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 20180510《靜思妙蓮華》佛性平等 微妙廣大 (第1345集) (法華經·提婆達多品第十二)

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20180510《靜思妙蓮華》佛性平等 微妙廣大 (第1345集) (法華經·提婆達多品第十二) Empty
發表主題: 20180510《靜思妙蓮華》佛性平等 微妙廣大 (第1345集) (法華經·提婆達多品第十二)   20180510《靜思妙蓮華》佛性平等 微妙廣大 (第1345集) (法華經·提婆達多品第十二) Empty周三 五月 09, 2018 11:02 pm

20180510《靜思妙蓮華》佛性平等 微妙廣大 (第1345集) (法華經·提婆達多品第十二)

⊙智慧明了,信受正法,照徹無礙;謂人聽聞佛法,廣解其義明曉,以是功德,開發本有智性慧根,身心猛利,能修梵行攝心清淨。
⊙有娑竭羅龍王女,年始八歲,顯童真之稚年,即有如是高瞻遠慮之智慧,明達利根觀機教,得諸大陀羅尼門,總持一切妙法藏,深入明戒定慧具,剎那明具德速證,皆歸一乘曰廣大。
⊙有四種悉檀: 一者、世界悉檀。二者、為人悉檀。三者、對治悉檀。四者、第一義悉檀。四悉檀中總攝一切,十二部經,八萬四千法藏,實相無相違背。
⊙「智積問文殊師利言,此經甚深微妙,諸經中寶,世所希有,頗有眾生,勤加精進,修行此經,速得佛不。」《法華經提婆達多品第十二》
⊙「文殊師利言:有娑竭羅龍王女,年始八歲,智慧利根,善知眾生諸根行業,得陀羅尼。」《法華經提婆達多品第十二》
⊙此段文釋龍女受持是法華經,明徹曉了悟,大乘一實妙法,能直至菩提。⊙年始八歲:顯童蒙之年,有高遠之智。智慧利根:明慧利根能觀機宜。
⊙善知眾生諸根行業,得陀羅尼:善能了知一切眾生,種種根性,造作種種行業明了,獲得總持門。
⊙多慧則根利,根利多慧故,則善知眾生其根,所造作善惡業,於經義則能得其總持。

【證嚴上人開示】
智慧明了,信受正法,照徹無礙;謂人聽聞佛法,廣解其義明曉,以是功德,開發本有智性慧根,身心猛利,能修梵行攝心清淨。

智慧明了
信受正法
照徹無礙
謂人聽聞佛法
廣解其義明曉
以是功德
開發本有智性慧根
身心猛利
能修梵行
攝心清淨

用心來體會啊!「智慧明了,信受正法,照徹無礙」。學佛就是要啟發我們的智慧。智慧入心,是從法入心;法能入心,那就是要從我們信,一定要信,深信。人生懵懂,很多事情都不清楚,無法能夠了解,就是因為我們的智慧未開;智慧未開,就是因為我們的法沒入心,我們法若入心,自然智慧就開。要法入心,就是要先有信,要徹底的信受正法,才有辦法智慧開啟,才有辦法照徹無礙,人、事、物一切,要如何將事理會合起來。

這幾天一直在向大家說,事與理要會合,光是說道理,沒有事相來印證,這樣道理無法明顯。文殊與智積兩位菩薩,就是要將這個道理,讓大家先深信明瞭,若能深信,才有辦法接受法,才有辦法啟開智慧,是這兩尊菩薩的目的。一個人講理,一個人要問法,替我們眾生來問,講理、問法,也要有這個相,事相現前,循循善誘來引導我們。海龍宮教化的事實,就用道理說出來,事實來證明,也是智積菩薩又追根究柢,還是要讓我們更清楚。

所以「謂人聽聞佛法,廣解其義明曉」,就是要讓我們人人聽,聽佛法,要再更廣、更廣,因為佛法是甚深微密,是很深奧、很微細,道理是綿密,一點點空檔都沒有疏漏掉,裡面無不都是道理,非常地微細,微細得很奧妙,奧妙得如毫芒藏乾坤,這種這樣看不到的道理,但是就是藏乾坤。

我們平時在看的,每樣都清澈明朗,其實這個清澈明朗的空間裡,有很多微生物在,這是我們的肉眼看不到,大乾坤,就是含蓋著這麼多粗相,眼睛一看,看得到;微,微到像毫芒,用顯微鏡將它放大,這樣才看得到,還有連顯微鏡都看不到的。這個空間能量,量子,現在的科學豈不就是這樣嗎?實在是很綿密的道理,我們要相信,我們要了解。

聽法,也要用這麼微細的心,很深,很深的信。道理既然那麼深,我們的信解也都要那麼深,我們所要接受的,也是要跟他一樣,那麼的深奧的道理,我們也要將它接受來。這是要讓我們人人要知道,聽聞佛法就是要這樣,「廣解其義明曉」,很廣、很深、很微、很密,我們全都要去將它體會、了解。所以「以是功德,開發本有智性慧根」。我們若能這樣用功,「功德」就是用功,用功所得到,因為道理是這樣,我們要真正下功夫,比較粗相的,就是人與人之間,事物之間,我們的行動,人看得到的、體會得到的,這也是要從我們的心,很微細的心,誠正信實。「誠」,對人表現出了至誠的心念,這根本就看不到的「誠」,但是你對人,我們就是要,很用心的誠意去付出,那就是很微細了。那個心看不到,非常的綿密。

常常說「一切唯心造」,我們一念心的誠意,你對看得到的,人、事、物去付出,這就是廣闊。人很多,天下間不是只有你對我,我們對他,不是這樣而已;還有你不認識、我不認識,他也不認識,不只是在小範圍,還有彼此不相識,就是大的範圍。世間,光是說地球,五大洲,不同的人種、不同的國度、不同的種族、不同的宗教,這麼開闊的人類,我們也是一樣,要用很綿密,那分真誠的心,為天下去付出,這就是「廣」。

