His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s Puja Teachings – November 5, 2017

His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche ascended the Dharma throne. First, the guru led everyone in practicing the Dharma of Avalokiteshvara with recitation of the Great Six-Syllable Mantra, and then he continued teachings on the Universal Gate Chapter.

“The sutra reads, ‘View of Truth, view of purity. View of extensive wisdom. View of compassion and view of mercy. Constantly longed for, constantly looked up to.’

“The last time we were discussing the Universal Gate Chapter, we spoke of the line, ‘View of truth, view of purity.’ Every sentient being possesses the same conditions for attaining Buddhahood as the Buddha Himself. When we say ‘a Buddha nature’ or ‘Tathata,’ both describe being in possession of the capacity and conditions necessary to attain Buddhahood. Neither cultivation nor attaining Buddhahood is done for the sake of a few short decades of mundane desires and enjoyment. Some people think that after taking refuge, they will get healthier and their careers will improve. If you are someone who thinks like this, I urge you not to take refuge. If this is the impetus behind your taking refuge, then I advise you to remain a believer. As a believer, you will not be scolded by anyone; all you have to do is keep attending pujas. Taking refuge is another thing altogether. After you take refuge, your guru will definitely teach you the Dharma in accordance with what is written in the sutras.

“Some people labor under misconceptions, and wonder why it is necessary to take refuge. As I have said before, regarding those believers who have been participating in pujas all year: If, by the end of this December, they still have not implored to take refuge, then they should stop attending. In Buddhism, there is no such thing as ‘auditing classes.’ If you want to practice, you will practice; if you do not want to, then you will just be a believer. Being a believer means that when a Grand Puja is held, you will attend it to form affinities. The Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center is a place in which people are taught to practice the Dharma. If you are unwilling to learn it, and are only here to listen without intending to contemplate whether or not your thoughts and behavior are in keeping with it, or, after having thought it over, you choose not to amend any behavior that is causing you to reincarnate, then I urge you to stop coming. The Glorious Jewel is the only Buddhist center where people are told to stop attending. If you do not want to practice Buddhism, then don’t come; otherwise you might later slander the Buddha. If you come here full of desires, then one day when they are not met, you will talk nonsense and end up creating evil karma.

“Why can the Dharma help you to become free from suffering and obtain happiness? What exactly does the Dharma say? If you have come to believe in it merely for the sake of worldly affairs, then you would be better off following a non-Buddhist religion, because there you might get what you are after more quickly. However, there is no telling what will happen to you after that.

“‘Suffering of birth, senility, illness, and death, gradually would all be rendered extinct.’ Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara did not say he would immediately help you to resolve your suffering from birth, senility, illness, and death. It is not that Avalokiteshvara speaks too conservatively; rather, as Shakyamuni Buddha said, if all of the good and evil karma created by sentient beings throughout their lifetimes were solid matter, then the entire universe and void would still not be big enough to contain it. This means that only the Buddha can know of all the karma sentient beings have accumulated. Despite what you might think, it takes more than just five or ten years of practicing for all your problems to go away; it is not instantaneous. As for the debt you owe for all of the evil acts you have committed throughout your past lives, if you do not wish to repay it in this one, then you will do so when you die. Some of you with false views think that since you don’t know where you will go after you die, this lifetime matters most. You are wrong; if you do not purify your evil karma in this lifetime, then even if you have made prostrations to the Buddha and chanted His name, in the last five years before your death all of your evil karma will begin to mature.

“There are so many people these days lying sick in the hospital, undergoing surgery and being intubated; these are omens that they are headed to the Hell Realm. I frequently ask a lot of people how people in ancient times died. If they got a serious illness, they lay in bed at home, and simply passed away after taking their last breath—thus being spared a great deal of suffering. Nowadays, prior to death, people abed in the hospital get defibrillated, and the electric current causes one’s entire body to jump. They even are given intracardiac injections so that their hearts keep beating and they can’t die. These things all cause a lot of suffering. Nevertheless, none of you here believes that you will encounter such hardships before you die; you all think that if you have chanted the Buddha’s name and made prostrations to Him, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will protect and bless you and take you to the Pure Land. If you think this way, then you are outrageously wrong. Even in the Amitabha Sutra, it is written that you must not be lacking in good fortune, merits, causes, and conditions in order to be reborn there. If you do not take refuge, then how can you possess enough of those to make it to the Pure Land? Never mind imploring for the sake of your family members; you will not even be qualified to implore for yourself. No one believes in what is written in the sutras; you all think the Buddha spoke casually and is in need of believers.

“It is stated in the sutras very clearly that the Buddha told the truth, and only spoke fact; everything He said had to do with phenomena that actually exist in the universe. The Buddha told us about real issues; not a single word was meant to coax us or deceive us. Very few people in the Age of Degenerate Dharma are genuinely capable of accepting Buddhism. Everyone implores the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, including Avalokiteshvara, for protection, blessings, good health, and a successful business or career. In their hearts, people think, ‘Wow, Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara sure is powerful! I made prostrations and he took care of me.’ These days they even advertise these sorts of things in the media.

“After reading the Universal Gate Chapter up to this point, I haven’t seen it said anywhere that if you supplicate to Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara you will immediately strike it rich; nor does it say that will cause a married couple to stop quarreling or make disobedient children turn filial. It also does not say that if you make prostrations to Avalokiteshvara you will start to look like him, or that people will buy things from you; none of these is written. The Universal Gate Chapter is Avalokiteshvara’s sutra, yet nowhere within its pages are these things written; what, then, makes you think they are true? In Their wisdom, the Buddha and Avalokiteshvara would not have forgotten to mention them; we are the ones who constantly forget this and that. Because the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas possess the ‘view of Truth, view of purity,’ they view this world from within their Dharma nature and a state of Samadhi.

“A ‘view of purity’ does not mean it is not dirty; it means the Bodhisattvas do not gives rise to afflictions—not even those as tiny as a mote of dust. They are not attached to good or bad, having or not having, or reincarnation and nirvana; They are completely devoid of even an iota of affliction, and view the world by way of their wisdom. Why is the word ‘look’ not used? To ‘view’ implies entering Samadhi; in the sutras, it is written that Bodhisattvas always view things from within the state of samadhi, rather than simply using their physical eyes or consciousness. They also are not influenced into looking by any external forces; they view it from within their Dharma nature. Bodhisattvas of the First Ground cannot view mundane affairs as clearly as those of the Second Ground, and those of the Second cannot view them as well as those of the Third. It is not that the merits of those of the Second Ground are double those of the First; rather, they jump upward, and become purer and purer.

“Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara does not see suffering in all that chaotic mundane nonsense; suffering is brought upon oneself. Anything you desire is brought upon yourself, too; you can live without it just the same. No one believes that the suffering people experience in their last five years before they die will influence them to the point of falling into the Three Evil Realms; people just think that if a doctor can spare their lives for one more day, then that is one more day they get to live. People in the Age of Degenerate Dharma all rely on science and technology to save their lives. It is obvious that Buddhism can save them, but no one believes in it. You have been coming here for so many years, yet you still do not believe in the Dharma. You only believe in the things you want. Some people hope to hurry up and go to Amitabha’s Pure Land immediately after taking refuge, but what makes them think that they can? With so few good fortune, merits, causes, and conditions, not having formed an aspiration or cultivated the Ten Meritorious Acts, and having shown insufficient reverence for their guru, they do not have a shred of respect or sincerity. Lord Jigten Sumgön once said that the fastest method of achieving attainment is to sincerely and respectfully implore the Dharma from one’s guru. You, however, implore on the basis of your desires.

“You cannot comprehend Tantra, yet Exoteric practitioners have all heard about this: How did the Second Patriarch of the Zen Sect implore the Dharma? He cut off one of his own arms and knelt in the snow all night long. When Bodhidharma came out later, he said, ‘That’ll about do it.’ I am not asking you to hack your limbs off in front of me; I have not attained the level of a Dharmakaya Bodhisattva, so I could not put them back for you. However, from this it is evident that imploring the Dharma without respect yields no good fortune. Thus, the sutras often teach us to make obeisance; they do not teach us to merely throw a casual glance toward a Buddha statue and then turn our heads.

“Only a Dharmakaya Bodhisattva can achieve having a ‘view of truth, view of purity,’ because only a Dharmakaya Bodhisattva can exist in a state of Dharma nature and Tathata. Dharma nature is like a mirror reflecting all the various mundane phenomena. When practicing Buddhism, one must cultivate the Five Wisdoms, one of which is the Wisdom of the Great Perfect Mirror. This means one’s pure, original nature is like a mirror; it is eternally unmoving. When we stand in front of a mirror and view ourselves, the mirror does not change. If you look at the same mirror from the time you are little to when you have grown old, will the mirror have aged, too? No. Perhaps the mercury coating on the back of it will have eroded a bit, that’s all. As you grow older, you get taller, but the mirror’s height does not change. This is just a metaphor; a pure Dharma nature is like a mirror that has never moved; what has moved is you, moving back and forth before it. Avalokiteshvara has never moved, which is the only reason he can very purely view the myriad affairs of the mundane world and not have his thoughts enticed by any desires or afflictions. No matter how good you are to him, and no matter how many things you give him, he still will not move; he will simply teach you and help you based on your causes, effects, and karma. Being able to attain such a state is not easy; only those that can rise to the level of Dharmakaya can attain a ‘view of truth, view of purity.’

“I would not dare to claim I had attained the level of a Dharmakaya, but at the very least I frequently refuse offerings. If your mindset is wrong, I do not want yours. How can I see this? It is because my mind is pure. I do not base my decision on whether or not you have money; it completely depends on your attitude. If your attitude is correct, then I will accept your offerings no matter how small or large they are. If you have the wrong attitude, then I will not accept any of your offerings, big or small. That is why I never accepted a certain disciple’s offering of NT$20 million or told him I will help him to eliminate his karmic hindrances. How could they be eliminated? If I had accepted this offering, then he would have gone home and gotten into a quarrel with his father.

“Many people do not understand the line, ‘view of truth, view of purity.’ They think using the Dharma to view something is a ‘view of truth,’ and that seeking nothing is a ‘view of purity.’ Nonetheless, ‘seeking nothing’ here indicates that one is still ‘seeking.’ Therefore, ‘view of truth, view of purity’ means being immovable, with a mind like your pure, original Dharma nature in that it is completely immovable. If you have not attained a ‘view of truth, view of purity,’ yet you still think you can liberate sentient beings, then you are bound to do them harm; until you have recovered your pure, original, nature, it is very hard to help sentient beings. People these days feel that practicing Buddhism is very difficult because they have not made a firm resolution. What are we practicing for? It is to prepare for the great affairs of life and death that we all encounter. You might wonder, ‘Do we really have to make preparations so soon?’ That you say the word ‘soon’ means you do not believe in death and impermanence, and that everything can change at any time. The Buddha once asked His disciples, ‘How do people die?’ The disciples replied with many different answers. The Buddha said, ‘People die after they stop being able draw breath.’ Many argue that people can be brought back to life even after they stop breathing. True; they can be saved—but what is brought back is just a corpse; can such people still have consciousness? They rely on instruments to keep their lungs and hearts pumping. As long as the cells in their lungs and hearts have not died, then those organs will continue to function, but when we speak of ‘death’ in Buddhism, we are referring to the consciousness no longer affecting the body.

“If you do not practice with this concept in mind, then what are you doing here? Do you think your business will flourish after you take refuge? If that is the case, then you might as well not take refuge. You think you will become a better person after you take refuge, and that the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will make those people with whom you have an affinity come and do business with you. According to your thinking, I should just focus every day on making my business prosper. I am someone who mastered the Jambhala while in retreat, yet not once have I ever performed the Jambhala for the sake of my own business. I only perform it once a year, for my disciples’ benefit, because they have made offerings to the Three Jewels; ordinarily, I do not perform it.

“Today I am speaking the truth, but none of you want to hear it. You just want to hear some advice on how to strike it rich or get healthy. Such matters are mentioned in the Dharma text, but you must first be a practitioner, because practitioners with good health and riches can help a lot of sentient beings. If you were to hit the jackpot, you would first buy yourselves a car, then a house, and then help out your parents and siblings; after that, you would let your spouse make business investments, and then finally you would buy some nice clothes for yourselves. What do these things have to do with helping sentient beings?

“A guru without ‘view of truth, view of purity’ is quite liable to be led astray by offers of fame and fortune. The more disciples one takes on, the easier it is to lose one’s way. Many disciples think that if they treat their guru well, he will do the same in return and make them lucky. Do I treat His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang well or don’t I? Anyone with eyes can see that I do, yet have I gotten extremely lucky and wealthy? I have not.

