Who was His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III?
Buddhism is one of the world’s great religions. The original founder of Buddhism and the highest spiritual leader of this religion in the universe is Dorje Chang Buddha. He is revered by many major branches and schools of Buddhism as the oldest original Buddha.
Buddhists believe that the nature of the universe, in which nothing comes into being and nothing passes away, and the original nature of man, the true suchness, are one and the same. They believe in the cycle of transmigration, which is determined by the law of cause and effect. They believe that the spirit or soul incarnates after the biological death of the human being and is reborn in a new being. In the case of the Original Buddha, he has incarnated into this world for the third time as His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III.
His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III was not one to seek publicity. Even when He received the Presidential Gold Award, the Dr. Martin Luther King Legacy Award for International Service and Leadership, and many other prestigious awards, He rarely attended the award ceremonies to receive the awards in person. Known for his loving kindness and compassion, He had taken a vow to only help others and never accept offerings from anyone.
Nevertheless, there are many reports about his accomplishments and honors. Here are some of the most interesting things you may not have known about His Holiness the Buddha.
Recognitions by Dharma Kings and Rinpoches
Buddhism divides all material and spiritual things and knowledge in the universe into five aspects. The complete mastery of these five aspects is called the realization of the Five Vidyas (vidya is a Sanskrit word meaning brightness). Buddhas and Bodhisattvas must possess the Five Vidyas.
The Five Vidyas include:
- Vidya of Causality (hetuvidya)
- Vidya of Healing (cikitsvidya)
- Vidya of Sound (sabdavidya)
- Vidya of Craftsmanship (silpakarmasthanavidya)
- Vidya of Inner Realization (adhyatmavidya)
Looking at the entire history of Buddhism, His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III was the first holy one to perfectly manifest true accomplishment in the Five Vidyas, thus fulfilling the highest standard of Buddhism. For these and other reasons, His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III is the only person in history to have received recognition and affirmation from more than 60 of the highest current and Regent Dharma Kings of various Buddhist schools. These Dharma Kings, who composed their writings according to Buddhist rules, include:
- H.H. Jamyang Lungdok Gyaltsen Achuk Lama, who was a great master of the Nyingma sect of Tibetan Buddhism,
- H.H. Jigme Dorje, a dharma king of the Jonang sect and holder of the highest teachings of Kalachakra Dharma,
- H.H. Gongbao Dumu Quji, the Yidam Dharma initiation master of the 17th Karmapa,
- H.H. Renzeng Nima, a great terma master of the Nyingma sect,
- H.E. Dorje Rinzin Rinpoche, who is a master of H.E. Tenzin Longdock Nyima, the 7th Dzogchen Dharma King, among others.
The complete recognitions and congratulations from these and all other Dharma Kings and Rinpoches can be viewed and downloaded from the International Buddhism Sangha Association website.
His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III was awarded the highest honor at the World Peace Prize Ceremony at the U.S. Capitol on June 14, 2011. The World Peace Prize is an initiative to promote world peace and understanding among different nations, ethnicities, cultures, and religions. His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III was honored by the 112th Congress with Senate Resolution 614, which recognizes His Holiness the Buddha for his role in promoting peace, justice, and interfaith cooperation.
Internationally Renowned Artist
Dragon Carp Frolic In A Lotus Pond
His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III has long been an internationally renowned artist. His paintings are neither thematically nor artistically limited and include many different types, from watercolors to oil paintings. They include human figures, animals, flowers and birds, mountain and water landscapes, fish, insects, etc. In the wide range of styles, there are fine brushwork, drawing with lines and strokes, splash ink, bold freehand brushwork, fine freehand brushwork and others. In total, He created 16 unique painting styles or schools, which represent an unprecedented pioneering achievement in the history of art. His paintings are on display at the International Art Museum of America in San Francisco, the H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III Cultural and Art Museum in Los Angeles County, and other art museums.
His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III’s paintings are extremely valuable and rare. As early as the year 2000, His artworks were sold for over two million US dollars each. He became the artist whose paintings achieved the highest prices compared to the paintings of all ancient and modern Chinese artists. In March 2015, His ink painting “Ink Lotus” was sold at the New York Spring Auction for 16.5 million US dollars, the highest price realized at the 2015 Spring Auction for a painting by any ancient or modern artist in the world. He is the first inventor in the world to create a class of artwork that cannot be copied by anyone or any method – the Yun Sculpture.
His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III was a Fellow of the British Royal Academy of Arts, the first internationally recognized artist to be made a Fellow in the Academy’s 200-year history. The title of Fellow was conferred upon Him by the President of the Academy, Phillip King, at a ceremony held at the British Embassy in Washington.
Mayor of Washington, D.C. proclaimed January 19th as “H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III Day"
In 2011, then-Mayor of Washington, D.C., Vincent Gray, declared January 19th as “H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III Day.” The mayor called on the citizens of Washington, D.C. to join him in honoring “His selfless and exceptional work to spread the word of peace to all those in His presence.” The United States Postal Service also issued a commemorative cover in celebration of “His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III Day.”
National flag raised on the U.S. Capitol in honor of H. H. Dorje Chang Buddha III
May 15th is the birthday of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III. On May 15th, 2018, the national flag was raised on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. to celebrate the birthday of His Holiness the Buddha. The flag-raising document stated, “This flag has been raised in honor of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III, the Supreme Leader of the entirety of Buddhism, on the occasion of His birthday.”
In their congratulatory message to H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III on His birthday, then US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump stated: “His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III, Pasadena, California. Your Holiness, we are pleased to join your family and friends in wishing you a happy birthday! As you celebrate this special occasion, we pray your year ahead is filled with good health, happiness, and the many blessings of our great Nation. With very best wishes.”
Several senior members of Congress also sent letters congratulating His Holiness the Buddha on His birthday. In addition, the U.S. Postal Service has authorized the issuance of a First Day Cover to commemorate this significant day of celebration of the birthday of His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III.
Unless you are already an experienced follower of Buddhism, you may not have known that H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III is recognized as the third incarnation of the original Buddha. His accomplishments clearly transcend religion, healing, art, philosophy, and literature. He devoted his time to a wide scope of cultural, religious, and other endeavors aimed at helping people in communities across the globe.
If you are not an experienced follower of Buddhism, you may not know that H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III has been recognized as the third incarnation of the original Buddha. His accomplishments clearly transcended religion, healing, art, philosophy, and literature. He devoted his time to a wide range of cultural, religious and various other endeavors to help people in communities around the world.
H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III has made the following vow:
I will bear all of the karmic offenses committed by living beings, and I will give everyone all of the good karma and merit that I plant.
H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III
This text is largely inspired by Steven Meyer’s article “Who Is His Holiness Dorje Chang Buddha III?” published on February 1, 2016 in “The Buddhist Tribune”.