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 20180201《靜思妙蓮華》唯留會眾 移諸天人 (第1275集) (法華經•見寶塔品第十一)

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發表主題: 20180201《靜思妙蓮華》唯留會眾 移諸天人 (第1275集) (法華經•見寶塔品第十一)   周三 1月 31, 2018 10:25 am

20180201《靜思妙蓮華》唯留會眾 移諸天人 (第1275集) (法華經•見寶塔品第十一)

⊙「淨琉璃為地等,顯華藏界澄淨,無諸聚落之雜,去娑婆之陋污,會眾緣熟則留,天人非器則避,即染即淨不二,聖淨凡污同體。」
⊙蓮華藏世界:釋迦在摩揭陀國菩提樹下成佛時,小機所感見化身佛,大機所見為報身之毘盧舍那佛。於蓮華藏世界成正覺,但菩提樹下與蓮華藏世界,並非異處,穢土即淨土。
⊙「無諸聚落、村營、城邑、大海、江河、山川、林藪。燒大寶香,曼陀羅華遍布其地。」《法華經見寶塔品第十一》
⊙「以寶網幔羅覆其上,懸諸寶鈴。唯留此會眾,移諸天人置於他土。」《法華經見寶塔品第十一》
⊙以寶網幔羅覆其上:菩薩所行,慈悲為首,故云寶幔之所遍覆。成佛之行,非戒不立,故云寶網羅覆其上。
⊙懸諸寶鈴,唯留此會眾:鈴有音聲,以表說法。獨留此會聽法之眾。
⊙移諸天人置於他土:以佛神力,移於一切天人之眾置他土上。
⊙「是時、諸佛各將一大菩薩以為侍者,至娑婆世界,各到寶樹下。」《法華經見寶塔品第十一》
⊙是時、諸佛各將一大菩薩以為侍者:十方各分身佛。但帶一大菩薩以為給侍者。
⊙至娑婆世界,各到寶樹下:此界各方現化土寶樹之下。分身雲集,遍大千世界,容一方分身未盡,足見應化之廣。

【證嚴上人開示】
「淨琉璃為地等,顯華藏界澄淨,無諸聚落之雜,去娑婆之陋污,會眾緣熟則留,天人非器則避,即染即淨不二,聖淨凡污同體。」

淨琉璃為地等
顯華藏界澄淨
無諸聚落之雜
去娑婆之陋污
會眾緣熟則留
天人非器則避
即染即淨不二
聖淨凡污同體

好像有讀過的文字,是啊!文字是讀過了,道理呢?是不是清楚了呢?要時時用心體會。「淨琉璃為地等」。昨天我們也說過了,釋迦牟尼佛已經要號召,很多分身的佛,要集在一起,這應該大家都知道是法,分身的佛是法。釋迦佛已經人間說法好幾十年,四十多年的時間,談空說有,講「四諦」、「十二(因)緣」法,這全都向我們說過,我們的心地,人人的心地應該自我淨化,煩惱、無明應該一分一分去除,習氣也應該一分一分消滅。我們的習氣,錯的人生,也要趕緊趕緊反省改過,這就是我們要修行。

最重要的,修行,就是一片髒污、無明、煩惱的心地,經過了每一天、每一天,法水點滴滋潤,我們要趕緊清除我們的心,我們的錯,過去所犯的錯誤,要把握時間,這片心地,我們還有多久的時間,好讓我們自內心來清除呢?我們自己的心地,唯有我們自己,自己每一秒鐘,我們的反省,起心動念,我們的思考,要不斷去除錯誤,錯誤,錯誤要不斷不斷撥開、清除。該學的、該做的,要點點滴滴,要像寶樹來莊嚴我們的心地,要像金的線繩來界我們的道,讓我們一條一條的路分明,這就是我們自己要用心。佛陀能說給我們聽,為我們「開」,向我們指「示」、開示。過去懵懂的人生要及時改過,要不然,懵懂、荒廢掉的人生,使我們心地一片的污濁,我們若不趕緊來清除,這樣誰能替我們清除呢?我們還有多久的時間,讓我們清除這片污濁的心地?而且,要化污濁,為琉璃清淨一般的土地,我們要很用心、很用功啊。我們若能用心、用功,將我們污濁的心地清除掉,自然就顯出了「華藏界澄淨」。

華藏的世界,這華藏世界是莊嚴的世界,是諸佛的世界,諸佛的實報土,你要成佛,就是要到達了心靈清淨,無染污的程度,這就是我們要學佛,我們要用功的重點。每天要好好清除,能與佛同等,能到達華藏的世界。華藏的世界,換一句話來說,叫做「蓮華藏世界」。蓮花,大家都知道,出在污泥而不染。佛,釋迦牟尼佛出生在人間,人間是堪忍的世界,是濁氣很重的世界,就像污泥的世界。但是,人人在人間,人人心中都有一個真如本性,就像人人種子在這污泥中。釋迦牟尼佛來到這個濁氣很重,如污泥的娑婆世界,無非就是要來向我們開示,所以他要很用功,做我們的典範。出皇宮修行去,這就是要教我們:將來你若發心要修行,就要像這樣。出皇宮,就好像蓮花的種子,在這皇宮裡,皇宮就是充滿了欲的濁氣的污泥,宮中就是一直一直在享受,在那個地方總是,所了解的是要如何國家更富有,國家的領土要更大。每一個國王領導國政,不就是都這樣嗎?

