His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s Puja Teachings

January 14, 2012

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche helped 91 believers relieve all of their worldly sufferings and provided them with Buddhist teachings and assistance at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center in Taipei from 2:50 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. After meeting with the believers, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche took a short break of a few minutes before ascending onto the Dharma throne to preside over the auspicious Dorje Phurba Puja and provided the attendees with precious Buddhist teachings.

The Ritual of Dorje Phurba performed today is the wrathful Yidam of Vajrasattva, which is not performed in Exoteric Buddhism. Some people are criticizing that it is not compassionate to perform such a wrathful yidam in Tibetan Buddhism. In fact, that would be misunderstanding. You all may know that in Dunhuang there are many Buddhist statues, among them Vajrapani also adopts a wrathful appearance. Some yidams in Tibetan Buddhism are peaceful yidams, while others are wrathful yidams. Because every sentient being has different cause and condition and root capacity, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas appear in different representations to liberate them. Sentient beings have quite heavy karma during the Age of Degenerate Dharma, and these wrathful deities are needed to help such sentient beings receive assistance and Buddhism.

The wrathful yidams are those with the Dharma methods which are only to be performed by practitioners that have the most profound cultivation. But nowadays there are some Buddhist centers in which empowerment in the name of wrathful yidams is given without consideration of this effect, as such rituals with regard to the wrathful yidams are not something that an ordinary lama can perform. Rather they can only be performed by Vajrayana practitioners who have achieved perfect completion of the retreat and have aroused Bodhicitta. If a practitioner has not completed a perfect retreat performing the rituals of the peaceful deities and failed to reach the levels of Kriya Tantra and Charya Tantra, he would not have been able to subdue and clear away his own greed, resentment, ignorance, arrogance and doubtfulness, and thus would not be able to perform the rituals of the wrathful yidams. In Exoteric Buddhism, only the rituals of the peaceful yidams are performed, which adopt the familiar appearance of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, full of compassion.

Some sentient beings have accumulated too much karma over the past lives and are used to the thoughts of greed, resentment, ignorance, arrogance and doubtfulness and they would not be able to listen if you simply try to persuade. That’s when the wrathful appearances of the yidams would be helpful in temporarily suspending their constantly recurring delusions. You all have this kind of experience that when someone is very angry with you, suddenly all of your thoughts are gone for a moment, and you would say, “My mind is all blank.” The wrathful yidams have the same effect. They help to temporarily stop our delusions that fly in all directions in our mind, allowing the pure nature of Dharma to emerge, so that we would be able to accept help from Buddhism. The difficulty that you experience in learning Buddhism nowadays is that you have too many delusions in your mind. As soon as something comes up you would think – Do I have too much karma with me? Is it that I don’t have enough blessed reward? Did I do something wrong again? Is the guru going to be angry? Would I be reprimanded? All that sort of delusions!

Among some ordinary people there is a belief that once someone has completed performing the rituals of the wrathful yidams, he would be able to make others listen to him. In fact all your afflictions and your internal and external demons are a result of what you have done. They are called upon by the movement and thought in your mind. If you have a heart free of any greed, resentment, ignorance, arrogance and doubtfulness, and you are a person who does pure good, no karmic creditor over the past lives would come and hurt you, nor can external demons harm you. Everything in the universe is just a manifestation of the thought in your mind. If you are full of compassion, pure and kind, and are not afraid of anything, the wrathful yidams are the extreme examples of compassion. And a practitioner would not be able to perform the rituals of the wrathful yidams until he has cultivated to the full realization of compassion.

Through performing the rituals of the Dorje Phurba we will be able to destroy the evil habits of being greedy, resentful, ignorant, arrogant and doubtful over our past lives. We fall into reincarnation because of our greed, resentment, ignorance, arrogance and doubtfulness. And Dorje Phurba will help us in destroying them and liberating ourselves from the suffering of reincarnation. In additions, Dorje Phurba also makes sure that your karmic creditors, who can harm you, would not come and hinder your learning Buddhism and remove the resentment of karmic creditors against you, allowing you to learn Buddhism smoothly.

