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 20181022《靜思妙蓮華》從地涌出 虛空中住 (第1462集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)

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20181022《靜思妙蓮華》從地涌出 虛空中住 (第1462集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五) Empty
發表主題: 20181022《靜思妙蓮華》從地涌出 虛空中住 (第1462集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)   20181022《靜思妙蓮華》從地涌出 虛空中住 (第1462集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五) Empty周日 10月 21, 2018 7:18 pm

20181022《靜思妙蓮華》從地涌出 虛空中住 (第1462集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)

⊙尊師守志奉道,如教受持弘法。如來教安樂行,他方菩薩奔涌;佛意顯明此土,菩薩堪忍能持,故言從地涌出。又以人事顯法,借事明理立名。
⊙從地涌出表菩薩智所住地;諸佛本心源地,一切諸法寂滅無自體相,無為法,實際理地。有所作為,精進成就事相。
⊙「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》
⊙「是諸菩薩身皆金色,三十二相,無量光明,先盡在此娑婆世界之下,此界虛空中住。」《法華經從地涌出品第十五》
⊙是諸菩薩身皆金色,三十二相,無量光明:菩薩莊嚴身紫金色,相好具足,光明無量,見者皆大歡喜。
⊙佛身三十二相,而諸菩薩亦皆如是相好莊嚴相,皆於十方世界分身現應化,相好等同於佛。
⊙先盡在此娑婆世界之下、此界虛空中住:周遍十方,本無上下可言;表住中道顯從地寂空中住。
⊙又諸法實相之地,本離一切分別相,故此地即為第一義空,亦即前說所安住無量、無邊、無障、無礙之空 。
⊙斯分別名其事相為涌出、為住空耳。又下方者,法性之淵底,玄宗之極地,在下不屬此,空中不屬彼,非彼非此,住中道也。
⊙出此不在上,亦不在此下,不上不下,住在空中,亦中道也。
⊙誓願守護此娑婆堪忍修持弘宣教法。於安樂行菩薩道,以堪忍為棲止之地。
⊙在此界空中住:四行以身、口、意誓願為宗,修忍以謙下為本。住下空中者,則謙卑忘我,以無住為空故。

【證嚴上人開示】
尊師守志奉道,如教受持弘法。如來教安樂行,他方菩薩奔涌;佛意顯明此土,菩薩堪忍能持,故言從地涌出。又以人事顯法,借事明理立名。

尊師守志奉道
如教受持弘法
如來教安樂行
他方菩薩奔涌
佛意顯明此土
菩薩堪忍能持
故言從地涌出
又以人事顯法
借事明理立名

用心哦,「尊師守志奉道,如教受持弘法」。這是我們人人的本分,釋迦牟尼佛是我們眾生慈父,也就是三界導師;既是四生之父,也是三界導師,我們應該要敬重、尊教。佛陀的教法,我們要信受奉行,既是要信受奉行,我們就要守志奉道。我們選擇,選擇這個教,佛陀的教法,是來開啟我們的慧命,眾生,人人本具真如本性,一直就是被煩惱無明埋著、蓋住了。我們一點都不知道,不知道我們人人本具佛性,現在知道了,我們要相信;知道了之後,更加要相信,你若不相信,等於是不知道。我們應該要知道,要很知道,要深信,既然真知道了,真的知道,也很深信不疑,我們就要好好發心立誓,立誓願,那就要守持了。

尊重我們自己所選擇的誓願,我們要尊重,我們自己有真如本性;真如本性,守我們的誓願,所以我們要依教奉行。因為知道,但是法要如何隨著,佛陀為我們啟發之後,我們要如何去循著這個方向,將這條路開出來,從我們了解,但是那個法,發現真如的法,我們要如何打開了,這個無明埋覆的路,我們要真的是用功夫去撥開,撥開了層層無明的路,如何將它撥開,我們就要用功開道。佛陀乃是導師,在引導我們,如何開這條道路的人,我們要按照著,他為我們指示方向,要遵守那個法,好好將我們的無明,如何將它撥開、撥開,就像在開道。

這條道路,一片一望無際的雜林野草,很多很多,根本就無路好走;林頭、竹刺根本人都走不過,但是我們知道方向在那裡,我們的寶藏在那裡,你若沒有過去,你根本就無法去發現到,記得嗎?貧窮子,有長者發現到他的孩子,將他的孩子循循善誘,將貧窮子這樣帶到他的室內,引入他到寶庫去,從門口引到室內,帶到寶庫去,這要有路線這樣走,就要有人引導。因為這道門都有人重重把守著、有人守護著,不是隨便人就能夠進來,要有人接引來。若要能有資格讓人接引進來,自己就是要原本就是有這樣,互相認識的人為我們接引。

而我們這個時候已經認識到了,佛,我們這個凡夫,我們認到佛,覺者,是引導我們的導師,隨著導師走,方向就沒有錯了。就像長者在引導那個貧窮子,原來是他的孩子,他要用種種方法,才有辦法去引導他進來。同樣,凡夫也是願意信、受,才能夠堪得受人引導;我們若不信、不受,就像那位貧窮子,就是恐懼、怕,就趕緊要離開了。所以我們一定要信受,就像長者在引導那位貧窮子,不要怕,「你相信就對了,那個方向是真、是正確,你要用功」。所以我們要用功,用功就是要開道。這個開道的過程,就是要將那些髒污、雜生的叢草,沒用的東西我們要趕緊將它撥開、撥開,清除、清除,這樣讓它一條康莊大路,能夠走過去。

你要開道、你要鋪路,你要相信那個方向。所以我們必定要,第一,要先相信我們人人有真如本性。了解、接受了這個真如本性,人人本具,開始我們要深信;深信,我們就要用功了。要用功是很長的時間,是很辛苦,所以我們必定要守志,要立弘誓願,我們要守住我們的志願。要一條路就是,我們永恆、永生將要走的路,永生要開的道,就是我們要開道、鋪路;道為我們開,路鋪給大家走,這叫做菩薩道。向前開道、就地鋪路,這就是我們要入人群,要用心,「上求佛道、下化眾生」。上求佛道就是在開道,我們知道方向,我們相信,所以這條道我們要開,沒有路要將它開到有路。所以,上求佛道就是要這樣接受,向前帶路,後面大家趕緊鋪路,這就是度化眾生。

所以,「如教受持弘法」,就要如佛陀的教法,我們接受教法,我們就要「如教受持」,如何教我們,我們如何接受。我們要好好守持這條路的方向,好好用功開道、鋪路。「上求佛道」就是向前開道,「下化眾生」就是就地鋪路。大家要記得。「如來教安樂行」。

