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His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III Imparts Dharma

Updated: May 28, 2022

Am I Controlling You? What Am I Doing All This For?

Translated by the True Dharma Translation Group

Translators’ Notes

All of us in the True Dharma Translation Group express our profound gratitude to His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III for giving us the opportunity to translate this Dharma Discourse from Chinese into English. However, His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III has neither read nor acknowledged the correctness of the current translation.

This translation is based on a transcription of the audio recording of this Dharma Discourse. Since the Buddhist disciples, who transcribed the audio recording into Chinese text are from different countries and regions, might not have been familiar with colloquial words or dialects used in the Dharma Discourse, there might be errors in the transcript. The footnotes were not in the original Chinese transcript and were added by us as supplementary information to the translation.

Due to the limited abilities of the translation group, despite our having made the best effort, there are bound to be errors in this English translation. We beseech His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III and all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to absolve us of the sins of making any mistakes in this translation.

Therefore, this English translation is only intended to be used as a reference while you are respectfully listening to the audio recording of the Dharma Discourse. If anyone has any suggestions for the current translation to be improved, you are very welcome to let us know.

Only the audio recordings of the Dharma imparted by His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III and the Buddhist books authored by His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III that are published by authorized publishing houses can be considered official.

True Dharma Translation Group

May 22, 2022

Sit down, everyone. I was just going to receive you today, and unexpectedly, I am now giving you a Dharma impartation. This karmic condition arose due to a Dharma teacher named Shi Huicong 釋慧聰 who is sitting on the side here. Is that you?

(The disciple Shi Huicong puts his palms together and respectfully replies: Yes.)

Speak louder!

(The disciple Shi Huicong puts his palms together and respectfully replies: Yes, I am Shi Huicong.)

He said he couldn’t find the Dharma lineage of Dorje Chang Buddha III, so he went to China and there he found the Dharma lineage. All Buddhists, disciples, listen carefully: There is no Dharma lineage of Dorje Chang Buddha III in this world! There is also no Dharma lineage of any Dharma masters! The only Dharma lineage in this world is called Buddhism. Again, what Dharma lineage is this? It is called Buddhism: The Buddhism of

Shakyamuni Buddha, and the Buddhism of all Buddhas in the ten directions. Keep this in mind forever! There is only one Dharma lineage. From now on, don’t speak amateurishly.

(Members of the congregation put their palms together and respectfully reply: Yes.)

To say that you have follow the lineage of Dorje Chang Buddha III is absolutely nonsense, and it is a non-Buddhist way of thinking. Dorje Chang Buddha III does not come from any lineage, only Buddhism! Remember this forever. As to those so-called lineages, groups, patriarchs, sects, or schools, they are all factions. They are factions established over time by patriarchs after Shakyamuni Buddha entered parinirvāṇa. They are called factions. Keep this in mind forever. Regardless of how accomplished those patriarchs were, what they established are still factions because within Buddhism, there is only the teaching of the Buddha, and there is only one lineage.

When this Dharma master raised this question earlier, he was in fact representing many people who have the same question. What exists in many people’s mind-consciousness and idea is that “this is our lineage.” This is very naive and a seriously erroneous understanding and view. This is even an evil view and it is wrong.

Think about it from a different perspective: Would you say that the teachings given by all the monastics and rinpoches in this world are the teachings of Buddhism? You could not possibly think this way. You have to query it. You have to question those teachings. Are what they teach the teachings of Buddhism? It requires verification. Buddhism means the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha. However, monastics and rinpoches in many sects or schools are propagating Dharma. Their teachings have been passed down from one generation to another. Currently, a great many of those wearing Buddhist attire have already succumbed to evil views. Therefore, they haven’t been Buddhists since a long time ago. Even though they are monks, they are not Buddhists. Even though they are rinpoches, they are not Buddhists. Even if they are geshes or larampa geshes, they are not Buddhists either. I am saying this matter-of-factly.

