Home » Features » Are Manifestations & Mediums Of Bodhisattvas & Buddhas Around?

This article was submitted to, and published in the April-June 2014 issue of Nanyang Buddhist, the magazine of Singapore Buddhist Federation.

We should respect all beings,
even helpful humans, gods and ghosts.
However, Buddhists only take refuge
in the perfect Buddhas, Dharma and Aryasangha.

An interestingly phrased question arose recently – ‘Why do mediums not get any Buddha to answer their devotees’ questions?’ Before there is further confusion, we should be clear that the use of mediums is not a Buddhist practice. Instead, for Chinese culture, it is part of folk religion. There are naturally irreconcilable aspects of different religions, which is why they are different in the first place and remain so. In this sense, even if a medium of any religion claims to be able to ‘channel’ a Buddha or Bodhisattva through him or her, this is entirely frowned upon by all orthodox Buddhists with right understanding. The only exception is the traditional but very exclusive use of a few trusted oracles in Tibetan Buddhism involving time-tested and dedicated Dharma protector deities (who are not Buddhas or Bodhisattvas) for very special matters.

Even if there are some who claim advice from some mediums believed to represent Buddhas and Bodhisattvas to be effective, Buddhists should never consult their services. There are two kinds of ‘mediums’ – the false ones and the genuine ones. As it is difficult to discern one from the other, one might be paying (or contributing ‘donations’) while being tricked. For false mediums, there are again two kinds. The first are the downright fakes, who consciously put on theatrical acts to fool devotees to part with their money. The second are somewhat but not total fakes, who subconsciously autosuggest themselves, often also through peer pressure of those who believe they are special, to have the ability to call upon ‘higher beings’. Such ‘mediums’ are still false, even if they have no intention to deceive, and do wish to help others.

Despite power of the autosuggestable mind, that can even express seemingly superhuman feats of endurance, there are still obvious physical and spiritual limits. If a medium, say, is supposedly possessed by an ‘animal-god’, such as a ‘monkey’, why is he or she not able to climb and swing from trees, somersaulting like a real monkey? Unless… the medium was not really possessed by such a being, while being unable to fully autosuggest oneself to believe such feats can be done. Even if capable of some acrobatics, there is the puzzle of how a character from a fictitious novel can assist real people with real problems. If the Monkey King in ‘Journey to the West’ (which is not a proper Dharma text) was written to have learnt the Dharma, this begs the question of why, if he is real, his ‘mediums’ do not preach it directly, which would surely lead to full house classes attended by thousands.

Even if a medium is genuine, he or she will not be able to ‘summon’ the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas – as the enlightened ones never taught that they are summonable through any medium. In fact, in the Surangama Sutra (楞严经), Sakyamuni Buddha, our fundamental teacher, clearly instructed Bodhisattvas and Arhats who manifest in various manners in our world to aid us to never ever reveal their true identities while alive, at most disclosing who they are just before (or after) departure. While this might sound deceptive, the purpose of this is exactly the opposite – for preventing legitimisation of self-proclaimed identities for deception by anyone. Imagine if the Buddha taught instead, that all Bodhisattvas and Arhats should announce who they are to the whole wide world. Not that there are not already many, there would be even more with bold false claims.

Therefore, anyone who puts up an actual or virtual signboard (e.g. biodata, namecards, websites, posters, tickets, books, magazines) claiming oneself to be a Buddha, Bodhisattva or Arhat is directly not a true Buddhist, much less a Buddhist teacher or spokesperson for any of the enlightened, who are explicitly forbidden to claim any enlightened identity in our era. As the Buddha gravely put it, ‘Thus as I have said, is named the Buddhas’ speech [teachings]. Not thus as said, is Papiyan’s [Mara: the evil one] speech.’ (‘如我所说,名为佛说。不如此说, 即波旬说。’) Those who make audacious claims and remain in this world are out to gather fame and fortune. Such worldly ambitions straightaway render them spiritually impure. In some cases, false teachers have been influenced or possessed by Mara (or his minions) personally, to confuse the masses, and distract them from the true Dharma.

Genuine mediums, at most, can only ‘channel’ gods and ghosts. Even the duo can be hard to differentiate as there are some ghosts (or wandering spirits) who like to possess mediums to relay messages, while impersonating others. Helpful to some extent as they might be at times, and playful at other times, their advice is not ultimate as they are not enlightened – which is why they are ghosts. Even if a god possesses a medium, the messages conveyed are still imperfect as he or she is not a fully enlightened ‘Teacher of humans and gods’, a title reserved for Buddhas. Believability in mediums arises when they seem to know past events and current situations. This is simply because gods and ghosts (and some humans) can read the thoughts of their devotees about their past and present to limited extents, so as to give seemingly ‘relevant’ answers, that do not guarantee accurate forecast of the future.

Mediums are also surely not messengers of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas as they are usually consulted only by non-Buddhists or confused Buddhists lacking in understanding. As such, the queries presented to them are usually mundane in nature, while they are never asked profound Dharma enquiries. Thus, these mediums are never ‘tested’ on their authenticity as ‘enlightened’ spokespersons. Even if not asked, they ought to speak more in congruence with actual Buddhist teachings, using more direct references from the Buddha’s teachings to further interest in the Dharma. For instance, if a medium claims to be able to ‘summon’ Guanyin Bodhisattva, he or she should be able to expound on her teachings, such as the Heart Sutra, with incomparable clarity, delivering detailed sermons often, instead of merely advising on worldly woes.

