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A Pilgrimage to Shravasti, India in the Footsteps of the Buddha

Instructed by His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche led 535 Glorious Jewel disciples in a pilgrimage to Shravasti, India on November 7, 2017. In addition to listening to the teachings of His Holiness with reverence, they followed the two grand practitioners to Jetavananathapindi Karama, where the Buddha taught, and prayed during the Lamp Offering. It held extraordinary significance, and all disciples showed their heart-felt gratitude. The 6-day pilgrimage came to a perfect and auspicious conclusion.

“Thus I have heard. Once the Buddha was staying at Jetavananathapindi Karama near Shravasti…” Shravasti, where the Buddha was living as mentioned in the sutras, is a city located in northern India. The Buddha and the Sangha had had their summer retreats here for 25 years 2,500 years ago. In the days of the Buddha, it was one of the six great city-states of India, where the famous Jetavana is located. Many important Buddhist scriptures were expounded here, making it a very auspicious Buddhist holy land. However, it is now a deserted land in India, forgotten by most Buddhists.

In order to revitalize Shravasti’s splendor of the past, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang launched the Great Shravasti Project in 2013, and it is expected that construction and “go green” of Shravasti will be completed in 25 years, so that Buddhists from all over the world will have an opportunity to pilgrimage here and receive the Dharma teachings in person.

Since the initiation of the Great Shravasti Project by His Holiness, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has been devoting all his support to its construction and has so far donated USD 2 million, making him the most important donor of the Project. Due to this affinity, His Holiness hoped, when visiting the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center during the Chinese New Year of 2017, that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would lead 500 of his disciples from the Center to Shravasti to participate in the pujas in November. 2017 also marks the 800th anniversary of Lord Jigten Sumgon’s Parinirvana, to whom His Holiness dedicated this event while praying for the peace of the world during the grand event.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

8:00 a.m. –Rinpoche led 535 Glorious Jewel disciples to India.

7:00 p.m. – Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche bestowed upon all of the disciples an auspicious opportunity to dine with him and blessed and taught them through various occasions during the meal.

Mr. J. P. Singh, general manager of the Glorious Jewel Group India Branch, attended the dinner with his daughter, and presented a Shi-Suang sugar chocolate cake made by her to Rinpoche, which also served as a birthday cake to all attending disciples who were born in November. After singing the happy birthday song, with sincerity, the disciples presented the cake to Rinpoche as a way to express their gratitude to the guru for his benevolence. Towards the end of the dinner, Rinpoche bestowed the handmade white rose-shaped candies decorated on the cake upon all the attending disciples. They enjoyed a heart-warming and happy evening full of gratitude and inspiration in India.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

As Delhi continued to be shrouded in smog for several days, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche bade his disciples warmly that they should always wear masks and stay alert to keep themselves healthy and safe.

At noon, the disciples were fortunate enough to have lunch with Rinpoche. After the meal, dozens of staff members of the hotel implored through Sunil, manager of the Glorious Jewel Group India Branch, for blessings from the guru by kneeling down for a long time with their palms joined in reverence. Rinpoche agreed compassionately and asked for dozens of bottle water, upon which he then used his vajra to bestow mantra blessings, one by one, before giving the water to the staff members. Rinpoche specifically told Sunil to explain to them how to use it and that it might be shared with friends and families. The staff members received the water with glee and said in unison, “Thank You, Rinpoche!” Then they even said, “Thank you, Rinpoche!” It showed their sincere gratitude.

After that, the staff members knelt down with sincere reverence and presented a bunch of bright red roses to Rinpoche, who in turn happily placed his vajra over the head of each person and gave blessings. He even lightly patted the shoulders of some of them a few times.

Whenever Rinpoche goes abroad to promote Buddhism, he always follows the causal conditions to benefit sentient beings, and people of all races, religions and nationalities would implore him for blessings as they feel his all-embracing power, and the guru would always help them with various expediencies. Everyone present was deeply moved by Rinpoche’s compassion!

After dinner, another handmade chocolate cake with its decorating Shi-Suang sugar fashioned after a meticulous lotus flower was presented as a birthday cake for the attending disciples born in November.

