A Sangha That Practices the Proper Dharma
the Master first came to America to propagate the Dharma, he wished his
Western disciples to understand all three divisions of the Buddhist
Canon. Therefore, in addition to explaining the Shramanera Vinaya and Rules of Deportment
himself, he also invited several eminent Sangha members of great virtue
to come and lecture on the precepts. Wishing to encourage his disciples
in the study of precepts, the Master would accompany them each time
they left the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas at four or five in the
morning and drove three hours to San Francisco to listen to another
Dharma Master lecture on the precepts. During the lecture, the
Venerable Master would always be kneeling in the back of the room
listening. His disciples would kneel in the front and listen. That was
how the Master taught by example.
-by Equal Wisdom, p. 95
"In Memory of Ven. Master Hua, Vol. I"
knows that "wearing the precept sash and eating one meal a day" are the
traditions of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. The Master specifically
announced that anyone who left home with him had to honor the Buddha's
regulations of eating one meal a day at noon and always wearing the
precept sash. And so no matter how much the City of Ten Thousand
Buddhas came under criticism by those outside -- even when people
slandered the City as doing new and strange things to show off, the
Master would never, ever change his policy because of that. Regarding
the barrage of slander, the Master merely said: "This is not some rule
I made up. This is the Buddha's regulation. We want to honor the
Buddha's regulations." But the Master was expedient with the older
left-home people and allowed them to take three meals a day. This rule
remained right up to the final instructions given by the Master just
before his Nirvana -- it never changed. And to date, disciples remain
dedicated to this tradition.
The Master himself said:
people who want to leave home with me can eat one meal a day, then I
will accept them. This is a fixed requirement for anyone who leaves
home with me. In spite of any pressures whatsoever regarding the times
and circumstances, this cannot be changed.
prepared to die, if you want, but I refuse not to wear my precept sash.
I'm prepared to die, if you want, but I refuse not to eat only once a
day at noon. Those who have that kind of strong samadhi-power -- that
kind of faith -- rightfully belong at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas.
Excerpt from Upasaka Youbing Chen's thesis,
A Discussion of Venerable Master Hsuan Hua's Contibutions to Buddhism,
p. 435 - 436, "In Memory of the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua, Vol. III"
Master specifically announced that anyone who left home with him had to
honor the Buddha's regulations of eating one meal a day at noon and
always wearing the precept sash.