Why? What they teach are not Buddhist teachings at all. In the audio recorded Dharma, True Dharma Discerns Evil Monastics 正法鑒邪僧, that I imparted more than two decades ago, it was proven that those so-called eminent monks didn’t really know the teachings of Buddhism. This phenomenon is especially prevalent in the recent era. A great number of so-called eminent monks in the recent era are giving people absolutely non-Buddhist teachings that are intermixed with the teachings from the Sutras of Shakyamuni Buddha. As a result, they have confused Buddhist practitioners who mistake those teachings as authentic Buddhist teachings. That’s why I am telling you now: There is no such lineage that Dorje Chang Buddha III learned from. I have no such lineage. All I have is Buddhism—the authentic and unaltered teachings of the Buddhas in the ten directions, and that is what I impart directly.

I am being recognized as Dorje Chang Buddha III. I am neither feigning to be nor naming myself Buddha. I do indeed know very well the Sūtrapiṭaka, the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha as well as what was documented into the Sūtrapiṭaka by patriarchs after the Buddha entered parinirvāṇa. I clearly know that there are errors in the Sutras. The mistakes are there not because Shakyamuni Buddha misspoke. Instead, the errors were made when 500 Bhikṣus convened for four times at the Saptparni Cave, also known as the Seven-Leaf Cave, to compile the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha into the

Sutras. How could they not make mistakes doing that just from memory? Suppose I impart the Dharma today, and more than 10 years later, you transcribe what I said into text from memory, won’t you make mistakes?

(Members of the congregation put their palms together and respectfully reply: Yes.)

If 500 of you discuss among yourselves, wouldn’t it be completely chaotic?

(Members of the congregation put their palms together and respectfully reply: Yes.)

Therefore, there are many errors in the Sutras, but not because the Buddha misspoke. I have told you before, Shakyamuni Buddha predicted that certain people would become an Arhat, a Bodhisattva, a person of great wealth and noble status, a powerful statesperson, or even an emperor by a certain time in the future based on their particular merit. The Buddha often made such predictions.

However, people don’t understand this clearly. Even Buddhists don’t understand this clearly. The predictions made by the Buddha were correct. But all Buddhist disciples have misunderstood what the predictions meant. The Buddha said that if those Buddhists continued their current cultivation or followed their current path, then by the predicted time, they would become a Bodhisattva of a certain stage or an Arhat of a certain fruition level. The Buddha made many such predictions. What the Buddha said in the predictions was not wrong. Why wasn’t it wrong? Because the Buddha had already said that the predictions were contingent on those people continuing to “practice the same way,” “cultivate themselves the same way,” and “do what they were doing.” But how could Buddhists continue to do what they were doing at that moment? By the time they woke up the next day, they had already changed their ways. Once they changed, they would not accomplish what they were predicted to achieve. Do you understand?

(Members of the congregation put their palms together and respectfully reply: Yes.)

However, patriarchs of later generations completely misinterpreted the meaning. They all said that the Buddha had already predicted what would happen: Certain people would become great Bodhisattvas after a certain number of lifetimes. Many accounts like this were documented in the Sutras. But those accounts are in violation with the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha. Why? Do you know why? It is called fatalism. Fatalism is a view that belongs to non-Buddhist sects and evil cults. Shakyamuni Buddha didn’t expound views of evil cults. But such views do exist in the Sutras. What do you make of that? When the content of the Sutras was compiled by the monks and translated into Chinese or other languages by translators of later generations, mistakes were made. I can totally prove this point based on facts. Some Dharma that I imparted was given to some disciples to translate into English. Up till now each of those disciples has a different interpretation of what I said. Ten disciples would come up with ten contradictory translations. They couldn’t translate the meaning accurately. To adopt any one of their versions would be problematic. Isn’t that true?

(Members of the congregation put their palms together and respectfully reply: Yes.)

Speak louder.

(Members of the congregation put their palms together and respectfully reply: Yes.)

Why is fatalism a non-Buddhist view? It is because you must rely on cultivating yourself to attain accomplishment and liberation. If you were to follow the Sutras and adopt the views of the 500 Bhikṣus or other translators as the standards you follow, then don’t cultivate yourself and don’t learn from Buddha. Why not? If you believed that according to the predictions of the Buddha, everyone will become a high-ranking official, or possess great wealth by a certain time and everything has been predetermined by fate, why bother learning. Isn’t that so?

