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 20180511《靜思妙蓮華》利根勤修 一生頓證 (第1346集) (法華經·提婆達多品第十二)

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20180511《靜思妙蓮華》利根勤修 一生頓證 (第1346集) (法華經·提婆達多品第十二) Empty
發表主題: 20180511《靜思妙蓮華》利根勤修 一生頓證 (第1346集) (法華經·提婆達多品第十二)   20180511《靜思妙蓮華》利根勤修 一生頓證 (第1346集) (法華經·提婆達多品第十二) Empty周五 五月 11, 2018 8:33 am

20180511《靜思妙蓮華》利根勤修 一生頓證 (第1346集) (法華經·提婆達多品第十二)

⊙墨筆難書盡,千佛之智德,甚深難測量,實深難思議,盡性相隱微,是宗旨微妙,諸佛智慧甚,深微妙無量。
⊙衍生一義無盡,成就甚深未曾有法,隨宜所說意趣難解,總持實相中道之理,群經莫及,此經微密甚深難思,若人依此勤修,一生可得頓證。
⊙闡揚一實乘法中道之理無有虛妄顛倒,若聖若凡,六道四生,性本不二,名一實諦。
⊙「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》
⊙「諸佛所說甚深祕藏,悉能受持。深入禪定,了達諸法,於剎那頃發菩提心,得不退轉,辯才無礙。」《法華經提婆達多品第十二》
⊙諸佛所說甚深祕藏,悉能受持:一切諸佛所說,諸佛智慧,秘密之法藏。甚深秘藏,唯為佛與佛之境界。非凡常所可了,知之法門,悉能受持。
⊙深入禪定,了達諸法:此明定慧具足,善能深入,菩薩妙因斯滿,極果頃圓,於一切法,悉能通達。因能受持此甚深祕藏之妙法華經,故深入禪定。
⊙禪定:譯曰思惟修,思惟所對之境而研習之義。新譯曰靜慮者,心體寂靜,證於法性,通達法相,能審慮之義。
⊙於剎那頃發菩提心:明具德速證,於一剎那至促之頃,發於無上菩提之心。此中於剎那頃,應下龍女成佛,謂時之促顯證之速也。
⊙得不退轉,辯才無礙:其心證得,不退轉地,菩薩獲大辯才,於大小乘,種種諸法。隨眾生機,悉使通達,皆無疑礙,是為謂辯才無礙。
⊙此發心證果,不離一剎那,所謂:一修一切修,一斷一切斷,一證一切證,如斬絲染色,一剎那頃,能至菩提,豈存次第乎。

【證嚴上人開示】
筆墨難書盡,千佛之智德,甚深難測量,實深難思議,盡性相隱微,是宗旨微妙,諸佛智慧甚,深微妙無量。

筆墨難書盡
千佛之智德
甚深難測量
實深難思議
盡性相隱微
是宗旨微妙
諸佛智慧甚
深微妙無量

用心啊!其實用寫的實在文字也寫不完,寫不完千佛的智德,盡我們世間所有的文字,盡我們世間所有的筆墨,要來寫清楚佛的智德,很難很難啊!因為千佛他的智德甚深難測量。不只是深難測,又再是難思議,沒有辦法測量,也實在是很深,沒辦法去將它思量,或者是用說的,或者是來將它思考,佛這個智德。「智」就是智慧;「德」是所走過、所修行,為人群所付出,這就是他的智德。我們學佛就是這樣,凡夫日常的生活,我們也有做不完的事情,佛陀生生世世,他的智慧為眾生而付出,同樣也是算不盡,做不完的事,所以這德行就是要長久累積,付出,累積起來,這叫做智德。很多很多,塵點劫,無量數的來來回回,所以是甚深,也實在很深,所以叫做「實深難思議」。

「盡性相隱微,是宗旨微妙,」盡這個性,佛性應該是人人本具,但是佛陀的的清淨那個性,那就是很隱藏。我們人人也是本具,我們的如來藏識,我們真如本性,還是很隱密。佛已經是完全去除煩惱,完全,惑也全都沒有了,他已經將他的性相,所有一切如來性相,完全施教給眾生,雖然施教給眾生,眾生,我們凡夫要去探討,我們所了解的,還是一樣非常的綿密,還是覺得很深。所以這是佛法的宗旨,很微妙。這麼微妙的宗旨,怎麼樣用筆墨去形容呢?要怎麼樣去探測,去思議呢?所以,這是很天然的本性。

天地宇宙,其實,天地宇宙所含有的真理,是我們人人本具真如藏性,是人人都有,也是如來藏性,也是真如藏性。如來藏就是真如的本性,這本來人人都有,但是,你要用筆去形容,光是用議論的,來論佛所修行的過程,佛所為眾生付出,所得到那個不可思議的法,光是用寫筆、口論,真的愈論愈多,沒辦法去體會,光是在論和寫和講,這樣而已。但是,我們必須去身體力行,這就是「諸佛智慧,甚深微妙無量」,他是身體力行去體會出來的,去了解,要累生累世,不斷不斷這樣做來的,這個「德」,內修性;外行德。若是沒有自己去身體力行,沒辦法去體會。所以說,光是用論的法,衍生一直一直寫,愈寫愈多,愈論愈多,所以愈是覺得佛德,我們要說的法,會這樣衍生出了,很多很多的道理。

衍生一義無盡
成就甚深未曾有法
隨宜所說意趣難解
總持實相中道之理
群經莫及
此經微密甚深難思
若人依此勤修
一生可得頓證

天地宇宙萬物的真理,我們人人本性的真如,這要將它說到盡,會愈說愈多。所以「衍生」就是不斷,這樣一直一直生,湧現出來。所以「一義無盡」。你光說「一義」,一個道理,就能去分析很多很多的事情,說不完。所以我們昨天說過,道理若「一理通,萬理徹」,道理一定要通,深入我們的心,我們若不通徹,道理若沒有入我們的心,你即使寫很多、說很多、聽很多,還是自己還是沒有體會到。「成就甚深未曾有法,隨宜所說,意趣難解」,真的是一個道理,我們就能說很多的事情,這道理,只包含在一項「總持門」。

