Those eminent monks and dharma kings wrote words praising H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III
(Master Wan Ko Yee
)as being the highest and greatest holy being and the only one in the history of Buddhism who has truly exhibited before living beings item after item of accomplishments in the Five Vidyas. As H.H. Great Dharma King Zunsheng stated in a formal pronouncement, the realization of any eminent monastic or person of great virtue in the world today cannot rival the realization of Holiest Tathagata Wan Ko Yeshe Norbu. H.H. Great Dharma King Zunsheng also made the following vow of truth: If any person or holy being is able to duplicate the mysterious sculpted treasures created by H.H. Wan Ko Yeshe Norbu, then this formal pronouncement of Great Dharma King Zunsheng has deceived the public. (The mysterious sculpted treasures are Enchanting Colors of Utmost Mystery, Mysterious Boulder With Mist, and certain other Yun sculptures with specific names.)
According to the system and rules of Buddhism in this world, there are only two beings of great holiness whose expositions of the dharma can be categorized as sutras. One of them is Sakyamuni Buddha. The other is the holy and venerable Vimalakirti. Besides those two, all other expositions of the dharma can only be called commentary rather than sutras. This is true no matter how great the Bodhisattva who has expounded the dharma is.
Some people say that Hui Neng gave the Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch. Actually, this is a matter of people of the world not understanding the system and rules of Buddhism. As a result, the word sutra was used based on exaggerated praise given to Hui Neng. The rank of the sixth patriarch was even lower than that of many Bodhisattvas. For example, Maitreya Bodhisattva is the next Buddha, who will conduct the Dragon Flower Assembly. The position of Maitreya Bodhisattva is very much higher than that of Hui Neng. However, expositions of the dharma given by Maitreya Bodhisattva cannot be called sutras. They can only be accepted as commentary. An example of this is the Yog-ac-ara-bh-umi-s-astra (Discourse on the Stages of Concentration Practice).
The holy and venerable Vimalakirti descended into this world during the time of Sakyamuni Buddha. He is the only ancient Buddha who transformed into a layman to expound the dharma. Sakyamuni Buddha personally taught the four types of disciples. Among them were the 500 monks who were difficult to teach and who did not want to arouse Mahayana bodhicitta. A skillful means was used to teach all of the monastics and 8,000 Bodhisattvas. After the ancient Buddha Dorje Chang expounded dharma in Abhirati (World of Wonderful Joy), He responded to karmic conditions by transforming into the holy and venerable Vimalakirti to help the Buddha teach the sangha, Bodhisattvas, and other disciples. The goal was to protect and uphold the Buddha-dharma taught by Sakyamuni Buddha. The level of realization attained by the holy and venerable Vimalakirti was the same as that attained by Sakyamuni Buddha. However, He did not want to assume the status of another leader of the religion in the human realm, thereby causing sectarianism and adding to the self-centeredness of practitioners. Considering that Sakyamuni Buddha became a Buddha in this earthly realm, the holy and venerable Vimalakirti acknowledged Sakyamuni as Buddha and chose to assist Sakyamuni Buddha by manifesting as a Bodhisattva. Thus, the holy and venerable Vimalakirti acted in the same way that the ancient Buddha Zheng Fa Ming (True Dharma Brightness) Tathagata acted when He transformed into Kuan Shi Yin Bodhisattva and also acted in the same way that Manjushri Bodhisattva, the Master of the seven Buddhas, acted.
All of this was done to benefit living beings. If two Buddhas of the same rank appeared at the same time, it would cause worldly divisions. It would hinder the development of Buddha-dharma and the saving of living beings. Actually, the Buddhas do not care who emerges as the leader of Buddhism. The Buddhas appear in whatever form and manner that best benefit living beings. Everything is done for the benefit of living beings based upon bodhicitta.
Therefore, people in general have had no way of discovering that the realization and enlightenment of the holy and venerable Vimalakirti were that high and that He was the incarnation of Dorje Chang Buddha, the foremost ancient Buddha who existed before Sakyamuni Buddha. However, the dharma discourses of the holy and venerable Vimalakirti are sutras, just as the dharma discourses of the Buddha are sutras. The dharma discourses of the holy and venerable Vimalakirti are not commentary. In the system of Buddhism, one such discourse is called Vilmalakirti-nirdesa Sutra (The Sutra of Vimalakirti). That sutra came into being during the same time period Sakyamuni Buddha was giving sutras. It is a very important Buddhist sutra. The Vimalakirti-nirdesa Sutra has been studied and followed in both Mahayana and Hinayana Buddhism.
