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 20180618《靜思妙蓮華》情絲繫縛 生世難斷 (第1372集) (法華經·勸持品第十三)

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發表主題: 20180618《靜思妙蓮華》情絲繫縛 生世難斷 (第1372集) (法華經·勸持品第十三)   周日 6月 17, 2018 10:18 pm

20180618《靜思妙蓮華》情絲繫縛 生世難斷 (第1372集) (法華經·勸持品第十三)

⊙切莫輕視如是因緣如是果,源自一念情絲纏綿繫縛著;粗重煩惱易改,細塵無明難防,生世牽繫難斷,根塵入業識。
⊙摩訶波闍波提是摩耶夫人之妹,亦為佛姨母。耶輸是羅喉羅母,樂法求佛出家,得菩提受記。
⊙耶輸大捨示範大悲因行,法喜稱適大智秉慧運慈,如是修善萬德具足莊嚴,因圓趨果具足千萬光相。
⊙「佛告耶輸陀羅:汝於來世百千萬億諸佛法中,修菩薩行,為大法師,漸具佛道。」《法華經勸持品第十三》
⊙「於善國中當得作佛,號具足千萬光相如來,應供、正遍知、明行足、善逝、世間解、無上士調御丈夫、天人師、佛、世尊。佛壽無量阿僧祇劫。」《法華經勸持品第十三》
⊙「爾時、摩訶波闍波提比丘尼及耶輸陀羅比丘尼,并其眷屬,皆大歡喜,得未曾有。」《法華經勸持品第十三》
⊙「即於佛前而說偈言:世尊導師,安隱天人,我等聞記,心安具足。」《法華經勸持品第十三》
⊙我等聞記,心安具足:我等得聞授記之音,身心安寧,所願具足。
⊙「諸比丘尼說是偈已,白佛言:世尊!我等亦能於他方國土廣宣此經。」《法華經勸持品第十三》
⊙白佛言:世尊!我等亦能於他方國土廣宣此經:以力微故,畏此濁惡,願於餘處而廣說經。
⊙蓋已味清淨者,必不習於煩惱,故不易於濁惡世中行菩薩道。若向在煩惱場中即已能發大心,及修行稍久,必可轉煩惱為菩提,而其所得之功行疾速堅固,始非性清淨者所可及矣!

【證嚴上人開示】
切莫輕視如是因緣如是果,源自一念情絲纏綿繫縛著;粗重煩惱易改,細塵無明難防,生世牽繫難斷,根塵入業識。

切莫輕視
如是因緣如是果
源自一念情絲
纏綿繫縛著
粗重煩惱易改
細塵無明難防
生世牽繫難斷
根塵入業識

要用心哦!不要輕視,不要輕視因緣果報。我們一直以來,就是這樣向大家一再叮嚀,開口動舌、起心動念,無不都是因緣業種,我們起一個心念、一個動作,那就是已經種子播入土地了,只要種子與土地會合,大自然的空氣、水會合起來,這樣這顆種子,絕對一直冒出芽,也這樣不斷延續下去。我們的種子就是這樣,因緣都是在一念心的動念,動念就是種子,你一有動念,就一定有動作,這動作就是成因結果,所以因緣果報絕,對不能輕視,我們一定要重視。

這個因緣,「源自一念情絲」,而「纏綿繫縛著」。一念的情,凡夫是迷情,因為我們是凡夫,凡夫都是念念無明,無明方向偏差,就必定有錯誤。所以就是在一念間,這個「迷」,就會衍生了情的絲,就像紗一樣,本來大地一顆種子,生出了綿花,或者是生出了瓊麻,人就將瓊麻、綿花,各自人去將它運作,它紡下去了,成紗了,這個絲就這樣一條一條起來,直的、橫的,就這樣一直就是紗、就是線、就是繩子等等。這紗線就是要綁東西,除了織布的絲之外,繩子就是要綁,將它捆在一起,纏下去,就是綿綿連連這樣這樣一直纏繞下去。想要將它理開,也說不清。所以,這「源自一念情絲」,這樣一直纏綿下去,一直纏、一直結下去,一直綁下去,我們很自然不得脫離,有這個因緣關係纏縛住,這關係就這樣一直連續下去。

人間苦難偏多,有情、有苦,無常的人生,什麼時候發生什麼事,在有情,那就是這樣纏著、關聯著,這就是我們眾生一念偏,迷情就這樣一直纏結。「粗重煩惱易改」。有的是因為男女之情,就會延生了,一直下去,孩子、孫子。夫妻情是不是能順利?一輩子情投意合,一個家庭和樂,再下去的子孫是不是能夠乖巧,讓我們不操心、擔心?在不用操心、不用擔心的,這情愛中,是不是能夠很永恆?這當中有生、老、病、死,生命到底是長或是短?生命中是健康,或者是病痛呢?不論是如何,總是煩惱。何況人間,這種情愛千尺浪,言種彼此之間實在是苦不堪,很多,何況一心起動,貪、瞋、癡、慢、疑,無明就這樣一直延續造作下去。粗重的煩惱,大錯可能會改,因為大錯之後,所受到的懲罰,很重,知道錯了、不對了,我應該要改了。但是,偏偏那個細微的無明、煩惱,就很難預防。過去知道錯的能改,已經要回顧,但是一般生活中,是不是我們自己的習氣,還是很難除?這就叫做凡夫,難得成聖,永遠都是凡夫。

因為這習氣,讓人看得見,粗的煩惱,自己可能也懂得要謹慎,不要犯過;不對的,大家看得到,自己要有慚愧心,自己不敢再去犯。但是內心的無明,微細,人家看不到,自己也不覺知。這種的「細塵無明」,真的是很難防。自己的習氣不好,別人看,應該知道,這個人的習氣還是這樣,表情讓人看到了,大家知道,但是自己沒感覺。有人跟他說:「你怎會這樣?」「喔,這樣喔,但是,我沒感覺!」是啊,這種微細感受,表達出來的感情、形態,別人看得到,我們自己沒感覺。

