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 20181025《靜思妙蓮華》修菩薩行 遠離染著 (第1465集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)

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發表主題: 20181025《靜思妙蓮華》修菩薩行 遠離染著 (第1465集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)   周四 10月 25, 2018 8:13 am

20181025《靜思妙蓮華》修菩薩行 遠離染著 (第1465集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)

⊙謂修菩薩行者以多聞故,則於善惡果報諸法因緣,無不明了遠離非法之道,靜寂清澄心不令散亂無染著。
⊙「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》
⊙「況復單己樂遠離行。如是等比,無量無邊,算數譬喻所不能知。」《法華經從地涌出品第十五》
⊙修菩薩行者,遠離欲界愛染之煩惱故,則於世間、出世間一切諸法,悉皆明了通達,而無所疑惑。
⊙況復單己樂遠離行:謂樂獨自持行,并無弟子者,然亦不可以數計,總言涌出菩薩之多。
⊙單己樂遠離:上如天堂無佛道可成,下若地獄無眾生可度。人我雙忘,生佛平等,無二無別,是眾亦一,故云單己。
⊙遠離:雖見無為遠離之要,而身心不離有為善。又離二種生死之行,唯樂常寂滅相,終歸於空,故上云虛空中住也。
⊙況復單己:不領徒眾之人,反多於上領徒眷之數。況愈多,彌顯無窮無盡,故以七重況復字顯出。
⊙如是等比,無量無邊,算數譬喻所不能知:以如上等次第相比並;無有數量,無有邊際。以數算計,以物譬喻,無能知者。
⊙如是等眾,從下發來,如水涌,如雲奔,塞滿虛空,難以數知,故云如是等所不能知。

【證嚴上人開示】
謂修菩薩行者以多聞故,則於善惡果報諸法因緣,無不明了遠離非法之道,靜寂清澄心不令散亂無染著。

謂修菩薩行者
以多聞故
則於善惡果報
諸法因緣
無不明了
遠離非法之道
靜寂清澄
心不令散亂無染著

用心體會,就是「謂修菩薩行者,以多聞故」。我們修菩薩行,我們要常常聽法;法入心了,我們在日常生活中。這是我們要接近法,所以我們要時時聽,聽了之後我們要與人、事、物,每天的行動來契合道理;今天聽的,今天來體會,這個法與我們日常生活,這樣有沒有合得起來呢?法,就是要能夠應用的方法,這就是真理。我們不是聽,脫離我們的生活行為,那叫做法,不是;我們就是需要聽法,學在我們人間所要應用,這就是真實法。

《法華經》教導我們,就是你要如何入人群,你入人群中去,眾生種種煩惱無明,你要用什麼方法去面對?眾生很多、很多的苦難,你要用什麼方式,去幫助他脫離他的苦難?這是學以致用,就是法,菩薩法就是這樣。所以,我們需要多聞、多聽,我們才知道很多的方法,才有辦法應付,入人群去,這就是要多聞法。多聞法之後,我們則能夠「則於善惡果報,諸法因緣」。我們就是聽法之後,我們才能夠清楚這個善惡果報。人世間,生態,每一個人都有他的因緣果報,任何一個人;不是只有人,所有的生物,這樣全都合起來叫做「眾生」。所有的眾生,各有因緣、各有果報,這個善惡果報,人也是一樣,雖然人有人的因緣來做人,但是人,也有人各種不同善惡的果報。

我們看看有的人,看起來怎麼這麼好命呢?而有的人就很怨嘆,「我怎麼生下來,就是這麼苦命呢?」有的人,有什麼樣的病痛,「怎麼是我呢?這種的病怎麼是我(得)呢?」是啊,好的都在別人,不好的,怎麼會是我(得)呢?心就會起了那分怨嘆、迷惑、煩惱無明,這樣無法去體會、了解。我們若多聞法,我們多聞法,自然我們能夠清楚了解、善惡果報。有的富有,財物無缺,富有,卻是也有他生命中的遺憾。生命中的遺憾是很多種,有的人很貧困,也有他生命中很滿足的,譬如貧困、疾病、殘障,每項全都有,卻是他有孩子很乖,家庭很和睦,雖然沒有錢,但是「情」很充足。有了如規、如律、如儀的情,這種的家庭,雖然看起來每項都是缺,可憐,但是他覺得:我滿足了,我能夠知足,我擁有這樣的孩子,我擁有,有這樣的妻與子,他滿足了。

而有的家庭很富有,什麼東西都有,有名、有位、有財產,但是偏偏,太太只是一直要享受、享受,孩子就是為非,不想要如何去用功,如何如規矩、守家法,這放蕩的孩子在外面。或者是很富貴的貴夫人,卻是她也是很滿足,不滿足的,就是先生、孩子都不順意;物資享受多,卻是總是有她人生的遺憾,她感覺很苦!是啊,這全都是善有善報,善中也有惡果。人無法能很具足,這就是在凡夫,叫做「善惡雜糅」;善的和惡的種子都造了,摻雜在一起。我們帶業來,帶著善惡業來,所以善惡因果,那就是諸法因緣。這諸法因緣,是過去生中我們就是這樣做,現在今生此世就是這樣受,受到惡的果報,善惡因緣的果報。這我們要很了解。聽法之後,我們在今生此世,不論是遇到什麼事情,自然我們懂得善解,自然我們能夠心開意解。

所以,若能夠這樣,「無不明了遠離非法之道」。我們若是常常聽法,我們若遇到什麼樣的環境、什麼樣的境界,我們就知道:唉,一切都是善惡果報,因緣啊!這是過去生所造作的善惡法,現在今生就是這樣,結果就是這樣的生活、這樣的人生、這樣的過程、這樣的因緣。這就是要聽法,若這樣有聽法,就「無不明了」,這些事情我們都很清楚。遇到事情,我們心,自己要安心下來,所以叫做「安穩」,安穩我們的心,遇到就是這樣,所以明瞭,自然我們的心,就不會再起心動念,就不會再發生了無明,不會再有煩惱了。心明明朗朗,就像一面鏡子,了解了,這個因緣會遇了,時間總會過去;時間若過了,這段的因緣就又過去了,所以我們要安住心來,接受日日時間所遇到的苦。苦諦,苦的道理已經是這樣了,所以有時間會漸過。這苦的過去,我們的心已經明朗,所以我們已經體會、我們已經了解,法住心來,自然我們「遠離非法之道」。

