Cultivators of various schools and sects of Buddhism,
This public announcement addresses an issue. Some people who have the status of a master are quite emotional about the fact that our Office issued public announcements that declared them as being unqualified for giving discourses. They think that such a declaration is unbeneficial to their propagating the dharma. Actually, these masters who have such opinions are simply unaware that they have very scanty knowledge about the true essence of Buddha-dharma and they absolutely do not meet the standard of giving correct discourses about Buddha-dharma to their disciples. Our Office is keenly aware of this fact. Therefore, although these masters have very strong opinions, our Office absolutely will not agree to let anyone who does not know the true essence of Buddha-dharma give discourses or expound the dharma to his or her disciples. This is because the consequence of causality is not what this Office can bear.
Of course, these people are dharma kings, venerable ones, rinpoches, dharma masters, and acaryas and are categorically all called masters. The majority of them are very good and possess correct knowledge and views. They abide by the dharma and are leading people to listen to and cultivate according to the recorded dharma lessons expounded by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. They do not speak carelessly, putting up an appearance of knowing what they actually don’t know. However, there truly exist several people who have deteriorated and become masters with evil knowledge and views! They even speak scores of lies with the purpose of deceiving others. If this type of person is permitted to give discourses, cultivators and their disciples will simply share the consequence from their dark karmas and forever suffer in samsara without the possibility of attaining liberation. Therefore, this Office can only act according to the dharma, not according to some people’s preference. In order to let masters be clearly aware of what level he or she is at, whether his or her knowledge is evil or correct, whether he or she is expertly proficient in Buddha-dharma or not, and what degree his or her proficiency is at, and for opening up the opportunities of letting qualified masters to give correct discourses, a broadly scoped topic of “the practice of meditation” was given as an exam. This topic is related to the essence and studies that anyone who learns and practices Buddha-dharma would encounter. However, sure enough, more than two months have passed since the topic of the exam was announced, not many respondents have submitted their answers yet. We now extend the time by one more month for you all to come up with your answer. No answer will be accepted once the time is up!!
During this past period, we received more than one dozen letters from people who are masters but do not understand Buddha-dharma. The contents of such letters are like jokes. They stated that they had not learned the practice of meditation, had not dealt with meditative concentration and, therefore, could not take this exam. They said in their letters that they are masters of esoteric Buddhism, the Pure-Land School, the Discipline School, the School of Dharmalakṣana or Mind-Only, or practices of the Lessor Vehicle. Because they did not belong to the Zen School, they did not know the practice of meditation. That was why they only knew about mantras of deities, Vajra mantras, mudras, rituals of contemplation, practicing the Great Perfection, practicing dharmas of the Vajra division, or the study of the Mind-Only School. They believed that, to be a person, they should stick with their original characteristics. Some of these people even mentioned that, though being a master, he or she had not had the karmic condition of meeting H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. What he or she had learned from some dharma king or dharma master elsewhere were incorrect methods of practicing meditation. That could not be regarded as learning the practice of meditation. How could what one had not learned be used as the topic of exam to trouble him or her?
Actually, any master who said these things is just a novice of the common knowledge of Buddhism, the study of Buddhism, and Buddha-dharma, and thus is totally outside the gate of Buddhism. What does this topic (the practice of meditation) have to do with whether one has had the opportunity of meeting H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III or not? These people truly deserve a definitive conclusion: They do not have any understanding about the true essence of Buddha-dharma that enables people to attain accomplishment and liberation! Regardless of whether they had the opportunity of meeting H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III or not, just by making such statements of a stranger, this type of so-called masters is simply not a master. That is why they stated that they did not know the practice of meditation. A person who makes such statement does not even know the Six Paramitas that is the most basic concept of esoteric Buddhism, the path of the nature of emptiness for practicing the Great Perfection, or the six perfect virtues of exoteric Buddhism. Discourses given by this type of people can only be baselessly fabricated evil theories.
