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 20180112《靜思妙蓮華》含識同具 真如覺性 (第1261集) (法華經•見寶塔品第十一)

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發表主題: 20180112《靜思妙蓮華》含識同具 真如覺性 (第1261集) (法華經•見寶塔品第十一)   周四 1月 11, 2018 8:14 pm

20180112《靜思妙蓮華》含識同具 真如覺性  (第1261集) (法華經•見寶塔品第十一)

⊙「此證前開權顯實真不虛,大慧即自性道場所得法,所謂平等者即大慈悲心,眾生性平等無高下差別。」
⊙真如人本有含識同具,靜寂心清澄瞬觸星光,歎奇哉大地一切眾生,本具如來等真如覺性。
⊙「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》
⊙「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》
⊙「佛所護念,妙法華經,為大眾說。如是如是!釋迦牟尼世尊,如所說者,皆是真實。」《法華經見寶塔品第十一》
⊙大乘甚深,一實妙法,護持憶念不濫開演,為諸菩薩,說大乘經,名無量義,教菩薩法。
⊙佛所護念汝等眾生,當信稱讚,如是不可思議功德,一切諸佛所護念如是妙法華。
⊙佛所護念:此之大慧,是一切佛清淨心中常所護念。
⊙妙法華經,為大眾說:生於妙果,妙法華經;與諸大眾,分別演說。
⊙如是如是:謂釋迦尊慈悲方便,如是如是,為眾生說。
⊙如是:一如法相,是歎佛所說,稱於實故,二如根性,是歎佛五時方說,不差機故。
⊙釋迦牟尼世尊,如所說者,皆是真實經文簡釋:如釋迦尊之所說者,一一皆是真實之語。
⊙如佛說地獄等,種種果報之惡法,即為使眾生先能轉惡為善,得受善報。迨善根增長,則可漸為出世之因緣。至習出世法成就,能發大心,即可直趨無上菩提之道。
⊙又如隨順眾生機,所說之種種權法,實無一非假為方便以會歸於一乘實法者。故塔內大聲讚歎其如是施權、如是顯實,皆為真實,為是經作充分之印證。

【證嚴上人開示】
「此證前開權顯實真不虛,大慧即自性道場所得法,所謂平等者即大慈悲心,眾生性平等無高下差別。」

此證前開權
顯實真不虛
大慧即自性
道場所得法
所謂平等者
即大慈悲心
眾生性平等
無高下差別

用心,用心多了解、多投入,多體會啊!<見寶塔品>這段文,佛陀開始就說寶塔現前,寶塔在佛說《法華經》,這當中,寶塔現前,就是要來證明,證明釋迦佛過去四十多年間來,所說這權教現在已顯出了,真實不虛的大法。多寶佛,寶塔現前來證明,過去,權,這個權教,就是有、空平行,小、大乘同樣含藏,來到《法華經》,佛陀完全將它分類合和起來,這是小教、中乘、大乘法,分明向我們說清楚,這叫做開權顯實。就如前面譬喻過的,將我們帶入了寶藏,那個藏識裡,讓我們知道,有這麼多這麼多的寶物,這些寶物,都是有各類各形的價值,一直帶,帶到了又有一道門,這道門再打開,來,大家看,過去所看的,探討那些法的價值,還不如在現在,所顯現出來的這個寶,這是真實價值無量,這價值等於全部所有的價值,還更有價值,這就是法的精髓。

過去又譬喻過,人造血,造血若是不良,那就影響人生生命,所以醫學的發達,已經研究了骨髓移植。同樣的道理,我們眾生與生俱來,就有這個造血的功能,但是我們就是因為有病了,造血的功能失調了,就需要配對,配對起來能合的,就移植,將他造血的功能,叫做髓,周邊血,那個精髓將它換過來,就是這樣送給另外一個人。送出去的人是健康,接受的人,就恢復他那個已經失去功能,現在再將它補充進去,功能恢復了,也是一個健康人。佛陀就像是供應法髓給我們,我們眾生無明,就是心有病了,心中充滿了塵沙惑,無明、煩惱在日常中,所以我們迷了,迷失了。我們現在聽法,就像在接受,補充我們失去的,那個造血功能一樣,我們不要接受來了就排斥掉,這就無效了。

儘管健康人的骨髓送給我們,也是同樣,同樣的意思,佛法已經是這麼健康的法了,送給我們了,我們雖然有接受,卻是還受外面的境界,不斷影響我們,我們還是同樣又被污染,健康不起來,這道理相同。要知道,配對得到骨髓,不是這麼簡單,幾十萬人之中,只能配對到少數一個,或者是兩個;同樣的道理,佛陀要找這個根機,法能對他的根機,也很不簡單。既然能對到根機了,我們要深信,我們要接受,我們不能再受外面的,無明、煩惱惑,再將我們迷失掉,掩蓋了我們非常寶貴,我們真如本性。

所以,過去佛,多寶佛,他發這樣的願;未來世界,任何一個世界,只要有佛出世,講說《法華經》的道場,我的寶塔就會出現在那個地方,這就是證明。前面所說寶塔的道理,我們分析得應該很清楚,大家要用心去想,有形的形象,那就是無形的大道理,所以用有形來表達道理是這樣,不論是直的、不論是橫的,不論是周圍的裝飾等等,無不都是法,要用心體會。所以證前面所說的方便法,但是顯實真不虛,現在佛陀開始展現出了,這圓融一實大法,那就是《法華經》,要顯出了大慧,就是自性。大智慧是我們人人本具的,真如本性,所以「道場所得法」,這大慧自性,是從道場中所得到的法。這道場是在哪裡呢?就是菩提場,就是釋迦牟尼佛,修行的地方,菩提樹下,夜睹明星,那當中,瞬間所得到的法,這自性,回歸真如本性,這瞬間。

