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 20180702《靜思妙蓮華》為法忍惡 著忍辱鎧 (第1382集) (法華經·勸持品第十三)

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發表主題: 20180702《靜思妙蓮華》為法忍惡 著忍辱鎧 (第1382集) (法華經·勸持品第十三)   周日 7月 01, 2018 10:39 pm

20180702《靜思妙蓮華》為法忍惡 著忍辱鎧 (第1382集) (法華經·勸持品第十三)

⊙我等敬佛付託告敕之命而忍諸惡,為敬承佛正教常住於世綿延化度,因而備受譏刺如斯輕言當面辱罵。此諸菩薩敬佛故弘經殉身忍難也。菩薩若聞不聞,默然忍受,是非一致。尚不知有我況校是非!
⊙如此輕慢言,皆當忍受之。如此之類,輕慢語言,以為法故,皆忍受之。
⊙「常在大眾中,欲毀我等故,向國王大臣,婆羅門居士,及餘比丘眾,誹謗說我惡,謂是邪見人,說外道論議。」《法華經勸持品第十三》
⊙「我等敬佛故,悉忍是諸惡,為斯所輕言:汝等皆是佛。如此輕慢言,皆當忍受之。」《法華經勸持品第十三》
⊙「濁劫惡世中,多有諸恐怖,惡鬼入其身,罵詈毀辱我。我等敬信佛,當著忍辱鎧,為說是經故,忍此諸難事。」《法華經勸持品第十三》
⊙惡鬼入其身,罵詈毀辱我:諸邪惡鬼,附入其身,常見罵詈,毀辱於我。惡鬼入身:喻惡人狂妄罵詈如中魔鬼。
⊙我等敬信佛,當著忍辱鎧:我等諸人,敬信如來,常修慈忍大悲之行。著忍辱鎧,化所難化。
⊙「我不愛身命,但惜無上道,我等於來世,護持佛所囑。」《法華經勸持品第十三》

【證嚴上人開示】
我等敬佛付託告敕之命而忍諸惡,為敬承佛正教常住於世綿延化度,因而備受譏刺如斯輕言當面辱罵。此諸菩薩敬佛故弘經殉身忍難也。菩薩若聞不聞,默然忍受,是非一致。尚不知有我況校是非!

我等敬佛付託
告敕之命而忍諸惡
為敬承佛正教
常住於世綿延化度
因而備受譏刺
如斯輕言當面辱罵
此諸菩薩敬佛故
弘經殉身忍難也
菩薩若聞不聞
默然忍受
是非一致
尚不知有我
況校是非

這段文比較長,卻是要用心體會。我們大家就是我們現在,我們也都要,要效法佛陀在世的發心菩薩。看看佛陀在世,發心菩薩向佛發願,他們不怕人間種種的險惡,不怕末世惡比丘,種種的辱罵、誹謗,不怕。所以他們願意接受佛陀的付託、佛陀的教令,在未來世種種的惡,他們都願意去接受,這是菩薩在佛前所發的願。因為他們,稱為「我等」,就是同時這麼多的菩薩,他們向佛就是這樣發願,也就是要安慰佛:「您安心,滅度之後,您所關心的眾生,我們全都會一直為他們,庇護下去;一定要將佛法在人間,讓人人能夠有機會接受到,不論未來的人間多麼的險惡,我們大家敬佛,因為恭敬佛,佛陀所付託給我們這些責任,我們一定一定就是依法而行。苦,難忍受,我們也願意忍。」

所以他們說:「『為敬承佛正教』,常住於世間,能夠『綿延化度』,為了佛陀您所教化,您所付託這些法,正法要綿延住在世間,長久長久的時間,去教化、度眾生,我們都願意。」不怕辛苦,撥開萬難,他們都願意堅持護持正法,於未來末法世中,綿延下去,這就是菩薩的心願。甚至「因而備受譏刺,如斯輕言當面辱罵」。假使未來末世中,這些惡比丘邪知見,邪知邪見、貢高我慢,這種比丘,在我面前用種種的語言,來譏刺我,用很利的言語來傷害我,或者是用種種輕視、輕蔑、侮辱的語言,當面來辱罵我。像這樣,我也都不怕。」這些大願就是這群菩薩,這些菩薩為了,「敬佛故,弘經殉身忍難也」。這就是這些菩薩,我們要很敬佩他們的精神。

看看,佛陀在世,他向眾生說了很多,人間「苦集滅道」種種道理,大家聽了、體會了、了解了,更是對這個娑婆世界心存恐懼,大家知道應該要脫離,這種剛強、難調伏的人群。既然修行,與世無爭,與人無爭,無事無爭;既然與事無爭,何必在這個人間,這麼剛強惡劣,在這個地方。所以,佛陀的座下弟子,了解道理之後,他們也懂得發心,卻是懼怕、不敢在這個地方,恐怕自己一念偏差了,就受誘惑了,有心、無心之過,在這個娑婆世界很危險,所以他們會怕,這就是這個世間的險惡。

但是發心的菩薩,看到大家辜負了,佛陀一片心來教育。佛陀為三界眾生,這種煩惱無明所困惑,造作很多的罪業,所以佛陀生生世世來回人間,無非就是要人人了解道理,跳脫出人我是非,真正「無罣礙,無罣礙故」,再來人間度眾生。但是,佛陀的座下弟子愈了解法,愈是在內心,愈是對這種因緣果報的懼怕,所以不敢停滯在娑婆。但是,佛陀還是要再來,雖然人生自然法則,緣將盡了,但是還有另外其他的一段緣,還要再來。未了之緣,佛陀的未了之緣是什麼呢?是眾生還是在芸芸,煩惱無明的苦海中。所以佛陀不忍心,就是捨這生之報,隨著自然法則的因緣,他捨報還要再來人間;捨這個報身,他又是再來人間,這是乘如是法,就再來人間。如來,是以如是法而來,在因緣完成而去,在法緣成,再來。這是如是來,如是去,來去自如,稱為「如來」。

