Karmic Affinity, Karmic Seeds, Elimination of Karmic Obstructions, and Cultivation Initiation

  Buddhism has benefited countless living beings in our world. The clear perspective of Sakyamuni Buddha was “Great compassion is the foundation, yet without karmic affinity the living being is not saved (liberated).” Actually, it is not that the living being is not saved. Rather, it is that without the karmic affinity to encounter the dharma, the living being cannot be saved or liberated. Thus, the learning of any Buddha-dharma involves the principle of karmic affinity. Karmic affinity is the seed of Buddhism. Having such a seed means having the karmic affinity to take up Buddhism. Lacking karmic affinity means lacking the seed necessary to take up the Buddha-dharma. That is why we often hear that the Buddha-dharma emphasizes karmic affinity.

  Knowing how to view the karmic affinity of those who have begun learning Buddhism is the duty of the teacher. A teacher who is accomplished in the dharma can “see” whether a prospective disciple has the karmic affinity to learn the dharma from him or not. However, an ordinary teacher determines whether or not there is karmic affinity in a casual, non-thinking manner by uttering a few empty words. In this way, such a teacher accepts many disciples whether or not the teacher has karmic affinity with those disciples.

  So many living beings have been confused in their search for a holy and virtuous master. There are those living beings who have spent their entire lives vigorously pursuing masters and knowledge, yet they have been unable to end the cycle of birth and death. From Chinese esoteric buddhism to Japanese esoteric Buddhism to Tibetan esoteric Buddhism and even to exoteric Buddhism, karmic affinity has been a matter of great confusion to everyone. The vast majority of living beings are in the dark with respect to this matter. But what are they to do? Who knows where karmic affinity lies? What is karmic affinity?

  Actually, eminent monastics, especially eminent monastics who practice Tibetan esoteric Buddhism, attach great importance to karmic affinity. When a disciple begins to learn the Buddha-dharma, the master must determine whether there is karmic affinity between himself and the prospective disciple. If there is, he will accept the person as his disciple. If there is not, he will urge the person to go to another place.

  Selection of karmic affinity is especially required when searching for a rinpoche who has reincarnated. Moreover, the Golden Vase Slip Selection ceremony must be performed in order to determine the true identity of a reincarnated great rinpoche. When the master performs an initiation for the disciple, the master must first eliminate the karmic obstructions of the disciple. The disciple is a dharma receptacle. Before the receptacle can be filled with dharma dew, it must be cleansed. This is what is meant by elimination of karmic obstacles.

  For example, the method of first rinsing one’s mouth with pure water signifies eliminating karmic obstructions. It is said that when the ancient holy Buddhas and Bodhisattvas eliminated the karmic obstructions of their disciples before performing an initiation, the disciples would sometimes spit out filthy, foul smelling water that was a manifestation of their karmic obstructions accumulated over eons. Thus, when great and holy dharma kings perform rituals to select karmic affinity and eliminate karmic obstructions, certain dharma principles need to be followed and true realization is often manifested.

  Take, for example, the planting of karmic affinity through seed characters. The disciple secretly writes different numbers corresponding to different karmic affinity seeds on ten pieces of paper, each of which contains the Sanskrit character “Ah.” These ten ‘Ah” characters (also called “same karmic affinity seeds” represent the ten stages to perfect enlightenment and the generation of all karmic affinity. The disciple then secretly rolls each piece of paper into a ball and puts them in a dharma container, which is sometimes a golden vase. At this time, even the disciple himself, who rolled up the balls of paper, is not able to recognize and pick out from that container any particular ball of paper. However, masters who represent the holy and virtuous Buddhas and Bodhisattvas already know the karmic affinity of the disciple. Some of those masters will predict which one of the balls of paper is the disciple’s karmic affinity seed. They tell the disciple the number that corresponds to the ball of paper that the disciple will take out of the container. After that prediction is made, the disciple then takes a piece of paper out of the container. After checking the number that corresponds to that piece of paper, the disciple discovers that it is the exact number the master predicted. The disciple then again rolls the paper into a ball and puts it back into the dharma container. The dharma container is then shaken and the balls of paper are mixed up. The master then takes a ball of paper from the container and gives it to the disciple to open. The disciple then verifies that such piece of paper is the exact “seed” piece of paper he took out of the container a moment ago. There are even times when a ball of paper is taken out of the container a third time with the exact same results. Thus, the disciple’s karmic affinity seed is established.