這個無明煩惱,時間既過,這些事情就是跟著它過去了,無明、苦難也這樣過去了。我們的心,常常抱持著明白、了解,這就是要從聽法來,自然「無不明了」。所有的道理,善惡因緣果報,我們全都清楚,我們都了解,自然我們就遠離,遠離那個無明。我們若遠離無明,才不會再去造作,所以「遠離非法」。

不要又說:「我就是這樣,我就要來去求、我就要來去拜、我就要來去祭,我就要去花錢消災。」其實,我們用錢是用在平常,用在對的事情;該做的事情,做就對了;不對的事情,還是不能做。我們若有「因緣果報」觀,就不會去做這些邪知、邪見;邪知邪見叫做「非法」。所以要聞法,才能夠知道,才不會再去複製,那個無明、非法。

這就是要多聞法,自然我們的心,就能夠「靜寂清澄,心不令散亂無染著」。我們若聽法,有聽法,善惡因果現前的時候,善的因果現前,我們一切順利,心想要做的,事事通達、事事順利,這叫做善,善的因果。若是惡呢?就是違背我們的心意,不從心願,一直不如意的事情,這叫做惡的因果,總是有缺陷。這我們若全都了解這些因緣,很自然就沒有這些無明,我們自然就遠離,這樣我們的心就能夠很清淨,就是寂靜清澄。「不令散亂無染著」,心沒有再去造作,自然就無染著了。我們在人群中不受人群所污染,也不受自己的環境有所障礙,這就是法。

前面的文這樣說,因為這一段都在說,從地湧出,住虛空中,數字很多,「六萬恆河沙數」,很多很多,無法去計算的數字,一直到六而五、四而三、二、一,這樣一直減下來。從很多來說,恆河沙數的菩薩已經顯現起來了,要做什麼呢?與娑婆世界眾生有緣,這些菩薩就是要來度化眾生,那就是將苦難眾生的無明煩惱,要如何將它減少、減少,我們就是用這樣,從很多,將它一直減少下來。我們也能用煩惱來譬喻,六萬億恆河沙,那個煩惱,那就要用「六度萬行」,來將它去除,來對治這些無量數,無法去數計,眾生的無明、煩惱、苦難,我們用「六度萬行」來行。也另外一種的譬喻,我們的心地,一念心起來,無明煩惱,一天的時間,剎那、剎那念頭不斷閃動而過,我們一天不知緣多少的煩惱,無法計算。

我們前面意思也是這樣說,而我們要度眾生也是這樣,期待很多的眾生,我們能夠入人群來淨化,慢慢來度化他,讓他了解道理,遇到環境能夠面對,安然自在這樣過。不只是用法對境,還有心得,換他又能夠和別人再分享。這就是從苦難中,我們將他救拔起來,他能夠將他的心得,再去幫助別人。所以說,眷屬,還有很多的眷屬,就是一個度一個,或者是一個面對很多人;很多人再去度,度更多人,將這些很多人需要度的,一直度到人人知道理、了解法,這樣人人全都是心地清淨。就像我們在說,佛陀在授記,受記、得記的人,將來所生的地方,教育無量,無量數就是全都淨土,接受教育的人人都成菩薩,和這樣的意思一樣。但願娑婆世界這個穢土,也能夠人人的心地淨化,不斷不斷淨化,一直到達了,整個全都受淨化的人生,這也是叫做「污濁為淨土」。這在我們佛法也是常常這樣說,所以在這段文的大意也是這樣。

所以,前面的文說:「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》

這就是一直在減數,一個恆河沙變成了半個恆河沙;半個恆河沙,變成四分之一的恆河沙,這樣一直減、一直減,減到「千萬億那由他分之一」。哪怕是四分之一的恆河沙,那個沙數很難算,不要說四分之一的恆河沙,我們就是用指甲挑個沙,要來算它都不簡單,何況四分之一,「乃至千萬億那由他分之一」,一直將它減、減,減到很微細,完全剩下「一」,或者是「零」。問起來大家都知法、解法,也在行法中,身體力行在法中的人,很少不曾聽到法,應該大家都在這個法當中,在身體力行,這就是一直減少到這樣。若能夠這樣,就是淨化了。所以,「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》

無量數,一直將它分、分、分,分到變為「一」。所以,「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」。這個數字,無量的恆河沙,又再剩這樣、剩這樣、剩這樣,剩多少呢?剩一,二而一,這樣。雖然他有那麼多的弟子,有很多恆河沙等等,不斷延續下去,這麼多人數,一直是受教育、受教育,這些弟子都已經人人成為師,「師增徒減」,減到就剩「一」。哪怕這個「一」也成為師了,所以人人皆為師了,這就是菩薩要度眾生。

就像地藏菩薩這樣說,「地獄未空,誓不成佛」,「眾生度盡,方證菩提」。是哦!眾生度盡了,才要成菩提,才要成佛,這就是菩薩的願。《地藏經》的含義是這樣,現在《法華經》,也是要來描述是這樣,娑婆世界的眾生,都要將他度盡了,迷茫中的眾生人人讓他覺悟,這就是佛對我們的心願。

來,下面這段文再說:「況復單己樂遠離行。如是等比,無量無邊,算數譬喻所不能知。」

況復單己樂遠離行
如是等比
無量無邊
算數譬喻所不能知
《法華經從地涌出品第十五》

「況復」就是再說,「單己樂遠離行」。每一個人,就是已經將他度到很透徹了解。這「遠離行」就是修行,要修行。遠離,遠離什麼呢?

修菩薩行者
遠離欲界
愛染之煩惱故
則於世間、出世間
一切諸法
悉皆明了通達
而無所疑惑

遠離欲界的愛染,欲界的染著,就是要一直度人人都來修行,度人人都能夠,遠離這個欲界的愛的染著。我們人間,就是因為愛的染著,愛染,所以惹來了很多的煩惱,禁不住欲,這個貪欲、男女之欲。我們在〈安樂行品〉中,要遠離女色,換一句話來說,女人也要遠離男人的對象。男女之間這個欲,若是色愛遠離了,自然就沒有衍生這些家屬,污染、煩惱很多很多,很多煩惱的苦難,全都是在這樣人和人的家屬,冤親債主全都交結在一個地方。這樣不斷再延續下去,不明白道理一直去(攀緣),所以很多世間愛欲。所以,這就是要好好用心。

「遠離欲界」,這種的欲界,財、色、名、食、睡,這也是五種的貪欲。財誰不愛?名誰不愛?色,色欲誰不愛?吃,口欲,誰不愛?睡,睡太少很難過,誰不希望要閒閒,不要做事情,整天去睡?這人人都希望。閒閒沒事做,就像在睡一樣。所以,這煩惱很多。所以你若能夠離開了這個欲界,愛欲的煩惱,「則於世間、出世間,一切諸法,悉皆明了」,我們才有辦法,對世間或者是出世間一切的法,清楚明白。我們是如何來世間?這真的是不知如何來的,我們不知道。就是要告訴我們,就是這個愛欲,這個愛欲牽我們來,這個染著牽我們來,我們要很清楚。既來之,我們要如何出世間?就是要出世間法。要如何去無染著?要如何去預防?不要去染著世間一切的污染,我們在芸芸人群中不受污染。這個離世間法、出世間法,我們要如何做?