 「所謂平等者即是大慈悲心」。佛心就是大慈悲心,「眾生性平等」,他發覺到眾生的性是平等,所有的動物,眾生的性都一樣,「心、佛、眾生三無差別」。平等,無高低,無差別。所以這就是真如,真如是人人本有,在「含識同具」。我們含在我們的第九識,這個識,那就是清淨無染污的真如本性,是人人全都有。所以,這是藏在我們的第九識,就是在八識的後面。第八識就是受這世間一切,過去、現在,這樣不斷不斷污染著,就是前面的造業歸納第八識。最近一直向大家反覆說,希望大家要很用心體會。所以,因為這樣,眾生一直是在迷茫中,一直無法去體會,大地宇宙真正奧妙的真理,我們無法體會。這就是因為我們八識之前,五根與塵所去緣,六識的接受、思考,七識的執著,去造作種種的業力,回歸回來就歸納八識。

過去生所帶來的業,在今生此世周圍的這個業緣,再增長我們的無明,再造作、再歸納,這我們要用心,今生此世,我們唯一的福緣,就是接觸到佛法,我們接觸到佛法,要自性覺悟,好好的有這麼微妙的因緣來了,讓我們知道,法,就是這樣延伸出來的,業就是這樣造作來的,這因緣果報,體會、了解,我們要好好的,過去的業,歡喜接受,不能再複製、對立,再重疊結惡緣,再造惡業,不可啊,就這樣,「隨緣消業障,不更造災秧」。既然過去結來這麼不好的緣,今生我們就不要再與他的惡緣,再一直滾下去,若這樣,來生世纏不清,來生世還是再一直纏下去,所以我們要隨緣消業障,退一步海闊天空,這個過去的惡緣自然就會消。消了惡緣,我們還要再造福緣,要結好緣,好緣要廣結,所以我們要把握因緣,接受大乘教法,在人群中去付出。所以這個真如「人人本有,含識同具」。

真如人本有
含識同具
靜寂心清澄
瞬觸星光
歎奇哉
大地一切眾生
本具如來
等真如覺性

這個「含識」在哪裡呢?「靜寂心澄淨」,瞬間所接觸到的那個晨光,佛在道場,心很寧靜時,閉目,這樣很靜的境界,心已經一片寂靜清澄,很靜,忽然間,眼睛睜開,與正好要天亮之前的那個星光,與這個心,靜寂清澄的心境,這樣一接觸到,那個瞬間,很快,瞬間與這星光接觸。「奇哉!奇哉!大地一切眾生,本具如來一切智性。」這真如覺性,一切佛與眾生都是平等,眾生的覺性慧海,就與佛全都平等。這就是我們要很用心去體會,這片寂靜清澄的心境。這寂靜清澄,你若看什麼東西,無不都是透視這個東西的道理,與佛的眼光接觸星光,同樣的道理,這就是佛陀開悟的境界,那念心對眾生,那分平等大慧的觀念。所以,知道這樣,開始大慈悲心走入眾生的境界,無非就是要一一眾生來體會,體會人人本具佛性,人人可成佛。

這就是佛陀對我們的慈悲,用盡心機,過去的時間,無量劫來,從大通智勝佛時代,所接受到的大乘法,累生世不斷修行、修行,入人群結好緣,淬鍊我們煩惱即是菩提,在人群中淬鍊出來,練出了人群的煩惱,就是我們的菩提。因為佛法,我們修了就了解,知道我們自己有煩惱,我們要如何來消滅煩惱,煩惱就是從眾生周圍所造作,給我們的感觸,製造我們的煩惱。我們了解之後,我們去接觸這些事情,而收來了很多煩惱,再造作這個業力,這就是互相來製造。現在了解了,我們要入人群中,隨緣消業障,不更造災秧。我們人與人之間,「感恩啊,這個境界讓我增長智慧,我願付出,結眾善緣。」這就佛陀要教我們的「諸惡莫作,眾善奉行」,要我們走入菩薩道去,這就是佛的用心在人間。

來,看前面的文:「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》

這就是天人,龍天護法全都來,是人間的人,是天人,是虛空中八部護法全都來。多少啊?千萬億眾。看得到的是人間,看不到的是在空間中的龍神護法,天龍八部,這個數很多,無量數,千萬億,就是以華香、瓔珞等等,來供養寶塔,表達出了恭敬、尊重,來讚歎寶塔現前,莊嚴釋迦佛《法華經》的道場。

所以:「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》

這是多寶佛來稱讚,娑婆世界的釋迦牟尼佛,就是稱讚佛能在這個娑婆世界,是一個堪忍的世界,釋迦佛在這個剛強難調伏的世界裡,竟然能以平等大慧在這個地方,教育這樣剛強的眾生,成為教菩薩法,不簡單啊!這就是寶塔,多寶佛在寶塔中,所發出微妙的聲音。

下面接下來,我們再看:「佛所護念,妙法華經,為大眾說。」

佛所護念
妙法華經
為大眾說
如是如是
釋迦牟尼世尊
如所說者
皆是真實
《法華經見寶塔品第十一》

這是寶塔中出來的聲音,因為讚歎佛在這個娑婆世界,能用平等心、大智慧,來教菩薩法,這個菩薩法是佛所護念的。佛佛道同,諸佛所護念是《法華經》,這妙法,用這個大法,《妙法蓮華經》,為這樣的大眾,娑婆世界剛強的眾生來講說。「如是如是!釋迦牟尼世尊,如所說者,皆是真實」。這段就是要告訴大家,「確實是這樣,確實,確實啊!」這是一個證明。我們「如是我聞」,那個「如是」二字,是「真實是這樣」,是「確實是這樣」。這是表達證明無虛無假,是真實,這是向大眾來講。前面讚歎釋迦佛,能為剛強眾生講說菩薩法,在這個「如是如是」就是證明,證明釋迦牟尼佛,釋迦牟尼世尊所說的都是真實。

