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 20180705《靜思妙蓮華》持經悟入 行安樂行 (第1385集) (法華經·安樂行品第十四)

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發表主題: 20180705《靜思妙蓮華》持經悟入 行安樂行 (第1385集) (法華經·安樂行品第十四)   周三 7月 04, 2018 10:11 pm

20180705《靜思妙蓮華》持經悟入 行安樂行 (第1385集) (法華經·安樂行品第十四)

⊙弘誓著如來衣則法身安,入如來室則是解脫心樂,坐如來座則悟法空行進,持經滋潤慧命名安樂行。
⊙勸持品諸菩薩敬順佛意,發願於惡世中周旋往返,不惜身命忍難弘傳妙法,自謂得無生忍能忍諸難。
⊙住忍辱地故身安樂,不卒暴故得心安樂,觀諸法實相故行精進,得身心輕安名安樂行。
⊙「諸聚落城邑,其有求法者,我皆到其所,說佛所囑法。我是世尊使,處眾無所畏,我當善說法,願佛安隱住。」《法華經勸持品第十三》
⊙「我於世尊前,諸來十方佛,發如是誓言,佛自知我心。」《法華經勸持品第十三》
⊙「爾時文殊師利法王子菩薩摩訶薩白佛言:世尊!是諸菩薩,甚為難有,敬順佛故,發大誓願。」《法華經安樂行品第十四》
⊙文殊師利諸菩薩眾之上首,前品諸菩薩既已發誓持經。故問如來行何方法,始能於濁惡末世中流傳解說此經。
⊙爾時文殊師利法王子:文殊師利,此云妙德。佛為法王,菩薩傳道,名法王子。
⊙菩薩摩訶薩:此云大道心,覺有情眾生。稱文殊有大道心,能成眾生。
⊙白佛言:世尊!是諸菩薩,甚為難有:佛有聖德,為世所尊。歎前持品發誓弘通妙經諸大菩薩,甚是難有。
⊙敬順佛故,發大誓願:敬重隨順如來心懷故。對於佛前發深重之宏願,得堪忍諸難事。
⊙難有:指此勸持品,深位菩薩,能於惡世奉行弘經。深位:信深、行實,誠慈悲智,生世精進。四修無間。不退轉菩薩:隔歷三世恆常決誓之菩提心,深位菩薩,各有其壯大莊嚴之別願。
⊙「於後惡世,護持讀說是法華經。世尊!菩薩摩訶薩於後惡世,云何能說是經?」《法華經安樂行品第十四》
⊙於後惡世,護持讀說是法華經:於佛滅後,濁惡之世,護惜任持續讀誦解說如是妙經。
⊙世尊!菩薩摩訶薩:此指未來末世初發大道心諸菩薩。
⊙於後惡世,云何能說是經?:初心之人,根力既淺,惡世之中,云何可行。
⊙能說是經,必先能行、能證,而後始可為人解說。故以能說總括一切觀行等心觀理,而如理身行事,是曰觀行。

【證嚴上人開示】
弘誓著如來衣則法身安,入如來室則是解脫心樂,坐如來座則悟法空行進,持經滋潤慧命名安樂行。

弘誓著如來衣
則法身安
入如來室
則是解脫心樂
坐如來座
則悟法空行進
持經滋潤慧命
名安樂行

<安樂行品>是我們現在開始,接下來我們要說的,這是承前面<勸持品>,我們這樣接續下來的第十四品。前面是諸大菩薩、發心的大菩薩契佛心,他們要到未來人間,越來濁氣是很重,人心險惡,更需要的是佛的心懷,佛陀覺悟之後的真理,要用在人間來安人心,淨人心,必須要有妙理循環在人間。「人能弘道,非道弘人」。佛陀為他的弟子授記了,授記之後,盼望弟子能夠發心立願,承續這個志願,將法流傳人間,卻是,弟子總是懼怕娑婆世界,眾生剛強難調伏,所以,沒有人敢,再停留在娑婆世界,人人得度了、發願了,將來也是要到其他國土,去度化眾生。

這是表達人的心理,都是懼怕辛苦,懼怕險惡,都想要去較安全的地方,難道不是呢?這都是人的心理,古今都是一樣,修行者也是這樣,大家既然知道娑婆世界,是這麼的難堪忍,娑婆世界陷阱很多,就是想要修行,才愈怕愈提防,希望能夠走過這段的險路,能夠平安到達安全的境界,哪會想要再回來呢!當然大家不敢再回來了。唯有要有真心弘願,他有仁、有勇,有大智、大仁、大勇,這種智慧;以慧啟慈,以慈運悲,要有這樣的心胸。所以,那就需要大菩薩,他有大智慧。所以,他已經以「大慈悲為室,柔和忍辱衣」,已經準備好了,他用他的慈悲心,具足了仁德的念,不忍心眾生受苦,所以,他入如來室,很安全準備好,柔和忍辱衣著在身上,開始準備就是要到人間去。這種心的解脫,不會受到人間險惡所懼怕,他有那個勇;再慈悲,不忍眾生苦,所以憑著這股力量,他願意再投入。

眾生的剛強就是因為心理煩惱、無明,所以才會這麼剛強。大菩薩已經法準備好了,生生世世都願意到娑婆世界來,所以他們立弘誓願。這個弘誓已經具足了,大慈悲的心,要入如來室來,著如來衣,既然能夠穿起了這件衣服,就法身安全,就不會再受娑婆世界的險惡,影響我們的道心,我們的慧命不會受損害,所以「法身安」。我們穿起了這件如來忍辱衣,自然我們的法身,我們就能夠很安穩,我們自己的慧命顧得好,我們不怕,不怕在這麼惡劣的環境中,我們要用智慧,用慈悲,忍讓去付出。所以,能夠這樣將如來衣穿起來,就是「法身安」。

「如入來室」呢?「則是解脫心樂」。因為我們已經入如來室的裡面,很安全,只要我們的心,不離開我們的真如本性,真如啟發起來了,我們已經知道,我們與佛同等,佛陀的慈悲,佛陀來回人間,己經無央數劫,時間很長久,來來回回,即使是娑婆世界,佛陀也當作是他的遼闊的家庭,娑婆的眾生,就是他的親人、他的子弟,所以佛陀「三界導師」,在這個三界中要來領導這些人。所以他能夠用他的智慧去教育眾生,眾生剛強,佛,心不會受搖動,我們既然學佛了,我們也是一樣。就像在監獄裡面,什麼樣的人都有;也讓他們在上課,但是,是不是在裡面的人,上課之後,刑期滿了,出來了,有沒有改過?有時候要調伏那個習氣,不簡單啊!有改過的人,但是,還有再無明復發,還是再造業,還是再進去,來來回回,那就是因為無明造業來回進去。就像在我要走過的路上,桌上一隻黏土做的手工藝,我很好奇,就用心注視它一下,看看,仔細地看這是什麼東西?怎麼這麼美!有人就這樣說:「這是宜蘭監獄的受刑人,他做來要送師父的。」「哇!做得這麼美」,他用感恩心,刑期若滿了,他出來,他會很用心重新做人。這就是有接觸到佛法,就是慈濟人進去,不是職業性的教育,是心靈的啟發,讓他們能夠了解人的價值。來人間,父母所生育,社會所培養,要用很感恩心,如何回饋社會,發揮生命的價值。用種種很多的道理,也送很多的書,甚至用誠意,用至誠的意,柔和的心態,用大仁、大勇,面對著不同的人生,這群人就是慈濟人。

