WHO IS SHENG-YEN LU
By Living Buddha Lian-sheng (Grand Master Sheng-yen Lu).
Translated by Janny Chow.
Who am I? Who am I really? In the past, I have repeatedly examined and questioned myself: Who is "Sheng-yen Lu"? Is Sheng-yen Lu a merchant? A businessman? "During his high school years, he took some business classes and studied bookkeeping. When he was a youngster, he sold popsicles and plum candies ... he is a merchant." Is Sheng-yen Lu a worker? A technician? "When he was in high school, he took classes in metal casting, and worked as a technician for the Taiwan Mechanical and the Taiwan Electrical Companies, doing work such as moving and hauling cables and machinery. He is a worker and technician." Is Sheng-yen Lu an engineer? "Yes. He is an engineer, a surveying engineer. During his college years, he studied Survey Engineering, which included geodetic survey, topographic survey, aerial survey, and mapping. He actually practiced for ten years as a survey engineer." Is Sheng-yen Lu a career serviceman? "Yes. He graduated from the Chung Cheng Institute of Technology, Department of Survey. After four years and four months in this military school and, after graduating from it, he continued to serve in the army for ten more years, rising from second lieutenant to major. He retired as a major." Is Sheng-yen Lu a poet? "Yes. He writes traditional and modern verses and poetry. He has published a collection of poems titled A Wisp of Smoke. He is a poet." Is Sheng-yen Lu a writer? "Yes. He has worked as a journalist and an editor. He has written novels, essays, and poems. A prolific writer, he has published more than seventy books." Is Sheng-yen Lu a divinator? "Certainly. He has studied various disciplines in divination, such as astrology, numerology, face reading, aura reading, and palmistry. He is most famous for his spiritual reading." Is Sheng-yen Lu a geomancy expert?
"Yes. His knowledge in geomancy encompasses the theories of more than six different traditional schools, and his skill in analyzing residences and burial sites is second to none." What else is Sheng-yen Lu? He is a Christian (has been a Sunday Bible School teacher), a Taoist Master, a Buddhist Master (shaven and left home), and also the Living Buddha Lian-shen (a Tantric guru). Is Sheng-yen Lu a monk? "Yes. He is now a monk, after formally taking the vows and shaving his head." Is Sheng-yen Lu the lineage holder of the True Buddha School? "Yes, because he has founded the True Buddha School to propagate the True Buddha Dharma." Apart from the above, Sheng-yen Lu is also a psychic! He is someone who is everything. But, who, really, is Sheng-yen Lu?
Now, I must sit quietly in the Lotus position. I have to give this question deep contemplation. Everything in the past died yesterday. Everything in the present is born today. I have walked a very long path and searched a great deal. I have a whole basketfuls of experiences and my fantasies have been as intricate as the patterns of stars in the sky. Now, I have gathered up all of them and wrapped them in a piece of cloth. I am going to toss this bundle into the ocean, to let it float with the waves and sink to the deepest ocean bottom, never to resurface. I will transform into "One. " I will transform into "Zero. "
When I was reading Buddhist sutras, I came across Revata, one of the disciples of Buddha Shakyamuni. His experience gave me a revelation. Here is an excerpt from the extra: "Revata was staying overnight in a deserted pavilion. While in meditation, he observed two ghosts fighting over a corpse and was asked to be the judge. Revata knew that he would not escape unscathed in this intervention, so he told the truth. He judged that the corpse should be eaten by the small ghost since the corpse was being carried by the small ghost. The big ghost became mad and pulled the limbs off Revata and ate them. Feeling sorry for Revata, the small ghost immediately used the limbs from the corpse to repair Revata's body. The big ghost proceeded to pull the head off Revata and ate it. The small ghost then repaired it with the head from the corpse. The big ghost continued to pull off parts of Revata's body and eat them. The small ghost continued to repair Revata's body with body parts from the corpse. When the big ghost finished eating, he wiped his mouth and left. When the small ghost finished repairing, he also left.
"At this point, Revata quite naturally became neurotic and wondered whose body it was that he had now? Could it still be his original body? But he had witnessed his own body being pulled apart. Could it be somebody else's body? But it now followed his command. He asked whomever he came across, 'Is this really my body?' No one could answer him. At this time, there was a monk who thought that he [Revata] was ready for liberation and led him to see the Buddha. They went to the teaching hall and Revata asked the Buddha whose body it really was. The Buddha said, 'This body is actually the remains of another person; it is really not yours.' When Revata heard the Buddha's teaching, he immediately achieved Realization. "The Buddha asked Revata, 'What have you realized?' Revata answered, 'I see that in this world, the bodies of all men are really the remains of their parents, rather than their own possessions.' At this point, the Buddha knew that Revata had, indeed, awakened to Realization, so he gave him the name 'the Empirical Body.' With this name, the Buddha meant to illustrate that in this world the gross bodies of men were the product of the illusory integration of the Four Great Elements. The Four Great Elements are earth, water, fire, and wind. Skin, muscles, connective tissues, and bones form the earth element. Blood, saliva, mucus, lymph, urine, and feces form the water element. Heat in the body forms the fire element. Respiration and movements of the limbs form the wind element. That is why bodies are said to be the illusory integration of the Four Great Elements. The seemingly solid bodies are really an illusion. That was why the Buddha gave Revata the name 'the Empirical Body'." These three paragraphs of sutra can be summarized as follows: 1) If the body is completely consumed and replaced by a substitute, then who am I really? 2) One's body is formed from the remains of one's parents-an illusory integration of the Four Great Elements of earth, water, fire, and wind. 3) Where, then, is the "True Self"?
