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 20181102《靜思妙蓮華》煩惱病輕 則易化度 (第1471集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)

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20181102《靜思妙蓮華》煩惱病輕 則易化度 (第1471集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五) Empty
發表主題: 20181102《靜思妙蓮華》煩惱病輕 則易化度 (第1471集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)   20181102《靜思妙蓮華》煩惱病輕 則易化度 (第1471集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五) Empty周四 11月 01, 2018 10:10 pm

20181102《靜思妙蓮華》煩惱病輕 則易化度 (第1471集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)

⊙世尊安樂無逼惱,淨法界眾相寂靜,得四智永離惱害,故安樂皆無逼惱;能安樂一切有情,身安心樂無憂惱,安立行隨順一切,功德而能安樂住。
⊙佛之四智:成所作智、妙觀察智、平等性智、大圓鏡智。
⊙「是四菩薩於其眾中,最為上首唱導之師。在大眾前,各共合掌,觀釋迦牟尼佛而問訊言:世尊!少病、少惱,安樂行不?所應度者受教易不?不令世尊生疲勞耶?」《法華經從地涌出品第十五》
⊙「爾時,四大菩薩而說偈言:世尊安樂、少病少惱!教化眾生得無疲倦?又諸眾生受化易不?不令世尊生疲勞耶?」《法華經從地涌出品第十五》
⊙眾生煩惱病輕,則易化度,不生疲勞。菩薩恭敬問候如來,即請示其教化濟度眾生之事業。
⊙謂菩薩於諸梵行,精進無怠,雖晝夜不息,而善能調適身心,是以常得輕安,少病少惱。
⊙爾時,四大菩薩而說偈言:世尊安樂、少病少惱!:菩薩問候世尊安樂病惱?相待為言。安則不病,樂則不惱。
⊙此世間眾生,易得度化,無有疲倦?又所化眾生,易受教不?
⊙「爾時、世尊於菩薩大眾中而作是言:如是,如是!諸善男子!如來安樂,少病、少惱。」《法華經從地涌出品第十五》
⊙爾時、世尊於菩薩大眾中而作是言:如是,如是!:爾時,是阿難敘述,世尊答云:一一皆如汝之所問,均安。
⊙諸善男子!如來安樂,少病、少惱:告諸菩薩,並答以安樂,身心俱安。
⊙「諸眾生等易可化度,無有疲勞。所以者何?是諸眾生世世已來常受我化。」《法華經從地涌出品第十五》
⊙諸眾生等易可化度,無有疲勞。所以者何?:眾生煩惱病輕,則易化度,不生疲勞。
⊙是諸眾生世世已來常受我化:由其眾生易受化意,由此人等久受我化。
⊙是諸眾生世世已來常受我化,就已開顯後言之,則為下文如來壽量品中所述;此處應指受世尊前劫十六沙彌之教化而言。

【證嚴上人開示】
世尊安樂無逼惱,淨法界眾相寂靜,得四智永離惱害,故安樂皆無逼惱;能安樂一切有情,身安心樂無憂惱,安立行隨順一切,功德而能安樂住。

世尊安樂無逼惱
淨法界眾相寂靜
得四智永離惱害
故安樂皆無逼惱
能安樂一切有情
身安心樂無憂惱
安立行隨順一切
功德而能安樂住

這段文也是要用心體會。前面這樣說,「世尊!少病、少惱?」菩薩來關心,問安,「佛,現在身體好嗎?心情好嗎?眾生安穩度化嗎?」這是禮節。從地湧出的菩薩,既在道場,見佛作禮,這個禮儀,這樣,就是隨這個禮節。身體的禮儀之後,就開始要問候,問候佛:「近來好嗎?」這就是世間的禮儀。佛在人間,當然一切的禮要依人間法,這是很合情合理,所以我們現在要了解。世尊豈是有煩惱呢?世尊身體的情形又是如何?我們要了解。世尊他「安樂無逼惱」。若要說煩惱,佛已經是安然自在了;他的身安、心樂,來人間是他的願望,他乘願再來。他就是很甘願,為了人間眾生煩惱無明、苦難偏多,佛陀不忍心,所以來人間,「甘願做,歡喜受」,我們常常在這樣說啊!身雖然是很辛苦,在這個堪忍的世界,卻是佛陀很甘願來人間度眾生。

世間疾苦是佛本來就了解了,既是有備而來,本來就知道苦,為了苦,所以來人間度眾生,因為這樣,自然身安、心樂,就沒有被逼。我們凡夫就是被逼來的,是什麼將我們逼來的?是我們的因緣果報,由不得我們自己,就是這樣造作,就是這樣來生人間。所以在人間事事都是被逼,不是我們很甘願;隨著這樣的人生環境,被逼著老、逼著病、逼著貧困,逼著這個人間,有種種冷、熱等等,大自然、人為等等,我們不願意的、不希望接受的,卻是大自然的空間很熱、很冷,四大不調,讓我們身不得安住。這是很無奈啊!

人生,是如何的無常?怎麼會在生、老、病中呢?一年一年過,「是日已過,命亦隨減」,生命也在被逼迫中的煩惱。總而言之,世間有很多被逼著的煩惱,這種逼惱。世間是很辛苦,但是佛他是很自在,明知世間就是這樣的法則,所以他這樣發願而來,所以「世尊安樂無逼惱」。世尊,佛的世界,是「淨法界眾相寂靜」。世尊的生命法界,他的生命法之中,他就是清淨無染著,既然無染著,一切都是很自然、很自在。這個境界,自然他是回歸在他的清淨本性;清淨本性,佛的境界之中那就是寂靜。他的境界是寂靜清澄,清清楚楚,明明朗朗,一點點都沒有污染,一點點都沒有濁氣,所以因為這樣,是「淨法界眾相寂靜」。這個心境清淨,無掛礙、無煩惱。

「得四智永離惱害」。佛已經能夠得到「四智」了,佛的四智,那就是「成所作智」、「妙觀察智」、「平等性智」、「大圓鏡智」。

佛之四智:
成所作智
妙觀察智
平等性智
大圓鏡智

他已經這個智很開闊,將凡夫前五識能夠轉為智,這智是清淨智;凡夫所看的,外面所緣的境界,這是凡夫。但是佛他能夠將它轉過來,外面所接觸的,對覺悟的人一點點都無貪著,心一點點都不會受外面境界,所吸引去,還是安然自在,所以轉五識為「成所做智」,能成就要做的事情。外面的形相是這樣、這樣,不論是聲塵或者是形相等等,佛的世界總是轉「有相」為「無相」的智慧,轉「有為」而成為「無為」,無生無滅,乾淨啊!

