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 20180104《靜思妙蓮華》 開顯始覺 如來藏性 (第1255集) (法華經•見寶塔品第十一)

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發表主題: 20180104《靜思妙蓮華》 開顯始覺 如來藏性 (第1255集) (法華經•見寶塔品第十一)   周四 1月 04, 2018 8:09 am

20180104《靜思妙蓮華》 開顯始覺 如來藏性 (第1255集) (法華經•見寶塔品第十一)

⊙「大覺法身真如境界,始自一光徹照東方,圓現生佛始終一如,通示眾生心境之妙。」
⊙此見寶塔品顯示如來常住法身,直指淨土實報靜寂清澄,欲令眾生契佛一實圓教,法自佛口開示眾生悟入。
⊙見寶塔者,謂以始覺之智見於如來藏性。即在人人心地中,開顯本具之如來藏性。
⊙見寶塔品,過去久遠劫,多寶世尊,臨滅度時,告諸大眾,有欲供養我全身者,應當發心起一大塔。
⊙十方世界說法華處,我之寶塔因聽經故,涌現其前,為作證明。今由此土佛說是經,多寶佛願力遙聞,故從地涌出。
⊙「爾時、佛前有七寶塔,高五百由旬,縱廣二百五十由旬,從地涌出住在空中。」《法華經見寶塔品第十一》
⊙爾時、佛前有七寶塔:爾時:法師品說竟時。佛前:即法華會前。七寶塔:喻如來藏心,即清淨自性。
⊙七寶塔即多寶佛塔。塔:表實相之境,為法身所依之處。
⊙高五百由旬:喻如來藏心與眾生染心不相應,高出五趣之上。
⊙五趣:又名五趣雜居,或言五道,即地獄、餓鬼、畜生、人、天。
⊙高五百:是二萬里,豎表因中萬行,果中萬德,以因望果,即高義。
⊙縱廣二百五十由旬:謂如來藏,即為二十五有之真實體性。
⊙縱廣:塔基之相。豎縱橫廣二百五十,約由旬量,該一萬里。修成法身,以戒為體。
⊙聲聞之戒二百五十,今開小乘,同歸作佛,戒定慧三,相由而生。故說塔基,其量如是。四威儀中,皆具是數。故云:縱廣二百五十。
⊙從地涌出,住在空中:約相易見,若表法者,從心地中之所涌出。住於究竟大涅槃空。
⊙涌出:喻如來藏心由見思等煩惱障中顯現。住空:喻依於真空實相而住。
⊙寶塔從地涌出,係有過去古佛多寶如來親來聞法,以證是經之勝妙。

【證嚴上人開示】
「大覺法身真如境界,始自一光徹照東方,圓現生佛始終一如,通示眾生心境之妙。」

大覺法身真如境界
始自一光徹照東方
圓現生佛始終一如
通示眾生心境之妙

用心來了解,「大覺法身真如境界」。佛的境界已經是大徹大悟了,佛所說法,無不都是道理、真理、妙法。法身,大家要記得,法身的名稱就是道理,一真實法,是遍虛空法界的真理,佛陀已經覺悟了,遍虛空法界,會入真如本性,那境界裡。佛陀在靈鷲山,開演《法華經》時,他靜坐、發光,眉間毫光照遍東方萬八千佛土,這在<序品>開始,大家應該記得。所以,一光這樣照徹東方。這就是要顯示,佛過去說法四十多年過去了,現在也應該,來圓他一生人間的目標,這圓教要呈現。佛陀的心願就是來人間,一大事因緣,這一大事因緣未了,現在靈山會上就是要來圓,圓這個心願,所以「圓現」。這個心願是什麼?佛陀初覺悟第一句話,第一個感觸:「奇哉!奇哉!大地眾生皆有如來智性。」這是佛陀初覺悟那時候,體會大地眾生皆有與佛同等,如來真如本性,只是眾生不知不覺,不了不悟,這就是佛陀想要讓大家知而覺,了解而徹悟,這是佛的本懷。

所以「圓現生佛始終一如」。心、佛、眾生三無差別,從塵點劫以前,從無始以來就是這樣,所以佛陀靈山會,來「通示眾生心境之妙」。佛陀的境界,希望眾生人人都能這念心,體會這個境界,所以佛還沒講《法華經》之前,那就是「離言法華」,還未講出,就一光遍照萬八千土,在東方,希望大乘圓教能夠從東方開始,保持著大乘法,傳在人間。「離言法華」,講《法華經》之前,《無量義經》已經說過了,之後開始現示「離言法華」,來證明前面的《無量義經》,甚深、甚深,真實甚深。真的是甚深的法,現在在《法華經》,更微細,更詳細來分析,甚深甚深微妙甚深的法,原來是在人間,是救世良方。

這要從救心開起,眾生人人本具佛性,與佛同等,始終如一,原來就是這樣,只是我們凡夫無法去體會了解,佛陀在《法華經》要圓,從「空、有」真理,要將它會合,在《法華經》都要將它顯示,這就是中道,我們不執空,也不執有,是真空而妙有。救世良方,是要從人心自覺開始,覺悟自己,人人就是真如本性存在,讓大家能體會了解。既然有人人的本覺佛性,當然人人也能大覺,體解大道,人人都能與天地宇宙合而為一,這道理人人應該都通達清楚,但是就是重重、重重,自我無明來覆障自己。每天講經完了,大家聽法完了,就是「願消三障諸煩惱,願得智慧真明了,普願業障悉消除,世世常行菩薩道」。是啊,我們要世世常行菩薩道,人間多少障礙,障礙重重,但是我們就是要用,清淨無染這念心,入人群中,不受人群煩惱將我們障礙,當然我們就要消除業障。

