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 20180118《靜思妙蓮華》國名寶淨 佛號多寶 (第1265集) (法華經•見寶塔品第十一)

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發表主題: 20180118《靜思妙蓮華》國名寶淨 佛號多寶 (第1265集) (法華經•見寶塔品第十一)   周四 1月 18, 2018 1:10 am

20180118《靜思妙蓮華》 國名寶淨 佛號多寶 (第1265集) (法華經•見寶塔品第十一)

⊙「往昔無量劫前,有佛名多寶佛,其國名寶淨者,皆以七寶所成,淨無諸垢穢故;其佛號多寶者,是以功德法財,用之惠施無盡。」
⊙「而白佛言:世尊!以何因緣,有此寶塔從地湧出,又於其中發是音聲?」《法華經見寶塔品第十一》
⊙「爾時、佛告大樂說菩薩:此寶塔中有如來全身,乃往過去東方無量千萬億阿僧祇世界。」《法華經見寶塔品第十一》
⊙「國名寶淨,彼中有佛號曰多寶。其佛行菩薩道時,作大誓願。」《法華經見寶塔品第十一》
⊙國名寶淨:國中清淨多諸寶物。以七寶所成,無諸污濁垢穢,故寶淨。
⊙彼寶淨國,佛號多寶:以功德法財,惠施無盡故。
⊙其佛行菩薩道時,作大誓願:其多寶佛,於修持菩薩行因地之時,曾發大願,為諸佛說法華經處,我之寶塔出現其前為作證明。
⊙「若我成佛滅度之後,於十方國土有說法華經處,我之塔廟,為聽是經故涌現其前為作證明,讚言善哉。」《法華經見寶塔品第十一》
⊙若我成佛滅度之後:若我得成佛道。滅:滅惑度生死海之義。入滅之後,猶為未來世,佛說妙法華經處作證明。
⊙於十方國土有說法華經處:應十方國,說是經處。為聽是經故:我之所有七寶塔妙。為聽如是法華經故。
⊙涌現其前為作證明,讚言善哉:即當湧現其佛之前。因心如是。以多寶具有此願,故於釋迦牟尼法華會前,涌塔讚言以為之證。

【證嚴上人開示】
「往昔無量劫前,有佛名多寶佛,其國名寶淨者,皆以七寶所成,淨無諸垢穢故;其佛號多寶者,是以功德法財,用之惠施無盡。」

往昔無量劫前
有佛名多寶佛
其國名寶淨者
皆以七寶所成
淨無諸垢穢故
其佛號多寶者
是以功德法財
用之惠施無盡

幾天來,大家用心。多寶佛塔現前,人人心歡喜,甚至佛陀向著大家來講出了,多寶佛塔現前的因緣,那是因大樂說菩薩,知道大家心有所疑,請佛解說。釋迦牟尼佛已經解說了,在往昔,很長久,無量阿僧祇世界的東方,有一尊佛,這尊佛將入滅時,就是所遺囑,希望為他建一座寶塔,全身就是在寶塔中,哪一個地方,哪一個世界,有佛講說《法華經》的地方,這寶塔從地湧出。是要證明佛講說,《法華經》的道理是真實,真實治世良方,是修行者用心,正確的方向,是成佛之道。這是寶塔現前的意義,但是釋迦佛他就要來講說,多寶佛過去的大願,他的願,就是將來任何一個世界,有佛講《法華經》的道場,寶塔現前。可見已成佛,過去的古佛,與現在釋迦牟尼佛,過去佛、現在佛,佛佛道同,就是保護著這部經,對《法華經》教育眾生,是這麼重視,不論是滅度的古佛,也是重視、尊重,這部《妙法蓮華經》。現在的釋迦佛年紀大了,將入滅之前,必定要將《法華經》講完,這是佛佛道同。

所以,在敘述那往昔無量劫前,有佛名多寶佛。釋迦牟尼佛介紹這尊佛,是來自東方遙遠遙遠的世界,時代久遠,很長的時間,已經入滅的古佛,現在與他的寶塔這樣,在講說《法華經》處,那就是在靈鷲山,忽然間從地湧出,那個景象,釋迦牟尼佛來描述。「其國名寶淨,皆以七寶所成」。介紹那個國土裡是那麼乾淨,很清淨,都是七寶,珍珠、瑪瑙、珊瑚、琥珀等等,這就是在那個國土裡的景象,沒有髒污的東西,完全都是乾淨,沒有垢穢,所以,國名叫做寶淨,因為那個世界很清淨,所有的一切無不都是寶。那尊佛的名也叫做多寶如來,這是因為他過去生,所造很多的功德。幾天來一直說,萬德莊嚴,就是從六度行開始。布施、持戒、忍辱、精進、禪定、智慧,稱為六度,六度在人群中應眾生所需,所以造福,萬福萬行,在人群中多種的煩惱,成佛之前必先要先行菩薩道,煩惱中淬煉出了智慧,所以智慧萬行。福慧就是萬行,成為「功德法財」,一切就是「用之惠施無盡」。能夠施,布施眾生,這是表示長久以來所累積,做好事,時間必定要很長久的時間,來累積,時間愈長,累積的就會愈多。

這就像我們人間,多少的人間菩薩,壽命愈長,愈早發心,投入人群,做很多好事。壽長,時間多,好事自然累積就多了。地球,天長地久,到底能多長、多久?在我們這顆地球上,我們現在科學家是這麼說,這顆地球已經是四十六億年了,四十六億年,這是科學家說的。但是,天長地久,在虛空中,還不算很長的時間。人壽呢?我們能活在地球上,到底能活多久啊?人壽不過百歲,能活到一百歲的不多,很少,很少數,何況人間多數壽短。有的生命就是這樣短短的,出生沒有幾年,沒有幾日,沒有幾時,這要看他的生命,來人間的緣長或短。所以人壽是幾十年的時間,總是在這生老病死中,短短的幾十年,老、病、死,這真的不長的時間。但是,學佛者若是能透徹道理,了解了,珍惜生命,就要殷勤精進,生命中要取用在最精華的生命,那就是做好事,不要浪費時間。在人間要結好緣,在人群中,我們能將善法傳。我們要傳善法,自己也要學,要學,學佛的教法。

