128 Evil and Erroneous Views
from the Office of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III:
The following is an English translation from Chinese. Because this translation has not been personally reviewed and approved by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III, it definitely contains translation mistakes. Therefore, it is provided for your reference. After H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III is able to personally review and approve this English translation, we will then congratulate all of you for having the opportunity to learn from the correct English translation of this Buddha-dharma.
Table of Contents (Click for section)
Introduction from the Office of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III
The “Brief Explanation of Evil Views and Erroneous Views” that the Office of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III hereby makes public is based on an oral discourse given by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. This discourse provides overall views for all Buddhist cultivation and is a supreme dharma treasure for cultivators. These views are non-sectarian. They do not belong to esoteric Buddhism, exoteric Buddhism, the Pure Land sect or any other sect. They do not belong to the Mahayana or Hinayana. All Buddhists who learn Buddhism and cultivate themselves must never follow any of these 128 evil and erroneous views if they want to progress on the path toward enlightenment, increase their good fortune and wisdom, and eventually attain liberation. All Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in the ten directions have the common understanding that following these views is unacceptable. To accept these views is tantamount to following them. Cultivators must use these views as the standard to check the correctness of their own views. Anyone who follows these views will definitely not experience any beneficial effects in his practice no matter what dharma he practices, will forever live in samsara, and may even descend into one of the three lower realms.
This dharma on elucidating views is beneficial to cultivators in every way and does not harm them in any way. Conversely, to charlatans who are false cultivators, to those who follow evil views and erroneous views, to false “persons of holy virtue” who flaunt the banner of Buddhism, to so-called great dharma kings, great rinpoches, and great dharma masters, this dharma will be as painful as peeling off a scar from their body. Why?
The first reason is that all false holy ones have the goal of cheating living beings out of their wealth. They have no scruples about poisoning the wisdom-roots of living beings that lead to liberation. Therefore, the dharma that they preach must be heresy in the form of evil and erroneous views. These 128 views thoroughly reveal the true colors of those false holy ones. Everyone can now instantly see that they are actually evil people in the guise of famous people of great holiness! Thus, these 128 views will enrage them. They will put up a last-ditch fight against these 128 views and will certainly engage in unbridled revenge. They will even hate H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III to their core and will come up with various dark plots. They will slander this dharma on elucidating views. Or, to avoid exposing their evilness and ugliness, they will use indirect, tricky ways or other means to attack H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. With careful observation, you will discover that every one of those who attack H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III or this dharma on elucidating views follows one or more of these 128 views.
The second reason is that this dharma on elucidating views is bright and devoid of selfishness. It is purely beneficial to living beings and is absolutely true dharma of the Buddhas. It will destroy the fraudulent work of those demonic and evil masters and those false holy ones. Consequently, they will definitely oppose and attack it to protect their own selfish interests. However, their attacks actually prove that they are evil masters and deceivers.
Those attackers may foolishly say, “Our sect has nothing to do with these views.” However, you must remember that only evil and demonic sects will claim to have nothing to do with these views. That is because this dharma on elucidating views encapsulates all of Buddhism and is the truth based on the law of cause and effect in the universe. Every one of these views is relevant to any sect, as long as it is a sect within Buddhism. This dharma on elucidating views is purely beneficial to living beings in their quest to attain liberation. Everyone can understand these views, although those with deep insight will see deeply into them, and those with shallow insight will see shallowly into them.
Those evil attackers might also say, “This dharma on elucidating views is incorrect.” Think about this carefully. Is it correct to protect the interests of living beings and the wisdom-roots of living beings that lead to liberation, or is it correct to help those who deceive living beings and rob them of their wealth? Is it correct to violate the teachings and precepts of the Buddha, or is it correct to uphold the teachings and precepts of the Buddha? Which is correct, having holy realization after the crown of one’s head has been opened or only being able to talk about theories because one has no such realization? Which is correct, having true tummo (inner heat) concentration powers or only being able to talk about tummo concentration powers because one has no true tummo concentration powers?
We ask the following simple questions, the answers to which everyone can understand right away. Could the view that one may violate the precepts of the Three Vehicles be correct? Could the view of approving cultivation that is divorced from bodhicitta be correct? Could the view that there is no need to abide by all of the precepts you have received be correct? Could the view that one may falsely claim to be a Buddha or Bodhisattva in order to propagate the dharma be correct? How about the view that it is acceptable for a master to speak falsely and deceive living beings, the view that helping evil masters do bad things is a dharma-protecting practice, the view that it is acceptable to call yourself a Buddha or Bodhisattva in front of your disciples, the view that one may eat meat after one is tonsured and becomes a monastic, the view that cutting off attachment to self means not caring for the sufferings of others, the view that it is acceptable to perform an initiation or transmit Buddha-dharma in exchange for the payment of money, the view that it is acceptable for a master to demand and take property from his disciples, the view that the protective powers of mountain deities are greater than the protective powers of great Bodhisattvas, the view that one with the thoughts or conduct of an icchantika is an eminent monastic, and the view that it is acceptable to place Buddhist books and images of Buddhas at a height lower than the seat of an eminent monastic or person of great virtue?Could it possibly be that those who engage in such evil should be regarded as correct? Could it possibly be that they should be regarded as holy beings?
Everyone must clearly understand that H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III has pure bodhicitta based on great compassion and a desire to benefit living beings. Therefore, His Holiness only benefits living beings and does not accept offerings from any practitioner. Evil masters and false holy ones are unable to do that. They greedily seek offerings from others to benefit themselves. Thus, they definitely will harbor intense hatred for H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. The difference between His Holiness and those people is not merely like the difference between the sky and the earth. Rather, it is like the difference between brightness and darkness, between nectar and poison!
Always remember that demons and Buddhas are opposed to each other. The goal of demons and deceivers is harming living beings. The aim of Buddhas is protecting and blessing living beings. Therefore, it is certain that evil spirits and deceivers will frantically attempt to destroy the Buddha-dharma. They will definitely oppose the discourses on the Buddha-dharma given by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III through which His Holiness selflessly benefits living beings. They will use slanderous attacks in a reckless attempt to cover up their own evil and erroneous views and prevent everyone from seeing who they really are. However, you will clearly see that 100% of those attackers definitely follow some of these 128 evil and erroneous views. If they did not, they would be persons of holy virtue who would praise this “Brief Explanation of Evil Views and Erroneous Views” dharma taught by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III as that which upholds the true Tathagata dharma and protects the interests of living beings.
For now, let us put aside the fact that these 128 views encapsulate the dharma of the Tripitaka. Let us just look at the five views of strictly observing the precepts of the Three Vehicles, adhering to bodhicitta in cultivation, clearly believing in the law of cause and effect, the need to understand the meaning of the sutra one is reciting, and diligently practicing the six paramitas. These five views alone relate to the essence of the Tripitaka. Hence, these 128 views are a supreme treasure of Buddha-dharma. Therefore, anyone who slanders them is certainly a false person of holy virtue, an evil master, a deceiver, or a demon! We hope that all believers of Buddhism will think deeply in order to discern well, will establish right understanding and right views, will open up their eyes to discern who is an evil master or demon, will increase their fortune and wisdom, and will soon realize enlightenment!
Office of H. H. Dorje Chang Buddha III
August 25, 2009-Revised February 10, 2011
Introduction by His Holiness
“H.H. DORJE CHANG BUDDHA III GIVES A BRIEF
EXPLANATION OF EVIL VIEWS AND ERRONEOUS VIEWS”
(Excerpted from an oral dharma discourse given by
H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III)
What am I going to speak about today to all of you? I will give a discourse on key Buddha-dharma that is of utmost importance to attain liberation. I must remind you that because the dharma I will expound upon today is so important, you truly cannot overlook it. What makes it important? This dharma is related to the big issue of whether or not you will experience beneficial effects from learning Buddhism and cultivating yourself. It is related to the big issue of whether you will increase your good fortune and wisdom and become liberated or whether you will descend into one of the three lower realms of existence.
Today I am going to speak about evil views and erroneous views. If anyone who is learning Buddhism and cultivating himself follows one of these evil views, he will not become liberated. Furthermore, the meritorious virtues that are the basis for his good fortune and wisdom will not grow, and he will not achieve realization powers through his practice. No matter what sect you belong to, if you want to end your cycle of birth and death and attain liberation, then you must not follow any evil view or erroneous view. If you follow even one evil view, it will not be possible for you to accumulate through your practice the meritorious virtues that are the basis for good fortune and wisdom. Moreover, you will be unable to attain liberation. However, if you repent and immediately correct yourself after following such a view, there will be no problem.
The offense of following erroneous views is slightly lighter than that of following evil views. Although the offense is slightly lighter, there are certain erroneous views which if followed will result in problems even if you follow only one of those erroneous views. There are certain erroneous views which if followed will result in preventing you from becoming accomplished and experiencing beneficial effects in your practice even if you follow only two or three of those erroneous views.
Not following these 128 views is an iron-clad dharma rule. All Buddhists must comply with this rule by not following these views so that they can end the cycle of birth and death and realize the holy fruit of accomplishment. This dharma rule was not created by anyone. It is the law of cause and effect. Correctly complying with this dharma rule is the common enlightenment practice of all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in the ten directions.
The listing of evil and erroneous views is an important part of The Supreme and Unsurpassable Mahamudra of Liberation. In order to avoid misunderstandings of these views or explanations of them that are wrong or even reckless, I am going to personally explain them today. This will be just a brief, overall description of them.
Evil views are generally those listed below. The term “generally” here means that not all evil views are included below. However, based on the dharma, the major ones are included. If you do not follow these evil and erroneous views, you will naturally become a cultivator of great virtue on the path to enlightenment who has right understanding and right views and who acts according to the dharma.
1. THE VIEW THAT GHOSTS AND GODS ARE ONE’S LIBERATION MASTERS
Those with this view regard ghosts and gods as masters upon whom we should rely for liberation and as leaders upon whom we should rely to attain accomplishment in the dharma. Those with this view firmly believe that ghosts and gods can save us from the sufferings of birth, aging, sickness, and death. A person holding this view believes that ghosts and gods are the only masters who can save him through ending the cycle of birth and death. In reality, ghosts and gods have not even ended their own cycles of birth and death. Therefore, they definitely are not masters of liberation for Buddhist cultivators.
2. THE VIEW THAT ATTAINING SUPERNATURAL POWERS IS THE GOAL OF ACCOMPLISHMENT IN THE DHARMA
Those with this view think the purpose of cultivating and learning Buddhism is realizing supernatural powers and the ability to shape-shift. They think that obtaining supernatural powers is the ultimate goal that we should pursue. They think that obtaining supernatural powers is tantamount to attaining accomplishment or liberation. You must understand that supernatural powers and accomplishment or liberation are two completely separate things. No matter how great one’s supernatural powers may be, they do not belong to the essence of accomplishment or liberation. Therefore, the goals of accomplishment are perfecting good fortune and wisdom, realizing the empty nature of true such-ness, and acquiring mastery over one’s own living and dying.
3. THE VIEW THAT ONE MAY VIOLATE THE PRECEPTS OF THE THREE VEHICLES—HINAYANA, MAHAYANA, AND VAJRAYANA
Those with this view think that it is permissible to violate the precepts of the Three Vehicles that they have received. They think that under certain karmic conditions or with a special dharma practice it is acceptable to deviate from the precepts of the Three Vehicles. You must bear in mind that no matter what the circumstances may be, the precepts of the Three Vehicles may not be violated. Everyone, including eminent monastics and holy dharma kings, must strictly adhere to those precepts. Otherwise, one is a heretic in the guise of a Buddhist practitioner.
4. THE VIEW OF APPROVING CULTIVATION THAT IS DIVORCED FROM BODHICITTA
There are many methods of cultivation within the Buddha-dharma. Whatever method one uses to cultivate, it cannot be divorced from bodhicitta. Any form of cultivation that is divorced from bodhicitta is evil cultivation. Therefore, the most important aspect of cultivation is never separating from bodhicitta. In addition, we should not approve of those whose cultivation is divorced from bodhicitta.
5. THE VIEW THAT THERE IS NO NEED TO ABIDE BY ALL OF THE PRECEPTS YOU HAVE RECEIVED
As long as you received a precept, you must abide by it fully. You must abide by each and every precept you received. It is unacceptable to think that you may just abide by one of them or some of them and need not abide by certain others. Any thinking that not all precepts must be observed is not only wrong but also evil.
6. THE VIEW THAT ONE MAY FALSELY CLAIM TO BE A BUDDHA OR BODHISATTVA IN ORDER TO PROPAGATE THE DHARMA
Those with this view think that in order to propagate the dharma and bring people to Buddhism, one may use the expedient means of elevating one’s status by claiming to be a certain Buddha or Bodhisattva. They tell their disciples and friends to spread the word that they are a certain Buddha or Bodhisattva. Those who engage in or approve of this type of conduct are following this evil view.
7. THE VIEW OF SUBSTANTIALISM IN WHICH WORLDLY PHENOMENA TRULY EXIST AND ARE NOT ILLUSORY
This touches upon the ultimate truth. Those with this view regard all phenomena as truly existing, not illusory, and real. They think everything that exists among people, among things, and among events is real. To them, all worldly phenomena are not impermanent but truly exist and are real. They regard everything as real and not illusory. This is an evil view.
8. THE VIEW THAT EMPTINESS IS SEPARATE FROM AND INDEPENDENT OF WORLDLY PHENOMENA
Those with this view think that emptiness is unrelated to all views that accept the substantial-ness of worldly phenomena. They think that as long as one enters emptiness, everything that is actually present will no longer exist. They think that conditioned phenomena do not exist within emptiness and that emptiness is independent of conditioned phenomena. This view is already evil. One must understand that emptiness is not separate from worldly phenomena. After realizing emptiness, one knows that form is emptiness and emptiness is form. The two are not mutually incompatible. The fundamental truth is that the two are one and the same. That is the unattached true such-ness, the Buddha-nature from which usages arise.
9. THE VIEW THAT ONE CAN BECOME LIBERATED ONLY BY PRACTICING A DHARMA AND WITHOUT CULTIVATING ONESELF
Those with this view think that once they learn a certain dharma, they have succeeded. For example, they think how great it is that they now practice the Vajra Substitute Body Meditation. They think they can perform dharma and control their destiny at will. Or they think, “I can practice tummo concentration dharma to eliminate karmic hindrances. Why do I need to cultivate myself? It is even permissible for me not to cultivate myself since I will still succeed and become liberated.” That view is extremely evil.
10. THE VIEW THAT THE DHARMAKAYA IS A BODY WITH FORM
Our tathagata-garbha true mind refers to the dharmakaya. The dharmakaya is one of the three bodies; namely, the dharmakaya, sambhogakaya, and nirmanakaya. Those with this view describe the dharmakaya as having form, size, color, or a feeling of tranquility, peace, or happiness. Any view that regards the dharmakaya as an object with shape or awareness of feelings is an evil view.
