Last month, our BLI Buddhist Association completed a 49-day Assembly for Great Master Sheng Yi 聖一 who entered Stillness in August 3, 2010. He was recognized as a patriarch for the Gui Yang Chan lineage 潙仰宗 from his teacher, Great Master Xu Yun 虛雲.
I had the privilege of meeting and learning from him almost a decade ago in his Pao Lin 寶林 Chan monastery in Hong Kong. Back then, he could barely walk with the assistance of his monk attendant. Shortly afterwards, he was confined to a wheel chair until his recent death.
Left home people should all try to emulate the selfless acts of these great monks. They:
- Attained self liberation, destroying the ignorance darkness in their mind and fulfilled the purport for leaving the home life. In fact, Great Master Sheng Yi was actually a Bodhisattva in the flesh.
- Spend their career helping others attain liberation. He helped train many enlightened pupils.
- Never hesitated to take on others’ sufferings. The Great Master chose to remain in our Saha world until the age of 92, in spite of serious illnesses, in order to help those with whom he had conditions.
Lay people should resolve to quickly attain Bodhi. If you feel that you cannot attain liberation this lifetime then you should resolve to attain rebirth to the Western Bliss Pure Land so that you can become a Buddha the very next lifetime. In that way, your encountering with Mahayana and our enlightened teachers’ efforts would have not been in vain.