Upasaka Yang Guo Qiang is from Taiwan. His father was a man who never lost his temper and always was willing to take a loss. After his father's sudden death in 1987, Upasaka Yang began to study Buddhism in hopes of emulating his father's spirit.
Upasaka Yang, still a student, rented a room upstairs from a Buddhist bookstore in 1989. The landlord invited an American layman to teach Dharma. Over twenty people reported miracles. Some mysteriously began to do taiji or dance. Others said they had opened their 'heavenly eye.' Upasaka Yang was the only one who did not experience any response, and that was because he recited the Shurangama Mantra daily. The lay teacher said that one need not be vegetarian to cultivate. He also privately told people, "I have such and such a pure land in the heavens. All of you are my concubines and Dharma protectors. I've come to save you and take you back."
Upasaka Yang found such talk very bizarre and didn't know what to make of it. He prayed to Guanyin Bodhisattva to give him the wisdom to distinguish right from wrong. Then he went downstairs to search for answers in the bookstore, which had over a thousand Buddhist books. The first book he picked up was the Venerable Master Hua's explanation of the Fifty Skandha-demon States in the Shurangama Sutra. That volume exposes the demons' deeds with crystal clarity. The Sutra's Four Unalterable Instructions on Purity make it impossible for a heterodox teacher to defend his claims.
Upasaka Yang realized that the confusion in Buddhism was caused by people. On the other side of the globe, an elder monk was striving to perpetuate the orthodox teachings of the Buddha. He had found a true teacher in the Venerable Master, whose credo was, "Freezing, we do not scheme. Starving, we do not beg. Dying of povery, we ask for nothing" and who had made eighteen great vows for the living beings of the Dharma Realm. Thus, when the Master went to Taiwan in 1990, Upasaka Yang received the Three Refuges and Five Precepts.
In this age of the Dharma's decline, there are increasingly numerous distortions of the Dharma, confirming the Master's emphasis on the importance of the Shurangama Sutra. By practicing in accord with the teachings, Upasaka Yang not only is able to distinguish right from wrong, but can help to perpetuate the Proper Dharma in the world.