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 20181015《靜思妙蓮華》 總安樂行 啟涌出品 (第1457集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)

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20181015《靜思妙蓮華》 總安樂行 啟涌出品 (第1457集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五) Empty
發表主題: 20181015《靜思妙蓮華》 總安樂行 啟涌出品 (第1457集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)   20181015《靜思妙蓮華》 總安樂行 啟涌出品 (第1457集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五) Empty周一 10月 15, 2018 6:46 am

20181015《靜思妙蓮華》 總安樂行 啟涌出品 (第1457集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)

⊙上明身口意願,四行持經堪忍,世間毀呰諸難,願行一實乘法,誓於人間宣揚,如是闡明如法,修四安樂行人,之所成就真實。
⊙四安樂行:身無險故安,心無憂故樂。一、身安樂行,二、口安樂行,三、意安樂行,四、誓願安樂行。
⊙身當遠離十種事:一、遠離豪富權勢,二、遠離邪人邪法,三、遠離凶險嬉戲,四、遠離旃陀羅,五、遠離二乘眾妨修大乘之行故,六、遠離欲想,七、遠離不男之人,八、遠離危害之處,有九、遠離譏嫌之事,十、遠離畜養。既遠離如是十事已,是名身安樂行。
⊙四安樂行:一、身安樂行,二、口安樂行,三、意安樂行,四、誓願安樂行。
⊙佛為傳法人間,盡一大事因緣,以諸菩薩從地出,而升至虛空,故云從地涌出。然此為是事相,而內含甚深理體,茲就義釋如下。

【證嚴上人開示】
上明身口意願,四行持經堪忍,世間毀呰諸難,願行一實乘法,誓於人間宣揚,如是闡明如法,修四安樂行人,之所成就真實。

上明身口意願
四行持經堪忍
世間毀呰諸難
願行一實乘法
誓於人間宣揚
如是闡明如法
修四安樂行人
之所成就真實

請大家要多用心啊,這段時間,「上」,以上,「明身口意願,四行持經堪忍」,〈安樂行品〉,我們不就是四行,四行那就是身、口、意、願,我們身、口、意、願,這是我們修行是很重要,能夠行「四安樂行」,也是要以身、口、意,還要立弘誓願!前面所說的,我們再稍微回憶一下,聽經,本來就是要聞而憶持,聽了之後要常常回憶,回憶,我們要身體力行,這才是真正聽經,我們有所得。在〈安樂行品〉的開頭,佛陀就開始告訴我們,要受持這部經,我們的心裡有準備,「世間毀訾諸難」,這世間的人,這個生態,人間愈來愈惡劣,濁氣很重,不只是大乾坤的濁氣,眾生共業,心靈煩惱的濁氣也愈來愈重了。

現在的人的心理不很單純,尤其是現在的人,心願不能很堅切,人無法了解自己的心,發願得快,發願容易受持難。我們以前不是常常這樣說嗎,你發願很簡單,你能夠堅定這樣,永遠受持這念心下去嗎?困難啊!這就是我們現在人心的寫照,就是這樣,發心容易恆心難。所以說,身、口、意,既然身體在力行,既然也知道要說好話,不要語言發生了衝突,不要發生矛盾的語言,我們明知道,但是還是習氣難改!人與人之間,大家在一起久了,很不拘小節(「靠熟」台語),我們的態度,身體所表達出來,我們的臉上所表達出來的表情,語言所發出來的聲音,因為人都很熟了,所以就沒有在禮節的範圍內,容易出口傷人,(臉)色難看,聲難聽,這是我們自己身、口沒有顧好,脫離了禮。

聽的人,聽起來很不舒服,你怎麼能夠對我說這樣的話呢?眼睛看到的,很不順眼,想以前,你在對待我的臉色不是這樣,從前你在和我說話,聲音很柔和,現在呢,你怎麼用這樣的臉色給我看,你怎麼用這樣的聲音讓我聽,所以我就不舒服了!所以這樣,人與人之間這形態就會有對立。這有對立的人間,要相處在一起那就難過了!「我忍不住。」「你忍不住,我也是忍不住啊!」像這樣的共處。我過去我發願,我海誓山盟,我就是要這樣,我要在這裡好好修行,我要守護人群,我要在這裡學法,我要在這個團體去為人群付出。但是,這已經是和我們的意,已經有相違背了,本來我們的心意就是要這樣,怎麼這個環境,人與人變成了聲色不合,那就會彼此之間意願相違,所以這個身、口、意,那就發生了讓我們的願搖動了。

因為這樣,在這個身、口、意,後面再加一個願,願,我們要提高警覺自己,我既發願了,弘誓願,我應該要把我自己的心,顧好我的意,我應該發願如初,我就是要學佛,我就是要行菩薩道,這樣我們才有辦法,在這個「四行持經堪忍」,這已經是在〈安樂行品〉裡,佛陀教我們的。〈安樂行品〉也很長,這樣不斷地叮嚀、警惕我們,警惕了之後再叮嚀。

加上了文殊師利慈悲,聽到佛陀說世間有這麼多毀訾,和很多的困難,「毀訾」就是口頭上中傷我們,口頭上的惡言等等,惡口、惡言中傷我們,這種毀訾,種種,又用種種的態度讓我們難堪,這世間有這樣,這世間有這樣,這麼多、這麼多的事情,〈安樂行品〉已經說過了,就像這樣,我們的願還守得住嗎?文殊菩薩就開始請佛陀來說,能夠避離這些難,完成我們的願,菩薩的願,有方法嗎?

