146: The Compassionate Vows of a Guru
I bow before the feet of the great compassionate father, the His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.
In May, 2002, a series of frustrating and shocking events happened to me one by one. My best friend died in a car accident in America. My career was not going well and my husband, who had been living abroad, also died accidently. Additionally, my daughter was repeatedly having nightmares, and lastly, I also found myself fighting with family members for unknown reasons. Imperceptibly but inexorably, my instinct told me that all these bad experiences were occurring because the consciousnesses of my deceased family members and friends had not been transferred. Inside my heart, there were many questions that were entangled together and were not able to be answered. Being in the worst time of my life, it seemed as if I was suffering from depression for one time I did not eat or sleep for one whole week. Many times as I was about to fall asleep, I felt that there was something pressing on my chest or I would often awake in shock because I had heard the sounds of weeping during the midnight hours. It was because of this that I would lock myself in my room the whole day and not go out.
Due to experiencing such a bad quality of life, I left a message on a Buddha Dharma web site, imploring: Where can I find a master or practitioner who has achieved enlightenment through true practice? What I did was like casting a stone into the boundless ocean (I dared not hope for having any reply, either). However one month later I received a phone call and was told to go to the Glorious Jewel Jewellery Company on Yi Xian road and ask to see the His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, for Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s ability to liberate beings was very powerful. The first time that I saw the His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, I was instructed: Do not make a fuss over everything. Taking some losses is actually gaining extra advantage. If everyone was like you who worshipped everywhere blindly and dreamed to be rich every day, where could we find any poor people in this world? Even more incredible, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche pointed out that I had once worshipped at a shrine that happened to provide for the little ghosts. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also described the arrangements of the shrine and the appearance of the temple attendant one by one. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche blessed me with a vajra, instructed me to burn the spell paper that I had received at the temple and gave me a vajra knot. I begged Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to transfer the consciousnesses of my deceased family members and friends to the Pure Land. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche instructed that I should attend the Chod puja, one of the Eight Sadhana practices of Esoteric Buddhism. I fell asleep very easily on the night of the day I had met with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. During the Chod puja, I didn’t know why, but I could not stop weeping until the puja was completed. This lasted for one year and every time I attended the puja I was so touched that I wept every time.
Later I recalled that the temple attendent had given me spell paper and instructed me to burn it at the office. Unexpectedly, after the paper was burned, the company’s business worsened. Following this my colleague had a car accident. As for myself, I always felt that a ghost was pressing on my chest during my sleep.
The first time I met Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, right away I saw Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche as my vajra guru. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s image stayed in my head twenty-four hours a day for that whole year as if it was imbedded in my head like a chip. As a result during that time many of my sufferings were cut off. After my sufferings were cured and my pains stopped I was finally able to exam my problems and follow in the foot steps of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to learn the principles of being a person and follow the Buddha doctrine.
In November 2002, my eighty-six-year-old grandmother was already in coma when she was sent to the Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital due to uremia. Even the doctors were not able to cure her. The test report indicated that her hemachrome value was only 3.8 (a normal person’s value should be 11 to 16), carbonic acid value was 7.5 (a normal person’s value should be 22 to 26), this meant her level of urine toxication was quite serious. Also, her Blood Urea Nitrogen (BUN) value was 103 (a normal person’s value should be 8 to 20), Creatinine (Cr) value was 6.8 (a normal person’s value should be 0.5 to 1.3). The ultrasound examination indicated that she had kidney atrophy: The size of her right kidney was 7.01cm and the left kidney was 8cm (a normal person’s value should be 9.5cm). As I was about to lose my most beloved grandmother, we had depended on each other ever since I was young, I couldn’t help but feeing sorrow and at a loss as to what to do.
While I was in such a helpless condition, I suddenly remembered that I had taken my grandmother to see Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche several months ago. At that time Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had promised my grandmother to conduct the Buddha Amitabha Dharma for her when she passed away in the future. Therefore I rushed to the Glorious Jewel Jewellery Company to ask to see Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.
