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 20180716《靜思妙蓮華》因緣慎思 離劣攀緣 (第1392集) (法華經·安樂行品第十四)

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發表主題: 20180716《靜思妙蓮華》因緣慎思 離劣攀緣 (第1392集) (法華經·安樂行品第十四)   周日 7月 15, 2018 9:41 pm

20180716《靜思妙蓮華》因緣慎思 離劣攀緣 (第1392集) (法華經·安樂行品第十四)

⊙佛說法中蘊藏於古往今來,如今見證一乘大法說因緣;佛為上根人示真滅度大法,導正權小向大明一乘之實。
⊙六根為因,六塵為緣,慎防;如眼根對於色塵時,慎戒;識即隨生,餘根亦然,是名因緣,慎思。
⊙「亦不親近諸有凶戲、相叉相撲,及那羅等種種變現之戲;又不親近旃陀羅、及畜豬羊雞狗,畋獵漁捕諸惡律儀。如是人等,或時來者,則為說法,無所希望。」《法華經安樂行品第十四》
⊙「又不親近求聲聞比丘、比丘尼、優婆塞、優婆夷,亦不問訊。」《法華經安樂行品第十四》
⊙又不親近求聲聞比丘、比丘尼:求小乘果,出家僧尼。二乘之人,沉滯空寂,不發大心,近之者令遠菩提。
⊙「若於房中,若經行處,若在講堂中,不共住止。或時來者,隨宜說法,無所希求。」
⊙「若於房中,若經行處,若在講堂中,不共住止。或時來者,隨宜說法,無所希求。」《法華經安樂行品第十四》
⊙或時來者:如是人等,或時之間,以好心故,而自來者,故云或來。
⊙隨宜說法,無所希求:既未受大化,不妨順其小志,隨宜而說,亦不可有希求之心。
⊙此應離劣友攀緣。求聲聞果者志在小乘,若菩薩具有佛智,遇此小乘人,亦可隨緣攝受。但此係初發心菩薩,始獲聞一乘境之行者一與親近,則彼聲聞人亦各自有其修證獨得之處。
⊙菩薩或為所移以致退墮,或因所見互異以致起爭論,反礙進修,故不與親近為最合宜。
⊙若來問法,則亦當隨宜為說然亦即說,此大乘之妙法,說之即已,並不希求其必能領受。

【證嚴上人開示】
佛說法中蘊藏於古往今來,如今見證一乘大法說因緣;佛為上根人示真滅度大法,導正權小向大明一乘之實。

佛說法中
蘊藏於古往今來
如今見證
一乘大法說因緣
佛為上根人
示真滅度大法
導正權小向大
明一乘之實

用心,佛說法中是隱藏於古往今來。法,無不都是無始無始以前,就已經有的道理,不是佛的時代才有的,是無數劫無數劫的以前,無始開始,諸佛道同就是這樣一直一直,佛法在天地乾坤之間。只是世代這個劫波輪轉,時間過程,歷來就是這樣,覺者出現人間,為迷茫的眾生來開導教化。接法了之後,一段時間,叫做「正法」,再淪為「像法」,再淪為「末法」。佛佛道同,同樣跟著時間、劫波,世代,就是這樣在輪轉。現在的釋迦牟尼佛在說法,說法中還是一樣蘊藏著,過去的諸佛也是這樣說過的法。所以這個法,那就是古往,無盡頭,沒有盡頭,那個法一直綿延,周而復始,過去結東,再來,所以古往今來。過去佛是這樣說,現在佛也是這樣說,未來佛呢?也是一樣,法全都蘊含著,過去、現在、未來。

就像現在釋迦牟尼佛說法,同樣也是見證一乘大法,要說因緣。同樣要說過去,佛法從過去有某種某種的因緣,某種的時代,眾生的生態,聖人出現人間,一大事因緣,怎麼傳?有人間就有故事.那就是因緣;因緣構成了人與人之間,這個故事就出來了,故事就是因緣。現代,就說是人事,若這個事情、這個人事過了時間,就說是故事,來說一個故事,過去的時間,有這樣的故事。其實,那個過去的時間,在那個時代也叫做「現在」。我們現在,未來的人也叫我們說「過去」。我們現在的人、事、物,未來的人說那個時候的故事。是啊,這個故事,故事能構成起來,就是有因、有緣,因緣,所以,佛說過去過去,很長久的因緣,在現在再說出來。所以,大法沒有離開因緣法,所有的因緣法和一乘大法,沒有分開的。在佛陀的時代,同樣就是人事,所以,佛陀叫做為一大事來人間,所以這一大事,也是離不開因緣。所以,佛陀就開始講一乘大法,沒有離開因緣法。

「佛為上根人示真滅度大法」,向大家表示跡法,說到最後,分析到最後,什麼都沒有。人生活到盡頭,也是什麼都沒有,不管有修行、沒有修行,到最後還是離不開老、病、死。沒有修行的,只是煩惱造作,很多業累積了,這個惡的種子、惡因,同樣,最後他也是死掉了,死就是滅了,世間沒這個人了。善,修善法的人,最後也是往生,只是在他生命中減少了惡,減小了無明,或者是不造惡,心很單純,但是他增加善,善因緣,他增加,吸收到很多善法智慧。有善的因緣造作,有好的佛法來滋潤心地,所以最後,同樣他的身也會消滅掉,也是往生。但是他的意識中,就是業識中所有的,是善的種子,那就是慧命的法,在他的八識田中。這就是人生一統,最後還是同樣是「真滅」,就是沒有了。何況佛陀所說的法,來為我們分析,不用執著,人間多少,過去過去什麼樣的因緣,所造成什麼樣的業,但是在那個惡業中,也有真實善的法。所以在說過去因緣法,那就很多了,我們人物與動物,性平等。

所以,在佛陀時代,說很多的因緣,歸納起來,善法,就是還是因緣帶來未來,惡法還是帶來,將來會受報的惡果。所以,無論你是造善因,得善果,或者是造惡業,得惡果,這是在因緣,也就是我們的煩惱無明,煩惱無明自作自受。但是這些無明能夠消除,所以佛陀說法,教我們消除煩惱無明的方法,所以他就分析,分析到最後,大家所在爭取的,不過於名利、地位,財、色、名等等。這些東西,佛陀經過了分析,都是零,到頭來什麼都沒有,只是有一項,一項就是業識。善業或者是惡業呢?善業,「六度萬行」,他不斷累積,累積很多的因,累生累世去累積這善業因緣,不斷累積,那就是「因圓趨果」,他向那個果去了,很自然,那就是成聖、成佛的果位。同樣,到佛的境界,還是有因緣歸納,這叫「妙有」。過程,要去行菩薩道,那就要認識「真空」。