這是佛陀說法,文殊菩薩再來補充,請佛陀再用另外一種的法,讓我們了解,讓我們修持,所以「有願行一實乘法」,好好保護我們這個願,願和行為。我們要向著那一實乘法,這是我們所要求的方向。但是,當中有人與人之間,這種言語、形色,讓我們的心受到障礙,我們要怎麼守好我們的願行?我們能夠一實乘法的方向,能夠繼續往前行嗎?那就是要「誓於人間宣揚」,這是我們的心願。

「如是闡明如法」,這就是文殊菩薩,請佛陀再詳細告訴我們,要怎麼如我們的心願,在人群中,這樣投入人群去宣揚佛法,什麼方法,能夠避開世間這種毀訾,以及種種難行能行的方法。這是很感恩文殊菩薩,再請佛陀開出了,用什麼方法,讓我們繼續滿我們的願,讓我們安全,堅定我們的心意,持我們的願行,向前精進,所以,要修四安樂行的人,所成就真實的法,這就是釋迦佛在說法的過程,文殊菩薩來維護,未來這個濁惡的世間,人心複雜,道心不堅固的人,要樣教他們如何,去閃過了種種的困難,這是前面,前面四安樂行大概(內容)。

當然,過程在解釋是很長,大意差不多是這樣,這就是前面那段,是我們修行者,能夠堅定我們的志願,身、口、意,我們既然改善了,身不造惡,口不說惡,心不想惡,我們能夠改善,身,能夠身體力行入人群,口,能夠為眾生說法,意,要時時念眾生苦,這樣的心意,我們發心立願,所以我們要堅定我們的志願,這四項就是〈安樂行品〉,最重要的根源。我們是不是這「四安樂行」,我們有用到嗎?甚至「三軌」、「四修」,我們有用到嗎?「三軌法」,「大慈悲為室,柔和忍辱衣,諸法空為座,處此為說法」。

人與人之間還在計較什麼呢?「三軌法」我們有用到嗎?「四修」,有長時修嗎?無間修嗎?無餘修,有嗎?而尊重修,有嗎?這「三軌」、「四修」,「四法」,我們有用到了嗎?這回過頭來是這麼的簡單,能夠在佛陀的慈悲,講說「四安樂行」,他用這「一三」、「二四」,一個「三軌法」,兩項的「四」(「四修」、「四法」),這麼的簡單,我們有用到嗎?所以要請大家要用心去體會。

接下來那就是〈從地涌出品〉,〈從地涌出品〉,那就是《法華經》二十八品中,是第十五品。我們若能夠再回顧一下,前面的〈安樂行品〉,我們再接下來第十五品,十四品我們要很清楚,剛才所講的大家應該也清楚。要讓大家更加清楚,什麼叫做「安樂行」?就是「身無險故安,心無憂故樂」。

四安樂行:
身無險故安
心無憂故樂
一、身安樂行
二、口安樂行
三、意安樂行
四、誓願安樂行

我們的身,我們的這個身體,要在人間平安走過人間路,而且要入菩薩道,能夠怎麼樣保得安全,我們的身不失行,能夠讓我們的身很安,這人間路要如何走得好,菩薩道要如何很安穩走過?不會在人我中起是非心,半途而廢。我們要如何才能夠無險,半途而廢就是人間路過不去,菩薩道走不通,這就是身體的險。

人身難得,我們得到這個人身,很不容易我們才聽到佛法,我們既聽到佛法,我們現在才開始發菩薩心,我們豈能這個道半途而廢嗎?所以,身要安,這樣這輩子讓我們這個身,「此身不向今生度,更向何生度此身」,我們很不容易有這個身體,我們人間的路要平平坦坦走過。我們的心,發心行菩薩道,這條道,我們也要無憂無愁,很甘願、很歡喜,快樂走過來的道,所以「心安無憂故樂」,這我們是不是做得到呢?在這個人間這麼複雜的環境,我們能夠很泰然,面對著這樣的環境,我們能做得很歡喜,很快樂嗎?有方法,身體的方法有十種,所以,看,「身」,就是「當遠離十種事」。

身當遠離十種事:
一、遠離豪富權勢
二、遠離邪人邪法
三、遠離凶險嬉戲
四、遠離旃陀羅
五、遠離二乘眾
妨修大乘之行故
六、遠離欲想
七、遠離不男之人
八、遠離危害之處
九、遠離譏嫌之事
十、遠離畜養
既遠離如是十事已
是名身安樂行

我們這個身體,在人群中要如何走過來,我們要離十種的事情,一、離豪富權勢。記得嗎?有十種人我們不能親近,這十種人,第一,離開豪富權勢,就是不親近國王、王子、大臣,大家應該還記得那段經文。