The cake featured lifelike rose and lotus flowers made with Shi-Suang sugar imported from Japan. The importation of Shi-Suang sugar was originated by Rinpoche who saw the devastating destruction, from a windstorm, of a sesame pastry company in Japan and offered to help with its rebuilding. The Japanese businessman was very touched by Rinpoche’s compassion and introduced this precious sugar product to Rinpoche.

Shi-Suang sugar is made from the cane sugar during its first-stage extraction and rich in minerals and micronutrient. It is well known as a royal tribute to the Emperor of Japan. Now it is imported to Taiwan because of Rinpoche’s good connections, so we all have the fortune to enjoy such precious health food. Towards the end of the dinner, Rinpoche gave the beautiful lotus flower candies, made with the Shi-Suang sugar, to the attending disciples whose birthdays were being celebrated.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

H.E. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche led all disciples on a pilgrimage to Shravasti. Before departure, Rinpoche bestowed his visual blessings to everyone as it would be a long journey with a large number of travelers. The more than 500 people boarded seven flights destined for Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh in India. Upon disembarking, they had to take a bus ride for more than five hours before arriving at the holy land of Shravasti.

Friday, November 10, 2017

In the early morning, the ancient city of Shravasti awoke in the crisp bird chirps, where the 2017 Buddhist Cultural Assembly had already started. A huge banner saying “Welcome to the Great Shravasti Buddhist Cultural Assembly” was held high, welcoming pilgrims from all over the world.

The more than 500 disciples were standing in reverence along the pathway leading to the venue, their hands waving the Drikung Kagyu Order flags and the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center flags, to welcome His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang and H.E. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. As His Holiness entered the hall, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche followed him respectfully. At the center of the event hall were the main Dharma throne of His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang and a large photo of His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chungtsang. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche sat on his left and Drikung Kagyu Regent Tritsab Rinpoche on his right.

This auspicious puja was officially started by His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang when he ascended the mandala and lit the lamps, followed by the singing of the anis of the Dehradun Buddhist College and a speech presented by the legal counsel of the Sikkim government.

Then, Professor Wangchuk Dorjee Negi spoke. He thanked His Holiness for hosting the Shravasti cultural event and hoped that people of all religions and orders would come and participate in it here, so that they could offer what they had to the rest of the world and provide help. There is a plan that, in the future, Bhikkhus and Bhikkhunis will conduct 25 retreats, which will gradually become regular activities.

With the melodious music, the audience stood up to welcome His Holiness to deliver a speech on stage.

First of all, His Holiness welcomed guests who had traveled here to attend this auspicious event from faraway lands, including Taiwan, Bhutan, Singapore, Sikkim, Malaysia, Nepal, Ladakh and the Himalayas areas. He said that there were many large stupas dedicated to the main disciples of the Buddha and many monastics would come as pilgrims to this place, where the Buddha expounded the 108 most important Buddhist scriptures. As such, a mandala temple will also be built here, and the plan has been made with the vision that it will unite different religions as well as different cultures so that people of all Buddhist orders will be able to come here in the future. The temple is scheduled to be open next year.

Professor Wangchuk Dorjee Negi mentioned the plan of retreats, and His Holiness also made arrangements for retreats during the rainy season of September for three consecutive years. This is called “Summer Retreats” in Chinese. 108 monastics will start their summer retreat here next year. By having regular activities like the one being held today, it is hoped that Shravasti, while serving as a historic Buddhist holy land, will also be developed into a large-scale green city that shines in the world, shedding light on more sentient beings and bringing benefits to them. Afterwards, His Holiness wished everyone a fulfilling life with great health and happiness, and with hindrances removed.

Finally, His Holiness especially commended Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for his contributions within and without the Order. Then he announced to the audience in English, “This year’s commemoration of the 800th anniversary of Lord Jigten Sumgon of the Drikung Kagyu Order had been hosted by the International Drikung Kagyu Association in Dehradun, which was attended by representatives of 180 centers from more than 80 countries around the world. At the time, I gave a thank-you letter and a statue of Lord Jigten Sumgon to each of the 360 temples that had contributed to the success of that event.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center was unable to attend the commemoration of the 800th anniversary of Lord Jigten Sumgon as he was leading his disciples on their pilgrimage to Shravasti. I would like to especially thank him for his continuous support, and significant contribution to the Order for more than 20 years. Moreover, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has donated more than US$2 million for the Great Shravasti Project, for which I also would like to take this opportunity to thank him personally.”

