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The Cause of the Dragon King Practice
Good evening, everyone! Since just a few days ago we celebrated the Chinese New Year, I would like to wish everyone here Kung Hei Fat Choi! [applause] We are all happy to hear the words Fat Choi (making money)!
I am so happy to have the opportunity to greet everyone here tonight, as I so rarely get the chance to do so. I am very excited to see everyone so enthusiastic.
Since the Chinese New Year occurred so recently, I thought it would be appropriate to discuss and teach the Dragon King Practice today. Actually, the teaching of this Dragon King Practice was requested by the Dragon King himself. Through me, He wants everyone to know that such a practice exists because, up till now, it has not been transmitted by anyone. Or, if it has, I have not heard of it.
We know that in Buddhist scriptures there are many references to the Dragon King because, when Buddha Shakyamuni delivered his teachings, Devas, Dragons, and other members of the Eight Supernatural Beings often came to listen and give support.
Our ceremony here today is also supported by the Devas, Dragons, and the rest of the Eight Supernatural Beings. Please do not be alarmed when I tell you that there are fifteen Dragons up in the space before us today. Not sixteen, not fourteen, but exactly fifteen Dragons. Fifteen Dragons are here today to support our ceremony.
Many Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are also here today. We can see Amitabha, Bodhisattva Kuan Yin, the Four Deva Kings, the Dharma Protectors Wei-to and Kuan-ti, and numerous other Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. One of the Buddhas present is the Venerable Dragon King Buddha, he being one of the 35 Buddhas mentioned in the Repentance Article. The Venerable Dragon King Buddha, a very great buddha, has descended to us today with fifteen other Dragon Kings because they found out that I am going to talk about the Dragon King Practice today.
In my next book, the 86th one, called The Flying Illumination of Lights and Shadows, I will write about how the Dragon King has come to entreat me to talk about this practice.
To the north of Seattle in the United States is an island called Kometal Island. This island is in the Pacific Ocean. One day, several students and I were in a park on the island, admiring the ocean view. Master Chang Chih and Master Chang Jen were also there. It was dusk and the ocean was very calm, just like a mirror, without any waves on its surface.
All of a sudden, the water in the middle of the Pacific Ocean started swirling up! This turbulence is kind of like the bubbling of boiling water in the middle of the hot pot when we are having a hot pot dinner. It sounded like this, "Buh, buh, buh." All the students there saw and heard this strange scene and sound. At that time, I was murmuring a mantra. Oh yes, one of the students there at the time is also present with us today, Miss Fang Ching. She is probably sitting among the audience right now.
It was very strange! Only the water in front of us was tumbling all over while the rest of the ocean surface was still very calm, just like a mirror.
So I spoke to the ocean, "That’s all right, that’s quite sufficient. Please calm down!" Soon the turbulence lessened, and the ocean was quiet again.
However, not a minute after I finished the sentence, the ocean started to tumble all over again! I took a look and oh, my goodness, the dragon’s family was there! Earlier it had been the father, and now it was the mother. I told her that she needn’t be so courteous, having one representative from the family was enough! At this, the water turned calm for a little while but in less than a minute, it was bubbling all over again. Wow! This time it was more tumultuous than before — there were more than ten waves rolling all the way to shore. This time the Dragon sons, daughters, and grandchildren had all come! So I folded my palms in gratitude, thanking them for coming such a long way to see me.
Actually the Dragon King wanted me to transmit this Dragon King Practice. He had shown himself in the space above the tumultuous water. The people around me saw only the water tumbling; they could not see the Dragon King. This being the case, I conversed with the Dragon King in my own way.
The Dragon King told me, "It is true that Jambhala, the Yellow Wealth Deity, is the wealthiest deity in the Heaven. Since the True Buddha School has enlisted Jambhala as one of the Eight Principal Deities for cultivation, Jambhala has become truly famous all over the world. Many cultivators now start their meditation practice with the Jambhala Practice, reasoning that it is important for them to be rid of their financial worries first before they can devote full effort to walking the path toward Enlightenment. There is nothing wrong with this. One needs to solve one’s financial problems so that one can concentrate and sit down to do meditation. When one attains the power of concentration, then wisdom will come. Wisdom has to be there first before one attains realization. Since so many True Buddha School disciples are cultivating the Jambhala Practice, even reciting the Jambhala mantra while walking and sleeping, Jambhala is really getting too busy!"