Amid my contemplation, sitting inside a circle of bright light, I have arisen. I realized: "I am the Buddha." "The Emptiness of Ego is Buddhahood." "The Emptiness of Ego is equivalent to Sunyata, the Void." Of everything in this world that I see with my physical eyes, there is not one thing that is mine. Every single phenomenon in this world undergoes transformation, is impermanent, and is inherently empty! In the state where the Ego is forgotten, Sheng-yen Lu does not exist anymore, not in the present, not in the past, and not in the future. The so-called Sheng-yen Lu is not really Sheng-yen Lu; such is really a name.
A BRIEF BIOGRAPHY
By Darrell McLaughlin
The founder of True Buddha School, Master Sheng-Yen Lu was born on the eighteenth of the fifth Lunar month, 1945, in the county of Chiayi at Taiwan. He now resides in the Seattle area of the United States. His religious background includes Christianity, Taoism, Sutrayana and Tantric Buddhism. Master Lu keeps a disciplined schedule throughout the day and has been practicing yoga and meditation everyday for over thirty five years. He has already reached the stage in which any yoga he engages in manifests a response. His inner world encompasses the Buddhist Tripitaka as well as the knowledge of the Supreme Consciousness of the Universe. Having achieved Enlightenment, Master Lu is revered by his students as a Living Buddha, Lian-shen. To date, the number of students all over the world who have taken refuge in Master Lu has reached over five million. There are also more than three hundred local chapters of the True Buddha School, including 35 major temples. Master Sheng-Yen Lu is also a prolific writer with over two hundred twenty Chinese books already in print.
THE TRUE FACE OF THREE-MOUNTAIN-NINE-MARQUIS
By Living Buddha Lian-sheng.
(page 2, True Buddha News, 116 issue, October 15-31,1996)
Translated by Yuan Zheng Tang.
In my spiritual life, the first and formless teacher I had was "Three-Mountain-Nine-Marquis" who had taught me for more than three years. I was scolded by the readers for using the title " Mr.Three-Mountain-Nine-Marquis Xian Sheng" instead of calling him my teacher. I pondered over the Chinese words "Xian Sheng." "Xian Sheng" was the most respectful title used in the olden days - unlike now when it is used to address everybody (meaning Mr.) I used the word in the classical sense, and not its modern usage. In the olden days, very few people qualified to be given the title of "Xian Sheng." Hence "Three-Mountain-Nine-Marquis" must be coming from an extraordinary background.
Solving the riddle
Once the title "Three-Mountain-Nine-Marquis Xian Sheng" appeared in my spiritual books, it created a commotion. And soon, many people tried to guess who he is ? A Taoist priest sent a book "The secret book of all Dharmas converging into one" to me. Its contents contained among others , a poem written by Patriarch Three-mountain, and the tablet of "Three-Mountain-Nine-Marquis."
Mantra and other secret practices were recorded in the book. Some even used the following as invocation : "By order of Three-Mountain-Nine-Marquis Xian Sheng, I command you to carry out this instruction." I put the question to my teacher.
He answered: "In this world, there are many people who happened to have the same names, it is quite common. For example, your name is Lu Sheng Yen, do you think no other people can have the same name ?"
What he said makes sense to me, when I was studying at Gao Xiong , a neighbor of mine had the same name as me. Many more people whose second name is "Sheng Yen". I know Japanese like the name very much. Therefore, the "Three-Mountain-Nine-Marquis Xian Sheng" mentioned by "The secret book of all Dharmas converging into one" is not my spiritual teacher of the same name.
Nine old monkeys over the three mountains
A Dharma master who claims to be able to communicate with the spiritual world has warned me not to indulge in the evil craft. He said : "As the words implied, it means Nine old monkeys who gain enlightenment while practising over the three mountains."
He even claimed that he knew how the monkeys carried out spiritual practice on : " Spiritual response method ", "Taking pills counting method", "Drawing talisman method", and "Space travelling method."
I was shocked that "Three-Mountain-Nine-Marquis" was just nine monkeys.
As I was able to use Peach Pond Golden Mother's Cloud-light Dharma to penetrate into the deepest of the cloud, after passing through many magnificent towers and palaces decorated with pearls and shells , I stopped below a peach tower. I asked : "What is "Three-Mountain-Nine-Marquis Xian Sheng?"" The Jade Pond Golden Mother answered with a poem :
There are fully enlightened deities who assume no forms,
Changing into three mountains, they do not experience life and death,
Mastery of self-nature, they do things with ease,
Honored as teachers, Nine Marquis have since been enlightened.
After coming out from my deep mediation , I was able to know that "Three-Mountain-Nine-Marquis" was not old monkeys who were enlightened!
