His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s Puja Teachings – February 21, 2021

At the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center in Taipei, His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche presided over the auspicious Dorje Phurba Puja, and bestowed precious Dharma teachings.

“There are four Dharma methods in Tantra: Subduing, Placating, Increasing, and Vanquishing. A Rinpoche needs to achieve attainments of all these four methods through practices of conducting retreats; only then can a Rinpoche benefit vast numbers of sentient beings with these methods. The method of Subduing is to suppress disasters, and most of the time, when helping sentient beings, this method is used more often. Placating means conciliating discontent, and is used to embrace stubborn or hard-hearted sentient beings. Increasing is to increase wealth, good fortune and Buddhist activities, et cetera. Many people say, ‘Isn’t the Buddha compassionate? Why is there Vanquishing?’ It is mentioned in sutras that if demons of non-Buddhist religions do not listen to the Buddha when He was teaching the Dharma, the Buddha, with mantras, let these demons’ head split into seven pieces. This is the method of Vanquishing. Because using the first three methods – Subduing, Placating and Increasing – cannot destroy sentient beings’ hard and unyielding hatred in their heart, the method of Vanquishing is used to eradicate such a mindset.

Whether in the West or in the East, ghosts and demons are all painted very ugly. Of course, there are beautiful ones, too, because demons can change their look to become stunning so as to lure human beings to make mistakes; nevertheless, demons are usually painted with an appearance full of hatred.
The reason why they have such a look is that, when alive, their mind frequently gave rise to hatred. When one’s heart is full of hatred, one cannot achieve attainments no matter what Dharma methods one practices, not even having recited or chanted for endless times, resulting in getting an aching mouth.

The Dharma method of Vanquishing is actually the manifestation of ultimate compassion. Let’s look at an example. When a child constantly does not listen to his or her parents, at first, the parents are pleasant but later they will look furious, staring angrily at the child, and will hit the kid if the disobedience continues. Nowadays, hitting a child might get a complaint in social media as child abuse; laws are needed indeed to protect children because the ways of excessive beating or scolding of children by some people are wrong. In this Age of Dharma Decline, it is not very easy for people to accept thoughts in Confucianism, Chinese School of Law or concepts of law in Buddhism because everyone does not like to be managed or taught.

When practicing the Dharma method of Vanquishing, the practitioner often shows a wrathful appearance to subdue obstinate and conceited sentient beings. The attainments of practices of the Subduing, Placating and Increasing need to be achieved first before a practitioner can practice the method of Vanquishing. This is because if the hatred in the heart of the practitioner has not been eliminated and cleansed, practicing this Dharma will harm the practitioner instead. The compassion of Emptiness must be arised in order to practice the Vanquishing. All yidams of Vanquishing methods have a wrathful appearance. When one practices a Dharma of a wrathful yidam, and feels afraid when the yidam appears, one will be taken away by the yidam; it is because there is no compassion in such a practitioner. It is stated very clearly in the Ratnakuta Sutra that Bodhisattvas are fearless, not because they have gained lots of courage from their cultivation that they fear nothing. Rather, they realize that all are in Emptiness, therefore, there is nothing to be afraid of when they see any phenomena occurring. It is very dangerous wanting to learn the Vanquishing if one does not practice well on the Bodhisattva Path. Many people want to learn the Dharma method of Vanquishing in Tantra so that they can contend with others. This is a wrong idea because the Vanquishing is to benefit vast numbers of sentient beings, and is the manifestation of ultimate compassion. Thus, I can help you by performing the method of Vanquishing, but I cannot casually transmit this Dharma to you.