  Only a master with the highest Buddha-dharma realization has such skills. It is difficult to find even one rinpoche among millions of rinpoches who can display such realization. Based on this holy dharma of karmic affinity, not only can the master clearly see the karmic affinity the disciple has with the Buddha-dharma, the disciple also can personally sees the karmic affinity he has with the Buddha-dharma. This is the highest selection of karmic affinity dharma, which is a great dharma. Practices that are on a lower level than this include using divinatory symbols, drawing slips after chanting sutra passages, and spinning roasted barley flour pills. With those practices, one is left to rely on faith since one does not see the display of true realization.

  I had been in the dark about the selection of karmic affinity dharma for many years. What one sees is regarded as real. What one hears can not necessarily be regarded as true. No matter how great one’s devoutness may be, it is still not the same as personally seeing such a real display of realization. To say that thoughts of such dharma never arose in my mind would be lying. In order to understand the selection of karmic affinity dharma, on many occasions I beseeched my magnificent Buddha Master, Dorje Chang Buddha III Wan Ko Yeshe Norbu Holiest Tathagata, to practice such dharma. Each time His Holiness said, “you have been here with me for over ten years. Without karmic affinity, how could you have been here for over ten years? The Buddha-dharma that you request is performed by great holy and virtuous beings. In today誷 world, it is difficult to find such a person of great holiness and virtue. I do not have the ability to perform that dharma. I only have a heart of humility.”       

  Still, I deeply believed that my Buddha Master was certainly able to perform that dharma. If even His Holiness could not perform it, who could? I thought that my karmic conditions of good fortune had not yet matured. I believed that when the requisite karmic conditions existed, my Buddha Master would perform that fundamental dharma for me. Nonetheless, on each of the numerous times I requested that dharma, the Buddha Master said that He could not perform it. As time continued to pass, thoughts of seeking that dharma almost vanished from my mind.

  Then came the spring of this year, with its sudden thunderclaps and fresh flowers bathing in the soft breeze. The lovely chirping of larks was like sweet and natural songs that brought back to life the seeds of the earth. I was finally able to step inside the auspicious tantric mandala. Because there was not a cloud in the blue sky that day, the sunshine was strong and dazzling. The minority of people sitting there on the ground in this open-air mandala were laypersons. The majority were rinpoches and dharma teachers. There were a few dozen people all together. Everyone was perspiring. The great dharma of karmic affinity selection that I had longed for was about to be performed.

  The holy Buddha-dharma realization that was displayed truly opened my eyes. A stone house suddenly turned into an image of Dorje Chang Buddha, and I could no longer see that house. All of the dharma that I witnessed was amazing. What I have just stated is not an exaggeration in the slightest.

  I used a white porcelain bowl that I brought with me from my home. After I washed it very clean, I poured tap water into it. I put into my mouth a mouthful of that tap water and rinsed my mouth with it. I then spit out half of it. What I spit out was clear and transparent. At that time, there was still some water in my mouth that I had not yet spit out. When I spit out the remaining water, it was as black as ink and foul-smelling. I was startled to see the black water that I had spit out. 

  I felt very moved. I vaguely remember that I cried like a little child. After the Buddha Master gave a discourse on the dharma, my tearful, shriveled face became like a blossoming flower. What remained were smiles and excitement. My negative karma had finally been made visible. The eyes of those in attendance glimmered with excitement and envy. My whole body suddenly felt extremely relaxed, and all my physical ailments vanished. At that time, my whole mentality became like that of a young girl. The structure of my body completely changed.       

  I saw water spit out by rinpoches and dharma teachers whereby they got rid of karmic obstructions. Some spit out water that was brown and appeared like live, wriggling insects. Some spit out water that was orange, some spit out water that was gray, some spit out water that was dark blue, and some spit out water that was dark green. Since each person’s karma was different, what they spit out was different.

  The Buddha Master then said, “It is strange. Why have all of you spit out such things? What have you added into the water?” Everyone responded by saying that the water was tap water that they themselves poured into the bowl and that they did not add anything to the water. The Buddha Master then said, “Do not be attached to this. Do not be attached to this. Do not think that the spitting out of water with a little color means that all of your karmic obstructions have been thoroughly eliminated. To truly and thoroughly eliminate karmic obstructions, you must practice the dharma of “What Is Cultivation?” that I have taught.” I now deeply understand that the Buddha-dharma is just that direct and that the magnificent Buddhas are just that selfless. The magnificent selection of karmic affinity dharma truly exists in this world! I personally experienced and saw the magnificent dharma to eliminate karmic obstructions! The phenomena that occurred during that ceremony occurred without any intent on my part. Today I make the following vow to the heavens: If what I have stated is false, may I descend into hell or become an animal without ever being raised to a higher realm of existence. If what I have stated is true, may I become accomplished in the dharma as soon as possible and benefit all living beings. 

  Respectfully written by Buddhist disciple

  Huei Chin Yang

** Buddha Master is Dorje Chang Buddha III