Nine Marquis Court
There was a temple in Tai Nan by the name of "Nine Marquis Court".
A Taoist priest by the name of Chen claimed to be my classmate, as his teacher was "Three-Mountain-Nine-Marquis".
I have never been to Nine Marquis court, and I do not know what was Mr. Chen's special skill. I dare not acknowledge him as my classmate, as I have to tell the truth. And I do not want to be manipulated.
Senior Mr. Li
A certain Mr. Li, who cultivated both Taoism and Buddhism and formed his own sect claimed to be my teacher. His disciple asked him : "How come Lu Sheng Yan is your disciple ?"
He answered: "Because I am "Three-Mountain-Nine-Marquis"
His disciple asked him again : "But, why doesn't he acknowledge you as his teacher ?"
He replied : " I used my secret spiritual power to teach him. While I was doing this, I never assume any form, so although he has learned from me, he does not know me."
So his disciple wrote to me, and asked me to acknowledge.
Apart from Mr. Li, there were Mr. Nan Gong, Mr. Chu ...... without any proof, they wanted me to acknowledge them as my teachers. Suddenly I have so many teachers.
The true face of "Three-Mountain-Nine-Marquis"
I have never thought of raising my teacher's status to benefit myself. I have never thought of my formless teacher's status as being so high and inconceivable. On second thought, as his disciple , my background was already amazing, so having a teacher of such high status is a matter of complementing each another.
The title "Three-Mountain-Nine-Marquis" refers to more than one person. Three Mountains - three persons, and Nine Marquis , nine persons. Hence this title refers to twelve persons.
Although there are twelve of them, each of them have the same titles but in different realms. I will touch on it in future. There are many such cases in Buddhism.
Now, let me take down their masks and reveal the true faces of "Three-Mountain-Nine-Marquis": Three-Mountain (trikaya)
Dharmakaya (spiritual body) -Vairocana Buddha
Sambhogakaya (the body of bliss)-Locana Buddha
Nirmanakaya (the body of reincarnation)-Shakyamuni Buddha
Nine-Marquis (the nine honored ones in the eight-petaled hall of the Garbhadhatu )
1. Mahavairocana in the center - Bian Zhao Vajra (Radiating everywhere).
2. Ratnadhvaja in the East - Fu ju Vajra (Merit accumulation)
3. Kaifuhuawang in the South - Ping Deng Vajra (Equality)
4. Amitabha Buddha in the West -Qing Jing Vajra (Pure & Clean)
5. Divyadundubhimeghanirghosa in the North -Pu Dong Vajra (immovable)
6. Samatabhadra Bodhisattva in the South East- Zhen Ru Vajra (Bhutatathata)
7. Manjusri Bodhisattva in the South West - Ji Xiang Vajra (Auspicious)
8. Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva in the North West -Zheng Fa Vajra (Righteous Dharma)
9. Maitreya Bodhisattva in the North East- Xun Ji Vajra (Swift)
Although there are twelve of them, it is very easy to distinguish each of them when they arrived. They taught me different Dharmas, they had different voices, they used different strength and touches. And breathed different air.
After forming the "Three Mountain" Mudra, I recited the Mantra : "Namo Samanduo Mutanam Fu." I came to realize the Mudra and Mantra were that of Shakyamuni Buddha. And "Three Mountain" is the trikaya of Shakyamuni Buddha. I recalled what Jade Pond Golden Mother said : "There are fully enlightened deities who assume no forms" - She was referring to Shakyamuni Buddha. Whenever the Buddha arrived, my hands will automatically form the "Three Mountain" Mudra, and I will recited the Mantra: "Namo Samanduo Mutanam Fu" How did I know the "Nine Marquis" referred to the nine honored ones in the eight-petaled hall of the Garbhadhatu? When I was empowered, I could clearly distinguish the five color radiation of white, red, yellow, green and black.
The four Bodhisattvas taught the four immeasurable mind:
Great kindness refers to Maitreya.
Great Pity refers to Avalokitesvara.
Great Joy refers to Manjusri.
Great Self-sacrifice refers to Samantabhadra.
Although the feeling was very subtle, I was able to discern it. Later on when I prayed to the Garbhadhatu Mandala, there was an endless suction from the eight-petaled hall of the Garbhadhatu, and the bright vein in my heart also exerted a soft suction. These two forces met in the air and merged into one. There were one and the same force which included each other . Therefore I can verify that "Nine Marquis" are none other than the nine honored ones , and I had their empowerment.
Once a cultivator pointed out that the source of my energy came from Vajradhatu . This was different from What I had experienced. Maybe his prognosis was incorrect, as the two realms of Vajradhatu and Garbadhatu are fundamentally one, as are the absolute and phenomenal.
Garbadhatu -Mahavairocana = Vajradhatu - Mahavairocana
Garbadhatu -Ratnadhvaja = Vajradhatu - Aksobhya
Garbadhatu -Kaifuhuawang = Vajradhatu - Ratnasambhava
Garbadhatu - Amitabha = Vajradhatu - Amitabha
Garbadhatu -Divyadundubhimeghan = Vajradhatu - Amoghasiddhi
Flower Light Self-mastery Buddha
If you still think that my evidence is inadequate, then let me tell you that I have progressed from being an ordinary cultivator to being enlightened as " Flower Light Self-mastery Buddha." This title was given by Shakyamuni Buddha, I had recorded what happened in my book. I am speaking the truth. If I am lying, then the 120 books that I wrote are full of lies.
