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 20180621《靜思妙蓮華》敬順聖意 滿弘誓願 (第1375集) (法華經·勸持品第十三)

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20180621《靜思妙蓮華》敬順聖意 滿弘誓願 (第1375集) (法華經·勸持品第十三) Empty
發表主題: 20180621《靜思妙蓮華》敬順聖意 滿弘誓願 (第1375集) (法華經·勸持品第十三)   20180621《靜思妙蓮華》敬順聖意 滿弘誓願 (第1375集) (法華經·勸持品第十三) Empty周三 6月 20, 2018 9:19 pm

20180621《靜思妙蓮華》敬順聖意 滿弘誓願 (第1375集) (法華經·勸持品第十三)

⊙諸佛道同立四弘誓願,誠懇為眾生苦勤教化,正念斷諸煩惱除塵垢,信法無上微妙願恆持,實化淨盡極微圓鏡智。
⊙一乘之道,已覺於己,復以覺人,發言無畏,擊法鼓常鳴,覺群迷不寐,此乃本心願,云敬順聖意,亦滿弘誓願。
⊙「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》
⊙「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》
⊙「便於佛前作師子吼而發誓言:世尊!我等於如來滅後,周旋往返十方世界。」《法華經勸持品第十三》
⊙便於佛前作師子吼,而發誓言:既思惟已,即於佛前發師子吼音,立深誓願。作師子吼而誓,是謂以決定說及無怖畏之志而作誓言。
⊙躊躇已定,近前舉願,表心決意承任此難事,發言無畏,故云師子吼。
⊙周旋往返十方世界:願遍一切處,佛心所護念之境界,能令末世眾生生正信心。
⊙周旋往反於十方世界,顯誓願無窮盡。周旋十方:以諸賢各守護一方,分疆立界。
⊙然世間無不可化之人,亦無不可行道之處。行圓趨果,時清道泰,無處不道場!
⊙遍一切處,令一切眾生,書寫解說以利人,正念修行以自利。此菩薩不同前二。前乃自持,此承如來付囑之意,普令人持。

【證嚴上人開示】
諸佛道同立四弘誓願,誠懇為眾生苦勤教化,正念斷諸煩惱除塵垢,信法無上微妙願恆持,實化淨盡極微圓鏡智。

諸佛道同立
四弘誓願
誠懇為眾生苦
勤教化
正念斷諸煩惱
除塵垢
信法無上微妙
願恆持
實化淨盡極微
圓鏡智

多用心,多了解,「諸佛道同」。常常一句話這樣說:「佛佛道同。」每一尊佛,成佛最基礎的源頭,一定就是要發弘誓願,這是諸佛一定要有的,我們修行者也是一樣。佛發願,成佛了,我們現在叫做學佛,學佛就是學佛他開頭那一念心,我們也就跟隨佛那念心。最基礎的就是立「四弘誓願」,這是很重要。所以,不厭其煩一再跟大家提起,佛佛道同,每一尊佛的根本大願,那是立「四弘誓願」,這是我們要學。所以,都是很誠懇,要從最內心底那個誠懇,表達出來。誠,誠意,我們才能夠做得真甘願、很歡喜。我們若沒有誠懇的心,被動,我們就不太甘願,做的就沒辦法這樣長長久久,心安住下來,這就很困難。所以,這個誠懇是很重要,在我們修行者,絕對不能缺少。

學佛要誠懇,做人要誠懇,對人要誠懇,做事要誠懇。這個「誠」字,就是內心最懇切的誠意,能夠這樣,人才能成功。人成,佛才能成,要不然,我們做人都不像人,要如何能成佛呢?所以,我們一定要學誠懇,對人誠懇,度眾生誠懇,學佛誠懇。這個「誠」,懇切這念心,就是我們常常在說的「甘願」,「甘願做」,那就「歡喜受」。甘願在做,做了之後,每天都會很歡喜,應該叫做法喜充滿。若能這樣,就沒有累、辛苦、懊惱、鬱悶,這些全都沒有。這不就是誠懇,就是我們解脫的法門。自己解脫,這個方法也能夠教大家,淨化大家,也用這個方法,誠懇。待人、做事,全部要用誠懇,甘願、歡喜、付出,這樣這麼簡單的白話,就是每天都能很歡喜。自覺,這就是自度;而覺人,就是度他,這就是要出自內心的誠懇。

也要「正念斷諸煩惱」,我們要正念。「六根門」要顧,「八正道」要行。這全都是修學佛法,最重要的道路。所以,我們必定要很用心,在正念、正見、正知、正解、正行等等,不能夠離開這個「正」字,念念不間斷,若這樣我們才能無漏。不論是信、願、行,戒、定、慧,所修的法我們都能不漏失。沒有眼睛看東西就破一個洞,就漏掉了;聽一念聲,就又再法是留不住,煩惱囤積在心。我們要懂得如何修行,什麼是清淨行?怎麼樣除去煩惱垢?這全都是要在正念。所以,「正念斷諸煩惱」,要有正念,我們的煩惱才有辦法斷除。「除塵垢」,除去了種種塵埃垢穢,這全都是我們要很用心。

每一天,每一個時刻,最短的時間,一念間、剎那間,這個短時間,我們都不可以離開正念,我們才有辦法,除掉塵垢諸煩惱,這就是「無漏」。我們不要將法漏掉了,要用法在日常生活中,我們才有辦法防非止惡,我們才能夠時時,「眾善奉行,諸惡莫作」,這都是在「斷諸煩惱除塵垢」。提醒我們要時時要用心,在誠懇、正念中,若這樣我們諸法無漏,就沒煩惱。所以,「信法無上微妙願恆持」,我們要相信法。我們每天都在聽法,每天生活面對無不都是法,生活哪一項不是法呢?譬如說「理」,光是一個理,這個真理,真理無處不在,無物不有,都要有它的理。像我們人,平時呼吸,呼吸就是生理,一呼一吸,我們的生理上健康,你在不知覺中,它存在,你沒感覺,我現在是在呼吸。等到你覺得,「我呼吸有一點困難。」這樣就是有毛病了。我們在走路,沒感覺,一步,前腳走,後腳放,這樣也是不知覺中。該走的路,就是起身站起來,向前走,這都不用怎麼去用心,自然它隨著你的一念心向前動作,沒感覺兩隻腳,是不是前腳走,後腳放,沒感覺!但是,到了你有感覺,那舉步維艱,艱難了,就是生理上又有毛病了。