佛法,它普遍對人類,那分含蓋、開闊的愛與誠意,這是天下人類。豈只是對人類而已?佛陀所說的眾生類,天地之間眾生類有多少啊?有微生物、有植物、有動物、有人類,有很多這個理,這一切的東西,歸納的那個各生物界,「六道四生」,這些我們都含蓋在內,所以我們要「廣解」,一切都要了解,那些意義,那些道理,我們都要知道,所以這是很深。佛法所含蓋、所了解的,有這麼的多,所以用功,這就是功德。

我們不只是知道、知道,我們還要在知道的範圍,需要我們去做,我們又做得到,這就是「得」,所以「功德」,我們所得的功德,所以「德者,得也」,你下功夫,所得到的這個德,就是我們要去付出。所以「以是功德,開發本有智性慧根」,這些事情我們要去用功透徹,自然這叫做「開發」。我們自己的內心,充滿了煩惱無明,如來藏性,我們的真如本性,受很多無明煩惱覆蓋住,我們現在就是要去開發,要不然智慧,要如何來照徹出來呢?所以我們必定,要很了解這佛法之後,要很廣闊,全都了解了,然後才有辦法學。我們一定要下功夫去開發,才有辦法了解、明曉這些意義。所以,我們本有智性的慧根,在如來藏性之中,上面的煩惱無明、塵沙惑,我們若全都將它去除,這就是我們要下功夫,時時用誠意來對人。我們要用微細的心,這個正,正確的心念,正思、正見、正解、正念、正思惟等等,我們的正行,去除煩惱無明,不會再犯錯。但是為天下眾生能付出的誠意,我們都一定付出,這就是積功累德。

煩惱無明去除了,不斷去除煩惱無明,不斷累功積德,這樣叫做修功。「內修即是功,外行即是德」,就是這樣,天下眾生、六道四生含蓋在內,我們能夠這樣去付出。心常常都是很開闊、很歡喜,人間雖然苦難偏多,但是將自己的小我放開了,自然的法則不在意,總是人群中,能盡多少的心力,我們就盡多少的本分、力量,去付出,這樣「心無罣礙,無罣礙故,無有恐怖」,看開了自然法則。我們有多少的菩薩在做好事,雖然自己身體有病,也是帶病,不離人群在付出,這就是看開了自然法則;自然法則,我們清楚了,對我們本身沒有煩惱,但是天下眾生,我們有多少力量、多少的本分良能,我們就付出多少。這就是平時修行,要如何將我們的煩惱去除,功德累積,就是要用這樣的方法。

所以,「以是功德,開發本有智性慧根」,我們要無明煩惱去除,如來藏性將它開發出來,這就是本有的智性,我們人人本具,慧根才有辦法現前起來。所以「身心猛利,能修梵行」,我們若能夠這樣,一步一步向前,他本有的智性慧根,我們都已經開發出來,我們的心和我們的身,「身」就是載道器。我們是否還記得智積菩薩說,龍,龍的性是憍慢,龍的身非載道器,智積菩薩這樣說。所以他才說:「你去龍宮教化,有辦法接受這個法嗎?即使能夠接受,又是多少呢?」這就是因為那個眾生類,身非載道器。唯有我們人間能夠修行,因為我們的人身就是載道器,用我們的身體力行。我們能夠為天下不同的國籍,不同的人類種族,只要我們有心,只要我們誠意,我們就能夠去付出,這就是我們的「身」,有我們的身體,有辦法去付出。

但是,佛是超越這個載道器,有人類的身形,他是認為所有的眾生皆有佛性。這就是智慧和那無上等的智慧,還有差一點點,就是菩薩和佛,還有一點點的差別,就是在這裡。文殊菩薩是古來佛現前,文殊菩薩其實是古來佛,所以他能夠到龍宮度化,一切眾生皆有佛性,所以,所有的眾生都可度啊!所以「身心猛利,能修梵行,攝心清淨」。所有的眾生,不論他的身形是什麼,他都同樣可以修行,所以沒有身體那個種類的分別,所以只要這功德,有這個誠意修行,我們無明去除,本有的智性慧根啟發起來,這樣自然「身心猛利,能修梵行,攝心清淨」。

這裡,這一段,就是要跟我們說,一切眾生皆有佛性,我們要用心聽,去體會,我們才有辦法這個智慧,去透徹明瞭,去照徹無礙,不會受這種類分別,將我們障礙到,我們必須無明去除,煩惱無明都沒有了,無掛礙,無掛礙故,自然就沒有障礙了。這就是我們要很用心去體會。

因為接下來這段文,就是要表達出了,龍女能夠很快就成佛。

有娑竭羅龍王女
年始八歲
顯童真之稚年
即有如是
高瞻遠慮之智慧
明達利根觀機教
得諸大陀羅尼門
總持一切妙法藏
深入明戒定慧具
剎那明具德速證
皆歸一乘曰廣大

文殊菩薩他要向大家證明,「有娑竭羅龍王女,年始八歲,顯童真之稚年,即有如是高瞻遠慮之智慧」。這樣的孩子,這麼年糼,又是在龍宮的龍女,她八歲而已,她就有這樣的智慧了。她「明達利根觀機教」,她能夠觀機逗教,才八歲而已。「得諸大陀羅尼門」,她已經得到大陀羅尼門,「總持一切妙法藏,深入明戒定慧具」,就是「剎那明具德速證」。就是在這剎那之間,很快,表達出她的德已經具足了,所以她會很快就證佛果,很快就能夠證悟了。這就是「皆歸一乘曰廣大」,就是一佛乘的教理,能夠用心去體會,自然就是「慈悲平等觀」。

連龍女,年齡又是這麼的幼小,她就有這麼廣大,很長遠那個智慧,她可以明達道理,那個根機很廣大,所以她能夠得到,大陀羅尼總持門。這大家應該要記得。這個「大陀羅尼,總持一切妙法藏」。這個大陀羅尼門,總持,那就是我們平時所在講的「四悉檀」,能夠總持。要用什麼方法入人群度眾生?這要有這個大陀羅尼門。這諸大陀羅尼門,它能夠總持一切法,持一切智。過去常常向大家講過了,這總持門,「總一切法,持一切善」,大總持門,這就是深入,要「明戒定慧」。「總一切法,持一切善」,要了解「戒定慧」;不只是了解,還要真正的嚴密,要持戒、定、慧三無漏學。