佛陀的教法來教育我們,「諸惡莫作,眾善奉行」。簡單的兩句話,但是有多少的惡啊?世間眾生,外面的境界千千萬萬種,人的心欲,隨著千千萬萬種的境界,看到,起了欲念,不該取的,用心計較去取;不該有的,無明起了;不該做,去造作,這樣造了多少的惡業?這樣的習氣在我們凡夫群中,人人除了造業以外,還是內心充分的煩惱無明,也就是煩惱無明在,我們的心念時時不軌,沒有規則,所以就無明、製造煩惱,煩惱製造業行,不斷累積,這個業很重哦!一生短短的壽命,卻是不知不覺,累積了很多的業力,製造了很多的煩惱,所以佛陀教育我們如何能去除諸惡。諸惡就是很多的煩惱、無明、業行等等,這些方法,就是要從佛陀所教育的善法,來針對這種種的惡法。所以我們要學諸善法,來滅諸煩惱惡法,才能教育眾生,「諸惡莫作,眾善奉行」。這是諸佛所教育,就是我們眾生要虔誠接受,要落實在生活中,入人群中去。

苦難的眾生,為他們付出;煩惱無明的眾生,我們要施以教法,這就是我們學佛的目的。過去的古佛來證明這個法,施用在人間,是救世之法,現在釋迦佛,也就是要這樣教育我們,《法華經》是教菩薩法,教導我們行菩薩道,教我們如何遠離諸惡,教我們要即刻,很積極來行眾善,甚至傳給我們的善法,教人遠離惡,教人要把握當下去行善,自作,教人作。這就是佛法,這就是我們要學的,這就是累積功德財,是「用之惠施無盡」。這是過去、現在諸佛,都是這樣在教育,將他們過去所累積的,「六度萬行」來教育我們,我們要虛心接受,要再受持去做。就像慈濟菩薩在人間,有的已經跟隨師父,從有慈濟開始,到現在八九十歲了,他們也還是在做慈濟,還有很多位還健在,還是在做,沒有間斷。壽長,年年、月月、日日都在做慈濟,這叫做累積功德。一個人能影響很多人,就說較近的,在鳳林,總共環保站,有一百三十個環保站,由一個人開始,這個人那就是林月華。

她是如何,什麼因緣來做?不是多了不起的人物,是平凡的一個女人。她鄉村,在鳳林鎮,是一個很平常的家庭,先生是在做工,她與先生從年輕就是這樣,做工持家起來的,她什麼工作都做,她相夫教子,幫助她的先生,同樣去做工,要來養這個家庭。先生在一二十年前,因為做工,腰椎受損傷,有幾年的時間無法走路。這個家庭有孩子,要生活、要受教育,先生無法工作,她就是要責任,擔子要擔起來。她說,什麼工作都做,會去做水泥工,也能去做農的工,甚至也去醫院當看護工,看護,她就是因為她在鳳林醫院。有時沒有工作可做,她就去當看護(照顧)病人,有時就來花蓮,我們的慈濟醫院,哪裡有工,她就哪裡去做。在醫院照顧人,若沒有人可照顧,她就回去做粗工;若沒粗工可做,她就再去醫院當看護工。反正什麼工都做,只要能養家,一生真的是很辛苦。

不過,她很善良,她很樂觀,雖然她的家境是這樣,先生無法出來工作,承擔這個家庭,有人將她的個案報來給慈濟,慈濟有一度幫助她,雖然是很辛苦,她還是一樣很認真工作。有時病人知道她的環境不好,她照顧人,照顧得讓人很滿意,所以有的人就包紅包給她。若是病人的家屬給她的紅包,她就轉給慈濟,用那位病人的名字去開收據,就拿回去給病人。病人的家屬就這麼說:「紅包是要給妳的,妳怎麼拿去捐給慈濟呢?」她就說:「這是一個祈禱的方法,就是為病人祝福,希望讓病人能早日健康。」替病人做好事,為病人造福,是這麼善良、無貪,承擔這個家業很辛苦。

一直一直到在十幾年前,忽然間因身體欠安,去檢查,醫生告訴她:「妳太過勞了,妳的免疫系統失調了,妳已經紅斑狼瘡,妳不能做那麼多粗重的工作了。」從這樣開始,孩子也長大了,先生也跟她說:「我現在也已經,輕輕的工作我也可以做,孩子也已經長大了,換妳退休了。」要她:「不要再出去做粗工了啦。」她覺得:這樣我也應該可以,專心投入慈濟了。就這樣,她就向慈濟說:「我要投入慈濟去,我的孩子可以工作了,我的先生也可以工作了,我現在能專心投入慈濟了。」就這樣,雖然家庭仍不是很富有,卻是她的心富有,所以她投入慈濟,在鳳林專心做環保。大家都跟她說,他們說:「慈濟這麼多志業項目,妳什麼不選,妳為什麼要選做環保呢?環保很辛苦。」她就說:「師父現在很重視環保,這是為大地,為這整個空間的清新,我們一定環保要做,要聽話。」將她家的前院,開始做環保站,開始時,一把大陽傘來遮日,在那裡分類。有一位志工看她做得那麼認真,回收的東西用摩托車,機車,這樣全村莊去載,東西這麼多,所以這位志工,他就為她搭一間鐵皮屋起來,鋅板搭起來了,這樣她就不必再用那把大陽傘,來遮陽了,就已經有一間鐵皮的環保站。用摩托車每天出去載,白天,早上一直載。又另外一位師姊,她用她的二手中古車,將它整理好,將這部車,油添得滿滿的,開來到環保站,告訴她:「月華,我這輛車整理好了,油添滿了,讓妳去做環保。」第一輛環保車是這樣的,所以從摩托車變成一輛環保車。

