Monday, August 31, 2009

The marks of a Gelugpa

Someone posted this question at an internet forum and I have been thinking about it since I first saw it. I was lost for an answer at first, and subconsciously prayed to Je Rinpoche for guidance if there was indeed an answer to that question. Then few days back, I got the answer. And the answer was obtained after I read Janice D. Willis’ book entitled “Enlightened Beings-Life Stories from the Ganden Oral Tradition” and other texts.

In that book she published the translations of the biographies of six of the most renowned Gelugpas that ever lived in Tibet. They were regarded as both scholars as well as siddhas in their own right. Even though Je Tsongkhapa himself is the perfect answer to the question above, these six early Gelugpa masters display attitudes and characteristics not different from that of Je Rinpoche himself. So, I think these masters (and probably others too not described in this book), are the answer we are seeking when we ask about the attitude and characteristic of what a Gelugpa should have. Times have changed and a few “later day” Gelugpa masters may have displayed slightly different characteristics than these earlier masters. As a result of this, a few recent ones may even have invited some controversies. However, whoever feels he/she belongs to this lineage that comes from the Victorious One - Je Tsongkhapa, then any son or daughter of the lineage should study these namtars and take heed of the lessons embedded in their life stories of Je Rinpoche and these six great Gelugpa masters.

From what I gathered from Janice’s book, these are my observations on what should be the marks of a classical Gelugpa. The words within the quotes are extracted from the book:

1. Extensive study and meditation. Quote from Janice: “The Gelugpa order has emphasized that training in logic be coupled with proper meditation on the Buddha’s teachings…. Siddhas are usually viewed as wild yogis who shun book learning in preference for yogic meditation. These stories, though, show the Gelugpa’s style of joining the two.” While they do spend time at the famed Gelug monasteries, each of them also spent considerable time meditating in isolated retreat. The extensive study is important so that whatever attainment or “new dharma” is gained via meditation/ discovered/understood, it can be verified to the original Sakyamuni Buddha’s teachings as well as other classical texts. However, more important than the mere words of a text, a true Gelugpa would even go to the extent of seeking explanation directly from the Buddhas or Bodhisattvas themselves to confirm or clarify some points of doubt. This is evident in Je Rinpoche’s life where he sought Arya Manjusri to clarify some points of doubt regarding Emptiness. So, with this attitude the Gelugpas do not fool themselves and others by contradicting with the Buddha’s teachings. Another example, if we do not study Madhyamakavatara, how else would be certain that the emptiness we thought we had experienced is genuine? Hence this is the first mark of a Gelugpa.

2. Upholding the moral conduct. These Masters are fully ordained monks and holders of the three sets of vows. Je Rinpoche’s emphasis on upholding the vinaya is prominent within the Gelug tradition. Hence on certain moral issues, such as celibacy and being vegetarians, these are emphasized more strongly within Gelug as compared to other traditions. For example, married lamas are not a common feature within Gelug. Hence this is the second mark of a Gelugpa.

3. Non-sectarian attitude. The classical Gelugpa would learn the dharma from any other sources. These six masters not only study texts considered traditionally texts of Gelug but they also study those from other traditions. Indeed, they follow Je Rinpoche’s attitude, who studied not just from one lineage but many of the major lineages of his time. Quote from Janice: “Thus, these siddha’s are shown studying the manuals of Lamdre and Taknyi, the two systems associated with the Sakya tradition. The first Panchen not only observed for a time the Kagyu practice of wearing only a cotton covering but, on another occasion, made the practice of ‘taking only essences’ his main meditative endeavor. All six siddhas received instructions on the oral tradition of Chod, and, because they were Mahamudra siddhas, they of course received full instructions in Naropa’s Six Yogas. Thus, like the great Tsongkhapa, these are examples of the unbiased and true nonsectarian character and spirit with which the lamas of old approached the Buddha’s teachings.” However, despite this being the case (of studying other tradition’s teachings), due to the first mark as mentioned above, they do not run away from the path. Hence this is the third mark of a Gelugpa.

And I would add a fourth one not mentioned in the book but is widely accepted as a key feature of the Gelug tradition.

