His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s Puja Teachings

January 23, 2012

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche presided over the puja at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center in Taipei, performing the Dharma methods of the Black Water Jambhala and the Elephant Jambhala in the morning and the Dharma method of the Amitayus in the afternoon.

Before the puja, a female disciple shared the experience of her maternal grandfather being helped by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. She took refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in 2000, while her grandfather did the same on September 11, 2011. He passed away on January 3, 2012.

Her grandfather suffered from poor lung function and an insufficiency of vital energy and blood. He was discharged from the hospital after staying there for three to five days. On the day he came out he said that he had been thinking about Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and prayed to him, and that on the previous night Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was by his side protecting him. He also said that he often closed his palms in reverent contemplation of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

As soon as her grandfather left the hospital, he was having shortness of breath and was then transferred to another hospital. At that time he had a very fast heart beat and low blood pressure, and was lifting his feet frequently. She and her aunt put the Certificate of Refuge by his side and whispered in his ear to contemplate that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was right above his head in his mind and chant the Great Six-Syllable Mantra in the heart. Her father, who did not believe in Buddhism in the beginning, also held the Dharma photo of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to show it to her grandfather.

At that time, she was thinking that if they did not follow Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to learn Buddhism, they would have panicked, and when they did that, the patient would also follow suit, and become nervous and frightened. Seeing that her grandfather’s blood pressure kept dropping, she had steadfast faith that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would see to it that her grandfather would not have to suffer, whiling chanting the Great Six-Syllable Mantra. That day at 3:53 p.m. her grandfather passed away. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has instructed in the past that within eight hours after the deceased had the last breath, he was not to be touched or moved, nor disturbed with noise, and the family should chant the mantra themselves.

They continued chanting the mantra around the body of her grandfather. At the beginning, not only was her grandfather’s mouth wide open, but he seemed as if he was angry, and his facial complexion turned yellow. She stood by his side and told him not to be afraid but to contemplate Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Her father, while facing the Dharma photo of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, was chanting, “Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, Om Mani Padme Hum.” Her father had never met Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche but he had participated in tours organized by Sino Travel Services and had been to Tibet and the ancestral Drikung Thil Monastery. Just at the time when her grandfather most needed the help of the guru and the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to liberate him from suffering and achieve happiness, her father started to show faith in Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, and even personally prayed to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to help her grandfather to avoid the Three Evil Realms and go to the Pure Land. All of this was a result of the blessings from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

Six hours after her grandfather had his last breath, they learned that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had already provided protection for the consciousness of her grandfather. Now her grandfather’s mouth was closed tight, his face and lips looked ruddy, and he looked even better than when he was alive. Her grandfather once said in the hospital that he would like to make an offering of all his wealth to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, as he knew that only by doing so could he have the blessed reward and be able to be liberated from suffering and attain happiness.

Her grandfather’s body had not even been frozen for eight days, yet it was free of livor mortis, with his face looking serene and ruddy. Even his age spots became less visible and his wrinkles also disappeared; his skin was smooth and bright. During the ceremony on the funeral day, she burst into tears as she was thinking about the grace of the guru, as it was as enormous as the ocean. If her grandfather had not taken refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, who knows how much suffering he would have had to go through.

After that, her family sought an audience with Rinchen Dorje Rinpoche to express their gratitude to the guru for helping her grandfather leave suffering and attain happiness. Her father was deeply touched by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s dignified demeanor. After returning home, he kept praising Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche as being a grand practitioner, at ease with himself, and described the guru as someone extraordinary. She thanked the guru for giving her father the causal conditions in the form of the opportunity to meet the guru, enabling him to accumulate causal conditions and blessed reward during this life. She was grateful that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche let her father see for himself the auspiciousness and compassion of Buddhism.

On the seventh day after her grandfather passed away, her other family and relatives asked her if it would be necessary to hold the seventh day memorial service. She told them that such a service would not really help her grandfather, and what can help him is chanting the Great Six-Syllable Mantra and contemplating Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. As they were walking out of the house after finishing chanting the mantra, they could clearly see huge colorful clouds hovering above them taking the shapes of a giant dragon, as well as two statues of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas that looked exactly alike. In front of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas there was a shiny skull with deep eye sockets. They believed that all of this was the result of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s blessing and realization achieved through cultivation.

In addition, she shared the experience of her younger brother being helped by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Her younger brother took a lot of medication for the treatment of a panic disorder and the medication caused adverse effects, which would get him in shock in its most serious form. There was nothing that the doctors could do. But three days after seeking an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, her younger brother told her that he had not felt so comfortable in many years. It has been five to six years since then and he has not had another panic attack. She attributes all this to the help from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and she expressed her deepest gratitude to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

Next, another female disciple shared her own experience in which His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had helped her family and benefited sentient beings.  She was very grateful to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for liberating her deceased father and helping her mother. Her mother was diagnosed with uterine cancer at a health check-up in June 2007. The doctor suggested her mother to have a hysterectomy, but her mother thought that she was quite old and did not want to undergo such a surgery. Thus she declined it. At that time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was in a retreat in the Snow Mountain of Lapchi. She remembered that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche once said that even if the guru is not physically in Taiwan, that does not mean he is not there. So she took her mother to the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center and prostrated to the Dharma photo of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. From then on, her mother appeared to have forgotten about the illness; nor had she been back to see the doctor again. After she had another health check up last year (2011), everything was found to be normal. She believed that all of this was bestowed upon her by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche with his great blessed reward and merits, and she was deeply grateful to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

In 2002, the patient that she was taking care of was hospitalized. Next to her bed there was a 13-year-old girl who had had brain surgery due to a car accident. The girls’ brain pressure couldn’t be reduced to a normal level, and she had the risk of dying at any time. The girl’s family was extremely worried. So she shared the stories about Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche helping sentient beings with the girl’s family. Consequently, the girl’s mother went north to seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. In order to save the girl, the guru, in disregard of a strong typhoon, took a small airplane and flew from Songshan Airport to Taichung. Upon arriving at the hospital, most of his clothes were soaked. Nevertheless, the guru went straight into the ICU to give blessings to the girl, and told her family that she would be recovered on the eighth day. Sure enough, the girl was transferred to the general ward on the eighth day. Now she is perfectly healthy. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has been consistently benefiting sentient beings by all means and expects nothing in return.

She repented that she had been a rotten disciple, who usually did not praise the merits of the guru nor tried to be close to him, and was unworthy of the guru’s teaching for 10 years. Profoundly, she understood human life being short and full of suffering and did not want to be reincarnated again. From now on, she wanted to start anew by stopping all evil, doing all good, following the guru’s instructions, and acting in accordance with the guru’s teaching. At the same time, she prayed for His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to have good health and the Dharma wheel to keep turning with vigor. She also thanked many Dharma brothers for attending her father’s funeral.

Then a male disciple came upstage to make his public repentance. During the Chinese New Year last year (2011), he was using the money with which everybody made an offering to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for the purpose of Mandala offering, and even divided it into two parts for the morning and afternoon respectively. Afterwards, he did not want to admit that he did that and shirked his responsibility to others, and he would rather die than losing his face. The guru once said that if one used the money meant for the construction of the practitioners’ rooms on other purposes, he would be subject to great karmic retribution. Yet he committed such a big evil act without repenting until the guru had pointed it out. The fact that he did not come out to make his public repentance until just now made him realize that he had not had the mind for repentance; nor had he known the terrible consequences of cause and effect, and had kept on the wrong path.