但是,來人間度眾生,單獨的力量是「無法度」,需要更多人助緣,而且要綿綿密密,綿密的時間、空間,在人間。而且佛陀滅度以後,就是再來人間,也都要再經過幾年幾年的時間,才有辦法集大眾,去做領導的志業。所以,時間、空間,空間在哪裡?與人人的緣,人間,他還是還要再來。這當中,這需要菩薩,還是要連接綿延下去。大家若都不敢來,佛離開了之後,這個世間要怎麼辦呢?佛法一定要再繼續維持下去,所以佛陀人不在,佛的法身還在。雖然報身捨了,法身綿延,法身就是需要發心的菩薩,將法綿延下去,這就是佛的法身永存人間,也就是延續慧命。佛陀這個法身慧命需要,需要要有菩薩延續。

所以,很多的菩薩敬佛,願意投入未來惡世中,哪怕就是捨身為教,他們也願意,願意忍諸苦難,因為很多無明,無明箭的傷害,他們了解,他們不怕,他們願意忍受,這就是要發大心的菩薩。所以這些菩薩:「若聞不聞」,默然接受。也有說過了,「不論是當面罵我,當面來諷刺我、來譏刺我、來侮辱我,當面我也能夠忍耐過去,何況在我的背後,沒有聽到。但是這種誹謗的聲音,在四方八達,這樣間接聽,這種我也默然忍受,不會再去回應,就是默然忍受;忍受一切是非,不論是直接聽到或者是間接的,我全都完全忍受了。」所以像這樣,「這種直接、間接,我都能夠忍受。」所以,應該這個「四相」,都要破除,人相、我相、眾生相、壽者相,一切相都完全去除了,就沒有人我是非了。人我是非既然沒有,與事無爭,哪有世間什麼有形無形呢?心放寬了,面對著種種的境界,唯一心,就是綿延佛的教法,這就是諸菩薩的心願。他們願意就是接受種種,在經文的裡面。「如此輕慢言,皆當忍受之」。

如此輕慢言
皆當忍受之
如此之類
輕慢語言
以為法故
皆忍受之

這很多很多種種的誹謗,譏毀,當面辱罵等等,我全都能夠忍受。這種種真的是,不論是如何輕視,怎麼的語言來侮辱我們,我們都應該忍受。因為法一定要傳下去,所以一定要忍受。這個忍受是這麼多,所以,前面所說,〈法師品〉之中,「三軌法」──「大慈悲為室,柔和忍辱衣,諸法空為座」。要用大慈悲的心,入如來的室;入如來室就是契佛心意,我們的心和佛的心,要互相契合起來,我們既然向佛學法,我們應該要了解佛的心志,所以我們一定要契佛心;契佛心就像入如來室。佛心是大慈悲心,所「以大慈悲為室」。

「柔和忍辱衣」,人生,世間剛強眾生難調伏,要用什麼方法去調伏他呢?柔和、忍辱。柔和忍辱,這我們一定要做得到,就像這些菩薩,他(們)都已經發這樣的願,要在娑婆世界弘通這個妙法,必定要忍受一切。光是忍受還不夠,我們要有一股很慇實的力量,因為法一定要傳下去。所以,這就是說「軟實力」,「軟實力」,要用這股很柔和,雖然是很軟,但是它有一股的力量,這就是我們要學,我們要訓練,要精神理念。所以,這幾天一直和大家說「四修法」,要長長久久,綿綿連連,用恭敬心,一直都是這樣長久綿延下去,無餘修、無間修、長時修、尊重修,那就是體佛心,願意這樣長時間在任何一個空間,和任何一個人間中,他都願意去付出,就是需要有這樣。

著起了忍辱衣,忍辱衣一穿上,我們就要很透徹了解,「諸法空為座」。「有」的都化為虛幻,那就是「無」了,所以有什麼樣的語言,能夠傷到我們的心呢?能夠折伏我們的志呢?我們的志願,就是要延續佛的正法,惡的勢力不能降伏到我們,應該我們要用,我們的正念、正法,去降伏邪慢、剛強。所以,才會常常說「善惡拔河」,是善的要贏,還是惡的要贏呢?惡的是用卑鄙、粗劣來傷害人,善的是用圓融、善解、包容,這種心態去降伏他,去感化他,這就是兩極端,這種柔和的愛和剛強的惡,若能善的力量更多一點,這樣一股氣,就能淨化掉了邪惡的濁氣,這就是我們要很用心度化眾生,說服了眾生,能夠了解正法,向正方向,正思、正見、正念、正解、正業這樣去實行,這就是我們要努力。

所以,前面的文,就是這樣說:「常在大眾中,欲毀我等故,向國王大臣,婆羅門居士,及餘比丘眾,誹謗說我惡,謂是邪見人,說外道論議。」

常在大眾中
欲毀我等故
向國王大臣
婆羅門居士
及餘比丘眾
誹謗說我惡
謂是邪見人
說外道論議
《法華經勸持品第十三》

就是那些惡比丘,常常都在大眾中,這樣在誹謗我們,而且我們明明是在傳正法,他說:「這些法都是不如法,這些法都是為了名聞,所以這都是外道的論義。」將正法,他將它反過來,誹謗他是外道,這都是善惡在拔河,惡的說善的不對,這就是這樣在拔河。善的,就要站得住,道理自在人心,我們真正,心,真理,我們要用耐心去啟發出來。所以我們要人心回歸本性,真理啟發出來,就能夠了解這就是正法。所以,善惡在拔河。

「我等敬佛故,悉忍是諸惡。」

我等敬佛故
悉忍是諸惡
為斯所輕言
汝等皆是佛
如此輕慢言
皆當忍受之
《法華經勸持品第十三》

因為我們大家敬佛,那個時候的菩薩向佛陀說:「雖然他們這樣誹謗我,說我講的是邪、是偏的、是外道的,但是我還是一樣能很鞏固,把這個正法好好受持著。因為我的心中有這股力量,敬重佛,相信佛,敬信佛,所以我悉忍是諸惡,因為我相信佛,我願意忍受種種的誹謗。」所以「為斯所輕言」。這些人如何來輕視我,如何來侮辱我,來輕視我,來譏毀我,辱罵我,這我都不要緊,而且用種種的語言來諷刺我,這種「如是輕慢言,皆當忍受之」。種種輕慢我,我都願意忍受。可見,要守持正法是談何容易,很不簡單,很不容易,都要堅定道心。

