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 20180806《靜思妙蓮華》諸法異名 皆實一理 (第1407集) (法華經·安樂行品第十四)

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發表主題: 20180806《靜思妙蓮華》諸法異名 皆實一理 (第1407集) (法華經·安樂行品第十四)   周日 8月 05, 2018 9:50 pm

20180806《靜思妙蓮華》諸法異名 皆實一理 (第1407集) (法華經·安樂行品第十四)

⊙一實之理,離虛妄相,本性平等,無有變易;一切諸佛莫不軌此法性,修之而成正覺,名謂實法性。
⊙一實之理,離虛妄相,本性平等,無有變易;一切諸佛莫不軌此法性,修之而成正覺,名謂實法性。
⊙「又復不行,上中下法,有為無為,實不實法,亦不分別,是男是女。」《法華經安樂行品第十四》
⊙「不得諸法,不知不見,是則名為菩薩行處。」《法華經安樂行品第十四》
⊙諸法一實理,名大菩提,亦名大涅槃,亦名畢竟空,亦名如來藏,亦名中道,亦名法身,亦名法性,亦名真如,亦名真諦,亦名第一義諦,雖有如是種種異名,但諸法實相理則是一。
⊙不得諸法,不知不見:佛法平等,普被一切。亦不必有求得,亦不必有所失。謂我所有法皆空,及無不正知,無不正見者。
⊙如須彌山、大海之水,唯諸佛菩薩能知斤兩、滴數多少,諸天、世人智力淺劣,所不能知,故名不知為無量。
⊙謂不得於諸法而生妄知見,當起正知見。以理融之,無一切差別等相,法法皆同一法故。但有能解法師語者,悉得聞之。如海納流,無所簡擇。
⊙是則名為,菩薩行處:如是而行,是名菩薩之所行處。
⊙以上偈頌法空頌有、空二觀為菩薩行處。

【證嚴上人開示】
一實之理,離虛妄相,本性平等,無有變易;一切諸佛莫不軌此法性,修之而成正覺,名謂實法性。

一實之理
離虛妄相
本性平等
無有變易
一切諸佛
莫不軌此法性
修之而成正覺
名謂實法性

用心,將近二十天的時間,大清早聽法這個時間,大家虔誠禮拜《法華經》,這個當中,已經是普及在全球慈濟人,受持「法華」,這個菩薩道的道場裡,人人精進。根據這樣將它統計起來,有超過了十一萬多人。在從(二O一七年)四月六日,開始,就一直虔誠禮拜《法華經》,用這樣的時間來做一個靈山會,整部的《法華經》,從《無量義經》開始,而到《法華經》。有人經拜完了,視訊回來,「歡喜,沒想到這一輩子,能夠將整部的《法華經》,全都這樣受持過來。」他們拜得法喜充滿。已經有好幾個國家,不同的道場,就是這樣的迴響回來。看到,我也歡喜,也感恩,感恩離臺灣,這麼的遙遠的國土裡,也是一樣能傳法,能夠受持,在那個地方也能吸收佛法,而且是耐心、堅持著,整部這樣禮拜過來,而且很歡喜,那種法喜充滿。這樣的精進,對我來說感受很深,所感受到的是法無邊際,能夠普遍在天下。

也感恩,感恩在這個時代裡,科技發達,起點在臺灣,一群修行者,一群虔誠的居士、菩薩,在這個道場虔誠禮拜,從這個道場的生態,大家的虔誠,大家的聲音,大家的和齊,這種莊嚴道場,聲和相這樣完全吸收到雲端,從雲端裡同時沒有分秒之差,就這樣傳下去。不論是任何一個國家,有時差,卻是沒有秒差。有的人在大清早,有的人在下午時,有人是在晚上時,同樣都能夠這樣整天之內,就按照這個時日去精進。當然也有,有的國家就是保持著,與臺灣同樣的時間,雖然沒有同步,沒有同步,卻是也是在他們的時間,也是在一早四點多,就開始上早課、拜經,同樣他們的時間,同樣四、五點鐘。

所以能看到他們傳回來的訊息,一早三點多就起床了,就是每天早上這樣,走出了清晨很早的路,走過了這樣寧靜的地方到道場,共修的地方去禮拜《法華經》,就像靈山會上,和精舍同步,有那個氣氛,同步在修行的氣氛。因為影像,不論是遙遠的地方,或者是他們在他們身邊的地方,無不都是無距離的會合。一念心,這念心不論是隨著時空的同步,或者是應著時間,當地的時間,和那個影像的會合,這都是一念心,同樣就是在靈山法會之中。

所以,「一實之理」就是「離虛妄相,本性平等,無有變易」。

你若一念真、一念誠,這個法都是實,實的道理。不論在任何一個國家,這個法都能及時傳播,到那個地方去,他們一念心納受過來,同樣是法喜充滿。佛陀的二千五百多年前的靈山會,二千多年後現在的人間,也能夠以科技來傳,無處不在,同時感受靈山法會也是存在。「本性平等」,我們「離虛妄相」,我們心若一念真,一念誠,法在哪裡都是真實,所以「本性平等」,沒有老、少的差別。有看到這段時間,大家在禮拜、朝山,任何一個地方都在朝山。從外面這樣繞著,這樣來朝山,三步一拜。

