His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s Puja Teachings

April 15, 2012

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche presided over the puja at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center in Taipei.

Before the puja, a female disciple shared her experience that His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas helped her parents.

First, she thanked His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for allowing her to take refuge and listen to his teachings on the orthodox Dharma about how to be liberated from reincarnation of life and death, as well as the opportunity for her mother, maternal uncle and aunt, maternal aunt, herself, and her other family members to know Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche through her father’s illness, helping the family of three generations to start learning Buddhism.

One night in 2003, she got a call from her father that her mother wasn’t feeling well. They immediately rushed her mother to the hospital. At that time her mother had a pulse rate of more than 160 per minute and the situation seemed to be critical. While she kept praying, she also was visualizing that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was blessing her mother on the head. After two hours in the emergency room, her mother’s pulse rate had come down to a little over 120 per minute, and she was  no longer in critical condition. The doctor said that this time her mother would have had very high risk of stroke. But instead she only suffered from some loss of hearing. She thanked Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for his blessing and protection, for saving her mother from suffering from a stroke and allowing her to lessening the effect of evil karmic retribution so that they, as her children, could live in peace and learn Buddhism.

She expressed her gratitude to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for setting up the website of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center, allowing sentient beings with affinity and disciples to be able to access it and click and read journals of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, which turned teachings of the guru into published literature. Her mother who lost hearing now was able to learn about the compassionate teachings of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche through reading the journals. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s compassion and bodhicitta have always been taking care of every single sentient being with affinity and disciples! How fortunate it is to be Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s disciples!

30 years ago, her mother was working in the market, selling salted chicken and duck, roast chicken and duck and stewed beef. She came to realize that her mother had accumulated very serious karma from killing after she took refuge and listened to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teachings, and she was very frightened. As the eldest daughter in the family, she often helped her mother in the market and also used the money from selling the sentient beings, so she also carried many lives of sentient beings on her own back. Had she not listened to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s compassionate teachings, she would never have realized that she had created so much karma from killing. She thanked Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for the teachings and would like to profoundly make public repentance right here for her killing acts. On the other hand, she also would like to make profound repentance on her mother’s behalf to sentient beings that had been harmed and eaten by them. She prayed that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would help the poor sentient beings that they had harmed. When she came to think of “a life for a life”, how would she and her mother be able to repay in this life?

In September 2011, her mother fell in her sister’s house in Taichung one late evening. It was remarkably incredible that her mother of 77 years old survived the accident without any broken leg – thanks to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s protection and blessings. This was the second time her mother had fallen, only causing her to have swollen bruise and pain on the legs, and she lost mobility and had to stay in bed. Just as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche mentioned, her mother had developed bedsores due to her carelessness, and they were so deep that a surgery was required to clean and take care of the wound. While her mother suffered from diabetes, the operation went smoothly with blessings from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Her mother was just feeling weak, but was able to eat normally.

Due to the prolonged bed rest, her mother became so skinny that her feet were barely anything more than the skin and bones. In order to avoid wound infection, the doctor had placed a urinary catheter on her mother. This was the first that she found her mother to be so old, making her feel very sad. Seeing her mother so bedridden and old, she was reminded of one of The Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas: When mothers who have been so kind to us since the time without a beginning are suffering, what is the use of our own happiness? Therefore, generating the mind of enlightenment in order to liberate limitless sentient beings is the bodhisattvas’ practice. She thanked Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for reminding her of being lazy in learning Buddhism and of having no filial piety toward her mother. It was no easy task taking care of a chronically ill person; in particular, her mother often couldn’t help but swear when feeling uncomfortable and painful. Her sisters would immediately take out the magic treasure – Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s Dharma photo – and show it to their mother, who then would turn into a smile, calling the name of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and quickly calming down. She expressed her gratitude to His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for bestowing his precious Dharma photos upon the disciples, allowing them to receive his blessings all the time.

When she was seeking an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to report to him on her mother’s condition, the guru told her she had not been taking good care of her mother. She repented that she had not shown her filial piety, and implored Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to accept her offerings that she wanted to make on behalf of her mother. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche instructed her with compassion that she should make a donation to the Department of Social Affairs in the Ministry of the Interior, because the right mentality for making proper offerings was not there with her family. It had been a long time since Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche stopped accepting the offerings from them. She made deep repentance and thanked Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for showing her the way to give charity on behalf of her mother. Her mother still had the urinary catheter, occasionally suffered minor amnesia, unable to stand up to walk and take care of herself after going to bathroom in bed. She repented that because she had not been trying hard enough, so her mother was not yet able to come to the Buddhist Center to express gratitude to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in person.

