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 20181019《靜思妙蓮華》地皆震裂 開跡顯本 (第1461集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)

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發表主題: 20181019《靜思妙蓮華》地皆震裂 開跡顯本 (第1461集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)   周四 10月 18, 2018 10:21 am

20181019《靜思妙蓮華》地皆震裂 開跡顯本 (第1461集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)

⊙是我弟子應弘我法傳承永恆,娑婆結緣因深緣廣必獲巨益,深耕福地播種,菩提一生無量,開近果顯遠因,從一而生無量。
⊙菩薩敬順佛意,發願堪忍世中,周旋往返六道,堪受忍難持經,自謂得無生忍,故能忍諸難事。
⊙娑婆世界堪忍事多,菩薩為教化眾生,能忍受勞倦故,名堪忍世界。
⊙「所以者何?我娑婆世界,自有六萬恆河沙等菩薩摩訶薩,一一菩薩各有六萬恆河沙眷屬。」《法華經從地涌出品第十五》
⊙「是諸人等能於我滅後,護持讀誦、廣說此經。」《法華經從地涌出品第十五》
⊙「佛說是時,娑婆世界三千大千國土,地皆震裂,而於其中有無量千萬億菩薩摩訶薩同時涌出。」《法華經從地涌出品第十五》
⊙大千界地皆震裂,以將有諸大菩薩從地涌出,故現是相。地覆本眷屬,如跡隱本,今欲開跡顯本,故地裂以表相。
⊙佛說是時,娑婆世界三千大千國土,地皆震裂:釋迦如來作是說時;佛神力故,感動他境皆地震裂。
⊙三千大千世界,一千小世界,謂之一中千世界,千個中千世界,稱一大千世界。三千:即是一切諸法,亦是甚多無量喻之。
⊙地裂:地下覆本眷屬,如跡隱本,今欲開跡顯本,故地裂以表,群賢之道當申張顯之。得以利物,悲智兼濟也。
⊙而於其中有無量千萬億菩薩摩訶薩同時涌出:下方空中,諸菩薩眾,聞佛語故,從彼發來。

【證嚴上人開示】
是我弟子應弘我法傳承永恆,娑婆結緣因深緣廣必獲巨益,深耕福地播種,菩提一生無量,開近果顯遠因,從一而生無量。

是我弟子應弘我法
傳承永恆
娑婆結緣
因深緣廣必獲巨益
深耕福地播種
菩提一生無量
開近果顯遠因
從一而生無量

各位菩薩,用心來體會,人生真真正正要把握時間!時間不斷流逝過去,因緣分毫都累積,在我們的藏識之中,也就是隨著我們來來回回,造作的一切,無不都是因、都是緣,帶在生生世世的果報,這是我們要很用心來體會。佛陀所說法,無非也要我們透徹這樣的道理,希望我們回歸真如本性。眾生芸芸,苦難偏多,無明中來來回回,我們要起著不忍眾生苦的心,要發心入人群。何況人群中是道場,我們要能夠體會、要能夠了解,人群裡面就是我們最好的道場,佛陀的教育,就是要我們好好用心體解大道。

所以「是我弟子應弘我法,傳承永恆」。是啊,我們全都是佛的弟子,我們應該接受佛陀的教育,應該要傳承佛陀的志願,所以應該弘揚,佛流傳下來這個法。我們要在人群中,我們要有責任,佛陀的一大事就是要拯救眾生,而我們才是眾生中之一。我們的周圍還有芸芸的眾生,我們只是很幸運,能夠提前接觸到佛的教法,就是有因緣。說我們是提前,比我們更前面,與佛同世的弟子更是幸運。事隔二千多年,說不定我們在二千多年前,與佛同世,聞佛說法,我們也有發願過,只是我們的願不切、行不真,我們又再流落六道裡。或者是幾輩子以來,我們有遇過了佛法、聽佛法,但是我們的緣薄,一直到現在,聞法的因、緣還有。

所以,現在已經聽到了,今生此世的因緣,我們要好好把握著,懇切發願。佛法聽入心,落實在生活,舉止動作無不都是因、緣,成熟的種子入我們的意識,八識田中都很豐富佛法的種子。我們的來生來世,再遇佛法,因緣就很成熟了,若這樣「因深緣廣必獲巨益」,這都是要在人群中,這個道場來磨練出來。所以,要「深耕福地播種,菩提一生無量」。只要我們好好發心,我們自己的心地好好耕耘,耕耘我們這片的心地,將我們的種子,培養得讓它很成熟,自然這顆覺的種子,那就是一生無量。我們若對佛法很堅定,立下志願,這個種子,我們周圍、周邊的人,芸芸的眾生,我們能夠去影響其他人的心志,也能夠向於佛法學,學而覺,所以「做中學,學中覺」。我們要一一來接引來,讓他在生活中去體會,讓他在生活中了解佛法,法與事、人事與道理,在這樣每天在做,工作中每天來體會這個法,所以在人事中體會深的道理,這叫做佛法,這叫做事理會合。

所以,我們要「開近果顯遠因,從一而生無量」。「開近果」,我們今生此世承過去的因而來。過去到底是什麼因呢?雖然我們不知道,但是今生的結果我們清楚了,這輩子你的父母、你的家庭、你的生活過程,你如何遇到佛法,你如何來發心,這個因緣如何會合起來,這我們很清楚。既然在今生此世,不論什麼因緣會遇了,在這個道場裡,我們學的就是每天都在聽法,每天都讓我們看盡天下,天下事,每天讓我們接觸的是群眾,無不都是果。現在的天下也是果啊!五濁惡世,氣候極端,夏天來了,每天、每天都在說熱,地、水、火、風不調了,哪一個國家大水災了,哪一個國家有颶風、颱風,受災難了,哪一個國家多麼大的火災,哪一個國家有地震了。難道不是嗎?每天宏觀天下,天下事媒體每天報。

而我們在這個道場裡,也每天告訴大家,昨天、過去,是有什麼人、事、物不調,而發生了,這全都是發生之後的事情,叫做「果」,結果。這些結果是如何來?就是「遠因」。每天不就是這樣在說嗎?我們過去就是這樣,包括了氣候不調。說了之後,我就會說:「我們現在人的生活,就是過去這樣、這樣造的因──破壞大地、污染空氣,人心不調了,造成人禍災難。」這非常的明顯的遠因累積,造成了現在大乾坤,與人間小乾坤的果報。
若對個人來說,是啊,我們每一個人同樣有遠因近果,每一個人都有!而且我們的近果,已經在修行了,今天我們坐在前面,你們面對著師父,師父面對著大家,你們的左右、前面都是修行者。修行的心態是不是都同一種呢?因為感受不同、根機不同,但是法是相同。不斷要我們要去掉無明,人生這樣,這麼多、這麼多的無明,有這樣的法,人間有這樣的事,遇到這樣的事我們要如何去解決它,應用我們的法?

