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 20180608《靜思妙蓮華》娑婆國中 人多弊惡 (第1366集) (法華經·勸持品第十三)

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發表主題: 20180608《靜思妙蓮華》娑婆國中 人多弊惡 (第1366集) (法華經·勸持品第十三)   周四 6月 07, 2018 11:36 pm

20180608《靜思妙蓮華》娑婆國中 人多弊惡 (第1366集) (法華經·勸持品第十三)

⊙佛地遠本三世過現益物,法身常住化化無盡無窮,無古無今空劫前未為始,聖者累劫求覺迷者沉欲。
⊙此等道力未充足,難堪惡世,發願他方異土,弘宣教法,懼堪忍難調伏眾生弊惡,損壞性德造作累積惡業之人,懷增上慢者未得謂得。
⊙「爾時、眾中五百阿羅漢得受記者白佛言:世尊!我等亦自誓願,於異國土廣說此經。」《法華經勸持品第十三》
⊙「復有學無學八千人得受記者,從座而起,合掌向佛作是誓言:世尊!我等亦當於他國土廣說此經。」《法華經勸持品第十三》
⊙「所以者何?是娑婆國中人多弊惡,懷增上慢,功德淺薄,瞋濁諂曲心不實故。」《法華經勸持品第十三》
⊙所以者何?是娑婆國中人多弊惡:病弊處多,且又頑惡。弊:腐壞也。惡:指貪、瞋、癡、慢、邪見濁等。弊惡:謂損壞性德,造積惡業之人。性德:對修德之稱。言一切萬物本性之上各有善惡,迷悟之性能也。
⊙懷增上慢:稍能增上,便慢他人。釋尊將說法華時,懷增上慢之心者有五千人,言我等已證妙果,何要聞法華,各離座而去。
⊙法華經‧方便品云:說此語時,會中有比丘、比丘尼、優婆塞、優婆夷五千人等,即從座起,禮佛而退。
⊙「此輩罪根深重,及增上慢,未得謂得,未證謂證,有如是失。是以不住,世尊默然而不制止。」《法華經‧方便品第二》
⊙功德淺薄:如其功德淺薄,功能善因德行,皆悉淺薄。縱有少善,皆是有漏,非稱性之因。
⊙瞋濁諂曲:瞋怒昏濁,諂佞迂曲。瞋含貪癡,渾濁慧性。諂曲:即巧言令色,阿附苟合之類。
⊙心不實故:為此土弊惡之人,有如是過患多。所以發誓求化他方。心不實:口有心無為不實。
⊙具此諸惡,偽詐無信,故云心不實故。以不實故,難以語道,故誓於他方異土,廣說此經。
⊙五百阿羅漢及八千人等,雖已受佛記,然仍貪著安逸,怖畏生死,託淨邦,遠離穢土。蓋由涅槃之習氣未空,猶有分別法執。由是可知在本世界五濁惡世中,荷擔如來之慧命,確非小心怯弱者所堪任此。

【證嚴上人開示】
佛地遠本三世過現益物,法身常住化化無盡無窮,無古無今空劫前未為始,聖者累劫求覺迷者沉欲。

佛地遠本
三世過現益物
法身常住
化化無盡無窮
無古無今
空劫前未為始
聖者累劫求覺
迷者沉欲

用心體會,佛陀來人間,同樣佛佛道同,全都要說過去過去很長劫之前,一直生生世世,無不都是求真理妙法,最重要就是要入人群、度眾生。這是覺者,他過去要用很長久的時間,生生不息,同一個心念,這就是求法證覺,目的就是入人群、度眾生。所以不論是過去、現在、未來,時間不間斷,「三世」,在過、現、未來,都是一樣,為了就是利益眾生、教化眾生,希望眾生覺佛所覺。佛陀體悟得到的道理,期待眾生也同等體會得到,天地宇宙的真理。所以佛陀一直很肯定,肯定人人本具法身。法身就是道理,道理人人本具。自古以來,就是一直道理存在。人人覺性存在,所以這種「法身常住」,在外稱為「道理」,在人要稱「真如」。我們人人的真如與外面的道理,能夠會合起來,那就是真法身,那就是成佛了。可惜,我們人總是道理放在外面,我們的真如本性,受造作無明遮蓋,所以我們沒辦法,將「覺」與「理」來會合。

佛陀就是為了這件事情,所以,過去無數劫前求法,就是不斷入人群,期待我們人人能夠體會、接受,我們人人本具真如本覺。講盡了外面所有的道理,就是要讓我們本覺真如,與這個道理這樣會合,目的就是這樣。因為這樣,所以「法身常住」,道理永遠存在,真如本性人人本具,無始無始就是這樣。所以,佛是生生不息來人間,「化化無盡無窮」。「六道,四生」,「六道」的「四生」無處不在,累生世來都是這樣,用心一大事。所以,「無古無今,空劫前未為始」,那就是很久,要說多久呢?無盡頭,所以「無古」。「今」呢?到底什麼時間叫做現在?佛陀那時候的現在,是我們現在要說的過去。過去二千多年了,所以無法去說「古」,或者是「今」。我們的未來,只要我們用心,好好將法接受,身體力行,將這個法留存人間。未來的人說我們的現在,也是「古」!所以說起來,現在我們說佛世是「古」;我們現在,未來的人說我們是已經過去了。

所以「無古無今,空劫前未為始」。空劫,這個「劫」,一小劫,大家知道了,人壽十歲,一直一直到八萬四千歲,又再(每過一百年減一歲)減回來,這到底有多久?二十個小劫為一中劫,四個中劫才稱為一大劫。但是,人間成、住、壞、空,成、住、壞、空是很長的時間是很長的時間,輪轉到達空劫;到了空劫之時,這世間空無一物,都完全破壞掉了。空掉之後,地面上重新再開始。其實那「空劫」,還是不是叫做「開始」,空劫以前,也有經過了成、住、壞、空,空了之後的一段時間,慢慢形成過來,才再開始成、住、壞,又再空。當然時間是拉得很長,所以叫做「空劫前未為始」,也不是叫做開始,因為它前面也經歷過了,成、住、壞、空了。

但是道理還是存在,因為道理存在,才有成、住、壞、空,空了之後,這天地物理,才開始東西、植物等等,都慢慢生起,動物、人物就這樣,這也都是有道理存在。所以,道理不受成、住、壞、空所障礙,因為它無形無體相。所以「無古無今,空劫前未為始」,這個道理沒有始終,沒有開始,也沒中斷。人本具真如,不只是人,任何一項看得到的東西,都是有它的本性存在。過去一段也一直在這樣說。是啊,所以,我們只是,人物的這個真如本覺,沒辦法去和真理會合。釋迦牟尼佛,他就是本覺會合真理,所以,這樣成佛了,就是因為他累劫累劫以來,保持著追求真理。

