The Bodhi Lectern



Deep good roots characterize this Upasaka's family. For the first time eminent members of the Sangha and lay community introduced in the Bodhi Mirror and the Bodhi Lectern in each issue of Vajra Bodhi Sea come from the same family.

Upasaka Hong Kuo Hsin is the son of Sramanerika Kuo Man. Following his mother's example, he took refuge with the Venerable Master Hua, along with his wife, Kuo Feng, his son, and his younger brother, all of whom have remained devoted disciples of the Master over the years.

Upasaka Wong was born in China in 1929. He went to Hong Kong to join his father when he was sixteen, and soon the rest of the family followed. At that time they suffered difficulties and hardships, as did many who left the mainland for Hong Kong to escape the civil strife and war there.

It was at that time that Upasaka Wong's mother first saw the Venerable Master Hua. It was at Fu Yung Shan-the Master had recently arrived from the mainland. He wore a rag robe filled with holes--he had worn it in Manchuria and on his travel as well, more than ten yearsóand when Kuo Man saw this she immediately sacrificed some of her hard-come-by money to make the Master new clothes.

Although she was afraid of bhiksus at the time, she wished to draw near and study with the Master, but after sending him the clothes, she wasn't able to find him for three years. No matter, who she asked, the answer was always vague or misleading, and although she often searched for him, she couldnít find him.

One day she broke her hand and went to see a doctor. The doctor pres" "Iím a vegetarian; I canít eat that."      
      At that moment, another patient, one Yu Kuo Pai, a disciple of the Venerable Master Hua overheard Kuo Man and immediately asked Kuo Man if she had a teacher.

"No," said Kuo Man, "but I know that there was a teacher of great virtue living in Kuan Yin Cave, but now I canít find him."

"What did he look like?" asked Kuo Pai.

"He wore a long set of recitation beads circling his neck and down across his stomach, burned in with incense," said Kuo Man.

"Thatís him!" said Kuo Pai, and Kuo Man set out with her the next day to meet the Master. In a very short time she took refuge, and soon the rest of her family followed. Kuo Man and her family have encountered many many miraculous events, and their faith is solid and sure. They sincerely believe in the Buddha, and are devoted disciples of the Venerable Master.

      Not long after the family took refuge, the hardship they encountered upon first coming to Hong Kong disappeared, and the family prospered. Upasaka Wong is now a successful businessman, working as an independent operator with British passenger ships since 1957. He, his wife and children presently live in Argentina, and his eldest son is attending college in Iowa. He has been a model of filial piety, supporting his family and selflessly looking out for the welfare of others. He deeply understands the principles of the Buddhadharma and the impermanence of all conditioned things, and so was able to happily agree with his motherís wishes to leave the home-life. His wife, Kuo Feng, also has a deep understanding of Buddhism. She often translated for the Master during his years in Hong Kong, and always understood the principles he was explaining. She recites the Leng Yen Mantra from memory.

      Upasaka Wong, his wife, Wong Kuo Feng, and his wifeís elder sister, Kuo Feng, also a disciple of the Master recently sojourned in San Francisco on their way from Hong Kong to Argentina. They stopped in San Francisco to pay their respects to their teacher and meet his American disciples, and were extraordinarily pleased to see the Buddhadharma flourishing in this country.