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 20180706《靜思妙蓮華》欲說是經 安住四法 (第1386集) (法華經·安樂行品第十四)

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發表主題: 20180706《靜思妙蓮華》欲說是經 安住四法 (第1386集) (法華經·安樂行品第十四)   周四 7月 05, 2018 9:41 pm

20180706《靜思妙蓮華》欲說是經 安住四法 (第1386集) (法華經·安樂行品第十四)

⊙新得記畏娑婆多諸患難,自謂未修忍行力所不堪,諸菩薩自謂得無生法忍,故能忍諸難事自發弘誓。
⊙文殊大智契慈運悲體佛心懷,末世法師弘通持此大乘妙法,弘通教化入眾行者雖能忍難,遭世濁惡法末群機根劣剛強。
⊙僧眾得佛授記之者,於惡世中云何行履,能說是經得無諸難,必以文殊請問佛示,以正智向發正行契如來智,離妄照真持正法。
⊙「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,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》
⊙「佛告文殊師利:若菩薩摩訶薩,於後惡世欲說是經,當安住四法。」《法華經安樂行品第十四》
⊙當安住四法:一、身安樂行;二、口安樂行;三、意安樂行;四、誓願安樂行。
⊙四法之一:教行處及親近處,名身安樂行處。
⊙四法之二:誡口過,令善說法,名口安樂行處。
⊙四法之三:淨心業,離貪瞋癡,名意安樂行處。
⊙四法之四:起慈悲,名誓度一切,願安樂行處。
⊙四法者、即下文之四行是:正身行,正語行,意離諸惡自利行,心修諸善利他行。
⊙「一者、安住菩薩行處、親近處,能為眾生演說是經。」《法華經安樂行品第十四》
⊙處乃身之所踐之境,行近乃身經歷之境之行。如來出世,隨宜為說處中感受之妙理。
⊙趨操履淨行謂之行,狎習謂之近,二者不違於道,是菩薩行近之處,此身行之要也。
⊙能為眾生演說是經:行用有法,親近得人,則能為他演說是經。
⊙能為眾生演說是經:行用有法,親近得人,則能為他演說是經。
⊙安住:心契是理,身習是事,行之純熟了無不適之謂。行處:謂心所遊息依止之處。親近處:謂親習接近之處。
⊙凡心之所緣,身之所接,苟非契於正法理性者,皆非菩薩之行處、親近處。

【證嚴上人開示】
新得記畏娑婆多諸患難,自謂未修忍行力所不堪,諸菩薩自謂得無生法忍,故能忍諸難事自發弘誓。

新得記
畏娑婆多諸患難
自謂未修忍行
力所不堪
諸菩薩
自謂得無生法忍
故能忍諸難事
自發弘誓

了解,「新得記,畏娑婆多諸患難」,這一再跟大家提起,前品<勸持品>,佛陀還是為大家授記,然後人人發願,都希望到他方世界,畏懼娑婆,「娑婆多諸患難」。所以,有資深的菩薩,已經歷來都不斷來回人間,發菩薩心,入人群。這群菩薩自己信心滿滿,所以他們願意發願,因為要在娑婆世界要堪得忍耐,這個「忍」字,也就要「生忍」、「無生忍」。「生忍」與「無生忍」,這就是修行的功夫,能夠面對著大自然,經得起大自然;面對著人群,經得起人群的考驗等等,這全都是要忍。尤其是法、真理,到這個違背真理的人群,要怎麼樣去面對能安然度過,這若沒有很忍而耐之,實在要能夠發願在娑婆,是很不簡單。所以要有資深的菩薩,若只有新發意的菩薩,雖然都發心了,卻是還是要更多的經驗,有心、願忍,但是如何能讓他們「耐」?人家說:「發心容易,恆心難。」這個恆心要如何維持下去,一定要「生忍」、「無生忍」,要堪得忍,耐得忍,這才是真正的真功夫。

所以,「能忍諸難事」,資深的菩薩,他們就是「自發弘誓」。他們不用佛陀怎麼告訴他們,佛陀只是眼睛看他們一下,他們就了解,體會佛陀的心意了。所以,他們出來向佛真誠發願,堪得忍耐。文殊菩薩在場看,是啊!要來人間談何容易!在人間要能長久,尤其是在未來末世,這個濁世法末這段時間,願意這樣再來,這種的考驗是很大,文殊菩薩是超越的智慧,他看到這麼多人,菩薩勇猛精進發大願心,文殊菩薩就要趕緊來補充:「雖然這些資深菩薩信心滿滿,但是不斷廣度眾生,也有人能夠發大乘心,這些人是不是堪得起忍得久呢?這一定要有方法,佛陀開口來說出了忍的方法,未來要如何來持經在惡世間,如何去面對。」所以,文殊悲智雙運,慈悲、智慧,運慈啟悲,在這道場中,文殊菩薩開始就這樣來啟問。

文殊大智
契慈運悲體佛心懷
末世法師
弘通持此大乘妙法
弘通教化入眾
行者雖能忍難
遭世濁惡法末
群機根劣剛強

所以,「文殊大智契慈運悲」,他的大智慧,了解佛陀的心懷,只有這些人發願是不夠的,要再補充方法給大家,但是佛陀還沒有開口說法,文殊菩薩就開始,了解佛陀的心,所以文殊菩薩再為當機者。在這麼多人的場合裡,文殊菩薩就當場開始「契慈」,契佛陀的慈悲,了解佛陀的心意,「運悲」,悲憫未來發大心的菩薩,要如何用心去引導他們,怎麼樣能夠更了解佛陀的教法,佛陀希望人人能夠入人群,在娑婆度化眾生,這個心懷有他的方法在,所以希望大家能夠更加了解佛陀的心意,所以,佛陀要用法說出來給大家聽。這是文殊菩薩代替大家來問。大家想不到要問,但是文殊菩薩替他們問,問出了他們未來要持經弘法,要用什麼方法來持經。