同樣的道理,在日常生活,我們一下子都不離開,哪怕是睡著了,也一樣;睡著了,沒感覺,卻是呼吸繼續,這就是生理順暢。這個道理看不到;生理,只要是一個「理」字,我們就是看不到,不過,讓我們能夠,很順利在生活中;在生活不知覺中,與大自然這樣會合起來,生理和一切,小乾坤、大乾坤,四大調合起來,若這樣,人人日日都是平安。這我們要去體會,無不都是法,要「信法無上微妙」。法,在不知覺中都讓我們在用;用得正確。我們自然平安,真如本性與生俱來,本來我們就是法,就是這樣過來,卻是這個法,道理,我們受外面煩惱,這樣將我們埋沒了。我們這個時候要如何將這個法,就是拿出來應用,人人本具,對這些道理應該都是很清楚。小乾坤、大乾坤,裡面的小氣象,和大乾坤的大氣象,其實會合起來,同樣的道理。

這個氣象能夠調和,就是天下的四季輪流在過;我們的生理調和,同樣與大自然生、老、病、死,就這樣很單純,這樣在過,這都是同樣。日升上來,日下山,不論是太陽升起,太陽落下,其實,太陽永遠都在那裡,是地球在轉;互轉互動,但是分秒都不能差錯。同樣的道理,我們的真如,佛性,一點點都不能讓塵埃,將我們染穢,不能有煩惱,但是偏偏我們就是煩惱來惹身,一直我們去惹到煩惱,這個污穢不斷這樣來污染我們。所以我們必定,現在已經學佛了,過去就是缺了這個信,因為我們還沒有發現到佛法,所以無信;還沒有發現到道理,所以不知道可信。

我們現在發現到了,所以我們要信,相信,這個信,要信什麼呢?就是要聽道理,了解我們人生的過程,苦、集、滅、道,怎麼得到這麼多的苦?要怎麼樣才能夠去完全體會,苦的來源?那就是「集」,集來了。透徹了解,原來就是這樣,因啊!緣啊!如是因,如是果,如是報,這麼多,這很複雜的事情會合起來,所以成為「苦」。現在知道了,我們要趕緊信,堅立信,信法。為我們分析之後,分析之後,我們自己自我警惕,所以我們要「斷」,斷去了再來的煩惱無明,我們要將它斷去,這就是要立信心,才能夠正念。若正念堅固,我們信法,就是清淨的妙法,方法我們愈來愈了解,這防非的方法我們愈來愈清楚,如何去止惡,就能斷煩惱,所以很多法我們一定要學。要學法,你若沒有信,那就學不起來了。要怎麼斷煩惱?斷很多的煩惱,才能夠得到微妙的法。微妙的法入心了,你才能夠發出了那個「甘願」。

發大願,我發的願是很歡喜的願,我為人付出,我是很歡喜的,所以「甘願做,歡喜受」。這個甘願,就沒有苦了;沒有苦,那就是得法的歡喜。若能夠這樣,就恆持,發願恆持,我們的心,永遠一個方向沒有差別,就是這個方向,毫釐都沒有差。我們若讓它差掉了,差毫釐,失千里。我們能夠「信法無上微妙」,這個「願恆持」,那就是很準確,方向沒有偏差,一直向前走。這個「微妙」,就是綿密的道理,我們愈來愈體會,愈來愈了解,自然預防煩惱進來,煩惱不會卡到我們的心,不會污染到我們的念,變成了很自然。就像健康人,呼吸,沒有感覺,走路,沒有感覺,所做的一切都不覺得苦,這全都是很綿密的道理。我們若能夠體會了解了,自然這個願恆持,絕對沒有偏差,也沒有停歇,還是不斷向前。地球同樣這樣轉,太陽同樣沒有起落,這就成為很自然。

回歸自然,我們身心就是與大自然會合在一起,這樣「實化淨盡極微」。我們信,已經學佛了,已經因圓果滿了,就是因行,「因圓趨果」,到這個時候就像大樹,那個果已經成熟了,這棵樹果纍纍。其實這棵樹,才一顆種子,但是它能夠年年循環,無量數的種子不斷不斷產生。就像我們得到一個法,這個法我們真正入心了,只是在這個法裡面,綿綿不斷產生了很多的道理。所以,「實化淨盡」。我們已經回歸到如來本性,這已經很踏實了,果實已經成就了,已經清淨,沒有污染,這樣全都除了,那個極微的煩惱,塵垢,也全都沒有了。就像一面鏡子,這面鏡子,我們的心鏡,我們已經擦得乾乾淨淨,大圓鏡,這面很大,圓的鏡子,已經沒有塵埃垢穢,很乾淨了,這境界都現前了,大圓鏡智,這樣就現前了。

所以我們要「誠正信實」,這就是「四弘誓願」。學佛,我們日常生活待人處事,離不開這個誠懇。要有正念,我們才有辦法煩惱去除;一定要有信心,這個信法,我們才有辦法願力堅持下去;我們必定要法,法法入心,這樣非常的慇實,將我們的心淨化,自然我們大圓鏡智就現前,若能夠這樣,我們應該就是接近佛了。

一乘之道
已覺於己
復以覺人
發言無畏
擊法鼓常鳴
覺群迷不寐
此乃本心願
云敬順聖意
亦滿弘誓願

所以,「一乘之道,已覺於己,復以覺人,發言無畏,擊法鼓常鳴,覺群迷不寐,此乃本心願,云敬順聖意,亦滿弘誓願。」我們若能夠發現到一乘的道理,我們,自然我們就完全體會了解了,已經覺於自己,自己已經得到這個法了,再將這個法「復以覺人」,再去教化別人。我們若能夠這樣,要教化人,道理都清楚了;要和大家分享,「發言無畏」,就是獅子吼,發言無畏了。自然就像在「擊法鼓常鳴」。每天早上鐘鼓一響,大家的作息就開始了。不是還在睡,大家開始要來精進,所以「擊法鼓常鳴」。「覺群迷不寐」,讓大家應該要起來了,不要再在那裡半睡半清醒,大家該起床了,鐘鼓一響,大家應該要清醒。「覺群迷不寐」,那就是不要再躺在那裡睡了,外面在精進,人人在聽法了,我們不要像一條蛇一樣,還在那「大平林」裡,我們要很體會、用心了!所以,「此乃本心願」。我們出家修行,不就是立願就是要這樣來精進的嗎?我們不就是要為了成佛嗎?我們難道不要發願嗎?我們就是發這樣的心願而來啊!你們還在睡嗎?還在半醒半睡,是不是這樣呢?所以大家要很用心。