他們這樣發揮他們的智慧,長年累月,進進出出在那個地方,他們(慈濟人)這樣將他們感化過來了。自己愈在做,愈向他們講話,越是啟發自己,法愈是入心,因為要去教育他們,要去感化他們,就是要用很誠懇的意。我們吸收了佛法,了解了人間種種,對和錯,對的道理與不對的心念,去做比較,從佛法去分析對、錯,這個理,他拿進去裡面。要拿東西進去,自己就是要有東西,我們這個東西,就是要養好我們的法身。法身就是我們的智慧,法身就是我們的真如,將我們的真如,去體會「如如理」,世間「如是」「如是」的道理,這些法啟發出來,在我們心裡,用心,誠意走入那個地方去。因為這樣,能夠感動他們。所以,他們常常做的手工藝,都做得很好,宜蘭是這樣,花蓮是這樣,屏東是這樣,好幾個監獄裡面,改過了,出來了,面對人生,變成懂得,「行孝、行善不能等」,重新做人,以身作則,做一個重新能夠典範,再回頭去接引他們,能再去敎育別人。這也已經不少了。這就是弘誓願,這也就是菩薩不怕在那裡面,形形色色,他們願意這樣進去,進去為這些人,用慈悲的愛心,慈眼視眾生,轉過來,也是一樣清淨的本性。就像<提婆達多品>,看,龍女轉一個身也能夠成佛;提婆達多做很多惡,他將來也能成佛,佛陀為他授記。眾生不怕錯,怕不懂得改過,改過過來,他也得到佛陀肯定的授記。雖然提娑婆達多在地獄中,佛陀還是為他授記,地獄的眾生都能得記,將來他業受盡了,再轉來人間,懂得有因緣,他就能夠覺悟,他能夠修行,重新再來,憑著他那念心,那個性,生生世世與釋迦佛遇會在一起。提婆達多也吸收不少的法,同時也有修行過,世世生生,粒粒種子都還是在。所以說起來,人性,真如,永遠沒有消逝。

所以說,我們若能夠「入如來室」,就是「解脫心樂」,我們若「著如來衣」,我們就「法身安」,我們的心來來回回,不受污染。慈濟入進去監獄去感化他們,穿起這套衣服,大家都是:「師兄、師姊來了。就是這樣,大家看到這群人,自然心就淨了,這群人就不受他們污染,還能用淨水去洗滌他們的心垢,這就是我們要進來,也就是我們要發大心、立大願,所以「解脫心樂」。「坐如來座則悟法空行進」。我們若能夠坐上這張如來座,我們就是要勇敢去說法,去說法,我們就已經在從如來室的感受,我們的法身,我們的法,將這個法,佛陀的法,我們就這樣安住,很安心坐下來,我們的心無罣礙,將佛陀的教法分享給大家了解。

這種「諸法空為座」,是我們時時在精進,日常的生活,每一天所看到的,真真實實的人,每一天所對的環境,是真真實實的物。要怎麼「空」呢?這就是理。人,真實的人沒錯,但是今天這個人,那就不是昨天那個人了,昨天那個人新陳代謝,已經從他的生理上,已經新陳代謝,已經幾秒鐘就是要變換一次,是我們人人不知道,卻是,就是這樣在遷變,這個行蘊在我們身裡,人人身上的血液啊、細菌啊等等,不斷地新陳代謝,都在轉變,所以我們從年輕而中年而老年,而不自覺。昨天和今天有比較老了嗎?有啊!新陳代謝,就是這樣新的細胞,它就要再成長起來,舊的細胞老化就要被排除掉,這就是這樣不斷不斷,我們的行蘊,不斷在轉變。

人的生理是這樣,物理也是,所以在<譬喻品>,那個大屋子,長者的大宅,為什麼會年久失修,那大宅棟梁敗壞了呢?就是裡面,一大群放蕩的孩子在裡面,不小心,把那個火當做是玩具,在那個地方這樣玩,火燒起來了。和我們這個身體,好像一個大宅,我們的身體裡多少的細胞,而且有的細胞不守規矩,就讓我們的身體就有毛病了。同樣的道理,三界的裡面,娑婆世界也是同樣這樣,這些眾生,心若沒有調伏下來,不規則,也是一樣有人間的毛病生起來,濁氣很重,所以,天災人禍,就不斷一直生起來,越來越濁,氣候就是因為污染,所以氣候變遷。這都是在無形中,大乾坤生病了,而我們的小乾坤呢?也是一樣,道理一統。我們若能了解了,「成住壞空」、「生住異滅」、「生老病死」,三理四相全都了解,這樣悟法空,行精進。在這些道理,我們要很用心去體會,我們了解了,這就是我們平時精進,所以能這樣。「真空妙有,妙有真空」,這個道理若清楚了,我們就很安穩,能夠這樣說法。

「持經滋潤慧命」,我們要體會這部經,我們持經,一來是先悟自己,自己要先覺悟,先體會,滋潤我們自己的慧命。所以「弘誓著如來衣,則法身安」,就是因為他持經,持經,這部經就是我們的忍辱衣,因為我們經典、道理,進入我們的心,所以就像一件衣服,持經就像,「弘誓著如來衣」一樣,穿著這件衣服我們很安全。所以說「持經滋潤慧命」,能使我們的慧命不斷地增長。入人群,看,人群中這麼多的煩惱,苦的真諦就是在這裡面,視假為真,把真當做假,這就是眾生顛倒。法,我們把它當做這有也好,沒有也好;若是物質,就追逐,貪,以為世間的物質都是永恆的,所以顛倒了,這就是世間的眾生。但是,修行的人現在就要了解,「持經滋潤慧命名安樂行」。這些菩薩,已經有這個經在他的心,所以他來去自如,精進,不怕,這就是我們要很用心去體會。

勸持品諸菩薩
敬順佛意
發願於惡世中
周旋往返
不惜身命忍難
弘傳妙法
自謂得無生忍
能忍諸難

所以「勸持品,諸菩薩敬順佛意」,前面這一品就是敬順佛意,這些菩薩「發願於惡世中,周旋往返」,甘願在惡世中來來回回,他們不怕,他們「不惜身命忍難,弘傳妙法」。他們不怕辛苦,不怕身體的得失,為了正法,他就是這樣堅持道心。所以「自謂得無生忍,能忍諸難」,自己很自信,能夠得到「無生忍」。「生忍」「無生忍」,就是世間一切,不論是自然,或者是人為等等,我都能忍耐,出世間的忍辱,或者是處世的等等,我都堪得忍耐。

