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 20180612《靜思妙蓮華》尼首示意 眾得佛記 (第1368集) (法華經·勸持品第十三)

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發表主題: 20180612《靜思妙蓮華》尼首示意 眾得佛記 (第1368集) (法華經·勸持品第十三)   周一 6月 11, 2018 9:50 pm

20180612《靜思妙蓮華》尼首示意 眾得佛記 (第1368集) (法華經·勸持品第十三)

⊙憍曇彌乃尼眾之主,故統六千而表心思;眾尼見聲聞得授記,龍女成佛感發其志。
⊙由是心志雖既自肯定,猶然踟躕未能自決,故心想欲言,而口又難開,唯仰首目視,待聞教命。
⊙「爾時、佛姨母摩訶波闍波提比丘尼、與學無學比丘尼六千人俱,從座而起,一心合掌,瞻仰尊顏,目不暫捨。」《法華經勸持品第十三》
⊙「於時世尊告憍曇彌:何故憂色而視如來?汝心將無謂我不說汝名,授阿耨多羅三藐三菩提記耶?」《法華經勸持品第十三》
⊙「憍曇彌!我先總說一切聲聞皆已授記。今汝欲知記者,將來之世。」《法華經勸持品第十三》
⊙五百弟子受記品云,迦葉汝已知,五百自在者,餘諸聲聞眾,亦當復如是,其不在此會,汝當為宣說。
⊙僧尼雖異,據所修行,同稱聲聞。既云一切皆與授記,則諸尼眾已在其中。
⊙「當於六萬八千億諸佛法中為大法師,及六千學無學比丘尼俱為法師。」《法華經勸持品第十三》
⊙當於六萬八千億諸佛法中:六萬表六根,八千表八識。六根八識,一時清淨,名見諸佛。

【證嚴上人開示】
憍曇彌乃尼眾之主,故統六千而表心思;眾尼見聲聞得授記,龍女成佛感發其志。

憍曇彌乃尼眾之主
故統六千而表心思
眾尼見聲聞得授記
龍女成佛感發其志

憍曇彌是佛的姨母,叫做摩訶波闍波提,憍曇彌是姓,她的姓。所以,她也是捨離皇宮,富貴的生活,帶領著五百多位的宮女,其中還有耶輸陀羅,發心出家。但是,那段時間佛陀也不願意,讓這群女人這樣來出家,因為他擔心,擔心她們過去皇宮所受的生活,是這麼的富貴充足,非常的尊貴,他擔心她們沒辦法,受著僧團這麼簡單的生活,所以故意刁難。就是心念也知道,阿難一定會為他們來求情,才有辦法提出條件,「妳們若要出家,就要受幾種幾種的規戒。」所以「八敬法」,就是因為這樣來。一定,出家了必定要守規律,女人有很多種習氣,驕奢,真正憍慢、奢華的心態,尤其是皇宮的生活,恐怕無法自己自我降伏,那種過去傲慢、驕性,擔心她們沒辦法自我降伏。所以,要來求佛她們也要出家,佛陀就不願意接受,這就是要留給阿難,來為她們求情,佛陀才能夠提出條件。其實,都是全都平等,佛陀立「八敬法」,只是為這些尼眾所立的,也就是姨母,他的阿姨,憍曇彌,希望她能知難而退,或者是能夠勇猛精進,不是退,就是精進。退,就是「退亦佳矣」;精進,就是入僧團修行。

幸好,憍曇彌、耶輸陀羅,和這群的宮女道心堅定,還是願意,不論什麼樣的條件,該守持的,她們一定守持。所以,了解了人生苦難偏多,了解人生無常,名、利、地位,這都是虛幻,他們已經聽法清楚、了解了,只是一心真誠,很真、很誠意,就是求要出家,能接近佛陀,聽聞佛法,願意生活在這麼淡泊、刻苦的生活,只要能聽法,一切都不是問題。所以,她們願意接受。慢慢地,人人平等,這些女眾來皈依,發心出家,生活上就歸於憍曇彌,歸於摩訶波闍波提來管理。所以,慢慢的,尼眾也已經有六千多人了。所以,憍曇彌是「尼眾之主」,就是帶動這些尼眾,生活的規律等等。現在已經看到,佛陀為聲聞授記了,五百人、八千人等,前前後後都一直受記了,尢其是提婆達多,就是這麼的惡,雖然生陷地獄了,佛陀還是一樣為他授記。龍女也是一樣,是異類,佛陀也是納受她獻寶珠,佛陀納受,龍女轉一個身,就能夠成佛。

所以,因為這樣,「眾尼見聲聞得記」,又再看到龍女成佛,一直自己的內心一直很感動,也是很擔心,也是抱著很大的希望。擔心的是,佛陀怎麼一直還沒,叫到我們的名字授記呢?大家受記了以後,還有<法師品>,勸募人人好好持說《法華經》,又有<見寶塔品>,多寶佛現身見證;還有(提婆達多品>,龍女也能成佛,這樣又一段文,這已經過了這麼長,佛陀還是繼續說法,怎麼還沒有聽到,佛陀來為我們授記呢?這就是憍曇彌所帶領的尼團,尼眾心所思考,到底是為什麼呢?佛陀講這些法,時間的過程也是一段時間了,所以她們的等待,她們的思惟是充滿希望。但是,時間久了,她們也會擔心。所以他們看聲聞授記的時間,過了那麼久,現在龍女也已經來現身,在靈山會上,獻珠供佛,轉身成佛到南方去,這種的境界,他們大家真的是很羨慕,也是發心。內心也很期待,就是能夠像龍女這樣修行,不知多久的時間,他們也願意發心立志,就是要這樣修行,總有一天也是能夠成佛,加強她們的信心。

由是心志
雖既自肯定
猶然踟躕未能自決
故心想欲言
而口又難開
唯仰首目視
待聞教命

所以,「由是心志雖既自肯定」,這群的女眾,就是憍曇彌所帶領這群的尼眾,比丘尼眾,同樣全部很有信心,發這念心,願意從今以後就是要好好修行,不論多久。但是,現在總是期待,佛陀肯定我們,這是大家的心志。比丘尼團的心志,大家也自我肯定,希望佛陀能夠為他們授記。一直要聽佛陀向她們開示,關於她們修行的未來,但是,她們的心,就是佛陀所講說,要有「八敬法」,她們也不敢很貿然,就提出疑問來,不敢。所以儘管自己很肯定,但是就是不敢。「猶然踟躕未能自決」,自己內心也很踟躕,想要請教佛陀:「我們呢?我們能夠得佛授記嗎?」這個話就是不敢說出口。所以,「心想欲言」,心在想,想要說,但是口難開,不敢說。

唯有合掌「仰首」,因為大家已經離座了,已經離座,向佛陀這樣雙手合掌,很恭敬。現在已經不是坐著,已經是跪起來,雙手合掌。欲言又止,想要開口說話又不敢說,唯有就是這樣仰視,抬頭來向佛,注視著佛,期侍,「待聞教命」。希望佛陀能了解他們的心聲,有所請問,希望佛陀能夠為他們開示,只是不敢出聲,開口出聲,期侍佛陀了解他們的心意。真的是,憍曇彌很守規戒,佛陀有這樣的戒律,八敬法,真的她很恭敬,想要說的話,就是不敢在佛的面前,這樣提起疑問,都不敢。但是用態度,用虔誠的態度來表達。佛陀也看,全場的人,佛陀這樣看過去,看到她們這一群這麼恭敬,仰視佛陀,佛陀了解她們的心。

所以前面的文,有這樣說:「爾時、佛姨母摩訶波闍波提比丘尼、與學無學比丘尼六千人俱,從座而起。」

爾時
佛姨母
摩訶波闍波提
比丘尼
與學無學比丘尼
六千人俱
從座而起
一心合掌
瞻仰尊顏
目不暫捨
《法華經勸持品第十三》

這已經佛陀看到,大家不是坐著,已經跪起來了,這樣這麼的恭敬,「一心合掌,仰尊顏,目不暫捨」,這樣這麼期待的眼光,集中在佛的身上,佛陀了解了。所以,下面接下來這段文,那就說了。「於時世尊告憍曇彌:何故憂色而視如來?汝心將無謂我不說汝名,授阿耨多羅三藐三菩提記耶?」

於時世尊告憍曇彌
何故憂色而視如來
汝心將無謂我
不說汝名
授阿耨多羅
三藐三菩提記耶
《法華經勸持品第十三》:

*「何故憂色而視如來?」;佛見姨母頗有憂色,所以問為何憂慮愁容不展?
*「汝心將無謂我不說汝名,授阿耨多羅三藐三菩提記耶?」;汝心將非謂我授記,唯獨於尼眾中不提汝等名,為授記別,所以憂耶?

