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 20180101《靜思妙蓮華》 四修精勤 因圓果滿 (第1252集) (法華經•法師品第十)

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發表主題: 20180101《靜思妙蓮華》 四修精勤 因圓果滿 (第1252集) (法華經•法師品第十)   周六 12月 30, 2017 6:34 am

20180101《靜思妙蓮華》 四修精勤 因圓果滿 (第1252集) (法華經•法師品第十)

⊙「所成之善謂之德能成之道謂之行,即福德慧行圓滿一切諸行功德聚,四修法長期、無間、無餘尊敬修精勤,三學六度萬行具三軌法因圓果滿。」
⊙三軌法:大慈悲為室,柔和忍辱衣,諸法空為座。
⊙「若忘失章句,為說令通利,若人具是德,或為四眾說,空處讀誦經,皆得見我身。」《法華經法師品第十品》
⊙「若人在空閒,我遣天龍王,夜叉鬼神等,為作聽法眾,是人樂說法,分別無罣礙,諸佛護念故,能令大眾喜。」《法華經法師品第十品》
⊙若人在空閒:在於閑靜之處,修攝其心之人。
⊙〈安樂行品〉云:在於閒處,修攝其心,安住不動,如須彌山。
⊙我遣天龍王,夜叉鬼神等,為作聽法眾:八部之眾誓護佛法,今此法師讀誦講說,故佛遣之作聽法眾。
⊙是人樂說法,分別無罣礙:是說法師在眾講演,善能分別樂說無礙。
⊙言樂說有二義:一者菩薩自得勝法,樂為眾生說;二者知眾生欲樂,而為說法。第一義就說者,適悅之情,樂解之;第二義,就聞者之意樂解之。
⊙謂菩薩隨順一切眾生根性所樂聞法,而為說之,圓融無滯,故名樂說無礙智。
⊙諸佛護念故,能令大眾喜:以得諸佛護念之故,能令聽眾生大歡喜。
⊙「若親近法師,速得菩薩道,隨順是師學,得見恆沙佛。」
⊙若親近法師,速得菩薩道:若能親近說法之師,速得成就菩薩之道。
⊙親近:不離左右、如影隨形。近不受教,近之無益;親近隨順,得道見佛者,以菩薩因行,諸佛果德,不離此妙法故。
⊙隨順是師學,得見恆沙佛:若能隨順從是師學,則於經中得見三世恆沙諸佛,不離本心。

【證嚴上人開示】
「所成之善謂之德能成之道謂之行,即福德慧行圓滿一切諸行功德聚,四修法長期無間無餘尊敬修精勤,三學六度萬行具三規法因圓果滿。」

所成之善謂之德
能成之道謂之行
即福德慧行圓滿
一切諸行功德聚
四修法
長期、無間、
無餘、尊敬修精勤
三學六度萬行具
三軌法因圓果滿

大家要用心,修行目標想要成就的,那就是要多用心,殷勤精進,自然「所成之善謂之德,能成之道謂之行」,那就是德行。德,是我們要不斷不斷累積,日日生活中待人接物,將了解的法入心來,從修行中付出,這叫做德。我們若能成就,無不都是在這條路上這樣走,這條是什麼路呢?菩提大直道,就是覺悟之道,也就是我們學佛,佛陀教育我們,現在我們開始要進入菩薩道,菩薩道是叫做覺有情之道,期待我們人人法入心,行在覺有情菩薩道,這是我們應該行,我們要走的路。要走的路就是在「福德慧行」。平時修行日常生活中,待人接物中,眾生芸芸,煩惱多,苦難也多,為苦難人去修福,為煩惱的人,我們修智慧,因為智慧就要從煩惱中去體會。所以常常一句話說,「煩惱即菩提」。難道是我們要常起煩惱心嗎?不是!我們已經聽法了,了解道理了,我們落實生活。

眾生有種種的煩惱無明,我們要在芸芸眾生中,煩惱無明,一句話說,「旁觀者清,當局者迷」,因為煩惱群中互相在對立,互相在起煩惱,他們每一個人都認為,他做的是對的,他想的是對的,都沒想到自己,自己做的有錯嗎?自己的想法有錯嗎?都是自己想自己對、沒有錯,才會想別人是不對的、是錯誤的,彼此在對立。我們看到大家有這樣的情形,我們了解,旁觀者清,對、錯,我們分明。用什麼方法?我們了解不應該是這樣,能改的為何不改過來,一念而已啊!我們在別人的無明中,我們很清楚,讓我們再增長智慧,看別人這樣互相對立,我們就警覺自己,不可以!心要放開,量要放大,這不就是,在煩惱中,我們得到智慧嗎?我們若是有能力,我們能勸在起無明、生煩惱的人,有能力、有因緣我們來勸導他,化解彼此之間,那就是功德無量了,這就是修慧,在煩惱中修慧德。若是在苦難人,貧困病苦,受災受難,我們不忍心,人群中我們有因緣去幫助他,這樣叫做修福德。所以福也在人群中修,慧也是在人群煩惱中得,我們這樣修福修慧,無不都是在受教,無不都是在增福慧。我們要時時用心。「能成之道為之行」,就是要行在菩提道上,若這樣我們「福德慧行」自然就圓滿。

所以「一切諸行功德聚」。一切的行,一切諸行,不論是在苦難中的眾生,我們去幫助,救拔苦難,或者是在煩惱中,受盡了身心煎熬,這種的眾生,我們也能去勸解、引導,這樣的累積,這樣叫做一切諸行。修福也好,修慧也好,不斷不斷累積,這無不都是功德。內修是功,外行是德,我們了解了,這些道理我們都清楚,但是我們就要去做,做得到,這樣才是功德。這累積起來,要累積一切功德。大家應該記得,有一段時間,一直反覆向大家說「四修法」。四修法,這就是我們時時要修,要長期修,要無間修,要無餘修,要尊敬修,這在我們日常生活中,分分秒秒,連連接接,就是這樣長期、無間,法入心,在生活中,人群中,要不斷不斷無餘修。

