Kính đảnh lễ Giác linh Đức đệ tam Pháp chủ Giáo hội Phật giáo Việt Nam,
Than ôi !
Bậc Long Tượng yên nghỉ
Trời Việt phủ màu tang
Hóa duyên nay tròn đủ
Người vừa nhập Niết Bàn…
Nhớ Linh xưa:
Tại Ninh Bình, Xã Khánh Tiên, Yên Khánh
Sản sinh nên bậc chí sỹ thượng nhân
Trong gia đình Cụ ông Bùi Quang Oánh
Nhằm vào năm Đinh Tỵ (1917), mượn Báo Thân.
Mới chin tuổi, đến Phúc Long học Đạo
Sớm ở Chùa với Sư Cụ Đàm Cơ
Muốn văn chương sớm trở nên thông thạo
Đến kết duyên Cụ Hiệng, học chữ Nho.
Mười ba tuổi tham học nơi Tổ Vọng,
Làm học trò Sư Tổ Thích Nguyên An
Mười sáu tuổi, Chùa Đống Cao, Nam Định
Giới Sa Di, Ngài lãnh thụ, đăng đàn.
Mười tám tuổi đến Viên Minh tu học
Tổ Quảng Tồn lo chỉ dạy Kệ Kinh
Hai mươi tuổi Ngài đăng đàn Cụ Túc
Kể từ đây Ngài tham vấn, đăng trình.
Vượt bao dặm đường xa không mỏi mệt
Nhiều Sơn Môn, như từng đến Tế Xuyên,
Rồi tu luyện theo Sơn Môn Hương Tích
Cũng như về nơi Chùa Tổ Vĩnh Nghiêm.
Ba lăm tuổi, hành Đạo nơi Linh Ứng
Tuổi bốn mươi, Ngài trở lại Viên Minh
Bốn năm sau, Cụ Quảng Tồn viên tịch
Ngài đảm đương mọi công việc Tổ Đình.
Bảy Mươi Tuổi, Ngài vâng lời Pháp Chủ
An trú nơi Hà Nội, duyệt sách Kinh
Từng câu chữ, lời ngọc vàng chuyên chú
Ngài dấn thân cho Chánh Pháp xương minh.
Ngài trải qua biết bao nhiêu cương vị
Từ địa phương đến Trị Sự Trung Ương
Đều trọn vẹn, khiến mọi người hoan hỷ
Luôn hết mình vì Đạo Pháp, nêu gương.
Chín mươi tuổi, Tăng già đồng cung thỉnh
Ngài trở thành vị Pháp Chủ chứng minh
Dù Ngài muốn làm nông Tăng, an tĩnh
Chí nguyện sâu, Ngài đóng góp phần mình.
Tuổi dầu lớn, Ngài vận toàn sức lực
Để quang huy cho Phật Giáo nước nhà
Là Viện Trưởng Viện Nghiên Cứu Phật Học,
Ngài chứng minh Trường Hạ khắp gần xa.
Ngài tán trợ cho bình dân học vụ
Trải từ tâm, Ngài xây đắp hòa bình
Nhiều Pháp Thoại, bao Đạo Từ nhắn nhủ
Hãy dấn thân cho lợi lạc quần sinh.
Ngài mải miết dịch sách Kinh, sáng tác
Lời đơn sơ đựng triết lý sâu xa
Nơi vùng quê hun đúc nên chí cả
Để cho đời nguồn Tuệ Giác tinh hoa.
Cả cuộc đời không sắm thùng công đức
Một bát canh, chén cơm hẩm qua ngày
Dù Ngài ở địa vị cao tột bực
Luôn nêu gương hạnh thiểu dục, thanh cao.
Ngài như một đóa hoa sen thơm ngát
Sinh trong bùn mà chẳng nhiễm bợn nhơ
Hơn trăm tuổi, nay Ngài về xứ Phật
Cả đời Ngài, thật kỳ diệu – nên thơ !
Nguyện Ngài sớm vãng Tây Phương Tịnh Độ
Chứng tòa cao, nơi chín phẩm sen vàng
Thương chúng sanh đắm chìm trong bể khổ
Nguyện sớm ngày Ngài hội nhập trần gian.
Tháp Viên Minh, khói trầm hương quyện tỏa
Tiễn Người đi, bao ngấn lệ nghẹn ngào
Ngài Pháp chủ với đạo cao đức cả
Vẫn sáng ngời cùng tròi đất trăng sao....
Nam mô Việt Nam Phật giáo Giáo hội, Hội đồng Chứng minh Đức Pháp chủ, Ma Ha Sa Môn Tỷ khiêu – Bồ Tát giới pháp húy thượng Phổ hạ Tuệ Đại lão Hòa thượng Giác linh thùy từ chứng giám.