He did not ask for instruction from the guru in conducting the Dharma affairs, conceited as he was, he thought that he was very familiar with everything in the area and knew how to take care of them. He broke the Samaya precept by not paying enough attention to the guru’s instructions and not doing a good job on his assignments. He repented that he was a person with a great deal of self-pride and arrogance, regarding himself to be a VIP because of the Dharma affairs he was in charge of and because it had been a long time since he took refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, and never considered the interest of others or those of sentient beings. He had not been observing the precepts, almost all of which he had broken.

He is a selfish person, thinking only for himself and his own benefit and nothing for anybody else or sentient beings, let alone being compassionate. His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche repeatedly reminded them that Buddhism does not exist without compassion! The guru also taught the disciples how to cultivate compassion. But he never really thought about the sentient beings who are suffering from reincarnation, neither did he resolve to learn to be compassionate. The only thing that he knew was to enjoy his good days under the protection of the guru.

Buddhism wouldn’t exist without a guru, and the days without Buddhism would have a future full of darkness, terror, and a certainty of reincarnation within the Six Realms. Now that the guru had given him such a great opportunity, he should know better than to fail to live up to the grace and merits of the guru. Indeed he did not even deserve to be a human being! Thanks to the compassion of the guru who still gave him the opportunity to listen to the Buddhist teachings, he must seize the chance by learning Buddhism well and amending his ways. He asked everyone there to learn from his lessons and not to follow in his footsteps by making the same mistakes.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche ascended to the Dharma throne and stated: Today is the first day of the Chinese New Year. As a custom, many Chinese people would go to a Buddhist temple or a place of their faith on this day to pray for a smooth year to come. In fact, whether this is going to be a good year or not completely depends on what you have done in the last year. If you have done good things, then you’d naturally have a good year ahead, and even if you will encounter evil things, it would not be too serious.

Some people say that this is a year of their own zodiac sign; and that will bring them bad luck. As a matter of fact people of almost all different signs will be affected in this year, and things may happen in the areas of health, careers and family. A certain number of people therefore think that it’s necessary to pacify the deity of Tai Sui by inviting him home to be worshipped with offerings. In fact, the concepts of an unlucky year or an unlucky hour in reference to Tai Sui are all about retribution, which takes place at a specific time as a result of evil karma conducted in the form of evil deeds by a person in a prior period of time. That is to say that not everyone in the year of their zodiac sign would be affected, and it has to do with whether you have done good or evil. Tai Sui is a Taoist notion, and actually is a vicious deity. Everybody wants to stay far away from him. Isn’t it strange that you want to invite this vicious deity into your home?

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s family had always been firm believers of Taoism since his childhood. But even so, they had never made arrangements for Tai Sui to settle into the home. You are not afraid of the heaven or earth, but are afraid of Tai Sui? As a matter of fact Tai Sui represents the Jade Emperor of the Heaven to punish those who have done evil on earth. If you have not done any evil deeds, why would heaven punish you? How would earth punish you? And if you have done good deeds, you have the protection of the deities, so why would you need to pacify Tai Sui? That’s why all of this is unnecessary. Those who would like to pacify the deity of Tai Sui are afraid in their heart with a guilty conscience, as they know that they have done something evil and are worried that something will happen to them. So Tai Sui really wouldn’t affect you in any way if you have done good things in the past. On the other hand, the deity of Tai Sui would punish you if you have done evil.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche severely reprimanded the disciple who came out to make his public repentance, saying that we can see from his repentance that it was not genuine, since he did not know where his faults were. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has put up with him for a year now, waiting patiently for him to awaken. But today he still has not realized what his own faults are. From this we can also see that he has not understood Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teaching. Without the ability to remember what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has been teaching, he has wasted all of these years as he has achieved nothing in learning Buddhism.

Generally speaking, nobody would reprimand anyone on the very first day of the Lunar New Year. But there is no taboo with Buddhism. And Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche may give severe reprimanding from the first day of the year to the last. If you don’t want to listen, you may go to other Buddhist centers, and they would be very happy if you go there, receiving you with all smiles on their face, recommending that you go and light up the lamps. The ordained practitioners present today are all quite familiar with this way of welcoming believers. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche held a reunion dinner for the employees of his companies the night before New Year’s Eve, and he also had invited an owner of a funeral home. Not only did he ask him to speak but he also asked him to sing a song. In addition, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told the employees that this owner conducted his business with conscience; and if any employee’s family and friends had such a need, they could contact him. Who from any company would have invited an owner of a funeral home to the company’s dinner like this? All of them would feel there would be bad luck. But death is not a taboo with Buddhism, as it is an unavoidable process, just like the breath that you take, the meal that you eat, and death will come to you eventually.

Death is as natural as having a meal, sleeping, and breathing, and there is nothing taboo about it. But among ordinary people, it’s treated as a taboo. If someone dies in the main hall, it may be considered inauspicious and unlucky. As a matter of fact this is something that only happens to those with blessed rewards, and there is nothing taboo about death in the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center.

Today, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will perform the Dharma of the Black Water Jambhala for all of you, with the intention of helping you to take back the wealth which originally belonged to you. And wealth is part of the blessed rewards. Our life is divided into two parts: longevity and wealth; and life is not complete without one or the other. You all know that you must make offerings as you learn Buddhism, and it takes money to make offerings. The Dharma of the Jambhala is not performed in Exoteric Buddhism, and it only exists within Tibetan Buddhism. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was learning Exoteric Buddhism in the past, the Dharma master thought that Tantrism was all about seeking money and thus was not real Buddhism. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche believed in what the Dharma master said at that time, and did not realize that it was a misunderstanding about Tantra on the part of Exoteric Buddhists until he had learned Tantra later.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then continued: Prayers for wealth exist within the Sutra of the Medicine Buddha. Those who are doing their business by following all the rules will get help. You must not have ever heard of this! Additionally, in Tantrism, the performance of the Dharma of the Jambhala is to help you overcome the obstacles set forth by whatever evil that you have done so that you can reach the wealth that belonged to you in the first place.

It is described in the Buddhist sutras that a practitioner of Buddhism must cultivate and attain the two resources of both wisdom and blessed rewards. That is to say that you should accumulate the resources for learning Buddhism. Without Blessed reward and wisdom, one will not be able to cultivate and attain any achievements. Even in the case of an ordained practitioner learning Buddhism, he still needs money to survive in order to carry on with his cultivation. The Buddha told us in the Ratnakuta Sutra that wealth is divided into two kinds – one in the form of money, and the other in the form of the Dharma. The Ratnakuta Sutra was written for the Bodhisattvas who had aroused Bodhicitta and cultivated on the Bodhisattvas path, clearly identifying what may and may not be done.

You may find that senior citizens in Europe and America are mostly very lonely and poor, without any children by their side, or their spouses. They rely solely on the government for their care-taking. Why is it like this? That’s because when they were young, they were indulging themselves with having fun and travelling around; indulgence consumes blessed rewards. This kind of mindset has a serious impact on the country as a whole. That’s why Europe is now in deep trouble. The United States is not much better either. Young people are all having fun instead of working hard, thinking that if they don’t enjoy themselves now it will be too late, and they’d become too old to do that.  Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche observed a similar situation in Japan as well, and felt that they are all quite miserable- old people are lonely, with nobody to depend on, going shopping all by themselves, pushing a little shopping cart and slouching without the children next to them and completely depending on the government to take care of them. This looks as if they have a very good welfare system, but in the eyes of Chinese, they instead don’t have a blessed reward. From the perspective of Buddhism’s cause and effect, it’s suffering since they have used up all of their blessed rewards. Those old people have a little bit of blessing left with them that will grudgingly see them through until the moment they die. Take the big earthquake in Fukushima for example, many old people died without anybody knowing. Some of them were dead over a year or two before being discovered. The Japanese society is beginning to pay attention to this situation. It is slowly happening in Taiwan as well. The younger generations attach much importance to enjoying themselves, and they’d go to file a complaint with the Labor Department if they are given one less holiday off.

