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 20180725《靜思妙蓮華》慎思理相 照物無染 (第1399集) (法華經·安樂行品第十四)

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發表主題: 20180725《靜思妙蓮華》慎思理相 照物無染 (第1399集) (法華經·安樂行品第十四)   周三 7月 25, 2018 7:56 am

20180725《靜思妙蓮華》慎思理相 照物無染 (第1399集) (法華經·安樂行品第十四)

⊙假名字稱為相,成住壞終是空;慎思三理四相,實無恆住定相;無體相故無量,如虛空無障礙。
⊙無障礙:謂真如性體,於一切諸法,圓融通達,悉無障礙。
⊙「如虛空,無所有性。一切語言道斷,不生、不出、不起。」《法華經安樂行品第十四》
⊙「無名、無相,實無所有,無量、無邊,無礙、無障。」《法華經安樂行品第十四》
⊙無名:法身之體遍一切處,而不可以名字詮顯。如佛菩薩菩提覺道,圓智懸空,照物無染。
⊙無相:為無我、人、眾生、壽者,虛妄之相。謂真理之絕眾相,非無如實圓鏡本清淨照物,物移鏡空。
⊙《無量義經》云:無量義者,從一法生。其一法者,即無相也。
⊙以分別故有相,以分別相故有名,法體離於能、所故非名相所能到,故曰無名無相。
⊙對於無相之語有造作者,則是虛假之相。可見可現之法,即為有相。凡有相者,皆是虛妄。
⊙實無所有:法身清淨,照體獨立。實無前境所有之相。妄法遂於實相,以語言道斷名相不及故,一切均無所有。
⊙無量、無邊:法身之體遍虛空界,而不可以數目度量。無有三世之相可得,為無量無邊。
⊙無礙、無障:離一切煩惱障,為無礙;體性虛空,無有質礙。如風於空,無所礙故。無障:體性無染,離一切所知障。無明體相,本自不有,故本無煩惱障。
⊙自性清淨,過惡不生,則無業障。生死本空,不受後有,則無報障。
⊙無量無邊:虛空不可窮極,是實相之廣大。無礙無障:虛空不可分辯,是實相之通達為三觀中之空觀。

【證嚴上人開示】
假名字稱為相,成住壞終是空;慎思三理四相,實無恆住定相;無體相故無量,如虛空無障礙。

假名字稱為相
成住壞終是空
慎思三理四相
實無恆住定相
無體相故無量
如虛空無障礙

用心,世間一切一切,都是在「假名字」,假名相。「張三」、「李四」,這是一個名稱,這個名稱都一樣都在人的身體上。「張三」這個人,和「李四」這個人,有同一人嗎?假名字相,不同人!是啊,因為要分別,所以,才有「張三」、「李四」的名稱,回歸一句就是「人」。人都用假名字來執著,什麼人是什麼人?是對、是錯?都是在這個假名字在起分別相。同樣,物資,所有的物質,它樹木,同樣一個名字,都叫做「樹」。樹,常常說過了,樹的本身,它就已經有好幾個名字,從種子一直到了一棵樹,從一棵樹再變成了用具,這個名相,一路來都是不斷,隨著環境而變相。假名字給它,這是我們應該很清楚、很了解。這些道理,我們若能了解,「假名字」和「相」,我們若了解了,是不定名、不定相,但是我們還要去追究它的理。道理同樣「成住壞空」,到最後還是空,到那個空,就是一切一切假名字相,最終就是歸於空,空了。

所以,「慎思」。我們真正學法,要修行,要了解道理,我們必定要心時時都要很靜,好好謹慎,詳細來思考,思考世間一切萬物,都沒有離開「三理四相」。人的生理有生、老、病、死,所以,天地萬物有成、住、壞、空,我們的心理就是有生、住、異、滅,這就是「三理四相」。這「三理」,天地萬物,它的貴賤,也是人去分別,是貴或是賤呢?水很充分之時,我們日常生活離不開水,水很充足,我們沒有感覺,水對我們人的生命,對這個大地萬物的生機,是多麼重要啊!它很充足的時候,沒人會感覺水是貴重。到了四大不調了,水大不調,天不降雨,人無節制地用水,人沒有理智,去砍伐山林,自然山地破壞了,人類用水不節制,天不降雨了,這全都是循環。

我們若好好細細慎思,這全都是連貫,我們的大地,「成」、「住」,在當它全都具足,人類、物資全部具足,生態完成,四季都是這樣,這麼的順暢在運轉,是在「住」世。久來,經過了多少劫波,時間不斷不斷地過,人類不斷增加,人的心態不斷不斷受濁氣污染,染污的心就是貪欲,貪欲不斷產生,就向著大地去心存要取得,大地就受災殃了,那就是被破壞了。破壞在「住」劫,不斷一直進入到「壞」劫,破壞它,污染它,整個大乾坤,就這樣不斷累積污濁的氣,大地就不斷受損、受破壞。雖然要經歷長時間,長時間累積到「壞」劫,最最嚴重的時候,那終是「空」,它就是「空」了。所以,在「壞」劫的時間,我們都不懂要節制,本來物資住世,同樣和我們人一樣,很順暢,非常的單純,四季這樣的互相地輪轉。

所以「四大」,本來是這麼的單純,但是人類的破壞,「四大」就開始不調,破壞,真的是破壞。所以,山林已經被破壞了,人類不懂得節制,所以大地物資那就會缺了。就像緬甸,在那個蒲甘城的大地震,從緬甸的慈濟人、馬來西亞的菩薩,這樣會合到蒲甘城。看了之後,那個蒲甘城原來在一千多年前,蒲甘國的國王,他信佛,就一直用心建塔,一直提倡建塔,國庫也用在建塔。要建塔,要燒磚,燒磚就要磚窯;磚窯就要用火來燒,用土做土坯,土坯才經過火燒,這樣做瓦、做磚。不斷一直建,那個城整個都是在建塔。

蒲甘城的整片的山林,砍柴當木炭,燒木炭來燒磚,一直一直山林被砍伐,之後,塔是已經一直起來,但是,樹,那個森林的樹都已經砍光了。慢慢地,那裡的水,地層的水,一直一直就是沒有了,因為水資源是來自森林,雨水若來的時候,從樹木,大地的物這樣吸收,吸收到地,地層,再水源回歸水脈;水脈再提供給人類的生活,這本來大自然的循環,人類將大自然的循環破壞掉了。想想看,這樣是「住」而「壞」,終止於「空」。現在的蒲甘城,那個地方,已經人不能住,幾百年來,城是建好了,興盛一時,沒水的時候,那就不是人類可以依止的地方,都整個遷走了。

現在,那些塔已經荒廢掉了,幾百年前延續下來,在照顧塔的一群人,世代都在那裡照顧塔,變成了他們的名稱,叫做「塔奴」。現在整個村都是乞丐村,這個乞丐村衍生於那些顧塔,幾百年來,一直延續下來。已經孩子都,早就沒有讓他們讀書,都是乞丐孩子。在那個地方就是,人家若來觀光時,就是在那裡在乞討。這就是長久來破壞環境,破壞生態,人的生活由這樣在轉變,整片的大地都是乾,現在也一樣。