Mediums of the like above are also never dedicated students of the Dharma, for if they are, they would have come across the Surangama Sutra teaching, which admonishes assumption of sacred identities for ‘branding’ their ‘spiritual’ consultations. Some might imagine that since the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have great compassion, they should also manifest through mediums. Well, the enlightened will never go against the unequivocally stated Surangama teaching, as this would confuse us. Even if they really do help through mediums, they will never say they are the enlightened, which would counter that teaching. The Buddha’s warning against seeking (and being) such mediums is clear and indisputable. Even though Buddhists know others ‘borrow’ the statuses of Buddhist enlightened beings for medium practices, it does not mean this is agreeable. As these great beings originate from Buddhism, all should learn its true teachings to know what they really stand for.

The more one frequents mediums, the further one digresses from the path to Buddhahood. There would be greater refuge in gods and ghosts than in the ‘Teacher of humans and gods’ (and ghosts and all other beings). One might be asked to do practices against the Dharma too, such as animal sacrifice, which creates negative karma, aggravating existing problems. With possible addiction to medium advice for life’s issues instead of learning and applying the Dharma, this can stunt growth of personal wisdom. Most importantly, even if the advice is somewhat helpful, it does not lead to liberation, as gods and ghosts themselves are still trapped in the rounds of rebirth. With much proximity to mediums, especially those with access to real ghosts, the devotee’s karmic affinity with them might deepen, to further associate with them when being reborn.

Since summoned beings are unenlightened, they have greed, hatred and delusion to some extent. This means there might be a price to pay if their wrath is incurred, or if their expectations are not met. Praying to enlightened Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, there is no such problem. Since consultation of mediums does not ensure ideal results, and might even be dangerous, Buddhists stay clear of them. What is the alternative for those who wish to ‘look for’ deceased ones? As stated in the Ksitigarbha Sutra (地藏经), one can ask the Buddha, who has perfect compassion and wisdom, for help, before sincerely being mindful of his name. Connecting to his blessings, inspired answers will arise in the mind or in a dream so vivid that one will know it is not imagined. Mindfulness of the Dharma for diligent practice helps us much in everyday life too.

In Tibetan Buddhism, although some masters are believed by disciples to be manifestations of the enlightened, they never personally claim so. Even H.H. the 14th Dalai Lama, the most popular Tibetan Buddhist teacher, when asked if he is Guanyin Bodhisattva, says he is just ‘a simple monk’. If one comes across ‘teachers’ with repeated use of self-proclaimed titles of being such and such an enlightened being, or as a special earthly representation, it is best to keep far away. All authentic Buddhist teachers would follow the Buddha’s advice to attract the interested through the Dharma itself, not through such dubious marketing, which unfortunately easily attracts those uninformed of the Surangama teaching. Regarded as a ‘demon-reflecting mirror’ that reveals those affected by inner and/or outer demons, it must be used for self-reflection and for checking the integrity of ‘teachers’.

There are many kinds of false teachers riding on the name of Buddhism for easy gain of popularity. Some use many Buddhist terms and even speak of Buddhist sutras, mantras, meditation and such – for luring in nominal or new Buddhists who are vaguely familiar with them, to look credible, while reinterpreting them with self-concocted twists, throwing in non-Dharma in the mix that deviates from the real deal. This makes their teachings different, as if of a new tradition with exclusive ‘benefits’, while they are corrupting the actual teachings. Anything that radically differs from what the Buddha and great ancient Buddhist masters taught is almost always erroneous. Some claim to have special powers, such as being able to recall devotees’ past lives for advising accordingly – when these stories cannot be verified at all. This is how they stay off the hook.

They play mind games, making wide and thus safe guesses to suggest having predictive power, getting devotees to publicise only right guesses. Any open display of supernormal powers, not that they are real in the case of false teachers, that especially fosters the ego and distracts others from the true Dharma is forbidden by the Buddha. Those who display them are not true Buddhists. Pretending to be able to heal some is one of the easiest ways to attract crowds. If they are really so capable, why not directly visit hospitals? Any true physical healing does not lead to good rebirths or liberation from rebirth anyway. The Buddha was thus focused on being a spiritual over a physical doctor, as death is inevitable. That said, practice of the Buddha’s true teachings already can lead to natural healing due to eradication of negative karma that causes illness.

What if a ‘teacher’ who clearly flouts rules of conduct set by the Buddha seems to have some genuine supernormal powers? Well, even Mara (the most evil being in a world system) has some supernormal powers. Even ghosts, as above, can read minds. Thus, merely showing some powers does not guarantee truth of claims of being enlightened or a representative of the enlightened. It is no gauge of having real compassion and wisdom, while being bait for drawing in devotees. Since such powers can be demonically influenced, we must totally steer clear of such ‘teachers’, who might demonically influence us to be blind followers. Just as unexposed stage tricks, due to our lack of scrutinising ability should not make us think illusionists are miracle men, those who perform stunts in the name of religion should not simply be taken as real ‘saviours’.

