April 18, 2020 Q&A with Grandmaster

On Saturday night, the main hall of the founding temple of the True Buddha School (TBS) was brightly lit. Everyone was ecstatic upon seeing gleeful HH Living Buddha Lian-sheng Sheng-yen Lu and Shimu arrive at the temple to discourse Dharma via live webcast to worldwide disciples.

During the merit dedication of the solemn simplified practice, Grandmaster prayed to Vajrasattva, Vajra-heart Bodhisattva, and Vajrapani to bless and protect all TBS shrines. Grandmaster also repeatedly prayed to Green Tara, the 21 Taras, and the Tara Who Saves from Contagious Diseases to bless all sentient beings and provide rapid eradication of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Technology has made possible an online world free of national boundaries. Utilizing this technology, Dharma Sister Zhou Huifang, the Chief Executive Officer of the True Buddha Prajna Treasury (TBBOYEH), reported to Grandmaster via videotelephony about the marketing plan for Grandmaster’s book 277, Laughing at Life, which will be officially published on April 30, 2020. In addition, Dharma Sister Zhou Huifang briefly interviewed Grandmaster about his new book.

Grandmaster explained why Laughing at Absurdities was the subtitle of his new book Laughing at Life. It’s because life itself is ludicrous. From childhood to old age, we constantly face the absurdity of life. Every day, every hour, and every second, one’s whole life is originally a joke. Shakyamuni remarked that life is nothing but suffering. Grandmaster wrote this book to advise everyone to laugh everyday despite the suffering the Buddha spoke of. If one thinks about suffering everyday, one won’t be able to laugh.

Facing life with laughter is the core message of Grandmaster’s book. Dharma Sister Zhou Huifang added that this book confirms Grandmaster’s teaching that “Everything will turn out perfectly” because the book will be released during the pandemic just when people are feeling most depressed. The book will be published just in time to soothe their souls.

Following the interview, Grandmaster answered questions from disciples previously collected online.
Q: In the chapter ‘The Wrathful Yamantaka’ in book 269, how are envious and immoral people able to attain spiritual union with Yamantaka? Could it be that the Yamantaka is actually a demon in disguise?
A: The Yamantaka cultivated by a practitioner will reflect the mind of the practitioner. In some places, due to territorial mentality and factionalism, there will be jealousy. These problems are caused by humans. The Yamantaka manifested by Grandmaster is different from the Yamantaka manifested by an envious individual. In fact, there are countless manifestations of Yamantaka. The Yamantaka of an envious person isn’t necessarily the emanation of a demon, because the Yamantaka is a manifestation of the person’s cultivation.

Q: Can we place the Six-herb mixture in front of our computer monitors or cellphones during the live webcast for Grandmaster to bless remotely?
A: Definitely. (Grandmaster immediately initiates a remote blessing). This method can be used to bless the Six-herb mixture. As long as one prays sincerely to Grandmaster, one will receive a blessing wherever one may be. What is a remote blessing? Grandmaster places the empowerment water in front of the buddhas and bodhisattvas, then prays to the millions of Dakinis in space to bestow the empowerment with the empowered water to disciples all over the world who are requesting remote empowerment. This is authentic empowerment that is boundless and beyond any limits. It is similar to Padmasambhava who said he would appear to bless disciples who pray to him on the tenth day of every lunar month. Likewise, as long as disciples pray sincerely to Grandmaster, Grandmaster will definitely bless them.

Q: If a practitioner visualizes the heart chakra radiating light onto all sentient beings in the six realms six times per day, will the buddhas, bodhisattvas, and Grandmaster emit light to bless the practitioner?
A: Six times each day, one should visualize entering of the deity into oneself, release of oneself into the cosmic consciousness, and merging as one with the personal deity; one is the personal deity and the personal deity is oneself without any difference. During these six times, because one is the personal deity, light will manifest, and one may visualize the heart chakra radiating light on all sentient beings in the six realms.

Q: During cultivation, what is the quickest way to visualize manifestation of the personal deity ?
A: Take Grandmaster for example. One who desires to visualize the principal deity appearing clearly should carry a picture of the principal deity and carefully look at the photograph every day. One then will be able to see the principal deity in front of one as soon as one closes one’s eyes. Otherwise, one will end up fumbling one’s way through the visualization. For this reason, one should keep an image of the personal deity with one at all times.

Q: Regarding the Great Sea Deliverance Mudra, there are two versions: 1) both thumbs pressing the middle fingers; and 2) left thumb pressing the right ring finger and right thumb pressing the left middle finger. Which version is correct?
A: Both mudras are correct and both can perform deliverance. If one has the capability of performing deliverance, then either mudra will be effective, since the shape of the mudra is already there. If one is not capable of performing deliverance, the deliverance will not happen just by forming the mudra. Regardless, one must perform deliverance sincerely.

Q: Grandmaster has instructed that visualizing the mantra rotating in the heart chakra while reciting the mantra will concentrate one’s spiritual energy and help one enter samadhi.