所以,我們若能夠修行,菩薩行,自然「悉皆明了通達,無所疑惑」。若能夠修行,自然我們就能夠遠離,遠離我們就能夠明白,明白世間如何來,明白我們修行要如何出離世間,這種煩惱無明,這樣我們都完全通達明了了,就沒有疑惑了。不論遇到什麼樣的,善惡因果現前,我們也能夠很通達,沒有煩惱、沒有擔心、沒有掛礙,心看得開,這就是清楚明白。

所以,說「況復單己樂遠離行」。這就是我們知道要如何來遠離,要好好修行,才能夠遠離;遠離世間種種污染的法,這就是「謂樂獨自持行,并無弟子」。

況復單己
樂遠離行:
謂樂獨自持行
并無弟子者
然亦不可以數計
總言涌出菩薩之多

要如何遠離?就是一般小乘行,聲聞、緣覺,他們要遠離的,就是獨自,他們不要在人群中,他們「獨自持行」,自己要修持,他們修獨善其身的行。他們就是沒有弟子,他們不要牽掛,所以不要收弟子。沒有弟子就是「樂遠離行」。

「然亦不可以數計」。就像這種獨善其身的人,也很多啊!剛才在說,有的眷屬很多,有的人眷屬很少,就是弟子少,甚至也有沒有弟子的人,就像這樣,這在修行也有。「總言」,總而言之,所湧現出來的菩薩有各形各色,有很多弟子(同)來的,也有很多菩薩的弟子少少的;有的單是一個弟子來,有的是單獨來的,用這樣的數字來解說。

但是前面我們說,開始就一直減少,減少是師增多,徒減少,也是數字之一。這就是要說,湧現出來還有這麼多種的人。所以,「單己樂遠離」。

單己樂遠離:
上如天堂
無佛道可成
下若地獄
無眾生可度
人我雙忘
生佛平等
無二無別
是眾亦一
故云單己

「單己樂遠離」,反覆說幾遍了,就是要再告訴大家,我們上面我們在說很多的數字,這個「遠離行」,說實在要度眾生不簡單啊!要如何度眾生呢?也要有因緣、有時間、有空間、有人與人之間,才有因緣能夠度眾生。要不然,有的因緣是離很遠。若說,「上」,因為這些菩薩湧現出來,他們就是從地湧出。湧出來,要湧到哪裡去呢?那就是在空中,這樣在描寫從地湧出,在空中。

空中,他們要到天堂去嗎?天堂,去也沒有用,因為「天堂無佛道可成」。天堂,我們常常說,天堂無行可修,因為天堂都是在享受的人,你和那些享受的人來說佛法,他們聽不進,因為他們沒有苦,不知苦,不知因果,所以他們只是一直在那裡享樂,享受天福。所以,他們不想要修行,不要追求道理,所以「天上無佛道可成」。若是「下」呢?「下」,那就是地獄,地獄是無眾生可度。因為地獄苦啊、苦啊,很苦,都只是在受刑具,在受苦報,都是來不及了,苦就是一直沒有間斷,這樣在受果報。若這樣,哪有辦法修行呢?你看世間極苦的人,苦就來不及了,哪有辦法修行?

所以,我們在人間,也不是「上」,也不是「下」。說我們很苦嗎?還可以啦,我們還有時間可修行;說我們是很快樂享受嗎?沒有啦,人間的真理就是苦。所以,我們知苦,我們懂得修行,所以我們行菩薩道,我們必定要不貪天堂之樂,也不要受到這個苦,遇到什麼樣的環境,遇到苦難,心就受苦、受難,將我們綁住。在人間就已經有天堂,已經有地獄;地獄就是在我們的心解不開,遇到困難環境時,我們就將我們的心拉進去地獄裡面,你這個時候對他說佛法,他聽不進去。若是一直想要享受的人,你叫他來聽佛法,他也沒有時間好來聽佛法。所以,我們在人間不要執著在享受,也不要埋入那個苦難中,我們要保持著中道。

前面也說過了,中道是很重要,不上不下,處於中道,這我們要很了解。所以,空中是妙有的,這才是真理。所以,我們應該「人我雙忘」。不要執著在人和執著在我,執著這個人是我所愛,所以我不捨,執著是我愛。其實大自然法則各有因緣,長長短短,這就是很自然的因緣。所以,我們不要受到人的煩惱,將我們影響了,也不要一直執著自己,我所擁有是不是會失去,是不是,等等,不要!人和我都把它放掉,就是「雙忘」,不要有人我的執著,心放開點,放大一點。愛的人,人人都是我愛,可親近,人人都是我可親近。不該親近的,我們要提高警覺,這在〈安樂行品〉,將我們教得很好。

所以,「生佛平等」,眾生和佛是平等的。這一直說,佛陀是這樣告訴我們,心、佛平等,眾生平等。所以,我們要對人人尊重,對人人沒有偏愛,就是這樣平等觀。所以,「無二無別,是眾亦一」,是很多人,也是「一」。所以,「一」也是無量,這就是「一生無量,無量從一生」。一念心會產生很多的無明,一念心也會開闊很多的法,看我們這念心的方向在哪裡,若將一切收攝回來,就是一念心而已。所以,「眾亦一,故云單己」,就是只有一項而已,一項「一」,就是這樣而已。尤其是「遠離」,「雖見無為遠離之要」。

遠離:
雖見無為遠離之要
而身心不離有為善
又離二種生死之行
唯樂常寂滅相
終歸於空
故上云虛空中住也

我們雖然已經了解了無為法;無為法,我們就是凡事都不用計較,凡事我們就要遠離,人間一切,人我是非的關係,我們要離開。這是佛法,佛陀的教育,我們了解這很重要。不過,「身心不離有為善」。雖然我們修行一切皆空,但是我們要知道「妙有」,因為芸芸眾生受苦難,我們的身和心,不忍心離開人群,這叫做有為法。還是我們了解了無為的道理,但是我們也要入這個,「身心不離有為善」。有為法,有為的善,有所作為的善,這就是真空妙有。雖然一切都空,什麼都和我沒有關係,但是心沒有離開眾生的苦難,我們還是要投入為人群,而人我是非不會來染著我,這樣才是真空妙有。不知大家聽懂嗎?

