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Trees Have Roots; Waters Have Sources

Trees have their roots, and people have their origins. As hu­man beings, we must endeavor to increase joy in the world for the sake of everyone in the world, and we also must ensure that life will sprout flowers and bear fruits as strong and stur­dy as the peach. “Mother” is the source of life for every person, and she is also the harbor on which each person depends for their first contact with the human world. The conduct and vir­tue of the world’s mothers in compassionately dealing with the world and wisely managing the household affairs all become the nutrients for life during our time on Earth.

Only Setting the Tone and Not Becoming the Master

It seemed that I had to do every­thing for Buddhism. For Buddhism, I have to only set the tone and not be­come the master, hand over my physi­cal body to the temple and give my life to the Dharma protectors, heav­enly beings and nagas, and making the aspiration to head out for Buddhism, striving to move Buddhism to­ward humanity and society. It seemed then that I suddenly saw people in the tens of thousands who were waving at me. I must propagate the Dharma for the benefit of sentient beings, and usher in a new set of circumstances for Buddhism.

My Silent Revolution for Buddhism

In devoting my life to Buddhism, in order to keep Buddhism current with the advances in society, in terms of thoughts, I am always making improvements at every hour and moment; in terms of practice, I am constantly and continuously making adjustments. Even though I know that Buddhism must be reformed, innovation never comes into being in the heat of the moment. My “silent revolution” advocates that some things advance, while some things retreat; some things proceed, while some things stop. Although the results are not apparent immediately, I consistently work on them, which can slowly overcome any obstacle!

Born into Tribulation, Raised in Adversity, yet Experienced a Lifetime of Joy

People often ask me, “What ad­versity have you experienced in your life?” And for a moment, I can­not come up with an answer. I have always maintained the attitude of taking things as they come, as in the sayings “When the soldiers come, de­ploy the generals to fight back; when there is a flood, use earth to stop it” and “When encountering a mountain, cut a path through; when encounter­ing water, build a bridge.” Therefore, what adversity could there be? Today, at the age of ninety [2016], my life can be expressed by twelve words: “Born into tribulation, raised in adversity, yet experienced a lifetime of joy.”

My Reflections on Venerable Master Taixu’s Fiftieth Birthday Poem

In fact, what I have enjoyed the most in my reading, and it could be said that a piece of writing that has had an important influence upon
my life is the poem “Thoughts on My Fiftieth Birthday,” written by Venerable Master Taixu during his visit to India when the lay Buddhist Tan Yun-shan, Chairperson of the Institute of Chinese Language and Culture at Visva-Bharati University held a celebration for his fiftieth birthday.