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 20180530《靜思妙蓮華》龍女成佛 二賢信受 (第1359集) (法華經·提婆達多品第十二)

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20180530《靜思妙蓮華》龍女成佛 二賢信受 (第1359集) (法華經·提婆達多品第十二) Empty
發表主題: 20180530《靜思妙蓮華》龍女成佛 二賢信受 (第1359集) (法華經·提婆達多品第十二)   20180530《靜思妙蓮華》龍女成佛 二賢信受 (第1359集) (法華經·提婆達多品第十二) Empty周三 五月 30, 2018 11:24 am

20180530《靜思妙蓮華》龍女成佛 二賢信受 (第1359集) (法華經·提婆達多品第十二)

⊙慎思有為法,因圓趨果,菩提大道同,深入藏心;乘弘誓大願,入人群中,恆持不退心,得六度法。
⊙上根智積除疑,身子挾權為難,龍女獻珠受納,歷劫促為剎那,到此一切眾會皆見,方知龍女依六度行因圓,故得速疾趨果,乘蓮飄向南方。
⊙二賢默然歡喜信受。心知自說理屈於辯,明法執自泯滅,五障之難冰釋。故與一切眾會默然信受。
⊙「爾時、娑婆世界菩薩、聲聞、天龍八部、人與非人,皆遙見彼龍女成佛,普為時會人天說法。」《法華經提婆達多品第十二》
⊙「心大歡喜,悉遙敬禮。無量眾生,聞法解悟,得不退轉,無量眾生,得受道記。」《法華經提婆達多品第十二》
⊙「無垢世界六反震動,娑婆世界三千眾生住不退地,三千眾生發菩提心而得受記。」《法華經提婆達多品第十二》
⊙無垢世界六反震動,娑婆世界三千眾生住不退地:因於彼土聞法得益,登不退地。
⊙無垢、娑婆兩土之緣,厚薄不等,入道之機,大小之別。既言眾生,皆是凡夫頓證,住不退地。
⊙心不退轉:謂或受王位五欲之樂而不以喪其本心,或受怨敵違害之苦而不以懈其初志。
⊙三千眾生、發菩提心、而得受記:眾見彼佛發大道心,遂蒙授記。
⊙「智積菩薩及舍利弗、一切眾會,默然信受。」《法華經提婆達多品第十二》
⊙智積菩薩及舍利弗、一切眾會,默然信受:昔所未信,所以有語。今見其事,所以默然。

【證嚴上人開示】
慎思有為法,因圓趨果,菩提大道同,深入藏心;乘弘誓大願,入人群中,恆持不退心,得六度法。

慎思有為法
因圓趨果
菩提大道同
深入藏心
乘弘誓大願
入人群中
恆持不退心
得六度法

能了解嗎?我們要好好用心,慎密思考,世間一切有為法,就是沒有離開因緣果報,我們都要很清楚。雖然佛陀超越「九界」,泯滅了「九界」的一切幻化,但是還是因果宛然,還是很俱全因緣果報。人間本來就是這樣,所以我們才要修行,我們要很慎重、很綿密,好好用心思考,世間一切有為法。雖然是短暫的人生,但是短暫人生,因為無明煩惱動作不斷複製,複製很多的無明,再複製塵沙惑,所以讓我們迷惑了,不斷造因受果,都在凡夫界之中。佛陀人間說法,要開示,開啟了我們這個迷的心思,所以來人間,累生累世,這常常說過的。累生世只為了一大事,要開啟眾生的無明,也要來指示我們要走對了,真實的方向,所以「開、示」。但是眾生要「悟」,要體悟佛陀的本懷,佛陀的本懷,無不都是要引導我們,能夠「入」真如境界。

真如是人人本具有,只是我們迷了,佛陀要指示我們的方向,怎麼樣回歸我們的本性,真如。「真如智」會「真實理」,所以「智契理」,這就是我們要去體悟佛陀的本懷,若沒去體悟,就沒辦法「入」。光是說知道、知道,說過的很多,層層疊疊,反反覆覆,都是說這些,是啊,這些都知道,佛心的本懷,我們有「入」了沒有?這就是我們要很用心。

常常說,佛心,我們要體悟佛的心,若能體悟佛心,我們還要入佛心去,佛心就是我們的心。我們若能這個心念體悟了,能夠「入」,自然在有為法中,粒粒的因,種子,我們全都是真如本性,我們就是入人群行六度行,所以「因圓趨果」。我們若能佛陀的開示,我們能體悟,我們能入心,以佛心面對人群,入人群中去,這樣事事都用佛心,來對待一切眾生。付出,每一個眾生,就是我們造福的道場,我們若能這樣去體會、去思考,我們所做的一切不就是,粒粒都是很真因實果的種子嗎?所以「因圓趨果」,這就是我們要知道、要了解,要很綿密慎思,好好來思考。

所以「菩提大道同」,佛佛道同,一直一直就這樣跟大家說:「佛佛道同」,每一尊佛都是這樣,這樣在一心,長久的時間,生生世世,不為了其它的事情,就是求真理,度眾生,不論是多麼的辛苦,真理一定要追求,入人群度眾生。完成這個因,六度的因,我們必定要入人群,這樣才有辦法能「趨果」。這個真如的因,我們才能粒粒累積,圓融成熟,歸於果來。龍女就是這樣,差一點點就不圓具。看看人家用點來排字,你若少一個點,那個字就有缺點,所以我們要因,粒粒的因都要很成熟,完全集合來,他就果圓了,「因圓趨果」去了,這就是大菩提。過去的諸佛也是這樣修行,同樣就是「因圓趨果,菩提大道,深入藏心」。這個藏心,這真如本性,道理自在人心,所有的真理都是在人的心裡,所以有一句話說「道理自在人心」。我們要很用心去體會,人人本具有靈山塔,塔中本來自古有佛,所以人人,真如本性就在我們的心中。

