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 20170315《靜思妙蓮華》因緣牽引苦事相集 (第1044集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)

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發表主題: 20170315《靜思妙蓮華》因緣牽引苦事相集 (第1044集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)   周三 3月 15, 2017 12:39 am

20170315《靜思妙蓮華》因緣牽引苦事相集 (第1044集)
(法華經•化城喻品第七)

⊙「人間苦事相集,明滅會理修道;緣有生死無常,繫緣牽苦連延;嬉樂瞬間苦長,成住造業壞空。」
⊙十二因緣:無明、行、識、名色、六入、觸、受、愛、取、有、生、老死。
⊙「及廣說十二因緣法,無明緣行,行緣識,識緣名色,名色緣六入,六入緣觸,觸緣受,受緣愛,愛緣取,取緣有,有緣生,生緣老死憂悲苦惱。」《法華經化城喻品第七》
⊙「無明滅則行滅,行滅則識滅,識滅則名色滅,名色滅則六入滅,六入滅則觸滅。」《法華經化城喻品第七》
⊙因有緣牽引生,故有病老死憂悲苦惱常隨其身。是中無明、行為過去因。識、名色、六入、觸、受為現在果。
⊙愛取有,未來因。生老死,未來果。
⊙無明、行、愛、取、有,此五支屬集諦。識、名色、六入、觸、受、生、老死,此七支屬苦諦。
⊙如是無明滅,即有滅,乃至老死等滅。逆順觀察,並由無明為本,故無明一滅,則行滅,乃至生滅老死滅也。
⊙無明滅則行滅,行滅則識滅:若無無明,諸過不生,則惡行滅。惡行不行,則妄識滅。
⊙識滅則名色滅:因識投胎,遂有名色,妄識不生,則名色滅。
⊙名色滅則六入滅:從名色生於六入,名色不生,六入則滅。
⊙六入滅則觸滅:因有六入,觸於外塵,六入不生,觸相則滅。

【證嚴上人開示】
「人間苦事相集,明滅會理修道;緣有生死無常,繫緣牽苦連延;嬉樂瞬間苦長,成住造業壞空。」

人間苦事相集
明滅會理修道
緣有生死無常
繫緣牽苦連延
嬉樂瞬間苦長
成住造業壞空

人間苦難事偏多,無不都是因為,集種種的因、緣、業,不斷會合交集在一起。就是因為「集」,集了種種因緣、業力,所以造成了人間苦,苦事偏多。我們若能瞭解集來這麼多的苦來,該怎麼辦?只要我們明白,我們就會想要去滅。知道「集」的源頭,苦的因、集的源頭,我們就懂得要如何滅,滅除這些苦相,去除集。集種種緣,瞭解種種業,我們若都清楚了,我們就懂得要如何滅。自然你滅除了,這些無明煩惱集匯,自然我們就會慢慢,走入了與道理會合。

所以,這些事相因為「集」,我們瞭解之後,自然就能會理,將那些無明一一去除;去除了一分的無明,就明白了一分的道理,我們就能在這條道路,好好向前前進,用心、用愛鋪著這條路,這樣走過來。這就是「苦集滅道」。我們若知道人間苦難偏多,事相這麼多都是苦,我們就體會,去瞭解苦的源頭,就是因為去造作,集,集了種種的因緣,造種種的業,這樣會合才是人生的苦。我們瞭解,要滅苦,那就要好好修行。應該道理大家都清楚了。

最近我們一直在說緣,十二因緣,「緣有生死無常」。

十二因緣:
無明、行、
識、名色、
六入、觸、
受、愛、
取、有、
生、老死

我們從一念無明開始,無明一起,無明緣行,去造作,緣識,緣名色,這樣一路一直下來,一直到了「有」,就是已經又來人生了。已經造了很多的業,果已經成了,叫做「有」,一生造作的一切,「有」了。我們昨天就說,從開始,出娘胎,離開母親的胎藏,這樣出生下來,開始就是痛苦,哭了,就這樣從年幼、長大,年少、中年、老年,過程中無不都是起心動念,造業,到了我們一輩子緣盡了,老、病、死,這就是從「緣」開始。

因為有「業」,「有」這個業都完成了,都成就了,都成為種子入八識田中了,這樣就到「死」,無常。無常,由不得自己,未來生又是怎樣呢?也是同樣一個「緣」字。「繫緣牽苦連延」,就是牽著這個緣,到底我們來生要去哪裡?不知道;就是被這個緣把我們牽住了,隨著我們過去所造作,已經有的因。有,到底是苦因,或是樂的因呢?是善或是惡的因呢?我們不知道,反正就是過去所造作,已經成為「有」這個種子,跟著無常這樣牽緣來生。

來生,同樣的就是連延,來生說不定也是很苦,同樣離不開四苦、八苦,離不開苦苦、壞苦、無常,種種的苦。這就是人生這樣在循環,「繫緣牽苦連延」,這樣不斷循環,不斷連著這樣走(過)。

這輩子到底是苦、是樂呢?有時候樂極生悲啊!「嬉樂瞬間苦長」。看看,多少天下因為一時的快樂,觀光遊覽,常常都是這樣出事。就如颱風,(杜鵑)颱風昨天已經登陸,從花蓮與蘇澳之間這樣登陸了。在(傍晚)六點多那時間,五六點,六點多,風雨就很大了。但是時間不長,因為它快速通過,在凌晨已經開始出海了。這波颱風,風雨這麼大,多少人都是要去遊覽,有的從國外而來,不曾遇過臺灣的颱風,他很好奇,要去臺灣的海邊看海的波浪,到底有多高。也有人冒著這樣的風險,要去看山景,什麼叫做土石流?像這樣,拿生命冒險,說要去經歷這樣的人生。

昨天在電視新聞上也看到,從某個國家來的年輕人,帶著一個年幼的孩子,不肯聽勸告,要去看波浪,這樣硬是越過封鎖界,就是要越過,警察怎麼勸告都不聽,硬是過去,結果懸在半空中,下不去、上不來,在那個地方,要趕快有人去救,警察還是要冒著危險去救。這就是逞一時的嬉樂,這種嬉樂才是瞬間,只是滿足一時,眼睛看大自然,颱風在臺灣到底是什麼境界。像這樣,若造成了什麼不測,可能就是苦很長了。是不是三個人一了百了呢?或者是其中的一個、兩個,留著的一個又是要怎樣的遺憾?或者是三個不生不死,為了這件事情造成殘疾苦難,?也說不定。這種故意在人間找刺激的快樂,實在是心裡到底在想什麼呢?

