English | Vietnamese
The 25th Anniversary of Venerable Master Hsuan Hua Entering Nirvana
Rev Heng Sure:
I am going to introduce Dharma Master Heng Chih. As I said, she is the senior Bikhshuni in the West. She met Master Hsuan Hua very early, and came down from Seattle. She is a native of Ohio. I glad to know that. She met Master Hua, she took part in the 90 day Shurangama Summer Study and Cultivation Session and resolve to leave home. She was among the first five of Bikshus and Bikshunis to leave home in the traditional Mahayana version of taking the full precepts. The three platforms precepts. Among us, she has been with Master Hsuan Hua probably the longest. The longest history with him. So Bikshunia Heng Shih, Heng Shih Fa Shr, please share with us what you'd like to like us to know about your teacher. Amitofo.
Dharma Master Heng Chih:
To hear the Master speak was to witness eloquence unprecedented that fulfilled our wishes and sent us on adventures where we would ride the clouds and drive the fog or that quieted our minds so Amitabha’s Pure Land was brought into focus.
The Dharma sounds reverberated; boundaries were tied. “Create merit,” the Master advised us. “Do virtuous deeds!” His words would cool our fevers; he would shield us from danger. He told us true stories that inspired us to be brave.
“Holding the precepts and doing good deeds will bring you rebirth in the heavens, if that’s what you want.” He told us. Dragons took refuge. And we learned that our six senses had the potential to perform each other’s functions.
The Master’s words were like bell-tones that alerted the deaf, aroused the blind, and inspired the foolish and dull-witted. He whisked away our karmic mistakes – even our killing karma. “Become Bodhisattvas,” he urged. “Be born from a lotus instead of a womb.”
“Guan Yin’s willow branch can heal disease,” the Master promised. “Show compassion for the ghosts and spirits; vow to help all beings. Let your mirror-wisdom reflect your inherent nature. In the crystal-clear sea of enlightenment, the moon of the True Mind appears.”
We learned to be mindful of the Buddha. The benefits we received made us happy; we trusted that liberation is possible and that Bodhi could be reached. So we called our friends and urged them to come. We became members of the monastic Sangha, and we maintained harmony with joined palms. “Impartial is the Way,” the Master advised.
Guan Yin’s sweet dew slaked our thirst and we were bathed in coolness. We vowed, “Let my resolve for the Way that leads to Awakening be forever irreversible, from this life until the life when I become a Buddha.” We were inspired by the prediction the Buddha gave Shariputra.
The Master embodied great kindness, great compassion, great joy, and great renunciation. His great vows inspired us. We saw in him great humaneness and great valor that we wished to emulate. His encouragement continually nurtured us. We made mistakes, repented, picked ourselves up, and continued on the Way. We were like dry wood; he was like a spring rain. His advent brought renewal. He aroused our vitality, just like the winter trees that once again sprouted buds, opened blossoms, and bore fruit.
And yet when he displayed his relentless compassion, his jeweled sword would let fly a light that opened gates and commanded obedience. When he loosed his arrows, a chill fell on even the bravest. He was capable of issuing the Lion’s Roar!
The Master’s unprecedented eloquence in explaining the sutras was grounded in his wisdom; his words flowed forth like a bubbling spring. His descriptions were like exotic jewels – like gems radiating brilliant light. We knelt to listen, humbled that he chose to teach us, realizing that we could find freedom in his lessons.
“Raise your own food,” the Master advised. “Tend to the trees, keep them vibrant. Heed the Dharma thunder, regard the Dharma drum, appreciate the Dharma clouds, and be grateful for the Dharma rain.” We obeyed. Red lotuses bloomed.
“Above all, be fearless!” the Master urged us. “The hands and eyes that pervade the body are a boundless wonder. Mahaprajna is indeed difficult to express in words!