006: A Story of My Grandfather

In the year 2002, my grandfather was 93 years old, before Chinese New Years; he suddenly didn’t want to eat. Two months later, because he had become weak, he was sent to the hospital for intravenous injection. One week later, he had fallen into a coma and was sent to an intensive care unit. When we came to visit him, I saw he had tube in his nose and he was breathing heavily through his chapped, wide open mouth. His weak body shook involuntarily and his hands waived in the air unconsciously at times. A gurgling noise was issued from his throat and his pain seemed to be like a fish that had been thrown onto the sand to let dry. I was raised by my grandfather. When looking at him in such a painful state, I felt anguished.

Feeling as if a knife were piercing my heart, I hurried to meet my Guru, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, at the Glorious Jewel Jewelry Company for help. When I knelt down before Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, I couldn’t say a word, only painfully shed tears. I could not bear that my grandfather was in such pain. (While writing this paragraph, I have tears running down my face again.) I only had one thought in mind, “Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, please help my grandfather!” I raised my head and looked at Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche as if a drowning person reaching for a life preserver. Again my only thought was “Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, you must help my grandfather” and yet I still couldn’t say a word. My husband knelt behind me and told Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for me about my grandfather’s conditions. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche entered a trance, looked at me and then asked me kindly “Your grandfather is very old, do you want him to suffer less pain?” I froze for a moment. I had followed Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for many years and heard endless stories of others. When the situation was related to me, I was still shocked for a few seconds.

It was clear to me that what Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche meant was my grandfather’s life was almost at the end. Asking Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to bless my grandfather so he could suffer less pain and awake from his coma to go to the Pure Land afterwards would really be the best way to show my love for him. But I really wasn’t ready to let him go. Suddenly the image of my grandfather lying in intensive care appeared in my mind; I immediately nodded, freeing myself from my worldly feelings, and ask Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to go bless my grandfather in the intensive care unit. I knew that only those who accumulate great virtues could have such causes and conditions. At that time there was another patient’s family waiting by the side, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had already promised them to bless the patient. Since it was already eight in the evening, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told the other patient’s family “I will help your family tomorrow. Her grandfather’s situation is a little more urgent.”

That night, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche went to Cathay General hospital to bless my grandfather without any hesitation, although Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had been exhausted. The nurses gave us a special permission to enter ICU. After the blessing, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked me “What was your grandfather’s profession before? He has accumulated a lot of negative Karma from killing.” I replied “He was a soldier. He had his duty during Anti-Japanese War“. After all this was over, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened us that a person with this kind of Karma normally could not receive the Phowa Dharma. Unless his descendents had behaved filially to the parents, had accumulated lots of merits, and sincerely implored Rinpoche, there could be an opportunity.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told us that my grandfather had only three days left. In the early morning of the next day, our whole family went to visit my grandfather. We had expected to see him still in his coma. But it was really amazing that our grandfather had awaked and regained full consciousness. He had recovered from his talking nonsense since two weeks ago. Even the doctors or nurses could not explain this phenomenon to us. For this we were really grateful for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s blessings.

Three days later, my grandfather passed away as Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche predicted. Although we had known this was going to happen, we still cried for our loss. Immediately, I implored Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to conduct the practice of the Phowa Dharma for my grandfather. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche promised us very kindly. I remembered that when I pleaded, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was having the dinner. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not finish his meal. Promptly putting down the chop sticks and the bowl, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche immediately rushed to the Buddhist center for the practice of Phowa Dharma. All grandchildren were gathered around our grandfather’s bed, attentively reciting the Mani Mantra and beseeching that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche as well as the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas could lead my grandfather to the Pure Land.

Because of the superior Phowa, our sorrow and grieving had disappeared. When Ai-Feng phoned us that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had completed the conduction of Phowa Dharma, it had already been an hour since my grandfather’s passing. My grandfather’s painful facial expression had also disappeared, being replaced by peaceful one, just as if he had been peacefully sleeping. When I felt his face with my hands, it was cold. But when I touched the crown of his head, it was warm! This was a sign of the perfect completion of conduction of Phowa Dharma. My suspicious father also did the same thing as I did and deeply felt it was really amazing.

Knowing that our grandfather suffered no more pain, we felt an immense gratitude and joy. This made us recite the Mani more earnestly. Previously the nurses knew we were planning to recite the mantra for eight full hours before we changed our grandfather into his burial clothes. So they warned us that rigor mortis was going to appear in the body. The joints could not be bent unless we put on hot towel on them, and then we could change his clothes. After eight hours, we felt grandfather’s body was as soft as when he was alive and we did not find any signs of rigor mortis or inflexible joints. We were really in admiration of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s power of Phowa Dharma. In addition, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche conducted the practice without being beside the deceased, unlike many in the past who had to be beside the deceased to conduct the practice. What Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did was really unbelievable.

This time, we have suffered the death of our beloved. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche helps us when we are in the deepest pain. However, the Phowa Dharma is so precious that in Tibet it is not certain to be granted with the offerings of all famliy’s fortune. Even if it is granted, it is necessary to invite the guru or lama to live at home with all living needs until the relative passes away. Another offering has to be made after the conduction of practice. Moreover, such auspicious sings might not be appeared on the deceased even the conduction of practice is completed. It could not be obtained without the big virtues as well as big causes and conditions.

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is Truth Body of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in the world to liberate beings. We are really blessed to have the auspicious causes and conditions to hear the true Dharma (Chokyi) and start on the way of learning and cultivating the Buddha’s teachings. I am unable to wait until I have been liberated from the cycle of birth and death to tell everyone about this precious Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche and the Orthodox Buddhism. All beings live in suffering; they can escape it only by learning and cultivating the Buddha’s teachings. As such I feel I must hurry to tell everyone about this because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche reminds us that we do not have enough time to learn and cultivate the Buddha’s teachings. Many people, including myself, often forget things once they are over. We have received Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s blessings during times of great sorrow, but afterwards we usually do not remember to be grateful and are too lazy to continue learning and cultivating the Buddha’s teachings. However, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche still toilsomely continues to propagate Buddhism and benefit all sentient beings against all odds. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s vow is to benefit every being that sees or hears him. This vow power of mercy and compassion is the greatest power in the universe. I hope all beings can hear and practice the Orthodox Buddhism till they attain Buddhahood, and we can repay a little of the kindness received from Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche as well as the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas by following the Guru’s teachings.

Disciple of the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center: Tian Shu-Jun

Updated on February 7, 2009