11. THE VIEW THAT YOU CAN DO BAD THINGS AND STILL BE FREE OF SIN BY RELYING ON THE POWER OF THE BUDDHAS
Those with this view think that due to the power generated from their own dharma practice, they are already blessed by the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in the ten directions. They think that they can do something bad and still be free of sin because the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will come and eliminate their sin right away.
12. THE VIEW THAT CUTTING OFF ATTACHMENT TO SELF MEANS CUTTING OFF FEELINGS FOR YOUR PARENTS
For the purpose of cutting off attachment to self, there are sons and daughters who do not even recognize their relationship with their parents. There are also sons and daughters who ignore the feelings of their parents when their parents sadly cry over the decision of their son or daughter to become a monastic. Such sons and daughters even think that in so doing they are cutting off attachment to self. In reality, such filial disobedience is an evil view. Cutting off attachment to self entails benefiting living beings, caring about living beings, and putting one’s own interests second to those of living beings. It does not entail disregarding the feelings of one’s parents and cutting off one’s relationship with them.
13. THE VIEW THAT ONE CAN ATTAIN HOLY NIRVANA BY SIMPLY DOING GOOD DEEDS
Those who with this view think that as long as they do good deeds and everything that they do benefits living beings, that is enough for them to attain the nirvana of holy beings and become a Buddha or Bodhisattva. One must know that doing good deeds is performing conditioned charity. Based on the law of cause and effect, such charity will result in karmic rewards in the human or heavenly realms. However, attaining holy nirvana entails realizing a holy state. That means attaining the unconditioned state in which one has ended the cycle of birth and death and possesses total self-mastery. It means reaching that holy land where there is no arising or ceasing. Therefore, thinking that one can attain holy nirvana by simply doing good deeds is an evil view. You must understand that in addition to doing good deeds one must also practice unconditioned, holy dharma. Only then can one attain holy nirvana. There is no other path to attain holy nirvana.
14. THE VIEW THAT REGARDS AS A BODHISATTVA SOMEONE WHO DOES NOT ACT OUT OF GREATLY COMPASSIONATE BODHICITTA
Within society, there are various kinds of dharma kings, rinpoches, masters, and great dharma teachers. Some of them do not have bodhicitta and do not act out of bodhicitta. However, certain publicity portrays them as great Bodhisattvas. In reality, they are false people of holy virtue. Therefore, one who does not have bodhicitta of great compassion is not a Bodhisattva no matter what status he may have. The view that regards as a Bodhisattva this type of person who does not act out of greatly compassionate bodhicitta is an evil view.
15. THE VIEW OF NOT CLEARLY BELIEVING IN CAUSE AND EFFECT BUT SUPERSTITIOUSLY BELIEVING IN DIVINATION AND LUCK INSTEAD
Those with this view do not clearly believe in the law of cause and effect. They do not believe in the law of cause and effect. They deny the law of cause and effect. They instead believe in divination and luck. This is an evil view. You must understand that everything is based on the law of cause and effect.
16. THE VIEW THAT IT IS ACCEPTABLE TO SIMPLY EXPOUND THE PRINCIPLES OF EMPTINESS WITHOUT SPEAKING ABOUT REAL CULTIVATION THROUGH CONCRETE PRACTICE
This type of situation exists more in exoteric Buddhism. However, it also exists in esoteric Buddhism. Some currently well-known people in society especially like to expound the principles of emptiness. They talk about the Zen method of penetrating the truth. They explain that all phenomena are without self-nature and are originally empty, that one should generate a mind that is unattached to anything, that one’s mind should be empty and tranquil. They talk about the original nature that does not come or go. They talk about these principles in elaborate, high-flown terms that are mysterious and hard to understand. They especially like to talk about thePlatform Sutra, the Diamond Sutra, and prajna. They speak on and on about the principles of emptiness without ever mentioning real cultivation through concrete practice. They do not teach real cultivation. They do not tell living beings how to practice through concrete actions the path that leads to enlightenment. There are too many people like this. They very seriously violate the law of cause and effect. One may talk about the principles and truth of emptiness as contained in the Buddha-dharma. However, that is just theory and cannot solve the problem of ending the cycle of birth and death. That is why Sakyamuni Buddha told us how to cultivate ourselves. Only through cultivation and transforming cause and effect can one actually realize the states that those theories describe. Therefore, those who simply expound the principles of emptiness without speaking about real cultivation through concrete practice are evil people. This view is an evil view.
17. THE VIEW THAT THE EXSTENCE OF THE SIX REALMS OF SAMSARA IS AN UNTRUE LEGEND
Those with this view regard the six realms of heaven, asura, human, hell, animal, and hungry ghost as existing only in legend. They think that such realms do not actually exist. They think that there are no ghosts and that none of the six realms exist. Won’t such a concept lead to the conclusion that all causes and effects are meaningless and false and that the law of cause and effect is not true? You must understand and think clearly about this. Sakyamuni Buddha stated that the six realms of reincarnation are real. He spoke of the sufferings of birth, aging, sickness, and death, and the five turbidities of an evil age. You are all living in that reality now. Could it be that this is not the case? Such are the facts. One who denies the existence of the cycle of reincarnation is opposing the Buddha. Such people can describe the human world with the sufferings of birth, aging, sickness, and death as the Pure Land of the West. I will give you an example. There truly are people who want to change this world of suffering into a human Pure Land. This type of following what is good, promoting benevolence toward others, and guiding people to be good and do good is implementing of the four limitless states of mind. However, if you believe that this world can be made into a real human Pure Land, then you believe in something that goes against the teachings of the Buddha. There is no method that can change the laws of cause and effect and reincarnation that exist in a world. No matter what method is used to create a desired result, that result will not be a Pure Land. The human realm is the human realm. A Pure Land is a Pure Land. The difference is like that of heaven and earth. One is a holy world and the other is an ordinary world. The Pure Land is a world where there is no arising or ceasing. Beings there get clothing when they think about clothing and get food when they think about food. There is no form of impermanence there. On the other hand, a so-called Pure Land in the human realm would still be full of all of the sufferings of birth, aging, sickness, and death. People would not get clothing or food just from thinking of clothing or food. People would still have to work and make money to obtain such things. They could not rely upon visualizing such things to obtain them. In this world, people do not want the sufferings of birth, aging, sickness, and death, but such sufferings truly exist. It is inevitable that this world be filled with such sufferings. No matter what method is used, the result will still entail the attribute of impermanence inherent in a world within samsara. Nobody can change the impermanence that exists in this world caused by arising and ceasing. No ordinary person, regardless of how smart he may be, can escape the sufferings of five turbidities because that is the inevitable law of impermanence that exists in the six realms of reincarnation. Therefore, the six realms of reincarnation do exist.
18. THE VIEW THAT FAMOUS LAMAS OR FAMOUS MONKS ARE DEFINITELY PEOPLE OF GREAT HOLINESS AND VIRTUE
Whenever those with this view meet a famous lama or famous monk, they conclude that he is as a holy monk or a person of great holiness and virtue. What is meant by the terms famous lama or famous monk? They are a type of eminent monastic who has great fame or who is regarded around the world as being amazing. Those with this view conclude that such monastics are people of great holiness and virtue. In reality, such monastics might be people of holy virtue, and they also might not be people of holy virtue. There are even some extremely famous dharma kings of Buddhism who actually are ordinary beings.
19. THE VIEW THAT PERSONAL INTERESTS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE BUDDHA-DHARMA
When there is a conflict between your personal interest and the Buddha-dharma, do you choose the Buddha-dharma or your personal interest? If you regard your personal interests as being higher than the Buddha-dharma, your view is an evil view. Personal interests should not be regarded as being higher than the Buddha-dharma. The Buddha-dharma is a supreme treasure. It is better to give up one’s life than give up the Buddha-dharma.
20. THE VIEW THAT ONE MAY KILL A LIVING BEING WITHOUT COMMITTING AN OFFENSE SO LONG AS ONE CHANTS THE MANTRA TO RAISE THE DECEASED TO A HIGHER REALM OF EXISTENCE
Those with this view think that by chanting the Mantra to Raise the Deceased they can raise deceased beings to higher realms of existence, including those beings they killed or any other deceased being. They think that as long as the being has died, they can raise that deceased being to a higher realm by chanting the Mantra to Raise the Deceased. As such, they think that no problems will remain. However, if you chant the Mantra to Raise the Deceased as you purposefully kill a living being, you will not be able to raise that being to a higher realm of existence, and you will have committed an extremely large sin. Therefore, those who chant the Mantra to Raise the Deceased while killing a living being will experience no resulting increase in merit. The only result will be an increase in their dark karma.
21. THE VIEW THAT IT IS ACCEPTABLE TO GO AGAINST MATTERS DECIDED UPON BY YOUR ROOT MASTER WHO HAS BOTH HOLY REALIZATION AND BODHICITTA
The term root master refers to a root master who has holy realization and bodhicitta; that is, a greatly virtuous one with holy realization who acts out of bodhicitta. Moreover, such a master does not follow any of these 128 evil and erroneous views. You practice the dharma he transmitted as your fundamental dharma. For example, your own yidam comes from practicing the dharma he transmitted to you. You plan on practicing throughout your entire life the dharma he transmitted to you so as to become accomplished. That is what is meant by a root master. If a disciple thinks it is acceptable to go against or not carry out matters decided upon by his root master, this is an evil view. However, if your root master follows some of these 128 views, then he has become an evil root master regardless of whether he is a dharma king, a venerable one, or a master. In such case, you absolutely may not follow and execute what he has decided upon, for to do so would be assisting evil. If you continue to follow a master with evil and erroneous views, you will not experience any beneficial effects from your practice no matter what Buddha-dharma you practice.
22. THE VIEW THAT IT IS ACCEPTABLE TO RESPECT THE BUDDHAS AND YOUR MASTER BUT NOT SHOW FILIAL PIETY TOWARD YOUR PARENTS
Some people are very respectful toward their master and the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. However, they talk back or speak defiantly to their parents and act against the wishes of their parents. They do not show filial piety toward their parents and even leave their parents to go to a faraway place, where they totally ignore their parents. This reflects an evil view.
23. THE VIEW OF BELIEVING IN SOMEONE’S POSITION AND STATUS RATHER THAN THE DEFINITIVE TRUTH
There are some great dharma kings, great rinpoches, and great dharma masters whose positions are quite high. They can even be ranked as first or second class great dharma kings, great rinpoches, or great dharma masters. When we hear them mistakenly expound the dharma, we do not apply the correct and definitive truth to recognize such mistakes, and we do not apply Buddha-dharma principles to judge whether their words are correct. We think that the dharma they expound must be correct simply because they have the status of a great dharma king or some other position. Such a view is an evil view.
24. THE VIEW THAT LIVING BEINGS WERE BUDDHAS WHO LATER DEVOLVED INTO LIVING BEINGS
There are some people who frequently describe living beings as Buddhas. They say that in beginning-less time living beings were once Buddhas but later devolved into living beings due to the arising of ignorance and defilements. This is an evil doctrine expressed by those who do not understand Buddha-dharma. Living beings have always been living beings and since beginning-less time have never been Buddhas. Living beings are surrounded by karmic hindrances, such as the sufferings of birth, aging, sickness, and death. However, all living beings possess Buddha-nature. They can become Buddhas through learning Buddhism, cultivating themselves, and practicing according to the dharma. You must understand that living beings definitely did not devolve from Buddhas into living beings. Living beings are living beings. There is no such thing as Buddhas devolving into living beings. If Buddhas could devolve into living beings, then when would Sakyamuni Buddha devolve into a living being?
25. THE VIEW THAT IT IS ACCEPTABLE TO MIX HERETICAL PRACTICES WITH THE PRACTICES OF THE BUDDHA-DHARMA
This type of situation occurs quite a lot. People practice a mixture of regular Buddha-dharma and heretical methods. This is because there are numerous and varied heretical methods or practices, such as selecting a good hour or auspicious day for an event, yin and yang, feng shui, Taoist magic figures or incantations, beseeching spirits, fortune-telling by means of Chinese characters and other methods, witch dancing, rearing a small ghost, and so on. All of these are heretical practices. Practicing a mixture of these with the Buddha-dharma is evil.
26. THE VIEW THAT THE LAW OF CAUSE AND EFFECT IS IMAGINARY AND NOT REAL
Some people think that the law of cause and effect does not exist. They think that there is no need to be afraid since there is no karmic retribution. They think it is all right to do bad things as long as nobody finds out. In short, to them there is no such thing as karmic retribution. Remember, regarding the law of cause and effect as imaginary and not real is an evil view.
27. THE VIEW THAT STRANGE PARANORMAL PHENOMENA ARE MANIFESTATIONS OF SUPERNATURAL POWERS THAT FLOW FROM THE BUDDHA-DHARMA
In this world, there are many kinds of mystical and strange paranormal phenomena. Heretical sects use such phenomena to deceive and confuse living beings. In so doing, they create all kinds of negative karma. All such strange phenomena are not manifestations of supernatural power that flow from the Buddha-dharma and are just evil doings.
28. THE VIEW THAT A MASTER WHO LEARNED A GREAT DHARMA IS DEFINITELY A PERSON OF GREAT HOLINESS
Some people think that because a certain master received a great initiation or learned a great dharma, he must be a person of great holiness. That is incorrect. If you have such a view, you have fallen into evil ways. A master who learned a great dharma has not necessarily succeeded in his practice of that great dharma. A master who learned a great dharma does not necessarily abide by the precepts according to the dharma. You must determine whether this master follows any of these 128 evil and erroneous views. Therefore, you should not think that someone who learned a great dharma is definitely a person of great holiness. One becomes a person of great holiness through one’s own concrete cultivation.
29. THE VIEW THAT YOU CAN PUT OFF CULTIVATING YOURSELF UNTIL TOMORROW
People often think, “I am tired today, so I will not do my dharma practice. I will do it tomorrow.” Or they say, “I will enjoy myself today. Tomorrow I will do my dharma practice. Tomorrow I will cultivate my mind and my actions.” As soon as such a thought arises in one’s mind, one has planted a karmic seed that leads to descent into samsara without being liberated. Bear in mind that this is the karmic seed leading to degeneration. Cultivation cannot be put off until tomorrow. To do so is to fall into this evil view.
30. THE VIEW THAT IT IS ACCEPTABLE FOR A MASTER TO SPEAK FALSELY AND DECEIVE LIVING BEINGS
Some masters speak falsely to deceive living beings and their disciples. They say that in so doing they are using skillful or expedient means. However, masters who do this follow an evil view. Those who think such conduct is acceptable likewise harbor an evil view.
