Monday, June 12, 2017

The Lost Civilization of Xi Xia Dynasty of China


         On 27th May 2017, a group of Dzogchen practitioners took a flight to the capital city of Ning Xia of China, Yin Chuan. Our flight transited briefly in Chendu for more than one hour. When I looked out of the window of the airplane, I saw a huge rainbow circle surrounding the sun which kept us company throughout the flight. We arrived in Yin Chuan past midnight, after 1 am. There were 56 of us, including a few of the Chinese members who joined us locally, participating in the same journey to find a lost civilization.
A sun halo kept us company during the first four days, accompanying us on our journey to find the lost civilization. In the next 14 days, there were unusual phenomena occurring in the sky, showing the signs of dragons and protectors of the Dharma following and protecting us during our tour. On the 3rd day, we visited the imperial tombs of the Xi Xia Dynasty and witnessed the aftermaths of disasters caused by nature and mankind in the past one thousand years. Where is the almighty founder, Emperor Lee, of the Xi Xia Dynasty todayEven the grand imperial tombs were not spared from the fate of impermanence, as they had been reduced to merely heaps of sands today. It is indeed very disheartening to see the ruins.
On the 4th day, we visited the Vajrayogini Cave in Wei Wu of Gansu Province. This is the only Vajrayogini Cave which remains in its original form in China. It was excavated during the Xi Xia Dynasty and was once a sacred place of Buddhism. It was documented in Tibetan history that this place is located in a hill that resembled the image of Maitreya Buddha, with a total distance between its head and feet requiring a half-day walking distance. Its head is facing west and its face is facing east. The Vajrayogini Cave and its popular tale of the human Yoginis being born into this world captivated the interest of many high monks and practitioners. There were many precious historical relics found in the Yogini Cave which originated form the Xi Xia Dynasty, making this hill, its cave and temple a rare gem store to Xi Xia researchers worldwide. Unfortunately, our tour guides and drivers had no idea about this cave at all. Our tour bus was too big for the small lanes and we had to abandon our bus and walk on our feet instead. We walked for more than 7km before reaching the cave, which was inaccessible to the public by now as it has been taken over by archeologists appointed by the Chinese government since 2016, to study the historical relics originated from the Xi Xia Dynasty. We did a Vajra Yogini Prayer at the temple enshrining five statues of Vajra Yogini of different colors behind the cave instead. Interestingly, when we were reciting the mantra of Vajra Yogini, we heard a few birds singing along too; we were later told by the care taker of the temple that there were a few red-beaked crows which made this temple their home, and they were the ones which sang along. The care taker of this temple, Zen, shared with us some interesting stories about this sacred place and even led us in circumambulating this sacred hill. He told us that Vajra Yogini stopped him from leaving this place until he has accomplished his mission. We also circumambulated a stupa enshrining the sacred relics of one of the human Vajra Yoginis – the Precious Yogini. This stupa has its origin related to the 6th Dalai Lama.
            On the 6th day, we visited the Jia Yu Gate of the Great Wall. Shao told me that he had a vision of Guan Gong during his morning prayer. Guan Gong was seeking my help to deliver the soul of some spiritual beings who died being accused for crimes that they did not commit; they were being taken care by Guan Gong all this while. We saw a Guan Gong Temple located near the entrance to this gate. As our local tour guide took a long time to brief us on the history of this gate, Guan Gong kept extending his invitation to me until I finally entered his temple to do the soul deliverance. There were many spiritual auras being captured by the cameras after we left the temple.  
            We arrived at Dun Huang at night and went to see a show entitled “Meeting Dun Huang Again”. There was a member in our group whom I had never met in the past until she joined us for this tour. She started crying at the beginning of the show and hugged me tightly. She continued to cry for the rest of the performance. We did a Sakyamuni Prayer in the hotel after the show, and she told us that she actually felt that she belonged to this place more than a thousand year ago. Indeed, one thousand year is only a moment in time.
            On the 7th day, we visited the Dun Huang Grotto, which is one of the greatest grotto arts in ancient China. We came for the 314th Cave which featured Lotus Bodhisattva. The narrator included one more cave which featured the Lotus Sutra upon our request. It was indeed a very eye-opening experience. At this juncture, a sun halo appeared in the sky in our Lion City (Singapore); both places are indeed blessed by the Buddhas.