看到小孩子,小小的,問他說:「你怎麼這麼早起來?這樣跟著人跪拜,你這樣不會累嗎?」六七歲的小孩回答:「我自己甘願歡喜,累就要自己負責。」哇,這麼小的孩子。真的是在街路上這樣在朝山。人家這樣問他,竟然:「我自己歡喜,我甘願,累要自己負責。」看,這就是這麼小的孩子,也懂得勤精進,這也就是「本性平等」。還有老人也是,八九十歲了,雖然有比較走路,有比較鈍,腳步比較舉步有一點困難,但是你也看他這樣跪拜下去,這樣,年齡不分老、少,都是平等。

所以,「無有變易」,這個本性清淨、真誠,絕對沒有個別變異,雖然形體、相不同,卻是內心這個本性就是平等,沒有異樣,沒有變易。從小開始虔誠信仰,到老來還是不變虔誠信仰,這都是一樣,所以「無有變易」,看到大家用心,虔誠。

所以,「一切諸佛,莫不軌此法性」。過去、現在、未來諸佛,修行也是一樣,從這個法性起動,人人本具真如本性,這個本性就是真理,就是法。我們的真理,清淨的真如法性,諸佛也是從這樣開始去修行,堅持著,生生世世。所以「修之而成正覺」,就是憑著這分虔誠真誠的法性,這樣堅定修行在生生世世,所以「名謂實法性」。成佛也是這樣來,所以「一實之理,離虛妄相,本性平等,無有變易。」所以,「一切諸佛莫不軌此法性修之而成正覺,是名一實法性」。

謂一實之理
離虛妄相
本性平等
無有變易
一切諸佛
莫不執此法性
修之而成正覺
是名實法性

所以我們要很用心,去體會這個真如法性。儘管我們現在,已經是累生世這樣惹塵埃,我們的心性,在這個人間、六道裡來來回回,有了煩惱,有了無明,有了貪、瞋、癡。雖然滿心煩惱,不過我們的本性還是存在,我們有這個因緣,我們再與法、真理會合,發現了我們的本性真如,所以發心,我們開始又找回來我們的路。

所以,凡夫迷茫的道路,已經再回過來在正方向起點走,再也不要偏差。佛陀殷殷來教化我們,應眾生根機教導我們,佛陀的循循善誘,我們也要殷勤學習。很慶幸,我們遇到佛陀的大乘法,《妙法蓮華經》,真是妙啊!佛陀是教菩薩法,我們在這個世界,雖然眾生煩惱無明重,這個世界已經形成了濁氣很重,所以人間苦難偏多。接觸到了《法華經》,發心行菩薩道,「菩薩所緣,緣苦眾生」,我們入人群,苦難眾生,我們已經去付出,在人群中,保持我們的心不受污染,那就要靠法,法來啟動我們的心。就像多國董事會,聽到富中之富,企業家,他們入人群去度眾生,每天早上的「晨語」沒有漏失掉,所以他們體會到了:原來一切「有為法」。體會之後,將過去所有人生所造作的一切,回顧反省一下。接著「無為法」,解開了心靈的無明,了解了,不可執著,付出無所求,無所執著,輕安自在,原來法就是這樣。

聽到他們在分享,我也很歡喜啊!他們行在菩薩道中,入在人群中,已經體會這個道理,「有為法」、「無為法」,他們已經深入了。這就是因為聞法來,有聽法,他們就能了解。所以,我們《法華經》,一路一品一品來,現在已經在講〈安樂行品〉了。我們懂得如何持經,我們知道持經有重重的困難。我們持經要如何避免困難,能夠安穩、輕安,安樂行在菩薩道上。我們現在已經一路一直來了,現在的〈安樂行品〉,前面我們已經說到:「又復不行,上中下法,有為無為,實不實法,亦不分別,是男是女。」

又復不行
上中下法
有為無為
實不實法
亦不分別
是男是女
《法華經安樂行品第十四》

這是前面的經文。「有為法」、「無為法」,他們已經大家聽到了,已經納受了,去應用了,在這個地方聽到他們受用得很好。

現在開始,我們就接下來看:「不得諸法,不知不見,是則名為菩薩行處。」

不得諸法
不知不見
是則名為
菩薩行處
《法華經安樂行品第十四》

現在我們能夠體會、了解了,了解過去那個「實不實法」,我們都能夠清楚了解,也知道不復行種種,「上中下法」。我們已經很了解,要如何知道能夠去體會,體會前面的道理,要如何避免,什麼樣的可親近,什麼是不可親近,我們現在已經知道,也知道一切是「有為法」,一切我們要了解,現在我們知道了。現在我們更能夠去體會到,「不得諸法」。「不得諸法」,就是道理,我們是不是還沒透徹通達呢?知或者是不知,見或者是不見呢?我們要很清楚。「不知不見,是名為,菩薩行處」,不是叫你不知道,不是叫你不見為清淨,不是,是要用心來體會,是如何才能成為一位菩薩?我們就要了解「諸法」,先了解諸法,「諸法一實理」,這是諸法的道理,我們要了解。

諸法一實理
名大菩提
亦名大涅槃
亦名畢竟空
亦名如來藏
亦名中道
亦名法身
亦名法性
亦名真如
亦名真諦
亦名第一義諦
雖有如是種種異名
但諸法實相
理則是一

「諸法一實理」,名為「大菩提」,這樣才是真正大菩提。「亦名大涅槃,亦名畢竟空,亦名如來藏,亦名中道,亦名法身」,這叫做「諸法」。「諸法」,大家有了解嗎?這些道理叫做「一實理」。「一實理」,你有了解嗎?這個「實理」若能夠了解,那就是「大菩提道」。「實理」若了解,就是真實法,那就是大覺悟的道路。這個大覺悟的道理,還有名稱叫做「大涅槃」。大涅槃也是「諸法一實理」。「大涅槃」就是寂靜,寂靜清澄。我們的心定,定在一片如虛空一樣,真空,大涅槃。