如來教我們,教我們要安樂行,前面這一品〈安樂行品〉,讓我們能夠撥開了無明煩惱,開道;方向我們既知道了,我們開道,有什麼樣的煩惱,趕緊撥除、撥除;撥除了煩惱,開出了一條道。讓我們知道十種人,我們要將他們撥開,這十種就是在人間造種種煩惱、不當行為的法,方法,這就是都叫做無明。

在人間造作無明,我們要撥開,這就是要撥開了這些無明煩惱,我們才有辦法將這個道開得通,路才鋪得平,後面走起來才能夠安全,這就是教我們方法。所以,「如來教安樂行」。如來教我們這樣,能夠平安走過的一條路,讓我們的道心堅固,不會半途而廢,讓我們能夠平平安安走得過,路開得通。所以,「他方菩薩奔涌」。在娑婆世界說法,佛的聲音。我們過去說過了,佛的音聲普現十方世界,連梵天也聽得到,這十方世界都聽到了。他方菩薩也知道,佛陀在娑婆世界說《法華經》,他方世界也來了,因為這是真實法,教菩薩法,佛佛道同。

因為這樣,他方世界菩薩隨喜來聞法,娑婆世界,也感動了,他方菩薩感動了。那個心地踴躍,所以叫做「奔涌」。大家很歡喜,聽,娑婆世界苦難偏多,菩薩道勇猛精進,多令人讚歎啊!佛陀教育這樣的方法,所以他方世界菩薩踴躍,所以奔涌。

那一天告訴大家,人人心中一片天、一片地,我們這裡眾生是這樣,他方菩薩也是這樣,同樣天地、心地,同樣踴躍。我們這個地方聽到若歡喜了,很踴躍、歡喜。踴躍是一個描寫,就是譬喻我們真正歡喜。他方世界菩薩也是這樣,很踴躍。所以,佛講這些法,就是要來鼓勵、鼓勵,因為佛陀已經告訴我們,人人本具佛性,人人都能夠成佛,只是我們要離開,離開那些無明煩惱;無明煩惱要撥開,真如現前,那就是心地善良。心地善良是純真,是光明的,是無染、純潔的,這個真如本性。所以,佛陀就是期待,人人現出了那個心地真如,那個亮麗的心光出來。

所以,「佛意顯明此土」。因為佛的覺性光明,這個覺性就是叫做真如,眾生和佛平等。常常都是這樣說,佛是這樣說,佛陀有覺性,現出這麼光明的覺性,這個心地出來。人人本具,人人都有,也是一樣能夠了解這麼多的法,大家一樣做得到,也能夠說得到;說我們所做,做我們所說,這就是我們學而覺。覺就是開啟光明,這是一條路,佛陀就是要對我們說;說,不只是這裡聽得到。我們要教自己的孩子,同時也會影響到別人的孩子,這是一種教法;教娑婆世界的眾生,也能夠影響他方世界的菩薩感動,這就是道理。

所以,「菩薩堪忍能持」。佛陀顯出了這樣的心意,對娑婆世界的眾生有信心,佛陀相信人人本具佛性,有這個覺性就有這樣的力量,堪得忍耐、堪得受持,因為這是人人本具。只要你煩惱撥開了,沒有這些人我是非,沒有這些人我是非、無明來影響我們,自然我們發心立弘誓願,絕對經得起、耐得住。所以,「菩薩堪忍能持,故言從地涌出」。再下去,開始菩薩就要從地湧出了。所以,「又以人事」來「顯法」。所以「又以人事」來「顯法」,就是要用這樣的場面,用這樣來鼓勵,顯出了這個法是真實法,這個真實法是人人本具的覺性,借這個事要來啟發,明白人人本具真如的道理。所以,「借事明理立名」,故從地湧出,一定要大家用心清楚了解。

從地涌出
表菩薩智所住地
諸佛本心源地
一切諸法寂滅
無自體相
無為法
實際理地
有所作為
精進成就事相

所以,「從地涌出」。是表示「菩薩智所住地」。我們要到佛的境界,一定要先走過菩薩這條路,就是菩薩要先開道。這條道我們就要開,我們才有辦法整地,路才鋪得平,同樣的道理,所以「菩薩智所住地」。我們娑婆世界是一個堪忍世界,煩惱苦難偏多,菩薩要發現到這個地,這個地方就是這樣。我們現在的心地,也是充滿了煩惱、堪忍,我們要堪得忍耐這個世界。若煩惱將我們埋覆著,我們永遠都,在這個堪忍、污濁,充滿了污濁、無明的大地。我們這個時候地,就是開始也要震裂了,就開始地要打開,所以「心開意解」,心開了、意解了。

我們上次說,種子要出來了,這個菩薩的種子,在這個土地裡面有土分、有水分、有空氣,這全都具足,因緣具足了,種子它自然在地底下脫殼,有那股的力量突破了這個大地,所以地震裂了,種子就浮起來了,這就是道理。所以,「從地涌出」,就是表示我們的真如本性,已經突破了那個煩惱的殼。那就是像地將它埋覆著一樣,無明的地殼將它埋覆著,因緣成熟了,這粒種子它突破了。

我們若有在出坡的,應該你若多用心在看菜園,或者是在種豆種、稻穀,你若有用心。那個時候在種花生,明明花生放在地上,丟下去了,還教我們方法:「腳就要踏緊它。」「為什麼要踏緊?」「你要踏緊,才不會讓小鳥將你它啄開,這粒花生就會在土地裡。我就說:「踏緊了,種子要如何出來呢?」他說:「你看,它就有力。」看它,果然。我每天都去看它,第一天去,土地平的;第二天去,還是平;第三天,土地裂了,那個芽冒出來了。冒出來了,是勾勾,你第二天再去看,它抬起來了,葉子就出來了。應該若有在種,有在用心,就看到花生就這樣,葉子一直展開、展開了。每天是什麼時候展開呢?一直到了三個多月後,成熟了,去挖花生。哇!挖起來,原來整串!在地底下,好幾十顆的花生。這就是說,種子就是這樣,一直一直繁衍下去,「一生無量」。一粒花生仁,能夠長出,整把、整串的豆莢出來;在豆莢之中,整個莢之中,三顆、四顆都有,就是這樣連連。