付出無所求,再辛苦,很歡喜、甘願,這是我們的願力,所以付出無所求。就像佛陀的時代,也有這樣,這一段故事,很久很久的以前,有一位婦女,就向先生這樣說:「家庭不是很富有,我們的生活已經坐吃山空,你應該也要想出,要如何維持生活。」先生就說:「我又是要用什麼方法,來維持生活?」這個太太就向他說:「你可以依照祖先的方法,出去打獵。」

先生也感覺,整天在家裡,其實家庭也需要。所以太太鼓勵他,就為他準備一些打獵的工具,他拿著這些東西,開始往雪山去了。一群象在雪山裡,悠哉悠哉生活,但是象群都有一覺悟,牠們的覺悟,就是牠們隱藏在這個深山,最怕的是遇到獵人。獵人,那就是看到牠們,就是絕對是取牠們的命。要取牠們的命,目的為了什麼呢?是為了象牙。所以,這個象群,牠們自已有這樣的覺悟。其中有一隻象,牠就把曾祖,象的牙,牠寸將它收藏在一個地方;經過了,換牠的父親,象的父親也往生了,牠也同樣將父親的象牙,收藏起來。自己也是一樣有象牙,牠心也提心吊膽,有朝一日,若是遇到打獵的人,自己也會為了這兩支牙會喪命。

所以,有一天在靜靜的林中,在走的時候,忽然間發現到一個人,這象很善良,就想;要讓他發現到,不如我自己來招呼。所以,牠就用牠的鼻子,發出了那個聲音,這個獵人循著聲音,就來了。見面了,這象就問他:「你來這裡要做什麼?」當然獵師就說:「我來這裡,就是為了你這兩支牙。人類的生活,是依靠在林中的獵物,所以來。」牠就說:「我若是給你之後,你是不是會再來?」這位獵師就向牠說:「我若有這象牙,我拿回去,我能夠貿易,我能夠享受,何必這麼辛苦再來山上呢?」所以這象就向他說:「這樣好,我送給你象牙,但是你要保證,不能再來山林擾動動所有的動物。」

獵師就答應牠了,牠就去將牠的曾祖的牙,用象鼻去將它捲出來,送他象牙。這獵師接到這象牙也很歡喜,就拿到市集去了。本來想要先回去,但是覺得:我還是將這象牙拿去貿易,我先來吃飽,要不然,若回到家裡,錢就要交給太太,這樣自己也是一無所有!這貪心一起,就將這象牙拿去市集,去酒店裡,酒店一個人,看到這個人拿著這一支象牙,酒店的人心裡這麼想:我應該要在這個人的身上,取得一些利益。所以,各有目的,所以他進到裡面,很殷勤地招待他。這個酒店的人,將象牙這樣扛下來,放好,很殷勤,就趕緊備酒、菜讓他吃,讓他吃得,酒喝得醉醺醺的時候,就拿一個契約來和他說:「你這支象牙,我向你買,我們要來寫契約。」「買的方式是什麼呢?怎麼買啊?」

因為他在酒醉了,有酒最好,有得吃最好,所以就在那個地方寫:「在這裡喝酒,喝多久的時間,酒量多少,有多少讓你喝,讓你多久的時間吃。」其實時間不長,短暫的時間,訂契約,付出的利益很少,但是他的付出很多,付出很多。酒店能夠讓他喝酒、吃的時間不長,量也不多,就是讓他一直喝到醉,這樣。幾天後,他就要再來喝,但是酒店的人就說:「你所有的帳都已經完了。」「哪有可能啊!我這支象牙這麼有價值啊,哪有可能!」「你就是每天都醉茫茫,你都不知道你經過幾天了。你有沒有看到?這都是大家寫的,你有蓋手印啊!」

無奈,所以要再離開這個地方。就想:我若這樣空手回去,我家裡的人,不知道又要對我怎麼樣。所以,象牙,我應該要再到山上去,向這隻象來討象牙。所以,他就又再向山林去了。到雪山,同樣在那個地方看到象,象就說:「你不是將象牙拿回去了?你不是……。」「是啊!我就一時糊塗,我就是這樣喝酒,就這樣用完了,我無法回去家裡交代。」這隻象就又再把他父親的象牙,就又拿出來,給這個人,就向他說:「我現在再給你,你再也不能再來了。」「我已經這樣夠了,我能夠回家交代就好了。」就這樣又回去了。其實,還是回去到半路,自己內心就這樣想:我還是將這些東西拿去貿易,我若貿易有錢了,妻子再娶就好了,何必要回家!我娶妻,我重新建立家庭,我就不用回家裡了。」

所以,在這當中,同樣,因為醉茫茫,有酒喝,要再經過這個酒店,還是一樣錢又讓他騙走了,還是永遠醉人,不清醒。等到他又吃用花掉了,又是再回去。這時候他要再回去雪山,就不敢再去見象了,他就想:我應該要用箭來射牠,讓牠沒有看到,我來射牠。象剛好在池裡沐浴出來,也有點累了,就在那裡睡著了。看到象在睡,他就一支箭,遠遠地向牠射去,往象的眉間射中,所以就血一直流了。

象醒過來,眼睛就睜開來看,這支箭的方向是從哪來?牠就開始看這個方向,果然,同樣是這個人又到來,象就又向這個人說,牠說:「以我現在的力,我還有能力可以殺你,但是我不要殺你,因為我的祖先在這個地方修行,知道我是畜生身,就是知道我有業力,我願意這一生修行,我不願意去殺生。所以,你的生命我不會去取著,你的願我會成就你,但是你要趕緊,要用快速,趕緊來取我的牙,我用我的身體來保護你。我忍著,你趕緊快速來取牙,你要趕緊離開,要不然你就會沒命,我不會讓我的族群來造殺業,你要趕緊離開。」就這樣,這隻象讓獵人將牠象牙取了,離開了。

佛陀把這個故事講完之後,他就向大家說,那位獵師,就是在僧團中的惡比丘之一,累生世就是穿著袈裟,騙取很多的得到的利益。象,那就是頻婆娑羅王,頻婆娑羅王,就是有這樣修行、修福,所以他有累生世成為國王。這次的故事,不是佛本身的身上,是在頻婆娑羅王的身上。

所以說來,我們要用心,佛陀有時候所講的,那就是弟子的本生經,有時候就是說他自己的本生因緣。不論是在居士或者是弟子,修行者也有這樣,已經過去生就有這樣的習氣,惡劣習氣,居士群也有這樣的善念,這就是佛陀要講的因緣。所以,不一定修行者,比白衣者更有修。白衣就是居士,居士那分修行堅定,還是很堅定。雖然有業,沒有脫離煩惱世間法,但是他有修福,累生世會來人間,還是有福成為國王,所以這就是所造作的,這個業識帶來。所以「佛為上根人,示真滅度大法」。這種滅度,就要修清淨行。

