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 20180619《靜思妙蓮華》因圓趨果 得不退轉 (第1373集) (法華經·勸持品第十三)

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發表主題: 20180619《靜思妙蓮華》因圓趨果 得不退轉 (第1373集) (法華經·勸持品第十三)   周一 6月 18, 2018 8:37 pm

20180619《靜思妙蓮華》因圓趨果 得不退轉 (第1373集) (法華經·勸持品第十三)

⊙阿惟越致不退轉,心安住在不生滅,趨果成佛道之義,是菩薩行因圓具;經一大阿僧祇劫,長時無餘無間修,至此位得不退轉,入總持得一切法。
⊙四修:長時修、無餘修、無間修、尊重修。
⊙「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》
⊙「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》
⊙「爾時、世尊視八十萬億那由他諸菩薩摩訶薩。是諸菩薩皆是阿惟越致,轉不退法輪,得諸陀羅尼。」《法華經勸持品第十三》
⊙爾時、世尊視八十萬億那由他諸菩薩摩訶薩:世尊慈眼,遍視會中,所化弟子諸大菩薩。
⊙以目視者,觀諸菩薩:位當亞聖,道越小賢,方才足以勝任大道。勤修守志奉道,體佛心懷應佛募人持經,而願自薦。
⊙又諸比丘發心者多捨此忍土、而許願往他土弘教。此乃不合聖意,故視諸菩薩,令其發願。
⊙鄰極亞聖:謂菩薩內懷悲智與佛相等,而實質因行,比佛略遜一籌者,稱為等覺未達無上。
⊙等覺又稱等正覺、有上士,非無上士;一生補處:鄰極亞聖。
⊙賢:證悟真理的人叫做聖,比起無上正等覺者,稱之為賢。
⊙是諸菩薩皆是阿惟越致:此云不退轉。阿惟越致:不退轉。不退轉成佛進路之義。是菩薩階位之名。
⊙轉不退法輪:菩薩自住不退轉地,阿鞞跋致者,阿之言無,鞞跋致之言退轉。復轉不退無上法輪。
⊙得諸陀羅尼:此云總一切法持一切善。是諸菩薩得此三昧,總皆攝持,護善遮惡。
⊙梵語「陀羅尼」,華言「能持」:謂菩薩能持諸善法,令不散不失。又云「總持」:謂能持善不失,持惡不生,是名陀羅尼。

【證嚴上人開示】
阿惟越致不退轉,心安住在不生滅,趨果成佛道之義,是菩薩行因圓具;經一大阿僧祇劫,長時無餘無間修,至此位得不退轉,入總持得一切法

阿惟越致不退轉
心安住在不生滅
趨果成佛道之義
是菩薩行因圓具
經一大阿僧祇劫
長時無餘無間修
至此位得不退轉
入總持得一切法

「阿惟越致」,譯我們的意思,就是叫做「不退轉」。不退轉,我們「心安住在不生滅」。修行者,總是一心向道,堅定志不退,這就是「阿惟越致」。我們修行的境界,就是期待能這樣,用智慧來選擇,我們人生方向的信仰。既然我們選擇了,我們要提起信心,一心向前精進,當然就不退轉。我們的心要安住在不生滅,期待我們能夠「趨果成佛道」,那個意義,就是我們必定要行菩薩道。菩薩道,我們要一心向前,要「行因圓具」,菩薩行,因要圓具。這就是我們最近一直說過,「菩薩萬行」,「行因圓具」,那就是「因圓趨果」,這是常常都這樣在說。因為我們學佛,學佛目標就是成佛,這個過程一定要入人群,行菩薩道,人群中煩惱苦難偏多,我們要應一切眾生煩惱、苦,怎麼去解除眾生的煩惱?怎麼樣去拔除眾生的苦?千千萬萬,就是菩薩道,在「六度萬行」,應眾生所需要,這樣去身體力行,去播種子,一直種子粒粒都發芽,成樹而大樹,而開花,而結果啊!這要經歷的時間要很長,要經過了一大阿僧祇劫以上。

一小劫要多久?大家知道。二十小劫為一中劫,四中劫為一大劫,這時間要經歷這樣這麼長,這麼長的時間,我們的菩薩行因是不是圓具?要看我們是不是精進,身體力行在不退轉,安心住,住在不生滅,就是我們的心不生不滅。不生煩惱,也不消滅掉我們的道心。我們就要心,道心安住,不能為了環境,讓人事物影響我們的心,讓我們的心有生滅。菩薩道,儘管人世間,佛陀說器世間,有成、住、壞、空,人的心理有生、住、異、滅,但是是菩薩心,我們的道業,我們開始就要「住」在信心,不異也不滅掉了。我們既然生起信心起來,發現我們的真如本性。真如本性,原來都無生無滅、無始無終,隨著我們開始來,我們就是不斷,在什麼時候來,我們什麼時候,就已經具足真如本性,這是真理,這是道理。

所以,真如本性,天地萬物都是一樣。何況人,何況我們體會了解真理不生滅,器世間有成、住、壞、空,這是器世間,我們的真如本性,真理,永遠都是開頭都有,是藉時間,藉空間、人間,我們生生世世這樣,看能否了解透徹,那個奧妙的真理,我們深入體會。會理、入道,這就是我們修行的目標。所以,我們既然有信,我們必定就是住,「阿惟越致,不退轉」,我們的心就是安住,沒有生、住、異、滅,我們的心,沒有起滅,沒有生的起,起頭,也沒有滅的時刻,我們一心一志,就是這樣行在菩薩道上。我們的因行要圓具,時間長久不要緊,這是我們的本分事,不用去計較時間有多長,將法成為是我們的生命的,一大因緣。既然來人間,不用計時間有長短,我們對的事情,做就對了;是真理,我們追求就對了。

雖然,佛法一直都說:要成佛,時間要很長很長。我們若不要去看時間,我們若認為我們要追求道理,我們不論它時間多長,自然把握在當下,恆持在剎那間。若能這樣,「經一大阿僧祇劫」,在我們的一念間,自然我們長長久久的時間,就是這一念,說「四修」──長時修、無餘修、無間修、尊重修。。