這過去不是一段很長的時間,和大家在分享,這「三無漏法」嗎?所以我們要很用心去體會。《法華經》裡面所含蓋的,全都包含在裡面,用心體會,銘刻在心版,自然就不會將它忘記了。若能夠這樣,有這個智慧,戒、定、慧,有戒,沒有犯戒就沒有煩惱;沒有煩惱,自然就有定心;定心,自然就得到智慧;智慧一得,自然就是能夠在剎那間,凡事都很明朗,剎那間,都能夠了解。所有要做的事情,該付出的,我們全都具足。所以,「明具德」,很明朗,也是很具足這個德,菩薩因德都具足了,這樣任何事情就都很清楚,自然最後那個一乘廣大法,一接觸,無不通徹了解。過去有這樣做過,自然我們就能夠接受,通徹了解。這「總持門」,那就是「四悉檀」,總一切法。

有四種悉檀:
一者、世界悉檀
二者、為人悉檀
三者、對治悉檀
四者、第一義悉檀
四悉檀中總攝一切
十二部經
八萬四千法藏
實相無相違背

「悉檀」二字,就是「普施」的意思,一切一切,我們全都要去施。「總一切」,就是普遍,我們要去施,就是行,我們要去行動,要去付出,這「普施」。所以「四悉壇中總攝一切」,「十二部經,八萬四千法藏」,都是實相,全都沒有違背,都是在這個陀羅尼門,「總一切法、持一切善」的裡面,
龍女,她已經能夠得,「得諸大陀羅尼門,總持一切妙法藏」,那就是這「四悉檀」裡面,全都得了。所以因為這樣,「深入明戒定慧具」,我們所要做的一切,回歸到初修行的戒、定、慧,去除煩惱,我們開啟我們的智慧。這樣就自然剎那明達道理,具足我們這個德,早就已經不斷累積來的德行,六度萬行,我們就是這樣已經走過來,所以證,「速證」,很快就能夠得到,剎那間,很快就能夠成佛了。皆歸一乘廣大的教義,希望大家能夠了解。

所以前面的文:「智積問文殊師利言,此經甚深微妙,諸經中寶,世所希有,頗有眾生,勤加精進,修行此經,速得佛不。」

智積問文殊師利言
此經甚深微妙
諸經中寶
世所希有
頗有眾生勤加精進
修行此經
速得佛不
《法華經提婆達多品第十二》

這是智積在問文殊,這麼深,微妙的法,「諸經中寶」,尤其你說在那裡,都講《法華經》,這是諸經中寶哦!其實有很多眾生,都很勤加精進在修行,但是,是不是有這樣,很快就能夠證果?有這樣,行這樣的因,要得到這樣的果,豈是這麼簡單?就是這樣在問。

接下來文殊菩薩就開始要說了,「文殊師利言」,文殊菩薩回答了。「有娑竭羅龍王女,年始八歲,智慧利根,善知眾生諸根行業,得陀羅尼。」

文殊師利言
有娑竭羅龍王女
年始八歲
智慧利根
善知眾生諸根行業
得陀羅尼
《法華經提婆達多品第十二》

這龍王女年齡才八歲而已,就很有智慧,很利根,而且都已經了解眾生的根機,是鈍還是利,眾生所做的是善還是惡,這龍王女都知道。這段文,就是解釋「龍女受持是法華經明徹曉了,悟大乘一實妙法」,所以「能直至菩提」。

此段文釋龍女受持
是法華經
明徹曉了悟
大乘一實妙法
能直至菩提

這樣在為我們解釋。龍王女她所修的行,就是一直受持《法華經》,對《法華經》的道理很深信,透徹了解,而且身體力行,就是有去投入,去做了之後,體悟了,了解這個道理是「大乘一實妙法」。這些道理,不只是透徹了解,也已經「六度萬行」了,這是「直至菩提」,就是行菩薩道。

文殊師利就是這樣說,回答的就是這樣,這娑竭羅龍王女的智慧,龍王的一個女兒,就是這樣,八歲而已,就有這樣這麼大的智慧。「有大智慧」,這麼大的智慧;「根性聰利」,那個根和她的本性,這麼的聰明、有智慧,很利根,她的年齡才是八歲而已。這也要說,不只是我們「四生」沒有分別,胎生、卵生、溼生、化生,不論他是什麼身形,連年齡都沒有分別。

看,不用一定說他是多少歲,年紀幼小,在這個幼年的年齡,才八歲而已,就是還在「童蒙之年」。若是在我們的人類,八歲,知道什麼呢?才在讀小學而已,老師才要為他啟蒙啊!每樣都還是在很懵懂的時候,對事情還不很清楚,所以他就要開始讀書,老師才為他啟蒙。這八歲,現在也差不多我們人類,是二年級的學生,三年級的學生,卻是他有這樣的智慧。

若想到八歲,我們有一群小菩薩,昨天也有很多,我們同仁的孩子,這樣三四歲、四五歲、五六歲,在昨天下午歲末祝福的,「入經藏」的裡面,他們也是一樣啊!《藥師經》,他們也入經藏去了,也很可愛呢!尤其是我們(靜思)書軒,書軒小志工,那也是這樣啊!整部經全都背起來了,他們也都一一發願,幾十個,這次,今年在歲末祝福,大家也集合來皈依,甚至自己會說十戒。問他們說:「皈依是什麼意思,你們知道嗎?」「知道啊!反黑歸白啊!黑就是惡,不能做;白就是善,要多行善啊!」換他們來說給我聽。我說:「這樣,你們要守什麼規矩,你們知道嗎?」「知道啊!十戒。」哇,開始「十戒」就背出來了。這群比八歲年紀更小,有七歲、六歲、五歲,都有,他們也懂得這樣「三皈五戒」,連「三皈」也講出來了。要知道,我們年齡沒有分,眾生的類別,類形也沒有差別,所以我們應該就要相信。

