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 20181012《靜思妙蓮華》成無上道 而轉法輪 (第1456集) (法華經·安樂行品第十四)

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發表主題: 20181012《靜思妙蓮華》成無上道 而轉法輪 (第1456集) (法華經·安樂行品第十四)   周四 10月 11, 2018 1:51 pm

20181012《靜思妙蓮華》成無上道 而轉法輪 (第1456集) (法華經·安樂行品第十四)

⊙佛說法教化,如車輪旋轉,堪做轉法輪,能轉凡成聖,能碾破諸煩惱,名稱謂轉法輪,佛說法如轉輪,法入眾生心故。
⊙「諸佛身金色,百福相莊嚴,聞法為人說,常有是好夢。又夢作國王,捨宮殿眷屬,及上妙五欲,行詣於道場。在菩提樹下,而處師子座,求道過七日,得諸佛之智。」《法華經安樂行品第十四》
⊙「成無上道已,起而轉法輪,為四眾說法,經千萬億劫,說無漏妙法,度無量眾生。後當入涅槃,如煙盡燈滅。」《法華經安樂行品第十四》
⊙成無上道已,起而轉法輪:靜思慮定,微妙甚深境而起,為眾說法,轉法輪。 成道、降魔是即八相之二相。
⊙言八相成道:一、從兜率天下,二、託胎,三、出生,四、出家,五、降魔,六、成道,七、轉法輪,八、入涅槃。
⊙為四眾說法,經千萬億劫,說無漏妙法,度無量眾生:夢中為經千萬億劫之久、常為四眾說妙法,夢境度生。
⊙後當入涅槃,如煙盡燈滅:度眾世緣事畢,後入涅槃,如油盡燈光即滅。 表夢入涅槃。
⊙煙盡燈滅:喻眾生應度者度盡,而佛即入於涅槃。 菩薩修行精進至相應時,諸多果相均於夢中顯現。
⊙是將來一切之果,已在今日之夢中;然則今日之果,亦曾在昔日之夢中;是所有諸法果相,固無一不在眾生之夢中。進而言之,夢固為夢,豈為真實? 未來之果固在夢中,過去之果又如煙盡燈滅,即亦與夢何異?
⊙「若後惡世中,說是第一法,是人得大利,如上諸功德。」《法華經安樂行品第十四》
⊙若後惡世中,說是第一法:若是於佛滅後,末法世之中能說如是第一之法。第一法:即妙法華經。
⊙是人得大利,如上諸功德:如是說法人 當得最妙廣大利益,如上所說不可思議。大利,指寤時安樂、夢中安樂兩種。

【證嚴上人開示】
佛說法教化,如車輪旋轉,堪做轉法輪,能轉凡成聖,能碾破諸煩惱,名稱謂轉法輪,佛說法如轉輪,法入眾生心故。

佛說法教化
如車輪旋轉
堪做轉法輪
能轉凡成聖
能碾破諸煩惱
名稱謂轉法輪
佛說法如轉輪
法入眾生心故

多用心啊。佛陀說法教化,如車輪這樣在旋轉,就是將它稱為「轉法輪」,將它譬喻,它輪子一轉,就會碾破了種種的煩惱,使「凡成聖」。這就是我們要很用心,我們要去體會。佛陀為什麼來人間?大家清楚了,一大事因緣。一大事因緣沒有離開,沒有離開我們眾生。眾生就是苦難偏多,所以這個苦難是來自煩惱無明。煩惱的因由是很多,世間很多的無常、苦難。無常從大自然,大自然就有春、夏、秋、冬;人的生理就有生、老、病、死,這是叫做無常。大自然的法則就是這樣,春夏秋冬,慢慢來就是到現在這個時候,濁惡世這個期間,四季也已經明顯感覺不調和了。過去大自然的法則四大調和,天地萬物就是因為四大調和,這樣,所以大地物資就豐富了。

那時候的物資是供應人生活,很單純的生活。這就是單純的輪轉,春、夏、秋、冬,單純的輪轉。天地所供應的物資,就是這樣自然的豐富。現在的生活的物資,表面上來看,是比過去那就是豐富多了。但是現在的物資來自強化,很強力去將它化成了,有這些物資,這不是自然,這是人為先破壞,後產生。因為這樣先破壞,後產生,所以變成不正常。天地之間氣候不順,山河大地變色,因為這樣氣候極端。這都是這樣在循環、這樣在牽連。

人的身體也是啊,有生老病死,過去就是很自然,就是這樣。不管怎樣的自然,就是愛別離、怨憎會,在這「生老病死」中,就已經有「八苦」了。這個八苦在人生裡,到底它有一個,固定時間的法則嗎?沒有。就是因為我們眾生,各人所做的業力不同,壽命長短就不同了;這壽命中的因緣果報,也是各不相同,所以,千差萬別,這種在人的生態中也是一樣,就是這樣不調和起來。不調和就是來自於貪、瞋、癡,種種煩惱造成了貧富貴賤、造成了病痛苦難。

現在的環境,現在不論是起居、飲食等等,都是在這樣不調和,強化。現在在吃的東西,也不是像過去四季的五穀雜糧,也不是像過去青菜、水果,照著那個季節這樣來,也沒有了。一年到頭都享受同樣的蔬菜,同樣的水果,為什麼呢?也是一樣強化催生,這種都是強化出來的。科技發達了,培養的生機等等,就一直一直出來。

總而言之,佛陀是應世人間,所以來人間施教;人間施教,為了要教法普遍,他就要把這個法,從在一個起點,一生無量,一個道理,就要用很多很多的方法,來譬喻言辭。其實,道理一理若通,萬理就徹,偏偏眾生煩惱無明,那個結千千萬萬結,佛陀就要用一個道理,用千千萬萬的方式,不厭其煩來教化我們。

一個道理很簡單,人人本具佛性,開啟真如的本性,一點就通,這不就是很簡單嗎?人生不論大宇宙、小乾坤,會合起來一個真理,包含了大地宇宙,事事物物的道理,應該能夠很簡單就清楚。這個「簡單」,回歸我們的生活,自然你簡單的生活,簡單的生活,簡單就能通徹道理。但是,這時候,我們的道理會這麼多,千經萬論還是同樣,無不都是要叫我們要去除煩惱,看得開、放得下,我們的煩惱無明不要存在內心,因緣果報觀要透徹了解。長年累月,累生累世,我們就是這樣,不斷在這種污濁的裡面,這樣一直複製複製很多,這就是我們自己這樣帶來。

過去不懂,佛陀慈悲,就是這樣,一個道理,隨千千萬萬不同人的根機,去設法投教。所以必定要像車輪,要不斷一直轉,千篇一律,就是要一直轉一直轉過去,這個法才能普遍出去,才能將這種複雜的污濁,要如何將它轉得清。就像我們要種稻,一粒種子很簡單,就是用方法入土,它有那個芽,秧苗生出來了,我們就要將這塊土地整頓好;土地整頓了,水分夠了,肥料夠了,秧苗,就去將它插秧,之後就開始要照顧,就一直一直培養、照顧,到了割稻。經過人工割,現在就只開一輛車,就是用機器去割。現在因為就是全都機器化,割來順便碾過去。你看,車子也是在用輪。過去稻子割起來,整把的稻穀就要用人踩,踩那個機器桶,風鼓,那個稻桶在絞稻穀時,也是圓的,也是要一直踩,它要一直轉,轉了之後,經過了這才能脫離,出來就是一堆稻穀,這粒稻穀(碾過)才成為白米。