我們這個時候,要好好「敬順聖意,亦滿弘誓願」。我們修行、信法,我們就是有要發願,所以我們應該要了解,佛陀所教育的方向。就像佛陀為這些聲聞、比丘、比丘尼授記,希望大家要發大心,行大乘法。但是大家得記之後,佛陀為法募人,希望大家出來發願。大家真正是發願了,卻是不敢在這個地方,要到他方去,這就沒有敬順佛意。佛的意思是要大家在這個地方學,就要回報在這個地方,這樣才是真正佛意。所以我們要敬順佛意,也要滿自己的願,要去體會。

前面的文是這樣說。因為大家所發的願,要去他方,佛陀的心很憂鬱,用目光來環視著諸位,看看發大心的人在哪裡啊?說大乘法,大家到底有聽進去嗎?聽入大乘法的人,肯發心,也已經得大乘法,體會了解了,又是在哪裡呢?這些小乘人雖然知道,但是還沒有辦法體會佛的意,那個意思還沒有很透徹,到底能夠體會佛心意願的人到底在哪裡啊?

所以佛陀這樣用眼光一掃,裡面就開始,有人開始從座起。這是又另外一群菩薩,已經發大心的菩薩,「即從座起,至於佛前,一心合掌而作是念」。

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》

這些人都是不退轉的人,一心精進,從座起來了。他們就是很恭敬、合掌,期待世尊,「若世尊告敕我等,持說此經,當如佛教,廣宣斯法」。「佛陀,假如需要我們的時候,請佛陀來吩咐一下,我們絕對能夠如佛所教令,絕對會去做。就像佛所教,要廣宣斯法,我們大家也願意。佛怎麼教,我們就怎麼做。」

「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。」

所以,「復作是念:佛今默然不見告敕,我當云何?」

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》

「但是佛陀,您又沒有親自對我們說,我們到底要做什麼呢?」所以,「時諸菩薩敬順佛意,并欲自滿本願」。這是前面我們講過的經文,這些發大心的菩薩,得一法拳拳服膺,已經得一法了,已經無法不知。所以說「八十萬億那由他諸菩薩摩訶薩」,那麼多人嗎?其實,數量,我們要用法來講數量,因為這些人得法了,已經是不退轉。可見他們所了解的法是無量數,無處不在,無法不知的這些菩薩。所以,很多。

接下來這段文再說:「便於佛前作師子吼而發誓言:世尊!我等於如來滅後,周旋往返十方世界。」

便於佛前作師子吼
而發誓言
世尊
我等於如來滅後
周旋往返十方世界
《法華經勸持品第十三》

這就是「佛陀,您若有告敕,我們大家會尊重佛的意思,我們大家絕對會去做。」佛陀還沒有開口,我們大家也想:我們應該要了解,所以佛既然沒有開口,我們就開始來發願。佛默然了,這樣看他們,是他們起身,恭敬,佛還沒有為他們說話,只好就自己來發願,因為他們都是「阿惟越致」,不退轉的菩薩,不怕娑婆世界剛強的眾生。所以,他們開始發出,勇猛的聲音。

便於佛前作師子吼
而發誓言:
既思惟已
即於佛前
發師子吼音
立深誓願
作師子吼而誓
是謂以決定說
及無怖畏之志
而作誓言

「作師子吼而發誓言」,意思就是自己內心想:佛雖然沒有對我們講,可是我們大家也應該自己來表達。 所以,在佛前來發「師子吼」,就是講法無所畏,因為我已經自覺,我已經能夠覺他,也能夠說法無所畏。所以,他們開始就這樣表達出來。「師子吼」,他們就是表示勇猛的精進。我們剛才說過,勇猛精進,我們已經開始有了。所以,他們「立深誓願」,因為自己就要滿自己的願。所以佛的心意,我了解,我們的願力,我們也願意表達出來,所以很勇敢,自己覺悟,也已經能覺悟他人。所以,我能夠發出了無畏的聲音,就是不怕,我能夠在人間也是這樣做。

所以,作師子吼而發弘誓願,那就是決定了,他的心念決定了,這叫做「誓」,發誓,我決定,我就是這樣決定。「說及無畏」,我願意為人間來講法,在這個娑婆世界,雖然是剛強眾生,我已經在這個地方覺悟,我也應該在這個地方說法。所以,我已經決定了,就無怖畏,不怕,我是立定志願了。所以「作誓言」,我願意立誓。

躊躇已定
近前舉願
表心決意
承任此難事
發言無畏
故云師子吼

因為這些人「躊躇已定」,本來佛陀為大家授記,聽大家已經了解,佛陀是為法募人,在這樣旁聽;聽,但是大家還沒有很透徹,了解佛的心意,卻是要發願到他方去。他們內心已經自覺、覺他,也沒有怖畏的心,他們在旁邊聽,內心也這樣想:既然在這裡修行,在這裡得法,應該要在這裡弘揚大法。他們沒有表達出來,在旁邊聽,旁觀者清。聽,但是他沒有在那個地方起來發言,躊躇在那個地方,雖然我都了解了,佛的心意我更加透徹,這些人所回答的,佛陀要募人來持經弘法,這些人只是發願一半,就是願意持經,但是弘法不是要在娑婆,要去他方世界要去弘法,這樣就是沒有透徹了解,佛的心意。

我們在旁邊聽,我體會,我了解,應該要起來告訴佛陀:「佛陀啊!我願意持經,我願意入娑婆世界,教化剛強的眾生。」應該這樣回答啊!所以,這些不退轉的菩薩,就是法都很充足。這些人,他們的心,沒有當場在那個地方,站起來說話,這叫做「躊躇」。想要了解,已經了解了,但是自己沒有決定,「我要起來講話」,還沒有做這樣決定。他和佛還差一點點,「還是要等佛叫我,您若叫我,我就會和您說:『我不怕,我要在娑婆,我要留下來在娑婆世界。』」

