Event Calendar of The His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche

December 22, 2011

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche presided over the auspicious Chod Puja in the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center in Taipei. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said, since there was no Chod Puja last month, today there are over 1400 people in attendance. But the number of Chod Pujas may be reduced for next year (2012), because after so many such pujas in recent years, the attendees still do not believe in cause and effect, and still have strong greed, anger and delusion. Such practice has no effect to you at all. Moreover, as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is becoming older, there is the need to take care of the health. It is necessary for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to save the energy in order to take care of many things within the Drikung Kagyu Order.

You really don’t believe in cause and effect; not a little bit of disbelief, but utter disbelief. Buddha Shakyamuni prophesied that Buddhism will be declining in the future, because in the Age of Degenerate Dharma, people do not believe in cause and effect and do not accept the teachings of the Buddha. Take today for example, there are many issues today – many people either forgot to bring their IDs, or forgot to register, or simply came late, etc., etc. Why would there be so many such issues? They do not attach any importance to this Puja. If they do, how would they forget this and that? If they do, they would plan ahead and take good care of all their schedules to make time for this event with all obstacles removed, instead of not having enough time and arriving late. Many think that they are very busy and there are a lot of things that they have to do. But however busy you may be, you cannot be busier than Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Those of you who have not officially taken refuge may not understand, but it’s hard to imagine how busy Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche really is.

Do not assume that it’s easy to listen to the Buddha Dharma, that you can come here whenever you want to come. You’re here because you have the affinity. There are six billion people in the world, and how many among them can listen to the Buddha Dharma? It is fortunate for you to be born in Taiwan, to have the opportunity to access Buddhism. But among the more than 23 million people in Taiwan, only a very few can really accept the Buddha Dharma. You could attain a human body in this life because in your previous one you had done many good deeds. That’s how you could be born a human. That you are able to listen to the Buddha Dharma in this life results from the affinity in your last life. The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are giving you another opportunity to listen to the Buddha Dharma because you had listened to it in your previous life. But you must remember the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas can only help us continue the affinity. They cannot directly turn you into a Buddha. It’s not like you come to listen to it today and you’ll have accomplishments tomorrow. Even with affinity, you still need to keep practicing before you can hope to attain Buddhahood. This is true particularly with regard to the puja of Vajrayana Buddhism. Only those with virtuous affinity from their past lives can participate in it. The fact that you can come to the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center, which never advertises itself, indicates that you had affinity with the Drikung Kagyu tradition and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. But you should not be self-conceited, as it does not mean that there is something special about you. Rather, it’s just because each sentient being has different affinity. Whether or not you believe in cause and effect and accept Buddhism depends on the affinity in your previous life. On the other hand, it also depends on whether you have virtuous root or not. If you don’t, then you must following the guru’s teachings. You just do not think that learning Buddhism is the most important thing in life, not believing in the terrible consequences as related to of cause and effect. Whatever you do, you do it without thinking about the consequences first. As a result, “cause and effect” is afraid of you. So do not think that it’s all right to do anything before thinking about how to take care of the consequences.

Buddhism is characterized by the emphasis on education. However we are treated by others, it’s an opportunity of education for us. If someone means to do evil to us, from the point of view of Buddhism, he is giving us an education by negative example, teaching us that we should not be doing something like that. So he is also our “bodhisattva.” If you are nice to someone who treats you not quite nicely, this is the result of the previous affinity between the two of you. And you should be grateful to that person for the opportunity in which you can repay him and bring it to a settlement. Learning Buddhism is a process in which you learn through the influence and contact so that you can apply the Buddha Dharma in your life and gradually change your habits. This is why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche teaches you to follow the Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas, because if you act according to the Buddhist teachings, everything will change for the better. You will be going into the right direction as you stop doing evil and start doing good.