人生的苦難,我們儘量要做,不要做得有餘,就是一直做就對了,永遠不要將它漏掉了,只要我們聽得到,我們做得到的,都不要漏掉,這叫做「無餘」。全部,在我們生命中要用得夠,叫做「無餘」;我們看得到的,我們要全做得到,叫做「無餘修」。我們所做過的,一切都要含著尊敬,修行、待人接物,我們一定要尊敬,因為人人都是未來佛,很強調這個意,因為眾生人人本具如來佛性,人人都有,真如本性人人本具,所以,只要他的因緣到了,自然他會接近法,自然他會修,修行殷勤精進,同樣也會成佛。不只是我們聽聞佛法,還有很多還不曾聽過,現在在懵懂煩惱,製造無明的人,說不定什麼樣的因緣聽到佛法,他會很殷勤、很精進,比我們更殷勤精進,說不定比我們還先成佛,也說不定!或者是我們現在在幫助的人,有因緣,說不定未來成佛,他比我們還更早。所以我們必定做任何事,去付出時,對待任何一個人,我們全都要尊敬。

所以常常一句話跟大家說:「感恩、尊重、愛」,我們要付出,我們還要感恩,因為我們要尊重他。付出的愛心,無所求是尊重、感恩的愛,這就是我們在做,行在菩薩道中,日日我們在身體力行,所以我們不斷生成智,這個道完全在菩薩道上,我們不斷在修福慧,我們也不斷諸行在累積。累積諸行必定要四修,平常的修行,日常的時間不離開「四修法」,分分秒秒累積,長期、無間斷,盡形壽,獻身命,無餘,沒有一點時間是我們自己的,完全奉獻付出,要很精、很勤,這就是我們要好好用心,修行就是要這樣,我們才有辦法「三學六度萬行」。三學,戒定慧,這都不能缺少。聽法,要好好思考,要身體力行,我們「戒」,既然要修行了,要在我們的規範規則中,不能脫軌,防非止惡,「諸惡莫作,眾善奉行」,戒。

定,心要專,志要堅,我們不斷定慧,在我們的日常生活中,不能糊塗了,一念失念,失了正念,我們就糊塗了。所以戒定慧、聞思修,這是在我們日常生活中。之後,六度萬行要很具足,這都很簡單,都是在日常生活中,只要將心照顧好,在人群中做人能圓滿,我們要時時自己做人,人能圓,道理才會圓,做事才會圓。做事圓、做人圓,道理就會圓。我們要一切圓,圓就是圓,我們要圓滿,當然,我們有缺點要趕緊修,我們對人人,就要看人的圓滿,不要看人的缺角,我們若全都去看人的缺點,你對那個人永遠都不滿。我們若常常對人不滿,我們要如何尊敬修呢?所以靜思語一句話,杯子缺角不看,整個杯子都是圓的,都是還能用的,也有好的用途。這樣我們人與人之間互相借力、用力,來幫助完全沒有力的人。

度化眾生不是一朝一夕,我們就有辦法,教大家都順我們意,我們自己的行為是不是,有順佛的意,菩薩的意沒有?可能我們也還離很遠。我們只要求別人順我們意,我們是不是有順人家的意呢?彼此要想,以圓的來說,全部,我們都能很圓滿過來。所以,「三學六度萬行」,我們要很用心在日常生活中,待人接物,無不都不離開四修,「三學六度萬行」,菩薩道在我們現在這部經,〈法師品〉中,就是期待我們,三軌法能因圓果滿。

三軌法:
大慈悲為室
柔和忍辱衣
諸法空為座

三軌法,入如來室,著如來衣,坐如來座,「大慈悲為室,柔和忍辱衣,諸法空為座」。若這樣,我們不就是因圓果滿嗎?這些都是我們應該要修的行,所以「所成之善謂之德」,我們這樣在修行。這就是福德,是慧行,這樣去走,一切一切福與慧,這全都是在累積下來,一切行,這樣將它累積起來,要將它累積起來,就要經過四修法、三學、六度萬行,三軌法,這樣走。這我們一直,這麼長久以來,一直說的無不都是這些法。各位,用心,我們要去理解這法的用意,就是佛陀的一大事因緣,來人間所要開示,最重要的,希望我們人人能成就。要成就,就是回歸我們真如本性,了解我們與佛同等的智慧。那個佛道其實近在我們的自身。所以我們要用心在日常生活中。

所以前面的文說,「若忘失章句,為說令通利。」

若忘失章句
為說令通利
若人具是德
或為四眾說
空處讀誦經
皆得見我身
《法華經法師品第十品》

我們若是經裡面的文字忘記了,意義忘記了,我們不知道要如何說,不知道要如何做,這個時候,佛他就「為說令通利」。在這時,佛他會浮現出,清淨光明身,讓我們忘記的就浮現出來,讓我們能通利,「為說令通利」。

「若人具是德,或為四眾說,空處讀誦經,皆得見我身」。這就是佛,釋迦佛的法身,清淨光明身現前。其實,清淨光明身就是法,法,只要我們真心、用心,在大眾中,我們自然,法要如何落實在人群,當你有困難時,很自然貴人現前了,來幫助我們。或者是靈機一動,困難的事,自然就能解開。自助人助,人助自助,能夠很多人來合成,解開困難,很多的法不是在這裡坐著聽,在這裡坐著講,其實,法是無處不是法,無物不說法,什麼東西都是讓我們靈機一動,這項東西解不開,剛好看到那項東西,能讓我們解開那個困難,很多無不都是法能幫助我們,要用心去體會。