但是,佛陀也知道,「你很勇敢,你願意留下來娑婆,我就要讓你自己講。我就是不要叫你要這樣做,讓你自己發願。」是啊!要自己立弘誓願,讓人叫的,那就不自然,還是自己來立願。所以「躊躇已定」,既然佛陀沒有叫我們,我們也願意自己來表達,所以「近前舉願」,就從座起,來佛前,開始來表決自己的心意,願意來承擔、擔任,在這麼剛強難調伏,難堪忍的世界,我願意。所以,他開始表達出來這種「發言無畏」,所以叫做「師子吼」。

發言,就是表達出了那個敬慎,向世尊表白他們的心意,所以他們就要很虔誠合掌,來稱「世尊!我等於如來滅後」,表達他們的心意,在佛滅度後,我們「周旋往返十方世界,能令眾生」。我們大家很願意,「周旋往返十方世界」,那就是表達出了他們的心願,遍一切處,佛所護念,所關心的境界、世界,他們都願意去,願意去令這些眾生,使這些世界的眾生,能夠生起正信。

周旋往返十方世界:
願遍一切處
佛心所護念之境界
能令末世眾生
生正信心

希望人人能夠體會,法的正知、正見、正解、正行業等等,所以這是開始表達出來。「周旋往返,十方世界」,是要顯示,顯示出了「誓願無窮盡」,他們願意來來去去,只要佛陀您所關心,所要護念的,我們都會去,所以叫做「周旋往返十方」。這就是「以諸賢各守護一方,分疆立界」。

周旋往反
於十方世界
顯誓願無窮盡
周旋十方:
以諸賢各守護一方
分疆立界

其實,菩薩就是各守一方,但是佛不是只是一個地方,是關懷是很多的地方。若是菩薩,就是在「分疆立界」,就是分這個界,這個界是你負責,那個界是你負責。就像我們一個處室,這個科目是你全去負責,這個國家是你要負責;國際間有這麼多,慈濟事、慈濟人,那麼就幾個人負責幾個國家,有什麼樣的事情,我們要怎麼去調理、付出,同樣的道理。若是主任,若是執行長,就一階一階就不同了,應該統籌要這樣去。總而言之,這就是我們修學佛法,要好好用心,有辦法做多少,我們就是就做多少。所以「世間無不可化之人」。

然世間
無不可化之人
亦無不可行道之處
行圓趨果
時清道泰
無處不道場

世間,大家都能夠教化,這個娑婆世界的眾生雖然剛強,也是同樣能夠教化。「亦無不可行道之處」,也沒有道行不通的地方。人,沒有不能度的人,也沒有不能走的路,所以這不困難。對發大乘心的人,他就不困難。「行圓趨果」,這就是能夠到達了我們修行,「六度萬行」,我們要入人群,不分時間,長時間、短時間,我們這幾天也在講時間。時間,無數的過去生,或者是現在,短暫把握住一念,我們入心來,好好把握,恆持剎那。這念心是永遠在的,時間沒有分,空間沒有分,人間沒有分,我們已經就是這個人群中,「六度萬行」,已經「行圓」,要「趨果」去了,已經很圓滿了。

所以,「時清道泰」,任何時間我們的心都很清,我們的心都很淨,我們的心一點點塵垢都沒有,全都沒有了。「正念斷諸煩惱除塵垢」,全都沒有了,所以到這時候,「時清道泰」。「無處不道場」。沒有人不能度的,沒有地方不能走的,沒有時間不能做的。所以,不論時間長短,或者空間大小,或者是人類這種類多少,不論什麼樣的脾氣,不論是什麼樣的個性,我們都能夠用心。

遍一切處
令一切眾生
書寫解說以利人
正念修行以自利
此菩薩不同前二
前乃自持
此承如來付囑之意
普令人持

所以,「遍一切處,令一切眾生」能夠持經,「書寫解說以利人」。經典能夠到的地方,就能利益眾生。所以,「正念修行以自利」,我們正念修行就是自利。「此菩薩不同前二」,這些菩薩,就不是前面比丘、比丘尼;這些菩薩都是不退轉的菩薩。所以,前面是「自持」,這就是「此承如來付囑之意」。希望人人都能夠持經,如來交代我們,因為他年紀大了,法要留下去,要繼承下去。佛陀這樣一直在交代我們。

各位,愛的力量就是這樣,佛關懷的地方無處不在,佛陀所悲憫的眾生,是沒有一個人他願意放棄的。所以,佛陀期待弟子也能夠任何時、任何處、任何人,都能夠將法普遍傳出,這就是要發「四弘誓願」。我們要很誠懇來度眾生,要正念來斷煩惱;我們要信法,就是要恆持法。我們要實,就是用心,果實累累來成就我們的大圓鏡智,我們的內心清淨無染穢,入人群不受污染。所以我們要時時多用心!
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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: The Buddha’s Intent and the Bodhisattvas’ Vows (敬順聖意 滿弘誓願)
Date: June.21.2018

“All Buddhas share the same Path and make the Four Great Vows. They earnestly teach and transform for the sake of suffering sentient beings. With right mindfulness, we can eliminate all afflictions and rid ourselves of dust-like defilements. We must have faith in the unsurpassed, subtle and wondrous Dharma. We must aspire to forever uphold it, steadfastly actualize it and completely purify our most subtle afflictions to attain perfect mirror wisdom.”

