Passing Away in Cross-Legged Meditative Posture with Hands in Mudra
My name is Chi Lie Er, a disciple of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III Wan Ko Yeshe Norbu Holiest Tathagata. I would like to make a solemn vow. If all that I describe in the following is for the purpose of deceiving living beings and misleading living beings into taking an evil path, I will descend into Varjra Hell! If all that I describe is true and authentic, I will be liberated and will attain great accomplishment, and living beings will enjoy good fortune.
In May of 1991, my mother, Xianyun Zhao, was critically ill and was taken to the Eighth Hospital in Chengdu City. After examination by the Chief Resident, Professor Qiu, it was confirmed that her heart, liver, spleen, lungs and kidneys were all failing. A few days later, she was in a partial coma. Professor Qiu notified us to prepare for her funeral arrangements without delay.
Brother Hui Han Da and I rushed over to where the Buddha Master resided and pleaded with the Buddha Master to keep my mother alive until she learned dharma. At first, the Buddha Master did not agree and said, “I do not have the ability to keep a dying person alive.” Firmly believing that only the Buddha Master could make this happen, we knelt down for a long time without getting up, begging piteously and earnestly. Brother Hui Han Da said, “The weather is very hot now. The remains get rotten very quickly, which is not advantageous for performing certain Buddhist rituals. I beseech the Buddha Master to keep our mother alive until it is the cool weather of fall in October!” I cried my heart out and piteously begged the Buddha Master. The Buddha Master then said, “I will try! I will do my best! However, this is against the laws of impermanence, and I do not have such merit at all.”
After expressing my appreciation to my respected Master, we hurried back to the hospital. A miracle had happened! My mother regained consciousness. As soon as she was conscious, she was hungry, asking for food. To my surprise, she ate a large bowl of meatball soup. Professor Qiu did an examination on her and found the function of her heart, liver, spleen, lungs, and kidneys had returned to normal. The professor was extremely surprised and said this was a miracle indeed! Because my mother was no longer ill, she left the hospital three days later. The Buddha Master had kept my mother, whose karmic condition with this world was about to end, alive and transmitted to her the dharma of Esoteric Buddhism.
With time going by so fast, it was soon September 30th. Unexpectedly, the Buddha Master notified me, “Your mother is going to pass away on October 5th.” This was a big surprise to me, and once again I begged the Buddha Master to prolong her life for another period of time. The Buddha Master scolded me. “Originally, you pleaded to keep your mother alive until the fall when it was cool. Perhaps it is because your mother has practiced meditation and Buddha-dharma that she has recovered from her illness. How can I keep her alive? Besides, last time your mother was going to Yama (the deity who is the ruler of Hell). This time your mother will go to the Western Paradise of Ultimate Bliss. She is going to a wonderful place!” I hurried back home to stay with my mother for a few more days.
On October 2nd, just after 3:00 p.m., Brother Zhou from Chengdu accompanied the Buddha Master to my house. The Buddha Master expounded the following dharma to my mother. “The purpose of learning Buddhism and cultivation is to become a more benevolent person who furthers the well-being of others, ends the sufferings of life and death, and attains liberation from the cycle of reincarnation. Going to the Western Paradise of Ultimate Bliss is attaining liberation from the cycle of reincarnation. The Western Paradise of Ultimate Bliss is a very wonderful place. When you think of clothes, you will have the clothes. When you think of food, you will have the food. Also, you can listen to Amitabha Buddha expound the Buddha-dharma.” My mother asked the Buddha Master, “Buddha Master! How is the scenery of the Western Paradise of Ultimate Bliss?” The Buddha Master said, “Have you seen the lamp festival of Qing Yang Temple in Chengdu? The scenery in the Western Paradise of Ultimate Bliss is hundreds and thousands of times better.” The Buddha Master continued to expound many wonderful states in the Western Paradise of Ultimate Bliss. The more my mother listened, the happier she became. She could not wait to visit the Western Paradise of Ultimate Bliss. She even said to me, “I haven’t prepared the old shoes yet (special shoes made for people who pass away).” Everyone laughed.
Brother Zhou asked, “Buddha Master! Why did you give the elderly mother discourses on all those subjects today?” The Buddha Master replied, “She is going to the Western Paradise of Ultimate Bliss. And, not only that, she is going to pass away in a cross-legged meditative posture!”
The same evening, we returned with my mother to the old house in Xin Fan for a family reunion and farewell gathering. Several dozens of relatives and friends had come. My mother played cards with the guests until 12 o’clock at night and then rested. The relatives saw that my mother’s health was in a very good condition. Her face was rosy and radiant. She talked and laughed merrily. No one would ever believe that she was going to pass away in three days. The next day, after arranging for a photographer to come over and take pictures of the whole family, we headed back to Chengdu.
On the afternoon of October 4th, Brother Hui Han Da asked the Buddha Master, “Will my mother-in-law pass away tonight? Where will be the best place for her to pass away?” The Buddha Master replied, “It has to wait until tomorrow. The best place to go is Jewel Street because of the courtyard, where it will be convenient to perform Buddhist rituals.” Brother Hui Han Da pleaded to the Buddha Master to stay and assist my mother in practicing dharma. But the Buddha Master did not agree and said, “A minute before she is going to pass away, I will come.” In the evening, we walked with my mother to 33 Jewel Street. All of the brothers and sisters came, surrounding her bed and preparing to see my mother off. The entire family happily chatted until the next morning.
