Event Calendar of The His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche

September 4, 2011

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche presided over an auspicious regular puja at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center in Taipei, and enlightened the important concepts of “the fault and torment of Samsara” and “Bodhicitta.” After the puja, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche proceeded to meet believers from 4:50 to 6:50 PM, give Buddhist enlightenment to 37 believers, and help them relieve all kinds of suffering in the world.

Before the puja, a female disciple shared how His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche continually and compassionately benefits sentient beings. She stated that on August 14, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche presided over the Drikung Kagyu Lineage of Tibetan Buddhism’s Great Indiscriminate Amitabha Puja for Transferring Consciousness, which had over 22,000 attendees, and the next day, on August 15, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche flew to Japan. On August 16, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche again presided over two auspicious pujas in Japan including performing the Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha Ritual for Ending Calamities and the Chod Puja from afternoon to night. In this puja, there were 191 attendees, which was obviously more than the 133 attendees last year. On the way to the venue, one of the tour guides also shared the news to everyone. There was a Japanese couple who saw the news regarding this August 16 puja on the official website of Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center. They specially called Taipei to reserve their seats for the puja in Japan. This is just like what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened in the puja before. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gives the teaching of Buddha Dharma worldwide, and there is no need for public advertisement. This is because the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will bring attendees.

This was the first time that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche performed the Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha Ritual for Ending Calamities. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened that a practitioner who performs this ritual must arouse extensive Bodhicitta, and that the place where the ritual is held must be very pure. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche personally led the attendees to hold flower petals in the palms of their hands, which is an ancient ritual to welcome the arrival of a Bodhisattva. She emphasized that if it were not for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, it would have been impossible for them to attend such an auspicious puja like this.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche presided over the puja for more than four hours. In addition, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, regardless of the toil, instructed the attendees go to the mandala and place prayer beads on everyone’s head to bestow blessings. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche persisted three days for the sake of benefiting sentient beings, giving the Dharma teaching in two places. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not take himself into account. When she witnessed that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was unselfish to devote himself, this female disciple was very ashamed. It had been more than ten years since she took refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, and the guru had rectified her more than once for her selfish habits. Meanwhile, she did not observe the Five Precepts and carry out the Ten Meritorious Deeds accordingly. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has devoted himself unselfishly to guide everyone. Every time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told each disciple in the Refuge Ceremony that there are five things that are prohibited after taking refuge. One of them is to feel no shame. This means that a disciple should not repeatedly make a mistake that the guru has pointed out. She regretted that she was unable to follow this well, despite the fact she had taken refuge for more than ten years. Therefore, she was willing to accept the karmic retribution. In the future, she will constantly remind herself not to make the same mistake. She was grateful that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche bestowed the blessing on her and gave her timely teaching.

Then she mentioned one mistake the disciples made during the puja, hoping that it would be an example for others. During this puja, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche led the attendees to recite the Dharma texts, but there was a word that the disciples did not carefully listen to as His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche pronounced it. They just kept reciting it by themselves according to the Dharma text, and the same mistake was repeated three times. When they were reciting the Achi Dharma Protector’s text, they again did not follow the guru’s recitation, but instead just read from the Dharma texts. His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave the enlightenment, “Following the Dharma text is not necessarily correct, only reciting after the guru is correct!” His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened more than once about the importance of obedience, but the disciples did not comply, did not truly put the teachings and instructions faithfully in their heart, and did not act in accordance to the teachings. She felt very repentant but grateful for the compassionate Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s timely corrections and guidance.

Because she had the luck of being a photography volunteer, she witnessed the attendees, who after listening to the auspicious enlightenments of His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, understood from the heart and smiled happily. Also, she witnessed many puja attendees who grieved the deceased and earnestly besought His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to bless the deceased. From the expressions of the puja attendees, all displayed that the auspicious teaching methods of His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could benefit limitless sentient beings.

Everyone was very grateful to the staff of the Sino Travel Services Company, Ltd., which was led by His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. In a very short time, they arranged a very comfortable and smooth trip for over one hundred people. They were able to watch the annual Daimonji Festival at a very good location. At the same time, everyone could enjoy very good food and dishes. So, all attendees shared His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s blessings and care in a comfortable environment. Additionally, everyone was able to reflect on their faults through sharing.

Finally, she quoted the enlightenment bestowed by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in the puja, “Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche takes painstaking effort in order to help you realize the importance of cultivating Buddhism diligently.” His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s disciples can’t repay Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s selfless devotion even with the most precious jewels in the universe. She wished to make offerings with body, speech, and mind to His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche life after life, and prayed that the guru would eternally turn the Dharma wheel, forever abide in the world, and have a good health.

Then, another female disciple shared with those present about how Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche helped her father-in-law.

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche liberated her father-in-law’s consciousness during the Grand Puja on August 14, 2011. On June 22, her father-in-law fell from a bike and had a stroke. Forty-two days later, he passed away. When he fell down, he slipped into unconsciousness. While doctors again and again persuaded them to have him intubated, she got a call from a Dharma brother. The Dharma brother heard about the incident, and told her to go to her mother’s home to get the nectar pills as soon as possible. The Dharma brother also advised her that she should let her mother-in-law decide whether or not to have the intubation. Her mother-in-law said, “Let my son make the decision,” and then the disciple’s husband decided against intubation.

She stated that the power of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s blessing is really great. Her father-in-law swallowed the nectar pill, and he regained consciousness the next day. The bleeding in his brain also ceased, and he merely had bloodshot eyes. However, he started to have a constant fever due to his lung becoming infected. He again fell into a coma. After one week, her father-in-law began to die. At that time, the disciple’s mother-in-law began to blame her for not having him intubated. Afterward, they arranged to transfer him to another hospital and to have him intubated. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche once enlightened about the pain and suffering of being intubated. This time, her father-in-law experienced intubation twice, and she personally saw the horror of getting intubated!

After the tube was inserted, the disciple’s husband came to consult Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche twice. During his first visit, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche immediately told him that it was simply a matter of time before his father died. Additionally, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told him that his father killed all kinds of beings except for humans. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche explained that he had injured many parts of his body when he fell, and that he had bruises in his head, lungs, abdomen, and waist. Indeed, the disciple’s father-in-law’s head was seriously injured, and there were inflammation in his lungs and upper respiratory tract. Although his abdomen appeared to be fine in the beginning, symptoms began to emerge after he was transferred to the other hospital. Later on, his feces were all bloody. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told the disciple’s husband not to insert tubes into the patient, for such a process would cause him to fall into hell. The husband was told to relate this matter to his family, and he did, in detail. However, the father-in-law’s condition did not improve. Every day he stayed in bed, paralyzed, and continued to have a fever.