31. THE VIEW THAT YOU CAN EXPERIENCE BENEFICIAL EFFECTS FROM YOUR PRACTICE EVEN THOUGH YOU INTENTIONALLY SPEAK FALSELY TO YOUR ROOT MASTER
There are those who intentionally speak falsely to their root master. Or when their master asks them a question, they conceal half of the facts, thinking all the while that doing so is no big deal or even that it is natural and right. They therefore act as if nothing wrong happened. This is an evil view. Actually, as long as you speak falsely to your master, you will not experience beneficial effects from your practice. No benefits can be established no matter what Buddha-dharma you practice because your yidam and the dharma-protecting deities will not bless you.
32. THE VIEW THAT APPROVES OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE SUPERNATURAL POWERS BUT WHO DO NOT ACT OUT OF BODHICITTA
Some practitioners or yogis possess great supernatural powers but do not act out of bodhicitta. If one approves of such people who only have supernatural powers but who do not act out of bodhicitta, one has fallen into this evil view.
33. THE VIEW OF APPROVING DHARMA TEACHERS, RINPOCHES, AND LAYPERSONS WHOSE CONDUCT DOES NOT COMPORT WITH THE PRECEPTS
There are rinpoches, dharma teachers, and laypersons who have never received any precepts. There are even such people who have received precepts but who do not abide by the precepts they received. They are false rinpoches, false dharma teachers, or false laypersons who appear to be what they in fact are not. Therefore, every rinpoche, dharma teacher, or layperson must receive precepts corresponding to him or her and must abide by those precepts in accordance with the dharma.
34. THE VIEW THAT HELPING YOUR EVIL MASTER DO EVIL THINGS IS A DHARMA-PROTECTING PRACTICE
There are disciples whose root master or master engages in evil conduct that violates the rules of Buddhism. In such case, those disciples not only do not leave their master, they even make a big effort to assist their master in doing things that follow these 128 evil and erroneous views. They even think that they are protecting the dharma. This is an evil view.
35. THE VIEW OF ACCEPTING AND FOLLOWING A MASTER WHO MISTAKENLY EXPOUNDS AND DOES NOT UNDERSTAND THE BUDDHA-DHARMA RATHER THAN SEEKING A GOOD MASTER
Disciples with this view accept and follow a master who mistakenly expounds and does not understand the Buddha-dharma. When this type of disciple discovers such offenses committed by his master, he does not quickly leave his master and seek a Buddhist master who truly gives correct teachings according to the dharma. Rather, he continues to follow this master who mistakenly expounds the dharma. This is planting the seeds leading to a lifetime of degeneration. Such a disciple should immediately seek a good master who is truly a greatly virtuous one. Otherwise, he will definitely descend into one of the three lower realms.
36. THE VIEW THAT APPROVES OF IMPURE GIVING IN WHICH THE GIVER REMEMBERS AND IS ATTACHED TO HIS ACT OF GIVING
In doing any good deed, we should not have the mindset of one who gives impurely and who remembers and is attached to his act of giving. After we do a good deed, we should let go of it. We did it and it is over with. We should simply forget it right away. Our kindness and compassion should come naturally as part of our innate character. Acting compassionately should not be something that we intentionally do. Thus, if you have the mindset of one who gives impurely and who remembers and is attached to his act of giving, your resulting karmic rewards will be limited to good fortune in the human or heavenly realm. You will only enjoy a limited amount of good fortune and will never become a holy one. Because the cause or seed you planted is impure, the resulting effect or fruit will be impermanent. The beneficial effects of such a contaminated cause will eventually run out. When they do and you have not accumulated other merit, it will be time for you to receive negative karmic retribution.
37. THE VIEW THAT ONE DOES NOT NEED TO REPENT OPENLY FOR HAVING MISTAKENLY EXPOUNDED THE TEACHINGS OF THE SUTRAS
Some people mistakenly expound the teachings of the sutras but are still attached to ego and saving face. They cannot let go of the mindset of an ordinary person. Therefore, they do not openly repent. In private, they might say, “I have privately corrected myself already.” That is not acceptable. Such a person is not a true practitioner. The dharma-protecting deities will not forgive him. Moreover, the law of cause and effect never errs. Those who mistakenly expound the teachings of the sutras should immediately and openly repent in front of others. What they want should be accomplishment, not saving face. You should not want to descend into one of the lower realms only to end up wearing the skin of an animal or ghost.
38. THE VIEW THAT IT IS ACCEPTABLE TO CALL YOURSELF A BUDDHA OR BODHISATTVA IN FRONT OF YOUR DISCIPLES
One who, in front of his disciples, claims to be a reincarnation of a certain greatly virtuous being, a certain Buddha or Bodhisattva, or person of great holiness is a deceiver. However, if he has a recognition certificate recognizing his identity and that certificate was made in accordance with the dharma, then he is of course who the recognition certificate says he is. However, he must still have a heart of humility and must not boast. Otherwise, he, too, will have the mentality of an ordinary being. If one does not have a certificate of recognition made in accordance with the dharma, he should all the more not recklessly boast of himself. That would create the dark karma that leads to a rebirth in one of the three lower realms. Such a person who recklessly boasts of himself will experience huge and horrible karmic retribution. One should never do that.
What I have described above are evil views. These views are not only heretical but also atrocious. They are very serious matters. You should bear in mind that the propagation of this dharma book cannot be blocked. The whole world will study it. People will copy it from Records of Irrefutable Cases. Only by sincerely learning Buddhism and benefiting all living beings can you become a leading greatly virtuous one or a leading great master in your generation.
Take, for example, our three greatly virtuous ones who attained the fruit of the path. The crown of their head opened widely. Their consciousness can leave and return to their body at will. They even have the ability to have their consciousness leave their body to fetch an object or leave their body to meditate. They can do such things without hindrance. They have understood their mind and seen their original nature. They have reached perfect liberation. These and other attainments of theirs reflect a whole series of realization powers. However, they are still very modest.
You must be especially careful and attentive. Upon discovering that you are following any one of the evil views, if you do not deeply repent and immediately correct yourself, you will experience no beneficial effects from your practice of any dharma and will even degenerate. This applies to everyone no matter how high his status may be, such as a patriarch, dharma king, or venerable one. Such is the negative karmic retribution for not correcting yourself after following one of the evil views. You are still subject to this negative karmic retribution even if you claim you are not because you are a marvelous-enlightenment stage Bodhisattva. Your claim just means that you are a false marvelous-enlightenment stage Bodhisattva. When a marvelous-enlightenment stage Bodhisattva discovers his mistake, he will immediately say, “I am very wrong. I repent before all the Buddhas in the tens directions and before my disciples!” He would say that because he is open and aboveboard and does not have any defilement. Therefore, no matter how high your status may be, if you do not repent after discovering you are following an evil view, you will experience no beneficial effects from your practice of any dharma. You will all the more be devoid of realization powers.
Why do I mention the term “realization powers”? It is because many people have already asked me to transmit to them a dharma whereby they would have the supernatural power to subdue living beings. The kind of rinpoche or dharma teacher who made that request is immature and ignorant in the extreme! Dharma-protecting deities control whether you are able to manifest realization powers. When you follow these evil views, dharma-protecting deities regard you as a bad person. They record your offenses. They may even one day assist death in catching you. Nonetheless, you still greedily seek to deceive your way into obtaining realization powers. How could dharma-protecting deities possibly help you to carry out your deception? In the Buddha-dharma, there is only the enlightenment state that is pure, flawless, and selfless. There is no such thing as obtaining a supernatural ability or dharma power by fluke. Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will not give you such powers. It is not that I refuse to give you such powers. Even if you learn and practice the rituals, you will not be successful in acquiring such powers. Moreover, your motivation is not good since you outlandishly seek to “subdue” living beings. You must be clear about something. You should not apply methods to subdue living beings. You should edify living beings out of great compassion.
I am very ashamed that I do not have realization powers. I told Kaichu Rinpoche, “Your practice of tummo concentration dharma is truly amazing. It has opened my eyes. I do not have that ability. However, I hope that I do not see you manifest your tummo powers a second time. I hope to see you manifest more holy bodhicitta that is based on great compassion. Without bodhicitta, you will not reap any benefits that flow from correct thinking.”
If you follow just one evil view and do not repent and correct yourself thoroughly, not only will you not have realization powers or experience any beneficial effects in your practice, you will also stay in samsara forever. Moreover, those who seriously adhere to an evil view will necessarily descend into one of the three lower realms! This even includes those who associate with followers of an evil view. If you do not leave someone who is following an evil view but who does not change and repent, you will be stained by the dark karma of his offense. Let us say that you associate with someone who follows an evil view. Perhaps you are his disciple or fellow-disciple. You discover that he has committed the offense of following an evil view. Perhaps in the beginning he did not know he was following an evil view. However, later someone informed him that he is following an evil view, but he does not change or repent. If at this juncture you continue to associate with him and do not leave him, you will be stained by the dark karma of his offense. This is very serious.
If a master does not follow any of these 128 evil and erroneous views, he undoubtedly is a master of holy virtue. Those who are his disciples should respect and make offerings to him with a most devout heart and should do all they can to introduce people to him to become his disciples. Any disciple who does so will accumulate boundless merit. Any disciple who does not follow these 128 evil and erroneous views is a person who possesses the morality and qualifications of a holy master. Not only will he undoubtedly become accomplished himself, he will also definitely benefit others, save living beings, and be a model for others.
The above dharma was spoken from the bodhicitta mindset of impartially and selflessly benefiting living beings. The purpose is to benefit those who are masters and to protect and care for living beings so that they will accumulate meritorious virtues that are the basis of good fortune and wisdom. All of the principles I explained above are in accord with the dharma and teachings of Buddhism. What I have explained above has nothing to do with benefiting myself or any particular individual and is devoid of any sectarian bias. All Buddhist disciples should conquer their minds and adopt the right mentality based on what I have explained above.
Next I will explain the erroneous views. Erroneous views are slightly less serious than evil views. However, following two or three of them will result in almost the same negative karma as following an evil view, depending on the seriousness of the erroneous views that are followed. If you follow a certain erroneous view and the resulting offense is relatively light compared to following other erroneous views, the consequences may not be that serious. However, if you follow a certain erroneous view and the resulting offense is relatively heavy compared to following other erroneous views, the consequences can also be very serious. You certainly should not overlook this fact.
42. THE VIEW THAT IT IS ACCEPTABLE TO CALL A MANDALA A HOLY MANDALA WHEN THAT MANDALA IS NOT COMPOSED OF COLORED GRAINS OF SAND THAT CAME INTO SHAPE TELEKINETICALLY BY A MASTER’S POWER APPLIED THROUGH THE BLOCKAGE OF A BOULDER
54. THE VIEW THAT ONE CAN PASS ON TO THE PURE LAND ONLY IF ONE CHANTS THE NAME OF AMITABHA BUDDHA
1. THE VIEW THAT IT IS ACCEPTABLE TO PRACTICE MEDITATION IN LIEU OF PUTTING CONCEPTS INTO PRACTICE
Even some greatly virtuous ones follow this view. I am referring to people of true great virtue. Some ancient virtuous ones also followed this view. They at least reflected this view in their speech karma, but did not reflect it in their actual conduct. Those with this view frequently use terms such as the meditation practice of bodhicitta, the meditation practice of the four limitless states of mind, and the meditation practice of the ten virtues. If at the very beginning one uses meditation to practice bodhicitta, the four limitless states of mind, or the ten virtues, that is a false practice. Meditation practice involves realizing the concept of emptiness, realizing that phenomena are devoid of characteristics or attributes, realizing non-attachment, cutting off deluded thoughts, and returning to one’s original mind. This is devoid of the real practice of compassion. Thus, no merit can be produced. How can one possibly practice bodhicitta like that? Therefore, when practicing the four limitless states of mind or bodhicitta, beginning practitioners should not rely upon meditation or contemplation. They should rely upon the practice of putting concepts into practice. They should transform their fixed concepts into actual deeds. They should focus their mind and transform that focused mind into action. They must put their concepts into practice, carry out the task of benefiting living beings, and implement those dharma matters that they contemplate. They should do so in a concrete manner through each word that they utter and each action that they take. This is what is meant by putting concepts into practice. Only when one is proficient in putting concepts into practice can one turn to meditation practice to cultivate the state of not being attached to anything. From meditation one will enter the practice of concentration. From there one can penetrate deeply into the reality that emptiness and existence are not different and can eventually realize the state of applying usages that arise from Buddha-nature.
2. THE VIEW THAT SITTING MEDITATION IS CULTIVATING YOURSELF
Some people say that they are cultivating themselves when they sit in meditation. Sitting meditation is not cultivation. It is just sitting meditation. Sitting meditation is for directly experiencing what one’s original nature is. Through direct observation, one comes to understand one’s mind and see one’s original nature. However, this goal may not always be achieved. Some people use sitting meditation with the goal of directly experiencing the ultimate truth of dharma principles but may not be able to do so. Cultivating oneself is a completely different matter. Sitting meditation is less than one-tenth of cultivation. Meditation is just one of the six paramitas, having nothing to do with the other five. In cultivating oneself, one must face living beings in real life, face one’s own mind, and act as the Buddha acted.
3. THE VIEW THAT SIMPLY APPLYING MUDRAS AND CHANTING MANTRAS IS DOING YOUR DHARMA PRACTICE
Some people apply mudras and chant mantras and think that they are doing their dharma practice. This is wrong. That is not doing a dharma practice. In addition to mudras and mantras, a dharma practice includes dharma instruments, visualization, direction and time, and all of the rituals stated in the dharma manual.
4. THE VIEW THAT DOING A DHARMA PRACTICE IS CULTIVATING YOURSELF
The view that doing a dharma practice is cultivation is an erroneous view. Doing your dharma practice is doing your dharma practice. It is not cultivating yourself. Cultivation entails carrying out bodhicitta of great compassion, abiding by the precepts, and other things.
5. THE VIEW THAT STUDYING THE TEACHINGS OF THE SUTRAS IS CULTIVATING YOURSELF
Some people spend all of their time studying the teachings of the sutras. They can recite the sutras fluently from memory. They call themselves Buddhist cultivators. That is incorrect. They are scholars of Buddhism engaged in Buddhist studies. They are not cultivators. We should not approve of this erroneous view. Approving means that you yourself have this erroneous view or that you approve of others having this erroneous view. Either way reflects an erroneous view.