The compassionate Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said that he would personally go to the hospital to bless my grandmother. A few days later, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche went to the hospital and after blessing my grandmother, her once dark, gloomy look instantly turned ruddy and peaceful, just as if she was sleeping. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche enlightened upon this: My grandmother had caught a lot of fish when she was young and preserved them with salt. The consciousnesses of those karmic creditors had never been transferred. Even though my grandmother had been a nun for ten years, there still was no one who could release them. Not even her refuge master could release them. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said if it weren’t for the fact that she had the cause and condition of becoming a nun, then due to the negative karma she cultivated through these killings, she would have acquired cancer rather than having simply fallen into a coma. From this, it is obvious that it is beyond the capability of ordinary people to conduct the transference of consciousness. It can only be achieved by a great enlightened practitioner. The compassionate Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche told me that I must attend the auspicious Chod puja for my grandmother. Later I inquired with my aunt and mother and they confirmed that my grandmother had caught fish before.
When I kneeled down and tried to make an offering on behalf of my grandmother to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said that he would not accept an offering from a person who hasn’t sought refuge yet. Once again I begged Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to give my grandmother the opportunity to make an offering to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Compassionately, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche agreed that I could make the offering during the Chod puja. I also told my grandmother that I would use her savings to make an offering to a great enlightened practitioner, and with her eyes closed she said yes.
The second day after the Chod puja, a dharma brother from the Glorious Jewel Jewellery Company called me and said that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had asked if I had any requests. First I said that I wished that my grandmother would not suffer. Then I said that I wished for her to be able to go to the Pure Land of Amitabha as quickly as possible. Therefore, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche conducted the Buddha Amitayus ritual twice for my grandmother. After Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche completed the first ritual, my grandmother regained consciousness right away. Several days later I took my grandmother to the second Buddha Amitayus puja, so she could attend it personally. When the puja ended and while Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was still sitting on the dharma throne, we went downstairs to send my grandmother home, and yet my grandmother insisted that she had seen Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche leading her himself by the hands to the car. During the puja, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also told us that because I firmly believed in Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, my grandmother’s illness would improve rapidly. I truly believe in Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche as I believe in the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas because Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is the reincarnation of the Bodhisattva who comes to this world again to fulfill his vows. As I write to this point, I can not help but weeping. There truly are no words to describe my gratitude.
Soon after attending the second Buddha Amitayus puja my grandmother was discharged from the hospital. It was only a very short one-week time period between my grandmother being sent to the hospital for her sickness and being discharged from the hospital. It was also because of this causes and conditions of that period that we sought refuge under the His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Since then we have never again lived our lives meaninglessly.
My grandmother had never stopped suffering from sickness in her life. For more than ten years I had continuously travelled back and forth between Taipei, Chung-Li and Suao to take her to the doctors. As for my daughter, she would also vomit very frequently due to headaches caused by glaucoma. Her problem with painful menstruation also made us have to visit the emergency unit very often. As for myself, I had acquired enterogastritis and also suffered from vomiting and diarrhea. In addition, my spine was severely bent due to a car accident and therefore it was too painful to sleep. All three of us were occupied with visiting doctors one by one, and we had visited almost every famous Chinese and Western doctors.
Yet after seeking refuge under Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, those pains and sufferings disappeared very soon without even taking any medication. Therefore we had more time to practice Buddha dharma, too. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had helped my grandmother to obtain six more years of life and had once enlightened upon this during a puja: The reason for helping sentient beings to extend their lifespan is because it is quicker to attain Buddhahood with your time as a human than it takes in the Pure Land.
Every year I would take my grandmother to the hospital for a routine blood test, and the doctor had once suggested that she should receive kidney dialysis treatment. Yet now she did not have symptoms that kidney patients suffered from, such as edema or difficulty in urinating. Previously, her legs used to swell as big as steamed buns, and it would become too difficult for her to step on the ground. Additionally her degenerative and deformed knees had caused her unbearable pain, and yet now her knee edema had disappeared and was not painful anymore. She could walk lightly on her own for a short distance, and although her hemachrome value was only 5, she did not feel dizzy or uncomfortable.
