Article that appeared in the Asian Journal:
Recently, many newspapers have published articles on the “Highest Form of Bathing the Buddha Dharma Assembly” that took place in Los Angeles on the Buddha’s birthday, May 26th. H.H. Wan Ko Yeshe Norbu, the supreme leader of exoteric and esoteric Buddhism, conducted that Dharma Assembly. I was fortunate to have personally attended that Dharma Assembly and witnessed various holy states. When recalling those holy states, I am still very moved, and many emotions and thoughts well up in my heart. The more I think about it, the more I feel it was incredible. Thus, I decided to write a detailed analysis.
IT SOUNDED LIKE WIND AND THUNDER TO SOME, OTHERS HEARD NOTHING; EACH PERSON HEARD IT DIFFERENTLY
I will not explain in detail the holy state of “Flowers Rain from a Tree.” At the beginning of the Dharma Assembly, so many flowers fell from a tree it was as if the tree was raining flowers. For three hours, flowers continuously fell in abundance. When the Dharma Assembly ended, the flowers abruptly stopped falling.
I will not explain in detail the wonderful state of “A Cloud Provides an Umbrella-Like Covering.” There was a six-foot wide altar. A cloud continuously blocked sunlight from only a two-foot area of that altar where a bronze statue of the Buddha was standing.
I will not explain in detail the auspicious “Wind Celebrates the Mandala” and the wondrous “The Color of Dharma Water Is Taken Back.”
I will first discuss “Dharma Protectors Laugh Joyfully.” The hot sun was directly overhead. The wind was gentle and the sun was beautiful in the nearly cloudless sky. Suddenly, a startling thunder exploded in the sky. Who could understand it? Two-thirds of the attendees heard the rolling roar of dragons and the startling thunderous sound that exploded in the sky above the assembly. It was strange that one-third of the attendees did not hear such earsplitting thunder but only heard the sound of wind.
If there is thunder in the United States, of course it will not be heard in Taiwan. If there is thunder in Los Angeles, of course it will not be heard in San Francisco. If there is thunder in Monterey Park, which is in Los Angeles County, it may not be heard in Arcadia. The startling sound of thunder exploded in the sky above a few dozen square meter lawn area that was surrounded by blue curtain screens. All of the people in that area quietly listened. Still, more than one half of those people heard the thunder clearly, and less than half of those people heard nothing at all. This is the extraordinary and wonderful power of the Buddha Dharma.
When “A Dharma Object Manifests Holiness” was taking place, I was fortunate to have seen two Dharma protecting deities standing on a Vajra Wheel. According to photographs taken on the spot, two Dharma protecting deities suddenly appeared and suddenly merged as one Dharma protecting deity. Later, Dharma protecting deities suddenly disappeared, reappeared, and disappeared again. They also continually changed their form. High-tech image processing systems can create strange scenes. However, many people personally saw such phenomena. Furthermore, what each person saw was to some extent different from what others saw. Thus, no technology can substitute for what many people saw at the same time.
Additionally, according to the videotape, the Vajra Wheel turned into a lotus flower leaf. I did not see the Vajra Wheel emit light. I only saw the Vajra Wheel move in the water, float up, and sink down. But in the videotape I saw that when the Vajra Wheel was sinking down and approached the bottom of the water, a red light suddenly emanated from the bottom of the Vajra Wheel. Everyone saw with their open eyes the Vajra Wheel moving around.
At this same time and place, some people saw eight dharma protecting deities standing on the Vajra Wheel, while some other people saw two dharma protecting deities. Those who saw eight Dharma protecting deities said that there were not two dharma protecting deities at all. Those who saw two Dharma protecting deities said that eight dharma protecting deities did not appear at all. I was only about four feet from the Vajra Wheel. I saw two dharma protecting deities whose sizes changed. I did not see only one Dharma protecting deity. However, in the photograph I took, there appeared one dharma protecting deity. Some people did not see anything other than the movement of the Vajra Wheel.
No matter from what angle you analyze this, dharma protecting deities did appear on the spot. Many people saw them. This irrefutable fact shows that the true Buddha-dharma was manifested. No reason can be used to distort its true manifestation.