After 27 years of daily cultivation, I have put the jewel of my life in 120 books I wrote. I guarantee that it is true that Shakyamuni Buddha gave me the title of "Flower Light Self-mastery Buddha". That event was so vivid, and it was also the apex of my enlightenment.
I must admit that after spiritual cultivation, my wisdom has increased tremendously:
There is no self .
Five color lights radiate at our self nature forever.
Great pity lights are omnipresent.
I have achieved four kinds of brilliance.
1. Dharma nature valid cognizer
2. Growing realization and perception
3. Full enlightenment wisdom.
4. Ultimate Dharma nature
Through the cultivation of True Buddha Tantra, I am able to reach a purified stage of wisdom. I am able to see the body, light and pure land at once. All the delusions never appear to me again.
I have accomplished the trikaya and five wisdoms.
Away from meaningless act is the Dharmakaya,
Showing the non attachment quality is the sambhogakaya.
And displaying all kinds of spiritual level is the Nirmanakaya.
Away from the meaningless act is the Wisdom of the embodied nature of dharmadhatu
Without hindrance is the Mirror-like wisdom
Showing no impartiality is the Wisdom of equality
Uncontaminated and radiating five lights is the Wisdom of discrimination
Changing objects that are touched into lights is the Wisdom of accomplishment
My wisdom is unrivaled. I surely know "Three-Mountain-Nine-Marquis" is the trikaya of Shakyamuni Buddha and the five Buddhas and four Bodhisattvas of the eight-petal hall of the Garbhadhatu.
Let me quote from the Lotus Sutra:
"The true entity of all phenomena can only be understood and shared between Buddhas. This reality consists of the appearance, nature, entity, power, influence, inherent cause, relation, latent effect, manifest effect, and their consistency from beginning to end."
As Flower Light Self-mastery Buddha, Surely I know the true identity of "Three-Mountain-Nine-Marquis".
Kulapati Li Ping Nan and Xuan Hua Shang Ren
Seriously speaking, the first Kulapati (A householder who practises Buddhism at home without becoming a monk) I have met after taking the faith of Buddhism was Mr. Li Ping Nan (also known as Kulapati Xue Lu ). He was a reputable speaker on Sutras from the Pure Land School. When I took refuge in Ying Xuan the great teacher, it was Mr. Li who conducted the taking refuge in triple gem ceremony.
Later on, Mr. Zhao Ji recommended me to take refuge in Le Guo, the elderly Dharma master and Mr. Wang Yi Zhi recommended me to take refuge in Dao An , the Dharma master. This was how I learned Buddhism, let me come back to the topic.
When Mr. Li Yi Nan heard the term "Three-Mountain-Nine-Marquis" and knew I was able to communicate with the spiritual world, he was shocked. Without hesitation, he said : "That's it, Lu Sheng Yan is possessed." He even said: "Once the Mara has finished sucking his energy and left his body, Lu Sheng Yan will die. You mark my words, he won't live very long !" (Bodhi Tree - the monthly journal printed an article "A criticism on Lu Sheng Yen" then. )
Mr. Li Yi Nan passed away after I migrated to the States. In my meditative stabilization before his death, I saw his body radiating white light and he told me : "We are alike." I knew that he will be reborn in the Western Pure Land. He came to settle the old scores with me - he had slandered me on many occasions, before his transmigration.
Kulapati Li Yi Nan , a knowledgeable Dharma preacher was still unable to know my true identity and that of my teacher Three-Mountain-Nine-Marquis". He had to see me, settle our differences before he left the world.
Why did he say : "We are alike ?". I will explain it in a future article.
Let me talk above Xuan Hua Shang Ren (Venerable Xuan Hua). Also known as Dharma Master Du Lun, he built a "Thousand Buddha City" at the outskirts of San Franscico. He was a disciple of Xuan Yun the elderly monk. Studying the teaching of Zen, Pure Land , Tantrayana, and precept schools , he was noted for observing strict rules - wearing three layers of costume without fail, eating one meal a day, fasting after twelve noon, and never lying down to sleep. As all of you have known, Xuan Huan Shen Ren had criticized Tantrayana teaching - he slandered Patriarch Milarepa, calling him a Mara, and he even published a book entitled " Telling the public to topple the evil and uphold the righteous Dharma" to viciously attack him. He wrote articles in "Thousand Buddha city" , a monthly journal to slander the sixteen Karmapa. He also slandered me (Living Buddha Lian Sheng - Master Lu Sheng Yen)
I only met and talked to him once. He was tall, and gave me the mpression that he had poor taste, his Dharma talk was shallow and uninteresting. He did not display any Dharma power and gave me the impression that he was unbearably vulgar.