尤其是這次行腳,看到不少位,「八仙樂園」(塵爆的傷患),一群年輕人,這種瞬間(粉塵爆) ,未來所受的苦就很長了。痛苦,到底誰能幫助,分攤他心裡的苦呢?除非就要一直培養,人人的愛心、尊重,在一時受苦難過後,我們要如何陪伴他們。這就是人間的疾苦在無常中,苦不苦呢?

佛陀告訴我們「成住壞空」,人間就是這樣。「成」,在宇宙天空,一顆顆的星球,就是一個一個世界,地球,地球也是在虛空中,一顆星球的世界,每一顆星球,都有它的生命限量。尤其我們的地球有生命,人類住在地球上,同時也是破壞地球。依賴地球生活,卻是向地球索取無限量的資源,不只是向地球取無限量的資源,又是不斷破壞它,水土沒有保持好,又是破壞水土系統,使得我們現在這個時代,我們已經看到了,「壞」、「空」。

我們住在地球上,它什麼時候形「成」,我們不知道。但是「住」,住在地球上,我們人人無不都是地球上生活,五穀雜糧,所應用的物資,哪一項不是從地球上來呢?能夠生活,足夠就好了,安分守己,這顆地球的「住」,健康的「住」,時間就會長多了。就如我們人人,身體好好地自己照顧好,吃喝飲食剛剛好就好,不要貪口欲,貪之無厭,為了一個口欲,這樣殺傷多少的生靈。

為了心的貪欲,看,造了多少世間的災難,破壞大自然,引出了這種污染,這是破壞大自然。為了口欲,殺害了很多生靈,結仇連禍。這種所有的生靈,無不都是有靈性、有覺知,被人類這樣蹧蹋而且殺害,那分恨、怨,同樣累積起來,總有一天人與人之間互相殘殺,所以有戰爭,有人禍。現在的人禍有多麼的多,難民受盡了苦難,這是人為。

看,成、住、壞、空,無不都是人類造業而來。所以「成住造業壞空」,誰去造業?就是人類造業嘛!這世間就是這樣。佛陀來人間,就是要向我們開示,為我們導向正確的道路,他就要說很多道的理給我們聽。人間苦事偏多,終究人生的苦,還是同樣要人類去互助,這就是佛陀教育我們的。

就如現在(二0一五年),現在在靜思堂,二十二個國家人醫會,雲集於現在我們花蓮的靜思堂。前天的中秋夜,他們在靜思堂很歡喜,二十二個國家志同道合的友誼,在花蓮,在靜思堂裡一個寬闊的環境。出來外面,我就問,昨天問:「大家有看到花蓮天空的月亮嗎?」回答就說:「有。走出靜思堂外面,抬頭看天空,真的月亮大多了。」「對啊,今年中秋的月亮是特別大。」

因為這是天象,氣象那種輪轉,星球互轉互動,公轉、自轉,這樣一直轉,轉到這顆月亮與地球互相相對,也與太陽也互相相對,也有一個時間是月全蝕,那就是地球遮住太陽,所以,月亮的光,完全被地球這樣遮住。因為它邊轉過去,所以月蝕慢慢慢慢整顆就圓了,這是天象的景觀。這景觀之中,原來我們人類這顆地球,與這個景觀都有關係,與這個天象景觀,多奧妙啊!這是今年日、月、地球,一個很特殊的天象。

這是我們今年很特別,二十二個國家的人醫會,慈濟人醫會,能志同道合,共聚一處在這個地方。這些人都是完全在不同國家,他們同樣的心,哪個地方有苦難、有病痛,願意不惜辛苦去付出。其中有很多人間苦事,他們看到了,很多病苦難的人,他們救到了。這是慈濟人醫會,人人都是大醫王,人人都是菩薩。

更特殊的就是不同的宗教,同在靜思堂裡面,各種宗教都有。今年來了一對穆斯林醫師,夫妻都是醫師,這對夫妻,是因為在年初,馬來西亞,大馬一場大水災,慈濟人,「大馬連心,愛鋪滿地」,從檳城的慈濟人、雪隆的慈濟人、全馬來西亞的慈濟人,會合去幫助水災,因為水災面積很大。

在雪隆,我們去幫助時,為一個清真寺,都受到泥淹,埋了,裡面都是泥土。水退了之後,整間教堂裡面就是這樣,慈濟人大家投入,去清掃這間教堂,用很歡喜的心,不惜辛苦,很多人去打掃。這對夫妻他們親眼看到,這個團體很不可思議,很有紀律,很有紀律;所以他們看了,心歡喜,看到這些人在打掃,臉上都帶著笑容,大家都是這麼和齊,這麼有規矩。

他們感動,瞭解慈濟,所以他們四月,到了我們的雪隆分會,去瞭解我們的人醫會。他們就開始投入了,登記,走入慈濟人醫會。

從這樣開始,每一次義診,這對夫妻的身影一定不缺席,他們就是這樣很熱心的投入。這對夫妻是教授,是在林肯大學任教,是穆斯林,這次也一起來了。看到慈濟人這樣不分宗教,能夠共聚一堂,他們實在很驚訝,為何能這樣呢?所以他們開始,對慈濟的瞭解會更多。所以這位札查理醫師他覺得,這實在是一個,很不可思議的團體,他對志工,醫療志工,他很願意這樣投入,當然這是穆斯林的一對夫妻,教授醫師,這麼用心投入。

當然還有在其他的地方,不論是美國、澳洲、歐洲等等的國家都來了,還有從南美洲來的也是很多。總而言之,二十二個國家的慈濟人,都有這樣分享,他們如何付出,所以我們要很用心來體會。佛陀的教育,只是希望我們人人所走的路,是一條正確的方向,是無私的大愛,無分別的心去付出,這就是佛陀對我們的教育。人間苦難偏多,才更需要人間菩薩,大愛無私去付出。我們若瞭解人間的無常,還有什麼好分別,還有什麼好計較呢?