同樣的道理,菩薩住地就是需要因緣成熟,我們在修行就是要靠因緣。常常說,蓮花在池中,就是靠污泥的肥分來養成蓮花;蓮花的美,蓮藕很肥,這全都是靠著這個污濁的蓮池。我們要成佛,也要靠著大地一切的因緣,在濁氣很重的娑婆世界,來培養清淨無染的菩薩心,就是這樣「從地涌出」。所以,「諸佛本心源地」。這個土地,諸佛也是這樣來,因為修過了菩薩行,那就是成佛的境界。所以,「一切諸法寂滅,無自體相」。道理就是這樣,你說那個種子,是什麼東西讓它成長起來?是那顆花生莢嗎?也又不是。花生仁嗎?也又不是。將它一直撥,一直認識下去,是裡面那個看不到的基因,那就是了。這是一個很微細的東西,它就是理,同樣「無自體相」。

這道理,分析到最後,它沒有它的體相。但是,它各自那個「理」,去成就它的「相」。黃豆是黃豆的種,花生是花生的種,各有它的種的緣,所以無有自體性,道理沒有體性。那個豆的種子若過了時間,種不起來,也要有時(效)。它若有它永恆的體相,哪會過時的種不起來?是啊,這就是要有時間、空間,這一切的道理要會合起來。所以很多道理過時,這個種子,有大地也沒有用,同樣,所以缺一不可。「三」要會合,分開「無自體相」。

所以,「無為法」。無為法是自然的道理,就像虛空,虛空也叫做無為法,虛空。我們的心也是一樣,也是無為法,反正就是無體相,「如夢幻泡影,如露亦如電」,相顯一下,過時就不見了,這就是「無自體相」,所以「實際理地」。「有所作為」。就是這個道理,是讓我們去造作的,你若沒有去造作,道理就是沒有效;要有去造作,道理才有效。我們佛陀的真理很好,你不肯修行,你不肯身體力行,若這樣道理也沒有成就。同樣,所以大家要很用心,「精進成就事相」。

既在人間,「菩薩所緣,緣苦眾生」,要去救濟苦難眾生,你必定要培養我們的德、相。要有德、有相,「德者,得也」,你要有這樣去修行累積,得到這個道理,自然你就有這樣的德行,就能夠統理大眾,這是修來的,得到的德行,所以大家要很用心。這道理是這樣,說出去是很開闊,收回來到底沒有聽懂?真的大家要很用心去受,說那麼廣的道理,收得回來嗎?這就是我們要用心。

前面的文這樣說:「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
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》

聽到了,這是因為大家用功,真正我們的心開意解了,這樣突破了,那個層層疊疊煩惱的大地表面,我們已經將它突破了。就像那種子,這樣突破了那個地表面,所以它的種子浮現起來。同樣的道理,所以叫做「地皆震裂」,心開意解了。「而於其中,有無量千萬億菩薩摩訶薩」。其中只要你心開意解,一切法、一切的道理,無不都是從你的內心,源源不斷湧現出來。過去聽到的,過去做到的,這些法和事,會一時湧現在這個記憶。我們在說話,就能夠將過去聽的、過去遇到的事情,在這個時候表達出來,這就是「無量千萬億菩薩」。

菩薩就是覺有情,我們的心態,覺有情,因為我們是一個覺有情的人,「菩薩所緣,緣苦眾生」,我們要如何說法讓人聽懂?我們要如何去救拔眾生?就是要從我們內心,心、腦的記憶,要不斷不斷湧現出來。我是這樣解,我也是這樣在用它,所以覺得學法不只是在,求文字就要如何去分,如何去解釋?在我們的生活中,我們要用在人我之間,這叫做人間;人我之間,能夠將道理(力行)付出,能夠變成了真實的形相,我們能夠用,這叫做人間法。在人間要用什麼樣的方法,來解開人的困境?這就是要用方法。

所以,下面這段文再說:「是諸菩薩身皆金色,三十二相,無量光明,先盡在此娑婆世界之下,此界虛空中住。」

是諸菩薩身皆金色
三十二相
無量光明
先盡在此
娑婆世界之下
此界虛空中住
《法華經從地涌出品第十五》

我們要用心再體會。前面說的你們若能夠了解,下面再說,應該大家差不多會去體會到。「是諸菩薩身皆金色」,先說事。「三十二相,無量光明」,這是表達了這些菩薩都很莊嚴。

是諸菩薩身皆金色
三十二相
無量光明:
菩薩莊嚴身紫金色
相好具足
光明無量
見者皆大歡喜

我們過去都有說,「三十二相」是佛才有的!這個「三十二相」,讓人看到就是歡喜,很圓滿的相,無缺,這個「三十二相」,過去有解釋過。原來不是只有佛有而已,其實「菩薩莊嚴身紫金色」,同樣有這個紫金色,同樣有這樣的相。「相好具足」。這個形象,和佛陀「三十二相」中紫金色,這個形象就是很具足。「光明無量」。這個紫金色就是發光、發亮,在很多能夠發出光耀出來,這個色是最具足,那個色彩的美,很自然的光亮,那個色,光明是無量,很多。「見者皆大歡喜」。讓人看到就是這麼的具足。因為印度的人,膚色有比較黑一點,黑得有一點紫色,紫得能夠發亮的程度。

「佛身三十二相」,就是「菩薩亦皆如是,相好莊嚴」。同樣是這樣,佛、菩薩也是這樣。

佛身三十二相
而諸菩薩亦皆如是
相好莊嚴相
皆於十方世界
分身現應化
相好等同於佛

這就是要多和眾生結好緣,讓人看到就是歡喜,「相」就是具足了。所以,「皆於十方世界,分身現應化」。不是只有佛能夠分身現應化,在〈(見)寶塔品〉,佛分身,其實菩薩也是。看看觀世音菩薩,他「三十二應身」,這也是菩薩,地藏菩薩也是啊。觀世音菩薩已成佛,地藏菩薩是,「地獄未空,誓不成佛」,就要眾生苦難盡了,地藏菩薩他才要現相成佛。其實地藏菩薩的大願,就是與佛同等,觀世音菩薩,他是成佛的正法明如來,但是他還是入人群度眾生。所以說起來,佛、菩薩都是平等,眾生也平等,你發一念心,菩薩心,也是平等。所以,「諸菩薩亦皆如是,相好莊嚴。」

「皆於十方世界,分身應化」。同樣在度眾生,我們的法,我們很了解,我們說給別人聽,別人同樣用這個法再去傳;傳給別人,一個傳過了一個。「對的事情做就對了」,人人有這樣的觀念,就是去做,好事大家做,這也是「應化」,聽到好事,大家做。大家做好人,大家做好事,大家都是讓人歡喜,這就是「應化」。「相好等同於佛」。就像這樣,這個形象讓人歡喜,和佛一樣。所以,「先盡在此,娑婆世界之下,此界虛空中住」。

