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 20180108《靜思妙蓮華》 寶鈴妙音 香遍世界 (第1257集) (法華經•見寶塔品第十一)

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發表主題: 20180108《靜思妙蓮華》 寶鈴妙音 香遍世界 (第1257集) (法華經•見寶塔品第十一)   周五 1月 05, 2018 11:22 am

20180108《靜思妙蓮華》 寶鈴妙音香遍世界 (第1257集) (法華經•見寶塔品第十一)

⊙ 「由靈山會聞法當機者未悟,文殊彌勒述說二萬燈明佛,釋尊出定開示讚嘆一切智,但生滅淨穢之情見未能忘。」
⊙寶鈴喻妙音,四無礙辯智。四面出香者,喻四諦道風,吹四德之香,表眾德尊勝。
⊙四德:即常、樂、我、淨。常者,涅槃之體,恆常不變,沒有生滅。
⊙樂者,涅槃之體,永遠寂滅、安閒、受用、無絲毫的煩惱。
⊙我者,涅槃之體,得大自在,沒有絲毫的束縛。
⊙淨者,涅槃之體,解脫一切的垢染,非常清淨。
⊙「種種寶物而莊校之:五千欄楯,龕室干萬,無數幢旛以為嚴飾,垂寶瓔珞。」《法華經見寶塔品第十一》
⊙「寶鈴萬億而懸其上,四面皆出多摩羅跋栴檀之香充遍世界。」《法華經見寶塔品第十一》
⊙寶鈴萬億而懸其上:以寶為鈴,懸於塔上。微風吹動,出妙音聲。
⊙以妙寶音,發於報體,隨機說法,接物利生。寶鈴:喻四辯才。
四辯:即四無礙辯-法無礙,義無礙,辭無礙,樂說無礙。
⊙四面皆出:塔之四方面,四諦道風,吹四德之香。
⊙四諦:一苦諦、二集諦、三滅諦、四道諦。四德:指大乘大般涅槃所具有的四種德,即常、樂、我、淨。
⊙多摩羅跋旃檀之香:多摩羅跋,藿葉乃香木名,此云芬香,喻性無垢。
⊙無垢栴檀:即絕妙香,實行內充,淨無瑕翳。如牛頭山性無垢香。本性無垢栴檀香,喻以三輪不思議化,使一切眾生轉惡為善,轉染為淨,成無垢功德之香。
⊙三輪:佛之身口意三業。佛以三業碾摧眾生之惑業,故云三輪。充遍世界,德行之人香聞十方,故云充遍。

【證嚴上人開示】
「由靈山會聞法當機者未悟,文殊彌勒述說二萬燈明佛,釋尊出定開示讚嘆一切智,但生滅淨穢之情見未能忘。」

由靈山會聞法
當機者未悟
文殊彌勒
述說二萬燈明佛
釋尊出定
開示讚嘆一切智
但生滅淨穢之情見
未能忘

也就是與大家,我們來回憶,回憶〈序品〉,靈山會佛陀說法,從《無量義經》開始,說完了《無量義經》,佛安然不動,大眾也是一樣,佛既不動,大眾就沒有退場。但是看佛已經入定了,佛陀眉間就是發光,照東方萬八千佛土,大家應該還記得。在這當中,不論是聽過了《無量義經》,或者是佛陀現光照東方,這個時間,大家雖然有聽過法,卻是無法體會這個境界奧妙。這當中,文殊、彌勒就看大家,還有心疑惑,根機還未成熟,文殊、彌勒了解佛陀的心懷,但是眾生,聞法者根機還無法成熟,無法去體悟前面的,《無量義經》甚深甚深,真實甚深的道理,還無法體會。

所以,看大家有疑問,但是佛陀坐定發光,文殊菩薩、彌勒菩薩,就開始對唱,彌勒提出問題,文殊回答,這個境界,大家應該都還能回憶一下。我們在讀經時,開始在〈序品〉,我們的記憶中,應該這個道場,我們要很熟,就好像我們有走過,就好像我們有參加過,就好像我們在這個法會上,也領納過佛說法,在這個道場。我們若在誦經,應該這個印象要出來。文殊、彌勒述說,二萬燈明佛的過程。二萬燈明佛,那就是連續二萬尊的佛出世,都是同名叫做日月燈明佛,他的光明如天上的日月,如人間夜晚的燈光,這是一種的譬喻。就像法,與天地宇宙涵蓋同一體,有日月光明,這是永恆的。在人間,地球輪轉,所以有白天、有夜晚,白天有日光,夜晚有月光,但是室內就有燈明的光,就像讓我們的內心時時都有光,不論是日月之光的照耀,在我們的內心,就是在人間,我們也應該有燈明,在我們的心地裡,這是一個譬喻。

凡夫啊凡夫,總是需要借外面的光,來照耀我們心地的黑暗,心地暗,一盞的燈光,就能讓我們的心地發光明朗。同樣的道理,就像我們人,天地之間,白天有日,夜晚有月,同樣的道理,所以我們人人真如本具,光明,這種像日月的光明,明理,明白道理,這是在我們人人本來就應該有。只是我們就是這樣,有燈光,也用黑布將它遮起來,就是有日月,也是用無明將它覆蓋起來,這樣日月仍然存在,只是無明遮蔽了日月。同樣的,本來外面陽光很豔麗,但是將房子建起來,緊密地將它封起來,同樣我們在這四周圍,都將它封住,光透不進來,同樣是暗的。與我們人本具的真如,就是自己的造作,將這真如本性自我封閉。文殊、彌勒(菩薩)來述說,過去的二萬日月燈明佛,無始以來就是有,生生世世,還是一代接著一代,前後在人間,這是要表示光明、道理是永恆存在。