宗教只不過是一個名詞,宗教共同的精神就是一個「愛」字,就是道理,正確的道理。各種宗教,其實會合起來就是一個正理,正確的道理,沒有偏,沒有私,那種開闊的心胸,為人類付出,這種無私大愛,這是所有宗教共同的道理,所以我們應該就是用愛去付出。人生的無常,苦難偏多,地球上成住壞空,人的身體生老病死,沒有一項是永恆的,所以要看得開。

我們現在說的是十二因緣。昨天的經文也說過了,「及廣說十二因緣法,無明緣行,行緣識,識緣名色,名色緣六入,六入緣觸,觸緣受,受緣愛,愛緣取,取緣有,有緣生,生緣老死憂悲苦惱。」

及廣說十二因緣法
無明緣行
行緣識
識緣名色
名色緣六入
六入緣觸
觸緣受
受緣愛
愛緣取
取緣有
有緣生
生緣老死憂悲苦惱
《法華經化城喻品第七》

老病死等等的憂苦,都是這樣一生過來。這應該大家都很熟了,背也背得出來,道理應該也很瞭解了。

下面接下來,還是一樣,「無明滅則行滅,行滅則識滅,識滅則名色滅,名色滅則六入滅,六入滅則觸滅。」

無明滅則行滅
行滅則識滅
識滅則名色滅
名色滅則六入滅
六入滅則觸滅
《法華經化城喻品第七》

我們既然知道苦集滅道,這苦是從集來的,所以我們要去瞭解,瞭解之後,我們應該要脫離這個苦;要脫離苦,瞭解了「集」的原因,我們自己要好好地「滅」。

苦如何來的?人家說,解鈴需要繫鈴人。你要如何解開鈴?這個鈴是誰綁的,那個綁的人就會解鈴。鎖,誰鎖住的?打鎖的人就懂得打開這個鎖。總而言之,我們人人自己有什麼苦,自己是不是還願意如過去,無明一直造,造到現在,連道理都聽不懂了。你想,我們要如何去了脫生死?現在有緣聽到這個道理,我們就要趕緊用心去體會,去瞭解要如何滅除「集」,「集」的源頭,我們要如何,才能解除我們現在的苦難,甚至讓我們能很明白這條路,是要如何走下去,不會走錯路。那當然就是要「滅」,滅除錯誤的路,不要再走錯誤的路了。

因有緣牽引生,
故有病老死
憂悲苦惱常隨其身
是中無明、行
為過去因
識、名色、六入、
觸、受為現在果

所以「因有緣牽引生,故有病老死,憂悲苦惱常隨其身」。應該這些字很清楚了,因為有了緣牽著我們,牽引,所以我們才會來生。一念無明開始,所以起行動,與那對父母有緣,投胎就名色了,就慢慢成形,慢慢接觸人間,就是這樣過來的。

看,來到人間,就不離開生、老、病、死,隨我們這個身體,這樣造作業力的苦,到頭來還不就是在無常,死,還是茫茫渺渺,往哪裡去?不知道。所以,「是中無明」,這一生中就是無明,「行」,因為無明所以「行」,去造作一切。無明、行,這叫做過去因。我們這輩子,過去的因就是我們的無明,我們的行,造作一切。過去生那一輩子,也是這樣無明造作,受苦、集種種無明煩惱,造很多的業力,變成了一顆因,種子;這就是從「無明」,去造作「行」的業因,所以無明、行是過去的因。

「識、名色、六入、觸、受」,這些就是我們現在的果。我們現在就是,每天六根對六塵境,就起心動念,我們的意識起心動念,這些起心動念,不離開世間一切名相、沒有離開世間一切的色,形形色色,不離開。就是因為有這些名、這些色,所以讓我們的,眼、耳、鼻、舌、身、意,六入去接觸,去愛,去取,去有,這就是我們這輩子,在這樣的造作中。

我們的六根到底再緣外面的境界,我們的眼、耳、鼻、舌、身,還是再在造作,這樣接觸,很多。愛,去取,為了要取,不擇手段,很多的業力就是由我們的身體去造作,這就是我們現在所在感受的果,我們這一生,我們現在在感受的果,這是現在。

愛取有
未來因
生老死
未來果

我們現在所造作、所感受到我歡喜,我不歡喜,我要的,我不要的;我要的,我不擇手段再去造作;我現在享受的還不夠,所以我起心動念,我想要更多,要取得更多。這樣去造作,又是再造作了這一生的業。過去的因,我們已經造了,來到這一生的果;在這一生的果報,又是再造作,在造作,那就牽引到未來的因,所以「生老死,未來果」。

我們現在的年齡,就是這樣,在老病死的道路上在走了,到了最後,結束,這就是未來果。這個未來果結束了,又有開始牽引。

無明、行、
愛、取、有
此五支屬集諦
識、名色、
六入、觸、
受、生、老死
此七支屬苦諦

「無明、行、愛、取、有」,這五項,又是在「集」中造作,會合起來,這樣又是叫做「集諦」,又開始了,你這樣的造作。所以,「識、名色、六入、觸、受、生、老死」,這七項叫做「苦諦」。這些東西,我們的感受,看到的東西,讓我們所感受的一切,看得到,得不到,苦啊!或者是我們得到了,因為就是得到了,所以我們要更多一點。真苦!

