For people who obtained the same level from the test, are their merit and Dharma capabilities equal? Many people came to ask the United International World Buddhism Association this question. They think Level 2 is higher than Level 1, and Level 3 is higher than Level 2. In fact, there is a gray area in there.
You may think one who can apply power externally must be a great holy being, but that person may be totally clueless about Buddhism. Typically, a person must have attained Level 3 in terms of realization and capability before that person can wield power externally, but there are exceptions too. People who in a previous life had attained good roots of a higher level than their realization level in this lifetime, who regressed from Level 3 to Level 2 due to their practice in this lifetime, could generate the ability to apply power externally.
If someone attained Level 3 by testing on sutra teachings or practicing moral ethics, since they have not reached Level 3 through the testing on dharma power, they would not be able to wield external power either. However, a Level 3 achieved through practicing moral ethics, Sutra teaching, and Sastra learning, or correct understanding and views, do have more merits and the quality of good roots than a Level 3 attained through testing on realization capabilities and power.
Some people lack realization capabilities and power, Sutra teachings and Sastra learning, and the correct vs. evil views and understanding. You can say they don’t understand it and are clueless. But unbelievably, they passed the test for Blue Button Level 2 or even Level 3. Why is that? It is because they have received the initiation of some great Dharma, which enables them to attain the Completion Stage without practicing. The disciple can enter the Generation Stage while learning the Dharma if it is a State-practice Initiation. Because that great Dharma has enormous innate empowerment, the disciple can immediately reach Blue Button Level 2 or 3. That is the effect of this ritual Dharma being learned and has nothing to do with that disciple’s weakness in Dharma practice or lack of knowledge. Due to this reason, you must see which quality one is based on to pass the test for the level.
A Dharma impartation by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III has a lot of meaning. The Buddha says: “Some of you who hold the holiness levels certificates are not even qualified to get shoes for the high monks or greatly virtuous ones in ancient times. To say it bluntly, some so-called holy and virtuous ones are much worse than even those people in society who do not learn from Buddha!” The Buddha’s words are penetrating and incisive. Therefore, in our test for holiness levels this time, we have separate items of the test. Otherwise, if someone passes a test level and wears the holiness attire, all of their shortcomings, even their evil understanding and views, are covered up. If we determine someone’s level of holiness purely based on their Blue Button levels, we could risk mistaking a clueless person for a remarkable holy being. Of course, the Sun-moon Wheel Gold Button Great Holy Gurus, who attained their status through the divine adjudication by Vajra Faman initiation or Vajra Array, are authentic and genuine.
Until now, none of those accepting many disciples and publicly promoting Dharma has obtained the Gold Button level. If you do not have a substantive faculty inherited from previous lifetimes and the practice in accord with Dharma rules in this lifetime, getting the Gold Button level would be more challenging than reaching heaven! Although Gold Button level Holy Gurus are extremely rare, they must also practice cultivation according to the Dharma rules because, except for the Great Holy Gurus of Gold Button Level 3 and above, everyone is yet to realize the non-retrograde status.
After this public announcement is issued, you must carefully observe it. We believe that some individual masters who hold the holiness level certificate will be happy when they see the first part of this public announcement. They may think it gives them a way out. They will tell their disciples that taking the test of holiness levels is not essential, and they want no part in it. These kinds of people are crooks or have regressed to the ordinary. Their purpose is to be able to cheat Buddhist cultivators by feigning as Bodhisattvas or great Bodhisattvas more efficiently without the holiness status. We tell Buddhist disciples clearly and precisely today that this kind of people is total cheats and evil people without a doubt! Because their cultivation is terrible, they have regressed from the holy to the ordinary. They already have lost the Dharma capabilities for the test and dare not throw their scrap metal into the furnace. They are frightened to death!
United International World Buddhism Association Headquarters
June 15, 2015
(Zunba translated this announcement from Chinese to English.)