所以,「末世法師弘通持此大乘妙法」。末世就是未來末法的世中,這個時間裡,這些法師要怎麼樣,去弘通這個正法,在這種惡世的時間內,要如何去弘揚,能夠平順這樣很通達,可以在這地方。「持此大乘妙法」,這《妙華蓮華經》要怎麼持?要怎麼運用在娑婆世界?這就是文殊菩薩要問,代替菩薩,新發意的菩薩,或者是資深的菩薩替他們所問。所以,「弘通教法入眾」,要怎麼樣,將這部《法華經》弘通,將教義能普遍人間,入群眾去。所以,「行者」,就是修行的人、持經的人,「雖能忍難」,這些菩薩雖然人人都說:「我們能忍。」但是若去遇到這種,「世濁惡法末」之時,這個法末之時,世間很濁惡,這個法已經這樣,在很衰微的這當中,人人已經沒有要將法弘揚出來,而且也不知道正法的方向。這個時代,這個世間很濁、很惡,法也已經衰微了。這個時候,世間「群機根劣剛強」,世間眾生在人群中,這個根機很微劣,尤其是很剛強,你要說法給他聽,難啊!不是拒絕,便是誹謗,要接受很困難。

僧眾得佛授記之者
於惡世中云何行履
能說是經得無諸難
必以文殊請問佛示
以正智向發正行
契如來智
離妄照真持正法

「僧眾得佛授記」,前面<勸持品>,這些出家眾,佛陀這樣分別一段一段,為他們授記了,不只是比丘眾,即使比丘尼眾,也全都得佛授記。但是這些得記的人,就是「於惡世中」,要怎麼樣能夠實行、行履,就是怎麼樣實踐。在這個人間,「能說是經得無諸難」,這些得記的人,他們自己自忖,自己自揣測;「這世間這麼惡,我們沒那個能力,不夠能力,所以我們不敢在這裡。」雖然他們已發心他方世界,但是後來經過這些菩薩在發願,自己也反省,願意再培養自己的大心,發願再來娑婆。這種的人,若是在這個惡世中,要怎麼樣去實踐,持經弘法在人間去行動,「行履」就是行動、實踐,要怎麼樣去腳踏實地,走在人間路呢?走在人間路,還能夠「能說此經」,能夠讓他們沒有受到阻礙,因為這些全都是很淺,新發意的菩薩,是不是能夠要遇到的困難?不如就讓他們知道,預防困難的方法。所以,「能說是經得無諸難」,讓他們能很平安,不要有種種的困難。

所以「必以文殊請問佛」,來請佛來開示。這段的經文要表達,文殊菩薩怎麼又特別來問佛,意思就是這些,因為資深的菩薩能堪忍,但是才受記的,未來能成佛,他們一定要行菩薩道,菩薩道,在哪裡都能去行菩薩道。但是,這個娑婆世界,大家若不肯來,這個世界不就會更濁惡。應該要鼓勵人人,得記者都要發願回歸娑婆,這是文殊菩薩的悲智,憐憫發心的菩薩、新發意菩薩,鼓勵他們要入人群,但是他們怕,請佛來安慰他們:「沒有那麼可怕,只要你發大心、立大願,應該沒有這麼可怕。」

請佛開示,要怎麼樣以正智,正智的方向來開導他們大家,用正智的方向來「發正行,契如來智」,讓這些人真真正正能夠體會到,佛的心懷,了解佛的智慧,怎麼運作在這娑婆世界,佛陀不捨娑婆,佛陀還會再來人間,佛陀要用什麼方法來?「運智」,要怎麼樣契慈運智在這人間,這就是要「契如來智」。能夠用什麼方法來「離妄」?我們眾生,有得失心,就是因我們有煩惱心,要如何讓他們能夠很勇敢,這樣入人群,用如來智而入人群,不受人群所污染到。這種「離妄照真」,用他真實的智慧,能夠將這個正法,在人群中這樣發揮出來。這是文殊菩薩來請示佛,要請佛開示。

所以前面的文:「爾時,文殊師利法王子,菩薩摩訶薩。」他是一位很超越的法王子,他是傳佛慧命。

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
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》

佛佛道同,古來佛的慧命,也是文殊菩薩在傳,任何一尊佛來人間,文殊菩薩都是,這樣在人間助佛弘法,教化眾生,這就是文殊菩薩的特質。所以他在釋迦牟尼佛的道場,也是這樣,稱為法王子,傳佛慧命,就是覺悟的慧命,每一尊佛智,他都是契佛智,引導眾生了解正法、正智、正念,這是文殊菩薩悲智雙運。所以「世尊!是諸菩薩,甚為難有」。這些菩薩真的很可貴,難能可貴,這群菩薩因為是敬順佛意,所以在佛的面前發這樣的大願,說他們資深,自己以為他們不怕,其實還是要再作叮嚀;還有那些新發意的菩薩,也要讓他們安心,再發願來人間,娑婆世界。「於後惡世,護持讀說是法華經」。這部《法華經》,要在人間流傳下去,就是需要有這麼多人再來人間,來發心立願護持這部經,《妙法蓮華經》。所以「世尊!菩薩摩訶薩於後惡世,云何能說是經?」儘管這些菩薩都資深,都是大菩薩,但是在未來的惡世中,是要如何維護這部經,在弘通的時候,能夠沒有遭到困難,盡量減輕他們的困難,這是文殊菩薩的用意。

接下來這段文:「佛告文殊師利:若菩薩摩訶薩,於後惡世欲說是經,當安住四法。」

佛告文殊師利
若菩薩摩訶薩
於後惡世欲說是經
當安住四法
《法華經安樂行品第十四》

這是佛陀已經開口了,來回答,向文殊菩薩這樣說:未來,在這個惡世中,這些大菩薩,或者是新發意的菩薩,在後來惡世,這個惡世法末之時,要講這部經,「欲說此經」,那就是要好好很用心,要當住於四法。講這部經,要有方法。

當安住四法:
一、身安樂行
二、口安樂行
三、意安樂行
四、誓願安樂行

一、就是「教行處,及親近處,名身安樂行處」。

四法之一:
教行處
及親近處
名身安樂行處

要教導眾生,要做一位不請之師,你要很歡喜說法來教化,用這個真實的道理,去入人群教化眾生,眾生若不肯來,我們也要自己自動去親近他,用方法去親近他。這在現在也是這樣啊,教師在教學生,想盡辦法,要如何能夠博取學生的興趣,來接受教育,這個時代就已經這樣了,何況以後。從前要讀書,是學生要去將就老師,現在是老師要來博取學生,引起他的興趣讀書,這實在是時代不同了。

佛陀就是這樣教育我們,要設法讓眾生願意親近,你要先去親近他們,所以這叫做「教行處」,也是「身安樂行處」。你人去哪裡,都要讓人有一種很安心,很快樂。就像有時候,慈濟在國際間,開始的時候,有人就說:「佛教要來傳教。」慈濟不是傳教,我們是去和合。同樣的道理,就像厄瓜多,天主教信仰的國家,他們大地震了,(二0一六年)四月間的地震,看看,七點八規模的地震是多麼大,忽然間天搖地動,一些建築物應聲而毀壞掉了,人受傷的也不少,無家可歸,多數,整個滿目瘡痍,在社區、街道等等。本來這個國家,人民不是很富有,受到這樣的大災難,所以無語問蒼天。

