Living Buddha Lian-sheng Sheng-yen Lu Discourse on Transforming Golden Mother at Jihai New Year Ceremony Held at Emperor Temple on Feb. 17, 2019
First, homage to our lineage gurus: Rev. Liaoming, HE Sakya Zhengkong Rinpoche, HH the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, and Vajra Acharya Thubten Dargye. Homage to the Three Jewels enshrined at Emperor Temple. Homage to Transforming Golden Mother, the principal deity of today's water offering.
Someone asked, ''Why does Jade Pond Golden Mother have so many emanations? There is Dark-faced Golden Mother, Golden-faced Golden Mother, and numerous other Jade Pond Golden Mothers. They are all different in appearance. How was Transforming Golden Mother transformed?''
I reply is as follows: It is said in Buddhism that the pure Dharma body of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva can transform into 32 emanations, if not more. Transforming Golden Mother can similarly transform, and can transform into five colors.
Why does Golden Mother manifest faces in five colors? The five colors represent metal, wood, water, fire and earth respectively. We know that in Taoism, the western direction belongs to metal, hence Jade Pond ''Golden'' Mother (Xi-hua Golden Mother); east belongs to wood, the Emperor of Dong-hua; center belongs to earth, Huang Lao (the Emperor of Zhong-hua; north belongs to water, Shui Zhing (the Emperor of Bei-hua); and south belongs to fire, Huo Zhing (the Emperor of Nan-hua). This is the ideology of Taoism and these are the Taoist Five Elders (Five Emperors.) The Taoist Five Elders are equivalent to the Five Dhyani Buddhas in Buddhism; Vairocana in the center, Akshobhya in the east, Amitabha in the west, Ratnasaṃbhava in the south and Amoghasiddhi in the north.
The Five Elders in Taoism are Da-luo Golden Immortals. Their rank is equal to the Five Dhyani Buddhas in Buddhism. Therefore, we pay homage to the King of Buddhas, Amitabha Buddha; the King of the Earth, Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva; and the Queen of Immortals, Golden Mother of the Jade Pond. Because Golden Mother of the Jade Pond can transform just as Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva does, she is called Transforming Golden Mother.
What colors indicate metal, wood, water, fire and earth respectively? I will tell you. Golden Mother in the west is, of course, Golden-faced Golden Mother. Golden Mother in the east is Blue-faced Golden Mother. North belongs to water, so Golden Mother in the north is Dark-faced Golden Mother. The south belongs to fire, so Golden Mother in the south is Red-faced Golden Mother. As the center belongs to earth, Golden Mother in the centre is Yellow-faced Golden Mother. The five colors represent metal, wood, water, fire and earth.
I was asked, ''The seed syllable of Transforming Golden Mother is a red 'Hum'. Does red signify power for great love and respect?'' I replied that actually, regardless of color, every Transforming Golden Mother not only has power, but great power. In other words, the entire universe is a manifestation of Transforming Golden Mother. Red has the power to bring minor love and respect, such as that between a man and a woman, or within a family; red can foster a broader extent of love and respect such as that in workplaces and organizations; and red has the power to generate a great love and respect for leaders, artists, and entertainers, bringing them a multitude of fans and followers.
There was this question: ''How does one enshrine Transforming Golden Mother so as to transform one's overall energy and change one's fate?'' My answer is that one visualizes Transforming Golden Mother's five-colored light (five different colours) shining on oneself, one color after another. One then forms the Transforming Golden Mother Mudra and chants the Transforming Golden Mother Mantra.
Transforming Golden Mother has a different mantra: ''Om, ban-za, jin-mu, mu-la-di, so-ha.'' Her mudra resembles a half-open lotus. There is a so-called fully open lotus, a closed-lotus, and a half-open lotus. The mudra of Transforming Golden Mother is a half-open lotus. I'll show you (Grandmaster demonstrates.) This is a closed lotus (Grandmaster demonstrates), and this is a fully open lotus (Grandmaster demonstrates). Why is Transforming Golden Mother's mudra a half-open lotus? Because she transforms, one never knows if she is going to open or close. This is the
mudra of Transforming Golden Mother.
Visualize Transforming Golden Mother showering one with light of five colors. Typically, in Vajrayana, the brow chakra radiates white light, the throat chakra radiates red light, and the heart chakra radiates blue light. Add two more lights to shine upon one and that is the light of Transforming Golden Mother shining upon one. With her image, mudra and mantra, one can begin practicing. By practicing, one can change one's fate.
