Event Calendar of The His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche

September 11, 2011

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche presided over an auspicious regular puja at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center in Taipei, and enlightened Master Gampopa’s teaching for “Worldly Truth”. After the puja, from 5:10 to 6:10 PM, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche proceeded to meet believers, giving Buddhist enlightenment to 40 believers and helping them relieve all kinds of suffering in the world.

Before the puja, a female disciple who had taken refuge for many years thanked Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for giving her the opportunity to make repentance in public. She hoped that everyone would learn from her example and avoid repeating evil deeds with an opportunistic attitude. She deceived herself, but actually lived a disturbed life. This is just like what is stated in the Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas, “You may look like a practitioner but not act as one”.

It has been almost six years since she took refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, and only now had she summoned up her courage to make repentance publicly in front of the mandala. She deeply regretted the wrong deeds she had committed.  She was also grateful that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche bestowed the blessing on her and gave her the opportunity to review herself, as well as the courage to admit her mistakes. She also made a vow not to make the same mistake in the future.

She thought that she was learning Buddhism because she attended the puja weekly. In fact, her evil habits had not changed at all. She is arrogant; her words carry a sting and she doesn’t give people a way out when she believes that she is in the right. She unconsciously hurt people. She believed that it was her right to enjoy luxury, but condemned others as wasteful if they did the same thing. She was selfish, and she liked to hear flattering words. She resented other’s criticism. She did not learn seriously, but always blamed others for being strict. She always did things half-heartedly with an arrogant mind. She always thought that others misunderstood her when it was actually her own ego.

Her greed and desire did not decrease, and she also had lots of improper thoughts. She often thought all day long about how she could make a fortune. If others did a favor for her, she would forget their kindness, but if she did a tiny favor for someone, she would remember it for the rest of her life and wait for that person to repay for her. In addition, she did not observe the precept of refraining from divisive speech, and it affected her relationships with her colleagues as well. She made a false report to dishonestly get money from her company. Moreover, she was not filial to her in-laws. She liked to talk back to them, and she often lacked patience and got angry with them. She did not play the proper role of a wife and mother. She not only had an abortion before she got married, but she also had two abortions after she was married. She did not observe the precept of refraining from sexual misconduct. She borrowed money to do business for the sake of satisfying her vanity. This caused her husband to be disappointed with her. Her children did not understand her as well. They left her because of her evil cause. Therefore, she lived a lonely, ashamed, and impoverished life. She was arrogant and acted without thinking of others. She often brought others suffering without knowing it. She deeply made repentance for what she had done. Meanwhile, she realized that her evil deeds were behavior of slandering the Buddha, and they would have the karmic retribution of falling into the Hell Realm.

She used to love eating chicken feet, duck wings, raw fish, roasted suckling pig, live prawns, all kinds of seafood, chickens and ducks when she was young. She would cruelly kill little birds by squeezing them to death in her hands, and she also abused little cats, ate snake meat, goat meat, and rabbit meat, killed cockroaches and spiders, caught earthworms, chopped up snails, drowned rats, and burned ants to death. She also violated the precept of stealing. When she saw someone else’s toys, she would steal them. She also cheated and stole other’s candies, which planted evil root causes for the future. Even when she raised a Shar Pei, she often beat up the dog. The female disciple made repentance for all the sins and evil deeds she had committed in the past, and vowed that she would not commit them again.

The female disciple said that after taking refuge, she still did not act in accordance to the teachings. Besides violating the precepts, she also did not apply Buddha Dharma in her daily life, but only applied them superficially. She often did not practice Achi Dharma, and did not complete all of the full prostrations. She was self-righteous, always finding many excuses to forgive her own faults, and committing the evil karma of being lazy and indolent. Moreover, she did not watch her own scattered heart, and constantly indulged herself in greed, hatred, ignorance, arrogant and doubt. Even when she read the “Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas,” she would feel very guilty.

She was grateful to see that His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche never stops benefiting sentient beings, but every week ascends the Dharma throne to give auspicious Buddha Dharma. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche continually performs retreats to cultivate virtues, physical strength, and energy to bestow blessings on sentient beings. The guru continued to conduct Dharma for the sentient beings, to liberate unlimited sentient beings regardless of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s own life. The guru constantly takes care of the disciples. Because of immense mercy and compassion, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not leave out even one sentient being. Furthermore, the guru is very strict because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche cannot bear to see any disciples fall into the Hell Realm due to their wrong behavior.
He warns sentient beings that the fault and torment of Samsara is like the loneliness of not being able to find one’s own home.  The disciple made repentance so that she would not follow her karma, fall into Samsara, and suffer endlessly, and so that she would not have to suffer due to her insatiable desires. Although she was not born in the period of Buddha Sakyamuni, she was able to take refuge, follow the His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teachings, and learn Buddha Dharma in this life.  This is the biggest virtue and greatest blessing. It cannot even compare to having all the fame and fortune in the whole world!

The female disciple was willing to accept and face all the karmic retributions that will happen, amend all of her behaviors and truly live life as a Buddhist from this day on, and let herself walk the way of a complete and successful Buddhist path. She would like to represent all sentient beings to aspire to clearly see the essential nature of all the vexation in the mundane world, follow the His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche life after life, use this mortal life to achieve realization and be liberated from birth and death, practice the Six Paramitas, and arouse Boddhicitta to benefit all sentient beings!

The female disciple also expressed gratefulness to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for helping her mother. In March of 2007, her mother suffered her third stroke and was sent to Veterans General Hospital in Taichung. Her mother had been unconscious in the ICU for a week. At the time, the disciple had followed Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to a big and famous Sikh city in Punjab Province of Northern India, Jalandhar. She was attending a puja performed by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, which was held for the purpose of promoting Buddhism and benefiting sentient beings in that area. One day during that trip, she felt as if her head was being twisted off. While she was screaming that her head was being cut off, she felt very uneasy and anxious. Upon returning to Taiwan, she received news that her mother was in the hospital. She then implored Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to help her mother be reborn in the Pure Land of Amitabha Buddha. At once, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche performed a puja on the Dharma throne and then asked the disciple if her mother had younger brothers. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said that her mother worried about her second younger brother. Her mother had three younger stepbrothers, and the second one once had nasopharyngeal cancer. His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then instructed the disciple to tell her mother two things. First, she was to ask her mother’s eldest and youngest brothers to tell their sister that they would take care of the middle brother, and that she should not worry about him. Secondly, the disciple was to tell her mother that His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said that the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas would come to help her; therefore, she should not worry.

