“Some people seem to think Famen Gongyu is something from the Daoist religion. Those who say that only has a smattering of the mundane Dharma meaning of Buddhism. They have never heard of the holy meaning of Dharma at all! They only know the Dharma instruments used when the meaning of Dharma is applied in the mundane sense, such as the bell, pestle, hook, light, chime, drum, wooden knocker (muyu 木魚), inverted bell (yinqing 引磬), rope, fork, khaṭvāṅga (喀章嘎/天杖), mala beads, khakkhara (pewter staff 錫杖), prayer wheel (轉經筒), stupa (寶塔), gawu box (嘎烏盒), Gabala drum (手鼓), Dharma rope* (法繩), symbolism* (符令), and so on, which are just mundane Dharma instruments. They have not smelled the aroma of the holy Dharma at all, how could they speak of having seen it? How could such people, who don’t know how shallow they are, randomly comment on the holy instrument?”
“Famen Gongyu is an important Dharma instrument for the holy inner-tantric Buddhism. It is different than the other holy Dharma instruments in that it has two Yidams, while the other Dharma instruments have only one Yidam. The two Yidams are Mahāmāyūrī Vidyārājñī (孔雀明王), whose Dharma instruments are two peacock feather tips, one black and one white, and Maitreya Bodhisattva from the Inner Court of Tusita Heaven (aka Tushita Heaven, 兜率天), whose Dharma instrument is the Adamantine Command (金剛令). The Peacock Feathers and the Adamantine Command combined are called Famen Gongyu.”
“The Adamantine Command is the size of a thumbnail. It was sculpted from an ancient piece of white jade and came into being after a Dharma was practiced on it. A vajra rope is stringed on the top of it. In fact, its shape is like a jade pendant hung on the neck. There are two sides: one side is the Vajra Mind Mantra of the Tusita Heaven Court, manifested by Maitreya Bodhisattva; and the other side is the Dharma Command manifested by Mahāmāyūrī Vidyārājñī. The ritual of practicing this Dharma was born in the Inner Court of Tusita Heaven—the Maitreya Palace. Famen Gongyu is primarily used for determining the karmic origination and the empowerment of a holy Dharma. In the holy test this year, Famen Gongyu is hung at the gate o the Eight-wind Array to check if the test candidate is qualified to enter the array and take the test.”
“Famen Gongyu has the same effect as Manjushri Bodhisattva’s Divination, except that the manifestation in real form by Famen Gongyu is more direct. The Dharma instrument of Famen Gongyu can automatically provide an answer to the inquiry regarding a thing, a person, or a dharma. The Dharma instrument is not operated by any person. It is hung on the Dharma platform. Once you write down the thing you would like to inquire about, or an issue of principle to check if it is approved or not approved, on a piece of paper and read it in front of Famen Gongyu, Famen Gongyu will immediately manifest a holy state and let the public know what the answer is. It will present the white peacock feather to you if what you asked is correct and approved, and it will present the black peacock feather to you if what you asked is incorrect or not approved. Sometimes it will not even answer you if what you asked can not be agreed at all.”The difference between Famen Gongyu and the Manjushri Bodhisattva’s Divination is that one automatically shows the result without involving any human, and the other reveals the result by a person rolling the dice to draw the answer.
The Famen Gongyu that is used in this holy test is a Holy Dharma Instrument that Wangzha Shangzun received from a lineage. It was passed down from Yuwangsiluo* (宇王斯羅) to Jampa Geshe, then Jampa Geshe transmitted it to Wangzha Shangzun. A holy Dharma instrument is never something the mundane Buddhists could understand because it is used only for Inner-tantric Dharma. It is not used publicly except in special Dharma assemblies. For example, in the holy test held this year, many test candidates had the karmic condition to see it. Because the main great holy guru presiding over the holy test this time is Wangzha Shangzun, He decreed to have Famen Gongyu hang at the gate of the array as the first check of the holy test for the purpose of making the process a very solemn and serious one. Anyone who fails to be acknowledged by Famen Gongyu cannot enter the array through the main gate and can only go through the side gate to watch other test candidates take the test. If one is not qualified to enter the array through the main gate, then one has not obtained the eligibility to take the holy test.
United International World Buddhism Association Headquarters
October 2, 2015
*translator’s note: the English names of these terms require further confirmation
(English translation by Zunba)