His spirit will remain in the world and in our hearts forever.
The Venerable Master and I are both natives of Manchuria. The Master was born in Shuangcheng County of Jilin Province, which is situated on the plain where the Song and Liao Rivers meet. He left the home-life in youth and was an admirable ascetic monk. After studying Buddhism and cultivating in various parts of mainland China, he went to Hong Kong, the South Pacific, and finally to America. He introduced the Buddhist teachings to the West, opening up a path for Buddhism in a society that is predominantly Christian. This is an admirable feat, and his efforts have already borne fruit.
I paid two visits to the Venerable Master at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas and in San Francisco. In 1992, after resigning as Director of the Legislative Assembly, I went to America to deliver a talk at the Eastern American Chinese Academy, and then I went to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, where I had a long conversation with the Master. The Master asked me to be the Chancellor of Dharma Realm Buddhist University.
As you all know, aside from propagating Dharma at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, the Master also established a fine Translation Institute in Burlingame to translate the Buddhist canon into English, and he founded the Dharma Realm Buddhist University, a general university with two graduate institutes. He hoped, through this university, to disseminate the Buddha's teachings and cause Buddhism to flourish in the academic world.
However, I told him that I didn't have close ties with America (I had studied in Japan), so due to the language barrier I was not a suitable choice. Finally the Master said, "Okay. Originally I was the Executive Chairman of Dharma Realm University, but now I'll let you have the position so you can help me develop the university." I accepted then, but I regret to say that after returning to Taiwan, I wasn't able to devote myself to help him establish the university. I feel I have let the Master down in this respect.
Although the Master has passed into stillness, all of his disciples, followers, and friends in various circles will continue to glorify his spirit. I hope that, in addition to disseminating the Buddhadharma, the Dharma Realm Buddhist University will be able to set itself up within a suitable time frame, and will increase its training in both scholarship and practical research. This is extremely important. In remembering the Master today, I believe that his spirit will remain in the world and in our hearts forever.