On Day 32 of the Lunar New Year
There are many types of Buddha Halls. One that is established and consecrated with a respectful heart is an ordinary Buddha Hall and is not a Buddha Hall of True Buddha Dharma that meets the Dharma stipulations on establishing a Buddha Hall. A Buddha Hall of True Buddha Dharma is not related to a consecrated Buddha Hall. A Buddha Hall of true Buddha Dharma must be set up following the ironclad rule of inviting the Eight Legions of Devas and Nagas (Chinese: 天龍八部, Sanskrit: Aṣṭasenā) to enter in place and receive offerings. As such, one who has established a Buddha Hall of True Buddha Dharma will be protected and blessed by the eight legions of devas and nagas.
Note that a Buddha Hall of True Buddha Dharma is not an Inner-tantric Mandala. An inner-tantric mandala that meets the Dharma stipulations can only be established by a Tremendously Holy Guru or a Greatly Holy Guru. A holy guru of the beginning level, an eminent monk, or a great virtuous one cannot establish it. The world of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas would be unruly if even an eminent monk or a great virtuous one could create an Inner-tantric Mandala. It is because there would be no need to differentiate between a Greatly Holy Guru and one who is simply an eminent monk or a great virtuous one. However, people in society tend to mistakenly categorize all those dharma masters who cultivate themselves well and those who are holy as eminent monastics and greatly virtuous ones.
A person must first receive the Inner-tantric Initiation of Establishing a Buddha Hall and have been transmitted the Dharma of Establishing a Buddha Hall before they can establish a Buddha Hall of True Buddha Dharma that meets the stipulations of the Dharma. It matters not if the person is a holy virtuous one, an eminent monk, or a great virtuous one. Such a master holds a tricolor Vajra rope and a Mandala of the Four Heavenly Kings that they got when they received the Inner-tantric Initiation of Establishing the Buddha Hall. A master who specializes in establishing Buddha Halls is not necessarily an eminent monk or a great virtuous one. Still, only a master who can build Buddha Halls can invoke Bodhisattvas and other holy beings to come and receive offerings in a Buddha Hall.
From what we know clearly, Wangzha Shangzun and other Shangzuns or Yuzuns can perform the initiation of establishing Buddha Halls and transmit the Dharma of Establishing Buddha Halls to those who can become masters of creating Buddha Halls. However, it is merely impossible at present to perform the initiation and transmit the Dharma of Establishing Buddha Halls to them because there is no inner-tantric mandala for performing this initiation and transmitting the Dharma.
If a master receives the initiation of Establishing Buddha Halls, this master cannot violate precepts. If, however, the master should violate the tenets, the eight legions of devas and nagas (天龍八部) will no longer respond to the invitation, and this master who has violated the precepts will lose the realization power to establish Buddha Halls. However, the Buddha Halls that he or she previously created are not affected.
On the other hand, the views of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III are such that an authentic Buddha Hall should be established by one who knows the stipulations of the Dharma. Still, if all Buddha Halls can only be created by masters who have the qualification to build them, but many people cannot find such masters, then Buddhists won’t be able to set up any Buddha Hall, will they? That would not be conducive for people to learn from Buddha. Therefore, H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III thinks that, for those who have already set up their Buddha Halls, it is fantastic even if they just worship Amitabha Buddha or Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva. The critical thing is practicing what is good, staying away from evil, and cultivating oneself deeply on the foundation of being a good person. They can wait until they meet a master of establishing Buddha halls later, at which time they can ask that master to rearrange the Buddha hall by performing the Dharma in accord with the stipulations. That is totally conceivable.
H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III said in clear words that He does not perform the initiation or transmit the Dharma of Establishing Buddha Halls. Therefore, those who wish to learn the Dharma of Establishing Buddha Halls should not seek H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III.
Inquiry Center of the World Buddhism Association Headquarters
Written on behalf of great holy virtuous ones to answer questions raised
March 19, 2018
(English translation last edited by Zunba 2020-12-08)
35 Important Replies from Holy Virtuous Ones and Eminent Monastics