Chapter 33: Care for the Dying (4)
|33. Care for the Dying (4)
Written by Sheng-yen Lu
Translated and edited by True Buddha Foundation Translation Team
Among the Tantric teachings, I have transmitted the Padmakumara Swiftest Rebirth Practice; the Visualization of the Seed Syllables AH and HUM; the Visualization of the Moon Disc; the Visualization of the Seed Syllable AH; the Fivefold Meditation for Realizing Buddhahood (Japanese: Goso joshinkan); the Visualization of Emptiness of the Great Perfection; the Yoga of Sleeping in Light, etc.
Actually these methods can be improvised as the Secret Tantra of attaining rebirth in the Pure Land for the dying. The Tantric practices are flexible, and are far from being rigid. Even the Four Preliminaries, the Guru Yoga, the Principal Deity Yoga, the Vajra Practice, and the Highest Yoga Tantra are all means to gain rebirth.
In the field of Consciousness-Only: One can exercise the supernatural transformation of the consciousness-only to seek the Consciousness of the Tathagata-garbha with the mind of seeing, hearing and perception. There is also the Contemplation on the Supernatural Transformation of Consciousness-Only. There is no eye, ear, nose, tongue, body or mind; nor are there sights, sounds, odors, tastes, touch or dharmas. The mind consciousness itself does not exist at all in True Reality.
The Consciousness of the Tathagata-garbha is the brilliant star of the east, the very True Mind inherent in all beings. The True Reality stores all the merits of the Tathagata in the ground of fruition, for it is the attainment of fruition in the Dharmakaya.
The Pure Land Dharma Gate of Exoteric Buddhism is being advocated by many monks and nuns, for it is a much easier path to undertake. For those who persist in reciting the epithet of Amitabha Buddha, when they die, the epithet of the Buddha will rise within the heart and through this affinity, the practitioner will gain rebirth in the Pure Land.
The Sutra of Amitabha states, `If there are good men or good women who hear of Amitabha Buddha, and recite his name single-mindedly and without confusion, for one day or two days or three days or four days or five days or six days or seven days, then when these people are about to die, Amitabha Buddha and all the sages who are with him will appear before them. When these people die, their minds will not fall into delusion, and they will attain rebirth in Amitabha Buddha`s Land of Ultimate Bliss.`
I often teach people that when they are traveling by plane, by ship, or by car, they should invite the Buddha to stay above their head, and recite the Buddha`s name. If they meet with misfortune, as life is unpredictable and impermanent, they can still instantly attain rebirth in the Buddha`s Pure Land.
Other transcendental learnings of discipline, meditation, and wisdom, such as taught in the Vinaya School, the Three Treatise School, the Tien Tai School, the Consciousness-Only School, the Zen School, the Tantric School, the Pure Land School, and the Hua Yen School present varying degrees of doctrines, but rebirth to the Pure Land remains vitally important!
All of this talk boils down to these three powers which are essential.
1. Rebirth through self-power - The cultivation achievements of the individual have reached the level of Self-Realization and Self-Liberation. The inherent Buddha-Nature is revealed. Cultivation follows in stages beginning with the Four Preliminaries, the Guru Yoga, the Principal Deity Yoga, the Treasure Vase Breathing, the Inner Fire, Clearing the Central Channel, the Opening of the Five Chakras, the Five Vajra Deities, the Five Buddhas, the Highest Yoga Tantra, and finally the Great Perfection. The individual has attained omniscience, the root wisdom.
At this point:
The Buddha`s body and my body are one.
The Buddha`s speech and my speech are one.
The Buddha`s mind and my mind are one.
Hence, one attains buddhahood in this very body!
Tantric Buddhism teaches the application of self power and the blessing power of the Tathagata, empowered through the Three Secrets of body, speech and mind, to transform the mundane mortal into a Buddha in this body within this lifetime. This incredible power of transformation enables the attainment of the fruition of buddhahood within the present lifetime. Such merits of achievement are beyond description and are unfathomable, for all of them are simply incomprehensible.