這就是一個充滿了,欲、濁的範圍,這顆種子在裡面,他不同的觀念、思想,愈是享受,愈是現出人間這樣的享樂過,同樣還是在「老、病、死」的範圍裡,何況貧富貴賤,賤民生活的環境,貴族生活這種的奢侈,像這樣,他會覺得:是人生下來已經註定是這樣嗎?是那麼貧窮下賤,為什麼代代相傳都是這樣?為什麼貴族生下來就是這樣,代代相傳的爵位,這樣一直傳下去?貴者恆貴,賤者恆賤,豈是這樣呢?這好像人間,這就是有矛盾的地方。生命的奧祕到底是什麼?為什麼有生、有死,生之前是什麼?死後又是如何?如何來,又是為何要去?

這就是要讓我們了解,那位太子就是有這樣的思想、這樣的觀念,所以他要追求道理,離開皇宮,讓我們能了解,我們人生要懂得啟悟,在那麼富貴的人,皇宮生活,他就能為大地一切眾生,那個生命觀,就想要去體會了解,何況我們?我們一般凡夫吃盡了苦頭,人與人之間,彼此心的矛盾,意見相違背,彼此之間就是矛盾對立,多麼辛苦啊!環境種種,為什麼我們不懂得去追求,追求人生到底是何因何緣,何故而來?我們時間一直在過,最後的一天,方向往哪裡去呢?我們都不知道。現在覺者已經為我們鋪路,讓我們看,希望我們能夠很安心,走上這條路,我們應該要走,這是典範的示現,要不然,釋迦佛已經老早老早,生生世世在修行,已經斷了分段生死、變易生死,他不用再來娑婆世界,不必了,但是他就是不忍這污泥中,一顆顆的種子,就是還沉淪在污泥中,所以他來人間現相入皇宮,就是追求真理,出皇宮去修行。

修行的過程,覺悟之後的心境,就是這樣再回過頭來,出家來度眾生,與大家生活都一樣。這在他的清淨蓮華藏的世界,他的心已經是解脫了,但是為眾生辛勞,很辛苦,而且很勞碌,在這個人間裡教化眾生。眾生根鈍剛強,根機很鈍,又是很剛強,難調難伏,但是,佛陀的心,他的實報土。這幾天我們都一直說「實報土」,實報土就是在華藏世界,就是蓮華藏的世界,那就是清淨無染的世界,是輕安自在的世界,這是諸佛的世界。

蓮華藏世界
釋迦在摩揭陀國
菩提樹下成佛時
小機所感見化身佛
大機所見為報身之
毘盧舍那佛
於蓮華藏世界
成正覺
但菩提樹下
與蓮華藏世界
並非異處
穢土即淨土

但是我們凡夫來看釋迦牟尼佛,他出生在迦毗羅衛國,菩提樹下成佛,這只是現相讓我們看,讓我們大家知道。出生在皇宮,在摩揭陀國,出家之後,一段很長的時間修行,受盡了苦磨,然後在菩提樹下靜坐,這樣心與星光接觸。這只是一個表象,讓大家知道他覺悟那個剎那間的境界,是心很靜寂,很寧靜。天還未亮之前,那顆星,就是很簡單,空中這顆星的光與他的眼光這樣接觸到,忽然間那念心完全開闊了,與天地宇宙合而為一,那個澄清的心境,忽然光亮起來,一片清澄,這就是靜寂清澄。

開始心很寂靜,寧靜的心境,就是這樣忽然間心開意解,大地眾生皆有如來智性,在濁泥中都有粒粒的種子存在,人人的心中都是有這真如的本性,人人的心地就好像全都在那濁污泥中。佛陀已經體會了,了解人人都有這個真如本性,只是還在那濁泥中,佛陀已經脫出了這濁泥,已經花開了,果也成了。蓮花,那就是花開,其中果成。我們若看我們的蓮花池中,我們若看蓮花,它若一開,裡面就已經,蓮蓬就已經顯現出來,這蓮蓬裡面,就是粒粒粒粒的種子。同樣的道理,這叫做華藏世界,也就是蓮華藏的世界。但是我們小根機的人,「所感見化身佛」,化身來人間。我們就像聲聞一樣,在聽佛講法,好像這個法離我們很遠,雖然佛這樣為我們說法,但是要真正感觸到佛的心境,好像是幻化,還離我們很遠。若「大機所見」,大根機的人聽佛的教法,很快就體會到,「報身之毘盧舍那佛」,就好像這佛身與我們很近。佛的報土很實在,這就是蓮華藏世界的正覺,這種與佛的世界很接近,契佛心意,已經與佛的心意很契合了,很實在,那就是到達了蓮華藏世界,那個成正覺的境界,這大乘根機的人能體會得到。雖然自己還未真正的覺悟,但是這個道理已經能體會到了。

佛陀覺悟的境界,是與天地宇宙合而為一,所以「菩提樹下與蓮華藏世界,並非異處」,並沒有兩樣。在娑婆世界,在摩揭陀國那棵菩提樹下,與那個華藏世界並沒有差別。意思就是說,娑婆世界與淨土是同樣,所以「穢土即淨土」。這個娑婆世界的穢土就是淨土,是佛的淨土,這就是顯出了華藏世界。其實,我們人人的心地若能夠好好地,每一個時間自己趕緊清除,掃除很多的無明、污濁、煩惱,所有犯過的錯誤,我們應該即時要斷,要趕緊改過,回頭是岸,這就是我們的修行,才有辦法與華藏世界,這樣澄清的世界合一。所以,無有聚落,我們昨天說過了,沒有聚落,沒有男女不清淨的地方,所以沒有聚落。沒有凡夫煩惱互相對立,愛恨情仇這些都沒有,所以「無聚落之雜」。所以「去娑婆之陋污」,我們世間這種污陋,非常污濁的、簡陋的這種心態,我們應該要完全將它去除。所以,佛陀在娑婆世界,要講這圓融的教法,一乘實法,在這個法會中說法、聽法這些會眾,緣成熟的就是留下來。

