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 20180525《靜思妙蓮華》龍女獻珠 以智契理 (第1356集) (法華經·提婆達多品第十二)

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20180525《靜思妙蓮華》龍女獻珠 以智契理 (第1356集) (法華經·提婆達多品第十二) Empty
發表主題: 20180525《靜思妙蓮華》龍女獻珠 以智契理 (第1356集) (法華經·提婆達多品第十二)   20180525《靜思妙蓮華》龍女獻珠 以智契理 (第1356集) (法華經·提婆達多品第十二) Empty周四 五月 24, 2018 10:45 pm

20180525《靜思妙蓮華》龍女獻珠 以智契理 (第1356集) (法華經·提婆達多品第十二)

⊙龍女深智意會,智積菩薩乃是多寶佛之良胤,舍利弗乃釋尊之上座之弟子;智積之疑猶略,舍利弗疑念深,二賢如是,群機可知。
⊙若更持詞以辯終以為虛妄之言,故借獻寶珠之誠,佛納受之,以為真如本質平等,眾生皆可成佛,獻珠欲顯速證。
⊙「一者,不得作梵天王,二者,帝釋,三者,魔王,四者,轉輪聖王,五者,佛身,云何女身速得成佛?」《法華經提婆達多品第十二》
⊙「爾時、龍女有一寶珠,價值三千大千世界,持以上佛,佛即受之。龍女謂智積菩薩、尊者舍利弗言:」《法華經提婆達多品第十二》
⊙爾時、龍女有一寶珠,價值三千大千世界:龍之神力全在珠上,至貴寶也。
⊙持以上佛:龍女持此以奉世尊,表大施也。
⊙佛即受之:龍女獻珠,為表圓解。如來納受,印證其心。珠表智,佛表理,以智契理,將因趨果。
⊙龍女謂智積菩薩、尊者舍利弗言:既獻珠已,乃問智積及舍利弗;龍女意謂:智積乃多寶之良胤,身子乃釋迦之上座,智積之疑猶略,身子攻難愈詳,二賢若此,群賢可知,若更持強詞以辯,終以為虛妄,故借獻寶珠以為本質,欲顯速證。
⊙「我獻寶珠,世尊納受,是事疾不?答言:甚疾。女言:以汝神力觀我成佛,復速於此。」《法華經提婆達多品第十二》
⊙獻寶珠:喻將本有之清淨如來藏心,於一剎那間顯示於佛。即獻即受,喻即悟即證。
⊙龍女不即以言答舍利弗,以此當下成佛之境非言可顯,惟證乃知。故即假獻納寶珠,以喻成道之速。
⊙夫一獻一受,石火電光不足以比其速,而龍女成道之速乃復過之,皆顯頓悟成佛之義。
⊙一珠稱性之施,義攝萬行齊圓,不住法施,用力少,收功多,豈假大千身命,多劫六度乎?
⊙所謂千年之鳥,不及朝生之鳳,圓根與不圓根,日劫相者,即此意。

【證嚴上人開示】
龍女深智意會,智積菩薩乃是多寶佛之良胤,舍利弗乃釋尊之上座之弟子;智積之疑猶略,舍利弗疑念深,二賢如是,群機可知。

龍女深智意會
智積菩薩
乃是多寶佛之良胤
舍利弗乃
釋尊之上座之弟子
智積之疑猶略
舍利弗疑念深
二賢如是
群機可知

我們就能夠知道,龍女她的深智,已經能夠體會到了,她體會到的,那就是智積菩薩他就是「多寶佛之良胤」。意思就是說,龍女了解,因為她也是深智,智慧也是很深,她能了解,智積菩薩是多寶佛弟子中,與多寶佛相近。就像我們在娑婆世界,舍利弗是佛入門弟子中,「智慧第一」,是上座的弟子,所以她了解這兩位賢人與佛陀教化的代表性。多寶佛為聽《法華經》,來娑婆世界,寶塔現前,說是為了聽經,其實來證明《法華經》,是諸經之王,也就是像我們人人本具佛性,佛性本具,我們原來與佛是同等,佛陀就是這樣跟我們說,人人本具佛性。所以我們心中的寶塔現前,就是表示我們法聽了,了解,了解了「諸佛性空」;但是「性空真如」,這性如法海,智慧就如海一樣,遼闊的智慧本來人人本具,只要我們再用心,原來本具的智慧是同樣的,人人本有。

所以,多寶佛是這樣,多寶佛的弟子隨身而來的弟子,也是上座弟子,稱為菩薩,他是古佛隨身而來的弟子,可見他是已經不斷修行,親近多寶佛的身邊。而舍利弗呢?娑婆世界,還是現聲聞身,聲聞,就是還是守在獨善其身;獨善其身,佛陀鼓勵他發大心、入人群,利人利己,舍利弗開始發心了,佛為他授記,才是發心、發願而已,還是還離佛還有一段距離,就是意思是還未身體力行。但是他已經是智慧第一,是弟子中,佛所講的法,他能一聞能解,只是沒有去身體力行,入人群發大心,這項還沒有做。其實,佛性完全體會了解了,還未身體力行而已。不過,這樣就差很多,還未「六度萬行」具足,還沒有去身體力行。所以,他是上座的弟子,與他其他弟子比起來,他就是已經是上座了。就像人在稱呼:「你是某某人的高足。」「高足」那意思就是,比其他弟子再高一等,這就是高足,那就是上座,意思就是說,已經佛所說的法,他有聽進去,但是「六度萬行」,還未去身體力行,還是聲聞的弟子。

所以,智積的疑略,猶略就是比較少,因他比較是過來人,六度因行,他是跟隨古佛,所以六度因行,他有經過了。雖然心有疑,有懷疑:這龍女是異類,尤其是年齡這麼小,尤其是女身,豈有辦法體會,這麼深奧的道理呢?而且,又是很快就能成佛。這是智積菩薩他有一點點存疑。不過龍女出現了,他這些疑完全消除,證明龍女已經是得到大智慧了,真真正正體解大道,也已經發無上心,才有這樣的良能。在兩尊菩薩對答這當中,這樣她忽然現前,這是表示她用事實勝於言辯,這樣智積他就能解疑。舍利弗那個疑念還很深,但是龍女她知道,娑婆世界的舍利弗,以及東方世界多寶佛的弟子,這兩位都是「賢」。所以「二賢如是,群機可知」。就能知道舍利弗,既然還有這麼重的疑問,娑婆世界的眾生,就能知道還是疑問很多,這是「龍女深智意會」,龍女的智慧,這就是已經要證明,娑婆世界凡夫眾生疑慮,這個疑無法去體會,不能了解。

