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 20181017《靜思妙蓮華》他方請願 佛即止之 (第1459集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)

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20181017《靜思妙蓮華》他方請願 佛即止之 (第1459集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五) Empty
發表主題: 20181017《靜思妙蓮華》他方請願 佛即止之 (第1459集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)   20181017《靜思妙蓮華》他方請願 佛即止之 (第1459集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五) Empty周二 10月 16, 2018 9:14 pm

20181017《靜思妙蓮華》他方請願 佛即止之 (第1459集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)

⊙如是諸多菩薩,從於他方國土,湧躍顯現至誠懇請,願在娑婆世界,護持弘宣妙法,度化眾生。
⊙靈山說妙法華,他方菩薩隨喜遠聞,其數眾多,聞持說弘經者,福德智慧大故,願於此土發誓,入群弘通此經,然此顯示事相。
⊙「爾時、他方國土諸來菩薩摩訶薩,過八恆河沙數,於大眾中起,合掌作禮而白佛言。」《法華經從地涌出品第十五》
⊙「世尊!若聽我等於佛滅後,在此娑婆世界,勤加精進,護持讀、誦、書寫、供養是經典者,當於此土而廣說之。」《法華經從地涌出品第十五》
⊙世尊!若聽我等:由他方菩薩從餘佛土來,至此婆娑聞受法喜,故請委求聽許。
⊙於佛滅後,在此娑婆世界,勤加精進:於釋迦佛滅後惡世,願住此娑婆世界;勤加致力用功,精心弘宣釋尊所教法。
⊙護持讀、誦、書寫、供養是經典者:並能守護受持讀誦書寫敬心供養法華經者。
⊙當於此土而廣說之:我當於此娑婆國土,廣為大眾而演說之。
⊙「爾時、佛告諸菩薩摩訶薩眾:止!善男子!不須汝等護持此經。」《法華經從地涌出品第十五》
⊙爾時、佛告諸菩薩摩訶薩眾:爾時他方國土諸來菩薩請願在娑婆弘宣護持—佛心有所深思故告諸菩薩摩訶薩眾。
⊙止!善男子!不須汝等護持此經:假他方菩薩,聞四行之妙,請願娑婆弘經,佛即止之。意顯此土自有能修此行之人,故令止此事,不必遠土之勞。
⊙佛止他方遠來菩薩,其意:他方菩薩,各有己任,若住此弘經,廢棄彼土利益。尤其他土菩薩,於此土結緣事淺,雖欲弘經,必無巨益。
⊙又若許他方來,則此方菩薩不勤入群承擔弘傳經教,故止。意顯此土自有能修此行之人。
⊙以是我弟子,應弘我法。又結緣深廣,必獲巨益。又得開近顯遠,是故止彼召此。

【證嚴上人開示】
如是諸多菩薩,從於他方國土,湧躍顯現至誠,懇請願在娑婆世界,護持弘宣妙法,度化眾生。

如是諸多菩薩
從於他方國土
湧躍顯現至誠懇請
願在娑婆世界
護持弘宣妙法
度化眾生

要用心喔!我們前面已經知道,佛陀在人間說法,他方國土菩薩,也來娑婆世界聽法。佛陀在《法華經》靈山會上,就是關心娑婆世界未來眾生;眾生的世界,五濁惡世重,濁氣重,眾生煩惱多,必定要法,妙法流傳人間。靈方妙藥,就是治療眾生煩惱無明惑的病,所以非法難度。但是佛陀已經住世時間已經不多了,佛陀知道了,應該要這個法傳,弟子應該要來接法、受法、傳法了。所以他在《法華經》用心良苦,用七年多的時間來講這部經。經典,從前面跡門,就是顯跡人間,開始來讓我們知道。降兜率、下皇宮來了,從出生、世間長大,看人間世事,去體會了,苦啊,苦在人類不平等,分別,無明覆藏,人心就是這樣,這麼地混亂。

佛陀想,要如何救度眾生?如何能讓人人心意開解,人與人之間,打開了不平等的制度?要如何能夠讓人人在苦中;苦的環境中去體會因緣果報,去了解該做、不該做。在這個大是非中,如何去了解這,清楚可行、不可行的道理,這就是佛陀,要對眾生的對機說法。當然,要向眾生,眾生的根機很複雜,不只是佛面對的弟子,修行,既來修行,大家心都是同一個方向,只是根機不同。有的人就是了解,法我知道,我怕,人間可怕,苦難偏多,我要趕緊修行,了脫自己,不要再來了;我要知道這個道,這條路不能偏差,這個方向。這聲聞盡量聽佛的教法,盡量受持,了脫自己,不要再來人間。很小乘,獨善其身。

還有,根機較好一點,這人生苦啊!同樣了解是苦,但是所體會是無常。環境,春、夏、秋、冬,是冷、熱,世間一切的環境無時不在改變,一直一直都是改變。這世界的環境在改變,那就是表示無常,有變就是叫做無常。無常是什麼?這氣候,人間就是這個氣候,所以帶動了大地一切的生物,花開、花謝等等的生態,總歸納來叫做「無常」。這種的道理他們知道了,同時也體會到了,體會到這些無常的道理,是在因緣中。天地萬物變化無常是隨著因緣,要有這個種子,有這個大地,有這個空氣,有水分等等合成而來。這些也知道了,從佛說法中體會、了解、深信,了解了,所以他也知道,人間這個因緣可怕,可怕在起心動念。這個因緣總是在起心動念中,心念一轉,因緣會合,人與人之間,福禍就交纏起來,這個因緣很可怕。不是單純大乾坤四季輪轉,大地草木因緣的生態,不是這樣而已,人的苦,苦在那一起心動念,勾引來的因緣,人與人之間,福禍的果報,就這樣起來。

所以他害怕了,佛法了解到這塊,他就生了畏懼的心,害怕了,所以同樣也是要了脫生死,他也不願意又在人群中了,這同樣叫做小乘。雖然他所聽的法,理解的範圍更加開闊,不是只是怕苦,「四諦法」了解,就要獨善其身;他還知道因緣法則,他再了解深一層,但是還是一樣怕苦,不堪受苦。人間的確很苦,大自然,這四季輪轉真的是苦;貧困的人熱的時候,這居住,住,天煎地逼,還要再去苦勞、要去苦做,所以這也很苦。冬天時欠缺衣物,禦寒的東西,也是同樣要勞作,受風、受雨,也是苦。貧窮苦難,病痛更苦,還有家庭,貧賤夫妻百事哀,這更加苦。

