Event Calendar of The His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche

December 24, 2011

Most Venearble Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche presided over the puja in the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center in Taipei, performing Vajrasattva’s Dharma method of repentance.

Just before the puja a male disciple shared his experience in which Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche helped his family. He was facing a series of challenges ranging from the restructuring of his company and adaptation to career development environment, to his own physical and psychological health in 2006. At the suggestion of a Dharma brother in the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center, he started being a vegetarian from May 11, and attended the 2006 Great Indiscriminate Amitabha Puja for Transferring Consciousness three months later. He saw the Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for the first time at the puja, whose solemnity and auspiciousness impressed him so much that it becomes unforgettable till now.

His wife’s uncle died after the 2006 grand puja. Since her uncle was a retired veteran and had no offspring in Taiwan, the funeral home did not accept arrangement for the commission of sutra reciting during this funeral period. With the introduction of the Dharma brothers, he and his wife sought audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to request that her uncle be liberated in the upcoming Chod Puja. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche agreed, his wife then asked, “What can I do to help?” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche reprimanded her on the spot. After that, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche turned to ask him, “Were you happy when I was criticizing your wife?” He replied, “No!” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then asked him again, “Do you have any problems?” “No problems!” was his immediate answer. Then Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche commented, “Only Buddhas have no problems.” The guru continued by pointing at him, “You have serious problems in being too proud.” Then the guru told the couple to report what they had done wrong the next time they came back, and would then decide whether they should be allowed to attend the Chod or not. The couple reported to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche where they had done wrong the very next day. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked them to go back and listen to the Dharma tape of repentance, and agreed that they might attend the Chod.

Toward the end of September 2006, his father was diagnosed with two tumors in the liver, with one at 2 cm and the other at 8 cm. The doctor’s diagnosis was that his father would only survive three more months. Feeling helpless, he decided to seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and request the guru to help prolong his father’s life. After inquiring about birth-related information and the name of his father, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said, “Your father has less than three months left to live. As a matter of fact he can only live two more months. From outside, it seems that there is no sign of ascites, but in fact he’s got it inside.” His father’s real condition was just what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had described, with much ascites in the body, and often unable to get any food past his throat. He was eventually gone in a matter of two months. This on the other hand proved that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was indeed a great healer.

The compassionate guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche offered him two options: one of them was, the guru could help his father prolong his life, but after that, his father might not be able to find Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche if he encountered more problems; and the other option was, the guru could help his father pass on early without suffering so that he could avoid falling to the Evil Realms. In the end, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche granted his request, that he could bring his father to the Sunday pujas every week, and receive the Dharma tape of repentance. At the puja the next day, which was a Sunday, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche illustrated on the cause and effect as they relate to fishing, killing, and cancer. It so happened that his father loved fishing as a hobby from a very young age. This prompted him to seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche once again to request that his father be let go early without suffering so that he could avoid falling to the Three Evil Realms.  The guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told him, “Let the Bodhisattvas take care of everything; and the one with the most filial piety is one that learns Buddhism.

As he learned that his father got cancer, he felt a deep sense of regret about not having enough time to fulfill his duty as a son, which is expressed in the old Chinese proverb that says, “The trees want to be in a state of peacefulness and tranquility but the wind keeps blowing; the son wants to fulfill his filial duty but his parents are gone.” The guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s statement, “The one with the most filial piety is one that learns Buddhism” gave him an idea of how to make up for this regret. So he took refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche on November 12, 2006, and started learning Buddhism.

As he saw his father becoming weaker and weaker but there was not much he could do for his father, he felt that he’d never really fulfilled his filial duty as a son to his father. So he chose to believe in relying on Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and let them take care of everything for him. After attending two pujas, his father was turning out to be better, with the face showing a better complexion and radiance. But after that, his father refused to attend the puja any more. What followed was that his father’s conditions worsened with regard to the ascites and the swollen lower limbs. When his father was hospitalized, he kept playing the Dharma tape of repentance to, and sharing Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teachings at the puja with his father.

When seeking an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in November 2006, his father asked which treatment would be better, the traditional Chinese medicine or the Western medicine. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche replied, “Whether it’s the traditional Chinese medicine or Western medicine, your condition will be beyond treatment one day. The key is that you’re at a senior age, it’s about time to consider things of the future lives.” Eventually Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche agreed that his father might attend the Chod. A week later, his father attended the Chod. And after three days, his father badgered to see Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, asking the guru to let him go early. After that, his father woke up from sleep and got into a liver-condition-induced coma, never to wake up again.

His father died on December 6, 2006, the day the family sought an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, who in turn immediately chanted mantra to shield the consciousness of his father so that it wouldn’t fall into the Three Evil Realms, while promising to liberate his father in the Chod Puja. The Guru told them, “Your father currently has no suffering except a slight discomfort with one hand. His biggest worry is the youngest daughter.” His father did not get an injection of morphine, nor did he take any painkillers, and the only discomfort comes from the ascites and the swollen condition in the legs. After mantra chanting by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, his father’s mouth, which had remained open since the moment he breathed the last breath, closed and even showed a smile. His body was soft and tender, with all signs of the ascites and swollen condition gone. They worried that his favorite suit would not fit him at first. But the changing process turned out to be quite smooth and it fit him perfectly.

As he was changing his father, he found cavity on the inside elbow of his father’s right hand caused by medical injections, which confirmed what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had said earlier about one of his hands not being comfortable. The ashes after cremation showed a touch of pink, in which were found four beautiful green crystallizations. Such crystallizations are referred to as sarira clusters by the funeral personnel. The whole family became willing to be vegetarians after the father had passed away, and animal-related dishes were taken out of the ritualized offerings made to their ancestors. They had observed the teachings from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche with regard to their father’s memorial – “No mourning but only remembrance.”