修行,不是要仗勢,釋迦牟尼佛,是脫離這樣豪富權勢的家庭,而修行去了。既然修行要脫離了,已經開始是現出家身了,怎麼還一直要接近豪富呢?不可了!所以要遠離。

第二,「遠離邪人邪法」,外道論議,那段經文大家應該還記得。第三,「遠離兇險嬉戲」,這段經文大家應該還記得。第四,「遠離旃陀羅」,這就是遠離,殺生、屠殺等等的業,我們要遠離,因為我們要培養我們的慈悲心。第五,就是要「遠離二乘」,因為二乘,聲聞、緣覺,這只是想要獨善其身,他們會排斥這個大乘行。所以,我們在修行就不要靠近,他們的思想、他們的看法,我們既然認為,大乘法是我們的方向,我們就要身體力行。

修行的意見不一定相同,也會受到同修同門的人,排斥我們,其實,這是常常會遇到的事情,我們若能夠遠離,就是心,我們若能夠「無為法」,前面也有說過了,安樂行中「有為法」,有所作為的法,我們選擇我們有所作為,走,若遇到人我是非呢?我們要趕緊了解,警惕自己,一切法,諸法空為座,無為法,一切皆空啊,人我是非,我既然穿起了忍辱衣,我還有什麼人我是非?我要趕緊回歸回來,坐我應該坐的「諸法空為座」,我們應該要很清楚。所以,遠離二乘,因為我們要預防。修大乘行的道行,二乘行者會妨礙我們,用冷言冷語等等,讓我們的心會退轉,我們的行還未到達很充足,我們就遠離他一下。

第六是「遠離欲想」,有種種男女之間,女人等等,感情,偏黨的感情。我和這群人比較好,所以替他們說話,我聽他們的就對了,我就排斥你們,這也是感情!何況男女之間的情。所以在〈安樂行(品)〉,佛陀說起了遠離女色種種,所以我們應該還記得,總而言之,我們要遠離色相,要遠離色欲,凡是我們對什麼樣的人,我們在他的身上,起了欲想就不對了。

第七,「遠離不男之人」,這我們要很警惕。第八是「遠離危害之處」,這危害,危險的地方不要去,常常都說,災難偏多,我們要救災的就要探好路,安全我們才能向前走。同樣的道理,所以危險的地方我們不要去。何況,故意要去遊覽,故意要等等,要去冒險,這就不對了。

第九,那就是「遠離譏嫌之事」。有很多會受人誹謗、誤會我們,我們儘量避嫌,不應該住的環境,不應該相處的地方,在〈安樂行品〉裡面,孤男寡女相處不行。要看你在哪一個地方,這就是要選擇,甚至有凶險嬉戲,這都不行。

第十就是「遠離畜養」,不管是什麼寵物,或者是偏愛,只是要愛孩子而已,或者寵愛某種動物,整個迷在那裡。你的偏愛,古人說「玩物喪志」,這種都不是正常的,偏護,這都不對!這就是身體的十種我們要遠離,用這樣簡單的讓大家再清楚。

在經文裡面就更長,解釋得更長,我們現在將它濃縮起來,讓大家再複習一次。既遠離了,「遠離如是十事已,是名身安樂行」。

身當遠離十種事:
一、遠離豪富權勢
二、遠離邪人邪法
三、遠離凶險嬉戲
四、遠離旃陀羅
五、遠離二乘眾
妨修大乘之行故
六、遠離欲想
七、遠離不男之人
八、遠離危害之處
九、遠離譏嫌之事
十、遠離畜養
既遠離如是十事已
是名身安樂行

這十項,我們若能夠遠離,那我們的身體要在人間路,或者是菩薩道,我們就能夠很平安這樣走過來,好比一些老菩薩說:「我跟師父走就對了,我就是一直做,做到最後一口氣,生生世世要跟著師父做慈濟。」很多菩薩都是這樣說,「很辛苦,太陽這麼烈,工作這麼粗重,一大早起做到深夜,這樣太辛苦了。」「不會,師父,我這個身體很難得,能夠這樣來做事情,就要做得夠本。」

是啊,就是要做得夠本。人間路要走得平,菩薩道要走得穩。即使離開我們這個身體,那就是來生來世,我們今生此世,這個身體能夠行菩薩道。前的五識,眼、耳、鼻、舌、身,這五根,緣外面的五塵,這分別的識去分別,我們的第六識就想,這是我愛,那我不愛,不愛,我要排斥,我愛,要得到。像這樣,這個身心造作回收回來的,已經成的果了,造作的業力已經成就了,那就回歸第八識。這個身體,我們自然法則,最後一天帶什麼去呢?什麼都沒有帶去,帶著我們這輩子所做的,前面的塵和這個根,我們五根對外面的五塵,去緣這些境,第六識去分別、取著,就開始做了。這些事情都做完了,結果,那個種子就是回歸第八識。第八識來了,我們下一輩子,我們這輩子自然法則已盡了,吞下去最後一口氣,眼睛再睜開已經是來生了,帶來的就是第八識了!所以我們今生此世這個善,身體所造作的,我們做多少的結果,在這個第八識的裡面,帶到我們的來生來世,那個意識還在。

有的孩子很聰明,就是一點即通,聞一知十,這就是過去生,一直薰習著好的事情,薰習他的心願。他的心願就是要這樣做,做他想要做的,這個心願一直在過去生中,這樣一直做,就像這些菩薩一樣,所以這個心願在,帶去這個種子。小小年紀,一歲、二歲,他就很聰明,很有智慧,這就是這樣。我們生生世世要再來做慈濟,就是這個身體,這樣的奉獻付出,這叫做身的安樂行,這是四行中,一、身的安樂行。