所以,無餘修、無間修、長時修。在人間所有的一切,一切的作為,那個有為,善惡有為法,我們面對著惡劣的境界,我們就要趕緊拿出「四修法」,時時恭敬法,也就要趕緊無間、無餘,這樣長時來修行。長時,記得我們身、口、意、誓願。若能夠這樣,自然我們現在雖然面對著,這樣的果,大環境,卻是我們個人,要用什麼方法來面對,這個大環境、大人群的心態?那就是「四法」、「四修」。我們要發揮「三軌法」,這全都是一連串,讓我們內心很充足,能夠「開近果顯遠因」,明白過去所造作,我們現在面對著這樣的果,我們也要將這個修行,拉近我們日常的生活,成為我們現在的因。「三軌法」、「四修」、「四法」,這「一三」、「二四」都用在我們的生活中,這樣不就是「從一而生無量」呢?

我們顧我們自己好好修,別人對我們如何計較,我們好好改善自己;別人對我們如何的聲色不對,我們要好好修好我們的自己,這要好好用心改善。不是只一直想要改善別人,要改善自己;改善你自己,自然就能夠影響別人。這是最正確的道理,所以要請大家要了解。「深耕福地播種,菩提一生無量,開近果顯遠因,從一而生無量」。我們入人群中去,我們好好來面對眾生,這是我們的道場,在人群中是我們的道場,所以我們要發大心、立大願,行菩薩行,因為佛陀一大事因緣,就是要教菩薩法,要來教育我們的菩薩法,所以我們是佛的弟子,所以我們應該要弘揚佛的教法。

所以,我們要敬順佛意。因為佛的一大事因緣,既是佛的弟子,佛陀是為了要來教化眾生,我們只是眾生中之一,我們已經有特殊的因緣,我們來受教。所以,既是佛的弟子,我們應該,佛陀的教法我們要傳承,我們要永恆的心,要長時、無間、無餘、尊重,好好修行,敬重佛法,這「敬順佛意」。「菩薩敬順佛意發願堪忍世中,周旋往返六道,堪受忍難持經,自謂得無生忍,故能忍諸難事」。

菩薩敬順佛意
發願堪忍世中
周旋往返六道
堪受忍難持經
自謂得無生忍
故能忍諸難事

我們要向這個方法走。為什麼呢?因為他方世界的菩薩,聽到這個堪忍世界,娑婆世界,這麼的苦,佛陀的掛心,娑婆的弟子還未表達發願,他方世界已經開始表達了。他們願意在這個娑婆世界,重新受法,讀誦、受持、書寫等等,來供養佛,來受持經法,他們願意弘宣此經。這前面已經說過了。

他們願意在這個娑婆世界,我們呢?我們更是娑婆世界的弟子,我們更需要敬順佛意,我們應該這個責任我們要擔,我們也一樣要好好修行。娑婆世界,既然我們受佛的教育,我們也是在娑婆世界,人群中來結緣,去布善種子、結眾生緣,我們好好修行,我們也能夠對眾生有大利益哦!這就是我們的重點。

所以,「娑婆世界堪忍事多」。娑婆世界,要堪得忍耐的事情是很多,我們要好好歷練我們的功夫,要能堪得磨、能堪得忍。不論是大自然的境界,或者是人事的作為,事事都是難堪、難忍,而我們學佛,我們就要耐磨,能堪、能忍,所以這些要堪得忍耐的事情,是很多,堪得磨的事情也很多。

娑婆世界堪忍事多
菩薩為教化眾生
能忍受勞倦故
名堪忍世界

這是一個,「娑婆世界堪忍事多,菩薩為教化眾生,能忍受勞倦故,名堪忍世界」。再怎麼辛苦、怎麼勞倦,再怎麼疲倦,常常說:「辛苦哦!」「沒有啦,幸福,美滿!」這是付出,很疲勞之時,但是很甘願,因為有深願、誓願。他們不說苦,他們要說:「我是福。」因為我付出是在造福人群,幸福啦!身體付出雖然是勞倦,但是內心所感覺的是幸福。這是甘願,甘願付出,所以堪忍受,「能忍受勞倦故,名堪忍世界」。

要用心!這連串的文,就是完全要來對我們說,我們的心態。過去「跡(門)」,我們都要說事,佛陀和弟子的過程,佛陀修行顯跡人間,這是在十四品那當中,很多都是說過去,談現在。現在要再說的就是要回歸,你修行,就是要如何修得你明白道理;這個道理了解了,能夠回歸我們如來的本性。

因為我們生生世世,在這個紅塵滾滾,就像在滾雪球一樣,煩惱無明這樣重重疊疊,一直滾過去,現在我們就是要讓我們知道,重重疊疊滾過去這些事情。除了我們本身很多煩惱無明,我們再看看天下眾生,滾滾紅塵,結果是這麼的苦難偏多,一分一分讓我們覺悟了,一寸一寸讓我們接近,回歸如來本性的道路。所以我們用愛鋪路這樣走過來,回歸我們如來本性;愛的道路,那就是菩薩道,菩薩萬行,就是這樣走過來了。

