Even though the Venerable Master’s physical body is gone, his Dharma and the mission of the Thus Come One (Buddha) are still in the world. We laypeople should loyally support the Thus Come One’s mission and protect the Venerable Master’s left-home disciples, whom he so carefully taught, as if protecting the pupils of our own eyes, as if the Venerable Master were still alive. Why? Because the Dharma depends on the Sangha to transmit it. No amount of words can console us in our grief at losing our greatly compassionate father. The only thing we can do is unite the fourfold assembly of disciples so that they can carry on the Thus Come One’s mission and the tradition of the Sagely City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, thus maintaining the Proper Dharma in the world. That is our first priority.
I hope that many lifetimes and many eons later, we will all be able to share the Venerable Master’s burden of taking on the karma of living beings. A poem says,
Our vows are like the Sea of Fragrant Waters;
Our resolve is as high as Mount Sumeru.
Though the sea is deep, it cannot drown our vows;
Though the mountain is high, it cannot block our resolve.
The Buddhas also know our wish:
Preserving the Proper Dharma in the world is our first priority.
He already abides in the ultimate path of the one vehicle,
And deeply enters the subtly wondrous and most superior Dharma.
He knows well what is and is not appropriate for living beings,
In order to benefit them he manifests spiritual penetrations.
Chapter on The Merit and Virtue from First Bringing Forth the Mind, the
Flower Adornment Sutra