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 20180111《靜思妙蓮華》平等大慧 教菩薩法 (第1260集) (法華經•見寶塔品第十一)

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發表主題: 20180111《靜思妙蓮華》平等大慧 教菩薩法 (第1260集) (法華經•見寶塔品第十一)   周三 1月 10, 2018 9:49 pm

20180111《靜思妙蓮華》 平等大慧 教菩薩法 (第1260集) (法華經•見寶塔品第十一)

⊙「如來常住法身,直指真如實報。佛智欲令眾生知此見,此乃至為入佛之知見,悟入佛世因緣。」
⊙真如:具無量之功德法,故云真如實報體,法性真如海,無量功德藏,又法身之體,真實如常,故云真如法身。
⊙「三十三天雨天曼陀羅華供養寶塔;餘諸天、龍、夜叉、乾闥婆、阿修羅、迦樓羅、緊那羅、摩睺羅伽。」《法華經見寶塔品第十一》
⊙「人非人等千萬億眾,以一切華、香、瓔珞、旛蓋、伎樂供養寶塔,恭敬尊重讚歎。」《法華經見寶塔品第十一》
⊙恭敬尊重讚歎:睹相生善,起恭敬心。尊重寶塔,而興起讚歎。
⊙此指三十三天之忉利天主,釋提桓因言。以此天為地居天之王,故首舉其雨華供養。其餘八部、四眾,各以隨其所敬意而供養此塔;恭敬尊重讚歎,亦從身、口、意善業之供養。
⊙「爾時、寶塔中出大音聲,歎言:善哉!善哉!釋迦牟尼世尊,能以平等大慧教菩薩法。」《法華經見寶塔品第十一》
⊙此讚歎釋迦牟尼佛而印可所說 之妙法蓮華經。證前開權顯實不虛。
⊙爾時、寶塔中出大音聲:是諸天人設供之時,塔中忽然出大妙音。音聲:即塔中出言讚歎之聲。
⊙歎言:善哉!善哉!釋迦牟尼世尊:再讚善哉,一讚其能施權,一讚其能顯實。
⊙能以平等大慧:能以生佛本性平等佛之知見廣大智慧。
⊙大慧:即道場所得。佛觀眾生本來是佛,即皆可成佛,此謂平等大慧。
⊙平等:平無高下,等無差別;此理人人本有,含識同具,所謂奇哉一切眾生平等。
⊙教菩薩法:十方如來,教佛其弟子菩薩根者上妙之法。
⊙佛以此會,為諸眾生說種種惡法、善法,有為法、無為法,法相雖有差別,而實無一非為教菩薩法。

【證嚴上人開示】
「如來常住法身,直指真如實報。佛智欲令眾生知此見此,乃至為入佛之知見,悟入佛世因緣。」

如來常住法身
直指真如實報
佛智欲令眾生
知此見
此乃至為
入佛之知見
悟入佛世因緣

用心哦!這幾天來一直描述寶塔現前,塔是相,以相來解理,以理會相,要很用心去體會。「如來常住法身」,一直告訴大家,如來的法身,那就是真理,無處不在,無物不都是有它的真理存在。真理也是住在人心,那是真如本性,所以「如來常住法身」,那就是無處不在了。「直指真如實報」。佛的一大事因緣,無不都是要讓我們了解真理,尤其是人人本具這個真如實報體。道理本來是無形,但是還是要以相與體來譬喻,讓大家了解,真如到底是長得什麼樣,那就是佛智。佛智就是要令眾生知道這個知見,就是佛的知見,希望人人都能到達,入佛的知見。這就是佛陀很用心,希望我們入佛的知見、悟佛的知見,這是佛陀來人生,開、示、悟、入,開示在佛,悟入應該是在眾生。

所以「真如實報」。真如,那就是「具無量之功德法」,叫做「真如實報體」。

真如:
具無量之功德法
故云真如實報體
法性真如海
無量功德藏
又法身之體
真實如常
故云真如法身

我們的真如本性,已經含蓋了一切功德法。人人善心從哪裡起?就是從我們的本性,真如本性。我們的潛能從哪裡起?也是真如本性。我們的功能從哪裡起?就是真如本性。這個實體,我們常常在用它,卻是都是在分毫中沒有去體會,真如本性原來是在我們日常生活中,具無量之功德法。我們的生活一切的功能,這用再簡單來說,我們一切的生理,身體的生態,思想、動作,沒有一項不是從我們的,真如實體,來發揮它的工作能量,所以它是無量的功德法。很多很多你所造作,能語言,想要說、想要做、能動作等等,這都在生理,我們的生理裡面的功能,這也就是道理,道理之一,這是具足很多,我們的生活良能、功能,無不都是生理中所發作。

但是,我們的生理在發用,卻是我們那個真如,最善的功能,我們都被無明遮蓋,這無明遮蓋,雖然我們要發揮功能,卻是那個良能,就受無明隔礙起來,就像我們的身體有病了,精髓發揮不出它的功能來,有沒有救?有啊!現在科技發達,能從健康人的身上,與他能合的骨髓,這樣能夠將它移植過來,這個髓是很精,這樣他就能再開始借別人的,這樣來發揮自己的身體,造血的功能。就像我們凡夫無明,現在就要借外面的境界,佛法的道理入我們的心來,再啟動我們這分能發揮功德法,功德的良能,要將這個最善巧的智能,佛知、佛見的能量要發揮出來,這叫做「真如實報體」,也是人人本具,也就是法性。

「法性真如海」。我們只要將我們的無明、塵沙煩惱將它去除,這個「法性真如海」,那就是智慧,智慧在我們的真如含蓋,廣闊無邊,我們的能力,功德法,都是含蓋在法性真如之中,所以叫做「法性真如海」。法性真如海就是隱藏在我們「無量功德藏」,就是真如,無量功德法,也就是無量功德藏,無量功德藏,藏著我們的法性真如海,這是共一體。所以,「又法身之體,真實如常,故云真如法身」。因為人人本具,人人就都不覺,這就是我們沒有去發現到它。這法身之體,在我們日常生活中,不離開我們的生活,但是我們都沒有去體會到它。所以「真實如常」,真,就是如常,正常,生活正常,那就是真。每天很踏實的生活,如常的生活,真如無不都是與我們共在一體,所以這就是真如法身,我們所做的合法、合道理。我們要好好用心,用心在日常生活中。