Therefore, the disciple’ husband went to see Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche again. On July 10, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told the husband that his father would pass away in a week, on Sunday, July 17, and that he could only prevent his father from falling into the Three Evil Realms. When they went home, the disciple then told her husband that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had promised to not let his father fall into the Three Evil Realms, which means that he would at least go to the Human Realm after passing away. She felt stupid, for she thought that her father-in-law would go to the Three Virtuous Realms, and carelessly manipulated Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s words, committing severe verbal karma. As a result, her husband considered what he had done was enough, and did not seek Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche again.

On July 17 after the Sunday puja was finished, just as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had predicted, her father-in-law’s blood pressure and heart rate dropped rapidly, and he fell unconscious. Since the disciple had told her mother-in-law about Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s prediction, the mother-in-law waited at the hospital and the second tube insertion was conducted for her father-in-law. He underwent resuscitation measures throughout that night. Even though he was paralyzed, his body jumped from the bed and his limbs shook uncontrollably when the tube was inserted into his throat to suck out the phlegm. On the second day, her father-in-law woke up. When the disciple’s mother-in-law tried to hold her husband’s hand, he kept drawing it back. Instead, he grasped the female disciple’s husband with the only hand he could move, the left one. He seemed to be making a plea to die without resuscitation. These two tube insertion experiences were truly miraculous and blessed by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, because both tubes were removed within three days. It was extremely extraordinary. She asked her relatives who had had experiences with tube insertion, and they didn’t know of any patients who were able to have their tubes removed. Some tried to remove tubes, which then had to be reinserted because of breathing difficulty. These people died while connected to breathing equipment.

Ten days before the Grand Puja, the disciple’s father-in-law passed away. Because none of her husband’s family members was willing to beseech Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to conduct Dharma for liberating her father-in-law, during the Grand Puja on August 14, she and her children recited her father-in-law’s name. On August 16, after her father-in-law was cremated, she witnessed the auspicious signs that happened to her father-in-law who had been liberated by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. After her father-in-law was cremated, his ashes were colorful and the amount of bones was large. When other deceased people are cremated, their bones can only fill one iron plate, but her father-in-law’s ashes filled two full plates. Most of the bones were quite intact, especially the skull. The skull was in one whole piece; the underside of the skull was full of rainbow colors! She was really very grateful to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche!

Her father-in-law had not believed in the law of cause and effect at all, and had loved to eat meat. During the latter part of his life, he had deeply suffered torment from illnesses. He had been a terminally ill patient with nasopharyngeal carcinoma and had developed a myocardial infarction, high blood pressure, and heart disease. However, he still loved to eat seafood and a lot of meat, and no one could persuade him to change this. The disciple is very grateful to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for liberating her father-in-law without asking anything in return. If she had not come to the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center, she would have really wasted her life ignorantly and had no direction. She is very grateful to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for letting her father-in-law have the opportunity to practice Buddhism in the future. This is the greatest kindness, because practicing Buddhism is truly the most important thing in one’s life.

The grandmother of the disciple’s husband also died due to illness. Both his grandmother and father died within a year. Others thought they were an unfortunate and unlucky family, but she felt that the year was most blessed because originally it was impossible for her father-in-law to be liberated. Her husband’s grandmother was the same; she liked to gamble and eat meat. However, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also liberated the grandmother at the Chod Puja this March. The disciple had never made offerings in this life. She had taken refuge in Exoteric Buddhism, and listened to Buddha Dharma on TV. She thought that she lived a life of Buddhist cultivation, but she never made any offerings. When she came to the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center, she heard Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche teach everyone that the most important thing in this life is to make offerings to the guru, Buddhas, and Bodhisattvas. She is truly grateful to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

She then shared what happened to her friend after she participated in the Grand Puja. During the Grand Puja, her friend intently visualized two people. One was her aunt and the other was a deceased movie star. Her friend once sought an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. At that time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told the disciple’s friend that someone in her family had died accidently and instructed her to find out who had died after returning home. Then, the disciple’s friend confirmed that the person was her aunt, who died when she was twelve years old after being struck by a bike. The father of the disciple’s friend was just three years old then.

The disciple’s friend was a fan of a movie star. She became somewhat acquainted with that movie star, and they would sometimes dine together. The movie star died from cancer. The movie star treated people sincerely while alive, and often did good deeds without letting others know. The movie star had learned Buddhism under a so-called Esoteric guru but still had to use Morphine and eat meat before her death. The disciple’s friend dared not ask Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche where the movie star eventually went, so the disciple’s friend intently visualized that movie star in the Grand Puja.

The fourth night after the Grand Puja, her friend had a dream about a farewell party that was held for the famous singer. In the dream, she saw the famous singer standing behind a thick wall of glass, and a big ocean was behind the singer. There were no boats. In her dream, she felt that the singer was quite friendly. Meanwhile, she saw another woman walk across – she felt that the woman was her aunt who had passed away. She described the dream to her father who mentioned that he also had a dream in which a woman stared at him; he thought that the woman was his sister. The father and daughter felt much gratitude to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for helping to liberate the two suffering ones.

At last, the female disciple started to repent of her faults during the period her father-in-law was sick, when she had repeated many mistakes. She also would like to repent for those beings her father-in-law had harmed. In addition, she said that she had not fulfilled her work as a volunteer during the preparation for the Grand Puja. She had not cleaned the chairs well because she selfishly wanted to hurry home and pick up her child. Now she understands that a dirty chair might cause an attendee to complain about Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. She shared this thing, her own bad conduct, so that everyone might learn a lesson. Finally, she said that intubation is really horrible for a patient, and she urged others to not do that with their family members.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche ascended the Dharma throne and enlightened the attendees on the important concepts of the torment of Samsara and Bodhicitta. There are various kinds of religion in the world. No matter which religion, Christianity, Catholicism, Taoism, Islam, or Hinduism, there is a supreme god. Everything is bestowed by a god, and as long as you pray to this god, you can get help. But you are always the god’s child or disciple, so you need his blessing and have to listen to his instruction. No matter what you have done, you are unable to surpass the god, and it is impossible for you to be the god.

Strictly speaking, Buddhism cannot be considered a religion. Buddhist teaching is an universal truth that can help you realize how the universal phenomena appear and disappear. We call Buddha Sakyamuni, who is our fundamental teacher, the original teacher, not the founder of a religion, the creator, or a deity. When Buddha Sakyamuni attained enlightenment, he asked why sentient beings are unable to attain Buddhahood, if all sentient beings have the same condition to attain Buddhahood? Therefore, for 49 years, Buddha Sakyamuni taught sentient beings his experience of cultivating Buddhism, the way to achieve Buddhahood, and how to be liberated from Samsara. Additionally, the reason why we need to make offerings and give alms is to accumulate virtues and provisions, so that we are able to learn and practice Buddhism.

