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In Memory of the Venerable Master — Accepting My Debt

潘秀蓮 講於萬佛城大殿,2001年8月28日星期二晚
a talk by Xiu-Lian Pan in the Buddha Hall of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas
on the evening of Tuesday, August 28, 2001
啟明英譯 English translation by Dawn








All Bodhisattvas, Venerable Master, Dharma Masters and good advisors, Amitabha!

I am Guo-Fan and I would like to tell you the causes and conditions for my first visit to the City. When I was still in Taiwan, I told my boss that I would go to the United States. He asked, “So you think it is that easy to go to the States?” Over ten years ago, it was not easy to get a visa to the US. But I thought, “I’ll show you. I’m going to apply for a visa.” I went to a travel agency and was told, “It will not be easy for you.” The chances looked slim, but I still wanted to try. The travel agency gave me a crash course on answering questions that I might be asked when applying. I was rather naive and of course I listened and took notes and followed their instructions. And, unexpectedly, when I got there, the visa officer took one look at me and said, “Come and get your passport tomorrow.” Visa approved!

I had a friend at that time with some psychic ability. When he saw the Venerable Master’s photo, he said, “Oh! This Master is someone with skill. No one within a forty mile radius of him could harm him.” Then he added, “He has also helped you to eradicate a lot of karmic obstacles.”

Today is the Venerable Master’s monthly Nirvana Day (the 10th of every lunar month) and I remember what he said once: “As long as you have good roots even as thin as a hair’s breadth, I will not give up on you. I will help you to accomplish the Way.” This is the Venerable Master’s great compassion. Because of this, some people criticized him for accepting disciples casually. Actually this was a compassionate vow. If he had not been this way, many people like myself would still be committing bad karma. And worse yet, we’d be doing it without knowing it and even be happy about it. I am very grateful to the Master and do not think I can ever repay his kindness. If it were not for his guidance, who knows where I would be now. We are really fortunate that the Master prepared such a nice Wayplace for us to cultivate in. Now it is up to us to practice the Way. I don’t dare claim to do any cultivation or that I will never commit any bad karma from now on. I might still commit bad karma, but it will not be very serious. In a pure place like this, it is easier for us to reflect upon ourselves, and the value of this is beyond anything in the world. This kindness is not something we can express in words. There were many inconceivable things happening around the Venerable Master. I remember when the Master was ill, I had the opportunity to be around him for a month. In our eyes the Master was sick every day, but then we got many letters from people who said that their lives had been in danger and the Master had saved them. They wrote these letters to show their gratitude.

The Venerable Master’s Dharma is truly unique. I remember him always telling me, “The Northern Chinese have stubborn dispositions.” He knew that my husband was Northern Chinese. The Master knew everything. Every time he saw me he would say this to me and I would be quiet. One day the Master was telling me this again and I answered, “Master, it’s just that I owe him a great debt.” The Master was silent for a while and then said very sternly, “Just accept your debt and you will be all right.” So I accepted the debt. Nothing in this world can escape cause and effect, so if anything happens to us we should just do as the Master taught us —reflect upon ourselves. I hope I will truly be able to do this.



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