With respect to worldly things, they either exist or they do not. This is a dualism. Things of the world can only be one of the two. They cannot be both at the same time. No worldly thing can both exist and not exist. No worldly thing can be eight and two at the same time. To be both things at the same time is a logical contradiction that cannot stand in this human realm. However, at that Dharma Assembly, when the mysterious phenomena called “Dharma Protectors Laugh Joyfully” and “A Dharma Object Manifest Holiness” took place, just such a logical inconsistency occurred. What does the occurrence of this logical inconsistency prove? We can only draw one conclusion: Such phenomena were certainly not of this human realm. Still, such phenomena were true and beyond doubt. They really happened right before our eyes. It is just that human logic and scientific concepts cannot explain such truth. This is the power of the Buddha-dharma that is beyond the ability of human beings to comprehend. They are true miracles that manifested the Buddha-dharma in the human realm. They can only be described as incredible!
There was also the mark left upon that 280-pound rinpoche. His Holiness snapped his fingers and the Vajra Wheel emitted the true fire of Samadhi, causing that rinpoche to cry out in anguish and become ghastly pale. It was like the Incantation of the Golden Hoop that affected the Monkey King in the novel Journey to the West. But when the Dharma King snapped his fingers again, that Dharma Wheel returned to its original temperature instantly. Out of the impression left by the Dharma Wheel on that rinpoche’s chest, a dharma object has already grown, just as predicted. That Dharma object is three-dimensional pattern. It is quite mysterious that from the flesh surrounding that Dharma object a white ring of light similar to light from a flashlight shines forth. I personally saw this.
According to that overweight rinpoche, the Great Dharma King Supreme Vajradhara predicted that after seven days that ring of light would disappear, but the dharma object would remain, and the skin of the dharma object would become as tender as that of a baby. Think about it. That Vajra Wheel, which originally had an ordinary temperature and is the size of a person’s palm, was placed upon a perfectly smooth chest. This is simple physical contact. Its simplicity can be compared to the left hand touching the right hand. Other then each thing feeling for a moment the temperature of the other thing, neither thing will substantially affect the other thing. But how could that Vajra Wheel suddenly increase in temperature upon the snapping of the Great Dharma King’s fingers and instantly leave an indelible mark on that rinpoche’s chest? Moreover, that mark is changing every day. A three-dimensional dharma object has now grown from it. Who can comprehend such a thing?
That overweight rinpoche later said, “I truly never thought such a thing could happen. Such a small Vajra Wheel was placed upon my chest. I first felt it was cool. But when H.H. Dharma King Supreme Vajradhara intoned a mantra and snapped his fingers, that Dharma Wheel suddenly became extremely hot. It was so painful I thought I might die. I let out a scream only when I could not endure it anymore. When H.H. Great Dharma King snapped his fingers again, I don’t know how, but all of the heat disappeared. I did not feel any more pain. It was so amazing. I have never seen such an amazing dharma object before.”
I would like to say that it is not that the Vajra Wheel is amazing. Rather, the Great Dharma King’s Buddha-dharma is magnificent. If dharma powers were not manifested at the snap of his fingers, that Vajra Wheel could never have instantly become hotter than fire, let alone instantly become as cold as ice.
RELYING ON TRUE REALIZATION TO POUR WATER; AN ORDINARY PERSON COULD NOT DO IT
The most awe-inspiring aspect of the Dharma Assembly was “pouring water based upon one’s true realization.” Before the Dharma Assembly ended, we scooped all of the dharma water out of the lotus tub. We then lifted the lotus tub and took out the many written documents that were spread on the golden-yellow satin cloth that was underneath the lotus tub. From the start of the Dharma Assembly to its end, all of those written documents were tightly pressed on top of that golden-yellow satin cloth. Those written documents could only be taken out when the Dharma Assembly was ending.