昨天我們有說過了,陀羅尼門,那就是總持門,「總一切法,持一切善」。佛法,它的重點,就是在這個地方,就是「陀羅尼門」。我們能入這門,了解這個法,法善,這善法可以庇蔭天下眾生。前面我們也說過,光是在一個地球,分為五大洲,人類有多少呢?不同的人類、不同的文化,不同的人、不同樣的習氣,用這樣來譬喻,應該我們就知道,要悉怎麼去適應眾生。語言,是不是障礙呢?是啊!語言是一種障礙,講說佛法,用一個語言,無法人人都聽得懂,還要用心去學,學來的、要翻譯的,談何容易啊!其實,只要他一理若通,什麼樣的語言都通;理若不通,即使懂相同的語言,法沒有入心,「陀羅尼門」沒有入,你即使是一種語言,能通達一切,聽很懂,但是理不通,還是「沒法度」,無法度他。

總而言之,道理很深,在這個相,語文的型態,不同不同種的語言形象,英文或者是法文,或者是葡萄牙文,或者是…很多種,文字,外行人看起來,這到底是什麼文字啊?我們不知道,光是要讀這些文字相,我們就讀不完了。這是光是說起來,「相」,「筆墨難書」,剛才我們說過了,這就是說,我們還是在那個文字相打轉,這很難,「盡性相隱微」。其實這個性相,他要發展一種文字,有他發展文字的道理,不同種的人類,所以不同種的人,去發展他的文字。我們中華的文字,很美,在我們來分析,字形多種變化,最早最早是象形文字,甲(骨)文,他用龜甲去卜等等,這樣不斷衍生、衍生,衍生到我們現在看的文字,光是在這個文字相,我們就要去了解到古代的時代,要怎麼樣去表達出了,人與人之間要互通達,我們的訊息,這文字也是通達訊息,要如何去通達?

在他們古代的時候,那個時代的性相,一直衍生到現在,我們人人,現在我們看的文字,在臺灣繁體的文,現在,現代的人要簡單,要簡單,就變成了簡體文,簡體文不只是流行,在中國流行,馬來西亞、菲律賓、印尼等等,現在在加拿大,也是都流行用簡體,懂中文的人就是用簡體字,這光是在文字的性相,隨著人性的轉變,也是這樣,不斷都有它的道理存在。所以說起來,天下事不斷在變,但是道理不變,它的形相不斷在變,但是道理永遠是不變,宗旨永遠不變,這就是佛智,我們人人的真如本性,永遠都不變,是凡夫性在變,所以性相在變,這是習氣、性相這樣在變。若是真如本性,那個真如性是不變,這是我們要分清楚的。要不然現在的人,真的是習性在變,所以用文也在變,語言也是一樣,慢慢來,現在一些年輕人在說的話,我們都聽不懂呢,他們有他們的代名詞,和我們這時候老一輩的人,說的都不一樣,但是,老一輩在說的話,很有道理啊!希望年輕人也要守住。這就是道理,道理,我們美的,是我們要守。所以說起來,這實在是很綿密的事情。

「總持門」,意思就是「總一切善」,凡是好的事情,我們都一定要守護住;「持一切法」,真實法,我們要好好身體力行,去將它保護下來,甚至人類的苦難,不論他是什麼種族,佛法就是要來解除人間苦難,有形相的事的苦,我們要去為他解除,無形相的煩惱,我們要去為他開導。這就是佛陀來人間的目標,要去應很多很多不同的人。但是,開導出我們最真實的道理,亙千古而不變的道理,我們就是「意趣難解」。佛陀這樣「成就甚深未曾有法」,但是隨著不同的人生,隨宜說法,隨他的根機去說法,佛陀應世人間,不只是在中國,或者是在印度,或者是在…。總而言之,天下任何一地方,都有他人類的道理存在,這全都是佛、覺者、賢人去說法,過去任何一個國家,都有他們國家的賢人出現,這都是自古以來天下之間,雖然語言文字不同,卻是賢人同樣那個真如本性,這個如來藏識,這賢人還是到處都出現。

同樣的道理,所以我們要「總持實相中道之理」,中道的道理,其實是通徹天下全都一樣。《法華經》,大乘法,這中道的道理,就是在《法華經》之中,所以「中道之理,群經莫及」,「此經」,那就是指《法華經》,是微密甚深難思議。這部經真的是微密,幾天前,我們也說過了,甚深,沒辦法去測量,它的微密,真的是毫芒有乾坤,非常的微細,在這麼微細,這麼小,你看都看不到,用我們的眼睛來看,一切都在空間,在空間裡面,有它無量數的微生物,這我們都看不到,這是很微密的事情,所以這種微密甚深難思議。所以「若人依此勤修」,我們知道這個道理,各人,因為人生壽命有限,大家不同的方式去研究,所以有微生物學,就去專門去研究,這個平時看不到的,就發明了顯微鏡;顯微鏡現在又不夠,現在在解釋大宇宙最奧妙,不是只有原子,現在是量子,那是到底又是長成什麼樣呢?真的是很深,這在佛陀的時代,他就說出來了,「甚深微妙,難思難解」。這甚深微密難思議,這是佛陀向人類這樣說的,確實是這樣。

所以若是人,「若人依此勤修,一生可得頓證」。這做得到嗎?智積菩薩他的懷疑就是這裡,已經是這麼的難思議,這麼的綿密難解,人很勤修啊,不知道要幾生世,才有辦法通徹了解,豈有辦法在海龍宮在那裡教化,這樣一個八歲的龍王女,這樣她有辦法了解嗎?這是智積菩薩他,他的疑問。其實不是智積菩薩的疑問,是我們眾生的疑問。佛陀就是在那個時間,智積要回去,了解智積和文殊,他們還能為眾生更深一層,來打開更深一層,要讓我們更了解,需要這兩位大菩薩,古來佛和古佛身邊的大菩薩,來對談,所以非常的微密難解的法,若沒有這樣的根機,大根機的大菩薩,沒辦法來問,也沒辦法來答,所以這是一個微密,沒有人去為它啟開這個微細,所以佛他就留著智積菩薩,來與文殊菩薩見面來對答。

所以有海宮浮現的千葉蓮花,開始有這樣問答的道理,這莫非就是「闡揚一實乘法中道之理,無有虛妄顛倒」。

闡揚一實乘法
中道之理
無有虛妄顛倒
若聖若凡
六道四生
性本不二
名一實諦

要讓我們大家真正能透徹了解,不要將佛法,當作它是只有在說因果而已,不只是哦!因果是一個道理,但是因果是很深呢!不是像我們凡夫,將它拿來說「三世因果」,這種有時候偏差,就迷惑了人心。所以,我們要很用心,它的內容、道理,要很清楚。這是「一實乘法中道之理,無有虛妄顛倒」,不要顛倒了,我們要很用心來體會,佛法是甚深甚深,真實甚深,《無量義經》就這樣,我們就知道是很深的法,是非常的綿密,毫芒有乾坤,真的是很深的道理,所以,不能讓我們,有虛妄顛倒亂想,所以要將我們,好好為我們糾正,讓我們了解道理。