With their bursting egos, false teachers tend to sell themselves through others, as being the ‘best’ teachers available, photoshopping to add auras of light around their pictures. With heavy international marketing, they can easily gather many of the faithful but deluded. Some use planted or incomplete ‘testimonials’ of those who ‘had’ semi-imaginary ‘healing’ effects with their ‘assistance’ to attract more. The more lavish packaging there is, the more should all be alert. The biodata of false teachers is also usually elaborate but upon closer look, is vague and untraceable to reputable and still existing people and institutions in the Buddhist community. Some appear monastic or even pseudo-monastic, especially those without a recognised lineage, or with one that disowned them. Some are established in worldly life, and tap upon this for popularising themselves as ‘Buddhist teachers’ – when these factors are not connected at all.

Some create spurious awards to praise and promote themselves. Some claim to have had special private instructions from late great teachers, so as to lean on their fame, while appearing to be their top disciples taking up the mantle. Some create fake histories through detailed (auto)biographies by their ‘devotees’, with outlandish claims of their ‘supernormal powers’ and ‘enlightened’ experiences, which cannot be proven. While ensuring such tall tales circulate, they cunningly pretend to be ‘humble’. Some even claim to have met the ‘enlightened’, who ‘endorsed’ them, which makes them their ‘equivalent’ or their ‘messengers’. Such ways of promoting the so-called ‘Dharma’, focusing on personal claims is wrong as the Buddha taught us to rely on the Dharma, instead of any personality. If a person is relied on in excess, one can easily be misled eventually.

How do the truly enlightened manifest in our world then? A great example would be Great Master Yinguang (1861-1940). Despite living a truly humble and frugal life, he was so awe-inspiring in conduct and instruction, that adheres strictly to the Buddha’s teachings, that he was posthumously conferred as the 13th Patriarch of the Pure Land Tradition by the Buddhist world, while being revealed to be a manifestation of Mahasthamaprapta [Dashizhi; Great Power Arrived] Bodhisattva. Never flashy, yet he remains prominent in his influence as an outstanding teacher. Remember – even the Buddha, who announced his true and full enlightenment, did not keep harping on his status, and let the worth of his actions and teachings speak for themselves. Egoistic imposters however, seek more attention for deluded reasons. Their demons are all clearly reflected in the great mirror of the Surangama Sutra!

- By various Dharma protectors

Even helpful humans, gods and ghosts
who have yet to take refuge
in perfect Buddhas, Dharma and Aryasangha
have yet to truly realise their worth.

Related Articles:

How To Awaken Those Tricked By Buddhist Cults
How To Prevent Being Tricked By ‘Buddhist’ Cults

Who Has Been To Pure Land & Back? (With Full Surangama Sutra Quote)
The Buddha’s Warnings Against Demonic False Teachers
The Buddha’s Admonition Against Making False Spiritual Claims (With Another Full Surangama Sutra Quote)

Recommended Courses:

List will be updated regularly

17 Responses to “Are Manifestations & Mediums Of Bodhisattvas & Buddhas Around?”

  1. avatar
    TrueBuddhists February 20, 2014

    For the information of all, false teachers riding on the brand of ‘Buddhism’ include the following. This list is not exhaustive, and contains but the tip of the iceberg of how the related organisations misportray the Buddhist teachings:

    1. Jin Pu Ti 金菩提 (Master Jin Bodhi) of ‘Meditation & Health’ magazines and ‘Bodhi Meditation’: Claims to have met Amitabha Buddha in biography, who didn’t know what to say to him, hinting that he is already perfect. He has a dubious background, wears robes modelled to look similar to but yet different from monastic robes – probably for the ‘best’ of both worlds – to attract those who prefer monastic teachers while looking like a layperson too.

    2. Lu Sheng Yan 盧勝彥 of ‘True Buddha School’ (Not to be mistaken as the late Chan Master Sheng Yen): Claims to be a living Buddha, who has his own Pure Land and sutra.

    3. Lu Jun Hong 卢军宏 / Lu Taizhang (of Oriental Radio): Claims to be Guanyin Bodhisattva’s manifestation in publicity materials, and mixes twisted Dharma teachings with his own

    4. Qing Hai Wu Shang Shi 清海無上師 / Suma (‘Supreme Master’) Ching Hai: Claims to be enlightened and supreme but teaches deviated form of Buddhism. Her organisation runs Loving Hut/Heart restaurants.

    5. Dromtug or Jamseng ‘Rinpoche’ & Kadampa associates 种菟’仁波切’ / 睿吉祥’活佛’ (of Kadhampa Buddhist Association 国际嘎档巴 ) : Claims to be Guanyin Bodhisattva and Dromtonpa, the great late Kadampa master, promotes worship of a hungry ghost (Dorje Shugden) against advice of orthodox Tibetan Buddhist community. Linked to New Kadampa Tradition (led by Geshe Kelsang Gyatso) with same beliefs. Regularly slams HHDL for not supporting their beliefs, although none of the orthodox Tibetan sects’ heads do.

    6. Michael Roach (‘Geshe’) (of Diamond Cutter Institute): Claims to be a first level Bodhisattva, had sexual relations despite monastic celibacy vows, denounced by HHDL Office

    7. Ken Tay Bien Keong (Dai Purui; Dai Mianqiang; 戴普锐; 戴缅强; 戴老师): Constructs stupas that installs double-edited version of the last sutra to exist in this world (Immeasurable Life Sutra). This is against the lineage and advice of the 13th Pure Land Patriarch Great Master Yinguang, who admonished the editing of any sutra spoken by the Buddha. Tay is unrepentant despite formal warnings.