住忍辱地故身安樂
不卒暴故得心安樂
觀諸法實相
故行精進
得身心輕安
名安樂行

「住忍辱地故身安樂」。我們若能住在忍的地方,我們的心,我們的身就能安樂。忍辱地就是我們的心地,我們的心要真真正正要有忍,這個功夫應該我們要有。我們真實的心,那就是真理,我們只要住在真理,自然我們的心就是安樂。「不卒暴故得心安」,不會說很暴躁,什麼事情看到,就開始心就暴跳如雷,能夠這樣很溫和,很柔順,多一點心力,多一點耐力,不要這樣看到什麼樣的境界,馬上就是卒暴起來。所以我們就要很用心,這就是修養。

又再「觀諸法實相故行精進」,「觀」,我們已經內心很細膩,來看人、事、物等等,和道理來會合,我們要很體會了解,什麼是真,什麼是虛假,我們全都很清楚,所以「觀諸法實相」。虛假我們很清楚。真理是實,人間事種種,是不是有合於道理呢?我們能夠觀,很細膩、細膩地去觀察,從我們的內心和外面的行動,從自己,從他人,我們都要用很微細的心,來觀察世間一切。所以我們的行為要很精進,世間法,真正是要很精進,一切虛假,我們要看清楚,不要受這個人間假相,把我們再迷惑去,所以我們要好好用心體會,一切事、物、理都要清楚。所以「得身心輕安名安樂行」。我們遇事心不煩,這實在也不簡單,不過這就是功夫,這就是我們要練的,遇到什麼事情,我們心都不會讓它擾亂掉,這叫做身輕心安,叫做安樂行,這就是我們要用心。

現在接下來這段〈安樂行品〉,是接前面的〈勸持品〉,就是要如何將這部經,用在我們的心裡,體悟在我們的內心,施用在他人的身上,自覺、覺他,我們要用大智慧,啟智秉慈運悲,智、仁、勇,這全部就是要這樣。所以,我們要很用心,要如何啟發我們的智慧,運用智慧入慈悲行去,這樣,持這部經,我們會持得很歡喜,到達最惡劣的地方,再剛強的眾生,我們將他調伏過來,他得救了,我們法喜。就像入監獄去,監獄去,人能夠重新出來做人,而且不是做人,還能夠做菩薩;這樣,他們得救,我們也歡喜,同樣的道理。

所以,前面的〈勸持品〉最後就是:「諸聚落城邑,其有求法者,我皆到其所,說佛所囑法。」

諸聚落城邑
其有求法者
我皆到其所
說佛所囑法
我是世尊使
處眾無所畏
我當善說法
願佛安隱住
《法華經勸持品第十三》

所有的地方,需要我去的地方,我都能夠到達,說佛所說的法。「我是世尊使,處眾無所畏,我當善說法,願佛安隱住」。這很體會佛心,「您安心!將入涅槃,不用擔心。佛,您所關心的地方,我們都能夠承擔起來。」這多麼溫馨啊!所以,「我於世尊前,諸來十方佛,發如是誓言,佛自知我心」。

我於世尊前
諸來十方佛
發如是誓言
佛自知我心
《法華經勸持品第十三》

「我已經在世尊您的面前,還有從十方來的諸佛,我都一直發這樣的願。佛啊!您應該都了解我,所以您不用擔心。」這是菩薩能夠契佛心,解佛意,承佛命,這樣要繼續下去。

接下來,〈安樂行品〉開頭那就是:「爾時文殊師利法王子菩薩摩訶薩白佛言:世尊!是諸菩薩,甚為難有,敬順佛故,發大誓願。」

爾時
文殊師利法王子
菩薩摩訶薩白佛言
世尊
是諸菩薩
甚為難有
敬順佛故
發大誓願
《法華經安樂行品第十四》

這段經文,文殊師利就是「諸菩薩眾之上首」。所以前面這些菩薩,大家在佛的面前發這樣的願,文殊菩薩也在場,故來問,看到大家發誓持經,所以文殊菩薩就開始來問。

文殊師利
諸菩薩眾之上首
前品諸菩薩
既已發誓持經
故問如來行何方法
始能於濁惡末世中
流傳解說此經

這也很深的意義在,這就是「如來行何方法」。前面的菩薩只是說,未來有這麼多這麼多的惡,我們為了要持經,所以我們一定會忍耐,就是說這些。但是,文殊菩薩覺得,還應該要了解,要用什麼方法來持經,才能夠快樂,來持經才能夠預防。要在那裡忍,不如是不是要有預防;要忍,不如要防,等到發病了,治療就比較麻煩了,是不是要先預防,先保持健康比較重要?因為這樣,文殊菩薩他就來問,所以我們很感恩,每一段就是這樣環環扣住。文殊菩薩在這個時候,就趕緊要來問。

這位大菩薩,是摩訶薩,開始要來問。因為這些菩薩,沒有問說要用什麼方法,由文殊菩薩補充來問。「始能於濁惡末世中」。在這個濁流之中,是要怎樣來傳法,如何來解說這部經,既然是這麼濁惡,就要問佛:「要用什麼方法來解,解這麼多的惡?」我們來去傳法,要先解再傳。

爾時
文殊師利法王子:
文殊師利
此云妙德
佛為法王
菩薩傳道
名法王子

所以,「爾時,文殊師利」,那就是「法王子」。「文殊師利,此云妙德」。我們以前也解釋過了,就是佛是法王,「菩薩傳道」叫做「法王子」。每一位菩薩都是法王子,真正承擔起責任來,這就是「真法王子」,這就是文殊菩薩。文殊菩薩不只是現在的菩薩,過去也已經教過佛成佛了,自己也已經成佛了,但是再來人間,是助佛陀度化眾生。

菩薩摩訶薩:
此云大道心
覺有情眾生
稱文殊有大道心
能成眾生

所以,文殊菩薩是一個大菩薩,是「大道心」的「覺有情眾生」,因為化生在人間,所以我們看起來,他也是人。所以「摩訶薩」的意思,就是覺有情、大菩薩,「摩訶」就是大,大覺有情人;就是充分的大道心。他的大道心已經很堅固,就是發大心了,已經覺悟的有情來度眾生。我們若是念到「菩薩摩訶薩」,全都是發大心的覺有情人。在人間,我們都是稱呼人家「菩薩」,就是你要覺悟,雖然他還沒成菩薩,但是我們不斷為他祝福,不斷提醒「你要覺悟哦!自覺,我們就覺他」。所以這就是大道心,要慢慢互相勉勵。文殊菩薩就是有大道心,也成果位的人了,這就是大菩薩。