慈濟人從美國,和南美洲的慈濟人,會合到這個國家來,他們看,用什麼方法救呢?要從哪裡下手?一個方法,有經驗過的,那就是菲律賓的「海燕」,這個大風災,所造成萊特省獨魯萬(市),本來省長要將它棄城,慈濟到達了,有經濟的人能離開這個島,但是原住民,住在這個島上的人是大多數,何去何從,滿目瘡痍要怎麼辦?大家互動,菲律賓和臺灣慈濟人,團隊合心的精神,就建議他們:「你們趕緊在那個地方帶動『以工代賑』。」雖然,開頭起步有比較緩慢,不是很順暢,卻是一帶起來,第一天、第二天、三五天、十幾天,一來就將近一個月的時間,一直到了一二十天之後,動員有時候上萬人,二萬多人、三萬多人。每天發工資,「以工代賑」,他們每天都可以拿到工資。就這樣一直發、一直發,他們不斷盡力一直清、一直掃,近一個月的時間,他們就完全清了,大街道,小路小巷都全部乾乾淨淨,這是一個很好的經驗。

所以,慈濟人將這個經驗,就帶到厄瓜多。厄瓜多,他們也早就知道,菲律賓這個「以工代賑」,已經在NGO裡面傳出去了。所以美國的慈濟人到達,提起了「以工代賑」,當地很快的樂意接受,所以很快就啟動起來。當地人能夠賺工資,還能夠打掃自己的家園,這是唯一的希望,所以很快速就這樣帶起來。從那種很鬱悶,無力,慈濟人給他力,精神將他勉勵起來,人人站起來,發揮他們每一個人的力量。所以很快,這個地方,幾天後,四個縣市,這樣很快就恢復,都清掃好了。

我們在其中遇到的一個(卡諾亞教堂),那就是天主教的教堂,看到修女在那裡束手無策,教堂倒塌了,這要怎麼去清理,要怎麼復建呢?遙遙無期。慈濟人動員先清掃,然後這個訊息來考慮,我們大家來考慮,因為那個地方的民眾,他們的信仰,那就是天主教,人民一定要有一個信仰的依靠,正確的信仰。天主教是這個國家精神的資糧,所以我們要趕緊給他們,有一個信仰,精神的依靠,所以我們決定,要把這間教堂蓋起來。修女、神父很歡喜就接受了,因為他們知道慈濟在海地,也為天主教建學校,也為天主教修女的教堂,將它修復;菲律賓神父的的教堂,我們也為他們這樣重建起來。所以,他們都知道了,他們歡喜接受。

所以,我們大乘的教化,不是要說的,法是要用的,要深入人群;人群所需要,要去付出,是實體的付出,所以「身安樂行處」。我們的身體走到哪裡,入人群中,讓人群能夠安心,得到幫助,他們能夠歡喜,這就是「教行處」,也就是「親近處」,也是身的安樂行處。這就是身,我們的身體能夠做這樣的事情。

四法之二:
誡口過
令善說法
名口安樂行處

第二是「誡口過,令善說法」,叫做「口安樂行處」。就是口,說話要很用心,以誠意,不妄語,我們要說真實語,我們要柔和的口言,不要惡口、兩舌。我們和別人約定,該做就是做,一定要做到,這就是要誠實語。我們要常常警惕,「戒」,要戒我們的口過,不要心沒有這樣想,口卻這樣說;心沒有那個誠意,口將它說得很好,到時候做不到,這樣就不行。所以我們說,有和別人說,我們就要做。所以,「令善說法」,你若能夠說,言之有信,自然你要親近他,要為他說法,他絕對是相信,所以叫做「口安樂行處」。

第三是「淨心業」。

四法之三:
淨心業
離貪瞋癡
名意安樂行處

「淨心業」,我們要好好顧好我們的心,「離貪瞋癡」,我們所做的一切,是無所求的付出。我們很輕安,我們很自在,歡喜,感恩,這叫做「意安樂處」。

四法之四:
起慈悲
名誓度一切
願安樂行處

第四是「起慈悲」。我們的心時時要發起慈悲心,「名誓度一切,願安樂行處」。我們要時時好好起慈悲心,我們才能夠發弘誓願,度一切眾生,「誠正信實」入人群去,這叫做「願安樂行處」。

再接下來,還有「四法」。

四法者
即下文之四行是:
正身行
正語行
意離諸惡自利行
心修諸善利他行

「四法」,那就是下面的文會再詳細說,除了「四安樂行」,還有「四法四行」,就是要「正身行」、「正語行」、「意離諸惡自利行」,四「心修諸善利他行」。我們應該修行、修善,就是要利他,這叫做「四行法」,下面會更再詳細去解釋。

接下來這段文:「一者、安住菩薩行處、親近處,能為眾生演說是經。」

一者
安住菩薩行處
親近處
能為眾生演說是經
《法華經安樂行品第十四》

這段文能夠第一項,「安住菩薩行處」,菩薩行,我們既發心,我們要好好穩定我們的心志。

處乃身之所踐之境
行近乃
身經歷之境之行
如來出世
隨宜為說
處中感受之妙理

「身之所踐之境」。我們的身體力行,實踐的境界,我們要心是這樣想,我們的身體,就是我們的兩隻腳,就要步步踏實,這樣漸漸靠近。「身經歷之境」。靠近我們應該要走的道路,我們是要入菩薩道,行六度萬行,這是我們向前的行蹤,就是要向這樣的路,去實踐、去走。

所以,「如來出世,隨宜為說處中感受之妙理」。如來出現在世間,是隨宜,隨眾生的根機,說在行菩薩道,所感受的妙理。釋迦牟尼佛在這一生成佛了,其實,若沒有過去生,在人群中所經歷的,這時候要能夠開悟,天地宇宙真理,談何容易啊!能夠開悟,透徹人間的真理,就是要在人群中歷練過,就是要有這樣,儲蓄很多那個感受。「處中感受之妙理」。他走去到哪裡,我們就有一句話說:「不經一事,不長一智。」身不歷其境,不知道境中的境界。同樣的道理,我們要說走過的路,我們若沒有走過,要如何向人指路呢?所以,「隨宜為說,處中感受之妙理」,我們走過處處所感受的道理。