不歡喜的情緒,或者是不開心的鬱悶,讓人看到,人家會知道,「你這樣的表情,不高興!」「我沒感覺啊!」他不知道自己表現出來,是什麼樣形態,這就是微細無明的煩惱,我們自己無法預防。常常就會有這樣的形態,這是我們一般人。所以我們,「生世牽繫難斷」,因為有這樣前面粗重的煩惱,男女情欲,這種一念情絲纏綿著、這種的繫縛著,又再更重的,犯大錯誤的;犯大錯誤,自己會了解,男女情欲,這情絲是非常難斷,在一般人間。有的父母認為孩子長大了,沒娶、沒嫁不行,年紀大了,就要趕緊選,不喜歡的,也強迫叫他就要娶、嫁,「不孝有三,無後為大」,就是要一直延生,就一直牽纏下去。這樣大家認為是正常。

但是,真的也多數那念的情絲,自我又再衍生出來,使一家庭就不正常,也有啊!家庭的情,又再,家庭外面又有另外不正常的情,又牽出去,這就是我們凡夫。什麼「金屋藏嬌」、什麼「紅杏出牆」等等,也是很多,或者是未婚生子,或者是……很多,這都是一念情絲纏綿,這都很多。但是,就是這樣,一念情絲,或者是世間這個世俗,認為這就是正常。所以,因為這樣,也是纏綿了很多煩惱。何況自己錯誤,造很多的業,這全都是人間牽纏的苦。所以,「生世牽繫難斷」,「根塵入業識」。這根、塵,造作之後,就入業識來。萬般帶不去,生生世世帶著纏,這就是「生世牽繫難斷,根塵入業識」,就這樣一直纏下去了。所以,我們要很謹慎。

摩訶波闍波提
是摩耶夫人之妹
亦為佛姨母
耶輸是羅喉羅母
樂法求佛出家
得菩提受記

摩訶波闍波提是摩耶夫人的妹妹,這也就是她們有這樣的情。當然,這在佛的時代,佛出生了,卻是母親在七日後往生了,摩訶波闍波提,就是憐憫這個孩子,就這樣再入皇宮來,成為悉達多太子的繼母,那就是阿姨,就是這樣。悉達多太子長大了,同樣要娶妻、選妃。耶輸陀羅也是入王宮為太子妃,也是羅睺侯羅的母親。因為悉達多太子一意想要出家,淨飯王,就是擔心悉達多太子無後,後面這個國家要怎麼辦?不允許,所以,為了孝,就靠有一位羅睺羅。這就是世間認為這是很正常,耶輸陀羅也好,摩訶波闍波提也好,都是生世有因緣,同樣在八識也已經有這樣,過去的因緣造作,發心立願,生生世世要來成就佛陀,成佛的好因緣。因為,世間的俗人,就是這樣衍生下去,修行就是這樣在人群中。佛,生生世世,他就要發願在人群中,生生世世就有這樣,人類延續的煩惱無明,需要有人就是這樣來幫助,好因緣,這樣來成就。就像摩訶波闍波提,這個孩子生下來,摩耶夫人往生,摩訶波闍波提就來養育他,這樣讓他能很順利長大。耶輸陀羅也就是這樣,成就悉達多太子的願,為他生子,所以他出家去了,回來王宮說法,摩訶波闍波提歡喜接受佛法,耶輸陀羅也是法喜求法,最後還是一樣出家了,最後也是能夠得佛授記。

耶輸大捨
示範大悲因行
法喜稱適大智
秉慧運慈
如是修善萬德
具足莊嚴
因圓趨果
具足千萬光相

所以,「耶輸大捨示範大悲因行,法喜稱適大智秉慧運慈,如是修善萬德具足莊嚴,因圓趨果,具足千萬光相」。耶輸陀羅在皇宮的享受,捨大富大貴,同樣和摩訶波闍波提志同道合,領導著這麼多,五百位宮女,這樣追隨佛陀求出家。這也是他在示範,皇宮的生活是這麼富貴,為什麼願意也捨棄呢?願意過著這種出家,又是同樣也要托缽的生活,和比丘同等的生活,這他就是顯示,那個「大悲因行」,也就是菩薩道。要真正教育眾生,就是要行菩薩道,這不是男人,他是女眾,願意「毀形守節志,捨家侍師親」,就是這修行的團體,就是他的眷屬,他願意放棄皇宮的享受。每天在生活雖然是刻苦,但是他法喜充滿,「稱適」,非常的歡喜、稱意,這就是大智慧。他是「秉慧運慈」,用大智慧,來運這個慈悲行在人間,這也就是修菩薩因。所以「大悲因行」,不忍眾生苦,示這個身行,也來助佛度眾生,所以帶著五百位宮女出來,現在也有六千位在比丘尼團體中,這也是在示教修行,讓女人也有修行的機會,這就是「大智,秉慧運慈」。

「如是修善萬德」,就是修這麼多的善,生生世世都就是以女人身來助,幫助釋迦佛他生生世世的修行,因為這樣,現在得佛授記了,「具足莊嚴」,「因圓趨果」,已經具足千萬光相,生在善國,號叫做「具足千萬光相如來」。這也就是表示,雖然人間是這樣,不斷男女之間延續眾生,眾生這個心態不斷受污濁,就是要在人間,人間就是這樣的過程。所以,耶輸陀羅和摩訶波闍波提,他們就是有這樣的因緣,來幫助佛這樣的過程修行,所以我們要好好用心。

