Event Calendar of The His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche

January 8, 2012

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche presided over a puja and performed the Guru Yoga for the attendees at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center in Taipei.

Before the puja, a female disciple thanked His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas for giving her the opportunity to make public repentance and share her stories with the attendees.

She remembered that as a child she was trying to steal a chick kept by her neighbor. As The neighbor found out as she was just doing that, so she quickly threw it out, and the chick fell to its death. She repented that after school was over, she was not fond of going back to do her homework and hung around the school playground to chase dragonflies instead. This led to her inability to stay in one place for a long time when she became an adult, and constantly moving without a place she could settle down as home. She repented killing ants, cockroaches, spiders, mosquitoes, and fleas; using sticky paper to catch flies and mice; using mosquito net and mosquito zapper to electrocute mosquitoes; eating rabbit meat, lambs, geese, beef, ducks, chickens, pork, turtles, clams, shrimps, crabs, fish, roasted little birds; killing countless live fish by suffocating them, resulting in her shortness of breath now. Only after such experiences did she realize the existence of cause and effect. She thanked for the mercy of sentient beings which did not take away her life immediately. She was more grateful to Most Venerable Varja Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for the Chod and the Great Indiscriminate Amitabha Puja for Transferring Consciousness for liberating the sentient beings that she had killed so that they could go to the Pure Land instead of suffering from reincarnation anymore, for allowing her corporal body to repay as soon as possible the debts owing to all sentient beings. She thanked His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for all that.

She repented that she had not been able to stick to the same original husband after marriage and that she miscarried her first baby; and eight years after that she had an extramarital affair in which she got pregnant but dared not to have the baby, so there was an abortion, causing her to commit the serious offense of killing. She was having sex in the countryside in one of the outskirts of the city, committing the act of sexual misconduct. She had cursed politicians, committing the vice of bad-mouthing. When she was young, she told her older brother that her second sister had hidden her schoolbag, causing him to beat up her second sister, committing the act of making divisive speech.  She also had stolen clothes, cloth, paper, and pens from her company, and money from the desk of the noodle vendor on the street. When she found gold and bracelet, she took them as her own instead of handing them over to the police, committing the acts of theft and greed. She used to be addicted to purchasing lottery ticket, dreaming that one day she’d hit the jackpot and be able to repay all her debts. She repented having a discriminating mind even when having a meal, and used this discriminating mind in treating the Dharma brothers who cared for and helped her. She repented that she had not applied Buddhist principles to her life, so that her children could not feel that she had received unlimited help from Buddhism and the compassionate blessings bestowed unto her by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to purify her, thus causing them to be cut off from their spiritual life of learning Buddhism.

She repented that as a primary school pupil, she used her hand to squeeze the feet of the classmate sitting behind her who kept kicking her chair because that action caused her to become resentful. She repented that when a classmate of her second elder sister was cursing her second elder sister, she went to slap the face of that person. She repented that she had not been loyal to her husband after marriage and had two separate extramarital affairs, and felt guilty to her children and their father. She repented that after marriage she learned to play mahjong and lost money in the game, and lied to her husband that she had accidently dropped it, committing the act of making false speech. She repented seeing pornographic movies and listening to pornographic jokes, committing the act of making frivolous speech. The Buddhist Center is a pure and peaceful place, where Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche promotes Buddhism by performing the pure and authentic Dharma. She repented that she went to the Buddhist Center to learn Buddhism with a mind of greed, hoping that she could pass away in the Buddhist Center. She repented that she had not applied the “principle of impermanence of life” to her own life, or followed the teachings of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in that she should not make offerings with loaned money. She repented that she had a barbeque party on the Mid-Autumn Festival just before she took refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and a few days after that she was knocked to the ground by a car as she was going against the traffic, and even with that happened, she still was worried about a very expensive shoe that she lost during the accident and caused the police to look for it for a long time.

She repented that she had not had the filial piety for her parents who had been against her marrying her boyfriend but she did it anyway in complete disregard of their opinion. She was not aware of the fact that she did not have good origination, causing her parents to have to take care of the messy situation that she had left behind her. She repented that she was sorry for not taking good care of her mother-in-law, who had dementia as an old person, and failed to stop her from going out in the middle of night and hurting herself with multiple bruises. She repented getting pregnant without getting ready first, and kept hitting her own abdomen while pregnant as she did not want the baby and wanted to lose it; but the baby was not lost even after she tripped and fell three times. The son was born to be a difficult one to bring up and kept crying all day. This, in addition to the pressure of taking care of her demented mother-in-law, troubled her so much that she even wanted to kill the baby by treading as she laid the baby on the floor. She repented being so cruel and merciless. She repented that she had the pig’s brain making countless major errors and minor mistakes. And she repented those faults of hers that she had missed mentioning.

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche commented before that all thoughts which are meant for the benefit of oneself are evil, so she also wanted to repent every evil thought that she had. Counting one by one, her evil acts could be listed on and on, with the biggest ones being her inability to act according to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teachings, to perform the rituals of Protector Achi earnestly every day, and to examine herself before going to bed every night in terms of the body, speech, and mind to see whether she qualified as a true Buddhist disciple. Death is impermanent, and now she only could repay all her debts with her corporal body, so she implored His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to liberate all the sentient beings killed by her so that they could pass onto the Pure Land with no more sufferings from reincarnation. She asked all her Dharma brothers to learn from her lessons and not repeat whatever evils she had done.

She was followed by a believer who also made public repentance. She first thanked His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for giving her the opportunity to make such a public repentance.

She took refuge under His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche on January 15, 2006. When she was seeking an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for the first time, she wanted to follow the guru and learn Buddhism. At that time, she profoundly felt the suffering of human beings as well as sentient beings, so she thought to herself that she could help sentient being by learning Buddhism like that. Then Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told her, “Do you really think everything is so simple? The purpose of learning Buddhism is to liberate yourself from the cycle of life and death and ascend above the Three Worlds.” She thought that taking refuge was equivalent to learning Buddhism, and became arrogant by thinking that she was now earnestly attending the puja, doing what was required of her, volunteering at the Buddhist Center when such work was needed, and that she was truly learning Buddhism.

She was very grateful for the opportunity and the blessed reward that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave her so that she could work for the Glorious Jewel Chinese Medicine Clinic, but she did not cherish it. She was selfish, careless, and did not act according to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teachings. Nor did she abide by the Ten Meritorious Acts, or do the Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas, or apply the Buddhist teachings of the guru to her life. As long as it was something that she could not accept, she would have the mind of resistance. She resisted pressure, and feared shouldering responsibility. She wished that everyone would do according to what she liked. If there was anything that went against her wish, she would be annoyed and hate it, in complete disregard of other’s interest. She didn’t care about others, and kept accumulating the poison of resentment and evil in her inner heart. Furthermore, she even started talking bad about others behind their back, bad-mouthing them, and judging what was right and what was wrong. As a result, she not only hurt the patients, their families, and the whole medical team, bringing great distress and trouble to the supervisor, but also hurting the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center and the guru. She repented her heinous vices, which made her unworthy of the expectations of the guru, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, as well as of the promises to sentient beings.

She thanked the guru for the compassion that allowed her to enter the Buddhist Center as a believer. But she did not mend her way and repeated her wrong deeds. When she received the instructions that the plant in front of the entrance of the Dazhi retail store needed to be replaced, she did not take immediate action, and had a lot of her own ideas. This shows that she had no reverence for the guru at all. If learning Buddhism did not mean mending yourself from within and you were only doing it to show off, then it would be like playing a game, just as concluded by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche on the way she was learning Buddhism.

She repented having been quite rebellious since starting to work, always thinking that if something went wrong, it was someone else’s fault and that she was right. She had a strong sense of egotism, greedy, mean, and narrow-minded. Everything had to go her way and never took others into consideration. Thus she hurt a lot of people, particularly her parents, who kept worrying about her. In addition, she was afraid of taking pressure and responsibility and kept shunning them by constantly changing her jobs. She only wanted an easy and enjoyable life. If something went against that idea, she would slam the door and smash things at home, showing indifference to the care and concern of her own parents.