As a young man, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was not into having fun, or Karaoke, which was not even available in those times. For him, it was hard work and more hard work. The guru knew nothing about travelling and sightseeing, and was able to keep all of the blessed rewards and therefore have the opportunity to learn Buddhism. Who says that you wouldn’t be able to have fun when you grow older? Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is now 65 years old and is flying here and there all the time. If the guru does not have good health, then he would be subject to your control and that of his children. Fortunately Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enjoys pretty good health, and thus you are the ones who are controlled by the guru. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would like to give advice to the middle-aged people here today: you have almost used up your blessed rewards, so don’t expect that you will be able to rely on your children. Rely on Buddhism instead, as only Buddhism will truly help you.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche pointed out that the disciple who just now made public repentance used part of the money received in the form of offerings in the morning on mandala offerings in the afternoon. It may be that he just wanted to loaf on the job, or maybe he was afraid of asking for fear of being reprimanded, or maybe he made up his own mind by thinking that since everyone had made an offering in the morning, they wouldn’t need to bother again in the afternoon. He even kept thinking that he didn’t do anything wrong until Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche pointed it out for him. But his behavior actually constituted an act of theft, and surely he will have a life in which he will be very poor and suffer from poverty. The money offerings in the puja are what have been offered to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and thus belong to the guru. Only Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche can decide in what way it should be used. It is not acceptable to decide to use a part of the money on mandala offerings in the afternoon without asking for the permission of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche- that would constitute a theft. The disciple thought that since he did not put any money into his own pocket, and eventually all of the offered money still had been handed over to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in full, that he had done nothing wrong. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked a disciple whose profession is in the legal affairs what kind of fault this could be identified as. The disciple replied that if he was working in a private company, that would be embezzlement by taking advantage of a business; if he was a civil servant, then it would be misappropriation of public funds, which would be a violation of the Anti-Corruption Act and the person in question would be subject to more than eight years of imprisonment.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then continued: from the perspective of the mundane law, the disciple had committed a crime of embezzlement; from the perspective of Buddhism, he had tried to prevent others from making offerings. Wouldn’t those attending the puja that day who would have wanted to make an offering to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in the afternoon lose the opportunity of doing so because of the arrangement made by this disciple? Therefore he had committed the offense of preventing others from making offerings. And from the perspective of the guru-disciple relationship, the disciple might think that the guru had too much money which the guru did not need. When he was making the public repentance, nothing about any of the three points was mentioned; he still had not realized in what way he was at fault! So his repentance was like having no repentance: as he has not listened to and accepted the Buddhist teaching of the guru after so many years of learning Buddhism.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche once told you all a story from the Buddhist sutras. There was an ordained practitioner who took the money offered by believers to make Buddhist statues on the construction of rooms for the practitioners. This is not right. It is a violation of the precepts and will have severe karmic retribution. When you were small, your parents gave you money for lunch but you used it for some other purposes. That would be like a theft, unless you had your parents’ consent, or they said that you could do whatever you pleased with the money. If you didn’t use the money to buy lunch, you could have returned the money to your parents. If you keep doing this kind of thing as you grow up without knowing what’s wrong with it, it would be easy for you to be lured into making the mistake of committing theft. The money received should be used for specific and designated purposes and they should be fulfilled.

The offerings are made by believers and disciples to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, who should be able to make a decision, at his own discretion, regarding how it should be used. Mandala offerings, on the other hand, are what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche accepts on behalf of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas so that you all may be able to accumulate blessed rewards. When some people are making offerings to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, the guru will ask what purpose they are for, and proceed to help complete it. However, from time to time Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche can be really busy and may forget that purpose. That’s why when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche accepts offerings, it is best that there is no specific purpose attached to them, because if they have a specific purpose, then it will need to be fulfilled. If there is no specific purpose attached to the offering, then it is up to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to give it for charity in the best way possible. The offerings collected from the believers at the annual grand puja are all donated to the Department of Social Affairs in the Ministry of the Interior, so this charity is done on behalf of all of you. How much money have we donated over these years? Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche cannot remember, as it has been in the care of the General Director of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center. Whether it is out of laziness, forgetfulness, or for fear of being reprimanded, this disciple’s act constituted a violation of the precepts and will be subject to karmic retribution.

Our wealth is a result of the offerings and charity that we have given through many past lives. If you are poor in this life, then it means that you had not made offerings and charity giving in your past life. Do not take it for granted that you have three meals to eat every day in this life. You can do this only because you had made offerings and given to charity in your last life.  According to the Dharma text, poverty is also a form of suffering. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had to go through two days without any food just because in one of the previous lives the guru did not make offerings and charitable giving. Many years ago when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was in a retreat in India, the nun who was in charge of food preparation was about to get off work, but during the shift change she forgot to tell the nun who was taking over the food preparation task that there was a practitioner in the retreat room. As a result, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had no food or water for two full days in a row. But these two fasting days also gave Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche the realization of this karmic retribution.

Every accident that happens to you is a result of what you have done in the past. Now Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has been cultivating up to this date, but still there is some evil left, coming back to the guru in the form of accidents occasionally; so the repayment of the debt continues. How would it be possible that you are all free of accidents? Buddha Shakyamuni, even after attaining Buddhahood, still encountered nine difficult obstacles, in order to repay all of the karmic retributions accumulated from past lives. One of the difficult times was when Buddha Shakyamuni had to eat horse food for a while, because when he saw someone was offering food to ordained practitioners, he said that those people only deserved to eat horse food. This kind of karmic retribution was a result of an unwillingness to make offerings and charitable giving. But as the Buddha had great blessed rewards and merits upon attaining Buddhahood, he only needed to eat the horse food for a very short period of time. Otherwise, he might have had to eat it for the rest of his life. The disciple who just now was using the money received from offerings on other purposes, at his own discretion, has in this life committed a fault that would prevent others from making offerings and will be subject to poverty as the karmic retribution in one of his lives.

The Dharma of the Black Water Jambhala that will be performed today is one of the earth treasure termas taught by Guru Padmasambhava and it is very powerful. Tantrism has Jambhalas of five colors – black, white, green, red and yellow. Performance of the Yellow Jambhala is all about having enough resources during a retreat as it is necessary during the period of a retreat. However the Yellow Jambhala is only in charge of the retreat, making sure that offerings are made in the form of food, dwelling, and clothes but nothing else. His help in these areas would be over as soon as the retreat is over.

The Dharma of the Jambhalas as performed in Tibetan Buddhism are not the same as the so-called Five-Route Deities of Wealth, which are quite popular among ordinary people in society. Most of such deities worshipped in the temples are actually ghosts, while some may be true deities. As far as the Jambhalas in Tantrism are concerned, they actually are Dharma protectors. If one can reach the level and become a protector of the Buddha Dharma, he would be at least above a Bodhisattva of the Eighth Ground. So is it better to worship the deities of the fortune in the Ghost Realm, or is it better to be close to the Bodhisattvas? We don’t perform the Dharma of the Jambhalas frequently; Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche only performs that once a year, and even if so, the guru does not perform this for his own company in order for it to have better business. In Tibetan Buddhism, though some Dharma masters have constructed temples for the Jambhalas, they do not necessarily perform such methods quite often. The Jambhalas are the Dharma protectors of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. As long as you perform the yidam well, the Dharma protectors would naturally be by your side. Otherwise, you’d be left without much protection.