There was a disciple with breast cancer who Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche helped by granting her blessings and told her that the extra time made available to her was for her to learn and practice Buddhism and get liberated from the cycle of life and death. At that moment she promised to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche that she would practice diligently. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche particularly reminded her to let go of her attachment and stop pursuing worldly things. But she was not listening, thinking that since she brought up her brother and sister single-handedly, her responsibility for them was not over, so she insisted on continuing to work and make money. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knew her attachment, and told her to properly arrange her property before coming back to see the guru. As soon as she divided her property among her siblings, they quickly disappeared, smashing her expectation that they would come back and take care of her. After she received the blessings from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, her health condition was drastically improving, with the swelling and pain in the arm gone. And she was able to live a normal life and sleep well, leading her to believe that from there on she would be able to have some good days ahead of her. But her health condition deteriorated as she was not listening to the teachings of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. She began to blame this and that, and even complained about how hard it was to come and attend the puja. In the end, her faith collapsed and simply stopping coming to the puja. Only when her siblings took off with her money and ignored her did she realize that it was Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche who had been kindest to her all along without taking any of her money. Now she wanted to come back to the puja again.

Do not assume that attending the puja will make everything nice and smooth and your illness will be getting better too, having the idea that after participating in the puja, you’d become an invincible person fearing nothing. Those who have this idea may leave now. Maybe you’ll get nothing beneficial out of the puja today. Buddhism is about cause and effect, and your attendance in the puja gives you the opportunity in which Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche liberates your karmic creditors for you so that there are no longer any resentment between you and them. But you still need to repay what you owe. Without attending the puja, you’d have to repay not only the principal but also the interest. With attendance, now you only need to repay the principal, or even half the principal. You need to make the repayment. You might have to die immediately, but instead, you got ill or had a big fight with your husband or wife when you got home. These are some forms of repayment, which according to Buddhism is referred to as lessening the effect of heavy karmic retribution. Those who refuse to accept this may also leave now.

If your family is against your coming to learn Buddhism, don’t fight with them. Ordinary people would teach you to make dedications to them and then they would allow you to come. As a matter of fact this is very wrong. You should not think that attending the puja would keep your karmic creditors away. Those with this type of thought are mostly selfish, as you want your karmic creditors to go away so that you may be able to improve things for yourself. The Buddhist approach to karmic creditors does not involve attempts to drive them away. Many people think that having karmic creditors transferred is equivalent to driving them away. In fact, it is the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and the guru that help you reconcile with your karmic creditors through the puja so that the past resentment between the two of you may be resolved. With the resentment gone, you naturally would feel better, but as a matter of fact it’s because your karmic creditors have accepted it. That’s why if you keep attending the puja, things are surely going to change for the better for you. Every puja is important. Many people don’t want to have karmic creditors. But if it were not for them, you wouldn’t know if you are at fault. If it were not for the karmic creditors, you would not come closer to the Buddha Dharma. So your karmic creditors are the ones who make you realize how far you have gone from the right acts.

Many people ask “Why do I still get sick after having started being a vegetarian?” But even Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, who has attained a level of accomplishment as high as Rinpoche, still catches cold, let alone you? If you have eaten meat, you’d have to repay. Where do you think the meat has gone? It’s gotten into the cells. Nowadays almost all meat animals are raised in captivity; do you know how much toxin has been used? Although you’ve now become a vegetarian, the toxin that was left from the meat you had eaten before is still in your body and it takes quite a while before it can be purged out of the body. It’s like when you catch a cold, even though you go to the doctor and take the medicine, it wouldn’t go away immediately, taking days before you’re fully recovered. By the same token, even though you keep attending the pujas through which the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas help you liberate your karmic creditors, their influence is still with you. It not only takes time, but also requires your own diligent cultivation. It only works if you really do that. The cold that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gets neither is contagious nor causes a fever. But it still requires a few days of rest.

Our life is shortened because our blessed reward has been reduced. Attending the pujas and making offerings and almsgiving give you the opportunities to accumulate your blessed reward. The reduction of blessed reward is similar to a situation where if you have $100, every time you eat meat, a certain amount will be deducted from it. In the end, you’d only have $15 left. So when you stopped eating meat, you have $15 worth of blessed reward left. But even at that, the blessed reward would still keep being used. And of course in the end it would not be enough for you. How long can $15 last for you? If you do not continue to accumulate blessed reward, your life would end when all your blessed reward is gone. That’s why you have to earn it back. If you don’t have the resolution to earnestly learn Buddhism, how would you increase your blessed reward?