常常要告訴大家,舉手動足、開口動舌,無不都是我們的真如法。我們若是真如法失去了功能,說話語無倫次,不知道你自己在說什麼話,那就是亂掉了,這就是不正常了。我們平時如常、正常,這就是我們的真如法,在我們的日常生活中,很正常,我們借外面的法來教導我們、來啟發我們。我們本來人人本具,就是無明將我們覆蓋了,所以我們只好借外面的法,來教育我們,我們就要接受,不對的事,我們要改;行動讓人看了不順眼,我們就要改。我們是要改來順人家的生活,不是人家來順我們的生活,是我們要與大眾生活共一體。

這就是我們平時的修行,叫做「六和敬」,我們就是要借佛陀的教法,來教育我們。戒,不應該的範圍、動作不可有,不應該表達的體態,不要動作出來。戒,要有戒規,要有儀態,這是我們在日常生活中,受法,來顯我們的真如,與平常人要一樣,如常,這叫做「真實如常」,這也叫做「法身之體」。我們的法身就是這麼簡單,要控制我們自己,不可越規,不可越戒,不可失掉了我們的威儀。這就是「真如實報體」,真如實報在我們的行動、體態中,自己要好好照顧,因為真如,有「具無量之功德法」,人人都有這麼寶貴的東西,自己都不知道,實在很可惜,請大家要很用心去體會。

真如,「具無量之功德法,故云真如實報體」。大家要很珍貴,珍貴我們的身體中,在我們的日常生活中,人人本具著法性真如功德海,充分的智慧,只是我們的心受無明將它遮蓋了,讓我們的無量功德藏,發揮不出我們這法身之體,我們將我們自己的威儀、行動,等等莊嚴相,將我們自己破壞掉了,所以我們要很謹慎,真如沒有什麼樣的特別,就是在日常生活中。希望人人要能了解,真如法身不用遠求,即時、即地就是,無不都是真如法身,所以一切形態無不都是在真如法相中。

前面所說的,「三十三天雨天曼陀羅華,供養寶塔;餘諸天、龍、夜叉、乾闥婆、阿修羅、迦樓羅、緊那羅、摩睺羅伽」。

三十三天
雨天曼陀羅華
供養寶塔
餘諸天 龍
夜叉 乾闥婆
阿修羅 迦樓羅
緊那羅 摩睺羅伽
《法華經見寶塔品第十一》

這已經描述了,天人散花,就是要來供養多寶佛塔,來莊嚴這個道場的形象。道場的形態很莊嚴,除了天,諸天,三十三天、四天王天都來了,再加上了「龍、夜叉、乾闥婆、阿修羅、迦樓羅、緊那羅、摩睺羅伽」,這八部,天龍八部都到達了,來到人間,這都已經受佛教化過,成為佛的護法了,現在已經全都到齊了。

接下來這段文說,除了天龍護法以外,還有:「人非人等千萬億眾,以一切華、香、瓔珞、旛蓋、伎樂供養寶塔,恭敬尊重讚歎。」

人非人等
千萬億眾
以一切華 香
瓔珞 旛蓋
伎樂供養寶塔
恭敬尊重讚歎
《法華經見寶塔品第十一》

這表示人間以外的天人,都來散花供養,何況人間呢?人間以外,還有其他,那就是「千萬億眾」了。我們肉眼看得到、看不到,全都很多都是降臨在這個道場,空中、地上,千萬億眾,都是以最虔誠的心來供養。「以一切華、香、瓔珞、旛蓋、伎樂供養寶塔,恭敬尊重讚歎」。有形的東西,無形的聲音,全都在這個法會上,全都從四方八達而集過來,可見道場的莊嚴。所以,「以諸華香、諸寶、旛蓋,伎樂供養寶塔」,這樣是一片的虔誠,來恭敬、尊重,來讚歎。

恭敬尊重讚歎:
睹相生善
起恭敬心
尊重寶塔
而興起讚歎

看這個形態,「睹相生善」,來莊嚴這個道場,讓人在這個道場中所感覺的,由不得不從內心歡喜,從內心起了善念,這是一個很不可思議的境界。不論你的心再如何的煩躁,或者是心的雜亂,或者是心中有埋怨、憂愁,到了這個道場,在這個道場,給人的感覺,一切愛恨情仇、埋怨的心態,或者是等等雜亂心,這個氣氛完全都放下了。這個境界,讓人忘記了一切的煩惱,讓人無形中起了歡喜心,起了善念的心,這是境界的氛圍,能降伏眾生剛強、煩惱、無明雜念。

所以「睹相生善」,看到這個境界,自然內心歡喜,生起善念來了,所以自然「起恭敬心」,來「尊重寶塔」。寶塔來見證,來證明,證明佛所說的《法華經》,就是諸佛的全身,法身就是在這部經之中,這部經的真理,是人間的救世良方,因為這樣,寶塔現前來證明、來見證。又諸天也來見證,來莊嚴道場,來供養寶塔。這彼此和敬,所以佛陀教我們的,道場就是要守「六和敬」,身心、觀念、動作等等,六種和敬,大家應該要體會到,彼此讚歎,互相敬重,這同樣的道理。多寶佛來證明,這也是一個尊敬,諸天龍護法從天而降,來莊嚴道場,這也是一種尊重的恭敬,所以,這就是要讓人人,生起了讚歎的心,在這個環境、這個範圍,飄香散花,這個境界,讓大家生起歡喜、讚歎,生出善念、恭敬的心。

此指三十三天之
忉利天主
釋提桓因言
以此天為
地居天之王
故首舉其雨華供養
其餘八部、四眾
各以隨其所敬意
而供養此塔
恭敬尊重讚歎
亦從身、口、意
善業之供養