Once a ‘human’ enters into a fetus (to be reborn), there are emanations of ‘one hundred “civil” (peaceful) and “military” (wrathful) yidams’ in the ‘body’ (even before being reborn). ‘Civil yidams’ refer to peaceful yidams, like Shakyamuni Buddha or Avalokiteshvara; ‘military yidams’ mean wrathful yidams. After a person dies, during seven stages, each having seven days, a total of forty-nine days, there is an emanation of a yidam appearing in front of the deceased every day, guiding and leading the deceased away. At first, it is a peaceful yidam coming; if the deceased’s karma had been heavy, when such a yidam is seen and not been accepted by the deceased, a wrathful yidam will then appear afterward. When seeing a wrathful yidam, the deceased is afraid and ‘runs away’, then after forty-nine days as this process is over, the deceased will reincarnate following his or her karma. A practitioner, who cultivates Tantra, needs to practice to a perfect completion on the Dharma methods of both peaceful and wrathful yidams so as to help sentient beings. If a deceased’s karmic hindrances had been profoundly heavy when alive, without having achieved attainments on the methods of wrathful yidams, and without these yidams’ help, a practitioner cannot liberate such a deceased. In Tibetan Buddhism, of the depiction of the Trinity of the Western Paradise, Shakyamuni Buddha is in the middle and on His left and right, are Bodhisattva Mahasthamaprapta and Vajrapani, respectively; Vajrapani has an appearance of a wrathful yidam. Without learning the Dharma methods of wrathful yidams, and just by reciting the name of Amitabha, can one be reborn in the Pure Land? It will be very difficult to gain that in the current era.

It is like a situation today. There are three monastics who are not allowed to attend the puja. They quarreled over a small matter, and this shows that they have strong self-views with no forbearance. They have not practiced the Six Paramitas and the Thirty-seven Practices of the Bodhisattvas. When we encounter problems, we should endure them. The so-called endurance doesn’t mean that we swallow our resentments, even anger, when issues occur, and not talking back. It means that in these occasions, we don’t respond impulsively; instead, we should calm down first and think what we have done wrong in the matter; we should not just look at the wrong done by others. The reason why there are so many disputes in a family is because of contending an argument, like, ‘I am right and you are wrong’ or ‘You are not able to do what I want.’ People of this sort are full of hatred or anger in their heart. From the law of causes and conditions taught by the Buddha, the so-called family members are all karmic creditors, and most of them have been here for the purpose of taking revenge or collecting debts. I am not asking you to divorce or expel them. To me, my family members are also sentient beings. When sentient beings are in calamities, I do my best to save them. After they are saved, whether they have affinity with me or not depends on them; it is their decision, not mine. This way, life will be more steadfast and people involved will have less anger.

Two weeks ago, a disciple shared her story in that week’s puja. She said that her mother, who had passed away, had taken refuge in me for a dozen years, and at the end had gotten cancer. The reason why the mother had suffered the ways she had gone through while dying was that she had always borne hatred in her heart; even at her last breath, she still resented her husband and her family members. People, with high blood pressure, heart disease or cancer, have these illnesses because they get angry easily. Their mental energy and spirit are consumed quickly, so naturally their bodies show unsound conditions. Persons with heavy hatred in the heart cannot achieve attainments from their learning of Buddhism, and their practices will not be effective or beneficial either. If there are more things or people you hate, your good fortune decreases. Whoever letting you down, thank that person. Whoever thinking that you cannot satisfy his or her desires, thank that person too; it must be that you owed that person something in past lifetimes. There are many men and women in the world, but you don’t want any of them except this one. What is this person good about? By what are you attracted to this person? You are unable to say anything out. It would take you a long time to give yourself a reason why you have chosen that person, and it is because that person is, say, an intellectual. Intellectuals are pretty remarkable in quarreling because they have studied before and have knowledge, so they say things accurately and to the point; this kind of precision stuns you, like a knife hitting your heart. The Buddha said that having too much knowledge is not a good thing either because one’s knowledge is all from, and about, life’s experiences, and is not cultivation itself.