所以「若聖若凡,六道四生,性本不二,名一實諦」。不論是聖人,那就是諸佛菩薩,或者是我們凡夫,人間,或者是六道。「六道」,天、人、修羅、地獄、餓鬼、畜生。包括「四生」,胎生、濕生、卵生、化生,凡是有生命,這個性,本不二,它根本都是同一樣,都有他的道理。如來藏性,真如本性,都有他的道理存在。

所以說「六道四生,性本不二,名一實諦」,這是佛陀的智慧,包含得那麼的多,你們想,要如何來解釋?不可思議。其實每一樣都有他的靈性存在,不同的生命形體,有不同的靈性存在。昨天講的兩隻狗,狗伴能夠互相幫助,狗伴也互相相殺,同樣也有。人類能互相幫助,也是互相相殺,世間一切生物類都是一樣。不同的生物,人也能救其他的動物,動物也能救人,我們有很多動物在救人,也是有。所以靈性是通達的,我們應該要去清楚了解。所以文殊菩薩,他就把握這個時間,他就從海教化的形態拿出來講。

所以前面的文這樣講:「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。」

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》

就是龍王女才八歲而已,她的智慧就利根,「善知眾生諸根行業」,所有的眾生的諸根,不同的根機,所行造的善惡業,八歲的孩子就有辦法了解,是因為她已經有得到陀羅尼。這是八歲的龍女,已經有得陀羅尼,就是已經得到佛法的總持門,全都了解了,「總一切法,持一切善」,所以她的心很清淨而單純,這就是龍女她已經所得的。

下面再接下來這段文說:「諸佛所說甚深祕藏,悉能受持。深入禪定,了達諸法,於剎那頃發菩提心,得不退轉,辯才無礙。」

諸佛所說甚深祕藏
悉能受持
深入禪定
了達諸法
於剎那頃發菩提心
得不退轉
辯才無礙
《法華經提婆達多品第十二》

因為她已經得到陀羅尼,就是佛法的總持門,已經得到了,所以諸佛所說很深的道理,她全都能了解了,佛法裡面的秘藏,就悉能受持。秘藏,不是秘密,是很深奧的佛法。她,很綿密的佛法,她全都清楚了,因為她不只是知道,她是受持,已經都身體力行了,不是了解而已,是身體力行。

諸佛所說甚深祕藏
悉能受持:
一切諸佛所說
諸佛智慧
秘密之法藏
甚深秘藏
唯為佛與佛之境界
非凡常
所可了知之法門
悉能受持

「一切諸佛所說諸佛智慧,祕密之法藏」。就是很深很奧妙,密,就是很微密,這個法藏。藏在很深的裡面,所以她全都了解。「甚深秘藏,唯為佛與佛之境界」,非凡夫所可了知之法。因為這麼深奧的法,唯有佛和佛的境界,才有辦法了解,這不是凡夫能夠了知,就是菩薩,到等覺菩薩,還差一點點才有辦法了解。但是,龍女也已經,到達等覺菩薩這個程度了,不是我們凡夫能夠了解的,所以叫做「秘密之法藏」,唯有佛與佛能夠透徹了解。所以「深入禪定,了達諸法」。

深入禪定
了達諸法:
此明定慧具足
善能深入
菩薩妙因斯滿
極果頃圓
於一切法悉能通達
因能受持
此甚深祕藏之
妙法華經
故深入禪定

龍女她能夠通達陀羅尼,所以她已經全都體會到了,體會到這些道理,都深入心在禪定,禪定當中,心不亂,才有辦法那麼明澈去體會,所以了達諸法。「禪定」的意思就是說,很透徹了解,定慧具足。要定慧具足,當然是戒,戒、定、慧,這已經多生累劫修來的行,這個戒、定、慧,都具足了。「善能深入菩薩妙因斯滿」,所有深入,非常的微細,微密的道理,全都了解,這些全都了解,所以,「斯滿」,「斯滿」就是全部,所有的道理,全都很滿足,很多了,圓滿了。行菩薩行,菩薩六度萬行,也全都圓滿,這叫做「妙因」。妙因,就是菩薩行全都圓滿了,已經到「極果頓圓」,極果了,非常明利的智慧,很圓滿的慧,這就是她已經所得到,於一切法悉令通達,所以,所有的法都能夠通達。

「因能受持,此甚深祕藏之妙法華經」,是因為她已經能受持這部經,也行這部經的中道行,就是菩薩道,這樣「空」、「有」的道理,都清楚了,在「妙有」中,行菩薩道,就是《法華經》。「故深入禪定」,其實,「禪定」,將它翻譯為「思惟修」,我們過去也有一段很長的時間,一直在解釋「思惟修」。「思惟修,思惟所對之境」。

禪定:譯曰思惟修
思惟所對之境
而研習之義
新譯曰靜慮者
心體寂靜
證於法性
通達法相
能審慮之義

我們對什麼樣的境界,我們都要用很清淨的心,來面對境界,去研究出是為什麼,有這樣的環境發生呢?是為什麼有這樣的心境,去造作這些事情呢?我們都要很清楚,了解大環境、大乾坤,了解小環境、小乾坤,心理的環境,我們全都要去體會、了解,這叫做「思惟修」。

另外一個翻譯,叫做「靜慮」。要很清淨的心,靜寂清澄,要心很靜,好好來考慮一切。我們普通的人,都是很快就衝動起來了,聽到什麼事情,歡喜的,就這樣得意忘形,不歡喜的,發瞋怒心,很快就衝動。菩薩不是這樣,就是要好好靜慮、思惟。所以,「心體寂靜」。心與我們的身體,我們要常常很安靜、很穩定,不能有衝動,這也就是禪的一類哦!所以叫做「擔柴運水無不是禪,舉手動足無不是禪,開口動舌無不是禪」,「禪」一字就是「思惟修」,就是「靜慮」,讓我們的心、體,我們的心和我們的身,這樣很寂靜。