    8. Soka 创价学会: They practise a deviated form of ‘Buddhism’ focusing on material well-being. They see Nichiren (an ancient monk) as a Buddha, when he never said so at all; displacing the importance of our fundamental teacher – Sakyamuni Buddha. They focus very selectively on only 2 chapters of the Lotus Sutra in twisted ways, while discounting the worth of all other teachings by Sakyamuni Buddha. They have no monastic members at all; discounting the value of monks and nuns. In short, the very basis of the Threefold Refuge for them, the Buddha, Dharma and Sangha, are wrong. Website by victims: http://www.toride.org/eindex.html

    9. Li Hongzhi 李洪志: Falun Gong / Falun Dafa: Claims to be the greatest of all Buddhas. Uses Buddhists terms in teachings not adhering to true Buddhism.

    10. Yiguandao 一贯道/ Tiandao 天道: Selectively and secretly mixes different religious teachings together and twistedly reinterprets them in a supposedly exclusive light, that does injustice to each religion’s true teachings, including Buddhism. Uses Buddhist personage such as Maitreya Bodhisattva (whom they address as Buddha), Guanyin Bodhisattva, Jigong… for ‘worship’.

    11. Baha’i Faith: Claims Maitreya Buddha has already manifested as Bahá’u’lláh when in Buddhist sutras, he arrives 5.6 billion years later.

    12. Shinnyo-En: 1. See file at https://dspace.stir.ac.uk/handle/1893/2264 and search for ‘Singapore’ within the thesis for a glimpse of the Shinnoyen’s works in Singapore. They have mediums communicating to members the wishes/advice of supposedly ancestors and founder’s departed sons. But there are witnesses of conflicting information from different mediums under the same organisation. There is follow-up of asking for ‘petition prayers’ that requires money. The heavy use of ‘mediums’ is proof of deviation from orthodox Buddhism, what more with conflicting messages, which means they are inaccurate. (Medium culture in Buddhism is unique only a few deity oracles in Tibetan Buddhism.) Repeated regular offerings of money is suggested.

    13: Happy Science (as led by Ryuho Okawa 大川隆法): Why this is problematic is obvious at http://www.vice.com/read/my-afternoon-with-a-failed-japanese-cult

    14. Phra Dhammachayo; Dhammakaya; Wat Phradhammakaya Singapore; Kalyanamitta Centre: ‘Sells’ Nirvana as a heaven that can be ‘bought’ by donations. Speaks of much unverifiable sci-fi inspired matters. Embroiled in much money scandals.

    More info at http://viewonbuddhism.org/controversy-controversial-teacher-group-center-questionable.html

  2. avatar
    ProperBuddhistsToo February 21, 2014

    Lu Jun Hong 卢军宏 teaches nonsense such as the below:

    1. Lu says the Heart Sutra can only be chanted at certain times. Likewise for Amitabha Sutra. There are no such rules in reality as these sutras can benefit all beings at all times. Beings can die at any time too, which is when these sutras can help create merits and guide them to a safe rebirth, especially the Amitabha Sutra (along with the name of Amituofo).

    2. Lu claims to be able to recall devotees’ past lives when there is no proof at all. Such blatant claim of power is forbidden by the Buddha, not that he really has such power in the first place. He was caught lying by a friend who attended one of his events. A man asks why he has cancer. Lu thinks for a while, pretending to see his past, and he says because he did fishing. Man retorted that he fished only once in this life. Lu replies that once is enough! Lu was blindly guessing. As many have fished before, he took a gamble. And when rebutted, had to rationalise it away. If it is so easy to get cancer, many are condemned indeed.

    3. Lu sometimes ‘predicts’ correctly – e.g. a man to have some heart problem. Well, those who do tend to be old, weak or overweight in appearance. Heart trouble is a common ailment too. Out of every publicised right guess, many more wrong guesses are NOT reported. This is the nature of such claims – results of cherry-picking.

    4. Lu claims on news ads and tickets to be Guanyin Bodhisattva’s manifestation when no other true Buddhist teacher ever does that in history. Lu cannot be a Bodhisattva as the article above states clearly that the Buddha forbade such declarations.

    5. Lu mixes advice such as to chant this or that sutra to be helped on this and that issue. Of course, proper chanting of sutras will surely have some benefits. This is one of his ways of tricking people into experiencing the positive effects of his ‘teachings’ – which do not really come from his ‘power’.

    6. Lu, if he is a Bodhisattva (which he is not), like all true Bodhisattvas again, are forbidden by the Buddha to openly display any supernormal power, as the Buddha wants people to be attracted to the Dharma, not to possible mind games and staged magic tricks. Think – why did the Buddha not set up stage somewhere to just offer visitors healing advice all day? Even physical healing that works does not lead to spiritual liberation or getting closer to it. Pretending to be able to heal is one of the easiest ways to attract crowds, but the Buddha never did that as he was focused on being a spiritual, not a physical doctor. That said, practice of the Buddha’s true teachings can lead to actual healing naturally due to eradication of negative karma that causes illness.

