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 20181107《靜思妙蓮華》世尊嘉讚 菩薩隨喜 (第1474集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)

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發表主題: 20181107《靜思妙蓮華》世尊嘉讚 菩薩隨喜 (第1474集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)   周三 11月 07, 2018 7:46 am

20181107《靜思妙蓮華》世尊嘉讚 菩薩隨喜 (第1474集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)

⊙見善隨喜,譬如佈施,富施財糧,貧施水草,各隨所喜,皆為布施。隨他願行,喜他修善,利益有情,得成福德。
⊙「爾時、諸大菩薩而說偈言:善哉善哉!大雄世尊!諸眾生等,易可化度。」《法華經從地涌出品第十五》
⊙「能問諸佛甚深智慧,聞已信行,我等隨喜。」《法華經從地涌出品第十五》
⊙「於時、世尊讚歎上首諸大菩薩:『善哉!善哉!善男子!汝等能於如來,發隨喜心。』」法華經從地涌出品第十五》
⊙世尊先嘉讚其能發心隨喜,故重言善哉;正顯能於佛滅後,護持讀誦廣說此經。
⊙五根識:觸塵緣境轉為「成所作智」;有漏六識:想心轉為「妙觀察智」;七識根塵識思量轉為「平等性智」;八識有為藏轉無為「大圓鏡智」。
⊙於時、世尊讚歎上首諸大菩薩:善哉!善哉!:明四導師領眾禮讚。先加讚許稱善,後述其事。
⊙「善男子!汝等能於如來,發隨喜心:所讚許者,善男子!汝能於如來法中發心隨喜。
⊙「爾時、彌勒菩薩及八千恆河沙諸菩薩眾,皆作是念:我等從昔已來。」《法華經從地涌出品第十五》
⊙我等從昔已來:自從久遠,從昔已來。彌勒並諸菩薩,所以疑問者,自初寂場已來,至今靈山已往。
⊙彌勒及靈山會眾,見下方來諸大菩薩,昔所未見。所以心疑,作是念言。群賢下涌,已駭眾心,促多劫為半日,孰能不怪?八千恆沙菩薩,既惑已然之跡。慈氏以補處之智,欲究所以然之故,故疑跡成頌而請,用釋自他之疑也。

【證嚴上人開示】
見善隨喜,譬如佈施,富施財糧,貧施水草,各隨所喜,皆為布施。隨他願行,喜他修善,利益有情,得成福德。

見善隨喜
譬如佈施
富施財糧
貧施水草
各隨所喜
皆為布施
隨他願行
喜他修善
利益有情
得成福德

用心啊!「見善隨喜,譬如布施」。那就是要用心體會,歡喜心,我們就要時時歡喜,而且看人做善事,看人願修行,看人有修養,我們都是要隨喜,對這樣的人,我們就要讚歎,我們要歡喜,這就是好事,要培養我們這念心,時時成就他人、讚歎他人、隨喜他人,這種是很有修行的人。讚歎人,鼓勵人,也是布施的一種。所以譬如「譬如布施」,就是富有的人,他有辦法布施,所布施,因為他有財、有力,他願意,他發心,他能夠付出很多,為苦難人來成就布施的大事業。這我們要很讚歎他,因為這樣的人,是富中之富的人;富有他的人生福報,富有他人生名、利,又財都是很豐富,這都也是過去生中,他有了累積來的福和德。所以,我們應該讚歎他,讚歎過去的因,現在的果,尤其是現在所種的這個因,因、果,這全都是好事情,應該要讚歎他。

「富者施財糧」。有的苦難人苦啊,這三餐不知道要從哪裡來?有財物的人,讓他們吃得飽;有的人冷,寒冬冷凍,就給他很溫暖的厚衣能夠禦寒;無家可住,風雨無處避,就給他一個溫暖安居的地方。這就是富有的人肯發心,願意付出,這是富中之富。或者是貧困的人,貧困的人他也是很願意布施,但是他的物資力量不夠,什麼都沒有,要怎麼辦呢?盡他的力,哪怕捧一捧的水讓他解渴,或者是去採野菜,糧食,一點點,他也能夠補充他的體力,這樣也是叫做布施;盡心力付出就是對了。這種的故事,在佛教裡面是很多!一點點我們看起來很不起眼,但是在他的心,已經很盡心力了,這個心力,和那位富有的人,願意付出的心是平等。有多少量,盡他的心付出多少。

總是人人力量會合起來,這樣,那就是這念心;這念心盡心最富有。很有錢的人他願意付出,平常的人認為:我稍節儉一點,我也能夠付出。更貧窮的人,他覺得,我節省一下,我出一個力一下,我也能夠;哪怕做工,半天的工資、一天的工資,這全都能夠付出。若都沒有東西,大家用力付出,這都叫做布施。我們若看到這樣的人,我們要心存讚歎,我們要開口讚許,稱讚他、嘉許他、認同他,就像這樣,自然大家就能夠知道,做對的事情,就會讓人認同的,他們就是會歡喜、甘願,就會愈去付出。

或者是後面的人聽到、看到,「唉呀,真的是好事!我現在開始,我願意一起來做。」就像這樣,一起做,互相讚歎,這不就是整個人類,互相勉勵、互相鞭策。這種牽引、淨化,自然,讚歎人的人會愈多,做好事的人會愈多,這就形成了一股人心道德,很好的社會,所以我們要推動。我們人人「各隨所喜,皆為布施」。這就是啊!你看他如何做,做對的事情,你都讚歎他,都很歡喜,這樣,這就是,這也叫做布施。雖然你沒有去付出,力量也沒有付出,一點點東西你也沒有付出,不過你讚歎他,讓他歡喜、讓他安心,讓他能夠繼續做,這樣,這也叫做布施。這叫做「口」讚歎的布施,我們在「四法」之中,不就有這樣嗎?「四安樂行」的裡面,不就是這樣教我們?我們身行好事,口也要說好話,要不斷讚歎人;讚歎,成就人的善業,這也是功德。所以我們要好好用心布施,隨時都能夠做;看到人家在做,我們歡喜讚歎,也是隨喜功德,這也是布施。

