City of Ten Thousand Buddhas - Memorial Ceremony
Inviting the Venerable Master to the Hall of Patriarchs.
seven o'clock in the morning on July 28, Elder Masters from both
Theravada and Mahayana traditions hosted a ceremony for inviting the
Venerable Master from the Nirvana Hall to the Patriarchs' Hall in front
of the Hall of Ten Thousand Buddhas. The Venerable Master Hua was the
Ninth Patriarch of the Weiyang Sect of Chan Buddhism. The two thousand
and some followers from the United States, Canada, and various Asian
and European countries, including many of the Venerable Master's
American disciples, put down their work and business in order to come
to the Sagely City of Ten Thousand Buddhas to take part in the Memorial
and Cremation Ceremonies for the Venerable Master.
The international assembly taking part in the ceremony.
Memorial Ceremony itself began at eight-thirty in the morning. Dharma
Master Mingyang, the Vice-Chairman of the Chinese Buddhist Association
in mainland China, started off by reading a telegram of condolence from
the Chairman of the Association, Zhao Puchu.
Xulang, Abbot of Miaofa Temple in the United States, followed with a
speech in which he pointed out that the Venerable Master Hua had not
spared any effort in propagating the proper Dharma in America. He also
said that it was not easy for a Chinese to come to the United States
and found a monastery, much less over twenty monasteries.
Cambodian Dharma Master Dharmawara, who is 107 years old, compared the
Venerable Master's completion of stillness to the falling of a great
star, but pointed out that the falling of this great star will make
room for a new one.
Speeches by honored guests.
Ajahn Sumedho, who is the most senior Western monk (ordained for
twenty-nine years), currently oversees four monasteries in England. He
practiced ascetism for many years in Thailand as a young man. When the
Venerable Master Hua was alive, he often encouraged his disciples to
learn Ajahn Sumedho's spirit in ascetic cultivation. Ajahn Sumedho
pointed out that the Venerable Master Hua had brought the proper Dharma
to the West from far away, and that this pure Dharma was eternally
real, unborn and undying. Ajahn Sumedho offered his deepest respects to
the Venerable Master on behalf of Westerners, including people of
America and Europe.
Professor John Tsu of John F. Kennedy
University read letters of condolence from George Bush, former
President of the United States, and Pete Wilson, Governor of
California. Following that, Fu Di, the Deputy Director of the San
Francisco branch of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office read
telegrams of condolence sent by Lin Yanggang, Advisor to the President
of the Republic of China, and by Wu Boxiong, Executive Secretary to the
President. Deputy Director Fu Di was accompanied by the Supervisor of
the Office, Liao Gangming.
Frank McMichael, the Chairman of
the Board of Supervisors of Mendocino County, where the Sagely City of
Ten Thousand Buddhas is located, has attended many of the Dharma
assemblies held at the Sagely City. This time he especially visited the
Sagely City to offer his respects to the Venerable Master by attending
the cremation ceremony. Congressman Frank Riggs, who represents
California in the U.S. Congress, sent Darrell Shull to speak on his
behalf, saying that Mendocino County and neighboring areas owe their
progress in part to the Venerable Master Hua's presence here.
Congressman Riggs is also on the Memorial Committee in Honor of the
Venerable Master Hua.
Adapted from an article by Zhao Shan,
p. 110 - 111, "In Memory of Ven. Master Hua, Vol. II"