所以說,「若更持詞以辯,終以為虛妄之言」。

若更持詞以辯
終以為虛妄之言
故借獻寶珠之誠
佛納受之
以為真如本質平等
眾生皆可成佛
獻珠欲顯速證

龍女為了要證明,智積菩薩與文殊菩薩,在那裡討論,要文殊菩薩回答;若要再讓文殊菩薩回答,這樣不如龍女現前,來解除智積的疑。現在龍女已經出現,智積菩薩的疑也已經去除了,但是舍利弗的疑問又再提起。所以說,既然龍女向佛陀頂禮,偈文讚佛,舍利弗還是不相信,不能體會龍女她的境界,所以再強辯還是一樣,空口無憑,只是用辯的而已。所以,龍女,下面她就,她獻寶珠,用誠意來獻,獻給佛陀,佛陀是會接受,佛陀也歡解接受。因為龍女的誠意,佛陀歡喜接受。用這樣來表達「真如平等」。眾生平等,只要我們人人將這分誠意的心,將這分要度眾生的誠意付出。

所以我們就說過了,誠正信實,四弘誓願,我們以誠能誓願度眾生。我們若是沒有用內心的誠意,你說發「四弘誓願」,「眾生無邊誓願度」,你要如何度呢?必定要「誠」,誠意奉獻付出。你要用你的誠意付出,這個誠意不是短暫的,誠意是長時間,累生累世,累劫長時間的誠意,用這長時間的誠意,已經龍女也是,「六度萬行」的過來人,這就是長時間的付出。六度萬行,這就是誠意。所以在這段接下去的文,龍女獻珠,就是表達誠意,是發自內心的誠意,也已經「六度萬行」,眾生無邊誓願度,六度萬行就這樣走過了。因為佛陀他即時將她的寶珠,接受過來,就是表示,她已經走過來的路,她的誠意佛陀接受。雖然是短暫這樣的誠意奉獻,佛陀即時將它接受起來,時間是很短,其實這是要表示很長的時間。

我們再下來,多用心來體會,這就是《法華經》,讓我們愈了解,會愈法喜充滿。我們的誠意不是短暫,是累生世,這樣不斷誠意入人群度眾生,為眾生在付出的那分誠意。一直要慈濟人「誠正信實」,念要「正」 ,除了「誠」以外,要正念,正念才有辦法斷煩惱。我們要「信」,要有深信,才有辦法把佛法無邊,我們誓願學,有很多很多的佛法,我們一定要學。我們還要「實」,要真實,因為我們腳踏實地,一步一步向前走,成佛的道路,就是要我們身體力行出來的,不是只有聽,了解就好,不是,我們還要再身體力行,在人群中付出,是「真空」,卻是我們所結的法緣,那是「妙有」啊,「真空妙有」,我們要很用心來體會。

所以,龍女獻珠,佛納受了,這就是「以為真如本質平等」,這樣我們就能夠去體會,「心、佛、眾生三無差別」,就是在一念心,那念的誠意,這念心,三無差別,就是心、佛、眾生平等。所以「眾生皆可成佛」,所有的眾生都能夠成佛,哪有說龍女不能成佛?可以成佛。所以「獻珠欲顯速證」,就是要獻珠給佛陀,就是表示要成佛,和這樣的時間一樣,我的誠意,最終佛陀能夠這麼快速納受,同樣,證佛的境界就是這麼快速。

前面所說的,女人,女身有「五障」:「一者,不得作梵天王,二者,帝釋,三者,魔王,四者,轉輪聖王,五者,佛身。」這是前面經文。「云何女身速得成佛?」

一者不得作梵天王
二者帝釋
三者魔王
四者轉輪聖王
五者佛身
云何女身速得成佛
《法華經提婆達多品第十二》

舍利弗這種疑問,那麼在下面這段文,我們就能了解。下面這段文就這樣說:「爾時、龍女有一寶珠,價值三千大千世界,持以上佛,佛即受之。龍女謂智積菩薩、尊者舍利弗言:」

爾時
龍女有一寶珠
價值三千大千世界
持以上佛
佛即受之
龍女謂智積菩薩
尊者舍利弗言
《法華經提婆達多品第十二》

她用辯論的沒有用,她用真實的行動,把寶珠獻給佛,佛陀即時就這樣把它接受過來,龍女轉過身來就向智積菩薩,和尊者舍利弗說話了。這段文,我們要很用心去體會。龍女獻珠,龍的神力全在珠上面,這顆珠就是表示,龍牠最珍貴的東西。

爾時
龍女有一寶珠
價值三千大千世界
龍之神力全在珠上
至貴寶也

我們常常聽到「雙龍搶珠」,意思就是這顆珠在龍的境界裡,是多麼的重要,所有的神力,就是集中在這顆珠裡,這是龍界是價值無上。龍女把這顆珠獻上給佛,這是至尊最貴的寶物,獻給釋迦牟尼佛。

持以上佛:
龍女持此以奉世尊
表大施也

所以龍女「持以上佛」,那就是奉獻給釋迦牟尼佛,表達布施。

「佛即受之」,釋迦牟尼佛將龍女所獻的寶珠,他馬上就將它接受下來,因為佛體會龍女的誠意。剛才向大家說的誠意,先讓大家知道,你們就會了解這個誠意。佛陀將它接受下來,就是證明龍女是累生累世,那個誠意入人群,六度萬行走過來,圓滿了。佛陀接受,受珠了。所以「珠」是表示智慧,佛是「覺」,是表示「理」,道理;智慧和道理會合了,理和智契合起來。所以「智契理」,這個智契合這個道理,意思是「將因趨果」,就是因趨向這個果來了。因 」,已經六度萬行,俱全了、具足了,已經因行果滿了,「因」已經完成,「果」就滿足了,所以「將因趨果」,已經趨向在「果」裡了。

佛即受之:
龍女獻珠
為表圓解
如來納受
印證其心
珠表智
佛表理
以智契理
將因趨果

所以龍女她這樣獻給佛,就是表示她走過的道路,所做過的行,菩薩道,就是圓滿了。就向智積菩薩和尊者舍利弗,要讓他們看,這個境界,智積菩薩有看到了,尊者舍利弗應該也有看到,就要問他:「這樣你有看到嗎?」