四修:
長時修
無餘修
無間修
尊重修

「四修」在我們的日常生活中,不用計較時間多長,總是修行就是「長時」,長時間都是在修行。「無餘」,沒有空隙,心心念念,我們生活中無不都是在修行,開口動舌、起心動念、舉手動足,無不都是在修行。我們無間斷,這樣一直修,平常的時間,尊重一切法,尊重一切人,我們尊重一切事,好好修養我們的心,人、事、物中我們要時時保持著這分寬心單純的念,在生活裡。

對的事情,做就對了,「把握當下,恆持剎那」。時間自然累生世、每秒鐘,累生世就是長時間,每秒鐘是短時間,不間斷,我們都是同樣的心態,好好修行,這就是我們的本分事,真如本性,無始終,所以我們心要安住。若能到這樣的程度,「至此位得不退轉」,我們同樣,也就是「阿惟越致」,我們這個位置,行菩薩道的過程,絕對永恆,分秒中都不退轉。所以,我們「入總持得一切法」,若能夠這樣時時不斷,長時間、短時間,無不都是在「六度萬行」,這個「因圓果具」,自然趨果成佛道,意思全都在這裡,我們要時時用心。

前面的文這樣說:「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》

我們都知道,為什麼「皆大歡喜」呢?因為佛陀點他們的名字授記,所以大家很歡喜。所以,「即於佛前而說偈言」。大家歡喜用偈文來讚頌世尊。「世尊,安隱天人,我等聞記,心安具足」。

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》

用偈文來讚歎佛,他能夠在人間,安定了天與人間,使人人得了真理、道理,能夠身心安住,同時,真理,大家體會、了解,讓大家有一個方向,知道如何修行。這樣修,過去是這樣修,未來也是這樣,方向正確,因為佛已經為我們授記,發大心,生生世世,將來也有成佛的機會,聞法、說法、傳法,為我們授記了,大家的心也都安穩下來,心很踏實了。這是摩訶波闍波提,以及耶輸陀羅,還有六千比丘尼,人人心安穩自在,向佛感恩的偈文。

接下來說:「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》

他們向佛讚歎表達心意,之後,還再向佛發願:「我們大家也願意,我們願意要傳法,但是我是期待到他方國土,廣說此經。」和前面的比丘發願一樣,大家都不敢在娑婆世界,「此土」是堪忍,「此土」的眾生剛強、惡劣,苦難的事情確實很多,大家期盼去到他方國土。這就是我們娑婆世界很堪忍,要堪得忍耐,既來之,則安之,要堪得忍耐;不堪忍耐,真的是苦難堪。修行者就是知道是苦,所以要斷苦;要斷苦,就懼怕再來這個大染缸的裡面,大染缸,怕再來,力量若不夠,這樣會再被染著過去。我們預防若不夠,那個力量若不夠,沒辦法去隔離很多的污染,就容易被污染了。所以,大家不敢再來,就是願意去他方世界,去度眾生,不敢再來了。

接下來這段文,就這樣說:「爾時、世尊視八十萬億那由他諸菩薩摩訶薩。是諸菩薩皆是阿惟越致,轉不退法輪,得諸陀羅尼。」

爾時
世尊視八十萬億
那由他
諸菩薩摩訶薩
是諸菩薩
皆是阿惟越致
轉不退法輪
得諸陀羅尼
《法華經勸持品第十三》

我們前面看到那一段文,摩訶波闍波提、耶輸陀羅,向佛陀發願,雖然他們也發心要傳法,但是他們是要去他方國土,佛陀並沒有表達什麼樣的意,沒有回答他們。佛陀用眼光來看,在會有多少啊?「八十萬億那由他,菩薩摩訶薩」,什麼樣的大空間可以容納這麼多人呢?其實,佛陀所期盼的,無量無數的菩薩。

爾時
世尊視八十萬億
那由他
諸菩薩摩訶薩:
世尊慈眼
遍視會中
所化弟子諸大菩薩

前面我們說過,六萬八千億,那個數字,「六根門」以及我們的心,八千億這麼多,我們的心態有很多。同樣這些心若收攝下來,六根門清淨,心也清淨,若能這樣,人人發大心;還有發心的菩薩,累生世修行在人間;還有,講說《法華經》的道場,護法很多,來娑婆世界,也是助佛度化的菩薩,也有啊!過去已經累積很多,一直在說諸天龍、人天護法,也都很多。

不論是已經修大乘法的,法身菩薩,或者是佛所說的教法,在人人的心,產生了很多的法,分身佛,回歸位來了,人人能夠將這個法入心,再從自己的見解,這個法再產生出了,無量數的理來。就像大家聽法之後,大家來分享,所聽到的這樣、這樣,這個人間再會合起來,用自己的心得來分享,這也是法。

在〈見寶塔品〉,要見到多寶佛,釋迦佛要集十方分身佛,回來歸位。那段時間一直告訴大家,所聽的法一句都沒有漏,要趕緊回顧、回憶,回憶回來,我們的心得歸位。同樣的道理,「世尊,遍視會中,所化弟子諸大菩薩」,佛陀的真理講出來了,大家吸收進去了,化身佛,受了佛法,自然就是化,這個法已經容納在人人心裡,已經消化在大家的心地裡了,這就是在場的弟子,「所化」。佛陀所說的法,已經消化在大家的內心,這些發心的弟子,每一個人心懷無量數的法,應該轉小乘為大乘法了,法都很清楚在心裡。我們若用這樣來想,日常的生活,甚至聽佛的說法,現在佛沒有在人間,我們將法入心來,好好用功在我們平時,和環境在接觸,又再佛法入心,又在人事物的會合,這個法在我們的內心消化,應該入我們的心地裡來,我們應該也很清楚。所以,佛陀「以目視者,觀諸菩薩」。

以目視者觀諸菩薩:
位當亞聖
道越小賢
方才足以勝任大道
勤修守志奉道
體佛心懷
應佛募人持經
而願自薦

佛陀用目視,用眼睛來看,意思就是來觀察。所有的菩薩,你們既然發心了,除了這些比丘,羅漢以外,還有其他菩薩,發大心、立大願的菩薩,大家已經累生世修行,那個位已經慢慢進步,那個階位,應該是到「亞聖」的程度,所修行的道,也超越過了小賢。小賢就是小乘者,修小乘的人。已經超越了小乘,現在行在大乘,大乘法也已經真到頂了,才有辦法能來承擔這個責任。大家的法很充足入心了,也已經在人群中在付出,身體力行,道心堅固,度化眾生。已經有這樣的經驗,又願意發心,未來來接受這個法,這一定要有這樣的能力,才有辦法擔任這個持經傳法,這大乘道才有辦法來承擔。這是佛陀用眼睛來好好看,除了這些小乘者,畏懼在娑婆世界以外,也已經有發大心、立大願,已經在身體力行的這些菩薩,力量,發心,心的質和力,已經在人群中走過去的量也不少,修行,那個因的種子,也撒得很普遍,像這樣的人,才有辦法真正勝任。

