City of Ten Thousand Buddhas - Ritual of Scattering the Ashes
I came from empty space,
and I will return to empty space.
July 29, one day after the body of the eminent Buddhist monk Venerable
Master Hsuan Hua was cremated, his ashes were scattered in the air
above the Sagely City of Ten Thousand Buddhas by his disciples,
fulfilling the Venerable Master's wish, "I came from empty space, and
to empty space I will return."
At eight o'clock in the morning
on July 29, over a thousand of the Venerable Master's disciples stood
in the meadow in front of the Five Contemplations Dining Hall at the
Sagely City, waiting for the hot air balloon to fill up and rise into
Dharma Masters Heng Sure and Heng Lai (American
disciples of the Venerable Master) as well as Dharma Master Zhenyi (the
Abbot of Baoyuan Monastery in Costa Rica) boarded the hot air balloon,
carrying the Venerable Master's ashes.
At eight-thirty, the
balloon began to rise slowly into the air. The Dharma Masters riding in
the balloon began slowly scattering the Venerable Master's ashes. The
ashes quickly dispersed in the air, like undulating tendrils of smoke
that soon merged into the void.
A few of the faithful who were
present were choked with tears as they cried out, "Teacher, don't go!
Teacher, don't go..." The vast majority of the disciples continued
solemnly reciting the name of the Buddha, completing this Final
Waiting for the hot-air balloon to carry the ashes into the air.
Venerable Elder Master has gone, and the way he left accorded with his
words when alive: "Sweep away all dharmas. Separate from all
appearances." What he left behind for his disciples were great
responsibilities--to continue propagating the Buddhadharma, translating
the Buddhist Canon, carrying out the ideals of education well, and so
by Tong Xinci,
p. 112, "In Memory of Ven. Master Hua, Vol. II"