The empty lotus tub alone weighed more than 700 pounds. Four people, including myself, could not lift that empty tub. During the Dharma Assembly, 90 large buckets of fragrant Dharma water were poured into the tub, bringing its total weight to 4,260 pounds. Who could possibly move such a filled tub? Fourteen strong men attempted to lift that tub so hard that their faces became distorted. But it was all for naught, like an ant attempting to lift a piano. That lotus tub did not move a bit. However, after Akou Lamo Rinpoche and great layman Ciren Jiacuo (Gyatso) —a young female Rinpoche and a seventy-year-old man—stepped forward, that more than 4,000-pound lotus tub was lifted. The dharma water was poured into the tub used to bathe the celestial beings. The dharma water looked like a silver pillar when being poured.
One can imagine how astonished I was upon seeing this. This is not a matter of the amount of one’s physical strength. Ninety buckets of water filled that tub. Each bucket weighed forty pounds. Nobody could change the weight of the water. When the weight of the lotus tub itself is added to this weight, the total weight is more than 4,200 pounds. Human strength could not possibly overcome such weight. Even if the burden of such weight were shared by two people, whereby each person would have to lift more than 2,100 pounds, it would still far surpass the maximum limit a human being could lift. Science has shown what the maximum arm strength of a human being is. If someone tries to lift something weighing over 1,500 pounds, his arms will break in two. Thus, the weight of that filled lotus tub makes it beyond the ability of human beings to lift.
Then how did those two people lift that lotus tub and successfully pour water from it? We have only one explanation: Practice of the Buddha-dharma brought about their own personal powers! Lifting that lotus tub is not something an ordinary person could do. To succeed in lifting that tub, one must rely upon a high level of Buddha-dharma realization. Akou Lamo Rinpoche comes from Tibet. She can cause a large mani stone to fly through the air. Layman Ciren Jiacuo (Gyatso) has realized the state of prajna emptiness. He constantly abides in the dharma nature state. It is precisely because those two are highly virtuous persons whose states of realization are profound that they were able to “pour water based upon one’s true realization,” a feat beyond the ability of human beings.
Some people asked me, “Could it be that those two virtuous persons knew beforehand of a special mechanism on the lotus tub?” This is a good question. That lotus tub has been offered an object of reverence and is in the United States. It is being kept by United International World Buddhism Association Headquarters. Currently, it is an offering at the Hua Zang Si in San Francisco. As soon as one sees it, one knows that there is nowhere in that lotus tub to hide a mechanism. During the Dharma Assembly, that lotus tub was openly located on the lawn in the middle of the mandala. A golden-yellow satin cloth larger than the size of the lotus tub was spread on the lawn under the lotus tub. If there had been a mechanism arising from under the lawn to lift the lotus tub, then when everyone lifted the lotus tub and took out the written documents from under it during the Dharma Assembly, wouldn’t they have quickly discovered that such a mechanism had damaged or lefts marks on the golden-yellow satin cloth and many thin written documents spread underneath the lotus tub? The fact is that the golden-yellow satin cloth and the written documents were not damaged in the least. Furthermore, when everyone took out that golden-yellow satin cloth, they clearly saw that the lawn underneath was level and fully intact. After the Dharma Assembly ended, everyone dismantled the altar and the curtain screens. The lotus tub was moved to another place. The green grass underneath it was still level and fully intact. Many of the monastics who attended the Dharma Assembly had constructed that lotus tub out of wood.
The next day, during the Dharma Assembly, Great Rinpoches from the outer-mandala were invited to attend. One of them was a Great Rinpoche called Luo Bu. He humbly calls himself “a man without supernormal powers.” He used a large bamboo hat to cover his face, for he did not want to reveal himself. He had everyone move the empty lotus tub to a place that we all agreed upon. Ninety buckets of water were again added to the lotus tub. I saw him step forward and exhibit his Buddha-dharma state of realization. He alone lifted the more than 4,000-pound lotus tub and thereby poured water from it into the tub used to bathe the celestial beings. That lifting was a rite used to show reverence toward the dharma protecting deities.
When I saw this, I was speechless. I was simply dumbfounded. We had moved that lotus tub to another place. That place was a small lawn that we selected. We placed that lotus tub used to bathe the Buddha in the middle of that lawn. There were six to ten meters of empty space from each side that lotus tub. Everyone saw this very clearly. What else can be said? It demonstrates that the power of the true Buddha-dharma is just that real and is very magnificent.