前面的經文就這樣說:「佛告耶輸陀羅:汝於來世百千萬億諸佛法中,修菩薩行,為大法師,漸具佛道。」

佛告耶輸陀羅
汝於來世
百千萬億諸佛法中
修菩薩行
為大法師
漸具佛道
《法華經勸持品第十三》

因為耶輸陀羅,沒有聽到佛叫她的名字,雖然佛陀向摩訶波闍波提說:「你將來成佛,這六千這些比丘尼,將來也能在萬億佛的佛所,好好修行,成為法師。」在這六千比丘尼是同時得記了,但是耶輸陀羅就只是想:怎麼沒有叫我的名字?所以佛陀特別,就再應耶輸陀羅的心願,叫著:「耶輸陀羅啊!你於未來同樣,就是在百千萬億諸佛法中,同樣修菩薩行,為大法師,漸具佛道。」這就又要在百千萬億佛中,好好修行,將來成為法師,甚至一直到因圓趨果,就能夠到達善國中去得作佛,去成佛,號叫做「具足千萬光相如來」,十號具足,所以「佛壽無量阿僧祇劫」。這是前面所說過的。

於善國中當得作佛
號具足千萬
光相如來
應供 正遍知
明行足 善逝
世間解 無上士
調御丈夫
天人師
佛 世尊
佛壽無量阿僧祇劫
《法華經勸持品第十三》

下面接下來,經文再這麼說:「爾時、摩訶波闍波提比丘尼及耶輸陀羅比丘尼,并其眷屬,皆大歡喜,得未曾有。」

爾時
摩訶波闍波提
比丘尼
及耶輸陀羅
比丘尼
并其眷屬
皆大歡喜
得未曾有
《法華經勸持品第十三》

那個時候,摩訶波闍波提比丘尼以及耶輸陀羅比丘尼,那些眷屬全部,大家聽到佛為她們授記了,大家都很歡喜,「皆大歡喜,得未曾有」。所以他因為已經得佛授記了,未來,不論再多久,百千萬億佛所,過程,就是再辛苦的修行,也能夠聞法、說法、傳法,他們很歡喜,不論時間再多久,他們還是,佛為他們授記了,絕對將來會成佛,這歡喜得未曾有,因為很歡喜,所以「即於佛前而說偈言」。

即於佛前而說偈言
世尊導師
安隱天人
我等聞記
心安具足
《法華經勸持品第十三》

他們歡喜了,他們就這樣用偈,向佛世尊來讚歎,所以「世尊導師,安隱天人,我等聞記,心安具足」。大家歡喜了,用偈文來表達他們的心意,「世尊導師,您就是我們的導師,能夠安穩天人。」因為「四生慈父,三界導師」,能夠安穩天人,唯有是佛世尊才有辦法,這個三界的大導師,能夠使令一切諸天與人民,心能夠安穩下來。因為天與人都還是在六凡裡面,六凡就是一直趨向享受,為了享受,所以心就會迷,迷茫的方向,就是造業。這就是六凡的裡面,眾生心不定,必定需要,要有佛生生世世出現人間,入人群中教化,這就是眾生三界的導師,也是四生的慈父,才有辦法這樣生生世世,在世間長久法流傳,教育眾生。

所以他們這樣說:「我等聞記,心安具足。」

我等聞記
心安具足:
我等得聞授記之音
身心安寧
所願具足

「因為佛陀的說法,所以讓我們大家心很安了,因為我們已經得到佛授記了,這個聲音入我們的心來,身心都很輕安、自在,不用煩惱了,我們所求的願全都具足了,修行的目標只是為了能夠成佛。既然我們未來,雖然還很長久的時間,要再修行,我們這樣就也很滿足了,定下我們的心,定下我們的方向,所以我們會立願向前精前進。」這是他們的表達。

偈文說完了,下面經文接下來再說:「諸比丘尼說是偈已,白佛言:世尊!我等亦能於他方國土廣宣此經。」

諸比丘尼說是偈已
白佛言
世尊
我等亦能
於他方國土
廣宣此經
《法華經勸持品第十三》

因為這些比丘尼,摩訶波闍波提、耶輸陀羅,同樣在靈山會,同樣知道佛的心意,佛也年老了,大家也都年老了,佛陀現在就是開始遺教,要留下來的那個心願,就是要將這個法延續在人間,希望人人能夠接受這個法,還要人人,要發大心,要立大願,為法在募人,希望大家表達出來,願意入人群,願意修持這部經,能夠延續在來生來世。你今生若沒有發願,此生種子不成就,哪有後面的種子再下去呢?一棵樹已經能夠結果了,這個果若沒有好好成熟起來,這棵樹若枯乾掉了,種子還沒有成熟,也會沒有了。所以,希望每一棵樹的果實成熟,那就還能夠延續在未來。

同樣的道理,佛陀也希望,他已經這麼多歲數了,這法一定要讓它很成熟,粒粒的種子都應該在人人的心中,一定要播入人的心地;入人的心地,就是要表達出來,要發願出來。這是佛陀「為法募人」,希望人人表達出他們的心願。所以,這些比丘尼也聽到了,也是同樣能夠體會佛心,雖然大家都同樣有年紀了,盼望在來生來世。「我今生,法我都聽進來了,我來生來世,我會再繼續下去,我有願,這個因和緣我會好好把握。」這要有願,才有辦法因緣具足;若沒有願,這個緣就不足。所以他們一定要在佛前立願,要和佛有個約定;有約定,這個因緣才能再延續下去。所以,他們生生世世都是有約定,同樣的道理,這個願,就是:「好啦,我也能這樣,和你約好,我能夠這樣做。」所以偈讚歎佛陀,表達自己的心意之後,他們就要再向佛陀這樣說:「世尊!我等亦能於他方國土廣宣此經。」他們也同樣要在他方國土,廣宣此經,因為這個娑婆世界,大家都很害怕,比丘害怕,比丘尼也害怕,大家發願願意,但都是要在他方國土。

所以,摩訶波闍波提所領導的比丘尼也是一樣,讚佛之後,同樣發願,但是他們也是發願,要在他方國土廣宣此經,因為他們自己考慮自己,知道「力微」,他們的力量不是很堅固,自己知道。