又是「離二種生死之行」。二種生死,過去一段時間,一直為大家說二種的生死,「分段生死」、「變易生死」,這兩種生死。我們也都要遠離,不要受這兩種的生死,再來妨礙我們。所以,「唯樂常寂滅相」,我們就是要常常歡喜。「寂滅」,寂靜清澄,我們所付出之後,收回來我們還是寂靜清澄,「歸於空」。雖然入有為法、有為善去了,去造作一切法,但是我們收回來還是一片空寂,就是寂靜清澄。所以因為這樣,叫做住虛空中,也就是「虛空中住」。他也不要到天堂,也不到地獄,就是表示我們人在修中道。我們修在人道,雖然了解佛法,我們要有這分遠離行,就是無為法,人我是非要遠離,但是不要忘記要投入、要積極在「有為善」,就是要去做善事,這叫做菩薩行。菩薩行是行中道,是住虛空中,也就是「虛空中住」,就是住在這個地方。所以,「況復單己:不領徒眾之人」。

況復單己:
不領徒眾之人
反多於
上領徒眷之數
況愈多
彌顯無窮無盡
故以七重
況復字顯出

有的人單獨,「我要去做善事,但是我不要收弟子。我就是拔除你的苦,這樣就過了,我不想要收弟子」。「反多於上領徒眷之數」,這就是雖然去付出,其實這已經沒有障礙、沒有掛礙了。沒有執著:「我就是在領眾的人,這些就是我的弟子。」沒有這樣的執著。反過來更多。雖然沒有弟子,反過來更多,因為他「彌顯無窮無盡」,實在是度的,他無掛礙、無障礙,但是他在無為法中,去行有為善法,所以他幫助的人還很多,所以愈多,所以愈顯示了他所救拔、他所付出的,就是無窮無盡。「故」,所以因為這樣,我們前面有七重的「況復」,這就是怎麼減法。其實減法,就是升的法;減下來的是升上去的法。這就是說減掉少了無明,但是升起了這種無形、無量數、無盡的付出,這更多。

「如是等比」,「如是等比」,就是前面所說的這些,這樣來將它比例,不斷比例。「無量無邊」,很多很多,「算數譬喻所不能知」。

如是等比
無量無邊
算數譬喻
所不能知:
以如上等次第
相比並
無有數量
無有邊際
以數算計
以物譬喻
無能知者

從這麼多起來,減下來,再增升上去,無窮無盡。這是這個數字真的是非常的多。所以,「以上等次第相比」,次第不斷一直譬喻,這全都歸於法。用數字來譬喻──譬喻法、譬喻數、譬喻人等等,一直譬喻去。這個譬喻這樣一直,法一直衍生。所以,「無有數量,無有邊際」,無數量、無邊際,「以數計算,以物譬喻」,就「無能知者」。用數字來算,以東西來譬喻,真的說不盡。

所以,「如是等眾,從下發來,如水涌,如雲奔」。

如是等眾
從下發來
如水涌 如雲奔
塞滿虛空
難以數知
故云如是等
所不能知

就像水從地湧出一樣,空中這樣雲一直奔出來,充滿了虛空。「難以數知」,無法去計算,所以「故云如是等,所不能知」,有很多無法了解。所以,法要落實在生活。剛才開頭就說,我們要好好很用心在生活中,法聽來,我們就要趕緊回憶,來用在人、事、物中。你若通徹法,心開意解,什麼樣的事情都可以拿來譬喻,它有無量數那個數字,可以來作譬喻,有無量的這個物可以來作譬喻;只要是合法,就能夠譬喻無量盡的法,無量盡的行。

而且那個萬法,全都從「一」開始,那就是一念心;也可以一,也可以無量無數,收攝回來就是「一」,這個「一」再化解就是沒有。真理在哪裡?沒有體相,你的一念在哪裡?那個一念找不出來,也是零,也是沒有,但是因緣果報,既現顯就是有相、有形、有感受,這就是沒有辦法拒絕。就是我們造作之後,有的種子落在我們的業識,由業識帶來人間,由不得自己,這個因緣眷屬很多,讓我們擔心的事情更多,這就是「因緣果報」。世間很多法,都可以譬喻。所以,請大家時時多用心!


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發表主題: 回復: 20181025《靜思妙蓮華》修菩薩行 遠離染著 (第1465集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)   周日 11月 18, 2018 8:16 pm

Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: Practice the Bodhisattva-path to Escape Attachment (修菩薩行 遠離染著)
Date: October.25.2018

“The practitioners of the Bodhisattva-path have listened extensively, thus, when it comes to positive and negative karmic retributions and the causes and conditions of all phenomena, they completely understand everything. They distance themselves from paths that do not accord with the Dharma. They are tranquil and clear; they keep their minds unscattered, undefiled and unattached.”

We must seek to mindfully comprehend this. “The practitioners of the Bodhisattva-path have listened extensively.” As we engage in the Bodhisattva-practice, we must constantly listen to the Dharma. We must take the Dharma to heart in our daily living. We must draw near the Dharma, so we must constantly listen to it. After listening to it, when it comes to people, matters and things, our everyday actions must accord with the principles. What we hear each day, we should try to experience that day. Does this Dharma resonate with our daily living?