還能夠「妙觀察智」,轉(第)六識,能夠體會、了解,了解到人人這個性,能夠回歸。所以,眾生這個心思,是要如何去轉那個污垢為清淨?這妙觀察,細細思考,因為這樣,能夠轉第六、第七識,轉這個自我的貪念,成為大我無私,為菩薩的心念,「六度萬行」。從這個「六度萬行」,那就是所造作有為法,無不都是利益眾生,歸納這個第八識;第八識不受無染,無污穢,那就是到達就像一面大鏡子。過去常常告訴大家,「大圓鏡智」,這清淨的這面鏡子不受污染。從緣外面的根塵開始,所看到的轉為「成所作智」,所看到的如何好好來觀察它,這「妙觀察智」。從妙觀察智轉入第七(識),來細思它,開大心,有所大作為,這樣「六度萬行」,轉為清淨,清淨的境界,大圓鏡智!外面的境來,和這面鏡子,外面的境界緣境,通通照得到,很微細;山河大地,無不都是入鏡子裡面來,但是鏡子一點點都不受污染,這就是回歸清淨的本性。清淨到無體相,那就是到達真如了,(第)九識清淨,這就是我們所要修的行。

這樣,是不是有可能修得到呢?修得到。因為我們這個五識,外面緣境,凡夫是被那個境吸引住了,所以心就會在那個境界,造作無明煩惱,這樣去造作,歸納回來在第八識,這就是我們凡夫。

佛菩薩就不是這樣,所以佛是已經到「大圓鏡智」,境來照境,境照過之後無一物,回歸第九識。這就是佛的四智。所以,佛已經得到四智了,當然,身,那就是不受這身體物質的掛礙,那就是安了。樂,也不會受煩惱來染污,就是樂了。所以,「得四智永離惱害」,沒有煩惱能夠再來困擾佛的心,雖然佛陀不捨眾生,這種的不捨,與凡夫對孩子的不捨是不同。就像老師對學生的不捨,和父母對孩子的不捨不同;父母對孩子的不捨是一種負擔,老師對學生的不捨是一種愛,清淨的愛──要如何教好學生,他沒有什麼樣的負擔。但是父母對孩子,就有血緣、親緣的負擔,這就是不同。

何況佛陀對眾生的關懷,是清淨、大慈悲的不捨,並沒有像父母和孩子,這樣的牽拖,那種盼望孩子繼承家業,就要很成功,就要家世好、地位高、名利大,這是父母對孩子的牽掛。就是希望為孩子再留更多更多,就是為孩子一直打拼,一直在造業。佛不是!佛是自己要付出,辛苦為自己,如何能自覺。天地宇宙萬物真理體悟了,這是這麼好的事情,他覺悟了天體宇宙的道理了,那個身心輕安,「無罣礙,無罣礙故」,無有恐怖的掛礙,希望和大家分享,讓大家能夠了解這種真理,這個道理讓大家能夠體會。這和父母對孩子那種的牽掛,是完全不同。

因為這樣,佛已經得四智,這個四智是永遠存在;而凡夫,那是造一切一切的業,到底是造福業呢?貪業呢?煩惱無明的業,做了一大堆,留下來給孩子,自己有形的留給孩子,無形的自己帶去,這個因緣果報,自己再帶來到來生來世,由不得自己。很多事情萬般帶不去,「萬般」就是子孫拿去了,就是留在人間的這個業力、業相在人間。那個因緣果報就是自己帶去,來生來世由不得自己,因緣逼迫,在人間、在「六道」、在「四生」,畜生道、地獄道、餓鬼道,這樣一直去了。這就是我們人迷茫在人間,所造作的業力就是這樣,循環而行。

佛就不是,他體會、他了解,先自己自修、自覺,覺悟之後,這個覺悟的道理來給大家。平等了,你們和我都平等,佛也平等。這種世間一切都平等的大智,沒有我永遠是控制你的,沒有啊!人人自己去造作,人人自己去體會,這自己去覺悟,方法給你,讓你了解。所以,佛就是用法來引度眾生,過了之後,就像一面鏡子,沒有了,甚至到連那面鏡子都沒有了,這是第九識。所以,他得四智,他已經永離惱害,沒有這些煩惱來困擾他、來逼惱他,沒有了!「故安樂皆無逼惱」,全部沒有了,一切完全乾淨了。

所以,「能安樂一切有情,身安心樂無憂惱」。真的是無憂惱,他面對著這個有情界,雖然身住在堪忍的世界,面對著粗重煩惱、剛強的凡夫,但是佛還是同樣安樂一切有情」。「一切有情」就是一切的眾生,佛面對著這些,他還是身心安無憂惱了。所以,「身安心樂無憂惱」,全都沒有了。安立在行「隨順一切」,就是安立在這個行,隨順一切眾生。因為這樣,這些所造作一切的功德,「能安樂住」。因為眾生所做一切,佛陀就是這樣牽引、所成就,這樣也能夠令眾生安樂,安穩在人間,希望將人間改變過來,希望人間能夠平安。人間要平安,那就是人心要安穩;人心要安穩,就要去除無量數的煩惱。所以,我們要去除無量數煩惱,我們應該就要很用心。佛的四智,已經安立了,當然佛就沒有病、惱。所以,菩薩所關心,佛是不是健康呢?「少病」,不就是健康嗎?「少惱」,是不是沒有煩惱,身心安樂呢?這就是菩薩向佛,順世間俗情也來一個問候,問候,這個禮節。

所以,上面的文這樣說:「是四菩薩,於其眾中,最為上首唱導之師。」

是四菩薩
於其眾中
最為上首唱導之師
在大眾前
各共合掌
觀釋迦牟尼佛
而問訊言
世尊
少病 少惱
安樂行不
所應度者
受教易不
不令世尊生疲勞耶
《法華經從地涌出品第十五》

來問安的人,那就是有四位菩薩,這四位菩薩前面也說過了,代表身、口、意、誓願,都很精修的菩薩。所以,我們要成為菩薩,不能離開身、口、意、誓願,我們要很精,真修行、向前前進,所以,他們就成為領導。這麼多菩薩眾中,是這四位菩薩帶頭,領導來唱出。大家問安是同時,他們這四位就是領導,先開口來提倡:「大家向佛問安。」同樣的道理,我們若人集會時,都有唱導的人,就是:「問訊。」也是要有一個口號。這同樣的道理,所以他們叫做「唱導之師」。這四位「在大眾前,各共合掌」。他們開始合掌,大家也跟著恭敬合掌,這個動作也是領導,要喊口號,大家要說話,同時說話出來,要有人唱導,同樣的道理。面向著釋迦牟尼佛,就是問訊。