6. THE VIEW THAT ONE WHO HAS EVIL OR ERRONEOUS VIEWS CAN STILL SUCCESSFULLY DEVELOP SUPERNATURAL POWERS THROUGH HIS PRACTICE
In this situation, the person has already fallen into evil or erroneous views but still thinks he can successfully develop supernatural powers through his practice. He thinks that one day moon cakes will drop from the sky as soon as he reaches out his hands or that the dharma protectors will appear as soon as he commands them to do so. That is impossible. There is no such thing. As long as you fall into evil or erroneous views, you will not be able to develop supernatural powers through your practice. Even if you do develop supernatural powers, they will disappear. Two rinpoches are living examples of this. One of them has a good foundation in the Buddha-dharma. Therefore, he requested the Single-Taste Meditation Initiation from The Supreme and Unsurpassable Mahamudra of Liberation. However, after receiving that initiation, his concentration could not reach the state of single taste in which emptiness and existence are one and the same. The only thing that could be done was to perform another initiation, this time the White God of Wealth Initiation. After receiving the White God of Wealth Initiation, he still could not attain the generation stage. So that initiation was also not successful. The other rinpoche had already practiced tummo concentration dharma such that he was able to raise his body temperature to 163 degrees Fahrenheit. However, later on something strange happened. His rise in body temperature from practicing tummo concentration dharma started to drop day by day and completely disappeared within a half a year. He returned to his original state of an ordinary being. Both of those rinpoches found the cause of their problems. It was that they followed evil and erroneous views. One of the rinpoches immediately corrected himself. He received another initiation, but it was still not successful. He repeatedly looked for the cause and found three more evil or erroneous views that he had been following. However, because he did not thoroughly repent, the initiation was again not successful. Finally, he deeply and thoroughly repented. He was then able to experience the generation stage during the next initiation. The second rinpoche was the one who practiced tummo concentration dharma. After he thoroughly repented from the bottom of his heart, something very amazing happened with respect to his inner-heat. The temperature at his heart-wind bright-spots, three meridians, five chakras, and tantric chakra rose once again day by day. His practice of tummo concentration dharma slowly returned to its original state. These two examples alone thoroughly illustrate the point. Therefore, everyone must bear in mind that it is impossible for anyone who falls into evil views or erroneous views to attain supernatural powers or realization.
7. THE VIEW THAT IT IS ACCEPTABLE FOR A MASTER TO MAKE UNREASONABLE DEMANDS UPON HIS DISCIPLES
Even many so-called greatly virtuous ones follow this view. They regard themselves as being so amazing and think their disciples have to meet their unreasonable demands as a manifestation of correspondence of the three karmas. Actually, such so-called greatly virtuous ones have the selfish mind of an ordinary being. They definitely do not possess real supernatural abilities. Such a view is wrong. Perhaps they act according to the erroneous words of ancient virtuous ones. Actually, they are wrong no matter which ancient virtuous one’s dharma rules they act according to. A master does not have the right to make unreasonable demands upon his disciples. If the master is a holy one, he should all the more expound the dharma correctly. He should not cause even a little bit of misunderstanding that could result in physical or mental harm to a disciple. A holy master is all the more obligated to use his morality and selflessness to attract living beings into Buddhism. Anyone who thinks that a master can make unreasonable demands upon his disciples is harboring this erroneous view. However, in the one situation where the master tests the disciple to see the karmic affinity the disciple has with the dharma, the master may use special methods to observe the disciple. However, a fundamental criterion is that the master must do this based upon great compassion for the disciple and the future interests of the disciple rather than the personal interests of the master. Furthermore, the only ones qualified to carry out such testing are holy masters who have reached the top two divisions of the six divisions of vajra power. One example of this is Master Marpa, who tested patriarch Milarepa.
8. THE VIEW THAT IT IS ACCEPTABLE TO HEAR OR READ THE HERETICAL IDEAS OF SOMEONE WITHOUT NOTIFYING LIVING BEINGS THAT SUCH IDEAS ARE HERETICAL
When those with this view see someone spreading heretical ideas that harm sentient beings, they just think of cultivating themselves and do not care about others. They think, “Another person’s mistake is equal to my mistake. To view everyone as one entity is to have great compassion. I will not tell others about this. I will not do that. I will just concentrate on cultivating myself.” Such a perspective is wrong. You must do all you can to stop heretical ideas. You should tell those people who heard such ideas, “What you heard are heretical ideas that go against the teachings of the sutras. Our master H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III does not utter such ideas.” You should remember one thing. Whenever you see someone spreading heretical ideas, you should notify living beings of this so that they understand. Do not let his heretical ideas continue to harm more living beings. However, you must bear in mind that if his petty words are directed at and harm you, then you should think, “Another person’s mistake is equal to my mistake. To view everyone as one entity is to have great compassion.” You should endure such insult quietly and should not tell others about it.
9. THE VIEW THAT YOUR ILLNESS WILL BE CURED BY REQUESTING EMPOWERMENT AND WITHOUT CULTIVATING YOURSELF
Those with this view think that without cultivating themselves their illness will still be cured just by requesting and relying upon empowerment from the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas or their master. Such thinking is incorrect. One must cultivate oneself. One should cultivate oneself, request empowerment, and take medicine. By doing all these, one’s illness can be cured.
10. THE VIEW THAT BUDDHIST PILLS CAN CURE ALL ILLNESSES
Those with this view think that various pills such as long life pills, supreme treasure pills, great treasure pills, vajra pills, and nectar pills can cure all illnesses. This is nonsense that you should not accept. This view violates the law of cause and effect. If you accept it, you fall into an erroneous view. It is true that I have many kinds of Buddhist pills. Moreover, all of them are genuine. Among them, several kinds of greatly holy treasure pills indeed have great empowerment powers. However, they definitely do not cure all illnesses.
11. THE VIEW THAT ONE MAY EAT MEAT AFTER ONE IS TONSURED AND BECOMES A MONASTIC
After one is tonsured and becomes a monastic, one will receive precepts, such as the precepts for novice nuns, the precepts for novice monks, the precepts for nuns, the precepts for monks, and so on. Once you received such precepts, you may not eat meat. This is a very strict rule. No matter what your status may be, you will be violating the precepts if you eat meat.
12. THE VIEW THAT THERE IS NO NEED TO PRACTICE BODHICITTA AFTER YOU RECEIVE A GREAT INITIATION
Those with this view think, “I practiced a great dharma today. Why should I practice bodhicitta anymore? The dharma I received is so great I will soon become accomplished. I do not need to practice bodhicitta anymore.” This is an erroneous view. If one does not act out of bodhicitta, the results of any great dharma one practices will be like the reflection of the moon on water or flowers in a mirror—seen but not real.
13. THE VIEW THAT IT IS ACCEPTABLE NOT TO PRACTICE THE SIX PARAMITAS
One must practice the six paramitas. No matter what dharma you practice, you must still practice the six paramitas of charity, abiding by precepts, effort, patience, meditation, and wisdom. If you think that you do not have to practice the six paramitas, you have an erroneous view. Whatever dharma you practice cannot substitute for the six paramitas.
14. THE VIEW THAT THERE EXISTS A HIGHEST DHARMA THAT CORRESPONDS TO ALL LIVING BEINGS
My disciples often say, “Our dharma is the highest. The dharma of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III is the highest. It is matchless. It can save all living beings. There is no living being that cannot be saved by such dharma!” Today I tell all of you that this is wrong. There are some living beings that cannot be saved. Some living beings are evil living beings. They will even slander the dharma. Their three karmas will not correspond to the dharma. Some of them are really demons who want to oppose the Buddha-dharma. Furthermore, in the Buddha-dharma, there is no such thing as a highest dharma that corresponds to all living beings. There has never been such a dharma. Among all of the Buddhas, there is not one Buddha who has such a dharma. Living beings are entities with all kinds of different karmic conditions. One will experience beneficial effects from practicing a dharma only if that dharma corresponds to him. One will not experience beneficial effects from practicing a dharma if that dharma does not correspond to him. Even though there is extremely wonderful dharma, a master who possesses such dharma will not teach that dharma to someone who is not devout enough. Even if he taught that person such dharma, that person would not be able to practice it successfully. Therefore, although such dharma is good, it still cannot save him.
15. THE VIEW THAT IT IS POSSIBLE TO PERFORM AN INITIATION FROM A PLACE FAR AWAY FROM WHERE THE RECIPIENT OF THE INITIATION IS
There have always been such initiations in society. Those who perform them are in fact charlatans. For example, someone in a faraway place mails some money along with his name and address to the tantric practitioner who will perform the initiation. The tantric practitioner will then perform an initiation for that person. That is called a remotely controlled initiation. Those who perform them are complete swindlers. Although they wear the clothes of a Buddhist practitioner, they are just ordinary people who are evil! You must understand that before you can learn a dharma, it must be determined whether you have a suitable spiritual foundation and whether you are a suitable recipient of that dharma. You must undergo very strict observation and testing. An initiation may not be performed for one who has not met the performer of the initiation, who has not undergone tests, and who has not been determined to meet the standards of the dharma. If you accept this concept of a remotely controlled initiation, you are wrong.
16. THE VIEW THAT AS LONG AS YOU DO GOOD DEEDS YOU CAN ATTAIN LIBERATION WITHOUT DOING YOUR DHARMA PRACTICE
Those with this view think that as long as they do good deeds, such as building more bridges, paving some roads, or providing relief to some people in need, they can attain liberation without doing their dharma practice. This is incorrect. Doing such good deeds will result in experiencing karmic rewards limited to good fortune in the human or heavenly realm. It will not result in liberation. One can attain liberation only when one combines doing good deeds with cultivation and doing one’s dharma practice.
17. THE VIEW THAT CUTTING OFF ATTACHMENT TO SELF MEANS NOT CARING FOR THE SUFFERINGS OF OTHERS
In their attempt to cut off attachment to self, those with this view do not care whether others are suffering or even whether their own relatives are suffering. They think that if they care about the illnesses or sadness of others, they will be constrained by worrying about such sufferings. They decide to ignore such sufferings, thinking that is cutting off attachment to self. This is an erroneous view. Cutting off attachment to self means putting your own self interests last and putting the interests of others first. It means not harming others physically or mentally and not making them sad. However, everything we do must be done out of bodhicitta. We must not generate any attachment to self. This is the true practice of cutting off attachment to self.
18. THE VIEW THAT REALIZING EMPTINESS IS UNRELATED TO THE LEVEL OF ONE’S REALIZATION AND MERIT
Many people in ancient times followed this view, as do many people today. Those with this view think that realizing emptiness means understanding the emptiness of the four great elements and living a life not contaminated by the objects of the six senses. How can merit and realization exist in emptiness? This is an erroneous view. All supernatural abilities arise from realizing emptiness. All realization of emptiness is attained through merit accumulated from cultivation. Only by transforming one’s karma through cultivation that accumulates merit can one realize emptiness. That is why Buddhas taught all living beings to constantly practice the six paramitas, abide by the precepts, and so on. This is the perspective from which you should try to understand this matter.
19. THE VIEW THAT THOSE WHO LEAD A LEGITIMATE LINEAGE ARE ALL LEGITIMATE LEADING MASTERS OF THEIR SECT
Those with this view think that a master who leads a legitimate dharma linage must be a legitimate leading master of his sect. This kind of situation has caused great confusion and chaos in Buddhist circles and is a most serious problem. It can be said that among one hundred so-called leading masters of a sect with a legitimate lineage, almost all of those one hundred are shams. Is their linage genuine? Their linage is genuine, but it is often the case that their cultivation and practice are false. Among one thousand masters who lead a sect, perhaps only one is a genuine leading master of his sect. That is because cultivation is a matter of one’s own conduct. Whether one is a legitimate leading master of a sect depends on his own concrete cultivation and practice. You cannot simply look to his dharma linage to determine his legitimacy. For example, I, Dorje Chang III, directly transmit dharma. This is a true dharma linage. My disciples generally cultivate themselves and practice well. The supernatural powers that they have truly realized are very rare and seldom seen in this world. However, I still have quite a number of disciples, including some who are masters, who follow evil and erroneous views. Moreover, they do not just follow one or two of those views. Therefore, all of you should all pay attention to this problem. Use these 128 views to determine whether someone has right understanding and right views and whether someone is a legitimate leading master of his sect.
Some disciples told me, “Buddha Master, can you talk about this erroneous view in a more delicate way? Otherwise, how can we go out and save living beings? Which other sect says disciples in their own sect have problems? No matter what, aren’t we much better than certain so-called eminent monastics and greatly virtuous ones in other sects?” I told them, “Whether you are a lot or a little better is of no use. You must become pure masters on the path to enlightenment. Even if masters in Buddhist circles, including all of you, all have complaints about me and all leave me, I still must talk about right understanding and right views that uphold the true dharma of the Tathagata and that protect the wisdom roots of living beings that lead to liberation.”
20. THE VIEW THAT IT IS ACCEPTABLE TO PERFORM AN INITIATION OR TRANSMIT BUDDHA-DHARMA IN EXCHANGE FOR MONEY
There are those who immediately perform an initiation for someone after receiving that person’s offering of money. To do so is to follow an erroneous view. Whether an initiation is performed or not should be based upon the recipient’s spiritual capacity and roots of goodness. It is not the case that an initiation may be performed simply based on the offering of money. Disciples should make offerings to their master. Of course, I am not saying that you should make offerings to me. I already said that I do not accept offerings. The key point is that there must be a clear understanding of the following: one should not receive an initiation just because one paid money, and one should not receive Buddha-dharma just because one paid money. An initiation performed upon the payment of money is a false initiation. This also means that those who perform an initiation upon the payment of money are false masters. If you do not believe this, then have such a master take the six-division test of a master’s qualifications. You will see right then and there whether that master is a genuine or false master.
21. THE VIEW THAT ONE WHO SUCCEEDS TO THE POSITION OF HEAD OF A HUGE TEMPLE IS DEFINITELY A PERSON OF HOLY VIRTUE
Some temples are very big. Once someone succeeds to the highest position of such a temple, everyone thinks that this successor is definitely a holy one. That is not true! Remember what I say here. The successor to the position of head of a huge temple is not necessarily a holy person. He might be a holy person. He also might be an ordinary person rather than a holy person. Everything must be based on the definitive truth, not on anything other than the definitive truth.
22. THE VIEW THAT A SMALL TEMPLE HAS NO EMINENT MONASTICS
When those with this view see a very small temple with only two monks, they ask how such a temple could possibly have any eminent monk in it. To them, that is impossible. Such a view is likewise erroneous. A small temple might also have eminent monastics. Whether someone is an eminent monastic is not determined by the size of the temple he resides in or by his particular linage. If his cultivation, accomplishment, and realization are great, then he is an eminent monastic. Ordinary people do not know about the dharma lineage of some eminent monastics because those true eminent monastics do not boast and praise themselves out of attachment to self. They do not reveal themselves. Take, for example, the question of where Kaichu Rinpoche learned his true tummo powers. Ordinary people have no way of knowing the lineage from which he received such Buddha-dharma. They still do not know.
23. THE VIEW THAT IT IS ACCEPTABLE TO SLACK OFF IN YOUR PRACTICE AFTER YOU HAVE UNDERSTOOD YOUR MIND AND SEEN YOUR ORIGINAL NATURE
There are those who understand their mind and see their original nature. After they attain realization powers and understand the nature of all phenomena and true such-ness, they slack off in their practice. They no longer like to do their dharma practice and do not engage in the cultivation of the six paramitas. They just like to repeat one or two adages. In the course of teaching others, they say, “Remember what I am about to say. You have to visualize. Visualize this energy and lock it up. Your thoughts must be still. Let your former thought go and do not let your next thought arise. …” Such words are completely heretical. Such words are wild nonsense that is totally erroneous. One must teach people to cultivate and act out of bodhicitta. That is what people who have understood their mind and seen their original nature should do.