Vọng bái Giác Linh, sơ thất trai tuần
23 tháng 9 năm Tân Sửu
Tỳ kheo: Thích Đồng Trí
BIOGRAPHY OF HIS HOLINESS - THE SUPREME PATRIARCH OF VIETNAM BUDDHIST SANGHA =
MOST VENERABLE THÍCH PHỔ TUỆ (1917– 2021)
I. FAMILY BACKGROUND
Most Venerable Thích Phổ Tuệ, alias Bùi Văn Quý, was born on April 12, 1917, in village 5, Phụng Thiên ward, Bồng Hải County, nowadays it is Phụng Thiện village, Khánh Tiên ward, Yên Khánh district, Ninh Bình province. His father was Mr. Bùi Quang Oánh, His mother was Mrs. Nguyễn Thị Thinh. His parents were devout Buddhists. He is the second child in a three siblings – family.
II. DHARMA LIFE AND WORK
- Leaving home for ordination:
He was born in a family with a strong tradition of Buddhism belief, His Bodhi seed soon blossomed, at the age of nine (i.e., 1925), he was allowed by His parents to live in the pagoda with the Most Venerable Thich Đàm Cơ - the abbot of Phúc Long Pagoda, in Phú An village, Khánh Phú ward, Yên Khánh district, Ninh Bình province and was taught Ancient Chinese characters by the famous teacher named Hiệng in the region.
When he was thirteen years old (i.e., 1929), He was allowed by His Master to become a disciple of Most Venerable Thich Nguyen An, the abbot of Vọng Patriarchal Temple in Yên Đồng ward, Y Yên district, Nam Định province. After three years of cultivation, at the age of sixteen (i.e., 1932), He was allowed by Most Venerable of Vọng temple to receive the Samanera Ordination at the Ordination Ceremony in Đống Cao temple, Nghĩa Hưng district, Nam Định province.
At the age of eighteen (i.e., 1934), He came to meet and take refuge The Most Venerable Thich Quảng Tốn, the abbot of Viên Minh Patriarchal Temple, in Khai Thái village, Tam Khê ward, Phú Xuyên district, Hà Đông province (now known as Quang Lãng ward, Phú Xuyên district, Hanoi city) for Buddhist study and cultivation. When he just turned twenty years old (i.e., 1936), he received Bhikkhu Ordination and the BodHisattva Precepts Ordination at the Great Precepts Transmission Ordination Ceremony at the Viên Minh Patriarchal Temple, led by Most Venerable Thich Quảng Tốn as The Most Venerable Upadhaya Precepts Transmission Master (or Preceptor).
After receiving the full precepts, he began the process of finding the way to seek the truth. He went to almost all of the major Mountain temples and Patriarchal Temples at that time such as Tế Xuyên Mountain temple, Hương Tích mountain temple, and Vĩnh Nghiêm Patriarchal Temple, to study and search for the Truth.
- Buddhist work activities:
Since 1952, he had been in mission of wandering and propagating Dhamma at Linh Ung pagoda, in Kim Đới 1 village, Hữu Bằng ward, Kiến Thụy district, Hải Phòng city. In 1957, He returned to serve the Triple Gem and His Master at Viên Minh Patriarchal Temple, in Quang Lãng Ward, Phú Xuyên District, Hanoi City.
In 1961, The Most Venerable Thich Quảng Tốn, the second abbot of Viên Minh Patriarchal Temple passed away, Most Venerable Thích Phổ Tuệ was appointed as the third abbot of the Viên Minh Patriarchal Temple and he has been staying there from then until now.
In 1987, His Holiness the First Supreme Patriarch of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha sent the three monks, the late Most Venerable Thích Kim Cương Tu, the late Most Venerable Thich Thiện Siêu, and the late Most Venerable Thích Tâm Thông, to Viên Minh Patriarchal Temple for inviting Him to Hanoi capital to preside over, edit the Vietnamese Tripitaka and participate in Buddhist activities of Vietnam Buddhist Sangha. Since then, he has held many key positions in the Buddhist Sangha Administrative at all levels through the following timeline:
· 1993 – 2008: Head of The Provincial Buddhist Sangha Administrative Board in Ha Tay province.
· 1993 – 2008: Principal of Hà Tây Buddhist Intermediate School.
· 1992 – 1997: As a permanent member of the Executive Committee Council of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha.
· 1997 – 2007: Vice-President of the Executive Committee Council cum Vice- Head of the Department of Monastic Affairs of Vietnam Buddhist Sangha.
· 2002 -2007: Vice Supreme Patriarch and General Secretary of the Supreme Sangha Council of Vietnam Buddhist Sangha.
