Recently, the Office of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III has received some inquiries. The following provides some brief answers:
1. On the questions about taking refuge in Buddhism The process of taking refuge in Buddhism should really be in accordance with the dharmas of taking refuge in Buddhism in either Exoteric Buddhism or in the various sects of Esoteric Buddhism taught from Sakyamuni Buddha. However, taking refuge in Buddhism does not necessarily mean the generation of the state of taking refuge. Mantra, mudra, the ritual of visualization and meditation on the seed-characters, precepts, and bodhicitta are all essential to the generation of the state. Without these, any form of taking refuge is non-standard and can at most be regarded as simplified way of taking refuge or an impromptu way of taking refuge in response to karmic conditions. As to taking refuge in an inner tantric ritual, the receiving disciple must personally see, in the mandala, the arising level of the true realm of taking refuge. That’s very important. Actually, as long as one’s conduct follows Buddha’s teaching, taking refuge through exoteric ceremonies (effective for the current lifetime only) is also legitimate. However, one must practice according to the ritual being taught. Please always keep this in mind.
2. Are there quota and number limitations on receiving initiation and taking refuge? To any great noble master, the purpose of teaching disciples should be from great compassion, bodhicitta, benefiting living beings, and liberating self and others. The teaching of any dharma has its specific correspondence of recipients. Any true cultivator who practices the Four Limitless States of Mind, the Ten Virtues, and the Six Paramitas, and who selflessly benefits others and propagates Buddha-dharma to save living beings, is a good disciple of Buddha and is qualified to receive the inner tantric ritual of taking refuge in Buddhism and inner initiation. In particular, those who meet the qualification of a master should receive preferential consideration, in order to realize the arising level of the realm of taking refuge to be able to benefit others. No great virtuous noble master has the right to keep Buddha-dharma as personal capital. Every Acarya who has the qualification of conducting the inner tantric ritual of taking refuge is a master in cultivation of benevolence and compassion, and is not an organization, a firm, a unit or an agency that has quota limitations. Where does the limitation come from? Any laughable saying such as “taking refuge and receiving initiation are limited by quotas” can only come from the mouths of those who are at the beginning stage of cultivation and who do not understand Buddha’s teaching nor the true meaning of great compassion.
H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III has boundless love and compassion toward living beings and is constantly wishing all kind and good people to attain true happiness and accomplishment. Buddhas in all directions all have the aspirations for living beings to acquire good dharma as early as possible. Dharma transmitted by inner tantric initiation is certainly included.
3. Regarding the rank and grade of Dharma Kings and Rinpoches: Any master whose discourse is in accordance to the teaching of Sakyamuni Buddha and the dharma stipulation ofH.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III is a true great virtuous noble one. His ranking and grade should be based on the status of realization. There is no rule that a Venerable One or a Dharma King has to be at a higher grade than an ordinary rinpoche. Of course, there exist different titles as determined by the levels of merit and realization. For example, the highest title is H. H. (His Holiness. The next level is H. E. (His Excellence). The next is Venerable, and then Respected. Such classification is accepted internationally in Buddhist circles.
H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III never recognized anyone as his successor, Supreme Dharma King, or Buddha. H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III stated that the future Buddha of this world is Maitreya, not anybody else. His Holiness also mentioned that several great holy ones, such as Dodrupchen Thupten Trinle Palzang who is a Great Dharma King true to the title, are role models of cultivation.
The Office of H. H. Dorje Chang Buddha III, February 12, 2009 (Revised July 15, 2011)