There was a group of American believers coming back to Taiwan, hoping to attend today’s puja. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not allow them to participate, because their intention was that since it was a long Christmas holiday season all the way until the beginning of January, they could take advantage of the puja as a “free ride” while still in Taiwan. But is there a Buddhism which you may be able to take advantage as a “free ride” like that? Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not teach “free-ride Buddhism,” and of course would not allow such “free-riders” to sit in the puja. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was telling the believer in the Buddhist Center, if any of you also came to attend the puja with such a mentality, then the puja would not be of much help to you. These days are the Christmas season in the West, and everyone is busy celebrating the holidays. Next week comes December 31st, and everyone will be busy “crossing the year” by staying up all night on New Year’s Eve. What on earth is good about that? As a Buddhist disciple, you should examine yourself to see if you have made any improvement with your virtue, if you have better relationship with other people. Of course, this relationship does not refer to that between a man and a woman. It’s good time to look within yourself and ask what progress you have achieved in the entire year, and how much time you have wasted.

Today there are many people who came to the puja for the first time. Some of you may have the “go and take a look” mentality, saying to themselves, well, I don’t really know what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has been doing in there. Of course you don’t know, since you are not the ones who may validate the level of accomplishment that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has attained. Only three kinds of people may know to which level of accomplishment that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has attained. The first is the guru of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. If any of you dare to raise your hand and claim that you are Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s guru, you will be asked to leave immediately. The second are the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. If anyone here claims to be one of them, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would kindly ask the disciples here who are also doctors to send him to the mental hospital. The third are the ghosts. What becomes of a person after death is 100 times more sensitive than a normal living person, and sentient beings in the Ghost Realm surely know who has the power to help them. Since you’re all living now, of course you’re not ghosts. How can you see anything? Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche dares not to talk nonsense sitting on the Dharma throne, because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is afraid of cause and effect. But as far as you’re concerned, “cause and effect” is afraid of you.

Soon there will be the election, and many people are criticizing each other playing all sorts of blame games. You should not listen to these, because behind all these games lies only pecuniary interest. Why would you be senseless enough as to watch such a show? So don’t watch or listen to those people debating and accusing each other. It’s just not good.

There are still going to be very chaotic situations next year. In Asia, Taiwan may be regarded as a very blessed place where everyone can have the opportunity to learn Buddhism. So cherish it. In Taiwan, if you don’t like someone and want to curse, you can do so. It’s not a big deal if you get fined a few thousand New Taiwan dollars, in the worst case scenario you may be fined a few tens of thousands. Such things would bring upon you a very serious punishment in some other countries.

There will be turmoil next year. It will be beneficial to everyone if there is no major change in society now. If there should be any changes at all, then let it happen a few years later. On the other hand, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not try to speak on behalf of anyone. What we need most in Taiwan are people with virtues, instead of people who march recklessly. As little as Taiwan is, it’s only five hours from Taipei to Kaohsiung by car and two hours by the high speed train. There is simply no place for you to hide, unlike bigger country where it’s easy to find a hideout place somewhere in the north and south, east or west, or even in the middle. If you charge here and there in Taiwan, you may easily fall into the ocean, as Taiwan lies between the Taiwan Strait on the one side and the Pacific Ocean on the other, which are both quite deep. Taiwan has nothing that supports the action of charging forward as in an offensive, rather, it should do everything it can to put up a good defensive. It’s not like Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is particular fond of a certain important politician. A few years ago when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was presiding over the Great Indiscriminate Amitabha Puja for Transferring Consciousness, a very important politician wanted to attend it. However, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche requested that he should not come. It’s just that it’s got nothing to do with political parties. But as long as there is a political figure with the virtue and without corruption, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would like to help him. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is from outside and does not care about politics at all, as practitioners should not do so. If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche cares about politics and wants to take part in the election, then at least it’s a position of city councilor. However, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does hope strongly that sentient beings have a place to learn Buddhism well, that means that the country is at least kept in peace instead of going to war. When we were performing the Green Tara Dharma the other day, we also were praying by the Dharma text to let peace be with the land near and far. So it is really important to maintain the peacefulness in a place. Only in such an environment can Buddhism have the opportunity to carry on, and everyone will have a peaceful place to learn Buddhism through diligence.