24. THE VIEW THAT IT IS ACCEPTABLE TO PUT OFF LEARNING BUDDHISM UNTIL YOU ARE NO LONGER BUSY WITH WORLDLY MATTERS
Some people think, “I am so busy now. I will wait until I finish the work I am doing before I learn Buddhism,” or “I will wait until my business is well developed before I learn Buddhism,” or “I will wait until I am little older and retire before I learn Buddhism.” As soon as you think like that, you immediately plant the seed of degeneration. That seed was planted right at the moment you generated such a view. Learning Buddhism has to start right away. Correct thinking has to be established right away. You should start right now at this moment while I am giving this discourse. Because there is no fixed date when a person dies, you do not know on which day you will die.
25. THE VIEW THAT ONE WHO HAS NUMEROUS DISCIPLES IS A HOLY AND VIRTUOUS PERSON
When those with this view see that someone has a large number of disciples, such as over one hundred thousand, over a million, or three or four million, they think, “That is amazing. He is a person of great holiness!” Such a view is wrong. No matter how numerous his disciples may be, he might still not be a holy one. Among those with numerous disciples, there indeed are people of great holiness. One of them is H.H. Dharma King Dodrupchen IV Thupten Trinle Palzang, who is the incarnation of Guru Padmasambhava. Therefore, you must remember to be very careful. The pervasiveness of one’s fame does not reflect the nature of one’s holy realization. I know three people of great holiness and virtue who have holy realization. One of them has a few disciples who are rinpoches, and the other two have never had any disciples. However, among those false dharma kings, false rinpoches, and false great dharma masters who have over a million disciples and who speak hollow theories, which one has attained the high realization and great accomplishment that those three have attained? They are not even close to the level of those three. Therefore, it is wrong to determine that someone is a holy person based on the number of disciples he has.
26. THE VIEW THAT IT IS ACCEPTABLE TO REGARD SOMEONE WHO HAS NO HOLY REALIZATION AND BODHICITTA AS BEING A TRUE HOLY PERSON
Some people have neither holy realization nor bodhicitta. However, their dharma speeches attract listeners and are pleasant to hear. Moreover, because worldlings do not understand the sutras and treatises, they misjudge such people. All of these result in such people being regarded as true holy ones. This is wrong. A true holy one must have holy realization. He must also have bodhicitta. Neither of the two can be missing.
27. THE VIEW THAT REGARDS AS A HOLY OBJECT A TERMA THAT IS NOT A TERMA IN THE DEFINITIVE SENSE
Many greatly virtuous ones and rinpoches in Tibet often show a terma to others and tell them that it is a terma. They say that such terma was uncovered by so-and-so great lama or so-and-so great dharma king in such-and-such month of such-and-such year at such-and-such location. That is not a terma in the definitive sense. What is a terma in the definitive sense? The terma must be verified. The verification will prove whether or not the terma spoken of is genuine. A specific dharma must be practiced according to the dharma. If during that practice of dharma holy phenomena are seen rather than illusionary phenomena or just changing light, shades, and colors, then it can be called a terma in the definitive sense. If you regard anything that is not a terma in the definite sense as a genuine terma, you have this erroneous view.
28. THE VIEW THAT IT IS ACCEPTABLE TO INTENTIONALLY DENY WHAT YOU IN FACT SAID OR DID
A holy one will definitely not deny what he in fact said or did. Anyone who does not carry out what he said he will carry out or who denies what he in fact did is not a holy one. He is not a qualified master. You follow this erroneous view whether you yourself have it and act upon it or whether you approve of others having it and acting upon it.
29. THE VIEW THAT IT IS ACCEPTABLE TO INTENTIONALLY CONCEAL MATTERS FROM YOUR MASTER OF GREAT HOLINESS AND VIRTUE
Some people intentionally conceal matters from their holy master. They fear they would be criticized by their holy master if their holy master knew of certain matters. Or they feel too embarrassed to tell certain things to their holy master. Thus, they intentionally conceal matters from their holy master. This is an erroneous view.
30. THE VIEW THAT YOU CAN BECOME ACCOMPLISHED IN THE DHARMA IF YOU HAVE ONE OR MORE OF THE FIVE GREAT PILLS
Those with this view think they can become accomplished once they have a vajra pill, great treasure pill, supreme treasure pill, nectar pill, and/or long life pill. Possessing these pills is a good thing but has nothing to do with attaining accomplishment. One must rely upon one’s own actual cultivation to become accomplished.
31. THE VIEW THAT YOU DO NOT HAVE THE SEED TO BECOME A BUDDHA BECAUSE YOUR NEGATIVE KARMA IS HEAVY
Some people think that their negative karma is heavy. They think, “My negative karma is too heavy. My dark karma is deep. I have done many bad things. Alas, I am so pitiful. I will never have the seed to become a Buddha.” This is an erroneous view. No matter how heavy your negative karma is, as long as you sincerely repent, become a good person, cultivate yourself well, and learn the dharma well, you, too, can attain accomplishment.
32. THE VIEW THAT LIVING BEINGS IN NON-HUMAN REALMS DO NOT HAVE BUDDHA-NATURE
Those with this view think that only we human beings have Buddha-nature and all other living beings do not have Buddha-nature. They think that certain living beings are of course low-grade beings and certain living beings are of course born to be eaten by human beings. This is wrong. Living beings are equal. They all have feelings. They all have sorrows and joys. Furthermore, living beings are all in the six realms and transmigrate into one another’s realms through incarnations. Think about it and you will understand. Human beings have Buddha-nature. Could it possibly be that once a human being reincarnates as a bird, that bird has no Buddha-nature?
33. THE VIEW THAT AS LONG AS ONE LEARNS DHARMA ONE WILL ATTAIN REALIZATION POWERS
Those with this view think that as long as they learn Buddha-dharma, they will definitely generate realization powers. That is impossible. One must rely upon cultivation to generate realization powers. Of course, it would be best to rely upon The Supreme and Unsurpassable Mahamudra of Liberation. That is the best Buddha-dharma. At the time of receiving a “state practice” inner-tantric initiation in the holy sense, one can give rise to a true intent, start the true practice, and enter the true dharma. Thus, one can combine one’s intent, practice, and the power of one’s vows together with the holy dharma. That is the only dharma through which one can realize holy realization powers on the spot. However, to receive the “state practice” initiation, one must first learn well and practice the preliminary practices and main practices ofThe Mahamudra of Liberation, which is an absolutely indispensible source to the path.
34. THE VIEW THAT IT IS ACCEPTABLE NOT TO CORRECT MISTAKES IMMEDIATELY
When those with this view discover they have made a mistake, they do not correct it right away. They do so after a while, maybe after half an hour or maybe after ten minutes. All such behavior is not good. Mistakes should be corrected immediately. Correcting mistakes right away is following the right view.
35. THE VIEW THAT ONE WHO DOES GOOD DEEDS AND GIVES TO OTHERS IS DEFINITELY AN EMINENT MONASTIC OR GREATLY VIRTUOUS PERSON
When those with this view see someone who is regarded as an eminent monastic or greatly virtuous person doing good deeds and giving generously to others, they think that since he is so kind and likes to help others, he definitely is an eminent monastic or greatly virtuous one and he definitely is a holy person. However, they do not consider whether he understands the sutras, whether he follows evil and erroneous views, or whether he possesses holy dharma. This is wrong.
36. THE VIEW THAT IT IS ACCEPTABLE TO ALTER A DHARMA MANUAL, MUDRA, OR MANTRA
Many people often create some false mudras or false mantras to deceive living beings. You must understand that each mudra and each mantra corresponds to a particular dharma-protecting deity. Furthermore, a mudra must be applied in combination with the corresponding mantra. Only then can the mudra or mantra truly be effective. It is unacceptable for you to have the thought of altering a dharma manual or a mudra or mantra written in a dharma manual. It is also unacceptable for you to see others do such a thing and not object. All of these, as well as altering my recorded oral discourses on the dharma, reflect a seriously erroneous view.
37. THE VIEW THAT THE FIVE VIDYAS CAN BE ATTAINED BY THOSE WHO ARE NOT BODHISATTVAS
The sutras say that the Five Vidyas are attained by Bodhisattvas. However, some people say that Bodhisattvas are not necessarily proficient in the Five Vidyas. A question must be posed to those people about the truth. Are Bodhisattvas inferior to ordinary people? All great Bodhisattvas must be proficient in the Five Vidyas. If the wisdom of a so-called Bodhisattva does not even surpass that of ordinary people, he must be a false Bodhisattva, or at the very least he is not a great Bodhisattva. Think about it and you will understand. How can having wisdom power inferior to that of ordinary people possibly show that the composition of his body, speech and mind is that of a Bodhisattva who possesses holy wisdom power?
38. THE VIEW THAT IT IS ACCEPTABLE FOR A MASTER TO DEMAND AND TAKE PROPERTY FROM HIS DISCIPLES
A master or root master with this view thinks that he may order disciples to give him money when he needs money. He thinks that he may instruct disciples to give him things the disciples own when he needs such things. This is wrong. When a master acts in this way, he is following an evil view. A disciple who finds this acceptable has an erroneous view.
39. THE VIEW THAT IT IS ACCEPTABLE TO USE ONE’S SUCCESSION TO THE POSITION OF LINEAGE LEADER AS A MEANS TO OBTAIN OFFERINGS FROM DISCIPLES
Some people claim to be the lead successor to a certain sect. For example, one may claim to be the lead successor to the first generation, second generation, or the third generation of the Kagyu sect. One may claim to be the lead successor to a certain generation of the Nyingma sect or Sakya sect. One may claim to be the lead successor to the Geluk sect, the exoteric school of Buddhism, or the Hinayana school. They use their succession to the position of lineage leader as capital to publicize themselves, as a tool for making profit and grabbing wealth and property from others, and as a means to demand offerings from disciples. All of these are wrong. These are not the acts of Buddhas or Bodhisattvas. They are not masters of great virtue. They are false holy ones in the guise of holy masters.
40. THE VIEW THAT IT IS ACCEPTABLE TO PRAISE OR BOAST OF ONESELF AS A VIRTUOUS PERSON, HOLY PERSON, OR MODEL FOR OTHERS
One with this view praises or boasts of himself as being a moral and holy person. Following this view includes you yourself acting like that or approving others acting like that. Anyone who boasts of himself as a virtuous person, holy person, or model for others is definitely an ordinary person who is acting incorrectly.
41. THE VIEW THAT SONS AND DAUGHTERS DO NOT HAVE TO KINDLY GUIDE THEIR PARENTS TOWARD CORRECT VIEWS
Sons and daughters sometimes encounter the situation where their parents do not want to learn Buddhism. Since the sons and daughters are at a loss as to what to do, they simply give up and let their parents do what they want. This is wrong. Sons and daughters should do all they can to show filial piety toward their parents, to make them happy, edify them, and kindly guide them. They should cause their parents to adopt right views gradually and step onto the path of the Buddha-dharma. Sons and daughters must diligently and kindly guide their parents toward adopting correct views. They should lead their parents toward happiness. They cannot just let go and give up.
42. THE VIEW THAT IT IS ACCEPTABLE TO CALL A MANDALA A HOLY MANDALA WHEN THAT MANDALA IS NOT COMPOSED OF COLORED GRAINS OF SAND THAT CAME INTO SHAPE TELEKINETICALLY BY A MASTER’S POWER APPLIED THROUGH THE BLOCKAGE OF A BOULDER
Many people who practice Tibetan esoteric dharma claim that the mandala they use for practicing dharma is a holy mandala, such as a holy mandala of Kalachakra, a holy mandala of Vajrakila, a holy mandala of Guhyasamaja, a holy mandala of Yamantaka, a holy mandala of Chakrasamvara, a holy mandala of Ekajati, or a holy mandala of Samsara-Yama. It is as if every mandala is a holy mandala. The vajra sand they use in the mandalas is sold for money. This situation is utterly chaotic and messy. Remember, there is only one kind of holy mandala. This is a very important dharma concept, second only to the concept of nectar bestowed by Buddhas. Only when the mandala comes into shape telekinetically by a master’s power applied through the blockage of a boulder can it be called a truly holy mandala. Any mandala that does not come into shape telekinetically by a master’s power applied through the blockage of a flat boulder is not a holy mandala.
43. THE VIEW THAT THE PROTECTIVE POWERS OF MOUNTAIN DEITIES ARE GREATER THAN THE PROTECTIVE POWERS OF GREAT BODHISATTVAS
Those with this view think that even though someone is a great Bodhisattva, he does not likely have great abilities and is not able to protect and bless living beings. They think that it is the mountain deities who are able to protect living beings. They think that living beings are more effectively protected by dragon deities in the earth or local land deities. Any such thinking is an erroneous view. Great Bodhisattvas are incredibly amazing! The powers of mountain deities or local land deities cannot be mentioned in the same breath with those of great Bodhisattvas. Mountain deities do not protect Bodhisattvas; rather, Bodhisattvas protect mountain deities.
44. THE VIEW THAT PILLS MADE OF ORDINARY MEDICINE ARE REAL NECTAR
There are those who mix various ordinary medicines into pills. They then bless the pills by reciting sutras, chanting mantras, and practicing a dharma. They call such pills true nectar. This is also an erroneous view.
45. THE VIEW THAT THE LIGHT YOU SEE WHEN YOUR EYES ARE CLOSED IS A MANIFESTATION OF BUDDHA-DHARMA POWER
Those with this view think that the light they see when their eyes are closed is a manifestation of Buddha-dharma or Buddha power. You must remember the following. The light seen when your eyes are closed is not a manifestation of the power of the Buddha-dharma. Illusory phenomena are not manifestations of the power of the Buddha-dharma. The power of the Buddha-dharma is manifested in real things. For example, what so many of you personally saw and experienced today was real, such as the realization power of Gar Tongstan, the tummo concentration dharma of Kaichu, and the state of realization of Miaokong and Akou Lamo. Of course, there are many other real things that you have not seen. In short, non-real light seen when the eyes are not open is an illusory phenomenon. Even if you see light with your open eyes, it still must be determined whether the light was from true Buddha power or from electricity.