下面接下來這段文:「濁劫惡世中,多有諸恐怖,惡鬼入其身,罵詈毀辱我。我等敬信佛,當著忍辱鎧,為說是經故,忍此諸難事。」

濁劫惡世中
多有諸恐怖
惡鬼入其身
罵詈毀辱我
我等敬信佛
當著忍辱鎧
為說是經故
忍此諸難事
《法華經勸持品第十三》:

〈法師品〉是「著忍辱衣」,現在這品是「著忍辱鎧」。「忍辱衣」就很柔和,「柔和忍辱衣」,但是「忍辱鎧」,就不同了,盔甲都要穿好。盔甲知道嗎?要上戰場,要保護這個身體,要像金屬類所做的,不怕刀、不怕槍,這種裝備也都要有啊!可見未來,未來濁惡世,愈來是愈濁,愈來是愈邪惡。所以我們要心裡有準備,這種惡劣的世間。菩薩這樣說:「我等敬信佛,當著忍辱鎧。」我們會好好準備,就像要入戰場一樣。「為說是經故,忍此諸難事」,在這種這麼惡劣的世間,我們會用心保護自己,讓我的道心不退失,讓我的慧命沒有受傷害,我也要忍耐難事,很多困難的事情我願意忍耐。

這「濁劫惡世中」,真的是在末法,在惡世法末的時候,未來,道理在人間,一直一直消退去了。「多有是等恐怖」,有很多前面所講過,不只是一般的人傷害佛法,即使連出家這名字沙門,名字比丘,內在沒有真實修行的心,沒有真實的真理,但是他為了名聞,為了爭取利養,他就會種種設法,來誹謗受持正法的人。這是未來這種濁惡世,很可怕,這是我們要很用心,去好好慎防,要很謹慎,因為這是一件很恐怖的事情。

難怪已經得記,受記的這些修行者,他們會這麼害怕,不敢在娑婆世界,原來是這樣的。因為佛陀就是說得很溫柔,說要「大慈悲為室,柔和忍辱衣,諸法空為座,處此為說法」,就是這麼講,這麼溫柔。卻是這些菩薩體會了解,未來濁惡世是這麼惡,豈只是「柔和忍辱衣」而已?不只哦!還要著「忍辱鎧」,因為未來這惡世的傷害,是無所不至,暗箭難防,所以就要好好提高警覺,不要去傷到自己的慧命。所以要保護正法,不要傷自己的慧命,道心要堅固,要好好保護。

下面的文說:「惡鬼入其身,罵詈毀辱我」。

惡鬼入其身
罵詈毀辱我:
諸邪惡鬼
附入其身
常見罵詈
毀辱於我
惡鬼入身:
喻惡人狂妄罵詈
如中魔鬼

這些邪見人就像著魔一樣,控制不住,是非不分,就是這樣,就像中邪的惡鬼附入他的身裡。我們也是能看到這樣,世間就是這樣,有很多,心一亂起來,就好像旁邊有人在唆使他,他無法控制自己,就一直就是去傷害人。還記得在好幾年前,有一個媽媽,就是為了孩子,孩子將要考試,就是一直關心她的孩子,一直去求神,去問,一直一直求,一直問,一直祭,就是一直期待她的孩子,能夠讀書,能夠考到理想的大學。所以內心只是掛慮在她的孩子,這樣一直走在那不正確的道路,一直迷信。

有一次,就叫她的先生,非載她再去拜,再去祭不可,去拜、去祭,要讓她的孩子能夠聰明,讓她的孩子考試高中,所以先生也常常被她,吵得沒有辦法,她要去哪,他就載她到哪去。有一天,載她去了,回來的路上,忽然叫先生停車,先生就趕快停車。下來是做什麼呢?自己,手一直拜、拜,拜一拜,忽然間就用兩根手指頭,伸進她的眼睛裡去,把兩顆眼睛挖出來。這是在蘇澳,有這樣的一個真實事。

曾經有,有我們的慈濟人陪著一對母女,母親眼睛已經被傷害了,看不到了,女兒陪她來,講出了她為了兒子的學業,她很煩惱很煩惱,所以常常走偏路去求,所以變成了精神錯亂掉了。先生要帶她看醫生,不肯去看,就只是一直要去祭,要去拜。所以那一天發生這樣的事情,造成了她這一生眼盲了,但是,心也還是無法開,所以就這樣把她帶來。

後來和她談一談,說一說,她說安心回去了。這到底是不是心有安下來,還是沒有?很多年了。這就是「邪惡鬼,附入其身」,由不得自己,也有這樣的這種「狂妄」,很狂,心狂就妄了,迷失了自己。這樣「常見罵詈」,不知道自己的身分是什麼,總是只是一直要去誹謗人,要去毀滅人,這種像邪惡鬼附入其身,這樣要常常罵人,來誹謗人。像這樣,所毀辱我,這樣的人就像惡鬼入身一樣,這樣不分道理,一直要來罵人。這就是譬如惡人狂妄罵詈,就像中魔的惡鬼一樣,會將他當作是這樣,就像著魔一樣,這種不是真實。所以,「我等敬信佛,當著忍辱鎧」。

我等敬信佛
當著忍辱鎧:
我等諸人
敬信如來
常修慈忍大悲之行
著忍辱鎧
化所難化

我們大家,已經都能「敬信佛」,我們應該要著起「忍辱鎧」,這忍辱的這件衣服,我們要穿上來。第一自己的信心要堅強,不要被這個惡損害了我的信心。所以,要堅定自己的信心,保護慧命、正法。那我們就是要用一個方法,就是「敬信如來」。我們就是心中有佛,佛在我們的心中,所以我們契佛心、護正法,我們全都敬信。所以,「常修慈忍大悲之行」。我們相信佛,如來,乘如是法來人間,又乘如是法而取滅,又乘如是法再來人間,這個時間,我們全都會,不斷能夠讓時間、空間,正法不間斷在人間。這一切的邪惡,我們都能夠忍,我們能夠常常受諸忍,慈悲、忍辱。