就如已經有很多人受記,舍利弗受記,五百弟子,富樓那彌多羅尼子,還有阿難,還有羅睺羅等,二千人也受記了,這就是因緣根機成熟則留。天人,哪怕他多有知識,哪怕他多有福報,但是,不是根器,就避,在這緊要的法將要說時,他就避開了。這就是人生的因緣,佛法是不是有成熟?內心是不是有用功?這就是要看我們是不是因緣成熟?「會眾緣熟則留,天人非器則避」。是不是這樣呢?所以說來,「即染即淨不二」。人人平等,要看我們與佛的心有接近嗎?接近,那就是因緣成熟;若離佛還很遠,那就還是在芸芸眾生中,根機不成熟。其實,淨與染,都是在我們人的內心。所以,「聖淨凡污」,聖人是清淨,凡夫就是污染,其實,聖淨凡污其實是同體。「煩惱即菩提」,菩提從煩惱中生,蓮花從污泥出,是同樣的道理,只是我們若還是在污泥中,還在凡夫地,我們要造的業就不知道還有多少,煩惱無明還是無量無數,所以我們要用心去體會。

前面的經文就這樣說:「無諸聚落、村營、城邑、大海、江河、山川、林藪。燒大寶香,曼陀羅華遍布其地。」

無諸聚落
村營 城邑
大海 江河
山川 林藪
燒大寶香
曼陀羅華
遍布其地
《法華經見寶塔品第十一》

這就是我們心靈的境界,很平靜,如琉璃的乾淨,我們已經沒有那些聚落了,沒有凡夫的世界,沒有凡夫的心念了,這些聚落都沒有了,沒有像村營或者是城邑,我們的心都平靜了。「大海、江河」,不論你是大乘的根機,中乘、小乘根機,完全都會合起來了,所以,這個娑婆世界已經變化,完全是「大寶香」。那個環境氣氛,散曼陀羅華,遍滿這個大地。那就是已經心地污濁的,都去除了,現在心地一片清淨,而且就是完全,那個氣氛,氛圍,真的是一番靜寂美妙的境界。

接下來這段經文再說:「以寶網幔羅覆其上,懸諸寶鈴。唯留此會眾,移諸天人置於他土。」

以寶網幔羅覆其上
懸諸寶鈴
唯留此會眾
移諸天人置於他土
《法華經見寶塔品第十一》

那就是表示,「以寶網幔羅覆其上」,除了大地全都乾淨了,而且這個寶網與幔羅覆其上,這樣完全都是珍珠寶物所編成,編織起來,這樣覆蓋在上面。那就是表示「菩薩所行,慈悲為首」。

以寶網幔羅
覆其上:
菩薩所行
慈悲為首
故云寶幔之所遍覆
成佛之行
非戒不立
故云寶網羅覆其上

大慈悲為室,我們現在說菩薩的心念,開頭就是要起慈悲心,慈悲是領導著「菩薩行」走,六度萬行。布施就是付出,付出是慈悲,面對的無緣的眾生,我們要大慈;看到眾生的苦難,我們是同體大悲,這叫做慈悲。願意付出,這叫做布施。慈悲是「菩薩行」首,所以,「云寶幔之所遍覆」,這全都是很多的寶物。再來,「成佛之行,非戒不立」。所以必定要有戒,雖然說聖人、凡夫都平等,雖然說煩惱、菩提都平等,但是,煩惱中在犯戒,這就是污濁。要成佛,要清淨,就是要戒。所以,前面的文,金繩界道,用金的繩子,這樣一條路、一條路(分)界好,八正道,我們要好好地戒。

觀念、思想、語言、動作、事等等,生活中,一定「非戒不立」。「諸惡莫作,眾善奉行」,預防不要有聚落、男女等等,這種的過犯,不乾淨,這種的過犯。所以要成佛,就是非戒不立。行菩薩道,就是慈悲為首,「成佛之行,非戒不立」,所以我們要成佛,必定一方面要慈悲,一方面要守戒。所以,布施、持戒,這是菩薩行,很重要。慈悲是造福,持戒就是智慧,福慧要平行。所以因為這樣叫做「寶網幔羅覆其上」。大地乾淨了,上面又有寶網幔,這樣覆在其上。

這當中就是「懸諸寶鈴。唯留此會眾」。

懸諸寶鈴
唯留此會眾:
鈴有音聲
以表說法
獨留此會聽法之眾

這個地方就是這樣,因為所有的分身佛都要到了,清理得這麼乾淨,空中寶網幔是這麼的開闊,在這麼開闊中,又「懸諸寶鈴」。這就是要裝飾。我們在室內,有一片的土地,我們要好好地清理得乾乾淨淨,連屋頂,天花板,我們也要好好清理得乾淨,也要張燈結綵,這都是在布置會場,用我們的心思去布置,上下都要布置。所以說,鈴,這個鈴,有音樂。前面我們說寶塔也是有鈴聲,有這個鈴,風一吹也有聲,鈴聲一響,聲音如音樂。這就是譬喻法,佛陀所說法,在這寶網幔很廣很廣,大地無邊,寶網幔無際,就是懸諸寶鈴。寶鈴都有聲音,一搖,聲音出來了,風一吹,鈴聲出。「獨留此會聽法之眾」。


現在這個地方,只有要聽法的人留著,不想聽的人,就「移諸天人置於他土」。道場布置好了,要聽的人靠過來,不聽的人就移開,所以叫做移,就是避,移避,離開了,就是「移諸天人置於他土」,就已經不在這個會場裡面了。