龍女謂智積菩薩
尊者舍利弗言:
既獻珠已
乃問智積及舍利弗
龍女意謂
智積乃多寶之良胤
身子乃釋迦之上座
智積之疑猶略
身子攻難愈詳
二賢若此
群賢可知
若更持強詞以辯
終以為虛妄
故借獻寶珠
以為本質
欲顯速證

龍女的意思就是,「智積乃多寶佛之良胤」,就是上首的弟子。「身子」,「身子」就是舍利弗,舍利弗是釋迦佛的上座的弟子,也是上首的弟子。智積的懷疑比較少,應該消滅了,舍利弗他還將這個疑問,提出來問難,可見,就是真的要了解,這兩位賢人。「賢」再上去就是「聖」。

所以「二賢若此,群賢可知」。因為智積是支來佛的菩薩,就是多寶佛身邊的菩薩,這也是賢的位置。古佛已經度化眾生了,那些眾生群,一個人就能夠表達群眾。在智積代表是,多寶佛教化的群眾,舍利弗代表釋迦牟尼佛教化的群眾,所以「二賢若此」,這兩位疑問,疑問,智積菩薩的疑問比較薄,就是表示,已經度化過的人群代表,就是比較薄的疑,那就是智慧較充足。但是,舍利弗他所代表的,是娑婆世界的眾生,這是未來佛陀將要度的人。佛陀當世度和未來在度的人,當世度的,就是和舍利弗同那個時代,未來要度的,就是我們現在這個時代。所以我們現在這個時代,凡夫啊,也是有「五障」,除了貪、瞋、癡,慢和疑也是還是很重。

所以若更強詞以辯,「終以為虛妄」。所以舍利弗的疑還很重,因為他是代表,佛陀在教化的眾生,所以疑問還是很多。用辯的,沒有用,不如就是用實在,借這個獻寶珠的境界,來表達「實質」,實在的真如。真如本性就是要去身體力行,誠意,累生世,六度萬行,要這樣度化眾生入人群,走過來,因圓了自然果滿,就像一顆珠。這顆珠龍女她呈現給佛。珠表示智慧,佛陀表示道理,所以智慧這樣,一直一直保持著誠意,沒有染垢,貪、瞋、癡、慢、疑,完全都去除,無明煩惱全都沒有了。這在人群中的緣也已經完成了,這種「真空妙有」的境界,已經都達成了。「借獻寶珠以為本質」,這就是最誠懇,表達出來,讓大家看。「借獻寶珠以為本質,欲顯速證」,這就是表示很快,她就能夠成佛。這個「獻珠」和「很快就能夠成佛」,關係很大。

下面這一段文再說:「我獻寶珠,世尊納受,是事疾不?答言:甚疾。女言:以汝神力觀我成佛,復速於此。」

我獻寶珠
世尊納受
是事疾不
答言甚疾
女言
以汝神力觀我成佛
復速於此
《法華經提婆達多品第十二》

這是龍女獻珠之後,佛陀納受。她回過頭來問智積和舍利弗:「我現在獻珠,世尊已經接受了,這個事情,你看,這麼快,這個事相你有看到嗎?真實的事相,我的寶珠,佛陀很快納受,這樣你有看到嗎?快嗎?我獻給佛,佛一點都沒有猶豫,馬上把我的寶珠接起來,這樣是不是很快的時間呢?」怎麼回答呢?「答言:甚疾。」很快。妳獻出,佛很快就收到。「女言:以汝神力觀我成佛,復速於此。」龍女就要展功夫給他們看,「既然我的寶珠獻出去,佛陀接受得這麼快,你看我,看我成佛的速度比這樣更快。」用事實來證明。

獻寶珠:
喻將本有之
清淨如來藏心
於一剎那間
顯示於佛
即獻即受
喻即悟即證

「於一剎那間顯示於佛,即獻即受」,譬喻「即悟即證」,很快我的真如本性,就能夠呈現出來。而我們凡夫呢?跟你說這麼多了,「真如本性長怎麼樣?你拿出來給我看。」「我是要去哪裡,拿什麼給你看?」但是龍女很快就把她的如來藏心,真如本性,剎那間,就這樣顯示於佛,這是智,智慧,龍女的智慧和佛的智,這個深智已經會合,佛佛智同、道同,這是表示龍女將要成佛,這個智慧已經與釋迦佛同等了。所以「即獻即受」,龍女獻珠,佛陀接受了,這就是悟。譬喻「即悟即證」,馬上就能夠覺悟,馬上就能夠證佛果,很快,這就是很快的意思。「疾」就是快。

舍利弗,因為龍女問他們,兩位都同樣回答「甚疾」。真的,這個事情真的很快,佛陀接受得也很快。所以這表示龍女證果之速,已經相信了,相信龍女要能證得佛果是這麼的快。

所以,龍女她馬上回答,「汝以神力觀我成佛,復速於此。」請你們兩位看我要成佛的速度,也是同樣這樣這麼地快,像我在獻珠一樣。

龍女不即以言
答舍利弗
以此當下成佛之境
非言可顯
惟證乃知
故即假獻納寶珠
以喻成道之速

所以「龍女不即以言答舍利弗,以此當下成佛之境非言可顯,惟證乃知,故即假獻納寶珠,以喻成道之速」。既然龍女向佛陀頂禮,偈言讚佛,合利弗還是不相信,不能體會龍女她的境界,所以再強辯還是一樣,龍女就不用再回答了,成佛之境。這不是用語言可以再回答。因為「證」,要體悟,真正是有證悟、體悟的人,就能夠了解。所以「故即假獻納寶珠」,獻珠和納珠,龍女獻珠,釋迦佛納受寶珠。一顆珠,一位獻,一位納受,「獻納寶珠」,「以喻成道之速」,在成道這麼快。

