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 20181024《靜思妙蓮華》調禦諸惡 人間合和 (第1464集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)

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20181024《靜思妙蓮華》調禦諸惡 人間合和 (第1464集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五) Empty
發表主題: 20181024《靜思妙蓮華》調禦諸惡 人間合和 (第1464集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)   20181024《靜思妙蓮華》調禦諸惡 人間合和 (第1464集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五) Empty周二 10月 23, 2018 10:31 pm

20181024《靜思妙蓮華》調禦諸惡 人間合和 (第1464集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)

⊙常以忍辱為心念,能調禦諸惡不生,人間合和息諍論。逢苦能忍如大地,正道能斷一切邪,除斷一切貪瞋癡。
⊙地下有世界,住於虛空中,法性之淵底,玄宗之極地;在下不屬此,空中不屬彼。
⊙「是諸菩薩,聞釋迦牟尼佛所說音聲,從下發來。一一菩薩,皆是大眾唱導之首。」《法華經從地涌出品第十五》
⊙「各將六萬恆河沙眷屬,況將五萬、四萬、三萬、二萬、一萬恆河沙等眷屬者。」《法華經從地涌出品第十五》
⊙「況復乃至一恆河沙、半恆河沙、四分之一,乃至千萬億那由他分之一。」《法華經從地涌出品第十五》
⊙況復乃至一恆河沙、半恆河沙、四分之一,乃至千萬億那由他分之一:從多至少,次第減來。況復乃至一恆沙,至那由他分之一者,此二層,亦師多徒少而過上。
⊙「況復千萬億那由他眷屬,況復億萬眷屬,況復千萬、百萬乃至一萬,況復一千、一百乃至一十,況復將五、四、三、二、一弟子者,」《法華經從地涌出品第十五》
⊙眷屬:由六萬恆河沙眷屬,至千萬億那由他分恆河沙眷屬之一,此為以恆河沙為單位,而順次序遞減之。
⊙從前次第減損那由他為億、為萬、為千、為百、為十,至於五四三二一,次第說眷屬,從多至少。
⊙況復千萬億那由他眷屬:此三層,減其徒而增其師。
⊙況復億萬眷屬:此四層,亦減徒而增其師。
⊙況復千萬、百萬乃至一萬:此五層,徒少師多。況復一千、一百、乃至一十:此六層,徒少師多。況復將五四三二一弟子者:此七層,亦徒少師多。

【證嚴上人開示】
常以忍辱為心念,能調禦諸惡不生,人間合和息諍論。逢苦能忍如大地,正道能斷一切邪,除斷一切貪瞋癡。

常以忍辱為心念
能調禦諸惡不生
人間合和息諍論
逢苦能忍如大地
正道能斷一切邪
除斷一切貪瞋癡

要用心啊!常,常時要修,長時要修,無餘時要修,還要時時尊重修。這我們要好好用心。長時間,常常心在我們的行動中,這就是修行者應該有的心念,所以「常以忍辱為心念」。時時、常常,長時間,沒有遺留下來的時間,連連不斷就是這個心念,修行。修行,面對著事物與人事,我們要用什麼態度對待呢?我們要常常記得;堪忍事多啊!因為我們住的是娑婆世界,娑婆世界就是在事事要堪忍,堪得忍耐,才能夠在這個娑婆世界,真正是平順能過,能夠安樂行過。這是修行者要知道。

我們這段時間,前面的〈安樂行品〉,就是佛陀用心向我們這樣調教,希望我們人人的心志,我們已經身、口、意、誓願,這四行,決心要在娑婆世界,要來弘揚佛陀的教法。我們的志願既定了,這四行法,我們一定要用在念念心志,一直要心心念念,要記得「四修法」,落實在我們,身、口、意、誓願之中。身體,日常的生活,見人、處事、用物等等,我們在身體的感受,所面對的一切,我們都要堪得忍。假設環境來了,我們若沒有堪忍,我們就又起心動念,這煩惱就又來,所以我們要好好定好我們的心,就是要顧好心念。「四行」、「四修」,在日常生活中,不要忘記我們的方向,我們的方向──「大慈悲為室,柔和忍辱衣,諸法空為坐座」。所以我們這「忍」,一切皆空,有什麼好計較?有什麼好煩惱?沒有了,我們的心就是靜寂清澄,不論什麼樣的境界來,這個心念歸於「空為座」,靜寂清澄,沒有障礙我們的心。所以,我們必定要時時修,勤修,雖然說起來,這些法的名詞好像很簡單,是很簡單,但是要累積,累積在長時間勤修行;長時間的勤修行,那叫做「調禦」。

我們的心,「心猿意馬」,我們六道這樣在輪迴,已經讓我們的心亂了次序,這不知道幾生世了。我們在〈化城喻品〉裡,也是一再一直說,六道輪迴,行善,天堂;有守戒,在人間;不行善、不守戒,再造惡,那就是墮落阿修羅、墮落地獄、墮落餓鬼,墮落畜生。這「六道」是我們長時間失念,我們的念心,心念讓它失掉了,所以無明一起,將我們的心散亂,所以一念貪欲起,這個緣,因緣就種子開始,果報纍纍。所以,這因的緣的種子,一生無量;善念一生無量,惡念也一生無量,同樣的道理。所以「六道」,我們不知道在累生世,如何做過來,我們經歷了六道,不知道有幾回了,所以我們現在有幸,今生此世我們能夠遇到佛法,應該能夠遇佛法,也是過生有小因緣,雖然我們有惡因果報,六道輪迴過,同樣我們有小因緣。

常常說「善惡拔河」,也常常說過了業藏、業識,業的藏識就是第八識,你的善惡業做一做了,善的也是入這個藏識的裡面,惡的也是一樣。這個倉庫裡面,不論你收什麼東西進來,就是什麼東西放進去,什麼東西放比較多,首先出倉庫的,那就是很多的東西要先出去,才有辦法看到少的東西。這少的東西能夠出去,那就是什麼時候要出去,數量較少,數量較少就比較後面出去。說不定,我們前面這無明、煩惱,一直一直輪迴過來,現在我們這樣,稀疏幾顆的善種子,而我們就遇到這個善種子現行。佛法我們現在聽到,我們能夠趕緊把握,在聞、思、修;我們發心聽法,我們用心要去將它思考,發心來修行。我們竟然能夠有這麼多的時間,在修行,好好就要調禦下來,因為心,「心猿意馬」,我們若沒調整好,我們這個少分的善業,少分的善因緣,就會容易再被這惡的習氣,又將我們拉過去。