業障,面對著芸芸眾生,一波一波的困難,我們就要念念靜寂清澄,念念都要自己清除,煩惱要念念清除,我們才能分分了了明明,現前的道理,所以我們要很用心。佛陀說法也是很用心,所以從<序品>開始前,先講《無量義經》,然後「離言法華」,發光現瑞,照徹東方萬八千土,這就是在示相。一直從<方便品>開始,不斷讚歎如來智性,如來微妙的智慧,不斷讚歎。如來智性,回歸到天地宇宙萬物的真理,但是在場人人無法理解,舍利弗,智慧第一,所以聽得出佛陀的含義,這天地宇宙萬物之間,收攝入了佛大覺一念心,所以,佛智,一切種智,天地宇宙,一切種智,無不是佛陀所體悟、覺悟的道理。但是,這個道理要如何來分析呢?舍利弗三請,佛陀三止,「止、止、不須復說。」為什麼啊?因為這部經很深很深,難解啊,相信,眾生無法體悟,無法了解,一不小心,那就會「差毫釐,失千里」,所以,佛陀很慎重,舍利弗鍥而不捨,要契合佛心,所以再請,才能知道,佛是為了要啟開大家。他讓大家那個疑心,佛開始要啟開,但是人人要有,有那分決定的心,所以,佛陀一止再止,三(止後)才開始,開始要讓大家堅定信心。

因為眾生難調伏,若要聽這部經,眾生是難知難解,很困難,大家要有耐心,要調伏自己剛強的知見,自己若執著自己的知見,不想要打開自己的心門,那就是無法直接接受佛的教法。所以佛陀<方便品>中,不斷地讚歎如來智性,舍利弗代替大眾來請法,佛陀答應了,從這樣開始啟開方便門。過去就是方便的門,方便中旳真理,說有談空,這是過去為接引眾生,讓他們體會人間道理,然後道埋分析到底,清淨無染,淨如虛空,所以一切皆空。眾生,「方等」、「般若」,在這空法之中,方向到底要往哪裡走?虛空法界,這麼的空曠,方向要在哪裡?一點點的偏差,方向就差錯了。所以才要再用種種譬喻,才讓大家慢慢來信解。用心良苦,就是這樣一品一品,一直到<法師品>來,佛陀很慎重,要讓大家知道,《法華經》所在的地方,就是佛的全身所在,這全身就是圓教,就是遍虛空法界的真理,所容納的地方,所以要大家要很慎重接受這部經,要敬信,要很深信。這是在〈法師品〉中,佛陀一再對一位對機的人,當機者,那就是藥王菩薩。一再提示藥王菩薩,就是大家要清楚這部經的重要,是人間重要的經典。

所以又接下來,要再加強,讓大家了解,是佛佛道同,過去諸佛、現在的釋迦佛、未來的佛,同樣,這個圓教在人間,所以此品,就是〈見寶塔品〉,來「顯示如來常住法身」。如來,乘如是法而來人間,這叫做如來。這個法是佛佛道同,如是真實法,如來常住法身,遍虛空法界,無不都是道理,道理就是諸佛的法身。所以「直指淨土實報」,就是在寂靜清澄。

此見寶塔品
顯示如來常住法身
直指淨土實報
靜寂清澄
欲令眾生
契佛一實圓教
法自佛口開示
眾生悟入

諸佛的心地境界,就是佛的淨土,就是佛的實報土,那就是回歸到寂靜清澄的境界。所以,要使令一切眾生能契佛一實圓教,要與佛心相契合起來,也就是與道理,來回歸一切的真理,一實的圓教,所以,佛陀一個目的,一大事因緣,就是要來說,為眾生開示,所以,法自佛口出,來開示眾生悟入。佛口所生子,法是從佛的口中說出來,眾生要很堅定的信心,來接受佛所說的教法,這樣我們才有辦法,去體會、去悟入。眾生要悟入佛的知見,就是佛所覺悟的境界。

前面<法師品>是第十品,現在再接下來,那就是在《法華經》,二十八品中的第十一品,叫做〈見寶塔品〉,現在的〈見寶塔品〉,那就是要來顯示,這「始覺之智,見於如來藏性」。

見寶塔者
謂以始覺之智
見於如來藏性
即在人人心地中
開顯本具之
如來藏性

我們的智慧,就是佛的一切智,人人本具的如來性,那就是如來藏性,就是在人人心地中。這個如來藏性,是在人人的心地中,「開顯本具(之) ,如來藏性」,這就是我們人人都有,只是被一層一層無明煩惱覆蔽,其實人人都是本具有,具有如來藏性。如來,藏在我們的本性之中,我們的真如,藏在如來藏,人人本具。

見寶塔品
過去久遠劫
多寶世尊
臨滅度時
告諸大眾
有欲供養我全身者
應當發心起一大塔

所以這〈見寶塔品〉,敘述「過去久遠劫,多寶世尊,臨滅度時」,就是「告諸大眾,有欲供養我全身者,應當發心起一大塔」。這就是多寶佛臨入滅之前,叮嚀交代他的願,希望眾生在多寶佛滅度後,為他建一大塔。這一大塔要做什麼啊?當然有多寶佛的道理,他的心願就是說:「十方世界說法華經法華的地方,我之寶塔因聽經故,湧現其前,為作證明。今由此土佛說是經,多寶佛願力遙聞,所以從地涌出」。

十方世界說法華處
我之寶塔因聽經故
涌現其前為作證明
今由此土佛說是經
多寶佛願力遙聞
故從地涌出

就是應多寶佛將入滅之前,他所交代:「為我建一個大塔,在十方世界,有講《法華經》的地方,我的寶塔也是會去聽經,就會湧現其前來做證明,證明這部經就是諸佛道同。」諸佛出現人間,這條路走過來,都是同樣的路,就是為利益眾生,就是要治世間那種濁氣,眾生的無明,在這部經之中,應時代世界所需要,佛陀就是應眾生所需要的時代,來出現人間,來度眾生。眾生了解修行方法,就是要行菩薩道,佛陀教化眾生菩薩道,所以,這菩提大道,是諸佛來人間所開的路。法,道從口出,佛的口,為我們鋪路,讓我們知道將來要如何回歸,如來清淨的本性,你就是往這條路走去。「經者,道也;道者,路也」,就是往這條路走去,這是諸佛來人間走的同一條道,為未來眾生所鋪的一條路,這是佛佛道同。