從這樣開始,她學開車,跑鄉村,總共一百三十個點,環保點,帶出了那個鄉村,村村都有人做環保。你們想,是一位平凡的弱女子,家庭不是富有,她很殷勤、很惜福、很善良,就是把握時間,哪怕醫生宣布她身體有病了,紅斑性狼瘡,她才覺得:我的生命時間要把握,分秒不能空過,我這才是要做。不是認為:我過去幾十年做得這麼辛苦,我有病,我要休息。不是,她是相反,珍惜生命,把握時間,累積,在人群中去宣導環保的意義,引導人人做環保,去接引煩惱無明的人,成為一位快樂的環保志工。做善事,也接引不少人培訓、受證等等。這就是可愛的生命,這就是可貴的生命,這就是功德累積。

真正的人間菩薩,六度萬行。看到我們真善美的志工,去看她的環保怎麼做,那個村子很多人,在收環保過日子,值錢的,他們收走,不值錢的玻璃瓶,或者是塑膠袋,我們都去將它收回來。農會的稻米袋很多,她收來就拿去溪邊洗一洗,很多人,路過的人,看到她在溪邊洗,也這樣穿著長褲、鞋,同樣這樣涉進水裡,去幫她洗。我們真善美的志工就問他:「先生,你這樣路過,你為什麼忽然跑到溪裡?」他說:「是啊!我從這裡經過,看到月華師姊,還有看到很多環保菩薩,我看到,我就自然想要下來,和他們一起做。」有好幾位哦!他說:「那你這樣身體就濕了?」他就回答他:「我本來就要來溪邊洗澡啦!順便啦!」其實他是開車從那裡經過,回到車上,車子一開,這樣離開了。

這若不是做得讓人很敬佩,哪有人願意路過也下去溪裡,幫忙她洗呢?這位先生他也說:「我的母親,也跟他們一起在做環保。」可見那個村子,一百三十個點,環保是多麼的普遍啊!你想,是一個人這樣帶起來,現在整個村莊都是,這是令人很佩服的。人間菩薩,環保菩薩,守護地球,守護人類,很不簡單,所以令人很讚歎。這就是度眾生,六度萬行,身體力行,在生活中去做,把握時間,不論身體有這樣的病痛,她還是做得很歡喜,歡喜的人生。

來,我們來看前面的文:「而白佛言:世尊!以何因緣,有此寶塔從地湧出,又於其中發是音聲?」

而白佛言
世尊
以何因緣
有此寶塔從地湧出
又於其中發是音聲
《法華經見寶塔品第十一》

「而白佛言」,這是大樂說菩薩要來啟請佛,所以說「而白佛言,世尊,以何因緣,有此寶塔從地涌出,又於其中發是音聲。」這座寶塔浮現出來,除了寶塔周圍,很多莊嚴,或者是鈴聲微妙,甚至寶塔裡也發出了聲音,大家心中有疑,所以來請問佛,請佛來開示。

所以,「爾時」,接下來的文就說:「爾時、佛告大樂說菩薩:此寶塔中有如來全身,乃往過去東方無量千萬億阿僧祇世界。」

爾時
佛告大樂說菩薩
此寶塔中
有如來全身
乃往過去東方無量
千萬億阿僧祇世界
《法華經見寶塔品第十一》

那時候,佛向大樂說菩薩,說出了寶塔中有如來的全身,那就是這尊佛過去,那就是過去,時間很長,空間很廣、很長,阿僧祇世界,要超越過這麼多的國土,這麼遠,遙遠的地方,那個地方有一尊佛,這個遙遠的國土裡。

接下來再說:「國名寶淨,彼中有佛號曰多寶。其佛行菩薩道時,作大誓願。」

國名寶淨
彼中有佛號曰多寶
其佛行菩薩道時
作大誓願
《法華經見寶塔品第十一》


那個國家,就是說經過這麼遠的地方,有一個國,這個國的名字叫做寶淨,寶淨這個國,那就是「國中清淨多諸寶物」。不是像我們娑婆世界,娑婆世界,雖然我們的地球上,含藏著很多寶,人類一直去破壞它,破壞很多,才能取出裡面的金、銀、琉璃、寶石,但是那對地球是大傷害,才能看到那些東西。但是寶淨這個國家,它到處都可以看到,任何一項物質,無不都是寶。不必破壞它的土地,自然都是寶物。清淨,他的國家很完整,國很完整,不受破壞,而到處所看的都是寶物。所以「國名寶淨」,這個國的名叫做寶淨,又是清淨,又是很多的寶物。「以七寶所成」,這個國家所有的一切,無不都是寶所成的,所以「無諸污濁垢穢」,所以名,這個國家的名叫做寶淨。

國名寶淨:
國中清淨多諸寶物
以七寶所成
無諸污濁垢穢
故寶淨

「彼中有佛號曰多寶」。在這個寶淨國中,有一尊佛,名,他的號叫做多寶,多寶如來,就是生在這個國土成佛。所以「彼寶淨國,佛號多寶」。

彼寶淨國
佛號多寶:
以功德法財
惠施無盡故

佛就是以功德財,以功德法財,來惠施無盡的眾生,這就是法。那個國家完全都是寶,沒有貧窮苦難的人,沒有。但是那尊佛就是用法,法,法財,用法來布施給那個國家。

所以「其佛行菩薩道時,作大誓願」。

其佛行菩薩道時
作大誓願:
其多寶佛
於修持菩薩行
因地之時曾發大願
為諸佛說法華經處
我之寶塔出現其前
為作證明

這個行菩薩道,不是一輩子,是無央數劫,在長時間行菩薩道,之後有了這麼具足的福,生在寶淨國成佛,在行菩薩道時,他就已經有發願了,生生世世的願。這是多寶佛他的願。「於修持菩薩行因地之時」,菩薩行的因地,就是發這樣的願,就是「為諸佛說法華經處」。這是他的願,將來成佛,或者是滅度後,在諸佛,任何一尊佛,講《法華經》的地方,他就發這樣的願:我的寶塔就要出現,在那個道場前,來作證明。這就是多寶佛他的心願。