所以,「趨操履淨行謂之行」。

趨操履淨行謂之行
狎習謂之近
二者不違於道
是菩薩行近之處
此身行之要也

我們就是要這樣走,「趨」就是向前,趨向,就是向前去。「操履」就是實踐,我們身體力行,腳踏實地身體力行,腳步這樣走,步步都是淨行,都是清淨,付出無所求的菩薩道,這就是「淨行」。所以,「狎習謂之近」。就是親近,你不斷去實習,去親近,這就是我們那個行處,親近處。「二者不違於道」,都沒有違背道,這就是我們要身體力行。「是菩薩行近之處」。去親近,去投入,都沒有違背,這叫做菩薩親近處。「此身行之要也」,這個身體,我們就是要身體力行,身是載道器,我們若沒有這個身體,怎麼能修行呢?所以,這個身就是載道器,「身安樂行處」,就是身的安樂行處。我們已經發願身體力行。「安住在菩薩行處」,所以也是「親近處」。

一者
安住菩薩行處
親近處:
於佛法中終日履踐
名為行處
遠離惡友
親友善人
名親近處

「於佛法中」,這就是我們的第一,剛才說的「親近處」,是身的安樂行,這是第一項。「於佛法中終日履踐」,就是我們腳踏實地、實踐的方法,所以「名為行處」。我們就是這樣走過。所以,「遠離惡友,親友善人」。我們會去親近全都是好的人,惡的人,我們若功夫還不夠,我們就不要去靠近,我們要懂得分辨是非,不要去靠近。我們若無法去度人,本欲度眾生,反被眾生度,那就很麻煩了。功夫若還沒很堅固,我們還是親近善友,遠離惡友。「親友善人」,我們親近好的人,所以名叫做親近處,這是佛陀教我們的方法,就是安住菩薩行處這個方法,我們要身體力行,但是我們要會選擇,身體要先好好受持,要腳踏實地。

能為眾生
演說是經:
行用有法
親近得人
則能為他演說是經

「能為眾生演說是經」。這樣能夠為眾生來演說,《妙法華經》,是「行用有法,親近得人,則能為他演說是經」。我們在身體力行,我們自己內心也要有法。行而致用,我們在修行,是要修來用的;聽法是要聽來了解,了解之後是要身體力行,所以行以致用,這用中有法。所以,「親近得人」。我們要親近的,就是真的能夠幫助我們,增長我們的智慧,或者是我們去親近需要我們幫助的人,我們也得要很用方法去親近他,所以這就是「上求下化」。好的朋友能夠幫助我們,需要我們的,我們要去幫助,都沒有離開人。「三人行必有我師焉」,所以「得其善而從之,其不善而改之」,這是孔夫子這樣說,叫我們懂得分別是非。我們也要做人的善知識,我們要有力量,要有法在我們的心,我們去親近人,這全都是同樣,在這個親近處的裡面。但是,是非要分清楚,若能這樣,「則能為他演說是經」。也能夠安住,安住就是安住是處,安住在菩薩行處裡,我們要安住。

安住:
心契是理
身習是事
行之純熟
了無不適之謂
行處:
謂心所遊息
依止之處
親近處:
謂親習接近之處

安住,「心契是理」,我們的心要和道理,常常契合在一起。「身習是事」,道理在我們的心裡,我們的身體要以理而行。心中有理,我們的形相,也都要合這樣的道理。所以,「行之純熟」,就「無不適之謂」。這樣就沒有不適合的地方,我們全都能夠很和合,這個世間要用什麼方法去對治,我們就有方法去對治、預防,預防惡法入心,預防惡法在行為中,我們就能夠在這個人間去說法。

所以,這就是「行處」,我們心要走的一條路,也就是「心所遊息依止之處」。我們的心要在哪裡呢?遊啊,在人群中,但是我們的心不能起動,不要遇到事情,就六神無主,不要遇到事情就很緊張、很慌張,不可。遊戲人間,我們的方向正確不偏差,遇到事情就不要緊張,不要慌張起來。所以,我們要「遊息依止」。「遊息」,「遊」就是動,「息」就是我們安靜下來。動中有靜,在我們要如何來對人間,人間實在是很擾動,你要面處著擾動的人間,我們若跟它動,一直動,心就會擾亂起來。這現在的人生,就是這麼的擾動、不安定,要入這個境界,我們就和它像是在遊戲;就像水,在這不論它是多少的竹林,水也是這樣,不會受一枝一枝的竹子阻擋到。

我們的心就是要這樣,去除這種動盪,我們的心不要跟他動,我們要訓練要很沉著,所以「依止之處,親近處,謂親習之處」。

凡心之所緣
身之所接
苟非契於
正法理性者
皆非菩薩之行處
親近處

「凡心之所緣,身之所接」。所接觸到的,所緣的境界,身所接觸到的,那就是「非契於,正法理性者」,若沒有辦法啟發到正法的理性,「皆非菩薩之行處、親近處」。若沒有辦法將真理會合,這樣還不能稱為「菩薩行處」,或者是「親近處」。所以,我們要很用心來體會。現在下來也很多,要如何來對治人間的方法呢?大家要時時多用心!


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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: Abiding Peacefully in Four Methods (欲說是經 安住四法)
Date: July.06.2018

“Those who had recently received predictions feared that there would be many adversities and hardships in the Saha World. They claimed to have not yet cultivated patience and to lack the strength to endure. But those Bodhisattvas claimed to have attained non-arising patience, so they would be able to endure all hardships. They thus took the initiative to make great vows.”

We must understand that “Those who had recently received predictions feared that there would be many adversities and hardships in the Saha World.” I have repeatedly mentioned to everyone that in the Chapter on Encouragement to Uphold the Sutra, the Buddha was still bestowing predictions of Buddhahood on everyone. Afterwards, everyone made vows, all hoping to go to other worlds, because they feared the Saha World. They “feared that there would be many adversities and hardships in the Saha World.” Therefore, there were experienced Bodhisattvas who had the experience of repeatedly returning to the world. They had formed Bodhisattva-aspirations and gone among people. This group of Bodhisattvas was very confident in themselves. So, they were willing to make vows. Because they would be in the Saha world, they would need to patiently endure. This word “patience” includes “arising patience” and “non-arising patience”. “Arising patience” and “non-arising patience” are things we master through spiritual practice, so that when we face [the challenges of] nature, we can endure them, and when we face [challenges] among people, we will endure these challenges and so on. This all require patience.

