The Master regarded "education as the foundation for being
a good person and the foundation for the world."
That's why he spared no energy when it came to education.
It has already been one year since the Venerable Master Hua manifested entry into stillness. The Memorial Nirvana Assembly held at the Sagely City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, in which the Master's kindness was remembered, still appears clearly in my mind. The ceremonies and traditions continue as usual in the Sagely City; following the Master's final instructions, everyone continues to practice as in the past. Remembering the wonderful times of bygone days, I am filled with boundless sorrow.
The Master lived at a time when China was in great crisis and its people suffered many hardships. The Master brought the Dharma across the ocean to America, establishing Way-places and teaching disciples here. He also led many delegations to various parts of the United States and to countries in Southeast Asia and Europe, where he hosted Dharma gatherings to avert disasters, protect nations, and pray for peace. With tireless zeal and self-sacrifice, he propagated the Dharma hoping to relieve human suffering and put an end to wars. With kindness, compassion, joy, and giving, he fearlessly worked to rescue the world and to bestow blessings on all. Thus he came to be respected throughout the world.
In today's society with its advanced technology, virtue and ethics have been forgotten. The Master thought that the way to save the situation is to develop good education, for he regarded "education as the foundation for being a good person and the foundation for the world." That's why he spared no energy when it came to education. He felt that the propagation of Buddhism should be founded on the development of education, because "The Buddhadharma is not apart from the world." If people are taught to be good, they will be able to cultivate the path to Buddhahood. At the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas he founded a university and secondary and elementary schools to educate and nurture young people. His painstaking efforts and clear vision were truly profound and far reaching.
The Master set forth the Six Guiding Principles－no fighting, no greed, no seeking, no selfishness, no pursuit of personal benefit, and no lying－which not only reflect Buddhism's emphasis on the precepts, but encompass the doctrines of all other religions. For example, these Six Principles include the Taoist ideas of purity, nonaction, egolessness, and noncontention, as well as the Confucian doctrine of "restraining oneself in accord with propriety" and not looking at, listening to, speaking about, or practicing improper things. The Six Principles are truly an excellent formula for understanding the mind and nurturing the nature, for cultivating oneself and dwelling peacefully with others.
After leaving the home-life, the Master made eighteen great vows and applied himself vigorously to his practice. He held the precepts strictly, took only one meal a day, and did not lie down to sleep; his only worry was that he was not practicing zealously enough. He gave modern language explanations of the major Buddhist scriptures and directed their translation into various languages and their publication and circulation around the world. His massive merit and virtue benefits living beings and his grace pervades the Dharma Realm. These are all due to the Master's wisdom and peerless conduct. His monumental contributions in propagating Dharma to help living beings are too numerous to relate. I can only compose a verse to express my sadness.
At the foot of the Eternally White Mountains was a noble monk;
A single tattered robe was all he had to ward off the bitter winter cold.
Living by his mother's grave for three years to repay her kindness,
He won renown as a Filial Son among the village folk.
Upon leaving the home-life, he made eighteen vows
To universally save the living beings of the Dharma Realm.
As civil war spread throughout the land of China,
He embarked on a ten thousand mile journey to visit great virtuous ones.
To pursue his intense study of Chan, he personally visited Nanhua
And bowed to the Venerable Yun in the patriarch's court.
Assigned to the precepts platform, he sternly upheld the rules of Vinaya.
And later became the ninth generation heir of the Weiyang sect.
As the situation in China became ever more chaotic,
He went to Hong Kong and lived in poverty, expounding the Buddha Vehicle.
Travelling to foreign lands to preach Dharma and teach beings,
The Buddha's teaching can bring prosperity to the world.
Since ancient times, the sages have transmitted it afar.
Venerable Hsuan Tsang scaled mountains and forded rivers to reach southern India.
Venerable Jianzhen sailed eastwards across the sea to Japan.
Venerable Hua crossed the Pacific and raised the Dharma banner in the West.
In teaching living beings, he did not fall behind the ancient worthies.
Extensively translating the Tripitaka, he gave forth the Lion's Roar.
His light illumines foreign lands, causing people to awaken to nonproduction.
Taking only one meal a day and not lying down to sleep,
He upheld the precepts and was pure and ascetic in his practice.
Living beings around the world took refuge and became his disciples.
After awakening to the Way through meditation, he carried on the Chan tradition.
Promoting ethics and virtue and working to make education flourish,
He was a filial child and a loyal citizen who protected the cause of peace.
After his manifestation of stillness, his precious relics illumine the universe.
After cremation, his holy ashes were sprinkled high up in the air.
Younger Dharma brother said, "Elder Dharma brother, would you like to write an essay for the Master's memorial book?"
Elder Dharma brothe replied, "Write what? I'd write: 'Shr Fu, I'm thinking of you, I miss you so much.' Shr Fu would say, 'You haven't practiced any of the Dharmas I taught you! What are you thinking of me for? Thinking of a person instead of the Dharma
－ truly deluded!'"