所以「聖者累劫求覺」。聖者就是這樣,長久,無始開始了,他就是一覺千悟,知道人生就是這樣迷茫,所以他不斷真理累生世,他入人群去度眾生,因緣成熟了,就示成佛之相,讓我們大家可以知道,天地萬物真理。這就是佛陀來人間,不厭其煩為眾生開示,期待眾生能悟入,將我們的真如與理來會合。教我們的方法,要行「六度」,「六度」──布施、持戒、忍辱、精進、禪定、智慧,這六種方法,應天下眾生所需求,成為萬萬種,因為眾生沒有限度,複製無明,造作苦難,所以,苦難、煩惱。這煩惱中有它的真理存在,佛陀要我們入人群煩惱中,去體會煩惱的來源,真理是如何發生起來,動一念心,,口要讓我們去體會,覺悟也是來自一念心。

所以,「聖者累劫求覺」。迷者就是一直沈淪在這個欲,欲念,一念無明起,由貪開始,瞋、癡、慢、疑,不斷複製無明,所以我們要很用心去體會。但是佛陀在今生,就是現在,現在佛陀還是他的法身慧命,活在人間,因為我們現在所在用的,是釋迦牟尼佛重新為我們說法。釋迦牟尼佛之前,其實眾生無法去體會,真如要去會真理,無人能夠了解。釋迦佛來人間重新為我們說法,所以他從應機逗教,入人群為我們開示,讓我們慢慢了解,千經萬論,有前覺、後覺的人,但是不是徹底的覺悟。「知道,知道,我將佛陀所說的法,了解,我就將他筆記下來。」筆記下來會說,但是真正的真理還未真正透徹,我們的真如與這個理會合,還未契合起來,所以我們現在的「知」,與佛陀的「覺」是不同!

佛陀他的道力,是這樣生生世世,人群中鍛鍊出來,就是很精的器具,是經過火爐鍊出來的,我們是不是能堪得,經過火爐鍛鍊,一回再一回,火爐鍛鍊,還要錘錘打打,才有辦法成就了,那個精純的器具。佛陀已經面向著,生生世世的困難克服過來了,不改其志,沒改變他的志願,我們人間眾生是不是有辦法呢?

此等道力未充足
難堪惡世
發願他方異土
弘宣教法
懼堪忍難調伏
眾生弊惡
損壞性德
造作累積惡業之人
懷增上慢者
未得謂得

在這個人間眾生,「此等道道力未充足」。我們在這人間裡,聽法就聽法,但是我們還沒有,下定這麼堅決的心,「發心容易,恆心難」,久來都會感覺:還是我啦!還是我所愛的,還是回歸自我本位。在這凡夫俗子的念頭,無法脫俗,這就是我們的道力未充足,還是以我為本位,無法放下了「小我」,在「大我」中而生存,很少啊!所以多數都是「道力未充足」。因為這樣,「難堪忍惡世,發願他方異土」。前面我們就已經,看到這樣的文了,很多人已經得佛授記過了,看到二萬菩薩,在佛的面前發願了。在佛陀僧團中已得佛授記的,這五百阿羅漢、這八千人有學無學,他們願意來佛的面前說:「佛啊,我們也願意受持此經,但是弘揚這經典,我不敢在這個世界,我想要去他方異土,去教育那些眾生。」

有啊!它方異土,我們在科學中,仰望天空,天空有行星,隨著太陽在轉,地球也是空中的一顆星,這顆星它是繞著太陽自轉公轉,公轉一圈是三百六十五天,為作一年,這是地球公轉。其實,比地球更近,還有水星,它公轉一圈,是我們地球的八十八天;我們是轉一圈三百六十五天。意思就是水星一年,才有八十八天而已,我們的地球兩個多月,還不到三個月。這就是他方世界。在金星?他轉一圈,才有二百二十五天,也還不到地球的一年。所以那也是他方世界。地球再後面有火星,火星,它若轉一圈,是我們地球六百八十七天,那就是一年多,還沒到兩年。若是土星,那就是二十九年多,距離就離那裡遠了。還有,還有在天王星,它就轉一圈,地球就八十四年了。若是海王星,它就是這樣離太陽比較遠,公轉一圈,就已經是地球的一百六十五年,這是他方世界。

科學證明有他方異土,但是大家發願要去那個地方,那個地方到底是不是有生物呢?他們現在是空劫嗎?或者是成、住?現在我們還沒有很清楚。科學很發達,能夠去到火星、能夠去到金星,能夠去到月球,但是,只是覺得那個地方,一片如沙漠,好像是有山,像是有溪谷的痕跡過,但是還沒看到生物,到底登陸的地方是,是不是有人群的地方呢?我們的地球上面,也有很多一大片都是沙漠,著陸點,一望無際的沙漠,說不定沒有落在,他們那個有世界,有生物、有植物的地,說不定啊!這我們都不知道,唯有佛才會知道,佛陀他有向大家說:除了這個世界以外,還有它方世界哦。這些弟子認為有他它方世界。

但是這個世界,大家有經過,知道這個世界是苦難偏多,眾生剛強。大家只知道這個世界是這樣,他們不知道,雖然佛陀說有他方世界,他方世界的眾生,是不是也很剛強呢?八十八天一年的水星,若是有眾生,是不是比我們更剛強?我們也不知道啊!但是這些人,只是看到此土眾生剛強難調伏,他們畏懼,他們害怕,所以他們雖發願,願意發願,但是不願意在這個地方,他們要去他方。不知道在這裡是還不錯。但是去想:我換一個地方,應該比這裡更好。不見得哦!我們還是,佛陀在人間說法,佛法在人間,我們安分守己,為這個人間剛強迷茫的眾生,我們要好好發願,為這個範圍,為這個環境認真,來解除這個環境中的苦難人,我們應該要發願這樣來付出。所以這些人的道力還沒有充足,難堪忍這個惡世,所以他們也願意發願,不過要去他方,所以要去他方去弘宣教法。