這個境界就是表示,三十三天之忉利天主,釋提桓因,他帶動這麼多的天龍八部,來現在這個地方,來供養寶塔,莊嚴道場。釋提桓因,就是釋迦佛的大護法者,他就是地居天之王。

有一段時間,佛陀的堂弟,那就是提婆達多,開始是隨佛出家,但是他的心無明覆蓋,那種瞋、癡、驕傲的心很強,雖然學佛的道法,卻是內心不服順釋迦佛,不順服,不受佛所調教。後來他離開佛,反叛佛,就去唆使、煽動阿闍世王,下令全城的人,都不能供養釋迦佛的僧團,哪怕是出來托缽,也不能給他的僧團食物,若是給僧團食物,就要受國法處罰。所以,很多人民,平時是供佛、敬佛、愛佛的人,忽然間受到這樣的國令,人人要遠離釋迦佛,不能供養,哪怕飲食等等,所以大家心生惶恐,大家悲泣啼哭,悲憤,這種命令又是不得不接受,但是接受,大家很不忍心,佛陀的僧團要如何維生下去呢?大家悲憤,敢怒不敢言,那種啼哭等等,影響到三十三天。

三十三天一時震動,這讓天帝釋忽然間嚇到,到底人間是什麼因緣,人間這麼悲悽,來震動忉利天,到底是什麼事?用天眼來觀察,原來提婆達多違背了佛,違背了道理,煽動阿闍世絕了釋迦佛的糧食。他一時就趕緊帶動天人,來到佛的面前,向佛來請求,願終身供養。

佛陀默然,沒有接受他終身供養。佛陀來人間就是要教化眾生,當然眾生要佛結緣,就是要佛給他法,佛陀要讓眾生造福緣,所以沒有接受天終身供養。釋提桓因就又說:「不然五十年的供養。」佛陀沒有接受。「要不然五年,五年的供養。」佛陀也沒有接受。「要不然五個月嘛!」佛陀也是沒有接受,後來釋提桓因就說:「若這樣,五天,五天的供養。」佛陀接受了,這五天,天人將竹林精舍,這樣化為好像七寶莊嚴的城池,很莊嚴,如宮殿一樣,周圍發光發亮,異常的景象,天人都是托著金銀缽來獻供。

這當中,在黎明時,天將亮,黎明那個時候,阿闍世王在樓閣裡,遠遠看向竹園精舍(竹林精舍,又稱「竹園」)。怎麼這麼異常?那個黎明之光,怎麼會這麼異常的光彩呢?看起來好像從天降,好像天人,好像在獻供,那個地方如天宮一樣的莊嚴。在那個樓閣頂,遠遠眺望到佛的精舍,在竹園精舍裡,他看,他忽然間自己內心,起了那一分懺悔、慚愧的心。他就開始責備,責備提婆達多:「你這個大愚癡的人,怎麼能用這種大愚癡的法,來煽動我斷了佛的糧食,讓這些國民不能接近佛,不能供養釋迦佛。」大臣就接著,就趁機向國王說:「人民人人都是含怨,人人都是抱著怨心,對國王下這道命令,民眾怨;民怨,國就危啊!」

這當中,阿闍世就趕緊即刻下令改令,鼓勵他的人民要供養釋迦佛。就五天的時間,在這五天,佛陀接受釋提桓因的供養。釋提桓因造了這樣的景象,解除了阿闍世王的嚴禁,禁令這樣解除了。這就是釋提桓因,就是佛的護法,大護法。所以我們要用心去體會,有佛法存在的地方,無不都是天龍護法,天與龍神所護法的地方。雖然佛陀說,要講這部經是困難重重,但是諸佛道同,諸天護法,這我們也要相信。所以,諸天同樣也來供養,他方來的寶塔,多寶佛塔,所以也是同樣,天龍護法也來散花供養。

除了釋提桓因,還有「其餘八部、四眾,「各以其所敬意供養此塔;恭敬尊重讚歎」。除了天人以外,八部也各隨大家那個敬重之意,這樣來了。所以,敬重之意,雖然沒有獻出什麼東西,但是敬重之意是從身、口、意,這善業來供佛,這就是人與非人,天龍八部,他們是用至誠的身、口、意,行動來表達供養。

接下來這段文再說:「爾時、寶塔中出大音聲,歎言:善哉!善哉!釋迦牟尼世尊,能以平等大慧教菩薩法。」

爾時
寶塔中出大音聲
歎言
善哉 善哉
釋迦牟尼世尊
能以平等大慧
教菩薩法
《法華經見寶塔品第十一》

這段文,已經從塔內出音聲了,剛才所描述是塔現前,諸天護法來表達歡迎,表達供養,莊嚴道場。現在從寶塔裡開始出音聲,來讚歎釋迦牟尼佛,來印證、印可,就是印證,所說之《妙法蓮華經》。釋迦佛在說的《妙法蓮華經》,是證明前開權顯實不虛。

此讚歎釋迦牟尼佛
而印可所說之
妙法蓮華經
證前開權顯實不虛

因為佛陀現在所講的,《妙法蓮華經》是開權,開權,就是證明過去雖然是權,也是實而不虛,也是接引眾生進來,若沒有從小教來接引,哪有辦法到圓教來呢?就如昨天說的,將他接引入寶室,樣樣都是寶,這個寶室中又有一道門要開,那個才是真實寶。

就如我們人,六識、七識、八識,這八識的善念要先啟發起來,煩惱無明要先消除,都清淨了煩惱無明,無明、煩惱、塵沙惑都去除了,那就是最清淨的第九識,佛性就要為我們啟開了。所以,開權,前面這個權的法,門打開了,進去,那就是真實法。所以這是來證明,前面的法也是顯實,也是實法,隱含著實法,所以雖然是開權,就是打開它,來證明這個實,是不虛的,過去也是隱含著實法。但是現在真實不虛,一實大乘法,就是現在佛所說的,《妙法蓮華經》。

