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Jul. 7, 2012 Dharma Talk - Prabhutaratna's ''Seamless Stupa''

2012-07-22 Rainbow Temple
Translated by Henry Wolf, translation accuracy edited by DJ Chang

《The extract of Dharma Teaching Given by Dharma King Living Buddha Liansheng at a homa ceremony for Prabhutaratna on Jul. 22, 2012, Sun., at Rainbow Temple, USA》
(This extract includes only the teaching on Prabhutaratna given on this day)

Let us first pay homage to our lineage gurus- the Reverend Liaoming, the 16th Karmapa, Guru Sakya Zheng-kong, and Guru Thubten Dargye. Homage to the Three Jewels on the shrine. Homage to the principal deity of today's homa, Prabhutaratna.

Today we conducted a homa for ''Prabhutaratna.'' There are not a lot of people who cultivate this deity. The origin of Prabhutaratna comes from a discourse on the Lotus Sutra given by Shakyamuni Buddha. During this discourse, a stupa rose up suddenly from under the ground. This stupa had neither windows, nor doors or any other openings.

Despite the stupa being completely sealed off, a loud voice could be heard from within saying ''Very good indeed! Very good indeed!'' These words were from Prabhutaratna and were praising the discourse on the Lotus Sutra given by Shakyamuni Buddha as ''truly excellent.''

It was due to the excellence of Shakyamuni's discourse on the Lotus Sutra that celestial flowers rained from heaven and filled the sky. Because Shakyamuni Buddha's discourse was marvellous beyond description, Prabhutaratna manifested to praise him. The stupa should have had only one buddha, Prabhutaratna, residing within. But Prabhutaratna moved to one side to make room for a dharma seat next to himself so that Shakyamuni Buddha could sit next to him after entering into the stupa. Two Tathagatas thus occupied one dharma seat.

So, at that time, celestial flowers were raining from the sky as the Buddha gave his discourse and Prabhutaratna's stupa rose up from under the ground. Prabhutaratna invited Shakyamuni Buddha into the stupa and the two sat side by side. This ''two Tathagatas and one dharma throne'' is rarely seen in buddhist scriptures and has become a much-told story.
Grandmaster asks, ''You have this also? What is this device?'' (Answer, ''ipad'').
It is very rare to have two Tathagatas sitting together in one dharma seat (Grandmaster holds up the ipad displaying the image),
Prabhutaratna and Shakyamuni Buddha sitting together on the same dharma seat, two Tathagatas on the same dharma seat, had never occurred before. This has become legendary in Buddhist history.
I do not understand computers, ipads, or iphones. I am totally clueless about them. Technology has become so good that as soon as one mentions Prabhutaratna one can find a picture of the two deities together-awesome! My brain is not as good as a computer, The computer is far more outstanding.

I have seen in the human world a Prabhutaratna stupa where Prabhutaratna resides. It happened when I was visiting Korea. Last time, I should have said that I was in ''Gyeongju,'' not ''Xinzhou,'' as only Gyeongju has many Buddhist temples. When I was in Pattaya, Thailand I saw a temple that had all possible deities in it. In the center of the temple there was a Prabhutaratna stupa which had neither windows nor doors. I thought it looked strange. Besides the Prabhutaratna stupa in Gyeongju, Korea, Mainland China also has many Prabhutaratna stupas. Although they are all different, none of them have windows. The stupas are all sealed off. What is the meaning of this? We call these ''Seamless Stupas,'' stupas that have no seams.

What is inside the stupa which prevents you from seeing into it? Why are the stupas sealed off? This is because, as far as humans are concerned, there are three locations that ''leak.'' In Taoism, those places where ''leakage'' occurs are considered to be one's eyes, ears, and mouth. When one seals off one's eyes, ears, and mouth, one's ''qing, qi, and shen'' are concealed within oneself. Therefore, in Taoism, the ''eyes, ears, and mouth'' are called the ''three outer jewels,'' whereas the ''qing, qi, and shen'' within are called the ''three inner jewels.'' In Buddhism we also have three jewels, the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha, which are the Buddha, the dharma spoken by the Buddha, and monks and nuns. The sages, the virtuous, and the sangha are called in buddhism the Three Jewels. In Taoism the Three Jewels refer to the actual practice of sealing off the eyes, the ears, and the mouth so that there is no leakage of qi. This is the ''Non-leakage of the Three Outer Jewels.''

In Buddhism we speak of completely sealing off the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind, and this is called the ''seamless stupa.'' So, where is this ''seamless stupa?'' Everyone's body contains this ''seamless stupa,'' but it is constantly leaking. Therefore instead of being a ''seamless'' stupa, one's body is an ''open'' stupa. If one succeeds in cultivating the ''seamless stupa'' one naturally transforms into a Tathagata. What does this mean? With one's eyes one sees nothing in the world because ''seeing'' would cause contamination. One's ears hear no sounds of the world because ''hearing'' would cause contamination. One's mouth does not speak nonsense so one conserves one's qi. One's tongue does not taste casually, one's body does not touch arbitrarily, and one's thoughts do not wander randomly. When everything is sealed up, one is oneself a ''seamless stupa.''