In the dharma realm, the venerable Vimalakirti was the incarnation of Dorje Chang Buddha. Because the holy and venerable Vimalakirti was the incarnation of this sambhogakaya ancient Buddha, His consummate wisdom, realization, and level of enlightenment were higher than those of all Bodhisattvas. As the above-mentioned sutra states, when Sakyamuni Buddha told Maitreya Bodhisattva, the future Buddha, to lead a group of people to the holy and venerable Vimalakirti to inquire of His health, Maitreya Bodhisattva said to the Buddha, World Honored One, I am not qualified to visit Him and inquire about His illness. The reason Maitreya Bodhisattva gave to the Buddha was that when He (Maitreya Bodhisattva) was expounding the dharma to living beings, the holy and venerable Vimalakirti embarrassed Him and edified Him. Thus, Maitreya Bodhisattva did not dare visit Vimalakirti. All of the other Bodhisattvas were certain that the holy and venerable Vimalakirti possessed extremely high wisdom and that they fell far short of being up to such a task. They feared they would be embarrassed and did not dare go. Hence, in the end, Manjushri Bodhisattva, who is an ancient Buddha and Master of the seven Buddhas, led various Bodhisattvas, Arhats, and 500 monks to visit the holy and venerable Vimalakirti to inquire of His illness.
The holy and venerable Vimalakirti used His vast supernatural powers and wisdom to help Sakyamuni Buddha edify those visitors. One example is when the holy and venerable Vimalakirti manifested the realization and supernatural powers of a Buddha by moving all of the Bodhisattvas, Arhats, and Buddha-landXincluding Aksobhya Buddha (the Immovable Buddha)Xof Abhirati to this earthly realm for all of those Buddhist disciples to see. All of the Abhirati Bodhisattvas thought that the Immovable Buddha moved His Buddha-land and its Bodhisattvas to the human realm. At this time, the Immovable Buddha said, I did not do this. It was done through the supernatural powers of Vimalakirti. At this time, fourteen nayutas of people resolved to realize anuttara-samyaksambodhi. Only the powerful ancient Buddha Dojre Chang can move another Buddha to a different world. No Bodhisattva, no matter how high a stage he or she may be on, has the realization to accomplish such a feat.
In the sutra, Sakyamuni Buddha praised the holy and venerable Vimalakirti with the following words: One who makes offerings to that holy being should know that this is making offerings to the Buddhas. One who transcribes this sutra or keeps it in a room should know that the Tathagata exists in that room. The Buddha clearly stated that the holy and venerable Vimalakirti is a Buddha. Why did Vimalakirti have such high realization and enlightenment? It is because Vimalakirti was Buddha Vajradhara Dorje Chang Buddha, who is the master of the Five Buddhas in the five directions and the master of all Buddhas. Buddha Vajradhara Dorje Chang Buddha incarnated as the ancient Buddha Dipankara, who accepted Sakyamuni Buddha as a disciple. Dorje Chang Buddha is the highest ancestor, the highest ancient Buddha, and the greatest leader of all of the sects of exoteric and esoteric Buddhism.
Thus, the virtue, realization, and wisdom of the holy and venerable Vimalakirti were without rival in the world. All of the four types of disciples of the Buddha, be they monastic or lay, including Bodhisattvas, devoutly listened to and followed the teachings of the holy and venerable Vimalakirti. The holy and venerable Vimalakirti helped Sakyamuni Buddha lift the 500 monks and 8,000 Bodhisattvas to the attainment of accomplishment in the dharma. The holy and venerable Vimalakirti guided and edified countless great Bodhisattvas who aroused bodhicitta. The second Vimalakirti and third Dorje Chang Buddha is H.H. Wan Ko Yeshe Norbu Holiest Tathagata. Extremely holy dharma kings on the level of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have recognized this in accordance with the dharma and have provided certificates attesting to this as the dharma prescribes.