In order to learn Buddhism, you need to have provisions and money to buy food. Even if the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas give all the teachings to us, we have to cultivate them by ourselves. For instance, you learn a lot from elementary school to university, but the teachers only teach you; they are unable to give their knowledge to you. You have to do homework by yourself, and then it becomes knowledge. Did you ever hear of a student who didn’t need to do homework? Learning Buddhism is the same. The guru only teaches you the way of cultivation, but is unable to give to you what he has. If the guru is able to give you what he has, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would pray to His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang directly. Why did Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche need to work so hard to perform a solitary retreat? You absolutely need to cultivate by yourself.

A guru who is able to ascend the Dharma throne and teach Buddha Dharma must meet certain criteria. The Maharatnakuta Sutra has depicted twenty-two conditions of being a guru. Don’t think that you are able to understand the sutras by reading without a guru to teach you, or that you can cultivate Buddhism at home and attain achievement. From ancient times to the present, no Buddhist can achieve without the teacher’s guidance. If you think that learning Buddhism is merely reciting the sutras and attending some pujas, then Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would not have to work so hard to cultivate. All Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would have to do is to beseech His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang for blessings.

The Buddha taught sentient beings with the various Dharma methods, but in his final moments, the Buddha said that he had never bestowed any teachings. Why? It is because the Buddha taught according to the causal conditions of sentient beings in order for them to correct their behavior so that they would not fall into Samsara. If you think that you are cultivating some Dharma method, it is clinging thought, and you will fall into Samsara again. Many things we do in life will cause us to repeat Samsara, including falling in love. Buddhism teaches us how to reveal our pure and undefiled nature, which is covered by greed, hatred, and delusion.

Other religions do not have the concept of Samsara. For example, Catholicism does not believe in Samsara, and Taoism only mentions the next life without talking about previous lives. Although some religions in India mention Samsara, they do not talk about cause and effect; therefore, they are unable to understand how Samsara works. In Hinduism, some practitioners think that they can eliminate karma and be liberated from Samsara by ascetic practices. Therefore, they cultivate by standing on one leg, or hanging upside down. These ways are very strenuous, but practitioners are still unable to understand Samsara and how to be liberated from it. Some of you may have seen a picture of Buddha Sakyamuni, who was emaciated with his ribs sticking out. That was what Buddha Sakyamuni looked like when he left the palace where he undertook the ascetic practice of meditating without eating for six years. Finally, he realized that this kind of cultivation only could prevent him from falling into the Three Evil Realms, but would not liberate him from birth and death. Therefore, he gave up this kind of cultivation. When Buddha Sakyamuni came to the world, there were more than 1,000 non-Buddhist religions in India. If Buddhism was the same as other religions, and if the methods of non-Buddhist religions could lead to liberation from Samsara, then it would not be necessary for Buddha Sakyamuni to come to this world from Tuṣita Heaven to teach Buddhism.

Yesterday, a disciple brought the construction plans of a house to consult Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. The disciple would like to buy the house, and he would like Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to instruct him on the proper place for the Buddhist altar. If that house was not proper, he also had other houses to consider. This disciple thought that he was being polite. Actually, he was taking advantage of the guru. He had not made any decision on the house, but came to ask about where to locate his Buddhist altar. This is disturbing the guru and consuming the guru’s energy. If this disciple considered his guru to be a Feng Shui consultant, he should pay the consulting fee according to market rate. But he was reluctant to make an offering, and only thought about taking advantage of his guru. If he worried so much about the placement of the Buddhist altar and if it was not properly set up, it might cause him certain bad effects. Then, he might as well not to come to learn Buddhism.

Another disciple, who took refuge last January, took two children to meet Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Upon seeing Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, she said, “Master, please allow my children to attend the puja!” This disciple had taken refuge for almost one year, but she still was not clear about how to properly greet her guru. Not that “Master” is inappropriate, but you must always use the title “Rinpoche.” “Rinpoche,” which means “treasure in the world,” represents the level of cultivation achievement. She made this mistake because she went to lots of other centers before, and she had a habit of seeking protection and blessings. Therefore, she made a mistake like this; it also means that she has never revered her guru.

The disciple who shared her experience earlier had the same problem. She only mentioned that she would make repentance to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, but she did not mention her guru at all. It is not that the guru is superior to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, nor that your guru needs your respect. Rather, if you do not have a guru, you are really unable to learn Buddhism and therefore be liberated from birth and death. Because you are unable to listen to the Buddha’s teaching directly, you need to learn teaching from your guru. Therefore, Tibetan Buddhism places special importance on the guru. The guru is more important than the Buddha. It’s not that the Buddha is not so important, but that the guru represents the Buddha to give the teaching to you. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was angered, not because of the disciples’ mistakes, but because they did not understand the real function of a Rinpoche. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was angry for fear that you would not be able to be liberated from Samsara.

The death of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s father caused him to arouse a desire to learn Buddhism determinedly. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s father cultivated Taoism his whole life, to the point that he could let his consciousness leave his body to help someone. He helped numerous people in his life. In Taoism, it is not so easy for a person to cultivate to this level of achievement. However, even so, he died of a heart attack. At that time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was only 18 years old. The unexpected change made Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche deeply feel that even if Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s father could cultivate Taoism well, he was unable to be in control of his own death. That was why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave up everything learned from Taoism once Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche learned Buddhism. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s father passed away, his eyes were opened. Before Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche arrived, his father’s eyes gradually closed and shed tears. At that time, his father had been dead for quite a while. From this, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche deeply realized that after one’s death, his or her consciousness does not immediately leave the body. After Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche learned Buddhism, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche found that this is what is stated in the Buddhist sutras.

When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche went to claim his father’s body, the large room in the morgue was full of naked bodies of the deceased. They kept spraying water on the bodies to clean them, just like dead pigs placed on the ground. The only difference is that the human body is not covered with hair. Nowadays, there are funeral services, but the treatment of corpses is not very different, only the equipment is better. The corpse is placed in a separate room, but the procedure is similar; they are still sprayed with water. The scene gave Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche a great shock, and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche deeply felt that no matter how rich or powerful you are in life, after death it is the same. You can bring nothing along! There is nothing in this mundane world that is worth pursuing for your whole life. Even an achiever of Taoism like Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s father, when facing his own death, still had completely no control. How could he be considered formidable? With the deep realization of the impermanence of life and the torment of Samsara, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche determined to be liberated from life and death in this lifetime.