接下來這段文再說:「若人在空閒,我遣天龍王,夜叉鬼神等,為作聽法眾,是人樂說法,分別無罣礙,諸佛護念故,能令大眾喜。」

若人在空閒
我遣天龍王
夜叉鬼神等
為作聽法眾
是人樂說法
分別無罣礙
諸佛護念故
能令大眾喜
《法華經法師品第十品》

假使有人在空閒處,全都沒有什麼人,但是持法的人他的內心,永遠都是充滿這個圓教的法,心念一動,無不都是虔誠,諸天龍護法都聽得到,我們的心聲。所以我們修行者,我們的心,起心動念,我們要很注意。念法,自然護法在我們的周圍;心中在思考法,這心聲說法,自然天龍王、夜叉鬼神等,無不都是在聽我們的心聲說法,說法的心聲,這「為作聽法眾」。所以,「是人樂說法」。因為要說法的人,不斷就要思考法要如何說。看,大家,「明天是我的課程,我就要趕緊來準備這個課程。我課程準備了,就要趕緊自己要說一遍。」很多人,演講者,或者是學演講的人,念念有詞。學生也是啊,「我要背課程」,同樣的道理,雖然學生在背課程,同樣,周圍也同樣有護法,有用功就有成就,同樣的道理。何況這個圓教,充滿入了我們的心,將這個心的法,在平常生活中,起心動念無不都是在說法,這自然就有天龍護法,作為我們聽法的人。

因為這個人樂說法,愛講法的人自然心中時時有法,周圍時時有護法者、聞法者,讓我們的心無掛礙,放心入人群而無所畏。前面不是這麼說嗎?所以人群中而無所畏、無掛礙,一定諸佛護念,是因為諸佛護念。我們要很用心體會,一動念,三千世界佛都是在我們的周圍。所以,「能令大眾喜」,這就是我們要用心。

所以說,若在空閒處,在閒靜,很靜的地方,「修攝其心」,我們的心就要收回來。

若人在空閒:
在於閑靜之處
修攝其心之人

平時忙碌很忙,人、事情很多,很繁忙的時候,我們就要專心做事。事情過了之後,人離開了,周邊都沒有人了,心就要趕緊收回來,這樣好好用心思考,人到底是為何,怎麼會有這樣的煩惱,有解不開的無明?這解不開的無明,我們應該如何,為他解開這樣的法?我們就要自己先冷靜下來。所以,在「閒靜之處」,離開了紛鬧的地方,閒靜的地方,處在閒靜的地方,我們就要好好收攝我們的心。這樣的人,那就像再下去有一品,叫做〈安樂行品〉,這段經文這樣說,「在於閒處修攝其心,安住不動如須彌山」。

〈安樂行品〉云:
在於閒處修攝其心
安住不動如須彌山

就是修行就要有這樣,我們要安住我們的心,不論憒鬧,多麼的煩,我們自己的心還是要安住不動,如須彌山。這從《法華經》中的一品,〈安樂行品〉,它會向我們說,如何來安住我們的心,如須彌山這樣不動,這就是我們要用功的地方。

所以經文這麼說,「我遣天龍王,夜叉鬼神等,為作聽法眾」。

我遣天龍王
夜叉鬼神等
為作聽法眾:
八部之眾
誓護佛法
今此法師
讀誦講說
故佛遣之作聽法眾

八部之眾,是已經受佛教化過,所以誓願要護持佛法,所以現在,雖然佛陀離我們二千多年了,到現在也是一樣,所以在〈法師品〉中,就是這麼說,讀誦、講說,所以,佛他會遣化,已經受佛教化過的天龍八部,他已經立誓要護持佛法,所以佛陀就這麼告訴我們,持經的人,不論是在人很多當中,有天龍護法,或者是在空閒處,寂寞無人聲時,天龍護法還是在周圍,你的起心動念,他還是來聽法,聽你的心聲,聽你內心的法,這就是諸菩薩。諸佛菩薩他在教化眾生,同樣,諸天龍也是,鬼神等也是在永遠護法。同樣,我們凡夫發心受教,同樣也得天龍護法,這樣來擁護我們,所以我們要很用心去體會。

「是人樂說法,分別無罣礙」。

是人樂說法
分別無罣礙:
是說法師
在眾講演
善能分別
樂說無礙

人樂說法,就分別一切法,要讓大家知道,用事來會理。因為世間事,煩惱多,佛陀說法就是要解開世間煩惱,就是要應世間的苦難,應病下藥,所以《法華經》是治世良方,應病良藥,因為這樣,有很多法,樂說法的人,就是你如何不了解,沒關係,我再用其他再來譬喻一次;還不了解,沒關係,用時間長久來陪伴你。就用種種的方法,遇到什麼樣的環境,就告訴你:「這就是這樣的法。」所以,佛陀說法有「九部法」,過去〈方便品〉也已經說過了,所以有「譬喻」,很多法佛陀都用譬喻,分別眾生的根機來譬喻用法,同樣應病下藥,所以說「分別無掛礙」。樂說法的人,不怕眾生多剛強,總是要用心分別他的根機,這樣用時間去長久教化。佛陀就能等待眾生,四十多年後才開始顯圓教,一乘實法,才開始說,是因為時間不夠。但是佛陀應世間的壽命,現相在人間,雖然一期因緣、壽已經到了,但是捨身再來,捨這個今生此世,入大寂滅,就是大涅槃,他還是再應機來世。佛陀是歷塵點劫,因為三界導師,學生還沒有畢業,老師不能休息,所以「三界導師」,四生的慈父,他一定還是不斷再來。眾生,我們有心樂說法,還是分別。所以,「是說法師,在眾講演,善能分別」,也是要這樣分別,「樂說無礙」,還是要樂說。

言樂說有二義:
一者菩薩自得勝法
樂為眾生說
二者知眾生欲樂
而為說法
第一義就說者
適悅之情
樂解之
第二義就聞者之意
樂解之

這個「樂說」,有二種意思,一種就是「菩薩自得勝法,樂為眾生說」。已經了解這個法了,不請之師,你沒有叫我說,但是我就很愛說,到處要將好的法,將他的心得,一直要講給大家知道。因為他發菩薩心,要修菩薩行,當然就是要度眾生,不請自說,這就是樂說,很歡喜說,要讓大家知道。

第二就是「知眾生欲樂,而為說法」。知道眾生有要求法的心,所以他很歡喜說給他聽,將所得的法,全都無遺留,完全說給他聽。「樂說」還有兩義,第一義,就是說法者很適悅,這個時間裡,就是我最期待有這個機會,有這個因緣,我很願意將這大乘法,說給大家聽。第二義,那就是聽的人,他很歡喜,願意聽這大乘法,聽了之後,願意接受,很用心要去理解,理解這大乘深奧的意義。這都是要說的人,希望能說大乘法,大家能了解;要聽的人,適應大乘的根機,願意身體力行,願意更了解更深,行菩薩法那個奧妙的法,他願意。所以這叫做樂說法。