In particular when it comes to the Dharma and the true principles, when we go among people who go against the true principles, how can we face them and get through peacefully? If we are not very patient in enduring, then if we want to vow to be in the Saha World, it will truly be very difficult. So, experienced Bodhisattvas are needed. If there are only newly-inspired Bodhisattvas, even though they have made aspirations, they still need more experience. They are dedicated and willing to be patient but what would they need in order to be patient? People say, “Forming aspirations is easy, persevering in them is hard.” To persevere in our aspirations, we need arising and non-arising patience. Only when we are able to endure with patience have we attained true mastery. So, “They will be able to endure all hardships.” These experienced Bodhisattvas “took the initiative to make great vows.” They did not need the Buddha to tell them anything. The Buddha only took one look at them and they understood and comprehended the Buddha’s intent. So, they came forward to make sincere vows to the Buddha that [they will] endure with patience.

Manjusri Bodhisattva was present and saw them. Indeed! To come to the world is by no means easy. To endure for a long time in the world, especially during the future era of Dharma-degeneration, a time of turbidities and Dharma-degeneration, to be willing to return again, will be a great challenge. Manjusri Bodhisattva’s wisdom was transcendent; he saw these many people, Bodhisattvas who were brave and diligent, making great vows. So, Manjusri Bodhisattva quickly added, “Even though these experienced Bodhisattvas are full of confidence, as they continuously and widely transform sentient beings, there are other people who can form Great Vehicle aspirations. Will they be able to endure patiently for long? So, they need the right methods. The Buddha is about to teach how to be patient, how to uphold the sutra in the future evil world and how to face [these challenges].” So, Manjusri [Bodhisattva] exercised both compassion and wisdom. He exercised loving-kindness and compassion. At this Dharma-assembly, Manjusri Bodhisattva began to ask these questions.

Manjusri, in his great wisdom, resonating with loving-kindness and exercising compassion, comprehended the Buddha’s intent. In the era of Dharma-degeneration, Dharma teachers will widely spread and uphold this wondrous Dharma of the Great Vehicle. They will widely spread it and teach by going among people. Though practitioners can endure hardships, in the evil world of turbidities in the era of Dharma-degeneration, they will encounter stubborn people with weak capabilities.

“Manjusri, in his great wisdom, resonated with loving-kindness and exercised compassion.” His great wisdom helped him understand the Buddha’s intent. If these people only made vows, it was not enough; they further needed methods as a supplement. But before the Buddha started teaching the Dharma, Manjusri Bodhisattva began [to act]. He understood the Buddha’s intent. So, Manjusri Bodhisattva again became the recipient of the teachings. In an assembly with so many people, Manjusri Bodhisattva right away started to “resonate with loving-kindness.” He resonated with the Buddha’s compassion and understood the Buddha’s intent. He also “exercised compassion”. He felt compassion towards those future. Bodhisattvas who will form great aspirations, thinking of how to mindfully guide them to further understand the Buddha’s teachings. The Buddha hoped for everyone to go among people and transform sentient beings in the Saha World. With this intention, there were also methods. So, Manjusri hoped that everyone could further understand the Buddha’s intent. Thus, the Buddha needed to use the Dharma to teach everyone [the method]. This is what Manjusri Bodhisattva asked on everyone’s behalf. Nobody thought about asking this, but Manjusri Bodhisattva asked on their behalf, asked for ways they could uphold sutras and promote the dharma in the future. “In the era of Dharma-degeneration, Dharma teachers will widely spread and uphold this wondrous Dharma of the Great Vehicle.” The “age of Dharma-degeneration” refers to the time period when the Dharma degenerates. In this time period, how can Dharma teachers widely spread this Right Dharma? Within the age of this evil world, how can we widely spread [the Dharma] smoothly and thoroughly? How could they in this space “uphold this wondrous Dharma of the Great Vehicle”? How should the Wondrous Dharma Lotus Sutra be upheld? How should [the sutra] be applied in the Saha World? This is what Manjusri Bodhisattva wanted to ask on behalf of the Bodhisattvas, both for newly-inspired Bodhisattvas and experienced Bodhisattvas.

They “will widely spread it and teach by going among people”. How can we widely spread the Lotus Sutra so the teachings can pervade the world and reach all people? So, “practitioners” are people who engage in spiritual practice and uphold the sutras. “Though practitioners can endure hardships,” although all these Bodhisattvas said they can endure, when they encounter this “evil would of turbidities in the era of Dharma-degeneration,” which is the time of Dharma-degeneration, the world will be evil and turbid. The Dharma will have already declined and diminished. Nobody will want to widely spread the Dharma and nobody will know the direction of Right Dharma. In this era, this would will be very turbid and evil and the Dharma will have declined and diminished.

At this time, in the world, there will be “stubborn people with weak capabilities”. Among the world’s sentient beings, among people, everyone’s capabilities are very weak. Moreover, they are very stubborn. To teach them the Dharma is very difficult! They will either reject it or slander it. It is very difficult for them to accept the Right Dharma of the Great Vehicle.

How can those monastics who received predictions of Buddhahood take action in the evil world to expound this sutra without all these hardships? Manjusri had to ask the Buddha for instructions as to how to use right wisdom to take right actions and how to resonate with the Tathagata’s wisdom, eliminate delusions, illuminate the truth and uphold Right Dharma.

“Those monastics who received predictions” means that in the Chapter on Encouragement to Uphold the Sutra, for these monastics, one group after another, the Buddha bestowed predictions of Buddhahood. Not only the bhiksus but also the bhiksunis received predictions of Buddhahood. But these people who received predictions would be in “the evil world,” so how could they take action to put [the teachings] into practice? In this world, [how could they] “expound this sutra without all these hardships”? These people who received predictions reflected upon and considered [their abilities]. “This world is so evil. We do not have sufficient ability. Therefore, we do not dare to stay here.”

Although they aspired to go to other worlds, once these Bodhisattvas made vows, they reflected on themselves. They were willing to further nurture their great aspirations and vow to return to the Saha World. If such people are in this evil world, how can they take action to uphold the sutra and spread the Dharma in the world? To “take action” means to actualize the teachings. How do they keep their feet firmly on the ground and walk the path among people? As they walk the path among people, how can they “expound this sutra” without meeting any obstacles?

Considering these were all very fresh and newly-inspired Bodhisattvas who might encounter difficulties, it would be better to teach them how to prevent difficulties. So, they would be able to “expound this sutra without all these hardships”. He would help keep them very peaceful and safe without all sorts of hardships. So, “Manjusri had to ask the Buddha” and requested that He give teachings.

