Event Calendar of The His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche

October 16, 2011

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche presided over an auspicious regular puja at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center in Taipei, and continued to teach Master Gampopa’s enlightenment on the way to cultivate Ultimate Bodhicitta.

Before the puja, a female disciple shared how His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had helped her. This female disciple expressed that if there not for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, her family would have been doomed. In 2002, her husband suddenly fell unconscious while talking to a customer. He had a severe headache and continuously vomited. The doctor finally diagnosed her husband with a subarachnoid hemorrhage. After staying in the ICU for six or seven days, his brain hemorrhaged again, and he fell unconscious. His coma score was only three points. The doctor said that his brainstem had been destroyed, and that no one in this kind of situation wakes up. Even if there were a miracle, her husband would be in a vegetative state.

The day her husband fell unconscious, a friend introduced the woman and her sister to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. At that time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was bestowing blessings to patients in that hospital. The women were lucky to meet Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in the hospital and gain his blessing. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told the woman that her husband was mean to the deities when he was a child, so he developed a tumor in his brain at that time. That night, her husband’s classmates and playmates from his childhood coincidentally went to see her husband in the hospital. The women confirmed that, in his childhood, her husband often played with two playmates in the temple of the land deity. Now they were all dead, including the two playmates, who died in car accidents.

She was not aware that a subarachnoid hemorrhage was fatal. When she realized that her husband would not wake up anymore, she started to panic and become anxious because she had two children, one in kindergarten and another who was a three-month old fetus.

Every day while her husband was unconscious, she beseeched Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to help him. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche compassionately and graciously told her, “Your husband’s debt has already been repaid. This life of his has already been very painful. When he leaves, it will not be bad. Your children will receive unexpected help.” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also instructed her to attend pujas. After listening to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s enlightenment, she was suddenly optimistic and her mind settled down as well.

On the fifth day her husband was unconscious, she was able to attend the puja. After she listened to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teaching, she discovered some important information: intubation and tracheostomy tubes are very painful for patients. Everything has causes and effects, and a family member’s death is the end of a karmic connection. She decided not to let her husband suffer from medical treatment. The next day, when her husband was being sent home, the nurse asked them if they had something to say before he was disconnected from the respirator. They cried out for him to go in peace, and to not worry anymore. Except for advising others not to cry in front of the deceased, she could do nothing but implore Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to liberate her husband.

When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche transferred the consciousness of her husband, he enlightened that there was an ATM card and password in a wallet she gave her husband. Fortunately, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had liberated her husband’s consciousness; otherwise, if he still had attachments, he would have become a mouse or cockroach that would have guarded the wallet and not left.

After cremation, the cremator asked if the deceased had taken medication before death. She replied that he had not. The cremator then said that maybe it was due to stain from his clothes that his bones were green and pinky. Later, she realized that the color was because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had conducted the auspicious Phowa for her husband. The crown of her husband’s head was warm, and his body was soft. He had no stool and his bone ashes were colorful. These were the signs of a perfectly completed Phowa. She felt that her husband did not have enough virtues to receive the auspicious Phowa. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not care about his own life when conducting the Dharma. Besides the deceased, karmic creditors from previous lives and the sentient beings he had hurt were all transferred to the Pure Land.

At the time, she and her children had not taken refuge yet. They had not made offerings, and did not have high social status, but were just ordinary people. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not distinguish between rich and poor, but uses his life to save sentient beings. She does not know how to repay the great kindness and grace. Then Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened her, “Learning Buddhism is repaying grace.” She said that she must learn Buddhism, and then Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche mercifully agreed to let her take refuge. After you take refuge, you have a guru to rely on, the influence of Buddha Dharma, the chance to repay the debt, and a guru who will teach you how to be liberated from birth and death and how to not fall into Samsara.

One week before her due date, she sought an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche because her child was underweight. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave enlightenment that it was because she was heartbroken. She was grateful for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s blessings, and in only one short week, the weight of the child increased from 2,000 grams to 2,900 grams. The delivery process went smoothly, and both mother and daughter were safe.

After childbirth, she had headaches everyday. This continued until the eighth day, when she received a call from a Dharma brother, and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche instructed her to bring the child for a blessing. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche carefully exhorted her to wear a hat when going out. When she reported to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche that she had headaches everyday, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said, “It is fine. You were just given too much anesthesia.” At the same time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche mercifully looked at her, and then afterward she had no more headaches.

She is grateful to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for continuously bestowing blessings. Because of this, she can have the merits to continually attend pujas during the past years and listen to precious Buddha Dharma. She is also grateful for the death of her husband so that she could obtain the causes and conditions to learn Buddhism. For many years, she and her children have been cared for and blessed by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. She has not taught and taken care of her children. When they didn’t behave and had trouble at school, or when she felt worried, was ill, and encountered a problem at work, the guru’s hands always stretched out for her. She will never be able to pay back the guru’s kindness. Actually, her children’s benefactors are Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and all the Dharma brothers. Her children indeed have been raised by all the Dharma brothers here. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has taught that Vajra Dharma brothers are closer than family members. She thanks the Dharma brothers for giving them long-term care and help.

In addition to her gratefulness, she also would like to make repentance to His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. The guru benefits sentient beings regardless of time and space, and not taking time to rest. She has not corrected her conduct and fulfilled her own responsibilities. When her karmic forces manifested, she still prayed for the guru’s blessings, wasting his energy and time to benefit sentient beings. She feels repentant for this. Many temples, Buddhist centers, and retreat centers all over the world need His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s help, protection, and blessing. His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has been bestowing virtues on all of us, and carrying all of the heavy responsibilities alone. She knows that she should try her best to make an offering, but in reality, she has been taken care of by the guru. She feels repentant for this.

She continued that she has not taken care of the guru, nor has she considered how the guru lives his life, including food, clothes, accommodations, and transportation. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is already more than sixty years old, but he can’t retire yet because many people still depend on him. The guru has been helping disciples with his life. Even though the guru never asks for anything in return, every disciple actually owes the guru his or her own life. She has reflected on how little she has actually repaid the guru, and feels deeply repentant.

She also repented for an inappropriate behavior during the previous Longevity Buddha puja. During that puja, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche painstakingly gave individual blessings to more than 1,000 attendees. When it was her turn to bow and touch the Dharma instrument, her forehead didn’t touch the instrument. At that moment, she wanted to touch it again, but fortunately a Dharma brother escort held her back by pulling her arm. She felt very ashamed and promptly left the site. The blessing of the guru, Buddhas, and Bodhisattvas has never stopped, nor will they openly announce that they have given a blessing. She repented that she has not cultivated a pure and clean mind. She has been greedy for Dharma and virtues.

Before, she hurt countless sentient beings. In her childhood, she often caught fish and dried them in the sun. Especially when she caught Mosquito fish, she would inhumanly squeeze the fish’s belly out, which leads to karmic retribution manifesting in this current life. She underwent a caesarean birth twice, in which she suffered extreme pain. She also tortured ants by scalding them with a light bulb, pulling off their legs, drowning them with water, burning them with fire, and making them slip on baby powder. She bought live fish in the market and saw the street merchant bludgeon the fish to death. She ate countless sentient beings from the land, sea, and air. When a cruel heart arose, she did not realize the beings’ pain. She felt very regretful and deeply repented that her mind had been that evil.

She said that she often gives rise to thoughts of greed, hatred, jealousy, and harsh words. She complains and blames others, and has strong self-attachment. She does not have mercy and compassion, nor does she observe the Five Precepts or attain the Ten Meritorious Acts. When she daily uses the Thirty-Seven Bodhisattva Practices to reflect, she does not attain them. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened that even if one of the practices is not attained, the practitioner cannot be regarded as a Buddhist disciple that day. She repents for that.

She stated that even outer space is not big enough to fit all the evil karma she has made. Even if she fell into the Eighteenth Hell, she could not repay all of her karma. She could die at any moment. Due to His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s blessing, she is free from dying in an accident, and she has also saved much time and money.

There are many rich people in the world, but in their minds they are poor. Yet each disciple of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center is the richest because they have sought refuge under His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche constantly creates causal conditions for his followers to accumulate merits for Buddhist cultivation and to repay their karmic debts. According to the teachings given by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche last week, we ought to clean the fish from our homes, and not catch new fish anymore. The guru, sympathizing the sentient beings, constantly monitors and corrects followers’ improper minds and deeds in order to liberate people from the suffering ocean of Samsara. The guru’s grace is greater than the height of the sky and the depth of the ocean. She makes offerings to the guru with her body, speech, and mind. She prays for His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s health, and that the Dharma wheel always turns and forever abides in the world.

Next, a female follower publicly repented to those present. At the end of 2007, she became pregnant before marriage. At that time, all she wanted was to bring her boyfriend to His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. However, she did not respect the guru, and instead got angry before the guru. She also did not listen to the guru. Later on, she found out that her baby had cerebral edema. Being selfish, having no faith in guru, and not believing in the law of cause and effect, she gave rise to the thought of killing. She was afraid of the stares of strangers, and thought that her family members did not know that she was pregnant. She didn’t believe the guru, and therefore, she had an abortion. She did not consider at all the pain of the being she hurt, nor the harm that she caused many people. She did not believe in the terrifying cause and effect. She still self-righteously thought that she could bear the consequences and left the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center.