下面接下來這段文再說:「若我成佛滅度之後,於十方國土有說法華經處,我之塔廟,為聽是經故涌現其前為作證明,讚言善哉。」

若我成佛滅度之後
於十方國土
有說法華經處
我之塔廟
為聽是經故
涌現其前為作證明
讚言善哉
《法華經見寶塔品第十一》

這就是他的願。「若我成佛滅度之後」,我若是成佛道,成佛,那當然就是要一切行具足,有辦法真正透徹,天地宇宙的真理,與天地合而為一體,覺悟天地道理,這叫做成佛。但是,也是一樣要應世,應世壽,也是要有入滅時。所以「滅」,就是「滅惑度生死海」,這叫做「滅」。不是說人這樣往生,其實成佛的同時,就已經是滅度。因為已經滅盡了一切惑,一切惑就是煩惱、無明、塵沙惑完全滅除了,生死自在了,所以度生死海,這就是「滅」的意思。成佛就已經度過了這個生死海,去除了一切煩惱、無明惑,這已經是成佛。但是成佛之後,也是要應世情,世壽,也是要示現滅度。所以「入滅之後」,那就是還是一樣,「為未來世,佛說法華經處作證明」。

若我成佛
滅度之後:
若我得成佛道
滅:
滅惑度生死海之義
入滅之後
猶為未來世
佛說妙法華經處
作證明

這就是佛,他成佛已經是度過了生死海,滅盡一切煩惱,入滅之後,示相入滅,入這個寶塔中。他會與寶塔同時,任何一個世界有佛在講《法華經》的地方,他就是寶塔現前來證明,這就是多寶佛的心願。

他「於十方國土,有說法華經處」。這就是他的心願,他的寶塔要現在前。就如現在釋迦佛講《法華經》,他的寶塔就浮現出來。「我之塔廟,為聽是經故」。我的塔就是這樣及時在法華會,會這樣湧現出來,這就是七寶塔,這個塔就是七寶完成,叫做七寶塔。「為聽如是法華經故」,連過去佛與塔同時顯出法華會上,他也表示要來聽經,這他方世界的佛來娑婆世界,聽釋迦佛說《法華經》,這是表示尊重這部經。

於十方國土
有說法華經處:
應十方國說是經處
我之塔廟
為聽是經故:
我之所有七寶塔妙
為聽如是法華經故

所以「涌現其前為作證明,讚言善哉」。這就是多寶佛塔,湧現在這個地方來讚歎。我們要用心來體會,這個「當湧現」那時候,湧現在佛前的那時候,就是「因心如是」。就是那個心,幾天前跟大家說,人人聽法之後,內心地的踴躍歡喜,那分踴躍歡喜,發大心、立大願,六度萬行。因為過去〈法師品〉,就已經說得很清楚了,有《法華經》之處,就有佛全身在。大家持《法華經》,那念心很堅定,這是因心。

「以多寶如來具有此願」,多寶佛從發菩薩心那個時候,那念心,生生世世是這樣,成佛之後也是這樣。所以「菩薩因行」,佛現前的果,這是多寶佛成佛的果,他的願也是這樣。所以「故於釋迦牟尼法華會前,涌塔讚言以為證明」。

涌現其前為作證明
讚言善哉:
即當湧現其佛之前
因心如是
以多寶具有此願
故於釋迦牟尼
法華會前
涌塔讚言以為之證

這個塔湧現出來,內外音聲,外面是鈴,風吹的聲音,幾天前說過了。然後,就是大家很歡喜,也覺得,覺得「歎未曾有」,在歡喜讚歎中也起了懷疑,這種景象未曾有,有疑。所以,大樂說菩薩,來代替大眾來請問,塔中出音聲,到底是什麼因緣?釋迦牟尼佛就已經這樣來回答我們了,回答這尊佛,從菩薩道的因行的心願,一直到成佛結果,也是這個願,所以他湧現在前。就如釋迦牟尼佛,他的心願就是,要在娑婆世界度眾生,成佛也是來娑婆世界來成佛。

同樣,每一尊佛都有別願,多寶佛是到處有佛講《法華經》的地方,多寶佛塔就現前。釋迦佛是有苦難眾生的地方,他就到每一個苦難眾生的地方,去行菩薩道,去修行、去成佛。佛各有別願,但是佛佛道同,真理是共一,就是心懷《妙法華經》,是佛心所保護,心所護念。我們用心去體會,塔的相,其實內涵就是我們眾生真如,我們心地真如的道理存在,好像很深,只要我們聽法,只要我們用心,所以每一天都向大家說,我們要多用心!


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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: Many Treasures Buddha’s Land, Treasure Purity (國名寶淨 佛號多寶)
Date: January.18.2018

“Infinite kalpas in the past, there was a Buddha named Many Treasures Buddha. His land was called Treasure Purity because everything there was composed of the Seven Treasures and it was pure and wisdom any defilements. The Buddha’s epithet was Many Treasure because He used His Dharma-wealth of merits and virtues to give endless benefit to others.”

These past few days, everyone has been very mindful. Many Treasures Buddha’s Stupa manifested, everyone there was very joyful. The Buddha even expounded to everyone the causes and conditions for the stupa of Many Treasures Buddha to appear. Because Great Joyful Eloquence Bodhisattva knew everyone still had doubts in their minds, he asked the Buddha to give an explanation. This is how Sakyamuni Buddha explained it to them.