The Dragon King then continued, "How can we let Jambhala overwork himself? In the skies, Jambhala is the greatest Wealth Deity but, in the ocean, the Dragon King is the greatest God of Wealth! Jambhala is just too busy while I do nothing!" Do you know what this Dragon King then said? He told me that he had so much leisure that he spent his time just grabbing seaweeds and sea lions, while swimming and rollicking in the ocean because no one asked him for anything.
Perhaps, you wonder, after hearing all this, whether I am truly on such good terms with the Dragon King? It is true that the Dragon King and I are on very good terms, still, I am not the Dragon King’s son-in-law [laughter]. In Taiwan, there is a folk saying: when someone commits suicide by jumping into the ocean, one becomes the son-in-law of the Dragon King. Well, I am not the Dragon King’s son-in-law, but I am very fond of swimming in the ocean. When I was a boy, my favorite place to swim was the Hsitzu Bay at Kaohsiung Harbor in Taiwan. I would dive to the bottom of the bay to look for things to bring up to the surface. At that time, I didn’t swim to the Dragon King’s Palace and had not yet made the acquaintance of the Dragon King.
The Third Person to go to the Dragon King’s Palace
It was much later, after I started my cultivation practice, when I was actually able to visit the Dragon King’s Palace during my meditation. According to the Buddhist scriptures, two people have visited the Dragon King’s Palace. The first one was the founder of our Buddhist religion, Buddha Shakyamuni, who went there to teach the Dharma. At that time Buddha Shakyamuni did not use an oxygen tank or put on a diving suit. What happened was that the Dragon King invited Buddha Shakyamuni to go to the Dragon King Palace to give teachings, so a staircase was fashioned out of water which led all the way into the Palace. On this staircase, Buddha Shakyamuni and his attendants, together with a few arhats, walked all the way into the Dragon King’s Palace.
The second person who went to the Dragon King’s Palace was Bodhisattva Nagarjuna. Of course Bodhisattva Nagarjuna could visit the Dragon King’s Palace because he belonged to the family of the Dragons. Well, we are also members of the Dragon family because we are the "Descendents of the Dragons"1 [laughter]. Our Master Chang Chih loves to sing this song. Maybe he can sing for us next time when we have a Karaoke (sing-along). With practice, he’s getting better and better with this song, though we enjoyed it more before, when he used to sing out of tune [laughter].
Buddha Shakyamuni went to the Dragon King’s Palace to deliver the teachings, and Bodhisattva Nagarjuna went there to read the sutra. I cannot say that I am the first person who has gone to the Dragon King’s Palace, but my visit there in my meditation would have made me at least the third person to have visited there, after Buddha Shakyamuni and Bodhisattva Nagarjuna [audience applauds].
The volumes of Buddhist sutra in the Dragon King’s Palace are as vast as the ocean. According to my knowledge, it is four times as much as the Buddhist Canon in the human world! Since I have read all the Buddha sutra in the Dragon King’s Palace, the amount of Buddhadharma I know is therefore four times as much as the Dharma currently existing in the human world. If there is someone in this world now who calls himself a Buddha, then I am the Buddha of Buddhas [audience applauds].
The Secrets of Making a Wish with the Dragon King Practice
Now this Dragon King Practice is useful for more than just asking for rain. In the past, many eminent monks, such as the Reverend Monk Hsü Yün (Empty Cloud), knew the methods to ask for rain. Even in Tantra, there are yogas for such purposes. If you all learn this Dragon King Practice, you can all become great Dharma masters because, when you ask for rain, there will surely be rain, for as long as the Dragons come and make a somersault, then it will rain! However, this Dragon King Practice is not merely for asking for rain; it can also bring you fortune since the Dragon King is a wealthy king of the ocean.
Jambhala is the greatest wealth deity in the sky, and Dragon King is the greatest wealth god in the ocean. Very few people know of this secret. Today I am telling everyone, so you all have another way of making more money [audience applauds].