所以說,「隨他願行,喜他修善」。有的人發心想要做一項好事情,有人知道了,就開始阻擋他,「你怎麼這麼傻?賺錢不會自己用?唉呀,你怎麼這麼傻?時間怎麼不會用在遊山玩水,用在你增加你的知識?你怎麼要去和人,這樣做那些有的沒的?」我們若是有智慧的人,是啊,我都在做「有的」和「沒有的」。有的,就是有善作為,這就是有的;「沒有的」,無為法,一切無為法,無所追求,也無所計較。付出,「三輪體空」,這就是平時有所作為,善的事情做就對了。我們若懂得這樣想,有人阻擋我們,有人給我們潑冷水,我們就不會受他阻礙到。

所以我們將要行善的人,自己的心也要堅;而我們看人家行善,我們讚歎人,這也是功德,這都是互相、彼此成就好事。而我們若是看人要做善事,給人一個阻礙,道心若不堅固的人,事理不清楚,就受他這樣幾句話的障礙,就這樣停下來,這都是障礙道法,這功德做不到,反過頭來造業因。所以,待人接物我們要很小心。對待人,看人想要去完成的一件好事情,我們要隨喜他,能夠幫助他,我們幫助他,功德一件;不能幫助他,我們讚歎他,這也是功德一項,這叫做「隨他願行,喜他修善」。因為他有這樣的心願,因為他願意去做這樣的事情,所以我們就隨喜讚歎。

因為他所要做的是,「利益有情」,對眾生,對人群有利益的事情,這對他本身也「得成福德」。我們人人,每一項事情,只要有利益人群,做就對了,因為做就是造福人群,而做的人「六度萬行」完成,這就是累德,積功累德,植眾善本。我們《法華經》,不是常常讀到嗎?不是常常說到嗎?是啊,所以「利益有情,得成福德」。我們隨喜也有功德,看人做善,我們就起隨喜心,讚歎他;人家若有心願,只要是好的,我們要鼓勵他,這全都是好事情。所以「讚歎」,我們前面,菩薩禮佛、讚佛,甚至也讚歎,讚歎眾生易度,這就是菩薩在讚歎。所以我們讚歎人就是一個禮節,就是學道理的禮節。不是說學佛之後,「知道了,知道了,我懂,我也會去教人,我得法就好了,我不願意去恭敬人」,這也不對哦。

所以,你看,諸菩薩從地湧出,都是那麼的尊重,循禮合理,這就是《法華經》,在教導我們的,你要行菩薩法,你也要懂世間法,你在世間法要合理,要循禮合情,這才是能夠完成我們的品格,這也叫做「明明德」。要知道禮節、明道理,了解我們人生最可貴,那個「理」;要有禮節,有那個道理。我們應該要有循規,循規律,這就像我們如何的制度,如何的管理,不論是大公司或者是小家庭;小家庭有小家庭的家教,大公司有大公司的制度。同樣的道理,你若全都沒有這些禮節,沒有這些制度,那就會亂了序。所以,《法華經》,佛陀教菩薩法不離開世間法,所以,經文來時就有這樣,菩薩來到道場,循禮節、循規矩。

所以前面的文就這樣說:「爾時、諸大菩薩而說偈言:善哉善哉!大雄世尊!諸眾生等,易可化度。」

爾時
諸大菩薩
而說偈言
善哉善哉
大雄世尊
諸眾生等
易可化度
《法華經從地涌出品第十五》

一項讚歎佛,堪忍娑婆,不捨眾生,這樣來度眾生;也讚歎眾生長久累生世以來,得受到佛這樣累生世的薰陶,薰陶,一次一次一直教,慢慢慢慢一直調伏過來,終於因緣將要成熟了。所以,現在聽法容易了解,聽的法,愈聽愈聽,愈了解了,佛的心意愈來愈清楚;愈清楚,就會依教奉行,因為這樣,所以眾生接近,「易可化度」之時。已經佛在講法,知佛音;佛說話,那個語言已經他們熟了,已經很熟了,佛在說這句話,就知道佛內心的意、解,所以慢慢就能夠清楚了解了。

「能問諸佛甚深智慧,聞已信行,我等隨喜。」

能問諸佛
甚深智慧
聞已信行
我等隨喜
《法華經從地涌出品第十五》

看到娑婆的眾生,已經體會佛意了,了解佛在說的話;很深的,若是還未聽懂,他們懂得問;全都不問就是聽不懂,「知道了,知道了」,但是還不了解。不了解,儘管知道,忘記了,不知道要拿什麼來問;而了解了,但是內容還不很清楚,就將這種記憶再拿來問。就像佛在講《法華經》的開頭,〈序品〉來敘說,阿難敘說了那個情景,接下來的〈方便品〉,佛陀一直一直讚歎,讚歎佛的真實法很深、很深。過去是用方便法,現在開始要開真實法,所以這個真實法很深、很深,甚深!那時候舍利弗知道,這麼深、這麼深的法,到底是深到什麼程度?既然過去佛所說的是方便法,未來要開示的是一實乘的法,是甚深甚深,到底這個甚深的內容是什麼呢?

舍利弗他就提出來,要請佛陀開示,佛陀「三止」,但是舍利弗鍥而不捨,還是一而再,再而三,佛陀,不是(被)問一次,他就馬上回答,他還是:「止,不須說」說到這裡,很深,告訴你們,你們也聽不懂。舍利弗愈是想要聽,這麼深、這麼微妙的法,我才是愈想聽,再次再問,佛陀還是「止!止!很深,聽不懂,你們錯解,這樣也增加你們無法理解的法」。

舍利弗更加好奇,難道有法全都聽不懂的呢?難道有什麼法聽不懂,反過來會更加迷茫?他更是想要聽,第三次。釋迦佛這個時候,他也就順這個機會:「汝既三請,豈得不說。」你既然請三遍了,好,你們就要很用心。了解你們要用心了,真心要聽,所以,我說給你們聽,要用心聽。才開始入經文來講說一真實法,正式開始了,開「跡門」,就開始講佛陀過去、現在,釋迦牟尼佛如何來度化眾生,一連串過來了。