A very long time ago, countless asankya worlds to the east, there was a Buddha, soon to enter Parinirvana. Before doing so, His last instructions were to build Him a stupa of treasures where His entire body could abide. Then, no matter where or in which world, as long as a Buddha was teaching the Lotus Sutra, this stupa would emerge from the ground there to serve as proof that the Buddha’s teaching of the Lotus Sutra’s principles was true, that it is truly the wondrous medicine to treat the world. It is the right direction for practitioners’ to mindfully work towards. It is the path to Buddhahood. This is the meaning behind the stupa’s emergence. But Sakyamuni Buddha wanted to explain Many Treasures Buddha’s great vow made in the past. His vow was that, in the future, in any world where there is a Dharma-assembly where the Buddha teaches the Lotus Sutra, His treasured stupa will appear there. [From this,] it is evident that both ancient Buddhas of the past and Sakyamuni Buddha in the present, both past and present Buddhas, all share the same path. [This path] is to safeguard this sutra. They regard teaching the Lotus Sutra to all beings as a matter of great importance. Even ancient Buddhas who have entered Parinirvana also value and respect this Wondrous Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra.

Now, because Sakyamuni Buddha had grown old, before He entered Parinirvana, He had to finish expounding the Lotus Sutra, for all Buddhas share the same path. So, [as we just] described, infinite kalpas ago, there was a Buddha named Many Treasures Buddha. Sakyamuni Buddha introduced this Buddha as having come from a world far to the east. It was a very long time ago; it was an ancient Buddha who had already entered Parinirvana. Now, with His stupa of treasures, wherever the Lotus Sutra is taught, like in this case, at Vulture Peak, it would suddenly emerge from the ground. This is the scene which Sakyamuni Buddha described. “His land was called Treasure Purity because everything there was composed of the Seven Treasures.” [He] introduced that land, how it was so clean, so pure; everything was made out of the Seven Treasures, pearls, chalcedony, coral, amber, and so on. This was the appearance of that land. Nothing was dirty. Everything was pure without any defilements, so the land was called Treasure Purity. Because the world was so pure, all things in it were precious treasures. That Buddha was also called Many Treasures Tathagata, because of His many merits and virtues in [His] past lifetime. For the past few days, we have been talking about being adorned with all virtues. This begins with practicing the Six Perfections. Giving, [upholding] precepts, patience, diligence, Samadhi and wisdom are called the Six Perfections. The Six Perfections allow us respond to the needs of others and create blessings for them with every action. People have many kinds of afflictions. We must first follow the Bodhisattva-path in order to attain Buddhahood. Amidst these afflictions, we temper our wisdom. So, we cultivate our wisdom in all actions; we should cultivate blessings and wisdom in all actions. This creates a “Dharma-wealth of merits and virtues.” In all things, we “give endless benefit to others.” The practice of giving to sentient beings means accumulating good deeds over a long time. We certainly must spend a very long time accumulating [good deeds]. The more time we spend, the more we can accumulate. This is like our world [today]; many Living Bodhisattvas are living longer and forming aspirations earlier, allowing them to go among people and do many good deeds. With a longer lifespan and more time, naturally we can accumulate more good deeds. Earth has existed for a long time. How long has it been? Modern scientists say that our planet Earth has already existed for 4.6 billion years. It has existed for 4.6 billion years, according to scientists. But as the old as the world is, in the vastness of universe this is not considered a very long time. What about our own lifespan? How long will we be alive in this world? Our lifespan is only around 100 years. Not many people can even live to 100 years old; very few people actually make it, not to mention the many people in the world who die relatively young. Some people’ s lifespan is so short that they live for only a few years, a few days, or even just a few hours. [Our lifespan] depends on the length of our affinities in the world. Thus, people live for only a few decades and are always in the cycle of birth, aging, illness and death. Over these few short decades, we go through aging, illness and death. This is truly not a very long time. But if Buddhist practitioners want to thoroughly understand the principles and cherish their lives, they must practice with diligence. If want to use our lives for the most essential things in life, we must good deeds. We must not waste any time. We must form good affinities in the world. Then among people, we can transmit wholesome teachings. We must not only transmit wholesome teachings, but learn ourselves. We must also learn from the Buddha’s teachings. The Buddha taught us, “Refrain from all evil and do all that is good.” These two sentences are simple, but there is so much evil [to refrain from]! In this world of sentient beings, [we encounter] all kinds of external conditions. Our heart’s desires follow all these various states. We see something and give rise to desire. For things we ought not seek, we start to scheme up ways to get them. With things we should not have, we give rise to ignorance and do things we should not do. In this way, we create mush negative karma. All of us sentient beings have such habitual tendencies. In addition to creating karma, we are filled with afflictions and ignorance. Our minds constantly go off course and lack discipline. This is why we give rise to ignorance and create afflictions. Afflictions cause us to create karma, which constantly accumulates. This karma is very severe! Although our lifespan are short, we unknowingly accumulate many karmic forces and create so many afflictions. So, the Buddha taught us how to eliminate all evil. “Evil” refers to our afflictions, ignorance, the karma [we accumulate] and so on. These methods are to use the Buddha’s wholesome teachings to treat various negative [practices]. Thus, we must learn all wholesome teachings to eliminate our afflictions and negative tendencies. Only then can we teach sentient beings to “refrain from all evil and do all that is good.” This is what all Buddhas teach. We sentient beings must reverently accept and put [His teachings] into practice every day by going among people and helping suffering sentient beings. For afflicted, ignorance sentient beings, we must give them teachings. This is our goal in learning from the Buddha.

Ancient Buddhas come forth to testify that the Dharma can be applied in this world, that is the teaching to treat the world. Now, this is also what Sakyamuni Buddha teaches us. The Lotus Sutra teaches us the Bodhisattva Way, it teaches us to follow the Bodhisattva-path to stay away from all evil and to immediately and proactively do good deeds. He even passed these wholesome teachings on to us, so we can teach others to stay away from evil and to seize the moment to do good deeds. We must do it ourselves and teach it to others. This is the Buddha-Dharma; this is what we must learn. This is how we accumulate a wealth of merits and virtues, by “giving endless benefit to others.” All Buddhas from the past to the present teach in this way. They use Their past accumulated actions of “actualizing the Six Paramitas in all actions” in order to teach us, so we must humbly accept it, uphold it and put it into practice.