「大慈悲為室」,我們已經入如來室了,就是一、信佛、敬佛,我們入如來室,就是以大慈悲來入如來室。是為了要度眾生,延續佛的教法,所以我們要著忍辱衣。我們已經接受佛的教育,真空,一切皆空,這個般若智慧,真空妙有,我們全都了解了。所以,「諸法空為座」,這種的誹謗,這沒有障礙我們的道心。這就是這些菩薩他們向佛安慰,也向佛的發願。所以他們要著「忍辱鎧」,自己不會受傷,而且也是同樣,能夠弘揚佛的正法。所以要「著忍辱鎧,化所難化」。要感化這些剛強、難調伏的人,這些人,我們都願意去將他們感化過來。所以「化所難化」,這些人雖然罵我、欺侮我、還是用心要將他們感化過來。「化所難化」,我就是要將他們感化過來。

所以,「為說是經故,忍此諸難事」。為了要講這部經,我們要忍這麼多的難,但我們都願意一一克服這些困難。「為欲廣說是經」,就是為了要廣說這個經典,我要克服一切;要克服一切,只有一個方法,就是「忍」,「忍」。著「忍辱衣」,著「忍辱鎧」,這我們全都要穿上來,要安全,要保護起來。所以,「當忍此等難忍之事」。我們一定要忍,要化所難化的人,忍所難忍的事情。

我不愛身命
但惜無上道
我等於來世
護持佛所囑
《法華經勸持品第十三》

下面的文說:「我不愛身命,但惜無上道,我等於來世,護持佛所囑」。我不會只顧我的身體,我願意捨身,就是「但惜無上道」。我會好好保護這個真實妙法,這是「我等不敢自愛身命」,不會自己只是為了愛自己,沒有小愛了,只有大愛,不惜身命,就是願意為道捨身,願意付出。「但當愛惜無上之道」,這就是這些菩薩所發的願。

「我等於來世,護持佛所囑」。「我等」,就是我們大家,「我們這些菩薩,我們大家願意在未來世,護持世尊所付囑、所交代的道理,我們大家都能夠了解,請佛您就安心,我們全都願意付出。」是啊!我們就要忍,娑婆世界堪忍,除了人心邪慢,還有人間險惡難測,真的是很多很多,我們要很謹慎,要預防。這妙法要傳承下去,沒那麼簡單,有形、無形的障礙也很多;有時候障礙不只在外面,自己的起心動念,說不定也惹來了很大的障礙。所以,修行難,很難啊!不只是修行難,又面對人間更加難。這就是我們非常難的人間,現在是這樣,未來更,更為甚,更加嚴重,所以,我們要用心去體會。不只是人心難測,人心,人和人之間,險惡難測,就是自然的災害也偏多。所以,我們要很用心,人心淨化,才有辦法這個五濁的濁氣,才能夠消除。所以,學佛,我們要時時用在人和人之間。

有時候,看到我們這樣在付出、付出,做對的事情,很辛苦的過程,結果呢,歡喜的結果,這就很歡喜。像林院長,他帶著大陸上海一位年輕人,吳曉冬,就進來精舍給師父看。哇!他因巴金森(氏症),一直到了整個身體,就是無法控制;沒吃藥的時候,是沒有辦法站起來,已經長年在地上在打滾,控制不了。我們的委員發現到了,將這個個案拿回來,要研究了解了,就請他將這個年輕人帶來。帶來之後,用藥的時候控制不了;沒有用藥,無法動。用藥的時候,控制不了,就一直幫他調、調、調,調到為他裝晶片,現在的科技,這個晶片,動一個手術將它裝進去。慢慢調,調到帶回來精舍,原來是一位這麼帥、很瀟灑的一位年輕人,他是復旦大學畢業,很有學養的人。母親為了照顧這個孩子,非常的辛苦,這時候母親身體也有病,母子全都來了,母親來我們這裡,我們也好好為她治療、檢查。孩子,我們好好治療。

他是這樣用走的就能夠進來,進來精舍。輕輕這樣將他扶著,其實不用扶,他就是這樣走,就是來給師父看。看他展露了笑容,聽他說話很清楚。總是,我就拿起一本《無量義經》說:「這本送你,你念。」他就唸,誦出來。因為他們讀的都是簡體文,我們的繁體字,他有一點困難。我說:「沒關係,你好好去用心看。」他也給我一本,讓我看一本,他也抄,抄經,用手寫。我說:「你的字這麼漂亮呢!」他說:「過去沒有辦法寫字,失去寫字的功能,現在已經能將經文也寫得很整齊。」我就說:「繼續,要再寫,同時繼續誦念《無量義經》。」看到這樣,這個成就很歡喜。

所以,要經過將這種病人,現在無藥醫,能夠調理到讓他這樣站起來,走路穩定,而且說話清楚,這不是那麼簡單。這要累積多少的過程,辛苦、波折,才能夠成立這間醫院,才能夠有這樣的人才、科技,愛的用心,醫護人員這樣來陪伴,讓一些病人,能夠好好恢復健康起來,這也不是簡單的事情。總而言之,凡是成就一項正確的,為人群付出的事情,都不是簡單,都是要用很多的辛苦去付出。所以,我們要時時多用心!


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發表主題: 回復: 20180702《靜思妙蓮華》為法忍惡 著忍辱鎧 (第1382集) (法華經·勸持品第十三)   周五 8月 24, 2018 8:46 pm

Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: Endure Evil with the Armor of Patience (為法忍惡 著忍辱鎧)
Date: July.02.2018

“’We all honor the mission the Buddha entrusted to us, so we will endure all evils. We work to reverently take up the Buddha’s right teaching and help it abide forever in the world so it may continue to transform and deliver. Because of this, we will be ridiculed and insulted to our face with words of mockery.’ These Bodhisattvas revered the Buddha, so they were willing to sacrifice themselves and endure hardships to spread the sutra. Whether or not these Bodhisattvas would hear [these insults], they would silently endure them. They saw right and wrong as one and the same. They did not recognize that they had a self, let alone take issue over right and wrong.”