「亦名畢竟空」,無所有。我們日常生活中,到底你有什麼啊?話講了,就是過去了,聽了,也是消化掉了。這個法,是一個聲音,聲音無形,入耳讓我們了解那個法,它若有形,它若有相,到底你要放在哪裡呢?你了解了,你要放在哪裡呢?沒有地方放。就是靠我們那個意識去體會,去了解。意識,是在哪裡呢?空,無相。所以,不就是一切是「畢竟空」,畢竟都是空。聲塵也空,而你的意識傳、了解,意識,也是空,所以「一切畢竟空」,是我們的真如本性去體會。所以「亦名如來藏」,就是我們的本性。「如來藏」就是真如本性。「亦名中道」,就是不執著,不執有、也不執空,叫做「真空妙有」,這叫做中道;「亦名法身」,也名叫做「法身」,就是法身。

我們體會了法,入我們的心來,了解人間一切是「有為法」。我們有作為,過去懵懂迷茫的人生,我們所作為的莫不都是業,莫不都是煩惱複製;現在我們了解了,我們也是有作為,利益人群,利人就是利己。聽法、傳法;傳法,入人群,不受人群煩惱無明所污染,回歸清淨本性。也期待我們的法,本性的道理,用真誠的心去感化、淨化人心。人心淨化,利人、利己,環境祥和平安,這都是一樣利他利己,利己利他,這全都是自、他雙利,這就是真法。真法性,道理普遍平等,人人都有權能夠了解。所以,我們,諸法就有這樣這麼多的名稱,其實,收合來是這麼簡單。

所以,「亦名法性,亦名真如,亦名真諦」。這是這麼簡單,這麼多種名,是這麼簡單的法。所以「亦名第一義諦」。「雖有如是種種異名,但諸法實相,理則是一」。雖然有很多不一樣的名,但是它的法,這個「實相」,因為本來就是無相,「妙有」,本來是「真空」,歸於「妙有」,那就是道理,只是一項,我們的真如本性,這叫做「真諦」,這叫做「法性」,法性是人人本具。所以,「不得諸法,不知不見」。意思就是,「佛法平等,普被一切」。

不得諸法
不知不見:
佛法平等
普被一切
亦不必有求得
亦不必有所失
謂我所有法皆空
及無不正知
無不正見者

法,沒有說什麼人得,什麼人不得,人人都是一樣佛性平等。「亦不必有求得,亦不必有所失」,無得、無失。法,是不是我得到最多呢?沒有啊!我也是空空。你是不是有所失呢?沒有,你的法本來就有,因為你有真如本性,因為你有真諦、道理在,人人本具有,心理、生理都是很俱全,物理也都清楚。我們的世間是共同享有的,所以沒有什麼人有得,沒有什麼人有失。所以「不必有求得」,也「不必有所失」。沒有得失的心,我們的心時時就是坦然自在,這就是安樂。也就是「謂我所有法皆空」。因為人人,你說你是什麼博士,再怎麼「博」,你都有欠缺多多啊!你缺的比你知道的更多;你的失比你所擁有的,還更多。因為你擁有多少?都還是還有很多,你還得不到的東西。所以沒有得,也沒有失。

最重要的,我們每天的生活,這樣腳踏實地,能夠樓梯能夠走,沒有想到我有腳在走樓梯,沒有,沒有去體會到腳在走樓梯。層層的樓梯,你都走得到,也不會覺得我會喘,所以你沒有察覺心臟,在走樓梯,這就是表示你健康,身體健康,兩隻腳健康,所以你沒得、沒失;健康的人,沒有得失,沒有說我有什麼、有什麼。你沒有得失,自然就沒有感覺。沒有得,就沒感覺有失,這我們要時時感恩。所以,「謂我所有法皆空」。能夠沒有得失,就是表示健康,這麼健康的身體,才能夠這樣很順暢,這才是最擁有、最充實的人生。就如在說話,說到知道我在說話,要用力說話,這實在是,不是很健康。所以能夠說話,而不知道我在說話,但是條條是道理,這才是真健康。

所以,「及無不正知」。我們要了解的事情,都要正知、正見,我們若沒有正知見,不如不知。所以孔子說:「知之為知之,不知為不知」。我應該要說,我不知道,因為我不知道的,比我知道的還更多,所以,我若自己承認我不知道的很多,這就是實在的話。我若向大家說「我全都知道」,那這就是,我就是全部樣樣不知道的人。我若要知己,我也要知彼;別人所知道的比我還要多,因為他知道我不知道的事情;他會我不會的事情,多了!所以不要自大,不要貢高,不要我慢,我們修行者,我們要自認。所以,「如須彌山、大海之水」。

如須彌山、
大海之水
唯諸佛菩薩
能知斤兩、
滴數多少
諸天、世人
智力淺劣所不能知
故名不知為無量

就像須彌山這麼高,世界最高的山須彌山。大海的水,世界的水在大海裡,「唯諸佛菩薩能知斤兩」。能知道須彌山有幾斤重,這是諸佛菩薩能夠說。要說大海水有幾滴、有幾兩,也唯有諸佛菩薩有辦法說。所以,點、數有多少,這都是諸佛菩薩他們才會知道。我們還沒有到達法身菩薩之前,我們還是新發意菩薩,我們還是「薄地凡夫」,還是道道地地的凡夫菩薩,所以我們不要自大,不要貢高,不要說「我樣樣都知道」。我們要如何和佛菩薩比呢?佛菩薩能夠知道,須彌山、大海的斤兩,點滴的水,我們哪有辦法呢?