所以我們就要用功、要調禦,我們心的猴,這個猿猴,牠又再跳起來了,再到處亂跳亂跑;趁著我們這時候,我們很清楚,我們聞、思、修,清楚我們在修行,我們聽法要趕緊入心,定下我們的心,穩定那個心猴,不要再亂跳亂闖,所以這叫做「調禦」。

所以,「調禦諸惡不生」。將這個惡念,我們要時時將它壓制下來,不要讓我們的情緒,情緒,動不動就發洩出你的情緒來。我們凡夫的情緒都是無明引起,我們有錯誤,人家若說我們一下,哇,情緒就控制不住了,不是哭就是鬧,要不然就是憂鬱。現在的人,輕重就是這樣發生了,經不起磨、經不起雕,這麼脆弱的心志是要如何修行?這種若不是心志脆弱,就是憍慢、貢高;貢高憍慢,這也是惡的念頭。

所以我們不論是很強,或者是很貢高、很我慢,這麼強勢的心態,不對;就是脆弱,經不起這樣稍微和他說一下,經不起一點點不順意,那就是已經心打不開了等等。這種煩惱在現在的時代很多,不是很強硬,便是是很脆弱,這就是現在人的心態,我們要自己很提高警覺。就像在防颱一樣;颱風將要來了,趕緊,防颱風的要趕緊要成立,不要讓它造成災難。同樣的道理,氣候有這個氣,人的心有脾氣,凡夫這個脾氣,有的很強、很硬的脾氣;有的就是這麼的弱,經不起……,這種的性質。這是我們修行,要很自己自我警惕。

大家都說:「要如何修?」就是這樣修。調伏、調禦,這樣修,我們修在我們的中道,我也不會很硬,硬的時候軟實力;而我也不會很軟弱,有了什麼事情來的時候,我會柔和善順,因為我要穿起了,「柔和忍辱衣」。為什麼要忍辱?因為「大慈悲為室」,所以我堪得,我有這個韌力。所以雖然很堅定,但是不貢高、不驕傲,沒有很硬,這就是只有這個忍力。這我們就是要很用心去體會,名詞很多,請我們大家要好好用心,好好調禦我們的心念。這個心念要在忍辱,要很忍,才有辦法忍得不驕、不貢高,才能夠忍得不脆弱,就是要忍。就知道要忍,我們就要自己自我調伏,這是很重要。

所以,「人間合和息諍論」。人間很重要,就是要合,就是要和,合和能夠息諍論。同樣的道理,我們一樣修行,尤其是在我們慈濟的系統,因為人間菩薩大家發心,世間種種的事物要如何去調?人與人之間,要如何能夠方向合一?這人間菩薩要如何入人群?同樣要有方法。人間菩薩這麼多,慈濟發心的志工,各個有家庭、各個有事業,要如何大家用心合和起來,我們就有,合心、和氣、互愛、協力,分作四項。合心,我們就是「理法合心」,用理和用法放在中心裡,這就是合心。我們常常說,這是合心組;合心組,因為他很資深,他了解很多慈濟的合心,這個法、心、志願合在一起,已經是中心了,這叫做「合心」。「合心」就是「理法合心」;「和氣」就是「知法策畫」。因為「合心」,畢竟從開始投入到現在,那時候的人數沒有很多,體會的事情,從開始一路一路一直來,這幾十年間了解的事情很多,所以他在「合心」,但是人數不是很多。但是這些合心,「合心」,就要怎麼樣再傳、再訓練,有一群一直跟過來的,也是資深,但是不是開頭,那個舊法最開頭還不清楚,就要趕緊將他訓練、訓練。

有事情哦,事情很多要做,我們人再多,人又一直進來。前後次序,了解事情愈多,這個知識愈帶愈了解,從這樣就開始,「合心」傳到「和氣」,這樣連接下來,就要知道這個法的中心,如何來策畫?我們要用什麼樣的、分什麼樣的組次,要如何去付出?帶人、傳法,要如何來會合?就是「知法策畫」。「互愛」呢?那就是「如法推動」。策畫好了就開始要推動了。這個「互愛」,就這樣和和氣氣將這個方法,我們再帶人,再傳下去;傳下去就是多少的「協力」,我們要如何來推動?如何來落實在社區?鄉鎮我們要如何來落實?所以,我們要來推動。推動,就是要再分下去,因為還有鄰啊、有里啊、有鄉啊,鄉、里、鄰,這樣就是小組,就是「協力」。協力它就可以,有的家庭是慈誠、委員,都是夫妻同修進來。委員有委員的功能,慈誠有慈誠的功能,所以有隊、有組,組隊合和。每一個組,差不多二十幾位的家庭,這些家庭互相了解,我們在這個鄉里的地方,有多少左鄰右舍有需要嗎?我們要去幫助他們,用什麼方法?

就像這樣,若是鄉里的事情,是左鄰右舍,或者在鄉、在里、在鄰,我們就要幾個「協力」,來會合起來;幾個「協力」來會合,那就要「互愛」來關心。大家全都來關心、來會合,這在鄉、里、鄰,就是需要「互愛」,這個範圍的開闊,或者是要再推動到鎮、市,那就需要「和氣」。要如何來策畫?縣、市要如何來互動?這就是看事情多少,我們的規畫要策動到什麼程度,我們要知法,我們要如法,我們要傳法,就是這樣層層來隨著範圍開闊,我們要好好去規畫。當然都沒有離開「理法合心」,這不能離開「理法合心」,那就是「合心」。所以會常常說,「合心就是協力」,同樣的意思。這就是我們的法,法脈就是這樣下去。這就是「人間合和息諍論」。我們就能很次序、很合和,要如何合心、和氣、互愛、協力?這個法脈就能這樣順調下去。法就是這樣,順這個規則就沒有諍論。