As is written in the Sutra of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s Fundamental Vows, ‘The humans on Earth are obstinate, conceited, difficult to tame, and difficult to teach.’ From this sentence, we can know that it is not just the Earth having humans living in it. It is mentioned in sutras that in the Milky Way Galaxy, there are four cosmic continents, and humans reside in all these four planets; the Earth is the one in the south, called Jambudvipa. Fortunately, Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha mentioned this sentence before. Whenever I liberate sentient beings, seeing them paying no heed to me, I will think that even Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha had said that sentient beings on Earth are ‘difficult to tame, difficult to teach, obstinate and conceited’, not to mention that I, a minor Rinpoche, think the same. I have started liberating sentient beings since 1997, so I have seen too many of them, and they are exactly like what has been stated in the Sutra of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s Fundamental Vows.

Today, I will perform the Dorje Phurba for you. Besides decreasing or eradicating the hatred that your karmic creditors, from your accumulated past lifetimes, have toward you, this Dharma will also eliminate hindrances in your learning Buddhism. Some people say that they don’t need to learn Buddhism or be my disciples. Then, if they are capable of doing many things, when they die or have issues, they are not to come looking for me for help. People of this kind are just like what having been discussed that they are obstinate, conceited, difficult to tame, and difficult to teach. They think they have fame and are reputable in their professional or work fields; they ask themselves, ‘Why is there a need to follow you?’ In fact, toward the end, the conclusion for life is death. Someone asked me before what the meaning of life is. It is about birth, old age, sickness and death. What have happened in this life are manifestations of karma from the past lives, therefore, once this karma has been ‘walked through’ in this life, the life is over. Except for those who are learning Buddhism, very few people will think about how they will die and what their mentality about death is. Have you always been waiting for me to come to save you? Many people want me to live longer. This is selfishness. The older I get, the harder I work. Why don’t you learn Buddhism now?

I help sentient beings deal with the critical matter of birth and death every day. I have rarely seen people suffering no pain before they die. There were only a few who did not suffer at their death because they were absolutely respectful to the Three Jewels and their guru. Why do people suffer while dying? It is because they usually don’t train their mind about dealing with death. They think, ‘Some people said that I can live up to the age of 75; I am now 70 years old, so I still have five years that I can muddle along. I will think about it then after four years have passed.’ That will be too late. In this world, there are very few Rinpoches like me giving people so many treasures all day long. It was like last year, when pandemic was severe in the entire year, all religious activities were almost suspended. Yet, at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center there were still many Dharmas continuously performed; the Center complied with governments’ decrees and received their approvals and recognition of a job well done on following the prevention guidelines.

Today, I will perform this Dharma to help you break your mindset of a stubborn unwillingness to learn Buddhism. Yunga Rinpoche once said that Tantra will be on Earth for 700 years at the most. Do not think that 700 years is a very long time. Maybe when you return as a human again in your next life, it will be 700 years later. If you come back to Earth at that time and there is no Tantra, you will find out that there will be fewer and fewer practitioners who can help sentient beings. For example, there are four yidams in four Dharma methods of Subduing, Placating, Increasing, and Vanquishing. For practicing each yidam’s method, a practitioner needs to conduct retreats, and achieve attainments based on the instructions written in a relevant Dharma text. Only then can a practitioner come out of the retreat to help sentient beings. Modern people are so busy chasing fame and profits; how can they have time to cultivate the Dharma? Tantra will disappear because no one is determined to cultivate it. Do you ask me how to do it? In the past, every year consecutively, I conducted a retreat for more than a month.”

Rinpoche asked the disciples in the Dharma Affairs team, “How many times in total have I conducted retreats?” (No team members could answer it.) Rinpoche reprimanded them, “Next week, if you still don’t know the processes of your guru’s practices after I randomly ask you such a question, you will all be expelled from this Center. As members of the Dharma Affairs team, you don’t even know the processes of your guru’s practices!”