所以我們「乘弘誓大願,入人群」。修行,就是要有這樣的心態,我們要進入無為法,就是真空妙有,我們也要借假,借這個「假」——幻化的人生,我們就是在幻化人生在受苦,虛幻要如何能歸真?那就要借重「乘弘誓大願,入人群中」去,這就是要生生世世。每一尊佛的本願,就是「四弘誓願」。常常說過「四弘誓願」,「四弘誓願」,我們人人要秉持著,誠、正、信、實,有真誠的心,才有辦法度盡一切眾生;有正確的觀念,才能斷盡一切煩惱;要有很深密的信心,我們才有辦法受持一切的法門。眾生根機無量,要度眾生的方法很多,所以我們要學很多的法,才能夠去度眾生。度眾生具足了,菩薩行圓滿了,腳踏實地一步一步向前走,一切圓滿,那就是無上佛道,才有辦法成。這「四弘誓願」是沒有離開人群中,所以我們必定要「乘弘誓大願」,這是一乘實法,一定要入人群中去。

因為這樣「恆持不退,得六度法」。「恆持」,我們要很長久、很長久的時間,人生短暫要如何長久呢?也就是說清楚來,就是塵點劫、累生世,這樣堅持這念心,所以恆持不退的心,那就是「得六度法」。還是要經過六度萬行的法,這樣走過來。

所以在龍女出現的前後,前面有智積菩薩的好奇,文殊菩薩敘述龍宮度化的情形。智積有懷疑,文殊菩薩要解釋。但是過程中,不用到要讓文殊菩薩,勞動太多口舌來講說,自然龍女突然現前,向佛讚歎,光是這個形態一出來,上根的智積菩薩疑就除了。但是,舍利弗,「身子」,他還是有這個「權」,他挾持著還有「權」,就是小乘的心態,所以就開始來問難。「為難」就是問難。

上根智積除疑
身子挾權為難
龍女獻珠受納
歷劫促為剎那
到此一切眾會皆見
方知龍女
依六度行因圓
故得速疾趨果
乘蓮飄向南方

雖然智積菩薩沒有懷疑了,會中,舍利弗表達他有懷疑,所以提出了女身有「五障」,五種障礙,不得成佛。五種的障礙,我們都已經過去說過了。不只是有這五種障礙,不得生梵天王,不能做帝釋,不能做轉輪聖王、魔王等等,也不能做佛,有這「五障」,就是不能成佛。就是因為女人是凡夫中的凡夫,凡夫有「五障」,女人心態,也是有很細思綿密的五種障礙,表達在她的形體上,在她的形體上,那就是迷倒了多少的人。

我們凡夫,常常是受酒、色、財、氣迷了。「色」,就是女人自我障礙。舍利弗提出了這麼多種的障礙。但是他,這是「權」,小乘法,法的執,執著形相,所以他提出疑問,有相的疑問。但是龍女,她不用怎麼回答,她就是獻珠,佛陀很快納受了,就問智積菩薩,問舍利弗:「我這樣獻珠,佛陀納受,這個時間快不快?」「很快!」「就是這樣,我要成佛,和這樣的時間一樣。」轉一個身,她就已經轉女為男,坐寶蓮華了,成佛去了。

在轉女成男當中,大家恍然大悟,原來龍女她已經,是歷劫行菩提道的過來人。在座的人,大家都了解了,龍女原來是這樣,大根機的過來人,所以「歷劫促為剎那」,在那個剎那間,大家體會了、了解了,所以叫做「歷劫促為剎那」。在這個剎那間體會,龍女是歷劫以來修行的過來人。所以,「到此一切眾會皆見,方知龍女依六度行因圓」。在六度行,那個種子粒粒都是這麼的真實,真實行在六度中,六度萬行,這樣已經都這麼的圓滿了。所以「故得速疾趨果」,很快就趨向他的果位去了。趨向的果位,那就是成佛,這叫做「乘蓮飄向南方」,很快,就這樣乘著蓮花飄飄然往南方,這種的形態,就是過程中大家都看,都有看到,大家都讚歎。

二賢默然歡喜信受
心知自說理屈於辯
明法執自泯滅
五障之難冰釋
故與一切眾會
默然信受

所以,「二賢默然歡喜信受」。「二賢」就是智積和舍利弗,這兩位看到龍女這樣,以行動來表達事實,都不用怎麼回答,不用怎麼辯解,就是用這樣的動作,一切明白了。所以,「心知自說理屈於辯」。不用再辯解了,我們提出來的道理,已經不用辯解,都清楚了。清楚權教法執,這樣完全都消滅了。「權教」,就是小乘教的人所執著的相,眾生相、壽者相,完全都滅掉了,沒有什麼樣的眾生,沒有人相、眾生相,全都沒有了,完全平等,哪有男女相呢?沒有。所以「五障之難冰釋」,全都解釋了,龍女這樣的形態,一切,一切的執著,完全都解釋了。

所以,龍女功德無量,處處皆道場,娑婆世界這些眾生,讓她這樣真實的形態現前,所有連小乘的人,到這個時候,完全滅盡了一切的法執,執著的相,完全泯滅掉了。沒有眾生相、壽者相,哪有男女相呢?全都解釋了。「故與一切眾會默然信受」了。我們要很用心去細思,慎思,要很慎重綿密,好好來思考。

前面的文就這樣說:「爾時、娑婆世界菩薩、聲聞、天龍八部、人與非人,皆遙見彼龍女成佛,普為時會人天說法。」


爾時
娑婆世界
菩薩 聲聞
天龍八部
人與非人
皆遙見彼龍女成佛
普為時會人天說法
《法華經提婆達多品第十二》

「遙見」,就是因為她在這個地方轉一個身,化為男子,就乘寶蓮華飄飄然往南方去,越去越遠,所以叫做「遙見」,很遠,看她已經很遠,這樣去了,去到南方那個地方成佛。「普為時會」,也看到他在那個地方,為天人說法,同樣為天龍八部,人與非人,在那個地方為那些人說法。

心大歡喜
悉遙敬禮
無量眾生聞法解悟
得不退轉
無量眾生得受道記
《法華經提婆達多品第十二》

大家「心大歡喜」,我們娑婆世界這個地方,大家看到,歡喜了,所以「悉遙敬禮」,同樣那麼遠,我們在這個地方也很恭敬,向南方敬禮。「無量眾生聞法解悟得不退轉,無量眾生得受道記」,所有的眾生,大家對於龍女所說的妙法,一乘大法,大家更加體悟了,這樣就「得不退轉,無量眾生得受道記」,還有很多眾生得道受記了。

