In early 1955 (right on the 15th of January, Wood Goat), Mr. Thanh Sĩ left for Saigon to apply for a visa to Japan as student of Buddhism. Before leaving Vietnam, he had two verses as such:
“What a pity for chaotic South and hungry North!
I was ordered to take the Eastern journey as a resort.”
He travelled with Mr Thien Hanh (in the Dharma Propagation commission of the Tay An Co Tu) who served as an interpreter at start. One month later, Mr Thien Hanh returned to Vietnam and Mr Lam Van Le took over.
After coming to Japan, Mrss Thanh Sĩ and Lam Van Le applied for entry to the Waseda University. This was difficult because both of them did not have a baccalaureate certificate and Mr Thanh Sĩ had the language barrier. Owing to the intervention by the then Vietnamese Embassy, the University had given them a test and affirmed that they both could be good enough to attend.
His foreign language skills developed at an extraordinary rate. Only three months later, he has been able to fluently utilise the Japanese as well as the English ones. In the second year, Mr Lam Van Le must go back to Vietnam to pay filial piety for his very ill father.
After 4 years, Mr Thanh Sĩ graduated as a Bachelor from the Waseda Uni where he was invited to lecture; the first year he took charge of History, Buddhism, and Philosophy; the following year, as his skills have rapidly grown, he added to his teaching list Sociology and Linguistics. He was also invited to lecture at the career-perfecting classes for the university’s teaching staff.
While in Japan, apart from teaching, Mr Thanh Sĩ did not cease to write, regularly contact the International Buddhist Society in Japan, other religious groups and realised his important religious tasks overseas.
Since 1948 to his passing, Mr Thanh Sĩ has achieved a tremendous legacy as an exponent of his Faith.
While in Vietnam, each time he delivered a prose presentation, it normally lasted between 2 and 6 hours and attracted tens of thousands of attendees. After the prose, he went on with poems which were excellent. A number of poems collected or short-handed by Hoa Hao Buddhists and made up more than 30 articles, of which the printing there have two phases:
-In 1948 to 1952, he wrote: Chau Thuyet, Dam Mua Giong, Tieng Chuong Canh Tinh, Loi Khuyen Tu Hien, Tinh The, Ban Da Dong Thien, Cam Xuan, Thi Luc,…
-In 1952 to 1954: he wrote: Thuyet Phap Ung Khau, Chu Nghia, and many articles publised in the Giac Tien magazine published by the Tay An Co Tu Dharma Propagation Commission.
While in Japan, even though he was too preoccupied at his own studies and teaching commitments, Mr Thanh Sĩ did not cease to remind his co-adherents at home of their practice.
From 1957 to 1967, he composed 17 poems: Loi Vang Trong Mong, Van Nien Huynh De, Ram Thang Muoi, Dau La Pham Thanh, Tieng Noi Trong Hoa Sen, Hoi Que Nha, Da Chet Ma Song, Toi Con Day Ma, Toi Khong Quen, Anh Sang Tu Bi, Duong Giai Thoat, Than Co That Luan, Con Thuyên Dai Dao, Doi Mat Phap, La Phat Tu, Tinh Dao Phat, Den Lien Hoa. These poems had been printed and bound into a collection titled HIEN DAO, over 1300 pages.
Besides, over 630 letters were replies to his co-adherents at home relating to religious practices which had been collected and printed in two volumes: La Thu Dong Kinh I (Tokyo Letters I) and La Thu Dong Kinh II (Tokyo Letters II). A number of discs were recorded with his voice and sent to Vietnam.
With a Bodhisattva-like dedication to the masses, he made a great vow.
In ‘Van Nien Huynh De’ (Eternal Brothers) he stated he would keeping returning to save the world no matter how many lives he has: …………..
“I keep sacrificing as long as my body still exists,
I vow to reincarnate even if I’ve lost it.
Until all the hells are closed,
Until no one is immoralist .”
In ‘Loi Vang Trong Mong’ (A Gold Voice in Dream), he affirms:
“I vow to offer this humble body,
To liberate and relieve the worldly.
Until there is no one in plight,
I won’t ascend the Western Paradise.
Until no one incurs their depression,
I will stay with folks to sow compassion.”
In ‘Dau La Pham, Thanh’, he also set his vow:
“Until all beings are salvaged,
I will not finish my recycle of rebirths.
Until no one suffers on earth,
I will still endure pain over the place.
I endeavor to the worldly salvage,
Regardless I shall never be discouraged.”
The above statements showed how strong his bodhisattva-like commitment was in terms of sacrificing his mind and body for his mission.
6.-LAST REMAINING DAYS:
The bondage between Mr Thanh Sĩ and his fellow adherents, in particular, and the Vietnamese people, in general, was extraordinary. The more religious he was, the more patriotic he was. As if his bondage had transpired, a phase to support his faith by transmigration has ended, in the spring of 1972, Mr Thanh Sĩ fell critically ill while teaching at the University of Waseda, and must be hospitalized. On 26 December, (lunar 29 Jan 1973), right after BBC announced that the Paris Agreement promising a ceasefire in Vietnam, he exhaled his last breath, aged 46.
His body went through a cremation ceremony held by his Japanese friends in Tokyo on 31 Jan 1973. His ashes were sent to Vietnam right after. Thousands and thousands of Hoa Hao Buddhists welcomed his ashes with solemnity which they intered beside his mother Tran Thi Muoi’s graveyard, in Long Kien village, Cho Moi District, An Giang province.
Mr. Thanh Sĩ’s passing left millions of Hoa Hao Buddhists with grief and a unprecedented legacy which was everlasting.
We, the Hoa Hao Buddhists of Massachusetts and other parts of the United States, understand that the ‘Chú Nghĩa’ book on the ‘Học Phật, Tu Nhân’ method (Glossary on Learning Buddhism and Practicing with People) is very useful to all home practicers. This book consists of Mr Thanh Sĩ’s spontaneous presentations which Mr. Vuong Kim recorded and published under the former Republic of Vietnam. It expounds ‘Learning Buddhism and Practicing with People (Học Phật Tu Nhân) – which Lord Master Huynh has reiterated - in a straightforward manner. It is worth using by the Hoa Hao Buddhist as a daily recited sutra. Therefore, we succeeded in mobilising all our resources to have this book printed and distributed for free on occasion of greeting the New Millenium.
We vow to contribute our efforts for all the sentient beings to soon achieve enlightenment.
Namo Our Master Sakyamuni Buddha
Namo Amitabha Buddha USA,
Early Spring 2000 - P.L. 2544
A group of Hoa Hao Buddhists in USA
Thank you for having visited the website: pghh1939.blog.com
Website dedicated to Thanh Si: http://thanhsi.net/ (Vietnamese)
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