白佛言
世尊 是諸菩薩
甚為難有:
佛有聖德
為世所尊
歎前持品
發誓弘通妙經
諸大菩薩甚是難有

所以,大菩薩文殊師利法王子「白佛言:世尊!是諸菩薩,甚為難有」,佛啊!「佛有聖德,為世所尊」。世間人人所尊仰,讚歎前持品,「發誓弘通妙經,諸大菩薩其是難有」。其實,佛,釋迦牟尼佛是已經超越世間,是世間人人所欣敬,所敬慕。文殊菩薩稱呼世尊,同時也要讚歎,發心要持經那些菩薩。所以文殊菩薩很有智慧,先稱佛陀,那就是尊重,再來向佛陀來稱歎,前面這些發心立願的菩薩。

敬順佛故
發大誓願:
敬重隨順
如來心懷故
對於佛前
發深重之宏願
得堪忍諸難事

讚歎這些菩薩「敬順佛故,發大誓願」。這些菩薩大家都很敬仰佛,也契佛的心,順佛的意,他們已經都發大願了,這是「敬順如來心懷」。對佛前已經發深願了。在佛陀的面前發弘願,這實在是堪忍,真的是得到「堪忍諸難事」,很多,世間這麼多這麼多,真的是難堪忍,但這些菩薩願意堪忍,這實在是很難有。

難有
指此勸持品
深位菩薩
能於惡世奉行弘經
深位:信深、行實
誠慈悲智
生世精進
四修無間
不退轉菩薩:
隔歷三世恆常決誓
之菩提心
深位菩薩
各有其壯大莊嚴
之別願

「難有」就是指〈勸持品〉。這些菩薩,位置已經很深了,位也高,能夠在這個惡世中,隨順著佛陀的教法,來回人間,在這個剛強濁世中,要去教化眾生,這些人實在是不簡單,「能於惡世奉命弘經」,這很不容易。

「深位」就是「信深、行實」真正誠意的慈悲、智慧,願意在這個人間,世世生生來精進,這要再行「四修無間」,無餘修、長時修、無間修、尊重修,他們人人都這樣在力行。

「不退轉菩薩」,那就是「隔歷」。經歷了三世恆常決誓,就是這樣,這種菩提覺心,來來回回。過去、現在、未來,過去有無量的過去,現在還有未來,無量的未來的現在。這是經歷不斷,過去、現在、未來,他不斷願意這樣下定決心,這樣來行菩薩道,這都是很覺悟的人。「深位菩薩,各有其壯大莊嚴」的別願。每一位菩薩各人都有不同的願,佛也是一樣,佛有總願,就是「四弘誓願」,佛也有別願,這就是菩薩也一樣,所以如「觀音菩薩尋聲救苦」,又像「地藏菩薩,地獄未空誓不成佛」等等,菩薩各有他的別願。所以,那些菩薩真的是很難得,因為他們敬順佛意,願意發弘願,他們也是願意這樣來來回回,但是各人要救度眾生,有各人有不同的願力,這就是要隨順眾生。

接下來:「於後惡世,護持讀說是法華經。世尊!菩薩摩訶薩於後惡世,云何能說是經?」

於後惡世
護持讀說是法華經
世尊
菩薩摩訶薩
於後惡世
云何能說是經
《法華經安樂行品第十四》

開始,文殊菩薩就問出重點來了。後面這些菩薩既然發心,在未來生生世世,他們說「三世」,「三世」是過去有無量的過去,現在有無量的未來,所以生生世世不斷「於後惡世,護持讀說是法華經」。

於後惡世
護持讀說
是法華經:
於佛滅後
濁惡之世
護惜任持續讀誦解說
如是妙經

就是這樣不斷不斷在,這個願力要在人間,在這個濁惡世中,保護、疼惜《妙法華經》。他擔任起了持、讀誦,要持經,自己要讀誦,又是要向大眾說如是妙法,這就是「上求佛道,下化眾生」,不斷要這樣一直延續下去。

世尊
菩薩摩訶薩:
此指未來末世
初發大道心諸菩薩

「世尊!菩薩摩訶薩」,這就是表示未來末世初發大道心,發大心,最初他發弘誓願,發大心這些菩薩。這些菩薩「於後惡世,云何能說是經」。現在那些資深的菩薩,道心都很堅固,堪得忍耐。未來呢?若是有菩薩開始發心了,發心,但是他是新發意菩薩,他是發大心的菩薩,這樣這比較資淺,將來是要如何去面對惡世?

於後惡世
云何能說是經:
初心之人
根力既淺
惡世之中
云何可行

「於後惡世,云何能說是經」。這是「初心之人,根力既淺,惡世之中,云何可行」。要如何去說這些經,因為這些初發心菩薩,雖然他發大心,不過他的資歷淺,惡世中他要如何去說這些經呢?

能說是經
必先能行、能證
而後始可為人解說
故以能說總括
一切觀行等心觀理
而如理身行事
是曰觀行

「能說是經」,要如何說呢?必能行,「能行」,要先能身體力行,「能證」,「而後始可為人說」,這才有辦法,自己有走到,有做到,我們才有辦法去向別人說。所以「而後始可為人解說,故以能說總括一切觀行」。自己要先有經歷過去,然後才能所有的道理,都包括起來,這樣用一切經過了思考過,這個法這樣去向大家說話。所以,自己要先有這樣「一切觀行」,將這些事情了解,道理都入心,這樣才開始,這要先準備好自己。「心觀理,而如理身行事」。我們心要從道理先透徹,先了解,然後我們才如理身體力行,用典範來調教,這樣去教導他人,這就是叫做「觀行」。所以,各位菩薩,用心去體會,理是在哪裡?是在我們日常生活中;法,法是在我們的生活。所以,我們要時時多用心!
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發表主題: 回復: 20180705《靜思妙蓮華》持經悟入 行安樂行 (第1385集) (法華經·安樂行品第十四)   周四 7月 05, 2018 7:43 am

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發表主題: 回復: 20180705《靜思妙蓮華》持經悟入 行安樂行 (第1385集) (法華經·安樂行品第十四)   周二 8月 07, 2018 10:03 pm

Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: The Practice of Bringing Peace and Joy (持經悟入 行安樂行)
Date: July.05.2018

“When we make the great vow to wear the Tathagata’s clothing, our Dharma-bodies will be at peace. When we enter the Tathagata’s room, our minds will be liberated and joyous. When we sit on the Tathagata’s seat, we will realize that all phenomena are empty and advance in our practice. When we uphold the sutra, we will nourish our wisdom-life. This is called the practice of bringing peace and joy.”

The Chapter on the Practice of Bringing Peace and Joy is what we will now begin talking about next. This follows the previous Chapter on Encouragement to Uphold the Sutra. We are now entering the 14th Chapter. Previously, those great Bodhisattvas, the ones who had formed aspirations, resonated with the Buddha’s intentions. In the future, they would go into the world where the turbidities will be even more severe and people’s minds will be sinister. The Buddha’s original intent will be needed even more; the true principles the Buddha awakened to must be used in that world to purify people’s hearts and put them at ease. The wondrous principles must keep circulating in the world. “People spread the Way; the Way cannot spread itself.” The Buddha bestowed predictions on His disciples, and after bestowing these predictions, He hoped that those disciples would be able to form aspirations and make vows to carry on His aspirations for spreading the Dharma in the world. Yet, those disciples still feared the Saha World, because its sentient beings are stubborn and hard to train. So, none of them dared to remain any further in the Saha World. When they were transformed they had made vows to in the future go to other lands to deliver sentient beings there. This showed that in their hearts they were all afraid of hardship, afraid of danger, and they all wanted to go to safer places. Isn’t that what they were thinking? This is how people think; it has been the same from ancient times till today. Even spiritual practitioners can be like this. They knew the Saha World was difficult to endure and that the Saha World’s pitfalls were so many. So, since their purpose was to engage in practice, they became more and more fearful and guarded. They hoped to pass over that treacherous path and arrive at a much safer place, so why would they ever wish to return there!