其實這麼多,過去、現在、未來,不離開十二因緣。每一生都是生老病死,每一生都是生老病死,每一生、每一世,四生六道,無不都是因這個身形,感受種種的苦。其實,造作的原因都是在人,人就是造作因緣的源頭。所以,天主教說「原罪」,就是因為人開始,這樣不斷造作、不斷造作。佛陀告訴我們,是在那一念心,一念心,你起惡,那就是造業,你若是起一念善,你就是造福人群。

佛陀所教育我們的,事事都是,由我們自己所造作而起,沒有別人會造給我們。這個罪惡的源頭,也是自己。人人,每個人都有造作的源頭,就是一念心,從無明,無明開始,緣行,行緣識,就是這樣開始。所以,無明就是一切罪業的源頭,我們才會每天講法,都不離去除無明,就是要消滅無明。

如是無明滅
即有滅
乃至老死等滅
逆順觀察
並由無明為本
故無明一滅
則行滅
乃至生滅老死滅也

「如是無明滅,即有滅」。無明,我們已經知道了,從無明、錯誤的路走過來,很辛苦,這條路我們不要再走了,不對的路,我們要趕緊放棄,開始要向正確的道路走。所以「如是無明滅,即有滅」,我們若不再走錯路,就沒有「有」,沒有錯路的危險,我們要走的是菩提大直道,不要再走錯路了。我們若是菩提大直道走,自然這個「有」,就是起心動念這念心,自然就沒有了。

「乃至老死等滅」,全都滅掉了,我們就不必再這樣,不由自己,在老病死的過程中惶恐。同樣在大自然間,知道法的人,即使是佛陀,他也有老病死之時,不過佛陀很逍遙自在,知道了,我什麼時候,瞭解了,所以我要將這些法,趕緊傳給大家。《佛遺教經》同樣再說回來,還是「四諦」、「十二(因)緣」法,鼓勵人人要向著六度萬行走,菩提大直道才能夠安穩自在。

生老病死,就如我這次出門(行腳),老委員這樣說:「夠了,很滿足了。幸好啊!所以這輩子死無遺憾。」這種沒有憂悲苦惱,這些就都滅了。

所以「逆順觀察,皆由無明為本」,全都是由無明開始。所以說,「無明一滅,則行滅,乃至生滅,老死滅(也)」。這種,我們要好好瞭解。

所以「無明滅則行滅,行滅則識滅」。

無明滅則行滅
行滅則識滅:
若無無明
諸過不生
則惡行滅
惡行不行
則妄識滅

無明若滅了,行就滅了。「若無無明」,若沒有無明,「諸過不生」,我們若沒有無明,其他的過失,就不會在我們的心生出來了。過失就是錯誤的念頭、惡的念頭。我們若沒有無明,我們怎會有惡的念頭呢?就沒有了。「則惡行滅」,我們就沒有惡行了。「惡行不行,則妄識滅」,惡的行,我們若不去造,自然妄識就滅,這種虛妄的識,我們就滅掉了。「識滅則名色滅」,識若滅除,名色就滅了。

識滅則名色滅:
因識投胎
遂有名色
妄識不生
則名色滅

名色,名、色,世間所有一切的一切,與我們的生活,只是能安然自在過日子就好了,我們還要貪什麼呢?我們還要做多少呢?無常什麼時候要來,我們都不知,何必去貪著呢?所以,我們的識若滅,意識,貪的意識若滅,所有外面的一切形相,都是很自在安然,沒有貪為己有,名色就滅了。

「因識投胎,遂有名色」。因為意識,捨了過去,未來還要去投胎,所以「遂有名色」,這樣又結合了父精母血,所以又是在胎獄中。所以「妄識不生」。這種糊里糊塗,(隨)父母的因緣就去了,這種糊里糊塗的妄識,由不得你選擇父母,由不得你選擇什麼樣的環境,這叫做妄識。我們若能將這些識滅,名色滅,我們就不會這樣,糊里糊塗投胎去了,這樣就是名色滅。

名色滅則六入滅:
從名色生於六入
名色不生
六入則滅

「名色滅則六入滅」,名色若滅,六入就滅。「從名色生於六入」,因為名色,所以我們才有六根。「名色不生,六入則滅」,名色若不在胎獄中那一團,自然就沒有六根的產生。

所以,「六入滅則觸滅」,肚子裡若沒有這個成形的孩子,我們就沒有出生的人。

六入滅則觸滅:
因有六入
觸於外塵
六入不生
觸相則滅

總而言之,「因有六入,觸於外塵」,因為六入已經完成了,我們出來之後,與外面的境界,緣外面的境界,沒有六根,就自然沒有外塵來接觸。

總而言之,人生就是這樣不斷在循環,都不離開四諦、十二因緣,這就是人生死中的循環。

各位,好好去瞭解,人間苦事這樣不斷聚集,我們要明白這些道理,要好好在生死中,要知道不要只想要享樂。既來之,要好好往一條康莊、不偏差,菩提大直道,向前走去,才不會一失誤,無明妄識生,我們就又糊塗了。所以我們要時時多用心!


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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: Causes and Conditions Lead to Accumulation (因緣牽引苦事相集)
Date: March.15. 2017

“The matters and appearances of suffering in the world come from accumulation. When we understand cessation and grasp and principles, we will cultivate the Path. The [Twelve] Links lead to the becoming of birth and death amidst impermanence. Clinging to conditions will drag us onward so that suffering continues. A moment’s pleasure can result in long suffering. With formation and existence, we create karma that brings decay and disappearance.”

