Date: 10/25/2008 2:22:47 PM
Subject: [CASonline] The Sacred Temples of CAS


Dearest CAS,

With much frenzied, joyful effort, CAS launched the sacred temples of the holy Buddhas into cyberspace. Not least, in cherished gratitude to our holy, precious Teachers: the 100th Ganden Trisur, Lopon Tsechu, Khensur Dorje Tashi.
The sacred temples shall manifest where there are faith, merit, devotion and indispensably, the internet( !! )
[ Temples up on Sunday - 26 October 2008 ] 
Meantime, everyone is excitedly anticipating the arrival of Most Venerable Drikung Ontrul Rinpoche in less than a week. Fat defilements, ( un )fortunately, are in danger.
Happiness, this week, comes especially from successfully scaling the first 2 scopes of the Lam Rim teachings with our friends. We shall be clambering upon the Third Scope next.
Also, nothing beats serving well mother sentient beings cum mother friends:
Thanks for organising all these teachings and empowerments, I really appreciate it and it has helped me on my path to no end :) life changing my brother :)  
[ says EYC ]
So glad, we were yanking off hairs and desecrating some pillows.
DO, DO exert every possible effort for the holy Dharma.
The world needs the Dharma and the world needs you. 
"By the way, we love you!" **
"Karmapa Chenno !!"
bb & all friends  @ CAS with Chenrezig
**No. We are not running for election/s.
Most Venerable Drikung Ontrul Rinpoche
The great terton Ganor Rinpoche mentioned the unmistakably great signs of spiritual attainments during Drikung Ontrul Rinpoche's conducting of some of Tibet's very holy rituals: the boiling of nectar within the kapala vessels, the overflowing of the nectar within, the pure wafts of amrita .... all these signs we have simply read about but never thought possible now in the biographies of the First Panchen Lama, the Gyalwa Karmapas. 
Flashing a mischievous grin, the great terton said he would counter Ontrul Rinpoche's revelation of His status as a terton by telling the more than 300 students present that Drikung Ontrul Rinpoche, Himself, is likewise a terton and is one of the Heart Disciples of Guru Padma ( depicted with Guru Padma in the thangkas ) with the highest, sublime realisations, a rare shining Master in our Degenerate Age.      
All the beings @ CAS are overwhelmingly honoured to host Ontrul Rinpoche -- the fifth time !! -- in continuation of the precious Drikung Kagyu's main terma cycle of the Drikung Yangzab as left for the world by the great Guru Padma.
See the great Drikung Ontrul speak, ever so lightly, about Himself:
Rinpoche's full programme from 31 October to 3 Nov 2008 -   
His Holiness the Dalai Lama with the great
Drikung Masters: HE Garchen Rinpoche and
the great Drikung Ontrul.
Unanswered calls, Tibetan language incompetence, last minute swervings are banes of Dharma programmes. The deeply compassionate, great, holy retired abbot of the Drepung Loseling Monastery, Khensur Lobsang Gyamtso, has no place to stay when He is scheduled to come from 19 to 29 Nov. A potential lodging is suddenly decalred unavailable while the only available places consist of a room or a house with just a big room, a ktichen and a hall with beautiful thangkas - hardly enough space for Rinpoche and 3 monks. So, if you have a place, do offer for the holy monks as holy monks are venerated by gods and the world ( in general !! ).
The holy videos are being uploaded untiringly throughout the days and nights, literally. Maras, besides CAS, have upgraded themselves and appeared to be as, if not more, IT savvy than CAS's IT people. They have scored this times, putting back the launching of the precious texts and super holy videos by some weeks now. Nevertheless, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas ( see Vimalakirti Sutra ) sometimes appear as bad maras to train practitioners and IT volunteers. Mmm .......
 Quote/s from the Buddha's holy scripture
Maha Brahma **

( ** A Brahma is the general equivalent of the Creator God in the theistic religions ) 

The stories of a Buddha going to teach a brahma take place on the plane of Maha Brahma, the third of the fine-material planes (No. 14). Many people worship Maha Brahma as the supreme and eternal creator God, but for the Buddha he is merely a powerful deity still caught within the cycle of repeated existence. In point of fact, "Maha Brahma" is a role or office filled by different individuals at different periods.

