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 20180620《靜思妙蓮華》承佛目視 待佛教敕 (第1374集) (法華經·勸持品第十三)

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發表主題: 20180620《靜思妙蓮華》承佛目視 待佛教敕 (第1374集) (法華經·勸持品第十三)   周二 6月 19, 2018 7:52 pm

20180620《靜思妙蓮華》承佛目視 待佛教敕 (第1374集) (法華經·勸持品第十三)

⊙身心定於一處雙手合掌,表一心即專心虔誠意念;累生世立弘願隨順聖教,誠正信實慇懃懇切弘誓。
⊙顯述其德階位承目視之意,故避座起向前極思欲持經,奈何忖己德業慮未能及故,作念待請教令廣傳斯妙法。
⊙「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》
⊙「即從座起,至於佛前,一心合掌而作是念:若世尊告敕我等持說此經者,當如佛教,廣宣斯法。」《法華經勸持品第十三》
⊙即從座起,至於佛前,一心合掌:諸大菩薩,萬行法具足因圓,八十萬億,見佛一視,善解知機。故從座起,合掌具儀,致敬於佛。
⊙而作是念,若世尊告敕我等持說此經者:眾心作念,若蒙世尊教敕使我等,受持讀說此經典者。承佛目視之意,故避座向前,思欲持經,奈何心想而言未及,故作念敬恭待佛教敕。
⊙「復作是念:佛今默然,不見告敕,我當云何?時諸菩薩敬順佛意,并欲自滿本願。」《法華經勸持品第十三》
⊙謂今佛默然,意必藏有玄津在,未聞其教誡,不敢自作專意。
⊙復作是念,佛今默然,不見告敕:又復作意,如是念言。佛於今者,但只默然,不見發言,告喻教敕。
⊙我當云何,時諸菩薩,敬順佛意:我等今是當如之何,敬順如來前寶塔品付囑之意。
⊙敬順佛意有二:一者,目視即是遣使,不待言也。二者,欲人擔荷此法,持說不泯故。我等繼志述事,便是敬承聖意,何待言命,然後發願。
⊙并欲自滿本願:并欲自滿菩薩所修本有行願。本願:一乘之道,已覺於己,復以覺人。
⊙上使法鼓常鳴,下驚覺群迷不寐,此是本願。一舉兩得,故云敬順自滿。

【證嚴上人開示】
身心定於一處雙手合掌,表一心即專心虔誠意念;累生世立弘願隨順聖教,誠正信實慇懃懇切弘誓。

身心定於一處
雙手合掌
表一心即專心
虔誠意念
累生世立弘願
隨順聖教
誠正信實
慇懃懇切弘誓

用心,我們要好好時時,將我們的心定下來。從初發心一念,一直來生來世,生生世世都是一心,所以我們的身在哪裡,我們的心就在哪裡。聽經這個時候,心就是在現在;坐在這個地方,身在這裡,心也在這裡。定,定在一處,舉這個時間,那就是表達出了日日、時時,都是一樣。昨天我們說過了,時間長,累生世,無量數劫。長的時間,短在時、日、剎那,這全都叫時間。好好應用時間,那念當下的時間,就是好好堅持下去,這也就是塵點劫,累生世,無不都是同在最初那念心。這個心,隨著我們的身形,就是一直這樣「定於一處」。

現在所說的就是在法華會上,大家聽法也是用這樣的心。事相、理相會合在一起。事相,就是那個時候,那個場合,大家同坐一起,「身心定於一處,雙手合掌」,這看得到的,這就是叫做事相;若是「表一心即專心,虔誠意念」。這是表示理相。我們的心,「把握當下,恆持剎那」,用這樣來形容,這是語言形容道理的深處,那就是一念間就是永恆。我們永遠都是這念心,心專意念,表示是最虔誠的心,這是看不到,卻是,是我們的內心,真心就是道理。所以,我們人人要心和理相會,就是要從一心;一心就是專心無雜念,虔誠,用最虔誠誠懇的心意,這虔誠的意念。

所以,事、理會合,就是前面所說的「智」來契「理」,這就是要事、理會合,我們要很用心。剎那短暫的時間,這是可以在我們一念,這樣來堅持,這念心就「累生世立弘願」。諸佛菩薩就是這樣來的,發一念心,長時間永恆,這我們常常在說。這永恆,無始無終,這樣沒辦法,去追究到什麼時開始,叫做無始。過去是這樣,現在是這樣,未來也是這樣,那就是弘願,這種弘誓願,「隨順聖教」。諸佛無不都是這樣過來的,是心合於真理,都是這樣不斷過來,沒有讓他迷失掉,都是靠著這分的誠意。所以,「誠正信實」的慇懃。我們前面也說「四弘誓願」,常常說,因為這是我們傳法立宗很重要,「誠正信實」。人人學佛要有「四弘誓願」,慈濟人入慈濟宗門來,成為慈濟人要依教奉行。我們的法就是要傳,要有心願,與佛一樣,他也是要立願。

「四弘誓願」,「眾生無邊誓願度,煩惱無盡誓願斷,法門無量誓願學,佛道無上誓願成」,我們一定要誠意,誠意才有辦法立下弘願。在人群中不怕辛苦,不怕繁雜,不怕時間長,那就是要勇猛精進;虔誠的心,才有辦法一心一志,勇猛精進。這就是「誠」,誠心才能願度眾生;也要「正」,正心,我們才能願斷煩惱;我們要有「信」心,才能願學法門;我們還要有「實」心,我們才能願成佛。這就是以誠、正、信、實,要很懇切,這樣很慇懃,表達我們內心不敢懈怠,慇懃就是精進,「四弘誓願」,「誠正信實」,我們很懇切。所以,這樣來立弘誓願,這是我們人人要用心。