這就是多寶佛來人間證明,證明這「大乘甚深,一實妙法」。

大乘甚深
一實妙法
護持憶念
不濫開演
為諸菩薩
說大乘經
名無量義
教菩薩法

佛佛道同,每一尊佛所護持、所憶念,每一尊佛都沒有忘記,但是每一尊佛說法,這個大乘法雖然憶持,但是開頭都是以權教開始。每一尊佛的心懷,都是憶念、護持,保護著這個妙法在內心,就是護持再憶念,一直保護著這個法。這是描述所有諸佛,過去、現在佛,還有未來佛,同樣這個妙法是佛所護持、所憶念。「不濫開演」,不隨便說,不是時機,不對的人、不對的地方,都不能,都不可以說,一定要等到時機,是確實的地方,適應的地方,是應機的眾生,佛陀才開示。這就是表示這個法,不是簡單就能聽到的。那就是佛陀所護念,來人間度眾生,必定要講的法。

時間,佛陀剩沒有多少時間,應世間壽命,也剩下沒多久了,所以,不得不說這心所護持、憶念的法。過去,沒有這樣隨便就說出來,現在時機,這些眾生的根機也差不多了,不說,法,沒辦法這樣一直傳下去,所以,必定要講之時。所以,這個時候是「為諸菩薩,說大乘經」,在這個時間,就是開始大乘法,「名無量義」。即是從《無量義經》開始。《無量義經》,人人一定要讀,《無量義經》就是法華的入門,大乘經總是要行在無量義,雖然甚深甚深,真實甚深,但是它不離開世間法,所以《無量義經》是我們,要發菩薩心,人人都應讀。「教菩薩法」,來教導我們行菩薩道。

「佛所護念,汝等眾生」,意思就是多寶佛來證明,這是佛佛所護念的,現在釋迦佛開始講說,你們大家眾生應該要相信,應該要稱讚這大乘經法,要好好用心接受,要好好身體力行、稱讚這部經的教法。

佛所護念
汝等眾生當信稱讚
如是不可思議功德
一切諸佛所護念
如是妙法華

所以「如是不可思議功德」,這真實是不可思議的功德,「一切諸佛所護念」,就是「如是妙法華經」。我們大家要相信,這是多寶佛現在這個道場,來證明,要讓我們眾生重視《法華經》,這是佛的法身,佛的全身。所以經文就這樣說,這是「佛所護念,妙法華經」。

佛所護念:
此之大慧
是一切佛清淨心中
常所護念

這「佛所護念」,就是大智慧。佛用大智慧來護念這部經,這個妙法,是一切佛的清淨心中,所護念的。那個清淨,就是靜寂清澄,這念心的大智慧心,所護念著的這個妙法,這是多麼不容易啊!

所護念的「妙法華經,為大眾說」,為大眾來說。

妙法華經
為大眾說:
生於妙果
妙法華經
與諸大眾
分別演說

「生於妙果」,希望大眾要從菩薩因,成妙佛果的境界。所以要成妙果,要「妙法華經」,要經過行菩薩道,從《無量義經》,應在人間眾生的苦難,這就是《法華經》的經頭序,前面我們就是要這樣走過來,《法華經》裡面的真理,我們才有辦法體會。所以「與諸大眾,分別演說」。這麼深妙的教法,要很體會菩薩道,才有辦法了解佛的果。

「如是如是!」就是說「釋迦世尊慈悲方便」,他就是用慈悲方便,這種循循善誘,這就是用種種方便法。

如是如是:
謂釋迦尊慈悲方便
如是如是
為眾生說

「如是如是!」這樣、這樣,是確確實實,這樣、這樣引導我們。「如是如是」為眾生所講的法,雖然是方便法,是隱含著那個真實法在,真實法就是從這如是權教,鋪路過來,現在才有辦法現真實法,這就是「如是」。

如是:
一如法相
是歎佛所說
稱於實故
二如根性
是歎佛五時方說
不差機故

「如是」,是「一如法相」,就是一,一無二,這就是真實法,真,唯有一,「一如法相」。法相是這樣,是佛「歎佛所說」。佛陀,過去佛、現在佛來稱讚,過去佛來稱讚現在佛,所以,「一如法相」。同樣是佛,過去、現在同樣是佛,這樣來說。現在佛來說,過去佛來稱歎這個「實」,所以佛讚佛。「二如根性」,一如法相,二如根性,法相就是這樣,佛讚歎佛。二根性,這個根性是「歎佛五時方說」,五時方便說法,這樣過來的,從「華嚴時」、「阿含」、「方等」、「般若」、「法華」,還是回歸華嚴海會,佛陀那個靜寂清澄的境界,所以「五時方說」。

釋迦牟尼世尊
如所說者
皆是真實:
如釋迦尊之所說者
一一皆是真實之語

接下來就是,「釋迦牟尼世尊,如所說者,皆是真實」。釋迦世尊他所說的都是真實,因為釋迦佛所說的,一切真實之語,全都沒有虛假,每一段他都把握得,真實,不論是眾生的根機,或者是時間。「阿含」的時間,長多久?講多久的時間「阿含」?十二年談「阿含」。「方等」呢?八年。這個時間,就循循善誘,在這十二年間說「有」,「四諦」、「十二緣」,眾生所造作的煩惱無明,形成了苦,這個苦相來自一念心所造作,那就是因為業成了,由不得自己,所以就有「十二因緣」,因緣果報,這樣不斷輪迴。十二年間是「談有」,讓我們大家能了解,無始以來,真如本性,從過去過去生,都是這樣一直受污染,不斷煩惱重重,不由自己,但是本性猶存。所以在「談有」之中,講說因緣果報,其中就已經有過去生的過去生,我們的真如還在,但是,我們就是這樣,不斷無明就一直滾下去,就像在滾雪球一樣,愈滾愈大,煩惱無明愈造愈多。