這就是這部經要讓大家知道,有智慧者他能夠了解;了解,他就懂得要追問,去追求這個法的原因;追求之後,知道真實方向,他就能夠身體力行,自然他就能夠安樂行在人間。這就是諸菩薩讚歎,娑婆世界,也已經開始懂得追問了,懂得要接受這樣的大法。佛陀講這個大法,還是有這麼多人在聽,這部經,在靈鷲山是七年多的時間,還是這樣這麼的用心在追求法。因為這樣,這些菩薩讚歎眾生易度,而且「能問諸佛,甚深智慧」,還能夠問,問佛陀來講,開講這個法,不是只說在我們現在,又說過去的諸佛等等如何修行,如何所得的智慧。這就是「能問諸佛,甚深智慧」。不是只說釋迦佛自己本身,也能夠說其他的佛在人間,過去如何如何度化,這就是智慧。而「聞已信行」,聽了之後也能夠身體力行,「我等隨喜」。因為他們這些都有辦法,到這樣的程度,我們大家也隨喜了,這些人聽法聽得這麼歡喜,這些人聽法又懂得問,這些人聽法了解之後,又願意發心身體力行,我們也隨喜,我們也很願意聽,我們也很願意身體力行,這種隨喜讚歎,這就是功德。

接下來這段文,就這樣說:「於時、世尊讚歎上首諸大菩薩:『善哉!善哉!善男子!汝等能於如來,發隨喜心。』」

於時
世尊讚歎
上首諸大菩薩
善哉善哉
善男子
汝等能於如來
發隨喜心
《法華經從地涌出品第十五》

現在這段文,就是換世尊再來讚歎這些菩薩,這些菩薩很不簡單,「你們也能夠了解了,了解在堪忍的世界,剛強眾生能夠接受調伏,是一件很不簡單的事情;你們又能夠了解,這些眾生接受之後願意受教,也是長久的時間願意接受,這樣能夠體會了解。這些眾生,也慢慢隨佛教、體佛理,你們能夠為他們讚歎,隨喜他們,就是等於鼓勵他們」。這當中,佛陀回過頭來讚歎這些菩薩,讚歎懂得讚歎人的人。可見,這就是理,這就是禮,是禮、是理,互相往來的禮節,互相往來的禮節那就是道理,彼此都很客氣。所以,「世尊」就這樣先來,「嘉讚其能發心隨喜」的人。

世尊先嘉讚
其能發心隨喜
故重言善哉
正顯能於佛滅後
護持讀誦廣說此經

「嘉」就是「嘉許」,就是褒揚大家一下,讚歎這些菩薩一下,也懂得讚歎娑婆的眾生,這樣得受讚歎。這就是「發心隨喜」,所以,重覆讚歎,「善哉,善哉!」不是只說一句,就是再重覆的讚歎。這就是顯出了「能於佛滅後,護持讀誦廣說此經」。因為在〈法師品〉,直在提倡,要護持、讀誦、廣說此經,佛陀擔心,佛若滅度後時,那個時候經、法若斷掉,世間道理就斷了。所以,佛陀要入滅以前,他很掛心,就是法一定要有人延續。

在《法華經》,這一直連續下來〈安樂行品〉,就是一直要我們人人要了解,雖然方法是一項很辛苦、很艱難、艱鉅的事情,會遇到的困難是很多。文殊菩薩也了解佛心,同樣他也能夠再問佛,請佛再說,要如何防止那個困難,能夠讓人人這個心避開了困難,能夠堅持、堪忍來弘揚此經,這在〈安樂行品〉佛陀說過了。就是擔心,擔心佛滅度後沒有人可傳法,若是能夠像這樣讚歎,對的事情做就對了,法一定要傳,就是這樣做,修行不困難,修行很容易。

就像我們常常在說,智慧要怎麼轉?其實智慧在我們修行中,若要用佛法來解,哇,那就很深;若用我們世間法來解,那就簡單了。

五根識
觸塵緣境
轉為成所作智
有漏六識
想心轉為妙觀察智
七識根塵識
思量轉為平等性智
八識有為藏
轉無為大圓鏡智

「成所作智」,那就是我們平時,凡夫這個五根,去接觸外面的五塵,我們所看到的東西,這就是「識」,能夠識去分析,去看到那個東西,這叫做「五識」。「五識」,我們能夠眼睛,眼根,和那色塵會合起來,要不然眼根歸眼根,色塵歸色塵,你是你,這裡面有多少人,大家坐在這裡,我的眼睛,我若是閉起來,閉起來了,我眼睛閉起來,根本就沒有看到你們。或者是我的眼神經若失功能了,真的是有這個眼根在,欠缺了那個眼神經,這個塵和我的識就沒有作用。

所以要有五根、五塵、五識,會合起來,這樣發揮了它的功能,我們要轉為「成所作智」。將它合成起來,東西都在,眼根也得到了,懂得去分別它,這些事情「成所作智」起來了,同時,這個六識去觸境,這意識,你去看了之後,那個印象駐留,那個相就印我們的心裡,所以,我們的「意」,會在那個地想;想那個東西,我很愛、我真愛,這個六識,我們要轉為「妙觀察智」。

凡夫愛了就去貪著,因為「相」現在心裡,凡夫就一直要去貪著,要如何取得到?這個日夜,這個「相」,放在我們的意識之中。要如何能得到呢?那就是要去思考,去想、去思惟,要如何能夠用什麼樣的方法,取得了我所愛,滿足我的心願,之後就開始去動作,去動作之後就有成果了,凡夫所造作的成果,那就是「業」,惡業。

若是我們學佛之後,就能夠轉,我們的五識,能夠將它轉為「成所作智」。我們借力使力,將外面的物資,用在苦難人的身上,他們需要,我們有這些東西好好來運作,所以,有物資,這個計量,我們的六識轉為「妙觀察智」。我們的心意就趕緊來想,那些人的苦,是沒有衣服穿的苦呢,或者是沒有飯可吃的苦呢,或者是沒有房屋可住的苦?好好來觀察他。這就是去觀察之後,了解那些人的苦相,我們開始就要思考了,思考這些人,不論遠近,不論他是什麼人,真的是需要我們幫助,要克服很多困難去幫助那些人,不論他多遠,眾生平等,發揮了「無緣大慈,同體大悲」,那就是我們的第七識,轉為「平等性智」。一切善所作為,去做了之後,回歸於無為法,那就是第八識,轉為「大圓鏡智」。