“If you are practicing Buddhism without frequently contemplating impermanence, and just living day to day, then you are doing it wrong; once you stop breathing, you will be gone. In Tantra it is taught—and some people are cultivating this Dharma method; I have taught it, too—that before going to sleep each night, one should visualize that he or she is dead. We die once a day; all the cells in the human body die once every seven years—this is all called fragmentary birth and death. In each breath we take, that pause between inhaling and exhaling is also a life and death; if the next breath does not come, you will die. This principle keeps evading you; you assume you are continuously breathing, when actually there is a very short pause between inhaling and exhaling, during which you have died. If you still have any longevity left, then you will draw the next breath; if not, then your next breath will not come. It is that simple. Then why do you insist on pursuing so many things? However, practitioners do not merely sit idling by, waiting to stop breathing so that they can go to the Pure Land. That sort of thinking is wrong, too, because it is written in the Amitabha Sutra that one must not be lacking in good fortune, merits, causes, and conditions to be reborn there.

“When we lay practitioners go to work, we are also serving the masses. If, while working, we do not view what we do as ‘work,’ but rather think to ourselves that by going to work that day, anything we understand can help our bosses earn a bit more money so that they can hire some more employees and liven up this society’s economy, then this, too, is giving alms. There is no disgusting work; if you hate your work, then why would you take a paycheck? A disciple who was working in my Glorious Jewel Group said he had lost at a video game he was playing, and as a result could not get up in time to go to work in the morning. How despicable! He had even graduated from a well-known Taiwanese educational institution. His family would be sad to hear about this behavior of his, wouldn’t you say? Even if he practiced Buddhism, it would not be of any use to him. Practicing means taking responsibility; in this world, in this lifetime, one must fulfill one’s responsibilities of being a human. If you cannot succeed in the Human Realm, then you will not be able to in the Dharma Realm, either. If you cannot even abide by human principles very well, then what exactly are you cultivating? You cannot possibly attain Buddhahood.

“Some people hope that by continuously chanting, they can coexist peacefully with their cancer cells. As I have said many times, when I had cancer, I never performed the Dharma for myself, yet none of you has gotten that through your head. I did not try to deal with my cancer cells; I did not even have any thoughts of peacefully coexisting with them. You even say you are repenting because you have harmed a great many sentient beings. How many times have I publicly told you how I implored the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and my guru? ‘If this illness is good for me in that it can prevent me from falling into the Three Evil Realms, then I beseech you to let me succumb to it.’ The more I said that, the more the Bodhisattvas kept me from being sick. Would you dare to say that? You would say, ‘Bodhisattva, please don’t make me fall ill; if I stay healthy, then I can chant more mantras to benefit sentient beings.’ What utter nonsense! You are constantly trying to swindle the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and everyone else in the world. Have you chanted and attained a ‘view of truth, view of purity’? If you have not, then how can you benefit sentient beings? You are all just wasting time; not a single one of you has listened. I am the same as you in that I used to be a believer; the reason I cultivated to the point of being a guru today is that I did as I was told. Lord Jigten Sumgön also once said that respect is obedience. Do you do as you are told?

“You are all counting your own chickens, thinking that practicing Buddhism can make things go better for you or treating it as a leisure activity. As it was pointed out earlier, as soon as a person stops drawing breath, he or she dies. Actually, with every second of the day we have taken another step forward along the road to death. The days we are now living were given to us because we have this responsibility and causal condition to do it well. That does not mean hoping to obtain some sort of good result; rather, it means doing our best in accordance with our responsibility, without worrying about where our karmic retribution will manifest. If you do this, then whether you are a wife, a husband, a child, an employer, or an employee, you will always be looking after others. You say that you want to do well by sentient beings, but you completely refuse to accept the Dharma. Real Buddhism is not practiced in order to live in comfort for the few short decades you are here in this world, nor is it to cure your physical ailments; even non-Buddhist religions can help with those things. The difference between those and Buddhism is that they do not address the matters of reincarnation and becoming liberated from life and death; only Buddhism does. Even if there are some religions in India whose adherents are aware of reincarnation, they do not know how reincarnation comes about or how to escape it; only the Dharma provides a real solution.

“The point of teaching so many Dharma methods and expounding so much from the sutras is to urge sentient beings in this Age of Degenerate Dharma to listen and to believe—yet no one does. In the Amitabha Sutra, it is written that in this evil time of the Five Turbidities, Dharmas are spoken which are difficult to believe. This does not mean that the Dharmas are literally hard to believe; it means it is not easy to make you believe in them. This is because during this evil time of the Five Turbidities, the problem associated with the view turbidity is most serious; even those of you who have come to learn Buddhism and listen to the Dharma have a heap of your own opinions. You do not listen, and as a result, neither Mahayana, Hinayana, nor Vajrayana Buddhism is any of your business. Hinayana teaches us how to break away from our afflictions; Mahayana teaches us how to benefit countless sentient beings; and Vajrayana teaches us how to attain Buddhahood in the future. If you are burdened under an enormous pile of desires, then how can you practice? I am constantly reminding everyone that if your purpose in participating in the pujas is not to practice Buddhism, then any good fortune you accumulate will only be of use in your future lifetimes; you cannot use it in this one. It is not very likely that any new good fortune will appear for you in this lifetime unless you listen to your guru and continuously implement my teachings. The reason I often take you from place to place, doing this and that, and continue to hold the Grand Pujas, is to help you to accumulate new good fortune. As long as you have a single erroneous thought, then this new good fortune, too, will only be useful after this lifetime; you will not be able to use it in this one.

“The sutra reads, ‘View of extensive wisdom.’

“The wisdom of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas is boundless—especially that of Dharmakaya Bodhisattvas, all of whom can rid sentient beings of any afflictions they give rise to. Bodhisattvas do not become wise because they are Bodhisattvas; as I have said before, every sentient being innately possesses the wisdom of Emptiness. Wisdom is integrated with Tathata. However, because we spend our lifetimes in the suffering sea of reincarnation, accumulating a great number of afflictions from delusions, so our pure wisdom is being covered up. We practice the Dharma in this lifetime in the hope that by immersing ourselves in Buddhist teachings, and subsequently changing how we think and speak, we can then integrate this acquired wisdom with our primordial wisdom, thereby truly unlocking our innate wisdom. Many people come and ask me to give them wisdom, but how can I give it? Neither His Holiness nor the Buddha have given me any wisdom; it comes through cultivation.