所以「導正權小向大」。用因緣來引導人人,雖然有善念,但是沒有發脫離這個俗的心,沒有超越世間法,還是修福在人間。雖然說要修行,沒有真心修,還是落得這樣,修行還是有這樣的瑕疵。所以佛就是說這種生滅法,讓大家更了解,就是一念心。我們要培養好這念心,要不然「名稱修行」,這個心,慧根沒有深入心裡來,慧性沒有入心,只是帶著這樣的習氣來修行,穿那件袈裟,但是內心沒有修,還是人間這樣在輪轉。這惡比丘,過去生是這樣,現在在佛世的時候,和提婆達多也是同樣為一群,這其中之一。所以,「導正權小向大」。是要人人發大心、立大願,行菩薩道,要保護我們的心,永遠磨練出了什麼樣的環境,都不會有搖動。所以,「明一乘之實」。這就是我們人在這六根,要好好修。

六根為因
六塵為緣
慎防
如眼根對於色塵時
慎戒
識即隨生
餘根亦然
是名因緣
慎思

「六根為因,六塵為緣」,我們要好好「慎防」,我們要很謹慎,預防我們這個心,要不然六根緣外面的六塵,起心動念,我們容易就是會受外面,將我們誘引了。「如眼根對於色塵」,這樣的時候,我們要「慎戒」,我們要好好謹慎,守好我們的戒。「識即隨生」,這個意識生。「餘根亦然」,其他眼、耳、鼻、舌、身、意,去緣著外面的境界,自然他就起心動念。就像那醉人一樣,他太太叫他出去,他就要出去了,這不謹慎,貪心起,取到象,一次再一次,這種享受,光是迷在那酒氣,就像這樣。所以,「因緣」。這就是因緣,我們要好好謹思,要慎思,我們的心在修行當中,要好好謹慎思考。「含識性皆平等」。我們的含識,前面有說「含識」,就是有生命的東西都叫做含識,所以,性皆平等。人是這樣,動物也是這樣,所以我們要好好用心去體會。

前面的文,經文:「亦不親近諸有凶戲、相叉相撲,及那羅等種種變現之戲。」這種惡的遊戲,我們就不要親近。

亦不親近諸有凶戲
相叉相撲
及那羅等
種種變現之戲
又不親近旃陀羅
及畜豬羊雞狗
畋獵漁捕諸惡律儀
如是人等
或時來者
則為說法
無所希望
《法華經安樂行品第十四》

「又不親近旃陀羅」。做殺生買賣,或者是畜養,或者是畋獵,就是打獵等等,就是無故去殺害,這都是惡的律儀。「如是人等,或時來者,則為說法,無所希望」。我們不用在這些人的身上,得到什麼希望,因為這些人,有時候他會來問法,我們不用一下子就想要:你一定改。我們一定不要在他的身上有什麼希望。不過他來問,我們來回答,不要有什麼企圖。

接下來這段文:「又不親近求聲聞比丘、比丘尼、優婆塞、優婆夷,亦不問訊。」

又不親近
求聲聞
比丘 比丘尼
優婆塞 優婆夷
亦不問訊
《法華經安樂行品第十四》

我們也不用和他們有這樣,太過互動。這就是說「又不親近,求聲聞比丘、比丘尼」。只是想要聽而已,沒有想要真修,所以這也不是我們要親近的。

又不親近
求聲聞
比丘、比丘尼:
求小乘果
出家僧尼
二乘之人沉滯空寂
不發大心
近之者令遠菩提

所以,「求小乘果」,出家僧眾。就是光是想要聽,不敢去身體力行。「二乘之人」。就是聲聞、緣覺這樣的人,這都是沉滯在空寂,若有要修,就是修在空寂裡,這種是不會進步,所以不要親近。這種「不發大心,近之者令遠菩提」,若這樣,我們的道心、菩提路不會進步。

優婆塞、優婆夷
亦不問訊:
善男子、善女人
即小乘四眾也
道既不同
不須諍論相左問訊

「優婆塞、優婆夷,亦不問訊」。「善男子、善女人」,就是「優婆塞」、「優婆夷」,就是「小乘四眾」。就是只是要求,「我供養,我就是要求得,求得福田」。這樣的,我們也不用太過互動,道亦不同。因為這種想要求的,只是要求得這個福田,就沒有想真正付出去幫助,為善的事情,只是要在三寶的福田中,求得而已,這要教育也不太簡單,所以「道既不同」,我們就不用這樣,在這個地方浪費時間。

若於房中
若經行處
若在講堂中
不共住止
或時來者
隨宜說法
無所希求
《法華經安樂行品第十四》

「若於房中,若經行處」。若於房中,或者是經行的地方,「若在講堂中,不共住止」。盡量,我們有我們要修行的方法。所以,「或時來者,隨宜說法,無所希求」。這段文,說起來是很簡單。「房院之中」,就是共住的裡面,沒有想要求精進,若像這樣的人,和他共住,行道在那個地方,不論是同一個房間,或者是行道的道場。「若或在於講堂之中,不必與之同一住止」。這是經典是這樣講,大家若沒聽清楚,或者不了解,只是在這個文上,這樣我們就互相不理睬了,不可,我們還是要結好緣。就是說,在這當中,他沒有想要走這樣的路,我們就不用一直去勉強他,去說他,這樣他會煩惱。當然,人與人之間還是要有那分的情。我們常常說:覺有情。獨善其身的人,自私自利的人,他有他的境界,所以我們還是要和他,這樣平和。

所以,「或時來者」。若是有時候他會自己來找我們,我們不一定一直要和他辯論:「你這不對,你就要這樣做!」或者是「你怎麼不要這樣做?」或者是「你怎麼這麼自私!」那都不用去說,因為他就是這樣。有時候他會自己來,他自己來,「或時來者」,像這樣的人。或者是有時間,他會這樣抱著好意,要來和我們交談,這樣的時候。「故云或來」,就是說有時候。

或時來者:
如是人等
或時之間
以好心故
而自來者
故云或來

「隨宜說法,無所希求」。像這樣的人,既然來了,我們就隨意和他聊天一下,和他說一下;他若不願意,我們就不用很勉強他。

隨宜說法
無所希求:
既未受大化
不妨順其小志
隨宜而說
亦不可有希求之心

所以,「既未受大化,不妨順其小志」。他,我們要感化他,難啊,不如,他就是有他的志,我們不要勉強他。所以,「隨宜而說」。他若不知道,我們就為他回答一下,不要勉強他,非這樣不可。所以,「亦不可有希求之心」。也不用去一直要求,他一定要聽我們的,反正就是和他說一下,大家歡喜過就好。