為了人間的苦難,這個堪忍的世間,所以我們「逢苦能忍如大地」。這群菩薩就要堪得忍耐,我們既然有法、有次序,這個宗門就是要這樣,面對著苦難眾生。我們會「逢苦能忍如大地」,你門開出去就是要走路,這個大地,就是「正道能斷一切邪」。我們開正門,走正道,那就是斷除了一切邪,我們所要走的是正確的道路。所以,我們「除斷一切貪瞋癡」。我們要除斷了一切邪,要走的正道,人人就要去掉貪、瞋、癡,因為我們是為何「六道」,我們會這樣,一直輪迴在「六道」,那就是一念貪心起,亂了我們原來真如本性,這個次序亂掉了。所以,我們這時候要歸,回家了。

一直說,找回來真如本性。這一條路,我們現在已經在聞、思、修,在修了,修就要調禦;要調禦就要用忍的心,在這當中要用方法。這些法就是我們要自修、外行,「人間合和息諍論,能調禦諸惡不生,常以忍辱為心念」,這都是內修,我們自己人人要好好修。我們開始要去發揮我們的功能,我們要心裡有準備,「逢苦能忍如大地」。我們的心地就要這麼安穩,我們的門要開得正,路要開得對,所以我們要斷一切邪。開門若有障礙,我們要趕緊快將它除掉,要走正道,所以我們要「除斷一切貪瞋癡」,貪、瞋、癡,就是我們需要除斷的。所以,我們要很用心去體會。所以,就像「地下有世界,住於虛空中」。

地下有世界
住於虛空中
法性之淵底
玄宗之極地
在下不屬此
空中不屬彼

我們前面說,菩薩出來了,從地震裂,住在虛空中。大家要記得。所以,「住於虛空中,法性之淵底」,我們的法,人人要知道,法性是無底的深,很深、無底,無底的深,而且「玄宗之極地」。「玄宗」就是佛法,佛法是像一片的天空,「志玄虛漠」,我們的志要像一片天空,但是它要寂靜清澄,這《無量義經》中的道理,我們應該清楚。

我們用這樣這一片的大虛空,天地之間,地的下面是無底的,「在下不屬此」,其實下面還有更下面。看看我們,太陽下山就是月亮出來時;月亮下山去了,那就是太陽浮上時。這個日、月就是這樣。到底月在天空呢?或者是在地底呢?太陽在山邊呢?或者是在海面呢?這就是在輪轉。所以,行星,地球是在虛空中繞,繞著太陽,尤其是自轉,不屬什麼樣的方向,沒有屬於在高的,沒有屬於在低,不偏在左,也不偏在右的。所以,它「空中不屬彼,地下不屬此」,所以不定。但是它是遍虛空法界,這就是法,這「(實際)理地」我們就要用心去體會。佛法很深,深無底,廣無邊,這是很大的、很高的法,所以我們要很用心。用心在法,過去聽的,我們要有回憶。前面也一直告訴大家,聽法之後,我們要不斷反覆回憶。

前面的文:「是諸菩薩,聞釋迦牟尼佛所說音聲,從下發來。一一菩薩,皆是大眾唱導之首。」

是諸菩薩
聞釋迦牟尼佛
所說音聲
從下發來
一一菩薩
皆是大眾唱導之首
《法華經從地涌出品第十五》

大家若了解我前面說的,「地下有世界」,若能夠體會,我們的地球是在太虛中,在空中的。所以,我們不要懷疑「地下」,也絕對是這樣在輪轉,星空裡,周圍都有,這個世界都有。所以,「從下發來」。就像太陽從海面浮出來了,月也是從海面出來,同樣的道理。所以,「一一菩薩,皆是大眾唱導之首」。其實剛才在說「四合一」,我們的觀念、我們的組織,法脈的組織,「四合一」,資深會比較少,愈來會愈多。就像一班的學生,有好幾十個學生,老師就是一個,同樣的道理。所以,有領導之首,有這樣領導的人、有教育的人,所教育的很多哦。他的徒眾很多,所以「各從六萬恆河沙眷屬」。

你看一個老師,一輩子他教多少學生?一年一班,一年一班一直教下去,有的老師還兼導師等等,兼班課等等。所以,同樣的道理,傳法、授法、弘法,眷屬很多,所以譬喻六萬恆河沙眷屬。還有,「各將五萬、四萬、三萬、二萬、一萬恆河沙眷屬者」。

各將六萬
恆河沙眷屬
況將五萬 四萬
三萬 二萬 一萬
恆河沙等眷屬者
《法華經從地涌出品第十五》

各人的因緣所帶。前面所說,「六度」,這數字你們再去用心回憶。「況復乃至一恆河沙、半恆河沙、四分之一,乃至千萬億那由他分之一。」

況復乃至一恆河沙
半恆河沙
四分之一
乃至千萬億
那由他分之一
《法華經從地涌出品第十五》

這是今天這段文,要用心。意思就是,前面已經這麼多這麼多的眷屬,從地底、地面這樣裂,地裂了,這樣浮現出來;浮現出了這麼多。這麼多就是我們一動念,多少的法,這樣不斷一直湧現出來,多少的念頭不斷在我們的心地,在記憶不斷不斷一直湧現。同樣的道理,這個法能夠用種種方法去解釋,不要讓數字將你綁住,要用數字好好來用心。就像前面告訴大家,「六萬恆河沙」,那就是也為大家譬喻,那就是「六度萬行」;五呢?就是「五眼」。用這個名詞來向大家說。是不是一定是這樣呢?這是要讓大家,不要受這個數字綁住,而且要回歸於法。我們若將它想:「五眼」,凡夫眼,或者是天眼,或者是聲聞眼,這個眼就是「見」,見就是見解,各個階層的人,見解不同、思考不同。有的是菩薩的見解,有的那就是佛──大覺的見解。這就是五種不同的見解,就是用這樣來讓大家了解法,這是歸於法,用很多很多的數字來歸於法。

