Introduction: Education Has Been My Lifelong Ambition
Let me tell you, although I am a left-home person, education has been my lifelong ambition. If any of you have faith in me, you should also devote yourself to education. We want to reform the schools, but not blindly. I set up volunteer schools when I was eighteen, and taught over thirty people by myself. Education is the foundation for being a person. It is the foundation for the world; and it is the true national defense. If you do not do a good job in education, national defense will fail as well.
- Venerable Master Hsuan Hua
The Venerable Master started school only when he was fifteen. After two and a half years, when he was eighteen, he quit school in order to care for his sick mother. That was when he established a free school. He said,
- In my spare time, I established a free school. Why? Because I began my education only after I was already grown up. And I saw that most people in my area couldn't afford to go to school simply because their families were too poor. So, at age eighteen I set up a free-school at my home.
The Master did not charge any fees for tuition. In fact he also supplied the paper, brushes and ink.
In America, the Venerable Master established many schools and educational facilities. In his lectures, he would frequently remind everyone on the urgency of reforming education. He not only responded to invitations to lecture university students, the Master would also give lectures to visiting students. The Master's classes for Matching Couplets is no doubt missed by all.