所以,「此應離劣友攀緣」。這就是,不是很好的朋友,所以我們還是遠離一點。

此應離劣友攀緣
求聲聞果者
志在小乘
若菩薩具有佛智
遇此小乘人
亦可隨緣攝受
但此係初發心菩薩
始獲聞一乘境
之行者
一與親近
則彼聲聞人
亦各自有其
修證獨得之處

「劣友攀緣」,這種一起在一個空間修行,但是那個道,全都無法能交融起來,我們也不用怎樣排斥,但是我們還是要顧好我們自己。所以,「離劣友攀緣」,不要和他攀緣,但是也不要排斥他,不用和他計較。所以,「求聲聞果者志在小乘」。只是一直想要聽就好了,或者是在一個境界,能夠這樣清閒過日子就好了,這種小乘的人,我們就不用和他說很多。用心,就是修我們的行,做他的典範,這樣就好了。所以,「若菩薩具有佛智,遇此小乘,亦可隨緣攝受」。就是我們用我們的身形,來影響他。所說的影響不是勉強去責備他,或者是勉強叫他,一定要聽我們的。我們做典範給他看,隨緣勸他一下,不用在他的身上找什麼樣的希望,這不需要。

但此係初發心菩薩,現在在說的,都是在說那個初發心,若不是很堅強的道心,這幾天來都一直對初發心的人,在說的這樣的人,我們不要去靠近;這樣的事業,我們不要去靠近,這樣……等等,我們不要靠近。這是怕我們的心還沒有堅固,道心會被他影響過去。所以,這初發心的菩薩,盡量就要遠離前面所說的,兇險戲搏等等,還有畋獵嬉戲這些事情,還有這些修小乘的人,我們全都不要去接受他,影響我們,我們這初發大心修行人的心。

所以,我們法既是法沒有很深,道心還沒很堅固,我們就不要去靠近他。若是在修行人的環境中,他的修行偏向在小乘,獨善其身,他排斥了大乘法,前面也有說過了,濁世惡比丘他也在修行,卻是他就是不願意接受大乘法,所以他辯,排斥,會對真正修大乘法的人生誹謗。應該大家還記得。所以,我們初發心,我們就不要去親近這樣的人;我們若親近這樣的人,我們的大道心會受損,所以我們不可。這就是對初發心的菩薩,才開始聽到一乘的境界,才發心的行者,和那些人,前面說過的,那些人去接近,就會受影響了,破壞了他的大道心,所以我們就避離,不要去靠近。所以,「一與親近,則彼聲聞人,亦各自有其修證獨得之處」。我們若是去靠近,他一定他也有他的小乘法,他的道理,我們就會被他影響。同樣,這就是道不同,我們的道心還沒堅定,我們會容易被他影響。所以,「菩薩或為所移以致退墮」。

菩薩或為所移
以致退墮
或因所見互異
以致起爭論
反礙進修
故不與親近為最合宜

菩薩,我們發菩薩心,是會受小乘人的那個道理,他的分析,他會影響我們發大乘心,這個心念,我們的心念會退失掉。因為小乘行者,他最期待的就是避開人群,自己自修,淨除煩惱,不要和人群去交雜,所以他不要修大乘行。我們前面那個〈信解品〉,須菩提等四位尊者(須菩提、摩訶迦葉、摩訶迦旃延、摩訶目犍連),不就是出來懺悔嗎?過去就是修這樣獨善其身的行,就是怕自己起心動念,無法在人群中,所以他們要避開。我們現在發大乘心,我們若沒有避開小乘法,可能我們會容易被他影響,這就是發大心是不簡單哦。

看看授記之後,佛陀為弟子授記,弟子接記,也就是已經發大心,卻是還是怕,又不敢在娑婆,他要去到其他的世界。大家對這個剛強的人間是懼怕,何況初發心的呢?更是道心還沒很堅定,道力還沒有很牢固,他很容易,就是被這些小乘的道理,這樣被轉過去。所以,佛陀要我們要提防,要不然,為什麼比丘、比丘尼,這些修小乘聲聞行的人,我們要避開呢?就是因為聲聞行,有聲聞行他的道理,他也可以會去影響到,發大心的人,只是這樣,所以佛陀叫他要避開。這是初發大乘心的人,要避開這麼多,我們大乘者,不要去在他們的身上取希望,所以我們要避開。

所以,「或因所見互異,以致起爭論」。假使有的,他會說他的道理,我們說我們的道理,那個觀念思想不同,在那個地方,說不定彼此之間就會起爭論。就像前面說過的「路伽耶陀」、「逆路伽耶陀」,同樣,外道教也有一套的道理,也有順人間的道理,也有為反對道理的道理,佛陀就是預防,要在那裡爭論,不如不要去接近。這樣慎思,修我們自己堅定心志的行,我們就不要去那個地方去攀緣。所以,不要再去爭論了,將自己的道心顧好,若是在那裡爭論,是「反礙進修」。反過頭來阻礙我們的進修。「故不與親近為最合宜」,最好不要去和他論,不要爭辯,因為這樣,才叫我們避開,不要去那個地方。總而言之,我們在道場裡面,要和為貴。經文的這個就是說要避開,不是叫你們排斥他,就是叫我們要避開。

若來問法
則亦當隨宜為說
然亦即說
此大乘之妙法
說之即已
並不希求其必能領受

所以,「若來問(法)」。他若是有心來之時,我們就能夠隨宜和他說話,「然亦即說,此大乘之妙法,說之即已,並不希求其必能領受」,他要來了解我們。我們就順他的意,就這樣和他先說一下,說我們的心意,我們的思想,但是也不用勉強他;你若勉強他,就會互相拉拔,我們不用勉強。「然亦即說,此大乘之妙法,說之即已」,我們再說大乘法,我們的思想讓他知道就好了,不要和他辯。「並不希求其必能領受」。我們也不用要求他一定要接受我們,所以在他的身上,不要有什麼希望,若能這樣,那就是我們最圓滿。

所以,要用心聽好,不是排斥任何一個人,真正的道場和為貴,只是觀念思想不同。你要做的,無法影響你,你修你的行;而我要做的,我就是我的思想,我願意利益他人,入人群去,互相不要影響,這樣相安無事。這就是我們要真正用心,才不會偏解。所以要時時多用心!


月亮 在 周一 7月 16, 2018 12:41 pm 作了第 1 次修改
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發表主題: 回復: 20180716《靜思妙蓮華》因緣慎思 離劣攀緣 (第1392集) (法華經·安樂行品第十四)   周五 8月 10, 2018 3:36 pm

Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: Carefully Contemplate Causes and Conditions (因緣慎思 離劣攀緣)
Date: July.16.2018

“The Buddha’s teachings encompass the past, present and future. In order to testify to the Great Dharma of the One Vehicle, He explained its causes and conditions. For those of great capabilities, the Buddha revealed the Great Dharma of true cessation. He guided the provisional and Small Vehicle practitioners toward the Great and elucidated the truth of the One Vehicle.”