This verse is relatively long, but we must mindfully seek to comprehend it. Right now in the present, we all must seek to emulate these dedicated Bodhisattvas who were here when the Buddha was in the world. When the Buddha was in the world, these dedicated Bodhisattvas made their vows before Him. They were not afraid of the various dangers and evils of the world. They were not afraid of the evil bhiksus in the future and their various insults and slander. They were not afraid. So, they were willing to accept the Buddha’s [mission] that He entrusted to them. In [the face of] the various evils of the future world, they were all willing to accept it.

This was the vow these Bodhisattvas made before the Buddha. Referring to themselves as “we all,” these numerous Bodhisattvas all made vows before the Buddha at the same time. They also wanted to comfort the Buddha. “Please put your mind at ease. Once you enter Parinirvana, we will continue to constantly protect all of the sentient beings who you care about. We will keep the Buddha-Dharma in the world so that everyone will have the opportunity to accept it. No matter how dangerous and evil our world will become in the future, we will always revere the Buddha. Because we revere the Buddha, when it comes to the duties that the Buddha has entrusted to us, we will certainly carry them out according to the Dharma. We will also be willing to endure these hardships that are difficult to endure.” So, they said, “We work to reverently take up the Buddha’s right teaching and help it abide forever in the world, so it may continue to transform and deliver.” So, “In order to ensure that Your teachings and the Right Dharma You have entrusted with us will continue to abide in the world for a very long time to teach and transform sentient beings, we are willing to [endure these hardships].” They did not fear hardship and would overcome all kinds of difficulties. They were all willing to keep protecting and upholding Right Dharma so that in the future era of Dharma-degeneration, the Dharma would continue to live on. This was the vow of those Bodhisattvas. “Because of this, we will be ridiculed and insulted to our face with words of mockery. In the future era of Dharma-degeneration, there will be evil bhiksus with deviant knowledge and deviant views, arrogance and pride. Bhiksus like these will say all sorts of things directly to our face to ridicule us, use all kinds of hurtful words to harm us, belittle us with words of mockery and abuse us with insulting language. Even if they do this, we will not be afraid.” This was the great vow of these Bodhisattvas. Because these Bodhisattvas “revered the Buddha, they were willing to sacrifice themselves and endure hardships to spread the sutra.” We must admire the spirit of these Bodhisattvas.

Just look; when the Buddha was still in the world, He taught sentient beings the world’s various principles of suffering, causation, cessation and the Path. Once they all listened to, realized and understood [these principles], they began harbor fear toward the Saha World. They all knew they had to escape from these stubborn and hard-to-tame people. Spiritual practitioners must have no conflicts with the world, people or matters. Since they had no conflicts with matters, why would they have to remain in this world where sentient beings are so stubborn and wicked?

Therefore, once the Buddha’s disciples understood these principles, they also knew they had to form aspirations. However, they were afraid and did not dare to remain in this place. They feared that if their mind went astray, they would be overwhelmed by temptation and commit intentional or unintentional wrongdoings. This Saha World is very treacherous, so they were afraid. This shows how dangerous and evil this world is. These dedicated Bodhisattvas saw how everyone failed to live up to the Buddha’s intention behind teaching them. The Buddha came to the world for the sake of the sentient beings in the Three Realms. Deluded by afflictions and ignorance, sentient beings create so much negative karma. So, lifetime after lifetime, the Buddha returned to the world, all for the sake of helping everyone to understand these principles and transcend interpersonal conflicts so that they could truly “be without hindrances”. “Without hindrances,” they would come back to the world to transform sentient beings.

However, the more the Buddha’s disciples understood the Dharma, the more they began to fear the law of karma. As a result, they did not dare to remain within the Saha World. However, the Buddha will continue to return here. Due to the laws of nature, His conditions were soon to be exhausted. However, the Buddha still has another set of conditions [for this world], so He will return yet again. [He has] conditions that have yet to be fulfilled. What are the Buddha’s unfulfilled conditions? So many sentient beings are still [lost] in the sea of suffering, due to their afflictions and ignorance. The Buddha could not bear this, so once He let go of His retribution in this life, He followed the laws of nature and His karma. Once He let go of this life, He would again return to this world so He could return to this world again, journeying upon the Dharma of True Suchness to return to this world. “This Come One” means that He comes to this world upon the Dharma of True Suchness. When His karmic conditions have been fulfilled, He will leave [this world]. When conditions for the Dharma are fulfilled, He will return. This is how He comes and goes. He comes and goes freely, thus He is called. “Thus Come One”.

However, when He comes to the world to transform sentient beings, if He only relied on His power alone, He would have “no way”. He needs more people to form assisting conditions and closely interweave them. They must be closely interwoven within time, space and among people. Moreover, after entering Parinirvana, once the Buddha returns to this world, He will have to go through many, many years again before He can then gather an assembly and carry out this mission of guiding them. So, where in time and space will all of this be? Because of His karmic conditions with everyone, He will still return to this world. In the meantime, He still needs Bodhisattvas to continue to pass down [this mission]. If no one dared to come [to this world] after the Buddha left it, then what would happen to this world? We must continue to maintain the Buddha-Dharma. So, even when the Buddha is not here in person, His Dharmakaya is still present. Although He had let go of His reward-body, His Dharma-body continues on. Yet, the Dharmakaya requires Bodhisattvas with eh aspiration to continue to pass down the Dharma so that the Buddha’s Dharmakaya will forever abide in the world. This is extending His wisdom-life.

In order to extend the wisdom-life of the Buddha’s Dharmakaya, many Bodhisattvas are needed. So, these numerous Bodhisattvas revered the Buddha and were willing to get involved in the future evil world. Even if they had to give up their lives for the sake of the teachings, they would still be willingly, they were willing to endure all kinds of hardships. [The world] is full of ignorance and the arrows of ignorance cause great harm; they understood this, yet they were unafraid. They were willing to endure it. These were Bodhisattvas who had formed great aspirations. So, “Where or not these Bodhisattvas would hear [these insults], they would silently endure them.” We have discussed this before. “No matter how they curse me to my face, no matter how they openly ridicule me and insult me, I will be able to endure it patiently. This is to say nothing of what they do behind my back that I cannot hear. However, these kinds of slanderous remarks can spread very quickly and I might hear them indirectly. Still, I will silently endure them. I will not respond to these words. Instead, I will silently endure them. I will endure all these rumors about me, regardless of whether I hear them directly or indirectly. I will completely endure all of them.”