世間,成、住、壞、空,這種隨著眾生的業力,世間的初成,人類的開頭,不斷地造業,時間不斷過去,「住」在人間,慢慢造業,造業。所以一直這個大地,就慢慢受破壞,那就是「壞」,壞劫。一直到四大不調,一直到人心不和,成為這個壞劫中的濁世,濁惡的世,就是眾生不斷一直造業,如滾雪球一樣,愈來業愈重,共業愈深、愈重,所以受災受難的果報愈多。這就是在「有」之中,我們若用心去了解它,其實「阿含」,就隱藏著大乘法在。所以,十二年過後,佛陀趕緊再帶入大乘法的過程。就如摩詰居士,維摩詰居士,他所說的就是「方等」的時代。方等時代有八年的時間,帶動在家人也要發心行菩薩道,不只是隨佛出家的人要修行,要修大乘行,在家的弟子,要如維摩詰居士一樣,他就是能說法,說大乘法,這叫做「方等」,「方等」法的時代。

但是,佛陀還是八年後,讓大家知道,要打開心胸,將法和大家分享,然後轉入了「般若」,不能執著,驕傲,人生到頭來,什麼都沒有,成住壞空、生老病死、生住異滅,人生短暫,大家要趕緊把握時間。從人群中去得智慧,從人群中去造福緣,所以循循善誘,真空妙有,妙有真空,所以說不能都空得撥無因果,因果一定有,因為因果中有真如。所以,佛陀前面說過了,大通智勝佛的時代,〈化城喻品〉等等,破除了眾生執著的相,但是要引出了妙有真如本性永恆,這是很重要。

所以「如佛說地獄等種種果報之惡法」,佛也會這樣說,像《地藏經》也是大乘經,是《方等經》,同樣的,它就是說地獄種種的惡,眾生造惡,造業就要受惡報,所以說地獄種種的苦報,「即為使眾生先能轉惡為善」。「諸惡莫作,種善奉行,得受善報」,這就是因緣果報。

如佛說地獄等
種種果報之惡法
即為使眾生
先能轉惡為善
得受善報
迨善根增長
則可漸為
出世之因緣
至習出世法成就
能發大心
即可直趨
無上菩提之道

一直到「善根增長,則可漸為出世因緣」。就是這樣善根增長,惡業消除,才開始能談出了出世的因緣,要如何脫離六道。「至習出世法成就」,我們要一直練習,像當醫師,要先當醫學生,要先當實習生,要先當住院醫師,然後才能主治醫師。同樣的道理,我們也要照次序這樣學過來。所以「能發大心」,現在就是要大家發大心,「即可直趨無上菩提之道」。

「又隨順眾機,所說之種種權法」,要隨眾生的根機,這種種法。

又如隨順眾生機
所說之種種權法
實無一非假為方便
以會歸於
一乘實法者
故塔內大聲讚歎
其如是施權、
如是顯實
皆為真實
為是經
作充分之印證

「實吾一非假為方便,會歸於一乘」。從了解是一真如法而來,就是假,就是很多很多的無明,覆蔽了我們的心,所以要去除這些無明,才借方便法,借方便法,回歸到一乘法,這是我們要去了解。

「故塔內大聲讚歎」,出了很大的音聲出來,來「讚歎其如是施權」,就是釋迦佛他是這樣在施權,「如是顯實」,釋迦佛用這樣的過程,來顯真實法。「皆為真實」,都真實。「為是經作充分印證」,這就是寶塔出現在道場的用意,要來證明釋迦佛他這樣的經歷過程。先方便而後顯實,先前面施權,而後顯實,這都是真實「如是施權,如是顯實」,這都是證明真實法,皆為真實,都是實在的。為是經作充分證明,這就是寶塔現前的道理,我們要時時用心。寶塔,靈山塔只在汝心頭,莫遠求,但是,我們要時時多用心。


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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: Our Enlightened Nature of True Suchness
(含識同具 真如覺性)
Date:January.12.2018

“This verifies that earlier, when [the Buddha] opened up the provisional to reveal the true, it was true and not false. Great wisdom is what we obtain from the place of enlightenment of our own nature. That which is called impartial is our heart of great compassion. The nature of sentient beings is equal with no difference between high and low.”

We must be mindful! We must put our hearts into understanding more, getting more involved and gaining more realizations. In the Chapter on Seeing the Stupa of Treasures, the Buddha began teaching about the appearance of the stupa of treasures. When the Buddha taught the Lotus Sutra, the stupa appeared as a testimony to how the provisional teachings that Sakyamuni Buddha had given in the past more than 40 years had now been shown to reveal the Great Dharma which is true and not false. Many Treasures Buddha and the stupa of treasures appeared as a testimony that the provisional teachings of the past taught both existence and emptiness in equal measure; they contained both the Small and the Great.

Now, in the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha classified and unified them all, distinguishing between the Small, Middle and Great Vehicle Dharma and clearly explaining them each to us. In this way, He opened up the provisional to reveal the true. This is like how in the previous parable, He brought us into the storehouse of treasures to make it known to us that there are innumerable treasures there. The treasures inside are of every kind and form. He kept guiding us along to show us another door. He opened this door, [saying], “Come, everyone, take a look. The value of the Dharma you have studied in the past, cannot match the treasure that is revealed before you now. This treasure truly has infinite value. Compared to all the other [teachings], this is even more valuable.” This is the pure essence of the Dharma. In the past, I used another analogy; if a person’s [bone marrow] has lost its function to produce blood cells, it will affect this person’s ability to survive. With the development of medical science, we have learned how to do bone marrow transplants. It is the same idea. We sentient beings are born with the ability to produce blood cells. However, if we become ill and lose this ability, we need to find a matching [donor]. When a match is found, we can do a transplant. Blood-producing [cells] from one person, bone marrow or peripheral blood [stem cells], these [essential cells], are harvested and transplanted to the patient. The person who donates their marrow stays healthy, and the person who receives it can recover their lost ability to produce blood. They can now replenish it. After recovering this ability, they too become healthy. In the same way, the Buddha provides us with the essence, the marrow, of the Dharma. We sentient beings suffer from ignorance; this is having an illness in our minds. Our hearts are full of dust-like delusions, and ignorance and afflictions plague us every day. So, we are lost; we have lost our way.