I am sure that after this Dharma teaching, all the Dragon King vases in Hong Kong will be sold out! You see, in order to cultivate this practice, one needs to offer a Dragon King vase to the Dragon King. A wish may be asked, and that wish will be fulfilled.
Now I am going to talk about the secrets of these Dragon King treasure vases and the secret of making the wish. As you know, sometimes when we ask something from the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, our wishes are not always fulfilled. However, a wish made to the Dragon King will definitely be fulfilled. There is a secret method of how to realize a wish. Everyone here tonight will know of this secret, while those not present will not. You have to keep this a secret [laughter]; otherwise, if too many people hear of it, then the Dragon King will be so inundated with requests that he won’t be able to handle them [laughter]. The fewer people who know of this secret, the faster the Dragon King will be able to fulfill the wish.
This vase that I am holding is called the Dragon King treasure vase. When you offer this vase to the Dragon King, according to the method that I will outline, he will receive it. When he accepts your present, he is obliged to give you back something in return. Our gift to him may not cost much, still he will reciprocate with much more. When we make a wish to a deity through Tantric magic, we have to offer the deity a present. When you offer him a present, he will definitely give you back something in return.
How To Prepare The Dragon King Treasure Vase
First we need to make some preparations. We are going to put five different kinds of medicinal herbs in this vase. The first kind is Ho Shou Wu [Tuber of Fleece-flower or Polygonum Multiflorum] which is black in color. Grind this herb into powder and place it at the bottom of the vase. This represents the Ocean Bottom Chakra. This is the first chakra.
The next kind of herb is called Pai Chu [rhizome of Ma--cro--cephala Atractylodes A. Lancea.] This herb’s natural shape is like a stomach which is connected to the intestines. Grind this into powder and place it inside the vase as the second level, representing the Navel Chakra. The third level is the herb Tang Kui [Angelica]. The cross section of Tang Kuei looks like the human heart, thus it represents the Heart Chakra.
The fourth level is the herb Huang Chi [root of Milk Vetch]. It is white in color, and we will treat it as the Throat Chakra.
The uppermost level is the fifth herb called Tian Ma [tuber of Gastrodia]. It is shaped like the brain, thus representing the Crown Chakra. Together, these five herbs represent the body of the Dragon King. After filling the vase with these five kinds of herb powder, we have to seal it up. We can use a new copper coin of the suitable size and apply strong glue to seal it to the top of the vase. Make sure that the vase is filled to the brim.
Next we have to prepare five pieces of colored cloths: red, green, blue, white, and yellow. Fold these and tie them neatly on top of the seal of the treasure vase. These five colored cloths represent the Five Dhyani Buddhas, while the five herbs represent the body of the Dragon.
Now you might wonder what kind of material should the treasure vase be made of? Well, if you are generous, you can use a vase made of gold, I have no objection to that; but then you might as well give that to me [laughter], and buy another gold one for the Dragon King. If you can’t afford a gold one, then get a silver one.
The vase I have here was purchased by Master Lian-han. It is silver. [Grand Master Lu then asked Master Lian-han the cost of it, and Master Lian-han replied that it cost one hundred Hong Kong dollars.] One hundred Hong Kong dollars seems fairly affordable. One hundred dollars in exchange for a billion dollars, that will be a bargain!
We can use a vase made out of gold, silver, or even copper; but not porcelain, since porcelain is breakable.
After purchasing the silver vase, filling it up with the five kinds of herbs, and decorating it beautifully with the five colored cloths— the order of the cloths are red, green, blue, white, and yellow in descending order, then we must place the finished vase before the statues of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas on our shrine.
The Procedure For The Dragon King Practice
Next you need to do the practice. First follow our True Buddha group practice procedures: Invocation, The Fourfold Refuges, Mandala Offering, Armor Protection, Recitation of The Four Immeasurable Vows, then the Mudra.
The Mudra for the Dragon King Practice is one of the secrets. Look closely, it is like this ( # ). The Mudra sort of looks like the Chinese character for "well ( # )". The middle and index fingers of both hands cross to form the " #" . When you form this Mudra, visualize the vase (which should have already been placed at the shrine) transforming into a Dragon in the following way: the mouth of the vase is the head of the Dragon, the neck of the vase is the neck of the Dragon, the main body of the vase is the main body of the Dragon, and the bottom of the vase is the rear of the Dragon. You are transforming this whole vase into the whole body of a Dragon.