Some time after 9 o’clock on the morning of October 5th, the Buddha Master came to Jewel Street to make other Buddhist arrangements. Brother Hui Han Da asked the Buddha Master, “The spirit of my mother-in-law is still very well. She just ate her breakfast, and her face was radiant and rosy. Is this a sign of a sudden spurt of vigor just before death and is she ready to leave?” The Buddha Master said, “What does it have to do with a sudden spurt of vigor just before her death? The time has not come yet. When it is the time, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will arrive and escort her away. I have promised your mother-in-law that I will personally see her off in her last minute.”
It was just past 10 o’clock. All of a sudden, my mother sat up from the bed and called everyone to recite immediately the name of Amitabha Buddha. She then arranged herself in the cross-legged meditative posture, applied the secret mudra that the Master had transmitted to her, and began practicing dharma. Very soon, she was out of breath. We called her, but she could not respond to us anymore. Too bad! My mother had died!
All of the family members hurried around. It was just past 11 o’clock. The Buddha Master came. The Buddha Master started to practice dharma. I sat by the door protecting the altar. About ten minutes later, suddenly, auspicious and colorful clouds appeared in the sky surrounding the arrival of Kuan Yin Bodhisattva! At this time, abruptly from the top of my house came a cloud of fog containing beams of white light that rose up and appeared just like a lotus flower. Amidst the white fog, which was emitting snow white light beams, my mother was sitting with her hands held in a mudra and maintaining the cross-legged meditative posture. Sometimes this scene could be seen, but sometimes it could not be seen. Slowly, the light rose toward the direction of Kuan Yin Bodhisattva. Kuan Yin Bodhisattva joined the white cloud and escorted my mother, gradually rising up to the sky and into the distance. I was so moved by the holy state in front of my eyes that I stared at the sky dumbstruck. All of a sudden, I heard the voice of the Buddha Master, “Your mother has already been reborn in the Western Paradise of Ultimate Bliss!” At that moment, I retuned to normal.
In the room, my mother’s face was still rosy and radiant with a smile. She was sitting on the bed in a cross-legged meditative posture and holding her hands in a mudra. We reached our hands to about an inch above the top of my mother’s head. My goodness! It was exactly like hot steam, and it went straight up. This was a sign that only applied to people reborn to the Western Paradise of Ultimate Bliss. Everyone was all very happy and took pictures with my mother. When sending films to be developed, the person in the shop said, “This elderly lady is reciting the name of Buddha!” He did not realize that it was the dharma remains (corpse) of my mother who had already passed away.
The elderly lady Zhu, a neighbor, never socialized with us. She told Sister Xiaolian Li that she saw that Kuan Yin Bodhisattva had appeared in the sky to escort an elderly lady on the afternoon of the 5th. Therefore, Sister Li brought her to my house. Just at the time the elderly lady Zhu saw my mother’s dharma remains (body), she became excited and said, “Right! Right! Right! This was the elderly lady. This elderly lady is exactly the one I saw when Kuan Yin Bodhisattva escorted her away.” The news spread. Group by group, the nearby laypersons came over to look at my mother with reverence. My house was so crowded not even a drop of water could tickle through. People constantly came and left. Mr. Pu, another neighbor, said, “They do not look like they are having a funeral. I even think that they are more cheerful and happier than when they had a wedding in their house.”
On October 11th, we requested that Great Dharma Teacher Pu Cheng come over to place my mother’s body in a upright Buddhist casket. As soon as he entered the door and saw my mother, he uttered, “Amitabha!” and said, “Elderly sister, you have encountered authentic Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to liberate you. Another disciple of Master Yee 1 again! Look at you. You passed away in a cross-legged meditative posture and hold the Great Mudra of Three Jewels. This is truly incredible! I have stayed in the Bao Guang Temple for dozens of years and have been in charge of placing cremated remains in shrines. I have placed in shrines a lot of remains of great dharma teachers and monks. Except for the great layman Wang, I have never seen such extraordinary signs as this elderly laywoman has shown.”
During the escorting of my mother to the Bao Guang Temple for cremation, the sounds of celestial music and celestial drums accompanied the motorcade from Chengdu to Bao Guang Temple. These sounds lasted for about forty minutes and got louder and louder. We all put our palms together with endless appreciation and respect. What was magical was that we did not even turn on any electrical sounds in the cars at all!
In the early morning of the next day during cremation, fifty or sixty relatives and fellow disciples personally witnessed that surrounding the side of my mother’s dharma remains (corpse) were golden fire lotus flowers. During the cremation, seed characters in white, red and blue emanated from her forehead, throat, and heart areas. All of the people attending were joyful, encouraged, and gained a lot of faith from this. We especially appreciated and thought of the virtue and kindness of our Buddha Master, who sent my mother to the Western Paradise of Ultimate Bliss!
In today’s world, are there any great rinpoches or dharma teachers who can predict the time of someone’s death and be absolutely correct to the exact minute? Who can keep alive a person whose lifespan has come to an end? Who can say that he can request a particular Buddha or Bodhisattva to escort someone away and that particular Buddha or Bodhisattva will comply? All these things can only be demonstrated in the results of the teachings of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III!