This sutra passage illustrates why Manjusri Bodhisattva specifically asked the Buddha again. The meaning of it is here. Experienced Bodhisattvas can endure [hardships], but those who just received predictions of attaining Buddhahood in the future must practice the Bodhisattva-path. This Bodhisattva-path can be practice anywhere. But if no one was willing to come to this Saha World, wouldn’t this world become even more evil? [The Buddha] needed to encourage everyone who received predictions to make vows to return to the Saha World. This was Manjusri’s compassion and wisdom. He sympathized with the newly-inspired Bodhisattvas and encouraged them to go among people. But they were afraid. So, [Manjusri Bodhisattva] asked the Buddha to comfort them. “It is not that scary. As long as you form great aspirations, and make great vows, then it will not be that scary.”

[Manjusri] asked the Buddha for instructions on how to use right wisdom to guide everyone in the right direction so they will use the direction of right wisdom to “take the right actions and to resonate with the Tathagata’s wisdom”. Then these people could truly comprehend the Buddha’s intentions and understand the Buddha’s wisdom. [They would know] how to work in this Saha World. The Buddha would not abandon the Saha World. The Buddha would again return to the world. What method would the Buddha use to [help them] “exercise wisdom”? And then how were they to resonate with loving-kindness and exercise wisdom in this world? They must “resonate with the Tathagata’s wisdom”. What method can be used to “eliminate delusions”? We sentient beings have a mindset of gain and loss because we have a mind of afflictions. How could He help all beings to be very courageous and go among people, using the Tathagata’s wisdom, without being contaminated by people? In this way, “eliminating delusions and illuminating the truth” refers to using His true wisdom so the Right Dharma could be demonstrated among people. This is what Manjusri Bodhisattva asked the Buddha to give instructions about.

So the previous sutra passage says. “At that time, Dharma Prince Manjusri, Bodhisattva-Mahasattva…”. He was a transcendent Dharma-prince who transmitted the Buddha’s wisdom-life.

At that time Dharma-prince Manjusri, dhaBodhisattva-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 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?”

All Buddhas share the same path. The wisdom-life of ancient Buddhas was passed on by Manjusri Bodhisattva. Whichever Buddha came to the world, Manjusri Bodhisattva would do the same, helping the Buddha to spread the Dharma here and teach and transform sentient beings. This is Manjusri Bodhisattva’s unique quality. At Sakyamuni Buddha’s Dharma-assembly, he also did the same. He was called the Dharma-prince who transmitted the Buddha’s wisdom-life, which is the wisdom-life of awakening. He resonated with every Buddha’s wisdom and guided sentient beings to understand. Right Dharma, right wisdom and right mindfulness. This was how Manjusri Bodhisattva exercised both compassion and wisdom. So, [he said], “World-Honored One, these Bodhisattvas are extremely rare and precious”. These Bodhisattvas were truly very precious, very hard to come by.

Because this group of Bodhisattvas reverently followed the Buddha’s intent, they made such great vows before the Buddha. They said they were experienced and considered themselves unafraid. In fact, they still needed reminders. There were also those newly-inspired Bodhisattvas whom they wished to put at ease so they could make vows to return to the Saha World. “[They vowed] to protect, uphold, read and expound this Lotus Sutra in the future world of evil”. For this Lotus Sutra to be passed down in the world, many people were needed to return to the world and form aspirations and great vows to safeguard the Wondrous Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra. So, “World-Honored One, how can Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas in the future world of evil expound this sutra?” Though these Bodhisattvas were all experienced, in the future world of evil, how could they safeguard this sutra so that when they widely spread it they would not encounter difficulties? To reduce their difficulties as much as possible was Manjusri Bodhisattva’s intent.

The next sutra passage [says], “The Buddha told Manjusri, ‘If Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas wish to expound this sutra in the future age of evil, they must abide peacefully in four methods”.

At this time, the Buddha began to answer. At this time, the Buddha began to answer. He said to Manjusri Bodhisattva, “In the future, within this world of evil, these great Bodhisattvas or these newly-inspired Bodhisattvas, in the future evil world of the era of Dharma-degeneration, will want to expound this sutra. If they wish to expound this sutra, they must be very mindful and abide peacefully in four methods”. To teach this sutra, they need the right approach.

They must abide peacefully in four methods: 1.The practice of bringing peace and joy with the body. 2.The practice of bringing peace and joy with speech. 3.The practice of bringing peace and joy with the mind. 4.The practice of bringing peace and joy with vows.

First, “Wherever [Bodhisattvas] teach and practice and wherever they draw near to is “the place of the practice of bringing peace and joy with the body”. To teach and guide sentient beings, we must be unsummoned teachers. We must be very joyful when expounding the Dharma in order to teach and transform. We use these true principles to go among people to teach and transform sentient beings. If sentient beings are unwilling to come, we ourselves must draw near to them; we must find ways to draw near them.

It is the same in present times. When teachers are teaching students, they think of various ways to awaken the students’ interest so they can accept this education. This is the way it is in present times, let alone in the future! In the past, to study in school, students had to accommodate the teacher. Nowadays, teachers need to win the students over in order to inspire their interest to learn. The times have really changed! The Buddha taught us in this way. To find ways for sentient beings to be willing to draw near to the Buddha-Dharma, we must first draw near to them. “Wherever [Bodhisattvas] teach and practice” is “the place of the practice of bringing peace and joy with the body”.

Wherever we go, we must make people feel at ease, feel very happy. This is just like how, sometimes, when Tzu Chi does international [relief work], at the beginning, some people will say, “These Buddhas are here to convert us”. Tzu Chi is not there to convert anyone; we go there to work in harmony and unity. This is the same principle. For instance, in Ecuador, which is a Catholic country, a major earthquake occurred in April [of 2016]. Think about it; this 7.8 magnitude earthquake was very severe. Suddenly, there was violent shaking in the ground. Some buildings were destroyed right away, many people were injured and countless people became homeless. The whole place was devastated including the communities and streets. Originally, in this country the people were not very wealthy. Now that they endured such a major disaster, they did not know where to find help. Tzu Chi volunteers from the USA and South America gathered in this country. Seeing the situation, they thought about how to help. Where should we begin? We had a method from our past experience during Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines. This typhoon devastated Tacloban city in Leyte Province. The governor initially wanted to abandon the city. But Tzu Chi volunteers arrived. People with financial means could have left this land but where could the native people that made up most of the population of this island go? With such devastation, what could they do? In the interactions between the volunteers from the Philippines and Taiwan, the team showed their spirit of unity. So, I suggested to them, “In that place, you must immediately start a ‘Cash for Relief’ program.” Though it started off slowly at first and did not go very smoothly, once it was started, it went from the first day to the next few days, to the next few weeks, and finally the program lasted nearly one month. After a few weeks, the numbers they mobilized reached over 10,000, 20,000 and even over 30,000 people. We paid out wages every day. With the “Cash for Relief” program, they could get wages every day. [We] continued to pay out [the cash], and they continuously made great efforts to keep cleaning and sweeping. With a month’s time, they cleared up all the debris. All the large roads, small streets and alleys were perfectly clean. This was a very good experience.