“Wisdom is very vast. In Tantra it is said that even words spoken by a three-year-old child could be wiser than those of Buddhist practitioners such as ourselves; a child’s reasoning could be more profound than our own because he or she has not been subjected to as much impurity. Whether we are speaking about the Dharma or anything else, our decades’ worth of defilement have gotten mixed up with our principles of experience and vital interests.

“Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara has a very clear understanding of the various phenomena of the Six Realms. He knows how every cause and effect came about, and teaches us how to reduce our evil causes and even eliminate their evil effects. I told you this when you took refuge, too, but teaching you something is useless if you do not put it into practice. If you have neither developed your primordial wisdom nor cultivated any acquired wisdom, then you have no wisdom at all; you merely know of the Dharmas that ordinary people can comprehend. A string of Buddhist sayings come out of your mouths, but you have not exhibited these lessons with your thoughts and actions. The problem is that you have not cultivated a ‘view of truth, view of purity, view of extensive wisdom.’ Only once you attain these views will you realize a ‘view of compassion and view of mercy.’

“Being compassionate does not mean looking at you and feeling sorry for you. It refers to having the ability to help sentient beings and get them through to the other side. This means being able to liberate them. Any practitioner who is unable to do so cannot be compassionate. Compassion is neither affected nor thought up. When we first started learning Buddhism, the compassion we felt was affected and deliberately thought up; based on our own principles of experience, we transformed our attached love into vast kindness, but it was still artificial. Genuine compassion is Emptiness and knowing that conditions arise and cease; it is not being attached to the idea that we must liberate certain sentient beings, or even all of them. It is like a section in the Chod Ritual: ‘In this lifetime, I vow to liberate those sentient beings that the Buddha did not liberate in the past.’ This, too, is something that you are incapable of.

“To have a ‘view of compassion and view of mercy’ you absolutely must have attained the compassion of Emptiness. After I came back from performing the puja down south, and got sick, His Holiness said that I do not have sufficient Emptiness or compassion. Even though I had liberated all those sentient beings, I still did not possess enough Emptiness or compassion, so my physical body was harmed. Whether you are learning Buddhism or liberating sentient beings, your best protection is compassion. This is why, in the Ratnakuta Sutra, Shakyamuni Buddha kept teaching that absolutely no one who has attained the fruition of a Bodhisattva can be arrogant. When you give rise to arrogance, your compassion weakens, and your Emptiness disappears; as a result, your Bodhicitta will retrogress. Only if you are compassionate can the power of your compassion begin to emerge. Being compassionate does not involve urging people to chant the Buddhas’ names, do good deeds, speak good-sounding words, or encourage others to make pilgrimages; this is not compassion. It is merely helping sentient beings to form connections with the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and form good affinities. True compassion is taking the best parts of yourself and exchanging them for the worst parts of sentient beings, and leading them through to the opposite shore. Compassion is a special word in Buddhism; it is not a slogan. You have to learn how to cultivate it; only then can its power appear. Prior to that, you must observe the precepts, the Thirty-Seven Practices of Bodhisattvas, and the Ten Meritorious Acts. If your goal in taking refuge was to become successful in your business, then compassion will have nothing to do with you, because as soon as you gave rise to greed, you became impure, and had the wrong motive for taking refuge. Without the correct motive, you naturally will not be able to obtain your guru’s and the Bodhisattvas’ blessings.

“Because Avalokiteshvara possesses views of truth, purity, extensive wisdom, compassion, and mercy, we should ‘constantly long for’ and ‘constantly look up to’ him, but that does not mean you will always be allowed to look upon a Buddha statue just because you want to. For example, in some countries there are no Buddha statues, and in some places people are not allowed to place them in their homes; they do not have many chances to look upon a solemn Buddha statue. For this reason, Dharma photos are often used in Tibetan Buddhism so that you may more conveniently carry them with you. In Tibetan Buddhism, you are often expected to long for and look up to your guru. It is not that we require you to keep looking at us like this; rather, the point is, who has seen what a Bodhisattva looks like? All the Buddha statues we can see now were fashioned in the likenesses of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas as visualized by past master practitioners while in a state of samadhi; hence the name, ‘Dharma image.’ Dharma images transform over time because the hearts of sentient beings change. For example, prior to the Song Dynasty, images depicted Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara as having a moustache; after the Song Dynasty, it disappeared. Also, his image began to look more and more feminine. This was because the hearts of those worshiping him were changing. People only have a few short decades on this Earth; for example, if someone born in the late Tang Dynasty were to live to the Song Dynasty and saw a statue of Avalokiteshvara without a beard, he or she would not be accustomed to it and would not know how to worship him. This has historical origins.

“‘Constantly longed for’ has to do with the vows you have made, and ‘constantly looked up to’ means forever having opportunities to look up to them. That does not mean you have to gaze upon a Buddha statue every single day. For example, for people cultivating Tantra, during generation stage of the Kriyayoga and Charyayoga, they will visualize the yidam with each thought, but that of course does not mean you can. If I were to enter samadhi right now, I would immediately visualize and look up to the yidam; this is what is truly meant by ‘constantly longed for, constantly looked up to.’ Looking at Buddha statues is just a convenient way of practicing this, because you are not able to visualize. You would say, ‘You taught us to visualize Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara’s eyebrows and so on, so that’s what I was visualizing.’ That would be wrong, too; as we previously talked about regarding ‘view of truth, view of purity,’ when you visualize the Buddha’s image without being in the state of samadhi, no blessings occur. What can enable us to constantly long for and constantly look up to the Buddha? That is a Tantric method. Can you continuously stare in silence at a Buddha statue for twenty-four hours? ‘Constantly’ means eternally and at all times; each of your thoughts must remain with the yidam. Lord Jigten Sumgön instructed us to be respectful toward our guru because our guru has a relatively close relationship with us. When you think about your guru, you at least can bring to mind your guru’s appearance. For example, a disciple once had a stroke and was on the verge of death, but as soon as he visualized my fierce countenance, he immediately hurried back to life (for a detailed account, refer to Traces of Liberating Beings #508).