同樣的道理,佛陀從開始這樣來,不論是人工在種稻穀,一生無量,經過人工,要經過圓的東西,輪子的東西,要運轉過去,才能稻穀回歸是稻穀。這個稻穀就是要讓人利用,就是供應人的營養。法就是這樣,法,一粒種子,它不斷循環、不斷循環,種子留著,但是生產出來的東西,就是供應人人的營養,所以這個種子,永達都沒有讓它不見。我們現在人,還是依靠這樣五榖雜糧來生活,這個五穀雜糧,絕對不能離開了圓的輪子,不論是交通,不論是機器等等,每一項機器,就是要有這個圓的才轉得過。同樣的道理,「如車輪旋轉」。這輛車的輪子這樣將它滾過去。

這個輪子我們就將它譬喻,堪得譬喻佛陀在轉法輪。好像法也要經過這樣轉,能「轉凡成聖」,將凡夫變成聖人。從我們凡夫心,本來我們就是清淨的真如本性,只是將它染污了,現在變成凡夫,現在就是凡夫造作很多的無明,所以受種種苦。佛陀不堪眾生受苦難,所以他就用法,這樣生生世世,追隨著眾生來人間,所以這樣將這個法輾轉來回人間,用法要教化眾生,希望凡夫也能成為聖人。才用長久的時間,這樣,這個輪,輪子就是能夠碾破,能夠將它碾破掉,碾破掉了煩惱。因為我們的煩惱,也就像很硬的殼一樣,這個硬的殼就是要將它碾破。

就如我們吃花生一定要剝殼,很多東西都也要將殼破壞之後,裡面那個仁,才能夠吃,同樣的道理。你要種花生,也是一樣要先碾破了它的殼,花生仁才來種在土地裡,同樣的道理。所以,要將無明去除,這叫做「轉法輪」。

法輪就是要碾破一切,那個障礙煩惱。我們要了解佛法,若有煩惱無明放在我們的心裡,就像一層殼這樣將它擋住了,裡面的這個種子,發不出它的功能出來。

所以,「佛說法如轉輪」。就如那輪子在轉一樣,「法入眾生心」,將這個法要轉入人的心中去。是啊,這個車輪沒有動,車子怎麼會走呢?車輪沒有轉,我們永遠就是在這裡。我們若要去那邊,去到佛的聖地去,我們必定要有這個輪子,將我們運載到那邊去,這就是法輪。我們應該要很了解「法輪」。人間本來就是,有「事」和「理」,有「因」和有「緣」,因緣各有事理存在;若不是有事,就沒有世俗,因為世俗是因為有事。這個世俗,有家庭等等等等、夫妻、孩子、父母,一代一代。有人、有我、有朋友、有我所愛…等等,這些都變成了這個事。這些事都沒有離開世俗的事情。

所以,若沒有事,就不會有這些世俗的事情;若沒有理,就無法啟發真諦。因為有事才有理,這全都是對立,道理就是真諦。我們就要很用心。所以理、事通,就是真、俗無障礙。俗家的人,他若有接受到佛法,他也了解道理,他也能夠應用佛法在人間!利自己也能夠利他人,這個利己利人,就是行菩薩道。世俗的人事,也能夠做好事啊!這是一定的道理。

所以,就像我們現在在天下,有慈濟人在很多國家,在承擔天下苦難事。就看到海地,本來過去,也是一塊很富有的土地,也是很繁榮,卻是因為人的執著,人與人之間那個欲念,所以到了那個富有在海地變成了過去的歷史,目前的現實那就是貧困,很貧。我們過去在海地,就結上了這樣的因緣,在太陽城裡,我們就年年去發放。這個太陽城治安很不好。本來整個海地就都很貧窮,治安很不好。尤其是在太陽城,平常的人,不敢進去到這太陽城的地界,但是慈濟不忍心那些人,貧中之貧,很剛強,治安很不好,很貧困。

所以,我們選擇這個地方,每年都去發放。現在能夠看到,他們有次序來領物資。還有神父帶著大學生,來搬米、來發放。慈濟人真的是,在海地當地的種子,也已經出來了,四年多的時間,他們開始投入,在那個地方。因為多明尼加有臺商,要捐一萬雙的鞋子,在(二0一七年) 六月上旬,思晟又再去那個地方,準備要發放鞋子。思晟去到那個地方,先和大家來分享,分享臺灣的,(二0一七年)六月上旬,六月初大雨成災,他就拿「人間菩提」,去那個地方和大家分享,說這個節目畫面上,看到慈濟人在路上走,有人專程人停下來,來問:「你是慈濟人?我知道你是慈濟人,只是要對你們說一句的感恩。」這個影片在那個地方給他們看,甚至看到慈濟人,在那個地方清啊、掃啊,又是師父這樣告訢他們:「我們要用愛鋪路走過來,寸寸的愛,寸寸的道路,慈濟都是用愛鋪路,將它鋪平走過來的。」大家聽到,也看到畫面,看到這些人對慈濟人的感恩,「你是慈濟人,只想要抱抱你、要跟你說感恩」,這個畫面,在海地呈現在那個地方,志工看到很感動!慈濟原來是這樣,這麼多人,那麼地有規律,這樣在付出,所以大家再啟動這分愛,又再發心立願。這就是世間事,用法,世間的事用方法去教化他們。

這些人已經人人體會、了解,就是要改變;聽到他們在分享,也有說,他說:「我過去只有我自己:我的家庭、我想要的、我要貪的,我的,我很恨……。」有一位志工來分享他的過去,只有他自己、有他的家庭,和有他想要的,和有他想要貪的東西,和有貪不到,恨、恨、恨。所以他就有這樣的心態,所以所做出來的,就是很不好的行為。他說人人都是差不多這樣,所以使整個國家就是這樣貧窮。這樣治安不會好,人人都是生活這麼苦,這就是惡的因果。

他們現在知道了,現在大家已經懂得,去推動「竹筒歲月」,發願,他們發願一日一善,開始就是這樣。他說:「這個東西我要好好保護,我保護這個東西,就是保護我的善念。」一天一次的善,他就是要這樣去行動。這裡面很多感動人的故事。這就是世俗的事情,人事、家庭、自己造煩惱等等,所以變成了整個國家人群,會這麼的複雜,這是很苦。所以要轉,能救的,不是不能救。

聽到他們好幾個,說的話都是很感動人。甚至那裡,也度出了有錢人出來,他也跟慈濟人一起進去太陽城。他說,他以前是很怕,不敢靠去,現在他和慈濟人很安心進去,那種能夠將東西,從自己的手搬給別人,他說這種的感覺,比在他自己家裡享受更加歡喜。所以,他已經參加在這裡面了,他感覺他的人生很富有,又很有福。過去他比別人更富有,現在他比他自己的過去,更加富有,是因為心很歡喜,覺得很富足。這就是法在轉心,就是不同。所以我們要很體會、了解。

前面的經文這樣說:「諸佛身金色,百福相莊嚴,聞法為人說,常有是好夢。又夢作國王,捨宮殿眷屬,及上妙五欲,行詣於道場。在菩提樹下,而處師子座,求道過七日,得諸佛之智。」