所以下面這段文,就說:「無垢世界六反震動,娑婆世界三千眾生住不退地,三千眾生發菩提心而得受記。」

無垢世界六反震動
娑婆
世界三千眾生住不退地
三千眾生發菩提心
而得受記
《法華經提婆達多品第十二》

可見,龍女這樣一出現,是影響兩個世界,一個是無垢世界,成佛了,人、天得聞法;另一個世界,就是娑婆世界,這些人堅定道心,更了解佛法,佛陀微妙的教法。所以這是娑婆世界,三千眾生,都能得到「住不退地」,就是法更深入,更了解,這樣不退道心,所以「登不退地」。

無垢世界六反震動
娑婆世界
三千眾生
住不退地:
因於彼土聞法得益
登不退地

接下來說,「無垢」,「無垢」就是南方那個世界叫做「無垢」,那尊佛在那個地方說法。娑婆這個世界,我們現在這個世界,這樣「兩土」,南方世界、娑婆世界,兩土的緣,有厚與薄不同,入道的機也不同,因為眾生的根機各不相同,大小有差別,有大根機、小根機,各有差別。

無垢、娑婆
兩土之緣厚薄不等
入道之機大小之別
既言眾生
皆是凡夫頓證
住不退地

「既言眾生,皆是凡夫頓證」。眾生就是全都是凡夫,既然是凡夫,要累生累世,同樣也要有聽過法,了解了,要長久的時間聽來,才有辦法了解。我們也是聽這麼久了,尤其是〈提婆達多品〉這一品,真的是全都讓我們體會很深,造惡的人,墮地獄的人,如提婆達多,也得佛授記了。因為提婆達多雖然有惡,但是他對法清楚,只是那個習氣,煩惱無明還沒有完全去除,但是,對法很清楚。

這種真如本性很明朗存在,但就是習氣未斷,所以他就有這樣的惡念,在行動中,做出了對佛不利、破壞僧團等等的事情,這就是他墮地獄的因。但是對於佛法,道理清楚了,這就是他有成佛的因。所以,因,分很清楚,因果分明,只要他能夠無明完全去除了,雜垢污染沒有了,他自然回歸清淨,自然道理和智慧契合起來,清淨的智慧來會合真理,那就能夠成佛。所以,還沒有會合真理,即使有那分智慧,有了污染,還是與真理無法會合,只要這個智慧完全清淨,沒有污染,與理契合,這樣就是轉凡為聖,那就是「頓證」。就像全都了解道理的人,一聞千悟,但是無法「入」,無法體會佛心,沒有佛心,就沒有辦法行菩薩道,因不圓,就果不成就。

所以,我們凡夫能夠「頓證」,那就是你要去「入」,要先去入佛的心是這樣,我們才有辦法,真正去「圓因趨果」,若能夠這樣,就是「住不退地」。這就是兩土的眾生,他們根機有利和鈍,有發大心的,也有守在小乘法的,但這都同樣都有。但是發大心,就心不退轉。

心不退轉
謂或受王位
五欲之樂
而不以喪其本心
或受怨敵違害之苦
而不以懈其初志

譬如釋迦佛過去,過去生那個「心不退」,累生世「或受王位」,在「五欲之樂,而不以喪其本心」,也不會喪掉了他的志。雖然在享樂中,王子在王宮,他也不會受這個王宮的娛樂,這樣來埋沒了,他想要追求的真理,所以他不喪志。很多人都是玩物喪志,在玩,人間享受,這樣喪失了他的志氣,但是諸佛菩薩也是同樣在人間,所以叫做「遊戲人間」的菩薩,就是在人間裡,入人群,但是不受人群的煩惱、五欲,所迷惑了,他還是心很堅定,所以「不喪其本心」,就是不喪志,心就不退轉。

「或受怨敵違害之苦,而不以懈其初志」。哪怕是很多障礙,就像釋迦佛遇到提婆達多一樣,雖然提婆達多處處傷害,他也堅定他的志向,在人間度眾生。生生世世都有提婆達多來障礙,他還是堅持道心,絕對沒有懈怠那個最初的志願,這就是大菩薩行。要成佛,必定要有這樣的過程。

三千眾生
發菩提心
而得受記:
眾見彼佛
發大道心
遂蒙授記

所以在娑婆世界,「三千眾生發菩提心,而得受記,眾見彼佛,發大道心,逐蒙授記」。這娑婆世界看到龍女這樣,又聽到釋迦牟尼佛,數十年來,一直在開示、教化,龍女來見證,一切人間,就是形象都是幻化的,身體力行才是真實的,修行得到智慧,清淨的智慧才能契合真理,這樣就是證悟,這才有辦法和果會合起來。所以「三千眾生發菩提心」。經過了一段時間,看到提婆達多,看到龍女,畜生類,她也可以轉身為佛身,所以眾生不就是平等嗎?大家已經都很清楚。所以,「眾見彼佛發大道心,遂蒙受記」。大家已經都看到了,大家也發大道心,就是發大菩提心,所以一一能得到授記。

這個時候,這段文再開講,就是要結束了:「智積菩薩及舍利弗、一切眾會,默然信受。」

智積菩薩
及舍利弗
一切眾會
默然信受
《法華經提婆達多品第十二》

已經在這個大會中,菩薩的根機由智積菩薩代表,從他方來的菩薩,來代表他方和此土,上根機的菩薩;舍利弗就代表現在和未來的眾生,所講的現在,就是佛那個時代,在靈山會上那個現場,一直到未來,就是我們現在的現在,這些眾生應該都無疑了,大家要默然信受了。

智積菩薩
及舍利弗
一切眾會
默然信受:
昔所未信
所以有語
今見其事
所以默然

舍利弗代表權小的人,智積菩薩代表大乘根機的人,這樣全都承認了,「心、佛、眾生三無差別」;眾生相、壽者相,完全都不是相了,完全滅了,這就是眾生平等。所以「昔所未有」,像這樣,過去未曾有這樣的事情,「所以有語」,會提出疑問,不相信,過去不曾看到,但是現在看到龍女轉身成佛,眼睛看到了,全都了解了,相信了。所以默默,就不用再問了。「大家還有疑問嗎?」靜默了,就沒有疑問了。同樣的道理,所以我們要很體會,了解佛法的奧妙。