Before a Bodhisattva of the Eighth Ground attained Buddhahood, he would still have a trace of ignorance left within him. The heart of a Bodhisattva who is eager and earnest to liberate sentient beings makes him be quite strict, just as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche when he is trying to help sentient beings and sees them continue to commit faults would still reprimand them harshly in the hope that it may help them mend their ways. But the Buddha, on the other hand, has already realized the Dharmakaya, and there are no more traces of ignorance left with him. The Buddha helps you when he is helping sentient beings based on your particular causal conditions and blessed rewards. But if you don’t have any causal condition, he would leave you on the side first and wait for you. That’s why you see the Buddha as being gracefully kind. In fact there is no distinction between the Buddhas and sentient beings. The distinction exists only in the mind of the humans. The reason why someone is reincarnated is due to ignorance. The Buddhas and the sentient beings are equal and without distinction, and also have the condition to attain Buddhahood and shared the same Dharma nature. Since the beginningless time, sentient beings’ flashing thoughts of ignorance led them to be greedy, resentful, ignorant, arrogant, and doubtful, but they don’t even know what’s wrong with them. That’s the reason they fall into reincarnation.

The Dharma of  the Jambhala as performed in Tantrism is meant for urgent needs instead of saving you from a situation of poverty. It will not help you repay the mortgage loans that you took from the bank. The mortgage loans are from the bank and you only need to give the house back to it. Only those Buddha’s disciples who are resolved to stop evil, start doing good and aspire to go to the Pure Land may get help from the Black Water Jambhala. He will provide help in getting both the blessed rewards that you have accumulated in the past, and the wealth that was meant for you to use in this life have been blocked due to your evil acts. The Jambhalas will help you reduce such hindrances and get back the wealth that was meant for you in the first place.

As a matter of fact, only Rinpoches may perform the Dharma of the Jambhala. It is not something that an ordained practitioner can recite and get done. According to the Dharma text, a practitioner who has cultivated to the level of being able to perform the Dharma of the Jambhala should have perfectly completed the retreat of the Dharma Method of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. Before performing this Dharma method for everyone, the practitioner must have performed it a thousand, ten thousand, and even a hundred thousand times during the retreats, until there appears signs of attunement to the yidam as described in the Dharma text. As to what kind of signs there are, no explanation will be given today. The performer of the Dharma method must abide by the rules and the precepts, and must have cultivated and realized the compassion of Emptiness. Don’t assume that you are cultivating the practice by chanting the Great Compassion Mantra. You surely would think – Isn’t the Great Compassion Mantra the mantra of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara? Yes. But have you cultivated compassion? Those who have not made offerings and given charity would not be able to cultivate compassion, which require a resolution of willingness to renounce your life, everything and become a truly fearless person. Are you that kind of person? If someone no longer gives any consideration to family, life, anything, then he may be able to cultivate himself with a heart of compassion. You may not reach that level, but at least you should have this kind of mentality.

98% of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s disciples have a job. Some of them work in the guru’s group company, being taken care of by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Though they do not have good professional skills, they are taken care of. But the guru has to think for them what kind of things they may be able to do, so that they can be busy doing something, and feel that they have things to do. Can’t you imagine that it is tough to be a boss like that? Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has to pay his employees, and also find things for them to do. Other business owners are all thinking about how to make money and would lay off employees when they lose money. Some of you have even helped your bosses to lay off people.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not have a profit-oriented business approach, and tells the employees that if a client spends $100 buying your products, he is your benefactor, and should be treated as one. Only this way will the business last long, so don’t only think about your own interests. Some people come to buy from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s Jewelry store, saying that they are doing so in order to help the guru, but as a matter of fact, it is Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche who is giving them charity with jade.

The way you have been learning Buddhism is taking the form of threatening the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. These last couple of days there were two female disciples who sent text messages to many disciples, encouraging everyone to kneel down and implore Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to perform the Thirty-Five Buddhas Repentances today. If they had implored Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche individually, this act may have been pardoned. But mobilizing everybody to intimidate and threaten Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would be something that the guru would never tolerate. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has told you the Thirty-Five Buddhas Repentances was for the Buddhist disciples who have been practicing on the path of Bodhisattvas. Since no one has been doing that now, it will not be performed this year. Do those two female disciples consider themselves to be the gurus? And how dare they mobilize everyone to threaten Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Obviously they have the mind of distinction between which Dharma method is better for them as they are learning Buddhism! Since Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is going to perform the Dharma of Jambhala today, maybe they are thinking that they don’t need it because they already have money. Instead they wanted to repent, because this method would induce them to cry and after that they’d feel refreshed and comfortable, thinking that everything will be fine after they make the repentance. That’s the reason why they wanted the Thirty-Five Buddhas Repentances to be performed instead.

Had Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche not tried to save one of the female disciple’s family a few times, they would have left the world a long time before. But now she wanted to make trouble for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche! It is obvious that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told all of you that it is not the Thirty-Five Buddhas Repentances that we’re performing today. Despite that, she tried to mobilize everybody to implore for such a performance. This is not in line with acting in accordance to the teaching of the guru. Today, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche helps you with performing the Dharma of the Jambhala, since the guru knows that you all need resources for learning Buddhism. The guru performs the Dharma based on your causal conditions, but these two disciples are just being picky, and have the mentality of differentiation. They think that learning Buddhism is like ordering dishes from a menu, and they can order whichever one that they like to have. Even a chef of the three-star Michelin Restaurant has the right to refuse to cook certain dishes. It requires big offerings for one to implore for the Dharma, and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche can charge them a fee. How much should be charged for the performance of the Dharma method based on each of the thirty five Buddhas?  The preciousness of the Buddhas cannot be measured with money. But they think that they can get what they wanted simply by kneeling down to implore. This is clearly taking advantage of the guru. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then instructed that these two female disciples are not allowed to learn Tantra in the future.

Whenever His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang would like to transmit a Dharma method to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, he would still need to follow the rituals, and based on his own causal conditions, first offer prostration and make an offering to His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang before imploring the guru to transmit the Dharma method. Obviously these two female disciples did not do that, thinking that as a guru, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would be compassionate enough to give them whatever they wanted if they have so implored. They think that the guru should perform the Dharma out of compassion, as the guru should help sentient beings in the first place. If that is so, then the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are the most compassionate. Japan is also a place to worship the Buddhas, but why there were so many casualties during the Fukushima earthquake some time ago? That is because if sentient beings have no causal condition or blessed rewards, then no one can really help them. In fact, if you show reverence towards the guru, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and have strong faith in Buddhism, you would be blessed by the guru simply glancing at you.

After the perfect performance of the Dharma method was completed, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche continued with the teaching: the economic situation does not look very promising this year, and many companies would bear its impact. Take for an example the foreign exchange is changing rather rapidly, causing adverse consequences for the many companies. The fact that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has helped you with performing the Dharma of the Jambhala should not be construed as your opportunity to get rich; nor should you think that it’s time for you to go and buy a lottery ticket and hit the jackpot. It is guaranteed that you won’t win. The Dharma method performed today is for you to get back whatever wealth was meant for you in the first place, and for the people who do not know how to make offerings and give to charities to begin realizing the importance of doing so, and for those who have made offerings and given to charity to have a steady income over the next year. According to the Dharma text, the practitioner will have overflowing amounts of wealth after this performance. But such is not for you. That is meant for practitioners like Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche who can bring benefits to sentient beings.