Today, as we listen to the Dharma, it is just as if it was supplementing our lost blood-producing function. We must not reject it once we receive it or it will have no effect. Then, even though a healthy person has donated their marrow to us, we still remain [ill]. The principle is the same. This very healthy Buddha-Dharma has been given to us, but although we have accepted it, we are still being constantly influenced by the external world. Thus, we may become infected again and be unable to recover our health. The principle is the same. We should know that finding a matching donor is not an easy thing. Out of hundreds of thousands of people, a patient may only be able to match with one or two of them. In the same way, the Buddha has to [accommodate] our capacities. For the Dharma to match our capacities is also not an easy matter. Once it is able to match our capacities, we must develop deep faith in it and accept it. We cannot keep allowing external ignorance, afflictions and delusions to make us lose our way, to cover our extremely precious nature of True Suchness.

So, this ancient Buddha, Many Treasures Buddha, had made a vow. “In the future, in any world, as long as a Buddha manifests and teaches the Lotus Sutra to His Dharma-assembly, my stupa of treasures will appear there.” It will do this as testimony. We have previously discussed the principles of the stupa of treasures; I believe they were quite clearly explained. We should all mindfully contemplate this. These tangible forms [correspond to] great, intangible principles. Thus, He used tangible forms to represent the principles. Whether the height or the width or the adornments surrounding [the stupa] etc., these all contain Dharma. We must mindfully seek to comprehend this.

Thus, it [appeared] as a testimony to the provisional teachings given in the past. But the true Dharma He now revealed is true and not false. The Buddha now began to present the perfect, Great Dharma of the One Vehicle; this is the Lotus Sutra. He wanted to show us the great wisdom inherent in our own nature. This great wisdom is our intrinsic nature of True Suchness. This is “what we obtain from the place of enlightenment.” The great wisdom of our intrinsic nature is the Dharma we obtain from the place of enlightenment. Where is this place of enlightenment? It is the Bodhimanda, the place where Sakyamuni Buddha engage in spiritual practice. Beneath the Bodhi tree, He looked up at the star in the night, and in that instant, He obtained the Dharma that let Him return to His nature of True Suchness. This happened in an instant. “That which us called impartial is our heart of great compassion.” The Buddha’s heart is one of great loving-kindness and compassion. “The nature of sentient beings is equal.” He realize that sentient beings’ natures are all equal. All animals and all sentient beings have the same nature. “The mind, the Buddha and sentient beings are no different [in their nature].” They are equal, with no difference between high and low. This is our nature of True Suchness. Everyone intrinsically possesses this nature of True Suchness. This is “equally contained in our consciousness.” It is contained within our ninth consciousness. This consciousness is the pure and undefiled nature of True Suchness. Everybody has it. It is stored in our ninth consciousness, which comes after the eighth consciousness. The eighth consciousness takes in everything [we experience] in the world, both the past and the present. In this way, it is constantly being polluted. The karma we created in the past is accumulated in our eighth consciousness. Recently, I have kept telling everyone this in the hope that we will all put our hearts into comprehending it. It is because of this that we sentient beings always remain confuse. We remain unable to comprehend the wondrous, profound principles of the universe. We have no way to comprehend these. This is because before our eighth consciousness, our five senses connect with the sense objects, our sixth consciousness takes them in [and contemplates] and our seventh consciousness [forms attachment]. Thus, we create all kinds of karmic forces which are accumulated in our eighth consciousness. The karma that we carry with us from past lives manifests as karmic conditions in this life and increases our ignorance, causing us to accumulate even more karma. We must be very mindful of this. In this lifetime, the only blessed condition we have is that we have come in contact with the Dharma. Since we have encountered the Dharma, we must awaken our intrinsic nature. Since these wondrously subtle causes and conditions have matured, allowing us to realize how the Dharma continues on and how karma is created! Once we thoroughly understand the karmic law of cause and effect, we must make an effort to joyfully accept our past karma. We cannot keep recreating these conflicts, pilling up more negative affinities and creating more evil karma; we must not do this [Instead, we must] “eliminate karma as conditions arise and avoid creating more disasters.” Since we created negative conditions in the past, in this lifetime we must avoid further entangling ourselves in these negative affinities. If we do not, in our next life we will remain tangled up in these negative conditions.

So, we must eliminate karma as conditions arise. When we take a step back, our world opens up. Past negative conditions naturally disappear. After negative conditions have disappeared, we must create more blessed conditions. If we want blessed conditions, we must to extensively create affinities. So, we must make use of our causes and conditions, accept the Great Vehicle Dharma and go among people to serve. So, this nature of True Suchness is something “all beings innately have.” “It is equally contained in our consciousness.”

All beings innately have a nature of True Suchness. It is equally contained in our consciousness. With a tranquil and clear mind, at the instant His eyes met the light of the star, He exclaimed, “How amazing! All sentient beings in the world intrinsically have the same enlightened nature of True Suchness as the Tathagata.”