 這是佛陀很親切,表達很親切而尊重的口氣,來向著他的姨母摩訶波闍波提,叫他的名,也就能夠包括了比丘尼眾,全都包括在內了,他就這樣說:「憍曇彌啊!你是不是內心有話要問呢?是不是內心想:我怎麼沒有叫到你們的名字,我在授記的當中,沒有叫到你們的名字,你們現在心有話要講,很憂慮,是不是呢?想:我怎麼沒有叫你們,叫你們的名字,授阿耨多羅三藐三菩提記呢?」這是佛陀說出了憍曇彌,以及比丘尼眾的心聲。看大家這麼的虔誠來注視著佛,所以佛陀就是這樣,用恭敬,也是尊重,畢竟雖然是成佛了,在這個人倫而言,佛陀還是一樣,就是這樣叫著他的姨母,讓他了解,「我已經了解你的意,你是不是為了這樣,所以面有異色?有憂鬱的臉色,是不是這樣?看來大家都是很憂愁,是不是這樣呢?用這樣的目光來看我,是不是這樣?」

所以,這是佛的姨母。佛陀真正能夠了解,他現在的心是擔心,又期待,又是著急,已經離佛陀授記聲聞的時間,也有一段了,還沒有得到佛授記,現在看到龍女轉身成佛了,所以他們要追求的心,是多麼急切啊!所以,佛陀看摩訶波闍波提,已經等待得心有一點點憂鬱,所以他就這樣向他說:「你為什麼有這樣憂鬱的態度呢?很虔誠,但是好像很擔心。」這就是表示安慰。她(憍曇彌)為何憂慮,愁容不展,為什麼呢?「汝心」,就是要講出他們的心聲。憍曇彌啊!你們的心是不是這樣在想呢?想我怎麼沒有叫你們的名字,為你們授記,你們大家是不是這樣呢?你們的心「將非謂我授記」,你們的心,認為我不會向你們授記,所以因為這樣,你們在憂鬱嗎?你們是不是想,我單獨沒有叫你們的名字,在尼眾中,來為你們授記。因為是這樣,你們在憂鬱嗎?」

這就是佛陀先安慰,後面講他們的心聲。這就是佛陀,也是表達一點點親情,也是敬重,所以他就會用一點心,讓大家了解佛陀,已經體會他們的心意。我們人就是這樣,若能夠讓人了解,這樣就會安慰許多,「若了解我,應該就能夠為我解釋,這樣我就安心了。」佛陀已經表達出了,對這些比丘尼,已經關心到,也了解大家的心意了。

所以下面接下來這段經文,再說:「憍曇彌!我先總說一切聲聞皆已授記。」

憍曇彌
我先總說一切聲聞
皆已授記
今汝欲知記者
將來之世
《法華經勸持品第十三》

前面我已經講過了,所有的聲聞比丘全都授記。現在,「今汝欲知記者,將來之世」。「你們現在大家很急切,想要了解,你們什麼時候可以受記,受記,未來所得到是什麼,這是你們大家心想要問的,我了解了。」這是表示佛陀對所有的尼眾先提起了。「我先總說」,就是表示,前面的〈五百弟子受記品〉,記得嗎?前面五百弟子也自己自譬喻,譬喻貧窮子,已經身體在這樣流浪中,遇到他的一位長輩,看到這個孩子這樣在外面流浪,身無一物,貧窮。看他飢餓,他趕緊把他叫回來家庭裡,「你怎麼變成了這麼落魄呢?原來是富家子,為什麼現在流浪在外面,變成這麼落魄呢?來,來我的家裡。」將他帶回家裡,就是用很豐盛給他吃。

卻是這位長者有事要趕緊離開,但是為了幫助這位年輕人,他就用起了一顆寶珠,放在他的身上,但是有事情他就先離開。貧窮子吃飽了,也有喝酒,酒醉,等到清醒起來,這長者已經離開了,所以他就繼續,他流浪(的日子)。相信大家這段經文,大家都還記得,身懷寶珠而不覺知,這在〈五百弟子受記品〉,這段已經描述過,這個貧窮子流浪著,但是已經有人給他這顆寶珠,他自己還不知道,還是落魄,求衣食還是困難。這就是表示我們凡夫,人人都是本具佛性,我們有很豐富的覺性,也是慧,智慧,慧海人人本具,但是我們就是這樣迷了,所以我們雖然已經有人,為我們開導,就像給我們的寶珠,已經為我們開導了,我們也接受了這個法,但是我們還是不覺不知,身懷著寶珠,我們還不知道!同樣的道理,我們凡夫帶著成佛的本性,還是在這六道裡面在製造煩惱,同樣還是這樣,無法體會真理,還是在複製無明,還是很落魄。這就是表示,貧窮子,就像我們凡夫一樣。

在這段文,後面佛陀再向迦葉尊者這樣講:「迦葉汝已知,五百自在者,餘諸聲聞眾,亦當復如是。其不在此會,汝當為宣說」。

五百弟子受記品云
迦葉汝已知
五百自在者
餘諸聲聞眾
亦當復如是
其不在此會
汝當為宣說

因為迦葉尊者,佛陀入滅了之後,僧團就要付託於迦葉尊者。迦葉尊者他將來要帶領其他的僧眾,所以佛陀為這五百弟子授記之後,就再交代迦葉尊者:「汝已知」,「迦葉尊者,你已經知道了,我為這五百人授記,因為這些人已經自在。他們提起了信心,他們也願意發大心立願,我已經為他們授記。」這五百弟子,已經心很自在了。其餘的,雖然我會再為他們授記,但是下根機,還沒有很自在,或者還有未來呢,你應「當復如是」,也一樣,和我現在在為人授記(一樣),讓他們大家知道修行,只要你認真,人人都是成佛有分。因為每一個人都是有真如本性,即使是不在此會的人,你也要為他們傳達下去,告訴他們,人人都能夠得到佛授記,都能夠成佛。」成佛,同樣十號具足,這就是佛陀交代。所以,<五百弟子受記品>,千二百弟子,還有沒有在場的人,佛陀就交代,交代給迦葉尊者,這就是佛陀的慈悲,遺教,這是佛陀的用心。

佛陀交代迦葉尊者這些事情,就是佛陀要讓大家知道,我先總說,前面五百弟子,千二百,二千等等這些弟子,還有之後即使沒有在此會,也是同樣要迦葉這樣傳達下去。意思就是說,未來就是這樣流傳。「不在此會」,就是不在當時佛陀靈山會,不只是不在靈山會,即使不在那個時代的未來,我們同樣人人本具佛性,同樣人人都可成佛。

僧尼雖異
據所修行
同稱聲聞
既云一切皆與授記
則諸尼眾已在其中

這是佛陀在安慰憍曇彌,對他說:「我前面講這些話,後面又有交代。」所以,「僧尼」,這些比丘尼雖然有異,雖然和聲聞要有一點區別。這是在人間生活,男女不要很混雜,所以要有所區別。比丘僧和比丘尼,雖然有這樣的男女分別,但是所修行是同稱「聲聞」,同樣是聲聞,聽法都是一樣。同樣理解佛所講的道理,同樣接受佛的教法,同樣的清楚,這都是一樣,所以「一切皆與授記」,應該都是同時得佛授記。所以,「則諸尼眾已在其中」,所有的尼眾都在其中,同樣,你們也可以得記啊!這是佛陀在安慰,其實,一樣。

所以,「今汝欲知記者,將來之世」。已經大家都應該能授記,你們現在若要知道,「今欲得知別記名者」,本來統統都能夠成佛,你們若要個別了解你們未來能夠成佛的名稱是什麼,這就是要了解於未來。

下面就又再說:「當於六萬八千億,諸佛法中為大法師,及六千學無學比丘尼俱為法師。」

當於六萬八千億
諸佛法中
為大法師
及六千學無學
比丘尼
俱為法師
《法華經勸持品第十三》

你們若要知道,你們未來什麼時候能夠成佛,你們好好地聽,現在開始發心修行,未來應該就是要,經過六萬八千億諸佛法中,為大法師。在佛的時代,你們能夠修行,不斷不斷地修行,就是生生世世修行,生生世世發心,生生世世聞法,甚至出家修行,為大法師。就是要很長久,同樣遇佛,同樣求法,同樣度眾生,時間就是要,六萬八千億諸佛法中。其實,比丘所授記,也是一樣,在無量劫以後,你們能夠成佛,現在的受記,比丘也是這樣,是無量劫,但是在憍曇彌他們這一團,佛陀要讓他們知道,是六萬八千億諸佛,不是叫做「無量劫」,就是讓他們知道,「六萬八千億諸佛法中,為大法師」。就是要生生世世,發心修行、說法,就是這樣。「及六千學無學比丘尼,俱為法師」,不只是憍曇彌,就是這六千學與無學比丘尼,同樣同為法師,這已經表達出來了。