(Members of the congregation put their palms together and respectfully reply: Yes.)

Therefore, fatalism absolutely is not true. However, there are many accounts relating to fatalism and predictions in the Sutras. Such predictions and such Sutras absolutely cannot be followed because, if you believe in fatalism, you won’t cultivate yourself. For example, if it has been predicted that a certain ordinary person will attain a fourth level fruition to become golden body Arhat when a particular Buddha comes and attains Buddhahood in this world, then why would this person cultivate themselves? No matter how they cultivate themselves, or how much effort they make, they still have to wait until that Buddha comes and attains Buddhahood in this world before they can attain the fourth-level fruition to become an Arhat. Why wouldn’t they rather enjoy themselves now, go gambling in Las Vegas, or spend all their time having fun at all kinds of places?

(Members of the congregation put their palms together and respectfully reply: Yes.)

Cultivation is so tiring! Yet, Shakyamuni Buddha spoke a great deal about cultivation and the application of the Six Paramitas in myriad practices. The Buddha told living beings to cultivate themselves under all circumstances. When you cultivate yourself, you plant the cause and reap the effect. You have to plant the cause in order to reap the effect. If you don’t cultivate yourself, you won’t plant the cause and therefore you won’t reap the effect. That’s why in Buddhism, there is a very important term called “cultivate oneself by learning from Buddha 修行學佛.”

Cultivation is to correct your conduct. What kind of conduct are you supposed to accomplish in your cultivation? You cultivate yourself to have the same conduct of the Buddha. That’s why it is called learning from Buddha; you emulate the conduct of Buddha. You cultivate yourself by learning from Buddha. Your accomplishment and liberation are dependent upon your cultivating yourself by learning from Buddha, rather than indulging in fun and pleasure, becoming degenerate, and waiting for the day predetermined by fate for you to become a certain somebody. There is no such thing!

At this point, I want you to reflect upon this: Is cultivating yourself by learning from Buddha the truth, or are predictions based on fatalism the truth?

(Members of the congregation put their palms together and respectfully reply: Cultivating myself by learning from Buddha is the truth.)

Right. If predictions or fatalism is the truth, then there is no use cultivating yourself by learning from Buddha. Is that right?

(Members of the congregation put their palms together and respectfully reply: Yes.)

Of course, what I am saying is that this is the problem with the Sutras. Shakyamuni Buddha is tremendously magnificent. The Buddha never speaks amateurishly. The Dharma that Shakyamuni Buddha imparted is excellent because the Buddha is supreme. Buddha is supreme and omnipotent. However, as to how the teachings of the Buddha were compiled or translated by the disciples, that was something nobody could have controlled. Whether living beings deserve to enjoy such Buddha Dharma is dependent on the causality of whether they have planted the causes to reap such good retributions from their karmic conditions, karmic forces, and habituations. That’s why, sometimes, neither the 500 Bhikṣus nor the patriarchs of later generations can be blamed for the mistakes that they made. Rather, living beings are essentially not qualified to learn such Dharma, and therefore, all they can get are erroneous teachings. Just like in this Dharma Degeneration Era, whenever most renowned Dharma masters or famous rinpoches give a discourse, what comes out of their mouths are mostly evil teachings. They even openly slander the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha, but they are not aware of it. They have no idea what they are talking about and they even think what they teach is pretty good.

You might ask if I also just slandered the Buddha. Did I just slander the Buddha?

(Members of the congregation put their palms together and respectfully reply: No.)

I am upholding the image and the true teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha. The image of Shakyamuni Buddha is bright. The only Buddhism is the teachings of Shakyamuni Buddha which are also the teachings of all Buddhas in the ten directions. They are exactly the same. There are no two truths, there is only one truth. Therefore, going forward, you must be aware that there is no such thing as “our lineage.” The only lineage is the lineage of Buddhism.

(Members of the congregation put their palms together and respectfully reply: Yes.)

The only true Dharma is the teachings of the Buddha.

(Members of the congregation put their palms together and respectfully reply: Yes.)