“I am not telling you to go to a temple and sit and stare at a Buddha statue for an hour straight; an hour is just an hour. If you look up at statues of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in the main hall of a temple for twenty-four hours, the abbot will ask you to leave; no one would dare do such a thing. This line concerns Tantra, and means something different from what you would imagine; in Tantra, those who have mastered Kriyayoga and Charyayoga can visualize the yidam before them with a single thought. That does not mean the yidam will come to you; it means your Eighth Consciousness is filled with Buddha images and the yidam’s appearance. If your mind is impure, and you worship Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara in the hope that he will make your business thrive, then you will not be able to visualize him. Even if you look at a statue of Avalokiteshvara for a long time, or even a whole year, then after a while of not looking, you will only remember certain special aspects of his appearance, and will forget the rest.

“In Tantra, visualizing a yidam is like those first few words we just recited during the Avalokiteshvara ritual. It appeared like we were reciting, but it was all visualization. There are also some piths I have not spoken to you yet. Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara wears necklaces of precious stones, and jewelry around his wrists. I have not told you why, but the reasons are written in the text. Until you have cultivated Yogatantra, I won’t speak to you about them.

“‘Constantly longed for, constantly looked up to’ does not mean sitting in a temple and continuously staring at a Buddha statue, never to leave; it implies that you must wholeheartedly make vows to be reborn in the Pure Land. Only if you do this will you be able to focus on this thought when you are dying. Every time we chant mantras, we have the yidam in front of us, and nothing else. Why should you enunciate each syllable of a mantra with crystal clarity? It indicates that your thoughts follow along closely, so if you chant each mantra very clearly, without slurring from syllable to syllable—for example, when chanting ‘Om Mani Padme Hum,’ after chanting the ‘Hum’ syllable, if your breath stops, then that last syllable will cause you to follow the yidam. If you slur your words, then your next thought will be brought out. Despite what you might think, constantly chanting over and over will not cause Amitabha to appear. If you read closely what is written in the Amitabha Sutra, it says, ‘chant once, chant twice, chant up to ten times.’ If you cannot succeed with your first thought, no worries; if you do it twice, and ten times at most, and still have not succeeded, then your efforts have failed. This is what using computers these days is like; if you fail to enter a password three times in a row, you are locked out. Chanting is like this, too; you cannot simply chant a lot and then be able to go to the Pure Land. We can see it written very clearly in the Amitabha Sutra, and this is connected with the line about constantly longing for and looking up to.

“Why, in Tantra, do we say that the guru is the yidam? You see me very often, so it is quite easy for you to bring my image to mind. Whenever I transmit any of the yidam’s Dharmas, I am the yidam’s representative. You don’t need to think about it anymore; Amitabha Buddha is in the Western Pure Land of Utmost Bliss, ten trillion Buddha Lands distant—a distance equivalent to the diameter of ten trillion Milky Way galaxies from here, which is very far indeed.

“On the surface, this line seems to be about explaining the sutra, but actually, every line is Tantra. Anyone who has never cultivated Tantra before can only explain ‘View of truth, view of purity / View of extensive wisdom’ literally, and has to stop at the ‘Constantly longed for, constantly looked up to’ line because such a person cannot explain any further. As I mentioned earlier, you cannot stare at a Buddha statue for twenty-four hours straight, so making this sort of vow would be superfluous. If that were the case this line would not have been written in the sutra. This indicates there is a Dharma method contained within. Any guru who has neither learned nor achieved even the slightest attainment in Tantra would mistakenly explain this as meaning that you should aspire to look at Buddha statues at all times.

“The sutra reads, ‘Light of purity that is blemish-free. Sun of wisdom destroying all darkness, capable of pacifying calamities of wind or fire; Universal clarity illuminating the world.’

“‘Blemish-free’ means not even the tiniest affliction exists; not even one as small as a mote of dust. This means that only when all one’s delusions are gone can one see this light of purity appear. Every single sentient being possesses it, but we have blemishes that conceal this pure light from us. In other words, when a person makes progress along the path of cultivation, he or she will seem to look brighter. Even if you have dark skin, a sort of glow will emanate from beneath it, because you do not have as many afflictions anymore. If a person becomes darker the more he or she practices, this indicates a dark mind; Buddhist practitioners cultivating properly would not practice to the point that their faces grew darker and darker.

“Everyone possesses this sort of light, and can unlock it, but must do so according to Buddhist methods. It cannot be done immediately or even within five or ten years; it takes a while. The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas only make sound after They emit light. If we have not developed our pure light anew, then the vile light we emit will keep us from being in contact with Their pure light. Is there any special color to this light of purity? No, but at the same time, yes. The purest light is white, but this white contains other colors as well. This has to do with Tantra.

“When chanting mantras not for the sake of our own health, wealth, or family members, light of purity is what appears. We cannot see it, nor can any instruments detect it, but the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, devas, nagas, and others of the eight groups of beings are all aware of it. It is like how, a while back, I visited a temple down south; as soon as I began chanting mantras, all the local deities approached, for they could see it. As is mentioned in the Sutra of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s Fundamental Vows, if you chant Ksitigarbha’s mantra ten thousand times a day, every day for a year, ghosts and deities will come to protect your home, because your light of purity will have appeared.

“Thus, this is the reason meat must not be eaten in a Buddhist practitioner’s home. Some of you think it is okay to cook meat for your family members as long as you yourselves remain vegetarian. Do you think you are the Sixth Patriarch Huineng? Only he was qualified to do this, because he had the ability to liberate sentient beings. Why are Muslims able to completely abstain from eating pork, whereas Buddhists cannot hold firm to their beliefs? We must not quarrel with our family members over our practice, but the point is, have you yourself changed? Once you actually have, then naturally your family members will gradually accept it.

“I once had a disciple who would sneak off and eat crab (for a detailed account, refer to Traces of Liberating Beings #209). As a result, she became completely paralyzed; her mouth crooked, and could no longer walk. She had to be carried in here to seek an audience. I saved her life, and now she and her two children are living happily. If I had not helped her that time, can you imagine how much money they would have had to spend each month as someone who had suffered a stroke? At the current going rate for in-home care of NT$2,000 a day, after ten years it would have cost them NT$7.2 million. Look how much money I saved them!

“If we have not attained a ‘View of truth, view of purity / View of extensive wisdom / View of compassion and view of mercy,’ then our undefiled light of purity cannot emerge. The blessings bestowed upon you by the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and the guru are light, and light is energy; if my mind gives rise to afflictions, then my light will be impure. For example, I was only able to save them because I did not think about getting anything in return. If I had afflictions and delusions, then not only would I not be able to help people, but I wouldn’t even be able to deal with my own problems.

