The Jeweled Repentance of Emperor Lyang ¡VAn Advance Celebration of Gold Wheel Monastery¡¦s Thirtieth Anniversary|
Sincerely contemplate the Dharma King's
true and actual meaning--
Oh, so the dharma of the Dharma King is exactly like this!
The heartbeat of the Wei-Yang Sect is
linked to Vulture Peak,
Great indeed! Elder Hsuan brandished
the thunderbolt of dharma.
Awesome illumination flashes over
the entire city of Los Angeles.
From the earth arises a golden precious wheel
¡X It is called Gold Wheel Monastery!
On September 16, 2005, in an advance celebration of Gold Wheel Monastery¡¦s thirtieth anniversary, the Jeweled Repentance of Emperor Lyang was especially hosted and Dharma Master Heng Sure was invited to transmit the Precepts for the Deceased. By means of these Dharma assemblies, we pray for world peace and human serenity. Knowing how difficult it is to encounter such auspicious causes and conditions, faithful devotees from the ten directions enthusiastically participated, sincerely repented and reformed, hoping to eradicate their karmic obstacles, enhance their blessings and augment their longevity. Gold Wheel Monastery also invited dharma masters from the various way-places of the Dharma Realm Buddhist Association (DRBA) to come together for this great celebration. From Berkeley Monastery came Dharma Master Heng Sure; from Gold Buddha Monastery, Dharma Master Heng Chr; from DRBA, Dharma Master Heng Lyang; from the City of the Dharma Realm, Dharma Master Heng Gwei, Dharma Master Heng Jun and others; from the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, Dharma Master Heng Hoo, Dharma Master Heng Shen, Dharma Master Heng Jiao; from Long Beach Monastery, Dharma Master Heng Li; from Gold Sage Monastery, Dharma Master Heng Re and Dharma Master Heng Rong; and from Gold Mountain Monastery, Dharma Master Heng Syang; and others. All together, there were twenty-nine Dharma masters, plus a number of Dharma-protecting laity from the other DRBA way-places, who came to Gold Wheel Monastery for this great Dharma assembly. Everyone sincerely bowed in repentance and then transferred the merit obtained thereof to all sentient beings, benefiting both the living and those of the underworld. The Buddha¡¦s light is shining forth in Gold Wheel Monastery. It can truly be said, ¡§Greatly illuminating, Turning the Dharma Wheel.¡¨
For Gold Wheel Monastery, the meaning and essence of the thirtieth anniversary surpasses ordinary events. Gold Wheel Monastery is the first way-place Venerable Master Hsuan Hua established in Southern California in 1976. During that time, in response to sincere requests from lay people in Los Angeles, the Venerable Master would travel down from Northern California at least once a month, be it rain or shine, to speak the Dharma for the lay people or to transmit the Three Refuges. Later on, the number of faithful devotees grew. Hence, a small building located at 5743 Huntington Drive in South Pasadena was purchased and officially established as a Buddha Hall, named ¡¥Gold Wheel Sagely Monastery¡¦. This is the origin of Gold Wheel Monastery. In 1977, praying for world peace, Dharma Master Sure and Dharma Master Chao resolved to go on a pilgrimage to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. Starting from the newly established Gold Wheel Monastery, they embarked on a journey of Three Steps, One Bow, trekking across an expanse of eight hundred miles and finally arriving at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas after a period of two years and ten months. This is an important milestone in the history of Buddhism in the West. Looking back now, it has been three decades since then. In 1979, Gold Wheel Monastery moved from the small building to another location in Eagle Rock. As the numbers of lay people increased, more space was needed. In 1982, Gold Wheel Monastery moved to Sixth Street. In 1989, as causes and conditions took their course, Gold Wheel Monastery once again moved to another location; this time, to Avenue 58 in Highland Park, where it is currently situated. After three decades, Dharma Master Sure came to Gold Wheel Monastery to host the Jeweled Repentance of Emperor Lyang, to transmit the Precepts for the Deceased, and speak the Dharma to the assembly. It is like going back in time thirty years ago when the Venerable Master told the lay people in Los Angeles, ¡§We have been together in a Dharma Assembly many lives past. During that time, we made the vow to come to this land, to this country, to propagate the Buddhadharma. Some made the vow to come as bhikshus or bhikshunis; some, as dharma-protecting laity. Now, the causes and conditions have come to maturity so we are now back transported by our vows, all gathered together in this assembly.