With warm applause from the audience and music playing, His Holiness conferred upon Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche a khata, two statues of Lord Jigten Sumgon and a letter of appreciation. His Holiness also announced that there is a Drikung Kagyu Buddhist center in Japan, which was established by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Furthermore, His Holiness took the opportunity of the award ceremony to publicly recognize that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is an important pillar of the Order, and the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Centers in Taiwan and Japan are both important Dharma centers of the Drikung Kagyu Order.

After the ceremony, His Holiness ascended the Dharma throne to expound verses from the Dharmapada, the auspicious teaching of the Buddha,“He whose mind is not soaked in greed or affected by hatred has transcended both good and evil karma. He who is vigilant and enlightened has no fear.”

His Holiness said that the most important thing in practicing Buddhism is Bodhicitta, and these verses explain that human suffering is derived from greed, hatred, ignorance, arrogance, and doubt. The Buddha transmitted 84,000 methods of practicing Buddhism. Only by practicing can we avoid succumbing to the Five Poisons and stay away from afflictions and suffering. He also spoke of the meditation method for maintaining a pure heart. Training of this method enables one to attain a constant state of mind and consciousness, which is awakening, just like the bright sunlight can be seen after the fog is lifted. Namely, this is the Buddha nature.

Upon the perfect completion of the puja, His Holiness led the attendees in dedication.

The afternoon puja started at 2:15 p.m. His Holiness said, “Today is a very special day – a day when the Buddha returned to the human world after speaking the Dharma to His mother in the Trayastrimsa Heaven. It is also the birthday of His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chungtsang, so we are gathering here to celebrate his birthday as well.”

With everyone singing the joyous “Happy Birthday” song, His Holiness, attended reverently by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, cut the cake, with the first plateful being offered to the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha and the rest to the attendees so they all could enjoy it.

A film about His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chungtsang had been specially prepared for the puja, and the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang introduced to the audience that the Drikung Kyabgon Chungtsang is from a king’s family and his birthplace was in Tibet, which has now been designated as a United Nations World Heritage Site. Although he is 76 years old, he is very healthy and looks like he is in his 60s. He is now working in the Tibet Association, and has visited Nepal, Japan, Taiwan and other places in the last few years. He has also presided over the consecration ceremonies for temples of the Drikung Kagyu Order and the enthronement ceremonies for Rinpoches.

His Holiness led the audience in reciting the Long Life Prayer for His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chungtsang, as well as dedication and the Bodhi Prayer. The attendees were all deeply touched by the Mahasiddha’s compassion for sentient beings.

Subsequently, His Holiness and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche led all disciples to Jetavananathapindi Karama to perform a puja and led them in lighting lamps and prayers.

His Holiness sat solemnly on an elevated platform in the historical garden site, resembling the Buddha expounding the Dharma in ancient time, with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche sitting right in front of him and Drikung Kagyu Regent Tritsab Rinpoche on his left.

While performing Lamp Offering, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche particularly instructed the Glorious Jewel disciples to lead the others in reciting in Chinese the “Lamp Offering Prayer – Eliminating Fundamental Darkness.” At this time, His Holiness and his disciple, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, were both holding lit lamps in their hands, lighting up the lamp of everyone’s heart. All the attendees recited in unison while looking up at them. Forging together all the good wishes within Jetavana, they prayed for world peace.

After the dedication, His Holiness compassionately said:

“There is a lot of suffering and hatred, as well as wars and environmental problems in the world. Many accidents are taking place resulting in deaths. We must think of the suffering of all sentient beings and give rise to Bodhicitta particularly when we are in this special place, and pray for peace and happiness for the world. Everyone present here can pray for your wishes as well. Today, in this great mandala, your wishes can all be fulfilled.”

His Holiness then led everyone in reciting the Aspiration Prayer for Rebirth in Amitabha’s Pure Land and the Bodhi Prayer. In ancient times, the Buddha was expounding the Amitabha Sutra in Jetavana, teaching sentient beings to free themselves from endless reincarnation in the Six Realms and be reborn in the Pure Land. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has inherited the teachings of his guru and the Buddha, and is constantly instructing his disciples to practice the Ten Meritorious Acts to accumulate good fortune, merits, causes, and conditions. He also performs the Phowa to liberate countless sentient beings and help them be be reborn in the Pure Land. His Holiness was fully aware of the fact that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has mastered the Phowa, thus his leading all the attendees in reciting the Aspiration Prayer for Rebirth in Amitabha’s Pure Land bore a very profound significance.