She also repented her discriminating heart, as she loved to compare, liked face-saving, was often jealous of others, and enjoyed compliments from others. She repented that, as a child, she left her dog in the car while the whole family went to the beach for an excursion, and the dog was “baked” to death when they came back ashore. She repented having no respect for sentient beings or the deceased, as some patients had their mouths wide open after passing away in the hospital where she worked, and she would playfully tie up the chin with the head of the deceased with gauze, and then make a bow at the top of the head. Also, as an indulgent person when she was young, she had taken Ecstasy, eaten the flesh of many sentient beings, and even had a restaurant once to make money by selling the meat of sentient beings. She had killed countless flies, ants, fireflies, shrimp, mosquitoes, spiders, and cockroaches; and had neglected the lives of fish and little birds after catching them, causing them to be bitten to death by cats. She repented hurting countless sentient beings in her life after life, and the worst of it was that she had accumulated such countless evil karma without knowing it.

She was very grateful to His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for the compassionate blessings and the auspicious teachings. If it had not been for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, she would not have seen it clearly how evil and ugly her inner heart was. She felt that she was just like what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had concluded in that she appeared to be human but didn’t have anything human inside, without any compassion; worse, she thought she was a good person, someone who was learning Buddhism. But in fact, everything she did was superficial and for pretention, as she did not believe in cause and effect, accept that everything was a result of what she had done, and realize that death was impermanent. She did not act according to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teachings. Instead, she went against them, resulting in her accumulation of evil karma and evil acts and the repetition of such vices. She repented that she was still suffering in the sea of reincarnation today, and repented acting contrary to her commitment to sentient beings.

If it had not been for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, it would have been impossible for her to have the courage to face the suffering and impermanence of human life, or to have a stable job, have something to eat, somewhere to live, something to wear. Everything had been bestowed unto her by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, which she had nothing to repay with. The only thing she could do was to have an aspiration with her earnest heart to go to the Pure Land, follow Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to learn Buddhism life after life until she could attain Buddhahood. At the same time she implored His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to bless her with the determination and diligence in learning Buddhism and help her reduce the five poisons of greed, resentment, ignorance, arrogance, and doubt and the hindrances that prevented her from learning Buddhism. She also asked her Dharma brothers to point out any of her errors or wrong-doings if they saw them.

She thanked Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche again for the opportunity to make public repentance, and hoped that all her Dharma brothers could learn from her lessons and avoid making the same mistakes. They should cherish the causal condition which gave them the great blessed reward letting them learn Buddhism with the grand practitioner Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche who was no different from the Buddhas themselves.

Finally, she expressed her gratitude once again for His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and wished His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to have wonderful health, the Dharma Wheel to turn constantly and last in the world forever.

At the beginning of the puja, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche specially blessed the Lung Tripitaka displayed on the mandala to give them a purifying effect.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche ascended to the Dharma throne and said: today, we will perform the Guru Yoga. We have seen the blessings and protection bestowed us by our guru in the past year, and for this reason, we should thank our guru and all the gurus in the lineage of our tradition for their blessings. The Guru Yoga is not available with Exoteric Buddhism. It is only performed in Tibetan Buddhism. Exoteric Buddhism teaches the reciting of Buddhist sutras through Dharma masters. As to how much the disciples can understand the recited classic scripture, how much they can experience the underlying meaning, and whether or not they can attain enlightenment, that all depends on the causal condition and root capacity of each individual. The Buddha taught the Dharma based on the causal condition of sentient beings. After the Buddha had entered Nirvana, the disciples had gathered what they had been taught by the Buddha over 49 years and recorded it into the Buddhist sutras. Those disciples were all grand practitioners with great capacities and they all attained the Arahantship. Their memories were better than modern tape recorders, since they listened to the Dharma in the meditative state and pure-mindedness that had no distraction. That’s why they could remember the teachings of the Buddha over 49 years clearly and record them in the form of writing in complete detail.

However, the Buddha was teaching Buddhism according to different attendees at that time. But when such teachings were recorded in the form of written texts, they lost the sense of live presentations as the tone of each sentence could not be recorded along the text. And without sitting through the live presentations it would be very difficult to experience the subtlety and know the exact meaning. The future generations cannot attend in person, and thus have no way of knowing the background and the circumstances of the Buddhist teachings being presented at that time. They can only try to understand the meaning of the Buddhist sutra through reading it with their eyes in order to feel the meaning of what the Buddha had taught. And of course, it would not be possible to recreate the same original scene of Buddha’s teaching again. That’s why Empress Wu Zetian said in the Sutra Reading Anthem, “I wish that I could understand the true meaning of what Buddha Rulai had taught.” She made such a wish in order to truly know the meaning of the Buddha Dharma as taught by Buddha Shakyamuni.

Just like what is taught by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche nowadays at the weekly puja, these teachings are gathered together in the form of journals which are then published through the website of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center. Many people in the world are viewing them, but can they attain achievement simply by reading? No, they cannot. That’s because what has been presented in the website is only the text, which cannot express the tone and context of each sentence taught by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. The reader would not be able to experience the all-embracing power and the blessings felt by those who attended the puja live. Text can only record the content, but cannot represent the mood of the original puja, as the disciples would not dare to record everything Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche says, including which sentence is meant to reprimand someone, and which one is meant to be a joke.

Why does Tibetan Buddhism attach so much importance to the guru? That’s because people in the Age of Degenerate Dharma are not fortunate enough to hear the Buddha’s teachings in person, and they have to depend on the teachings and blessings of the guru. The guru, on the other hand, is a practitioner with great merits, representing the Buddha to teach the Buddha Dharma to the sentient beings. If there is no guru with great merits to bless you, it would not be possible for you to attain achievement through your own Buddhist practice. None of you have any affinity with the Buddha, because if you do, you would have been born in the age of the Buddha himself and been able to listen to his teachings in person. The Buddhist sutras instruct you to regard the guru as the Buddha, and when the guru is teaching the Buddha Dharma, it would be as if he were the Buddha, promulgating Buddhism on behalf of the Buddha, since the Dharma nature of the guru is no different from that of the Buddha.

Before the Dharma nature is realized, you cannot see Buddha’s Dharmakaya. Before attaining the stage of a Bodhisattva, you cannot receive the help from Buddha’s Sambhogakaya. So, only Buddha’s Nirmanakaya can be seen. Buddha’s Nirmanakaya is not that someone has turned into the form of the Buddha, but rather it refers to the persons, conditions or things which enable you to accept the Buddha Dharma. That means that you must keep training your heart in order to receive blessings from the guru. If there is no faith but constant comparison, there won’t be any blessings. Learning Buddhism takes the heart of a fool, and a person with 30% of the mentality of a fool can learn Buddhism well. Fools would not know to compare, they know it’s good to learn Buddhism and stop thinking further. That way, they can attain the meditative state, and can restore their pure Dharma nature.

The ways of teaching in Tibetan Buddhism vary, falling into Exoteric and Esoteric parts. In the Exoteric part of the Drikung Kagyu Order, those who are eligible to teach the classic sutras are called Khenpo, which means “one who can explain the Buddhist sutra.” This tradition is handed down from generation to generation. Whatever has been taught from the guru will be taught in order to explain the meaning of the sutras. As for how to cultivate, it is still not quite clear. But they are still far ahead of ordinary people in understanding the Buddhist sutras with a good grasp on the meaning of the classic sutras. Every Buddhist sutra was what the Buddha taught to a particular group of attendees. But everyone was arrogant enough to think that the Buddha was addressing him in particular as he was reciting the sutra. Although Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had learned the Exoteric Buddhism before, he was never arrogant, and never exaggerated it when he was simply reciting the sutra. Only later did he find out that he could not attain the state that was described in the sutras. As he took refuge under His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang later, he came to realize that it was so because there had not been the blessings bestowed onto him by the guru, and one could not have any attunement to the Buddha no matter how hard you recite the Buddhist sutra.