了解到這種人間苦相,他就害怕了,到這裡他就不敢再想下去,解脫、解脫!就只是要修這樣的行而已,接這樣的法,這就是緣覺又再進一步,體會大乾坤,體會因緣法,但是怕,人與人的關係就是一念心而已,同樣也怕。來人間就是有這麼多的苦,大自然以及人類,人禍、煩惱、無明等等。他若是怕苦,總是畏懼受苦、折磨,這樣就放棄入人群了。佛陀就是不放棄,既是在娑婆世界,苦難偏多,我的弟子,才要面對苦難,入人群用法受教;就要入人群去體會人間疾苦,從疾苦中去磨練出心志,不畏苦,這樣去度化眾生受法、傳法在人間。這是佛陀一大事因緣,講說《法華經》,用這麼長的時間,這樣開始這個跡門,在人間顯跡,如何來面對眾生,如何來度化眾生,也盼望在未來眾生,能夠傳法在人間。但是在〈安樂行品〉,佛陀開始就擔心了,佛將入滅了,法什麼人來傳?盼望,盼望大家能夠,聽到佛陀說出了住世不久了,盼望大家願意來傳法。

但是,娑婆世界的弟子,是不是有感動?有啟動他們的內心嗎?娑婆世界的弟子還未啟動,他方的世界已經感動了,因為釋迦佛,娑婆世界講說《法華經》,他方世界菩薩也來聽法。所以他方世界就起座起來,恭敬合掌,要來向佛陀請委,來懇請佛陀,來委託給我們這個責任,我們願意承擔責任。

所以,「如是諸多菩薩,從於他方國土」。這麼多的菩薩,不是娑婆人間的菩薩,是從他方來的。他們聽到佛陀說法很感動,打從內心,那個感動的心境很踴躍;從內心很澎湃、很踴躍,「顯現至誠」。聽法,感動在內心,表達在身、境,所以他用虔誠的心,他至誠要表達出了這個誠意。「懇請願在娑婆世界」,很誠懇,合掌恭敬向佛陀,釋迦牟尼佛,來懇請發願,願意在娑婆世界,來「護持弘宣妙法」,要來「度化眾生」。這是多麼感動啊!這個意境感受在心裡,真的很澎湃,這澎湃就是這樣很踴躍。我們自己娑婆世界的弟子,如如不動,他方世界的弟子,竟然那麼的感動,已經表達出了他們的誠懇,他們願意。所以感慨很多,佛陀的時代是這樣,現在的時代呢?又是怎麼樣呢?

所以,「靈山說法」,說《妙法華經》,「他方菩薩隨喜」。

靈山說妙法華
他方菩薩隨喜遠聞
其數眾多
聞持說弘經者
福德智慧大故
願於此土發誓
入群弘通此經
然此顯示事相

開頭之時,他方菩薩知道,娑婆世界釋迦牟尼佛在講經,開頭是隨喜而來聞法;聽了之後也是真正法喜充滿,所以他遠聞,從遠遠這樣來,而佛陀的音聲,也是透徹虛空法界,所以來就近聽法,加上遠方菩薩,同樣都是聽佛說法,所以「遠聞,其數眾多」,在聽這個法的人很多。就像我們現在說的,現在的科技能夠將這個法,傳遍到了很多的國家,遠方,在我們現代的時代來說,除了精舍範圍大家聽得到,這也就是科技,將這個聲音擴大了,精舍的周圍聽得到,不只這樣,還能夠傳遍了無限量的國家。

可見他方遠聞,這個時代用科技可以遠聞,何況佛陀的時代呢?所以我們一定要深信,佛陀那個時代,用那個時代來說,神通。我們現在的時代呢?不就是人人那個心,用心去發展、去發明,不斷、不斷研究發明,將天地的物理去探討、去發現,去組合起來。科技不斷不斷發展出去,這種用心,花費很多人的心神;這個心意通達,當然要用很久的時間,去研究、去開發。這簡單說起來,豈不就是神通意解呢!用心,心意去解,解天下萬物因緣會合。緣覺就能夠體會到,大自然很奧妙的氣候輪轉,他還能夠體會大地萬物生滅法。

兩千多年前佛陀的說法,很單純的智慧,體會大地萬物的生機,生物學的道理,何況經過兩千多年後的現在呢?將這個大地萬物的,生理、生物學,那個奧祕去受現在的知識,將這個奧祕將它開啟了。這種密碼,祕密,就這樣一一、一一坦露出來,這也是讓人很擔心。人的價值在哪裡呢?佛陀的時代,他將法說得很清楚,用人的道理,講道說理,引導人人的心向著那真正的順,而且很有價值,在保守中開啟大智慧。現在的人變成了不必用智慧了,大家只是用知識而已。這種人間最真誠的,奧秘的價值觀,愈來愈來愈淡化掉,這樣人與人的相處情愈薄,世間會愈亂,這就是很擔心的事情。

所以我們這個時候,應該才很需要法,讓大家更能夠了解,智慧是比知識更重要,智慧是守護一切。這個時候,若不好好來守護,這完整的道,人心態的德,若沒有這樣,可能不堪設想的事情愈來愈多,所以我們要好好聞持。他方菩薩已經聽到了,「聞持說弘經者」,他聽到佛陀在鼓勵大家,聽法有功德,尤其是說法,傳法功德,造福人間的德,增長智慧很大。

他方的菩薩,他們體會到能夠來娑婆世界,這麼紛亂,能夠在這裡來說法,能夠增長福德智慧,所以他們歡喜,他們甘願,「願於此土發誓入群」,願意在這個娑婆世界,來這裡發誓願,要入人群去「弘通此經」。「然此顯示事相」,其實佛陀講這段文,經典有這段文,其實這是顯一個事相。比如說,你若不肯好好用心精進,還有其他地方,大家願意來幫助,很多哦,有人要來做,你若不肯,其他的人會來!其他的人發心,願意來付出,你們怎麼不肯呢?這也是這樣,這就是我們要很用心體會,佛陀他有他的用意。

所以說:「爾時、他方國土諸來菩薩摩訶薩,過八恆河沙數,於大眾中起,合掌作禮而白佛言。」

爾時
他方國土
諸來菩薩摩訶薩
過八恆河沙數
於大眾中起
合掌作禮而白佛言
《法華經從地涌出品第十五》

這段是前面的文,有他方國土這些菩薩來了,多少呢?經過這麼多,說空間的長,說時間的多,說人數的無量,用「過八恆河沙數」來譬喻。那就是說我們大家,娑婆世界的眾生還沒有感動,但是他方世界已經有這麼多,來表達他們的心意了,所以來要表達,還是合掌作禮,向佛這樣說。

