Attending the Great Dharma Assembly in Glendale, California, was an extraordinary experience. The event was held at the Glendale Civic Auditorium to mark the Holy Birthday of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III and brought together a large number of Buddhists from around the world.
A number of prestigious Buddhist organizations, including the World Buddhism Association Headquarters, Holy Miracles Temple, Hua Zang Si, Benevolence Temple and Sanger Mission, co-hosted this two-day gathering on June 30 and July 1, 2023.
One of the most impressive moments of the Dharma Assembly was the unveiling of the first three volumes of the “Namo Dorje Chang Buddha III Complete Sutra Collection” on June 30. The new sutra collection, carried on a sedan chair by Venerable Tsemeng and Ruzun Bodi Wentu, was presented with great grace. Those present expressed their respect for the collection by bowing in a humble gesture of reverence.
During the assembly, Venerable Tsemeng emphasized the great importance of the new sutra collection for all of us. He expressed that it not only represents our gratefulness to H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III, but also serves as a guide for all who seek liberation in Buddhism. The collection contains the essence of the Tripitaka and esoteric Buddhist scriptures. It contains Buddhist precepts, views, cultivation and Dharma practices. It covers the entire spectrum of Buddhism, be it Hinayana, Mahayana or Vajrayana. Through this collection, H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III reveals the most direct and practical way for sentient beings, arhats and bodhisattvas to develop themselves. If we diligently study and practice the teachings of even a single volume of the collection while focusing on any Dharma gate, we can be sure to attain liberation.
The significance of this Sutra collection by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III becomes even clearer when one considers the distortions and misinterpretations to which the Buddhist teachings have been subjected over the last two thousand years. With his complete mastery of exoteric and esoteric Buddhism and the Five Vidyas, Dorje Chang Buddha III has successfully corrected these distortions and brought us back to an authentic understanding of the Buddha Dharma.
In addition, H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III gave us over two thousand audio recordings of imparted Dharmas and published important Buddhist books, including “A Monk Explains the Absolute Truth to a Layman”, “Commentary on the Prajnaparamita Heart Sutra”, “The Essence of the Buddha Dharma”, “The Correction of the Treatises of Patriarch Bodhidharma”, “What is Cultivation”, “The Supreme and Unsurpassable Mahamudra of Liberation” and “Learning from Buddha”. These sources offer important insights for all those who wish to escape worldly suffering and attain enlightenment.
We recited the sacred “Sutra on Understanding and Realizing the Ultimate Truth” under the guidance of Jiaozun Zhengda the next day and made offerings of gratitude to the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Among the 108 people who made offerings on behalf of their Buddhist organizations one after the other in procession, I offered a temple bell on behalf of the Xuanfa Dharmazentrum Cologne. This is now back on the main altar of the Dharma Center as a blessed object.
During the Dharma Assembly, I was also lucky enough to express my gratitude in a short interview with the attending press. For us Westerners, it is a challenge to engage directly with the teachings as most of them are in Chinese. With the forthcoming English translations, I, along with many non-Chinese speakers, look forward to being able to better access the comprehensive wisdom of the Buddha-Dharma.
Access to preliminary translations of the Dharma discourses
Until the sutra collection is published in English, it is possible to listen to some of the Dharma discourses of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III in English. The Learning from Buddha College & Seminary offers courses that include some of the Dharma discourses, including those from the Buddhism for Beginners and Advanced Buddhism series. Registration as an auditing student is required, but free of charge, and allows access to these courses where the preliminary English translations, read by Zhaxi Zhuoma, are available as video recordings.