萬佛城金剛菩提海 Vajra Bodhi Sea
萬佛城金剛菩提海 Vajra Bodhi Sea

金剛菩提海:首頁主目錄本期目錄

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接封背
Continued from back cover

 

首站駐足香港。接機的人非常親切、恭敬、虔誠,大家猶如久別重逢的老友,充滿了喜悅。

訪問團座車經過大嶼山的一座新建的橋樑,直駛上人的道場──慈興寺。架橋之前,去那兒坐輪渡,得一兩個小時。現在我們只需一個鐘頭就到山麓了。而以前上人為了造寺,背負重荷,爬比這還難行的荒逕,實在讓人驚嘆!上人的弟子西蒙與劉果瑞,亦專程從柏林甘市趕來參加訪問香港。

本人亦順道拜訪了香港中文大學的吳梓明教授。我在宗教聯合研究院(GTU)上「環太平洋地帶倫理學」時與吳教授是網路上的同學呢!吳教授是在「香港中大」時上此跨太平洋課程。這次見面,我們可說是喜相逢。吳教授邀請我們明年再回香港,講授上人在美致力提倡的儒家倫理與道德教育思想。

馬來西亞上堂說法
Ascending the Hall to Speak Dharma in Malaysia

香江信徒求法若渴,有七十位信徒打皈依;大部份是上人第一代弟子的兒輩與孫輩,亦有許多人要求受五戒。機場告別時,依依難捨。

我們飛往馬來西亞首都吉隆坡時,已在那兒等待我們的有鐘果基的同修果菊及女兒米雪兒、劉果福夫婦與其兩位孩子──曉慧與親智,他們一家從萬佛聖城提早回馬來西亞。還有許多接機的居士們,臉上洋溢著歡樂,搶著幫忙拿行李,殷勤親切。發心將『金剛菩提海』月刊在馬國印行的林貞錦夫婦,亦在那兒加入護法的行列。

馬來西亞氣候炎熱,比丘僧眾們住在吉隆坡法總已有百年廟史的「登彼岸」道場,而比丘尼眾則住於 Cheras 的比較大的總部──「紫雲洞」道場。我們到達後的第三天晚上,那兒的一個比較大的法會剛結束,恆來師、恆律師與我本人為大約七百位新信眾打了皈依,又為其中的七十位授了五戒。因為僧團已有五年沒有踏足馬來西亞了,許多虔誠的信徒等待這一天已經很久了。

皈依當天,天氣炎熱難忍,就在大家正受不了時,突然來了一陣大雨。那時授戒師正好唱到「那無甘露王菩薩」;法師說:「正好是觀音菩薩為大眾灑甘露雨,洗滌大眾的罪業塵垢,大家更應誠心懺悔。」說也奇怪,雨後天氣變得非常清涼,但是皈依過後,天氣又恢復炎熱了。

「登彼岸」有諸貴鄰,對街便是加國大使館;轉角是科威特、巴西、美國的大使館;緊鄰有一座四十層高的銀行大樓;五百碼遠處巍巍聳立著目前世界上最高的建築物──八十層的雙峰塔。

馬國行程的最後一天,我們到了雪蘭峨省的蓮花精舍,一座屬於法界佛教總會的鄉村小廟。那兒的信眾在比丘尼眾的帶領下都非常地虔誠。我們一行人在那兒呼吸到了一種輕鬆而純淨的鄉村氣息;漫步街頭,雞猴成群,百花競豔,瓜甜果熟,種類繁多。「這兒就像是越南的鄉村一樣!」我們的護法們這麼說。

我們續飛至澳大利國的布里斯本,在那兒碰到了新加坡的信眾──黃果玲、Peter Nai、吳家境太太。因當地素食食品不易購得,黃果玲早一星期就先飛過來布市,預先準備打點。我們到澳國的目的,在於察看兩塊供養上人與聖城的地,以作將來建道場之用。訪問團一行也欣賞到了澳國風光,我們在看黃金海岸外的一塊地時,迎接我們的是庭前的一些袋鼠。而後,我們在黃金海岸的一座形似遊樂場的表演藝術中心說法,大約兩百名澳國人在座,反應良好。據云,平時少有這樣的場面。