We must be very mindful and seek to understand that “All Buddhas share the same path.” This is something we often say “All Buddhas share the same path”. For every Buddha, the most fundamental source of His attaining Buddhahood is certainly His making and great vows. This is something that all Buddhas must have. It is the same for us spiritual practitioners. The Buddha made a vow to attain Buddhahood. We say we are now learning the Buddha’s teachings. Learning the Buddha’s teachings is learning the initial aspiration the Buddha had. We also follow that aspiration of the Buddha. Most fundamentally, this is to establish the Four Great Vows. This is very important. This is why I go to great lengths to repeatedly remind everyone that all Buddhas share the same path. The fundamental great vows to any Buddha are the Four Great Vows. This is what we should learn. So, we must always be sincere. This sincerity must be expressed from the bottom of our hearts. Only when we are sincere will we truly be willing in what we do and find joy in it. If we are not sincere, if we are passive, then it means that we are not really willing. We will not be able to sustain what we do for a long time. To continue with settled minds will be difficult. So, sincerity is very important; it is something we as spiritual practitioners absolutely cannot do without. We should be sincere in learning from the Buddha. We should be sincere in trying to be good people. We should be sincere in dealing with others. We should be sincere in handling matters. “Sincerity” refers to our heart’s most earnest intentions. Only in this way can we succeed at being good. Only by being good people can we be Buddhas. Otherwise, if we cannot even act like humans, how can we ever attain Buddhahood? So, we undoubtedly need to learn to be sincere, sincere in dealing with others, sincere in transforming sentient beings, sincere in learning from the Buddha. When it comes to sincerity, to earnest and genuine thoughts, we need to do as we always say and be “willing”. When we “work willingly,” we “accept [the results] happily.” If we work willingly, after we finish, every day we are happy. We should say we are filled Dharma-joy. If we are like this, we will not feel it is tiresome or difficult, will not feel annoyed or depressed. We will not feel any of these. This comes from sincerity, which is our Dharma-door to liberation. As we become liberated ourselves, we can also teach this method to others. To bring purity to everyone, we also use this method of sincerity.

As we deal with people and handle matters, we should always be sincere. We willingly and joyfully give of ourselves. When we put it so simply, we can be joyful every day. Awakening ourselves is transforming ourselves; we then awaken others, that is transform others. This needs sincerity that comes from our hearts. We also need “right mindfulness [to] eliminate all afflictions.” We must have right mindfulness. We must guard the gates of our six senses and practice the Eightfold Noble Path. As we learn and practice the Buddha-Dharma, this is the most important path. So, we must be mindful to have right mindfulness, right views, right understanding, right conduct and so forth. All of these are inseparable from integrity; it must be uninterrupted in every thought. Only then can our practice be without Leaks. Whether faith, vows and action or precepts, Samadhi and wisdom, we can prevent all the Dharma we cultivate from leaking away.

We will not let our eyes seeing something to like poking a hole so that things leak out. We will not let our ears hearing something cause the teachings to constantly flow away while afflictions accumulate in the mind. We must know how to engage in spiritual practice. What are purifying practices? How do we get rid of afflictions and defilements? All of these require right mindfulness.

So, “With right mindfulness, we can eliminate all afflictions.” It is only through right mindfulness that we will have a way to eliminate our afflictions and “rid ourselves of dust-like defilements.” We get rid of all sorts of dust-like defilements. This requires us to be very mindful. In every day, in every moment, in the shortest amounts of time, in the space of a thought, in an instant, even in these shortest spans of time, we must never be lacking in right mindfulness. Only then will we have a way to eliminate the dusts of all our afflictions. Then we will be “without Leaks”. We do not want the Dharma to leak away. Only by using the Dharma in our daily living can we guard against wrongs and stop evil. Only in this way can we always “do all that is good and refrain from all evil.” We do this to “eliminate all afflictions and rid ourselves of dust-like defilements.”

This reminds us to always be mindful, to be sincere and maintain right mindfulness. This way no teaching will leak out. We will have no afflictions. So, “We must have faith in the unsurpassed, subtle and wondrous Dharma. We must aspire to forever uphold it.” We should believe in the Dharma. Every day we are listening to the Dharma. Everything we face in our lives is the Dharma.

What is there in life that that is not Dharma? For instance, when it comes to the principles, just one principle, one truth, can be found everywhere, inside of everything. All things have their principles just like how we ordinarily breathe; our breathing is based on physiological principles. As we breath in and out, physiologically we are healthy. We are not even aware of it, but it is there. We do not feel, “Now I will breathe.” By the time we feel, “I am having a little trouble breathing,” then we have become sick.

When we walk, we are not even aware of it. We simply step with one foot and pick up the other. We do this unconsciously. When we are going somewhere, we just get up and move forward. We do not even really need to pay attention, our bodies just naturally move forward in accordance with our thoughts. We do not feel our two feet, stepping with the front and picking up the back. We are never even aware of it. However, once we start to feel that walking has become difficult, physiologically we again have a problem. By the same token, in our daily living, never for an instant do we depart from principles; even when we are sleeping, it is the same. When we sleep, we are unaware, yet we keep on breathing. Physiologically this is smooth and unhindered. These principles cannot be seen. Physiology, as a principle, is something we cannot see. However, it enables us to live very smoothly and freely. Without our being aware of it, our lives come together with nature. Our physiology is in harmony with everything; in the microcosm and in the macrocosm, the four elements are in balance. If this is so, we can all live peacefully every day. This is what we must experience, that all of this is of the Dharma, “We must have faith in the unsurpassed, sublet and wondrous Dharma.” The Dharma is always there for us to use, even if we are not aware of it. If we use it properly, then naturally we will be at peace.

The nature of True Suchness is innate in us. Fundamentally, we have come here with the Dharma. Nevertheless, with this Dharma, these principles, we have become buried by all the afflictions around us. This is when we need to learn how to take out the Dharma and make use of it. It is inherent in everyone, so we should be clear about these principles. With the microcosm and the macrocosm, the small climate system within us and the large climate system of the world, actually, when put together, they share the same principles. When the atmosphere is in harmony, the four seasons cycle [naturally] in turn. When our physiology is in harmony, likewise, we naturally undergo birth, aging, illness and death. In this way, very simply, our lives pass. It is the same. The sun rises, and the sun sets. Whether [we say] the sun rises or the sun sets, the sun in fact never moves. It is the earth that is turning. It keeps on turning, never deviating for even a second. The principle is the same.