年始八歲:
顯童蒙之年
有高遠之智
智慧利根:
明慧利根
能觀機宜

所以這龍王女,八歲,「童蒙之年」,還是這樣懵懂的年齡裡,卻有這麼高的智慧。所以這個「智慧利根」,「明慧利根,能觀機宜」,就是很透徹,明達一切的智慧,非常的利,很猛利,不是鈍根,是很利。講的道理,一聞即通,那就是聞一知十、知百、知千,問一項的道理,我們說過了,甚深的道理,講到來是很難哦,真實微密的道理,要分析到來,也很不可能。但是,我們看到經文,遇到事項,完全體會了解,一理應萬事,這叫做利根,很快,一項的道理,我們就「一理通,萬理徹」,這種微密的道理,甚深,「一理通,萬理徹」,這叫做「智慧利根」。你說一項,我知道了,我任何事情,這樣我都通了,這就是智慧利根。所以,「明慧利根,能觀機宜」。所有的根機,她全都了解。

善知眾生諸根行業
得陀羅尼:
善能了知一切眾生
種種根性
造作種種行業明了
獲得總持門

所以「善知眾生諸根行業,得陀羅尼」。因為道理一聞即通,眾生所行,所造作的是善、是惡,她也都很了解了,因為她已經得陀羅尼門,就是總持門。而且眾生的善惡業,她就有這個總持門,體會眾生種種的根機,種種的苦難,要如何去施教,要如何去度眾生,都透徹了解了。所以「能善了知一切眾生種種根性」,一切眾生的根性都了解了,「造作種種行業」,也都明白了,所以得到陀羅尼,總持門。

所以她已經是「多慧」,也就是利根,智慧很多,就是非常的猛利,一理通,萬理徹,完全了解了,甚深、微密的道理,聽一點點,她就散播在乾坤裡,全都透徹了解了,這道理清楚了。

多慧則根利
根利多慧故
則善知眾生其根
所造作善惡業
於經義
則能得其總持

所以「多慧」,也就是利根,「根利多慧故,則善知眾生其根,所造作善惡業」,就知道眾生的根機,所造作是善是惡的業。所以「於經義」,在這個經的意義,「則能得其總持」。經裡面的意義,她全都這樣總持了,總一切善,明瞭了,持一切法,沒有漏掉,這就是大乘法。這智慧的力量,真的無處不在,應該能夠體會到眾生的根性,沒有分別類形,身體的類形。

在這眾生類中,也有這樣很奇妙的道理。一隻狗,很奇妙,這就是在烏克蘭,有這樣的新聞出來。一隻狗受傷了,另外一隻狗這樣陪伴著牠。受傷,在那鐵軌中間,這隻受傷的狗,就是沒有辦法離開那個地方,另外一隻狗,就是因為同伴無法離開那裡,牠就在那個地方照顧牠。在這個時間霜雪下很大,很大的霜雪,這樣這隻狗在那個地方,鐵軌,火車來往很多啊!牠受傷,又下大雪,另外這隻狗在那個地方,這樣用牠身體的溫,溫度,這樣去覆在這隻狗的身上。火車來了,趕緊,這隻狗把這隻受傷的狗,這樣趕緊將牠壓下去,兩隻狗相疊,這樣壓下去,火車這樣過。

這時間,足足兩天的時間。兩天的時間,終於有人看到了,所以,有一位開車從那個地方,他看到,看到鐵軌那裡有這個東西,好像有東西,有在動的東西,所以去看清楚一點。就是剛好遇到這樣,那隻狗,就是在那雪中,這樣覆著另外一隻狗,看到火車來,趕緊把頭順便將它壓下去,這樣兩隻都平在地上,伏在地上,火車高高這樣過去,平安無事。這個人,他看了。後來就聽到人家說:「這有兩天的時間了。」這個人趕緊,就趕快把這兩隻狗救出來,自己用車將牠們載到車上。看到上車了,還看到那隻健康的狗,還是在這隻受傷的狗的身上,用牠的身體,這樣溫暖著另外這隻狗。

這位救狗的人,他也很感動啊。有相片,一張相片,在那車子裡,這兩隻狗,一隻受傷,一隻好好的,這新聞刊出來了,這就是在烏克蘭這個地方。那麼,想想看,這是動物,動物有這樣的愛心,沒有捨棄牠的夥伴,真的很,很令人感動啊!尤其是那麼的危險,火車來了,應該是自己趕緊快跑,牠的夥伴無法拖離開,至少也自己要趕快跑啊!牠不是自己快跑,是將牠的朋友,頭趕緊將它壓低下去,連牠自己壓在上面,火車就這樣過去,平安。這麼的危險,捨命救友,這動物界的裡面也有啊!

你想,這性,人本具,如來藏性,眾生都本來具有啊!看看龍女,海龍宮的龍女,八歲,年齡是這樣;這狗到底是幾歲?我們不知道,就有這樣的智慧了。所以說,一切眾生皆得成佛,只要真正是在這個因緣果報中,我們的因行具足了,善的因行具足,自然無明的煩惱去除,我們本性清淨,透徹了解,道理體悟,這樣就能夠成佛了。所以我們大家要時時多用心!


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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: The Buddha-Nature Is Equal in All (佛性平等 微妙廣大)
Date: May. 10.2018

“With clear wisdom, we will faithfully accept the Right Dharma which illuminates without obstruction. This means that when we listen to the Buddha-Dharma, we must have a broad understanding and clearly comprehend its meaning. With these merits and virtues, we will uncover our intrinsic nature and root of wisdom. Our body and mind will be fiercely sharp. We will be able to engage in purifying practices and tame and purify our mind.”

We must mindfully seek to comprehend this! “With clear wisdom, we will faithfully accept the Right Dharma which illuminates without obstruction.” We learn the Buddha’s teachings in order to inspire our wisdom. For wisdom to arise in our minds, we must take the Dharma to heart. In order to take the Dharma to heart, we must have faith. We absolutely must have faith.

Life is spent in confusion; there are so many things we do not know. We cannot understand because our wisdom has not yet awakened. Our wisdom has not yet awakened because we have not taken the Dharma to heart. If we take the Dharma to heart, naturally our wisdom will awaken. To take the Dharma to heart, we must first have faith. We must thoroughly believe in and accept the Right Dharma; only then will we be able to inspire our wisdom. We can then illuminate without obstruction all people, matters and things and find ways to unify matters and principles.

