Many people are familiar with the prophecies of Nostradamus made more than seven hundred years ago, but few people are aware of the prophecies made by Padmasambhava (also known as Guru Rinpoche), the founder of Tibetan Buddhism, more than one thousand years ago.
When asked by his disciple when is the beginning of Dharma-ending age, Guru
Rinpoche replied; “When the Iron Birds(1) are flying in the sky and the
Iron Horses(1) are running on the roads, we know that dharma-ending age
has arrived. At this time, Tibetan Buddhism shall flourish globally.
When the iron bird flies and the horses run on wheels, the Tibetan
people will be scattered like ants across the world, and the Dharma will
come to the land of the red men (Western Countries).
In this Dharma-ending age, “Rulers do not act like Rulers, Subjects do
not act like Subjects, Fathers do no act like Fathers, Sons do not act
like Sons” (2), the relationships between Fathers and Sons are more like
Playmates. Women do not honor and uphold chastity; men indulge in lust
and unrestrained sexual misconducts.
1) Iron Birds and Iron Horses are known now as Airplanes, Cars and Trains.
2) This reminds me of Confucius’ Analects: “...ruler be a ruler, the
subject a subject, the father a father, the son a son”, with regards to
maintaining a world of order. What this means is that ruler shall
uphold the duty as a ruler by serving the interests of the
citizens. The citizens shall behave like citizens, by being law-abiding, respect the authorities and maintain law
and order. Parents should act as parents by being providers, teachers and guardians to
their children. Children shall be obedient and respect their parents.
Guru Rinpoche further prophesied that in that era (or rather now), carriages do not
require horses to move, they self-propel (3). Youngsters in that era step
on something that shaped like a bullhorn and there are wheels underneath
that allow them to skate everywhere (4). It is even stranger that people
in that era do not need to leave their houses to know things that happen around the world, just by sitting in front of a
3, 4, 5) Car, Skateboard, Roller Blades, TV and LCD panels, i.e. computer with internet connections.
Guru Rinpoche further said that in that era, many ordained monks are
greedy and pursue wealth and fame. They travel everywhere to cheat on
their followers. They plan and think of ways to get offerings and
donations from followers and possess their own private wealth and
properties, yet they do not engage in any Buddhist practices or chanting
on their own. They indulge in music, dance and entertainments. They
break precepts and vows without any remorse (6).
6) This is happening now. Bogus monks are
everywhere especially in the Eastern countries. This prophecy coincides
with Buddha’s prediction that “There is no disappearing of the true
Dhamma until a counterfeit Dhamma arises in the world. Once a
counterfeit Dhamma arises then there is a disappearing of the true
When i read that The Buddha told his disciples the most important sutra of all, the Surangama Sutra, should be the first to be destroyed, i asked myself how could any teaching be destroyed at this digital age? I could print a thousands copies and bury them underground and someday someone would dig it up and revives the teachings again. Or i could upload copies of the sutra to all the available servers on the internet. How could it possibly be destroyed?
Then one day, while doing research and reading news regarding some Buddhist sect in Taiwan proclaiming that the Surangama Sutra is fake and that Buddha never taught that, do i realize what Buddha meant by "Destroy". This realization was brought to me by a renowned Buddhist master over a seminar that Sutras do not get destroyed physically, they are destroyed by being "discredited". In other words, by saying that Surangama Sutra is fake and that Buddha never taught that, nobody will ever read or bothered with that Sutra again and that is how it is "destroyed". This will eventually happen to the entire Buddhism as the predicted by The Buddha, as the Dharma ends when nobody has faith or believe in it anymore.
I would also like to note that the credibility of Buddhism is in the hands of those who represent it, those who spread and teach in the name of Buddhism especially those in "high authority" and/or with many followers. That puts Buddhism at stake because its credibility is tied to these people. So The Buddha said, in the Dharma-ending age "follow only the Buddha-Dharma, and not the person who teaches it. In other words, The Buddha warned us against "Idolism". It is The Buddha's teaching and your own practices that liberate you, not any mundane person, not even any self-proclaimed or public-acknowledged certified born-again "Buddha".