四安樂行:
一、身安樂行
二、口安樂行
三、意安樂行
四、誓願安樂行

第二是口的安樂行,「口安樂行」,那就是我們要口說好話。開始說話就是要輔導人,他的心已經亂掉了,要如何輔導他,要說真言真語,要對他說。他迷了,用什麼樣的方法說給他聽,開啟他那個迷向回歸正念,這叫做口的安樂行。不要去斷人的善根,若是迷,無法回來的,我們要如何叮嚀他,不要這樣就迷失掉了。所以口安樂行,我們要安穩了自己的心,也要去安穩別人的心,這是身之後的口,口的後面還有意。我們的意念,意念就是外面的境界等等,我們已經下定了決心,我們的心,也就要安下來,我們發心之後,我就是選擇這樣的人生,所以我要修行,我要修大乘行,我要入人群,我要度眾生,這個「意」心存好意,這個願心,我們應該要堅定。所以這個意念安樂,不要去受到外面的境界。我們的環境,不只是要早起,我們裡面沒有冷氣,現在的人選擇工作,就是要做輕鬆的,還有冷氣可享受。

但是菩薩是在修行的,不要忘記修行就是要刻苦耐勞。我們在這種這麼燠熱的環境裡,我們要堪得起,受得下來。所以這個「意」,是我們自己起心動念,自己發心的意,我們就要發心如初。這念心意,就是很甘願,自然就很歡喜,就安樂了。

第四,就是願,「誓願安樂行」。我們就要立願,只起一個意,發心容易恆心難,這個恆心就是要立誓願。諸佛成佛,是「四弘誓願」,眾生無邊誓願度,煩惱無盡誓願斷,法門無量誓願學,佛道無上誓願成,這就是成佛的要願。

所以我們「眾生無邊誓願度」,我們就要入人群行六度行,六度萬行,隨眾生所需要而去付出。但是眾生多煩惱,眾生的聲色很難聽,也很難看,眾生的心意念頭很複雜,我們全都知道,所以明明知道,我們要投入人群去,就要克服很多很多煩惱,所以,我們要煩惱無量要誓願斷。因為我們要學道,要走這條菩薩道,因為我們是要成佛,所以我們要很用心。

所以,這四行,就是身、口、意和立願,這叫做「四安樂行」,我們應該很清楚。所以「佛為傳法人間,盡一大事因緣」。

佛為傳法人間
盡一大事因緣
以諸菩薩從地出
而升至虛空
故云從地涌出
然此為是事相
而內含甚深理體
茲就義釋如下

我們現在再下去就是這樣,佛來人間是為一大事因緣,現在講《法華經》,就是要圓這一大事因緣,所以一直到第十四品安樂行,鼓勵人人要入人群,發菩薩心,要修持這部經,要下堅定的心。所以我們一定以菩薩行,為我們的方向。所以「以諸菩薩從地涌出,而升至虛空」,我們後面開始就會看到,這經文裡面,有很多很多菩薩從地涌出,那個畫面很精彩,但是裡面的含義是什麼呢?當然是很深,當然是行菩薩道的行者,修行者必定要了解的。所以,菩薩升在虛空,是從地涌出的。這事相,這些事相,要如何去會合它的道理,這裡面就含著很深很深的理體。

常常告訴大家,理,無形無體,有事相,但是那個理體要如何來顯現?這就是要從下面第十五品,去了解它。

各位菩薩,真的是要很用心來體會了解,這第十五品,一些菩薩要從哪裡來?因為行菩薩道不簡單,所以我們就要去了解,他到底要怎麼來。所以我們要時時多用心啊!要記得回顧,回憶前面的〈安樂行品〉,還是聽了之後,就要再回憶,要多用心!


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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: Beginning the Chapter on Emerging from the Ground ( 總安樂行 啟涌出品)
Date: October.15.2018

“Previously, He explained how, through the Four Practices of body, speech, mind and vows, we will be able to uphold the sutra and endure. There is much slander and hardship in the world so we must aspire to practice the True Dharma of the One Vehicle and vow to spread it in the world. Thus, He explained in accordance with the Dharma that those who cultivate the Four Practices of Bringing Peace and Joy will achieve the truth.”

Everyone, please be mindful. “Previously, He explained how, through the Four Practices of body, speech, mind and vows, we will be able to uphold the sutra and endure.” The Chapter on the Practice of Bringing Peace and Joy is about the Four Practices. The Four Practices refer to body, speech, mind and vows. Our body, speech, mind and vows are crucial to our spiritual practice. To be able to engage in the Four Practices of Bringing Peace and Joy, we must make use of our body, speech and mind, and we must also make great vows. Let us quickly recall what we previously discussed.

We listen to the sutra for the purpose of retaining and upholding it. Once we listen to it, we must constantly recall it. As we recall it, we must put it into practice. Only then will we truly benefit from listening to the sutra. At the beginning of the Chapter on the Practice of Bringing Peace and Joy, the Buddha told us that in order to accept and uphold this sutra, we must mentally prepare ourselves. “There is much slander and hardship in the world.” The human way of life in this world is making this world more and more wicked, with such severe turbidities. Not only are there turbidities in the macrocosm, but the turbidities of the collective karma of sentient beings and the afflictions in their minds are also becoming more and more severe.