謂菩薩隨順
一切眾生根性
所樂聞法
而為說之
圓融無滯
故名樂說無礙智

也就是說,「菩薩隨順一切眾生根性,所樂聞法,而為說之,圓融無滯」,這叫做樂說無礙智。這就是菩薩也是同樣以佛,學佛的方法,隨眾生的根機,應眾生需要。不論是從小根機開始,「阿含」、「方等」、「般若」,應眾生的根機,也是這樣循循善誘,「而為說之,圓融無滯」。不論是小教、大法,是小教或者是大法,說法的人就是隨順眾生的根機,能全都圓融沒有阻礙,說法,真正流利無掛礙,這叫做「樂說無礙智」。這是在佛法中,我們也是要學「四無礙智」,義無礙、詞無礙、法無礙、樂說無礙,這四無礙智,我們全都要學得到。

所以,「諸佛護念故,能令大眾喜」。

諸佛護念故
能令大眾喜:
以得諸佛護念之故
能令聽眾
生大歡喜

諸佛護念,因為佛他為了眾生未來在人間需要體會這大法,所以諸佛護念。

接下來的文:「若親近法師,速得菩薩道,隨順是師學,得見恆沙佛。」

若親近法師
速得菩薩道
隨順是師學
得見恆沙佛
《法華經法師品第十品》

法師在講經,很用心,自己很用功深入,又是很用心將這圓教,這樣希望讓人人能體會入心,這樣的法師,就有很多人會來聽。「若親近法師,速得菩薩道」。

若親近法師
速得菩薩道:
若能親近說法之師
速得成就菩薩之道

因為法師所說的法,我們能了解了、體會了,就很快就會發心,所以「速得菩薩道」。是啊,我們要趕緊做,做,一邊做,一邊去體會,做了之後,起歡喜心,那自然就是「速得菩薩道」。這條路走得很歡喜,就繼續一直走。「若能親近法師,速得成就菩薩之道」,這就是佛陀這麼說。

親近:
不離左右
如影隨形
近不受教
近之無益
親近隨順
得道見佛者
以菩薩因行
諸佛果德
不離此妙法故

親近,就是「不離左右,如影隨形」,就是這樣常常親近,但是近而不受教,那就是無益。我們昨天也說過了,所以我們要親近,我們要受教,若是這樣,「親近隨順得道見佛」。我們若能親近,我們能受教,自然我們就能得道,能走上這條菩薩道。「以菩薩因行」,菩薩如何走的這個因行,「諸佛果德」,就能不離開。所以我們「不離此妙法」,我們要去了解、體會,如何能成佛,就是要先有菩薩的因行,然後才有辦法到佛的果德來,這不離這個妙法。《妙法蓮華經》就是這樣,要讓我們去行菩薩的因行,我們才有辦法到佛的果德。

下面說,「隨順是師學,得見恆沙佛」。

隨順是師學
得見恆沙佛:
若能隨順
從是師學
則於經中
得見三世恆沙諸佛
不離本心

我們若能這樣,就是隨順,「從是師學,則於經中,得見三世恆沙諸佛,不離本心」。總而言之,還是恆沙諸佛,都不離開我們的本心,因為我們還是真如本性。過去佛、現在佛、未來佛,很多恆沙諸佛,因為眾生無量,如恆河沙數,諸佛也無量,如恆河沙數,這就是我們應該要學的。學佛不離開我們的一念心,所以要好好用心,用在我們的日常生活中。我們日常生活所成的善,每天聽法之後,落實生活,這個生活中就是我們的佛法,佛法無不都是,為我們的生活而付出,希望我們人人要時時多用心。


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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: Diligently Engage in the Four Practices (四修精勤 因圓果滿)
Date: January.01.2018

“The goodness that is achieved is called virtue. The path that enables this accomplishment is called conduct. This means we must perfect our blessings of virtue and wise conduct. With all practices, we accumulate merits and virtues. The Four Practices are extended practice, uninterrupted practice, practice with nothing further and practice with reverence. We must practice these with diligence. We must actualize the Three Flawless Studies and Six Paramitas in all actions. With the Three Directives, we will perfect our causes and fruition.”

We must be very mindful. The goal of our spiritual practice, what we hope to accomplish, requires us to always be mindful, to be earnest and diligent. Then naturally, “The goodness that is achieved is called virtue. The path that enables this accomplishment is called conduct.” This is virtuous conduct.

Virtue is something we must constantly accumulate. As we deal with people and matters in our daily living, we must take the teachings we understand to heart and give of ourselves through spiritual practice. This is virtue. In order for us to accomplish this, we must always follow this path. What is this path? It is the great direct Bodhi-path, which is the path to enlightenment. As Buddhist practitioners, the Buddha teaches us that now we must begin to enter the Bodhisattva-path.

The Bodhisattva-path is the path of awakened love. [The Buddha] hopes for us all to take the Dharma to heart and walk upon the Bodhisattva-path of awakened love. This is the path we should take. The path we need to follow is that of “blessings of virtue and wise conduct.” In our practice and daily living, as we interact with people and deal with matters, there are multitudes of sentient beings and many afflictions and hardships.

We should cultivate blessings for those who are suffering and cultivate wisdom for those who are afflicted, [We must do this] because wisdom is only gained through experiencing afflictions. That is why we often say the phrase, “Afflictions are Bodhi.” Does this mean that we need to constantly give rise to afflictions? Not at all.