She would like to express repentance toward her guru and to the beings she harmed. She was impolite when she was a child. All she wanted was to have everything her own way. She used to humiliate people with bad words and showed no respect to her teachers and seniors. She made her mother worry a lot and even talked back harshly to her parents. When she grew up, she did not let her family know that she had a boyfriend and kept telling lies. She had an abortion. In the past, she ate lots of meat and seafood. Additionally, she took the lives of numerous ants, mosquitoes, cockroaches, centipedes, and earthworms. She was not focused enough at work, and because of that, caused the company to suffer losses. What’s more, she took things provided by the company as her personal belongings. She gossiped with her co-workers and friends, and caused misunderstandings.

After she sought refuge, she did not have the correct attitude of learning Buddhism and even feared that other people would know that she was learning Buddhism and that she was a vegetarian. She failed to take in what the guru said or listen to recordings of previous Dharma talks. She failed to conduct the assignments properly and merely attended pujas to pray for blessings. She never thought about sentient beings. She did not carry out Buddhist teachings in her life so as to correct her own conduct. Being reluctant to make offerings and suffer losses, all she thought about was her self. She let her desires go wild; therefore, she intentionally committed killing. She did not believe in the terrifying law of cause and effect and broke her vows to the guru and sentient beings. She took advantage of her guru and showed no reverence toward him. She argued with the guru and failed to rely on or praise him. She showed no respect toward the Buddhist teachings, and after she made mistakes, she failed to repent and correct them. Furthermore, she failed to abide by the Five Precepts, Ten Meritorious Acts, and Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas, nor did she observe any of the precepts.

If not for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s compassionate teaching, she would not have known what her problems were. Now, she realizes how important it is to rely on a virtuous guru. As you can neither see your own errors nor know of your heavy desires, greed, hatred, or ignorance, you won’t dare to face or even admit your own errors, let alone think about sentient beings. She felt miserable about the suffering that the beings she had harmed underwent. She believed that she was living with the consequences of her evil conduct. Everything was caused by her own errors. She truly regretted what she had done. Additionally, she made up her mind to stop committing evil deeds and to start carrying out virtuous deeds so that she won’t repeat her own mistakes. She prayed that the guru and the sentient beings would give her another opportunity to repay her debts. She would like to change her habitual patterns brought from previous lives, purify her crimes and karma, and attain liberation from Samsara. Finally, she thanked Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for not giving up on her, and for allowing her to express her verbal repentance.

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche ascended the Dharma throne and gave the following enlightenment: Last week, he explained Worldly Truth and Ultimate Truth. Today, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will give enlightenment on Master Gampopa’s teachings on the way to cultivate Ultimate Bodhicitta.

Master Gampopa enlightened that one who wants to cultivate Ultimate Bodhicitta must possess three essential criteria: cultivation from previous lives, efforts from your cultivation in this life, and entering the blessing of the guru.

The reason why you were unable to achieve Ultimate Bodhicitta is related to whether or not you have accumulated enough virtuous roots of cultivation from your previous lives. Don’t think that you are learning Buddhism or cultivating because you recite sutras, attend repentance ceremonies, and practice meditation. These are incorrect concepts. You are easily arrogant; this includes ordained practitioners. You think that you can liberate sentient beings when you listen to more Buddha Dharma. Don’t think that Buddha Dharma is a kind of knowledge; it’s not. You become increasingly confused when you listen, and you generate an arrogant mind.

Yesterday, a believer came to meet Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and claimed that she would like to attend a class on Buddha Dharma. Buddha Dharma is not a kind of knowledge. Nowadays many people consider Buddha Dharma as a kind of knowledge to research. Buddhism is not a class. The sutras do not say that learning Buddhism is a class, but that learning Buddhism must have sequential and step-by-step, real cultivation. Don’t think that His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang has lots of gurus, so you can be in the same situation. Many practitioners have had lots of guru in order to learn various Dharma methods, but you don’t have the qualifications to do it. His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang is a great practitioner who was reborn many times for the sake of benefiting sentient beings. Therefore, His Holiness has learned from different gurus. As for you, you are confused if you listen to too much teaching; it also causes you to have an arrogant mind. One who has an arrogant mind is unable to cultivate mercy and compassion. If one is not modest, it is impossible to have mercy and compassion.

If one who learns Buddhism thinks that cultivation is for the sake of attaining enlightenment, this is wrong. You will attain enlightenment naturally when the causes and conditions are mature. If you lack merits that were cultivated in your previous lives, you will not be able to attain enlightenment in this life. Even if you have received lots of empowerment and have performed a retreat, it is still unknown. As long as you do not cultivate in deed, it will be in vain. A practitioner who cannot be satisfied or content will be impure for having this attitude. A pure mind is one that wants nothing. Recently, there were some disciples who took refuge. They urgently asked Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to bestow lots of Dharma audio recordings on them. They also asked if they would have homework right after they took refuge. You think that you must do homework—morning homework and evening homework—immediately after you take refuge. This is an incorrect concept. After you take refuge, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will transmit Dharma to you according to your causes and condition. Don’t be worry and anxious. You can come to implore for Dharma for the sake of benefiting sentient beings or liberating beings from birth and death. However, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche decides whether or not to transmit it.

Soon after Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche took refuge, he was obedient without any other requests. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche took refuge under a master of Exoteric Buddhism, he did not ask his guru to transmit Dharma, but just followed his guru’s instruction. Also, when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche took refuge under His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche always followed whatever His Holiness said. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has never asked His Holiness to transmit Dharma to him before. However, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang continually transmitted practices to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche so as to benefit vast number of sentient beings because he knew that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche learns Buddhism in order to benefit sentient beings.

After mentioning this, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked the Chairman of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Cultural Exchange Association when he started to use a spokesman. The chairman replied that no one is Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s spokesman. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened that recently there was a female disciple who spread an unauthorized statement of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s, but Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche never announced this statement in public. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked this female disciple if she had heard Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche speak this enlightenment. This female disciple expressed that she had heard it on the tour bus from a tour leader who is a female disciple of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s. This tour leader said that she heard it from an internal meeting of the Glorious Jewel Group.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked that since the female disciple who is a tour leader knew that it was from the company’s internal meeting, how could she reveal the statement without his permission? The female disciple who attended the meeting thought that she should continually spread the message without considering the guru’s teaching. As long it is a matter of the Drikung Kagyu Order, you are not allowed to spread it, especially if Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not announce it beforehand. However, this female disciple revealed it to everyone on the tour bus. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche proceeded to enlightened that their behavior was to show off their fame and power, and to use Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s name to pressure others, in order to be famous and to make others think that you have special status because you know things that other people don’t know. No one now makes offerings to you, so you don’t have the problem of gaining wealth, but you easily commit the evil deed of seeking fame.

These two female disciples did this because they did not have enough virtuous roots from past lifetimes. They did not observe the precept of do not gossip. One who stirs up trouble in a group is this kind of person. This female disciple heard the statement from the tour leader and spread the message everywhere. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told her that she will not be allowed to make an offering or support the finances of this Buddhist center, and that she must change from her red vest to a blue vest. Because she was this female disciple’s tour leader, she was instructed to take off her vest and retrieve her Dharma text, meaning that she was not a disciple anymore. She will be allowed to be a believer, attend the puja, and sit in the rear of the venue.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened that as long as it’s related to Buddha Dharma, even if it is a good deed, he will ask His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang if he should do it. On the contrary, these two female disciples did not listen to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s enlightenment, nor did they cultivate themselves. That was why they had problems. Some things have not yet matured, and need time to be done. Even if you already know about them, you still should not talk about them, because they can be changed at any moment. Even if you are doing a virtuous deed, if you talk about it, the virtue of the cause and condition will possibly be changed. Furthermore, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not mention it in public. These two female disciples told it to others in the name of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, thinking that they knew matters that other people did not know. This is an arrogant mind that is unable to attain mercy and compassion.

Yesterday, a female disciple came with her mother to meet Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. After Rinchen Dorjee enlightened them, he instructed the ordained disciple who was serving him to repeat his enlightenment in Mandarin to the disciple’s mother. After hearing this ordained disciple’s statement, the female disciple immediately looked at the ordained disciple with wide eyes and said, “My mother did not mean that!” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened that this ordained disciple said what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had said. This disciple talked back to the ordained disciple, which means that she talked back to the guru. Daring to talk back to the guru means that even though she had taken refuge for many years, she did not cultivate herself, but only looked for blessings because she dared to talk back to the guru. If she had cultivated, she would have never said a word at that time. In addition, she stared at the ordained disciple; isn’t this looking down on an ordained disciple? Whether or not an ordained person has cultivated well is not your business. At the very least, they must purely keep the precepts. These are things you cannot do, so you must respect them. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked the ordained people in the venue what the karmic retribution is for one who does not respect ordained people. An ordained disciple replied, “According to the sutras, one who doesn’t respect the Three Jewels and ordained people will fall into the Hell Realm after death.” The behavior of this disciple had the cause of falling into the Hell Realm. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche must correct her. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche immediately revoked her vest and Dharma text.

