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 20170320《靜思妙蓮華》三明六通具八解脫(第1047集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)

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發表主題: 20170320《靜思妙蓮華》三明六通具八解脫(第1047集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)   周日 3月 19, 2017 10:27 pm

20170320《靜思妙蓮華》三明六通具八解脫(第1047集)
(法華經•
化城喻品

 
八解脫亦稱八背捨,此淨潔五欲,捨染著心,持八背捨,修繫念思惟,發無漏智慧,斷三界見思惑煩惱,背捨無明,證羅漢果,轉名八解脫。
佛於天人大眾之中說是法時,六百萬億那由他人,以不受一切法故,而於諸漏心得解脫,皆得深妙禪定。《法華經化城喻品第七
三明、六通、具八解脫。第二、第三、第四說法時,千萬億恆河沙那由他等眾生。
宿命明、天眼明、漏盡明,以上三者在阿羅漢叫做三明,在佛則叫做三達。⊙六通:三乘聖者所得之神通,天眼通、天耳通、他心通、宿命通、神足通、漏盡通。
八解脫亦名八背捨。捨此淨潔五欲著心,發無漏智慧,斷三界見思惑盡,證羅漢果,即轉名八解脫。
淨潔五欲者:若欲界色聲香味觸,即名粗弊五欲,名為不淨。若色界、無色界色聲香味觸,即名淨潔五欲。
無漏智慧者:謂二乘等由此智慧斷除惑業,不漏落生死。
第二、第三、第四說法時,千萬億恆河沙那由他等眾生:其數量之多,喻千萬億恆沙數之多,聞法之眾。
初說四諦、十二緣法時,六百萬億那由他得道,說是法時,聞法得悟者轉多於前。
 
【證嚴上人開示】

「八解脫亦稱八背捨,此淨潔五欲,捨染著心,持八背捨,修繫念思惟,發無漏智慧,斷三界見思惑煩惱,背捨無明,證羅漢果,轉名八解脫。」
 
八解脫亦稱八背捨
此淨潔五欲
捨染著心
持八背捨
修繫念思惟
發無漏智慧
斷三界見思惑煩惱
背捨無明
證羅漢果
轉名八解脫
 
我們一段時間,一直在說四諦、十二(因)緣。我們更要瞭解十二(因)緣,從一念無明生,就一直十二(因)緣,緣到老死憂悲苦惱,不斷這樣輪迴,不斷這樣無明,也是不斷這樣憂悲苦惱。
 
生、老、病、死,人間就是這樣過一生,過無量無數劫。這無量數劫以來,就是這樣不斷輪轉,苦或不苦呢?真是苦不堪!
 
因為無始以來,生命就是這樣不斷在輪轉,這個生死,佛陀智慧透徹瞭解,要來向我們說,如何才能解脫生死輪迴,從不得自己隨業牽引,一直到如何能再還滅回來,一切由我自己來主宰人間。主宰,就是由我自己來,不是由不得自己隨著業力轉。由我自己來,就如菩薩來人間,是為了要救度眾生,是他覺性不忍眾生苦,他來的目的就是救度眾生。
 
你要救度眾生,必定要回歸自我的覺性。我們若是還有無明,永遠都無法回歸自己,清淨的覺性。所以佛陀來人間的一大事,就是教育我們要如何回歸,要如何解脫,由不得自己,這個無明,需要解脫這十二因緣,這叫做「還滅門」,再反回來,過去是由無明這樣牽引我們,現在我們要滅除,滅除這個緣,無明緣行。
 
我們日常的生活中,就是在無明中,緣著這個無明在行動,所以,因無明來行動,所造作的十有八九都是錯誤,我們的觀念、思惟,多數都是錯誤。這就是我們的人生,從「無明」這樣緣「行」,我們一切行為的錯誤,要如何才能還滅回去?
 
從憂悲苦惱向上再去滅,滅除「有」;「有」要滅,因為有「愛」,就是「愛」,而而「愛」就是因為感受來的,這樣再往上一一滅除,一直到「無明」源頭。我們若滅除了無明,才有辦法回歸我們清淨本性,這個時候才叫做解脫。
 
「八解脫亦稱八背捨」。八背捨,我們的日常生活中,我們都隨著這五欲,根、塵,根,我們的眼、耳、鼻、舌、身、意,這個根向外面去緣,外面的,色、聲、香、味、觸、法等等,我們的起意,這就是有染,就是被染著了,這是欲界的眾生。我們日常生活所接觸的一切,都是有染著的,我們現在就是要去體會,要如何來滅除有染著的觸。根塵所接觸,從接觸的感受,承著染著的愛,去造作種種「有」的業力,這樣我們來生、死,這就是有染著,由不得自己。
 
我們瞭解了,修行不要受這些東西所染著,修行很簡單,生活,生活也很簡單。佛世時三衣一缽,足夠了,這樣就能度過一生。這輩子好好修行,這輩子不受身外物將我們污染,這已經是在修行。所以我們瞭解三界,三界,欲界我們去除了,這些種種的欲,我們去除了,色界、無色界,將欲愛已經看淡了,所以這叫做「淨潔五欲」,這五欲都淨化了,這稍後會再詳細解釋。
 
「捨染著心,持八背捨」。我們要捨除這個染著。我們人人的無明一生出來,貪、瞋、癡、驕慢、懷疑,這就是人間由不得自己的習氣。我們現在全都要一一將它捨去,捨去了人間一切習氣的染著,我們要用心來持八背捨。八背捨,就是已經將這些世俗習氣,我們一一都將它去除了,背了它,向背。
 
