第一冊•Volume 1

宣化老和尚追思紀念專集 In Memory of the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua

In Memory of the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua

宣化老和尚 The Venerable Master Hsuan Hua

中文 Chinese 英文 English



◎By Shi Guo Shan

Written words are simply black lines on white paper. Every syllable and phrase the Master uttered was sublime Truth. In an upside-down world of confusion and deceit, he dared to utter the Lion’s great roar and dispel the darkness of ignorance. No human hero that ever existed could match him.

Not only did the Master expound on Sutras, he brought them to life before our very eyes. Anyone who’s studied the Dharma knows that that is not a simple thing! To unlearned people, he made the most profound doctrine accessible. For the learned, he displayed the moon and exposed the finger as secondary.

There was no tiny act of kindness he would not take time to do. How he managed to do that, with such ease and grace, while the greatest troubles of the world sat on his shoulders, is in itself incredible. Not a single breath or thought of his contained even a particle, a wisp, of selfishness. He lived and breathed not only for the sake of rescuing living beings from suffering--that was not enough--but for the sake of teaching and transforming them; and in doing so he will never rest until all the living beings who have seen his face and heard his voice are brought to Bodhi. Anyone who has not yet had the good fortune to do so need not despair, but simply make the vow to see and hear him. If your heart is true, there is no doubt your wish will be fulfilled. The Master’s vows are not just talk; they are not just black lines on white paper.

He would constantly and untiringly exhort his disciples to cherish the property of the Triple Jewel. Like a compassionate parent, he feared that out of ignorance we would create karma, which we would later find too difficult to bear. He was so careful not to waste even a drop of water on himself, demonstrating for us how to be frugal. But in giving to living beings to quicken their Bodhi minds, he was the richest of kings and would travel the world untiringly to gather in the smallest potential.

I especially remember him as a flawlessly pure, awesome Bhikshu displaying the inconceivable, unutterable, multidimensional Flower Adornment World. Each word, line, and phrase of the Sutra described the Master himself! Yet he was always careful to never put on a special, grandiose style. He simply was magnificent, without trying to be. He was also always careful to warn us that spiritual penetrations are not so important. Over, and over, and over again, he used his breath and energy to praise the pure precepts and straight cultivation. He taught us to maintain an ordinary, human mind, whatever states we encountered, and not to be distracted by thinking we had something. He kept us sane; he kept us true; he kept us on the straight and broad road to Bodhi.

An unlettered and dim-witted person like me could never finish describing his virtues. My heart aches that I cannot express his compassion and wisdom, and his awesome, magnificent personality. We should all make the vow to always find him, to see him, to hear him speak Dharma, until we arrive at Bodhi. Only then will he truly be happy. Only then can we repay his kindness. To say this in verse:

He gave up the rewards of his homeland,
 but not his loyalty to it.
Not taking a drop for himself
 he amassed boundless blessings
Which he gave with delight to beings
So they might ascend to Bodhi.

He constantly tended his garden
Of tender Bodhi Sprouts:
He would weed them, prune them, and encourage them
To grow big, healthy, and strong.

Whenever a Bodhi sprout would say,
“I don’t want to grow anymore,
 I’ve had it!”
He’d smile kindly, and let it be.
He labored not for a reward.

He cherished and saved the most simple things:
Tissue paper, water, electricity.
He dared not waste the tiniest object,
But in giving he was the richest of kings.

With infinite, genuine patience
He’d wait for just the right time,
And then speak a few words of wisdom,
Precisely right on the mark.

In this way, he gradually raised us.
Each one at his own rate of learning
He tested us, and if we did fail,
He repeated the lesson again, no problem!

We’d run to him with our bruises.
Then he would calm us down,
And explain to us how to do things,
Without always stumbling and falling.

Appearances could not fool him;
He insisted on the truth.
Yet sometimes he’d let things go by,
For those who weren’t ready to take it.

Compassionate parent, he exhorted us,
“Don’t do any evil, offer up all good!”
Hoping to wake us up from our folly,
So that we might escape the inferno.

He feared neither hunger, cold, nor death;
There was only one thing he feared:
He feared for the pitiful masses of beings
Who toss in the sea of suff’ring.

It’s so hard to truly describe him,
For he left not a trace of himself.
Nor was there a trace of self
In anything that he did.