46. THE VIEW OF BELIEVING IN SOMEONE WHO TALKS OF HIS WONDROUS FEATS AND SPEAKS HOLLOW THEORIES ABOUT THE DHARMA WITHOUT TESTING HIS VAJRA POWERS
Many people like to talk about their wondrous feats. They often say things like, “Look at the Buddha light that appeared while I was practicing a dharma here,” or “Look at the mist that appeared all around while I was practicing a dharma here,” or “Look at those mountain deities who began prostrating while I was practicing a dharma here,” or “You can see that all of the leaves on that tree fell while I was practicing a dharma here,” or “You can see that nectar fell from that tree while I was practicing a dharma here.” In reality, it was just rain drops that fell. They may talk about a rainbow in the sky or other such things. All such phenomena are just illusory. All such talk is unreal, false, and part of this erroneous view. Those people talk about their seemingly wondrous feats and speak hollow theories about the dharma. They talk about hollow theories in a convincing, logical, and impressive way. Listeners who are not experts do not understand anyway. Those listeners would not be able to differentiate what is true and what is false even if there were a lot of mistakes throughout the entire speech. The goal of masters who act like this is collecting offerings of money. However, those who make offerings do not know that they should test the vajra powers of those masters. If such a master wants your offerings, you must first test his vajra powers! How is he qualified to accept offerings if he does not meet the qualifications of a master? The highest test of vajra powers is forming a mandala telekinetically through the blockage of a boulder. Next highest are the three divisions of vajra powers. I am ashamed that I do not have vajra powers. That is why I do not accept offerings. In The Supreme and Unsurpassable Mahamudra of Liberation, you will see the entire six divisions of tests to confirm the qualifications of masters. Those tests are mandatory and may not be changed! I will not elaborate more on this now.
47. THE VIEW THAT YOU CANNOT BECOME ACCOMPLISHED IN THE DHARMA UNLESS YOU RECEIVE AN INITIATION EVEN THOUGH YOU LEARN DHARMA AND CULTIVATE YOURSELF
A person with this view thinks that because he never received an initiation, he will definitely not become accomplished in the dharma even though he learns dharma and cultivates himself. This is a misunderstanding. Even though you have not received an initiation, you can still attain accomplishment and liberation as long as you take refuge, learn true Buddha-dharma, and cultivate yourself in accordance with the dharma. It can only be said that it would be best if you had the guidance of a good master. That will make it less likely for you to fall into evil and erroneous views. However, an initiation is not absolutely required. Cultivation and learning dharma are what is important. Learning dharma and cultivating yourself is the key. Receiving an initiation is not necessarily most important. Of course, some dharmas can only be transmitted through an initiation, especially the “state practice” dharma. If you do not receive an initiation, this does not necessarily mean that you cannot become accomplished. As long as you cultivate yourself according to the dharma, you can become accomplished. The Supreme and Unsurpassable Mahamudra of Liberation is the best dharma and cultivation method.
48. THE VIEW THAT REGARDS SOMEONE AS A VAJRA BODHI INITIATION MASTER EVEN THOUGH HE DID NOT MAKE THE REQUISITE PREDICTION DURING SUCH AN INITIATION
The Vajra Bodhi Initiation is one of the great initiations. Many people think that a Vajra Bodhi Initiation is considered complete upon the performance of a short ceremony following the initiation, without a holy prediction. In fact, the most important aspect of a Vajra Bodhi Initiation is the holy prediction. It is definitely the case that only great acaryas can perform such an initiation. Ordinary acaryas who are dharma kings will not be able to do so. At the time of initiation, 250 bodhi pills marked with a white spot and 250 vajra pills marked with a blue spot are mixed together. All 500 pills are put into a container. Each pill is exactly the same size. Five hundred people will receive the initiation. Each of them will pick one pill from the container. None of them will know whether he picked a bodhi pill or a vajra pill. That is because the container is covered, and the white or blue spot on the pill is very tiny, almost as tiny as the tip of a hair. The spot on the pill is not easy to see. Moreover, the disciple is not permitted to look at the pill he picks. When he picks a pill with his fingers, he is in a dark tent and has to immediately put the pill into his dharma tube and seal the tube right away. Then he will exit the dark tent with his dharma tube. The great acarya who is performing this Vajra Bodhi Initiation has to plant a bodhi-vajra seed for each recipient of the initiation. Once the bodhi-vajra seed is planted, this karmic affinity will never go bad. Even if a recipient of this initiation later creates all kinds of negative karma causing him to descend into hell, after completing the experience of karmic retribution in the hell realm, he can still come back and reconnect to the dharma through this karmic affinity. How does one know whether bodhi-vajra seeds are successfully planted or not? One cannot simply believe the words of the acarya that the seeds were successfully planted. A true great acarya is very modest and would not say, “Ah, good! Today I have successfully planted for all of you indestructible bodhi-vajra seeds. The initiation is now considered completed. Quickly make your offerings to me!” There should be no such thing. A great acarya would say, “Disciples, now I am going to prove your karmic affinity. You will be able to see whether your karmic affinity has been planted or not. I will divide all of you 500 people into two groups. Those on this side will be the ones who picked bodhi pills, and those on the other side will be the ones who picked vajra pills. However, do not open your dharma tube now to look.” The dharma tubes containing either a bodhi pill or vajra pill are all sealed. Each was sealed by the disciple after he picked a pill and put it inside his dharma tube. The great acarya did not distribute the pills to the disciples. When each disciple puts the pill into his dharma tube, the great acarya is at least 30 meters (98 feet) or even over 100 meters (328 feet) away from those disciples. After each of the disciples puts a pill into his tube, the great acarya will practice a dharma. He will then call out the name of each disciple and tell that disciple which side to sit on, left or right. The great acarya will send all of the disciples to one of two sides, with 250 disciples on each side. He will then announce which side has all of the bodhi pills and which side has all of the vajra pills. After that he will order the disciples to open their tubes and look at the pill inside. All of the disciples then immediately do so. At first glance, all of the pills are red pills of the same size and appearance. However, after the disciples very carefully examine their pill, they discover that the disciples on one side are all holding a bodhi pill with a white spot on it, and the disciples on the other side are all holding a varja pill with a blue spot on it, just as the great acarya predicted. This is called a holy prediction. Therefore, practitioners have an erroneous view when they regard a master as a great acarya of the Vajra Bodhi Initiation even though that master did not make a holy prediction when he performed the Vajra Bodhi Initiation. Such a master is a false Vajra Bodhi Initiation master and does not possess the qualifications of a true great acarya.
49. THE VIEW THAT TAKING REFUGE AND RECEIVING PRECEPTS IS THE REFUGE STATE
Those with this view think that the refuge state occurs when one takes refuge and receives precepts during a ceremony. This is wrong. There are three types of refuge states: the generation stage refuge state, the completion stage refuge state, and the unattached application stage refuge state. At the generation stage refuge state, one sees right then and there the manifestation of real holy scenes corresponding to the generation stage refuge state. Therefore, the view that receiving precepts is the refuge state is an erroneous view. Such a perspective held by either masters or disciples is an erroneous view.
50. THE VIEW THAT UNREAL, ILLUSORY PHENOMENA ARE HOLY MANIFESTATIONS
Some people often come up with such stories. They say things like, “Yesterday I saw a beam of red light appear in my room,” or “Yesterday the incense stick I offered lasted a very long time without burning out, while several other sticks burnt out completely,” or “Yesterday the color of the water I offered changed into the color of a lotus flower,” or “Yesterday when I left home a crow was crowing above my head,” or “A colorful cloud transformed into the image of a Buddha or Bodhisattva,” or “There is a rainbow over that temple, so there must be holy dharma there,” or “A flock of crows came to the roof of my house while I was practicing a dharma, which indicates I successfully practiced the Great Dark Sky Dharma,” or “In my dream the Buddha came and blessed me by touching my head,” and so on. All of these things are nonsense and illusory phenomena. Remember, these are all illusory phenomena. Some people call a ring of light around the moon a Buddha light. Actually, it is just an illusory phenomenon. Perhaps it was caused by rain or mist. Of course, sometimes holy phenomena appear in response to certain karmic conditions, but we should not regard them as anything amazing. What manifestations are holy phenomena? The following are some examples. During the dharma assembly at Hua Zang Si to honor the humble book about me, true Buddha light appeared in the sky. In addition, thunder roared in the clear, cloudless sky, and nectar continuously fell from that magnolia tree. Those were not illusory phenomena. They were real. At the Highest Form of Bathing the Buddha Dharma Assembly, celestial dragons laughed joyfully. Thunder exploded in the clear sky as the blazing sun shined down from high above. A tub containing several thousand pounds of water was lifted by two persons. Those were not illusory phenomena. They were actual occurrences. Today we saw Dharma King Gar Tongstan, who is one of the three holy virtuous ones, take a dharma object with his out-of-body consciousness. That was a real occurrence. A vajra pill danced in the palms of Kaichu Rinpoche and Akou Lamo Rinpoche and then flew away without a trace. They demonstrated their powers in the tummo concentration dharma and/or Vajra Substitute Body Meditation. Those were not illusory phenomena. Therefore, do not believe the nonsense and deceptive tales of lotuses, images of Buddhas or Bodhisattvas, or kazhanggas (Buddhist tridents) appearing during a cremation. Those are all illusory phenomena. However, true sarira relics or firm relics found in bone ashes after a cremation are not illusory phenomena.
51. THE VIEW THAT ESOTERIC DHARMA IS THE HIGHEST DHARMA
Those with this view think that the Buddha-dharma of esoteric Buddhism is exceedingly high. It is true that the teachings of esoteric Buddhism are a level deeper than the teachings of exoteric Buddhism. This is due to practitioners of esoteric dharma participating in debates about the sutras and is also due to their concrete practice of cultivation. However, esoteric dharma is not necessarily the highest dharma when it comes to attaining accomplishment in the dharma. This is mainly due to the issue of whether a particular dharma corresponds to the person receiving it or not.
52. THE VIEW THAT EXOTERIC DHARMA IS THE LOWEST DHARMA
Those with this view think that the dharma of exoteric Buddhism is the lowest and worst dharma and that it is not as good as the dharma of esoteric Buddhism. Any such thinking falls into this erroneous view. Each of the 84,000 dharma methods corresponds to the karmic conditions of those who receive it. As long as it is dharma taught by the Buddha rather than evil teachings, it is good dharma.
53. THE VIEW THAT ONE WHO IS ILL NEED NOT TAKE MEDICINE
Those with this view think, “We who learn Buddhism should not take medicine when we fall ill. That is because we rely on the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and the empowerment of the Buddha-dharma to cure our illnesses.” This is incorrect and is an erroneous view.
54. THE VIEW THAT ONE CAN PASS ON TO THE PURE LAND ONLY IF ONE CHANTS THE NAME OF AMITABHA BUDDHA
Those with this view think that, because of the connection Amitabha Buddha has with the Pure Land, one will pass on to the Pure Land only if one practices the Pure Land sect’s dharma method of chanting the name Amitabha Buddha. Actually, Amitabha Buddha is the Chief Executive of all of Vajrayana Buddhism. Many people do not understand this. Furthermore, Amitabha Buddha is a Buddha of all Buddhist sects. He is not just a patriarch of an individual sect. He is a Buddha! Therefore, it is not true that one can pass on to the Pure Land only by chanting the name Amitabha Buddha. Whatever dharma you practice, if your wish is to pass on to the Pure Land, you will pass on to the Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss if your practice of that dharma is successful.
55. THE VIEW THAT ONLY PRACTITIONERS OF THE ZEN SECT CAN UNDERSTAND THEIR MIND AND SEE THEIR ORIGINAL NATURE
Many people think that only practitioners of the Zen sect can understand their mind and see their original nature. They think there is no other path to accomplish that. This is incorrect. Practitioners of any sect can understand their mind and see their original nature. When you reach the requisite degree of realization through your practice, you will understand your mind and see your original nature. True liberation is attained only by reaching that degree of realization.
56. THE VIEW THAT REGARDS THE INSERTION OF AN AUSPICIOUS STRAW INTO THE CROWN OF THE HEAD WITHOUT SEEING TRUE EVIDENCE OF ACCOMPLISHMENT AS BEING AN OPENING OF THE CROWN OF THE HEAD
This is a persistent misconception. People often claim that the crown of the head has been opened after an auspicious straw was inserted into the crown of the head. As I have said many times before, an auspicious straw is harder than a bamboo lot. Therefore, that situation may or may not result in the crown being opened. Inserting an auspicious straw into the crown of the head does not necessarily result in the crown being opened. If a peacock feather is inserted, the crown has been opened. However, that opening of the crown is different from the one that takes place with the Vajra Substitute Body Meditation. The former type of crown opening is done through the phowa dharma. Within the esoteric dharma, there is the Bright Phowa, the Kuan Yin Phowa, the Manjushri Phowa, and so on. Although the Bright Phowa is regarded as the highest dharma in esoteric Buddhism, the Vajra Substitute Body Meditation Dharma is actually very much higher. These two dharmas of opening the crown are different. After the crown is opened through phowa dharma, one’s consciousness cannot re-enter the body once it leaves the body. However, after the crown is opened through the Vajra Substitute Body Meditation Dharma, one’s consciousness can re-enter the body after it leaves the body. However, Vajra Substitute Body Meditation, which is also called Empty Crown Meditation, requires as its foundation the practice of Kalachakra. Only when one’s practice of Kalachakra has reached a certain level can one practice the Vajra Substitute Body Meditation, which is the most excellent, highest, and most secret dharma within the Kalachakra. After one successfully practices the Vajra Substitute Body Meditation, a large gap will open up through the scalp, skull, brain membranes, and brain. One’s consciousness can then leave and re-enter the body. Otherwise, the practice is not successful. A Rinpoche said, “I practice the Kalachakra. Why have I not heard about the Vajra Substitute Body Meditation?” The answer is very simple. I told him, “The realization you have from your practice has not reach the requisite level to practice the Vajra Substitute Body Meditation, a most secret dharma. Therefore, you cannot receive the teaching of Vajra Substitute Body Meditation. Only when you have reached a considerably accomplished state of realization through practice of Kalachakra can you learn this dharma. Not having reached that state, receiving the “state practice” initiation is even more out of the question. That is why you have not heard about this most secret dharma practice. Precisely because of this, your scalp, skull, and brain membranes are all closed. If you do not believe this, you can get a MRI scan of your head. You will see with your own eyes that your crown is closed.” Which reflects higher realization, a closed crown or an open crown? I think you know the answer without me telling you. However, I must say that the Kalachakra dharma is on the highest level of esoteric Buddha-dharma. You do not necessarily have to realize the meditation state in which your consciousness leaves your body and you see that everything is empty.
57. THE VIEW THAT IT IS ACCEPTABLE NOT TO MAKE OFFERINGS TO YOUR MASTER AFTER YOU ATTAINED REALIZATION THROUGH RECEIVING YOUR MASTER’S DHARMA
Some people received a dharma transmission and initiation from their root master. They even attained realization and increased their accumulation of good fortune and wisdom through practicing such dharma. However, they have no idea of the need to be grateful to their master. They act as if they did not receive anything. It seems that as far as they are concerned, the master, Buddhas, and Bodhisattvas all owe them something and should as a matter of course give them dharma transmissions and initiations. They do not understand that their root master is the dharma source or seed for their future liberation. Their root master is most important to them at this time. They must understand the need to be grateful and must requite the kindness they have received by making offerings to their master. One should not regard one’s own interests as being important. One should regard the Buddha-dharma as being important. That is because one becomes accomplished through receiving dharma. This is a kindness bestowed upon the disciple by the root master. This is a very important point. I do not want all of you to make offerings to me. I have already publicly announced that I do not accept offerings. However, according to the teachings and rules of the Buddha-dharma, this is how I must explain this subject. My explanation is in accord with the dharma. I must also clearly tell you that you actually should make offerings to me. Since I transmit Buddha-dharma to you, it is only right and proper that I accept your offerings. Why do I not accept your offerings? It is because I see your living conditions. In a word, I do this to reduce your expenditures. I do this out of compassion and sympathy for you. Therefore, I made a vow not to accept offerings. I unconditionally serve and benefit you. The increase in your happiness is the offering I want.
