829: I Thank Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for Compassionately Saving Such a Profoundly Wicked Disciple

Praise be unto His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, His Holiness the Drikung Kyabgon Chetsang, the Lineage Gurus, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, and Dharma Protector Achi! Greetings, honorable believers and Dharma brothers; I am grateful to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche for giving me this opportunity to praise the guru and share an account of how he saved my family.

I am Lin Hengzheng of Group Seven and I took refuge on February 6 of this year. My wife is Wu Yanlin of Group Eight, and my two sons are Lin Guanhong and Lin Yiru, both of Group Seven.

We are the family that made meat sacrifices to my deceased father, and sought an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche on October 1st to implore him to liberate my dad, as the guru mentioned in the previous puja. As such, you might remember us better who we are.

While in his freshman year of high school, my eldest son, Lin Guanhong, went to the doctor because his vision was blurry. Test results revealed he had a brain tumor that was eight centimeters in diameter. During the first operation, only one third of it was removed, and subsequently he had to suffer through many hard times one after another. The ophthalmologist informed me that my son’s optic nerve had atrophied as a result of constriction caused by the tumor, and that the condition was irreversible. Hearing this, my son broke into tears right there in the examination room. Dharma Brother Wang, who worked there in the doctor’s office, mentioned that there was an immensely compassionate master practitioner who could help us, and even shared an account of how her own son had been saved. Thus, right then and there we decided to eat vegetarian and seek an audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

My eldest son, after undergoing surgery to have his brain tumor removed

After we described my son’s situation to His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche, the guru kindly said, “My younger brother had a brain tumor, too.” He then asked, “What are you going to do?” Momentarily stunned, we answered, “We want to learn Buddhism.” Actually, with a single glance Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche saw right through us and knew that we had come to seek blessings and protection, so he said, “I have seen too many of people like yourselves.” In his great compassion, however, he still blessed our son and granted us permission to participate in the pujas. He then added, “After you get home, your child will be a bit more comfortable.” This moved us deeply, and gave us confidence for the future.

After twenty-eight radiotherapy sessions and because we continuously asked for hospital leave to participate in the pujas, the tumor shrank visibly, and was only one fifth its original size. Such an outstanding result gave us great surprise, and we could not help but praise the power of H.E. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s blessings. We are grateful to Dharma Brother Xu’s family for boosting our morale by bringing some Japanese food items to share with us! Prior to my son’s second operation, we were helped by Dharma Brothers Ren and Wang, whom we had never met before, when they brought us precious nectar pills and nectar water that had been blessed by the guru. Comparing our child’s rapid post-operative recovery to how he was after the first operation, the difference was like night and day; only eight days after surgery, he was allowed to take leave from the hospital, during which we again sought audience with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. When it was our turn to see him, before the guru said anything he first blessed our son. This again made us sensed the guru’s compassion, and we implored him to bestow upon us one of his Dharma photos, and were granted one. Our child had contracted a fever while in hospital, and for ten days the doctors had been unable to find out the cause of his illness. This had caused us to worry that he might have other problems. However, miraculously, as soon as we brought the Dharma photo back to his hospital ward, he unexpectedly got better. The doctor said that the process of discharging him from hospital could be started, and that was the end of four long months of our having to stay up north to have his brain tumor treated.

Computer tomographies of the patient’s brain taken over a period of three months. The tumor (the white mass shown inside the red circles) underwent an obvious reduction in size

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had compassionately saved our entire family, but had we truly made a firm resolution to renounce reincarnation as taught by him? Not at all; we had merely wished to follow the guru closely so that we could get protection and blessings. This was the reason we could not even find a single guest to participate in the Great Indiscriminate Amitabha Puja for Transferring Consciousness; it was because we’d had the wrong attitude. When my heart is in the wrong place, then how can anyone possibly be willing to follow my recommendations to come to the Great Puja?

My dad had a stroke years ago, and also suffered from Parkinson’s disease. He often spent time in bed, and did not like to walk around. He had to take his meals and use the toilet in his bedroom, and became completely isolated from the outside world. As the guru has taught, “From the way one lives before passing away, it can be seen which realm one will go to after death.” My dad died very suddenly. That Saturday before he passed, my younger brother had said our dad’s condition had been more stable than the previous few days. He died right when we were reciting the Dharma Protector prayer during a puja; we only learned of his death after we finished, when we returned a phone call. We immediately contacted Dharma Brother Wang, who reminded us that Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche had said that when a loved one passes away, the family members must chant mantras for eight hours and that everyone must eat vegetarian; even the sacrificial food offerings to ancestors must all be vegetarian. Dharma Brother Wang also got in contact with Dharma Brother Zhang in Taichung for us, to have him send up a precious nectar pill bestowed by the guru. My dad went very peacefully, and he was lucky enough to be given the blessings of the nectar pill. My mom believed this had to do with Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. We then shared with her the story of how the guru had, over a period of eight hours, unfathomably liberated Dharma Brother Chen’s grandfather. I repent for my lack of filial piety; after taking refuge, I did not extol to my family Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s virtues in compassionately helping sentient beings. This prevented my mom and brothers from being able to develop faith in Buddhism. I also had just lived my own life, without taking care of my sick dad.