釋迦牟尼佛當時候,等待文殊、彌勒(菩薩)互相對唱,過了之後,釋迦佛出定了,開始開示,一開示就是一直讚歎,讚歎一切智、佛智、道種智、一切種智。開始一直在讚歎佛的境界,但是眾生還是一樣,「生滅淨穢之情見」,這種無明起落,我們的心理生住異滅。凡夫,經與法聽那麼多了,但是四十多年間都沒有離開,「生住異滅」這個心態。同樣的,聽經,了解了,清淨了,但是還是無明煩惱又是再覆蔽,這種生生滅滅,生起法的清淨念,但是很快就是忘失掉了,就忘記了,就這樣,法就漏掉了,內心還是同樣污穢,所以「生滅淨穢之情見,未能忘」。凡夫就是這樣,生住異滅,我們的心境無法定、無法專,所以智慧就無法開啟。要開啟智慧,如佛一切智、一切種智,要能現前,一定要將生住異滅的心理,要好好穩定下來,才有辦法,將我們的智慧、真如現前。

要不然,我們隨著這個情見,隨著世間污濁的這個情,這樣牽引著,隨著人我是非在起動,這就是我們凡夫心。若能這種淨穢的情見,若完全去除了,就是忘掉了這些,生滅淨穢之情見,這些若能完全去除,這種世俗的情懷,我們就能完全清,清淨無染著,這樣智慧就現前了。

所以,現在的〈見寶塔品〉開始,寶塔現前,又再〈見寶塔品〉的前面,〈法師品〉,我們就知道《法華經》,是圓融的妙法、教法,我們要好好受持,用心受持,就有佛的全身,不只是佛的全身,釋迦佛在人間,講說《妙法華經》,因緣成熟了,所以多寶佛塔現前,這個塔的現前,裡面是以事顯理,以相讓我們明法。寶塔是相,將這個寶塔裡面的道理、那個法,要我們清楚了解,所以從寶塔的高、寶塔地基的廣開始,我們就解釋它內含的法。

寶鈴喻妙音
四無礙辯智
四面出香者
喻四諦道風
吹四德之香
表眾德尊勝

寶塔的形象,那是寶鈴,寶鈴,塔的四周圍角落都有鈴,鈴就是像鐘一樣,吊在那個塔,這樣從每一個角落,一串一串的鈴垂吊下來,那就是風若吹,這個鈴,鈴就是鐘,小鐘,這小的鈴,很輕,就這麼隨風搖啊,裡面就有槌,那就會叮叮咚咚,這就是鈴的聲音。

寶鈴就是譬喻妙音,這妙音就是譬喻,說法要有「四無礙智」。再者「四面出香」。在這個寶塔,不只是周圍鈴聲,隨風飄會響,發出了很好聽的聲音,不用看就知道高塔在這個地方,高塔的鐘聲、鈴聲,顯出了佛德智慧,所以四面發出了香,那個香氣,又是顯出了四諦法,在這寶塔的四面,就是譬喻四諦法,風一吹,鈴聲一飄,有這聲音,就能說法,法中有香氣。所以大家說「薰法香」,法中有這個香的氣味,就像「四諦道風」,四諦法這個道的風一吹,同樣的道理,「四德之香」就飄揚起來,這表示「眾德尊勝」。很多人聽到這個法,內心起了恭敬、尊重的心,人人聽法,就是表示尊敬,這是殊勝的因緣。

什麼叫做四德?四德,那就是,「常、樂、我、淨」。

四德:
即常、樂、我、淨
常者
涅槃之體
恆常不變沒有生滅

我們常常都在說,「常、樂、我、淨」。「常」,就是「涅槃之體,恆常不變」。這個涅槃,常常向大家說過了,就是寂靜,我們的真如本性,寂靜清澄,恆常不變,就是這樣靜寂清澄。虛空法界,本來就沒有生滅相,大虛空、大宇宙,永恆就是一個空間無窮盡,永遠都沒有生滅相,這就是常寂靜而不變,這就是「常」。

「樂」,就是「涅槃之體,永遠寂滅。

樂者
涅槃之體
永遠寂滅、
安閒、受用、
無絲毫的煩惱

這個涅槃寂靜的體,你若要說道理有形,其實是一片空,這片空就是永遠都是寂滅,不生不滅,在這大虛空宇宙間就是它的體,永遠都是,「寂滅、安閒、受用」,這大虛空間都是這樣能受用。心若沒有空間,我們的法就無法產生;地上若沒有空間,就沒有建設的餘地;若沒有空間,就沒有五穀雜糧的生產,同樣的道理。

所以這個大空間,它的形象、它的體相就是安閒,讓人受用,就是空間。靜寂清澄,永遠永遠,這種靜寂清澄的大空間,我們若能去體會,沒有一點點的煩惱,空間就都沒有障礙了,如虛空無窮盡,有什麼能障礙它呢?沒有,沒有東西能障礙它。大虛空,多少的星球在那個虛空裡,還是互不相障礙。同樣的道理,這就是樂,我們的心都沒有障礙到,其他的人也沒有來障礙我們,心自清淨。

「我者」,就是「涅槃之體,得大自在」。

我者
涅槃之體
得大自在
沒有絲毫的束縛

這個涅槃,既得到涅槃,就是寂靜清澄,自然得大自在。慧,慧就是要這樣很自在,這就是「福從做中得歡喜」,慧從什麼?(善解得自在) ,所以得自在。這就是我們要有慧,必定要在這樣這麼無礙中,得到我們的自在,所以沒有絲毫束縛,我們都沒有什麼能將我們束縛著。心中有法,應機,如水,什麼樣的器具,我們就隨這個器具隨方就圓,水就隨順這個環境,大空間也是,這就是同樣的道理,所以不受其它將我們障礙了。

淨者
涅槃之體
解脫一切的垢染
非常清淨

所以「淨者」,也是「涅槃之體,解脫一切的垢染,非常清淨」。解脫一切垢染了,我們的心真的很清淨。這就是法若是在心,常、樂、我、淨,這是四德,我們永遠都是在寂靜清澄之中,人間一切的煩惱,不會來障礙我們。我們就是要有這念心,「大慈悲為室」,眾生苦難,我們在人間中「六度萬行」,但是在人群不受污染,因為我們的心是寂靜清澄,常樂我淨,所有的煩惱,不會來影響我們的心。我們若能了解,這一切的煩惱就解脫了,離開了垢染染著,自然我們就清淨了。

