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The announcement issued by the World Buddhism Association Headquarters on January 14, 2019 (No. 20190101) already stated very clearly the principles and the nature of the following questions brought up by Buddhist disciples, but some people are still sending in questions. We will now reply to you pithily and succinctly the questions you asked.
First, note that in a lot of Buddhist treatises, discussions and studies, the terms “holy” and “mundane” are mentioned. Those usages are for the analysis and categorization of knowledge and are not the same as the concepts of holy or mundane which we speak of. What we now put forth as holy or mundane means holy vs. worldly. They represent the different characteristics between becoming liberated and attain holiness directly versus diligently cultivating oneself to seek liberation respectively.
- The Yidam referred to is not any holy virtuous master but a Buddha or Bodhisattva in the space.
- A dharma script or a ritual script of any kind that underwent a Determination by Holy Selection and has been approved by the Buddha or Bodhisattva is a dharma script or ritual script in the holy sense. Any dharma script with even one word that is altered will be regarded by the Yidam as mundane and tainted! It will immediately become a mundane script and will not be empowered by the Yidam.
- An orally transmitted inner-tantric initiation only represents the approval by the master. There is no approval by the Yidam.
- A true inner-tantric initiation entails being approved by the Yidam, but it does not mean Transmission by the Yidam.
- In an inner-tantric initiation in the holy sense or a holy inner-tantric initiation, the Yidam will accept in person the article of faith from the disciple and take it away. This signifies a Transmission by the Yidam.
- What is meant by a holy inner-tantric initiation? At the time of conferring the initiation, you present in person the thing that you should present to the Yidam. As a result, the Yidam approves you as His disciple. That is the Dharma which ensures your accomplishment. That is the only format of Transmission by the Yidam.
- What is meant by worldly Buddha-dharma? Any Buddha-dharma that has not undergone the Determination by Holy Selection and has not been approved by the Yidam is worldly. Such dharma is mainly within the domain of theory and knowledge. Worldly Buddha-dharmas include what has been elevated by praises, such as the Mind-seal Transmission, the Light-manifest Transmission, the Oral Transmission, the Ear Transmission, the Gama (?) or Daima (?), whether the dharma is from northern Tibet or southern Tibet. There are also the Dao (?) initiation, the Treasure Vase Initiation, the Secret Tantric (?) Initiation, the Wisdom Initiation, the Casting-flower Initiation, the Acarya Initiation, or the Initiation by the Five Buddhas and so on. The Yidam will not arrive in person to accept the article and transmit the dharma, because none of these is a holy inner-tantric initiation. They are all theoretical or oral transmitted initiations. However, a Tremendously Holy Guru who is capable to uncover the terma with immediate validation can administer a transmission by the Yidam for the disciple.
- Practicing worldly Buddha-dharma must completely rely on studying the essence of the teachings in theory and practicing it diligently by oneself, to move and invoke the Yidam. There is no one-hundred-percent certainty. The chance of success can only be higher if the Dharma is transmitted to you by a Buddha, Bodhisattva, or a Tremendously Holy Guru. But that is still inferior to a true inner-tantric initiation with the Yidam’s approval and even more inferior to a holy inner-tantric initiation with transmission by the Yidam. Transmission by the Yidam means the supreme and utmost holy cause and dharma affinity and includes dharmas in many different levels and classes.
World Buddhism Association Headquarters
February 26, 2019
(English translation final-edited by Zunba 2019-02-28)
Translator’s Note: items marked by (?) requires further clarification.