THE SAGELY CITY OF TEN THOUSAND BUDDHAS

Biography of Master Hsuan Hua

The Venerable Master Hsuan Hua was also known as An Tse and To Lun. The name Hsuan Hua was bestowed upon him after he received the transmission of the Wei Yang Lineage of the Chan School from Venerable Elder Hsu Yun. Venerable Master Hua was born in Manchuria in 1918. He left the home life at the age of nineteen. After the death of his mother, he lived in a tiny thatched hut by her graveside for three years, as an act of filial respect. During that time, he practiced meditation and studied the Buddha’s teachings. Among his many practices were eating only once a day at midday and never lying down to sleep.

He cultivated various practices of purity and traveled to study with various eminent and virtuous monks, such as the Venerable Elder Hsu Yun. In 1948 the Master arrived in Hong Kong, where he founded the Buddhist Lecture Hall and other monasteries. In 1962 he brought the Proper Dharma to America and the West, where he lectured extensively on the major works of the Mahayana Buddhist canon. Delivering more than ten thousand lectures, he was the first person to establish the Triple Jewel in the United States. Over the years, the Master established the Dharma Realm Buddhist Association (DRBA) and its numerous affiliated monasteries and centers. He taught both Western and Asian disciples to apply the Dharma in daily life. He also taught disciples to translate the canon and set up educational institutions, and he guided the Sangha members in DRBA monasteries to truly practice and uphold the Buddhadharma.

The Master passed into stillness on June 7, 1995, in Los Angeles, U.S.A., causing many people throughout the world to mourn the sudden setting of the sun of wisdom. Although he has passed on, his lofty example will always be remembered. Throughout his life he worked selflessly and vigorously to benefit the people of the world and all living beings. His wisdom and compassion inspired many to correct their faults and lead wholesome lives. Here we include the Verse of the Mendicant of Chang Bai written by the Venerable Master to serve as a model for all of us to emulate.  

The Mendicant of Chang Bai was simple and honest in nature.
He always wished to help and benefit people.
Forgetting himself for the sake of the Dharma,
he was willing to sacrifice his life.
Bestowing medicines according to illnesses,
he offered his own flesh and bones.
His vow: to unite as one with millions of beings.
His practice: to pervade space as he gathers in
vast numbers of those with different potentials,
without regard for past, future, or present, and
with no distinctions of north, south, east, or west.

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