當於六萬八千億
諸佛法中:
六萬表六根
八千表八識
六根八識
一時清淨
名見諸佛

「當於六萬八千億諸佛法中」。「六萬」就是表示「六根」;「八千」,就是表示「八識」。「一時清淨,名見諸佛」。這是一個形容,從這個數字來形容,我們,要從什麼方法入門修行,同樣要從「六根門」。我們每一天,六根是緣外面的六塵境,形形色色的形色、聲塵,無不都是從看、聽,起心動念,一天的時間內,或者是一念間的裡面,我們起心動念,緣著這個境界,那個境界有多少呢?所以,要我們,好好守住「六根門」,我們看的事情,要很用心去體會,不要受外面的形象,將我們迷惑掉。常常都是我們眼睛看到,還沒了解它的內容,就做決定,就會起了,貪、瞋、癡、慢、疑的境界,都是從這個「六根門」開始。聽,也是同樣,聽話,沒有很清楚,沒有很了解,就將「是」為「非」;明明是很好意的言語,若曲解他,就變成了惡意,當中就會起人我是非的煩惱,這也是在這個「六根門」的裡面。

煩惱一起,所接受的就會去造作,貪、瞋、癡、慢、疑,造作很多無明,複製很多的煩惱,造很多的業,這個業就成為種子。種子,那就是「八識」,進入「八識」的裡面,「萬般帶不去,唯有業隨身」,你六根門若守得清淨,自然八識就清淨了;我們所造作的一切,就都乾乾淨淨,沒有煩惱,沒有污濁,我們一心清淨求佛法,這我們就能夠聞法、說法、傳法,這都歸咎在六根、八識。這個「六根」緣我們的六塵,六識去思考造作,八識就接納了,接納很多,所造作之後的結果,就歸入在第八識。所以,這樣「一時清淨」,我們若能夠六根門守得好,我們的八識裡面無染垢,很清淨。六根、八識,能夠這樣完全一致,內外一致,都是清淨。

這樣,「一時」都完全清淨,名叫做「見諸佛」。就是「六萬八千億諸佛」的意思。因為有六根,有八識,八識的裡面,藏著很多很多無明煩惱,八識裡面也能夠,藏著很多很多的功德;這種「六度萬行」,也是一樣藏在八識裡,無明煩惱也藏在八識裡。我們全都清淨了,那就是回歸到第九識(菴摩羅識),自然那就是叫做「佛」。我們的真如佛性,就是「諸佛」。這是一個表示,用數字來含蓋,形容在時間。

我們能夠一念清淨,一切煩惱完全去除;一念無明起,一切煩惱複製。所以,講究的就是一念心。所以,一念心清淨,你就能夠聞法、說法、傳法,那就是「為大法師」。「及六千學無學比丘尼,俱為法師」,不是只有憍曇彌你一個,和你一起共同修行,這六千比丘尼,同樣,在大乘法中同樣為法師,能夠去講說大乘法。所以「六千尼眾,亦復如是」。你是這樣,其他的比丘尼眾也是同樣,所以我們要很用心來體會,佛陀的教法就是很平等。前面五百弟子受記,我們聞法、聽經,一定要回顧過去。這五百弟子受記,這五百弟子他們也提出了形容,我們流浪長久的時間,就是凡夫,無明一念,漏失,已漏落凡夫。我們戒、定、慧沒有修,全都是漏,滿心都是煩惱;該守的規矩都不要守,該做的事情,我們沒去做,我們就是不守規戒,脫離了人這道德,人倫道德完全脫離了,造作很多的煩惱、垢穢。

所以,因為這樣,我們就像喝醉酒的人一樣,這樣迷失。我們明明身中懷著寶珠,卻是我們還是這麼貧窮,我們明明我們有真如本性,卻是我們還是,這麼的執迷、愚鈍,道理沒有辦法透徹清楚,這是我們凡夫。明明我們有本覺慧海,我們有很多的智慧,就是這個智慧,還沒有和這個真理來契合到;儘管我們有,但是我們自己也沒有發現,沒有發現,就不懂要使用出去。他可以用這顆珠去貿易,後面遇到的這位長者,看到這位流浪在外面,「怎麼還這麼落魄啊?這麼久以前,我就已經給你這顆珠。你怎麼不知道,還是這樣?要不然,你這顆珠拿去變賣,你是很有錢,很富有,你怎麼還這麼落魄?」我們就能夠了解,覺者與迷者,覺者,他能夠道理應用自如,自己的真如本性,與道理契合起來,就富有智慧,就能夠天地宇宙的20180612《靜思妙蓮華》尼首示意 眾得佛記 (第1368集) (法華經·勸持品第十三)

⊙憍曇彌乃尼眾之主,故統六千而表心思;眾尼見聲聞得授記,龍女成佛感發其志。
⊙由是心志雖既自肯定,猶然踟躕未能自決,故心想欲言,而口又難開,唯仰首目視,待聞教命。
⊙「爾時、佛姨母摩訶波闍波提比丘尼、與學無學比丘尼六千人俱,從座而起,一心合掌,瞻仰尊顏,目不暫捨。」《法華經勸持品第十三》
⊙「於時世尊告憍曇彌:何故憂色而視如來?汝心將無謂我不說汝名,授阿耨多羅三藐三菩提記耶?」《法華經勸持品第十三》
⊙「憍曇彌!我先總說一切聲聞皆已授記。今汝欲知記者,將來之世。」《法華經勸持品第十三》
⊙五百弟子受記品云,迦葉汝已知,五百自在者,餘諸聲聞眾,亦當復如是,其不在此會,汝當為宣說。
⊙僧尼雖異,據所修行,同稱聲聞。既云一切皆與授記,則諸尼眾已在其中。
⊙「當於六萬八千億諸佛法中為大法師,及六千學無學比丘尼俱為法師。」《法華經勸持品第十三》
⊙當於六萬八千億諸佛法中:六萬表六根,八千表八識。六根八識,一時清淨,名見諸佛。

【證嚴上人開示】
憍曇彌乃尼眾之主,故統六千而表心思;眾尼見聲聞得授記,龍女成佛感發其志。

憍曇彌乃尼眾之主
故統六千而表心思
眾尼見聲聞得授記
龍女成佛感發其志

憍曇彌是佛的姨母,叫做摩訶波闍波提,憍曇彌是姓,她的姓。所以,她也是捨離皇宮,富貴的生活,帶領著五百多位的宮女,其中還有耶輸陀羅,發心出家。但是,那段時間佛陀也不願意,讓這群女人這樣來出家,因為他擔心,擔心她們過去皇宮所受的生活,是這麼的富貴充足,非常的尊貴,他擔心她們沒辦法,受著僧團這麼簡單的生活,所以故意刁難。就是心念也知道,阿難一定會為他們來求情,才有辦法提出條件,「妳們若要出家,就要受幾種幾種的規戒。」所以「八敬法」,就是因為這樣來。一定,出家了必定要守規律,女人有很多種習氣,驕奢,真正憍慢、奢華的心態,尤其是皇宮的生活,恐怕無法自己自我降伏,那種過去傲慢、驕性,擔心她們沒辦法自我降伏。所以,要來求佛她們也要出家,佛陀就不願意接受,這就是要留給阿難,來為她們求情,佛陀才能夠提出條件。其實,都是全都平等,佛陀立「八敬法」,只是為這些尼眾所立的,也就是姨母,他的阿姨,憍曇彌,希望她能知難而退,或者是能夠勇猛精進,不是退,就是精進。退,就是「退亦佳矣」;精進,就是入僧團修行。

幸好,憍曇彌、耶輸陀羅,和這群的宮女道心堅定,還是願意,不論什麼樣的條件,該守持的,她們一定守持。所以,了解了人生苦難偏多,了解人生無常,名、利、地位,這都是虛幻,他們已經聽法清楚、了解了,只是一心真誠,很真、很誠意,就是求要出家,能接近佛陀,聽聞佛法,願意生活在這麼淡泊、刻苦的生活,只要能聽法,一切都不是問題。所以,她們願意接受。慢慢地,人人平等,這些女眾來皈依,發心出家,生活上就歸於憍曇彌,歸於摩訶波闍波提來管理。所以,慢慢的,尼眾也已經有六千多人了。所以,憍曇彌是「尼眾之主」,就是帶動這些尼眾,生活的規律等等。現在已經看到,佛陀為聲聞授記了,五百人、八千人等,前前後後都一直受記了,尢其是提婆達多,就是這麼的惡,雖然生陷地獄了,佛陀還是一樣為他授記。龍女也是一樣,是異類,佛陀也是納受她獻寶珠,佛陀納受,龍女轉一個身,就能夠成佛。