諸佛身金色
百福相莊嚴
聞法為人說
常有是好夢
又夢作國王
捨宮殿眷屬
及上妙五欲
行詣於道場
在菩提樹下
而處師子座
求道過七日
得諸佛之智
《法華經安樂行品第十四》

這都解釋過了,這個夢,夢境很長,所有的法全都在夢境中浮現;我們想要追求的法,我們想要的,未來的境界,夢境中都有。

接下來再說:「成無上道已,起而轉法輪,為四眾說法,經千萬億劫,說無漏妙法,度無量眾生。後當入涅槃,如煙盡燈滅。」

成無上道已
起而轉法輪
為四眾說法
經千萬億劫
說無漏妙法
度無量眾生
後當入涅槃
如煙盡燈滅
《法華經安樂行品第十四》

因為我們夢見的境界,在那個這麼美的環境,我們聽佛說法,甚至我們也能為人說法,甚至我們在寂靜中在修行;修行我們也有得「八相成道」!「成無上道」,就在「轉法輪」,是真正在轉法輪,這是夢境。即使夢境,還是同樣在「靜思慮定」。在靜靜地思惟,好好地考慮。

成無上道已
起而轉法輪:
靜思慮定
微妙甚深境而起
為眾說法
轉法輪
成道、降魔
是即八相之二相

這很多的法,要如何將這個法輾轉出去,這是一個很微妙甚深,這個境界是在這「靜思慮定」之中。就是心很靜,寂靜清澄,心很穩定在那個地方,在思考這些法。這個法,每一項法都是微妙,那種澄清淨而無瑕穢的法,這種甚深微妙的境界,在這定中在思惟:要如何為眾生說法?要如何來轉法輪?這都是在這夢中的定境裡面,也是這樣在思惟。所以,還在夢中,「成道、降魔」。這就是八相中的兩種的相。「八相」,大家再用心了解。什麼叫做「八相」呢?

言八相成道:
一、從兜率天下
二、託胎
三、出生
四、出家
五、降魔
六、成道
七、轉法輪
八、入涅槃

佛陀現相人間,就是要讓我們知道,他從哪裡來啊?兜率天下來。因為兜率天,就是專門在訓練菩薩,將來人間成佛的地方。我們「六度萬行」若完成了,要成佛之前我們會上生兜率天。現在的彌勒菩薩也是在兜率天,來來回回人間助道場。這就是兜率天的境界。就是菩薩行「六度萬行」,將來就是在兜率天,成佛之前。要成佛,要「從兜率天下」,就是來人間。來,方向要去哪裡?依正二報,在哪裡呢?那就是在皇宮,太子就是在皇宮。

「託胎」,就是投胎進去了,這是第二相。第三相就是「出生」,太子出生了,舉國歡騰,歡喜了。第四是「出家」,出生之後,小時候對人間就生起了,到底人間是為什麼有生、老、病、死?到底人間為什麼,怎麼會有這麼苦的人?這去了解,不平等,煩惱,人間這個奧妙的理還存在,還未能突破,所以他決心出家去了,所以出家去修行。出家修行的過程中當然很辛苦,決定選擇在菩提樹下,開始將心靜定下來,七日間「降魔」。那個時候的心境,將要靜下來,卻是很多、很多的幻象的境界,在心腦中不斷澎湃這樣在出現,所以他要用很定的力,去降伏這個魔軍。

接下來「成道」。就是降伏魔軍之後,就能夠成道了,心境靜寂清澄,與大地宇宙真理、真如,合而為一,所以這就是「成道」。成道之後,佛陀就要轉法輪了。尤其是最後,四十九年說法,八十歲就「入涅槃」。這是佛陀一生的「八相」,從來自兜率天宮,最終是入寂靜了,不生滅的涅槃境界。這是佛陀叫做「八相成道」的道理。這樣過來了,所以,佛陀是為什麼來人間?

下面接下來的經文說,「為四眾說法」,為一大事因緣「開示」,就是要讓眾生,「悟、入」佛之知見;佛知、佛見,悟入佛的知、見、道。這就是讓大家,能夠順這條道路去走,開這條道,鋪這條路讓大家走。

為四眾說法
經千萬億劫
說無漏妙法
度無量眾生:
夢中為經
千萬億劫之久
常為四眾說妙法
夢境度生

所以「經千萬億劫」,經過了千萬億劫,時間要很久。「說無漏妙法」,經過這麼久的時間,總是要講出了,讓大家將法放在心裡,不是聽到就漏過去。讓大家心中有法,生活中有法,所以事和理,一定要日日事理相契合,這樣才有辦法能夠法在心中,才是在八識田所歸納下來,那就是清淨無污染的法。這不是業識,是我們真正清淨的第九識,歸納回去。

所以「說無漏妙法」,一層一層讓大家知道,說法,在說法還是讓大家了解,這是人間都做得到。但是,煩惱,大家帶著煩惱在實行這個法,煩惱中帶法在付出;付出,人與人之間難免就有成見,這就是「見」,見濁。我們五濁裡面就還有見濁,這個見濁就成為煩惱;煩惱入在我們的生命中。所以我們,佛陀要我們「無漏」,你就是用法去付出,煩惱要減,不要一邊在布施,行菩薩道,一邊又是人我是非的見解,又那麼多,若這樣,還是一半一半。尤其是煩惱,比平時要去付出的更多,所以我們要很警惕,能夠警惕叫做「無漏」,他煩惱會減少,法會增長;減少煩惱,增長法,唯有你要無漏,法入心,就能用。天下的事,無不都是讓我們學的法。

剛剛說的,海地有這樣的因緣,海地有這樣的苦難,海地有這樣的法能夠去轉它,同樣的道理。這就是說很多的法,要很長久的時間,佛陀就要經過了千萬億劫,這麼長久的時間這樣鍥而不捨,循循善誘,這樣一層一層,要讓大家法記在記憶中。所以,最近都一直告訴大家,法要在記憶之中,有在記憶之中就無漏了,沒有漏掉;若沒有在記憶之中,就是漏掉了。所以用這樣的方法,用長久的耐心一次再一次的法,讓大家希望加強記憶,能夠身體力行,這樣來度眾生。這就是,我們眾生就像在夢中一樣,「夢中為經千萬億劫」,就是做一個夢,好像經過了千萬億劫一樣。

所以,「常為四眾說法」。是啊,佛陀來面對著眾生,說法四十九年,佛陀開始講法到入涅槃,前後應該是五十年。他就要「示入」。這五十年,也只不過四天王天的一天而已。所以,佛陀那種塵點劫來,來來回回都是為眾生,一大事因緣,只是為了一項,讓我們眾生,法不要漏掉了,這樣來來回回,這時間很久,就如一場夢一樣,就是能夠夢出了千萬億劫的久。他這樣的時間,「為四眾說妙法」,就像「夢境度生」,就像作夢的當中,這個短暫的時間,一場夢的時間,就要來說千萬億劫的法。其實,千萬億劫就是這樣,不斷、不斷塵點劫累積,這些時間、空間、天地宇宙間的道理,都包含在裡面。所以,我們要很用心去體會,這在〈化城喻品〉也已經說很多,大家要再去回憶一下,記憶下來。接下來說,「後當入涅槃,如煙盡燈滅」。