Rinpoche continued the teachings. “I have eight Dharma texts of Dorje Phurba. Here are seven of them, and there is another one that I practice on during retreats. In the Tantra of New School of Esoteric Buddhism, Dorje Phurba is Vajrapani. It is Dorje Namjom in the Kriyayoga (Action Tantra), which is one of the four groups in Esoteric Buddhism. In the Tantra of Old School (which was in the former Nyingma Order), it is Dorje Phurba. Dorje Phurba is the wrathful yidam of Vajrasattva and is a representation of ‘mind’ of Amitabha, Bodhisattva Mahasthamaprapta, Bodhisattva Manjushri, Vajrapani and Yamantaka. Thus, from these, you can see that there is a series of yidams involved. I have achieved attainments through the practicing of Vajrasattva, so naturally I have had chances to cultivate Dorje Phurba. Today, those who have practiced Dorje Phurba will definitely be reborn in Amitabha’s Pure Land after they pass away. Yamantaka is the wrathful yidam of Bodhisattva Manjushri.

When Padmasambhava was in retreats, doing his practices, in a mountain cave in Nepal, he eliminated all obstructions with methods of Dorje Phurba and achieved attainments in Great Perfection. Dorje Phurba, therefore, is the core of all the Buddha’s activities. In 2007, when I conducted a retreat at Lapchi Snow Mountain in Nepal, I saw a Dharma protector at the side of Dharma Protector Achi, riding a Kylin (a quadruped, and an auspicious symbol), patrolling the valley and protecting my retreat room. Besides, I have achieved attainment when practicing Dorje Phurba before and been attuned to the yidam; this Dharma protector then has also become a protector for me to safeguard my retreat.

Padmasambhava once said that all practitioners who have mastered Dorje Phurba will be auspicious, meritorious, living a long life, wealthy, having many perfect and gratifying family members, seeing developments in political and religious affairs, having limitless and awe-inspiring power and accomplishing everything to the end in a perfect completion.

In ‘developments in political and religious affairs’, politics is not what people think of it today. The meaning of ‘political and religious affairs’ is that Tibetan Buddhism focuses on lineage. If the lineage is not pure and has karmic hindrances, the lineage will disappear or be destroyed. This is related to interactions among people and the handling of matters. For example, we are building a temple now, and we need to establish a foundation in accordance with the laws. Setting up a foundation to manage temple affairs also requires some rules and guidelines, which should not violate governments’ laws and Buddhism precepts. These are political and religious affairs. It is like the Glorious Jewel Association, which is a Non-Profit Juridical Association, and the Center has its own management rules and guidelines. This is also an example of ‘political and religious affairs’.

The ‘limitless and awe-inspiring power’ does not mean that the practitioner is very incredible; it means that such a practitioner, practicing the yidam, has awe-inspiring Dharma power. As long as the practitioner wants to do something, he or she certainly can accomplish it. ‘In a perfect completion’ does not refer to living very comfortably in this life. The phrase refers to the Buddhist activities that the practitioner has embarked on and they can benefit a great number of sentient beings.

The Dharma text in my hand is the Empowerment of the Wish-Granting Jewel of the Dorje Phurba’s Tantric Supreme Truth. It is a great earth terma Tantra retrieved by the great terma master, Ratna Lingpa. This text was sorted out by the twenty-ninth Drikung Kagyu throne holder, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chokyi Gyaltsen. This is an earth terma Tantra. Yidams, dakinis or Dharma protectors hid such Dharma texts in tree holes, mountains, air, or even water, and the texts had been found by great terma masters. Only in Tibet, such masters existed. Now, there are no terma masters anymore in all four major Orders of Tibetan Buddhism. Dorje Phurba is a yidam who has vowed to help eliminate hindrances for practitioners who have been practicing Vajrayana. If one wants to practice Vajrayana, one needs a yidam to eliminate all hindrances one has. This is why I have very few hindrances in the process of my practicing Vajrayana. When we practice any yidams’ methods, if we can have Dorje Phurba as our Dharma protector, we will not face any of the setbacks and will have special Dharma powers to subdue all demon kings, ghosts and goblins. Before an accomplished practitioner appears, some demons will get jealous and they will show up to interfere and make destructions. Ghosts and goblins are your karmic creditors from your accumulated past lifetimes, who have come looking for you.