The Buddha has directly seen the origins of Maha Brahma and understands what it requires to be reborn in his world. In the Brahmajala Sutta (DN 1) the Buddha describes how a supposed Creator God came to believe himself omnipotent and how others came to rely on his sovereignty. His description was based, not on speculation or hearsay, but on his own direct knowledge. The Buddha explains that when our world system disintegrates, as it regularly does after extremely long periods of time, the lower sixteen planes are all destroyed. Beings disappear from all planes below the seventeenth, the plane of the Abhassara gods. Whatever beings cannot be born on the seventeenth or a higher brahma plane then must take birth on the lower planes in other remote world systems.

Eventually the world starts to re-form. Then a solitary being passes away from the Abhassara plane and takes rebirth on the plane of Maha Brahma. A palace created by his kamma awaits him there: "There he dwells, mind-made, feeding on rapture, self-luminous, moving through the air, abiding in glory. And he continues thus for a long, long time." After ages pass, he becomes lonely and longs for other beings to join him. It just so happens that shortly after the brahma starts craving for company, other beings from the Abhassara plane, who have exhausted their lifespans there, pass away and are reborn in the palace of Brahma, in companionship with him.

Because these beings seemed to arise in accordance with the first brahma's wish, he becomes convinced that he is the almighty God: "I am the Great Brahma, the Vanquisher... the Lord, the Maker and Creator, the Supreme Being." The other brahmas, seeing that he was already present when they took birth in his world, accept his claim and revere him as their creator.

Eventually this misconception of a Creator God spreads to the human plane. One of the other brahmas passes away and is reborn here. He develops concentration and learns to recollect his previous life with Maha Brahma, but none of his lives before that. Recollecting that existence he recalls that Maha Brahma was considered the "father of all that are and are to be... permanent, stable, eternal." As he is unable to remember further back, he believes this to be absolute truth and propounds a theistic doctrine of an omnipotent Creator God (Net 69-70, 155-66).

The Venerable Ledi Sayadaw, a highly renowned Myanmar scholar-monk of the first part of this century, gave a careful analysis of the powers of Maha Brahma in his Niyama Dipani (MB pp. 138-39). He states that although Maha Brahma can perform all sorts of transformations, he cannot actually create independent creatures, change the kammic law of cause and effect, or keep anyone from growing old or dying. Brahma can use his special powers to transport a man to the brahma plane for a short visit, but he cannot ensure that someone will be reborn there.

Sikhin Buddha and Abhibhu

This story of a former Buddha's encounter with brahmas was recounted by Gotama Buddha to his disciples as follows. Buddha Sikhin took his chief disciple, Abhibhu, along on a visit to a brahma world where he told him to give a discourse to the brahma, his ministers, and his retinue.[10] Venerable Abhibhu then "instructed, enlightened, incited, and inspired" the audience with a talk on Dhamma. But the great brahma and his cohorts did not appreciate what they heard. Instead of paying careful heed to the chief disciple's words, they felt insulted that a disciple should preach in the presence of the Master. In their pride, they considered themselves worthy of the direct attention of the Buddha himself. Sikhin of course knew the brahmas' unwholesome thoughts. Without addressing them directly, he urged Abhibhu to continue and "agitate them exceedingly" in order to force them to acknowledge that they were not all-powerful, permanent, or superior to this arahant.

Abhibhu followed his master's instructions by working supernormal feats while continuing his discourse. Only rarely does a Buddha himself perform supernormal acts or permit one of his disciples to do so in the human plane. But in a brahma world, where deeds that seem impossible to us are the norm, these tactics are appropriate. At times Abhibhu made his body invisible while speaking to the brahmas, at times half visible, at times fully visible. This masterful performance did humble those brahmas. They became more receptive, and realizing the monk was no ordinary human being, they exclaimed, "This is a marvellous thing: the great magic power and might of the recluse!"

Abhibhu then remarked to the Lord that while speaking in a normal voice in the Brahma world, he could make the beings in the surrounding thousand realms hear what he said. The Buddha, deeming this relevant to the occasion, urged him to show his prowess. By projecting and broadcasting his speech, the disciple strove further to stimulate a sense of urgency in the brahmas so they would realize the need to stop the cycle of birth and death. Although the lives of brahmas are full of the bliss of jhana, they remain subject to continual subtle change, to death and rebirth, and to suffering. Abhibhu declaimed: "Arouse your energy, strive on!
Exert yourself in the Buddha's Teaching.
Sweep away the army of Death
As an elephant does a hut of reeds.

