The Bodhi Lectern


          Upasika Kan Kuo Yen is a vigorous protector of the right Dharma who has been a disciple of the Venerable Master Hsiian Hua since 1952. Born in Canton, China, in 1903, Upasika Kan Kuo Yen has lived in Hong Kong for many years, and has supported the bodhimandala there as well as aided the establishment of Buddhism in the West. She is an eager and devoted follower of the Way who always requests the turning of the Dharma wheel so that the Sutras might be explained to benefit living beings.

wpe1B.gif (26190 bytes)The circumstances surrounding her taking refuge with the Triple Jewel and becoming a disciple of the Venerable Master are wonderfully strange. Her husband, Kuo P'u, placed some stock in externalists, and received prognostication from a diviner who predicted his certain demise at the age of seventy-seven by using divination by eight characters, two each for the year, month, day, and time of his death. Not wishing to give up his body so soon, and hearing of the miraculous Dharma of the Venerable Master, he and his daughter Stella (Kuo Cheng). became disciples. Not long afterward, and with deep faith in the Master, he requested that his life be extended for another ten years beyond his predicted death day. The Master replied that he would give him a full twelve years, but that living out these years was contingent upon his faith, sincere reliance, and vigorous support of the Triple Jewel and the propagation of the right Dharma. Her husband proved to be a worthy disciple, and lived another twelve years to the ripe old age of 90 when he died a peaceful death. After her husband took refuge with the Master, Kan Kuo Yen and others in her family did the same.

Upasika Kan Kuo Yen has had many wonderful responses since she became a disciple of the Master, On one occasion in particular, the power of response was unmistakable. Her son had been extremely ill, and his condition appeared to be weakening rapidly. He was spitting out mouthfuls of blood and had great difficulty breathing. As the disease became worse the faithful disciple called the Master, and explained the critical nature of the situation. The Master replied, "Alright, everything will be alright." Within moments of the phone call, the violent spitting up of blood ceased and her son soon recovered.

Upasika Kan Kuo Yen's daughters, T'an Kuo Shih and T'an Kuo Cheng both received great benefit from the Master's instruction in Hong Kong, and when he arrived in the United States they worked hard to support the right Dharma and establish Buddhism in the West. The work of Kan Kuo Yen and her daughters, and the work of others in the early days, led to the establishment of the Sino-American Buddhist Association and set a firm foundation for orthodox Buddhadharma in the West. Upasika Kan arrived in the United States in July. and has called upon the Venerable Master on many occasions to pay her respects. Although she has been a faithful Dharma protector, this is her first visit to Gold Mountain? she was warmly received by all the members of the Association.


                                --by Bhiksu Heng Kuan