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Dharma Talk on October 5th, 2008 (The Practice of Vajrayana is to Unite with the Personal Deity).

2008-10-05 Rainbow Temple
The Practice of Vajrayana is to Unite with the Personal Deity.

修密教就是與本尊合體

Grand Master Lu`s Dharma Talk at Rainbow Temple on October 5th, 2008

Translated by Monita Chan
Proofread by Victor Hazen
Edited by Alice Yang
Release by: TBTT

_______________________________________

(Translation started from Grand Master’s discourse)
Homage to Reverend Liao Ming, Vajra Master Sakya Zheng-kong, His Holiness the Sixteenth Karmapa, and Vajra Master Thubten Dargye. Homage to the presiding deity of the homa, Thousand Hand Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva. Homage to the Triple Jewels of the shrine mandala, Shimu, fellow vajra masters, senior reverends, reverends, dharma assistants, and fellow students. Good afternoon everyone!

Today, we performed the homa of Thousand Hand Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva and right at the very beginning, the deity descended. We pray that Thousand Hand
Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva will fulfill our wishes through the power of her thousand hands and thousand eyes.

I will continue the Hevajra Discourse on the “Emptiness within Great Bliss.?After cultivating, one may make the claim “I am Shakyamuni Buddha,?“I am Vajrasattva,?or “I am Hevajra.?Upon hearing these claims, others may mistake these remarks to be arrogant. “How can you be Shakyamuni Buddha?? “How can you be Vajrasattva or Hevajra??So, questions are raised. Actually, there is an essential point in Vajrayana that most people do not understand, but it needs to be mentioned. The essential point is that of “uniting? unite as one entity [with the deity]. Basically, you must achieve union with the deity.

Everyone might assume that “uniting?refers to the kind of “uniting?that Grand Master talked about last night! “The seed is planted due to love, and the fruit is ripened by the soil.?Couples plant seeds, they spread them and then they become one. Fruit means that the next generation is born. This kind of “uniting?pertains to the mundane world.

“Uniting?in Vajrayana means that you unite with the personal deity that you have the most affinity with. Similarly, your husband or your wife is the one that you have the strongest fate with in this human world; otherwise, you would not be husband and wife. This is the “uniting?between ordinary people. When you unite with the Buddha or Bodhisattva that you have affinity with, your body gradually merges with the personal deity. Once you join your palms together, you and your personal deity become one. Joining the palms together is the process of “uniting. With this kind of “uniting,you will generate the strength and Dharma power from your personal deity. Everyday when you recite the mantra of your personal deity, visualize and think about your personal deity, and form his mudra, just like the mudra that we formed today which is the mudra of Thousand Hand Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, the deity is in the middle of [the mudra] with many hands.

When you are forming the personal deity’s mudra, you have to visualize Thousand Hand Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva descending onto the crown of your head. Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva then transforms into light that enters your middle channel. Afterwards, visualize the Bodhisattva resting on your heart chakra. The Bodhisattva’s body enlarges until it is the same size as your body, and then simultaneously you also manifest a thousand hands and thousand eyes. You can then chant her mantra “Namo, sam-man-do, moo-toh-nam, wa-ze-la, da-mo, seh.?When you chant her mantra, form her mudra, visualize her entering your body, and visualize yourself transforming into Thousand Hand Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, this is the method of “uniting.?

Vajrayana trains us how to be in union with the personal deity. In that state you also assume all the power of the personal deity. When the both of you are united, the Dharma power generated to fulfill your endeavors is the combined strength from both your personal deity and yourself. Therefore, when I say “I am Shakyamuni Buddha?it is because I have united with Shakyamuni Buddha; “I am Vajrasattva?because I have united with Vajrasattva; and “I am Hevajra?because I have united with Hevajra. Thus, I am not crazy or conceited: I have united.