我們還記得嗎?在很多天前,有講一個婆陀比丘尼。在佛的僧團中,比丘尼團裡面,有一位婆陀比丘尼,他在樹林間在靜坐,忽然間笑了。大家問他:「是什麼事情呀?」他就開始講出他的本生,在九十一劫前。毗婆尸佛的時代,那期間有一位童子,名叫做梵天。長得很莊嚴,就是這樣很可愛的童子。他要去供養毗婆尸佛,拿著這個寶物要去獻供。卻是在街上,遇到一位長得很美的婦女,本來大家的目光,集中在這位童子的身上,忽然間把目光視線,看向那位女人的妖嬌美態。所以這位童子,一念心,獻供七天七夜,要求他將來要成為女人,就要很妖嬌美態,要讓大家目光,都集中在我的身上。

就是這樣,這個願,後來生到三十三天。大家還記得嗎?讓那些天人互相爭,要爭得這個天女。應該都還記得。之後,再經過很多生世,一直到了又有另外一世,成為到月光長者的家庭,去當婢女。這一世就不美了,而且還是為人的婢女。那是經過很多世了,就又來到這裡。那個時候已經沒有佛了,但是沒有佛住世,不過有辟支佛。這位月光長者的夫人,她就向這位婢女說:「妳若出去外面看到辟支佛,再將他請到我們家,我要供養辟支佛。」這位婢女真的街上遇到了,她就邀來了幾位辟支佛,要來受供。來見面了。這位長者婦看到,無緣,感覺「怎麼沒有我的緣,所以我不要供養,妳叫他們回去。」這位婢女感覺:我請人來,妳怎麼可以叫人家回去?不然將我要吃的東西給我,妳給我,我不要吃,我來供養。

所以這位婢女,將她今天要吃的東西,就這樣來供養這幾位辟支佛。這辟支佛,幾位拿到這個飯,在這個缽中,轉一個身,飄在虛空中,沿路擊缽,飄飄然,大家都看到了,為供養的人祝福。大家都這樣看,「唉呀!這是哪一個家庭這麼有福,能夠來供養到辟支佛?」這當中,月光長者剛好聚集五百人,聽到這個消息,大家都議論紛紛,到底是我們這群人,我們全都是有身分的人,到底我們的家庭,是哪一個家庭,供養到這些辟支佛呢?長者心內也是這樣想:最好是我的家庭。

回到家裡的時候,就問說:「有沒有供養到辟支佛呢?」這個婢女聽,她就馬上回答,夫人沒有回答,婢女回答:「有啊,我把我吃的東西來供養辟支佛。」長者聽到很歡喜,婢女就是在我的家庭裡面,去供養佛。「這樣,你真的是很好。」讚歎她。「從今以後,妳不用再做婢女了,妳就像夫人一樣,接受到婢女的伺候,妳就這樣悠閑,受服侍就好了。」就這樣,這之後,這婢女往生了,那個時候,她又轉生到三十三天,同樣再壽終,又在人間。這九十幾劫,又經過供養過其他的佛,這樣一直到了最後,釋迦佛的時代,那就是迦葉尊者,還沒有出家之前,也是長者子,富有的家庭。他的心要向道,但是家庭的人,一直希望他一定要娶,要娶妻,但他就是一直想要修行。但是父母一直要他結婚,所以他就一個條件,我刻,雕刻一尊金像,你拿出去,和這尊金像完全一樣的女人,我才要將她娶回來做妻子。

很巧,這尊金像完全一樣的這位女子,也是一個長者家庭的女子,同樣的,就是婆陀,她也有心要修行,不想要結婚,這兩個人都一樣的志向,因緣成熟了;雖然結為夫妻,是清淨的,兩個人約好了,因緣若成熟,我們共同出家去。所以,因緣成熟了,所以一位就是迦葉尊者,他先出家,之後再回去,再去度婆陀(妙賢)來出家。所以婆陀比丘尼,將很多生劫,其實是很多,將它跳過,略過,到現在,就是他說:「我在這裡坐著,我經歷過這麼久,九十一劫以前,一念無明,這樣流落女人身。一直到現在,我有機會在這個地方修行,從今以後,我完全就是認真修菩薩行,將來以佛果是我的目標。」這就是因緣。

各位菩薩,愛心要清淨,清淨的愛心,那就是要投入人群,這一段,第十二品〈提婆達多品〉,這樣,以及前面的〈見寶塔品〉,這樣連接起來,真的是不可思議,是我們要很用心去回顧,去慎密思考因緣,以及聞法。佛的分身,就是法,有沒有入我們的心?我們的心中有靈山,是不是有在靈山會?是不是有靈山塔?靈山塔門開了沒有?我們的古來佛有出現了沒有?這就要我們好好慎思,好好來想。這一切有為法,要回歸到無為法,所以請我們大家,時時多用心!


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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: The Two Sages Accept the Dragon Girl’s Attainment (龍女成佛 二賢信受)
Date: May.30.2018

“We must carefully contemplate conditioned phenomena. When the cause is perfected, we approach fruition. The great Bodhi-path is the same and deeply enters the Tathagata-garbha. We must journey upon our great vows and go among people to forever uphold our intent without retreating and attain the Dharma of the Six Paramitas.”

Are we able to understand this? We must be mindful and carefully contemplate this. All conditioned phenomena in the world are inseparable from the law of karma. We must understand this clearly. Although the Buddha transcended the nine realms and eliminated all illusions in the nine realms, the law of karma still remains the same. Everything is still subject to the karmic law of cause and effect. The world has always been like this. This is why we must engage in spiritual practice. We must be very careful and meticulous and mindfully contemplate all conditioned phenomena in the world. Although human life is short, in this short human life, we repeatedly act from ignorance and afflictions, replicating so much ignorance and so many dust-like delusions, causing us to become lost in confusion. We constantly create causes and suffer the effects, remaining in the state of unenlightened beings. When the Buddha taught the Dharma in the world, He wanted to open and reveal it, to unlock our lost and confused minds. So, He came to the world lifetime after lifetime; we have often discussed this. Over many lifetimes, He came only for the sake of His one great cause to break through sentient beings ignorance and point us in the right direction, toward the truth.