夫一獻一受
石火電光
不足以比其速
而龍女成道之速
乃復過之
皆顯頓悟成佛之義

所以「夫一獻一受,石火電光不足以比其速」,表示這個快速。「石火電光」,知道嗎?在古代,用石頭這樣來摩擦,它能迸出火花來,火花就是石頭和石頭,互相碰出火花起來,是很硬的東西。就像現在有的人,現在很多大理石,用鋸子在那裡鋸,它就是火花一直噴,就是硬的東西碰硬的東西,自然那個極硬相碰觸,這樣會出火花出來,但是這是剎那就過去了,火花噴出來,就剎那就過去了,很快,沒有停留。電光,電光,就是過去打雷閃電,閃電,一閃,也是過去,很快速,這個快速無法可比較,要說它是一秒間,秒很短,但是瞬間,瞬間,一下子就過了,所以沒有什麼東西,好比較那個速度,速度很快。就是光速,非常的快。「不足以比其速」,就是這個速度,龍女要成佛的速度就是這樣,比這樣更快。所以「皆顯頓悟成佛之義」,龍女的成佛不是慢慢修,她是頓悟。講起來,也是長時間,那個因是從很長很長的時間,這樣累積過來,到現在,因緣都很成熟了,所以很快,因圓果滿,這樣就成佛了,很快。

所以,「一珠稱性之施,義攝萬行齊圓,不住法施,用力少,收功多,豈假大千身命,多劫六度乎。」

一珠稱性之施
義攝萬行齊圓
不住法施
用力少
收功多
豈假大千身命
多劫六度乎

這就是表示這顆珠,「稱性」,就是智慧,這個智慧是和我們真如本性,是合而為一,布施這個意義,就是「攝萬行齊圓」,這已經包含了「六度萬行」,全都圓滿了。一顆珠的布施給佛,獻給佛,這已經是表示,六度萬行都已經齊圓了,都圓了,圓滿了。「不住法施」。已經都沒有掛礙,表示性清淨,本性清淨,付出無所求,完全乾乾淨淨,但是這個因圓果滿,很自然,自然就是本性,如來藏性,回歸自然清淨無染的本性,這「不住法施」,就是無住相的布施,圓滿了。但是,無住相的布施,這就是法,就是真理回歸大自然的覺性來,真如本性。

所以「用力少,收功多」。付出,借力使力,是借入人群中這樣在付出,去體會到這麼多這麼多的道理,所以收回來的功德有這麼大。其實要感恩,不只是無所求,付出無所求,還要感恩,就是因為入人群中,讓我體會這麼大,入人群中,讓我因圓果滿,成佛了。所以用力少,收功多,我就是只是一心付出,這樣而已,就能現在回歸本性,自然清淨本性,這就是修行的境界。我們修行,不斷,要不斷付出,付出無所求,無染著,不用拖泥帶水,很乾淨,累生累劫不斷付出,這已經「六度萬行」,圓滿了。「豈假大千身命,多劫六度乎?」不用再講過去在三界,三千大千世界,在這個三界中,欲界、色界、無色界,這樣走過來,很多的無明煩惱完全去盡了,所有捨身命,多劫行六度萬行,這已經這樣就是過去了,這就是這樣,在借人群而來為眾生付出,其實是自己所得來的。

所以說「所謂千年之鳥,不及朝生之鳳」,就是說千年的鳥還是千年的鳥,就是鳥而已,但是不及一大早才生下來的這隻鳳凰鳥。鳳凰和鳥來比較,鳳凰是很貴重的鳥,鳳凰。鳥,你滿天都能夠看到鳥在飛,鳥和鳳凰要怎麼比較呢?所以「千年之鳥,不及朝生之鳳」,不如剛生出來的這隻鳳凰。

所謂千年之鳥
不及朝生之鳳
圓根與不圓根
日劫相者
即此意

所以「圓根與不圓根」,日和劫,其實都是一樣,我們若是透徹了解,能夠剎那間,就能回溯,很長久以前的事情。慈濟怎麼走過來的,很快地回歸到那個時候,我三五句話就講完了。同樣的道理,累生累劫如何修行呢?其實在證悟的剎那間,同樣的道理,要說長劫多久,不如說及時的現在。所以說把握當下,就是恆持剎那,在那個剎那間的一念心,恆持永遠、永遠,這樣持那一念心,走過來的路到現在,同樣的道理。

所以說「千年之鳥,不及朝生之凰,圓根與不圓根」,就是說已經行過了,「六度萬行」,和還沒有去身體力行的根機,是差那麼多,走過路的人,他自然「很久很久以前的事情,我都清清楚楚,那個走過的風光,我了解。」沒有走過的人,你重新去走,走過來再來說。同樣的道理,這就是龍女為什麼能這麼快就成佛,現在智積菩薩已經無疑了,舍利弗應該也要相信龍女這種過去的因,是因為他們不知道,那個因行的過程,所以他說她現在以龍女的身形,所以這樣他有懷疑。

他若了解她過去的大乘行,入人群,在六道中這樣在付出,現在所了解的法,本來就很清楚。文殊菩薩到龍宮是要現這個相,引導龍女來為大家作證,真如本性,如來藏心,「心、佛、眾生三無差別」是平等。只是缺在我們還沒有去身體力行,我們發願,還沒有起步,還沒有入人群,做得還不夠,我們還無法體會,只是這樣而已。我們的智,還沒有辦法如龍女獻珠,佛這樣接受,智和理還沒有契合,我們只是這樣而已。所以我們要在理相上,要時時多用心!


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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: The Dragon Girl Presents a Pearl to the Buddha (龍女獻珠 以智契理)
Date: May.25.2018

“In her profound wisdom, the dragon girl sensed that Wisdom Accumulated Bodhisattva was Many Treasures Buddha’s successor and that Sariputra was Venerable Sakyamuni’s senior disciple. Wisdom Accumulated was slightly doubtful, but Sariputra had deep doubts. Knowing the two sages felt like this, one can imagine how beings of other capabilities must have felt.”

From this, we can understand that the dragon girl, with her profound wisdom, was already able to realize that Wisdom Accumulated Bodhisattva was “Many Treasures Buddha’s successor.” This means that dragon girl knew this because she had profound wisdom. Her wisdom was also very profound. She could understand that among the disciples of Many Treasures Buddha, Wisdom Accumulated Bodhisattva was closet to Many Treasures Buddha. This was like how in our Saha World, among the Buddha’s monastic disciples, Sariputra was “the foremost in wisdom” as well as one of the most senior disciples. Thus, she understood that these two sages acted as representatives for these Buddhas in teaching and transforming others. In order to hear the Lotus Sutra, Many Treasures Buddha came to the Saha World. The stupa of treasures is said to have manifested in order for Him to listen to the sutra. Actually, He came to affirm that the Lotus Sutra is the king of all sutras. [He also wanted to affirm that] everyone intrinsically has Buddha-nature. Our Buddha-nature is intrinsic; we are innately equal to the Buddha. This is what the Buddha tells us, that everyone intrinsically has Buddha-nature. So, the stupa of treasures appearing in our minds indicates that we have heard the Dharma and understood that “The nature of all phenomena is empty.”