The female believer who repented before the puja was a disciple in the past. When she was falling in love with her boyfriend, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened her not to fall in love, but she was not willing to listen to his advice. Furthermore, she took her boyfriend to meet Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and wished that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would advise him to marry her in order to satisfy her desire. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, to keep her boyfriend from slandering the Buddha, did not speak any words. However, this female believer angrily left the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center because her desire could not be satisfied. It’s not that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not allow you to fall in love. Rather, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche considers you as his son and daughter, and because he foresaw that her future life would be bad, he urged her to not have a relationship with this man. If she could listen to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s words, her life would be smooth. However, she was not willing to obey, but remained with him. As a result, she made mistakes and the two finally broke up.

When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche began learning Exoteric Buddhism, he always consulted his guru for problems of daily life. After Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche took refuge under His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, he consulted with His Holiness about problems related to daily life as well. You only can rely on your guru. Why do we need to consult with our guru? It is because we must believe that everything the guru has done for us is good. Therefore, we have to follow the guru’s instruction. When our guru does not allow us to do something, we should never do it. When our guru instructs us to do something, we must achieve it without caring about our life. What your guru usually asks or tells you to do, however, is different from your desire. This is because the guru needs to help liberate you from birth and death, and what you want to do will cause you to fall into the Six Realms of Samsara. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche led disciples to Tibet last, a disciple knew that they had to wait at the Chengdu airport to welcome Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. She generated an evil thought and thought that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was putting on a show. This is an example of not believing that everything the guru does is for the sake of benefiting his disciples.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche proceeded to scold another female disciple. He had mentioned before that it is fine if the Buddhist center has just enough money to use. There is no need for excess money. If there is too much money, it will be easy to have dispute. If more money is necessary, such as for supporting a Grand Puja, a public announcement will be made to let disciples know to set aside a specific account. The female disciple did not listen to the guru’s words, but supported the Buddhist center with 500,000 NTD. There was someone who wanted to donate 1 million NTD to the association of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center, but Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche rejected it. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not set up a foundation to avoid someone laundering money this way. This is because money used for supporting the Buddhist center can be used as a tax credit. If no one pays taxes, how can a government do anything? The female disciple donated this sum because she did not listen to the guru’s instruction, but took action with her own thoughts. She thought that she had money, and that she could do anything she wanted with it. She had a distinguishing mind but did not achieve making an offering to the guru. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche instructed her that she will not be allowed to make offerings to him or support the Buddhist center, and she is not allowed to follow Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to India.

You may feel that these disciples only committed small problems today, but Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knows that even though these problems seem small, in fact they are very serious. The guru and Bodhisattvas would not want to see any sentient beings fall into the Three Evils Realms. Therefore, if you see any evil cause that may make sentient beings fall into the Three Evils Realms, you must prevent it.

Master Gampopa enlightened, “We must fulfill and truthfully cultivate ‘accumulate resources and clear obstacles.’ These two paths of cultivation must be understood. ‘Accumulate resources and clear obstacles.’ These two, in fact, are extremely important.”

Every one of you thinks that if you do something wrong, you can just repent and seek forgiveness from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and it will be fine. You don’t know that repentance does not make things disappear. It just allows you a chance to start over again. Good and evil cannot offset each other. When you commit evil, the karma still exists—unless you have done more good than evil. The power of this good then can possibly suppress the power of karmic retribution, and delay it from appearing. Or the power of evil will not be able to rise up, because you have done so much good. This is how Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche cultivated. The tiny good you have done cannot suppress the power of evil karma. Therefore, you were told not to commit even a tiny bit of evil. The quickest way to accumulate virtues is to make offerings and revere the guru. You accumulate virtues by making offerings and accumulate merits by being reverent. A Buddhist has to accumulate enough resources before he or she can clear the obstacles and achieve Buddhahood. Many people have obstacles when learning Buddhism because they did not accumulate enough virtues in the past. The female disciple who was mad at the ordained practitioner, although she took refuge many years ago, it was just to implore for blessings. She did not cultivate, so no resources were accumulated.

Many people do not like and reject karma. They believe that karma is bad for us, that it makes us poor, causes us to suffer, and makes things not go well. In fact, there is not only evil karma, but also good karma. Karma means that the force of good and evil produced by the things done by your body, speech, and mind in past lives, obstructs you when you learn Buddhism. In contrast, accumulation of virtues and merits is for clearing all obstacles to our learning Buddhism. When the situation arises, our consciousness will not be affected. Clearing karmic obstacles does not mean that there is no karma, but it means to prevent karmic forces from interfering with learning Buddha Dharma so that your clear, true nature can naturally appear. Accumulation of resources and clearing obstacles is extremely important. Buddhist sutras state that if you do not accumulate resources quickly, there is no way to clear the obstacles. With enough virtues and resources, you will be able to remember Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s Dharma name, appearance, and Yidam when you pass away. The important point is that you use all the virtues you cultivated when you pass away.

Does Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche have karma? Yes! In 2010, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang if he could retire so he could practice, but His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang did not agree. In fact, you people—more than a thousand of you—are Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s obstacles. You may think that because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is a Rinpoche, he should stay, help us, and benefit more sentient beings. However, “Rinpoche” is just a name, a convenience for helping sentient beings, because modern sentient beings do not have intelligent eyes and cannot distinguish who can really help them. In Taiwan, monasteries, pagodas, temples, venues, and Buddhist centers are everywhere. Much information is spread, and people do not have a way to differentiate it. Ordinary people know that the title of Rinpoche is a status symbol for cultivation; it is more convenient to liberate sentient beings. As for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, the title of Rinpoche does not really matter, nor does it matter whether or not he goes to the Pure Land. If he can go to the Hell Realm to help sentient beings after death, it would be fine.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not cultivate from scriptures and theories. His method of cultivation differs from ordinary people. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche started from real cultivation. After certification by a guru, he then had the opportunity to see the state to which he had cultivated from the scriptures. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had never before seen the Dharma text about the three methods that were enlightened today. Just a few years ago, when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was cultivating the Phowa, he realized that he could help the deceased go to the Pure Land, and he could also know their very last thoughts. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then consulted with His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, and His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang enlightened, “There are three reasons why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche can achieve the Phowa successfully and understand the thoughts of the deceased: first, virtuous roots from past lives; second, diligently cultivating in this life; third, loyalty to the guru and the lineage.” This matches the three conditions that we just talked about in the Dharma text of the Ultimate Bodhicitta, Today, when he looked at this part of Master Gampopa’s enlightenments, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche realized that he, in fact, had achieved Ultimate Bodhicitta many years ago.

A good friend of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche passed away two years ago. This friend was a very famous Taiwanese fortune teller. He had told the fortunes of many people in the Buddhist center before. He had met almost every His Holiness and major Rinpoche from the four lineages. He also had talked to them, and accepted empowerments from these practitioners. He received more than 2,000 empowerments when he was alive, and also performed morning practices and night practices—attending a different puja throughout Taiwan Monday through Friday, but never taking refuge under one guru. He had a small—130 square meter—venue. Due to his well-established network, he had invited even the most famous Buddhist masters to his small venue. Except for His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, all His Holiness Dharma holders and major Rinpoches of the four lineages had been to his center.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was able to meet and take refuge under His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang because of his friend. In 2009, his friend suddenly had a stroke in Beijing, and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche paid for an emergency charter plane to bring him back to Taiwan for treatment. At the time, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang was in Taiwan. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche implored His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang to go to the hospital and give blessings to him. His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang considered the cause and condition of the teacher and disciple relationship between His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to have been created by this person, so he compassionately agreed to go and give blessings to him. After a few days, this friend passed away. When he was sick in the hospital, no His Holiness Dharma holders or Rinpoches, other than His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, helped him.

Why would this happen to this friend of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s? First, he had not taken refuge under one particular guru. Although Dharma had been transmitted from many Dharma holders and Rinpoches, he had not taken refuge under one particular guru. Therefore, no guru promised to take care of him life after life until he achieved Buddhahood. Second, he had not cultivated death and impermanence. He once asked Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche if he wanted to come back to earth in his next life. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said that human life is too painful and that he would not come back again. But this friend said that he had accumulated a lot of virtues, and that in his next life, he wanted to come back to play. Due to this one little thought that was different, everything he had done became virtues, and he could not change the karma and obstacles from previous lives. He was even four years younger than Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

Master Gampopa enlightened, “Our life is really like dew and lightning, dangerously brittle and not real, passing away in a moment. As for when it disappears, it suddenly dies; in fact, there is no certainty. Therefore, for temporary blessings and joy in this life, we should begin from deep inside the heart, and sincerely rise up a firm vow with no conditions or need for return. Then, we can begin to cultivate Relative Bodhicitta and Ultimate Boddhicitta. These are extremely important. These kinds of practices for impermanence are also extremely important for generating Relative Bodhicitta.”