就如常常說「皈」,佛教的皈依,那就是反黑歸白。凡夫所向的,那就是欲,我們現在已經瞭解了,凡夫的貪、瞋、癡,一切的欲念,生起了貪、瞋、癡、驕慢、懷疑等等的習氣,我們現在將它反過來,這叫做背捨。將這種煩惱、無明違背過去,不要再隨著煩惱、無明,追著它走,我們背過來,反背過來,不要再隨順煩惱,無明去,我們棄捨,我們反過來就是光明,清淨、潔白這條道路。這就是要持,捨去這些染著的心,持八背捨,那叫做「八解脫」。
 
我們要修,好好地修持,我們要「繫念思惟」,對的事情,我們要堅持,過去的錯誤、習氣,我們要棄捨,我們要時時「發無漏智」。我們若能這樣,這種無漏智慧就產生出來了。常常說,少一分的無明,減少一分無明,就多一分的智慧。我們的慧命要從無漏中,我們所修的法,收進來,我們就不要再讓它漏掉了,因為我們念念不忘,所聽進來的法,這叫做「修繫念思惟」。我們要常常繫念,常常思惟,這個法不離心,我們才不會常常在五欲中,起貪心,起瞋恚心,起癡念,起驕慢、懷疑的心,這我們都要一一背捨。好好繫念,我們才有辦法發無漏智慧,要發心修習無漏智慧,我們才能斷三界。
 
三界,欲界、色界、無色界,過去一段,一直說三界。我們應該還記得,所以「斷三界見思惑煩惱」。我們在三界,最嚴重的是欲界,若到色界,這個欲已經減輕了,但是還有思想中的愛,只是在思想中。到了無色界,他完全就是在少分的煩惱,還未去除。所以「斷三界見思惑煩惱」。
 
「背捨無明,證羅漢果」。這是聲聞、緣覺,一定要修的過程,也就是修行者必定要修這些法。我們若不修這些法,十二因緣不斷延續下去,永遠我們都是,由不得自己受業牽引,這樣生死難了,永遠都是這樣。所以我們必定,要從解脫的法門要好好用心,所以「背捨無明,證羅漢果」。
 
八解脫也就是八背捨。我們去除這些無明煩惱,所以名叫做解脫,叫做八解脫。修行也就是這樣。
 
佛陀在世時,有一位叫做劫波比丘,有一天來問佛陀:「佛一直希望眾生的心要得善解脫,世尊!云何比丘心得善解脫呢?」到底要怎麼樣,才會得到善解脫呢?這樣來問佛。佛陀很歡喜,劫波(比丘)有將法收入心。不很清楚,懂得問,這就是表示法有在心中,不清楚才懂得問。所以佛陀很歡喜,就說:「很好,懂得這樣問,我趕緊告訴你。」
 
「劫波,你應該要好好反觀自照,不斷思惟,好好去看,看我們自己的心,觀察我們自己的心。我們的六根,對著外面的形形色色,一切的事物,你好好用心觀察,甚至還要觀察在過去,或者是過去、或者是未來、或者是現在,或者是我們的內心、我們的身體。你要好好觀察,好好想。」
 
「你若能好好去想,還能瞭解體會,之後你就會發現到,你如何在日常生活中,受、想、行、識,從內外的事物觀察,一直觀察到我們的內心,懂得觀身不淨。在日常互相接觸的,還是回歸到能夠體會到無常,在這個無常觀,去瞭解識,我們的意識。在無常中,從內外一切觀察,很細、很粗,很美、很醜等等這些東西,心一直緣過來,我們就知道,過去、現在、未來,都是很多的無常,我們的心也無常,這樣不斷緣著外境,內外境界,粗的、細的、美的、醜的等等,這一切不就是無常嗎?回歸在意識中,色、愛等等,受、想、行、識都去體會。這若能體會這些事情,這樣就是叫做『心善解脫』。瞭解嗎?」
 
佛陀一連串跟他說這麼多,我們日常生活,從外面的境界一直思惟觀想,一直到我們自己的,身心境界等等,一直到意識,一直到接觸到受與愛等等,這些事情若都瞭解,一切都是無常。這樣收納下來,所造作的,你若能透徹瞭解,這叫做「心善解脫」。
 
諸位,我們是不是心善解脫了呢?八解脫只有八項,我們瞭解了嗎?外面的五欲,那些染著,我們去除了沒?三界,見思惑,我們到底清楚了沒?只是這麼簡單,我們清楚嗎?佛陀向劫波所說的,世間形形色色,一直到我們自己的身心,這都是一樣,無不都是在日常生活中,這樣在緣這些境界。所以我們要好好用心,若能瞭解,我們才有辦法還滅,滅這個緣。從無明一直緣下來,到老病死,憂悲苦惱,再由不得自己,帶業再來,像這樣,一連串,要如何再回歸還滅回去,滅盡一切這些無明煩惱,這我們就要很用心去思惟。
 
前面經文這樣說,「佛於天人大眾之中說是法時,六百萬億那由他人」,很多人,「以不受一切法故」,已經背捨了那些無明,有染著的欲,「而於諸漏心得解脫,皆得深妙禪定。」
 
佛於天人大眾之中
說是法時
六百萬億那由他人
以不受一切法故
而於諸漏心得解脫
皆得深妙禪定
《法華經化城喻品第七
 
漏,諸漏心已經解脫了,那些漏、煩惱無明,都得到解脫,所以「皆得深妙禪定」。我們讀到這段(經)文,我們對八背捨會更清楚。
 
接下來(經文)就說,「三明、六通、具八解脫。」八解脫就是八背捨,再接下來說,「第二、第三、第四說法時,千萬億恆河沙那由他等眾生。」
 
三明、六通
具八解脫
第二、第三、
第四說法時
千萬億恆河沙
那由他等眾生
《法華經化城喻品第七
 
「三明六通,具八解脫」。三明六通就是阿羅漢所具之德。因為他們己經修,修起了過去一切,三明六通,三明六道還記得嗎?三明是宿命明、天眼明、漏盡明,這大家應該都記得。這過去,我們都一直說過,也解釋過了。「天眼明」,是明白自己,或是他人一切未來世事,這叫做「天眼明」。我們已經很清楚了,佛法聽這麼久了,應該瞭解了,瞭解自己或是他人未來的事情。
 
