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 20180809《靜思妙蓮華》觀一切法 因緣生滅 (第1410集) (法華經·安樂行品第十四)

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發表主題: 20180809《靜思妙蓮華》觀一切法 因緣生滅 (第1410集) (法華經·安樂行品第十四)   周四 8月 09, 2018 7:42 am

20180809《靜思妙蓮華》觀一切法 因緣生滅 (第1410集) (法華經·安樂行品第十四)

⊙於事物之生與滅,因緣和合則生起,因緣若離散則滅。作是念:但以眾法,合成此身,從緣生。妙覺圓照離華翳。
⊙諸法之親因緣,種子為因緣性;種子之現行法,更生後有種子。之前種子為後續,種子之因緣起性,畢竟離為諸法,原因後續種子。
⊙修菩薩行者,堅持戒律行,則身口意業,悉皆得清淨,而於正行安,安住而不捨。
⊙自覺並覺他,覺行圓滿,智德不思議,稱為妙覺,佛果無上正覺證得此覺,稱之為佛。
⊙「一切諸法,空無所有,無有常住,亦無起滅,是名智者,所親近處。」《法華經安樂行品第十四》
⊙「顛倒分別,諸法有無,是實非實,是生非生。在於閒處,修攝其心,安住不動,如須彌山。」《法華經安樂行品第十四》
⊙此明置心一處如須彌山,安住不動,如實相之理,觀一切法,如虛空常住,無差別相。
⊙顛倒分別,諸法有無:法性本寂,離一切相,眾生顛倒,妄起分別,說有說無,皆名妄見。
⊙是實非實:小乘行者,執一切法,悉是實有。小乘執空法,說一切法,悉如幻夢,終究皆空,非是實有。
⊙是生非生:有為諸法,依因緣之和合,是本無而後生有之法,名為生法。性是本有,名非生法。
⊙大教一乘,全性起色,如水起波,了色非生,全波即水。非特愚夫,迷真逐妄,名為顛倒。

【證嚴上人開示】
於事物之生與滅,因緣和合則生起,因緣若離散則滅。作是念:但以眾法,合成此身,從緣生。妙覺圓照離華翳。

於事物之生與滅
因緣和合則生起
因緣若離散則滅
作是念:
但以眾法
合成此身
從緣生
妙覺圓照離華翳

用心哦!對事、對物來說,這個事物在人間,在我們日常生活中,所面對的一切,事啊、物啊都是不斷在生滅中。這幾天一直在說「因緣」,一直在說「生滅」,不知道大家有沒有用心?我們每一天,人、事、物,無不都是在生、老、病、死,無不都是在生、住、異、滅,無不都是在成、住、壞、空,就是這樣生生滅滅。

每天,你們看師父,我在這裡說話,你們在那裡坐著,你們所看到,面對這個人,他也是不斷老化去了,不斷生命「是日已過」,生命也隨著時日減少了,沒有辦法是常住。人的身體,生命是這樣,我們用短暫的眼光,來看昨天說話的人,今天說話的人,都差不多呢!其實在這個時間內,昨天、今天,鐘點來算,是二十四小時前的這個時候,二十四小時後,現在這個時候已經新陳代謝,生滅是幾萬億次過了,這在生理。所以,這樣不斷在生滅,自然身體變化、老化,就有生死了。

東西也是一樣,只是我們世間人眼光短暫,都不知道我們的使用的東西也是,不斷也老化掉了,慢慢進入了不堪用的物質,只是我們沒有去感覺它。這就是還是,事物在成、住、壞、空,在變化中,變化得最快是心態,我們的心態念念生滅,所以叫做生、住、異、滅。我們的心態,「剛才聽到你的話,你是這樣說,我相信,某某人所做的事情是錯誤的。」但是,看到這個人來了,「你怎麼這樣做呢?」「哦,我沒有做這件事情,我做的是這樣的事情。」當面,這樣互相說一下,這個人不是壞人,剛才還認為,某人所說、所做的事情是錯誤,現在看到這個人並沒有錯誤,只是有某點的偏差,不完美,只是這樣而已,但是這不是錯,這是不足而已。不足,就要趕緊將它彌補。不懂,趕緊為他補充,讓他懂,讓他知道。這樣,一個心念,聽到一個聲音就有轉變了。

若是再探討清楚,這個轉變,就會趕緊想方法,錯誤和不足是不同。我們待人接物,心念就是有這樣的起滅,或者是歡喜、生氣;歡喜的時候,「我很歡喜,我們常常來見面,我再怎麼忙,就會找時間。」不論怎麼樣,見面、聽法,這全都是去做好事,這都是好的。什麼樣的環境一來,慢慢,向心力已經變了,這種追求佛法、親近師友,就慢慢鬆了,慢慢就被外面的因緣,就誘引去了,這就是我們的心,生、住、異、滅。這就是人間事,有形、無形,只要你有,有形的人,內心的造作,這就是我們有形的身體,用無形的觀念的變遷,這就是道理。道理,佛陀這樣為我們分析,你看不到的「心理」,你看不到的「生理」,你看不到的「物理」,這一切的道理你看不到,但是它構成起來就是人、事、物,這叫做「有為法」。

最近在說的,都是差不多這樣的範圍,有為法就是有形,盡心力去做。其實盡心力去做,就是盡我們的心理,我們的心的生態認為這是對的,我們付出、法喜,因為這個方法,付出之後,我很歡喜。這個盡心誠意、付出歡喜,這叫做得到道理。我認為這有道理,我願意付出、付出,用這個方法去幫助人,對方得救了,解開困難了,我們歡喜;歡喜我們的方法對,這樣的付出,所以,付出去無所求,這叫做「無為法」。我們用我們的方法去付出,無為法,沒有要討來回報,就只是感覺到已經回向回來了,法喜充滿。付出的,我無所求,我有得到,我得到輕安自在,我得到心安理得,我得到法喜充滿,因為你沒有對別人有什麼要求,回報回來給我,但是我已經很充足,我已經很歡喜。這就是回向回來,所付出的,我們已經用我們的方法去付出。這就是心理,無形的心理,在這個時間中不斷消逝過去,在生命中不斷減少了,在世間的成、住、壞、空,一切的物質中,我們就是這樣的心理,把握時間、應用物質,我們去付出。

對方得到,解脫了,解脫苦難,我們安心,我們歡喜了,互相之間就是這樣,從「有為法」,回向到「無為法」,就是回過來我們的真理,我們的內心的歡喜。這我們就要很用心去體會。「事物之生與滅」。生,起一念,我們道理入心來,我們體會到,我們這樣去付出,要把握因緣。「因緣和合則生起」。你要做好事,但是你若沒有因緣,你也做不到。人與人之間,一定要有因緣,要好緣,「因緣和合則生起」。有緣,我們就能夠會合,有志一同,我們共同的力量,來做人間的好事,能夠借力使力;我借你的力量,你借我的觀念,彼此之間會合起來,少數的人,沒辦法做大多數的事情,大多數的人能夠做天下的好事。這就是為什麼,佛陀說要度化眾生,為什麼佛陀,一直要大家發弘誓願,沒有放棄,這個娑婆世界苦難的眾生。我們自覺覺他,我們要為天下眾生去付出,因為天下眾生,你要度化他,不困難,因為生生世世,今生緣,我們要相信因緣,因緣是累生累世。