His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang talks about death and impermanence every time he gives enlightenment on Buddha Dharma, because these are the most important concepts for learning Buddhism. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche often enlightens that impermanence arrives at no certain time. People who do not want to live long may not die, but people who want to live long may die suddenly. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche always believed that he would not live for very long, and that he might die at any time. Our life is so fragile, like dew or lightning; there is no definite time for its end. How do we implement the concept of death and impermanence truthfully? Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has taught you to think that every night when you fall asleep, you are in the process of dying. The next day when you get up, it will be a new start to life again. He has taught this because you may not wake up tomorrow. If you did not wake up, then today is your last day.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has often said that we do not know when we will die. We might not wake up one day, and then we will be dead. Use this method; think about it every day, and then slowly make yourself accept this concept of death. Then, you will regard death as really existing. Other religions won’t talk about death. Only in Buddhism is it not taboo to talk about death. Recognize and accept that you could die at any time. This does not mean that you should live your days passively, but instead, you should live each day more actively. When it’s time for work, then work well. Then, naturally live every second honestly. Honest means that your desires are fewer then before. You should examine yourself. Is your life honest? When you are without distractions, you will not make mistakes. Facing matters in daily life, you do whatever you need to do. Do not panic or be anxious about the things you are going to do. If you do not have this attitude, then you are not following the teachings. You are not carefully looking after your heart. Do not relax even a little bit.

If you are not constantly thinking about death and impermanence and still believe that you should pursue temporary blessings and joy in life, you have not given the firm vow of denouncing any need. Since he began learning Buddhism, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche never thought that he would be recognized as a Rinpoche. He never thought that he would be able to benefit sentient beings, but that if he followed and completely implemented the guru’s teachings, he could have some achievements in this life. This is because he achieved “desire for nothing.” “Needing nothing” is a clean and clear heart. You often hear the guru say things that differ a bit from the Buddhist sutras, and you feel that the guru is wrong. These kinds of thoughts arise from a demanding heart. Tibetan Buddhism highly values the guru. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is different than you. When His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang taught differently from the scriptures, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche treated the guru’s transmission as the truth. Because the guru is righteous, the guru has to agree with the conditions according to the scriptures.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knows that everything the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang does or says is for his sake. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has no thoughts of his own, but only does what his guru says. The Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang has taught that certain Dharma texts may not be explicitly written down, but require a guru to orally transmit the implicit content to a disciple, on a one-on-one basis. Some other Rinpoches have the same Dharma texts but they don’t know the implicit content. In the practice of Tantra, Kriya and Charya Tantra can be publicly taught. Advanced Tantra, however, can’t be publicly taught; it must be taught on a one-on-one basis. Why then does the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang teach Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche advanced content? It is because the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang knows that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has attained certain levels of accomplishment. A guru can judge a disciple’s accomplishment by means of various signs that can’t be revealed to you since you are not Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s guru. You are not qualified to know. The only one who can correct Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s practice is the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang. You are unqualified to do so.

Our present lives are passing like dew or lightning, which easily perishes and is not real. Therefore, we have to develop solid vows from the bottom of our hearts to desire for nothing. If one claims to have vowed to liberate sentient beings, the kind of vow still desires for something. You may wonder, “Should we make vows?” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave the following enlightenment: What Buddha Sakyamuni taught is to vow to be reborn in the Pure Land rather than to liberate sentient beings. Could Buddha Sakyamuni be wrong? The attitude of making a vow isn’t thinking that you want to liberate sentient beings. You should first be clear about your ability to do so. If you have not achieved Bodhicitta and are not even able to liberate yourself, making a vow to liberate sentient beings is just lying to your self. You should have no thoughts for yourself, desire for nothing, and exactly follow what your guru teaches. The karmic obstacles Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has encountered include bankruptcy, skin cancer, and serious scoliosis. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, nonetheless, can purify these obstacles because he has desired for nothing while cultivating Buddha Dharma. What kind of vows are firm vows? The vow of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha is that he will not achieve Buddhahood until all of the hells are emptied. Meanwhile, the vow of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is, “I will not achieve Buddhahood until all sentient beings achieve Buddhahood.” The hells cannot be emptied, nor can all sentient beings attain Buddhahood. This means, therefore, that these vows are forever.

When we learn Exoteric Buddhism, we can have doubts by asking ourselves why we can’t achieve what is described in the sutras. When you learn Tantra, you shouldn’t have any doubts. Your guru transmits Tantra with an undefiled mind. Once you have some doubts, your mind is contaminated with complex thoughts. What you need to know is that your guru must be right so that you can quickly accumulate merits. Some people’s minds are not determined enough. They wander around here and there listening to different teachings. If you had not developed any evil perceptions or thoughts in previous lifetimes, you will not encounter evil masters in this life. Every experience is due to the causes and effects developed by your conduct.

Master Gampopa taught that practitioners should arouse Relative Bodhicitta and practice impermanence. Impermanence can appear at any time. Recently, there was a very good example. Two days ago, a male disciple suddenly passed away. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche performed the Phowa for him, he realized four things about the deceased. The deceased disciple worried about his mother and daughter who had not been in good health. He was concerned about his insurance and house. He, however, didn’t think of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and couldn’t even think of the Six-syllable Mani Mantra. This means that even though he had taken refuge for a long time, he had not practiced impermanence. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has taught you that the moment before you die, you must think of the Guru, the Yidam and the Six-syllable Mani Mantra. This male disciple thought of none of these. It means that he had simply prayed for blessings without practicing Buddha Dharma. He was not qualified to receive the Phowa that was being performed for him. Fortunately, his wife was strong enough to cry out loudly by his side and tell him to think of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Because of this, his consciousness then went to meet Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and he was liberated. Moreover, he actually obtained the utmost level of the Phowa in which white and red Bodhicitta were shown. Such a phenomenon indicates that he was liberated from Samsara of the Six Realms. He was liberated and reborn in the Pure Land.

This male disciple thought that he should have accumulated virtues because he had recited mantras and made prostrations and offerings. He also designed software both for the center and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s business. He believed that he should be all right. Nonetheless, he didn’t listen to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teachings about the importance of cultivating impermanence. He was not able to accumulate merits. Without sufficient merits, he was not able to turn around his karma.

When he was in the United States, he designed gambling software for a company and made a lot of money. With the money, he bought a house, was married, and raised two children. He also made a small offering, but the money was the U.S. dollars he hadn’t used up. The money that had been changed to NTD had already been hidden and saved for his kids. This is understandable. He had been feeling ill for a while, but didn’t go to see a doctor. On one hand, he was lazy; on the other, he was stingy. You make the same mistake when you are ill. You don’t go see a doctor and just rely on Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to take care of your health. The strange thing is that you don’t rely on Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to take care of your money and house.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has taught that our bodies are Dharma instruments. For Tantra practitioners, our bodies are mandalas that should be taken good care of. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche doesn’t ask you to love your bodies, but if you destroy your health and the bodies, how will you be able to practice Buddha Dharma? Even when the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche are not feeling well, they will take some Chinese medicine to nourish and take care of their bodies. Why don’t you need to do so? When Buddha Sakyamuni was ill, he needed to take medicine. Do not say that your poor health is because you have taken the responsibility for sentient beings’ karma. Put it in different way: if a practitioner has accumulated enough virtues, he or she will not have serious health problems.

How could the few virtues accumulated by the male disciple’s volunteer work change his karmic force? Nonetheless, he is a disciple who has taken refuge. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche sees him as his own child. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knew that he was falling into Samsara, he thought of every way to help him. His wife is also a disciple who has taken refuge. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche thought about the disciple who died and the wife and children he left behind. He felt compassion for them and immediately performed the Phowa in his office. Usually practitioners will not perform this kind of ritual to liberate the deceased in a business office. You will not see any practitioner perform a ritual to liberate the deceased in a temple’s grand hall, because performing that kind of ritual in the grand hall is still taboo. Several people, however, died in the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center and were liberated on site by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche performed the Phowa for the disciple, he had a vision that this disciple should have died at the age of 36. At that time, he was living in the United States and was bitten by red fire ants. He then lost consciousness for one week. This incident was shared with another disciple who was close to him. Although he recovered, the poison was still in his heart. Two days ago, it burst out, causing a myocardial infarction. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked doctors who were disciples in the center if any poison could be left in one’s heart. The doctors of Western medicine answered that they were not certain, but a doctor of Chinese medicine replied that he has read about this in medical books. Some malicious poison that is left in human bodies can’t be discharged. Patients need to take Chinese medicine and gradually the malicious poison will disappear. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche humorously said that it looks like doctors of Chinese medicine have outperformed those doctors of Western medicine.