我們用投影片將在法總的道場概貌與使命介紹給他們。第二天晚上的聽眾人數大約一樣。訪問團每一位成員輪流介紹了自己如何親近佛法、發菩提心,乃至於走上修行之路。答問場面熱烈精采;有人問難,竟讓十二歲的兒童擊倒。最後法師作了圓滿的結論,人人皆大歡喜而去。澳國將來法流必興,是很有潛力的地方。

下一站是紐西蘭。我們在一位從台灣來的聖印法師的道場──「慈明寺」落足,慈明寺建於一九九五年。這座優美的新廟上還有另一位常住僧──常寧法師;諸護法中,有一位陳哲文居士,他曾在聖城的中小學擔任過義務教師,纔移民至紐西蘭不久。我們又遇到一位老和尚玄智法師,他老人家是在香港認識上人的。在上人建慈興寺時,玄智老法師就住在慈興寺。他給我們講了許多我們未曾聽說過的上人的故事。比如說,他說上人在香港時,他的說法就已經很獨特了,名聞香江。他說:「你們師父啊,是自成一家;他成了說法的典範,他是唯──個能從唐詩三百首裡面輕鬆吟出口的,也能夠隨口引用老子的話來佐證他的說法。別人沒人能像他有這樣子的才學。」

有一則故事在香港的佛教界普為人知。一天上人在西樂園寺講『阿彌陀經』時,從外面走進一些出家人,找到位置就坐。只聽坐在法座後的上人說道:「你們都坐後面去。」

當出家眾起身讓道時,上人說「用不著這樣!出家人坐前面;我在和天龍八部說,叫他們坐後面。」

「在香港,誰都聽過這事,也相信這事。」玄智老法師說。

十二月二十四日,我們回吉隆坡;二十五日飛美,一夜的飛機,到達美國時,仍然是二十五日。因飛越國際換日線,我們過了兩個聖誕節,都是在空中過的。在澳國時,我們聽說聖誕老人的雪橇是由八隻袋鼠拉的。

Our first stop was Hong Kong. The people who met us at the airport were extremely warm, sincere, and respectful. Like old friends reunited after a long separation, everyone was filled with joy. We drove across the new bridge on Lantau Island. The trip to Cixing Si, Shr Fu’s mountain monastery, used to begin with a two-hour ferryboat ride. Now we motored for an hour to the bottom of the mountain and then began to climb for an hour. Everybody was amazed that he could have made the walk on much inferior paths with pounds of building materials on his back. Disciples Simon and May Lau (Liu Guo-ruey) came from Burlingame to join the delegation for the Hong Kong visit. Heng Sure Shr paid a visit to Prof. Peter Ng from the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Heng Sure Shr had attended a course at the Graduate Theological Union in “Ethics on the Pacific Rim” across the Internet with Prof. Ng. Three on-line “classmates” who had attended this cross-Pacific course at the CUHK met face to face for the first time. Prof. Ng invited him back next year to speak about the Ven. Abbot’s teaching of Confucian Ethics and Virtue Studies in the United States.

The Hong Kong disciples were thirsty for the Dharma. On our final night there, 70 disciples, mostly young adults and grandchildren of the Venerable Abbot’s first generation of disciples, took the Three Refuges and many requested the Five Precepts. At the airport farewell, they could hardly bear to see us leave.

We flew next to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where we were met by Chung Kuo-chi’s wife and daughter, Guo Ju and Michelle, as well as Mr. and Mrs. Liu Guo-fu and their two children, Xiao Hui and Qin Zhi, from the CTTB, who had come earlier to Malaysia. Other laypeople with smiling faces also rushed up to help us carry our luggage. Mr. and Mrs. Ching Kim Lim, who print the Vajra Bodhi Sea in Malaysia joined at this point for the rest of the pilgrimage.

Malaysia was hot; the monks stayed at our 100-year-old temple in the center of Kuala Lumpur--Deng Bi An; the nuns stayed at our larger headquarters in Tse Yun Tung in Cheras. A large Dharma assembly had just concluded and on the third evening of our stay, Heng Lai Shr, Heng Lyu Shr, and Heng Sure Shr spoke the refuge ceremony for 700 new disciples, including 70 who took the Five Precepts. Since the Sangha had not come to Malaysia for five years, many sincere people had been waiting for the first chance to formally take refuge. Bhikshuni Heng Tai and the Malaysian nuns organized the ceremonies.