隨時任何一個時間,任何一個地方,我們的身心都要定於一處,要表達我們的虔誠心意,我們要無始,從發心願一直到未來,我們都要這樣累生世發弘願,我們要隨順正教,必定誠正信實,慇懃懇切弘願,我們才有辦法達到我們的目標。所以要用心,不要用我們一般凡夫,只是在人、事、物中,這樣在忙忙碌碌、起起落落,這樣永遠都不會進步。忙碌在人間是要用心,方向對準了,步步精進;方向若對不準,差毫釐,失千里,要真誠用心。所以,前面我們也說過,很多菩薩在場,到底是多少?很多哦!無法算計。數字,常常跟大家說,是表達一個意境,最重要的就是比丘、比丘尼,前後得佛授記,人人願意發心,卻是人人都不敢在娑婆世界。大家雖然發願,但娑婆世界眾生剛強,不敢在這裡,發願就是要往他方世界去,這是大家的心願。

佛陀內心覺得很無奈,這些弟子,已經是四十多年來的教育,從小乘學者,循循善誘,一直到了開始知道一乘實法,這個道理已經了解了。就是<譬喻品>三車為一車,這也了解了。尤其是自己的了解,<信解品>也提出,弟子也自己形容,富長者與貧窮子的關係,也形容得很貼切。但是,一直到現在,甚至還有身懷寶珠而自不知。這在一乘的道理,好像大家都發現了,大乘法體會了解了,卻是人人還是不敢發願,在娑婆世界度化眾生。雖然發願,他也要去他方世界。但是佛陀,釋迦牟尼佛是累生世,都是發願在娑婆,堪忍的世界,他生生世世一大事因緣來人間,卻是,這些弟子不敢繼承佛志,這就是他對這弟子的發願。雖然耶輸陀羅也得記了,摩訶波闍波提所領導,六千比丘尼也已經得授記了,但是他們也發願:「我願意發願,我願意奉持《法華經》,我願意度化眾生,但是我不敢在娑婆世界,我們也要去他方世界。」佛陀就是默然。

但是他的眼光就來掃視,看看在座的弟子,這些人,「你們難道沒有人願意發心,你們難道不願意在娑婆世界,來度眾生?怎麼大家都要離開娑婆世界,不願意在這個地方來度化眾生?有成就的都要出去,娑婆世界永遠都是剛強、迷茫的眾生,沒人願意再投入來教導,這個地方要怎麼辦呢?」所以佛陀用心,他用眼光來環視著大家,雖然說,「八十萬億那由它,諸菩薩摩訶薩」,摩訶薩就是大菩薩了。昨天就跟大家說,<見寶塔品>的時候,佛陀將分身佛,從十方召集在一起。什麼叫做分身佛?那就是法,法身,佛陀的法身。他講出去的法,在大家的心裡,大家心中得一法,化無量,能夠有心得。「我聽這件事,我知道了。」聞一知十,甚至有人聞一知千,這就是道理入心了,自己又再去體會道理會更多。道理無處不在,佛陀是為我們起一個頭,指一個方向,讓我們了解,其實人人都與佛同等的智慧,我們大家都知道。

天地宇宙,萬物無處不真理,眾生與佛平等的智慧,眾生的本性覺海有多少啊!只要一啟動起來,人人法,法身都是存在的。所以佛陀視八十萬億那由他菩薩摩訶薩,人人佛性本具,只是凡夫一念迷,煩惱無明讓我們的心,已經煩惱將我們隔礙了,我們若能夠得一真理,就減一分無明,若這樣,無明煩惱去除,我們所了解的法增長了。一法一如來,我們既然學佛,就是以如是法,要不斷用法在日常生活中。昨天聽到的法,那就是依法,來日用法在人群中。昨天、今天,今天再聽的,再增加了解,所以我們要好好乘如是法,時時用如是理入人群中去,這就是我們要用心體會。經一事,長一智,消一分的煩惱,應該人人煩惱除,智慧增,菩薩六度萬行,因的種子應該不斷增加。路愈走是愈踏實,方向愈走是愈明朗,應該漸漸就要接近聖位,從賢位而接近聖位來,這是我們前面所講的。大家在那裡坐著,佛陀所在看的,是期待人人的心趕快啟發起來,不要只是發心在他方,應該要覺醒起來。法,就是要用在娑婆世界,佛陀辛辛苦苦教育我們,也就是為了娑婆世界眾生,為了這樣的一大事,來娑婆教化眾生。所以,佛陀用目光環視一下,就是要示意:大家都要去他方,我擔心啊!將來娑婆世界剛強的眾生,什麼人願意來教育呢?所以佛陀要表達他的心,是擔心娑婆世界眾生。大家的發心,還無法了解佛的心懷,所以這樣,用眼睛向大家看一下,應該大家會意了。

顯述其德階位
承目視之意
故避座起向前
極思欲持經
奈何忖己德業
慮未能及故
作念待請教令
廣傳斯妙法

所以在那當中,菩薩都已經是到達阿惟越致了,佛陀這樣一直在勉勵,應該就是不退轉了。我們昨天也都講過了,應該不退轉,要定意下來,就是在娑婆世界來度眾生嘛!大家應該會意了。所以「承目視之意」。已經大家了解,很多人就「避座起向前」,來思惟,希望要表達:我願意,我願意要在這裡持經。但是大家已經發願要他方去了,現在佛陀默然,用眼睛看著大家。大家發願之後,佛陀還不滿意,用眼睛再看大家,大家再自己反省自己的德,忖己德行。