Speaking of this Dharma, it is a method that can be applied. This is the true principle. We are not listening to something unrelated to our daily living. That is not the Dharma. It is not. We need to listen to the Dharma and learn how to apply it in our world. This is the True Dharma. The Lotus Sutra teaches us how to go among people. When we go among people and see all kinds of afflictions and ignorance of sentient beings, what kind of approach will we use to face them? Sentient beings have much suffering. What kind of methods are we going to use to help them break free from their suffering? This is learning to apply it; this is the Dharma. This is what the Bodhisattva Way is like. Therefore, we must listen more so that we will know many methods and be able to deal [with people] when we go among them. This is why we must listen extensively. After listening to the teachings extensively, [we can understand] “when it comes to positive and negative karmic retributions and the causes and conditions of all phenomena.” This means that, after listening to the Dharma, we can thoroughly understand positive and negative karmic retributions. In the way of life in the world, everyone has their own karmic retributions. [This is true for] every person, not only for humans but for all living beings. So, we are collectively called “sentient beings”. All sentient beings have their own causes and conditions and karmic retributions, positive and negative karmic retributions. It is the same for humans; although people have their own causes and conditions to be human, people also have their own different positive and negative karmic retributions. When we look at some people, why do they seem to have such fortunate lives? As for other people, they may complain, “Why was I born into such an unfortunate life?” Some of us may have certain illnesses and pain [the think,] “Why me? Why do I have this kind of illness? Indeed, everything good happens to other people. Why does everything unpleasant happen to me?”

Our minds give rise to such complains, confusion, afflictions and ignorance. Thus, we cannot comprehend it. If we listen to the teachings extensively, naturally, we can clearly understand positive and negative karmic retributions. Some are wealthy; they do not lack in fortune and are rich, yet they still have regrets in life. There are many kinds of regrets in life. Some are poor, but they are satisfied with their life. For example, poverty, illness or a handicap, they [may] have all of them. Yet, their children are well-behaved and their family is harmonious. Although they do not have money, they are filled with love.

With disciplined love that is in accordance with what is proper, while this kind of family may look like they lack everything and may look pitiful, they may think, “I feel satisfied. I am content that I have children like this, that I have a wife and son like this.” They are already satisfied. Some families are wealthy. They have everything. They have fame, status and wealth. But, unfortunately, their wives only want to continuously enjoy comforts. As for their children, they commit wrongdoings and do not think about how to work hard or how to follow the rules of the family. This undisciplined child [wanders] outside. Or a very wealthy woman is very satisfied [with her wealth], but not with her husband and children who do not follow her wishes. She enjoys material pleasures, but she always has regrets in life. She feels that she suffers a lot. Indeed! All goodness leads to blessed retributions, but there are also negative retributions within goodness. People cannot be replete with everything. This is what unenlightened begins are like; there is “a mixture of good and bad”.

They create both positive and negative seeds that mix together. We come bringing karma, both positive and negative karma. So, positive and negative causes and conditions are the karmic conditions of all phenomena. The karmic conditions of all phenomena are created by us in our past lifetimes, and we receive them in this lifetime, suffering negative karmic retributions. We must thoroughly understand positive and negative karmic retributions. After listening to the Dharma, in this lifetime, regardless of what we encounter, naturally, we will know to be understanding and open our hearts. So, if we can do this, “we completely understand everything. We distance ourselves from paths that do not accord with the Dharma.” If we frequently listen to the Dharma, regardless of any environment or state that we face, we will understand that everything is our positive and negative karmic retributions. These are our causes and conditions. These are the positive and negative phenomena that we created in past lifetimes. So, this is how our present lifetime is. The result is that we live this kind of life, go through this kind of journey, and have such causes and conditions. This is why we must listen to the Dharma. If we have listened to the Dharma, “we can completely understand everything.” We will clearly understand these things. When we encounter matters, we must put our minds at ease. This is called being in “peace and stability”. We must put our mind at ease. Since this is what we are encountering, we must clearly understand it. Then naturally, our minds will not give rise to discursive thoughts not any ignorance or afflictions. Our minds will be clear and bright like a mirror. We must understand that, having encountered these causes and conditions, time will always pass. When time has passed, a section of causes and conditions has passed again.

Thus, we must settle our mind and accept the suffering we encounter every day. This is the truth of suffering and its principles. Thus, time will gradually pass. With the passing of these sufferings, our minds will be clear. So, we will have already comprehended and understood [suffering] and let the Dharma abide in our minds. Naturally, “We will distance ourselves from paths that do not accord with the Dharma.”

Speaking of such ignorance and afflictions since time has passed, these things have also passed with it. Ignorance and hardship have also passed. For our minds to always be understanding comes from listening to the Dharma. Naturally, “We will completely understand everything.” We completely understand all principles and positive and negative karmic retributions. Since we understand them all, naturally, we can distance ourselves from that ignorance. If we distance ourselves from ignorance, we will not create [afflictions] again. So, “We distance ourselves from paths that do not accord with the Dharma.” We should not say, “This is how I am. I have to go seek something. I am going to make offerings. I am going to spend money to eliminate misfortune.” In face, we should spend money on [daily necessities], on the right things. We should just do the things that we should do. We must not do what is not right. If we have the view of the law of karma, we will not do things due to deviant understandings and views. Deviant understandings and views “do not accord with the Dharma”. So, we must listen to the Dharma to be able to understand so that we will not replicate. Ignorance or things that go against the Dharma. We must listen to the Dharma extensively then we can naturally let our minds be “tranquil and clear” and “keep our minds unscattered, undefiled and unattached”.

When we listen to the Dharma, [we can be at ease] when positive and negative causes and effects manifest. When positive causes and effects manifest everything will go smoothly. In everything that we want to do, all matters will be understood and go smoothly; this is called positive causes and effects. What about negative [karma]? That is when things go against our intent and do not follow our wishes, when unpleasant things keep happening. This is called negative karma; there are always flaws. If we understand all these causes and conditions, naturally, we will be free of this ignorance. We will naturally distance ourselves from it. Then, our minds can be clean and pure. This is being tranquil and clear. “We keep our minds unscattered, undefiled and unattached.” When our minds do not create any [karma] naturally, we will be free of defilements. We will not be defiled by people when we are among them and we will not be obstructed by our surroundings. This is the Dharma.

This is what the previous sutra passage states. This passage talked about [Bodhisattvas] emerging from the ground and abiding in empty space. They were numerous, as numerous as “the sands of 60,000 Granges Rivers”. There were many of them; the number was incalculable. All the way from [the sands of] 60,000 to 50,000, 40,000, 30,000, 20,000 and 10,000 [Ganges Rivers], the numbers continuously decreased. Bodhisattvas as numerous as the sands of many Ganges Rivers had already appeared. What were they here for? They have affinities with sentient beings in the Saha World. These Bodhisattvas came here to transform sentient beings, to find ways to constantly decrease the ignorance and afflictions of suffering sentient begins. In this way, [the numbers] go from very many and continuously decrease. We can also use this as an analogy for afflictions. For afflictions as many as the sands of [60,000] Ganges Rivers we must “actualize the Six Paramitas in all actions” to eliminate them and treat this infinite, immeasurable number of ignorance, afflictions and suffering of sentient beings.