記得在很久了,好幾好幾年前,有看到一段這樣的文章,就是西方的學者,美國,有這樣在研究輪迴,他有出一本書,叫做《真情永駐》,他在這本書的裡面,它有一段,就是叫做「心靈伴侶」,心靈上的伴侶。

這個故事,那就是有一對年輕人,去他的研究室,要去讓他做催眠療治的研究。有這一對,是本來互相不相識,同時來了,他們在那個地方只是這樣一面,見一面而己,就是在那裡催眠,只是這樣而已,這樣相識了。之後,他們在一次,要去搭飛機,在飛機上相遇到,認到:「好像在魏斯博士那個研究室裡,我有和你見過面吧?」「對啊!」只是看到很面熟,「對對對。」就是這樣見面了,就這樣就會合起來,這對男女,從這樣就是交朋友了,從這樣就結婚了。

其實,這位博士,那時候發現到了,發現到這對的男女,原來二千年前,生活在耶路撒冷,那是一對父女。這個父親發生了一件事情,士兵將他抓去,對他酷刑,很殘酷的刑罰,刑罰得人將近要死了,就是把他折磨到半死了。所以,將他推回去。女兒看到父親奄奄一息了,她這樣將他抱過來,在她的身上,這當中,在那裡叫、哭,父女的感情依依不捨,父親就在女兒的懷抱中,這樣最後一口氣,往生了。

就這樣,各人,經過二千多年後,今生此世,就是各在不同的家庭裡,這樣出生、這樣長大,這樣的因緣,在魏斯博士的研究室又再見面,在要出國的飛機上這樣見面,這樣就成為交往的朋友,很投緣,就這樣結為夫妻了。原來因緣是這樣,魏斯博士他就說:「輪迴不可思議啊!」真的很多就是這樣,緣深、緣淺,時間長和短,終歸還是一樣回歸回來,還是一樣結合。這就是人生,為什麼人生,有的看到你,「我就是不歡喜」,就是無緣無故,這樣相殺、相害,世間就是這樣。要不然為什麼,無緣無故走在路上,我只是多看你一下而已,你就要殺我,也有這樣啊!也有連看都沒有看,就是這樣,大家在起衝突,對方沒有傷害到,傷害到旁邊的人,也很多啊!無奇不有。看到不投緣,或者是什麼因緣?這樣被兇殺。

看看多少的家庭,明明是一對歡喜而結合的夫妻,為什麼結婚之後受盡了折磨,又是為什麼?這實在是很不可思議,這個不可思議因緣和合,就這樣啟動起來,這就是顛倒。因緣,今生是這樣,是過去生中愛恨情仇所結合的,是愛嗎?是恨嗎?是有感情嗎?或者是有了仇恨呢?這種起因是愛,從後就是怨,就是互相折磨。生來的孩子,很歡喜,但是,就這樣折磨了這對父母,很多啊!所以我們要用心來體會人間,因緣果報我們應該要很用心,去接受、去體會。所以,「因緣和合則生起,因緣若離散則滅」。這因緣若散,就是一輩子結束了,這一輩子所做的,來生就要再接受,時間不論多久,生生世世總是會接受到。

看看悟達國師,豈不是十世才去找到呢,這因緣不可思議。所以避得過一時,沒辦法避過了永恆。這就是我們現在為什麼要修行,為什麼我們要保持我們的清淨,不要顛倒了,不要去父女、兄弟、姊妹,這樣在這個輪迴中在顛倒,情、仇、愛、恨,就不需要這樣。所以,修行就是要,好好接受這個「因緣觀」,緣若是離了,就是散,就是滅。是不是全滅呢?也不是啊!是今生此世告一段落,就像戲臺,我的戲若演完,我就是下臺了;下面還一場,你和我還要再扮演,下面的那一場,張三、李四,又不同名,又不同齣。同樣的道理,人生如舞臺,就是這樣在過。

所以,「因緣若離散則滅」。這場戲演完就沒有了,我們若好好用心,「作是念:但以眾法」,我們要用種種的法,來了解因緣是合成的,「合成此身」,這個身體好像一個軀殼一樣,所以合成了這個身體,什麼來會合呢?也是緣。父母的緣,延續子女的緣,這個父母的緣,延續子女,我們這個身體借這個緣來會合,後一代同樣再延續在下一代,就是這樣不斷延續下去。這個延的這個軀殼,是這樣一直延,其實裡面的靈性就是這樣,隨著恩怨、愛恨情仇,起心動念,現在的愛,結合之後,我就怨了,我就恨了,我就仇了,這就是在這個心態裡。

所以我們要很用心,若能夠了解一切都是合成的,這個身體從這個因緣產生出來,人人的身體。身軀是這樣,物質也是這樣,「有為法」去造作的這個「因緣法」,就是這樣,一切有為。所以,我們若通達了解,就是「妙覺圓照離華翳」。這個鏡子很清,照出來都是實景,明明歷歷在這面鏡子裡,若是這面鏡子霧掉了,在這鏡子裡面感覺好像是花,就是空花,鏡子霧掉了,好像沒有的,這樣花花的,好像在鏡子裡面。也好像眼睛,眼睛,我看的明明是人,怎麼一團一團這樣朦朦的呢?這叫作眼睛有病了,眼睛起翳了,這是「華翳」。空空的東西,我們將它看成花花的東西,在鏡子裡面,眼睛模糊,看外面的東西,明明就看人,中間怎麼這麼多,這樣花花朦朦呢?這就是眼睛裡面出現毛病。所以,這種外面的花是空的,裡面眼睛起了朦,不是外面有朦,不是,是眼睛。所以說起來,是我們的心性在愛恨情仇,在那裡起心動念,借這個因緣。所以,「諸法之親因緣」。

諸法之親因緣
種子為因緣性
種子之現行法
更生後有種子
之前種子為後續
種子之因緣起性
畢竟離為諸法
原因後續種子

諸法,都我們有做過的因,我們有結過的緣,所以和我們很親,這個因緣不是無中生有,我們過去生一定有這樣的因緣,所以叫做「親因緣」。「種子為因緣性」,這個種子,這只是一個殼,裡面包含著是基因,所以這個種子被這個殼包著。我們分別這是什麼樹種、這是什麼菜種,其實這個殼不重要,是裡面的基因重要,就是因子,那就是種子。「種子為因緣性」,那個性就是愛恨情仇,這種的緣。

所以,「種子之現行法」。種子現行,就像那對父子,二千年,二千年是差不多經過,二十世、三十世,這樣再找回來,這二三十世,到底是在牛、豬、馬,或者是什麼?都不知道。總而言之,二千年才找回來,所以這個因的種子,形是不斷變,那個基因還是永恆,因就是在。所以,「種子之現行法」,這個法就是「性」。這種去做過的因緣就是永遠在,我們若沒有還完,悟達國師若沒有還,他怎麼修行也是這樣,只要那個因緣再會合,驕傲的心一起,因緣就又出來了,就又合成起來。