In February 2001, her father was hospitalized due to pneumonia caused by a cold. He forgot who he was one day after waking up and was unable to remember his family. The doctor had reassured them that her father’s brain was functioning normally, though there was no clue as to why there was a sudden occurrence of something like that. When the doctor asked whether they had any religious faith, her mother answered that they believed in Buddhism. Then the doctor shared with them, in a solemn manner, examples of how Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche helped others. They were overjoyed at that and went off to seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, who told them that her father’s condition was caused by the karma resulting from bad speech, and that if they believed Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, then they could enroll to attend the Chod Puja on Friday on behalf of her father. The guru also asked her mother to pay attention to her father’s condition the next morning after attending the Chod Puja. When her father saw her mother the next morning after the Chod Puja, he was calling her mother’s name the way he normally would, showing that his memory was back completely. With great joy, her mother called them about it, who felt very incredible and also grateful. The Chod Puja performed by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was so auspicious and amazing. She, her husband and her mother had been attending the Chod Puja every Friday since then, in which everything Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche taught marveled and moved them.

In April 2004, her father was hospitalized again as a result of a cold, only this time he never came back out. Her father went in and out of the hospital quite often due to emphysema, which usually made it hard for the patient to breathe or rest lying down. But due to the compassionate blessings from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, her father only had difficulty in breathing so he was helped through oxygen. Then he started to have a fever because he was unable to cough out the sputum from his lungs. As he was admitted to the ICU, he had a nasogastric tube and an urinary catheter on him in addition to an oxygen mask that covered his mouth. This looked very sad. The doctor had suggested tracheotomy in order to save his life. But that reminded her of the teaching of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche who said that tracheotomy was a surgery that would bring much suffering to the patient. So she asked the doctor about the benefits of such a procedure. And the doctor told her that her father might be able to survive a few more days to make his last arrangement of things. But in order for her father not to continue to suffer, they did not want him to undergo tracheotomy and her father passed away three days later.

When she received the notice of her father’s imminent death from the hospital, she rushed to the ICU to see her father one last time. Immediately upon arrival, she put the precious nectar pill, bestowed upon her by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, into his father’s mouth, and a little bit after 1:00 a.m., his father passed away. Her husband immediately called the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center to leave a message, reporting that her father had passed away and imploring for the Phowa. At that time Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was not in Taiwan. Soon, however, the Dharma brother returned the call and told her that there were not enough causal condition for her father to have the Phowa. But Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was still very much concerned by asking whether the nectar pill was given to her father and asked them to visualize that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was helping her father by chanting the Great Six-Syllable Mantra. This suddenly made her feel calm and at ease, free of any fear. She, her husband, her mother, her little sister, and her aunt were then helping her father by chanting the Great Six-Syllable Mantra in the memorial hall of the hospital. She thanked His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for the meticulous care that was given to her and her family.

They informed the staff members of the funeral home that they needed to chant the Great Six-Syllable Mantra for her father for eight hours and asked them not to remove her father’s body right away. Four hours later, the staff from the funeral home politely informed them that they were worried if the body might have undergone some changes and that they needed to check on it. She remembered that when her father just died, his eyes and mouth were open, eyebrows frowning, the facial complexion a bit greenish yellow, showing an expression of great suffering. But when the white cloth covering the body was lifted, she saw that her father’s eyes and mouth were closed, eyebrows relaxed, and the facial expression much more pleasant than the moment when he just died. There was no livor mortis on the body. All this was a result of the protection from the compassionate blessings of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. The compassionate power of Buddhism could be proved, and it was indeed no superstition. Soon after 5:00 a.m. she got a call from her Dharma brother again who was asking about her father’s condition as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was rather concerned. Her husband reported back with the situation and thanked His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for the concern and blessings. Eight hours later, her father was still showing a serene countenance.

After His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche came back from abroad, she and her mother along with her little sister were seeking an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and expressed their gratitude to the guru for all the blessings for her father. They also implored Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to perform the auspicious Chod for her father so that he could be liberated. All they had had for her father was remembrance and gratitude since her father passed away and there was not a sense of sadness, as they knew that her father had been helped by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and went to a good place. They expressed their thanks to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche who was as compassionate as the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas.

She grew up being afraid of death. In her childhood, they were living at the foot of a mountain. If someone had passed away the coffin would go past her house on the day of the funeral. From far away she could hear the sound of funeral trumpets being played. Her mother would be nervously asking them to hide under the quilt and not to come out. She had no idea why it was like that, and since then she had always been afraid of funerals. When her neighbors had someone passing away, she would be scared when the memorial tent was set up in front of their house. The first time when she participated in the farewell ceremony and saw what the deceased person looked like, it made her feel very uncomfortable. But she had never told anyone about it.

Since taking refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, she learned from the guru’s teachings that practicing Buddhism was a process of preparation for the moment of one’s death. She was relieved and moved. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche once taught them – if someone died in the family, the family members should chant the name of the Buddha themselves. This way, they would convey the sincere wish to benefit the deceased. Then they need to have enough causal condition to find a great meritorious practitioner to help liberate the deceased. Had she not taken refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, she would have self-righteously done something that she thought to be beneficial for the deceased.

