Event Calendar of The His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche

December 31, 2011

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche presided over the puja featuring the auspicious Chod and Amitayus Dharma at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center in Kyoto, Japan. A total of 200 attendees at this auspicious puja, included 17 Japanese VIP guests, 173 disciples from Japan and Taiwan who took refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, and 10 believers from Taiwan.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche opened the puja by stating: Today is the very last day of the year 2011. Different nations in different parts of the world will welcome and start the New Year with different customs, as everyone wishes that the year to come will prove to be a better year. But in fact, the so-called better year does not necessarily exist. From the Buddhist perspective, i.e., from the perspective of cause and effect, when a year comes to an end, one should examine himself by measuring himself against the Buddhist standards and find where he needs to improve so that he will be able to make virtuous causes instead of evil ones. That way, the future will be better. The year 2012 will be a tumultuous year, with elections scheduled for many countries that will result in new governments replacing the old. Compared to 2011, people’s mind will be less at peace. From the Buddhist point of view, performing the Dharma at the end or beginning of a year will lead to virtuous causal conditions. And this is why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has specially selected today to perform the Dharma for all of you.

Everyone believes that to learn Buddhism is like to pray for peace and protection. But it’s not as simple as going to a Buddhist temple, clapping your hands a couple of times and burning a few incenses. No, that’s not the case. Buddhism attaches importance to cause and effect, which has nothing to do with having good or bad luck. Everything that happens to you is a result of what you have done. If you have done much evil in this year, then your future will be filled with evil. On the other hand, if you have done good, then your future will be filled with good; even if you encounter something evil, the evil force will not overwhelm you. Buddhism is not about getting your sickness cured by paying homage to the Buddhas. With regard to illness, Buddhism is not about curing what you already have. Rather, it tries to teach you about the cause of your illness from the perspective of cause and effect, so that you’ll realize that what has happened to you in this life has been a result of the cause that you had planted before, so that you’ll know better than making evil causes again in the future. That way, naturally you won’t be ill in the future.

The evil referred to in Buddhism is called the Ten Evil Acts that include killing, smoking, drinking, lying, gossiping, stealing (including buying pirated goods), working with carelessness. It also includes, cursing and swearing in abusive language, violating the law or what is deemed as moral, greed, resentment, not believing in Buddhism, etc. The significance of attending today’s puja lies in the opportunity it lends to everyone to look within and examine your own faults and to make profound repentance from the bottom of your heart.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will illustrate to you on cause and effect by using the experience that his own family had. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s great-grandfather started to become a rich man by collecting silk from the silkworms in the sericulture industry. He made a fortune but also killed a multitude of silk worms. That’s why the generations of his grandfather and father were very wealthy. But none of the men in the family ever lived beyond the age of 60. At a young age of slightly over 30, both Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and his brother were diagnosed with hypertension. His younger brother, younger sister, and second elder sister all had to go through brain surgeries. All of them were those that you would refer to as “good people,” no embezzlement in their works, but all full of filial piety for their parents. Why would it be like that? It is the result from the karma of killing. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s mother is eighty-eight years old this year. She’s got every illness except cancer, because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s father loved seafood, which was the reason why the guru’s mother had to kill many fish as she cooked for her husband. With the help of Buddhism, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was able to completely recover from hypertension, and the mother has not had to suffer much all along for the Buddhist practice that her son has been cultivating. This is to tell all of you that Buddhism really can change our future.

During the 49 years of Dharma teaching since the Buddha attained Buddhahood, he was teaching sentient beings about Buddhism for them to understand cause and effect, and how to change their destiny from the perspective of cause and effect. The Buddha had always forbidden his disciples to consult any fortune-tellers. Why? Because your destiny lies in your own hand. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is the best living example. The guru has a business and children. But none of these has stopped the guru from learning Buddhism, nor would any obstacles come from such undertakings. Not even three months of retreat in Nepal caused any reduction in business activities. This is all because to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, nothing is more precious in the world than Buddhism. Fortunately, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had an opportunity to start learning Buddhism at the age of 36. Had it not been the case, death could easily have come to the guru when he was 47, due to his forefathers’ heavy karma resulting from killing and the seafood that he had to have for every meal. At the age of 45, however, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was diagnosed with skin cancer. But the guru did not seek any treatment or medicine; nor did he pray to the Buddha and Bodhisattvas on that account. Tomorrow, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will be 65 years old, and the symptoms of skin cancer are gone completely. This is because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has been in full compliance with the teachings of the Buddha, applying Buddhist principles in the daily life. The result is a completely changed life.