When it comes to our nature of True Suchness, to our Buddha-nature, we cannot allow it to become defiled by any dust. We cannot [allow ourselves to] have afflictions, but unfortunately afflictions do disturb us. We keep stirring up our afflictions, so this pollution constantly defiles us. So, now, we are already learning the Buddha’s teachings. In the past, we lacked this faith. As we had not yet discovered the Buddha-Dharma, we had no faith. We had not yet discovered the principles, so we did not know enough to have faith. We have now discovered it, so we need to have faith; we need to believe. When it comes to faith, what do we believe in? We must listen to the principles and come to understand the process of life, of suffering, causation, cessation and the path. Why are we subject to so much suffering? How can we come to fully comprehend the origin of suffering? That is “causation”; it is accumulated. When we come to thoroughly understand this, we realize, “So that is how it is! It has its causes! It has its conditions!” As is the cause, so is the effect, so is the retribution. There are so many complicated things that come together and result in what we know as “suffering”. Now that we know this, we should quickly find faith; we should establish faith in the Dharma. Having analyzed these things, we heighten our vigilance. So, we must end [suffering], end afflictions and ignorance as they again arise. We need to cut these off. This requires us to establish faith, for only then can we maintain right mindfulness. If we can firmly maintain right mindfulness, we need to have faith in the Dharma, in the pure and wondrous Dharma. We are more and more clear on the methods; the ways to prevent evil will become clearer and clearer to us. We will know how to stop evil and end afflictions. So, there are many teachings that we must learn. If you want to learn the Dharma but are without faith, then you will never be able to learn it.

We must learn to eliminate afflictions, many afflictions, so that we will be able to attain the subtle and wondrous Dharma. Only by taking the subtle and wondrous Dharma to heart will we be able to bring forth our “willingness”. When we form great vows, we form them very joyfully. When I give of myself to others, it brings me great joy, thus I “work willingly” and “accept [the results] happily”. When we are willing, we are not suffering. There is no suffering, so we attain the joy of the Dharma. If we can do this, we can forever uphold the vows we make. Our mind will forever go in that one direction without deviating. This is our direction, which we will not deviate form in the slightest. If we allow ourselves to deviate, the slightest deviation can take us far off course. We are able to “have faith in the unsurpassed, subtle and wondrous Dharma” and “aspire to forever uphold it”. This means we are very accurate and never deviate in our direction. We always keep moving forward. When it comes to the “subtle and wondrous”, to these intricate principles, we come to experience them more and more, come to understand them more and more. Then naturally, we can prevent afflictions from entering. Afflictions will no longer block up our mind nor contaminate our thinking. This becomes very natural. This is like a healthy human being who is not even aware that she is breathing, not even aware that she is walking, who does not eel suffering in anything she does. So, these are very subtle, intricate principles.

If we can experience and understand them, naturally we can forever uphold our vows and will absolutely never deviate from them, nor stop to rest; we just keep continually moving forward. In the same way, Earth keeps turning but the sun neither arises nor sets. This becomes very natural. We return to what is natural. Mentally and physically, we are united with nature. In this way, we “steadfastly actualize it and completely purify our most subtle afflictions”. We have faith and have learned the Buddha’s teachings. The causes have been perfected and the fruit has ripened. This means in our causal practice, we “perfect the cause to approach fruition”. By this time we are like great trees with fruits that have already ripened. Our tree is full of fruit. A tree was actually once only a seed, but as it cycles through the seasons year by year, it keeps constantly producing countless numbers of seeds. This is like when we understand a teaching; if we truly have taken this teaching to heart, then just this single teaching can continually give rise to ever more principles.

So, we “steadfastly implement it and completely purify our most subtle afflictions”. Then we will have returned to our Tathagata-nature. We will already be on steady ground. Our fruits will have already ripened. We will be pure and without defilements, having gotten rid of all of these. All those very subtle afflictions and impurities will be gone as well. This is like a mirror. This mirror of our mind will have already been wiped clean. This great perfect mirror, this very large and perfect mirror, will be without any impurities or defilements. It will already have been wiped clean so that the scenery will be reflected in it. Our great perfect mirror wisdom has manifested.

So, we need sincerity, integrity, faith and steadfastness. This is also the Four Great Vows. As Buddhis practitioners, when we deal with people and matters in our daily living, we can never be without sincerity. Only with the integrity of right mindfulness do we have a way to rid ourselves of afflictions. We must have faith; only through faith in this Dharma will we be able to persevere in the power of our vows. We must take each of the teachings to heart and be earnestly steadfast in purifying our mind. Then our great perfect mirror wisdom will naturally manifest. If we can do this, it means we will have drawn near to the Buddha.

So, “One the path of the One Great Vehicle, after we awaken ourselves, we can also awaken others. We speak fearlessly. We must constantly beat upon the Dharma drum to awaken people who are lost and dazed. This was their original vow. So they reverently followed His Noble intent and also fulfilled their great vows”.

Having discovered the One Vehicle’s principles, naturally, we will completely experience them and understand; we will have awakened ourselves. Having attained these teachings ourselves, we then use them to “also awaken others”, to further teach and transform others. If we can do this, when we want to teach others, we will understand all of the principles clearly. When we want to share them with others, we will “speak fearlessly”. This is the lion’s roar; we will speak without fear. It naturally will be as if we “constantly beat upon the Dharma drum”.

Every morning, when the drum sounds, it is time for everyone to begin their day. It is no longer time for sleeping; everyone starts to come for diligent practice. So, “We must constantly beat upon the Dharma drum to awaken people who are lost and dazed”. It is time for everyone to wake up. We must not remain half asleep and half awake. We should all get out of bed. When the drum sounds, everyone should awaken, to “awaken people who are lost and deluded”. This means not lying there asleep anymore. Outside, everyone is being diligent. Everyone is listening to the Dharma. We must not just lie there like a snake in “the great flatlands” (the sleeping area). We must realize the importance of this. So, “This was their original vow”. Don’t we as monastic practitioners make vows that we will be diligent like this? Aren’t we doing this to attain Buddhahood? Do we really not want to make vows? We came here because we have made these vows! Are you still sleeping? Are you still half awake and half sleeping? Is this the case? So, everyone needs to be very mindful.

At this time we must “reverently follow His noble intent and “also fulfill [our] great vows. To engage in spiritual practice and to have faith in the Dharma, we need to make vows. So, we should try to understand the direction of the Buddha’s teachings. This is like when the Buddha bestowed predictions upon those Hearers, upon those bhiksus and bhiksunus. He hoped they would all form great aspirations for practicing the Great Vehicle Dharma.