The fault and torment of Samsara is just like the cotton candy we ate as children. The substance was sugar, but after it was heated, melted, and made into a silk-like thin thread of sugar by a machine, it would break just by touch and melt right in your mouth. But it could be rolled to become bigger and bigger. It is like the sentient beings who are reincarnated in the Six Realms. Your greed, hatred, ignorance and thoughts of not believing in cause and effect will heat up the sweet desires you pursue in this world and become multiple layers of karma entangled together, just like cotton candy. It will roll bigger and bigger; it can be as big as you want it to be. Every time you go through Samsara, the karma will be one layer thicker. Whether it is virtuous karma or evil karma, it will all continue to entangle. When you touch it with your hands, it will cover your hands. You will not be able to fling it off or even wash it off with water. The particles of sugar will remain on your fingers, and you will still feel a bit sticky. This is the how karma affects us. If we seek after temporary happiness only, like eating sugar, at first it will be sweet in the mouth, but after you eat more sugar, the sweet taste will eventually become bitter. Therefore, the most basic concept in learning Buddhism is to understand the fault and torment of Samsara, to make sure to break the cycle of Samsara in this life, and to avoid thoughts to enjoy this life first and wait until the next life to cultivate. If you wait until the next life, the interest will accrue, and your karmic creditors will bite you harder. In other words, if you cannot break the cycle of Samsara, you will be entangled in layers of karma, just like the cotton candy roll becoming bigger and bigger.

Do not make excuses and not go to work, saying that going to work is the same as Samsara, “I go to work in the morning, have lunch, and continue to work in the afternoon. Then I leave work, and the next day will be the same. So, in order to break the cycle of Samsara, I will not go to work.” In fact, the kind of work you do depends on your causal conditions. A person who truly understands the fault and torment of Samsara will be more proactive to live everyday, because he or she knows that everything he or she does will have its karmic effect. That is, in order to break the cycle of Samsara, one dares not generate more karma. Therefore, he will apply Buddhism in daily life wholeheartedly.

There once was a disciple who suffered from an illness known as ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis). Under this condition, one’s motor neurons are abnormal, the muscles in his or her body gradually atrophy and weaken, starting from the extremities and gradually spreading to the whole body until at last he or she cannot move at all, only blink. When the heart can no longer beat and it becomes difficult to breathe, then the patient will die. It is very painful. People who have this illness usually suffer for a long time; some suffer for three years and some seven or eight. But this disciple followed Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teachings, understood the suffering of Samsara, accepted cause and effect and continued to repent, listened to Dharma tapes, looked at Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s Dharma photo, and recited the Six-syllable Mani Mantra. He died about three months after taking refuge. There was no suffering when he died. At last, he was able to predict even the time of his own death. He told his family when he would die, and he really died at that time.

How could a person who had only taken refuge for three months predict his time of death? It is because he not only understood the fault and torment of Samsara, but also made efforts to cultivate to be liberated from it. Therefore, do not come to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and say, “Because I am paralyzed I cannot cultivate.” or “I got sick so I could not cultivate; I am in a wheelchair so I cannot cultivate; I had cancer so could not cultivate; I have no money so I cannot cultivate; I am too busy in my business so I cannot cultivate; or I live in the United States so I cannot cultivate.” These are all your excuses. If there were no real example, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would not dare to ask you, but this person with ALS tells you that the heart is the most important. Even though his mouth could not move, his heart kept on reciting the mantra, and believed in the guru who could definitely help him.

You really have to realize the fault and torment of Samsara from the bottom of your heart. Do not believe that if you make a vow to come back to this world, then you can come back as you wish. If you do not attain the achievement of a Bodhisattva in this life, you cannot make the vow to come back. Instead, you will be at the mercy of your karma. Some organizations teach their members to vow to come back and become a member of this organization again, but how will you know when you will come back? Will this organization still exist? Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s last life and this life are 400 years apart. If you come back 400 years later and cannot find this organization, you will just look for a group with a similar name to join. As a result, you will be on the wrong path again. On the other hand, Buddha Amitabha aspired to the Forty-Eight Great Vows, which he was certain he could fulfill. Otherwise, if he violated his own vows, he would not be qualified to be a Buddha.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had a good friend who introduced Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang. Back then, this friend helped Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to set up Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s first altar. In this friend’s life, he met all four Holiness of the four lineages, and had over 1,000 empowerments. At least three days a week he would attend pujas, and he was a very well-known Chinese fortune teller. Successful businessman all asked him to tell their fortunes; everyone had heard of his name. Logically speaking, he could have foretold when he would die, but he suffered a stroke in Beijing. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche used the emergency relief plane to bring his body back to Taiwan, and took care of the funeral. This person worked as a fortune teller, and he had much free time. He could go anywhere he wanted, and often went out whenever he got a phone call. He did not get married, but had many girlfriends, and the relationships never lasted very long. Therefore he had no burdens, and lived a life that many men would envy. In theory, due to knowing so many His Holinesses and Rinpoches and even introducing Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, the man could be considered a person with good causes, conditions, and virtues to learn Buddhism. When he had a stroke and died, he was not even 60 years old. He was considered short-lived, and his death by stroke was considered an accident. Because he had so many empowerments and attended so many pujas, he should not have died in an accident. The reason was that he did not believe in the fault and torment of Samsara. He once asked Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, “Are you coming back in the next life?” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche replied, “No, I am not coming back.” However, he said that he wanted to come back in the next life to have fun. Because he had such a thought, all his merits disappeared and turned into virtues instantly.

Virtues can be used in the next life, but cannot be used to change one’s karma. Merits, however, can be used right away, and also can be used to change one’s karma of accumulated lives. Merits will not run out. Even when the void ends, the merits will not end. If you genuinely practice Buddhism and act according to the teachings of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, then your merits will bathe in the same merit ocean of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. As a result, your merits will never be exhausted. On the contrary, virtues are like money that earns merely 1 percent interest, while the inflation rate is 10 percent every year. Therefore, the savings you have actually decreases, and they will be gradually used up.

Both evil and virtuous karma will cause us to fall into Samsara. When we take refuge, the Buddhas teach us to refrain from doing evil deeds. When we stop doing evil, the evil karmic effects will naturally no longer be accumulated. Furthermore, the virtuous karma also causes us to fall into Samsara. That is to say, when you think that you helped somebody or did some virtuous deeds, then these kinds of attachments will cause you to fall into Samsara. Additionally, CEOs and high-ranking officials are rich because they gave alms and made offerings in their past lives. However, it is difficult for wealthy and influential people to learn and practice Buddhism.

Yesterday there was a couple, the CEO of a listed company and his wife, who came to seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. The CEO said that he wanted to learn Tibetan because he wanted to be able to read the Buddhist Commentary. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told them that two of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s disciples are professors who teach Tibetan. They always prostrate toward Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche when they see the guru. If the couple wanted to learn Tibetan, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could ask the disciples to teach them. However, just because they study Tibetan doesn’t mean that they can learn Buddha Dharma. Do all Tibetans learn Buddha Dharma? You also should not think that all lamas learn Tantra. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche once asked His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang whether or not Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche should learn Tibetan. His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang told him that it is not necessary to waste time doing this, as there are many translation texts now. It sounds very simple, but those who comprehend it realize that words are just tools, and the most important thing is the sincere heart to learn Buddhism.