This is like Tzu Chi’s Living Bodhisattvas. Some of them have been following me since the beginning of Tzu Chi. They are now 80 or 90 years old, and they are still doing Tzu Chi work. Many of them are still alive and going strong. They still [volunteer in Tzu Chi] without stopping. Their lifespans are long, and they have been Tzu Chi volunteers every day. This is “accumulating merits and virtues.” One person can affect so many people. Speaking of something closer to us, in Fenglin, in total, there are 130 recycling stations, which were all started by one person. That person is Lin Yuehua. How did she do this? What were her causes and conditions for doing so? She was not anyone extraordinary. She was just an ordinary woman. She lived in a village called Fenglin with a very ordinary family. Her husband did manual labor, and they had supported their family this way with manual labor since they were young. She did all kinds of jobs. She helped her husband and taught her children. She helped her husband and also did manual labor in order to support their family. A decade or two ago, because of his job, her husband hurt his lower back. He could not walk for several years. There were children in this family, who still needed to live and get an education. Since the husband could not work, she had to take on the responsibility. She said she did all kinds of work. She could lay cement and also farm. She even went to work as a caregiver at Fenglin Hospital because sometimes there was no other work. So, she became a caregiver to look after patients. Sometimes she came to Hualien, our Tzu Chi hospital at Hualien. Wherever there was a job, she went to do it. She took care of patients at the hospital. If no one needed looking after, she would go back to doing manual labor. If there was no manual labor to do, she would go back to the hospital as a caregiver. In any case, she worked all kinds of jobs, as long as she was able to raise her family. Her life was truly full of hardships. However, she was very kindhearted and optimistic although her family circumstances were such that her husband could not work or shoulder the responsibility of his family. So, someone reported her case to Tzu Chi, and [we] helped her for a period of time. Although [she experienced] many hardships, she still worked very hard. Sometimes, the patients could tell that her family circumstances were not very good. Since she took such good care of them and satisfied them, they would give her a red envelop [with a bonus]. If a patient’s family gave her red envelopes, she would in turn [donate the money] to Tzu Chi, use the patient’s name for the receipt and give it to the patient. The patient’s family said, “The red envelope is for you. Why do you donate them to Tzu Chi?” She replied, “This is my way of praying for blessings for the patients, in hopes that they get well soon.” She was doing good deeds in her patients’ names and creating blessings for them. She was so kindhearted and was not greedy. It was very difficult to take care of her family. About 10 or so years ago, she suddenly got sick, so she went for a check up. The doctor told her, “You have so overworked [yourself]. Your immune system is not in balance, and you have developed lupus erythematous. You cannot do so much manual labor.” Since then, her children have grown up, and her husband told her, “Now, I can do some light work as well, and the children have grown up. It is your turn to retire.” He told her “Do not do any more manual labor.” She thought, “If this is the case, I can wholeheartedly dedicate myself to Tzu Chi.” So, she told our Tzu Chi volunteers, “I want to devote myself to Tzu Chi. Since my children can work, and my husband can work now as well, I can focus and dedicate myself to Tzu Chi.” Thus, even though her family was not very wealthy, she was still spiritually wealthy. So, she dedicated herself to Tzu Chi and took part in the recycling program at Fenglin. Everyone told her, “Tzu Chi has so many missions. Out of everything, why did you choose recycling work? It requires hard work to do recycling.” She replied, “Master has emphasized recycling. “We do this for the earth’s sake. For the sake of the cleanliness of the world, we must do recycling work as Master has asked us.” She set up a recycling station in her front yard. When she started, she used a big umbrella to shield herself from the sun, and did the recycling work there. A volunteer saw her working hard and using a motorcycle to carry recyclables from the whole village. [Seeing] how much [she collected], this volunteer built her a tin roof hut. Once the metal roof was in place, she no longer needed to use the umbrella to shield herself from the sun. Now, she had a tin-roofed recycling station. She used her motorcycle to go collect recyclables every day. She collected [recyclables] throughout the morning. Then, there was another [commissioner] who fixed a second-hand car for her, filled its tank with gasoline, drove to the recycling station and told her “Yuehua, I fixed this car and filled the tank, so you can use it for recycling.” This is how the first recycling truck came about. Thus, her motorcycle became a recycling truck. From there, she learned how to drive and went around the village. There were 130 recycling spots in total. She mobilized that village, and every community there has someone who takes part in recycling work. Think about it, this was an ordinary, frail women whose family was not wealthy. She worked diligently, cherished her blessings, and remained kindhearted. This is how she seized the moment. Even when her doctor declared that she had developed lupus, it just made her think, “I should seize the time I have in my life and not miss another minute or second. This is what I want do.” She did not think, I have worked so hard in the past few decades. [Now] I am sick and need to rest.” No, she did the opposite. She cherished her life and seized the moment to accumulate [good deeds]. She went into the community to promote the significance of recycling and guided everyone to do recycling work. She helped those with afflictions and ignorance to become happy recycling volunteers. [She] did good deeds and also guided many people to go through training and be certified and so on. Such a life is to be cherished and honored. This is how we accumulate merits and virtues. True Living Bodhisattvas actualize the Six Paramitas in all actions.

We saw that our media volunteers went to see how she does her recycling work. There were many people in that village who make a living doing recycling work. Those people will collect whatever is valuable. But as for the glass bottles and plastic bags which have no value, we will still collect them. There were many rice bags from the famers’ association, which she gathered and washed at the river with stream water. Many people passing by saw her washing at the river. Wearing long pants and shoes, they still waded into the water to help her wash [the rice bags]. The media volunteers asked [one of them], “Sir, you were passing by. Why did you suddenly come down to the river?” He said, “Yes, I was passing by, and I saw sister Yudhua and many of the other Recycling Bodhisattvas. When I saw them, naturally I wanted to come down and do this with them.” There were many of them [like this]! He then asked, “But aren’t you getting wet?” [The man] replied, “I originally came to bathe in the river; it was convenient!” In fact, he had been driving past that place. [After], he returned to his car, started it and left. Is she did not do [her work] so admirably, would anyone have been willing to go to the river and help her wash [rice bags] as they passed by? This gentleman said, “My mother also does recycling work with them.” From the 130 recycling stations in the village, we can see how widespread recycling is there!