We have heard the Dharma and understood its principles; now we must implement them in our daily lives. Sentient beings have all kinds of afflictions and ignorance. While living among the multitudes of sentient beings who are filled with afflictions and ignorance, we need to follow the saying, “Bystanders see clearly, whereas participants are deluded.” Because of their afflictions, people end up opposing each other. They cause one another to give rise to afflictions. Everyone believes that they are doing the right thing and that their way of thinking is correct. They never question themselves, “Did I do something wrong? Is my way of thinking mistaken?” Everyone thinks they are right and are not wrong, so they believe that other people are wrong and end up opposing one another. We see this kind of situation among everyone. We understand that bystanders see clearly; [as bystanders,] we can clearly discern what is right from what is wrong. But what method do we use [to make things right]? We know that this is not how things should be. Why don’t people correct their mistakes if they are capable of doing so? This is all just a matter of our thoughts. When surrounded by the ignorance of others, we can see things clearly and develop our wisdom. When we see other people opposing one another, we can heighten our vigilance and remind ourselves that this is not acceptable. We need to open our hearts and be accommodating. Isn’t this the wisdom we attain from being in the midst of afflictions? If we are capable, we can advise these people who give rise to ignorance and afflictions. If we have the capability and the karmic conditions to guide them and resolve the conflicts among them, we will gain countless merits and virtues. This is what it means to cultivate wisdom. We cultivate it in the midst of afflictions.

When we see people who are suffering from poverty, illness, disaster and hardship, we cannot bear for them to suffer. By going among them, we have the opportunity to help them. This is called cultivating blessings of virtue. Thus, we cultivate blessings by going among people and gaining wisdom from their afflictions. If we cultivate blessings and wisdom like this, we are accepting the teachings and increasing our blessings and wisdom. We must always be mindful.

“The path that enables this accomplishment is called conduct.” This means we need to walk the Bodhi-path. If we do this, we will naturally come to perfect “blessings of virtue and wise conduct.” So, “With all practices, we accumulate merits and virtues.” All practices, all spiritual practice, means that is sentient beings live in suffering, we will help relieve their suffering. If they live in the midst of afflictions and suffer the torments of the body and mind, we can likewise advise and guide them. This is how we accumulate [merits and virtues]. This is referred to here as “all practices”. Whether we are cultivating blessings or wisdom, we are continuously accumulating them; this is all merits and virtues. Merits are internal cultivation, whereas virtues are external practice. We may clearly understand these principles, but we still need to put them into action; only when we are able to do this have we attained merits and virtues.

These are accumulated; we must accumulate merits and virtues. Everyone should remember that for a period of [time], I was constantly talking about the Four Practices. The Four Practices teach us that we need to practice constantly. We must engage in extended practice, uninterrupted practice, practice with nothing further and practice with reverence. In our daily lives, in every minute and every second, we need to engage in continuous, extended practice without any interruptions. We must take the Dharma to heart. In our daily living, while going among people, we must continue to practice with nothing further. [In response to] life’s suffering, we need to do as much as we can [to relieve them]; we must not stop until there is nothing further. We should just continue doing it and never let anything slip by us. As long as we can hear about something and can do something about it, we must not let it slip by. This is called “practice with nothing further.” We must make use of everything in our lives until it is enough; this is the meaning of “nothing further”. With whatever we can see, we must do whatever we can; this is what it means to “practice with nothing further.” We must do everything with reverence and respect. In our spiritual practice, in dealing with people and matters, we must have reverence and respect, because all people are future Buddhas. I really want to emphasize this. All sentient beings intrinsically possess the Buddha-nature; they all have it. Everyone has the nature of True Suchness. So, as long as the causes and conditions arrive, they will naturally draw near the Dharma and engage in spiritual practice. If they diligently engage in spiritual practice, they can also attain Buddhahood. It is not just us who listen to the Buddha-Dharma. There are still many who have not yet heard it and are currently confused and afflicted and continue to create ignorance.

Perhaps if they have the causes can conditions to hear the Buddha-Dharma, they too will be very earnest and diligent, more diligent than we are in our practice. They may even attain Buddhahood before us! Perhaps those we are helping right now might have the causes and conditions to attain Buddhahood in the future earlier than we do.

Therefore, in everything that we do, whenever we are helping others, we need to treat everyone with respect. I often tell everyone that [we must have] “gratitude, respect and love.” Not only must we help others, we must also be grateful. Because we must respect them, the unconditional love that we give them is one of respect and gratitude. This is what we do as we walk the Bodhisattva-path; Every day, we put these teachings into practice. So, we continue to develop our wisdom. This path is [to be] fully on with the Bodhisattva-path. We continuously cultivate blessings and wisdom, and also continuously accumulate all practice. In order to accumulate all practices, we need to have the Four Practices. During our regular spiritual practice, we never deviate from the Four Practices; then we are accumulating these in every second. With extended and uninterrupted practice, we dedicate our whole lives until there is nothing further. There is no time at all that we consider our own; we dedicate ourselves completely to serving. We must be very diligent and earnest. So, we need be very mindful.

This is how we must engage in spiritual practice. Only then will we be able to “actualize the Three Flawless Studies and Six Paramitas in all actions.” The Three Flawless Studies, which are precepts, Samadhi and wisdom, are essential. As we listen to the teachings, we need to contemplate them thoroughly and put them into practice. As for the precepts, since we are engaging in spiritual practice, we need to follow our rules and standards without ever deviating. We must guard against wrongs and stop evils, “refrain from all evil and practice all that is good.”

These are the precepts. As for Samadhi, our mind needs to be focused, and our resolve needs to be firm. We need to constantly practice Samadhi and wisdom. In our daily lives. We cannot allow ourselves to become confused. With a single slip of the mind, we will right mindfulness and slip into confusion. Thus, we need to follow the precepts, Samadhi and wisdom as we listen, contemplate and practice. This must happen in our daily lives.

Next, we need to actualize the Six Paramitas in all actions. This is all very simple, and is all within our daily living. As long as we can take good care of our minds, we go among people and perfect our character. We must always take care with our character; when we perfect our character, we are in perfect harmony with the principles. Then we can perfect our conduct. Only when we perfect our conduct and character can we perfect our principles. We want to perfect everything. To be perfect is to be in complete harmony.