The disciple went on to share that his uncle was killed in an accident in April of last year as a result of drunk driving a motorcycle. His cousin and he sought an audience with Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche to ask for permission to attend the Chod. But his cousin stopped coming to the puja after the Chod. He then invited her to attend the Great Indiscriminate Amitabha Puja for Transferring Consciousness on October 3, 2010, but was refused. On the same day in the afternoon as his cousin refused the invitation, his mother dreamed of his uncle, even though his uncle did not say anything in the dream. He told his cousin about it and she agreed to go to the Great Indiscriminate Amitabha Puja for Transferring Consciousness with him. This proved that sentient beings from the other realms also know Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche’s auspiciousness in his Dharma performance.

His car lost control on the elevated highway on December 3, 2007 due to driving too fast and the head of the car hit the guardrail. The car span in two complete circles, causing the tail to hit the guardrail as well before it came to a stop. The front bumper, hood, and water tank were all damaged.  When the head of the car hit the guardrail, it suddenly came to his mind, “now that it has happened, let it get through faster.” And with that idea, he let go of the steering wheel, allowing the vehicle to take control of itself. But he came to senses after all this was through. Both he and his son on the back seat remained unhurt except shocked. If only the side of the car got hit or the vehicle rolled over, the consequence would be unimaginable.

He was very grateful to Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and Dharma protectors for the protection that kept both him and his son unharmed.  And he knew he had not changed his habit of being arrogant and lacking in his repentance; nor had he been acting according to the guru’s teachings. The accident made him realize that Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and Dharma protectors had never given up on sentient beings. That helped to build faith in his mind, as touched and grateful as he was. He chose to rely on Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche, and the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, surrender everything to the care of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, repay the debt of gratitude to his mother and his deceased father through learning Buddhism, and face life without fear. Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche also made it known to him that liberation from reincarnation through Buddhist practice should be the direction and target of life.

He went on to repent the many evil karma that he had in the past, hurting many sentient beings. He repented that as a child, he often went fishing in the creek and killed many fish, shrimps, crabs, as well as many butterflies, insects, caterpillars, silkworms, crickets, grasshoppers, beetles, rhinoceros beetles, chafers, ants, cockroaches, mosquitoes, spiders, centipedes, frogs, toads, turtles, and goldfish. He further repented for killing chickens and fish, or watching others kill sparrows and snakes.

He repented for eating chicken, duck, goose, fish, beef, lamb, pig, voles, oyster, abalone, crab, turtle, octopus, cuttlefish, pigeon, fresh water eel, and eel. He repented for stealing as a child with his classmates the turtles as toys from the temples which were set free by believers, and after playing enough, selling them to the food market; and such actions caused one big turtle to turn loose on the highway and get crushed by a passing truck. He repented for bullying homeless old women with mental illness, throwing stones at them as a child with his classmates. He repented for having an affair with a married woman for satisfy his lust, inducing her to be divorced. He repented for often taking home the company’s stationery as his own, not working hard, and running personal errands on company’s time. He repented for not having the courage to take the responsibility for what he did wrong or badly, for fear that he would be hurt or put in an unfavorable situation, and for finding an excuse and put the blame unto someone else, and shifting his own duty to others. He repented for considering himself to be a good, for the love of face-saving, for making promises that he could not keep, for craving for others’ compliments, for having a proud personality and feeling self-righteous, for refusing to listen to others’ advice, for resenting at things that did not go in the direction that he desired, for thinking that others were plotting against him, for making all the complaints and blames unto others when things went wrong. He repented for often gloating instead of extending a helping hand to and caring for others, and for examining others’ faults instead of his own.

He repented for not completely surrendering himself or acting according to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teachings, sometimes with doubts like “Is this so?” in the mind. He repented for not having enough sincerity for making offerings, and with each offering he made carefully calculated in his mind whether he would have enough money left for himself. He repented for grudging his praises for the guru’s merits, not making Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s auspicious deeds known to many of his friends, classmates and relatives. He repented for not being grateful enough, not seriously committing himself to learning Buddhism while receiving all Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s help for his family. Thinking that with a peaceful mind he would be able to live a good life but then he became proud again, to the extent that led to the accident in 2007, completely forgetting Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s regularly taught story about the State Mentor Wuda. Little has been realized that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teachings were for the purpose of liberation from life and death instead of creating the condition for his disciples to live a self-righteous life and making themselves feel good.

In the end, he thanked Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for the many years of teaching. Aware that he had done a lot of wrong things, he resolved to try hard to mend his ways that lead to continued suffering of reincarnation and apply Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teachings to his life. He expressed his gratitude again to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, prayed for the guru to have excellent health, to live a long life in the world, and to spread his Dharma activities far and wide.

After ascending to the Dharma throne, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said, “What I’m performing for everyone here is the Vajrasattva’s Dharma method of repentance. Vajrasattva is a very important yidam, whose Dharma method must be learned before a practitioner can practice Tantra. Repentance cannot be made solely through Penitential Rites.  You have heard stories of the Precious Penitential Rites by Emperor Liang and the Water Penitential Rites. But these rites were performed in order for the deceased to go to the Virtuous Realms. They cannot help you accumulate the merits that lead to liberation from life and death.