大家在「五觀文」,記得嗎?自己度量自己的德行,到底有多少?我做多少?我是不是還不及格呢?這不敢表達出來,大家都默默的不敢講話,佛陀也默默的,眼睛來看大家,但是,有一些人會意,他們就趕緊起來,也是雙手合掌,也是很虔誠,用他們的心念,要等待佛陀開口,希望佛陀教令下來,「您若要我不要去外地,就在這裡就對了。」就是要等佛陀來開口教令。這就是前面的文,前面的大意。

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》

所以,「八十萬億那由他,諸菩薩摩訶薩」,這全都已經是,不退轉的大菩薩了,應該聽法也都入心了。佛陀講那麼多法,人人每一法入心,就是佛的法身在,「一生無量,無量從一生」。這就是在這「八十萬億(那由他)」,那個數字是要表達,人人得一法拳拳服膺,產生無量的法。要發心來投入人群,應該這些都是大菩薩,這個心意無量無數,每一個人都有心意,每一個人都有心得,心得都很多。所以數字,我們要好好用心,每一法,就是一法一如來,何況已經發菩薩心,六度萬行,那個因圓將要趨果的時候,這麼多人都在場,所以有這麼多,八十萬億(那由他),很多。

下面這段文再說,這些人:「即從座起,至於佛前,一心合掌而作是念:若世尊告敕我等持說此經者,當如佛教,廣宣斯法。」

即從座起
至於佛前
一心合掌而作是念
若世尊告敕我等
持說此經者
當如佛教
廣宣斯法
《法華經勸持品第十三》

這些人已經也是在等待,佛陀這樣看他們一下,體會佛意了,所以趕緊從座起,來佛前,這樣雙手合掌,大家的內心也是很誠意,就是要等待佛陀的教敕。

即從座起
至於佛前
一心合掌:
諸大菩薩
萬行法具足因圓
八十萬億見佛一視
善解知機故從座起
合掌具儀致敬於佛

這就是「諸大菩薩」,「萬行法具足因圓」,這些菩薩摩訶薩,佛陀所看的這些人,已經是大菩薩了,已經是萬行法,所有的法,所聽的,一法一如來,所聽的法都在內心裡。也就是這樣,悲心,悲智雙運,入人群六度萬行,因圓趨果,八十萬億(那由他),我們應該要用心。這是一個形容,形容人人心所得的法,應該是很多了,因為人人本具佛性,得一法,就得千萬億無量數。所以「一生無量,無量從一生」,應該大家會清楚。

所以「見佛一視」,大家本來都了解的事情很多,只是沒那個勇氣,不敢要在娑婆世界,想要逃避,其實佛陀眼光這樣看一下,體會佛的意,「善解知機」,已經了解佛陀的意,也知道這是現在佛陀最最擔心,也是最懇切,要募人發心發願的時機,大家應該全都了解啊!「故」,所以這樣,大家從座而起,合十威儀。表示事相,大家都很虔誠,恭敬佛陀,所以用這樣來表態敬佛的意。

而作是念
若世尊告敕我等
持說此經者:
眾心作念
若蒙世尊
教敕使我等
受持讀說此經典者
承佛目視之意
故避座向前
思欲持經
奈何心想而言未及
故作念敬恭
待佛教敕

所以,「而作是念:若世尊告敕我等持說此經者」,這就是大家的心念,只是等待,我們也是等待,既然都這樣發願,佛陀若有意要叫我們留在娑婆,就要等佛向我們說一下。所以「若蒙世尊教敕使我等」,叫我們大家「受持讀誦此經典者」,叫我們持這部經,在這個地方,佛陀若願意開口向我們說一下,向我們告敕,我們也是願意啊!

所以佛眼睛,眼光看一下……。我們常常聽到說:「師父眼光看我一下,稍微瞄一眼,我就知道了。」我也常常這樣聽到人家告訴我,我就:「什麼事情?」一說,回答出來的時候,我就問:「你怎麼知道?」「眼睛稍微瞄一下,就知道了。」對啊,眼睛稍微看一下就知道了,所以「避座」,很恭敬,所以不是坐著問,還是要趕緊離座起來,就這樣來向佛表達敬意。所以「思欲持經,奈何心想而言未及」。我們就有想要這樣承佛的願,要持經在這個地方,奈何要表達出來,「而言末及」,所以「故作念恭敬待佛教敕」,還要再等佛叫我們持這部經,所以「當如佛教,廣宣斯法」,只要佛陀對我們說一下,我們就願意,願意依佛的教令,我們願意在這個地方,來講這部經,這就是諸菩薩他們心意。

所以:「復作是念:佛今默然,不見告敕,我當云何?時諸菩薩敬順佛意,并欲自滿本願。」

復作是念
佛今默然不見告敕
我當云何
時諸菩薩敬順佛意
并欲自滿本願
《法華經勸持品第十三》

其實,大家有這個心願,只是佛陀已經看了我們之後,就這樣默默的都沒有再說話,我們要怎麼辦?所以那時候,這些菩薩「敬順佛意」,既然佛陀沒有要開口,我們只好就是敬順佛意來表達,不只是敬順佛意,我們也有這樣的心願。所以,「謂今佛默然,意必藏有玄津在」,還沒有聽教誡,不敢自作專意。

謂今佛默然
意必藏有玄津在
未聞其教誡
不敢自作專意

佛明明就是要我們,留在這個地方,怎麼不說?雖然是這樣,應該默然,佛陀應該也有他的用意,內心應該有藏著很深奧的法。「玄津」,就是深的法,應該含藏著很深的意境,法的意境存在。所以,還未,可能我們還沒有聽到的法,我們現在還是要好好耐心,等待佛陀的教誡。所以,「不敢自作專意」。不敢在這個地方馬上就回答,所以他們也默然。