However, “The empty nature of all things is True Suchness.” This nature is like an ocean of Dharma. This wisdom is like an ocean. The vast ocean of wisdom is something that everyone intrinsically has. We simply must put our heart into being mindful. Our innate wisdom has always been the same [as the Buddha’s]. This is something everyone intrinsically has. For Many Treasures Buddha, it was like this. The disciple who traveled with Him was Many Treasures Buddha’s senior disciple. He was called a Bodhisattva. He was that ancient Buddha’s attendant. Clearly, he had been continuously practicing right next to Many Treasures Buddha. What about Sariputra? In the Saha World, he still took the form of a Hearer. Hearers are practitioners who are still practicing only for their own benefit. The Buddha encouraged these practitioners to form great aspirations and go among people to benefit both others and themselves. Sariputra had begun to form aspirations, so the Buddha bestowed a prediction of Buddhahood on him. However, he had only just formed aspirations. He still was a very long way from attaining Buddhahood. This means he had not yet put the teachings into practice. However, he was already the foremost in wisdom. Among all the disciples of the Buddha, he was the one who could understand the Buddha’s teachings as soon as he heard them. He just had not put the teachings into practice by going among people and forming great aspirations. He had not done this part yet. Actually, he already had a full understanding of the Buddha-nature; he had just not put the teachings into practice. However, he was still very far from [attaining Buddhahood]. He had not fully actualized the Six Paramitas in all actions and had not yet put the teachings into practice. So, he was a senior disciple. Compared with other disciples, he was already in a senior position.

It is kind of like calling this person someone’s “distinguished disciple”. When we call someone a “distinguished disciple,” we mean he is more senior than other disciples. Thus, he was a distinguished disciple, also known as a senior disciple. This is to say that he had already heard and accepted the teachings of the Buddha. However, when it came to actualizing the Six Paramitas in all actions, he had not yet put the teachings into practice, so he was still a Hearer. As for Wisdom Accumulated, he was “slightly doubtful,” meaning he had less doubts. This was because he had more experience. He had followed the ancient Buddha in the causal practice of the Six Paramitas. So, he had gone through the causal practice of the Six Paramitas. Yet he still had some doubts. The dragon girl was a non-human being, she was very young and she was moreover female. How could she be able to comprehend such profound principles, not to mention attain Buddhahood so quickly? Thus, Wisdom Accumulated had some doubts.

However, the appearance of the dragon girl completely eliminated his doubts. This proved that the dragon girl had already attained great wisdom, that she had truly comprehended the great path. She had already formed the supreme aspiration, so she had such abilities. As the two Bodhisattvas were conversing, she suddenly appeared in front of them. This is a case of facts speaking louder than words. Thus, Wisdom Accumulated’s doubts were dispelled. Sariputra still had very deep doubts. However, the dragon girl understood that Sariputra from the Saha World and the disciple of Many Treasures Buddha from the east were both “sages”. So, “Knowing the two sages felt like this, one can imagine how beings of other capabilities must have felt.” We can imagine that since Sariputra still had such deep doubts, the sentient begins of the Saha World must still have had many questions. “In her profound wisdom, the dragon girl sensed [this]”. In her wisdom, the dragon girl was already about to provide proof. The ordinary people of the Saha World had doubts. Due to these doubts, they were unable to understand this. Thus, “If she persisted in further debate, her words would ultimately seem meaningless.”

If she persisted in further debate, her words would ultimately seem meaningless. Therefore, she sincerely offered a precious pearl, which the Buddha accepted. She did this to demonstrate that the intrinsic nature of True Suchness is equal in all and that all sentient beings can attain Buddhahood. She offered the pearl to show how swiftly she would attain realization.

The dragon girl wanted to provide proof. Wisdom Accumulated Bodhisattva and Manjusri Bodhisattva were there, having a discussion. [Wisdom Accumulated] wished for Manjusri to answer his question. But rather than letting Manjusri Bodhisattva answer the question, it was better for the dragon girl to appear to eliminate Wisdom Accumulated’s doubts. Now, the dragon girl had appeared, and the doubts of Wisdom Accumulated had already been eliminated. However, Sariputra’s brought up his doubts again. So, it says that after the dragon girl prostrated to the Buddha and spoke in verse to praise the Buddha, Sariputra still did not believe. He could not comprehend the state of the dragon girl. Thus, he was still trying to argue, using rhetoric to make unfounded statements. So, next the dragon girl, with a sincere heart, presented a precious pearl to the Buddha, and the Buddha gladly accepted her offering.

