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胡果相 資料提供 INFORMATION PROVIDED BY HELEN WOO 編輯部參考《金輪聖寺成立廿十週年紀念》整理



上人問,「你有什麼事?」居士們答,「來求法。」「這裏沒有法。」 居士們一聽,知道遇見了善知識,趕忙頂禮。



皈依儀式於1976年6月27日,在帕沙甸那市, Fair Oaks街的兄弟會的麥桑尼克大禮堂舉行。當場有兩百多人皈依,有的還是全家總動員來的。儀式開始時,上人先講解三皈依的意義,並引大家拜佛,又講拜佛可以消業障 。儀式經四小時才結束,個個歡天喜地,拿了皈依證回去。上人給胡太太的法名是果相,胡醫師則為果實。



1950年余教授返美在舊金山定居 ,每晚在天后廟講解老子《道德經〉,寫英文書《道學》,組織「中美文化學院」每週邀請社會知名人士演講,發行《中美友誼》英文月刊,結識上人後也常請上人來演講。余教授當時任舊金山「世界日報」主編,常 把上人的演講刊在「世界日報」上。

上人當時住在舊金山一個地下室,自稱「墓中僧」。中國城當時的環境很排斥非廣東籍的外地人,但余教授久住中國北方,所以和上人很談得來,上人也常去看他。後來余教授退了天后廟的地方,上人租過來成立了「佛教講堂」,余教授給取名為「中美佛教總會」,並幫忙辦理登記手續。天后廟街的「佛教講堂」即上人於1968年夏講解《楞嚴經》,及70年底 至71年初舉行「百日禪」的所在地。


In the summer of 1975, some Chinese-Americans in Los Angeles got together to study "An Introduction to Buddhism" Mrs. Helen Yu Woo, a former Miss Chinatown of San Francisco, was in the audience at the time and was glad to have participated. She recommended that they meet regularly, and a Buddhist Studies Association was formed. She had been a playgirl who lived to "eat, drink and be merry." However, when her father passed away, she suddenly realized that life was impermanent and began to search for the meaning of life. She became interested in Buddhism.  

A good teacher is necessary in studying Buddhism, so Mrs. Woo went to Taiwan to find one. She made pilgrimages to places where she bowed along the way, and took refuge with Elder Master Guang CHin, "the Fruit Monk." When she returned to the United States, she began searching for a good teacher again because there was no one nearby for her to go to. It so happened that at the time Mrs. Wei-rang Zheng Ni came from Taiwan. She had heard about a monk with a superior level of cultivation living at Gold Mountain Monastery in San Francisco's Mission District. He was here specifically to convert Westerners. Once, when Mrs. Zheng went to the former Gold Mountain Monastery with some friends, the Venerable Master happened Upasaka Guo Hsiang Woo, at age 15 in her father's lecture hall (Tian-Hou Temple, which later became the Buddhist Lecture Hall under the Venerable Master's ownership). to be walking down from the third floor and ran into them.  

The Venerable Master asked, "What do you want?" The laypeople answered, "We came to request Dharma." "There's no Dharma here," he said. The laypeople heard this and knew that they had met a good teacher and immediately bowed.

When the news of their having found a good teacher got around, the number of people who registered to take refuge snowballed. Because the number of people was so large, they could not go up north to take refuge. They had to ask the Venerable Master to come down south, to which the Venerable Master agreed.

The Venerable Master had arrived! Accompanying the Venerable Master were more than a dozen Western disciples who stayed at the Woos' house. Dr. Woo's study served as the Venerable Master's room. The refuge ceremony took place on June 27,1976, at the Masonic Hall on Fair Oaks in Pasadena. More than two hundred people took refuge at that time, including entire families. When the ceremony began, the Venerable Master first explained the meaning of the Three Refuges, then led everyone in bowing to the Buddhas. He also explained that one's karmic obstructions can be eliminated through bowing. The entire ceremony finally concluded after four hours. Everyone was overjoyed as they went home with their refuge certificates. The Venerable Master gave Mrs. Woo the Dharma name Guo Hsiang (Fruit of the Mark) and Dr. Woo, Guo Shi (Fruit of Actuality).

The day after the refuge ceremony, Guo Hsiang finally had the opportunity to bow to the Venerable Master and take a good look at her Master's face. When she did look, she couldn't help but become extremely sad, and broke down crying. She felt like a child who had been lost and suffering, suddenly being reunited with her kind mother. The tremendous feeling of having suffered and been wronged came pouring out along with her tears. The Venerable Master said gently, "You're back!" And he asked, "Where did you come from? What's your dad's name?" As they talked further, Guo Hsiang then realized that her father was an old acquaintance of the Venerable Master. Her father had actually given the association its name, "Sino-American Buddhist Association"! Since the Venerable Master was her dad's old friend, Guo Hsiang felt her happiness had doubled.

In fact, Guo Hsiang's father, Mr. Yu Tinn-Hugh, was a native of Taishan, Canton, China. As a teenager, he came and studied in the United States from 1908 to 1920. During his years abroad, he received a total of five degrees: bachelor's degrees in law, education, and literary philosophy, a master's degree in psychology and economics, and a doctorate degree in sociology and international relations from Clark University. In 1950, he returned to the United States after working in his homeland. In China, he taught sociology, economics, law and other subjects at Peking University, Furen University, Northeastern University, etc. He had been the  president of Oriental University, Northwest University and others, as well as the chief editor of the English editions of the Peking Evening News, Shanghai Weekly Review etc. He had been a consultant to the national government and worked as a lawyer in Beijing, Tianjin, and Shanghai. When he taught at Peking University, Mao Ze-dong sat and listened in his class!  

When Professor Yu emigrated to San Francisco in 1950, he lectured on Laotze's Tao Te Ching every evening at Tianhou Temple. He published the Philosophy of Taoism in English and organized the Institute of Sino-American Studies. He invited well-known speakers to come and lecture every week. He published the monthly English journal, American-Asian Friendship. After meeting the Venerable Master, he also invited the Venerable Master to come and speak on a frequent basis. Professor Yu was the chief editor of the World Journal in San Francisco and often published the Venerable Master's lectures in this daily newspaper.

The Venerable Master lived in a basement in San Francisco at the time and called himself the "Monk in the Grave." In those days, many in Chinatown shunned the non-Cantonese Chinese. Professor Yu, however, had lived in northern China for a long time, so he got along well with the Venerable Master. The Venerable Master also went to see him often. When Professor Yu moved from Tianhou Temple, the Venerable Master began renting it and founded the Buddhist Lecture Hall there. Professor Yu gave it the name Sino-American Buddhist Association and helped to process its registration. The Buddhist Lecture Hall on Waverley Street was where the Venerable Master explained the Shurangama Sutra in 1968 and held a one-hundred-day meditation retreat from the end of 1970 to the beginning of 1971.  

 ~ To be continued



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