People may contend, “You are arrogant! You think you are Shakyamuni Buddha!?Arrogance is not the case. When I am united with Shakyamuni Buddha, I transform into the Buddha. “Uniting?is followed by “transformation.?Let me give an example: when Manjushri Bodhisattva entered into samadhi and saw Lord Yama, Yamantaka was born. Yamantaka was the result of the “uniting?of Manjushri Bodhisattva and Lord Yama. Yamantaka is the transformation of Manjushri Bodhisattva and Lord Yama after they were united and transformed. Vajrayana emphasizes the concepts of “uniting?and “transforming.?Let me tell you, when I unite with Padmakumara I transform into Padmakumara. When Padmakumara of the Maha Twin Lotus Ponds unites with Amitabha Buddha and transforms, he transforms into Amitabha Buddha. When Amitabha Buddha unites with Buddha Locana, he becomes Buddha Locana. When Buddha Locana unites with Vairocana Buddha, she becomes Vairocana Buddha. When Vairocana Buddha unites with Adi Buddha (Adharma Buddha), he becomes the Primordial Buddha who is the Primordial Buddha at the sixteenth bhumi [level of attainment].

This is called “uniting.?Therefore, in Vajrayana “uniting?is absolutely not considered to be arrogant or an exaggeration. Why? When you have successfully perfected the Hevajra Yoga and become united with Hevajra, then you are Hevajra. Ordinary people have limited power; for example, Sheng-yen Lu is a very ordinary person but if I unite with my personal deity or Hevajra during my practice, I can manifest the same power as Hevajra. This power becomes immense once I unite with and transform into Hevajra. Contrarily, if there is no “uniting,?Buddha and you are two separate individuals. By “uniting?into one entity, power is generated. Vajrayana stresses the idea of “uniting?and “transformation?and what I have just discussed is a very simple example.

Today you practice the personal deity yoga: Your personal deity and you are in union. You merge with the personal deity and the personal deity merges with you. This is excellent! You can be assured of reaching the siddhi of the personal deity at the end of your body’s temporal existence, when your body becomes unbearable.

There is no problem at all. Grand Master is getting old and will be eighty four in twenty years. It is horrifying to realize that twenty years later I will be eighty four years old, and living until eighty four is also questionable. Twenty years go by very quickly. I came to the United States when I was thirty eight years old. I am sixty four now, and almost thirty years have just flashed by. Imagine how time flashes by so quickly when you have moved from Taiwan and you are currently in the United States, and then suddenly you are no longer in this human world. So, hurry up and practice “uniting?by diligently cultivating the personal deity yoga. You will feel relieved when you have united with the personal deity. When you are about to die, visualize the personal deity entering your body during your cultivation. The personal deity will manifest and take you directly to the pure land of the personal deity. By contemplating on the personal deity, forming the respective mudra, and chanting the mantra, you are calling the personal deity to come closer to you to receive you in the Pure Land. Subsequently, you are transformed into the personal deity. This is “uniting.?

Hence, there is nothing wrong with saying that “I am Shakyamuni Buddha,?“I am Vajrasattva,?or “I am Hevajra.?This is because you are united with Shakyamuni Buddha, Vajrasattva, or Hevajra. Hevajra is very powerful. The realms of day, moon, and earth are all under his command. Therefore, Hevajra has the power to suppress earthquakes. You can also attain the power of suppressing earthquakes once you visualize yourself becoming Hevajra.

Talking about the huge earthquake in Sichuan`s Wenchuan county, the people in Sichuan are very optimistic and they joked around at the time of the earthquake. There is a joke about four elderly ladies playing mahjong in a building at the time of the earthquake. Suddenly the earthquake came; those who did not get good cards used the earthquake as a ready excuse and said “Forget it! We better stop.?But the one who got good cards refused to stop playing and said, “Let me take a look outside first and see how bad the earthquake is.?She looked out from the window and said, “It doesn’t matter. We might as well continue playing because everything is shaking out there anyway. Hurry up with the game!? This is a joke, and jokes can be made about earthquakes. Since every building was shaking and there were no other places for them to go, it was more practical for them to continue playing mahjong. There is another joke about an African tour group that stayed in a hotel in Wenchuan. When the earthquake came, the African tourists were rushing out of the hotel without any clothes on. The people in Sichuan were shocked, mistaking them for black, burnt bodies that could still run very fast. (Grand Master and everyone laughs).