Because of the dragon girl’s sincerity, the Buddha gladly accepted her offering. This was to show the equality of True Suchness. All sentient beings are equal. We must simply be sincere in our aspiration and put effort into transforming sentient beings. Thus, we have already talked about “sincerity, integrity, faith and steadfastness” and “the Four Great Vows”. Only with sincerity can we vow to transform sentient beings. Without sincerity in our minds, if we say we wish to make the Four Great Vows, “I vow to deliver countless sentient beings,” how could we transform sentient beings? We must be sincere in serving other people. We need to use our sincerity in helping others. This sincerity must not be short-lived; it should be a long-term sincerity that lasts over many lifetimes. With such long-term sincerity, the dragon girl was also one who had “actualized the Six Paramitas in all actions” by serving others for a long time. She had already showed her sincerity by actualizing the Six Paramitas in all actions. So, in the following passage, the dragon girl presents the pearl [to the Buddha] to who her sincerity, sincerity from the bottom of her heart. She had already actualized the Six Paramitas in all actions. “I vow to deliver countless sentient begins.” So, [we know] she had already “actualized the Six Paramitas in all actions”. The Buddha immediately accepting the precious pearl from her showed that she had already finished her journey of spiritual practice. The Buddha accepted her sincerity. Although her sincere offering was brief, the Buddha immediately accepted her offering. This very brief time was actually indicative of a very long time. We need to mindfully comprehend this. The more we understand the Lotus Sutra, the more we are filled with Dharma-joy. Our sincerity should not be short-lived. Instead, it should last many lifetimes. [We must] constantly go among people, sincerely delivering sentient beings and serving them with sincerity. I always ask Tzu Chi volunteers to be “sincere, upright, faithful and steadfast”. Our thoughts need to be “upright”. In addition to being sincere, we must also [be upright] with right mindfulness. Only by having right mindfulness can we eliminate our afflictions. We need to have “faith”. Only with deep faith will we be able to vow to learn the boundless Buddha-Dharma. There is so much Buddha-Dharma that we must learn. We also need to be steadfast and grounded. We must keep our feet on the ground as we move forward, step by step. The path to attaining Buddhahood requires us to put the teachings into action. It is not enough to just listen to and understand the teachings. We also need to put them into practice. Going among people to give of ourselves is “true emptiness,” yet the Dharma-affinities we form are what is called “wondrous existence”. We need to mindfully comprehend “wondrous existence and true emptiness”. Therefore, when the dragon girl offered the pearl, the Buddha accepted it. “She did this to demonstrate that the intrinsic nature of True Suchness is equal in all”. In this way, we are able to comprehend that. “The mind, the Buddha and sentient begins are no different [in their nature].” All it takes is one thought of sincerity. With this thought, the three are no different. The mind, the Buddha and sentient beings are all equal. So, “All sentient beings can attain Buddhahood”. Since all sentient beings can attain Buddhahood, how could the dragon girl not have been able to attain Buddhahood? She was able to attain Buddhahood. “She offered the pearl to show how swiftly she would attain realization”. The time it took to offer the pearl to the Buddha was the same time it would take for her to attain Buddhahood. “Due to my sincerity, the Buddha was able to accept it so quickly. For me to realize the state of Buddhahood will be just as quick”.

As we previously mentioned, females have “the Five Hindrances”. “One, the cannot become King Braham. Two, they cannot become Sovereign Sakra. Three, they cannot become King Mara. Four, they cannot become a wheel-turning sage king. Five, they cannot become a Buddha”. This is what the previous sutra passage states. “How can you, as a woman, possibly say that you will swiftly attain Buddhahood?”

Sariputra had this kind of doubt. From the next sutra passage we will understand this. This sutra passage states, “At that time the dragon girl had a precious pearl worth as much as the great trichiliocosm. She presented it before the Buddha, and the Buddha immediately accepted it. The dragon girl said to Wisdom Accumulated Bodhisattva and Venerable Sariputra….”

It was useless for her to argue. Instead, she took practical action and presented a precious pearl to the Buddha. The Buddha immediately accepted it. Then, the dragon girl turned around and began to talk to Wisdom Accumulated Bodhisattva and Venerable Sariputra. We need to mindfully comprehend this passage. The dragon girl presented her pearl [to the Buddha]. The spiritual powers of dragons are completely contained within their peals. This means this pearl is the most precious objects a dragon has.

At that time the dragon girl had a precious pearl worth as much as the great trichiliocosm: The spiritual powers of dragons are completely contained within their pearls; these are extremely precious.

There is a saying, “two dragons fighting over a pearl”. This shows how important these pearls are in the realm of dragons. All their spiritual powers are completely contained within their pearls. In the dragon realm, these pearls are supremely precious. The dragon girl presented her pearl to the Buddha. This was an offering of a most precious treasure to Sakyamuni Buddha. The dragon girl “presented it before the Buddha”. This offering to Sakyamuni Buddha represents the practice of giving. “The Buddha immediately accepted it”. Sakyamuni Buddha immediately accepted the precious pearl presented by the dragon girl because He could feel her sincerity. We talked about “sincerity” a moment ago. I first explained this so you would all understand what “sincerity” is. That the Buddha accepted the pearl proved the dragon girl’s sincerity in going among people lifetime after lifetime. She had completely actualized the Six Paramitas in all actions. The Buddha accepted her pearl. The pearl symbolizes wisdom. “Buddha” means “enlightenment”; this represents the principles. Wisdom and principles had now converged; the principles resonated with her wisdom. So, “Wisdom resonated with the principles”. Her wisdom resonated with the principles, meaning, “Her causes would quickly come to fruition”. It means her causes came to fruition. Speaking of her cause, she had already actualized the Six Paramitas in all actions. Because she had fully actualized them, she was perfect in both causes and effects. Because she had completed the causes, she was about to attain the fruition. Thus, “Her cause quickly came to fruition. She was already close to reaching the effect.

The Buddha immediately accepted it: That the dragon girl offered the pearl demonstrated her perfect understanding. That the Tathagata accepted it testified to her aspiration. The pearl represents wisdom and the Buddha represents the principles. Her wisdom resonated with the principles, thus her causes quickly came to fruition.

When the dragon girl offered this pearl to the Buddha, it symbolized the path she had walked and the practice she had engaged in. She had completed the Bodhisattva-path. Then, she turned to Wisdom Accumulated Buddha and Venerable Sariputra to let them witness this state to let them witness this state. Wisdom Accumulated Bodhisattva had already seen it. Venerable Sariputra must also have seen this, so she wanted to ask him, “Do you see this?”

The dragon girl said to Wisdom Accumulated Bodhisattva and Venerable Sariputra…: Having offered the pearl, she then spoke to Wisdom Accumulated and Sariputra. What the dragon girl meant was that Wisdom Accumulated was the successor of Many Treasures and that Son-of-Body was one of Sakyamuni ’s senior disciples. Wisdom Accumulated was slightly doubtful, but Son-of-Body was even more skeptical. Knowing that these two sages felt like this, we can imagine how the other sages must have felt. If she persisted in further debate, her words would ultimately have seemed meaningless. Thus, by offering the precious pearl, she demonstrated her intrinsic nature, hoping to show that she would swiftly attain realization.