So, Tzu Chi volunteers brought this experience to Ecuador. In Ecuador, they already knew about the Cash for Relief program in the Philippines. The news had spread among the NGOs. So, when the USA Tzu Chi volunteers arrived and mentioned the Cash for Relief program, the locals happily accepted. Thus, the program was set into motion very quickly. The local people could earn a wage while cleaning up their own homes. This was their only hope, so the people mobilized very quickly. From being depressed and helpless, they were given strength by the volunteers, as well as spiritual encouragement. So, everyone stood back up and each exercised their strength. In this way, very quickly in these places, within days, four cities recovered very quickly and were completely cleaned up. As this was going on, we encountered a Catholic church and saw that the nuns there were very helpless. The church had collapsed. How could they clean up the debris? How could they rebuild it? That was nowhere in sight. Tzu Chi volunteers first mobilized to clean up, then [sent] this message back for consideration. All of us took this into consideration, because the locals there were mostly believers of the Catholic faith and people need religious support from a proper faith. Catholicism is the spiritual food of this country, so we needed to quickly give them a place could rely on for their faith and spiritual needs. Thus, we decided to rebuild this church. The nuns and the priests joyfully accepted this because they knew that Tzu Chi in Haiti helped rebuild schools for Catholic [nuns] and helped repair the Catholic nun’s church.

In the Philippines, we also helped rebuild a church. So, they knew about all this and joyfully accepted [our help]. Thus, the teachings of the Great Vehicle are not only to be taught orally. The Dharma is to be applied by going among people. When people have a need, we must give and help them in reality. So, this is “the place of the practice of bringing peace and joy with the body.” Wherever our body goes, among people, we help people to be at ease; after receiving help, they can be joyful. This is “where [Bodhisattvas] teach and practice” and also “where they draw near to.” It is also where the practice of bringing peace and joy with the body takes place. This is our body; this is what our body can do.

The second [method] is “guarding against transgressions of speech” which “enables them to excel in expounding the Dharma.” This is called “the place of the practice of bringing peace and joy with speech.” It means we must be very mindful when we speak. With sincerity, we do not tell lies. We must speak what is true. We must speak with gentle speech, without harsh words or gossip. Whatever we have promised other people, we must follow through and keep our word. This is what it means to be truthful. We must always be vigilant and guard against transgressions of speech. If we do not have sincerity in our heart but we make exaggerated promises and in the end we cannot do it, this is unacceptable.

Therefore, once we say that we will do something, we must follow through. So, it “enables them to excel in expounding the Dharma.” If you can be a person of our word, then naturally when we want to draw near people to teach them the Dharma they will surely believe us. Hence, this is “the place of the practice.”

The third is to “purify our karma of mind.” Third of the four methods: Purifying their karma of mind to free themselves from greed, anger and delusion is the place of the practice of beinging peace and joy with the mind.

To “purify our karma of mind, we must earnestly tend to our minds and “free ourselves from greed, anger and delusion.” Everything that we do is giving without expectations. We are at ease and free, joyful and grateful. This is “the place of the practice of bringing peace and joy with the mind.”

The fourth [method] is “giving rise to compassion.” Our hearts must constantly give rise to compassion. “Vowing to transform all beings is the place of the practice of bringing peace and joy with vows.” We must always give rise to compassion so that we can make great vows to transform all sentient beings and go among people with sincerity, integrity, faith and steadfastness. This is “the place of the practice of bringing peace and joy with vows”.

Next, there are another four methods. These four methods will be explained in detail in the next passages. Apart from “Four Practices of Bringing Peace and Joy,” there are four methods which are “the right practices of bodily conduct, the right practices of speech” and “the practice of eliminating all evils from the mind to benefit oneself”. The fourth is “the practice of cultivating all goodness in our hearts to benefit others”. We should engage in spiritual practice and cultivate goodness which is to benefit others. These are four methods which we will explain in more detail later on.

The following sutra passage says, “First, they must abide peacefully in the places where Bodhisattvas practice and the places they draw near to be able to expound this sutra for the sake of sentient beings.”

This passage [discusses] the first practice, “They must abide peacefully in the places where Bodhisattvas practice”. [As we engage in] the Bodhisattva-practice, since we have formed aspirations, we should steady our mind and resolve.

“Places” refers to the states that our body has actually reached. “Drawing near” refers to the actions we take as our bodies experience these states. The Tathagata manifested in the world to expound, according to what was appropriate, the wondrous principles that He experience while in this world.

“As for the states that our body has actually reached,” when we put [the principles] into practice, these are the states we actualize. However our minds think, our bodies, that is, our two legs, can take grounded steps to gradually draw near [these states]. This is how “our bodies experience these states”. We draw near the path that we should walk on. We want to enter the Bodhisattva-path and actualize the Six Paramitas in all actions. This is the track for us to move forward on. This is the road for us to practice and walk on. “The Tathagata manifested in the world to expound, according to what was appropriate, the wondrous principles that He experience while in this world.” The Tathagata manifested in the world according to what was appropriate. According to sentient beings’ capabilities, He taught the wondrous principles He experienced while walking the Bodhisattva-path. Sakyamuni Buddha attained Buddhahood in this life. But actually, without his past lives and what He experienced among people, at this time, to be able to awaken to the true principles of the whole universe would be easier said than done! To be able to awaken and penetrate the true principles of the world, we must undergo training by going among people. This is how we must accumulate all those experiences.

These are “the wondrous principles that He experienced while in this world”. Wherever he went, as the saying goes, “Without experience, one cannot grow in wisdom”. Without experiencing the state ourselves, we cannot know what the state is like. The principle is the same. We must talk about the road that we have traveled. If we ourselves have not traveled [the road], how do we give directions to others? “He expounded, according to what was appropriate, the wondrous principles that He experienced while in this world.” From where we have gone, we have realized principles.