「宿命明」,因為我們知道過去是什麼業,我們來到今生此世,我們應該清楚,不必埋怨。我們過去就是造這樣的業,結這樣的緣,所以我們帶來今生此世,是好命、是歹命,人生是過得快樂自在,或者過得一輩子受苦,煩惱不斷,這都是過去生所造作的因緣。我們知道過去是這樣,所以我們今生不必埋怨。我們這輩子能再遇到佛,佛法能入我們的心,我們瞭解了,所有過去的業,我們應該要斷、要盡。
 
「願消三障諸煩惱」,過去所造作,今生的障礙,我們要好好用心,欠債還債,人家障礙我們,我們就要用什麼樣修行的風度,來回報他呢?有人對我們怎樣,我們豈能再驕傲嗎?有佛法在身邊,我們豈能再懷疑嗎?我們明明知道貪瞋癡不可有,我們的貢高驕傲的心,豈能再存著?因為人家對我們不滿,就是我們太貢高、我們太驕傲,我們自己要好好放下身段來,如何與人結好緣。
 
貪、瞋、癡,常常在說,知道了。但是貢高、驕傲,我們常常不知覺中,有時候對人說話就是不客氣,惡言惡語。我們修行不就是要軟言善語嗎?卻是我們這一項,常常沒有注意到,所以常常態度,或者是言語,常常得罪人,再重新結不好緣,這都在不知覺中。這是我們的心眼不明白,我們就是還有無明存在。
 
天眼明。天眼就是心眼。我們自己的心眼、觀念,還對自己不清楚,對別人也不清楚。別人有習氣,我們也是同樣有習氣。別人可以沒有修行,我們不能沒有修行。所以我們要知己知彼,知彼要知己,因為我們是修行者,所以我們要自己要明白。
 
我們也要明白他人,別人的習氣是這樣,我們是修行,是不是如何先改變自己的習氣,才有辦法去改變他人。所以,這就是明白未來世事,這輩子你怎麼和他結不好緣,來生就是這樣。所以要修行,修行要「漏盡明」。漏盡,那就是我們要好好修行,希望我們能接近菩薩,行菩薩道。行菩薩道才能接近、回歸如來的本性,斷除一切的煩惱,這樣才能真正走在覺道上。斷盡一切煩惱,就是要接近,接近菩薩,接近佛所教法,我們要身體力行,才有辦法斷除,這個(得)漏盡明,(見思惑)一切漏盡。
 
這就是我們「宿命明、天眼明、漏盡明」,這樣才能到阿羅漢。「在阿羅漢叫做三明,在佛就是叫做三達。」
 
宿命明、
天眼明、
漏盡明
以上三者
在阿羅漢叫做三明
在佛則叫做三達
 
六通三達,這是佛陀他的境界。若是阿羅漢就是到明白,但是還未(完全)通達;到佛的境界,那就是通達。前面我們也已經詳細解釋過了,這些法這段時間有解釋。
 
六通:
三乘聖者
所得之神通
天眼通、天耳通、
他心通、宿命通、
神足通、漏盡通
 
六通呢,那就是三乘聖者所得的神通。就是天眼通,也就是天眼明,還有天耳通、「他心通、宿命通、神足通、漏盡通。」
 
現在要天耳通很容易。看,靠科技就有辦法,從這個地方傳到西部、傳到全球,沒有秒差,所以天耳通。
 
佛陀的時代,他就已經體會到,這種人間的三理四相,物理、生理、心理,一切都透徹瞭解。從這些物理形態如何會合,如何將它分開;分開一切皆空,會合一切皆有。這是佛陀的覺,他的覺悟宇宙之間。
 
他心通,就要到佛的境界了,要不然就是要修行,修到真真正正的智慧,你在想什麼,我瞭解,但是我們現在凡夫就無法瞭解。不過,現在的醫療也可以,有一種催眠術,讓你睡著,讓你自己說出了,你內心在想什麼,這現在的科技慢慢接近了。
 
接下來,宿命通,也是宿命明。知道過去、現在、未來,我們能瞭解。神足通,神足通,現在到底是你來我去呢?一段時間,每天每天都和尼泊爾(視訊),他們回來,我去,這是靠現在的科技,能看到他、聽到他的聲音,這不就是神足通嗎?千萬里之遙,來去瞬間就到達,這就是佛陀的覺性通達。漏盡通也叫做漏盡明。這全部叫做六通。
 
三明六通,「八解脫」,剛剛大概說過了,也叫做八背捨。
 
八解脫亦名八背捨
捨此淨潔五欲著心
發無漏智慧
斷三界見思惑盡
證羅漢果
即轉名八解脫
 
「捨此淨潔五欲著心」。我們凡夫還有污染的五欲,占為己有,但是我們現在都要將它捨去,不只是沒有這種欲念占有心,連思想中,我們也沒有想要,我們的思想,連這個東西,我們都沒有起愛的心,感受取著。你若是感受起了愛,自然就會去取,就有了,這個有感受就有愛,就會去取,就會有,這樣不斷不斷。所以連這種的,觸、受、愛、取、有,這樣的觀念都沒有了,所以叫做「淨潔五欲著心」。
 
五欲不著於心,完全捨,捨這些淨潔五欲著心,那就是色界;雖然有這些物質形式,但是連這些心都不執著了,都沒了,全部棄捨。所以已經「發無漏智慧」,我們的心,我們的無漏智慧,已經開始已經成長起來,自然我們就能,「斷三界見思惑盡」,都完全盡了。見思惑盡叫做無漏,無漏的智慧,有了無漏的智慧,自然就能斷除三界的見思惑,完全盡,自然就證阿羅漢果,聲聞、緣覺的果位,這叫做八解脫。這已經背捨無明之後,我們得到解脫。
 
