[The following is a discourse from the book H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III given by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III upon reading the “108 Accounts of Holy Occurrences” written by certain disciples.]
After reading the accounts of everyone concerning holy virtue that moves and inspires, I truly feel ashamed. I have no right to obstruct anyone’s freedom of speech. All that I can say is that the various testimonials of everyone praising and honoring me were based on some strange phenomena that appeared as a result of the coincidental coming together of certain causes and conditions. However, everyone has unexpectedly attributed the appearance of such phenomena to my realization. I say that you are totally mistaken in this regard.
As one with a heart of humility, I engage in matters of cultivation and expound the dharma of cultivation. I do not advocate the mystical and wondrous phenomena that everyone has described. Such phenomena go against my path of cultivation. Even if I backed down from my position and decided not to oppose such phenomena, I do not have the holy realization to cause their occurrence.
In the course of life, people by chance encounter mysterious circumstances born of karmic conditions. These circumstances are not worth mentioning or citing as an honor. It seems that everyone has had such an experience. People unintentionally encounter many strange phenomena that transcend reason. Examples of this include mirages, flying saucers, trips to the moon, and so on. Could it be that the people viewing such phenomena always cause such phenomena to appear?
For example, a lama gave me three vajra pills. Zhaxi Zhuoma requested two of them. As she held them in her hand, one of them miraculously transformed into colored light and flew away. That miraculous transformation did not take place when that vajra pill was in my hand. She said that the other vajra pill spoke the dharma while it was in a cup. However, I did not hear how it spoke the dharma. If one were to say that special abilities were involved with this, then it was Zhaxi Zhuoma’s abilities. Moreover, a great lama gave me those vajra pills. How could it be said that such events resulted from my abilities?
Another example is a dharma teacher disciple of mine who has mastered the Five Thunder Palm. All that my hand can do is hold a pen.
Many people saw an image of a Buddha appear over the head of Henghsing Gyatso. That was the result of his merit. How am I qualified to take any credit for that?
There is also the example involving Dharma Teacher Yongding. Although he was my disciple, his ability to communicate with the heavenly realm resulted from his own cultivation. He predicted the weather for a three-month period. His predictions were written down for all to see to verify on a daily basis the accuracy of each prediction. Not one of his predictions was wrong. Still, that was based on the realization of Yongding. How can I accept the credit for that instead of him? Furthermore, a weather station can also predict the weather!
There was also the time when the flood waters on Baoguang Street did not enter the gate of the Baoguang Temple. That occurrence truly had nothing whatsoever to do with me. Think about it. The Baoguang Temple has a King Asoka stupa containing the relics of Sakyamuni Buddha. Could it be that such stupa and its contents do not have the highest merit?
All of the short descriptions of occurrences listed above are not due to my merit. There is something else I want to tell everyone. Everyone’s praise of me is truly misplaced. When a certain great Bodhisattva or Buddha assists in the furtherance of karmic conditions or manifests realization powers, I do not say whether that is good or not. In short, I think that even if a certain being of great virtue has such realization powers, that is not the goal of
cultivation. What is the use of exhibiting such things? Perhaps this is a manifestation of one’s personal realization powers. However, it cannot be said that exhibiting such things is engaging in cultivation. One must help living beings end the cycle of birth and death. Miracles are of no use. What is of use is teaching living beings about cultivation and about manifestations of the dharma that are required by the dharma. When one has truly attained great accomplishment in the dharma, everything becomes the holy state of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Only such a state is worthy of being called a state of holy realization.
I am very ashamed, since I do not have such abilities. Moreover, I am incapable of instantaneously eliminating the karmic forces of living beings who do not cultivate themselves. Thus, I am incapable of turning bad people who do not cultivate themselves into good people. I all the more lack the power to save living beings who do not have karmic affinity with me or the Buddha-dharma. I cannot, therefore, have all living beings on earth be
received in the Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss in the span of one day. With such abilities, how can I be anything other than ashamed? Could it possibly be said that I want to be like those demons and charlatans who claim to be a Buddha?
Nonetheless, to say that I have no realization would also be false. If I had nothing whatsoever, those holy dharma kings and rinpoches would not have affirmed my identity. I truly possess realization that is like a wondrous gem! That realization has already been put into words in this very book in the form of “What Is Cultivation?” I am ashamed about everything other than cultivation. Because of this sense of shame, I deeply feel that I am not
qualified to receive offerings from the seven types of Buddhist disciples.
Today I formally announce to the world something that I have repeatedly announced in audio recordings: I thank all good people for their respect toward me and for vowing to make offerings to me. Resolving to make offerings to the Three Jewels is a requirement of the dharma laid down by Sakyamuni Buddha. It is also the karmic condition that connects the Buddhas in the ten directions with living beings. It is something that should be done! However, as far as I am concerned, I will not accept any offerings made to me in the future. I ask everyone for their understanding regarding this matter. There is also no need to worry about me. Relying upon my own labor, I am not only able to support myself, I am also able to help others, provide disaster relief to people, and benefit living beings. Thus, you should offer money, property, or food directly to temples and public organizations
in this world that truly benefit people and that uphold correct views of the Buddha-dharma. Although such offerings are not made to me, in reality this is tantamount to making offerings to me. I do not accept offerings.