Repentance is a unique Buddhist method that does not exist in other religions. Repentance is not apology for something you did wrong. Non-Buddhist repentance is done to prevent wrong doings from angering God, and so it is done to beg forgiveness from God. From the Buddhist point of view, repentance is a matter required by the law of cause and effect. Wrong deeds of course will cause bad karmic retribution, and thus there is the need to repent. But repentance should not be made as a condition of exchange or for benefits. There are two parts to repentance, with the first part about acknowledging, accepting, and facing what one has done, and the second about resolving to never do such things again. Wrong deeds should not be repeated.

Why is it that evil thoughts keep coming into the mind? The reason is that repentance has not been made completely. If it has been done, then no evil thoughts would reappear. If one knows doing something would result in karmic retribution, and it is wrong, he would avoid doing that in the future and gradually there would be no more evils. However, you often are not aware what you have done is wrong, thinking that small things do not matter. But small wrong deeds can accumulate over time and form a formidable force which would make it very difficult to change even if you want to. Some would say, “I don’t know how to change, and this is my personality.”  Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche instructed : Who says that? If you refuse to change, that’s your attachment. Even Confucius has said that human beings can change. The Buddhist sutras also state that people can change themselves through Buddhist practice. When you act in accordance with the teachings of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, one day you would suddenly find that you have stopped saying what you used to say, stopped doing what you used to do, stopped like as much what you used to like, and stopped becoming angry with what you used to be angry about. You would find you have gradually changed.

The Sutra of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s Fundamental Vows says, “Every movement and thought of an ordinary person generates karma and vice.” What is a vice? A vice is not something bad, rather, it is a force, or a virtuous – evil behavior that comes from the body, speech, and mind as a result of greed, resentment and ignorance that would make it impossible to be liberated from life and death. The human life is subject to reincarnation by a force formed through accumulated virtuous and evil karma from many past lives. The Dharma method of repentance can cleanse us of this fault. But cleansing is not to make the fault disappear. Rather, it makes the force to stop temporarily or reduce its effect, allowing you to have time to learn Buddhism and be liberated from the cycle of life and death. Sometimes it’s so obvious that you have done something wrong, but you’d find an excuse in an attempt to make your behavior appear rational. Stop being self-righteous, and stop using your own ideas in learning Buddhism.

Some people would say that they are not aware where they have done anything wrong, thinking that they are not aware of the wrongs that they have done in past lives. In fact, you don’t really need to worry about your past lives. As long as you have done nothing wrong, you would be in Amitabha’s Pure Land instead of still being here now.  And as long as sentient beings are still subject to reincarnation, you must have done something wrong, so you must make repentance. When you were young and did something wrong, you’d blame your siblings for causing you to do that. There are many who share a similar thought like this. Those who don’t have siblings would put the blame on their classmates. There is never a case in which you’d look within and examine yourself. Why is it that in the last few pujas it was necessary to illustrate to you the importance of making offerings and giving charity? That’s because only those who know to make offerings and give charity would be able to truly repent, and you would know how to renounce. And those who can renounce would be able to see their own faults, thus give rise to the mind of repentance. You did not come here again by aspiration. Instead, you did so by karma. Repentance will eliminate any karmic hindrance that will prevent you from being liberated from reincarnation. Getting rid of karmic hindrance does not prevent bad things from happening in the future; instead, it is meant to prevent you from being influenced by the karmic force while you learn Buddhism for liberation from life and death, including virtuous karma.

So do not use words like “idiot, very ugly, stupid, very black,” to describe others. Those who do will suffer from similar karmic retribution. Whoever say that others are black may be born very black in their next life. By the same token, those who curse others to be a third party (mistress) or a “coquette” that destroys other people’s family may be born in the next life as the third child to be nicknamed “the third party.” Nowadays people blame everything onto others and do not know how to examine themselves. Everything has cause and effect. Why doesn’t it seem to matter if others are doing it, but when you do it yourself something is bound to happen to you? That is cause and effect. Just like a thief trying to steal something, when someone is doing that, nothing happens to them. But when you’re doing it yourself, something always happens to you. There is an ordained disciple who blamed that someone’s cooking caused him to have diarrhea. But of all the people who ate from the same food only you had diarrhea. When you go shopping, the person in front of you always gets more than you do. Others have nothing happen to them when they are eating, but when you’re doing the same, you’d find a cockroach in your food. This is also cause and effect. If you should not have the karmic retribution in the form of a diarrhea, then you wouldn’t die even if others try to poison you. You should examine the causes that you have planted before. Why some people have more hair than others? That’s also cause and effect. So stop laughing at bald people in the future.

In a Chod Puja a few days ago, you all saw that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche permitted a female disciple with breast cancer to enter the Buddhist Center and attend it. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had repeatedly tried to convince her to let go of the worldly things and focus on Buddhist practice with diligence and a mind of repentance so that she could be liberated from the cycle of life and death. The guru even told a disciple at that time to pass a message to her waiting outside the Center: she would die if she entered the Center; but if she could accept it she would be permitted to come in to attend the puja. The reason that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was telling her so was that the guru wanted her to know that she must learn Buddhism with a determination to die. But after she was let in and attended the puja, she still did not want to listen. Nor did she want to repent completely. After hearing what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had to say, she even called her brother and sister, saying that they needed to unite together. Did she think that it was time for them to establish a new nation?  She thought that after attending the Chod Puja she would also be able to attend the puja today. But to her surprise, today Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not allow her to come into the Buddhist Center. There was nothing wrong with her trying to take care of her siblings, and the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas would never become a hindrance to the relationship between family members. The truth was that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knew the source of her suffering – her attachment. And if she could not get help in taking care of this, she would die a very painful death when her time came. Not allowing her to attend today’s puja would give her an opportunity to think for herself. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was very hard on himself, so hard that he would shut himself in retreat for three months in the Snow Mountain of very high altitude. That is something you cannot imagine.