The reason the CEO wanted to learn Tibetan is that he is arrogant. He thinks that as long as he can read the Commentary he can start to teach others. In business, he is a CEO, and he would like to be a CEO in Buddhism too. In Buddhism, there are the Sutras, the Vinaya, and the Sastra. The Sutras is what the Buddha taught. The Sastra (the Commentary) is what the ancient accomplished practitioners learned and wrote. The CEO, instead of starting from the Sutras—the Buddha’s teachings, wanted to start from the Commentary. This is because he regards Buddhist sutras as too complicated and too numerous. He thinks that it may be simpler and faster to read what other people have learned. Learning from what others have learned and adding some of his own views, he may think that he could then start to teach Buddhism, but he does not understand the basic foundation. Buddhist sutras are the most basic foundation. Many people would like to read the Commentary rather than studying Buddhist sutras. In fact, Commentaries originate from the Sutras. We really don’t need to read some of the Commentaries, while we may need to read others. How do you decide whether or not you need to read? Your guru can help you to decide.

Many people, harboring their own desires, come to seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. The problems they may meet, for example, are that their husband or wife doesn’t listen to them, their child doesn’t focus on their studies, or their business has some difficulty. They hope Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche can perform rituals to solve their problems, such as improving their business. People all know that in Tantra there is the Dharma of Jambhala. However, the Dharma of Jambhala is not to be used in that way. Jambhala is one of the Dharma protectors. To perform the Dharma of Jambhala is to help you have sufficient provisions and not suffer from poverty so that you can diligently learn Buddhism. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also has a business, but never conducts the Dharma of Jambhala for himself. Why, then, would Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche perform the Dharma for you? The above-mentioned disciple knew that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has a real estate company, but he did not make any inquiry when he wanted to purchase a house. This proves that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche never conducts the Dharma of Jambhala for himself. In fact, one is born with nothing but his karma, and leaves with nothing but the karma he has created in this life. Hence, there is no need to seek after worldly things. One who cultivates Supra-mundane Dharma well will naturally have no obstructions to cultivating Mundane Dharma.

Yesterday another couple who had taken refuge brought their daughter to seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. The couple’s daughter, soon after taking refuge, passed her examination and started medical school. Because of her own career plan, she prioritized her job as most important, and stopped attending pujas for two years. A few days ago, she suddenly had a coronary artery dissection and almost died. At that time, a disciple who is a doctor stood up and reported that the mortality rate of a coronary artery dissection is more than 50 percent. When this happened, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was conducting Dharma rituals in Japan. Upon hearing this news, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche scolded the girl’s mother for not regularly making offerings, but merely make offerings when she encountered problems. Fortunately, the mother normally serves Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche food, and she had accumulated some virtues. After Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche accepted the mother’s offering, without even performing a Dharma ritual, the daughter recovered from the illness.

Yesterday, the daughter came to implore to attend the puja and to make repentance. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told her to express repentance to her parents. Her parents had tried to dissuade her from taking a strenuous job, but she would not listen and insisted on this job. When she fell ill due to physical exhaustion, her parents were saddened and worried about her. She was not filial, so she should do full prostrations to repent to her parents. After she finished the prostrations, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche tried to gather the parents and daughter to bestow enlightenment to all of them. Also, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche considered giving consent for the daughter to attend the puja on Sunday. However, the father, who is also a disciple, left early without saying anything. At that time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked the disciple why he left early. He replied that he had an appointment with his parents. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then asked him, “Were you involved in giving birth to your daughter?” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was going to help them to teach the daughter about filial piety; however, the father left early thinking that it is enough to have the mother as a representative and therefore gave the problem to the guru to solve. In fact, it does not matter to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche whether or not the follower’s daughter shows filial piety. At first, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche thought the daughter was obedient to do full prostrations for four hours at the Buddhist center. However, the father’s leaving cut off the causal condition of the opportunity for the daughter to attend the puja!

On the spot, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked a disciple who is a doctor, “Have you ever heard of a patient who has just recovered from a coronary artery dissection doing four hours of full prostrations?” The disciple said that he had never heard of any case like this, and he thought it was not possible for the patient to do the prostrations as such. As for the father who left without saying anything yesterday, he made her daughter lose the opportunity to attend the puja today. Besides, since he planted the cause of leaving without saying anything, someday he may really leave Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche without saying anything.

On two successive Saturdays there was a young male believer who came to seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche because the young man had harmed a girl. He was first sentenced to around three years in prison, but then it was changed to seven years. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked the young man to do full prostrations at the Buddhist center for more than one hour to make him repent. Besides, as his virtues had almost run out, doing full prostrations could help him accumulate some virtues and create the causal conditions of cultivating Buddhism. A person who commits this kind of crime will not have an easy time in jail. The first time the man came to seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, he seemed to be planning to commit suicide. The karmic effect of committing suicide is very horrible. If he commits suicide, he will definitely fall into hell and will suffer there for at least 1,500 years before he can come out. Because he committed such an evil deed in this life, no one will help him get out of hell. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche bestowed enlightenment to the man that he should accept the law of cause and effect. Today, he was horrified about the suffering of being put the prison. By the same token, the girl was also horrified when the man hurt her. He should accept the suffering in prison, no matter how much. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche bestowed blessings to protect him from dying in prison. In the meantime, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche advised him not to make the same mistake after he leaves prison.

People may ask if this kind of person should be helped. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened that Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha vows not to attain Buddhahood as long as there are sentient beings still suffering in hell. Sentient beings fall into hell because they have committed wrong deeds. However, Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha still helps those sentient beings that suffer most. How about you? You also make mistakes. Those who have no fault will not be here. Every human has faults, or they would have already become a Bodhisattva or a Buddha. The purpose of Buddhism is to help the sentient beings who suffer in the Samsara of the Six Realms. In the presence of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, there is no good or bad person; instead, there is merely the law of cause and effect. If the believer had met someone else, he might have been told that it would be all right if he just recited some sutras and so on.

You should make the important concept of “the fault and torment of Samsara” your motto in life. You must clearly know the direction of your Buddhist cultivation; then you will enthusiastically apply Buddhism in your daily life. Moreover, you should live your life based on Buddhism everyday; otherwise it will be all in vain, even if you practice for your entire life. The Sutra of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s Fundamental Vows states, “Every movement and thought of an ordinary person generates karma and offenses.” All the thoughts that human beings have are self-benefiting. Today, you can go home and ponder this. Ever since we were born, all of our thoughts have been for the sake of satisfying our greed, hatred, and ignorance, and all we have wanted is to benefit ourselves. People live their whole life to win, to take by force and without permission. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche used to live like that as a youth, striving to work, make money, and become the boss. Fortunately, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche later had the opportunity to learn Buddhism; otherwise, this life would have been lived in vain. You should reposition the direction of your mind. If you still do everything to benefit yourself, then the force that severs Samsara is very weak. Moreover, when you are not willing to accept anything you dislike, your greed, hatred, and ignorance begin to grow.