58. THE VIEW THAT REGARDS ONE WHO IS MEDIOCRE IN THE FIVE VIDYAS AS A PERSON OF GREAT HOLINESS AND VIRTUE
Although someone is mediocre in the Five Vidyas, some people still say that he is a person of great holiness and virtue because he is very good in certain aspects. This is wrong. You must understand that a person of great holiness and virtue is a great Bodhisattva. There are only very few of them on earth. Think about it. Can one with the wisdom of a great Bodhisattva have only mediocre abilities in the Five Vidyas? Could such a person be inferior to worldlings? A great Bodhisattva has tremendous wisdom. Manifesting the worldly Five Vidyas is an insignificant skill as far as a great Bodhisattva is concerned. Therefore, regarding one who is mediocre in the Five Vidyas as a great Bodhisattva or a person of great holiness and virtue is an erroneous view.
59. THE VIEW THAT ONE WITH THE THOUGHTS OR CONDUCT OF AN ICCHANTIKA IS AN EMINENT MONASTIC
Some eminent monastics have very high status and are widely held in high repute. However, perhaps they had the thought of committing suicide or were so sad they no longer wanted to live. These are the thoughts or conduct of an icchantika. Amitabha Buddha will not escort to the Western Paradise one with the thoughts or conduct of an icchantika. How could such a person be an eminent monastic? No matter what status or position he may have, he is not an eminent monastic. This is a serious violation of the teachings of the Buddha.
60. THE VIEW THAT ONE WHO HAS UNDERSTOOD HIS MIND AND SEEN HIS ORIGINAL NATURE DOES NOT HAVE TO BE RESPECTFUL TO AND WORSHIP THE IMAGES OF THE BUDDHAS AND BODHISATTVAS
Those with this view think, “I have understood my mind and seen my original nature. I have penetrated the truth that the four great elements are all empty. I have penetrated the truth that all conditioned dharmas are like a dream, illusion, bubble and shadow, like morning dew and like lightening. Why, then, is that clay statue of a Bodhisattva even worth mentioning?” Thus, a person with that view does not even worship such a statue when entering a temple. This is not right. One should make offerings in front of the paintings and statues of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. One must worship the images of Buddhas, such as by prostrating, kowtowing, or kneeling. Regardless of how much you have understood your mind and seen your original nature, you still must make offerings and show respect to those images. If one does not respect such worldly forms, one has fallen into the deluded thinking of demons. This is a very serious erroneous view and basically can be categorized as an evil view.
61. THE VIEW THAT GREAT BODHISATTVAS DO NOT GET SICK
Those with this view think the highest great Bodhisattvas do not get sick. Great Bodhisattvas also get sick. For example, meditation master Huang Bo was a great Bodhisattva. Many great Bodhisattvas got sick. Patriarch Milarepa was poisoned, yet he was a great Bodhisattva. Great Bodhisattvas can get sick, just like others. Moreover, sometimes they even get sick for the sake of living beings. The same was true for Venerable Vimalakirti. As long as the sicknesses of living beings were not healed, the sickness of Venerable Vimalakirti would remain unhealed. I hardly ever got sick before, but now I have a very serious illness. I do not have the powers to cure such a serious illness. I am not as good as Gar Tongstan or Miaokong, who can practice the Vajra Substitute Body Dharma and immediately separate their consciousness from any illness. I am not as good as Kaichu Rinpoche, who can practice tummo concentration dharma and in one sitting rid his physical body of all illnesses. That is why I say I am not as good as them. I am not going to say much more here. I hope that living beings do not get sick. I hope that everything in their lives brings them happiness, and they become accomplished through earnest practice. It is just that simple.
62. THE VIEW THAT IT IS ACCEPTABLE FOR A DISCIPLE TO SIT ON A SEAT HIGHER THAN THE SEAT OF HIS MASTER OF HOLY VIRTUE
Some disciples sit on a seat higher than that of their own root master without even knowing or caring. As such, they have fallen into this erroneous view. Other people who observe this but do not alert such a disciple also will incur dark karma. Their good fortune and wisdom will not grow.
63. THE VIEW THAT IT IS ACCEPTABLE TO PLACE BUDDHIST BOOKS AND IMAGES OF BUDDHAS AT A HEIGHT LOWER THAN THE SEAT OF AN EMINENT MONASTIC OR PERSON OF GREAT VIRTUE
Those with this view place Buddhist books and images of Buddhas at a height lower than the seat of an eminent monastic or person of great virtue. No matter who the eminent monastic or person of great virtue is, Buddhist books and images of Buddhas must be placed higher than his seat. This is a requirement. Anyone who does not do this has fallen into this erroneous view. All dharmas that such a person practices will be as fruitless as an illusion or shadow.
64. THE VIEW THAT A PERSON OF HOLY VIRTUE DOES NOT HAVE TO BE RESPECTFUL TO AND MAKE OFFERINGS TO LOCAL DEITIES AND EARTH DEITIES
There are those who truly are people of holy virtue yet who do not show respect to or make offerings to local deities and earth deities. They look down on those deities, thinking those deities are small and insignificant. This mentality reflects an erroneous view. Why? Local deities and earth deities are sometimes nicer and kinder than some living beings. Those deities are also living beings. It is our duty to benefit them. They have been our parents during our prior incarnations in the six realms. Therefore, we must make offerings to them as well. Moreover, we must very sincerely pay homage and make offering to them.
65. THE VIEW THAT THOSE WHOSE STATUS IS THAT OF A BUDDHA OR BODHISATTVA NEED NOT WORSHIP IMAGES OF HOLY BEINGS AFTER ENTERING A TEMPLE
No matter if one is a Buddha or Bodhisattva, one must worship images of holy beings after entering a temple. This is a requirement. I have truly been recognized as Dorje Chang III. Actually, I am neither enhanced by being recognized nor reduced by not being recognized. The important point is that true realization is determinative. Still, I truly feel very humble. I also pay attention to this etiquette of worshipping images of holy beings. One day I went to Hua Zang Si. I started to kowtow before those statues of holy ones right after I entered the door and continued doing so until I made my way to the main hall. Some people even said, “How could His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III kowtow before those statues of holy ones?” They did not understand that all Buddhas must be a model for living beings. I must kowtow before those statues. Not doing so is following an erroneous view. All beings of holy virtue, especially Buddhas, must be a model for living beings. When Buddhas come to our world, they might even prostrate to a local deity upon passing through a bridge that the local deity oversees to thank him for protecting living beings. Buddhas are the best models of modesty. I, one with a heart of humility, should all the more be modest.
66. THE VIEW THAT NOT ALL LIVING BEINGS HAVE BUDDHA-NATURE
Those with this view think that only living beings such as humans, elephants, and dogs have Buddha-nature. They think that other living beings, especially small living beings, do not have Buddha-nature and cannot become Buddhas. This is an erroneous view. All living beings have Buddha-nature.
67. THE VIEW THAT ACCEPTS A PREDICTION THAT A GREAT GLOBAL DISASTER WILL OCCUR IN A PARTICULAR YEAR
There are a lot of such rumors in this world. We often hear things such as this world will soon be destroyed, it will be blown up at such-and-such time, floods and fires will be so huge people will be unable to survive, pestilences or viruses will cause the extinction of humankind, or on such-and-such month of such-and-such year there will be a great disaster because the earth will collide with a celestial object. All of these reflect a very serious erroneous view. I tell all of you that the earth will not be destroyed and will not experience a great disaster like those just mentioned. Humankind will also not experience a great disaster like those just mentioned. Everything will slowly evolve according to its own karmic conditions and the law of cause and effect. There will not be such great global disasters. All such rumors are just evil words that mislead the public. If you have this kind of belief, you have fallen into this erroneous view.
68. THE VIEW THAT THOSE WHO WEAR THE ROBES OF A MONASTIC OR THE ROBES OF A RINPOCHE ARE ALL HOLY PEOPLE
Those with this view think that whoever they see wearing the clothes of a rinpoche or the clothes of a monastic is a holy person who must be shown great respect. When a piece of cloth that looks like the red robes worn by Tibetan monastics is lying on the ground, people with this view will surely pick it up and worship it on their dharma altar. They will respectfully prostrate to clothing or cloth in the color of the outer vestment of a monastic. This is wrong. What if that is the clothing that had been worn by a demon? What if that is the clothing that had been worn by bad people? What if the color of the cloth comes from blood spilled by a knife used to kill? Wouldn’t you be doomed if you worshiped such a cloth? Furthermore, in fabric stores there are plenty of fabrics in the color of the red robes worn by Tibetan monastics. Do you mean to say that you will prostrate whenever you enter such a store? You should not do that. That is just superstition, not definitive truth. We must follow the definitive truth. We must not follow that which is not the definitive truth. We should worship the clothing of those who truly are people of holy virtue and no others.
69. THE VIEW THAT ONE WHO EXPOUNDS THE DHARMA IN A GENTLE VOICE IS DEFINITELY A BODHISATTVA
Those with this view think that people who expound dharma in a very gentle voice and whose tone of voice is very compassionate are definitely Bodhisattvas. You should bear in mind that some people put on an act by purposefully changing their voice to make it sound soft and compassionate. Many people are deceived upon hearing their voices and regard them as incarnations of Bodhisattvas. Actually, they are just purposefully assuming a mysterious air by pretending to be compassionate. All of the dharma they expound is heresy rather than the definitive truth and goes against the teachings of the sutras. Therefore, you should not think that one who expounds the dharma in a gentle voice is definitely a Bodhisattva. Whether one speaks in a gentle voice or loud voice is not determinative of whether he is or is not a Bodhisattva. Whether one is a true or false Bodhisattva is determined according to the principles of the Buddha-dharma.
70. THE VIEW THAT USING THE VAJRA VOICE TO EXPOUND DHARMA AND ELIMINATE KARMIC HINDRANCES IS NOT COMPASSIONATE
Those with this view think it is not compassionate to give a discourse on the dharma in which the vajra voice is used to severely reprimand, criticize, and wake up ignorant and stubborn living beings. This is an erroneous view. Some living beings can only be woken up by being seriously scolded in the vajra voice. Otherwise, they will continue in their confused ways. This use of the vajra voice is not uncompassionate. Rather, it is an act of true great compassion. Whether an act benefits living beings or not is the basis for determining whether that act is in essence compassionate or not.
71. THE VIEW THAT ONE WHO USES THE VAJRA FORM OF BODHI CONDUCT TO BENEFIT OTHERS IS NOT ONE OF HOLY VIRTUE
Bodhi conduct is manifested through a compassionate face and loving expressions. On the other hand, vajra conduct is manifested through severe reprimands and punishments. It is manifested by using fierce dharma. It is a completely erroneous view to think that those who use the vajra form of bodhi conduct to teach and transform living beings are not holy ones. That is because Buddhas engage in various kinds of deeds and manifest in various forms. For example, Kuan Yin Bodhisattva manifested as Truton, the most powerful king of the evil spirits in the hell realm. Truton tore evil spirits into pieces and ate them. In this way, Truton taught and transformed countless evil spirits. In reality, he acted out of the greatest compassion, for he used such skillful means to raise those evil spirits to higher realms of existence. In esoteric Buddhism, there are many vajra Bodhisattvas whose appearance is very ferocious. Actually, they benefit living beings out of the greatest compassion. Take, for example, the dharma-protecting deity Ruonama, who is a very formidable golden king of great power. He is the highest overlord of ghosts, but he also possesses holy powers and has the realization of a holy one. Other examples are the dharma-protecting deity Rehula and the dharma- protecting deity Ekajati, both of whom look extremely fierce. Many people are frightened when they see such an image. They think, “How could they be holy ones? They are not compassionate at all. How frightening!” That is wrong. They are masters of great compassion who benefit living beings. It is just that their methods are different from those used by most others. Therefore, the view that one who uses the vajra form of bodhi conduct to benefit others is not one of holy virtue is an erroneous view.
72. THE VIEW THAT REGARDS ONE WITH SELF-PRIDE AND ARROGANCE AS A VAJRA MASTER
Some people have huge self-pride. They arrogantly boast of themselves. They are completely ignorant of the Buddha-dharma and do not understand dharma principles. They do not abide by the precepts, do not have bodhicitta, and do not possess holy realization. All they have is arrogance, and all they do is deceive their disciples. You should not acknowledge such a person as your vajra master. If you do, you are on a wrong path.
73. THE VIEW THAT YOU HAVE TO RESPECT A FALSE “HOLY MASTER” ACCORDING TO THE FIFTY STANZAS OF GURU DEVOTION
Since the publication of “The Fifty Stanzas of Guru Devotion,” numerous people no longer dare to oppose their master. Because “The Fifty Stanzas of Guru Devotion” has such a rule, people think they may not oppose their master regardless of whether he is good or bad. You must now clearly understand that this is exactly where you get trapped. Although “The Fifty Stanzas of Guru Devotion” provide that you must respect your master, you must first determine whether your master is acting in accordance with the dharma and whether he truly possesses the qualifications of a master. If he follows erroneous views or even evil views, do you still want to follow him? Wouldn’t you leave him? If you do not leave him, you will be stained by that same dark karma. If you do not leave right away, you will be doomed. You should not respect false “holy masters.” “The Fifty Stanzas of Guru Devotion” requires you to respect true holy masters, not false ones. Therefore, using “The Fifty Stanzas of Guru Devotion” as the basis to demand that you respect false “holy masters” reflects an erroneous view.
74. THE VIEW THAT IT IS ACCEPTABLE TO FOLLOW A MASTER WHO NO LONGER HAS BODHICITTA
If your master no longer has bodhicitta and does not cultivate himself based on bodhicitta, it is wrong for you to still follow and approve of him. No matter what status he may have, such as that of a dharma king, venerable one, great rinpoche, or great dharma master, he is not a good master if he does not have bodhicitta. He is a false person of holy virtue and has fallen into erroneous views.