Today, what I am going to perform for you is the Tantra of New School’s Simple Rituals Used for Cultivating Phurba’s Activities. It is to implore Dorje Phurba for the simple rituals that can be used in Buddhist activities. The other text is the Essence Sadhana of Bhagavad Vajra Kumara. Vajra Kumara is Dorje Phurba. This Dharma text was bestowed to me by Yunga Rinpoche. At that time, he took out a stack of Dharma texts with his guru’s handprints on them. Yunga Rinpoche then randomly drew out a text and it was exactly the Dharma text of Dorje Phurba. I didn’t tell him that I have been practicing Dorje Phurba.

This Dharma text is more special. It is mentioned in it that when one encounters bandits on the road, this Dharma can be used to repel them; it can also be used to eliminate one’s arrogance and keep away mosquitoes and beasts from harming the person. By using this Dharma, there will be no flood either in the area where one lives. These benefits are also stated in other Dharma texts that are venerated by all people. This is very secretive. These are so stated because of such situations. In ancient times, practitioners could conduct retreats once a mountain cave was found, and then during their retreats, there might be beasts, bugs, or even flood causing obstacles, therefore, by practicing this Dharma, practitioners could be protected and not be harmed.

When the retreat, which I conducted on practicing Dorje Phurba, was concluded to a perfect completion, the entire retreat room shook; at that time its roof was made of iron sheets, emitting the shaking sound. There were also continuous thundering and ground shaking; then the yidam, Phurba, appeared. This showed that I was attuned to the yidam through my practices. If it were you, hearing those sounds, you would be scared to death, therefore, I do not casually transmit the Dharma of Dorje Phurba.

There is also a Dharma text that is used to remove toxic substances and destroy the demonic armies. If someone performs some Dharma to oppose you, you can counter and shield it back. If there is a calamity occurring in a country and its leader, out of caring of and protection for the people, implores a practitioner for assistance, the practitioner can help the leader by performing this Dharma so as to make the enemy retreat. There are also Dharma Protection Methods of Dorje Phurba and Dharmas of Calling Forth Dorje Phurba. These can call forth Dorje Phurba and all his Dharma protectors to support practitioners and reduce hindrances in practices. There are occurrences coming from demons of males, females, enemies, or corpses (zombies), and with their demon powers, they create negative karma of obstacles in calamities or disasters. When these happen, this Dharma should be performed. There are so many Dharma texts from just one yidam.

At the beginning of this Dharma text, it is mentioned that these four types of demons should be destroyed: death, sickness, heavens and affliction. The demons of heavens have nothing to do with you; they completely ignore you. The demons of sickness refer to those coming to sick people who have done many bad deeds, creating negative karma in this life, so that such demons have been called forth to appear. This Dharma text is not originated from sutras. It was found at an auspicious place, and was sorted out by His Holiness, who later transmitted it to me. A practitioner must have achieved attainments in Simplicity Yoga, viewing everything in the mundane world as a game.”

Rinpoche began to perform the Dharma method of Dorje Phurba. A golden light was emitted from behind Rinpoche and was spread out the entire mandala. While chanting the yidam’s mantra, Rinpoche showed an exceptionally mighty look. His eyebrows were raised upright at a forty-five-degree angles, with eyes wide open in sharpness and vigor, and he did not blink at all for more than ten minutes. His eyeballs were protruded and lips drawn back, with his face and mouth changing to a square-like shape; his chest was full and cheeks were bulging. Rinpoche looked exactly the same as the one depicted in a Dorje Phurba thangka. The guru was attuned to the yidam and showed an appearance of a wrathful vajra. This was auspicious and unfathomable; it was an act done beyond ordinary persons’ capability.

After chanting the mantras for some time, Rinpoche’s chanting voice gradually became louder; his mouth and lips were seemingly unmoved, but a distinct vajra ode came out of them, with a rhythm deep and dense like tides. In an instant, he transformed himself into an extremely auspicious Dharma appearance of Dorje Phurba. Several times, he roared like a thunder with great compassion. Rinpoche then turned his head and gazed at sentient beings exceedingly solemnly. He subdued their Five Poisons with compassion and majestic, miraculous power; he also, with immense bodhicitta, cleansed all the attendees’ hindrances of learning Buddhism and practicing the Dharma. Many of them obviously felt the ground shaking and their whole body hot; because of Rinpoche’s compassionate blessings, all participants couldn’t help having their tears streaming down their faces.