Of course, no one dared to again return. Only those with truly great vows, those with benevolence and courage, those with great wisdom, great benevolence and great courage would ever want to do this. With this kind of wisdom, their wisdom inspires their loving-kindness which they exercise through compassion. This is the kind of heart they would need. So, this required great Bodhisattvas, those with great wisdom, Bodhisattvas who had already taken “great compassion as their room” and “gentleness and patience as their clothing.” They were already prepared with these. They used their compassion and thoughts replete with both benevolence and virtue. They could not bear to let sentient beings suffer. So, they had entered the Tathagata’s room and had prepared for their safety by donning the robes of gentleness and patience. They prepared to go out into the world. With their minds already liberated, they would not be frightened by that evil and dangerous world. They had that courage and furthermore compassion. They could not bear to let sentient beings suffer. So, based on this power they had, they were willing to dedicate themselves again. Sentient beings’ stubbornness is due to the afflictions and ignorance in their minds. This is why they are so stubborn.

Great Bodhisattvas who are already well-prepared with the Dharma willingly return to the Saha World, lifetime after lifetime. So, they have made great vows; they are replete with great vows and compassionate hearts. We must enter the Tathagata’s room and wear the Tathagata’s clothing. When we have put on this clothing, our Dharmakaya will be safe and our spiritual aspirations will never be influenced by the dangers of the Saha World. Our wisdom-life cannot be harmed, so “Our Dharma-bodies will be at peace.” When we put on the Tathagata’s robe of patience, our Dharmakaya will naturally be able to remain safe and sound. We can take good care of our wisdom-lives, and we will not be afraid of finding ourselves in such evil surroundings. We can use wisdom and compassion to give while being patiently accommodating. So, by putting on the Tathagata’s robe like this, “our Dharma-bodies will be at peace.” What about “entering the Tathagata’s room”? Then, “our minds will be liberated and joyous.” Having already entered the Tathagata’s room, we will be very safe; as long as our minds do not stray from our nature of True Suchness, once our nature of True Suchness is awakened, we will know we are equal to the Buddha.

The Buddha, out of compassion, had been coming and going in the world for countless kalpas already. For a very long time, He has repeatedly returned. In the Saha World, the Buddha sees all beings as His large family. The Saha World’s sentient beings are His relatives, His disciples. So, the Buddha is “the guiding teacher of the Three Realms”. In the Three Realms He comes to guide these people”. So, He is able to use His wisdom to teach sentient beings. Sentient beings are stubborn, but the Buddha’s resolve will never be shaken. Since we are Buddhist practitioners, we are like this too.

For instance, in prison there are all kinds of people. We hold classes for them to learn there, but after those on the inside have finished up those classes, when their sentences are up and they are released, will they have all changed? Sometimes disciplining habitual tendencies is not all that easy! There may be some who have changed, but there are also those in whom ignorance will again arise, who will again create karma, who will again end up in prison. They go in and out because they create karma out of ignorance and thus keep returning [to prison]. For instance, as I was walking past, I saw a clay handicraft upon a table. I was curious, and looked it over carefully. I examined it very carefully to see what it was. How could it be so beautiful? Someone told me, “This is from an inmate in Yilan prison. He made it as a gift for you. [I replied], “Wow, it is so beautiful!” This came from his gratitude. When his sentence is up and he is released, he will put his heart into starting a new life. This is because He has encountered the Dharma from the Tzu Chi volunteers who visit the jail. We do not go there to give them career training, but to inspire them spiritually, to help them understand their value as individuals. [We teach them that], having come to the world, having been reared by their parents and having been educated by society, they should be very grateful and should find ways to give back to society by bringing out the value of their lives. We teach them all kinds of principles and give them many books. The volunteers are so genuine and sincere, so gentle in their attitudes. They use great benevolence and great courage in dealing with people who have lived different kinds of lives. They are all Tzu Chi volunteers who have developed their wisdom like this over the course of many years, going in and out of that place, influencing and transforming [the inmates].

The more they do this, the more they talk to them, the more they themselves become inspired and the more they take the Dharma to heart themselves. This is because for them to go and teach there, to influence and transform the prisoners, their intentions have to be very sincere. As we absorb the Buddha-Dharma, we come to understand many things about the world, such as right and wrong. We can compare right principles to wrong thinking. With the Dharma we can analyze the principles of right and wrong. This is what the volunteers take into the prisons. In order to take those things in with them, they must have them themselves. To have these things, we must carefully nurture our Dharma-body.

The Dharma-body is our wisdom. The Dharma-body is our nature of True Suchness. Through our nature of True Suchness, we can experience the principles of Suchness. The world is such and the principles are such. These teachings have been awakened in their hearts so they can mindfully and sincerely enter those places. Because of this, [the inmates] are touched. So, when it comes to the handicrafts they make, they are always made so well.

Yilan is like this, Hualien is like this and Pingtung is like this. In many prisons, when they are reformed and released, when they deal with life [on the outside], they already come to realize that. “Filial piety and good deeds cannot wait.” They start a new life, become role models; they start over as someone who is an example. They later go bake into the prisons to try to influence and educate others there. There are more than a few now who are doing this. They have great vows; they are also Bodhisattvas who are not afraid of what they encounter inside. They willingly go inside for the sake of those people there. Using compassionate love, they look upon those inside with loving-kindness, as people who can turn around, who likewise have a pure intrinsic nature.

For instance, in the Chapter on Devadatta, we saw how the dragon girl transformed and was also able to become a Buddha. Devadatta had done so many evil things, yet he too will attain Buddhahood in the future; the Buddha bestowed a prediction upon him. We should not be afraid of making mistakes, but only of not knowing to correct them. Because he would correct himself, he too attained the Buddha’s definite prediction. Although Devadatta was in hell, the Buddha still bestowed a prediction on him. Sentient begins in hell are also to attain predictions. After his karma is exhausted in the future, he will again return as a human; he will, once he has the cause and conditions, be able to awaken and be able to engage in spiritual practice. Then, he will start anew. Because of his resolve and nature, lifetime after lifetime he was always together with Sakyamuni Buddha. Devadatta had also absorbed more than a small amount of Dharma and had engaged in spiritual practice at the same time [as the Buddha]. The seeds from those many lifetime still remained.