There are many sufferings in the world, all caused by the accumulation of causes and conditions, of karma, which continually converge and come together. This is “accumulation.” We accumulate all kinds of causes and conditions and their resulting karmic forces, thus causing suffering in the world; there is so much suffering. If we understand how we accumulated all this suffering, then what should we do about it? As long as we can understand it, we will want to eliminate it. If we know the origin of “accumulation,” the cause of suffering, the origin of this accumulation, we will know how to go about eliminating it, eliminating these appearances of suffering. We must eliminate accumulation. As we accumulate all kinds of conditions, we can understand all kinds of karma. Once we are clear on this, we will know how to eliminate it. If we naturally eliminate the coming together of this ignorance and these afflictions, then naturally we will gradually enter and converge with the principles.

So, matters and appearances exist due to “accumulation.” Understanding this, we naturally come to understand the principles and can get rid of ignorance bit by bit. Every bit of ignorance we rid ourselves of is a bit of the principles that we understand. This enables us to earnestly advance forward upon this path. We pave this path mindfully and with love and walk upon it accordingly. These are the truths of suffering, causation, cessation and the Path. If we know that so much suffering is in the world, so many matters and appearances of suffering, we will comprehend and understand that the origin of suffering results from taking action and thus accumulating all kinds of causes and conditions. We create all kinds of karma, which is what comes together to create suffering. We understand that to eliminate suffering, we must earnestly engage in spiritual practice. Everyone should be clear on these principles. We have recently been speaking about “Links,” the Twelve Links of Cyclic Existence. “The [Twelve] Links lead to the becoming of birth and death amidst impermanence.”

The Twelve Links of Cyclic Existence: Ignorance, volitional formation, consciousness, name and form, six entrances, contact, feeling, craving, grasping, becoming, birth and aging and death.

We start this all with a single ignorant thought. Once ignorance arises within us, ignorance gives rise to volitional formation, so we create karma, which gives rise to consciousness, which then gives rise to name and form. It continues on in the same way all the way until “becoming,” which is when we have already been reborn, already created so much karma. When this fruition has ripened, it is called “becoming.” The karma we create in a lifetime is what leads to our “becoming.” Yesterday, we spoke of our beginnings in the womb, of how we leave our mother’s womb. Once we are born into the world, we feel pain and we begin to cry. Then, from our infancy, we grow up, through youth into our middle age and old age, all the while giving rise to discursive thoughts and creating karma. We do this until our conditions for life are over. This is the process of aging, illness and death. This all begins with the “Links.” Because we have karma, the karma that we have reaches fruition; it is complete. It then becomes the seeds which enter our eighth consciousness. Then when we reach death; impermanence arrives. Impermanence is beyond our control. What will our next lifetime be like? This likewise depends upon conditions.

“Clinging to conditions will drag us onward so that suffering continues.” We are led onward by these conditions. Where will they take us in our next lifetime? We do not know. We are dragged along by conditions according to the karma we created in the past. The cause already exists. Is it a cause of suffering or is it a cause of joy? Is it a cause of good, or one of evil? We do not know, but regardless it is the karma created in the past that has “become” these seeds. As impermanence manifests, conditions drag us to our next life. In our next life, this continues in the same way. Our next lifetime may also be one of suffering. We will likewise be unable to escape the Four Sufferings or the Eight Sufferings, unable to escape the suffering of suffering, the suffering of decay and impermanence, all kinds of sufferings. This is the cycle of life.

“Clinging to conditions will drag is onward so that suffering continues.” The cycle constantly continues on in this way. Is this life ultimately one of suffering or joy? Sometimes extreme joy turns to sorrow! “A moment’s pleasure can result in long suffering.” Look at how many things happen in the world all for the sake of a moment of pleasure. People go out on sightseeing tours only to have an accident occur. For instance, with typhoons, Typhoon Dujuan made landfall yesterday between Hualien and Su’ao. In the evening, around 5 or 6 pm, there were strong winds and rain. But it did not last very long, because it quickly passed through. By dawn it was already heading out to sea. This typhoon brought heavy winds and rain. Many people were out sightseeing, some from abroad. Never having experienced a typhoon in Taiwan, they were very curious, wanting to go to the oceanside to see the waves, to see how high they would get. There were also others seeking adventure, who wanted to go to the mountainous regions to see what landslides looked like. People like these risked their lives, saying they wanted to have this life experience.

Yesterday we heard in the news about a young person from a certain country who took his young child [to the coast]. Unwilling to heed the warnings, they went to watch the waves. They even went into a restricted area. Disregarding the warnings of police, he insisted on going anyway. They ended up stuck in a place, neither able to go up or down. Stuck there, others had to rush to the area to save them. A policeman had to risk his lives to save them. This was all for a moment of amusement. Amusement like this is fleeting, only providing a momentary satisfaction of seeing the power of nature, what Taiwan’s typhoons actually looked like. In a case like this, if the unexpected happened, it could have caused very long-lasting suffering. What if all three of them had perished? Or what if one or two of them perished, leaving the others with unimaginable regret? What if the three of them had not died, but had become crippled because of it? This could have happened. With this kind of intentional thrill-seeking, just what going on in their minds? Especially in my travels around Taiwan this time, I saw quite a few of those who were [injured at] the Ba-Hsian Amusement Park [dust explosion]. That group of young people, though they enjoyed themselves momentarily, must now suffer long into the future. Who can help share the burden of the pain and suffering in their hearts? The only thing we can do is to constantly nurture the love and respect in people’s hearts. After they experience this momentary tragedy, we must find ways to accompany them. This the suffering of life amidst impermanence. Isn’t it painful?