哪怕是諸天,諸天人他們也沒有辦法啊!世間人,何況世間人的智力淺劣,我們的智力,我們的智慧,我們的力量實在是還很淺,還很劣,我們還沒能談到說,我們很優秀,我們還是很粗淺。所以,「所不能知,故不知為無量」。我們會常常說「無量無數」,因為我們沒有辦法,點出了算數出來。雖然開頭我有在說,這次在禮拜《法華經》,有十一萬四千幾百幾個人,那是用科技,這樣現場點算累積,這樣有準嗎?不知道,我不知道。我是根據他們的數字,拿來這樣說,這樣的數字表達,我就這樣說,不是我真的知道。所以,這種智力淺劣,所以「所不能知」,「故」,只能夠說,法無量無數,沒有辦法說它有多少的法,說它有多少的道理,這只是能夠說「無量」。所以,「不得於諸法而生妄知見」。

謂不得於諸法
而生妄知見
當起正知見
以理融之
無一切差別等相
法法皆同一法故
但有能解法師語者
悉得聞之
如海納流
無所簡擇

我們「知之為知之,不知為不知,是知也。」不知道,我們就說不知道,不要硬要強辯「我知道。」這用硬說的,就不對。所以「不得於諸法而生妄見」。不要說我們不知道,我們也硬要說,「我全都知道。」,這叫做「妄知見」。這在我們自己,已經是「妄」了,自己迷失了自己,我慢,我們都說「傲慢」,現在濁世就是因為我慢心大,這叫做「濁」。所以,我們要「當起正知見」,我們應該要提起正知、正見。

所以,「以理融之」。用這個道理,我們要融入我們的內心。「無一切差別等相」,我們要知道,世間一切都是「有為法」,「有為法」讓我們能夠做,但是我們要去體會「無為法」,不要執著。世間,我們做我們應該做的,做過了就對了,不用在那個地方,斤斤兩兩、點點滴滴去計較,都不用,我們做就對了。化有限量為無量,這是算不來的,總是回歸於真空,納入妙有,所以「無一切差別等相」,回納起來就沒有差別,我們應該就是平等。所以法法皆同於一法,法都一樣,剛才說「諸法」,「諸法」,就說了這麼多的名稱。所以,總而言之,歸納起來是一個法。

「但有能解法師語者」。能夠法師在講道理,我們要好好用心來聽。「悉得聞之」,「如海納流」。我們若是用真誠的心,來接受這個法,點點滴滴就是像是大海,不論是高山流下來的水,平地會合的水,全部是納入大海裡去,去到那個海裡,就沒有分別說這是溪水,這是湖水,這是河水,這是井水,這是什麼水,水都是一樣,回入到海裡就變成是海水。

所以文裡面,「是則名為,菩薩行處」。這樣就是菩薩所行的,菩薩就是要有這樣的心,不要這樣一點點就認為:我很了不起。還沒有。我們一切諸法是無量數,我們要學的是很多,我們還沒到達了,諸佛與法身菩薩的境界,所以我們現在要行菩薩道。所以,「是則名為,菩薩行處」。

是則名為
菩薩行處:
如是而行
是名菩薩之所行處

就是你要了解這個法,法的名相很多,其實統納起來是一個法,「有為法、無為法」;「有為法」我們該做,「無為法」,我們要放下。真空妙有,這就是我們學法能夠輕安自在。

以上偈頌法空
頌有、空二觀
為菩薩行處

「是名菩薩之所行處」,這段文完全就是要為我們解釋,因為這是一段偈文,前面的長行文都解釋過了,因為它很重要,在偈文再來解釋,讓我們在這個「空」的道理,了解真實的妙有,這個真如本性。所以,所誦的是有、是空,是妙有,是真空,真空妙有,這兩項我們要用在心裡,這叫做「菩薩行處」。

各位,佛法就是這樣,在我們日常生活中,既是在日常生活中,我們要好好用心,前面的經文,「又復不行,上中下法」,我們自己不要去分別,這是小乘、中乘、大乘;不要在那裡執著,沒有小乘哪有中乘呢?沒有中乘哪有大乘呢?我們不懂得佛法,哪會去修行呢?懂得修行,也因為有修行,我們才能知道要利己、利他人,菩薩大乘行。只要我們法,應該要時時多用心!


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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: The Principle of One Reality (諸法異名 皆實一理)
Date: August.06.2018

“The principle of One Reality is free from false and illusory appearances. Our intrinsic nature is impartial and unchanging. All Buddhas follow the path of this Dharma-nature to practice and attain perfect enlightenment. This is known as the true Dharma-nature.”