所以,因為這樣,「眾尼見聲聞得記」,又再看到龍女成佛,一直自己的內心一直很感動,也是很擔心,也是抱著很大的希望。擔心的是,佛陀怎麼一直還沒,叫到我們的名字授記呢?大家受記了以後,還有<法師品>,勸募人人好好持說《法華經》,又有<見寶塔品>,多寶佛現身見證;還有(提婆達多品>,龍女也能成佛,這樣又一段文,這已經過了這麼長,佛陀還是繼續說法,怎麼還沒有聽到,佛陀來為我們授記呢?這就是憍曇彌所帶領的尼團,尼眾心所思考,到底是為什麼呢?佛陀講這些法,時間的過程也是一段時間了,所以她們的等待,她們的思惟是充滿希望。但是,時間久了,她們也會擔心。所以他們看聲聞授記的時間,過了那麼久,現在龍女也已經來現身,在靈山會上,獻珠供佛,轉身成佛到南方去,這種的境界,他們大家真的是很羨慕,也是發心。內心也很期待,就是能夠像龍女這樣修行,不知多久的時間,他們也願意發心立志,就是要這樣修行,總有一天也是能夠成佛,加強她們的信心。

由是心志
雖既自肯定
猶然踟躕未能自決
故心想欲言
而口又難開
唯仰首目視
待聞教命

所以,「由是心志雖既自肯定」,這群的女眾,就是憍曇彌所帶領這群的尼眾,比丘尼眾,同樣全部很有信心,發這念心,願意從今以後就是要好好修行,不論多久。但是,現在總是期待,佛陀肯定我們,這是大家的心志。比丘尼團的心志,大家也自我肯定,希望佛陀能夠為他們授記。一直要聽佛陀向她們開示,關於她們修行的未來,但是,她們的心,就是佛陀所講說,要有「八敬法」,她們也不敢很貿然,就提出疑問來,不敢。所以儘管自己很肯定,但是就是不敢。「猶然踟躕未能自決」,自己內心也很踟躕,想要請教佛陀:「我們呢?我們能夠得佛授記嗎?」這個話就是不敢說出口。所以,「心想欲言」,心在想,想要說,但是口難開,不敢說。

唯有合掌「仰首」,因為大家已經離座了,已經離座,向佛陀這樣雙手合掌,很恭敬。現在已經不是坐著,已經是跪起來,雙手合掌。欲言又止,想要開口說話又不敢說,唯有就是這樣仰視,抬頭來向佛,注視著佛,期侍,「待聞教命」。希望佛陀能了解他們的心聲,有所請問,希望佛陀能夠為他們開示,只是不敢出聲,開口出聲,期侍佛陀了解他們的心意。真的是,憍曇彌很守規戒,佛陀有這樣的戒律,八敬法,真的她很恭敬,想要說的話,就是不敢在佛的面前,這樣提起疑問,都不敢。但是用態度,用虔誠的態度來表達。佛陀也看,全場的人,佛陀這樣看過去,看到她們這一群這麼恭敬,仰視佛陀,佛陀了解她們的心。

所以前面的文,有這樣說:「爾時、佛姨母摩訶波闍波提比丘尼、與學無學比丘尼六千人俱,從座而起。」

爾時
佛姨母
摩訶波闍波提
比丘尼
與學無學比丘尼
六千人俱
從座而起
一心合掌
瞻仰尊顏
目不暫捨
《法華經勸持品第十三》

這已經佛陀看到,大家不是坐著,已經跪起來了,這樣這麼的恭敬,「一心合掌,仰尊顏,目不暫捨」,這樣這麼期待的眼光,集中在佛的身上,佛陀了解了。所以,下面接下來這段文,那就說了。「於時世尊告憍曇彌:何故憂色而視如來?汝心將無謂我不說汝名,授阿耨多羅三藐三菩提記耶?」

於時世尊告憍曇彌
何故憂色而視如來
汝心將無謂我
不說汝名
授阿耨多羅
三藐三菩提記耶
《法華經勸持品第十三》:

*「何故憂色而視如來?」;佛見姨母頗有憂色,所以問為何憂慮愁容不展?
*「汝心將無謂我不說汝名,授阿耨多羅三藐三菩提記耶?」;汝心將非謂我授記,唯獨於尼眾中不提汝等名,為授記別,所以憂耶?

 這是佛陀很親切,表達很親切而尊重的口氣,來向著他的姨母摩訶波闍波提,叫他的名,也就能夠包括了比丘尼眾,全都包括在內了,他就這樣說:「憍曇彌啊!你是不是內心有話要問呢?是不是內心想:我怎麼沒有叫到你們的名字,我在授記的當中,沒有叫到你們的名字,你們現在心有話要講,很憂慮,是不是呢?想:我怎麼沒有叫你們,叫你們的名字,授阿耨多羅三藐三菩提記呢?」這是佛陀說出了憍曇彌,以及比丘尼眾的心聲。看大家這麼的虔誠來注視著佛,所以佛陀就是這樣,用恭敬,也是尊重,畢竟雖然是成佛了,在這個人倫而言,佛陀還是一樣,就是這樣叫著他的姨母,讓他了解,「我已經了解你的意,你是不是為了這樣,所以面有異色?有憂鬱的臉色,是不是這樣?看來大家都是很憂愁,是不是這樣呢?用這樣的目光來看我,是不是這樣?」

所以,這是佛的姨母。佛陀真正能夠了解,他現在的心是擔心,又期待,又是著急,已經離佛陀授記聲聞的時間,也有一段了,還沒有得到佛授記,現在看到龍女轉身成佛了,所以他們要追求的心,是多麼急切啊!所以,佛陀看摩訶波闍波提,已經等待得心有一點點憂鬱,所以他就這樣向他說:「你為什麼有這樣憂鬱的態度呢?很虔誠,但是好像很擔心。」這就是表示安慰。她(憍曇彌)為何憂慮,愁容不展,為什麼呢?「汝心」,就是要講出他們的心聲。憍曇彌啊!你們的心是不是這樣在想呢?想我怎麼沒有叫你們的名字,為你們授記,你們大家是不是這樣呢?你們的心「將非謂我授記」,你們的心,認為我不會向你們授記,所以因為這樣,你們在憂鬱嗎?你們是不是想,我單獨沒有叫你們的名字,在尼眾中,來為你們授記。因為是這樣,你們在憂鬱嗎?」

這就是佛陀先安慰,後面講他們的心聲。這就是佛陀,也是表達一點點親情,也是敬重,所以他就會用一點心,讓大家了解佛陀,已經體會他們的心意。我們人就是這樣,若能夠讓人了解,這樣就會安慰許多,「若了解我,應該就能夠為我解釋,這樣我就安心了。」佛陀已經表達出了,對這些比丘尼,已經關心到,也了解大家的心意了。

所以下面接下來這段經文,再說:「憍曇彌!我先總說一切聲聞皆已授記。」

憍曇彌
我先總說一切聲聞
皆已授記
今汝欲知記者
將來之世
《法華經勸持品第十三》

前面我已經講過了,所有的聲聞比丘全都授記。現在,「今汝欲知記者,將來之世」。「你們現在大家很急切,想要了解,你們什麼時候可以受記,受記,未來所得到是什麼,這是你們大家心想要問的,我了解了。」這是表示佛陀對所有的尼眾先提起了。「我先總說」,就是表示,前面的〈五百弟子受記品〉,記得嗎?前面五百弟子也自己自譬喻,譬喻貧窮子,已經身體在這樣流浪中,遇到他的一位長輩,看到這個孩子這樣在外面流浪,身無一物,貧窮。看他飢餓,他趕緊把他叫回來家庭裡,「你怎麼變成了這麼落魄呢?原來是富家子,為什麼現在流浪在外面,變成這麼落魄呢?來,來我的家裡。」將他帶回家裡,就是用很豐盛給他吃。

卻是這位長者有事要趕緊離開,但是為了幫助這位年輕人,他就用起了一顆寶珠,放在他的身上,但是有事情他就先離開。貧窮子吃飽了,也有喝酒,酒醉,等到清醒起來,這長者已經離開了,所以他就繼續,他流浪(的日子)。相信大家這段經文,大家都還記得,身懷寶珠而不覺知,這在〈五百弟子受記品〉,這段已經描述過,這個貧窮子流浪著,但是已經有人給他這顆寶珠,他自己還不知道,還是落魄,求衣食還是困難。這就是表示我們凡夫,人人都是本具佛性,我們有很豐富的覺性,也是慧,智慧,慧海人人本具,但是我們就是這樣迷了,所以我們雖然已經有人,為我們開導,就像給我們的寶珠,已經為我們開導了,我們也接受了這個法,但是我們還是不覺不知,身懷著寶珠,我們還不知道!同樣的道理,我們凡夫帶著成佛的本性,還是在這六道裡面在製造煩惱,同樣還是這樣,無法體會真理,還是在複製無明,還是很落魄。這就是表示,貧窮子,就像我們凡夫一樣。