除了頂禮,起來再問訊,開始再問安,這就是禮節。問安的語言就是:「世尊!少病、少惱,安樂行不?」這樣在度化會順利嗎?人平安嗎?度化的事情有順利嗎?同樣的道理。所以,「所應度者受教易不?」在這個娑婆世界剛強眾生,要度他們,簡單嗎?是不是這些眾生,有讓佛陀困擾嗎?他們好度嗎?佛會很疲倦嗎?因為就是眾生非常剛強,要教這些眾生,教到他們願意聽,又聽得懂,又能夠身體力行,是很不簡單哦!不簡單,所以會疲倦、會累。「這麼難教,我教得很累。」是哦!眾生就是這麼剛強,這麼難教,就會累。但是佛他是乘願來,他不怕辛苦,明明知道眾生剛強,明明知道這個娑婆是堪忍,所以他願意來,所以他堪忍,當然他不會喊苦,但是菩薩,也要有這樣的禮節來問候,來問候。

下面這段文再說:「爾時,四大菩薩而說偈言」。這樣問候之後,因為佛還在那裡默然坐著,菩薩問候之後,再重新用偈文唱誦:「爾時,四大菩薩而說偈言:世尊安樂、少病少惱!教化眾生得無疲倦?又諸眾生受化易不?不令世尊生疲勞耶?

爾時
四大菩薩
而說偈言
世尊安樂
少病少惱
教化眾生
得無疲倦
又諸眾生
受化易不
不令世尊
生疲勞耶
《法華經從地涌出品第十五》

那就是很知心的弟子,就像孩子從外國回來了,問父親:「我們的事業有讓您困擾到嗎?父親,您是不是很辛苦?」等等的禮節,一樣。所以說起來,「眾生煩惱病輕,則易化度,不生疲勞」。

眾生煩惱病輕
則易化度
不生疲勞
菩薩恭敬問候如來
即請示其教化濟度
眾生之事業

大家這樣看就了解了,眾生,煩惱就是病,這些眾生若能夠煩惱無明較輕一點,就較好度;眾生若執著無明,那就很難度了。執著在信仰,各人執著在各人的宗教,有的是正法,可以利益人群、開啟智慧;有的就是獨善其身,只是為自己;有的就是邪思邪見,想要依靠,依靠神、依靠鬼等等。這樣的煩惱,都是很難糾正、很難度化。類似這些,這也是很執著的煩惱。

還有眾生那種親情的執愛,還有物欲、貪欲,造成了瞋、癡無明,這些事情實在是很重。所以,眾生垢重就難調伏,眾生煩惱病輕就容易度化,就沒有疲勞;若是眾生那個污染很重、垢穢很重,那就很累了。這就是佛陀在這個人間,面對就是這樣的眾生。不過佛陀是乘願來的,眾生的煩惱輕、重,佛陀無所畏、我就是要度;輕的先度,重的才再來度。佛陀不捨眾生,娑婆世界來來回回,這就是佛陀的「四智」。

在眾生,這個「五識」他有辦法轉過來,「成所作智」,能夠有為法去「成所作智」,度化眾生,可以做。菩薩是「恭敬問候如來,即請示其,教化濟度眾生之事業」。就是這樣來問候佛陀,教化眾生,一切人事、一切付出,有沒有困難?所以,「菩薩於諸梵行,精進無怠」。

謂菩薩於諸梵行
精進無怠
雖晝夜不息
而善能調適身心
是以常得輕安
少病少惱

梵行就是清淨行,很精進,菩薩很把握時間,一點點都不敢懈怠。所以,雖然晝夜不息,但是「善能調適身心」。就是開始行菩薩道就是這樣,何況現在成佛呢?所以,「是以常得輕安,少病少惱」。從菩薩開始一直到成佛,一路來都是這樣,眾生不論多剛強,就是甘願來,「六度萬行」,何況現在成佛。所以,「爾時四大菩薩」。講這個偈文,也就是這樣在反覆。

爾時
四大菩薩而說偈言
世尊安樂
少病少惱:
菩薩問候世尊
安樂病惱
相待為言
安則不病
樂則不惱

這就是問候世尊,就是平安,沒有煩惱。所以問佛,「教化眾生,得無疲倦。」是不是世間這些眾生,這樣能夠累生得佛受化,煩惱是不是已經較輕了?今生此世,佛成佛了再來度化,是不是有比較好度?應該是沒有讓佛陀,有疲倦的感覺,修菩薩行就,累生累世就這樣來了,現在成佛,佛陀應該是沒有疲倦。尤其是眾生受化,有的是容易,有的是困難,困難的不知有多少?所以,這些人是不是,沒有再讓佛有太大的困擾呢?這就是這樣關心問。

此世間眾生
易得度化
無有疲倦
又所化眾生
易受教不

「此世間眾生,易得度化,無有疲倦。又所化眾生,易受教不?」現在煩惱輕的人能夠得度,還有很多還未得度,這些人是不是受教容易嗎?佛的前面那些弟子,都已經得度了,當然他們的煩惱輕,應該不會讓佛太大的煩惱。但是還有很多還未度的,這些是不是有讓佛困擾、不捨的地方呢?因為佛的年齡也大了,這些人是不是還有讓佛有困擾嗎?這是菩薩的關心,也是關心未來。

「爾時」,接下來的經文再這樣說:「爾時、世尊於菩薩大眾中而作是言:如是,如是!諸善男子!如來安樂,少病、少惱。」

爾時
世尊於菩薩大眾中
而作是言
如是 如是
諸善男子
如來安樂
少病 少惱
《法華經從地涌出品第十五》

這些菩薩的禮儀,不論是頂禮、問訊、問安,這些禮節都已經完畢了,佛陀就開始要說話了。所以,「世尊,於菩薩大眾中」。因為那個場面,已經菩薩都到齊了,在「大眾中,而作是言」。佛陀開始要回答了,「如是,如是!諸善男子!如來安樂,少病、少惱」。「好啦,好啦!感恩、感恩,就像你們說的,我沒事、平安,而心也沒有什麼煩惱。」就是這樣。

爾時
世尊於菩薩大眾中
而作是言
如是 如是:
爾時是阿難敘述
世尊答云
一一皆如汝之所問
均安

所說的「爾時」這兩個字,是阿難敘述,看到這些菩薩都到達了,這個「爾時」的前文,那些景象都是阿難在敘述的,「那個時候」。所以,世尊所回答的,開始的語言在回答,這也是阿難,阿難「如是我聞」,他要說佛如何說,也要說什麼人來,如何對話,那個境界是什麼境界,人有多少人來。那個情形阿難也就要描述一下。所以,「爾時」的上面那些文,就是阿難所敘述。「我要聽佛,要說佛所說的話,那個時候來的景象,有他方的菩薩,有從地湧出,有在那多寶佛塔前。」哇!有這麼多描述。所以,之後,佛陀很長久的時間,等待大家整齊,落定下來,開始佛將要說話了。這都是阿難所敘述。