先盡在此
娑婆世界之下
此界虛空中住:
周遍十方
本無上下可言
表住中道
顯從地寂空中住

現在這樣說,這些菩薩,就是在這個「娑婆世界之下,虛空中住,周遍十方,本無上下可言」。這就是表示,菩薩、佛的智慧,已經是超越了這個地球了。現在我們也知道,地球不是在地底下,其實是抬頭可以看到,星球、恆星,都是滿天空的星球。繞著太陽,地球也是在這個星群的裡面,所以上面還有,下面也還有,周圍全都有,有它的世界。周圍的世界很多,恆星、衛星是很多。所以說「虛空中住」,地球就是在虛空中,我們的知識、智慧,現在的知識,都能夠知道虛空、天文、地理。

天文,有多少的星球,高氣壓、低氣壓如何去形成?總而言之,我們現在的知識,就能夠知道地球的生態,以及氣候的生態。

所以,「世界之下」,就是在這樣整個天體間,我們全都能夠去了解。了解之後,我們的心包太虛,所以「虛空中住」,我們不是只執著在娑婆世界,我們在「虛空中住」,心包太虛,「周遍十方」,這就是脫離了凡夫心,無明。我們就是要有這分,「周遍十方」,心包太虛,這常常在說,所以本無上下可言,不用去分別是上、是下。所以,「表住中道」。在這個空中,就是表示我們行中道,就是顯從地出,在「寂空中住」。寂靜清澄,志玄虛漠,我們的心境要擺在這樣,「寂靜清澄,志玄虛漠」,心就要住在這樣。

又諸法實相之地
本離一切分別相
故此地
即為第一義空
亦即前說
所安住無量、
無邊、無障、
無礙之空

「又諸法實相之地」,這就是諸法的實相。常常說過了,寂靜清澄,靜思法脈不就是用這樣,來做我們的法脈呢?所以,「本離一切分別相,故此地即為第一義空」,這就是真理。所以,「亦即前說所安住無量、無邊、無障、無礙之空」。我們的無量義就是這樣,就是無邊、無障礙,無障、無礙的空,我們的心就是要在這樣,住在這種寂靜清澄,心無量、無邊、無障、無礙,這種的空,我們的道心才能夠穩定。我們要好好用心去體會。

斯分別名其事相
為涌出、為住空耳
又下方者
法性之淵底
玄宗之極地
在下不屬此
空中不屬彼
非彼非此
住中道也

所以,「斯分別名其事相,為涌出」。將這個名稱用這樣的事來表達,要不然說法者無法可說,真正的要講法哪有法可講呢?沒有什麼法可講。就是要借這些事相來講道理,這就是「湧出」。這是「住空」,實在是說出去是空的。所以,「又下方者,法性之淵底」,法是很深,無底。所以「玄宗之極地」,「玄宗」就是佛法。我們的佛法真的是廣大無比,很大、很多的道理。我們的心要有具足是這樣,所以叫做心地。

「在下」不屬於此,沒有固定在哪一個地方,所以「空中不屬彼」,空中也沒有說是在哪一角,所以地是無底,空是無盡。所以,「非彼非此,住中道也」,我們就要行中道,所以要住中道。

出此不在上
亦不在此下
不上不下
住在空中
亦中道也

所以,「出此不在上,亦不在此下,不上不下,住在空中,亦中道也」。所以不上、不下,也沒有左右,這就是叫做中道。佛法就是要這樣,不要讓邊緣將我們卡住了,就是要無障礙。

誓願守護此娑婆
堪忍修持
弘宣教法
於安樂行菩薩道
以堪忍為棲止之地

所以,「誓願守護此娑婆世界」,就是「堪忍修持弘宣教法」。我們的心若不受執著、沒有受障礙,娑婆世界雖然是堪忍、苦的世界,菩薩就是因為這樣來,所以因為這樣,在這個娑婆世界,堪得忍耐、堪得承擔,這樣來弘宣這個法。所以「於安樂行菩薩道」,是堪忍、是我們所依止的。我們不偏空,不偏有,安樂行是我們所依止。我們要好好用心,「辛苦了!」「沒有啦,幸福!美滿!」就是完成就是美滿,互相感恩。所以,「在此界空中住」。我們就是穩穩定定,就是這樣在這裡住。

在此界空中住:
四行以
身、口、意
誓願為宗
修忍以謙下為本
住下空中者
則謙卑忘我
以無住為空故

所以「四行以身、口、意,誓願為宗」,這就是我們的宗旨,這叫做「四行」。「修忍以謙下為本」,我們要謙卑,縮小自己。「住下空中者,則謙卑忘我」,我們要縮得沒有我自己了,所以「以無住為空故」,所以不用執著我到底是什麼職位,我到底是在做什麼事情:做對的事情,做就對了。各位菩薩,菩薩心是無所住相,而實行菩薩道,這樣做就對了。所以要時時多用心啊!


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發表主題: 回復: 20181022《靜思妙蓮華》從地涌出 虛空中住 (第1462集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)   20181022《靜思妙蓮華》從地涌出 虛空中住 (第1462集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五) Empty周三 11月 14, 2018 8:33 pm

Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: Emerging from the Ground, Abiding in Space (從地涌出 虛空中住)
Date: October.22.2018

“We must respect our teacher, uphold our vows and follow the path. We must accept, uphold and spread the Dharma according to the teachings. When the Tathagata taught the practice of bringing peace and joy, Bodhisattvas from other lands rushed to emerge. The Buddha’s intention was to clearly reveal that in this land, there were Bodhisattvas who could endure. Thus [this chapter] is called ‘Emerging from the Ground’. Furthermore, the Buddha used people and matters to reveal the Dharma. Because it uses this matter to explain the principles, it was given this name.”

We must be mindful. “We must respect our teacher, uphold our vows and follow the path. We must accept, uphold and spread the Dharma according to the teachings.” This is our responsibility. Sakyamuni Buddha is the compassionate father for all of us sentient beings and the guiding teacher of the Three Realms. He is the father of all sentient beings and also the guiding teacher of the Three Realms. So, we must respect the Buddha’s teachings. Regarding the teachings of the Buddha, we must have faith, accept and follow the Dharma.