移諸天人
置於他土:
以佛神力
移於一切天人之眾
置他土上

「以佛神力,移於一切天人之眾,置他土中」。因為根機沒辦法會合,所以他就要到另外一個地方,他就是不願意聽,要讓給要來聽的人,全都來聽。

接下來,這段(經)文再說,經文:「是時、諸佛各將一大菩薩以為侍者,至娑婆世界,各到寶樹下。」

是時
諸佛各將一大菩薩
以為侍者
至娑婆世界
各到寶樹下
《法華經見寶塔品第十一》

現在場地布置好了,所有分身,就是接受到這個法,分身的佛全都從各方面來。記得嗎?佛陀他毫光,向東方照,一方如此,方方皆是,四維八達,上、下,十方全都這樣起動起來,諸佛就這樣來了,來集會。每一尊佛要來,都是又有一尊菩薩隨行而來,來到娑婆世界。十方的分身佛,每一尊佛只帶一位菩薩這樣來。因為道場到底有多大呢?要容納多少世界的諸佛到達呢?諸佛,他若帶太多人,這個世界豈容納得下?所以,那就是每一尊佛,單獨帶一位菩薩這樣來,「以為侍者」。

是時
諸佛各將一大菩薩
以為侍者:
十方各分身佛
但帶一大菩薩
以為給侍者

這個娑婆世界,各方現化寶樹之下。這些人都已經到了,來到娑婆世界。娑婆世界,就是有寶樹,如菩提樹一樣。每一尊佛就是在那個寶樹下,這樣自己就位,就位在那個寶樹下,那個寶樹底下,這就是「分身雲集」。這些分身佛都已經雲集過來了,「遍大千世界,容一方分身未盡,足見應化之廣」。

至娑婆世界
各到寶樹下:
此界各方現化土
寶樹之下
分身雲集
遍大千世界
容一方分身未盡
足見應化之廣

這是表示十方的分身佛都來,所以這些佛,分身佛雲集到了,不是只在這個娑婆世界,就是這樣這麼多的世界分身,還未盡。想,這應化身之廣,有多廣?三千大千世界無不都是,釋迦牟尼佛化度的世界。釋迦牟尼佛所化度的世界,現在接受到釋迦佛的法,而應用在他們的生活,在他們的世界裡,再去化度眾生,眾生成就菩薩道。像這樣,很開闊、開闊的教法,用同樣的法度化眾生。所以說,分身佛的集會,那就是分散在所有虛空法界,遍大千世界的法也全都集會來。佛與菩薩相隨,表示佛教化成菩薩,菩薩為因。前面說「慈悲為首」,也是要行六度萬行,布施、持戒、忍辱、精進、禪定、智慧,六度萬行,這是我們所要走的路。這條路在人間,人間污濁,所以已經人間的污濁,已經變成了這種「成、住、壞、空」的景象,一直一直浮現出來了。

所以現在一直在說環保的問題,看到現在這個環保教育一直在推動。看到馬來西亞從幼教開始,我們的大愛幼教,如何教孩子呢?從環保開始,他們先讓這些孩子了解,什麼叫做「溫室效應」?要如何跟孩子說這地球發燒了,要如何讓孩子知道?他們就先在外面這樣做一間,用塑膠袋,撿回來的塑膠袋,就這樣拼、拼、拼,一直拼出一間房子、帳篷,讓這些孩子,進去那個塑膠袋的帳篷屋裡面,在裡面上課。

看到每個孩子汗一直流,孩子一直擦汗,在那個地方,老師就問:「怎麼樣,在這裡上課好嗎?」小孩子,四五歲,他說:「我們大家快要融化掉了。」老師說:「是不是我們每天都在這裡上課,好嗎?」孩子就說:「不好。」「為什麼?」就是因為太熱了。老師就開始教育孩子,「為什麼那麼熱?」開始就向他們說熱的原因。用電視就現出了很多,我們現在世界,很多大水災,或者是風災,那個災難,洪水滾滾在沖,孩子都說:「好可怕!好可怕啊!」水衝過之後,那個房子都倒了,人在那個地方,苦啊!孩子就說:「好可憐啊!好可憐!」再來就是風災,同樣,「四大」的災難,讓孩子一場一場看,孩子在這其中接受教育。

甚至孩子出來之後,「大家最希望的是什麼?」孩子就說:「要喝水,我們流很多汗,要喝水。」「喝水,怎麼辦?桶子都空空,沒有水喝。」「為什麼沒有水?」老師就再告訴他沒有水的原因,就是這樣抽、抽,抽地下水、抽地下油來做等等,環保的理念就帶動進去了。孩子了解了,最後就問孩子:「這是為什麼呢?」孩子就說:「這就是溫室效應,才會有這樣的災難。」「是啊,災難苦不苦?」「苦啊!」「你們現在要如何回饋大地?如何能消除災難?」他們就說:「我們要做環保,要帶環保袋,不買玩具,要省水,要省紙張,要省電。」等等,這些孩子這樣一場的教育,開始孩子明白了。這就是教育,從小就教育。老師對幼稚園,很好教,佛陀要教眾生,真的是很鈍根、剛強。那是為什麼呢?已經受世間污染了,濁氣重重,煩惱重重,所以我們要接受法,這麼不容易,要清理心地是這麼困難。所以我們,菩薩因要行慈悲,要成佛果,必定要持戒律,這要大家時時多用心啊!