「世尊答云」,世尊開始這樣回答了。他就是說:「一一皆如汝之所問。」這是世尊回答的話了,「如是,如是」,就是阿難再描述。佛說:「一一。」就是就像你們大家說的一樣,我全都平安。接下來佛陀就說:「諸善男子!如來安樂,少病、少惱」。

諸善男子
如來安樂
少病 少惱:
告諸菩薩
並答以安樂
身心俱安

這就是佛陀告諸大眾,向這些大眾回答,來回答這些大眾菩薩說:「安樂、平安,不只是身安,其實心也很快樂,身心都平安,都是快樂。」

所以,下面的文接下來再這樣說:「諸眾生等易可化度,無有疲勞。所以者何?是諸眾生世世已來常受我化。」

諸眾生等
易可化度
無有疲勞
所以者何
是諸眾生
世世已來
常受我化
《法華經從地涌出品第十五》

佛陀是這樣回答:「大家的關心,我都平安。這些眾生,要度這些眾生沒有什麼困難,因為這些眾生過去生生世世,就已經讓我教化過來。這些都是我過去的學生,和他們溝通沒有困難;過去的緣已經很深了,現在要來度化他們,不困難。」這就是佛陀的回答,因為眾生,要度化他們還是簡單。這是佛陀很耐心,在這個堪忍的世界,能夠這樣四十多年循循善誘,對人間來說,實在是很耐心、很堪忍。光是一個要讓大家知道──人人本具佛性,就要那麼的耐心,用這麼多種的方法,用這麼久的時間來度化,這對人間來說實在是時間很長,但是對佛的時間來說,這也是很短暫。尤其是人間的時間,和天堂的時間是不同,所以,脫離了人間世界的心境,何況佛陀的心境呢?對這些眾生一點點煩惱都沒有,也沒有什麼樣的困難,所以沒有煩惱、沒有疲勞。為什麼啊?

諸眾生等
易可化度
無有疲勞
所以者何:
眾生煩惱病輕
則易化度
不生疲勞

「眾生煩惱病輕」。因為過去已經教化過了,現在一聽,哦!記憶回來了,想到了。佛「說一」,他們就能夠「解十」。法雖然是這麼開闊,他們能夠聽佛講法,理解的事情就很多。我們人間的法實在是很多,佛陀講一句,能夠兼萬理,這個理能夠很開闊,所以有受教過、有聽過,他能夠再回憶回來。過去,過去生、過去世曾聽到的法,現在佛在說的法,他們心開意解,能夠了解了,這較好度。

是諸眾生
世世已來
常受我化:
由其眾生易受化意
由此人等久受我化

「是諸眾生,世世已來常受我化,由其眾生易受化意」。這些眾生就是這樣,很容易,因為他們生生世世,都是有這樣接受過,現在說,他們就能夠再體會、了解;很快體會,很快就了解了,這種心開意解。所以,我們若過去有聽,現在說,「哦,了解了!」這種也叫做記憶,過去有聽。何況我們過去世若有聽,這輩子就能夠與佛法有緣,就能夠接近佛法,就能夠身心奉行,身體力行。所以,「由其眾生易受化意」,就是這樣,因為有曾這樣經過、化度、聽過、了解過,這是人間已經都有受感化過了。

所以,「是諸眾生,世世已」,就是已經是有受過教化。所以因為這樣,就「開顯後言」,就這樣聽過之後,就是過去生有聽過,後面再聽,這個道理自然很顯現,能夠清楚。這就是為了下面,現在要再下去要說的法,那就是〈如來壽量品〉,還在後面的〈如來壽量品〉,先在鋪路。就像我們現在〈從地湧出品〉,就是前面的「四安樂行」,就是為〈從地涌出品〉的前提,這樣為它鋪路過來。我們現在在說的,〈從地涌出品〉,我們就能夠了解,前面的「顯跡」,現在的「顯本」,從他方來,還有從地、在地湧出,這我們就能夠很了解。

是諸眾生
世世已來
常受我化
就已開顯後言之
則為下文
如來壽量品中所述
此處應指
受世尊前劫
十六沙彌之
教化而言

佛陀盼望的是就地菩薩,娑婆世界的菩薩,來發心、來度化,在地的菩薩雖然有較慢一點點,佛陀方便,就引他方的世界來發心。我們過去,慈濟在推,雖然是從花蓮開始,但是真真正正菩薩湧至花蓮,是他方來得比當地更多。同樣的道理,現在當地的菩薩也開始發心了,這一樣,這總是從遠的來影響,啟發近,近的開始發心,從這樣開始。這叫做「本」,佛陀的本意,就是娑婆世界的眾生,一大事因緣,佛陀來「開示」,希望眾生能夠「悟入」;而「悟入」就要「六度萬行」,就要身體力行走,這要回歸我們的真如本性,身體力行。不是一直依賴這個法,要來獨善其身,還要兼利他人,要身體力行。

所以,這段〈從地涌出品〉,就是為未來的〈如來壽量品〉。這「壽量」,我們的發心從什麼時候開始?我們的真如本性,是從什麼時候開始?那就是「本」,這個法的起頭,「壽量」的開頭,就是要這樣一層一層一直深入。所以,敘述,我們前面一定要有記憶,這些文我們清楚,前後每一品,我們一定要很有記憶,要了解到,未來要再聽的,我們才能夠清楚。

所以,「此處」。就是指受世尊過去過去,很久很久以前,十六沙彌教化一直到現在。所以常常告訴大家,我們和佛的緣是很深,只是我們沒有用心,我們聽了就漏過去了,就是這樣,我們應該現在在法華會上,要再將這個法再撿回來。我們未來要如何找回來,那個十六沙彌的時代,我們如何在那個道場。所以我們現在若不用心,未來還是很渺茫,所以我們要時時多用心!
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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: Those with Mild Afflictions are Easily Transformed (煩惱病輕 則易化度)
Date: November.02.2018

“The World-Honored One has peace and joy and is free of oppressive afflictions. In His pure Dharma-realm, all appearances are tranquil and still. Having attained the Four Wisdoms, He is forever free of the harm of afflictions. Thus, He has peace and joy and is free of any oppressive afflictions. He can bring peace and joy to all sentient beings. His body is peaceful and His mind joyful, with no worries or afflictions. He peacefully abides in the practice of accommodating all. With His merits and virtues, He is able to abide in peace and joy.”