In Tibetan Buddhism, one would not be able to learn Tantra without having learned the Exoteric Buddhism for 10 years as the basis. Don’t assume that you can learn the Tantra when you have seen a Rinpoche from Tibet. I’m telling you an open secret today that real Tantra has never been taught in Taiwan. Even if someone claims that it has, that would only be Kriya Tantra and Charya Tantra, but never Yoga Tantra and Maha-anuttara Yoga Tantra. The guru would not easily teach the last two parts, because if he does, he would be responsible for the entire future of the disciple, which refers to the disciple’s Buddhist practice. If he has practiced well, it would also bring benefit to the guru. If he has not practiced it well or has slacked off , then it would cause the guru to have hindrance on his way to attaining Buddhahood.

Slacking off does not mean that the disciple does not recite the Buddhist sutras, chant the mantra, or do his assignment. Rather, it means that once the mind is changed, the practice was not conducted according to what was taught. So the disciple whom a guru with great merits wants to teach the Buddha Dharma must have excellent root capacity and must be selected through a very strict process to prove that he is a worthy disciple. If you think that you are practicing Buddhism by listening to the guru’s teaching, and after that you can practice by yourself and achieve, that would be a wrong idea. Without blessings from the guru, you would not be able to attain anything. If you have the Dharma text, you wouldn’t be able to attain anything without the guru’s pith instruction. Even if you do know the pith instruction, you still wouldn’t be able to attain anything without the blessings of the guru. Those who are learning Tibetan Buddhism must have reverence for the guru, particularly a guru with great merits. Of course, as a disciple he may observe the guru whether the guru is teaching the Dharma for the sake of fame and profit.

Before Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche went to Japan to promote Buddhism, the guru instructed the ordained disciples to lead the attendees in reciting the Lotus Sutra and other Buddhist sutras at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center in Taipei between January 1 and 2 of 2012. Now Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would ask if you have recited the sutras for over six hours, and whether there were some of you who felt happy in reciting these sutras; whether you felt that you are very diligent; and whether you all felt joyful. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche saw that some of you have raised your hands, then commented that everyone was thinking that they were practicing Buddhism. You thought that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was merciful in instructing everyone to recite sutras but forgot what it was for on that day. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche wants those of you who had raised your hands just now to register your names, so that those can join the sutra reciting group and in the future they can only learn Exoteric Buddhism. If those of you who had raised your hands but did not register your names, and thought that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would not know. But Dharma protectors would know anyway, and would name each of those disciples who thought so. Dharma protectors are truly phenomenal.

When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche took the disciples to India in November 2011, His Eminence Garchen Rinpoche gave Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche a large bag of nectar pills as a gift. And Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not leave a single pill for himself. Instead, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche handed the complete package over to the General Director of the Glorious Jewel Buddhism Cultural Exchange Association, and told him to distribute the pills among all the disciples who attended the puja in India on that day. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not leave any for himself; nor did he give any to his mother, his children, or the employees of the company. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would not owe anything to sentient beings. But considering that the disciples had participated in the puja, and in order that Sino Travel Services which is managed by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche may have a bit of revenue, the guru gave all the precious nectar pills to the disciples when he received them, without retaining any for himself. But one of the female disciples who served as the bus chief became greedy and took more than her share, and even told other disciples on board the bus that she was doing so for the benefit of everyone. The disciples on board the bus were happy upon hearing this, and even thanked her for doing so. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked if the instruction at the time indicated that bus chief or anyone else can take extra? The disciple who serves as the General Director said no. The whole bus load was just showing a sign of greed as well by saying  “Thank you” to her. What makes you feel that you can take more than your share? Furthermore, she said that she would share with everyone else, but as a matter of fact she kept some more into her own pockets.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked the female disciple whether that was the case right at the puja. She cried very emotionally and said loudly that she was very wrong in doing so. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told her not to yell while talking, as that might frighten those senior attendees who were also there. The guru did not even ask her to repent, just answering the question honestly would be fine. When the female disciple admitted it in a lowered voice, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche continued that this was not known at the beginning. But the Dharma protector was so amazing that the female disciple got a lesson right away. When the group of more than 200 people returned to Taiwan and claimed their luggage, only that female disciple’s luggage was sent to Beijing by mistake. It was obvious that everyone in the group had the luggage together when it was sent onto the conveyance belt one piece after another. But her luggage was sent to another flight for Beijing that had very different scheduled departure time through a different check-in counter. Fortunately, her husband criticized her as he found that she was taking more than her share. Otherwise more serious things might have happened to her, and maybe her luggage would be sent to Siberia instead. To save her face, the female disciple did not tell Sino Travel Services about her missing luggage. As a matter of fact the Travel Agency had bought insurance for everyone’s luggage, and would file a claim for her missing luggage, since the premium had been paid to the insurance company. But she would prefer saving her face rather than claiming for compensation.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche reprimanded the female disciple sternly, and pointed out that she was doing that in order to show she had more clout than other people, so that she could establish her rank and status. This is an attitude of egotism and arrogance, which is an action that seriously violated the precept, since taking what belongs to the guru and Buddhist Center as her own is a serious offense. This happened in spite of the fact that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche reminded everyone time and again of the importance of making offerings and giving charity before leaving for the puja in India. Not only had the female disciple not been listening to the guru at all, but she also did not have the mind to make offerings and give charity. If she did, she would not have aroused such a thought of greed.

You think that you are making offerings. But what you are doing really does not qualify as making offerings. Like those letters for help that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has recently received, the figures mentioned can easily amount to a number of eight digits. So what you are making cannot really be called offerings. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has been making offerings and giving charity all along, to the extent that even the nectar pills, as precious as they are, would not be something that the guru withheld for himself. In fact these were given by someone else as offerings to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, knowing that the guru had been providing a lot of help to sentient beings and might need to use the nectar pills himself. Nevertheless, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave all of them to the disciples the moment he received them.

In addition to taking more than her share of the nectar pills out of greed, this female disciple was doing quite what she pleased after attending the puja at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center in Kyoto, Japan recently. Thinking that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche  had left the Center, she  shouted in a very high pitch as if nobody else existed while helping to clean the interior of the Kyoto Buddhist Center.

At that point, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told her that she would be no longer permitted to making offerings to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche or to support the Buddhist Center, nor should she participate in any travel arranged through Sino Travel Service. She was further instructed to hand in the red vest and the Dharma text that were given to all disciples of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center and would be just another believer instead of a disciple of the Center. The offenses that she had committed had wiped out all the merits that she had accumulated since beginning to learn Buddhism, with some blessed reward left for use in her next life. The nectar pill is a Dharma medicine, which has been blessed upon with performances of the Buddha Dharma in the form of many rounds of mantra chanting and thus will be very effective. But it will be effective depending on the mindsets of the giver and the receiver. The nectar pills that this female disciple had taken as her own did not have the Dharma with it, since she did not have the right mindset for this, thus the nectar pills had already been polluted and lost their blessed capacity. Protector Achi is aware of everything going around and let it be exposed.

Some people may think, “Why would Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche make such a fuss and so harshly reprimand something that seems so insignificant? Doesn’t it seem that the whole thing is so serious?” But Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is looking at the suffering of reincarnation from the perspective of the Dharma nature. The guru sees what you have been doing would lead you to fall to the suffering of reincarnation, but you don’t realize that that you are at fault. Everything starts with an accumulation of so-called insignificant things. That is why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would so harshly reprimand what seems to be an insignificant fault, because the aspiration of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas is such that sentient beings do not fall into the suffering of reincarnation.