所以「爾時,寶塔中出大音聲」,那時候,寶塔中就發出音聲了。

爾時
寶塔中出大音聲:
是諸天人設供之時
塔中忽然出大妙音
音聲:
即塔中
出言讚歎之聲

「是諸天人設供之時」,寶塔發出音聲,是天人來供養,讓這周圍的氣氛都莊嚴起來了,人人的心都完全一心歡喜,啟發了人人的善念,這種心善、調和,環境善而莊嚴,這個時候,寶塔中它就出了音聲。所以「是諸天(人) ,設供之時,塔中忽然出妙音」,塔中出妙音聲,就是讚歎,這個妙音聲就開始要讚歎了。

歎言:
善哉!善哉!
釋迦牟尼世尊:
再讚善哉
一讚其能施權
一讚其能顯實

「善哉!善哉!」很好、很好啊!「釋迦牟尼世尊」,一再讚歎。這個讚歎,「其能施權」,過去施權,過去的施權來度眾生,接引眾生入正法藏,正法的門來,這是讚歎,古佛來讚歎現在的佛,所說法的順序很好,過去開方便門,再讚歎現在已經顯實了。

能以平等大慧:
能以生佛本性平等
佛之知見
廣大智慧

這個顯實法,那就是「能以平等大慧」。眾生人人本具佛性,眾生平等,「能以生佛本性平等,佛之知見,廣大智慧」。佛陀開始就是向大家說,眾生心與佛的本性,本來就平等,「心、佛、眾生,三無差別」,這是佛這樣告訴我們,所以這是佛的知見。佛陀將他所知所見,已經開悟,與天地為一體,這個真理都要獻給眾生,讓眾生大家了解人人本具,本具廣大智慧。釋迦佛向眾生就這樣說,要讓眾生人人知道,這個大慧都具足,有與佛同等平等的大智慧。

大慧:
即道場所得
佛觀眾生本來是佛
即皆可成佛
此謂平等大慧

這就是道場,佛陀現在所講的《法華經》,就是道場所得,這個道場就是大智慧的道場。有《法華經》在的地方,就是大智慧的道場在。所以「佛觀眾生本來是佛」。大家還記得嗎?佛陀覺悟的第一句話,「奇哉,奇哉,大地眾生皆有如來智性。」這是開悟的第一句話。所以「佛觀眾生本來是佛」,每一位都具有佛性,「即皆可成佛」,既然人人有佛性,人人都能夠成佛,所以「此謂平等大慧」,這就是平等的智慧。

平等:
平無高下
等無差別
此理人人本有
含識同具
所謂奇哉
一切眾生平等

平等,意思就是說,平而無高下,大家都平等。「等無差別」,佛、眾生都沒有差別,沒有說佛的智慧比我們高。我們與佛也差不了多少,只是我們差很多,就是無明覆蓋,這就是與佛所有的差別,我們若無明都拿掉,我們與佛是平等。所以,平等,平是無高下,等是無差別。這個道理人人本有,人人都有。所以「含識同具」,我們的第九識,人人都有,還是含藏,真如含藏在第九識。佛陀已經為我們,打開八識之門了,應該要讓我們了解我們有九識,是清淨無染,真如的本性。所謂「奇哉,奇哉,一切眾生是平等。」但是我們有無明覆蓋,我們要鍛鍊,要鍛鍊,我們要從聲聞、緣覺,啟發大心,發菩薩心,要行菩薩法,來接受菩薩法,行菩薩道。

教菩薩法:
十方如來
教佛其弟子
菩薩根者上妙之法

所以「教菩薩法」。「十方如來,教佛其弟子,菩薩根者上妙之法」。十方諸佛都這樣,不是只有釋迦牟尼佛而已,所以我們要很用心去體會。「佛以此會」,此會就是靈山會。

佛以此會
為諸眾生
說種種惡法、善法
有為法、無為法
法相雖有差別
而實無一非為
教菩薩法

「為諸眾生,說種種惡法、善法」,向我們分析:這是惡的,不要做,這是善的,你要奉行;有為法,這都是人所造作的有為法,也向我們分析無為法,就是自然法則,這無為法,這樣向我們分析。

「法相雖有差別,而實無一非為教菩薩法」。法相雖然有差別,但是沒有一項法有差別,這就是教菩薩法。我們要修行,終歸還是要經過菩薩法,就是要入人群中去歷練,淬煉出我們,那些無明完全要去除,我們很純真,九識清淨,菴摩羅識能現前。

所以,學佛要真實用心,在日常生活中,顧好我們的行為,顧好我們起心動念、開口動舌,我們都要照顧好,因為真如是與我們一起在生活,為什麼我們不能發現呢?因為無明。所以要時時多用心!


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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: Teaching with Impartial Wisdom (平等大慧 教菩薩法)
Date: January.11.2018

“The Tathagata’s ever-abiding Dharmakaya guides us directly to the reward-body of True Suchness. Because of His wisdom, the Buddha wanted to help sentient beings know and see this and eventually enter the Buddha’s understanding and views and realize and enter the great cause of the Buddha’s lifetime.”

We must be mindful! Recently, I have been talking about the emergence of the stupa of treasures. The stupa is an appearance; we must uses appearances to understand principles and use principles to understand appearances. We need to mindfully seek to experience this. As for “the Tathagata’s ever-abiding Dharmakaya,” I have been explaining to everyone that the Tathagata’s Dharmakaya is the true principles. It is all-pervading; there is no thing which does not contain its own true principles. The true principles are also within our heart; they are our nature of True Suchness. Thus, “the Tathagata’s ever-abiding Dharmakaya” can be found everywhere. It “guides us directly to the reward-body of True Suchness.” The Buddha’s one great cause was to help us understand the true principles, in particular, that everyone innately possesses the reward-body of True Suchness. The principles are inherently intangible, [so] we make analogies with the appearances and substances of things so that everyone can understand what form our True Suchness really takes. This is the Buddha’s wisdom. The Buddha used wisdom to enable sentient beings to learn the Buddha’s understanding and views.