    7. Lu teaches that we shouldn’t help others first by dedicating merits to them but should help ourselves, so as to ‘protect’ ourselves, in case we run out of merits, while inviting karmic creditors to look for us to solve their problems. This is nonsense. When we share merits, this itself creates more merits as it is an act of compassion and generosity. Those who don’t share merits foster selfishness and will digress from path to Buddhahood. Sharing of merits is the tenth great practice of Puxian Bodhisattva’s vows – crucial for all to become Buddhas. It is more meritorious to share merits than not. According to Ksitigarbha Bodhisattva, only 1/7 of merits can be shared anyway, as a natural law. Those who don’t share merits might be disturbed by beings who need some urgently, such as deceased relatives.

    8. Lu uses scare tactics such as the above to keep people glued to his teachings because he preaches something ‘different’. But they are different because they are nonsense. For instance, those who practise mindfulness of Amituofo (Amitabha Buddha) already have the protection of ALL Buddhas. This is stated clearly in the Amitabha Sutra. Why is there need to dread ‘running out’ of merits due to sharing them?

    9. Lu teaches that people should not work as police who nab thieves and doctors who cure others as this intervenes with their karma. This is nonsense. The Bodhisattva path entails protecting and helping as many beings as possible, and to right wrongs; not being apathetic. Our karmic paths are already interlinked anyway, especially when we have come across those whom we can help. If it is true that others should not be helped, why is Lu teaching such nonsense, which clearly intervenes with others’ karma?

    10. For extra information, here is a link showing some common fake faith-healing techniques, some of which can be seen at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jYjgeayfYPI These techniques might or might not be used by Lu and his likes.

  3. avatar

    Firstly, sincere thanks to the above commenter for sharing their posts. (Y)

    This is a very important and beneficial post. It reminded me during my childhood days, i was brought to a place where this ‘问米婆’ wiould go into a trance, spoke in tongue and have a voice which resemblance my diseased uncle. It was a frightening and eerie experience to me.

    The medium ‘问米婆’ would came to us calling our names, holding our hands and wailing away and telling how much ‘he/she’ had missed us, my late ‘uncle’ would also relate what he would need in the other world.

    This experience has left a very deep imprint on my mind. It’s a scary experience. Till now i have never got myself involved in such activity though some of my ‘concern’ relatives had once engage such medium to ‘seek’ for my very own late dad. I nicely rejected to join them and told them they might not be able to locate my dad, as Pure Land is very far away. ;-) :-P :-D Amituofo

  4. avatar
    aPurelander February 21, 2014

    Mediums can appear to speak in voices similar to the deceased as they can read the minds of the survivors who remember the voice. This is how they can know the names of those present too.

    Even if they did summon the real spirit, there is no real need to seek audience if the survivors ask the Buddha for answers, as in the article above. What the deceased thinks he or she needs is often not what is really needed, due to being confused. This is why the Buddha’s teachings and advice come in as truly relevant.

    The practice of mindfulness of Amituofo (Amitabha Buddha) to create much merits to dedicate to the deceased and to guide the deceased to also be sincerely mindful of Amituofo to reach Pure Land are the most practical things to do. Amituofo

  5. avatar

    Loads of thanks for further clarification. I’m also doubtful about 卜签, is this related to Buddhism?

  6. avatar
    TruthBeSaid February 22, 2014

    Statement Regarding “Lu Jun Hong’s Function in Malaysia”
    22 February 2014 at 14:43













  7. avatar
    DebunkersToo February 25, 2014

    Lu Jun Hong’s main method of teaching is known as 心灵法门.

    Observation 1:

    Lu comes across like a medium who claims to be able to see things with his super natural powers. The term that is used for this enquiry process is called 现场看图腾。He would first ask for the zodiac and year of birth of the subject of the questions. After hearing questions from his believers, he would close his eyes and appear to be able to see things related to the questions. He also seemed to be able to tell things in the past and present, but not the future. However, we observed the answers given by Lu is often vague and not precise. His answers would be broad and vague enough to give imaginative space for the believers to come out with their own version of the answers after hearing from Lu. We also observed that some forms of coercion was used when he conveyed the answers to his believer. The way that Lu put across the answers, his believers would find it difficult to negate them as they would be seen as stupid or do not believe him.

    Observation 2:

    In one of the case examples, a young lady enquired for her sick father. Lu again attempted to find answers by closing his eyes. Lu told the young lady that her father’s recovery is going to be tough. Lu claimed that he could not see what would happen after 51 years old (the young lady’s father is 51 years old at the point of enquiry). If Lu is indeed the manifestation of Guanyin, he should have advised the young lady’s father to Nianfo, and pointed Pureland as the place of salvation from suffering. Moreover, if Lu is indeed Guanyin, he should possess the ability to see what would most likely (at that point) happen beyond this life.

    Observation 3:

    In some instances, after Lu has given the answers to his believers, he advised them to burn “Small House” 小房子, which is simply a piece of paper with words written on it. The name of some mantras and sutras will be indicated on it as well as the name of the person to whom the family would like to offer the 小房子. It was believed that the 小房子 would be burned to offer some kind of prayers/help/salvation to the deceased. This is fundamentally a huge misconstrued belief of Buddhism of the way we offer our prayers to the deceased.

    (The 小房子 is simply a yellow ‘form’ with the outline of a house, for filling in the names of persons prayers are offered to, the offerer, date, and circles for checking off number of times the listed chants have been chanted.)

    There are many articles by his ex-believers or people who have found him as a conman.