後當入涅槃
如煙盡燈滅:
度眾世緣事畢
後入涅槃
如油盡燈光即滅
表夢入涅槃

度眾生就是這樣,用這麼長久的時間「度眾世緣」。佛陀來人間也是有一個期限,任何一個人,儘管在做夢,也夢見我們這樣修行成道,很快的時間就世緣盡了,這個「世緣事畢」,有事才有世俗,才需要下兜率、入王宮、入胎等等,這樣一輩子過來,「八相」就這樣過來。人人都要經過這樣的程序要過,才能夠成佛。我們也要同樣來出生,在哪一個家庭,我們什麼樣的環境,我們發心,我們要出家,修行的過程等等,我們也一樣要有這個形相的過程。

所以,這個過程,很快像夢這樣就過了,很快就「如煙盡燈滅」,「度眾世緣事畢,後入涅槃」,就開始要入涅槃了。人間生命就是這麼的短暫,大自然的法則,連佛陀也是一樣這樣。八十歲了,他就要準備,這個世緣已盡,他就要入涅槃了。就如油若點盡了,燈光就會熄滅了。同樣,這是表示「夢入涅槃」,也夢見自己入涅槃了,人生如夢,夢如人生,我們的人生最後一天,也有那一天,這就是人人一樣,和佛一樣。不過佛是覺悟中,入不生滅的涅槃,而我們凡夫呢?凡夫到最後何去何從不知呢?所以,我們要趕快把握時間,記著我們這場夢,是美夢還是惡夢呢?哪怕是做惡夢,我們也都要了解因緣果報。所以,法還是無漏,要在我們的心、記憶中,心心念念要在法,落實在我們的生活中,不論環境是什麼,法在我們的生活中。所以,「煙盡燈滅」,就是譬喻「眾生應度者度盡,而佛即入於涅槃」。

煙盡燈滅:
喻眾生應度者度盡
而佛即入於涅槃
菩薩修行精進
至相應時
諸多果相
均於夢中顯現

這場夢境,就是這樣來譬喻。回歸到現實的境界,佛陀也是將要入滅時。所以,「菩薩修行精進至相應時」。這些菩薩在修行的過程,到這個事相,「理」和「事相」開始相應和。開頭跟大家說,若不是有事,就沒有世俗;若不是有理,那就無法看到真諦。所以,我們的真諦,就是要借事相來顯明;事相不離開人間。所以,在精進中,就是以理來會合它,事、理相應之時。所以,很多的果相,均於夢中顯現出來。我們修行,現在在種因,未來的結果會怎麼樣?就在夢中。

是將來一切之果
已在今日之夢中
然則今日之果
亦曾在昔日之夢中
是所有諸法果相
固無一不在
眾生之夢中
進而言之
夢固為夢
豈為真實
未來之果固在夢中
過去之果
又如煙盡燈滅
即亦與夢何異?
「是將來一切之果」。我們現在要修的行,那就是將來能夠成的果,「已在今日之夢中」。在現在這個夢,我們平時就是法在心中,日思、夜夢,我們念念都是在修行,就是在善法中,所以晚上睡覺就有夢。「然則今日之果,亦曾在昔日之夢中」。我們今日的果,現在我們到底是怎麼樣呢?我們是快樂呢?或者是很痛苦呢?這就是過去生。所以,「今日之果」,我們今生所得到,我們自己是好是壞,就是過去,「亦曾在昔日之夢中」。也是過去,去造作的惡夢累積過來,就是夢就是人生,過去生那些夢我們去做過了,所以,今日有這樣的結果。過去生像一場夢,這樣就已經過了,現在所得到的果。所以,「是所有諸法果相,固無一不在眾生之夢中。」所有,是好的夢、壞的夢,我們一輩子就只是像一場夢而已,就是這樣這麼快。

所以,「進」,再進一步來說,夢就是夢?豈是真的?其實也不真。未來的果,就是全都在夢中,我們現在的人生就像一場夢。「過去之果又如煙盡燈滅」。我們過去所造作的,過去就已經過去了,就是造作這樣我們現在的果,所以也是一場夢。過去一場夢,現在所受到的果報,現在我們在修行、造作也是同樣在一場夢,到底是覺悟了沒?到底將好事變成了迷?或者是惡將它變成是覺呢?大家要很用心體會。

接下來這段文再說:「若後惡世中,說是第一法,是人得大利,如上諸功德。」

若後惡世中
說是第一法
是人得大利
如上諸功德
《法華經安樂行品第十四》

「若是於佛滅度後,末法世之中,能說如是第一之法」。那就是《法華經》,就是能夠得到很大的利益。

若後惡世中
說是第一法:
若是於佛滅後
末法世之中
能說如是第一之法
第一法:
即妙法華經

「是人得大利,如上諸功德」。像前面說過,有很多夢境中的功德。所以,「如是說法人,當得最妙廣大利益」。

是人得大利
如上諸功德:
如是說法人
當得最妙廣大利益
如上所說不可思議
大利
指寤時安樂
夢中安樂兩種

這是未來所得到的是真實,但是你要連這場夢,我們都要做得漂亮。所以,「如上所說不可思議」。其實法就是這樣無形無影蹤,卻是,我們要將它,收入我們的內心。其實非常地微妙。所以,「大利」,就是「指寤時安樂」,就是清醒起來,睡一睡,清醒起來,很快樂,做一場好夢,多麼的快樂啊,很快樂。「夢中安樂兩種」。我們白天睡醒來很快樂,晚上要躺下睡,有這樣的夢,很快樂。所以,時刻就是不離開這個心念。所以,日有所思,夜有所夢。白天的歡喜會帶入夢境去,所以醒來就是真實的,就是我們真實在法中,很歡喜。

雖然人生如夢,夢如人生,佛陀跟我們說這場這麼美的夢,是不是我們的人生,如夢人生,我們還是要將它變成了未來美夢成真。各位,這就是我們要修行,要如何將惡轉為善?要如何行菩薩道很安樂,不離開「四修」、「四法」、「三軌」,在〈安樂行(品)〉裡面說的,什麼叫做「四法」?什麼叫做「四行」?什麼叫做「三軌」?這段時間,大家要好好要去多用心。


月亮 在 周五 10月 12, 2018 1:54 pm 作了第 1 次修改
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發表主題: 回復: 20181012《靜思妙蓮華》成無上道 而轉法輪 (第1456集) (法華經·安樂行品第十四)   周五 10月 12, 2018 1:54 pm

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發表主題: 回復: 20181012《靜思妙蓮華》成無上道 而轉法輪 (第1456集) (法華經·安樂行品第十四)   周五 11月 09, 2018 8:26 pm

Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: Turning the Dharma-wheel (成無上道 而轉法輪)
Date: October.12.2018

“The Buddha expounds the Dharma and transforms [sentient beings] like the wheels of a cart turning. This can be called turning the Dharma-wheel. This can turn unenlightened beings into noble beings and crush all afflictions. This is known as turning the Dharma-wheel. Because the Buddha teaches the Dharma like the turning of a wheel, the Dharma enters sentient beings’ hearts.”