You should reverse all your thoughts about learning Buddhism. For example, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche prayed to the Dharma protector, “If death is good for me, let me die; if being sick is good for me, let me be sick; if being healthy is good for me, let me be healthy.” In other words, if your death can pay off the karma accumulated in your previous lives and prevent you from falling into the Three Lower Realms, it will be good for you. If you can pay off your debts by being sick, it is good too, because you have to repay every bite of meat you ate with your physical body. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche believes in cause and effect; as a result, the Dharma protector allowed Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche become healthier and healthier. On August 14, the day of the Grand Puja, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not rest from 8:30 AM to 5 PM. Additionally, two Dharma rituals were performed the next day. Any ordinary person would not have been able to take on this physical burden. Why does Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche have to exert such great effort? It is because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would like to repay all the debts from previous lives and not return to Samsara again. You do not have to ask what your previous lives were like; instead, you should look at your present life. After you understand the suffering of Samsara, you will naturally make up your mind and earnestly practice Buddhism in this life. If you want to turn around the vast karma accumulated in previous lives, you have to rely on the cultivation of Bodhicitta. Among all religions, only Buddhism teaches Bodhichitta. After you have mastered the cultivation of Bodhicitta, you will be free from Samsara.

There is Relative Bodhicitta and Ultimate Bodhicitta. Relative Bodhicitta does not literally mean the Bodhi Mind of the mundane world. Rather, it is the Bodhi Mind of ordinary people in the world. As you are still ordinary people in this world, the Bodhi Mind you generate is worldly, too. Bodhicitta is an altruistic mindset. All your cultivation is on behalf of sentient beings—completely selfless. If you expect to get even the tiniest return, or still attach to all worldly matters, you have not cultivated Bodhicitta. Very importantly, you will not able to change your karma without cultivating Bodhicitta.

Master Gampopa taught “Cultivating Relative Bodhicitta.” This means that from the bottom of our heart, we arouse the aspiration that we will enable all sentient beings to be peaceful and happy, to stay away from suffering, and to eventually attain perfect Buddhahood. After we have aroused such a great aspiration, whatever achievement in our cultivation, we should only attribute it to benefit all the mother-like sentient beings, and refrain from becoming selfish. Such practice that aims to benefit other sentient beings through arousing the aspiration of the Greater Vehicle is the cultivation of Relative Bodhicitta.

Right now, you cannot arouse Bodhicitta from the bottom of your heart because you are living your life carelessly. The word “carelessly” does not mean that you are simply not paying attention to details. Instead, it means that many of your thoughts remain on the superficial level. Once you receive various external stimulations, you react immediately without genuine contemplation in your heart. Sutra recitation and prostrations in repentance cannot turn your karma around. Nevertheless, it does not mean that these actions are useless. As you have recited sutras and prostrated in repentance, you have thereby accumulated virtues, which at least have enabled you to learn Buddhism. Why does one have to recite sutras and do prostrations in repentance? You should know that through these methods the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas teach you how to settle your mind, which has been covered by greed, hatred, and ignorance. When the pure and undefiled mind is revealed, you can then learn Buddhism better. Furthermore, when you have sufficient provisions for your Buddhist study, you will proceed in the direction of Relative Bodhicitta. As a result, your thoughts will naturally change and you will do everything for the benefit of sentient beings. Do not wonder how good your cultivation is, when you will attain enlightenment, or when the result will come. As long as you continue to practice, your guru will naturally make the appropriate arrangement for you when the time arrives.

His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang once said that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s mind is very subtle. This “subtle mind” does not refer to the kind of attentiveness a man has for a woman when he is in love. It means that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche can see through the nature of matters, and understand their causes and effects. This is the quality of a subtle mind. On the contrary, you are all living your life carelessly. Therefore, when you face Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s subtle mind, you have no where to hide, because when you kneel in front of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, no matter how your thoughts wander, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will always know them. The believers who seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche all come with a careless, greedy mind. However, when they kneel in front of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, the guru knows everything, because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche receives them with a subtle mind. As a result, do not try to fool the guru.

If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not have a subtle mind, how would Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche know that the disciple’s daughter was not filial? The two disciples did not tell Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche that they had always opposed their daughter for taking that job because they feared that her body would not be able to endure it. However, their daughter had plans for her life, and she thought that the most important things were to diligently make money at the beginning, buy a house with her husband in the future, and then bear and raise a child. She did not listen to her parents’ words. This is considered being unfilial. The couple had never told Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche about this, but Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche still knew about it.

Yesterday, the disciple’s daughter came to seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, and asked for permission to attend the regular puja again. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened her, “If this job causes you to die, you won’t be able to come to learn Buddhism, but if this job does not cause you to die, you will not want to learn Buddhism either. Since this job prevents you from practicing Buddhism either way, you do not have to come.” If it were not for her mother who always served Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, she would have probably died by now, and would not have the blessings to seek an audience with the guru. In fact, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had been very patient, waiting a very long time for her daughter to come back again. Her daughter worked as an intern for two years, and had not thought about practicing Buddhism until she became ill. This happened because she was not filial to her parents.

Cantonese people have a saying that a baby needs to be taught as soon as it is born. According to Buddhism, the consciousness needs to be taught as soon as it enters the mother’s womb. So this is the reason why we teach pregnant women to recite the “Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva Sutra.” The purpose of repeatedly reciting the sutra is to tell this baby to believe in the law of cause and effect and to have filial piety. Reciting the “Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva Sutra” is just the necessary prenatal education because as soon as the consciousness enters a womb, it will have greed, anger, and ignorance, and it will generate karma. You can see that if a mother, during pregnancy, eats something cold and the baby does not like it, the baby will kick the mother immediately. If a mother eats spicy food and the baby feels annoyed, the baby will give the mother a pinch. These are just the actions made by an angry baby in response to the food it does not like. When this happens, you parents are still very glad because you think the baby has responses and it must be very healthy! The purpose of a child becoming your son or daughter is to either collect debt or repay kindness. Almost all children today come to this world to take revenge. You will know this just by looking at the behaviors of children today.

Before you attain the achievement of seeing your true nature, you will definitely be deceived and swayed by the Eight Winds, which will prevent you from breaking off the suffering of the Samsara. For example, people in this world wish that others will respect them. Therefore, you have to first train you mind. You should not be selfish, and should always think of others before doing anything. Even if you have accomplished something virtuous, it is because other people helped to bring you success and let you complete the virtuous deed. So you should show your appreciation to them. Why is Bodhicitta a wonderful treasure? It is because as long as you have cultivated Bodhicitta, you can change your karma without making repentance. But this does not apply to your condition and you still have to repent. The purpose of practicing Relative Bodhicitta is to reset your mind in a new direction, adjusting your habitual trend of thoughts toward the correct path of being liberated from Samsara and attaining Buddhahood. Buddhist practices can change your thoughts, and you will not waste your time once the direction is clear. Only by cultivating Bodhicitta can you have the possibility of escaping Samsara in this life. Additionally, if you attain the level of a Bodhisattva in this life, you will come back to liberate sentient beings in your next life according to the aspiration of your vow. Otherwise, you will definitely return and run back and forth in the Six Realms at the mercy of your karma. All behaviors, thoughts, and words are closely related to the liberation from Samsara. The practice of setting a goal to benefit other sentient beings is itself cultivating Relative Bodhicitta.