So, He “opened and revealed”. However, sentient beings must “awaken;” they must comprehend and awaken to the Buddha’s original intent. The Buddha’s original intent was to guide us so that we can enter the state of True Suchness. True Suchness is inherent in everyone; it is just that we are lost. The Buddha had to give us directions to return to our intrinsic nature, our nature of True Suchness. Our “wisdom of True Suchness” converges with the “true principles”. Thus, “wisdom resonates with principles”. So, we must comprehend and awaken to the Buddha’s original intent. If we do not comprehend and awaken to it, we will be unable to “enter” [His intent]. We will only say, “I know, I know”. “He taught us many things. One after the other, over and over again, He taught the same things. Yes, I know them all.” But as for the Buddha’s original intent, have we entered it yet? This is why we must be very mindful.

We often speak of the Buddha-mind, how we must comprehend and awaken to the Buddha’s mind. If we can comprehend and awaken to the Buddha-mind, we must also enter the Buddha-mind so that we can take the Buddha-mind as our own. If we can realize this state of mind and are able to “enter” it, naturally, among conditioned phenomena, each one of these causes, these seeds, will be from our nature of True Suchness as we go among people to actualize the practice of the Six Paramitas. “When the cause is perfected, we approach fruition.” If we are able to comprehend and awaken to what the Buddha opened and revealed and take it to heart, we will be able to apply the Buddha-mind in our dealings with others as we go among people. If we apply the Buddha-mind in all matters, in our interactions with sentient beings and in the way we give to them, then every sentient beings will be our spiritual training ground for sowing blessings. If we can seek to realize and contemplate this, then won’t everything we do be seeds of true causes and actual effects? So, “When a cause is perfected, we approach fruition.” We should know and understand this, meticulously and carefully contemplate this and earnestly reflect on it.

So, “The Great Bodhi-path is the same.” All Buddhas share the same path. This is what I am always telling everyone. “All Buddhas share the same path.” Every Buddha is like this. Single-mindedly, for a long time, for lifetime after lifetime, They act for the sake of nothing else but to seek out the true principles and transform sentient beings. No matter how laborious it may be, They are sure to pursue the true principles, go among people to transform sentient beings and perfect the causes of the Six Paramitas. We must go among people, for only by doing this can we “approach fruition.” Only then can we accumulate, bit by bit, the seeds of our nature of True Suchness; as these harmoniously ripen, we will return to the fruition. The dragon girl was like this. She was just shy of perfection. Look at how people arrange marks into characters. If you omit even a single mark, the [Chinese] character would not be perfect. So, all of our seeds must be mature. When they are all gathered together, the fruition is perfect. “When the cause is perfected, we approach fruition.” This is great Bodhi. All Buddhas in the past engaged in spiritual practice like this as well. It is always the same; “When the cause is perfected, we approach fruition. The great Bodhi-path deeply enters into the Tathagata-garbha”. This Tathagata-garbha, the nature of True Suchness, is the principles that exist naturally within our minds. All the true principles exist in our minds. This is why say, “The principles exist naturally within our minds.” We must mindfully seek to realize that in each person there is a stupa on Vulture Peak, and it the stupa, there has always been a Buddha. So for all of us, our nature of True Suchness exists inside our mind. Thus, “We must journey upon our great vows and go among people.” In our spiritual practice, we need to have this kind of attitude. We must enter unconditioned Dharma, enter wondrous existence and true emptiness. We must also make use of “illusoriness,” this illusory human life. In this illusory life, we are suffering. How do we return from the illusory to the real? We must rely on “journeying upon our great vows” and “going among people”. Lifetime after lifetime, we must make the original vows of all Buddhas, which are the Four Great Vows. We often talk about the Four Great Vows. [Carrying out] the Four Great Vows requires us all to uphold sincerity, integrity, faith and steadfastness. Only with a true and sincere heart will we able to transform all sentient begins. Only with the integrity of correct perspectives will we be able to completely end all afflictions. Only with deep and firm faith will we be able to accept and uphold all Dharma-doors. Sentient beings have an infinite array of capabilities. There are many methods to transform sentient beings. So, we must learn many teachings to be able to transform sentient begins. Only once we transform sentient beings, perfect our Bodhisattva-practice and steadily advance step by step to [achieve] complete perfection will it be possible to attain unsurpassed Buddhahood. The Four Great Vows are inseparable from people, so we must “journey upon our great vows”. This is the True Dharma of the One Vehicle. We must go among people.

Because of this, we “forever uphold our intent without retreating and attain the Dharma of the Six Paramitas”. We must “forever uphold”. We must [uphold it] for a very long time. How can we do this for a long time when life is so short? To put it more clearly, throughout dust-inked kalpas and many lifetimes, we must maintain this intent. So, we must forever uphold our intent without retreating and “attain the Dharma of the Six Paramitas”. We still must go through the process of actualizing the Six Paramitas in all actions.

So, before the dragon girl made her appearance, Wisdom Accumulated Bodhisattva was curious, so Manjusri recounted the details of his work transforming at the dragon palace. Wisdom Accumulated had doubts and Manjusri wanted to clear these up for him. But during this process, Manjusri did not have to spend too much effort explaining. The dragon girl suddenly appeared and began praising the Buddha. Just her appearance alone dispelled the doubts of Wisdom Accumulated, who had great capabilities. However, when it came to Sariputra, Son-of-Body, he was still [attached to] the provisional. He still clung to “the provisional,” the mentality of the Small Vehicle [practitioners]. So, he began to give the dragon girl a hard time; he asked hard questions to give her a hard time.

Wisdom Accumulated had great capabilities, so he dispelled his doubts. But Son-of-Body clung to the provisional, so he asked difficult questions. The dragon girl offered the pearl and [the Buddha] accepted it. Many kalpas were shortened into an instant. Only when the entire assembly had witnessed this did they understand that the dragon girl had actualized the Six Paramitas and perfected her causes, so she was able to swiftly approach fruition. Journeying upon a lotus, she floated to the south.