At 5 PM on the same day, they received a call from the hospital, informing them that her mother’s blood pressure had abruptly dropped. The disciple immediately went to the hospital and brought her mother back home, ending the pain of intubation. After arriving home, her mother passed away. She tried to envision the guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche on top of her mother’s head. Together with her mother’s three brothers, they recited mantra for ten hours. Following that, the face of the disciple’s mother appeared very peaceful. After her mother was cremated, several incredible auspicious signs manifested. Her eldest younger brother told her that the shape of the Avalokiteshvara statue appeared on her mother’s scull and bones, as well as seven bright colors, which was amazing. She told her brother that these signs were all due to the help of the virtuous guru, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Her brother was very moved and immediately decided to make an offering on behalf of their mother. The staff of the funeral home also said that they had never seen bones with such beautiful colors. Her family didn’t feel sorrowful. Rather, they felt that their mother was very fortunate to have attained compassionate liberation by such a virtuous, accomplished, and enlightened great practitioner – His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

On behalf of sentient beings, she implored His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to eternally turn the Dharma wheel, forever abide in the world, preside over the Great Indiscriminate Amitabha Puja for Transferring Consciousness each year to benefit more sentient beings, and enable them to cultivate Buddhism in the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center.
The follower made a vow to be the disciple of the Drikung Kagyu Order life after life, to support the lineage, and to truly practice Buddhist teachings. She hoped by this way she could repay the guru and lineage gurus’ virtues and grace! Moreover, she made offerings with her body, speech, and mind to His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. As the guru bestowed on her the opportunity to be the emcee of the Grand Puja six years in a row, she hoped to dedicate the merits to all sentient beings in the Dharma realms! She also expressed thanks to the Dharma brothers who dignify the Buddhist center so that everyone has a pure place to learn Buddhism from His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and attain liberation from the ocean of Samsara! She wished Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche good health, a long life, and a perfect Dharma career. She besought to never leave the guru, and prayed for blessings.

Then, another believer offered words of repentance to His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and all attendees. First, he expressed thanks to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for giving him the opportunity to reveal his mistakes and to let everyone know how he had wasted an accomplished practitioner’s energy and time. During a tea party on June 13, 2010, the disciple, who had taken refuge, self-righteously raised a question on behalf of young Dharma brothers to His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang. He mentioned that there were many young Dharma brothers of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center who might have the same thought as he: “Why do we need to learn Buddhism at such a young age, rather than go out with friends to have fun?”

His words, which were full of desires, selfishly got the other young Dharma brothers into trouble. He arrogantly thought that he was brave to raise a question on behalf of the other Dharma brothers. But in fact he did not realize that he was slandering and taking advantage of them. By that time, he had taken refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for over two years.  Instead of reflecting, he became evil and greedy. Right after he sought refuge, his mind was full of gratitude. Now he felt that he was no longer the same person as before. He also made repentance to the Dharma brothers because he should not have used them as a shield. It was obviously his own problem but he improperly involved others.

He recalled the process of taking refuge. It was much smoother than others’ experiences. The first time he went to seek audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, he implored to attend the pujas. A week later, he went again and directly implored to take refuge. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche immediately said, “You can if you are sincere!” It seemed that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche already knew that he would have some problems later. However, he was just sunk into the joy of taking refuge. He did not keep these words firmly in mind, and urged everyone to remember every word and sentence taught by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

After taking refuge, he listened to the instruction and did the daily assignments given by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. However, three or four months later, he would first slept when he returned home, feeling exhausted. Then, he would make up the practice of Dharma Protector Achi when he woke up the next day. Sometimes, he even failed to do the make-up practice and thought, “It should be alright to miss it for just one day, as I have been conducting it other times.” He gradually became lazy and negligent, not realizing that he had become a fake disciple. He pretended to behave when he went to the Buddhist center, but became lethargic at home. Later on, it got even worse when he was in the military and away from home because he did not practice the Achi Dharma at all. In fact, if he had been sincere, he still would have been able to practice in the military. During that time, he did not discuss his thoughts with his mother, nor did he repent to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. He tried to hide, as much as he could, behind those who made mistakes. During the pujas, he tried to sit as far back as possible, thinking that as long as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not see him, he wouldn’t be found out. His heart became so lazy!

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not hold anything back while helping sentient beings. Yesterday, when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was receiving believers, the disciple saw a family go to the front to seek help. He realized deeply that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche actually scolds believers out of deep mercy! No matter how disobedient everyone is, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche always admonishes them harshly at first, and then bestows on them the most tender advice and blessings. That is how Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche loves everyone dearly, cleansing your wounds thoroughly and then applying the best medication so everyone can heal quickly. He realized that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche called on him in front of the over 1,000 disciples, because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not want him to make any further mistakes. That was also why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was so strict with him. However, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche still allowed him to attend the pujas as a believer. He really felt immensely grateful to the His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had helped him a lot. When he was in eighth grade, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche performed the Phowa for his maternal grandfather. At completion of the Phowa, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche even went to the hospital to see the body of the disciple’s grandfather. Later on, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also liberated his eldest maternal uncle, his maternal aunt, and his karmic creditors.

Additionally, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche granted him kindness and grace that he would never be able to repay. In 2008, he was allowed to be one of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s bodyguards in India. Without any martial art background or ability to protect others, he was actually very fortunate to be able to closely protect Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. He felt as if Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was actually protecting him. When there was some free time on the trip, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche taught him and other bodyguards how to practice a squat stance and some martial arts basics. When teaching them a trick in a melee attack, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche even personally conducted the practice with him. Even though he was a young man in his twenties, he was bounced backward two giant steps. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could stand very firmly in a lower position and squat stance, which showed that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had been practicing martial arts for decades. In addition, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche developed a bulging lump on the foot’s instep when he practiced kicking sandbags up one story in the air many years ago. His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche even allowed him to touch the lump.

Because he knew nothing about martial arts and had no other skills, he could only sing songs in front of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. But, unexpectedly, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also was an expert in singing. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told him that he had not put his feelings into singing and his emotions had not combined with the mood of the lyrics. Then, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche demonstrated singing for him. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s voice was deep, charming, and full of emotion.

He also watched at a close range how Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche respected and loved His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s every action or word towards His Holiness was very careful and reverent. On the contrary, he tried to hide from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche as much as possible. He felt so shameful compared to the guru.  During the trip to India, he found out that his refuge-taking certificate had been left at a hotel. However, because many Dharma brothers helped to contact the hotel, he was able to get the certificate back later. This showed that his attitude was really lax because he did not treat the certificate as important as his life. Furthermore, because he was Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s guard, the Lama serving His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang gave each guard a full pack of nectar pills before they left. At the time, he did not decline the gift, nor did he think at all that the reason he could have such gift was because of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. How could he repay such a precious gift? The His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche must have helped him repay the gift. Therefore, at that moment, in front of everyone, he repented to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and all of the Dharma brothers.

After he took refuge, his behaviors could be best described by the saying, “Knowing the law, you still violate it; then, your offenses are more serious.” Although he had heard many of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teachings, he still did the following things and broke many precepts.

Last year (2010), the believer liked a girl who told him that she would love to drink alcohol with him. So he skipped the Sunday’s puja, bought two bottles of beer that she liked, and drank with her the next day. After being discharged from military service last year, he and his friends planned to travel by themselves to Japan. But he feared that the Dharma brothers in the Sino Travel Services Company Ltd. would know about it, so he contacted a different travel agency and secretly borrowed from his mother to travel to Japan. Additionally, after taking refuge, he twice bought vegetarian rice balls, only to find out that they contained meat after he started to eat. However, he did not immediately stop, but ate the meat. He still used pirated software, listened to downloaded songs, and watched pirated movies. In other words, he violated the stealing precept. He still watched adult videos, spoke profane words, had divisive speeches, listened to gossip, liked to violate traffic rules while riding his motorcycle, borrowed from his mother but did not repay her, told lies, did not keep his promises, talked back to his parents, and was always late.

