Our master is such a humble person!

Update: 30/09/2022
Our master used to be the abbot of a large temple - Hoang Phap Pagoda, Hoc Mon, Ho Chi Minh City together with 40 affiliated establishments in Vietnam and abroad. Before that, he also held the position of Vice Deputy of the Dharma propagation Department of the Central Committee of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha. After 41 years of teaching the Dharma, he is able to let go of everything completely, without the slightest attachment to anything. He introduced others to take over his position as Vice Deputy of Dharma Propagation Department, and the position of abbot of Hoang Phap Pagoda was also given to the disciples. He did a very rare thing which few people can do today. It is a norm that people like to run after authority, hold everything they have firmly, but few people who are on the verge of fame are able to let go of things like that!
 

Our master is such a humble person!

 

His return to Ta Dung was indeed a cause and effect in line with his long-standing vow. When he heard that we were visiting him, he sent a helper to find out if we were far away? The road from Lam Dong district to his residence is not far, but there are more than 70 km of dangerous steep passes. He told the helper to tell us to go carefully and also prepared motorbikes to pick us up from the beginning of the road to his residence. Due to the rain, the road was muddy with red mud. His care as a thoughtful teacher and as a gentle and loving father touched us deeply.

When we entered the courtyard of the master's residence, he hurriedly stepped out as if he had been waiting for a long time to greet us with a bright smile, extremely happy. That is who he is! Always with a smile on his face. When I saw him, my heart felt surprised and at peace.

 He welcomed us with a gentle and humble heart! He took us upstairs, sat down on the floor with us and asked about the disciples' health and spiritual practice. We also inquired about his health. He said that "I am very happy to have you (disciples) visit". In the past, although I was his disciple and resided with him at Hoang Phap Pagoda, this is the first time I felt the closeness with him. Perhaps, back then when he was at Hoang Phap temple, he was very busy. We mainly discussed Buddhism, and we rarely have time to have intimate talk like now.

The happiest moment was when the Master took us on a tour to see around. Here, there are two waterfalls flowing day and night, steep cliffs, and incredible Ta Dung Lake. Unexpectedly, on the territory of our country, there is a place where nature is so wild, majestic and poetic!

He showed us around. He enthusiastically and thoroughly introduced each place even more professionally than a tour guide! As we walked behind him, we treasured and enjoyed the present moment with our master next to us, and felt so warm and peaceful in our hearts. How precious these moments are! His health is very good, he led the way and we could not keep up with him. Sometimes we lost our balance or almost fell over, but we managed to full back so we didn't fall forward. All of that happened quickly behind his back. He would laugh if he ever witnessed that scene as a young man would not be able to walk as well as a 65-year-old man on the mountain trail. I totally understood why Tam Nhan Monk stood behind me laughing as he saw me wobble and regained my balance!

After returning from the tour, he asked if we wanted to take a photo to capture the union of teacher and students? We were overjoyed as we will have pictures to keep to treasure these beautiful memories in our lives. How friendly and lovely he is! He said these photos are saved for the future to look back and cherish the happy memories of teacher-disciple today gathering. We held his hand while taking the picture, we felt warm and happy!

He is such a lovely person. Even though he is a very famous person, anyone can ask for a photo with him. If you feel intimidated to ask for a photo with him, he will be able to see that and take the initiative to ask you first. Who could not be happy at that moment? Do you want to take pictures with famous people? We will introduce you to someone - our Master! He will not let you down. He's amazing, and we rarely see him offend anyone!

- He said: "Today we live here together in this place. Who knows if we will be there tomorrow, to meet each other again? So, let’s take pictures to save this precious moment.

In the past, anyone who went to Hoang Phap Pagoda also had a photo taken with him to bring back as a souvenir. Now, whoever comes here, he also leads to visit the beautiful scenery and takes pictures with him. There is one thing that makes me ashamed of. When we took pictures with our Teacher and Tam Nhan Monk, I said: "It is not good to take pictures of three people, this is a bad omen. People said that it will cause someone to die or something…”

He looked at us with a smile and said: “Everyone will die, sooner or later. It will not cause by taking a picture of three people. When karma comes, even if you don't take a single photo, you still have to die. The demon of impermanence will not spare anyone ? You are already a lecturer, so what else is there to say? We are Buddhist monks who should eliminate superstitions and baseless superstitions.”

We listened to him with great shame, we could only smile and admire from the bottom of our hearts. We know that he is no longer attached to the mundane/conditioned Dharma but reached enlightenment a long time ago. He taught us the teachings of Buddha-truth, but we still didn't understand, and disappointed him. We were ashamed but also very happy because we had learned a valuable lesson.

So, our visit ended after having lunch with him. How peaceful and happy we all were. While having lunch, we watched the view of Ta Dung Lake from afar with white clouds floating among the beautiful mountains. But, right here, next to him, we see a man who is a hundred thousand times more beautiful than the beauty of the clouds outside - a mighty person but always simple and humble.

Tâm Đại

Translated into English by Thai Nhuoc Don

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