復作是念,佛今默然,不見告敕:又復作意,如是念言。佛於今者,但只默然,不見發言,告喻教敕。

所以,「復作是念:佛今默然不見告敕」。還沒有感覺到佛陀有意要和我們講話,好像他的內心還隱藏著很深的法。所以,「又復作意,如是念言。佛於今者,但只默然,不見發言,告喻教敕」。佛陀現在是這樣,就沒有和我們明說出來,我們現在要怎麼辦?我們大家今當如何,要怎麼辦呢?這些菩薩為了要「敬順佛意」,就是「敬順如來,前寶塔品付囑之意」。

我當云何
時諸菩薩
敬順佛意:
我等今是當如之何
敬順如來
前寶塔品付囑之意

現在已經體會到,了解了。在〈見寶塔品〉那個時候,開始佛陀就殷殷善誘,寶塔出現了,佛陀召分身佛回來,也就是要大家,將法「歸位」回來,來了解這個法,了解佛的心意。現在大家回顧,在〈見寶塔品〉那時候,所以他們願意「敬順佛意」。

敬順佛意有二:
一者目視即是遣使
不待言也
二者欲人擔荷此法
持說不泯故
我等繼志述事
便是敬承聖意
何待言命然後發願

「敬順佛意」有兩項:「一者、目視即是遣使,不待言」。既然佛陀這樣眼睛看我們一下,我們自己應該就要知道,怎麼還要再等佛陀,對我們說話呢?

第二、「欲人擔荷此法,持說不泯故」。第二、佛陀這樣的眼光,來看我們,表示希望人人,要承擔起了這個法,使這個法不滅,不要在人間這樣泯滅掉。所以,「我等繼志述事」,就是「敬承聖意。」我們應該要傳承佛的志願,佛的志願,就是生生世世要入娑婆忍土來,我們應該要好好「繼志述事」,就是來這個人間說法,這就是「敬承聖意」。哪需要等佛再怎麼對我們說?「然後發願」,開始應該要發願了。

并欲自滿本願:
并欲自滿菩薩所修
本有行願
本願:
一乘之道
已覺於己
復以覺人

「并欲自滿本願」。不用等佛說,我們自己也有這樣的願。所以,「并欲自滿菩薩所修,本有行願」。大家所修的,本來就有這樣的願。所以,「本願:一乘之道,已覺於己,復以覺人」。這個本願,我自己已經覺悟了,我應該要自動去覺悟他人。已經是佛法聽這麼多了,道理了解這麼多了,一生無量,盡虛空、遍法界,無不都是道理,我都清楚了,我都了解了,我應該也就要這樣,「自覺覺他」,應該要表達出來了。所以,「上使法鼓常鳴,下驚覺群迷不寐,此是本願。一舉兩得,故云敬順自滿」。

上使法鼓常鳴
下驚覺群迷不寐
此是本願
一舉兩得
故云敬順自滿

因為要擊起了法鼓,鼓要擊才會響,對上要承擔這個法,繼佛志,佛陀的聖志,我們要將它繼承下來;往下,我們要「驚覺群迷」,不要再讓這些人這樣在那裡半睡半醒,下面這個「寐」就是半睡半醒,或者是像夜遊人,能夠全都叫醒他們起來。「此是本願」,這就是「願」。「一舉兩得」,能夠敬順佛意,也能夠滿自己的願。這就是我們要好好用心,體會佛陀的心意,不要讓佛有所失望。佛陀很盼望為法募人。我們一直講一直講,佛陀從〈法師品〉開始,就一直期待人人要好好體會法,而且要體會佛的心。佛心,佛的志願,我們應該要很體會,希望經教能夠永遠都是留在人間。這是我們向佛要負責,繼承心願,這樣從〈法師品〉這樣下來一路,佛陀的期待。

但是,授記了,大家還是願意發心,但是要趨向他方。一次過一次,一個接一個,都是這樣不敢留下來,要到外面去。想,將心比心,心何以堪!就像佛陀開始要講《法華經》,五千人退席,情何堪啊!

同樣的道理,佛面對的境界,和我們凡夫面對的境界也差不多,只是凡夫就是自私,為利;佛是愛,無私而付出,就只是這樣而已。所以,我們要用心體會佛的心,佛心為己心,聖志為己志。佛陀他的志願,一大事因緣,這是永恆的,娑婆世界不淨化,這個一大事的心願未了。同樣的道理,這一大事要完成,必定要相繼,要綿綿連連這樣一直傳下去。所以,我們要知佛心,體佛志,所以要時時多用心!


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發表主題: 回復: 20180620《靜思妙蓮華》承佛目視 待佛教敕 (第1374集) (法華經·勸持品第十三)   周二 12月 18, 2018 11:54 am

Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: Taking Up the Intent behind the Buddha’s Gaze (承佛目視 待佛教敕)
Date: June.20.2018

“With their body and mind settled in one place and their palms together, they expressed their single-minded, focused and reverent intention. Lifetime after lifetime, they would form great aspirations, follow the noble teachings with sincerity, integrity, faith and steadfastness and earnestly make great vows.”

Please be mindful! We should always earnestly keep our minds focused. From the initial spiritual aspiration we make all the way through our subsequent lifetimes, we are single-mindedly focused in life after life. So, wherever our bodies may be, our minds should be there as well. As we listen to the Dharma at this time, our minds are present at this moment. As we sit here, our bodies are here and our minds are here as well. We should settle them in one place. When I refer to this time now, I am referring to how every moment in every day should always be the same.

