Reported by Nangqiong Nuosang
On September 19, 2018, one of tremendously holy virtue conducted a “Holy Fire-Offering Dharma Assembly” that was officially held at the Holy Miracles Temple in the United States. The dharma assembly took place at the Grand Hall of the Buddhas and the courtyard right outside the hall. It was a complete success.
The attendees of this dharma assembly, which is extremely rare and almost impossible to come by, attended under two types of karmic conditions. Under the first type of condition, there were direct attendees who are persons of holy virtue, eminent monastics, abbots of Buddhist temples, and leaders of Buddhist organizations. Their attendance was determined by a Yu-Zun, Wang Zha Shang-Zun, Mozhi Jiao-Zun, or Dharma King Gar Tongstan. Under the second type of condition, there were attendees whose attendance accorded with karmic conditions. They encountered the occasion by happenstance and hence attended the dharma assembly.
Fire-offering dharma is a great dharma in Buddhism. In Tibetan Buddhism, fire-offering is especially of significant importance. In places such as Tibet and India, even common people are almost all highly familiar with this well-known great dharma that eliminates disasters, staves off hardships, removes hindrances and increases good fortune. This Buddha-dharma is also known as the “Holy Fire-Offering Homa Dharma.” However, the authentic “Holy Fire-Offering Homa Dharma” is hardly performed even once in a hundred years. What people often attended were just regular fire-offering dharma assemblies. The empowerment produced from “Holy Fire-Offering Homa Dharma” and that produced from a regular fire-offering is as different as heaven and earth, as different as one step versus ten thousand miles.
When Wang Zha Shang-Zun and two great holy virtuous ones spoke about what they personally experienced, they said that in the last 100 years, the famous Master Pabongka, also known as the Great Sun Tathagata, and Kangsa Rinpoche, also known as the Great Moon Tathagata, had both performed this dharma. A great holy virtuous person of Gold Button Grade 2 said, “I have learned this dharma but have not succeeded in the practice of it. It appears that I am still lacking in dharma powers and abilities and that I still have to make efforts. In the last several decades, I have yet to see any great holy virtuous person, great dharma king, or great dharma master successfully practice a holy fire-offering dharma. If a holy fire-offering is not successfully performed, it can only have the effect of a regular fire-offering.”
What are the differences between a successful practice and an unsuccessful practice? First, people claim that the regular fire-offering dharma from the Tibetan tradition and the fire-offerings from the lineage of Eastern esoteric Buddhism (woodpile grand dharma assemblies) are so extraordinary. After looking into it, it turns out that the fire in these dharmas are lit by people. How could such empowerment be remotely compared to the empowerment from a fire ignited by Buddhas or holy deities? A holy fire-offering is different. It requires beseeching nine Tathagatas, Vajra Maternal Buddha, Prajna Maternal Buddha, and the holy assembly of dharma-protectors to personally arrive at the fire-mandala. It is an authentic holy fire-offering only when the Vajra Maternal Buddha arrives in the sky and personally lights the fire.
During this holy fire-offering dharma assembly, good and faithful Buddhists sat on both sides of the Grand Hall of the Buddhas. With watchful eyes, they personally witnessed in close proximity the whole process of that dharma assembly. The fire-offering mandala involves the use of numerous different dharma instruments. A cauldron was newly made for the fire-offering mandala just in time for the dharma assembly. It was a clean cauldron made of pure copper, with no electrical or ignition device inside. A flat table and all the dharma instruments, including the fire cauldron, were wiped thoroughly clean from top to bottom by more than ten volunteers on site. The fire cauldron was placed on that flat table. Pieces of sandalwood were put inside the cauldron. The table was then moved closer to the door of the Grand Hall.
The one of tremendously holy virtue who conducted the dharma performed the rituals in accordance with the dharma. The dharma seat of the one of tremendously holy virtue was about fifty meters away from the fire cauldron. Bodi Wentu Ru-Zun, a person of holy virtue at the level of Gold Button Grade 1, served as the “Fire-Ignition Guardian.” He soaked the fire stick with butter oil, then walked toward the fire cauldron. With each step he took, he chanted one mantra character. He originally intended to light the fire, but when he was about six meters away from the cauldron, he suddenly changed his mind. He stood still, looked up and said loudly, “This Holy Fire-Mandala Homa Dharma is being performed by the Namo One of Tremendously Holy Virtue. Would Vajra Maternal Buddha please ignite the fire. If Vajra Maternal Buddha does not ignite the fire, I, disciple Bodi Wentu, will ignite the fire.” He then made a deep bow. Standing at a place a distance away, the one of tremendously holy virtue then said loudly, “Would Vajra Maternal Buddha please ignite the homa fire to eliminate hindrances for living beings and increase their good fortune!” As soon as those words were spoken, Vajra Maternal Buddha suddenly appeared in the sky. I saw Vajra Maternal Buddha flick her finger sending forth a flash of light. The fire inside the cauldron then ignited. Initially, there was no trace of fire inside the cauldron; then, suddenly, the cauldron was ablaze with raging fire. Bodi Wentu was so taken aback that he quickly moved away. He then immediately turned around and began to prostrate. When everyone there saw from close proximity the sudden ignition of the flames, they instantly knelt on the ground and kowtowed. Everyone was extremely excited. Subsequently, in accordance with the rituals, the attendees began to pray and burn homa-offerings.