  8. avatar
    DebunkersThree February 25, 2014

    Joint Press Statement by Major Buddhist Associations in Malaysia

    21 February 2014

    Mr. Lu Jun Hong from Australia (Director of Australia’s Eastern Radio Station, also known as Director Lu), will be organizing a Q&A seminar regarding “A Summary on the Art of Mystery” on 2nd of March 2014 in Malaysia. In relation to this seminar, many Buddhist associations have received enquiries from the public on whether the contents of this seminar are in accordance with the real Buddhist teachings. Thus, the major Buddhist associations in Malaysia felt the need to clarify and reiterate the true Buddhist teachings in order to educate the public.

    Buddhism has been propagated for more than 2500 years and Mahayana and Tibetan Buddhism have been inherited and developed for more than a thousand years. Every sutra and mantra consists of profound meanings and teachings to relieve the sufferings of sentient beings and such teachings should not be altered by any lay person.

    The spiritual teachings advocated by Director Lu contains interpretations that are unknown in Buddhism, including opposing the transference of merits, indicating timings that are unsuitable for chanting, advocating that certain sutra and mantra can fulfill the different needs of devotees, advocating that the “heavenly way” is more invincible than the Buddha’s realm, sketching a small house and burning it after chanting to seek merits etc. Even though he cites many Buddhist sutras and mantras in his teachings, if one compares them to the real Buddhist texts, one will know that such teachings are not the real teachings of the Buddha.

    Buddhist teachings emphasize on educating devotees to realize the true reality of the universe and human life and do not encourage greed and attachment to worldly pleasures. Buddhism emphasizes on benefiting oneself and others, one can transfer his or her merits to family, friends, the world and the Dharma realm. Focusing on these two points, Director Lu opposes such practice and limits the teachings of The Great Compassion Mantra and Heart Sutra within the pursuit of worldly merits, healing of diseases, and is against the act of transference of merits, thereby disregarding the main objectives of compassion and wisdom in Buddhism.

    Apart from this, Director Lu specializes in interpreting dreams and Feng Shui and he claims to be able to converse with the Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva and thus he is rather popular among the public; some devotees even worship him as the incarnation of the Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva. Buddhism emphasizes on following the Dharma but not the individual, the practice of promoting personal worshipping is not encouraged in Buddhism.

    Lastly, if you wish to know more about Buddhism and its cultivation methods, we would like to appeal to the public to participate in Dharma services and courses organized by major Buddhist Dharma centers, so that you will be on the right path and not be confused by the teachings of a cult. Should you have any enquiries, you may contact any Buddhist associations and Dharma teachers within the country.

    Thus, the major Buddhist associations of Malaysia hereby release a press statement to ensure a correct understanding on this issue.

    Joint Statement by:

    Malaysian Buddhist Association
    Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia
    Malaysian Buddhist Dharma Propagation Association
    Sri Lankan Buddhist Progress Association of Malaysia
    Malaysian Buddhist Vajrayana Association
    Theravada Buddhist Association of Malaysia
    Buddha’s Light International Association of Malaysia
    Fo Guang Shan Malaysia
    Fa Gu Shan Malaysia
    Petaling Guan Yin Temple
    Kuala Lumpur He Ming Zen Temple

  9. avatar
    DebunkersFour February 25, 2014

    12 more points for debunking Lu Jun Hong 卢军宏:

    1. Lu never clearly guarantees or shows proof of the outcome of his predictions of the future, while musing about the past in unverified ways. This is the typical trait of a fortune-telling con-man. He presents no clearly conclusive medically verified before-after cases. ‘Devotees’ are sent off to do chanting and never followed up, while ‘successful’ cases are highlighted. This is typical cherry-picking, with rotten cherries unaccounted for, similar to many faith-healing frauds.

    2. Lu needs to know the birth year and Chinese zodiac sign of the person he gives advice about. This is nonsensical showmanship for two reasons. First, if he is a manifestation of Guanyin Bodhisattva, he would have direct knowledge of who the person in question is. Second, there are countless people born in the same year and thus with the same zodiac sign, which means such broad birth information is insufficient.

    3. After asking about the above birth information, Lu closes his eyes and pretends to see the person’s past or present situation. What he is doing instead is to take some time to concoct a believable and ‘interesting’ story. We know the birth information is not essential for his spinning of stories because he often repeats the heard birth information wrongly. Sometimes, he weaves the zodiac animal mentioned into his tales to create fantastical accounts. This keeps ‘devotees’ hooked.

    4. Lu teaches nonsense such as that parents can give suffering to their children when they do evil. While there can be collective karma in families, at no point can negative karma be transferred from anyone to another. Only positive karma can be shared. While a parent might suffer due to a child’s suffering. The child does not suffer because the parent passed any suffering over. The child has his or her own negative karma which causes the suffering, while the parent too has negative karma to deserve suffering through having to care for a suffering child.

    5. Lu claims to be Guanyin Bodhisattva at his convenience, to look good. When it comes to tricky issues, he pushes the ‘responsibility’ to Guanyin Bodhisattva instead, disclaiming personal responsibility or guarantee.

    6. Lu teaches nonsense such as that one’s lifespan can be given to another. If this is possible, the Buddhas would have given us all immeasurable life now, with no need for us to practise, to reach Pure Land to attain it.

    7. Lu cannot clearly ‘cure’ cases of people clearly with serious physiological or psychological problems, who are not even communicative. He only dismisses them by asking the caregivers to do chanting on their behalf. He however insists such cases to be due to evil possession. After all, he is supposedly a ‘spiritual doctor’, greater than physical doctors. If not, the ‘devotees’ would not look to him for advice.

