Why renunciation?

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Venerable Zhen Zhi

I was born in Sungai Petani, Kedah of a merchant family. I completed my primary education in Sekolah Rendah Kebangsaan Sultan Ibrahim and continued my secondary education in Kuala Lumpur; after which I spent four years in Canada pursuing a tertiary education.

I had experienced more than forty years of secular life and encountered only temporary happiness. I was agitated, unhappy and dissatisfied most of the time. This unhappy state of affairs is beautifully expounded by Buddha's teachings: From ignorance comes suffering and negation. The true path to happiness, liberation and enlightenment is the Noble Eightfold Path.

Realising my lack of knowledge in Buddhism, I decided to seriously pursue the study of Buddhism. Thus I enrolled myself in the International Buddhist College in Thailand. From that day onwards, taking refuge in the Triple Gem has been most meaningful in my daily life. This together with my encounter with great masters like Venerable Wei Wu and the fruition of good karmic forces provided motivational force for me to take the path of renunciation.

With my renunciation, I aim to be a Brahmacaria and live a holy life with non-attachment, to develope and become an Uttamapurisa (Excellent Man) and be liberated from samsara. Renunciation for me is actually to receive the Seven Noble Treasures taught by the exalted and blessed Buddha:
1. The pragmatic confidence of Faith
2. The virtue of Morality
3. The conscience of Moral Shame
4. The fear of Moral Dread
5. The advantage of Listening to/Learning the Dharma
6. The gift of Dharma Reflection and Contemplation, and
7. The insight of Understanding/Wisdom

The ceremony of my renunciation and subsequent ordination as a Mahayana novice monk was very auspicious for me and I was filled over with joy. I am deeply thankful and grateful to my Upadhyaya (spiritual preceptor), Venerable Wei Wu of Than Hsiang Temple, Penang. Among my Dharma brothers (Shi Siong Ti) are Venerable Chen Chong and Venerable Zhen Chan. Our happiness and gratitude also extends to the devotees and senior Sangha members.

I am forever filled with gratitude and joy. I will continue to learn and practice with diligence. I would like to share with you what The 14th Dalai Lama, His Holiness Tenzin Gyatso said, "There are many different philosophies, but what is of basic importance is compassion, love for others, concern for others' suffering, and reduction of selfishness. I feel that compassionate thought is the most precious thing there is. It is something that only we human beings can develope. And if we have a good heart, a warm heart, warm feelings, we will be very happy and satisfied ourselves, and our friends will experience a friendly and peaceful atmosphere as well. This can be experienced nation to nation, country to country and continent to continent." (Extract from 'Religious Values and Human Society', an essay excerpted from Kindness, Clarity, and Insight published by Snow Lion Publications.)

Peace to the world.