She thanked His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for often teaching the disciples with his own experience in learning Buddhism. She repented it very much that at that time she was a vegetarian only on the day she attended the Chod Puja. Two months after she started participating in the Chod Puja, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teaching made her feel ashamed of herself, as she realized that she had been very cruel since the sentient beings that she had eaten were just like herself. The only difference was that they were reincarnated to the Animal Realm due to their karmic influence. But she had taken it for granted, ignorantly, and thought that she could eat them. So at that puja, she felt that there was a powerful force that told her to be a vegetarian every day and stop eating meat. She was grateful to His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for the compassionate blessings, which helped awaken her and stop her evil acts.

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche once stated – abortion is murder. At hearing this, she felt very painful and scared. This was a pain from her heart, as she was one of those evil persons who did just that. When she became pregnant again and ready to deliver the baby, for a very long time it refused to come out. When the baby finally was born there was no crying sound and within 24 hours it died due to dysfunctional lungs. She almost died too, because of her prolonged delivery process resulting in the loss of a large amount of blood. This was her karmic retribution that she deserved from the current life, causing her to be very sad. But causing others who cared for her to be sad as well was yet another vice on top of what she already had.

This had become something of a taboo in her family. Only after she took refuge, she would remind herself of it during every Chod Puja and the Great Indiscriminate Amitabha Puja for Transferring Consciousness, praying that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would help set her two unfortunate babies free from suffering. As a cruel mother she repented to them. Had she not taken refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, she would have lived her entire life in suffering. She told this to her children only after they grew up. Her daughter told her that many years after they took refuge, her grandmother said that she was no longer sad on the first day of August of the lunar calendar. They believed that it was Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche who helped set the babies free from suffering, enabling their grandmother not to have any more sorrow!

Not only did she have a lot of karma resulting from killing, but she had even more serious problem in terms of being greedy, resentful, and ignorant. She had greed for wanting to be praised by others and would become furious if others criticized her, and of course such criticism would fall on deaf ears. Thus she had hurt a lot of sentient beings with her body, speech and mind. She never apologized, nor repented, nor expressed gratitude, but in her heart she was as timid as a mouse. One morning in mid-September of last year (2011), she felt some pain in the rear of her right thigh when she started walking after getting up. In a month, this pain was getting worse. The medical examination found that she had sciatica, which was something very unsettling, as one would feel pain whether sitting or standing. But imagine all the pain and grief suffered by sentient beings that she had harmed, and it must have been far worse than what she had to go through now. She thanked them for being the reason of her pain, reminding her to look within and examine the evil karma that she had created. She felt even more grateful to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for teaching them how to take advantage of the illness in practicing Buddhism and enabled her to face her illness with right attitude. This was a very special, auspicious Dharma method in cultivation indeed, since every person would feel pain at some point, thereby everyone could have the opportunity to apply Buddhism to daily life. The doctor told her that a person with sciatica should avoid sitting or standing for a long time or carrying heavy objects. But at the weekly puja, she was able to sit for three hours straight. There was no way that she could do that at work. This must be the result of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s blessing.

She remembered 20 years ago, on July 15 of the Lunar calendar, her mother wanted her company in going to a certain Buddhist center to enroll for a liberating puja. When the staff asked them which category of offering – whether it was the any-amount category or the major-donor category – they would like to participate and told them what the amount would be for each category, they were dumbfounded and were at a loss as to what to do with the enrollment. So they just said that they would have to go back and make a decision before coming back. It made them feel that money was required in order to get someone liberated. Then wouldn’t it mean that one could not learn Buddhism if he had no money? She thanked the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas for not giving up on her who had done so many evil acts, and for sending her to the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center where she was able to take refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.  Had it not been for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, she believed that she would have come to this life in vain.

The first time when she heard Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche say: Everyone sitting here today must have practiced the Ten Meritorious Acts in one of his or her past lives, she doubted whether she really had done that, being such an evil person with such heavy karma from killing. But all teachings by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche bore truth beyond doubt. She had spent over forty years living in confusion, and finally she was able to hear the orthodox Dharma. She was grateful to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for performing the Dharma and transmitting the teachings compassionately on an equal footing, without asking for money or worrying about his own well-being. Otherwise she would not have had the blessed reward in learning Buddhism or in attending the liberating puja presided over by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

She expressed her gratitude to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for saving her whole family, which was almost bankrupt five years ago. After having no money to pay for the rent for three months, the family of five moved into a basement quarter of about 430 square feet and lived there for close to five years. At the beginning, she and her husband would very often receive bank notices asking for payment. Collectors would even come to her place of work to interview her, and the company where she worked, on the other hand, also received court orders to withhold fund from her salaries, making the general manager very nervous and concerned. It was very fortunate that she – a person with bankrupt credit – was not immediately dismissed from the company and could have worked till now. Without this stable income, she dared not imagine what could have happened. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche stated before – no one who was practicing Buddhism would be without food, shelter or clothing. This was something they had truly experienced. Had it not been for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche whom they depended upon in the last five years, they would have been a family of misfortune and ruin. During this period of time, she had felt the importance of repentance, as well as the horror of suffering from reincarnation, impermanence of life, and the frightfulness of cause and effect and karma. I needed to face and bear the consequence of the evil karma that I had planted. There was no escape from that.