Then Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche carried on and started to perform the Dharma of the Elephant Jambhala for the attendees. The Elephant Jambhala is one of the Dharma protectors of the White Mahakala. There are the Black Mahakala and the White Mahakala, and they are the Dharma protectors honored by all four major lineages of Tibetan Buddhism. On the mandala of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center, the statue being worshipped next to the sacred statue of our ancestral Lord Jigten Sumgon is Mahakala. One must perform the ritual of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara before performing the Dharma of the Elephant Jambala. Mahakala used to be a vicious devil, and had hurt many sentient beings. In order to subdue Mahakala, Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara offered him the most beautiful woman in the universe to satisfy his desire. This does not mean that Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara just created a most beautiful woman. Rather, Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara created the most beautiful woman according to the mind of Mahakala. From then on, Mahakala has been a faithful Dharma protector.

The Elephant Jambhala used to be a prince who was rich and always ready to help others. He would offer help as long as others requested it of him. Even if it meant that the money was used to buy arms or drugs, he still would offer help. In the end, he turned himself into a yes-man. Mahakala thought that this kind of thing could not go on and on and killed him. But because of the many good acts he had conducted when he was living, later he was turned into a Dharma protector. Mahakala gave him the head of an elephant, a symbol of power, so that he can have sufficient power in helping people. Some people think that the Elephant Jambhala is a god in Hinduism. In fact whoever does things that can bring benefits to sentient beings may be a Bodhisattva. There is no distinction on this in Buddhism. It is you who are making this distinction.

There are two Dharma protectors next to the Elephant Jambhala, and they are a mouse and a monkey. This mouse is not the type that you chase and beat up; instead, it is a mouse of money. The monkey, on the other hand, is very nimble, and that’s why in India there are many who worship the monkeys. The mouse is capable of hiding money; and the monkey is really swift, enabling them to help those in need quickly. When praying to the Elephant Jambhala, you can even be a little shameless. For example, you can pray to the Elephant Jambhala so that your boss will not fire you because he has been reprimanding you quite often lately and there is a good chance you will be fired.

In performing the Dharma of the Elephant Jambhala, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked a disciple to take out the agarwood, and asked a disciple who is in the business of incense how much a ton of agarwood currently would cost. The disciple replied that nowadays it would cost over NT$300,000.00 for 500 grams of agarwood. Then Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche commented with a smile: the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center uses the best incense to make offerings to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas without any consideration of the cost of the incense. That is the best choice, as the Elephant Jambhala only likes this particular flavor of this incense. This small amount of incense cost about NT$30,000.00. Who amongst you can make this kind of offerings? It’s not that you cannot afford it, but rather because you hoard the money, which is an issue with your mind. In the past there was a disciple who, when preparing the incense for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s performance of the Jambhala, bought the regular and cheap incense for the offering to the Buddha, thinking that this would save money, and even trying to say that the Buddhas would not mind. Consequently, he was lambasted by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche specifically mentioned a disciple’s grandfather who, upon hearing from his grandson that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche praised a businessman of a funeral home, told his grandson that he would give NT$100,000 to the man of the funeral home to help with funeral costs for families with financial difficulties. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche commented that the charity-giving mentality of this grandfather was a bit contrived, and the businessman did not have to accept his money. How could the disciple’s grandfather not realize that the funeral home businessman was doing all that because of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche? If he wanted to make a money donation to him, how come he failed to think of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in the first place? Had Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche not helped this grandfather’s son and daughter over these years, they probably would not have been around a long time before. Moreover, based on his financial condition, NT$100,000 would really not be considered charity giving, as it would be as insignificant as a hair in his body!

The right mentality in making an offering or giving charity should not be based on the assumption that the other doesn’t have money but you do- so you give him the money to help him. We need to realize that our blessings are rather thin. But we can accumulate blessed rewards through making offerings and giving charity, and with blessed rewards we will be able to learn Buddhism.

When making an offering, do not calculate or measure how much. Doing so would lead to you have attachments, which in turn would create afflictions. Like the two disciples who tried to mobilize others to implore the performance of the Thirty-Five Buddhas Repentances, it is learning Buddhism with a mind of calculation and measurement. They thought that some Dharma methods are more useful than others, so they believe that there is a better way than what the guru has arranged. Making offerings is like breathing- it is necessary. Do not be afraid of having no money and grudge the offerings. Do not indulge your mind. Do not assume that attending the puja with an offering of NT$100 or NT$200 qualifies you as making a true offering. Nor should you think that going abroad with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to promote Buddhism is proof that you are cultivating. Such ideas are only signs of your indulgence.

When making an offering, do not offer an item that you no longer need. Do not make an offering with a receipt, a discount coupon for the department store, change in your pocket, or left-over foreign currency which you don’t want to bother to change back. Such a mentality with regard to making offerings is not right. The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas would not owe you anything. You have accumulated blessed rewards by making offerings with money in other Buddhist centers, so, now you have the opportunity to be here in this Buddhist Center. This indicates that your offering was helpful to you.

When you make an offering or give to charity, do not compare, nor should you ask someone else. Don’t think it’s too much or too little when you see someone else making an offering of NT$1,000 and you are only making an offering of NT$50.00. Maybe NT$50.00 is all that you have. Everyone has a different financial situation. The same amount of money might be pocket money for some wealthy people, yet for others who are not so well off it is a significant amount. Making offerings is about whether you are doing it according to your financial ability. Do not misuse the Buddhist term of “rejoicing,” as you only rejoice when you see someone else doing good and you rejoice for him from the bottom of your heart. Misusing a Buddhist term will cause you to go to hell. If someone may ask how much to make an offering with, you should just answer “As you please.” When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was practicing Exoteric Buddhism and it came time to make an offering, he would make an offering with whatever amount first came to mind. At the time, as soon as his Buddhist master told Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche that a sum of money was needed to make Buddha’s statue or for other things, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would immediately send in the money, without any doubt or questions.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has never stopped making offerings. Even when he did not have the money for food, he would have offered the Buddha flowers and incense, which would be the best of its kind. Making offerings with little money left is something you wouldn’t be able to do. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was once so poor that he only had NT$1500 a month. After paying the registration fee of NT$1200 for an empowerment event, he only had NT$300 left for the whole month. At that time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had no money to pay for the telephone or electricity, and always had to wait until the very moment before they cut off the phone service or the power. The guru had no idea what air-conditioning was. Because there was no money to take the bus, the guru did not know how to use the public transportation system. In the summer time, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche walked from Minsheng Community to Xinyi Road across from Xinsheng South Road in order to learn Buddhism. But Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not feel bad. Instead, the guru was quite happy, since he knew that he had been repaying the debts. He was able to repay everything that he had done before once and for all. You should never listen to others who would say, “Stomach first, then the Buddha.” Making offerings is not about how much money you have. Rather, it is a about whether you have the heart for doing it. You wouldn’t be able to do something like giving your last piece of clothing to the Buddha and let him go past you, not to mention that you’d spend your last pennies on the lamp to make an offering to the Buddha. And you don’t have to learn from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, so there is no need for you to tell your family what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did when he was making an offering, saving any disagreement that they may have on this matter, and criticizing Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, which would do them harm.