Buddhism consists of Exoteric Buddhism and Esoteric Buddhism. The former focuses on theories, fundamentals, basics, and from the literary records you may be able to know the underlying principles of Buddhism. The latter, however, places the emphasis on methodology in how to help sentient beings. It’s faster with the application of Esoteric Buddhism than Exoteric Buddhism, in which practice of very long time is required before a practitioner may attain some achievement. It’s much faster through Esoteric Buddhism. By faster, it does not necessarily mean that you can attain something the very next day, or you start practicing this year and you’ll get there next year, or even in a few years’ time. You’ll need to practice Esoteric Buddhism for a few dozen years like Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche before you can even realize any achievement.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was helping a disciple perform the Dharma for his shop a few days ago. The disciple set up the Dharma throne under the Air Conditioner, not knowing to move it a bit on the side. Because there was a sofa there and the disciple was too lazy to move it. They kept the air-conditioning on, and even thought that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was not afraid of the cold air, treating Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche like an invincible Vajra. But once Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche ascended to the Dharma throne, he would not dethrone until the puja came to an end, even if it meant that the guru would have to die on it. So Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not say anything about it and let the disciple take care of it. But the corporal body could not handle the cold air for three hours, and the guru got the cold. The Ratnakuta Sutra says that when an Esoteric practitioner has attained a certain level of accomplishment, he starts to have more disciples, and that’s where he will begin to have karmic hindrances. That results in some advice for those ordained practitioners that it may not be a good thing to have many disciples. With more disciples comes more karma.

Ordinary people usually spread a lot of faulty messages. Some may tell the believers, “You’re from the side of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and you were born into this life with a holy mission.” Such a message is wrong. The fact that you were born human in this life means that you had created favorable conditions with the Buddha and Bodhisattvas in your past lives; so in that case, who did not come from the side of the Buddha and Bodhisattvas? If you had not had affinity with the Buddha and Bodhisattvas, how could it have been possible for you to have the affinity to learn Buddhism in this life?

Do not assume that you can help liberate the deceased by reciting the sutras or having a group of people come to be your auxiliary sutra reciters. If it were that simple, then everything would be all right by simply using a sutra reciting machine. You may all have seen such machines behind many headboards of the patients’ beds in the ICU of the hospital. But these machines are completely useless, since there is no mind with a machine. Mantra chanting with and without compassion makes big difference. A practitioner who has no compassion does not produce any effect no matter how much mantra he has chanted, and he may even bring harm to the deceased on the contrary. It’s very popular among ordinary people to invite an auxiliary group of chanters. But only a very few of them may have compassion and the deceased is very sensitive, knowing clearly who may be able to help liberate him. Auxiliary recitation with no compassion would contrarily result in the arousal of resentment of the deceased. That’s why you should have practitioners with accomplishment to help the deceased.

As you come to attend the puja, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche required you to become a vegetarian, even remain a vegetarian for the rest of your life. Why? Because this is what the Buddha teaches us. According to the Buddhist sutras, the seeds of compassion will be severed if one eats the meat of sentient beings. Buddhism attaches great importance to compassion, as against other religions of the world like Catholicism, Christianity, Taoism, etc. which do not mention the word “compassion.” This unique feature constitutes the biggest difference between Buddhism and other religions. Buddhism does not exist without compassion. If we break the two characters that comprise “compassion,” the first part means to give the best of what you have in exchange for the worst of others. How many people can do that? And the second part means to help sentient beings liberate from the sea of reincarnation. In order to do that, the practitioner should first be able to liberate himself from the cycle of life and death before he can proceed to help others do that. You are not able to do that, so you must follow the guru’s teachings instead of judging Buddhism based on your own life experience.

The first sentence of the Dharma text on the Chod mentions that the practitioner should remove what he has on him that provides him with protection. When performing other Dharmas, the practitioner would wear something to provide protection for himself, such as the Buddha statue and the wheel of protection. But when it comes to performing the Chod, all such items should be removed. Through meditative contemplation, the practitioner should turn his own self into nectar and make offerings with it to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas on the one hand, and give it as charity to all sentient beings in the Six Realms on the other. Such is compassion. When you come to attend the puja, you would wish your karmic creditors well. Though you’re doing so partially in your self interest, wishing your karmic creditors well prevents them from interfering with you. So you should attend the puja with the mind of at least wishing them well.