所以我們要很謹慎,為什麼小乘行者就是不敢再來?但是,有辦法嗎?所以佛陀要我們入人群,我們有什麼樣的業力,我們要歡喜受,我們要很甘願去做,什麼樣的因緣我們歡喜受,就是要這樣來受一遍,心堅定,「不更造災殃」,我們就好好修。過去的壞因,壞的緣,我們這一生趕緊還啊、還啊,還完,結束了,我們這顆因的種子已經結束了,我們有纍纍無數的種子,我們要好好一粒一粒,去將它除掉,一生一世不同的因,不同的緣,我們要一生一世去還清楚,所以我們要很用心去體會。所以,「現行法」,「親因緣」、「現行法」,我們都是在這個「因緣性」裡面。

「更生後有種子」,我們這一生做的,絕對這一生做什麼,這顆種子絕對在。所以這個種子雜揉,我們有時候做好的,有時候做壞,好歸好的種子,壞歸壞的種子,這都在我們的藏識裡面,所以「萬般帶不去」,就是「唯有業隨身」,種子統統帶,我們有時候風光得意,有時候落魄,這人生起落不同,就是好的種子我們享受好緣;享受過了,壞的緣現前了,我們就要接受。同樣的道理,好、壞種子,叫做「善惡雜揉」。所以,「更生後有種子」,你這一生做的,絕對是來生,或者是再好幾世、好幾世人,還是要報。

那位魏斯博士,所研究出來的催眠治療法,他就去發現二千年前的事情,到底現在的科學,是不是能夠證明這種輪迴呢?所以,「之前種子為後續,種子之因緣起性」。這個種子就是來自我們的因緣,這樣生起的性,那個基因。所以,「畢竟離為諸法,原因後續種子」。我們人就是這樣,生老病死、成住壞空,這畢竟都要離開的,總有一天,你再好的緣也要離開,再壞的緣也有窮盡,所以畢竟要離開。是不是今生離開,沒有了呢?看你這輩子和他做什麼事情,來生,這個原的這個因,後續種子。我上輩子有和這麼多人結好因,有好緣,所以我們會共同做一件事情,那是前一世。我們今生呢?常常聽到:「我要生生世世。」說不定來生,我們也能再延續下去。

所以,這輩子你再怎麼愛,還是畢竟有分離時,這個緣,我們會再帶到後面的來生世,同樣的道裡,所以我們「修菩薩行,堅持戒律行」,我們就是身、口、意業,我們要好好保持清淨。

修菩薩行者
堅持戒律行
則身口意業
悉皆得清淨
而於正行安
安住而不捨

付出無所求,感恩,因為我用這樣的法,我證明已經解開了人生的苦難,回報給我的是歡喜、法喜,這叫做「回向」。我們付出雖然無所求,我們所得到的,是永恆的歡喜、法喜,所以我們要好好,身、口、意業我們要保持好,和人結好緣,而且人家有困難,我們要儘快去幫助,這是我們要施法,將我們的方法要布施,如何能幫助對方解脫,要如何去教導,這是入人群的目的。我們要注意,我們身、口、意的行為,「業」就是行為,我們身、口、意的行為,所以我們要保持,我們全都要乾乾淨淨。

常常說:「靜思的弟子,我們要很乾淨,點滴都不要去染污到,我們要自力更生,要好好為慈濟的後盾。」這就是一直很堅持,向大家講的話。所以正行,我們自然安,我們的心若正,我們行就安;心若正,我們的行為都是很安,心安理得。所以,「安住不捨」,我們要好好安住著,不要捨離。我們要「自覺並覺他」,覺行自然就圓滿。

自覺並覺他
覺行圓滿
智德不思議
稱為妙覺
佛果無上正覺
證得此覺
稱之為佛

「智德不思議,稱為妙覺」。這個智,我們若能夠保持,了解「因緣果報」,透徹、了解、深信,而且我們今生此世,身、口、意的行為照顧好,自然我們對法能夠很清楚。我們要堅持「自覺」,我知道,我一定和大家分享,我們能夠「自覺」,還能夠「覺他」,這樣才是真圓滿,才是真正我們所要的,心靈大圓鏡智。這大圓的鏡子,我們才擦乾淨。這個智德真的是不可思議,這個智,智慧,智慧,我們的慧命成長,這稱為「妙覺」。看看,智慧到底從哪裡來?無形無影,可是我們能夠發揮了,我們的良能在人間裡,這叫做「妙覺」。佛菩薩的境界,所應用的是妙覺,我們凡夫所應用的是常識。

所以,「佛果無上正覺,證得此覺,稱為佛」。 我們要修行,我們就是到佛的境界,我們就是要修得我們的心清淨,我們要修得,我們就是要有諸佛菩薩,面對著人生這種開闊的心境,清楚而不糢糊掉,這種明覺,這就是佛。我們要用心,光是這些法,我們就聽,還講不完,要靠大家親身去體悟,所以「因緣法」就是在一切法的裡面。

所以,前面的文:「一切諸法,空無所有,無有常住,亦無起滅,是名智者,所親近處。」

一切諸法
空無所有
無有常住
亦無起滅
是名智者
所親近處
《法華經安樂行品第十四》

真的是空無所有,我們這輩子隨著時間一直過,到頭來不就是空嗎?舞臺上在演的,到時候也是要下臺,人生是一場空,「成住壞空」、「生老病死」、「生住異滅」,這就是空,到頭來什麼都沒有,沒有常住。人無法常常在人間,一切物質都有壞,那些垃圾,就是新的東西變作垃圾,同樣的道理。所以,「無起滅」。真理是沒有起滅,我們的本性從什麼時候開始呢?〈化城喻品〉一直強調「無始以來」,這一段一段都很強調,讓大家記憶清楚。所以我們本性,我們的真如「無生無滅」,永遠常住。但是,那就是因為煩惱無明,讓我們合成起來,所以一直有這樣生死異滅,就是這樣過來。其實,真實的真如,道理是永恆。所以,「是名智者」。我們若能夠透徹,這個「智者」,就是有智慧的人,體會得到這個法,叫有智慧的人,這就是我們所要親近的人。

接下來,這段文說:「顛倒分別,諸法有無」。 我們這樣顛顛倒倒在分別,用心再看。

顛倒分別
諸法有無
是實非實
是生非生
在於閒處
修攝其心
安住不動
如須彌山
《法華經安樂行品第十四》

「是實非實,是生非生。在於閑處,修攝其心,安住不動,如須彌山」。我們剛才在說,父女變夫妻,過去二千多年前是父女,而二千年前的又過去呢?到底是什麼?不知道。但是我們從這樣類推,在那個二千年的父女,現在二千年後的夫妻,是不是若以今生此世,是不是顛倒呢?這個顛倒,就是我們凡夫這樣在人間裡,愛恨情仇所造作的,所以有這個因緣果報。因緣果報是真實,但是就是我們凡夫,顛倒分別中起。所以我們要修行,修得將我們的一念心,要永遠攝受在一處。

此明置心一處
如須彌山
安住不動
如實相之理
觀一切法
如虛空常住
無差別相

「如須彌山,安住不動,如實相之理」,這實相的道理就是這樣,前面已經向大家解釋過了,實相是這樣,因緣,那個因的種子永遠都是存在,殼不同,善惡不同,但是回歸過來,真實的這個道理。所以,「如實相之理」,那就是因緣果報。因緣果報是真理,但是因緣果報,在有為法就是有生滅、有善惡等等,這就是這樣在輪。