Nowadays, people are not as pure-hearted. In particular, people nowadays are unable to be as resolute about their aspirations, because they cannot understand their own minds. They are quick to make vows, but making vows is easy; upholding them is hard.

Haven’t we talked about this often? It is easy to make vows, but can we be resolute enough to uphold our aspirations forever? This is difficult! This is a true reflection of our lives these days. This is how it is; forming aspirations is easy, but sustaining them is hard. [We must make use of] our body, speech and mind. Since we put the Dharma into practice and understand the importance of speaking kind words, [we know] we must not break into verbal conflicts or engage in antagonizing speech. We clearly understand this, but habitual tendencies are still hard to change. The longer we spend with people, the less we bother ourselves with formalities in our attitude, physical conduct, facial expressions and the words we speak. Because we are so familiar with each other, we do not observe the bounds of social etiquette, so we may easily say hurtful words, sulk or speak in harsh tones.

This is because we are not keeping watch over our bodily conduct and speech. When we break away from common courtesy, people who hear us will feel very upset. “How could you say such things to me?” What they see is very unpleasant to them. “I remember how, in the past, you didn’t treat me with this attitude. When you spoke to me, your tone used to be so gentle and soft. What about now? Why do you treat me with such an attitude? Why do you speak to me in such a tone? This makes me feel very upset.” This kind of thing leads to antagonism among people. When there is antagonism among us, it will be very difficult for us to get along. “I can’t stand you.” “You can’t stand me, and I can’t stand you!” This is how people interact.

In the past, we made vows. We made an undying vow to do this. “I will earnestly engage in spiritual practice here. I will guard and protect people. I will learn the Dharma here. I will join this organization to help people.” But we have already diverged from our intent. This was our original intent, so how is it that, in this environment, our speech and attitude have become so disharmonious? Because of this, between one another, we are working against our intent and our vows. So, [the misconduct] of our body, speech and mind has shaken our vows. Because of this, in addition to the body, speech and mind, there is also [the practice of] vows. We must heighten our vigilance regarding our vows. We made great vows, so we must safeguard our aspirations and intent. We must maintain our initial aspirations. We are here to learn the Buddha-Dharma and practice the Bodhisattva-path. Only in this way will we be able to “[use] the Four Practices to uphold the sutra and endure”.

The Buddha has already taught us this in the Chapter on the Practice of Bring Peace and Joy. The Chapter on the Practice of Bring Peace and Joy is very long. It is constantly reminding us and warning us. Once it warns us, it reminds us again. There is also Manjusri Bodhisattva’s compassion. He heard the Buddha speak about how the world will be full of so much slander and hardship. Slander refers to speech made with the intent to harm us, such as harsh words and so on. People use harsh words and language to hurt us. They find all kinds of ways to slander us and all kinds of negative attitudes to unsettle us.

The world is full of so many hardships like these. We discussed this in the Chapter on the Practice of Bringing Peace and joy. In this kind of [world], will we still be able to abide by our vows? Manjusri Bodhisattva began to request teachings about this from the Buddha is there a way to avoid these hardships so we can fulfill our vows, the Bodhisattva-vows? The Buddha taught the Dharma, which Manjusri Bodhisattva then supplemented by asking the Buddha to teach additional methods to help us understand and enable us to cultivate and uphold [the sutra]. So, “We must aspire to practice the True Dharma of the One Vehicle.” We must earnestly protect our vows. In our vows and conduct, we must advance toward the True Dharma of the One Vehicle. This is the direction we must pursue.

However, in our interpersonal relationships, when language and appearances obstruct our minds, how will we abide by our practice of vows? Will we be able to keep advancing in the direction of the True Dharma of the One Vehicle? This requires us to “vow to spread it in the world.” This is our vow. “Thus, He explained in accordance with the Dharma.”

This refers to when Manjusri Bodhisattva asked the Buddha to explain to us again in detail how we can fulfill our vows and go among people to spread the Buddha-Dharma. What methods can we use to avoid this slander in the world and engage in all of these difficult practices? We are very grateful to Manjusri Bodhisattva for repeatedly asking the Buddha to reveal methods that enable us to fulfill our vows, remain secure and resolute in our aspirations, uphold our practice of vows and diligently advance. So, those who cultivate the Four Practices of Bringing Peace and Joy will attain the True Dharma. This is how Sakaymuni Buddha taught the Dharma Manjusri Bodhisattva did this protect [people] in the future evil world of turbidities. For people with troubled minds who are irresolute in their aspirations, the Buddha had to teach them how to avoid these various hardships. This is a summary of the previous chapter about the Four Practices of Bringing Peace and Joy. Of course, they take a very long time to explain, but this is the general idea. This is from the previous section [of the sutra], which concerns how we spiritual practitioners can remain firm in our vows. When we perfect our body, speech and mind, we will do no evil, speak no evil and think no evil, thus we will be able to improve ourselves. With our bodies, we are able to go among people to put [the Dharma] into practice. With our speech, we are able to teach the Dharma to sentient beings. With our minds, we must always keep suffering sentient beings in our thoughts. With these intentions, we must form aspirations and make vows. So, we must remain firm in our aspirations. These four things are the foundation of the Chapter on the Practice of Bringing Peace and Joy. Are we applying these Four Practices of Bringing Peace and Joy?