白佛言
世尊
我等亦能
於他方國土
廣宣此經:
以力微故
畏此濁惡
願於餘處而廣說經

所以,「以力微」,他們自己也感覺力很微,所以,「畏此濁惡」,很怕,怕再來這個世間,「有夠苦啊!所以,不敢再來這個世間。」「願意於餘處而廣說此經」。寧願去其它的地方,不敢在這個娑婆世界,就是願力不夠強,自己測量自己,願力沒那麼大。

蓋已味清淨者
必不習於煩惱
故不易於濁惡世中
行菩薩道
若向在煩惱場中
即已能發大心
及修行稍久
必可轉煩惱為菩提
而其所得之功行
疾速堅固
始非性清淨者
所可及矣

所以,「已味清淨,必不習於煩惱」,要修行,沒有去惹到煩惱的習氣,其實也不容易。所以,「不易於濁惡世中行菩薩道」。所以講起來,要在這個濁惡世中行菩薩道,實在有困難。因為我們在這裡行菩薩道,眾生濁惡,可能會再讓這些濁惡的眾生,污染到,自己自忖,自己反省自己,力量不是很大,要能夠抗拒這個煩惱的力量,還不夠。

所以,「若向在煩惱場中,即已能發大心」。現在,在這個地方,娑婆世界就是一個煩惱場,在煩惱場中,這樣「已能發大心」。在這個地方開始發大心,修行若比較久一點,「必可轉煩惱為菩提」。雖然我們害怕,摩訶波闍波提很害怕,怕這樣會被感染。其實,我們若能夠,「若向煩惱場中」,開始發大心,我們若能夠,能夠在這個煩惱場中,這樣來發大心,好好修行,用較久的時間,也是能夠「轉煩惱成菩提」。「而其所得之功行,疾速堅固」。這就是要好好用心,要用長久的時間,而且「功行」若完成,還是一樣「疾速堅固」,也能夠很堅固,我們的心要很堅固。

「始非性清淨者所可及」,我們的「性」本來就是清淨;開始是清淨,但是在這個煩惱場中,就是會去被它污染到,所以大家會害怕,怕這個性若被污染,就不清淨了。所以,不敢在這裡,雖然修久一點也能夠成菩提,但是,在這個地方,我們的性若被它污染到,我們的本性就又再有所染著,所以我們害怕,力量不是很大,不敢,無法去抵抗這些污染。是因為,這個世間很濁惡,世間很多很多的煩惱絲。剛才所講的煩惱,這些煩惱的絲,心念,只是這樣一念產生起來,這個情絲纏綿,就這樣一直纏繫縛下去了。這一念心若不小心,就是這樣,就又在因緣中牽拖。

雖然,大家同樣都在娑婆世界,同樣在煩惱場中,願意發大心、立大願,知道修久來,也能夠「轉煩惱成菩提」,雖然知道了,但是也很很擔心,擔心在這個地方,若不趕緊成佛,若不敢緊得成菩提,又在這裡拖下去,我們的本性,也是容易又讓它污染掉到。若這樣,這個願力微細的人,其實實在是很沒有把握。所以,「非性清淨者所可及」,不是已經都清淨的人有把握,因為她們還是以女人身,自認為力量還很輕微。雖然在這裡發心,在這裡修行,久來也能夠轉煩惱成菩提。但是,自己的功力若無法趕快成菩提,等到久來,這樣是不是有辦法堅持下去呢?所以不敢在娑婆世界,還是發願要去他方世界。

這個娑婆世界真的是人人害怕,不是比丘尼怕,比丘也怕。所以,我們要好好用心,要很勇敢的人,才有辦法在這個煩惱場中,發大心、立大願。他們自己感覺沒有什麼可能,這個大願力還沒有很具足,所以他們不敢,他們還要在無量億萬佛所,去聽法,去講法,去傳法,還要很長久的時間,所以要發大心。就像去其它的地方,也要同樣有願力,他們也發願了其它地方。就像菲律賓保和島那個地方,因為一個因緣,二0一三年,那個地方的地震之後,因緣接續起來,除了去幫助他們,又再復建,為他們建簡易的教室。孩子開始要教育了,這個因緣,就知道我們的「靜思語」,當地的教育就要求,我們給他們的「靜思語」,大人了解了,孩子是不是能夠接受老師,用「靜思語」來教育他們呢?提出了要求,所以他們也,菲律賓當地也期待,有這個心願。

馬來西亞也有一群很熱情的老師,教聯會他們也發願,他們願意去保和島,拿「靜思語」去和當地老師互動,三百零四位公立學校的老師,來分享「靜思語」的教育。也是在二0一六年,十二月六日、七日,這兩天,他們就去到保和島,分享「靜思語」。這些當地的老師聽得很歡喜,「靜思語」的解釋,如何教育。他們就請我們教聯會,第三天,由教聯會在教室示範如何教。馬來西亞教聯會就這樣,在那個簡易教室裡,開始教當地老師說:「我就是這樣上課,就是直接向學生上課。」讓老師看。所以,他們現在老師都會了,保和島人人也用「靜思語」,來教育當地學生,用華文、英文,由馬來西亞老師,送去《靜思語》,送那些孩子,送老師,這就是到他方去宣化教育。

其實,也是有需要啊!但是要發心立願。是啊!人間也有這樣熱情的老師,發願他方宣揚教法。佛陀的時代也有這樣,不過佛陀的時代,是因為娑婆世界眾生剛強,他們不敢,所以希望到他方。這是佛陀也是很擔心的,雖然他們發願了,佛陀還是很擔心,所以我們人人要多用心!
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發表主題: 回復: 20180618《靜思妙蓮華》情絲繫縛 生世難斷 (第1372集) (法華經·勸持品第十三)   周六 12月 01, 2018 6:47 pm

Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: Ties of Love Linger over Lifetimes (情絲繫縛 生世難斷)
Date: June.18.2018

“We must not take this lightly; such karmic causes lead to such effects. [Karma] from a single thought of ties of love can entangle us for a long time. Coarse afflictions can be easily changed, but it is difficult to guard oneself against the fine dusts of ignorance. It is hard to sever entanglements that constrict us throughout lifetime after lifetime. Through our roots and dusts, these enter our karmic consciousness.”

