Complete Precepts to be Transmitted in the West

by Bhiksu Heng Kuan

Can you see events that will take place 2,500 years in the future?  Skepticism is the major obstacle to accepting the validity of the Buddha's prophecy, made more than two and a half millennia ago in India, when he announced that Buddhism would make major moves eastward in its course through history. The first occurred approximately five hundred years after his death; it is a historical fact that Buddhism began developing in China during the Han Dynasty.

Another two thousand years have passed. Those who have listened have heard the death rattle of Buddhism in Asia and those who have looked in the West have seen "missionaries" from the East using the teachings to become famous, selling meditation, and advertising occult powers to attract gullible followers. The Buddha predicted this corruption of Buddhism but indicated that in spite of the nearly universal decline of the Teaching, the proper tradition would be transmitted intact to the West.

What is that tradition? All things have the Buddha-nature, and everyone may become a Buddha himself. Regardless of whether anyone believes it, there is nothing outside the Buddha-nature. Belief enables one to begin to understand. It does not influence the actuality.

The tradition consists of the methods, which enable one to put this understanding into actual practice and attain enlightenment. One of the most important methods is maintaining precepts, rules for behavior which enable one to increase the power and wisdom achieved through other practices, such as meditation. Without precepts, the adept's hard work in meditation and study come to nothing and can on occasion be destructive. The Buddha made this very clear.

And so it appears that if the prophecy of the Buddha is to continue, the complete precepts of Buddhism must be transmitted with the Teaching.  There is no other way to preserve the genuine tradition, which leads one to enlightenment.

The question immediately arises in the minds of most men who are unfamiliar with this subject, “Why preserve an antique like Buddhism? We’ve got a lot more pressing problems to deal with today.” The answer is simple. The genuine tradition of Buddhism, of which precepts form the heart, represents the sole effective method to put an end to wars. If one favors war, one increases war; if one opposes war, his opposition makes another war, for the nature of war is opposition. To oppose war is like trying to cool a pot of boiling oil by blowing on it, oblivious to the fact that it is hanging over a raging fire.

      Precepts pull war out by the roots because they extinguish the seeds of hatred, contention and killing. War exists only because people like to oppose, to boil in perpetual argument among nations, families and individuals. War exists because those who oppose take their opposition to the extreme of killing and contention one must put out the fire beneath the pot.

It is to this end that The Sino-American Buddhist Association will transmit the complete precepts next summer at Gold Mountain Temple, San Francisco.  Citizens of all nations are being invited to take part as an indication of the universal spirit of Buddhism.



In this age, which is so strong in fighting and strife, disasters and war increase daily. We must find a means to rescue mankind and prevent the annihilation of the entire world, consequently, in order to protect the country, eliminate disasters, and seek peace and blessings for all peoples, the members of The Sino-American Buddhist Association have decided to transmit the Complete Precepts of the Thousand Buddhas for the first time in Western history. This Dharma Assembly will last for one hundred and eight days, beginning on June 7, 1972, and ending on September 22, 1972. Buddhists of all countries and nationalities throughout the world are cordially invited to attend and receive the Complete Precepts of Sramanera, Sramanerika, Bhiksu, Bhiksuni, and Bodhisattva. The merit thus established for mankind as well as the benefits accruing to those of the future are truly unlimited.

      Those interested in taking part should be aware of the following items:

1. Since the United States and the City of San Francisco are internationally significant, the Precept Transmitting Master, Karmadana, and Teaching Master as well as the seven certifiers and others concerned will all be high and virtuous monks from many countries who are leaders of Buddhism.

2. The Sramanera Precepts will be transmitted on July 13, 1972.

3. The Bhiksu Precepts will be transmitted on August 19, 1972.

4. The Bodhisattva Precepts will be transmitted on Sept. 22, 1972.

5. Instruction in the Bodhisattva Precepts will begin on Sept. 15, for all four assemblies of disciples. Laymen taking these precepts should arrive prior to that date.

6. The deadline for registration is June 1, 1972.

7. Please direct all correspondence to:

Precept Transmitting Committee
Gold Mountain Temple
1731 15th Street
San Francisco, Ca. USA 94103


Heng Ch’ien, Advisor
Heng Ching, Chairman
Heng Shou, Secretary General

Every single living being enters the non-dual Dharma door and realizes the triple enlightenment ground.

A hundred realms of Buddhas sit on their thrones of thousand flowers adorning the heaven of ten thousand virtues.