所以,前面的文,我們會看到很多很多的數量,這麼多這麼多的數量,無非就是要來說我們的心地,人人,在座人人就是一片的心地,人人自己就有一片天,人人都有一個自己的世界。你人有多少,天地就有多少,世界就有多少。

所以我們要好好,這些道理若能夠很清楚,聽經就容易明白了。我們現在來看看前面的文,「所以者何?我娑婆世界,自有六萬恆河沙等菩薩摩訶薩,一一菩薩各有六萬恆河沙眷屬。」

所以者何
我娑婆世界
自有六萬恆河沙等
菩薩摩訶薩
一一菩薩
各有六萬
恆河沙眷屬
《法華經從地涌出品第十五》

還記得在這段文的前面嗎?他方世界菩薩來請願,要在娑婆世界來弘傳此經,也願意重新再學習,佛陀就「止!不須汝等」,不用,是為什麼呢?因為「我娑婆世界,自有六萬恆河沙數等,菩薩摩訶薩。」都是大菩薩,這些菩薩,「一一菩薩,各有六萬恆河沙眷屬」。我這裡已經有發大心、立大願的人了,我這些菩薩,他有有緣的人,能夠度的人還有那麼多。

這也就是要告訴大家,「未成佛前,先結人緣」,苦難眾生偏多,哪一個地方有需要,慈濟人都是一直發心,緣著人的家庭,就像觀世音菩薩一樣,千處祈求千處現,這不就是一一皆能夠,再有這樣這麼多的眷屬呢?這全都是現在在度的人,現在在結緣的人。

所以,「是諸人等,能於我滅後,護持、讀誦、廣說此經。」

是諸人等
能於我滅後
護持 讀誦
廣說此經
《法華經從地涌出品第十五》

因為他方世界的人,要來我們娑婆世界護持,同時要來讀誦、廣說這部經。佛陀就告訴他們:「不用了,我這個地方已經有了,有這麼多人願意,他們已經發大心。發大心的人,他們還有,一一的菩薩,還有六萬恆河沙數的眷屬,他們還有這麼多的因緣的眷屬,在等待他們度,所以不用外面的人來。」這段文,我們若能夠很清楚,下面那些數字我們都清楚,我們不用等待別人來告訴我們。我們在這裡學、在這裡聽、在這裡做,我們已經無形中在結緣了,已經有這麼多的緣了。這就是娑婆世界,佛陀的弟子已經與這個地方,無形中就已經結了很多的緣,在這裡。

所以,下面下去的文要這樣說:「佛說是時,娑婆世界三千大千國土,地皆震裂,而於其中有無量千萬億菩薩摩訶薩同時涌出。」

佛說是時
娑婆世界
三千大千國土
地皆震裂
而於其中
有無量千萬億
菩薩摩訶薩
同時涌出
《法華經從地涌出品第十五》

剛才告訴大家,人人心中一片天地,而人人同樣,心中也有一片的恆河沙,這數量很多,我們大家要很用心。心念無數,我們就要好好了解。大千世界「地皆震裂,以將有諸大菩薩,從地涌出,故現是相」。

大千界地皆震裂
以將有諸大菩薩
從地涌出
故現是相
地覆本眷屬
如跡隱本
今欲開跡顯本
故地裂以表相

這是佛陀開始,要向這些他方世界說:「我已經有很多人了,而且不只是你現在看到,還有…。我娑婆世界,這個三千大千的國土,就等待……。」「地皆震裂」,不只是你看到這些,還能夠冒出來,能夠這樣忽然間出來的,還是很多。這個形相你現在沒有看到,它將會開始從地裂開,冒出了這樣的菩薩來。」所以這是一個描寫、譬喻,大家要用心。

記得嗎?在「九二一」,「九二一」是哪一年呢?一九九九年。「九二一」,在中部一個大地震,那次大地震,天搖地動、山崩地裂,真的能夠用這樣來形容,在「九九峰」,那整個山表層都這樣剝落下來。若再回顧那當時,是一項很可怕的事情。那個時間,天還未亮,發生了大地震,同樣也天還未亮,「藍天白雲」,慈濟人已經到達那個地方。甚至當地的菩薩,他的房子,已經受地震震得很厲害,房子也傾斜了,牆壁也斜了,那時候,他將「藍天白雲」,這套衣褲換好了,趕緊就去了。不只是他早,還有別人比他更早到,就是這樣會合了,陸陸續續,近近、遠遠的人,前前後後到達了,「藍天白雲」,一大早就開始在供應熱食,熱熱的粥,熱熱的豆漿,這就是從地湧出。當然,那是有形相的,那樣的有形相,地的震裂,這是很慘的災難。

但是剛才我告訴大家,人人都有一片天、一片地,我們人人就是有這分的心念,無量的心量。我們是善的心念?惡的心念?我們這片心地受到佛法的感動,我們心地也應該要感動、震裂。

看看種子,說花生,因為過去我曾種過花生,花生種下去,明天早上去看它,土還平平的,因為你將花生種下去,腳還要再將它踏下去,踏得讓土扎實,土平。明天早上去看它,還是平的;後天早上去看它,那個地,平的地開始裂了。裂,後天早上去看它,又再一天早上去看它,已經花生的芽已經冒出來了。這是大地,大地種子種下了,種子將要冒芽時,土地要裂開,芽才會出來。

我們的心地,善種子撒下去,同樣善的種子要冒芽,我們的心地也就要有裂開;裂開了,土地裂開種子的芽才會出來。所以,我們的心地不斷在下種,你是惡的種子嗎?怒氣、無明的氣,壞的脾氣讓你的心地震裂了,所以你撒了惡的種子下去,你惡的種子發芽了,煩惱一大串。善的種子,我們將它撒下去,也是一樣地要裂開,芽才會出來;善的種子,菩提的種子,它就起來了。所以,我們善種,它也是埋在我們的心地裡。

