Almost all my human life, going through a few degrees of change of stars gave me the opportunity to “meet” Buddha statues, high monks with rare predestined circumstances.
At the end of March 1975, after the evacuation by land and water from Hue to Saigon in the midst of the dangerous situation of “one life, ten death”, my mother decided to stay in the South to settle down. I was afraid that my mother would be sad, so I had to prepare the wooden attic, set up an altar, and then go to Van Phuoc Pagoda (Saigon) to invite On Tam Huong and the monks to have a ceremony.
After asking, On promised Kha and asked me to follow him to the Buddha’s temple, pointing at the statue Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara put agarwood on the sutra table and then taught: “You let me bring back the statue of a nun and worship it so I can pray daily to the Bodhisattva for good health. At that time, everyone was the same as anyone else, ‘floating through the gate of Than Phu, if you are good at cultivating, you will become clumsy, then you will sink’, few people know what the future holds!”.
Lucky to meet Buddha
According to On, this Bodhisattva statue was originally from Thien Lam Pagoda, Hue. From the day the French protectorate government opened a new Nam Giao road (Nam Giao Tan Highway), in 1898, the pagoda had to move into the land along the road, transferred to the hands of shamans to manage, so it declined. The descendant of his maternal grandfather (the king’s maternal family) Tong Phuoc asked for the land behind Thien Lam Pagoda to establish a Tinh Do temple and brought back the statue of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara with incense to commemorate the merits of his wife. King Gia Long is Queen Thua Thien Cao (Tong Phuoc Thi Lan).
In 1968, a believer bought that land and offered it to HT.Giac Hanh, the founder of Van Phuoc pagoda (Hue) to rebuild it into Tinh Do pagoda, worshiping ancestors.
In 1972, fierce war broke out in the Central region, To Van Phuoc evacuated to Saigon, brought along the statue of Bodhisattva Quan The Am, then gave Than Thi Ngoc Que a procession to worship at the villa in Hanoi. Gia Dinh. In April 1975, Ms. Ngoc Que’s family relocated abroad. Before leaving, she invited On Tam Huong to come over and said: “If you like it, just let me move it to the temple”. Standing looking at the number of precious antiques on display, On was so bored that he only asked for the statue of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara to return…
Since the day On Tam Huong invited him back, until now, it has been nearly 50 years since the statue of Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara has been sitting in our house. Experiencing the change of stars, our family was able to live in peace, overcome all kinds of obstacles, even though sometimes we gave up because everything was beyond human strength, we also depended on the miraculous magnetic force of the Bodhisattva. That’s Quan The Am.
Around 1980, an acquaintance visited and told me that an old man on Nguyen Trai Street was holding 3 very old Buddha statues. He is wanting to transfer these 3 statues to someone else, on the condition that that person must have faith in Buddha, but definitely do not want to receive anyone who comes with the intention of trading. I followed the introducer to meet the owner. Although the old man was old, he still kept his stoic demeanor and happily received us in the living room with 3 ancient statues on display. He said that in March 1945, when the Japanese coup d’etat France, a French official snuck into his house to avoid arrest. He loves to protect.
After the French landed to retake Indochina, that official returned to his old home. After everything was settled, the official invited the benefactor to his house to play, introduce his collection of antiquities and then suggested that if the benefactor was interested in something, he would gladly give it as a thank you. life saving grace. The old man, after looking at it, expressed that he only wanted to invite the Buddha statue to admire, but did not like anything else. The French official happily packed 3 Buddha statues and moved them to his house to give to benefactors. These 3 statues include:
– Bronze statue of Shakyamuni Buddha sitting cross-legged, Lao art in the 17th century.
– Bronze statue of Shakyamuni Buddha entering Nirvana, 19th century Vietnamese fine art (manufactured by Bien Hoa Fine Arts School).
– Statue of the Venerable Father made of precious wood, 19th century Chinese art.
For a moment, most of human life, old age, children go abroad to live, the future is uncertain, so the old man wants to meet someone who has faith in Buddha, he will transfer the above 3 statues on the condition that promised him not to buy or sell for a profit. Being told to open my heart, I got up to go to the Buddha statue and promised the old man and then sent some money, asking for the statue to come back to admire every day.