現在的問題,這塊土地完全都是乾枯的,草木不生,已經就是叫做乞丐村,整個村,這些孩子,已經世代都沒有讀書了。這個時候慈濟人接觸了,因為這個因緣接觸了,希望能夠轉變他們的生態,先要對人,孩子要怎麼樣能夠讀書。所以,現在在那個地方,考慮,已經找到土地。而我們要在那塊土地上,為他們建一個學校,這是馬來西亞和緬甸的菩薩的,發心立願,要去將它完成。

所以「住」,有住人的地方就有這樣的問題,破「壞」;破壞了之後,生態轉變了,就成為「空」。蒲甘城已經完全是廢城,一個大地震,已經倒將近五百座的塔,所以,一片都是荒廢掉了,不就是一場空呢!所以,我們要很,「慎思三理四相」。所以「實無恆住定相」,就是今何在啊?實在就是無恆住的定相,人總是這樣起顛倒心。

「無體相故無量」,所以無量。我們人間,很多很多沒辦法去分析的,那些體相、名字,沒辦法去分別。其實「如虛空無障礙」,一切皆空,看得開,什麼都沒有障礙,我們人間就是心看不開,我們的障礙很多,我們若能夠循規蹈矩。有時候集眾在講話,不斷地呼籲,我們的規則,人人若守規則,哪一個地方有障礙物呢?人人若守規矩,哪一個地方,有還要再叮嚀的事情呢?都不用。人人以戒為制度,以愛為管理,是要自己的道業,要自己的心,要定住自己的心,才有辦法「慎思三理四相」,我們才有辦法能了解,「實無恆住定相」。我們才真正能夠無體相,我們的心態,「心包太虛,量周沙界」,這樣如虛空無障礙了。我們大圓鏡智,就在我們的日常生活中,照物不偏差。照物無偏差,但是無礙我們的心鏡,應該若這樣,就能通達。

無障礙:
謂真如性體
於一切諸法
圓融通達
悉無障礙

所以能夠「無障礙」,就是「真如性體」,我們自己的心性要顧得好,「於一切諸法」,就「圓融通達,悉無障礙」。我們要聽法、要了解,道理要能體會,真正我們要好好用心去體會,我們必定要認清,道理的三理四相,要真正通達。若能這樣,我們就能圓融通達,我們的心鏡,大圓鏡智,照物物來,物去鏡空,我們若能這樣,所以「悉無障礙」,我們的心都沒有障礙,沒有煩惱,沒有顛倒,這是多麼逍遙自在。

所以說,如前面的文這樣說:「如虛空,無所有性。」

如虛空
無所有性
一切語言道斷
不生 不出 不起
《法華經安樂行品第十四》

虛空就是這樣一片空啊,虛空多大啊?沒有辦法去測量,天外的天際,恆星,星河,雖然有這麼多的星球在空中,每一顆星球,周圍都是空間,這個空有多大,無法測量,無邊際,沒有底,無法看到天,到底它的盡頭是多高,沒有,沒辦法測量。它到底有多深?沒有,科學家在地球上,在虛空中說有發現到黑洞,這個黑洞,黑洞在哪裡?離我們多遠?生成什麼樣呢?實在是天文地理,真正是無窮盡。所以我們應該知道,那就是虛空都是一片虛,就是虛,沒有實體的東西,那叫做「虛」,那就是空,空無邊際。所以因為這樣,在虛空中,它本來就沒有性,沒有什麼性,就是空,一個空間,性,是這些一切萬物,就是有這樣、這樣的道理,有成住壞空,有地水火風空,這都是它的性,地、水、火、風,四大終歸於空,風有風的性,火有火的性,但是它終歸還是空。火性,散在我們的身體上也有火性,有溫度,這就是熱度,熱度就是火性。「哇!身體怎麼都冷冰冰?冷冰冰就是硬掉,硬掉是什麼呢?死了,就是脫離了火性,人生這個身體就沒有了,溫度沒有了,四大中一大消失,那就是歸於空。他的性,火性沒有永恆住在我們的身裡。

同樣,每一項東西,都是因為有四大會合,才有物質可完成。所以每一項物質,都沒有它的「住」性,因為它四大和合,四大中其中一大離開了,這四大不成,物質就壞空了。同樣的道理,所以你要說它是火性,它是風性,它是水性,這了不可得,我們的身體有水性在,是暫住,一輩子在,我們的身體要吸收水分,「要多喝一點水哦!」水若沒有了,身體就乾了,變成什麼呢?木乃伊,這就是已經都沒有了。這個水分,有常常在我們的身裡嗎?就是這樣跟著我們的呼吸,幾十年,它不調和時,身體就是病了,這叫做壞。所以說來無住性,性無常住,所以很多就要去解釋,一切言語道斷,光是要說一個火,就要和大家說很久,要說水,分析到頭來無窮盡,因為任何一項東西,都有無窮盡的道理,但是都有無窮盡的空,無定相、無定性,就是全都沒有。所以「一切言語道斷」,要如何來分析,分析到來真的是,無法完全大家都能清楚了解,要靠我們用心,要慎思用心才有辦法,用心去體會。

所以「一切語言道斷」,沒有用心,法無法入我們的心,我們無法體會什麼叫做四相,我們沒有辦法。因為我們的「理」沒有通達,「相」我們就無法了解,所以要慎思三理四相,這是很重要。所以「不生、不出、不起」,其實這些東西,原來就是天地之間,本來就有的東西,在這個空中,沒有增減,說它缺水,是真的缺嗎?實在是沒有缺,沒有缺就是要大家要反省,如何讓它這樣循環再調整,大地是被破壞的。你看,哪有缺呢?常常在鬧水災,水哪有缺呢?是不順調,叫做不調和,沒水的地方都沒水,水一來就是水災,看,多少的水災,你說它有缺嗎?沒有缺,但是是不調和,所以我們要很用心去體會。所以「一切言語道斷,不生、不出、不起」,我們前面解釋過。

其實接下來我們再看這段經文:「無名、無相,實無所有,無量、無邊,無礙、無障。」

無名 無相
實無所有
無量 無邊
無礙 無障
《法華經安樂行品第十四》

虛空,虛空就是空啊!你還要說它是什麼名呢?除非國家語言不同,又有語言有它的相和名稱。但是總而言之,要讓我們了解的,就是空,空就是無相,全都沒有。在這個空間裡「實無所有」,「空」就是「虛」,「虛」就是「空」,空實在是「無有」,因為它無常住,所以它就是有的東西無常住,所以因為這樣「實無所有」。這「實無所有」,卻是大地有「無量、無邊,無礙、無障」,因為我們這個大空間,真的是,你說它有什麼,什麼都沒有;但是它有啊!有無量無量的東西。你說它能夠測量嗎?也沒有辦法測量。有邊際嗎?也沒有辦法邊際。總而言之,無礙,無障礙的虛空的裡面,這個形色的相很多,分析到頭來,真的再歸於空,道理就是這樣在循環。我們若認清楚虛空無邊際,我們就能夠了解「有」的東西,再長久的時間,就是都是暫時。