「今由此土佛說是經」。現在在這個娑婆世界這個地方,釋迦牟尼佛講這部經,所以「多寶佛願力遙聞」,所以「從地涌出」。這樣要來證明佛,釋迦佛所講的法《法華經》。這是〈見寶塔品〉,它湧現的目標,也是多寶佛要擁護《法華經》,持《法華經》的地方,就會有多寶佛他去聽佛說法的地方,所以,這是多寶佛的心願。釋迦佛講《法華經》,多寶佛塔從地湧出,忽然間多寶佛塔出現。這是在我們再接下去,所要說的法,現在大家先聽進去,先心裡了解,為什麼有多寶佛塔湧出的道理。看經文,來了解佛佛道同的道理。

〈見寶塔品〉的開頭,經文這樣說:「爾時、佛前有七寶塔,高五百由旬,縱廣二百五十由旬,從地涌出住在空中。」

爾時
佛前有七寶塔
高五百由旬
縱廣二百五十由旬
從地涌出
住在空中
《法華經見寶塔品第十一》

「爾時」,就是佛將〈法師品〉講完了,希望人人能發心持經,持《法華經》,讀誦、書寫、解說這個道理,身體力行來供養佛。那些道理說完,現在開始,「爾時佛前有七寶塔」,那個時候,就是「爾時」。

爾時
佛前有七寶塔:
爾時:
法師品說竟時
佛前:
即法華會前

〈法師品〉講完之時,「佛前」,就是法華會的前面,就這樣湧現出了七寶塔。

七寶塔:
喻如來藏心
即清淨自性
七寶塔即多寶佛塔
塔:
表實相之境
為法身所依之處

七寶塔就是譬喻如來藏心。如來藏的心,就是如來本性,即是清淨自性。佛陀的時代,也是在人間,在人間難道真的在土地上,會忽然間冒出了一座塔來嗎?要告訴你的道理,這全都是在譬喻,七寶塔就是「如來藏心」。如來藏,我們人人本具的心地,就是清淨自性,人人本來就是清淨的自性,如來藏,是七寶塔,就是多寶佛塔。

這個塔,就是表示「實相之境」。有這個塔,就是有實在的東西在那裡,讓大家看,看到那個地方,有一座塔湧現出來。其實,這是一個譬喻,有真實的法,真實法,藏在塔中,就是藏在人人的心地,如來藏中。這表示境界,人人心地的境界。「為法身所依之處」,就是道理所依止的地方,那就是如來藏。這個法在哪裡?雖然遍虛空法界,凡夫不知覺。其實凡夫的真如,也同樣藏有了天地萬物的真理,就是智慧,與佛平等,本來就有,真實有。

高五百由旬:
喻如來藏心
與眾生染心不相應
高出五趣之上

「高五百由旬」。這個塔有多高?高五百由旬。這是譬喻「如來藏心,與眾生染心不相應,高出五趣之上。」我們自己的如來藏心,與這個無明煩惱凡夫心,現在就是不相應。我們本來就有,但是,就是眾生凡夫,已經被無明不斷覆蔽,這個染心,就是污染的心重重疊疊,無法與真如本性來相契應,是「高出五趣之上」。我們這個如來藏心,是高出了五趣之上。什麼叫做「五趣」呢?

五趣:
又名五趣雜居
或言五道
即天、人
地獄、餓鬼、畜生

「五趣」,五趣雜居地,也可以稱作「五道」,「五道」就是天、人、地獄、餓鬼、畜生,這叫做「五趣」。在這「五趣」中都是凡夫,造作無明,造作煩惱,造作種種的惡業,所以不斷在五道輪轉。「五趣」就是五條路,我們凡夫的染心,就是在這五條路裡,在這五趣之中。這就是凡夫雜染的心,無法與如來藏互相契合。如來藏,已經超越了五趣,所以形容五百由旬,是已經超越過了,很高,五百由旬。

高五百:
是二萬里
豎表因中萬行
果中萬德
以因望果
即高義

五百由旬,一由旬四十里,五百由旬那就是二萬里,很高。所以,豎立起來的就是直,這樣立起來,表示「因中萬行」。我們從這樣,只有一條路一直走過來,這條菩薩道只有一條,就是六度萬行。

所以「果中萬德」,這個果,菩薩的因就是成佛的果,因中萬行,六度萬行,這要用很長久的時間,行在菩薩道上,這條路很直很長。所以,「以因望果」。我們用因的方向走,直走就是到我們所要到的果位,那就是佛的境界。所以「以因望果」,就是高的意思。佛德崇高,很高,這是我們的目標,那就是藏在如來藏中。寶塔,「人人有個靈山塔,好向靈山塔下修」,這個塔,塔中藏著如來藏的本性,所以,高有這樣高。

縱廣
二百五十由旬:
謂如來藏
即為二十五有之
真實體性

「縱廣二百五十由旬」,就是說「如來藏,即為二十五有之真實體性」。如來藏,它藏中有二十五有真實的體性。「二十五有」,以後會解釋,很長。所以這個體性就是廣。

縱廣:塔基之相
豎縱橫廣二百五十
約由旬量
該一萬里
修成法身
以戒為體

縱廣,意思就是「塔基之相」,不論是直的,或者是橫的,這是相,所以「豎縱橫廣二百五十」,就是,這表示有萬里,萬里之廣與寬,二百五十由旬,那就是萬里;這就是表示寬廣相對應。「修成法身,以戒為體」。修成,我們要法身,我們就要守戒,戒是我們的根本,戒能防非止惡。不對的事情,我們要趕緊停止,我們的行為就已經錯誤,讓人家不高興,與眾生結惡緣,不可以啊,我們趕緊停下來,所造作的一點都不能偏差,我們要防非止惡。不對的事情,我們要趕緊停止,我們要常常戒慎,預防著不可再有二次的錯。

