Even People with Supernormal Powers Cannot Uncover Terma with Direct Verification
Reported by Yang Huijun
On March 7, 2019, the day after the Venerable King of Extraordinary Strength Keqian Wangzha Shangzun manifested power to lift a 1,000-jin hall-blocking Vajra Pestle at the Holy Miracle Temple, a Yuzun of even higher status came to the Holy Miracles Temple. She manifested Dharma power to uncover a terma with direct verification in front of nearly 200 people!
Tibetan esoteric Dharmas are classified into two major categories. One category of the Dharmas consists of those translated from sutras or Dharma manuals, which is called Gama. The other category of Dharmas are uncovered terma called Daima. Daima is further classified into Southern Tibetan and Northern Tibetan. The Dharmas of uncovered terma mean these Dharmas are obtained by uncovering the terma and they are generally called Terma Dharma. A Terma Dharma can be further categorized as Uncovering Terma with Direct Verification or Uncovering Terma without Direct Verification. The word terton, meaning a master who performs the Dharma of uncovering a terma, is commonly used in Tibetan Esoteric Buddhism. Almost all followers of Tibetan Esoteric Buddhism know about it.
Uncovering Terma without Direct Verification means the Buddha or the Patriarchs of previous generations, such as Shakyamuni Buddha or Guru Padmasambhava, hid the manuals of certain Buddha Dharmas or Dharma objects which were not suited to be transmitted to the world at that time, either due to immature karmic conditions or demons could be induced to cause damage. When the karmic conditions ripen at a later time, the terma will be uncovered by patriarchs of later generations so that the Dharma can be transmitted to people. There are two types of terma: the Upper Division Terma and the Lower Division Terma. Together they are called the Southern Tibetan Terma. Later on, Zenguo Jideng Qujian of Back Tibet inscribed and printed new terma manuals called the Northern Tibetan Terma. None of these is important. They are only about hiding sutras and holy objects. It is the uncovering of the terma that requires holy realization powers.
However, holy realization power is not absolutely necessary for Uncovering Terma without Direct Verification. Sometimes, one can find a terma either by following written records, or by clues left by patriarchs. It has been a long time since the terma were hidden, and during this Dharma-ending era, there are various kinds of strange and low-level swindlers pretending to be holy people. It is hard to tell whether the terma were truly hidden by Gurus of the past, or if swindlers plotted to hide and uncover such things all by themselves. Therefore, to guard against these evil swindling masters who pretend to be holy people, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas stipulate that the person uncovering the terma must conduct direct verification to validate the authenticity of the treasure they uncovered.
During the process of Uncovering the Terma with Direct Verification, no clues are permitted. The ritual is performed with caution and rigor. Ten people responsible for hiding the terma are selected among hundreds, thousands or tens of thousands of people by drawing lots. They are monitored by the congregation when they hide the terma. The Great Holy Guru who is confined at another place will uncover the terma in public. There is not any chance for foul play. In Buddhist history, those who have the realization power to uncover terma with direct verification include Guru Padmasambhava who retrieved the sutra imparted by the Buddha. There were also Patriarch Tsongkhapa, Patriarch Marpa Lotsawa, Matriarch Nairatmya and Dharma King Düsum Khyenpa.
Even the Venerable Atisha failed twice in practicing the Dharma of Uncovering Terma with Direct Verification. You can imagine how high one’s realization power need to be in order to practice this Dharma. It is not something that just anyone with any level of holy realization power can achieve. A Shangzun of Gold Button Grade 3 can uncover a terma without direct verification, but it is almost impossible for a Shangzun to uncover a terma with direct verification. Great Bodhisattvas between the Eighth and Tenth Stage also do not have a one-hundred-percent certainty to uncover a terma with direct verification. Only a Great Mahasattva can uncover a terma and directly verify the terma with certainty and accuracy. Anyone who can uncover a terma with direct verification means that the Buddha Dharma or Dharma objects uncovered by such a great terton are authentic without any doubt. Therefore, Dharmas that have not been confirmed by direct verification cannot be considered as authentic. They are generally called mundane Buddha Dharma. A mundane Buddha Dharma must go through the Determination by Holy Selection to verify that it is a genuine uncovered terma of holy Buddha Dharma, or a holy Dharma object. The Determination by Holy Selection can only be performed by a Great Mahasattva or a Bodhisattva of Equal or Marvelous Enlightenment.
Ten items of Dharma manuals or Dharma objects are used in Uncovering Terma with Direct Verification, not just one. There are ten individual items of which one of them is a genuine Dharma manual or Dharma object. The authentic item is mixed with the other items that look identical. Under the watchful eyes of the entire congregation, ten people responsible for hiding the terma are selected by drawing lots. They will go to a secluded room where the Tremendously Great Holy Guru uncovering the terma cannot see them wrapping and concealing the Dharma objects. After the Dharma objects are wrapped, they will be brought out and then hidden. Subsequently, the Tremendously Great Holy Guru uncovering the terma will immediately point out where the one holy object is.
On the day of March 7, the female Tremendous Holy Guru, the Yuzun, came to the Grand Hall of Shakyamuni Buddha at the Holy Miracles Temple. She declined offerings from the more than 170 Dharma kings, rinpoches, great Dharma masters, and people in the congregation. Throughout the Dharma assembly from beginning to end, the Yuzun did not say a word. She is indifferent to fame or fortune. She did not reveal Her holy appearance. She came here with the sole purpose of manifesting true Buddha Dharma to universally benefit living beings by uncovering the terma. The Yuzun is at the level of Gold Button Grade 4 and she has incredibly profound realization and accomplishment.