We must be mindful. For nearly 20 days, during the early morning when we listen to the Dharma, everyone reverently prostrated to [and chanted] the Lotus Sutra. During this process, Tzu Chi volunteers throughout the world all took in the Lotus Sutra. In this spiritual training ground for Bodhisattva-practitioners, we are all advancing diligently. According to our numbers, over 110,000 people [participated]. Starting from April 6, 2017, they reverently prostrated to the Lotus Sutra. During this time, they formed a Vulture Peak Assembly where [they chanted] the entire Lotus Sutra. They began with the Sutra of Infinite Meanings and ended with the Lotus Sutra. After they finished chanting the sutra, a few people said to us via video conference, “I am so joyful. I never thought that in this lifetime, I would be able to take in the entire Lotus Sutra like this.” As they chanted the sutra, they became full of Dharma-joy. People from many different countries and different spiritual practice centers echoed this sentiment. Seeing them also fills me with joy and gratitude. I am grateful that even though these countries are very far away from Taiwan, they are also able to spread the Dharma, accept and uphold [the Lotus Sutra] and take the Buddha-Dharma to heart there. Furthermore, with patience, they have persevered in chanting the entire sutra. They are also joyful. They are full of Dharma-joy. Their diligence has deeply moved me with the realization that the Dharma is boundless and borderless and capable of spreading all throughout the world. I am also grateful that in this age, modern technology is very advanced. This begins with Taiwan, where a group of spiritual practitioners, a group of devout lay practitioners and Bodhisattvas, make reverent prostrations in this spiritual practice center. Starting from this place of spiritual practice, everyone’s reverence, everyone’s voices and everyone’s unified movements have dignified this spiritual practice center. These sounds and images are all sent to “the cloud”. From “the cloud,” [this footage] is shared without a second’s delay. No matter which country they are in, no matter the time difference, there is not a second’s delay.

For some people, it is early in the morning, for some, it is in the afternoon and for others, it is at night, but they can all practice diligently according to their time zone. There are also some countries who practice at the same local time as Taiwan. Although they do not do this in sync with us, before 5 am in their respective time zones, they also start their morning recitations and chant the sutra. They likewise do this between 4 and 5 am in their time zone. I see in the information they send back that they wake up at before 4am each morning. They then travel in the very early morning, passing by very peaceful scenery to reach their spiritual practice center. There, they practice together to prostrate to [and chant] the Lotus Sutra. This is just like the Vulture Peak Assembly. They practice together with the Jing Si Abode. That is the atmosphere they have as they engage in spiritual practice in unison with us. Thanks to this broadcast, no matter how near or far away we are, we can all seamlessly come together. Our hearts are as one. Whether it is at the same time and space or in accordance with local time zones, we all unite through this broadcast. This all depends upon our unified mindset. We are all part of the Vulture Peak Assembly. So, “The principle of One Reality is free from false and illusory appearances. Our intrinsic nature is impartial and unchanging.” We must have a mindset of genuine sincerity. This Dharma is completely real; it is the principles of reality.

No matter which country we are in, this Dharma can be broadcasted to reach these places in no time. When people have this mindset to take [the Dharma] to heart, they will be filled with Dharma-joy as well. The Buddha was at the Vulture Peak Assembly more than 2000 years ago. Over 2000 years later in the modern world, we can use technology to broadcast [His teachings] so that [the Dharma] can be everywhere, and we will feel that the Vulture Peak Assembly is right here with us. “Our intrinsic nature is impartial.” We are “free from false and illusory appearances”. If there is genuine sincerity in our minds, the Dharma will be real to us wherever we are. So, “Our intrinsic nature is impartial.” It does not matter what age we are.

During this time, we saw people performing the bowing pilgrimage in many locations. Form outside [their practice centers], they went around for the bowing pilgrimage, prostrating once for every three steps. Seeing a very young child [doing this], they asked him, “Why did you wake up so early to kneel and prostrate with all these people? Are you not tried?” This six-or seven-year-old child replied, ”I do it willingly and joyfully. if I get tired, I have to handle that myself.” This young child was doing the bowing pilgrimage on the street. When people asked him about it, he replied, “I am happy and willing to do this; If I get tired, I have to handle that myself.” See, even such a young child knows the importance of diligent practice. Thus, “Our intrinsic nature is impartial.” There were also people in their 80s and 90s. although they were a bit slower and each step was difficult, they also knelt down prostrate. So, there is no difference between old or young; we are all equal.

So, “[Our intrinsic nature] is unchanging.” Our intrinsic nature is pure and sincere. There are no differences between individuals. Although we have different appearances, the intrinsic nature of our minds is equal and unchanging. Their sincere faith, which began from childhood, remains unchanging as they grew old. It is the same. So, “[Our intrinsic nature] is unchanging.” We saw how mindful and reverent everyone was.

So, “All Buddhas follow the path of this Dharma-nature.” All past, present and future Buddhas share the same spiritual practice which originates in this Dharma-nature. All people intrinsically possess the nature of True Suchness. This intrinsic nature is the truth, the Dharma. Our true principle is the pure Dharma-nature of True Suchness. All Buddhas began their spiritual practice from this and persist lifetime after lifetime. Thus, “They practice and attain perfect enlightenment with this reverent and sincere Dharma-nature. They resolutely engage in spiritual practice lifetime after lifetime. So, “This is known as the true Dharma-nature.” This is how Buddhahood is attained.

“The principle of One Reality is free from false and illusory appearances. Our intrinsic nature is impartial and unchanging.” Thus, “All Buddhas follow the path of this Dharma-nature to practice and attain perfect enlightenment. This is known as the true Dharma-nature.”

We must very mindfully seek to comprehend this Dharma-nature of True Suchness. By now, we have been stirring up dust for many lifetimes; our mind and nature, as we go back and forth within this world or the Six Realms, has been covered by] afflictions, ignorance, greed, anger and delusion. Although our minds are filled with afflictions, our intrinsic nature is still there. With these causes and conditions, we can reunite with the Dharma and the true principles and discover our nature of True Suchness. Thus we form aspirations and begin to find our path back again. So, unenlightened beings who lose their way can find the right direction and start over again. Then they must not deviate again. The Buddha earnestly taught and transformed us according to all beings’ capabilities.