Thus, it is said that Tantrayana is the doctrine of inner realization attained by the Dharmakaya Tathagata, which is beyond the understanding of a bodhisattva who had attained the fifty-first level of Buddha Enlightenment. Only the Buddhas know what the doctrine involves. Therefore, do not slander Tantric Buddhism!
Living Buddha Lian-sheng, Sheng-yen Lu has attained buddhahood, whose epithet is the Flower Light Self-Mastery Buddha. He has seen and verified the existence of the eighth consciousness as the Tathagata-garbha, and the ninth consciousness known as Amala. This is the True Self, the True Reality, the True Buddha, which is inherent within our hearts since time immemorial.
Through my cultivation, I was prophesied by Sakyamuni Buddha, entrusted by Amitabha Buddha, crowned with a red crown by Maitreya Bodhisattva, and taught the Tantra by Padmasambhava.
Living Buddha Lian-sheng, Sheng-yen Lu has authenticated the true lineage:
Vairocana Tathagata - Buddha Locana - Amitabha Buddha - Living Buddha Lian-sheng.
My lineage of this world:
Nyingma School - Reverend Liao-ming,
Gelug School - Guru Thubten Daerji,
Kagyu School - the Sixteenth Karmapa,
Sakya School - Guru Sakya Zheng-kong,
2. Rebirth through other power - The individual who recites the Buddha`s name depends on the power of the Buddha (other power) to gain rebirth to the Pure Land. These are the compassionate forty-eight great vows of Amitabha Buddha, which draw those sentient beings who believe in the recitation of Buddha`s name towards the Pure Land, as the power of such vows is simply incredible.
Thus, it is:
The virtuous power of the vows of Amitabha Buddha.
The power of Samadhi of Amitabha Buddha.
The power of magnetization of Amitabha Buddha.
The single mindedness of mind, as expressed by each individual being, resonates with the heart of Amitabha Buddha. Every single thought resonates with a single thought of Buddha, and consecutive thoughts resonate with the thoughts of Buddha. Hence, one achieves the state where the mind, the Buddha, and sentient beings are undifferentiated, for the sage and mundane are of the one consciousness of the Tathagata store. All Buddhas and sentient beings share the same source of mind.
Reciting the Buddha`s name, one attains buddhahood.
Seeking the Buddha, buddhahood is accomplished
All is therefore complete.
This is the original vow of the practitioner.
(This constitutes rebirth in the Pure Land through other power)
3. Rebirth through dharma realm power (dharma power) - This dharma realm power is the sum of all the powers of the buddhas, bodhisattvas, vajra deities, dharma protectors, dakinis, and devas. It is the incredible dharma power produced through the matrix of faith and vow interacting with each other.
If you truly believe that Living Buddha Lian-sheng can receive you, and are willing to allow Living Buddha Lian-sheng to receive you, all you need to do is simply recite the heart mantra of Padmakumara, and the dharma realm power (dharma power) will be produced.
As the dakini brings the respective bardo spirits to the residence of Living Buddha Lian-sheng, let the great benevolent friend transform and guide you, the bardo spirit, and eventually draw you by the power of the dharma realm to gain rebirth in any Buddha`s Pure Land.
In the snap of a finger, you will reach the Most Victorious Pure Land, Wonderful Jewel Pure Land, Round Pearl Pure Land, Worry Free Pure Land, Pure Abode Pure Land, Dharma Significance Pure Land, Full Moon Pure Land, Wonderful Joy Pure Land, Wonderfully
Perfect Pure Land, Lotus Treasury Pure Land, True Reality Pure Land, Perfectly Clear Pure Land, True Buddha Pure Land, Ultimate Bliss Pure Land......
All Pure Lands have appeared. The lotus practitioner is free to go to any Pure Land of his choice. This is the compassionate and supreme secret dharma realm power of Living Buddha Lian-sheng, Sheng-yen Lu!
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