75. THE VIEW THAT ONE WHO HOLDS A RECOGNITION CERTIFICATE ISSUED BY A GREAT DHARMA KING IS DEFINITELY A PERSON OF TRUE HOLINESS
Suppose a certain great dharma king wrote a recognition certificate for someone, or two dharma kings wrote a recognition certificate for that person. Those with this erroneous view would think that such person is surely a true holy one. Such thinking is incorrect. It must be determined whether it is a recognition in the highest sense or a recognition in the worldly sense. It must be determined whether the method used to recognize was observing a lake, divination, figure creation from hitting water, spinning a pill made out of roasted barley flour, or some other method. Recognitions in the worldly sense may be accurate, and they also may deviate from the truth. Therefore, a recognition in the worldly sense cannot conclusively determine that the person recognized is a holy person. It also cannot conclusively determine that the person recognized is not a holy person. Even if the recognition was made in accordance with the dharma, we still need to see whether the person recognized follows these 128 evil and erroneous views. On the other hand, one who does not follow these 128 views in his practice and thereby does not violate the standards of these views is undoubtedly a true person of holy virtue even if he does not have a recognition certificate.
76. THE VIEW THAT EVIL SPIRITS SHOULD NOT BE RAISED TO HIGHER REALMS OF EXISTENCE
Those with this view think that evil spirits definitely should not be raised to higher realms of existence. Those with such thinking have fallen into an erroneous view. Evil spirits should be raised to higher realms of existence. No matter how fierce evil spirits may be, they are still living beings. We as cultivators should be compassionate toward all living beings. Moreover, the sooner we raise evil spirits to higher realms of existence the better in order to prevent them from harming more good people.
77. THE VIEW THAT DEMONS MUST BE KILLED RATHER THAN TAUGHT AND CORRECTED
Those with this view think that demons must be killed. Such thinking is mistaken. Depending on the particular circumstance, demons should be either taught and corrected or should be killed. When there truly is no way to teach and correct them and they are determined to continue harming living beings, they should be killed. If there is even the slightest opportunity to teach and correct them, then we must do all we can to teach and correct them and should not kill them, for demons are also living beings.
78. THE VIEW THAT ONE NEED NOT OFFER FOOD TO YAKSHAS AND HARITI
Those with this view think that we should not offer food to yakshas and Hariti. This is also wrong. Food should also be offered to yakshas and Hariti. They are also living beings. It is just that they have evil views. We have to edify them so that they adopt right understanding and right views and benefit living beings. We need to find ways to bring them to the true dharma. We need to make offerings to them so that they will be moved, correct their evil ways, and do good.
79. THE VIEW THAT MONEY MUST BE PAID IN EXCHANGE FOR LEARNING DHARMA OR LISTENING TO DHARMA
This kind of phenomena has existed from ancient times to now. Based on this view, one must first pay money before one is allowed to learn dharma, listen to dharma, or enter a temple. Thus, one cannot learn or listen to the dharma without the payment of money. I previously encountered this type of situation when I was in certain temples. People in the temple would often say, “Did you bring an offering today? Do not enter the temple unless you brought an offering. If you did not bring an offering of money, you are not allowed to listen to the lecture on the sutras and dharma. Today only those who brought an offering may enter the temple! Only those who make an offering may go into the dining hall to eat. Others are not allowed.” That is very bad. There are wealthy people and poor people. We should care for the well-being of all of them. If they truly are poor, we should even give them money. We should not say that they must offer money before they are allowed to learn dharma, listen to dharma, or eat. That would be incorrect and absolutely impermissible.
80. THE VIEW THAT IT IS ACCEPTABLE FOR LISTENERS OF THE DHARMA TO TREAT RECORDED ORAL DISCOURSES ON THE DHARMA DISRESPECTFULLY
Some people who listen to the dharma do not respect recorded oral dharma discourses and treat such discourses flippantly. They think that since they are not required to pay money in exchange for listening to the dharma, they will not make any offerings of money. They think that there is nothing that they need care about and that they can just casually listen to dharma discourses. This is being disrespectful toward the Three Jewels. This offense of treating recorded oral discourses on the dharma disrespectfully will in and of itself prevent one from attaining accomplishment. The Buddha-dharma is so precious. How can you treat it disrespectfully? You should try to help out with an offering if you can. However, if you truly are in financial difficulty, you should still listen to the dharma even though you do not make an offering. You may listen once, one hundred times or even one thousand times. Your master will help you. However, if you are able to help out with an offering but do not do so due to selfishness, narrow-mindedness, and/or your view that the Buddha-dharma is less important than worldly matters, you can still listen to the dharma. Nonetheless, you thereby plant the seeds of karmic conditions that will prevent you from becoming accomplished.
81. THE VIEW THAT IT IS ACCEPTABLE FOR A MASTER TO TRANSFER PART OF HIS LIFESPAN TO HIS DISCIPLE
This is a common heretical view. Based on this view, a master tells his disciple that he practiced a dharma and thereby transferred part of his lifespan to the disciple or to a certain family member of the disciple. He tells the disciple that the disciple or the disciple’s family member is still alive as a result of that. He goes on to say that he has now taken on the negative karma of the disciple or the disciple’s family member. Saying such words is wrong and untenable. If a master wants to transfer part of his lifespan to a disciple, he may wish to do that. However, this is just his wish and has nothing to do with whether the transference is successful or not. He should not reveal this wish to his disciple because this is part of the master’s cultivation. In reality, it is very difficult for such transference to succeed due to the law of cause and effect. The master should teach the disciple to transform his own lifespan through cultivating himself. A master, disciple, or anyone else who thinks that a master may transfer part of his lifespan to a disciple is harboring an erroneous view.
82. THE VIEW THAT ONE TRAINED AT A FAMOUS TEMPLE IS DEFINITELY AN EMINENT MONASTIC
Those with this view think that if someone is from a large temple with one thousand or even several thousand monastics living in it, he definitely is an eminent monastic. They think that someone with the title of narenpa geshe who won first place in his sutra debates is certainly an eminent monastic. This is wrong. I tell you that this person is not necessarily an eminent monastic. He could even be a bad guy, scoundrel, or swindler. One becomes an eminent monastic through cultivating oneself and realizing the definitive truth. You will not be able to determine whether one is an eminent monastic by simply looking to what temple he comes from.
83. THE VIEW THAT ONE WHO LEARNED UNDER MANY MASTERS IS DEFINITELY A HOLY PERSON
There are those who learned under many masters. They received more than one thousand initiations and formally acknowledged one or two hundred people as their masters. They claim to have practiced tummo concentration dharma, Kalachakra dharma, and Great Perfection dharma. Moreover, they say that they entered the highest division of Kalachakra by successfully practicing the Vajra Substitute Body Meditation. You hear this and think that such people are definitely eminent monastics. You are so confused! You just believe what you hear and do not follow the definitive truth. Did you verify through a scientific examination that the crown of their head is open? Can their consciousness leave and return to their body at will? Without verification, you cannot draw the conclusion that they are accomplished practitioners of the Vajra Substitute Body Meditation. Why is that? The reason is very simple. Whether someone is an eminent monastic or not depends upon his own cultivation and practice. If one’s cultivation and practice are not good, how many masters he formally acknowledged means nothing. Therefore, it is wrong to think that if someone learned under many masters he must be an eminent monastic or holy person.
84. THE VIEW THAT THE SPIRITUAL FOUNDATION OF FEMALES IS NOT AS GOOD AS THAT OF MALES
Those with this view think that the spiritual foundation of females is not as good as that of males. They think that males have better spiritual capacity. This is an erroneous view. Those with a good spiritual foundation can be found among both males and females.
85. THE VIEW THAT THE LIVES OF SMALL LIVING BEINGS ARE NOT AS VALUABLE AS THE LIVES OF LARGE LIVING BEINGS
Those with this view think that when rescuing living beings, large living beings should be rescued first. For example, they think cows should be rescued first. They think elephants should all the more be rescued first. They are not in a hurry to rescue small birds and rescue ants last of all. This is wrong. We must regard all living beings as equal.
86. THE VIEW THAT IT IS ACCEPTABLE TO RECITE SUTRAS WITHOUT UNDERSTANDING THE MEANING OF THE TEXT
Those with this view think that there is much merit in just reciting a sutra even though the person reciting it does not understand the meaning and principles of the sutra. This is incorrect. Before reciting a sutra, one must understand its text.
87. THE VIEW THAT IT IS ACCEPTABLE TO ACCUMULATE MONEY SECRETLY IN THE GUISE OF COLLECTING DONATIONS TO BUILD A TEMPLE, BUILD A STUPA, OR CONDUCT A DHARMA ASSEMBLY
In the guise of building a temple, building a stupa, or conducting a grand dharma assembly, there are those who in fact secretly accumulate money for themselves. We must not accept such conduct and must oppose it.
88. THE VIEW THAT IT IS ACCEPTABLE TO MISUSE DONATED DISASTER RELIEF FUNDS FOR ONE’S OWN GREEDY PURPOSES
Some people raise a great deal of money under the banner of charity and disaster relief. However, they secretly misuse such funds for their own greedy purposes. This is following an erroneous view. Whether one is a master or a disciple, misusing even one cent of such funds out of selfish greed is a karmic offense. Anyone who misuses such funds and anyone who approves of such misuse follow this erroneous view.
89. THE VIEW THAT ONE MUST GIVE UP ONE’S WORK IN ORDER TO CULTIVATE ONESELF AND LEARN BUDDHISM
Some people say that they will simply give up their work in order to cultivate themselves and learn Buddhism. They say that only by quitting their job can they concentrate their attention on cultivation and thereby cultivate themselves well. This is an erroneous view. A true cultivator acts in accord with the teachings of Buddhism no matter what circumstances he is in. One should not think that only by quitting one’s job and focusing entirely on cultivation is one acting in accord with the teachings of Buddhism.
90. THE VIEW THAT ONE WHO HAS TAKEN REFUGE IS DEFINITELY A BUDDHIST
Those with this view think that if they took refuge, participated in a refuge ceremony, and received a refuge certificate, they are Buddhists. That is incorrect. Taking refuge does not mean that one is necessarily a Buddhist. Can one represent Buddhism if he kills people and sets fires after taking refuge? If after taking refuge one does all kinds of bad deeds all day long, humiliates people, deceives people, practices heretical ways, and spreads heretical ideas, is he a Buddhist? No he is not. Only those who abide by the precepts in their practice are true Buddhists. Only those who do not follow these 128 evil and erroneous views are pure, orthodox, outstanding Buddhists and are greatly virtuous cultivators. This is extremely important.
We should deeply examine ourselves to see whether we are following any of the erroneous views. If you follow one, two, or three of the above erroneous views, the consequences will depend on whether the resulting offense is relatively light or relatively heavy. That in turn will depend on which of the erroneous views you follow. If you follow three erroneous views that result in a relatively light offense or if you follow one or two erroneous views that result in a relatively heavy offense and you do not immediately correct yourself, you will not experience any beneficial effects from the practice of any Buddha-dharma!!! You will not acquire through your practice any supernatural abilities or realization powers!!! You will be unable to manifest any real powers unless you engage in evil non-Buddhist practices and thereby manifest evil dharma. However, that will cause you to die an early death and descend into the hell of uninterrupted suffering. There will be no outcome other than this.
There is only one correct path in cultivation. If you follow evil views and/or erroneous views and do not immediately correct yourself, it is possible that from that moment for the rest of your life you will lose all opportunities to receive true Buddha-dharma, will lose the true dharma you have received, and will descend into one of the three lower realms without ever being able to attain liberation. Therefore, you absolutely must not follow any of the evil and erroneous views explained today. No matter what dharma you learn or which sect you belong to, if you follow evil views and/or erroneous views, you are simply a heretic. You will receive negative karmic retribution in the future. This is inevitable. This is certain. That is how all Buddhas in the ten directions and all Bodhisattvas guard correct knowledge and correct views. Anyone who follows these evil and erroneous views becomes like the source of a malignant tumor that poisons living beings as well as oneself. Therefore, I must tell you that none of these views may be followed.
At the same time, we must bear in mind a very important concept. Some people say, “These 128 views are not in the teachings of our sect. They have nothing to do with us.” If you have this perspective, you have planted the seed of descent into one of the three lower realms of existence. These evil and erroneous views are non-sectarian. They belong to Buddhism, not to any particular sect. They are the laws of cause and effect in the universe. They are provided in response to the dependent arising and dependent perishing of living beings and in response to the delusion-based negative karma of living beings. Thus, these views are non-sectarian.
I will give you an analogy here. Let’s say someone says, “Poisonous drugs and good medicine have nothing to do with our business. That is because we sell fabrics, not drugs or medicine. Hospitals and pharmacists deal with drugs and medicine. We do not want to use drugs or medicine.” Such a perspective is completely mistaken. Although drugs and medicine are used by hospitals, the effect of the drug or medicine used is the same on all people. No matter what business you are in, if you think that taking a poisonous drug is harmless and you still take it, you will be poisoned to death. Therefore, no matter what sect you belong to, following or not following these evil and erroneous views will definitely result in the corresponding karmic consequences according to the natural law of cause and effect.
I will give you a real example having to do with real cultivation. A rinpoche from Tibet came to pay his respects to Kaichu Rinpoche. This Tibetan rinpoche said, “I am from such-and-such sect within orthodox esoteric Buddhism, and our sect practices the four divisions of yoga. I am a disciple of so-and-so, who is the topmost yoga master in Tibet.” He asked Kaichu Rinpoche, “Which Buddhist sect do you think is the highest and best?” Kaichu Rinpoche replied, “Any sect can be good or can be not good. If the views of the sect are correct, the sect is good. If the views of the sect are evil or erroneous, the sect is not good.” The Tibetan rinpoche said, “I have read the 128 views of your sect. We yogis have nothing to do with those views. I can raise the temperature of my body through practicing tummo concentration dharma even though I do not study those 128 views.” Kaichu Rinpoche told him, “I do not belong to any sect. All I have is Buddhism.”
In the course of their discussion, they began demonstrating their respective powers from the practice of tummo concentration dharma. Kaichu Rinpoche applied tummo concentration dharma outside his own body and thereby immediately cured the illness of another person right then and there. After the demonstrations of power ended, that yogi rinpoche asked, “How can I acquire the skills that you have?” “Pay attention to the 128 views,” Kaichu Rinpoche told him.
Because this left a very deep impression on that Tibetan rinpoche, he immediately began focusing on whether he was following any of those 128 views. Within one month, he was able to double the increase in his body temperature resulting from the practice of tummo (inner heat). He said, “This is amazing. I have practiced tummo concentration dharma for 16 years, yet during all that time I did not make the leap in progress that I made this past month. I am practicing the same dharma as I did before. Now I know that those 128 views do not belong to any specific sect. They are dharma principles that benefit all practitioners based on the law of cause and effect.” Such were the deep impressions of that rinpoche.
I must now again remind everyone of something. Do not fall into any of these views. Otherwise, your cultivation will be in vain. These 128 evil and erroneous views are also part of the important dharma contained in The Supreme and Unsurpassable Mahamudra of Liberation. Today’s brief explanation of dharma will end here.
Disciples: We prostrate to H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III!
When I hear you address me that way, I feel quite ashamed. Do not call me H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. Just use master, the plainest form of address.
[Translation revised February 10, 2011]