Milarepa was extremely saddened when he came to think about the suffering of sentient beings from the sea of reincarnation and dared not think of it. Imagine even Milarepa did not want to think of it, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, based on his attainment, can only see the suffering of reincarnation. This is the reason why you should be able to feel it. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has been growing harsher and harsher since he completed the retreat in 2007, because the guru is growing older and time is running out for him. If you do not want to truly learn Buddhism, please go to some other Buddhist centers instead of staying here. As the Chinese New Year is approaching, many other Buddhist centers would welcome you with open arms if you want to go there. They would even say words that you’d like to hear in order to please you, something like “You look more and more like the young boy next to Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara.” But you need to be very careful at hearing these words, because if someone is flattering you, it means that your blessed reward has been used up.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked the disciples who had been with other Buddhist orders before how precious were the nectar pills. A female disciple then replied that in the Buddhist center that she was with before, many people had only heard of them but never seen them. Even if there were a very few lucky ones who had actually received them, they would only be given a few pills. A male disciple, who had been a major donor of other Buddhist center, also reported that in other Buddhist centers nobody would have the opportunity to receive them except the major donors and the commissioners. Some of them even had never heard of it before. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then commented, when only the major donors can have the nectar pills, they are treated as a commodity for sale and for purchase in these Buddhist centers and thus cause them to lose their effectiveness.  Then Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked the General Director, “How many nectar pills did each of the attendees receive on this trip to India?” “On average 30-50 pills,” replied the General Director.

There are descriptions in the Buddhist sutras about nectar pills, which are made when the ritual of the yidam is performed with many rounds of mantra chanting. So this is a Dharma medicine. But this is not available with Exoteric Buddhism. It is done only with Tibetan Buddhism, like the Vajra knot given to you by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche at the grand puja. This method was mentioned  in the Dharma method of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara that mantra chanting shall be conducted with the five-color rope, and afterward a knot should be made with the rope. The nectar pills are extremely precious and hard to get. Those who had followed Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and had been to Drikung Thil Monastery in Tibet all received a bag of the nectar pills. When a lama was about to hand over the nectar pills to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, local Tibetans reached their hands to try to get it. The lama tapped on them with his own hand, signaling that nothing would be given to these Tibetans. If it had not been for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, none of you would have been able to get any of these precious nectar pills.

It is described in the Dharma text that a nectar will split itself into two pills and keep growing if it is kept in the mandala or a clean place as an offering made with the mind of reverence by a practitioner who practices Buddhism according to the Dharma. That is really precious. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche now has a lot of nectar pills, given to him for no obvious reason and by people whose names he doesn’t even know. Why the guru can receive so many nectar pills? That’s because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has great blessed reward, and has been making offerings and giving charity on a continuous basis. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has truly been nice and kind to you, but you don’t even know how to cherish such treasures when you receive them!

If it had not been for the grand aspiration of His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, you would not have had the opportunity to see the entirety of the Lung Tripitaka. Even if the National Palace Museum puts it out as an exhibit, at most only one volume would be seen. It would not be possible that you can see every page of it. You truly have a lot of blessed reward in that you are able to see right here at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center the whole set of the Lung Tripitaka, which was purchased by His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, who often places really nice things in the Center. Besides, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also made an offering of a set of the Lung Tripitaka to the Drikung Kyabgon Chungtsang, who has been extremely fond of it. The Drikung Kyabgon Chungtsang expressed, after finishing reading the Lung Tripitaka during a retreat, that the reprinting of this Classic Buddhist sutra has great benefits for the people in the world, and wanted to present this precious set to other institution as a gift, as the person who is in charge of other institution is quite young and can keep it for a very long time. After learning about this situation, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked whether he could make an offering of another set of the Lung Tripitaka to the Drikung Kyabgon Chungtsang, who then replied that it was not necessary. You can see, a true practitioner promotes Buddhism without any selfishness!

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked the attendees whether they were aware of the fact that the male disciple who was in charge of Dharma affairs team was removed from his position, not because he was so careless last time that caused the guru to catch a cold, who did not really mind such things but just thought that that was a result of heavy karma on his part to have such a disciple. The problem was that after causing the guru to catch a cold, he continued being careless and keep making errors. Before leaving for Japan, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche forwarded a word to him, putting the male disciple in charge of shipping the Lung Tripitaka to Japan. But he did not know how to do that, and dared not ask the guru who gave him the assignment as to how to take care of this matter. Instead, he went to ask the female disciple who had taken care of the shipment of the Lung Tripitaka before. Without knowing the specifics that were involved with this shipment, she told him the way that she did last time. Consequently, the disciple who was in charge of Dharma affairs team actually went ahead to call the purchasing person of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s company about such shipping arrangement. As the purchasing person was asking Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for permission, the guru immediately knew that the disciple was unable to deal with such a matter. Not only that, he dared not ask Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche directly. Instead, he was asking around and eventually that led him to somebody in Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s company.

The way of shipping was different every time that was such a need. How the Lung Tripitaka was shipped this time was different from the last time, because if it was shipped as cargo by sea, it would cost money. Maybe this disciple thought that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s company had money, or the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center had money, and spending some money on it didn’t matter. But with a group as large as 180 disciples going to Japan, would it be possible that they could not take a few boxes of books with them when they went through the customs? That disciple obviously was afraid of being reprimanded by the guru and dared not ask, and that kind of thinking resulted in his inability to take care of this matter. As it turned out, all the boxes of the Lung Tripitaka were shipped to Japan smoothly and free of charge as the huge group bound for the puja passed through the customs along with them.

Before the ritual of the Green Tara was performed in the puja at the Buddhist Center the last time, the disciple who was in charge of the mandala actually did not following the routine by asking about procedures regarding the ritual and other issues prior to the puja. Consequently, the Buddhist statue of the Yidam of the Green Tara was not placed in the central position of the mandala on that day. Every time Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche performs the Dharma, the setup is not necessarily the same. But this disciple dare not ask the guru for fear that he might be reprimanded and set it up the way he thought it should be. He thought that it had never been placed in the center, this time it must also be like that! As a result, he was reprimanded and beaten up by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in the elevator before repositioning the Buddhist statue of the Yidam of the Green Tara to the center of the mandala.

During the stay in the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center in Kyoto, as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had already changed into the Dharma robe and on his way to ascend to the Dharma throne in order to perform the Chod, the disciple walked up in front of the guru trying to report on the issue of the Lung Tripitaka certificate right in the middle. Now you all know that when you have something to report to your supervisor, definitely you do not do that by suddenly popping out of nowhere and hand over the materials in front of the supervisor who is on his way to an important event. Rather, you would wait until a more appropriate time. Of course, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not respond to the disciple’s brusque act as the guru needed to ascend to the throne right away. Consequently, the disciple brought the certificate to Taiwan without asking after the puja, although he did have the opportunity to do so when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was dining together with all the disciples on the night following the puja.

There was another incident, before leaving the country, this disciple reported to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche that someone had made an offering with a tangka, but one Buddhist statue on it was missing the eyebrows. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche instructed him to find a lama capable of tangka painting in Taiwan to take care of it. Actually the disciple knew the lama, but he called a Khenpo in Yunnan to ask how to take care of the tangka. Alas, he could not even understand what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had to say, and after so many things happened about him, he wasn’t even alert.

During the period when the Chod was performed in Japan, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would liberate a female disciple who had just passed away as a result of breast cancer. The guru instructed that the name of this deceased disciple should appear on the list of those to be liberated. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche saw the list, he found that it only had the name without the her Chinese zodiac sign. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then asked while sitting on the Dharma throne why zodiac sign was not on the list. The male disciple in charge of Dharma affairs team tried to shirk his responsibility by saying that he did not know about putting zodiac sign on the list, and that it was being taken care of by other disciples. He further pointed his finger here and there in the Buddhist Center to show that other disciples were responsible for this issue.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked the attendees of the puja today whether they knew that it was necessary to put zodiac sign on the name list of the deceased persons who were to be liberated through the Chod. Everyone said that they knew about this. Every time when there was a Chod Puja, this disciple would hand in the list to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche but now he was saying that he did not know about putting zodiac sign on it. And even the disciple who was pointed at as the responsible person also said that he did not know about this. They were all behaving the same way, trying to shirk their responsibilities of something that they did themselves. Four disciples were asked to leave the Buddhist Center right then and were not allowed to attend the puja. It was 1 degree centigrade outside of the Center on that day, the kind of karmic retribution that answered to the last time when this male disciple caused Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to catch a cold. You get the karmic retribution quite quickly as you learn Vajrayana. A person suffers greatly after passing away, and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would not tolerate anyone who shows no compassion for the deceased.