Yesterday we said that a long time can be measured in lifetimes, in countless kalpas. These are long periods of time. Short periods are hours, days and moments. These are all called “time”. We should make good use of time, which means that we must hold on to our aspirations in this present moment. Then even after dust-inked kalpas, even after countless lifetimes, we will remain with our initial aspiration. Our minds will follow our bodies, always remaining “settled in one place”.

What we are now discussing is that at the Lotus Dharma-assembly, all those listening to the Dharma had the same mindset. There, matters and principles converged. “Matters” refers to that time, to that occasion when everyone was sitting there together, “with their body and mind settled in one place and their palms together.” This was something people could see. This is what we call matters and appearances. When they “expressed their single-minded, focused and reverent intention,” they were demonstrating the principles. Our mind should “seize the present moment and sustain it forever.” This is how we describe this. These words describe this profound principle, which is how a thought arising in a moment can be sustained forever. We will forever maintain this aspiration. By having such a focused mind, we demonstrate the greatest reverence. Although this is something we cannot see, it is in our heart; the principles are found in a sincere heart. So, for all of us to bring our minds to converge with the principles, we must begin by being whole-hearted. Whole-hearted means our mind is concentrated, free of discursive thoughts. This reverence comes from the sincerest intention, from a sincere mindset.

So, when matters and principles converge, it is like what we discussed earlier, how “wisdom” resonates with “principles”. This requires matters and principles to converge. We must be very mindful. A single instant, a very short time, can be sustained in our thoughts. This thought is how “Lifetime after lifetime, they would form great aspirations.” All Buddhas and Bodhisattvas come in this manner. They form an aspiration and then sustain that aspiration forever. We constantly talk about this. “Forever” means there is no beginning or end. We have no way to investigate when it began, so we use the expression “Beginningless Time”. In the past, present and future, it is the same. That is how we make great vows. With these great vows, “[They] follow the noble teachings.” All Buddhas have traveled along this path. Their minds converged with the true principles and They continuously practiced in this way without losing Their vows. This all depended on having sincerity. So, we need to work diligently with sincerity, integrity, faith and steadfastness.

We spoke previously of the Four Great Vows. We often discuss them because transmitting our Dharma[-lineage] and establishing our school of Buddhism depend upon our sincerity, integrity, faith and steadfastness. As we learn the Buddha-Dharma, we must all make the Four Great Vows. Tzu Chi volunteers who enter the Tzu Chi School of Buddhism must practice according to the teachings. We must transmit the Dharma and make vows. It was the same for the Buddha; He too had to make vows. The Four Great Vows are “we vow to deliver countless sentient beings, we vow to eliminate endless afflictions, we vow to learn infinite Dharma-doors” and “we vow to attain unsurpassed Buddhahood.” We must have sincerity. Only with sincerity can we make great vows to go among people without fear of the hard work, tediousness and long time it will take. We need be courageous and diligent. Only with a reverent mind can we be wholehearted in our resolve, courageous and diligent. This is “sincerity”. We need sincerity in order to vow to transform sentient beings. We also need “integrity;” only with integrity can we vow to eliminate afflictions. We need “faith,” so we can vow to learn the Dharma-doors. Our minds must also be “steadfast” in order to be able to vow to attain Buddhahood.

When it comes to sincerity, integrity, faith and steadfastness, we must be very earnest. When we are very earnest, it means in our mind we do not slack off. Earnestness is diligence. When it comes to the Four Great Vows and sincerity, integrity, faith and steadfastness, we need to be very earnest. This is the way to establish great vows. This is what we must all be mindful of. No matter when, no matter where we are, our mind and body must be settled in one place to demonstrate our reverent sincerity. Since Beginningless Time, from when we formed aspirations all the way into the future, we must do this for many lifetimes; with our vows, we follow the right teachings. So, we must have sincerity, integrity, faith and steadfastness, and diligently and earnestly fulfill our vows. Only in this way can we reach our goal. So, we must be mindful.

We should not use our ordinary mindset as unenlightened, simply allowing our minds to fluctuate amidst the bustle of people, matters and objects. That way we will never progress. As we busy about in life, we must be mindful. Once our direction is set correctly, we must take every step diligently. If our direction is not accurate, a slight deviation can take us far off course. So, we must be truly and sincerely mindful.

We spoke about this before. Numerous Bodhisattvas were present there. How many exactly were there? So many that it was impossible to count. Numbers in the sutras, as I often tell everyone, are used to represent states of mind. The most significant thing was that although those bhiksus and bhiksunis had received predictions one after another and all of them willingly formed aspirations, none of them dared to return to the Saha World. Although all of them made vows, because [they knew] sentient beings in the Saha World were so stubborn, no one dared to return here. They made vows to go to other worlds instead. These were the vows in everyone’s mind. In the Buddha’s mind, He felt helpless. He had been teaching these disciples for more than 40 years at that point. Since they began learning the Small Vehicle, He had been patiently guiding them until finally they began to now the One Vehicle True Dharma and finally understand these principles. In the Chapter on Parables, the Buddha explained the three carts as one. They had also begun to understand this. Moreover, regarding their personal understanding, in the Chapter on Faith and Understanding, the disciples described [themselves through] the poor son’s relationship to the wealthy elder. Their description was very appropriate. However, even up to this point, some still did not know they were carrying a precious jewel. Now, in the principles of the One Vehicle, everyone seemed to have discovered this and comprehended the Great Vehicle Dharma. Still no one dared to make vows to deliver and transform sentient beings in the Saha World. They made vows, but they wanted to go to other worlds. However, the Buddha, Sakyamuni Buddha, throughout countless lifetimes, always vows to be in the Saha World, this world that is so difficult to endure. Lifetime after lifetime, He came to this world for one great cause. Yet none of the disciples dared to take up the Buddha’s mission. He [heard] these vows His disciples made. Although Yasodhara had received predictions and the 6000 bhiksunis led by Mahaprajapati had also already received predictions, when they made vows, they said “I willingly vow to practice and uphold the Lotus Sutra, and willingly transform all sentient begins, but I dare not return to the Saha World! We also want to go to other worlds.” The Buddha merely remained silent. However, the Buddha swept His gaze over the seated disciples [as if asking], “Is there truly none of you willing to vow to be in the Saha World and transform sentient beings? Why does everyone want to leave the Saha World, unwilling to deliver and transform sentient begins in this place? If once you reach attainment, you all leave, then the Saha World will always be filled with stubborn and deluded sentient begins! Without anyone willing to come here and teach, what will become of this place?”