On the day of the refuge ceremony, it was extremely hot. When the heat was getting to be unbearable, suddenly it started raining. At that point the Precept Transmitting Master was reciting “Homage to Sweet Dew King Bodhisattva,” and he remarked, “Guanyin Bodhisattva is sprinkling sweet dew rain upon the assembly, washing away our offense karma and defilements. Everyone ought to sincerely repent.” Strangely enough, after the rain the weather became refreshingly cool; but when the ceremony ended the heat returned.

Deng Bi An has distinguished neighbors; across the street is the Canadian embassy, around the corner are the embassies of Kuwait, Brazil, and the USA. A forty-story bank building stands right next door and five hundred yards away are the awesome, 80-story Petronas Twin Towers, currently the world’s tallest building. On the last day we traveled out to Selangor Province to Lotus Vihara, a small village temple that belongs to the DRBA. The community of disciples, lead by our nuns, are very sincere. Our delegation enjoyed the relaxed, pure country environment. Monkeys and chickens roam the streets; the variety and richness of the fruits and flowers look just like the rural parts of Vietnam, according to our laypeople. We traveled next to Brisbane, Australia, and met Singapore disciples Rosaline Kang and Peter Nai, as well as Mrs. Goh Kah Keng. Because it was difficult to find vegetarian food locally, some laywomen had flown in a week early from Malaysia to shop around and make preparations for hosting our group. The purpose of the visit was to look at two properties that have been offered to the Ven. Master and to the CTTB as potential sites for Way-places. The delegation saw a bit of the Australian sights (while visiting one of the properties outside Gold Coast we met kangaroos and wallabies in the front yard) and then spoke Dharma at the Gold Coast Performing Arts Center. A large crowd of nearly 200 Australians filled the cabaret-like theater. They responded well to our presentation. We were told that such a large Dharma gathering was rare.

澳洲黃金海岸藝術中心講法
Dharma Lecture in Gold Coast Performing Arts Center, Australia

We illustrated part of our talk with fifty transparencies projected from an overhead projector; the pictures showed the temples, projects and faces of DRBA in the West. The talk on the second night drew nearly as many attendees; the delegation members each took turns sharing their thoughts on why we drew near the Dharma, and on the Bodhi Resolve that set us on the path of cultivation. The question-and-answer session was especially exciting. One particularly tough question was answered to perfection by a twelve-year-old boy. Finally the Dharma Masters concluded the session and everyone left happily. Australia has good potential for the future of the Dharma.

Our next stop was New Zealand; we arrived at Ciming Si, a temple built in 1995 by Venerable Sheng Yin from Taiwan. The beautiful new temple was staffed by Dharma Master Chang Ying and the laypeople who hosted us included Mr. Chen Je-wen, a former volunteer teacher at the CTTB’s schools who recently immigrated to New Zealand. We spoke Dharma ten times over the next four days and enjoyed out stay. We also met the Elder Master Hsuan Chih, who had known our Ven. Abbot, Master Hsuan Hua, when they were in Hong Kong. Master Hsuan Chih stayed at Ci Xing Si when Shr Fu was building the temple and he told us many stories about our teacher in Hong Kong that we had not heard before. For example, he said that our teacher’s reputation as a special Dharma-speaker was well known throughout Hong Kong. “Your teacher was in a class by himself. He set the standard for Dharma discourse. He was the only monk who could pull out a poem from the 300 poems of the Tang Dynasty, or a quote from Lao Tzu to illustrate his talks. Nobody else had that caliber of scholarship.” One particular story was known to every Sangha member in Hong Kong. One day the Ven. Abbot was lecturing on the Amitabha Sutra at Xi Le Yuan Si. Some monks came in to take their seats. The Ven. Abbot said from the Dharma-seat, “You all sit in the back.” When the monks and nuns stood up to move, the Abbot said, “Oh, no, Sangha sits in the front. I was talking to the gods, dragons and the rest of the eightfold division. They sit in the back.” “Everybody in Hong Kong heard and believed that story,” said Master Hsuan Chih.

訪問團與信眾合影
Delegation members with faithful devotees in Australia

We returned on Dec. 24th to Kuala Lumpur, left on the 25th, spent one night in transit and then came back to the USA on the 25th again, having crossed the international dateline, so we passed two Christmases, both in the air. In Australia we also learned that Santa Claus’ sleigh is drawn by eight kangaroos.

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