[He] hoped that everyone could arrive at and enter the Buddha’s understanding and views. This was the Buddha’s mindful effort. He hoped we would enter and realize His understanding and views. Thus, the Buddha came to the world to open and reveal so that we can realize and enter. He opens and reveals [the Buddha’s views], and it is sentient beings who must realize and enter. So, with the “reward-body of True Suchness.” “True Suchness” means that it “has infinite merits and virtues,” so it is called “the reward-body of True Suchness.”

True Suchness: Because it has infinite merits and virtues, it is called the reward-body of True Suchness. The ocean of True Suchness of our Dharma-nature is the storehouse of infinite merits and virtues. Furthermore, the essence of the Dharmakaya is true and natural. Thus, it is called the Dharmakaya of True Suchness.

Our intrinsic nature of True Suchness already contains all merits and virtues. Where does our goodness arise from? It comes from our intrinsic nature, our nature of True Suchness. Where does our hidden potential lie? It also lies within our nature of True Suchness. Where do our abilities come from? They come from our nature of True Suchness as well. We are constantly using this true essence, but we do not in the slightest bit experience how our nature of True Suchness has always been present in our daily living. It is replete with infinite merits and virtues. All the abilities we use in our daily living, or simply speaking, all of our physiological functions, the condition of our bodies, our thoughts and our actions all come from our essence of True Suchness manifesting its functions and abilities. So, it has infinite merits and virtues. Everything we create, our ability to speak, if we want to talk or act or move, all is [possible because of] our physiology. Thus, our physiological functions are also a principle, one of the principles. They contain so much.

Our altruistic potential and abilities are exerted through our physiology. However, as we make use of our physical body, our nature or True Suchness, our ability of greatest goodness, remains covered over by our ignorance. Although we want to exercise our abilities, our potential is obstructed by our ignorance. This is like having a bodily illness, which inhibits the function of our bone marrow. Can we be cured? Yes, we can. With advancements in science and technology, we are now able to transplant matching bone marrow from a healthy individual to [the patient]. The marrow is very healthy, and the patient can use [the transplanted marrow] to begin to carry out their own body’s function of producing blood cells.

As ignorant, unenlightened beings, we must also borrow from an external source. When we take the Buddha’s principles to heart, we can activate our power of merits and virtues, our virtuous potential. We must exercise our most wholesome and clever wisdom, the power of the Buddha’s understanding and views. This is the “reward-body of True Suchness,” that which we all innately possess. It is also [known] the Dharma-nature, “the ocean of True Suchness of our Dharma-nature.”

So long as we can eliminate our ignorance and our dust-like afflictions, [we can reveal] “the ocean of True Suchness of our Dharma-nature.” This is wisdom. This wisdom is contained within our True Suchness; it is vast and boundless. Our capacities, merits and virtues are all contained within the True Suchness of our Dharma-nature. So, this is called “the ocean of True Suchness of our Dharma-nature.” The ocean of True Suchness of our Dharma-nature is contained within “the storehouse of infinite merits and virtues.” This is our nature of True Suchness. Its infinite merits and virtues are [in] the storehouse of infinite merits and virtues. This treasury of infinite merits and virtues contains the ocean of True Suchness of our Dharma-nature. They are one and the same. “Furthermore, the essence of the Dharmakaya is true and natural; thus it is called the Dharmakaya of True Suchness.” Everyone possesses this intrinsically, yet we are not aware of it; we have not yet discovered it. [However], the essence of the Dharmakaya can be found in our daily living; it is inseparable from our lives. It is just that we have not experience this yet. It “is true and natural.” True means natural and sound. A natural life is true. If we live grounded lives, live each day naturally, True Suchness will always be one with us. So, this is the Dharmakaya of True Suchness. In all actions, we must act in accordance with the Dharma and the principles. We must make an effort to be mindful in our daily living.

I often tell everyone that our every action and every word [must reflect] our Dharma of True Suchness. If our nature of True Suchness loses its function, we become incoherent in our speech; we do not know what we ourselves are talking about. We will be in a confused state. This is not normal or sound. If every day we live natural, balanced lives, this is our nature of True Suchness functioning normally in our daily living. We must use the Dharma around us to guide and inspire us. We all innately possess [this True Suchness]; it is just that we are covered by ignorance. Thus, we must rely on Dharma outside ourselves to teach us. So, we need to accept [the teachings]. We must correct all our wrongdoings; if our actions offend others, we need to change our behavior. We need to change ourselves to accommodate how others live rather than [expecting] others to accommodate us. We need to live as one with everyone. This is our everyday spiritual practice; it is called the “Six Points of Reverent Harmony”. We need to make use of the Buddha’s teachings to educate ourselves. [We need to observe the] precepts. We must refrain from doing what we should not do, and refrain from behaving how we should not behave. We must observe precepts, have discipline and [the proper] demeanor. In our daily living, we must accept the Dharma to reveal our nature of True Suchness. We must live normally, like ordinary people. This is what it means to be “true and natural. This is “the essence of the Dharmakaya.” Our Dharmakaya is this simple. We need to control ourselves, for we must not violate the precepts or rules. We must not lose our demeanor. This is “the reward-body of True Suchness.” In our actions and behavior, we must take good care of ourselves, because our nature of True Suchness has “infinite merits and virtues.”

We all have this precious thing, but we do not know about it. This is truly a pity. Everyone, we must mindfully comprehend this! “Because True Suchness has infinite merits and virtues, it is called the reward-body of True Suchness.” We must all cherish this in ourselves. In our daily living, we innately have the ocean of merits and virtues of our Dharma-nature of True Suchness. We are full of wisdom. It is just that our minds are covered by ignorance. Thus, our treasury of infinite merits and virtues cannot exercise the essence of the Dharmakaya. Instead, our demeanors, actions and other dignified appearances as destroyed by us ourselves. Therefore, we need to be very vigilant. True Suchness is not particularly special; it is here in our daily living. I hope we can all understand that we need not go far to seek out the Dharmakaya of True Suchness. At that time, in this place, everything is the Dharmakaya of True Suchness. All the forms [life takes] are encompassed by the Dharma of True Suchness.