所以「證於法性」,若能夠這樣,我們才有辦法去體會如來藏性,所有的這個法,它每一項,不論是人物、動物、生物、微生物、植物等等,這都有它的性存在,我們一定要很用心去體會。所以「通達法相」,這是什麼樣的相?一根柴乾枯了,但是乾了的型很美,他們就拿來布置著。這是,本來是一棵樹,這棵樹是一顆種子,這過程很多,所以這樣,這麼多的過程,不知經過多久的時間,變成了一枝這個形,我們感覺這樣是美的,就將它拿來桌上放著,叫做布置。同樣的道理,所以說法相,法性、法相,這就是叫做形相,都有它內涵的道理在。所以,「能審慮之義」。能夠細細去思考,去思惟裡面的道理,講淺的很淺,講深的很深。

所以,「於剎那頃,發菩提心」。

於剎那頃
發菩提心:
明具德速證
於一剎那至促之頃
發於無上菩提之心
此中於剎那頃
應下龍女成佛
謂時之促
顯證之速也

自然他的心境就是這樣,因為這樣,才能夠這麼快就能夠發菩提心,因為心境很清楚,是非很分明,道理很透徹,所以,一點即通。所以「明具德速證」。這個「德」,這非常的具足,很透徹明朗,具足了他的德,所以這個「德」,這麼的具足,當然是無始劫一直修行過來,已經到現在,所以「速證」,就這樣。因為「德」都具足了,所以聽到法,馬上就能夠了解,這樣。所以「於一剎那」,就是很快,很短促的時間,這樣「發於無上菩提之心」,這樣很快,無上菩提心就發出來了。

這中間的「剎那頃」,就是「應下」,這就是龍女,就是文殊菩薩說,龍女她很快就成佛,當然這是在後面的經文,這「應下」是後面的文。龍女很快就能夠成佛,就是時間很快速。她就是這樣很快就通達道理,所得到的道理,「得不退轉,辯才無礙」。

得不退轉
辯才無礙:
其心證得不退轉地
菩薩獲大辯才
於大小乘種種諸法
隨眾生機
悉使通達皆無疑礙
是為謂辯才無礙

龍女她辯才無礙,很快就能夠了解道理了,也能夠很快就成佛,因為她已經得到「總持門」,所以這樣,她所有的法,很快就心這樣很清淨,所了解的,很快速不退,不退轉,所以「辯才無礙」。

「其心證得不退轉地」。因為她的心,已經老早就是不退轉了,一念心起,就是把握當下,恆持剎那,那就是那念心,開始那念心,剎那間的一念心,我們把握了,這就是永遠永遠,沒有變動過的一念心。所以,「其心證得不退轉地」,這個心就不退轉了,剎那的一念心,這樣把握下來,沒有變動過,這樣一直很清淨過來,所以不退轉。「菩薩獲大辯才」,已經到菩薩等覺的程度,所以他會得到無礙辯才。因為道理都通達了,所以「於大小乘種種諸法,隨眾生機,悉使通達,皆無疑礙」。這些道理,都沒有疑,沒有障礙,這就是她的心境通達,這就是辯才無礙。意思就是說,發心證果,不離一剎那間。

此發心證果
不離一剎那
所謂一修一切修
一斷一切斷
一證一切證
如斬絲染色
一剎那頃能至菩提
豈存次第乎

這心一發,就是把握當下,恆持剎那,要把握當下,那念心,我們就是那念心,這樣永遠持,這個發心,就全都沒有變動,這樣不離一剎那。就是「一修一切修,一斷一切斷,一證一切證」,意思就是一理通,萬理徹,就「如斬絲染色」,就像那絲線牽纏著,他快斬亂麻,這樣就將它斬斷了。這個色,沒有被污染,若要將它染色,很快,但是不把它染色,就是很清淨。染色,也很快,只要那顏色在鍋裡,你將它沾下去,起來,就變色了。同樣的道理。所以「一斷一切斷,一證一切證」,只要我們把握當下,恆持剎那,那一念心在,所以「一剎那頃,能至菩提,豈存次第?」不一定這樣,說這樣小乘、中乘、大乘,我們開始接觸到的,那就是發大乘心、修大乘法,那就是開始修行,一切都修。

總持門,持一切法,就是一切都修。斷除一切煩惱,再也不再染著了。「證」,了解了,永遠都是,證悟的道理永遠銘刻在心裡,這樣不斷累積起來,完全清淨,無障礙,這就是一念心的(體)證。所以大家用心去體會,了解道理,一理通,萬理徹。若只是在那裡論,論很多,煩了自己的心,所以要時時多用心!


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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: Suddenly Awakening in This Very Lifetime (利根勤修 一生頓證)
Date: May.11.2018

“It is hard to fully express through ink and pen the wisdom and virtue of a thousand Buddhas. It is extremely deep and hard to fathom, truly profound and inconceivable. The extent of His nature is subtle and hidden; this is His wondrous intent. The wisdom of all Buddhas is profound, subtle, wondrous and infinite.”

We must be mindful! In fact, if you were to try to write in words [the Buddha-wisdom], you would never finish. You would never be able to finish writing about the virtue and wisdom of a thousand Buddhas. Even if you used all the words in the world, used all the pens and ink in the world, to try to clearly convey in writing the Buddha’s wisdom and virtue, it would be incredibly difficult! The wisdom and virtue of a thousand Buddhas is profound and difficult to fathom. It is not only profound and difficult to fathom, but difficult even to conceive of. There is no way to fathom it, for it is indeed profound. There is no way to estimate, put into words or even contemplate the wisdom and virtue of the Buddha. In addition to His “wisdom,” there is His “virtue,” which is what He did, His spiritual practice, how He gave of Himself for others. This is His wisdom and virtue.

This is how we are as Buddhist practitioners; in our daily lives as ordinary people, we have so many things to do we cannot finish. The Buddha, who lifetime after lifetime used His wisdom to help sentient beings, similarly had countless things to do, more than He could finish. So, virtue is something that we accumulate over the long term. After we give, this accumulates; this is wisdom and virtue.

Over so many dust-inked kalpas, having come and gone countless numbers of times, His [wisdom and virtue] are profound. They are truly profound. This is called “truly profound and inconceivable. The extent of His nature is subtle and hidden; this is His wondrous intent.” [He did this] to the extent of His nature. The intrinsic Buddha-nature is possessed by all. Yet the pure nature of the Buddha remains hidden. We all intrinsically possess it as well. Our Tathagata-garbha consciousness, our nature of True Suchness, still remains hidden. The Buddha had already rid Himself of afflictions. He was also totally free of delusions. He had already used the full extent of His nature, all of the Tathagata’s nature and appearances, to give teachings to us sentient beings. Although He taught sentient beings, sentient beings, we unenlightened beings, need to further investigate these things that we understand for they are all still so extremely intricate; they are all still so extremely profound. So, the objective of the Buddha-Dharma is very subtle and wondrous. How can such a subtle and wondrous objective possibly be described by using pen and ink? How can it be fathomed or conceived of? It is our natural intrinsic nature. It [exists] throughout the universe. In fact, the true principles contained within all things in the universe are our intrinsic nature of True Suchness. This exists within everyone. It is also called Tathagata-garbha nature, as well as our intrinsic nature of True Suchness. The Tathagata-garbha is the intrinsic nature of True Suchness. This has always been inherent in everyone.