下面這段文,說:「世尊!若聽我等於佛滅後,在此娑婆世界,勤加精進,護持讀、誦、書寫、供養是經典者,當於此土而廣說之。」

世尊
若聽我等
於佛滅後
在此娑婆世界
勤加精進
護持 讀誦 書寫
供養是經典者
當於此土而廣說之
《法華經從地涌出品第十五》

世尊啊,若能夠聽,不只是聽而已,允許,這個「聽」讀作「聽」 (台語音「ㄊㄧㄥˋ」 )。就是說若能夠允許我們大家。

世尊
若聽我等:
由他方菩薩
從餘佛土來
至此婆娑聞受法喜
故請委求聽許

這就是前面說「請委」,來請求佛陀,將這個責任交給我們,委託給我們。為什麼叫做委託呢?因為這裡是娑婆,他們是他方的世界,他方的世界要來娑婆世界,當然需要娑婆世界的佛,來委託他們。所以,「聽 (ㄊㄧㄥˋ )我等於佛滅後」,佛陀你來允許我們,允許我們在您若滅度之後,在這個娑婆世界,我們能夠在娑婆世界勤加精進,我們要在這裡地方,護持,讀誦、書寫、供養這部經,我們要用這樣來供養佛。您若不在,您能夠安心,這部經典我們會受持,在這個地方,要讓這個地方,沒有斷掉了這個法。」

所以,這就是他方菩薩,他們從餘佛的國土,在其他佛的國土,娑婆世界,(教土)是釋迦牟尼佛,他方的國土,還有他方國土的名稱。所以他們是從他方國土而來的,所以叫做「他方菩薩,從餘佛土來」,在其他佛帶領下的國土來。因為他們那個國土若沒有佛,要怎麼會有菩薩呢?有佛才有菩薩。因為佛授教化,來給菩薩,讓菩薩能夠了解,了解要行大乘法,他們有接受到,這個大乘法的教法,所以名稱菩薩。

他方國土也是這樣,所以,「至此娑婆」,就是他方菩薩來這裡,聞法、接受,法喜了。本來是隨喜而來,娑婆世界有在講經,我去聽看看。是隨喜而來,現在感受到了,「聞受法喜」,感受到了,歡喜了,是真心要在娑婆世界。所以,「故請委求聽許」,希望佛陀能夠允許。

「於佛滅度後,在此娑婆世界,勤加精進」。

於佛滅後
在此娑婆世界
勤加精進:
於釋迦佛滅後惡世
願住此娑婆世界
勤加致力用功
精心弘宣
釋尊所教法

他們願意,明明知道娑婆世界,是堪忍的世界,但是他們甘願,甘願進來娑婆世界,再用功。因為這個地方是堪忍的世界,願意在這個地方重新再學,這個大環境是娑婆世界。所以,他們說「勤加精進」,要不然人家他們在他方世界,已經是成菩薩了,所以再來娑婆世界,他們就要再勤加精進,來適應這個大環境。這個大環境是堪忍的世界,這些菩薩很發心。於釋迦牟尼佛滅度後,他們就是這樣願意,願意在這個地方,「勤加致力用功」,要再加強功夫。所以,「精心弘宣釋尊所教法」,他們願意,願意這樣。釋迦牟尼佛的教法,他們要再重新學起,所教法是教菩薩法,他們要在這個地方學菩薩法,這個的地方就是要堪得忍耐,所以他們值得,值得來學,值得來這裡克服,所以甘願在這個地方去入人群,學更多一點。

所以,要在娑婆世界行菩薩道,真的是不簡單,他方的菩薩來要再重新學,要有這麼大的願。所以,他們願意是「護持讀、誦、書寫、供養」,這要再重新學起,並且要「守護受持,讀誦書寫」,是用心至敬,要來供養《法華經》。

護持、讀誦、
書寫、供養
是經典者:
並能守護受持
讀誦書寫
敬心供養法華經者

他們有這樣的表達,在這個「此土」,此土就是娑婆世界,我們大家願意,在這個娑婆國土裡,「廣為大眾」演說。

當於此土
而廣說之:
我當於此娑婆國土
廣為大眾而演說之

我們很願意,願意在這個地方來歷練,堪忍的世界,我們甘願在這裡歷練,我們甘願入人群來度化眾生,來守護這部經。這是他方世界來,他們所表達至誠至懇,懇切的心。

釋迦牟尼佛如何回答呢?下面這段文就這樣說:「爾時、佛告諸菩薩摩訶薩眾:止!善男子!不須汝等護持此經。」

爾時
佛告
諸菩薩摩訶薩眾
止 善男子
不須汝等護持此經
《法華經從地涌出品第十五》

釋迦牟尼佛就是這樣,大家隨喜來聽經,發心很好,你們要在娑婆世界,來弘揚這部經,再來娑婆世界勤加精進。這佛陀的考慮,他,有佛陀的考慮。

爾時
佛告
諸菩薩摩訶薩眾:
爾時他方國土
諸來菩薩
請願在娑婆
弘宣護持
佛心有所深思
故告
諸菩薩摩訶薩眾

所以,「爾時」,若了解佛陀是怎麼考慮,因為佛陀他的考慮,就是那個時候,「他方國土諸來菩薩,請願在娑婆弘經」,要受持,「佛心有所深思」。佛陀看到這些菩薩湧現出來了,佛陀就已經知道他們的心意了,所以佛陀開始就深思了;深思就有結論了,當他們請願之時,佛就很快就回答。

「故告諸菩薩摩訶薩」,回答這些人,一句話很快回答出去,那就是「止!」「你們發心,這樣我了解了,到這裡就好了,你們發心出來,這個誠意我了解了,我不能收。」就像人家送東西,「我知道你們的心意,有表達你們的心意,我了解,這個東西太貴重,我不能收。」這也是一個禮節。「止!善男子,不須汝等護持」。

止 善男子
不須汝等
護持此經:
假他方菩薩
聞四行之妙
請願娑婆弘經
佛即止之
意顯此土
自有能修此行之人
故令止此事
不必遠土之勞

這段文就是,我們要很用心去體會,佛陀是在描述,要讓我們娑婆世界的眾生,能夠體會在他所教化,那個時代,在他面前修行的弟子,他對他們這樣,要啟發他們的發心,所以他就借他方世界。

看,你們在修行,聽我的法,他方呢?不是我們這裡的人,其他的道場的菩薩,他們也來聽法;其他的道場的菩薩,他們已經發心,願意要來接我的法,來替我傳法在未來,我的道場,我的未來的弟子眾生,他方的人願意。這就是假借,假,「假」就是「借」的意思。借他方菩薩,「聞四行之妙,請願娑婆弘經」。他方的菩薩就是來聽四安樂行,這一品佛陀說出了困難、困難,很困難,娑婆世界弘法,有這麼多,會受很多的誹謗,會受很多等等…。