所以,「觀一切法,如虛空常住」。覺悟的人,要修行的人,對一切法我們透徹了解。有為法透徹,那就是如虛空常住,道理回歸道理,那是常住,就像虛空一樣。這個虛空,雖然現在講污染,但是污染不到虛空。那個天空還有多高呢?沒有辦法去測量。所以只是污染在地球,籠罩在地球周圍的,這個層次而已,那個層,一層一層,只是在這樣而已。其實哪污染得到虛空?沒有辦法。所以,「如虛空常住」。這個「空」,宇宙之空間,我們還是不動如如,無差別相。它沒有什麼相。所以,「顛倒分別,諸法有無」。是我們人這樣將它顛倒分別,所以「法性本寂」。

顛倒分別
諸法有無:
法性本寂
離一切相
眾生顛倒
妄起分別
說有說無
皆名妄見

我們的法,所有一切法本來是寂靜清澄,所以「離一切相」,就沒有什麼相。這「相」不常住,哪有「相」呢?今生我是張三,來生我是李四,不同人了,這就是同樣的道理。今生我是人,來生我在哪裡呢?我還不知道。所以「離一切相」,所以「眾生顛倒」,只是眾生在顛倒,「妄起分別」,就你啊、我啊,我愛的,我不愛的,我恨的等等,所以會起了「妄起分別」。「說有說無」,說「有」和「無」,這都是名相而已,這都是妄見。

是實非實:
小乘行者
執一切法悉是實有
小乘執空法
說一切法
悉如幻夢
終究皆空
非是實有

「是實非實」;「小乘行者,執一切法,悉是實有」。所以,認為這些,人間污染等等,所以他都認為這因緣果報可怕,所以「小乘執空」,一切皆空,我不要再來了;一切皆空,我要要再努力什麼呢?我就是這樣獨善其身。「說一切法,悉如幻夢」,這就是執空。究竟「皆空」,這都空了。「非是實有」,他是執在偏空,這叫做「小乘」,只是執空,不知道裡面還有「妙有」。因緣果報,那個因的種子,我們沒有將它去除,沒有去了解它,只是要說苦啊,苦啊。你不知道你苦的源頭,你是怎麼來?所以我們要,應該要都知道,這個集來的原因。所以,「是生非生」。

是生非生:
有為諸法
依因緣之和合
是本無
而後生有之法
名為生法
性是本有
名非生法

所有為的法,「依因緣之和合,是本無而後生有之法」。這些本來就沒有的,後來生有,因為因緣會合才生。常常聽到:「師父,我們有孫子了!」他們兒子還沒有娶妻之前,他不會來和我說他生孫子了,就是兒子娶妻之後,就來說:「師父,我們有孫子了,我做阿公了。」不論阿公、阿嬤,過去是沒有人叫他阿公、阿嬤,現在孩子生孩子,就是變阿公、阿媽,就有了。所以,本來是沒有的,因為因緣和合起來,所以就有了。所以,「是本無而後生有之法」。本來就沒有,就是這樣,因緣會和起來,這就是有了。

同樣的道理,一棵樹,一粒種子,一株菜留著的種子又延續後有。同樣,所以世間的物質、人生都一樣,所以「名為生法」。這種生之法,「生有之法,名為生法」。這就是,因緣就是這樣會合起來,就有「生」。「性是本有」,這個性本來就有了,來來去去,無始無終,這是道理,本來就是這樣,原理就是這樣。

所以,「大教一乘,全性起色,如水起波,了色非生,全波即水,非特愚,迷真逐妄,名為顛倒」。

大教一乘
全性起色
如水起波
了色非生
全波即水
非特愚夫
迷真逐妄
名為顛倒

我們要很了解,我們大乘法的人,那就不是這樣想。大乘法的人,「全性起色」,了解這個性,就是有作為,才有這個形色產生;若沒有動、沒有結合、沒有作為,那永遠都是隔離開的,隔離了緣,就沒有一切色。我們譬喻水,水,波,波不就是從水起來呢?水就靜靜,哪有波呢?就要有人去動它,它就有波,或者風去吹就有波。所以,波本來就是水,泡本來是水,不同的形,不同的名。所以,同一個水,所以有井水、溪水、河水,都是水,但是就只是不同的地方,不同大小的形態,所以從外相取它的名。

同樣的道理,水的本質就是水,從外相起名,所以就是「色」。這就是完全大乘的人能夠了解,小乘的人就是執著,溪就是溪,井就是井,溪和井就是不同;但是大乘,水就是水,和哪一個地方都是同樣水。水分、溼氣,空中就有水分。就像這個除溼機將它放著,又一下子,吸起來,無中生有,有水了。這不是無中生有,是空氣中有水分,所以有溼氣、水氣,這就全都有了。

總而言之,透徹了解的人,就是「全性起色」,所有的性,就是在這個「色」來做分別。「了色非生」,我們若能夠了悟,這個色全都是這樣,因緣生,這哪有什麼生滅呢?徹悟之後,就沒有什麼生滅了。「全波即水」,波就是水。所以,「非特愚夫」,不是只是愚夫,「迷真逐妄」,所以「名為顛倒」。這就是我們了解的,凡夫就是這樣,小乘是這樣的執著,凡夫是這樣的看法,都是在這個執著;小乘執著法,凡夫執著外面的形相,在顛倒。總而言之,法就是很深奧,前面講的你能若夠了解,後面就能夠清楚,這就是要靠時時多用心!

附註:
魏斯博士在邁阿密西奈山醫學中心的精神科做了11年主任。作為一個受過嚴格正統教育的學者,他開始對輪迴轉世並不相信。但是在80年代初,他偶然地發現患者的意識在催眠狀態下可以重新經歷前世,而回顧前世的創傷可以神奇地治癒患者今生的恐懼症等心理疾病以及生理上的長期疼痛。從此他開始了對前世療法的研究。《真情永駐》一書的男女主人公則是同時向他求診的兩位患者。這兩個人不相識,也不曾相遇過,他們來自不同的國家,有著不同的文化背景。

令魏斯驚異的是,本來互不相識的兩人在催眠下分別回憶出相同的前世,在古老的一世中,那位男子是位住在耶路撒冷的猶太人,善於製作陶器,他被羅馬士兵活活拖死,在女兒的懷中停止呼吸。而那位女士從女兒的角度回憶起同樣的事件。魏斯以前曾經將一些今世的夫婦和親人分別回溯到相同的前世,可是這一次這兩個人並不相識。根據職業道德,魏斯博士不能告訴這兩人對方的回憶及個人信息,他只是有意安排約見的時間,使得兩人在魏斯辦公室有過一面之交。當這兩人的療程結束時,魏斯博士仍然沒有勇氣突破職業規定。可是這時命運之手展現了自己的巧妙安排。這兩人在同一天去機場搭乘飛機去不同的地方,可是其中一個人的飛機因故不能起飛,被轉到另一個人將要乘坐的班機上,於是兩人得以相遇、相識、相愛。


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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: Phenomena Arise and Cease with Karmic Conditions (觀一切法 因緣生滅 )
Date: August.09.2018

“Regarding the arising and ceasing of all things, they arise when causes and conditions converge and cease when causes and conditions disperse. We must give rise to this thought: It is merely a convergence of numerous phenomena that form this body; it arises from conditions. The reflection in the perfect mirror of wondrous enlightenment is unobstructed by flowers.”