So, in this way, “Whether it is direct and indirect, I can endure all of it.” So, we should all break away from the Four Views. They are the view of people, the view of self, the vies of sentient beings and the view of a lifespan. When we have eliminated all of these views, we will not have any more interpersonal conflicts. Once we have no interpersonal conflicts or conflicts over matters, how could we [discriminate] over anything tangible or intangible in this world? Once we broaden our mind, as we face all kinds of conditions, our only intention will be to help the Buddha’s teachings continue on. This was the vow of those Bodhisattvas. They were willing to endure all kinds of [mockery].

In the sutra passage, [they said], “As for these disrespectful words of mockery, we will patiently endure them all.” As for these disrespectful words of mockery, we will patiently endure them all. When it comes to this kind of mocking language, we will patiently endure it all for the sake of the Dharma.

“When faced with slander and disparagement, when they insult us to our face, we will endure it all. No matter what kinds of words people use to belittle or insult us, we must endure them. Because the Dharma must be passed down, we must endure this.” They have to endure so many things.

So, previously, in the Chapter on Dharma Teachers, we discussed the Three Directives. “Great compassion is the room. Gentleness and patience are the clothing. The emptiness of all phenomena is the seat”. With a mind of great compassion, we must enter the Tathagata’s room. To enter the Tathagata’s room is to resonate with the Buddha-mind. Our minds and the Buddha’s mind need to resonate with one another. Since we are learning the Dharma from the Buddha, we should understand the Buddha’s intent.

Therefore, we must resonate with the Buddha-mind. Resonating with the Buddhas-mind is just like entering the Tathagata’s room. The Buddha’s mind is a heart of great compassion. Therefore, “Great compassion is the room. Gentleness and patience are the clothing”. In this world, sentient beings are stubborn and difficult to tame. What methods should we use in order to tame them? Gentleness and patience. We must be gentle and patient, just like these Bodhisattvas who had already made vows to spread this wondrous Dharma throughout the Saha World. We must patiently endure all hardships. It is not enough to just have patience. We also need a very sincere, steadfast strength, because the Dharma must continue to be spread. So, this is the so-called “power of gentleness”. “The power of gentleness” means we must be very gentle. Although it is gentle, this power has its strength. This is something we must learn, something we must train ourselves in we need this spirit and ideal. Over the past few days, I have been continuously talking about how [we must engage in] “the Four Practices”. We must practice continuously, over a long period of time. We must have a reverent mind. For a long time, we must continuously practice, through practice with nothing further, uninterrupted practice, extended practice and practice with reverence. In this way, we will realize the Buddha’s intent. We will be willing to spend a long time, in any space and in any world, helping others. This is what we must do. As soon as we don the clothing of patience, we need to completely understand that “the emptiness of all phenomena is the seat. Then, all that “exists” will become illusory; it will all become “non-existent”. [If we do this], what kind of words could possibly damage our aspirations or overpower our vows? Our vow is to continue to pass down the Buddha’s Right Dharma. The power of evil cannot subdue us. We must use our right mindfulness and Right Dharma to tame deviant arrogance and stubbornness.

Therefore, we often talk about “the tug-of-war between good and evil”. Will good win or will evil win? Those who evil use crude and despicable methods to harm others. Those who are good use harmony, understanding, and tolerance to tame and transform them. These are the two extremes. It is gentle love versus stubborn evil. If we can strengthen the power of goodness a bit, this power will be able to purify the evil turbidities. This means we need to be very mindful as we transform sentient beings. We need to convince them so that they can understand Right Dharma and advance in the right direction. Then right thinking, right views, right mindfulness, right understanding and right actions can be put into action. This requires us to work very hard.

So, he previous sutra passage states the following, “They will constantly seek to disparage us before the multitudes. Before kings, ministers, Brahmins, lay people and other assemblies of bhiksus as well, they will slander us and say we are evil. They will say we are people of deviant views who teach heretical doctrines”.

Those evil bhiksus will constantly seek to disparage us before the multitudes. Also, when we are clearly spreading Right Dharma, they will say, “These teachings are not in accordance with the Dharma. These teachings are just for the sake of fame. Therefore, these are all heretical doctrines”. They will twist this Right Dharma and slander it as heretical teachings. This is a tug-of-war between good and evil. The evil will say that the good are wrong. They are in a tug-of-war like this, and the good must stand firm. The principles exist inherently in people’s minds. We need to patiently seek to awaken these true principles within peoples’ minds. So, we want to help people return to their intrinsic nature. When they awaken to the true principles, they will be able to understand that this is Right Dharma. Thus, there is a tug-of-war between good and evil. “Because we revere the Buddha, we will endure all of this evil”.

Because we revere the Buddha, we will endure all of this evil. For this they will mock us, saying, “You are all Buddhas!” All these words of mockery and arrogance we will endure and accept.

“Because we all revere the Buddha” was what the Bodhisattvas said to the Buddha then. “Although they will slander us and say that what we teach is evil, deviant, and heretical, we will still remain firm in upholding this Right Dharma. This is because our hearts have the power. We revere the Buddha, have faith in the Buddha. We have reverent faith in the Buddha, so we will endure all of this evil. Because we trust the Buddha, we are willing to endure all kinds of slander”.

Therefore, “For this they will mock us. No matter how these people mock us, insult us, belittle us, ridicule and curse us, we will not worry about it”. They will say all sorts of things to ridicule us, “All these words of mockery and arrogance we will endure and accept”. We are willing to endure all sorts of mockery. Here we can see that safeguarding and upholding. Right Dharna is easier said than done. It is not easy at all. So, we must always remain firm in our spiritual aspirations.