We must be mindful! The Buddha’s teachings encompass the past, present and future. The Dharma refers to the principles which have existed since Beginningless Time. They did not just arise during the Buddha’s lifetime but have [existed] for infinite kalpas. From Beginningless Time, all Buddhas have always shared the same path and continuously [taught] the Buddha-Dharma that encompasses the universe. As times change, kalpas come and go; as time passes, it has always been like this. Enlightened Ones manifest in this world to guide and transform lost sentient beings. After they have received the Dharma, there is a period of time called the era of Right Dharma. After this, it declines into Dharma-semblance. Then, it further declines into Dharma-degeneration. All Buddhas share the same path. They all follow the time, the kalpas; eras come and go in an endless cycle. As the present Sakyamuni Buddha taught the Dharma, the Dharma He taught encompasses teachings of all Buddhas in the past. So, this Dharma came from ancient times; it is without beginning or end. This Dharma continues on in an endless cycle. The past comes to an end and the cycle begins anew. So, from ancient times until now, past Buddhas have taught [this Dharma] and the present Buddha also taught the same Dharma. What about future Buddhas? They will also do the same. All the teachings of the Dharma encompass the past, present and future. This is just like now Sakyamuni Buddha taught the Dharma [in our era]. He also testified to the Great Dharma of the One Vehicle and had to teach about causes and conditions.

In the same way, He had to teach about the past. The Buddha-Dharma has causes and conditions from the past, based on the era and sentient beings’ ways of life. Noble beings manifest in this world for one great cause, to transmit [the Dharma]. Wherever there are people, there will be stories; these are causes and conditions. Causes and conditions arose between people, so this story was created. Stories are about causes and conditions. For current events, we speak of “people and matters,” but once a period of time passes, these matters become stories. When we tell a story, it is about events that happened in the past. In fact, in the past, that past era was also known as “the present”. Our present will be referred to as “the past” in the future. The people, matters and things of the present will be stories for people in the future to tell. Indeed, speaking of this story, this story came to be because there were causes and conditions. So, the Buddha talked about past causes and conditions from very long ago, and now He discussed them again. So, the Great Dharma has never departed from the law of karmic causes and conditions. The law of karma and the One Vehicle Dharma are inseparable. During the Buddha’s lifetime, there were also people and matters. So, the Buddha came to this world for one great cause. This one great cause is also inseparable from causes and conditions.

Thus, the Buddha began to teach the One Vehicle Dharma, which never departed from the law of karma. “For those of great capabilities, the Buddha revealed the Great Dharma of true cessation.” He taught us how with everything that manifests, when analyzed to the end, there is nothing left. When our lives come to the end, there is also nothing left at all. Whether we engage in spiritual practice or not, in the end, we cannot escape aging, illness and death. Those who do not engage in spiritual practice only create afflictions, accumulating so much [negative] karma. These are negative seeds and negative causes. Similarly, in the end, these people will also die. Death is cessation. This person will no longer exist in this world. People who cultivate virtuous Dharma will also die in the end. The only [difference] is that they reduced evil and decreased ignorance in their lives. Or perhaps they refrained from doing evil and had very pure hearts. Then, they developed their goodness and virtuous affinities. They grew by absorbing much virtuous Dharma and wisdom. They created these virtuous causes and conditions and nourished the field of their minds with the Buddha-Dharma. In the end, their bodies will also perish and they will also die. But in their consciousness, everything in their karmic consciousness will be seeds of goodness. That is the Dharma of their wisdom-life in the field of their eighth consciousness. This is the same for all people. In the end, we all come to “true cessation,” which is nothingness. Moreover, the Buddha taught the Dharma to analyze this for us so that we will not form attachments. There are so many people; they have all kinds of causes and conditions from the past and create all kinds of karma. But amidst the negative karma, there is also true virtuous Dharma. So, when we discuss past causes and conditions, there are so many of them. We humans and animals are equal in nature. So, during the Buddha’s lifetime, He spoke of many causes and conditions and summarized them.

Virtuous Dharma becomes causes and conditions that we will bring with us into the future. Evil practices will bring us negative retributions in the future. So, whether we create positive causes and attain positive effects or commit evil deeds and attain negative effects, this all follow the law of karma. The same applies for our afflictions and ignorance. When it comes to afflictions and ignorance, we reap what we sow. However, this ignorance can be eliminated. So, the Buddha taught the Dharma to teach us how to eliminate our afflictions and ignorance. Thus, He thoroughly analyzed how the things we fight over are all a matter of name, fortune, status, wealth, sex, fame and so on; after the Buddha analyzed these things, they all amount to nothing. In the end, they are all empty. There is only one thing [left], which is our karmic consciousness. [Have we stored] virtuous karma or evil karma? Virtuous karma is “actualizing the Six Paramitas in all action.” [The Buddha] ceaselessly accumulated many causes. Throughout lifetime after lifetime, He accumulated the causes and conditions of virtuous karma. Through constant accumulation, “He perfected His cause and approached fruition.” He approached this fruit very naturally. This is the fruit of becoming a virtuous sage and attaining Buddhahood. In the same way, Buddhahood is attained when causes and conditions come together. This is “wondrous existence”. The process is to practice the Bodhisattva-path, which requires us to recognize “true emptiness”. When we give unconditionally, no matter how laborious it is, we are joyful and willing. This is due to our power of vows. So, we give without expecting anything in return.

This is similar to how in the Buddha’s lifetime, there was a story. A very, very long time ago, there was a woman who said to her husband, “Our family is not very wealthy. We have used up almost all our savings, you need to figure out how we are going to make a living.” Her husband replied, “What can I do to make a living?” His wife said to him, “You can do what our ancestors did and go hunting.” Her husband also felt that he was home all day, and his family really did need [an income]. So, his wife encouraged him and prepared some hunting tools for him. He took these tools and began heading for the snowy mountains. In the snowy mountains, a herd of elephants lived in peace and freedom. But these elephants had a realization. They realized that as they hid deep in this mountain, their greatest fear was encountering hunters. If a hunter were to see them, he would definitely kill them. What would be the goal of killing them? It would be for their tusks. So, this herd of elephants came to this realization on their own. One of the elephants among them took his ancestor’s tusks and stored them in a certain place. Later on, it was his father’s turn; the elephant’s father also passed away. He took his father’s tusks and hid them too. He also had tusks himself, so he was always afraid that if he were to encounter a hunter one day, he would lose his life over his tusks. So, one day, while walking in the peaceful forest, he suddenly discovered a human. This elephant was very kind. He thought, “This man will discover me anyway. I might as well greet him myself.” So, He made a sound with his trunk. The hunter followed the sound and came over. Seeing him, the elephant asked him, “Why did you come here?” Of course, the hunter said, “I came here for your two tusks. People make a living by hunting in the forest. So, that is why I came.” The elephant said, “If I give them to you, will you come back again?” The hunter said to him, “If I had these tusks, I could bring them back and trade them. Then I could enjoy a life of luxury. Why would I trouble myself to come back here?” So, this elephant said to him, “That is good. I will give you some tusks. But you have to promise that you will not return to disturb any animals in the forest.” The hunter agreed. So, the elephant took his ancestors’ tusks, carrying them with his trunk. He gave the tusks to the hunter.