She once again expressed her deep gratitude to His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for blessing and protecting her whole family. Though they did not have the right mindset and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would not accept their offerings, the guru never gave up on the family, allowing them to have the opportunity to continue learning Buddhism. The family simply could not repay Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for his great kindness and virtues even if they repay with all of their lives. Despite of that, they were resolved to repay the guru in the form of diligently applying the Buddha Dharma to their life and mend their ways of the body, speech, and mind.

She thanked His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for often compassionately showing the wrathful appearance to protect the disciples, saving the disciple who was about to fall into the Three Evil Realms. Had it not been for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s extremely compassionate wrathful appearance, she believed that she would have had nothing to do with learning Buddhism and liberation from life and death. Just as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had stated, to learn Buddhism, one must follow and rely on a guru and ask the guru to supervise and find fault with him. She repented and expressed her thanks to His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for having such dedication and such compassion! In conclusion, she prayed for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to have good health, to keep the Dharma wheel turning, and to spread Buddhism far and wide.

Then, another female disciple shared her story of how His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche helped save her and her family.

Her husband passed away on the morning of April 1, 2012, as peacefully as he went to sleep without any suffering. When a few Dharma brothers went to see him, they found that he had looked good and serene. At the same time she was also expressing her gratitude to those Dharma brothers. They gave her husband a nectar pill before he passed away and said that he looked different after he passed away. She also expressed her gratitude to His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for making all this possible.

She felt that her husband had been trying hard to keep himself alive until April 1 when there would be the auspicious Chod Puja. Prior to that she told him that she would take him to the Chod Puja on Sunday, as it had been a long time since the last time he was in the Buddhist Center. They didn’t expect that the doctor gave no permission since he was in a critical condition and could die any time. She received notice of critical condition that her husband could go anytime as soon as he was admitted to the emergency room. They declined intubation and other invasive treatments on his behalf, and he only received oxygen and intravenous fluid infusion. She had him transferred to a single room, as she would not want him to be moved to another bed once he took his last breath, hoping that she could chant the name of the Buddha for him for eight hours straight. If her husband had passed away a few days sooner, he would still have had to wait until April 1 for the Chod Puja and he would have had more suffering. She thanked His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for the Chod Puja that helped liberate her husband.

The general director had announced after the Sunday puja that a Dharma brother who took refuge 10 years ago was imploring Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to make the best possible arrangement for her husband. She said that that foolish person was she. Both she and her husband had not practiced Buddhism diligently and he was not bestowed upon the auspicious Phowa. She was grateful to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for allowing her to kneel and repent in front of the guru when he was meeting with believers last Saturday. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche commented: Supposedly a disciple who has been under refuge for 10 years should not talk like that, imploring the guru with such greediness. The husband and wife had no faith in Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Not only had they failed to learn Buddhism diligently, but they also had harmed many sentient beings through their cleaning business. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had saved both of their lives many times, and told her husband many times to chant the Great Six-Syllable Mantra as much as possible. However, her husband never really had followed that accordingly.

Once her husband was hospitalized as he got fluid accumulated in the brain and the doctor had suggested that a surgery was necessary to drill a hole to drain the fluid. So they went to seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, who, despite just descending from the Dharma throne, granted the request and asked them what he could do for them. They replied that they were there to make an offering to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Then the guru said: you must have something else in your mind of course, and accepted their offerings. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche used the red envelope to strike her husband’s head gently as he was telling him that as a senior person he should not be daydreaming and should concentrate on chanting the Great Six-Syllable Mantra. Her husband declined the surgery upon returning to the hospital, as they believed that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had blessed him already.

She was ashamed that she had not been learning Buddhism diligently or acting in accordance with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teachings, and still imploring Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to make the best possible arrangement. That was like trying to bring harm to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. She had let Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche down so much that the guru would not continue teaching the Dharma. She apologized to everyone and repented to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, imploring the guru to forgive her. She was resolved, from now on, to learn Buddhism and act according to the guru’s teachings with diligence.

