Inquiry 1: What kind of person is qualified to carry out the “four hidden ways” and the “four explicit ways”?
Reply: Only great holy ones, who are at least a Shangzun at the level of Gold Button Level 3, can carry out the four hidden ways. Moreover, the hidden ways can only be applied to a disciple who is very pious and has quite remarkable a practice of cultivation. The situation is that a Shangzun who is at the level of Gold Button Level 3 wants to make this disciple the seed to the transmission of true Buddha Dharma or, in other words, transmit true Buddha Dharma to this disciple. Only then can the hidden ways be used as the final test. Other than that, the four hidden ways cannot be used on regular Buddhist disciples. If they are used on ordinary Buddhist disciples, then this master will have already sinned verbal karma for cheating and deceit and will descend to the three lower realms.
Regardless of level, if any master of the Blue Button levels says that he is using the four hidden ways to test and observe disciples, this person is defrauding disciples and is a charlatan with a certainty of 100%. Anyone at the Blue Button levels cannot claim to be a holy one, because a holy one must be at least Gold Button Level 1. Furthermore, only masters of Gold Button Level 3 can apply the hidden ways. One who is at the Blue Button levels has no qualification or excuse whatsoever to have anything to do with using the four hidden ways.
The supreme H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III, who as a Buddha is so many times higher than the level of Gold Button Level 5, once said to several holy and virtuous ones, including Wangzha Shangzun: “You cannot use the four hidden ways without consideration. I am very humbled. Using the four hidden ways to examine Buddhist cultivators is very unfamiliar to me since I do not know how to do it. I just say clearly to Buddhist cultivators on the matter. It is downright dishonest of someone, in speech or action, to examine a successor with unnecessarily mystical and pretentious ways.”
There are now people who report that some masters of Blue Button levels go so far as asking their disciples to transfer so much money to them as an offering and claiming they are testing the disciples with the four hidden ways. Such people are downright nakedly deceiving people! Do they know what the hidden ways are? Do they know how to apply them? What a joke that is! That is completely committing fraud. People must be cautious and not be deceived. You must see clearly how many Gold Buttons they have, or perhaps they just have Blue Buttons, and find out whether they are qualified to apply the hidden ways.
Inquiry 2: Please provide information about the annual examination.
Reply: The annual examination must retest on the Sutra, Vinaya, and Sastra. One must reach the level of Shangzun or Gold Button Level 3 to be waived the yearly examination. This is because a Shangzun at Gold Button Level 3 is already a non-retrograde Bodhisattva. Anyone below Gold Button Level 3, including the Blue Button levels, must be subject to the annual examination. We at the World Buddhism Association Headquarters administer the annual test very rigorously. There are three situations as the following:
The first is where a Buddhist cultivator has not been notified to take the annual examination. Therefore, there is no indication of whether he or she has regressed or advanced.
The second is where the candidate has been notified to take the annual examination. But having had some trouble in keeping his or her conduct by the precepts, that person knows that he or she has regressed and is afraid of taking the annual examination. As such, that person dares not to come and take the yearly test and eventually ends up in declining to take the examination. These people will be recorded in a list. The Headquarters will tell people who they are if the Inquiry Center is asked about them.
The third is where someone takes the annual examination, in which case, the level that is shown on his or her certificate will be updated accordingly afterward to indicate whether he or she has regressed or advanced. The certificate will also show the date of the annual examination taken.
Inquiry 3: An art critic published an article on the internet that gave critical acclaims to the paintings titled sunflowers by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III and two other artists. But some people expressed negative opinions about this critic and told people not to forward the article, saying that forwarding the article would hurt the image of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III as Buddha. I feel it very strange why any negative impression about the critic should affect the image of His Holiness the Buddha. They also advised people not to forward this article. Should we forward it? (*Read the critic’s article)
Reply: The negative impression on the author of the critical article does not have anything to do with the artistic state of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. What is relevant is whether this art critic is an expert in art and whether the article he wrote is just and fair. As long as the critical article he wrote is unbiased and impartial, his opinions and judgment on the artworks by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III and the other artists agree with the real artistic state, the critique he gave has no prejudice and does not intentionally slander H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III, and he gave his comments and judgment on comparative art fairly, justly, and objectively, then not only should this article be widely forwarded and distributed, we should also learn from this art critic, salute him, and support his correct view!
