The Plaque at the Precepts Hall
Back then, after the Taiwan 921 earthquake, Master Venerable Jih-Chang instructed for a simple and large classroom to be built to facilitate the learning of the Sangha community. Thus, a large classroom was built on the field at the eastern section of Feng Shan Monastery.
After it was completed, Venerable Jih-Chang named it the “Precepts Hall”. An elegant-looking plaque was specially made. Usually, plaques are placed on the lintel at the doorway. However, Venerable Jih-Chang said: “Precepts are not outward appearances for show to others, it is meant to tame ourselves. By placing the plaque on the inside of the doorway, we will be vigilant towards ourselves whenever we see it.” Hence, abiding by his teachings, the plaque was placed on the inside of the door.
When we see the elegant plaque at the Precepts Hall, we should remember Venerable Jih-Chang’s intention. He had shown us that the purpose of the precepts is to “tame ourselves”. He had also led the Sangha community in maintaining a pure environment for the uphold of precepts, thereby enabling the Dharma to stay in this world for a long time!
By Venerable Jing Yuan