Of course, if there are any flaws, we need to fix them immediately. But when dealing with others, we need to look at the ways that they are perfect instead of looking at their imperfections. If we only look at their shortcomings, we will always be dissatisfied with them. If we are always dissatisfied with them, how can we practice with reverence and respect? There is a Jing Si Aphorism that states, “If we do not look at the chipped edges of a cup, the whole cup is perfect.” It can still be put to good use. This way, in our interpersonal relationship, we can empower one another to help those who have no power at all. When we want to transform sentient beings, we cannot expect that overnight we will be able to teach everyone and have them follow our wishes. In our own conduct, are following the wishes of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas? We might still be very far from this. We only ask that other people do what we want, but do we ever go along with what other people want? We must think about other people’s [perspective], by coming from the standpoint of harmony we can achieve perfection in all things.

So, we must “actualize the Three Flawless Studies and the Six Paramitas in all actions.” We need to be very mindful in our daily lives. When dealing with people and matters, we should never deviate from the Four Practices. We need to “actualize the Three Flawless Studies and Six Paramitas in all action. [The Buddha taught] the Bodhisattva-path in this sutra’s Chapter on Dharma Teachers in hopes that we can perfect our causes and fruition with the Three Directives.

The Three Directives are entering the Tathagata’s room, putting on the Tathagata’s clothing and sitting on the Tathagata’s seat. “Great compassion is the room, gentleness and patience are the clothing, and the emptiness of all phenomena is the seat.”

If we can do this, won’t we perfect our causes and attain fruition? These are the things that we should practice. Thus, “The goodness that is achieved is called virtue.” While we are engaging in spiritual practice, we are cultivating blessings of virtue and wise conduct. This is how we proceed. All of our blessings and wisdom are being accumulated through all practices. To accumulate them, we need to engage in the Four Practices. The Three Flawless Studies and Six Paramitas must be actualized in all actions. We also must follow the Three Directives. We have been discussing these teachings for such a long time. Everyone, please be mindful! We need to understand the intent behind these teachings. This is the Buddha’s one great cause and what He came to the world to teach. Most importantly, He hoped for every one of us to be able to succeed [in their practice]. To succeed is to return to our intrinsic nature of True Suchness and comprehend our wisdom that is equal to the Buddha’s. Actually, the path to Buddhahood is right by our side. Therefore, we need to be mindful in our daily living. The previous [sutra] passage says, “If they forget passages or verses, I will teach them to help them attain keen comprehension.”

If they forget passages or verses, I will teach them to help them attain keen comprehension. Those people who are replete with this virtue, or expound to the fourfold assembly, or read and recite the sutra in empty places will all be able to see my body.

If we forget about the words of the sutra or the meanings behind them, if we do not know how to explain them or how to put them into practice, at this time, the Buddha “will teach [us] to help [us] attain keen comprehension.” At this moment, the Buddha will manifest His pure and radiant body to remind us what we had forgotten and help us attain keen comprehension. “I will teach them to help them attain keen comprehension. Those people who are replete with this virtue, or expound to the fourfold assembly, or read and recite the sutra in empty places will all be able to see my body.”

This is the Dharma-body of Sakyamuni Buddha. He manifested His pure and radiant body. Actually, His pure and radiant body is the Dharma. When it comes to the Dharma, so long as we are sincere and mindful, amidst the assembly, we will naturally know how to actualize the teachings among people. In times of hardship, our benefactors will naturally appear to come and help us. Or, we will suddenly be inspired and our difficulties will naturally be resolved. By helping ourselves, we help others. Then we can come together with many people and resolve difficulties. So many teachings cannot be realized by just sitting here listening or teaching.

In reality, the Dharma can be found everywhere. Every single thing teaches us the Dharma. Anything can suddenly inspire us with an idea; if we cannot solves this [problem] here, sometimes by seeing that thing there, it allows us to resolve this difficulty. In so many situations, it is the Dharma helping us [to resolve things]. We must mindfully seek to experience this.

The following [sutra] passage says, “If those people are in empty places, I will dispatch heavenly beings, dragon kings, yaksas, ghosts, spirits and others to be the assembly listening to their teachings. These people teach the Dharma with joy and do so in different ways without hindrance. All Buddhas safeguard them so they can bring joy to the assembly.”

If there are people in empty places, places completely without other people, as long as they uphold the Dharma, their minds will always be filled with this perfect teaching. Every thought they give rise to is reverent, so all Dharma-protectors can hear the words of their hearts. Thus, as spiritual practitioners, we need to pay great attention to every thought we give rise to. When we think about the Dharma, Dharma-protectors will naturally be around us. When we contemplate the Dharma, when the words of our heart teach the Dharma, naturally, heavenly beings dragosn kings, yaksas, ghosts, spirits and others will all listen to the words of our hearts expounding the Dharma. They will serve as “the assembly listening to [our] teachings.” So, “These people teach the Dharma with joy.” Those who want to teach the Dharma need to constantly think about how they should teach it.

They think, “I will be giving a class tomorrow. I need to prepare for that lecture immediately. Once I have prepared the lecture, I need to quickly practice giving it.” Many people who give speeches, or those who are learning to give speeches will recite it quietly to themselves. Students do this too! I need to memorize the class materials.

It is the same principle. While students memorize class materials, they also have Dharma-protectors around them; hard work results in achievements. The principle is the same. Moreover, when we allow this perfect teaching to fill our hearts completely, we can make use of this Dharma in our heats all the time in our daily living. Then every thought we give rise to will be speaking the Dharma. Naturally the Dharma-protectors will be the ones listening to us teach the Dharma. This is because we teach the Dharma with joy.

Those who love to teach the Dharma naturally have the Dharma in our thoughts at all times. We are always surrounded by Dharma-protectors and people who listen to the Dharma, which helps our minds be free of hindrances so we can go among people without any fear. Didn’t we discuss this before? We can go among people without fear or hindrances because we are safeguarded by all Buddhas. We must mindful seek to comprehend this; when we give rise to one thought, all Buddhas of the trichiliocosm will be around us.

So, we “can bring joy to the assembly.” This requires us to be mindful. If we are in an empty place, a quiet, tranquil space, we can “cultivate and discipline our minds.” We need to collect our minds.

If those people are in empty places: This refers to people who, in quiet and tranquil places, cultivate and discipline their minds.

