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Entering the Monastic Life After Being Pressured from All Sides--
Introducing Bhikshu Heng Tso Shi

Spoken by The Venerable Master at University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada in 1989
English translation by Wendy Sun, BBDC, Singapore

……我這個弟子叫果佑(右),怎麼叫果右呢?因為我叫他往左走,他一定要往右去;叫他往右去,他一定向左行,怎麼樣子也不聽教的:這個名字是這樣的。我認識他已經有二十多年了,一開始的時候他們有兩個人,一個叫斯蒂芬(Steve Mechling),一個叫藍伯(Gary Linebarger);兩個人都是學生,當時就要跟著我出家。我說,你要想清楚了,出家不是那麼容易的。於是乎他自己大約就 think it over ,想清楚了。那麼以後想來想去,他說到醫院裡去做工,就遇到一個護士,也不知道是他追求這個護士,也不知道是這個護士追求他,兩個人黏黏的就分不開了。這個護士大約會武術,也是一個最好的守衛員,不知道是為什麼就把他打了;打得哭了,但是還要結婚。打也打不退,罵也罵不退,這真是一個夫婦的真寶貝。那麼打不退以後,我說:「你呀!你這個麻煩在後邊呢!嗯!哼!」當時他就結婚了。





This is my disciple named Gwo Yo ("Yo" sounds like the word that means "right"). Why do I call him Gwo Yo? Because if I ask him to go to the left, he will insist on going to the right, and if I tell him to go to the left, he insists on going right. Because he is so difficult to teach, I gave him his name, and I have known him for more than 20 years.

When we first met, two of them came to see me: Steve Mechling (Gwo De) and Gary Linebarger (Gwo Yo). Both of them were students, and they wanted to become monks. I told them, "You have to think this over very carefully. Leaving the home life is not easy." I guess they thought it over carefully because they both decided to go to college instead of becoming monks.

A few years later, Gwo Yo was admitted to the hospital to have a tumor removed. While in the hospital, he met a particular nurse. I am not sure whether Gwo Yo starting courting the nurse or the nurse went after Gwo Yo, but they soon became very attached to one another and could not stand being apart. The nurse probably knew some martial arts and was also a capable guard; for no apparent reason, she beat Gwo Yo until he cried. Still, they decided to get married. No matter how he was beaten or scolded, he did not give up his wish to get married. This is a rare and precious quality in a marriage partner. I told him, "You'd better watch out! You'll have even more trouble sooner or later!" In the end, they still got married.

After getting married, Gwo Yo soon realized married life was not fun and games. Marriage was a bitter pill for him to swallow. He had to endure his wife, Gwo Wan's, bad temper day and night. Whenever he couldn't stand it anymore, he fled to the monastery and wanted to leave the home life. However, each time he came, I told everyone to give him a hard time. How did we treat him? We were mean and condescending and even refused to give him food to eat. We tortured him. He felt this treatment was even worse than quarreling with his wife, and so he "returned to lay life again." He moved in and out of the monastery so many times we lost count.

Later on his wife had a realization and decided to let him go. She came to the monastery, knelt down before me and said, "Master, please be compassionate! I now want to give away Gwo Yo and let him become a monk. I really cannot endure this anymore!" How pitiful! Even his wife could not endure their suffering anymore. Because he was no longer wanted at home, he came to the monastery again. This time no one mistreated him, and he soon left the home life. He has been a monk for twelve years, and quarreling at home drove him to become a monk.

If you wish to have a peaceful home, remember not to quarrel. If a couple quarrels, perhaps the wife will want to become a nun or maybe the husband will want to become a monk. Once someone leaves the home life, he or she should not regret his or her decision.

What should we do to have a peaceful home? We must respect one another as we would respect an honored guest. Do not be fake or pretentious. We should be truthful and sincere and treat one another with genuine respect. We should not indulge ourselves in desire and love. Such indulgence will exhaust our vital energy and make us stupid. Investigate this yourself. Before getting married, men and women treat each other with respect. Some men say that that their wives were as gentle as little rabbits before marriage, but once married, the little rabbits changed into fierce man-eating tigers. Why? Because people become stupid. Before marriage, people have some wisdom and respect one another and do not fight too much. However, after getting married, driven by love and desire, they lose this wisdom and forget to respect one another fighting and quarreling from morning to night. There is a saying which reads: "If a family is harmonious, all is well." If your family is in harmony, everything will go smoothly, if your family is not in harmony, there will be no peace.

Note: Upasaka Gwo Yo took refuge with the Venerable Master Hua in February 1968. He was a student during the Venerable Master's Shurangama Sutra Study and Practice Session in 1968. In August 1977, his wife, Upasika Gwo Wan, gave him away to the Venerable Master to become a monk. In October 1979, Gwo Yo received the full Bhikshu ordination at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas and was given the name Heng Tso. Bhikshu Heng Tso lives at Avatamsaka Monastery in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Hard-working and frugal, he embodies the tradition of the Venerable Master.


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