Then, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche continued, at that time, all the disciples who went to Japan drew lots to decide who would be selected to participant in the grand event in which Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would bestow blessings to the Lung Tripitaka as it was presented on display in the Buddhist Center in Japan. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is quite fair to everyone by using the method of drawing lots for everything. As a result, this disciple did not get the opportunity, and out of the 36 lucky ones who got it, only one was from the Dharma affairs team. The person who got the opportunity happened to be handicapped. The next day when they were looking for the incenses, no one knew where they were located. And you only could see the disciple with inconvenient legs walking up and down in search for them in vain! When it came time for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to make the speech to the attendees through the microphone, no one knew how to take care of the control of this device, and all said that only the one who was in charge of it on a routine basis knew how to manage it. This means that anything that has to do with the Buddhist Center, there is never any instruction sheet with details on it for any item at all. Not even the General Director knew about this and tried to manage it. The PA system was so important, however if the disciple in charge of it died, wouldn’t there be anyone who knew how to operate the system for the Buddhist Center?

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was harshly criticizing the disciples for being afraid of the guru. They only knew how to shirk their responsibilities of everything they did. If the guru did not instruct them, no one knew how to do anything. You now are like the mummies, having the human form in vain, with nothing inside, including the brain, wrapped around it with layer after layer of gauze. You only know how to protect yourselves from harm. No one would say that this is an overstated metaphor, and it is appropriate to describe you as mummies! When doing things, no one bothers to use his brain and think how to do it. They do not think for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and are only afraid of asking, thinking that they have been doing things for the Buddhist Center for a long time now and they can make a decision of their own instead of asking the guru. Other people become more knowledgeable in taking care of things as they keep learning Buddhism, and you are just the opposite!

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche have told you time and again that even till now, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche still must ask His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang for permission about things that are related to Buddhism, and would proceed to do them only when the permission is given. This is true even when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knows that it is something beneficial. The disciple in charge of the mandala, on the other hand, thinks that he is in charge of the entire Buddhist Center and does not need to report to anyone but himself. Thus he does not have to make instruction sheet with detailed information. Many Dharma instruments in the Center belong to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Would it be that after Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche passes away, you can take the Buddhist Center as your own? Or you can take those of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s possessions as your own? Or would you rather prefer others to ask for permission with you as the big Dharma brother how to take care of everything? Learning Buddhism to the extent of becoming so arrogant and causing even yourself a big mess, that is something!

Then Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was asking the ordained practitioners what precept had the male disciple broken. And he commented by saying that it was the samaya precept that he had broken, as he had received the empowerment. It would not cause you to die or to have bad luck if you broke the samaya precept. But then it will present great hindrance on your way of learning Buddhism in the future, to the extent that you will no longer be able to carry on with it when you have come to a certain point of practicing Buddhism.  Practicing Buddhism is meant to mend your way, and in this process you don’t have to compare yourself with other Dharma brothers, even if you have practiced relatively well. This disciple thought that he had learned Buddhism for many years and read many Buddhist sutras, he would be able to practice Buddhism on his own, and could shirk his responsibility to others when something happened. All faults are others’ and none his own. A person who cannot shoulder the responsibility cannot learn to be compassionate. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was once telling you that those who are afraid of being reprimanded by the guru are the most evil, for being afraid of reprimanding is a mentality that refuses change. When serving His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is never afraid of being reprimanded by his guru, because he surrenders completely to the guru and is totally reverent to him. Naturally he is not afraid of the guru’s reprimanding. As a disciple, if you know what the guru says is for the benefit of teaching him, how would you still be afraid of the corrections pointed out by the guru?

There is a disciple who took refuge. Before his wife died, her only wish was that their two daughters could learn Buddhism with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. The guru then commented that a person would have “ghost ability” when he or she dies. She has seen that her two daughters would die an untimely death in the future. And the only way that this fate may be changed is for them to follow Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and learn Buddhism. The two sisters were only just making their own life’s plans in the beginning: study abroad, getting married and having children, buying a house, etc. Fortunately, they followed Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s advice and took refuge under the guru. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knew their mother’s wish before dying and he had to tell it to them. It would be their own call whether they wanted to act on it or not, and their father would not force it onto them. Fortunately, they understood the meaning of filial piety and acted according to their mother’s wish. Otherwise, they’d have died an untimely death already. The daughters have never thought about making any offerings or giving charity. So this time when the accident happened, the car was totaled. It means that this asset did not belong to them in the first place, and there was no way they could keep it with them.

A disciple should not treat his guru as an ordinary person in the relationship. If you do, the guru would have to talk about the terms and conditions, and set a price for anything the guru does to help you! Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would not do that, however. Even when the guru liberated the female disciple who died of breast cancer, he did so without telling her family. The guru would help her even without receiving any offerings from her family. What Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche teaches is the Dharma method of liberation from the cycle of life and death instead of the mundane path. If you learned the supramundane path well, you’d naturally be doing well with the mundane path too. But if you come to learn Buddhism with the mind focused on the thoughts for good health, husbands with nothing bad happening to them, fortune increasing, life prolonging, you will not be able to succeed.

You need to be clear about why you are learning Buddhism. It is for restoring the pure Dharma nature and for liberation from life and death. Learning Buddhism leads to longevity, but this longevity is about the Buddha Dharma, not about your corporal body. Buddhism is about one’s pure Dharma nature, which has nothing to do with your life’s experience. Only through continuously subjecting yourself to the influence of Buddha Dharma can you gradually change your habit that has been formed through your past lives. Without the blessings from the guru, it would not be possible to reveal the Dharma nature. And if you have had too much good or evil karma over the past lives, you wouldn’t be able to receive blessings from the guru either. The guru can help block it for you, but it will be up to you to eradicate it.

His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang has been very strict with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and there would be reprimanding involved as well. But there has been no reprimanding for over a year only recently. Though His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang does not reprimand as harshly as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche reprimands the disciples who have committed faults, the criticism is rather heavy with only a few words necessary to express it. In 2007 His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang instructed that when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche came out of a three-month retreat upon perfect completion, the guru and his disciple would dine together for the first time. The guru and his disciple sat along the rail, and what a view they had: white clouds hanging over the blue sky, a caressing breeze blowing gently, green grass sprawling all the way with a few yaks grazing in the far end. As soon as the table cloth was set and the dinner was ready to serve, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang unexpectedly started to reprimand without any reservation, in complete disregard of the toil on the part of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche who just came out of a three-month retreat. Furthermore, all the faults that the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang was criticizing really were those of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s disciples instead of his own. But Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche faced the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang directly and completely accepted the criticism. If you had been there instead, you would have given a lot of excuses and shirked any responsibility.

As a matter of fact, what the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang was doing was giving Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche yet another test upon completion of the retreat, to see if his heart had changed. If it had, then no more teaching would follow. This in fact was a blessing from the guru. The purpose that Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang reprimanded Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche upon perfect completion of the three-month retreat was to find out whether the disciple had changed his mind and become arrogant. If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had acted like you would, trying to explain to the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, “I have taught the disciples, but it’s their faults that they didn’t do it or practice Buddhism truly.” Imagine this kind of explanation, and that would mean that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was not accepting the teaching of the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang or Buddhism!