Are we also applying the Three Directives and Four Practices? According to the Three Directives, great compassion is the room, gentleness and patience are the clothing and the emptiness of all phenomena is the seat. Being here at this place, one expounds the Dharma. Why are we still fighting with one another? Are we applying the Three Directives? There are also “the Four Practices”. Are we engaging in extended practice, uninterrupted practice, practice with nothing further and practice with reverence? These are the Three Directives and Four Practices. Are we applying the Four Practices of Bringing Peace and Joy? When we look back on them, they are very simple. Our of compassion, the Buddha taught the Four Practices of Bringing Peace and Joy. He taught one set of three and two sets of four, the one set of the Three Directives and the two sets of four practices. This is all so simple, but are we putting them to use? We all must mindfully seek to experience them.

Next is the Chapter on Emerging from the Ground. The Chapter on Emerging from the Ground is the 15th of 28 chapters in the Lotus Sutra. We must look back on the previous chapter on the Practice of Bringing Peace and Joy. Now, we will continue on to the 15th chapter. We must clearly understand these 14 chapters. Everyone should also clearly understand what we just discussed. We must help everyone understand more clearly what the Practice of Bringing Peace and Joy is. “They are at peace because their bodies encounter no dangers. They are joyful because their minds are free of worries.”

The Four Practices of Bringing Peace and Joy: They are at peace because their bodies encounter no dangers. They are joyful because their minds are free of worries. 1. The practice of bringing peace and joy with the body. 2. The practice of bringing peace and joy with speech. 3. The practice of bringing peace and joy with the mind. 4. The practice of bringing peace and joy with vows.

With our bodies, with this body, we must safely walk this path among people and enter the Bodhisattva-path. How do we ensure our safety and keep from making missteps so that our bodies can abide in peace? How can we walk this path among people well and steadfastly walk the Bodhisattva-path so we do not give rise to interpersonal conflicts and give up half-way? How can we be free from danger? If we give up half-way, we are unable to continue the path among people or reach the goal of the Bodhisattva-path. This is the danger regarding our bodies. The human form is rarely attained, but we have attained this human body. It is very rare to hear to Buddha-Dharma. Since we have listened to the Buddha-Dharma, we have now begun to form Bodhisattva-aspirations. How could we give up half-way on such a path? We must bring peace to our body so we can make use of our bodies in this lifetime. “If we do not transform ourselves in this lifetime, in which lifetime will we transform ourselves?” This body is very difficult to come by, so we must walk this path in the world safely and smoothly. In our hearts, we form aspirations to walk the Bodhisattva-path. Upon this path, we must be free of worries. We must be very willing and joyful as we happily walk upon this path. When our minds are free of worries, we will be joyful. Are we capable of this? In this complicated world, can we calmly face our surroundings and practice with joy and happiness? There are methods for this; the methods for the body are tenfold. So, let’s see, “The body must stay away from ten things”.

The body must stay away from ten things: 1. Stay away from great wealth and power. 2. Stay away from deviant people and deviant teachings. 3. Stay away from brutal and dangerous amusements. 4. Stay away from candalas. 5. Stay away from Two Vehicle practitioners because they hinder the practice of the Great Vehicle. 6. Stay away from desirous thoughts. 7. Stay away from pandakas. 8. Stay away from dangerous places. 9. Stay away from matters of contempt. 10. Stay away from keeping [domestic animals]. Staying away from these ten things is known as the practice of bringing peace and joy with the body.

How should we walk among people with this body? We must stay away from these ten things. “1. Stay away from great wealth and power”. Do we remember this? There are ten kinds of people not to draw near to. Among these ten kinds of people, first are the wealthy and powerful. We should not draw near to kings, princes and ministers. Everyone should still remember that sutra passage. Spiritual practice has nothing to do with power. Sakyamuni Buddha left such a wealthy and powerful family to engage in spiritual practice. To engage in spiritual practice, He had to leave all that behind. He had to take on the appearance of a monastic, so how could He rely on power and wealth? This would have been unacceptable! So, we must stay away from this. Secondly, we must “stay away from deviant people and deviant teachings”, such as heretical doctrines. We should still remember that sutra passage.

Thirdly, we must “stay away from brutal and dangerous amusements”. We should still remember this sutra passage. Fourthly, we must “stay away from candalas”. This means that we should stay away from taking life and the karma of killing and so on. We must stay away from this because we must cultivate a heart of compassion. Fifthly, we must “stay away from Two Vehicle practitioners”. This is because Two Vehicle practitioners, that is, Hearers, Solitary Realizers and so on, only seek to benefit themselves. They reject the Great Vehicle practice. So, when we engage in spiritual practice, we should not draw near to their ways of thinking or their perspectives. We believe that the Great Vehicle Dharma is our direction, so we must put it into action. Our opinions about spiritual practice may not always be the same as others, and people who practice the same path may also reject us. This is actually very common.