So, this is why we say that our human nature, our nature of True Suchness, never fades away. Thus, if we can “enter the Tathagata’s room,” the “our minds will be liberated and joyous”. If we “wear the Tathagata’s clothing,” then our “Dharma-bodies will be at peace”. Our minds remain undefiled as we come and go. When Tzu Chi volunteers go into the prisons to influence and transform the people inside, they wear their Tzu Chi uniforms so when [the inmates] see them coming they say, “The [volunteers] are here!” This is what happens when they see that group coming in; their minds naturally become purified. The volunteers remain undefiled by [the prisoners], and instead they use pure water to wash away the defilements of [those prisoners’] minds. This is why we must go in [to the jails], and why we should form great aspirations and make great vows. So, “our minds will be liberated and joyous. When we sit on the Tathagata’s seat, we will realize that all phenomena are empty and advance in our practice”. If we can sit on the Tathagata’s seat, we should then courageously teach the Dharma. When we teach the Dharma, since we have our experience of the Tathagata’s room, since we have our Dharma-body, the Dharma we know, the Buddha’s teachings, we can abide peacefully in it. We can sit down in peace, our minds free of hindrances, and share the Buddha’s teachings so that everyone can understand them. The “emptiness of all phenomena as the seat” means we must always be diligent.

In our daily living, every day what we see are real, true people. Every day, our environment is filled with real, true things. How can these things be “empty”? This refers to the principles. These people are indeed real people, but this person today is not the same person as yesterday. The person we were yesterday has continually undergone transformation. From a physiological perspective, we are constantly metabolizing; we are transforming moment by moment. It is just that we are unaware of it. Nevertheless, we are constantly changing. These infinitesimal changes are occurring in our bodies, in the blood in our bodies, in the bacteria in our bodies and so on. These are constantly metabolizing and changing. This is why we go from youth to middle age and then become old without ever realizing it. Are we older today than we were yesterday? Yes! Our bodies are metabolizing. New cells come into being and grow, while older cells die off and are gotten rid of. This goes on constantly. We are constantly undergoing infinitesimal changes. The principles of human life are like this, and the principles of matter are as well.

So, in the Chapter on Parables, there was a mansion, the mansion of the elder. Why after many years of disrepair did the structure fall to ruin? It was because inside were great numbers of self-indulgent children. Carelessly, they played with fire like a toy, and while playing with fire, let the fire get out of control. Our bodies are like that mansion. Our bodies have many cells and if some of cells do not function as they should, that is when our bodies become ill. The principle is the same. The Three Realms of the Saha World are also like this. If sentient beings cannot discipline their minds and follow rules, the world will similarly suffer from ailments. It will suffer from severe turbidities, so that natural disasters and manmade calamities incessantly and continually arise. The world will become more and more turbid. Because we have polluted the atmosphere, we are facing the effects of climate change. This has all happened imperceptibly; the macrocosm has fallen ill.

And our microcosm? It is the same; the principles are the same. If we can understand “formation, existence, decay and disappearance, arising, abiding, changing and ceasing, birth, aging, illness and death,” the Three Principles and Four States, if we completely understand all of these, we realize the emptiness of phenomena and we will diligently advance. When it comes to these principles, we must mindfully seek to experience their truth. When we have understood them, we will diligently be able to advance. In this way, “There is true emptiness in wondrous existence and wondrous existence in true emptiness.” When we clearly understand this principle, we will be very stable and in this way teach the Dharma.

“When we uphold the sutra, we will nourish our wisdom-life”. In order to comprehend this sutra, in order to uphold this sutra, on the one hand we must first awaken ourselves. We must first awaken ourselves, and first achieve realization. We must nourish our own wisdom-lives. So, when we “make the great vow to wear the Tathagata’s clothing, our Dharma-bodies will be at peace”. Because we uphold this sutra, the sutra becomes our clothing of patience, because the sutra and its principles have entered our minds. So, it is like an article of clothing. When we uphold the sutra, it is as if we “make a great vow to wear the Tathagata’s clothing”. We are very safe when we wear this clothing. So, it says, “When we uphold the sutra, we will nourish our wisdom-life”. It helps our wisdom-life to constantly grow. When we go among people, we can see their many afflictions, and the truth of suffering is found within.

They take the false to be true and the true to be false. This is how sentient beings are mixed-up. When people do not care whether or not they learn the Dharma but when it comes to material things constantly pursue and crave them, thinking material things will exist permanently, this is being mixed-up. This is what the world’s sentient beings are like.

Yes, as practitioners we should now realize that “upholding the sutra nourishes our wisdom-life”. Those Bodhisattvas had already taken this sutra to heart, so they could come and go freely, diligently and without fear. This is what we should be mindful in realizing.

In the Chapter on Encouragement to Uphold the Sutra, those Bodhisattvas reverently followed the Buddha’s intent and vowed to ravel back and forth in the evil world. They were unstinting with their lives and endured hardships in order to widely spread the wondrous Dharma. They claimed they had attained non-arising patience and could endure all hardships.

So, “In the Chapter on Encouragement to Uphold the Sutra, those Bodhisattvas reverently followed the Buddha’s intent”. In the preceding chapter, they had reverently followed the Buddha’s intent. Those Bodhisattvas “vowed to travel back and forth in the evil world”. They were willing to travel back in forth in this evil world. They were not afraid. They were “unstinting with their lives and endured hardships in order to widely spread the wondrous Dharma.” They were not afraid of hardship, not afraid to sacrifice their lives; for the sake of Right Dharma, they will persevere in their spiritual aspirations.

So, “They claimed they had attained non-arising patience and could endure all hardships.” They had faith in themselves that they had attained “non-arising patience.” With arising patience and non-arising patience, whatever we encounter in the world, be it natural, manmade or otherwise, we will be able to patiently endure it. Whether through world-transcending patience or through patience with worldly things, we can exercise patience with everything.

When we abide in the ground of patience, we will bring peace and joy to our bodies. When we are not impetuous or violent, we will be able to bring peace and joy to our minds. When we observe and contemplate the ultimate truth of all phenomena, we will diligently advance and our bodies and minds will be at ease. This is the practice of bringing peace and joy.

“When we abide in the ground of patience, we will bring peace and joy to our bodies.” If we can abide in a patient place, then our minds and our bodies will be peaceful and joyful. The ground of patience is the ground of our mind, our patience must be genuine. This is a skill that we must develop. Our true mind is the true principles. As long as we abide in the true principles, our bodies will naturally be peaceful and joyful. “When we are not impetuous or violent, we will bring peace and joy to our minds.” We will not speak hot-headedly or fly into a rage when we see things. We can be gentle and accommodating, with a little more mental effort and a little more patience. No matter what situation we find ourselves in, we will not react by becoming impetuous or violent. So, we should be very mindful. This is something that must be cultivated.

Then, “When we observe and contemplate the ultimate truth of all phenomena, we will diligently advance.” When we “observe and contemplate, in our minds, we very meticulously look at people, matters, things and so on, and bring them together with principles. We need to experience and understand what is true and what is false. We need to be very velar about this.