The Buddha told us of “formation, existence, decay and disappearance.” This is how the world works. “Formation” takes place in the universe; each and every celestial body is its own individual world. Earth also exists in space. It is a planet, a world, and for every planet, there is a limit to it lifespan. Furthermore, there is life here on Earth. Humankind lives upon Earth, yet at the same time is destroying it. We depend upon Earth to live, yet we take endless amounts of resources from her. Not only do we take endless amounts of resources, we are also continually destroying her. We do not preserver the soil, but destroy our soil-water system, to the point that in the present era we are already beginning to witness “decay” and “disappearance.” We live on Earth. We do not know when it underwent “formation.” However, it is presently in “existence.” We too exist on Earth. Each and every one of us lives on Earth. Don’t the grains and plants and all the material resources we use all come from this planet? If we have enough to live, that is good enough. If we are content with what we have, then this Earth’s “existence” will be a healthy “existence,” and she can last for a long time. This is like how each of us must take good care of our body’s health. We should eat and drink the proper amount. We should not indulge our craving for taste. For the sake of taste, we kill and injure so many living beings. For the sake of greed and desire, see how many disasters have been created, how nature has been destroyed. When we create pollution like this, it is destroying nature. For the sake of our craving for taste, many living beings are killed, forming enmity and resulting in disaster. Don’t all living beings have intelligence and awareness? As they are abused, killed and injured by mankind, all of that hatred and resentment similarly accumulates. Then eventually people slaughter each other; this is why we have war and manmade calamities. We have so many manmade calamities now; refugees face such great suffering. This is all man-made. Look at how formation, existence, decay and disappearance all result from the karma humans create. So, “With formation and existence, we create karma that brings decay and disappearance.” Who creates karma? It is humans who create karma! This is the way of the world. the Buddha came to the world in order to teach us, to lead us toward the right path, so He had to teach us so many principles. There is much suffering in the world and in the end, when it comes to human suffering, it is up to human beings to help one another. This is what the Buddha taught us.

Look at what is happening now [in 2015] at the Jing Si Hall. TIMA members from 22 countries have all gathered in Hualien at our Jing Si Hall. The day before yesterday was Mid-Autumn Festival. Everyone was so happy to be at the Jing Si Hall with people from 22 countries enjoying the friendship of those who share a mission and path. They are all here in Hualien, in the spacious environment of the Jing Si Hall. When they came outside, I ask them yesterday, “Did everyone see the moon in the sky over Hualien?” They answered, “Yes. When we went outside the Jing Si Hall and looked up at the sky, the moon was a lot bigger!” That is correct. This year’s Mid-Autumn moon was especially large. This is an astronomical and atmospheric phenomenon due to these cycles of the orbiting of the plants. As they rotate and revolve, they continually turn. As some point the Moon and Earth lined up and were aligned with the Sun as well, so for a time the Moon was in total eclipse. This means Earth blocked the Sun. the sunlight that normally shines upon the Moon became totally blocked by Earth. as Earth crossed between the Moon and Sun, very gradually the lunar eclipse became complete. This is an astrological phenomenon. This sight is actually directly related to this planet that we human beings live upon. This is an astrological phenomenon that is so wondrously profound! This year, the Sun, Moon and Earth are all involved in a special astrological phenomenon. This year is very special for us because TIMA doctors are now here from 22 countries. The Tzu Chi International Medical Association are medical workers who share the same mission, and all have gathered here together. All have come from many different countries. Though they live in different countries, their aspirations are all the same. Wherever people suffer in sickness and in pain, they willingly spare no effort to help them. Through this, they have witnessed much suffering in this world and have saved many sick and suffering people. This is Tzu Chi International Medical Association; they are all great medicine kings and Bodhisattvas. Even more special is that members of many different religions have come together here at the Jing Si Hall. There are all kinds of religions.

This year a pair of Muslim doctors came, a husband and wife who are both doctors. This couple is here because at the beginning of the year there was a huge flood in Malaysia. Tzu Chi volunteers there united to spread love throughout Malaysia. Tzu Chi volunteers from Penang, Selangor and all over Malaysia came together to help with the flooding, for the affected area was very large. In Selangor, when we went to help, there was a mosque that had been completely buried. The inside had become filled with mud. After the water receded, the entire mosque was left like that Tzu Chi volunteers devoted themselves to cleaning out the mosque. With joy in their hearts, they spared no effort. Many volunteers went there to clean. This couple saw with their own eyes how incredible this organization was. They saw how disciplined everyone was, how joyful we were. They saw the smiles upon the faces of those who were cleaning, saw everyone’s harmony and orderliness. They were moved and learned about Tzu Chi, so four months later, they visited our branch office in Kuala Lumpur to learn more about TIMA. They began to get involved and registered to become TIMA volunteers. From this beginning, every time a free clinic was held that couple would undoubtedly be there. They became very enthusiastically involved. This couple are both professors, teaching at Lincoln University, and both are Muslim. This time, they also came here together. They saw how Tzu Chi makes no distinctions between religions, how we all gathered together in the same hall. They were indeed very surprised. Why were we able to do this? So, they began wanting to understand more about Tzu Chi. This Dr. Zazali felt that this was indeed an unbelievable organization. As for becoming a medical volunteer, he was very willing to join in. This is a Muslim couple, both professors and doctors, who have both become earnestly involved. Of course, there are those from other places, from America, Australia, Europe and other countries who have all come here. There were many from South America as well. In conclusion, Tzu Chi volunteers from 22 countries all came to share about how they serve. So, we must all try to mindfully experience this.

The Buddha taught us only in the hope that the road we all walk would be one correct in direction, one of unselfish great love, one of giving without discrimination. This is what the Buddha taught us. The world is full of suffering, which is why Living Bodhisattvas are needed to give with selfless great love. When we understand the impermanence of life, what is there to discriminate over? What is there to take issue over? Religion is just a label. The common spirit of all religions can be expressed in one word, and that is “love.” This is the principle, the correct principle. All religions, in fact, put together, reveal a true principle, a correct principle; if does not deviate, nor contain any selfishness. In this broad and open state of mind, we give for the sake of humanity. This selfless great love is the principle common to all religions.

So, we should give with love. Life is impermanent and full of suffering. Things undergo formation, existence, decay and disappearance. The body undergoes birth, aging, lines and death. There is nothing that is everlasting, so let us view things from a broader perspective.