Previously, he was a volunteer in the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center. The other Dharma brother asked him to help but he did not do his best. Afterward, he even said that he wanted to do other duties and then left that group. He did not realize that everything in the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center is an opportunity given by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, and he should not discriminate. After being discharged from military service, someone introduced him to work in the Glorious Jewel Group, but he rejected the job given by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, because he had other, better, work to do.

While they were in India, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knew that he played in a musical band and asked him if his band could play for the annual banquet of the Glorious Jewel Group. He gave his promise right away. But a month later, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked him again, “Can your band members come?” The believer answered, “They cannot.” Thus, the karmic connection between the band and the guru was broken. But he was also so surprised that the guru knew that some band members could not come due to serving in the military. In fact, he did not try very hard. If he really did his best, he could definitely fulfill his promise to    Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. However, he chose to escape. Moreover, if he could break his promise to the guru, there is nothing he would not do.

He once designed a logo for a wine dealer. When he was in elementary school, he used toxic liquid to encircle and take the lives of ants. He once raised silkworms and discarded them after they laid lots of eggs. He raised four turtles, but the turtles died of skin disease because he did not change the water. When he was young, flying ants would fly into his house, and he would use a blade ruler to cut up their wings and bodies. In his childhood, he liked to eat meat, especially hamburgers and pizza. Today, he repented of all such faults before Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and to those he had harmed.

Every minute and every second, his mind is full of evil thoughts. He wasted Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teachings and deceived the guru, parents, and relatives, pretending to learn Buddhism. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche once enlightened that as long as one sincerely learns Buddhism, it is not important whether one is male or female, young or old. Today, he sincerely repents of his faults before His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, the His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, and the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and he— once a lost person— prays for a new opportunity to become a disciple again and to closely follow the guru. At last, he closed his remarks by reminding the brothers to often practice self-reflection.

After ascending the Dharma throne, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave the following enlightenment: The teaching for the Bodhi mind of “Worldly Truth” and “Ultimate Truth” was given during the last puja. “Worldly” does not refer to vulgar matters; instead, as long as you are living in the Six Realms—even in the Heaven Realms—and before you are liberated from Samsara, you are in the scope of the mundane world.  “Worldly Truth” is to apply the Bodhi Mind in your daily life through implementing the Ten Thousand Acts of the Six Paramitas and to benefit the mother-like sentient beings living in the Six Realms. You should not separate Buddhism from your daily life. Satya (諦) means to outline the key points and direction of Buddhism using the methods of induction and summarization. In the beginning, Buddha Sakyamuni taught the Four Noble Truths, the general outline of which is “suffering, desire, the way to emancipation, and elimination of suffering.” No matter what kind of methods you are using—just like you go somewhere by driving or walking—you will not go astray as long as you are going in the right direction. Therefore it is very important to have a virtuous guru who can guide you in the right direction of attaining Buddhahood based on the guru’s experience of cultivation. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche humorously said that because he saw that you are on the wrong path, he had to exert great strength to pull you back, one by one, and guide you to the correct path. It is no wonder that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s muscles often ache, because he has used too much strength to pull you.

The Buddha taught 84,000 Dharma methods, and each method was for helping sentient beings be liberated from birth and death. Every sentient being will receive a different Dharma method according to his or her own causes, conditions, and virtues. For example, Shravakayana and Pratyekabuddha practitioners cultivate the Four Noble Truths of “suffering, desire, the way to emancipation, and elimination of suffering.”  Don’t think that learning or hearing more Buddhism is better. As for the Drikung Kagyu Order, there are 54 Yidams. It is impossible for you to have all the empowerments and learn all the Dharma methods, because you don’t have enough time in your entire life. A guru, however, needs to cultivate more Yidams because he has to help sentient beings with different Dharma methods according to the causes and conditions of sentient beings. Moreover, a guru does not cultivate to enhance his ability; rather, he does it for the sake of benefiting sentient beings.

Master Gampopa enlightened that according to Worldly Truth, karma and karmic retribution exist. There are also Dharma methods for the troubles of birth, age, suffering, and happiness. Additionally, according to the Paramita Sutra, the “Clear Parinirvana,” the “Three Meritorious Kayas (of Buddha),” and the “True Wisdom and True Awareness” also exist.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche proceeded to enlighten that karma and cause and effect definitely exist. Therefore, the Buddha taught us not to do evil deeds, but to do virtuous deeds and cultivate the Dharma method of “Ten Thousand Acts of Six Paramitas.” When you are able to carry out all the virtuous deeds and accumulate sufficient virtuous root provisions, your pure nature will emerge gradually, and you will develop awareness and wisdom naturally. Before you cultivate enough virtuous roots, you have to rely on your guru with firm faith. As long as you believe in your guru and act according to your guru’s teaching, you can unlock your True Wisdom and True Awareness through the power of your guru’s blessing.

The Sutra states that if you want to learn Buddhism, you have to be close to a virtuous friend who has attained the achievement of cultivating the Ten Meritorious Acts and observing the precepts perfectly. A “virtuous friend” is not someone who is full of knowledge or familiar with common sense, but rather someone who is aware of everything in the universe. “Virtuous friend” also refers to someone who realizes the nature of emptiness, no longer has greed, hatred, and delusion, and uncovers his pure self-nature. As a result, one can clearly know where one’s mistake is. In other words, when you have developed True Wisdom and True Awareness, you can use your eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind as tools to cultivate and be liberated from Samsara. However, before you attain True Wisdom and Awareness, your eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind are also the tools that make you fall into Samsara. That is, all the things you do through the six senses are causes for you to repeat the cycle of Samsara. Before you realize the nature of emptiness, you should cultivate the Six Paramitas faithfully. You don’t cultivate it only when you are reciting a sutra or when you are helping others write down names of the deceased for liberation; you should implement it in your daily life. The lives of you lay practitioners are different from that of ordained practitioners, who are able to have a period of totally free time to cultivate themselves in a secluded place. Nevertheless, it is impossible for lay practitioners to do so. That is why you should take advantage of every second and minute in your daily life. You do not claim that you have realized the nature of emptiness. Rather, your gurus should be the one to determine that, according to how you behave. You should be aware of your misdeeds and practice the Six Paramitas so that your six senses, eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind, can become the tools of your cultivation. Furthermore, after you correct the behaviors that could cause you to fall into Samsara, then you can be liberated from the cycle of birth and death.