Because of leakage from one's eyes one is overpowered by form. Because one's ears hear one is deluded by sounds. Because the tongue tastes, one is enticed by taste. Because the body touches something, one's thoughts go flying randomly. When the ''qing, qi, and shen'' are outwardly dissipated, one is not a ''seamless stupa.'' This is the meaning of ''seamless stupa.'' When a cultivator attains accomplishment he becomes a ''seamless stupa.'' He is no longer connected to the outer world. Nothing can tempt him, his mind is tranquil. His ''qing, qi, and shen'' are completely full. This is called ''seamless stupa.'' Zen Masters often ask ''What is the seamless stupa?'' The ''seamless stupa'' symbolizes success in cultivation. It is fine for one to see with one's eyes, hear with one's ears, taste with one's tongue, speak with one's mouth, touch with one's body, and think with one's mind. However, when one is uninfluenced or unmoved by all these we call this ''Zen.'' We can also call this a ''seamless stupa.'' Hence there are two kinds of cultivation: inner and outer. Cultivation which is inside and cultivation which is outside. Although outwardly there are many kinds of enticements, one is a ''seamless stupa'' when one is not tempted by them. You can put it like this.

Today we are cultivating Prabhutaratna but there are not many main supplicants. Because there are few main supplicants, Prabhutaratna will take special care of each one. (Audience applause)
If there are too many main supplicants, at his old age, Prabhutaratna may not remember all their names. With so many main supplicants coming one after another, he may miss some of them if he cannot remember all their names! If there are just a few main supplicants, he can remember them all, bless them all, fulfill all their wishes and make everything auspicious for them. If any of the main supplicants are involved in lawsuits, he will swiftly resolve the issues and win the case. (Audience applause)

After the manifestation of Prabhutaratna's stupa, Prabhutaratna did not immediately leave the stupa after Shakyamuni Buddha entered it. Not at all. Instead, they sat together. This has become a much-told story. When seeing the name Prabhutaratna, also called ''Abundant Treasure,'' one simply must be a main supplicant because Prabhutaratna has plentiful wealth and riches. Treasures that arise from under the ground all belong to him. Prabhutaratna is also a wealth deity. If you don't know to be a main supplicant today, what a wasted opportunity that is! As long as one is a main supplicant Prabhutaratna will bestow wealth on one. Especially now when the American economy is only ''so-so.''

I've heard that there is drought in many places, and few places are productive. There is not enough food grain for the world. The climate is changing and the earth is not producing enough. As a result, we are facing food shortages! The prices of many things are going up!
There's a joke. The American economy was in a crisis and the unemployment rate was high. There was a guy looking for work but couldn't find anything. One day he was walking along the road and suddenly a worker fell off a high building. The guy ran over and asked ''That guy who just fell off the building, can I have his job?'' People were so desperate to find a job that one guy immediately tried to fill the job of another guy who just fell off a building. The construction boss said, ''Sorry, someone has already taken his job.'' The guy asked, ''That was fast, who took the job?'' The construction boss replied, ''It was the guy who pushed him off the building.''

This is a joke. But when the economy is bad and the unemployment rate is high, this kind of phenomenon will happen no matter whether it is America, Europe, or wherever. I hope that everyone who is looking for a job today will have their wishes fulfilled. (Audience applause) The economy is bad all over the world, and it's unavoidable that some may attempt suicide due to this bad economy. Three guys went to see a psychiatrist, I've told this joke before: Mr. A says ''I'm thinking of jumping off a building. B says ''I'm thinking of lying across train tracks.'' C says ''I'm thinking of getting married.'' After the psychiatrist finishes listening to them, he says to A and B ''You two are fine, because you are only going to think about it. You won't do it! It's the guy who is thinking of getting married who is in danger. He'll have more reasons to commit suicide.'' Amitofo!

Another joke is about bidding on a project. The heavenly gates were broken and God invited bids for the work. A guy from India said ''I'll fix them for $3,000. $1,000 for materials, $1,000 for labor, and $1,000 for my profit.'' A guy from Germany said ''I want $6,000. $2,000 for materials, $2,000 for labor, and my profit $2,000.'' He was twice as much as the guy from India.
Then last a Chinese guy said very calmly ''I want $9,000.'' He was the most expensive. ''$3,000 for my profit, $3,000 for God, and $3,000 to pay the guy from India to do the job.'' The Chinese guy was the smartest. The Chinese always outdo everyone.
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