After reading the Venerable Master’s last instructions, I sank into deep reflection: When a person comes to this world, he doesn’t bring anything with him. When he leaves, he cannot take anything tangible with him, either! Yet from the time the Venerable Master came to this world until he left it, he achieved the three imperishable features praised by the Chinese:
“establishing merit, establishing virtue, and establishing teachings.” Perhaps the Venerable Master didn’t intentionally think of doing this in his life, yet this is what I really feel he did.
The same last instructions elicit different reactions from different people:
Some people admire the Venerable Master. Others like the Venerable Master. Others feel the Venerable Master was casually elegant.
Some people think that after the Venerable Master’s leaving, there will be even more efficacious responses, for the Venerable Master is free to come and go as he wishes.
Some people hope the Master’s disciples will not struggle among themselves to be the first to make offerings to the Master’s sharira.
The few sentences of these last instructions have provoked such different feelings from the people who read them. In many cases, there is no definite answer. Perhaps people have different reactions because they were born in different places, have different backgrounds, and speak different languages. I don’t know what others think of this.
Now that the Venerable Master and my father have both left the world,
My heart is filled with doubts.
I had sincerely wished that I would meet him when he was alive.
What can I do if the reality is not as I wished?
The Bodhisattvas take no pity on my childish heart;
They only allow living beings to be disappointed.
I failed to fulfill my filial duty when they were alive.
My remembrance and regret are boundless and without end.
Written by Xu Shuqing on July 29 (Three weeks after my father’s passing)