孔夫子的弟子顏回,「不貳過」,他沒有第二次的不對。第一次孔子若對他說:「你這樣不對,這樣的態度不對。」他就會趕緊停止下來,「以後我不會再有這個態度了。」所以,這是顏回,他就是「不貳過」。我們應該學佛應該也要這樣,最好連一次都不要有過失,有差錯。何況再犯,再有過失,再差錯,那無明煩惱就不斷覆蓋住,所以我們要以戒為體。我們修行,戒體很重要,日常生活中開口動舌,舉步動足,起心動念,都是一樣,我們要好好很謹慎,這都是我們的戒體。所以,以戒為體。

聲聞之戒二百五十
今開小乘同歸作佛
戒定慧三相由而生
故說塔基其量如是
四威儀中皆具是數
故云:
縱廣二百五十

「聲聞之戒二百五十,今開小乘」,將法,小乘法已經啟開了,過去大家都在小乘法中,現在已經啟開了小乘法,「同歸作佛」,我們不是只在這二百五十戒中,還有五百戒;不只在五百戒,千千萬萬,無量數的戒都不可犯錯,這樣慢慢「同歸作佛」,就是戒、定、慧這三項,「三無漏學」一定要具足。法,不能聽了就放掉了,聽完之後,要用在心裡。所以,「相由心生」。我們的形態,說你有修行或沒有修行,我們到底有犯戒嗎?這在我們的形相中,都能證明有沒有犯戒,要看我們自己。

「故說塔基」,有這樣二百五十由旬,就是要有那麼廣,這就是我們的戒規,要知道要有這樣的戒規在。所以「其量如是,四威儀中,皆具是數」。我們的四威儀,我們在行動中,開口動舌,起心動念,無不都是在四威儀中。大家要很用心,要不然看到,真的是感慨萬千啊!凡夫,我們為何每天每天,時時都要當凡夫呢?難道不能,趕緊收攝凡夫的心,趕緊向著佛菩薩的行蹤,我們來追隨呢?所以我們應該好好用心,在日常生活,四威儀中。所以縱廣二百五十由旬,廣,橫,有這樣。我們要以戒為基礎,戒就是這樣二百五十由旬,這叫做「二十五有」,很多,我們不能犯的戒,一定要當作我們的基礎。

「從地涌出.住在空中」,寶塔,見七寶塔,在這麼高、這麼廣,它從地湧出,住虛空中。

從地涌出
住在空中:
約相易見
若表法者
從心地中之所涌出
住於究竟大涅槃空

表示這個相,用相來說,比較容易了解,用這樣的譬喻,塔出現,這個「相」易見。「若表法者」,若以法來說,就是「從心地中之所涌出」。聽了〈法師品〉之後,大家應該要從心地,湧出七寶塔,橫直,豎與橫應該要超出五趣雜居,我們不要心又在五趣雜居中,我們應該超越五趣雜居,我們應該要超越五道。所以從心,表達法,從相來說,是寶塔,從法來表達,那是從心地中所湧出的。

「住於究竟大涅槃空」。我們應該心要寂靜下來,心要靜下來,不要再起心動念,我們的四威儀,要好好顧好。

涌出:
喻如來藏心
由見思等煩惱障中
顯現
住空:
喻依於真空實相
而住

「涌出」,就是「喻如來藏心,由見思煩惱障顯現」。見思惑等等的煩惱,障礙著我們,所以我們無法顯現。凡夫重重疊疊無明,將我們障礙了,見、思煩惱,塵沙惑,這樣將我們障礙住。住虛空中,是譬喻「依於真空實相而住」。這是佛,諸佛依在虛空的實相而住,那就是佛他的境界,真空妙有。

寶塔從地涌出
係有過去古佛
多寶如來親來聞法
以證是經之勝妙

所以,「寶塔從地涌出」,就是有過去,因為過去的古佛,「多寶如來親來聞法」,就是過去的佛來聞法。「以證是經之勝妙」,來證明這部經很殊勝的妙法。當然,過去的多寶佛來聞法,裡面含藏著的道理也很大,這麼深,這麼廣,直的是深又高,橫的是寬廣,這樣的道理,我們應該要體會。道理在哪裡呢?在如來藏心,在人人的心裡,只是我們無明不斷重重覆蓋著。所以我們聽佛法,學佛法,我們必定要時時多用心。


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發表主題: 回復: 20180104《靜思妙蓮華》 開顯始覺 如來藏性 (第1255集) (法華經•見寶塔品第十一)   周三 五月 16, 2018 2:52 pm

Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: Revealing Initial Enlightenment (開顯始覺 如來藏性)
Date: January.04.2018

“In the state of True Suchness of the great enlightened Dharmakaya, He first, with a ray of light, thoroughly illuminated the east. He perfectly demonstrated that sentient beings and the Buddha have always been the same and thoroughly revealed the wondrousness of the minds of sentient beings.”

We must mindfully understand this. “In the state of True Suchness of the great enlightened Dharmakaya…” The Buddha is already in the state of great understanding and great awakening. All the Buddha’s teachings are true principles and wondrous Dharma. Everyone should remember the term Dharmakaya; “Dharmakaya” refers to the principles. The One True Dharma is the true principles that pervade the universe. The Buddha has already attained enlightenment. [His mind] penetrates everything in the universe; it has converged with the nature of True Suchness. This is the state He is in.

At Vulture Peak, when the Buddha was about to begin to expound the Lotus Sutra, He sat in meditation and began to radiate light. A ray of light from between His eyebrows illuminated 18,000 Buddha-lands in the east. This is the beginning of the Introductory Chapter. Everyone should remember this. So, this ray of light illuminated the east. He did this to indicate that now, after more than 40 years of expounding the Dharma, He should be able to fulfill the objective of His life, to reveal this perfect teaching. This was the Buddha’s vow in coming to the world, His one great cause. This one great cause was not yet finished. Now, at the Vulture Peak Assembly, He wanted to bring His vow to completion. So, He “perfectly demonstrated” this. What was this vow? Upon attaining enlightenment, the Buddha’s first words, His initial realization, were “How amazing! How amazing! All beings possess the Buddha’s nature of wisdom.” When the Buddha attained enlightenment, He realized that all sentient beings have the same intrinsic Tathagata-nature of True Suchness as the Buddha. It is just that sentient beings are unaware and unawakened, lacking understanding and realization.