We must mindfully seek to comprehend this sutra passage. Previously, [the Bodhisattvas] asked, “World-Honored One, are You free of illness and worry?” Bodhisattvas came to show their care and ask after Him. “Venerable Buddha, is Your body healthy? Are You feeling [at peace]? Is transforming sentient beings going smoothly?” This was their etiquette. The Bodhisattvas had emerged from the ground and were now in this Dharma-assembly. Seeing the Buddha, they paid their respects to Him following this etiquette. Having followed this etiquette. Having followed this etiquette in their actions, they asked after Him. They asked after Him, saying, “Venerable Buddha, have You been well lately?” This is worldly etiquette. The Buddha was living in this world, so of course in their etiquette they must follow the ways of the world. This is very reasonable. So, now we need to understand this. “Does the World-Honored One have worries? How is the World-Honored One’s health?” We need to understand this. The World-Honored One “is free of oppressive afflictions.” When it comes to afflictions, the Buddha was already free and at ease. His body was at ease, and His mind was joyful. It was His vow to come to this world. He returned journeying on His vow, very willingly, for the sake of sentient beings’ afflictions and ignorance. There is so much suffering. The Buddha could not bear this, so He came to this world. He “worked willingly and happily accepted [the consequences].”

We often say this. Although it was very tiresome for His body in this world of endurance, the Buddha was very willing to come to this world to transform sentient beings. The Buddha understood the world’s suffering to begin with, so He came prepared. He already understood this suffering, and because of it, He came to this world to transform sentient beings. For this reason, naturally His body was at ease and His mind joyful. He was not forced. We ordinary beings are forced to come here. What is it that forces us to come? It is our karmic conditions and retributions. They are beyond our control; we create karma and are born into this world. When it comes to anything in the world, we are forced to do it; it is not that we do it willingly. We follow the circumstances of human life and are forced to age, experience illness and live in poverty. In this world, we are forced to [suffer from] all kinds of cold, heat, natural and manmade [disasters] and so on. We are unwilling to accept it, yet the environment may be very hot or very cold. The imbalance of the four elements renders our bodies unable to feel at ease. We cannot do anything about it! In what way is life impermanent? Why do we experience birth, aging and illness? [Time] passes by year after year. “With each passing day, we draw closer to death.” In our lives, we have afflictions from being burdened by these things. To sum it up, there are many afflictions in the world that [come from] being overburdened, these oppressive afflictions. This world is full of difficulties, but the Buddha was very free and at ease. He clearly understood these laws of nature, so He made vows to come to this world in this way. “The World-Honored One has peace and joy and is free of oppressive afflictions.” The world of the World-Honored One, the Buddha, is a “pure Dharma-realm [where] all appearances are tranquil and still.” In the realm where the World-Honored One lives, in the [state] He lives in, it is pure and undefiled. Since it is undefiled, all things are natural, and [He feels] free and at ease. In this state, He naturally returns to His pure intrinsic nature. This pure intrinsic nature is tranquil and still in the realm of the Buddha. His state is tranquil and clear; it is very clear. There is not the slightest bit of defilement or turbidity.

So, because of this, “In His pure Dharma-realm, all appearances are tranquil and still.” His state of mind is pure and free of obstacles and afflictions. “Having attained the Four Wisdoms, He is forever free of the harm of afflictions.” The Buddha has already attained the Four Wisdoms.

The Buddha’s Four Wisdoms are “all-accomplishing wisdom, profound discerning wisdom, universal equality wisdom” and “great perfect mirror wisdom.”

His wisdom is very expansive, and he can transform unenlightened beings’ first five consciousnesses into wisdom. This wisdom is pure wisdom. What unenlightened beings see, the external state they connect to is that of unenlightened beings. But the Buddha is able to transform it. When they encounter the external world, awakened beings do not give rise to the slightest bit of greed. Their minds are not enticed by the external world in the slightest. Instead, they remain at peace and at ease. So, they transform their five consciousnesses into “all-accomplishing wisdom,” which enables them to accomplish what needs to be done. External appearances are what they are. Whether it is sounds or appearances, in the realm of the Buddha, He transforms “appearances” into the wisdom of “no appearance”. He transforms “the conditioned” into “the unconditioned” which neither arises nor ceases and is pure. With “profound discerning wisdom,” He can also transform the sixth consciousness and is able to deeply comprehend that everyone can return to their intrinsic nature. So, how can the thoughts of sentient beings be transformed from defiled to pure? [This can be done through] wondrous observation and careful contemplation. By doing this, we can transform our sixth and seventh consciousness and turn our selfish, greedy thoughts toward a greater self free of selfishness, toward the thoughts of Bodhisattvas, and “actualize the Six Paramitas in all actions”. By “actualizing the Six Paramitas in all actions,” all the conditioned phenomena we create benefit sentient beings. This returns to our eighth consciousness. Without defilements, the eighth consciousness becomes like a great mirror.

In the past we have often talked about “great, perfect mirror wisdom”. This pure mirror will never be defiled. Starting from when our sense organs connect with the external sense objects, we turn what we see into “all-accomplishing wisdom”. We carefully observe what we see by [using] “profound discerning wisdom”. With this profound discerning wisdom, [our observations] enter our seventh consciousness where we carefully contemplate them. By opening our minds and doing great deeds, we “actualize the Six Paramitas in all actions”. Then, we turn [our consciousness] into this pure state, the great, perfect mirror wisdom. When the external state is reflected in this mirror, [the mirror] reflects everything very precisely. The entirety of the earth is reflected in this mirror, but the mirror itself does not become defiled. This is returning to our pure nature of True Suchness. When [our nature] is pure and without substance and appearance, we will have reached our nature of True Suchness, the pure ninth consciousness. This is the spiritual practice we must engage in.

Can we practice to attain this? We can. Our Five Consciousnesses connect with the external states. Unenlightened beings are drawn in by these states. As a result, in this state of mind, we will create ignorance and afflictions. As our minds create [ignorance and afflictions] our minds return to our eighth consciousness. This is how it is for us unenlightened beings. Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are not like this. The Buddha has already attained “great, perfect mirror wisdom”. As conditions arise, [the mirror] reflects them. After the conditions [pass], nothing remains. It returns to the ninth consciousness. These are the Buddha’s Four Wisdoms.