The wrathful yidams are the extreme representation of compassion. They are like parents trying to teach their young kids. They are very kind and compassionate at the beginning. Nevertheless, the kids are not being obedient. Then the parents will show their wrathfulness, not because they are angry, but because they want to scare you so that you can mend your way. In the Avalokiteshvara Universal Gate Chapter of Lotus Sutra, it is mentioned that the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will take the same form as the sentient beings in order to liberate them. When sentient beings are reborn as ghosts, non-human, and demons, they will be full of resentment and hence will have resentful appearance. At this point, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will also take the form of a ghost so that they would listen to him. The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will take different forms based on the different causes and conditions of sentient beings. They would adopt a human form when liberating the humans, and a non-compassionate form when liberating the ghosts.

In the ancient times, there was a very powerful demon and he had harmed a lot of sentient beings. In order to subdue him, Vajrasattva then changed into the same form as this demon and subdue him. Later the wrathful Vajrasattva is called Dorje Phurba, who is a representative of the mind of Buddha Amitabha, Bodhisattva Mahasthamaprapta, Vajrabhairava, Bodhisattva Vajrapani, and Bodhisattva Manjusri. You certainly will be reborn in the Pure Land with the performance of the ritual of Dorje Phurba. The aspiration of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas is the liberation of sentient beings from reincarnation. That’s why Dorje Phurba is the repsentative of the mind of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

Dorje Phurba can clear away all hindrance in the process of cultivation. That’s why when you are performing the yidams of the Vajra Group you need to do so with Dorje Phurba as the Dharma Protector. In fact in performing any Dharma with Dorje Phurba as the Dharma Protector you’d be able to clear away all hindrances. Padmasambhava during his retreat had Dorje Phurba as his Dharma Protector. The Dharma text that we’re following today is the same as what had been transmitted to and bestowed empowerment upon Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche by His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang. This Dharma, one of the Earth Treasure Termas, was found by great terma master Ratna Lingpa and compiled by Chokyi Gyaltsen who was the 29th throne holder of the Drikung Kagyu Lineage. The Dharma text mentions that the practitioner who is able to perform the Dorje Phurma would be auspicious, meritorious, long-living, wealthy, harmonious with his large following, prosperous with the rule in both political and religious aspects, powerful, and perfect all the way through to the end. “Auspicious” means that nothing unlucky or inauspicious will be encountered. “Meritorious” does not mean “with virtues”, but means “with all merits.” He will live long and enjoy wealth, which is not amassed through illegal means. “Harmonious with his large following” means that he has a lot of followers among whom there will be those who will attain great levels of accomplishment. “Prosperous with the rule in both political and religious aspects” means a successful political pursuit if you follow the path of a politician, and prosperous if you promote a particular order of Buddhism with a large following. You will be perfectly successful and will encounter no hindrance whatsoever before you attain Buddhahood.

The practitioner who performs the ritual of Dorje Phurba must regard Dorje Phurba as the yidam that he will aspire to clear away all hindrances. Today, we’re performing the Yidam of Dorje Phurba in order to give you the protection. For those practitioners who have aspired to start learning Tantra, the demons and karmic creditors will come looking for you. That’s because when you start to practice Vajrayana nothing can pose as hindrance for you anymore. So the karmic creditors will come to ask for the repayment before you have reached a level of accomplishment. It would take a very long time to attain Buddhahood with Exoteric Buddhism, so these hindrances will not appear very soon. The demons and karmic creditors have the time to wait. But for a practitioner that practices Vajrayana, time is short before he can reach a certain level of accomplishment. It would be best if all the debts can be repaid in the shortest time possible. You would think that everything is fine until you start learning Tantra, after which all the bad things will come your way. Take Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for example, the guru was very wealthy and everything was fine before starting to learn Tantra. Once the guru started to learn Tantra and before he could reach a level of accomplishment, he had to go through situations where he suffered from a failed business, no money for meals, the marriage in crisis, and disobedient children. Later he even developed skin cancer. All the debts that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had accumulated over the past lives suddenly emerged in front of him in a year’s time, faster than the supersonic speed.

If a practitioner who is learning Vajrayana is not reverent to and does not have faith in the guru, he would not be able to continue when encountering hindrances, which are not demons but rather something that a human being cannot tolerate. However, the Vajrayana-learning practitioner will only have a short period of time in which such hindrances occur. Rather than 20 years that would take him to go through this stage, he may be able to repay all the debts in a period as short as one or two years. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche went bankrupt, the guru continued to make a full prostration, with the best incense and flowers that money can buy regardless of the fact that there was no money left to buy food. Also, a lamp was kept lit in front of the mandala, which would not be possible if it were any of you. All the bad condition was over within a little over one year. And if it were you, you would consider this to be unbearably painful, unable to withstand one single day. You all hope that everything goes the way you have wished, not able to put up with this kind of suffering for one day. When you meet a guru with great virtue and start to learn Buddhism, your karmic creditors would come and find you fairly quickly, causing a lot of trouble for you. Those without courage will simply be unable to carry on.

