By chance, I read the Venerable Master’s biography and instructional talks, as well as his eighteen great vows. I was deeply moved and resolved to cultivate. I knew the Venerable Master was a genuine wise teacher, and so I was determined to follow him on the path to Bodhi. In 1986, I finally fulfilled my long-held wish--leaving home with the Venerable Master.
After the Venerable Master arrived in America, he lectured on the Sutras and spoke the Dharma every day. He began by lecturing on the Shurangama Sutra. The ancients said,
“The Shurangama is for opening wisdom. The Dharma Flower is for attaining Buddhahood.” The Venerable Master said this Sutra can help us open great wisdom. He encouraged the fourfold assembly of disciples to memorize the Shurangama Sutra, investigate the Shurangama Sutra, expound upon the Shurangama Sutra, and propagate the Shurangama Sutra into every dust mote in space. Quite a few of his disciples were able to recite the Shurangama Sutra from memory. The Venerable Master also urged his disciples to memorize, study, and propagate the Shurangama Mantra. He said,
“If the Shurangama Mantra did not exist in the world, then the demons, ghosts, goblins, and weird creatures would not be afraid and would wreak havoc in the world. If the Shurangama Mantra is in the world, the deviant cults, ghosts, goblins, and sprites will be afraid to come out and openly make trouble in the world.” The Venerable Master explained each line of the Shurangama Mantra in detail, allowing students to gain a deep understanding of the mantra. The Elder Master Hsu Yun said,
“If cultivators can memorize the Shurangama Sutra, they will not go astray in their cultivation.” My one great vow in this life is to be able to recite the Shurangama Sutra from memory.
Towards those who slander the SShurangama Sutra, saying that it is inauthentic, the Venerable Master sternly reproaches,
“The Four Clear Instructions on Purity are a demon-spotting mirror that destroys the deviant hordes.” He also said,
“I guarantee that the Shurangama Sutra is an authentic Sutra. I vow to fall into the hells if the Shurangama Sutra is false.” The Master’s public-spirited and unselfish attitude towards protecting the teachings points out the great path of cultivation for us.
In addition, the Venerable Master spent nine years lecturing on the
Flower Adornment Sutra. He said, “If I don’t lecture on the Sutras one day, I will not eat on that day.” He set an example for his disciples, not sparing blood or sweat and never pausing to rest in his efforts to make the sagely teaching flourish.
These are some small feelings that I’ve had since leaving the home-life with the Venerable Master. Now the Venerable Master has completed the stillness. I vow that for the rest of my life, I will study the Buddhadharma well and widely benefit living beings in order to requite the Master’s kindness.