To have faith, accept and follow the Dharma, we must uphold our vows and follow the path. We have chosen to follow these teachings, the Buddha’s teachings, which aim to inspire our wisdom-life. All sentient beings intrinsically have the nature of True Suchness, but it has been continuously buried and covered by our afflictions and ignorance. We do not know anything about it. We do not know that we all intrinsically have Buddha-nature. Now that we have learned about it, we must have faith in it. If we do not have faith in it, it is the same as not knowing about it. We need to understand it very well and have deep faith in it. Since we truly know about it, since we have firm faith and no doubts, we must earnestly form aspirations. Having made vows, we must uphold them. To respect the vow we chose ourselves, we must respect our own nature of True Suchness. [To return to] the nature of True Suchness, we must safeguard our aspirations and vows. Thus, we must practice according to the teachings. We know [the Dharma], but how do we follow the Dharma that the Buddha inspired in us so we can move in this direction and open up this path?

We must use our understanding. But when it comes to this Dharma that helps us discover our nature of True Suchness, how can we open up this path that is covered by ignorance? We must truly use effort to uncover this path that is covered by layers of ignorance. How can we uncover this path? We must diligently open up the path. The Buddha is our guiding teacher who is guiding us in opening up this path. We must follow the direction He points out to us. We must follow the teachings. We carefully find ways to clear away our ignorance. It is as if we are clearing a path. This path is covered in wild bushes and weeds without end. There are so many weeds that there is hardly a path to walk on. The overgrowth and thorns prevent people from passing. Still, we know that the direction is there; we know where our treasure is. If we do not pass through, then we will not be able to find the treasures that we are looking for.

Do we still remember [the parable] of the poor son? An elder recognized his [lost] son and patiently and skillfully guided this poor son until he was able to bring him inside his home and lead him to his treasury. From the door, the elder guided him inside and brought him to where the treasures were stored. The father needed a way [to gain the son’s trust] and the son needed someone to guide him. Because there were people who guarded the door, not anyone could enter. [The son] needed someone to guide him inside.

Moreover, [the son] needed [a certain level] in order to allow someone to bring him inside. We too also need [a certain level]; we need someone we recognize to guide us. Now, we are already familiar with the Buddha; we, these ordinary beings, recognize that He, the Great Awakened One, is our guiding teacher. If we follow our teacher’s path, then our direction will be correct. This is like the elder who guided his poor son; the elder knew that it was his child. He had to use all kinds of methods to guide his child.

In the same way, ordinary beings must be willing to believe and accept in order to be able to receive guidance. If we do not believe or accept it, we may be like the poor son who became scared and quickly sought to leave that place. So, we must have faith and accept [the Dharma]. This is like how the elder guided the poor son to not be afraid. “You just need to have faith that the direction we are going is true and correct. You must work hard.”

We must work hard to open up the path. During the process of clearing the path we must [eliminate] all those impurities such as the wild overgrowth and weeds. We must quickly remove these useless things, clear them away. Then, there will be a broad and great path that we can walk on. To clear the path and pave the road, we must have faith in the direction. So, we must firstly trust that everyone intrinsically has the nature of True Suchness. We must understand and accept that the nature of True Suchness is intrinsic to all of us. As we begin to have deep faith in this, we must work hard toward it. We must work hard for a very long time; it is a very laborious process. So, we must uphold our aspirations and make great vows. We must uphold our aspirations.

The path we need is one that we will forever walk on, that we will open up for countless lifetimes. We must clear the path and pave the road ourselves. We clear the path for ourselves and pave the road for everyone to walk on. This is the Bodhisattva-path.

We must clear the path forward and pave the road as we go. This is why we must go among people and be mindful as we seek the path to Buddhahood and transform sentient beings. Seeking the path to Buddhahood is clearing the path. As we know the direction, we must have faith. So, we must clear this path. Where there was no path, we must open up a path. So, seeking the path to Buddhahood is to accept [the teachings] and lead the way forward. Then, we must quickly pave the road; this is to transform sentient beings. “We must accept, uphold and spread the Dharma acceding to the teachings.” We must follow the Buddha’s teachings. As we accept the teachings, “We must accept and uphold [the Dharma] according to the teachings.” Whatever He teaches us is what we should accept. We must earnestly uphold the direction of this path, diligently clear this path and pave this road. To seek the path to Buddhahood is to clear the path forward; to transform sentient beings is to pave the road where we are. Everyone must remember this.

“When the Tathagata taught the practice of bringing peace and joy…”. He taught us the practice of bringing peace and joy. In the previous Chapter on the Practice of Bringing Peace and Joy, the Buddha helped us eliminate our ignorance and afflictions to clear the path. Since we already know our direction, we clear the path. We must quickly eliminate any afflictions we have. We must clear away our afflictions and open up a path. He taught us about the ten kinds of people which we should avoid. These ten kinds [of people] create various afflictions in the world with unwholesome actions and methods. These are all a matter of ignorance. Regarding the ignorance we created in this world, we must eliminate it. We must eliminate afflictions and ignorance to be able to open up this path and pave the road smoothly so that people can safely walk on it later on. These are methods He taught us.

So, “When the Tathagata taught the practice of bringing peace and joy,” this is how the Tathagata taught us to safely walk on this path, to ensure that our spiritual aspirations are firm and that we will not give up halfway. He helped us walk on this path very safely so we can clear a path that reaches [the goal]. “Bodhisattvas from other lands rushed to emerge.” The Buddha taught the Dharma in the Saha World with His voice. As we discussed before, the Buddha’s voice echoed throughout the worlds in the ten directions. Even those in Brahma heaven and the worlds of the ten direction could hear it. Bodhisattvas from other places also knew that [He] was teaching the Lotus Sutra in the Saha World. So, those from other worlds also came because this is the True Dharma, the teachings of the Bodhisattva Way. All Buddhas share the same path. Because of this, those from other worlds rejoiced and came to listen to the Dharma in the Saha world. These Bodhisattvas from other lands were moved. Their hearts were very jubilant. So, they “rushed to emerge”.

Everyone was very joyful. They heard that the Saha world is full of suffering, but they courageously advanced on the Bodhisattva-path. How praiseworthy is this! The Buddha taught these methods. So, those from other lands were jubilant and that rushed to emerge. That day, I told everyone that all of us have a sky and ground in our hearts. Sentient begins here are like this Bodhisattvas from other lands are also like this. We share the same sky and ground in our hearts. They were just as jubilant. As we rejoice in what we heard in this place we become jubilant and joyful. Jubilance is a description. It is an analogy for being truly joyful.