同樣的道理,現在就再告訴大家,這麼多的數字,現在開始,就開始要說少的。「況復乃至一恆河沙、半恆河沙、四分之一,乃至千萬億那由他分之一」。

況復乃至一恆河沙
半恆河沙
四分之一
乃至千萬億
那由他分之一:
從多至少
次第減來
況復乃至一恆沙
至那由他分之一者
此二層
亦師多徒少而過上

這就是在減、減、減、減、減,減到可能到了最後是零。這就是要我們將這個數字很多,能夠散開,遍天地虛空法界,收納下來,其實道理無體相。很多的道理,我們用這樣去想。我們若先了解在這裡,要聽應該會比較清楚。所以,「從多至少」,次第這樣一直減下去。現在說下去的法就是這樣,開始減。

「況復乃至一恆河沙」,就是說,那個「至那由他分之一」。「那由他」就是無量的意思,這麼多這麼多一直減,減少到一恆河沙,甚至無量無量的數,成為那麼多數之一,就是這樣一直分、分、分,分到這樣很微細了,那個恆河沙減到,這些無量的恆河沙再將它減,減少到那由他分之一,無法去計算分的份量之一。這就是要說很微細,用現在科學在說,這個分子,一直到分子,微量的分子等等,到原子等等,一直分下去,到量子,同樣,應該就是這樣一直分下去。

所以,我們前面說,在寫經論的人,他將他分作八層,前面在說的,六、五、四、三、二、一,那就將它分作就是第一層。現在就是第二層,就是要如何將數字分一層一層,一直分下去,第二層分的是這樣。所以,「亦師多徒少,而(過)上」。愈來,「師」,已經成熟的愈來愈多,就是「師多徒少」,要度的愈來會愈少;能夠度人的人能愈來愈多。我們不就是說「淨化人心」,人人都能夠接到法來受淨化。

下面的經文再說:「況復千萬億那由他眷屬。」

況復千萬億
那由他眷屬
況復億萬眷屬
況復千萬 百萬
乃至一萬
況復一千 一百
乃至一十
況復將五四三二一
弟子者
《法華經從地涌出品第十五》

「那由他」,就是無量無量已經將它細分了。又再說「況復億萬眷屬,況復千萬、百萬乃至一萬,況復一千、一百乃至一十,況復將五、四、三、二、一弟子者。」就是從很多很多要度的眾生,一直減,一直減,為什麼減?因為得度的人、已經成就的人,愈來愈多。 這個「眷屬」,我們現在再來了解「眷屬」。「眷屬」是「由六萬恆河沙眷屬,至千萬億那由他分恆河沙眷屬之一」。

眷屬:
由六萬恆河沙眷屬
至千萬億那由他分
恆河沙眷屬之一
此為
以恆河沙為單位
而順次序遞減之

就是這麼多的眷屬,「此為以恆河沙為單位,而順次序遞減之」。我們這時候用「況復千萬億那由他眷屬,況復億萬眷屬,況復千萬、百萬乃至一萬,況復一千、一百乃至一十,況復將五、四、三、二、一弟子者」就是這樣一直一直細分下去。從前面次第一直減、一直減,減無量億,無量數,無法去計算的數字,那樣為萬。那個恆河沙無量法,無法去計算,一直減少到能夠說億,能夠說萬,能夠說千,能夠說百,能夠說十。

從前次第減損
那由他為億、為萬
為千、為百、為十
至於五四三二一
次第說眷屬
從多至少

過去的多少兆、多少兆,兆再上去的單位到底是什麼?反正很多代名詞的數字,這樣一直減,減到能夠說、能夠算。這個數字從多到少,「至於五四三二一」,這樣一直減下來,次第說他的眷屬,眷屬有多少?這眷屬是多和少,就這樣一直說過來。這就是度眾生。所以這段文,大家若沒有很用心,無法去了解,因為數字,這種的天文數字,這實在是很多。

況復千萬億
那由他眷屬:
此三層
減其徒而增其師

所以,「況復千萬億那由他眷屬」。這已經是第三層,「減其徒而增其師」,就是說這樣分,在那很上面的第一層,已經無法去細分,一直分,分來到第三層,「減徒而增其師」,來到這裡就知道,開始徒眾愈來愈少,老師愈來愈多;不懂道理的人愈來愈少,懂法、知道道理的人,愈來愈多了。「況復億萬眷屬」。

況復億萬眷屬:
此四層
亦減徒而增其師

現在能夠說這就是第四層。現在億萬,這樣的眷屬。減徒眾,再增加師,再增加能夠度人的人。再「況復千萬:乃至一萬者」。就是能夠度的人,千萬到一萬,這是第五層。所以徒又再減少了,師更多了。所以,「況復一千,乃至一十者」。這就是第六層,這就是「徒少師多」。所以這個徒,要度的眾生愈來愈少,自然懂道理的人愈來愈多。「況復將五四三二一弟子」,這就是第七層,這「亦徒少師多」。

況復千萬、百萬
乃至一萬:
此五層
徒少師多
況復一千、一百
乃至一十:
此六層
徒少師多
況復將五四三二一
弟子者:
此七層
亦徒少師多


就是從凡夫的見解,天人的見解、聲聞的見解,一直到菩薩的見解,就慢慢會進入到佛的見解了。這法不斷不斷,這樣一直一直發揮,發揮度眾生的功能。我們要找回來我們的真如本性,從很多很多的煩惱的凡夫,從六道的凡夫境界,六道,這種在輪迴中的眾生,一直一直到天人,一直到聞法,到達菩薩程度等等,這種的煩惱無明,一直減輕、一直減輕,法一直入心,一直入心。這是我們的心地已經裂開了,見法了,這個法的種子已經出來了,開始就是這樣,從芽到苗,到小樹、到大樹起來了。大樹,合心,一生無量,無量從一生,應該用這樣來譬喻,大家會比較清楚。若沒有,這個法很難說,不可說,很難說,難說自然就難聽懂了。所以,請大家要時時多用心!


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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: Taming Evils to Bring Harmony to the World (調禦諸惡 人間合和)
Date: October.24.2018

“By always keeping patience in our thoughts, we can tame our minds so that evil will not arise. When the world is harmonious, disputes will cease. When we encounter suffering, we will be able to be as enduring as the earth. The right path can eliminate all deviance and eradicate all greed, anger and delusion.”

