It has been nearly a year since the Venerable Master Hua entered Nirvana. Several times I started to set down a little bit of my feelings towards my kind teacher, but I didn’t know where to start, because there were too many things to say. Thus I have delayed until now to give this inadequate report.
When I heard the news of the Master’s Nirvana, I couldn’t stop myself from crying piteously. It grieved me more deeply than the death of my father. I was very ashamed that due to my lack of cultivation, I had no samadhi power. I tried without success to compose myself. Pitying myself for being so foolish and attached, I often rebuked myself,
“We should rely on the Dharma, not on a person. Why be so attached to the Master’s physical body?” Indeed, it is only because the Master’s kindness is more difficult to repay than that of my parents. My parents bore me and raised me, but the Master nourished my Dharma body with wholesome Dharma, teaching me to renounce evil and aspire to goodness, leading me from the gates of the hells onto the bright path to the Buddha’s land. Such great kindness is hard to describe in words. If it were not for the Master’s earnest remonstrances, I wouldn’t even know that I was poisoned by greed, hatred, and stupidity, or that I was committing the ten evils and five rebellious acts. I would not know to fear cause and effect, or to repent for my errors, for I was extremely foolish. The Master’s teachings changed my outlook on life; when I was in trouble, he appeared in my dreams and gave me guidance in cultivation. He often said in his talks,
Turning afflictions into Bodhi
Is as easy as a flip of the hand.
He would demonstrate by flipping his hand over as he said this. The memory is still fresh in my mind.
No matter how many feelings I write down, I could hardly repay the Master’s kindness. Only by urging myself to advance vigorously on the Path, to constantly reflect on my faults, and to remember to “do no evil and practice all good,” doing as much good as I can for the rest of my life, can I hope to repay a tiny bit of the Master’s kindness.