Question: Venerable Henghsing
Gyatso Khu-ston brTson-‘grus
g.yung-drung, we know that you are
the incarnation of an ancient
virtuous being and that in a prior life
you were one of the four most
outstanding disciples of Venerable
Atisha. You truly are a person of
great virtue. You have suffered on
behalf of living beings by prostrating more than 1,000 kilometers. Your hands and feet are scraped all over, yet you do not mind at all. You are truly remarkable. You have prostrated a longer distance than that traversed by Dharma Master Heng Sure when he performed kneeling prostrations all the way to the Temple of Ten Thousand Buddhas over ten years ago. Moreover, you made full prostrations after each step! I know that what you say during this interview will be truthful and dependable since you are a true cultivator, a famous and venerable rinpoche. I heard that there are twelve levels of disciples under H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III Wan Ko Yeshe Norbu Holiest Tathagata. You must be in the upper tier of disciples at the first or second level.
Answer: Amitabha! H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III Holiest Tathagata does
not classify disciples into various levels or categories. Whether the disciple is
holy or ordinary, H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III will use great compassion
and bodhicitta to save the disciple by teaching according to the particular
circumstances and karmic conditions of the disciple. However, different
grades of disciples have naturally formed as a result of their different levels of goodness and cultivation. You have referred to the first level too casually. I do not belong to the first level since I am quite ordinary. There are those who are higher than I am who are also not within the first level. The first level of disciples under my Buddha Master is composed of Buddhas. They have been Buddhas for years and years. Take a look at the congratulatory letters sent by the great Bodhisattva H.E. Tangtong Gyalpo and H.E. Dorje Rinzin Rinpoche. Then take a look at the lineage refuge tree. You will then know what is meant by the first level. Even disciples of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III on the second and third level are all holy beings on the level of a great Bodhisattva. Each and every one of them is the incarnation of a famous ancient being of great holiness. Everyone would know who they are if their names were mentioned. We who live in this contemporary era cannot pretend to be them.
Question: That is wonderful! Can you tell us who they are?
Answer: The first level is composed of the five Buddhas in the five directions
as well as other Buddhas. The second level is composed of twelfth-stage
Bodhisattvas and higher. The third level is composed of tenth-stage
Bodhisattvas and higher. The fourth level is composed of fifth-stage
Bodhisattvas and higher. The fifth level is composed of first through the
fourth-stage Bodhisattvas. The sixth level is generally composed of those on
the level of venerable ones. There are Buddhas and great Bodhisattvas among the current disciples of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. For example, there are disciples of great holiness and virtue who passed the test to become a Golden Throne Holder. During those tests, which were held completely in accordance with the dharma rules, those disciples manifested true realization in front of many people. Having passed the test, they received a Golden Throne Holder certificate. Other examples of disciples are H.E. Tangtong Gyalpo Bodhisattva, who is famous in Tibet, and H.E. Denma Tsemang II Longzhi Tanpe Nyima Rinpoche, both of whom were disciples of Guru Padmasambhava. Those two are probably on the fourth or fifth level. Other people who in this lifetime have become disciples of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III include Venerable Dachu II Hengsheng Rinpoche, who in a
prior lifetime received teachings directly from the founder of the Jueyu sect,
Dangba Sangjie; Venerable Xirao Jiebu, Venerable Muya Jiongzha, and
Venerable Xiangge Qiongwa, all of whom in a prior lifetime were disciples
of the founder of the Nyingma sect, Master Shantaraksita. Everyone knows
that they are disciples of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. They should be at
the fifth or sixth level of disciples. There is also Venerable Dharma Teacher
Long Hui of the temple called Hua Zang Si, who is a dharma teacher on the
level of a venerable one. Of course, there are other disciples of H.H. Dorje
Chang Buddha III whose status is even higher. However, I cannot tell you
who they are because that is a secret. Actually, many people know about this without me having to say anything. I bear responsibility for what I say based on the law of cause and effect.
Question: As far as I know, among the disciples of H.H. Dorje Chang
Buddha III are dharma kings and rinpoches. There is also a non-Tibetan
Chinese Geshe. Great Dharma Teacher Qingding was also a disciple. Can
they be called fourth-level disciples?
Answer: As I just said, the first level is composed of Buddhas. Those on the
level of a Golden Throne Holder or dharma king belong to the second or
third level of disciples under H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. Dharma
Teacher Qing Ding only belongs to the sixth or seventh level. To be within
the sixth level of disciples under my most venerable Buddha Master is
something remarkable. One must have true realization and high morals.
Such a person is surely an eminent monastic or a greatly virtuous
practitioner. Take, for example, Venerable Akou Lamo Rinpoche and H.E.
Gar Tongstan IV.
They were able to lift an over 4,000-pound lotus tub used to bathe the
Buddha. Still, they are only on the fourth or fifth level of disciples under
Disciples of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III Wan Ko Yeshe Norbu
Holiest Tathagata Can Be Divided into Twelve Levels
H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. Those disciples who are relatively low have
not attained the realization in which all greed for money is cut off. It is out
of the question for those who do not have true realization to rise to the mid- level of disciples under H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. No matter how
much such a person may brag of himself, without true realization he is just
making false claims.
Question: Then, should all the lay disciples be classified as belonging to the
Answer: That is not the concept at all. Their level will be determined by the
Three Branches of Yinming (Logical Reasoning). It is not a matter of empty
talk. Their level is determined by examining their direct awareness and their
reasoning. Lay disciples are equal to everyone else in that they must show
their realization for all to see and for seven witnessing masters to see. Their
different levels result from differences in knowledge and realization. Many
lay disciples of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III have attained very high
accomplishment in the dharma. Aren’t there lay disciples who have passed
away in the cross-legged posture while in total control over their own death?
Aren’t there lay disciples whose body emitted light after their death? Aren’t
there lay disciples who left behind sariras (holy relics) after their cremation?
Cultivation emphasizes real accomplishment. Boasting about oneself is of no use.
Question: We heard that there are some persons of great virtue who claim
that they represent H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha in transmitting dharma and
accepting disciples. Do they truly have such rights?
Answer: Of course, there is such a right. If you want to represent H.H.
Dorje Chang Buddha III in expounding the dharma, you must be on the
first level of disciples. That is, only a Buddha has that right. Even
Mahasattvas on the second level of disciples fall short of the right to
represent H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III in expounding dharma. That is
because they are not Buddhas. Thus, no matter who the person is, if that
person is not a Buddha yet claims the right to represent H.H. Dorje Chang
Buddha III, then that person is a fraud. You can see that even great
Bodhisattvas do not have the right to represent H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha
Question: Rinpoche, forgive me for asking a question I should not ask, but
to which level do you belong?
Answer: Me? At most I belong to one of the lowest levels. I am a very ordinary rinpoche.
Question: Being so modest, you are truly amazing. We know that you sat in
meditation for twenty-two days without eating and drinking–that was not
something an ordinary person can do. Moreover, you are the incarnation of
one of the four most outstanding disciples of Venerable Atisha. You are a
great rinpoche, a venerable one.
Answer: Amitabha! I am quite lacking. I am an ordinary person.
Question: Thank you very much for accepting this interview.
Answer: You are welcome, you are welcome.
Interviewee: Venerable Khu-ston brTson-‘grus g. yung-drung V
Henghsing Gyatso Rinpoche
Interviewer: Huei-Chin Yang
(This text was translated from the Chinese text from the Treasure Book)