所以,「勤修守志奉道,體佛心懷,應佛募人持經」。這就是很願意,已經勤修,也已經立志願了,願意守志奉道,不退轉的心志,走在這條路,願意這樣,才有辦法體會佛陀的心懷。真的自己是這樣,入人群,不忍眾生受苦難,才有辦法了解佛陀的悲智,這個心境,才有辦法了解。所以這樣的人,才能「應佛」,響應佛陀因為法來勸募人人,勸誘人人發大心、立大願來持,身體力行受持這部經。這部經不只是受持,法要入心;法入心,要深入人群,將這個法在人群中付出。這樣的人,佛陀盼望他們,「有人願意響應嗎?」自己來自我發願:「願,自薦。」自己推薦自己,很多人都不敢要在這裡,人人都說要去他方世界。佛陀現在所盼望的,在這個菩薩群中,已經心有準備,有成就的人,他的位置已經到了,到亞聖的程度,應該在這個時候,就要站起來講話,要自我推薦說,「我」,不是佛陀來點人,是要有人願意來自我推薦。

又諸比丘發心者
多捨此忍土
而許願往他土弘教
此乃不合聖意
故視諸菩薩
令其發願

這就是表示「諸比丘發心者,多捨此忍土,而許願往他土弘教」。就是因為佛陀要看,有人自己要自我推薦嗎?是因為所聽到這些比丘,佛陀為他們授記,知道修行能成佛,不過這些人雖然發心,但是要捨棄這個堪忍的世界,大家都要發願去其他的世界弘法教化。因為這樣,佛陀內心也是很憂愁:我在這個地方的弟子,怎麼沒有人願意,為這個苦難的地方願意付出,發願來生再來,生生世世在這個堪忍世界,來入人群去度化?大家怎麼這樣一直要逃避,捨棄這個地方,發願他方世界去?這不是佛的心意,佛陀的心意,是期待人人不怕辛苦,人人真正願入堪忍世界來。

所以,「此乃不合聖意」,不是佛的心意,故「佛視諸菩薩,令其發願」。因為這些人,都是要去其他地方,一直到了耶輸陀羅這群,也是這樣講,我們也願意弘法,但是,不是在這裡,我們可以去其他的地方。所以佛陀沒有回答他們,所以趕緊就看,大家有人願意發大心、立大願,自己起來自我推薦。這也就是因為這些人,捨堪忍此土,發願要到他方。

鄰極亞聖
謂菩薩內懷悲智
與佛相等
而實質因行
比佛略遜一籌者
稱為等覺
未達無上

「亞聖」就是說,這個位置已經和聖人差一點點,菩薩到達極位,就是還未成佛,但是已經是鄰近,接近佛的境界了。就像龍女,她已經因行圓滿,只是差這一點點而已,差這一點點,就這樣現個身來人間,這種有人有懷疑,啟他一個信心,這個因,差這一點點,一來就圓滿了,轉一個身就成佛了。同樣的道理,差一點點就到佛,成佛的境界,這樣的菩薩,菩薩是「內懷悲智,與佛相等」,因為了解佛的本懷,他也是因為,他已經內心修行體會眾生疾苦,不忍心眾生疾苦,所以願意生世駕慈航,入苦海度眾生,這我們過去也講過了,那就是悲智,有慈悲、有智慧,這樣的悲智與佛同等,這樣的菩薩「而實質因行」,實質,真正他的內心本質,修得很踏實,無虛,已經很踏實,行在菩薩道上。尤其是和佛相比較起來,差一點點,只是差一點而已,所以稱為「等覺」,不過未達無上。

等覺又稱
等正覺、有上士
非無上士
一生補處:
鄰極亞聖

佛陀是要到無上正等正覺,菩薩就是差這個「無上」,但是他也到等覺了,還沒有蓋過了佛的境界,所以他還要差一點點,所以叫做「等覺菩薩」。因為上面還有佛,所以叫做「有上士」,不是「無上士」,是上面還有佛。所以講起來,「鄰極亞聖」,那就是菩薩的位置,已經與佛將要同等了,因為他上面還有佛,差一點點而已。

賢:
證悟真理的人
叫做聖
比起無上正等覺者
稱之為賢

「賢」就是還沒有到聖位,證悟真理的人,叫做聖人,比起了無上正等覺的人,差一點點,稱為「賢」,上面還有佛,還有一個位,這樣也還是稱「賢」。若是越過了「賢」,就已經「無上正等正覺」,那就是「聖」,這就是只差一點點。所以,「是諸菩薩皆是阿惟越致」。

是諸菩薩
皆是阿惟越致:
此云不退轉
阿惟越致:
不退轉
不退轉成佛進路
之義
是菩薩階位之名

這些菩薩已經是「阿惟跋致」,也能夠叫做「阿鞞越致」,這是譯音,也就是不退轉,不退「成佛進路之義」,要到成佛的境界,在菩薩道中,絕對不退縮,不害怕,或者是這樣停滯下來,沒有,還是勇猛前進。這「不退轉」的意思,就是向佛的道路,這樣不斷向前前進走,這個行因要圓具,所以「是菩薩階位之名」,這叫做「阿惟越致」。

轉不退法輪:
菩薩自住不退轉地
阿鞞跋致者
阿之言無
鞞跋致之言退轉
復轉不退無上法輪

「轉不退法輪」,已經能夠開始代替佛,在教導眾生的菩薩,不少啊!看看,「現為聲聞身,內祕菩薩行」,前面佛也講過了。其實,在比丘群中,就像彌多羅尼子就是發大心,不怕苦,剛強的眾生,他不怕。所以,在這樣的地方,一而再的進入,佛陀還是問他:「若是傷害你的身體呢?」一直,處處他都不怕,還感恩,了達我這一生的因緣,「我能夠快快再來啊!」這種付出無所求,受盡了苦難、折磨,損身體、損命,他都不怕。這種層層、處處,就是抱著感恩心在修行,這就是在比丘群中的菩薩,不退轉,這大家都了解。所以,「不退法輪」,能夠去轉「不退轉」的法輪。