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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: Only Those in the Assembly Remained (唯留會眾 移諸天人)
Date: February.01.2018


“The ground made of pure crystal and other details describe the pure state of the Lotus-treasury. Without the chaos of human settlements, it was free from the crudeness and defilements of the Saha World. Those in the assembly with mature affinities remained, while heavenly beings without the proper capabilities retreated. What was defiled instantly became pure; these are non-dual. Pure noble beings and defiled ordinary beings share the same existence.”

These words should seem [familiar to us]. Indeed, we have read them before. But are the principles clear to us? We must always [try to] mindfully comprehend them. “The ground [was] made of pure crystal.” Yesterday, we discussed how Sakyamuni Buddha called on His multiple manifestations to gather together. We should know that this [refers to] the Dharma; His multiple manifestations are the Dharma. Sakyamuni Buddha had been teaching the Dharma in this world for several decades already. For more than 40 years, He taught about emptiness and existence, the Four Noble Truths and the Twelve Links of Cyclic Existence. He taught us all of this [He taught us] that everyone should purify the ground of their own mind, eliminate all afflictions and ignorance and get rid of habitual tendencies one by one. These habitual tendencies and our mistakes in life are what we must immediately reflect on and correct. This is what we must do in our spiritual practice. What is most important in spiritual practice is [to clean] our minds of defilements, ignorance and afflictions. With each passing day, the Dharma-water will nourish us drop by drop. We must [use it to] quickly purify our minds. With the past mistakes we have made, we must seize the time [to correct them]. When it comes to our minds, how much more time do we have to clean them? Only we can [purify] our own minds. In every second of the day, we must reflect on the thoughts that arise. In our thinking, we must repeatedly eliminate our wrongdoings and continually clear away and eliminate our mistakes. As for the things we should learn and do, we need to [take it in] bit by bit, dignifying our hearts like the trees of treasures [that dignify the lands]. We must have golden cords to border our path, so our every path is clear. This is what we must put our heart into. The Buddha was able to “open” and “reveal” [the Dharma] to us; this is how He taught. Our past confusion must be quickly corrected. Otherwise, [we will lead] a confused, useless life that will muddy the field of our mind. If we do not quickly eliminate [our mistakes], who will do it for us? How much time do we have to purify our defiled minds? Furthermore, in order to turn our defiled minds into lands as pure as crystal, we must be very mindful and work very hard. If we can be mindful and put in the effort to clean our defiled minds, we will naturally manifest “the pure state of the Lotus-treasury.” The realm of the Lotus-treasury is a dignified place. It is the world of all Buddhas, their true reward-land. In order to attain Buddhahood, we must reach the stage where our spiritual state is pure and undefiled. As Buddhist practitioners, we should work hard [to achieve] this ideal. Every day, we must earnestly cleanse [our minds] so we can be equal to the Buddha and be able to reach the realm of the Lotus-treasury. The state of the Lotus-treasury is also known as the realm of the Lotus-treasury. We should all know that the lotus flower grows from the mud yet remains pure. Sakyamuni Buddha was born in this world, this world of endurance with severe turbidities. It is like a world of mud. However, all of us in this world have the nature of True Suchness in our hearts; it is like we have seeds that are buried in mud. Sakyamuni Buddha arrived to this turbid, mud-like Saha World solely to open and reveal [the Dharma] to us. So, He had to work very hard to serve as a model for us. He left the palace to engage in spiritual practice in order to [show] us that, if we aspire to engage in spiritual practice, we should be like Him. Born into the palace, He was like a lotus seed. The palace was full of desires, the mud of the turbidity of desires. Those in the palace constantly indulged themselves. In that place, all they knew was how to enrich the country and expand its territory. Doesn’t every king lead his government like this? This environment was full of desires and turbidities. Yet with this seed inside of him, [the prince] had a different perspective and way of thinking. The more [those in the palace] indulged, the clearer it became to him that even after they had indulged themselves so much, they were still confined to “aging, illness and death.” This is not to mention the disparity between the rich and poor. [Seeing how] the poor people lived compared to the extravagance of the nobility. [Sakyamuni] wondered, “Are people destined to be this way from birth? They are so poor and lowly. Why is it like this generation after generation? Why are the nobility born as they are, passing on their noble status continually, generation after generation? The noble are always noble, and the lowly are always lowly. Why is it like this? It seems that this world is a place full of contradictions. What is the secret of life? Why is there birth and death? What comes before birth? What happens after we die? How do we come and go?” This helps us understand the prince’s perspective and way of thinking. So, he wanted to seek the principles. He left the palace so that we could understand; we must know to awaken ourselves. He was a wealthy and noble person from the palace, yet for the sake of the world’s sentient beings, [he left]; with what he valued in life, he went to seek to comprehend [the principles]. So, what about us? We ordinary begins suffer greatly. In our relationships, our hearts are in conflict; our opinions go against each other and we take opposing positions with each other. How difficult this is! Within so many different environments, how is it that we do to know to seek [to understand] the causes and conditions by which we come and go in life? Our time keeps passing us by; in the end, which direction will we go? None of us know. Now, the Enlightened One has already paved this path for us to see already paved this path for us to see. He hopes for us to be at ease and walk this path. [This is the path] we should follow. This is how He revealed Himself as role model. As it is, Sakyamuni Buddha had already engaged in spiritual practice for many lifetimes. He had already ended fragmentary and transformational samara. He did not need to return to the Saha World. Yet, He could not bear to let all these seeds sink into the mud like this. So, He came to the world and manifested in the palace. In his search for the principles, He left the palace to engage in spiritual practice. [After] His process of spiritual practice and [attaining] His awakened state, He returned again [to us], transforming sentient beings as a monastic, living the same way as everyone else. In His pure realm of the Lotus-treasury, His mind was already liberated, but He worked very hard for sentient beings. He worked hard and tirelessly to teach and transform sentient beings in this world. Sentient beings were dull in capabilities and stubborn. Their capabilities are very dull, and they are very stubborn; they are difficult to train and transform. But the Buddha had His state of mind and His true reward-land. The past few days, we have been discussing this “true reward-land”. The true reward-land is in the Lotus-treasury, the realm of the Lotus-treasury. It is a pure, undefiled world one that is peaceful and comfortable. This is the world of all Buddhas.