Upon the perfect completion of the puja, His Holiness and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche walked out of the garden. They posed for photos at the entrance before departing, leaving some historic mementos for this event.

The local people saw that, even though there were so many Glorious Jewel disciples, they maintained such a good order. The locals gave compliments to the group leader by saying, “Your guru, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, is a great teacher and his disciples are all well-disciplined like an army.”

His Holiness and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche took a ride to the Great Miracle Monument on their way back, and instructed the disciples to go around and visit this holy site too. The locals call it Buddha Airport, where the Buddha ascended to the heaven to speak the Dharma to his mother. According to legend, there was a memorial tower built in this area, and the remains of the brick structure are still there for the future generations to remember it by. This is an elevated spot from which one could have a panoramic view of the city of Shravasti.

2,500 years ago, the Buddha was a son of great filial piety and ascended to the Trayastrimsa Heaven to speak the Dharma to His mother. He did not return to the human world until after three months. His Holiness said that today was a memorial day commemorating the Buddha’s return from the Heaven and the Dharma that He spoke there was the Sutra of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s Fundamental Vows. As a matter of fact, in December 2014, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche began to teach the Sutra of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s Fundamental Vows to believers in Japan, which had been completed in August 2017. This resulted in the auspicious causal condition by which the Glorious Jewel disciples could follow the guru in visiting the holy land.

As the disciples were getting ready to climb the hill, His Holiness and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche were leaving the site. The disciples bowed to see them off, while His Holiness waved to them from inside of the car. The disciples felt a deep sense of gratitude for the guru’s benevolence as they saw the two grand practitioners off in the twilight!

It is the compassionate aspiration of His Holiness and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche that pushed the Great Shravasti Project forward. The Shravasti Holy Temple under construction is a mandala-type structure, which will benefit all Buddhist orders without exception. The temple is expected to complete in 2018, and it will promote the development of all aspects of the local community as well.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche instructed all disciples to pay homage to the Shravasti holy temple under construction and go around the retreat center, so that they could have the opportunity to see the retreat center and the Dharma hall being built. The framework of the three-storied holy temple and the surrounding buildings are visible even though the project has not been completed. This temple will bring all Buddhist orders and sects together and promote harmony among various religions in the world. With the completion of the project, Shravasti’s glory of the past will be restored.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

As H.E. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was waiting in his Dharma robe for his flight at Lucknow Airport in the afternoon, a young Indian man, seeing Rinpoche in such a stately appearance, approached him and implored a photo with him. Rinpoche agreed. With his all-embracing power, the master practitioner never stops inspiring sentient beings with compassion.

In the evening, H.E. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche bestowed Glorious Jewel disciples an opportunity to dine with him. Rinpoche kindly asked a disciple name Huang who was sitting at the same table, “How is your health recently?” Disciple Huang answered, “It is improving as a result of chanting the Green Tara mantra, and my qi seems to flow more smoothly!” Rinpoche said, “Why didn’t you say that you are grateful to your guru for giving you the chance to chant the mantra?” Disciple Huang replied, “Yes, I did. I said it in private.” Rinpoche asked again, “Why do you say it in private instead of saying it now?” Embarrassed, Disciple Huang answered, “Yes, I did. I said it in private.” Again, Rinpoche asked, “I’m asking you why you do not say it now. By not saying it, it means that you think you have improved your health because of your own effort. You have failed to recognize your guru’s benevolence. If I had not taught you the Green Tara mantra, how would you have been able to chant it in the first place? Or, if I had not given you the chance to come to the Buddhist Center, how would you have been able to chant there? Do you believe that I can now call off the Green Tara chanting sessions? You talked about saying your gratitude for your guru in private, but why don’t you express your gratitude for your guru in public? Are you afraid that people may think that you are trying to kiss up to your guru? Nonetheless, this would be praising your guru! You need to praise your guru’s merits in front of your guru and everyone. There is nothing private in this matter as far as I am concerned. On top of it, when I just scolded you, you were quick to talk back.”