總而言之,我們要很用心,這個名相出來,佛的「四智」,我們用在我們現在;用在現在,我們看到這些物質,我們學佛之後,我們不是貪為己有,我們能夠應用這些東西;有這些東西,知道有這樣的苦難,這是根、塵、色,這五識,知道有這些東西的量,了解,轉進來「妙觀察智」。既有這些東西,又知道那些人的苦相,我們要如何好好來思量,他們到底是急難的救助呢?或者是中期的安頓呢?安身呢?或者是長時間的,安身、安生活呢?好好來妙觀察,好好來思惟。哪裡的眾生,不論他是在哪一個國家,為他的未來,代代的子孫要如何延續下去?這第七識轉過來的,「平等性智」。我們期待這樣,也希望他能夠這樣,這回歸到了我們,就是包含在一切有所作為,從「成所作智」、「妙觀察智」、「平等性智」,一切合道理的有所作為,來回到了無為法,那就是「大圓鏡智」。所以,我們要人人用心來體會。

五根識
觸塵緣境
轉為成所作智
有漏六識
想心轉為妙觀察智
七識根塵識
思量轉為平等性智
八識有為藏
轉無為大圓鏡智

所以菩薩的讚歎,讚歎這些受法,很容易受化度過來的人,所以這些菩薩在讚歎。佛陀也來讚歎菩薩,所以他重複,「善哉!善哉!」,這就是顯出了佛陀滅度之後,法,未來有人傳了。

於時
世尊讚歎
上首諸大菩薩
善哉善哉:
明四導師領眾禮讚
先加讚許稱善
後述其事

「於時、世尊讚歎上首諸大菩薩:善哉!善哉!」;因為上首菩薩代表大家,佛陀回禮給他們,也是,四上首菩薩也代替我告訴大家,「我很讚歎大家」,同樣的道理。所以,這是佛陀的嘉許稱善,後面會開始就要敘述,說:「善男子!汝等能於如來,發隨喜心」。大家能夠在如來這個道場裡面,為這些人讚歎,「雖然你們都已成就了,還是讚歎未成就的人」,所以嘉許這些菩薩。

善男子
汝等能於如來
發隨喜心:
所讚許者
善男子
汝能於如來法中
發心隨喜

「善男子!」。「善男子」就是學佛出家、在家四眾,全部就是善男子。汝等「於如來法中發心隨喜」,你們能夠在如來法中,你們願意發心隨喜,很不簡單!還是這樣讚歎。

再接下來的文說:「爾時、彌勒菩薩及八千恆河沙諸菩薩眾,皆作是念:我等從昔已來。」

爾時
彌勒菩薩
及八千恆河沙
諸菩薩眾
皆作是念
我等從昔已來
《法華經從地涌出品第十五》

現在就是彌勒,彌勒就是將來的佛,未來世,未來的這個娑婆世界成佛的,那就是彌勒菩薩。彌勒菩薩在這個靈山會上,從開頭就有彌勒菩薩了,一直到現在。也記得彌勒菩薩,在〈序品〉也出來問,問文殊菩薩;文殊菩薩,才開始引過去的日月燈明佛。所以說起來,彌勒菩薩也是在靈山會上,從頭一直到現在。彌勒菩薩已經累生累世,同樣不斷不斷修行,他和菩薩,八千恆河沙菩薩,這麼多人,全都是做一樣這樣的念。所以,彌勒菩薩是未來補處的佛,將來人間的補處佛。他說,「我等從昔已來」。「自從久遠」,意思就是從過去,很長久一直來。

我等從昔已來:
自從久遠
從昔已來
彌勒並諸菩薩
所以疑問者
自初寂場已來
至今靈山已往

所以,彌勒菩薩就是這樣,在這個娑婆世界,一直也是和佛這樣不斷在度化,只是成佛有前後;釋迦佛早彌勒成佛,彌勒在慢佛,後面再成佛。所以,「彌勒與諸菩薩,所以疑問者,自初寂場已來,至今靈山已往」,就是說彌勒菩薩,生生世世與佛常在一起,一直到《法華經》,靈山會時他也是,就起頭來問,這就是彌勒菩薩他的特色。所以,「彌勒及靈山會眾,見下方來諸大菩薩,昔所未見」。

彌勒及靈山會眾
見下方來諸大菩薩
昔所未見
所以心疑
作是念言
群賢下涌已駭眾心
促多劫為半日
孰能不怪
八千恆沙菩薩
既惑已然之跡
慈氏以補處之智
欲究所以然之故
故疑跡成頌而請
用釋自他之疑也

彌勒看到這些人,從地湧出,這麼多的菩薩,好像都不曾看到的,這麼多,所以心起疑,開始作問了。這些人從地下湧出,這麼多群賢,又是有修行者,大家這樣湧出來,所以很多人都是心所有疑。尤其是前面那段文,將五十(小)劫促為半日,這大家也是還覺得很驚惶,怎麼能夠用這麼的長久、歷劫,這麼多的法能夠這樣促為半日?大家怎麼能夠了解呢?這怎麼會大家不驚不疑呢?疑怪一定會的,因為用這麼長的時間促為半日,實在是大家有疑、有怪。所以,這是彌勒菩薩,心中還有疑問,所以要提出來問。「八千恆沙菩薩,既惑已然」。也是一樣,這個「跡」,過去佛陀是還未成佛以前,是如何這樣走過來的路?那麼的多,這個「跡」這麼的多,這麼長久的時間,大家有一點點疑惑。

所以,「慈氏」,「慈氏」就是彌勒,彌勒他那補處的智慧,可見將要成佛;說將要成佛,對我們人世間的時間,是還幾萬億劫,所以還很長久。不過在佛的境界裡,是將來娑婆補處的菩薩,現在就是在補位的菩薩,將要排在釋迦牟尼佛的後面,叫做補處菩薩。這樣的智,現在在兜率天宮在訓練,不過佛陀講法他全都有來。所以,在這個補處之智,「欲究所以然之故」。因為他要研究,到底釋迦牟尼佛累生累世,用這麼長的時間,長劫的時間這樣「顯跡」,來來回回,真的是不可思議。這些道理促為半天,大家能夠體會到,真的是有一點點怪又疑。