The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will help the practitioner to rid the hindrances quickly. But ordinary people will have difficulty enduring this. That’s why it’s so hard to find Vajrayana practitioners. A true Vajrayana practitioner’s determination is solid and unshakable. During the three-month retreat of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche at the Snow Mountain of Lapchi, the guru could not wash his head, take a shower, wash his face, nor could he even change the underwear. It was beyond the tolerance level of a normal person. But Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was able to go through it all and achieved perfect completion of the retreat. This all was made possible with the protection of the yidam.

Carrying on a three-month retreat without interruption would normally lead to some skin condition. From a medical point of view, if a person has not taken a shower in seven days, there will be germs, mold and skin disease developing on the body. But when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche came out of the retreat, he was clean, with no condition on the skin at all. Someone had observed the guru upon perfect completion of the retreat that he was completely fine. He even assumed that if Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could do it, he also could have done it. So he went off into a retreat in the same place. But since he has not aroused his aspiration, he didn’t have the protection of the yidam and had to cut short the retreat and run out after only seven days due to a skin disease developing all over his body. If you are developing a skin disease during the retreat and scratch here and there over your body, how would you be able to enter the meditative state? There is no way that you can even sit for meditation.

The purpose of performing Dorje Phurba is to help you all in the following six aspects: 1) to eradicate the diseases in the mental, emotional, and brain areas, 2) to get rid of all nameless ailments and cancer caused by ghosts, demons, dragons, and deities, 3) to avoid any possibilities of accidents due to the zodiac conflicts in terms of the year, the month, the day, and the hour, 4) to avoid natural disasters such as flooding, fire, and earthquake that are caused by changes in the constellation, 5) to prevent harm resulting from purposeful poisoning and mantra chanting by other people, and 6) to remove the karma that has been accumulated over the past lives.

The method that we’re performing today belongs to the fourth of the full process comprising the methods of pacifying the discord, increasing the profit, conquering with benevolence, and eliminating with subduing power. The practitioner who is performing the method of eliminating with subduing power must have the capacity to liberate the deceased. Otherwise there will be after-effects. However, even if he has the capacity to liberate, a practitioner who performs this fourth method often will be subject to the emergence of karmic retribution. His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang once told Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche that there was an Indian lay practitioner capable of performing the method of eliminating with subduing power who performed it quite often, since performing this method will allow you to see the effect quite quickly. If you don’t like someone, you can, through performing this method, subject that person to a range of conditions, causing him to suffer from the lighter end of immediate sickness to the more serious end of immediate death. Consequently the practitioner who often performed this method died as well. Basically, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will only be transmitting the methods of pacifying and increasing, and will not transmit the methods of conquering and eliminating. Even the mandala for the purpose of performing the third and fourth methods is to be set up secretly. The conquering method will subject the person to obey you. So those with heavy inclination of greed should not perform this method. If you see a guru who performs the eliminating method very often, there would be problems.

There were believers who had been attached by ghosts that came to seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. As long as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche gave them blessings by using the method of mantra chanting, the attached ghosts would be scared away and the people with ghost attachment would come to a clear mind. But such persons must attend the puja in which the ghosts can be liberated. Many religions have their own rituals to drive away the ghosts. But if a practitioner is not capable of the liberating method, and could not help the ghosts that are attached to people, he will end up having trouble himself. Many religions can only drive the ghosts away temporarily. When the power is no longer there, the ghosts would then come back. In Exoteric Buddhism the method that people use is to recite many Buddhist sutras so that the ghosts can have blessed reward. But once the blessed reward has been exhausted, these ghosts would return, and when that happens, there is nothing they can do to block the ghosts.