So, the Buddha wanted to help us all attain knowledge and awakening, to thoroughly understand and realize this. This was the Buddha’s original intent. “[He] perfectly demonstrated that sentient beings and the Buddha have always been the same. The mind, the Buddha, and sentient beings are no different [in their nature].” Since dust-inked kalpas ago, since Beginningless Time, this has been the case. Thus, at the Vulture Peak Assembly, the Buddha “thoroughly revealed the wondrousness of the minds of sentient beings.” This was the Buddha’s state. He hoped that all sentient beings can experience this state of mind. Before the Buddha expounded the Lotus Sutra, He taught “the unspoken Lotus Sutra.” Before He began to speak, He emitted a ray of light that illuminated 18,000 lands in the east. He hoped the perfect teaching of the Great Vehicle would begin [to take root] in the east, be preserved there and spread throughout the world.

As for “the unspoken Lotus Sutra,” before expounding the Lotus Sutra, [the Buddha] first taught the Sutra of Infinite Meanings. Then, He began to reveal the unspoken Lotus Sutra to confirm that the previous Sutra of Infinite Meanings was “very profound, very profound, truly very profound.”

It was truly very profound teachings. Now, with the Lotus Sutra, He would give an even more detailed analysis of this extremely profound, wondrous Dharma. This Dharma is medicine for saving the world. This must begin with saving our minds. All sentient beings innately have Buddha-nature. We are equal to the Buddha; this has always been the case. It has always been like this. However, we unenlightened beings are unable to comprehend this. In the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha wanted to bring the principles of “emptiness” and “existence” together as one. In the Lotus Sutra, this is what the Buddha wanted to reveal to us. This is the Middle Way. We should cling neither to emptiness nor existence. Wondrous existence is found in true emptiness. This is the medicine for saving the world, and it starts with awakening ourselves. Once we have awakened ourselves, we [discover] that we all have the nature of True Suchness. Then we help everyone to experience this.

Since we all have the same intrinsic, enlightened Buddha-nature, everyone is able to attain great awakening, comprehend the great path and become one with the universe. We must all thoroughly understand this principle. But the fact remains, we have layer upon layer of ignorance that obstruct us. Every day, after I finish my Dharma talk, when everyone has finished listening, [we chant,] “I vow to eliminate the Three Obstructions and all afflictions. I vow to obtain wisdom and true understanding. I vow to eliminate all karmic obstacles. I will follow the Bodhisattva-path, life after life.” Indeed, for life after life, we must follow the Bodhisattva-path. Life has so many obstructions, layer upon layer of hindrances, but as long as can apply a pure and undefiled mindset, we can go among people without beings obstructed by their afflictions. To do this, of course we need to eliminate our karmic obstructions. When our karmic obstructions [manifest], when we encounter myriad sentient beings bring wave after wave of difficulties, our every thought must be tranquil and clear. We must purify our every thought and eliminate all our afflictions. Only then can we fully and clearly understand the principles before us. This is why we must be very mindful.

When the Buddha expounded the Dharma, He too was extremely mindful. So in the beginning of the Introductory Chapter, He first taught the Sutra of Infinite Meetings, then “the unspoken Lotus Sutra,” where He radiated light and manifested appearances. He illuminated 18,000 lands in the east. In this way He manifested auspicious appearances. Beginning in the Chapter on Skillful Means, He continuously praised the Tathagata’s wisdom, the subtle, wondrous wisdom of the Tathagata. The Tathagata’s wisdom-nature returns to the true principles of all things in the universe. But the people in the assembly were unable to understand this. Sariputra was foremost in wisdom, so he understood the Buddha’s intent. All things in the universe are contained in the Buddha’s great awakening.

Therefore, the Buddha-wisdom, this all-encompassing wisdom, encompasses all things in the universe. These are the principles that the Buddha awakened to. But how could He explain these principles? Sariputra requested [the Dharma] three times, and the Buddha refused three times. “Stop, stop; there is no need to speak further.” Why was that?

It was because this sutra is very profound and difficult to understand. Sentient beings cannot comprehend or awaken to it. In a moment of carelessness, “A slight deviation will take us far off course.” This is why the Buddha had to be very careful. Sariputra did not give up; he wanted to be in accord with the Buddha’s mind. So, he again requested the Dharma; only then could he realize that the Buddha did this to inspire everyone. He made them all give rise to questions. He wanted to first inspire everyone, but everyone needed to have this kind of determination [to learn it]. This is why the Buddha refused over and over. Only after refusing three times did He begin. He had to start by enabling them all to be resolute in their faith.

This was because sentient begins are hard to tame. When it comes to listening to this sutra, it is difficult for sentient beings to understand [this Dharma]. Everyone must have patience, and everyone must tame their stubborn views. If we cling to our own perspectives and do not wish to open the door to our minds, we cannot directly accept the Buddha’s teachings.

Thus, in the Chapter on Skillful means, the Buddha continuously praised the Tathagata’s nature of wisdom. Sapirputa, on behalf of the assembly, requested teachings, and [finally] the Buddha agreed. Now, He would open the door of skillful means. In the past, the Buddha [used] skillful means; He taught the true principles with skillful means. Teaching about existence and emptiness was His way to guide sentient beings in the past so they could understand the worldly principles. Then He thoroughly analyzed the principles for us, how they are pure and undefiled, as pure as the void. Thus, all things are empty [in nature]. Sentient beings, during the Vaipulya and Prajna periods, [were taught] the emptiness of all phenomena, but what direction were they supposed to go in? In the vast emptiness of the universe, how do we find our bearings? The slightest misstep will cause our direction to deviate. This is why He had to use all kinds of analogies to gradually help us all develop faith and understanding. He painstakingly [did this], chapter by chapter, until reaching the Chapter on Dharma Teachers. There, the Buddha very carefully let everyone know that wherever the Lotus Sutra is present the Buddha’s entire body also abides.