在這段文,後面佛陀再向迦葉尊者這樣講:「迦葉汝已知,五百自在者,餘諸聲聞眾,亦當復如是。其不在此會,汝當為宣說」。

五百弟子受記品云
迦葉汝已知
五百自在者
餘諸聲聞眾
亦當復如是
其不在此會
汝當為宣說

因為迦葉尊者,佛陀入滅了之後,僧團就要付託於迦葉尊者。迦葉尊者他將來要帶領其他的僧眾,所以佛陀為這五百弟子授記之後,就再交代迦葉尊者:「汝已知」,「迦葉尊者,你已經知道了,我為這五百人授記,因為這些人已經自在。他們提起了信心,他們也願意發大心立願,我已經為他們授記。」這五百弟子,已經心很自在了。其餘的,雖然我會再為他們授記,但是下根機,還沒有很自在,或者還有未來呢,你應「當復如是」,也一樣,和我現在在為人授記(一樣),讓他們大家知道修行,只要你認真,人人都是成佛有分。因為每一個人都是有真如本性,即使是不在此會的人,你也要為他們傳達下去,告訴他們,人人都能夠得到佛授記,都能夠成佛。」成佛,同樣十號具足,這就是佛陀交代。所以,<五百弟子受記品>,千二百弟子,還有沒有在場的人,佛陀就交代,交代給迦葉尊者,這就是佛陀的慈悲,遺教,這是佛陀的用心。

佛陀交代迦葉尊者這些事情,就是佛陀要讓大家知道,我先總說,前面五百弟子,千二百,二千等等這些弟子,還有之後即使沒有在此會,也是同樣要迦葉這樣傳達下去。意思就是說,未來就是這樣流傳。「不在此會」,就是不在當時佛陀靈山會,不只是不在靈山會,即使不在那個時代的未來,我們同樣人人本具佛性,同樣人人都可成佛。

僧尼雖異
據所修行
同稱聲聞
既云一切皆與授記
則諸尼眾已在其中

這是佛陀在安慰憍曇彌,對他說:「我前面講這些話,後面又有交代。」所以,「僧尼」,這些比丘尼雖然有異,雖然和聲聞要有一點區別。這是在人間生活,男女不要很混雜,所以要有所區別。比丘僧和比丘尼,雖然有這樣的男女分別,但是所修行是同稱「聲聞」,同樣是聲聞,聽法都是一樣。同樣理解佛所講的道理,同樣接受佛的教法,同樣的清楚,這都是一樣,所以「一切皆與授記」,應該都是同時得佛授記。所以,「則諸尼眾已在其中」,所有的尼眾都在其中,同樣,你們也可以得記啊!這是佛陀在安慰,其實,一樣。

所以,「今汝欲知記者,將來之世」。已經大家都應該能授記,你們現在若要知道,「今欲得知別記名者」,本來統統都能夠成佛,你們若要個別了解你們未來能夠成佛的名稱是什麼,這就是要了解於未來。

下面就又再說:「當於六萬八千億,諸佛法中為大法師,及六千學無學比丘尼俱為法師。」

當於六萬八千億
諸佛法中
為大法師
及六千學無學
比丘尼
俱為法師
《法華經勸持品第十三》

你們若要知道,你們未來什麼時候能夠成佛,你們好好地聽,現在開始發心修行,未來應該就是要,經過六萬八千億諸佛法中,為大法師。在佛的時代,你們能夠修行,不斷不斷地修行,就是生生世世修行,生生世世發心,生生世世聞法,甚至出家修行,為大法師。就是要很長久,同樣遇佛,同樣求法,同樣度眾生,時間就是要,六萬八千億諸佛法中。其實,比丘所授記,也是一樣,在無量劫以後,你們能夠成佛,現在的受記,比丘也是這樣,是無量劫,但是在憍曇彌他們這一團,佛陀要讓他們知道,是六萬八千億諸佛,不是叫做「無量劫」,就是讓他們知道,「六萬八千億諸佛法中,為大法師」。就是要生生世世,發心修行、說法,就是這樣。「及六千學無學比丘尼,俱為法師」,不只是憍曇彌,就是這六千學與無學比丘尼,同樣同為法師,這已經表達出來了。

當於六萬八千億
諸佛法中:
六萬表六根
八千表八識
六根八識
一時清淨
名見諸佛

「當於六萬八千億諸佛法中」。「六萬」就是表示「六根」;「八千」,就是表示「八識」。「一時清淨,名見諸佛」。這是一個形容,從這個數字來形容,我們,要從什麼方法入門修行,同樣要從「六根門」。我們每一天,六根是緣外面的六塵境,形形色色的形色、聲塵,無不都是從看、聽,起心動念,一天的時間內,或者是一念間的裡面,我們起心動念,緣著這個境界,那個境界有多少呢?所以,要我們,好好守住「六根門」,我們看的事情,要很用心去體會,不要受外面的形象,將我們迷惑掉。常常都是我們眼睛看到,還沒了解它的內容,就做決定,就會起了,貪、瞋、癡、慢、疑的境界,都是從這個「六根門」開始。聽,也是同樣,聽話,沒有很清楚,沒有很了解,就將「是」為「非」;明明是很好意的言語,若曲解他,就變成了惡意,當中就會起人我是非的煩惱,這也是在這個「六根門」的裡面。

煩惱一起,所接受的就會去造作,貪、瞋、癡、慢、疑,造作很多無明,複製很多的煩惱,造很多的業,這個業就成為種子。種子,那就是「八識」,進入「八識」的裡面,「萬般帶不去,唯有業隨身」,你六根門若守得清淨,自然八識就清淨了;我們所造作的一切,就都乾乾淨淨,沒有煩惱,沒有污濁,我們一心清淨求佛法,這我們就能夠聞法、說法、傳法,這都歸咎在六根、八識。這個「六根」緣我們的六塵,六識去思考造作,八識就接納了,接納很多,所造作之後的結果,就歸入在第八識。所以,這樣「一時清淨」,我們若能夠六根門守得好,我們的八識裡面無染垢,很清淨。六根、八識,能夠這樣完全一致,內外一致,都是清淨。

這樣,「一時」都完全清淨,名叫做「見諸佛」。就是「六萬八千億諸佛」的意思。因為有六根,有八識,八識的裡面,藏著很多很多無明煩惱,八識裡面也能夠,藏著很多很多的功德;這種「六度萬行」,也是一樣藏在八識裡,無明煩惱也藏在八識裡。我們全都清淨了,那就是回歸到第九識(菴摩羅識),自然那就是叫做「佛」。我們的真如佛性,就是「諸佛」。這是一個表示,用數字來含蓋,形容在時間。

我們能夠一念清淨,一切煩惱完全去除;一念無明起,一切煩惱複製。所以,講究的就是一念心。所以,一念心清淨,你就能夠聞法、說法、傳法,那就是「為大法師」。「及六千學無學比丘尼,俱為法師」,不是只有憍曇彌你一個,和你一起共同修行,這六千比丘尼,同樣,在大乘法中同樣為法師,能夠去講說大乘法。所以「六千尼眾,亦復如是」。你是這樣,其他的比丘尼眾也是同樣,所以我們要很用心來體會,佛陀的教法就是很平等。前面五百弟子受記,我們聞法、聽經,一定要回顧過去。這五百弟子受記,這五百弟子他們也提出了形容,我們流浪長久的時間,就是凡夫,無明一念,漏失,已漏落凡夫。我們戒、定、慧沒有修,全都是漏,滿心都是煩惱;該守的規矩都不要守,該做的事情,我們沒去做,我們就是不守規戒,脫離了人這道德,人倫道德完全脫離了,造作很多的煩惱、垢穢。

所以,因為這樣,我們就像喝醉酒的人一樣,這樣迷失。我們明明身中懷著寶珠,卻是我們還是這麼貧窮,我們明明我們有真如本性,卻是我們還是,這麼的執迷、愚鈍,道理沒有辦法透徹清楚,這是我們凡夫。明明我們有本覺慧海,我們有很多的智慧,就是這個智慧,還沒有和這個真理來契合到;儘管我們有,但是我們自己也沒有發現,沒有發現,就不懂要使用出去。他可以用這顆珠去貿易,後面遇到的這位長者,看到這位流浪在外面,「怎麼還這麼落魄啊?這麼久以前,我就已經給你這顆珠。你怎麼不知道,還是這樣?要不然,你這顆珠拿去變賣,你是很有錢,很富有,你怎麼還這麼落魄?」我們就能夠了解,覺者與迷者,覺者,他能夠道理應用自如,自己的真如本性,與道理契合起來,就富有智慧,就能夠天地宇宙的真理無處不在,無法不通,我們應該就清楚了。我們現在還是層層隔礙著,和法好像還隔得很遠,這是因為,全都是這些無明的污染,將我們層層隔絕掉。

所以我們要好好用心、要用功,用功在「六根門」,最重要的在「六根門」:眼、耳、鼻、舌、身、意,我們的心意。眼根能夠對外面的境界,耳根聽外面的聲音等等,一切和外塵境的接觸,我們的心是不是有,戒、定、慧來約束我們,不要越界,我們要防非止惡。但是,我們要殷勤精進,聞、思、修,道理在我們的內心,沒有漏掉。我們若能夠這樣,就是聽經,那個順序也放在心裡,也是用在日常生活裡,這樣我們的意識,就是以我們和外面接觸,將煩惱無明隔絕掉,將我們的六度萬行的因、行,能夠這樣讓它趕緊累積圓滿。自然,我們的六根、八識,一時都清淨,諸佛現前。