It was asked, ''How powerful is Transforming Golden Mother?'' Her ''golden'' light fulfills wishes, ''wood'' light subjugates evil, ''water'' light eradicates misfortune, ''fire'' light enhances love and respect, and ''earth'' light brings enrichment. All these lights contain vast blessing. (Note: metal, wood, water, fire and earth correspond to the five colors of white, cyan, black, red, and yellow.) I was asked, ''Joyous occasions generally use the color red, and it is said that red eliminates the three malevolent forces. What are these three malevolent influences?'' My answer was Sang-men, Bing-fu, and Tan-lang. Sang-men is a malevolent influence of death, Bing-fu is a malevolent influence of illness, and Tan-lang is a malevolent influence of calamities. These three malevolent influences can be totally eradicated.
''Which color of the five colors of Transforming Golden Mother brings romantic love? Which color enriches? Which color wins the lottery? Which color creates affinity with influential people?'' My reply was that red is for success in love. Yellow brings wealth. Gold brings luck in the lottery. Red attracts benefactors. Blue and black are for subjugating enemies.
I was asked, ''What is the Transforming Golden Mother Practice?'' To enshrine Transforming Golden Mother, establish a round mandala with Transforming Golden Mother in the center, the position of earth. A smaller Yellow-faced Golden Mother may also be enshrined in the center. Within the mandala, position Blue-faced Golden Mother in the east, Golden-faced Golden Mother in the west, Red-faced Golden Mother in the south, and Dark-faced Golden Mother in the north. In the center, in addition to Transforming Golden Mother, a Yellow-faced Golden Mother may also be enshrined. Form the half-open lotus mudra as I just demonstrated. Chant the mantra ''Om, ban-za, jin-mu, mu-la-di, so-ha.'' Next, visualize Transforming Golden Mother shining her light of five colors upon oneself. This practice will change one's fate.
While he was campaigning for mayor, Cheng Wentsan, now the Mayor of Taoyuan, came to Taoyuan three times to seek my assistance. The first time I saw him, judging from his countenance, I didn't find any characteristics indicating that he could be elected mayor. I therefore told him, ''You need to try harder.'' Afterwards, I blessed him.
When he came the second time, I invoked Golden Mother of the Jade Pond to bless him. From then on, he had the Dharma flow of Jade Pond Golden Mother upon him.
When he came the third time, I invoked Transforming Golden Mother (of Jade Pond Golden Mother) to bless him and assimilate him with five-colored light.
No one would have thought that Cheng Wentsan could win the election campaign. At the time, no one was saying he would win. One day, I arrived at Taoyuan Airport from the USA and Cheng Wentsan met me at the airport. The first thing I said to him was, ''You will win.'' Ultimately, he did win. At that time, no one thought he would win. I blessed him three times. When I came out of Taoyuan Airport, he was waiting for me. I tapped him on the shoulder and said, ''You will win.'' Later, he actually did win. After the election he came to Taichung and thanked me with a meal at Evergreen Laurel Restaurant.
Han Kuoyu winning the Kaohsiung mayoral campaign is another example. The first time he attended our Green Tara Dharma Ceremony, I invoked Green Tara to bless him. I provided a spiritual consultation to him and made a prediction. He presented me with a khata. I blessed him by laying my hand on his head. On the next occasion, he asked Prof. Mai to present me a piece of paper for blessing. I was in Seattle, USA. During his campaign, he asked me for a second blessing which I gave by invoking Kurukulla and Jade Pond Golden Mother. Nowadays, he has the dharma flow of Kurukulla's great love and respect surrounding him and everyone loves him.
I blessed him in my consultation room in Seattle, USA, while a Sr. Rev. and the sister of the Sr. Rev. were present. I blessed him through his photo, then used the power of Jade Pond Golden Mother and Kurukulla's ''great love and respect'' dharma to bless him. So, I bless people equally. What is equally? Han Kuoyu is a member of the Kuomintang (KMT.) He was the KMT candidate for the mayor of Kaohsiung. I gave his campaign my blessing and he was elected. I gave the same blessing to Cheng Wentsan, who is a member of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP.) I give my blessings equally to the KMT and DPP.
As Buddhists, we don't take any political side. I graduated from a military academy, The Chung Cheng Institute of Technology, 28th Class, and the Surveying Institute, 32nd Class. In those days, upon graduating from a military academy and being commissioned an officer, one mandatorily joined the KMT. After I immigrated to the US, I couldn't find my KMT membership card. There was no group, no group leader, and no group meeting for me to attend. Prior to leaving Taiwan, I turned in my membership card to my group leader, Mr Wang. Mr Wang may have already passed away. If that's the case, where can I find my membership card?
Therefore, I do not belong to the KMT or the DPP. Mr. Hsu Hsin-liang once visited me while he was in exile in the USA. He said to me, ''Grandmaster Lu, stop believing in your religion and join my Revolution Party.'' He called his party the Revolution Party at that time. He had appointed a few ministers in the US. The late Master Lianlian was the Minister of Students. Master Lianlian was in New York at the time and was the Minister of Students. There were several other ministers as well. Mr. Hsu wanted me to help him.