The Dharma to be performed by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche today is the Chod, one of the Eight Sadhana Teachings in Tibetan Buddhism. Buddhism consists of two major parts: Exoteric Buddhism and Tantra. Exoteric Buddhism lays the theoretical foundation for all Buddhist practices. Most Buddhist temples in China, Taiwan, and Japan belong with Exoteric Buddhism. Sutra chanting, the kind that you typically would see, is an Exoteric practice. Tantra, on the other hand, was introduced to China in the Tang dynasty, and it is thus called Tang Tantra, which was later introduced to Japan where it is called Eastern Tantra. In some areas of Japan, Tantra is still practiced. But Tang Tantra has only two sections of Tantra, as against the complete four sections that have been retained by Tibetan Tantra, as it was introduced there from India.

Tantra is divided into four parts: Kriya, Charya, Yoga, and Maha-anuttara Yoga. Tang Tantra only has the first two. With regard to Kriya Tantra, a disciple has to have at least ten years of Exoteric practice before he is instructed by his guru to proceed with proper practice following a yidam such as Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara or Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha, based on the disciple’s causal conditions and root capacity. Kriya Tantra is the process in which a practitioner has mastered the type of undertaking of the yidam. So if you practice following Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, then compassion would be the subject of practice. Charya Tantra, on the other hand, is about learning the mode in which the yidam practices. The other two parts, Yoga Tantra and Maha-anuttara Yoga Tantra, cannot be found in Buddhist sutras, as they are passed directly by word of mouth from the guru to the disciple alone. It is said in the Dharma text that those who have accomplished the levels of Yoga Tantra and Maha-anuttara Yoga Tantra, would have at least attained the first or second of the Bodhisattva stage. Those who have the privilege to practice Maha-anuttara Yoga Tantra, with good root capacity, would be able to attain Buddhahood in this life, or with lesser root capacity, can attain it after they have stopped breathing. Even those with the least root capacity would be able to attain Buddhahood after the 16th incarnation.

The Chod that we are performing today belongs to the Maha-anuttara Yoga Tantra. When performing this Dharma, the presiding guru will need to remove those items of protection from the body, and will not set up the boundary, which is a boundary defined as forbidden to sentient beings during the practice. All zones are fully open during the Chod, as it will welcome all types of sentient beings, whether they have the causal conditions or not, whether they are invisible, to enter and receive the help of Buddha Dharma.

Chod in Chinese means “to give one’s body as charity.” The meaning of Chod in Tibetan, however, is “sever,” in that it severs all afflictions, which come from your attachment. If you feel that your purpose can only be achieved by cheating someone, or you will be happy only when you are drinking, these are also attachments. The fact that you’re all in pursuit of happiness itself is a form of attachment, which may cause you to make all sorts of evil causes and get you trapped with afflictions.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked several of his disciples, why is it that the Chinese zodiac sign of a disciple who just passed away was not filled out on the list of those to be liberated? When one of them answered that he did not know her zodiac sign, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then instructed that all disciple who were responsible for the missed information should not attend the puja and should leave immediately. The guru explained the situation through an interpreter to the Japanese believers who were present, that a disciple had just died of cancer a few days before, who Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had instructed a disciple to put on the list so that she could be liberated through the Chod today. If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche wants to help with the liberation of the deceased, the guru must have the information including the name and the year in which he or she was born. But these few disciples who should follow the instruction and include such information on the liberation list failed to find it out and put it on. This shows that they have no compassion toward the deceased, and it would cause the deceased to suffer longer. When a person dies, there is tremendous suffering, to the extent that it would be beyond the imagination of a living person. That’s why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche attaches the most importance to the deceased. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is very strict with the disciples – if any disciple who has been under the guru’s refuge shows no compassion toward sentient beings, he or she will be expelled.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told the attendees that when attending the puja, they need to be calm and attentive. Only in such a way, the sentient beings that are associated with you would be able to receive help. Today’s Chod will allow Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to help all sentient beings that you would like to liberate. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is performing the Chod, you should contemplate that those of older generations are on your right and those of the same generation as yourself are on your left, with all the sentient beings that have been hurt in front of you facing the mandala, and all sentient beings of the Six Realm behind you. If you can contemplate this way it surely would be helpful.

Then, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche began to perform the extraordinary Chod, and led everyone in chanting the Great Six-Syllable Mantra. During this process, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche particularly expounded on a section of the Dharma text, with which the attendees were praying for the blessings of the guru in cutting off devils and afflictions, as well as sufferings of reincarnation that result from greed, resentment, and ignorance.