So, the Buddha has already attained the Four Wisdoms. Of course, His body will not be affected by physical obstacles. In other words, His body is at peace. He is joyful; no afflictions can contaminate Him. This is joy. So, “Having attained the Four Wisdoms, He is forever free of the harm of afflictions.” No afflictions can disturb the Buddha’s mind. Although the Buddha cannot abandon sentient beings, the [way He feels for them] is different from how an ordinary being’s heart go out to their children. It is like how teachers heats go out to their students. This is different from parents’ hearts going out to their children. Between parents and children, this feeling is a burden. Between teachers and students, this feeling is a form of love, pure love, and [concern about] how to teach the students well. They do not feel burdened by this. But parents and children are related by blood and thus have the burden of family connection. This is different. This is to say nothing of the Buddha’s loving care toward sentient beings; He feels for them with purity and great loving-kindness. He does not have the kind of attachments that exist between parents and children, the expectation to carry on the family business, to be very successful, to have wealth, high status and great fame and fortune. This is the worry parents have for their children. They hope to leave their children a better life, so they continue to work hard for their children, continuously creating karma. The Buddha does not do this. The Buddha gave of Himself and worked hard on Himself to attain enlightenment and comprehend and awaken to all principles in the universe. This is such a wonderful thing. He awakened to all principles in the universe, so His body and mind are free and at ease. “His mind is without hindrances; there are no hindrances.” He has no hindrances of fear. He hopes to share this with everyone and help everyone understand the true principles. Compared to parents’ concern for their children, this is completely different. For this reason, the Buddha has already attained the For Wisdoms. These Four Wisdoms are always present. As for unenlightened beings, they create all kinds of karma is this blessed karma or karma of greed? They create a lot of karma of afflictions and ignorance and pass it down to their children. They leave tangible things behind for the children and carry the intangible [karma] with them. They bring their karmic retributions with them into their future lifetimes. This is beyond their control. They cannot take any of these many things with them when they die. Their descendants take everything. Thus, they leave behind karmic forces, the effects of karma, in the world. They take this karmic retribution with them. Their subsequent lifetimes are not under their control. Karmic conditions force them into this world, into the Six Realms and Four Forms of Birth into the animal, hell and hungry ghost realms. They go on and on like this. This is how we humans are lost in the world; the karmic forces we create are like this, and we follow them in a cycle. The Buddha is not like this. He realizes and understands.

First, He engaged in practice Himself and enlightened Himself. After He became enlightened, He taught the principles to which He awakened to everyone. We are equal. You and I are all equal. The Buddha is also equal [to us]. [We have] this great wisdom of universal equality. It is not that there will always be [someone] controlling us. It is not that. Everyone creates [their karma] themselves. Everyone comprehends for themselves. We must attain awakening ourselves. [The Buddha] gives us the methods that enable us to understand. So, the Buddha uses the Dharma to guide and transform sentient beings. When [conditions] pass, [our mind] is like a mirror where nothing remains. Even the mirror is gone. This is the ninth consciousness.

So, having attained the Four Wisdoms. He is already “forever free of harm and afflictions”. None of these afflictions disturb or burden Him. None. “Thus, He has peace and joy and is free of any oppressive afflictions”. There are none at all. Everything is completely clean. So, He “can bring peace and joy to all sentient beings. His body is peaceful and His mind joyful, with no worries or afflictions”. He truly is without worries or afflictions. He faces this world of sentient beings; although He physically abides in the world of endurance, facing harsh afflictions and stubborn sentient beings, the Buddha still brings peace and joy to all sentient beings. “All sentient beings” refers to all beings. In face of these [beings], His body and mind are still free of worries and afflictions. So, “He body is peaceful and His mind joyful, with no worries or afflictions”. There are none at all. He peacefully abides in the practice of “accommodating all”. Peacefully abiding in this practice, He accommodates all sentient beings. Because of this, through all the merits and virtues He has created, He is “able to abide in peace and joy”. The Buddha guides sentient beings in all that they do and accomplish so that sentient beings are also able to attain peace and joy and be peaceful and stable in the world. He hopes to change the world; He hoped that this world would be peaceful.

For this world to be peaceful, people must settle their minds. For people to settle their minds, they must eliminate their countless afflictions. So, since we must eliminate countless afflictions, we must be very mindful. The Buddha peacefully abides in the Four Wisdoms, so of course the Buddha would have no illness or worries. So, the Bodhisattvas asked, “Venerable Buddha, are You healthy?” “Are You free of illness” means “Are You healthy?” “Are you free of worry” means “Do You have any worries? Is Your body peaceful and Your mind joyful?” This was how the Bodhisattvas greeted the Buddha following the etiquette of this world, the etiquette of greeting.

So, the previous [sutra] passage says, “These four Bodhisattvas were, among that group, the foremost guiding teachers”.

These four Bodhisattvas were, among that group, the foremost guiding teachers. Before the assembly, they each placed their palms together, looked at Sakyamuni Buddha and spoke to Him in greeting. “World-Honored One, are You free of illness and worry? Do You practice in peace and joy? Do those who should be transformed easily accept the teachings without exhausting the World-Honored One?”

It was four Bodhisattvas who came to greet Him. We have mentioned previously that these four Bodhisattvas represent body, speech, mind and vows. They were all very diligent Bodhisattvas. So, to become Bodhisattvas, we cannot deviate from [our practices of] body, speech, mind and vows. We must be very diligent and truly engage in spiritual practice, continuing to advance forward. So, they had become leaders. Among so many Bodhisattvas in the assembly, these four Bodhisattvas led everyone in speaking [to the Buddha]. Everyone greeted [the Buddha] at the same time. These four were the leaders who first took up the word, leading everyone in greeting the Buddha. By the same principle, when we have a gathering, there is always someone who says. “Bow in greeting!” There needs to be a verbal cue. This is the same principle. So, they are called “guiding teachers”.

These four, “before the assembly, each placed their palms together”. They began to place t heir palms together, and everyone else also respectfully placed their palms together. Someone had to be in the lead and give the verbal cue. For everyone to speak at the same time, they needed a leader; this is the same principle. They faced Sakyamuni Buddha and made a bow to greet Him; after prostrating to Him, they also made a bow to greet Him. Then they began to ask after Him; this is a matter of etiquette. The words they used to ask after Him were, “World-Honored One, are You free of illness and worry? Do You practice in peace and joy?” [This means], “Is transforming [people] going smoothly? Are You safe and peaceful? Is the process of transforming [sentient beings] smooth?” It is the same principle.

So, “Do those who should be transformed easily accept the teachings? Are the stubborn sentient beings in this Saha World easy to transform? Are these sentient beings giving the Buddha any troubles? Are they easy to transform? Does the Buddha feel exhausted?” Because sentient beings are extremely stubborn, to teach them until they are willing to listen, to teach them until they are willing to listen, until they are capable of understanding and putting the Dharma into action is not at all easy. It is not easy. So, it is very tiring and exhausting. “They are so hard to teach; I am very tired”. That’s right! Sentient beings are so stubborn. They are so hard to teach, so it is tiring. But the Buddha came journeying upon His vows. He was not afraid of difficulties. He clearly knew that sentient beings are stubborn. He knew that this Saha World is hard to endure. Since He was willing to come and since He could patiently endure of course. He would not complain that it was difficult. But the Bodhisattvas had to greet Him with this king of etiquette.

The following sutra passage says, “At that time, the four great Bodhisattvas spoke in verse”. After they greeted Him, because the Buddha still sat in silence, after the Bodhisattvas greeted Him, they spoke again in verse form.