期待大家能夠很了解,學佛本來,要持經,就是要經的內容,法,我們都很清楚,從相來顯理,從有形去體會無形的法含藏,法的含藏,這才是真正持經者。你對經了解,才有辦法(當)說法者,才有辦法(當)身體力行者,這就是我們要很用心。

〈見寶塔品〉,開頭我們都會看到形象,形象有很多的法在其中,光是這個塔就有這麼多的法,表示這麼多的法,它的形象,不論是寶鈴的聲音發出來,裡面就有豐富的法存在,我們要用心。

看,前面的文,那就是:「種種寶物而莊校之:五千欄楯,龕室干萬,無數幢旛以為嚴飾,垂寶瓔珞。」

種種寶物而莊校之
五千欄楯
龕室干萬
無數幢旛以為嚴飾
垂寶瓔珞
《法華經見寶塔品第十一》

應該記得,這塔裡有種種的莊校,五千欄楯,就是要我們了解,在那裡面五趣雜居,眾生的煩惱無明,欄杆就是要有戒,能保護我們的心。我們在學佛的過程中,要以戒防非止惡等等。龕室中,還有那個龕窟、穴中,有無量數行善的人,有無量數發心要行菩薩道的人,很多的善,千萬的善法都涵蓋在其中。幢旛,也是昨天都解釋過了,這種的顯德。甚至珠寶墜垂下來,就是高深的法來接近人間。我們都大概昨天有解釋。

接下來現在這段文:「寶鈴萬億而懸其上,四面皆出多摩羅跋栴檀之香充遍世界。」

寶鈴萬億而懸其上
四面皆出
多摩羅跋栴檀之香
充遍世界
《法華經見寶塔品第十一》

這個塔一出來,就有很多的寶鈴,就很多,萬億,懸在其上。寶鈴,剛才大概解釋過,就是「以寶為鈴」。

寶鈴萬億
而懸其上:
以寶為鈴
懸於塔上
微風吹動
出妙音聲

我們的鈴,就像從前的農夫,將牛的脖子掛著鈴,或者是馬掛著鈴,表示警政大家,有牛、有馬會通過,這個譬喻。但是在這寶塔上,鈴,那就是萬億,就是都用寶為鈴,用寶。不論是什麼樣的寶,金、銀等等為鈴,懸掛在塔上,稍微輕輕的風一吹動,自然鈴聲響起來。因為這個鈴聲與我們世間所造的鈴聲就不同,此起彼落,聲音就如音樂一樣,很微妙的聲音。

「以妙寶音,發於報體」。

以妙寶音
發於報體
隨機說法
接物利生
寶鈴:喻四辯才
四辯:
即四無礙辯
法無礙、
義無礙、
辭無礙、
樂說無礙

報體,佛有法身、化身、報身,佛陀一期的壽命,應人間的壽數,所以這叫做報體,來人間顯他的這個身體。他出生皇宮,然後出家修行,然後成佛了,成佛之後,他隨機說法,應眾生的根機說法,這樣來接物利生,應接眾生的根機,說法利益眾生,接引眾生入佛門來。所以,寶鈴就是譬喻「四辯才」,四辯才,那就是無礙、無礙智,也能叫做「四無礙智」,也稱為「四辯才」。

也就是「法無礙」,對法要很透徹了解,不論是人、事、物,我們都能適應人事的機會,用法來開導他們,這就是法無礙。說法無形無蹤,不是故意說法,是這樣的人,要應他的根機來勸導他們,與他們接近,平常的話、平常的話含著法,所以法無礙。「義無礙」,裡面的法,道理因人應事而說,分析裡面的道理。「辭無礙」,那就是辯詞無礙。有眾生惡解,或者是不明白,或者是故意就有這樣,法我們若充足,意義我們也很清楚,我們能夠以口才、去與他對辯,就能說服,不論他是惡意,或者是不明白,我們都能為他解釋。再者「樂說無礙」,不怕辛苦,一次再一次,不斷找機會與大家分享,說我們的心得,我們所了解。「四面皆出」。

四面皆出:塔之四方面
四諦道風
吹四德之香
四諦:
一苦諦、二集諦、
三滅諦、四道諦
四德:
指大乘大般涅槃
所具有的四種德
即常、樂、我、淨

寶鈴的聲音懸在塔上,四面都有,「塔之四方面」,就是表示「四諦道風,吹四德之香」。四諦法,大家已經清楚了,苦集滅道的道理。看到這個塔,就知道裡面充滿了很多的道理,人間疾苦,六度萬行,就是要應眾生種種之苦,這就是讓我們能了解,要如何為人間滅除苦難,這都在四諦之中。我們要如何修行,要如何滅苦,要如何修行,這就如聽到鈴聲,風在吹動,聲音出來,就是了解之後,我們要再將我們所了解的法,再說出去,就如鈴「吹四德之香」,常樂我淨。聽法,要恆常心來聽,法,真的我們要大我而無私,寂靜清澄,要很清淨心,不受周圍影響,常常快樂,就像虛空自在,「心無罣礙,無罣礙故」,就是這樣時時自在,這就是四德,四德之香,這德香、道香。

所以四諦,大家知道,苦諦、集諦、滅諦、道諦,大家知道。「四德」,剛剛說過,「大乘大般涅槃,所具有的四種德」,就是全都很寂靜,叫做大般涅槃,就是如虛空法界,叫做大般涅槃,就是大涅槃,所具有四種德,當然那就是常、樂、我、淨。剛剛已說過了。所以說「多摩羅跋栴檀之香」。

多摩羅跋
旃檀之香:
多摩羅跋
藿葉乃香木名
此云芬香
喻性無垢

這是一種香,木香,一種香,它印度,名稱叫做多摩羅跋,這木本叫做藿葉,這種樹,這種木,很香。不只是柴的香,就是葉子也會香,枝葉都會香,風若一吹,它的香氣,那個香,香氣就這樣飄散出來。有的植物都是風若吹,就聞得到很香的味道。像是桂樹,樹上有花,風一吹就很香;若是七里香在開花時,從那裡經過就香;柚子在開花,風吹也香;檳榔樹在開花,風吹也香,同樣的意思。尤其是這種多摩羅跋旃檀香,這種香會更是吹得,風一吹,香的味道更長、更廣。這是譬喻法的香,只要我們願意說,法說得準,說得透徹,讓人家了解體會,自然這個法就會一直傳。