很多佛都在我們的內心,只要我們用心,自然我們的覺性,就這樣像是雨後春筍,就這樣一直一直冒出來。我們的覺性,總是要在聞、思、修,戒、定、慧,不要漏掉了。所以,「六萬」、「八千」,這「六根」和「八識」,我們要用心固守好,自然我們就不會再迷失,自然我們就回歸真如本性,接近佛的境界。所以我們要時時多用心!
真理無處不在,無法不通,我們應該就清楚了。我們現在還是層層隔礙著,和法好像還隔得很遠,這是因為,全都是這些無明的污染,將我們層層隔絕掉。

所以我們要好好用心、要用功,用功在「六根門」,最重要的在「六根門」:眼、耳、鼻、舌、身、意,我們的心意。眼根能夠對外面的境界,耳根聽外面的聲音等等,一切和外塵境的接觸,我們的心是不是有,戒、定、慧來約束我們,不要越界,我們要防非止惡。但是,我們要殷勤精進,聞、思、修,道理在我們的內心,沒有漏掉。我們若能夠這樣,就是聽經,那個順序也放在心裡,也是用在日常生活裡,這樣我們的意識,就是以我們和外面接觸,將煩惱無明隔絕掉,將我們的六度萬行的因、行,能夠這樣讓它趕緊累積圓滿。自然,我們的六根、八識,一時都清淨,諸佛現前。

很多佛都在我們的內心,只要我們用心,自然我們的覺性,就這樣像是雨後春筍,就這樣一直一直冒出來。我們的覺性,總是要在聞、思、修,戒、定、慧,不要漏掉了。所以,「六萬」、「八千」,這「六根」和「八識」,我們要用心固守好,自然我們就不會再迷失,自然我們就回歸真如本性,接近佛的境界。所以我們要時時多用心!


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發表主題: 回復: 20180612《靜思妙蓮華》尼首示意 眾得佛記 (第1368集) (法華經·勸持品第十三)   周三 11月 28, 2018 8:23 pm

Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: The Bhiksunis Attain the Buddha’s Predictions (尼首示意 眾得佛記)
Date: June.12.2018

“Gautami was the leader of the assembly of bhiksunis, so she led these 6000 bhiksunis to express their thoughts. The bhiksunis, upon seeing that the Hearers were able to receive predictions and the dragon girl had attained Buddhahood, were inspired to form this aspiration.”

Gautami was the Buddha’s maternal aunt. Her name was Mahaprajapati. Gautami was her family name, her surname. She left the palace with its opulent lifestyle and led more than 500 of the palace maids, including Yasodhara among them, to form aspirations to become monastics. But the Buddha was unwilling at that time to allow these women to become monastics because He was worried. He worried because the lives they lived previously in the palace were so wealthy and extravagant. They led very privileged lives in the palace, and He worried that they would not be able to accept the simple lifestyle of the Sangha. So, He deliberately made things difficult for them. He also knew that Ananda would most certainly come to plead on their behalf. That was the only way He could give conditions. “If you wish to become monastics, then there are certain rules you must accept.”

So, the Eight Forms of Reverence came about because of this. When one becomes a monastic, there are certain rules one must accept. Women have a great many habitual tendencies. They can be proud and extravagant. They can really be very arrogant and they can have extravagant mindsets, especially as these women had lived in the palace. He was afraid they might not be able to subdue their own desires, their past arrogance and haughtiness. He worried that they would be unable to tame themselves. So, when they came and asked the Buddha to allow them to become monastics as well, the Buddha was unwilling to accept them. It then was left to Ananda to beseech the Buddha on their behalf. Only then could the Buddha lay out His conditions.

In fact, everyone is equal. The Buddha set up the Eight Forms of Reverence only for the sake of these bhiksunis, for His maternal aunt, His foster mother, Gautami. He hoped that she would either give up because of the difficulties involved or that she would advance courageously and diligently. If she did not give up, then she would advance. If these women gave up, “It [would be] good that they left.” Only if they were diligent would He allow them to enter the Sangha and engage in spiritual practice.

Fortunately, Gautami, Yasodhara, and those palace maids had firm spiritual aspirations. They were still willing, regardless of the conditions. Whatever they had to observe and uphold, they would observe and uphold. They understood that life is filled with suffering. They understood the impermanence of life, that fame, wealth and status all are illusory. They had already heard and understood the Dharma. With wholehearted sincerity, with the most sincere intentions, they asked Him to allow them to become monastics. If they could draw near to the Buddha and listen to the Buddha-Dharma, then they would be willing to adopt such an austere and assiduous lifestyle. As long as they could listen to the Dharma, nothing else would be a problem for them. So, they were willing to accept [everything].

Thus gradually, as everyone was equal, these women came to take refuge with Him and formed aspirations to become monastics. Their lives as monastics were managed by Gautami, also known as Mahaprajapati. So, before long, that assembly of bhiksunis had already grown to more than 6000.

Thus, it was Gautami who was “the leader of the assembly of bhiksunis”. It was she who led that assembly in the rules they had to follow in their lives. We have already seen how the Buddha bestowed predictions upon the Hearers, upon the 500, upon the 8000 and so on, how He bestowed predictions one after the other.

In particular, Devadatta was so evil; despite the fact that he had fallen into hell alive, the Buddha still bestowed predictions upon him. It was the same for the dragon girl; she was of a different species, yet the Buddha accepted her gift of the pearl. When the Buddha accepted it, the dragon girl physically transformed and turned into a Buddha.

Because of all this, because those bhiksunis had seen the Hearers attain predictions, and had seen the dragon girl attain Buddhahood, they continually felt very moved. They were worried, but they also harbored great hopes. They worried, “Why has the Buddha still not called upon us?” After everyone else had received predictions, there was still the Chapter on Dharma Teachers, where He recruited everyone to earnestly uphold and teach the Lotus Sutra, and the Chapter on Seeing the Stupa of Treasures, where Many Treasures Buddha manifested to bear witness.

Then there was the Chapter on Devadatta where the dragon girl also attained Buddhahood. In this way, each passage followed another. It had already been so long and the Buddha still continued teachings. Why had they still not heard the Buddha bestow predictions on them? This was what that assembly of bhiksunis led by Gautami were thinking. Why was this? The Buddha had already spent a good amount of time giving these teachings, so they waited there, their thoughts filled with hope. However, as so much time had passed, they were also quite worried.

They had seen that so much time had passed since the Hearers had attained predictions. Now the dragon girl has also already appeared at the Vulture Peak Assembly. She offered her pearl to the Buddha, transformed into a Buddha and then went south. With such scenes, they all became filled with admiration and also formed aspirations. In their hearts they hoped that they could engage in spiritual practice like the dragon girl. They did not know how long it might take, but they were willing and resolved to form aspirations to engage in spiritual practice like this. The fact that they too might one day attain Buddhahood strengthened their faith.

“With this resolve, though they were confident in themselves, they were still hesitant and irresolute. Thus, though they wished to speak their minds, they found it difficult to speak out. They merely raised their heads and gazed at Him, waiting to hear His instruction.”

So, “With this resolve, they were confident in themselves.” This assembly of bhiksunis, this group of bhiksunis led by Gautami, had great confidence in themselves. They had all formed aspirations that, from that day on, they would willingly and earnestly engage in spiritual practice no matter how long it would take. However, at this time, they were still hoping for the Buddha to recognize them. This was what they were all hoping for. This is what that group of bhiksunis waited for. They were all confident in themselves and they were hoping that the Buddha would bestow predictions upon them. They kept waiting for the Buddha to reveal to them what their future spiritual practice would be like. Yet, in their hearts, they held what the Buddha taught to them, that they must follow the Eight Forms of Reverence, so they dared not ask too hastily. They did not dare!


So, as confident as they were in themselves, they still did not dare. “They were still hesitant and irresolute.” They were still very hesitant. They wanted to ask the Buddha, “What about us? Are we to receive the Buddha’s predictions?” This was something they dared not ask.

So, “In their hearts they wanted to speak up.” This was what they were thinking, this was what they wanted to say, but they could not say it; they did not dare. They only “raised their heads” with palms together. This was because everyone had already left their seats. They had already left their seats and were there before the Buddha with their palms pressed together in reverence. They were no longer in their seats but already kneeling there before Him with their palms pressed together in reverence. They wished to speak but stopped. They wanted to open their mouths to speak, yet they did not dare to. They just stared up at Him expectantly. Their heads were raised toward the Buddha; they were staring at the Buddha, “waiting to hear His instruction”. They hoped the Buddha would understand what was inside their hearts, what they wanted to ask.