Before our cultivation, each reaction of the six senses—including our eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind—became the virtuous and evil karma that caused us to fall into Samsara. The reason you came to learn Buddhism is that you have problems. If you were rich or if everything was very smooth, you would not learn Buddhism either. This indicates that it is difficult to learn Buddhism when you have lots of virtuous karma. Therefore, before we realize the nature of emptiness, we should cultivate the Six Paramitas so that our six senses become tools for learning Buddhism. Moreover, if you are unable to solve the problem of birth and death, you are not qualified to help others; on the contrary, you may hurt them.

Some people merely recited the Six-Syllable Mani Mantra 80,000 or 100,000 times, and came to get some credit from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for their achievement. You don’t understand that it is useless to recite the mantra the way you did it, even if you had recited it one million times. In order to recite mantras effectively, you must have empowerment, Dharma transmission, and retreats, and you must cultivate the stages of generation and completion. You are misled by the people who propagate Buddhism on TV, and you believe what they say about attaining results by reciting certain mantras or sutras. If reciting mantras thousands of times was really effective, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, who has recited a lot, would have reported to His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang that it is unnecessary for him to perform retreats anymore. The Buddhist sutras state that Buddhism will be destroyed in the future, not by people from non-Buddhist paths, but by Buddhists. It is because Buddhist disciples do not propagate Buddhism according to Buddha Dharma; therefore, Buddhism will decline gradually.

Nowadays, a person can turn on the television and see many channels on which Buddhism is propagated. Buddhist shops sell Buddhist books and the Great Compassion Mantra in a reading, singing, and even a rap version, which is in response to market demand. If it is correct to propagate Buddhism by selling CD’s—the disciple who repented earlier said that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is very good at singing—then shouldn’t Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche have done it a long time ago? People nowadays do not treasure Buddhism precisely because of merchants’ over-commercialized behaviors. Someone who teaches Buddhism on television claimed that people can attain some result by reciting a specific mantra. If this is true, then Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would not have had to endure so much hardship to perform retreats. In fact, in November of this year, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will perform a retreat again! Truthfully, without the guru’s empowerment, it is useless, regardless of the number of times you recite a mantra.

Do not think that you are practicing Tantra because you met a His Holiness from another lineage, because a few mantras have been transmitted to you, or because you set up a Tibetan Buddhist mandala at home and make a few hand gestures while holding a Dharma bell and a pestle. The expert can tell if someone is a true Tantric practitioner by looking at changes in his appearance. You often see someone who, after learning a few mantras, frequently gives instruction to people about the certain result of reciting a specific mantra without teaching the proper order of learning Buddhism. However, all mantras and scriptures should be orally transmitted by the guru in order for one to begin to cultivate. Buddha Sakyamuni taught in this way, and his disciples did not take notes or use tape recordings. That is why people place very high importance on the guru in Tibetan Buddhism, because without the guru, there is no way to learn Buddha Dharma. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not criticize that Dharma propagator. Instead, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche pointed out that the above-mentioned person’s method is different from the tradition and that he did not teach according to the lineage’s transmission.

In the past, those who, after learning from their guru, propagated Buddhism by transmitting the sutra teachings—word by word, sentence by sentence, neither adding nor subtracting—were called sutra masters. The Tantric practitioners who already understood Buddhism were able to apply all kinds of methods to benefit the sentient beings, regardless of their virtuous or vicious appearance. The contents of their teaching never deviated from the Buddhist scriptures. The guru who cultivates through true practices teaches Buddhism freely and lively, without specific patterns, and helps the sentient beings in accordance to their causal conditions. Everyone must follow the teachings faithfully so they do not take the wrong path.

Exoteric Buddhism and Esoteric Buddhism have the same purpose, which is for us to attain Buddhahood for the sake of benefiting sentient beings. The difference lies in that Exoteric Buddhism teaches the theory, while Esoteric Buddhism teaches the method of implementation. Additionally, the scriptures of Exoteric Buddhism are very long, but the mantra is the concentration of the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and Yidams’ vows, merits, compassion, and wisdom all encapsulated in one phrase, just like the espresso you drink. But even with espresso, the coffee seeds must be planted in the soil, grow into a tree, bear the coffee beans, be ground into powder, and then be made into espresso. It must go through certain procedures for it to be produced. Similarly, you need a guru to teach you the proper order and help you continuously cultivate; then, the power of the mantra will manifest. When you realize the nature of emptiness, the mantra you recite will start to work and benefit others. For example, when we help people cure their illness with the Six-Syllable Mani Mantra, we must understand that each syllable is pronounced by a different part of the vocal cord and each word of the mantra affects different parts of the human body. We should understand it thoroughly in order to really help others, instead of just casually reciting it and hoping it will work.

Most people believe that “Namo Amitabha” is the name of the Buddha. In fact, “Amita” was originally the Buddha’s heart mantra. The real name of the Buddha is “Immeasurable Light and Immeasurable Long-Lived Buddha.” Furthermore, “ Amita” is a mantra, and “Buddha” was added after the mantra spread into China. “Namo” means “taking refuge,” but the reason why it is not directly translated into “taking refuge” is that it means more than “taking refuge.” It also contains the meaning “the nature of emptiness.”  Moreover, the meaning of a mantra includes the Buddha’s merits, wisdom, compassion, and vows. That is why when you recite a mantra, you are, in fact, reciting the Buddha’s merits, wisdoms, compassion, and vows. The Buddhist scriptures state, “always reminisce and contemplate.” “Always” means constantly, “reminisce” relates to our hearts, and “contemplate” relates to our thoughts.

Mantras must be orally transmitted by an eligible guru. One time, when he had just started learning Tantra, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was dining with friends, and one of them knew that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was learning Tantra. The friend instantly offered to transmit mantra to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not reply, but he also did not refuse, because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had just moved to a new place, and he did not want to directly reject others. After they finished the meal, the person said that he would begin to transmit the mantra. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche felt the wrath of Yidam emerge in his body. The first time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche tried to suppress it, but when the person began to say the mantra, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche suddenly jumped up and showed the appearance of Dorje Phurba. The person was shocked and immediately ran out the door. Since then, they have not met again. This was because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had accumulated enough virtuous roots from many past lives. Because the person was not eligible to transmit Dharma, the Dharma protector protected Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, and prevented him from listening to it. You don’t have enough virtuous roots; therefore, all day long you hear people teaching on television, saying that you should recite this and cultivate that, listen to this and listen to that, and you hear a lot of things that are impossible to cultivate.

You do not have to read the Buddhist books sold in stores. If they can be written down and sold  as a book, they are definitely not Tantric Dharmas, because they are not casually transmitted anywhere. When His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang transmitted Dharma to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, many of the insights, contemplations, and even some mantras were not written in the Dharma texts. Girls in particular like to read these books. They think that after they listen to enlightenments of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, they can read to see if what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche talked about was mentioned in the books. If not, doubts will arise in their minds, or they will consider Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s enlightenment as better than others. You should not have this kind of comparing mind. The Buddhas will not harm us, and the teachings are all to benefit us. Therefore, in regards to Buddhism, you do not have to raise doubts or have a comparing mind.