We are so busy most of the time. When we must [deal with] many people and mattes and are very busy, we must focus single-mindedly on what we are doing. After we have taken care of these matters and the people around us have gone, we need to quickly collect our minds and mindfully contemplate. Why do people have so many afflictions like this, have ignorance that cannot be resolved? When faced with this ignorance they cannot escape, how can we help these people free themselves from it? First, need to calm ourselves down. So, we must be “in quiet and tranquil places.” We leave the places which are busy and noisy and stay in quiet and trqanquil places. There, we need to earnestly concentrate our minds.

Those people [are like those in] a later chapter called “the Chapter on the Practice of Bringing Peace and Joy.” There is sutra passage that says, “In empty spaces, they cultivate and discipline their minds, abiding peacefully, as unwavering as Mt. Sumeru.”

This is how we must engage in spiritual practice. We need to settle our minds. No matter how noisy or bothersome [the world is], our minds must still abide peacefully, as unwavering as Mt. Sumeru. This chapter in the Lotus Sutra, the Chapter on the Practice of Brining Peace and Joy, teaches us how to have our minds abide peacefully, as unwavering as Mt. Sumeru. This is where we need to put in our effect. The sutra passage says the following, “I will dispatch heavenly beings, dragon kings, yaksas, ghosts, spirits and others to be the assembly listening to their teachings.”

I will dispatch heavenly beings, dragon kings, yaksas, ghosts, spirits and others to be the assembly listening to their teachings: The eight classes of Dharma-protectors vow to protect the Buddha-Dharma. Now that these Dharma teachers read, recite, expound and teach [this sutra], the Buddha dispatches them to be the assembly listening to their teachings.

The eight classes of Dharma-protectors have already been taught and transformed by the Buddha. Therefore, they vow to protect and uphold the Buddha-Dharma. Right now, although the Buddha is removed from us by over 2000 years, to this day it is the same. So, in the Chapter on Dharma Teachers, it says that as people read, recite, expound and teach [this sutra], the Buddha will dispatch the eight classes of Dharma-protectors whom He has already taught and transformed. They have already made vows to protect and uphold the Buddha-Dharma. So, the Buddha is telling us that the people who uphold the sutra, when out amongst many people, will have Dharma-protectors with them. Or. If they are in an empty space that is tranquil and quiet, with no human voices, the Dharma-protectors will still be with us. With every thought we give rise to they will still come to listen to the Dharma, to our inner voice, to the Dharma in our heats. All Buddhas and Bodhisattvas teach and transform sentient beings.

Similarly, heavenly beings, dragon kings, ghosts and spirits are forever protecting the Dharma. By the same principle, when we ordinary beings form aspirations and accept the teachings, we can also attain the support and protection of these Dharma-protectors. We need to put our heart into realizing this. “These people teach the Dharma with joy and can discern it without hindrance.”

These people teach the Dharma with joy and can discern it without hindrance: This mean, when the Dharma teachers expound it for all people, they excel at discerning it and teach it with unhindered joyful eloquence.

Those who teach the Dharma with joy can discern all the different teachings. To help everyone understand they use matters to help them grasp the principles. Because there are many worldly matters and many afflictions, the Buddha expounded the Dharma to resolve the world’s afflictions; He prescribed this medicine according to the suffering of the world.

Thus, the Lotus Sutra is the wondrous medicine to treat the world, the right medicine for the illness. Because of this, there are many teachings. For people who take joy in teaching the Dharma, “If you don’t understand this, it’s no problem. I will just use another analogy to explain. You still don’t understand? No problem. I will accompany you for a long time and use all kinds of methods, based on whatever situations you encounter, to tell you that this teaching is like this.”

So, among the Buddha’s teachings, there are the Nine Divisions of Teachings. We already explained this in the Chapter on Skillful Means. So, [the Buddha] uses analogies. For many teachings, the Buddha uses analogies according to sentient beings’ different capacities. This is like prescribing medicine according to the illnesses. Thus it says, they “can discern it without hindrance” Those who teach the Dharma with joy are not afraid of how stubborn sentient beings are. They have to mindfully discern sentient beings’ capacities and spend a long ime teaching and transforming them. The Buddha was able to wait for sentient beings for more than 40 years before He began to reveal the perfect teachings; only then did he begin to teach the True Dharma of the One Vehicle. This was because He did not have enough time. However, the Buddha manifested in this world according to the lifespans of this world. Although His causes and conditions for that life, His lifespan, had already come to an end, He left this life to return again. He left this life to enter Parinirvana, the great Nirvana. Yet He would still come again to this world according to the capacities [of sentient beings]. The Buddha [has done this for] dust-inked kalpas because He is the guiding teacher of the Three Realms. His students have not graduated yet, so this teacher cannot rest. So, [He is the] “guiding teacher of the Three Realms” and the kind father of sentient beings. He will absolutely continue to return. If we have the resolve to teach the Dharma with joy for sentient beings, we must still discern it. “This means when the Dharma teachers expound to all people, they excel at discerning it.” They must make these kinds of discernments and “teach it with unhindered joyful eloquence” They must have this joyful eloquence.

In saying “teach with joy,” there are two meanings: First, Bodhisattvas, on attaining supreme Dharma, take joy in expounding it to sentient beings. Second, knowing what sentient beings desire and delight in, they expound the Dharma for them accordingly. The first meaning takes the teachers’ feelings of fitting joy to explain “joy”. The second meaning takes the listeners’ wishes to explain “joy”.

“Teach with joy” has two kinds of meanings. The first is that “Bodhisattvas, on attaining supreme Dharma, take joy in expounding it to sentient beings.” They have already understood this Dharma. Now, they are unsummoned teachers. They are not asked to expound [the Dharma], but they take joy in expounding it. They go everywhere to share good teachings, to share their realizations with everyone to help them understand. Because they have formed Bodhisattva-aspirations and want to cultivate the Bodhisattva-practice, they transform sentient beings and expound the teachings without being asked to. This is teaching with joy; they are happy to teach and help everyone understand [the Dharma].