During the last few days I have been talking about the importance of unifying matters and principles. If we only talk about the principles with no matters or appearances to confirm them, we will be unable to clearly convey them. Manjusri Bodhisattva and Wisdom Accumulated Bodhisattva wanted to help everyone first have deep faith and a clear understanding of these principles. If they could have deep faith, they would be able to accept the Dharma, which would enable them to awaken their wisdom. This was the goal of these two Bodhisattvas. One taught the principles and the other requested teachings, asking questions on behalf of us sentient beings. But to teach the principles and ask for teachings, there needed to be appearances; matters and appearances had to be manifested to patiently and skillfully guide us. The matter of teaching and transforming [the beings in] the dragon palace in the ocean was explained through the principles which were then proven by the actual events. This was how Wisdom Accumulated sought to get to the bottom of these matters to help us understand them even more clearly.

So, “This means that when we listen to the Buddha-Dharma, we must have a broad understanding and clearly comprehend its meaning.” This is to help us all broaden our understanding as we listen to the Buddha-Dharma. The Buddha-Dharma is extremely profound and subtle. It is very profound, very subtle and intricate. Its principles are very intricately connected. There is not even the slightest gap left between them. [The Buddha-Dharma] contains only true principles. It is extremely subtle and intricate, so intricate that it is truly wondrous. It is as wondrous as being able to see the world in a speck of dust. These principles cannot be seen, but they [pervade] the entire universe.

Usually, when we look at things, we see everything very clearly. But in fact, in this bright, well-lit space, there are many microorganisms that cannot be seen with the naked eye. The macrocosm contains many clearly visible things that can be seen with the naked eye.

For those very small, very tiny things, we can use a microscope to magnify them. Then we can see them too. But there are also things that cannot even be seen with a microscope. This space and energy are [measured using] quanta. Isn’t this what science uses nowadays? These are truly very intricate principles. We must have faith in them and understand them.

Listening to the Dharma also requires such a meticulous mindset and very deep faith. Since the principles are so deep, our faith and understanding must be just as deep. In terms of what we accept, we must be just like [the Buddha]; we too need to accept these very profound principles. This way, everyone can know that to listen to the Buddha-Dharma, we must be like this. “We must have a broad understanding and clearly comprehend its meaning.” It is very broad, very profound, very subtle and very intricate, and we must seek to comprehend all of it. So, “With these merits and virtues, we will uncover our intrinsic nature and root of wisdom.” If we can work hard, merits and virtues are what we attain through our efforts. Because the principles are like this, we must truly put in the effort.

What is apparent in our relationships with people and in how we deal with matters are our actions. These are seen and experienced by others. [Our actions] must come from our hearts, from a very meticulous mindset of sincerity, integrity, faith and steadfastness.

“Sincerity” is to express our sincere thoughts to people. We cannot actually see “sincerity,” but it is [perceived in] how we treat others. We must serve others with very mindfully sincerity. This is very subtle. This [sincerity] cannot be seen; it is very fine. We often say, “All things are created by the mind.” The sincerity in our minds can be seen in how we give for the sake of people, maters and things. This is very expansive. There are so many people. This world is not just made up of you and me. It is not just about those that [we know]. There are also those that you and I do not know. They do not know [us] either. It is not just on a small scale. There are also those we do not know. This is on a large scale.

In this world, on this planet alone, there are five continents. There are different people, different countries, different ethnicities and different religions. Though the human race is so vast, we still need to maintain this meticulous and sincere mindset and serve everyone in this world. This is having “broad [understanding]”. The Buddha-Dharma treats the entire human race with the same broad and all-encompassing sincerity and love. This is toward the entire human race. But does it stop at human begins? The Buddha speaks of sentient beings. How many kinds of sentient beings are there in this world? There are microorganisms, plants, animals and human beings.

There are so many of these principles. All of these beings have their own habitats among the Six Realms and Four Forms of Birth. We have to [embrace] all of these. So, we must have a “broad understanding”; we must understand them all. We must know all of these meanings and principles. So, it is very profound. The Buddha-Dharma contains and explains so many things. So, by putting in effort, [we attain] merits and virtues. It is not just about knowing something. Within the scope of this knowledge, we must also [know to] take action and be bake to do it. This is “attainment”. So, “merits and virtues” [refers to] the merits and virtues we have attained.

“With virtue comes attainment.” We work hard and attain this virtue. This is [done by] going out to serve others. So, “With these merits and virtues, we will uncover our intrinsic nature and root of wisdom.” We must work hard to thoroughly understand this. Naturally, this is “uncovering” [what is within]. Our minds are full of afflictions and ignorance. Our Tathagata-garbha nature, our nature of True Suchness, is covered by so much ignorance and afflictions. Now, we must uncover it. Otherwise, how could our wisdom shine forth? So, we must understand the Buddha-Dharma a very deeply; we must have a very broad, complete understanding. Then we will be able to learn. We must work hard to uncover this so that we can thoroughly understand [the Dharma] and uncover its meaning.

So, we all have a root wisdom within our Tathagata-garbha nature. As for the afflictions, ignorance and dust-like delusions just mentioned, to eliminate them all requires us to put in a lot of effort and constantly treat others with sincerity. We must keep a meticulous mindset. We must have correct thoughts, right thoughts, right views, right understanding, right mindfulness, right thinking etc. When we act with right conduct and rid ourselves of afflictions and ignorance we will no longer make mistakes. Instead, we will be able to serve all sentient begins in the world with sincerity. We must serve them all. This is how we accumulate merits and virtues and eliminate afflictions and ignorance.

As we continually eliminate, we will continually accumulate merits and virtues. This is the cultivation of merits. “Internal cultivation brings merit, and external practice brings virtue.” This is how it is. All sentient beings in the world includes all beings of the Six Realms and Four Forms of Birth. If we are able to serve them like this, our hearts will constantly be wide-open and very joyful. Although this world is full of suffering, when we let go of our own small self, we stop warring about [illness, aging and death]. When we go among people, however much effort we can expend, that is how much energy we put forth as we serve others.