很多都是這樣,看看很多菩薩在遠方而來。在(二0一六年)七月間,大陸湖北一帶水災嚴重,慈濟人有接到這個訊息,他們就趕緊去勘災,同時也安排時間去發放。發放之後,他們一直去關懷,在收容集中的地方,連續一再去關懷,去勸導大家。因為他們才從花蓮回去,就聽,聽知道現在氣候不調和,是來自於我們人間的生活,太奢侈了,而且一直要,看到東西就要。她(慈濟志工樊麗華)說:「來花蓮尋根,師父說,我們要用的東西,是你看到就要就買呢?或者是,是你很需要的時候,你才去買呢?」她用這很淺顯來與大家分享,這麼多的垃圾,颱風過後,垃圾這麼多,這些垃圾可以回收,就開始展開環保的精神,開始每天都去和他們談,談慈濟、講環保,最後提倡他們「竹筒歲月」。從這樣開始,他們同時在那裡,也帶動出了大家來清掃,因為災難過後,整個都是很骯髒,所以帶動大家清掃、打掃。大家聽了,有道理,也動起來了,雙手,動起雙手來,清掃過後,回頭一看,清淨,乾淨,好舒服啊!然後這些東西,開始就環保的精神,像是這個,我們來分類,我們來整理,乾乾淨淨,將環保的意義再次解釋,這就是法。

環保與垃圾回收再分類,這都是寶,這就是法,讓他們知道,源頭是在地底下的石油,如何提煉,如何污染。他們回來聽了之後,回去就是這樣,也是說:「我們師父這樣說。」這就是傳,這也就是法香,就是這樣傳。總而言之,法就是這樣,能傳出去,體會得到那個法味,我們前幾天,才說法的味道,法味,我們要體會得到法,就像得到法的香味一樣,清淨無垢穢的香味。

無垢栴檀:
即絕妙香
實行內充
淨無瑕翳
如牛頭山性無垢香
本性無垢栴檀香
喻以三輪不思議化
使一切眾生
轉惡為善
轉染為淨
成無垢功德之香

所以「無垢旃檀」,旃檀就是清淨又香,所以「即絕妙之香」,這個法很香,實行內很充實,內很充實,法入心,就如旃檀的香氣,這樣的香氣薰入我們的心裡來,充足、充實了我們的內心。所以「淨無瑕翳」,很清淨,沒有一點點的污染。如牛頭山無垢的」,也是一種香的木,過去也解釋過了,它的性不只是香,又是無垢的香,沒有髒污,很乾淨。

這表示本性無垢,栴檀香,這個香就是無污染,很清淨的香氣,譬喻「三輪不思議」,三輪就是身、口、意,佛的三業,他會碾摧,就如碾米機一樣,稻穀來了,我們碾米機這樣碾過。就是這樣碾過它就脫殼,裡面就是米。同樣的道理,眾生的惑,無明惑,就像這樣脫殼。出來就是米。這叫做三輪,「三輪,充遍法界」,這就是性。

三輪:
佛之身口意三業
佛以三業
碾摧眾生之惑業
故云三輪
充遍世界
德行之人香聞十方
故云充遍

稻穀裡面的米,這就是我們所需要的。同樣的道理,佛陀他的身口意,無不都是人間的典範,來化度眾生,「使一切眾生轉惡為善,轉染為淨,成無垢功德之香」,這就是多摩羅跋旃檀香的意思。

佛陀,他有這樣的德,所以說這樣的法,我們就是要學,學佛陀他的三業清淨,這就是要修行。我們既然要學佛,我們也要三業清淨,身要守戒,殺、盜、淫完全要守;口,妄言、綺語、兩舌、惡口;心,貪、瞋、癡,這些完全都要去除,這不是很簡單嗎?凡夫就是執著,所以污染滿身,修行者就是要清淨三業,就是學佛,學佛清淨三業,我們才能真正與佛同等,真如本性,智慧同等,我們才有辦法到佛的境界。

所以「德行之人」,有德有行的人,那個香,他的德香就聞十方,所以叫做「充遍」。這就是法,旃檀之香充遍世界,這就是德香。〈見寶塔品〉,其實說它的相出現,但是充滿了法的內涵,我們就要時時多用心!


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發表主題: 回復: 20180108《靜思妙蓮華》 寶鈴妙音 香遍世界 (第1257集) (法華經•見寶塔品第十一)   周三 五月 23, 2018 7:56 pm

Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: The Wondrous Sound Pervade the World
(寶鈴妙音香遍世界)
Date: Janury.08.2018

“After hearing the Dharma at the Vulture Peak Assembly, the recipients of the teachings had not awakened. So, Manjusri and Maitreya told the story of the 20000 Sun-Moon-Lamp Radiant Buddhas. Then, Sakyamuni Buddha emerged from Samadhi. He opened, revealed and praised their all-encompassing wisdom, but they could not let go of their deluded views of arising and ceasing, purity and defilement.”

Now, let us all recall the Introductory Chapter. At Vulture Peak assembly, the Buddha expounded the Dharma starting with the Sutra of Infinite Meanings. When the Buddha finished teaching it, He remained motionless, as did all sentient beings. Since the Buddha did not move, no one left the assembly. They saw that the Buddha had entered Samadhi. He emitted light from between His brows and illuminated 18,000 Buddha-lands to the East. Everyone should remember this.

While this was happening, whether they had heard the Sutra of Infinite Meaning or saw the Buddha’s light illuminating the east, at this time, even though everyone had heard the Dharma, they were still incapable of comprehending this wondrous state [of Buddhahood]. Meanwhile, Manjusri and Maitreya saw that everyone still had doubt in their minds, and their capabilities had not matured yet. Manjusri and Maitreya understood the Buddha’s intention, but those sentient beings who listened to the Dharma had not yet matured in their capabilities. Thus, they were incapable of fully comprehending the Sutra of Infinite Meanings from earlier, which was extremely profound. As for these extremely profound, true principles, they were still unable to comprehend them. The Buddha sat in Samadhi, radiating light. So, Manjusri Bodhisattva and Maitreya Bodhisattva then began a dialogue. Maitreya asked questions and Manjusri answered them. We should be able to recall this scene.