不只是外道,還有我們自己同行同修人,也會有這樣的心態,哪怕是同一個道場,修行的心都無法很調和,何況娑婆世界。學佛者的心態,大、中、小乘的看法不同,你要弘揚這個大乘真實法,談何容易啊!會去接受到的環境,聲音、形態等等,都要堪得受忍耐,這個忍辱的行一定要修。這在四安樂行,你要修堪忍,文殊菩薩才請佛陀說明,要如何避免,要避免十種的人,來堅定我們的道心;我們的道心還未堅定,你就不要靠近。用這樣的方法,來顧好我們的道心。這在他方世界的菩薩聽起來,因為他方沒有這種堪忍的形態,所以在他方,聽到娑婆世界苦難這麼多,若要發這麼大的心,所以他們會感動。

但是佛陀在這個地方,他就「止!不須汝等護持此經」。佛陀將它止下來,用意就是,「此土自有能修此行之人」。我這個娑婆世界不是都沒有人,只是欠缺發心而已;也不是不發心,是還未表達而已,所以不用你們來,我這個地方也有這樣的人。因為這樣,佛陀也要保護我們,娑婆世界發心的菩薩,所以因為這樣「止」。我這裡不是沒有人,我這裡不是沒有人肯發心,還未發心而已。所以佛陀,向他方世界菩薩的表達,佛陀就表達:「這個誠意我知道,我不能接受,因為我有了,我這個地方有這樣的人了。」「不必遠土之勞」。不用那麼勞動到你們來,我們這些人來處理足夠了,我們這些人來度化足夠了。這就是很辛苦的事情,不用勞煩你們來,我們大家自己來處理。

所以,「佛止他方遠來菩薩」的意,剛才是保護我們,我們自己娑婆世界發心的菩薩,一方面還有一個意,「他方菩薩,各有己任」。

佛止他方遠來菩薩
其意:
他方菩薩各有己任
若住此弘經
廢棄彼土利益
尤其他土菩薩
於此土結緣事淺
雖欲弘經
必無巨益

每一位菩薩在他們的國土,雖然沒有那麼的堪忍,但是也有眾生要度,所以,「他方菩薩,各有己任,若任此」,若來娑婆世界弘經,那就是「廢棄彼土利益」。他在那個地方,人家在那裡在度化、教育那裡的眾生很順利,若讓他來這裡,這麼難堪忍,他,那些眾生他放棄,來這裡不堪任,那就會很辛苦。尤其是,更加用心的,尤其是「他土菩薩,於此土結緣事淺」。他方世界和這個娑婆世界眾生,結的緣還很淺,無緣不能度,這也是佛陀所考慮的,他們和娑婆世界的緣沒有很深。所以,「雖欲弘經,必無巨益」。雖然發心要來娑婆世界,來教化,其實對娑婆世界,也沒有很大的利益。因為這樣,「止」,不敢收。再來就是佛陀若是允許,讓他方這麼多的菩薩來,「則此方菩薩,不勤入群承擔弘傳經教」。

又若許他方來
則此方菩薩
不勤入群
承擔弘傳經教
故止
意顯此土
自有能修此行之人

這些菩薩若都進來,娑婆世界這些人就會更加懶惰,他們就不肯修行了,就不肯入人群去度眾生了,自己的慧命就放棄了,這樣不行。所以還是佛陀疼惜自己的弟子,還是保留給自己的弟子,好好修行的環境。所以因為這樣,「止」,這「止」的意思,有這樣這麼多種。


所以,「意」,佛陀的意就是,「顯此土自有能修此行之人」,他是因為這些,「此土」。「是我弟子」,因為娑婆世界,這些是我所教化,都是我的弟子,「應弘我法」,應該弘傳我的法,應該傳我的法,應該要弘揚,我的法應該要傳下去。就像你們現在要如何傳法脈?要怎麼樣將法脈宗門綱領,要如何做出來?大家在用心。同樣的道理。

以是我弟子
應弘我法
又結緣深廣
必獲巨益
又得開近顯遠
是故止彼召此

所以「又結緣深廣,必獲巨益」。我們大家生生世世,在這個娑婆世界,不知來回多少次了,我們在娑婆世界聞佛法,也應該已累積起來了,所以這我們應該要能夠知道。所以,我們若這樣,「結緣深廣,必獲巨益」。「又得開近顯遠」,現在近的,「跡」就是方便,方便法。佛陀說種種的方便法,以及眾生種種的煩惱無明,這全都將它去除,顯出了我們真如本性。我們的真如本性,如來藏性,我們應該能夠體會。「是故止彼召此」,止在他方來的菩薩,呼喚在現在娑婆世界的弟子:「你們若再不發心,你看,他方的人已經願意來了;他方菩薩這樣願意進來,而我們自己呢?我們自己,怎麼不要趕緊發心立願起來呢?專心一志好好克勤刻苦。」我們這一輩子,我們要好好,「此身不向今生度,更向何生度此身」,這個緣,我們既然來到人間,入人群、結善緣、得智慧,我們何樂而不為?

各位菩薩,這段文真的我們要很用心體會,佛陀引他方菩薩來的發大心,從隨喜而虔誠,要來為娑婆世界付出。佛陀為他們「止」,不用;在顧,顧彼也顧此。常常說,我們分區,就是說,在這區的人,就去顧這一區的人;這個國家將它帶起來,種子成熟,這個國家的人,用這個種子去成長他們的因緣、智慧、福德。這就是很期待,全球能夠拓開的因緣,不就是和這樣一樣?那裡若有人了,我們這裡就不用去了。同意的道理,我們這裡有人了,難道還要外面再來嗎?道理都一樣。所以大家若用心,我們這個道理就能夠通達,所以我們要時時多用心!


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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: The Buddha Stopped Bodhisattvas from Other Lands (他方請願 佛即止之)
Date: October.17.2018

“Those many Bodhisattvas from other lands jubilantly emerged to sincerely make a petition. They were willing to remain in the Saha World to safeguard and spread the wondrous Dharma and deliver and transform sentient beings.”

We must be mindful! We already learned earlier that as the Buddha taught the Dharma in this world, Bodhisattvas from other lands also came to the Saha World to listen to the Dharma. The Buddha taught the Lotus Sutra at Vulture Peak out of care for future beings of the Saha World. In the [future] world of sentient beings, the evils of the Five Turbidities are heavy, and the afflictions of sentient beings are many. The Wondrous Dharma must circulate in the world, because the Dharma is a wondrous medicine that cures the sickness of ignorance, afflictions and delusions for sentient beings.