Master Gampopa taught, “As a matter of fact, before we are able to completely turn around our concept of Relative Truth, which arbitrarily discriminates between one’s self and others, all virtues and evils are real. Therefore, we should specially emphasize the choice to avoid conducting vicious deeds, and instead carry out virtuous deeds. If, in the present life, we can accumulate good karma, then we will enjoy virtuous karmic fruit in later lifetimes. On the contrary, if we commit vicious deeds now, we will get evil karmic fruit which will come to its maturation in later lifetimes. Consequently, we will fall into the abyss of suffering.”

This passage mentions that kindness and evilness are both real. If you have planted a virtuous cause, you will get a virtuous karmic fruit, and if you have planted an evil cause, you’ll definitely get an evil karmic fruit. Thus, before you realize True Wisdom and Awareness, all the virtues and evils are true. Hence, you should examine your body, speech, mind, and all behaviors, and be clear about whether your conduct is meritorious or vicious. People who believe in karma, cause, and effect will naturally stop doing evil deeds. If you continue to do evil deeds, it means that you do not believe in cause and effect, and you are still taking chances.  Although it is very difficult for you Buddhists to change your conduct, you must still examine your mind all the time. It requires great effort, but you should know that it is all for your sake. Knowing this, you should be able to do so and not feel that it is so hard.

Several days ago, the husband of a disciple suffered an aortic dissection, in which the aorta in his heart completely tore. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked a disciple who was also a doctor how a patient like this would end up. The disciple replied that within one minute such a patient would die. Since this female disciple has not applied Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teachings about the “impermanence of life” in her daily life, when such a thing occurred, she panicked and cried continuously. She was completely lost. The only thing in her mind was that she wanted her husband to live. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche blessed her husband so that doctors could smoothly operate on him to reconnect the aorta. This was so that her husband would have three more days to live and that she would have time to clearly see the impermanence of death and accept the fact that her husband would die. The blessing was not meant to make her husband live again. However, this female disciple still didn’t accept the impermanence of life and the fact that her husband was dying.

Then, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche again asked the disciple who was a doctor if he had heard of any patients whose aorta was reconnected. The doctor disciple answered that he had never heard of such a thing. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then taught that when the aorta of the heart tears, it means that this person has no blood. The doctor disciple also said that when there is not enough blood, the remaining blood will flow to other organs.
Even if the blood flows back to the heart, the condition will only become worse. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened that when the female disciple came to seek an audience with him last Saturday, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche kept reprimanding her so that she would stop crying and be able to face the matters that she ought to deal with. Most people would think that she should not be scolded because her husband was dying. Rather, she should be pitied because she is still so young for her husband to be dying. In fact, she is not very young since her two sons are already in their twenties.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened that patients suffer great pain at the moment when their aorta tears. That kind of pain is much severe than that of cancer patients. Otherwise, her husband would not have frowned. People who suffer a tear in their aorta must have done many evil deeds in their lifetime. Her husband had done only evil deeds, but no virtuous deeds. On the other hand, how can you add three more days of life for this kind of man? The only way is to scold in order to help this disciple. Just think for a moment: Is it possible to keep a person alive when the aorta in his heart has already torn? She might wonder if her husband had really done so many vicious deeds. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche explained that if her husband had not done so many bad deeds, his aorta would not have torn. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has never violated any law, nor has he harmed anyone. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche used to like to eat live seafood; that’s why he developed skin cancer. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche never hoped to cure the disease by reciting sutras. Instead, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche realized that he had done many wrong deeds in the past and constantly repented of his own faults.

At the present stage, when you do anything, you must clearly distinguish virtues from evils. You must clearly and firmly differentiate virtues from evils in your words, behaviors, and thoughts. Do not think that doing a few vicious deeds will be all right. Instead, you should strive to end all vicious deeds and carry out only virtuous deeds. At Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s level, it may appear that he is doing evil deeds when he scolds people. It is, however, a virtuous conduct. For example, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knew that the female disciple didn’t believe in Buddhism; therefore, the guru reprimanded her, and in the mean time he also gave blessings for her husband’s successful surgery so that her husband could live three more days and she could accept the unexpected. However, yesterday, she thought her husband would be saved so she came again to implore for more blessings. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche still scolded her in hopes that she would be awaken, stop crying, and accept the fact that her husband was dying. Her elder son did not agree with what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did. He thought that given the seriousness of his father’s illness, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche should not continue to reprimand his mother. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche neither cared about how the disciple’s elder son saw this matter, nor what he thought about Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Instead, the guru knew what was the best for them. By the way, when you go home after you hear this, do not imitate Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and scold your spouse in the name of being good to him or her. If your spouse doesn’t like to be scolded, he or she may no longer allow you to attend pujas.

Some people say that they do not want to be scolded by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Those who are afraid of being scolded are those who do not want to correct their faults, and this is also a kind of evil thought.  If your guru scolds you severely, it is definitely for your own good. There were many people who were severely scolded by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche without any reason, only to later find out that their bad luck turned into good fortune. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche reprimanded you severely, your karmic creditors also heard the scolding. When they saw that you were scolded severely by a virtuous practitioner, they at least let you eliminate some of your karmic retributions. From another point of view, when your karmic creditors see someone scolding you, they feel very happy because someone has finally scolded you and made you realize that you were wrong and have to correct your behavior. So, they may not come to pick on you, and they may give you a few more years to repay your debts.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche scolds his disciples when he finds them making some mistakes. Even though the Buddhist sutras states that one should talk to believers with kind and clever words, kind words do not refer to pleasant words. Instead, kind words are words that are helpful to them. You can see that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche scolds people very severely and directly. Although the guru does not speak vulgar language, his words and tone are very stern and unpleasant. This is just like parents who love their children certainly scold them when they see that they are doing something wrong, in hopes that their children will not make any more mistakes. Is it right for ordained practitioners, when they find believers’ faults or see them acting against Dharma teachings, to not scold them, yet still accept their offerings? Dharma propagators should not flatter believers, distort Buddhism, or play any tricks to keep believers so they will continue to give you offerings. As for that kind of believer, if they are slightly dissatisfied, they will leave immediately. If you cultivate Buddhism this way, you are creating too much hardship for yourself!

It is easy for you to forgive yourself and hard for you to forgive others. You are always unaware of your faults but very clear about others’ faults. The Buddhist view is opposite to the mundane view. It teaches us to do the opposite, which is to correct our own behaviors and strictly examine our problems rather than looking at others’ problems. Do not say that others do not understand you, as you do not understand yourselves either. Think for a moment; do you know why blood must flow back to the heart first before flowing to other parts of the body? Do you know why your hair and nails grow? These questions still cannot be concretely answered in the medical field. As you don’t understand yourself, how can you ask others to understand you? In fact, you are just asking others to know your desires and satisfy them for you!