    8. If Lu is supposed to be Guanyin Bodhisattva or her manifestation, why does he need to ask more details at times? Well, this is for him to gather materials to spin more stories when he runs low on imagination. It is as simple as that. When he does not get a detail that is sufficient fodder for his imagination, he will ask for another detail until he hits jackpot. Sometimes, when he is ‘inspired’, he spins his own tales without extra given details – in loose ways of course. Sometimes, he claims there are some issues he can’t see clearly. How can this be if he is a real Bodhisattva?

    9. Lu clearly expresses anger and impatience at times – at doubting ‘devotees’ who can’t piece his tales with their real lives, but he later covers up by saying Bodhisattvas don’t really get angry. For details he claims to be true but not agreeable by ‘devotees’, he insists that they go back to check first. In this way, he gets off the hook each time, for his inaccurately spun tales. If the tale-spinner’s tales fit, he is pleased. If not, it’s the tale-listeners’ fault – always!

    10. The truth is, we are all likely to have seen (human) and unseen karmic creditors (Yuanqin Zhaizu in terms of spirits) to some extent. And sincere chanting of sutras and mantras do create blessings that can manifest as healing effects. However, what Lu deceitfully does is to ride on the fame of sutras and mantras to pretend he has special powers, gathering fame and fortune in the process. He attributes problems mainly to unseen spirits who cannot be seen or verified to exist. He projects sutras and mantras to be like ‘magical’ chants for dispelling problems, not teaching the Dharma in them properly. Chanting without understanding will lead to little benefit. Also, to really help unseen beings, not only merits are needed. Guidance is needed too, for good rebirths. This is where proper understanding of the Dharma comes in.

    11. We have to remember that most of the folks who attend his events are already highly suggestible or staunch believers. This is why they will do what they can to rationalise the sensibility of Lu’s tales. Some appear to have serious psychological issues too (if not staged), to look and sound possessed for theatrical results? E.g. there was a man who spoke in an overly high-pitched voice, probably to mimic a woman’s, while overdoing it.

    12. Lu quantifies merits from chanting like commodities, selling remedies in terms of chanting how many times for this or that usually worldly purpose, including healing. If he is really Guanyin Bodhisattva, he should teach the Pure Land teachings in detail, emphasising on the inevitability of death and the importance of practice for reaching Pure Land.

  10. avatar
    DebunkersFive November 26, 2014


    Joint Statement Regarding “Lu Jun Hong’s Function in Malaysia”



    Distressed by 8TV’s misleading advertisement regarding Lu Jun Hong
    http://tinyurl.com/qjgypkr :

    The Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia (YBAM) regret that 8TV has used its prime-time for Chinese News on February 27, 2014 to feature a video clip on the religious activities of Mr Lu Jun Hong from Australia.

    As a media company catering for the public, 8TV should have taken into consideration the religious sensitivities of Malaysian Buddhists when a deviant teacher claiming to represent Buddhism is given air space to propagate his message. 8TV coverage of Mr Lu’s activities on prime time news is tantamount to supporting his deviant teachings much to the disappointment and regret of all Buddhists in Malaysia.

    We also regret that 8TV has allowed Mr Lu’s paid commercial to be aired during the prime time news slot. 8TV should have made it clear to all readers that what was aired was purely a commercial advertisement paid for by Mr Lu and not endorsed by 8TV.

    We hope the management of 8TV will take the following action as follows:

    1) Explain the reason for broadcasting the misleading “Paid Advertisement News”
    2) Promise not to feature Lu again on 8TV.
    3) Clarify to the public why the commercially paid advertisement was featured on prime time news

    We strongly ask that 8TV respect the religious beliefs of all Malaysian Buddhists by refraining from future coverage of Mr Lu during your prime news. While we respect the right of the media to broadcast freely, please bear in mind that religion is always a sensitive matter in our multi-religious society. As such we urge 8TV to always check with us in future if 8TV wish to feature any person who claims to be a Buddhist teacher.





    基于“媒体自由”与“宗教自由”的信念,马佛青并非要干预首要媒体或八度空间的新闻播放自由,更非要打压其它宗教宣扬的权利,但马佛青更希望任何资讯的传递,是净化人心,启迪正知正见,而非蛊惑人心,罔顾社会责任, 鼓吹迷信的报道。








    http://www.nanyang.com/node/602619?tid=493 :
    吴青松:神通容易让人迷惑 勿忘失修行目的

















    http://www.nanyang.com/node/601341?tid=460 :
    11佛教团体:将来马办“玄艺综述” 卢台长宣教非正信

















    http://news.sinchew.com.my/node/350325?tid=1 :












    http://www.guangming.com.my/node/195284 :






  11. avatar
    Artdeissus November 26, 2014

    Precisely the dharma aims at the ego. The ego complicates things which is the reason why this article has to go to the extent to undo the complications left by the egos of many beings. The Buddhist message is very simply. Stay simple. But Mara cannot stay simple. That’s why he needs to go into the mama drama to CONFUSE. This is the difference between asking an enlightened monkey to sit still and one who is not. An unenlightened one will continue its monkey business which truly differentiate itself from the rest. 真人不露相。露相非真人。

  12. avatar
    Karmic Wind November 26, 2014

    Sometimes the very ones who preach are the very ones who do not believe in what they preach. Its very simple. Becos people who believe also self assume the preacher to uphold the stuff they preach which becomes a blind spot of failure to question. If indeed a preacher believes in the stuff the Buddha preach and karma. Who has the audacity to change his teaching?