The previous sutra passage says, “From the Heaven of the Thirty-three, there fell a rain of Mandarava flowers in offering to the stupa of treasures. All the various heavenly beings, nagas yaksas, gandharvas, asuras, garudas, kinnaras, mahoragas…”

Here it describes how heavenly begins scattered flowers as offerings to the stupa of treasures, to dignify the appearance of this Dharma-assembly. The Dharma-assembly was so magnificent. Along with these heavenly beings, those from the Heaven of the Thirty-three and the Heaven of the Four Heavenly Kings all came. There were also “nagas, yaksas, gandharvas, asuras, garudas, kinaras” and “mahoragasJ”, the eight classes. All eight classes of Dharma-protectors were there; they all came to this world. The Buddha had already taught and transformed them, so they had become the Buddha’s Dharma-protectors. Now, they had all gathered there.

The sutra passage continues, other than Dharma-protectors, there were also “humans and non-humans, trillions in all, who “used all kinds of flowers, incense strings of jewels, banners and canopies and music to make offerings to the stupa of treasures and praised it reverently.

This tells how even the heavenly beings from beyond the human realm all came to scatter flowers and make offerings, to say nothing of humans. Along with humans, there were many other beings, thus there were “trillions in all.” Beings both visible and invisible to the human eye all came to this Dharma-assembly. In the sky and on the ground, trillions of them in all made offerings with utmost reverence. “[They] used all kinds of flowers, incense, strings of jewels, banners and canopies and music to make offerings to the stupa of treasures and praised it reverently.” Tangible objects and intangible sounds were all [presented] at this Dharma-assembly. These items were gathered from all directions. [From this], we can see the magnificence of the Dharma-assembly.

So, “They used various flowers, incense, all kinds of treasures, banners and canopies and music to make offerings to the stupa of treasures. Thus, full of reverence, they all paid their respects and praised it.

Praised it reverently: They saw it and gave rise to good thoughts and a reverent mind. They respected the stupa of treasures and thus began to praise it.

After witnessing its appearance, “they saw it and gave rise to good thoughts.” The offerings dignified the Dharma-assembly and made those present feel uncontrollable joy. From deep within, virtuous thoughts arose. This was a very inconceivable state. No matter how irritated their minds were, how jumbled their thoughts or how much resentment or anxiety they had, when they arrived at this Dharma-assembly, they felt that they could settle all of their afflictive emotions, their resentful state of mind and other such discursive thoughts. This state allowed them to forget all of their afflictions and helped them to give rise to joy and thought of goodness. The atmosphere of [the assembly] was able to subdue sentient beings’ stubbornness, afflictions, ignorance and discursive thoughts. So, “They saw it and gave rise to good thoughts. After witnessing this state, they naturally gave rise to a sense of joy and thoughts of goodness. So, they naturally “gave rise to a reverent mind” and “respected the stupa of treasures.” The [emergence of] the stupa of treasures bears witness, is testimony, to the fact that the Lotus Sutra expounded by the Buddha is the complete body of all Buddhas. The Dharmakaya is found in this sutra. The true principles it contains are the medicine that can cure this world.

Because of this, the stupa of treasures [emerged] to bear witness, to confirm this, and these heavenly beings came to attest to this, and to dignify the Dharma-assembly and make offerings to the stupa of treasures. They all showed mutual reverence and harmony. The Buddha taught us that in a place of practice, we must [uphold] “the Six Pints of Reverent Harmony. With our bodies and minds, thoughts and actions, we must uphold the Six Points of Reverent Harmony. We should all understand this; we need to praise and respect each other. The principle is the same. Many Treasures Buddha coming to bear witness is also [a form of] respect. As all the Dharma-protectors descended from heaven to dignify the Dharma-assembly, this is also a form of respectful reverence.

All of this was to allow the people there to give rise to praise. In the atmosphere of that assembly, the air was fragrant and flower scattered. This state inspired joy and admiration in all those present, so they gave rise to thoughts of goodness and reverent minds.

This refers to Sakro-devanam Indra, the King of the Heaven of the Thirty-three, Trayastrimsa Heaven. Because this heavenly [being] was the king of the heavens closest to the world, he first presented this rain of flowers as an offering. The remaining eight classes of Dharma-protectors and fourfold assemblies each followed their reverent heart to make offerings to the stupa of treasures and praised it reverently. Through body, speech and mind, they also made offerings of virtuous karma.

This state shows how the king of the Heaven of the Thirty-three. Sakro-devanam Indra mobilized all of the eight classes of Dharma-protectors to come to this place and make offerings to the stupa of treasures to dignify the Dharma-assembly. Sakro-devanam Indra was the great Dharma-protector of Shakyamuni Buddha. He is the king of the heavens closest to the world. There was a period of time when the Buddha’s cousin, Devadatta, first began to follow the Buddha as a monastic, yet his mind was still covered by ignorance, and He was filled with terrible anger, ignorance and arrogance. Although he was learning the Buddha’s teachings, in his heart, he was unswayed by Sakyamuni Buddha. he was disobedient and refused to accept the Buddha’s training and teaching. Later, he left the Buddha and turned against Him. He incited King Ajatasatru to issue a decree that no one in the city was permitted to make offerings to Sakyamuni’s Sangha. Even if they came to ask for alms, no one was allowed to give food to the Sangha. If anyone gave food to the Sangha, they would be punished by the law of the land. Many of the citizens normally loved, respected and made offerings to the Buddha. When they suddenly received this national decree, that they had to stay away from Sakyamuni Buddha and could not make offerings to Him, not even food, everyone was frightened. They cried out in sadness and anger. They had to accept this decree, but although they accepted it, they could not bear it. How would the Buddha’s Sangha sustain themselves? People were sad and angry. They felt indignant but did not dare to speak out. The sound of their cries affected the Heaven of the Thirty-three. [Their cries] shook the Heaven of the Thirty-three frightening Sovereign Sakra. What karmic conditions could possibly cause so much sorrow and misery in the world that it could shake Trayastrumsa Heaven? What had happened? With his heavenly eye, he saw that it was Devadatta who had betrayed the Buddha and turned his back on the principles. It was he who incited Ajatasatru to cut off Sakyamuni Buddha’s food supply.