When we were reading the sutra, we began with the Introductory Chapter. In our memory, this Dharma-assembly should be very familiar to us. It is as if we went there personally, as if we attended it ourselves, as if we were at this Dharma-assembly and received the Buddha’s teachings there, in this place of spiritual practice. When we are reciting the sutra, we should have this impression. Manjusri and Maitreya recounted the period of the 20,000 Sun-Moon-Lamp Radiant Buddhas. The 20,000 Sun-Moon-Lamp Radiant Buddhas were 20,000 Buddhas who came into the world one after the other. They were all named Sun-Moon-Lamp Radiant Buddha. Their radiance was like the sun and moon in the sky, like lamps lighting up the world at night. This is an analogy.

This is just like how the Dharma encompasses everything in the universe and illuminates like the sun and moon. It is everlasting. In human realm, the planet rotates, so there is day and night. There is daylight during the day and moonlight at night, but indoors, we have the light of lamps. This is just like how we must always keep our minds illuminated. Whether it is the illumination from the light of the sun or moon, in our minds, even if we are in the human realm, we must have this light in our minds. This is an analogy. Ordinary beings will always need to rely on the light from outside to illuminate the darkness in their minds. When our minds are dark, a single lamp can help our minds shine brilliantly.

By the same principle, in this world we live in, there is the sun in the day and the moon at night; it is the same principle. We all have the intrinsic nature of True Suchness, this light that is like the light of the sun and moon, which illuminates the principles for us to clearly understand. This is all something that we all innately have. It is just that we are like this; even though we have the light, we cover it up with a black cloth. Even though we have the sun and the moon, we are still enshrouded by ignorance. The sun and the moon are still there, but their light is concealed by our ignorance. In the same way, the light outside may be very bright, but if we build a house [around us], we will shut out the light. In the same way, we shut out our surroundings and the light cannot come in, so it also becomes back. [It is the same] with our intrinsic nature of True Suchness; we have created [these walls] ourselves, sealing off our intrinsic nature of True Suchness. Manjusri and Maitreya recounted how the past 20,000 Sun-Moon-Lamp Radiant Buddhas had been around since Beginningless Time. Lifetime after lifetime, they passed on [the light] one generation after another in the human realm. This shows how the light and the principles are always present.

At that time, Sakyamuni Buddha waited until Manjusri and Maitreya finished their dialogue. Then Sakyamuni Buddha emerged from Samadhi and began to teach. He began His teachings by constantly praising the wisdom of all Dharma, Buddha-wisdom, the wisdom of all paths and all-encompassing wisdom. He began to praise the state of the Buddha. However, sentient beings still remained the same, with “their deluded views of arising and ceasing, purity and defilement.” Ignorance rises and falls in our minds; our minds arise, abide, change and cease. These ordinary begins had listened to so many sutras and so much Dharma, but even after forty years’ time, they were still unable to leave behind this ”arising, abiding, changing and ceasing” state of mind.

Likewise, as we listen to the sutra, we may understand it clearly, but our ignorance and afflictions still come to cover us once again. With the constant arising and ceasing of thoughts, we may give rise to pure thoughts of the Dharma, but we will soon forget them. In this way, we let the Dharma leak out. Our minds are still defiled, so we “cannot let go of our deluded views of arising and ceasing, purity and defilement.”

Ordinary people are like this. [Our thoughts] arise, abide, change and cease, so we cannot stabilize or focus our minds. As a result, we cannot unlock our wisdom. In order to unlock our wisdom, such as the Buddha’s wisdom of all Dharma or all-encompassing wisdom, and to manifest it, we must put effort into settling our arising, abiding, changing and ceasing state of mind. Only then will we be able to manifest our wisdom and nature of True Suchness. Otherwise, we will just follow our deluded views, the delusions of this world of turbidities, as they drag us along. We become agitated by interpersonal conflicts. This is what the mind of ordinary beings is like. If we can eliminate our deluded views of purity and defilement, removing them completely, if we can let go of these deluded views of arising and ceasing, purity and defilement. If we can completely eliminate these worldly delusions, we will be completely pure and undefiled. Then, our wisdom will naturally manifest.

So, now we are at the beginning of the Chapter on Seeing the Stupa of Treasures wherein the stupa of treasures appears. Before the Chapter on the Stupa of Treasures was the Chapter on Dharma Teachers. So, now, we know that the Lotus sutra is the prefect wondrous Dharma, the perfect teaching. We must work hard to mindfully accept and uphold it. Then the complete body of the Buddha is there. There was more than just the complete body of the Buddha. When Sakyamuni Buddha expounded the Lotus Sutra in this world, the causes and conditions were ripe, so Many Treasures Buddha’s stupa appeared. With the appearance of this stupa, [the Buddha] used matters to reveal the principles. He used appearances to help us understand the Dharma. The stupa of treasures is the appearance, and we must clearly understand the principles behind it. So, starting with the stupa’s height and the width of its foundations, we will explain the principles behind it.

The precious bells are a metaphor for the wondrous sound of the Four Unobstructed Wisdoms of Eloquence. The fragrance emitted from all four sides represents how the wind of the Dharma of the Four Noble Truths blows with the fragrance of the Four Virtues. This demonstrates that these virtues are extraordinary and respected.

