I met the Master for the first time on the Buddha’s Birthday in 1987. From that day on, I have created an affinity with the Master that cannot be dissolved. You may say that nothing can drive me away from the Master. Some people ran away after being scolded by the Master. Some left upon seeing how the Master scolded others or how sick the Master had become. Let me tell you: this indicates either shallow affinity, strong egotism, a weak resolve for the Way, or failure to recognize Guanshiyin Bodhisattva when seeing him face to face. Doesn’t it show a lack of endurance if you want to seek a teacher and study the Way, and yet you run away after being scolded a little? Now, you ran away when the Master scolded you. If it had been someone else, wouldn’t you have gotten into a fight with him?
Let me tell you, the Master scolded me very harshly sometimes, saying that I had deviant views and evil offenses, that I would fall into the hells, and so on. But I did not run away because his scoldings always hit the mark. And they would be really true if I did not meet the Master in this life.
I can also tell you, when you saw the Master losing his temper, he was just putting on an act. It was not real. One year on the Buddha’s Birthday, the Master seemed to be upset. He pointed at the lines of people waiting to bathe the Buddha, instructing them to move to the right, and later to the left. People were confused and did not know what to make of it. I was in charge of putting the incense sticks into the big censer that day. I wondered, “What is the Venerable Master up to today?” At that moment, I noticed the Master was smiling as he pointed and scolded people who were in line.
During these years of being the Master’s disciple, I dreamed of the Master many times. In those dreams he treated my illnesses, granted me permission to leave the home-life (I am ashamed), subdued demons, sifted through his ashes to find sharira along with me (I dreamed this during the nap I took in the afternoon of the day of cremation), and showed me his fist opening and closing (but I am too stupid to grasp the meaning), and many others. It’s said, “Speaking of dreams in a dream is doubly illusory.” So it doesn’t matter whether or not you believe me.
Some people wavered when they saw how ill the Master was. Others were worried that no sharira would come out of the cremation. I have faith in the Master and thus felt no need for these superficial things. Therefore, I did not care about them. The Master had instructed us to bow to those who slandered him, but I find it hard not to get red-faced and stubborn under such circumstances. Maybe the Master gave us such advice because he knew that many of his disciples were very attached to him.
My strong faith in the Master, which is almost to the point of being obstinate, was finally explained one day. Returning from the opening ceremony of Bodhi Way Association, the Master told me in the car,
You have deep faith in me because you have followed me for more than one lifetime.
So that is why! I know, too, that not only in past lives, or in this life, but in future lives to the end of time, the Master and I will have an unlimited affinity in Dharma. Finally, let me vow that, “May I protect and support the Proper Dharma and the Venerable Master in life after life.”