Any other teachings are not the true Buddha Dharma. Some people say: “You must not use the term ‘true Tathagata Dharma’ because people in China are unhappy whenever ‘true Tathagata Dharma’ is mentioned.” Once again, this is wrong. Those who lack knowledge don’t understand what is meant by Tathagata. Tathagata is Buddha. Buddha is Tathagata. True Tathagata Dharma is the true Buddha Dharma, the true Dharma of Shakyamuni Buddha. What’s wrong with saying true Tathagata Dharma? You do chant Fundamental Master Shakyamuni Tathagata, don’t you?

(Members of the congregation put their palms together and respectfully reply: Yes.)

Now, I will also talk about one kind of evil view which is the evil view of ignorance. People with this evil view of ignorance are very pitiable. What am I referring to? Many people have this evil view of ignorance and all of those who hold this view are evil monastics, evil cultists, or evil persons. What do they say? They say: “Dorje Chang Buddha III does a great amount of Buddhist work. Why does He do so much Buddhist work? The only purpose is to control those of us who are learning from Buddha.”

Buddhist disciples, it’s time you wake up your mind. You can say that any Dharma masters, rinpoches, or any masters propagating Buddhism want to control you for the sake of their own interest. You might say that even though it may not be entirely true. If you say that Dorje Chang Buddha III controls you, that is correct. I do control you. Listen clearly. Because when every person, every Buddha or Bodhisattva wants to do something, there must be a purpose. When I do something, I also have my purpose. What is my purpose? I tell you very clearly: My purpose is to control and restrain the evil side of you, so that you can turn your evil views into good karma. Your evil views are your habituations, and conduct of your body, speech and mind that is harmful to people and living beings. The purpose is for you to stay far away from negative karma, and welcome good karma into your life so that you will have perfect good fortune and wisdom, and attain accomplishment and liberation. This is my purpose.

What do I gain from that? What I gain is completely different from what all the other masters or Dharma masters gain. At the very least, they seek merit, offerings from disciples, or personal benefits from propagating Dharma, setting up mandalas, building monasteries, temples, or Dharma centers. What I seek is just the opposite. What I want to do for all Buddhists is to enable you to correct your viewpoints about your own bad habits. For this purpose, what I get in return is staying here until two, three, or four o’clock in the morning. I receive people at the other Mandala during the day and come here in the evening. I am utterly exhausted. There is no falsehood in what I say. You hear me, monastics. Sometimes, I say some times, the monastics don’t even prepare any food for me. Sometimes, I work tirelessly until after 3am and I am exhausted, I just drink some water at that time of the night and that’s all. That is a fact.

My purpose is to enable you to stop developing your bad habits and turn those into good karma, for you to become a good person, attain accomplishment and liberation and eventually become a holy person. What I get in return is exhaustion, and suffering. I don’t even accept an offering of one penny. I don’t want any benefit. This is what I gain from having such a purpose. Disciples, there is only one such person in the world and that is me. There is no other.

(Members of the congregation put their palms together and respectfully reply: Yes.)

This is a fact. Could anyone be that stupid? You might think: “How stupid and without wisdom Dorje Chang Buddha III is, getting Himself so exhausted yet still wanting to give of His utmost.” I am not doing it for my own sake. I am giving it for all the Buddhists. I am giving you all the benefits and picking up all the torment for myself. Disciples, have you thought about this? Could Dorje Chang Buddha III be that stupid? No! I am very clear about this. I don’t have to care about you at all. I don’t have to receive any people at all. I could be free and relaxed, travel around the world, totally enjoy myself and become indulgent. I could be very happy. Why do I come here straining my voice speaking to you? Why?

Some evil persons say, “You see, this is how Dorje Chang Buddha III is controlling us. He does so much Buddhist work in order to control us. That day, He gave us holy amrita pills 甘露丸. Aren’t those holy amrita pills used for controlling us?”

Speaking from a different perspective, what do I control you for? Controlling you only brings misfortune and suffering to me. To put it bluntly, if not for having the mindset of Dorje Chang Buddha III, I wouldn’t bother wasting my effort! Why do I want to control you and bring myself misfortune? Am I right?