It is “contained in our consciousness,” but where is that? In a “tranquil and clear mind.” As He connected with the starlight in that moment, the Buddha, in His place of enlightenment, was in a state of tranquility. He closed His eyes; He was in a very calm state. His mind was perfectly tranquil and clear. Suddenly, as He opened His eyes, the light of the star shining before daybreak and the clear, tranquil state of His mind connected with each other. This happened in an instant; in a flash, He connected with that shining star. [He said], “How amazing! How amazing! All sentient beings in the world intrinsically have the Tathagata’s nature of all-encompassing wisdom. This enlightened nature of True Suchness is equal in all Buddhas and in sentient beings. Sentient beings’ ocean of enlightened wisdom is the same as that of all Buddhas. We must very mindfully seek to comprehend this perfectly tranquil and clear state of mind. With this tranquility and clarity, whenever we look at something, we can see through to the principle it contains. This is the same principle as when the Buddha’s gaze met the starlight. The Buddha, in His awakened state, understood that all sentient beings have the same great wisdom in their minds. So, having realized this, He began to go among sentient beings with a heart of loving-kindness and compassion. He hoped only that each one of us can comprehend that we all intrinsically have Buddha-nature and that we can all attain Buddhahood. This is the Buddha’s compassion for us. He has been making every effort since innumerable kalpas in the past. During the [time of] Great Unhindered Buddha, He received the Great Vehicle Dharma, and over so many lifetimes, He has constantly practiced [this Dharma] by going among people to create good affinities and [helped us] transform afflictions of Bodhi. When we go among people, we are tempered and trained to purify afflictions so they turn into Bodhi. As we cultivate the Buddha-Dharma, we understand that we have afflictions, so we must find ways to put an end to them. Our afflictions are created as we go among other sentient beings. The feeling we experience lead us to create afflictions. Now we understand that the things we come in contact with cause great numbers of afflictions, which make us create more karmic forces. These two mutually create each other.

Now that we understand this, we must go among people to eliminate karma as conditions arise and avoid creating more disasters. In our interpersonal relationships, we must think, “I am grateful. This situation helps me grow in wisdom. I am willing to put forth my effort and form good affinities with sentient beings.” This is what the Buddha wants us to learn, to “Refrain from all evil and do all that is good.” He wants us to start upon the Bodhisattva-path; this is how the Buddha dedicated himself to this world.

Let us look at the previous sutra passage. “Humans and non-humans, trillions in all, 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.”

Both heavenly beings and Dharma-protectors came. There were humans of this world, heavenly beings and the eight classes of Dharma-protectors floating in the air; they had all come. How many in total? They were trillions in all. Those who were visible were human; those who were invisible were dragon gods and Dharma-protectors floating in the air, the eight classes of Dharma-protectors. The number of beings there was immense; they were countless beings, trillions of them. They used flowers, incense, strings of jewels and so on to make offerings to the stupa. Expressing their reverence and respect, they came to praise the stupa of treasures as it appeared to dignify Sakyamuni Buddha’s Dharma-assembly.

So, “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 was Many Treasures Buddha praising Sakyamuni Buddha of the Saha World. He was praising the Buddha for [coming to] the Saha World, this world that must be endured. Sakyamuni Buddha was able to come to this stubborn and hard-to-tame world and use great impartial wisdom to teach these stubborn sentient beings to practice the Bodhisattva Way. This is not easy! This was how Many Treasures Buddha called out from inside the stupa of treasures with a subtle and wondrous voice.

Next, as we continue reading, [the sutra] says, “The Wondrous Dharma Lotus Flowers Sutra that is safeguarded by all Buddhas is what He teaches to the assembly.”

The Wondrous Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra that is safeguarded by all Buddhas is what He teaches to the assembly. Indeed, indeed, it is as Sakyamuni, the World-Honored One, teaches. It is all true.

This was the voice emanating from the stupa of treasures. It praised the Buddha for being able to, in the Saha World, use his impartial mind and great wisdom to teach the Bodhisattva Way. The Bodhisattva Way is what all Buddhas safeguard in Their minds. All Buddhas share the same path; all Buddhas safeguard the Lotus Sutra, this wondrous Dharma. [The Buddha] used this Great Dharma, the Wondrous Dharma Lotus Flowers Sutra, to teach this assembly, the stubborn sentient beings of the Saha World. “Indeed, indeed, it is as Sakyamuni, the World-Honored One, teaches. It is all true.” This section is telling everyone, “It is indeed like this! It truly is!” This is a testimony. In the phrase “Thus have I heard”, the words “thus” indicates, “Truly, it is this way. Really, it is this way.” It affirms that [the sutra] is neither false nor illusory; He told the assembly that it was true. He earlier praised Sakyamuni Buddha for teaching the Bodhisattva Way to stubborn sentient beings.

Now, “Indeed, indeed” is a testimony. It affirms that everything Sakyamuni Buddha, the World-Honored One, taught is true. This is what Many Treasures Buddha came for, to affirm that “The Great Vehicles’ wondroud Dharma of the One Reality is extremely profound.

The great Vehicles’ wondrous Dharma of the One Reality is extremely profound. [All Buddha] safeguard it and keep it in mind and do not careless reveal or teach it. For all Bodhisattvas. They expound the Great Vehicle Sutra known as the Sutra of Infinite Meanings, and teach the Bodhisattva Way.

All Buddhas share the same path. Each Buddha safeguards [the Lotus Sutra] and keep it in mind; They will never forget this. However, whenever a Buddha teaches the Dharma, although They keep the Great Vehicle Dharma in mind, They all begin by giving provisional teachings. All Buddhas, in Their minds, are mindful of, safeguard and protect the wondrous Dharma. Thus, They safeguard it and keep it in mind, always protecting this Dharma.

This describes all Buddhas, past and present Buddhas as well as all future Buddha. For them all, this wondrous Dharma is what They safeguard and keep in mind. “[They] do not carelessly reveal or teach it. It cannot be taught randomly. When the timing, the person or the place is not right, under any these conditions, They will not teach it. They will definitely wait for the right timing and the appropriate setting with sentient beings of suitable capabilities. Only then will a Buddha teach it. This is to say that hearing this Dharma. Is not a simple matter. This Dharma is what the Buddha has safeguarded, the Dharam He absolutely had to teach in coming to the world to transform beings. Now, the Buddha did not have much time left, His lifetime was that of people in this world, and He did not have much time left. So, He had to teach it. This Dharma that He guarded and kept in His heart had never been casually taught in the past. But now was the time; these people’s capabilities were more or less ready. If He did not teach it, then this Dharma would not be passed on. Thus, the time to teach had definitely arrived.