Some people, as Buddhist cultivators, do not look at matters from all aspects. They are not even as good as people who haven’t been learning from Buddha. How come they only see the negativities of others and not their positive and outstanding accomplishments? At least this critic correctly commented on the artworks by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III and the other artists, as well as discussed H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III’s moral state as Buddha. That is what we should learn from him. Some of you think he is wrong. Then, do you think that he should not state the truth, should not regard the artworks by His Holiness the Buddha as good, and should regard demons and devils as good? Is this what you want?
Mind you that there are too many people who stand on the shores talking, pointing fingers, and speaking loudly without getting their feet wet. Many of you only know to speak pompously but are unable to write one real essay to comment on art or to paint an extraordinary painting. Can it be possible that this art critic is less capable than those who have not even written one article to praise the art by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III? You are too shameful if you are compared with him. You not only do not support his fair judgment and discussions on art but also attack and push him. What you are doing is not what humans would do, is it?
For example, if one day a group of traitors, evildoers, or even Mara King’s descendants suddenly write a commentary to praise the excellent Craftsmanship Vidya of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III, then will you also say, no matter how good praise it is, not to forward and distribute this critical article? Will you use the excuse that the writer of the article is a traitor and an evildoer who has a negative image that will impact the image of the world-honored one? If you did that, would you know what you are doing? Are you commenting on the person or the fundamental nature of things? Would the image of the world-honored one be impacted by Mara King? That is indeed ridiculous! We should think carefully about which bucket to put you in. You are more detestable than Mara King’s descendants. Even Mara King’s descendants know to praise the excellent Craftsmanship Vidya of the world-honored one. On the other hand, not only you do not say anything about H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III’s artistic state, but when seeing an expert praising the art of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III, you also don’t support him but instead, you find some grounds to attack and press him, and you find some excuses to suppress forwarding his article of fair opinions. You are mean and vicious to the extreme!
The holy and virtuous ones at our Headquarters do not know this art critic even till know. But just this one article, which comments on and compares the artworks, has made us give our respect to this art critic. We respect him for being truthful, fair, and impartial; we respect him for using proficient and precise wording. He deserves being called a professional expert. How can you, who only know to point fingers but are clueless about art, be compared to him at all? The painting by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III is placed there fairly and squarely, in contrast with the other paintings. The value of a treasure only stands out when it is juxtaposed and compared with others. What this critic said is accurate and fair. We give him a thumbs up!
A kind-hearted person said the following after hearing it today: “I know a little about the art of painting. I agree with the viewpoint of the holy and virtuous ones completely. Art has no national boundary and is the language of the world. Whether a painting is good or bad can be seen once it is put to compare with others.
I can only say that the Dragon Carp Frolic in Lotus Pond, a painting by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III and displayed at the H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III Cultural and Art Museum, has been appraised by a court expert and an appraiser who works for the IRS. The value of this painting is fifty-nine million dollars. To ascertain the height of the painting’s artistic state, the museum offered a bounty of one million U.S. dollars (for anyone who can copy the artwork onsite). But till today, although some artists have gone and tried painting it, no one has been able to paint the painting to the 60% degree of success. That proves H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III has reached the apex of art that no one could imitate.
I will now make a vow in front of the holy and virtuous ones of the Headquarters, and I mean what I say. No matter who the artist is, as long as that artist could paint that painting according to the policies published by the museum to be the same as the original, I will offer five million U.S. dollars and buy the copy painting on the spot. That plus the one million U.S. dollars which are provided by the Cultural and Art Museum amounts to six million U.S. dollars total. If you are such a capable hand in the art of painting, do come over and try it! Otherwise, you would probably think H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III’s art of painting is pompous.
Inquiry 4: What is the meaning of opening the crown, and what is the concept of holy bones?