[One feature] of the stupa of treasures’ appearance is its bells of treasure. Bells of treasure are hung from every corner of the stupa. These bells are like temple bells, hanging from the stupa. From every corner, a string of bells hung down. When the wind blew, these little temple bells, which were very light, swayed in the wind. The clappers in the bells made a tinkling sound. This is the sound of bells. The bells of treasure are an analogy for the wondrous sound. The wondrous sound is an analogy for how we must have the Four Unobstructed Wisdoms in order to expound the Dharma. Nest is “the fragrance from all four sides.” This stupa of treasures is not just surrounded by the sound of bells, ringing as they sway along with the wind, making such a pleasant sound. We do not even need to see it to know it is here. The sound of the stupa’s bells showed the wisdom and virtue of the Buddha. So, the four sides of the stupa emit fragrance, and this fragrant air reveals the Four Noble Truths. The four sides of the stupa of treasures are an analogy faro the Four Noble Truths. When the wind blows and the bells ring, this sound can expound the Dharma. The Dharma has its fragrance, so that is why we all say, “permeated by the fragrance of the Dharma.” The fragrant aroma of the Dharma is like “the wind of the Dharma of the Four Noble Truths.” When the wind of the Dharma of the Four Noble Truths blows, by the same principle, “the fragrance of the Four Virtues” flies up. This demonstrates that “these virtues are extraordinary and respected.” After listening to this Dharma, many people give rise to reverence and respect in their hearts. When people listen to the Dharma, they express their reverence and respect, for this is an extraordinary opportunity.

What are the Four Virtues? They are permanence, joy, self and purity. The Four Virtues: Permanence, joy, self and purity. Permanence is the essence of Nirvana. It is everlasting and unchanging, neither arising nor ceasing.

We often talk about “permanence, joy, self and purity. “Permanence” is the essence of Nirvana, “which is everlasting and unchanging.” We often say to everyone that Nirvana is [a state of] tranquility and stillness. Our nature of True Suchness is tranquil, clear, everlasting and unchanging. It is tranquil and clear like this. The Dharma-realm of the universe fundamentally is not in a state of arising and ceasing. The great universe is always a boundless, infinite space. It will always be free of the state of arising and ceasing. It is a constant and unchanging tranquil and still [state]. This is “permanence”.

“Joy” is “the essence of Nirvana. It is always tranquil.” Joy is the essence of Nirvana. It is always perfectly tranquil, peaceful and carefree, applicable and without even the slightest afflictions. This is the essence of Nirvana and tranquility. If we want to say that the principles have form, in reality, they are completely empty. This emptiness is always perfectly tranquil, neither arising nor ceasing. In the vast universe, this is the essence. It is always “perfectly tranquil, carefree and applicable.” It can be applied throughout the universe. Without any space in our mind, we will be unable to bring forth any Dharma. Without any space on the land, there would be no room to build anything. Without any space, we cannot produce any crops. The principle is the same. So, as for this great empty space, its essential form is peaceful and applicable to people. This space is tranquil and clear. It will always be a great space of tranquility and clarity. If we are able to experience it and be free of even the slightest affliction, this space will be completely free of obstacles. This is like the boundless void of the universe. What can obstruct it? Nothing. Nothing can obstruct it. In the great universe, there are many planets in the universe, and they do not obstruct one another. The principle is the same. This is joy. Our minds are free of obstructions, and people also do not obstruct us, so our minds are pure.

“Self” is “the essence of Nirvana, the attainment of the greatest freedom.” Self, it the essence of Nirvana, the attainment of the greatest freedom, without even the slightest constraint.

When it comes to Nirvana, when we have attained Nirvana, we will be in state of tranquility and clarity. Naturally, we will attain great freedom. Wisdom is to be free and at ease. This is why we say “Blessings are the joy we gain through giving.” What is wisdom? (The freedom we gain by being understanding). So, to gain freedom, we must have wisdom. We must be in this unobstructed state to attain our freedom. Then, [we will be] free of even the slightest constraints; there will be nothing that can confine us. With the Dharma in our heart, we accord with capacities, just like water; no matter what kind of vessel, we flow to fill the shape of the container, just as water flows along with its surroundings. It is the same with space. The principle is the same. Thus, we will not be obstructed by anything.

So, “purity” is also “the essence of Nirvana. It liberates us from all defilements and is extraordinarily pure.”

After attaining liberation from all defilements, our minds will truly be very pure. This is what happens when we have the Dharma at heart. Permanence, joy, self and purity are the Four Virtues. With them, we will always be in a state of tranquility and clarity. None of the world’s afflictions will be able to obstruct us. We must have this mindset. “Great compassion is the room.” Sentient beings are suffering. Throughout the world, we “actualize the Six Paramitas in all actions” yet remain undefiled as we go among people. This is because our minds are tranquil and clear with permanence, joy, self and purity. No afflictions will be able to affect our minds. If we can understand [the Dharma], we will liberate ourselves from all afflictions and abandon our defilements and attachments. Then, we will naturally attain purity.

I hope that everyone can understand this well. To learn the Buddha’s teachings, we must first uphold the sutras. We must be very clear on their content, on their Dharma. Appearances are used to demonstrate the principles. We use tangible things to experience the intangible [principles] contained within, the Dharma contained within. Then we will become true upholders of the sutra. Only by understanding the sutra will we be able to become those who teach the Dharma and put the Dharma into practice. To do this, we must be mindful.

In the Chapter on seeing the Stupa of Treasures, we can see its appearance right from the beginning. Its appearance contains so much Dharma, there is so much Dharma within. Within this stupa alone, there is so much Dharma. It represents so many principles though its appearance. Even from the sound of ringing bells of treasure, there is so much Dharma to learn. We must be mindful.

The previous sutra passage states that “All kinds of treasures dignified the stupa. It had 5000 railings with posts and 10 million chambers, it had countless banners and streamers as majestic adornments, and was draped in strings of precious jewels.

We should remember that the stupa had all kinds of majestic adornments, and it had 5000 railings with posts. This is so we will know that this is where the Five Destinies coexist. Sentient beings are afflicted and ignorant. The railings are the precepts that enable us to protect our minds. In the process of learning the Buddha’s teachings, we must guard against wrongs and stop evils.

In [the stupa’s] chambers, shrines and altars, there were countless people doing good deeds. There were countless people who formed aspiration to follow the Bodhisattva-path. There were many good deeds and millions of virtuous teachings contained within. We explained the streamers and banners yesterday, about how they displayed virtue.

There are even jewels hanging [from the banners]. These represent how the great and profound Dharma draws close to the world. We explained this generally yesterday.

The next sutra passage continues with, “Trillions of bells of treasure hung from it. From all four sides, it emitted the fragrance of tamalapatra and sandalwood, which pervaded the world.”