The original teachings of The Enlightened Ones could also be corrupted or altered by self-profiteering persons or by intellectuals. This was also the reason Guru Rinpoche concealed countless Terma teachings to prevent the destruction of the secret mantrayana. And for each of these terma treasure, the time, the identity of its revealer, the person who would receive and hold the teachings were also predicted.
With regards to mundane lives, Guru Rinpoche commented that in that era,
husband and wife relationship shall be ruined and damaged by so-called
“double-tongues” women, who instigate, provoke and create disharmony within
families(7). Unfilial sons and daughters will chase their parents out
from home. Brothers and sisters shall fight among themselves for inheritance, and
violate the five precepts without remorse. Buddha’s teaching gradually
faded and eventually lost. There shall be incest among the closest kin.
Many people shall be addicted to gambling, drugs and alcohol. Buddhas’
statues and paintings, Buddhist ritual instruments are sold in flea
markets on the streets (8). Vintage valuables passed down from generations
to generations shall be sold and auctioned in international markets.
Deforestation and over exploitation of nature causes ecological
imbalances thereby resulting in frequent natural disasters. Thieves and
robberies shall infest the entire city and paupers and beggars are seen
Note: Can anyone tell me what is not happening now?
7) The word “double-tongues” mentioned is what is known to us now as
“double-headed”. He specified women that include friends, relatives and
kin. This means gossipy friends and kins deliberately giving bad
advises and information to create disharmony between husbands and wives
and eventually breaking up families.
8) It was mentioned that the karma for such phenomenon is the widespread of infectious diseases.
In the year of metal dragon (9), demons entered the water (10). In the year of
Metal Snake(11）, demons entered the wind and thunder frost hail, wreaking
havoc and creating disasters for many (12). In the year of Water Goat (13),
here shall be widespread of infectious diseases (14).
9) Year 2000 is the year of Metal Dragon based on the Tibetan Calendar.
10) On August 12, 2000, the Russian Oscar II class submarine Kursk sank in the Barents Sea and exploded.
11) Year 2001 is the year of Metal Snake based on the Tibetan Calendar.
12) i) Tropical Storm Allison that devastated southeast Texas happened in June
ii) The 2001 Gujarat earthquake occurred in India, killing 20,000 people and causing injuries to 166,000 others.
13) Year 2003 is the year of Water Goat based on the Tibetan Calendar.
14) The outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) happened in 2003.
These incidents might not "appear" to be catastrophic or on global scale. Similar to Chinese Calendar, the Tibetan Calender Year has a 60 years cycle. For instance, in year 2000 it was year of Metal Dragon and in the year of 2060 it should be another year of Metal Dragon. Should He could be referred to any year with that specific Element-Animal.
Alcoholics shall die of cerebrovascular diseases; gamblers shall die of
stomach disorder; slander shall die of throat-related diseases; heavy
smokers shall die of lungs diseases; over consumption of eggs, garlic
and onion causes frequent nightmares resulting in mental disturbances
and eventually related death; hunters and slaughter of animals shall die
of liver and intestines related diseases, sinners and those with heavy
bad karma shall die of many types of diseases that are painful and
The year of Wood Rooster is when the strength of Buddhism is the
weakest. Evil spirits and demons shall take opportunity at this time to
wrench more havocs and creating more damages.
In the year of Earth Ox15, there shall be wars among countries and many people shall perish.
15) 2009 is the Year of Earth Ox based on the Tibetan Calendar. However
it might not necessary be this year. It could be another cycle of Earth
Ox which is 60 years from now. But for sure in 2009 we have encountered
frequent natural disasters of different scale.
The origin of this translated text is in Chinese. Any mistake in the
translation is solely my responsibility. I am not sure if there is other
more complete translation out there in English, if there is, please
inform me. Anyone is free to use the content of this translation,
Homage to Guru Rinpoche, if not because of Him i weren’t be alive today doing this translation.
Om Ah Hum Vajra Guru Padma Siddhi Hum.