At the end of January, her husband was hospitalized because of high fever resulting from urinary tract infection. But he left the hospital before the complete treatment was over in order to save money. A few days after that he fell while alone at home, only to be found when the home care provider came. At the moment his eyes could not be opened and later he became unable to walk downstairs. She pushed him to the Buddhist Center in a wheelchair and rushed him to the hospital for an examination after the puja. He was admitted in the ICU a few days later due to excessive carbon dioxide level. The doctor said that if the CO2 level did not come down, he would have to have intubation. His sister had to sign the authorization paper as he requested earlier “no intubation or radiation therapy” to the doctors. He spent eight days in the ICU before being transferred to the general ward for another 20 days. Then he stayed at home for more than half a month. His hands were swollen due to his inability to urinate and when he was rushed to the emergency room again, he was dying already.

On Saturday she and her sister-in-law went to the Buddhist Center to express their gratitude to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and implored the guru to pick a good burial date. Her sister-in-law reported to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche on the auspicious signs that her brother was showing after the Chod Puja, with white fluid coming out of his nose and brown fluid out of his mouth. When changing his clothes, she felt that his hands and feet were soft. She thanked Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for having helped to liberate her brother to be reborn in the Pure Land. But when imploring Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to select a good date for her brother’s burial, her sister-in-law made the same mistake as she did, and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told her: you have no faith in the Buddha Dharma, and have no respect for a grand practitioner when talking to him. In spite of that, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche provided three dates compassionately.

She repented that after taking refuge, she not only had failed to learn Buddhism well, but also had failed to do the most basic – being compassionate. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche taught the Dharma method of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, as recorded in the Dharma tape, that compassion could change the whole life of a person. In order to return to the simplest way from the complicated ways of the ordinary people in learning Buddhism, one needs to repent and learn to be compassionate. If one truly understands these two things, he would not feel any sufferings no matter how hard they might be. One should train himself to be compassionate, starting with the people around him. If he failed to be compassionate even to family and friends around him, how could he claim to be learning Buddhism? But she was often shouting and screaming at her husband. When she was in a good mood, she would be tender and considerate to him. But when she was in a bad mood, he would not appear pleasant to her eyes no matter what, and she would keep nagging. He had put up with all this without talking back. He would have started swearing really terribly if he had shown his old temper. She repented that she did not even treat her husband with compassion who was her close family and Dharma brother, and was unworthy of many years of Buddhist practice and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teachings. Her husband had often criticized her of being edgy and anxious, and, knowing that she was forgetful, often reminded her to check: Do you have the cell phone with you? Bus tickets? Keys? She would impatiently think of him as being long-winded. She would like to correct these shortcomings of hers, but sometimes found herself repeating them, ill-treating his reminding. She felt that she should not have done that and was resolved to mend her ways.

Then she thanked the doctor-Dharma brother whose introduction made it possible for her and her husband to be able to take refuge under a meritorious guru, and thanked him for the assistance and help. She also expressed gratitude to all Dharma brothers of the Buddhist Center for their assistance during the period in which her husband had to be in the wheelchair. Finally, she once again thanked His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for his blessings and help.

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche presided over the puja at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center in Taipei. The guru led the disciples in chanting the Great Six-Syllable Mantra. One of the female disciples, though also chanting the mantra with the prayer beads in hand, was lethargic with her head wagging and her body skewed. After the chanting was done, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche instructed the disciple to stand up immediately and reprimanded her improper posture during the chant. The guru asked the ordained disciples at presence what kind of fault the disciple had been guilty of. One ordained female disciple expressed that this disciple was becoming drowsy when chanting the mantra. Another ordained female disciple opined that such a behavior showed no reverence for the guru at all. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche commented that the female disciple’s behavior when chanting the Great Six-Syllable Mantra was an indication that she was bored and did not believe in the effectiveness of chanting the mantra. She thought that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was only leading everyone in chanting the Great Six-Syllable Mantra instead of teaching the Buddha Dharma, so she was not focusing on it and feeling bored because there was no use chanting it, allowing herself to be lethargic. This represented that she has not been learning Buddhism at all.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had instructed before: one must keep the body upright when chanting the mantra. More importantly, neither the guru on the Dharma throne, nor the ordained disciples showed such posture except this female disciple. Immediately, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche instructed the general director of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Culture Exchange Association to take back her Glorious Jewel vest and the Dharma textbooks. In the future, she would only be an ordinary believer.

Then Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked the general director: Recently, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had instructed that two documents required modifications. When they were returned, what was shown on them as the review notes? The general director answered: Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had written a review note on the two documents saying “I am not the proofreader. Please do not harm me as such.” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche corrected the general director by saying: that review note that I left was “frame it to harm” instead of “harm.” So the review note should be, “I am not the proofreader, do not continue to frame it to harm me.” The guru even asked a disciple with good mastery of Chinese to explain the difference between “frame it to harm” and “harm.” And he answered, “Framing it to harm someone” means shifting the blame to the party being framed, and “harm” means direct harm to the party. Then Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche further elaborated: to explain it in a way that you can understand, “framing it up to harm” refers to harming someone secretly, which is different from “harming.” “Harming” is a direct action and the party being harmed is well aware of who is the one carrying out the action. Why did I say “framing to harm” me? It refers to the fact that some disciples had written the documents in which they seemed to be using words of respect but in fact they were using them in a wrong way. People would think that they were written by the guru, who in this way was framed for the blame.