Each person is not an independent entity living in this world, but needs the help of many people. For example, because there are many volunteers outside to guide you along the way, you can come to the Buddhist center and attend today’s puja. For living in this world, you also need others to provide food, plant crops, and do other things so that you can make it. According to Buddhist scriptures, there are many bacteria on a person’s neck and eyebrows. Such bacteria cannot be detected by instruments and cannot be washed away either. This means that your body consists of many sentient beings. Even if you shut yourself up in a house and do not contact any person, this can cut off your karma in this life, but your virtuous and evil karma from past lives will still affect you. You should realize from the bottom of your heart that the reason you exist today is because there are many people who helped you. If you have the notion that you are indispensable, you will have unkind thoughts, become attached, and harm others in order to make yourself happy. On the other hand, when you can understand that you are not an independent entity living in this world, you will then understand the suffering of all sentient beings and naturally hope to bring benefit and happiness to them.

If you are greedy, always seek after fame and wealth, and hope that others praise you, the Eight Worldly Winds will easily affect you. Therefore, you will not be able to be liberated from Samsara. Before 2003 or 2004, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang never praised Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in public because His Holiness knew that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had been very arrogant, and His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang did not want Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to arouse a complacent mind. Similarly, in order to teach you the way of liberation from Samsara, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will never casually praise you. You also should not listen to others’ words such as, “You have practiced better and better and you look like the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara” and feel arrogant and complacent.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is very cautious about anything related to the Eight Worldly Winds. So Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not go on TV in the past, and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will not go on in the present or in the future, unless His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang is in Taiwan and it is absolutely necessary to go on TV for the Drikung Kagyu Order. Without going on TV and advertising, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche held a Grand Puja with 22,000 attendees. It is no wonder that someone in the presidential palace said, “This organization has so many accomplishments, but why does no one know about this?” On the surface, you found these attendees, but even if they had promised you to come to the puja, they could also break their promises! Therefore, they were actually found with help from the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. When we benefit sentient beings, we have to do so in accordance with their causal conditions. This does not mean to run all over the world relieving victims wherever there are disasters; this is called “clinging to conditions.” If people are to be helped, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will first rush to rescue the victims rather than wait until a later time. Buddhas and Bodhisattvas always relieve sentient beings’ pain and suffering, but why don’t they help the sentient beings in those places? It is because there is no causal condition. Even if the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas want to help, they have no way to do it. Furthermore, even if the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have helped the victims, they will not let people know how they did it.

Doing good deeds is the basic foundation of being human, and it has nothing to do with Buddhism. Some people think that victims will be comforted when you tell them, “Do not be sad, the Bodhisattvas know your suffering.” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened that the victims may wonder, “Since the Bodhisattvas know, why would they let us suffer like this?” Therefore, if we help them without applying Buddhism, we may hurt them sometimes. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche further enlightened that if we help others without wisdom, it sometimes begets bad results. Therefore, the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center has always promoted orthodox Buddhism in accordance with His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang’s instruction. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche deeply believes that all Buddhas and Dharma protectors must support and protect this Buddhist center. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not need to advertise, but just works hard to truly teach sentient beings the Buddhism Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche learned. For this reason, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche must continuously teach. As to whether you accept it or not, it depends on your determination in learning Buddhism. Some people who have cancer might say, “If the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas let me survive, I will help others and do good deeds.” That is threatening the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

There is no distinction between poverty and wealth when learning Buddhism. The Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center has never inducted any benefactors. There is no cost to light a lamp or a special outfit to wear upon donating some money. That is, you can learn Buddhism even if you have no money. All disciples wear the same red vest at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center. At that moment, all attendees applauded enthusiastically to thank Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for the opportunity to come to the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center to learn the auspicious Buddhist teachings regardless of being poor or rich.

In the end, Buddha Sakyamuni introduced Buddha Amitabha to sentient beings. This was not to give you an additional place to go. The Buddha knows that it is almost impossible for people to cut off both evil and good karma in this life. In order to prevent people from suffering in Samsara—as long as people repay their evil karma in this life—the Buddha will help them, with their good karma that still remains, to be reborn in Amitabha’s Pure Land to continue to cultivate Buddhism until they attain enlightenment. Then, if you come back, you will come back as a Bodhisattva with great vows. It is very important not to seek after your own benefits; instead, always think of others and benefit sentient beings. Do not worry that you will have nothing left to yourself after you dedicate merits to sentient beings, because when you make a dedication, you merits will merge with the merit ocean of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and will break the force of Samsara.

To benefit sentient beings is not to benefit boyfriends or girlfriends. First, relationships are based on your own causes and conditions. Second, you should not make Buddhism your excuse for making wrong decisions.

It is definitely impossible for you to learn Buddhism if you are not filial. The reason is that in Buddhism, we must see all sentient beings as our own mother. Why isn’t Buddhism popular in the Western world, but more popular in the Eastern world? This is because our Confucianism emphasizes filial piety. You should thank your mother for giving you the body to learn Buddhism. You must not think that your mother is already old and does not understand the modern age. If your mother has some problems, you should patiently and gradually advise her, but not have a rotten attitude. Namely, filial piety is the most important thing in learning Buddhism. As the disciple’s daughter mentioned earlier, she was not filial and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche wanted to help them to teach their daughter. If you are not filial, you will not be able to learn Buddhism. Then, naturally, you will not be able to be liberated from Samsara. With that in mind, you need not come here.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche used himself as an example. If going abroad or anywhere, even if Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knows that it will be fine, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche always has to phone call to his mother in Hong Kong so that she doesn’t worry. Have you done this? If you deceive your parents, you will deceive the guru. If your mother is unwilling to attend the puja or be a vegetarian, you can advise her nicely. You should start to change yourself to make your mother develop feelings instead of making threats. It takes time and you should be patient. You are always impatient. If your mother scolds you with one sentence, you will talk back with ten sentences because you dislike nagging. You should realize the many things your mother endured when she carried you for ten months, without letting you know. Once your mother gave birth to you, you are indebted to her because she nursed your body and enabled you to learn Buddhism. Even if your mother kills you after giving birth, you still owe her a life, since no one knows what kind of causes and conditions exist between you and her in past lives. Nevertheless, once she gave birth to you, you are indebted to her.