We must be mindful! We must engage in uninterrupted and extended practice. We must practice with nothing further and constantly practice with reverence. We must earnestly strive [to accomplish this]. For a long period of time, we must always be mindful of our actions. This is the mindset practitioners ought to have. So, we must “always keep patience in our thoughts.” Continuously, for a long period of time, without letting any time go to waste, we must constantly maintain this mindset and engage in spiritual practice. In our spiritual practice, as we face matters and people, what mindset should we have? We must always remember that there are many things we must endure. Because we live in the Saha World, we must endure everything in the Saha World. We must be able to endure it, for only then can we truly traverse the Saha world smoothly with peace and joy. This is what spiritual practitioners must know. During this time, in the previous Chapter on the Practice of Bringing Peace and Joy, [we discussed how] the Buddha used great efforts to teach us in this way. He hoped that we all would [make] vows, that we would all vow to use the Four Practices of body, speech, mind and vows to advance the Buddha’s teachings in the Saha World. Since we have formed these aspirations, we must apply these four methods of practice in our every thought.

Constantly, in our every thought, we must remember the Four Practices and apply them in our body, speech, mind and vows. Regarding our bodies, [we must apply this practice] in our daily living, in interacting with people and dealing with matters and things. In everything we experience with our body and everything we face, we must patiently endure. If the environment [changes] and we are unable to endure it, our thoughts will arise and stir, thereby creating afflictions.

So, we must earnestly bring our minds into Samadhi. That is, we must take good care of our thoughts. With the Four Methods and the Four Practices, in our daily lives we must not forget our direction. Our direction is [taking] “great compassion as the room, gentleness and patience as the clothing and the emptiness of all phenomena as the seat.” Thus, we must have patience. Everything is empty. What is there to take issue with? What is there to be afflicted by? There is nothing. Our minds must be tranquil and clear. No matter what conditions arise, our thoughts must return to the “emptiness of all phenomena as the seat.” With tranquility and clarity, there are no obstacles for our mind.

Therefore, we must always cultivate diligently. The words expressing this Dharma may sound simple. While they are simple, we must accumulate [the Dharma] by diligently putting them into practice over a long time. Diligently cultivating ourselves for a long time is called “taming our minds.” Our minds are wild and undisciplined. As we transmigrate among the Six Realms, our minds have become disorderly and chaotic. This has happened for countless lifetimes.

In the Chapter on the Parable of the Conjured City, we continually talked about the transmigration in the Six Realms. Those who do good deeds go to heaven; those who uphold the precepts remain in the human world. Those who do not do good deeds or uphold precepts and moreover commit evil fall into the asura realm or hell realm, the hungry ghost realm or animal realm. [Transmigrating] in the Six Realms is the result of us losing our aspirations a long time ago. A thought in our mind made us lose our aspirations. When ignorance arises, our minds become disordered. When a thought of greed or desire arises, with this condition, this seed of karma begins to produce karmic fruits. Thus, this seed of causes and conditions gives rise to infinite [seeds]. One good thought brings infinite [good thoughts], and [the same is true] for negative thoughts. The principle is the same. So, in the Six Realms, we do not know, in our past countless lifetimes, what we have done. We do not know how many times we have experienced the Six Realms. Thus, we are very lucky that in this life, we have encountered the Dharma. Perhaps we could encounter the Dharma because we had past limited karmic conditions. Although we faced negative karmic retributions and transmigrated in the Six Realms, we still have limited causes and conditions. We often speak of the “tug-of-war between good and evil” and often speak of the karmic storehouse, our karmic consciousness. The storehouse consciousness for karmic is the eight consciousness. Whether we create good or evil karma, both the good and evil karma are stored in the storehouse consciousness.

Within this storehouse, no matter what we store within, the things that we store more of will be the first to come out of the storehouse. Only when they have been removed can we then see the fewer items. As for the items fewer in number, when are they able to come out? Since they are fewer in number, they will come out much later. Perhaps earlier, our ignorance and afflictions let us to continuously transmigrate.

So, now with a few seeds of goodness like this, we encounter the manifestations of the seeds of goodness. We are now able to listen to the Buddha-Dharma and can quickly seize [the opportunity] to listen, contemplate and practice. We form aspirations to learn the Dharma, so we must earnestly contemplate it and form aspirations to engage in practice. Since we actually are able to have so much time to engage in spiritual practice, we must earnestly tame our minds, for our minds are “wild and undisciplined”. If we do not properly adjust ourselves, with our small amount of good karma, these few good causes and conditions, our bad habitual tendencies will easily drag us away. So, we must work hard to tame our minds, or the monkey of our minds will jump up and start running around everywhere. We must seize this time while we have clear understanding. As we listen, contemplate and practice, we clearly know we engage in spiritual practice. We must quickly take the Dharma to heart and settle our minds, clean the monkey of our minds so that he will not continue jumping and running around. This is called taming [our minds].

So, “We can tame our minds so that evil will not arise.” We must constantly stifle these evil thoughts. We must not let our emotions [run loose] and vent our emotions for no reason. As sentient beings, our emotions are all brought about by ignorance. When we are wrong and someone reminds us about it, we can lose control of our emotions, causing us to cry or yell or even become depressed. These days, people tend to become this way no matter how light or serious the matter. They cannot withstand any [challenges]. How could they engage in spiritual practice with such fragile resolve? If it is not that people have weak resolve, then it is that they are arrogant and proud. Arrogance and pride are also evil thoughts.

So, being very strong, proud or arrogant, having such unyielding attitudes, is wrong. Those who are overly fragile can be overwhelmed by a slight reminder or by experiencing a minor adversity; they are unable to open their hearts. Such afflictions are common in our age. People are either very unyielding or very weak. This is the mindset of people nowadays.

We must heighten our vigilance, just as when we prepare for a typhoon. When a typhoon is about to arrive, we must quickly set up preventive measures so that it does not causes disaster. The principle is the same. The climate gives rise to storms, while human minds have their temperaments. Some ordinary beings have temperaments that are unyielding and unrelenting. Others have a weak nature which makes them unable to withstand things. In our spiritual practice, we must be very vigilant of ourselves. People ask, “How should I practice?” This is how we practice. We must practice by taming and training the mind. We are practicing the Middle Way. We cannot be unyielding. When we need to be firm, [we must use] the power of gentleness. We must also not be too soft and weak. When situations arise, we will be gentle and harmonious, for we must wear “the clothing of gentleness and patience”. Why must we be patient?