So, at this time, “For all Bodhisattvas, He expounded the Great Vehicle sutra. At that time He started [teaching] the Great Vehicle Dharma “known as the Sutra of Infinite Meanings.” He began with the Sutra of Infinite Meanings. Everyone definitely needs to read this sutra. The Sutra of Infinite Meanings is the doorway to the Lotus Sutra. Great Vehicle sutras are always to be practiced through infinite meanings. Although this sutra is extremely profound, it is inseparable from the Dharma of this world. So, the Sutra of Infinite Meanings inspires us to form Bodhisattva-aspirations; we should all read it. “[He] taught the Bodhisattva Way.” He taught us how to walk the Bodhisattva-path. “It is safeguarded by all Buddhas. All sentient beings [must believe this].”

This means that Many Treasures Buddha came to affirm that this is what all Buddhas guard in their minds. Now, that Sakyamuni Buddha was teaching it, “All you sentient beings should have faith in and praise the Dharma of the Great Vehicle Sutra.” We must mindfully accept [this Dharma]; we must earnestly put into practice and praise the Dharma taught in this sutra.

It is safeguarded by all Buddhas. All sentient beings must have faith in and praise its inconceivable merits and virtues. All Buddha safeguard in their minds this Wondrous Lotus Flower.

So, it speaks of “its inconceivable merits and virtues.” These truly are inconceivable merits and virtues. What “all Buddha guard in their minds is none other than this Wondrous Dharma Lotus Sutra.” We all must believe this. This was what Many Treasures Buddha came to this Dharma-assembly to bear witness to He came to help us see the importance of the Lotus Sutra. This is the Buddha’s Dharmakaya, His entire body.

So, the sutra says, “The Wondrous Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra that is safeguarded by all Buddhas.” That which “is safeguarded by all Buddhas is great wisdom. The Buddha used great wisdom to guard this sutra. This wondrous Dharma is what all Buddhas guard in Their pure hearts. That purity is a state of tranquility and clarity. What Their hearts of great wisdom safeguard was this wondrous Dharma. This is something truly precious! “The Wondrous Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra” that They safeguard “is what He teaches to the assembly.” He taught it to the great assembly.

The Wondrous Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra is what He teaches to the assembly: The Wondrous Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra which gives rise to wondrous fruit is what He taught individually to all sentient beings.

“With gives rise to wondrous fruit” refers to His hope that those at the assembly could, from Bodhisattva-seeds, reach the state of the wondrous fruit of Buddhahood. To attain the wondrous fruit, we need “the Wondrous Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra”; we must practice along the Bodhisattva-path. He started with the Sutra of Infinite Meanings which is in response to [the needs of] suffering beings in this world. This is the opening of the Lotus Sutra. This is [the path] we must first walk in order to comprehend the principles contained in the Lotus Sutra. So, “[This] is what He taught individually to all sentient begins.” For such profound and wondrous teachings, we must truly comprehend the Bodhisattva-path before we can understand the fruit of Buddhahood.

“Indeed, indeed” is saying that “Sakyamuni, the World-Honored One used compassion and skillful means.” He used compassion and skillful means to patiently guide them. This means using all kinds of skillful means.

Indeed, indeed: It means that Sakyamuni, the World-Honored One, used compassion and skillful means. He indeed taught this way to sentient beings.

“Indeed, indeed” means “This is the way it is! It is truly correct. This is the way He guides us. He “indeed” teaches this Dharma to sentient beings. Although they are skillful teachings, the True Dharma is contained within them. By teaching the provisional in this way, He paved the road so that He was now able to reveal the True Dharma. This is the meaning of “indeed”.

Indeed: One, this is indeed the nature of the Dharma. This praises what the Buddha teaches as true. Two, it is indeed in accord with capabilities. This praises how the Buddha’s skillful teachings in the Five Periods were always suitable for [sentient beings’] capabilities.

“Indeed” means, “One, this is indeed the nature of the Dharma.” It is singular, not dual. This is the True Dharma; the truth is there is only the One. “One, this is indeed the nature of the Dharma.” The Dharma’s nature is like this. The Buddha was “praising what the Buddha teaches.” With these Buddhas, the present Buddha praises the Buddha of the past, and the past Buddha praises the Buddha of the present. So, “One, this is indeed the nature of the Dharma.” They are both Buddhas. The past Buddha and the present Buddha are both Buddhas. The present Buddha came to teach and the past Buddha praised [His teachings] as true. So, one Buddha praises another. “Two, it is indeed in accord with capabilities.” One, this is indeed the nature of the Dharma. Two, it is indeed in accord with capabilities. This is the nature of the Dharma; one Buddha praised the other. Two, it is in accord with capabilities. Capabilities refer to “praising the Buddha’s skillful teachings in the Five Periods.” Throughout the Five Periods, He taught with skillful means. From the Avatamsaka, [He taught] the Agama, Vaipulya and Prajna and then the Lotus period, when He returned to the Avatamsaka [state], the tranquil and clear state of the Buddha. These are “His skillful teachings in the Five Periods.”

Next it says, “It is as Sakyamuni, the World-Honored One, teaches. It is all true.” What Sakyamuni, the World-Honored One, taught was all true. Everything that Sakyamuni taught is entirely true; there is not falseness in it. In every period, He held firmly to the truth, whatever the capacities of sentient beings and whatever the time. How long did the Agama period last? How long did He teach the Agama? He expounded the Agama [teachings] for 12 years. The Vaipulya period lasted eight years. During this time He patiently guided [sentient beings]. In those 12 years He taught about “existence,” the Four Noble Truths and the Twelve Links. Sentient beings’ ignorance and afflictions take the form of suffering. This suffering is created by our minds; it manifests when our karma matures. This is beyond our control. This creates the 12 Links of Cyclic Existence. Causes, conditions, effects and retributions continuously cycle like this. During these 12 years of “discussing existence,” He helped everyone understand that, since Beginningless Time, our nature of True Suchness has been polluted lifetime after lifetime with layer upon layer of afflictions. This is beyond our control.