The small amount of money he left behind has unexpectedly caused chaos within his family. Even though Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche helped him to be reborn in the Pure Land, he is still an ordinary man in the Pure Land because he did not diligently cultivate Buddha Dharma when he was alive. Therefore, he was still aware of the fact that his family fought with each other over the money. The death of this disciple who had taken refuge for a long time is a huge shock to those who have also taken refuge for a long while. You may think that even though he had taken refuge for so long, he still died. In fact, no matter who you are, you’ll die sooner or later. It is because you know him well. In the center, he didn’t talk much. He gave people the impression that he always carried a lot of things: He held his children. In women’s eyes, he was a nice man, though in men’s eyes, he was a fool. So today Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche used his death as an example for teaching Buddha Dharma. If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had talked about people you don’t know, you may not have had any feeling. You’d have just listened and not solidly practiced what was taught. Additionally, using his death as an example can help him accumulate virtues in the Pure Land, so the time span for him to achieve Buddhahood can be shortened. We should thank him because his death makes you understand the Buddha Dharma taught by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not curse him to die. Please do not misunderstand the meaning. Rather, the cause and condition just arose because of his death.

After Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche finished performing the Phowa, he immediately thought of the confused and chaotic feelings of the disciple’s wife. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche understood her personality and also knew that she had no money. Her husband hid all of their money. So Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche immediately took 100,000 NTD of his own money, and asked another disciple to send it to the disciple’s wife so that she could arrange her husband’s funeral. Because of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s help, his wife was able to feel settled, deal with subsequent matters, and take care of the children. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche didn’t want to bother other disciples to contribute money, so he did it by himself. It is very nice to be Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s disciple. If a guru doesn’t know sentient beings’ thoughts and needs, he can’t help them. If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had not helped them, the family would have become much more chaotic due to the money. Although you have taken refuge under a strict guru, when you face the most difficult crisis, the first one to give you real help will be Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

This disciple is the only son in his family. He has three younger sisters. These sisters threatened a female disciple of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center, and told her that if they couldn’t meet with the deceased’s wife and children, they would file a lawsuit against her. One of the sisters claimed that she is a lawyer. During the puja, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told the deceased’s mother, who is also Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s disciple, that she should go home and tell her daughters that no one in the center will take a cent from the family. When the mother’s son died, her daughter-in-law fell apart emotionally. Only this female disciple went to help. Whether or not the sisters will share the inheritance with the daughter-in-law is a family matter, but they shouldn’t bully people.

The wife of the deceased is also Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s disciple. If the sisters of the deceased treat her unreasonably and illegally, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will immediately show up to help her. In addition, several disciples of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center who know about the law will also help her. At that time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche instructed the president of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center that if the disciple who helped with funeral affairs is accused, it will not be her business alone, and the center will pay all the legal costs. Moreover, after the male disciple passed away, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave money to his wife for funeral arrangements, while the younger sisters of the deceased did not take out a penny to help.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche emphasized that he did not say this to rely on the strength of numbers, but to let the younger sisters of the deceased know that they should not take advantage of the orphans and widow for money. Years ago, a lawyer sought an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, seeing that a lot of ghost beings were behind the lawyer, asked him if he was about to engage in a lawsuit. The lawyer said that he was. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche advised him not to do this because the lawyer’s client wanted him to help take advantage of the orphan and widow. As a result, the ghosts were the family’s ancestors who could not bear to see their family members bully the orphans and widow. Therefore, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told the lawyer not to take the case. The lawyer accepted Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s advice and did not take the case. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened that taking advantage of orphans and widows is immoral, and the ancestors cannot bear to see it.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked his disciple, the mother, to kindly talk with her daughters and tell them that it is not proper to talk about property rather than comforting the one whose husband just died. If they did not like this woman, they should have not consented to the marriage! Before taking refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, the female disciple had been in poor health, but she started to gradually get better after taking refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. After that, the family’s only son married her. They should also bear in mind that the woman gave birth to both a son and daughter for the family. They should take care of her. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is certain that she is a good woman. As she is Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s disciple, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche regards her as his daughter and takes care of her. The family’s son, the deceased, is Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s disciple, and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also regards him as his son and takes care of him. As for the family’s mother who is also Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s disciple, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche takes care of her and considers her position as well. At that time, the disciples listening to this felt gratitude for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s mercy and compassion. Many of the followers lowered their heads and wiped their tears.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche kindly told the mother that her son and daughters were her children, and that she should not worry, but go home and tell her daughters what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said. If she still could not make the decision, she should ask her daughters to come see Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and he will tell them. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche furthermore enlightened the disciples that children say these kinds of words due to problems in parental education. If she had not acted in that way, she would not have educated her children to act in that way.

Master Gampopa’s taught, “In addition, we should also get help from the practice of the fault and torment of Samsara to further cultivate mercy and compassion. Next, we should renounce self-interest and spare no effort to carry out brilliant activities for the benefit of sentient beings. We should know that if one desires to become enlightened and attain Buddhahood, in the beginning stage, we ought to strongly make the vow to benefit sentient beings. Secondly, in the middle stage, we should practice the brilliant activities for the benefit of sentient beings. Finally, after becoming enlightened and attaining Buddhahood, we will have nothing to do but brilliant activities for the benefit of sentient beings.”

Practicing the Six Paramitas is facing Samsara of the Six Realms. Samsara is one type of fault and torment. As a being lingers in Samsara, he drags other beings into suffering. The strength of shared karma is dreadful. One ought to pay attention and examine whether or not his deeds and thoughts are in the field of the Six Realms. Once you give rise to hatred, you will fall into the Hell Realm, even if you usually practice well. Those who feel that others’ recitation of sutras is inferior to their recitation will be reborn in the Asura Realm. Those who are arrogant and think that their observation of the precepts is superior to others will be reborn in the Heaven Realm. Those who do not believe in the law of cause and effect will be reborn in the Animal Realm. Those who have heavy greed will be reborn in the Hungry Ghost Realm. Only after you truly accept the fault and torment of Samsara can you cultivate mercy and compassion. Only after you know the suffering of the Six Realms can you really desire to get released from the suffering. We ought to know that all sentient beings, just like us, suffer. We ought to hope that sentient beings can be liberated from suffering, and then we can develop mercy, compassion, and Bodhicitta. Only after that can we renounce all the thoughts for our own sake and then do our best to benefit beings with our whole lives. You have not abandoned selfish thoughts for your own benefit. This is just like the disciple who made repentance last week, and said that even though she was not hungry, she put aside jobs related to sentient beings for a dinner box that cost 100 NTD, as her greedy thoughts arose. And then she just carelessly lost the abbot’s objects.

Blessing and giving joy to the living can be divided into two parts. It starts from making the vow of blessing and giving joy to sentient beings, and continues to the brilliant activities of carrying out blessings and giving joy to sentient beings. Joy, here, refers to the joy of no birth and death, the eternal joy. Currently you don’t have the ability to benefit sentient beings. However, according to Master Gampopa’s enlightenment, in the beginning stage, although one does not have abilities, he or she merely vows before obtaining achievements. You ought to have thoughts of benefiting sentient beings. You are all in the beginning stage. Therefore, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has taught you that whenever you light incense or make an offering with flowers, you must do it on behalf of sentient beings. You should abandon all thoughts of selfishness and self-benefit. Sequentially cultivate Buddhism step-by-step. One who cultivates Buddhism will become more and more humble. Those who are not humble toward others will not learn mercy and compassion. Those who don’t learn mercy and compassion will not learn Bodhicitta. Those who don’t learn Bodhicitta will not be able to benefit sentient beings and obtain liberation from cyclic existence.

When a practitioner enters the middle stage, he should practice the brilliant activities of benefiting sentient beings; that is, helping to release beings from the suffering ocean, transfer them to the other shore, and liberate them from the cycle of birth and death. This is the stage Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is in. After you know which stage you are in, you should truly cultivate and practice Buddhism. Do not make a big fuss over small perceptions, and think that you have some ability. You should know that supernatural power is not exact. When a practitioner enters the final stage, and attains enlightenment and Buddhahood, he will not do anything but the brilliant activities of benefiting sentient beings. The Buddha’s mind is also moved. Don’t think that the it is not. As long as sentient beings need help, the Buddha will give rise to thoughts and help beings. Except for that, the Buddha’s mind does not waver. After attaining Buddhahood, your mind will not be moved but to benefit sentient beings. This is what the Vajra Sutra states, “Generate thoughts without having any attachment.”In the middle stage, the brilliant activities of benefiting sentient beings take a long time. In fact, it could take much time from the beginning to middle stage. You may be in the beginning stage for several lives.

In the middle stage, you are able to help resolve beings’ problems, just like how Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is able to know the final thoughts of the deceased and the location of the deceased’s consciousness. You are in the beginning stage before you are able to know these things. Sometimes when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche receives believers, he has to let the family members of the deceased first believe that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has the ability to help the deceased, and then the causal conditions will be generated for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to liberate the deceased. After that, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will tell them where the consciousness of the deceased is, such as on the head of a bed or sofa.