Many people think that if they do volunteer work they are making offerings through the body; if they chant mantras and recite the sutras, they are making offerings through the speech; and if they learn to understand the Dharma in the heart, they are making offerings through the mind. But true offering making through the body, speech and mind refers to your resolution to learn Buddhism and practice it diligently, so that you can liberate yourself from the cycle of life and death and bring benefit to sentient beings. According to the Buddhist sutras,  many such stories existed that tell about Buddha Shakyamuni cutting off his own flesh to feed the eagle, and jumping into the tiger’s den to feed himself off to the mother tiger so that she would have milk for her cubs. The Chod is an extreme state of compassionate acts, in which the practitioner makes offerings with his body to all the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas on the one hand, and gives it as charity to all sentient beings in the Six Realms on the other. Through such practice and accumulation of merits, the practitioner surely will be able to help liberate sentient beings from the cycle of life and death.

There were practitioners who, when they were helping the patient with Dharma performance, required that he lie down on the floor. This is like making offerings and giving charity with the patient’s body. That is not necessarily required as a matter of fact. There are over 1,400 people attending the puja tonight. If each and every one of you need to lie down, it may take a space as large as a stadium. So it really is not necessary to lie down as long as you have the heart for repenting and compassion when attending the puja. Repentance is to acknowledge and accept the evil karma that has resulted from your past lives. We don’t even need to look back at past lives. By just examining this life we’d find a lot of evil karma already. The Chod that we are performing today is for the sake of sentient beings in all seas of suffering. The Chod is all about severance, relinquishing our afflictions from reincarnation.

Do not come to attend the puja with the wish that your husband may have a better business, or that your children may do better in school. Nowadays children were brought into the world with the intention of revenge. Come to think about it, how many good deeds have you done in this life? And on what basis would you have a child born to pay the debt of gratitude? When you think that your children are not being obedient, you bring them over to the puja so that they would be better-behaved. That’s because after attending the puja the children’s mind would be more concentrated instead of still having so many distractions. And naturally their grades would be better. Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara was a Buddha of the ancient times and didn’t understand English. How would the Bodhisattva be able to help you improve your English? On the other hand, the puja can help restore the pure nature of the children, and make it easier for them to accept Buddhist teachings. Once they have accepted it, there wouldn’t be so much resentment between you, so of course you’d feel they are more obedient. And revenge comes in many ways. True revenge may not take the form in which you have disobedient kids. There is a form of revenge in which you’d have a child who has always been well-behaved since the date of birth, and who has made excellent grades in school and been obedient all along until completing his PhD degree and then dies all out of a sudden. That kind of mishap would truly bring tremendous pain and suffering into the heart, lung and vertebra of the parent. So having children who are not well-behaved is not necessarily a form of revenge. On the contrary, if the children have not been behaving well all along it may cause you to forget about your high expectation; but with well-behaved and smart kids you may become very attached and difficult to let go. It’s like you have two apples, one rotten and other very nice and good; you’d feel nothing when you throw away the rotten one, but you’d be feeling very sorry if you have to throw away the good one.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s mother had a heart pacemaker fitted to the heart. But after a few years, it had to be replaced with a new one through a surgery just a few days ago. The operation only took half an hour, and as soon as she went back to the ward from the operation room, her blood pressure was reading 130/70. In addition, she could immediately take food after the operation was over, finishing a whole bowl of porridge in no time. This was the result of the blessings from the Buddha and Bodhisattvas as well as Dharma protectors. Had it not been for that, how could she have been able to recover so quickly after the operation and the anesthesia at the age of 88? Generally it would take a few days for people at that age to have the appetite back. Furthermore, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s mother had the operation on Saturday, and was discharged the following Wednesday. How could a patient at this old age have been discharged from the hospital in only three days after a surgery? Even young people wouldn’t be able to do that. All this is because of her son, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, who has been diligently learning and practicing Buddhism. Naturally the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and Dharma protectors would protect her. In addition, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche keeps giving blessings to her, too.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche believes cause and effect, knowing that his mother had to go through two separate surgeries because of her karma resulting from killing. Unlike you who would try to change the cause and effect, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has been helping her by working with her affinity, not going against the causal conditions. Unfortunately you don’t have a son like Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, so you have to diligently practice yourself. On the other hand, the suffering on Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s mother’s corporal body has repaid the karmic retribution that otherwise would send her to hell when this life of hers is over. With regard to the illnesses that your parents may have, you need to adjust your mentality instead of trying to make them live longer in any way possible. As human, we will all die one day or another, so the best approach is that you should try to make it possible for your parents to repay their debts through their illnesses. The most important thing is that your parents don’t suffer when they pass on. If you pray this way, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will surely help you, and such prayers are always answered.