4. Emphasis on Lam Rim as preliminary. Je Tsongkhapa wrote extensively on Lam Rim because it is important and central to all Gelugpas to seriously gain a deep understanding of the Three Principal Aspects of the Path. And the latter forms an important preliminary (ngondro) to entering the tantric practices and teachings. In his composition, “A Book of Three Inspirations”, he spoke at length on why we should not by-pass this General Mahayana preliminary (i.e. the Lam Rim contemplations) before entering into tantra. Hence, I would posit that any Gelugpa who does not study and contemplate the Lam Rim is not a true Gelugpa. In fact, this Lam Rim ngondro is even more important than the traditional Vajrayana preliminaries (such as prostrations, Vajrasattva mantras, etc) because without the Lam Rim preliminary, all the latter practices are nothing but mere worldly activities grounded in samsara. Hence this is the forth mark of a Gelugpa.

I liken these four marks of a Gelugpa to the four legs of a table. Even if one is broken, the other three would not be able to uphold the top, hence there is no table even with a leg broken. These four mutually support each other.
And thus, I humbly present to my fellow lineage family the marks of a classical Gelugpa. I stand to be corrected to what I just wrote if there is anything incorrect.


With humble respects to all the Gelug Lineage Masters, I pay homage!

Bibliography:

1. Willis, Janice Dean. Enlightened Beings-Life Stories from the Ganden Oral Tradition. Boston. Wisdom Publications. 1995.

2.Mullin, Glenn H. The Practice of The Six Yogas of Naropa. New York. Snow Lion Publications. 2006.

3. Tsong-kha-pa. The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment. Vol. III. New York. Snow Lion Publications. 2002.

Dated: 31/8/2009 (I started writing this yesterday and completed it today)

@Copyright. All rights reserved.

Note: If anyone wishes to quote any part of my article above, please drop me a message in the "comments" section. Thanks.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Evidence of Hungry Ghost

There was this TV documentary "Ghost Adventures" on the local TV channel last Thursday. It was the first time I had seen it. There were these team of paranormal researchers who went to one of Idaho's most notorious state penitentiary. That's where murderers and other ex-convicts were jailed for life or hanged to death. Towards the end of the show, the team showed us how they had attempted to capture images of the ghosts on their special TV screen using special infrared cameras. They then went to an independent Paranormal Expert to see if he thought they had captured on their camera/TV screen.

After showing the image to this expert (the man in the picture below), he said that there was this image "...with 2 shoulders, a thin, narrow neck ...that is smaller than the normal human neck.... and a odd head that has a strange shape and size..." These were more or less the words of the expert when asked by the team what he saw on the screen. The head looked smaller than our normal human head and as such, the mouth must be very tiny. This expert concluded that this was probably an image of a ghost. For me, when he mentioned "... narrow neck...", immediately I thought that they have captured an image of not just any ghost, but specifically a hungry ghost. That's the description of how a hungry ghost would look like according to Buddhism. Look at the image below and judge for yourself. Now science seems to verify what the Buddha (and all the other Buddhist masters after Him) knew all along about existence of hungry ghosts (called a preta in sanskrit) and how they look like! There are other types of ghosts, and a hungry ghost is just one type. This is a definitely woeful type of ghost. Really suffering, because you just cannot get enough food through the tiny mouth and throat. Maybe none at all!
So, we pray that all of these ghosts will be liberated and reborn in Amitabha's Pure Land!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

How to Make Mantras Work?

The previous post on "The Eight Great Awakenings Sutra" was known previously to me as "The Enlightenment Sutra". At first I thought it was a sutra I had not read before, but then after I googled it, I found out that it was known by many names, including "The Enlightenment Sutra". I had attended the teachings by a Bhikshuni at the branch monastery here of Dharma Realm Buddhist Institute. The Bhikshuni from their branch in KL had come over to give a 4-day talk to explain the Compassion Water Samadhi Repentance.

Throughout her talk, she had referred to quotes from various sources such as sutras. And when she touched on the disaster in Taiwan from the Morakot Typhoon, and the A(h1n1) virus that's infecting many thousands of lives all over the world, she mentioned that we should reflect on this sutra daily. She showed a slide on the first awakening and explained that verse.

The First Awakening:
The world is impermanent.
Countries are perilous and fragile.

The body is a source of pain, ultimately empty.
The five skandhas are not the true self.
Life and Death is nothing but a series of transformations—hallucinatory, unreal, uncontrollable. The intellect is a wellspring of turpitude,
the body a breeding ground of offenses.
Investigate and contemplate these truths.
Gradually break free of death and rebirth.