We can [treat them] by “actualizing the Six Paramitas in all actions”. This is another analogy.

In the ground of our minds, when a thought stirs, [it gives rise to] ignorance and afflictions. Within one day, in every instant, thoughts continuously flash through our minds. We do not know how many afflictions we create in one day. They are incalculable. This is what we meant previously. It is same when we transform sentient beings.

We hope that for these many sentient beings, we can go among people to purify them and slowly transform them to help them understand the principles so they can face the situations they encounter feeling free and at peace. They will not only know to use the Dharma to face situations, but also gain insights, so they can in turn share [the Dharma] with others. This is how we save them from suffering. They can then use their insights to help others. Their retinues will contain even more followers. Each person transforms another, or one transforms many people. These many people go on to transform even more people. They transform many people who need to be transformed, until they all understand the principles and the Dharma. Then, everyone will have a pure round of the mind.

This is like when we talked about the Buddha bestowing predictions of Buddhahood; those who received the predictions will teach countless others in the places where they will be born in the future. With these countless [beings], all [these places] will become pure lands. Those who accept the teachings will all become Bodhisattvas. The principle is the same.

We hope that in this impure land, the Saha World, the grounds of everyone’s mind can also be purified continuously until everyone’s life has been purified. This is called “transforming defiled [lands] into pure lands”. It is often mentioned in the Buddha-Dharma. This is what this sutra passage means.

So, the previous sutra passage states, “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 nayutas”.

The number continually decreased. From the sands of one Ganges River, it became one half of the sands of one Ganges River; one half of the sands of one Ganges River became one quarter of the sands of one Ganges River. Like this it continually decreased to “one thousandth, one millionth, one billionth or one part in a nayutas”. Even if it were one quarter of the sands of one Ganges River, it would be very difficult to calculate the number of sands. Not mentioning one quarter of the sands of one Ganges River, even counting the sands we pick up with a finger nail is not an easy task, let alone one quarter of [the sands of Ganges] or “all the way down to one thousandth, one ten thousandth, one hundred millionth or one part in a nayutas”. This number continuously decreased to a miniscule amount, until only “one” or “zero” was left. When asked, everyone understood the Dharma and had been practicing it. They put the Dharma into practice. Very few had never heard the Dharma. Everyone was probably putting the Dharma into practice. This was how the number continuously decreased to this extent. If this could happen, [the land] would be purified. So, “There were also those with retinues numbering in the thousands of trillions, in nayutas”.

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 they way down to ten thousand. There were also those with one thousand, one hundred, all the way down to ten [disciples]. There were even those who led five, four, three, two or one disciple.

With these innumerable numbers, we continuously divide them until they become “one”. So, “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]”. This number, [starting from] countless sands of Ganges Rivers, continued to decrease like this until this much and this much was left. How many were left? There was one [disciples] left. Two decreased to one.

Although He had so many disciples, as numerous as the sands of the Ganges River, as this continued on, so many people continuously received His teachings. Now these disciples had all become teachers. “Teachers increased while disciples decreased” until they decreased to only “one”. Even this “one [disciple]” became a teacher. So, everyone became a teacher. This is how Bodhisattvas transform sentient beings. It is like Earth Treasury Bodhisattva who said, “Until hell is empty, I will not attain Buddhahood. Until all have been transformed, I will forego enlightenment”. Indeed! Only after he transforms all sentient beings will he attain Bodhi, attain Buddhahood. This is the vow of Bodhisattvas.

This is the meaning of the Earth Treasury Sutra. Here, the Lotus Sutra is describing the same thing. We must transform all sentient beings in the Saha World and help them awaken from their confusion. This is the wish the Buddha has for us.

The next sutra passage continues, “There were also those who were alone, who took joy in the practice of distancing themselves. They were more limitless and boundless than what any calculation or analogy could make known”.

“There were also”, meaning “moreover, those who were alone, who took joy in the practice of distancing themselves”. Every one of them had been transformed in such a way that they thoroughly understood [the Dharma]. “The practice of distancing themselves” is spiritual practice. They must engage in spiritual practice and distance themselves. What must they distance themselves from?

Practitioners of the Bodhisattva-path distance themselves from the desire realm’s afflictions of craving and defilement. Thus, regarding all the worldly and world-transcending Dharma, they understand it all clearly and completely and are free of any doubts or delusions.

We must distance ourselves from the desire realm’s afflictions of craving and defilement. We must constantly transform people to engage in spiritual practice. We must transform people so they can all distance themselves from the desire realm’s defilement of craving. In the human realm, because of the defilement of craving, we bring about many afflictions. We cannot suppress our desires, our greed and our lust.

The Chapter on the Practice of Bringing Peace and Joy mentions that we must distance ourselves from lust for women. On the other hand, women must also distance themselves from men. Regarding the desires between men and women, if we distance ourselves from lust, naturally, we will not give rise to the many defilements and afflictions of family [life]. Many sufferings of afflictions come from the [relationships] among people and family members. Grievances and passions are all entangled in that place. Without understanding the principles, [people] keep extending these contrived affinities. Thus, there is much worldly desire and craving. So, we must put effort into being mindful.

“[They] distance themselves from the desire realm.” In this desire realm, there is wealth, sensual pleasure, food, fame and sleep. These are five kinds of cravings. Who does not crave wealth? Who does not crave fame? Who does not crave sensual pleasures? Who does not crave taste? When it comes of sleep, if we sleep too little, we do not feel well. Who does not hope to sleep all day long? Everyone hopes to live like this, to be carefree without having to do anything, as if sleeping.

Therefore, we have many afflictions. So, if we can leave this desire realms and the afflictions of craving, “regarding all the worlding all the worldly and world-transcending Dharma, we understand it all clearly and completely. Only then can we clearly understand all the worldly and world-transcending Dharma. How did we come to this world? We truly do not know where we come from. We do not know. This is telling us that it is this desire that pulls us here; it is our defilement that drags us here. We must clearly understand this.