Yesterday, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche recited mantras to bestow a blessing on a believer’s mother who just passed away. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche saw the consciousness of the believer’s mother in front of a mirror. Hearing this, the believer said that his mother liked to look in the mirror during her lifetime. She did it several times a day. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had never been in their home and did not know that the believer’s mother liked to look in the mirror. Because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has developed a heart of mercy, compassion, and Emptiness, he is able to see it. Also, by showing a little supernatural power, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche calmed the believer’s mind, so the believer could then listen to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and believe that he has the ability to help them. The practitioners in the middle stage are truly able to provide help to the deceased. Just like the disciple who passed away several days ago originally did not have the virtuous conditions to be reborn in the Pure Land, but Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was able to know the disciple’s attachment and help him. Therefore the disciple’s merits were soon accumulated and transferred to the Pure Land with the help of the Phowa performed by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

If the practitioner does not achieve knowing the deceased’s final thoughts and attachments, he will not be able to liberate the deceased. The case is like that the disciple who, prior to the puja, shared her story about her husband’s wallet. If the guru was not able to know about this, her husband’s heavy attachments would have lead him to be reborn as a cockroach or an ant that guards the wallet and refuses to release it.

After a person dies, his or her consciousness comes back to its favorite place. It may be a home or where he spent most time at home, but it is not necessarily a home. For example, when a disciple sought an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche years ago, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche saw that the consciousness of the disciple’s late father was not at home, but taking a deceased dog for a walk in a park near his home. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had not been there but is able to describe the place. The family members of the deceased also confirmed that this was what the deceased liked to do in his lifetime. Because of that, the disciple started to believe in Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

Some people say that you must call back the spirit of the deceased, but in fact it is not necessary. If the person, at the point of dying, knows that they are dead, they will return to a favorite place before they are reborn according to their karma. However, if at the point of dying, they do not think they will die, the consciousness of the deceased will stay in the place where they died. Once, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche saw in the newspaper two photos of a car accident. One of the photos showed a dog lying under a car that had crashed, and the other showed the dog standing in front of the car. This indicated that the dog did not know it was already dead and its consciousness still stayed there. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche himself also had this experience. Once, he had a serious car accident. At the moment the accident occurred, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was aware that something had happened but really know did not what. He couldn’t see anything but darkness. The daylight had not lessened, but this is what happens when the consciousness leaves the physical body.

Master Gampopa’s enlightened, “From the views mentioned above, one ought to first contemplate death and impermanence, then practice the fault and torment of Samsara, and finally wholeheartedly bless and give joy to sentient beings with mercy, compassion, and Bodhicitta. That is how to cultivate Relative Bodhicitta! You must integrate three conditions to cultivate Ultimate Bodhicitta: cultivation from previous lives, efforts in this life, and entering the guru’s blessing.” “Efforts,” here, do not refer to how many times the practitioner recites sutras or mantras, but whether or not the practitioner constantly reflects and corrects his or her body, speech, and mind according to the guru’s teachings.

Among these three conditions, if you do not attain the first two, the most important is the third, entering the guru’s blessings. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche once implored for His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang’s advice on the reason why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has benefited from cultivating Buddhism in his current life. His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang enlightened that it is because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has cultivated in previous lives and accumulated much virtuous karma that he is willing to make an effort, suffer, and diligently learn and practice Buddhism in this current life. Moreover, because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is loyal to his gurus, he has correspondence with the gurus and obtains their blessings. Otherwise, it is extremely difficult to practice and attain the level of Rinpoche in this life.

Master Gampopa enlightened, “Without practice in previous lives, we won’t have the perfect human body with the Seven Merits of the Virtuous Realms. These include a virtuous social status, a wonderful physical body, long life, health, virtuous connections, wealth, and great wisdom. Therefore, a practitioner who has the karmic connection to cultivate Ultimate Bodhicitta must be an experienced practitioner who accumulated various virtuous roots and provisions in his or her previous lives.”

The first type is a virtuous social status. In the past, India had a caste system. However, the social status in the teaching does not refer to differentiated status, but to the fact that one is born into a family that learns Buddhism. If a practitioner cultivated in previous lives and had a lot of virtuous roots, he or she would be born into a family where he or she could learn Buddhism. Such a practitioner might have parents who learn Buddhism or exert themselves to carry out virtuous deeds. Therefore, the child would carry out virtuous deeds under the influence of his or her parents. That is family education.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche used his own family as an example. Although Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s great-grandfather had a silkworm farm, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s family was well-educated, starting with his grandfather. His grandfather had earned the title of “Bongyian” (second place in the imperial examination) without bribing anyone. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s father was a government official and liked to help people. Even though his family was poor, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would pawn his overcoat and shoes to help others with the cash. When he was financially incapable of helping those in need, he would try his very best to solve their problems. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s mother never gossiped or complained. She was not like you women today, who quarrel over hearsay about their husband and other women. In addition, if Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s mother was asked to help out, she was sure to fulfill her promise.

In the past, someone gave Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s mother some money, and asked her to help out with his own funeral. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s mother made all the necessary arrangements without fail and did not take even a penny for herself. Some people might take part of the money for their travel expenses; this is actually good. Nevertheless, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s mother did not take any money for herself. That was the family in which Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche grew up as a child, a place where virtuous conduct could be seen. Naturally, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, who was gradually influenced, likes to help people and beings. In fact, you do not wait until your child is born to begin educating him or her. Pregnant woman should recite the Sutra of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s Fundamental Vows; this is prenatal education, teaching the fetus in the womb. What is your family education? You teach your children not to be bullied or suffer losses. They are taught to protect themselves, be clever, and run away when there is trouble. How can you teach children who have received such an education to carry out virtuous deeds?

Therefore, do not force your children to attend pujas. It’s up to them. You have created this circumstance yourself. On the other hand, as you have lived in such families since childhood, it feels like you are killing yourself when you are told to make offerings and practice generosity. You suffer a lot and are reluctant to let your money go. Ever since childhood, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has seen his parents devote themselves to helping others. Hence, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche takes it for granted to help sentient beings regardless of his own benefits. If you conducted a lot of virtuous deeds, children summoned by you would be more obedient. Because of his parents’ devotion, children such as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would come to the family.

The second type is a wonderful physical body. Having a wonderful physical body does not necessarily mean that a person is fit, nor does it refer to an attractive appearance. Rather, it means that people are easily attracted to you. If people do not notice you in a group, it means that your practice has failed. A Buddha has 32 forms and 80 subsidiary signs. They result from practice, not plastic surgery. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will not explain the facial signs today, lest someone undergo plastic surgery.

The third type is a long life. Having a long life means that one will not die young. In the past, the average life span for Tibetans was shorter, and after reaching fifty years of age, one was thought to have had a long life. The fourth type is health. Having health means that one does not acquire incurable diseases. Ailments don’t count.

The fifth type is karmic connections. What is having karmic connections? For example, before Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche sought refuge with his Exoteric Buddhist master, he did not go looking for him on purpose. Instead, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had the karmic connection to meet with the Exoteric Buddhist master and then voluntarily requested to take refuge. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s friend invited him to seek an audience with His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had not planned to meet His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang. At the time, people in Exoteric Buddhism misunderstood Esoteric Buddhism. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche believed what they said and went to only make an offering. Because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s friend insisted on introducing Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, who can speak Mandarin, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then agreed.

When His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang saw Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for the first time, His Holiness took out his own prayer beads, and asked Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to hold one end of the string while His Holiness held the other side. Then, His Holiness began to recite mantras and give blessings. At the time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche felt a warm current flow into his body. His Holiness did it without any imploration from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. The incident was an indication of his virtuous karmic connections. Over the years, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has never seen His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang do that with any other person. Also, when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche met with Tenzin Nyima Rinpoche, Tenzin Nyima Rinpoche wasted no time, and took the initiative to cut Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s hair, taking Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche as his disciple. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche went to see Yunga Rinpoche, Yunga Rinpoche bestowed a tantric empowerment upon Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche without being asked to do so. All of these incidents serve as indication of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s practice in previous lives. That was why these virtuous connections could take place. You, on the contrary, have to implore for a long time and your wish is not necessarily granted. Do you have any virtuous connections? Yes! The fact that you are able to seek refuge at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center shows that you have a few virtuous karmic connections from your previous lives. However, you have more evil ones. Because you lack virtuous karmic connections, you are able to seek refuge with a guru who scolds you all the time. Nonetheless, even with all the scolding, punishment, and abandoning, you will still be helped when you have problems.

His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang has been reborn as a throne holder eight times. However, being born in this world for this life, His Holiness still has to start from scratch. As His Holiness has deep and abundant virtuous karmic connections from previous lives, His Holiness can learn the Buddhist teachings and other things quickly and easily.