So, [Sovereign Sakra] immediately mobilized the heavenly beings to go before the Buddha. There, the requested to make offering to the Buddha their entire lives. Yet the Buddha was silent. He would not accept their lifetime of offering. The Buddha had come to the world to teach and transform sentient beings. sentient beings needed the Buddha to form affinities with them and to give them the Dharma. The Buddha wanted to help sentient beings create blessed affinities. So, He did not accept the heavenly beings’ lifetime offering to Him. Sakro-devanam Indra then said, “[Without if we] make offering for 50 years?” But Buddha did not accept. “How about making offerings for five years?” The Buddha would not accept that either. “How about five months?” The Buddha still refused. Finally, Sakro-devanam Indra said, “In that case, how about we make offering to you for five days?” The Buddha accepted [this offer]. So, for five days, the heavenly beings transformed the Bamboo Grove Abode into a city dignified with the Seven Treasures. It was truly majestic, just like a palace. Its surroundings were bright and resplendent. It was an extraordinary sight. Heavenly beings made reverent offerings holding alms bowls of gold and silver. At dawn, when daylight was about break, from inside hi tower, King Ajatasatru looked towards the Bamboo Grove abode from afar and wondered, “How could it be so extraordinary? How could the light of dawn be of such extraordinary color? It looks as though [heavenly beings] have descended from heaven to make reverent offerings.” It tooked as magnificent as a heavenly palace. From the top of this tower, he peered from afar into the Buddha’s Bamboo Grave abode. As he looked down upon the abode, he suddenly gave rise to a sense of remorse and regret. Then, he began to reproach Devadatta. “What a great fool you are! How could you use this deluded teaching to get me to cut off the Buddha’s food supply and prevent these citizens from drawing near and making offerings to Sakyamuni Buddha?” The ministers took this opportunity to tell the king, “All your citizens are resentful. Everyone harbors resentment over this. You’re your majesty issued this decree the citizens resented you for it. If the people resent you, the kingdom is in danger! At that moment, king Ajatasatru revised his decree immediately to encourage his people to make offerings to Sakyamuni Buddha. For five days’ time, during those five days, the Buddha accepted Sakro-devanam Indra’s offering. Sakro-devanam Indra created such a sight that king Ajatasatru lifted his ban. That king Ajatasatru lifted his ban. From this, we can see that Sakra-devanam Indra is the Buddha’s great Dharma-protector.

So, this is we must mindfully comprehend. Wherever the Buddha-Dharma abides, the Dharma-protectors, heavenly beings and dragoon-gods will all be there as well, even though the Buddha said that those who expound this sutra, all Buddhas share the same path, and all heavenly beings protect the Dharma.

We must have faith in this. For this reason, all the heavenly beings to this stupa of treasures, Many Treasures’ stupa which came from another world. Similarly, the Dharma-protectors also made offerings by scattering flowers. In addition to Sakro- devanam Indra, “The remaining eight classes of Dharma-protectors and fourfold assemblies each followed their reverent heart to make offerings to make offerings to the stupa of treasures and praised it reverently.

Along with the heavenly beings, the remaining eight classes of Dharma-protectors also came with sincere reverence. With their reverence, although they did not offer material things, they made offerings to the Buddha by expressing their reverence through wholesome karma of body speech and mind. [Those gathered] were both human and non-human. The Dharma-protectors used the utmost reverence of body, speech and mind, their conduct, to make offerings.

The following sutra passage says, “At that time, from the stupa of treasures came a great voice that said in praise, ‘Excellent! Excellent! Sakyamuni, the World-Honored-One, can use great impartial wisdom to teach the Bodhisattva Way.”

This passage tells us that a great voice emanated from the stupa. We just described how the stupa appeared and how the Dharma-protectors came to express their welcome, make offerings and dignify the Dharma-assembly. Now, a voice came from the stupas of treasures to praise Sakyamuni Buddha and bear witness to the Wondrous Dharma Lotus Flowers Sutra He taught, the Wondrous Dharma Lotus Flowers Sutra which Sakyamuni Buddha was teaching. He confirmed that this was opening the provisional to reveal the true; it was not false. The Wondrous Dharma Lotus Flowers Sutra that the Buddha was teaching was opening up the provisional. This confirmed that although He gave provisional teachings in the past, the teachings were still true and not false; they guide sentient beings into the teachings. If He did not start guiding sentient beings using limited teachings, how would they ever reach the perfect teachings?

As we mentioned yesterday, He brought them into a room of treasures, where everything inside was precious. But there was still another door in this room where the true treasure lay. This is just like our sixth, seventh and eight consciousnesses. If we want to inspire thoughts of goodness in our eight consciousness, we must first eliminate our afflictions and ignorance. If we can clear away our afflictions and ignorance, our ignorance, afflictions and dust-like delusions, then our ninth, purest consciousness, our Buddha-nature, will be unlocked. Thus, by opening up the provisional teachings [He gave] before, He opened the door for us to enter [and find] the True Dharma. So this confirms that the previous teachings also revealed the truth; the true teachings were also contained within. Although He opened up the provisional, he opened it to prove that they were true and not false. The provisional teachings in the past also contained the true Dharma. But now, He was teaching the true and not false, the Great Dharma of the One Vehicle which is what the Buddha now taught, the Wondrous Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra.

Thus, “At that time, “from the stupa of treasures came a great voice.” At that moment, a voice emanated from the stupa. At that time, from the stupa of treasures came a great voice: When all of the heavenly beings made offerings, suddenly a great and wondrous voice came from the stupa. Voice: This means that from the stupa, a voice came and spoke words of praise.