So, “At that time, the four great Bodhisattvas spoke in verse, ‘is the World-Honored One peaceful and joyful, free of illness and worry? Are You not tired of transforming sentient beings? Moreover, do all sentient beings easily accept Your transformation without exhausting the World-Honored One?’”

These disciples understood [the Buddha] very well. This is like when children return from abroad and ask their father, “Has our [family] business given you troubles? Father do you have difficulties? These expressions of etiquette are all the same. So, it says, “When their illness of afflictions is mild, sentient beings are easily transformed.

When their illness of afflictions is mild, sentient beings are easily transformed, and He does not become exhausted. In greeting the Tathagata, they were asking about His business of transforming sentient beings.

Everyone will understand this when they see this. The afflictions of sentient beings are an illness. If these sentient beings have milder afflictions and ignorance, have milder afflictions and ignorance, they will be easier to transform. When sentient beings are attached to ignorance, they are very hard to transform.

They may be attached to their beliefs, with each person attached to their own religious practice. Some [people practice] Right Dharma and can benefit people and awaken their wisdom. Some people practice only to benefit themselves; they only do things for themselves. Others have deviant thoughts and views, seeking to rely on spirits and ghosts and so on. These kinds of afflictions are very hard to correct and transform. [Beliefs] like these are very stubborn afflictions.

There are also sentient beings’ attachments to familial love as well as their desires for material things and their greed. This creates anger, confusion and ignorance. These matters really are very serious. So, when sentient beings’ defilements are severe, they will be difficult to train. When their illness of afflictions is mild, they will be easy to train, and this will not be exhausting. When sentient beings have severe defilements, when they are severely contaminated, [the Buddha] will be very tired. When the Buddha came to this world, He had to face sentient beings like these. But the Buddha came journeying upon His vows. Whether their afflictions are light or severe, the Buddha has no fears. “I will transform them regardless, first those with light afflictions and then those with severe ones. The Buddha could not abandon sentient beings, coming and going in this Saha World. These are the Buddha’s Four Wisdoms. He was able to transform the Five Consciousnesses of sentient beings into “all-accomplishing wisdom”. He could transform conditioned phenomena into “all-accomplishing wisdom” and transform sentient beings. He could do this. The Bodhisattvas, “in greeting the Tathagata, were asking about His business of transforming sentient beings. this was how they greeted the Buddha and asked about transforming sentient beings and whether worldly matters and serving [sentient beings] were giving him any hardships.

So, “As Bodhisattvas, He diligently engaged in all Brahma-conduct and did not grow lax”.

This means that as a Bodhisattvas, He diligently engaged in all Brahma-conduct and did not grow lax. Though He did not rest day or night, He excelled adjusting His body and mind. This is why He is always at peace and free of illness and worry.

Brahma-conduct refers to the purifying practices. As a Bodhisattvas, He was very diligent; He made the most out of His time and did not dare to be lax at all. So, although He did not rest day or night, “He excelled in adjusting His body and mind. He was like this back when He began to walk the Bodhisattvas-path, let alone now that He has attained Buddhahood. So, “This is why He is always at peace and free of illness and worry”. Starting from when He was a Bodhisattvas all the way through attaining Buddhahood. He has always been this way all along. No matter how stubborn sentient beings are, He was willing to come and actualize the Six Paramitas in all actions, let alone now that He has attained Buddhahood.

So, “At that time, the four great Bodhisattvas spoke in verse”. They spoke in verse form, repeating what they said.

At that time, the four great Bodhisattvas spoke in verse, “Is the World-Honored One peaceful and joyful, free of illness and worry”: The Bodhisattvas asked the World-Honored One about peace and joy, illness and worry. These words correspond to each other. Being peaceful, He would be free of illness: being joyful, He would be free of worry.

This is how they asked the World-Honored One if He was at peace and free of afflictions. So, they asked the Buddha if He was not tired of transforming sentient beings? As for the sentient beings in this world, since lifetime after lifetime they have been able to receive the Buddha’s transformation have their afflictions become lighter? In this lifetime, now that the Buddha has attained Buddhahood and come to transform others again, is it not easier for Him to transform [sentient beings]? this should not make the Buddha feel tired. When He engaged in Bodhisattvas-practice. He came to this world luifetime after lifetime. Now, having attained Buddhahood, the Buddha should not feel tired. When it came to transforming sentient beings, for some it was easy, but for others it was hard. Who knows how many difficulties there were? So, were these people causing much trouble for the Buddha? this was what they asked out of concern.

So, “If sentient beings in this world can be easily transformed, He would not become tired. So, do those sentient beings whem He transforms easily accept His teachings?

Now those whose afflictions were mild could be transformed. There were still many more who had yet to be transformed. Are these people easy to teach? The aforementioned Buddha’s disciples had all already been transformed. Their afflictions were mild, so they should not have given the Buddha too much trouble. But there were still many whom He had yet to transform. Were these people troubling the Buddha and making the Buddha feel heartbroken for them? Since the Buddha was old, were these people giving Him troubles? This was the concern the Bodhisattvas had. They were also concerned about the future.

“At that time….” The next sutra passage goes on to say, “At that time the World-Honored One, in the assembly of Bodhisattvas, spoke these words, ’Indeed, indeed! Good men, the Tathagata is peaceful and joyful, free of illness and worry.”’

The etiquette of these Bodhisattvas, whether it was prostrating, bowing in greeting or asking after Him, had been completely fulfilled. Then, the Buddha began to speak. So, “The World-Honored One [was] in the assembly of Bodhisattvas”. At the Dharma-assembly, the Bodhisattvas had all gathered already. In the “assembly of the Bodhisattvas, He spoke these words”. The Buddha began His reply “Indeed, indeed! Good men, the Tathagata is peaceful and joyful, free of illness and worry. Alright, alright, I am grateful, very grateful. It is like you said, I am well and at peace, and I do not have any afflictions in my mind”. This was what happened.

At that time, the World-Honored One, in the assembly of Bodhisattvas, spoke these words, “Indeed, indeed!”: “At that time” is what Ananda narrated. The World-Honored One responded, “Everything is indeed as you inquired; all is well”.

So, the words “at that time,” were narrated by Ananda. He saw that these Bodhisattvas had arrived. In the sutra passage preceding “at that time,” Ananda was the one describing these scenes. [He said] “at that time”. So, what the World-Honored One said in response was also Ananda’s [narration]. Ananda said, “Thus have I heard” He had to say what the Buddha said and talk about what kinds of people came and how the conversation went. As for what the conditions were like and how many people had come, Ananda had to describe this whole scene. So, what precedes “at that time” is Ananda’s narration. “I must listen to the Buddha. I must say what the Buddha said. At that time, there were Bodhisattvas from other lands and [Bodhisattvas] emerging from the ground. They were before the stupa of Many Treasures”. Wow! There were so many descriptions. So, after that, the Buddha waited for a very long time. He waited until everyone had gathered and settled down. Then, the Buddha began to speak. This was all narrated by Ananda. “The World-Honored One responded”. The World-Honored One began responding and said, “Everything is indeed as you inquired”. This was the World-Honored One’s answer. “Indeed, indeed!” This was Ananda’s narration.