Although Wisdom Accumulated had no more doubts, at the assembly, Sariputra expressed that he had doubts. So, he mentioned that female bodies have the Five Hindrances, the fire kinds of hindrances that prevent them from attaining Buddhahood. We have discussed the Five Hindrances in the past. Not only do they have these five kinds of hindrances, unable to be reborn as Brahma kings, or as Sovereign Sakra, wheel-turning sage kings of King Mara and so on, they cannot attain Buddhahood either. These Five Hindrances are what prevents them from attaining Buddhahood. This is because women are considered unenlightened begins among unenlightened begins. Unenlightened begins have the Five Hindrances, and in women’s mindsets, there are an additional Five Hindrances interwoven in their thinking that become evident in their appearances. Their appearances have led a great many people to become intoxicated with them. As unenlightened beings, we can easily become deluded by alcohol, desire, wealth and success. “Desire” is a way that women hinder themselves. Sariputra pointed out so many hindrances, but he was [still attached to] the “provisional” Small Vehicle teachings, to the Dharma and to appearances. So, he raised these questions about her appearances. However, the dragon girl did not need to answer. She simply offered the pearl, which the Buddha quickly accepted. She then asked Wisdom Accumulated and Sariputra, “I offered a pearl, which the Buddha accepted. Was this quick or not? It was very quick! Just like this, the time it will take for me attain Buddhahood will be just as quick”. She transformed her body and in an instant became a man. She sat upon is jeweled lotus flower and went off to attain Buddhahood. When she transformed from a woman into a man, everyone suddenly realized that the dragon girl was someone who had been practicing the Bodhisattva-path throughout many kalpas. These sitting there then understood that the dragon girl was someone with great capabilities who had already walked the path. “Many kalpas were shortened into an instant”. In that instant, everyone realized and understood that [she had engaged in spiritual practice]. So, “Many kalpas were shorted into an instant”. They realized in an instant that the dragon girl was someone who had engaged in spiritual practice throughout many kalpas. “Only when the entire assembly had witnessed this did they understand that the dragon girl had actualized the Six Paramitas and perfected her causes”. In her practice of the Six Paramitas, all her seeds were genuine. She had genuinely practiced the Six Paramitas, actualizing the Six Paramitas in all actions. She had already perfected them. “So, she was able to swiftly approach fruition.” She quickly approached her state of fruition. The state of fruition she was approaching was to attain Buddhahood. “Journeying upon a lotus, she floated to the south.” It was very quick; journeying upon a lotus, she floated off to the south. Everyone saw this appearance, the process of her transformation. They all saw it, and they all praised her.

Without a word, the two sages rejoiced and faithfully accepted this. They knew in their minds that their reasoning was flawed, so it was pointless to debate. They understood their attachment to the Dharma and eliminated it. Thus the obstacles from the Five Hindrances were resolved. Therefore, along with the entire assembly, they faithfully accepted this without a word.

So, “Without a word, the two sages rejoiced and faithfully accepted this”. The “two sages” were Wisdom Accumulated and Sariputra. The two of them saw how the dragon girl used actions to demonstrate the facts and did not need to answer them or explain it to them. The dragon girl used her actions, and [the two sages] understood everything. “They knew in their minds that their reasoning was flawed, so it was pointless to debate.” There was no need for further justification. The principles they had brought up no longer needed any explanations. They understood it very clearly. They clearly understood their attachment to the Dharma of the provisional teachings and thus completely eliminated it. “Provisional teachings” refers to views that Small Vehicle practitioners are attached to. [The two sages] completely eliminated their views of sentient beings and of a lifespan. They no longer had the [views of] sentient beings; they no longer had the view of people or of sentient beings, none of these. They [saw] everyone as equal, so how could men and women be different? They were no differences. “Thus the obstacles for the Five Hindrances were resolved.” Everything was explained. The dragon girl’s appearance and all of [the two sages’] attachments were completely explained.

So, the dragon girl’s merits and virtues were immeasurable. Everywhere was her spiritual training ground. Sentient beings in the Saha World allowed her to manifest her true appearance. All people, including Small Vehicle practitioners, at that time, completely eliminated all their attachments to the Dharma. All the views that they were attached to were completely eliminated. There was no views of sentient beings nor view of lifespan. How are men and women different? All was explained. “Therefore, along with the entire assembly, they faithfully accepted this without a word”. We should put effort into meticulously and carefully thinking about this. We must carefully and meticulously make an effort to contemplate it.

The previous passage said, “At that time, in the Saha World, Bodhisattvas, Hearers, the eight classes of Dharma-protectors, human and non-human beings all watched from a distance as the dragon girl attained Buddhahood and expounded the Dharma to all humans and heavenly beings in the assembly at that time”.

[It says] they all “watched from a distance”. This is because she had transformed her body into a man and was journeying on jeweled lotus flower and floating toward the south, going farther and farther away. So, they “watched from a distance”. She was far away; they saw how far away she was. She had gone like this; she went to the south to attain Buddhahood. She [taught] “to all in the assembly at that time”. They also saw her there, expounding the Dharma for heavenly beings and humans. For the eight classes of Dharma protectors, human and non-human beings, she likewise taught the Dharma there. Everyone had “great joy in their hearts”.

Here in this Saha World, everyone saw her, and everyone rejoiced. So, “they all paid their respects from afar”. Even from afar, they were very reverent and paid their respects toward the south. “Upon hearing the Dharma, countless sentient beings were awakened and were able to reach the state of non-retreating. Countless sentient beings were able to receive predictions.”

When all of the sentient beings heard the wondrous Dharma the dragon girl taught, the One Vehicle Dharma, they comprehended and awakened to it even more. “They were able to reach the state of non-treating. Countless sentient beings were able to receive predictions.” There were also many sentient beings who were able to receive predictions.

So, the next passage says, “The undefiled world quaked in six ways. In the Saha World, three thousands of sentient beings came to dwell in the state of non-retreating, and three thousands of sentient beings formed Bodhicitta.”

Clearly, the appearance of the dragon girl had an influence on both worlds. One was the undefiled world where she attained Buddhahood, where humans and heavenly beings. The other was the Saha World, where those people became firm in their spiritual aspirations and better understood the Buddha-Dharma, the subtle and wondrous teachings of the Buddha. So, in this Saha World, three thousands of sentient beings all came to “dwell in the state of non-retreating”. They deepened their understand of the Dharma, without retreating from their spiritual aspirations, So, “they reached the state of non-treating”.

The undefiled world quaked in six ways. In the Saha World, three thousands of sentient beings came to dwell in the state of non-treating: Because they had heard the Dharma and attained its benefits in that land, they reached the state of non-retreating.