所以,「地覆本眷屬」。我們要發心,我們才能夠度人。同樣的道理,善念,我們的善念綿綿連連,都有我們的善念,自然你看到人,我們就說好的話。他心有迷茫,我們用法來勸導他,這些都是我們的結緣眾,這些全都是我們要度的人。所以,「地覆本眷屬」,我們每一個人,我們都有我們的眷屬,等待我們去度的人。所以,「地覆本眷屬,如跡隱本」。我們說外面的道理,或者是聽外面的法來,不論佛陀對我們說,很多他的現相人間,這個「跡」,走過的足跡,讓我們知道。我們全都了解佛法就是這樣來,從佛陀發一念心,顯這樣的跡來修行、來覺悟。我知道了,這都叫做「跡」。佛陀既然有這樣的「跡」,是顯佛陀的「本」,而我們也是有這樣的本,那就是覺性。

佛陀是已成熟的覺性,他善種子出地面,成為大菩提樹,我們的善種子,是還埋覆在地底下面,所以我們聽法,冒一粒善種子出來,我們的善心開了,心開意解了,我們了解了,這個菩提芽出來了。這我們的真如本性,我們的覺性也開始起來了。所以,「如跡隱本」。這個「跡」我們已經知道,我們原來有,「隱本」是原來有。佛陀原來有的覺性,他已經覺悟了,他顯跡了,我們還沒有,所以我們還是在地底下。所以「如跡隱本」,這是人人的佛性、覺性,都是被隱藏著。「今欲開跡顯本」,現在已經開跡了。前面的十四品,佛陀該說的法,人間現相等等,過去生和今生此世、未來生,這些法就全都用譬喻言辭,全都對我們說過,現在開始就是要「開跡顯本」。這時候開啟過去用的方法,顯示了人人本具的本性,佛陀過去的本性、本覺,全都要讓大家了解。

所以,「故地裂以表相」。用這樣來譬喻。剛才我用有相的大地來譬喻,其實我們應該要回歸,我們的心靈的大地。但願我們的心地,所埋覆著善的種子,因為這樣,聞法,讓我們助緣,讓我們的大地,我們的心地能夠種子發芽出來。這是希望「開跡顯本」。所以,「佛說是時,娑婆世界三千大千國土,地皆震裂」。

佛說是時
娑婆世界
三千大千國土
地皆震裂:
釋迦如來作是說時
佛神力故
感動他境皆地震裂

那就是「釋迦如來作是說時」,說這樣的話之時。「佛神力故,感動他境皆地震裂」。這就是表示佛陀講法時,娑婆世界的菩薩這樣感動了,他們的心地開啟,心開意解。所以「三千大千世界」。

三千大千世界:
一千小世界
謂之一中千世界
千個中千世界
稱一大千世界
三千:
即是一切諸法
亦是甚多無量喻之

集一小千世界,就是叫做一中千世界。一千個中千世界,那就是一個大千世界。我們光是一個地球,就已經很大了,其實不只是地球,要用這個千世界來解釋,要再用很長的時間。我們現在只知道,知道一千個小千世界,叫做一個中千世界;一千個中千世界,就是叫做一個大千世界。三個千合起來,所以簡單叫做「三千」。

我們用比較簡單來譬喻,「三千」表示是法,很多很多的法,這無法計量的法,來譬喻三千大千世界。因為若要用名詞來解釋,那是無盡頭,很多很多的世界,所以用很多,就像「恆河沙」,無法去計算。我們想,「地裂」,地,「地下覆本眷屬,如跡隱本」。

地裂:
地下覆本眷屬
如跡隱本
今欲開跡顯本
故地裂以表
群賢之道
當申張顯之
得以利物
悲智兼濟也

這就是再告訴我們一次,要了解,大家要很清楚。地下所埋覆著這個種子,也就是我們的真如本性,我們都層層的煩惱無明,將我們埋覆了。所以,「故震裂」,就是心開意解了。而且我們知道這個「地裂」,就是表示群賢之道當申張之時。過去是屈著,受這個無明等等,如地底這樣一直埋覆著,現在地裂了,應該要伸長起來了。

就像那個種子,種子的基因是被那個殼包住,現在地震裂,這個種子在地底下,有土、有水分,將那個殼也已經運作得,殼也要爆開了,地也裂開了,所以它的種子伸出來了,和這一樣。人人就像大地中隱伏,屈身著這些群賢,現在這個道路也應該要鋪長了。鋪路,方向對了,路就要鋪了,所以申張顯現出來,這些聖賢的道應該要顯現出來。「得以利物」,這我們應該要有的。

而於其中
有無量千萬億
菩薩摩訶薩
同時涌出:
下方空中
諸菩薩眾
聞佛語故
從彼發來

所以,「而於其中,有無量千萬億,菩薩摩訶薩,同時涌出」。因為這樣,應該申張之時,開始就像譬喻很多很多的菩薩,從地底下就要出來了。所以,「下方空中,諸菩薩眾,聞佛語故,從彼發來」。已經娑婆世界的人,已經是從下方都聽到了,很多很多無量萬億的菩薩,已經心也感動了。他方世界菩薩都感動,心開意解了,我們怎麼能聽不懂呢?他方世界,都願意來接受我們佛陀,我們的佛的教法,弘傳在娑婆世界,他們都堪得忍了,我們怎麼能夠這樣坐著等呢?所以這個時候也發心了。所以,「而於其中,有無量千萬億菩薩摩訶薩,同時涌出」,就是人人已經開始發心了。

各位菩薩,真的我們要發心,這個世界是堪忍世界,堪忍事多,我們要耐得苦、耐得勞,才有辦法入人群,做我們的道場。我們真的要開始,顯出我們的「本」,「開跡顯本」。過去我們是這樣,受到無明來覆蔽,我們聽這麼多法了,我們要相信我們有真如本性,我們也要看見到,我們的本性之時了。所以我們要時時多用心!


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發表主題: 回復: 20181019《靜思妙蓮華》地皆震裂 開跡顯本 (第1461集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)   周四 11月 15, 2018 9:18 pm

Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: The Ground Split Open to Reveal the Intrinsic (地皆震裂 開跡顯本)
Date: October.19.2018

“The Buddha’s disciples must spread His Dharma and pass it down forever. They form affinities in the Saha World. With deep causes and extensive affinities, they will certainly gain tremendous benefits. They deeply cultivate the fields of blessing and sow the seeds [of Bodhi]. With Bodhi, one gives rise to infinity. They open the nearby fruits to reveal the distant causes, thus giving rise to infinity from one.”