很多人都有這樣的理想,我在這裡工作,我要去其他的地方,換一個地方,可能我會更進步。也不見得啊!同樣的道理,所以大家懼怕,就是「堪忍難調伏眾生弊惡」。所以,這個世間眾生,那個弊惡是什麼呢?那就是「損壞性德」,德性、道德等等,都完全損壞掉了。這是我們現在人間,很多人去掉了倫理,道德觀念都損壞掉了,所以這些人很怕,不敢在這個地方,弘揚佛陀的教法,因為這個地方的人,「造作累積惡業」,所以要教化很難。這些人,他們就是懷著增上慢,「增上慢者未得謂得」,很剛強,你要和他講道理,沒有那麼容易,所以,這些人都是「未得謂得」。這是前面的文,讓大家更清楚一點,要了解為什麼他們要去他方世界。有啊,有他方世界,但是未知數。

前面的文這樣說:「爾時、眾中五百阿羅漢得受記者白佛言:世尊!我等亦自誓願,於異國土廣說此經。」

爾時
眾中五百阿羅漢
得受記者
白佛言
世尊
我等亦自誓願
於異國土廣說此經
《法華經勸持品第十三》

他們發願要去其他的國土,也不只這五百位,還有「復有學無學八千人,得受記者」,這八千人有學無學。「無學」,就是該學的,他們全都差不多聽過,也學過了,這叫做「無學」。「有學」呢?現在才開始初入佛門,開始要追求,但是發大心,但是還沒有真功夫,這叫做「有學」。

「復有學無學八千人得受記者,從座而起,合掌向佛作是誓言:」世尊!我等亦當於他國土廣說此經。

復有學無學八千人
得受記者
從座而起
合掌向佛作是誓言
世尊
我等亦當於他國土
廣說此經
《法華經勸持品第十三》

他這樣說:「世尊,我等亦當於他國土廣說此經。」也跟著前面的人這樣說,們也不敢在這個娑婆世界,他們也願意到其他的世界去,去弘宣佛陀這《妙法華經》。

接下來的這段文,就這樣說:「所以者何?是娑婆國中人多弊惡。」,懷增上慢,功德淺薄,瞋濁諂曲心不實故。」在這個娑婆世界真的很堪忍,這些人很惡劣。

所以者何
是娑婆國中
人多弊惡
懷增上慢
功德淺薄
瞋濁諂曲
心不實故
《法華經勸持品第十三》

所以「懷增上慢,功德淺薄,瞋濁諂曲,心不實故」。這個世間就是有這麼多毛病,因這些弊惡,所以為什麼我不敢在這裡?因為這個娑婆世界中的人,就是那麼多都是很惡劣,弊病很多,壞的習氣很多,很不好的心性,所以很頑劣,很惡,所以我不敢在這裡。

所以者何
是娑婆國中
人多弊惡:
病弊處多
且又頑惡
弊:腐壞也
惡:指貪、瞋、癡、
慢、邪見濁等
弊惡:
謂損壞性德
造積惡業之人
性德:
對修德之稱
言一切萬物
本性之上各有善惡
迷悟之性能也

所以「弊」就是腐壞,就是弊;「惡」就是貪、瞋、癡、慢、疑,還有邪見等等,這個濁氣很重。所以這種弊惡就是說「損壞性德」。有修行的人,是在培養我們的德行,但是弊惡的人,不只是不願意修德,反過來毀謗等等,像這樣的人叫做弊惡。「造積惡業之人」,也很多。將好的東西會消滅掉,壞的東西來消滅好的東西,好的人被惡的人消滅掉,這就是他們所害怕的,「性德,對修德之稱」,「言一切萬物本性之上,各有善惡」。其實植物同樣也有啊,能夠當藥,療治人的病;有的植物是,你若碰到就傷你的身體,什麼咬人貓、咬人狗,你若摸到它,你的身體就過敏,就會腫起來,有這種;甚至吃到它就中毒了,很快就是沒命了,也很多。所以,毒藥也是從植物提煉出來。所以講起來,人有善惡,其實大地這些東西都有利和弊。所以「迷悟之性能」,全都有。

所以「懷增上慢」,一點點知道,他就以為他懂很多了,這就是「慢他人」,向大家炫耀,自己很自大,看不起別人,這種。

懷增上慢:
稍能增上便慢他人
釋尊將說法華時
懷增上慢之心者
有五千人
言我等已證妙果
何要聞法華
各離座而去

所以,「懷增上慢」,釋迦牟尼佛,在講《法華經》的時代就有了,懷增上慢的人這個心態,連佛陀講說《法華經》,他們也有五千人作禮而退。為什麼這五千人作禮而退呢?他們認為佛陀要說的,差不多我應該都知道了。一直在讚歎這個法的微妙甚深,讚歎佛的覺性徹悟,這些事情我都差不多知道了。這五千人,就是這樣的「增上慢」,以為我的智慧和佛也差不多啊,佛知道的,我也差不多知道了。所以,「言我等已證妙果」,以為自己都有證有悟,「何要聞法華」呢?差不多要講的我都知道了,我為什麼還要留下來聽?所以「各離座而去」。就這樣各各就離座去了。

法華經方便品云
說此語時
會中有比丘比丘尼
優婆塞優婆夷
五千人等
即從座起
禮佛而退

所以《法華經‧方便品》就這樣說,〈方便品〉中「說此語時,會中有比丘、比丘尼、優婆塞、優婆夷五千人等,即從座起,禮佛而退」。這五千人就是這樣,在經文中這樣描述過。

此輩罪根深重
及增上慢
未得謂得
未證謂證
有如是失
是以不住
世尊默然而不制止
《法華經‧方便品第二》

「此輩」,這些人「罪根深重」。就是因為有障礙,要不然佛才要開始說妙法,他們就自障礙,這樣離開了,這就是有障礙。什麼障礙呢?就是貪、瞋、癡、慢、疑,來障礙他們。在經文中這樣說,「未得謂得,未證謂證,有如是失,是以不住」,因為這樣的障礙,所以損失就很大了。是他們個人的損失,對佛一點都沒有關係。聽者自覺,不聽者自迷,這和佛是一點關連都沒有,不過佛陀還是安然自在,「退亦佳矣」。世尊並沒有阻止,要退就讓他退,靜靜地讓他退去,「退亦佳矣」,能夠這樣退了也很好,才不用聽了之後,又造作一些邪知邪見,去講說一些不實,偏差毫釐,失於千里的導向。他就是感覺:好,不想聽的人離開也好,所以說「退亦佳矣」。前面在〈方便品〉中有這樣。