“His entire body” [means] the perfect teachings, which are the true principles that encompass the entire universe. So, we must all very reverently accept this sutra. We must respect it and have deep faith in it. In the Chapter on Dharma Teachers, the Buddha repeatedly reminded the recipient of the teachings, Medicine King Bodhisattva, that everyone must be clear on the importance of this sutra. This sutra is important for the world.

After this, the Buddha wanted to reinforce our understanding that all Buddhas share the same Path. All Buddhas in the past, Sakyamuni Buddha in the present and all Buddhas of the future must all bring this perfect teaching to the world. The Chapter on Seeing the Stupa of Treasures reveals “the Tathagata’s ever-abiding Dharmakaya.” The Tathagata journeys on the Dharma of True Suchness to come to this world. [Tathagata means] “Thus Come One.” This Dharma is the path shared by all Buddhas, the True Dharma of Suchness, the Tathagata ever-abiding Dharmakaya. Everything in the universe contains principles, and these principles are the Dharmakaya of all Buddhas. Thus, “[The Buddha] directly demonstrated that the true reward of the pure land is tranquility and clarity.”

The Chapter on Seeing the Stupa of Treasures reveals the Tathagata’s ever-abiding Dharmakaya. [The Buddha] directly demonstrated that the true reward of the pure land is tranquility and clarity. He wished to help sentient beings resonate with the Buddha’s one true perfect teachings. The Dharma was opened and revealed through the Buddha’s speech for sentient beings to realize and enter.

The spiritual state of all Buddhas is the Buddha’s pure land, which is the true reward-land of the Buddha. This mean returning to a state of tranquility and clarity. Thus, He wanted to enable all sentient beings to resonate with the Buddha’s one true perfect teaching. We must resonate with the Buddha’s mind. This means returning to all true principles, to the one true perfect teaching.

Thus, the one great causes of the Buddha was to open and reveal the Dharma to sentient beings. So, with His speech, the Buddha opened and revealed the Dharma for sentient beings to realize and enter. [We are] Dharma-children born of the Buddha’s speech. The Dharma was taught through the Buddha’s speech, so sentient beings must have firm faith when accepting the teachings of the Buddha. Only then will we have a way to experience, realize and enter [the Dharma]. Sentient beings need to realize and enter the Buddha’s understanding and views, the state to which the Buddha awakened.

The previous Chapter on Dharma Teachers was the 10th Chapter. Now, the following chapter is the 11th of the 28 chapters in the Lotus Sutra, the Chapter on Seeing the Stupa of Treasures is intended to reveal “the wisdom of initial enlightenment to see the nature of the Tathagata-grabha”.

Our wisdom is [no different from] the Buddha’s all-encompassing wisdom, the Tathagata-nature everyone intrinsically has. This is the Tathagata-garbha; it exists in the minds of us all. This Tathagata-garbha nature is found in the ground of our minds. He thus “opened and revealed the intrinsic nature of the Tathagata-garbha”.

This is something we all have. It is just that it is concealed under layers of ignorance and afflictions. In fact, we all intrinsically have this, all possess the Tathagata-garbha. The Tathagata-[nature] is stored within our fundamental nature. Our nature of True Suchness is stored within the Tathagata-garbha; this is intrinsic to everyone.

So, the Chapter on Seeing the Stupa of Treasures [describes how], “Long and distant kalpas in the past when Many Treasures World-Honored One was about to enter Parinirvana, He announced to the great assembly, These who wish to make offerings to my entire body must form aspirations to erect a great stupa.”

Before Many Treasures Buddha entered Parinirvana, He entrusted [His assembly] with His wish. Many Treasures Buddha wished that after He entered Parinirvana, sentient beings would build a great stupa for Him. Why did He want this stupa? Of course, Many Treasures had His reasons. He made a vow that, in all worlds of the ten directions, wherever the Lotus Sutra is taught, “Because they listen to this sutra, my stupa of treasures will emerge before them to serve as a testimony. Now that the Buddha was teaching this sutra in this land, Many Treasures Buddha, through His power of vows, heard this from afar. Thus, [the stupa] “emerged from the ground.”

Before Many Treasures Buddha entered Parinirvana, He entrusted [the assembly] with building a great stupa for Him. “In the worlds in the ten directions, wherever the Lotus Sutra is taught, my stupa will go wherever people listen to the sutra, emerging before them to serve as a testimony.” It would serve as a testimony that this sutra is the path shared by all Buddhas. All Buddhas, when They manifest in the world, follow the same path of benefitting sentient beings by curing the world of turbidities and sentient beings of their ignorance.

As it says in this sutra, [the Buddha] responds to the needs of the world. The Buddha appears in the world in response to the needs of the time to transform sentient beings. [He helps] sentient beings understand that the method to engage in spiritual practice is to walk the Bodhisattva-path. The Buddha teaches and transforms sentient beings so we can practice the Bodhisattva-path. Thus, this great Bodhi-path is the road that all Buddhas open for us as they come to the world. This Dharma, this path, emerges from His speech. The Buddha’s speech paves the road for us and helps us understand how to return to our pure intrinsic Tathagata-nature. We just need to follow this road.

“The sutras are a path. This path is a road to walk on. This the road we must walk. This is the road all Buddhas follow when they come to this world; it is the road they pave for all sentient beings of the future. Thus, all Buddhas share the same path.

“Now that the Buddha was teaching this sutra in this land….” At this time, in the Saha World, Sakyamuni Buddha was expounding this sutra. Thus, “Many Treasures Buddha, through His power of vows, heard this from afar.” So, [the stupa] “emerged from the ground.” This served as a testimony to the Lotus Sutra as expounding by Sakyamuni Buddha.

In the Chapter on Seeing the Stupa of Treasures, this is the objective of the stupa’s emerging. Many Treasures Buddha came to support the Lotus Sutra. Wherever the Lotus Sutra is upheld, Many Treasures Buddha goes there to listen to that Buddha’s teaching.

This was the vow of Many Treasures Buddha. When Sakyamuni Buddha taught the Lotus Sutra the Stupa of Many Treasures Buddha suddenly emerged from the ground. This is the teaching we will discuss next.