As the stupa appeared, there were so many bells of treasure. So many of them, trillion of them, hung from [the stupa]. We have just explained how these bells of treasure “were made out of treasure.

Trillions of bells of treasure hung from it: The bells were made out of treasures and hung upon the stupa. When the breeze blew and moved them, they produced wondrous sound.

Our bells are like the ones that farmers from olden times would hang around the neck of cows or on horses in order to alert everyone that cows and horses were coming through. This is an analogy. However, on the stupa of treasures, there were trillions of bells. They were all made from treasures. All kinds of treasures, such as gold, silver and so on were made into bells and hung upon the stupa. When the breeze blew and moved them, the bells began to ring. The sound that these bells made was different from the sounds of the bells made in our world. This sound rose and fell like music. It was such a wondrous sound. “He used the wondrous and precious sound emitted from the reward-body….”

He used the wondrous and precious sound emitted from the reward-body to teach the Dharma according to capabilities in order to guide and benefit all beings. The precious bells: This is a metaphor for the Four Kinds of Eloquence. The Four Kinds of Eloquence: There are Four Kinds of Unobstructed Eloquence: the wisdom of unobstructed Dharma, the wisdom of unobstructed meaning, the wisdom of unobstructed rhetoric and the wisdom of unobstructed joyful eloquence.

[In terms of] the reward-body, the Buddha has the Dharma-body, manifestation-body and reward-body. The Buddha’s lifespan in this life matched the lifespan of humans in this world. So, this is called the reward-body. He came to the world and manifested this body. He was born into the palatce. Then, He became a monastic and engaged in spiritual practice. After that, He attained Buddhahood. After attaining Buddhahood, He taught according to sentient beings' capabilities. Like this, He guided and benefited all beings. He taught according to sentient beings’ capabilities, expounded Dharma to benefit sentient beings and led sentient beings to enter the Buddha’s door. So, the precious bells are an analogy for the “Four Kinds of unobstructed Eloquence.” The Four Kinds of Unobstructed Eloquence are also the Unobstructed Wisdoms. They are also called the Four Unobstructed Wisdoms. The “Four Unobstructed Wisdoms” are also known as the Four Kinds of Unobstructed Eloquence.

[First] “the wisdom of unobstructed Dharma.” We must understand the Dharma thoroughly. Whether it is people, matter or things, we can adapt to opportunities [provided by] people and matters and use the Dharma to guide others. This is the wisdom of unobstructed Dharma. The Dharma that is taught is imperceptible; we do not need to try to teach them the Dharma. With each particular person, we must guide them according to their capabilities and use everyday language that is close to them. When our everyday language contains the Dharma, the Dharma will be unobstructed.

[Next is] “the wisdom of unobstructed meaning.” [This means teaching] the Dharma in accordance with people and matters and analyzing the principles within. “The wisdom of unobstructed rhetoric” refers to [the attainment of] unobstructed rhetoric. Sometimes sentient beings misconstrue or misunderstand [the Dharma], or even purposefully [twist its meaning]. If we have an abundance of Dharma and clearly understand its meaning, we will be sufficiently eloquent to debate others and persuade them. Even if they harbor bad intentions or do not understand clearly, we will be able to explain for them.

Next is “the wisdom of unobstructed joyful elowuence.” [With this], we will not be afraid to work hard as we expound [the Dharma] again and again. We will constantly look for opportunities to share our insights and understanding with everyone. “From all four sides, it emitted….”

From all four sides, it emitted: From all four sides of the stupa, the wind of the Dharma of the Four Noble Truths blew with the fragrance of the Four Virtues. The Four Noble Truths: First, the truth of suffering, second, the truth of the cause of suffering, third, the cessation of suffering and fourth, the truth of the Path. The Four Virtues: This refers to the four virtues belonging to the Great Parinirvana of the Great Vehicle, which are permanence, joy, self and purity.

The sound of the bells treasure [run out] from the stupa; it came from all four sides. “From all four sides of the stupa” represents how “the wind of the Dharma of the Four Noble Truths blew with the fragrance of the Four Virtues.” We should all clearly understand the Four Noble Truths by now, the principles of suffering, causation, cessation and the Path. When we look at the stupa, we know that it is full of so many principles. The world is full of illness and suffering. We actualize the Six Paramitas in all actions to respond to all the different kinds of suffering that sentient beings experience. This will help us understand how to eliminate suffering in the world. These are all part of the Four Noble Truths.

How do we engage in spiritual practice? How do we eliminate suffering and engage in spiritual cultivation? It is like listening to the sound of bells. The wind blows them around, producing the sound. This means that after we understand [the Dharma], we must go on to share the teachings we have understood, teach them to others. This is just like the bells [blowing in the wind], “blown with the fragrance of the Four Virtues,” which are permanence, joy, self and purity. When we are listening to the Dharma, we should do so with a persistent mind. [When we learn the Dharma,] we must be selfless; we must be tranquil and clear. We must have a very pure mind, not be influenced by our surroundings and always be happy; we should be empty and at ease. “The mind is without hindrances; there are no hindrances.” In this way, we should always be free. These are the Four Virtues, the fragrance of the Four Virtues.

These are the fragrance of virtue and the fragrance of the Dharma. So we all know the Four Noble Truths, suffering, causation, cessation and the Path. Everyone knows them. We just discussed the “the Four Virtues.” They are “the four kinds of virtues belonging to the Great Parinirvana of the Great Vehicle,” which is completely tranquil and still. This is called Great Parinirvana; it is [tranquil] just like the universe. It is called Great Parinirvana. This is Great Nirvana. The four virtues which it possesses are permanence, joy, self and purity, just as we have discussed.

Then it says, “The fragrance of tamalapatra and sandalwood.” The fragrance of tamalapatra and sandalwood: Tamalapatra is the name of a type of incense wood. Fragrance as spoken of here is a metaphor for our undefiled nature.