Think about this. It all began with one person. Now, the whole village [is doing recycling work]. It is very impressive. Living Bodhisattvas, these recycling Bodhisattvas, [work to] protect both Earth and humanity. This is not easy, so it is very praiseworthy. This is transforming sentient beings by actualizing the Six Paramitas in all actions. She practices this in her daily living, making use of every moment. Despite having this kind of illness, she still does [her work] joyfully and leads a joyful life.

In the previous sutra passage, it says, “so he said to the Buddha….” Here Great Joyful Eloquence Bodhisattva was making a request of the Buddha. “He said to the Buddha, ‘World-Honored One, what are the causes and conditions that allowed this stupa to emerge from the ground and this voice to emanate from within?’“

When the stupa of treasures appeared, besides the stupa itself, its surrounding also were very magnificent. There were also subtle and wondrous bell chimes. A voice even emanated from within the stupa. So, everyone began to give rise to doubts. Thus, He came to ask the Buddha, to ask the Buddha to teach.

So, the next sutra passage states, “At that time the Buddha told Great Joyful Eloquence Bodhisattva, ‘in this stupa of treasures is the entire body of the Tathagata from long ago, from infinite trillions of asankyas of world to the east.’”

It was then that the Buddha explained to Great Joyful Eloquence Bodhisattva that in the stupa of treasures is a Tathagata’s entire body. This [originated] with this Buddha in the past, a long time ago, and across a vast expanse of space, asankyas of world away. You would have to cross over so many lands and such a great distance to get there. In that place, there was a Buddha who lived in this faraway land.

Continuing on, [the sutra] says, “The land was called Treasures Purity. In that land, there was a Buddha with the epithet of Many Treasures. When that Buddha was practicing the Bodhisattva-path, he made a great vow.”

That land was a place that could only be reached by travelling so far. Treasure Purity was the name of this land. This land, called Treasure Purity, “was pure with many treasures.” It was not at all like our Saha world. Although we have many treasures on Earth, humankind continues to destroy it. We destroy so much [of the world] to be able to extract gold, silver, crystals and gems. We have to damage the earth so much in order to [obtain] these things. However, in the land called Treasures Purity, everywhere you look, you can see that all things there are treasures. There is no need to destroy this land, because everything is naturally a treasures. It is pure; His lands is intact, having not suffering ant damage. Wherever you go, you can see treasures. Thus, “The land was called Treasures Purity.” This country is called Treasures Purity.

It is both pure and filled with many treasures. “It was composed of the Seven Treasures.” Everything in this land is composed of treasures, so “there was nothing filthy or defiled.” This is why the name of this land is called Treasures Purity.

The land was called Treasures Purity: That land was pure with many precious objects composed of the Seven Treasures. There was nothing filthy or defiled. Thus [it was called] Treasures Purity.

“In that land, there was a Buddha with the epithet of Many Treasures.” In this land if Treasure Purity, there was a Buddha with the epithet of Many Treasures. Many Treasures Tathagata was born and attained Buddhahood in this land. So, “In that land of Treasures Purity, the Buddha has the epithet of Many Treasures. Thus, the Buddha used His merits and virtues, “His Dharma-wealth of merits and virtues, to give endless benefit to sentient beings.” [He does this with] the Dharma. Everything in that country is [valuable]; there are no impoverished or suffering people. Yet the Buddha uses the Dharma and Dharma-wealth to give charitable to [the people in] that land. Thus, “When that Buddha was practicing the Bodhisattva-path, “He made a great vow.

When that Buddha was practicing the Bodhisattva-path, He made a great vow: When Many Treasures Buddha cultivated and upheld the Bodhisattva-practice in the causal ground, He made a great vow that wherever Buddha taught the Lotus Sutra, His treasured stupa would manifest before Them to stand as testimony.

Following the Bodhisattva-path takes [more than] just one lifetime; it takes infinite kalpas. Having followed the Bodhisattva-path for so long, [He accumulated] so many abundant blessings that [He] was born and attained Buddhahood in the land of Treasures Purity. As He followed the Bodhisattva-path, He had already made a vow. [He would uphold] for lifetime after lifetime. Many Treasures Buddha’s vowed “to cultivate and uphold the Bodhisattva-path in His causal ground. In His causal ground of Bodhisattva-practice, He made this vow to “[manifest] wherever Buddhas taught the Lotus Sutra. This was His vow; after He attains Buddhahood in the future or after He enters Parinirvana, [He will appear] whenever any Buddha expounds the Lotus Sutra. This is the vow He formed “My stupa of treasures will appear at the Dharma-assembly as testimony.” This is Many Treasures Buddha’s vow.

The next sutra passage continues, “After I attain Buddhahood and enter Parinirvana, in the lands of the ten directions, wherever the Lotys Sutra is taught, my stupa will, for the sake of those who listen to this sutra, emerge before them to stand as testimony. In praise, I will say, ‘Excellent!’“

This is His vow. [The passage states] “After I attain Buddhahood and enter Parinirvana…” In order to attain Buddhahood, of course one must be replete with all practices. To be able to truly understand thoroughly the true principles of the universe and become one with everyone, to awaken to the principles of the world is what we call attaining Buddhahood. But, one must also manifest in the world with a lifetime appropriate to the world. He must also enter Parinirvana. Thus, [He needed to] eliminate “His delusions and cross the sea of samsara.” This is called “Crossing into Parinirvana.” This does not refer to people who simply pass away. In fact, at the moment they attain Buddhahood, they have crossed into Parinirvana also. Having eliminated all delusions, when all afflictions, ignorance, and dust-like delusions are completely eliminated, we will feel at ease with life and death. This, we can cross the sea of samsara. This is the meaning of “Crossing into Parinirvana.” To attain Buddhahood means to have crossed the sea of samsara. Having eliminated all afflictions, ignorance and delusions, He has already attained Buddhahood. However, after attaining Buddhahood, He must also respond to worldly emotions and lifespans of the world and He must also manifest an appearance of Parinirvana (cessation and deliverance). Thus, “after entering Parinirvana, [His mission] is still the same “For the sake of future worlds, wherever a Buddha teaches the Lotus Sutra, He will “still come to testify.”