再次清楚來解釋「淨潔五欲」。意思就是說,若欲界的色、聲、香、味、觸,這是粗弊的五欲,這很粗,一說就知道,你貪色,看到東西就想取,聞到味道就想口欲、想吃,這都是很粗的東西,這種欲界凡夫,這個欲粗弊。
 
我們說過了貧窮子譬喻,長者他將珍珠瓔珞寶貝先捨棄,著起污垢的衣服,去接近他的孩子。那就是在佛的境界,他這樣再來人間,與人間同樣的生活。人間同樣有五欲,貧窮子就是貪著在五欲中,父親就是要去找孩子回來,就是要與孩子走同樣的路,才能找到孩子回來。同樣的道理。所以五欲,色、聲、香、味、觸,這都是粗弊的五欲,所以「名為不淨」,在人間這些五欲就是不淨。
 
淨潔五欲者:
若欲界
色聲香味觸
即名粗弊五欲
名為不淨
若色界、無色界
色聲香味觸
即名淨潔五欲
 
所以色界,若是色界、無色界的,色、聲、香、味、觸,是潔淨的五欲。因為就是這些東西,他們不需要了,欲念,男女之間的欲,通通都不需要了,所以這叫做潔淨。但是修行,連潔淨的五欲都背捨,都不要了,連這個思想也沒了,所以這叫做淨潔,捨淨潔五欲著的心,都捨去。
 
無漏智慧者:
謂二乘等
由此智慧斷除惑業
不漏落生死
 
「無漏智慧」。那就是「二乘等」,二乘,聲聞、緣覺,就是由這個智慧,「斷除惑業,不漏落生死」。因為有這些智慧,所以他斷除見思惑,沒有漏掉智慧,自然就不會漏,漏,這個漏就是一切煩惱。沒有一切煩惱,自然就不會落入生死中。就是沒有無明,讓我們墮落在生死中,沒有為了無明,將我們拉到生死中。
 
所以三界就是,欲界、色界、無色界,這大家很清楚了,「第二、第三、第四說法時」。
 
第二、第三、
第四說法時
千萬億恆河沙
那由他等眾生:
其數量之多
喻千萬億
恆沙數之多
聞法之眾
 
意思就是說,大通智勝佛說法,從第一次開始轉法輪,就已經有千萬億人來了,何況無數;一二三四表示是無數次,從初次轉法輪開始,就一直無數次不斷說法。所以「其數量之多」,譬喻「千萬億恆沙數之多」,這是聞法的人,聽法的人愈來愈多。說法,無數次的說法,能聽到法的人愈來愈多,所以叫做二三四次,表示很多,開始不斷一直說法,聽法的人就「千萬億恆河沙那由他,等眾生」,就是無數,很多的眾生。
 
初說四諦
十二緣法時
六百萬億
那由他得道
說是法時
聞法得悟者
轉多於前
 
所以說,「初說四諦、十二緣法時」,就已經有「六百萬億,那由他(得道)」。說法時,「聞法得悟者」,愈來愈多。
 
從第一次開始說法,就有六百萬億那由他,何況無數次不斷不斷說。就如我們開始講《法華經》,「如是我聞」那一天開始,一直到現在,天天,每天這樣說,每天說每天聽,每天就是愈來愈增加,同樣的意思,所以聽法的人愈來愈多。
 
學佛,說法就是從佛陀開始。佛陀的說法,就是從過去無量劫以前,多久呢?大通智勝佛的時代。大通智勝佛的時代,到底又是多久?塵點劫。塵點劫,這個塵、點,塵就是恆河沙。
 
過去有一位,老法師去過印度,去到了印度,當然他就會去走恆河沙,走恆河沙,他就收恆河沙帶回來,他就用罐子,小小的罐子裝了一罐的恆河沙,就跟我說:「我去過印度佛的出生地,我走過了恆河,我在那裡帶一些沙回來,我也送你這罐沙。」我拿到那罐沙,心就想:「這罐沙這麼小罐,我若要來一一地算,哪有辦法?根本沒辦法。那個沙是那麼細,要如何算起呢?光是手指這樣沾起來,貼在沙上,沾在手指這些沙我都沒辦法算,要如何去算,那罐小瓶子裡面的沙呢?」
 
但是佛陀的譬喻是塵沙劫。佛經中都是用塵沙劫,一塵一沙一劫。就是一塵,就是小小這樣很細的灰塵,與沙土,塵比沙還細叫做塵。塵,像是我們的椅子桌子,或者是,幾天你沒擦,你用手來摸一下,桌子一痕,就是有塵起來,那叫做塵。沙比塵粗一點。所以,這就是要用塵沙,來譬喻數字,實在是沒辦法,所以才說「若算師,若算師弟子」,數不能盡。
 
所以這是佛陀要告訴我們,我們人人本具佛性,從無數劫、塵沙劫的以前,大通智勝佛(性)人人本具,人人與大通智勝佛,大通智勝佛通我們現在的凡夫,凡夫心通大通智勝佛的心,「心、佛、眾生三無差別」。這麼多的法,到底我們要從何學起呢?就像八解脫,八解脫我們若透徹瞭解,八背捨,無明完全背除,去除,這樣我們就「還滅門」,就能回歸回來到佛清淨的本性。我們若好好用心,修行是在日常生活中,沒什麼困難,只要我們要時時好好多用心!


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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: The Three Insights and Eight Liberations (三明六通具八解脫)
Date: March.20. 2017

“The Eight Liberations are also called the Eight Abandonments. With the pure five desires, we abandon defiled and attached mindsets and uphold the Eight Abandonments. We cultivate dwelling on and contemplating them and give rise to flawless wisdom. We eliminate the Three Realms afflictions of delusions of views and thinking. We abandon ignorance to realize the fruits of Arhatship. To do this is to attain the Eight Liberations.”