So, the Buddha mindfully gaze out upon everyone. “[He saw]” 80 trillion nayutas of Bodhsaittva-Mahasattvas. A Bodhisattva-Mahasttva is a great Bodhisattva. Yesterday, we spoke about this. In the Chapter on Seeing the Stupa of Treasures, the Buddha gathered all His manifestations from the ten directions. What are the Buddha’s manifestations? They are the Dharma the body of teachings, which is the Buddha’s Dharmakaya. The Buddha’s teachings are in everyone’s mind. As everyone takes even one teaching to heart, it can turn into infinite [Dharma]. We will be able to gain realizations. “Hearing about this, now I know”. By hearing one teaching, we realize ten; some people may even realize a thousand. This means we have taken the principles to heart and can then comprehend even more principles. The principles are found everywhere. The Buddha gave us a start; He pointed us in a direction and helped us understand that actually we all share wisdom equal to the Buddha’s. We all know that true principles are found throughout the universe. Sentient beings’ wisdom is equal to the Buddha’s. the ocean of enlightenment of our intrinsic nature is so vast! As long as it is activated, the Dharma, the Dharmakaya, exists in us all. The Buddha saw these 80 trillion nayutas of Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas. Everyone intrinsically has Buddha-nature; it is just that ordinary beings have given rise to a deluded thought, so the ignorance and afflictions in our mind have already cut us off from it. Each time we realize a true principle, we reduce our ignorance by a little. Thus, as we eradicate ignorance and afflictions, the amount of Dharma we understand grows. “Every teaching is the Tathagata”. Since we are learning the Buddha-Dharma, we rely on the Dharma of Suchness and continually apply it in our daily living. We heard these teachings yesterday, so we rely on this Dharma; in the days to come, we will apply this Dharma among people. That was yesterday; with what we hear again today, we will deepen our understanding. So, we should earnestly journey upon the Dharma of Suchness and always use the principles of Suchness as we interact with people. This is what we need to mindfully comprehend. With each experience, our wisdom grows and our afflictions are reduced. By eliminating our afflictions, we should all be able to grow in wisdom and, as Bodhisattvas, actualize the Six Paramitas in all actions. Then our causal seeds will continuously increase, we will walk the path more and more steadily and our direction will become clearer and brighter. In this way, we should gradually draw closer to the state of noble beings, advancing from the sagely toward the state of noble beings. This is what we previously discussed. As the disciples were sitting there, the Buddha gazed at them hoping their aspirations would quickly be aroused. They must not just form aspirations for other worlds. They needed to wake up. The Dharma is meant to be used in the Saha World. The Buddha so painstakingly taught us for the sake of sentient beings in the Saha World. This was His one great cause, to transform sentient beings of the Saha World.

The Buddha gazed upon those surrounding Him as a way to signal His intention. “Everyone wants to go to other worlds. This worries me! Who willing to teach the stubborn sentient beings of the future Saha World?” The Buddha wanted to express His feeling, how He worried about the sentient beings of the Saha World. Everyone’s aspirations showed they still could not truly understand the Buddha’s intention. So, the Buddha gazed at everyone for a while [hoping] they could understand His intent.

This describe the state of their virtue. This describes the state of their virtue. Taking up the intent behind [the Buddha’s] gaze, they left their seats to come before Him. They wanted very much to uphold the sutra, but upon considering their virtuous karma, they feared they were not up to the task and thought of asking and waiting for instructions to widely spread this wondrous Dharma.

So, at that time, all those Bodhisattvas had reached the stage of avaivartikas. The Buddha had continually encouraged them, so they should be non-retreating. Yesterday, we also talked about how they should be non-retreating and how they must have made up their minds to transform all sentient beings in the Saha World. They should now understand His intent. So, they “took up the intent behind His gaze”, meaning everyone understood. Many then “left their seats to come before Him”. They contemplated, and hoped to express, “We are willing to stay here to uphold the sutra! However, they had already vowed to go to other worlds. Now the Buddha remained silent and gazed upon them all. After they made vows, the Buddha was still not satisfied. He again looked at everyone. Everyone again reflected upon their own virtue, considering if their virtue was sufficient. We discussed the Five Contemplations before; do you remember? They were appraising their own virtue. How much virtue did they have? How much had they done? Were they still not qualified? They dared not express this out loud, so all remained silent, not daring to speak. The Buddha also remained silent. He just gazed at everyone.

However, some understood his intent and quickly rose up. They placed their palms together, and were also very reverent. In their minds, they waited for the Buddha to speak, they waited for the Buddha to speak, hoping the Buddha would give them instructions, “If you do not want me to go elsewhere, then I will remain here”. They were waiting for the Buddha to instruct them. This is the main point of the previous passage.

At that time, the World-Honored One looked at the 80 trillion nayutas of Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas. These Bodhisattvas were all avaivartikas, who turned the non-retreating Dharma-wheel and had attained all dharanis.

