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Words of Wisdom

Selections from Hòa Hảo Buddhism’s Book “Stories Between Master and Disciples,” Part 1 of 2

Language:Vietnamese(Tiếng Âu Lạc (Tiếng Việt))


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Hòa Hảo Buddhism is a religion based on the teachings of the Buddha. It was founded by Prophet Huỳnh Phú Sổ in 1939. It is named after the Hòa Hảo village where it was established in Châu Ðốc Province of Âu Lạc, also known as Vietnam. The two words “Hòa Hảo” imply harmony and goodness. “Stories Between Master and Disciples” is a book of collected stories by Hòa Hảo Buddhism Youth Group, based on the accounts of many of Hòa Hảo senior disciples, who were often with the Master Huỳnh Phú Sổ, as well as accounts of respected Hòa Hảo followers. Today, we present excerpts from “Stories Between Master and Disciples.”

“Mr. Cao Bá Hấn was a disciple who often stayed close to the Master, with his duty as a secretary. One day, Mr. Hấn asked the Master how a true follower of Hòa Hảo Buddhism should behave, and what kind of people in society he or she should be in contact with? At that time, it was dinner. The Master sternly looked at Mr. Cao Bá Hấn, and said: ‘I forbid you to eat dinner at three houses.’ Mr. Hấn was surprised: ‘Dear Master, there are so many houses in this area, how do I know which three houses to avoid?’ The Master said: ‘Remember, these three houses are: One is the house that does animal trading (for meat;) second is one that raises animals (for meat); third is the one that makes and sells fishing gear and nets.’”

“Mr. Huỳnh Ngọc Kha was a medical doctor who graduated from a college in France, and he was also a doctor of Eastern Medicine. Although he didn’t attend the Master’s lecture, at home he set up an altar with flowers, a lamp and incense, and 3 cups of plain water, to pray. He made a vow: ‘If that Master is truly a Buddha, please bless me to break my addiction to opium after I drink these cups of water, then I vow to offer this body to the Buddha.’ Indeed, the next day, Mr. Kha didn’t crave the opium anymore. And the very interesting thing was, whenever Mr. Kha smelled opium smoke, he wanted to vomit. Therefore, he immediately got rid of the opium kit (which he had at his home all this time). It was the first time seeing Mr. Kha, but the Master already knew that Mr. Kha had secretly set up the altar to take refuge [in the Buddha]. Deeply touched, Mr. Kha stood motionless, he could not open his mouth to utter a word, much less any sentence in a foreign language.”

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