Thus, “The mind is without hindrances; there are no hindrances, so there is no fear”. We no longer worry about beings subject to the laws of nature. We have so many Bodhisattvas doing good things. Although they are ill themselves, they still go among people to serve. This is no longer worrying about being subject to the laws of nature. They clearly understand the laws of nature. They have no worries for their own body, but when it comes to all sentient begins of the world, whatever strength or ability they have, that is how much effort they put forth to serve. This is how, through their everyday practice, they eliminate afflictions and accumulate merits virtues. This is the method we must use.

So, “With these merits and virtues, we will uncover our intrinsic nature and root of wisdom”. We must eliminate ignorance and afflictions and uncover our Tathagata-garbha nature. This innate wisdom-nature is something we all intrinsically have. Only like this can we reveal our root of wisdom. So, “Our body and mind will be fiercely sharp. We will be able to engage in purifying practices”. If we can keep moving forward step by step, we can uncover our innate root of wisdom in our mind and in our body. Our body is a vehicle for spiritual practice. Do we still remember how. Wisdom Accumulated Bodhisattva said that dragons are arrogant by nature and that a dragon’s body is not a vehicle for spiritual practice? This is what Wisdom Accumulated Bodhisattva said. He then continued, “When you went to the dragon palace to teach and transform, were the beings there able to accept the Dharma? “If they were able to accept it, how much did they [understand]”? He said this because that kind of sentient being’s body is not a vehicle for spiritual practice. Only in our human realm can we engage in spiritual practice. This is because our human bodies are vehicles for spiritual practice. By putting the teachings into action, we can serve people of different nationalities and different ethnicities.

As long as we are willing and sincere, we can go out and give of ourselves for others. This is [using] our bodies. We need a body in order to help others. But the Buddha went beyond [the thinking that only] human beings’ bodies are suitable vehicles for spiritual practice. He believed all sentient beings have Buddha-nature.

This is the slight difference between “wisdom” and supreme wisdom”; this is where a Bodhisattva and a Buddha still differ slightly. Manjusri Bodhisattva was a past Buddha who manifested [in this world]. Manjusri Bodhisattva was, in fact, a past Buddha. So, he was able to go to the dragon palace to teach and transform. All sentient beings have Buddha-nature, so all sentient beings can be transformed!

Thus, “Our body and mind will be fiercely sharp. We will be able to engage in purifying practices and tame and purify our mind”. All sentient beings, no matter their physical form, can engage in spiritual practice. So, there is no distinction between the bodies of different species. We just need to have merits and virtues. When we sincerely engage in practice to eliminate our ignorance and inspire our innate root of wisdom, naturally, “Our body and mind will be fiercely sharp. “We will be able to engage in purifying practices and tame and purify our mind”.

What this [sutra] passage is telling us is that all sentient beings have Buddha-nature. We must mindfully listen and comprehend this. We can then use this wisdom to thoroughly comprehend and illuminate without obstruction. We will not be hindered by this discrimination between species. We must eliminate ignorance. Without afflictions or ignorance, [our minds] will be free of hindrances. Then, naturally, we will have no obstructions.

This is something we must mindfully seek to comprehend. The next [sutra] passage demonstrates how the dragon girl could quickly attain Buddhahood.

There was a daughter of the dragon king Sagara who had just turned eight years old. This shows that even in the innocence of youth, one can have such wisdom of great foresight. With clear understanding and sharp capabilities, she perceived the capabilities of sentient beings and taught accordingly. She attained all great dharani-doors. She completely upheld the entire treasury of wondrous Dharma, deeply penetrated and understood and was replete in the precepts, Samadhi and wisdom. In an instant, she was replete in virtues and swiftly attained realization. This all returns to the vas One Vehicle.

Manjusri Bodhisattvas wanted to testify to everyone. “There was a daughter of the dragon king Sagara, who had just turned eight years old. This shows that even in the innocence of youth, one can have such a wisdom of great foresight”. This child was very young and moreover a dragon girl from the dragon palace. She was only eight years old, yet she had this kind of wisdom. “With clear understanding and sharp capabilities, she perceived the capabilities of sentient beings and taught accordingly”. She could perceive capabilities and teach accordingly even though she was only eight years old. “She attained all great dharani-door”. She had already attained the great dharani-door. “She completely upheld the entire treasury of wondrous Dharma, deeply penetrated [the Dharma], understood and was replete in the precepts, Samadhi and wisdom”.

Thus, “In an instant, she was replete in virtues and swiftly attained realization”. This means that in an instant, very quickly, she was replete in virtues. So, she was able to very quickly attain the Buddha-fruit; she could very quickly become enlightened. “This all returns to the vast One Vehicle”. This is the teaching of the One Buddha Vehicle. If we are mindful about understanding this, we will naturally “show compassion to all equally”. Even this dragon girl, who was so young, had such broad, vast and far-reaching wisdom. She could understand the principles. Her capabilities were very great, so she was able to attain the great dharani-door of total retention. Everyone should remember this “Great dharani” means to “retain and uphold the treasury of all wondrous Dharma”. The great dharani-door is to retain and uphold.

This is what we usually call “the Four Siddhantas,” the ability to retain and uphold. How do we go among and transform sentient beings? We need to have this great dharani-door. With “all great dharana-doors, we are able to retain and uphold all Dharma, upholding all wisdom.

In the past, we have often talked about the door of training and upholding “Retain all teachings, uphold all goodness.” This is the great door of retaining and upholding; it means to deeply enter [the Dharma]. For this, we must “understand precepts, Samadhi and wisdom.” To “retain teachings and uphold all goodness, we must understand “precepts, Samadhi and wisdom.” Not only must we understand them, but we must also very rigorously uphold the precepts, Samadhi and wisdom, the Three Flawless [Studies]. Wasn’t there a very long period of time when I shared with everyone about the Three Flawless Studies? So, we must mindfully seek to understand this.