However, our intrinsic nature still remains. So, while “discussing existence,” while discussing the law of karma, [He also taught that] throughout all these many past lifetimes, our nature of True Suchness is still with us. However, we allow our ignorance to keep snowballing. This is just like a snowball; the more it rolls the bigger it gets. The more [karma] we create, the more afflictions and ignorance we have. Our world goes through formation, existence, decay and disappearance. These follow the karmic forces of sentient beings. After the beginning of the world, and the beginning of humankind, karma was continuously created as time ceaselessly passed by. In [the phase of] “existence,” gradually, we continue to create karma. In this way, the earth is slowly being destroyed. This is “decay,” the kalpa of decay. This continues until the four elements become so imbalanced and people’s minds are so discordant that the world enters the turbidity of the kalpa of decay. The evil world of turbidities is the result of sentient beings endlessly creating karma. Just like a snowball, our collective karma becomes heavier and heavier. So, we will suffer more and more retributions in the form of disasters and calamities. This is all within [the teachings of] “existence”. If we can mindfully understand this, [we find that] the Agama teachings actually contain the Great Vehicle Dharma. So, after 12 years passed, the Buddha quickly continued the process of entering the Great Vehicle Dharma.

Take for example the lay disciple Vimalakirti, who spoke during the Vaipulya period. During the eight years of the Vaipulya period, [the Buddha] guided lay disciples as well to form aspirations to walk the Bodhisattva-path. It is not only monastics who should engage in spiritual practice and cultivate the Great Vehicle. Lay disciples should be like Vimalakirti, who was able to teach the Great Vehicle Dharma. This is called the Vaipulya period, the period of the Vaipulya teachings. But eight years later, the Buddha still let people know that they had to open their hearts to share the Dharma with everyone. Thus, He shifted to the Prajna teachings. We must not have attachments or arrogance. In life, we never really own anything; [there is] formation, existence, decay and disappearance, birth, aging, illness and death, arising, abiding, changing and ceasing. Life is short. Everyone must quickly seize the moment and go among people to obtain wisdom and form good affinities. So, He patiently guided us to be able to see wondrous existence in true emptiness and true emptiness in wondrous existence. This means that we must not deny the law of karma. Causes and effects definitely exist, and the law of karma contains True Suchness.

So, previously, the Buddha told the story from the time of Great Unhindered Buddha in the Chapter on the Parable of the Conjured City. This was to eliminate sentient beings’ attachments. However, He also needed to lead people to the wondrous existence of True Suchness, to our everlasting intrinsic nature. This was very important. So, “This is like when the Buddha taught about all sorts of evil phenomena, such as karmic retributions and hell and so on.” The Buddha would also talk about these. For example the Earth Treasury Sutra is also a Great Vehicle sutra, a Vaipulya sutra. [That sutra] likewise speaks of the many evil [retributions] in hell, how sentient beings do evil and in so doing reap evil karmic retribution. So, talking about the many kinds of retributions of suffering in hell, “His purpose was to help sentient beings first turn evil into goodness.” When we refrain from all evil and do all good, we will “receive blessed retributions.” This is the karmic law of cause and effect.

This is like when the Buddha taught about all sorts of evil phenomena, such as karmic retributions and hell and so on; His purpose was to help sentient beings first turn evil into goodness, receive blessed retributions and grow our roots of goodness. Then we will gradually be able to form the karmic conditions to transcend this world. When we practice and fulfill the world-transcending Dharma and form great aspirations, we will be able to move directly toward the unsurpassed Bodhi-path.

In this way we “grow our roots of goodness. Then we will gradually be able to form the karmic conditions to transcend this world.” This means we must grow our roots of goodness and eliminate evil karma. Only then can we discuss the causes and conditions for transcending this world. How can be liberated from the Six Realms? “We [must] practice and fulfill the world-transcending Dharma.” We must practice continuously. To become a doctor, you must first be a medical student, then an intern and then a doctor in residency before you can become an attending physician. This is the same principle. We must learn in sequence.

So, [we must] “form great aspirations.” Now we must all form great aspirations, so that “we will be able to move directly toward the unsurpassed Bodhi-path.” This is also like “the various provisional teachings that He taught to accord with sentient beings’ capabilities." He taught these various teachings to accord with the capacities of sentient beings.

It is also like the various provisional teachings that He taught to accord with sentient beings’ capabilities. They were true; they were all illusory skillful means to return us to the true Dharma of the One Vehicle. So from the stupa came a great voice praising the way He taught the provisional to reveal the true; [His teachings] were all true. This was in order to fully verify this sutra.

“They were true; they were all illusory skillful means to return us to the One Vehicle.” From this we understand that these come from the One Dharma of True Suchness. They are illusory, because there is so much ignorance that has covered up our minds. So, we must eliminate this ignorance before we can make use of skillful teachings to before we can make use of skillful teachings to return to the One Vehicle Dharma. We must understand this. “So from the stupa came a great voice praising…." A great voice emanated [from within the stupa], “praising the way He taught the provisional." This refers to how Sakyamuni Buddha taught the provisional to “reveal the true." Sakyamuni Buddha used this process to reveal the True Dharma. “[His teachings] were all true. This was in order to fully verify this sutra.” This was the purpose of the stupa of treasures manifesting at the Dharma-assembly; it came to bear witness to Sakyamuni Buddha’s process [of teachings], how He first used skillful means and later revealed the true. He first taught the provisional and then revealed the true. All [those teachings] were true. “He taught the provisional to reveal the true.” This all was to affirm the True Dharma. “[His teachings] were all true.” The reason for the stupa of treasures to appear was to be a testimony to everything in this sutra. We must constantly be mindful. The stupa of treasures on Vulture Peak is in our hearts; we do not need to go far to seek it. However, we must always be mindful.

(Source: Da Ai TV – Wisdom at Dawn program – Explanation by Master Chen-Yen)
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20180112《靜思妙蓮華》含識同具 真如覺性 (第1261集) (法華經•見寶塔品第十一)
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