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毘雅那達長老講於講於萬佛城大殿, 8月4日星期日晚




我想提出幾點宣公上人常教導我們的話,「我們不要像河,我們要像海。」為什麼呢?河是一條一條來的,這個國家有很多條河:科羅拉多河、密西西比河;這是科羅拉多河的水,這是密西西比河的水 。可是這兩條大河的水流到大海時,就失去原先的名字了;一入大海就變成大海的水了,不再是科羅拉多的水。  


大海裏藏著很多寶貝--金子、骨董。 同樣地,我們也有很多智慧寶藏在內裏,必須去找。所以宣公上人和其他大師們都說,「我們常要在內心裏邊去找。」我們應該想法子善用自己的腦子,我們是最聰明的人。到萬佛城來是最有福報的,所以能趁此機會來發掘心裏邊的大善珠寶,可以做全世界最有能力,最有功夫的出家眾及在家居士。  



Venerable Bhante Piyananda:  
Venerable Heng Sure, Venerable monks [and nuns], dear friends. I am pleased and happy to come and join my greatest and, holiest teacher who helped me to come to this country. Without Master Hua, without Heng Sure, I would not be in this country. They sponsored me to come to this great land on July 4, 1976. At the same time, following in the Master's path, I could do something on behalf of our great Master's message to propagate [the Dharma] in this great country.  

As you know, in this country at the present moment, we do have over ten million Buddhists. I strongly believe that more than half of them come to Buddhism through Gold Mountain Monastery's direct or indirect influence.

I can give you an example. When I first came to this country, we had only one single Sri Lankan temple. At the present moment, we have twenty-three Sri Lankan temples. With my and Venerable Seelawimala's direct and indirect influence, we were able to start almost twenty-two Sri Lankan temples in this great land. All of the credit must go to Master Hua and this monastery. I am very proud to say that even in the Los Angeles area, the first Cambodian and Laotian temple were started under my guidance in 1980. Now there are so many Laotian and Cambodian temples, and all of the credit goes to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. Under my guidance with the assistance and guidance of our Venerable Seelawimala, we started a new ordination system called lay ministers. We have an Upasaka, Dharmachari, Bodhachari ordination system that we initiated in Los Angeles as well as every part of America. Today, two of our lay ministers, Bodhachari Samadhidi and Cintamani, both came to show their gratitude to this monastery and to Master Hua, to venerate and also to give our respects to you, because I was brought to this country by you.  

One of my childhood teachers, Dr. Kipimarempinara, came from Sri Lanka to visit me, and he is so happy about our Dharma activities.  

He learned that I was invited to this country by you. Therefore he also came to show his respect and to honor you. Our Venerable Seelawimala explained to you how great and meaningful it is to practice virtue, Sila. I do not want to take your time to explain again about Sila.

However, I would like to mention a couple of points which I learned from Master Hua when I was here. One thing he told us all the time was that we should not be like rivers. We should be like the ocean. In other words, here in America, we have the Colorado River, Mississippi River, so many rivers. We say, this is the Colorado River water, and this is the Mississippi River water. But when we enter the ocean, we can't say this is Colorado River water, or this is Mississippi River water, or another river's water. Ocean water is one... united... one water.

Similarly, when we enter the Sangha, whether we come from the Chinese tradition, Sri Lankan tradition, Japanese tradition, or even the American tradition, we totally eradicate our races, castes, and nationalities. We become united Sangha members like the ocean water, not river waters. Also, you remember, our Master told us, "to remove, remove, remove." In other words we must not keep any defilement, anger, hate, ill will, or jealousy. All of those have to be removed, again like the ocean. The ocean does not keep any dirt; all of it goes to the ocean beach. It never stays in the middle of the ocean. It goes to the seashore. In the same way, our Master told us not to keep any anger, ill will, or jealousy. We have to remove all of it, like the ocean. We have to practice that too.

At the bottom of the ocean, there are so many treasures. You can find gold, antique things and so forth. Similarly, within ourselves we have a lot of great wisdom. We have to discover ourselves. Our Master Hua and all other masters, teach us that we have to think of our ability. We have to go find our opportunity. At the same time, we have to have a positive way of thinking... use our brains. We are the smartest people in the world. You are the greatest people and the most fortunate to be able to come to this monastery to become monks and nuns; therefore, you can use that brain and discover your mental deep good deeds. Then you can practice and become great monks and nuns, and great lay people.

Finally again, I want to thank all of you, especially our Master Hua who passed away, and all the other masters, especially the master who stayed with us, who received me when I came to America for the first time. Venerable Heng Sure was the first monk I ever met here, the first human being I met in this land. Every day when I do meditation in the morning, as well as in the evening when doing loving-kindness meditation, I never forget these two masters... the one who passed away and the one who is here. Thank you for making me a successful and good Buddhist monk. I bless all of you. Thank you and have a wonderful life. May all of you attain Nirvana.  

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