When you come to seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, you always say that you will diligently cultivate Buddhism and benefit sentient beings in the future after you recover from the disease. This is threatening the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Yesterday, a believer who sought an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche requested that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche prolong his life by ten years, as he still had so many things to do. Hearing this, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked him, “Would ten years be enough?” After ten years, he would want another ten years! Some people even came to pray to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, saying, “Please heal my disease. I have not done any evil in my whole life!” These are all threats! You think that you can change your karma by doing a little good. It is not possible! Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had skin cancer at the age of 45. Now at age 64, he is completely healed. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche found out that he had skin cancer, the guru did not pray to his guru or the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas for help, as he knew it was his karmic debts that he should repay. Is it possible for you to owe debts and not have to repay them? Don’t expect that all things will be fine after making repentance once. Although the flavor of the karmic effect may change, as long as there is a cause, the effect will definitely manifest. If you are willing to accept suffering and repay the debts, your karmic creditors will then set you free temporarily to let you have time to cultivate Buddhism.

Yesterday, another believer who came to seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said that his health worsened after he attended the Great Indiscriminate Amitabha Puja for Transferring Consciousness on August 14. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche immediately scolded the believer, “Then come to attend the puja no more!”  That believer did not know how to be grateful at all. In the Grand Puja, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened, “Something bad may occur to you after the puja. It is a chance for you to repay your karmic debt earlier; otherwise, you will fall into the Hell Realm to repay it after death!”  That believer’s remarks showed that he did not believe in the law of cause and effect. Do you know how much evil karma you created in your past lives? Do you know how much evil karma your ancestors created? If you have the opportunity to repay it in this life, you should repay it rather than wait after death. You better repay it now rather than fall into the Hell Realm in the future. Those who pay off their karmic debts will die in ease, like the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas who leave the human world soberly and painlessly.

Many people say that their sick family members have been good their whole lifetime, and have not killed anyone or done evil. They wonder why their relatives suffer from cancer since they have been law-abiding throughout their life. Having cancer follows the law of cause and effect, and the person must have done something very evil to have this kind of effect. As you all know, cancer patients suffer so much pain. A disciple who is a doctor reported the conditions cancer patients normally have: They stink before they die and smell like carrion when they get close to death. Some even lose control of their bowel and bladder prior to death. The disciple heard cancer patients describe their pain like being stuck by needles, drilled by an electric drill, and roasted by fire. They have too much pain to move, but it is impossible for them not to move because they feel restless and helpless. They describe the pain with unimaginable adjectives.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened that he once went to the oncology department of the hospital to bestow blessings on a patient at seven o’clock in the evening. At that time, a patient cried out in pain. One after another, other patients also cried out. The crying there was just like that in the Hell Realm, and their suffering was just beyond description. Therefore, some of you present should not complain that you suffer a lot from cancer abscesses and ask for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s blessing to eliminate the abscess for you. Instead, you should have a deeper understanding that if you don’t smell and suffer like other cancer patients, you have already obtained the blessings of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Don’t be so greedy and implore Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to stop the wound from oozing and make you recover. It is better to seep now than to seep after you are dead! Unless you cultivate Buddhism your whole life like Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, it is not possible to change karma merely by practicing meager virtues.

We, being affected by karma, obtain the body of karmic retribution. Compared to your name and birthday, karma follows you most closely. Since you are reincarnated, the effect of karma begins. As karmic cause exists, karmic effect will eventually manifest. Before it manifests, you still have the opportunity to change the flavor of the effect. Very frequently, you hope to change your current situation by cultivating Buddhism, but is it possible? Buddhist practitioners should know about karma and cause and effect, which they created by themselves. It is indeed good to repay karmic debts now. That is to say, it is much better for you to fall ill and repay karma accumulated life after life with your physical body now so that you do not need to fall into the suffering of the Three Evil Paths! When you comprehend and deeply believe in Buddhism’s law of karma and cause and effect, you will be able to accept the suffering you encounter and realize that you create all the causes and effects. The suffering will end someday, eventually.

You should clearly know the key points and direction of your Buddhist cultivation. Be courageous enough to face and accept the wrong deeds you have made, and therefore repay your debts for yourself. Don’t think that everything will become better once you seek refuge and learn Buddhism or that you will immediately recover from your illness. If you are unwilling to repay your debts with physical suffering from illnesses in your current life, you will have to repay them in the Hell Realm. Therefore, you should never be afraid of repaying your debts. You repay debts because you have ability to do so now. Additionally, do not think that reciting the Buddha’s name will chase your karmic creditors away. If you do so, you will do more harm to them with such a hateful mind. It simply won’t work, no matter how hard you try in your recitation.

We should implore the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to enable us to repay our debts as early as possible when we are able to do so. Such a supplication will be granted. Do not be afraid when misfortune occurs, because even the greatest difficulty will eventually come to an end. If you are reluctant to accept the ripened fruit of your karma, you will suffer more and generate even more afflictions and delusions, which will then cause another bitter fruit. If you are able to accept the occurrence of your fruit frankly, knowing that you brought it upon by yourself and everything will be fine once you have repaid it, the bitter fruit will then end. You will not create any more evil causes by doing this. After you repay all your karmic debts, you will be burden free!

You cannot realize the nature of emptiness without eliminating all of your karma first. It is said that people have to empty their thoughts while sitting in meditation. Therefore, they keep thinking that they have to empty their thoughts. In fact, this is also a thought. After a while, they will wonder why they have not emptied their thoughts. Then, they will continue to wonder how they can empty their thoughts. That is another thought, followed by still more thoughts. As we still have breath, heartbeat, and blood circulation in our bodies, how can we possibly empty our thoughts? For example, if there is a column, you cannot lie about its existence. If you practice this way, you should simply ask the doctor to clear out all of the organs in your body. Then, you can truly empty yourself.

Many people think that thoughts are delusions. That is not the case. Delusions are when your discriminatory mind chooses beneficial things and rejects non-beneficial things. However, these thoughts are not delusions when you are hungry, feel the rumbling sound in your stomach, or want to put more clothes on when it is cold. As long as your Sixth Consciousness still functions, you will have thoughts. Even though your body dies, your Seventh Consciousness and Eighth Consciousness will still take effect.

Most of you are laity. Laity should cultivate their practice through carrying out the Buddhist teachings in their daily lives, rather than separating the Buddhist teachings from their lives. Recently, a disciple was often called on to share his insight into the day’s teaching. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened that everyone might think that the disciple practiced well. Because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche specifically called on him all the time, the disciple, too, considered himself to have practiced well. Nevertheless, this disciple, who works for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s company, recently failed to follow the company’s policies. When he was asked about this, he tried to shift responsibility to a female colleague in front of all of his superiors in a meeting, and he said that the policies were wrong. The disciple had been ordained before. He was trained in dialectics, and had met the Dalai Lama and many Geshes. He also had been to India, spoke Tibetan, and could remember the whole text of Lamrim Chenmo. Although he had pretty good insight into the many commentaries of Lamrim Chenmo, he forgot everything he learned when the trying situation appeared.