Why should we pray for our parents not to suffer when they pass on? That’s because the sufferings during the time as one is dying would cause them to fall to the Three Evil Realms. You may have seen the faces of many of the deceased who were passing on with sufferings, and with a frowning expression it indicates pain. That means that they would go to evil realms. If the deceased were headed to the Three Virtuous Realms, on the other hand, the signs that were shown would be quite auspicious. Those deceased who had been liberated through the Dharma rituals performed by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had the bodies free of livor mortis, which normally would occur one hour after a human life passes on. Even those with ascites, with the help of the Dharma rituals that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche performed, would result in having no more such a condition with their bodies. It’s not because it was discharged out of the body; rather, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche helped the deceased liberate all of their karmic creditors along with it. As a result, they had pleasant expressions on the face and their bodies would be soft, which are signs that they went to the Pure Land or the Three Virtuous Realms. And when that happens, whatever was left off on the earth by the deceased would also be changed.

The most important moment, as far as Buddhism is concerned, is the moment that you are passing on. One way or another we all face death. But in a situation when a patient is dying, you may all want to ask the doctor to try to keep him alive a little longer. What on earth is the use of living just a little bit longer like this? Whatever your attitude is toward your parents now would be adopted by your own children to treat you when you are passing on. Nowadays before people die their bodies would have all sorts of tubes – nasal tube, urinary catheter, and intravenous tube on their hands. Would you say that you’d feel comfortable with all of those? If you think that it is not a problem for your parents to accept them, then why not try them on your own body? Come to think about it, wouldn’t you feel that those days would be full of suffering if you have to lie in your bed fitted with a respirator, inserted with a urinary catheter, and a pulse meter on the hand?

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche instructed a disciple to tell the disciple with breast cancer who had been waiting downstairs for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s permission to attend the puja – if she came upstairs to attend the puja, it wouldn’t be long before she would die; and if she still would like to attend it in that case, then she could come up to take part in it. Then Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told the attendees, “You may not have heard of such a guru!” As a matter of fact, it takes blessed reward for one to die a good death. If you don’t have enough blessed reward, then you would have all types of intubation over your body like a monster in science fictions, and you may still not be let die even after such long lasting suffering.

To attend the Chod you must have the mind for repentance and compassion. Do not assume that you are faultless, and are not required to repent. Many are not aware of the wrong things that they have been doing, just like a disciple who had confessed to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche that he would go moonlighting after getting off from his regular job. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then asked him, what would his boss think if he knows about this?” The disciple answered that he would lose his regular job. The guru then advised, “This is because you don’t believe in the cause and effect. If your boss feels that it’s all right for you to moonlight, he would tell you so. But he didn’t say that, hoping that you’d rest well and do your job professionally.” You may all feel that you need these few extra thousands of (New Taiwan) dollars in order to survive. Who doesn’t need money? But how can you do this just for a few thousand (New Taiwan) dollars? You all know how to find an excuse to rationalize what you have been doing wrong.

Then Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche began to perform the extraordinary Chod. Upon perfect completion, the guru started to expound on a few sentences in the Dharma text, which touched upon the marvelous method of eliminating the demons and ghosts. You may have heard of the heavenly demons. But why, after they went to the Heavenly Realm, they still would be referred to as “demons?” From the Taoist perspective, once someone has ascended to the Heavenly Realm, he would become a fairy instead of a demon. But the sentient beings in the Heavenly Realm also are subject to reincarnation. The reason that they are called heavenly demons is that maybe they teach you about enjoyment in the Heavenly Realm instead of liberation from reincarnation. The demons as mentioned in Buddhism are not those that teach you to do bad things. Demons are different from monsters in that demons may also teach you to make offerings and give charity. But the biggest difference between demons and Buddhas is that the latter teach us the way to liberation from the cycle of life and death, while demons are not able to teach the humans to break reincarnation, nor do they know how.