This hunter was very happy to receive these tusks and took then to the market. Eh originally planned to go home first, but then he thought, “I should trade in these tusks and eat a full meal first. Otherwise, if I go home, I will have to give the money to my wife and I will end up with nothing left.” Greed arose in his mind. He took the tusks to the market and went to a restaurant. There was a man in the restaurant who saw this man carrying ivory tusks. The man in the restaurant thought, “I should take advantage of this man and get some benefit myself.” So, they each had their own agendas. When the hunter entered, this man earnestly greeted and welcomed him. The man in the restaurant took the tusks he was carrying and set them down. Very eagerly, he prepared alcohol and food for the hunter. When [the hunter] was satiated and drunk, the man took out a contract and said, “I want to buy these tusks from you. Let’s write an agreement. What will you pay for it? How much will you buy it for?” Because the hunter was drunk, he thought it was best to have drinks and food. So, [the man] wrote, “This man can drink here. This is how long the can drink, this is how much he can drink and this is how long he can eat here”. In fact, the time stated was a short period. This contract gave few benefits to the hunter, but he was paying a great price. The restaurant let him drink and eat a small amount for a short period of time. They let him drink until he was drunk.

After several days, he came back to drink again. But the man in the restaurant said, “You have used up what was in your account.” “Impossible! My ivory tusks were so valuable. How could this be impossible? Every day you are drunk. You don’t even know how many days have passed. Didn’t you see? We wrote this together. Your thumb print is here.” There was nothing he could do, so he left. He thought, “If I go home empty-handed, I don’t know what my family will do to me. So, [I need] more tusks. I have to go back to that mountain and get more tusks from that elephant.” So, he returned to the mountain. When he reached the snowy mountains, he saw the same elephant there. The elephant said, “Didn’t you bring the tusks back? Didn’t you…” “Yes! But I had a moment of foolishness. I was drinking and spent it all. I don’t know how to face my family”. This elephant went back to get his father’s tusks and brought them out. He give them to this person and told him, “I will give also these to you, but you cannot come back here again.” “This is enough. As long as I can answer to my family, it’s fine”. Then he left again. In fact, he had only gone halfway when he had a thought. I will trad these tusks. When I trade them, I will get enough money to marry another wife. Why should I go back home? I will remarry and start a new family. I don’t need to go back home.”

But also this time, the same thing happened. Because he got drunk, he passed by this restaurant again and was again cheated out of his money. He was always drunk and could not sober up. Once he had eaten his way through it all, he went back [to the mountain] again. When he returned to Snowy Mountain this time, he did not dare to meet the elephant. He thought, “I should shoot him with an arrow. I’ll shoot him before he can see me”. The elephant just happened from a bath in the pond and to come out was a bit tired, so he went to sleep there. Seeing that the elephant was sleeping, [the hunter] took an arrow and shot him from far away, hitting the elephant between the eyes. So, blood continuously flowed [from the wound]. The elephant awoke and opened his eyes to see which direction this arrow had come from. He looked in that direction. As expected, that same man had returned. The elephant again said to this person, “With my strength now, I am still able to kill you but I do not want to kill you because my ancestors engaged in spiritual practice in this place. I know I am in the animal realm due to the forces of karma. I want to use this life to engage in spiritual practice. I am not willing to take another life. So, I will not take your life. I will fulfill your wish. But you must be quick. Hurry up and take my tusks. I will use my body to protect you. I can bear this; quickly take my tusks. Then, you must leave immediately. Otherwise, you will be killed. I will not allow my relatives to create the karma of killing. You must leave immediately”.

Just like that, this elephant allowed him to take his tusks, and he left. After the Buddha told this story, He told everyone, that hunter was one of the evil bhiksus in the Sangha. From many lifetimes, he wore a monk’s robe to cheat [people] to obtain much profit. The elephant was King Bimbisara. King Bimbisara engaged in spiritual practice and cultivated blessings. So, in countless lifetimes, he became a king. This story is not about one of the Buddha’s own past lives. It is about King Bimbisara. So, this tells us that we should be mindful. Sometimes, the Buddha taught about His disciples’ past lives. Sometimes, He talked about the causes and conditions of His own past lives. It does not matter if it is lay people or disciples. Even spiritual practitioners have such instances where in their past lives, they had such evil habitual tendencies. Lay people also have virtuous thoughts. These are the causes and conditions that the Buddha wanted to teach. So, a spiritual practitioner is not necessarily more cultivated than a white-robed practitioner.

A white-robed practitioner is a lay person. The determination of lay people to engage in spiritual practice can also be very firm. Though they have karma, though they have not transcended the afflictions of living in the world, they have cultivated blessings. Life after life, they return to this world and are always blessed to become kings. So, this is what they create and bring along in their karmic consciousness. So, “For those of great capabilities, the Buddha revealed the Great Dharma of true cessation”. [To attain] cessation, we must engage in purifying practices.

So, “He guided the provisional and Small Vehicle practitioners toward the Great”. He used causes and conditions to guide everyone. Although [practitioners like these] have virtuous thoughts, they have not aspired to transcend the world. Without world-transcending Dharma, they still cultivate blessings in this world. Thought they say they want to engage in practice, they are not practicing sincerely. They still fall into this state where their practice is flawed. So, the Buddha taught the law of arising and ceasing, so everyone would understand more clearly how this is all in the mind. So, we must work hard to cultivate our minds. Otherwise we are “practicing in name only;” the roots of wisdom have yet to reach deeply into our minds. The nature of wisdom has not yet entered our mind, so we are carrying our habitual tendencies into our spiritual practice. Though we wear a monk’s robe, our mind is uncultivated and we continue our cyclic existence in this world. This evil bhikus was like this in the past live. During the Buddha’s lifetime, he became a part of Devadatta’s faction.