People from other lands were also like this, very jubilant. So, the Buddha taught the Dharma to encourage us, by telling us that we all intrinsically have Buddha-nature, there everyone can attain Buddhahood. We just need to distance ourselves from our afflictions and ignorance. Once we eliminate ignorance and afflictions, our nature of True Suchness will manifest and our hearts will be kind. A kind heart is pure and bring, free of defilements and very pure. This is our nature of True Suchness. So, the Buddha hopes that everyone will manifest the nature of True Suchness and the beautiful light from their hearts. So, “The Buddha’s intention was to clearly reveal that in this land…”. The Buddha’s enlightened nature is radiant. This enlightened nature is the nature of True Suchness. Sentient begins and the Buddha are equal. We often say this. The Buddha said this. He has His enlightened nature. He manifested this bring awakened nature revealing this ground of His heart. We intrinsically have [the same nature]; we are also able to understand all this Dharma. Everyone can do this, and we are all also able to speak of it. We should say what we do and do what we say. In this way, we can learn and awaken. To awaken is to give rise to light. This is a path. This is what the Buddha taught us. The teachings are not just what we listen to here. We must teach our children as well as influence other people’s children. This is a form of teaching.

Sentient beings in the Saha world can also influence the Bodhisattvas from other lands. This is the principle. “There were Bodhisattvas who could endure and would be able to uphold this sutra”. The Buddha expressed this intention and that. He had faith in sentient beings of the Saha world. The Buddha had faith that everyone intrinsically has Buddha-nature. With this awakened nature, we have the strength to uphold [the Dharma] and endure. This is something we all intrinsically have. As long as we eliminate our afflictions, there will be no more interpersonal conflicts. Without interpersonal conflicts and ignorance to influence us, naturally, we can form aspirations and make great vows. We can withstand and endure [all difficulties].

So, “There were Bodhisattvas who could endure and would be able to uphold this sutra. Thus [this chapter] is called. Emerging from the Ground”. Moving forward, Bodhisattvas began to emerge from the ground. Then, He used people and matters to reveal the Dharma. He had to use such an event to encourage people and reveal that this teaching is the True Dharma. The True Dharma is then intrinsic awakened nature that we all have. Through these matters, He wanted to inspire us to understand the principle that we all intrinsically have the nature of True Suchness. “Because it uses this matter to explain the principles, it was given this name”. So, they “emerged from the ground”. This is something we must clearly understand.

“Emerging from the ground” represents the ground where the wisdom of Bodhisattvas abides, the original ground of the intrinsic mind of all Buddhas. All Dharma is in a state of ultimate cessation, having no intrinsic substance or appearance. The unconditioned Dharma is the ground of the true principles. When we take action with conditioned phenomena by advancing diligently, we bring these matters and appearances to fruition.

“Emerging from the ground” represents the ground where the wisdom of Bodhisattvas abides. To reach the state of Buddhahood, we must first walk on the Bodhisattva-path. So, Bodhisattvas must first clear the path. We must first clear this path; only then can we level the ground and pave a smooth road. By the same principle, this “represents the ground where the wisdom of Bodhisattvas abides”.

The Saha world is a world of endurance filled with afflictions and ignorance. Bodhisattvas must discover this land, that this is what this place is like. Now, our minds are filled with afflictions; [they are] hard to endure. We must be able to endure this world. if our afflictions bury us, then we will forever remain in this turbid world of endurance filled with turbidities and ignorance. Starting from this time, the ground will begin to quake and split open. The ground will begin to open. So, we will open our hearts and be understanding. Our hearts will become open and understanding. As we discussed previously, the seeds are emerging. These Bodhisattvas-seeds are in the ground. If soil, water and air are all present, once the causes and conditions are mature, the seeds will naturally break free of their shells underground. With this strength, they break through and emerge from the ground. So, the ground splits open, and [the sprouts] emerge. This is the principle.

“Emerging from the ground” represents how our nature of True Suchness has broken through the shell of afflictions. It was as if it had been buried underground, buried in the ground of ignorance. When causes and conditions ripen, the seeds will sprout from the ground. Those of us who do chores at the Abode should be more mindful in looking at our vegetable garden or when we plant the seeds of beans and rice. We need to be mindful. Back in the days, when we planted peanuts, we had clearly dropped the peanuts on the ground, but someone taught us the method that we had to pack the soil with our feet. [I asked], “Why do we need to step on the soil?” [He said], “You must make the soil firm so the birds will not be able to peck out the seeds. Then the seeds will remain in the ground”. I asked, “If we pack the soil so tightly, how can the seeds sprout?” He said “You will see, the seeds are strong”. Indeed, he was right. I went to look at the field every day. One the first day, the ground was flat; it was the same for the second day. On the third day, the soil cracked open and the seeds sprouted like little hooks. The next day when I again went look at them they had straightened up and the leaves has sprouted. If we are mindful as we plant the seeds, we can see how the peanuts sprout. The leaves grow bigger and bigger each day. What time of day do the leaves grow? This continues for over three months, then the peanuts are mature and ready for harvest. Wow, when we dug them out, there were actually bunches of them! There were dozens of peanuts buried underground. This shows that this is what seeds are like. They continuously multiply like this; one gives rise to infinity. One peanut seed can grow into a whole bunch of peanut pods. Inside each pod, there may be three or four seeds. They are all connected together.

By the same token, Bodhisattvas need mature causes and conditions to abide somewhere. As we engage in spiritual practice, we rely on causes and conditions. We often say that a lotus flower relies on the mud to get its nutrition. The lotus is beautiful and the root is fat; this all relies on the nutrients from the mud. If we want to attain Buddhahood, we rely on the causes and conditions of this land. In this Saha world with its severe turbidities, we must cultivate the pure Bodhisattva-mind and “emerge from the ground.

This is “The original ground of the intrinsic mind of all Buddhas. All Buddhas come in the same way from this ground, because they cultivated the Bodhisattva-practice; this is the same state attaining Buddhahood.

“All Dharma is in a state of ultimate cessation, having no intrinsic substance or appearance.”

This is the principle what is it that enables the seed to grow? Is it the pod of the peanut? No. is it the peanut seed? No, it is not. If we continue to break it down to understand it. It is the genes inside that we cannot see [with our bare eyes]. That is it. This is a very tiny thing. It is [like] a principle which “has no intrinsic substance or appearance”. If we analyze principles to the end, there is no substance or appearance. But for each thing, its principles leads to its appearances. Soybeans are the seeds for soybeans, while peanuts are seeds for peanuts. Each has its own conditions, so there is no intrinsic substance or appearance. If we miss the right time for planting a seed, it will not grow. We need the right timing. If it had an everlasting substance or appearance, then timing would not matter. Indeed, we need time, space and all its principles to converge. So, with the principles, once it is too late, even with seeds and earth, nothing will grow.