The following sutra passage states, “In the evil world during the kalpa of turbidity, there will be much to fear. Evil ghosts will enter people bodies to abuse and slander us. But we who revere and have faith in the Buddha will don the armor of patience. For the sake of teaching this sutra, we will endure all these difficulties.”

The Chapter on Dharma Teachers talks about “wearing the clothing of patience”. Now, this chapter talks about ”wearing the armor of patience”. “The clothing patience” is very soft and gentle. “Gentleness and patience are the clothing”. However, “the armor of patience” is different. We need to wear this suit of armor. Do you know what a suit of armor is for? When we enter the battlefield, we need it to protect our bodies. It must be made of metal, impervious to sword or spear. We need to this kind of equipment. It is clear that the future world of turbidity will grow more and more turbid and evil.

Therefore, we need to be mentally prepared for this kind of wicked world. The Bodhisattvas said, “But we who revere and have faith in the Buddha will don the armor of patience. They will carefully prepare themselves as if they were about to enter a battlefield. “For the sake of teaching this sutra, we will endure all these difficulties.” Because we live in such an evil world, we must mindfully seek to protect ourselves so that we do not lose our spiritual aspirations, so our wisdom-life will remain unharmed. We must also be willing to endure difficulties.

“In the evil world during the kalpa of turbidity, in the evil world during the era of Dharma-degeneration, in the future, the principles will continuously disappear from the world. “There will be much to fear. As I mentioned preciously, it is not just ordinary people who will do harm to the Buddha-Dharma. Even some who have become monastics and are known as sramanas and bhiksus lack the genuine aspiration. They lack the true principles, but in pursuit of fame, wealth and offerings, they use all kinds of methods to slander those who uphold Right Dharma. This is the future evil world of turbidities; it is very fearsome. We need to mindfully guard ourselves against wrongdoing and maintain constant vigilance, because this is a very scary thing. No wonder these spiritual practitioners who had already received predictions were so afraid and did not dare to remain in the Saha World. This is why they were like this. So, the Buddha spoke to them very gently, saying, “Great compassion is the room. Gentleness and patience are the clothing. The emptiness of all phenomena is the seat; here at this place, one expounds the Dharma.”

When the Buddha used such gentle words, these Bodhisattva realized and understood that the future evil world of turbidities would be very wicked indeed. How could the “clothing of gentleness and patience” be enough? It is not! We also need to “wear the armor of patience,” because the [dangers] of the future evil world will be everywhere, they are hidden and hard to guard against. Therefore, we need to work hard to heighten our vigilance so that our wisdom-life will not be harmed. So, we need to safeguard Right Dharma and refrain endangering our wisdom-life. Our aspirations must remain firm, so we must protect them carefully.

The following sutra passage says, “Evil ghosts will enter people’s bodies to abuse and slander us.”

Evil ghosts will enter people’s bodies to abuse and slander us: Once these wicked ghosts enter their bodies, they will constantly be seen abusing and slandering us. Evil ghosts will enter their bodies: This is likens the way evil people will abuse us derangedly to being possessed by demons.”

Those who have deviant views act like they have been possessed by demons. They lose control of themselves and cannot distinguish right from wrong. This is how they act, as if wicked, evil ghosts had entered their bodies. We can also see many examples of this in the world. Once someone’s mind is disturbed, it is like there is someone next to them, inciting them [to do wrong]. They cannot control themselves, so they continue to harm others.

I still remember several years ago, there was a mother whose child had to take the [school entrance] exam. So, she was constantly worried about her child. She kept praying to the gods and begging them, praying to them, begging them and making offerings to them, hoping that her child would study hard enough and would be able to make it into the ideal college. So, because she was worried about her child, she sept walking upon the wrong path, always caving in to superstition. One time, she told her husband that he absolutely had to take her [to the temple] to pray and make offerings again. She wanted her to be child smart enough to test into [the best] school. Her husband also could do nothing in the dace of her constant arguing. Wherever she wanted to go, he would take her there. One day, her husband drove her out, and on the way back, she suddenly asked her husband to stop the car. Her husband quickly stopped the car. What did she get out to do? She began to pray and pray she suddenly stuck two fingers into her eyes and gouged her eyes out. This is a true story that happened in Su’ao.

Once, our Tzu Chi volunteers accompanied this mother and her daughter. The mother’s eyes had been damaged so badly that she could not see, so her daughter accompanied her [to see me]. [The mother] said her son’s academic performance had deeply worried her, so she sought help from deviant paths, which led her to develop psychological issues. Her husband wanted to take her to see the doctor, but she refused to go. She just kept making offerings and praying. The incident that occurred that day blinded her for the rest of her life. However, she was still unable to find peace. So, [her daughter] brought her here. Later on, I had a conversation with her. She said her mind was at peace as she left. Was her mind truly at peace or not? It has been many years [since then].

“Once these wicked ghosts enter their bodies” people no longer have control of themselves. So, they have this kind of “deranged” thinking. Because their minds are deranged, they lose themselves. “They will constantly be seen abusing us.” They do not know who they are; they just want always to malign and destroy others. It is like wicked ghosts entered their bodies, so they constantly curse and malign other people. In this way, those who insult us seem to have evil ghosts inside their bodies. Without reason, they continuously curse others. This likens the way evil people will deranged abuse us to being possessed by demons. We can see it this way, as if they were possessed by demons. [The demons] are not actually real. So, “We who revere and have faith in the Buddha will don the armor of patience.”

But we who revere and have faith in the Buddha will don the armor of patience: We all revere and have faith in the Tathagata, so we must constantly practice loving-kindness, patience and great compassion. We must wear the armor of patience to transform those how are difficult to transform.