其實世間,我們這個地球,繞著太陽轉,地球在自轉,時間在過,所以地球的時間,和其他星球的時間是不同。要算時間,我們所在講的「劫波」,長時間,用「劫」來算的時間,它也有窮盡,到頭來也是沒有。但是虛空沒有動,它就是一樣,一片的虛空就是沒有不同。這顆地球若滅掉了,虛空猶在虛空,所以這個「生滅」,與這個「空」都無礙,無障、無礙。所以,看,「無名」。「無名」,這是我們的「法身之體遍一切處」。

無名:
法身之體遍一切處
而不可以名字詮顯
如佛菩薩菩提覺道
圓智懸空
照物無染

我們要回過來說我們自己,每一個人,我們都有法,人人具足。幾天前不是說,佛陀所覺悟,就是覺悟眾生都具有的法,只是我們眾生迷在法中。佛陀覺悟了,他所覺悟的,和眾生是一樣,沒有不同的法。

佛陀在這個法中而覺悟了,我們凡夫是在這些法中而迷了,都是受這個世間物質所迷掉。所以世間萬物的體相,我們應該要很透徹,「三理四相」要很了解;卻是我們就是被外面這些境界,那些物的體相把我們誘引,迷了我們的心,所以我們在這個法中迷了。因為這樣,我們就「不可以名字詮顯」。到底要向大家如何解釋呢?在這麼多天地萬物間,形色、名相這麼多,想要向大家講到清楚,要準備這些道理都來不及。不要說什麼,每天就是要向大家,講幾分鐘的話,我也是同樣要準備,都是來不及。準備得到這一項,無法包含到那一項。這項本來與這項的道理,應該要表達,但是來不及,時間也不夠,也無法將這些,全都能夠準備起來,向大家講到清楚。要說到清楚,一項就能夠講一輩子。何況萬法,要如何去分析到清楚呢?所以「不可以名字詮顯」,沒有辦法,這就要靠大家聽、吸收,去體會、去了解。

像「佛菩薩菩提覺道」,就像「圓智懸空,照物無染」。那就是大圓鏡智,就像在這大虛空裡,懸在虛空中,照種種的物體,都收攝在鏡子裡面。鏡子裡面有這麼多的形象,但是與這面鏡子,一點點都沒有關係。「照物無染」,這些東西都和它沒有關係,就像一面鏡子,放在這裡,看大家,等一下大家若下講堂去,這面鏡子是空的。所以,「物移鏡空」。物若移轉了,這面鏡子還是空的,同樣它還是清淨,它不會受到物將它染著到。所以,「無相,為無我、人、眾生、壽者,虛妄之相」。

無相:
為無我、人、
眾生、壽者
虛妄之相
謂真理之絕眾相
非無如實
圓鏡本清淨照物
物移鏡空

應該大家都清楚了,不要著相,不要有我、有人、有眾生、有壽者,自己一直執著在這個相裡。老也不要認老,總是要做就對了。想到老,年邁體弱,年邁體衰,這力衰退。不要這樣想它,若想下去,「人就是老了,我就是沒有辦法了」。就是不能想老,我常常也會想:唉呀,老了!自己都自己反省,警惕自己,不能想老,還有很多事情要做,很多法要講,我們自己要趕緊,但是,還是講不完的法,同樣還是做不完的事,但是盡心力,做就對。但是無法不老邁,沒有辦法,總是自己的心態,要有這分要顧好自己的心。修行要顧好自己的行儀規矩,就不用再讓人叮嚀了。知道自己的規矩,知道自己的行儀,這是希望大家要慎思。

「謂真理之絕眾相」。真理,就不用在那裡論相了,不用在那裡美、醜,都不用了,沒有什麼樣的人、我、壽者,等等形象,全都沒有,破我相了,那就沒有這些是非。所以,雖然我們絕眾相,但是「非無如實,圓鏡本清淨」。眾相都把它破掉,但是,不是全都沒有,有如實。真正「如實」就是真如本性,真如本性回歸了,我們讓它清清淨淨,就像圓鏡一樣,本清淨照物,物移鏡空。我們本來就是要學這樣,學,我們是非清楚,學,我們入人群而不染著,學我們對萬法能夠了解明朗,這樣沒有染著。所以,法,在法中能夠鑑照萬物,會有辦法有這個功能,有這個良能,但是不受萬物,來污染到我們的心。覺得這個東西我也愛,那個我也愛,所以每項愛,你就是染著到了。愛就是付出,不是貪為己有。所以要用心去體會,所以「物移鏡空」,這才是我們的真理。

《無量義經》云:
無量義者
從一法生
其一法者
即無相也

所以,《無量義經》,你們常常在讀,那就是「無量義者,從一法生,其一法者,即無相也」。一法是什麼呢?是我們的真如本性,我們的法源。剛才說,眾生心具足萬法,所以,無量是從一法生。那個根源,我們的真如本性,「其一法者,即無相也」。我們的真如在哪裡?拿來給我看看。就是拿不出來啊!鏡子能夠照物,是什麼能夠照物呢?這些東西怎麼會跑去那裡呢?在那個地方拿不出東西來,這也是要去思考。東西離那面鏡子是這麼遠,卻是鏡子照得到物,要向鏡子裡面拿東西出來,就是拿不出來,東西就是在這裡。這就是這些東西,沒有常住的東西,沒有常常在的東西。

還記得向你們說過,一面鏡子、一隻狗,八面鏡子變九隻狗。到底是一隻,還是九隻?那隻狗在吠那八面鏡子,到底是八面鏡子裡面都有狗?這個狗一直吠:「你怎麼在裡面?你出來啊、你出來啊!」但是吠不出來。這同樣的道理,我們若知道,鏡中那個就是我,那就是很清楚,那是有影無相,若能夠了解,「相」在我自己,我自己終歸於「空」,也一切都是空。若能夠了解,其實哪有什麼相呢?我們自己的身相都破除不了,我們還想要破外面的相,真的是很顛倒。

以分別故有相
以分別相故有名
法體離於能、所
故非名相所能到
故曰無名無相

所以,「以分別故有相」。因為就是去分別,有人、我、眾生、壽者相,有這樣的分別。那隻狗就是分別,「怎麼還有你?怎麼還有你?怎麼還有你?」就是在那個地方在分別。所以因為這樣,才有這麼多的相,這些相都是從我們的心產生。「以分別相故有名」。所以張三李四,人就是這樣。同樣是一個人,怎麼命這麼多名字?同樣一個東西,它的源頭、過程,就有這麼多的相,就有這麼多的名字,這都是分別出來的。「法體離於能、所,故非名相所能到」。這個法體就是離於能、所,因為人間就是有相對,所以有能、有所,有我能夠用的東西,所用的東西,我能夠付出,布施的人,有所接受的人,有所需要的人,有供應,能供應的人,有能接受的人,同樣,這叫做「能、所」,有應用、有被用,同樣的道理。所以,應該說到透徹來,是無名、無相。