Lin Hengzheng’s father (first on the left) suffered Parkinson’s disease for many yearsLin Hengzheng’s father (first on the left) suffered Parkinson’s disease for many years

When we went to the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center that Saturday to implore Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche to liberate my dad, the guru asked, “Did you ever bring your dad here to see me, while he was still alive?” I answered, “No.” Right then and there the guru reprimanded, “You unfilial son!” and then asked, “Have you ever offered sacrifice to your deceased father using vegetarian food?” I replied that I hadn’t, and he said, “In the Sutra of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s Fundamental Vows, it is written that one must not use meat in sacrifices made to the deceased, for doing so will cause the deceased to go to the Hell Realm. I have repeated this so many times, yet it seems to just go in one ear and out the other. You are all afraid of starting quarrels with your family members; you don’t fear cause and effect.” Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche went on to ask, “Who is in charge of your dad’s funeral?” I answered, “My mom is.” The guru retorted, “You still think you disciples can just get your guru to handle all your troubles. None of you understands how much energy it takes and how hard it is to pull the deceased up from the Hell Realm!” He then asked a monastic named Dinglu, to tell us about Buddhist concepts. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche knew I had merely come seeking protection and blessings, and was not fully committed to my practice, so that same day he took back all of our Dharma texts and prohibited us from learning Tantra.

Even after we’d done so many things wrong, however, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche did not abandon us; he compassionately taught everyone during the general puja the following day, and granted me, profoundly wicked though I’d been, the opportunity to lead my entire family into forming a virtuous connection with the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. I repent for having looked down on the Dharma, been disrespectful, haughty, and arrogant, and had vicious thoughts about the guru and setting him up. Knowing how remarkable he was, I took advantage of his compassionate intentions to benefit sentient beings while doing nothing myself. I thought that by simply using a bit of money I could plead with the guru to liberate my father.

I repent for my own foolishness. I have been both selfish and arrogant, and since taking refuge, I have not amended my behavior; my attitude has remained stuck at the level of a believer, merely seeking protection and blessings without abiding by the guru’s teachings or implementing them in my life. I am too heavily attached to my “self”, and I only see things from my own point of view.

I repent for not adhering to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s teachings. I did not put forth much effort into persuading my family members from using meat offerings when making sacrifices to my deceased father. I indulged their tendency to create evil karma, thus causing my dad to go to the Hell Realm. I repent for having shirked my responsibility by blaming my mom and brothers for doing all the wrong things. I completely deviated from the guru’s teachings, and acted outrageously wrong. I am not worthy of being Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s disciple.

Thanks to the sharing and encouragement of many Dharma brothers, and after actively communicating with my family members, letting them understand how incredible Rinpoche’s determination to compassionately liberate sentient beings is. I am grateful to Rinpoche’s blessings. As a result, my family members agreed to go vegetarian, and to come north to seek an audience with H.E. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche.

Lin Hengzheng and his family at the Glorious Jewel Buddhist Center, publicly praising the auspicious support the guru has given them

The following Saturday, I brought my mom, my eldest brother, my second-eldest brother, and my younger brother with me to seek an audience with H.E. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche. The guru granted me the opportunity to introduce my family members to him, and then compassionately taught from the Sutra of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha’s Fundamental Vows: “Using meat to make sacrifices to the deceased is like ‘adding another catty to the hundred catties’, further worsening the situation; it will send the deceased into the Hell Realm. In a past life, in order to know where her mother would be reborn after death, Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha sold her house as an offering. I have not asked you to do such a thing, but I act in complete accordance with the sutras. I look after all my disciples and their family members.” I immediately felt extremely moved. Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche takes care of his disciples without asking for anything in return; likewise, our offerings to him should be made without asking for anything in return, too. The guru also compassionately bestowed upon me the chance to make six hundred grand prostrations daily and dedicate them to my dad’s karmic creditors from past lives. Once enough good fortune had been accumulated, the guru would let us know.

Two weeks later, because it had been nearly a year and a half since the Buddhist Center in Taichung had been consecrated, and thanks to Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s benevolence, all the Dharma brothers from Taichung registered to make an offering together, and we registered to make one ourselves as well. Because of Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s compassionate unwillingness to allow any deceased to suffer, he immediately gave us permission to register on our father’s behalf to have him liberated during the Chod Puja being held the next day. Deep down, I was filled with gratitude and delight. That same evening, my mom saw my dad in a dream. He was bending his body while calling her name out, and then he told her, “They are all free. All of them are free!” When she woke up the next day, my mom did not think much of it, but after the perfect completion of the Chod Puja and we informed the family about it, she suddenly realized that the dream meant that all of my father’s shackles had been unlocked. We had all known Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche was remarkable, but had not known just how amazing he was.

During the Chod Puja held on October 23rd, Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche said, “A lot of domestic fowl and other bird species have come here today.” I recalled that when I was little, my family had raised a lot of domestic fowl; some of them we had slaughtered to eat ourselves, and some we had sold to other people. We also grew grapes at home, and to prevent birds from getting at them, we had erected netting all around, and had roasted and eaten any birds that got caught in it. However, the netting had not been very effective, so we’d switched to the crueler tactic of spraying pesticide on the grapes. I repent for having harmed countless sentient beings.

Right now Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche is planning on building a temple to benefit even more sentient beings. Besides diligently making offerings, I also would do my best to spread the word so that even more people can join in on this virtuous act. Moreover, I wish to thank the guru for granting my family members who have not yet taken refuge the opportunity to take part in supporting the new temple.

Lin Hengzheng, his wife Wu Yanlin, and their sons, Lin Guanhong and Lin Yiru, have all taken refuge in Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche

Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche’s liberation of my dad has given our entire family a realization of the immense compassion he has for sentient beings. Being disciples of such a meritorious guru, if we still do not have a solid, firm faith in him, then we have wasted this life. I hope all you honorable believers and Dharma brothers will learn from our example, and not make the same mistakes we have.

I pray that His Eminence Vajra Guru Rinchen Dorjee Rinpoche would have good health, maintain an eternal presence in this world, keep turning the Dharma wheel to benefit sentient beings, and that the Drikung Kagyu Lineage would flourish forever!

Respectfully written by Disciple Lin Hengzheng, Group 7, on November 6, 2016
Updated on January 20, 2017

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Updated on January 20, 2017