“When all of the heavenly beings made offerings, a voice came from the stupa of treasures. when the heavenly beings came to make offerings, this created a magnificent atmosphere. People’s hearts were full of joy, and they were all inspired to form thoughts of goodness. Their thoughts were kind and harmonious. The environment was wholesome and dignified. It was at this time that the voice [was heard] coming from the stupa. Thus, “when all of the heavenly beings made offerings, a great and wondrous voice suddenly. A wondrous voice emanated from the stupa and began to speak words of praise.

[It] said in praise: Excellent! Excellent! Sakyamuni, the World-Honored One: He again praised Him as excellent, praising [the Buddha] for being able to give the provisional and also praising Him for revealing what is true.

Excellent! Excellent! This was truly excellent “Sakyamuni, the -honored One…” He repeatedly praised Him for being able to apply the provisional. Before, He had given the provisional teachings to transform sentient beings and guide them to enter the door to the treasury of the Right Dharma. This was the praise of the past Buddha for the current Buddha, for the excellent sequence in which He expounded the Dharma. Before, He had opened the door of skillful means, and now, the past Buddha praised the current Buddha for revealing the true. In revealing the True Dharma, He “used great impartial wisdom. Everyone intrinsically has Buddha-nature. All sentient beings are equal “He can use the Buddha’s views and understanding of how the Buddha and sentient beings are intrinsically equal in nature. This is great wisdom.” Thus the Buddha began to teach everyone that sentient beings, the mind, and the Buddhahood’s nature are all intrinsically equal. “The mind, the Buddha and sentient beings are no different [in their nature]. This is what the Buddha tole us, this is the Buddha’s understanding and views. In what the Buddha saw and understood, He had already become enlightened, and He had become one with the universe. He wanted to offer these truths to sentient beings. [He wanted] to help them understand that everyone intrinsically possesses this vast, great wisdom. By teaching sentient being like this, Sakyamuni Buddha wanted everyone to understand that we are all replete with this great wisdom equal to the Buddha’s great impartial wisdom.

Great wisdom: this was attained in the place of enlightenment. The Buddha saw that sentient beings intrinsically have Buddha-nature and can all attain Buddhahood. This is called great impartial wisdom.

This is talking about the place of enlightenment. The Lotus Sutra that the Buddha taught is what He attained in the place of enlightenment. This place of enlightenment is one of great wisdom. So, wherever the Lotus Sutra is present, this is our place of enlightenment of great wisdom. Thus, “The Buddha saw that sentient beings intrinsically have Buddha-nature.” Do you still remember? The Buddha’s first words when He attained enlightenment were, “How amazing! How amazing! All beings possess the Buddha’s nature of wisdom.” This is the first sentence the Buddha said after attaining enlightenment. Thus, “The Buddha saw that sentient beings intrinsically have Buddha-nature.” Everyone possesses Buddha-nature, “and all can attain Buddhahood." Since everyone has Buddha-nature, everyone is able to attain Buddhahood. Thus, “This is called great impartial wisdom." This is great impartial wisdom.

Impartial: At the same level, with nothing higher or lower, equal without difference. Everyone intrinsically possesses this principle within their consciousness. What was called “amazing” is that all sentient beings are equal.

The meaning of impartial is that everything is at the same level, with nothing higher or lower. Everyone is equal to each other; we are “equal without difference." There is no difference between the Buddha and sentient beings. The Buddha’s wisdom is no higher than ours. There is no difference between us and the Buddha. The only difference is that we are covered by ignorance. This is the only difference between us and the Buddha. If we eliminate our ignorance, we are equal to the Buddha. Thus, impartial means at the same level, with nothing higher or lower; we are equal without difference. We all intrinsically possess this principle. We possess it “within our consciousness." Our ninth consciousness is something we all have, and True Suchness is stored within it. The Buddha has already opened the doors of the Eight Consciousnesses for us in order to help us understand that we have a ninth consciousness, which is our pure and undefiled nature of True Suchness. Thus [He said], “How amazing! How amazing! All sentient beings are equal." However, we are covered by ignorance. We need to refine and train ourselves. We must start as Hearers, then Solitary Realizers then form great Bodhisattva-aspirations to accept and practice the Bodhisattva Way and walk the Bodhisattva-path. So, “Teaching the Bodhisattva Way” [means] “Tathagatas from the ten directions” “teach their disciples
who have the capabilities of Bodhisattvas the supreme and wondrous Dharma.” All the Buddhas of the ten directions are like this. It was not just Sakyamuni Buddha. We need to mindfully comprehend this “At this assembly, the Buddha…” This assembly refers to the Vulture Peak assembly.

At this assembly, the Buddha, on behalf of all sentient beings, taught about various good and evil phenomena and conditioned and unconditioned phenomena. Though the forms of these teachings differ, in reality, He taught nothing but the Bodhisattva Way.

“On behalf of all sentient beings,” He “taught about various good and evil phenomena.” [The Buddha] explained for us, “This is evil; do not do it. This is good; you must do it.” Conditioned phenomena are all created by human beings. He also explained unconditioned phenomena to us. Unconditioned phenomena are the laws of the nature. This is what He explained to us. “Though the forms of these teachings differ in actuality, they teach nothing but the Bodhisattva Way.” Though the forms of these teachings differ, their Dharma does not differ in any way. They all teach the Bodhisattva Way. When we engage in spiritual practice, we must ultimately go through the Bodhisattva Way. That means we must gain experience among people to refine and temper ourselves until we completely eliminate our ignorance. Once we are pure, our pure ninth consciousness, the amala consciousness, will appear. Therefore, as Buddhist practitioners, we need to be truly mindful. In our daily living, we need to be mindful of our conduct, our thoughts and our speech. We need to be mindful of all of these things. Our nature of True Suchness is a part of our lives. Why are we unable to find it? This is because of our ignorance. So, we must always be mindful.

(Source: Da Ai TV – Wisdom at Dawn program – Explanation by Master Chen-Yen)
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20180111《靜思妙蓮華》平等大慧 教菩薩法 (第1260集) (法華經•見寶塔品第十一)
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