The venue was full, but under Rinpoche’s great compassion and all-embracing power, all the attendees kept their mind alert and concentrated. Although there were many children there, they didn’t randomly move about to make noises. The scene was very solemn.

Rinpoche instructed the attendees to say the names of the people three times, for whom the attendees, in their mind, would like to implore the yidam for protection. The performance of this Dharma came to a phase’s end. Rinpoche led the attendees in the Dharma Protector Achi ritual. He then continued to perform the Dorje Phurba ritual.

Rinpoche said, “The gestures I just did were to call forth your Five Poisons – greed, hatred, ignorance, arrogance, and doubt – and put them into the torma that I held in my hand. Then the torma was cut into small pieces with a Phurba vajra.”

The rituals of Tsok and tea-offering were performed. Each attendee received a package of offering items blessed by Rinpoche, as well as the rare and auspicious causal condition to share a meal with the guru, the Buddha, and Bodhisattvas during the puja.

After performing the Dharma for a while, Rinpoche blessed the attendees with a five-colored flag and then continued the teachings.

“After His Holiness had sorted out this Dharma text, he gave me the empowerment, and then bestowed upon me this Dharma to practice. In Taiwan, there are a very few Rinpoches who can perform this Dharma. As they are all experts in the Dharma practices, they know if a practitioner has not achieved attainments from his or her practices, performing this Dharma will not only be unhelpful to sentient beings, but will also harm the practitioner. At the end of this text, there is an annotation, noting that the practitioner, who bestows its empowerment, is pure and does not use the Dharma to exchange for some fame and profits. This is a Dharma text that is not widely transmitted. If a person who is to receive the empowerment but has not enough of good fortune or has no wisdom, the person cannot receive it. This Dharma is very profound so it must be regarded very prudently. No matter how much studies you have done, how much money you have, or even if you kneel in front of me to implore for the empowerment, I will not necessarily grant it to you. (Rinpoche asked the monastics a question.) ‘Have you received empowerments before?’ (The answer: No.) Then I will not give you an empowerment. Even if you have it, it will not be useful to you. These monastics had never seen this kind of performance before either; in which, the practitioner’s eyes become large, with voice roaring and teeth exposed, and such changes do not show up at the beginning of the performance. This demonstrates that the practitioner is attuned to the yidam that the body of the practitioner will be transformed into that of the yidam.

If you practice this Dharma according to the Dharma principles, all demons and their armies will fail, which means that they will no longer obstruct your practices. Demons are not what you imagine; female demons are very beautiful. Demons have good fortune, too, and it takes a great good fortune to be a demon. Do not think that demons want you to do bad deeds; the definition of demons is that they are not bad beings. Assuming they are humans, if one lets oneself or others continue to reincarnate, such a person is a demon. The Dharma performed today is not to make you become remarkable; rather, it is to eliminate hindrances in your practices. Many of your hindrances are self-made, produced from your accumulated past lifetimes or created from your own thoughts. Such hindrances will hinder your mundane path or the supramundane. When you start to act on, learn and practice the supramundane, there will be no hindrances in your mundane path.

Many people think that it is okay to cultivate the Dharma in their next life. The Venerable Milarepa once said that if you are not liberated from reincarnation in this life, you will definitely fall into the Hell Realm in one of your future lives. Is it toilful to liberate someone from reincarnation? Absolutely not. It is very simple. I have helped many disciples that. However, they did not practice while alive, so why did they deserve my help when they died? It was because they were my disciples. Every one of you has heard many such stories. One time when I was in New Zealand, I was still able to help a disciple with the Phowa.