So, there were “80 trillion nayutas of Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas. All of them were great Bodhisattvas who had reached the stage of non-retreating. They had taken the teachings they heard to heart. The Buddha had given them so many teachings. Whenever anyone takes a single teaching to heart, the Buddha’s Dharmakaya is there. “One gives rise to infinity; infinity arises from one.” So, the number “80 trillion [nayutas] expresses how, when we attain and put a teaching inti practice, it will give rise to infinite Dharma. We must form aspirations to dedicate ourselves among people. All of them had to be great Bodhisattvas for they had infinite intentions. Each of them had intentions and each of them had insights. So, those insights must have been very numerous. Thus, when it comes to numbers, we need to be very mindful. Every teaching is a Tathagata, let alone those who had already and actualized the Six Paramitas in all actions. Their causes were perfected and they approached fruition; there were so many [such] people present. So, there was this great number, 80 trillion [nayutas].

The passage below then says, immediately they rose from their seats and came before the Buddha. They wholeheartedly put their palms together and had this thought, ‘if the World-Honored One were only to instruct us to uphold and expound this sutra, we would do as the Buddha instructed and spread this Dharma widely’.”

These people were already waiting. When the Buddha briefly looked around at them, they comprehended the Buddha’s intent, quickly rose from their seats and came to Him. They pressed their palms together. There was great reverence in their hearts as they awaited the Buddha’s instructions.

Immediately they rose from their seats and came before the Buddha. They wholeheartedly put their palms together: All these great Bodhisattvas had actualized the Dharma in all actions and were replete with perfect causes. The 80 trillion [Bodhisattvas] saw the Buddha’s gaze and understood and knew that the time was right, so they rose from their seats, put their palms together with proper etiquette and paid reverence to the Buddha.

These “great Bodhisattvas had actualized the Dharma in all action and were replete with perfect causes. Those Bodhisattvas-Mahasattvas whom the Buddha looked at were already great Bodhisattvas; they had actualized the Dharma in all actions. With all the teachings they had heard, each teachings is one Tathagata. all the teachings were in their minds. Because of this, they exercised both compassion and wisdom in going among people and actualizing the Six Paramitas in all actions. They perfected the causes and approached fruition 80 trillion is a number we should mindfully [contemplate].

This is a description of how numerous the teachings we have gained should be. The Buddha-nature is intrinsic to everyone, so when we attain one teaching, it becomes infinite teachings.

Thus, “One gives rise to infinity; infinity arises from one. We should all clearly understand this. So, they “saw the Buddha’s gaze.

Everyone already understood many things. They just did not have the courage to remain in the Saha world and wanted to escape. Actually, when the Buddha gazed at them, they understood the Buddha’s intent. They “understood and knew that the time was right”. They understood the Buddha’s intent. They knew this was the Buddha’s greatest worry and that it was time to earnestly recruit people willing to form aspirations. All of them must have understood this!

“Thus”, because of this, they all rose from their seats. The action of pressing their palms together showed their great reverence and respect for the Buddha. this was how they showed respect for the Buddha.

[They] had this thought, “If the World-Honored One were only to instruct us to uphold and expound this sutra”: The assembly thought to themselves, “If we had the honor of the World-Honored Onein structing us to accept, uphold, read, and expound this sutra…”. they took up the intent behind the Buddha’s gaze and thus left their and came forward. They wished to uphold the sutra, but they merely thought of it without putting it into words. So, they gave rise to thoughts of reverence and awaited the Buddha’s instruction.

So, “[They] had this thought, ‘if the World-Honored One were only to instruct us to uphold and expound this sutra…’.” This was everyone’s thought. They were just waiting; we are also waiting. Since they had formed these aspirations, if the Buddha intended to them to remain here in the Saha World, they would wait for Him to tell them. “If we had the honor of the World-Honored One instructing us, if He were to instruct all of them, to accept, uphold, read and recite this sutra right here in this place, if the Buddha was willing to tell them and give them these instructions, of course they would be willing too. So, the Buddha gave them a look. We often hear people say, “Master gave me a look. He gained at me and I knew.” I often hear people tell me this. I ask them, “What was it? After they replied, I would ask them, “How did you know? You bridfly looked at me, and I knew!” That’s right! With just a quick look, they would know.

So, “they left their seats. Out of respect, they did not ask while seated. Instead, they quickly rose from their seats and came to show respect to the Buddha. So, “They wished to uphold the sutra, but they merely thought of it without putting it into words. They wanted to carry on the Buddha’s vow to uphold the sutra here, but they did not actually express it or put it into words. So, “They gave rise to thoughts of reverence and awaited the Buddha’s instruction. They waited for the Buddha. so, “We would do as the Buddha instructed and spread this Dharma widely. “As long as the Buddha tells us, we will be willing to follow the Buddha’s instructions. We are willing to remain here to expound this sutra. This was the intent of all the Bodhisattvas.

So, “They also thought, ‘The Buddha’s silent now and gives us no instruction. What should we do?’ Then, all the Bodhisattvas, reverently following the Buddha’s intent and wishing to fulfill their own original vows…”.

Actually, everyone had this wish, but the Buddha, after gazing at them, simply remained slient and said nothing. What were they to do? So, at the time, those Bodhisattvas were “reverently following the Buddha’s intent”. Since the Buddha did not intend to speak, they had to reverently follow the Buddha’s intent. They were not just following His intent; they too had the same wish.

So, “They thought since the Buddha was silent, there must be some profound meaning behind it”. They still had not heard any instructions and “dared not act on their own”.