Now, as we listen to this, we [must] first understand the principles behind why the stupa of Many Treasures Buddha emerged.

By reading this sutra passage, we understand the principle that all Buddha share the same path. The Chapter on Seeing the Stupa of Treasures begins with the sutra passage, “At that time, before the Buddha, a stupa of seven treasures, 500 yojanas in height and 250 yojanas in length and width, emerged from the ground and stayed in the air.”

“At that time” refers to when the Buddha had concluded the Chapter on Dharma Teachers. He hoped everyone could form aspirations to uphold the Lotus Sutra. [He wished we would] read, recite, transcribe and explain its principles and then put the teachings into practice as an offering to the Buddha.

Now that He had finished this teaching, “At that time, before the Buddha, a stupa of seven treasures….” “At that time,” refers to this moment when He had finished teachings the Chapter on Dharma Teachers. Before the Buddha” refers to how in front of the Lotus Dharma-assembly a stupa of seven treasures emerged.

A stupa of seven treasures: This is an analogy for the Tathagata-garbha mind, which is our pure intrinsic nature. The stupa of seven treasures was the stupa of Many Treasures Buddha. Stupa”: This represents ultimate reality, the place where the Dharmakaya resides.

The stupa of seven treasures is an analogy for the Tathagata-gardha mind. The Tathagata-garbha mind is our intrinsic Tathagata-nature, it is our pure intrinsic nature. The Buddha lived in this world. In thus world, could a stupa really suddenly emerge from the ground? This is intended to teach us a principle. All of this is an analogy. The stupa of seven treasures [represents] the Tathagata-garbha mind. We intrinsically have the Tathagata-garbha in the field of our minds. It is our pure intrinsic nature. Everyone innately had this pure, undefiled nature, the Tathagata-garbha. “The stupa of seven treasures was the stupa of Many Treasures Buddha.” This stupa “represents ultimate reality represents ultimate reality.” This stupa was a physical object.

In that place, people saw a stupa emerging [from the ground]. But actually, this is an analogy. Saying that the True Dharma is stored within the stupa means it is stored inside everyone’s minds, in the Tathagata-garbha. This represents the state of the ground of everyone’s mind.

“The place where the Dharmakaya resides is the place where the principles reside. This is the Tathagata-garbha. Where does this Dharma reside? Although it pervades the entire universe, unenlightened beings are unaware of it. Actually, ordinary being’s nature of True Suchness also contains the true principles of all things; it is wisdom equal to the Buddha’s. We have always had this; we truly have it.

“500 yojanas in height.” How high was this stupa? “500 yojanas in height.” This is an analogy for the Tathagata-garbha mind which does not resonate with the defiled minds of sentient beings; it transcends the Five Destinies.”

Our Tathagata-garbha mind and our ignorant, unenlightened minds cannot resonate now cannot resonate now. We fundamentally have [this mind], yet, as unenlightened being, our ignorance continuously covers it. Our defiled minds are covered in layer upon layer of ignorance, so we are unable to resonate with our nature of True Suchness. It “transcends the Five Destinies.” Our Tathagata-garbha mind transcends the Five Destinies. What are the Five Destinies?

The Five Destinies [are all found in this world]. They are also called the Five Realms. The Five Destinies are the heaven, human, hell, hungry ghost and animal realms. These are called the Five Destinies.

In the Five Destinies, everyone is unenlightened and creates ignorance, afflictions and all kinds of negative karma. Thus, all beings continuously transmigrate within the Five Destinies. The Five Destinies are five different paths. Unenlightened beings defiled minds are all within these five paths. Within the Five Destinies, the defiled minds of unenlightened beings cannot resonate with the Tathagata-garbha. The Tathagata-garbha has already transcended the Five Destinies. So, the description of 500 yojanas means it has already transcended [the Five Realms]. It is very tall, 500 yojanas [in height].

500 yojanas [in height]: This is 20,000 li. This vertical measurement represents myriad actions in the causal ground and the myriad virtues of fruition. Looking to the fruit from the cause is the meaning of “height.”

[How much is] 500 yojanas? One yojana is equal to 40 li (around 13 km). 500 yojanas is 20000 li (around 6500 km). [This stupa] was very tall. Thus, the vertical measurement of the stupa represents “myriad actions in the causal ground.” Knowing this, we just need to keep following that one road. There is only one Bodhisattva-path, which is to actualize the Six Paramitas in all actions.

So, in “the myriad virtues of fruition,” this fruition refers to how the Bodhisattva’s causes lead to the fruition of attaining Buddhahood. “The myriad actions in the causal ground,” “actualizing the Six Paramitas in all actions,” require a very long time of walking on the Bodhisattva-path. This road is very straight and very long. So, by “looking to the fruit from the cause,” by walking in the direction set by the cause, we will be able to attain the fruit we seek. This is the state of Buddhahood.

Thus, “looking to the fruit from the cause” is the meaning of “height”. The Buddha’s virtue is supremely high. This is our goal. This is concealed inside the Tathagata-garbha. “We each have a stupa on Vulture Peak; we can practice at the foot of that stupa.” This stupa contains our intrinsic Tathagata-garbha nature.

So, [the stupa] was this tall and was “250 yojanas in length and width.” This refers to “the Tathagata-garbha being the true essence and nature of the 25 forms of existence.” The Tathagata-garbha stores the true essence and nature of the 25 forms of existence.

“The 25 forms of existence” will be explained later, since it will take a long time. In any case, this essence is very expansive.

Length and width: The appearance of the stupa, “250 yojanas in length and width,” is measured in yojanas. This is approximately 10,000 li. To cultivate and attain the Dharmakaya, we must take the precepts as our body.