Now I come to realise that this Sutra is similar to the Lam Rim of Tibetan Buddhism. It is meant to be reflected upon daily and on a consistent basis so that we can elicit "awakenings" or "realisations" in our mind. It means after some time of reflecting upon these verses, they spontaneously become alive inside us. It means, we live naturally according to those verses. It is no longer artificial or forced. And once, it becomes embeded inside our hearts, we pursue the actual Enlightenment naturally and hastened the process to achieve it. And eventually, we are able to "break free of death and rebirth" as mentioned in the Sutra. In Tibetan Buddhism, it is similar to the Three Principle Aspects of the Path that Je Tsongkhapa taught should be implanted in the mind of everyone who wants to embark on the tantric path.

Anyway, on Monday 17 August, there was a part of the teachings that strucked my mind ebcause it was something I had dreamt of on the previous Friday (14 Aug '09). I woke up in that Friday morning (I was on leave that day) with the dream fresh in my mind. I had dreamt that Kuan Yin Bodhisattva told me (no image was seen but just something that came into my mind as a message) that in every second/every moment, there's someone in the world that dies. And that I need to recite the Mani mantra to liberate and help them gain good rebirth because everytime someone recites the mantra, it helps someone due to its inconceivable power. The mantra is able to connect to every sentient being in samsara. So, this Bhikshuni said someone told her that in every second there is a child that dies. She was saying that in the context of the first awakening and the nature of our suffering world. When I heard what she said, I remembered my dream and knew instantly that that indeed was a message from Kuan Yin Bodhisattva to me. Another Bhikshuni from the same branch, Ven. Heng Lyu had adviced me to recite the Mani mantra many many thousand times per day after she had listened to my story of how the Khumbanda ghost had disappeared after I recited the Om Mani Padme Hum. She said 108 times per day is not enough. She again said the mantra is inconceivable and powerful. It is able to liberate and protect sentient beings. So, I should recite it more often, she concluded. After I asked her her name and she told me "Heng Lyu", I told her my dharma name, she was surprised. Those who had taken refuge with Master are given the name "Gwo... something". Then she said since I am Shr Fu's disciple, I should pray and ask him for guidance.

Hence, now I am reciting the Mani mantra more often. After all, the more we recite a mantra, the more efficacious it will be. The thing about mantras, is that the more we recite it, the more we are actually empowering it. When we are in trouble or we need to help someone, then when we invoke the mantra's power, it will work. On the other hand, if you only recite the mantra only once in a while, you will be unable to invoke its efficacious power. It will still create a positive imprint on whoever is reciting it, but the special secret power that comes with mantras will not be effective. Hence it is good to consistently and constantly uphold a particular mantra all the time. That's how we make it work, according to the advice of Venerable Master Hsuan Hua.

But I'll like to add that sometimes it could work the first time if you have a very strong affinity with the deity of that mantra. Or, your karma with the deity or Master who taught you the mantra is such that it is time to witness the power of the mantra. And it may just work too if your heart is very sincere and pure at that time. For example, I did mention before that on my first learning of the Great Compassionate Mantra as taught by Ven. Master Hua, upon reciting the very first verse, Kuan Yin Pu Sa appeared in-between my winks.

Whatever it is, at the very basic, the method of how to make a mantra effective is to recite it frequently for a long period of time.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Eight Great Awakenings Sutra

(Taisho Tripitaka 0779)
Translated by Shramana Ngorn Sai Goe of the Latter Horn Dynasty
Translated from Chinese into English by Buddhist Text Translation Society

Buddhist Disciples! At all times, day and night, sincerely recite and bear in mind these eight truths that cause great people to awaken.

The First Awakening: The world is impermanent. Countries are perilous and fragile. The body is a source of pain, ultimately empty. The five skandhas are not the true self. Life and Death is nothing but a series of transformations/hallucinatory, unreal, uncontrollable. The intellect is a wellspring of turpitude, the body a breeding ground of offenses. Investigate and contemplate these truths. Gradually break free of death and rebirth.

The Second Awakening: Too much desire brings pain. Death and rebirth are wearisome ordeals, originating from our thoughts of greed and lust. By lessening desires we can realize absolute truth and enjoy peace, freedom, and health in body and mind.