For some time we have been discussing the Four Noble Truths and 12 Links of Cyclic Existence. We must understand the 12 Links of Cyclic Existence even more clearly. Starting from one thought of ignorance, the 12 Links continue to give rise to each other, up until the worry, sadness and distress of aging and death. We continue through cyclic existence like this, continually in a state of ignorance, in a state of worries, sadness and distress. With birth, aging, illness and death, one lifetime in the world passes like this, as do countless, immeasurable kalpas. For countless, immeasurable kalpas, this is how we have continued to transmigrate. Is this suffering? It is unbearable suffering! Since Beginningless Time, life has always continued in this cyclic existence. The Buddha, with His wisdom, clearly understood this samsara and came to tell us how we can be liberated from cyclic existence so we can go from being dragged uncontrollably by karma to moving back through returning to cessation. We can be the master of everything in our lives. Being the master means we are in control, no longer led uncontrollably by karma forces.

When we come here in control, it is like how Bodhisattvas come to the world to transform sentient beings. Due to their enlightened nature, they cannot bear for sentient beings to suffer. They come here in order to save transform sentient beings. If we want to transform sentient beings, we must return to our awakened nature. If we still have ignorance [in our minds], then we will never be able to return to our pure enlightened nature. So, the Buddha’s one great cause for coming to this world was to teach us how to return and attain liberation. In this state of ignorance, we have no control, so we need to be liberated from the 12 Links of Cyclic Existence. This is the method of returning to cessation, to go back the other way. In the past, we were led by ignorance. Now, we must eliminate it; we must eliminate these Links. Ignorance gives rise to volitional formation. In our daily lives, we are in a state of ignorance. Under conditions of ignorance we take action. Since we act according to ignorance, eight or nine out of ten actions is mistaken. Our ideas and thoughts are mostly in error. This is how our lives are. Ignorance gives rise to volitional formation; then all of our actions are mistaken.

How do we return to cessation? From worries, sadness and distress, how do we work backwards to eliminate it all? We must eliminate “becoming”. Becoming must be eliminated because we have cravings. That is “craving”. Craving arises because of our feelings. We must go back and remove these one by one until we reach ignorance, the source. Only if we are able to eliminate our ignorance will we be able to return to our pure intrinsic nature. Only then can we be said to be liberated.

“The Eight Liberations are also called the Eight Abandonments.” In our daily living, we follow the five desires, Roots and Dusts. Our Roots are our eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind, and these senses are directed outwards to connect with form, sound, smell, taste, touch, phenomenon, etc. When we give rise to thoughts, [our minds] will be contaminated, defiled and become attached. We are sentient beings of the desire realm. Everything that we encounter in our daily lives is a defiled attachment. So, we must now experience the way to eliminate this defiled contact. When our Roots come into contact with the Dusts, this contact leads to feelings.

Carrying these defiled cravings, we create all kinds of karmic forces of “becoming”. In this way, we have come to be born and then die. With such defilement and attachment, [rebirth] is beyond our control. We understand that in spiritual practice, we should not be affected by these things. Spiritual practice is very simple, and this way of life is also very simple. The Buddha had three sets of robes and one bowl. This was enough to get Him through His whole life. We must earnestly engage in practice in this life and not allow external objects to contaminate us. This is already a practice in itself. So, we understand the Three Realms, in the Three Realms, in the desire realm, we must eliminate all kinds of desire. In the form realm and formless realm, we must let go of our attachments to things. So, this is called “the pure five desires”. The five desires are all purified. This will be explained later in more detail. “We abandon defiled and attached mindsets and uphold the Eight Abandonment’s.” We have to abandon this defiled attachment. We possess ignorance from the moment we are born. Greed, anger, ignorance arrogance and doubt are all of the habitual tendencies which are beyond our control in this life. We must abandon all of these, abandon al attachments of habitual tendencies. We must be mindful and uphold the Eight Liberations. With the Eight Liberations, we have already, one by one, eliminated these habitual tendencies of ordinary people. We have turned from them and left them behind.

This is like how we often explain “taking refuge”. In the Buddha’s teachings, taking refuge is like turning form the darkness to the light. Most ordinary people turn toward desires. Now we already understand. This is ordinary people’s greed, anger, ignorance. With all of their desires, they give rise to the habitual tendencies of greed, anger, ignorance arrogance, doubt, etc. Now we must turn away from them. This is called abandoning. We must abandon these ignorance and afflictions. We must no longer follow and pursue our ignorance and afflictions. We should turn our backs to them and not follow our ignorance or afflictions. We should abandon them and turn to face the light, this bright and clear path. We must uphold this.

When we abandon our mind of defiled attachments and uphold the Eight Abandonments, this is called “The Eight Liberations.” We should earnestly practice and uphold them, “cultivate dwelling on and contemplating them”. We must uphold the things that are right. As for past mistakes and habitual tendencies, we should abandon them. We must constantly “give rise to flawless wisdom”. If we are able to do this, then we will give rise to flawless wisdom. It is often said that with each measure of ignorance we eliminate, we increase our wisdom by the same measure. Our wisdom-life must come from the Dharma that we cultivate and take in without Leaks; we must not allow it to leak out again. When we always keep in mind all the Dharma we have heard, this is how we “cultivate dwelling on and contemplating them”.

We must always keep this in mind and contemplate it; it should not leave our minds. This way, amidst the five desires, we will not give rise to thoughts of greed, thoughts of anger, thoughts of ignorance, arrogance and doubt. We must abandon all of these one by one and earnestly dwell on [the Dharma]. Then we can attain flawless wisdom. We must form aspirations to cultivate wisdom without Leaks. Only it this way can we be liberated from the Three Realms.