文殊菩薩去龍宮,也是代替釋迦佛度眾生。在娑婆世界,不只是在平地人間,哪怕是海中,他也是去度眾生。其實,文殊菩薩,本來就已經成佛了,去成就龍女,在娑婆這樣,能夠堅定大家的信心,眾生平等,去除疑念,這是功德一樁。所以,這個因圓具了,龍女轉個身成佛去了,這就是菩薩,差一點點,這樣,就是差這樣而已,所以叫做「菩薩自住不退轉地。自己不退轉;教導眾生,也是期待眾生不退轉。不是短時間就能夠成就,就是要長時間,剛才說「經一大阿僧祇劫」,要很久的時間。所以雖然是差一點點,但是也要長時間。所以,「阿鞞跋致」,就是剛才說的「阿惟越致」同樣音譯,就是不退轉。所以,不退轉的心念,一直向前精進。「復轉不退無上法輪」。轉眾生的心輪,轉小乘的心輪,轉大乘的心輪,這樣不斷轉,度凡夫,轉凡為賢,轉賢為聖,這樣一層一層,就是不斷在轉法輪。所以,不退轉,我們才有辦法「得諸陀羅尼」,叫做「總一切法,持一切善」,就是總一切法,這叫做「總持門」。「是諸菩薩得此三昧,總皆攝持,護善遮惡」,這叫做「陀羅尼」。

得諸陀羅尼:
此云總一切法
持一切善
是諸菩薩得此三昧
總皆攝持
護善遮惡

這個「三昧」,「三昧」就是正念。我們正念全都能攝受下來,佛陀講經講多久啊,無不都是希望我們人人能夠一念的正念,正念、正信、正知見,將這個法攝受了,所有的法全都攝受起來,這叫做「總持」。將所有的惡都完全遮蓋掉,就是去除一切的無明煩惱,去除一切罪惡過咎,完全都將它隔離掉,讓它惡不生,善增長。我們過去不是講過,「持一切善」,也是「除一切惡」,這就是修善,也是滅惡,同樣的道理。

所以,梵語叫做「陀羅尼」,華言叫做「能持」,也就是「謂菩薩能持諸善法,令不散不失」,這就是「總持」的意思。

梵語「陀羅尼」
華言「能持」
謂菩薩能持諸善法
令不散不失
又云「總持」
謂能持善不失
持惡不生
是名陀羅尼

一切的善法,我們全都要修,修一切善;一切的惡,我們都要全都斷,所以這叫做「持諸善法,令不散不失」。這個法不要讓它散失掉。

又再說,「總持」,就是「能持善不失,持惡不生」。就是修善、斷惡。「持惡不生」,就是斷惡。叫做「陀羅尼」,「修一切善,斷一切惡」。所以,我們學佛就是要這樣,日日在人、事、物中,在時間,空間之中,我們時時都是在為人群在付出,雖然辛苦,為了行菩薩道,為了學佛要成佛,所以我們的心絕對不退轉,不退轉叫做「阿惟越致」。心要安住不生滅,不生滅,我們才能夠漸漸一直精進,因圓果海,趣向了成佛的道路,所以「圓因趨果」,這過去也一直講過了,這就是菩薩要走的路。雖然時間很長,但是時間長,我們分秒不空過。我們不要去計較時間長短,做就對了!日常的生活,「四修法」用在日常中,我們能夠長時修,我們能夠無餘修,無間修,尊重修;在人間裡日日精進,自然能夠持一切法,斷一切惡,持善、斷惡,在這個不退轉的位置,就是這樣,和佛,能夠接近佛的位置,當然時間還要很長久。

不過,我們還是這樣修,佛陀所期待的,不是要聽說:「我願意,但是,我想要去其他的地方。其他的地方,也有很多人需要我去。我若去那個地方,我也能夠將這個精神,帶去那個地方。」這個地方,這麼多需要的事情,需要你做,為什麼你要去其他的地方呢?同樣的道理。總而言之,不要找藉口,該做的事情在手邊,該度的人在身邊,在這個就近,我們能夠做的事情,我們能夠付出的,就把握現在時間,做就對了。所以要時時多用心。


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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: Reaching the State of Non-Retreating ( 因圓趨果 得不退轉)
Date: June.19.2018

“Avaivartikas never retreat; their minds abide peacefully in a state of non-rising and non-ceasing. To approach fruition and attain Buddhahood means to completely fulfill the causal practice of Bodhisattvas. For one great asankya kalpa, we must engage in extended practice, practice with nothing further and uninterrupted practice until we reach the state of non-retreating and enter the retaining and upholding of all Dharma.”

The translation of “avaivartika” is “one who does not retreat.” When we are non-retreating, our “minds abide peacefully in a state of non-rising and non-ceasing.” Spiritual practitioners always advance wholeheartedly along the path, never retreating from their firm aspirations. This is what it means to be an “avaivartika”. As for the state of our spiritual practice, we hope that we will be able to become like this. We must use wisdom to determine our faith, which gives us our direction in life. Now that we have determined this for ourselves, we must heighten our faith and wholeheartedly advance with diligence. Of course, we must never retreat.