We are talking about the Twelve Links of Cyclic Existence. We also spoke about it yesterday “He then extensively taught the Dharma of the Twelve Links of Cyclic Existence Ignorance gives rise to volitional formation and volitional formation to consciousness. Consciousness gives rise to name and form, name and form give rise to the six entrances, the six entrances give rise to contact, contact gives rise to feeling, feeling gives rise to craving, craving gives rise to grasping, grasping gives rise to becoming, becoming gives rise to birth and birth gives rise to the worry, sadness and distress of aging and death.”

Aging, illness and death, these sufferings, all are a part of the process of life. We should be very familiar with this and be able to memorize and recite this and also understand these principles.

Next it continues similarly, “When ignorance ceases, volitional formation thus ceases. When volitional formation ceases, consciousness thus ceases. When consciousness ceases, name and form thus cease. When name and form cease, the six entrances thus cease, contact thus ceases.

Since we understand suffering, causation, cessation and the Path, we know that suffering is caused by accumulation. So, we must seek to understand this. Having understood it, we should transcend this suffering. To transcend suffering, having understood the causation of accumulation, we should put effort into “cessation.” Where does suffering come from? People say, “Only those who tied the knot can untie it.” If you want to untie the knot, you must know, “Who was the one who tied it?” The one who tied it knows how to untie it. If someone is locked up, the one who locked it knows how to open the lock.

To put it simply, whatever suffering we have, are we willing to continue on the same as before, creating karma in ignorance as we did up till now? If we do not even understand the principles, how could we possibly escape from samsara? Now that we have the conditions to hear the principles, we should quickly, earnestly seek to understand, to understand how to eliminate “causation.” Only by [eliminating] the source of “causation” will we be able to eliminate our present suffering. Then we can be clear about how to walk this path so we will not take the wrong path. Of course this requires cessation, cessation of the wrong path. We must not go down the wrong path again.

Because karmic condition lead us to birth, we thus experience the worries, sadness and distress of illness, aging and death following us at all times. As this happens, ignorance and volitional formation are the past causes while consciousness, name and form, six entrances, contact and feeling are the present effects.

So, “Because karmic conditions lead us to birth, we thus experience the worries, sadness and distress of illness, aging and death following us at all times.” These words should be clear. It is because karmic conditions lead us, because they drag us along, that we are born into subsequent lifetimes. Starting from one ignorant thought, we began to take action. We have affinities with those parents, so we enter the womb, this is name and form. Then we gradually develop and slowly encounter the world. This is how we came to be here. You see, coming to the world is inseparable from birth, aging, illness and death. Following the suffering of the karma we created with this body, in the end, don’t we face the impermanence of death? In this obscure future, do we know where we will go? We do not. So, “As this happens, [there is] ignorance.” Throughout this life there is ignorance and “volitional formation.” Because of ignorance, volitional formation arise so we create all kinds of karma.

Ignorance and volitional formation are the past causes. In our lives, our cause in the past was our ignorance, our volitional formation, which led us to create karma. In our past life, in our past lifetime, we also created karma out of ignorance like this. We faced suffering and accumulated all kinds of ignorance and afflictions, creating many karmic forces that became causes, became seeds. From ignorance, we created seeds through volitional formation. So, ignorance and volitional formation are our past causes.

“Consciousness, name and form, six entrances, contact and feeling” are our present effects. Every day our Six Roots come into contact with the Six Dusts, which gives rise to discursive thoughts. Our consciousness gives rise to discursive thoughts. These discursive thoughts depend entirely upon names and appearances in the world, entirely upon the forms of the world, in all their shapes and forms. It is because of these names and forms that our eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and consciousness, our six entrances, make contact, leading to craving, grasping and becoming. This is what we have been doing all our lives. When our Six Roots come into contact with the outside world, our eyes, ears, nose, tongue and body will then begin to function. With this contact, there is much craving and grasping. To grasp what we want, we use any means possible. Many karmic forces result from the actions we take with our bodies. These are the effects we experience presently. In this lifetime, these are our present effects now; this is now.

“Craving, grasping and becoming are the future causes. Birth, aging and death are the future effects.”

According to what we do now, we feel, “I like this, I don’t like that. I want this, I don’t want that.” If we want something, we use any means necessary. We feel we do not have enough pleasures, so we begin to give rise to the thought, “I want to get more. I want to acquire even more.” Thus we take action and again create karma throughout our lives. Our past causes have already been created, and when we come to this life, the karmic retributions we face in this life lead us to create more. They become the causes that will drag us into the future. So, “Birth, aging and death are future effects.” Whatever age we are at, we continue down the path of aging, illness and death until we reach the very end. This will be our future effect.

When this future effect is done, we are again led on. “Ignorance and volitional formation, then craving, grasping and becoming,” these five, are the karma we create in “causation.” When we put them together, this again is the “truth of causation”; this is the beginning. In this way, we again begin creating karma. So, “Consciousness, name and form, the six entrances, contact, feeling, birth, aging and death,” these seven, belong to the “truth of suffering.”

All these things are what we experience. The things we see lead us to have all these feelings. If we can see but cannot get them, that is suffering! Or even if we attain something, we feel that because we have attained it, we want to attain even more; this too is suffering. Actually, all these things in the past, present and future are inseparable from the 12 Links of Cyclic Existence. Every life entails birth, aging, illness and death. Every lifetime in the four forms of birth and the Six Realms leads us to experience all kinds of suffering due to our physical bodies. Actually, all karma is created by humans. People are the source of causes and conditions. So, Catholicism speaks of “original sin,” because it is humans who begin to endlessly create karma. The Buddha told us that evil can arise with merely a single thought, which creates karma. By giving rise to a single thought of goodness, we can also bring benefit to others. What the Buddha taught us was that all things result from the karma we ourselves create. No one can create these things for us. The source of evil is none other than ourselves. Everyone has a source from which they create karma, and that source is the mind. It begins with ignorance, which leads to volitional formation and then consciousness. This is how it begins. So, ignorance is the source of all transgression. That is why we talk about the Dharma every day. It is all about eliminating ignorance. We must eliminate our ignorance.