You would say, the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang has supernatural powers. How could he not know what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was thinking about? But as a matter of fact only the Buddhas would know the causal condition of each and every thought that you have. The guru would not know it. According to the Buddhist sutras, human beings may experience 10 trillion thoughts in a flashing second. So it’s really very very complicated. The Sutra of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s Fundamental Vows says, “Every movement and thought of an ordinary person generates karma and vice.” Consequently, the guru will be able to see your causes and conditions based on what you do and he will test you with different methods to see if there has been any change with your mind. This is like the teaching method of the Zen School before, where the Zen guru would keep asking the disciples questions. They would know if there had been any change in the mind from the way the disciples answered these questions. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would use all methods to see your mind, showing you what you don’t like to see and avoid telling you what you like to hear and even take it away. There is nothing wrong with the reprimanding from the guru, just like at school the teacher would criticize you when you do something wrong. Those who do not want to accept this form of criticism show that they have heavy attachment and no heart for charity giving. If you can all understand the meaning of what the guru says and accept it, then you can change your life.

The guru is closer to you than your own parents. Your parents only gave you your body; and maybe some parents are quite rich, but what they can do would not go beyond providing you with care, education, and assistance in your job. They cannot change your future, or give you a future life that will be perfectly flawless. Only a guru acting in accordance with the Buddha Dharma will be able to set you free from reincarnation, taking care of you life after life until you attain Buddhahood. That is why they are closer to you than your own parents. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche cherishes very much the opportunity that he could meet His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang and learn Buddhism under his guidance in this life of his.

The reason why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has been cherishing the affinity is not based on how the guru has been treating the disciple. Rather, it’s because of the Buddha Dharma that the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang has been teaching him changed the future of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. That is the reason that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has cherished the affinity between the guru and the disciple, surrendering himself completely to the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang with no thought of his own. If there had been no Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, there would not have been Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. And without the teaching of the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, it would have been impossible for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to benefit so many sentient beings with the Buddha Dharma and help liberate them from the suffering sea of reincarnation.

The Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center is a very pure place for learning Buddhism. If you only come to pray for protection instead of liberation from the cycle of life and death, please leave and don’t come back again. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche only teaches the Dharma method of liberation from life and death. The best way to learn Buddhism is to listen to the guru’s teaching. There is not distinction between good and bad in Buddhism except realization. It’s good if you have the realization and you can follow it. What Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will be performing today will help you reduce many unnecessary hindrances on your way to learning Buddhism. Then Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will lead you in performing the Guru Yoga.

After completing a phase in performing the ritual, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said: once you’ve finished reading the Dharma text, you will find that there is no requirement as to how you should learn Buddhism. Does it say that learning Buddhism would make you healthier, wealthier, or bring any other benefits? No, it doesn’t! The Dharma text teaches us that only when we know the suffering then can we bring an end to it, it lets us know that there is no way to liberate yourself from such suffering without learning Buddhism. There are two Chinese characters for “ending suffering”. The first character of the two comprising “bringing an end to suffering” has two meanings, with the first referring to “knowing – without knowing the suffering there would not be grief because there are still desires. Secondly, it refers to “ending the suffering.” Why out of so many Buddhist sutras, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche wants you to recite the Lotus Sutra? That’s because what is contained in this Sutra is about you, since you don’t understand that human life is still in the sea of suffering.

Buddha Shakyamuni reminded the sentient beings by using a metaphor that they are still in the suffering sea of reincarnation just like children playing cheerfully inside a burning house, and the Buddha is like a worried father who wants to rescue the children by using the ox-driven wagon and deer-driven wagon (the Mahayana and Theravada Buddhism respectively) to carry many toys on them to lure the children away from the house and save them. The toys refer to things like sutra recitation and prostration to the Buddha. Those of you who like to recite the sutra you can do so, and those of you who enjoy prostrating to the Buddha can also do so. These are called the “toys,” to help invite sentient being to jump onto the wagon. But even if the Buddha is ready, it is still up to you to jump aboard and leave the Three Worlds – the burning house! The so-called “leaving home to become ordained” refers to getting away from the house of reincarnation. Just like the two sisters mentioned above whose mother wished for them to attend the puja, their original life’s plan was to go abroad. They thought that the most important things in life are schooling, jobs, marriage and had no idea about the impermanence of death. Their father did not try to persuade them to come and attend the puja. So they are like the children playing inside the house without knowing that it is being burnt down.  Also mentioned above are the female disciple who took more than her share of the nectar pills out of greed, and the male disciple from the Dharma affairs team who repeated so many faults. They had not watched their thoughts, so they were playing in the burning house as well.

Then the ordained disciples led everyone in The Auspicious Dharmadhatu Prayer. Half way through it, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche wanted everybody to stop there. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then took the lead in reciting it one sentence after another all over again. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche explained, just now I asked the ordained disciples to lead you in reciting it, they kept reciting and were doing it too fast. Now I want to lead you in doing this all over again, because when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is giving blessings in the form of reciting a Prayer, each word and each sentence should be filled with infinite compassion, which is naturally flowing out from the inner heart as a result of sentiments being felt. In this Prayer, there are two sentences which are very important, specifically, they are as follows: “With wholeheartedness and grief I pray to you, wishing that I may be able to attune to you.”

“With wholeheartedness and grief I pray to you,” in this, the wholeheartedness means there is only one heart that has no idea or thought of one’s own. The grief is for the suffering that one still has in the sea of reincarnation along with sentient beings, imploring the guru to liberate them. Praying with wholeheartedness without the blessings from the guru cannot possibly liberate you from life and death, and thus our future is filled with grief and suffering. You know today that you’re in the suffering sea of reincarnation, so you grieve, even if you have fulfilled any of your desires on a temporary basis. But after one desire has been satisfied, another will follow immediately. So if you pray only for protection, pray with your desires, no such prayers will be effective. If you cannot ascertain your own heart of suffering while learning Buddhism, you would never be liberated from the suffering. You can be liberated from life and death only when you pray to your guru with wholeheartedness and the most grieving force, by learning Buddhism in order to be liberated from life and death and understanding suffering.

Many years ago, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was in the first Mahamudra Retreat. Just about half way into the Retreat, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang wanted him to come out of it as he wanted to teach Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche pith instructions in person. After Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche came out of the Retreat and as soon as he presented himself in front of the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, he kneeled down, with compassion and grief, to implore the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang to teach him. It is with a heart of this kind of compassion and grief that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was imploring his guru. You all have this kind of experience when you were little and wanted something really bad. That is the kind of determination and mentality that you need to use when you implore the guru. Now you’re all grown up but this is still true, only except you don’t cry. Instead, you hold onto your determination and standing. Many young people have this experience, shutting themselves in their own rooms and keeping themselves from talking with their parents until they give in and agree to your request. This is the mentality to use. When you are imploring the guru to bestow you with blessings, you should do so with grief and wholeheartedness. Don’t add to it your own desires. You only need to implore the guru to bless you.

“Wishing that I may be able to attune to you.” In this part, if there is no vow or aspiration, there will be no attuning. Do not assume that it will be effective if you practice Buddhism or recite the Buddhist sutras the way you do by yourself. Only with wholeheartedness can you have the attunement in which your mind is set in the same condition as that of your guru. The guru’s mind is all about the liberation of sentient beings from reincarnation. If this is not your goal in learning Buddhism, then it would be impossible for you to be attuned to the guru. With attunement comes effectiveness which allows you to receive blessings from the guru. The wish here refers to an aspiration. Why can’t you attune to the guru? That’s because you don’t have the aspiration. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was learning Exoteric Buddhism before, he was doing it very earnestly, reciting the Buddhist sutras and participating the Penitential Rite. But no matter how hard the guru was reciting the sutras, he could not reach the state as described in the Buddhist sutras. Later he came to realize that that was because he did not have an aspiration that allowed him to be attuned to the guru and receive the guru’s blessings. So do not assume that if you can recite the Buddhist sutras, you would be able to reach a certain attainment. That is impossible without the blessings from the guru. If someone says that he has realized something by reading the Buddhist sutras himself and has reached a certain level of attainment on his own, it is complete nonsense.