Hsu Hsinliang was born in Taoyuan. He spent two hours trying to persuade me. He said, ''In the future, you will have an official position and make a fortune. You should follow me.'' I replied, ''Amitofo! I am a Buddhist. My masters teach me Buddhadharma, not politics.'' Hsu Hsinliang said, ''I will mail you a few books. In the future, after you have read them, you can participate in politics.'' I said, ''No!'' I am a person who is dedicated to Buddhism wholeheartedly, who seeks Buddhadharma wholeheartedly, who wants to be a Buddhist monk wholeheartedly, and who wants to cultivate and save sentient beings. That's why I haven't paid my party dues for a long time, from 38 years old up to now, 75 years old. Therefore, I am not a member of the KMT or DPP. I don't belong to any party. We are the True Buddha Party.
The True Buddha Party is not for politics. It's for learning Buddhism. I have nothing to do with politics. Frankly, Grandmaster does not take any political position, although in my heart I hope Taiwan and Mainland China will come to peace. Why can't Taiwan sit down and have a dialogue with Communist China just as US President Trump sat down and talked with North Korean president Kim Jongun? The two sides could change their positions to a ''lovey-dovey'' relationship. Just think it over. Talk to each other and try to come to an agreement about what each side needs. A federal system of government might be workable, similar to East Malaysia and West Malaysia, each with its own system and government, but nonetheless workable.
Therefore, it would be most beneficial if Taiwan and Mainland China could sit down and talk harmoniously, like brothers. You care about me. I care about you. We should avoid war, because war is, indeed, horrible. This is my ideal, which is different from those who say, ''Forget it! No way!'' Some may have a different viewpoint ?that's your viewpoint. I'm talking about my own personal viewpoint.
Don't start a war, don't attack Taiwan with military force. Dialogue can be established by sending representatives or with face-to-face negotiation between leaders. US President Trump is quite powerful and the power of North Korean president Kim Jong-un is not less, but they can still sit down and have a dialogue. America can even talk with China. Why doesn't Taiwan take advantage of current international trends by sitting down with China in the same way to negotiate their requirements. Both sides can bring up their demands, negotiate, and avoid a confrontation like the China Airlines dispute (a strike). By proceeding in this way, damage to both sides can be minimized. This is my view.
Here is a joke. A pig in a pigsty sighed and shook his head, ''Geez! Who messed whom around? I've never left my house my entire life, nor have I ever travelled to foreign countries. How on earth did I get infected with this foreign disease called African swine fever?''
This is the viewpoint of pig. I'm telling you, planet earth is now a single village and it's possible to come down with African swine fever even though one has never travelled to other countries. Hopefully, Taiwan won't get infected.
One day, a salesperson rang a doorbell, ''Madam, I'm selling a book called Five Hundred Excuses of a Husband Arriving Home Late. You must buy one.'' The housewife said, ''Are you joking? Why should I buy it?'' The salesperson replied, ''Because I just sold a copy to your husband.''
This is called ''know yourself, know your enemy, and you will win every battle.'' We Taiwanese need to understand Taiwan as well as the opposite shore. Agreement can only be reached by understanding both yourself and your opponent.
A asked B, ''What is the disadvantage of working in a hospital?'' B replied, ''Hard to ask for sick leave.'' Because even if you are sick, you still need to be in a hospital! The jokes I shared today failed to make anyone laugh. (Everyone laughs.)
Amy, a young lady, heard her doorbell ring while she was taking a bath. She spoke through the intercom, ''I can't open the door for you now, please come back in half an hour.'' The guy on the other side of the door begged her, ''Please, madam, I am just a shrimp courier (''shrimp'' is pronounced the same as ''blind'' in Mandarin). I only need to drop it off.'' Amy thought to herself, oh well, since he's blind it doesn't matter. So, she opened the door to let him in. The shrimp courier was quite embarrassed when he walked in and saw Amy standing there naked. ''M'am, where would you like me to put this shrimp you bought online?''
What I'm saying is, if one knows both oneself and one's enemy, one can be victorious in every battle. If you don't understand your opponent, don't be a ''blind.''
Today, I have told you that Transforming Jade Pond Golden Mother has tremendous power. Jade Pond Golden Mother is the first deity Grandmaster attained spiritual union with. Because of this union, I have attained profound understanding of Buddhadharma and infinite Buddhadharma flows within me. I am telling you that the most important point is to seek your inner Buddha-nature, your root pure light. When one is able to bring forth one's buddha-nature and root pure light, one will surely attain buddhahood!
Om Mani Padme Hum
Translated by TBTTs (This translation only includes content pertaining to Transforming Golden Mother)
Translator: Phyllis Feng
Editor: Henry Wolf and DJ Chang