Everything in the Lotus Sutra is contained within [the Three Flawless Studies]. We must mindfully seek to comprehend them and engrave them into our hearts, then naturally we will not forget them. That way, we will have this wisdom, precepts, Samadhi and wisdom. As long as we do not violate the precepts, we will not have any afflictions. Without afflictions, naturally we will have Samadhi. With Samadhi naturally we will have wisdom. Once we attain wisdom, naturally, in an instant, we will be able to understand all things very clearly. In an instant, we will understand everything. We will have done everything that must be done, will have given what was needed; we will be replete in [all this].

So, we will “replete in virtues”. We will understand and be replete in these virtues. We will be replete in all the causes and virtues of Bodhisattvas. In this way, no matter what it is, we will understand it very clearly. Ultimately, the broad and vast Dharma of the One Vehicle will, once encountered, naturally provide a thorough understanding of all things. Since we did this in the past, naturally, we will also be able to accept it and attained a thorough understanding. This “door of retaining and upholding is the Four Siddhantas; this is retaining all teachings.

There Four Siddhantas: 1. The worldly life siddhanta. 2. The individual siddhanta. 3. The curative siddhanta. 4. The supreme meaning siddhanta. The Four Siddhantas encompass the entirety of the twelve divisions of the Buddhist canon and the 8,4000 Dharma-treasuries. The ultimate reality is without appearance and free of contradiction.

“Siddhanta” refers to “giving universally”. In all things, we need to practice giving. “Retaining all” means doing it universally. We need to practice giving, putting it into action. We must use our actions to go out and serve others. This is “universal giving”. So, “The Four Siddhantas encompass the entirety of the twelve divisions of the Buddhist canon and the 8,4000 Dharma-treasuries.” These all [reveal] the ultimate reality. They are all free contradictions. They are all part of this dharani-door of “retaining all teachings” and “upholding all goodness”. The dragon girl was already able to attain this. “She attained all great dharana-doors. She completely upheld the entire treasury of wondrous Dharma. This is all within the Four Siddhantas. She had attained them all, so, because of this she “deeply entered [the Dharma] and understood and was replete in the precepts, Samadhi and wisdom.” Everything that we do returns to the initial practice of precepts, Samadhi and wisdom. By eliminating afflictions, we open up our wisdom. Thus, naturally we will instantaneously attain thorough understanding of the principles and be replete in virtues. We have already been accumulating virtue for a long time, actualizing the Six Paramitas in all actions. We are already walking this path. So, this is “swiftly attaining realization.” We can very quickly attain this. In an instant, very quickly, we can attain Buddhahood.

This is comes back to the broad and vast teachings of the One Vehicle. I hope everyone can understand this. So, in the previous sutra passage, “Wisdom Accumulated asked Manjusri, ‘This Sutra is extremely profound, subtle and wondrous. It is treasure among all sutras, a rarity in the world. Could there be any sentient beings who, by earnestly and diligently practicing this sutra, have been able to swiftly attain Buddhahood?’”

This is what Wisdom Accumulated Bodhisattva asked Manjusri Bodhisattva. “This is such profound, subtle and wondrous Dharma. It is a treasure among all sutras. Moreover, you said that in that place, you only taught the Lotus Sutra. This is a treasure among sutras! In fact, there are many sentient beings who are very diligently practicing it. But will doing this allow them to quickly attain fruition? Are there those who, by practicing this cause, will attain this fruit? Is it really that easy?” That is what he asked.

So, next, Manjusri Bodhisattva begins talking. “Manjusri said…. This is manjusri’s answer. “There is a daughter of the dragon king Sagara who is only eight years old. She has sharp roots of wisdom. She excels at understanding all capacities, deeds and karma of sentient beings and has attain dharani.”

This daughter of the dragon king was only eight years old, but she had such wisdom and sharp capabilities. Moreover, she already understood whether the capabilities of sentient beings were dull or sharp and whether sentient beings’ deeds were good or evil. This daughter of the dragon king knew all of this.

This sutra passage explains how “The dragon girl has accepted and uphold this Lotus Sutra. With clear and thorough comprehension, she has realized the one true wondrous Dharma of the Great Vehicle. So, she was able to “directly attain Bodhi.”

This is how it is explained to us. The practice that this dragon girl engaged in was to always uphold the Lotus Sutra. She deeply believed in and thoroughly understood the principles of the Lotus Sutra and moreover put them into practice. After putting [this Dharma] into practice, after actually doing it and experiencing it, she understood that these principles are “the one true wondrous Dharam of the Great Vehicle.” She not only thoroughly understood the principles she had also already “actualized the Six Paramitas in all actions.” This is “directly attaining Bodhi” and walking the Bodhisattva-path. This was Manjusri Bodhisattva’s reply. This was the wisdom of the dragon king Sagara’s daughter. The daughter of the dragon king was only eight years old, yet she had such great wisdom. She “had great wisdom”; this wisdom was very great. “Her capabilities were sharp and bright”. Her capabilities [resonated with] her intrinsic nature. She was very smart and wise. She had such sharp capabilities, even though she was only eight years old. This also shows that there is no difference between the Four Forms of Birth, womb-born, egg-born, moisture-born and transformation-born. Moreover, regardless of one’s appearance, there is not even a difference in age. See, a person’s age does not necessarily matter. This young girl was only eight years old. She was still in a “young and ignorant age”.

If she were a human being, what would she know as an eight-year-old? She would only be in primary school. The teachers would still need to instruct her. She would still be ignorant in every subject and would still not understand things very well. So, she would need to start going to school so that the teachers could instruct her. As an eight-year-old, if she were a human being, she would be in about second or third grade. Yet she had this kind of wisdom. Speaking of eight-year-olds, we have a group of little Bodhisattvas.

Yesterday, many of our staff’s children who are between three and six years old joined in the sutra musical adaption during yesterday afternoon’s year-end blessing. It is the same with them! They also joined the musical adaption of the Medicine Buddha Sutra. They were so cute! There were also the young volunteers from our Jing Si Bookstores; they did the same. They had memorized the entire sutra [adaptation]. Many of them even made vows, dozens of them.