Practically every Buddhist practitioner has read the Universal Gate Chapter, but how much do you understand about Avalokiteshvara’s actual power and cultivation? This is not something that only he possesses; actually, every sentient being can cultivate it. However, none of you does as you are told; you all just treat these words as myth. It is only because Avalokiteshvara was able to cultivate the aforementioned powers that his undefiled light of purity could appear and shine upon sentient beings universally.

“‘Sun of wisdom destroying all darkness.’ Like sunlight, the light of Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara’s wisdom can illuminate all darkness. If we have not been blessed and guided by the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and our gurus, then we will remain in constant darkness without realizing it. Darkness means dwelling in endless affliction and suffering and reincarnating in the great sea of life and death; however, we keep enjoying ourselves, with neither worry nor fear. ‘Sun of wisdom’ means the light of wisdom is as strong as that of the sun, but because we are full of desires, we cannot sense it. Yesterday someone who had come seeking audience said, ‘Rinpoche, I have participated in many pujas and listened to the sutras, yet I have never felt with a sense of Dharma joy.’ I told him, ‘Don’t assume that being filled with Dharma joy means feeling better or as though you are a bit lighter after participating in a puja.’

“I would take this opportunity to teach you about it. ‘Dharmas’ are methods that can help us to become liberated from reincarnation. Have you got that through your heads yet? Do you accept that? Do you want to be liberated or not? If you do not, then what does ‘joy’ have to do with you? It would take more than a month to explain the word ‘joy.’ There are many different kinds of joy; being filled with Dharma joy does not mean the happiness we feel from having our desires met, nor is it an emotional feeling or something that satisfies certain thoughts. When we feel ‘filled with Dharma joy,’ it is because we have learned a method to break the cycle of reincarnation, and we absolutely believe in this method. Only this eternal joy can be filled in our original, pure nature. This sort of joy is not the feeling one gets from such mundane events as striking it rich or getting married.

“‘Sun of wisdom destroying all darkness’ means that the darkness of all 84,000 types of mundane afflictions is dispelled by blessings of the intense light of wisdom. This is why I said, when you were taking refuge, that if the motive of your aspiration is correct, then it can help you to alleviate your evil karma and even eliminate it; this line is where that concept comes from. Your guru uses the light of his wisdom to bless you and help you to gradually recover your pure Dharma nature. This is why I will only save you once from getting ill or having an accident; I use the light of my wisdom to disperse the darkness of your karma. However, if you do not practice after that and do not do as you are told, I can do nothing for you. Why is that? It is because you do not accept this sunlight; you just keep hiding from it, unwilling to let it shine upon you. Originally, the light of wisdom should be able to shine upon the entire Dharma Realm, but many sentient beings evade it, not wanting to be illuminated, so they cannot be liberated. It is not people who hide; it is their minds. Their minds will not accept the light, and they block it with their own thoughts.

“After we understand this, we can go on to the next line: ‘Capable of pacifying calamities of wind or fire.’ Cumulatively, everything Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara said previously can subdue all manner of mundane disasters. Thus, each time a typhoon is about to hit, I always perform the Chod for two days, because its yidam is Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. This causes a typhoon to do the least amount of damage and harm possible to people; this is based on these lines.

“‘Universal clarity illuminating the world.’ This word ‘universal’ does not mean common or normal; it means Avalokiteshvara illuminates all sentient beings of the Six Realms equally, regardless of whether they are virtuous or evil. Even hell is illuminated the same. So why are there still sentient beings in hell? Their karma has not yet matured, so until then, they cannot sense the Bodhisattva’s light. Shining down on the Hell Realm can purify the karma of these sentient beings and help them to repay their karmic debt from past lives sooner.

“Therefore, many of you come here repenting, thinking that everything will be fine after that. Not so! Rather, it is only after you repent that the pure light of the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and the guru can illuminate your mind, allowing you to repay your karmic debt sooner for all the evil acts you have committed in your past lives. Only after that will you be fine. Many people think that after they start practicing Buddhism, their health will improve and their families will grow harmonious and happy, attributing these results to their own diligent practice, but this is not necessarily so. As soon as I started practicing, I went bankrupt. It was not that the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas were trying to give me a hard time; I was very happy to have an opportunity to repay my debt and experience the various sufferings of the mundane world sooner rather than later. None of you wishes to experience suffering, so you don’t understand where it comes from. For example, if I told you this cup of tea was bitter, no matter how much I explained to you that it was, you would not be able to experience its bitterness for yourselves until you actually tasted it. Only after drinking it would you know how bitter it was, and then next time you would not drink any more of it. None of you wants to suffer, but suffering is bound to happen. Even if you do not suffer at all in this lifetime, and everything goes completely smoothly for you, you at the very least will experience the suffering of death, and like everyone else, you will have to accept the anguish of the four major disintegrations of earth, wind, water, and fire; they cannot be avoided.

“We can only be liberated by way of the Buddhas’ and Bodhisattvas’ light of purity, which shines indiscriminately upon this world of reincarnation. They do not just come to receive us after we have died and someone is chanting Their names; rather, at every second of every day, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are constantly receiving us. It is just that we are not willing to be taken. Furthermore, if you have not repaid the good and evil karmic debt you owe in this lifetime, you will not be able to die even if you want to. As is written in the Sutra of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s Fundamental Vows, when so many people fall into a coma and get seriously ill before they die, it is because their karmic creditors from past lives have come to collect any unpaid debt, and are preventing them from both dying and living comfortably. This causes the family members to have to keep paying medical bills until they begin to feel resentment, and in the end, they cause the deceased to create more evil karma, and that sends him or her down to the Hell Realm. This is mentioned many times in the Sutra of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s Fundamental Vows. I would not dare claim to be an expert on transferring consciousness, but I have liberated quite a few people. This sort of thing happens to every dying person. Many people hope to spare their parents from the suffering of illness, but only if their parents have good fortune can they leave that suffering behind. If you are disrespectful toward the Three Jewels and your guru, then how can you escape illness and suffering? Is it enough to simply come here, make a few prostrations, and seek an audience or two? If that were the case, then given Shakyamuni Buddha’s and Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara’s great compassion, no one in this world should suffer or be sick.