If you want to be attuned to the guru, it would only be possible if you can set your mind in the same condition as that of the guru. Just as His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang said, in the course of promoting Buddhism, the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche are walking together, which is only possible when an attunement has been reached. The mind of the guru is like that of a hook, and that requires the mind of the disciple to be like a hook as well. That’s called attunement. The mind of the guru forever hooks onto that of the disciple, but that also depends on whether the mind of the disciple would like to be hooked onto the mind of the guru, or if it is set the same way as the mind of the guru. The mind of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is hooked steadfast onto the mind of the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang. Sometimes, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not tell the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang where he is going, but the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang knows already. Sometimes something comes up and the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang is looking for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, who would be telepathized and call the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang immediately. That is the kind of attunement that tightly hooks up between the guru and the disciple. For example, in November of last year (2011) when the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang was ill, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche felt that the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang might have visited the wrong doctor and immediately called to make appropriate arrangement for him in India.

The guru’s mind is always there, and it is up to you to get hooked up with him. If you can hook your mind with that of the guru steadfast, you would be in the sea of guru’s merits. If the guru is practicing Buddhism well, you’d be doing well along with him. The higher the guru’s attainment, the better you will be cultivating yourself in the same sea of Dharma. But even when you have reached the level of accomplishment as high as a Rinpoche, you would still require the blessings from you guru, all the way until you attain Buddhahood. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche goes into a retreat, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang keeps bestowing him with blessings. But it is not enough to solely rely on the blessings from the guru, you have to act in accordance with the teachings of the guru. Even with three months of retreat in the Snow Mountain, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche still had to be diligent on the path of cultivation, and can thus transform his future. So only the blessings from the guru without your own practice will not work either.

The guru referred here does not mean just the one that you see in front of you now. Though only the guru of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center is mentioned in the Dharma text, we are referring to our ancestral Lord Jigten Sumgon, there were gurus before the lord and their guru as well. That is to say that when you have the blessings from your guru, you have been blessed by countless Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. The names are just something that makes it convenient to perform the Dharma method, but all the gurus have the same Dharma nature, and there is no distinction between them, nor is there a comparison between them to find out who’s more powerful. The Dharma nature of Buddha and Bodhisattva is the same. They come in their own different embodiments (Nirmanakaya) to liberate the sentient beings depending on the individual causal conditions that each of you have.

This Prayer has been around for several hundred years. Each and every character that was written to form the content by the practitioners of grand merits throughout many generations is helpful to you. You would find out after reading it that it does not say anything that learning Buddhism would lead to better health or an improvement of conditions. Nothing like that is mentioned at all. The Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang has never told Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche that after learning Buddhism your health will improve or things will become smoother. Nothing like that has ever been mentioned at all. The only thing that the Dharma text has mentioned is that you should liberate yourself from life and death by learning Buddhism. Even if your cultivation may not be able to reach the level which would allow you to be liberated from life and death in this life, you still need to implore the blessings of the guru so that the practitioner can move on to the Pure Land. Therefore, attending the puja will not make you healthier or more successful, or avoid those unfortunate things. All these are your causal conditions. You will be sick, that is also a result of your causal conditions.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has mentioned time and again that you should turn the illness for the benefit of your practice. Illness is in fact your benefactor, allowing you to have the opportunity to hear Buddhism and to be liberated from life and death in this life. The more serious the illness, the more likelihood that you’d be learning about suffering. The prayer of a true tantric practitioner is, if illness is beneficial to me, let me be ill and not let me go to the Three Evil Realms; if death is beneficial to me and will help me avoid going to the Three Evil Realms, then let me die. But none of you dare to recite the prayer in this way. What you do recite is, let me recover from my illness as soon as possible so that I can learn Buddhism and practice Buddhism well. Such prayers pose a threat to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

If you really want to learn, you should learn from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s experience in practicing Buddhism. Practitioners through many lives all practice Buddhism in accordance with such a Dharma text. If you cannot grasp the precious opportunity in this life that you have and follow Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in learning Buddhism well, you would suffer in the future. Very few among you may be able to learn Tantra. What you need now is a determination on your part to take advantage of the causal condition to learn Buddhism with the guru.  Even if you may not reach the level where you can learn Tantra and attain Buddhahood in this life, you should still pray and aspire to be liberated from reincarnation and cultivate yourself so that you can go to the Pure Land.

Very few people really have reached a level where they can learn Vajrayana. According to the Lotus Sutra, when Buddha was teaching the Lotus Sutra, many disciples felt that this was not something that they wanted to listen to and so they left, leaving a small group there in the end. Because they didn’t think that they were in the burning house and Buddha Shakyamuni’s teaching had nothing to do with them. Such was the mentality of arrogance. Today, we see this problem of arrogance is also with the disciple in the Dharma affair team and the disciple who was distributing the nectar pills. They thought that it had been a long time since they took refuge and they had good affinity by bringing some believers to seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, and that they had read many Buddhist sutras as they served the Dharma master closely for a long time. Thus they did not examine their own problems seriously, leading to the appearance of hindrance. You must always remain alert with regard to your body, speech and mind. Otherwise the karma that has been accumulated through past lives would present itself very quickly. With a little bit of loosening up on yourself, the karmic creditors of the past lives would immediately cause you to have hindrances in learning Buddhism.  When a person is greedy, he is likely to make many mistakes, but he may still think that whatever he does, nobody would know and it will go by to become something in the past. Being diligent does not mean that you need to do a lot of Buddhist homework in one day. Rather, it means whether you have applied the Buddha Dharma taught by the guru to your daily life. Indulging yourself will cause you to have very serious consequences.

If a person does not have the mind to make offerings and give charity, and starts to become arrogant, problems will follow. Every day you perform the ritual of Protector Achi in order to ask her to protect you from doing the wrong thing so that you can be liberated from life and death. This way, it also will reveal all the faults that you have committed. Protector Achi is so incredible that if you have anything wrong with your mind, she will find it out of you, which Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche may not know about as it may have been missed by the guru. If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has not adhered to the Buddhist principles all the way to the end, there would have been 100,000 or even 200,000 disciples today. But such a number is of no use. It will not help sentient beings be liberated from life and death. You should surrender completely to the guru.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then performed the lamp-lighting ritual, made offerings to the Buddhas on behalf of sentient beings to the Buddhas.

Normally when this ritual is performed, with slow recitation of the Buddhist sutras, it would take one day’s time. In Tibet, it takes one whole day, from morning till afternoon. Some sections have been shortened today, because on the one hand you don’t have a lot of time, and on the other, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is 65 years old. You may have seen that when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is reprimanding someone, the voice is full of energy, but Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche believes in the impermanence of death, and the guru never knows when suddenly he’d lose all his strength. Don’t assume that you are reciting the Long Life Prayer every day for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche so that the guru would really live a long life. That refers to the teaching instead of the corporal body.

If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teaching cannot be passed down in the future, it’s of no use even if Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche lives to be 100 or 200 years old. How can we carry it on then? Someone needs to learn it and apply it. Because as a disciple, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has been diligent on the path of cultivation, the Dharma lineage of the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang can be carried on. And if you want to carry on with the Dharma lineage of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, it will be necessary for his disciples to follow Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teaching and diligently carry on with their Buddhist practice. When the disciple truly act according to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teaching, the Dharma will surely be passed down!

The donors as mentioned in the Dharma text will increase in their wealth. As you make regular offerings, you can be considered as donors as well. What it is referring to here is that you won’t necessarily be “hitting a jackpot” type of rich all out of a sudden. But as you continue to make offerings to the guru you will not suffer from a disruption of the flow of income, since there is a fortune that comes with protecting and promoting the Buddhist order. There was an exception, though. Right at this moment Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche named a male disciple who caught SARS at that time and was saved by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, who told him that he could never be rich. That is because he was supposed to die when he caught SARS in the first place and whatever wealth he had was gone with it. On the other hand, he was very miserly with making offerings but generous in making investments, which all resulted in failure. Millions has been lost, now even he admitted being penniless himself, in addition to the fact that he did not do things according to the guru’s teaching.