A Buddhist disciple took the initiative to place the vajra demon-subduing bowl, which is used in a holy fire-offering, upside down on a small flat table. According to the meaning of the dharma, demons and evil karma from everyone attending the fire-offering are collected and subdued inside the bowl. The demons tried in vain to escape from the bowl, using all of their strength to shake the bowl. At this critical moment, a sound of “Hong” was heard! Vajra Maternal Buddha launched a flash of lightning, turning all the malicious demons and black karma inside the bowl into pulverized powder. The souls of the demons were brought to a Buddha-land by Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to be edified under rigorous discipline.
All these times, the one of tremendously holy virtue remained at a distance and did not come close to any dharma instruments or dharma tables. Subsequently, the great dharma of “Secretly Sending a Petition to a Bodhisattva” was performed. All attendees on site heard the inverted vajra demon-subduing bowl that they were viewing, with its opening completely sealed by the flat surface of the table, emit a loud sound of “Hong.” A flame resembling lightning swirled around the edge of bowl, then vanished. Thereafter, attendees of the assembly turned the bowl over and saw that there was nothing either under or inside the bowl. The “petition” secretly sent to the Bodhisattva had already been taken away. Under the watchful eyes of the assembly, the petition simply disappeared without a trace. The dharma of “Secretly Sending a Petition to a Bodhisattva” was successfully performed! Meanwhile, the burned demonic corpses emitted an extremely foul odor, much worse than any kind of stinky odor in the world. All those who sniffed the bowl found the foul odor so unbearable that their facial expressions looked distorted. The true state of the holy fire-offering dharma had been performed to perfection.
According to my understanding, the holy fire-offering dharma had not been successfully performed in more than eighty years. Everyone talked about it in theory, but Buddhas and Bodhisattvas did not appear. Regardless of who performed the dharma, there was not one holy homa dharma assembly that manifested the true state of the dharma like this one. That is to say, within the territory of Tibet, India, and other countries in the world, such a magnificent fire-offering dharma assembly did happen more than eighty years ago. Now is the second time it has happened, enabling us to personally witness and experience right then and there the supreme magnificence of the true dharma of the Tathagatas.
During this holy fire-offering dharma assembly, there were manifestations of unprecedented holy states and boundless mighty power. What is more magnificent is that the smoke from the fire-offering mandala rose up inside the grand hall, densely spreading over all of the top of the hall, yet the smoke detectors on the ceiling did not sound any alarm. That was so miraculous. Normally, when one is halfway through smoking a cigarette inside that grand hall, the alarm would sound, and water would sprinkle down. The power demonstrated by the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in that holy dharma assembly was so marvelous and subtle.
Such were the extremely wonderful holy miracles from the holy homa fire-offering. The good and faithful Buddhists attendees were very moved. Even the well-known Mozhi Jiao-Zun lost his calm. He was so excited that his facial expression looked twisted. Everyone did their utmost to present offerings to the one of tremendously holy virtue, but the one of tremendously holy virtue did not accept even one cent, and simply told everyone to keep their offerings.
In this world, the Holy Miracles Temple has now established an authentic inner-tantric mandala because everyone on site personally witnessed the “Secretly Sending a Petition to a Bodhisattva.” However, the one of tremendously holy virtue said, “It would be best if you yourselves found one of greatly holy virtue to perform ‘Lifting the Three Vajra Phurbas.’ In this way, a real object can be placed there for worship to demonstrate that an inner-tantric mandala has truly been established.”
I personally attended that assembly in which the great dharma of the real holy fire-offering was performed. It made me deeply feel that what a great holy virtuous person said is correct: “A regular fire-offering in comparison to a holy fire-offering is like one hair in comparison to the hairs of nine oxen. It is just like child’s play.” No wonder a Jiao-Zun said, “The merit from a holy fire-offering in which Vajra Maternal Buddha appears in the sky to ignite the fire is several thousand times greater than the merit from a regular fire-offering in which a person ignites the fire.”
The fire cauldron, offering tables, and related dharma instruments used in that holy fire-offering will all be placed for worship at the Holy Miracles Temple.
At this point, I would also like to mention a very important matter. On September 19th after the holy fire-offering dharma assembly was successfully completed, the Namo one of tremendously holy virtue announced right then and there in the Grand Hall of the Buddhas: “Today’s great dharma assembly has already been conducted. Dharma King Gar Tongstan has been waiting for this dharma assembly. This is the last dharma assembly from which he receives empowerment.”
In an announcement issued by the World Buddhism Association Headquarters just a few days ago, Dharma King Gar Tongstan said that once a last dharma assembly is conducted, he would pass away as soon as possible in a state of liberation. Two dharma masters urged him to stay for the sake of propagating dharma to save living beings. The Dharma King said, “With the Buddha Master living in the world, my level of realization would not be of much use! Life is a dream. Sooner or later, one has to leave. When causes and conditions come together, there is illusory existence. With the ending of those conditions, such existence breaks down. That’s it. I won’t stay!” He also said, “I have control over my birth and death. I can leave at whatever time I want to leave. My situation is different from that of Zhao Yusheng, a person of holy virtue, who relied on Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to receive him at a set time.”
Dharma King Gar Tongstan truly fulfilled his words regarding his control over his own birth and death. On September 20th, the day after the dharma assembly, he took a bath, put on his dharma robe, and laid out stationary before his dharma seat. He wrote a farewell letter to H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III in which he stated that he will “pass away in a state of liberation before the ink dries.” Having stated that in writing, once he put down his brush, he indeed instantly passed away in a state of liberation. Only someone who has attained freedom from birth and death can have such a state of accomplishment!