“The light of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas has never stopped shining. As I have often said, the guru’s light has never stopped, either. So why are you unable to sense it? It is because you have switched off your receivers. At every second of the day, the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and meritorious gurus are constantly receiving you, but you will not let Them. You keep thinking that your health will improve if you chant a bit more, and that then you can decide whether or not to die—but it is not up to you; it is up to your karma and good fortune. The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas cannot make this decision for you, either, unless you have made a great aspiration like I have—vowing that if death is good for me, then let me die; if death can keep me from falling into the Three Evil Realms, then please let me die. Before I started learning Tantra, I was imploring like this without anyone having taught me to do so. Nevertheless, despite my supplications, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas kept me here, because I owed too much to sentient beings. You, by contrast, would implore for long life so that you could chant more and be guaranteed rebirth in the Pure Land, so no matter how much you supplicate, you cannot get what you want.

“‘Universal clarity illuminating the world.’ Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara shines his light constantly, without choosing when or where or on whom. It is just that you have not received it; your afflicted mind is blocking the light, so it cannot illuminate your Dharma nature, and you cannot experience it. Why do some of you participating in the Grand Pujas cry when you see me? This is because blessings from the Buddhas, the Bodhisattvas, and the guru can help you to unlock the original, compassionate nature you have always possessed. When this compassionate nature is suddenly revealed, you will feel like crying, as though emotional at having just seen a long-lost family member. It is not that I feel pity for you so you are moved and cry; with twenty thousand attendees, how can I feel pity for each and every one of them? A meritorious guru can unlock the compassion for believers and disciples. However, if you pursue this feeling every time, then you will be in trouble, because the crying demons will exploit your weaknesses and enter you. Do not become attached to the hope of feeling any certain way each time you see me. As long as you remember that this pure light from the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas is constantly, eternally shining upon you, and as long as you are willing to listen and put what you are told into practice, then whenever your time comes, this light will be able to receive you, and you will not even need to implore it. Do not wonder how many times you have to chant to be able to go to the Pure Land. If you put your absolute trust in the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, and your guru, then ‘universal clarity illuminating the world’ will work on you.

“The sutra reads, ‘Embodiment of compassion and vows strikes open one’s mind like thunder. Merciful intentions form wondrous huge clouds.’

“This line, ‘embodiment of compassion and vows strikes open one’s mind like thunder,’ is very difficult to explain. Others might explain it as meaning compassion has a body in and of itself, and that, with the addition of the vows, is like thunder. For example, many people say I am very strict, and reprimand them like thunder. This is not how I would explain it. The ‘embodiment of compassion’ refers to Bodhicitta. Without Bodhicitta, you absolutely cannot walk the Bodhisattva Path. Bodhicitta’s prerequisite is compassion; once you are compassionate, and have cultivated the compassion of Emptiness, Bodhicitta will appear. If your guru has not transmitted the Bodhicitta Vow to you, then even if you have been transmitted the Bodhisattva Vow, you still will not be able to learn Bodhicitta. Usually, at the beginning of every puja, we start out by reciting a prayer to give rise to Bodhicitta, and once it has, we hope it will not diminish. The Bodhicitta Vow in fact is the Bodhisattva Vow. A Bodhisattva who has not kept this vow cannot help sentient beings. Do not assume that doing good deeds means you have compassion and are cultivating Bodhicitta; that is not true, for you absolutely must observe the Bodhicitta Vow. When you first take refuge, you observe the Five Precepts as our fundamental precepts; when you are ready to cultivate the Bodhisattva Path, your guru will transmit the Bodhicitta Vow to you. Once that has occurred, this Vow becomes the foundation for all Dharmas. Only if you see the Bodhicitta Vow as the body for all Dharmas will it seem like thunder striking open that defiant mind of yours. Gurus who have cultivated this Vow will scold you, drive you away, beat you, and throw displeased looks your way because we wish to shock open your mind which has been covered by so much defilement. Attempting to perform this Dharma method without Bodhicitta will yield negative results. Someone once saw how fierce I was toward my disciples, and the more I scolded them, the more disciples I had; he therefore decided to copy me. As a result, the moment he scolded them, all but one of his disciples ran off.

“If you do not use Bodhicitta as the body for all Dharmas, then you will just be mimicking someone else’s idiosyncrasies and end up making a fool of yourself. You must receive transmission of the Bodhicitta Vow from your guru and begin to cultivate Bodhicitta. There are two types of Bodhicitta: Worldly Bodhicitta, and ultimate Bodhicitta. When your worldly Bodhicitta begins to have effect and take form, you will very quickly and very naturally attain ultimate Bodhicitta. These are not two separate things; they are both Bodhicitta. Before you have realized your pure, original nature, we would use many different expedient methods to enable you to become aware of Bodhicitta. Once you have realized your pure nature and attained Emptiness, that is when your ultimate Bodhicitta will naturally appear. Without Bodhicitta, you cannot shake apart the defilement sentient beings have become wrapped in through lifetime after lifetime of evil acts or help them to recover their pure Dharma nature; they then cannot be illuminated by the light of purity. The auspiciousness of Tantra lies not in how powerful its mantras are, but in that all Tantric practitioners must receive transmission of the Bodhicitta Vow and must cultivate Bodhicitta. Only then can its power break sentient beings away from their good and evil karma, revealing their pure Dharma nature. The instant it is revealed, they are illuminated by the light of purity, and only then can their seeds for attaining Buddhahood in the future be planted.

“A lot of people keep claiming that Shakyamuni Buddha did not transmit Tantra. That is wrong; Tantra is not spoken or transmitted in public, but many Tantras are hidden in the sutras. It is very easy for us to explain this line the wrong way—‘Embodiment of compassion and vows strikes open one’s mind like thunder’—and taken literally, it is quite difficult to know what it refers to. If you have practiced Tantrayana, you know that this line comprises the activities and compassion of all of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. You can only accomplish what is depicted in this line when you succeed in both your Dharma activities and in cultivating compassion. Otherwise, if you use compassion as a body, you will often make mistakes.

“‘Merciful intentions form wondrous huge clouds.’ This does not refer to Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara’s light; conversely, it means something else. ‘Merciful’ describes Avalokiteshvara’s thoughts and intentions of benefiting sentient beings. When a Bodhisattva vows to attain Buddhahood and walk the Bodhisattva Path, this intention grows more and more abundant and plentiful. Every time one helps a sentient being, these merciful intentions continue to grow. When you took refuge, you were told that from then on, your auspicious mind would grow continuously; this is because you are nurturing this compassion.