Then you talk to the Dragon King and sincerely entreat him to rise up to become the Buddha. Visualize this Dragon rising up into the sky and transforming into the Five Dhyani Buddhas dwelling in space.
After clearly visualizing all these, you then recite the Mantra, which is: Namo, Sam-man-doh, moo-toh-nam, wah-ri-la, mee. What does the ‘mee’ stand for? It is not the ‘mee’ as in the pronunciation of the Chinese word for secret, nor is it the Chinese word for sweetness. It is neither of those. In Tantric Buddhism, ‘mee’ is the pronunciation for the name of the Dragon King. Very easy to remember. It sounds [in Mandarin] just the same as the words for secret and sweetness.
Next you are to recite this mantra one hundred and eight times, and then make a wish. After making the wish, visualize the five Buddhas, transformed from the Dragon King in the space above, emitting light on this treasure vase. Every time after you do this Practice, you have to repeat the same visualization: the Dragon King transforming into the Five Buddhas, and the Five Buddhas emitting light on this vase. After seven consecutive days of this practice, this vase will turn into a treasure vase.
What do all these signify? It means that human beings are not the only beings with the desire of becoming a Buddha, the Dragon King himself is also very desirous of becoming a Buddha and attaining enlightenment. Now when you entreat in sincerity that the Dragon King speedily become a Buddha, he will feel very happy. The Dragon King sometimes wishes that he can be known as The Dragon King Buddha, or any other name of a Buddha. So, when you entreat him to become a Buddha, he will be so happy that he will bestow many treasures upon you.
What are we going to do with this treasure vase after seven days of meditation? Well, the next step is a little bit more cumbersome. You have to bring this treasure vase to the ocean, then entreat the Dragon King one more time to attain Buddhahood, visualizing again the Five Buddhas emitting light on the treasure vase. Then, pray once more for your wish, throw this vase up in the air and let it drop into the ocean.
If it was a gold vase that you have prepared, don’t just throw it away without telling me where you have dropped it, that way I can go there in my swimming trunks at night to retrieve it [audience laughs]. If the vase is made of gold, rent a boat and find someone whom you know quite well to row you out to the middle of the ocean. Of course don’t row all the way to the high seas [audience laughs], let’s say just a little bit away from the shore, then make your wish and drop the treasure vase into the sea. If your vase is made of silver, then you don’t have to go through all that trouble, and you don’t have to tell me either, since I would not swim for it even if you paid me a hundred dollars [laughter].
After seven days of meditation and visualization, this treasure vase will be empowered. As soon as you throw it, the Dragon King will receive the message. He will be so happy to catch the vase that he will fulfill your wish.
The Results of The Dragon King Practice
Do you have any questions so far regarding this Dragon King Practice? [Master Richard Yan asked if there would be any dedication of merit at the end of the practice.] Your wish would be the dedication of merit; that is, you will tell the Dragon King how much you have spent on the treasure vase, and that you hope that he will truly empower the vase and become a Buddha himself. It doesn’t matter how much you have spent, just as long as his return to you is much greater [laughter].
I tell all of you, it’s the same with asking for rain. After seven days of meditation, and after you throw the treasure vase into the ocean, it will surely rain within a couple of days. If you ask for money, as soon as you throw the vase away, money will come to you. But, you have to be very sincere — your visualization must be clear, you have to be really reciting the mantra from your heart, actually making the wish, and sincerely entreating the Dragon King.
Some of you might think: What is the matter with our Grand Master? Why didn’t he tell us this secret earlier? Well, my thinking is that sometimes the good should be saved for later. This is not to say that the earlier practices are not good; don’t misunderstand me. Actually all practices are good; they are just different.