Our mind must abide peacefully in a state of non-arising and non-ceasing so that we will be able to “approach fruition and attain Buddhahood.” The meaning of this is that we definitely need to walk the Bodhisattva-path. We must wholeheartedly advance upon this Bodhisattva-path to “completely fulfill [our] causal practice.” We must completely fulfill the causal practice of Bodhisattvas. This is what we have been discussing recently. “Bodhisattvas engage in myriad practices to completely fulfill the causal practice,” thus “perfecting the causes to approach fruition.” We are always talking about this. As Buddhist practitioners, our goal in learning the Buddha’s teachings is to attain Buddhahood. In the process, we must certainly go among people to practice the Bodhisattva-path. People have many afflictions and hardships. We must respond to the afflictions and suffering of all sentient beings by finding ways to relieve sentient beings of their afflictions and eliminate their suffering. These myriad [practices] are the Bodhisattva-path; we are actualizing the Six Paramitas in all actions in response to sentient beings’ needs. In this way, we put the Dharma into practice and sow seeds. For each seed to sprout and become a great tree that blossoms and bears fruit will take a very long time. We must do this for longer than one great asankya kalpa. How long is one small kalpa? We all know this. Twenty small kalpas is one medium kalpa. Four medium kalpas is one great kalpa. We must [practice] for such a long time as this. After [practicing] for such a long period of time, will we have completely fulfilled the causal practice of Bodhisattvas? This depends on whether we are diligent and put the Dharma into practice without ever retreating, with our minds abiding peacefully in a state of non-arising and non-ceasing. When minds are non-arising and non-ceasing, we will not give rise to afflictions, and we will not cease in our spiritual aspirations. Our minds, our spiritual aspirations, must abide peacefully. We cannot allow our environment, people, matters or things to influence our minds, causing our thoughts to arise and cease. We walk the Bodhisattva-path, but in this world, as the Buddha teaches, in the material world there is formation, existence, decay and disappearance. Within our minds, there is arising, abiding, changing and ceasing. But as for the minds of Bodhisattvas, our spiritual cultivation begins with “abiding” in faith; there must be no changing and no ceasing. As we have given rise to faith, we can discover our nature of True Suchness. Our nature of True Suchness is inherently non-arising and non-ceasing; it has neither beginning nor end. It came with us in the beginning, and we have always [had it]. Whenever we come [into being], at that time we are already replete in our nature of True Suchness. This is the true principle. This is the principle. So, the nature of True Suchness is the same for all things in the world, let alone humans. Furthermore, we are able to realize that the true principles neither arise nor cease.

The material world consists of formation, existence, decay and disappearance. This is the world of material existence. Our nature of True Suchness, this true principle, has always been with us from the beginning. We must use time and space and relationships, lifetime after lifetime, to see if we can clearly understand this profound and wondrous true principles, if we can deeply realize it.

When we converge with the principles, we enter the path. This is the goal of our spiritual practice. So, now that we have faith, we must abide [in it]. “Avaivartikas never retreat”. Our minds must abide peacefully in a state that is free of arising, abiding, changing and ceasing. Our minds must be free of arising and ceasing; there must be no initial arising, nor any moment of ceasing. Single-minded in our resolve, we must walk the Bodhisattva-path in this way. We must completely fulfill our causal practice. It is fine if the takes us a long time to do. This is our fundamental duty. We should not worry about how long it will take. We must make the Dharma our one great cause in life. Now that we have come to this world, we should not worry about how long we are here.

If it is the right thing of us to do, just do it. If they are the true principles, just seek them. Even though the Buddha-Dharma always says that it takes a very long time to attain Buddhahood, if we do not pay attention to the time, if we regard our search for the principles as something we do regardless of how long it takes, we will naturally seize the present moment and sustain it forever. If we can do this “for one great asankya kalpa,” naturally, for a very long time, our every thought will be this [same] thought.

We have talked about the Four Practices, extended practice, practice with nothing further, uninterrupted practice and practice with reverence.

When we engage in the Four Practices in our daily living, we do not need to worry about how long it takes. Our practice will always be “extended”; we will engage in practice for a long time. “Nothing further” means there will be no gaps; in or every thought, we devote our entire lives to spiritual practice. In our every word, in our every thought, in our every action, we are completely engaged in spiritual practice. We practice uninterruptedly, continuously. At all times, we revere all Dharma, respect all people and have reverence for all matters. We work hard to cultivate our own minds. When among people, matters and things, we constantly maintain this broad and pure-hearted mindset in our lives. If it is right, we just do it. “Seize the moment and sustain it forever.” Time accumulates by lifetimes and by seconds. “Lifetimes” are a long time. Seconds are short. Without interruption, we must all maintain the same mindset and earnestly engage in spiritual practice. This is our fundamental duty. Our nature of True Suchness is both beginningless and endless. So, our minds must abide peacefully. If we can reach this level, “We will reach the state of non-retreating.” We, too, will become avaivartikas.

At this stage, our progress along the Bodhisattva-path will be everlasting; we will never retreat, not even for a second. So, we must “enter the door of retaining and upholding and obtain all Dharma”. If we are able to do this consistently, for both extended and short periods of time, we will always be “actualizing the Six Paramitas in all actions”. This is “perfecting the causes to be replete with the fruits”. We will naturally approach fruition and attain Buddhahood. The meaning is all here, so we must always be mindful.

The previous passage says, “At that time, Mahaprajapati Bhiksuni and Yaskdhara Bhiksuni, along with their retinue, all experienced great joy, having attained what they never had before.”

We all know why they “all experienced great joy”. It was because the Buddha called their names to bestow predictions of Buddhahood upon them. So, they all felt great joy.

Then, “Immediately, before the Buddha, they spoke in verse.” Everyone rejoiced and spoke in verse to give praise to the World-Honored One. “The World-Honored One brings peace and stability to heavenly and human beings. We have all heard our predictions, and our minds are peaceful and fulfilled.”

They spoke in verse to praise the Buddha for being able to bring peace and stability to heavenly begins and to humans in this world. He enable everyone to attain the true principles, the principles that enable their bodies and minds to abide in peace. At the same time, they all comprehended the true principles, which gave everyone a direction. They knew how to engage in spiritual practice; this is what their spiritual practice was like in the past, and in the future, it will be the same. This is the right direction. Because the Buddha had already bestowed predictions upon them, they formed great aspirations for lifetime after lifetime. In the future, they will have to opportunity to attain Buddhahood. They will listen to, teach and transmit the Dharma, so they received their predictions. This brought peace and stability to their minds. They were very sure of themselves. For Mahaprajapati Bhiksuni, Yasodhara Bhiksuni and the 6000 bhiksunis, everyone’s minds were at peace and at ease, so they expressed their gratitude to the Buddha in verse.

Next it says, “After those bhiksunis spoke this verse, they said to the Buddha, ‘World-Honored One, we are all also able to go to other lands to widely promote this sutra’.”

They praised the Buddha and expressed their intent, and then they made vows to the Buddha again. “We are all willing. We are all willing to spread this Dharma. However, we hope to go to other lands to widely promote this sutra.” This was the same vow made by the previous bhiksus. No one dared remain in the Saha World. This land is hard to endure. Sentient beings of this land are stubborn and evil.

