Someone asked on “YAHOO! ANSWERS” a question concerning who the Buddha is of the current era and just who is H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III? I was too late to post a response and could not have done an adequate job with only 300 characters anyhow. I did provide a link to this article as a comment. Most of the responses were correct–the Buddha for the current era is Shakyamuni Buddha, but that does not explain the relationship of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III to Shakyamuni Buddha.
I follow H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III and have ever since I first encountered writings mentioning Him in an unusual little book titled True Stories About a Holy Monk thirteen years ago. Prior to that I studied and practiced Zen Buddhism and the shamanic arts for over fifteen years.
Although I knew this was an extraordinary teacher and holy person, none of us who followed this holy being knew who He was until a draft manuscript of a book about His accomplishments in this life was distributed to many of the leading Buddhists living in the world at that time. This happened around 2007. Many of the highest accomplished Buddhists (not all were the most well known) recognized that this was a very special incarnation and wrote letters stating that fact which were included in the final version of the book that was published and presented to the Library of Congress and the world in a grand ceremony in April, 2008. Later that year and the next, I and a group of monks, nuns, and laypeople voluntarily traveled to all 50 states presenting the book to governors, librarians, tribal chiefs, and others and giving a talk on just who H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III is and why He had come to America. You can read more about all these events on this website.
Many of the current Buddhist sects hold that Dorje Chang Buddha or Vajradhara Buddha was the originator of Buddhism as such. This is especially true in the vajrayana traditions. You will see this dark blue Buddha at the top of their lineage trees. Dorje Chang Buddha was the first samboghakaya manifestation of the formless Dharmakaya Buddha and was the teacher of all dharma to all the other buddhas in the ten directions including Shakyamuni Buddha. Only one other time did Dorje Chang Buddha incarnate in this world and that was at the time of Shakyamuni Buddha to help teach Shakyamuni Buddha’s disciples. That was as the great holy venerable one, Honorable Vimalakirti. At that time, Shakyamuni Buddha praised Honorable Vimalakirti in the Vimalakirti-Nirdesa Sutra, ”People who make offerings to this person should know that they are making offerings to a Buddha. One who transcribes and learns this sutra should know that a Tathagata is right with him in the same room.” This statement means that, in addition to Shakyamuni Buddha, there was another Tathagata in this world at that time. Shakyamuni Buddha was not the only Buddha. You can read the teachings of Ven. Vimalakirti in the well-known sutra bearing His name. However, H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III gave us this discourse, “The dharma I transmit is absolutely the dharma taught by the Buddha. However, I am not a Buddha. Neither am I a master. I am just a humble one propagating the true dharma of Tathagata, without distinguishing sects or schools. Any cultivator who has correct knowledge and views, even a very ordinary cultivator, is better than me. I should learn from them all. Therefore, my body, speech, and mind are just a humble structure.”
In 2008, I had the good fortune to have an interview in upstate New York with H.H. Penor Rinpoche, who had been the third supreme leader of the Nyingma Sect. He was one of the leaders who recognized H.H. Dorje Chang III. He told me that this was a very high being, much higher than he (Penor) was and it was very good that such a being should incarnate at this time in these dharma ending days and that He should reveal many miracles so that people would believe that the dharma still existed in this world. He also said that Dorje Chang had never before incarnated in Tibet and other wonderful things.
The fact is that H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III’s mind practice is different from that of all other dharma kings, rinpoches, and dharma masters in the world. For example, He is truly completely proficient in exoteric and esoteric Buddhism and possesses perfect mastery of the five vidyas, while essentially no other people were able to accomplish that through history. More importantly, He is the only one who only benefits and helps all others and does not accept money or properties from other people. He has even announced that He would never accept offerings and would solely benefit others. Consequently, this fact causes other dharma kings, rinpoches, and great dharma masters of Buddhism to feel very embarrassed and depressed, because all these dharma kings, rinpoches, and dharma masters have to collect and accept offerings. Compared to H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III’s deed of not accepting offerings, it became clear that they are at lower levels and are greedy for offerings from living beings. Therefore, they are very angry because H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III’s deed makes them unable to explain their acts.
H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III did NOT proclaim Himself to be a Buddha. However, He was recognized by many others as such and He did not deny the fact. H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III has stated repeatedly that this is the era of Shakyamuni Buddha and that Shakyamuni Buddha is the supreme leader of Buddhism in the world today. H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III only came to correct many of the mistranslations and erroneous views held by Buddhists and about Buddhism that now exist. If you visit the website (currently, only available in Chinese) of the Office of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III (www.hhdcb3office.org), you will truly find out that H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III is a truly great Buddha. He has demonstrated countless accomplishments in all five of the vidyas–the only way that a Buddha can be known. The five vidyas is an ancient concept that most Buddhists do not understand–I know I did not and it took me a long time to fully realize what was meant by the term.
I could write much more and have on these websites (http://xuanfa.net and http://holyvajrasana.org). I must note that this is not an official website nor has it ever been reviewed or approved by H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III and certainly contains errors, but it represents the best of my understanding of just who H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha is and what amazing and often unbelievable events have surrounded His incarnation in this world. If you want to understand the basic message of this holy being, read What Is Cultivation? also found on this website. In addition, you should also read Contemplating the Magnificence of Perfect Prerequisite Oceanic Mind Essence and the Most Magnificent Bodhi Dakini Oceanic Mind Essence of the Supreme and Unsurpassable Mahamudra of Liberation that have already been published on the internet [in Chinese]. And, yes, based on what I have seen and experienced, I do believe H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III is a nirmanakaya Buddha. Please allow me to make a statement from the bottom of my heart that bears my responsibility to the law of cause and effect: From what I have learned from books and what I have ever seen in my current lifetime, I have never been aware of or seen anyone who surpassed the accomplishments of H.H. Dorje Chang Buddha III!