However, after the Buddha bestowed predictions, He wanted to recruit them, hoping they come out and make vows. Everyone really did make vows, but they did not dare return to this place. They wanted to go to other worlds. This was not reverently following the Buddha’s intent. What the Buddha wanted was for those who had learned in this place to give back to this place. This was the Buddha’s true intent. So, we should reverently follow the Buddha’s intent, as well as fulfill our vows. We must experience this.

This is what the previous sutra passage says, because the vows that everyone had made were to go to other lands. This is what made the Buddha sad He looked around at everyone there; where were those who formed great aspirations. He was teaching the Great Vehicle Dharma. Had anyone really heard it? Where were those who had heard the Great Vehicle, who were willing to form aspirations, who had already attained the Great Vehicle Dharma and experienced and understood it? Where were they? Although these Small Vehicle practitioners knew, they still had no way to experience the truth of the Buddha’s intent. They still did not fully penetrate His intent. Where were those who could truly comprehend the aspiration the Buddha had in His heart? So, as the Buddha swept His gaze over them, there were some among them there who began arising from their seats. This was another group of Bodhisattvas, those who had already formed great aspirations. Immediately they arose from their seats and came before the Buddha. They wholeheartedly put their palms together and had this thought. These [Bodhisattvas] were never-retreating were single-minded in their diligence. They arose from their seats, and reverently, with palms together, waited for the World-Honored One. “If the World-Honored One were to instruct us to uphold and expound this sutra, we would do as the Buddha instructed and spread the Dharma widely. [They thought,] “Venerable Buddha, if a time comes when you need us, please just tell us. Whatever it is you command us to do, we will surely do it. For instance, the Buddha teaches us to widely proclaim this Dharma; we are also willing to do this. However the Buddha instructs us, we will do it.”

So, “They also thought, ‘The Buddha is silent now and gives us no instruction. What should we do?’” [They thought], “But, Venerable Buddha, You haven’t yet tole us in person. What it is we should do!” so, “Then all the Bodhisattvas, reverently following the Buddha’s intent and wishing to fulfill their own original vows…”.

We talked about this passage before. These were Bodhisattvas who had formed great aspirations, who attained the One Dharma and put it into action. They had already attained the One Dharma; there were no teachings that they did not know.

So, it says, there were 80 trillion Bodhisattvas. Were there reality that many? Actually, when we look at these numbers, we must look at them in terms of the Dharma. These were people who, having attained the Dharma, would never retreat from it. It was clear that the teaching that they had understood were already infinite. They would go everywhere and knew every teaching; they were Bodhisattvas like this.

So, there were many of them. The next passage goes on to say, “They came directly before the Buddha and uttered the lion’s roar, proclaiming this vow, ‘World-Honored One, after the Tathagata enters Parirvana, we will all travel back and forth throughout the worlds in the ten directions.

They were saying, “Buddha, whatever you order us to do, we will be sure to respect your intent. We will be certain to do it! The Buddha had not yet told them anything so they all thought, “We should already understand. Since the Buddha has not said anything, we need to go ahead and make vows. The Buddha just looked at them silently, but they respectfully got up themselves. The Buddha still had said nothing to them so all they could do was make vows themselves. Because these were all Bodhisattvas who had reached the stage of non-retreating, they had no fear of the stubborn sentient beings in the Saha World. So, they began to call out in courageous voices.

They came directly before the Buddha and uttered the lion’s roar, proclaiming this vow: After they had engaged in contemplation, they came immediately before the Buddha, and uttered the lion’s roar, making this profound vow. Uttering the lion’s roar to make this vow means that, with determined speech and fearless resolve, they proclaimed this vow.

“They uttered the lion’s roar, proclaiming this vow.” This means that in their hearts, they felt. “Although the Buddha has not told us to do so, we should go and express this ourselves.

So, they went before the Buddha and “uttered the lion’s roar. This is to teach the Dharma fearlessly. Because we have already awakened, we are now able to awaken others and can teach the Dharma fearlessly as well”. So, this is what they wanted to tell the Buddha. Thus, they “uttered the lion’s roar, proclaiming their courageousness and diligence.

As we just discussed, they had already begun to have courage and diligence, so they “made this profound vow. This is because one must fulfill one’s own vows. So, they had understood the Buddha’s intent, and they were also willing to express the power of their own vows. Thus they were very brave. They had awakened themselves and were already able to awaken others. So, they were able to speak with a fearless tone. They were not afraid. They could also do this in this world. So, they uttered the lion’s making vows. They were determined. They had become determined in their aspirations, so they made vows by saying, “I and determined! This is what I shall do! “With determined speech and fearless [resolve]” means they were willing to teach the Dharma to people in this Saha World, “Even though its sentient beings are stubborn, since this is where I have awakened, this is where I should teach the Dharma. So, I am already determined. I am fearless, unafraid. I am determined in my aspirations”. So, they “proclaimed this vow I willingly make this vow.

Having dispelled their hesitation, they came forward and made this vow, expressing their determination to undertake this difficult task. They spoke fearlessly, thus it says they “uttered the lion’s roar”.

These people had “dispelled their hesitation”. The Buddha had already given them predictions. He heard them and knew they understood. The Buddha was recruiting people for the Dharma. They had been there listening, but still had not thoroughly penetrated and understood the Buddha’s intent. They instead made vows to go to other lands. They had already awakened and could awaken others. They were fearless as well. While they were there listening, they were also thinking, “Since this is where we practice and where we attain the Dharma, this is where we should spread the great Dharma”. They never expressed this, they just sat there listening, but “as bystanders they could see clearly”. They listened, yet they never got up to proclaim [their understanding]. They hesitated there, thinking, “Although I understand everything, I still need to understand the Buddha’s intent more thoroughly”. What those people had answered when the Buddha wanted to recruit them to uphold the sutra and spread the Dharma was only half of a vow. They were willing to uphold the sutra and spread the Dharma, but not in the Saha World. They wanted to go to other lands in order to spread the Dharma. They still had not thoroughly understood the Buddha’s intent. Having already listened, had they truly realized and truly understood, they would have gotten up and told the Buddha, “Venerable Buddha! We are willing to uphold the sutra and are willing to go into the Saha World to teach and transform stubborn sentient beings!” This is how they should have answered Him.