Because [we must take] “great compassion as the room”. So, we must be able to endure. We have this resilience. So, while we are very firm, we are neither arrogant nor proud; we are not unyielding. We simply must have this patience. We must mindfully seek to comprehend this. There are many terms, so I ask that we are all earnestly mindful and earnestly seek to tame our minds. Our minds must be enduring; we must be very patient so that we can endure and not become arrogant, proud or weak. We must have patience. knowing that we must be patient, we must tame our own minds. This is of the utmost importance. So, “When the world is harmonious, disputes will cease.” In the world, what is very important is that we have unity and harmony. With unity and harmony, all disputes cease.

The same principle applies to us as we engage in spiritual practice. This is especially true in Tzu Chi’s [volunteer] system. As Bodhisattva-volunteers who form aspirations, how do we bring harmony to the many matters of the world? How do we have people strive in the same direction? In what way should these living Bodhisattvas go among people? This also requires methods.

There are so many living Bodhisattvas; Tzu Chi’s dedicated volunteers each have their own families and careers so how can they all mindfully unite in harmony? We have [established] Unity, Harmony, Mutual Love and Concerted Effort, four different [teams]. When it comes to unity, we must be “united with principles and the Dharma”. At the core, we need the principles and the Dharma. This is unity.

We often speak of the Unity team. In the Unity team, because of their experience, [its members] understand Tzu Chi core concepts. When the Dharma, heart and vows are unified, that is the core. This is the Unity team. The Unity team is united with principles and the Dharma”. The Harmony team “knows the Dharma and makes plans”. The Unity team [members] have been involved since the beginning and until now. Back then, there were not a lot of people. With the things they have experienced, all the way from the beginning, they have come to understand many things over the past several decades. This is why they are in the Unity team. But there are not many such people. So, these Unity team members need to continue to pass down [their experience] and train a group of people who has also participated. They are also experienced [volunteers], but they were not there at the start. Since they did not clearly understand the experiences of the earliest days, we had to quickly train them. We had things to do! There were many things to do, so more people came in; people kept coming in. according to the order they came in, they came to understand more and more things and gained more and more knowledge as we trained them. In this way, the Unity teams passed on [their experience] to the Harmony team. In this way, [the Dharma] is passed down, and [the Harmony team] knows the core of the Dharma and how to plan for events. How should we divide up into groups? How can we serve others? How can we combine guiding people and passing down the Dharma? [The Harmony team] must “know the Dharma and make plans”.

What about the Mutual Love [team]? They “carry out actions according to the Dharma”. With a set plan, they must carry it out. The Mutual Love [team] follows the methods of [the Harmony team] to bring in more people and pass down [the Dharma]. [The Mutual Love team] passes it down to the multiple Concerted Effort teams. How can we carry out [our missions] and take root in the communities? How do we carry them out in the towns and villages? So, as we carry them out, we must further divide into [smaller teams] because there are townships, villages and neighborhoods. These are smaller teams, the Concerted Effort teams.

In the Concerted Effort teams, there are some families with both a Faith Corps member and a Tzu Chi commissioner, with husband and wife joining together. Tzu Chi commissioners have their functions, while Faith Corps members have their functions. We have separate teams for Faith Corps and commissioners. These teams work together in unity and harmony. Every team includes about 20 families. These families know each other and [ask each other], “In our community, are there any neighbors that are in need? We must go help them, but what method shall we use?” This is how [they help with] matters within the village, within the neighborhood. If [the matter is on] a township, village or neighborhood level, we need to bring several”. Concerted Effort teams together. With several concerted Effort teams, we may need care from the Mutual Love team. For everyone to come and care for each other in townships, villages and neighborhoods, this requires the Mutual Love team. If this reach is to be expanded, if we need to extend to towns and cities, we require the Harmony team. How should we plan this [event]? How will [volunteers from] counties and cities work together? This depends on how much work there is and how extensive our plans are that we wish to carry out. We must know the Dharma, follow the Dharma and spread the Dharma.

In this way, we can expand our reach level by level. We must put effort into planning it, and of course, we must not deviate from being “united with principles and the Dharma”. We cannot depart from being “united with principles and the Dharma”. This is unity. So, we often say that “Unity is Concerted Effort”. This is the same idea. This is our Dharma, and this is how the Dharma-lineage is passed down. Thus, “When the world is harmonious, disputes will cease”. In this way we will be orderly, unified and harmonious. We must be unified, harmonious, mutually loving and concerted in our efforts. In this way, the Dharma-lineage will be harmoniously passed down.

This is what the Dharma is like. By following this principle, disputes will cease. For the sake of those suffering in the world and for this world that must be endured. “When we encounter suffering, we [must] be able to be as enduring as the earth”. This group of Bodhisattvas must endure with patience. We have the Dharma and an orderly [system]; this is what our School of Buddhism must be like. In facing the suffering of sentient beings, “We will be able to be as enduring as the earth”. Having opened the door, we must walk on the path. On this earth, “The right path can eliminate all deviance”. We open up the right door and walk the right path so we can eliminate all deviance. What we want to walk upon is the right path, so we “eradicate all greed, anger and delusion”. If we want to eliminate all deviance and walk the right path, everyone must eliminate greed, anger and delusion. Why are we always in the Six Realms? We constantly transmigrate in the Six Realms in this way because we give rise to thoughts of greed that disturb our nature of True Suchness. Our [nature of True Suchness] has become disturbed. So, at this time, we must return home. We constantly speak of returning to our nature of True Suchness. On this path, we have already been listening, contemplating and practicing. Since we are practicing, we must tame our minds. In taming our minds, we must have a patient heart, and in doing this we must rely on methods. We must cultivate ourselves with these teachings and put them into practice externally. “When the world is harmonious, disputes will cease. We can tame our minds so that evil will not arise by always keeping patience in our thoughts”. This is all a matter of internal cultivation. We must all earnestly engage in cultivation. When we begin to utilize our potential, we must be mentally prepared so that. “When we encounter suffering, we will be as enduring as the earth”. Our hearts must be peaceful and stable like this. We want to open the door squarely and pave the path correctly, so we must eliminate all greed, anger and delusion. If there are obstructions at the door, we must immediately eliminate them. We must walk the right path. So, we must “eliminate all greed, anger and delusion”. Greed, anger and delusion are what we must eliminate. So, we must earnestly seek to comprehend this. So, “There are worlds below the ground”. The Bodhisattvas abided in empty space.