I was surprised that such an ordinary Dharma master was able to found the magnificent "Thousand Buddha City." Then I saw that a black Bodhisattva "King Leng Yan" (Surangama) stood behind him occasionally . (It is said those who have obtained the Samadhi of "King Leng Yan" will have a lot of followers)
It may appear that Xuan Hua Shang Ren had spiritual powers to get things done . The truth was Bodhisattva "King Leng Yan" was giving a helping hand in the background. You may wonder why Bodhisattva "King Leng Yan" chose to follow such an ordinary Dharma Master ? Although vulgar, he was able to recite Surangama Sutra by heart (Surangama Sutra is an important Sutra in Buddhism, its style is fluent and elegant) The first chapter of the Sutra mentioned about : "Those who have mastered this Sutra will have many followers." It is very obvious that Bodhisattva "King Leng Yan" will come to support and protect Xuan Hua who had treasured Surangama Sutra all his life. I know very well that Xuan Hua Shang Ren did not really enter into the Samadhi of "King Leng Yan", and he was not enlightened spiritually. He committed a lot of unwholesome karma in speech. He criticized Tantrayana, and said that Xuan Yuan was not a real monk. Moreover he also spoke ill of his own disciples. His mind was full of all kinds of earthly problems.
His disciple , Sophia who is staying in Seattle told me a few years ago that he was ill. I used my Deva-eyes to observe him. I saw two streams of black air . One moving upward from his heart to his throat. Another moving downward from his navel to his kidney.
When Xuan Hua Shang Ren passed away, the medical report stated that he died of lymphatic gland cancer, and both his kidneys were not functioning . This showed that my Deva observation was accurate.
You may wonder why I mention this case, since he has passed away. The truth is that the case was not closed after his death. He was subsequently tried by three judges. The persons involved were :
Representative of heaven - Bodhisattva "King Leng Yan",
Representative of human realm - Living Buddha Lian Sheng - Master Lu Sheng Yen.
The persons on trial - Xuan Hua Shang Ran and his four disciples.
Witness: Lian Hua Shu Ying.
Lian Hua Shu Ying saw the whole proceeding. I shall not go into detail. This was the conclusion: Xuan Hua Shang Ren and his four disciples cupped their palms and chanted my heart Mantra : "Om , guru Lian Sheng Siddhi Hum ." Radiating lights and leading the way, I whisked them to the Western Pure Land.
He scolded me when he was alive, I whisked him to the Western Pure Land after his death, What is the reason ? To show the Buddha's wisdom of equality.
As Bodhisattva "King Leng Yan" was the master of Xuan Hua Shang Ren , I had to give face (acknowledge his position) to him. Moreover I am enlightened to be able to forget about all the slanderous accusations he made about me. Bodhisattva "King Leng Yan" surely knew who I am and the identity of my teacher "Three-mountain-nine-marquis." He knew that my teachers include the three bodies of Shakyamuni Buddha, five Buddhas and four Bodhisattvas. I am able to travel to the ten Dharma realms with ease, and can claim to be the one and only in this world.
At first, Mr. Li Yi Nan came to settle his case, then Xuan Hua Shang Ren did the same.
My teachers - "Three-Mountain-Nine-Marquis" had taught me for three years.
Three mountains - fortunate lights flickering .
Nine Marquis - auspicious clouds flying without interruption.
I sighed at those slanders,
Blown by the wind , in all directions, smokes from the stove fly .
The moving moon has cast the shadow of flowers onto the railings.
The star lights are in confusion
The night is waning, and
It is no longer young!
MY TEACHER'S ADVICE
By Living Buddha Lian-sheng (Grand Master Sheng-yen Lu).
(page 12, True Buddha News, 117 issue November 1-14, 1996)
Translated by Yuan Zheng Tang.
Two decades ago, when I left my teacher Taoist monk Ching Zhen (Liao Ming the monk), his parting words were : "Now that you are going to serve society, you must remember to lead a simple and frugal life, adopt a down-to-earth style of work, and not to seek fame and wealth, and enjoyment of material pleasure. Above all, when using Dharma power to help people, monetary rewards should not be fixed. You must leave it to the donors. Remember this salient point ! Don't forget !"
Grateful for his care, encouragement and guidance, I stood still on the roadside and sincerely answered him : "I shall bear this in mind."
Twenty years over have since passed, I can still remember what my teacher taught me vividly. I have implemented the following three points:
1. Never ask people for money.
2. Donation should always be as you wish .
3. Never engage in business dealings.
Of course, I have seen many cases of Dharma masters, Zen masters and venerable monks selling "cement Buddhas", "stupas for the dead", and "rebirth lotus flowers." The price fixed was exorbitant and ridiculous.
On the other hand, honorable directorship at certain charitable organizations can be purchased at one million NT a seat. Many have responded to such appeals for donation.
I have seen them all. I am not impressed. I still do it my way - i.e. donations are always as the donors wish. All my disciples from the True Buddha School know my style. My reason for doing so is just following my teacher's advice !
Lately, Taiwan's religious fraternity started to get rid of triad interference. It reminds me of my teacher's advice. His speech was still glittering and can be considered "golden saying." We have an easy conscience doing our Dharma propagation.
THE EMERGENCE OF PADMAKUMARA
By Living Buddha Lian-sheng.
(page 2, True Buddha News, 118 issue, November 15-30, 1996)
Translated by Yuan Zheng Tang.
