Venerable Fan Yin (梵因法師), the first abbot of Fengshan Monastery (鳳山寺), questioned the Lady Successor (真如老師/金夢蓉女士) about why she is living with monks in a leaked audio recording. At a video conference between The Lady and a number of senior monks, some monks expressed concern that her living arrangements with the monks is against the vinaya code. Ven Fan Yin reveals that the 102nd Ganden Tripa Rizong Rinpoche told her not to live with the monks any more, a claim she denied.
Listen to the audio here:
Here is the English transcript:
The Lady: Your faces are telling me you don’t seem too happy. Is it because you haven’t seen me for a long time, or have you forgotten me? Which is it – the first or the second?
Ven Fan: Perhaps people have something on their minds. Can we hear them out, let them speak.
The Lady: Who wants to speak?
Ven Fan: Your disciple feels that collectively, what we are thinking is: many problems have been raised but not resolved, so naturally it’s difficult not to feel a little anxious, a little despondent.
Firstly, a question that’s on our minds is, we all want to follow the vinaya, but guru, you are a lady, why do you live with a large group of monks and novices?
Also, Rizong Rinpoche has asked you, our guru, not to do so. But why are you still doing it? Your disciples are really puzzled by this.
The Lady: What did you say? What did you say?
Ven Fan: We should be following the vinaya, but guru, you are a lady, why are you living together with a large group of monks and novices? Furthermore, Rizong Rinpoche has told you, in person, not to do so. But why do you still do it? Your disciples are really puzzled.
The Lady: Pause a while. Aim the camera towards the back row. Are the senior venerables thinking about this? You guys are thinking, why do I have to live with everyone? What’s more, the Ganden Tripa Rinpoche has criticized me. Are you thinking of this problem?
Ven Fan: Those who have these thoughts, please raise your hand. People don’t dare to voice out.
The Lady: Those who think so, raise your hand.
(Those of you with these thoughts, raise your hand).
The Lady: Those of you with these thoughts, why didn’t you raise your hand? Those with doubts about this problem, please raise your hand.
Venerable Ru Gang, Venerable Ru Yu, the one in front – Venerable Wu Hai.
Ven Fan: Xing Bai
The Lady: Who says that Ganden Tripa Rinpoche doesn’t want me to do it? Who says so? Who says so? How am I living with a large group of monks and novices? What do you mean by “living together”? How are we living together?
Ven Fan: That’s what Venerable Ru Xing told me. <note: Ven Ru Xing is Rizong Rinpoche’s translator.>
The Lady: Venerable Ru Xing? He didn’t tell me! Venerable Ru Xing. Alright, Venerable Fan Yin. I will confront Venerable Ru Xing about this personally.
Ven Fan: Okay.
The Lady: Let me tell you this – Ganden Tripa Rinpoche has never criticized me like that. Never! He just said, don’t be bothered by what others are saying about you, you need to work hard.
I said, I am a lady, I am leading the sangha, I am having a very difficult time. In this lifetime, it’s not easy at all. Goodness knows what people think of me.
Ganden Tripa Rinpoche told me not to be bothered by that, just work hard. How did it turn into a rumor like this?
Ven Fan: But outside, lay people and monks are…
The Lady: Are you sure Venerable Ru Xing said that? I can ask Venerable Ru Xing right now.
Ven Fan: Ok. And…
The Lady: How am I living with monks and novices?
Ven Fan: Everyone is very clear about what the vinaya says about this. In the vinaya…
The Lady: How are we living together?
Ven Fan: In the vinaya it says that we are not to travel together on a planned trip with a woman. What more living together? This….I think…
The Lady: What do you mean by living together? What do you mean by living together?
Ven Fan: Living together in the same house.
The Lady: Living together in a house.
Ven Fan: Yes.