However, if we try to describe it in writing, if we just try to talk about the process of the Buddha’s spiritual practice, the way the Buddha gave to sentient beings, the inconceivable Dharma that He attained, if we only write or talk about it, truly, no matter how much we say, we will have no way to realize it. We are only discussing it, writing and talking about it, but we must be putting it into practice. “The wisdom of all Buddhas is profound, subtle, wondrous and infinite.” He realized this by putting it into action. To understand it took many lifetimes of continually taking action. This “virtue” came from inwardly cultivating His nature and outwardly practicing virtue. If one does not put it into practice oneself, then there will be no way to comprehend it.

So, if we only talk about the Dharma, deriving and writing out more and more [meanings], the more we write about and discuss it, the more we feel the Buddha’s virtue and the Dharma we hope to teach will proliferate into so many principles.

Endless truths spring from a single principle. To bring to fruition the extremely profound and unprecedented Dharma, He taught according to what was appropriate, but the intent was still difficult to understand. Retaining and upholding the ultimate truth, the principles of the Middle Way, it is unsurpassed by all other sutras.This sutra is subtle, secret, extremely profound and difficult to comprehend. If people follow it and practice it diligently, they can attain immediate awakening in this life.

When it comes to the true principles of all things in the universe, to the intrinsic nature of True Suchness that is intrinsic to all of us, it is impossible to truly ever describe it in words. So, it continues to spring forth and proliferate. It continues to arise and emerge like this. “Endless troughs spring from a single principle.” Even if you talk about just “a single principle,” with that single principle you can analyze so very many things that you will never finish.

So, as we said yesterday, when it comes to principles, “By grasping one truth, we understand all truths.” To thoroughly understand the principles we must take them deeply to heart. If we do not thoroughly understand them, if we never take these principles to heart, then however much we write about things, however much we teach or listen to the teachings, we will still not realize them for ourselves. So, for us to ”bring to fruition the extremely profound and unprecedented Dharma, He taught according to what was appropriate, but the intent was still difficult to understand.” By truly knowing a single principle, we can explain so many things. The principles can all be covered by “the door of retaining and upholding”.

Yesterday we talked about these “Dhahran-doors”. Through the door of retaining and upholding, we “retain all teachings and uphold all goodness”. These are things that are emphasized in the Buddha-Dharma, these Dhahran-doors. These are methods we can use to understand the Dharma, the teachings and goodness. This virtuous Dharma can protect all sentient beings under heaven.

We talked about this before. Upon the earth alone, upon the five continents, how many human beings are alive? There are different ethnicities and cultures, different people who all have different habitual tendencies. We can take this as an analogy. We should know, if we want to adapt to sentient beings, is language an obstacle? Indeed, it is! Language is a barrier. If we only use a single language to teach the Buddha-Dharma, it will be impossible for everyone to understand. We must still mindfully learn it, then we must translate what we have learned. Translating is by no means easy! Actually, if we can thoroughly understand even a single principle, we can find a way to express it in any language. If we do not understand the principle, then even if we speak the same language, that principle will never be taken to heart. If we do not enter the dhahran-door, even if we speak the same language as others and they can thoroughly understand everything, even if they can understand what we say, if they cannot understand the principle, then “there is no way”. There will be no Dharma to transform them.

Ultimately, the principles are very profound. In regard to their form, there are so many different languages. There is English, then there is French, then there is Portuguese; there are so very many of them! When it comes to the [Buddhist] writings, an outsider may look and them and wonder, “What exactly does it all mean? We do not know what this is?” Even when it comes to just reading these texts, they can read them forever [and not understand]. When we talk about these writings, these are merely “forms”. “It is hard to fully express through ink and pent the wisdom and virtue of a thousand Buddhas.” We preciously talked about this. This means that if we remain stuck on the words and appearances, it is difficult [to understand]. “The extent of His nature is subtle and hidden.” Actually, regarding this nature and appearance, when people developed writing, they did it according to their own principles. There are different ethnicities of people, so these different ethnicities, developed their own forms writing. When it comes to our Chinese characters, they are very beautiful! When we analyze the characters we can see how the forms of the characters evolved in many ways. They very earliest pictographs written on oracle bones, tortoise shells used to foretell the future, continually evolved and developed into the Chinese characters that we use now. Just from the forms of those ancient characters we can learn so much about those ancient times, about how people expressed themselves and how they communicated with one another. We also use the written word to be able to communicate information. How do we pass on information?

During ancient times, the forms of the characters they used then continually evolved into what we use today, into the language that all of us use today. In Taiwan we use traditional Chinese characters, but now a simplified version is also used. They wanted to simplify the language, so simplified Chinese became quite popular, not only on the Chinese mainland, but in Malaysia, in the Philippines, in Indonesia and in other places as well. Now, in Canada, it is fashionable to use simplified Chinese. They use simplified characters when they learn Chinese there. These written forms of the language evolve along with people’s natures, yet the principles contained within never change. This is why we say that the matters of the world are always changing, but the principles never change. The world’s forms and appearances are continually changing, but the principles are forever unchanging. [The Buddha’s] objective never changes. This is the wisdom of the Buddha. The nature of True Suchness we all possess is forever unchanging. It is our unenlightened nature that changes, so the appearances of our nature are changing.

These are habitual tendencies; the appearances of this nature keep changing. As for the intrinsic nature of True Suchness, the nature of True Suchness is unchanging. We need to distinguish clearly between these. As it is, the habitual natures of people really are changing these days, so our written language is changing as well. The spoken language is also gradually changing. Sometimes when we listen to young people speak, we cannot even understand what they are saying! They have their own slang that is completely different from our generation’s the one that came before them.