If we can stay away from them, our minds can abide in unconditioned Dharma. Earlier we discussed the conditioned phenomena of the Practices of Bringing Peace and Joy; these are the phenomena we contrive, the actions and steps we choose to take. What if we encounter interpersonal conflicts? We must try to be understanding and remind ourselves that the emptiness of all phenomena is the seat. With regards to unconditioned Dharma, everything is empty. As for interpersonal conflicts, when we are wearing the clothing of patience, what could we possibly get into conflict over? We must quickly come back and sit where we ought to sit, in the seat of the emptiness of all phenomena.

We should clearly understand this. We must “stay away from Two Vehicle practitioners. This is because we must take precautions. As we practice the path of the Great Vehicle, Two Vehicle practitioners will hinder us and ridicule us and so on. This will cause us to retreat from our aspirations. As our practice is not [firm] enough yet, we must stay away from them.

Sixth, we must “stay away from desirous thoughts”. Among men and women, all sorts of affections and biased emotions arise. We feel closer to these people, so we speak in their defense. We think that whatever they say is right, and we reject everyone else. This is all due to our affections. This is to say nothing of [romantic] affections. This is why, in the Chapter on the Practice of Bringing Peace and Joy, the Buddha told us to stay away from all forms of lust. We should all remember this.

In short, we must stay away from sensory appearances and sensual desires. Whomever we meet, it is wrong for us to project our desires upon them.

Seventh, we must “stay away from pandakas”. This is something we must be very vigilant of. Eight, we must “stay away from dangerous places”. We must not go to dangerous places. We often say that the world is full of disasters. In disaster relief, first we must survey the roads, and we can only go forward if it is safe. The principle is the same. We must not go to dangerous places. Moreover, going out of our way to travel [to these places] and take unnecessary risks is not right.

Ninth, we must “stay away from matters of contempt”. Many people will slander and misunderstand us. We should avoid arounsing suspicion at all costs by staying away from] places we should not go to and places we should not associate with.

The Chapter on the Practice of Brining Peace and Joy [teaches that] a man and a woman should not be alone together. When it comes to the places we go, we must choose wisely. Even dangerous amusements are wrong to engage in.

Tenth, “we must stay from keeping [domestic animals]”. This might refer keeping something as a pet or indulging in biased affection; it could just be doting on our children or pampering a certain animal as a pet. This way we will completely lose ourselves in our biased affections. This is just like the old saying, “Playthings make us lose our ambition. This behavior is not normal. It is wrong to be biased. These are the ten things that we must physically distance ourselves from. We are using this simplified [list] to help everyone understand clearly. In the sutra passage, the explanation is longer. Now, we are condensing it for everyone to review once more. When we stay away from [these things]. “Staying away from these ten things is known as the practice of bringing.” The body must stay away from ten things: 1. Stay away from great wealth and power. 2. Stay away from deviant people and deviant teachings. 3. Stay away from brutal and dangerous amusements. 4. Stay away from candalas. 5. Stay away from Two Vehicle practitioners because they hinder the practice of the Great Vehicle. 6. Stay away from desirous thoughts. 7. Stay away from pandakas. 8. Stay away from dangerous places. 9. Stay away from matters of contempt. 10. Stay away from keeping [domestic animals]. Stay away from these ten things is known as the practice of bringing peace and joy with the body.

If we stay from these ten things when we use body to walk the path among people, the Bodhisattva-path, we can walk this path in peace and safety. Some elderly Bodhisattvas say, “I just keep following Master. I will keep practicing until my last breath. Lifetime after lifetime, oi will follow Master to be part of Tzu Chi.” This is what many Bodhisattva say. They work so hard, and the sun is so hot. Their work is so difficult. They wake up early in the morning and work deep into the night. It is too exhausting! No, it is not. “Master, this body of mine is rare to attain. I am able to do things with it, so I must make the most of it.” Indeed, we must make the most of it. We must smoothly walk this path among people, walking steadily upon the Bodhisattva-path. Even when we leave this body, [we will continue] in our future lifetimes. In this lifetime, we are able to use this body to walk the Bodhisattva-path.

The first five consciousnesses [correspond to] our eyes, ears, nose tingue and body. These Five Roots connect with the external Five Dusts. Then, our consciousness discriminates between them. Our sixth consciousness thinks, “This is what I like, this is what I do not like. I reject the things I do not like. I must have the things I do like.” In this way, [the karma] we create with our body and mind will come back to us as the fruits of our retribution. The karmic forces we create will come to fruition and return to our eighth consciousness. When this body follows the law of nature, what will we take with us on our final day? We cannot take anything with us except [the karma] we created in this lifetime. Earlier, we discussed the sense objects (dusts) and sense organs (roots). Our Five Roots connect with the external states of the Five Dusts. Our sixth consciousness discriminates, we from attachments, and then we begin to take action. Once we finish taking action, this results in seeds that return to our eighth consciousness; our eighth consciousness take them in. our next lifetime [begins] when we follow the law of nature and this lifetime comes to an end. After we take our last breath, the next time we open our eyes, it will be our next lifetime. What we will brin with us is our eighth consciousness. So, all the good we do with our body in this life. So, all the good we do with our body in this life all the results of our actions, will remain in our eighth consciousness, which we will with us into our next lifetime. Our consciousness will still be there.