Indeed, it is full of so many hardships. So, everyone hoped to go to other lands. This Saha World of our is very hard to endure. It takes great patience to endure it. Since we are here, we must be at peace; we must be able to patiently endure. Without patience, it will be truly difficult to endure. These spiritual practitioners understood suffering, so they sought an end to suffering. They wanted to eliminate suffering, so they feared returning to this vat of defilement. In this vat of defilement, they feared that if they were not strong enough, they would become defiled again. If we do not protect ourselves enough, we will not be strong enough to extricate ourselves from all of this defilement and we will soon become defiled again. So, no one dared to return here. They were only willing to go to other worlds to transform sentient beings. They did not dare to come back here again.

The following [sutra] passage says, “At that time, the World-Honored One looked at the 80 trillion nayutas of Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas. Those Bodhisattvas were all avaivartikas who turned the non-retreating Dharma-wheel and had attained all dharanis.

In the previous [sutra] passage, we read about how Mahaprajapati and Yasodhara made vows before the Buddha. Although they also [vowed] to spread the Dharma, they wanted to go to other lands [to do this]. The Buddha did not express any intention and made no reply to them. The Buddha simply gazed out; how many [Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas] did he see? “80 trillion nayutas of Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas”. How large did this space have to be to be able to accommodate so many people? In fact, what the Buddha hoped to see was infinite, countless Bodhisattvas.

At that time, the World-Honored One looked at the 80 trillion nayutas of Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas: The World-Honored One’s compassionate eyes gazed upon the entire assembly of all the great Bodhisattvas and disciples whom He had transformed.

Earlier, we talked about the number 6.8 trillion, [which represents] the “six senses” as well as [the afflictions] in our minds, all 800 billion of them. We have so many different states of mind. Just the same, if we can control our minds, our six senses and our minds will become pure. If we can do this, we will all form great aspirations. There were also dedicated Bodhisattvas who had engaged in spiritual practice in this world for many lifetimes. Also, at the Dharma-assembly for the Lotus Sutra, there were many Dharma-protectors who came to the Saha World. There were also Bodhisattvas who helped the Buddha transform [sentient beings]; they were there too! So many of them had already arrived! We are always talking about the Dharma-protectors of the human and heavenly realms; there were also very many of them. Whether they already practiced the Great Vehicle Dharma as Dharmakaya Bodhisattvas, or whether it was the Buddha’s [other] teachings, in everyone’s minds, they gave rise to so much Dharma; this was the Buddha’s multiple manifestations, which had all returned to their proper place. Everyone was able to take this Dharma to heart. Then, from their own perspectives, this Dharma again gave rise to infinite principles. This is like how after listening to the Dharma, everyone comes together to share, “This is what I have heard”. They all came together again in this world. The insights they had gained were also Dharma.

In the Chapter on Seeing the Stupa of Treasures, in order to see Many Treasures Buddha, Sakyamuni Buddha had to gather His many manifestations throughout the ten directions to return to Their place. During this time, I kept telling everyone, “Do not forget a word of the Dharma you hear. “You must quickly recall it, remember it, and return to its place in your mind”. It is the same principle.

“The World-Honored One gazed upon the entire assembly, all the great Bodhisattvas and disciples whom He had transformed”. The Buddha taught His true principles, and everyone absorbed them. The transformation-body Buddhas accepted the Buddha-Dharma, and, naturally, they were transformed. Everyone had taken this Dharma to heart. Everyone had absorbed it in their minds. These were the disciples present at the assembly. “Whom He had transformed” means that the Dharma the Buddha taught had already been absorbed by everyone. These disciples who had formed aspirations each had infinite Dharma in their minds. They had turned from the Small Vehicle to the Great Vehicle Dharma. The Dharma was clear in their minds. If we think about it this way, we will [see it] in our daily lives or even as we listen to the Buddha teach the Dharma. Now the Buddha is no longer in this world, but if we take the Dharma to heart and work hard when we are regularly interacting with our environment, we again take the Buddha-Dharma to heart and bring it together with people, matters and things. If our minds can absorb this Dharma, it will enter into the ground of our minds, and we will understand it very clearly. So, the Buddha “gazed upon all the Bodhisattvas”.

He gazed upon all the Bodhisattvas. Only these nearing the of Buddhahood had surpassed the small sages on the path and were qualified to undertake the great path. These people practiced diligently, upheld their aspirations, followed the path and comprehended the Buddha’s intent. They responded to the Buddha’s search for people to uphold the sutra and were willing to volunteer themselves.

The Buddha gazed out with His eyes. This means that He observed [the assembly]. “All of you Bodhisattvas, since you have formed aspirations…”. Besides the bhiksus and Arhats, there were also other Bodhisattvas. They were Bodhisattvas who formed great aspirations and made great vows. They had all engaged in spiritual practice for many lifetimes. At that stage, they were already slowly advancing. At that stage, they must have been at the level of “those nearing the stage of Buddhahood”. On the path they practiced, they had already surpassed the small sages. Small sages are Small Vehicle practitioners, those who practice the Small Vehicle [teachings]. They had already surpassed the Small Vehicle and were now practicing the Great Vehicle [teachings]. They had already truly reached the peak of the Great Vehicle [practice], so they were able to take on this responsibility.

Everyone had fully taken the Dharma to heart and had already gone among people to serve others; they put [the Dharma] into action with firm spiritual aspirations to transform sentient beings. They already had this kind of experience. They were also willing to form aspirations to accept this Dharma in the future. They definitely needed to have these abilities. Only then could they shoulder the responsibility to uphold this sutra and spread this Dharma. Only then could the take up this responsibility for the Great Vehicle. This is what the Buddha earnestly observed in addition to these Small Vehicle practitioners who feared the Saha World, there were also Bodhisattvas who had already formed great aspirations and made great vows and put them into action. They had the strength and the aspirations. By the quality and strength of their aspirations, they had already gone among people and walked [this path] among so many people. In their spiritual practice, they had broadly scattered their causal seeds.

Only people like this will be truly capable of undertaking [the great path]. “These people practiced diligently, upheld their aspirations, followed the path and comprehended the Buddha’s intent”. They responded to the Buddha’s search for people to uphold the sutra. They were very willing. They had been practicing diligently and had already made great vows. They willingly upheld their aspirations and followed the path. Because they did not retreat from their aspirations and walked along this path willingly, they were able to understand the Buddha’s intent.