So, “length and width” refers to “the appearance of the stupa.” It is not only high but also wide. This is its appearance. So, it is “250 yojanas in length and width,” which corresponds to 10,000 li. It is 10,000 in length and width. 250 yojanas is 10,000 li. Thus, the length and width correspond. “To cultivate and attain the Dharmakaya, we must take the precepts as our body.” In our practice, to attain the Dharmakaya we must uphold the precepts. The precepts are our foundation. Precepts can guard against wrongs and stop evil. The things we do that are wrong must immediately be stopped. In our conduct, we are already making mistakes. We cause other people to feel unhappy and form negative affinities with others. This is not right! We must immediately stop. Our actions must not deviate even in the slightest. We need to guard against wrongs and stop evils. The wrong that we do must immediately stop. We need to constantly be vigilant to prevent ourselves from making the same mistake a second time.

One of Confucius’ disciples, Yan Hui, is known for “never committing the same wrong twice.” He never made the same mistake twice. The first time, I Confucius said to him, “You are in the wrong. Your attitude is incorrect.” Yan Hui would immediately stop. “I will not have this attitude in the future.” This is what Yan Hui was known for; he “never committed the same wrong twice.”

As Buddhist practitioners, we should also be like that. It is best to not even make one mistake or error, to say nothing of making the same mistake twice. If we still make the same mistake again, that shows we keep covering ourselves by ignorance. So, we must take the precepts as our body. In our spiritual practice, upholding precepts is very important. In our daily living, the words we say, the actions we take and the thoughts we have all require us to be very vigilant. These are all part of the body of precepts. So, we must take the precepts as our body.

Hearers have 250 precepts. Now, He opened up the Small Vehicle teachings and returned them to the path to Buddhahood. By following the three studies of precepts, Samadhi and wisdom, they will manifest in our appearance. Thus, it says that the measurement of the base of the stupa is such. Our Four Demeanors share the same number. So it says: 250 [yojanas] in length and width.

“Hearers have 250 precepts. Now He opened up the Small Vehicle teachings.” The Buddha had now opened the Small Vehicle teachings. In the past, everyone was at the stage of the Small Vehicle teachings. Now, He opened up the Small Vehicle teachings “and returned them to the path to Buddhahood.” There are not only the 250 Precepts, but also the 500 Precepts. Not only must we follow these 500 Precepts, there are countless, infinite numbers of precepts we must not violate. This is how we can gradually “return to the path to Buddhahood.” This refers to the Three Flawless Studies, precepts, Samadhi and wisdom; we have to be replete in these. When it comes to the Dharma, we cannot listen to it and then let it go. After listening to it, we must take it to heart.

So, “They will manifest in our appearance.” Our appearance and demeanor [shows] whether we engage in spiritual practice or not. Have we violated the precepts? Our appearance will show whether we have violated any precepts. This all depends on us.

“Thus, it says that the measurement of the base of the stupa” is as such, 250 yojanas. This is how wide it is. This [represents] our precepts. We should know that we need these precepts. “The measurement is as such. Our Four Demeanors share the same number.” Our Four Demeanors are expressed in our actions. Whether we talk or give rise to thoughts, it is all part of our Four Demeanors. We must all be very mindful.

Otherwise, it will truly result in great sadness. Must we spend our every day as unenlightened beings? Why can’t we immediately refocus our unenlightened minds and follow the footsteps of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas? We ought to be very mindful and pay attention to our Four Demeanors in our daily living. So, [it is] “250 yojanas in length and width.” This is the width and length [of the stupa]. We must take the precepts as our foundation. The precepts are [represented by] 250 yojanas. This is called “the 25 forms of existence.” There are many precepts that we must not violate. We must use them as our foundation. “[it] emerged from the ground and stayed in the air.” This stupa of seven treasures which was so tall and so wide emerged from the ground and stayed in the air.

[It] emerged from the ground and stayed in the air: In terms of appearance, it is easy to see. In terms of the Dharma, it emerges from the mind and stays in the emptiness of the ultimate Great Nirvana.

By using its appearance [as an analogy], it is easier to understand. In this analogy, the stupa’s appearance is easily seen. “In terms of the Dharma,” speaking in terms of the Dharma, “it emerges from the mind.” After hearing the Chapter on Dharma Teachers, this stupa of seven treasures should also emerge from the ground of our minds. Wide and tall, its height and width transcend the Five Destinies. Our minds should not remain in this place where the beings of the Five Destinies coexist. We must transcend this place where the Five Destinies coexist. We must transcend the Five Realms.

So, in terms of our minds, this represents the Dharma. In terms of appearance, it is the stupa, while in terms of the Dharma, it is what emerges from the ground of our minds. “[It] stays in the ultimate Great Nirvana.” We should let our minds be tranquil and still. We must calm our minds and not give rise to discursive thoughts. We need to pay careful attention to our Four Demeanors.

Emerged: This refers to the Tathagata-garbha mind, which emerges from the hindrances of afflictions of views and thinking etc. Stayed in the air: This is an analogy for abiding in the true emptiness of ultimate reality.

“Emerged” refers to “the Tathagata-garbha mind,” which emerges from afflictions of views and thinking. Delusions of views and thinking and other afflictions all hinder us. This is why we cannot manifest [True Suchness]. We ordinary beings are covered by ignorance which hinders us. Our afflictions of views and thinking, our dust-like delusions, stand in our way. Staying in the air “is an analogy for abiding in the true emptiness of ultimate reality.” All Buddhas abide in the true emptiness of ultimate reality. This is the state of the Buddha, which is wondrous existence in true emptiness.

“The stupa of treasures emerged from the ground.” This [originated] in the past; the ancient Buddha of the past, “Many Treasures Tathagata, personally came to listen to the sutra.” This Buddha of the past came to hear the Dharma to “testify to the superiority and wondrousness of this sutra.” [He came to] testify to how superior and wondrous this sutra is. Of course, the Dharma that the ancient Many Treasures Buddha came to listen to contains principles that are truly great, very profound and broad. Vertically, it is both deep and high. Horizontally, it is very wide and broad. These are the principles that we must comprehend.

Where are these principles found? They are in the Tathagata-garbha mind, in the mind of every person. It is just that they are constantly covered by layer upon layer of ignorance. So, as we listen to and learn the Buddha-Dharma, we must always be mindful.

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