Since we are already here, how do we transcend the world? We need world-transcending Dharma. How do we remain undefiled? How do we prevent ourselves from being affected by all defilements in the world, becoming defiled among the multitudes of people? How do we practice the world-transcending Dharma? So, if we can engage in the Bodhisattva-practice, naturally, “[we will] understand it all clearly and completely] and be free of any doubts or delusions”. If we can engage in spiritual practice, naturally, we can distance ourselves. As we distance ourselves from [afflictions] we can understand how we came to this world and how we can engage in spiritual practice to transcend the world. In this way when we completely understand these afflictions and ignorance, we will not have any doubt or confusion. No matter what king of positive and negative causes and conditions manifest, we can understand them thoroughly. As we are free of afflictions, worries and obstructions, we can see through things. This is what it means to clearly understand.

So, “There were also those who were alone who took joy in the practice of distancing themselves. This means we must understand how to distance ourselves. We must earnestly engage in spiritual practice to be able to distance ourselves from all kinds of defiled phenomena in the world. This refers to “those who took joy in upholding their practice on their own and had no disciples.

There were also those who were alone, who took joy in the practice of distancing themselves: This refers to those who took joy in upholding their practice on their own and had no disciples. Yet, their numbers were also countless. In short, the Bodhisattvas who emerged were numerous.

How do we distance ourselves? Those who practice the Small Vehicle, the Hearers and Solitary Realizers, wanted to distance themselves; they wanted to be alone. They did not want to be among people. They “took joy in the practice of distancing themselves”. They accepted and upheld the sutra themselves. They engaged in the practice to benefit themselves. They did not have any disciples. They did not want any attachment, so they did not take any disciples. Without disciples, they “took joy in the practice of distancing themselves. Yet, their numbers were also countless. There were many people who only benefited themselves. Just now we discussed how some had great retinues while some had very small retinues, which means they had few disciples. There were also some who had no disciples. There were also people like these. There were also people like these, who engaged in spiritual practice.

“In short,” there were many kinds of Bodhisattvas who emerged. There were some who came with many disciples and also many who had few disciples. Some came with just one disciple and some came alone. [The Buddha] expound explained this with numbers.

We preciously talked about how they continuously decreased from the start. Decreasing means that teachers increase while disciples decrease. [We can also see this] in the numbers. This is saying that there were many more kinds of people who emerged. So, “Those who were alone took joy in the practice of distancing themselves.”

Those who were alone took joy in the pactice of distancing themselves: In the heaven realm above, there is no way to attain Buddhahood in the hell realm below, none of the sentinet beings can be transformed. When we forget both self and others, we regard sentient beings and the Buddha as equals. There is no duality or discrimination; the many are also the one. Thus it says “alone”.

“Those who were alone took joy in the practice of distancing themselves.” By repeating this, I want to tell everyone about the numbers we mentioned previously. Regarding the “practice of distancing themselves” to be honest, it is not easy to. How do we transform sentient beings? it also requires causes and conditions; time, space and interpersonal relationship must be in place for there to be cause and conditions to transform sentient beings. otherwise, those causes and conditions are far from us. We speak of “above” because these Bodhisattvas emerged from the ground. Where did they emerge to? They went into the sky. So, this describes them emerging from the ground and int the sky. Since they were in the sky, were they going to the heaven realm? There is no use going to the heaven realm because “in the heaven realm, there is no way to attain Buddhahood”. Regarding the heaven realm, we often say that there is no way to cultivate in the heaven realm, because heaven is full of people who are just enjoying themselves. If we were to teach the Buddha-Dharma to those in comfort, because they never experience suffering. They do not understand suffering nor the karmic law of cause and effect. They only know to enjoy the pleasures of their present lifetime. They only enjoy the pleasures, the heavenly blessings.

So, they do not want to engage in spiritual practice. So, “in the heaven realm above, there is no way to attain Buddhahood”. What about “below?” “below” refers to the hell realm, in the hell realm, no sentient beings can be transformed. This is because the hell realm is suffering! There is so much suffering. They are constantly suffering from instruments torture and painful retributions, so they do not have any time. [Their] suffering is continuous. They suffer retributions like this. Since this is the case, how could they engage in spiritual practice? Look at those in extreme suffering in the world. They are suffering so much, how could they engage in spiritual practice? So, in the human realm, we are neither “above” nor “below”. Can we say that we are suffering? We are ok; we still have time to engage in spiritual practice. Can we say that we happily enjoy ourselves here? We cannot say that. The true principle of the world is suffering. Since we understand suffering, we know to engage in spiritual practice. So, as we practice the Bodhisattva-path, we must not crave the joy in the heaven realm. Nor must we, as we encounter suffering, as we encounter certain situations or challenges, think of ourselves as suffering and let this entrap us. In the human realm, there is heaven and hell. Hell is when we are unable to open our hearts; when we encounter hardship, we pull our minds into the hell realm. If we speak of the Buddha-Dharma at such a time, people will not listen. If we ask those who always wish to be in comfort to listen to the Buddha-Dharma, they too will not have time to listen to it. So, being in this world, we must not be attached to pleasures, nor should we bury ourselves in suffering. We must always remain neutral in the Middle Way.

We have said this previously as well, that the Middle Way is very important. We must be neither above nor below, but follow the Middle Way. This is what we must thoroughly understand. So, there is wondrous existence in emptiness; this is the true principle. “So, we should forget both self and other.” We should not be attached to others nor ourselves [and say,] “This person I am attached to is the one I love, so I am reluctant to let go. I am very stubborn”. In fact, with the law of nature, [all things] have their own causes and conditions, whether short or long. These are very natural causes and conditions. So, we must not be affected by people’s afflictions. Nor should we be constantly attached to ourselves [and think,] “Will I lose what I have? Will I …” and so on. We must not. We must let go of both self and others. This is “forgetting both”. We should not have attachments to others or to ourselves.

We must expand our minds and open them up. Speaking of whom we love, we love everyone. Speaking of whom we can draw near to, we can draw near to everyone. As for those we should not draw near to, we must heighten our vigilance. The Chapter on Peace and Joy teaches us about this very well. So, “We regard sentient beings and the Buddha as equals”. Sentient beings and the Buddha are equal. This is what we always say. The Buddha told us that the mind, the Buddha and sentient beings are all equal. So, we must respect everyone and have no preference to anyone, viewing all impartially.

So, “There is no duality or discrimination and the many are also the one”. Even if there are many people, they are also “one”. So, “one” is infinity. This is “one giving rise to infinity. Infinity arises from one”. Our minds can give rise to much ignorance. Our minds can also open up to many teachings. This depends on the direction of our minds. If we focus our [thoughts], it is all from our minds. “The many are also the one. Thus, it says ‘alone”’.