The Buddha said “everything” is as everyone inquired. “All is swell.” Following this, the Buddha said, “Good men, the Tathagata is peaceful and joyful, free of illness and worry”.

Good men, the Tathagata is peaceful and joyful, free of illness and worry: He spoke to all the Bodhisattvas and replied that He was peaceful and joyful, that His body and mind were both at peace.

This was what the Buddha told the assembly. He replied to the assembly and to these great Bodhisattvas, saying, “I am peaceful and joyful. Not only is my body peaceful, in fact, my mind is also very joyful. I am at peace in body and mind; I am joyful in everything”.

So, the following sutra passage says this, “All sentient beings can be easily transformed, and I do not become tired. Why is this so? These sentient beings, for many lifetimes, have constantly accepted my transformation”.

This was how the Buddha replied. “As for everyone’s concerns, I am totally at peace. For these sentient beings, it is not so difficult to transform them because these sentient beings have already been transformed by me in past lifetimes. They are all my past students and I do not have trouble communicating with them. We had deep affinities in the past. Now, it is not difficult to transform them”. This was the Buddha’s reply, because it was easy to transform these sentient beings. This is due to the Buddha’s great patience. In this world that must be endured, He spent over 40 years patiently guiding [sentient beings]. When it comes to this world, He really had great patience and endurance. Just helping everyone learn that everyone intrinsically has Buddha-nature takes a lot of patience, he used so many methods and took such a long time to transform them. For this world, this really was a long time, but for the Buddha, the time was very short. In particular, the time of this world is different from the time in heaven. So, [heavenly beings’] state of mind transcends this world, let alone the Buddha’s state of mind. He was not troubled by these sentient beings at all, and He did not have any difficulties. So, He had no troubles and was not tired. Why was this?

All sentient beings can be easily transformed, and I do not become tired. Why is this so?: When sentient beings’ illness of afflictions is mild, then they can be transformed easily, and He will not become tired.

“These sentient beings illness of afflictions is mild” because they had been taught in the past. Now, upon listening, [they said,] “Oh! I remember. I got it”. The Buddha “gave one [teaching],” and they were able to “understand ten”. Although the Dharma is vast, they were able to listen to the Buddha-Dharma and understand so many things. There are many teachings in this world. The Buddha spoke one sentence, and it could encompass then thousand principles. The principles are very vast. So, having been transformed and having heard His teachings, they were able to remember it. In the past, in a past life, a past lifetime, they had heard the Dharma. When the Buddha taught the Dharma now, their minds were open and understanding; they were able to understand. So, they were easier to transform. “These sentient beings, for many lifetimes, have constantly accepted my transformation. These sentient beings’ minds can easily accept my transformation”. With these sentient beings, it was very easy, because in past lifetimes, they had all accepted [these teachings] before. Teaching them again now, they were able to comprehend them again; they could deeply comprehend them very quickly. Their minds were open and understanding. So, if we listened to it in the past, when we talk about it now, [we will say] “Oh, I understand”. This is called memory; we heard it in the past. Moreover, since we heard it in the past, we will have affinities with the Buddha-Dharma in this lifetime and will be able to draw near the Buddha-Dharma. We will be able to practice with body and mind, putting the teachings into action. So, “These sentient beings’ minds can easily accept my transformation.” They were like this because they had already been through it and been transformed before; they had heard it and understood it. This is because [people in] the world have already been transformed. So, “these sentient beings, for many lifetimes,” had already been taught and transformed. So, because of this, “He had already opened and revealed what He would say later.” Having heard [the Dharma] in a past life, when they heard it again later, the principles would naturally seem obvious to them and they could understand them clearly. This pertains to the Dharma He would teach next, the Chapter on the Tathagata’s Lifespan. For the upcoming Chapter on the Tathagata’s Lifespan, He first paved the path. It is like the Chapter on Emerging from the Ground. In the preceding [chapter about] the Four Practices of Bringing Peace and Joy, it paves the path for the Chapter on. Emerging from the Ground. In the current Chapter on. Emerging from the Ground, we can understand the past “revealing of the manifest” and the present “revealing of the intrinsic.” [Some Bodhisattvas] came from other worlds and [some] emerged from the ground. This is something we can understand very well.

“These sentient beings, for many lifetimes, have constantly accepted my transformation” [means] He had already opened and revealed what He would say later. That is what is described in the following passage in the Chapter on the Tathagata’s Lifespan. This should refer to accepting the teaching and transformation of the World-Honored One in a previous Kalpa, when He was one of the 16 princes.

The Buddha hoped that Bodhisattvas in this world, Bodhisattvas in the Saha World, would form aspirations to transform [beings in this world]. Although Bodhisattvas in this world were slower, the Buddha skillfully guided those in other worlds to form aspirations. In the past, as Tzu Chi was growing, although it began in Hualien, among the volunteers in Hualien, in fact there were more from other places than locally.

By the same principle, local Bodhisattvas have now also begun to form aspirations. This is how it is. It is always those from afar who inspire those nearby to begin forming aspirations. This was how it started. This is “the intrinsic,” the Buddha’s original intent is for sentient beings in the Saha World. It is His One great cause. The Buddha came to “open and reveal,” hoping sentient beings can “realize and enter.” To “realize and enter,” we must “actualize the Six Paramitas in all actions.” We must put this into practice; we must return to our nature of True Suchness and put [the teachings] into action. We must not constantly rely on this Dharma to benefit only ourselves. We must benefit others by putting the Dharma into action.

So, the Chapter on Emerging from the Ground [paves the way for] the future Chapter on the Tathagata’s Lifespan. In terms of this “lifespan,” when did we begin to form aspirations? When did our nature of True Suchness originate? That is “the intrinsic,” the origins of the Dharma and the origins of the “lifespan.” We must continue to enter it layer by layer. So, for the narration, we must remember what it said previously. We must understand these passages well. Every chapter that comes before and after, we must remember them very well. We must understand this so that when we hear it in the future, we will understand it. So, “this” should refer to how the World-Honored One, from the distant past, a very long time ago as one of the 16 novices, has taught and transformed all the way up to the present. So, I always tell everyone that our affinities with the Buddha are very deep. It is just that we are not mindful. We hear [the Dharma] and let it leak away. Because of this, now, in the Lotus Dharma-assembly, we must recollect these teachings. In the future, how will we be able to recollect [the Dharma] from the time of the 16 novices in that Dharma-assembly? So, if we are not mindful now, in the future we will still be very unclear. So, we must always be mindful!

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