Today it is necessary to clarify for you the meaning and purpose of learning Buddhism.  If you have different ideas from what’s in the Guru Yoga Prayer, please go to another place, since there is no affinity. The right direction of Buddhist teaching involves nothing like praying for good causal conditions, recovery from illness, a happy family, etc. If you can perform practice the supramundane path, you surely will have no problem with mundane path. But everyone prefers practicing the mundane path.

The Chinese New Year is approaching fast, a time many Buddhist temples would be looking for believers to go back with them as many Buddhist centers lack disciples. If you go there, it would make them very happy. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s puja has over 1,000 attendees every time, and there are 1,300 people here today. It’s overcrowded here. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has no plan to find another place as the new Buddhist center, because first of all it costs money, and secondly, to set up another Buddhist center would mean too much work for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Yesterday a believer came to implore Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche so that she could take refuge but to no avail. She did not show up at today’s puja. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is exceedingly amazing in that he can clearly see through your heart. Separately, a female disciple with breast cancer brought her daughter and implored the guru to allow her to attend the Chod. Considering that she was quite young and giving her an opportunity, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche agreed to that request. But as soon as that happened, the female disciple immediately revealed an expression of joy, thinking that her daughter had good filial piety for her attend the puja. But this kind of mentality would cause her to have attachment trying to hold onto her life when it’s time for her to go, and thus it would be the hindrance!

Many Buddhist centers would avoid openly pointing out the faults of the disciple right in the Buddhist center, presuming that reprimanding is equivalent to evil speech. But who dare to say that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche makes evil speech when the guru is reprimanding the disciples? Do you think criticism is divisive speech? Many people think that we should avoid criticizing others’ faults. But when you were students at school, wouldn’t your teacher be pointing out what kind of errors that you had made by calling out your names in front of other students? If you failed to do your homework, your teacher would openly criticize as well. Who says that the guru cannot reprimand you if you are learning Buddhism? Why it is acceptable when you are a pupil but it is not when you are a grown-up? Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche once said that those who are afraid of being reprimanded are the most evil, because they do not want to mend their ways. If there are any of you here who are scared of being reprimanded, please simply leave.

If Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche copies the way that Buddhism is promoted by the Buddhist centers outside, the guru would be enjoying the days very much indeed, saying what pleases your ears and doing something that makes you happy. But nothing of this sort would help liberate you from the cycle of life and death. In the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center you can see many things associated with learning Buddhism. But don’t you laugh at those disciples who have committed faults. Whatever happens now will serve as a lesson to you all. Without the guru openly criticizing the mistakes, no one would understand where it goes wrong and such a mistake is bound to be repeated by you. A teacher will point out your mistakes at school, it’s the same with learning Buddhism. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s Buddhist Center is different in that when you are not diligently learning Buddhism and commit faults, you would still have an opportunity to correct yourself.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche pointed out to a believer that it was not respectful to constantly move the legs left and right. The legs hurt as a result of meat eating, causing the heart to be unsettling. Buddhism is about changing the future instead of the past. No matter how good or bad it is now, it would be different comparing with the future. Be strict with yourself and don’t slack off. Buddhist precepts are not about punishing you or restraining you. Rather, they are there so that there is something for you to abide by; and abiding by these precepts will lead to your liberation from the suffering of reincarnation. If  you are learning Vajrayana today, you should have a strict determination in your mind and never think of something else. Only the guru and the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas can help you with anything in the world; the guru will tell you but it’s up to you to decide whether you want to listen to that. Every night you should look within and examine yourself what you did wrong during the day, and if you have any idea about yourself not being at fault, that is faulty. Saying that you have not done anything wrong is like self-hypnosis, and that shows the arrogance of a person who does not make offerings or give charity.

Take the disciple for example who was liberated through the Chod performed by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche at the puja in Japan, the guru told her at the last Chod Puja performed in Taiwan that if she attended it she would die soon, and asked her whether she still wanted to attend it. That was an opportunity for her to accumulate her blessed reward. It turned out that she passed away four days after that. The guru was not cursing her and wanted her to die sooner; rather she had been suffering from the disease for a long time. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said humorously that he had been helping sentient beings since 1995 and had known it all quite well as an expert of the experts by predicting things with precision in this respect. Although Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had promised her to perform the Phowa for her, at the time when the guru received the call about her death, he was just about to board an airplane. It would not be possible to perform the Phowa onboard the plane, for fear that act would produce the Dharma voice that could cause great disturbance to other passengers. That’s why she had to wait until the Chod performed in Japan. It was also a result that she had not been acting in accordance with the guru’s teaching one month before she died and did not have enough blessed reward, so that she could not be liberated immediately upon death with the guru’s Dharma performance, and had prolonged suffering. During Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s stay in Japan, the sister of the deceased kept calling the guru from as early as 8:00 a.m. and showed no compassion or consideration that the guru also needed to rest, acting completely unlike a disciple, as if only her sister was the most important in the world. That is taking advantage of the guru by “bleeding him white.”

Yesterday, the sister of the deceased disciple came to seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to express her gratitude for the help given to her sister. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told her, when the deceased disciple was making money as a masseuse, she made some clients uncomfortable as she was trying to get it over with in a hurry. The sister kept nodding her head in agreement. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said again that a masseuse is like a doctor, if they make the patients uncomfortable, they would have to go to hell as their karmic retribution. Four disciples were driven out of the Buddhist Center and were not allowed to attend the puja for reasons related to her sister.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche reminded the disciples time and again that even if the guru promised to perform the Phowa, it still depends on whether the deceased had causal conditions and blessed reward. Based on your causal conditions in this life, I the guru can know what you had done in your past life. If there is no sufficient causal condition, there is nothing one can do. Not every disciple who took refuge will receive the Phowa. On the contrary, there are some who have not taken refuge under the guru and remained to be only believers in this life, due to the affinity between them and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche from their past lives and the offerings that they have made to the guru, they can still receive the Phowa performed by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

In your past life, you had either heard of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, or followed Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in learning Buddhism. But you had not made offerings or practiced Buddhism well enough. That’s why you came and found Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to learn Buddhism again. As long as you are a disciple of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche or you saw Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche before you pass away, the guru will help liberate you so that you will not go to the Three Evil Realms after you die. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche often tells himself that he has heavy karma, for he has to take in so many disciples who are not diligent on the path of true cultivation. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is full of compassion. But he cannot help you if you don’t have the causal condition and blessed reward even if he does want to. Would you not say that Buddha Shakyamuni is compassionate? But why are there so many sentient beings in this world who still suffer so much? And why do people die? That’s because there is no causal condition and blessed reward.

If the sky becomes dark, there will be difficult days for all. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not help any candidates. Rather the guru is focused on the wellbeing of Taiwan, on helping the sentient beings in the sea of suffering. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not take this opportunity to try to cling to high ranking officials in politics. And this would otherwise be a perfect opportunity for the guru to easily cook up his reputation. 2012 is going to be a very bad year, with much turbulence. You are not wealthy people. If Taiwan cannot provide a peaceful environment, your life will be hard.

After the puja today, and after the dinner, don’t run all around. Go home instead. Don’t even watch TV. Calm yourself down first. Think carefully about the year that’s gone by, and try to remember what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has been teaching through all the pujas. What is human life for? Human life is something that passes by quite quickly. If you get a perfectly normal human body, it is due to your cultivation in many past lives. That is, it is through many lives of cultivation that now you are able to see with your eyes, hear with your ears, speak with your mouth, enjoy health without any handicap, and even listen to Buddhist teachings. Only the Buddhas can see what we are in our many lives. Someone will tell you what kind of a person you were in your past life; that is impossible. Do not assume that you were born human in this life means that you must have been human in your past life. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knows your causal condition of your past life from what has happened to your present life. You are able to take refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, but you only have this one opportunity, so don’t miss it. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche teaches you in the method experienced through his own cultivation. The reason why Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was performing the Guru Yoga today was for you to have more profound causal condition with the Drikung Kagyu Order and with the guru, letting you know the true direction in which you should be learning Buddhism instead of wasting this life of yours!

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Updated on April 2, 2012