“I vow to universally transfer all the blessings I deserve to all living beings of the Dharma Realm.” “I vow to stand in for all the living beings of the Dharma Realm to take all of their sufferings.”hese are the eleventh and twelfth of the Master’s eighteen great vows. Such are his vows; such is his practice. The Master takes care of young children, teaching them to be loyal and filial and to love their country; he takes care of the elderly and the sick, bringing peace and joy to them in body and mind; he takes care of left-home people, causing them to understand cause and effect; and he takes care of laypeople, enabling them to bring forth goodness and extinguish evil. The Master offers up his own body, mind, and life in order to take care of all living beings. It has never occurred to him to think of himself.
On January 31,1995, the first day of the lunar New Year, the Venerable Master was still recuperating from his illness and declined to receive visitors, the only exceptions being a group of ten young novices from Long Beach Monastery accompanied by some left-home and laypeople; twenty-some disciples in all came to give their New Year greetings to the Master. The young novices recited the Shurangama Sutra and Great Master Yong Jia’s Song of Enlightenment from memory for the group. The Master bid everyone to sincerely recite The Buddha Speaks of Amitabha Sutra and the Great Compassion Mantra and dedicate the merit to world peace and the early attainment of Buddhahood by all living beings.
On the first day of the New Year, the Master divided the cash offerings he received into two portions. One portion will be used to pay for temple expenses, and the other will be used to pay for the medical expenses of a ninety-year-old visiting monk. (Presently, this sick Bhikshu is staying in the new monastery in Long Beach. The Master arranged for him to be brought from the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas so that it would be easier to take care of him.) Of all the offerings he has received from the ten directions, the Master has never kept a dime for himself. It’s been this way for many years. The Master’s “Happy New Year” is vastly different from ordinary people’s “Happy New Year,” because he does not want to limit the happiness to a few people. But you could also say that his “Happy New Year” is the same as other people’s, because the Master’s greatest joy is to see all living beings attain happiness.