Upon perfect completion of the Chod, there was a 30-minute recess. After that, the puja continued in which Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche performed the extraordinary Dharma of Amitayus.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was teaching that Amitayus is in fact the Sambhogakaya of Buddha Amitabha, whose method is also a form of Tantra. There is no practice with regard to this yidam in Exoteric Buddhism. Why do we perform the Dharma of Amitayus? That’s because many of the things that you do would harm your health and reduce your life. For example, killing will contribute a little bit to the reduction of life, smoking a little bit more, an ardor for garlic still a bit more. Performing the Dharma of Amitayus may allow you to regain that part of life that was yours in the first place but was lost due to your evil conduct. Helping you regain that lost part of your life is not designed for you to complete certain tasks. Rather, it is meant for you to have enough time to learn Buddhism. Where does life come from? As advanced as modern science is, there is still no scientist who is able to explain where it originated and where it will end. How long you will live and how wealthy you will become is determined at the moment of your birth based on the karma you have accumulated in your past lives. But if you keep doing good in accordance with the Buddhist teachings in this life, you may also prolong your life. On the other hand, those who do much evil in this life will see their life shortened.

Doctors cannot explain why life has to come to an end. Being ill is not necessarily the cause of death. Nowadays the doctors have come to realize that becoming ill is only the beginning of the end of life. From the Buddhist perspective, there are four modes in which life comes to an end: the first mode is called dying penniless but with longevity; the second is dying wealthy but young; the third is dying wealthy with longevity; and the last is dying young and penniless.

The Buddha said that the human lifespan is either increasing or decreasing, with the maximum reachable age of as much as 80,000 years. But after that, one year will be reduced for each 100 years until the minimum of ten years old before the age can increase again. Currently human life is experiencing a reduction phase. From the anatomical point of view, with the conditions of the human organs, humans should be able to live till 120 years old. But only an extremely rare number of people can live up to that age nowadays, with the average lifespan at only 70 years. It doesn’t matter how developed modern medicine is, as there is still no way to explain the phenomenon of life.

At that time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche began performing the Dharma by first praying that the yidam be enthroned to the mandala. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche led all the disciples in reciting the prayers in the Dharma text, and asked the Japanese VIPs to do the same in their own language through the help of an interpreter. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said that these few sentences are quite important, as they are used to implore the Amitayus to become our guru, who is capable of removing all untimely death. This will give suffering sentient beings with no Dharma to rely on what they can rely on. Therefore we should prostrate to Amitayus.

Quite a long time elapsed in which Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was taking the lead in chanting the heart mantra of the Amitayus before the ritual was carried on. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told everyone that the part conducted just now was a ritual to make offerings to the yidam, which was done in order that everyone could accumulate blessed reward. The blessed reward that you have now will appear in the future. The kind of blessed reward that we are now referring to is not a means for your enjoyment in this world. Rather, it will allow you to have enough time to learn Buddhism in this life, and to attain Buddhahood in the future.

Life itself is also a part of blessed reward. That’s why those who are exhausting the blessed reward at an accelerated rate would have their lifespan reduced. More blessed reward will be consumed by those who like to enjoy themselves, which would include travelling around to have fun, being luxurious, wasting money, and uncontrolled spending. In these cases the blessed reward goes really fast. We keep consuming blessed reward all along, and if you see someone’s actions slowing down drastically at the age of 60, that would be the result of smoking and drinking when they were young.

It is mentioned in the Dharma text that human life will be exhausted, reduced, damaged, broken, shaken up, or stolen by ghosts because of the evil that one does. If you often pray to the ghosts and spirits in order to fulfill your wishes, your life may be stolen by such ghosts and spirits. Performing the Dharma of Amitayus will allow you to extend your life, and even receive wealth and health. But again, as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche emphasized, these are intended to help you learn Buddhism instead of enjoying yourself.

In the process of the ritual, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was waving a Dharma instrument with five strips of cloth in five different colors and was explaining the meaning of the instrument, which is different from the one that is waved during a Shinto ritual in Japan. The Dharma instrument has some mantra inscriptions on it, which cannot be explained since it’s about Tantra. However, it does appear to be like an arrow, which lends its underlying meaning of sharpness and precision in hitting the target. The banners of five colors represent all the elements in the universe. Simply waving it will not produce any particularly effect at all. Rather, it will only work when the presiding guru is contemplating and attuned to the yidam while waving the Dharma instrument.