對於無相之語
有造作者
則是虛假之相
可見可現之法
即為有相
凡有相者
皆是虛妄

「對於無相之語有造作者」。對這個無相的這個語言,要如何將它變成「有」?其實這些東西是原來,那個相,我們要用語言將它表達出來,這「則是虛假之相」。假名字相,這個東西真的是這樣?我們用臺語說,用國語說,用日語說,用英語說,這個名稱都各不同;同一項東西,有各種的語系不相同。所以,在那裡在爭,爭來爭去,和這個東西一點關係都沒有。因為它是假,你要給我什麼名字,都是假;你要叫我什麼,都是假。所以,就是它是「虛假之相」。我們若要用語言去將它造作,定這個東西的名相,這個相將它造一個名字,這都是虛假。「可見可現之法,即是有相」。看得到的東西,這些法,都是有相的東西;有相,必有壞,這全都叫做假名字相。「凡有相者,皆是虛妄」。這都是虛妄。

實無所有:
法身清淨
照體獨立
實無前境所有之相
妄法遂於實相
以語言道斷
名相不及故
一切均無所有

所以,「實無所有」,就是「法身清淨,照體獨立」。其實,法身很清淨,這鏡子自己很獨立,大圓鏡智,人人本具的真如。張三李四,各人有各人的想法,各人有各人的一面鏡子,同樣的道理。所以,「實無前境所有之相」。其實,這個「境」,有到哪裡去,他有這樣的境界;沒有去過的人,沒有這樣境界。其實,有和沒有,和那個境界一點關係都沒有,所以「實無前境所有之相」。你說有,我說沒有,因為我沒有去。其實,那個地方在那裡,不是有、不是沒有;總是對沒有去的人,就是沒有,有去的人,就是有,同樣的道理。

所以,「妄法遂於實相」,將這個法,在那個相「以語言道斷」,用這個語言,你說這是這個東西,我說這是這項的名稱,這樣在那個地方議論,全都是虛假。你要把它叫什麼名字,人就能夠改名,東西哪裡不能改名呢?都可以改名。所以,這個名既然可以改,那就是全都是虛假。尤其語言體系不同,所以「一切上均無所有」。這都是虛假相。「語言道斷名相不及」。因為這個名相,要將它分析到清楚,真的是無法分析。所以這種空無邊際,也是法無邊際,但是你硬是要將一個法,將它扣在一個相的上面,實在是說不通。要用簡單的方法來解釋一項,也不很周全。所以,這種「語言道斷」,這種的名相,這實在是來不及去解釋;而解釋之後,這些東西還是沒有,很完全的道理分析出來。總而言之,很多。「無量、無邊,法身之體遍虛空界」。

無量、無邊:
法身之體遍虛空界
而不可以數目度量
無有三世之相可得
為無量無邊

這個法身之體是遍虛空界,所以天地萬物是很多很多,因為空間很大,要放什麼東西,無窮盡;所以遍虛空界。「而不可以數目度量」。沒有辦法用數目去度量。「無有三世之相可得」。三世,不是只是,過去生、現在生、未來生,其實剛才說的話,現在說的,還不斷的未來。我現在說的未來,每一句就是移往未來,這移,不斷在遷移,這就是無法去測量,所以「三世之相不可得」,沒有辦法住在過去,若一直停在過去,就沒有現在;一直停在現在,就沒有未來。所以,這個三世之相是沒有辦法,沒有三世之相,就「為無量無邊」。這就是我們要很了解。所以,「無礙、無障,離一切煩惱障」,沒有礙。

無礙、無障:
離一切煩惱障
為無礙
體性虛空
無有質礙
如風於空
無所礙故
無障:
體性無染
離一切所知障
無明體相
本自不有
故本無煩惱障

我們若去除煩惱,就無所障礙。「體性虛空,無有質礙」。這虛空,就是沒有物質會去障礙它。「如風於空」。風在空中,對空中是一點點都沒有障礙。同樣的道理。所以,空,是什麼都不會去損害到它,因為它空。所以我們的心無欲,物質就不會障礙我們的心。

所以,「無障」,那就是「體性無染」。我們的體性、我們的真如,其實清淨如大圓鏡一樣,所以「離一切所知障」。東西在那個地方,什麼名稱,什麼相,和這面鏡子一點都沒有關係,物移鏡空了,沒有關係。所以,「無明體相」,沒有很明體的形相存在。所以,「本自不有」,本來就沒有,「故本無煩惱障」。所以,「自性清淨,過惡不生,則無業障」。

自性清淨
過惡不生
則無業障
生死本空
不受後有
則無報障

我們自性本來清淨,就不會去犯過失,就不會造惡業,自然就沒有惡生,就沒有惡業的業障。所以,「生死本空,不受後有」。生和死,本來就是空,說要入涅槃,就是進入寂靜的境界,無生滅的境界。這個不生滅,我們就要練得我們對境不生心,這就能夠不生滅。所以,我們「不受後有,即無報障」,就沒有報,未來的果報是什麼。

無量無邊:
虛空不可窮極
是實相之廣大
無礙無障:
虛空不可分辯
是實相之通達
為三觀中之空觀

「無量無邊:空不可窮極,是實相之廣大」。這無量無邊,沒辦法去測量,因為這樣,空,虛空不可窮極,沒有辦法來邊際。所以,「無礙無障」,那就是「虛空不可分辯,是實相之通達,為三觀中之空觀」。所以一切皆空。請大家要慎思,要用心去體會,體會我們真正,假名字相,假名稱為相,成、住、壞,總是空。要認清楚,我們要好好慎思,「三理四相」,其實沒有永遠在的。大家要時時慎思,多用心。


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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: Carefully Contemplating Principles and States (慎思理相 照物無染)
Date: July.25.2018

“Labeling things, we call them appearances. Formation, existence and decay will eventually disappear [into emptiness]. We must carefully contemplate the Three Principles and the Four States. In truth, there is no permanently abiding fixed appearance. [All phenomena] are free of substance and appearance, thus they are infinite.” So, “They are like the empty void, unobstructed and unhindered.”

We must be mindful. Everything in the world goes by a label; all are labels and appearances. Joe Smith and John Doe are just ways of addressing someone. Both of these names are attached to people’s physical bodies. Are these people, Joe Smith and John Doe, the same person? [These are just] labels and appearances that we use to address different people. Indeed, it is because we need to differentiate that we have names like Joe Smith and John Doe.

In the end, they are both just “people”. People attach labels [to people and matters]. “Which person is which?” “Is this right? Is it wrong?” Everything is differentiated by labels. By the same token, material objects, all material things, [also have names]. Take trees for example, they share the common name of “tree”. Trees, as we often mention, also have several names associated with them, starting from the seed until it becomes a tree. From a tree, tools are made. All along the way, its name and appearance both change according to the conditions. These labels are applied to it. This is something we should understand clearly. We [should] understand these principles, that [things have] “labels” and “appearances”. If we understand that nothing has a fixed name or fixed appearance, then we can seek out its [underlying] principles.