The secret on Padmakumara
Let me begin with a verse:
With a pure body, nothing arises,
Nothing is more, and nothing is less,
The difference between Dharma realms lies in gain and attachment,
Padmakumara is his pseudonym.
Having attained Buddhahood, I sit quietly in meditative stabilization. My body is the same as that of Buddhas of past, present and future lives - while my self-nature is illuminating. Entering into the "Seed senses" of Padmakumara, I feel like a cloud flying in the sky and a fish swimming at the bottom of the sea. Within seconds, a story begins to unfold : I see a myriad of sun rays shining at the palace of Heavenly kings, a purple fire burning in front of the Dharma Protector Hall. And Four Heavenly kings, three thousand "Kate", twelve celestial orbs and eighteen Sanghagara (Guardian spirits of a monastery) stood guard outside the Great Dharma Hall - a place which only those who can get rid of their affinity can reach.
Inside the hall, thirty five Buddhas were having a secret discussion. The first Buddha was Shakyamuni Buddha and the last was "Bao Lian Hua Shan Zhu Bo Lo Shu Wang" Buddha.
Let us skip the long proceedings of the meeting, and come to its conclusion. The main agenda - Many people have committed the five boundless actions, a great Buddha must be nominated to descend to the Samsara world to succor all the sentient beings.
The decision reached - Amitabha Buddha of the Western Pure Land who is considered well-received by the Samsara world should be entrusted with the mission.
"Xian Wu Yu" Buddha remarked : "That will not work ! Amitabha Buddha won't do !" "Why not ?" asked Shakyamuni Buddha. "Xian Wu Yu" Buddha explained : "All the cultivators recite the name of Amitabha Buddha all the time. If he really descends to the Samsara world. Many will consider him to be a fake. Hence before he can propagate, he will have to enter into nirvana. That is why I have doubts about this proposal. On hearing this, "Shan Yu Po" Buddha sighed loudly and asked : "Then, what can we do ?" Shakyamuni Buddha suggested : "Why don't we let him use Padmakumara as a pseudonym?" All the thirty four Buddhas nodded their heads and approved the suggestion. One of the Buddhas by the name of "Wu Yu De" asked : "What kind of Dharma must he propagate ?" "Jing Jin Jun" Buddha replied : "In the past, Shakyamuni Buddha used Tantrayana to teach Sutrayana, and now, I suggest, Amitabha Buddha should use Sutrayana to teach Tantrayana. Then Sutrayana and Tantrayana will complement each other."
All the thirty five Buddhas were happy to hear this.
The top secret files
This resolution was classified as "Top secret" and filed. Even Buddhas are not supposed to divulge it. I had to keep mum from twenty five years old to fifty two years old. And now the time is ripe for me to unveil Padmakumara ! In this article, first let me clear a few doubts.
As the founder of Western Pure Land has descended to this Samsara world, is there another Amitabha Buddha in the heaven ? Those who have some knowledge on Buddhism will be able to answer this . All the Buddhas have three bodies (Trikaya) known as Dharmakaya, Sambhogakaya and Nirmanakaya. Amitabha Buddha in the Western Pure Land is himself a Sambhogakaya. His Dharmakaya is Mahavairocana. Amitabha Buddha is the reincarnated body of wisdom of discrimination - one of the five wisdom that a Buddha will have. And Lu Sheng Yen is one of the many Nirmanakaya of him.
This is how Buddhism explains the Trikaya: When a moon appears in the sky, we can see it's reflection in the lake and river. Therefore, "there will be one thousand moons, if we are looking at one thousand rivers."
The moon in the sky can be used to represent Amitabha Buddha's Sambhogakaya. And the moon we see in the river is Lu Sheng Yen, one of the Nirmanakaya of Amitabha Buddha.
Having said that, we can consider Living Buddha Lian Sheng's lineage. Before this announcement it was : Mahavairocana - Buddha-eye Mother of all Buddhas - Padmakumara - Lu Sheng Yen.
And now it is modified as : Mahavairocana - Buddha-eye Mother of all Buddhas - Amitabha Buddha - Lu Sheng Yen.
Padmakumara is the de facto Amitabha Buddha.
The second point I want to clarify : When Shakyamuni Buddha reaffirmed my Buddhahood, the title he gave me was "Flower Light Self-mastery Buddha." It had nothing to do with Amitabha Buddha, was there any special reason ?
This is my explanation. Some details on this encounter were purposely omitted, although many of my disciples had heard them in my Dharma talks. At the Shakyamuni Buddha wrote the title as "Da Guang Zi Zai Fo" (Great Light Self-mastery Buddha). I disapproved it .(As the time was not right .) Then he wrote "Flower Light Self-mastery Buddha!" I nodded my head to accept it. By coincidence, in the future, Sariputra's Buddhahood will be reaffirmed by this Buddha.