They were hoping the Buddha give them a teaching; they just dared not open their mouths. They were hoping that the Buddha would understand their intentions. Gartami truly upheld the precepts. The Buddha’s precepts for them were laid out in the Eight Forms of Reverence. She was truly very respectful. She wanted to ask the Buddha, but she dared not speak out. To raise questions like these before the Buddha was something that she dared not do. Yet, through their attitudes, through their sincere attitude, they expressed it.

The Buddha also saw this. Looking out over the whole assembly, the Buddha saw this group that was so reverent, that was staring up at Him. The Buddha understood what was in their hearts.

So, the previous passage said “At that time the Buddha’s maternal aunt, Mahaprajapati Bhiksuni, along with the bhiksunis at and beyond learning, 6000 in all, rose from their seats.”

The Buddha had already seen that they were no longer in their seats, but were already kneeling before Him. They were so respectful and “wholeheartedly put their palms together and gazed upward in admiration at the Buddha’s countenance, never averting their eyes for an instant.” They has such a hopeful gaze focused upon the Buddha. The Buddha understood them.

So, the passage below continues by saying, “Then the World Honored-One said to Gautami, ‘Why do you look upon the Tathagata with such an anxious expression? Are you not thinking of saying that I have not called your name to bestow predictions of Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi?’”

This is the Buddha being very warm; He used a very warm and respectful tone as He addressed His aunt, Mahaprajapati. When He called out her name, He was in fact addressing all of the bhiksunis. All of them were included. So He said, “Gautami! Do you have something on your mind that you would like to ask? Are you perhaps wondering why I have not called your name, why, as I was bestowing predictions, I never mentioned your name? you wish to say something, don’t you? You are worried, is that it? You are wondering why I have not called on you, why I have not called your names to bestow predictions of Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi? The Buddha was giving voice to the words in the heart of Gautami and the rest of the bhiksunis. He saw them all starting up at Him so reverently, so the Buddha addressed them with such reverence and respect. After all, though He had attained Buddhahood, when it came to worldly etiquette, He was the same.

SO, He addressed His aunt in this way. He wanted her to understand, “I already understand your intent. Is it because of this that you have such expressions on your faces? You all look so heavy-hearted; is this the reason why? Everyone seems so worried. Is this the reason why? The way you all look upon me so, is this the reason why?” So, this was the Buddha’s aunt. The Buddha could truly understand that His aunt was worried in that moment, both hopeful and nervous. It had already been a while since the Buddha bestowed, predictions on the Hearers, yet they had still not received predictions! Now they had seen the dragon girl transform and attain Buddhahood so their aspirations to seek this were even more urgent.

Thus, the Buddha saw how Mahaprajapati had already become a little heavyhearted from waiting so long, so He asked her, “Why do you all have this heavyhearted attitude? You are very reverent, but it seems you are very worried!”. This was the Buddha comforting them. Why were they so anxious? Why were they so depressed? [He said] “Are you not thinking” because He was speaking of their hearts’ desire. “Gautami! Is this what you all are thinking? Are you asking yourselves why I have not called upon you, why I have not bestowed predictions upon you? Is that what you all are thinking? Are you wondering, “Will He bestow predictions upon me? Did you think that I would not bestow predictions upon you? Is this why you are so heavyhearted? Were you thinking that you would be the only ones I would leave out, that it would only be you bhiksunis that would not receive predictions? Is this why you all seem so troubled?”

The Buddha was first comforting them and then addressing their heart’s desire. The Buddha was expressing a little bit of affection here and also being respectful. So, He was putting in a little effort to help everyone understand that He already comprehended what was on their minds. People are like this. If we feel that we are understood, it comforts us greatly. “If you understand me, you should be able to explain it for me. That way I will feel at ease”. The Buddha expressed to the bhiksunis here that He was already paying attention to them, that He already understood what was on their minds.

So, in the following (sutra) passage, it next says, “Gautami, I previously said in general that all Hearers would receive predictions of Buddhahood. I had already told you that all Hearer bhiksus would attain predictions. Now if you wish to know your own predictions, in future lives….

[He meant], “You now all feel such urgency and want to know when you will be able to receive predictions. You want to know your predictions, what you each will attain. This is what you wish to ask me. I understand you!” This was what the Buddha said at first to all of the bhiksunis. “I previously said in general” refers to the Chapter on 500 Disciples Receiving Predictions. Do you remember? Previously, the 500 disciples referred to themselves with the analogy of the poor [man]. He was homeless and drifting when he met an elder. The elder saw this child wandering outside, poor, with no possessions at all. When he saw that he was hungry, he hastened to bring him home to his house. “Why have you fallen on such hard times? Your family was originally very wealthy. Why are you wandering about outside and why have you become so down and out? Come, come with me to my home”. He brought him home and gave him sumptuous food to eat. However, this elder had business that he had to quickly leave to attend to. Still, in order to help this youth, he took a precious jewel and fixed it inside the young man’s clothes. However, he had business to attend to, so he had to leave first. The poor man had eaten his fill and had drunk so much alcohol that the became drunk. When he later came to, the elder was already gone, so he returned to his itinerant life outside. I believe everyone still remembers this passage.

He carried a jewel on him without even knowing it. The Chapter on 500 Disciples Receiving Predictions describes this in one of its passages. The poor son was wandering homeless, yet he had already been given a precious jewel. He was never aware of this himself, so he continued his destitute life, finding it hard even to clothe and feed himself. This is shows that even as unenlightened beings, we all have the intrinsic Buddha-nature. We have such an abundant awakened nature and we also have wisdom. There is an ocean of inherent wisdom inside everyone, yet we still remain deluded. So, even though we already have someone who will guide us, who has given us a precious jewel, who teaches and guides us, even though we have accepted the teaching, we still remain unaware of it. We still remain unaware of the precious jewel that we have harbored within our bodies. By the same principle, even though we as unenlightened beings have the intrinsic nature of Buddhahood, we as still multiplying our afflictions within the Six Realms.

It remains impossible for us to experience the truth of the principles. We are still multiplying our ignorance. We are still wandering without a home. This means that this poor son is just like us unenlightened beings.

In this sutra passage, this is what the Buddha had again told Kasyapa, “Kasyapa, you already know of these 500 who are free. The remaining Hearers in the assembly will also be like this. For these not at this assembly, you must announce this for them.

This is because after the Buddha enters Parinirvana, the Sangha would be entrusted to Kasyapa. It would be Kasyapa who, in the future, would lead the other monastics. This is why after the Buddha had made predictions for the 500 disciples, He again instructed Kasyapa by saying, “You already know Venerable Kasyapa, you already know that I bestowed upon these 500 disciples because they have already become free. They have heightened their faith and have become willing to form great aspirations, to make great vows, so I have already bestowed predictions upon them. The 500 disciples have already freed their minds. As for the others, although I will bestow predictions on them too, due to their limited capabilities, they have not yet freed themselves.”

And what about the future? They should “also be like this”. They will be the same, just like those I am giving predictions to now. You must help everyone understand that as they engage in spiritual practice, as long as they earnest, everyone has the ability to attain Buddhahood, because everyone has the intrinsic nature of True Suchness.

Even to those who were not at the assembly, Kasyapa was to also pass this on to them. “You must tell them that everyone can receive the Buddha’s prediction, that anyone can attain Buddhahood and that after attaining Buddhahood, they too will be endowed with the Ten Epithets. This was what the Buddha instructed him to do.

So, in the Chapter on the 500 Disciples Receiving Predictions, for the 1200 disciples, whether or not they were at the assembly, the Buddha left instructions for Kasyapa. This was the Buddha’s compassion and the teachings He bequeathed. This was the Buddha’s mindfulness.

The Buddha entrusted these things to Kasyapa in order to let in order to let everyone know, “I first in general said that when it comes to those 500 disciples, to those 1200 disciples, to those 2000 disciples and so on, even though they are not here at this assembly Kasyapa will pass this on to them too”. This means he would pass this on to them in the future. For those not at this assembly means even who were not there at the Vulture Peak assembly, and not just those not at the Vulture Peak Assembly but even those to come in late generations. All of us also intrinsically have Buddha-nature, so likewise all of us can attain Buddhahood

Though the bhiksus and bhiksunis were defferent, based on their spiritual practice, they were all considered Hearers. Since [the Buddha] said that all [Hearers] would receive predictions of Buddhahood, then those bhisunis were among them.

This was the Buddha comforting Gautami, telling her, “I already spoke of these things. I will speak of them again later”. So, there are “bhiksus and bhiksusnis”. Although the bhiksunis have some difference, though we say there must be some separation from the [male] Hearers, this is just saying that in their dally living, these men and women should not mix together. They should have some separation.

When it comes to bhiksus and bhiksunis although there are some differences between them, when it comes to their spiritual practice, “They are all considered Hearers”. All of them were Hearers they listened to the same Dharma and they likewise understood the principles taught by the Buddha. they accepted the Buddha’s teaching just the same; they understood it just as clearly.