Only if we can be like this as we go among people, our hearts going out to suffering sentient beings, will we understand the Buddha’s compassion and wisdom. Only with this state of mind will we be able to comprehend this. So, it was people like this who were able to “respond to the Buddha”. They responded to how the Buddha recruited everyone for the sake of the Dharma. He led them to form great aspirations and make great vows to put the Dharma into action and uphold this sutra.

They not only had to uphold this sutra but also take the Dharma to heart. After taking the Dharma to heart, they had to go deeply into the community and [apply] this Dharma in the service of others. These were the people the Buddha hoped for “Is anyone willing to respond?” “Then you must vow to yourselves, I am willing”. They needed to volunteer themselves. Many people did not dare to remain here. They all said they wanted to go to other lands.

Now the Buddha hoped that, among this group of Bodhisattvas, there would be those who had already mentally prepared themselves, those who were already accomplished. They had already reached this stage, the level of those nearing the stage of Buddhahood. At this time, they had to stand up to volunteer themselves, saying, “I will [do this]”. The Buddha would not pick people; they had to be willing to volunteer themselves.

Moreover, of those bhiksus who formed aspirations, most [wanted to] abandon this land of endurance to advance the teachings in other lands. This did not accord with the Buddha’s intent, so He gazed upon those Bodhisattvas to urge them to make vows. This meant that “Of those bhiksus who formed aspirations, most [wanted to] abandon this land of endurance of advance the teachings in other lands”.

The Buddha wanted to see if anyone would volunteer themselves, because He had been listening to these bhiksus. The Buddha had bestowed predictions on them, knowing they would be able to attain Buddhahood. Although these people had formed aspirations, they wanted to give up on this world of endurance. Everyone wanted to make vows to go to other lands to spread the Dharma and teach and transform. Because of this, the Buddha’s heart was full of worry. “Why is it that among y disciples here, none of them are willing to serve this place of suffering and hardships, to make vows to return, lifetime after lifetime, to this world that is hard to endure and go among people to transform them?” Why is everyone always trying to escape, to give up on this place and make vows to go to other lands instead?

This was not the Buddha’s intent The Buddha’s intent was a hope that no one would fear the hardship, that everyone would genuinely be willing to come into this world that must be endured. So, “They did not accord with the Buddha’s intent”. This was not the Buddha’s intent. Thus, He “gazed upon those Bodhisattvas to urge them to make vows”. This was because these people all wanted to go to other places; when it came to Yasodhara’s group, they also said the same thing. “We are also willing to spread the Dharma, but we do not want to do it here”. We can go to other places.

So, the Buddha did not reply to them and simply observed if anyone was willing to form great aspirations, make great vows and rise up to volunteer themselves. [He did this] because all these people wanted to abandon this land and made vows to go to other lands.

Those nearing the stage of Buddhahood are Bodhisattvas who are equal in compassion and wisdom to the Buddha, while the actual substance of their causal practice is slightly inferior to the Buddha’s. This is called the stage of equal enlightenment; they have yet to reach unsurpassed enlightenment.

“Those nearing the stage of Buddhahood” refer to a stage slightly lower than Buddhahood. They have reached the highest stage of Bodhisattvas, they just have yet to attain Buddhahood. However, they are already approaching and drawing near the state of Buddhahood. This is like the dragon girl. She had fulfilled her causal practice. She was only short a small amount; this is why she came to this world in this body. Some people had their doubts about her. She inspired faith in them, and so her causes, which were slightly imperfect were soon fulfilled, and she transformed her body to attain Buddhahood. It is the same principle. She went from falling a little short to reaching Buddhahood; she attained the state of Buddhahood. She was this kind of Bodhisattva. These Bodhisattvas are “equal in compassion and wisdom to the Buddha”. This is because they understand the Buddha’s original intent. This is also because they have already engaged in the internal practice of experiencing sentient beings’ suffering. They cannot bear to let sentient beings suffer, so they are willing to return on the ship of compassion to this world and enter the sea of suffering to transform sentient beings. We have discussed this before. This is compassion and wisdom. They have compassion and wisdom. Their compassion and wisdom are equal to the Buddha’s, they are this kind of Bodhisattva. In “the actual substance of their causal practice, actual substance” [refers to] their inner character. They are steadfast in their spiritual practice. They are genuine and are very steadfast in practicing the Bodhisattva-path. Remarkably, when compared to the Buddha, there is only a slight difference between them. This is called the “stage of equal enlightenment”. However, they have yet to reach unsurpassed enlightenment.

Those at the stage of equal enlightenment are also called perfect realizers and surpassed beings; they are not yet unsurpassed beings. They are one lifetime away from becoming a Buddha: They are those nearing the stage of Buddhahood.

The Buddha has attained supreme, universal and perfect enlightenment. Bodhisattvas are lacking in the “supreme” part, but they have attained “equal enlightenment”. They have not to reach the state of Buddhahood, so they still fall slightly short. This is a Bodhisattva of Equal Enlightenment. Buddhas are still above them, so they are called “surpassed beings”. They are not “unsurpassed beings”. There are still Buddhas above them.

So, “those nearing the stage of Buddhahood” are at the stage of Bodhisattvas. They are already equal to the Buddha, but because Buddhas are still above them, they still fall slightly short. These “sages” have yet to reach the stage of Buddhahood. One who is awakened to the true principles is a Buddha. Compared to those who have attained supreme, universal and perfect enlightenment, they fall slightly short. They are called “sages”. The Buddha is still above them; there is still this stage [above them], so they are called “sages”. When one surpasses “sagehood,” one will attain “supreme, universal and perfect enlightenment;” this is what it means to be a “Buddah”. This means they are just a little short. So, “Those Bodhisattvas were all avaivartikas”.

Those Bodhisattvas were all avaivartikas: This means they never retreat. Avaivartika: One who never retreats. This means they never retreat on the path to Buddhahood. This is a name for one of the stages of Bodhisattvas.

These Bodhisattvas were already “avaivartikas”. This is a transliteration, which means non-retreating. “This means they will never retreat from the path to Buddhahood”. To reach the state of Buddhahood, we must never retreat or shrink from the Bodhisattva-path. We cannot be afraid or stop along the way. We cannot. We must courageously press forward. This is the meaning of “non-retreating”. It is to follow the path to Buddhahood while constantly advancing forward. This is how we fulfill our causal practice. So, “This is a name for one of the stages of Bodhisattvas”. This is the meaning of “avaivartika”.