Being compassionate is not as simple as volunteering or taking a blind person on a trip with you. In fact doing so only makes you feel as if you are doing good, so it’s nothing more than just making yourself feel good and it is wrong to have this kind of feeling. If you take a blind person to a temple, would you be able to describe the exact looks of the Buddha statues to him? If you were blindfolded for a few days and then were brought to “see” some scenery, and are told how beautiful everything around you is over and over again, you would eventually lose your temper, as you cannot see with your own eyes. You think that you’re doing something helpful, but it is possible that you are fanning up the desire in the other person. When such desires cannot be satisfied, they would have resentment. Don’t think that volunteering and helping others are doing good deeds. Such things in fact are what we as humans should do as a fundamental requirement. If you cannot even do the most basic good, then you don’t deserve to be a human; you are simply doing such things in order to make yourself feel good. But if you feel that way after you have done something like that, that means you have consumed your blessed rewards. That way when you give charity, you should never expect anything in return, not even enlightenment.

There are some people who are poor and you think that they are miserable, so you give them some money, thinking that you are helping them. That’s not necessarily true. They are poor because they have not done well with regard to making offerings and giving charity in their past life. And after this life, they would have repaid their poverty-related karmic retribution. Now that you give them money to let them be free from poverty, they actually are not really free from it and you have hurt him instead. It also takes wisdom to help others.

After a brief break, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche once again ascended to the Dharma throne in the afternoon at 2:20 to perform the auspicious Amitayus Dharma for the attendees. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said that the Amitayus Dharma is not performed in Exoteric Buddhism, including the Mahayana and Theravada. Amitayus is the Sambhogakaya of Buddha Amitabha. When you are still just an ordinary human, the Nirmanakaya of the Buddha will come to usher you after you die. When you have attained the stage of a Bodhisattva, it will be the Sambhogakaya of the Buddha who comes to usher you. And when you have realized the Dharma nature, you would then be integrated into the Dharma nature of the Buddha.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has told you before that the purpose of performing the Amitayus Dharma is to allow us enough time to learn Buddhism. Amitayus is the Buddha who bestows long life upon sentient beings. “Long life” mainly means a condition in which there is no sudden and accidental death. Accidental death is the equivalent of “untimely death.” There has been a lot of evil karma with us in our past lives, with the most serious in the form of collective karma. If we are involved with the evil collective karma, it may cause our life to be cut short, and some factors might result in our untimely death before it comes to a natural ending. The performance of the Amitayus Dharma is to supplement or even prolong our life so that we have enough time to learn Buddhism and get liberated from life and death. How long a life each of us will have depends on what good we have done in our past lives; but this can be reduced or damaged because of the evil that we do in this life, even resulting in accidental death. If that happens, you wouldn’t be allowed the opportunity to learn Buddhism.

Please note that you should keep cultivating yourselves diligently after Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has helped you with the performance of the Amitayus Dharma. That’s because with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche performing the Amitayus Dharma, it’s like there is an intermediary between you and your karmic creditors. The performance of the Amitayus Dharma will temporarily block the karmic creditors, which would allow you time to learn Buddhism and repay the debts and help them. If you have become better, but stopped being diligent, their expectations that you would be able to help them are dashed. Wouldn’t they be more resentful? This is like a creditor asking for his money back who would give you only one slap in the face, but since you will no longer be able to help him, plus interest, he would give you two slaps instead.

It is the Vajrayana Buddhism in which they truly cultivate the path of the Bodhisattvas. In Mahayana, the practitioner cultivates in the way of prajna, and it will require at least the Three Great Asaṃkhyeyakalpa for him to attain Buddhahood. On the other hand, it will be faster if the cultivation is done through the Vajrayana, but the practitioner should be in a completely selfless state and surrender to the teachings of the guru and the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and also should not examine Buddhism with his life experiences. In addition, the practitioner should also practice Buddhism diligently and fearlessly, which none of you did.

You have not achieved any cultivation yet, and are not even worthy of being called Buddhist believers. As Buddhist believers you should believe in cause and effect, but you still don’t believe in it. The Amitabha Sutra mentions that in order to go to the Pure Land, you should be men and women of good merits with virtue and causal conditions, with the good referring to the Ten Meritorious Acts. There are meat eaters who cannot even follow the first “good” of the Ten Meritorious Acts by not killing. Many people ask Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche if cockroaches can be killed. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has many disciples, and a good number of them want to seek an audience with the guru, but there has never been anyone who asked about what killing is, or how to cultivate himself. “Killing” is not only the action of killing people, animals and insects– these are superficial meaning. Making frivolous speech is also within the scope of killing. From the perspective of a practitioner, frivolous speech is any speech that has nothing to do with Buddhism. From the perspective of believers, it is the kind of words that seduce and tempt others, causing them to have greed, and because they cannot be satisfied it leads them to be resentful. So everything that leads others to fall into reincarnation is “killing.”

Don’t say things that you cannot fulfill, and you should do things that you promise to do. It’s no good to simply talk without putting it into action. If you arouse others’ desire, leading them to believe that you can do that for them but in fact you cannot, you lead them to have a craving and resentment which will cause them to lose the possibility of being liberated from reincarnation. That is killing. Or, if you cause others to have craving, like taking a blind person to tour some scenic spots while describing things to him, arousing his greed, that is also killing. Today Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has expounded on what “killing” is for you in great detail: something you have never heard before.

It’s not so easy to go to the Pure Land. Some time ago, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was helping a disciple’s father with Dharma performance, and during this process, the guru saw Lu Dongbin come with the deceased. Everyone knows that Lu eventually practiced Buddhism. Upon completion of the performance, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked the disciple’s family why is Lu by his side. Then it was revealed that his father had recognized Lu as his spiritual father since a very young age. But because he had never taken refuge, Lu could not help him with liberation. The only thing that he was able to do was to bring the disciple’s father to get help from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Years ago, the guru was performing Penitential Rites on behalf of his own father. It was not until after conducting the Eighty-Eight Buddhas Repentences for over a year that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was able to see his father, appearing very young, with a face the color of the blue sky, telling Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche that he was all very fine now, practicing by the side of Lu Dongbin. According to the Buddhist sutras, those who have gone to the Heavenly Realm after death would reveal themselves at the approximate age of 20 years old with a sky-blue face regardless of the age at which they had died. But even if one has gone to the Heavenly Realm, he is still in the Six Realms of reincarnation, only with a longer life span.

There are people who came back to Taiwan from abroad. They would think that after attending the puja today, and upon returning to their own country, they would be fine, and would be able to do whatever pleases them. But don’t think that all of your problems will be gone simply by attending one or two pujas. Where is our home? The Pure Land is our ultimate home. We are solely sojourners on the earth. We were born in different places, holding passports of the United States, passports of the Republic of China, or passports of some other country because of our different affinities.

There is an employee within Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s own company who is also a disciple that took refuge. She did not come to attend the puja on the first day of the Chinese New Year because two days before Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had reprimanded her. She didn’t come today because she did not think that she had done anything wrong. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche instructed that because she did not come, she doesn’t need to come in the future either, and must hand in all the Dharma texts and the red vest of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center. Why do you keep committing faults? That’s because you have not aspired to liberate yourselves from reincarnation! We have greed, resentment, delusion, arrogance and doubt because of our flashing thoughts of ignorance, and we are not aware of what we have done wrong, thus repeating our faults over and over again and falling into the suffering of reincarnation. If you are a person with aspiration to be liberated from reincarnation of life and death, how would you repeat your own faults time and again? You would be very careful and cautious. You should know that one practices the Vajrayana Buddhism on the ground of effect. Some people may think: I don’t want to learn Buddhism, so this has nothing to do with me. But for those who have not aspired to liberate themselves from life and death, they would of course keep committing faults and doing evil, resulting in endless suffering in the end.