"Da Guang Zi Zai Fo" is closely related to Amitabha Buddha. It is said in Amitabha Sutra : "As Amitabha Buddha radiates the brightest light, he is also known as "Wu Liang Guang"(Unlimited light), "Wu Bian Guang"(Light without boundary),"Wu Ai Guang "(Light without hindrance), "Wu Dui Guang"(Light without comparison),Yan Wang Guang (Light of Fire King), "Qing Jing Guang"(clear light), "Xi Huan Guang"(Light of joy), "Zhi Hui Guang"(Light of wisdom), "Bu Duan Guang" (Uninterrupted light), "Nan Si Guang"(Difficult to imagine Light), "Chao Ri Ye Guang"(Surpass the moon and Sun light).
The above-mentioned twelve Buddhas are collectively known as "Da Guang Zi Zai Fo".
It is also mentioned in the Amitabha Buddha Sutra : "Sariputra, the Buddhas in the Western World are Amitabha Buddha, Wu Liang Xiang Buddha, Wu Liang Zhuan Buddha, Da Guang Buddha, Da Ming Buddha, Bao Xiang Buddha, and Jing Guang Buddha."
"Da Guang", a manifested Buddha of Amitabha , is the abbreviation of "Da Guang Zi Zai Buddha." Let us read a hymn on Amitabha Buddha:
His body is made of gold,
He looks good and is full of clear lights that no one can rival,
His eyes are as clear as the waters from the four seas,
After the gyration of his clear lights,
Many million Buddhas are born,
So are countless of Bodhisattvas. Making 48 vows to succor sentient beings,
Who are born into nine different grades of divine beings.
In the one hundred and twenty spiritual books I wrote, Amitabha Buddha is used as metaphor in many instances.
"Western Pure Land, Maha Twin Lotus Pond, Great White Padmakumara."
"Namo 36,000,000,119,500 Amitabha Buddhas of the same name and title."
The personal deity I enshrined is Amitabha Buddha. And the first image I brought from Taiwan is Amitabha Buddha. Lastly the three images I respect most are :Jade Pond Golden Mother, Amitabha Buddha, and Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva.
I am fully aware of the "top secret" file. As the time was not right, I had to keep it as a secret for twenty seven years. This is really unbearable- there are so many rumors about me going on. Today, I have the pleasure to unveil the true identities of "Padmakumara and Three-Mountain-Nine-Marquis" to the whole world!
The righteous Dharma was invaded by Maras
At the age of 25, my Deva-eyes were initiated; and Three-Mountain-Nine-Marquis become my spiritual teacher. Unpolished, I innocently revealed that I was the reincarnated body of Padmakumara.
Two Chinese sayings matched my nemesis.
"Wrong speeches will only make others angry."
"When agitated, people will harbor ill-will and be emotionally aroused."
In the heaven realm: A spiritual war was waged, as a result I had to face all kinds of obstacles in my cultivation. In the Samsara world: The situation was even worse. People from cultural, religious, and political circles joined force to encircle and suppress me. There were many instances of groundless accusations.
When I was in deep trouble, miracles always happened. Some one will give me a helping hand, and turn ill luck into good.
Once in my deep meditation -
An old Mara wanted to chop off my head with a sharp sword. At that critical moment, a gold head appeared on top of my head, to block the sword, and there was a loud noise after the collision. It was "Golden Head Kate" who came to my rescue. Failing to kill me, the old Mara quickly ran away. "Golden Head Kate", shook his body, and rode an auspicious cloud to go after him.
I learnt to have meditative stabilization:
Clear is the mind when nothing is in it,
No thoughts arise when all is quiet and still.
Restless and whimsical mind must be tightly controlled,
Tread cautiously and never be in the lime light.
Eradicate the six gunas and fully understand the three vehicles (of Buddhism),
Forget about the affinity, the self nature becomes evident.
In the region of reality, all the evil and material worlds have ceased,
Enjoy the spiritual fruit at the Western Pure Land.
Let us ponder over this. Just by saying I am the reincarnated body of Padmakumara, I almost lost my life. If I have said I am the reincarnated body of Amitabha Buddha, what would happen ? Probably I will be drowned by the saliva spit by the many reverends and high monks.
Many people may not believe that the righteous Dharma can be invaded by the Maras. Why not ? Think about it. During cultural revolution, the communists advocated "Eradication of four old-wrongs." Many temples were destroyed, the limbs of Buddha and Bodhisattva images were removed. Words such as "Old monster", " Superstition" , and "Bring calamity to the country and people" were pasted on the images. Many monks and nuns were forced to renounce their monastic life. In the process, many important Buddhist documents were burned. This was a great disaster in Chinese history, even temples at the remote areas were not spared.
I have been to Mainland China once. I was told : "Luckily, there were a few educated people, who used the pretext of preserving "important documents" to hide these historical items, Buddha images, and Sutras in remote areas . Hence they were not destroyed . The cultural revolution was really pitiful !"
My observation showed that the tragedy was not the fault of Jiang Qing or the gang of four. Mara was the big wig behind them. They had to take instructions from the Isvara heaven; and Mara was the real culprit who caused this tragedy.
I considered this : "The righteous Dharma was invaded by Maras", as Maras were seizing the opportunity to destroy Buddhism. The consciousness that Mara sprayed into the space is really powerful. This public consciousness so formed can incite people to go mad.
