I went to Los Angeles to visit the Venerable Master. The Master had just had an operation and was very weak. What surprised me was that even though the Master was lying sick in bed, he was still continuously turning the Dharma wheel for the disciples at his side. One day, the hospital sent the Master a simple meal: a plate of fruit, a glass of juice, and a few slices of bread. The Master said with a smile,
“Probably it’s only in the hospital that I can eat a
August 9, 1994
The Master was in good spirits this morning. As soon as he saw us, he said,
“Good morning!” Even though the Master wasn’t feeling well, he still asked us with concern,
“The weather is so stormy today. What did you come for? How has the San Jose Buddhist Study Group been? Did so-and-so see the doctor when he was sick? ...” When I heard the Master’s words, I felt very bad. The Master never thought of himself. He was always thinking of the affairs of Buddhism, the affairs of Way-places, and the affairs of living beings.
Kneeling by the Master’s bed and looking at the Master’s thin and feeble body, I couldn’t help thinking of a certain incident. One time, a group of people from Malaysia came to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas and asked to meet with the Venerable Master. Most of them were sick and had a pallor to their faces. When the Master saw them, he knew immediately what they had come for. After receiving aid from the Venerable Master, some of them regained the color in their faces right away. There was one person in a wheelchair who was even able to stand up and walk slowly. What they didn’t know was that the Master’s body was trembling and his face was green as he returned to his room. I wept to see his state. The Master abruptly turned his head and said to me,
“Study the Buddhadharma well and cry a little less. You should know how few people truly understand the two sentences on the main gate of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas.” He also said,
“Don’t be sad. Each person must end his own birth and death. Those who will truly be in trouble are those who don’t know how to apply effort and cultivate.” I had just been dealt another blow to the head.
Every instruction from the Venerable Master affords endless benefit for all my life.
The “Ten Transferences Chapter” in the
Flower Adornment Sutra says,
The Bodhisattva is able to give away everything. He can give away all that he has both internally and externally. He must cause his mind to be forever pure, and never for an instant give rise to petty or lowly thoughts. He may give away his head, eyes, hands, or feet. Whether it be his skin, flesh, bones, marrow, or other things, he can give them all away without stinginess.
With his exalted virtue and compassionate vows, the Venerable Master has taken upon himself the karma of living beings. He would transform his body into limitless lands so that all kinds of living beings who are difficult to teach and subdue could dwell in them. The Venerable Master sacrificed his own health in order to give living beings peace in body and mind.
The “Asamkhyeya Chapter” of the
Flower Adornment Sutra says,
On the tip of one fine hair in one mote of dust, there are ineffable numbers of Universal Worthys. This is true of every hairtip throughout the Dharma Realm. In the countries on the tip of one hair, limitless beings of different species dwell. There are ineffably many kshetras where those of different species dwell, and there are ineffably many kshetras where those of the same species dwell...Within each dharma, they teach and subdue ineffably many beings. Or on the tip of one hair, they may constantly dwell for ineffable kalpas. ... With such great compassion, Bodhisattvas benefit all those in the world.
The “Chapter on the Conduct and Vows of Universal Worthy” in the
Flower Adornment Sutra says,
If this evil karma had substance and form, all of empty space could not contain it.
From this, we can know how great must be the karma that the Venerable Master is shouldering for living beings!
Foolish me, I have often regretted the fact that I haven’t had the opportunity to hear the Master lecture on the Sutras. Only after seeing the Venerable Master lying sick in bed did I suddenly wake up! I realize now that, whether the Master is healthy or sick, in his every gesture and move, he constantly speaks the true, wordless Sutra and expounds the great Flower Adornment Dharma for living beings. I was truly one who
“had eyes but didn’t recognize Guanshiyin Bodhisattva, who had ears but didn’t hear the Sudden Perfect Teaching.” Although I regret it, it’s too late!
June 9, 1995
Going south to Los Angeles to behold the Venerable Master, I felt very depressed. I saw the Venerable Master lying on a cold metal table in the mortuary. Was this the state mentioned in White Universe:
“Ice in the sky, snow on the ground...With great compassion rescue everyone, sparing neither blood nor sweat, and never pausing to rest”? Why is it that the Master can rescue the Dharma body and wisdom life of living beings, yet living beings cannot request the Buddhas to remain in the world? It must be that living beings’ karma is too heavy. It must be that we haven’t truly repented of our karmic hindrances and don’t have the blessings to request the Venerable Master to remain in the world.
At dawn, the rays of sun shined over the Sagely City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. In the gentle morning light, I seemed to see the Venerable Master’s kind face again. The fourfold assembly of disciples began another busy day. These disciples will cause the proper Dharma and the Six Principles left by the Venerable Master to spread and flourish.
The sun was temporarily obscured. When the rays of sunlight shined through the darkness again, they spread warmth and light throughout the three thousand great thousand worlds.
I hope that every disciple of the Venerable Master will constantly cherish in his heart the Dharma jewels transmitted by the Master and will truly practice them. That way, each one can eventually become another sun that can shine through the darkness of ignorance and bring boundless light to living beings.
The Storehouse-Teaching Bodhisattvas cultivate the Six Paramitas
at the level of phenomena,
While the Perfect-Teaching Bodhisattvas of wonderful
enlightenment cultivate with an understanding of the noumena.
With attachment to Prajna destroyed, all characteristics
Without any attainment or verification, he comprehends the fusion
He makes a jeweled realm appear on the tip of a single hair.
And he turns the Dharma-wheel while sitting on a speck of dust.
These words are spoken, yet few believe them;
I do not know how many really understand.
From the Venerable Master Hua’s Verses without a Stand for the Heart of Prajna Paramita Sutra