We must be mindful! The Buddha expounds the Dharma and transforms [sentient beings] like the wheels of a cart turning. Thus, this is called “turning the Dharma-wheel.” In this analogy, as the wheel turns, it crushes all kinds of afflictions, “turning unenlightened beings into noble beings.” So, we must mindfully seek to comprehend this.

Why did the Buddha come to the world? We clearly know it was for His one great cause. This one great cause is inseparable from us sentient beings. Sentient beings live with so much suffering. This suffering comes from afflictions and ignorance. There are many causes for our afflictions. The world is impermanent and full of suffering. Speaking of impermanence, spring, summer, fall and winter occur in nature, and there are birth, aging, illness and death in the course of a human life. This is impermanence. This is the law of nature. Speaking of the four seasons, gradually, as we have entered this period, this era of the evil world of turbidities, we can clearly sense that the four seasons have become imbalanced.

In the past, the four elements of the laws of nature were in harmony. Due to the harmony of the four elements, natural resources were abundant. Back then, these resources sustained human life, because we lived simple lives. It was a very simple cycle. Spring, summer, fall and winter formed a simple cycle. The resources of the earth were naturally abundant. Nowadays, our material goods in life appear to be more abundant than before.

However, these material resources are processed; they are heavily processed and manufactured into goods. This is not a natural [process]. These are manmade [products] that necessitate destruction to be produced. Because destruction must happen before production, this leads to abnormalities [in nature]. The climate of the world is in disharmony, and mountains and rivers of the earth have been distorted. Thus, there are extreme weather patterns. This is how everything is interconnected. This also happens to the human body, which experiences birth, aging, illness and death. These things happen very naturally. No matter how natural these things are, [we will suffer from] parting with those we love and meeting those we hate. Along with birth, aging, illness and death, we all have the Eight Sufferings. In our lives, do the Eight Sufferings follow a fixed schedule? No. Because we sentient beings have each created different karmic forces, the length of our lifespans are different. Within this lifetime, the karmic retributions we receive are also different.

So, there are countless variations. The same applies to people’s lifestyle. There are also imbalances. These imbalances come from greed, anger and ignorance. Our manifold afflictions lead to differences in wealth and social status, illness and suffering. In the world today, everything, from our lodgings to our food, is imbalanced and heavily processed. The food we eat nowadays is not the way it was in the past, with seasonal grains and seasonal fruits and vegetables. This is no longer the case. Throughout the year, we can enjoy the same greens and the same fruits. Why is that? They are all enhanced to grow rapidly. They are all processed. With the advancement of science and technology, we can cultivate produce and so on that are constantly providing harvests.

In summary, in response to the world, the Buddha came to the world to give teachings. To widely teach the Dharma in the world, He must teach the Dharma from a starting point so that one can give rise to infinity. One principle requires many different approaches and analogies. Actually, if we understand just one principle, we can penetrate all principles. Unfortunately, due to sentient beings’ afflictions and ignorance, they have countless entanglements. So, the Buddha must use one principle through countless different approaches to patiently guide and transform us. This one principle is very simple, that everyone intrinsically has Buddha-nature. Once we awaken our intrinsic nature of. True Suchness, we will immediately understand. Isn’t this very simple? In life, whether it is the vast universe or a microcosm, they all come together with the one true principle, which encompasses the principles of all things in the universe. It should be easy to understand this. When we bring this “simplicity” back to our lives, we can naturally live a simple life. With this simplicity, we can then thoroughly understand the principles.

However, at this moment, we [have access to] so many principles, but all of these sutras and treatises are solely to help us eliminate our afflictions. We must open up and let things go. We should not keep afflictions and ignorance inside our minds. We must thoroughly understand the karmic law of cause and effect. Year after year, lifetime after lifetime, we constantly live amongst defilement. We keep reproducing these defilements. We brought them along ourselves. In the past, we did not understand the Buddha’s compassion. He explained this one principle, and, according to people’s many different capabilities, devised different methods to teach them. So, [the Dharma] must be like a wheel that is constantly turning in the same way. The [wheel] must turn constantly so that this Dharma can be widely spread. Only then can we purify this complex turbidity.

This is just like growing rice. Planting a seed is very easy. We use methods to plant the seed in the soil. When the seedings begin to grow, we need to till the soil. After we till the soil and the water and fertilizer are sufficient, we then need to transplant the seedlings. After that, we must continuously cultivate and tend to the crops until it is time to harvest. We used to harvest by hand. Now, we just need to drive a vehicle to harvest them by machine. Now, because we have started using machines as we harvest, we drive the vehicle over the soil. See, these vehicles also use wheels. In the past, after we harvested the rice, we placed the unhusked rice in a manual fanning mill operated by pedaling a lever. This barrel that threshes the rice is also round. We must constantly pedal to keep it turning. Once threshed in the machine, the rice grains are separated from the stalks, and our come grains of rice. Only [after husking] do the grains of rice become white rice.

By the same principle, the Buddha also started from the beginning. People planted the rice by hand, letting one [grain] give rise to infinity. Using manual labor, we need these round wheel-like [machines] to turn in order to separate the grains from the husks. These grains can then be used to provide nutrients to people. This is just like the Dharma. The Dharma is like a seed. It is constantly going through cycles. We keep the seeds, but what they produce is used to provide nutrients to people. Therefore, we should never lose these seeds. People today still depend on grains like these to sustain their lives. [Harvesting] these gratings cannot be done without wheels. From transportation to machines, every mechanical object needs [wheels] to turn and operate. In the same way, “[The Buddha expounds the Dharma] like the wheels of a cart turning.” It is like wheels of a cart turning. We use a wheel as an analogy for how the Buddha turned the Dharma-wheel. The Dharma must also be turned in this way. “It can turn unenlightened beings into noble beings.” It turns unenlightened begins into noble beings. Inside the minds of ordinary beings, we intrinsically have the pure nature of True Suchness. However, we have contaminated it. Now, we have become ordinary begins. Now, as unenlightened beings, we create so much ignorance. We therefore, endure all kinds of suffering. The Buddha could not bear to see sentient beings suffer. So, He utilized the Dharma lifetime after lifetime, following sentient begins to this world. Time and again, He returned to the world, using the Dharma to teach and transform all beings. In the hope that ordinary beings can also become noble begins one day. This was how He spent such a long time. So, this wheel can crush. It can crush our afflictions. Our afflictions are like hard shells. We must crush this hard shell. Just like when we eat peanuts, we have to remove the shell. There are many foods where we must break open their shells so that we can eat the seeds inside. In the same way, when we want to plant peanuts, we need to first crush the shells. Then, we can plant the seeds in the soil. The principle is the same.

Thus, to eliminate ignorance is to “turn the Dharma-wheel”. The purpose of the Dharma-wheel is to crush al obstacles and afflictions. We need to understand the Buddha-Dharma. Having afflictions in our mind is like having a shell that blocks it. The seeds inside are unable to exercise their potential. “Because the Buddha teaches the Dharma like turning a wheel, the Dharma enters sentient begins’ hearts.” Indeed! Without the wheel turning, how can this cart move? If the wheels are not turning, we will always remain here. If we want to go to the other side, to the noble realm of the Buddha, we need these wheels to transport us there. This is the Dharma-wheel. We should understand the “Dharma-wheel” very well.