Many of you are like this at work as well. You want to have more money, do less work, and take no responsibility, or you resent and do not follow your company’s policies. Once you join a company and receive a salary, you should follow the company’s rules. If you are not satisfied with the company’s policies, you can leave. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche established the rules of his company. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked another disciple who was by his side, “Which precept did he violate?” This disciple replied, “He violated the precept of refraining from false speech.” Furthermore, because the company’s policies were established by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, not following the policies meant that the disciple did not respect the guru. The disciple thought that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was only his boss, not his guru. He had not realized that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had done everything according to Buddhism and had never separated Buddhism from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s daily life.

This disciple had implored Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche many times to transmit Tantra to him in the past, but Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not grant his implorations. The disciple had once made an offering of gold and implored for Tantra, but Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also declined this offering. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened the attendees that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche , the guru, was very patient and would gradually wait until a disciple reveals his true nature. Because the disciple did not respect the guru, all of his merits accumulated in the past would turn into virtues. Although the merits, after turning into virtues, would not disappear, he would not be able to utilize the virtues in this life. He would have to wait until his next life in order to utilize them.

This disciple looked down upon all women, and only thought highly of himself. When we were little, we hoped that our parents would be particularly good to us. When we grew up, we had the same idea about work. We hoped that our boss would be particularly good to us and that we could find a reasonable company. The so-called reasonable company is the one which fits your ideas and requirements. It is not that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is a boss so he speaks for all bosses. A boss considers things from a broader perspective and will not establish provisions just for a certain employee. And this disciple had received a Bodhisattva’s precepts. One of the Bodhisattva’s precepts is to not despise women. This disciple belittled all female employees in the company.  If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche instructed a female employee to implement something, he would not cooperate. Why does one of the Bodhisattva’s precepts state that we should not belittle women? It is not because women are to be pitied, but rather because women represent compassion in Buddhism and represent our mothers from past lives. Can one who looks down upon his or her mother have filial piety? How can one attain achievements in Buddhism if one is not filial?

This disciple thought many rules in the company had been created by employees behind Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s back so he did not need to follow them. He also gave various reasons why he did not know and follow the rules, shifting the blame of his own faults onto another female employee. He also quarreled with the guru, showing self-righteousness. He had followed a wrong guru in the past and learned haughtiness and arrogance. When His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang had helped Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to eliminate the habit of arrogance, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche just accepted everything. A guru will not reason with you. His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang also directly enlightened Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche about anything Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did wrong. And Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche just accepted the criticism and never said anything in response. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche never felt that His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang did not understand the matters of running a company because His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang is an ordained practitioner. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knew deeply that everything a guru did to a disciple was for the disciple’s benefit. Sometimes, His Holiness would talk to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche about some of His Holiness’s own personal matters and some of His Holiness’s family matters. Even if His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche chatted, what they chatted about was all related to Buddhism, which was applied in their daily lives. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened the disciple that if he would not listen to the guru’s words, he could leave right away and stop coming to the Buddhist center to learn Buddhism. At this time, this disciple repented, but Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche replied, “You have repented many times.”

Recently, a seven-year-old girl sought an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. She seriously and firmly told Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche that she would like to marry Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. He immediately enlightened her that if she married him now, then he and her father would be arrested and locked up in jail. Then, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened all attendees that ordinary people might be afraid of hurting her young mind and coax her, “You are still young, let us wait until you grow up.” You usually answer a child like this, and think that the child is still small and that it is just fine to coax her. However, if this little girl believed such an answer, and thought that she could marry Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche after she grows up, taking this answer as a promise, then Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would have broken his promise and come back in his next life to repay the girl. By then, the little girl would probably be seventy years old and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would be seven years old! Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened this little girl with wisdom and let her know clearly that this could not be done. It helped her eliminate this thought.

Many great practitioners from the past experienced a lot of suffering in their lives. For example, although His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang was identified as a Kyabgon at an early age, his life was full of many difficulties and was not as smooth as you would expect. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has also encountered many hardships in life, getting cancer, having a business fail, going through a divorce, and so on. Why did these great practitioners have to experience so many hardships? The first reason is that because the bitter effects generated by the bad causes from the past lives were manifested and the debts were repaid in this life, so that karmic retributions no longer became obstacles to their Buddhist practice. We can evaluate a practitioner’s cultivation by looking at his life and whether or not he has experienced suffering. Moreover, eliminating karma does not mean that karmic retribution will disappear. Any cause must lead to an effect, and the karmic retribution will definitely appear. Therefore, eliminating karma means that you  your karma would not become an obstacle that interferes with your Buddhist practice.

All the merits you accumulated in this life are not for you to enjoy a good life for a few decades. Instead, they are to help you, at the last moment of your life, be reborn in the Pure Land. The disciple mentioned earlier did not have many hardships in this life, so his karma continues to obstruct him. On the other hand, if one experiences similar suffering as others, then, one can feel empathy for others. For example, after Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche started to learn Buddhism, he suffered bankruptcy, divorce, and disobedient children. Therefore, when believers ask about the same types of problems, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche can give Buddhist help with his experience. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was in his teens, there was also a little girl who proposed to him but his mother stopped her outside. As a result, the guru was able to give proper enlightenment when the little girl came to propose recently.

When he began to learn Buddhism, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche never thought that one day he would be a Rinpoche and benefit so many beings. Before, when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche learned Exoteric Buddhism,  he spent at least four hours every day reciting sutras and making prostrations to the Buddha, and he still went to work. Whenever the temple held the repentance puja, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche always participated and made prostrations from beginning to end. Everyone knows that the Emperor Liang Jeweled Repentance Ceremony consists of making prostrations to one thousand Buddhas. While others rested during the intermission, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche continued to make prostrations and did not take a break. At that time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was the puja’s main donor, unlike the main donors in Exoteric Buddhism now, who only need to make incense offerings to the Buddhas. Later, when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche started to learn Esoteric Buddhism, his business immediately began to fail. He became too poor to buy food, went through a divorce, and had disobedient children. If this were you, you would have given up Buddhism long ago and followed the fallacy, “Satiation first, and then I will care for the Buddha.” But Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche accepted that everything was for repaying his karmic debts and that it would eventually end. On the other hand, you come to seek help from Buddhism when you have an illness, and you claim that you will help many people after you are cured. This shows that you became arrogant after learning Buddhism. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does virtuous deeds by helping hundreds of thousands of people, and what you do is very minimal. If you feel so great about yourself, you do not have to learn Buddhism under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

You should understand that the purpose of eliminating karma after    learning Buddhism is not for you to prevent illness or misfortune; instead, it is to eliminate the virtuous or evil karma of obstacles in your Buddhist practice. Therefore, do not pray that everything will immediately become better after attending pujas. As you know, there is the Jambhala Dharma in Esoteric Buddhism; however, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has never performed the Jambhala Dharma for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s own business. Business is business, and it has nothing to do with performing Dharma. Furthermore, the Jambhala Dharma in Esoteric Dharma is for those who made repentance and offerings and whose wealth was reduced because of doing evil deeds in the past. In order to help them have enough provisions to learn Buddhism, the Jambhala Dharma is performed to reclaim the wealth that belonged to them originally. But it is limited to eliminating the obstacles that hinder them from obtaining their wealth, and is not to help them increase their wealth, unless it is for the guru who benefits sentient beings.