For example, it is mentioned in the documents about Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s “enthronement ceremony,” but it was written as “the ceremony of ascending to the throne.” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche reprimanded – how could it be possible for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to ascend to the Dharma throne while Most Venerable Three-Grace Root Guru, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang is present! So Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked a disciple to explain the meanings of “enthronement” and “ascending to the throne” right then. The disciple replied: enthronement is to certify the fruition that someone has attained as a Rinpoche, while “ascending to the throne,” on the other hand, relates to performing empowerment, teaching the Dharma or practicing Buddhism on the Dharma throne as a Rinpoche. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then stated: Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche went into a retreat for the first time in 1997, and upon perfect completion of the retreat, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang held an enthronement ceremony for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. But in the document “enthronement” was mistakenly replaced with “ascending to the throne”, and was never corrected all this time since the document was written.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche criticized sharply again: It means that the disciple who wrote it did not do so attentively. If he did not understand it, he should ask someone else, and should not wait until Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche found it out. Not even the general director has made a proper correction, leaving everything to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. He even would often say something like “it has been reviewed by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche,” shirking the responsibility to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. These articles contain tens of thousands of words, and Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has so many things to take care of on a daily basis, how can you all say, “There is no need for further correction as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has reviewed it?” What if Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had missed it? Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is not a proofreader of the documents, and there are more than a dozen people in charge of writing and proofreading. How is it possible that nobody has seen the mistakes? As voluminous as these documents are, with about 10,000 words each, how would you expect Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to endorse the contents and take responsibility?

Previously, the English version of the Buddhist Center’s website had postings that were very poorly translated. A disciple in the United States was willing to spend her own money and time to get translation done professionally. But the general director’s reaction actually was, “I’m afraid that I can’t do that as there has been no instruction on this matter from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.” This time, the documents to be revised, as instructed by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, were also poorly written. What should have been written got wrong, mixing meanings of “enthronement” with “ascending to the throne” even after having listened to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teaching for so many years. Furthermore, it only mentioned the time of the enthronement without mentioning the location of the ceremony. The general director did not do anything about it. If he is too busy to review the drafts, and if the writing disciples do not show proper qualifications, then in fact you should hire professionals to revise them.

In addition, the disciples responsible for writing these documents were using the expression, “His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, accompanied by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, paid visits with respect to the Drikung Centers in Taiwan,” when they described His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang’s visit in Taiwan in 2010 in the documentary. This was extremely disrespectful considering the status and dignity of His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang. How could such an expression be used as “paying a visit with respect?” A simple “visit” should be used, correctly. The general director has gathered more than a dozen disciples, a large group, all with good education and even including professors, to write the documents and proofread them, and they haven’t even noticed the inappropriateness of such wording. This showed that they were really not paying enough attention. As the general director of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Culture Exchange Association who is respected in the society more or less, he enjoys this kind of respect without fulfilling his responsibility as such, leaving the disciples in charge of the writing completely disorganized. How would Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche be able to continue to teach the Dharma? It really should not go on like that.

At first, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche intended to continue with the Dharma teaching, since four ordained disciples were imploring Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to do so yesterday. Upon such imploration, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s heart was softened. Unexpectedly, two volunteer female disciples standing nearby followed suit by kneeling down even before the ordained disciples were able to finish their sentences. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked critically: Why did you have to kneel also? They immediately explained that they were to help support elderly disciples. They replied so quickly that the words came out of their mouth without going through their minds first. At the puja, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked the ordained disciples what fault were the two female disciples guilty of yesterday. One of the ordained disciples answered that it was not proper to act without direction from the guru, and it was even more disrespectful to cut short what the guru had to say.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then asked another ordained disciple which one of The Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas they had violated. An ordained disciple expressed that The Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas requires the disciples to respect and treasure the guru more than themselves, which was something that they failed to observe. Another ordained disciple reported that coming into a dispute with the guru was a violation of the Samaya. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then continued: Don’t be so harsh. The fact that they went into an argument with the guru – something that you were warned against when you took refuge – would disqualify them to receive the blessings of the guru. They acted extremely quickly and replied soon after the four ordained disciples had just started talking and before they were able to finish, explaining that they were not faulty without even thinking through what they were about to say in their mind in the first place. But if they didn’t think that they were at fault, then it would be the fault of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. So if they had this kind of idea, naturally it would not be necessary for them to continue following Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche in learning Buddhism!