During the dinner, one of the disciples who has been practicing Tibetan Buddhism for many years shared the importance of making offerings. She said, “In Tibet, if you want to implore the Dharma, you need to have a large sum of money in addition to a sufficient level of reverence. This has been the case since ancient times. For example, years ago my cousin’s husband implored his guru for performing the Jambhala Fire Offering, for which he made an offering of NT$5 million.”

She also said, “Our guru holds a general puja every week, a Chod Puja every month, and at the end of each year, he performs Pujas of Green Tara, Guru Yoga, Vajrasattva, Dorje Phurba, Four-Armed Avalokiteshvara, Black Water Jambhala, Elephant Jambhala, and so on and so forth. Taking the initiative, our guru performs them for his disciples out of his compassion, but we are so used to them that we take them for granted. In fact, these are the pujas that we disciples need to first make offerings and implore for. I am not just talking about money, but if you do not make any offerings, you would not have good fortune, therefore the merits derived from these pujas will have nothing to do with you. Besides, it is needless to say that our guru is an eminent Rinpoche. We all really need to appreciate our guru’s compassion and preciousness.”

Immediately after, Rinpoche said:

“In the recent seminar on the Tibetan Dragon Sutra, I said that we should have 1,300 people in attending; however, everyone was indifferent to this event initially. Only when I started scolding did you find enough people. As you know, the reappearing of the Tibetan Dragon Sutra brings great fortune. It was something that I have accomplished under the guidance of His Holiness. As my disciples, you can also obtain good fortune by way of promoting it, but you acted so slowly in finding the attendees.

His Holiness said this morning that I am the one providing support from within and without the entire Order. This requires an enormous amount of money. That’s why I need to run the business, but the money I make is only for the benefit of sentient beings.”

Indeed, the Japanese soymilk that the Glorious Jewel Group imported is made of whole soybeans. It gives a mellow taste and contains a high nutritional value. It is a good buy for the money and is especially good for children and the elderly. Dietitians and physicians have highly recommended it, and it would not be too many if one drinks four bottles a day.

The restaurant and cafés owned by Rinpoche have all been certified by the government as “Outstanding Merchants,” and they only use carefully selected materials. For example, the oil used includes imported fine quality rice oil and olive oil. As a result, they are still losing money now. As a matter of fact, Rinpoche opened his restaurants for fear that his disciples would eat poor-quality foods that affect their health, so he tries his best to find good-quality and non-toxic foods for everyone.

Rinpoche continued, “We were recognized as ‘Outstanding Merchants’ because we maintain very good hygiene conditions. I once had to fire the restaurant manager because she left the cleaning detergent in the sink together with vegetables. As soon as I saw that, I asked her to throw away all the vegetables. Would you place cleaning detergent together with foods when you eat at home? If you wouldn’t, then why should customers eat such foods? That day, I scolded the manager very loudly.

“I care for you and want to look after you. I do not want to see you eat poor and unclean foods. You need to eat light when you practice Buddhism. Monastics in the past ate light to keep good health! I have told you before that we cannot control our eyes and noses, but we can control our taste. This is relatively easy.

“We have also been certified as ‘Outstanding Grain Merchants’ because the Group’s Koshihikari rice is imported in whole bags from Japan and is not mixed with other rice. Nowadays there are many food safety problems. Have you not heard that some of the Goji Berries sold in the market contain pesticides? No one but I can find the only non-toxic Goji Berries in Qinghai. In addition, now is the season when dried persimmons are available. Do you know dried persimmons are good to the health of the elderly, to the lungs and trachea? When you are sick after eating bad foods, you’d be surely spending more money on medicines than the foods you are eating now! Moreover, I wouldn’t be so worried if you take good care of your health.

“You all are closely watching your purses for fear that you overspend. I am not afraid of that; I have been overspending all the time, in the form of offerings. If you make offerings with a petty mind, you’d become a ‘poor person’ with money in your next life! What is a ‘poor person’ with money? It is a person with money in the bank that he or she wouldn’t be able to use.”

Rinpoche went on, “In the last couple of days in Shravasti you have seen that none of the projects that His Holiness takes on is trivial. They require money all over, and I am the one who have been providing it. So far, I have contributed as much as US $2 million. I also provided the NT $30 million for his Foundation at the time His Holiness was establishing it. And a huge amount of money is still required for future construction!