Back then, the king of maras told Buddha Shakyamuni, “In the future my descendents will become your disciples, who will prevent sentient beings from being able to break reincarnation, just like the bugs on the lion biting him. As strong as a lion is, no other animals can harm him except the bugs living on him. Even Buddha Shakyamuni did not know how to deal with this situation upon hearing that. Additionally the ghosts are all sentient beings that you once have harmed. They became ghosts as they lost their corporal bodies. By your attendance of the Chod, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will help you eliminate the resentment of your karmic creditors in order that you may learn Buddhism in peace, so that you can proceed from there and be liberated from the cycle of life and death. That’s why this is the marvelous method to eliminate the demons and ghosts.

However none of you believe in the cause and effect, not at all. Someone may say, “How would I know where I’d be headed to after I die, as I cannot see hell?” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche explained: wrong. Hell is not somewhere you go only after death. The life that you live before you pass on would be 100% the life that you live after you die. That disciple with breast cancer had not been able to eat and sleep for those few months, a sign of the Hungry Ghost Realm. She only came to request help with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche when she was suffering and could not put up with it any more. But Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche of course knew her attachment and that’s why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told her to come back and see the guru after disposing of all her property. Consequently, her brother and sister were nowhere to be found after getting her property. Surely enough they became peaceful and happy with the money, to be left alone to enjoy their good days. But at that time she was still much attached to her own importance and egotism, thinking that without her, her siblings would not even survive. In reality, there is not such a thing that one cannot survive without someone else. You often say, “I cannot die as my responsibilities have not yet been fulfilled.” But in fact, there is nothing left unfulfilled when you die. She had always thought that since she was the one who single-handedly brought up her siblings, they should return her favor. Older generations all know that there is a Chinese proverb that goes, “Do a favor without expecting a return in kind.” Doesn’t that teach us that when you do someone a favor, you should not expect it to be repaid? But we always think that it should be returned in kind. Compassion is about absolute giving without any repayment. If you are being nice to someone who repays you with something bad, then the debt between you would be cleared.

It is not that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche wants you to have no family or job. Without family, you cannot grow up, and without a job, you will not be able to sustain your corporal body. Most importantly, it is to tell all of you that family is governed by the rule of affinity. It’s not implied that you should not be nice to your family in your interaction. As an example, it is natural that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has great filial piety toward his mother. The key here is that all those are based on the Law of cause and condition, and nothing is eternal. If you get yourself attached to it too much, then it’s because of your egotism.

Also, do not let your family influence your Buddhist practice. Some of your karmic creditors might be born into your family to prevent you from learning Buddhism. If your family is the obstacle, it means that you had been an obstacle to others in your past lives. Another reason is that you don’t have resolution, causing you to become your own obstacle. Since Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche started learning Buddhism, there never has been anyone in the family that can prevent Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche from doing so, because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has the resolute determination. Do not assume that it is the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas who require that you learn Buddhism. No, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas do not want you at all, as all of you stink. It is you who need the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

The Dharma text mentions that the auspicious Dharma we are performing today is like the Sun, constantly shining through the sky without regard to time or space. The Sun shines through the whole solar system unstoppably and incessantly, without any consideration that there are 24 hours in a day. Time was something that was invented by the human beings. If the earth stopped turning around, then the Sun would keep shedding its light on the same side. If there is a place the Sun cannot reach, that’s because something is blocking it. The light of the Buddha is like the Sun, constantly shedding light unto all sentient beings without interruption. But why is it that the light of the Buddha cannot reach your heart? That’s because you are blocking it, with your greed, resentment, delusion, arrogance, and doubt to prevent it from shining through. So you are really what have been blocking the light of the Buddha to shine unto yourselves.