Please be mindful! As we deal with matters and things in the world, everything we face in our daily everything we face in our daily lives is constantly arising and ceasing. Recently, I have been talking about “causes and conditions” and “arising and ceasing.” I wonder if everyone has been paying attention? Every single day, all people, matters and things are constantly going through [the cycle of] birth, aging, illness and death, arising, abiding, changing and ceasing and formation, existence, decay and disappearance. Everything is constantly arising and ceasing.

Every day, you watch me as I am here speaking to you and you are sitting there. The person you see in front of you is constantly getting older. In our lives, each day incessantly passes, and our lives get shorter with the passing of each day. We cannot live forever. This is the reality of the human body and human lifespan. If we use our limited vision to compare the person who spoke yesterday and the one who spoke today, we will see that she is not too different. Actually, during this time, from yesterday to today, if we count the time in hours, it has been 24 hours. In 24 hours, through metabolism, trillions of [cells] have already gone through the process of arising and ceasing. This is in our physiology. Therefore, this constant arising and ceasing naturally causes our bodies to age, so we experience birth and death. Objects are the same. It is just that as we live in this world, our perspective is limited, so we are not aware that the objects we are using are also constantly aging. Time will slowly render them unusable. We are just not aware of this. This means that matters and objects go through [the cycle of] formation, existence, decay and disappearance; they are constantly changing. What changes the fastest is our state of mind. In our mind, our thoughts constantly arise and cease, so they go through the cycle of arising, abiding, changing and ceasing. When it comes to our state of mind, we may say, “I just heard what you said. I believe what you said. What the other person did was wrong.” Then, when that person comes along, [we say,] “How could you do such a thing?” They reply, “I didn’t do that. Actually, this is what I did….” So, through interacting with them face-to-face, we realize they are not a bad person. Yet, just a moment ago, we thought that whatever they said or did was wrong. Now, we see that this person did nothing wrong. They just did something slightly off; they are not perfect. That is all. However, this does not mean that they are wrong; they just have this shortcoming. If they have shortcomings, we should quickly help them make up for them. If they do not understand, we should fill them in and help them understand. In this way, our thinking can change just from hearing something. If we look into this transformation more clearly, we will think of other ways [to deal with things]. Having a shortcoming is different from being wrong. As we interact with people and deal with matters, our thoughts arise and cease like this. Sometimes, we are happy; other times, we are angry. When we are happy, [we say,] “I am so happy; let’s meet often. No matter how busy I am, I will find time.” No matter the circumstances, we will meet each other and listen to the Dharma. This is doing good deeds. This is all good. However, as certain circumstances arise, slowly, our sense of unity will fade. Our aspiration to seek the Buddha-Dharma and draw near to our teachers and friends will gradually slacken. Slowly, we will be tempted by external conditions. This is how our minds go through [the cycle of] arising, abiding, changing and ceasing. These are worldly matters, which are both tangible and intangible. We, as tangible people, have the [intangible] contrivings of our minds. This is our tangible body experiencing intangible changes in mindset. These are the principles.

The Buddha has already analyzed them for us. There are the invisible principles of the mind, the invisible principles of life and the invisible principles of matter. All these principles are invisible. However, when combined, they form people, mattes and things. This is called “conditioned phenomena.”

Most of what I just discussed falls in this domain. Conditioned phenomena are tangible, [created] when we put our mind to something. When we really focus our entire mind on something, we make use of these principles of the mind. When our mind believes something to be right and we help others, we experience Dharma-joy. With this method, when we help others, we are very joyful. When we put our sincere minds into helping others, in bring joyful this is called attaining the principles. We believe this is in accord with the principles, so we are willing to do this , to serve others and help others in this way. When we save others and free them from hardship, we are joyful. We are happy that we did the right thing in serving others in this way. So, giving without expectations is called “unconditioned Dharma”. When we serve others in this way, this is unconditioned Dharma. We do not ask for anything in return, but we feel that it has already come back to us, for we are filled with Dharma-joy. We help others expecting n nothing in return, but what we gain is a feeling of peace and ease. We gain peace of mind and a clear conscience. We gain Dharma-joy. Because we do not expect other people to give us anything in return, but are already very content and happy, these merits come back to us.

Everything we give, we give according to our [principles]. These are the intangible principles of the mind. As time continues to pass, our lifespan are constantly diminishing. As all the world’s material things go through formation, existence, decay and disappearance, with these principles of the mind, we must make the most of our time and materials to give of ourselves to others. Once the people we have helped are liberated form suffering, we feel at peace and become joyful. This is what we [can give] one another. From conditioned Dharma, we return to the unconditioned Dharma, which is returning to the true principles and giving rise to joy in our hearts.

We need to mindfully seek to comprehend “the arising and ceasing of all things”. With “arising,” as we give rise to a thought, we can take the principles to heart and comprehend them. Then we will go to serve others like this. We must seize these causes and conditions, as “Things arise when causes and conditions converge.” If we want to do good deeds but lack the causes and conditions, we cannot do anything at all.

Within our interpersonal relationships, we must have the causes and conditions as well as good affinities. “Things arise when causes and conditions converge.” If we have affinities with one another, we will be able to meet. If we share the same mission and use our collective strength, we can do good things for the world. We can leverage each other’s strength. I can leverage your strength, while you can leverage my ideas. So, we can gather our strength together. A small number of people cannot accomplish much in the world, but a large group of people can do many good things for the world.

This is why the Buddha said we must transform sentient begins.This is also why the Buddha kept asking everyone to make great vows. He never gave up on the sentient beings who are suffering in this Saha World. We must awaked ourselves and others to help all sentient begins. It is not difficult to transform the world’s sentient beings, because we can do this over multiple lifetimes. If we have afflatus with them in this life, we must have faith in the law of karma. Causes and conditions accumulate over lifetimes.

I still remember an article that I read many years ago. It was written by a western scholar from the US who had done research on reincarnation and published a book called “Only Love Is Real: A Story of Soulmates Reunited.” In this book, there is a section called “’Soulmates,” there is a section called “Soulmates,” which is about spiritual companions. In this story, there were two young people who went to his laboratory to participate in a hypnotherapy study. These two young people did not know each other. They arrived at the same time. They only met each other at that place. They only met once, at this place where they were both hypnotized. Just like this, this was how they met. Later on, they ran into each other again while they were on an airplane. They recognized each other [and said,] “I think we met each other before, at Dr. Weiss’s lab.” “Yes!” They each thought the other looked familiar. “That is right.” Just like that, they met again. They came together. These two people started to become friends. From there, they eventually got married.

Actually, this professor had discovered that this couple had once been a father and daughter living in Jerusalem over 2000 years ago. Something happened to the father; he was captured by soldiers. They brutally tortured him until he was near death. After they tortured him half to death, they sent him home. The daughter saw her father on the brink of death. So, she held her father and supported him with her body. She was crying and calling out. The father and daughter could not bear to part. In his daughter’s arms, the father took his last breath and died. 2000 years later, each of them was born into different families in this lifetime. They were born and grew up. With these karmic causes and conditions, they met at Dr. Weiss’s lab and met again aboard the plane to leave the country. This was how they become friends. They had a strong connection, so they got married. These were their karmic conditions. As Dr. Weiss remarked, “Reincarnation is inconceivable.”