One who dwells diligently
In this Dhamma and Discipline
Will abandon the wandering on in birth
And make an end to suffering." Then Buddha Sikhin and his chief disciple left that brahma realm. They had done everything they could to make the brahmas see their own limitations and encourage them to practice the Dhamma (KS I, 194-96; SN 6:14). 

Baka Brahma

A brahma known as Baka once reflected privately that he and his plane of existence were everlasting. He thought that there could be no higher plane of rebirth and was convinced he had overcome suffering. The Buddha discerned his deep-seated wrong view and decided to pay him a visit. When he appeared in that brahma world, Baka Brahma welcomed him formally but immediately announced: "Now, good sir, this is permanent, this is everlasting, this is eternal, this is total, this is not subject to pass away; for this neither is born nor ages nor dies nor passes away nor reappears, and beyond this there is no escape." (MN 49) The Buddha, however, contradicted him, pointing out that every one of his claims was wrong. Just then Mara the Evil One joined the conversation. Mara's task is to prevent beings from being won over to the Dhamma, to keep them trapped in the cycle of birth and death, his own personal domain.[11]

Taking possession of one of the brahma's attendants, Mara urged the Buddha, with a display of sympathy, to accept this brahma as God, the creator of all beings. He told the Buddha that recluses of the past who delighted in things of this life and "who lauded Brahma" won happy births afterwards, while those who rejected Brahma had to endure terrible punishment. The Exalted One let him have his say and then called his number:

"I know you, Evil One. Do not think: 'He does not know me.' You are Mara, Evil One, and the Brahma and his assembly and the members of the assembly have all fallen into your hands, they have all fallen into your power. You, Evil One, think: 'This one too has fallen into my hands, he too has fallen into my power'; but I have not fallen into your hands, Evil One, I have not fallen into your power."

All beings subject to craving -- humans, subhumans, devas, or brahmas -- are said to be in Mara's power because they can all be moved by defilements and must drift along in the current of birth and death. But the Buddha and the arahants have permanently and completely escaped Mara's ken and power, for they have eliminated all defilements. They have exhausted the fuel of rebirth and thus have vanquished the Lord of Death.

Baka Brahma next speaks up on his own behalf. He reminds the Buddha of his opening statement on permanence. He warns him that it is futile to seek "an escape beyond" his own realm, then he cajoles and threatens him in the same breath: "If you will hold to earth... beings... gods... you will be close to me, within my domain, for me to work my will upon and punish." The Buddha agrees that if he clung to earth (or any other aspect of existence) he would remain under the control of Maha Brahma (and Mara too), but he adds: "I understand your reach and your sway to extend thus: Baka the Brahma has this much power, this much might, this much influence." The Buddha points out that beyond the thousandfold world system over which Baka reigns there are planes of existence of which he is totally unaware, and beyond all conditioned phenomena there is a reality that transcends even "the allness of the all" -- a consciousness without manifestation, boundless, luminous on all sides -- to which Baka has no access. Demonstrating his superiority in knowledge and power, the Buddha uses his psychic powers to humble Baka and his entire assembly. By the end of the discourse, these once haughty beings marvel at the might of the recluse Gotama: "Though living in a generation that delights in being... he has extirpated being together with its root."[12]

A brahma with wrong view

Once an unnamed brahma gave rise to the deluded thought, "No recluse is powerful enough to reach my realm." The Buddha read his mind and proved him wrong by simply appearing before him and sitting at ease in the air above his head, while radiating flames from his body in a dramatic display of supernormal powers. Four great arahant disciples -- Mahamoggallana, Kassapa, Kappina, and Anuruddha -- independently realized what had happened and decided to join their Master on this brahma plane. Each disciple sat in the air respectfully below the Buddha -- but above the brahma -- in one of the cardinal directions, shedding fire around himself.

A short dialogue in verse took place between Mahamoggallana, the Buddha's second chief disciple, and the brahma:

"Today, friend, do you still hold that view,
The same view that you formerly held?
Do you see a radiance
Surpassing that in the Brahma-world?"

