He was not only a great monk of ascetic practice, but also a most patriotic citizen.
We were all terribly grieved by the news of the Venerable Master Hua's completion of stillness. His passing is the greatest loss to Buddhists and to the world at large.
The Master's life was devoted to the propagation of Dharma, ascetic cultivation, and the translation of the Buddhist canon. He directed the translation of Mahayana Sutras such as the Lotus Sutra, the Avatamsaka Sutra, the Amitabha Sutra, and the Earth Store Sutra into English and other languages such as Spanish, Vietnamese and Japanese, thus disseminating the Buddha's teachings throughout the world. His contributions to Buddhism and his influence on humankind were extremely great.
Today I will only mention a few points which I particularly respected about the Master .
First of all, the Master was able to propagate Chinese culture and ethics simultaneously with the Buddhadharma. He was able to merge Buddhism with Confucianism so that they complemented and supported each other, and propagate them together to rescue humankind. His respect for Chinese culture won my deep admiration.
Secondly, the Venerable Master loved his country fervently. Although he went to America in 1962 and lived there for over thirty years, he insisted on maintaining his Chinese identity and refused to give up his Chinese citizenship, despite the inconvenience that this caused him in the U.S. In my view, he was not only a great monk of ascetic practice, but also a most patriotic citizen.
Thirdly, the Venerable Master not only preached, but also practiced, the six guiding principles--no fighting, no greed, no seeking, no selfishness, no pursuit of personal gain, and no lying. These principles are in complete accord with the eight virtues of Chinese cultural tradition: loyalty, filiality, humaneness, universal love, trustworthiness, righteousness, harmony, and peace.
If you take a look at our society today, people enjoy wealth
and luxury, but their souls are actually impoverished. Most people selfishly fight for fame, power, and profit. Our society has been seriously corrupted by the emphasis on money and utilitarian concerns. I believe that if we want to make society clean and honest again, we must all follow the six guiding principles and the eight traditional virtues.
Although the Master has passed into stillness, he has left manyteachings for us, and I hope we will all follow them, spread them, and make them flourish, so that we will have a cleaner society and everyone will lead a happier and richer life.
Note: It has been three years since our teacher, Venerable Master Liyu, left the world sitting in full lotus posture. We accidentally came upon a verse named "Praise to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas" composed by the Master on the seventeenth day of the fifth month in 1985. The verse expresses his sincere admiration for the City, and we present it to you as an offering.
－Miaoshou, aka Shi Changzhen of Baoguo Monastery, Lezhi, Sichuan Province, China
June 6, 1995