所以,因為「疑跡」,這個「跡」跡門,所以他就會提出了這樣的疑問。所以,「用」,解釋他自己心中的疑,當然應該也代表大家心中有疑。這就是我們要能夠清楚明白,一定要有經過了有人疑問,道理要知道,就要問更清楚,就解釋得更清楚。就像《法華經》的開頭,這個當中佛陀在靜中在坐,彌勒菩薩和文殊菩薩對唱,所以大家聽了之後,感覺佛陀他要講這部經很特殊。這已經讓在座的人,對這部經的追求,何況佛陀出定,一直一直在讚歎,讚歎這甚深微妙的法,所以再引起了舍利弗一再追求,再問佛;這全都是起在一個「問」,有人問,就有辦法,法就啟答下去了,所以問法也很重要。

所以我們要用心,才能夠解法;要解就有疑,要疑就要問,問就能夠清楚,意思應該是這樣。所以我們要時時多用心!


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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: The Buddha Praised the Bodhisattvas Who Rejoiced (世尊嘉讚 菩薩隨喜)
Date: November.07.2018

“When we see others do good deeds and rejoice for them, this is just like giving. The wealthy give money and provisions, while the poor give water and herbs. They each rejoice in their own ways; this is all considered giving. They accord with their vows and actions and take joy in their cultivation of goodness. By benefiting sentient beings, they attain blessings and virtues.”

We must be mindful! “When we see others do good deeds and rejoice for them, this is just like giving.” We must mindfully comprehend this. We must constantly have a joyous heart; when we see people doing good deeds, see them vow to engage in spiritual practice or see that they are well-cultivated, we must rejoice for them. When we encounter these kinds of people, we should praise them. We must be joyful. This is a good thing.

We need to develop this mentality of ours, constantly helping others to succeed, praising others and rejoicing for them. This is what a well-cultivated person is like. Praising and encouraging others is also a kind of giving. Thus, “this is just like giving.” Those who are wealthy have the means to give. They are able to give because they have wealth and power. If they are willing and form aspirations, they can give a great deal to others, accomplishing the great deed of giving for those in suffering. For this, we must praise them, for they are counted as the rich among the rich. They have an abundance of blessings, fame and fortune in their lives, and are rich in personal wealth. These all come from blessings and virtues accumulated from previous lives, so we ought to praise them. We should praise their past causes and their present effects.

Moreover, the seeds they plant now, the causes and their effects, are all beneficial, so we should praise them. “The wealthy give money and provisions.” Some who are in suffering are so destitute they do not know where to get their next meal, so those who are wealthy give them food. Some people suffer from the freezing cold in the winter, so [the wealthy] give them warm, thick clothes so that they can endure the winter. Some people are homeless, with no place to hide from the wind and rain, so [the wealthy] give them a warm place to stay.

These are the wealthy who are willing to form aspirations and willing to give; they are the rich among the rich. What about poor people? The poor are also willing to give to others, yet their material resources are insufficient. They possess nothing, so how can they help? They do their best. Even by carrying a handful of water to give to others to quench their thirst or picking wild vegetables and provisions, even just a little, they can also help others reenergize their body. This is also practicing giving. Doing our best to give is correct.

These types of stories are often encountered in the Buddha’s teachings. Something small may not seem important to us, but they have done their best. [The poor person’s] willingness to give and the wealthy person’s willingness to give are equal. However much they have, they do their best to give as much as they can. Everyone combines their strength together. [People with] this mentality who do their best are the most wealthy. Those who are very wealthy are willing to give. Ordinary people think, “If I can just be a little more frugal, I can also give to others.” Poorer people feel, “If I save a bit [on the money], I too can lend a hand.” Even if they are workers, they can still give a half day or full day’s wages. Even if they have nothing, they work hard to give. These are all forms of giving. When we see people doing this, we must hold praise in our hearts. We should praise them with words, praising, commending and recognizing them. When we do this, everyone will naturally know that doing what is right will be recognized by others. So, they will feel joy and be willing to give even more. Or those who hear or see the good deeds will say, “Wow, that was a great thing [they did]. From now on, I am willing to join them.” In this way, we can work together and praise one another. Then, people will encourage and spur on each other. Through this guidance and purification, more people will praise others, and more people will be doing good deeds. This forms a sense of moral principles and a wonderful society. So, we must encourage everyone to “rejoice in their own ways; this is all considered giving.” This is what we should do! When we see that someone does a good deed, we should praise them and make everyone happy.

Such behavior is also giving. Although we did not give anything, put in any energy or even give any items, we praised others, bringing them happiness and peace of heart so that they can continue [to give]. In this way, we are also giving. This is giving by praising with our speech. Isn’t this part of the Four Practices? In the Four Practices of Bringing Peace and Joy, aren’t we taught to do good deeds with our bodies and speak good words with our mouths by constantly praising others? Praise helps people accomplish good deeds; this is also [a form of] merits and virtues.

So, we must earnestly and mindfully give. We can do it at any time. When we see others doing [good deeds], we must joyously praise them. This is also taking joy in others’ merits. This is also a form of giving. “They accord with their vows and actions and take joy in their cultivation of goodness.” When we form aspirations to do good deeds, some others may find out and try to stop us, [saying,] “How can you be so foolish? Why don’t you spend the money you make on yourself? Oh! How can you be so foolish? Why don’t you use your time to go on trips or use it on learning? Why do you go to do such empty things together with those people?” If we are people with wisdom, [we respond]. “Indeed! We do ‘things’ that are ‘empty’.” The “things” we do are conditioned good deeds. These are tangible. So why are they “empty”? [They represent] unconditioned Dharma; we do not expect anything [in return] or keep track of [how much we give]. We serve with “the Three Spheres of Emptiness”. In or everyday life, we must do [good deeds]; when we know something is good, we just do it.