The underlying principles all come back to “formation, existence, decay and disappearance”. In the end, it is still empty. This ultimate emptiness shows that it is all labels and appearances. In the end, everything returns to emptiness.

So, we must “carefully contemplate” this. For us to truly study the Dharma, we must engage in spiritual practice and understand the principles. Our minds must constantly remain tranquil as we earnestly and carefully contemplate [the idea] that nothing in the world ever departs from the Three Principles and Four States. Human life undergoes “birth, aging, illness and death.” The things of the world undergo “formation, existence, decay and disappearance.” In our minds, [our thoughts undergo] “arising, abiding, changing and ceasing.” These are the Three Principles and Four States. Using the Three Principles, people distinguish the worth of all things. Is it valuable or worthless?

Our daily living depends on water. [Yet], when there is sufficient water, we will have no sense of the importance of water for our lives and for all living things in this world. When we have enough of it, we have no sense of water’s importance. When the four elements fall out of balance, when the water element is out of balance, there will be a lack of rain. People use water without conserving it. Lacking wisdom and reason, people cut down forests in the mountains. The natural mountain [environment] is destroyed. Thus, people’s unrestrained water usage [coupled with] a lack of rainfall all become parts of a cycle. If we contemplate this carefully, [we see that] these things are all connected. Our Earth [has undergone] “formation” and “existence”. When everything is abundant, when there are sufficient resources for people and nature is in order, the four seasons all cycle smoothly the four seasons all cycle smoothly. This is during the era of “existence”. For a long time, over many kalpas, with the constant passage of time, the human population continues to increase, and people’s states of mind continue to become more and more turbid and contaminated. A contaminated mind is filled with greed. It continually produces greedy desires, making [people] want to take things from the land. The earth suffers from disasters, which are destroying it. This destruction in the kalpa of “existence” continues on as we enter the kalpa of “decay”. We destroy and contaminate the earth. In this way, the entire macrocosm continues to accumulate turbid energy. The land continues to experience damage and destruction.

Although a very long time must pass, [the destruction] accumulates over a long time during the kalpa of “decay,” until it finally reaches its most severe state, which is “disappearance”. [Life on Earth] will disappear. During the kalpa of “decay,” we do not know that we must use restraint. These things originally existed in the world. Just like us, they had a very natural and simple [existence]; the four seasons cycled [naturally]. So, the “four elements” were originally very pure [and balanced]. But because of the damage done by humans, nature’s “four elements” became imbalanced, [unleashing] destruction, truly great destruction.

Thus, our mountain forests have been destroyed. Humans do not understand how to use restraint. In this way, Earth’s resources will be depleted. Take for example Myanmar and the earthquake that occurred in Bagan city. Tzu Chi volunteers from Myanmar and from Malaysia joined together in Bagan. After surveying the city, [the found that] over 1000 years ago, the king of Bagan was a Buddhist and built stupas everywhere. He continually promoted the building of stupas, using the country’s wealth to build stupas. To build stupas, they had to fire bricks. Firing bricks requires a kiln, and a kiln needs fire to bake [the bricks]. Mud is used to make adobe [bricks], which are then fired in the kiln. This is how tiles and bricks are made. He built [stupas] constantly; across the entire city, stupas were being built. The entire forest of Bagan was cut down for firewood to make charcoal, which was then burned to make bricks. They continued on until the forest was cut down. Afterwards, they continued to build the stupas, but they had cut down all the trees in the forest. Gradually, all the ground water continually disappeared, as the water had been there due to the trees. When it rains, the trees and [other vegetation] absorb it, and release it back into the ground. The water then returns to the aquifers, which provide water for people to live on. This is the cycle of nature. However, humans destroyed the cycle of nature. Think about that. This is “existence” and “destruction,” with the end result being “disappearance”.

Now, the city of Bagan, that place, has become uninhabitable. Hundreds of years ago, that city was built and flourished for a time. But when the water disappeared, people could not live there. They all had to relocate. Now those stupas are deserted. For hundreds of years, there has been a group of people that has taken care of the stupas for generations. They are commonly referred to as “stupa slaves”. Now, these [remaining] villagers are all beggars. This village of beggars grew out of the population who cared for the stupas. It has gone on like this for hundreds of years. As for their children, they stopped sending them to school long ago, so these children also beg. At that place, when people come to visit, these beggars will beg [for money from them]. This is due to the long-term [consequences of] destroying the environment. Their way of life has been destroyed, and thus, people’s lives have been changed. The entire expanse of land there is dry. This is how it is now. Now, the problem is that the land has completely dried up. Plants and trees do not grow there. It is now called “the Village of Beggars”. None of the children in the village have been attending school for generations.

This was when Tzu Chi volunteers encountered them. Because they had the affinity to encounter them, they hoped to change the conditions in that place. First, they had to [care for] the people and find a way for the children to attend school. Now, they are planning to [build a school] there. They have already found a piece of land, and we plan to use that piece of land to build a school for them. The Bodhisattvas in Malaysia and Myanmar formed aspirations and vows to fulfill this mission.

So, when it comes to “existence,” whether people exist, there will be problems caused by “destruction”. When [the environment] is destroyed, life changes, and this results in “disappearance”. Bagan city has become a wasteland. A huge earthquake knocked over nearly 500 stupas. So, isn’t this deserted place [an example of] “disappearance”? So, we must “carefully contemplate the Three Principles and the Four states.” “In truth, there is no permanently abiding, fixed appearance”. Where is [the city] today? There really is no permanently abiding, fixed appearance. People always give rise to this distorted mindset. “[All phenomena] are free of substance and appearance, thus they are infinite.” They are infinite. In our world, there are many things we cannot analyze. With all these substances, appearances and names, we are unable to analyze them. In fact, “They are like the empty void, unobstructed and unhindered.” They are all empty. By letting go of them, our obstructions disappear. However, our human minds cannot let go because of our many obstructions. We must follow the rules. Sometimes people get together to debate and make continual appeals regarding the rules. If everyone followed the rules, [why would such] obstructions occur? If everyone followed the rules, what would we need to remind them about? There would be no need. We must organize with precepts and manage with love. We must focus on our own spiritual cultivation. Our minds must be firmly focused in order to “carefully contemplate the Three Principles and the Four States”. Only then will we be able to understand that “in truth, there is no permanently abiding fixed appearance”. Only then can we truly [realize] the absence of substance and appearance. Our state of mind will be such that “our hearts encompass the universe and the boundless worlds within it”. Our minds will be like the universe, free of obstructions. Then, our great perfect mirror wisdom will be present in our everyday living and reflect all objects without distortion. Reflecting all objects without distortion means that if our minds are unobstructed, we should be able to thoroughly understand them. So, [we must be] “unobstructed and unhindered”. This is our “nature of True Suchness”. By taking good care of our own nature, “we can reach perfect and thorough comprehension of all Dharma without any obstacles or hindrances”. We must listen to the Dharma and understand it. We must be able to thoroughly comprehend the principles. If we truly want to make an effort to mindfully comprehend [the Dharma], we must [learn to] clearly recognize the Three Principles and Four States. Truly, we must thoroughly understand them. If we can do this, our understanding will be complete and perfect. Our great perfect mirror wisdom will reflect any object in its presence, but it will be empty in its absence. In this way, [we will be] “without any obstacles or hindrances”. Our minds will not have any hindrances. We will have no afflictions or delusions. What a carefree and easy [feeling]!