We are all already able to “revere and have faith in the Buddha,” so we must put on “the armor of patience”. We must wear this clothing of patience. First, we need to strengthen our faith. We must not let this evil harm our faith. Therefore, to strengthen our faith and protect our wisdom-life, along with Right Dharma, we must have a method, and that is to “revere and have faith in the Tathagata”. We all have the Buddha in our hearts. The Buddha lives within our hearts. So, our minds resonate with the Buddha-mind, and we must protect the Right Dharma. We all revere and have faith [in Him], so “we must constantly practice loving-kindness, patience and great compassion”. We have faith in the Buddha, the Thus Come One, who journeys upon the Dharma of Suchness to come to this world as well as leave the world. Then He journeys upon it to return to this world again. At this time, we all must ensure that across time and space, Right Dharma will always abide in the world. With all these evils, we must be able to constantly endure. We need compassion and patience. “Great compassion is the room.” We have already entered the Tathagata’s room. This is the first [step]; by having faith in and revering the Buddha, we have entered the Tathagata’s room. With great compassion, we enter the Tathagata’s room [for the sake of] transforming sentient beings and passing down the Buddha’s teachings. Therefore, we need to wear the clothing of patience.

We have already accepted the Buddha’s teachings about true emptiness and the emptiness of all things. We fully understand the wisdom of prajna and wondrous existence and true emptiness. With “the emptiness of all phenomena as our seat,” no form of slander will hinder our spiritual aspirations. This was how these Bodhisattvas comforted the Buddha and made vows before the Buddha. They would wear “the armor of patience” so they would not get hurt. Moreover, they would also be able to spread and advance Right Dharma. Thus, “We must wear the armor of patience to transform those who are difficult to transform.” We need to transform these stubborn and hard to tame people.

It is these people whom we are willing to help change, [so we must] “transform those who are difficult to transform”. Although these people curse and abuse us, we must still work hard to help them change. To “transform those difficult to transform” means to help these people change. So, “For the sake of teaching this sutra, we will endure all these difficulties.” In order to expound this sutra, we must endure so many difficulties. We must be willing to overcome these difficulties one by one. “In order to widely spread this sutra,” for the sake of widely spreading this sutra, we must overcome all [hardships]. There is only one way to overcome all [hardships], and that is “patience”. When it comes to “patience,” we must wear “the clothing of patience” and “the armor of patience”. We must wear them both to be safe and protect ourselves. So, “We must endure that which is hard to endure”. We must be able to endure. We must transform those who are difficult to transform and endure that which is difficult to endure.

The next sutra passage states, “We care nothing for our own lives; we only treasure the unsurpassed way. In the ages to come, we will protect and uphold what the Buddha has entrusted to us.

“We will not just care about our own lives. We are willing to give up our lives,” because “we only treasure the unsurpassed way. We will diligently protect this true and wondrous Dharma. We care nothing for our own lives. We will not act out of love only for ourselves. We do not have small love; we only have great love. We do not care for our own lives. We are willing to give up our lives for the path; we are willing to serve others. We only treasure the unsurpassed way.”

This was the vow made by these Bodhisattvas. “In the ages to come, we will protect and uphold what the Buddha has entrusted to us.” Here, “we” refers to these Bodhisattvas. “In the ages to come, we will all protect and uphold the principles the World-Honored One has entrusted to us. We are all able to understand them. So, World-Honored One, please put your mind at ease. We are all willing to help others.”

Indeed! We must endure. The Saha World is the world that must be endured. Peoples’ hearts are wicked and arrogant, and the world is full of so many treacherous and unpredictable things. We need to be very vigilant and guard ourselves. To pass down this wondrous Dharma is not easy at all. There are many tangible and intangible obstacles. Sometimes, the obstacles are not just outside us. When we give rise to discursive thoughts, we may also cause great obstacles for ourselves. Therefore, engaging in spiritual practice is truly difficult! It is very hard! Spiritual practice is difficult on its own, and dealing with people makes it even more difficult. The world is a very difficult place. It is like this right now. In the future, it will be even more difficult. So, we must mindfully seek to comprehend this. Not only is it hard to gauge people’s minds, not only is the danger in human relationships difficult for us to fathom, the world itself is also full of natural disasters.

Therefore, we need to be very mindful as we seek to bring purity to peoples’ hearts. Only then will we be able to eliminate the Five Turbidities. So, as Buddhist practitioners, we need to constantly apply the teachings in our interpersonal relationships. Sometimes, I see how we are giving to help others, doing what is right, undergoing this very difficult process, and what are the results? When we get favorable results, this makes us very happy.

Take Superintendent Lin for example, who brought a young man named Wu Xiaodong from Shanghai in mainland China to see me. Wu has Parkinson’s disease. So, his entire body was out of his control. If he did not take medicine, he could not stand up. He had spent many years rolling on the ground, unable to control himself. Our commissioner had found out about this and brought the case back for us to study. We asked him to bring this young man here. After they brought him here, the medicine did not work. They kept making adjustments until they installed a chip in him. Using modern technology, this chip was surgically installed in him. They kept adjusting the chip for him until they could bring him back to the Abode. He is a very handsome young man. He graduated from Fudan University, and is a very well-educated person. His mother, in order to take care of her son, had gone through such great hardships. At this time, his mother was also ill. So, both mother and son came. Since the mother was here with us, we also made sure to give her medical treatment. We also carefully treated her son. He was able to walk into the Abode. They gently supported him. Actually, he did not need any support; he walked [without support] like this to show me. We could see him smiling, and he was very articulate in speaking to us. Like always, I took one copy of the Sutra of Infinite Meanings and said, “This is for you. [Try] to recite it.” He then began to read and recite it. Because they use simplified characters, he had a bit of difficulty with our traditional characters. I said, “It doesn’t matter. Just put effort into reading this mindfully.” Then, he also gave me a book to look at. He had copied the sutra by hand. I said to him, “Your writing is so neat!” He answered, “In the past, I could not write. So, I lost my ability to write characters. Now, I can write the sutra very neatly.” I said, “Please continue to write. In the meantime, continue to recite the Sutra of Infinite Meanings.” Seeing him accomplish this made me very happy.

So, they were able to treat this patient that currently no drug [can cure] to the point that he was able to stand up, keep his balance while walking and speak clearly. This was no easy task. We had to go through so many processes, so much hard work and many setbacks to build this hospital with [medical] professionals and technology like this. With the loving dedication and the companionship of these medical professionals, these patients were able to recover their health. This is not an easy thing to do.

In summary, if we want to do what is right, if we want to do something to help others, it will never be easy. We must work very hard to help others. So, we must always be mindful!

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