The realm of the Lotus-treasury means that when Sakyamuni attained Buddhahood beneath the Bodhi tree in the Kingdom of Magadha, what those with limited capacities perceived was the Buddha’s transformation-body. What those with great capacities perceived was the reward-body of Vairocana Buddha. In the realm of the Lotus-treasury, He attained perfect enlightenment. But His seat beneath the Bodhi tree and the realm of the Lotus-treasury were not different places. The defiled land is the pure land.

What we ordinary beings see of Sakyamuni Buddha was that He was born in the nation of Kapilavastu and attained Buddhahood under the Bodhi tree. But this was only a manifestation for us to see, for us to know that He was born into the palace. In the Kingdom of Magadha, after He become a monastic, He spent a long time in spiritual practice, experiencing all kinds of suffering. Then He sat in meditation under the Bodhi tree. Thus, His mind connected with the starlight. This is just a symbolic image to help us all understand that in the moment He attained this enlightened state, His mind was very tranquil and calm. Before dawn had begun to break, [he saw] that star. It was very simple; the light from the star in the sky met His gaze, and suddenly, His mind completely opened, becoming one with the universe. His state of mind was suddenly illuminated and became completely pure. This is [what it means] to be tranquil and clear. His mind was very tranquil and clear; His state of mind was calm. Just like that, His mind opened suddenly. “All beings in the world share the Tathagata’s nature of wisdom.” In the turbid mud, there are many seeds. Everyone’s mind has this nature of True Suchness. Everyone’s mind is like [a seed] inside the turbid mud. The Buddha already realized and understood that everyone has this nature of True Suchness. It is just that they are still stuck in the mud.

The Buddha had already freed Himself form this mud. He had blossomed and the fruit had formed. The lotus flower blooms and its fruit is formed. When we look at our lotus flowers in the pond, when we see them blossom, we see that the pods inside have already appeared. There are seeds inside the lotus pods. It is the same idea. We call this the Lotus-treasury, which is the realm of the Lotus-treasury. But for those of us with limited capabilities, we “perceive the Buddha’s transformation-body,” which manifested in this world. So, we are just like the Hearers; when we listen to Him teach the Dharma, the Dharma seems to be distant from us. Although the Buddha taught the Dharma, for us to truly be in touch with the Buddha’s state of mind seems like an illusion; it seemed to still be very far from us. “What those with great capacities perceived….” When those of great capabilities heard His Dharma, they could quickly experience “the reward-body of Vairocana Buddha. It was as if the Buddha-body was very near, and the Buddha’s reward-land was very real. This was the perfect enlightenment of the realm of the Lotus-treasury. They felt very close to the Buddha’s realm and resonated with the Buddha’s intent. They were already in accordance with His intent; it was very real. This is reaching the realm of the Lotus-treasury, the state of attaining perfect enlightenment. Those with great capacities could comprehend this. Although they had not truly awakened, they could already comprehend this principle. In His enlightened state, the Buddha’s [mind] became one with the universe. Thus, “His seat beneath the Bodhi tree and the realm of the Lotus-treasury were not different places.”

There was no difference. In the Saha World, His seat under the Bodhi tree in the Kingdom of Magadha was no different from the realm of Lotus-treasury. This means that the Saha World and the pure land were the same. So, “The defiled land is the pure land.” This Saha World’s defiled land is the pure land; it is the Buddha’s pure land. This reveals the realm of the Lotus-treasury.

In fact, if we can all earnestly clear out the ground of our minds at all times, we can sweep away all our ignorance, turbidities and afflictions. We should immediately eliminate all the mistakes we have made in the past, quickly correct our course. When we turn around, we see [the safety] of shore. This is [the aim] of our spiritual practice. Only then can we become one with this pure realm of the Lotus-treasury. So, there are no human settlements. We explained this yesterday. There are no human settlements. There are no defilements due to men and women, so there are no human settlements. There are no conflicts due to the afflictions of unenlightened beings. There is no craving, hatred, passion or animosity. “Without human settlements or the like, the crudeness and defilements of the Saha World were erased.” Our world’s defilements, these crude and defiled mindsets, are what we must completely eliminate. Therefore, in the Saha World, when the Buddha gave these perfect teachings of the One True Vehicle Dharma to the assembly, of those who listened to Him, only those with mature affinities remained. This is just like how many disciples had received their predictions of Buddhahood. Sariptra received predictions. The 500 disciples, Purna Maitrayaniputra, as well as Ananda, Rahula and the others, those 2000 people, also received predictions of Buddhahood. This meant their karmic conditions and capabilities were mature, so they remained. As for the heavenly beings, no matter how knowledgeable they were or how blessed they were, if they did not have the right capabilities, they also retreated. Right as the essential teachings were to be given, they all left [the assembly]. These were their karmic conditions in life.

Are [the conditions mature to teach] the Buddha-Dharma? Have we worked hard [to cultivate] our minds? This depends on whether our karmic conditions have matured. “Those in the assembly with mature affinities remained, while heavenly beings without the proper capabilities retreated.” Wasn’t it like this? So, “what was defiled instantly became pure; these are non-dual.” All beings are equal. It all depends on how close we are to the Buddha’s heart. If we are close, then our karmic conditions are mature. If we are still very far from His heart, it means we are [like] all the other myriad beings and our capabilities are not mature yet.