You see them volunteering every week as if they have great aspiration and respect. But once you put them to test they would show their true color, completely failing to mend their way. As they would do that even to their guru, you can imagine what they would do at work or in their life. It also means that they only focused on protecting themselves, for fear that they get hurt. From this we can see how remarkable Protector Achi really is. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had told Protector Achi that he would not continue with the Dharma teachings for the reason that the disciples had not mended their way. Though four of the ordained disciples came to implore Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, the problem immediately surfaced with the two female disciples, indicating that the disciples have not really changed.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has repeatedly instructed that all of you should examine yourselves in your body, speech and mind during the day every evening before going to bed, and if you find any fault, you should repent right there so that no such fault would be repeated. But no disciple has been doing that! If you cannot live with the teachings of the guru, what kind of compassion are you still trying to cultivate? Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche often reminds you how harshly strict His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang has been with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, who, on the other hand, never talk back at his guru. When Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, upon perfect completion, came out of the retreat in the Snow Mountain of Lapchi in 2007, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang started to harshly reprimand Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche all of a sudden during the lunch break, pointing out his faults. But Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not try to find any excuse for the blames. Instead, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche happily accepted and thanked for the teachings of the guru. As a matter of fact, what His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang was blaming Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for was a fault committed by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s disciples. Nevertheless, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not try to explain, because he thought that it was his fault to have failed to teach his disciples well. You have all read the biography of venerable Milarepa and are all aware of how severe his guru was with him. How dare you still contradict your guru!

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche criticized the disciples, saying that either you leave, or Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will leave. If any disciple is found to have failed to mend his or her way, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would leave even if no one is willing to do so. And this decision will be reached sometime this year. You may say, if it’s someone else’s fault or if just one disciple has failed to mend his way, why would Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche have to leave? Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche stated: Everyone is learning Buddhism in the same Buddhist Center, and you are Dharma brothers, so anything that involves one person involves all. Anything one person does would have consequences for all as it is intended that you should remind each other of such things. But you never think that things would happen to you, as if you’re listening to stories when you see things happen to others.

As the disciples sitting next to the disciple who was dozing off during mantra chanting just now, clearly they saw that she was dozing off but failed to remind her to keep awake. Rinchen DorjeeRinpoche is old and has to continue cultivating himself, for there are many sentient beings that need help from Rinchen DorjeeRinpoche, who, on the other hand, cannot possibly be tied down for the more than 1,000 people present here. If you fail to mend your ways this year, it will no longer have any meaning for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to continue with the Dharma teaching, for none of you are truly learning Buddhism or trying to change. First, it is the people who err, and now your texts are having errors too. If disciples cannot follow the teachings of the guru, truly implement them and mend their ways, it means that the virtuous causal condition has come to an end and Rinchen DorjeeRinpoche needs to move on to places with virtuous causal condition to help sentient beings there.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche continued: The fact that you have committed the faults today is like what’s described in the Buddhist sutras that sentient beings living in this “evil world of five turbidities” are prone to have “turbidity of views”. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche further elaborated: You are all so deep in the “turbidity of views” that it has become too hard to correct and subdue them. The guru asked an ordained disciple to explain what it meant by “turbidity of views”. The ordained disciple replied: The “turbidity of views” is to make judgments based on personal experience, ideas and feeling. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche then reiterated: the biggest problem that you have in learning Buddhism is that you all have serious “turbidity of views”. Moreover, if you are learning Buddhism by following your own ideas, you cannot really be learning it.

Other people wouldn’t care how you practice Buddhism. They help people by performing the Dharma and have no expectation for how well you must cultivate yourselves, whether you follow the teachings or not after you attend the puja. If something happens to your life, they may at most tell you to light the lamps in the temple. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked an ordained female disciple at the puja to tell everyone if this was so. The ordained disciple reported, crying emotionally: During more than a dozen years that she has been ordained, she has never met any guru as meritorious as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, caring so much for the disciples, teaching and helping sentient beings so wholeheartedly. It is really great blessing for her to be able to have met Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. She could not imagine what would become of her if she had not met the guru. So she is really afraid that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would leave. If that happens, then the disciples’ life and death would have no one to depend on, leaving them to continue to fall into the abyss of reincarnation. She reminded that everyone should treasure this opportunity and in the meantime she implored that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would not leave.