功德淺薄:
如其功德淺薄
功能善因德行
皆悉淺薄
縱有少善
皆是有漏
非稱性之因

所以這些人都是功德淺薄。這個「功德淺薄,功能善因德行」等等都很淺,「縱有少善,皆是有漏,非稱性之因」。修行,下功夫,沒有什麼心要下功夫,也不願意要去利益他人,這樣的人功德都是很淺薄,所以善因德行都不夠。善因,那就是願意行菩薩道利益人群,這樣的因,種子全都沒有,很少,所以這樣退,離開了。這樣的就是功德淺薄,功德也沒有造到,所以很淺薄。所以「縱有少善,皆是有漏」。做一點點善事,或者是修一點行,也是以為他已經做很多了。這種有求付出,付出有所求的代價,這都叫做「有漏」。「非稱性之因」,不是我們真如本性,透徹了解道理去做的事情,不是。

所以,「瞋濁諂曲」。

瞋濁諂曲:
瞋怒昏濁
諂佞迂曲
瞋含貪癡
渾濁慧性
諂曲:
即巧言令色
阿附苟合之類

這些人就是瞋來污濁了,就有煩惱,就生無明。瞋就是叫做無明;無明就是叫做濁氣,這種濁氣就是從瞋開始,這種諂曲,「瞋怒昏濁,諂佞迂曲」,這種對人不是直心。我們常常說直心是道場,心寬念純,這就是我們的真如本性。但是他不是,就是被無明覆蓋,對人彎彎曲曲(拐彎抹角),都是有所求的心態。所以這個瞋含著貪癡,因為有了貪、癡,所以他會發怒;因為這樣,就會「渾濁」了「慧性」。我們的真如本性,那就是慧,平等慧。秉慧導慈,有了慧我們才懂得,發出了這個慈悲心,所以,因為瞋、貪、癡,渾濁了我們的慧性,將它遮蓋了,就是無明遮蓋了我們的真如本性。因為這樣,諂曲。諂曲,就是巧言令色,講話講得很好,說法也是講得很好,但是德性、行為,是不是有做到,還是沒有呢?或者是巧言令色,討好別人,只是這樣而已呢?這我們就要很用心去體會。

所以,「心不實故」,我們的心就沒有實。

心不實故:
為此土弊惡之人
有如是過患多
所以發誓求化他方
心不實:
口有心無為不實

所以我們「為此土弊惡人,有如是過患多」,這麼多過患,很多,所以不敢在這裡,就要發願,發願到他方去。這就是我們,在這個娑婆世界的人,意志也很軟弱,哪怕是修行者也是意志很軟弱。「有如是過患」,所以要求發誓到他方去。怕,怕就是沒有勇猛精進。佛陀勇猛精進為人間不斷付出,所以修行要真實心才能夠成佛。誠正信實,我們若心不實,只是口,有口無心,這就是不實,我們要好好用心去體會。

具此諸惡
偽詐無信
故云心不實故
以不實故
難以語道
故誓於他方異土
廣說此經

所以「具此諸惡」,這些都是惡,所以我們要誠正信實,佛道無上誓願成,我們要勇猛精進。但是我們若欠缺這些,欠缺誠正信實,這樣就是有諸惡。「偽詐無信」,就是不實,他就無信。所以「心不實故」,因為心還沒有很踏實,還不敢面向這個人間。雖然人間濁世,眾生垢重,但是修行也還不敢,很踏實勇猛精進,這世間要如何有法可傳呢? 所以「以不實故,難以語道」,因為我們自己的心也很不實,所以要講真實話,講法其實也很難。所以,「故誓於他方異土,廣說此經」。我們要講真實法,對方也不一定會接受,我們就是要有這樣真實的心,接受佛陀的教法,要身體力行,忍苦耐勞,也很困難。所以因為這樣,佛陀因法募人就是在這裡。

所以前面的文,那就是「五百阿羅漢及八千人等,雖已受佛記,還是貪著安逸」。同樣有貪,還是同樣「貪著安逸」。

五百阿羅漢
及八千人等
雖已受佛記
然仍貪著安逸
怖畏生死
託淨邦
遠離穢土
蓋由涅槃之
習氣未空
猶有分別法執
由是可知在本世界
五濁惡世中
荷擔如來之慧命
確非小心怯弱者
所堪任此

所以「怖畏生死」,就是「託淨土」,還是希望,到其他比較輕鬆的地方去,「這裡很忙,我還是去比較閒的地方,同樣是修行。」這就是這樣啊!所以,「蓋由涅槃之習氣未空」,還是求安逸。所以「猶有分別法執」,這就是還有法執。我們修行還不夠,所以「由是可知,在本世界五濁惡世中,荷擔如來之慧命,確非小心怯弱者所堪任」。不是發小心的人有辦法可承擔,一定要發大心、立大願,不要怕,勇猛精進才有辦法承擔,要不然,真的是承擔不起。

各位,人生苦短啊!到底我們在人間得到佛法,佛陀為眾生用心良苦,他也了解這個世間,「弊惡」的眾生是這麼的多,在這個世界裡,在修行的人也沒有很大的決心,也沒有很大的勇氣,所以佛陀於〈法師品〉以下,一直就是要募人、求人來接法,知道要接受這個法,是這麼不簡單。眾生雖然剛強,其實,修行者要把他調伏到真的法執、人我執全都將它去除,實在也很不簡單。所以,我們既然學佛了,是不是要徹底發大心;但是要發大心,也就要多了解,時時多用心!

【註一】
《法華經大成》弊惡者。謂損壞性德。造積惡業之人也。懷增上者。未得謂得。
性德:對修德之稱。言一切萬物本性之上各有善惡迷悟之性能也。
(丁福保‧《佛學大辭典》)


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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: Many in the Saha World Are Corrupted by Evil (娑婆國中 人多弊惡)
Date:June.08.2018

“The state of Buddhahood is the distant intrinsic. [The Buddhas] have benefitted all beings throughout the Three Periods. The Dharmakaya is ever-abiding, transforming countless beings without end. It is beyond past or present; it was there before the kalpas of disappearance, which is still not the beginning. Noble beings seek awakening throughout kalpa after kalpa, while deluded beings indulge in their desires.”