(Members of the congregation put their palms together and respectfully reply: Yes.)

The crucial thing is I have not taken anything from you. You must understand this.

(Members of the congregation put their palms together and respectfully reply: Yes.)

However, there are plenty of devout disciples here. Even though there are not so many people here today, quite a few have been extremely sincere in wanting to make offerings to me. I will tell you that today, disciples. In the past, when I was in Chengdu, Zhengda 證達 also did her utmost to make offerings to me. I didn’t accept. Is that true?

(The disciple Dharma Master Zhengda puts her palms together and respectfully replies: Yes.)

Huishan 慧善 thought of every way to make offerings to me. She even got me a bank card. Did I take it? Tell everyone.

(The disciple Dharma Master Huishan puts her palms together and respectfully replies: No.)

That’s right. I am only talking about those who are here.

This disciple here, Sheng Miaoshan 盛苗珊, is also very devout. He wanted to offer all his money and wealth to me. I openly tell you that his wealth is over RMB100 million. I absolutely rejected his offering. Is what I say the truth?

(The disciple Sheng Miaoshan puts his palms together and respectfully replies: Yes)

Did you hear that? I didn’t accept a penny. The other day, after realizing that he couldn’t find a way to make offerings to me, he spent tens of thousands of dollars to buy a diamond ring. I told him I would not accept it and there was nothing he could say to convince me otherwise. So, he asked other disciples to persuade me on his behalf. I told them that was futile. As your master, I am here to serve you. I don’t control you. What I do is edify you. Although I am edifying you, I am also bringing exhaustion and torment to myself. Is there such a master in this world? Is there?

(Members of the congregation put their palms together and respectfully reply: No.)

I didn’t force you to say this. What I said above is the fact.

Of course, you would say: “But some Dharma masters want to build temples and do Buddhist work. Is it wrong for them to do such things?” I must say, as long as those Dharma masters act in accordance with true Buddha Dharma, building their temples and doing Buddhist work are correct. Acting in accordance with the true Dharma of the Buddha and doing Buddhist work are what a Buddhist disciple should do. However, do not apply the same consideration you have for Dharma teachers and rinpoches to me, I don’t need your offerings. All you have to do is to save living beings, benefit living beings, help living beings, and bring people to listen to the audio recorded Dharma Discourses. By doing so, you will be establishing merit. Shakyamuni Buddha has stipulated that when you make offerings to the Three Jewels, you are plowing the field of good fortune. That is certain. You are definitely plowing the field of good fortune when you make offerings to the monastics. Otherwise, you won’t be able to plant good causes; you won’t be able to plant the seed of enlightenment. Therefore, building temples and doing Buddhist work with sincerity are the correct things to do.

However, you must clearly know that there are many evil masters nowadays. The whole world is full of evil masters. Among 10,000 masters, more than 9,990 are evil masters. That’s why you could easily fall prey to them. You cannot make offerings to evil masters. You will be ruined if you do. If you make offerings to them, then you will be helping evil people do bad deeds, rather than helping good people and building merit. That is very important.

You would then say: “Now we know. Our Buddha Master Dorje Chang Buddha III is the most correct. So many Dharma Discourses are given by the Buddha.” I have already said that I made the vow to not accept any offerings. Therefore, don’t consider making offerings to me. All that I am doing is exerting myself to serve you voluntarily. This is what you need to understand.

I also want to tell you, Buddhist disciples, I don’t want this many people to come here either. I truly cannot handle so many people all the time. From now on, if you are not a very devout disciple, don’t come to see me. Just listen to the Dharma Discourses. Once you have understood the Dharma Discourses and learned them well, then you can come. My goal is to enable you to attain accomplishment and liberation. What I would be most happy about and want the most is for you to attain accomplishment, attain liberation, and have happiness. Your accomplishment will be your offering to me and to

Buddhas in the ten directions. Buddhas in the ten directions do not need any offerings and neither do I. But once you have attained accomplishment, you can save living beings, benefit living beings and help others, so that the entire society and the whole world will become auspicious, prosperous and blissful. That’s why Buddhism is most perfect and great. That’s why I hope everyone will listen repeatedly to the audio recorded Dharma Discourses to truly understand Buddha Dharma and ingrain it in you. Human life is impermanent, miserable, and absolutely meaningless, disciples. Time passes by very quickly, in the blink of an eye, you will become very old. Suddenly, you are in your sixties, seventies, or eighties. Then you won’t be able to do anything.