CONTROL OVER ONE’S BIRTH AND DEATH REVEALS THE TRUE DHARMA
These various wondrous phenomena thoroughly show the truth that Buddhism surpasses worldly abilities. They demonstrate that the Dharma lineage of H.H. Great Dharma King Yangwo Wan Ko Yisinubu is in accordance with the canons laid down by Shakyamuni Buddha. Such phenomena manifest the type of supernatural states that are often written about in the scriptures of the Tripitaka. They prove that what is written in the Buddhist scriptures about the Buddha and his disciples often applying their supernormal powers is accurate.
The seven holy states that appeared during the Bathing of the Buddha Dharma Assembly are not the only things that prove that the Buddha-dharma truly exists. The ultimate goal of the Buddha-dharma is liberation from the cycle of birth and death. An example that demonstrates this point precisely is that of Wang-Cheng E Fen, an elder laywoman who learned and practiced Buddhism according to the teachings of H.H. Great Dharma King. She attained great accomplishment in mainland China. Right after she passed away, many people saw the Buddhas appear before them and saw dazzling light all around. After she was cremated, it was discovered that she broke the record for accomplished ones connected with Bao Guang Chan Temple—one of the four great temples of China where the sharira (relics) of King Asoka are kept. Sharira of various colors, as well as extremely rare jade-white and light-brown sharira flowers of the highest quality, were found among her bone relics.
If the only disciple of H.H. Great Dharma King who became accomplished in the dharma were Wang-Cheng E Fen, perhaps it would be coincidental. But something mysterious happened. Layman Wang Ling-Ze, the husband of laywoman E Fen, also practiced the dharma according to the teachings of H.H. Great Dharma King. Throughout his entire life, he did not discuss the Buddha-dharma. One afternoon in 1992 on February 15th of the lunar calendar, he suddenly took a bench and placed it on the roadside in the Laodong Village of Xindu. He then openly began urging people to be kind and good. He explained the wonders of the Pure Land. He praised H.H. Great Dharma King, saying that his dharma is the authentic Buddha-dharma of Shakyamuni Buddha.
Someone asked Wang Ling-Ze, “I like Guan Yin Dharma, but I don’t know which Guan Yin Dharma is the best.” The elder layman Wang answered, “No matter if your teacher is a Great Dharma Teacher or a Great Rinpoche, you must be very careful. You absolutely must not learn false Buddha-dharma. For example, Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s ‘pure vase realization’ is great. Let’s look toward ourselves. How is your master? If he doesn’t have the ability and state of realization to ‘obtain water,’ transmit Dharma, and conduct initiations, if he does not follow the precepts well, then he just understands the common dharma written in books. Rather than learn from such a person, you would accumulate more merit if you intoned ‘Homage to Guan Yin Bodhisattva.’ True Guan Yin Dharma involves ‘obtaining water’ either in a gentle way or a forceful way. Obtaining water in a forceful way involves one or two persons lifting a lotus tub weighing over 5,500 pounds and pouring out the water from it. This is the true Buddha-dharma. Obtaining water in a gentle way involves the following. You secretly prepare a bowl outside the presence of the master. You fill it with water and take it out. The master immediately practices the dharma in front of you. Water instantly flows through the bowl toward you. It is like the holy water in the pure vase of Guan Yin Bodhisattva. No containers in this world can hold the holy water in that pure vase. That holy water will penetrate through and flow out of any such worldly container. When used in initiations and Dharma transmissions, holy water that has flowed through a bowl can wash away your karmic hindrances accumulated over many past lifetimes. This is true Guan Yin Dharma. I have learned this true Buddha-dharma transmitted to me by H.H. Great Dharma King Yangwo Wan Ko Yisinubu. Water penetrated through the bowl. Therefore, I am about to go to the Western Paradise of Ultimate Bliss.”
