The unsurpassed, deep, profound, subtle and
In hundreds of thousands of millions of eons, is difficult
to encounter; I now see and hear it, receive and uphold it,
And I vow to fathom the Tathagata's true and actual meaning.
This "Verse for Opening a Sutra" may seem
very ordinary to most people. However, on the first day of
the Avatamsaka Dharma Assembly in 1999, when we recited this
verse, I cried for no obvious reason. Deep inside me, I felt
that I was most fortunate to be able to learn the Orthodox
Dharma for ending birth and death in this Dharma Ending Age.
"As is the cause, so is the effect"--this
is reiterated many times in the Avatamsaka Sutra. I truly
believe that there were special causes and conditions that
enabled me to take refuge with the Venerable Master, and to
learn the Buddhadharma from his left-home disciples. I took
refuge with the Venerable Master in May 1995 after
completing the 10,000 Buddhas Jeweled Repentance Ceremony.
At that time I was very happy, but the happiness did not
last. Barely two weeks later, we received news from Tze Yun
Tung Temple (now known as Guanyin Sagely Monastery in Kuala
Lumpur, Malaysia, that the Venerable Master had entered
Nirvana. I was deeply saddened on hearing the news. I also
felt very disappointed because all this while, I had been
harboring hopes that one day, I would be able to bow to the
Venerable Master in person.
On our way home from Kuala Lumpur, my
uncle remarked, "Both you and Raymond are so fortunate to
become the Venerable Master's disciples, because you are in
the last group of lay disciples in his lifetime." Indeed
this is true, for we are walking on the Pure Great Path and
will not be misled again.
It is also true that if it were not for
the Venerable Master's compassionate teachings and
instructional talks, my life would still be fraught with the
habits and shortcomings of a woman, such as pettiness,
distorted thoughts, afflictions and endless squabbles. These
caused unhappiness not only to myself, but also to my
family. Now, I know that I must not live the rest of my life
in this muddled state. Whatever happened in the past is
gone; whatever happens in the future is born today.
Therefore, I must investigate the Buddhadharma seriously.
Moreover, I must treasure the Venerable Master's Dharma
jewels and learn from his left-home disciples and all good
There was one incident that moved me
deeply. It was the little path that led from the Buddha Hall
to the Tower of Blessings. This path was constructed by the
nuns. On the day it was completed, I walked along it to go
to the Buddha Hall for morning recitation, when I suddenly
realized that it was my birthday. What a coincidence! Or was
it the Venerable Master's expedient gift? Silently, I
accepted this very precious gift with gratitude.
This little path is constructed of gray
and red bricks. It is a very strong and sturdy Bodhi road.
The red bricks are laid out in a very orderly manner, just
like the Venerable Master's Three Great Rules and Six
Guiding Principles, waiting for me to fathom and cultivate
them. Before encountering the Buddhadharma, I paid special
attention to my birthday every year. Now, I realize that
each time we celebrate our birthdays, our life spans have
also imperceptibly decreased by one year. I must vigorously
recite Amitabha Buddha's name in order to transcend the
Triple Realm, cultivate and practice Universal Worthy
Bodhisattva's Ten Great Vows and transfer the merit to
rebirth in the Land of Ultimate Bliss. I must also recite
and cultivate according to the Avatamsaka Sutra and other
Mahayana Sutras so that I can be reborn in the upper
superior grade of lotuses. By practicing in this way, I will
be able to repay the great kindness of the Buddha and the
The human body is difficult to obtain,
The Buddhadharma is difficult to encounter.
May the Buddhas of the three periods of
time not forget their original vows, and compassionately
gather in all living beings, so that they may bring forth an
irreversible Bodhi mind till they accomplish Buddhahood. I
have written this article in remembrance of the Venerable
Master on the occasion of the seventh anniversary of his