By cultivating until you receive a response from Kalachakra or Hevajra, you will then transform into Kalachakra or Hevajra. At that time, you can then generate the ultimate power to stop earthquakes. This is called earthquake suppression. Does the Wind God carry your command? Hevajra controls the Gods of earth, water, fire and wind, so the Wind God executes the wishes of Hevajra. If you return to Taiwan and encounter a typhoon, you can transform into Hevajra, whom the Wind God obeys. You can instruct the Wind God to blow eastward and the typhoon will be redirected to Guam, or instruct the Wind God to blow northward and the typhoon will go to Japan. If you instruct the Wind God to blow southward, the typhoon will go to the Philippines or if you instruct the Wind God to blow westward, the typhoon will blow to the top of the Jade Mountain and the typhoon will go to the Mainland. Actually, when the typhoon enters Taiwan and moves to the top of Jade Mountain, it will blow to China without spreading downward [and affecting the land of Taiwan]. If you have the power to manage the Wind God, you can also manage land, water and fire. This is because you can generate great Dharma power after uniting with Hevajra.

Besides \`uniting\` [with the personal deity], Vajrayana practice also includes the visualization of uniting with the \`Refuge Tree\` where you take refuge in all: Starting from the top, there are the Five Buddhas. Below them there are all the Bodhisattvas. Either of the Buddhas or Bodhisattvas may be your personal deity. Below the Bodhisattvas there are all the lineage masters. All the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, Dharma protectors, dakinis, and countless gods transform into light and enter your body. After the loud explosion “Boom,?your body explodes and smashes into tiny pieces, and you are transformed into a new Secret Ruler of the Vajra Realm. At that time you can not only harness the power of the Buddhas, but you can also harness the power of the Bodhisattvas and any deity. If you can carefully visualize the merging of deity and oneself, with genuine union and transformation, it won’t be difficult to achieve “Buddhahood in the present body.?Hence, there is the visualization practice in Vajrayana. This consists of detailed and careful visualization, sincere mantra chanting, and the forming of the mudra which is identical to your personal deity. From one angle, the mudra looks like it is displaying a thousand hands and a thousand eyes. This is because when you form the mudra, accompanied by the mantra and visualization, you will gather the power of Thousand Hand Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva after uniting. Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva chanted the Great Compassion Dharani and instantly reached the eighth bhumi level, becoming an eight bhumi level Bodhisattva. Due to the power of uniting, Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva could jump several bhumi levels.

I hereby tell everyone “Shakyamuni Buddha and I are the same.?Why? It is because I have united with Shakyamuni Buddha. I tell the truth, the actual facts, and what I have seen. I neither speak false words or tell lies, nor give inaccurate accounts and fabricate stories. Thus, it is very important to practice the correct Vajrayana, which is the equivalent to uniting and then transforming.

It goes without saying that you are an ordinary person. If you want to be nothing more than that, that`s fine. Every morning you wake up and brush your teeth. You wash your face and use the washroom. You eat breakfast and go to work. There might be a coffee break and so you drink coffee. After you finish your lunch, you go back to work. When you are finished work, you go home and have dinner. After dinner, you watch the television for the rest of the night. I am thinking how Americans seldom go out at night, unless they go to drink at the tavern (bar). Otherwise, they will just stay home and watch television. Then, they go to sleep when they are tired of watching television. Everything is repeated the next day and everyday is the same. If you do not practice “uniting,?you will become one of these people.

Uniting is important, as only with unifying can you transform. If you can not unite with the Buddha because the Buddhas are far away, the same logic will apply to uniting with the Bodhisattvas, countless heavenly beings, or arhats. If that is the case you may choose to unite with ghosts. There are both good and bad ghosts. That is alright then. By uniting with good ghosts, you will become a spiritual medium and can know a lot of things. On the other hand, if you unite with bad ghosts you will end up in a mental hospital, unconsciously rambling and mumbling everyday. After uniting with bad ghosts your body will be disturbed and controlled by this union. I once saw a skinny patient in the mental hospital who kept eating rice, one bowl after another for more than ten bowls. It was because he was united with a hungry ghost, and all the food that he ate was swallowed by the ghost. He couldn’t stop eating because the ghost would not stop. Hence, there are two types of spiritual mediums. You will become a spiritual medium after uniting with a good ghost. There are lots of soul communicators who think they have attained Buddhahood, but actually they are just in union with a ghost. Most people who unite with bad ghosts will eventually be taken to the mental hospital. This is also called “uniting.?

Vajrayana teaches that when you unite with your personal deity, the Eight Personal Deities, Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, or the gods of great power in the countless heavens, you will generate great power. This is all
I want to say today: Shakyamuni Buddha and I are the same. I tell the truth, the actual facts, and I speak the Tathagata’s words. I am not a liar or fabricator.

Om Mani Padme Hum

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