Dear Bodhisattvas, we must mindfully seek to comprehend this. We must truly seize the time we have in this life. Time is continuously passing by, while every bit of causes and conditions accumulates in our storehouse consciousness, following us as we come and go. Everything we create becomes causes and conditions that lead to karmic retributions that we bring lifetime after lifetime. This is something we must very mindfully seek to comprehend. The Buddha taught the Dharma because He wanted us to thoroughly understand these principles, hoping that we will return to our nature of True Suchness. The myriad sentient beings have many sufferings. They come and go amidst their ignorance. We must give rise to a mind in which we cannot bear to let sentient beings suffer. We must form aspirations to go among people. Moreover, our spiritual training ground is among people. We must experience and understand that our best spiritual training ground is among people.

The Buddha taught us to put effort into mindfully comprehending the great path. “The Buddha’s disciples must spread His Dharma and pass it down forever.” That is right! We are all the Buddha’s disciples. We must accept the Buddha’s teachings and pass down the Buddha’s aspirations. So, we should spread this Dharma that the Buddha has passed down to us. We must go among people and take on this responsibility. The Buddha’s one great cause is to save sentient beings. We are just individuals among sentient beings; there are still myriad sentient beings around us. We are simply very fortunate to be able to encounter the Buddha’s teachings before others; we have these causes and conditions. Though we say we are before others, those who received [teachings] even before we did, the disciples who lived during the same time as the Buddha, were even more fortunate. Since then, it has been over 2000 years. Perhaps over 2000 years ago, we lived during the same time as the Buddha and listened to the Buddha teach the Dharma. [Perhaps] we also made vows, but we did not earnestly uphold our vows and practices. So, we fell again into the Six Realms. Or perhaps, for several lifetimes, we encountered the Buddha-Dharma and listened to the Buddha-Dharma, but our affinities were shallow.

At this point, we still have the causes and conditions to listen to the Dharma. So, now that we have already heard [the Dharma], we should earnestly seize the causes and conditions in this lifetime and make sincere vows. We must take the Buddha-Dharma to heart and put it into practice in our lives. Every action we take becomes causes and conditions. When the seeds mature, they enter our consciousness. In the field of our eighth consciousness, we have abundant seeds of the Buddha-Dharma. In our future lifetimes, when we again encounter the Buddha-Dharma, these causes and conditions will be very mature. Then, “With deep causes and extensive affinities, we will certainly gain tremendous benefits.”

These are the result of being tempered in our spiritual training ground, among people. So, we must “deeply cultivate the fields of blessings and sow the seeds [of Bodhi]. With Bodhi, one gives rise to infinity.” We must simply earnestly form aspirations and cultivate the field in our minds, growing our seeds so that they reach maturity. Naturally, with these seeds of awakening one will give rise to infinity. When it comes to the Buddha-Dharma, we must have firm [resolve] and make vows. With this seed, for people around us, for the myriad sentient beings, we can influence their aspirations so that they will also learn the Buddha-Dharma and become awakened. So, they will “learn by doing and awaken by learning.” We must guide people in one by one, helping them experience and understand the Buddha-Dharma in their daily living, the Dharma and matters, people, matters and principles. By doing this every day, by experiencing this Dharma daily in our work, we comprehend profound principles through people and matters. This is the Buddha-Dharma. This is bringing together matters and principles. So, we must “open the nearby fruits to reveal the distant causes, thus giving rise to infinity from one.” [In terms of] “opening the nearby fruits,” we bring our past causes into this life. What are these past causes? Although we do not know what they are, we are clear about the results we experience in this life. In this lifetime, [we know about] our parents, our family and the journey of our lives. How did we encounter the Buddha-Dharma? How did we form aspirations? How did these causes and conditions all converge together? We are very clear about theses.

In this lifetime, no matter what causes and conditions we encounter, in this spiritual training ground, every day we are listening to the Dharma. Every day we can clearly see this world.

The matters in this world allow us to encounter people every day. These are all effects. Everything happening in this world is effects. In this evil world of the Five Turbidities, the climate is extreme. When summer arrives, every single day is very hot. Earth, water, fire and wind are all out of balance. One country has floods, and another country has hurricanes or typhoons that bring disasters. One country has huge fires, and yet another country has earthquakes. Isn’t this the case? We see this in the world every day; the media reports on matters of the world every day. And in this spiritual training ground of ours, I also tell everyone every day about how yesterday, in the past, the imbalance of people, matters and things resulted in certain events. All these things that happen are the “fruits,” the outcomes. Where did these outcomes originate? They came from “distant causes”. Don’t we talk about this every day? [We did] these things in the past, including [created the causes for] the imbalance of the climate. After talking about it, I would say, “Our present living environment [is due to] the causes we created in the past for destroying the earth and polluting the air. The imbalance in people’s minds has created manmade calamities and [natural] disasters.” Very clearly, the accumulation of distant causes created the present karmic retributions of the macrocosm and microcosms of the world. For us individuals, indeed, every one of us has these distant causes and nearby fruits. Everyone has them. As for our nearby fruits, we are already engaging in spiritual practice. As you are sitting here in front of me today, you are facing me, while I am facing all of you. Those to your left and right and in front of you are all spiritual practitioners. Does everyone have the same state of mind in their practice? There are different feelings and capabilities but the Dharma is the same; it constantly teaches us to eliminate ignorance. In life, there is so much ignorance. There is this kind of Dharma, and there are these matters in life. When we encounter these situations, how do we resolve them by applying this Dharma? So, [we need] practice with nothing further, uninterrupted practice and extended practice. Everything in this world, every action, [results in] either good or bad conditioned phenomena. When we face harsh situations, we must quickly apply the Four Practices. We must constantly practice with reverence and also engage in uninterrupted practice and practice with nothing further. In this way, we will engage in extended practice.