So, it is like what the previous passage says. “Like the empty void, [phenomena] have no nature that exists. Like the empty void, [phenomena] have no nature that exists. They are beyond the reach of language. They are non-originating, non-appearing and non-arising.

The void is completely empty. How vast is the empty void? We cannot measure it. On the horizon [we can see] a galaxy of starts. Although there are so many stars in the sky, every planet is surrounded by empty space. The size of this space is immeasurable. It has no borders, no bottom. We cannot see how high the sky really stretches. We cannot; it is immeasurable. How deep is it? We do not know. Scientists on Earth have discovered black holes in the universe. Where are these black holes? How far away are they? What are they made of? Indeed, the principles of heaven and earth are truly endless. So, we should understand that the empty void is entirely empty. As a void, it has no substance. This is [the definition of] a “void”. The empty void is boundless. So, because of this, the empty void has no nature of its own; it has no nature. There is only emptiness, an empty space. As for nature, all things exist [according to] the principle of formation, existence, decay and disappearance. Earth, water, fire and wind are also empty. This is their nature. Earth, water, fire and wind, the four elements, ultimately return to emptiness. Wind has the nature of wind. Fire has the nature of fire. But they all still return to emptiness. The nature of fire can also be found in our bodies. Our bodies have a temperature, our [body] heat. This heat is the nature of fire. “Wow, why is this body cold like ice?” When [a body is] ice-cold, it is stiff. What is the reason it is stiff? When we die, [our bodies] are separated from the fire element. When life has left the body, there is no warmth inside; one of the four elements has disappeared. This is returning to emptiness. This nature, the nature of heat, does not stay in our bodies forever. In the same way, all things [exist] as a convergence of the four elements.

So, everything [comprised of] matter does not have a nature which “exists”; it is just a convergence of the four elements. With one of the four elements missing, without the completion of all four elements, the matter will decay and disappear. It is the same principle. So, we cannot talk about the nature of fire, the nature of wind or the nature of water. The nature of water in our bodies is temporary, lasting only as long as we are alive. Our bodies need to absorb water. “You need to drink more water!” Without water, our bodies dry up. What would we become then? Mummies. This is when there is no [water in our bodies]. Does water always remain in our bodies? it is with us as long as we are breathing. After several decades, when our bodies become imbalanced, we fall ill. This is called decay. So, there is no abiding nature. So, there is much to explain here, and all of it is beyond the reach of language. Just the fire element alone would take a long time to explain to everyone. As for water, we could analyze it forever. This is because everything contains infinite principles. But everything is also infinitely empty. There is no fixed appearance and no set nature; there is none at all. So, “They are beyond the reach of language”. How do we analyze these things? When we analyze them, they cannot be completely understood by everyone. We must be mindful; we must contemplate these things mindfully if we hope to [understand them]. We must seek to mindfully comprehend them. So, “They are beyond the reach of language”. If we are not mindful, the Dharma cannot enter our minds, and we will be unable to [recognize] the Four states. We will not be able to do it. If we do not thoroughly understand the “principles”, we cannot understand these “states”. We must contemplate the Three Principles and Four States. This is very important.

So, [phenomena are] “non-originating, non-appearing and non-arising”. In fact, these things have always been a part of the world. That which is empty does not increase or decrease. When we talk about water shortages, is there truly a shortage [of water]? Really there is no shortage. If there is no shortage, everyone must consider how to get this cycle back in balance. The earth is being destroyed. Thinking about it, how could there be a shortage? Floods are common, so how can there be a shortage of water? it is just that [the cycle] has fallen out of balance. While some places lack water, [in other places], there is flooding. Look at how many floods there are. How could there be a shortage [of water]? it is not a shortage; it is an imbalance. We must seek to mindfully understand this. So, “They are beyond the reach of language, non-originating, non-appearing and non-arising”.

We have just explained this. In fact, the next sutra passage [continues], “They are without name and without appearance and are truly without inherent existence. They are infinite, boundless, unhindered and unobstructed”.

They empty void is empty. What other words can you use? We would need to use other languages with their own words to name these appearances. However, in any case, what [the sutra] wants us to understand it emptiness; emptiness means having no [true] appearance. It does not exist. In this empty space, things are “truly without inherent existence”. “Emptiness” is “the void”, and “the void” is “emptiness”. Emptiness is truly “without existence”, nothing permanently abides. Things do not permanently abide, so they are “truly without inherent existence”. They are “truly without inherent existence”. The earth is in fact, “infinite, boundless, unhindered and unobstructed”. In this vast, borderless space, what is there really? There is nothing Yet there is [something]! There are infinite numbers of things. Are these things were can measure? It is impossible to measure them. Are there borders? There are no borders either. Essentially, in this endless void without hindrances and obstructions, there are many forms and appearances. After analyzing them, they truly do return to emptiness. Principles manifest as this cycle. If we clearly understand that the endless void is without borders, we will be able to understand how things “exist”.

No matter how long they may [exist], they are only temporary. In fact, this world, our Earth, orbits around the sun. As Earth rotates, time passes. So, time here on Earth is different from that on other planets. When we calculate time, the “kalpas” we talk about are very long periods of time. When kalpas are used to calculate time, they still have a limit, and in the end, there is nothing. But the empty void remains unmoved. It stays the same. The vast, empty void remains the same. If Earth ceases to exist, the empty void will still be there.

So, “arising and ceasing” and “emptiness” are without obstructions. There are no hindrances or obstructions. So, when we see how it says “without name,” this means that the “essence of the Dharmakaya pervades everywhere”.

Without name: The essence of the Dharmakaya pervades everywhere and cannot be explained or revealed through a name. This is like the enlightened Bodhi-path of Buddha and Bodhisattvas. Their perfect [mirror] wisdom hangs in the sky and reflects all things without begin defiled.

Let’s go back and talk about ourselves. All of us have the Dharma. We are all replete with it. We said a few days ago that what the Buddha awakened to was the Dharma that is replete in all awakened beings. It is just that we sentient beings are lost in the Dharma. The Buddha is enlightened. What He awakened to is no different in sentient beings. There is no different Dharma. The Buddha awakened to this Dharma. We ordinary people are lost in the Dharma. The things in this world have caused us to lose our way.

So, we must thoroughly understand all things in this world that have substance and appearance. We must understand the Three Principles and Four States. However, these external states and the substance and appearances of matter have led us astray. They have deluded our minds, so we have lost our way in the Dharma.