Many people thought that after repentance, all their evil karma would be eliminated. This idea is quite wrong. If no karmic retribution would come as a result of the evil karma that has been done before, then there also would be no karmic retribution for the virtuous karma. And if the evil karma that has been done can be eliminated, Buddha Shakyamuni would not have encountered nine difficulties during the life in which he attained Buddhahood. One of the difficulties was that Buddha Shakyamuni was eating the horse feed with his disciples for three months in that life. This was so because Buddha Shakyamuni in one of his previous lives was ridiculing some practitioners that they did not deserve to regular food except horse feed. But since Buddha Shakyamuni was a Buddha and had the corresponding blessed reward, he was still able to eat horse feed in the life in which he attained Buddhahood. If it had not been for that, he would  have had nothing to eat at all.

In addition, Buddha Shakyamuni was suffering from a long-lasting headache in the life in which he attained Buddhahood, because in one of his previous lives in the village where he was living, the villagers had pumped dry a pond and killed all the fish in it. Buddha Shakyamuni was a child at that time and used a wooden stick to hit on the head of a big fish. Obviously the karmic retribution was a long-lasting headache. Furthermore, there were non-Buddhists who were using a huge stone to hit Buddha Shakyamuni. Though it was smashed into pieces by the Vajradhara, some of the small pieces hit Buddha Shakyamuni’s foot, causing it to bleed. You can eliminate the hindrance to learning Buddhism through Buddhist practice, reducing, delaying or temporarily suspend the retribution that results from evil karma that you have done. The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas cannot change your karmic retribution. Even they still have karmic retribution after they have attained Buddhahood and have to repay. What makes it possible that you don’t have to repay?

There are Dharma practitioners raising huge amount of funds from ordinary people to build big Buddhist temples. Such is the case in the north, center and south of Taiwan. But Buddha Shakyamuni never said anything about building big memorial halls, schools, or hospitals. If such construction projects were mentioned as necessary, they would have been written on the Buddhist sutras from the very beginning. Such acts are really just a waste of money. The Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center does not spend money on such projects. So when you come to the puja, you decide whether you would make offerings to Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche or not, and there is no price tag attached to it.

Everyone has different karmic influence and retribution, just like individual kids who are very different from each other in personality and nature even though they came from the same parents. But why are they different? In the scientific circle they can only explain this with a theory of genetic mutation. But there is no explanation as to why the genes mutate in the first place. How did the genes come into being? Nothing was given in writing in non-Buddhist scripts. A disciple who used to be a Catholic reported that in the Holy Bible nothing was mentioned about how the genes came into being. Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche stated that this is a problem that is faced by Catholicism and Christianity currently – how should it be explained if something appeared which was not mentioned in the scripts? Such explanation does exist in the Buddhist sutras, in that the genes are actually the influence of karma. Different karmic influences among sentient beings form different reincarnation. That causes not only the human beings, but also animals, to have different personalities, and sentient beings from different Realms to have different personalities as well.

The Dharma that we’re performing today is to help you cleanse karmic hindrance. And cleansing karmic hindrance is not the same as making it disappear. Instead, it is to restore karmic hindrance to its pure Dharma nature, which is the nature that arises and ceases according to causal conditions. From the perspective of the Dharma nature, it is our pure original nature, which does not increase or decrease, but rather it is in accordance with the principle of “all phenomena arise from conditions and are empty in nature,” just like a mirror which can reflect the image of an object through itself. However, when the object is removed, the mirror would go back to its original pure emptiness, with no image left. So to keep the image you’d have to keep the object in front of the mirror all the time. And the Dharma nature of humans is just as pure and empty as the mirror.

Learning Buddhism is about learning the Buddha Dharma instead of learning to imitate the exterior appearance of the guru. Some male disciples at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center now think that they should learn to imitate the guru’s appearance and daily lifestyle, and thus started to be dressed like the guru. But they are not learning the diligence with which the guru learns Buddhism. What you’re learning is mere appearance instead of what the guru does, which cannot be learned. As copycats they do it rather poorly, like what the Cantonese would say, “Even if you’re given the emperor’s dragon robe, you still don’t look like a prince.” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche can perform the Phowa for others, can cause the skulls of the deceased to have holes on them, can be in a retreat for three months in a mountain with an altitude of 4,500 meters, can have caterpillars crawling into his clothes during his sleep, and can retreat in severely cold weather. Can you learn that? Someone tries to learn from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche about being clean. That is a habit that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has formed since he was very young. As a child, every time he was wearing white pants, he would ask his mother to carry him home on her back instead of walking home if only a little dirty spot was found on his white pants. This was how much he loved to stay clean from his childhood. Can you learn to love being clean like that? While copying whatever the guru is wearing, you should first see whether you have the right blessed reward, or internal quality to do so. Do you have great eloquence, or high level of education, or a shapely body? None of those! Then don’t be the wrong copycat.

His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang is a bhiksu with great merits who abide by the Buddha Dharma and keeps the precepts. It would be fair that as his disciple, Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche imitate His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang. But Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche did not do that, since Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche is not an ordained disciple. What Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche has been learning from his guru is pure Buddhism instead of his lifestyle. You should also learn to be diligent instead of the guru’s lifestyle. Back then, many sentient beings were attracted to learn Buddhism with Buddha Shakyamuni because of his stately Dharma appearance. And a stately appearance is not an air of seriousness that you pretend to put on your face. Rather, it is a result of Buddhist practice and blessed reward which give radiance. Naturally this is something that sentient beings like. This has to do with blessed reward. The key is not how you appear. What makes you attractive lies within the exterior appearance. People pay attention to you because of your internal qualities that make you radiant and shed light onto others. Blessed reward cannot be cultivated in a short period of time. It’s not that simple.