In engaging in extended practice, we must remember to [practice] with body, speech, mind and vows. If we can do hits, then naturally, although we are now facing these fruits in this greater environment, we will individually have ways to deal with this world and people’s attitudes. [These ways] are the Four Practices and the four methods [for bringing peace and joy]. We need to employ the Three Directives. This is a series of things that provides us with all [the methods] we need to be able to “open the nearby fruits to reveal the distant causes”. Realizing that it is what we created in the past [that led to] these fruits we face in the present, we must also bring this spiritual practice close to our everyday life so it provides our present causes. [We must use] the Three Directives, the Four Practices and the Four Methods, the “one three” and the “two fours,” in our everyday lives. Isn’t this how “one gives rise to infinity”?

We must earnestly engage in our own spiritual practice. When people have issues with us, we must put effort into improving ourselves. If people show unpleasant expressions toward us, we must put effort into cultivating ourselves. We must put in effort to improve ourselves. We must not just think of changing others. We must improved ourselves. When we improve ourselves, naturally we will be able to influence others. This is the most correct principle. So, I ask everyone to understand this.

“They deeply cultivate the fields of blessing and sow the seeds [of Bodhi]. With Bodhi, one gives rise to infinity. They open the nearby fruits to reveal the distant causes, thus giving rise to infinity from one.” When we go among people, we must put effort into facing sentient beings. This is our spiritual training ground. Our spiritual training ground is among people.

So, we must form great aspirations and great vows to engage in the Bodhisattva-practice. The Buddha has one great cause, to teach the Bodhisattva Way; He came to teach us the Bodhisattva Way. We are the Buddha’s disciples. So, we must spread the Buddha’s teachings and reverently follow the Buddha’s will. The Buddha has one great cause.

We are the Buddha’s disciples. The Buddha came to teach and transform sentient beings. We are among those sentient beings. We have special causes and conditions in that we accept the teachings. So, as the Buddha’s disciples, we should pass down the Buddha’s teachings. We must have this everlasting aspiration to earnestly engage in practice that is extended, uninterrupted and with nothing further and to respect the Buddha-Dharma. This is “reverently following the Buddha’s will”.

So, “Bodhisattvas reverently follow the Buddha’s will, making vows to remain in the world of endurance. They travel back and forth in the Six Realms and patiently endure hardships to uphold the sutra. They say they have attained non-arising patience and are thus able to endure all hardships”.

This is the direction we must take. Why? This is because the Bodhisattvas from other lands heard that this world of endurance, this Saha World, has much suffering and that the Buddha was worried. His disciples in the Saha World had not yet expressed [a wish to] make vows. Those from other lands had already come and begun to express that they were willing to come to this Saha World and again learn the Dharma, to read, recite, uphold, transcribe [the sutra] and so on. They wished to make offerings to the Buddha and to accept and uphold the teachings of the sutra. They were willing to spread this sutra. We had already talked about this.

They were willing to do this in the Saha World. So what about us? We are [the Buddha’s] disciples in the Saha World. We should even more reverently follow the Buddha’s intent. We must take on this responsibility and likewise earnestly engage in spiritual practice. Since we have received the Buddha’s teachings in the Saha World, we must also form affinities with people in the Saha World and sow seeds of goodness, forming affinities with sentient beings. When we earnestly engage in spiritual practice, we will also be able to bring great benefit to sentient beings. This is what is important to us.

So, “In the Saha World, there are many things that must be endured”. In the Saha World, there are many things that must be endured. We must earnestly train ourselves to be ale to bear and patiently endure them. Whether they are the natural environment or people’s actions, all these matters are hard to bear and endure.

However, as Buddhist practitioners, we must endure challenges. We must be able to be patient and endure. So, there are many matters that must be endured. There are many things that test us. This is how, “In the Saha World, there are many things that must be endured”.

So, “For the sake of teaching and transforming sentient beings, Bodhisattvas must be able to endure fatigue. This is why it is called the world of endurance”.

Things can be very difficult and very tiring, and we may be very tired. [People] often say, “You work so hard!” [But we say], “Not at all! We are blessed! This is wonderful! This is when we are serving others, when we are very tired, but we [work] very willingly. This is because we have made profound vows. We do not say it is difficult. We say, “I am blessed, because by serving others. I am creating blessings among people. I am blessed! Even though it is tiring to serve with our bodies, we feel very blessed in our hearts. We are willing; we are willing to serve, so we endure. “Bodhisattvas must be able to endure fatigue. This is why it is called the world of endurance”. We must be mindful.

These passages [of the sutra] are all telling us about our state of mind. In the “teachings of the manifest”, we talked about matters, about the Buddha’s and His disciples’ journey, how He engaged in spiritual practice and manifested in this world. Throughout those [first] 14 chapters, it discussed the past and the present. Now, [the sutra] will be talking about how we need to return; in our spiritual practice, how we must cultivate so that we understand the principles. Once we understand the principles, we can return to our nature of True Suchness.

Lifetime after lifetime, we are in this turbulent world of temptations. Just like a snowball, afflictions and ignorance add up layer by layer, constantly turning over and over. What we must know now is that of these past matters that have accumulated, in addition to our own ignorance and afflictions, we can see that all sentient beings in the world are in this turbulent world of temptations. As a result, there is so much suffering. Little by little, we awaken; inch by inch, we draw nearer to the path to return to our Tathagata-nature.

So, we use love to pave the path we walk as we return to out Tathagata-nature. This path of love is the Bodhisattva-path. Bodhisattvas engage in myriad practices; this is how they walk the path.

So, in the previous sutra passage, we saw great numbers. These great numbers describes the ground of our minds. Everyone, each of us sitting here has a piece of land in our own mind. We all have our own piece of sky. We all have our own world. However many people there are, there are just that many lands and skies; there are just that many worlds. So, if we can earnestly and clearly understand these principles, as soon as we hear the sutra, we will easily understand it let us now look at the previous sutra passage.

“Why is this so? In my Saha World, there are already Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas as numerous as the sands of 60,000 Ganges Rivers. Each of those Bodhisattvas has a retinue as numerous as the sands of 60,000 Ganges Rivers”.