If we know to think in this way, when people try to impede us or discourage us we will not be impeded by them. So, for those of us who wish to do good deeds, our hearts must be steadfast. When we see others doing good deeds we ought to praise them. This also bring merits and virtues. In this way, we help each other accomplish good deeds. If we see people trying to do good deeds and try to hinder them, for those without firm spiritual aspirations and clear understanding of principles, they may be obstructed by a few remarks and stop. This is obstructing the path to enlightenment. We will not attain merit and virtue in this way, but on the contrary, create karmic causes.

So, we must be very careful when interacting with people and dealing with things. When we interact with people, as we see them wanting to complete a good deed, we must rejoice for them. If we can help them, as we do so, [we gain] merits and virtues. If we cannot help them, we must praise them; this also results in merits and virtues. This is what is meant by, “They accord with their vows and actions and take joy in their cultivation of goodness.” Because they have this aspiration, because they are willing to do such a deed, we must take joy in it and praise them. This is because what they want to do “benefits sentient beings”. It is something that benefits people and sentient begins. It also helps them “attain blessings and virtue” themselves.

For each of us, as long as everything that we do benefits others, we should just do it creates blessings for humanity, while those who do it “actualize the Six Paramitas in all actions”. In this way, they accumulate merit and virtue and plant the root of goodness.

In the Lotus Sutra, don’t we often read this? Don’t we often speak of this? We do! So, “They benefit sentient begins and are able to attain blessings and virtue.” When we rejoice for them, we also attain merits and virtues. When we see people do good deeds, we feel joyful and praise them. If people make vows, as long as they are good, we must encourage them. These are all good deeds. So, regarding “giving praise,” previously [we spoke of] the Bodhisattvas paying respect to and praising the Buddha. They even praised that sentient begins were easily transformed. These were the Bodhisattvas’ praises. So, our praise of others is a form of etiquette; it is the etiquette of learning the principles. It is not the case that, after learning the Buddha’s teachings, [we say], “I know, I know, I understand. I will teach others. All I need is to attain the Dharma; I am not willing to show my respect to others.” This is incorrect. Just look at how all the Bodhisattvas who emerged from the ground were so respectful. They followed the etiquettes and principles. This is what the Lotus Sutra teaches us. If we want to practice the Bodhisattva Way. We must follow the principles of the worldly Dharma; we must follow the etiquette and be reasonable. Only then can we [cultivate] our character. This is “illuminating luminous virtue”.

We must understand the etiquette and principles and that the most valuable thing in life are the principles. We must have propriety and principles. We ought to abide by rules and customs. This is like how we order and manage [things], whether it is a big company or a small family. Small families have their family traditions and big companies have their regulations. The principles is the same. Without these etiquette and rules, there will be chaos. In the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha taught the Bodhisattva Way, which is inseparable from the working s of the world. So, in the sutra passage, when the Bodhisattvas arrived at the Dharma-assembly, they followed the etiquettes and rules.

The previous sutra passage states, “At that time, those great Bodhisattvas spoke in verse. Excellent! Excellent! ‘Great Hero, World-Honored One, all these sentient beings are easily transformed and delivered’.”

They praised the Buddha for patently enduring the Saha World and not abandoning sentient beings, coming to transform sentient begins in this way. They also praised that sentient begins had, for a long time, lifetime after lifetime, been nurtured by the Buddha. [The Buddha] nurtured them. By teaching them continuously and repeatedly, He gradually tamed them, until finally their karmic conditions had almost matured. So, it was easy for them to understand the Dharma they listened to. They gradually understood more of the Dharma they listen to and understood the Buddha’s intent more clearly. The clearer they were, they would begin to practice according to the teachings. Because of this, these sentient beings drew near to the time when. “They were easily transformed and delivered”. As the Buddha was teaching the Dharma, they could already recognize His voice. As the Buddha spoke, they were already familiar with His words. They were already familiar with His words, so when the Buddha spoke these words, they could comprehend the Buddha’s intent. Thus, they slowly gained a clear understanding.

So, “They are able to ask about all Buddhas extremely profound wisdom. After listening, they have faith and practice. We all rejoice for them”.

They saw that the sentient beings of the Saha World had already comprehended the Buddha’s intent, that they understood the Buddha’s words. If they did not understand the very profound [teachings], they knew to ask. If people do not ask at all, they will not understand. [They may say] “I know, I know but still do not understand it. If they do not understand, even if they know, they will forget and not know what to ask. Or they may understand it but still be unclear on the content they [must] then ask about what they remember. This is like how the Introductory Chapter described the Buddha starting to teach the Lotus sutra. Ananda described this situation. Then in the Chapter on Skillful Means, the Buddha was continuously praising the Buddha’s True Dharma as being extremely profound.

In the past, He had used skillful means, but now He began to reveal the True Dharma. This True Dharma is very profound, extremely profound! At that time, Sariputra knew that the Dharma was very profound, but to what extent? The Buddha taught skillful means in the past and would open and reveal the True Dharma of the One Vehicle in the future. It was extremely profound, yet what were these profound [teachings]? So, Sariputra brought this up and asked the Buddha to teach it to them. The Buddha “refused three times”. However, Sariputra persisted without giving up and kept asking, again and again. The Buddha did not, upon being asked once, respond immediately. He [said], “Stop! There is no need to speak it.” “I have said enough. It is very profound. If I tell you, you will not understand”. This made Sariputra want to hear it even more. “If it is such profound and wondrous Dharma, I wish to hear it even more”. He asked again, but the Buddha continued to say, “Stop, stop! It is too deep, you will not understand. You will misunderstand. This will just add on to the teachings that you cannot understand”. Sariputra became even more curious. “Are there teachings that are completely incomprehensible? Are there teachings that cannot be understood but instead will make us even more confused?” This made him want to listen to it even more, so he asked a third time. This time, Sakyamuni Buddha took this opportunity and said, “Since you have asked three times, how can I not teach it? Since you have asked three times, I will teach it, but you must be very mindful. I understand that you are all mindful now and truly want to listen to it, so I will teach it to you. But you must listen mindfully”.

He then began to enter the sutra and teach the One True Dharma. [The Buddha] officially began to open “the door of the manifest”. He talked about His past and present, how Sakyamuni Buddha had continuously transformed sentient beings. With this sutra, He wanted to let everyone know that those with wisdom are capable of understanding. Once they understand, they know to ask questions, to seek the source of this Dharma. After pursuing it, they know the true direction and can then put it into practice bringing peace and joy into the world. All Bodhisattvas praised how [sentient beings] in the Saha World were starting to know to ask questions and accept this kind of Great Dharma.