Some people would imitate the guru and speak in a very slow and softly-breathing tone. What they are not aware of is that the guru does that because the poor health does not support a strong energy flow from the abdomen, resulting in a soft and slow speech. This, in addition to the shape of the face, would have an effect on the way he talks. But if you have strong energy flow from the abdomen, how can you manage to imitate a speech so slow and soft?

As long as it’s a matter that concerns the guru, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would take care of it carefully with great attention to details, leaving no room for the guru to worry. His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang once said that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was very meticulous. Just like the project publishing the photocopy version of the Tripitaka done during the reign of Emperor Kangxi, it was an execution of the aspiration of His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang. In order to fulfill the guru’s vow, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had spent a lot of money and used a lot of relationships before eventually getting it done a few years ago. Why so meticulous? Because there has been repentance, and the cause and effect of things can be seen clearly. Those who have repented can apply Buddhist principles to life during their practice, which will lead to liberation from the cycle of life and death. Those of you who do not see clearly the cause and effect of things should listen attentively.

But Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche’s disciples are not attentive to the guru enough. It’s now winter, and today’s temperature is quite low. The two disciples who were supposed to prepare the Dharma robe for Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche have prepared the Dharma skirt for summer instead. Fortunately, Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche is almost recovered from the cold, or else he would have to suffer due to the carelessness of the two disciples. The two disciples themselves are wearing winter clothes, and they prepare winter clothes for their husbands at home as well. But they got Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche the Dharma skirt used in summer time. It’s obvious that in their eyes, their husbands are more important than the guru. When their husbands are to go out in this kind of weather, they would time and again tell them to take good care and give them an extra jacket to wear. But it’s a different standard for their guru. Maybe the two disciples would think that no one had told them to change for Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche. As a matter of fact this is also a selfish thought. Perhaps Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche has performed too much Dharma this year, causing karmic hindrance to occur. Thanks to the blessings of the Dharma protectors Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche is not dead yet because of you.

At this point, a young believer was wearing a look of disagreement at hearing Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche’s harsh criticism of the two disciples. Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche has a very sharp sight and immediately pointed out what was in her mind and made a comment on it. Maybe this believer thought that Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche was making a fuss reprimanding the two disciples over something as insignificant as a Dharma skirt. But as a matter of fact the error made by the two disciples was very serious. That’s because Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche is an accomplished practitioner who can bring benefits to countless sentient beings. If the guru suffered from deteriorating health conditions because of the error of the two disciples, then they would have committed a serious offense on their part. If as the pillar of your family’s livelihood, your father falls ill because of something you did and for three months he is unable to make money to support the family, wouldn’t it be a serious matter?

This believer thought that she came to listen to Buddhist teachings instead of Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche’s reprimanding over insignificant issues. But it is in fact quite important. Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche’s criticism of the two disciples was for their own good. Or else, based on what they had done, they would have very serious karmic retribution. The believer now realized how impressive Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche was, just a simple look would be enough for the guru to know what she was thinking like the palm of his own hand. You wouldn’t be able to encounter another guru somewhere else who reprimand the disciples the way Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche does. Even with the cold that he caught today Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche would not stop such harsh criticism, only this time in a different tone, with strong nasal sound. Reprimanding you is for your own good, which would alert you to the slightest errors that you have made. Those of you who don’t like being reprimanded may go to other Buddhist centers. If you don’t want to accept such harsh criticism, you don’t need to come. The ordained practitioners here can also introduce you to other Buddhist centers.

The occurrence of such young people is a result of the type of nurturing by those politicians. They always think that if there is any problem it’s someone else’s fault; and that they can win something through fighting with each other. The society is in such chaos nowadays that you see some people even broke into military barracks and made troubles inside. This is a result of the family education with which something is going wrong. We were born into this type of epoch, in which we have shared karma. A few years ago people became very greedy, and as a result a corrupt individual was elected as the leader of the country. It’s like when a thief is caught on the spot, he would point to another thief and say, “that one is also stealing!” What logic is this? Instead of admitting doing something wrong, the thief puts the blame on someone else who also is doing something wrong. When we go and cast our votes, we need to do so to elect the right candidates and you need to examine them clearly. When you cast your vote for someone, it means that you agree with what he advocates, and whatever he does in the future, whether good or evil, will result in the collective karma that you also share.

It is from the perspective of cause and effect instead politics that Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche is giving you this advice. Maybe you would say, he is not doing anything bad now. Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche is warning you that you will know that later. Don’t assume that you can do many things before you need to talk about them. Or you want to talk about them if you can find me. If you cannot, then simply let them pass without mentioning. Don’t think that no one will know what you’re doing, or no one will know about anything if it’s just between two people hiding away somewhere doing something secretly. Strangely enough, what you do surely will be made known to the world some day.

Before performing the Dharma, Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche wanted to tell you: the Vajrasattva’s Dharma method of repentance that we’re going to perform today consists of the outer, inner, and secret parts. The outer part is not just about the penitential rite, but also will remove the illnesses of many past lives. The inner part, on the other hand, will purify the evil karma that has resulted from your acts of the body, speech, and the mind. And the secret part will make up for the violation of the samaya resulting from your inability to keep your promises that you have made in the past to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, the guru and sentient beings. The only way to make up for the violation of the samaya is by practicing a special Dharma method of Vajrasattva.

