When Zhaxi Zhuoma’s close relative died, she asked H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III, “What should I do?” As a result of her sincere request, H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III performed a very wonderful and amazing ceremony that enabled her to see her relative, actually go to the Western Paradise of Ultimate Bliss (Sukhavati). This is a very high ritual of the Supreme Yoga Vajra Division, which cannot be discussed in detail with those who have not received initiation. However, she was able to report that she actually witnessed with her own eyes the miraculous scene where this person was transported to the sixth level of this Buddha-land that is beyond the worldly realms of suffering and sorrow. There are nine levels all together in the Western Paradise of Ultimate Bliss. This is the highest tier of the middle level, known as the Zhong Pin Shang Sheng in Chinese.
The picture of this person quivered in her hands as the ceremony began. It seemed that he could hardly wait. Or was this in response to the extraordinary dharma powers of the H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III? It was a glorious and marvelous sight! There are no words that can express the joy she experienced when this event took place. His Holiness explained that this was because she was able to obtain a “glimpse” of the bliss that occurs in the Western Paradise. There is no other Dharma King or master who can do this! It was incredible!
Earlier H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III allowed Zhaxi Zhuoma to see the sufferings of Hell. Now she was able to experience the bliss of the Western Paradise. The Petitioning the Western Paradise of Ultimate Bliss Dharma is a very high and special dharma that is rarely practiced in this world. Many people want to go to the Western Paradise, but can’t. They would like to receive this dharma or have it performed for their loved ones, but can’t. Zhaxi Zhuoma said, “I have been with H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III for six years and seen him perform very many forms of inner tantric initiations and received some, but this is the first time that I have seen him perform this particular dharma. It was only through the maturing of certain causes and conditions that this ritual was successfully performed.
“My dear relative, who was ninety when he died, had been a good Christian man, but knew nothing of Buddhism. His only contact with Buddhism had been through knowing me, although he had also met my younger vajra sister, Ven. Akou Lamo Rinpoche, in 2003 when we briefly visited him while on tour of the U.S.. Ven. Akou Lamo Rinpoche is a great rinpoche from Tibet and also a close disciple of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. I am sure we were the only Buddhists he had ever even heard of, let alone met. “This person had lived a good life and was very kind and generous, being willing to go to great lengths to help those who needed help. His immediate family, who are all also good Christians, were quite certain that he would go to the Christian heaven, but who would have thought that he would have had the good fortune to escape the realm of reincarnation altogether?
He had, after all, also been an avid hunter and fisherman and had killed many living beings in his life. With such negative karma, how could he be reborn in heaven? Needless to say, it would be even more impossible for him to go to the Western Paradise. But H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III’s Buddha-dharma is so magnificent! I could actually witness my relative going to this superb Buddha-land and enjoying the incomparable happiness one finds there. H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III told me, ‘You are a rinpoche. That is why you can see this.’
“I was horrified when the minister giving the eulogy at my relative’s funeral praised him for teaching his grandchildren how to fish. I wanted to cry out “How can you praise someone for teaching children how to kill?” but I held my tongue and remained silent. In this rural community and this culture, hunting and fishing are very important, both for food and for pleasure. They do not understand the principles of either reincarnation or karma. It is only through the incredible merit, dharma skills, and great compassion of the H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III that this could happen.
“Just eleven days after my relative left this world, his wife also left. She was also ninety. H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III was also able to raise her consciousness so that she could join her husband in the Western Paradise. I saw the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas come to the sacred mandala to receive her and witnessed their acceptance of her into the Western Paradise. This was a different ceremony held at a different mandala. At first it looked as though she might not be able to make it. H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III went back and practiced the dharma a second time. This time he was able to send her to this paradise of eternal joy and happiness.
She, too, had been a good Christian, but knew nothing about Buddhism. She also did not have the good fortune to meet Ven. Akou Lamo Rinpoche. However, she was still able to go to the Western Paradise. It was so amazing. This was because of the incredible compassion and Buddha-dharma powers of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III Wan Ko Yeshe Norbu Holiest Tathagata. The Buddha-dharma is magnificent!” In 2004 H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III performed another ceremony to raise the consciousness of Zhaxi Zhuoma’s non-Buddhist parents, Carl and Elsie Welker, to a higher realm as well. At that time she saw the Dharma Protecting Deities come to perform this rite. She was very, very grateful to her vajra master for his kindness and compassion in blessing her dear relatives. These miraculous Buddha-dharma events, performed for those who had not practiced or known anything about Buddhism, were all due to the amazing merit and compassion of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III Wan Ko Yeshe Norbu. He was willing and able to share his boundless merit with these non-Buddhist to enable them to enjoy the blessings of Amitabha Buddha’s Western Paradise. This was a great teaching on compassion and true equanimity.
H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III reminded us that we must realize that reincarnation is not something that just exists for Buddhists or easterners. It existed before the coming of the Buddha or before Jesus and continues to exist even after they have left this realm. It is a fact based on the principles of cause and effect. It does not exist because people believe in it or talk about it—it just exists. Nor does reincarnation cease to exist just because people do not accept it or believe in it. Only the Buddha was able to see how the cycle of reincarnation worked and to realize the method for escaping the suffering that is inherent in continual rebirth in the six realms of existence. Only a Buddha is capable of understanding the workings of karma.
Some concept of “heaven” or a “happy hunting ground” or “paradise” is held by most religions. Buddhism recognizes these realms as well, but does not hold the various heavens or abodes of the gods (devas or angels) and other celestial beings to be the goal of spiritual practice. They could be viewed as a “rest stop” or a nice vacation site, as one can surely go to these wonderful places if one lives a good life, avoids evil, and accumulates sufficient “merit.” However, even in heaven, when one’s merit is used up (and it is very hard to accumulate more merit while in those realms—the pleasures are just too great), one must still be reborn and repay one’s karmic debts.
There is even no guarantee that living a good life is enough to enable you to have a good next life, for your karma from past lives may catch up with you on your next round. Only by becoming a holy or enlightened being (or saint), can one escape the cycle of reincarnation and the suffering of existence. The early Christians also believed in reincarnation, as do many Christians today, but it is not accepted as Christian dogma. There are two dharmas whereby one can go to the Western Paradise. One dharma involves repeatedly reciting Amitabha Buddha’s name. The other is Petitioning the Western Paradise of Ultimate Bliss Dharma, which is a very high and special dharma that very few people who have lived in this world could perform. Shakyamuni Buddha and the Ugyen Second Buddha, Great Dharma King Padmasambhava, could do it, as could great holy dharma kings after them. H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III Wan Ko Yeshe Norbu, however, is more accomplished than any of these dharma kings.
No wonder H.E. Tangtong Gyalpo Great Bodhisattva, who was once the leader of the four main sects of esoteric Buddhism, wrote a congratulatory letter highly praising H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III Wan Ko Yeshe Norbu’s proficiency in both esoteric and exoteric Buddhism and his wonderful mastery of the five vidyas. That letter also praised His Holiness as being the first person in history to accomplish this. Zhaxi Zhuoma said that “to my knowledge, His Holiness is the only living vajra master who can perform such a ceremony involving great dharma and have the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas come to the sacred altar to help the deceased reach this high level of achievement. We are very fortunate to have such a holy one with us here in America.”