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The True Buddha Vijaya Temple Affinity

Living Buddha Lian-sheng’s Dharma Talk on the True Buddha Vijaya Temple Opening Ceremony June 1998

Translated by Zjen Thak
Edited by Woon Ket Wong
Proofread by Renée Cordsen

We sincerely pray to the buddhas, bodhisattvas, dharma protectors, and heavenly beings. May the heavenly light, earth light, and the sun and moon light bless the consecration of the statues.

The statue consecration poem and mantra:

Observe the world with light of visual awakening
Deliver the sentient beings with the light of speech awakening
Help those in suffering with the light of hearing awakening;
Compassionate towards sentient beings with the light of mind awakening
Protect the sentient beings with mudras;
Flying thousands miles with the heavenly foot;
And blessing with brilliant light with the statues awakening.
“Na Mo San Man Duo Mu Tuo Nan Wa Zi La Da Mo Xie” (Three times)

(After the statues consecration ceremony, the emcee kindly invited Grand Master to his seat. After the speeches given by True Buddha Vijaya Temple’s abbot, Master Lianseng and the Oakland city mayor, Grand Master gave his dharma talk as shown below:)

Greetings to all masters, reverends and disciples, and also the honorable VIPs who are present here for the opening ceremony of the True Buddha Vijaya Temple.

Previously, the disciples from Oakland were requesting a chapter, a branch. I have been here once before but I would say this place, comparing it to San Francisco and Los Angeles, it is more like a corner at the edge of the world. It did not leave a deep impression on me. I am just stating the truth.

I thought, “Will there be any disciples in such a place? It does not seem there will be any development. They are requesting a chapter?” So that it is, I took a pen and put down the chapter name. I intended to write “True Buddha Vijaya Chapter,” but instead I made a mistake and it became “True Buddha Vijaya Temple.” The disciples making the request were shocked and surprised. How could it be True Buddha Vijaya Temple? Not bad actually. Even a mistake can become right. [audience laughter] Apparently, this has become a reality now. [audience applause]

I still remember clearly when they showed me a group cultivation photo. There was only one big thangka of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva in the middle of the shrine. Other than that, there was nothing else. I was doubtful and was not hopeful as they invited me to perform the eye opening consecration. However, the moment I entered the temple, the magnificent altar attracted and surprised me.

How should I describe it? It is cool. [audience applause] It is so nicely built and carved. Master Lianseng mentioned that there is imperfection of craftsmanship. Due to my near sightedness, I couldn’t detect it. I just see the magnificent altar and solemn buddha and bodhisattva statues. It still awes me. The buddha and bodhisattva statues are solemn and full of spiritual energy. Everything was very well done and full of Tantric spirit. Besides that, do not underestimate the word “Vijaya,” as that is the light from Shakyamuni Buddha’s head. The unsurpassed light from Shakyamuni Buddha head is Vijaya.

Hence, I really hope the True Buddha Vijaya Temple would not only enlighten this city, but also to the other states in America, Canada and even to the rest of the world.

Reverend Lianseng said that the disciples here were motivated and inspired; the majority of the tasks were done by them. It is truly 90% handmade. By putting a little more thoughts into it, there aren’t many True Buddha temples that were handmade by disciples. And this is really not an easy task at all. Other than having the licensed contractors working on the basic earthquake protection and base foundations, all the other things were all built by True Buddha School disciples. This is really no simple work.

Try to think about it, Ling Shen Ching Tze Temple is the first True Buddha School temple. It is the earliest one but now it looks like an earth deity temple. It has never had a plan for grand expansion and development, not to even mention it is the ancestral temple! The other temples out there are so magnificent, beautifully decorated and wonderfully laid out. They are comfortable and peaceful. A sense of sadness is felt when looking back at the ancestral temple. The disciples at the ancestral temple should also do handmade work to expand the temple. It can’t be that small forever, right? We should propose this to the Ling Shen Ching Tze Temple. [audience laughter]
Building something with our own hands is extremely valuable. The leadership of Reverend Lianseng is exceptional and the disciples volunteering effort is very good. The whole work is successful. I hope Reverend Lianseng will deliver more sentient beings in the future.

To be honest, I normally publicly host the archaya empowerment ceremony. The ceremony is usually held in front of crowd and one is announced as an archaya. The only person whom I have empowered as an archaya without a public ceremony and announcement is Reverend Lianseng. [audience applause]

I said to Reverend Lianseng, “I am bestowing you the archaya empowerment but you must not say a word about it! I will not disclose this either and it is a secret.” This is because that he has a good seed in cultivation. This affinity comes from his past lives and he has very firm spiritual conviction. I told him that I am bestowing you this archaya empowerment and you must show me your accomplishment. As an archaya, one shall have some accomplishment. Without accomplishment and good performance, one shall retire voluntarily. As an archaya, one shall deliver sentient beings, have accomplishments in cultivation, be capable of leading, and benefit self and others. You must have a compassionate bodhicitta mind, and you must show your results for me to see. And when the day comes I will announce that you are my secretly empowered archaya.

Reverend Lianseng has actually faced quite a number of hardships during his way in becoming a Reverend. There were a lot of forces blocking him. However, I knew about his past life affinity. It is a very special one. I wished he could overcome all the obstacles, become firmer in his spiritual conviction, deliver sentient beings, and benefit himself and others. Continue to keep up the good work. The buddha’s and bodhisattva’s eyes are vibrant and they are all watching.

I think people like us who study Buddhism are learning the Tathagata’s wisdom; it is learned by us, living people. In this universe, it has its own karma and affinity. Therefore, we have to protect our mind. Our mind is important. Once your mind is purified, you can also radiate light to purify others. This is what we ought to do as a Buddhist disciple. Everything about the world is just an illusion and impermanent. After all, when you purify your mind and then radiate light radiate light to purify others, you are a true archaya.

Hence, the buddhas, bodhisattvas, root guru, and acharyas, their eyes are all lively and vibrant and watching everyone. Once you have achieved accomplishment, exerted power, it will be obvious. Just like building such a magnificent bodhimanda, it definitely exerts power in delivering sentient beings, and buddhas and bodhisattvas will befall upon this shrine. As long as everyone exerts his or her strength, the Dharma Wheel can be turned, and this will benefit all the living beings. It is not just the physical aspect of the living beings we save, but also the soul shall be saved. We hope everyone will not have suffering, but happiness in this samsaric world. We hope souls will be purified, just like Usnisa Vijaya, radiating brilliant light and blessing the world. Do promote Buddhism as it can bless all sentient beings and benefit everyone. I will stop here today.

Om Mani Padme Hum.

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