My grandmother’s spirit and her overall conditions were good except that she itched terribly due to serious skin psoriasis. At first we had visited many dermatological clinics and tried all kinds of skin medications. Yet her conditions had worsened. She had even scratched her skin till it bleed and festered. Afterwards we used the Baoyuan ointment and the conditions of her skin psoriasis improved and stopped worsening. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche once enlightened that the karma cultivated through the catching of fish or through the fondness for eating seafood can cause a person to acquire skin diseases. If one has cultivated great negative karma from killing, one’s life will be short and that person will enter hell after death. After hearing this, it truly makes one fear and becomes cautious about the terrible results of killing beings.
At the end of 2007, I took my grandmother home so that I could better take care of her after she had fallen down at the temple. Since then, she had been able to attend every regular puja. During this past year, she had had frequent accidents, however although she has fallen down several times, she has not suffered any bone fractures. She had suffered headaches that made her whole body shiver and the doctor could not find out the cause. It wasn’t until we met Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche that we knew that she suffered from heat exhaustion. Moreover, due to problems such as serious coughing caused by a cold, repeated diarrhea, unable to sleep due to itchy skin caused by skin disease, etc, we must frequently trouble Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to bless my grandmother for relief from these. Meanwhile, there were many times that I was severely scolded for not taking good care of her. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche also instructed me to take care of her and bathe her personally, not letting her catch a cold. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s caring heart for the elderly was like that of a family member’s and was far more attentive than mine was to my grandmother.
When I travelled away from home in November 2008, my grandmother started to have asthma because of the delay to treat a cough caused by a cold. I started to sense that her condition at this time was very serious when the doctor said that her heart was seriously weak. I could not help but weeping sadly. The doctor said that there was still a chance to cure her should we send her to the intensive care unit. However I saw how terrified she was while in the hospital and her condition, to the contrary, worsened. Whenever she was parted from her family, her arms were strapped down to the bed and she would yell loudly. The nurse told me that if I could not bear the sight of suffering like this in the hospital, then I would have to take her home and take on all the pain of her coming departure on my own. At that time I wondered to myself: It was painful for her to receive treatment in the hospital. It would also be painful to go home. I therefore decided to let her stay home peacefully and let her dearest family to be with her and complete the last journey of her life.
That, to me, was a very difficult choice to make and also made me feel very helpless. For someone like me who had never experienced a critical life-and-death event and now must face alone all the unknown things that come with having someone close to you pass on. At this moment, strength suddenly grew in me in abundance. I told myself: There was no need to depend on any medical treatment anymore. Only Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche could help her. I must have faith in my guru and submit the rest to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. It was then that my mind became very peaceful and this lasted continuously because my guru’s blessing power was very strong.
After returning home from the intensive care unit, my grandmother was already unconscious and her hands and legs had turned black. The next day I took her to the Glorious Jewel Jewellery Company to see Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche asked my daughter to tell her: Don’t be afraid. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has been taking care of you all the way. You must remember Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s appearance. When my daughter finished talking, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche recited a mantra to bless my grandmother and gave her a nectar pill to eat.
After the blessing, my grandmother regained consciousness. There were several times when she opened her eyes widely so that her eyes looked bright and piercing. The darkness of her skin had disappeared too. Yet failure to all her organs had already started. I felt very anguished to see her discomfort so I went to see Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche again. The His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche ordered: Pray to the Protectress Achi Chokyi Drolma! I started to pray to the Protectress Achi Chokyi Drolma everyday. My grandmother’s suffering allowed me to pray with utmost sincerity and also made me realized that how much pain sentient beings would be in without Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s care. Therefore I was reminded that I must pray for all sentient beings with a most sincere heart.
In the following week she did not receive any treatment except urethral catheterization. The doctor said that her acidity level was very high but blood oxygen level was very low. She started to lose blood, too. There were a few times that her heart beat rate soared to 170. Her frequent moaning sound tied our hearts together. When asked if she was in pain or not, she would say no. We did not know anything about her heart beating rate or blood oxygen level at all during the last week at home, the only thing we depended on was Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s blessing power. Luckily there was the very effective Baoyuan ointment to reduce much of her pain that was being caused by the bedsores and piles that she had acquired while lying in bed.
Every time when I felt sad because of my concern for my grandmother, I would at once repent and caution myself: I must always have a grateful heart towards my guru no matter what the circumstances would be. I told my grandmother that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had blessed us greatly and that she must constantly contemplate on Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. We also put the Dharma photo of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche above her head and next to her face.