We must be mindful! We must not take the law of karma lightly. For a long time, I have been constantly reminding everyone that every word we say and every thought we have will become a seed of karma. When we give rise to a thought or take an action, we plant seeds in the ground [of our minds]. Once a seed converges with the soil and the air and water from nature, this seed will continually sprout and grow. [The cycle] is thus perpetuated. Our [karmic] seeds word in the same way. Causes and conditions arise from one thought; this thought that arises is the seed. Once a thought arises, action will follow, and actions form causes and bring about effects. So, we must never take the law of karma lightly. We must place great importance on it.

These causes and conditions originate “from a single thought of ties of love” and “can entangle us for a long time.” When it comes to love, ordinary people’s love is deluded. Because we are ordinary people, all our thoughts contain ignorance. Because of our ignorance, we deviate in our direction, which will certainly result in mistakes. So, in the span of a single thought, this delusion will proliferate into ties of love. This is just like thread. From a seed in the ground grows a cotton or sisal plant. People [harvest] the cotton or sisal and spin it into yarn. These strands of fibers are put together horizontally and vertically and gradually turn into yarn, thread, rope and so on. The yarn can be used to bind things. Apart from the threads used to weave cloth, ropes can be used to tie things up and bind them together; as they remain bound, they become more and more entangled. To untangle them is very difficult. So, all of this originates “from a single thought of ties of love” and in this way continues to entangle us, continues to entangle and tie us together.

Naturally, we are unable to free ourselves. Entangled by the connections of causes and conditions, this connection is continually perpetuated. The world is full of suffering. With love, there is suffering. In this impermanent life, when certain events happen at certain moments, with feelings of love, we are entangled and connected together. For us sentient beings, a single deviant thought can entangle us in this deluded love.

“Coarse afflictions can be easily changed.” For some, feelings of romantic love, will result in [successive generations] of children and grandchildren. Will the marriage be smooth? Will we be in love our whole life, and will our family be harmonious? Furthermore, will our children be well-behaved so we do not need to worry about them? Even if we do not have to worry, will this love and affection truly be everlasting? In the process, there is birth, aging, illness and death. How long will this lifetime last? Will we remain healthy or fall ill?

No matter what, in the end we are always afflicted. This is to say nothing of how, in the world, 1000-foot swells rise on the river of cravings. Human relationships are truly unbearable suffering. There are many [examples of this]. Moreover, when one thought of greed, anger, delusion, arrogance or doubt arises, we keep replicating our ignorance. Coarse and severe afflictions and major mistakes can be corrected, since after making a big mistake, we suffer severe punishment. We realize our wrongdoings, so we know that we must correct them. However, those kinds of very subtle ignorance and afflictions are hard to prevent.

The past wrongdoings we know about, we can change. We already know we must repent. But in our daily living, aren’t our habitual tendencies still very hard to eliminate? This is why we are ordinary begins; it is hard to become a sage, so we always remain ordinary begins. We have these habitual tendencies. With our coarse afflictions that are visible to others, we ourselves may know that we need to be vigilant and not commit wrongdoings. Such wrongdoing s are visible to everyone, so we feel ashamed of ourselves and will not dare repeat them. But the fine dusts of ignorance in our minds are not visible to others, and we ourselves are also not aware of them. These fine dusts of ignorance are truly difficult to guard against. If our habitual tendencies are bad, others people can likely tell just by looking. “This person still has such habitual tendencies.” When others see our expression, they can tell, but we ourselves do not realize it. When others tell us, “Why are you doing this? Oh, am I doing that? I did not realize it myself.”

Indeed, these sublet sensations expressed through our emotions and gestures are visible to others, but we ourselves do not sense them. When we are unhappy or upset, people around us will notice and know that our expressions mean we are unhappy. “I didn’t notice anything!” We are not aware of the expressions we are projecting. These are subtle afflictions of ignorance, which we are unable to guard against. This is common for us ordinary beings. So, it is hard to sever the entanglements that constrict us for lifetime after lifetime. Because we have the coarse afflictions we mentioned as well as romantic desires, with one thought, we are entangled by ties of love. Such entanglement will cause us to create greater [karma] and commit more serious wrongdoings. Once we make great mistakes, we will understand that romantic desires these ties of love, are very hard to eliminate. In this world, some parents think that when children grow up, they absolutely must get married. If they are getting too old, they must quickly pick someone. Even if they do not like the person, they pressure them to marry. “Of the three ways of begins unfilial, the worst is not producing offspring.” Everyone wants to keep procreating, continuing our entanglement. Everyone views this as the norm.

But truly, very often, these ties of love will reproduce themselves and cause problems in the family; this happens too. Aside from their love for their family, they may also experience extramarital attraction which leads them astray. This is what we ordinary people refer to as “keeping a mistress” or “cheating on one’s husband” and so on. Such incidents happen often. Or people have children outside of marriage, or there may be many other [situations]. These are all due to single thought which produces these entangling ties of love. There are many causes like these. But because of this, due to a single thought of ties of love or because of how the customs of the world views this as the norm, people are bound by many afflictions. We also create much karma with our wrongdoings. These are all sufferings caused by entanglements.

So, “It is hard to sever entanglements that constrict us throughout lifetime after lifetime. Through our roots and dusts, these enter our karmic consciousness. Our roots and dusts interact, and after we act, this enters our karmic consciousness. We cannot bring anything [but karma] when we die; lifetime after lifetime we bring these entanglements with us. Thus, “It is hard to sever entanglement that constrict us throughout lifetime after lifetime. Through our roots and dusts, these enter our karmic consciousness.” We continue to remain entangled. Thus, we must be very vigilant.