Reply: Opening the crown via the State Practice is activation and utilization of one’s consciousness. The holy bone in the context of crown opening refers to the part of the skull where the opening is, through which one’s consciousness leaves and reenters. However, that person’s entire physical body is not holy or made of sacred bones. Therefore, that person is not sacred. One must attain Gold Button Level 1 to enter the stage of holiness. Once the crown is opened, if one violates the Nirvana Path Fruit precepts or the Vajra Change-Body Zen precepts but does not repent, one will regress to an ordinary person as before the crown was opened within sixteen days. Opening the crown only means to have a holy bone at the top of one’s head temporarily, which may disappear or remain depending on one’s conduct concerning the precepts. One who has one’s crown opened is far from being an Arhat and is so distant from Bodhisattvas as the earth is from the sky.
Inquiry 5: What qualifications should one have to apply for having one’s crown opened?
Reply: Conducting Buddhist work and meeting the standards in mind, deeds, and merit for opening the crown.
Inquiry 6: Where are there good people and also bad people among those who are taught by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III?
Reply: There are good people and bad people among H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III’s disciples. There are quite a few bad people there. H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III teaches disciples to learn from Buddha, cultivate themselves, and to be good people. But among the disciples taught by the Buddha, there are good people, bad people, holy people, charlatans, and all sorts of people. Even among those who are already a master in society, some very good masters abide by the precepts and the rules, and there are evil masters. There are those masters who are ordinary but pretend to be holy, there are those evil masters who cheat people under the disguise of Buddhism, and there are those masters who have great loving-kindness, great compassion, who abide by precepts rigorously and cultivate themselves with a mind of humility.
H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III said: “It is hard to find two masters who truly accord with the precepts and the rules among a hundred disciples of mine. Because the mind and the conduct are born in people, I cannot change it if people do not accept the nurturing of good karma, do not follow the teaching and carry it out in practice, do not rid evil and pursue good, insist in saying false words to cheat others, being ordinary but pretend to be holy so they can deceive others, and do not listen to the teaching. When Shakyamuni Buddha was in this world, there were also very bad people among his disciples. Some even practiced evil ways. It is tantamount to saying that every country wants to have peace, auspice, and harmony, and as such that they come up with all sorts of laws. But there are still a lot of bad people who violate the laws and are jailed up in the national government’s prisons. Having national laws cannot change the phenomenon of having bad people in the country. If there were no bad people, then the cops would be out of jobs.”
Just like Sakyamuni Buddha, H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III treats all living beings equally. He even accepts Mara King’s descendants as disciples, teaching them loving-kindness, compassion, and benefiting people, earnestly telling them to abandon evil and pursue good. But some malicious-natured people, under the disguise of learning from Buddha but having a mind full of evil thoughts, pretend to be some great masters, fake as holy but is ordinary, and deceive people in the world. Some people are so stupid that they believe in them, without checking it, by just listening to their boasting about themselves, reading their propaganda, and hearing their accomplices talking on the sidelines in aiding them. His Holiness the Buddha cannot block them from doing it. Because of it, the Headquarters kept reminding people, once, twice, three times, four times, five times, six times, seven times, eight times, nine times, and even ten times that people must read the announcements and examine any master in accordance with the Dharma. The Headquarters repeatedly reminds everyone not to be deceived and defrauded. His Holiness the Buddha has made the biggest effort to remind everyone. Remember, whether a person is holy or ordinary is determined according to the result of the examination. The empty praises in personal propaganda or books cannot be trusted.
We reiterate that you must first look at the status and level a master obtains through taking the exam to know if the master is ordinary or holy, good, or bad. If one has not obtained Gold Button Level I from the exam, then one is outside the realm of holiness. We repeat that you must examine a master by the announcements in order not to be deceived. Even those masters whom the Buddha has praised can change their quality and become cheaters once they violate the precepts and attract black karma because they are not yet non-retrograde Shangzuns of Gold Button Level 3.
H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III also said: “Among all the Buddhist disciples whom I teach who have got the certificate of holiness level issued by your Headquarters, it is hard to find two out of a hundred who are holy and virtuous. Do remember this that it completely depends on yourself to examine whether someone there is a good person, a bad person, a crook, an ordinary man, or a holy person. You must see the result from the test they took. Otherwise, you deserve to be cheated!”
Inquiry Center, World Buddhism Association Headquarters
November 13, 2018
*Article Reference: The art critic’s article
(original English translation by Benxin, final edited by Zunba 2020-10-04)