Most Venerable Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche then started to perform the Dharma for the attendees, and instructed that the first part was to help everyone eliminate the internal illness, so the attendees were to sit straight. During Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche’s Dharma performance, the Yidam of Vajrasattva would make white nectar water flow down from crown chakra point, to eliminate your internal illnesses. Then it would flow out from you private part below. You should form the aspiration for repentance in a great way, and do not pay attention to details. It’d be good that you know you surely are with faults. As long as we have not been liberated from reincarnation, we are with faults, and we should know in our heart that we are still suffering from reincarnation. After Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche has performed the Dharma for you today, you should do no more evil acts with your body, speech, and mind. Or else it would be like what the Buddhist sutra say, after sentient beings are liberated from the suffering of life and death with the help from the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, they do evil once again and fall right back into the suffering of reincarnation.

The second part is to help you purify the evil associated with your body, speech, and mind, removing any hindrance that may prevent you from learning Buddhism. The third part is to help everyone restore your original pure nature. The original pure nature of the human beings has never been damaged or lost. Rather, it has been temporarily blocked with the five poisons of greed, resentment, ignorance, arrogance, and doubt, just like the Sun is blocked by a dark cloud. The Buddha Dharma is just like the wind that blows away the cloud and allows the shrouded original nature to shed light. But again this is only a temporary means. You can only be liberated from the cycle of life and death through your own practice.

After completing the first phase of the Dharma ritual, Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche asked those of the attendees who were feeling a heat all over their bodies to raise their hands. Many raised their hands. Then Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche commented, if you do not feel the heat, it indicates that you have not repented enough; nor do you have enough faith in and reverence for your guru; and perhaps you even have doubts. So you need to examine yourself closely. This also means that you have heavy karma, resulting from eating a lot of meat. Then, Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche continued to perform the Dharma, and asked the attendees again if they felt heat below the abdomen. Many raised their hands to say that they did feel the heat. Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche once again stated, those who feel the heat will not fall into the Three Evil Realm in this life; and those who do not, have not made enough offerings to the guru, and do not have the right mindset in attending the puja.

After the next phase of the Dharma ritual was completed, Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche once again asked the attendees if they had felt the pulse or heat in the heart or the crown chakra point. Many people raised their hands to confirm that. Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche said, those who can feel that way have a better opportunity to achieve accomplishment when they learn and practice the Phowa in the future. Then Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche continued to perform the Dharma. After a moment, he asked if some of the attendees had felt cool and relaxed all over the body, free from any distraction, just the way one would feel immediately after receiving a massage. And again many raised their hands to confirm that. Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche again commented: those with this experience have the opportunity to attain enlightenment and practice to the level with a clear mind and the ability to see the Buddha nature; but it will not necessarily happen in this life, and can be many lives after.

Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche carried on: We’ve made it clear to all of you today that the practitioner performs the Buddha Dharma on behalf of the Buddhas and Bodisattvas, with an equal mind, in the same venue, with the same guru performing the Dharma, but the effect on each individual can be very different depending on the attendees’ different causal conditions and blessed reward. The difference among the thoughts of each person can lead to different results.

Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche’s way of teaching varies dramatically. Today, the guru performed the Dharma before asking everyone about a certain physical experience without mentioning what that experience would be first. Why was it done like that? That’s because by doing so it would be more precise, unlike some religions which would tell you in advance what to expect, providing you with some preconceived ideas, as if you’d be brainwashed. In that way you’d be attached to these ideas before starting to think, self-hypnotizing in the consciousness. If you have attachment first, that would not be pure. Buddhism is natural and spontaneous.  This is true for today’s Dharma performance. Would it be the same experience the next time? No, it certainly would not be. Otherwise you’d start having attachment about whether you’d experience it every time. So do not have attachment no matter what kind of experience it would be.

Do not think about what happened today and try to imitate after you go back home. You will have mental problem if you do so. So don’t. That’s because you do not have Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to guide you in performing Dharma at home. Besides, today’s Dharma performance also included the Maha-anuttara Yoga Tantra. But I’m not telling what section it was, since you have not qualified to listen. From the Buddhist perspective, what is important is to truly help you. And it’s not important whether you understand it or not.

Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche continued with the teaching: If through this kind of Dharma performance, you experience or feel nothing at all, then it’s time for you to alert yourself whether you still have doubts about the guru, or whether you have repented. But all this also follows the law of cause and condition. If upon completion of the Dharma performance, you still stubbornly want to find that feeling, then that would also be an attachment. But if a Rinpoche is performing the Tantra and no attendee is feeling anything, then the presiding practitioner can not qualify as a Rinpoche. There are some non-Buddhists among ordinary people will find some people on purpose and instruct someone to start dancing. That way others would follow suit. Once someone starts to shake his body others surely would follow him and do the same. This is totally different from the blessings bestowed by Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche. It is a different matter.

Then, Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche called the name of a disciple who had practiced in other Buddhist orders. The guru asked what he thought about Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche’s Dharma performance today based on his many years of previous experience in other Buddhist centers. The disciple expressed that he had never had any such experience, and had not come across anything like that in many Abhidharmas that he had read. In other Buddhist orders, the guru would not give explanations the way Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche does. At most, after the guru has completed the empowerment of the Maha-anuttara Yoga Tantra, he would just tell everyone to go back and examine their dreams before coming back to explore what phenomenon the dreams have revealed. But there is no explanation. The guru would not teach his disciples on the site how to examine themselves the way Most Venerable Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche does, who even teaches the disciples with his own true practice and realization. A disciple with good root capacity can benefit from Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche’s unreserved way of teaching Buddhism. He is very grateful to Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche. In the many years that he spent in other Buddhist orders before, he had been learning the theories and had no knowledge about the realm of Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche’s Dharma performance today. Nor had his previous guru told him anything about it.

Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche instructed: during Dharma performance, the guru is no different from a yidam. He would treat all sentient being equally like a yidam. That’s why you may be attuned with the guru’s mind and receive the blessings from the Buddha if you do not have distracted thoughts in your mind.

Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche has performed the Dharma of Vajrasattva in retreat many times. One of the retreats took place in the retreat room next to residence of the nuns in Jangchubling Monastery, and the yidam he was performing was Vajrasattva. From the bathroom behind the retreat room one could see a small corner of the nuns’ residence. One morning as Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche was going to the bathroom, the guru saw there was a wild fire forming and quickly becoming very strong outside the window beyond the wall. It was very dry at that time and fire was threatening to engulf the nuns’ residence. If it continued to spread, it would burn the upstairs very quickly too. Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche was contemplating that he was the Yidam of Vajrasattva at that very moment stepping on the fire to extinguish it. Strangely enough, just as the guru was contemplating that way, the wild fire went out by itself. According to the Dharma text, when a practitioner has perfectly completed the performance of the yidam, the sight of any fire caused by nature instead of lamp fire or a fire lit by himself signifies that this Dharma will be very prosperous in the future.

Modern science and research have discovered that the signals sent to the universe will not disappear. That is to say what is in your thought will also leave a signal in the space. So when you generate a virtuous thought, it will remain in the space all the time. When you generate an evil thought, it also will be there. If you have many virtuous thoughts, even though they may not be realized, good signals would come back to you, and your matters naturally will become better too. But if you have many evil thoughts, then bad signals would come back to you and your matters would naturally be bad. So those of you who generate virtuous thoughts naturally will let people see the light of your original pure nature, and the people will want to be close to you.

There is no scientific explanation as to why there is such an effect. But a short and concise explanation is provided by the Buddhist sutras, just as what is described in the Sutra of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s Fundamental Vows, “Every movement and thought of an ordinary person generates karma and vice.” The karma referred to here may be virtuous or evil, which leads to the generation of the force that puts us in reincarnation.  A movement and thought which are intended for oneself are a fault. The vice referred to here is not the sin referred to by non-Buddhists; it is the faults that cause reincarnation. Master Gampopa, Milarepa, and Buddha Shakyamuni all have made it clear that anyone will have faults and torment as long as he is still subject to reincarnation within the Six Realms. “Faults” means wrong deeds; “torment” indicates the suffering of not being able to be liberated from reincarnation. A Buddhist practitioner should apply Buddhist principles to his life every second, carefully watching and examining whether his body, speech, and mind are in violation of the teachings of the guru, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. He needs to see himself clearly and know the purpose of everything that he does. He should be attentive and have faith in the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, because they never deceive us.

Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche reminded female ordained disciples that there are about a dozen more precepts governing the Bhiksuni than the Bhiksu. Every precept is constraining you, helping you to keep alert of yourself, and every precept can help you obtain the pure state. So every precept is important. Being nice to others is a must for ordained practitioners, because of the requirement of the precepts, and so is being compassionate to others. Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche is not a Bhiksu, so he cannot pass the Bhiksuni’s precepts along to you. Nor can the guru explain the precept to you. However, no matter how trivial a precept is in your mind, you should follow it to the letter and never assume that a trivial precept does not matter. Trivial matters can accumulate to become a matter of great significance.

Next year, 2012, is going to be a year of turmoil, even more turbulent than this year (2011). Not only Taiwan, but also other parts of the world will suffer in terms of politics, economy, finance and trade. People’s mind is going to be unstable. You on the other hand should stay tranquil, and don’t rush into any kind of investment. Nowadays jobs are difficult to find, and next year don’t easily change your jobs. Don’t assume that changing jobs would make you more money. In fact the money you are making is the same, and it would be good if you can keep you book balanced. Also, don’t travel to countries with much instability. In particular, don’t go when you know the danger, thinking that Dharma protectors will protect you.

I can guarantee you that 2012 will not be the end of the world either. If it is, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would be in a hurry to retreat and wouldn’t be appearing in front of you. But if you keep doing evil, it is very likely that you’d suffer from bad consequences next year. Those who have accumulated much evil karma in the past would have a tough year in 2012. When you are about to cast your ballot, do not presume that some candidates are advocates of reform. Young people tend to have impulsive actions, thinking of themselves as capable of becoming independent. But you really should put stability ahead of other factors. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not have a preference over any particular candidate. Take for example a current government official, though he had provided assistance in the reprinting of the Tripitaka, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not grant his request to attend the grand puja presided over by the guru on the ground that he would not be able to attend it from the beginning to the end.

It will be December 31 next Saturday. Many people are planning to the New Year’s Eve countdown. But you should never go there. Those of you who have children should refrain them from going to. And those who choose to go need not appear in front of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche again in the future. One year is almost over, and it’s a good time to spend some time to examine yourself for what you have done wrong throughout the year instead of going to a crowded and unsecure place. In the scene of the New Year’s Eve countdown there will be over 100,000 people there. Would you say that it’s not going to be chaotic there? Don’t assume that since you are performing the rituals of the Dharma protectors every day they would give you protection. If you are going to a place you have never been before, and you are not aware of the potential dangers there, the Dharma protectors will provide you with protection. But if you are going to a place and you know it will be very chaotic there, then the Dharma protectors will not provide you with such protection. You may have learned from the news report that some people have broken into the military barracks. That is outrageous. The entire system of morality and ethics has been scratched. Parents are responsible for the current situation. Parents brought the kids into the world, so it is the responsibility of parents instead of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, to teach their children how to behave themselves.