So, ‘“Practice refers to moving towards actualizing purifying practices.”

“Practice” refers to moving towards purifying practices. “Draw near” means growing close and familiar. [By abiding] within these two places, we will never go against the path. This is the place that Bodhisattvas practice to draw near to. This is the essence of the practice of the body.

This is how we must walk [the path]. “Going towards” means moving ahead. We are moving forward. To “actualize” means to put into practice. We put the teachings into practice while keeping our feet firmly on the ground. As we take these steps, every step is a purifying practice; [each step] is pure. The Bodhisattva-path of giving unconditionally is the “purifying practice”. ‘“Drawing near’ means growing close and familiar”. This is drawing near; we continuously practice and draw near. This is our place of practice, the place we draw near.

“[By abiding] within these two places, we will never go against the path”. We never go against the path when we put [the principles] into practice. “This is the place that Bodhisattvas practice to draw near to”. When we draw near and dedicate ourselves without going against the path, this is called the place that Bodhisattvas draw near to. “This is the essence of the practice of the body.” This body is for us to put the teachings into practice. Our body is a vehicle for spiritual practice. Without our body, how can we engage in spiritual practice? So, our body is a vessel for spiritual practice. This is [the body’s] “place of practice,” the way to bring peace and joy with the body. We have made the vow to put it into practice. “They must abide peacefully in the places where Bodhisattvas practice”. These are also “the places they draw near to”.

First, they must abide peacefully in the places where Bodhisattvas practice and the places they draw near to: Wherever we are immersed in the Dharma as we practice all day long is our place of practice. Wherever we distance ourselves from bad friends while drawing near to virtuous people is the place [Bodhisattvas] draw near to.

“Wherever we are immersed in the Buddha-Dharma….” This is our first practice. We just mentioned “the places they draw near to”. This is the practice of bringing peace and joy with the body. This is the first practice. “Wherever we are immersed in the Dharma as we practice all day long” means we keep our feet on the ground and put [the Dharma] into practice. So, this is “our place of practice”. This is how we walk the path. “We distance ourselves from bad friends while drawing near to virtuous people.” Those we draw near to are all virtuous people. Regarding evil people, if we lack proper mastery, then we should not get close to them. We must be able to differentiate right and wrong. So, we should not draw near [them]. If we cannot transform people and instead are transformed by sentient beings, then it becomes very problematic. So, when our mastery is not yet very firm, we should draw near virtuous friends and distance ourselves from bad friends. As for “drawing near to virtuous people,” where we draw near virtuous people is called “the place we draw near to”. This is the method that the Buddha teaches us so we can abide peacefully in the places where Bodhisattvas practice. We must put [the principles] into practice, but we must know how to choose [people]. Physically, we must first accept and uphold [the principles] and keep our feet firmly on the ground.

“For the sake of sentient beings, to be able to expound this sutra….” This way they can expound the Wondrous Lotus Sutra for sentient beings. This is how “they practice and apply the Dharma and draw close to people, then they will be able to expound this sutra for others”.

When we put [the Dharma] into practice, we need the Dharma in our own minds to apply it in our lives. We engage in spiritual practice so that we can apply the teachings. We listen to Dharma to understand it and put it into practice once we understand it. So, to apply what we practice requires the Dharma. Therefore, [we must] “draw close to people”. The people we must draw close to are those who can truly help us to grow our wisdom. Or we must draw close to those who need our help. We must use many methods to draw close to them. This is what it means to “seek the Dharma and transform others”. Virtuous friends can help us, and these who need us are those we must help. None of this can be done without people. “In a group of three, I will find my teacher. When I see someone who does good, I follow suit. When I see someone make mistakes, I correct my own.”

This was said by Confucius. He taught us to differentiate right from wrong. We must also be other people’s virtuous friends. We must be strong and have the Dharma in our minds when we draw close to people. These are all places Bodhisattvas draw near to. But we must clearly discern right from wrong. If we can do this, “Then [we ] will be able to expound this sutra for others.”

We can also abide peacefully, To abide peacefully means to be in this place, to abide peacefully where Bodhisattvas practice. We must abide peacefully here.

Abide peacefully: Their minds resonate with the principles, and their bodies practice these matters until they completely master this practice without anything unsuitable. Place of practice: This refers to wherever the mind goes, rests or abides. Place to draw near to: This refers to places we become familiar with and draw close to.

To abide peacefully means “Their minds resonate with the principles.” Our minds and the principles must always be in harmony with each other. “Their bodies practice these matters.” The principles are in our minds. Our bodies must act in accordance with the principles. With principles in our minds, our outer appearance must also be in accord with these principles. So, “They completely master this practice, without anything unsuitable.” In this way, there is nothing unsuitable. We can always be in harmony and unity. Whatever method we need to heal the world, we have the ways to treat issues and prevent evil from entering our heart. If we prevent evil in our conduct, we can expound the Dharma in the world. So, this is a “place of practice”. This is the path our mind is resolved to walk on. It is “where the mind goes, rests or abides”. Where should our minds be? We go among people, but our minds cannot fluctuate. When we encounter situations, we should not lose our senses or reason. When we encounter a situation, we should not become nervous or panic. We should play effortlessly in this world. When our direction is correct, if we encounter a situation, we should not be nervous or panic.

Therefore, we must “rest”. [The mind] “goes, rests or abides”. “To go” means to move. “To rest “ is for us to quiet down. In movement there must be tranquility. How should we act in the world? There is much disturbance in the world. When we face this world filled with disturbance, if we go along with [ the disturbances], our minds will be disturbed too. In our present lives, there is so much disturbance and unrest. To enter these conditions, we should see them as a game. It is just like the rain. No matter how vast the bamboo forest is, the water remains the same, without being obstructed by the bamboo. This is the way our minds should be. To eliminate this turmoil, our minds must not move along with it. We must train ourselves to be calm and stable.

Hence, this is the place we “abide”. “’Places to draw near to’ refers to places we become familiar with and draw close to. In any place the mind connects to or the body comes into contact with, [we have compassion].” If what the body comes in contact with or the state that we connect with “does not resonate with. Right Dharma or the nature of the principles,” if it cannot unlock principles of Right Dharma, it is “not the place where Bodhisattvas practice or the place they draw near to”. If we cannot combine Dharma with true principles, then this cannot be called “where Bodhisattvas practice” or “a place [ Bodhisattvas ] draw near to”. So, we must mindfully seek to comprehend this. What comes after also contains many methods to heal the world. We must always be mindful!

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