News From The Dharma Realm

Scholar and Translator

In January the Sino-American Buddhist Association had the opportunity to welcome Leo M. Pruden, Professor of Religious Studies at Brown University, Providence, Rhode Island, to Gold Mountain Monastery.  Professor Pruden was accompanied by Mr. Lee Haeng-won with whom he is currently sponsoring the Providence Zen Center, an organization which is introducing Buddhist to the East Coast. Professor Pruden has traveled widely and studied in Asia, and is very much concerned with the translation of Buddhist scriptural material from Asian languages into English.

On a recent trip to the West Coast he stopped in San Francisco to visit Gold Mountain and pay his respects to the Venerable Abbot and members of the Sangha. He looked into the Monastery・s varied and intense schedule of activities, and discussed the importance of cooperation among the Sangha and lay community, regardless of nationality or sectarian affiliations, in order that the Buddhadharma might flourish. Professor Pruden praised the work being done by the Association, especially the Vajra Bodhi Sea Publication Society, and said that he hoped scholars of the Sangha and lay community can work together on translation projects in the future so that the Buddha's teachings might be quickly and accurately brought to the West.

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Shown in the picture on the Venerable Abbot・s left right respectively are two recent visitors to Gold Mountain from the East Coast, Professor Leo Pruden from Brown University, and Mr. Lee Haeng-won.


Americans seek the Dharma

A host of new Buddhists took refuge with the Triple Jewel and became disciples of the Venerable Master Hua Kung at ceremonies held in January 1973 at Gold Mountain Monastery. The seekers of the Way joined a large and ever expanding number of devotees and adepts who seek the Master's guidance.

Disciples numbering well into the hundreds have taken the five precepts. That so many Americans raised in the spirit of "do as I please" independence, have taken vows to always refrain from killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, and taking intoxicants including drugs, alcohol, and cigarettes in order to cultivate the Way attests to the Master's inconceivably high virtue.

Many disciples have also taken the ten heavy and forty-eight light Bodhisattva precepts.

Although many Americans have requested permission to leave the home life, the Master has accepted only nine men and three women as bhiksus and bhiksunis. These twelve have taken the complete precepts of the Thousand Buddhas, 250 for men and 348 for women, becoming the only Westerners on this continent to be ordained in the orthodox tradition established by the Buddha.

Shown in the picture, new disciples kneel in sincerity to receive the Three Refuges.

      If you enjoyed the stories about the Buddha・s foremost disciples in this month・s installment of the Lotus Sutra, you will not want to miss Revata・s battle with some ghosts, Bakkula・s escape from a hot frying pan, Mahakausthila・s debate with the Buddha, and other engaging stories in next month・s issue.


Spreading the Dharma

Translating and language study, go hand in hand and both are an important part of the daily work at Gold Mountain Dhyana Monastery. One of the people responsible for language training and the impressive flow of translations from the Buddhist Text Translation society is Upasaka I Kuo Jung, President of the Vajra Bodhi Sea Publication Society. Upasaka Kuo Jung has been a central figure throughout the growth of the Sino-American Buddhist Association. In addition to his work with Vajra Bodhi Sea, he is one of the chief translators for the Buddhist Text Translation Society, is an active Dharma Protector who works continually for the benefit of the Monastery, and serves as an Assistant Chairman of the Sino-American Buddhist Association.

Upasaka I Kuo Jung's major contribution to the growth of Buddhism in the West is not apparent to one who does not know its history. He is responsible for having introduced the majority of the Sangha members and lay community to the SinoXAmerican Buddhist Association, and as one of the earliest disciples of the Venerable Master Hua, he was instrumental in gathering many true cultivators of the Way and providing opportunities for them to taste the flavor of the Master・s indescribable Dharma. Upasaka I Kuo Jung・s connections with those who cultivate the Buddhadharma run deep and the importance of the work he has completed is hard to express adequately in words, but much of his success in propagating the Dharma can be attributed to his penetrating insights into human character and his eloquence .

On top of his many contributions to Buddhism, he brings much valuable education and experience to Gold Mountain. He has degrees from Harvard, the University of Washington, and is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in Buddhist Studies at the University of California at Berkeley. He has also undertaken advanced studies in Paris and Taipei. He is now a lecturer in philosophy and religion at California State University, San Francisco.