The Third Awakening: Our minds are never satisfied or content with just enough. The more we obtain, the more we want. Thus we create offenses and perform evil deeds. Bodhisattvas don't wish to make these mistakes. Instead, they choose to be content. They nurture the Way, living a quiet life in humble surroundings??their sole occupation, cultivating wisdom.

The Fourth Awakening: Idleness and self-indulgence are the downfall of people. With unflagging vigor, great people break through their afflictions and baseness. They vanquish and defeat the four kinds of demons, and escape from the prison of the five skandhas.

The Fifth Awakening: Stupidity and ignorance are the cause of death and rebirth. Bodhisattvas apply themselves and deeply appreciate study and erudition, constantly striving to expand their wisdom and refine their eloquence. Nothing brings them greater joy than teaching and transforming living beings.

The Sixth Awakening: Suffering in poverty breeds deep resentment. Wealth unfairly distributed creates ill-will and conflict among people. Thus, Bodhisattvas practice giving. They treat friend and foe alike. They do not harbor grudges or despise amoral people.

The Seventh Awakening: The five desires are a source of offenses and grief. Truly great people, laity included, are not blighted by worldly pleasures. Instead, they aspire to don the three-piece precept robe and the blessing bowl of monastic life. Their ultimate ambition is to leave the home life and to cultivate the Path with impeccable purity. Their virtuous qualities are lofty and sublime; their attitude towards all creatures, kind and compassionate.

The Eighth Awakening: Like a blazing inferno, birth and death are plagued with suffering and affliction. Therefore, great people resolve to cultivate the Great Vehicle, to rescue all beings, to endure hardship on behalf of others, and to lead everyone to ultimate happiness.These are the Eight Truths that all Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and great people awaken to. Once awakened, they even more energetically continue to cultivate the Path. Steeping themselves in kindness and compassion, they grow in wisdom. They sail the Dharma ship across to Nirvana's shore, and then return on the sea of birth and death to rescue living beings.

They use these Eight Truths to show the proper course for living beings, causing them to recognize the anguish of birth and death. They inspire all to forsake the five desires, and to cultivate their minds in the manner of Sages.

If Buddhist disciples recite this Sutra on the Eight Awakenings, and constantly ponder its meaning, they will certainly eradicate boundless offenses, advance towards Bodhi, and will quickly realize Proper Enlightenment. They will always be free of birth and death, and will abide in eternal bliss.

http://www.e-sangha.com/alphone/0779.html

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Dharma Songs

Click and listen to this wonderful song about the journey Ven. Heng Sure and Ven. Heng Ch'au took in the 1970s. I really like it. The lyrics are there too.

http://www.dharmasite.net/3Steps1Bow/3Steps1Bow_song.htm

And one more song about the "City of Ten Thousand Buddhas", composed by Ven. Heng Sure himself.

http://www.dharmasite.net/It%27sCalledtheCityofTenThousandBuddhas.htm

Cheers!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Lacking Bodhicitta

As usual, people go on in their lives as if nothing happen. And not a single soul bother to wish me in a comment "Are you better? get well soon, ok....will pray for you". Have we become heartless? Or, conceited with our dharma practice?

You think I am a thangka for you just to look and see without any emotions? It's not that I crave for such things, but it makes me wonder what happened to all that dharma practice that people are supposedly interested in? Sometimes the person with the least dharma practice can be the most kind. And I know one such person, because she came to see me bringing me food and other things. To me, she is the one who taught me the most dharma. She teaches me BODHICITTA by her selflessness. And the person with the most dharma practice, can be the most uncaring. But this person justifies him/herself by thinking that it is "equanimity". Yeah, right! They don't even know the difference.

You may think I am whining...and maybe I am, but on your side, if you don't learn your lessons, even if the Buddha appear right before you, you wouldnot be able to recognise him. Even if Atisha were to appear before you to teach the dharma, you still won't gain any realisations. And that's a pity! I have said it many times before, that if we hope to be like Kuan Yin (Avalokiteshvara) with many hands, and eyes and ears, we must start to be more responsive to sentient beings' call for help. You must be able to hear their cries, even though they donot open their mouth to you and say "Please help me". If you can hear these "inner cries", then you have gained one of the telling signs of having realised bodhicitta and you have some hope of success in your spiritual endeavour. Otherwise, you are still hopelesly enmeshed in samsara!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mantra to my rescue

This month, I think my "spiritual aura" was perhaps among the lowest ever. Firstly I had a series of illnesses that culminated in getting all the symptoms of the A (H1N1) flu. Second, it must be low enough for a kumbhanda ghost to attack me. I must have looked an easy target for it since I was also very sick. That happened after I slept on Thursday night (6 Aug) and it must have came on early Friday morning (7 Aug).