Mahaprajapati was Lady Maya’s younger sister, the Buddha’s maternal aunt. Yasodhara was Rahula’s mother. They took joy in the Dharma and begged the Buddha to allow them to become monastics. They attained Bodhi and received predictions.

Mahaprajapati was Lady Maya’s younger sister. This was their relationship. Of course, during the Buddha’s lifetime, when the Buddha was born, His mother passed away seven days later. Mahaprajapati felt pity for the child, so she came to the palace and became Prince Siddhartha’s adoptive mother. She was his maternal aunt. After Prince Siddhartha grew up, he also had to take a wife.

So, Yasodhara entered the palace as the prince’s wife and [became] the mother of Rahula. Because Prince Siddhartha continued to single-mindedly want to become a monastic, King Suddhidana worried that Prince Siddhartha did not have an heir. What would happen to this country in the future? Thus he did not allow [the prince to leave].

So, to fulfill his filial duties, Prince Siddhartha had to have a son, Rahula. This was what society believed was normal. Both Yasodhara and Mahaprajapati had causes and conditions from many lifetimes. In their eighth consciousness, they had already created causes and conditions in the past. They had formed aspirations and made vows that life after life they would help the Buddha attain the causes and conditions for Buddhahood. Because people in this world reproduce in this way, in His spiritual practice, He had to live among people in this way. Throughout lifetime after lifetime, the Buddha had to form aspirations to be among people. Lifetime after lifetime, people perpetuate afflictions and ignorance, so He needed people to help Him by providing good causes and conditions.

Take for example Mahaprajapati. After the prince was born, Lady Maya passed away, so Mahaprajapati raised Prince Siddhartha and helped him grow up without incident. In the same way, Yasodhara also helped Prince Siddhartha fulfill his wish by bearing him a son so that he was able to become a monastic. After the Buddha returned to the palace to teach, Mahaprajapati and Yasodhara joyfully sought and accepted the Dharma. In the end they also become monastics and also received predictions of Buddhahood from the Buddha.

So, “Yasodhara ’s great sacrifice demonstrated her causal practice of great compassion. She had Dharma-joy and great wisdom. She exercised both wisdom and loving-kindness. Thus she cultivated goodness and myriad virtues. She will become replete with magnificence, perfect her causes and approach fruition. She will be fully endowed with millions of radiant marks.

In the palace, Yasodhara had a life of enjoyment, but she gave up all her wealth and nobility. Along with Mahaprajapati, she led 500 palace maids to follow the Buddha and asked to become a monastic. She was acting as an example. Life in the palace was so luxurious, so why was she willing to give it up? She was willing to live a life as a monastic and beg for alms to survive just like the bhiksus; this demonstrated her “causal practice of great compassion”, which is the Bodhisattva-path. To truly teach sentient beings, we must walk on the Bodhisattva-path.

She was not a man, she was a woman who was willing to “destroy her form and uphold her integrity and leave home to serve her Dharma-family”. This group of spiritual practitioners became her family. She willingly gave up the pleasures of the palace. Although her daily living was harsh, she was filled with Dharma-joy. She was very joyful and satisfied. This is great wisdom. She “exercised both wisdom and living-kindness”. With her great wisdom, she exercised the practice of loving-kindness and compassion in the world. This is cultivating the Bodhisattva-causes, so in “her causal practice of great compassion”, she could not bear to let sentient beings suffer. Thus, she taught by example to help the Buddha transform sentient beings. So, she brought 500 palace maids along with her. Now, there were 6000 bhiksunis [in the Sangha]. This is manifesting the teaching through practice so that women would also have the opportunity to engage in spiritual practice.

“She exercised both wisdom and loving-kindness. Thus she cultivated goodness and myriad virtues”. She cultivated so much goodness. Life after life, she appeared as a woman to help Sakyamuni Buddha in His spiritual practice. Because of this, she now received predictions from the Buddha. “She will become replete with magnificence, perfect her causes and approach fruition. She will be fully endowed with millions of radiant marks”. She will be born in a virtuous land and will be called “Replete-with-Millions-of-Radiant-Marks Tathagata”.

This shows how, although the world is like this, with sexual desires leading to the constant reproduction of sentient beings and sentient beings’ minds constantly becoming contaminated, she had to come to the world and undergo this process here.

So, Yasodhara and Mahaprajapati had these causes and conditions to help the Buddha engage in spiritual practice. So, we must be earnestly mindful.

The previous sutra passage states, “The Buddha told Yasodhara. In the future, amidst the Dharma of countless Buddhas, you will cultivate the Bodhisattva-practice, become a great Dharma teacher and gradually complete the path to Buddhahood.

Yasodhara had not heard the Buddha call her name. The Buddha had told Mahaprajapati, “In the future, you will attain Buddhahood. These 6000 bhiksunis will also earnestly engage in spiritual practice in the presence of trillions of Buddhas and become Dharma-teachers”. The 6000 bhiksunis had all received predictions at the same time. But Yasodhara thought to herself, “Why didn’t the Buddha call my name?” So, in response to her wish, the Buddha called her name, “Yasodhara! In the future, amidst the Dharma of countless trillions of Buddhas, you too will cultivate the Bodhisattva-practice, gradually complete the path to Buddhahood. In the presence of countless trillions of Buddhas, she will earnestly engage in spiritual practice and become a great Dharma teacher, until she perfects her causes and approaches the fruition. She will attain Buddhahood in a virtuous land. She will become a Buddha who will be called “Replete-with-Millions-of-Radiant-Marks Tathagata”. She will be replete with the ten epithets.