You all must clearly know a definitive principle. Any Buddhist, regardless which school or sect this person learns from, has to do with the cultivation and practice of meditative concentration. There is no way one can do away with the practice of meditation. You all should know that the practice of meditation is not just the dharma practice carried out by the Zen School. The method of practicing meditation is broadly encompassed in all dharmas. Any dharma starts from concentrating and enters into meditating and the practice of meditation requires meditative concentration, including the Great Perfection, dharmas of the vajra division, chanting the Buddha’s name, and practicing contemplation. Any practice that deviates from the six perfect virtues will not enter deeply into the true essence of Buddha-dharma. Departing from meditation means breaking away from the universal truth of the nature of emptiness. Without concentration the mind consciousness of an ordinary person will not cease. Only when entering deeply into the dual practice of meditation and concentration, can one become aware and realize the dharmakaya of prajna. Dharma gates of practicing mantras, contemplation, reciting sutras, chanting the Buddha’s name, upholding the precepts, sitting practice, and others all require clearing and purifying the mind through concentration, entering into the unperturbed contemplation, and becoming aware of the universal truth to start the mental state of meditation. Such is the goal of practice to realize prajna and the nature of emptiness and to attain the liberation and accomplishment of realizing dharmakaya. That is why the practice of meditation is not solely possessed by the Zen School. However, some patriarch master even said, “Meditative concentration plus practicing the dharma of the Pure-Land School is as powerful as a tiger armed with antlers.” This is really a novice’s assertion. How could this person be a patriarch master? This is because, by chanting the Buddha’s name, the mind is kept focused by this one thought. Chanting the Buddha’s name is itself a type of meditative concentration. Therefore, you must know that all dharma gates of Buddhism involve the practice of meditation. Without it, any dharma must be a heretical practice no matter which sect it is associated with. Comments like this are just an act of pretending to be knowledgeable on what one doesn’t know. An example is a prominent figure, who excerpted quotations from ancient virtuous ones to create his own nonsense that is unrelated to the subject he was trying to address.
Cultivators who are disciples learning from your master, you must be extremely careful and understand a fact. A master who dares not to take this exam about the practice of meditation can only be a person who has serious problems and does not understand Buddha-dharma, regardless of which country or region this person lives in, regardless of how high this person’s status is within the Buddhist world, and regardless of whether this person is a dharma master of an exoteric school of Buddhism or a dharma king, venerable one, or rinpoche of a so-and-so sect of esoteric Buddhism. In other words, this master is a Buddhist master with the reality of a novice. The only exception to this conclusion is that the person who does not speak about the practice of meditation is a great holy and virtuous one at the level of having two Sun-Moon Wheels or higher. This is because a great holy and virtuous one at the level of having two Sun-Moon Wheels or higher can never be a person who doesn’t know the practice of meditation. Their concrete power of practice represents the holy realization attained from the principles of meditative concentration. The only possibility is that this great holy and virtuous one does not want to talk about this subject.
If a cultivator continues to follow a master who did not take this exam of the practice of meditation and this master is not a great holy and virtuous one at the level of having two Sun-Moon Wheels or higher, then this cultivator will surely bear the same dark karma as this sin-creating novice master. As a result, the opportunity of receiving an initiation of State Practice will be removed from this type of person for that person’s entire life. No high-level Buddha-dharma will be transmitted to such people.
Of course, this situation has to do with the Fourteen Fundamental Precepts of Esoteric Buddhism and the Fifty Verses of Guru Devotion. This is because a cultivator may have received the Fourteen Fundamental Precepts of Esoteric Buddhism from a master or been led by this master to read and recite the Fifty Verses of Guru Devotion. Because of the fear of committing offense to the precepts, this cultivator dares not to leave this master of wrong and evil views. Moreover, this master may have a prominent title and status. So the disciple can only obey unquestionably and thinks that leaving this master is a violation to the Fourteen Fundamental Precepts of Esoteric Buddhism. You must remember: this kind of thinking is completely wrong and represents incorrect knowledge and views or even absolutely evil views!
H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III expounded this dharma many time, “Learning Buddhism is to be done by following the teaching and in accordance to the dharma. The teaching to be followed is what Sakyamuni Buddha taught. The dharma to be in accordance to is the dharma of the nature of emptiness and prajna expounded by the Buddha.” The learning is to be learned from holy ones, not from ordinary persons. Of course, it is absolutely not learning evil views from swindlers, evil masters, devilish beings, and so on. You all should clearly know a fact. Swindlers, devilish beings, mountain spirits, water demons, haritis, yaksas, rakshasas, vicious blood-flashing spirits, fortune tellers, and witches are all very cunning and can all wear the cover of Buddhism and hold legitimate credentials to use the Fourteen Fundamental Precepts of Esoteric Buddhism and the Fifty Verses of Guru Devotion to bind their disciples. Isn’t this the real situation? Once you become disciples of this type of evil masters and then uphold the first precept of the Fourteen Fundamental Precepts of Esoteric Buddhism or treat such a evil master according to the Fifty Verses of Guru Devotion, could you possibly avoid the consequence of degenerating into the hell of uninterrupted suffering?