So, these non-retreating Bodhisattvas, who were replete inn all of the teachings, did not get up right then and there to speak. They “hesitated” there. They wanted to understand. They already understood, yet they had not decided to get up and say it our loud. They still did not have that kind of determination. They were still not at the Buddha’s level, so they wanted to wait for the Buddha to call them. “If He calls on me, then I will tell Him that I am unafraid to remain in the Saha World. I want to remain in the Saha World”. However, the Buddha also knew this. “You are very brave. You are willing to remain in the Saha World. I want to let you declare this yourselves. I am not going to call upon you to do this. I will let you make your own vows”. It’s true! We must make great vows ourselves. If we tell someone to make them, they will not be coming naturally. We have to make vows ourselves. So, they “dispelled their hesitation. Since the Buddha has not called upon us, we ourselves will go express ourselves”. So, “They came forward and made this vow”. They got up from their seats, went before the Buddha and expressed their determination, their intention to willingly shoulder the responsibility of remaining in this world that is hard to endure, where beings are stubborn and hard to train. Thus, they began to express themselves by “speaking fearlessly”. So, this was “uttering the lion’s roar”.

They spoke out, expressing themselves very respectfully, declaring their intentions before the World-Honored One. So, with palms reverently placed together, the declared, “World-Honored One, after the Tathagata enters Parinirvana…”. They were expressing their intention that after the Buddha had entered Parinirvana, they would “all travel back and forth throughout the worlds in the ten directions to be able to help sentient beings”. They were all very willing to “travel back and forth throughout the worlds in the ten directions”. They were expressing their vow to travel everywhere, to all the realms and worlds that the Buddha cared for and kept in His thoughts. They were all willing to go there to help sentient beings there become able to give rise to right faith. They hoped that everyone would be able to realize the Dharma’s right knowledge, right views, right understanding, right conduct and so on. So, they expressed themselves like this, saying, “We will all travel back and forth throughout the worlds in the ten directions”. This was to show Him that “their vows were inexhaustible”. They were willing to come and go. If it was a place that the Buddha cared about, a place that He kept in His thoughts then they would go there. So, this is “traveling back and forth throughout the worlds of the ten directions. Each of these sages will protect a place depending on borders and boundaries”.

Traveling back and forth throughout the worlds in the ten directions shows that their vows are inexhaustible. Travel back and forth throughout the ten directions: Each of these sages will protect a place depending on borders and boundaries.

Actually, each Bodhisattva protected one place, but the Buddha did not care about only one place. He cared about many places. As for Bodhisattvas, they “depended on borders and boundaries”. They divided up the realms. “This realm is your responsibility, and that realm is your responsibility”. This is just like in a department, we say, “This subject is all your responsibility” or “That country is your responsibility”. Tzu Chi is doing so many things all over the world and there are so many volunteers, so certain people will take on certain countries, be responsible for what goes on there, coordinating our efforts to help the people there. It is the same principle. Then there are also department directors and CEOs. There must be on many different levels in order to have overall coordination. In any case, as we learn to cultivate the Buddha-Dharma, we should put effort into being mindful. However much we can do, that is what we will do. So, “There is no one in this world that” “cannot be transformed”.

Yet in this world, there is no one that cannot be transformed, and nowhere that the path cannot be practiced. As we perfect our practice and approach fruition, we will always be pure and steady on the path. Then there will be no place that is not a spiritual training ground.

In this world, everyone can be taught and transformed. Although sentient beings in the Saha World are stubborn, they can still be taught and transformed. “There is nowhere the path cannot be practiced”. There is nowhere the path cannot be practiced. As for people, there is no one who cannot be transformed and there is no path we cannot walk. So, it is not difficult. For those who form Great Vehicle aspirations, it is not difficult. “As we perfect our practice and approach fruition” means in our spiritual practice we have reached “actualizing the Six Paramitas in all actions.” We must go among people, regardless of the time it takes, whether it takes a long or short time. These days we have also been talking about time. When it comes to time, we can refer to countless past lives or we can refer to the present moment, to that instant when we seize that thought, take it to heart and hold on to it earnestly to sustain it forever. We hold on to this thought forever, regardless of time, regardless of space, regardless of relationships. We are already going among people to “actualize the Six Paramitas in all our actions.” Our practice is becoming perfect and we are going to “approach fruition.” We are already becoming perfect and complete. “We will always be pure and steady on the path.” At all times, our minds are very pure. Our mind is very pure. Our mind is without the slightest defilement, none at all. “We can eliminate all afflictions and rid ourselves of dust-like defilements”. There are none left. So, by this time, “We will always be pure and steady on the path. Then there will be no place that is not a spiritual training ground.” There is no one we cannot transform, no place we cannot go, nor any time when we cannot do this. So, no matter how long it takes, regardless of the size of a place, no matter how many different kinds of people there are, regardless of their temperament, regardless of their personality, we are always able to put our hearts into this.

So, “They will travel everywhere, helping all sentient beings to” be able to uphold the sutra, “to transcribe and expound it to benefit others.” Whatever place this sutra can reach, it will be able to benefit sentient beings there. So, they “engage in spiritual practice with right mindfulness to benefit themselves.” When we practice with right mindfulness, we benefit ourselves. These Bodhisattvas were not like the previous bhiksus and bhiksunis. These Bodhisattvas were all non-retreating Bodhisattvas. Previously, they had “upheld it for themselves.” Now they “carried out the Tathagata’s intent to entrust it to others,” hoping that everyone would uphold the sutra. The Tathagata passed it on to us because He was already old and He wanted the Dharma to remain. He wanted to pass it down. The Buddha kept passing it down to us like this.

Everyone, the power of love is like this. There is no place the Buddha does not care about. The Buddha had such compassion for sentient beings that there was no one He is willing to give up on. The Buddha wished His disciples would also, no matter the time, place or people, be able to spread the Dharma universally. This meant making the Four Great Vows. We must transform sentient beings with sincerity, eliminate afflictions with upright thinking, have faith in the Dharma, forever uphold it and steadfastly be mindful to bear many fruits and achieve great perfect mirror wisdom. When we are pure and undefiled inside, we can go among people without being contaminated. So, we must always be mindful!

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