We must mindfully seek to comprehend this! The Buddha came to this world, [following] the same path that all Buddhas share. They all spent many kalpas in the distant past and continue to spend lifetime after lifetime seeking the true principles of the wondrous Dharma. Most importantly, They go among people to transform sentient beings. They are the Awakened Ones. They have done this for a very long time, for lifetime after lifetime without rest, all with the same mindset, which is to seek the Dharma and attain awakening. Their goal is to go among people and transform sentient beings. So, whether in the past, present of future, They will never stop doing this. Throughout the “Three Periods,” the past, present and future, they will always seek to benefit and teach sentient beings in the hope that sentient beings will awaken to what the Buddha awakened to. The Buddha comprehended and awakened to the principles and He hoped that sentient beings would likewise be able to comprehend the true principles of the universe. So, the Buddha was always very affirming of the fact that the Dharmakaya is intrinsic to us all. The Dharmakaya is the principles, the principles that everyone intrinsically posses. Since ancient times, the principles have always existed and so has everyone’s awakened nature. So, the “Dharmakaya is ever-abiding.” Externally, this is known as “the principles”; within people, this is known as “True Suchness”. When our nature of True Suchness and the principles of the external world can come together, that is the true Dharmakaya. That is the attainment of Buddhahood.

Unfortunately, we humans always place the principles outside of ourselves, while our nature of True Suchness is obstructed by the ignorance that we create. So, we are unable to bring together “awakening” and “principles”. It was precisely because of this that the Buddha spent countless kalpas seeking the Dharma and constantly going among people in hopes that we would all be able to comprehend and accept that everyone intrinsically possesses the innate enlightenment of True Suchness. He taught all the principles of the external world so that our innate enlightenment of True Suchness would be able to come together with these principles. This was His goal.

Since this is the case, “The Dharmakaya is ever-abiding”; the principles are forever present and the nature of True Suchness is intrinsic to everyone. It has been like this since Beginningless Time. So, throughout lifetime after lifetime, the Buddha came ceaselessly to this world, “transforming countless beings without end.”

In the Six Realms and Four Forms of Birth, [the Buddha] was everywhere. He did this for accumulated lifetimes, dedicating Himself to His one great cause. So, “It is without past or present; it was there before the kalpa of disappearance, which is still not the beginning.” This was a very long time ago; how long a time? It is endless; thus it is “without past.” And what about the “present”? What time is considered the present anyway? “Present” during the Buddha’s time is what we call the past; it was over 2000 years ago. So, we are unable to say “past” or “present”. As for our future, we must be mindful, work hard to accept the Dharma, put it into practice and ensure that the Dharma will continue to abide in this world. People of the future will say that our present is the “past” as well. To sum it all up, in the present, we call the time of the Buddha the “past,” and our present is what people in the future will call the past. Thus, “It is without past or present; it was there before the kalpa of disappearance, which is still not the beginning.” What does kalpa mean in “kalpa of disappearance”? Everyone knows what a small kalpa is. A human lifespan of ten years keeps increasing until it reaches 84,000 years, and then it decreases again. How long does this take? Then 20 small kalpas make a medium kalpa. Four medium kalpas make a great kalpa. But for the world to go through [the cycle of] formation, existence, decay and disappearance takes a very long time before it gets to the kalpa of disappearance.

Once it is time for the kalpa of disappearance, this world will be empty, with nothing left. Everything will be completely destroyed. Once everything is gone, the earth will begin anew. In fact, the “kalpas of disappearance” is still not the “beginning”. Before the kalpas of disappearance, [the world] also went through the cycle of formation, existence, decay and disappearance. After the period of disappearance, [the world] slowly began to form and start the cycle of formation, existence, decay and disappearance again.

Of course, this stretches across a very long time. So it says, “It was there before the kalpas of disappearance, which is still not the beginning.” This is not called “the beginning,” either, because before then, there was another cycle of formation, existence, decay and disappearance. But the principles still exist. It is only because the principle exists that there can be the [cycle of] formation, existence, decay and disappearance. After disappearance, all things in the universe will begin [anew]; plants and other things will slowly spring into existence. Animals and people are like this. The principles are present in all of this. The principles are unhindered by the cycle of formation, existence, decay and disappearance because they have no form, substance or appearance.

Thus, “It is without past or present; it was there before the kalpas of disappearance, which is still not the beginning.” This principle is without beginning or end. It has no beginning and no cutoff. People intrinsically possess the nature of True Suchness. But it is not just people; everything that we see possesses its own intrinsic nature. We have discussed this over and over again. Indeed! So, it is just that our nature of True Suchness cannot come together with the true principles. Sakyamuni Buddha’s innate enlightenment came together with the true principles. He attained Buddhahood because, for accumulated kalpas, He persevered in seeking the true principles.

Thus, “Noble beings seek awakening throughout kalpas after kalpas.” Noble beings are like this. He began long ago in Beginningless Time. By understanding one thing, He realized 1000. He knew that humans live life lost in confusion. So, He continued to accumulate the true principles lifetime after lifetime. He went among people to transform sentient begins and when causes and conditions matured, He manifested the appearance of attaining Buddhahood so that we would all be able to understand the true principles of all things in the universe. This is how the Buddha came to this world, tirelessly opening and revealing teachings to sentient beings in hopes that the could awaken and enter them and that our nature of True Suchness could come together with the principles. The method He taught us was to practice the Six Paramitas. The Six Paramitas are giving, precepts, patience, diligence, Samadhi and wisdom. These six methods respond to the needs of all sentient begins on Earth to become tens of thousands of methods. Because sentient begins propagate ignorance and create suffering without limitations, they thus face suffering and afflictions. The true principles exist amidst these afflictions. The Buddha wants everyone to go among people, amidst their afflictions, so that we will be able to comprehend the source of our afflictions and how the true principles arise. This all comes from a single thought. This helps us to comprehend how awakening also comes from a single thought.

So, “Noble beings seek awakening throughout kalpas after kalpas.” Deluded beings [are deluded] because they are always mired in desire. A thought of desire gives rise to delusion. So, we begin to have greed, anger, ignorance, arrogance and doubt and constantly reproduce ignorance. Thus, we must mindfully seek to comprehend this.

However, the Buddha, in this present lifetime, that is, right now, and the Buddha’s Dharmakaya, His wisdom-life, still live on in this world, because [the Dharma] we are using right now is the Dharma that Sakyamuni Buddha taught us anew. Before Sakyamuni Buddha, sentient beings were truly unable to comprehend that their nature of True Suchness must come together with the true principles. No one was able to understand this. Sakyamuni Buddha came to this world to teach us the Dharma. So, using different teachings to suit different capabilities, He went among people to teach us, helping us to gradually understand. With all the countless sutras and discourses, some awaken sooner, some later. But this is not complete awakening. “I know, I know. I understand the Dharma taught by the Buddha. One I understand it, I take down notes.” We can talk about what our notes say, but we still lack a complete understanding of the true principles. Our nature of True Suchness has yet to converge and resonate with the true principles.