In the world, there will always be matters and principles, as well as causes and conditions. The causes and conditions all have their corresponding matters and principles. Without matters, there would be no mundane world. The mundane world exists because there are matters. In the mundane world, there are families and so on, [including] married couples, children, parents, generation after generation. There are others and ourselves, friends, people we love and so on. All of these people constitute these “matters”. All these matters are inseparable from the matters of this world. So, without these matters, there would be no matters of the mundane world, and without principles, we cannot awaken to the truth. Only through matters can there be principles. They exist in relation to one another.

These principles are the truth. We need to be mindful. So, if we understand both principles and matters, we will have unhindered understanding of both the truth and worldly matters. When lay people accept the Buddha-Dharma, they can also understand the principles. They can also apply the Buddha-Dharma in the world. They can benefit themselves and others. To benefit ourselves and others is to practice the Bodhisattva-path. People in the mundane world can also do good deeds. This is an absolute principle. Right now, in this world, there are Tzu Chi volunteers in many countries taking on responsibilities to relieve suffer.

Look at Haiti. In the past, it was a land that was rich and prosperous. Because of people’s attachments and the desire among people, prosperity became a thing of the past for Haiti, and the present reality is extreme poverty. In the past, in Haiti, we established a karmic connection. In [the commune of] Cite Soleil, we carry out distributions annually. Cite Soleil has a very high crime rate. Since Haiti is overall a very poor country, there is a lot of crime, especially in Cite Soleil. Normally, people are afraid to enter the limits of Cite Soleil. However, Tzu Chi volunteers could not bear to see these poor among the poor suffer. They are tough and stubborn, living with high crime rates and great poverty. So, we chose this place to carry out distributions every year.

Now, we can see people orderly lining up to pick up their goods. A priest led a group of university students to help carry and distribute the rice. Truly, Tzu Chi volunteers have planted seeds in Haiti that are now sprouting. After a little more than four years, the local began to join us in volunteering at that place.

A Taiwanese businessman in the Dominican Republic wanted to donate 10,000 pairs of shoes. In early June 2017, [our volunteer] James Chen visited [Haiti] again, preparing to distribute these shoes. When James Chen arrived, he first shared with everyone about how Taiwan, in early June of 2017, experienced disastrous heavy rains. He shared “Life Wisdom” videos with everyone there. From the video, they saw Tzu Chi volunteers walking on the road. Someone made the point of stopping to come ask, “Are you Tzu Chi volunteers? I know you are Tzu Chi volunteers. I just want to say ‘Thank you’”. They showed this video to them. They saw Tzu Chi volunteers helping locals to sweep and clean and me telling them, “We need to pave the road with love. Every inch of the road is paved with love. Tzu Chi paves the road with love so that it is smooth for people to walk along”. Everyone heard and saw the video. They witnessed people’s gratitude toward Tzu Chi volunteers. “Since you are Tzu Chi volunteers, I just want to give you a hug and express my gratitude”. This video was present to the people in Haiti.

Local volunteers were really moved by the video. “This is what Tzu Chi is like. There are so many volunteers who are so disciplined and give of themselves to help others”. So, the locals further awakened their love, formed aspirations and made vows. This is an example of worldly matters. We are using the Dharma and worldly matters to teach and transform them. These people have all comprehended and understood this and want to change. In the sharing, some of [the locals] said, “In the past, everything was about myself, my family, what I wanted, what I craved for [and so on]. I had a lot of resentment”. A volunteer shared about his past. He only cared about himself, his family, the things he wanted, and the things he craved for. Whenever he could not get what he wanted, he became resentful. So, that was his mindset. Thus, what he did in the past was all very bad behavior. He said most people are like this, so the entire nation is in poverty and has high crime rates. People’s lives are full of suffering. This is due to negative causes and effects.

Now, everyone should understand this. Nowadays, everyone knows to promote “the spirit of the bamboo banks”. They formed aspirations to “do one virtuous deed every day”. That is how they started. One volunteer said, “I need to carefully protect [this bamboo bank]. When I protect this bamboo bank, I also protect my good thoughts. Doing one good deed every day is what he wants to put into practice. There are many touching stories there. These are matters of the mundane world, between people and families, afflictions that people create themselves etc. Therefore, the entire nation and its people have become extremely chaotic. This brings great suffering.

So, we must turn this around. There is still hope to help them. After hearing the stories of several volunteers, I found their words to be very moving. Over there, they also inspired the wealthy to join. One man followed the Tzu Chi volunteers into Cite Soleil. He said he used to be very afraid of approaching that place. Now, with the Tzu Chi volunteers, he could enter with peace of mind. Being able to personally hand the goods to others, according to him, was a feeling more joyous than indulging himself at home. So, after he participated in this, he felt that his life was very rich and that he was very blessed. In the past, he was richer than others. Now, he is richer than his past self because he is joyful and content. The Dharma has turned the wheels of his mind, so he feels different. Therefore, we need to mindfully comprehend this.

The previous sutra passage states, “Those Buddhas’ bodies will be golden in color, with dignified marks from 100 blessings. They will listen to the Dharma and teach it to others. So, they will always have these good dreams. They will also dream of being kings who abandon their palaces, families, followers and their supreme and wondrous Five Desires. They will do to the place of enlightenment beneath the Bodhi tree and sit upon the lion’s throne. After seeking enlightenment for seven days they will attain the wisdom of all Buddhas.”

I have already explained all of this. This dream is very long. All the teachings emerge in this dream-stat. the Dharma and the future states we seek. The Dharma and the future states we seek can all be found in this dream.

The sutra passage continues, “Having attained the unsurpassed path, they will rise and turn the Dharma-wheel. They will teach the Dharma for the fourfold assembly. For trillions of kalpas, they will teach the flawless, wondrous Dharma, transforming countless sentient beings. after that, they will enter Parinirvana, like the smoke disappearing after the lamp is extinguished.

In our dream, we are in such a beautiful environment, listening to the Buddha’s teachings. We can also teach the Dharma to other people and even engage in spiritual practice in this tranquil environment. Though spiritual practice, we can also attain the Eight Aspects of Attaining Enlightenment. Having “attained the unsurpassed path,” we can “turn the Dharma-wheel”. We are truly the Dharma-wheel. This is a dream. Although this is a dream, we are still “contemplating and meditating” in Samadhi.

Having attained the usurpassed path, they will rise and turn the Dharma-wheel: They will contemplate and meditate in Samadhi, and then rise from this subtle, wondrous, extremely profound state to expound the Dharma for sentient beings and turn the Dharma-wheel. Attaining enlightenment and subduing maras are two of the Eight Aspects.

Since there are so many teachings, how can we spread these teachings? This is a very subtle and profound state. It requires to “contemplate and meditate in Samadhi”. This means our minds should be very tranquil and clear. Our minds need to be steady and focused there to contemplate these teachings. All of the teachings are subtle and wondrous. They are tranquil and clear, free from any flaws or impurities. This is a state that is extremely profound and wondrous. In this state of Samadhi, we contemplate how to expound the Dharma for sentient beings and how we can turn the Dharma-wheel. This is all in the state of Samadhi in the dream, and that is how we contemplate [these things]. In this dream, [we can] “attain enlightenment and subdue maras. These are two of the Eight Aspects of Attaining. Everyone needs to mindfully seek to understand “the Eight Aspects” further. What are the Eight Aspects?