"I no longer hold that view, dear sir,
(I reject) the view I formerly held.
Indeed I see a radiance
Surpassing that in the Brahma-world?"
Today how could I assert the view
That I am permanent and eternal?"

According to the commentary to this story, the brahma gave up his belief in his own superiority when he observed the magnificence of the Buddha and the arahants. When the Buddha preached the Dhamma to him, he was established in the fruit of stream-entry and stopped thinking of himself as permanent. When this brahma saw his own impermanence clearly and distinctly for himself, his former tenacious opinion that his world and life were immortal was uprooted. Many aeons of preparation, the brahma's quick intellect, the Buddha's perfect timing, and the support of the four arahants bore fruit in the deity becoming a stream-enterer.

After the Buddha and his arahants left and returned to Jetavana, the great brahma wanted to learn more about the powers of bhikkhus. He sent a member of his retinue to ask Mahamoggallana whether there are even more bhikkhus who can perform such feats. Moggallana replied:

"Many are the disciples of the Buddha
Who are arahants with taints destroyed,
Triple knowledge bearers with spiritual powers,
Skilled in the course of others' minds." (KS I, 182-84; SN 6:5)

Not only do large numbers of bhikkhus have such special powers and the ability to know other people's minds, but there are numerous fully purified arahant disciples of the Buddha as well. The emissary was glad to hear this answer, as was the brahma when he received the report.

Maha Brahma knows his own limits

Once a bhikkhu with psychic powers visited the various celestial realms seeking an answer to the question, "Where do the great elements -- earth, water, fire, and air -- cease without remainder?" An exhaustive inquiry led him from one realm to the next, until he finally came to Maha Brahma. The first three times the monk asked his question, Brahma replied evasively: "Monk, I am Brahma, Great Brahma, the Conqueror, the Unconquered, the All-seeing." Exasperated, the bhikkhu demanded a decent reply, "Friend, I did not ask if you are Brahma... I asked you where the four great elements cease without remainder."

At this point Maha Brahma took the monk by the arm, led him aside, and told him, "The brahmas of my entourage believe there is nothing Maha Brahma does not see, there is nothing he does not know, there is nothing he is unaware of. That is why I did not speak in front of them." Admitting his ignorance, he advised the monk to return to his Master, the Awakened One, who rephrased the question and gave the appropriate answer.

In this discourse we have more evidence that a Buddha is far beyond Maha Brahma in power, teaching skill, and understanding, and much of the proof is volunteered by the Great Brahma himself (DN 11.67-85).


The Long Discourses of the Buddha

Maurice Walshe


 "Support Dharma Propagation Fund ( DPF ) - Product Highlight".

The Hayagriva and Manjushri Chakras
- Supreme Protection from all harms: planetary, spirits, humans.
- Attracting all harmonious, auspicious conditions: wealth, friends, etc. 
( Important tip: Faith in the chakras with the standard Buddhist Right Living !! )
We only have about 30 chakras each to go.
Suggested offering at S$16/- ( for Friends @ CAS ) & S$20/- ( for non-friends @ CAS ) excluding postage if applicable.
More details:
Dear YK,
The Hayagriva chakra is from Sera Je monastery and this is the special Yidam practised by the entire monastery.
HH the Dalai Lama offered the great empowerment of Hayagriva at Sera Je a few times at the monastery's request.
This special chakra of Manjushri is from the Tibetan Astrological and Medical College and is produced in the most authentic and meticulous way.
Both these chakras have been blessed by the 100th Ganden Trisur ( Head Emeritus of Gelugpa ), Sharpa Choje ( second in line to Gelugpa Head ), Geshe Wangchen ( Teacher of Ling Rinpoche ) and many other very holy and realised Masters. In fact, we only intend to offer the chakra to students with strong faith and who will cherish them.
This time, we have managed to secure a few items which have been blessed by these Masters, some of Tibet's greatest Masters !!
We could try to post them to you ( will include postage costs to reimburse Dharma Propagation Fund - DPF ) or you could come down to Camden Education Center to collect.
Do confirm first so we can transfer them from Ganden Trisur's place in Singapore to the education centre before you come.
We will be getting these holy chakras to Ontrul Rinpoche's programme. Look out for them.
"Amituofo !!"  

All contributions will go into CAS's life-saving DPF !! 


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