The Bodhi Lectern

INTRODUCING THE EMINENT 
UPASAKA WONG KUO CHUN

      Upasaka Kuo Chun Wong was born on August 7th, 1940 in Hong Kong, the last of five children. His mother is an extraordinarily devoted Buddhist who, although she raised her children on Buddhist principles, nonetheless had a stubborn temper, which occasionally disturbed her family. Having deep conditions with the Buddhadharma, however, when she heard about the inconceivable deeds and miraculous Dharma of the Venerable Master Hua, and learned that he had arrived in Hong Kong, she packed her children off to see him. Soon she and four of her children, including Kuo Chun, were devoted disciples of the Master, having taken refuge in the autumn of 1952. What is more important is that the difficulties disappeared, and her family became one of the few in the world which live in peace and harmony. This has happened to many families who have met and paid attentions to the Master's teaching. Kuo Chun took refuge when he was eleven.

      He attended secondary school and went on to receive business 
school training in Hong Kong. During this time he was often at the Master's side, receiving his teaching and serving the Master in every way. He went to one of the Master's temple, Hsi Le Yuan, every week to recite the Buddha's name, and became totally intractable if he was prevented by circumstance from seeing the Master for more than a week. Kuo Ch'un frequently attended week-long cultivation sessions, and later, when he had grasped the important principles of Dharma and had put them into practice, he made oral translations of the Masterís instructional
talks, of which some have been published. 
Kuo Chun holds the five precepts, and is one of the Masterís close and faithful disciples. His family has deep affinity with the Master, and some of the strange and wonderful events, which arose after they became disciples, are worth relating.

On one occasion, shortly after the Master arrived in Hong Kong from Nan Hua Monastery in Canton, Le Kuo Ming, mother of Upasaka Kuo Chun, brought three of her children to take refuge with the Master. Later she encountered some troublesome affairs, and became very ill as a result. Doctors expressed great concern since they could not cure the disease, and announced that Upasika Kuo Mingís life was in danger.

When the doctors had made their diagnosis, her daughter, Kuo Sung, also a sincere and devoted disciple of the Master, was moved by her filial concern for her parent, and prayed for her mother's safety before the Buddha. She implored the Buddha with utter single-minded concentration and all of a sudden saw the Master before her. Her mother's sickness immediately broke and she rapidly recovered.

Describing this experience Kuo Sung said, "In the autumn of that year my mother became involved in some very unpleasant affairs and as a result became very ill. Her face was chalk-white and she was bedridden in pain. There was no improvement in her condition after consultation and treatment by doctors, and what is more, the doctors said that her illness was deep and could not be cured. Other members of the family became seriously depressed by this news, and I was very disturbed. Consequently I prayed before the Buddha, hoping that the Bodhisattvas would bless my mother.

"As I prayed, all of a sudden I was astounded by a brilliant white light before me, and saw a monk sitting in meditation within that light in front of the statue of the Buddha. It was my teacher, and I was extremely surprised and happy to see him. I continued reciting the Buddha's name.

"Before that time my mother hadn't slept for many days, but after I saw the Master, although her face was very pale and her life force seemed extremely weak, she slept. It was midnight, and I asked a friend to accompany me to see the Master.

"As soon as I saw him he said, 'I already know about your mother's illness. Go home quickly, recite the Buddha's name, and meditate on the name of the Buddha, and the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will bless your mother.' So I went home and prayed the whole night through. The next night my mother had recovered from her disease."

On another occasion Kuo Chun's mother's arm became extremely painful, and remained so for many days. She asked the Master how to cure it, and he replied that she should do meritorious works. This was at that time of the opening of Hsi Le Yuan, and everything was scarce. There wasn't even any food, how much the less bowls, plates, and utensils. And so the four-fold assembly at Hsi Le Yuan planned to serve tea and peanuts at the opening ceremonies. When Lo Kuo Ming heard of this state of affairs, she completed outfitted the temple and provided a grand vegetarian feast on the day of the ceremonies.

After the feast Kuo Ming said to the Master, "My arm is still paralyzed," and she couldn't move it past a horizontal position. The Master said, "Raise up your arm." She did, and it was cured.

Close examination of Upasaka Wong Kuo Chun's features reveals the physiognomy of a bandit. Be sure that I do not refer to the vulgar Western variety, but rather to the historic heroic and able leaders who retreated with their followers to secure mountaintops in the face of hostile and oppressive governments. "Many of these "bandits" became benevolent and able kings who benefited great numbers of people. It is not surprising then, that at a young age Kuo Chun is the Director and General Manager of Specomill Textiles, Lts. of Lkeja, Nigeria, and in this position supervises more than 4,000 employees.

Upasaka Wong resides at Awosika Avenue in Ikeja, Nigeria, with his wife and child. He is currently on a several month sojourn in Hong Kong, and passed through San Francisco on his way in order to visit Gold Mountain and pay his respects to the Venerable Master, whom he had not seen for more than ten years. He was very happy at being reunited with his teacher, and took the opportunity to live at Gold Mountain, meet and get to know the Master's American disciples, and follow the rigorous schedule of cultivation for a week. He was obviously filled with great joy at having this chance to be with his Master again.