Then Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche started to perform the auspicious Amitayus Dharma. The guru led the attendees in reciting prayers and chanting the heart mantra of the Amitayus, waving the five-color flag as the guru gave blessings to the attendees. When it came time to conduct the rituals for the Tsok offerings, the guru bestowed the offerings upon all of the attendees. Furthermore, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, tireless as he was, had all the attendees come up front one by one to receive his blessings with the treasure vase of the Amitayus. The guru also gave each one the precious long-life snack of ball and wine (represented with fruit juice).

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche commented: in the prayer that we have just recited, there is a verse that goes, “All has been destroyed with an untimely death.” The performance of the Amitayus Dharma will enable you to have enough time to learn Buddhism and be liberated from life and death. We have consumed our blessed rewards because of the evil that we have done in this life, resulting in our shorter life. There is nothing in the world that can be called an accident. Everything is caused by what you do. Even if you have achieved the same level of accomplishment as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, where you would have repaid all your evil karma accumulated in this and all previous lives, you would still have karmic retribution, and the remaining evil resulting from the evil karma previously accumulated will still reveal itself. Even for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, who has achieved the level of accomplishment where he has repaid all his evil karma accumulated during this and all previous lives, would still have karmic retribution and the remaining evil resulting from the past evil karma, such as bad or accidental incidents.

During the ritual of the Tsok, everyone has received a portion of the offerings. The Tsok associated with the Buddhist ritual are not the same as taking and eating the offerings from your worshipping activities in temples. Nor is it like the Chinese mid-July festival to liberate ghosts. Many people like to grab as many candies as possible during the festival celebrations. But since these are meant to feed the sentient beings of the Ghost Realm, would it be good to eat them? Why do you go and try to grab them? Others would bring some coins home. Whatever you grab and take home, the ghosts would then follow you. There are even circumstances where some people would topple over the worshipping table if they are unable to grab anything as a result of an aroused craving. Such acts are what only ghosts would do, instead of humans. The Tsok from the Buddhist rituals, on the other hand, give us an opportunity to share food with the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. You may distribute this food to others, since eating it would bring them benefits. Come to think about it, which is better – the food that has been eaten by the Buddhas or the food that has been eaten by ghosts? Which gives better Chi (energy) for you – the food that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has eaten, or the food that the ghosts have eaten?

Some Buddhist temples would send what have been offered to the Buddhas to major donors while other believers would line up on the side to wait to receive some of the offerings. The ordained practitioners present nodded their head in agreement. But it is completely different in the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center – every attendee would receive a portion on an equal basis – even those who have not taken refuge can receive a free portion. It is not that after you finish eating the offerings everything will be OK. Rather, it is an opportunity for you to create favorable conditions with the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, as well as sentient beings.

There are a few sentences in the Dharma text in particular that can be quoted to remind everyone: it mentions that no one should have any doubts about all that have served as wonderful offerings. Whether you are a butcher or someone from the upper class, you all have the same Dharma nature and can receive the blessings on an equal footing. All sentient beings are equal and they are future Buddhas. There should be no doubt about the Dharma that has been performed or what the guru has done. You cannot imagine the kind of offerings mentioned in the Dharma text, which will not be explained in detail today. It is normal that you don’t understand, but you still should have no doubt. You should know that if Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was doing all this for his reputation or profits, he wouldn’t have to exert so much effort. As a matter of fact, many rituals performed during the puja are for you to observe. The real part that is cultivation itself is the contemplation on the part of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, which you are not able to observe. As long as you have faith in the guru, the Buddhas, and the Bodhisattvas, as much as one glance at you by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would give you blessings. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche brings benefits to sentient beings without any intent to pursue reputation or profits, performing three Dharma methods in just one day. In society, if you want to have the Precious Penitential Rites by Emperor Liang performed, how much money would you have to give in the form of offerings? If you calculate based on the three Dharma methods performed today, how much would that come to in terms of offerings? Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is not measuring this in terms of money with you, however, you really have not made an offering. The cheapest Rinpoche in the world is right here in the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center.

What we have performed today are all Dharmas from the earth treasure termas, which means that they have been transmitted directly from the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, without human editing. It has been passed down from generation to generation, direct and pure, with a great deal of power. As long as you have faith in the guru, show your reverence to the Three Treasures, the Dharma methods that have been performed today will surely help you in the future, and you will be able to go to the Pure Land of Buddha Amitabha in one of your future lives.  Back then, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang was personally transmitting this Dharma method to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was still following the ritual; whether it was prostration, offering, or imploring for the Dharma, everything was done strictly in accordance with the rules. Why do you think that you can have the Dharma once you kneel down? If you truly want to implore for the Dharma, you have to make grand offerings. How big of an offering would you have to make in order to have the Thirty-Five Buddhas Repentances performed in regard to a total of thirty-five Buddhas? If you want to calculate, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche can do even better than you in this respect. But whether to accept it or not is completely up to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. The guru does not want your money offerings. Rather, if you have made offerings, you will have blessed rewards! The Amitayus is the Sambhogakaya of the Buddha. That’s why you truly need to aspire to learn Buddhism, and cultivate yourself on the path of the Bodhisattva. Only by doing so will you be able to help yourself. If you are not practicing on the path of the bodhisattva, attending today’s puja would still be helpful to you in that it would only help you create favorable conditions with Buddha Amitabha.

During lunch today, a disciple told Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche that in the other Buddhist centers they would perform Mahakala for five days in a row during the Chinese New Year. The disciple thought it was good that way. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then illustrated that performing Mahakala for five days during the New Year is an activity that is conducted in all Tibetan Buddhist centers. Mahakala is a Dharma protector, whose job and vow are to protect the Buddhist center so that it can keep operating smoothly. Performance of Mahakala requires a practitioner who is a specially qualified Rinpoche, rather than an ordinary Rinpoche.

You just saw when Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was performing the Amitayus Dharma that he was waving the five-color flag to help supplement everyone’s lost elements in terms of the earth, wind, fire and water. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche first set Torma, the yidam of the Amitayus facing himself, as the guru needed to give blessings to himself first. Then he turned the Torma, the yidam of the Amitayus to face you so that you can receive blessings through the guru after Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had himself been recharged. This is performing the Dharma to actually help you. Don’t think that the five-day Mahakala was performed for you. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is inside the circle and knows everything well. If you go and take a look at other Buddhist centers, who else would be turning the Torma back and forth? No, you would not see anything like that. And that is critical.

In Tibetan Buddhism, we will be doing a lot of things, all of which are to help you create causal conditions. For example, we would make offerings with incense and food to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. It’s not that the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas want your incense or that they need to eat something. According to the Five Sutras of the Pure Land School, in the Pure Land, what you want to eat will appear spontaneously in front of you, together with gold chopsticks and bowls. That is the situation in the Pure Land, let alone the conditions with the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. But if one still needs to eat, then he is not a Buddha or Bodhisattva. But why are we still doing this? That’s because we want to help you create a causal condition so that you can have blessed rewards as a result of the offerings that you make. Just like with the Tsok, you can have the opportunity to share food with the guru, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, creating a causal condition, so that you will not be cut off from the resource and will have enough resources for learning Buddhism and cultivation to become a Buddha in your future life. This is an opportunity where you can have the blessed rewards to share food with the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas on an equal footing. Would a wealthy man dine together with a pauper? No way, except when he wants you to vote for him. Then he would eat with you at a street corner fast food stand.