“What makes a Bodhisattva a Bodhisattva? Bodhisattvas still have the slight affliction of wanting to liberate sentient beings. On the other hand, you are afflicted with the desire to make more money. A Bodhisattva’s only attachment is the desire to help sentient beings. This intention continuously grows, and never decreases as long as there are still sentient beings to be liberated. All of the Great Bodhisattvas possess Bodhicitta that cannot retrogress; nor can their intentions to benefit and help sentient beings and attain Buddhahood. These intentions grow continuously until they are like enormous clouds accumulated in the sky. They actually are not clouds; they are a kind of energy.

“Back when I was expounding the Sutra of Ksitigarbha’s Fundamental Vows, I talked about clouds. Before certain energies appear, they take shape in cloud-like forms. They cannot be seen by the naked eye, but can be detected by instruments. There never used to be any scientific terms available to explain this line, so people thought it referred to clouds in the sky. Actually, these are not clouds you can see with your physical eyes; they are a kind of compassionate force that very mysteriously covers the entire void. Any sentient beings behaving in accordance with the Dharma and aspiring to supplicate to Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara can obtain the blessings of his intention.

“We often talk about thoughts, words and actions; the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas help us by way of thoughts, words and actions, and this is also how we receive a Bodhisattva’s blessings. Everything I have talked about up to now has been about blessings of thoughts, words and actions. If you cannot receive a Bodhisattva’s blessings of thoughts, words and actions, you cannot possibly become liberated from life and death. If you are thinking about something else today, and only took refuge as a means to get wealthy, then the line, ‘Merciful intentions form wondrous huge clouds,’ will have nothing to do with you. Compassion means taking the good parts of yourself and exchanging them for the bad parts of sentient beings. If you want the good things for yourself, you are not compassionate.

“The benefit of obtaining blessings from these ‘merciful intentions’ that ‘form wondrous huge clouds’ is that it will reduce your afflictions. Once a person has fewer afflictions, he or she can see things more clearly. Why has His Holiness said many times that I have a very subtle mind? He did not mean I am cautious or careful; he meant I have fewer afflictions. Only once your afflictions have been reduced can you receive the blessings of the compassionate intentions of the Buddhas, the Bodhisattvas, and all the gurus, and only then can all your Buddhist activities be successful. If you do not meet this prerequisite, then you will fail.”

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked the ordained disciples whether or not this was too profound. They nodded. The guru said, “It is a bit profound, but there is no getting around it; I have to talk to you about it. This line really is difficult to explain. How did your past Dharma masters explain it?” An ordained disciple replied, “We were given no explanation; we just recited through it.”

The guru continued: “These lines, from ‘View of truth, view of purity’ through to ‘Merciful intentions form wondrous huge clouds,’ are all blessings of thoughts, words and actions bestowed upon us by Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara. If, today, we wish to receive these blessings given to us by the Buddhas, the Bodhisattvas, and our gurus, we should not simply rely on the words being spoken, but should actually listen, and come to understand why we are practicing. If you are practicing for the sake of mundane affairs, then there is no need for you to keep coming. If you are not, but instead are practicing for the sake of supramundane matters, this will not affect our mundane affairs. I have already given you an example to go by; I keep conducting business, but my business methods differ from those of other people. I only sell the best products, and do not make money by swindling people. This is Buddhism.

“Twenty thousand people participated in this year’s (2017) Great Indiscriminate Amitabha Puja for Transferring Consciousness, yet I did not publicly announce to everyone that my temple lacks funds. This was because that was not a fundraising puja; it was a puja for transferring consciousness. That being the case, it had to remain pure. Reason would dictate that I could have said it while pathetically shedding a few tears, but that would have been wrong. When you tell people a puja for transferring consciousness is to be held on a certain day, then you may not do any unrelated things during it; you may not even give out name cards. However, it is okay to report the progress of a temple’s construction, though you must not ask for donations. Afterward, a lot of people asked me why I didn’t say it. Of course I could not say it, because that day I was helping sentient beings with my Bodhicitta. Building the temple was a completely separate matter. Many people point out that building the temple is important, but it is not as important as liberating sentient beings and helping them to leave their suffering behind. If there are sufficient causal conditions, then the temple will naturally be built; if not, then we will cross that bridge when we come to it. It all depends on the causal conditions of sentient beings. I am able to do so because I have learned and cultivated Bodhicitta, and practiced the Bodhi Path. That day, if three thousand people had heard me, and each donated NT$10,000, then NT$30 million would have gone toward the temple’s construction. ‘Donations will earn you countless merits; I thank you on behalf of all sentient beings’—I, too, could say this sort of thing, but I cannot. Anyway, the Grand Puja had been held in accordance with the Dharma, and sentient beings were liberated; they naturally were joyful. If sentient beings are joyful, then how can I fear that this project will not come to fruition? I do not need people to come and help me; human help has its limitations. The most remarkable help will be from the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, devas, nagas, Dharma protectors, and all sentient beings. After all, this temple is not being built for me.

“That’s all I’ll say for today. You need to have a clear understanding of how to obtain blessings of thoughts, words and actions. At the very least, your own thoughts, words and actions must accept these teachings; this cannot happen if you are still practicing Buddhism to fulfill your desires. As the ancient saying goes, a good Buddhist practitioner must act a little dumb, following the teachings unconditionally. However, he or she must encounter a meritorious guru; otherwise, being dumb will not be good.

“The Universal Gate Chapter can be explained from beginning to end very quickly, but it is impossible for me not to take time to expound these few lines. Using Buddhist terms to explain them, it would take more than five years. I explained them based on what I have read in the Ratnakuta Sutra, the piths transmitted to me by His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, and my own experiences in cultivation. Simply put, these lines mean that the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas—and especially Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara—are constantly, incessantly blessing us in thoughts, words and actions; it’s just that we won’t accept these blessings. Never say again that Avalokiteshvara is not helping; he is incredibly helpful! It is just that we keep rejecting his help.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche led the disciples in the rituals of Dharma Protector Achi and dedication. Upon the perfect completion of the puja, they thanked the guru for performing the puja and bestowing compassionate teachings. Rising to their feet, the disciples paid reverent homage as His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche descended the Dharma throne.

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Updated on February 5, 2018