I can still recall I had a debate with the Mara King in the heaven realm - Mara King said : "I shall enter into the minds of your relatives and your disciples, and make sure that they will betray you. And your succoring mission will fail. I shall enter into the minds of your teachers, so that they will disown you."
I replied : "By giving all kinds of alms, I am able to maintain my Bodhi heart." "If you said so, then let it be tested," Mara King said. "Using meditative stabilization and wisdom as wings, I am able to fly in the space . I will return to Maha Twin Lotus Pond eventually." I said affirmatively to the Mara King.
Surely I know, it is my fate that my teacher will disown me, my disciples betray me, and my relatives turn their backs on me.
I used "immeasurable alms-giving" and "immeasurable kindness" to preserve my Bodhi heart. I assumed the identity of "Trailokya-Vijaya-Raja" to step on the evil couples from the Isvara heaven. There are three images of "Trailokya-Vijaya-Raja" in the Garbhadhatu. The first one is in the court of Vajrapani, the second one in the court of Acala and the third one in the court of Ksitigarbha . These three Rajas are considered Mara busters. In other words, I am able to enter into their Samadhi!
The Karmic affinity of Padmakumara
Padmakumara is Amitabha Buddha !
You can find the following splendors in Maha Twin Lotus Pond too :
Seven layers of barriers,
Seven rows of trees lining the ways,
Seven treasure ponds,
Eight meritorious waters,
Divine music playing all the time,
The floors are tiled with gold,
Treasures hanging on the trees,
Endless rays of brightness
The three main characters in Amitabha Sutra: Preacher : Shakyamuni Buddha Listener: Sariputra Main Cast : Amitabha Buddha Taking these three main characters in Amitabha Sutra and comparing them with the previous lives of Living Buddha , the implication will be very clear.
Padmakumara - Amitabha Buddha
Sariputra - Lu Sheng Yen
Three-Mountain - Shakyamuni Buddha (Trikaya)
Nine-Marquis - Five Buddhas and four Bodhisattvas.
If we use the past lives to explain it , then it is nothing unusual for Lu Sheng Yen to have received empowerments from Shakyamuni Buddha and the five Buddhas and four Bodhisattvas of the Garbhadhatu. This karmic affinity is a logical explanation.
And now, I (Living Buddha Lian Sheng) have more than four million disciples, thirty-odd Lei Zang Si, and three hundred over chapters worldwide. I have also written 120 spiritual books. My Dharma talks and discourses have been compiled into numerous books and video tapes. There are reasons for this. I know it very well. Those who had luminous background in the past will have to shoulder a greater responsibility in propagation this life. Why must I propagate ? Let me write a verse !
Triple gem is lofty, and we honor the path,
Four saints and six ordinary rebirth, all I criticize,
My mind is enlightened, and I fully comprehend all the Dharma on earth and in heaven,
Self nature emerges, I come to pass the wisdom lamp.
Frankly speaking, without high aspiration, I did not shine when I was young. As I liked to write, I wanted to be a poet, a writer, or a news reporter in high school. I learned surveying in the university, and stayed on as engineer for more than a decade.
While working, my life took a drastic change, I had an affinity to learn about Taoism and Buddhism. I have never looked back even since. After indulging myself in the Sutras, I found they contained the essence of life, the key to life, and the value of life. I have no regrets dedicating my life to this cause.
I know for sure that it is only a matter of time, that my unusual identity, affinity, and spiritual attainment will come to light.
GRAND MASTER LU AS KSITIGARBHA BODHISATTVA
(Earth Store Bodhisattva)
By Rev. Hui Jun, Seattle.
Translated by TBSN Translation Committee.
His Holiness Living Buddha Lian-sheng's series of dissertations on the "Ksitigarbha Sutra" had concluded by June 1996. This was followed by an enthusiastic rush to sponsor the sculpturing of the Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva's images. Thousand images were completed by end of December, awaiting to be distributed for popular worship.
During a Dharma-practise session held on the 21st of December(which coincidentally was one on the Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva Deity yoga), senior Zhao from Taiwan saw the Grand Master entering into the image of the Bodhisattva, that was positioned on the Altar. Subsequently, Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva also entered and merged with the Grand Master. These vision was repeated five times within ten seconds, and was witnessed by senior Zhao with his open eyes.
After the practise, senior Zhao obtained permission from the Deities to disclose his vision to those who were present.
The Grand Master, having heard what senior Zhao had said, encouraged him to practise the Dharma diligently, as he had profound affinity with the Deities.
The Grand Master then told the audience about His initial vow to honour the Jade Pond Golden Mother (the Supreme Taoist Deity), Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva (the Lord of Earth) and the Amitabha Buddha (King of the Buddhas) as His Personal Deities; to worship and constantly remembering Them for life. The Grand Master hoped that after He had entered into Nirvana, He could have three manifestation bodies, so that he could follow and assist these Deities.
Grand Master said, "When I first set forth to propagate the Dharma, I've encountered many slandering. But even if threatened with forceful oppositions, I had remained unwavering in My conviction of the Truth....True Buddha disciples of today, having experienced wonderful miracles from the Grand Master, should also possess the same deep-rooted and immovable conviction towards the Dharma."
These beneficial words from His Holiness, were respectfully heeded by the audience who were now filled with Dharma bliss.