In this event, the holy object used for Uncovering Terma with Direct Verification was a “demon-detecting mirror.” Even people who have supernormal powers have no way to uncover this terma with direct verification. When the Yuzun began performing the Dharma, the demon-detecting mirror was mixed with nine other ordinary small mirrors that looked identical. The ten people, who were selected by drawing lots to hide the terma, were confined inside the Hall of Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva located on the other side of the temple. They had absolutely no contact with anyone outside. The door was tightly guarded by people. The Yuzun and more than 100 people were somewhere completely separated from these ten people. There was no way for the Yuzun to communicate with the ten people.
Inside the Hall of Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva, the ten people used ten identical white khatas to wrap up the ten small mirrors individually. They then placed all the wrapped mirrors into a black cloth bag. Naturally, since the ten objects appeared indistinguishable, even the people responsible for concealing the terma could not tell which one was the demon-detecting mirror because they all looked exactly the same. After the mirrors were wrapped with khatas and placed inside the black cloth bag, they were all mixed up and no longer identifiable.
Subsequently, these ten people randomly took out the wrapped mirrors and placed them at separate locations to hide the terma. Afterwards, they immediately returned to the Hall of Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva and the door was closed. Even these ten people did not know where the demon-detecting mirror was hidden. Throughout the entire process, the Yuzun was nowhere near or in any contact with the mirrors or these ten people. While remaining in a separate tent, the Yuzun quickly held up a sign to announce where the hidden demon-detecting mirror was. At this time, the Buddhist disciples who hid the terma came out from the Hall of Avalokiteshvara Bodhisattva. As per the Dharma decree and the prediction by the Yuzun, the ten people proceeded to reveal the terma for verification. When the uncovered mirror was placed in front of an oil lamp in the center of the Grand Hall of Shakyamuni Buddha, the ten people were astounded. That truly was the demon-detecting mirror!
More than 100 Buddhist disciples rushed forward in a disorderly manner to surround the small, palm-sized mirror. What was reflected from the demon-detecting mirror was not something a common mirror could show. One by one, people shouted loudly inside the Grand Hall of Shakyamuni Buddha: “Three lamps!” “I see five!” “Four!” “Eight!” Several people saw evil visages from the mirror!
Yet, from the other nine identical mirrors, everyone could only see the reflection of one lamp. Nobody saw any evil visages. There were two rounds of hiding and uncovering the terma. In both rounds, the Yuzun effortlessly predicted the location of the real demon-detecting mirror by raising a sign to point out where the terma was!
I am one of the persons who hid the objects. I must say, this is beyond incredible! With our eyes wide open, the ten of us tried and failed to tell which one was the demon-detecting mirror before the oil lamp was used for verification! The ten mirrors looked exactly the same, and they were all mercury mirrors. We could not even tell which one was the demon-detecting mirror when they were all laid out in front of us, not to mention uncovering a terma. The Yuzun did not even come close to the mirror, but She was able to tell exactly where it was. She truly is a Tremendously Great Holy being who has descended from the Buddha-land to the human world.
We specifically beseeched H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III to impart Dharma regarding this. His Holiness the Buddha said, “What demon-detecting mirror! That is worthless! That has nothing to do with anyone’s accomplishment. That is only symbolic and does not mean anything. What is important is to learn from Buddha and cultivate yourself!”
We remembered the teachings of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. The most important thing is to learn from Buddha and cultivate ourselves. Who cares if it is a demon-detecting mirror or not! It will not enable anyone to attain accomplishment. The significance of uncovering a terma with direct verification is not about the demon-detecting mirror, but about the fact that the Yuzun was able to correctly raise the sign to openly announce where the holy object was located among all ten identical mercury mirrors. With the eyes of an ordinary person, we saw that all these mirrors looked exactly the same. Even though the terma was hidden, it had no way to hide from the Yuzun’s realization power.
Raising the sign to announce the location of the terma is no small feat. Just imagine, if it were another great Dharma king, or if it were you or me, would we dare make such an announcement? Would we dare take a blind guess? It has to be revealed in front of the congregation for the truth to be verified! This cannot be done by speaking falsehoods, giving a discourse, or bluffing! If what was uncovered was not the holy object, how would you face the public? You would be completely ruined from then on! Therefore, the difference between a Tremendously Great Holy Guru and a holy virtuous person can be seen the moment the sign is raised and the truth is revealed with definitive result. Even for holy people who possess the supernormal power to see through walls, rocks and mountains, they would only see that all the mirrors looked alike. They would not be able to distinguish which one was the demon-detecting mirror. How could an ordinary person possibly possess any realization power that is remotely comparable to that used in uncovering a terma with direct verification?
After the Dharma was performed, the making of the extremely rare Greatly Precious Pills was also completed. These Greatly Precious Pills blessed by Buddhas are required for performing the Dharma of Uncovering Terma with Direct Verification. Everyone in the congregation was very moved, and they were determined to do their best to make offerings to the Yuzun who is a Great Mahasattva. The Yuzun, however, did not say a word or accept any offerings. She left without a trace. What remained was the sigh of Buddhist disciples: “There are so many people with the titles of great Dharma king, great Dharma master, holy person or great Bodhisattva. Some of them are so famous. They have written so many books and given so many empty discourses. Yet they have no realization power, and in whatever they do, all they want is to accept offerings. Not only do they not have true Buddha Dharma, they have not even seen it performed! Which one of those famous figures has ever manifested the same kind of Dharma realization power as the Yuzun? Can they perform the Dharma to uncover a terma with direct verification for those living beings who are so eager to seek Buddha Dharma to see? Can they do that to verify the lineages they hold are that of true Buddha Dharma? You cannot find even one of them who is authentic! This is something for everyone to give some serious thought!