So, transformation is impossible without the Dharma. However, the Buddha’s time on earth was limited. The Buddha already knew that this Dharma needed to be transmitted, and that His disciples ought to receive, accept and transmit the Dharma. So, He put His heartfelt effort into teaching the Lotus Sutra. He taught this sutra for over seven years. He began with the teaching of the manifest, how He manifested in this world, to begin helping us understand. He descended from Tusita Heaven and entered the palace. After He was born, He grew up in the world, saw the ways of the world and realized that there is suffering and that suffering comes from the inequality and discrimination among humans. Humans are covered by ignorance, so their minds are very chaotic. The Buddha thought, how could He save and transform sentient beings? How could He help everyone open their hearts and be understanding? Among people, how could they break through the unequal [caste] system? How could He help everyone in suffering realize the karmic law of cause and effect so they can understand what they should do and what they should not do? In this [world of] conflicts, [He wished to help them] clearly understand the principles of what they should do and what they should not do. This is what the Buddha taught according to sentient beings’ capabilities.

Of course, when facing sentient beings, their capabilities are very complicated. This was not only the case for the disciples whom the Buddha faced. Since they had come to practice, everyone’s heart shared the same direction. It was just that their capabilities differed. Some of them understood [the Dharma]. “I understand the Dharma, but I am afraid. This world is terrifying; there is so much suffering. I must quickly engage in spiritual practice to liberate myself from cyclic existence. I must understand this path and not deviate from this direction.” These Hearers tried their best to listen to the teachings of the Buddha and uphold [the principles] to liberate themselves. They wished to avoid returning to the human realm. They were Small Vehicle [practitioners] who only sought to benefit themselves.

Moreover, for those with slightly sharper capabilities, they understood that life is suffering. They too understood it is suffering, but what they realized was impermanence. In the environment, there are spring, summer, autumn and winter; it gets cold and hot. Every environment in the world is constantly and continuously changing. The changing of the world’s environment is a display of impermanence. Change is impermanence. What is impermanence? The climate of the world has brought about all living beings and their way of life, such as the blooming and wilting of flowers and so on in the world.

In summary, this is called “impermanence”. They were already aware of these principles, and they experienced these principles as well. They understood that these principles of impermanence are a result of karmic conditions. All changes and impermanence in the universe are the result of karmic causes and conditions. There must be this seed, this earth, this air, this water and so on that come together. They already knew this. From the Buddha’s teachings, they comprehended, understood and had deep faith. They understood, so they also realized how terrifying the causes and conditions are in the human realm. What makes it terrifying is the rise of discursive thoughts. These causes and conditions always come from the rise of discursive thoughts. Once the mind turns, causes and conditions converge. People become entangled with each other, leading to calamities or blessings. These karmic conditions are very terrifying.

Beyond just the seasonal changes of the universe and the ways of life in nature based on causes and conditions, there is more. People’s suffering comes from the rise of discursive thoughts that bring about karmic conditions. Then, between people, the fruition of retribution as blessings or calamities arise in this way. Thus, they were afraid. After they understood this part of the Buddha-Dharma, they gave rise to fear in their hearts; they became terrified. They likewise wanted to liberate themselves from the cycle of life and death and were unwilling to be among people. Yet the Dharma they listened to and their understanding were wider in scope; they were not only afraid of suffering, they also understood the Four Noble Truths, so they sought only to awaken themselves. They moreover understood the law of karma. But although they understood it on a deeper level, they were still afraid of suffering and were unable to endure hardship. The human realm is indeed full of suffering; in nature, the changing four seasons bring about suffering. For poor people, when it is hot, their homes feel like [an oven]. Yet, they still must toil in hard labor. Thus, this is suffering as well.

In winter, they lack warm clothing, but they still have to continue working hard. They must endure the wind and rain; this is also suffering. Illness also adds to the hardship of poverty. In families, couples in poverty suffer tremendously in many matters. These all add to the suffering. After realizing all the suffering in the world they began to fear. They became afraid of thinking more about this. They sought to quickly be liberated! They only focused on engaging in this practice and on accepting these teachings. Solitary Realizers went a step further to comprehend the universe and the Dharma of causes and conditions.

However, they still felt fear [issues] between people all stem from our minds, so they were also afraid. The human realm is full of so much suffering, from nature, humans, manmade calamities, affections, ignorance etc. Since they feared suffering and were always afraid of hardship and torment, they gave up on going among people. But the Buddha never gave up. “Since they are in the Saha World and it is full of suffering, my disciples must face the suffering, go among people and teach with the Dharma.” This involves going among people to comprehend the suffering in the world. From this suffering, we can refine and train our resolve to not be afraid of suffering. Then, we can transform all sentient beings to accept the Dharma and spread the Dharma in the human realm. This is the Buddha’s one great cause, to teach the “Lotus Sutra”.

He [taught for] such a long time, starting from the teaching of the manifest. In the human realm, He manifested [to show] how to face sentient beings and how to transform sentient beings. He also hoped that future sentient beings can spread the Dharma in the world. However, in the Chapter on the Practice of Bring Peace and Joy, the Buddha began to worry. He was about to enter Parinirvana; who will pass on the Dharma? He hoped that everyone would be able, after hearing the Buddha say His time on Earth is coming to an end, to willingly pass on the Dharma.

However, had the disciples in the Saha World been touched? Had [the Buddha] inspired their hearts? The disciples of the Saha World had not yet been inspired, but [those from] other worlds were already moved. This is because when Sakyamuni Buddha taught the Lotus Sutra in the Saha World, Bodhisattvas from other worlds also came to listen. So, these [Bodhisattvas] from other worlds rose from their seats and put their palms together in reverence to petition the Buddha. They reverently petitioned the Buddha to entrust them with this responsibility. “We are willing to take on this responsibility.” So it says, “Those many Bodhisattvas from other lands…”. These many Bodhisattvas were not from the Saha World but from other lands. They were deeply moved by the Buddha’s teaching. From the bottom of their hearts, they were moved and they were jubilant. Their jubilance surged up from their hearts. “[They] emerged to sincerely [made a petition].” Listening to the Dharma, their hearts were moved and they expressed it in their body and [mind]. So, with a reverent heart, they sincerely expressed their intent. “They earnestly requested to remain in the Saha World.” They reverently put their palms together to pay respect to the Buddha. Toward Sakyamuni Buddha, they earnestly requested and made vows to willingly stay in the Saha World“ to safeguard and spread the wondrous Dharma”. In order to “transform sentient begins”. This is very touching! They felt this intent in their minds. It was really surging in their hearts. They were so jubilant. His own disciples in the Saha World remained unmoved, but the disciples from other worlds were so moved and were expressing their sincerity and their willingness.