When the Buddha expounded this Great Dharma, there were still so many people listening. This sutra [was taught] for more than seven years on Vulture Peak, and [the assembly] was still so mindful in seeking the Dharma. Because of this, these Bodhisattvas praised how easy these sentient beings were to transform and how “They were able to ask about all Buddhas extremely profound wisdom”. They were also able to ask the Buddha to teach this Dharma, not only about the present time, but also about how all past Buddhas practiced, and how they attained Their wisdom. This is “[being] able to ask about all Buddhas extremely profound wisdom”. Sakyamuni Buddha did not only talk about himself, but also referred to how other Buddhas in this world transformed [sentient beings] in the past. This is wisdom.

Then, “After listening, they have faith and practice”. After listening, they could put it into practice. So, “We all rejoice for them”. They were all able to reach this level, so we all rejoice for them. These people listened to the Dharma so joyfully and moreover knew to ask questions. After understanding it, they were also willing to form aspirations and put it into practice. We should also rejoice for them, be willing to listen, and be willing to put the teachings into practice. In this way, feeling joy for and praising others is a form of merits and virtues.

The sutra passage continues, “At this time, the World-Honored One praised those senior great Bodhisattvas, Excellent! Excellent! Good men, along with the Tathagata, you are all able to rejoice for [sentient being]”.

In this current passage, it is the World-Honored One’s turn to praise these Bodhisattvas. These Bodhisattvas were truly remarkable. “You all can also understand this. “You can understand that in a world that must be endured, for stubborn sentient beings to be tamed is no easy matter”. You all can further understand that, after these sentient beings have received the teachings, they were willing to accept them. They are willing to accept them over a long period of time and are able to realize and understand [the teachings]. These sentient beings slowly followed the teachings and comprehended the principles of the Buddha. That you praise them and rejoice for them is the same as encouraging them. At this time, the Buddha praised these Bodhisattvas in return, praising those who knew to praise others. We can see that these are principles and etiquette. They are etiquette and principles. These are mutual etiquette toward one another, and this mutual etiquette is the principles. They were mutually very respectful. Thus, in this way, the World-Honored One first commended and praised them for beings able to rejoice for [sentient beings].

The World-Honored One first commended and praised them for being able to rejoice for [sentient beings]. Thus, He said repeatedly, “Excellent!” This demonstrates precisely that after the Buddha entered Parinirvana, they would protect, uphold, read, recite and widely expound this sutra.

To “commend” is to “praise”. He commended everyone, praising these Bodhisattvas. He praised them all for knowing to praise the sentient beings of the Saha World. They received praise because they “rejoiced for [sentient beings]”. Thus, He praised them repeatedly, [saying], “Excellent! Excellent!” He did not just speak once, but repeatedly praised [them]. This demonstrates that, after the Buddha entered Parinirvana, they would protect, uphold, read, recite and widely expound this sutra in the Chapter on Dharma Teachers, He continually called for people to protect, uphold, read, recite and widely expound this sutra. The Buddha worried that, after He entered Parinirvana, if the sutra and the Dharma were to cease [to be transmitted], the worldly principles would be lost. So, prior to entering Parinirvana, the Buddha was very worried, for the Dharma needs to be carried on by people.

In the Lotus Sutra, continuing onward to the Chapter on the Practice of Bringing Peace and Joy, it constantly asks us all to understand the Dharma. Some methods may be very laborious, extremely difficult and arduous means, and we will encounter many difficulties. Manjusri Bodhisattva understood the Buddha’s mind, so he could also ask the Buddha to further explain how to prevent those difficulties so that everyone’s heart could avoid difficulties, while preserving and enduring in advancing this sutra. The Buddha taught this in the Chapter on the Practice of Bringing Peace and Joy. He was worried that after He entered Parinirvana, there would be no one to pass down the Dharma. We must be able to praise [each other] like this and just do the right things. We must pass down the Dharma like this. Spiritual practice is not difficult; spiritual practice is very simple. This is just like how we always speak of how to transform our wisdom. In truth, in our spiritual practice, if we use the Buddha-Dharma to explain wisdom, then it [may seem] very profound. If we use worldly teachings to explain it, then it is very easy.

The consciousnesses of the Five Roots, which encounter the Five Dusts and connect with external states, must be transformed into all-accomplishing wisdom The flawed sixth consciousness, which is the thinking mind, must be transformed into profound discerning wisdom. The seventh consciousness, which contemplates when our Roots and Dusts meet, must be transformed into universal equality wisdom. The eighth consciousness, which is the storehouse of conditioned phenomena must be transformed into unconditioned, great, perfect mirror wisdom.

Regarding “all-accomplishing wisdom”, every day, for us unenlightened beings, the Five Roots connect with the external Five Dusts. It is our “consciousness” that [enables us] to perceive these objects. What allows our mind-consciousness to analyze and perceive these objects are the Five Consciousnesses.

With the Five Consciousnesses, our eye, the-eye-root, connects with the form object. Otherwise the eye-root and that form object would be separate. With you [all here], with so many people sitting here, with so many people sitting here, if I close my eyes, once my eyes are closed, I do not see you at all. Or if m optical nerves lose their function, even though I still have this eye-root, without the optical nerves, then these sense objects will have no effect on my consciousness. Thus, we need the Five Roots, Five Dusts and Five Consciousnesses to come together to exercise their function. We must transform [this] into “all-accomplishing wisdom”. By combining them together, having both the object and the eye-root, we will understand how to distinguish them in this way these matters will all turn into “all-accomplishing wisdom”. Simultaneously, when the sixth consciousness encounters external conditions, in our mind-consciousness, after we see something, its image remains. This image is imprinted in our mind. Thus, our “mind” will start thinking; we will think about that object. “I really love it. I truly love it”. The sixth consciousness must be turned into “profound discerning wisdom”.