The Three Realms consist of the desire realm, form realm and formless realm. Previously, there was a period when we kept discussing the Three Realms, so we should remember them. Thus, “We eliminate the Three Realms afflictions of delusions of views and thinking”. In the Three Realms, the worst is the desire realm. In the form realm, one’s desires will have diminished, but there are still cravings in one’s thoughts. They are merely in our thoughts. When one reaches the formless realm, there are only small remnants of afflictions that have not been completely eliminated. “We eliminate the Three Realms afflictions of delusions of views and thinking. We abandon ignorance to realize the fruits of Arhatship.”

Hearers and Solitary Realizers must go through this process, and spiritual practitioners must practice these teachings. If we do not practice these teachings, we will follow the 12 Links of Cyclic Existence and thus forever be dragged uncontrollably by our karma. This kind of cyclic existence is so painful and will continue like this ceaselessly. So, with these methods of practice for liberation we must put our effort into being mindful.

Thus, “We abandon ignorance to realize the fruits of Arhatship”. The Eight Liberations are also the Eight Abandonments. We need to extinguish ignorance and afflictions, which is why we call them the Eight Liberations. This is also how we practice.

During the Buddha’s lifetime, there was a bhiksu called Kappa. One day he asked the Buddha a question “The Buddha always hopes that sentient beings’ minds will be able to reach liberation. World-Honored One! How can a bhiksu’s mind be liberated? Just what has to be done in order for liberation to be attained?” He asked the Buddha, and the Buddha was very joyful. Kappa had taken the Dharma to heart. He was unsure, so her knew to ask. This means that the Dharma was in his mind. It was unclear to him, thus he knew to ask. So, the Buddha was very joyful and said, “It is so good that you know to ask.” I will quickly tell you. Kappa, you must earnestly reflect on yourself, ceaselessly contemplate and carefully look upon your own mind, must observe your mind. When your Six Roots are facing external things of all kinds, all of these things are what you must put effort into mindfully observing. You must even reflect on your past, or future, or present, or on your mind and body. You must mindfully observe and reflect. If you are able to earnestly reflect, understand and experience this, then you will discover, in you daily life, [the effects of], feeling, perception, action and consciousness. If you observe outwardly and inwardly and keep reflecting on you mind, you will know to contemplate the body as impure. Then, with all that you make contact with, you will again be able to understand impermanence. With this perspective of impermanence, you can seek to understand consciousness, our mind-consciousness. Within impermanence, we should observe everything inwardly and outwardly, from the smallest to the largest, from the prettiest to the ugliest of things. With your mind constantly linked to these, we then know that in the past, present and future, there is much impermanence. Our mind is also impermanent. It constantly connects to the external states, whether inwardly or outwardly. As for the big, small, beautiful, ugly, etc., are they not all impermanent? When you return to your consciousness, cravings for form, along with feeling, perception, action and consciousness, will all be comprehended. To be able to realize these things is called liberation of the mind. Do you understand?”

The Buddha said all of this to him. In our daily life, we must keep observing everything from our external states all the way down to our own mental and physical states and so on, even to our consciousness and the feelings and cravings, etc. that we experience. If we understand these things, that all things are impermanent, then that is how we take things in. If we are able to understand everything we create, then this is “liberation of the mind”.

Everyone, are our minds liberated? The Eight Liberations are only eight things. Have we fully understood them? As for attachments to the external five desires, have we eliminated them? And the delusions of views and thinking in the Three Realms, do we have a clear understanding of them? These are all very simple; are we able to understand them? The Buddha told Kappa about all the various objects in the world and about our bodies and minds. They are all the same; it is always in our daily living where we connect to these states. So, we must earnestly be mindful.

If we can understand this, then there is a way to return to cessation. There is a way to end these Links. From ignorance, we continue to follow the Links to the worries, sadness and distress of aging, illness and death. Then without any control, we bring karma to be born again. The links in this chain continue on this way. How can we move back through returning to cessation to totally eliminate all ignorance and affliction? We must very mindfully contemplate this.

The previous verse states, “The Buddha taught this Dharma to the assembly of humans and heavenly beings, 600 trillion nayutas of people”. This is a lot of people. “By remaining unaffected by all phenomena, having already abandoned all ignorance, all desires of defiled attachments, “[they] attained liberation from all Leaks and all attained profound and wondrous Samadhi”.

They attained liberation from all Leaks. They had achieved liberation from all Leaks, from afflictions and ignorance. “They all attained profound and wondrous Samadhi.” When we read this verse, we will be more clear about the Eight Liberations.

The next verse reads, “[They attained] the Three Insights, “Six Spiritual Powers and all Eight Liberations”. The Eight Liberations are the Eight Abandonments. The verses further state, “The second, third and fourth time He taught the Dharma, as many sentient beings as the thousands, millions, billions, nayutas of grains of sand of the Ganges…[They attained] the Three Insights, Six Spiritual Powers and all Eight Liberations.” The Three Insights and the Six Spiritual Powers are the virtues that Arhats possess. This is because they have already practiced everything in the past, including the Three Insights and the Six Spiritual Powers.

Do we still remember the Three Insights and the Six Spiritual Powers? The Three Insights are the insight into previous lives, the insight of the heavenly eye and the insight into ending all Leaks. Everyone should remember these. In the past we talked about and explained them. “The insight of the heavenly eye” is when we can understand future matters, whether for ourselves or others. This is “the insight of the heavenly eye”. We are already very clear, having listened to the Buddha-Dharma for so long. We should be able to understand our own or other people’s future matters. As for the insight into previous lives, because we know what our past karma was, when we come to this lifetime, we should clearly understand that there is no need to complain. In the past, we created this kind of karma and formed these kinds of affinities. So, with what we bring to this lifetime, whether our lives are good or bad, whether our lives are happy and free or filled with endless afflictions, is all caused by the causes and conditions we created in our past lives. We know that in our past lives we did this, so we should not complain about our current lives. In this life, we are able to meet the Buddha and have the Buddha-Dharma enter our minds. We have understood all our past karma, so we should eliminate it completely. “I vow to eliminate the Three Obstructions and all afflictions.” Everything that we created in the past has become our obstructions in this lifetime. We must be very mindful to pay back the debts that we owe. When people obstruct us, what kind of demeanor of spiritual practice should we display to pay them back? If someone treats us like this, can we still act proud? With the Buddha-Dharma by our side, can we still act doubtful? We know clearly that we should not harbor greed, anger or ignorance. If we have an arrogant mindset, can we still allow it to exist? When others are not satisfied with us, it is because we are too arrogant; we are too proud. We must earnestly let go of our ego and make good connections with others.