[They] turned the non-retreating Dharma-wheel: These were bodhisattvas who abided in the state of non-retreating. In “avairartika,” “a” means “non-,” “vaivartika” means “retreating”. This also refers to turning the non-retreating, unsurpassed Dharma-wheel.

They “turned the non-retreating Dharma-wheel”. The Bodhisattvas who had already begun to teach and guide sentient begins on the Buddha’s behalf were so many! Think about it. “Outwardly appearing as Hearers, they” “inwardly secretly practiced as Bodhisattvas”. The Buddha spoke of this previously. In fact, among the bhiksus, Purna Maitrayaniputra had formed great aspirations. He did not fear hardships or stubborn sentient beings; he was fearless. So, he came to this place again and again. The Buddha even asked him, “What if you get hurt?” Over and over, he was not afraid to go anywhere, and was even grateful. “When I fulfill my causes and conditions in this life, I will come back again soon”. He served like this without expectations, enduring great suffering and torment. He did not fear bodily harm or loss of life.

In every level and at every place, he practiced with a mind of gratitude. He was a Bodhisattva among the bhiksus. He never retreated. Everyone knows this. So, as for “the non-retreating Dharma-wheel,” they were able to turn the “non-retreating” Dharma-wheel. Manjusri Bodhisattva went to the dragon palace to transform sentient beings on the Buddha’s behalf. In the Saha World, he did not just go to the human realm on land, but even went to the ocean in order to transform sentient beings. In fact, Manjusri Bodhisattva had already attained Buddhahood before and went to help the dragon girl succeed in the Saha World, to be able to strengthen everyone’s faith. All sentient beings are equal; he eliminated peoples’ doubts about this. This is an example of merits and virtues. So, with her causes perfectly fulfilled, the dragon girl transformed her body and attained Buddhahood. This is what it means to be a Bodhsiattva. They were only missing a little bit; they were just short in this regard. So, they were “Bodhisattvas who abided in the state of non-retreating”. They never retreated; in teaching and guiding sentient beings, they hoped sentient beings would not retreat either. This cannot be achieved in a short amount of time, but requires a long period of time. We just said they had to undergo “one great asankya kalpa”. This takes a very long time. So, even though they were only slightly short, it would still take them a very long time. So, this is an “avaivartika,” as we just mentioned. This means “non-retreating”. Thus, to have a non-retreating mindset means to always press diligently forward. So, “This also refers to turning the non-retreating, unsurpassed Dharma-wheel”. They turned the wheel insentient beings’ minds, turned the wheel in Small Vehicle [practitioners’] minds and turned the wheel in Great Vehicle [practitioners’] minds. Thus, they continually turned [the wheel] to transform ordinary beings and turn them into sages and turn sages into Buddhas. So, layer by layer, they constantly turned the Dharma-wheel.

Because they never retreated, they were able to “attain all dharanis”. This means “retaining all Dharma and upholding all goodness”. This is the “door of retaining and upholding. These Bodhisattvas had all attained this Samadhi. They all disciplined themselves to sustain goodness and prevent evil”.

This is the meaning of “dharanis”. This is “Samadhi”. “Samadhi” is right concentration, using right mindfulness to retain everything. The Buddha taught the sutras for such a long time! He did all this hoping that we would all be able to have right mindfulness, right mindfulness, right faith, right views and understanding to take in this Dharma. To take in the Dharma in its entirety is called “retaining and upholding.” By completely preventing all evil, we will eliminate all ignorance and afflictions. We will eliminate all transgressions. Once they are completely eliminated, evil will not arise, and goodness will be nurtured.

In the past we talked about “upholding all goodness” and “eliminating all evil.” This is cultivating goodness and extinguishing evil. It is the same principle. So, the Sanskrit is “dharani.” In Chinese, this means “able to uphold,” and it also refers to “Bodh
isattvas who are able to uphold all virtuous teachings without ever losing them.” This is the meaning of “retaining and upholding.”

From the Sanskrit, “dharani” is translated as “able to uphold.” It refers to Bodhisattvas who are able to uphold all virtuous teachings without ever losing them. It also means “retaining and upholding.” This means being able to uphold goodness so it will not be lost and evil will not arise. This is called dharani.

We must practice all virtuous Dharma. We cultivate all that is good and eliminate all that is evil. So, this is what it means to “uphold all virtuous teachings without ever losing them.” We cannot allow this Dharma to slip away. It also says that “retaining and upholding” means being “able to uphold all goodness so it will not be lost and evil will not arise.” This is cultivating goodness and eliminating evil. “Evil will not arise” means to eliminate evil. This is the meaning of “dharani.”

“Do all that is good, eliminate all that is evil.” So, as Buddhist practitioners, we must be like this. Every day, among people, matters and things, amidst time and space, we must constantly serve others. Although this is difficult, in order to walk the Bodhisattva-path, learn the Buddha-Dharma and attain Buddhahood, we must never, ever retreat. Those who never retreat are called “avaivartikas.” Our minds must abide peacefully in a state of non-arising and non-ceasing. When they do not arise or cease, we can gradually and diligently advance. A seed contains an ocean of fruits. As we advance towards the path to Buddhahood, we “perfect the causes to approach fruition.” We kept talking about this before. This is walking the Bodhisattva-path. Although this takes a long time, we cannot waste a single second. We cannot worry over the length of time. If it is right, just do it. In our daily lives, we must apply the Four Practices. We must be able to engage in extended practice, practice with nothing further, uninterrupted practice and practice with reverence. We must diligently advance every day in this world. Then we will be able to uphold all Dharma and eliminate all that is evil. By upholding all good and eliminating all evil, we will abide in the stage of non-retreating, which enables us to draw near the stage of Buddhahood. Of course, this will take a very long time, but we must still engage in practice this way. The Buddha does not hope to hear us say, “I am willing, but I want to go to other lands. There are still many people in other lands, so I need to go there. If I go to other lands, I will be able to bring this spirit into other lands.” Right here in this place, there are so many things that we need to do. Why would we want to go anywhere else? It is the same principle.

To sum it up, do not make excuses. What needs to be done is right in front of us. Those who need to be transformed are right next to us. For those near us, in order to do what we can, in order to give what we can, we must seize our time to do what is right. Therefore, we must always be mindful!

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