So, our present “knowledge” is different form the Buddha’s “awakening”. The Buddha’s spiritual strength was tempered among people lifetime after lifetime. To become such a precise tool, it had to be refined in the flames. Are we able to bear the tempering of the furnace time and again, this process of tempering and hammering, so that we can become a precise tool? The Buddha has already gone through this process, overcoming difficulties lifetime after lifetime, never wavering from His vows and aspirations. Are we able to do this as sentient begins of this world?

These people did not have sufficient spiritual strength, so it was hard for them to endure this evil world. They aspired to go to different lands in other places to advance and teach the Dharma. They feared that in the world endurance, it would be hard to tame sentient beings, who are corrupted by evil. This corrupts their virtuous nature, causing them to become people who create and accumulate negative karma. They have overbearing arrogance and claim to have attained when they have not.

In this world, with these sentient beings, “These people did not have sufficient spiritual strength”. We are in this world, and while listening to the Dharma is good, we still have yet to establish such firm aspirations. “Forming aspirations is easy, but persevering in them is hard”. We always feel that, “It is all about me. It is all about what I love”, so we go back to putting ourselves first. With this mundane mindset of an ordinary being, we will be unable to transcend the mundane.

Our spiritual strength is insufficient and we keep putting ourselves first. We are unable to let go of our “limited self” to abide within our “grater self”. [Our spiritual strength] is so limited. So, most of these people “did not have sufficient spiritual strength”.

Because this world is difficult to endure, “They aspired to go to different lands in other places”. We have read this passage before. Many people had received the Buddha’s predictions. We saw the 20,000 Bodhisattvas make vows before the Buddha. In the Buddha’s Sangha, those who received predictions were the 500 Arhats and the 8000 at or beyond the stage of learning. They willingly made vows before the Buddha. “Venerable Buddha, we are also willing to uphold this sutra. But, when it comes to spreading this sutra, we do not dare remain in this world. We want to go to other worlds, different lands, and teach the sentient beings there”. Yes, there are other worlds and different lands.

Our scientists have looked at the sky and seen the planets there, orbiting around the sun. Earth is also planet in space. This planet orbits around the sun while revolving on its own [axis]. One orbit takes 365 days, which is one year. This the Earth’s orbit. In fact, even closer to the sun than Earth is the planet Mercury. Mercury takes 88 Earth days to orbit [the sun]. It takes 365 days for us to orbit [the sun]. This means that one year for the planet Mercury is only 88 [Earth] days. On Earth, this is more than two months, but not quite three months. This is another world. On Venus, one orbit takes 225 days. This is also not quite as long as a year on Earth. So, that is yet another world. Beyond Earth is Mars. For Mars to complete one orbit around the sun, it takes 687 Earth-days. That is over a year, almost two years. On Saturn, this takes over 29 years. That is how far away that planet is [from the sun]. There is also the planet Uranus. For it to complete one orbit, it takes 84 Earth-years. On Neptune, which is extremely far away from the sun, one orbit around the sun lasts 165 Earth-years. This is yet another world. Science has proven that there are other worlds. Everyone made vows to go to these places, but is there actually life in these places? Are they in the kalpa of disappearance now? Or are they going through formation and existence? Right now, we are still not sure. Science is very advanced. We can go to Mars. We can go to Venus. We can go to the moon. But it seems that those places are like vast deserts. There seem to be mountains with the traces of rivers and valleys, but they have yet to find life there. Could the places they have landed actually be places with people? The surface of our Earth also has many vast deserts. The places they have landed in are endless deserts. Perhaps they did not land at places with [living beings], with animals and plants; we are not sure. We do not know any of this.

Only the Buddha knows. The Buddha said to everyone, “Besides this world, there are still other worlds”. These disciples knew that there were other worlds. However, they had all lived in this world. They knew that this world is full of suffering, and that sentient beings here are stubborn. All they knew was that this world was like this. Though the Buddha spoke of other worlds, they did not know if the sentient beings of these other worlds were also just as stubborn.

On Mercury, which has 88 days per year, if there were sentient beings there, would they be even more stubborn than we are? We do not know this either! But these people had only seen that the sentient beings of this world were stubborn and hard to tame, so they were frightened and afraid. Thus, they made a vow. They were willing to make vows, but they were not willing to remain in this place. They wanted to go to other worlds. They did not realize that it is not so bad here. Instead they thought, “I want to switch to another place. It must be much better than here”. Not necessarily. We still have the Buddha to teach the Dharma to us in this world. Since the Buddha is in this world, we must be content with what we have. For the sake of the stubborn, lost and confused sentient beings of this world, we must earnestly make vows. For the sake of our surrounding environment, we must earnestly work to eliminate [suffering] for people who are suffering in this world. We should make vows to serve them. So, for these people, their spiritual strength was insufficient. This is an evil world that is difficult to endure, so while they willingly made vows, they still wanted to go to other worlds. So, they wanted to go to other places to spread and teach the Dharma. Many people have this king of thing. I work here, but I want to go to a different place. I want to try a new place; maybe I will do even better there. Not necessarily!

The principle is the same. So, everyone feared that “In the world of endurance, it would be had to tame sentient beings, who are corrected by evil.” So, for the sentient beings in this world, what does it mean to be “corrupted by evil”? It “corrupts their virtuous nature.” Their virtues, morals, ethics and so on have been completely corrupted. This is our world today.

So many people have lost their ethical principles. Their moral view had been completely corrupted. So, these people were very afraid and did not dare remain in this land to spread the Buddha’s teachings. This is because the people of this land create and accumulate negative karma.

So, they are very hard to teach and transform. These people have overbearing arrogance. They have overbearing arrogance and claim to have attained when they have not. They are very stubborn. Teaching them the principles is not easy at all. So, these people claim to have attained when they have not. This previous [sutra] passage help everyone understand even more clearly. We need to understand why they wanted to go to other worlds. Yes, there are other lands and other worlds. But we do not know how many.

The previous sutra passage says, “At that time, the 500 Arhats among the assembly who had receive predictions said to the Buddhas, ‘World-Honored One, go to different lands to widely expound this sutra.’”

They made vows to go to other lands. It was not just these 500 [Arhats] the 500 Arhats among the assembly who had received predictions said to the Buddha, ‘World-Honored One, go to different lands to widely expound this sutra.’”

They made vows to go to other lands. It was not just these 500 [Arhats]. “There were also 8000 people at or beyond the stage of learning who had received predictions.” There were 8000 people at or beyond the stage of learning. Beyond the stage of learning means that everything they were supposed to learn they had heard and had learned. This is being “beyond the stage of learning”. As for “those at the stage of learning, they had just begun to enter the Buddha’s door”. They had just begun their quest. They had formed great aspirations, but had yet to attain true mastery. This is known as being “at the stage of learning”.