Actually, purity and defilement are both found in people’s minds. “Pure noble beings and defiled ordinary beings share the same existence.” Noble beings are pure, while ordinary beings are defiled, but actually, pure noble beings and defiled ordinary beings share the same existence. Afflictions are Bodhi. Bodhi arises from afflictions; the lotus flower grows from the mud. It is the same principle. But if we are still in the mud and remain in the ground of common beings, who knows how much karma we will create? Our afflictions and ignorance are still countless. So, we must mindfully comprehend this.

This previous sutra passage says, “There were no human settlements, villages, cities, oceans, rivers, mountain streams or forest swamps. Very precious incense was burned, and Mandarava flowers were scattered all across the earth.

This is our spiritual state. It is very calm and as pure as crystal. There are no human settlements in our hearts; there are no words of ordinary beings nor thoughts of ordinary beings. there are no such human settlements, nor any villages nor cities. Our hearts are calm. [There are no] “oceans and rivers”. Whether we have Great Vehicle capabilities, Middle Vehicle capabilities or they all converge [into the One Vehicle]. So, this Saha World has already transformed. “Precious incense” filled the atmosphere. Mandarava flowers were scattered all over the earth. This symbolizers the elimination of all defilements from our hearts. Now, our hearts are pure and complete. That atmosphere was a truly tranquil and wondrous state.

The following sutra passage says, “Jeweled nets and precious curtains covered it from above, and myriad precious bells were hung there. Only those in the assembly remained. The various heavenly beings were moved to other lands.”

Here, it expresses that “Jeweled nets and precious curtains covered it from above.” Besides the earth being completely clean, these jeweled nets and precious curtains covered it from above. These were made entirely of pearls and treasures. They were moven together and covered the world from above. This symbolizes how. “Among what Bodhisattvas practice, compassion is foremost.”

Jeweled nets and precious curtains covered it from above: Among what Bodhisattvas practice, compassion is foremost. Thus it says precious curtains covered everything. The way to Buddhahood cannot be attained without the precepts. Thus it says jeweled nets and precious curtains covered it from above.

Great compassion is the room. In terms of the thoughts of Bodhisattvas that we are talking about now, to begin, we need a heart of compassion. Compassion guides us as we follow the Bodhisattva practice. We must actualize the Six Paramitas in all actions. Practicing giving is about helping others, and helping comes from compassion. When we encounter beings we have no affinity with, we must [show them] great loving-kindness. When we see sentient beings suffering, we must have universal compassion. This is loving-kindness and compassion. When we are willing to help others, that is the paramita of giving. Compassion is foremost “among what Bodhisattvas practice.” So, “it says jeweled nets and precious curtains covered it from above.” All of those are previous objects.

Furthermore, “The way to Buddhahood cannot be attained without the precepts.” Therefore, we must have the precepts. Although we say noble beings and ordinary being are equal, although afflictions and Bodhi are also equal, when we are afflicted and go against the precepts, we become contaminated. To attain Buddhahood and purify ourselves, we must have the precepts.

So, it says in the precious passage that ropes bordered the path. Gold ropes were used to border this path, the Eightfold Noble Path. We must earnestly uphold the precepts in our perspectives, thinking, speech, actions, in our lives, [the way to Buddhahood]. [We must] “refrain from all evil and do all that is good.” We must prevent “human settlements,” meaning [romantic attachments of] men and women and so on. These transgressions are impure. So, in order to attain Buddhahood, we must have the precepts. On the Bodhisattva-path, compassion is foremost. “The way to Buddhahood.” So, for us to attain Buddhahood, we must have compassion on one hand and abide by the precepts on the other. So, giving and upholding the precepts are very important to the Bodhisattva practice. [To have] compassion is to create blessings, and upholding the precepts is wisdom; blessing and wisdom must be applied in parallel.

So, because of this, it says, “Jeweled nets and precious curtains covered it from above.” The earth is clean, and the jeweled nets and precious curtains cover it from above. Also, “Myriad precious bells were hung there. Only those in the assembly remained.

Myriad precious bells were hung there. Only those in the assembly remained: The sound of the bells represent the teaching of the Dharma. Those gathered alone remained, the assembly who listened to the Dharma.

Because all of the Buddha’s multiple manifestations were about arrive, everything was made very clean. A vast jeweled net and precious curtains covered the sky. Amidst this vastness, there were also “myriad precious bells hanging there.” They adorned this place. When we are indoors, we must earnestly clean the space very well we must earnestly clean the space very well. Even the refters and ceilings. We must also decorate with lamps and ribbons. This is all decorating the assembly space. We must put our heart into decorating; we must decorate from top to bottom. So, it says that these bells made [a wondrous] sound. We discussed before now the stupas of treasures also had ringing bells. The bells [adorning it] rang in the wind. When the bells rang, it was like music. This is metaphor for the Dharma the Buddha taught. This jeweled net was vast. The earth was boundless, and the jeweled net was limitless. This is where the myriad precious bells were hung. All the precious bells [made a wondrous] sound. When they moved in the wind, they rang out. “Those gathered alone remained, the assembly who listened to the Dharma.” Now at this place, only those who wanted to listen to the Dharma remained. Those who did not want to listen, “the various heavenly beings, were moved to other lands.”