However, the language of our older generation is filled with the principles! I hope that our youth respect this. There are the principles. The principles, this beauty, is what we must preserve. So, these matters are truly very intricate. We speak of the door of retaining and upholding. Through this was “retain all goodness”. With anything that is good, we must safeguard and preserve it. We “uphold all teachings”. These are the true teachings that we must earnestly put into practice, that we must continually safeguard. And for all the humans who are suffering, regardless of ethnicity, the Buddha-Dharma serves to rid everyone of suffering. If tangible things make people suffer, we should help them to be rid of this [suffering]. For people’s intangible afflictions, we must teach and guide them. This was the Buddha’s objective in coming to the world, to adapt to its many different kinds of people.

However, though He revealed and taught us these true principles, these unchanging ancient principles, “the intent was still difficult to understand”. The Buddha wished to “bring to fruition then extremely profound and unprecedented Dharma”, but had to adapt to people’s different ways of life, to teach “according to what is appropriate”. To teach the Dharma according to capabilities. The Buddha responded to the world’s people, not only the people of China and India, but to the people of the world everywhere.

In any case, wherever we are in the world, humanity’s principles are always the same. These principles of the Dharma are what the Buddha, the Enlightened One, and the rest of sages tried to teach us. Every country in the past has each given rise to its own sages. This has always been happening in the world since ancient times. Although their languages may have differed, all of them still talked about that very same nature of True Suchness, the Tathagata-garbha. These sages appeared everywhere like this. The principle is the same.

So, we should “retain and uphold the ultimate truth, the principles of the Middle Way”. The principle of the Middle Way is actually the same wherever you go in the world.

The Lotus Sutra is the Great Vehicle Dharma. It is the principle of the Middle Way, the one found throughout the Lotus Sutra. So, “The principle of the Middle Way is unsurpassed in any other sutras”. “The sutra” refers to the Lotus Sutra. It is subtle, intricate, extremely profound and difficult to comprehend. This sutra is truly subtle and secret. Several days ago, we also talked about this. It is so profound that it is impossible to fathom. This subtlety and secrecy means the whole is contained in a speck of dust. It is extremely subtle and intricate. It is so subtle and intricate, so tiny, that you will never be able to seek it. When we use our eyes to look at it, it is all empty space, but within that space are infinite numerous of microorganisms. We cannot see any of these; they are things so subtle and secret. So, it is subtle, secret, extremely profound and difficult to comprehend. Thus we should “follow” follow it and practice diligently. We know this principle. Because no one lives forever each chooses to research in their own way. So, there are some who study microbiology, who specialize in research. To see things that ordinarily cannot be seen, people invented the microscope, but now even a microscope is not strong enough. The greatest mysteries of the universe are now explained not in terms of atoms, but in terms of quanta. What do these things ultimately look like? These are really very profound.

During the Buddha’s era, He described these things as “extremely profound and wondrous, difficult to contemplate and comprehend”. This is profound, subtle, mysterious and difficult to conceive of. This is how the Buddha described it to humans, and it is indeed like this. So, if people “practice it diligently, they can attain immediate awakening in this life”. Is this something we can accomplish? This was exactly what.

Wisdom Accumulate Bodhisattva had doubts about. It was already so hard to comprehend, so intricate and difficult to understand that people had to practice very diligently! Who knows how many lifetimes it would take to thoroughly understand it all! How could an eight year old in the dragon palace of the ocean, the daughter of the dragon king, be taught and transformed so that she could possible understand it? This was Wisdom Accumulated Bodhisattva’s doubt. It was not just Wisdom Accumulated ’s doubt; all of us sentient beings have this doubt. The Buddha, at that time when Wisdom Accumulated was wanting to return home, understood that together, Manjusri and Wisdom Accumulated Bodhisattva would be able for reveal for sentient beings an even deeper level to the Dharma. They could increase our understanding. He needed these two great Bodhisattvas, one an ancient Buddha come again the other an attendant for an ancient Buddha, to discuss the Dharma together.

So, as these teachings are extremely subtle, mysterious and difficult to understand, without these great capabilities, the great capabilities of great Bodhisattvas, others could not ask the right questions or be able to give the correct answers. [That Dharma] was so subtle and mysterious that no one else could possibly reveal its intricacies. Thus, the Buddha had Wisdom Accumulated stay so that he might meet and converse with Manjusri Bodhisattva.

Therefore, those thousand-petaled lotus flowers emerged from the dragon palace in the ocean and then the two began discussing the principles. This was all in order to “expound and spread the True Dharma of the One Vehicle, the principles of the Middle Way, which are free of falsehoods and delusions.”

We must expound and spread the True Dharma of the One Vehicle, the principles of the Middle Way, which are free falsehoods and delusions. For both noble and ordinary beings throughout the Six Realms and Four Forms of Birth, their intrinsic nature is one and the same. This is known as the truth of One Reality.

We must truly and thoroughly understand this. We should not take the Buddha-Dharma to be merely about the karmic law of cause and effect. It is not only that! Cause and effect is a principle, yet cause and effect is very profound! It is not just what we ordinary people speak of when we talk about the three periods of cause and effect. We can sometimes be mistaken and can cause people to become deluded. So, we should be very mindful. When it comes to its content and its principles, we should be very clear about these. This is “the True Dharma of the One Vehicle, the principles of the Middle Way, which are free falsehoods and delusions.” We do not want to be deluded.

We should be mindful to understand that the Buddha-Dharma is so incredibly profound. The Sutra of Infinite Meanings is like this; we know how profound its teachings are. It is so incredibly intricate. We see the world in a speck of dust. This is how truly profound the principles are. So, in order to not have any illusory or deluded thinking, we should put effort into rectifying ourselves so we can understand the principles. “For both noble and ordinary beings throughout the Six Realms and Four Forms of Birth, their intrinsic nature is one and the same. This is known as the truth of One Reality. They may be sages, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, or ordinary people like us humans, or they may [live] in the Six Realms. The Six Realms are the heaven, human, asura, hell, hungry ghost and animal realms, including the Four Forms of Birth the womb-born, moisture-born, egg-born and transformation-born. As long as they have life, their intrinsic nature is one and the same. We are all fundamentally the same; we all have this principle, the Tathagata-garbha nature, the nature of True Suchness. We all have this principle within us. So, “[In] the Six Realms and Four Forms of Birth, their intrinsic nature is one and the same. This is known as the truth of One Reality.” This is the wisdom of the Buddha. It encompasses so much. Think about it, how can we explain it? It is inconceivable! Actually, each kind of being has its own spiritual nature. Each different form of life has its own different spiritual nature. We talked about two dogs yesterday. Dogs can either help each other, or they can kill each other; either is possible. Human too can either help one another or they can kill one another. All living creatures in the world are the same. Different life forms [can be help each other]; people can save other animals and animals can save people as well. We have seen many incidents where animals have also saved people. It is spiritual nature that connects us. We should try to understand this clearly.