There are so many people like this in the world. No matter the extent of their affinities, no matter how long [they have been apart], they are eventually reunited and still end up together. This is life. In life, certain people make us unhappy. Without any reason at all, people hurt and kill one another. This is the reality of the world. Why else would [someone kill someone else] just walking down the street, for no reason? “All I did was look at you, and now you want to kill me?” These things happen! Sometimes, even if they do not look at each other, this will happen; people will start fighting. If they do not get hurt, the people around them will get hurt. This happens a lot! All kinds of strange things happen in the world.

Due to a lack of affinities or certain karmic conditions, people kill each other. We see so many families where the husband and wife married very happily. Why do these couples torment each other so much once they get married? Why is this? This truly inconceivable. These inconceivable things happen because causes and conditions converge and come into play. This is delusion. This lifetime’s causes and conditions are formed from the afflictive emotions of past lifetimes. Was it love or hate? Was it passion or animosity? The initial cause may have been love, but later it becomes resentment, and people end up tormenting each other. It is a joyful thing when children are born, yet here are many cases of parents who are tormented by their children. So, we must mindfully seek to comprehend the world. We should mindfully seek to accept and comprehend the karmic law of cause and effect. “Things arise when causes and conditions converge and cease when causes and conditions disperse”. If causes and conditions disperse, this means our life has come to an end. For whatever we have done during this lifetime, we will face retributions in a future lifetime. No matter how much time passes, we will still face retributions in one lifetime or another.

Take a look at Master Wu Da, whose [enemy] only found him after 10 lifetimes. The workings of karma are inconceivable. We might avoid something temporarily, but we cannot hide from it forever. This is why we need to engage in spiritual practice now. This is why we need to preserve our purity. We must not be deluded. Whether we used to be father and daughter or brothers or sisters, we must not be deluded by cyclic existence and give rise to afflictive emotions; we do not need these things. Thus, as we engage in spiritual practice, we need to thoroughly accept the law of karma. When our conditions dissipate, when they disperse and cease to exist, does this mean they completely disappear? NO! This just means that this lifetime ends here. It is just like a play. When we finish our performance, we must exit the stage. In the next show, you and I will still perform roles. But in the next show, we could be anyone, with different names and different storylines.

The principle is the same. Life is like a stage; this is how we live our lives. “Things cease when causes and conditions disperse”. This show will come to an end. If we are mindful, we “give rise to this thought, ‘It is merely a convergence of numerous phenomena’”. We need to use all kinds of teachings to understand how causes and conditions converge to “form this body”. The body is just like an outer shell. So, what is it that converges to form this body? Karmic conditions. Parents have their conditions, which continue with their children. With the conditions of our parents continuing on with their children, our bodies formed due to the convergence of these conditions. These causes and conditions are then again passed down to future generations. The [physical] body is formed through the passing down of conditions. In fact, our inner spiritual nature is also like this. We follow our gratitude and resentment, love, hate, passion and animosity and our discursive thoughts. People may be in love now, but after marriage, they might give rise to resentment, hatred and animosity. This all depends upon their state of mind. Therefore, we must be very mindful. If we can clearly understand that everything is a convergence of causes and conditions, we will perceive our body as a convergence of causes and conditions. This is the same for everyone’s body. This applies to the body as well as to physical matter. “Conditioned phenomena”, are what is created through the law of karma.

In this way, all things are contrived. If we are thoroughly understand this, then. “The reflection in the perfect mirror of wondrous enlightenment will be unobstructed by flowers”. This mirror is very clear. Everything it reflects is the truth, which is clearly shown inside this mirror. If this mirror gets fogged up, there may appear to be flowers in the mirror; these are illusory flowers. Once the mirror gets fogged up, these flowers that are not really there will appear to be inside the mirror. This is just like our eyes. I am clearly looking at people, so why does this group and that group seem blurry? This is because I have an eye problem. My eyes have cataracts. They are “obstructed by flowers”. We see illusory things as if they are flowers in the mirror. When I observe the world with blurry vision, I might be looking straight at a person, but there is so much blurriness in between! This means I have problems with my eyes. The blurriness is not really there. My eyes are what produce the blurriness. It is not because the outside world is blurry. No, the blurriness is caused by my eyes.

To sum things up, our minds is immersed in afflictive emotions, so we give rise to discursive thoughts based on causes and conditions. So, these are “the causal conditions of all phenomena”.

Regarding the causal conditions of all phenomena, a seed embodies the nature of causal conditions. The present phenomenon of a seed will give rise to future seeds. The previous seeds continue on, thus the causes and conditions of a seed give rise to its nature. All phenomena will ultimately depart, and their original causes will continue as seeds.

All phenomena are the results of the causes and conditions we created in the past. So, when someone is very close to us, this karmic affinity did not come out of nowhere. This must be due to karmic conditions from our past lives. Thus, we call these “causal conditions”. “A seed embodies the nature of causal conditions.” A seed has a shell. Inside the shell, there is genetic material. This is contained within this shell. When we discern the type of tree or type of vegetable, actually, the shell itself is not important. What is important are the genes inside it. These are the causes, which are seeds. “A seed embodies the nature of causal conditions”. This [causal] nature is the conditions of our afflictive emotions. As for “the present phenomenon of a seed” the present phenomenon of a seed is just like father and daughter. After 2000 years, which is about 20 to 30 lifetimes, they were able to find each other. During these 20 to 30 lifetimes, were they cows, pigs, horses or something else? Nobody knows. In the end, they found each other after 2000 years. Therefore, it comes to the seeds of causes, though appearances constantly change, these genes, these causes are everlasting. These causes are still there.

So, as for “the present phenomenon of a seed, the phenomenon [reflects] its nature. The causes and conditions from our past actions are everlasting. If we have yet to fully repay [our debts], like how Master Wu Da had yet to repay them, no matter how much we practice, we will end up the same way as him. So long as these causes and conditions converge, as soon as we give rise to arrogance, these causes and conditions will.

Therefore, we need to be very vigilant. Why don’t Small Vehicle practitioners dare to return to this world? Are we able to? The Buddha wants us to go among people. No matter what karma we face, we must happily accept it. We must willingly serve others and joyfully accept all causes and conditions. This is what we must accept in retribution. Our aspirations must be firm. We must “avoid creating more disasters. We must practice earnestly. For the negative causes and conditions we created in the past, we must quickly repay [our debts] in this life! Once we finish repaying [our debts], the seeds of these causes will come to an end. We have accumulated countless seeds, so we must earnestly eliminate them one by one. A lifetime contains many different causes and conditions. We must clearly repay [our debts] for each of our lifetimes. So, we must mindfully seek to comprehend this.

Speaking of “present phenomena” and “causal conditions,” we all exist within “the nature of causal conditions”. “[This] will give rise to future seeds.” Whatever we do during this lifetime, the seeds of our actions will certainly be there. Thus, there are both good and bad seeds intermixed. Sometimes, we do good deeds. Good deeds form good seeds and bad deeds form bad seeds. All of them are contained within our storehouse consciousness. The only thing we take with us when we die is karma; we will carry all the seeds with us.

Sometimes, we are very successful in life. Sometimes, we are down on our luck. Our lives have many ups and downs. With good seeds, we will enjoy good conditions. After our enjoyment, negative conditions will emerge, so we need to accept them. This is the same principle. There is a mix of good and evil seeds. So, “[This] will give rise to future seeds. For what we do in this lifetime, in our next life or in a few more lifetimes down the line, we will absolutely face the retributions.