There are worlds below the ground. [The Bodhisattvas] abided in empty space, which is 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. Being in emptiness does not mean it is there.

We previously spoke of the Bodhsiattvas emerging from the earth that split open and abiding in empty space. We must remember this. “[The Bodhisattvas] abided in empty space, which is the depths of the Dharma-nature”. Regarding the Dharma, everyone must know that the Dharma-nature is bottomless. It is so deep that it is bottomless. It is also “the ultimate ground of the profound methods”. Profound methods refer to the Buddha-Dharma. The Buddha-Dharma is like the sky, and “our vows [are] as vast as the universe”. Our vows must be like the sky, but they must be tranquil and clear. This principle in the Sutra of infinite Meaning is something we must understand clearly. In this vast universe, in this world, what is below the ground is bottomless. “Being below [the Saha World] does not mean it is here”.

Actually, below that there is something further below. Look around us. When the sun sets, the moon rises. Once the moon has set, the sun begins to rise. This is how the sun and moon are is the moon really in the sky or is it below the earth? Is the sun on the side of a mountain or on the ocean’s surface? This is a cycle. So, planets [such as]. Earth orbit in the universe, around the sun. It also revolves. This does not belong to any of the directions. It is not above or below, nor does it lean towards the left or the right. So, “Being in emptiness does not mean it is there. Being below the earth does not mean it is here”. Thus, it is not fixed, but it pervades throughout the universe. This is the Dharma, “the stage of ultimate truth”. We must mindfully seek to comprehend this. The Buddha-Dharma is very profound, deep without bottom and broad without boundary. It is truly vast and lofty.

Thus, we must be very mindful. We must be mindful of the Dharma. We must recall what we previously learned. Previously I constantly told everyone that after listening to the Dharma, we must constantly recall it.

The previous sutra passage stated, “The Bodhisattvas, upon hearing the sound of Sakyamuni Buddha’s voice, all came up from below. Each of those Bodhisattvas was a leader who instructed and guided a great assembly.

We must all understand what we previously said about how “there are worlds below the ground. We must comprehend that our earth is within the universe, in empty space. So, we cannot have doubts about “below the ground”. [Plants and stars] are certainly rotating. They are there in the starry sky around us, throughout this universe. [These Bodhisattvas] all came up from below. This is just like the sun rising form the sea or the moon doing the same. The principle is the same. “Each of those Bodhisattvas was a leader who instructed and guided a great assembly.”

We were just speaking of the “4-in-1” system, of our perspectives and our [volunteer] structure. In the “4-in-1” structure of our Dharma-lineage, there are fewer experienced volunteers and more [less-experienced] ones. This is just like a class of students. Among dozens of students, there is only one teacher. The principle is the same.

So, there will be a leader, someone who leads and teaches. Those they teach are many! They have many followers. So, “They each led a retinue as numerous as the sands of 60,000 Ganges Rivers”. Take teachers for example. How many students do you think they teach in their lifetime? They teach one class every year, continuing on this way each year. Some teachers also serve as homeroom teaches and so on. So, the principles is the same. Those who transmitted and spread the Dharma had large retinues. So, the Buddha compared the retinues to the sands of 60,000 Ganges Rivers.

“They each led a retinue as numerous as the sands of 60,000 Ganges Rivers. There were also those who led retinues as numerous as the sands of 50,000, 40,000, 30,000, 20,000, or 10,000 Ganges Rivers [and so on].

The number they led depended on their own karmic conditions. We previously mentioned that [this refers to] “the Six Paramitas”. Please mindfully recall this again.

“There were also those who led retinues as numerous as the sands of one Ganges River or one half of the sands of one Ganges River or one quarter, all the way down to one thousandth, one millionth, one billionth or one part in a nayuta.” This is today’s sutra passage, so please be mindful. This means that there were already so many retinues who, after the ground split open, emerged from the ground. So many of them emerged from the ground. The substantial numbers here represent how so many teachings constantly emerge from our thoughts. So many thoughts constantly emerge in our minds and in our memories. The principle is the same. The Dharma can be explained in different ways. We must not let the numbers bog us down. We must be earnestly mindful of the numbers.

This is like what we previously said, “the sands of 60,000 Ganges Rivers”. This gives us a metaphor for actualizing the Six Parmaitas in all actions. What about [50,000]? That refers to the Five Eyes. We use these terms to explain to everyone is this really [what it means]? This is to help everyone not get bogged down by the numbers and instead return to the Dharma. If we think about the Five Eyes, ordinary [physical] eyes, heavenly eyes, Hearer’s eyes [etc.], all of these eyes refer to “views”. Views here means perspective. People at each level have their unique perspectives and ways of thinking. Some have the perspective of a Bodhisattva. Others have the awakened perspective of the Buddha. These are five distinct kinds of perspectives. We use this to help everyone understand the Dharma. This is returning to the Dharma, using all these numbers to return to the Dharma. In a similar way, just now, we talked about very large numbers. Starting from now, we will talk about smaller numbers. “There were also those who led retinues as numerous as the sands of one Ganges River or one half of the sands of one Ganges River or one quarter, all the way down to one thousandth, one millionth, one billionth or one part in a nayuta”.

There were also those who led retinues as numerous as the sands of one Ganges River or one half of the sands of one Ganges River or one quarter, all the way down to one thousandth, one millionth, one billionth or one part in a nayuta: From more to fewer, they decreased sequentially. There were also those who led retinues as numerous as the sands of one Ganges River, all the way down to one part in a nayuta [of the Ganges’ sands]. This is the second level, where there were more teachers and fewer disciples than the previous level.