Being filial is the first priority for learning Buddhism. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s mother used to eat meat. Although she is thin now, she still eats vegetarian food. Your mother best knows whether or not you have changed for the better. So-called filial piety means that you should not let your parents worry about you. In the past, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had no money for food and developed cancer, but Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not let Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s mother know due to fear that she would worry. What about you? You would go home and tell your parents even a trivial thing and make them worry. The most important thing in learning Buddhism is to not cause others fear and vexation.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche liked to eat seafood in the past, and only ate live and fresh seafood. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche even ate live shrimp soaked in sorghum liquor; this is very cruel. Can you imagine how it feels to be drowned in liquor? People who eat lots of seafood have especially heavy karma. This is because the sentient beings who had a strong angry nature in past lives are reborn as aquatic creatures. Sea animals and snakes all belong to this category. The sentient beings who do not have a strong angry nature will be reborn as warm-blooded animals instead of cold-blooded ones. Consequently, the karma of killing those beings with a strong angry nature will be more horrible.

Many years ago, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche learned Exoteric Buddhism very diligently, and practiced everyday for at least three to four hours, but Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche still eventually encountered obstacles. You, however, learn Buddhism with the mind of fulfilling your desire. On one hand, you are aware that the benefit of learning Buddhism can prevent us from falling into the Three Evil Realms. However, because you are attached to the thought that there are benefits in learning Buddhism, the virtuous deeds you do are superficial, not sincerely coming from the bottom of your heart. On the other hand, is it possible to study Buddhism by yourself, without a guru to teach you? Of course not!

When His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang taught Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, the method was very different. When His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang transmits Dharma to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, it is often completed in merely a few sentences or minutes—unlike Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche who teaches you over and over, and then His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang instructs Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to perform retreats. People without enough faith will really be afraid. It is always so simple for His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang to teach Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. For example, the Dharma text for the Drikung Kagyu Great Indiscriminate Amitabha Puja for Transferring Consciousness on August 14 is very thick. Nevertheless, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang took less than twenty minutes to teach the key points of empowerment, oral transmission, and visual contemplation, and then instructed Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to practice. For a puja that lasts several hours, other people would be afraid if they were taught like this.

Why doesn’t His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang have to talk repeatedly while transmitting Dharma to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche? This is because His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang knows that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s mind is correct, so His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang needs not talk very much. The mind is the most important. However, your mind is not right. To adjust your mind, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche needs to teach you repeatedly. If your mind is right, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not have to work so hard, and the puja does not have to last so long. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will be able to effectively lead all of you to recite mantras for an hour. Moreover, why can’t your mantra recitation generate any effects? The reason is that your mind is not right. If the mind is right, it naturally has effects and even a recitation of a Buddha’s name can benefit sentient beings.

An ordained disciple reported that after listening to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s enlightenment today she feels very impressed, and will apply the concept of “the fault and torment of Samsara” as the future direction of her practice. Also, she will wholeheartedly cultivate “Relative Bodhicitta”. Another disciple reported that she is not good at speaking, but Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s enlightenment makes her feel great. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened that the disciple’s feeling cannot be described by words.

Another disciple reported that in the past he learned, in theory, from the study of “The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path of Enlightenment” that Bodhicitta is derived from the cultivation of mercy and compassion. After listening to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s enlightenment, he then understood how to cultivate his mind. From his previous study, there are three stages of cultivating Bodhicitta. In the beginning stage, practitioners know the suffering of Samsara in the Three Evil Realms; therefore, they wish to not fall into the Samsara of the Three Evil Realms. This is a very shallow understanding, but ordinary people easily accept it. People, however, can easily deviate into the Small Vehicle Path (Hinayana Buddhism) if they simply practice to escape Samsara in the Three Evil Realms. On the other hand, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche teaches everyone to cultivate “Relative Bodhicitta”, which is cultivated for the sake of all sentient beings. Thus, it will solve the above-mentioned problem of path deviation. The disciple realized that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teaching is somewhat different from what he had learned in the past, and he felt that he was so fortunate that he could learn Buddhism under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Whenever there are problems or difficulties, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche always helps and teaches us with well-rounded wisdom and expertise. It is an unprecedentedly auspicious and expedient enlightenment to use the analogy of the “fault and torment of Samsara” as cotton candy.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche further enlightened the audience that learning Buddhism can be difficult because Buddhist teachings contradict your worldly experiences and culture. Therefore, it is hard to change yourself, but it will be much easier if you can grasp the important basics. In the beginning, when you do anything or give rise to any thought, bear in your mind to always think about benefiting all sentient beings. For example, each time you make offerings with incense, butter lamps, flowers, or fruits, you should arouse the thought that you are representing sentient beings to do so. If you forget sometimes, don’t come to repent before Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, nor should you tell your spouse that you forgot to represent the sentient beings before you fall asleep at night. As long as you are aware that you forgot, you are making progress. You must practice it continuously and gradually. To do it gradually does not mean to take many lifetimes. Instead, it means that the power of Bodhicitta will emerge in this life. As to when it will happen, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will let you know. It may be ten minutes or even one minute before the time of your death. Even if it happens one minute before you die, if you still have the thought of benefiting sentient beings, your mind will be free of clinging attachments and fear.

The power of Bodhicitta is truly great. When all your thoughts are solely for the benefit of sentient beings, you are moving forward on the path of Buddhahood and liberation, and your karmic creditors will also be on the path with you. At the end of each ritual we recite, “May the wonderful, precious Bodhicitta arise and grow.” That is, we have to cultivate the Bodhi Mind. When do we start to practice Bodhicitta? It takes time, courage, and wisdom. Do not give all of your possessions to others. That will only make your family worry about you and bad-mouth you. Therefore, it requires wisdom to act in a proper way. If your Bodhicitta emerges, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will let you know and help you form causes and conditions to benefit sentient beings. You don’t need to worry that somebody else will harm you. Such fear is caused by your own thoughts to harm others. The Buddhas do not tell fairy tales. You will realize the realm of truth when you reach that level of achievement. It is the greatest merit to help sentient beings attain Buddhahood.

Then, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche conducted a simple and solemn taking refuge ceremony for a believer from America. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche bestowed teachings to the new disciple:

After taking refuge, one must follow the Five Precepts, which are transmitted by a guru. They are not something that you stay home and observe. The Five Precepts are refrain from taking life, refrain from taking what is not given (including buying pirated or counterfeit goods, or taking anything from others without prior consent), refrain from drinking alcohol (including smoking or drugs), refrain from sexual misconduct, and refrain from false speech (including lying, bad words, or gossip).

The puja came to a perfect completion. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche continued to receive 37 believers who came to implore for help. Although it had been more than three hours, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, despite fatigue, continuously gave enlightenment and blessings to relieve their suffering and sorrow until 6:50 PM.

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Updated on September 13, 2011