Events in the Life of the Venerable Master Hua


There was something different on the seventh day: a rare fragrance filled the air--a fragrance that was not of this world. After the tumultous first seven days, everything settled down. While I was sitting by the grave, no one had brought me any food and I resigned myself to starving. But after the seventh day, my father came bringing me food. He was in his seventies, and he urged me to go home, crying as he talked.

Although I wasn't really hungry after seven days of not eating, I forced myself to eat. Then I asked my father not to bring me any more food. I said I wouldn't accept food or other things from my own family. All these things happened to me as I sat beside the grave, but I never encountered any ghosts. Sometimes I ate grass roots and leaves when I felt hungry. Once I found a mushroom and ate it, and for the whole day I wanted to laugh; thus I knew there was a laughter-inducing chemical in the mushroom. That period of living by the grave was one of great hardships.

I built an A-shaped hut out of some branches tied in bundles. When it snowed outside, the inside of the hut would also turn white; when it rained, it was also wet inside. The hut didn't keep out the wind, snow, or rain. Spending my days reciting Sutras, reciting the Buddha's name, and sitting in meditation, I developed a great sense of mental peace. When I read The Romance of the Three Kingdoms in my youth, I cried for three days when I reached the part about Lord Guan being killed. I was sorely grieved that such a loyal and righteous man had to be so brutally murdered. Yet when my own mother died, I didn't shed tears. I think I probably was too sad to even cry.

While living beside my mother's grave, I continued to bow. During that time I also left the home-life. My goal in leaving home was to end birth and death, to cut off the endless rounds of birth and death. I had nicknamed myself "Mendicant" as a young child, and now I really was one who lived on alms--a monk. My father did not know of my wish to leave home until I was living beside the grave.

My father was an alcoholic who spent all his money on liquor. He would walk nearly two miles to and from town to buy eight ounces of liquor, and he would drink four ounces at a time. After drinking his fill, he would sleep. After I left Manchuria, my father was sick for three days, stopped eating, and then sat up and entered the stillness. I have invited my third eldest brother to America and I'm supporting him now, because I want to repay him for supporting my father. Everything I do is motivated by the wish to be filial. Some people speak about practicing filial piety for a certain number of years, but my filial obligations have no time limit.

In remembrance of my father and mother, I dare not commit any mistakes. If I were to do something wrong, I would be an unfilial son. If you ask me how many years I practiced filial piety, I would answer that I'm still practicing now--I don't know how many years it has been, but my filial piety has no limit. I wish to be kind to all elderly people. I want to support everyone's parents, in order to repay everyone's kindness. People have praised me for my filiality to my parents, but I feel my practice is very imperfect.

Therefore, I wish to treat all old folks as my own parents. I contemplate all men as my fathers and all women as my mothers. I truly see all people as my parents in past lives and as future Buddhas. I remember how filial and loyal Yue Wumu (General Yue Fei) was. Before every meal, he would remember the two Song dynasty emperors, and then he would take his meal while shedding tears of gratitude. I especially admire heroes like him; they are the most excellent people in the world. As for me, I am not worthy to be people's teacher.

When I was practicing filial piety beside my mother's grave, several times the villagers thought my hut had caught on fire, but when they came, there was no fire. There was also an earthquake one night. I was sitting in dhyana, and everything was empty--there was no self and no others--when suddenly I felt a movement, an agitation. I thought to myself, "Ah, what is this demon that can shake my body this way? Its strength is certainly formidable." I didn't realize it was an earthquake. The next day someone came to tell me there had been an earthquake--a very strange earthquake. During it, the well where I sat had spouted fire. This was a water-well, not a volcano, and yet fire had come forth from it. There are many strange things in the world.

I believe someone is thinking, "I'm sure that beneath the well there was a vein of sulphur which fed a volcano, and that is why the well spouted fire." Maybe that's the way it was.

One day at dusk, the Sixth Patriarch came. I saw a monk wearing a gray robe, in his fifties or sixties. He explained some principles to me, telling me how to cultivate, and said that in the future I might come to America. He also told me what kind of people I would meet. After saying that, he disappeared. I wasn't asleep when I saw him, and I found it very strange.

< PREVIOUS           NEXT >

Pages:  1    2    3    4    5    6    7    8    9    10    11    12    13    14

return to top