· 2003 – 2007: Rector of Vietnam Buddhist Research Institute in Hanoi.
· 2003 – 2007: Editor-in-Chief of Vietnam Buddhist Studies Journal.
· 2007 – Now: His Holiness, the Third Supreme Patriarch of the Supreme Saṅgha Council of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha.
· 2009 – Now: Chief Dharma Vassa- rainning season retreats in Viharas, Monastic Venues in many provinces and cities.
· 2009 – Now: The Most Venerable Upadhaya Precepts Transmission Master of the Great Precepts Transmission Ordination Ceremonies in many provinces and cities.
In addition to assuming various honorable monastic positions in the Sangha, the Most Venerable also has many merits to contribute to the cause of national unity, from the Popular Education movement to the movement of building co-operative society after peace is restored in the country. Along with taking care of pagodas and temples, contributing to the construction of the homeland, He was a Virtue monk, always keeping the harmony of religions to build great unity of the whole nation. Thus, as a member he participated in Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front for many terms, from the 4th to the 9th term today.
- Translated and written works:
He is a noble and able monk possessing great wisdom, deeply understanding the Tripitaka (the Buddha’s Teachings, Buddhist Precepts and commentaries). In particular, he has made many important contributions in compiling, translating, and composing works to Vietnamese Buddhist Scriptures. He devoted His life to compiling and commenting on the Great Buddhist Dictionary, notes and lectures on the Shurangama Sutra, the Outline of the Lotus Sutra, the Hundred Example Sutra, the Three Sutras of the Buddha and Patriaches, Study of Buddhism is the study of Wisdom, the Shorter Sukhavativyuha Sutra, the Prajna Sound Echoing, the Simplified Pratimoksa for Bhikkhus and Bhikkhunis.
In addition to the above compiled, translated and written works on Buddhist studies, he also composed many poems of Tang Poetry, in the form of eight lines and seven words in each line, so that the contents could be easily memorized in the raining retreats (Vassa).
III. MERIT RECOGNITION WITH MEDALS:
Thoughtout His life of practicing and propagating Dhamma at Viên Minh Patriarchal Temple, as well as the process of participating in Buddhist work activities of the Sangha and His various contributions to the Dharma and the Nation, these merits have always been respectfully recognized by the Sangha and State, awarded numerous noble titles such as: Order of Hồ Chí Minh; Second- Class Independence Medal; Medal of Great National Unity; Medals for the cause of great national unity, Certificates of Merit from the Prime Minister, Certificates of Merit from the Central Committee of the Vietnam Fatherland Front and numerous certificates of merit from the Sangha.
IV. GREAT DEMISE : ENTERING NIBBANA
After 105 years of presence in tHis World, with 85 years of fully ordained monastic life, in the Position of Supreme Patriarch of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha, He has devoted His life to the ideal of spreading the Dharma for the benefit of beings. His merit has greatly contributed to shining fame of Buddhism and the Vietnamese nation. His life from the beginning of renunciation to the time when His Dhamma preaching mission is completed has always been a shining example in the religious practice for both monkhood and laypeople. He strictly and purely observed the Monastic precepts as an embodiment for teaching and encouraging the followers. His life is a symbol of the spirit of Compassion – Wisdom – Courage, especially in His non-self and selfless deeds, devotedly focusing on the cause of spreading the Dharma, serving people, and building great national unity.
The sacred moment has come, His work in this world has been completed, the Supreme Patriarch of the Patronage Council of the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha passed away at 03:22 on October 21, 2021 (September 16, Year of the Ox, lunar calendar) at Viên Minh patriarchal temple, in Quang Lãng Ward, Phú Xuyên District, Hanoi City. He left behind him infinite respect and deep grief.in the hearts of disciples, monks and nuns, Vietnamese Buddhists at home and abroad. He passed away, but His virtuous life would forever live on in the glorious History of modern Vietnamese Buddhism.
We - Vietnam Buddhist Sangha Supreme Patriarch Council, all Vietnam Buddhist Monks and Nuns, and Laypeople pray for The Most Venerable Thich Pho Tue to enter Nirvana and go up to the Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss.
May His Holiness, the Supreme Patriarch soon return to this world to continue leading Viet Nam Buddhist Sangha and navigating the Prajna Boat, carrying all sentient beings to the other shore of eternal peace, bliss, enlightenment and liberation.
Homage to the Vietnam Buddhist Sangha 3rd Suppreme Partriarch, Most Venerable Maha Bikkhu – Boddhisatva Vow - Thích Phổ Tuệ witnessing and protecting us.
Translated by a Board of Vietnamese Buddhist Scholars
Editor-in-Chief: Thích Đồng Trí