In the Age of Degenerate Dharma, there are so many things that hinder sentient beings from learning Buddhism. Some people distribute pamphlets to slander Esoteric Buddhism. They misunderstand Tantra, and explain Tantric terms without learning Tantra. For example, it is not good that they arbitrarily interpret the practice of “Yab-yum” (double statues). “Yab-yum” does not mean sexual relations as it appears. If it were so, would animals, which also have sexual intercourse, be able to attain Buddhahood? Many of you have married, but have you attained Buddhahood? It is not so. These outsiders, who do not understand, listen to some hearsay or do bad things in the name of practicing “Yab-yum,” and they hold erroneous views of “Yab-yum.” Additionally, all the Buddha statues in the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center are single units, not double.

The Buddha statues of “Yab-yum” in Tantra represent the dual functions of compassion and career. The meaning is so profound that it cannot be explained to ordinary people because they may misunderstand it. This is the Dharma method especially practiced by Tantric gurus, and it can not be understood by you. It is not good for people who do not understand and who criticize Tantra. But you do not have to debate with them; instead, just refuse to take their leaflets. The Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center is a very pure Buddhist center and it is enough for you to follow the guru’s teaching and learn Buddhism diligently.

Next, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche held a Refuge Ceremony for 56 believers. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened: The Refuge ritual in Buddhism is simple but the meaning is very profound. Disciples who have recently taken refuge can listen to the Dharma tapes for more details. Five precepts must be observed after taking refuge: no killing, no stealing (including buying pirated things), no drinking alcohol (including smoking and taking drugs), no sexual misconduct, and no false speech (including lying, slandering, and trivial speech).

You can come and implore Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to give the Dharma names for you next Saturday. Do not fill in the date of taking refuge. In the past, there were some people who filled it in by themselves. The guru should fill it out for you; otherwise, you might as well be your own guru.

After the Refuge Taking Ceremony, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche compassionately asked a disciple if his wife’s labor had gone smoothly.  The disciple reported that before the puja, his wife still had not delivered, but her cervix was dilated five centimeters. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then enlightened that the labor of this disciple’s wife was not particularly important or special. There are so many babies born every day. The reason why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked the disciple is that his wife’s amniotic sac had ruptured three days ago, but she was only dilated one centimeter until yesterday. So the disciple pleaded His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for blessings yesterday (Saturday). At that time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche scolded them, but because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knew that childbirth is painful, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche bestowed blessings upon them anyway. Therefore, the disciple’s wife was dilated five centimeters today, compared to just one centimeter yesterday. If it were not for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s blessings, the baby may not have been born. Why? It is because the entire family does not truly practice Buddhism.

This disciple’s wife practices Exoteric Buddhism and regards herself as a very good practitioner, but she doubts Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. The disciple admitted that his wife had previously said this. After she was pregnant, they once came to seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told them that their family had a yellow cloth that someone had given them, and that there was a ghost attached to this cloth. Not until then did she believe in the power of the Esoteric Buddhism. However, she did not have reverence because she clearly saw a male ghost walking around after her father gave her the cloth, and she did not say anything when she saw Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. After validating Rinchen Dorjee Rinchen’s ability, she brought her father and the whole family to seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche the following week. Then, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened that ghosts do not bare fangs and brandish claws as described by ordinary people, and they must attach themselves to something. What kind of people get hold of such a thing? First, there are moral flaws in this family; therefore, birds of a feather flock together. Second, something unfortunate will happen in this family. Why did they obtain such a thing? It is because they did not truly practice Buddhism. Even the head of the family leads them to break the precepts. The disciple’s father continued to drink, smoke, and eat meat after taking refuge. He even gave meat to their grandfather to eat, thereby violating the precepts. As a result, the Dharma protector will not protect such a family. So during these past few days, both sides of the family have had to suffer the wait. When the disciple was married, he invited a table of ordained people. The disciple’s wife must be the major donor, but they were not able to solve the problem when she saw the ghost during pregnancy.

After helping the male disciple’s wife solve the problem, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche instructed her to recite the Sutra of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s Fundamental Vows every day during pregnancy. She did not follow this instruction, but just recited it occasionally. The disciple did not advise his wife to recite because he feared her. He felt that his wife was more important than Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche since he is with his wife from Monday to Friday, but only sees Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche on Sundays. Because he did not encourage his wife to follow Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s instruction, she has to suffer today. If you have advised someone but they will not listen, that is their  business. But this disciple is at fault for not even trying to advise his wife. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche instructed the male disciple to continue doing full prostrations after the puja.

The Ksitigarbha Sutra says that Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha sends benevolent deities to protect pregnant women and their fetuses. However, most pregnant women eat meat as tonics. Subsequently, benevolent deities leave if you eat meat or kill any being. In fact, the fetus suffers a lot in the womb because the environment is as dark as the Hell Realm. If the expectant mother eats hot food, the fetus feels hot as if in the Hell Realm’s fires. If the mother eats ice, the fetus suffers the cold of Ice Hell. During the birth process, the baby has to endure pain when his or her head is squeezed through the two mountains passing through the birth canal. Such pain also exists even when a baby is delivered by Caesarian section. That’s why a newborn baby cries out, because on one hand, the birth process is really painful, and on the other hand, the baby has memories of the previous life and knows that this life is another journey of suffering. Under the age of three, children’s skulls have a soft spot so they are more sensitive to many things. In Daoism, they devote their practices to “opening” their skull. Once the skull is “opened,” they know many things that they previously did not know. On the other hand, Buddhist practice emphasizes the crown of the head. A birthday is the day that a mother suffers; there is nothing to celebrate. However, people nowadays celebrate birthdays as Westerners do—singing songs, for example. They completely forget their mother’s suffering and the real meaning of a birthday. This is an indication that you lose a year of learning Buddhism.

Regardless if you are a new or old disciple, today’s enlightenment gives you important concepts about learning Buddhism. It does not matter how many you can carry out right now, but you have to start carrying them out, and continue to do so. Naturally, one day you will realize how much Buddhism has helped you change and grow. Buddhism’s main characteristic is that it will bring about results, and, consequently, you will have confidence in Buddhism. Do not be over-ambitious and claim that you are going to benefit sentient beings. Although it is good to have such an intention, you have to first cultivate and benefit yourself before you can benefit others. To benefit yourself does not mean how much money you make or how healthy you become. Instead, it is to first liberate yourself from the cycle of birth and death before you can benefit others.  Many people argue that they have already recited sutras and made dedications to sentient beings; isn’t that benefiting sentient beings? Not at all. Dedicating merits to others is something you are supposed to do, but benefiting sentient beings is something that has to be tangible and the result must be seen. For example, it is obvious that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche helped the disciple’s wife yesterday and she was able to make big progress in childbirth today.

The puja came to a perfect completion. While some attendees left the Buddhist center, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche continued to receive forty believers who came to implore for help. Although it had been more than three hours, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, despite fatigue, compassionately gave enlightenment and blessings to relieve their suffering and sorrow until 6:10 PM.

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Updated on October 5, 2011