So. [the Buddha] had very mixed feelings. This was during the Buddha’s lifetime, so what about the current era? Thus, “When [the Buddha] taught the Wondrous Lotus Sutra on Vulture Peak, the Bodhisattvas from other lands rejoiced”.

When [the Buddha] taught the Wondrous Lotus Sutra on Vulture Peak the Bodhisattvas from other lands rejoiced and came from afar to listen. They were many in number. They heard that those who uphold, expound and spread the sutra have great blessings, virtues and wisdom. So, they were willing to remain in this land and make vows to go among people and widely spread this sutra. Actually this is a display of matters and appearances.

In the beginning, Bodhisattvas from other lands knew that Sakyamuni Buddha of the Saha World was teaching this sutra. At first, they came to rejoice in listening to the Dharma, but after listening, they truly felt Dharma-joy. So, they came from afar to listen, as the Buddha’s voice penetrated the Dharma-realms of the universe. So, they came closer to listen to the Dharma. Additionally, the Bodhisattvas far away likewise also listened to the Buddha teach. “[They] came from afar to listen. They were many in number”. People who were listening to this Dharma were many. This is just like when we talk right now and modern technology helps transmit this Dharma to many faraway countries. In terms of our current era, in addition to those at the Jing Si Abode, everyone can hear [the teachings as well]. This is also an example of how technology augments these sounds so they can be heard all around the Abode. Not only that, we can also transmit the Dharma to a limitless number of nations. We see how other lands can listen from afar.

Nowadays, technology can help us listen from afar. This is to say nothing of the Buddha’s era. Therefore, we must have deep faith. The Buddha, in that era, spoke about spiritual powers. But what about in our current era? Everyone mindfully seeks to develop and invent [things], ceaselessly researching and developing [thing]. They study and discover the physical principles of the world and bring them together [as new technology]. Technology is constantly developing. This dedication [to science] takes up many people’s mental efforts.

For these intentions to penetrate [the truths] will, of course, require a long time of research and development. In simple terms, aren’t these spiritual powers and understanding? They mindfully and purposefully seek to understand the convergence of the causes and conditions for everything in the world. Solitary Realizers were able to comprehend the profound and wondrous cycle of [seasons] and climate in nature. They could also understand the phenomena of arising and ceasing of all things in the universe. Over 2000 years ago, when the Buddha taught, with very pure and simple wisdom. [Solitary Realizers] comprehended the lives of all things in the world and the principles of biology. What of our present time, 2000 years later? With modern knowledge of physiology and biology, we can reveal the profound wonders and secrets of all living beings in the world. As we uncover these does and secrets one at a time, it is also very worrisome.

Wherein lies the value of a human [life]? During the Buddha’s lifetime, He very clearly elucidated the Dharma, explaining the path and principles for humanity. He guided everyone’s heart toward true harmony. He guided everyone’s heart toward true harmony and a very valuable [way of life] so we can inspire great wisdom as we maintain and uphold [the principles]. But people nowadays feel that they no longer need wisdom. Most people only use their knowledge. In society, the most sincere, profound and wondrous value system is gradually fading into oblivion. So, as the affection in interpersonal interactions becomes colder and colder, the world will become more chaotic. This is a very worrisome matter. Therefore, it is during these times that we most need the Dharma to help everyone understand that wisdom is more important than knowledge. Wisdom safeguards everything. At this time, if we do not earnestly safeguard this complete path and the virtues of our mindset, if we cannot achieve this, we will have more and more unimaginable things happening.

Therefore, we must earnestly listen to and uphold [the teachings]. The Bodhisattvas from other lands had heard. “They heard that those who uphold, expound and spread the sutra….” They heard the Buddha encouraging everyone that listening to the Dharma brings merits and virtues and especially teaching and spreading the Dharma brings merits and virtues. The virtue from creating blessings in the world and growing [people’s] wisdom is very great. The Bodhisattvas from other lands realized that by coming to the Saha World, which is so disorderly, to teach the Dharma here, they could grow blessings, virtue and wisdom. Thus, they were joyful and willing.

“So, they were willing to remain in this land and make vows to go among people”. They were willing to remain in this Saha World and make vows to go among people and “widely spread the sutra”. “Actually this is a display of matters and appearances”. Actually, this sutra passage taught by the Buddha reveals a fact.

For example, if we are unwilling to earnestly and mindful work with diligence, then there are people from other places who are willing to provide assistance. There are many! There are people willing to come and help. If we are unwilling, then other people will come. They form aspirations and are willing to serve, so why are we unwilling? That is how it is. We must mindfully seek to comprehend that the Buddha has His intention.

So, “At that time, those Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas coming from other lands exceeded the sands of eight Ganges Rivers in number. They arose from among the assembly, and with palms together, paid respect to and addressed the Buddha”.

This was the previous passage. These Bodhisattvas from other lands had arrived. How many were there? We have discussed so many times about vast spaces and long periods of time. To describe the incalculable number of people, we use “exceeding the sands of eight Ganges Rivers in number” as an analogy. This is to say, we sentient beings in the Saha World had not been moved, but there were already so many from other worlds who came to express their intent. As they came to express themselves, they put their palms together and paid respect before addressing the Buddha.

The next [sutra] passage says, “World-Honored One, should you hear us, after the Buddha enters Parinirvana, in this Saha World, we will diligently advance forward to be those who protect, uphold, read, recite, transcribe and make offerings to this sutra. We will widely expound it in this land”.

[They said], “World-Honored One, should you hear us…”. This means not only to listen, but to allow. This “hear” means “permit”. It actually means to allow them.

World-Honored One, should you hear us: Those Bodhisattvas from other lands came from the lands of other Buddhas. They arrived in this Saha World and listened and accepted with Dharma-joy. Thus, type requested to be entrusted [with the teachings] and sought permission.

This refers to the aforementioned “petition”. They petitioned the Buddha to give them this responsibility, to entrust them with it. Why is it called entrusting? Because this is the Saha World, and they were from other worlds. If those beings from other worlds want to com tot the Saha World, of course they will need the Buddha of this world to entrust this to them. Thus, “Should you hear us, after the Buddha enters Parinirvana…. Buddha, should you permit us, after You have entered Parinirvana, to remain in this Saha World, we are able to diligently advance in this world”.