“The Buddha clearly wants us to remain here. Why doesn’t He tell us? Still, there must a reason for His silence. The Buddha must have His own intention”. There must be very profound Dharma stored in His mind. “Profound meaning” refers to profound Dharma. His mind must contain very profound states, states of mind filled with Dharma. So, perhaps there was still some teaching they had not heard. They must now continue to be patient and wait for the Buddha’s instructions.

So, they “dared not act on their own”. They dared not reply to him instantly. So, they too remained silent. “They also thought, ’The Buddha is silent now and gives us no instructions’.” They still did not feel that the Buddha intended to speak to them. It seemed like His mind still contained very profound Dharma. So, “They also gave rise to this thought, ‘Right now the Buddha keeps His silence. He has not spoken any words to instruct us’.” The Buddha had not clearly instructed them, so what should they do now? “What should we all do now? What do we do?” These Bodhisattvas wished to be “reverently following the Buddha’s intent,” to “reverently follow the Tathagata’s intent to entrust [the sutra] from the previous”. “Chapter on Seeing the Stupa of Treasures.”

“What should we all do?” Then, all the Bodhisattvas, reverently following the Buddha’s intent…: “What should we do now?” They reverently followed the Tathagata’s intent to entrust [the sutra] from the previous. Chapter on Seeing the Stupa of Treasures.

Now, they finally realized how in the Chapter on Seeing the Stupa of Treasures, the Buddha had skillfully guided them. The stupa of treasures appeared and the Buddha gathered His many manifestations. This meant that everyone should “return the Dharma to its place”. He wanted them to understand his Dharma and to understand the Buddha’s intent. Now they looked back at the time of the Chapter on Seeing the Stupa of Treasures, so they were willing to “reverently follow the Buddha’s intent”.

In reverently following the Buddha’s intent, there were two intentions: One, His gaze was intended to compel them; there was no need to wait for Him to speak. Two, He wished that people would shoulder this Dharma, uphold and expound it so it will never disappear. When we all carry on His resolve to expound it, we are reverently carrying out His noble intent. Why wait for Him to instruct us to make vows? There were two intentions to reverently follow. “One, His gaze was intended to compel them; there was no need to wait for Him to speak.”

“Since the Buddha gave us this look, we ourselves must realize it. Why must we wait any further for the Buddha to tell us?” Secondly, “He wished that people would shoulder this Dharma, uphold and expound it so it will never disappear”. Secondly, the Buddha gave them this look to express His hope for everyone to take on the responsibility for this Dharma so this Dharma would never disappear. It must never be lost to this world. “When we all carry on His resolve to expound it we are reverently carrying out His noble intent”. We should carry on the Buddha’s mission. The Buddha’s mission is to enter the Saha land that must be endured lifetime after lifetime. We should put effort into “carrying on His resolve to expound it”. This means coming to the world to teach. This is “reverently carrying out His noble intent”. Why must we wait for the Buddha to tell us this? “[Why wait] to make vows?” We should begin making vows.

“[They] wished to fulfill their own original vows”. We need not wait for the Buddha to speak; we ourselves have the same vow. So, “They also wished to fulfill the original vow practiced by Bodhisattvas”. Everyone was originally practicing such vows. So, “original vows” [refers to] “the path of the One Vehicle. Having awakened themselves,” they further awaken others. “I have already awakened to my original vows; I should take initiative to awaken others”. They had already listened to so much Dharma and understood so many principles. One gives rise to infinity. Throughout the universe and all Dharma-realms, the principles are everywhere. “I have clearly understood them all, so I should go on to awaken myself as well as others. This is what I should express”.

So, “From above, they constantly beat the Dharma drum to awaken people below who are lost and dazed. This is their original vow. With one action, they reap two benefits. So it says they reverently follow [the Buddha] while fulfilling their own [vows].”

They constantly beat the Dharma drum. Drums must be beaten o make a sound. We must take up the Dharma we receive and continue the Buddha’s noble mission. We should take it up and pass it down. We must further “awaken those lost and dazed”. We must not allow those people to remain half asleep and half awake. The word “dazed” means half awake, half asleep. It is almost as if they are sleep-walking. We need to awaken all of them. “This is their original vow”. This is their vow. “With one action, they reap two benefits”. They were reverently following the Buddha’s intent and fulfilling their own vows. We should be very mindful in seeking to comprehend the Buddha’s intent. We must not let the Buddha down. The Buddha hoped to recruit people for the Dharma. This is what we have continually discussed. Since the Chapter on Dharma Teachers, the Buddha always hoped that everyone would earnestly comprehend the Dharma and realize the Buddha’s aspiration. The Buddha’s aspiration, the Buddha’s mission, is something we must deeply comprehend. He hoped that the teachings of the sutras would forever remain in the world. This is our responsibility toward the Buddha. We must carry on His wishes. Ever since the Chapter on Dharma Teachers, throughout this process, the Buddha [expressed] His hopes. However, having received predictions, everyone was willing to form aspirations, but they still wanted to go to other lands. Time and time again, one after another, they all [expressed] they did not dare to stay. They wanted to go elsewhere. Think about it, how could [His heart] endure this? This is like how when the Buddha began teaching the Lotus Sutra, 5000 left their seats; how saddening was that! The principle is the same. The circumstances the Buddha encountered were similar to what we ordinary people encounter. But ordinary people are self-centered and do things for their own benefit, while the Buddha lovingly and selflessly gave of Himself. This is the only difference. So, we should mindfully comprehend His mind, take the Buddha-mind as our own and His noble mission as our own. The Buddha’s mission, His one great cause, is everlasting; as long as the Saha World remains unpurified, His one great cause is unfulfilled. By the same token, to accomplish this one great cause we must mutually continue each other’s work, and continually pass [the mission] down. So, we must understand the Buddha-mind and comprehend the Buddha’s mission. We must always be mindful!

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