Next, it talks about “the undefiled [world]”. The undefiled [world] was that world in the south, it was “defiled”. That Buddha taught the Dharma there. This world is the Saha World, the world that we now live in. There are “two lands, the land of the south and this Saha World”. The affinities [of sentient beings] in these lands differ in their depth, and people’s capabilities for entering the path also differ in each. This is because sentient being’s capabilities are all different. There are differences in capabilities. Some have great capabilities, others limited. They all have their differences.

As for the undefiled world and the Saha world, the affinities of [sentient beings] in these two lands were not equal in their depth, and their capabilities for entering the path differed. Those called sentient beings here were all unenlightened beings who attained immediate awakening and came to abide in the state of non-retreating.

Those called sentient beings here were all unenlightened beings who attained immediate awakening. All sentient beings are unenlightened beings. Since they are unenlightened beings they likewise have to, over many lifetimes, listen to the Dharma and understand it. Only after a long period of listening can they come to understand. We too have listened for a long time, and in particular, the Chapter on Devadatta has truly given us deep realizations. Even people who do evil deeds and fall into hell, such as Devadatta, can also receive the Buddha’s predictions. Even through Devadatta was evil, he understood the Dharma clearly. It was just that his habitual tendencies, his afflictions and ignorance, were still not completely eliminated. When it came to the Dharma, however, he understood it perfectly. His nature of True Suchness was clearly present, but his habitual tendencies were not eliminated. Thus, he had evil thoughts like this, and in his actions, he did things that were harmful to the Buddha and things to destroy the Sangha. This was his cause failing into hell. However, when it came to the Buddha-Dharma, he understood it clearly. This was his cause for attaining Buddhahood. So, causes can be clearly distinguished; causes and effects are clear. So long as he totally eliminates his ignorance until all defilements are gone, he will naturally return to purity and his wisdom will naturally resonate with the principles. When pure wisdom converges with true principles, he will be able to attain Buddhahood. So, he has yet to converge with true principles. Even though he has the wisdom, so long as he still has defilements, he will be unable to converge with true principles. Only when his wisdom becomes completely pure and undefiled and resonates with principles will he be able to transform from an unenlightened being into a sage. This is “immediate awakening”.

Take those who completely; they may hear one thing and realize 1000, but they will not be able to “enter”, to realize the Buddha-mind. Without the Buddha-mind, it is impossible to practice the Bodhisattva-path. When the seed is not perfect, the fruit cannot ripen. So, we unenlightened beings can attain “immediate awakening, but we must [first] ”enter” the Buddha’s mind. Only then will we be able to “[let] the seed reach perfection and approach fruition”. So, if we can do this, we will “dwell in the state of non-treating.” Sentient beings of these two lands have both sharp and dull capabilities. There are those who form great aspirations and those who remain in the Small Vehicle Dharma. Both are there.

However, when we form great aspirations, our minds will be non-retreating. A non-retreating mind refers to how [the Buddha] was born a king and enjoyed the pleasures of the Five Desires, but did not lose His original intent. Also, when He suffered the abuse of his nemesis, He did not grow lax in His original aspiration.

This is like Sakyamuni Buddha in the past; in past lifetime, His mind was “non-retreating”. Over many lifetimes, He was born as a king and “enjoyed the pleasures of the Five Desires, but did not lose His original intent”. He never lost His aspiration. Although He was amidst pleasures and was a prince in a palace, He never let the pleasures of the palace bury the true principles He wished to pursue. So, He never lost His aspirations. Many people have too much fun and lost their aspirations. They have fun enjoying the pleasures of the world and lose their aspirations. Yet, all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas also live in this world. So, these are bodhisattvas who “play effortlessly in the world”. While in the world, they go among people, but they never allow people’s afflictions or the Five Desires to delude them. They still remain determined in their aspirations. So, He “did not lose His original intent”. He never lost His aspirations. His mind was non-retreating.

“Also, when He suffered the abuse of his nemesis, He did not grow lax in His original aspiration.” Despite the many obstacles, like when Sakyamuni encountered Devadatta, although Devadatta always tried to harm Him, [Sakyamuni] still remained firm in His aspirations to transform sentient beings in the world. Lifetime after lifetime, Devadatta always came to obstruct Him, but his spiritual ambitions still remained firm. He absolutely never grew lax in His initial aspirations. This is the great Bodhisattva-practice. In order to attain Buddhahood, we must undergo this process.

So, in the Saha World, “three thousands of sentient beings formed Bodhicitta and received predictions of Buddhahood. The assembly witnessed this Buddha and formed great spiritual aspirations, so they received predictions of Buddhahood.”

[Beings of] the Saha World saw the dragon girl like this and listened to Sakyamuni Buddha open and reveal, teach and transform for dozens of years. The dragon girl testified to the fact that all appearances in the world are illusory. The only true thing is putting [the principles] into practice. We gain wisdom from spiritual practice, and only [with] pure wisdom will we be able to resonate with true principles. This is how enlightenment is attained. Only like this can the principles and the fruit be united.

So, “Three thousands of sentient beings formed Bodhicitta”. After this period of time, they saw how Devadatta [received predictions] and they saw how the dragon girl, an animal, was able to transform into a Buddha. So, aren’t all sentient beings equal? Everyone understood it very clearly. So, “The assembly witnessed this Buddha and formed great spiritual aspirations, so they received predictions of Buddhahood”. They all saw this and formed great spiritual aspirations. They formed great Bodhicitta, so one by one, they were able to receive predictions.

At this time, the passage restates this again, which shows that it is coming to an end. “Wisdom Accumulated Bodhisattva and Sariputra, along with the entire assembly, faithfully accepted this without a word.”

Now at the great assembly, those with the capabilities of Bodhisattvas were represented by Wisdom Accumulated Bodhisattva; this Bodhisattva who came from elsewhere represented all Bodhisattvas of great capabilities from this world and other worlds. Sarputra represented present and future sentient beings. The “present” spoken of refers to that time, during the Buddha’s era. From the Vulture Peak Assembly, all the way into the future, which is us right now, all these sentient beings should be without doubts. Everyone faithfully accepted this without a word.

Wisdom Accumulated Bodhisattva and Sariputra, along with the entire assembly, faithfully accepted this without a word: They did not believe it before, so they had something to say. Now that they witnessed this matter, they were speechless.