I felt like my state of mind was like what Venerable Ananda experienced in The Shurangama Sutra. Ven. Master Hsuan Hua said in his commentary to one of the verses about Ven. Ananda:

Quote:
"His mind was not totally alert, but he wasn't totally muddled either. He was in a daze, as if he was asleep, and yet he was awake...Or, he was like a person who is about to drift off to sleep; he isn't quite asleep, and yet he has a dream, or what seems to be a dream. He had no power to free himself. It's like encountering a demonic ghost while you are asleep at night, such as a kumbhanda ghost, which uses a demonic spell to paralyze you. When that happens, you may wake up and stare, but you cannot move."

Ven. Ananda was freed only by the timely intervention by Manjusri Bodhisattva. He depended on the Buddha to have Manjusri Bodhisattva go rescue him. I was in a daze too, but yet I knew I was having some trouble with my body. Don't forget I was having fever too then. I particularly felt weak. I tried to struggle a little but could not do much. In that condition, I thought I was done for. But the Most Kind Buddha was always mindful of sentient beings. He reminded me of one mantra because it suddenly came out of my mouth at that moment. I recited it a few times, after which only "it" let go of me and disappeared. I was lying on my left side of the body, so after being freed, it was like a spring that bounced back after being held down. My body suddenly and almost forcefully turned to the right and I lied down on my back flat. And felt momentarily shocked, scared, and yet relieved. Then it dawned on me that I had been attacked by dark forces recently. I also reasoned that the widespread A (H1N1) flu must have been the work of these dark forces even though physically we can attribute it to new strain of virus.

I have mentioned before of the effects of other mantras that I had experienced but this was the first time I had personal experience of the awesome powers of this particular mantra. Which mantra was it? Ven. Ananda, who is the Buddha's cousin and personal attendant, was saved by the Shurangama mantra. I, who is nobody, was saved by "OM MANI PADME HUM". Clearly, this speaks for itself how powerful a simple mantra like the Mani mantra can be. Sometimes we take it for granted. Dear Avalokiteshvara, thank you so much for this wonderful mantra! Om Mani Pade Hum.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Need help from Buddhas

I have not been able to post lately, because I have been sick with the flu. The symptoms are almost like the A(H1N1) flu. But there is no way for me to confirm this because the government hospitals won't do the test unlike you are warded or seriously ill. I read that as only if you are critical (read as "half-dead"), then only they will do the throat swab for you. This is ridiculous because by then, it will be too late. No wonder the death rate is increasing.

I called up a few hospitals and most of them said they donot do the throat swab test to confirm A (H1N1) even though I read in the papers that certain private hospitals are allowed to do so by the ministry of health. I was happy when I called Gleaneagles Medical Center and the lab nurse confirm that they do perform the throat swab test. However I felt I got cheated when I went there and I was told the test is only for influenza A; not specifically A (H1N1). But they said the percentage is high that if you are tested positive for influenza A, then it is likely you have A (H1N1) also. But it doesnot mean that if the test result is negative for influenza A, then you do not have A (H1N1). It's a different strain of virus. Since I was already there, I had no choice but to agree to do the test at GMC. I could have gone to other cheaper hospitals though. I am disappointed that while other local hospitals were honest in saying they donot perform the A (H1N1) throat swab test, GMC had decided to inform me by phone that they do perform the test, only to find out that it is only the influenza A they are testing. I would still need to go to the government hospital to check for A (H1N1).

And the bill is not cheap. Worst thing is they gave me 4 x10 pcs of Panadol. I was shocked. Why would the doctor prescribed to me so many panadols. If my fever would not subside within 1 strip (10 pcs), does the doctor think that taking another 30 pcs will help? It's ridiculous. Anyway I showed the medicines that I already have been given by the provae GP clinic that I visited the last few days. It was because I have serious diarrhea settling in that I decided to see the doctor at the hospital. The doctor confirmed I have other infections settling in and gave me Clarithromycin antibiotics and Fluimucil to allow the phlegm to come out. I have no complain of these medicines except I am not sure why he didnot give me any medicines for the diarrhea. Also I am not sure if the diarrhea is due to the side effects of the antibiotics or is the Fluimucil making my watery diarrhea worst.

