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Message to The Sangha
A Collection of Praises and Verses by Venerable Master Hsuan Hua
1. Shaving the Hair of Affliction
The razor of blessings and virtue shaves off the hair of affliction.
The sword of wisdom hacks through the strands of emotional love.
On this day you escape samsara’s net of rebirth,
And set out on a direct course for unsurpassed Bodhi.
Shaving-the-head ceremony on Amitabha Buddha’s Birthday,
the 17th day of the 11th lunar month (December 18), 1986,
at Gold Mountain Sagely Monastery
2. A New Generation for the Dharma King
As the metal blade shaves off the hair you were born with,
At the feet of the Dharma King’s throne, a new generation appears.
The bell resounds, water is sprinkled, the boundaries are purified.
The start of the Precept Ceremonies has far-reaching import.
Taking refuge with the Triple Jewel is the highest goodness.
As disciples of Buddhism, you are the loftiest of people.
March 31, 1991, Start of the 108-Day Precept Platforms,
City of Ten Thousand Buddhas
3. Future Teachers of Gods and People
The metal blade shaves off the hair of affliction,
The wisdom sword hacks through the roots of ignorance.
Today you take on the appearance of those worthy of offerings.
In the future you shall become a teacher of gods and people.
1994 The Sagely City of the Dharma Realm
4. With Compassion, Transform the Multitudes
Returning our lives to the Honored Triple Jewel,
May our minds awaken to the Great Way.
Opening our compassion, we will universally rescue all,
Proclaiming the Teaching and transforming the multitudes.
5. Being an Emissary for the Buddhas
Diligently act as the Buddhas’ emissary;
Represent your Teacher in saving beings.
In a unique lineage from Vulture Peak,
We meet once again in the Saha world.
In view of these great affinities,
Don’t get caught in the nets of the world;
How can shackling emotion be worth hankering after?
Concentrate on liberating yourself from birth and death.
6. Sangha Members Honor Precepts
The Buddhas and Patriarchs emphasize the mind-transmission.
The Dharma rain transforms the entire universe.
If Sangha members follow the precepts,
They will naturally find the treasure trove.
7. One that Does Not Retreat from the Way of Bodhi
Today, I support you in ascending to the seat of the Dharma King
In the hope that you will never retreat from the resolve for Bodhi.
Transform beings by setting an example through your own actions.
Be a teacher and model for gods and humans like the Supreme Honored One.
8. An Exhortation to the Sangha
Although the Buddhadharma has not perished, the Sangha itself has.
Morality and virtue should be cultivated, but are not.
The honest and sincere ones invite worldly ridicule,
While the false and scheming ones enjoy praise.
In the world of the five turbidities, pure people are rare.
Living beings never awaken from the three kinds of intoxication.
I have some earnest words of exhortation for the young generation of the Sangha:
The revival of our Teaching depends on you Bhikshus.