Because of this, [the essence of the Dharmakaya] cannot be explained or revealed through a name. How could we explain it to everyone? Regarding all the many things in this world with their many forms and labels, if we wanted to explain them clearly to everyone, we would not have enough time to prepare [four explanation]. That said even addressing everyone for a number of minutes every day requires more preparation than. I have sufficient time for. I may be prepare for one topic but may not be able to include another. Perhaps there was a certain topic and principle that I should have explained, but there was not enough time; I am unable to prepare enough to clearly explain all of this to everyone. To explain everything clearly, one topic could take a lifetime. This is to say nothing of all other phenomena. How can we analyze them clearly?

So, [the essence of the Dharmakaya] cannot be explained or revealed through a name. It is impossible. Everyone needs to listen, absorb, comprehend and understand it. [This is like] “the enlightened Bodhi-path of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas”. Their perfect [mirror] wisdom hangs in the sky and reflects all things without beings defiled. This is their great, perfect mirror wisdom; it is like [a great mirror] suspended in empty space, illuminating and reflecting all things in its surface. There are so many appearances, but they are entirely unrelated to the mirror. “It reflects all things without being defiled.” These things do not affect the mirror. It is as if we took a mirror and placed it here facing everyone. Later, when everyone leaves this lecture hall, the mirror would be empty. So, “Once the object moves away, the mirror is empty.” If the object moves away, the mirror becomes empty. It remains tranquil and still. There is nothing to defile [its surface]. So, “Without appearance” means “they are free of the deluded views of self, a human, sentient beings and a lifespan.”

Without appearance: They are free of the deluded views of self, a human, sentient beings and a lifespan. This means that the true principles put an end to all appearances, but there is still True Suchness. The perfect mirror is fundamentally clear. In reflecting objects, once the object moves away, the mirror is empty.

This should be clear to everyone. We must not be attached to views. We must not have [views about ] our self, a human, sentient beings or a lifespan; we must not be constantly attached to such views. We should not view ourselves as growing old. We should just go ahead and do what is right. We may think about being old, how we are aging and weak with decreased strength. But we should not think like this. If we keep thinking this way [we will say,] “I am old. I cannot do [anything] anymore”. We should not think that we are old. I often think, “Oh, I am old” I have to engage in self-reflection and remind myself not to think of myself as being old. There are still so many things to be done, so much Dharma that needs to be taught. We must hasten ourselves along. There is still infinite Dharma to be taught. There are still endless tasks to be done. However, we must make a wholehearted effort and just do them. We cannot avoid growing old; this cannot be helped. We must always take care of our state of mind. White engaging in spiritual practice, we must pay attention to our own demeanor. Then, we do not need others to remind us. We know the rules we need to follow and the demeanor we need to uphold. I hope everyone will carefully think about this.

“This means that the true principles put an end to all appearances.” When [engaging with] the true principles, there is no need to discuss appearances. There is nothing that is beautiful or ugly. These are unnecessary [descriptors]. We should have no view of humans, self, a lifespan and so on. We should have views on none of these. By destroying our views of self, we will not find ourselves in conflict. But although we may put an end to all appearances, “there is still True Suchness”. The perfect mirror is fundamentally clear. We may destroy all [views of] appearances, but this does not that mean that nothing [is left]. There is still True Suchness. This “True Suchness” is our intrinsic nature of True Suchness. When we return to our nature of True Suchness, we will be clean and pure. [Our minds] will be like a perfect mirror that is fundamentally clear in reflecting objects. Once an object moves away, the mirror is empty. This is what we should be learning to do. We must learn to clearly [discern] right and wrong. We must learn to go among people without becoming defiled. We must learn to clearly understand all Dharma. Then, we will not be contaminated. So, with the Dharma, we can illuminate all things. We will be able to [develop] this skill, but we will not let anything contaminate our minds or feel cravings for one thing or another. So, with everything we crave, we have become contaminated. True love lies in giving and in not being selfish. So, we must mindfully comprehend that “once the object moves away, the mirror is empty.” This is our true principle.

In the Sutra of Infinite Meanings, which we often chant, [it says], “These Infinite Meanings arise from One Dharma. This One Dharma is of non-appearance.” What is the One Dharma? It is our nature of True Suchness. As for the source of the Dharma, we just talked about how sentient beings are replete with all Dharma in their minds. So, the infinite [meanings] come from the One Dharma. That source is our nature of True Suchness. “This One Dharma is of non-appearance. Where is your nature of True Suchness? Take it out and show it to me.” We cannot take it out! It is the mirror that reflects all things. “What can it reflect? How did these things get there?” We cannot pull them out [of the mirror]. This is also something we need to contemplate. Things are so far from the mirror, but the mirror can reflect them. If we want to pull things out from the mirror, we would not be able to. The things are here. Thus, all these things have no permanent [nature]. There is nothing that is permanent. Do you still remember what I said before about the mirror and the dog, how with eight mirrors, there are nine dogs? Is it one or is it nine? That dog is barking at the eight mirrors. Are there really dogs in those eight mirrors? The dog keeps barking at them. “How did you get in there? Come out, come out here!” But his barking will not bring them out. It is the same principle [for us]. If we know that the one in the mirror is us, then this should be very clear. [What we see] is just an image that has no form. If we can understand that the appearances [we see] come from us ourselves, we will eventually return to “emptiness”. All things will also become empty. If we can understand this, then what appearances will there be? If we cannot see past our own physical appearance but still want to destroy views of other things, this thinking] is truly very distorted.

Appearances exist because we discriminate. Names exist because we discriminate based on appearances. The Dharma-body is free from [the duality of] subject and object, so it is beyond the reach of labels. Thus it says “without name and without appearance”.

So, “Appearances exist because we discriminate.” It is because we discriminate that we have views of a human, self, sentient beings and a lifespan. We make these kinds of discriminations. The dog discriminates too. “What are you doing here? And why are you here?” He distinguishes things [to be like this]. This is why there are so many appearances. These views are created in our minds. “Names exist because we discriminate based on appearances.” This is like how [people have different names]. This is how it is with people. All people are humans, but they have so many names. One particular object, from its origin to the process [it undergoes], takes on so many appearances and so many names. These are all the result of distinctions. “The Dharma-body is free from [the duality of] subject and object, so it is beyond the reach of names and appearances.” This Dharma-body is free from [the duality of] subject and object. Because things in this world are all relative, [we create the duality of] subject and object. There are things that we can use. We are people who can give. There are those who receive, who are in need. There are those who can provide and those who can receive. This is the same idea of “subject and object”. There is an agent and an object. This is the principle. So, when we thoroughly explain them, there are no [inherent] names or appearances.

Whenever we describe non-appearance, anything that is created is an illusory false appearance. Any phenomenon that can be seen or shown is something with an appearance. All things with appearances are false and illusory.