At this point, all the disciples knelt down weeping, one by one, praying with sorrow and sadness and hope that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has mercy on sentient beings and stay on to continue teaching Buddhism to everyone.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche stated with compassion: You should be truly mending your ways. Some people may think that these are only minor faults. But why does Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche pay particular attention to small details? As a matter of fact, when the bigger problems appear, often it would be the manifestation of the karmic retribution and it is too late to do anything then. Small faults accumulate and eventually turn into a big one, at that time, it would be too late to correct that when it happens. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is so compassionate that he particularly keeps an eye on minor faults and tries to correct you where such insignificant faults occur. Cultivation means mending your ways. But if you keep thinking that there is nothing wrong with the usual acts you have done, then you can just continue going along with them and there is no need for you to practice Buddhism. The venerable Milarepa once said: If you cannot practice Buddhism diligently in this life and be liberated from reincarnation, you would fall into hell in one of your future lives. Previously, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was aware of that but did not have a profound sense of it. The guru did not realize such things were all real until 2007 during his retreat when he saw sentient beings of the Six Realms suffering from reincarnation.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche went on to comment: The ordained practitioners are better than you and they are at a higher level than you are. At least they have started with renunciation but you still do not want to give up anything. Of course, lay practitioners may also attain achievement, like Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche who attained his achievement as a lay practitioner. But how do you practice Buddhism if you are unwilling to follow the guru’s teachings? Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche will teach those ordained disciples and they need not to worry.

Those who just shared their experiences with you were not really repenting. They thought that everything would be fine after telling what they had to say and the karma would be eliminated. None of you are really repenting in order to reduce the future hindrances in learning Buddhism. You need to be valiant when you fall ill and “valiant” means that you need to be valiant in facing the karmic retribution resulting from your past acts. The Buddhist sutras mention that as a Buddhist practitioner, you must be valiant, because you need a lot of courage in facing life and death. But those of you who came up and repented were all wishing that bad things would not happen to you and thought that after repenting all would be fine. Many of you who have performed grand prostrations did not repent in a true sense either. You thought that bad things would happen if you did not do it, so you dare not go on without making grand prostrations. Right there, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told the disciples who were making grand prostrations in the Buddhist Center to stop and sit up. The guru pointed out that there was one disciple who went lying facing down without getting back up, doing only one full prostration, while the other disciple next to her had done it four or five times already. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche stated that if she had no strength to do that, there would be no need to make prostrations in the future. You didn’t believe that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had powerful eye sight and could see everything very clearly. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche further indicated that this disciple should not be making prostrations in the Buddhist Center any more, since the Buddhist Center was not a place for people to lie down and rest.

Yesterday, a disciple who took refuge a long time ago came to seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, saying that he would like to make an offering to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. He was holding a red envelope with the money offering inside, and as soon as he knelt down, he expressed his hope that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would help his elder with the Phowa, presenting a long list of requests. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche reiterated: I have mentioned it many times that an offering should be a pure offering, and it should not have any conditions attached for the guru. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is not promoting Buddhism for money. Just a few days ago, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche performed the Phowa for an ordained disciple who passed away recently, and she had not made offerings to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Maybe the elder of the disciple who came to make an offering yesterday was really not feeling well. But he should not have seen it as a matter of exchanging conditions. You also have seen that someone made an offering with a house, which was returned by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche; and still someone made an offering of NT$20,000,000, which Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had declined. As disciples you repeatedly commit faults, how do you expect Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to continue to teach you Buddhism?

The Phowa is extremely auspicious. In Tibet, when a family has someone who is about to pass away, they would go to a Buddhist temple and invite a Rinpoche to their home with the best offering that they can afford, and even have a temporary housing quarter set up specially for the Rinpoche. They would make an offering to the Rinpoche on behalf of the ill person on a daily basis, helping the patient accumulate blessed reward. When the Rinpoche has completed performing the Phowa and liberated the deceased, the family would make another offering with the best property and send him back to the temple respectfully. Now, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has simplified the procedure so that you don’t need to bother to respectfully invite the guru here and there. But you still make offerings with conditions attached. That is not the way it should be. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would help the deceased through the Phowa so that the deceased would go to a good place without any suffering at death. This is like helping you save a lot of money, time and energy, because having an ill person at home requires a lot of hard work. But you never think this way.

A believer came yesterday to implore Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for his ill mother, hoping that the guru could help her so that he could take his mother along on a tourist trip. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche pointed out: If you wanted to take your mother on a trip with you, why didn’t you do so when she was healthy? It is because you are afraid of taking care of a sick person.

The Ratnakuta Sutra mentions many stories about Buddha Shakyamuni reprimanding his disciples harshly. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked an ordained disciple to explain what it meant by “reprimanding harshly.” The ordained disciple replied: it means that the guru, while compassionately hoping that the disciple can truly mend his way, is pointing out the disciple’s fault in the strict and the most straightforward way. This is called “the straight mind is the Dharma place.”

Finally, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche stated in all earnestness: You do not have to be so sad, but you should all be seriously mending your way. As long as one person has not changed for the better, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would no longer teach Buddhism to disciples. The guru instructed the attendees to sit down and started conducting the Dharma Protector Achi.

« Previous Puja TeachingsNext »

Updated on July 21, 2012