In this way, the number is continuously decreasing until perhaps it might be zero in the end. We must collect these many different numbers that can spread and encompass the universe and bring them back [to the principles]; actually, the principles are intangible. We must consider the many principles in this way. If we have this understanding, we will have a clearer understanding when we hear them. So, it says, “from more to fewer”. It decreases sequentially like this. In the teachings we continue to give now, [the numbers] are decreasing like this. “There were also those who led retinues as numerous as the sands of one Ganges River” [and even] “one part in a nayuta [of the Ganges’ sands]”. “Nayuta” refers to an infinite number. It continuously decreases from such a large number until it is the sands of the one Ganges and even until one part of an infinite number. The number is continuously split, split until it becomes very tiny. The number in terms of Ganges’ sands is decreased. These sands of infinite Ganges Rivers is decreased until one part in a thousand, in a million, in a billion, in a nayuta, one part in an incalculable number. This is to say [it becomes] very tiny. In terms of modern science, it reaches molecules, a small number of molecules, even atoms and so on. It is divided all the way to quantum particles. In the same way, it is continuously divided. So, we previously said, those who wrote the commentaries on the sutra divided [this part] into eight levels. What we previously spoke of, 60,000, 50,000, 40,000, 30,000, 20,000, 10,000 were categorized as the first level. Now we are at the second level. In this way, we keep dividing these numbers level by level.

This is what the second level is like. “There are more teachers and fewer students than the previous level”. The “teachers” who are mature are increasing in numbers. So, “There are more teachers and fewer students”. Those who had to be transformed decrease in number, and those who could transform others increase in number. Isn’t this “bringing purity to people’s hearts”? Everyone is capable of accepting the Dharma and becoming purified.

The following sutra passage states, “There were also those with retinues numbering in the thousands of trillions, in nayutas”.

It says “nayutas”. Having finely divided these infinite numbers, it continues, “There were also those with retinues numbering in the trillions. There were also those numbering in the billions, millions, all the way down to ten thousand. There were also those with one thousand, one hundred, all the way down to ten [disciples]. There were also those who led five, four, three, two or one disciple”.

Starting with great numbers of sentient beings that needed to be transformed, it kept decreasing. Why did it decrease? It was because more and more had already been transformed, attained [awakening]. In terms of “retinues,” we must now consider the “retinues”.

Regarding “retinues”, it says, “from where it speaks of the retinues as numerous as the sands of 60,000 Ganges Rivers all the way down to one thousandth, one millionth, one billionth or one part in a nayuta of the Ganges’ sands”. These large retinues “use the Ganges’ sands as a unit”. There are many grains of Ganges sand, and in this way it sequentially decreases.

“There were also those with retinues numbering in the thousands of trillions, in nayutas. There were also those with retinues numbering in the trillions. There were also those numbering in the billions, millions, all the way down to ten thousand one thousand, one hundred, all the way down to ten [disciples]. There were even those who led five, four, three, two or one disciple”. In this way it keeps getting finer and finer.

From before, it continuously decreases sequentially, decreasing by countless billions, by an incalculable number until it reaches ten thousand. From the countless number of the sands of the Ganges River, it continuously decreases until we can call it billions, then ten thousand, then one thousand, then one hundred and then ten.

They decrease sequentially from the previous level, from nayutas, to billions, to ten thousand, to one thousand, to one hundred, to ten all the way down to five, four, three, two and one. The sutra speaks of their retinues in sequence, going from more to fewer.

In the past we have talked about how many “zhao”. What [number] is beyond a “zhao”? In any case, there are many names for numbers. In this way, it continuously decreases until we can describe it and calculate it. This number decreases from large to small. “Down to five, four, three, two or one”. In this way, it continues to decrease, describing their retinues in sequence; it describes how large retinues they had. It continues to speak of the retinues’ numbers in this way. These were the sentient beings to be transformed.

So, in this sutra passage, if we are not very mindful, we will not be able to understand it since the numbers, these astronomical numbers, are truly large.

“There were also those with retinues numbering in the thousands of trillions, in nayutas” Here, we have already reached the third level. “Disciples decreased and teachers increased”.

This is how it is divided. At the top level, it is already impossible to further divide. It is continuously divided until the third level. “Disciples decreased and teachers increased”. At this point, we know that the disciples became fewer, while the teachers became more numerous. Those who do not understand principles decreased, and those who understood the Dharma and principles increased.

“There were also those with retinues numbering in the trillions”. Now we can say this is the fourth level, with retinues in the trillions. Disciples decreased, while teachers increased. Those capable of transforming others increased.

Then, “There were also those numbering in the billions, all the way down to ten thousand.” Those able to be transformed numbered in the billions down to ten thousand; this is the fifth level. Thus, disciples decreased and teachers increased. “There are also those with one thousand, all the way down to ten [disciples].” This is the sixth level, where “there were fewer disciples and more teachers.” Thus, as the disciples, those who must be transformed, decreased, those who understand principles naturally increased. “There were even those who led five, four, three, tow or one disciple.” This is the seventh level, where there “were even fewer disciples and more teachers.”

There were also those numbering in the billions, millions, all the way down to ten thousand: This is the fifth level, where there were fewer disciples and more teachers. There were also those with one thousand, one hundred, all the way down to ten [disciples]: On the sixth level, there were fewer disciples and more teachers. There were even those who led five, four, three, tow or one disciple: On the seventh level, there were even fewer disciples and more teachers.

From the perspective of ordinary beings, that of heavenly beings, that of Hearers all the way to that of Bodhisattvas, we can thus slowly enter the Buddha’s perspective. In this way, the Dharma is constantly, ceaselessly exercising its ability to transform sentient beings. We must rediscover our nature of True Suchness. Unenlightened beings in the Six Realms have lots of afflictions. From sentient beings transmigrating in the Six Realms to the state of heavenly beings, to the state of Hearers, to the state of Bodhisattvas and so on, these afflictions and ignorance continuously decrease. The Dharma constantly enters our hearts. The ground of our hearts have split open, and we can see the Dharma. This Dharma-seed has already sprouted. It has begun [to grow] from a sprout to a seedling, to a small tree and then a large one. This large tree [is like] the Unity [team]. One gives rise to infinity and infinity arises from one. We ought to use this as a metaphor in order to help everyone understand this clearer.

If not, the Dharma will be hard to teach; we will not be able to teach it. Things that are difficult to teach are naturally hard to understand. So, we must always be mindful!

(Source: Da Ai TV – Wisdom at Dawn program – Explanation by Master Chen-Yen)
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20181024《靜思妙蓮華》調禦諸惡 人間合和 (第1464集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)
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