When applied toward Buddhist masters who truly possess correct knowledge and views, the Fourteen Fundamental Precepts of Esoteric Buddhism and the Fifty Verses of Guru Devotion are to be carried out by disciples. That is essential to attaining accomplishment and liberation. For example, doing so respectfully toward Master Padmasambhava, Master Tsongkhapa, Master Marpa, Master Selfless Mother, and truly great holy ones of this kind would accumulate boundless merits. However, in the opposite situation of following and learning from a prominent figure with very high superficial fame and status or someone appearing as a patriarch master of this generation but in reality this person is an evil master, swindler, or one who deludes people with the deeds of violating the teaching from sutras and tells lies to deceive people, if you respect and worship this master of evil views according to the first precept of the Fourteen Fundamental Precepts of Esoteric Buddhism and the Fifty Verses of Guru Devotion, the consequence is not any different from taking the poison of rotting one’s intestines. One’s good root of acquiring wisdom will be rotted. A disciple doing so will definitely have the fate of going to the hell realm. This is because he or she is acting as a role model for promoting evil teachings and leading people to worship evil ones with the consequence of assisting the evil to harm living beings. That is extremely sinful and heinous!
At the same time, you all should also notice a fact. Just as there are good masters as well as swindlers and evil masters among masters, there are good disciples as well as evil ones among those who are disciples. Evil disciples are in two categories. One is that they put up the names of their masters to conduct deceptions whenever they can, without their masters’ knowing the implications and damages they caused. The other kind is that the disciples advocate their evil masters and make propaganda to all people. As a result, sinful and vicious consequences are planted. Of course, cultivators would say, “How can we tell whether our master is a good master or an evil master or whether he or she is a good person or a swindler? Also, how should we distinguish who are evil disciples?” For that, H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III said,
“All evil masters and evil disciples have a common characteristic: ‘selfishness.’ They all fall into the 128 evil views and erroneous views. They deceive people for their self-interests. Therefore, distinguishing swindlers, evil masters, or evil disciples can never be based on whether one is the lineage-holder of a so-and-so sect or not. It has to be based on whether one’s speech and conduct are good or evil. Do not rely on one’s fame and status from the identity in past lives, even if he or she is a first-place great dharma-king in the world, recognized as the reincarnation of Master Padmasambhava or Master Tsongkhapa, or regarded as the reincarnation of a great Bodhisattva such as Kuan Yin, Manjushri or others. Anyone who violated three or more articles in the 128 evil views and erroneous views without repenting and rectifying is likely an evil master and is not a reincarnation of the presumed Bodhisattva. Therefore, concrete realization of one’s holy capacity must also be relied on. That is done by looking at the certificate of holiness and virtue. In general, a master who violated three or more articles of the 128 evil views and erroneous views without repenting and rectifying cannot be followed and relied upon. This is because it is possible that the earlier-manifested holy capacity has been contaminated and this master has already stepped onto an evil path.”
H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III has already expounded this dharma many times. The instruction can’t be clearer. We hope you all do not be muddle-headed. Nowadays, swindlers, evil masters, and evil disciples are everywhere. They are scattered all over the world and mixed into various sects of Tibetan Esoteric Buddhism, exoteric Buddhism, the Great Vehicle, the Lesser Vehicle, and others. The situation is worse by a magnitude of multiple times among evil masters elsewhere who are not in contact with H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. They speak falsely to cheat people with uninterrupted lies. They confuse the essence of the dharma with numerous published works that are full of evil doctrines. The likelihood of encountering evil demons and swindlers in those places are higher by a magnitude of several dozen. Among them, there are world-famous figures ranked in the top three classes. Why would the United International World Buddhism Association Headquarters hold examinations for holy and virtuous ones? This is to assist cultivators to distinguish between true and false, and holy and mundane. The purpose is to benefit cultivators. In today’s world, evil masters are abundant and everywhere. Demons and evildoers outnumber people who have correct views. This is the dharma-ending era when the demons are strong, the power of Buddha-dharma is weak, and living beings are harmed easily, as foretold by Sakyamuni Buddha. H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III said, “Evil masters are numerous in other places. Among them, there are dharma kings, venerable ones, dharma masters, laypersons, and others who are known to be learning Buddhism from me. Among the people I praised before, due to being contaminated by fame and gains, a few of them have become ones who violate the teaching from the sutras and speak falsely.”
