Buddha Light

On the night before the Dharma Assembly marking the grand opening of the temple, Buddha light bathed Hua Zang Si. People at the scene saw the auspicious sign of a mani vajra appear amid the Buddha light. (Photograph by Li Guang-Ming)


Reprint from Washington Chinese News January 1, 2005




After 10:00 on the night of December 25, 2004, many people gathered inside the courtyard of Hua Zang Si, a Buddhist temple located in downtown San Francisco. Many of them were monastics who wore the robes of Buddhist nuns, while many others were laypersons. Some were sitting on benches, and some were simply sitting on the ground. All of them were looking up to the sky. Their eyes swept back and forth as they continuously observed the thick, dark clouds above. Being curious, I asked, “What are all of you doing?” Someone answered me in a low voice, “Another dimension is about to appear. Soon, the light of the Buddha will come and bathe Hua Zang Si. This is a rare occurrence in history. Wait here and see. ”


At that time, I realized that something strange was happening in the sky. I seemed to feel a slight drizzle on my face. Someone said that such drizzle resulted from the power of the Buddha light. Frankly speaking, nobody would believe the mistaken concept that a feeling of dampness could replace the Buddha light itself. I noticed that some people no longer believed that the Buddha would perform the holy feat of sending down light to bathe the temple. However, some people said, “Buddha light will surely appear. The Great Dharma King has informed us of this and wants all of us to watch for it. What’s more, it will appear tonight!”


I was somewhat skeptical about such a mysterious way of speaking. Could it be that the Buddha-dharma really does have such power? Someone in the know told me, “Layperson Chiang Shu-Hui just received a phone call from Great Dharma King Yangwo Yeshe Norbu, who is in Mexico. The Great Dharma King asked her, ‘Do you see a Buddha light in the sky?’ Shu-Hui and others then ran to the courtyard and looked up to the sky. There were only thick, dark clouds that densely covered the San Francisco sky, which indicated that a storm was about to arrive. There was no Buddha light. Chiang Shu-Hui replied to the Dharma King, ‘The clouds over San Francisco are thick. Not only is there no Buddha light, even the moon cannot be seen.’ The Great Dharma King responded, ‘Hua Zang Si is the first temple in the West that truly carries out the teachings of the Buddha. It is a temple that does not differentiate between the various sects and that propagates the orthodox dharma. To empower and consecrate Hua Zang Si before its grand opening, the Buddha will bestow colorful, round light that will envelop and bathe the temple. All of you should wait there and see. Soon, the clouds will disperse, and Buddha light will appear.’ After hearing such joyous news, we all gathered and began watching for the Buddha to bestow light that would consecrate Hua Zang Si.”


After about a half hour, the clouds in the sky were getting thicker and thicker. A slight drizzle descended. Many people were disappointed. But there were those who were still very confident that Buddha light would appear. The abbess of Hua Zang Si, Dharma Master Long Hui, said, “Do not worry. Our Vajradhara Dharma King is one who speaks the truth. His words have always been true.”


After another half hour, when it was about 11:30, the drizzling stopped. The dark clouds then suddenly split apart, leaving a crack in the middle. The clouds separated, with one part going toward the south and one part going toward the north. The sky appeared, as did a half moon. Three round and colorful Buddha lights grew from small to large, gradually becoming resplendent. They emitted dazzling light that directly enveloped Hua Zang Si. Everyone was suddenly brimming with joy. People were heard exclaimed words such as, “The Buddha-dharma is great. Magnificent Vajradhara Great Dharma King, we see the Buddha lights. The Buddha lights have truly consecrated Hua Zang Si!”


At that time, a Great Rinpoche said, “Let us all quiet down. Is this only a matter of seeing Buddha lights? Why don’t we ponder this event? This is not just a matter of seeing Buddha lights. We should think about this seriously. What type of true and magnificent Buddha-dharma caused this? Where is this Buddha-dharma? What type of a magnificent, holy person must one be to dare to make a conclusive prediction about the occurrence of a holy event and then have people openly watch and wait for it to occur? What type of magnificent, holy person must one be to cause such a holy event to unfold before everyone’s eyes exactly as predicted within one hour of its prediction? Even the most simple-minded people should understand the answers to these questions! Thus, this is not just a matter of seeing Buddha lights. No matter how much supernatural power you may have, can you command the clouds in the sky to disperse and Buddha lights to appear and perform empowerment? Performing such feats would be impossible except for one who has attained the most magnificent and holy Buddha-dharma state! Can this be denied?”


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