So, “He guided the provisional and Small Vehicle practitioners toward the Great to help everyone form great aspirations and vows. In walking the Bodhisattva-path, we must protect our minds, always training ourselves so that whatever environment we are in, we will not waver. So, He “elucidated the truth of the One Vehicle. This is what all of us must earnestly cultivate with our Six Roots.

The Six Roots are the causes, and the Six Dusts are the conditions. We must carefully protect ourselves. When our eye-root encounters the dust of form, we must carefully discipline ourselves, for our consciousness arise accordingly. The same goes for all our other roots. This is called causes and conditions. We must carefully contemplate this.

The Six Roots are the causes, and the Six Dusts are the conditions. We must work hard to “protect ourselves.” We must be very vigilant to guard our minds. Otherwise, our Six Roots will connect with the external Six Dusts and we will give rise to discursive thoughts. Then we will easily be enticed by external things. When our eye-root encounters the dust of form, this is when we must carefully discipline ourselves.” We must be earnestly vigilant and uphold our precepts. “Our consciousness arises accordingly. This consciousness arises. The same goes for all our other roots. When our other roots, the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind, connect to states in the external world, we naturally give rise to discursive thoughts. This is just like that drunk man. His wide told him to do out, so he went out. He was not careful and gave rise to greed. He went and got the tusks time and again and indulged in drunkenness. This is what happens. This is due to “causes and conditions.” These causes and conditions are what we must earnestly contemplate. Our minds must constantly engage in spiritual practice. We must earnestly and carefully contemplate how. “All conscious beings are equal in nature.” We are conscious beings. we preciously spoke of “conscious beings;” this refers to all living beings. So, we are all equal in nature. This is true for both humans and animals. So, we must mindfully seek to comprehend this.

The previous [sutra] passage says, “They also do not draw near to any brutal amusements such as wrestling, combat, natas or so on or any kind of illusory entertainment.

We must not draw near to these unwholesome games. Nor do they draw near to candalas.” These do business killing, raising livestock, trapping, hunting and so on or killing without reason; these are all evil acts. “If people like this ever approach them, they will teach the Dharma for them but without any expectation.” We cannot place any expectations on these people. These people sometimes come to ask about the Dharma, but we should not immediately think, “You have to change!” We must not have any expectations for them. Still, if they come to ask, we can answer them without any expectations.

The following the passage, “They also refrain from drawing near to those who only seek to be Hearers, whether they are bhiksus bhiksunis. As for upasakas or upasikas, they do not pay them their respects either.

We do not need to interact with them too much. “They also refrain from drawing near to those who only seek to be Hearers, whether they are bhiksus or bhiksunis.” These people only want to listen with no intention of genuine cultivation. So, these are not people we should draw near to.

They also refrain from drawing near to those who only seek to be Hearers, whether they are bhiksus or bhiksunis: This refers to male and female monastics who seek the fruits of the Small Vehicle. Two Vehicle practitioners stagnate in emptiness and stillness and fail from great aspirations. Those who draw near them will distance themselves from Bodhi.

So, monastics who “seek the fruits of the Small Vehicle” only want to listen to the Dharma and do not dare to put the teachings into practice. “Two Vehicle practitioners” refers to Hearers and Solitary Realizers. They are stuck in emptiness and peace. All they cultivate is the practice of emptiness and peace. These people will not progress. So, we must not draw near to them. These people “fail to form great aspirations. Those who draw near them will distance themselves from Bodhi.” If we are like this, we will not progress in our spiritual aspirations upon the Bodhi-path.

“As for upasakas or upasikas, they do not pay them their respects either. These are good men and good women.” These are upasakas and upasikas who are “Small Vehicle practitioners in the Fourfold Assembly. They only seek [to gain]; “I make offerings expecting to gain blessings.” We need not interact much with such people. Our paths are different. These people who seek something in return only wish to acquire a field of blessings. They do not truly want to serve and help others by doing good deeds. They only seek to get the blessings of the Three Treasures in return, it is not easy to teach them at all. So, “since they walk on a different path,” we need waste our time there.

“If they are in a room or a place for walking meditation.” If they are in a room or a place for walking meditation, “or a lecture hall, Bodhisattvas should not remain there with them.” We do our best [to avoid them], since we have own way of spiritual practice. So, “if people like ever approach them, they will teach the Dharma in a suitable way but do so without expectations.”

[Following] this sutra passage is easier said than done. “If they are in a room,” in a space we share, we will not want to be diligent. If there are such people living and practicing with us in the same place, whether we are in the same room, in the same spiritual training ground “or a lecture hall, [we] should not remain there with them.” This is what the sutra passage says. If we do not listen to this clearly or misunderstnd it, we will take it literally and ignore them. We cannot go that. We must still form good affinities. In other words, if we are in this place and some people do not want to walk this path, we need not continually force them or scold them, for this will give them afflictions. Of course, in our interpersonal relationships, we need to have love, the awakened love we always talk about. For those seek to benefit themselves, these selfish people, have their own state [of mind]. We still need to get harmoniously with them. So, if they “ever approach them….” Sometimes they come to look for us on their own, and we do not need to argue with them and say “You are wrong. You cannot do this!” or “How can you be so selfish?” We need not say anything, because that is the way they are. Sometimes, they will come on their own. “If [they] ever approach them….” People like this might have some time and, with good intentions, come wishing to speak with us. At times like this, “If [they] ever approach them,” meaning occasionally, “they will teach the Dharma in a suitable way but do so without expectations.” When these people come, we can casually chat with them and teach them a little. But if they are unwilling, we do not need to force them.

They will teach the Dharma in a suitable way but do so without expectations: Since these people have yet to be transformed by the Great Vehicle, there is no harm n going along with their Small Vehicle aspirations to teach them in a suitable way. Also, we must do so without any expectations.

“Since these people have yet to be transformed by the Great Vehicle….” They are very difficult to transform! It is better to go along with their aspirations. We should not force them. So, “They will teach the Dharma in a suitable way.” If they have questions, we answer them. We need not force them by saying this is the only way. “Also, we must do so without any expectations.” We need not keep demanding that they must listen to us. We are anyway just teaching them a little. As long as everyone is happy, it is good. “We must distance ourselves from bad friends and avoid contriving affinities with them.” These are friends who are not very good, so we should distance ourselves from them.

We must distance ourselves from bad friends and avoid contriving affinities with them. Those who seek the fruits of Hearers have Small Vehicle aspirations. If Bodhisattvas replete with Buddha-wisdom encounter these Small Vehicle practitioners, they can accord with their conditions to embrace them and bring them in. But for these newly-inspired Bodhisattvas, practitioners who have just begun to hear the state of the One Vehicle, if they draw near to them, then they [will be influenced] by the Hearers, who each have their own realizations that they have attained through their practice.