Since the Buddha patiently guided us, we must diligently learn His teachings. We should be very thankful to be able to encounter the Buddha’s great Vehicle Dharma, the Wondrous Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra. It is truly wondrous!

The Buddha taught the Bodhisattva Way. In this world where we live, sentient beings have severe afflictions and ignorance. Severe turbidites have formed in the world, causing the world to become full of suffering. We have come across the Lotus Sutra and formed aspirations to practice the Bodhisattva-path. “Bodhisattvas arise because of suffering sentient beings.” We go among sentient beings in suffering and give of ourselves to help them. Among people, to keep our hearts from becoming defiled, we must rely on the Dharma to awaken our hearts.

In the Tzu Chi board meetings, we heard about entrepreneurs, the rich among the rich, who went among people to transform sentient beings. they did not miss a single morning of “Wisdom at Dawn”. So, they realized that all things are “conditioned” they reflected upon all their past actions in their lives.

Then, there is “the unconditioned Dharma. They eliminated the ignorance in their hearts and understood that they should not form attachments, but give without expectations to become free of attachments and become peaceful and at ease because this is what the Dharma [teaches]. When I heard them share [their stories], I was also very joyful. They practice the Bodhisattva-path by going among people and have realized these principles. They deeply understand [the principles] of the conditioned and the unconditioned because they have been listening to the Dharma. Through listening, they have come to comprehend it. So, we have studied the Lotus Sutra chapter by chapter. Now, we have reached the Chapter on the Practice of Bringing Peace and Joy. We know how to uphold the sutra; we also know there will be many obstacles in upholding the sutra. When we uphold the sutra, we know how to circumvent these obstacles so that we can feel peaceful and at ease and practice with peace and joy on the Bodhisattva-path. Now, we have come all the way to the Chapter on the Practice of Bringing Peace and Joy.

We discussed [this passage] earlier. “Furthermore, they do not practice the superior, middle or limited teachings nor the conditioned or the unconditioned nor real or unreal phenomena. Nor do they differentiate between men and women”.

This is the previous sutra passage. They have heard, accepted and put into use both the conditioned and unconditioned Dharma. At this place, we heard how they made such excellent use of it.

Now, let us continue to read on, “There is no Dharma for them to attain, nor do they have any understandings or views. This is called the Bodhisattvas’ place of practice”.

Now, we can realize and come to understand this. We can understand “the real and unreal phenomena” from the past. We can clearly understand them and know that we must no longer practice the various “superior, middle or limited teachings”. We also understand very well how we can come to comprehend the principles [discussed] previously, how to circumvent [obstacles]. As for what we ought to draw near to and what we ought not to draw near to, we understand these things now. All things are “conditioned phenomena”. We must understand this. Now we know. We can now more deeply comprehend how. “There is no Dharma [for us] to attain. This refers to the principles. Have we thoroughly understood the principles? Do we have understandings? Do we have views? We must clearly understand this “Nor do they have any understanding or views. This is called “the Bodhisattvas place of practice”. This is not telling us that without any views or understanding we will be pure, not at all. We must mindfully seek to comprehend how to become a Bodhisattva. We must understand “all phenomena”. We must first understand all phenomena. “The principle of One Reality of all phenomena” is the principles of all things. We must understand this.

The principles of One Reality of all phenomena is known as Great Bodhi, also known as Great Nirvana, also known as ultimate emptiness, also known as the Tathagata-garbha, also known as the Middle Way, also known as the Dharmakaya, also known as the Dharma-nature, also known as True Suchness, also known as the absolute truth, also known as the truth of the supreme meaning. It has all kinds of different names, yet the principle of the True Appearance of all phenomena is one and the same.

“The principle of One Reality of all phenomena is known as Great Bodhi”. This is the true Great Bodhi, “also known as Great Nirvana, also known as ultimate emptiness, also known as the Tathagata-garbha, also known as the Middle Way, also known as the Dharmakaya”. This is called “all Dharma”. Speaking of “all Dharma”, does everyone understand this? This principle is called “the principle of One Reality”. Do we understand this “principle of One Reality”? if we can understand the principle of One reality, we can understand “the Great Bodhi-path”. If we can understand the principle of One Reality, we can understand the True Dharma, which is the path to great enlightenment. This path of great enlightenment is also called “Great Nirvana”. Great Nirvana is also “the principle of One Reality of all phenomena”. Great Nirvana is tranquility. It is tranquil and clear. Our minds must be steady, as if fixed in the empty void. True emptiness is Great Nirvana. It is “also known as ultimate emptiness”. There is nothing that exists. In our daily living, what do we have [that actually exists]? After words are spoken, they are gone. We listen to them and let them go. These teachings are just a voice, an intangible voice. It enters our ears and we comprehend its teachings. If it were tangible, if it had a form, where would we put it? After we understand it, where would we store it? There is no place to store it. We depend on our consciousness to comprehend and understand it. Where is our consciousness? It is empty and without appearance. Thus, everything is “ultimate emptiness”. Ultimately, everything is empty. Sounds are empty; they must pass through our consciousness for us to understand them. Even our consciousness is empty. So, “Everything is ultimately empty”. It is our nature of True Suchness that we must comprehend. So, it is “also known as the Tathagata-garbha”. This is our intrinsic nature. The Tathagata-garbha is our nature of True Suchness. It is “also known as the Middle Way”. This means we must not cling or form attachments to existence or emptiness”. This is called “wondrous existence in true emptiness”. This is called the Middle Way, also known as the “Dharmakaya”, which is the Dharma-body. We must comprehend the Dharma and take it to heart. Then, we will understand how all things in the world are “conditioned phenomena. We take action. Lost in confusion in our past lives, our actions produced [negative] karma and multiplied our afflictions. Now, we understand this. Now we act to benefit people. To benefit others is to benefit ourselves. We must listen to the Dharma and pass it down. We must go among people and spread the Dharma without being defiled by afflictions and ignorance so we can return to our pure intrinsic nature. We hope that with the Dharma and the principles of our intrinsic nature, we can transform and bring purity to people’s hearts with sincerity.