So, “That Buddha’s lifespan will be infinite asankya kalpas. This was mentioned previously. In a virtuous land, you will become a Buddha with the epithets Replete-with-Millions-of-Radiant-Marks Tathagata, One Worthy of Offerings, Completely Awakened One, One Perfect in Wisdom and Action, Well-Gone One, Knower of the World, Unsurpassed Guide, Tamer, Teacher of Heavenly Beings and Humans and Buddha, the World-Honored One. That Buddha’s lifespan will be infinite asankya kalpas.

The following sutra passage states, “At that time, Mahaprajapati Bhiksuni and Yasodhara Bhiksuni, along with their retinue, all experienced great joy, having attained what they never had before”.

At that time, Mahaprajapati Bhiksuni and Yasodhara Bhiksuni, along with their retinue, had all heard the Buddha ’s predictions for them. So, everyone was very joyful.

[They] all experience great joy, having attained what they never had before. So, they had received predictions from the Buddha. in the future, no matter how long it takes, even practicing with trillions of Buddhas, and no matter how laborious their process of spiritual practice will be, they will be able to listen, teach and spread the Dharma. So, they were very joyful. No matter how long it takes, since the Buddha bestowed predictions on them, they will surely attain Buddhahood in the future.

They were very joyful at having attained what never had before. Because they were very joyful, “Immediately, before the Buddha, they spoke in verse”. Because they were very joyful, they used verses to praise the Buddha.

“The World-Honored One, our guiding teacher, brings peace and stability to heavenly beings and humans. We have all heard our predictions, and our minds are peaceful and fulfilled.”

Everyone was very happy, so they used verse to express their thoughts. “World-Honored One, You are our guiding teacher who can bring peace and stability to heavenly beings and humans” and “the guiding teacher of the Three Realms, He can being peace and stability to heavenly beings and humans. Only the Buddha, the World-Honored One, is able to do this. The guiding teacher of the Three Realms can bring peace and calm to heavenly beings’ and humans’ minds. Since heavenly beings and humans are among the Six Unenlightened Realms, they are always focused on pursuing pleasures.

They pursue pleasures, so their minds become lost. Confused as to [the right] direction, they create karma. Thus, within the Six Unenlightened Realms, sentient beings’ minds are not stable. What they need is the Buddha to appear in the world life after life to go among people to teach and transform them. He is the guiding teacher of the Three Realms and the kind father of the Four Kinds of Beings. this is how, lifetime after lifetime, He can spread the Dharma in the world and teach sentient beings.

So, they said, “We have all heard our predictions, and our minds are peaceful and fulfilled. Since the Buddha taught the Dharma, our minds feel very peaceful. We have all heard our predictions. since this voice entered our minds, our bodies and minds are both at peace. We do not need to worry any further; our wish has been completely fulfilled. The goal of spiritual practice is to attain Buddhahood. Although in the future, we will still need a very long time of engaging in spiritual practice, we are very satisfied. Our minds ae settled and we know the direction we will go. So, we will make vows to advance forward. This was what they expressed.

After they spoke that verse, the next sutra passage states, After those bhikusnis spoke verse, they said the Buddha, ‘World-Honored One, we are also able to widely promote this sutra.

These bhiksunis, including Mahaprajapati and Yasodhara were all at the Vulture Peak Assembly and they all understood the Buddha’s intent. The Buddha was advanced in age, and so was everyone else.

So, the Buddha began to pass on His teachings. For His vow to be passed on, the Dharma had to be continually transmitted in this world. He hoped that everyone would accept this Dharma, form aspirations and make great vows. He was recruiting people [to carry on] the Dharma. He hoped that everyone could express their willingness to go among people and uphold this sutra and to persist in this throughout future lifetimes. If we do not form aspirations in this life, if these seeds do not nature in this lifetime, then how can there be seeds for us as we continue on into the future? Even if a tree is able to bear fruits, if the fruit do not ripen properly or if the tree withers before the seeds have matured, then there will be nothing left.

So, we hope the fruits on every tree can ripen so they can continue on into the future. The principle is the same. The Buddha also hoped to ensure that, since He was now advanced in age, the teachings were very mature, so that the seeds could [take root] in everyone’s mind. He had to sow them in everyone’s mind. After [the teachings] entered everyone’s mind, He needed everyone to express this through vows. This is how the Buddha “recruited people for the Dharma He hoped that everyone could express their vows. So, when the bhiksunis heard this, they were able to comprehend the Buddha’s wish. Though they all had aged as well, since they heard the Dharma in this life, they hoped that they would continue [this work] in future lifetimes. They made this vow to earnestly seize their causes and conditions. Only with vows can causes and conditions nature. Without vows, the conditions will be incomplete. So, they had to form vows in front of the Buddha and make this promise to the Buddha. only with this promise could the causes and conditions be carried forward.

So, they made this promise for life after life. In the same way, [they expressed] this vow. “Fine, I can do this too. I promise you, I can do this too.” So, they praised the Buddha in verse and expressed their intention. Then they again told the Buddha, “World-Honored One, we can all go to other lands to widely promote this sutra.”

They too wanted to go to other lands to widely promote this sutra. This was because everyone was very scared of [the begins in] the Saha World. Even the bhiksunis were scared. Everyone formed aspirations and was willing [to spread the Dharma], but in other lands. It was the same for the same for the group of bhiksunis that Mahaprajapati led. After they praised the Buddha, they too made vows, but they made vows to widely spread the Dharma in other lands. They did this because they considered themselves. They knew that “their strength was lacking”. They knew that their strength was not very firm. They understood this themselves.

They said to the Buddha, “World-Honored One, we are all also able to go to other lands to widely promote this sutra, wisely promote this sutra”: Because their strength was lacking and they feared this world of evil turbidities, they wished to go to other places to widely expound this sutra.

So, “Their strength was lacking”. They felt that they were lacking in strength. Thus, “They feared this world of evil turbidities.” They feared coming to this world again; it is full of suffering! So, they did not dare to come back to this world. “They wished to go to other places to widely promote this sutra”. They would rather go to other lands instead of staying in the Saha world. This was because their power of vows was weak. They measured themselves and [found that] their vows were not strong enough.