I wanted to return the panadol to GMC but the counter staff gave the excuse that since I ahve paid for it, it is troublesome to reverse. And the staff nurse at the Casualty ward said that I can keep them for future use, and their panadols are imported panadols. It is ridiculous for hospitals to suggest they are prescribing something for patients to keep for future use. Anyway it is cheaper to just buy panadol from the local pharmacies. And I donot think the local panadol is any less efeective than the imported ones.

The fever lasted from Wednesday night till Saturday early morning but in between it went up and down a few times. Sometimes ti subsided, sometimes it is high. And I had to wake up at 2.30am Saturday to take panadol. It was several uncomfortable nights. It somewhat subsided from Saturday onwards. But I still had the diarrhea. And my wife asked me to take Pil Chi Kit Tek Aun, which actually helped.

Anyway I pray that I am able to get well soon. And if you could pray for me as well, that will be good. You do know from the previous blogposts that I have been having various sicknesses for the past 4 weeks. I think i was also attacked by a Khumbanda ghost 2 days back. I'll tell more about this later.On Sunday morning, I had also dreamt of a bad omen about my father. For some unknown reason, this 4 weeks have been full of health obstacles. And I can't seem to purify this latest one. Looks like I am being purified by it. I certainly need some help from the BUDDHAS!!!

Update Monday 10/8/09

As of today, I definitely felt a lot better. Throughout this ordeal, I put my trust on my gurus. Just before I contracted the flu I saw this verse by Ven. Master Hua. He said:

"...Human nature does not differ
among you, me or them.
Both Sages and ordinary folks
must undergo tests and training.
Since the Way is the same for
all who practice, once we
understand specifics and principles
how could we doubt each other?"

This is an extract of his words in verses. It is found in http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mayetwhcDSc&feature=related
But I also believe the path of beginner bodhisattvas is not necessarily smooth. This is due to all the trainings and tests he/she need to undergo and not every test is going to be pleasant experience. They should also regard it as purification of "future bad karma" that could be worse. If you have not experienced the full suffering of samsara, how can you understand the feelings of sentient beings that you intent to save when you "graduate" next time to be a full-fledged Arya Bodhisattva. How then would you have the urgency to extricate sentient beings from their sorrows? For example, most people hapily go about their lives and people still organise guge gatherings where the public gathers in large crowd, ignoring the advice from the health ministry to avoid large events and public gatherings where the transmission of A (H1N1) is most transmissible. We still have "PC Fairs", "Rat Race" and others. You don't seriously think about it until you or someone in your family gets it. Then only you'll open up your eyes. But I know some people could also say all the suffering is due to our own bad karma and that I must have done something wrong to be suffering all these.

Well... whatever it is, it is for me and you to think about it, right? I wish you good health and happiness in life always and reach enlightenment quickly! In the meantime, I still have some painful ulcers in my throat! Take care!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Water Samadhi Repentance

2 days after my 2nd Dorje Khadro, a yellowish substance oozes out from my eye and I did further repentances such as Water Samadhi Repentance at a local chinese temple, make a lamp litghting offering there with my name written on it, and reciting the The Dharani called ' Possessing the Limbs of All the Buddhas' which was recently adviced by Kyabje Lama Zopa for preventing untimely death and avoiding the A (H1N1) flu and other illnesses. After all these repentances, and going for the scan, the result of the scan turned out to be "all clear". Thank goodness. I heaved a sigh of relief and bowed immediately to the Buddha (and the nurse as well). To show my gratitude to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, I did my 3rd Dorje Khadro that night and right after that, went to the 2nd night of Water Samadhi Repentance (even though it was already late and going to end soon when I reached there).

But it's ok. No trouble is too troubling had I not had a clean report from the doctor. I wrote more of this in my "dream book" notepad. My mother said I should not be listening to the doctor. I disagreed. I said if he had cheated me, that's his problem. He will bear with his karma sooner or later. There is no escape. However, if his advice is true and I donot listen, and something happen to me, it is my fault. And I am not going to save my money just because of a probability of it being untrue. I am not going to live in regret of not going to the scan when I had the chance. I told my mother she must be clear about matters.