After I attain Buddhahood and enter Parinirvana: When He attain Buddhahood. Parinirvana: This is the cessation of delusion and deliverance from the sea of samsara. After entering Parinirvana, He will still, in future lifetimes, come to testify wherever a Buddha teaches the Wondrous Lotus Sutra.

This was the Buddha’s [vow] He attained Buddhahood, He had already crossed over the sea of samsara. After eliminating all afflictions, he entered Parinirvana; He manifested the appearance of entering Parinirvana. He entered this treasure stupa, and He will appear together with this stupa. In any world, wherever Buddhas expound the Lotus Sutra, He will manifest His stupa of treasures before them to bear witness. This was Many Treasures Buddha’s aspiration. He will go to “the lands of the ten directions, wherever the Lotus Sutra is taught.” This was His aspiration. His treasures stupa will manifest in front of the Dharma-assembly, just like when Sakyamuni Buddha was expounding the Lotus Sutra, and His stupa of treasures emerged there. My stupa [will emerge] for the sake of those who listen to this sutra. My stupa will emerge right at that time at the Lotus Dharma-assembly.”

This is a stupa of the Seven Treasures; it is composed of the Seven Treasures, so it is called a stupa of the Seven Treasures. ”For the sake of those who listen to this sutra,” even a Buddha from the past appeared together with His stupa at the Lotus Dharma-assembly. He also came to listen to the teachings. This Buddha from [faraway] came to the Saha world to listen to Sakyamuni Buddha expound the Lotus Sutra. This shows His respect for this sutra.

In the lands of the ten directions, wherever the Lotus Sutra is taught: He will manifest in any land of the ten directions wherever this sutra is taught. My stupa [will emerge] for the sake of those who listen to this sutra: This stupa of the Seven Treasures of His is for the sake of those who listen to the Lotus Sutra.

Thus, “[It will] emerge before them to stand as testimony. In praise, I will say, ‘Excellent’!’" This [describes] how Many Treasures Buddha emerged at this place to praise [the Buddha]. We must mindfully seek to experience this moment when He emerged before the Buddha. This is “because the seed of His aspiration was such." This was His aspiration. I mentioned to everyone a few days ago that after hearing this teaching, everyone’s minds leapt with joy. With this jubilance and joy, they formed great aspirations and made great vows to actualize the Six Paramitas in all actions in the previous chapter, on Dharma Teachers, we already clearly explained that wherever the Lotus Sutra is present, the complete body of the Buddha will be there too. When we all uphold the Lotus sutra with a firm, resolute mindset, this is the seed of our aspiration. “Because Many Treasures had this vow,” from the moment Many Treasures Buddha formed His Bodhisattva-aspirations, [He sustained it] for lifetime after lifetime, even after He attained Buddhahood. Thus, “with the causal practice of Bodhisattvas,” He attained the fruit of Buddhahood. This is Many Treasures Buddha’s fruit of Buddhahood. This is the nature of His aspiration why He came “before Sakyamuni Buddha’s. Lotus Dharma-assembly. [It will] emerge before them to stand as testimony.”

[It will] emerge before them to stand as testimony. “In praise, I will say, ‘excellent!’” [The stupa] would then emerge before that Buddha because the seed of His aspiration was such. Because Many Treasure had this vow, before Sakyamuni Buddha’s Lotus Dharma-assembly, His stupa emerged and He spoke words of praise, which would serve as proof.

When this stupa emerged, sounds [were heard] from within and without. Outside, there was a sound of wind blowing bells, as we mentioned a few days ago. Afterwards, everyone was joyful, and felt unprecedented admiration. Amid their joy and praise, doubts also arose. There had never been such a scene, so they were doubtful. Thus, Great Joyful Eloquence Bodhisattva asked on behalf of the assembly, “These sounds coming from the stupa, what are the causes and conditions for this?” Sakyamuni Buddha already answered this for us, replying that this Buddha had, from His heartfelt aspirations in the causal practice of Bodhisattvas to His attaining the fruit of Buddhahood, He had [upheld] the same vow. Thus, He had emerged before them. This is like Sakyamuni Buddha, whose vows was to transform sentiment being in the Saha word and attain Buddhahood in the Saha world. In the same way, every Buddha has His specific vow. Many Treasures Buddha’s [vow] was that, wherever the Buddha expounds the Lotus Sutra, Many Treasures Buddha’s stupa would appear there. Sakyamuni Buddha [vowed to appear] wherever sentient beings suffer. Wherever sentient beings are suffering, He would go to practice the Bodhisattva-path, engage in spiritual practice and attain Buddhahood. All Buddhas have Their specific vows, but They all share the same path, and the true principles are the same; They all safeguard the Wondrous Lots Sutra in their minds. We must mindfully comprehend the stupa’s appearance.

In fact, it [alludes to] our True Suchness as sentient beings. The principle of True Suchness is in our hearts. It seems to be very profound, but we just need to listen the Dharma and be very mindful. So, every day, I say to everyone that we must always be mindful!

(Source: Da Ai TV – Wisdom at Dawn program – Explanation by Master Chen-Yen)
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20180118《靜思妙蓮華》國名寶淨 佛號多寶 (第1265集) (法華經•見寶塔品第十一)
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