Jun. 19, 2011 Dharma Talk - Two Main Deities and Two Unexpected Classmates
True Buddha Rainbow Temple
|Translated by TBTTs (Only those sections of the article which are relevant to Buddha Locani)
Translator: Henry Wolf
Translation Accuracy Editor: DJ Chang
Let's first pay homage to the lineage gurus: Reverend Liaoming, Guru Sakya Zhengkong the 16th Karmapa, and Guru Thubten Dargye. Homage to the Three Jewels on the shrine, and to today's presiding deities of the homa Prajnaparamita and Buddha Locani. Today there are two main deities, Prajnaparamita and Buddha Locani . Both are great Buddha Mothers.
Prajnaparamita is the highest figure of all buddha mothers, and Buddha Locani is an emanation of Vairocana Buddha. The heart mantra of Buddha Locani is: ''Na-mo-san-man-duo。mo-tuo-nan。om。mo-tuo。lu-zuo-ni 。so-ha。'' The mantra of Prajnaparamita is >''Om。jie-di。jie-di。bo-luo-jie-di。bo-luo-seng-jie-di。so-ha,'' which is the end part of the Heart Sutra.
One deity is Buddha Locani, who is the emanation body of Vairocana Buddha, and one deity is Prajnaparamita who is the highest figure of all buddha mothers. (applause). That we have invited them both here today is especially out of the ordinary. ''Buddha Mother'' means that both deities have great wisdom. Buddha Locani and Prajnaparamita are able to bring all beings to the state of buddhahood. For this reason, they are both truly great.
We pay homage to Prajnaparamita, Buddha Locani and to the Three Jewels on the shrine. I would like to extend a warm welcome to Shimu, all Masters, senior reverends, reverends, dharma instructors, dharma assistants, chapter heads, and everyone in the audience and on the internet. Also here today are our honored guests Ambassador Liao and his wife, The Board Chairman of AAT Televison and commission members Mr. Zhuo Hongyi and his wife, and the financial controller of the True Buddha School, Teresa, and her husband. In addition, I would also like to welcome many other honored guests who are most important, highly honored, and have come here from far away. They are President Yang and all the classmates. (applause) Thank you all for coming here.
Usually, when I'm at Rainbow Temple, I give a talk on ''Hevajra.'' But today is a special occasion because, among our classmates, other than those from the 32nd graduating class, there is a classmate, Wang Yuanben, from the 34th graduating class. They are all present here today. There were also two unexpected classsmates. While we were praying for six classmates, these two other classmates appeared.
Five days ago, my classmate Tseng Yumin, the former class leader of the Geodesy Department, entered the dream of his wife, Mrs. Tseng, as she was preparing to come to Seattle. In her dream he told her that she had to take him along with her to Seattle USA. She never said a word about this incident to me. During the one-minute silent prayer at the beginning, as soon as I closed my eyes I first saw this former class leader of the Geodesy Department Tseng Yumin, appearing right before my eyes. His eyes were as indescribable as they were before. His chin was still pointy and triangular. I saw it clearly. As soon as I saw that it was Tseng Yumin, Wow! I was so happy. This was our ex-class leader.
I also served as the class leader. As the class leader though, when I said ''Tonight we are going to observe lunar occultation, everyone move the tables and chairs to the center of the playing field,'' it turned out that when I went to check and see, not even one table or chair had been moved. I had to move the tables and chairs by myself. Then I knew how difficult it was to be a class leader. As class leader Tseng Yumin had great authority. He knew how to issue orders. As soon as he said ''Observation'' everyone pitched in to move the tables and chairs.
When I was the class leader, I had to climb up on the roof of the building just to sweep up maple leaves! I've got acrophobia and the roof of the building was very steep. The more I climbed, the more my feet got numb. I thought I was going to fall off. I was so fed up that I was thinking I might as well just fall off.