“There were also 8000 people at or beyond the stage of learning who had received predictions who rose from their seats, but their palms together, faced the Buddha and made this vow. They said, “World-Honored One, we will also go to other lands to widely expound this sutra.

They followed those in front of them in saying that they did not dare to remain in the Saha World. They were also willing to go to other worlds to spread the Buddha’s Wondrous Dharma Lotus Sutra.

The following [sutra] passage says, “Why is this so? Because in the Saha World, many people are corrupted by evil.

This Saha World truly is hard to endure. These people are very evil. So, “They harbor overbearing arrogance and are shallow in merit and virtues. They are angry, confused and engage in devious dlattery. They are insincere at heart.

This world is full of so many problems. “[People are] corrupted by evil, so why would I dare to remain here?” Among the people of this Saha World there is so much evil, so much corruption, so many flaws, so many negative habitual tendencies and such awful mindsets. [people] are very stubborn and evil. So, they did not dare to remain here.

Why is this so? Because in the Saha World, many people are corrupted by evil: They have so many flaws and are so corrupted. Moreover, they are stubborn and evil. Corrupted: This means they are debased. Evil: This refers to the turbidities of greed, anger, ignorance, deviant views and so on. Corrupted by evil: this refers to people whose virtuous nature has been corrupted and who create and accumulate negative karma. Virtuous nature: Regarding the cultivation of virtue, this means that all the myriad beings, on top of our intrinsic nature, have both good and evil. This is our innate capacity for delusion or awakening.

So, “corrupt” here means “debased”. This is corruption. “Evil” refers to greed, anger, ignorance, arrogance and doubt, as well as deviant views and so on. These turbidities are very heavy, so they are “corrupted by evil”. Their virtuous nature has been corrupted .

Spiritual practitioners cultivate virtues. But those who are corrupted by evil are not only unwilling to cultivate virtue, but even commit wrongdoings and slander and so on. This kind of person is “corrupted by evil”. Those who “create and accumulate negative karma are also many. They destroy good things. Evil things destroy the good things. Evil people eliminate good people. This is what they were afraid of. As for “virtuous nature, this means that all the myriad beings, on top of our intrinsic have both good and evil. In fact, it is the same with plants. [Some plants] can be used as medicines to treat people’s illnesses, and there are other plants that will hurt you if touch them. There are plants like stinging nettles. If you touch them, your body will have an allergic reaction and swell. If you eat them, they will poison you and kill you very quickly, there are many like this. So, poison is also extracted from plants.

Thus, people are likewise both good and evil. In fact, everything on earth has both good parts and bad parts. So, “This is our innate capacity for delusion or awakening. We all have this. “They harbor overbearing arrogance. They know only a little, but think that they know so much, so “They will be arrogance toward toward others”. They show off to others, thinking they are so great themselves. They look down on others, there are people like this.

Overbearing arrogance: Once they are able to advance slightly, they will be arrogant toward others. When Venerable Sakyamuni was about to expound the Lotus Sutra, there were 5000 people who harbored overbearing arrogance in their minds. They said, “We all have realized the wondrous fruits already, so why must we listen to the Lotus Sutra?” Thus, they each left their seats and departed.

So, “They harbor overbearing arrogance”. When Sakyamuni Buddha taught the Lotus Sutra, there were also people like this who harbored this mindset of overbearing arrogance. Even when the Buddha taught the Lotus Sutra, there were 5000 people who paid their respects and left [the assembly]. Why did those 5000 pay their respects and leave? They felt the Buddha was teaching something that they already understood. They continued to praise this Dharma for being wondrously profound, praising the Buddha’s thoroughly enlightened nature, [but said], “I already know all these things”. These 5000 people had this kind of “overbearing arrogance”. They also felt that they were just about equal to the Buddha in wisdom. “What the Buddha know, I pretty much know too.” So, “They said, ‘We all have realized the wondrous fruits already”’. They felt they had already attained realization and awakening, “So why must we listen to the Lotus Sutra?” “I know most of this already. Why should I stay and listen?” So, “They left their seats and departed one by one”. They each left their seats and departed one by one.

So, the Lotus Sutra’s Chapter on Skillful Means talks about this. In the Chapter on Skillful Means [it says], “As He said these words, among the assembly were bhiksus, bhiksunis, upaskas and upasikas, 5000 in all, who rose from their seats, prostrated to the Buddha and left”.

Those 5000 people were like this. This is how it is described in the sutra. These people’s roots of transgressions were deep and grave, and they had such overbearing arrogance that they claimed to have attained when they had not and to have realized what they had not. With faults such as these, they could not stay. The World-Honored One remained silent and did not stop them.

“These people’s roots of transgressions were deep and grave.” Because of this, they had obstructions. So, when the Buddha began to teach the wondrous Dharma, due to these obstructions, they left. It is because they had obstructions. What were their obstructions? Greed, anger, ignorance, arrogance and doubt, these things came to obstruct them. The sutra says it like this. “They claimed to have attained when they had not and to have realized what they had not. With faults such as these, they could not stay.” Because of these obstructions, they all missed out on a great deal. This was due to their own individual shortcomings. It had nothing at all to do with the Buddha. Those who listened awakened, while those who did not became lost. It had nothing to do with the Buddha. However, the Buddha was still at ease. “It is better that they left.” The Venerable One did not stop them. “If they want to leave, let them leave.” He quietly allowed them to leave. “It is better that they left.” It was good for them to leave like this. This way, they would, after listening, go take action out of deviant knowledge and views or say some things that were not true. A slight deviation takes one far off course. [The Buddha] felt, “Alight, if they do not want to listen, it is better if they leave.” So, He said, “It is better that they left”.

This is from the Chapter on Skillful Means. So, people [of the Saha World] “are shallow in merits and virtues”. Being “shallow in merits and virtues means their capacity for good causes and virtuous deeds” and so on will all be very shallow. “Even if they do a few good deeds, they will all have Leaks. This is why they will not be able to accord with their nature”. Engaging in spiritual practice requires hard work. If someone has no desire to work hard and is also unwilling to benefit others, such a person will be very shallow in merits and virtues. Thus, their good causes and virtuous deeds will be insufficient. Good causes direct us toward the Bodhisattva-path of benefiting others while going among people. When it came to these causes, these seeds, they were completely lacking, having very few. So, this is why they got up and left. This was because they were shallow in merits and virtues. They did not create any merits or virtues, so these were very shallow. Thus, “Even if they do a few good deeds, they will all have Leaks”. They do a few good deeds and engage in a little bit of practice and feel that they have already done so much.