So, “We observe and contemplate the ultimate truth of all phenomena.” We are very clear about what is false. The principles are the truth. Does everything happening in the world coincide with the principles? We can observe and contemplate this, inspect it very carefully. Starting from our inner thoughts to our actions, from ourselves to others, we should very meticulously observe everything in the world. So, we should be very diligent in our conduct. When it comes to worldly phenomena, we truly should be very diligent. We must clearly distinguish all that is false. We should not allow the illusory appearances of the world to confuse or delude us any longer. So, we must truly be mindful in seeking to comprehend; we must be clear on all matters, things and principles.

So, “Our bodies and minds will be at ease. This is the practice of bringing peace and joy.” To not become annoyed when dealing with matters is really not an easy thing to do. However, it is something we can master. It is something that we must train ourselves in. Then, whenever we encounter anything, we will not let it disturb our minds. This is to be at ease in body and mind; it is the practice of bringing peace and joy. This is what we should be mindful of.

The next passage from the Chapter on the Practice of Bringing Peace and Joy follows what is in the Chapter on Encouragement to Uphold the Sutra. We learn how to apply this sutra in our minds, to awaken to it in our minds, then apply it when we are among others. To awaken ourselves and awaken others, we must us great wisdom to practice kindness and exercise compassion. Wisdom, benevolence and courage, this is what we need to have. So, we need to be mindful of how we can awaken our wisdom and then exercise this wisdom to enter the practice of compassion. This way, when we uphold the sutra, we can uphold it very joyfully. When we go into very negative and evil places, however stubborn the sentient beings there may be, we will be able to train them. When they are able to be saved, we feel Dharma-joy.

For instance, when we go into the prisons, the inmates can come out and become new people. Not only can they become new people, they can even become Bodhisattvas. This is how they are saved, and this is what brings us joy. The principle is the same.

So, the Chapter on Encouragement to Uphold the sutra ends be saying, “If in villages and cities there are people who seek the Dharma, we will all go to where they are to teach the Dharma entrusted to us by the Buddha.” [This means], “Wherever we are needed, that is where we will go to teach the Dharma taught by the Buddha. We will be the World-Honored One’s messengers, dwelling fearlessly among the multitudes. We will excel in teaching the Dharma. We hope the Buddha will abide in peace.”

They understood the Buddha’s intent “You need not worry. You need not worry when you enter Parinirvana. We will take on the responsibility for all of those places that you care about!” their tone was so comforting!

So, “Before the World-Honored One and all the Buddhas from the ten directions, we make this vow; the Buddha must know what is in our hearts.

[This means], “Before You, World-Honored One, and before all Buddhas of the ten directions we are making this vow. Venerable Buddha! You should understand us very well, so you do not need to worry.” These were Bodhisattvas who resonated with the Buddha’s heart and understood the Buddha’s intent. They would undertake the Buddha’s mission and continue carrying it out like this.

Next, in the Chapter on the practice of Bringing Peace and Joy, it begins by saying. “At that time, Dharma-prince Manjusri, Bodhisattva-Mahasattva, said to the Buddha, ‘World-Honored One, these Bodhisattvas are extremely rare and precious. Because they reverently follow the Buddha, they made great vows.’”

This passage [speaks of] Manjusri Bodhisattva, who is “foremost among all Bodhisattvas.” So, when those Bodhisattvas previously all made their vows in front of the Buddha, Manjusri Bodhisattva was also present, thus he now came to ask the Buddha something. Seeing how everyone vowed to uphold the sutra, Manjusri Bodhisattva came to ask the Buddha.

Manjusri was foremost among all Bodhisattvas. All those Bodhisattvas in the previous chapter had already made vows to uphold the sutra, so he asked the Tathagata which methods they should practice to be able to transmit and expound this sutra in the evil world of turbidities during the era of Dharma-degeneration.

This is profound meaning in this as well. He was asking “the Tathagata which methods they should practice.” Those Bodhisattvas had previously talked only about the many evils the future would hold, and how for the sake of upholding the sutra they would be certain to endure all of them. This is all they had talked about, but Manjusri Bodhisattva felt that they still needed to understand the actual methods they could use to uphold it so that they could uphold it happily and so that they could protect themselves. Rather than just enduring evil, it is better to take preventative measures. Preventing is better than enduring. If you wait until you have already fallen ill, it will be more troublesome to cure your illness. Isn’t it better to prevent illness? Isn’t maintaining good health more important?

For this reason, Manjusri Bodhisattva came to ask for teachings. So, we should be grateful [to Manjusri] for each passage in which he plays a critical role. At this time, Manjusri Bodhisattva hurried to come ask this of the Buddha. This great Bodhisattva, this Bodhisattva-Mahasattva, began by asking questions. This is because those Bodhisattvas had not asked which methods they should use. Manjusri made up for this by asking his question. ”In the evil world of turbidities during the era of Dharma-degeneration….” During those turbid times, how would they spread the Dharma? How would they expound the sutra? Since the world will be so turbid and evil, he wanted to ask the Buddha, “What methods should we use to expound the sutra in a world that is so evil?” If we are to transmit the Dharma, then we must first understand it.

So, “At this time,” it was the Dharma-prince, Manjusri. “Manjusri is called Wondrous Virtue”. We previously explained how the Buddha is called the Dharma-king. “Bodhisattvas who pass on the teachings” are called “Dharma-princes”.

Every Bodhisattva is a Dharma-prince. One who truly takes on this responsibility is a “true Dharma-prince”. This was Manjusri Bodhisattva. Manjusri was not only a Bodhisattva; in the past he was also a teacher of Buddhas and had become a Buddha himself. He himself had already been a Buddha, but he came again to the world to help the Buddha deliver and transform sentient beings.

Bodhisattva-Mahasattva: This refers to an awakened sentient being with great spiritual aspirations. This means Manjusri had great spiritual aspirations and could help sentient beings.

So, Manjusri Bodhisattva was a great Bodhisattva. He was an “awakened sentient being” with “great spiritual aspirations”. Because he manifested in the human world, by all appearances he was human too. So, a “Mahasattva” is an awakened sentient being, a great Bodhisattva. “Maha” means great, so it means a “great awakened being,” one who is full of great spiritual aspirations. His great spiritual aspirations were by then already very firm. He had formed great aspirations; he was an awakened being who had come to deliver sentient beings. When we speak of “Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas,” these are all enlightened people who have formed great aspirations. Here in the world, we are always calling people “Bodhisattva”. This means you must awaken! Although people may not yet be Bodhisattvas, we keep on offering our blessings; we continually remind them, “You must awaken! We must awaken ourselves and awaken others!” So, these are great spiritual aspirations.

We gradually encourage each other in this. Manjusri Bodhisattva had great spiritual aspirations and he was also very accomplished. He was a Bodhisattva, a great Bodhisattva. So, that great Bodhisattva, Dharma-prince Manjusri, “said to the Buddha, World-Honored One, these Bodhisattvas are extremely rare and precious.”’