The Eight Aspects of Attaining Enlightenment: 1. Descending from Tusita heaven. 2. Entering the mother’s womb. 3. Being born. 4. Renouncing lay life. 5. Subduing maras. 6. Attaining enlightenment. 7. Turning the Dharma-wheel. 8. Entering Parinirvana.

As the Buddha manifested in the world, He wished to let us know whrer He came from He came from Tusita Heaven. Tusita Heaven is a place dedicated to training Bodhisattvas who will attain Buddhahood in the future in this world. Once we have actualized the Six Paramitas in all actions, before attaining Buddhahood, we will be born into Tusita Heaven. Now, Maitreya Bodhisattva is also in Tusita Heaven. Time and again, he returns to the world to assist in places of spiritual practice. This is the state of Tusita Heaven. Bodhisattvas actualize the Six Paramitas in all actions. In the future, they will be Tusita Heaven before they attain Buddhahood. To attain Buddhahood, they need to “descend from Tusita Heaven”. This means they must come to the world. When they come to the world, where will they head to? Where will their direct and circumstantial retributions be? [For the Buddha], they were in the palace. The prince was born in the palace. “Entering the mother’s womb” means being conceived. That is the second aspect.

The third aspect is “being born”. The prince was born. The entire nation celebrated this joyfully. the fourth is “renouncing lay life”. After [the prince] was born, when he was young, he started to [have questions] about life. Why are there birth, aging, illness and death in the world? Hwy are there people who suffer so much in the world? So, he began to understand that there ae inequalities and afflictions. There were still profound and wondrous principles in the world that he had yet to break through. So, he was determined to renounce the lay life. Therefore, he became a monastic and engaged in spiritual practice. Of course, the journey as a monastic practitioner. Was very difficult. He decided to sit beneath the Bodhi-tree and began to quiet his mind to enter Samadhi. For seven days, he “subdued maras”. At that moment, when he was about to quiet his mind, many illusory states kept appearing continuously in his mind. So, he needed to exercise the power of Samadhi to subdue the army of maras. “Attaining enlightenment” is how, after taming the army of maras, he was able to attain enlightenment. His state of mind became tranquil and clear. He became one with the principles of the universe and the nature of True Suchness. This is “attaining enlightenment”. After attaining enlightenment, the Buddha turned the Dharma-wheel. In the end, the Buddha spent 49 years expound the Dharma. At the age of 80, He “entered Parinirvana”. These are the Eight Aspects of the Buddha’s life. Staring with His descent from Tusita Heaven, He eventually entered the tranquil and still state of Parinirvana, which neither arises nor ceases. These are the Buddha’s Eight Aspects of Attaining Enlightenment. This is what He went through. So, why did the Buddha come to the world?

The following sutra passage states, “They will teach the Dharma for the fourfold assembly.” For one great cause, He “opens and reveals” [the Dharma] for sentient beings to “realize and enter” the Buddha’s understanding and views. It is for them to realize and enter the path of the Buddha’s understanding and views. This is to help everyone follow along this road. The Buddha opened this path so everyone can walk along it.

They will teach the Dharma for the fourfold assembly. For trillions of kalpas, they will teach the flawless, wondrous Dharma, transforming countless sentient beings: In their dreams, throughout trillions of kalpas, they will constantly expound the wondrous Dharma for the fourfold assembly. They will transform sentient beings in their dreams.

So, it says, “throughout trillions of kalpas”. It takes trillions of kalpas, a very long time, to “teach the flawless, wondrous Dharma”. After such a long time, [the Buddha] wanted to teach [the wondrous Dharma] so everyone can take the Dharma to heart instead of hearing it and letting it leak away. The goal is to help everyone keep the Dharma in their hearts and their lives. Therefore, speaking of matters and principles, we must bring matters into resonance with the principles every day. Only then can we keep the Dharma in our minds and return it to our eighth consciousness. That is the pure and undefiled Dharma. This is not the karmic consciousness, it is a return to the truly pure ninth consciousness.

So, He “taught the flawless, wondrous Dharma”. The Buddha taught the Dharma layer by layer to help everyone understand that this can be accomplished in the world. However, there are afflictions. When people practice this Dharma with afflictions in their minds, when they bring the Dharma amidst afflictions as they strive to help others, they will inevitably have bias toward each other. This is called “the turbidity of views”. The turbidity of views is one of the Five Turbidities. The turbidity of views becomes afflictions. The afflictions then enter our lives. Therefore, the Buddha wants us to be “without Leaks”. We must apply the Dharma as we help others. We need to eliminate our afflictions. As we are giving and practicing the Bodhisattva-path, we must not keep having so many interpersonal conflicts. If we do, we are only halfway there. This is especially because our afflictions will be more than usual when we serve others.

So, we need to be very vigilant. Being able to be vigilant is being “without Leaks”. By reducing our afflictions, we increase our Dharma. To reduce our afflictions and increase our Dharma, we must be without Leaks so that we can take the Dharma to heart and use it. All the matters in the world are Dharma for us to learn.

Like I just said, Haiti has these causes and conditions and such suffering, but Haiti also has the Dharma to turn this around. In the same way, it takes a long time to expound so many teachings. The Buddha has spent trillions of kalpas, never giving up throughout such a long time, to patiently guide sentient beings. Layer by layer, He helped everyone remember the Dharma. Recently, I have been telling everyone that we need to store the teachings in our memories. When we store the teachings in our memories, we will not have any Leaks. If these teachings are not stored in our memories, then they have leaked away.

Therefore, with this method and long-lasting patience, He taught us the Dharma over and over in hopes that we can all enhance our memories and put the teachings into practice. In this way, we can transform sentient beings. This is how we sentient beings are living in a dream. We have been in this dream for trillions of kalpas. It is as though we just had a dream that lasted for trillions of kalpas.

So it says, “They will teach the Dharma for the fourfold assembly”. Indeed, the Buddha expounded the Dharma for sentient beings for 49 years. From Him starting to teach the Dharma to entering Parinirvana, this can be said to have been about 50 years. He had to reveal to us that the 50 years He spent were equal to only one day in the heaven of the Four Heavenly Kings.

Since dust-inked kalpas ago, the Buddha repeatedly returned to the world to transform sentient beings for this one great cause. He [came] just for one goal, to keep sentient beings from letting the Dharma leak away. The Buddha repeatedly returned to the world over a very long time. It was just like having a dream that lasted for trillions of kalpas.

During that time, “He constantly expounded the wondrous Dharma for the fourfold assembly”. It was like “He transformed sentient beings in their dreams”. During their dreams, in a short period of time, He had to expound the Dharma of trillions of kalpas. Actually, these trillions of kalpas are accumulated over dust-inked kalpas. The principles regarding time, space and the universe are all encompassed within. So, we must mindfully seek to comprehend this. The Chapter on the Parable of the Conjured City discusses this extensively. Please, everyone, recall it and remember it.

Then the sutra passage states, “After that, they will enter Parinirvana, like the smoke disappearing after the lamp is extinguished”.

After that, they will enter Parinirvana, like the smoke disappearing after the lamp is extinguished: After their worldly conditions for transforming sentient beings have ended, they will enter Parinirvana. This is like how, when the oil is exhausted, the lamplight is immediately extinguished. This represents dreaming of entering Parinirvana.