So, we cannot lack any of the principles. These three [elements] must converge. When we break them down, there is “no intrinsic or appearance. So, the “unconditioned Dharma” is the law of nature. This is like the empty space, which can also be called unconditioned Dharma. Our minds is also the same. It is also unconditioned Dharma, without any intrinsic substance or appearance, “like a dream, an illusion, a bubble, a shadow a dew drop or a flash of lightning. It will manifest for a while and then disappear. It has “no intrinsic substance or appearance. So, “It is the ground of the true principles. When we take action…”. This is the principle which enables us to take action. If we do not take action, then the principle will have no effect. We must act for the principle to be effective. The truths the Buddha gave us are wonderful, but if we do not engage in cultivation or put them into practice, then the principles will not be brought to fruition. So, we must be very mindful.

“By advancing diligently, we bring these matters and appearances to fruition.” Since we are in the world, “Bodhisattvas arise because of suffering sentient beings; we must relieve sentient beings from suffering.

So, we must cultivate our virtue and demeanor. We need both virtue and demeanor. “With virtue comes attainment.” When we engage in spiritual practice to attain these principles, we will naturally have such virtues and will be able to lead the people harmoniously. These are the virtues that we cultivated. So, we must be very mindful.

The principles are like this. We can discuss them in broad terms, but when we bring them back, do we actually understand them? We must truly be mindful to accept [the teachings]. When such vast principles are discussed are we able to bring them back [to our lives]? This requires us to be mindful.

The precious sutras passage states, “As the Buddha said this, throughout the lands of the great trichillocosm of the Saha World, the ground quaked and split open.” 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 trillion of Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas emerged simultaneously.

As we heard, this was because everyone had worked hard. Our hearts truly opened and we understood. This split open the ground formed by layers of afflictions. We have now broken through it. This is just like the seed [that sprouted] and broke through the ground’s surface so that [the sprout] emerged. In the same way, “The ground quaked and split open.

Our hearts have opened and we understand. “From it, countless trillions of Bodhisattva-Mahasatvas emerged simultaneously. Once we open our minds and understand, all Dharma and principles will endlessly emerge from within our minds. What we need heard and done in the past those teachings and matters will instantly rush to emerge in our memory. As we speak, we can express what we heard or encountered in the past at the present moment. This is “countless trillion of Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas emerging simultaneously.

Bodhisattva are awakened sentient beings. our state of mind must be that of awakened sentient beings. since we are awakened sentient beings, Bodhisattva arise because of suffering beings. How can we help others understand the Dharma? How can we relieve sentient beings from their suffering? This must all come from our minds must continuously emerge. This is how we can understand [the Dharma], and this is how we apply it.

So, I feel that in learning the Buddha-Dharma, we are not only seeking how to discern things using words or how to explain things. We must also apply it in our lives, in our interpersonal interactions. This is what we call the human world. In interpersonal interactions, when we can apply these principles through giving and manifest them as true appearances that we can apply, this is called the worldly Dharma. What methods should we use in this world to relieve people from their difficulties? We must think of methods to do this.

The next sutra passage states, “These Bodhisattvas’ bodies were all golden in hue, with 32 Marks and Infinite radiance. Previously, they had all abided in the empty space below the Saha World.

We must mindfully seek to comprehend this. If we have understood what was said before, then we should be able to more or less comprehend. “These Bodhisattvas’ bodies were all golden in hue. Speaking first of matters, “the 32 Marks and Infinite radiance show that these Bodhisattvas were very dignified.

These Bodhisattvas bodies were all golden in hue, with the 32 Marks and Infinite radiance: The Bodhisattvas were magnificent. Their bodies were purple-gold in color. There were replete with Marks and Characteristics and were infinitely radiant. Everyone who saw them greatly rejoiced.

In the past, we said that “the 32 Marks” were unique to Buddhas. “The 32 Marks” bring people joy when they see them. It is a perfect appearance without flaws. These 32 Marks, which we explained before, were not unique to Buddhas. “The Bodhisattvas were magnificent Their bodies were purple-gold in color.” They also had this purple-gold hue and displayed such an appearance. “There were replete with Marks and Characteristics.” This appearance [similar to] the Buddha’s “32 Marks” and purple-gold hue, is a replete and perfect appearance. As for “infinite radiance,” this purple-gold hue radiates light; among many radiant bright [colors], this color is the most replete with the beauty of colors. It very naturally radiates light. This color is radiating infinite light. “Everyone who saw them greatly rejoiced” because they manifested in such perfect forms. People from India are darker in skin tone, so dark that there is a purple hue to it. This purple hue is radiant. “The Buddha’s body has the 32 Marks,” and those Bodhisattvas were also all like this, dignified by the Marks and Characteristics”. They too were like this. All Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are like this.

A Buddha’s body has the 32 Marks, and those Bodhisattvas were also all like this. Their appearances were dignified by the Marks and Characteristics. Throughout the worlds of the ten directions, their manifestations appeared to transform [sentient beings]. Their Marks and Characteristics were the same as the Buddha’s.

This required forming good affinities with sentient beings, so that people rejoiced when they saw them. Thus, they were replete in the [32] Marks. “Throughout the worlds of the ten directions, their manifestations appeared to transform [sentient beings]”. Not only Buddhas have manifestations that transform [beings]. In the Chapter on the Stupa of Treasures, the Buddha had manifestations. Actually, Bodhisattvas too have [manifestations]. Look at Guanyin Bodhisattva, who “manifests with 32 Marks”. He is also a Bodhisattva, and so is Earth Treasury Bodhisattva. Guanyin Bodhisattva is an ancient Buddha. Earth Treasury Bodhisattva vowed, “I will not attain Buddhahood until hell is empty”. So, only when sentient beings no longer suffer, will he manifest the attainment of Buddhahood. Actually, Earth Treasury Bodhisattva’s great vow is equal to the Buddha’s. Guanyin Bodhisattva attained Buddhahood as Clear True Dharma Tathagata. Still, he goes among people to transform sentient beings. So, that is to say, Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are all equal, and so are all sentient beings. Once we form Bodhisattva-aspirations, we are also equal to them. “Those Bodhisattvas were also all like this. Their appearances were dignified by the Marks and Characteristics. Throughout the worlds of the ten directions,” their manifestations appeared to transform [sentient beings]. They were all delivering sentient beings. When we understand the Dharma well, we can explain it to others. Then they can also spread it to even more people. In this way, people pass it on to one another. “If it is right, just do it”. If everyone has this perspective and does good deeds together, then this is “transforming” [sentient beings]. When we hear good things, we do good together. We are all good people and we all do good deeds. This will make everyone joyful. This is “transforming” [one another].