His state too high to be seen,
Yet his actions so natural and plain.
He did not want to mesmerize people;
He just wanted to help them be sane.

With precepts as his substance,
And the appearance of a pure Bhikshu,
Extracting the principles from the specifics,
He applied them to new situations.

In the arts, sciences, and literature,
In every kind of learning and skill,
The Master of all Masters was he,
Yet never was he pretentious.

Every small and great matter we’d bring him,
To be solved by his great wisdom.
With great kindness he would consider,
Then surprise us with just the right answer!

He could see hidden talent quite clearly,
Then nurture it to become full.
He cared about others’ advancement,
Not for his own reputation.

His manner of teaching was markless:
No Teacher, no student, no lesson.
And yet when graduation time came,
The learning had all taken place.

Although his patience was endless,
He demanded the best quality,
And with each step we’d take on the Path,
He’d be with us to further us on.

A vast treasury lay in his bosom:
Precious gems, a spectacular array.
If you are sincere, and try your best,
He will show one especially for you!

But these gems he does not show casually;
He would not throw pearls before swine.
He saves and protects them, knowing their worth,
Till we can appreciate them.

Some say he’s beyond all emotion:
Beyond happiness and beyond grief.
That every facial expression
Is a response to the needs of beings.

That may be quite true, indeed,
I haven’t the wisdom to say.
Yet from my human perspective,
I have seen him truly delighted.

Whenever one of his students
Would bring forth the true Bodhi mind,
I believe he would truly be happy,
I believe then he felt satisfied.

Whenever one of his students,
Would genuinely cultivate,
His expression would always be special,
Not like at other times.

As for tears, sometimes he cried.
Once he wept and explained:
“As I bestow this Dharma upon you,
I already know you won’t practice.”

Another time he cried
in front of professors and teachers,
When he learned that the youth of today,
No longer have the will to live.

When we feel no one understands us,
We feel lonely, and in deep despair,
He speaks a few words of kindness
To teach us not to be selfish.

To him we bring all our sorrows,
And he takes them on to himself.
But not a single worry or trouble,
Would he pass on to anyone else.

Even when in great pain and so spent,
He would raise his great heroic vigor.
To light up a magnanimous smile,
Not wanting to cause us to worry.

Knowing dharmas and beings are empty,
He could simply have left all the trouble,
But he went through such pain and trouble,
Riding on the power of vows.

Not until all beings attain Bodhi,
Will he ever, ever rest.
Not coming, not going,
 Thus, thus, unmoving,
How can he truly be known?

Some say Amitabha, some say Gwan Yin,
Or Earth Store Bodhisattva is he;
Or Confucius the father of teachers,
Or other Sage-heroes of men.

How could one man be many?
That truly is hard to conceive of!
Is it because he embodies the virtue
Possessed by all such Great Ones?

I so dull and dim-witted
Could not finish praising his virtues.
This black ink upon white paper
Falls so short, and fails to describe him.

But anyone wanting to know
What the Great Master Hsuan Hua was like,
Can start with the great Flower Adornment
That King most high among Sutras.

For there’s not a word in that Sutra
That the Master did not reveal
And personify in every aspect
This I firmly and truly believe.

And one more thing should be known,
Every Word that came from his mouth
Was the Truth, like it or notb!
Moreover, he really did it himself!

Disciple of the Buddha, when a Buddha enters Nirvana, limitless living beings wail and weep in grief and give rise to great distress and vexation. They look at each other and say, "The Thus Come One, the World Honored One is greatly kind and compassionate. He pities and benefits all those in the world and is a source of refuge for all living beings. It is difficult to encounter the appearance of the Thus Come One. This supreme field of blessings is now gone forever. Since this is the case, all living beings mournfully cry out in yearning and do the work of the Buddha... Even when a Buddha, a World Honored One, enters Nirvana, he continues to be living beings' inconceivable and pure field of blessings, a supreme field of blessings of infinite merit and virtue, enabling all living beings to be replete in roots of goodness and perfect in blessings and virtue. This is the tenth vast and great deed of the Buddha.

──The Chapter of the Inconceivable Dharma of the Buddhas,
the Flower Adornment Sutra




法界佛教總會 • DRBA / BTTS / DRBU