The sixth type is wealth. You need wealth to learn Buddhism and cultivate your practice. Because you made offerings and practiced generosity in your previous life, you can have wealth in this life. Wealth does not only refer to money, but also materials. A lot of good things will miraculously come to those who have this quality in the virtuous realms, and they will live an affluent life. His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang once mentioned that someone sent dozens of pairs of socks because His Holiness was thinking of getting a pair of socks. Recently, someone presented Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche with some high quality tea. Even restaurant staff found it very tasty. However, don’t think that your current wealth is a result of your past life and simply quit working. That is not how it works. You still have your own responsibilities. You should work hard, but do not think about how to get more money or even how to make money through inappropriate means.

A few days ago, someone came to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche hoping to improve his own business. Sometimes Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche helps people with these matters, but other times, he does not. If the person has a company that carries on decent business on a regular basis and if the person works hard, has a good heart, and will become better in the future, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will help his or her company. However, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is not helping the person, but his or her employees. If that is not the case, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche won’t help him or her. As Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche owns many companies, he, in your opinion, should perform the Jambhala practice in his company every day. However, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not do that. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche only leads the disciples in Jambhala practices at the Buddhist center on a yearly basis. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche believes that his offerings and donations from previous lives will cause him to be wealthy.

What you have in this life was created by your conduct in your previous life. What you do in this life is for your next life. The fact that you are poor shows that you were reluctant to make offerings or donations in your previous life. Then, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche mentioned a disciple who works as a doctor. He had was infected with SARS and escaped death only because of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. He always lost money or got stuck while investing in the stock market or funds because it wasn’t his money. He should have died. Never come to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and say that you want to earn more money so you can make more offerings to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Now, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche no longer accepts this disciple’s offerings. Many of the disciples mentioned today cannot make offerings to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche anymore.

The seventh type is great wisdom. One who has great wisdom can carry out the guru’s instructions without any his or her own opinions. When His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang instructed Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to perform a retreat at a specific time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche agreed at once. If you had been Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, you might have said that you needed some time to think about it or have raised some questions. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche simply agreed without questioning or imploring. All Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does is carry out the guru’s instructions and absolutely believe that the guru will do everything in his disciple’s best interest.

If you have these Seven Merits of the Virtuous Realms, you will have a perfect human body. Ask yourself if you have all the seven conditions. If not, you should be obedient. Without these qualifications, you at least have to rely on your guru by depending on your guru and refraining from looking at the guru from your own view.

Master Gampopa said, “In addition, if we have not practiced diligently and have tended to be lazy and slack off in this life, we will not be able to attain and enter a holy person’s path. If we have not entered into the guru’s blessings, then our merits will not increase. Finally, we must be empty-handed. Even if some virtue is temporarily generated, we should know that kind of virtue will be like the broken lines that appear on the surface of water when we ‘draw out a knife to cut the water.’ ”

Some people think that they practice diligently because they recite sutras and mantras, and perform meditation and prostrations every day. This is not true. Practicing diligently means using the Buddhist teachings taught by your guru every minute and every second of your day. If you are lazy and slack off, you will not be able to learn anything. Being lazy, in fact, means that you are not obedient. If you do not enter into the guru’s blessings, you will not have any merits. Blessings can let your undefiled mind be revealed and prevent you from being affected by obstacles. They, however, are not for you to accumulate virtues. A guru’s blessings do not come only from the one before your eyes, but also from the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and gurus of past generations of the whole ancient lineage of the order. We cannot leave the guru, but must follow and rely on him. That is, we have to completely depend on the guru, stop our own thoughts, and fully accept the guru’s behavior, speech, and mind. Then, we will attain the blessings of the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and all the lineage gurus. This will then increase our merit.

His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang has enlightened that if you view the guru as a Buddha or Bodhisattva, you will receive blessings from the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. If, however, you view the guru as an ordinary person, you will receive blessings from an ordinary person. And if you think the guru’s behavior is wrong, your mind, not the guru, is wrong. His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang also has his personal matters. Even if Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche sees, hears, or knows about those matters, he will not interfere, because they are His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang’s private matters. Similarly, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has never interfered with your personal matters. Even if your home is as messy as a kennel, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche never disciplines you, because that is your personal matter. However, as long as your matter is related to Buddha Dharma, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will definitely discipline you to prevent you from going the wrong way.

You may wonder if the mistakes committed by the disciples that were punished today were so serious. Everything starts from the trivial. From the Buddhist view, these people have definitely committed serious mistakes. Do not think that His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche talk about Buddhism when they get together. They, a guru and his disciple, actually talk about many matters when they get together. When some Buddhist believers see ordained practitioners, they will continually ask them questions about Buddhist matters, regardless of whether or not the ordained practitioner is already tired.

After some people took refuge, their problems seemed to get better, but later, their problems reemerged. This was because they had only cultivated virtues and not merits. Although they had virtues, the virtues could not change their karma in this life. This is like using a knife to cut water; the water will still flow continuously. Water signifies your worries and rebirth, which continuously change. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche always reminds you of the story of Emperor Liang. Emperor Liang did a lot of things for Buddhism and built many Buddhist temples. Because of him, the Emperor Liang Jeweled Repentance Ceremony was created. When he met Bodhidharma, he still asked, “I have done so many things. Do I have merits?” As long as this question was asked, Emperor Liang’s merits turned into virtues. The virtues accumulated in this life cannot change one’s karma. Therefore, eventually, Emperor Liang starved to death.

Only merits can change one’s karma. Those who cultivate merits would not ask such a question. Emperor Liang did not have a guru’s teachings and did not cultivate merits. Even though the great master Bodhidharma, showed up in front of him, he did not follow and treat Bodhidharma as his guru because he thought that he had done a lot of things and cultivated very well. For example, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s good friend who died only cultivated virtues, not merits, so he could not change his karma. Moreover, he did not follow and rely on a guru to practice Buddhism, but just listened to Buddha Dharma everywhere. He only took advantage of gurus and thought that a guru had to transmit Buddha Dharma to him.

The recently deceased disciple had only cultivated virtues in the years after taking refuge, and he had not listened to the guru’s words. He had only listened to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche when he scolded him, “How are you able to find a wife when you are so stingy?” In these years, his greatest contentment had been to marry his wife and have two children. He had come here only to seek blessings. He thought that he had already completed the 110,000 prostrations and had done morning and evening practices every day. Actually, all of these were for cultivating virtues. There was another thing. A few years ago in Nepal, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche were talking about some things. At the time, this male disciple was nearby and heard the conversation between His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. When he went back to Taiwan, he told other people what he had heard. The conversation was obviously between His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, and it was not for him to hear. If the conversation had really been for him to hear, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would have asked him to come to listen, but this was not the case, which meant that the conversation was not for him to hear.

Let us not discuss the fact that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was his guru now. Even when ordinary elders are talking, if you overhear their conversation, you are being impolite. Even if you have heard their conversation, you should act as if you have not and not reveal it to other people. He had done the same thing as the two disciples Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche just mentioned, who publicized something that had not been publicly announced. They liked to be recognized for the fact that they knew things that others did not know and that they were better than others. This male disciple still did not know that he had been wrong. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had scolded him in public during a puja. He thought that as long as he had been scolded, he would be fine from then on, and he never repented in public regarding this matter. As a result, the karma of this fault continuously exists.

After this deceased disciple received the Phowa, his face became whiter and looked better than right before he died. Why was this? This was because his karma had been cleared out so that his face was not as dark as usual. Do not think that conducting the Phowa for a deceased person is just reciting Buddhist scriptures and producing a few sounds. If the practitioner who conducts the Phowa cannot clear away the deceased person’s karma, the practitioner will not be able to help the deceased person. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked the wife of the deceased about his complexion. His wife said that his complexion was indeed whiter than usual.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche used the disciple who had a stroke last week as an example. He had had a stroke ten years ago, and he had a stroke again after ten years. Why? This was because he cultivated virtues instead of merits. Although in the last years, he had accumulated some virtues by being a volunteer in the Buddhist center, virtues could not change his karma, so the karmic retribution still happened to him. Had he not given rise to a repentant mind when he was dying and repented to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche while he was holding the toilet, he would have already died. Because once he gave rise to a repentant mind, the little bit of virtues he had accumulated immediately turned into merits, he could change his karma and the guru could then save his life. According to the Buddhist scriptures, those who give rise to a repentant mind at the moment of death cannot fall into the Hell Realm. This shows that the change in the mind is very subtle. Therefore, we must follow and rely on a guru. In the next few years, this disciple will have to let his wife work hard to take care of him. His wife will be willing to take care of him as well. It can’t be helped.

The Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center is very special. Many things happen so that you can see the display of Buddha Dharma. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche uses these people as examples to tell you. You should not listen to these examples as stories. You should not think that these are for other people and that have no relationship to you. Of the examples Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche talked about, some may be negative, but they are like the teachings of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, which point out the mistakes you may make. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche compassionately enlightened that blessings will be bestowed whether the disciples are alive or dead. Even when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is gone, blessings will always be bestowed. The disciples deeply thank Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, who cares like a father.