Serving others with expectations like this, expecting rewards for serving, is what it means to “have Leaks”. “This is why they will not be able to accord with their nature”. These are not the deeds we would do with a thorough understanding of the principles and our nature of True Suchness. No. So, “They are angry, confused and engage in devious flattery”.

They are angry, confused and engage in devious flattery: They are delirious with rage. They are tortuously disingenuous. Their anger harbors greed and ignorance which obfuscates their wisdom-nature. Devious flattery: This means using clever words and a contrived manner to ingratiate oneself to others.

These people are contaminated with anger, so they have afflictions and ignorance. Anger is ignorance. Ignorance is turbidity. This kind of turbidity begins from anger. They engage in devious flattery. “They are delirious with rage. They are tortuously disingenuous”. This means they do not treat others with honesty. We often say that a genuine mind is where spiritual training takes place; having an open heart with pure thoughts is our nature of True Suchness. But these people are not like this. They are covered by ignorance. They treat people in a disingenuous way, with a mindset full of expectations.

So, “anger” contains “greed and ignorance”. Because of greed and ignorance, they become angry. Because of this, their “wisdom-nature’ becomes “obfuscated”. Our nature of True Suchness has impartial wisdom. We must uphold wisdom and transmit loving-kindness. With wisdom, we will understand how to bring forth our loving-kindness. So, anger, greed and ignorance obfuscate our wisdom-nature, enshrouding it. Our ignorance covers our nature of True Suchness. This makes people disingenuous. This disingenuousness involves using clever words and a contrived manner. Someone may be really good with words, and may also be very good at teaching the Dharma. But does their virtuous nature come through in their actions? Or does it not? Do they simply use their clever words and contrived manner to please people? This is something we must mindfully comprehend.

So, “They are insincere at heart”. A mind like this has no sincerity. They are insincere at heart: Because the people of this land are corrupted by evil and have many faults such as these, [the disciples] vowed to seek to transform beings in other places. They are insincere at heart: They do not mean what they say, so they are “insincere”.

So, “Because the people of this land are corrupted by evil and have many faults such as these….” Because they have so many faults, so many, the [disciples] did not dare to remain here; they wanted to make vows to go to other lands. This is because we who are living in this Saha World are very weak-willed. Even spiritual practitioners are very weak-willed. [They] “have many faults such as these”. So, they vowed to go to other places. They were afraid, fearing they did not have enough courage and diligence. In His courage and diligence, the Buddha constantly served others in this world. To be able to attain Buddhahood, spiritual practice must begin from sincerity, sincerity, integrity, faith and steadfastness. If we are insincere, all we will have is words and no heart. This is what it means to be insincere. We must mindfully seek to understand this.

They are replete with all these evils and are deceitful and untrustworthy. Thus it says they are insincere at heart. Because they are insincere, it is hard to expound the Dharma [to them]. So, [these disciples] vowed to go to other worlds and different lands to “widely expound this sutra.”

So, “They are replete with all these evils.” They are so evil, so we must have sincerity, integrity, faith and steadfastness and “vow to attain unsurpassed Buddhahood.” We must be courageous and diligent. But if we are lacking in sincerity, integrity, faith and steadfastness, we will have all kinds of evils and become “deceitful and untrustworthy.”
This is insincerity. They have no faith.

So, “They are insincere at heart” because their aspirations are not firm. They do not dare to face this world. This world is turbid, and sentient beings are severely defiled. Even spiritual practitioners fail to be courageous and diligent. How can we in this world have Dharma to transmit? So, “Because they are insincere, it is hard to expound the Dharma [to them].” It is because our own hearts are very insincere. So, we must speak words that are true. In fact, it is very difficult to teach the Dharma. So, “[These disciples] vowed to go to other worlds and different lands to widely expound this sutra.” We must teach the True Dharma, but other people might not accept it. We must have this sincere mind to accept the Buddha’s teachings and put them into practice even with great difficulty. This is also very difficult. So, because of this, the Buddha wanted to recruit people for the sake of the Dharma.

So, the previous sutra passage says that those "500 Arhats and 8000 other people, though they had received predictions of Buddhahood, were still attached to comfort and ease.” They were very attached. They remained the same, “still attached to comfort and ease.”

The 500 Arhats and 8000 other people, though they had received predictions of Buddhahood, were still attached to comfort and ease. They feared samsara, so they wished to go to the pure lands and stay far away from the land of defilement. This is because they had yet to eliminate their habitual tendency to seek Nirvana. They still had a discriminatory mindset from their attachment to the Dharma.
From this, we know that in this world, the evil world of the Five Turbidities, when it comes to shouldering the burden of the Tathagata’s wisdom-life, timid and weak people of limited aspirations are definitely incapable of undertaking this task.

So, “They feared samsara” and wished to go to the pure lands. They still hoped to go to another, easier place. “I would be too busy here. I want to go to a more relaxed place where I can still engage in spiritual practice.” They were all like this! So, “This is because they had yet to eliminate their habitual tendency to seek Nirvana.” They still sought comfort and ease. So, “They still had a discriminatory mindset from their attachment to the Dharma.” They were still attached to the Dharma. They had not practiced enough. So, “From this, we know that in this world, the evil world of the Five Turbidities, when it comes to shouldering the burden of the Tathagata’s wisdom-life, timid and weak people of limited aspirations are definitely incapable of undertaking this task.” People with limited aspirations are incapable of undertaking this task. It definitely requires great aspirations and vows. Do not be afraid. With courage and diligence, we will be able to undertake this task. Otherwise, it truly cannot be done.

Everyone, life is painfully short. But after all, we have accepted the Buddha-Dharma in this world. The Buddha gave His heartfelt effort for the sake of sentient beings. He also understood that in this world, so many sentient beings are “corrupted by evil.” In this world, there are even spiritual practitioners who lack great determination and great courage. So, starting from the Chapter on Dharma Teachers, the Buddha continually recruited people, seeking people to accept the Dharma, while knowing full well that accepting the Dharma is no easy task. Although sentient beings are stubborn, spiritual practitioners must train them until they genuinely eliminate their attachments to the Dharma, to the self and to others, until they eliminate them completely; this truly is not an easy task.

So, since we are Buddhist practitioners, we must wholeheartedly form great aspirations. However, forming great aspirations requires great understanding. So, we must always be mindful!

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