January 5, 2020, Rainbow Temple, Medicine Buddha Homa Ceremony
Lamdre Exposition by Dharma King Lian-sheng
Summary of Dharma Talk
On January 5, 2020, the Dharma King, Living Buddha Lian-sheng, presided over the Medicine Buddha Homa Ceremony.
The Medicine Buddha (Bhaisajyaguru) is the founder of the Eastern Paradise of Lapis Lazuli Light. The reference to 'lapis lazuli' is made because of the Buddha’s emittance of transparent blue-green brilliance that permeates the Pure Land, denoting purity without taint.
According to the Sutra of the Fundamental Vows and Merits of the Medicine Buddha, when the Medicine Buddha was still practicing the path of bodhisattvahood in the causal bhumi, he made 12 vows. These included: removing the suffering of illnesses from sentient beings; helping sentient beings to restore bodily faculties and achieve majestic countenance and body; enabling enough sustenance in sentient beings; and relieving sentient beings of all kinds of disasters. The objective of the vows was to help sentient beings attain moksha or liberation. Upon the fulfilment of his vows, the Medicine Buddha attained Buddhahood and lived in the Pure Land of Lapis Lazuli Light -- the name of the Pure Land is often seen in the banners of Buddhist ceremonies today.
The Dharma King told everyone that during the homa, the Medicine Buddha had descended at the prayer area and sprinkled upon everyone, the dew droplets from his vase. "These are dew droplets for curing illnesses," the Dharma King said. "I hope that all kinds of illnesses – physical and psychological – will be removed after everyone receives the dew droplets."
The Dharma King recounted the days of his seclusion, during which, for some time, he suffered from an illness in which his brain was split into eight portions. He had then visited the Tonghua Temple in Daegu near Gyeongju, South Korea, to pay his respects to the Medicine Buddha and its relations. After paying his respects, as he made his way to the next destination, Haiyin Temple, he saw the Medicine Buddha. After that, the Dharma King recovered from the painful illness. The Dharma King once again thanked the Medicine Buddha for the blessings bestowed upon him during that period of suffering, and he was glad that the sickness was eradicated. "The Buddha has twelve vows. Hence, please remember to make a wish to him, and he will fulfil it," the Dharma King said.
The Dharma King continued with the discourse on Lamdre.
The text mentioned about "the start of affinity of the intrinsic nature". The Dharma King told everyone that in Tantrayana, the start of affinity in spiritual cultivation lies in the bodily channels.
"The central, left and right bodily channels are very important. The channels can be analogized to roads where one can access. Hence, it’s only with the use of bodily channels that one can cultivate spiritually," he explained.
The start of affinity in spiritual cultivation also lies in Words (Seed Syllables in Mantras), Dew Droplets (Lightdrops), and Qi.
The Dharma King explained, if one were to liken the bodily channels to the roads, then one could similarly liken the cars on the roads to the Qi in the bodily channels. Just like the fuel in the car which enables the car to run, Lightdrops are the fuel in the body which are spread all over the body. "If the Qi and bodily channels are blocked, the body will be beset with illnesses. When the Qi and channels are unblocked and smooth throughout the body, there won’t be any pain or illnesses."
In addition, according to Lamdre, "The arising of affinity come from others." What does that mean? For example, when one wishes to ignite the inner fire, one must depend on food. "Hence, in one’s daily routine, one must be mindful of what one eats or drinks," said the Dharma King.
The Dharma King emphasized, the start of affinity for Tantric cultivation depends on others, for only then can one begin to cultivate spiritually. "You must depend on Qi, bodily channels, Lightdrops, and Words (Seed Syllables of Mantras). These four things must be present for the beginning of affinity."
After the discourse, the Dharma King bestowed the empowerment of the Medicine Buddha on everyone. All ended well.