Then, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche instructed the ordained disciples to take the copies of the Tripitaka from the cases in which they have been packed in the Buddhist Center on Friday, December 30, at 3:00 p.m. sharp, and display them one by one on the dedicated shelves. Due to the large number, the ordained disciples can set up the first few books, and the remaining can be arranged on the shelves by lay disciples, while the ordained disciples can take the lead in reciting the Lotus Sutra with believers and other disciples, followed by the reciting of the Diamond Sutra and the Universal Gate Chapter of Lotus Sutra on the Saturday the next day.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said, the republication of the Tripitaka, which was first published during the reign of Emperor Kangxi, was made possible only with the expectation of its promotion, aspiration, and the power of the vow on the part of Most Venerable His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang’s, who instructed Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to undertake this task. In order to fulfill the vow of his guru, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche took great effort in getting the Tripitaka republished. His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang simply told Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to take a photo page by page with a digital camera, and His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang would be happy if he could have a photocopy of the Book. To make a photocopy of the Tripitake it was easier said than done. So the disciple took immediate action to get it done. That’s how the entire Trapitaka got photocopied and reprinted after many years of efforts and a huge amount of money. But on the other hand, it also proves that as long as there is a vow by the guru, the disciple can fulfill it no matter what needs to be done.

The whole story started many years ago when His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang was paying a visit to Taiwan. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang that a very influential political figure was trying to seek an audience with His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, who expressed that it was not necessary. No one knows why His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang granted the request when another important political figure was seeking an audience with him. During the first meeting, it was purely greetings and formalities and nothing particular was touched upon. After that came the period in which SARS was spreading out quickly. During this period, the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center was holding Chod Pujas in various places across the city of Taipei every week to bring benefits to sentient beings. At that time, some aids to that political figure came to consult with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche how long the situation would last. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told them that it should last until June. And it so happened that no new SARS cases had been reported since the middle of June of that year, exactly as predicted by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. The SARS epidemic caught the world completely unprepared without anyone knowing how to deal with it. The political figure was caught by surprise at that time as well. And as a result of the prediction he started looking up to Tantrism in great admiration.

That is why in the second meeting between Most Venerable His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang and that political figure, the first words that came out of the latter were “Thank you so much Grand Master.” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche immediately knew what he was referring to at hearing this. Then, without asking anything in relation to national politics, the political figure cut to the chase to asked Most Venerable His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang what he could do to help. To which His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang replied that he would like a photocopy of the Tripitaka. Without knowing how immense the project would turn out to be, the political figure quickly said no problem, and that the high ranking officials of the National Palace Museum could provide assistance. At hearing this, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knew that it was the guru’s aspiration and as his disciple he should do all he could to fulfill the guru’s vow. The project took many years’ of efforts and a huge amount of money before its completion. As for that political figure, though he was now locked away in prison for some criminal acts, he surely should be able to get out of it in his lifetime and would not end up dying inside, because of the virtuous deed that he did in relation to the Tripitaka project. The only question remains how long he’d be kept behind the bars, as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is not one of those in the legal circle.

Causes and conditions can reveal to be very wonderful. His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang saw the Tripitaka when visiting the National Palace Museum for the first time with the introduction of the then top leadership of the Defense Ministry. When His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang was telling Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche about it, only a rough idea was passed due to some problems relating to language and conveyance. It was through more investigation of his own did Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche find out later that His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang was talking about the Tripitaka.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then proceeded to make another arrangement so that His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang could visit the National Palace Museum again to have a closer look at the Tripitaka. As soon as he saw it, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang stated, “This is it!” The then top leadership of the Defense Ministry had not kept in touch with His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang now. So the causes and conditions really work wonders. If you don’t grasp the opportunity, even though you see a great practitioner with your own eyes, the causal conditions will be there no more. Everything is cause and condition, cause and effect, and there is nothing like good people and bad people. Good people sometimes do wrong deeds, and bad people sometimes do good things. Good and bad are intertwined with each other. There is no absolute good or bad, and cause and condition thus change as well.

When some good deeds have been done, it should not be made known to others on purpose. But the reason why I’m telling you about the Tripitaka is that this is the most complete set of the Tripitaka written in the Tibetan language. It is great that a photocopy of this great work is now made available to the people in the world. During the reign of Emperor Kangxi, this masterpiece was done in such a way that every page of the sutra was adorned with a Buddha statue, surrounded by inlaid jewelry pieces. None of these jewelry pieces has been lost through its history of a few hundred years. It would not be possible now to have a second set of the Tripitaka replicated with the same standard of workmanship. Even if money is not the issue, it would be difficult to find more than a hundred lamas proficient in the Tibetan language to hand copy the whole text. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche made an offering to His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chungtsang with a set of the Tripitaka, to which Chungtsang Rinpoche attached tremendous importance. It is also to the liking of His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang that the masterpiece has been reprinted, which will be presented as a gift to countries such as West Germany, Bhutan, and India. It is another form of promotion for Buddhism – the presentation of this classic masterpiece signifies that Buddhism will be further promoted in the world.

Finally, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche emphasized to the attendees once again: You all should “cherish the affinity,” which is not a phrase about dealing with romantic relationships. Instead, it is a Buddhist term, with the truly important affinity referring to the causal conditions by which you are able to learn auspicious Buddhism. So cherish it and don’t waste it. This is true particularly if you took refuge under a guru with great merits. Treasure this causal condition, since in this world, there are very few practitioners who perform so much Dharma every week.

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Updated on February 25, 2012