Even thought a cold current had arrived during the past two weeks, yet the temperature would always turn warm and the sun would shine when I took my grandmother to the regular puja on Sundays. On the evening of December 11th, 2008, my grandmother started to discharge large amounts of blood clots. In one day she discharged a huge amount of blood clots more than ten times. Yet her spirit got better and better without feeling too much pain. Because of our calmness, she always thought that it was her stool that she had discharged. It was all Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s blessing power that had made us so fearless.
On December 12th, I told my grandmother that I would take her to attend the Chod puja on that day. After listening to what I said, she closed her eyes as if she was thinking of something. When we returned home after the puja was completed, the adult diaper she wore was full of blood and blood clots. Some had overflowed onto to her pants and other clothes. That night she discharged blood several times but she seemed to sleep soundly and did not feel uncomfortable at all.
Eight o’clock in the morning the next day, she suddenly shouted that she had a stomach ache. It lasted for about three hours and all the while I stayed next to her without knowing what to do. Suddenly I had a thought and told my grandmother that I would offer my most precious piece of jade to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche on her behalf. Meanwhile anxiously I yelled to her: Rinchen Dorjee Rinchen had told us that the suffering would not last forever. Suffering would pass. You would not feel any pain because you have Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s blessing. Believe in Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche so that you will not feel any pain. After I had yelled this several times, my grandmother lay down in bed and passed away peacefully.
Within one hour after my grandmother took her last breath, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche completed conducting the Phowa dharma. The crown of her head was warm, and this temperature did not reduce at all and remained for more than ten hours. Her joints were more flexible than they were when she was still alive. This phenomenon also lasted more than then ten hours as well. Several other auspicious phenomena also appeared; When looking at her eyes and corners of her mouth, it looked as if she was smiling. Her face looked bright and rosy. Her once tensed brow had relaxed and become very soft and bright. Her muscles were softer than when she was alive. Some dark brown colored fluid had discharged from her nose.
After her body was cremated, there was a fine round hole in her skull. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had once told us that this symbolizes the successful completion of Phowa Dharma. Even the owner of the funeral service company said that after seeing so many cremated bones he had never seen such a round hole in the skull of the deceased before. He was very shocked by the great power of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s Phowa Dharma. He also praised Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche saying that among all the practitioners he had seen, he was only convinced by Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. Most of my grandmother’s bones were a beautiful pink in color. Our relatives were very surprised after they had seen all of this and many of their outlooks were changed thereafter. All of them believed that my grandmother had received the auspicious Phowa Dharma and had attained rebirth in the Pure Land.
Since the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and Protectors had arranged everything for us, all the funeral affairs were processed smoothly and easily. From the time my grandmother was sick and until her funeral, many dharma brothers had volunteered to help and accompany us. At this moment I deeply realized something that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had once enlightened upon: The dharma brothers are our family dependants in dharmadhatu and even closer than our own family members.
Often Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche helps us secretly and we are not aware of it at all. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche has abandoned fame and wealth, and to benefit all sentient beings is his only thought. In order to liberate the sick and suffering of all beings, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche fears no illness and personally blesses truly ill patients; conducts rituals to transfer the consciousness of the deceased immediately regardless that he is exhausting his physical strength; bravely supports and protects the Drikung Kagyu Lineage and gives disciples the teachings of true Buddhism so to liberate beings from reincarnation. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is truly a rare and great Bodhisattva in this world.
Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche teaches us with patience and skill and without complaint or regret. There are not enough words to describe my gratefulness and shame. I am ashamed that I have been remiss in following Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teachings and have failed to fulfill all my duties as a disciple. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s merciful and compassionate vow encompasses everything. Only if one has experienced suffering can one then truly understand Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s compassion and great vows to all sentient beings who can be liberated from the cycle of reincarnation.
The kindness of the dearest vajra guru is greater than that of a parent. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is as rare as the world’s most treasured jewel that is difficult to find and obtain.
With the most sincere heart I pray for the good health and the prosperous Buddhism activities of the His Eminence Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.
2008/12/17, Disciple Shu Qing Deng of the first group, sincerely prays.
Updated on November 25, 2009