Question And Answer Session With Reporters In Tawau

■Book 104 - A Plethora Of Scenic Splendours

■Written by GrandMaster Sheng-yen Lu

Date: January 6th, 1993

Venue: Lian Hu-Lei Tsang Temple (Auspicious Hall)

Participants: Living Buddha and reporters from various newspapers.


Q. Can you please tell us Living Buddha how do you become a controversial figure?

A. Ever since I started to walk the path two decades ago, I have been termed a controversial character. My saga is almost a fairy tale. I was brought to Western Pure Land, Maha Double Lotus Pond. This adventure is always contentious.


Q. Are you the Pope of True Buddha School?

A. No I am not. I considered myself the founder. A person who propagates dharma.


Q. What is the meaning of Living Buddha?

A. Buddha is an enlightened person. A Living Buddha is one who knows the pristine nature of mind and have it appeared in himself. He is able to control his own life and death.


Q. Youth Group of Malaysian Buddhism Association made a statement that Malaysia is a country free of natural disaster and man-made calamity, why must True Buddha School hold a ritual for calamity eradication, and merit accumulation?

A. True Buddha School has been holding such rituals all over the world, not only in Malaysia. You say there is no natural disaster in Malaysia? What about the flood after a heavy down-pour? Political upheaval? How can you say there are no natural disasters and man-made calamity in Malaysia? The youth group is very narrow-minded and full of jealousy. They indulge in parochialism, we should be not bothered.


Q. Dharma Master Xing Yun came to do propagation also, why was he not criticized?

A. When Dharma Master Xing Yun came, Newspapers accused him of indulging in banditry, and warned the follow Buddhists not to fall into his trap. They censured him “occupying a mountain in order to be the leader of the Buddhist world.” Newspapers and Magazines reprimanded him vehemently. Even I sympathize him. It is not true to say he was not criticized at all.

(The reporter concerned was rendered speechless.)


Q. In your opinion, is this the right behaviour?

A. We must learn to praise one another. Attacking one another is not a good solution. Buddhism will thrive if one monk starts to praise another. At this juncture, Islam as a religion is the biggest in the whole world, and Buddhism is the smallest. Buddhism does not flourish, parochialism is the main cause.


Q. What is the definition of a Buddha?

A. A person who has gained enlightenment.


Q. You have once warned a news reporter that he should not write rubbish, otherwise he might be hit by lightning. Is this true?

A. I have been a reporter myself in Taiwan for more than ten years. The reminder on the wall behind us read:

“Find the truth, report them objectively and impartially.”

I was very open-minded in a press conference held in Kuala Lumpur. All the questions raised were answered. One of the reporters just wrote something I did not say. This is the type of reporters I like to censure.


Q. You are very happy when people call you “Mara “, are you not?

A. Yes, I am very happy indeed. I consider myself an ordinary person, not somebody who has the quality to be called a “Mara”. If I am really a Mara, how can those who scolded me still be alive? You must know not only Buddha can achieve a profound state of spiritual cultivation, so can a Maha-Mara. Even the level of achievement by an ordinary Mara is inconceivable. We must not look down on them, not even that of other human beings. If I am given the title of a Mara, I am surely delighted, although my level of achievement does not qualify yet.


Q. How do you begin to learn the Tantra?

A. Initially, it was between mid-night and one o'clock in the morning. My teacher, master “Three mountains-nine-marquees” who is transparent came to teach me. He whispered Mantra into my ear. I learned all the Mudra from him . He taught me for many years. The teaching method is true, it is the whole truth, nothing but the truth. I did not lie. But they are people who chose not to believe them, so I end up a controversial character.


Q. It is said that there are only four righteous Buddhist organisations in Tawau, namely Tawau Buddhist Association, Fuo Guang Si, Ji Shi Lin Pu Zhao Si, and Lian Hai Fuo Xue Hui. The rest are heretical Buddhism, what do you think, Living Buddha?

A. All the religions in this world consider themselves to be one and only righteous religion, other religions are heretical beliefs. To the Christians, Buddhism is Satanism. All the Buddhist organisations are the same, they claim to be the righteous beliefs. They will never openly say they are radical. Likewise it is not possible for True Buddha School to say it is heretical. When we proclaim we are righteous, the rest will scream at us. When the achievements of different schools are compared, people will be able to reach a conclusion on which school is righteous, and which school is not.


Q. What are the achievements of True Buddha School?

A. It is quite common for monks from True Buddha School to have Sarira in their remains after cremations. Even ninety percent of the dead convicts achieved the same feat. We have living witnesses and evidence to support our claims. These are all true. These achievements will go a long way to prove that True Buddha School is a righteous form of Buddhism.


Q. What is the future plan for True Buddha School?

A. We do not have any plan. I mean we let nature take its own course. Succouring more people, so that they come to comprehend the truth espoused by Buddha is our hope. We wish them cultivating True Buddha Tantra personally and be enlightened as a Buddha. As a human being, we are just a guest passing through this Samsara world, fame and wealth are nothing but dreams only. I do not wish to set up a religious kingdom in this world.


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