Some cultivators would think, “Why did H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III praise them before but does not praise them now?” If you clearly believe in the law of cause and effect, you would not have such thoughts of confusion. The praises were made based on the causality at that time. That person’s speech and conduct as well as status were truthful and conform to the principles. Whatever was good at that time could not be stated as bad. Also, if something that had been bad turned into a good thing, it cannot be called bad anymore. For instance, if an object weighed one pound before, it must be stated as weighing one pound at that time. If it now weighs only two ounces, we can no longer say that it weighs one pound. Otherwise the statement would not agree with the reality and causality. That is exactly speaking according to the fact, speaking truthfully, speaking no lies, and speaking in an upright manner. In order to help living beings identify and verify true holy ones, examinations witnessed by seven masters and ten witnesses are held with certificates of holiness and virtue issued. Moreover, re-examination must be held annually. If one does not pass an annual re-examination, it means that this holy and virtuous one has already been contaminated or has deviated from the Buddha’s teaching and caution in his or her speech, conduct, and mind consciousness. As a result, this person’s power of realization has been lost or has deteriorated. Therefore, his or her certificate of holiness and virtue will not be stamped with the three-dimensional seal to indicate the passing of the annual re-examination. This is just like the situation that someone who was praised by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III before now no longer receives such praises. On the other hand, some people who are not praised now may be praised in the future for their accomplishments later on. There are also people who were praised by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III before and whose conduct is still approved by His Holiness now. These different kinds of situations illustrate the reality among cultivators. All are in the states of gaining and benefiting or being lost or reduced due to the manifestations of causes and effects. This is also like the reason why Bodhisattvas are classified into returners and non-returners. Only the holy capacities and realizations of non-returners at the level of having three Sun-Moon wheels or higher are definitely firm without the possibility of reverting back. However, masters and all cultivators, except holy and virtuous ones at the level of having three Sun-Moon wheels or higher who may engage in the activities of casual Samadhi, should be subjected to observation and appraisal by you all using the 128 evil views and erroneous views. Then you can tell who is a swindler, who is an evil master, who is a genuine cultivator, and who was indicated by the certificate of holiness and virtue as a reincarnation of a celebrated person before but has been contaminated and is now on an evil path after losing the power of cultivation. The 128 evil views and erroneous views are a demon-reflecting mirror can reveal the true picture of whether one is an evildoer or a holy and virtuous one.
You must be sure to remember one thing. Do not be concerned about not being able to learn true Buddha-dharma after leaving your evil master. Actually, if you do not leave your evil master after knowing this fact, not only would you be unable to learn true Buddha-dharma in this entire lifetime, but also you are certain to become an evil one and degenerate into the hell realm! As long as you break away from evil masters and respectfully listen to the recorded dharma lessons expounded by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III in earnest, we guarantee that you will be able to learn Buddha-dharma. You will surely become a good person and get onto the path of attaining holiness.
Of course, this public announcement is not totally targeted toward masters and actually is equally applicable to ordinary cultivators. In reality, there are many good masters. They strive to lead believers to listen to the recorded dharma lessons expounded by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. They set up dharma-listening centers and have benefited a great many people. They have accumulated very great merits. By issuing today’s public announcement, we hope that you, whether you are a master or a disciple, do not cause things of misleading living beings and harming living beings’ interests to occur.
We hope that this world become auspicious and prosperous. We hope that all people become kind and honest persons to establish their characters and develop their virtue and then become excellent Buddhists. The fact is that no one can afford to bear the bad consequences from the law of cause and effect. As a truly cultivating Buddhist, one should cultivate according to the principles, the Buddha’s teaching, and Buddha-dharma. Otherwise, the good fortune of being a human in this lifetime can easily be destroyed at once. H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III hopes to see that all cultivators, including those who have gotten onto a wrong path, are about to get onto a wrong path, or are already not cultivating in accordance to the dharma, use the 128 evil views and erroneous views to check and verify others as well as check and verify oneself. His Holiness hopes that everyone always corrects one’s mistakes and truly becomes a good person and a cultivator, so as to increase one’s good fortune and wisdom and attain enlightenment early.
From the Office of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III,
September 27, 2013