In this place, we will safeguard and uphold, read, recite, transcribe and make offerings to this sutra. In this way, we make offerings to the Buddha. If You are not here, You do not need to worry. We will uphold this sutra in this place so that the Dharma does not vanish here. Thus, these are the Bodhisattvas from other lands; they came from the lands of other Buddhas. The Saha World is [the world of] Sakaymuni Buddha. Other lands also have their own names. Thus, these [Bodhisattvas] came from other lands so they are called “Bodhisattvas from other lands”. They “came from the lands of other Buddhas, from lands that were guided by other Buddhas”. If those lands did not have a Buddha, then how would there be Bodhisattvas? Only with Buddhas will there be Bodhisattvas, because Buddhas teach and transform Bodhsiattvas to help them understand that they must practice the Great Vehicle Dharma. It is because they have accepted the teachings of the Great Vehicle Dharma that they are referred to as Bodhisattvas. The other lands are like this as well. So, “They arrived in this Saha World”. This means that Bodhisattvas from other worlds came here to listen to the Dharma, they received it and were filled with Dharma-joy. They originally came to rejoice. “The Dharma is being taught in the Saha World, let’s go see for ourselves.” They came to rejoice, but now they were moved because they “listened and accepted with Dharma-joy”. They were moved and they rejoiced, so they sincerely wanted to be in the Saha World.

“Thus, they requested to be entrusted [with the teachings] and sought permission.” They hoped the Buddha would grant the permission. “After the Buddha enters Parinirvana, in this Saha World, we will diligently advance forward.”

After the Buddha enters Parinirvana, in this Saha World, we will diligently advance forward: In the evil world after Sakayamuni Buddha enters Parinirvana, they were willing to abide in this Saha World to diligently work even harder to focus on spreading the Dharma that Venerable Sakyamuni taught.

They were willing: they clearly knew that the Saha World was a world that is hard to endure, yet they were willing to come to the Saha World and put in great effort. Since this place is a world that must be endured, they were willing to relearn everything here, in this environment of the Saha World. So they said, “We will diligently advance forward”. They had already become Bodhisattvas in other lands, so when they came to the Saha World they had to diligently advance again to adapt to this environment. This environment is a world that must be endured, but these Bodhisattvas were very determined.

After Sakyamuni Buddha entered Parinirvana, they would be willing to be in this place, “diligently work even harder” and improve their mastery .“[They would] focus on spreading the Dharma that Venerable Sakyamuni taught.” They were willing, willing to do this. They had to relearn the teachings of Sakyamuni Buddha. The teachings were the Bodhisattva Way, so they had to learn the Bodhisattva Way here, as this is a place of endurance. Thus, it was worthwhile for them to come here, learn and overcome [challenges]. Therefore, they were willing to be here and go among people to learn more.

So, to practice the Bodhisattva-path in the Saha World is truly not easy. Those Bodhisattvas from other lands had to learn from the start, so it required a great vow. Thus, they were willing to “protect, uphold, read, recite transcribe and make offerings”. They would have to relearn all of this. Moreover, they wanted to “protect, accept, uphold, read, recite [and] transcribe”; they wished to mindfully and reverently make offerings to the Lotus Sutra. This is what they expressed in “this land. “This land” refers to the Saha World. All of them were willing to be in this Saha World, to widely expound [this sutra] to the assembly.

We will widely expound it in this land: We will remain in this Saha World to widely expound [this sutra] to the assembly.

They were very willing to train themselves through experience here, in the world of endurance. They were willing to train here by going among people to transform them and protect this sutra. From those who came from other worlds, this intent was expressed with utmost sincerity. How did Sakyamuni Buddha respond? The following sutra passage states, “At that time, the Buddha told those Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas, ‘Stop! Good men! There is no need for all of you to safeguard and uphold this sutra’”

That was what Sakyamuni Buddha did. “You all came to rejoice and listen to the sutra, and it is wonderful that you formed aspirations to remain in the Saha World and spread this sutra, to diligent advance [here]”. These were the Buddha’s considerations.

At that time, the Buddha told those Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas: At that time, those Bodhisattvas from other lands petitioned to remain in the Saha World to widely spread and safeguard [the sutra]. After deeply contemplating in His mind, the Buddha spoke to those Bodhisattva-Mahasttvas.

Speaking of “at that time,” we must understand the Buddha’s considerations. The Buddha had His considerations. At that time when “those Bodhisattva-Mahasttvas from other lands” petitioned to spread the sutra in the Saha World and uphold the sutra, “[The Buddha] deeply contemplated in His mind”. When the Buddha saw these Bodhisattvas emerge, He immediately knew their intent, so the Buddha began to deeply contemplate this. From deep contemplation, He reached His conclusion. When they petitioned the Buddha, He quickly responded and “spoke to those Bodhisattva-Mahasttvas”. He quickly responded to these people with one word. That word was “Stop! You have formed aspirations, I understand that but that is enough. I understand the sincerity “behind the aspirations you have formed, but I cannot accept”. Just like when someone offers us a gift, “I understand your intent. I understand the intent you have expressed, but this is too valuable for me to accept”. This is a form of etiquette as well. “Stop! Good men. There is no need for all of you to safeguard and uphold this sutra”.

Stop! Good men! There is no need for all of you to safeguard and uphold this sutra: He relied on those Bodhisattvas from other lands, who heard the wondrous of the Four Practices and petitioned to widely spread the sutra in the Saha World. The Buddha immediately stopped them. The Buddha intended to show that in this land, there were already people who could cultivate these practices. So, He put a stop to this as there was no need for the effort of those from distant lands.

Regarding this passage, we must mindfully seek to comprehend it. The Buddha was describing it to us for us sentient beings of the Saha World to learn from His teachings. During that era, for the disciples who practiced with Him, the Buddha treated them this way to inspire them to form aspirations. So, He relied on [Bodhisattvas] from other worlds. “See, you are practicing and listening to my Dharma. What about those from other worlds? They are not from here. They are Bodhsiattvas from other spiritual training grounds who have come to listen to the Dharma. The Bodhsiattvas from other spiritual training grounds have already formed aspirations to willingly come and receive my Dharma, to transmit the Dharma in the future on my behalf in my spiritual ground. For my future disciples and sentient beings, those from other lands are willing [to teach]”. This is to “rely”. “To rely” means “to depend on”. He relied on the Bodhisattvas from other lands “who heard the wondrous of the Four Practices and petitioned to widely spread the sutra in the Saha World.” The Bodhisattvas from other lands came to listen the Four Practices of Bringing Peace and Joy. In this chapter, the Buddha spoke of difficulties. It will be very hard to spread the Dharma in the Saha World. We will face so much slander, many [challenges] and more. Not only [practitioners of] non-Buddhist teachings but even those who share our practice will also have this mindset. Even in the same spiritual training ground, the minds of spiritual practitioners cannot be perfectly harmonious, to say nothing [of people in] the Saha World.

