an you guess how long I have been practicing the Vajrayana Buddhism for in secret? To be honest, if the readers are paying attention, the hint about my experiences in Tantric cultivation can be found on line 1 of page 3 in my first [Chinese] spiritual book, Encoun- ters with the World of Spirits. This [Chinese] book has been published for more than ten years. Thus, I have been practicing Vajrayana Buddhism for at least ten years.
Readers who come across this book, Highest Yoga Tantra and Mahamudra, have great affinity because it contains the most supreme Tantric Dharma in the world. It was secretly guarded and was not supposed to be taught openly. Now that you are able to read it, you are definitely blessed with immense affinity. Therefore, you must first pay homage and express gratitude to all lineage holders of the supreme meditative Mahamudra. Let us prostrate to the lineage holders in the heavenly realms! In ancient India, during the Song Dynasty (988 – 1069 CE), the primordial buddha, Vajradhara, transmitted Mahamudra to Tilopa. Tilopa then passed the lineage to Naropa. From Naropa, the line was handed to Marpa, then to Milarepa, Gampopa, Karmapa and so forth. The pith teachings of the meditative Mahamudra were transmitted by these lineage holders In modern times, His Holiness the Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa (1924 – 1981 CE) transmitted the Mahamudra teaching to the Holy Red Crown Vajra Guru, Master Sheng-yen Lu. Now that Vajrayana has reached from the East to the West, the secret pith teachings have finally taken root in the West. As a result, students of Master Lian- sheng, Sheng-yen Lu can now receive the true lineage of Vajrayana in the West and gain the wonderful wisdom for attaining buddhahood. Hence, westerners are given the opportunity to reach the realm of liberation and be freed from samsara.
One time during deep meditation, I found myself wearing the five- buddha crown and I ascended on a jeweled-lotus throne towards the Tushita Heaven. I was accompanied by many holy sages, and upon arriving I met Maitreya Bodhisattva as well as the other lineage hold- ers. They each pressed their palms on my forehead and urged me to take on the heavy responsibility of delivering sentient beings in the human world.
They instructed me to announce the following message: when we prostrate to the Mahamudra lineage holders, we should repent with all sincerity. It is an inconceivable meritorious act that the bodhisat- tvas have turned the dharma wheel to expound the proper teachings of the Highest Yoga Tantra and Mahamudra. The rare dharma affinity that represents the buddhas’ great compassion has ripened. Therefore, the major Vajrayana teachings are now revealed to all sentient beings of the ten directions. One who believes in the teachings, takes refuge and cultivates this practice will have the opportunity to attain bud- dhahood.
The lineage holders gathered at the residence of Maitreya Bod- hisattva and requested me to write a book about the vital points of Mahamudra. Meditative Mahamudra are the highest Vajrayana teachings, which are able to purify the bodies, speech and minds of sen- tient beings. By practicing Mahamudra, they will be able to link with the highest cosmic consciousness and unite with the ultimate nature. Thus, many sentient beings will be delivered. I shall be the first to give the comprehensive teachings of Mahamudra.
[During deep meditation,] the light of the Mirror-like Wisdom was beaming from me, and the lineage holders were seated above my head in multiple layers. At the highest position, there was Vajradhara, fol- lowed by Tilopa, Naropa, Marpa, Milarepa, Gampopa and Karmapa. Karmapa was immediately above me and I, Vajra Master Lian-sheng, was the present lineage holder. I have realized all Buddha-dharma and have attained buddhahood in this very body.
Tibetan Buddhism entered Tibet around 747 CE and honors Guru Padmasambhava as the founding teacher. During that time, when Vajrayana Buddhism entered Tibet and when Subhakarasimha, Va- jrabodhi, and Amoghavajra brought Vajrayana Buddhism into China, many difficulties were encountered especially regarding language bar- riers that hindered communication. Thubten Dargye, my guru from the Gelug order, once told me that the essential instructions of Tibet- an Buddhism were not easily available because there were too many hindrances.
Moreover, in the past, the essential instructions of Vajrayana Bud- dhism were passed orally from masters to students. These key points are the quintessence of Mahamudra, allowing one to attain buddha- hood in this very body. Therefore, they were only transmitted with- in the lineage to individuals with supreme faculties. That is why the transmission of Vajrayana Buddhism was rare and not widespread. I hope that those who come across this book and wish to practice the teachings will take refuge in a guru, seek his blessings, and receive the true key points from him. Only then is it possible to assure that the practice is done accurately and guarantees that one achieves spiritual union.In the past if one wanted to practice Vajrayana Buddhism, one had to first study the exoteric scriptures for a number of years. Then one had to pass the examinations of a Geshe to prove one’s proficiency in Sutrayana, before being admitted into the Tantric monasteries. Only after that could one learn Tantric Dharma from the guru. The Va- jrayana teachings are the ultimate dharma gate of Mahayana. They represent the highest order of teachings, which were hidden from the public and transmitted in secrecy between the teachers and students. This form of transmission constitutes the fundamental principle of Vajrayana Buddhism.
