Memory of a Master Venerable

Update: 04/11/2022
 

Memory of a Master Venerable

 

In 2016, some Hoang Phap Pagoda’s monks saw off Venerable Tam Nhu at the airport. He went back to Japan to study after visiting Viet Nam (He had studied abroad since the beginning of 2015). When they were sitting in the airport waiting room, there was a family, they also came here to see their son, who was about 18 years old, off before he went to America to study. The mother remembered Venerable Tam Đao - Vice abbot of Hoang Phap Pagoda at this time so she came to greet them.

Amitabha Buddha! My Buddha name is Lien Huong, I refuged at Hoang Phap Pagoda and I remember Venerable Tam Dao. Are you going abroad today?

Amitabha Buddha! We see a Venerable back to Japan to study.

Venerables! Today we also send our son to study and settle in America. Here he is! He dreamed of visiting Hoang Phap Pagoda to greet Master Venerable Thích Chân Tính but he didn’t have a chance yet. When he was young, he usually listened to the “Buddhism saved my life” CD of Master Venerable before he went to bed. He would remind me whenever I forgot. He has followed Venerable’s advice and kept five precepts until now. He is living well without smoking, drinking or doing bad things.

 Amitabha Buddha! That is so good

Amitabha Buddha! That is such a good chance to meet all of you today so please let me pay for your drinks as an offering.

Then Mrs Lien Huong paid for drinks for all the Venerables at the airport that day. We haven’t met her again since then. She may have gone to live with her son in America.

Similarly, I knew Hoang Phap Pagoda at the beginning of 2013. I was impressed by the “looking for happiness” DVD of Master Venerable. Honestly, at this time, compact discs and dharma books of Hoang Phap Pagoda were displayed at all cultural product counters of many Pagodas and book stores. The disc that I mentioned earlier was presented by a Vegetarian food store owner. In these years (2013-2015) Did you know which disc that Hoang Phap Pagoda was most popular? Yes. Those were “Hoang Phap magic sound” disc and “Path of Enlightenment” film which tell Buddha and his follower’s lives.

Through these words, we can see the Buddhism spread of Hoang Phap Pagoda is just so practical and helpful. Mrs Lien Huong’s son who listened to “Buddhism saved my life” VCD and kept five precepts of a Buddhist when he was very young. I first heard of Hoang Phap Pagoda when I was 18 year old because I listened to the “Looking for Happiness” disc of Master Venerable. One more thing, at the time, there were some Buddhists who visited Pagoda wearing Buddhist clothes but not so many like now. At some Pagodas, people went to the pagoda to chant scripture. They wore normal clothes then coated a Dharma robe. However, when I first visited Hoang Phap Pagoda, I saw all people wearing Buddhist clothes. I suddenly felt a strange happiness. Thus, I ran into a Buddhist clothes room and bought a Buddhist suit and a Dharma robe. But I only bought a suit because I didn’t bring enough money so I bought a cheap two-piece Dharma robe outside. I bought a pack so I changed Buddhist clothes right away at 6 pm – practicing time. That gentle feeling of happiness which has never appeared before was so hard to describe.

Talking about Master Venerable work, “Beautiful word” was the first book that I held on my hand with a blue cover, portrait orientation. The book was firstly published at the beginning of 2014 for international Vesak held in Viet Nam. That was a very good book by Master Venerable with poems and sentences in order to advise people to live right, do good things and guide the way of practicing. Some impressive sentences that I still remember such as:

“Practicing is prisoning, but prisoning is not practicing”

“long-term practicing, higher ego, practice so hard damn so deep”

Infiltration but not infatuation, emerging but not leaving”

Or  “In the past, our patriarchs cultivated, ate and slept less but cultivated so well

 We are now cultivating, eating and sleeping more but cultivate lazily”…

“Who loves or hates we don’t care

Our love just spreads everywhere

Coloring life for the happy tree bloomed” 

“Step into the pagoda gate, let all calculations go… let mind and body rest in peace, let smile with happy face”.

When I became a monk at Hoang Phap pagoda later. I had a chance to work in the book making field for a few years with other monks. This makes me read all Master Venerable’s books to grasp his writing and style. During the day, I help in the kitchen, in the afternoon, I went to a Primary Buddhism class in Tan Binh district. In the evening, after practicing, I made books. Time just passed like that.

This year Ancestral Anniversary 2022, all Master Venerable’s books were almost completed. Finally, small talks in the morning after breakfast were selected and summarized in “Morning Dharma” (one set of 16 books). Preaches from one day cultivation courses, penitent ceremonies or other preaches when he did Buddha’s work outside were compiled in “Taste of Dharma” (one set of 10 books). All old books like “with all truly heart” 90s, “Ordinary stories” 80s or “A brief story of Shakyamuni Buddha” 90s, “Religious study comparison” 90s etc, were re-published with new and eye-catching covers.

Master Venerable has been Hoang Phap Pagoda abbot for more than 30 years since 1988. This year, he announced “retirement” and handed over everything for Venerable Tam Truong; therefore, he could have time to rest and cultivate more.

We are grateful to the Master's kindness for us. Nearly 50 monasterics, affiliated establishments and nearly 200 monks show your great blessing. Although we stay near you or do Buddha work outside, we will keep your aspiration  “study good action and advise innocent people” as you always remind us. We wish three jewels bless you enough 3 dharma as your hope: “wish, wisdom and heath are precious and essential energy source to get achievement on dharma preaching career”

Tâm Cung

Translated into English by Nguyen Thi Tham

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