The assembly ground were decorated. The people who wanted to listen drew near, and the people who did not want to listen went away. [It says they] “moved,” which means retreated; they moved away and left. So, “The various heavenly beings were moved to other lands. This means they were not in this assembly anymore. “With the Buddha spiritual power, He moved all the heavenly beings to other lands.” Because their capabilities could not resonate [with the Dharma], He moved them to another place. They were unwilling to listen, so [the Buddha] gave room to all those who wanted to come listen.

The next passage says, “At this time, all the Buddhas took a great Bodhisattva as Their attendant and came to the Saha World. They each arrived beneath the trees treasures.”

Now that the grounds were well adorned, to receive this teaching, the multiple manifestations came from all directions. Do you remember? The Buddha emitted a light which shone eastward. [Everything seen] in one direction also [existed] in the other directions. Including the four intermediate directions, this makes eight directions, plus above and below. [All Buddhas] from the ten directions began moving. They all gathered together like this. With every Buddha that came, a Bodhisattva came with Them to the Saha World. Each of the Buddha’s multiple manifestations brought only one Bodhisattva with Them. How bid was this place of practice? How many Buddhas from those worlds could hold? If each Buddha brought too many [attendants], how could this world contain them? So, each Buddha brought with Them one Bodhisattva to come “as Their attendant.”

At this time, all the Buddha took a great Bodhisattva as Their attendant: Each of the Buddha’s multiple manifestations of the ten directions brought one great Bodhisattva as Their attendant.

In this Saha World, [the Buddhas] from each direction manifested beneath the tree of treasures. These beings had already arrived, had come to the Saha World. The Saha World contained trees of treasures, which are the same as the Bodhi-tree. Every Buddha sat under a tree of treasures. They took their places like this, under a tree of treasures. This is how “the multiple manifestations gathered like clouds.” These multiple manifestations now gathered there like clouds, “pervading the great chilicosm, His multiple manifestations from one direction had yet to be accommodated. This serves to show how widely He had manifested.

[They] came to the Saha World They each arrived beneath the trees of treasures: In this realm, transformation-lands appeared in all directions. Beneath the trees of treasures, the multiple manifestations gathered like clouds, pervading the great chiliocosm. His multiple manifestations from one direction had yet to be accommodated.

This shows how the Buddha’s multiple manifestations all came from the ten directions. So, all of the Buddha’s multiple manifestations gathered like clouds. They were not only from this Saha World. The multiple manifestations came from many worlds. They had yet to be accommodated. Think about how widely He had manifested. Everywhere in the great trichiliocosm was a world that Sakyamuni Buddha transformed now accepted His Dharma and applied it to their lives. They then transformed sentient beings in Their own worlds so sentient beings could attain the Bodhisattva-path. Thus, He taught extensively, using the same Dharma to transform all beings. So, the gathering of the Buddha’s multiple manifestations means that the Dharma scattered around the universe and the great chiliocosm was all gathered together. The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas follow each other, which means the Buddhas teach and transform the Bodhisattvas.

Previously, we said, “Compassion is foremost,” and that we must also actualize the Six Paramitas in all actions. Giving, upholding the precepts, patience, diligence, Samadhi and wisdom are the Six Paramitas we must actualize. This is the path we must follow. This path leads us through the world, which is defiled. The world’s defilements have led to the appearance of “formation, existence, decay and disappearance,” continuously emerging [before us]. Now we frequently discuss environmental issues. We have seen how educating others on environmental protection is constantly being promoted. We see that in Malaysia, they begin this I n pre-school. What does our Great Love Pre-school teach these children? They start with recycling. They first help the children understand what the greenhouse effect is. How did they tell the children that the earth has a fever? How did they help them understand this? First, they assembled [a tent] outside. They used plastic bags that they gathered, and they put them together to form a tent. Then they had the children go in and hold class inside the tent. Seeing that all the children were sweating and wiping away their sweat, then the teacher asked, “How do you feel? Do you like having class here?” The four or five-year-olds children responded, “We are all about to melt away!” The teacher then asked, “Should we have class in here every day?” The children replied, “No!” “Why not?” “Because it is too hot.” The teacher then began to teach the children, [asking,] “Why is it so hot?” The students began to tell the teachers why. The teachers showed a program about how our world today [suffers from] disasters caused by floods and powerful storms. During these disasters, the flood waters surge and crash. The children said, “That is so scary!” In the rushing waters, houses collapse, and the people there suffer greatly! The children said, “This is so sad!”

Next [the video showed disasters caused by] wind, other disasters caused by the four elements. These were shown to the children one by one. The children were taught through this experience. By the time they came out [of the tent,] [the teacher asked], “What do you wish for now?” The children replied, “We want to drink water. We sweat so much, so we need to drink water.” “How are you going to drink water? The buckets are all empty, so there is no water to drink. Why is there no water?” The teachers then explained the reason to them. It is because we continually draw water and oil from the ground and so on. This is how they teach environmental protection. After the children understood it, finally, they asked them, “Why do [all these disasters happen]?” The children answered, “It is because of the greenhouse effect that we have these kinds of disasters.” “Yes, and do these disasters cause suffering?” "They do!” “How will you now give back to the earth? How will you eliminate these disasters?” They said, “We must recycle, carry reusable bags and not buy toys. We must conserve water, paper and electricity" and so on. After a lesson like this, the children began to understand. This is education. We teach them while they are young. It is very easy for teachers to teach preschoolers. When the Buddha taught sentient beings, they were very dull in capabilities and stubborn. Why was that? It was because they were defiled by the world. They had severe turbidities and afflictions, so for them to accept the Dharma, it was difficult. It is difficult to purify our minds. So, with Bodhisattva-seeds, we need to practice compassion. To attain the Buddha’s fruit, we must uphold the precepts. So, we must always be mindful.

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