003: I Prostrate Myself Before the His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche
In 2002, my father-in-law was diagnosed with end-stage liver cirrhosis. Thereafter, the economic crisis hit our family hard. Although we had tried all kinds of alleged remedies and medication, his condition didn’t improve. During 2002 and 2003, my father-in-law paid constant visits to the Taiwan Miner’s General Hospital in Keelung and the Tri-Service General Hospital in Taipei. Till May of 2003, after my wife (Dharma Brother He Jinyu) and her colleague (Dharma Brother Zhu Shenzhen) explained to me, I then went to meet Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche at the Glorious Jewel Jewelry Company on Yixian Road. Because my wife had followed Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s instructions and attended the pujas continuously, my father-in-law’s suffering was miraculously relieved! Hence, out of curiosity, I went to meet Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche with my wife at the Glorious Jewel Jewelry Company. As I remember, after prostrating myself before Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche at my first visit, I was extremely rude and took a seat along with my parents-in-law, asking my questions to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. However, when I attended my first Chod puja, tears flooded down my face for unknown reasons. I merely felt that the compassion of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could liberate all the karma creditors from my previous lives. I remember Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said while seated on the Dharma throne, “All sentient beings are our parents.” I thereby deeply repented. During the puja, I seemed to notice the arrival of the dogs I had shot many years ago. (There were light spot in dog-like appearance and I had never talked to anyone about my killing.) They were with me during the puja and disappeared afterwards. Nevertheless, my eyes had been closed, so I couldn’t tell whether they were illusions or not. So I opened my eyes during my second and the third Chod pujas. The flood of tears remained, yet the light spot in the shapes of dogs became fewer. It was at that time that I deeply experienced Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s great compassion and powers. Soon after that, I attended my first Sunday puja. It was in June, 2003, and I remember a conversion ceremony was held. I felt really envious while watching my filial wife kneel on a platform, seek refuge and have her hair cut. However, I still felt that she and I were living in different worlds. Afterwards, due to my work as a professional soldier, I had to wait until early August to have the time to attend another regular puja with a conversion ceremony. After August, there was another conversion ceremony. I had wanted to seek refuge during the two ceremonies and yet failed to make the decision out of hesitance. Therefore, I waited until November 23, 2003, before finally taking refuge. Before taking refuge, I went to see Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche at the Glorious Jewel Jewelry Company. I told Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche that I was going to be transferred to the south and thereby would not be able to attend the pujas very often. Nevertheless, I promised to attend whenever I had holidays. I only heard Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche say, “It’s good that you’re a military judge. You will be able to attend the puja every week.” I didn’t pay much attention to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s words, for I thought Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had never served in the military. From my over ten years of experience, I had never heard of any unit that was able to take weekly holidays. (There must be officers on duty in a Field Army for intelligence purposes.) Two weeks later, I realized that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was totally right and that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s words are the words of the Dharma! It turned out I really could attend the regular puja every single week.
On a Saturday in December, 2003, I drove my car to the Glorious Jewel Jewelry Company to implore Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to bestow a blessing upon the vehicle. After the puja held the next day, I left from a dharma brother’s house and subsequently made a right turn at a T intersection. A motorcyclist from the road on my right suddenly cut in and I jostled against him, almost making him a sandwich. Because I had managed to quickly dodge him, my car merely got minor scratches on the right rear. This was yet another example of the compassion of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.
On the afternoon of December 29, 2003, the doctor of the Tri-Service General Hospital issued notification of the imminent death of my father-in-law. I went to the Glorious Jewel Jewelry Company with Jinyu to beseech Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to come bless him at the hospital. The next day, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche himself went to the Tri-Service Hospital and bestowed a blessing upon my father-in-law. At that time, my father-in-law was sleeping and didn’t wake up. Having blessed my father-in-law, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche raised four points to my mother-in-law in the hallway:
- Your husband had eaten something white from the food offered to the deities before he was admitted to the hospital.
- You have consulted with a young medium.
- While your husband was young, he liked to poke his nose into others’ business, especially into the business of non-humans.
- You recently went to pray to the deities.
My mother-in-law denied all of them on the spot. Thereafter, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche saw my elder brother-in-law and asked who he was. My mother-in-law said that he was her eldest son and then Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche left. While accompanying Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to walk down stairs, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said, “Go ask your mother. It is her eldest son that she went to pray to the deities for.” After we went upstairs and questioned the validity of the aforementioned incidents one by one, all of them were subsequently proved to be true. It is thus evident that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche really has wondrous powers that know no boundaries. Our faith in the sublime Dharma thereby grew, as did our determination to be freed from the suffering of reincarnation in this world.
At 6:50 P.M. on May 16, 2004, my father-in-law drew his last breath and received the auspicious Phowa practice performed by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. All of us then examined my father-in-law’s body. He had remained in a cold air-conditioned room for the two hours after his death. However, my father-in-law’s limbs were warm and flexible. The crown of his head was sunken and a bit sweaty. A little bit of dark brownish fluid that didn’t resemble blood (red Bodhi and white Bodhi) had leaked from his nostrils. His body was still very flexible upon his arrival at the Mortuary Services Office in Keelung City at around 11 P.M.. All of this was a manifestation of the compassion of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.
On the day of the funeral procession, while the undertaker was transporting my father-in-law’s body to the venue where the service for family members was to be held, my father-in-law’s hand slipped out and swayed flexibly. It’s common knowledge that the body can’t be so flexible after two weeks of frozen storage. Prior to the service for family members, two monks came to recite the Buddha’s name for my father-in-law. After the recitation ended, one of them handed two coins to my elder brother-in-law and told him to throw the coins as a divinatory tool to ask if my father-in-law was good or not. For seven throws he couldn’t get an answer. While we were collecting the remains after the cremation, we found bones in various colors and a small opening in the middle of his skull, all of which were signs that had been previously mentioned by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche of a successful Phowa practice. Although my father-in-law had passed away, we merely missed him rather than grieve for him. It seemed that he was still with us. All of these were the best proof that the deceased had gone on to the Pure Land of Amitabha.
It is difficult to be able to hear to the Buddhist Dharma and to meet with a Guru. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche once said:
“That a person can listen and study the Buddhist teachings is as rare as a turtle in the vast ocean that emerges only once in a hundred years. A virtuous Guru is like dead wood on the sea surface with a circular opening which allows the turtle to slip through and breathe. Therefore, the opportunity of obtaining the form of a human body, listen to the Buddhist Dharma and learn and study Buddhism under the supervision of a virtuous Guru is very rare and auspicious.”
The eagerness with which we should have when learning and studying the Buddhist Dharma is the same as that of putting out a fire in the beautiful hair of a young lady. It has been a year since I sought refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. During the past year, my body, speech and mind have not been purified. It is ungrateful to my Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teaching indeed and I feel great remorse for this. The only and best way to repay my Guru’s kindness is to practice genuinely. In addition, I wish the account of my experience in learning the Buddha’s teachings can benefit more sentient beings that possess conditions.
By the reverent Chen Dashun, a disciple
Updated on February 19, 2009