Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Maitreya Vs Rinpoche (弥勒佛与活佛)
During the 80’s and 90’s, the teachings of the True Buddha School (真佛宗) swept the religious world like wild fire. Many centres were set up in US, Asia and Europe. The predecessor of True Buddha School was the True Taoist Immortal School (灵仙宗) from Taiwan. There were many rumours about the swapping of the names of this school and its founder has no less controversies. Basically the True Buddha School advocates truncated and very crude forms of Tibetan Buddhism coupled with Taoist practices yet surprisingly speaking; such theories and practices were able to attract a large sum of followers. Of course the only winner may be the grandmaster himself as he had bagged a fortune and lives comfortably in US as I last heard.
My guru Rinpoche came to Malaysia in the late 80’s and amongst some of his disciples were the followers of True Buddha School. The Rinpoche is a Tibetan who follows the authentic Tibetan Buddhist education and he did complaint a lot about these folks. During one of the Dharma talk, one of the disciple; Bro Chan suddenly started to fall into trance which has caused some commotion amongst the participants.
Bro Chan was (perhaps still is) ordinated as a guru by the True Buddha School and he was (maybe still is) quite famous within the circle. He could invite the Chinese form of Maitreya Buddha (弥勒佛) to possess him and do miracles. I am sure you have seen one of such statue of a laughing monk with a big tummy. And Bro Chan would hold his tummy and starts to laugh out loudly: “Ho! Ho! Ho!” to announce the arrival of this Buddha.
When possessed by Maitreya, Bro Chan would have auto-writing ability and he could write thousands of words on theory of Buddhism. When consulted, this Maitreya could answer in poems and perform exorcism rituals. When a patient is believed to be possessed by spirits, Maitreya would shout at the patient and make mudras (hand gestures) towards the person. In addition, this Maitreya Buddha could heal sickness with blessed water and also to perform Feng Shui audit to say the least. So, Bro Chan was pretty revered amongst the followers. Having said so, Bro Chan could not remember what he has done when Maitreya leaved his body, nor he possess any power on that matter.
So, while everyone was sitting on the floor listening to Rinpoche’s dharma talk, Bro Chan suddenly stood up as if he was drunk and then laughed: “Ho! Ho! Ho! I am the Maitreya Buddha! Ho! Ho! Ho!”
Naturally, some of the participants were stunned and for those who knew Bro Chan and his relation to Maitreya well, they start to prostrate to Maitreya. All of a sudden, a solemn Buddhist dharma talk transformed into a talk show session as people started to discuss about this strange phenomenon. The most stunned person I supposed would be the Rinpoche himself. I noticed his eyes opened wide, mouth opened wide and jaw dropped. This was perhaps his first initiation to True Buddha School. Of course, I could only hold my laughter until I reached home…
After a while, the Rinpoche recovered from his culture shock and he sang a short prayer to Guru Padmasambhava and lifted up a Mahakala torma (ritual cake) and handed to the Maitreya Buddha and said: “Oh, honourable Maitreya Buddha; please accept my offering of this delicious cake!”
At this instance, the Maitreya that possessed Bro Chan with smiling expression and protruded his right hand to take the torma while laughing with the familiar voice: “Ho! Ho! Ho!” However, as soon as the Maitreya’s hand touched the torma; he shouted: “Wow! Wow! Wow! It hurts! Get that thing away from me!”
After jumping and yelling for a while, Bro Chan’s body shook and trembled; and he collapsed onto the floor. When he regained his consciousness, the first word he said was: “I thought I saw Mahakala!”
After the encounter with ‘Maitreya Buddha’, the Rinpoche decided not to continue with his dharma activity in this area as he thought the locals are not ready yet to embrace authentic Buddha teaching at that time. Of course, after I just walked out from the dharma centre; I had to burst out: “Ha! Ha! Ha!” or I would be stuffed to dead if I continued to hold those bursting energy in my stomach…