Some children are very clever. They are quick to understand, they hear one thing and realize ten. This means that, in a past lifetime, and developed their aspirations. They did what they aspired to do. Throughout their past lives, they continuously actualized this aspiration. It is the same with these Bodhisattvas. So, with this aspiration, they carried this seed with them. At such a young age, one or two years old, they are very clever and wise. In this way, throughout lifetime after lifetime, we will serve as Tzu Chi volunteers again and again. We dedicate this body to serving others. This is the practice of bringing peace and joy with the body. This is the [first] of four practices, the practice of bringing peace and joy with the body.

The Four Practices of Bringing Peace and Joy: 1. The practice of bringing peace and joy with the body. 2. The practice of bringing peace and joy with speech. 3. The practice of bringing peace and Joy with the mind. 4. The practice of bringing peace and joy with vows.

The second is the practice of bringing peace and joy with speech. The practice of bringing peace and joy with speech means we must speak kind words. We must speak to guide people. When people confused, how can we guide them? We must speak genuine words. We must tell them that they are confused. When we use different methods to teach them, clear up their confusion and guide them back to right mindfulness, this is known as the practice of bringing peace and joy with speech. We must not server people’s root of goodness. If they are confused and cannot find the way back, we must warm them so they do not get completely lost. So, we practice to bring peace and joy with speech. We must steady our minds and steady the minds of others. After the body comes speech. After speech comes the mind. The thoughts in our minds [are affected by] various external states etc. Once we have made up our minds, we must steady our minds. When we form aspirations, we are choosing this life to engage in spiritual practice and cultivate the path of the Great Vehicle. We must go among people to transform all sentient beings. We must preserve this good intent in our minds. We must be firm in our aspirations. So, with a mind of peace and joy, we will not be influenced by external states.

Here [at the Abode], not only do we rise early, there is also no air conditioning inside. When people choose jobs nowadays, they want something easy where they can enjoy air conditioning. But Bodhisattvas engage in spiritual practice. We must not forget that spiritual practice requires us to persevere through hardship. We live in such a hot environment, but we must be able to endure it. Thus, this [practice of] the mind concerns the slightest thoughts we give rise to and the aspirations we form. We must sustain our initial aspirations. With this mindset, we will be very willing [to endure hardship], and we will naturally become joyful and peaceful.

The fourth is vows, the practice of bringing peace and joy with vows. We must make vows. Just giving rise to an aspiration is easy, but sustaining it is hard. To sustain it, we must make vows. All Buddhas attain Buddhahood through the Four Great Vows. I vow to deliver countless sentient beings. I vow to eliminate endless afflictions. I vow to learn infinite Dharma-doors. I vow to attain unsurpassed Buddhahood. These are the vows we need to attain Buddhahood.

We must “vow to deliver countless sentient beings”. We must go among people to actualize the Six Paramitas. We actualize the Six Paramitas in all actions and serve sentient beings according to their needs. However, sentient beings have many afflictions. Sentient beings do and say very unpleasant things, and their minds are very confused. We all know this. Therefore, we clearly understand that, if we want to go among people, we must overcome so many afflictions. So, we must vow to eliminate endless afflictions. Because we want to learn the Way, we must walk upon this Bodhisattva-path. Because we want to attain Buddhahood, we must be very mindful. These Four Practices concern our body, speech, mind and vows, the Four Practices of Bringing Peace and Joy. We must understand them clearly. “The Buddha teaches the Dharma in the world to fulfill His one great cause.”

The Buddha teaches the Dharma in the world to fulfill His one great cause. Those Bodhisattvas emerged from the ground and rose up into the empty air, thus it says “emerging from the ground”. However, this is just matters and appearances; contained within them is the extremely profound essence of the principles. This will be explained later on.

Now, we will continue on to discuss how the Buddha came to the world for one great cause. At that time, He taught the Lotus Sutra to fulfill His one great cause. So, all the way through to Chapter 14, the Chapter on the Practice of Bringing Peace and Joy, He encouraged everyone to go among people to form Bodhisattva-aspirations, accept and uphold this sutra and solidify these aspirations. So, we must take the Bodhisattva-path as our direction. “Those Bodhisattvas emerged from the ground and rose up into the empty air”. Later on in the sutra, we will see how so many Bodhisattvas emerged from the ground.

This is a very remarkable scene, but what does it mean? Of course, it has a very profound meaning, and practitioners of the Bodhisattva-path must understand this. The Bodhisattva who rose up into the empty air had emerged from the ground. When it comes to these matters and appearances, how do we unite them with the principles? These [matters and appearances] contain the extremely profound essence of the principles. I often tell everyone that the principles are intangible and formless. So, how can matters and appearances demonstrate the essence of the principles?

In the next chapter, Chapter 15, we will try to understand this. Dear Bodhisattvas, let us mindfully seek to comprehend the 15th chapter. Where did these Bodhisattvas come from? Walking the Bodhisattva-path is not easy, so we must seek to understand how they came to be there. So, we must always be mindful! We must remember to look back on the previous Chapter on the Practice of Bringing Peace and Joy. When we finish listening to [a chapter], we still need to review it again. So, we must always be mindful!

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