had entered the Arena early were sleeping in the chairs. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened that these people who were very tired but still came to attend the puja were commendable.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche advised the attendees to adopt the vegetarian diet. Do not eat meat right after the puja; otherwise, the merits obtained in today’s puja would be lost. Many people have the wrong thought that those tantric practitioners could eat meat. Jigten Sumgon, the founder of the Drikung Kagyu order, was a vegetarian even though the conditions of being a vegetarian were not good enough in Qinghai and Tibet more than 800 years ago. His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche is a vegetarian and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is a vegetarian as well. Today, so many disasters on Earth are resulting from the karma of killing, so are the accidents happened to individuals as well as many strange diseases which can not be cured by the doctors.

Your attending today’s grand puja indicates that you all have the root of virtue; however, it would be really a pity if one who has this root of virtue could not be a vegetarian or practice Buddha dharma. Life is short and passes very quickly; practicing Buddha dharma is to hope that one could die so well that one would not be tortured by illnesses before one dies. One has to start preparing for one’s own death now, hoping not to suffer much when one dies. The evildoings cannot be offset by virtuous conducts; so one must stop doing all evils and must conduct all virtues. The virtue of attending today’s puja is not just a small one. As long as you can do virtues continuously in the future, you will be able to make your karmic retribution of evildoing not mature by the accumulated karmic retribution of virtues,.

Today’s opportunity is very rare since there are monks coming from Qinghai and Yunnan today as well as monks of Exoteric Buddhism, and people from abroad. Each of you had better cherish it. Such a puja like today’s should be conducted for one whole day; but sympathizing with all attendees who may not endure sitting for a long time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, preferring his own hard work, has sped up the conduction of the dharma and spent only a half-day to complete the dharma conduction perfectly. Hope that everyone can diligently do virtues together and let the disasters disappear from this land.

After leading all attendees to make the dedication prayer, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened: His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s root guru, had commanded Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche that, in this grand puja, His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche would donate two million NTD in cash to Taiwan’s Department of Social Affairs of the Ministry of the Interior as the reconstruction fund for the flood on August 8th of this year. Following this charity, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also donated the two million new NTD in cash as well. Both donations were passed to Khenpo Namgyal, who then handed them over to the chairman of Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center, who, as a representative, then delivered both donations, under the joint witness and verification of the Ministry of the Interior representative, accountant, bank representative, and lawyer, to Taiwan’s Department of Social Affairs of the Ministry of the Interior as the donation to the reconstruction fund for the flood on August 8th of this year.

His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche, the root Guru of His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, will hold a puja on June 6th of 2010 at Taipei Arena. Back in 2002 the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center was in charge of and prepared a puja for His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche, while next year when His Holiness Chetsang Rinpoche come to Taiwan happens to be the eight hundred thirty years anniversary of the founding of Drikung Kagyu Lineage. The Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center will cooperate with the other Drikung Kagyu centers in Taiwan to host the grand puja. Any of attendees in today’s puja who would like to attend it may register their names with Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center or the other Drikung centers.

In the last Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche sincerely advises again all the attendees to take vegetarian diet. As a reaction to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s benevolence all the attendee clapped their hands, thus Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was impressed to shed. Under the stabilizing power of the Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s mercy and compassion, the attendees were solemn and peaceful through the whole teaching. And, at the end of the ceremony when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was leaving the venue, all the attendee was standing, clapping their hands and shouting thank you to the Rinpoche.

After the ceremony, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave all offerings of 4.23 million NTD, made by all disciples and attendees on the spot, under the witness of the representative of the Ministry of Interior, the accountant, the bank official, and the attorney, to the Department of Social Affairs of the Ministry of Interior as the donation to the post-flood reconstruction fund of the Flood August 8

At 2:30 a.m., in the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center, Taipei, the His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche led disciples to practice the dharma of the exclusive Dharma Protector of Drikung Kagyu Achi to thank for Dharma protector’s protection and blessing on the grand puja for its perfect completion and success.

Updated on October 13, 2009