Long Beach Monastery -
Final Ceremonies at the End of Forty-nine Days
The Abbots of various monasteries attend the Ceremony in Praise and Recognition.
order to commemorate the completion of the forty-nine-day memorial
service in honor of the Nirvana of the Venerable Master Hua, who was
the founder of Dharma Realm Buddhist Association and of the Sagely City
of Ten Thousand Buddhas at Wonderful Enlightenment Mountain, the
fourfold assembly of disciples in southern California held an
International Meal Offering Ceremony for the Sangha on July 25, 1995.
This was also a way to express their filial piety and to repay the
Venerable Master's kindness.
The virtuous Sangha members who
came to receive offerings came from all over the world, including such
countries as China, America, England, France, Vietnam, Thailand, Burma,
Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and Tibet. There were nearly one hundred and
seventy Sangha members, eighty percent of whom were Bhikshus (monks),
making this an unprecedented event. The most senior Sangha member was
Hawanpola Ratanasara Mahathero of Sri Lanka, who is seventy-five years
old and has been ordained for fifty-five years. Venerable Ajahn Sumedho
and three other Sangha members from England also attended the event.
The Venerable Dharma Masters Dhammarajanutwat, Kongsophan, and Umsum,
who have over fifty years in precepts, also travelled by plane and
graced the event with their rare presence. Lin Yanggang, the Director
of the Judicial Yuan of the Republic of China, was represented by Mr.
Yu Zhengzhao. Coming overseas from Shandong Province, China, were Mr.
Guo Qiuya (the Deputy Director of the Overseas Affairs Office of the
People's Government of Jining City and the Director of the Baoxiang
Monastery Committee) and Mr. Yang Chunbing (Standing Committee Member
of the Research Institute of Historical and Cultural Cities of China).
Making the Final Offering.
in praise and recognition were conducted in Chinese, English,
Vietnamese, and Pali in the morning. The pure sounds of religious
chanting carried afar during these especially splendid ceremonies. The
Dharma-protecting laity prepared a vegetarian banquet and made the meal
offering in accord with the Buddha's instructions and the Dharma. After
the meal, promptly at twelve o'clock noon as everyone recited the holy
name "Fundamental Teacher Shakyamuni Buddha," eighteen laypeople
wearing black robes, representing the fourfold assembly of Dharma Realm
Buddhist Association, sincerely presented gifts to each Dharma Master.
the completion of the offering ceremony, Professor John Tsu of Dharma
Realm Buddhist University welcomed the guest Sangha members and elder
masters and the representatives of various senators, congressmen, and
the mayor of Long Beach. Dr. Tsu also gave a brief sketch of the
Venerable Master Hua's life. Then Dharma Masters from various countries
also spoke. They pointed out that the world needs a religious leader of
great wisdom to guide it, and the Venerable Master was a living example
of this--he had cultivated and attained to the perfect, ultimate
wisdom. The orthodox Buddhist tradition has been transmitted to
America. This is the Venerable Master's greatest achievement. Therefore
he was able to evoke the sincere trust of the living beings of the
world. Even so, the Venerable Master never had any attachments. He was
like a bird flying over a pool of water, not leaving any traces, free
to the utmost. Only those replete with blessings and virtue were able
to meet the Venerable Master. Therefore, as disciples we should
continue to carry on the Venerable Master's will. Taking the Venerable
Master's compassionate mind as our own mind and his compassionate vows
as our own vows, we should dedicate ourselves to benefitting living
To conclude this Meal Offering Ceremony to the Sangha,
Dharma Master Heng Sure gave two examples to illustrate the Venerable
Master's inconceivable state of the non-obstruction of great and small.
When the ceremony drew to a close at 2:20 in the afternoon, the Sangha
members from the Theravada and Mahayana traditions stood for group
photographs in the garden of Long Beach Monastery. This was one more
instance of the Venerable Master's advocacy of religious unity. At
three o'clock in the afternoon, the ceremony for Compassionate Samadhi
Water Repentance was begun, and the merit from it will be dedicated to
all in the Dharma Realm in the hope that all living beings will benefit
from the Venerable Master's deep, great kindness; cultivate according
to the Dharma; leave suffering; and attain bliss.
by Lin Xuchen,
p. 109 - 110, "In Memory of Ven. Master Hua, Vol. II"
A group picture of all the Dharma Masters.