Performing this Dharma is to break free of your Five Poisons of greed, hatred, ignorance, arrogance, and doubt, therefore, from now on, you should be alert and cautious. Once you feel greedy, hateful, and arrogant, you should examine yourself carefully because you still have some residual karma in your mind, which cannot be completely cleansed. To rid of such karma, you need to practice further. Many people ask me how to do it. There is no such issue as to ‘how’; it is just that you need to be determined to do the practices. It is like this analogy that I have cooked a meal and then put the dishes on the table; you have to eat them yourself. Do not think to rely everything on me. I will die one day; I am already 74 years old. You ask me not to die before you do so as to let you die first; this is really unjustified. Don’t implore me for my living a long life either. Your residual karma needs to be cleansed by yourself through your own practices. When a meal is ready, do not just sniff it; you want to at least eat a bit of it to taste it! Be determined to do your practices. Do not give up.

When I hold a refuge puja, if you suddenly are unable to attend the ceremony because of some reasons, it means that you have heavy karma, and you should be more determined about learning Buddhism. It is like a situation today. Someone cannot come to the puja because he and his mother both have a cold. Yesterday, there was a disciple and his parents, three disciples of the same family, who came to implore me for a Dharma text but I refused to give it to them. Previously, on the day I transmitted the said Dharma, they couldn’t attend the puja because their family members were having a cold, which led to this disciple and his parents taking turn to get a cold, too. His father doesn’t believe in me, and the father works as a fortune-teller. In the Dharma, fortune-telling is a false life and a false fortune. This is the reason why the Dharma text was not implored for successfully by them at the beginning. They have waited until now to implore for it again. This is their hindrance. Some people think that my disciples certainly can get Dharma texts. Even if you are my disciple and you kneel in front of me imploring for a text, I will still observe you first.

You see, many things happened to me last year. Had these things happened to you, you definitely would not be able to get through them. Why could I have ‘passed’ them and be all right? It was because I had lived through these things by adapting to each rising condition. Family members are all karmic creditors. If our attitude toward family members is also ‘let it go’ and if we can endure what they do, naturally we will not mind many side-issues occurring.

Regardless of how rich or how knowledgeable you are, you definitely will face death alone at the end. Do not think that by getting close to me you will be liberated by me when you die; it is because you are not my disciples. It is like the story a disciple shared today before the puja started. I was in New Zealand when her mother passed away, and I could still liberate the mother with the Phowa. Life is about birth, old age, sickness, death and being apart from loved ones. Humans will certainly die, and so will I, therefore, we should think clearly over what life is about.

The Dharma I just performed also includes liberating sentient beings. Many people think that it must be Amitabha doing the liberating; in fact, any yidam can do that and it is not necessarily done by Amitabha. It is just that we, the people in ‘middle earth’ – China – firmly believe in Amitabha. We connote the word ‘Amitabha’ to that of ‘liberating’. Well, you are all wrong then. Any yidam can liberate sentient beings, and the liberating act itself does not necessarily send a deceased to the Land of Amitabha. If such a deceased has no qualifications to be reborn there, a practitioner will still help him or her.

When I first started learning Exoteric Buddhism, the father of a friend of mine died, so I went to do a recitation assistance for that occasion. The so-called recitation assistance is not asking several people to recite the name of the Buddha at the side of the deceased. Rather, it is that because the deceased had practiced when alive, those who belong to the same Buddhist center as the deceased, recite or chant at the deceased’s side, reminding him or her to keep the mind undisturbed. During that recitation, I recited to achieve the state of ‘having one mind undisturbed’ and saw Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha coming to lead my friend’s father away. I told my friend about it but he didn’t believe me because at that time I just started learning Buddhism and soon this event happened, which made him not believing that my recitation could have resulted in the Buddha’s and Bodhisattvas’ receiving his father and leading him away. Later, he asked several people who possess supernatural powers and they all said that there was someone reciting the name of the Buddha and then Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha came to lead his father away. At that time, I recited the name of Amitabha, but the one coming and leading away the deceased was Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha. The Dorje Phurba performed today also includes the Dharma of liberating. It is not just the Dharma of Amitabha can do the liberating. Liberating sentient beings can also be achieved by practicing the Dharma methods of any yidam, or by chanting any yidam’s mantra.