Dr. Weiss’s research into hypnotherapy methods discovered this story 2000 years in the making. Is modern science capable of proving cyclic existence? “The previous seeds continue on, thus the causes and conditions of a seed give rise to its nature.” This seed comes from our causes and conditions. The seed of our genes gives rise to our nature.

So, “All phenomena will ultimately depart, and their original causes will continue as seeds. We human beings are just like this, [mired in] birth, aging, illness and death and formation, existence, decay and disappearance. Ultimately, we must depart from this world one day. No matter how good our conditions are, we still have to leave this world. No matter how bad our conditions are, they will eventually come to an end. So, ultimately, we will have to depart. Does this mean that once we leave this life, everything is gone? Depending on what we have done to create affinities with others in this life, in future lifetimes, these original causes will continue as seeds. In my previous lifetimes, I created good causes and good conditions with many people, thus we can work together [in this lifetime]. This was due to a previous lifetime. What about our present lifetime? I often hear, “I want to follow you lifetime after lifetime.” Maybe, in a future lifetime, we can still continue to sustain [this affinity].

So, in this lifetime, no matter how much we love somebody, we will eventually be separated, but this karmic condition is something we will take with us into our future lifetimes. This follows the same principle. So, we need to “cultivate the Bodhisattva-practice” and “persevere in upholding the precepts”. Regarding our karma of body, speech and mind, we need to work hard to keep it all pure.

Those who cultivate the Bodhisattva-practice persevere in upholding the precepts. Thus, their karma of body, speech and mind will all reach a state of purity, and they will find peace through right conduct, which they will peacefully abide in and never abandon.

We give without expectations and also feel grateful. Because we have used this Dharma, we confirm that we can relieve the suffering of sentient beings. What we receive in return is joy, Dharma-joy. This is “the dedication of merits”. As we give without expectations, what we attain is everlasting happiness and Dharma-joy. Therefore, we must earnestly safeguard our body, speech and mind and form good affinities with people. Moreover, when people face difficulties, we must help them as quickly as we can.

Thus, we must give them teachings. We give of the methods we have to help others attain liberation and to teach and guide them; this is our goal in going among people. We need to be wary of the actions of our body, speech and mind. “Karma” means action. Regarding our conduce of body, speech and mind, we need to keep everything pure.

I often say, as Jing Si disciples, we must be very pure and keep ourselves from being defiled in any way. We need to be self-sufficient and earnestly serve as Tzu Chi’s backup. This is what I persistently say to everyone. This is what I persistently say to everyone. With right conduct, we will naturally be at peace. With an upright mind, our conduct will be peaceful. With an upright mind, our actions will all be very peaceful, our minds at peace, our conscience clear. We must “abide in and never abandon” [this state]. So, we need to peacefully abide in and never abandon [this state]. We must “awaken ourselves as well as others”. Then, we will perfect our enlightened conduct.

We must awaken ourselves as well as others. This is perfect enlightened conduct. The inconceivable virtue of wisdom is known as wondrous enlightenment, the fruit of Buddhahood, supreme and perfect enlightenment. Those who have attained this enlightenment are called Buddhas.

The inconceivable virtue of wisdom is known as wondrous enlightenment. We need to be able to safeguard this wisdom and understand the law of karma. We need to thoroughly understand it and have deep faith in it. Also, in this lifetime, we need to be wary of the conduct our body, speech and mind. Then, we will naturally understand the Dharma clearly. We need to persist in awakening ourselves. Once we understand, we must share our understanding with others. In “awakening ourselves, we can also “awaken others”. Then, we will attain true perfection. This is what we truly want, the great perfect mirror wisdom of the mind. This is how we wipe this great perfect mirror clean. The virtue of wisdom is truly inconceivable. This wisdom [shows] that our wisdom-life has increased. This is called wondrous enlightenment. Where does this wisdom come from? It is intangible and formless. However, when we are able to exercise our altruistic potential in the world, this is called wondrous enlightenment. What Buddhas and Bodhisattvas make use of is this wondrous enlightenment. As ordinary beings, what we use is ordinary knowledge. This is the “fruit of Buddhahood, supreme and perfect enlightenment. Those who have attained this are called Buddhas.” As we engage in spiritual practice, since we want to attain Buddhahood, we must cultivate ourselves until our mind is pure. We must cultivate ourselves until we have the broad, open state of mind with which all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas face the world. It is clear and cannot be obscured. Such clean enlightenment is Buddhahood. We need to be mindful. Just in listening to these teachings, though I have not finished teaching them, I rely on everyone to personally experience them. So, the law of karmic cause and effect exists in all phenomena.

Thus, the previous sutra passage states, “All phenomena are empty and without existence. They do not permanently abide, nor do they arise or cease. This is known as the place people of wisdom draw near to”.

Truly, all phenomena are empty and non-existent. As time passes us by in life, in the end, won’t everything be empty? As we perform upon this stage, we will eventually have to exit the stage. Life is ultimately empty. “Formation, existence, decay ad disappearance, birth, aging, illness and death, arising, abiding, changing and ceasing,” this is emptiness. In the end, there is nothing left. Nothing is permanent. Humans cannot live in this world forever. All matter will decay eventually. This garbage used to be new, then it became trash. The principle is the same. So, “Nor do they arise or cease” [refers to how] true principles neither arise nor cease. When did our intrinsic nature begin?

The Chapter on the Parable of the Conjured City continuously emphasizes that it began in Beginningless time. This is continuously emphasized so that everyone will remember it clearly. Therefore, our intrinsic nature of True Suchness is “non-arising and non-ceasing”. It is ever-abiding. However, because afflictions and ignorance led us to have this existence, we continuously suffer from birth, death, changing and ceasing. This is how we live. Actually, our nature of True Suchness and the principles are everlasting. So, as for “people of wisdom,” if we can clearly understand this, we can be “people of wisdom,” that is, wise people. Those who comprehend this Dharma are called people of wisdom. These are people we should draw near to.

The following sutra passage states, “It is through deluded discrimination that phenomena seem existent or non-existent….”

Through delusion, we continue to discriminate. Let us mindfully read on, “…real or unreal, arising or non-arising In quiet spaces, [Bodhisattvas] cultivate and collect their minds. They abide, peaceful and unwavering, like Mt. Sumeru.”

We just talked about [the story of] the father and daughter becoming husband and wife. Over 2000 years ago, they were father and daughter. What about 2000 years before that? What were they exactly? We have no idea. But if we think about this, 2000 years ago, they were father and daughter. Now, 2000 years later, they are husband and wife. If we consider this in terms of this present lifetime, would we not consider this relationship abnormal? This is delusion, created by the afflictive emotions of ordinary beings of this world. So, there is the karmic law of cause and effect; these karmic retributions are real, but they only arise due to the deluded discriminations of unenlightened beings. Thus, we must engage in spiritual practice and cultivate ourselves until our minds can permanently abide in one place.

This explains that we must focus our minds in one place. Like Mt. Sumeru, we must abide, peaceful and unwavering, in accord with the principle of ultimate truth. We must contemplate all phenomena like the empty void that permanently abides, with no appearance of difference.