  1. Is the moon disc in the center of the red eight-petaled lotus in the heart chakra vertical or horizontal?
  2. Do the mantra syllables and the central seed syllable lie flat or stand upright on the moon disc?
  3. Using the Guru Mantra as an example, should the mantra syllable “om” be positioned at the 12:00 or 6:00 position?
  4. In the three-part Dharma body visualization when visualizing the seed syllable rotating, emitting light, and transforming into the principal deity, does the seed syllable rotate upside down clockwise or left to right clockwise?
  5. During the main section of a practice, when visualizing the seed syllable rotating 360 degrees and transforming into the personal deity, should the rotation be vertical and clockwise?
  6. During the main section of the Four Preliminaries Vajrasattva Practice, is it acceptable to visualize the short version of the Vajrasattva Mantra?

  1. The moon disc lies horizontally because the eight-petaled lotus is also horizontal. If one prefers, one may visualize the moon disc upright (vertical) and in three dimensions.
  2. The mantra syllables on the moon disc are lying flat.
  3. According to the rules of Vajrayana, the mantra syllables must rotate clockwise no matter what. Going clockwise represents the right dharma, whereas going counterclockwise implies going astray. It’s heretical practice. “Om” should be at the six-o'clock position.
  4. If the principal deity is in the space before one, the mantra syllables are upright. If the mantra syllables are on the heart chakra, they are lying flat. The rotation should be clockwise.
  5. See above.
  6. I have often stated that all mantras, whether long, intermediate, short, heart mantras, or root mantras, are of equal merit regardless of length, and this also applies to the merit of recitation.

Q: What is the key formula of non-birth and non-extinction? Is accomplishment of the Rainbow Body the same as or different from the non-birth and non-extinction of body, speech, and mind?
A: The human concept of life and death is based on the idea that “when there is life, there is death.” In other words, only when there is no life is there no death. “Non-birth and non-extinction” is awakening to the principle of non-origination, that is, where there is no origination, there is no extinction. When one comes to this realization, body, speech, and mind disappear. Not speaking is purity of speech, non-arising of thoughts is purity of mind, and the absence of a body is purity of the body. When one attains total purification of body, speech, and mind, one realizes, or awakens to the reality of, non-birth and non-extinction. This is the key cultivation formula.

Q: While visualizing my body, heart chakra, or central channel during the cultivation of the Vajrasattva Four Preliminaries, I am always hindered by the feeling of my body tilting to the right, even though I am, in fact, sitting straight. When I visualize buddhas and bodhisattvas facing me, it seems like their left sides are not manifesting clearly or they are tilted, which is similar to the tilting condition of my right side body. What is causing this obstacle? How does one solve the problem?
A: The key to solving this problem is not to be concerned about whether your body, the buddhas, and the bodhisattvas are not straight. If one ignores the feeling, the visualization will eventually correct itself. Another way to counteract this feeling of tilting is to visualize the buddha tilting to the opposite side so that you and the buddha counterbalance each other. Or, visualize another copy of the tilting deity is tilting to the opposite side. One side offsets the other side, thus solving the problem.

Next, Grandmaster discoursed the Lamdre concerning how to prevent leakage as a result of nocturnal emission.

(Grandmaster reading the text from the Lamdre book.)

Grandmaster explained that both men and women will experience nocturnal emission while dreaming at night, and as a result, there will be leakage of light drops. Placing the mixture of black benzoin, the brain of a hairless animal, the burned ash of White Mustard Seeds, and not yet decayed female’s menses mentioned in the sutra on the palm and even it out with saliva or urine. Applying the mixture on the sacral chakra will stop nocturnal emission.

Another method is to weave three black strings into one, make 21 knots on the string, empower the string with the mantra of the principal deity, and fasten it onto one’s waist. Or, one may carry an undergarment stained with menstrual blood for protection. Because the dirty undergarment is repulsive, ghosts and spirits won’t come near.

Another method to prevent leakage is to take a thread woven by a virgin maiden and dyed with red flowers, cook it, and tie three knots in the thread. At dusk, recite the mantra “Om ah hum rang yang kang” over the thread 1,080 times. Then, fasten the thread onto the waist. This will raise the light drops and there will be no leakage of light drops. One may also recite “Om xiu zha da luo da luo bian da mi xi ta die soha” instead.

The Lamdre sutra also mentioned an additional method; obtain the ashes of a male killed in a battle, mix the ashes with fresh and very clean water, and then rub the mixture on the navel chakra. This will prevent leakage.

Grandmaster encourages everyone to acquire his new book Laughing at Life. This book will change one’s gloomy mood caused by the pandemic to a happy laugh.

Grandmaster considers that life has nothing that really matters. Just laugh it off . Practitioners should have an attitude of laughing it off regarding just about everything. Forget it, it does not matter, it’s ok, and never mind; this is the forbearance resulting from cultivation. Because ordinary, worldly people have no such tolerance, they are ordinary. Therefore, for practitioners, cultivating an open mind is of utmost importance. One must be expansive in order to rise above and detach from events. When the mind is so open that there are no thoughts, this is namely “no-mind.” One who is “no-mind” and completely detached from any events can truly attain samadhi and enlightenment. This is a very important key formula for entering the samadhi.

At the conclusion of his impressive discourse, Grandmaster blessed disciples online and staff members. He also blessed the bottled water on the shrine to be Great Compassion Dharani water. We wholeheartedly thank the Guru for bestowal of this precious Dharma teaching.

Translated by the True Buddha Translation Teams
Translator: Rev. Lianting
Editors: Henry Wolf and DJ Chang

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