At that time, On Tri Quang was staying at An Quang pagoda. Occasionally, On and Mr. Minh Phat ride a cyclo to visit my Quan Am in Dang Tran Con Street, District 1. People around the street see and praise Mr. Minh Phat “like Mr. Maitreya”. One day On returning home, seeing 3 old statues, On taught: “The teacher just put a wooden sentence right in the room, if possible, Son invites the statue of Sakyamuni sitting cross-legged for him to worship daily. Buddhism”. I was very happy because I had the opportunity to make offerings to On, so when I finished drinking tea, I ordered a cyclo to carry the Buddha image with On to An Quang.
About a few months later, early in the morning, Review came down while I was chanting the subject of Universal Gate. At the end of the sutra period, I went down to salute, On smiled and taught: “I went up to ask for His statue to come back. Leaving it on the temple, the uncles or servants do not know anything!”. While I was very surprised, On continued: “Who in the world every time the uncles bring rice and water or come in to clean up, they just come to touch the statue and ask: ‘Bai On, why… your chest is as big as a human’s. so gym!’. They don’t know anything about Southern Buddhist art, it’s too tiring to explain all the time!” I explained to On: “Yes, let me arrange it and then come back to visit”.
Singer Phuong Thanh: Thank you life for letting me meet Buddha
Reviewing, for the next few days, I kept thinking about asking for a bronze statue weighing about 100kg to go in the middle of the road if the police asked me what to do, especially when I brought it out from An Quang pagoda!? Going up is easy but coming back is difficult. So I ran to Van Phuoc again and explained everything to On Tam Huong. After listening to the story, thinking for a while, On taught: “Well, I would like to invite you to be on the throne in the middle of the ground floor lecture hall. On the way, if anyone asks for help, just report it and ask the Buddha in An Quang to worship at Van Phuoc. The Master will confirm that it is true, there is nothing to worry about…”.
So, the statue of Shakyamuni Buddha about “meditating” in Van Phuoc for about 15 years. In 1996, after a period of illness, knowing when the lamp had run out of oil, On Tam Huong called me up: “Son, ask him to come back for peace of mind, lest it be easy while the teacher is still alive, later, dear cousin I don’t know the past, it’s hard to want to come back. For this, they keep wondering why the Northern sect’s pagoda honors the Southern sect statue in the middle of the temple!” On smiled…
In 1983, for the first time since 1975, Master Le Manh That offered to ask On Gia Lam (Venerable Thich Tri Thu) to organize an exhibition of Buddhist culture at the Quang Huong Gia Lam lecture hall. Two days before the opening ceremony, Master Le Manh That told us: “This is the first time I hold an exhibition after 1975 and I have invited all of you, especially Venerable Duc Nhuan, so how do we not get caught? laugh!”.
So I went home to review the Buddhist antiquities and put them on display, in particular, the Buddha statue Shakyamuni Buddha statue Entering Nirvana, the beautiful bronze of Bien Hoa School of Fine Arts made around 1930. Master That chose the painting Truc Lam Dai Dai in the book Truc Lam Tong, only the sound was intact. oil.
After submitting the painting, On Gia Lam took a pen and wrote two lines of Nom from Cu Tran Lac Dao Phu: “Thanks for compassion for many lifetimes to pray for closeness / For the salvation of many broken bodies, it is better to suffer bitterness”. As a result, the exhibition had a great impact on the spirit of the Buddhist masses at that time, when the world with many changes made the religion more or less difficult.
At the end of the exhibition, I bring home small, light items of paper, wood, and porcelain. Particularly, the statue of Buddha entering Nirvana is still temporarily left at the temple… After a while, in 1984, On Gia Lam left his sandals to the West, life once again turned around, Buddhism entered a new turning point. The precious statue is still peacefully lying in Quang Huong Gia Lam, but few people know the predestined predestined days?
Tran Dinh Son/Golden Newspaper