When the elder layman Wang finished expounding the dharma, he pushed the bench to one side and sat down in the cross-legged posture in front of his house near the road. He instantly passed away. He illustrates the magnificence of the Buddha-dharma transmitted by H.H. Great Dharma King, which leads to control over one’s own birth and death. According to the rules of Buddhism, after the elder layman passed away, his body could not be touched for seven days. Therefore, he sat solemnly in the cross-legged posture at that very spot near the public street for seven days and seven nights. His back remained completely upright.
After his cremation at the Bao Guang Temple in Xindu, thirteen firm shariras (relics) were left behind. I went to the Bao Guang Temple in Xindu and paid twelve yuan to buy a photograph openly sold by the temple showing the sharira and sharira flowers left behind by laywoman Wang Cheng E-Fen after her cremation. I learned from a documentary video as well as other sources that disciples of H.H. Great Dharma King include world-class outstanding monks and nuns, first-class elder monks in Taiwan, first-class elder monks and Great Rinpoches in mainland China and Hong Kong, and first-class Great Rinpoches in the United States. Furthermore, many disciples of H.H. Great Dharma King include husband and wife couples who obtained control over their own births and deaths. Some of his disciples passed away while they sat in the cross-legged posture, chanted the name of Amitabha Buddha, and held their hands in a special mudra. The bodies of some disciples emitted dazzling light after they passed away. The corpses of some disciples do not rot after their passing, thereby becoming a “body sharira.” However, the most amazing thing of all is that H.H. Great Dharma King often tells his disciples beforehand when a certain person will pass away, thus enabling the Dharma Teacher disciples to make their way to that person quickly so that they can help him or her by reciting passages or mantras for the deceased. When those Dharma Teachers are informed of this, the person is still alive. When they arrive at the person’s location, he or she has already passed away. What is the significance of this? This shows that such magnificent Buddha-dharma truly exists.
RESPECTFULLY LISTEN TO THE TAPES IN THE SILVER BOX; BE GLAD YOU HAVE ENCONTERED THE TRUE BUDDHA-DHARMA
I admit that I am not an ignorant person. I have never engaged in blind worship or blind superstition. I believe in the power of science and have benefited enormously from that power for many years. But just as I cannot blindly have faith in supernatural powers, I also cannot blindly deny supernatural powers. Science has come from mankind, yet the various flaws of mankind are obvious to all. Thus, when we use the measuring stick of science to measure or evaluate a thing carefully and the conclusion we reach does not correspond with human science, please do not be so eager to deny that thing. Perhaps this is the time that we should reflect on this matter by putting down that measuring stick and changing our angle and perspective.
Buddhism has existed in human history for a few thousand years. How could one use the measuring stick of common knowledge to measure completely the profundity and broadness of Buddhism? From the time the world-honored Buddha began expounding the dharma until today, countless scriptures and commentaries have clearly expressed the extremely broad yet precise and subtle insights and understanding of the human world that the wise, holy, and virtuous ones attained. I will not discuss that here. For the past few thousand years, the field of Buddhism has produced innumerable extraordinary, holy states. It is just that few people in our present world have deeply entered such states. Rather, people are unfamiliar with such states and have misinterpreted them. It is a fact that holy states continually appeared during the “Highest Form of Bathing the Buddha Dharma Assembly.” It is a fact that there are numerous disciples of the Great Dharma King who have extraordinary abilities and impressive powers and who have liberated themselves from the cycle of reincarnation. These facts are like a Zen stick hitting one right on the head. They cause you to understand quickly and completely that there is such a vast and mysterious realm beyond the scope of human knowledge.
I am thankful that I did not miss this opportunity of a lifetime. I also respectfully listened to the dharma tapes in the silver box. I am grateful that I was fortunate to have encountered in this lifetime the manifestation of true Buddha-dharma. However, I would like to remind you that you must be careful with respect to false Buddha-dharma phenomena appearing in these troubled times. If two people cannot even lift a 4,000-pound thing, then they could not possibly have already ended the cycle of birth and death. If the powers of a highly virtuous master are not even enough to make water penetrate a cup or bowl, then how could one say such master represents the dharma lineage of the holy ones? Both theory and practice show that the beyond-the-world liberation offered by Buddhism truly exists and is incredible.
(Written by La Mu)