Besides, no matter how wealthy you are, once you die, you will no longer have any wealth. You may say, “It doesn’t matter. My family is prepared to burn spirit money for me.” I tell you, money is of no use when you are in the intermediate state 中陰1 or when you transmigrate to another realm. If you transmigrate to the ghost realm, there are no hotels or restaurants, and money is useless. All you have is loneliness and suffering. You will be dreadfully hungry. You will be a complete mess. It is just like the saying: “There are no hotels in the netherworld, where is home for me tonight?” The moment you stop breathing, you are dead. There are no hotels on the way to the netherworld. Where are you going to stay tonight? Where are you going to eat?

At that time, you will have nothing except agony and fear. Even if you transmigrate to the animal realm, do animals use money? By then you will truly be controlled, you will truly be slaughtered. If you become a sheep, by a certain time, you will be skinned and slaughtered. If you become a pig, by a certain time, you will be killed. If you become a chicken, without me saying, you can imagine what you will experience. All these animals have to suffer from being slaughtered. If you become a bird, you will be so pitiable because after one meal you don’t know where the next meal will be. If you eat living beings such as insects, you continue to commit sins. After eating a mouthful of food, there is no more. You still have to feed your baby birds. All you have is fear and nothing else. You have nothing at all. If you become an ant, you will be so terribly pitiable. When a storm comes, you will be drowned instantly. If you live in a high enough place, perhaps you can survive if the water recedes quickly. All the ants living in the lowlands will certainly die. Have you thought about how pitiable living beings are?

You would say: “I won’t become an animal. I am good because I am a Buddhist disciple.” I just want to say one thing to you. I talked about causality earlier. If you haven’t planted the cause, you won’t reap that effect. How many lives have you killed? Do you know? Have you ever caused living beings to die for your own sake? You must repay every one of those lives because cause and effect are matched. Do you think you could still become a human? By then, you cannot even find Dorje Chang Buddha III because you will be in another realm. I certainly don’t want to come to this world again, because I don’t want people to say that I come to control them. What you called controlling is simply me bringing misfortune to myself. There is only one person in this world who doesn’t control people yet is slandered as controlling people. And the true fact is that I bring to myself misfortune and suffering while I give all benefits to those who claim to be controlled.

Some people say: “Dorje Chang Buddha III, look at those Holy Gurus such as the Shangzun 上尊, the reason They perform Dharmas is to control people.” Why would They want to control you? When the Shangzuns perform Dharmas, you are supposed to make offerings, because a Shangzun is a holy person. A Ruzun 孺尊 is already a holy person, and a Jiaozun 教尊 is a holy person. Mozhi Rinpoche 莫知仁波且 is the most formidable practitioner of the Tummo Dharma 拙火定. Is he also controlling people? How ridiculous! When did he ever control people? When did he ever ask you for offerings? Piteous! Living beings are truly pitiable!

Remember, Dorje Chang Buddha III comes to this world to impart the Dharma to living beings in the six realms and the three spheres, but first of all, to human beings. The purpose is to help you correct your evil mind and conduct so you can become a good person, a person who will benefit society, people, and then become an excellent cultivator, attain liberation and accomplishment, and no longer revolve in transmigration. The only benefit I get is torment and exhaustion. There is nothing else. I don’t even accept an offering of one penny, and I don’t want any benefit. But when I see that you are blissful, and when I see your accomplishment, Buddhas in the ten directions and I will all be filled with Dharma joy watching over you and we all will be happy.

The Dharma that I impart today will conclude here.

(Members of the congregation put their palms together and respectfully say: Thank you, Your Holiness Buddha Master for your beneficence! Namo Your Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III!)

1 “Intermediate state” is “antarābhava” in Sanskrit, “bar-do” in Tibetan, also called the “transitional existence."


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