“Whenever we describe non-appearance, anything that is created….” When we talk about non-appearance, how can something come to “exist”? In fact, these things originally [do not exist]. If we use language to express their appearance, this is “an illusory appearance”. These are labels and appearances. For a particular thing, when we use Taiwanese, Mandarin, Japanese or English to name it, the words we use will all be different. It is the same object, but each language is different. We may fight over these [names], but they are irrelevant to the object itself, because they are [ultimately] false. “Whatever name you give to me is just a label. Whatever you call me, it is labeling.” So, it is an “illusory appearance”. If we use language to designate a label to an object, when we give this appearance a name, this is not real. “Any phenomenon that can be seen or shown” is something with an appearance. Anything we can see, all these phenomena are things that have appearances. All appearances will decay. This is all a matter of [empty] labels. “All things with appearances are false and illusory.” They are all false and illusory.

Truly without inherent existence: The Dharmakaya is pure and is independent of the object reflected. In fact, the state [reflected in the mirror] has no appearance. Comparing the illusory phenomena to the ultimate truth, it is beyond what can be expressed by language and beyond the reach of names and appearances. Thus all [phenomena] are without existence.

So, [they are] “truly without inherent existence” “The Dharmakaya is pure and is independent of the object reflected.” In fact, the Dharmakaya is very pure. The mirror itself is independent [of the rest]. This great perfect mirror wisdom is every person’s nature of True Suchness. All people have their own way of thinking. Everyone has their own mirror [to view the world]. It is the same principle. “In fact, the state [reflected in the mirror] has no appearance”. In fact, when it comes to this “state,” those who have been to a certain place will have [an impression of that place]. For those who have not been there, this state does not exist. In fact, whether they have this or not has no connection to the state itself. So, “In fact, the state [reflected in the mirror] has no appearance.” “You say you have it; I say I don’t, because I have not been there.” In fact, that place is there. [We cannot say that state] is there or not; the person who has not been there does not have it, while the person who has been there has it. It is the same principle. So, “Comparing the illusory phenomena to the ultimate truth,” the phenomenon and its appearance “are beyond what can be expressed by language”. With language, you may call this object by [this name] and I may call this object by [ another name], and we could debate [ these names]. But this is all false and illusory. We may want to call it by one name, but someone can change that name. Why couldn’t something be called by another name? A name can always be changed. So, since these names can always be changed, they are all false and illusory. This is especially so with different languages.

So, “All [phenomena]are without existence”. They are all false and illusory appearances. “This is beyond what can be expressed by language”. If we want to clearly analyze these labels, it is truly impossible to differentiate them. So, the endless void is boundless, and the Dharma is also boundless.

Yet if we forcefully explain an appearance using the Dharma, it will not make any sense. If we try to explain it in simple terms, then [ our explanation] will not be complete. So, it is “beyond what can be expressed by language”. We really do not have time to explain these kinds of labels. And after we explain them, the principles [ we come up with] will not be very complete either. To sum it all up, they are many [appearances] “Infinite and boundless” [means that] “the essence of the Dharmalaya” “pervades the realms of the empty void”.

Infinite, boundless: The essence of the Dharmakaya pervades the realms of the empty void, and cannot be measured in numbers. There are no appearances of the Three Periods that can be held on to. This is the meaning of infinite and boundless.

The essence of the Dharmakaya pervades the realms of the empty void. There are so many things in the world. The universe is so huge, it can fit whatever we want to put Into it; it is unlimited. So, the empty void “cannot be measured in numbers”. We cannot measure it with numbers. ”There are no appearances of the Three Periods that can be held on to”. The Three Periods are not just our past, present and future lifetimes. In fact, what I have just said and what I am saying now were all futures [of past]. As I speak of the future now, with each sentence, we move toward the future. This movement [of time] continually progresses. It is impossible to measure it. So, “There are no appearances of the Three Periods that can be held on to”. We cannot live in the past. If we stay in the past, there will be no present. If we stay in the present, there will be no time. So, we cannot [hold onto] the appearances of the Three Periods. There are no appearances of the Three Periods. “This is the meaning of infinite and boundless”. We must really understand this.

So, [in terms of] “unhindered and unobstructed, to be free from all obstructions of afflictions is to be unhindered”.

Unhindered and unobstructed: To be free from all obstructions of afflictions is to be unhindered. Their essential nature is void and empty; they are free of the hindrances of substance. Like the wind blowing in an empty sky, they are completely unhindered. Unobstructed: Their essential nature is undefiled, free from all obstructions of knowledge. The substance and appearance of ignorance are inherently non-existent. So, there are inherently no obstructions of afflictions.

If we eliminate afflictions, we will be unhindered. ”Their essential nature is void and empty; they are free of the hindrances of substance.” [The nature of the phenomena] is void and empty so there are no substances that will hinder them “like the wind blowing in an empty sky”. When a wind blows in an empty sky, it does not obstruct the sky in any way. It is the same principle. So, with emptiness, there is nothing that will be able to harm it, because it is empty. If our minds are free of desires, objects cannot obstruct our minds. So, “unobstructed” means that “our essential nature is undefiled”. Our essential nature, our nature of True Suchness, is in fact pure and tranquil like a great, perfect mirror. So, it is ”free of all obstructions of knowledge”. As for the objects that are placed there, whether name and appearance they have, it makes no difference to the mirror. When the objects are removed, it is empty; there is no relationship. So, the “substance and appearance of ignorance” do not have concrete forms there. So, “They are inherently non-existent”. They did not exist to begin with. “So, there are inherently no obstructions or afflictions.” “Our intrinsic nature is pure and clear. If we do not give rise to any evils, we will have no obstructions of karma”.

Our intrinsic nature is pure and clear. If we do not give rise to any evils, we will have no obstructions of karma, we will have no obstructions of karma. Samsara is inherently empty. When we are free of future existence, we will suffer no obstructions of retributions.

When our intrinsic nature is pure and clear, we will not engage in wrongdoing or commit evil deeds, so naturally, we will not give rise to evil. There will be no evil karmic obstructions. “Samsara is inherently empty and we are free of future existence”. Samsara is inherently empty. To enter Nirvana is to enter a state of tranquility and stillness, a state of non-arising and non-ceasing. [This state] does not arise or cease. We must train ourselves to face conditions without giving rise to thoughts. Then we will neither arise nor cease. Once we are “free of future existence,” “we will suffer no obstructions of retributions”. We will have no retributions in the future. [The phenomena] are “infinite, boundless”. The empty void is inexhaustible. “This is the vast magnitude of ultimate truth”. This infinite and boundless space is immeasurable.

Because of it, the void, the empty void, is immeasurable. We cannot measure it. So, “unhindered and unobstructed” means that “The empty void cannot be differentiated. This is the comprehension of ultimate truth. This is the view of emptiness among the Three Views.” So, everything is [ultimately] empty. We must all carefully contemplate and seek to mindfully comprehend that our names and appearances are truly false. Formation, existence and decay all end in disappearance. We must clearly recognize and earnestly contemplate the Three Principles and Four States. Nothing can last forever. Everyone, let us always contemplate carefully and always be mindful!

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