¡¨ Due to causes and conditions from the past, we are now together in this Jeweled Repentance of Emperor Lyang, practicing our cultivation together, fulfilling the vows we made. Therefore, the causes and conditions that brought us together are profound. A lot has transpired within the expanse of thirty years. It passed by swiftly like a dream, like an illusion. In essence, we are doing exactly what the Venerable Master said ¡V extensively carrying out the Buddha¡¦s mission in our dreams. Although human life is like a dream, our senses are real. Everything in this world revolves around the dharma of causes and conditions. Hence, it is said: The dharma does not arise by itself, it is prompted by circumstance. The Way is not walked for no purpose; it responds according to conditions. Even though the Venerable Master has entered nirvana, the dharma wheel nevertheless continues to turn on and on and on¡K
In preparation for this celebration, everyone in Gold Wheel Monastery worked together in unity under the guidance of the Dharma masters. The clean up work and redecoration after the recent renovation were dealt with. Upon setting foot inside the monastery, one sees the majestic Buddha Hall beautifully adorned. The fragrance of the flowers wafted in all four directions. Everybody was filled with the joy of the dharma. Bathed in the chaste purity of the Way-place, the great assembly sincerely and single-mindedly bowed in repentance. Dharma Master Heng Lyang led the chanting in this repentance dharma assembly. Her gentle chanting, flowing with kindness and compassion, together with the harmonizing counterpart by Dharma Master Heng Jiao, resulted in a melodious unison which enveloped everybody, evoking their resolve for bodhi, enhancing their mind of repentance, beseeching for inner tranquility and eradication of karmic obstacles. Led by Dharma Master Heng Lyang, the splendid chanting of the entire assembly cascaded and reverberated throughout the Buddha Hall, lingering on, immersing everybody in an ocean of wondrous sounds. Even the elderly laity seventy and eighty years of age bowed with the chanting, choosing not to miss any part. The general setting was warmly touching.
At lunch time, the dining hall was fully occupied. Everybody ate in silence and listened to the dharma talk given by Dharma Master Heng Chr, Dharma Master Heng Shr, Dharma Master Heng Hoo, Dharma Master Heng Jun, Dharma Master Heng Li, Dharma Master Heng Jiao, Dharma Master Heng Re, Dharma Master Heng Shen, Dharma Master Heng Rong and many more Dharma masters, all of them not minding their physical weariness but kindly and compassionately speaking for the assembly. Although they maintained their serene composure, they still retained their light-heartedness. The old-timers of Gold Wheel Monastery listened with a warm sense of connection and newcomers were filled with the joy of dharma as well, their good roots and resolve for bodhi being brought forth. Whether old-timers or newcomers, everyone came together joyfully in the assembly of the Thus Come One. Without discrimination between old and new, being mutually supportive, let us all go hand-in-hand and be ready for the soon-to-be thirtieth anniversary of Gold Wheel Monastery, bearing in the direction of more progressive development so as to shoulder many more heavy tasks of the Thus Come One.
From beginning to end, the Jeweled Repentance of Emperor Lyang covered a period of nine days. The fourfold assembly treasured these causes and conditions. Everyone brought forth their utmost sincerity; their meritorious virtue being auspiciously completed. The Venerable Master used to encourage his disciples in Gold Wheel Monastery to adopt these two words ¡V Gold Wheel ¡V in their cultivation.¡¥Gold' represents not retreating in the face of a thousand demons, not giving up when confronted by tens of thousands of difficulties, bearing a steadfast resolve for the Way.¡¥Wheel' refers to the constantly forward turning of the bodhi resolve, never drawing back. The Venerable Master wanted his disciples to have a non-retreating resolve for the Way for life after life until they become Buddhas. In gratitude to our Venerable Master, we have to follow his teaching and advance with vigor and diligence. At present, we see each other in the dharma assembly of the Jeweled Repentance of Emperor Lyang. In the future, we hope to see each other in the Sea-vast Assembly of Lotus Pools. This is my wish and encouragement to everybody. Amitofo!