He called on the Buddha. “The Buddha possesses noble virtues and is honored by the world”. Everyone in the world respected and revered Him. He then praised those from the previous chapter “who vowed to widely spread this wondrous sutra. These great Bodhisattvas are extremely rare and precious”. Actually, Sakyamuni Buddha had already transcended the world. Everyone admired and respected Him for this. Manjusri called Him “World-Honored One,” while at the same time praising those Bodhisattvas who had formed aspirations to uphold this sutra. So, Manjusri Bodhisattva was very wise. He first addressed the Buddha out of respect, then he went on to praise those Bodhisattvas from before who had formed aspirations and made vows.

Because they reverently follow the Buddha, they made great vows: They reverently followed the Tathagata’s intent, so they came before the Buddha and made profound and solemn vows that they would endure all these hardships.

He praised those Bodhisattvas, saying, “Because they reverently follow the Buddha, they made great vows”. All these Bodhisattvas greatly revered the Buddha. They resonated with the Buddha’s intent. They would do what the Buddha wanted. They had all already made great vows. They “reverently followed the Tathagata’s intent”. They had made profound vows to the Buddha; they had made great vows before Him. This truly required endurance; they would be able to “endure all these hardships”.

There would be so many hardships that would truly be difficult to endure. These Bodhisattvas would willingly endure these, so [Bodhisattvas like them] were really rare and precious.

“Rare and precious” refers to how, in the Chapter on Encouragement to Uphold the Sutra, it says Bodhisattvas in the advanced stage would be able to carry out the [Buddha’s] mission to spread the sutra in the evil world. Advanced stage: With deep faith, true practice, sincerity, compassion and wisdom, they advance diligently lifetime after lifetime, constantly engaging in the Four Practices. Never-retreating Bodhisattvas: Their ever-lasting and resolute Bodhicitta has lasted throughout the Three Periods: Each of these Bodhisattvas in the advanced stage had their own great and magnificent individual vows.

“Rare and precious” refers to the Bodhisattvas in the Chapter on Encouragement to Uphold the Sutra who were already at a very advanced stage, whose level was very high. In the evil world, they would be able to follow the Buddha’s teachings while coming and going in the world. To teach and transform sentient beings in such a stubborn and turbid world would truly not be easy for these people; “to be able to carry out the [Buddha’s] mission to spread the sutra in the evil world” would not be easy at all. Those at an “advanced stage” have “deep faith and true practice”. They have genuine compassion and wisdom to willingly come to this world and diligently advance lifetime after lifetime.

This requires “constantly engaging in the Four Practices,” practice with nothing further, extended practice, uninterrupted practice and practice with reverence. They all practiced diligently like this. They were “non-retreating Bodhisattvas”. This means that throughout the Three Periods, they will be every-lasting and resolute, coming and going like this with awakened Bodhicitta. There is the past, the present and the future. The past goes back infinitely far; then there is the present, as well as the future, an infinite future ahead of the present. This never stops; throughout the past, the present and future, they will always be willing and determined to return to practice the Bodhisattva-path.

All of them are awakened people. “Each of these Bodhisattvas in the advanced stage had their own great and magnificent” individual vows. Each individual Bodhisattva has his or her own individual vow. Buddhas are the same. Buddhas have universal vows, which are the Four Great Vows. Then they have their own individual vows as well. Bodhisattvas are the same as this.

So, for instance, “Guanyin Bodhisattva relieves suffering when called upon,” and Earth Treasury Bodhisattva said, “Until hell is empty, I will not attain Buddhahood“ and so on. Each Bodhasattva has their own individual vows. So, these Bodhisattvas were truly precious, since they reverently followed the Buddha’s intent and willingly made great vows. They were also willing to come and go like this. However, when it came to saving sentient beings, each individual also had their own vow that they used to accord with sentient beings.

Next it says, “[They vow] to protect, uphold, read and expound this Lotus Sutra in the future world of evil. World-Honored One, how can Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas in the future world of evil expound this sutra?”

Right at the start, Manjusri asked about the most important points. These Bodhisattvas later on, having formed aspirations, would [ return] lifetime after lifetime. They spoke of the Three Periods. The Three Periods refer to the infinite past, the present and the infinite future. So, lifetime after lifetime they would keep “protecting, upholding, reading and expounding this Lotus Sutra in the future world of evil”.

[They vow] to protect, uphold, read and expound this Lotus Sutra in the future world of evil: After the Buddha enters Parinirvana, in the evil world of turbidities, they will protect, cherish, uphold, read, recite and expound this wondrous sutra.

They do this constantly; with the power of their vows, in this world, the evil world of turbidities, they will protect and cherish the Wondrous Lotus Sutra. They took on the responsibility of upholding it, of reading and reciting it. To uphold the sutra, they must read and recite it themselves, as well as teach this wondrous Dharma to everyone. This is to “ seek the path to Buddhahood while transforming sentient beings”. This is how to continually transmit the Dharma.

“World-Honored One, [What should] Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas [do?]” This refers to Bodhisattvas in the future, who would initially form great aspirations then. These Bodhisattvas will make their initial great vows, their great aspirations. How can those “Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas in the future world of evil expound this sutra?”

The spiritual aspirations of the senior Bodhisattvas were by then very resolute; they were able to endure hardships. What about the future? What about those Bodhisattvas who would begin to form aspirations then? They may form aspirations, but those aspirations will only be newly formed. Those Bodhisattvas may form great aspirations, but they will still be relatively inexperienced. How will they face that evil world in the future?

“How can those Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas in the future world of evil expound this sutra? For those who are newly-inspired with limited capabilities and strength, how can they do this in such an evil world?”

How will they teach the sutras? These newly-inspired [Bodhisattvas], though they have formed great aspirations, will not be very experienced yet. How will they teach the sutras in an evil world?

To be able to expound this sutra, we must first be able to practice it and attain realization. Only then can we begin to expound it to others. So, “to expound” includes all contemplation and practice, using our mind to contemplate the principles and our body to practice according to principles. This is called contemplation and practice.

If we want “to be able to expound this sutra,” how do we teach it? We must be able to practice it. We must “be able to practice it,” must first put the teachings into practice, “and attain realization. Only then can we expound it to others.” This is the only way to do it. Only when we are able to do it ourselves will we have a way to teach it to others. Thus, “Only then can we expound it to others. So, ‘to expound’ includes all contemplation and practice.”

We must first experience it ourselves, for only then can we take all of the principles and bring them together. After everything undergoes contemplation, we can then teach this Dharma to everyone else. So, we ourselves must first engage in “all contemplation and practice.” We must understand these things, first take the principles to heart; only then will we be able to start. We must first prepare ourselves well. We “use the mind to contemplate the principles and our body to practice according to principles.” We must first thoroughly comprehend the principles ourselves. We must understand them first, for only then can conduct ourselves according to these principles and become models in teaching them to others. This is the way we teach others. This is” contemplation and practice.”

So, dear Bodhisattvas, we must mindfully seek to experience this. Where are the principles? They are in our daily living. The Dharma is in our lives. Therefore, we must always be mindful!

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