The mindset of Buddhist practitioners regarding the Great, Middle and Small Vehicle is different. Spreading the true Great Vehicle Dharma is easier said than done! The environment, voices and behaviors which we will encounter must be patiently endured. We must cultivate this practice of patience. With the Four Practices of Bringing Peace and Joy, we must practice patience to endure. That is why Manjusri Bodhisattva asked the Buddha to teach us how to avoid [hardships]. We must avoid these ten kinds of people to strengthen our spiritual aspirations. If our spiritual aspirations are not yet firm, then we must not draw near to them. We can use this method to safeguard our spiritual aspirations. When the Bodhisattvas of other worlds heard this, because there are no such situations to endure in other worlds, so, being from other worlds, they heard about the suffering in the Saha World and how people must form such great aspirations and were moved.

However, at this point, the Buddha said, “Stop! There is no need for all of you to safeguard and uphold this sutra”. When the Buddha told them to stop, His intent was that “In this land, there are already people who can cultivate these practices. This Saha World does not lack people; there is just a lack of aspirations it is not that they do not form aspirations, they just have not expressed it yet. So, we do not need you to come. We already have people like these here.” Because of this, the Buddha wanted to protect our Bodhisattvas who have formed great aspirations in the Saha World. That is why He said, “Stop!” We do not lack people here. We have people here willing to form aspirations. They just have not formed them yet.

The Buddha replied to the Bodhisattvas of other worlds by saying, “I understand your sincerity. However, I cannot accept because I already have [people]. There are people like this here. There is no need for the effort of those from distant lands. There is no need for your efforts to come here. We have enough people here to handle it. We have enough people here to transform others. This is a very difficult task, so we do not need to trouble you. We will take care of it ourselves”. Thus, “The Buddha’s intention in stopping [them]” was actually to protect us, the Saha World Bodhisattvas who have formed aspirations. He also had another consideration. “The Bodhisattvas from other lands each had their own responsibilities.”

The Buddha’s intention in stopping those Bodhisattvas from other lands coming from afar: The Bodhisattvas from other lands each had their own responsibilities. If they abided here to spread the sutra, they would neglect their benefit to those lands. Moreover, the Bodhisattvas from other lands had formed shallow affinities in this land.

Although they would like to spread the sutra, they would certainly not bring great benefits. Although each Bodhisattva in their own land does not have to endure so much, they still have sentient beings to transform. So, “The Bodhisattvas from other lands each had their own responsibilities. If they abided here,” if they came to the Saha World to spread the sutra, they “they would be neglecting their benefit to those lands”. In those places, they were transforming and educating sentient beings very successfully. If they were permitted to come here, with so much hardship to endure, they would be neglecting those sentient beings to come here and take on such a tough job; it would be very hard. Moreover, He was even more mindful of how “the Bodhisattvas from other lands had formed shallow affinities in this land.” Those from other worlds had only connected with sentient beings of the Saha World with very shallow affinities. Without affinities, one cannot transform others. This is something the Buddha considered as well. Their affinities with the Saha World were not deep. “Although they would like to spread the sutra, they would certainly not bring great benefits.” Although they formed aspirations to come to the Saha World to teach and transform, in fact, they would not bring any great benefits to the Saha World. Thus, [His response was] “Stop!” He did not accept them. Moreover, if the Buddha did permit so many Bodhisattvas from other lands to come, “then the Bodhisattvas in this land would not be diligent in going among people to take on the responsibility of spreading the sutra and its teachings.”

If He permitted those Bodhisattvas from other lands to come, then the Bodhisattvas in this land would not be diligent in going among people and take on the responsibility of spreading the sutra and its teachings. Thus He stopped them. He intended to show that in this land there were already people who could cultivate these practices.

If these Bodhisattvas came to the Saha World, then the people here would be even lazier. They would not practice, and they would not go among people to transform sentient beings. They would then abandon their own wisdom-life; this was not acceptable. So, the Buddha cherished His disciples and kept this environment for His own disciples to earnestly practice in. This is why He said “Stop!” There are many meanings of this word, “Stop!” Thus, the Buddha’s intent was “to show that in this land there are already people who can cultivate these practices.” This was because. “In this land, [they are] the Buddha’s disciples.” Those in the Saha World were those whom He taught and transformed. They were all His disciples. So, “[They] should spread His Dharma.” They should be the ones to spread His Dharma. They ought to transmit and spread His Dharma. It is like how we are trying to pass on our [Jing Si] Dharma-lineage now and establish the guiding principle of the Jing Si Dharma-lineage and Tzu Chi School. We are all mindfully working on this. The principle is the same.

For these reasons, the Buddha’s disciples should spread His Dharma.
Also, they have formed deep and extensive affinities, so they will certainly bring great benefits. Moreover, He had to open the near to reveal the far. Thus, He stopped those [from other lands] and called on these [in this land.]

“They have formed deep and extensive affinities, so they will certainly bring great benefits.” Throughout lifetime after lifetime, we have repeatedly come to this Saha World, countless times. The Buddha-Dharma we heard in the Saha World should have accumulated over time. Thus, we should understand this. So, if we can do this, “having formed deep and extensive affinities, [we] will certainly bring great benefits.” “Moreover, He had to open the near to reveal the far.” In this moment, the near is the “manifest,” which is the skillful means. The Buddha taught with various skillful means about how we must eradicate the various afflictions and ignorance of sentient beings to reveal our nature of True Suchness. We should be able to realize our nature of True Suchness, our Tathagata-garbha nature. “Thus, He stopped those [from other lands] and called on these [in this land].”
He stopped the Bodhisattvas from other lands and called on His disciples of the Saha World.

“If you do not form aspirations now, then, look, the Bodhisattvas from other lands are already willing to come. Bodhisattvas from other lands are willing to come here, but what about us? Why have we not quickly formed aspirations and made vows ourselves? We need to focus and single-mindedly be diligent and overcome hardship.” During this lifetime, we must put in the effort. “If we do not transform ourselves in this lifetime, in which lifetime will we transform ourselves?” Since we have the affinity to come to this world, we should go among people, form positive affinities and gain wisdom. We should only be too glad to do it!

Fellow Bodhisattvas, we must mindfully comprehend this passage. The Buddha attracted the great aspirations of Bodhisattvas from other lands. Out of joy, they reverently wished to come to the Saha World to serve. The Buddha asked them to “stop.” He insisted there was no need to look after both [their lands] and this land]. We often say volunteers are split up by regions so those in this region can care for those in this region. When [Tzu Chi] is started in a country, the seeds ripen and the people of that country will use these seeds to grow their own affinities, wisdom, blessings and virtue. In this way, we hope for affinities to be expanded throughout the world. Is it not the same as this?

If there are people there, then we do not need to go there. It is the same principle. If we already have volunteers here, do we really need people from outside to come? It is the same principle. Therefore, if everyone is mindful, we can deeply penetrate these principles. So, we must always be mindful!

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