So, Manjusri seized upon the opportunity to talk about the way he taught and transformed in the ocean. The previous sutra passage says, “Manjusri said, ‘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 the various roots, deeds and karma of sentient beings and has attained dharana.’”

The daughter of the dragon king was only eight. She had sharp roots of wisdom. “She excels at understanding the various roots, deeds and karma of sentient beings. All of various roots of sentient beings, their different capabilities, the good and evil karma they created, an eight-year-old child was able to understand all these. This is because she had by then attained dharani. This eight-year-old dragon girl had already attained dharani, meaning she already attained the door of retaining and upholding the Buddha-Dharma. She had understood everything. She could “retain all teachings and uphold all goodness.” So, her heart was pure and simple. This is what the dragon girl had by then attained.

The next passage below says, “As for the entire profound and secret treasury that all Buddha teach, she has been able to embrace and uphold it. She has deeply entered into Samadhi and thoroughly comprehended all Dharma. In the span of an instant, she gave rise to Bodhicitta. She attained the state of non-retreating and unobstructed eloquence.”

This is because she has attained dharani, the door to retain and uphold the Buddha-Dharma. She had already attained those, so when it came to the profound principles that all Buddha teach, she could understand all of them. She could accept and uphold the secret treasury contained within the Buddha-Dharma. The secret treasury is not secret, it is the profound and mysterious Buddha-Dharma. The intricacies of the Buddha-Dharma were very clear to her. This was because she not only knew them, but also accepted and upheld them. She had already put them all into practice. She not only understood them, but had put them into practice.

As for the entire profound and secret treasury that all Buddhas teach, she has been able to embrace and uphold it: Everything that all Buddha teach is part of the secret Dharma-treasury of the wisdom of all Buddhas. This extremely profound and secret treasury can only be understood by those in the state of Buddhahood. This Dharma-door cannot be comprehended by ordinary beings, yet she was able to embrace and uphold it in its entirety.

“Everything that all Buddha teach is part of the secret the Dharma-treasury of the wisdom of all Buddhas.” It is so profound and mysterious. It remains hidden because it is so secret. All of the profundities hidden within the Dharma-treasury had been completely understood by her. This extremely profound and secret treasury can only be understood by those in the state of Buddhahood. This Dharma is not something that can be understood by ordinary people. Because this Dharma is so profound and mysterious, it is something only Buddhas have any way of understanding. Even Bodhisattvas up to the stage of Equal Enlightenment have not quite completely understood it.

However, the dragon girl had already reached the stage of a Bodhisattva of Equal Enlightenment. This is not something that we as ordinary people are able to understand, so it is called “the secret Dharma-treasury”. Only Buddhas can thoroughly understand it. So, “She has deeply entered into Samadhi and thoroughly comprehended all Dharma”.

She has deeply entered into Samadhi and thoroughly comprehended all Dharma: This shows that she was replete with wisdom and Samadhi. She excelled at entering deeply into [the principles] and had fulfilled the wondrous causes of Bodhisattvas. She immediately realized the ultimate fruit and thoroughly comprehended all Dharma. Because she was able to accept and uphold this extremely profound and secret treasury of the Wondrous Lotus Sutra, she deeply entered into Samadhi.

The dragon girl thoroughly understood the dharanis so she had comprehended everything. She had realized these principles and had taken them all deeply to heart in Samadhi. It was through Samadhi, with an undisturbed mind, that she could come to such clear realization. So, she had come to understand all the teachings. This means that through Samadhi one can come to thoroughly understand; one can become replete in both Samadhi and wisdom. To become replete in both Samadhi and wisdom, one of course needs to observe the precepts. When it came to the precepts, Samadhi and wisdom, she had already cultivated these over the course of many lifetimes, for many kalpas. This is how she became replete in the precepts, Samadhi and wisdom.

“She excelled at entering deeply into [the principles] and had fulfilled the wondrous causes of Bodhisattvas”. She had entered deeply into these. These extremely subtle, intricate and mysterious principles were all completely understood by her. She had understood them all, so, she had “fulfilled” them. “Fulfilled” means all were [complete]. She had fulfilled all of the principles, and perfected and completed so many of them. By practicing the Bodhisattva-path, she completely fulfilled the Bodhisattva-cause of actualizing the Six Paramitas in all actions. This is the “wondrous cause”. The Wondrous cause is the Bodhisattva-practice. Having perfected and completed this, she had “immediately realized the ultimate fruit”. The ultimate fruit requires extremely sharp wisdom, very perfect and complete wisdom. This is what she had already attained. She had “thoroughly comprehended all Dharma”. So, she thoroughly understood all of the teachings.

“Because she was able to accept and uphold this extremely profound and secret treasury of the Wondrous Lotus Sutra” means this was because she was able to accept and uphold this sutra and practice this sutra’s practice of the Middle Way, which is the Bodhisattva-path. When the principles of “emptiness” and “existence” have all become clear, then amongst “wondrous existence” we can practice the Bodhisattva-path. This is the Lotus Sutra. “She deeply entered Samadhi”.

Actually, “Samadhi” can be translated as “the cultivation of contemplation”. We spent a long time in the past explaining “the cultivation of contemplation. The cultivation of contemplation means to contemplate the [external] phenomena that we encounter”.

Samadhi: This is translated as the cultivation of contemplation. This means to contemplate the [external] phenomena that we encounter and investigate the meaning behind them. Recently, it has been translated as “meditative contemplation”. When our mind and body are tranquil and still, we will realize the nature of all phenomena, thoroughly comprehend their appearances and be able to examine and contemplate their meaning.

Whatever situation we encounter, our mind should always be very pure in dealing with it, so that we can investigate why such circumstances have arisen. What kind of mental state could have created these kinds of affairs? These are all things we want to understand clearly. We must understand the greater environment, the macrocosm, and the smaller environment, the microcosm, the psychology of our mind. We wish to experience and understand all of these. We do this by “the cultivation of contemplation”. Another translation of this is “meditative contemplation”. Our minds must be pure; they must be tranquil and clear. Our minds must be very still so we can earnestly consider all things. For us ordinary people, our minds are always so quick to become agitated. When we hear something that makes us happy, we become beside ourselves with joy. If something displeases us, we become angry. We are always so impetuous. Bodhisattvas are not like this. They earnestly engage in meditative contemplation, so, “mind and body are tranquil and still”.