Now that we are in the degenerative stage of Buddha-dharma, the sublime teachings of the Three Secrets are openly propagated and re- vealed. Vajrayana is blossoming and the traditions of Tibetan, Chi- nese, and Japanese Esoteric Buddhism are becoming mainstream again. These forms are certainly not as rigid and strict as they used to be.
I received the heart essence of Mahamudra and I possessed the two authority seals. I also obtained the great secretive, perfect empower- ments from the four Tantric schools of Nyingma, Gelug, Kagyu, and Sakya. As the contemporary spiritual holder of the Vajrayana Bud- dhism, I have been validated by gaining yogic union and have ob- tained the blessings of the lineage holders. I am entrusted with the responsibility of writing this book on the Highest Yoga Tantra and Mahamudra, and I will provide the pith instructions in detail with- out hiding or holding anything back. In this way, everyone may know these teachings and receive the benefits from them. With this book, I hope to plant the seeds of Vajrayana so that all sentient beings may be born into a family that practices Vajrayana Buddhism, whether in the present or future lifetimes.
These vital points of Mahamudra were developed by the Kagyu or- der, commonly known as the White Sect in Chinese Buddhist circles. Before the time of Milarepa, the lay adepts who attained buddhahood wore white clothing. Hence, they were called the White Sect. Accord- ing to my knowledge, however, there is another meaning to this name. It signifies the transformation of black karma into white karma, which leads to buddhahood. This is one of the major meanings of the White Sect.
Some Tantric masters have asked me, “Master Sheng-yen Lu, who exactly are you?”
I shall herein disclose everything about myself: I was born on May 18, 1945 (lunar calendar) at noon, in Houhu, County of Jiayi. My father’s name is Lu Ershun and my mother is Huang Yunu. My lastname is Lu and my first name is Sheng-yen, and I was born during the midst of air strikes by Japanese warplanes. Therefore, my parents were on the run and I was born on a chicken farm. 1945 was the year of the rooster.
My religious journey led me to follow Christianity, Taoism, the Tiande Sect (Heavenly Virtue), Sutrayana, and Vajrayana Buddhism.
Later, I saw that I was the emanation of White Mahapadmakumara of the Maha Twin Lotus Ponds in Sukhavati, who had returned to thehuman world due to my previous vows to deliver sentient beings. Thisis my fourth reincarnation on earth.
I practiced the respective sadhanas of the four Vajrayana schools,according to the respective transmissions of the lineage orders. In the Kagyu School, I am the forty-second lineage holder counting from Vajradhara, the seventeenth if you count from the Karmapas, and the
thirty-third counting from Tilopa.
Amitabha Buddha of Sukhavati, Guru Padmasambhava, and the Karmapas all entrusted White Mahapadmakumara of the Maha TwinLotus Ponds, with a heavy responsibility to incarnate four times onearth. These reincarnations are evidence of his great compassion. The Holy Red Crown Vajra Guru, Master Sheng-yen Lu is also the Immovable Vajra Master who is not affected by any slanders or criticism.
In the future, he shall become a Buddha with the epithet, the Non-EvilEye Tathagata. The Maha Twin Lotus Ponds is a realm that was mani- fested by the Non-Evil Eye Tathagata.
I first had my spirit awakened by my teacher Lin Qiandai. Later, through various circumstances I received trainings from the invis- ible spirit guide, the Eminent Sanshan-Jiuhou. I cultivated according to the teachings of Taoism, Sutrayana, and Vajrayana, beginning first with Taoism, then Sutrayana and finally Vajrayana. My teachers in- clude Lin Qiandai, Taoist Master Qingzhen, the Eminent Sanshan- Jiuhou, Venerable Yinshun, Venerable Leguo, Venerable Daoan, Ven- erable Huisan, Venerable Xiandun, Venerable Jueguang, Master Xiao Changming, the Sixteenth Gyalwa Karmapa, the Twelfth Tai Situpa Rinpoche, Guru Pufang, Guru Thubten Dargye, Sakya Zhengkong Lama, Guru Padmasambhava and others. I have mastered the teach- ings of the Great Perfection, Mahamudra, Lamdre and Yamantaka Sadhana. Examples of these accomplishments include the Seven Trea- sures, the Mother-Child Luminosity Tantra, Clear Light Yoga, teach- ings of Kunga Drolchok, and sadhana on the peaceful and wrathful deities, among other practices. I received spiritual responses in all of them.
I have been endowed with the blessings of the buddhas, bodhisat- tvas and the power of White Mahapadmakumara through my yogic union. This profound revelation of the Highest Yoga Tantra and Ma- hamudra will allow sentient beings to be guided by the buddhas’ light, and be empowered by the buddhas to attain buddhahood. Those who hold this book should immediately pay homage to the Mahamudra lineage holders because the emergence of this kind of dharma work is rarely seen. This book constitutes the great secret of Padmakumara’s mission to ferry sentient beings to the other shore.