Being the class leader I needed to make duty commands such as ''Captain Xiao is coming!'' ''Stand up!'' ''Salute!'' ''Sit down!'' But Captain Xiao said ''That's just a cat's meow!'' What he meant was that my voice was too gentle. This class leader was too short to be noticed by anybody. But let's don't get caught up talking about the old days. Let's talk about the present. Tseng Yumin appeared right in front of me and told me to inform all the classmates that ''I'm here.'' So I said ok, I would.
Another classmate, Shen Yunhai, also appeared here. He was afraid that I wouldn't recognize him so he first changed himself to be big and fat with a beer belly. As soon as I saw his round face and body I said ''Shen Yunhai, you still look quite young!'' Whew! He immediately became very old, skinny, withered and dried up looking. Oh! It turned out that he just had to come, because it was he who first came up with the idea of everyone coming here. ''This Sheng-yen Lu is in Seattle, let's hold our class reunion in Seattle.'' Therefore, he had to come because it would have been too embarrassing not to come.
Today I saw Tseng Yumin at the fire offering ceremony. He was extremely happy there in the flames of the homa fire. He purified all his karmic hindrances (applause) and followed Prajnaparamita up to the Buddha Pure Land. I saw that Shen Yunhai was also there and I told him to ''Come to fire!'' but he said ''No!'' I asked, ''Why not?'' He replied, ''I am already Amen.'' I explained, ''Amitabha and Amen are the same!'' Shen then said to me, ''I am already Amen! There isn't anything I can do. The priest has already purified me. I am already in the heaven realm, so I don't want to enter into the fire. If you sent me off to another place, I would be a stranger there.'' I said, ''Oh! That's how it is? Well, I won't force you.'' I didn't know that Shen Yunhai was a Christian, a very sincere Christian. (One of Grand Master's classmates stood up and verified what Grand Master said. ''Shen Yunhai was indeed quite fat and was also a Christian. What the Living Buddha said is very accurate.'')
Tseng Yumin's wife said that she hadn't said a thing before I mentioned that I had seen Tseng Yumin. My classmate also verified that Shen Yunhai was very fat, but became very skinny later on. It was also true that he was a sincere Christian, indeed an Amen. (applause)
However, he didn't know what was written in the Old Testament of the Bible about the forefather of the Hebrews, Abraham. Abraham made offerings to God through the fire offering ceremony. He put a sheep into the fire as an offering to his omnipotent god. This was how he made the fire offering.
The historical background of the fire is that the fire offering existed in India, and with the Hebrews, and in Israel. They all had the fire offering; Hinduism has the fire offering; Buddhist Vajrayana has the fire offering; Egypt and the Hebrews both had the fire offering.
The Old Testament mostly concerns ancient history, therefore Christianity mostly emphasizes the New Testament (Mark, Matthew, Luke and John-disciples of Jesus who spread the Gospel), and First and Second Corinthians. I previously studied both the New Testament and the Old Testament. What you'll notice about the Bible is that it is written in verses. It begins with Genesis and ends with Revelations. The Bible is typically arranged in this way. Hence, I am able to recite chapters and verses of the Bible from memory.
Senior alumnus Shen! I know you are a sincere Christian. I won't force you to go to our buddha Pure Land. Just go to your heaven as we will go to our Pure Land. But I want you to remember, you still owe me NT$200! It's been many years. Back then, when the mail truck came to our school, I had some money saved up there. Shen was standing next to me and said ''Sheng-yen Lu, I need some money, I'm a few dollars short.'' I said ''OK, but don't forget to pay me back!'' ''Remember, you have to pay me back.'' I gave him the NT$200.
Then I didn't see him again for 47 years. He still hasn't paid me back! He also owes me interest. I still remember Shen Yunhai. He was such a happy, carefree guy. There were two guys in our class that always made us feel happy. One was Shen Yunhai and the other was Xie Wenqiu, right?
On check-in day, that night, we were all in a common bunk room. Those two guys were joking back and forth making us all laugh our heads off. They were always making everyone feel happy. Forget about paying me back that NT$200! Forget about the interest too! Who could even figure out the interest over 47 years!
!!Please be aware that before engaging in any True Buddha Vajrayana practices, one must first take refuge and receive the respective empowerment.!!
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