This time, at the year-end blessing ceremony, they all gathered together to take refuge. They could even recite the Ten Precepts. I asked, “Do you know what it means to take refuge?” “Yes, to turn from darkness to the light! Darkness is evil; we cannot do evil. Light is goodness; we must do more good”. This was how they answered me. I said, “In that case, what rules do you need to follow? Do you know?” “Yes! The Ten Precepts”. Wow! They began to recite the Ten Precepts. This group was even younger than eight. There were seven-, six- and five-year-old children. They also understood the meaning of “taking the Three Refuges and the Five Precepts”. They could even recite the Three Refuges. We should know that age is not a factor. There is also no difference between different kinds of beings. We really need to have faith in this.

So, this dragon girl was eight years old. She was at “a young and ignorant age”. Yet even at this ignorant age, she had such great wisdom. So, with such “sharp roots of wisdom, she had clear wisdom and sharp capabilities and was able to observe capabilities properly”. She had very thorough wisdom, so she could understand all things. Her capabilities were extremely, fiercely sharp. They were not dull, they were very sharp. When the principles were taught, as soon as she heard them, she understood. Hearing one, she understood ten, one hundred or one thousand. [This was all from] hearing just one principle. We have discussed this before. This is an extremely profound principle; teaching it is very hard.

It truly is a subtle and intricate principle. To be able to analyze it is almost impossible. But in this sutra, we encounter such an event. [The dragon girl] completely comprehended and understood. With one principle she could respond to all things. This is having sharp capabilities; very quickly, [after hearing] just one principle, “by grasping one truth, she understood all truths”. The principle is very subtle and intricate and extremely profound. “By grasping one truth, we understand all truths”. This is having “sharp roots of wisdom”. You say one thing, and I understand it. Whatever it is, I can understand it. This is having sharp roots of wisdom. So, “She had clear wisdom and sharp capabilities and was able to observe capabilities properly”. She completely understood all capabilities.

She excels at understanding all capacities, deeds and karma of sentient beings and has attained dharani: She excelled in perceiving all sentient beings’ various capabilities and clearly understood their different karmic deeds. She attained the door of retaining and upholding.

So, “She excels at understanding all capacities, deeds and karma of sentient beings and has attained dharani”. Because she understood all principles as soon as she heard them, when it came to anything that sentient beings did, she clearly knew whether it was good or evil. This is because she had already attained dharani, the door of retaining and upholding.

Moreover, regarding sentient beings’ good and evil karma, with the door of retaining and upholding she could comprehend sentient beings’ various capabilities and their various difficulties. [She knew] which teachings to give and how to transform sentient beings. She thoroughly understood all of this. So, “She excelled in perceiving all sentient beings’ various capabilities”. She understood all sentient beings’ capabilities as well as all “their different karmic deeds”. So, she attained dharani, the door of retaining and upholding. Thus, she already had “much wisdom”. She had sharp capabilities and great wisdom. She was extremely, fiercely sharp. By grasping one truth, she realized all truths; she understood them all. Even for extremely profound and subtle principles, after hearing just a little bit, she could thoroughly understand all principles spread throughout the universe; she was already clear about these principles.

So, she had “much wisdom” as well as sharp capabilities. “With sharp capabilities and much wisdom, she excelled in perceiving the capabilities of sentient beings and the positive or negative karma that they had created”. She understood sentient beings’ capabilities and whether the karma they created was good or evil. So, “When it came to the meaning of the sutra she could retain and uphold it”.

When it came to the meaning of this sutra, she retained and upheld it in its entirety. She understood and retained all goodness and upheld all Dharma without any Leaks. This is the Great Vehicle Dharma. The power of this wisdom is such that it truly can [reach] everywhere. We should be able to comprehend that sentient beings’ capacities and nature have nothing to do with the type of their body. Among all kinds of sentient beings, this wondrous principle is present.

There was a very amazing story about a dog, a news story that came out of Ukraine. There was an injured dog, and another dog kept her company. The injured dog was between the train tracks and was unable to leave that place. The other dog, because [the injured dog] was unable to leave, stayed there, caring for her. At the time, it was snowing very heavily. There was a lot of snow. This dog was there between the tracks with a lot of trains coming and going. She was injured, and it was snowing heavily. So the other dog used his body to keep [the injured dog] warm, covering her with his body. When a train approached, this dog quickly pressed the injured dog down. The two dogs were pressed together, pressing down like this as the train passed over them. At the time, two full days had elapsed. After two days, someone finally saw them. Someone was driving a car and saw from a distance that there was something on the train tracks. It seemed something was there, something moving. So, he went to take a closer look and in this way happened to see that dog lying in the snow, covering the other dog’s body. Seeing a train coming, the dog quickly pushed his head down so the two dogs were stretched flat to the ground. The train passed over them high above, so they were not hurt. The person saw this. Later, he heard someone say that this had gone on for two days. This person quickly rescued the two dogs. He put the dogs in his car to transport them. After putting them in his car, he saw how the healthy dog still covered the injured dog, using his body to provide warmth to her. The person who rescued the dogs was very touched.

In a photo [we can see] the two dogs in the car. One is injured and the other is fine. This was reported in the news. It happened in Ukraine. Think about it! These are animals. An animal can have this kind of loving heart, refusing to abandon his companion. It truly is very touching, especially since the situation was so dangerous. If a train were to come, [most dogs] would hurry to run away. Since his companion was unable to flee, he could at least have hurried to save himself. But not only did he not run off, he quickly pushed his friend’s head down and pressed his own body on top of hers so that the train could safely pass over them. In such danger, to sacrifice one’s [safety] for a friend is something we see also in the animal realm! Think about it! This nature is in us all.

The Tathagata-garbha nature is intrinsic to all sentient beings. Look at the dragon girl from the dragon palace in the ocean. She was eight years old, at such a [young] age. How old was this dog? We do not know. We only know he had this wisdom. So, all sentient beings can attain Buddhahood. According to the law of karma, all it takes is that we become replete in our causal practice, replete with blessed karmic causes. We will then naturally eliminate ignorance and afflictions. With our pure intrinsic nature, we will thoroughly comprehend the principles. Then we will be able to attain Buddhahood. Therefore, we must all always be mindful!

(Source: Da Ai TV – Wisdom at Dawn program – Explanation by Master Chen-Yen)
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20180510《靜思妙蓮華》佛性平等 微妙廣大 (第1345集) (法華經·提婆達多品第十二)
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