For several decades the Venerable Master has not publically informed his disciples about offerings made by the faithful. But because of one very special New Year's gift that arrived this year and has great significance, the Editorial Staff of Vajra Bodhi Sea has received the Venerable Master's approval and having gotten the details, would like to make this gift known to all readers.
The gift was from Professor Jye-ming Yu, a disciple in his sixties. Professor Yu, originally from Shantung Province in China, teaches Architecture and Chemistry at a university here in the United States. After taking refuge with the Venerable Master Hua, he was given the Dharma name "Gwo Kung" (Fruition of Emptiness).
At the end of 1992, as the Chinese New Year was approaching, Professor Yu himself carefully selected top-quality walnuts, and then mailed them with a letter. In this letter, he used the word "myself" five times to explain his pious respect in preparing the gift. He also reported that he was trying his best to put the instructions the Master had given him into practice, and urged the Master to rest assured he would do his best. His writing revealed the sincere filial regard of a disciple toward his teacher. His sincerity was moving. The content of the letter is translated below:
Another year has suddenly passed and it's walnut season again. 1 bought them myself, shelled them myself, roasted them myself, packaged them myself, and mailed them myself, hoping to make the Master happy.
The Master taught me before, saying "Not losing your temper is itself cultivating blessings!" I have been reflecting on that and trying to put it into practice for these many years now. I've made a little progress.
I hope the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas is peaceful in all aspects so that the Master doesn't have to worry.
Disciple Gwo Kung bows in respect morning and night
Mahayana year of the Buddha 3021 December 17
The Venerable Master said, "All of you take a look: a university professor had to spend several decades groping in the dark to discover how to not lose his temper, and only now has he had some success. So today I want to tell you, not only do I exhort you not to lose your temper, I also urge the professor not to get angry. People should reciprocate kindness and treat others with sincerity. I am telling you this hoping that you will learn not to lose your temper." Of those who are disciples of a Good and Wise Advisor, how many are able to follow instructions. How many will keep them in mind and keep trying hard to put them into practice? Professor Yu applied effort directly on his mind. This has been an invaluable lesson to us all.
Right in the midst of the Recitation Session in winter, after the Venerable Master's instructional talk in the Buddhahall, he immediately gave the walnuts, which he had just received that day, to the participants in the Recitation Session who had come from many places. Each person—men, women, young, and old—received one walnut, until half of the box of walnuts had been given away. The other half was given to Venerable Chancellor Yang, who is volunteer Professor on campus. The Venerable Master said, "He exhausts his efforts in teaching and is advanced in years as well, so I want to let him have a taste of these walnuts. Whether or not he has tried them before, I do not know. This is just a token of my appreciation." In the Venerable Master's education as it occurs in daily life, we learn, "Just as one treats one's own elders so should one treat other elders. Just as one treats one's own children as one would treat other's children." Such education is just like sweet dew that moistens the entire earth and like the sun shining on the universe. Thus Professor Yu's expression of filiality can be extended limitlessly and boundlessly.