    Obviously it is not what the preacher believe but that you believe in me. You allow me to ride on your trust and let me DO things to your HEAD with a handsome sum of money. You glorify me that makes me few good that matters most. Its all about me…me…me. M for me. M for mara. It feels good…doesn’t it. Thats why it is always important to challenge a preacher and ask him to cite the references he made his point on. The 84000 teachings of the Buddha would make his life as a mock very difficult. Why should we make their life so easy at the sacrifice oftrue dharma. These people have no credits. They used someone’s hardwork to benefit themselves.

  13. avatar
    Boundless Joy November 27, 2014

    Thank you for the article! It is important to speak up. For if we dun….when wrong views become the majority. Right views become the minority. The table will turn and what is wrong will be deemed right becos of the numbers supporting it. What is right becomes wrong in a fight between numbers. We all know how it feels under pressure when being caught between situations of minority and majority. I also do hope the various bodies would exercise some standards when approving certain societies.

  14. avatar
    Karma Yaksha November 27, 2014

    The greatest disappointment in a spiritual journey is to make effort to enter a Buddhist door only to end up in a devil’s lair. Why should anyone compromise their afterlife? Is not death as important as life?

  15. avatar
    DebunkersSix December 7, 2014

    From http://thedailyenlightenment.com/2011/06/when-are-miracles-appropriate :

    When Are Miracles Appropriate?

    If the enlightened could miraculously enlighten all instantly,
    they would done so already.
    In the mean time, the miracle of enlightenment arises
    from realising the Dharma through diligent study and practice.

    - Stonepeace

    Once, a layman named Kevaddha told the Buddha that the city of Nalanda was nearby, full of people, many of whom admired him, and that if any of his disciples could perform a miracle, they would have greater admiration for him. He then asked if the Buddha could request a disciple to do so. Despite being asked thrice, the Buddha rejected his appeal. After all, the Buddha doesn’t encourage the performing of ‘street magic’ just to boast or please the populace. What more essential was to develop one’s mind and to guide others to do the same. On another occasion by a river, an emaciated ascetic with long thick hair glanced at the Buddha sarcastically, before crossing it on its surface. Seeing this, a disciple of the Buddha asked if he could see him do the same. The Buddha replied that he would show him the worth of the feat instead. When a ferryman came towards the Buddha, he asked him how much one paid him to cross the river. The answer was ‘half a masaka’, a coin of very low value. The Buddha remarked that the ascetic’s miracle was worth only that doable with half a masaka, while he had mortified his body over a long time just to master that. It would had been worthier to use the time for the well-being of others.

    However, this does not mean that the Buddha and his disciples were incapable of, or never performed any miracles at all, though he did forbid insensible miracles which served no useful purpose. As recorded in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta, the Buddha once came to the swelling River Ganges. Some were looking for a raft, and others binding reeds to form one. The Buddha, as swiftly as a strong man stretches or flexes his arm, vanished from where he was with his retinue of monks and remanifested on the other shore. Commenting on those who have yet to cross, he said, ‘When they want to cross the sea, the lake or the pond, people make a bridge or raft, the wise have crossed already.’ In short, the Buddha had mass-teleported himself and the monks across the river in the blink of an eye! This is surely more efficient than walking on water! This was done for practical reasons of not being able to find transport, and it was an opportunity to teach. The late fashioning of a bridge or raft represented the belated creation or search of a means to cross the water, which represented the sea of suffering, to reach the other shore, which represented liberation. The Buddha was emphasising that wisdom is the true and speedy vehicle needed to cross over suffering.

    In a related story, a ferryman refused to take the Buddha across a river because he did not have the fare to pay. To his amazement, the Buddha simply disappeared from the bank and reappeared on the opposite. When King Bimbisara heard of this incident, he issued an edict to allow all ascetics in his country to be ferried for free. Once again, the Buddha displayed his supernormal powers only as a last resort. Miracles by themselves might amaze, while not necessarily leading the amazed to realise the Dharma. They might distract their witnesses from the Dharma instead, who might be attracted only to learn how to perform such miracles. One of the most famous of miracles that only the Buddha could do, was the Twin Miracle. He would levitate into the air and sprout the opposing elements of fire and water from his upper and lower body simultaneously (followed by from his left and right), and in reversed directions. This he did on two occasions – once, to humble his proud clansmen, so as to open their minds to listen to the Dharma with reverence, and once, when some other teachers sought to promote their ‘superiority’ by showing off their miracles. As many other incidents would attest, the Twin Miracle is really just the tip of the iceberg of the extraordinary feats the Buddha was capable of!

    As for the miracle where a certain person gives [Dharma] instruction in this way:
    ‘Direct your thought in this way, don’t direct it in that.
    Attend to things in this way, don’t attend to them in that.
    Let go of this, enter and remain in that’:
    this is the miracle that… appeals to me as the highest and most sublime.

    - Sangarava Sutta

    Related Articles:

    The Buddha’s Skilful Use of Supernormal Powers
    Useless Miracles

  16. avatar
    chinasara January 23, 2015












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