When it comes to our minds and our bodies, we should constantly quiet them and settle them. We should not be impetuous. This is also a kind of meditation! This is why we say that “Carrying firewood and water is also meditation. Whatever we do can be a meditation. Whatever we say can be a meditation”. The word “meditation” means “the cultivation of contemplation”. It is “meditative contemplation”. It means to make our mind and body, our mind as well as our body very tranquil and still.

So, we “realize the nature of all phenomena”. Only through this do we have the way to realize our Tathagata-garbha nature. When it comes to all phenomena, everything in the world, whether people, animals or any living thing, microorganisms, plants, etc., all possess this nature within them. We must be mindful to realize this. So, we “thoroughly comprehend their appearance”. What kind of an appearance is it? This branch has dried out, but even dry, it still has a beautiful form. We use it for decoration. It originally was a tree and that tree came from a seed. It went through many stages in the process. So, having gone through so many stages over an unknown amount of time, it became a branch in the shape it is. We see the beauty in it, so we take it, put it upon a table and call it a decoration.

It is the same principle. So, we talk about the appearance of phenomena, the nature and appearance of phenomena. This is known as form and appearance. Everything contains principles within it. So, we are “able to examine and contemplate their meaning.” We can meticulously contemplate the principles within these, either on a superficial level or on a level that is much more profound. So, “In the span of an instant, she gave rise to Bodhicitta.”

In the span of an instant, she gave rise to Bodhicitta: She understood clearly and, replete with virtue, swiftly attained realization. In an instant, she gave rise to supreme Bodhicitta. In that instant, the dragon girl attained Buddhahood. It describes the shortness of time to show how swiftly she attained realization.

Her state of mind was naturally like this, and because of this, she could give rise to Bodhicitta so swiftly. Because her state of mind was so clear, since she could discern right and wrong so clearly and thoroughly understand the principles, she achieved realization right away. So, “She understood clearly and was replete with virtue, thus she swiftly attained realization." When it came to “virtue,” she was extremely replete in it. She was very clear in her understanding, very replete in her virtue. She was so replete in “virtue” because she had of course been engaging in spiritual practice for endless kalpas right up until then.

So, “She swiftly attained realization.” Because she was replete in all “virtue,” when she listened to the Dharma, she could immediately understand it. This occurred “in an instant.” It was very fast, in a very short time, that “she gave rise to supreme Bodhicitta.” In this way, she very quickly gave rise to supreme Bodhicitta. It happened “in the span of an instant.” This is the dragon girl. Manjusri Bodhisattva wanted to tell of how the dragon girl attained Buddhahood very quickly. Of course, this happens later in the passage.

This “instant” happens later in the passage, when the dragon girl quickly attains Buddhahood. This all happens very quickly. She thoroughly understood the principles, so very quickly, “She attained the state of non-retreating and unobstructed eloquence.”

She attained the state of non-retreating and unobstructed eloquence: Her mind had realized the state of non-retreating. As a Bodhisattva, she attained great eloquence. When it came to the Dharma of the Great and Small Vehicles, she [could teach] sentient beings according to their capabilities, helping them all to understand thoroughly, until they were free of doubts or hindrances. This is the meaning of “unobstructed eloquence.”

The dragon girl was unobstructed in eloquence and had quickly understood the principles and had quickly been able to attain Buddhahood. She had already attained the dharani-doors and because of this she swiftly understood all of the teachings. Because of all she understood, she swiftly attained the stage of non-retreating. So, she attained “unobstructed eloquence. Her mind had realized the state of non-retreating.” Because she had long ago reached the stage of non-retreating, when aspiration arose within her, she “seized the moment and sustained it forever.” These were the aspirations that she had right in the beginning. In the instant that aspirations arise, we seize hold of them and perpetuate them eternally so that they never change.

So, “Her mind had realized the state of non-retreating.” She had reached the stage of non-retreating. She had seized the aspirations that she formed in that instant and never changed from them. She had always been pure like this. So, she had reached the stage of non-retreating.

“As a Bodhisattva, she attained great eloquence.” She had reached the stage of a Bodhisattva of Equal Enlightenment, so she had attained unobstructed eloquence. Having thoroughly understood all the principles, “When it came to the Dharma of the Great and Small Vehicles, she [could teach] sentient beings according to their capabilities, helping them all to understand thoroughly until they were free of doubts or hindrances.” In regard to these principles, she had no doubts or hindrances. Her state of mind was one of total understanding, so in her eloquence she was unobstructed. This means that forming aspirations to realize the fruit all lies within the span of a single instant.

Forming aspirations to realize the fruit all lies within the span of a single instant. This means that by practicing one thing, we practice everything; by ending one thing, we end everything; by realizing one thing, we realize everything. It is like cutting through thread or dyeing a piece of fabric. Since Bodhi can be attained in an instant, how could there be any stages of advancement?

When we form an aspiration, we seize it in the moment and sustain it forever. We should seize our aspiration in that moment and then uphold it forever, so that our aspiration never changes. Thus, we never depart from that one instant. This means that “by practicing one thing, we practice everything; by ending one thing, we end everything; by realizing one thing, we realize everything.” This means that by understanding one principle, we can then understand 10,000 principles. It is like cutting or dying a piece of thread. If that thread becomes entangled, we quickly cut that mess of thread with a knife. We take it and cut it off. If we dye something that has never been dyed, it absorbs the color very quickly, but if we do not dye it, then the color remains plain. Dye is absorbed very quickly. If there is colored dye in a pot and you dip some fabric in very quickly, then it immediately absorbs the color. The principle is the same.

So, “By ending one thing, we end everything; by realizing one thing, we realize everything.” As long as we seize the moment and sustain it eternally, that aspiration is always there. So, “Since Bodhi can be attained in an instant, how could there be any stages of advancement?” We do not necessarily need to go through the Small, Middle and Great Vehicles in sequence. When we first encounter the Dharma, we can form Great Vehicle aspirations and cultivate the Great Vehicle Dharma. We begin by cultivating all practices. Through the door of retaining and upholding we can uphold all of the teachings, which means we practice all of the teachings. We cut through all afflictions and never become defiled by them again. To “realize” means we understand; these principles we awaken to will be forever engraved upon our hearts. They continually accumulate like this until we are completely pure and free of obstructions. This is when the mind becomes pure.

So, all of us should try to mindfully realize and understand the principles. By grasping one principle, we understand 10,000. If we only sit there discussing and debating, it will only trouble our own minds. So, we should always be mindful!

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