【True Buddha Foundation Dharma Affairs Notification】
TBF-DA Practice Notice #4
Q&A II Concerning Practice of Tara Who Saves from Contagious Diseases
Q1: May disciples who have received empowerment of the 21 Taras cultivate the Practice of the Tara Who Saves from Contagious Diseases and recite the mantra?
A: Grandmaster specifically instructed that disciples must receive empowerment of each respective Tara prior to reciting the mantra and cultivating the practice of the deity.
Q2: May those who have not taken refuge in Grandmaster request remote empowerment for the Practice of Tara Who Saves from Contagious Diseases?
A: No. Because mantra recitation and cultivation of a practice are two different things, only disciples who have taken refuge may perform the practice. In this way, one receives the lineage blessings on the practice. Due to the extraordinary crisis of the COVID-19 epidemic and for the purpose of creating a positive affinity, compassionate Grandmaster exceptionally allowed the bestowal of the empowerment for mantra recitation of the Tara Who Saves from Contagious Diseases on those who have not taken refuge. In order to receive the full blessings of the lineage, those desiring to recite the mantra are advised to take refuge.
Q3. Since disciples who cultivate the Practice of the Tara Who Saves from the Contagious Diseases may be unable to actually perceive the light blessing of the Tara, may disciples use a six-herb pack for self protection and boundary protection that has been blessed by the practice of a master or a reverend? The practice of ordained sangha is, after all, considered more powerful than that of laypersons.
A. As long as TBS disciples properly and diligently perform the Practice of the Tara Who Saves from Contagious Diseases as transmitted by the Root Guru, they will definitely receive spiritual response from the deity. ''One who is sincere will receive a response from the buddha.'' Because one is responsible for one's own health and wellbeing, one should rely on oneself. One's self-confidence will be doubled after one has strived on one's own.
Q4. Is wearing an epidemic prevention talisman as effective as wearing an epidemic prevention herb pack?
A. Yes. They are equally effective. It is the blessing power that counts. One must also maintain a high level of personal hygiene and comply with all epidemic preventive measures.
Q5. Must the response of light blessing on an epidemic prevention herb pack be received before wearing the pack on one's body?
A. Yes. Please reference Grandmaster's discourse of Mar. 15, 2020, or see Step 13.3 of the Tara sadhana.
Q6. Prior to mixing the six herbs together, should each herb be added in equal portion or in equal weight? What amount or size medicine pack is suitable for wearing on one's body?
A. 1. The portion of each powdered herb should be equal. 2. As appropriate. Whatever size feels comfortable.
Q7. Realgar is illegal in the US and Canada. Will the pack be effective without Realgar?
A. On Mar. 17, 2020, Grandmaster compassionately instructed, ''If Realgar (雄黃 Xiong Huang) is unavailable, one may use only five herbs.''
Q8. If Realgar is unavailable for purchase, can a substitute be used?
A. Do not use a substitute for Realgar. We should always follow what Grandmaster has transmitted.
Please see the answer in Q7.
Q9. May disciples who have not yet attained spiritual union in Four Preliminaries Practice and Root Guru Practice cultivate the Practice of theTara Who Saves from Contagious Diseases
A. Yes, they may. Disciples who single-mindedly recite the mantra will receive the power of the mantra. (Mantra recitation is more appropriate.)
Q10. Instead of performing a practice, reciting the Padmakumara Mantra 1080 times and visualizing Grandmaster blessing the epidemic prevention talisman on a bi-weekly basis, may one practice Root Guru Yoga, recite the Padmakumara Mantra 108 times, and visualize three lights blessing oneself and the epidemic prevention talisman on a daily basis?
A. Yes, this is acceptable. When one recites a mantra sincerely, one receives a blessing.
Q11. May pets receive empowerment?
A. Regarding this issue, pets, in fact, do not require empowerment because animals are unable to recite mantras or form mudras. Animals can only receive a blessing and stay with their owners while their owners practice. An empowerment for a pet is only for making the owner feel more at ease. Whether to bring a pet for empowerment or not is up to the owner.
Q12. How long after all the disciples in a cultivation association have requested remote empowerment for the Practice of Tara Who Saves from Contagious Diseases may the Dharma Instructor preside over a Tara Who Saves from Contagious Diseases homa group practice? The disciples in our cultivation association have been chanting the mantra of Tara Who Saves from Contagious Diseases continuously since January.
A. Homa ceremonies and Dharma ceremonies featuring Tara Who Saves from Contagious Diseases as the principal deity are not yet authorized. Therefore, no TBS Dharma propagating personnel of any level are permitted to preside over a Tara Who Saves from Contagious Diseases homa or dharma ceremony. TBF will make a public announcement when Grandmaster authorizes Dharma propagating personnel to preside over homas or dharma ceremonies for this practice. Until then, cultivation venues should continue to single-mindedly recite the mantra of theTara Who Saves from Contagious Diseases and dedicate the merit. The power of collective mantra recitation is truly formidable.
Although group cultivation of the Practice of Tara Who Saves from Contagious Diseases is permitted, for protection of the health and wellbeing of disciples, it is discouraged during this serious COVID-19 pandemic period. Any form of public gathering, such as group cultivation or ceremonies, must be in accordance with local government regulations.
Q13. Can the epidemic prevention six herbs be regarded as incense powder and be burned as a smoke-offering powder, a hindrance eradication powder, or an aroma powder?
A. No. The six herbs contain Realgar, which is toxic. Realgar releases toxic fumes when burned. Either burning or ingesting the six herbs is strictly forbidden. The herb packs may be used only for wearing on one's body or forming protective boundaries. The powder used in a smoke-offering must be compounded with ingredients as transmitted by Grandmaster. The smoke-offering is a truly exceptional offering.
Note: Realgar is an arsenic sulfide mineral. When burned, Realgar releases fumes of arsenic and sulfur which are oxidized into the arsenic trioxide and sulfur dioxide gas. These gases are highly toxic.
Q14. Can the epidemic prevention six herbs be mailed to the US for Grandmaster's blessing? Can the packs be mailed internationally to disciples in other countries?
A. No. Every country regulates herbs such as Realgar and Prepared Aconite differently.
1. We don't have the required certification for handling pharmacological material.
2. Some medicinal herbs are prohibited by local government regulations. Therefore, no one should ship herbs anywhere in the world via international mail, and that includes shipping them to the US.
⊙Special Attention: To avoid any possible issues, please do not mail any medicinal herbs to the US for Grandmaster to bless.
During this epidemic prevention period, we are calling on disciples and cultivation venues to comply with local rules and regulations governing epidemic prevention. Please wear facemasks whenever necessary, wash hands often, and maintain personal hygiene to protect self and others. If one has symptoms of COVID-19, seek medical treatment without hesitation! Let's join together to prevent the spread of the COVID epidemic!
Everyone please frequently recite the Mantra of Tara Who Saves from Contagious Diseases and dedicate the merit to the swift end of the pandemic.
May everyone be peaceful, healthy and auspicious at all times!
TBF cares about you!
True Buddha Foundation
March 21, 2020