Those who have tasted purity will certainly be unaccustomed to afflictions, so it will not be easy for them to walk the Bodhisattva-path while remaining in the evil world of turbidities. If, in the ground of afflictions, we have already been able to form great aspirations, so long as we practice a little longer, we can certainly turn our afflictions into Bodhi. Then the merits from practice we attain will swiftly become firm. Those whose nature is not pure cannot reach this level.

So, “Those who have tasted purity will certainly be unaccustomed to afflictions”. To engage in spiritual practice without habitual tendencies creating afflictions is truly not easy. So, “It will not be easy for them to walk the Bodhisattva-path while remaining in the evil world of turbidities”. So, this is to say that to walk on the Bodhisattva-path in this evil world of turbidities is truly difficult.

This is because, as we walk on the Bodhisattva-path here, sentient beings are turbid and evil. They may once again contaminate us. We must consider ourselves and reflect upon ourselves. Our strength is not great. It is still not great enough to resist the power of afflictions. So, “If, in the ground of afflictions, we have already been able to form great aspirations…”. Now, this place, the Saha World, is filled with afflictions. If, in this place filled with afflictions, we have “already been able to form great aspirations,” if we form great aspirations at this place and persist in our spiritual practice for a little longer, “we can certainly turn our afflictions into Bodhi”. We may be scared.

Mahaprajapati was scared, afraid of being contaminated. But actually, “in the ground of afflictions,” we can begin to form great aspirations. If, in this afflicted place, we can form great aspirations and earnestly engage in spiritual practice over a longer period of time, “we can certainly turn our afflictions into Bodhi. Then, the merits from practices we attain will swiftly become firm”. This is why we must be earnestly mindful over a very long period of time. Moreover, if we complete our meritorious practice, it will “swiftly become firm”. It can become very firm.

We need our minds to be very resolute. “Those whose nature is not pure cannot reach this level”. Our nature is intrinsically pure. It is pure to begin with, but in this afflicted place, it will become defiled by [our environment]. So, everyone was afraid, afraid that if their nature became defiled, it would no longer be pure. So, they did not dare remain here. Although after a while they could attain Bodhi, if their nature was to become defiled by this place, [they feared] their intrinsic nature would again become contaminated. So, they were scared. Their strength was still not very great; they would be unable to guard against defilements. This would is filled with evil turbidities, and there are many binding afflictions. The afflictions that we just talked about, these ties of afflictions, may arise in our minds with a single thought. Then these ties of love and emotion can continue to entangle us for a long time. If in a single thought we are not careful, then, in this manner, we will again be dragged by causes and conditions. They were all in the Saha world, in this place filled with afflictions, willing to form great aspirations and vows. They knew that through long practice, they could turn afflictions into Bodhi. But even though they knew this, they were still very worried that being in this place, if they did not quickly attain Buddhahood, if they did not quickly attain Bodhi, they would again become entangled and their intrinsic nature would once again become contaminated. In this way, those who had weak power of vows truly did not seize [the moment].

So, “Those whose nature is not pure cannot reach this level”. Just because they were pure, it did not mean they had seized the moment. Because they still had female bodies, they thought they were too weak. They had formed aspirations here, and by engaging in practice here, over time they would be able to turn afflictions into Bodhi. However, considering their own strength, it they could not quickly attain Bodhi, after a long time, would they still be able to persevere? So, they did not dare to stay in the Saha world and formed aspirations to go to other lands. This Saha world is truly frightening. Both the bhiksus and bhidsunis feared it. So, we must be earnestly mindful.

Only very courageous people can stay in this place of afflictions and form great aspirations and make great vows. They felt that this would be impossible for them, because they lacked the great power of vows. Thus, they did not dare [to stay]. They must still, in the presence of countless trillions of Buddhas, listen, teach and spread the Dharma. This will take a long time. So, they had to form great aspirations. Even to go to other lands, they must have the power of vows. So, they formed aspirations to go to other lands.

This is like Bohol Island in the Philippines. Because of certain causes and conditions, after the earthquake in 2013, this lasting connection was formed. Aside from helping them [with emergency relief], we also helped the reconstruction by building temporary classrooms for them. As they began educating the children, through these causes and conditions, they learned about our Jing Si Aphorisms. The local educators requested that we provide them with Jing Si Aphorisms. The adults already understood them, but could the teachers use Jing Si Aphorisms to teach the children? They submitted this request. The volunteers in the Philippines also hoped [this would happen]; they shared the same wish. In Malaysia, there is a group of enthusiastic teachers from our Teachers’ Association who made a vow. They were willing to go to Bohol island and share their Jing Si Aphorism curriculum with 304 public school teachers there. On December 6-7, 2016, for two days, they went to Bohol Island to share Jing Si Aphorisms with them. The local teachers were happy to hear people explain about the Jing Si Aphorisms and the way to teach them.

On the third day, they invited members of our Teacher’s Association to demonstrate how to teach them, so the Malaysian Teacher’s Association went to the temporary classrooms and started showing the teachers, “This is how I teach my lessons.” They directly taught the students for the teachers to see. So, now the teachers there all know how to do it. Everyone on Bohol is now using Jing Si Aphorisms to teach their local students in both Mandarin and English. Our teachers from Malaysia also delivered Jing Si Aphorisms books as gifts for the children and teachers. In this way, they spread the teachings there. Truly, this was something they needed. But we must form aspirations and make vows.

Indeed, there are such enthusiastic teachers in this world who vow to spread the teachings in other places. This also happened during the Buddha’s era. But during the Buddha’s era, because the Saha world’s beings were so stubborn, they lacked courage and hoped to go elsewhere. This made the Buddha very worried. Though they made vows, the Buddha was still very worried. So, all of us must always be mindful!

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