In another example, according to The Amitabha Sutra, one who pays reverence and prostrates to the statue of the Buddha will attain the Buddhist path. What is referred to here as “attaining the Buddhist path,” it does not mean the attainment of Buddhahood, as some people would generalize it to be like that by giving a false explanation. Do not assume that when the Buddhist sutras mention sentient beings as the future Buddhas that you then can go back and say that you are a Buddha. That would be arrogance, and you will be in trouble if you do so. “Attaining the Buddhist path” means that someone begins to proceed down the path towards Buddhahood.

Tomorrow is the second day of the Chinese New Year and some people will be returning to visit their wives’ original home. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche again wants to remind all of you to avoid eating any meat. Do not think that your mother exerts much effort in cooking and preparing the meat and you would not be showing your filial piety if you don’t eat it. Such an idea is merely your own thought and an excuse to eat meat. If you show real filial piety for your parents, you can cook a delicious vegetarian meal for your own parents! If you keep eating meat, I will have to ask you to not come again. If you don’t listen, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will ask the Dharma protectors to drive you out. Don’t tell me that drinking meat soup is acceptable. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche first came to Taiwan, he found that there was no beef in the beef noodle soup. This is very peculiar indeed. The owner told him that the beef was in the pot instead of in the client’s noodle soup. You simply like to deceive yourselves.

Then Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche led everyone in reciting the dedication prayer, and told the attendees: towards the end of the Dharma performance, we should all dedicate the merits. The Chinese have great wisdom in the creation of characters, using the character “dedicate” instead of the character “return” to describe this situation. This character has a part underneath it that looks like a boat. We say that it is a Dharma boat. Where is it headed? It of course is headed for the great sea of merits of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, dedicated to it so that the merits can transfer karma. In the ancient times, people used characters very concisely, and many Buddhist sutras have been handed down to us from translated versions of the Tang dynasty. These sutras use very concise characters, and many times one single character would represent many meanings. For example, if you ask someone a question, the answer could be a simple “No.” If it were you, you might say the same thing with many explaining words, like: “Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, it’s not like this!”

Why should we dedicate it? Because we are able to learn Buddhism thanks to the teachings of the guru, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, so we must dedicate it to them in order to repay the debt of their graceful merits and return to the Pure Land to practice Buddhism. The second Chinese character in the word “dedicate”, “xiang”, means “the direction.” You don’t see that the Dharma text says that if you perform the Amitayus Dharma you will get wealthy. Rather, it wishes sentient beings can be liberated from the reincarnation of life and death along with us. This is the true meaning of dedication: it indicates that the Dharma boat, carrying merits on board, is sailing towards the pure nature of Dharma in the hopes that sentient beings can all attain Buddhahood. It is not meant for particular individuals. Now do you know why your past dedications were of no effect? That’s because they were dedicated incorrectly. If your dedication is for your husband so that he will not have an extramarital affair, or for your wife to be more obedient to you, or for your children to have good grades at school, such dedications would surely prove to be of no effect.

Many people, after they start to learn Buddhism, want their family to learn along with them. This is being quite selfish. If all of the family learns Buddhism like you, they would not bother you anymore and would have no more quarrels with you. So it is still for your own benefit. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s children are not vegetarians. But Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche doesn’t mind, and would not require his children to follow suit and learn Buddhism. The children eat meat and don’t come to the puja, and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche does not dedicate merits to them either. On the other hand, your parents decided to come with you to learn Buddhism because they see the change that Buddhism has brought in you. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s mother used to believe in his father, who had faith in Taoism. She was not against her son learning Buddhism but she herself did not believe in it. Until later, when she saw her son’s change brought about by Buddhism did she also start being a vegetarian and learn Buddhism.

Some people would say that their children or parents don’t come to learn Buddhism, because they have heavy karma. If someone tells Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche something like this, the guru would reply to him, “Yes, of course! You were born because your parents have heavy karma.” You really should not refer to your own parents as having heavy karma. Many ordained practitioners would egg you on by saying that’s why you need to come and light up lamps for your parents. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche commented that the grace and favor that our parents have given us deserves our repayment in gratitude for them who we should take care of, without asking for anything in return. According to the Buddhist sutras, as long as one person attains Buddhahood, many of his family and associates may also go to Heaven. In other words, when you have attained Buddhahood, all sentient beings that are related with you will also benefit and go to Heaven. When you accumulate enough blessed rewards, you can shake up your karma. Only when you have cultivated merits will you be able to turn your karma. When you are determined to be liberated from life and death and forsake reincarnation, what you have cultivated will be turned into merits. A person who has the resolution to be liberated from life and death is someone who will not commit any more wrong deeds.

Today the disciple in charge of the Dharma affairs has made quite a lot of mistakes, forgetting to prepare offerings with tea for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. But the guru did not punish him. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche understands that he’s old, forgetful and slow in action, and has empathy for him. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is an old man just like him and shares a similar feeling. The guru said that it is beneficial that he can practice the Dharma method of “patience” because of this disciple.

Do not assume that no one controls us and we are completely free to do whatever we like. In fact, all of us are controlled by the karmic force, and by cause and effect; therefore we don’t have any freedom at all. True freedom will not come until we are liberated from life and death.

The reason that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is prone to catching a cold is that the guru has been giving blessing to too many people. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s disciple, a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner, told the guru as he was taking the guru’s pulse that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had the body of a fearless vajra upon first coming out of the retreat. But after continuously giving blessings to sentient beings, the power of the mind had been exhausted and weakened gradually. Don’t think that giving blessings will not consume energy. That’s why every year Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche goes into a retreat, since there has been too much energy consumption.

As the old saying goes, “Once a guru, forever a father.” This does not necessarily mean that you need to consider the guru as your father. Rather, you need to show reverence to the guru for the teaching of Dharma and the graceful favor that he has given you. The best way to repay this debt of gratitude is to follow the guru’s teachings and resolve to act accordingly.

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has been presiding over the puja since 9:30 a.m., teaching and performing two Dharma methods of the Jambhala on a continuous basis, only having a short lunch break before continuing by performing the Amitayus Dharma. In spite of the cold that he has caught which put him under the weather, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche carried on most compassionately, and performed the Dharma for all of the attendees. During this process, the guru did not stop to rest because of occasional coughs, and spent five to six hours chanting mantras and performing the Dharma for all, tirelessly and without regard to his own health. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was performing the Amitayus Dharma, he instructed everyone to come up to the mandala and personally gave blessing to over 1,200 attendees one by one, offering each of them a long-life snack of ball and wine (represented with fruit juice). During the process, he kept chanting mantras and ringing the bell, despite the fact that he has no cartilage on his right shoulder. In order to keep giving blessings to the attendees, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had to hold tight onto the treasure vase of the Amitayus, and maintained this posture for dozens of minutes without putting it down to take a rest.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche never has any consideration for himself when he is giving benefits to sentient beings. All of the attendees are extremely grateful for the auspicious blessings that they have received from the guru. Even at the age of 65, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche still can spend a long time performing the Dharmas without showing any signs of being tired or weak. This is the best demonstration of how auspicious the accomplishments are with a true Vajra practitioner!

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Updated on April 18, 2012