Tonight I would not be able to go to the final volume of the Water Samadhi Repentance as I have an invited dinner to attend and I have to fetch others to go there too. But I will be mindful of the Buddhas, Bodhisattavs and Sagely Ones whom I deeply respect and pay my homage! As a closing to this post, I will append below the story behind the Water Samadhi Repentance ritual. I had been doing this repentance for a long time, even before my formal practice in Tibetan Buddhism. There is no reason for me to give up my Chinese Mahayana practices even though I am in Vajrayana now.
_____________________________________________________
Origin of the Holy Water Repentance Ritual
(Compassionate Samadhi Water Repentance Ritual)

The Holy Water Repentance Ritual is attributed to a famous monk -- Wu Da (literally, Realization without Obstruction) during China's Tang Dynasty. Wu Da became a monk at the age of 7 and by age of 14, he was already preaching Buddha Dharma to the emperor.

One time when Monk Wu Da was young and visiting various temples, he encountered an ill monk residing next to him at a temple. This monk he met had ulcers all over his body and reeked rancid and odorous smells. All, except Wu Da, stayed away from him. Wu Da sympathized with this monk and often took care of him. Later on, this monk recovered. In return for his kindness, this monk told Wu Da: "I appreciate your kindness. If you ever run into a difficult situation in the future, please come to Jiulong Mountain at the County of Peng in the Province of Sichuan. The location where I reside is marked by two pine trees joined together. My name is Kanaka." The recovered monk then left.

Later in life, due to his many virtuous deeds and highly regarded practice, he was elevated the head monk of the state by the emperor (around 869 A.D.) Wu Da is actually not his original dharma name, but a name given by the emperor. One time, with this incomparable rise of fame and power, he succumb to the feeling of pride while preaching the dharma. Just as sudden as this sense of pride surfaced in his mind, out of no where, a ball of some sort came flying into his left knee. Immediately, a human face appeared on his left thigh, with eyes, brows, mouth and even teeth, all indistinguishable from a real human face. This face was so alive that it even required daily feed of food and water. Monk Wu Da was in excruciating pain everyday but no doctors could find a cure.

One day, Wu Da remembered what Kanaka had said to him many years before. He then left for Sichuan in order to find his old friend for help. When he finally came to the right mountain and hiked up the rough and difficult path, the only thing that was clear was that he had no idea where to go to find his friend's residence. Then all of a sudden, he saw two pine trees at a distance, joined together as described by his friend. Upon arrival, he found a grandiose building, with his friend greeting at the gate. After describing his troubles, he was assured by Kanaka that it would be a simple matter and that his wound would be cleansed by the water under the rock the next day.

Next morning, Wu Da was led by a child servant to the site of the spring. Just as he was about to cleanse his ulcers with the samadhi water, the face shouted out angrily: "Do not wash it! Do not wash it! Did you read the history from the West Han Dynasty about the story between Ang Yuan and Tsuo Chao?" "Yes", Wu Da answered. "Then you should know that Ang Yuan wrongfully murdered Tsuo Chao. You were Ang Yuan and I was Tsuo Chao at the time. You falsely accused me of wrong doing in front of the emperor and caused me to be bisected at waist as a painful punishment. I have been trying to avenge myself ever since. However, you have been a disciplined monk during your past 10 lives and had many shields from the protectors of Buddha Dharma. I was finally able to approach you when your pride surfaced because of the special treatment you were getting from the emperor. Now, thanks to Kanaka, this water will resolve our long-standing bad karma and I will no longer seek retaliation in the future".

Wu Da, this famous head monk of the state, was scared to death and washed off the ulcers immediately. He then fainted due to the excruciating pain that was penetrating to the bones. When he woke up, the human face on his thigh had disappeared. He returned to the pine trees to thank Kanaka. But he could not find even a trace of the house.

As an appreciation for Venerable Kanaka's compassion that made him realize the karma from past lives, he built a hut at that location. The repentance ritual he performed daily at dawn and dusk is the Compassionate Samadhi Water Repentance we have today.


Source:http://baustoe.org/en/waterRepentance.shtml