Transforming sentient beings takes a very long time. When it comes to “the worldly conditions for transforming sentient beings,” the Buddha’s lifetime in the world was also limited. For any of us, although we dream of spiritual practice and attaining enlightenment, our worldly conditions will end very quickly. These “worldly conditions” will end. The mundane world only exists through matters. This is why the Buddha must descend from Tusita Heaven to enter the palace, the mother’s womb and so on. So, He spent His entire life going through “the Eight Aspects”. Everyone needs to go through this process to attain Buddhahood. We also need to go through the process of birth. We also need to be born in a certain family, in a certain environment, from our aspirations, renounce the lay life, engage in spiritual practice and so on.

In the same way, we also need to go through this process with form and appearance. This process will be over as quickly as a dream. It is “like the smoke disappearing after the lamp is extinguished. After our conditions for transforming sentient beings have ended, we will enter Parinirvana”. We will then enter Parinirvana. Human life is simply that short. It is the law of nature. Even the Buddha must follow the same law. At the age of 80, He had to prepare; His worldly affinities had come to an end, and He was about to enter Parinirvana. This is just how if the oil is running out, the lamplight will soon be extinguished. This represents “dreaming of entering Parinirvana”. We also dream about entering Parinirvana ourselves.

Life is like a dream; a dream is like life. We all have a last day in our lives. This is something all of us have in common with the Buddha. However, the Buddha has already attained enlightenment and which neither arises nor ceases. How about us ordinary beings? As ordinary beings, we still do not know where we will go at the end. So, we must immediately seize the time to remember this dream. Is it a good dream or a nightmare? Even if it is a nightmare, we must understand the karmic law of cause and effect. So, we must not let the Dharma leak away. We must keep it in our hearts and our memories. We must keep the Dharma in every thought and implement it in our daily living. Regardless of our environment, the Dharma is always in our lives.

“The smoke disappearing after the lamp is extinguished” represents how, “Having transformed all the sentient beings who must be transformed, those Buddhas immediately enter Parinirvana”.

Smoke disappearing after the lamp is extinguished: Having transformed all the sentient beings who must be transformed, those Buddhas immediately enter Parinirvana. As Bodhisattvas practice and advance diligently until [principles and matters] resonate with each other, many fruitions will appear in their dreams.

This dream state is an analogy. Back to reality, the Buddha was about to enter Parinirvana. “Bodhisattvas practice and advance diligently until [principles and matters] resonate with each other.” These Bodhisattvas were engaging in spiritual practice until these matters and appearances began to resonate with principles. As we discussed in the beginning, without matters, there would be no mundane world. Without principles, we cannot see the truths. Therefore, the truths must be revealed through matters and appearances.

Matters and appearances are inseparable from the world. Thus, as we practice diligently, we must unite the principles with matters so matters and principles can resonate with each other. Many fruitions are revealed in our dreams. When we engage in spiritual practice, we are planting the causes. What will the future outcome look like? It can be found in our dreams.

All their future fruitions already exist in their present dreams. Likewise, their present fruitions have also existed in their past dreams. All the appearances of all fruitions can be found in sentient beings’ dreams. To speak of it further, a dream is certainly a dream; how can it be real? Our future fruitions are certainly in a dream, but our past fruitions are also like smoke disappearing after a lamp is extinguished, so how is this any different from a dream?

Speaking of “all their future fruitions,” what we are practicing today will become fruitions in the future. [They] "already exist in their present dreams.” In our present dreams, we regularly keep the Dharma in our minds. We contemplate it in the day and dream about it at night. Our every thought is on our spiritual practice, dwelling in virtuous Dharma. Therefore, when we are sleeping at night, we will have dreams. “Likewise, their present fruitions have also existed in their past dreams.” Speaking of our present fruitions, what is the current status of our lives? Are we happy or are we suffering in our lives? Between life and death, are we happy? Or are we suffering? This depends on our past lives. So, “present fruitions” are what we have attained in this life. Whether they are good or bad depends on our past. [They] “have also existed in their past dreams.” They are accumulated in our bad dreams in the past. These dreams are our lives. Because of what happened in our past dreams, we have these consequences today. Our past lifetime is like a dream. Since it has already happened, we have now attained the present fruitions. “All the appearances of all fruitions can be found in sentient beings’ dreams.” All [of these dreams], good dreams and bad dreams, are included. Our entire lifetime is just like a dream. This is how fast it passes.

Furthermore, a dream is just a dream; how can we treat it as reality? So, it is actually not real. The future fruitions are all in our dreams. Our present life is like a dream, “but our past fruitions are also like smoke disappearing after the lamp is extinguished.” Whatever karma we created in the past, the past is in the past. We created our present fruitions. So, they are also just another dream. From a dream in the past, we now receive its fruitions in retribution. Right now, we engage in spiritual practice, and what we create is also in a dream. Have we awakened or not? Have we turned good things into delusions or have we transformed evil into enlightenment? We need to mindfully seek to comprehend this.

The following sutra passage states, “If people in a future evil world teach this supreme Dharma, these people will attain great benefits, such as those aforementioned merits and virtues.”

“After the Buddha enters Parinirvana, there will be people in the era of Dharma-degeneration who can teach this supreme Dharma.” That supreme Dharma is the Lotus Sutra, from which people can attain great benefits.

If people in a future evil world teach this supreme Dharma: After the Buddha enters Parinirvana, there will be people in the era of Dharma-degeneration who can teach this supreme Dharma. The supreme Dharma: This refers to the Wondrous Lotus Sutra.

“These people will attain great benefits, such as those aforementioned virtues and merits.” As I mentioned before, there are many merits and virtues in the dream. “Those who expound the Dharma will certainly attain the most wondrous and extensive benefits.”

These people will attain great benefits, such as those aforementioned merits and virtues: Those who expound the Dharma will certainly attain the most wondrous and extensive benefits that are inconceivable, as mentioned previously. Great benefits refers to the two kinds of peace and joy, peace and joy while awake and peace and joy while in dreams.

What we will attain in the future is reality. So, even if it is a dream, we need to make it a beautiful one. [Our benefits] will be “inconceivable, as mentioned previously.” Actually, the Dharma is intangible and formless, but we need to take it into our hearts. It is actually very subtle and wondrous. Speaking of “the great benefits,” this refers to “peace and joy while awake.” When we wake up after sleep, we are very happy. When we have a good dream, we are so happy. [There is also] “peace and joy while in dreams.” During the day, we are happy after we wake up. When we go to bed at night, we are very happy for having a dream like this. So, at any moment, we should always have this thought. Whatever we contemplate during the day, we dream of at night. The joy we have during the day will be brought into our dreams. When we wake up, it is reality. Truly, we are very joyful living in the Dharma. Life is like a dream and vice versa.

The Buddha explained such a beautiful dream to us. Do we live our lives like a dream, or do we turn this dream into reality? Everyone, this is why we must engage in spiritual practice. How do we transform evil into goodness? How do we practice the Bodhisattva-path with peace and joy? It is inseparable from practices, methods and directives. In the Chapter on the Practice of Bringing Peace and Joy, what are the methods [of binging peace and joy]? What are the Four Practices? What are the Three Directives? During this time, we all need to always be mindful!

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