上人語錄 Venerable Master's Dharma Words
※When a defiled thought arises, you are in the Saha world.
What a drastic change in my life! I couldn't imagine that I underwent such a tremendous transformation in my life style since encountering the teachings of the greatly wise and compassionate Venerable Master Hua in 1994.
Life before that was torture as I was always at war with my wife. I was working as a marketing director (international) which required extensive traveling. Due to the nature of my work, I was either out of the country or staying back late in the office. The company demanded full commitment and my wife demanded attention. I was heading toward doomsday. That prompted me to turn to Buddhism for solutions and I am glad I did, as we both soon began to understand the causes of all the problems. We are now happily devoted to doing the Buddha's work and putting into practice what we learned from the Master. Our problematic life style came to an end soon after we returned from the 10,000 Buddhas Jewelled Repentance in 1995 and began a new chapter of our life.
According to their individual affinities, different people read the Venerable Master's biography with different feelings and reception. When I first read about the Master, I was deeply touched and impressed by the way he went about practicing filiality and austerity, propagating the Dharma, and crossing over living beings. His altruistic conduct was beyond what any ordinary folks can imitate. I wondered whether a person with such profound wisdom really existed in this world.
Eager to learn more about Buddhism and looking forward anxiously to have the opportunity to meet such a great virtuous Dharma Master, I visited the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas (CTTB) in April 1995 to participate in the 10,000 Buddhas Jewelled Repentance Ceremony. Regrettably, due to my insufficient blessings, I never had the chance to see the Master, not even a glimpse. The Master entered Nirvana shortly after I left CTTB and though I had not met him in person, it was a very sorrowful piece of news for me as I joined the many faithful disciples in the mourning of his departure.
A month before my visit to CTTB, I bowed to the Venerable everyday seeking to eradicate any obstacles that might obstruct my visit (I had heard stories about those who for whatever reasons couldn't make it to CTTB at the last moment). I thought if there were any reason I might not make it to CTTB, it would have to do with my leave not being approved. My busy work schedule will not allow a two-week leave, not to mention anything longer. To my astonishment, my application for a month's leave was approved with no questions asked.
A few days later I had a dream of the Master. In that dream, I was energetically searching for him as I walked and turned into many different lanes. As I neared desperation, I found him sitting in lotus position. I was overjoyed as I exclaimed, "Shi Fu, at last I found you." He smiled as I bowed to him. This was the only consolation I had for not meeting the Master in person: At least I saw him in my dream and he seemed to acknowledge my sincerity and eagerness to see him.
I took the Three Refuges with the Master in 1995 (in a ceremony conducted by Dharma Master Sure), the Five Precepts in 1997, and the Lay Bodhisattva Precepts in 2000. After my initial trip to CTTB in 1995, with the exception of 1996, I make a point to go back once every year. CTTB is truly a place full of jewels and I always come back spiritually charged. The ceremonies I participated in, the lectures by the various Dharma Masters, and the deportment and vigorous cultivation of both the left home and lay people at CTTB have given me much insight into how I should lead my spiritual life. Living in a world full of evil causes and conditions, one can only concede that CTTB offers an absolute and conducive environment for cultivation. One who lacks sufficient good roots would want to leave it quickly, but one replete with good roots would yearn to stay.
I now work three days a week and spend most of my time at the Buddhist Books Distribution Centre (Singapore), a Buddhist society established in November 1999 by a group of faithful lay disciples of the Venerable Master. These people came together with a common interest and objective: to help propagate the Buddhadharma. The primary objective of the centre is to provide free distribution of the books of the Dharma Realm Buddhist Association (DRBA), giving each and every member of the general public an opportunity to encounter the Proper Dharma. Members also make use of the centre frequently to read Sutras, recite mantras and perform ceremonies. Members of the society hope that in the very near future the centre can become affiliated with DRBA and that monks or nuns could be stationed in Singapore to lead ceremonies and Dharma activities.
The Venerable Master suffered much for the sake of living beings. He worked unceasingly to fulfill his vows to translate the Sutras into various languages. It is now our duty and responsibility as faithful disciples to carry on the boundless spirit of the Master to extensively make his teachings available to all living beings in every corner of the world. "Bring glory to Buddhism," the Master used to urge. I would like to conclude with some quotations from the Venerable Master:
"Everyone of you should work hard to make Buddhism flourish."
"Every move you make and every word you say, you should be thinking on behalf of Buddhism."
"Every person has to shoulder the responsibility of propagating the Buddhadharma."
"If you can cause Buddhism to prosper and flourish, then I'll be able to set my heart at ease no matter where I am."