            On the 9th day, Lan Zhou became very cooling after being washed by heavy rains in two consecutive days. Today was the 10th day of the 5th Chinese Lunar Month, which was also the 10th day of the 4th Tibetan Lunar Month. We visited the Labrang Monastery on this auspicious day. On our way to this Monastery in Xia He, the numerous spiritual beings had obviously lost their patience and came forward to seek my help for soul deliverance while we made a hygiene break at a rest area.
            We visited the Labrang Monastery in Xie He. When we saw buildings of Tibetan design and smelled the fragrance of butter tea, it made me feel at home. Our local narrator was Qiao Mei Lama. He invited us to his personal room after showing us around the monastery, for a friendly chat. We also did a prayer in front of the five stupas enshrining the sacred relics of the past five generations of Jia Mu Yang Rinpoche and felt the great blessing power.
            At night, we did a Guru Rinpoche prayer in the hotel. There were many lamas who were killed by the cruel General Ma Bu Fang more than a century ago, they came forward to seek blessing and soul deliverance. They died a very terrible death indeed, with their heads, waists and legs severed by the armies. On the following day, we returned to Lan Zhou which has just been hit by heavy down pour and hail storms. Our tour guide, Chang, thanked us for bringing rains which are so rare to Lan Zhou; the total rain fall actually amounted to one full year of rain fall measured in Lan Zhou which is located in a very dry area in the north west of China.
            Words cannot fully describe the exceptional phenomena we saw at Mt Sumeru in Gu Yuan of Ning Xia. Initially, a dragon king appeared in the sky. Half the sky was clear blue sky with white clouds and bright sun light. The other half of the sky was covered by dark clouds, with dragon king dancing in the sky, welcoming a group of Dzongchen practitioners who came from a far-away land. During our visit, nectar fell from the sky non-stopped. When we reached the first grotto, a huge rainbow appeared in the sky, between the clear blue sky and the dark clouds. On our way back to the city, a doubled rainbows appeared in the sky this time, which is a very auspicious sign. A dragon-riding Avalokitesvara also appeared next to the rainbow. Chan told us that Lan Zhou was hit by heavy downpour and hail storm yesterday, and Yin Chuan had its turn today. The locals had not seen a hail storm for many years because this is a very dry place in the north west of China which is a sandy highland. I thanked the dragon king for giving rains to this sandy highland in three consecutive days. I had no other words to say but simply felt grateful.  
            On the 11th day, another local tour guide, Guan, who took care of our second tour bus fell sick and needed to be replaced by another person. I gave her blessing after dinner. This morning, Guan came to bid me farewell and told me that she did not need to go to hospital anymore. She slept very well last night and her insomnia which lasted many years was suddenly cured. She kept thanking me and told me that it was just an inconceivable experience to her.
            On the 13th day, we visited the Sha Po Tou in the Teng Ge Lin Dessert. It was touted as one of the Top 10 Fun Places in China. It embodies a vast dessert, Yellow river, mountains and oasis in one location. It was also the filming location for the 2nd and 4th seasons of “Where has my daddy gone?” Today, a sun hallo appeared again. And my right foot has swollen – the sentient beings are indeed suffering in great pain……
            The 14th day was the 15th day of the Tibetan Lunar Month which commemorates the birth, enlightenment and the passing of Sakyamuni Buddha. It was also our last night in Yin Chuan. We would be returning to Singapore tomorrow morning. The entire group went to see the mural arts at Mt. He Lan but I went to a local hospital instead. I took an X-ray picture of my right foot, as advised by the local doctor. He said that there was nothing wrong with my bones; I seemed to have sprained my foot due to too much walking. I just needed to rest and apply a cream prescribed by him. At this time, one of the members sent me a picture showing a rainbow appearing in the sky.  
            The 15-day trip had come to an end. The Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, dragons and protectors of the Dharma appeared daily during the entire trip. I felt deeply touched and felt gratitude for their support. As I could not walk due to my painful swollen foot, I had to be transported using wheelchair or being carried by a member up the airplane. One of the airport crews also helped to carry me down the airplane. I was being helped throughout the flights until I returned to Singapore. I had no other words to say but felt grateful to all the sentient beings for their help.

Acho Rinpoche
12th Jun 2017

Moon Crescent Lake

Jiayu Gate of Great Wall

Group Prayer at night  
Dan Xia Landscape

Vajra Yogini Temple in Wu Wei of Gansu

Sha Po Tou in Teng Ge Lin Dessert

Imperial Tombs of Xi Xia Dynasty

108 Stupas at Qing Tong Gorge of Xi Xia Dynasty
Beautify auras at Jiayu Gate of Great Wall

Sun Halo
Dragon-riding Avalokitesvara

Doubled Rainbows