Do we remember what came before this passage? Bodhisattvas from other worlds came to make a request to spread and pass on this sutra in the Saha World. They were also willing to learn again. The Buddha then said, “Stop! There is no need for all of you”. There was no need. Why was that? Because “In my Saha World, there are already Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas the sands of 60,000 Ganges Rivers”. For these Bodhisattvas, has a retinue as numerous as the sands 60,000 Ganges Rivers. He already had people who had formed great aspirations and made great vows. These Bodhisattvas all had people they had affinities with. There were so many people they could transform. This is also to let everyone know that “Before attaining Buddhahood, we must first form affinities with people. Wherever there is a need, Tzu Chi volunteers continue to form aspirations to connect with people’s families. This is like Guanyin Bodhisattva, who appears wherever people pray for her to come. Isn’t this how each of [these Bodhisattvas] were able to have such a large retinue? These were all people they were transforming now, people they were forming affinities with now.

So, “All of these people, after I enter Parinirvana, will be able to safeguard, uphold, read, recite and widely teach this sutra.

Those from other worlds wanted to come to our Saha World to safeguard and uphold and at the same time read, recite and widely teach this sutra. But the Buddha told them, “It is not necessary. I already have people here. There are so many people who are willing. They have already formed great aspirations. Each of those Bodhisattvas who has formed great aspirations also has a retinue as numerous as the sands of 60,000 Ganger Rivers. They also have a great retinue of people with affinities with them, who are waiting to be transformed by them. So, we do not need people. If we are able to clearly understand this passage, we will be clear on the following numbers. We do not need to wait for someone to tell us. As we are learning, listening and practicing here unbeknownst us, we are already forming connections. We already have so many affinities. This is the Saha World.

In this place, the Buddha’s disciples have unknowingly formed so many connections.

The next sutra passage goes on to say, “As the Buddha said this, throughout the lands of the great trichillocosm of the Saha World the ground quaked and split open. From it, countless trillions of Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas emerged simultaneously.”

I just told everyone that we all have a world in our minds. Everyone likewise has the sands of the Ganges River in their minds as well. It is a very large number. We must all be very mindful of this.

We have countless numbers of thoughts in our minds. We must put effort into understanding this. Throughout the great trichillocosm, “the ground quaked and split open. These Great Bodhisattvas were about to emerge from the ground, thus this appearance manifested”.

Throughout the great trichillocosm, the ground quaked and split open. These Great Bodhisattvas were about to emerge from the ground, thus this appearance manifested. The ground covered the retinues originally there like how the manifest concealed the intrinsic. Now He wished to open the manifest to reveal the intrinsic, so the ground split open as a manifestation of this appearance.

This is when the Buddha was about to say to those [Bodhisattvas] from other worlds, “I already have so many people, not just those you see now, there are others too. In my Saha World, in the lands of the great trichilocosm, [we are] waiting.

So, “The ground quaked and split open. It is not just those you see; people can also emerge [from the ground]. Those who can suddenly emerge are still very many. You have not seen this appearance yet. Starting when the ground split open, these Bodhisattvas will emerge. So, this is a description and an analogy. Everyone should be mindful of this.

Do you remember? What year did the 921 Earthquake occur? It was in 1999. The 921 Earthquake was a huge earthquake in central Taiwan. In that earthquake, the earth shook violently, mountains collapsed and the ground split open. We could really describe it like this. On Jiujiu Peaks, the surface of the mountain peeled off. Looking back on that on that time, it really was a very frightening event. At that time, before the crack of down, a huge earthquake occurred. Also before daybreak, volunteers in blue and white, Tzu Chi volunteers, had already arrived. There were even local Bodhisattva-volunteers whose homes had been severely [damaged] by the earthquake. Their houses were also slanted, walls tilting. At that time, they changed into their blue and white uniforms and quickly rushed out. They were not the only early ones. There were others who had arrived even earlier. They all gathered together, coming in one after another. From near and far, they arrived one after another, [these volunteers in] blue and white uniforms. Early in the morning, they began serving hot meals, hot congee and hot soy milk. This was how they emerged from the ground. Of course, that is a tangible appearance. This appearance of the ground splitting open was a very tragic disaster. I just told everyone that [in our minds], we all have a piece of sky and a piece of land. We all have this thought, an infinitely [broad] mind. Do we have thoughts of goodness? Or [do we have] thoughts of evil? When the Buddha-Dharma moves the ground of our minds, the ground of our minds should move [with it] and quake and split open.

Look at seeds, for example peanuts. In the past, I planted peanuts. After I planted the peanuts, when I went to look at them the next morning, the ground was still flat. This is because when people plant peanuts they must stomp them down with their foot to compact and flatten the soil. The next morning, I looked and it was still level. The following morning, when I went to look. It split open two days [after planting], and when I checked again the next morning the sprouts of the peanuts had begun to emerge. This is how it is with the earth. After we sow the seeds in the earth, when the seeds are starting to sprout, the earth must split open for the sprout to emerge. When seeds of goodness are planted in the ground of our minds, for the seeds of goodness to sprout, the ground of our minds must split open. Only when the ground splits open will the sprout emerge. We are constantly sowing seeds in the ground of our minds. Are our seeds evil? [Seeds] of anger and ignorance, such bad temper splits the ground of our mind open. So, when we sow the seeds of evil, these seeds of evil will sprout, and we will have a long string of afflictions. When we sow seeds of goodness, the ground must also split open for the sprout to emerge. Seeds of goodness, seeds of Bodhi, will then sprout.