As we bring purity to people’s hearts, we benefit others as well as ourselves, bringing peace and harmony to our environment. It is all the same; we benefit others to benefit ourselves and benefit ourselves to benefit others. This all benefits both others and ourselves. This is the True Dharma. the principles of the True Dharma-nature are universal and equal in all. Everyone has the power to understand them. So, we know that the Dharma has many names, but when we gather them together, it is actually very simple.

So, “It is also known as the Dharma-nature, also known as True Suchness, also known as the absolute truth. It is just this simple. It has all kinds of names, but it is such a simple principle. So, it is “also known as the truth of the supreme meaning. It has all kinds of different names, yet the principle of True Appearance of all phenomena is one and the same.”

Although it has many different names, this Dharma, this True Appearance, is inherently without appearance. As for “wondrous existence,” this “true emptiness” inherently returns to “wondrous existence,” which is the principles. These are all one thing, our intrinsic nature of True Suchness. This is called “the absolute truth”. Everyone intrinsically has this Dharma-nature. So, “There is no Dharma for them to attain, nor do they have any understandings or views.” This means that “The Buddha-Dharma is impartial and applies universally to all.”

There is no Dharma for them to attain, nor do they have any understandings or views: The Buddha-Dharma is impartial and applies universally to all. There is no need to seek to attain anything, nor does anything need to be lost. This means that all Dharma possessed by the self is empty, and there is nothing but right understanding and right views.

There is no Dharma anyone can gain that others cannot gain. Everyone has the same Buddha-nature, which is equal in all. “There is no need to seek to attain anything, nor does anything need to be lost.” There are no gains or losses. Did I gain the most Dharma? No, I am empty-handed too. Did you lose something? No, you have always possessed the Dharma! We all possess the nature of True Suchness, the ultimate truth and the principles. Everyone is replete with all principles of the body and mind. We also have a clear understanding of the principles of matter. We all share this world together, so nobody has gained or lose anything.

So, “There is no need to seek to attain anything, nor does anything need to be lost.” Without the mindset of gain or loss, our hearts will always be open and at ease. Then we will have peace and joy. “This means that all Dharma possessed by the self is empty.” This is because everyone, even people with PHD degrees, no matter how much they know, still have much to learn. There is more we do not know than what we know. There is more we do not have than what we have. This is because no matter how much we have, there are still many things we have yet to gain. So, there is no such thing as gain or loss. It is utmost importance in our daily lives that we keep our feet planted firmly on the ground. When we walk up the stairs, we do not think about using our legs to walk up the stairs. No. We do not realize that our feet are on the stairs. We can walk up the steps of the staircase without feeling out of breath, so we do not feel our heart [working] as we go up the stairs. This means that we are healthy. When our body and our legs are healthy, we will have no sense of gain or loss. Healthy people feel no sense of gain or loss. They will not say, “I have [my health]” without a sense of gain or loss, naturally, we will be unaware of [our health]. Without a sense of gain, there is no sense of loss. This means that we must always be grateful.

So, “This means that all Dharma possessed by the self is empty.” If we have no sense of gain or loss, this means that we are healthy. With such a healthy body, things will go smoothly, and we will be able to have a very fulfilling life. This is just like speech. If I have to speak [loudly] and exert strength in my voice, this really is not very healthy. Thus, if I am able to speak without [making an effort] but can convey the principles with every word, then I am truly healthy.

So, “There is nothing but right understanding.” In order to understand these things, we need right understanding and right views. If we do not have right understanding and views, we might as well not know anything. So, Confucius said, “We admit we know what we know and admit what we do not know.” We must admit, “I do not know, for there is more we do not know than what we do know. So, if we admit to ourselves that there is much we do not know, we are telling the truth. If we tell everyone that we know everything, then we [show that] we know nothing. If we want to know ourselves, we must know others. Other people know more than we do, because they know things that we do not know and can do things that we cannot do. There are many things! So, we should not be arrogant. We should not become proud or arrogant. We are spiritual practitioners; we must be honest with ourselves. So. “This is like Mt. Sumeru or the water in the vast ocean.”

This is like Mt. Sumeru or the water in the vast ocean; only Buddhas and Bodhisattvas can understand how much [Mt. Sumeru] weighs or how many drops of water there are [in the ocean]. When it comes to heavenly beings and humans, their power of wisdom is too weak to be able to understand these things, so they call that which is beyond their understanding “infinite”.