Second, “knowing what sentient beings desire and delight in, they expound the Dharma for them accordingly.” They know that sentient beings have the resolve to seek the Dharma, so they take joy in expounding the Dharma to them. They expound all the teachings to sentient beings without any reservations.

“Teaching with joy” has two other kinds of meanings. The first meaning is that the Dharma-teachers feel fitting joy. “This time is the opportunity I most look forward to. With these karmic conditions, I am willing to expound this Great Vehicle Dharma for everyone to listen to.”

The second meaning is that the listeners are joyous and willing to listen to the Great Vehicle Dharma. After hearing it, they are willing to accept it and mindfully seek to comprehend the profound meanings of the Great Vehicle Dharma. Those who want to expound the Dharma hope to be able to teach the Great Vehicle Dharma so that everyone will be able to understand it. The people who want to listen have Great Vehicle capacities and are willing to put the teachings into practice. They are willing to delve deeper and practice the wondrous and profound Dharma of the Bodhisattva Way. They are willing to do this. Thus, this is called teaching the Dharma with joy.

In other words, “Bodhisattvas adapt to the capacities of all sentient beings. Whichever Dharma they enjoy listening to, Bodhisattvas will teach it harmoniously and smoothly. Thus it is the wisdom of unhindered joyful eloquence.”

Bodhisattvas use the same methods as the Buddha. They use the Buddha’s methods [to teach] sentient beings according to their capacities and needs. Beginning with the teachings for those with limited capacities, [they taught] the Agama, Vaipulya and Prajna teachings based on sentient beings’ capacities; they also guided them patiently. “Bodhisattvas will expound it harmoniously and smoothly.” Regardless of whether it is the limited teachings or the Great Dharma, the people who expound the Dharma always follow sentient beings’ capacities. They do so harmoniously and without obstructions. They expound the Dharma smoothly without any hindrances. This is called the “wisdom of unobstructed joyful eloquence."

In the Buddha-Dharma, we must also learn the Four Unobstructed Wisdoms, unobstructed meaning, unobstructed rhetoric, unobstructed Dharma and unobstructed joyful eloquence. We need to learn all of the Four Unobstructed Wisdoms. Thus, “All Buddhas safeguard them so they can bring joy to the assembly.”

All Buddhas safeguard them so they can bring joy to the assembly: Because they are safeguarded by all Buddhas, they can lead the listeners to give rise to great joy.

All Buddhas safeguard them because Buddhas wat sentient beings in the world in the future to comprehend this Great Dharma. Thus, they are safeguarded by all Buddhas.

The following sutra passage says, “People who draw near the Dharma teachers will quickly attain the Bodhisattva-path, People who follow these teachers and learn will be able to see Buddhas as numerous as the Ganges’ sands.”

Dharma teachers mindfully expound the Dharma. They work hard and deeply immerse themselves. They put their heart into giving this perfect teaching, in hopes that everyone will be able to understand it and take it to heart. With Dharma teachers like this, many people will come to listen to them. “People who draw near the Dharma teachers will quickly attain the Bodhisattva-path.”

People who draw near the Dharma teachers will quickly attain the Bodhisattva-path: If people can draw near the teachers who expound the Dharma, they can quickly bring to fruition the Bodhisattva-path.

When we understand and comprehend the teachings expounded by the Dharma teachers, we will immediately form aspirations. Therefore, we “will quickly attain the Bodhisattva-path.” Indeed, we need to quickly take action. As we take action, we will realize [the Dharma]. After doing this, we give rise to joy. Then, we will naturally “attain the Bodhisattva-path.” As we walk along this path, we will be very happy and will continue to walk it. If we draw near the Dharma teachers, we “can quickly bring to fruition the Bodhisattva-path.” This is what the Buddha said.

Draw near: We must not deviate to the right or left; but be like a shadow following the shape. If we draw near them but do not accept their teachings, our closeness will not be beneficial. For those who draw near, follow, attain the Path and see the Buddha, by practicing the causal actions of Bodhisattvas, they will attain the virtuous fruits of all Buddhas because they never deviate from this wondrous Dharma.

When we say “drawing near”, it means that “We must not deviate to the right or left, like a shadow following the shape.” Thus we always draw near [the Dharma teachers]. However, if we draw near them but do not accept their teachings, it will not be beneficial to us. This is what we discussed yesterday. We need to draw near [the Dharma teachers], but we also need to accept their teachings. If we can do so, “Those who draw near and follow [can] attain the Path and see the Buddha.” If we can draw near them and accept their teachings, we can naturally attain the Path. We will be able to walk this Bodhisattva-path. “By practicing the causal actions of Bodhisattvas,” by following how Bodhisattvas engage in causal practice, “we will attain the virtuous fruits of all Buddhas.” We will be able to refrain from deviating, so we will “never deviate from this wondrous Dharma.” We need to comprehend [the Dharma].

In order to attain Buddhahood, we first need to practice the causal actions of Bodhisattvas. Then, we will be able to attain the virtuous fruits of all Buddhas. We must never deviate from this wondrous Dharma. The Wondrous Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra tells us that only by practicing the causal actions of Bodhisattvas, can we attain the virtuous fruits of all Buddhas.

“People who follow these teachers and learn will be able to see Buddhas as numerous as the Ganges’ sands.” If we can follow the Dharma like this “and learn from these teachers, then through this sutra, we will be able to meet Buddhas of the Three Periods as numerous as the Ganges’ sands.” “This is inseparable from our original mind.”

In summary, Buddhas as numerous as the Ganges’s sands are inseparable from our original mind. This is because we posses. There are Buddhas in the past, present and future. There are as many Buddhas as the Ganges’ sands. Because there are infinite sentient beings, as many as the sands of the Ganges river, there are also infinite Buddhas, as many as the sands of the Ganges River. This is what we need to learn.

Learning the Buddha-Dharma is all about our mind. Therefore, we need to put effort into being mindful and applying the teachings in our daily lives. The goodness we accomplish in our daily living comes from applying the teachings we listen to every day in our lives. The Buddha-Dharma is in our daily living. The Buddha-Dharma is all about living our lives for the sake of giving. Therefore, I hope we will all always be mindful.

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