We often speak about greed, anger and ignorance. We know these, but when it comes to arrogance, we are not often aware of it. Sometimes we are not polite when talking to people. We use harsh words and language. In our spiritual practice, don’t we want to use gentle words and kind language?

But we often do not pay attention to this. So, often our attitude or tone will offend people, which will give rise to negative affinities. This all happens without our awareness. This is because our minds’ eye is unclear; we still have ignorance in us. The insight of the heavenly eye is our mind’s eye. When it comes to our mind’s eye, our perspectives, we are still unclear about ourselves and others. Others have habitual tendencies, and we have habitual tendencies as well. Others can choose not to practice, but we still must practice. So, we must know ourselves and know others. We are spiritual practitioners, so we must clearly understand ourselves. We must also clearly understand others. Other people have these habitual tendencies. We are spiritual practitioners shouldn’t we first find ways to change our own habitual tendencies in order to be able to change others? This is how we understand future events.

In this life, if we do not have good affinities with someone, then the future will be the same. So, we must engage in spiritual practice, and thus we need “the insight into ending all Leaks.” We must cultivate the insight of ending all Leaks so that we may approach the Bodhisattvas and follow the Bodhisattvas-path. By following the Bodhisattvas-path, we can return to our intrinsic Tathagata-nature and eliminate all afflictions. Thus we truly walk the path to enlightenment. We eliminate all afflictions in order to approach the [state of] Bodhisattvas and get closer to the teachings of the Buddha. We must put this into action so that we are able to eliminate [afflictions]. With this insight of ending all Leaks, we eliminate all Leaks.

So, these are “the insight into previous lives, the insight of the heavenly eye and insight of ending all Leaks. Only with these does one attain Arhatship. In Arhats they are called the Three insights and in Buddhas the Three Understandings.”

The Six Spiritual Powers and the Three Understandings are the state of the Buddha. If you are an Arhat, then you understand, but you have not yet reached total comprehension. When you arrive at the state of Buddhahood, you will have unhindered comprehension. We have already explained this in detail before; these teachings were explained over this period.

What about the Spiritual Powers? Those are spiritual powers attained by the noble beings of the Three Vehicles, which are the power of the heavenly eye, the same as the insight of the heavenly eye, and the power of the heavenly ear, “the power of knowing others’ minds, the power of knowing past lives, the power of transporting oneself and insight of ending all Leaks.”

To have the power of the heavenly ear is easy. By relying on technology we have a way to transmit what is said here to the rest of Taiwan, to the entire world, without a second’s delay; this is the power of the heavenly ear.

In the Buddha’s time, He had already realized the Three Principles and Four States, the principles of matter, life and the mind. He understood these well, how the world and its matters came to be and how they break apart. Breaking apart, everything is empty; coming together, all things are formed. This is the Buddha’s awakening, what He realized about the universe. The power of knowing others’ minds is specific to the state of Buddhahood, or else it requires great spiritual practice to the point of truly obtaining wisdom and thus being able to understand what another is thinking. But we ordinary people are unable to do this now. Still, medical technology is capable of this. There is a type of hypnosis that puts you in a trance so you say out loud whatever your mind is thinking. Technology right now is approaching this.

Next is the power of knowing past lives, also known as the insight into previous lives. We know the past, present and future; we can understand them. As for the power of transporting oneself, right now do you come here or do I go there? For a period of time, I had video conferences with Nepal everyday. They would “come” or I would “go”. This all relies modern technology. I could see them and hear their voices; isn’t this the power of transporting oneself? From thousands of miles away, they can come and go in a flash. This is how the Buddha’s enlightened nature is able to reach everything.

The power of ending all Leaks is also called the insight of ending all Leaks. These are all called the Six Spiritual Powers, the Three insight and Six Spiritual Powers.

As for “the Eight Liberations, we just mentioned them briefly. They are also called the Eight Abandonments. The Eight Liberations are also called the Eight Abandonments. By abandoning the attachments to the pure five desires, they give rise to flawless wisdom. By eliminating delusions of views and thinking. In the Three Realms, they realize the fruits of Arhatship. To do this is attain the Eight Liberations.

“Abandoning the attachments to the pure five desires….” We ordinary people still have the five desires defiling us and seek to claim things as our own. But now we must abandon this. Not only should we not have the possessiveness of desire, we should not even think of wanting these things. Even in our thinking, we must not give rise to thoughts of craving, those feelings which lead us to grasp and cling. If you give rise to craving from feelings, then you will try to grasp, causing “becoming”. Once there is feeling, then there is craving, followed by grasping and becoming. This continues unceasingly.

So, this contact, feeling, craving, grasping and becoming should not even exist as a thought. This is “attachment to the pure five desires”. We must not be attached to the five desires; they must be completely abandoned. We abandon attachment to the pure five desires. This is in the form realm. Although there are these matters and forms, our minds are not attached to them. There is nothing; they are all abandoned. So, we already “gave rise to flawless wisdom”. In our mind, this flawless wisdom has already started to grow. Naturally, we will be able to “eliminate the Three Realms’ delusions of views and thinking”. Once we eliminate all the delusions of views and thinking, we are without Leaks; we have flawless wisdom.

With flawless wisdom, naturally we will be able to eliminate the Three Realms’ delusions of views and thinking. We will eliminate them completely. Naturally, we will realize Arhatship. The fruits of Hearers and Solitary Realizers are called the Eight Liberations. Once we have abandoned ignorance, we will be liberated.