I now have nearly 1,500 disciples, more than 200 pigs, and more than 100 chickens, ducks, cattle, and sheep in my care. Hence, I have a lot of karma issues to be dealt with every day. You have this causal condition of meeting me; it is not that I deliberately make friends with you. You have all come here on your own, therefore, do not give up the learning of the Dharma; otherwise, when the time or the opportunity is gone, it is over. When the last refuge puja had been held, someone coincidentally did not attend the ceremony. This demonstrates that you should pay more attention to your own karma that can hinder you in your practices and other things. Even if you stay at my side or move around me, because you have not taken refuge, not learning Buddhism, when you die, your karma will hinder me from helping you.”

Rinpoche led the attendees in the dedication prayer and then continued the teachings.

“After the puja is completed, at the door, the monastics will distribute to you a longevity pill and give you a spoonful of longevity wine, which is juice. In Esoteric Buddhism, there is such a ritual. It is because a human’s body is formed by the combination of a father’s ‘bindu’ and a mother’s blood. From the moment the productive elements enter into a fetus, the essence of a man and the blood of a woman are continuously consumed; when they are used up, the body dies. People get old because these two essentials are almost fully consumed.

Loving the enjoyment of things in life consumes the said essence and blood. Some celebrities in society love to enjoy their lives, so their faces turn dark before they die; this is because their bodily essence and blood are used up. It is impossible to increase such elements in our bodies. Some people think that bone marrow produces the essence, but actually, the essence continuously comes out of bone marrow. This is also why bone marrow will be hollow when one gets old. The reason that the bones of the elderly tend to be broken is because the usage of essence and blood in their bodies are exhausted. People’s anger, quarrels, jealousies or activities between men and women will also consume such essence and blood; when they are depleted, people will become old.

Hence, whenever a Tantra is performed, a guru will implore the yidam for blessing the longevity pills and wine. Doing so is not to improve your health for enjoyment in life; it is to sustain the life you should have had so that you have time to be able to liberate yourself, or be liberated, from birth and death. If the essence and blood in your body are used up earlier, you will return to the Three Evil Realms sooner. People who often lose their temper and hate others will consume their essence and blood rapidly.” A disciple who is a doctor of traditional Chinese medicine then also explained it as follows. “According to the theories of Chinese medicine, the essence and blood are obtained from one’s parents. In Chinese medicine, these elements are called ‘innate essences’, which are stored in kidneys, and are related to marrow, therefore, kidneys govern bones and engender marrow. It is also mentioned in such theories that when our mind and spirit, ‘on the upper body’, are consumed, the essences in kidneys, ‘on the lower body’, are used at the same time. Thus, if we often get angry or think of things for ourselves, we will consume our mind and spirit, and deplete essences in the kidneys. When these essences are used excessively, we will easily get old. These situations described are the same as what Rinpoche just taught us.”

Rinpoche then continued his teachings. “I am not asking you not to use your brain or not to think. That is impossible in such a complex, commercial society. The point is not to think too much; when the time comes for a rest, then rest. This world will not be destroyed if you were not to exist. Secondly, remain in your proper place; do not think of doing things that are out of your place and beyond what you can handle. In this way, you can slow down the use of your essence and blood; being more at ease on what you are and what you have will make you healthier, too.

Some people wonder why I can recover quickly when I am not well. It is exactly because we, Tantric practitioners having achieved attainments, can get our essence and blood replenished through the blessings of the Buddha and Bodhisattvas. You cannot; once you have used up your essence and blood, you die. Taking longevity pills and wine one time cannot replenish essence and blood for you. However, because the yidam’s mantra and activities are in longevity pills and wine, after you have taken them, your essence and blood can be consumed in a slower pace. This is already very beneficial to you; it is equivalent to increasing your lifespan – restoring the life you should have had to you.”

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Updated on August 24, 2021