The dragon girl’s intent was that Wisdom Accumulated was the successor of Many Treasures Buddha, His senior disciple. “Son-of-Body” refers to Sariputra. Sariputra was one of the senior disciples of Sakyamuni Buddha. He was a very senior disciple. Wisdom Accumulated ’s doubts were less severe; they had already been more or less eliminated. Sariputra [however] still raised questions in order to resolve his serious doubts. Clearly, we need to truly understand [the mindset of] these two sages. Beyond “sagehood” is the state of Buddhahood. “Knowing that these two sages felt like this, we can imagine how the other sages must have felt. Wisdom Accumulated was the Bodhisattva of the ancient Buddha, the attendant Bodhisattva Many Treasures Buddha He had attained the level of a sage. The ancient Buddha had already taught and transformed sentient beings. [In that place], a group of sentient beings could be represented by one person. Wisdom Accumulated represented the people who had been taught and transformed by Many Treasures Buddha. Sariputra represented the people who were being taught and transformed by Sakyamuni Buddha. So, “Knowing the two sages felt like this…. These two sages had doubts. Wisdom Accumulated had less doubts. That meant that the representative of those who had already been transformed had less doubts, meaning their wisdom was more abundant. However, those represented by Sariputra were the sentient beings in the Saha World. Those were the ones who would be transformed by the Buddha in the future. Of these transformed during the Buddha’s time and those to be transformed then belonged to the same era as Sariputra. Those who were yet to be transformed refers to the people living in our present era. Thus, we who live in this era are ordinary people who have the Five Hindrances. In addition to greet, anger and ignorance was also have severe arrogance and doubt. So, if she persisted in further debate, her words “would ultimately have seemed meaningless.” Sariputra still had many doubts. Because he represented the sentient beings who were being taught and transformed by the Buddha, he still had many doubts. It would be useless for the dragon girl to argue. Instead, she used this scene of presenting the precious pearl [to the Buddha] as a symbol of her true essence, the actual nature of True Suchness. For our nature of True Suchness [to manifest], we must out the teachings into practice. We need to sincerely actualize the Six Paramitas in all actions, life after life. We need to go among people to transform sentient beings. by walking this path, with perfect causes, we will naturally be replete in the effects. This is just like a pearl. The dragon girl presented this pearl to the Buddha. the pearl represents wisdom and the Buddha represents principles. In this way, in her wisdom she had constantly maintained her sincerity without any defilement. She had completely eliminated her greed, anger, delusion, arrogance and doubt. Her ignorance and afflictions had completely disappeared. She had completed her affinities with other people. She had already reached the state of “wondrous existence and true emptiness. Thus, by offering the precious pearl, she demonstrated her intrinsic nature.” She had expressed her utmost sincerity for everyone to see. “Thus, by offering the precious pearl she demonstrated her intrinsic nature, hoping to show that she would swiftly attain realization.” This means she could very swiftly attain Buddhahood. Here, “offering the precious pearl” was closely related to how swiftly she was able to attain Buddhahood.

The following sutra passage states, “’I offered this precious pearl and the World-Honored One accepted it. Did this happen quickly? “They replied, ‘Very quickly!’ The girl said, Use your spiritual powers and watch as I attain Buddhahood even quickly than that!’”

After the dragon girl offered the pearl and the Buddha accepted it, she turned around to Wisdom Accumulated and Sariputra and asked, “The pearl I now offered, was already accepted by the World-Honored One. Look, this happened so fast. Did you witness this actual event? The Buddha immediately accepted my precious pearl. Did you see this? Did it happen quickly? When I wanted to offer it to the Buddha, the Buddha did not have any hesitation; He immediately accepted my pearl. Didn’t this happen very quickly?” How did they answer? They replied, “Very quickly! As soon as you offered the pearl, the Buddha immediately accepted it. The girl said, ‘Use your spiritual powers and watch as I attain Buddhahood even quickly than that!’” The Dragon girl showed them what she could do. “When I offered the precious pearl to the Buddha, the Buddha immediately accepted it. Watch me as I attain Buddhahood even faster than that.”

She used actual events to prove it. Offering the precious pearl is a metaphor for “[revealing] the intrinsic, pure Tathagata-garbha,” our intrinsic nature of True Suchness. The pearl represents our nature of True Suchness. “[She] revealed it to the Buddha in an instant. [The Buddha] immediately accepting her offering” is a metaphor for her immediate awakening and attainment. “Very soon, my nature of True Suchness will be revealed.” How about us ordinary people? I have asked you so many times, “What does the nature of True Suchness look like? Take it out and show it to me! Where am I supposed to get something to show you?” However, the dragon girl very quickly revealed her pure Tathagata-garbha mind, her nature of True Suchness, to the Buddha in a flash. This shows that the dragon girl’s wisdom and the Buddha’s wisdom had already converged. All Buddhas share the same wisdom and path. This shows that dragon girls was about to attain Buddhahood. Her wisdom was already on par with the wisdom of Sakyamuni Buddha. So, “[The Buddha] immediately accepted her offering.

As soon as the dragon girl offered the pearl, the Buddha accepted it. This was a metaphor for “her immediate awakening and attainment.” She could immediately attain enlightenment and realize the fruit of Buddhahood. That meant it would happen very fast. The meant it would happen very fast. The dragon girl asked the two of them, and both of them answered, “very quickly.” Truly, this all happened very quickly. The Buddha accepted it very quickly. This shows how fast the dragon girl was in realizing the fruit of Buddhahood. The now believe that the dragon girl would be able to realize the fruit of Buddhahood so quickly. The dragon girl immediately answered, saying, “Using your spiritual powers and watch as I attain Buddhahood even quicker than that! I want you two to witness my speed in attaining Buddhahood; it will happen just as swiftly as my offering the pearl [to the Buddha].”

Thus, “The dragon girl did not use words to answer Sariputra. [To demonstrate] the way she would attain Buddhahood in that instant, what could not be revealed with speech but could only be understood through realization, she used the offering and acceptance of a precious pearl to represent the swiftness with which she would attain Buddhahood”.

After the dragon girl prostrated to the Buddha and spoke in verse to praise the Buddha, Sariputra still did not believe her; he was unable to comprehend the dragon girl’s state. So, if she had tried to argue further, nothing would have changed. The dragon girl did not need to answer any more. The state of Buddhahood cannot be [revealed] with words; it requires realization. It requires us to awaken. Those who have truly attained realization and awakening are able to understand this. So, “She used the offering and acceptance of a precious pearl”. The dragon girl offered the pearl, and Sakyamuni Buddha accepted the precious pearl. With a pearl, one made an offering and one accepted it. “The offering and acceptance of a precious pearl” represented the swiftness with which [the dragon girl] would attain Buddhahood.

As for this act of offering and acceptance, a spark from flint or a flash of lightening would not be able to compare with its swiftness. Yet, the swiftness with which the dragon girl attained Buddhahood even surpassed this. This all demonstrates the idea of attaining Buddhahood through sudden realization.