Let us again explain “the pure five desires”. These is saying that the form, sound, smell, taste and touch of the desire realm are called the coarse five desires; they are obvious. Once I mention them, you know. With greed for form, once you see something, you want to obtain it. If you smell something good, you crave its taste and want to eat it. These are very obvious things. This is the desire realm of ordinary people. These desires are very coarse.

We have spoken of the poor son analogy before. The elder took off his lavish clothing and put on some dirty clothes to approach his son. This means that in the state of Buddhahood, [the Buddha] still returned to the world to live the same life as [everyone else]. This world, similarly, has the five desires. This poor son was greedy for the five desires. The father wanted to find his son, so he had to walk on the same path in order to bring him back.

The principle is the same. Thus, the five desires of form, sound, smell, taste and touch are the coarse five desires. So, “These desires are impure”. In the world, these five desires are impure. In the form realm, in the form realm or formless realm, form, sound, smell, taste and touch are the pure five desires, because these are things that they do not need anymore. The desires between man and woman are no longer needed at all; this is called purity. But in spiritual practice, even the pure five desires are abandoned. Even the thoughts are completely eliminated. So, this is called purity. We abandon all attachment to the pure five desires.

“Flawless wisdom” is that of the “practitioners of the Two Vehicles”. The Two Vehicles, Hearers and solitary Realizers, with this wisdom, “eliminate deluded karma preventing their descent into samsara”. Because they have this wisdom, they eliminated delusions of views and thinking. They do not let their wisdom leak away; naturally their wisdom does not leak away. Leaks refer to all afflictions. Without these afflictions, naturally we will not fall into the cycle of birth and death; there will be no ignorance to make us fall into this cycle of birth and death. We will not be pulled into this cycle of birth and death because of ignorance.

So, the Thee Realms are the desire realm, form realm and formless realm. Everyone is very clear on this. “The second, third and the fourth time He taught the Dharma…” The second, third and the fourth time He taught the Dharma, as many sentient beings as the thousands, millions, billions, nayutas of grains of sand of the Ganges: This is an enormous number, as numerous as the thousands, millions, billions, nayutas of grains of sand of the Ganges: This is an enormous number, as numerous as the thousands, millions billions of grains of sand of the Ganges. This was the assembly listening to the Dharma.

This is saying that when Great Unhindered Superior Wisdom Buddha turned the Dharma-wheel for the first time, there were already thousands, millions, billions of people. Moreover, this was done countless times. First, second, third and fourth represent countless times. After the Buddha first turned the Dharma-wheel, He then expounded the Dharma countless times. So, “This is an enormous number,” as “numerous as the thousands, millions, billions of grains of sand of the Ganges”. These are the people listening to Dharma; there were more and more people listening. As He expounded the Dharma countless times, there were more and more people listening. So, is says the second, third and fourth times, meaning many times. When He started endlessly expounding the Dharma, the people who listened were “as many as the thousands, millions, billions, nayutas of grains of sand of the Ganges”. There were countless sentient beings.

So, “When He first taught the Four Noble Truths and the 12 Links of Cyclic Existence,” there were already “600 trillion nayutas [who attained the truth]”. As He taught this Dharma, “the number of those who attained awakening by listening to the Dharma increased more and more”. The first time He expounded the Dharma, there were 600 trillion nayutas [of sentient beings]. Furthermore, He expounded the Dharma countless times. It is like when I began teaching the Lotus Sutra. From the day we began with “Such I have heard” until now, I have been teaching this way every day. I teach and people listen every day. Every day the number of people increases. The meaning is the same; there were more and more people listening to the Dharma.

As Buddhist practitioners, the Dharma we teach came from the Buddha. The teachings of the Buddha come from countless kalpas ago. How long ago was this? It was during the time of Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha. How long ago was this? Dust-inked kalpas ago. The “dust“in dust-inked kalpas is just like the sands of the Ganges River. Before, an elderly Dharma Master went to India. When he arrived, of course he walked on the sands of the Ganges. As he walked by the Ganges, he brought some of the sand back he used a small jar to gather some of these sands from the Ganges River. He told me, “I went to India, to the Buddha’s birthplace. I walked around the Ganges River, and I brought this sand back. I will give you this jar of sand.” As I held the jar, I thought that thought this jar is so small, if I wanted to count the grains one by one it would not be possible. The sand is so fine, how would I count it? Even if I were to stick finger in it so some stuck to my finger, the sand on my finger would be uncountable. How would I count all the sand in this small jar? But the Buddha’s analogy was of dust-inked kalpas. In the sutras, “dust –inked kalpas” refers to a time of as many kalpas as dust [ in the universe]. One dust particle is such a tiny particle of sand or dust. It is s even finer than sand; it is just dust, like what collects on our tables and chairs. After days without cleaning, if we use our hands to wipe it, the table will have a layer of dust on it. This is called dust. Sand is coarser than this dust. So, we when use dust particles as an analogy for the number, there is truly no way to calculate it. So we say, “Even a mathematician and his disciples” are unable to count them. This is what the Buddha wanted to tell us. We all have had the intrinsic Buddha-nature for kalpas as incalculable as dust particles. We all intrinsically have the Buddha-nature of Great Unhindered Superior Wisdom Buddha. We are connected to Great Unhindered Buddha. He can connect to us as ordinary beings, and we can connect of Great Unhindered Buddha. “The mind, the Buddha and sentient beings are no different [in their nature]. There is so much Dharma, where should we begin to learn it? For instance, there are the Eight Liberations. If we are able to understand the Eight Abandonments and abandon all ignorance, then this is the method of returning to cessation; we will be able to return to our intrinsic nature. If we put effort into being mindful, spiritual practice is in our daily living. It is not difficult at all, as long as we are always mindful!

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