“Like Mt. Sumeru, we must abide, peaceful and unwavering, in accord with the principle of ultimate truth.” This is the principle of ultimate truth. I explained this before to everyone. This is True Appearance. When it comes to causes and conditions, the seeds of causes will exist forever. The shells are different, just like good and evil are different. However, it will always come back to the principle of ultimate truth. So, we must be “in accord with the principle of ultimate truth”. This is the law of karma. The karmic law of cause and effect is the true principle. However, based on the law of karma, conditioned phenomena arise and cease and there is good and evil and so on. Thus, we go through cyclic existence. “We must contemplate all phenomena like the empty void that permanently abides.” For awakened people and spiritual practitioners, once we thoroughly understand all phenomena, when we see into conditioned phenomena, we see that they are like the empty void that permanently abides. The principles are the principles; they are permanently abiding like the universe. As for this universe, though we talk about pollution now, this pollution cannot reach out into space. How far does the sky reach? We cannot measure it. So, the pollution is just on Earth and the atmosphere surrounding the Earth, just as this layer [of atmosphere]. There are many layers of atmosphere. The [pollution] has only reached [this level]. How can the pollution reach out into the universe? It cannot. So, in “the empty void that permanently abides,” this “void” refers to the space of the universe. Likewise, we remain unwavering, with no appearance of difference. [The void] has no appearance. “It is through deluded discrimination that phenomena seem existent or non-existent.” It is just that we discriminate based on our delusions. Thus, “the Dharma-nature is inherently tranquil.”

It is through deluded discrimination that phenomena seem existent or non-existent: The Dharma-nature is inherently tranquil, free from all appearances. Sentient beings are deluded, so they deludedly give rise to discrimination and speak of existence or non-existence. These are all false views.

All phenomena are originally tranquil and clear. Thus, they are “free from all appearances”, They do not have any appearances. These “appearances” are impermanent. What “appearances” actually exist? In this life, I am this person. In the future lifetime, I will be a completely different person. The principle is the same. In this lifetime, we are human. What about our next lifetime? We do not know yet. The [Dharma-nature] is “free from all appearances”. However, “Sentient beings are deluded.” It is just that sentient beings are deluded, “so they deludedly give rise to discrimination” over self and other, over love and hate. So, they “deludedly give rise to discrimination and speak of existence or non-existence.” These are just names and appearances, which are deluded views.

Real or unreal: Small Vehicle practitioners cling to the idea that all Dharma truly exists. Small Vehicle practitioners cling to the teaching of emptiness, which teaches that all phenomena are like illusions and dreams; ultimately, they are all empty and do not truly exist.

“Real or unreal: Small Vehicle practitioners cling to the idea that all Dharma truly exists.” So, when they [see] things like the world’s pollution and so on, they believe karmic retributions are terrifying. Therefore, “Small Vehicle practitioners cling to the teaching of emptiness. Everything is empty; I do not want to come back.” “Since everything is empty, what is the point of continuing to work hard? “I just want to benefit myself.” “[Emptiness] teaches that all phenomena are like illusions and dreams.” They are attached to emptiness. Ultimately, "All [phenomena] are empty."
Everything is empty and “does not truly exist.” They are attached to emptiness, thus they are “Small Vehicle practitioners.” They just cling to emptiness without knowing there is “wondrous existence.” When it comes to the law of karma, regarding the seeds of causes, if we do not eliminate them or try to understand them, we will only complain about how life is full of suffering, without knowing the source of our suffering. Where did it come from? We must understand the accumulation of these causes. So, [phenomena] seem “arising or non-arising.”

Arising or non-arising: All conditioned phenomena depend upon the convergence of causes and conditions. They originally do not exist but arise into existence later on. This is called arising phenomena. Intrinsic nature originally exists, thus it is known as a non-arising phenomenon.

“All conditioned phenomena depend upon the convergence of causes and conditions.” “They originally do not exist but arise into existence later on.” [Conditioned phenomenal] originally do not exist but arise later on. They arise due to converging causes and conditions. I often hear, “Master, we have a grandson!” Before their son got married [and had a son], they would not come say this to me. Once their son got married [and had a son], they would come and say, “Master, we have a grandson; I am a grandfather.” They are grandparents now, but before, no one would call them grandparents. Now, their child had a child, so they have become grandparents. Now they have a grandson. This grandson did not exist originally. Because causes and conditions converged, their grandson came to be. “[Conditioned phenomena] originally do not exist, but arise into existence later on.” They do not exist originally. Because of the convergence of causes and conditions, they arise into existence. By the same principle, a seed from a tree, grain or vegetable can give rise to future seeds. The principle is the same for all materials and all life in the world. Thus, “This is called arising phenomena.”

This means that when causes and conditions converge, then, there is "arising." "Intrinsic nature originally exists." This nature originally exists. It comes and goes, without beginning or end. This is the fundamental nature of the principles; the original principles are like this.

So, “According to the great teachings of the One Vehicle, everything is form arising from nature, just as waves arise from water. We must understand that form is non-arising, for the waves are nothing but the water itself. It is not just foolish people who are confused about the truth and pursue ‘illusions.’ This is called ”delusion.”


We need to fully understand this passage. As Great Vehicle practitioners, we do not think like this. Great Vehicle practitioners know that. “Everything is form arising from nature.” Once we understand this nature, we will know that contrivance leads to the emergence of forms and appearances. Without action, without convergence or contrivance, [conditions] will forever remain separate. When conditions are separate, there is no form. We can use water as an analogy. Speaking of waves and water, don’t the waves come from water? When water is still, there are no waves. If someone disturbs the water, there will be waves. Or if the wind blows, there will be waves. The waves are fundamentally the water itself, just like bubbles are fundamentally water. They just have different shapes and names. So, they are all water. Thus, well water, creek water and river water are all water; it is just because of their different locations and different shapes and sizes that we name them differently based on these external appearances. The same principle applies. The nature of water is nothing but water. When we assign it names based on appearances, these are “forms.” Great Vehicle practitioners fully understand this, while Small Vehicle practitioners are attached to thinking that creeks are creeks, wells are wells, that creeks and wells are different. But the Great Vehicle tells us water is water, regardless of its location. If there is humidity in the air, this means there is water in the air. When we place a dehumidifier at that place, it will suck in all the water. As if from nothing, there will be water. This water does not come from nowhere. There is water in the air, so humidity and water vapor in the air are also water.

In summary, “Everything is form arising from nature.” When it comes to nature, we make discrimination based on forms. “We must understand that form is non-arising.” We must awaken to this. All forms arise from causes and conditions, so how could they truly arise and cease? Then, we will know there is no arising and ceasing. “The waves are nothing but the water itself.” Waves are just water. So, “It is not just foolish people,” not just those who are foolish who are “confused about the truth and pursue illusions.” Thus, this is called “delusion.”

This is what we must understand. This is what ordinary beings are like. Small Vehicle practitioners and ordinary beings are attached to their views. Small Vehicle practitioners cling to the Dharma. Ordinary beings cling to external appearances and become deluded. In summary, the Dharma is very profound. If we can understand these teachings, we will be able to understand what comes later. So, we must always be mindful!

(Source: Da Ai TV – Wisdom at Dawn program – Explanation by Master Chen-Yen)
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20180809《靜思妙蓮華》觀一切法 因緣生滅 (第1410集) (法華經·安樂行品第十四)
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