There is only “one”. That is all. [In terms of] “distancing themselves, they see the need to be uncontriving and distance themselves”.

Distancing themselves: Though they see the need to be uncontriving and distance themselves, their bodies and minds never depart from conditioned good deeds. They also engage in the practice of distancing themselves from the two kinds of samsara. They only take joy in the state of permanent tranquility and cessation, and ultimately return to emptiness. Thus, earlier it says they “abide in empty space”.

We already understood the unconditioned Dharma. With the unconditioned Dharma, we should not take issue over anything. We must distance [ourselves] from everything, from all interpersonal conflicts in the world. This is the Buddha-Dharma, the Buddha’s teachings. We understand that this is very important, but our “bodies and minds never depart from conditioned good deeds”. Although in our spiritual practice, all is empty [in nature], we must understand “wondrous existence”.

Since the myriad sentient beings are in suffering, our bodies and minds cannot bear to leave people. This is called conditioned phenomena. We understand the principles of unconditioned [Dharma], but we must also enter [this state] where “[our] bodies and minds never depart from conditioned good deeds”. Conditioned phenomena and conditioned good deeds, goodness in action, are all wondrous existence in true emptiness. Although everything is empty and unrelated to us, our minds do not leave sentient beings’ suffering. We still must dedicate ourselves to people, but interpersonal conflicts will not defile us. This is true emptiness in wondrous existence.

Does everyone understand this? “They also engage in the practice of distancing themselves from the two kinds of samsara.” There are two kinds of samsara. For a while in the past, I kept telling everyone about the two kinds of samsara. They are “fragmentary samsara” and “transformational samsara”. We must distance ourselves from these two kinds of samsara. We should not let these two kinds of samsara obstruct us again. So, “They only take joy in the state of permanent tranquility and cessation”. We must often be joyful. “Tranquility and cessation” means to be tranquil and clear. After we help others, when we return, we are still tranquil and clear. We “return to emptiness”. Though we enter conditioned phenomena and conditioned good deeds and create all phenomena, we still return to emptiness and tranquility, which is the state of tranquility and clarity.

Thus, we “abide in empty space”. We do not want to go to heaven nor do we want to go to hell. This means we are practicing the Middle Way. As we practice in the human realm, although we understand the Buddha-Dharma, we must have the practice of distancing ourselves. This is the unconditioned Dharma. We must stay away from interpersonal conflicts, but we should not forget to dedicate ourselves to proactively doing “conditioned good deeds”. In other words, we must do good deeds. This is called the Bodhisattva-practice. The Bodhisattva-practice is the Middle Way; it is to “abide in empty space”. They abided in this [state]. So, “There were also those who were alone”. “[They] did not lead an assembly of disciples.”

There were also those who were alone: Those who did not lead an assembly of disciples were actually more numerous than those who did lead a retinue. There were even more additional [Bodhisattvas]. They demonstrated inexhaustibility and limitlessness. Thus He used the word “also” seven times to demonstrate this.

Some people are alone. “I am going to do good deeds, but I do not want to lead any disciples. I am here to eliminate your suffering, that is all. I do not want to take any disciples.”

[These people] “were actually more numerous than those who did lead a retinue”. So, although they helped others, in fact, they had no obstructions or afflictions. They were without attachments. “I am the one who leads the assembly. These people are my disciples. They had none of these attachments. There were in fact even more such people. Although they did not lead any disciples, they were actually more numerous in numbers. This is because “They demonstrated inexhaustibility and limitlessness. In fact, they had transformed [others]. They were free of afflictions and obstructions, but they could practice conditioned good deeds within unconditioned Dharma. So, they had helped many people. The more people they helped, the more it shows that they inexhaustibly and limitlessly served others.

“Thus,” because of this, previously we had the word “also” seven times. This is how [the numbers] decreased. But in fact, the decrease [in number]. What decreases corresponds to what increases. This is to say that we eliminated ignorance and instead gave rise to these intangible, countless and limitless acts of helping others. There are more of these. “They were more limitless and boundless” refers to what we talked about preciously.

In this way, there were constant comparisons. “[They were more] limitless and boundless there were so many [more] of them, than what any calculation or analogy “could make known”.

They were more limitless and boundless than what any calculation or analogy could make known: When compared with the precious sequential levels, they were countless and boundless they were countless and boundless. Neither using numbers to calculate them nor using matters as analogy could make them known.

Starting from a large numbers, it decreased. After it decreased, it increased again. It was inexhaustible and limitless. Their numbers were truly very great. We “compare [it] with the precious sequential levels”. We constantly use sequential levels as analogies. These are all included in the Dharma. We use numbers as analogies for the Dharma, the numbers, the people and so on. we constantly use these as analogies.

From these analogies, we continuously give rise to Dharma. So, “They were countless and boundless. Neither using numbers to calculate them nor using matters as analogies could make them known”. Whether calculating them with numbers or using things as analogies, we cannot describe them completely. “These assemblies came forth from below like gushing water or billowing clouds.

They were like water gushing out the earth or clouds billowing in the sky and filling the empty space. “They were impossible to count. They could not be counted. “Thus, it says their [number] could not be known.” There are still many things we do not understand. So, we must actualize the Dharma in our daily living. We just talked about it in the beginning. We must put effort into our daily living. As we listen to the Dharma, we must quickly remember it and apply it to people, matters and things. If we thoroughly understand the Dharma, open our hearts and are understanding, we can use all kinds of things as analogies. There are countless numbers that we can use to make analogies. We have countless things we can use to make analogies, as long as it is accordance with the Dharma, we can make analogies for boundless Dharma and countless practices. Furthermore, all phenomena begin with “one,” which us the mind. It can be one, and it can also be infinity. They can all return to “one”. Beyond this “one,” there is nothing more to analyze. Where is the true principle? There is no substance or appearance. Where is your one thought? We cannot find that one thought, it is also zero, which is nothing. But with the law of karma, when it manifests, it has a form and appearance, and [we] experience it, we cannot deny this. After we create [karma], some seeds will fall into our karmic consciousness and [we] are brought into the world by our karmic consciousness. This is beyond our control. There are many retinues of causes and conditions, but there are even more things for us to worry about. This is because of “the law of karma”. There is much Dharma in the world that we can make analogies for. So, everyone, we must always be mindful!

(Source: Da Ai TV – Wisdom at Dawn program – Explanation by Master Chen-Yen)
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20181025《靜思妙蓮華》修菩薩行 遠離染著 (第1465集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)
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