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Upasaka I Kuo Jung is shown above teaching French at Gold Mountain Monastery. The text he uses for the course is de la Valise Poussin's Vijnaptimatra Siddhi. He also makes reference to the original Chinese texts and traditional commentaries in order to make the course as valuable as possible. His class is part of the Gold Mountain language-training program, which is preparing many enthusiastic students to propagate the Buddhadharma world-wide.


Eminent Upasaka visits Gold Mountain

The buoyant and energetic Upasaka C.C. Lu of Vancouver, Canada was welcomed by the Sangha during his recent visit to Gold Mountain to pay his respects to the Venerable Abbot. Steadfast Vajra Bodhi Sea readers will remember that Upasaka Lu recently opened the Buddhist temple and the Buddhist Association of British Columbia in Vancouver (see issue #26. pp. 31). This was his first visit to Gold Mountain. Upasaka Lu is currently travelling in the Far East.

Shown in the picture left are, left to right seated, Bhiksu Heng Ch・ao, Bhiksu Heng Kuan, Upasaka Lu, the Venerable Master Hua, Bhiksu Heng Ching, Bhiksu Heng Shoou and Heng Chu. Standing behind them, left to right, are Upasakas Kuo P・eng Baity and Kuo Kuei Nicholson, Barbara Ventresca, Upasika Kuo Hsu Saario, Bhiksuni Heng Hsien, Bhiksuni Heng Yin, Bhiksuni Heng Ch・ih, Upasika Kuo Chin Vickers, and Upasakas Kuo I Foorman and Kuo Hui Weber.

      In addition to the evening lectures on the Avatamsaka Sutra, there are also lectures on the Surangama Sutra given daily at Gold Mountain. There is no other Bodhimandala in the world where the Dharma Wheel is turned with such unflagging vigor as at Gold Mountain Monastery where it is in motion seven days a week, three hundred and sixty-five days a year.

Conference of Translators

Poquott, Long Island, Feb. 6, 7, and 8: The Institute for Advanced Studies of World Religions, an educational foundation with offices in New York and library at the Stony Brook campus of the State University of New York, has initiated and sponsored a meeting of three American Buddhist bhiksus and bhiksunis from Gold Mountain Monastery in San Francisco, and five prominent Buddhist scholars. The purpose of the meeting was to make plans for the compilation and publication of a new kind of multilingual Buddhist dictionary for use by scholars and students. The meeting took place at Bodhi House, owned by Mr. C.T. Shen, founder and president of the Institute.

Mr. Shen opened the meeting by asking all participants to sign a ledger book first used in July 1776. In his opening remarks, he emphasized that the dictionary would not impose standards on other scholars, but should be a practical reference book to aid translators and students. The entries, he pointed out, could be in Sanskrit, Pail, Chinese, Japanese, Tibetan, and English. Mr. Shen also asked that the meeting consider methods to increase cooperation of translators and scholars all over the world.

      During the meeting it was decided to use the computerization of data to help assemble the dictionary. This is perhaps the first time that such procedure has been followed.

      The participants included Bhiksu Heng Ching, Bhiksu Heng Kuan, Bhiksuni Heng Yin, Dr. Richard S.Y. Chi, Dr. Richard A. Gard, Dr. Robert A.F. Thurman, Dr. Christopher S. George, and Mr. Fayen S.K. Koo. Also attending the conference as observers were Bhiksu Heng Shoou and Bhikusnis Heng Ch・ih and Heng Hsien from Gold Mountain.

      The participants in the first conference resolved to publish the first edition of what may be called "The New World Buddhist Dictionary" on July 4, 1976, the bicentennial anniversary of the Declaration of Independence of the U.S.A.            -end

  

Shown above from left to right are Mr. C.T. Shen, Dr. Christopher George, Bhiksuni Heng Yin, Bhiksu Heng Kuan, Bhiksu Heng Ching, Mr. Fayen S.K. Koo, Dr. Richard Chi, and Dr. Richard Gard, who met at a conference of Buddhist translators in February on Long Island.
 
                                                

BUDDHA'S BIRTHDAY

The Sino-American Buddhist Association, Gold Mountain Dhyana Monastery, and the Vajra Bodhi Sea Publication Society will sponsor the Buddha's Birthday celebrations this year, and cordially invite all Buddhist to attend the anniversary of the birth of our original teacher, Sakyamuni Buddha. The holiday falls on May 10th this year and the major celebrations and ceremonies will take place on Sunday, May 6th. SET THIS DAY ASIDE NOW!