The approach of Tantra is to help people drive away the ghosts, and afterwards they also help the ghosts be liberated in order to bring a perfect completion to it all. That’s why when the Tantric practitioner is helping the person attached by a ghost, he must perform the method of liberating to help the ghost in addition to performing the method of eliminating to help the person.  The practitioner will tell the person with the ghost to attend the puja so that the driven ghost can be liberated. But if the person with the ghost is not willing to attend the puja, he will continue to have problems as the ghost has not been liberated. When the ghost comes back and find him, there will be serious conditions. Therefore, you should not casually bring anyone attached by a ghost to seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, because it would be bad for him if he receives the help but refuses to follow the instructions.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not perform the eliminating method very often. The method of Dorje Phurba that we are going to perform today contains the eliminating method, which is subdivided into many levels. It is not about simply driving away the ghosts. What we will perform today is a method to protect you. Tantra should never be used or performed casually. If the act of performing Tantric method is for the purpose of profit or reputation, there will always be side-effects. So today’s Dharma method is not performed often, nor should it be performed on a large scale. The people who benefit from this method should not be greedy. Don’t assume that after this method has been performed everything will be fine. The purpose of today’s performance is to help you get rid of the hindrances in learning Buddhism. And you should not have any delusion or greed when you attend the puja.

Then Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche started to perform the ritual of Dorje Phurba and chant the mantra of the yidam. With performing this method it is important to focus on the ritual. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche started chanting the mantra of the yidam, he was wearing an extremely bold and powerful look, with the browse erect, eyes protruding, the mouth stretched and the face in a square form, which was identical with the wrathful appearance of Dorje Phurba. This was an auspicious sign of attuning to the yidam. During the process of performing the Dharma and chanting the mantra, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche uttered a low thundering sound a few times, with the head turned on the side staring straightforward in great majesty. With great compassion, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked the attendees to pronounce the names of the people who they would like to see protected and carried on with the ritual. The power revealed during the process of the ritual following the wrathful form of Dorje Phurba shown by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was incomparable, and for several times the attendees could all feel this power as Dorje Phurba was descending among them and the earth trembling. There were many babies and young children present during this entire process, and with a total of over 1,200 attendees, there was no noise or the sound of somebody walking at all, demonstrating Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s awe-inspiring power.

Next is the Tsok Ritual. Every attendee received a portion which had been blessed by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, as well as the auspicious causal conditions of enjoying the food along with the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in the puja. Then Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche instructed the attendees with great compassion to come up one by one in front of the mandala where they received Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s personal blessing with guru putting the Phurpa Vajra on their head and giving them the longevity food ball and wine. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has no cartilage on the right shoulder joint. But in order to give his blessing to the more than 1,200 attendees today, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche held the Phurpa Vajra with his right hand without any support, raising and lowering it for over a thousand times. During the blessing process, the guru kept chanting the mantra and ringing the bell, helping sentient beings whole-heartedly in complete disregard of the fact the he had to exert great effort in doing so. How resolved the accomplished Vajrayana guru is in bringing benefit to sentient beings! Even if it means that the guru had to go through great suffering, his heart was full of compassion for the suffering of sentient beings. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was indeed devoting his entire life to helping sentient beings with the Buddha Dharma, expecting nothing in return. All the attendees, upon receiving the precious blessing from the guru, had a sense of gratitude which was beyond description.

Upon perfect completion of the Dorje Phurba Puja, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche announced that there would be no performance of the Thirty-Five Buddhas Repentances on the first of the Chinese New Year. The Thirty-Five Buddhas Repentances was written by Buddha Shakyamuni in the Ratnakuta Sutra in order for the practitioners who had aroused the Bodhicitta and cultivated themselves on the Bodhisattva’s path to repent. You have done the Penitential Rite for many years and nothing seems to have changed. That is an indication that you only apologized for your faults without repenting. That’s why this Penitential Rite will not be conducted this year. During the puja on the first day of the Chinese New Year, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will perform two Dharma rituals in the morning, starting at 9:30 a.m., and the Amitayus Ritual at 2:30 p.m. The guru also instructed the General Director of the Glorious Jewel Buddhism Culture Exchange Association to make necessary arrangement for the lunch for all attendees on that day. The participants of the puja all expressed their heart-felt thanks to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for his tireless efforts and being so merciful with sentient beings and for performing such auspicious Dharmas with great compassion on the first of the Chinese New Year, helping sentient beings create favorable conditions. The gratitude from the attendees indeed came from the bottom of their heart. His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche compassionately reminded the disciples that they had not been truthfully practicing the Dharma method of repentance. And the disciples expressed their thanks to the guru for pointing out their faults. While feeling ashamed of themselves, they were resolved to mend their ways and carry out their cultivation with all diligence!

« Older Page Puja Teachings Newer Page »

Updated on April 2, 2012