Sariputra represented those who still practiced the provisional Small Vehicle, while Wisdom Accumulated represented those with Great Vehicle capabilities. In this way, everyone recognized that “The mind, the Buddha and sentient beings are no different [in their nature]”. The view of sentient beings or of a lifespan were no longer [attachments] for them; they had been totally eliminated. This is because all sentient beings are equal. “They did not believe it before.” Nothing like this had ever happened before, “so they had doubts”. They raised questions, for they did not believe it. They had never seen this before, but now they saw the dragon girl transform and attain Buddhahood. When they saw this with their own eyes, they understood everything and believed it, so they were silent; they no longer needed to ask questions. “Does anyone have any more questions?” They were silent and had no more questions.

By the same token, we need to realize and understand the profound wonder of the Buddha-Dharma. Do you all still remember? Many days ago, we talked about a bhiksuni named Bhadra. In the Buddha’s Sangha, in the group of bhiksunis, there was a bhiksuni named Bhadra. She was meditating in the forest when she suddenly laughted. Everyone asked her, “What is it?” She began to talk about her previous life. 91 kalpas ago, during the era of Vipasyin Buddha. There was a young boy at that time named Brahma. He had a magnificent appearance and was a very adorable young boy. He wanted to make offerings to Vipasyin Buddha and took precious things to offer Him. However, along the road, he encountered a very beautiful woman. Originally, everyone’s attention was focused upon the young boy, but their gaze suddenly shifted to that woman’s alluring appearance. So, the child had a thought and made offerings for seven days and nights, wishing to become a woman in the future, one with a beautiful appearance so that everyone’s gaze would focus upon her. So, this was his wish. Later he was born in the Heaven of the Thirty-three. Does everyone still remember? The heavenly beings fought over her; they fought over this heavenly woman. Everyone should still remember this. Later, many lifetimes passed until in another lifetime, she was born in Moonlight Elder’s household. In that lifetime, she was no beautiful and was also someone’s servant girl. After many lifetimes, she came here again. There was no Buddha at that time. Though no Buddha abided in the world, there were Pratyekabuddhas there. Moonlight Elder’s wife said to the servant girl, “If you see a Pratyekabuddha while you are out, make sure that you invite him home. I want to make offerings to a Pratyekabuddha.” This servant girl indeed encountered some on the street. She invited a few Pratyekabuddhas there so that they could receive offerings. When they met [the family], the wife saw them and felt no affinities with them. She felt, “I do not have affinities with them. I do not want to make offerings to them.Tell them to leave.” The servant girl thought, “I asked them to come. How can you just tell them to leave? How about you give me what I am supposed to eat. I will not eat; I will use it to make offerings to them.” So, this servant girl gave what she was supposed to eat that day as offerings to the Pratyekabuddhas. The Pratyekabuddhas accepted the food in their alms bowls, transformed their bodies and floated in the air. They floated along the road and struck their bowls. Everyone saw this and gave blessings to the one who had made offerings. Seeing this, everyone said, “Oh my! Which household was so blessed that they could make offerings to Pratyekabuddhas?” While this was happening, Moonlight Elder had just gathered 500 people. When everyone heard this news, they discussed it excitedly among themselves. “Who amongst us did this? We are all people of status. Which of our families did it? Which family made offerings to these Pratyekabuddhas?” This was also what the elder was thinking; he hoped it was someone from his own family. When he returned home, he asked, “Did anyone make offerings to Pratyekabuddhas?” When the servant girl heard this, she immediately replied. The wife did not reply. The servant girl replied, “I did! I gave what I was meant to eat as offerings to the Pratyekabuddhas.” The elder was delighted upon hearing this. “A servant girl in my household has made offerings to the Buddhas. It was very good of you to do this!” He praised her. “From now on, you will no longer be a servant. You will be just like the lady [of the house]. You will have servants. You will live a life of leisure and be served.” That was how it was. Afterwards, when the servant girl died, at that time, she was reborn into the Heaven of the Thirty-three. Then, when that lifetime again ended, she was reborn again into the human realm. Throughout more than 90 kalpas, she made more offerings to other Buddhas, doing this continuously until Sakyamuni Buddha’s era. At that time, before Venerable Kasyapa became a monastic, he was the son of an elder in a rich household. His aspired toward spiritual practice, but his family always expected him to get married. All he wanted was to engage in spiritual practice, but his parents wanted him to get married. So, he had one condition. “I carved a gold statue. Take it with you [and find] a woman who looks exactly like this gold statue. Then, I will take her to be my wife.” By chance, there was a woman who resembled that golden statue exactly, and she was also the daughter in an elder’s family. This was the same Bhadra. She also aspired to engage in spiritual practice and did not want to get married. These two people shared the same aspiration. Their karmic conditions had matured. Although they got married, they were pure. The two had agreed that, when their karmic conditions matured, they would become monastics together. So, when the conditions matured, one of them, Venerable Kasyapa, first became a monastic and then returned later to transform Bhadra to become a monastic. So, Bhadra Bhiksuni glossed over many of her lifetimes. At that time, she said, “As I sit here, [I realize]. I went through such a long time 91 kalpas ago, I had a single thought of ignorance, and I have been [born as] a woman ever since. This continued until now, when I have a chance to engage in practice here. From now on, I will completely dedicate myself to engaging in the Bodhisattva-practice. My objective in the future is the fruit of Buddhahood.” These were her karmic conditions.

Dear Bodhisattvas, our love must be pure. In order to have pure love, we must go among people. This chapter, the twelfth chapter, the Chapter on Devadatta, as well as the Chapter on Seeing the Stupa of Treasures, when taken together, are truly incredible. We should mindfully review them, carefully and meticulously contemplate these karmic conditions and listen to the Dharma. Have we taken the Buddha’s many manifestations, the Dharma, to heart? Is there a Vulture Peak in our minds? Are we at the Vulture Peak Assembly? Do we have a stupa on Vulture Peak? Is the door to the stupa on Vulture Peak open? Has the ancient Buddha within us manifested? This is what we must earnestly contemplate and earnestly think about. All of these conditioned phenomena must be returned to the unconditioned Dharma. So, everyone, please always be mindful!

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