I will tell you another secret: the Dragon King Practice can also be employed for the purpose of finding a spouse. What do you need to do then? You need to fill the vase only up to the neck with the five herbs. Next you fill up the rest of the vase with powder made from red flowers, if you are male, or powder made from white flowers, if you are female. Place this powder made from flowers (not the pollen that causes hay fever, mind you) as the top layer in the vase. After putting the flower powder in place, you have, if you are male, to visualize your girl friend sitting on top of the vase, while you are pressing her into the vase with the coin and sealing her inside. If you are a female, visualize the white powder as the boy friend upon whom you have set your heart. Visualize him sitting on top of the vase and that you are pressing him into the vase and sealing him up with the coin. Practice this way, also for seven days. Then, after seven days, you have to talk to the Dragon King, asking him to grant you a girl friend, or a boy friend — actually, not just as a friend any more, but as a marriage partner. Now this is also a secret.
I am aware of the situation in which many men and women are unable to find a marriage partner. When I was with the surveyor team in the army, one of my colleagues wrote to his girl friend every day, sending her letters by registered express mail. His girl friend also wrote to him every day. So, every day he would set aside a fixed time to wait for the mailman. It was very easy for us to tell whether he had any mail that day or not. If he received a letter, he would be shouting and jumping, and working zealously. If there was no letter, he would tilt his head to one side, lean against the wall, and be unable to work. I have had such experiences before, but mine were never so serious, because I was not as single-minded as they in love affairs. I was more like Jesus and Dr. Sun-yat-sun2, practicing universal love [audience laughs].
So, if you know how to place the flower powder, you will receive marriage when you seek marriage. For money and rain, just the five kinds of herbs will do.
Our Dragon King Practice is really a secret, as I think you have not heard of it before. The Dragon King is very happy that I am giving this teaching today. Fifteen Dragon Kings, the Venerable Dragon King Buddha, Amitabha, Bodhisattva Kuan Yin, the Bodhisattva Mahasthamaprata, the Four Deva Kings, the Dharma Protectors Wei-to and Kuan-ti are all here now to lend support to this Dharma teaching.
This Dragon King Practice is recorded in the Buddhist Canon, and it truly has power. We know the Buddhist Canon contains many references to the Devas, Dragons, and others of the Eight Supernatural Beings giving support to the Dharma. If you pray to them for help, they will surely support you. The greatest wealth deity is Jambhala. The wealth deity in the ocean is the Dragon King. This ends our teaching on the Dragon King Practice.
Purpose of Cultivation Is To Become A Buddha
Now, I would like to tell everyone that our True Buddha School has an authentic method of cultivation that will lead you to Buddhahood. When we practice this cultivation, the Devas, Dragons, and the rest of the Supernatural Beings definitely support us. I also believe that I can lead all sentient beings to become Buddhas!
My duty and responsibility in this lifetime is to spread the Buddhadharma. Having already achieved Enlightenment, I can lead all sentient beings to the same. I often travel back and forth between this world and the Western Paradise of Ultimate Bliss. I have seen the Maha Twin Lotus Ponds. Our achievement is very great and lofty. My own cultivation is very regular and normal. I am not different from everyone else, except that I understand myself, understand the Heaven and Earth, understand the principles and meanings of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. I believe, beyond any doubt, that I can lead sentient beings to become Buddhas [audience applauds].
I have reached the other shore. That’s why I can say that I will definitely become a Buddha in the future. I also can say that the Sheng-yen Lu sitting here, giving the Dharma teaching now, is a Buddha-to-be [audience applauds]. I am not interested in becoming a Buddha alone, and I will lead all the sentient beings to become Buddhas. I have always acted openly without any secrets. I will disclose all the secret yogas and transmit them to all sentient beings. By doing this, I can help all sentient beings to become Buddhas.
Although the Dragon King Practice is a practice that deals with worldly affairs, through its cultivation you will receive blessings and rewards which will enable you to perform charitable activities to help other sentient beings. It will help you to go deeper into your Personal Deity Yoga practice. Thus, you are not only solving the problems and worries you have in this world, you can also leave this world to reach the other shore.
The teachings of Tantric Buddhism are to first solve one’s worries in life. When all your problems in this world are completely solved, then you will enter into the realm of Tranquility and transcend. We understand that becoming a Buddha is to be free of all worries, to possess the Six Supernatural faculties, to then awaken to your Original Nature, and finally, upon seeing your Self-Nature, become a Buddha.
Om Mani Padme Hum.
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