The Dharma text also mentions that the presiding guru may receive longevity and wealth, and protection against sufferings that result from exposure to the wind, heat of the gall, and phlegm; he will be able to enjoy peaceful days without drought and war and avoid the eight kinds of disaster of dying an untimely death and 16 different types of catastrophes, and quell the harm caused by male and female demons as well as dragon demons.

Our body is the result of the combination of mother’s blood and father’s essence, which allow it to have four cardinal elements: “earth,” “wind,” “water,” and “fire.” Earth represents our flesh and bones; wind, the air that we breathe, including our flowing energy and breath; water, our bodily fluid; and fire, our energy. Our body also has the element of “emptiness” because it is a result of the union of cause and conditions. People get ill when the four cardinal elements are out of balance. When they are in balance, people naturally can enjoy great health. We are performing the Dharma of Amitayus today so that it will help you with an infusion of five great elements, which will allow you to have a healthy body and be strong enough to carry on with your Buddhist practice.

Those who are prone to hypertension and diabetes have to do with eating too much meat in this life or in the past lives. Greed would cause an imbalance of the energy channels in the body, making it prone to lung and trachea’s diseases. For example, when you receive a large amount of money all out of a sudden for no obvious reason, wouldn’t you exclaim with an “Ah” and draw a deep breath? When you see something that is extremely desirable that you want to have it, wouldn’t you draw a deep breath? When you encounter the man or woman of your dream love, wouldn’t you draw in a deep breath? Sometimes you react like that even when you just see a bottle of fine wine. But if you do that quite often, then you may develop respiratory problems. Those with much resentment may be prone to diseases in the areas of the liver and the gall bladder, as resentment is targeted to someone that they don’t like instead of something. Hatred or dislike for that person never does change, and with it, they easily lose their temper triggered by the slightest something that person does. Every time they are not able to keep their temper, it will do some damage to the liver and the gall bladder, which then become susceptible to illness. Those who do not believe in Buddhism or cause and effect tend to have much phlegm, and would have problems in the areas of the endocrine and thyroid systems. Performing the Dharma of Amitayus surely should help alleviate such illnesses and diseases.

Just now when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was reciting the prayer with both palms joined together in sincere reverence, those who did the same could receive the blessings brought about by this sutra text. But those who didn’t wouldn’t be able to receive anything, nor would those with a doubting mind, nor those who had the mind to just come and look for fun. You don’t understand why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is doing what he is doing, so you doubt if this really would be of any use to you at all. This is quite wrong. But if you want to understand what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is doing during the ritual, then you’d have to attain the same level of accomplishment as the guru. Those who really want to do so would really have a hard time!

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had each of the 200 attendees come up one by one in the front so the guru could grant them with blessings using the treasure vase, and offer them the precious longevity pill and longevity wine (represented by the grade juice).

Upon perfect completion of the puja, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche once again reminded the Japanese believers that they should feel free to contact the guru if they need help with the Buddha Dharma. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will do his best in offering such help. The guru may not be able to remember the name of each of them, but today’s puja will never be forgotten. This causal condition would be very helpful to you one day, only that nobody is sure when this day will come.

It is hard to promote Buddhism in Japan, as the Japanese usually wouldn’t easily believe or respect a religion that comes from a foreign land. They would hold on to their doubts and wouldn’t easily accept it. This is their problem. But Buddhism does not discriminate against nationalities. Nor will Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche give up the efforts of promoting it in Japan. As long as you need Buddhism, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will be there for you.

Attendees of the Amitayus Puja will not encounter unfortunate accidents. Those who can remember that they attended the Amitayus Puja on this day will definitely get help in time of crisis. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche wouldn’t be talking like that from the Dharma throne if these are not the truths. Today is the very last day of 2011, meaning that we have one fewer year to live in this world. The fact that you were able to come and attend the puja on this busiest day of the year shows that, from the Buddhist perspective, you are those with a lot of blessed reward. 2012 will be a tumultuous year. But you don’t have to be overly worried. No disasters of destruction as foretold by some people would take place, just some turmoil. It’d be better if you can all be a vegetarian today and avoid meat and fish, and if you stay away from the drinking parties in the evening and keep it quiet. That would make a smoother next year, and even if something bad has to happen, it wouldn’t be too serious after all.

That night, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and the disciples dined together, and the Japanese disciples were specially invited by the guru to join them. That formed a happy grand family with disciples from both Japan and Taiwan, and amazingly even the language barrier between them seemed to have disappeared. All disciples expressed their profound gratitude to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche not only for the Buddhist teachings, but also for taking care of them in all areas without reservation.

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Updated on February 25, 2012