“Avoid contriving affinities [with] bad friends.” These people practice with us in this space, but our paths cannot completely come together in harmony. Even then, we need not reject them, but we must take good care of ourselves. So, “[They] avoid contriving affinities with them.” We must avoid contriving affinities with them, but we should not reject them either. We need not take issue with them. So, “Those who seek the fruit of Hearers have Small Vehicle aspirations.” They only want to listen [to the Dharma] or be in a state where they are free and leisurely. They just want to spend their days in leisure. We do not need to talk much with these Small Vehicle practitioners. We must mindfully engage in our own practice as a role model for them; that is all we can do. So, “If Bodhisattvas replete with Buddha-wisdom encounter these Small Vehicle practitioners, they can accord with their conditions to embrace them and bring them in.” We use our own actions to influence them. Influence does not mean we are reprimanding them or forcing them to listen to us. We act as a role model for them to see. According to conditions, we urge them a little. We should not place any expectations upon them. This is unnecessary. However, these are newly-inspired Bodhisattvas. What we discuss now is for the sake of the newly-inspired, whose spiritual aspirations might not be very firm. These past few days, we have been saying to the newly-inspired that these are the people we should not draw near to, these are the occupations we should not draw near to, such and such ought to be avoided. We fear our aspirations are not yet firm and our will to practice will be influenced by them. So, these newly-inspired Bodhisattvas must do their best to distance themselves from what was mentioned previously, such as brutal and dangerous amusements, hunting games, as well as those who practice the Small Vehicle. We must not allow any of these things to influence our mind as we form great aspirations to engage in spiritual practice. So, since we are not deeply rooted in the Dharma and our aspirations are not yet firm, we must not draw near to them. Within the sphere of spiritual practitioners, so people practice toward the Small Vehicle, seeking to benefit themselves, and reject the Great Vehicle Dharma. We discussed this earlier. In the evil world of turbidities, evil bhiksus engage in practice, but they are unwilling to accept the Great Vehicle Dharma. So, they argue against it and reject it. They slander those who truly practice the Great Vehicle Dharma. Everyone should still remember this. So, as newly-inspired people, we must not draw near to these people. If we draw near to such people, our great aspirations will be harmed. So, we must not do it. This is [advice] for newly-inspired Bodhisattvas who have just begun to hear of the One Vehicle state of mind and have just formed aspirations; if they draw near the people we just mentioned, they will influence them and harm their great aspirations. So, we must avoid drawing near to them. So, “If they draw near to them, then they [will be influence] by the Hearers, who each have their own realizations that they have attained through their practice.” If we draw near to them, they will surely have their Small Vehicle Dharma and their principles, which will influence us. Likewise, our paths are different. If our aspirations are not jet firm, we will easily be influenced by them. So, “These Bodhisattvas may be diverted by them. This will cause them to regress.”

These Bodhisattvas may be diverted by them. This will cause them to regress. Or, due to differences in views, this may lead to disputes. It will hinder the progress of their practice. So, it is best not to draw near to these people.

As Bodhisattvas who form Bodhisattva-aspirations, we will be influenced by Small Vehicle practitioners’ principles. Their analyses will influence our Great Vehicle aspirations. These aspirations of ours will be diminished. This is because Small Vehicle practitioners’ greatest hope is to avoid people. They want to cultivate themselves and eliminate afflictions. They do not want to mingle with people. So, they do not want to practice the Great Vehicle. In the Chapter on Faith and Understanding, didn’t Subhuti and the others, the four elders, came out and repent? In the past, they practiced for their own benefit, fearing they would give rise to discursive thoughts. They were unable to go among people, so they wanted to avoid [people]. Now, as we form Great Vehicle aspirations, if we do not avoid the Small Vehicle Dharma, we may easily be influenced by it. This is why forming great aspirations is so difficult! Look at how, after the Buddha bestowed predictions on His disciples, they received the predictions and formed great aspirations yet were afraid and did not dare to remain in the Sara World. They wanted to go to other lands. They all feared the stubborn people in this world. That is to say nothing of those newly-inspired! Their will to practice was not yet firm. Their power of vows was not very solid. They were easily diverted by the Small Vehicle principles.

So, the Buddha wanted us to be on our guard. Others, why would we have to avoid these bhiksus, bhiksunis, Small Vehicle practitioners and Hearers? This is because Hearers have their or principles. They can also influence those who form great aspirations. That is why the Buddha asked them to avoid these people. Those who have recently formed Great Vehicle aspirations have to avoid so many [people and things]. As Great Vehicle [practitioners], we must not place expectations on them. So, we need to avoid them.

So, “Due to differences in views, this may lead to disputes”. In this case, they will express their principles and we will express our principles. As our perspectives and thinking are different, in that place, this may lead to disputes between us like we previously said about “Lokayatas and Vama-Lokayatas”. Likewise, non-Buddhist teachings also have their principles. There are some that accord with principles of the world, as well as some that oppose such principles. The Buddha wanted
to prevent these disputes. It is better not to draw near to them. With careful contemplation like this, we cultivate our own firm resolve to practice. We need not go there to contrive affinities. So, we must not seek out disputes, but care for our own spiritual aspirations, lf we argue with them in that place, this ‘’will hinder the progress of [our] practice’’. It will instead obstruct our practice. ‘’So it is best not to draw near to these people’’. lt is best not to debate and argue with them. Because of this, He told us to avoid them; we must not go to that place.

ln summary, in our spiritual training ground, we must value harmony. This sutra passage tells us to avoid them. It is not telling us to reject them; it is telling us to avoid them. So, ‘’lf [they] come to ask about the Dharma,’’ if they have the intent to come, we can talk to them in a Suitable way. ‘’However, though we teach this wondrous Dharma of the Great Vehicle, after we teach it, we must not expect that they will necessarily be able to accept it.’’ They want to learn about us, so we go along with their intent and, explain it to them for a while. We tell them our intent and our perspectives, but we need not force them either. lf we are too forceful, this will lead to disputes. We need not force them. “However, though we teach this wondrous Dharma of the Great Vehicle, after we teach it…”. We teach the Great Vehicle Dharma just to let them know our perspective. We should not argue with them. “We must not expect that they will necessarily be able to accept it”. We should not expect them to accept [our teachings]. So, we must place no expectations on them. If we can do this, that is most harmonious for us. So, we must listen mindfully. We are not here to reject anyone. In spiritual training grounds, harmony is precious. We simply have different views and perspectives. We cannot influence their actions. They have their practice; we do what we must do. They have their practice; we do what we must do. We have our own perspective. We willingly benefit others and go among people. We should not try to influence each other; then we will get along with each other. We must be truly mindful not to misunderstand this. Therefore, we must always be mindful!

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