DVD of Transmitting Precepts at the
City of Ten Thousand Buddhas
"Now that you have a chance to leave the home-life and become disciples of the Buddha, you should realize that the causes and conditions for this are hard to meet with in hundreds of millions of eons. Therefore, you should uphold the precepts as your very life. For if you don't, then although you may still be in the world, you are like walking corpses and you will be of no benefit to the world. After leaving home, we should have backbone, determination, and integrity. We ought to be useful vessels with Buddhism, establishing merit and virtue, and establishing the teachings."
The precepts are the life-pulse of the Buddhadharma, especially for left-home practitioners. If one hopes to advance steadfastly along the path of cultivation and be a true monk or nun, one must deeply understand the essence of the precepts and faithfully uphold them.
The Venerable Master thus said, "The Dharma must be transmitted by the Sangha; only people can propagate the Buddhadharma. However, the precepts must be the basis for this. If Buddhists fail to hold the precepts, it means the Dharma has declined."
People have always respected the Venerable Master Hua for his strict observance of the precepts. He organized the first Threefold Ordination Ceremony in the United States in 1971, inviting leading monks from both Mahayana and Theravadan traditions to preside over the transmission of precepts. The ceremony was stately and dignified. Threefold Ordination Ceremonies were held seven times prior to the Venerable Master's passing in 1995. Preceptees undergo 108 days of training before ordination (traditionally, training at other temples lasts 53 days at the most). This shows that the City still maintains a strict tradition of transmitting and upholding the precepts to adorn the Bodhimanda, a model of purity in the evil world of five turbidities.
The Venerable Master exhorted the preceptees, "After you have received the precepts, you must do as the precepts say. Everyone has to cultivate according to the Dharma and be an exceptional Buddhist who stands out from the crowd. Don't just hang around and wait for death to arrive."
Ajahn Sumedho, who has been a Precept Master at the City's Threefold Ordinations, pointed out that anyone who in this day and age is still willing to give up his life for Buddhism, walk the Bodhisattva path, pursue noble ideals, and respect life deserves our praise and respect.
After Venerable Master Hua entered nirvana, based on the principle of taking precepts as our teacher and with prudent attitude, CTTB held 108-day ordination training in the year of 1995, 2000, 2002, and 2005. This year (2009) is the 30th anniversary of CTTB, the full ordination for monastics and Bodhisattva's precepts for lay people will be transmitted again to fulfill the preceptee's wishes.
This film was made during the sixth Threefold Ordination Ceremony at CTTB in 1991. There are more than sixty preceptees receiving full ordination, the most among all years. The film recorded many pieces of daily life during the 108-day training period, the instructions to the preceptees by Master Hua, and their thoughts. These are precious historical documents. Thus, the original recording is transformatted into video files here to be shared with viewers like you.