This is a type of incense wood from India called tamalapatra. It was originally called “Indian bay leaf.” This kind of tree has fragrant wood. Not only is its wood fragrant, but its leaves are also fragrant. Both its branches and leaves are fragrant. When the wind blows, this aroma drifts up into the air and diffuses out. Some plants give off an aroma when the wind blows. For example, when the cassia tree has its flowers, they give off fragrance when the wind blows. When a jessamine tree blooms, [we smell] its fragrance as we pass it by. When pomelos bloom, the wind is also fragrant; when betel nut trees bloom, the wind is fragrant. They all share the same principle. Tamalapatra and sandalwood are especially fragrant. When the wind blows, their aroma spreads even farther and wider. This is an analogy for the fragrance of Dharma. As long as we are willing to teach the Dharma accurately and thoroughly so people can understand and experience it, then this Dharma will continue to be passed down.

There are many people like this. So many Bodhisattvas have come from afar. In July (of 2016), China’s Hubei Province suffered severe floods. When Tzu Chi volunteers heard this news, they immediately went to assess the damage. While they did this, they also arranged times to distribute [aid]. After the distributions, they continually went on home visits. At the shelters where people were gathered, they continuously cared for them and provided everyone with guidance. Since they had just returned from Hualien, they knew the reason our current climate is in such disharmony is due to our way of living in this world, which is far too extravagant. Furthermore, we desire whatever we lay eyes on. [One volunteer] said, “We went to Hualien on a pilgrimage to our roots. Master said, ‘With the things we want to use, do we buy them because we like them? Or do we only buy things when we really need them?’” She shared such a plain and simple [story] with everyone. There was so much trash. After the typhoon, there was so much trash. Since some of the trash could be recycled, the volunteers displayed their recycling spirit and started talking to people everyday about Tzu Chi and recycling. At the end, they promoted the spirit of the bamboo banks.

In this way, while they were there, they began to mobilize everyone to help clean up. It was so dirty everywhere after the typhoon, so they mobilized everyone to clean up. People listened and felt that this made sense, so they put it into action with their own two hands. After they had finished cleaning, they turned back to look, and it was completely clean. It was so pleasant! With these things that they had [picked up] they began to apply the spirit of recycling. They sorted and tidied up these things and cleaned them. Then they explained the meaning of recycling once again. This is the Dharma. When we do recycling and sort the recyclables, [we see] that they are all treasures. This is the Dharma. They got them to understand how the petroleum from underground is extracted and how it pollutes. After they came here and heard all this, they went back and told [everyone], “Our master said this.” This is what it means to spread [the Dharma]. This is the fragrance of the Dharma. This is how the Dharma is spread.

In short, the Dharma is like this. As it is spread, people can experience the flavor of the Dharma. A few days ago, we were just talking about the flavor of the Dharma. When we can experience the truth of the Dharma, it is like attaining the Dharma-fragrance, this pure and undefiled aroma.

Undefiled sandalwood: This is the ultimate wondrous fragrance. Through His practice, He is fulfilled. He is pure without any blemish, just like the incense from Ox Head Mountain, representing undefiled nature. Sandalwood fragrance is inherently undefiled. This is a metaphor for the unfathomable transformations of the three wheels. They help all sentient beings to turn evil into goodness and turn defilements into purity to attain the undefiled fragrance of merits and virtues.

So, [it speaks of] “undefiled sandalwood.” Sandalwood is pure and fragrant. Thus, “This is the ultimate wondrous fragrance.” The Dharma is very fragrant. Through our practice, we become fulfilled; we feel inwardly fulfilled, as the Dharma has entered our hearts. This is just like the fragrance of sandalwood. When such an aroma permeates our hearts, we will feel very fulfilled.

Thus, we will be “pure without any blemish”, very pure without any defilements at all. We will be just like the undefiled incense of Ox Head Mountain, which is also a type of fragrant wood. I have explained this before in the past. Not only is it fragrant by nature, it is also an undefiled fragrance. It is free of impurities; it is very clean. The fragrance of sandalwood represents the undefiled nature. This fragrance is undefiled. It is a pure fragrance. This is a metaphor for “the unfathomable transformations of the three wheels.” The three wheels are [the Threefold Karma of] body, speech and mind. With the Buddha’s Threefold Karma, He can crush [our ignorance and delusions] just like a rice mill. When the unhusked rice comes, we use a rice mill to grind it, to remove the husk in this way. Inside [the husks] are the grains of rice. By the same principle, sentient beings’ ignorance and delusions are ground away, like the husk, leaving only the rice. This is what is meant by the three wheels. “The three wheels pervade the world.” This is their nature.

The three wheels: This is the Buddha’s Threefold Karma of body, speech and mind. The Buddha uses His Threefold Karma to crush and destroy the deluded karma of sentient beings. Thus, it says that the three wheels pervade the world. The fragrance of people with virtuous actions spreads throughout the ten directions, thus it says “pervaded.”

The rice in the husk is what we need. The principle is the same. The Buddha’s body, speech and mind all serve as a model to this world to transform and deliver sentient beings. “They help all sentient beings to turn evil into goodness and turn defilements into purity to attain the undefiled fragrance of merits and virtues.” This is the meaning of the fragrance of tamalapatra and sandalwood. The Buddha has these virtues, so he taught these teachings. We must learn the purity of the Buddha’s Threefold Karma. This requires spiritual practice. Since we want to learn the Buddha’s teachings, we must keep our Threefold Karma pure. As for our body, we must uphold the precepts against killing, stealing and sexual misconduct. We must abide by them all. As for our speech, we must not lie or engage in flattery or gossip. As for our mind, our greed, anger and ignorance must be completely eliminated. Isn’t this simple? Ordinary people are too attached, so their bodies are full of defilements. Spiritual practitioners must purify their Threefold Karma. When we learn the Buddha’s teachings, we must learn His pure Threefold Kara. Only then will we be truly equal to the Buddha in our intrinsic nature of True Suchness and wisdom. Thus we arrive at the state of Buddhahood. So, for “people with virtuous actions,” that fragrance, the fragrance of their virtue, can be smelled throughout the ten directions. This is referred to as “pervading.”

This is the Dharma. The fragrance of sandalwood pervades the world. This is the fragrance of virtue. In the Chapter on Seeing the Stupa of Treasures, it talks about the stupas appearance, but it is filled with the meaning of the Dharma. We must always be mindful!

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