So, our seeds of goodness are also buried in the ground of our minds. So, “The ground covered the retinues originally there”. We must form aspirations before we can transform people. The principle is the same. When we continuously have good thoughts, naturally, when we see people, we speak good words to them. If their minds are confused, we use the Dharma to exhort them. These are the people who have affinities with us. They are all people we need to transform. So, “The ground covered the retinues originally there”. Every one of us has a retinue, people waiting for us to transform them. So, “The ground covered the retinues originally there like how the manifest concealed the intrinsic”. We have talked about external principles and listened to the Dharma coming from the outside. In this way, the Buddha told us about His many appearances in the world, these “manifestations,” the footprints from His travels, so we would know about them. We all understand that this is where the Buddha-Dharma came from, from the Buddha forming His aspiration and manifesting His appearances of engaging in spiritual practice and attaining enlightenment. We know about this. This is “the manifest”. For the Buddha, these manifestations served to reveal “the intrinsic”. We also have this intrinsic [nature]. It is our awakened nature. The Buddha’s awakened nature has already matured. His seeds of goodness have broken out of the ground to become a great Bodhi tree. Our seeds of goodness are still covered underground. So, when we listen to the Dharma, a seed of goodness will sprout. Once we inspire goodness in our hearts and let our hearts be open and understanding, once we understand, this Bodhi-sprout comes out. This is our nature of True Suchness; our awakened nature begins to emerge. So, [it is] “like how the manifest concealed the intrinsic”. We already know about “the manifest” [It covers] what we innately have. It “concealed the intrinsic,” what was always there. The Buddha has His enlightened nature; He is already enlightened. He has manifested its appearance, but we have not.

So, our [Bodhi seed] is still underground. So, “like how the manifest concealed the intrinsic” refers to how everyone’s Buddha-nature, our awakened nature, is concealed. “Now He wished to open the manifest to reveal the intrinsic.” Now, He had now already opened up the manifest. In the last 14 chapters, [He taught] the Dharma that He needed to talk about, His manifested appearances in the world and so on, His past, present and future lifetimes. He taught us all this Dharma with analogies. Starting from now, He wanted to “open up the manifest to reveal the intrinsic”. Now He opened up the methods used in the past to reveal everyone’s intrinsic nature. The Buddha wanted to help everyone understand. His original nature, His innate enlightenment. So, “The ground split open as a manifestation of this appearance.” This is the analogy that was used. Just now, I used the physical ground as an analogy.

But in fact, we should return to the ground of our minds. Hopefully, for the seeds of goodness buried in the ground of our minds, that we listen to the Dharma like this will facilitate our conditions. This way, these seeds will be able to sprout in the ground of our minds. In this way, we hope to “open the manifest to reveal the intrinsic”.

So, “As the Buddha said this, throughout the lands of the great trichiliocosm of the Saha World, the ground quaked and split open. Thus, “As Sakyamuni Tathagata said this, when these words were spoken, the spiritual powers of the Buddha moved the world, and the ground split and cracked”.

This shows that when the Buddha was teaching the Dharma, Bodhisattvas in the Saha World were very touched. The ground of their minds opened; their minds became open and understanding. So, [what about] “the great trichiliocosm”?

The great trichiliocosm: 1000 small chiliocosms are known as one medium chiliocosm. 1000 medium chiliocosms are known as one great chikiocosm. Trichiliocosm: This represents all phenomena and is also an analogy for an infinite amount.

1000 small chiliocosms form a medium chiliocosm. 1000 medium chiliocosms form a great chikiocosm. Just planet Earth alone is already very big. In fact, there is not just this planet. To explain the chiliocosm takes a very long time. Now we know that 1000 small chiliocosms form a medium chiliocosm. 1000 medium chiliocosms form a great chikiocosm. Three factors of thousand [worlds] are simply called “a trichiliocosm”. In a more simple analogy, the trichiliocosm represents the Dharma, many, many teachings. This incalculable Dharma is compared to a trichiliocosm. If we explain it [in detail], it would be endless; there are so many worlds. So, there are so many, like the sands of the Ganges River. It is incalculable. Let us think about how “the ground split open. The ground covered the retinues originally there below like how the manifest concealed the intrinsic”.

The ground split open: The ground covered the retinues originally there below like how the manifest concealed the intrinsic. Now He wished to open the manifest to reveal the intrinsic, so the ground split open to show that the path of all sages would be revealed and spread. To benefit all beings, He must use both compassion and wisdom.

This is to tell us again that we must understand; we must all be very clear. The seeds that are buried in the ground are also our nature of True Suchness. We have layer upon layer of afflictions and ignorance that cover us up. So, that the ground split open means that our hearts are open and understanding. Furthermore, we know that “the ground splitting open” represents how it is the time for the path of all sages to be revealed and spread. In the past, ignorance kept it trapped inside just like how the ground had always buried [the seed]. Now that the ground had split open, [the sprouts] should be emerging. This is like a seed. The genes in the seed are covered up by the hull. Now the ground has quaked and split open, and the seed is in the ground. With soil and moisture, the hull is about to split open. The ground has also split open, so the sprout emerged. It is the same thing. People are like sages that are concealed, crouching underground. Now this path should be paved. When the direction is right, we can pave the path; [the path] can be spread and revealed. We should reveal the path of these sages. “To benefit all living beings” is [the mindset] we should have.

So, “From it, countless trillions of Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas emerged simultaneously.” Because of this, when [the path] is spread, it is just like how many, many Bodhisattvas emerged from the ground. So, “From the empty space below, those Bodhisattvas, upon hearing the Buddha’s words, came forth from there.” Those people in the Saha World had already heard it from below. Countless trillions of Bodhisattvas were touched. “People from other worlds are touched; their hearts are open and understanding. So, how can we not understand this? Those in other worlds are all willing to receive the teachings of our Buddha and spread them in the Saha World.”

“They are all willing to endure. So, how can we just sit around waiting?” Thus, at this time, [people in the Saha world] also formed aspirations. So, “From it, countless trillions of Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas emerged simultaneously.” Everyone had already formed aspirations.

Dear Bodhisattvas, we truly must form aspirations. This world is a world that must be endured; there is much to be endured. We must endure suffering and hard work to be able to go among people and use it as our spiritual training ground. We truly must begin to reveal our intrinsic [nature], “open the manifest to reveal the intrinsic.” In the past we were like this, covered by ignorance. We have heard so much Dharma. We must believe in our nature of True Suchness. This is the time for us to see our intrinsic nature. So, we must always be mindful!

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