“Their Marks and Characteristics were the same as the Buddha’s.” In this way, their appearances made people joyful, just like the Buddha’s. “Previously they had all abided in the empty space below the Saha World.”

Previously they had all abided in the empty space below the Saha World: They pervaded the ten directions. There is no inherent above or below. This represents abiding in the Middle Way. This shows that they emerged from the ground, where they had abided in the tranquil void.

Now, we are discussing how these Bodhisattvas “abided in the empty space below the Saha World. They pervaded the ten directions. There is no inherent above or below”. This means that the wisdom of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas has already surpassed this Earth. Now, we know that planet Earth is not “underground”. Actually, when we look up, we can see planets and stars. There are celestial bodies all over the sky, orbiting the sun. Earth is also among those celestial bodies. So there are planets above us, below us, and all around us. There are different worlds around us. There are also many stars and satellites. So, we say “[They] abided in the empty space”. Earth is in space. We have knowledge and wisdom. With our knowledge today, we can know about space, astronomy and geography. In astronomy, how many planets are there? How do high and low pressures form?

In summary, with all the knowledge we have now, we know about Earth’s ecosystems and climate patterns. So, “below the Saha World” refers to this entire universe. We can seek to understand it all. Our hearts can then encompass the universe. So, “[They] abided in the empty space” means that we should not be attached to the Saha world. We “abide in the empty space”. Our hearts encompass the universe. “They pervaded the ten directions.” This is being liberated from an ordinary person’s mindset and ignorance. We must have a mindset that “pervades the ten directions” and encompasses the universe. We often say, “There is no inherent above or below”. We do not need to differentiate above and below. “This represents abiding in the Middle Way.” This emptiness represents practicing the Middle Way. This shows how they emerged from the ground and “abided in the tranquil void. With minds tranquil and clear, vows as vast as the universe….” We must have this state of mind. “With minds tranquil and clear, vows as vast as the universe….” Our minds must abode like this.

Moreover, the ground of the ultimate reality of all Dharma is inherently free from the discrimination of appearances. So this ground represents the emptiness of the supreme meaning. It is also the aforementioned emptiness that they peacefully abided in, which is infinite, boundless, unobstructed and unhindered.

“Moreover, the ground of the ultimate reality of all Dharma….” This is the ultimate reality of all Dharma. We often talk about having “minds tranquil and clear.” Isn’t this [the basis of] our Jing Si Dharma lineage? So, it “is inherently free from the discrimination of appearances. So this ground represents the emptiness of the supreme meaning.” These are the true principles.

So, it is the aforementioned [emptiness] that “they peacefully abided in, which is infinite.” This is infinite meanings. It is emptiness that is boundless, unobstructed and unhindered. Our minds must abide in this tranquil and clear state, where our minds are infinite, boundless, unobstructed and unhindered. Only [when we abide] in such emptiness can our aspirations be firm. We must earnestly put in effort to understand this.

In distinguishing and naming these matters and appearances, [the Bodhisattvas] were said to “emerge” and “abide in empty space.”
Moreover, “below” refers to the depths of the Dharma-nature and the ultimate ground of the profound methods. Being below [the Saha World] does not mean it is here. Abiding in emptiness does not mean it is there. It is neither here nor there, thus it abides in the Middle Way.

So, “In distinguishing and naming these matters and appearances, [the Bodhisattvas] were said to ‘emerge.”’ We use these names and matters to express [the Dharma]. Otherwise, the person teaching has nothing to say. When we truly want to teach the Dharma, where is it? There is nothing to say. We must use matters and appearances to explain the principles. Thus they were said to “emerge.” This is “abiding in empty space.” When you explain it, it is actually empty. “Moreover, “below’ refers to the depths of the Dharma-nature.” The Dharma is profound and bottomless. In “the ultimate ground of the profound methods, the profound methods” refers to the Buddha-Dharma. The Buddha-Dharma is truly vast and incomparable; there are many vast principles.

Our minds must be replete with these. So, it is called the ground of the mind. “Below” does not belong to this place; there is no set place where it belongs. “Being in emptiness does not mean it is there”; we do not know where emptiness is to be found. So, the ground is bottomless, and the emptiness is boundless. “It is neither here nor there, thus it abides in the Middle Way.”

We must practice the Middle Way so we must abide in the Middle Way. Thus, “They emerged in this [world], but were not above it, nor were they below it. They were neither above nor below, but abided in empty space. This is also the Middle Way.”

So, they were neither above nor below, nor to the left or right. This is called the Middle Way. This is the goal of the Buddha-Dharma. We must not be obstructed by the extremes. We must be free of obstructions.

They vowed to protect this Saha World, practice and uphold [the sutra] with patient endurance and promote the teachings. When it comes to the practices of bringing peace and joy upon the Bodhisattva-path, patient endurance is the ground they dwell in.

So, they vowed to safeguard the Saha world, “practice and uphold [the sutra] with patient endurance and promote the teachings.” With minds that are not attached and not obstructed, although the Saha world is hard to endure and full of suffering, Bodhisattvas come here for that very reason. Because of this, in the Saha world, they can endure and take on responsibilities as they promote the Dharma. When it comes to the practices of bringing peace and joy upon the Bodhisattva-path, what we rely on is patient endurance. We are not biased toward emptiness nor existence. The practice of bringing peace and joy is what we rely on, so we must be mindful. Is this difficult? No, we feel blessed and happy. When we accomplish things, this is very wonderful; we are grateful to each other. We “abide in the empty space below the Saha World.” In this way, we can very steadily abide here.

Abide in the empty space below the Saha World: Cultivating the Four Practices of body, speech, mind and vows is our aim. In cultivating patience, we take humility as our foundation. They abide in the empty space below, meaning they are humble and selfless. This is because they realize emptiness through non-abiding.

So, “Cultivating the Four Practices of body, speech, mind and vows is our aim.” This is our mission. These are the “Four Practices. In cultivating patience, we take humility as our foundation.” We must be modest and humble ourselves. “They abide in the empty space below, meaning they are humble and selfless.” We must be so humble that we are selfless. “This is because they realize emptiness through non-abiding.” So, we do not need to be attached to the position we are holding or the kind of work we are doing. Whatever is right, we should just do it. Dear Bodhisattvas, Bodhisattvas’ minds do not abide in appearances, instead they just practice the Bodhisattva-path and just do what is right. So, we must always be mindful!

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