Master Gampopa enlightened,“If there is no guru, there is no border. Like a boat without an oar, the other shore cannot be reached. If there is no guru, then it is impossible for us to reach the border of the cycle in the ‘Three Kinds of Existence.’ It is like a small boat without a boatman; we cannot expect to reach the other shore (of Nirvana) if we depend on that.”

If you do not have a guru, you are like a boat without a boatman, who cannot reach the other shore. If you do not have a guru, you cannot be liberated from Samsara. This is just like the Sixth Patriarch Huineng, who was personally escorted by the Fifth Patriarch when he was escaping. The Fifth Patriarch prepared a boat at the shore and rowed the Sixth Patriarch across the river. The Sixth Patriarch wondered how the guru could row for him, so the Sixth Patriarch did not accept it. The Fifth Patriarch said, “The guru rows when you are in a mist. You row by yourself when you are becoming enlightened.”The Sixth Patriarch then accepted the Fifth Patriarch’s rowing. The above sentence means that when we are not enlightened, we still depend on the guru’s teaching and because of this, we will not be lost. We depend on ourselves when we practice to become enlightened and have confidence to liberate ourselves from life and death.

After taking refuge, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang unceasingly examined and observed Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang knew that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had never made tea. One year, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang ordered Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to make tea for him. After taking a drink, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang said that it tasted so bad. Furthermore, he said it in front of many people; they were not alone in the center. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not explain himself, but immediately took it back to the kitchen. He asked others how to make tea and then made it again. If this were you, you would find some excuse and avoid responsibility by explaining why you did not know how to make tea. This shows that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche completely reveres the guru.

Master Gampopa enlightened, “From this, we should first have ‘cultivation from previous lives.’ At the same time, we should ‘try one’s best to truly practice.’ Also, you also must ‘take refuge under a qualified guru.’ The above three are the ultimate vows on the path of Tantra Mantras. Therefore, as to the vow, you shall try your best to keep and protect it.”

“As to the guru’s teaching, only understanding the terms and sentences on the surface, and solely depending on such an understanding will not bring many benefits. This is just like a parrot that imitates speech. We should know that our immensely grace-filled gurus have attained impressive achievements through true practice. Therefore, we should arouse admiration and reverence to the guru and his true practice. Furthermore, we should use such admiration and reverence as blessings to our body and mind. After that, by conforming to the teachings of the guru who truly practices through the realization of Dharma, all kinds of signs of achievement will appear.”

Everyone knows that a parrot can learn to speak like human, but there is no meaning in those words. If you hear the guru’s teaching of Buddha Dharma but do not truly practice or utilize it in your life, this also is surface understanding. It cannot help liberate you from life and death.

Paying admiration and reverence to the guru is like what is depicted in the Avalokiteshvara Universal Gate Chapter of the Lotus Sutra, “constantly remembering and revering Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara.” “Constantly” means “eternally constant.” That is, to give every thought with feelings of remembrance and reverence. Admiration is to constantly remember the guru’s merits that benefit beings. Reverence is to wholeheartedly depend on the guru. His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang steadily observes Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not practice to attain a level, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang cannot transmit the Dharma. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is completely reverent to His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang. His mind has never changed. There have been no changes in the past, nor are there changes in the present. There will be no changes in the future. In addition, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is completely obedient, and does not have any of his own ideas.

His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche meet only several times in a year. They do not often talk with each other. The hearts of the guru and the disciple, however, are always together. Sometimes, when His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang has something to tell Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will suddenly make a phone call to His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang. Sometimes, when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has something to tell Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang will suddenly make a phone call to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. How can they do that? It is because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche completely obeys and reveres His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang.

Master Gampopa enlightened, “(This is like) the twelve years when Mahasiddha Naropa took refuge under Mahasiddha Tilopa. Mahasiddha Tilopa did not directly transmit many teachings to Mahasiddha Naropa, but Mahasiddha Naropa depended on admiring and revering the guru and followed the guru’s orders to act in accordance with the teachings. Eventually, the sign of all kinds of achievements appeared.” Therefore, if causes and conditions of both a guru with embodiment and a disciple with capacity coincide, then every merit (of inner realization) will be successfully achieved in a flash.

You may say that wealth is among the Seven Merits of the Virtuous Realms that were just mentioned. Jetsun Milarepa’s family was very rich before, whereas Mahasiddha Tilopa and Mahasiddha Naropa were not wealthy, but how could they attain achievements? It was because they completely revered and obeyed the guru. Mahasiddha Naropa followed Mahasiddha Tilopa for twelve years and those days were very hard. Mahasiddha Tilopa did not teach Mahasiddha Naropa many Dharma methods, but just ordered him to do lots of things you consider to be unreasonable. If Mahasiddha Naropa were ordered to jump off a cliff, he would jump. If he were ordered to steal, he would steal. If he were ordered to harass a woman, he would harass a woman and consequently be beaten to death. He suffered terribly. If you were ordered to do that in the modern age, you would surly think that your guru is crazy and then you would run away. Why did Mahasiddha Naropa revere Mahasiddha Tilopa? The reason is that he had good roots of accumulated lives. Therefore, in his mind, he deeply believed that everything the guru did was for his sake and he did not have any suspicion. He was completely reverent, and acted in accordance with the teachings, and then his merits and achievements naturally were successfully practiced.

Through arousing admiration and reverence toward the guru, a guru with embodiment is one who can practice to be liberated from life and death and who can help beings become liberated from life and death. A disciple with capacity is one who sufficiently has good roots from accumulated lives, and who achieves every merit when causes and conditions coincide in a flash. Without the guru, it is impossible to achieve. You may say that the Sixth Patriarch Huineng saw nature when he heard others reciting the Vajra Sutra. However, he still needed the Fifth Patriarch to transmit the Heart Dharma before he was able to truly practice and attain realizations. Buddha Sakyamuni once picked a flower and smiled. Among his disciples, only Mahakasyapa immediately attained enlightenment after seeing that. That is naturally formed under the coincidence of cause and condition.

The Buddha Dharma that was enlightened today is very important. You may be puzzled after listening to it, but it will definitely be of help to you. Death and impermanence, the fault and torment of Samsara, arousing mercy, compassion, and Bodhicitta, and depending on and admiring a guru are all practice stages and fundamental works. If the most important fundamental works are well-established, the practice can progress. All of these are practice stages enlightened by Master Gampopa; they can be seen in the Dharma text and are not spoken by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Yesterday, you saw an ordained female seeking an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Many years ago, she had taken refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche saw that she had many thoughts and did not change her mind, so Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche ordered her not to come but to reflect at home. Consequently, she cried to His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang that she wanted to be ordained. His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang gave her the opportunity to be ordained. Although she is ordained, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang does not teach her. Many elder lamas in the lineage also told her that her guru is Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, but she thinks that she has taken refuge under His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang. She also has met with many Rinpoches, attended pujas, and received empowerment, but there are still many problems.

She has performed a retreat, received empowerment, and listened to the teachings on Mahamudra. However, she has not attained any bit of achievement in the practice of Mahamudra. Why? It is because she did not establish basic skills well. In the stages of practicing Mahamudra, the Four-Session Guru Yoga is for entering the guru’s blessing. If you do not enter the guru’s blessings, your merits will not increase. In 2007, when His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang led Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to perform a retreat in the Lapchi Snow Mountains, she said that she would like to go. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told her that she could come if she did not fear death, because at that time only practitioners of the middle stage could perform a retreat. All of you present are still in the beginning stage. You should not think that the beginning stage can be skipped because you are ordained. You have not yet achieved benefiting sentient beings at the beginning stage. The fundamentals were not constructed well, but she wanted to start directly from the middle stage. Also, she did not depend on a guru. As the years pass by, her problems are still not solved.

Next, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche rebuked an ordained practitioner for trying to teach the congregation, instead of lead as she was permitted. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not permit her to teach the recitation of the Six-syllable Mani Mantra. She was only supposed to lead. If she felt that the recitation was a mess, she should have reported it to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, rather than telling the congregation, without permission, how to recite in Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s style. If she could concentrate while reciting, others would follow as well. If others would not follow, it is because she did not concentrate in her own reciting. The disciples follow Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s reciting due to the power of his calmness and concentration.

You have not understood the voice and the breath of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Moreover, the reciting voice of His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang differs from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s. When she is an attendant on Saturdays, when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche meets believers, she should not think that she is unique, generate prideful thoughts, and think that she can dominate others in the name of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. As mentioned earlier, the two followers made the same mistake: they spread messages they heard. In fact, all of you would do it. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche added that if the ordained practitioner makes this mistake again, she will be expelled from the center.

The teachings you have heard today are important to your practice. Learning Buddhism is not different than living. It is lively instead of legalistic. You are not ready to learn Ultimate Bodhicitta. What you should practice is listening and following the guru’s speech. Before the end of today’s ceremony, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche added that the next teachings will address the subject of Zen Dhyana. He allowed the female believer who repented her faults before today’s ceremony to attend the puja.

« Older Page Go to Event Calendar Newer Page »

Updated on November 23, 2011