“As for this act of offering and acceptance, a spark from flint or a flash of lightening would not be able to compare with its swiftness.” This demonstrates its swiftness. Do you know about “a spark from flint or a flash of lightening”? In ancient times, people created sparks by rubbing stones together. When you hit a rock with another, sparks are created. These are very hard objects. This is like when people today use a saw to cut marble. As they are sawing the marble, we can see a lot of sparks coming out. When two hard objects hit each other, sparks are generated. However, this only lasts for a moment. After the sparks are ejected, they disappear immediately, very quickly; they do not stay. When there is thunder and lightning, the lightning also disappears very quickly. It is incomparably fast. A second is a very short period of time, but this happens “in a flash”. In a flash, it is over. Therefore, there is nothing we can use to compare to its speed. [This happens] very quickly. It is as fast as lightning. “[These] would not be able to” “compare with its swiftness”. This describes how fast the dragon girl would attain Buddhahood. It would be even faster than this. “This all demonstrates the idea of ataining Buddhahood through sudden realization. The dragon girl did not attain Buddhahood by slowly engaging in spiritual practice. She attained Buddhahood through sudden realization. Actually, it took her a very long time. To accumulate these causes took a very long time. Now, the causes and conditions had matured fully. Therefore, very quickly, her causes and effects were perfected, and she very quickly attained Buddhahood.

So, “The offering of the pearl epresenting her intrinsic nature eant that she had perfected all practices. Through giving without attachment, she exerted little energy while reaping great merits. Why would she need to spend many lifetimes.in the great chiliocosm and practice the Six Paramitas for many kalpas?”

This means that this pearl “represents her intrinsic nature,” meaning wisdom. This wisdom is united with our nature of True Suchness. The meaning of “offering” is that “she had perfected all practices.” This represents how she had already perfected “actualizing the Six Paramitas in all actions.” She offered a pearl to the Buddha. This meant she had already perfected actualizing the Six Paramitas in all actions. “Through giving without attachment….” She was now free from all attachments. This means her intrinsic nature was pure and that she helped others, seeking nothing in return. She was completely pure. So, having perfected the causes, she very naturally attained perfect fruition. She very naturally returned to her Tathagata-garbha, her pure intrinsic nature. This happened “through giving without attachment.” This means she had perfected giving without attachment to appearances. Giving without attachment to appearances is the Dharma. She had returned to the enlightened nature of the natural world, to the true principles. This is the nature of True Suchness. So, “She exerted little energy while reaping great merits.” When we help others, we need to leverage other people’s strength, meaning take advantage of [the opportunity] to serve among people and thus experience many, many principles. By doing this, we receive truly great merits and virtues. Actually, we also need to be grateful; we must not only give without expectations, we must also be grateful. “Because I have interacted with people, I have realized so much. By going among people, I have perfected my causes and conditions and am thus about to attain Buddhahood.” So, without expending much effort, we receive many benefits. “I wholeheartedly dedicate myself simply to serving others, and I can now return to my pure intrinsic nature.” This is the state [achieved through] spiritual practice. In our spiritual practice, we need to constantly help others without seeking rewards and without defilements. Our giving must not be defiled, but be very pure. By continuously giving, lifetime after lifetime, she had already perfected actualizing the Six Paramitas in all actions. “Why would she need to spend many lifetimes n the great chiliocosm and ractice the Six Paramitas for many kalpas?" We do not have to future mention her past in the Three Realms, in the great trichiliocosm. The Three Realms are the desire, form and formless realms. After walking this path, she had completely eliminated her ignorance and afflictions. She had not hesitated to give her life, going through many kalpas of actualizing the Six Paramitas in all actions. So, she had already done all this. This was it. When we leverage [the opportunity] to go among people to help sentient beings, it is actually we who reap the rewards.

So it is said, “A bird of a thousand years cannot compare to a phoenix born this morning.” A bird of a thousand years is still just a bird. It cannot match a phoenix born this morning. Comparing a phoenix with a bird, the phoenix is very precious. As for birds, you can see birds flying all over the sky. How can you compare birds with a phoenix? “A bird of a thousand years cannot compare to a phoenix born this morning. The difference between perfect and imperfect capabilities” is like [the difference] between a day and a kalpa. If we can clearly understand this, we can immediately recall the things that happened a long time ago.

We can very quickly return to the moments of what Tzu Chi has gone through. In three to five sentences, I can finish speaking of this. The principle is the same. How do we engage in spiritual practice over countless lifetime and kalpas? Actually, it is in that moment of attaining realization; the principle is the same. Instead of talking about how many kalpas it takes, it is better for us to speak of the present moment. So, we say we must seize the present moment, which is to sustain forever the vow we made in that moment. We need to maintain that thought forever and follow that path we have taken until now. The principle is the same. “A bird of a thousand years cannot compare to a phoenix born this morning. The difference between perfect and imperfect capabilities…” is saying that those who have actualized the Six Paramitas in all actions are very far ahead of those who have not put the teachings into practice. Those who have walked the path can naturally be very clear on many things that have happened in the past. We recognize the scenery along the path. Those who have not walked this path need to revisit it. Only after walking it can we speak of it. The principle is the same.

This is why the dragon girl could attain Buddhahood so quickly. Now, Wisdom Accumulated Bodhisattva had no doubts. Sariputra probably also started to believe the past causes of the dragon girl. [They had harbored doubts] because they did not understand the dragon girl’s past causal practice. Therefore, when they [looked at] the physical appearance of the dragon girl, they had doubts. If they had understood her past Great Vehicle practice, how she had gone among people in the Six Realms to serve them, [they would have thought differently.] The teachings we now understand have always been very clear. Manjusri Bodhisattva went to the dragon palace to demonstrate this appearance by guiding the dragon girl to prove to everyone that, when it comes to the nature of True Suchness and the Tathagata-garbha, “The mind, the Buddha and sentient beings are not different”; they are equal. What we are lacking is that we have yet to put the teachings into practice. We have made vows, but we have not started going among people. We have not yet done enough, so we cannot experience [that nature.] That is the reason. With our wisdom, we still cannot be like the dragon girl who presented the pearl that was accepted [so quickly] by the Buddha. For us, our wisdom has not yet resonated with the principles. Therefore, regarding principles and appearances, we must always be mindful!

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