from the Office of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III:
We have received a message transmitted from the International Buddhism Sangha Association that a dharma assembly of expressing gratitude to H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III for Hsi Jao Ken Teng Karma Palden Lodoe Rinpoche’s achieving perfection in practicing the Dharma of Vajra Body Substitution Meditation. At the same time, some people also made the inquiry of requesting verifications from H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III regarding whether Palden Lodoe Rinpoche’s practice of the Vajra Body Substitution Meditation Dharma is true, whether his crown was opened by his own practice after learning the dharma or his crown was opened by the Dharma of Phowa, and whether it is true that the Vajra Body Substitution Meditation Dharma is more powerful than the Phowa Dharma by a thousand times. For this matter, the Office of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III issues the following reply:
H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III stated, “My statement on who is an ordinary one or who is a holy one cannot be taken as a definite conclusion. I myself am a humble one. What I really taught you all about cultivation is using the two Great Mind Essences of The Supreme and Unsurpassable Mahamudra of Liberation published on the internet and What Is Cultivation as the foundation and standard of cultivation. If you want to understand the relationship between human life and the universe, you have to listen to my discourse of Expounding the Fundamental Truth in Terms of the Heart Sutra. I do not have the authority of making definitive conclusions on holiness or mundane status. That is why I do not participate in the verification of the exams of determining the levels of holy virtuous ones held by any Buddhist organization. To any holy virtuous one who wants to learn Buddha-dharma, the two Great Mind Essences are the root source of all great dharmas.”
The Office of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III (the Office) did not set up any project that verifies any test or exam for determining one’s realization power from cultivation. We do not do this kind of thing. Of course, the results from an exam with seven masters and ten witnesses being present on the spot is publicly accepted based on the guarantees and vows made with the consequence of causation at stake. However, according to the correct information received by the Office from the United International Buddhism Headquarters, measurement by scientific instruments on one’s accomplishment of the Vajra Body Substitution Meditation Dharma can only be used as the preliminary evidence for reference purposes on one’s crown-opening attested by three masters and seven witnesses. This is not the final definitive conclusion. A true and exact firm conclusion must be obtained from an exam with seven masters and ten witnesses on the spot to prove the measure and level of one’s accomplishment. Only after the exam is proctored by seven masters and ten witnesses in person and they truly see the definitive conclusion with their own eyes without any uncertainty, will the certificate of holiness be issued. As to what level one is at, please see the certificate holder’s certificate of holiness for yourself. To anyone who holds a certificate of holiness, whatever comments spreading in the society, which can be either good stories about him or slandering words on rights and wrongs, will not affect the nature of his holiness and virtue. The certificate of holiness is the one and only evidence according to this ironclad standard. If the crown-opening is false and no realization power is manifested, the seventeen monastic persons or rinpoches will not dare sign a guarantee with vows of descending to the lower realms for this person if this person did not demonstrate that he had his crown opened. Moreover, this exam has to be taken every year as an annual exam, in order to be responsible to cultivators to avoid the possibility of mistakenly regarding as holy ones those who have lost their realization powers and returned to the state of ordinary beings.
Based on our knowledge, Hsi Jao Ken Teng Rinpoche had his crown opened by the Phowa Dharma with the evidence of inserting a straw ten years ago. Later, some negative stories were heard due to his cultivation and conduct. However, he did learn the Dharma of Vajra Body Substitution Meditation during the last three years. As of now, the information transmitted to us showed that his crown was opened. However, the Office so far has not seen the result of a definitive conclusion with seven masters and ten witnesses being present at the exam. Therefore, the Office cannot provide the answer of whether this rinpoche truly had his crown opened.
No matter what kind of great virtuous one or rinpoche a person is, we must clearly understand one point: “Rely on the Dharma, not the person,” which is one of the four principles of reliance taught by Sakyamuni Buddha. Regardless of whom a person is, if he has received the State Practice Dharma of Vajra Body Substitution Meditation, as long as he can pass the exam with the presence of seven masters and ten witnesses to demonstrate his up-to-standard realization power, we can conclude without a doubt that he is a great holy virtuous one with the State Practice Dharma of Vajra Body Substitution Meditation. If someone has objection to this certificate holder, regardless of whom this person is, this person absolutely does not have correct knowledge and views.
As to the Dharma of Vajra Body Substitution Meditation and the Dharma of Phowa mentioned in the questions, these two dharmas are absolutely not at the same level. The Dharma of Phowa is inferior to the Dharma of Vajra Body Substitution Meditation and the difference is like the difference between the ground and the sky. One who only had his crown opened by the Dharma of Phowa is not a holy virtuous one. On the other hand, one who had his crown opened by the Dharma of Vajra Body Substitution Meditation is a great holy virtuous one. That is why the Dharma of Phowa can only be demonstrated by inserting a straw and does not have the state of manifesting the reality of accomplishment.
From the Office of H. H. Dorje Chang Buddha III,
September 29, 2011