It was the same for everyone, so “they should all have received predictions”. they should all receive the Buddha’s predictions at the same time. So, “those bhiksunis were among them. All of the bhiksunis were included in this. He told them, “you too will attain predictions!” This was the Buddha comforting them, for actually they were the same. “Now if you wish to know your own predictions, in future lives…”.

He said that everyone should receive predictions, but now they wished to know their own. “You now wish to know your own prediction. Fundamentally, everyone can attain Buddhahood. “But if you want to know your own individual predictions for the future, your epithets when you attain Buddhahood these you will understand in the future.”

[The sutra passage] then goes on to say that “…amidst the Dharma of 6.8 trillion Buddhas, you will be a great Dharma teacher, and the 6000 bhiksunis at and beyond learning will all become Dharma teachers.

“If you want to know when in the future you will attain Buddhahood, then listen earnestly. You have begun forming aspirations now to engage in spiritual practice. In the future you will learn from the teachings of 6.8 trillion Buddhas and will all become great Dharma teachers. In the times of these Buddhas, you will be able to engage in spiritual practice and continue practicing constantly. This means they will engage in spiritual practice lifetime after lifetime, form aspirations lifetime after lifetime and listen to the Dharma lifetime after lifetime. They will even leave the lay life to practice. It will take a long time of meeting Buddhas, of seeking the Dharma and of transforming sentient beings. the time it will take will be that of leaning the Dharma of 6.8 trillion Buddhas. actually, the time it takes will be the same as that of the bhiksus who received predictions. “After countless kalpas, you will attain Buddhahood.” The prediction given now was the same as for the bhiksus; it will take countless kalpas. However, in Gautami and her group’s case, the Buddha wanted to know that it would take the time of 6.8 trillion Buddhas. He did not use the term “countless kalpas” here. He wanted her to know that “Amidst the Dharma of 6.8 trillion Buddhas, you will become a great Dharma Master”. This meant it would take many lifetimes of forming aspirations for spiritual practice and teaching the Dharma before this would happen. “The 6000 bhiksunis at and beyond learning will all become Dharma teachers.” It is not only Gautami, but all of the bhiksunis at and beyond learning who will become Dharma teachers. Now they all knew this.

When it comes to the 6.8 trillion Buddhas, “6” represents “the Six Roots” and “8” represents “the Eight Consciousnesses. When the Six Roots and Eight Consciousnesses all become pure at once, this is called seeing all Buddhas”.

This is a description. These numbers are a description of the method we use to enter the teachings and engage in spiritual practice. It is through the “gates of the Six Roots”. Every day, our six senses come in contact with the six external sense objects, with all manner of sights and sounds, with everything we see and hear, with the thoughts that arise within us. In the span of a day or in the span of a moment, thoughts are always arising in us. We come in contact with external states. How many different kinds of states are there? So, we must guard the gates of the Six Roots. Whatever things we see, we should mindfully seek to comprehend them, not allow external appearances to confuse us.

Often, when it comes to the things we see, without even understanding what is within, we make a decision. This gives rise to states of greed, anger, ignorance, arrogance and doubt. All of this begins with the gates of the Six Roots. It is the same when we are listening. We may listen to things people say and, without even really understanding what is said, take what is right to be wrong. Someone’s speech may clearly be well-intentioned, but if we misconstrue what they say, we may think that their intentions are evil. This gives rise to the afflictions that come from interpersonal conflicts. This also happens within the gates of the Six Roots. Once afflictions arise, whatever we experience will lead to greed, anger, ignorance, arrogance and doubt. We will produce so much ignorance, replicate so many afflictions and create so much karma. This karma then becomes a seed that enters into our eighth consciousness. “We take nothing with us when we die; only karma follows us into our next life”. If we preserve the purity of our Six Roots, our eighth consciousness will naturally be pure.

Then, everything we do will be very clean, without afflictions or defilements. If we seek the Buddha-Dharma with a pure heart, then we will be able to listen to, teach and pass on the Dharma. This all goes back to the Six Roots and the Eight Consciousnesses. When the Six roots connect with the Six Dusts, the [sixth] consciousness begins thinking and acting and all of this goes into the eighth consciousness. It all goes in; the results of what we do all return to and enter into the eighth consciousness.

So, they “All become pure at once”. If we can guard our six senses well, our eighth consciousness will not become defiled. It will remain pure. When the Six Roots and the Eight Consciousnesses are both unified, when they are pure inside and out, then they will both be completely pure “at once”. This is called “seeing all Buddhas”. These are “the 6.8 trillion Buddhas,” because there are six senses and there are eight consciousnesses. In the eight consciousnesses is stored so much ignorance and so many afflictions. The eighth consciousness can store a great many merits and virtues as well. “Actualizing the Six Paramitas in all actions” is store within the eighth consciousness, and ignorance and afflictions are also stored within the eighth consciousness. When we are completely pure, we return to the ninth consciousness. This is when we naturally are called a “Buddha”. It is our Buddha-nature of True Suchness that is referred by the term “all Buddhas”. This is using numbers to represent and describe what happens over time.

If our mind is pure, all afflictions are completely eliminated. As soon as an ignorant thought arises, we begin multiplying all of our afflictions. So, what we must pay particular attention to is the mind. Thus, if our mind is pure, then we can listen to, teach and spread the Dharma. Then we will become “great Dharma teachers”. “And the 6000 bhiksunis at and beyond learning will all become Dharma teachers”. [This means] “It is not only you Garutami, but those who practice together with you, those 6000 bhiksunis, who will all become Dharma teachers of the Great Vehicle Dharma. They will be able to expound upon the Great Vehicle Dharma.” So, the 6000 bhiksunis are like this as well. You are like this and.he rest of the bhiksunis in the assembly are.also like this”. So, we must mindfully seek to comprehend this. The Buddha’s teachings are impartial. Previously, the 500 disciples received predictions.

So, when we listen to the Dharma, to the sutra, we must look back of the past. When the 500 disciples received predictions, they had described themselves as having been wandering homeless for a long time. This means they were unenlightened. Once ignorance arose in the mind, they were lost; they had fallen into the state of ordinary beings. If we do not practice the precepts, Samadhi and wisdom, then everything will leak away, and our mind will fill with afflictions. Then we will not uphold the rules we should, nor do the things that we should do. We will no longer follow the rules and stray from the path of human morality. If we completely stray from the path of human morality, we create many afflictions and defilements.

So, because of this, we are just like someone who is drunk, who has become lost. We clearly carry a precious jewel upon us, yet we still remain so poor! We clearly have the nature of True Suchness, yet still we remain attached to delusion, attached to foolishness, with no way to clearly understand the principles. This is what we are like as unenlightened beings. We clearly have an innate ocean of enlightened wisdom. We have so much wisdom; it is just that this wisdom is not yet resonating with the true principles. Even though we have it, we have yet to discover it ourselves. Since we have not discovered it, we do not know how to make use of it. [The poor man] could have sold that jewel. When he later ran into that elder, the elder saw him wandering outside and said, “How is it that you are still so down and out? I gave you that jewel such a long time ago! How did you not know? Why you are still like this? Why didn’t you go and sell the jewel? You would have lots of money; you would be rich. Why are you still so down and out?” From this we can understand that there are those who are enlightened, and there are those who are confused. The enlightened can apply the principles freely. Their nature of True Suchness already resonates with the principles. As they are rich in wisdom, they know that the true principles of the universe are everywhere. There is no Dharma they do not understand. We should be clear on this.

We are still separated by many layers of hindrances, as if we are still very far away from the Dharma. This is all because those defilements of ignorance have hindered and separated us, layer upon layer. So, we must earnestly be mindful and work hard. We must work hard on the gates of the six senses; the importance is on the Six Roots, the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind. When it comes to our mind, as our eye-root sees the external world, as our ear-root hears external sounds and so on, whenever we come in contact with external sense objects, do we keep the precepts, Samadhi and wisdom always in our minds to keep us on track, so that we do not cross any boundaries, so that we guard against wrongs and stop evils?

However, if we earnestly and diligently listen to, contemplate and cultivate the Dharma, then the principles will never leak away from our hearts. If we can do this, then when we listen to the sutra, the whole sequence of it will be in our minds, and we will be able to use it in our daily living. In this way, our consciousness, when we come in contact with the outside world, will be able to separate us from all afflictions and ignorance. We will practice the cause of actualizing the Six Paramitas in all actions and allow these seeds to accumulate until perfection. Naturally, our Six Roots and Eight Consciousnesses will all become pure at once, and all Buddhas will manifest for us. There are many Buddhas within our hearts. As long as we are mindful, then our enlightened nature will appear, like a bamboo shoot after a spring rain. It will continually spring forth. With our enlightened nature, we must listen, contemplate and practice; we need the precepts, Samadhi and wisdom, so nothing leaks away.

So, “6” and “8” refer to the Six Roots and the Eight Consciousnesses. We should be mindful to protect these. Then naturally, we will never again become lost. We naturally will return to our nature of True Suchness and draw near to the state of Buddhahood. So, we must always be mindful!

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