Thus when ignorance ceases, becoming therefore ceases, and everything up to aging and death will cease. Whether observing [the Twelve Links] forwards or backwards, ignorance is the source. Therefore, once ignorance ceases, volitional formation thus ceases, and everything up to birth ceases, so aging and death cease as well.

“Thus when ignorance ceases, becoming therefore ceases.” We already know what ignorance is. From ignorance, we started down the wrong path. This is great suffering. We do not wish to continue on this path, the incorrect path. We must quickly give it up and begin walking upon the correct path. So, “Thus, when ignorance ceases, becoming therefore ceases.” If we no longer walk upon the wrong path, there will be no more “becoming” and no more dangers from being on the wrong path. What we wish to walk is the great, direct Bodhi-path. Do not walk on the mistaken path any more. If we walk the great, direct Bodhi-path, then naturally this “becoming,” this mind that gives rises to discursive thoughts, will naturally cease to be. “Everything up to aging and death” will all be completely eliminated. We will no longer be like this, uncontrollably going through the process of aging, illness and death in fear. Those who know the Dharma similarly live under the laws of nature; even the Buddha experienced aging, illness and death. But the Buddha was carefree and at ease with this. “I know that my days are numbered, and because I understand this, I wish to take these teachings and quickly pass them on to others.”

In the Sutra of the Buddha’s Bequeathed Teachings, in the end everything was brought back to the Four Noble Truths, and the Twelve Links of Cyclic Existence, encouraging everyone to actualize the Six Paramitas in all actions. For only by the great, direct Bodhi-path
can peace, stability and freedom be attained. Birth, aging, illness and death are like [what I saw] in my travels this time. A senior commissioner told me, “It’s enough! I am so satisfied and fortunate in this life that when I die I will have no regrets.” She was without worries or distress. Those had all been eliminated. So, “Whether observing [the Twelve Links] forwards or backwards, ignorance is the source.” All begins with ignorance. So it says, “When ignorance ceases, volitional formation thus ceases, and everything up to birth ceases, so aging and death will cease as well.” This is what we should earnestly try to understand. So, “When ignorance ceases, volitional formation thus ceases, consciousness thus ceases.”

When ignorance ceases, volitional formation thus cease. When volitional formation ceases, consciousness thus ceases: Without ignorance, no transgressions will arise, thus evil volitions will cease. When evil volitions are not formed, deluded consciousness thus ceases.

When ignorance ceases, volitional formation also ceases. “Without ignorance,” when there is no ignorance, “no transgressions will arise.” If we do not have ignorance, other mistakes will not arise in our minds. Mistakes are mistaken thoughts, evil thoughts. If we do not have ignorance, how can we have evil thoughts? We will not have any “Thus evil volitions will cease.” We will not engage in evil action. “When evil volitions are not formed, deluded consciousness thus ceases.” If we do not perform evil deeds, naturally deluded consciousness will cease. We will come to eliminate false and illusory consciousness. “When consciousness ceases, name and form thus cease.” When consciousness is eliminated, name and form are then eliminated.

When consciousness ceases, name and form thus cease: Due to consciousness, we enter the womb, and thus there is name and form. If deluded consciousness does not arise, name and form will thus cease.

As for name and form, when it comes to all things in the world and everything in our lives, it is enough to be able to pass our days in peace. What else do we desire? How much more do we need to do? When will impermanence arrive? We have no idea. So, what is the need for this desire and craving?

Thus, if we eliminate consciousness, eliminate this consciousness based on desire, we will be free and at ease with all external forms and appearances. We will stop seeking to possess them. Then name and form will cease. “Due to consciousness, we enter the womb.” Our consciousness, having left its past [life], will in the future again enter the womb. “Thus there is name and form.” Again a father’s sperm mixes with a mother’s egg so we enter into the prison of the womb. Thus, “Deluded consciousness does not arise.” In a very confused state, we follow our affinities with our [new] parents.
his confused state is deluded consciousness. Without any control, we choose our parents. Without any control, we choose our environment. This is all due to deluded consciousness. When this consciousness ceases, name and form will also cease. Then we will not enter into the womb in confusion like this. In this way, name and form ceases.

“When name and form cease, the six entrances thus cease.” When name and form cease, the six entrances also cease. “Name and form give rise to the six entrance.” It is only because of name and form that we have the Six Roots. “If name and form do not arise, the six entrances thus cease.”

Without name and form, that ball in the prison of the womb, naturally the Six Roots would not arise. So, “When the six entrances cease, contact thus ceases.” If a child does not form within the womb, naturally there will be no child to be born.

When the six entrances cease, contact thus ceases: Due to the existence of the six entrances, we come into contact with external sense objects. If the six entrances do not arise, the appearance of contact thus ceases.

In summary, “Due to the existence of the six entrances, we come into contact with external sense objects.” When the six entrances have been formed, after we are born we connect with external conditions. Without the Six Roots, naturally we have no contact with sense objects. In summation, life is this kind of constant cycle, inseparable from the Four Noble Truths and the Twelve Links of Cyclic Existence. This is the cycle of birth and death we go through. Everyone, let us try to understand the constant accumulation of life’s suffering. If we understand these principles, then amidst cyclic existence we will know not to only go about seeking pleasures. Since we are here, let us earnestly move forward upon the broad, great, direct Bodhi-path without deviating. Only then we will not make a mistake and give rise to ignorance and deluded consciousness that will bring us back to confusion. Therefore, let us always be mindful.

(Source: Da Ai TV – Wisdom at Dawn program – Explanation by Master Chen-Yen)
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