The Dharma text also mentions that this Dharma method can help those sentient beings of the Six Realms that have not had time to be liberated since the Buddhas of the ancient times. That is to say, the capacity of the mind attached to the charity giving with this Dharma is immense. To put it more broadly, all sentient beings in the universe can be helped with this Dharma. The presiding guru can use the merits of offerings and charity to benefit these sentient beings, so that they can all have blessed reward, and in the future they can also attain the state of Buddhahood. So once again I’m stressing to you all the importance of making offerings and giving charity. There is no such a thing as a heavenly mission. No one can claim that he comes with a heavenly mission to do something, as there is no one who assigns such a mission. The fact that all of you present today can get help from the Chod indicates that you are able to attain the state of Buddhahood in a certain future life of yours. But no one, not even Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, knows when. No human being except the Buddha can bestow assurance of future enlightenment unto anyone.

Now there is a group of people who stand out and claim that Buddha Shakyamuni is too young. So they prefer to present the Sovereign Ruler Buddha Tathagata from a few hundreds of millions of years ago – as sovereign as he is. This Buddha indeed is mentioned in the Buddhist sutras, which also say, however, that the Buddha Dharma of the Earth nowadays had been passed down from Buddha Shakyamuni. But after going through all the Buddhist sutras, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has not been able to find the heritage as these people claim there is. Obviously something is wrong with this heritage. If their claims are true, please just show where it’s indicated in the Buddhist sutras. Now that we all know that the Buddha Dharma of the Earth nowadays had been passed down from Buddha Shakyamuni, if we don’t go with this Dharma, then wouldn’t we become aliens? You’re all earthlings, so don’t mix that up. You cannot simply equate a Buddha statue with the Buddha Dharma. Some other religions also have Buddha statues, like the statue of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara standing side by side with that of Mazu. But just because they have Buddha statues, can you claim that it is Buddhism?

If you want to donate money, do not give it to charity foundations, many of which already have received a lot of donations in the form of money. Your money of a few tens or hundreds of (New Taiwan) dollars wouldn’t make much of a difference. If you really want to make a donation, then give the money to the Department of Social Affairs of the Ministry of the Interior, which really are in need of money. The officials in that Department are civil employees of the government with salaries. So if you donate 100 (New Taiwan) dollars, it will all be used on people who are really in need of help. You can even designate what purpose your donation is meant and they would kindly give you a receipt. As civil employees of the government they would not dare to embezzle your donation. And if they do, you may sue them. What about charity foundations? In theory you would be able to audit their accounts, but you wouldn’t dare to do so, since they have a lot of members. You wouldn’t dare to sue them either for fear that many of them would come out and criticize you. Charity foundations have many expenses, such as personnel, rent, advertisement and promotion, all of which would come to quite a large sum. On the other hand, the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center never spends money on promotions or advertisement, so its cost of operation is not as much.

When it comes to making offerings and giving charity, you should do it as you observe where it’s needed in your daily life. For example, if you see someone has no money to support schooling, or buy the coffin, or go to the doctor, you can help. It’d be great if you can do the best you can. Don’t rush to send over a bunch of things with everyone where the TV news report says there is a need for assistance, like the disaster in Japan. When everyone sends a lot of stuff, it may be too much and a lot of materials end up unused and wasted.

Attending the puja does not necessarily mean that you have the affinity. The affinity is not there if you are not willing to listen to the guru’s teaching and act accordingly. It’s like when you go to school, how can you learn anything if you don’t listen to the teacher? In this case, it’s only a waste of time. Not only you consume the guru’s energy, but your attempt of participating in the puja will also end up in vain. So don’t come to the puja again if you are not ready to listen to the guru.

The deceased that should be liberated today have all attained their liberation. And knowing that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is under the weather and doesn’t have much physical strength, they ran fast today. The attendees expressed their gratitude in unison to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for the auspicious performance of the Dharma without consideration for the less than ideal physical condition, bringing benefits to numerous sentient beings.

Upon perfect completion of the puja, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche particularly blessed one of the believers with a bottle of nectar water and two bottles of vegetable-based cream, with detailed instructions as to how to use them. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s great compassion in giving grand charity to all sentient beings regardless of his own fatigue and workload has really touched the heart of everyone in attendance.

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Updated on February 18, 2012