“You are all very excited to come to Shravasti, however have you ever wondered who brought you here? You are able to come here only because of His Holiness and me. During the Lamp-Offering ceremony in Jetavananathapindi Karama this afternoon, he led you in reciting prayers and told you compassionately that your wishes would all come true! Nonetheless if you did not earnestly recite the Aspiration Prayer for Rebirth in Amitabha’s Pure Land, or had no desire to renounce reincarnation, or showed no reverence for your guru, your wishes would not be fulfilled even if you had recited the prayer. Moreover, if you merely wished for good health of your grandchildren, happiness and harmonious relationship in your family, and obtaining wealth, then such wishes would not be fulfilled either.”

The guru pointed out that the problem with us disciples is not whether we are able to do it; instead, it is whether we are willing to do it. Rinpoche attained his fruition starting as an ordinary believer, because his attitude in making offerings is different from that of the average people. He did not stop making offerings even if he was so poor that he had no food to eat. Furthermore, he constantly taught us that, according to the sutras, as long as we have reverence for the guru and practice the Dharma as required, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas would not leave us without food, clothes, job, or a place to live in.

The Great Indiscriminate Amitabha Puja for Transferring Consciousness was attended by more than 21,000 people. To maintain the purity of the Puja, Rinpoche did not raise fund in the Puja just because he is building a temple now. The guru has always strictly observed the precepts. Over the years, he has continued to make offerings to His Holiness and provide support and contributions to the Order by single-handedly assuming all the responsibilities. As Rinpoche’s disciples, we should feel ashamed for not sharing any of these responsibilities.

The vows of His Holiness are the vows of Rinpoche, and the vows of Rinpoche are the vows of us disciples. We should realize this and try our best to help fulfill them. In order to be worthy as Vajrayana disciples, we must follow the example of Rinpoche’s dedication to His Holiness, and spare no effort in supporting our guru’s Dharma activities.

We are grateful to Rinpoche for teaching us tirelessly, bringing us back to the focal point of practice by way of strict admonishment; he is doing so with endless compassion and expectations for all of us. Rinpoche has been showing us by his own example. As disciples, we should wholeheartedly serve the guru and treasure every opportunity he bestows upon us for doing good deeds, so that we can be immersed in his vast ocean of merits from benefiting sentient beings.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

H.E. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche led all attending disciples onto a flight from Delhi back to Taiwan.

At the hotel before leaving for the airport, Disciple Huang, who had been scolded the night before, fell twice at the corner of the hotel’s staircase. He came out of his first fall unhurt, but his second fall was rather serious, causing him a deep cut on his right forehead.

As soon as Rinpoche learned about this, he dispatched another disciple to forward his guidance to Disciple Huang, “He must repent immediately! His fall was not a form of punishment by me. Rather, it was because of his talking back defiantly last night, which showed his lack of respect and observance, thus the relationship between guru and disciple has been severed. Naturally, the blessings are gone with it. He did not realize that he was able to chant the mantra of the Green Tara all because of the benevolence bestowed by his guru; without the guru’s Dharma transmission, disciples would not have a chance to chant the mantra. Moreover, he had been seriously ill before and I saved his life. Therefore he should thank his guru for the great benevolence and praise his merits!”

In front of the departure gate in Delhi Airport, Rinpoche saw Huang, the wounded disciple, at a distance, and waved for him to come over. Huang immediately knelt in front of Rinpoche to repent. The guru looked at him compassionately and blessed him by blowing air gently into his wound. This was a very touching scene and everyone was deeply moved by the guru’s compassion. Rinpoche would never give up on sentient beings and always tries to save and protect them no matter how defiant they may be, or how unreceptive they are to Buddhist teachings.

The 535 disciples, who accompanied the guru on the pilgrimage, returned to their homeland safe and sound with the blessings and protection of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. As such, the pilgrimage to India came to a perfect conclusion.

During this pilgrimage, the disciples were fortunate enough to visit Shravasti and pay homage to the holy land in person, pondering over the hardship that the Buddha had to go through in liberating innumerable sentient beings! As in the example of the Buddha, during this Age of Degenerate Dharma, His Holiness and his disciple, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, as always, are acting on their great compassionate aspiration for liberating sentient beings, carrying on the precious teachings of the World Honored One and promoting Buddhism in the world.

Updated on November 27, 2017