This is like Mt. Sumeru, the highest mountain in the world, or the water in the vast ocean. The vast ocean contains all the water of the world. “Only Buddha and Bodhisattvas can understand how much [Mt. Sumeru] weighs.” The weight of Mt. Sumeru is something that only Buddhas and Bodhisattvas can tell. How many drops of water there are in the ocean and how much it weighs are things that only Buddha and Bodhisattvas can tell. So, how many drops and how much weight are things that only Buddhas and Bodhisattvas can know. Before we reach the stage of a Dharmakaya Bodhisattva, we are still newly-inspired Bodhisattvas and “ordinary beings in a barren land.” We are still just ordinary Bodhisattvas. So, we should not be too proud or arrogant. We should not say, “I know everything.” How can we compare with Buddha and Bodhisattvas? Buddha and Bodhisattvas understand the weight of Mt. Sumeru and the vast ocean and how many drops of water there are. How can we possibly understand these things? Even heavenly beings cannot do it! Even heavenly beings cannot do it! Let alone the humans of this world with their weak power of wisdom. Our wisdom and our strength are still too weak, too limited. We have yet to reach the point where we can claim excellence. We are still too coarse and unrefined “to be able to understand these things. So, they call that which is beyond their understanding ‘infinite.”’ We often say “infinite and incalculable,” because we cannot point to any exact number. Even though in the beginning, I said that those who prostrated to the Lotus Sutra this time numbered more than 114,000 people, this figure was calculated based on reports from the individual offices. Is it accurate? I do not know. I am just using the numbers they provided. They represent [the participants], so I repeated these numbers. I do not truly know [the actual number]. Thus, our wisdom is insufficient “to be able to understand these things.” “So,” we can only say that the Dharma is infinite, that the Dharma is infinite and incalculable. We cannot say how many teachings there are or how many principles there are. We can only say it is “infinite”. “Regarding all Dharma, we must not give rise to deluded understandings and views.”

This means that regarding all phenomena, we must not give rise to deluded understandings and views. We must have the right understanding and views. In harmony with the principles, there will be no appearances of difference, for all Dharma are the same One Dharma. When people understand Dharma teachers’ words, they will learn them all, like an ocean takes in all rivers without discriminating.

“We admit we know what we know and we admit what we do not know; this is knowing.” We should admit what we do not know instead of insisting that we know it. This insistence is wrong. “Regarding all Dharma, we must not give rise to deluded understandings and views.” When we refuse to admit we do not know and insist that we know everything, this is called “deluded understandings and views”. We have already “deluded” ourselves and lost ourselves. This is arrogance; we commonly call it “pride”. The turbidity of our world today is due to our severe arrogance. This is called “turbidity”. So, “We must have the right understanding and views”. We must give rise to right understanding and views. So, “In harmony with the principles” means that we must take the principles to heart. Then, “There will be no appearances of difference”. We must understand that everything in the world is “conditioned phenomena”. We work through “conditioned phenomena,” but what we must realize is “unconditioned Dharma”. We must not form attachments. In this world, we must do what we should. Once we have done the right thing, we need not take issue over petty details like how much weight or how many drops of water. There is no need for that. We should just do what is right. We can transform the finite into the infinite. This is incalculable. We need to return to the state of true emptiness and enter into wondrous existence.

So, “There will be no appearances of difference.” Taken altogether, there is no difference. We must be impartial. Thus, all Dharma is the same One Dharma. All Dharma is the same. As we just discussed, the Dharma is given so many names. In summary, they can all be encompassed by the One Dharma. “If people can understand Dharma teachers’ words,” if there are Dharma teachers teaching principles, we must earnestly listen to them. “They will learn them all, like an ocean takes in all rivers”. If we use this sincere mindset to accept this Dharma, every drop will accumulate to form a vast ocean. Be it in streams cascading down the high mountains or rivers converging on the plains, they all flow into the vast ocean. As they reach the ocean, it does not discriminate between creek water, lake water, river water or well water; this is all water. It is water all the same. As it returns to the ocean, it becomes seawater.

So, within the sutra, “This is called the Bodhisattvas’ place of practice.” This is what Bodhisattvas put into practice. Bodhisattvas must have this mindset. We must not look at a small accomplishment and think highly of ourselves. We are not there yet. The teachings are infinite and incalculable. We still have many things to learn. We still have yet to attain the state of Buddhas and Dharmakaya Bodhisattvas. So, now, we must practice the Bodhisattva-path. So, “This is called the Bodhisattvas’ place of practice.”

This is called the Bodhisattvas’ place of practice: Practicing like this is called the Bodhisattvas’ place of practice.

This means we must understand the Dharma. The Dharma has many names and appearances, but taken together they are all One Dharma. There is “the conditioned and the unconditioned”. The conditioned is what we must do; the unconditioned Dharma is what we must let go of our attachments to. This is wondrous existence in true emptiness. This is how we can learn the Dharma and feel free and at ease.

The verse above extols all phenomena as empty and extols both views of existence and emptiness as the Bodhisattvas’ place of practice.

“This is called the Bodhisattvas’ place of practice.” The entire passage is explanatory. This is a section of verses. This was explained in the earlier long-form verse, but because it is very important, [the Buddha] explained again in verse. Through the principles of “emptiness,” [He] helps us understand true wondrous existence, which is our nature of True Suchness. Thus, [this verse] extols existence and emptiness, true emptiness and wondrous existence, wondrous existence in true emptiness. We must take these two [concepts] to heart. This is called “the Bodhisattvas’ place of practice”.

Everyone, this is the Buddha-Dharma; it lies within our daily living. Since it lies within our daily living, we must earnestly be mindful. The previous sutra passage states, “Furthermore, they do not practice the superior, middle or limited teachings.” We ourselves should not discriminate between the Small Vehicle, Middle Vehicle and the Great Vehicle teachings. We should not be attached to them. Without the Small Vehicle, where would the Middle Vehicle be? Without the Middle Vehicle, where would the Great Vehicle be? If we do not understand the Buddha-Dharma, how will we engage in spiritual practice? We must know to practice, because through spiritual practice, we will know how to benefit ourselves and others through the Great Vehicle practice of Bodhisattvas. So, we must understand the Dharma and always be mindful!

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