Once ordinary people crave something, they desire it because this appearance is in their mind. So, unenlightened beings constantly desire things. Day and night, this appearance is in our mind-consciousness. How can we obtain it? We contemplate and think about which methods we can employ to obtain what we desire, to satisfy our heart’s desires. Following this, we begin to act. After we act, there are effects. The effects that ordinary people create are karma, negative karma.

If, after learning the Buddha’s teachings, we can transform our Five Consciousnesses into “all-accomplishing wisdom, we can leverage each other’s strength, using external resources to help those who suffer”. They have the need, and we have these things we can put to good use. So, with this amount of resources, our sixth consciousness can transform into “profound discerning wisdom,” and we will quickly consider, “Do these people suffer from lack of clothing, lack of food or lack of a place to live in?” We must earnestly observe this. After we observe and understand these people’s suffering, we must then begin to contemplate. We think about these people. Whether they are near or far, no matter who they are, they need our help. We must overcome many difficulties to help these people. So, no matter how far away they are, because all sentient beings are equal, we demonstrate “unconditional loving-kindness” and “universal compassion”. That is when our seventh consciousness transforms into “universal equality wisdom”.

After all conditioned good deeds have been done, they return to unconditioned Dharma. This is how the eighth consciousness turns into “great, perfect mirror wisdom”. In summary, we must be very mindful with these names and appearances. We must apply the Buddha’s Four Wisdoms in our present. In using them in our present, when we see these resources, having learned the Buddha’s teachings, we must not covet [things] for ourselves. We ought to employ these items. We have these things and now that suffering exists. From our Roots, Dusts and Consciousnesses, the Five Consciousnesses, we know the quantity of these items. We understand and transform [our consciousnesses] into “profound discerning wisdom”. Since we have these items and know of others’ suffering, we must come to earnestly contemplate. Do they need urgent relief or a temporary place to stay? Or do they need long term [help] with settling their bodies and lives? We must earnestly examine this and contemplate it. No matter which country sentient beings are in, for the sake of their future and their future generations, how can we help them continue to [live on]? This is a matter of the seventh consciousness transforming into “universal equality wisdom”. This is what we hope for; we hope that they can do the same. This depends on all that we do. From “all-accomplishing wisdom” and “profound discerning wisdom,” [to] “universal equality wisdom,” all conditioned actions that follow the principles will return to unconditioned Dharma. That is “great, perfect mirror wisdom”. We must all mindfully seek to comprehend this.

The consciousnesses of the Five Roots, which encounter the Five Dusts and connect with external states, must be transformed into all-accomplishing wisdom. The flawed sixth consciousness, which is the thinking mind, must be transformed into profound discerning wisdom. The seventh consciousness, which contemplates when our Roots and Dusts meet, must be transformed into universal equality wisdom. The eighth consciousness, which is the storehouse of conditioned phenomena, must be transformed into unconditioned, great, perfect mirror wisdom.

So, in the Bodhisattvas’ praise, they praised those who accepted the Dharma and could be easily transformed and delivered. These Bodhisattvas praised them, and the Buddha also praised the Bodhisattvas. So, He repeated, “Excellent! Excellent!” This showed that after the Buddha entered Parinirvana, there would be someone to transmit the Dharma in the future.

At this time, the World-Honored One praised those senior great Bodhisattvas, “Excellent! Excellent”: This explains that after the four guiding teachers led the assembly to pay their respects and give praise, the Buddha first praised them as well by calling them excellent and then explained this matter.

“At this time, the World-Honored One praised those senior great Bodhisattvas, ‘Excellent! Excellent”’. Because those senior Bodhisattvas represented everyone, the Buddha returned the gesture to them. “You four senior great Bodhisattvas, please tell everyone on my behalf that. I praise everyone very highly”. The principle is the same. This was the Buddha’s praise and affirmation.

Later, He began to describe, “Good men, along with the Tathagata, you are all able to rejoice for [sentient beings]. In Tathagata’s Dharma-assembly, everyone is capable of praising [others]. Although you all are already accomplished, you still can praise those who have yet to be so”. So, He praised these Bodhisattvas.

Good men, along with the Tathagata, you are all able to rejoice for [sentient beings]: This is what He praised them for. Good men, within the Tathagata’s Dharma, you are all able to rejoice for sentient beings.

[He said] “Good men”. “Good men” refers to the fourfold assembly of monastic and lay practitioners learning the Buddha’s teachings. They are all called “good men”. “Within the Tathagata’s Dharma, you are all able to rejoice for sentient beings. You can all, within the Tathagata’s Dharma, willingly rejoice for sentient beings. This is no easy task”. He praised them in this way.

The next sutra passage states, “At that time, Maitreya Bodhisattva and the assembly of Bodhisattvas as numerous as the sands of 8000 Ganges Rivers all had this thought, ‘All of us, from the past until now…”’.

Now, [the sutra spoke of] Maitreya. Maitreya is the next Buddha. In the future, the one who will attain Buddhahood in this Saha World is Maitreya Bodhisattva. Maitreya Bodhisattva was at the Vulture Peak Assembly. Maitreya Bodhisattva was present from the start and all the way until now. We should remember that Maitreya Bodhisattva, in the Introductory Chapter, stepped forward to ask Maitreya Bodhisattva [questions]. Then Manjusre Bodhisattva began to draw from the past Sun-Moon-Lamp Radiant Buddhas. So, speaking of [Maitreya], he was present at the Vulture Peak Assembly from the beginning to the present. Maitreya Bodhisattva had already, for lifetime after lifetime, continuously engaged in spiritual practice. He and the Bodhisattvas as numerous as the sands of 8000 Ganges Rivers, such a great number of people, all gave rise to the same thought. So, Maitreya Bodhisattva is the future Buddha who will succeed [Sakyamuni Buddha]. He will be the succeeding Buddha in this world. He said, “All of us, from the past until now…”. “This means since long ago.” This is to say, from long ago until now.

All of us, from the past until now: This means since long ago, from the past until now. Maitreya and all those Bodhisattvas who had questions and doubts had been with the Buddha from when He first attained enlightenment until the present time at Vulture Peak.

So, Maitreya Bodhisattva was like this. In the Saha World, he continuously transformed [beings] alongside the Buddha. It is just that there is an order to attaining Buddhahood. Sakyamuni Buddha attained Buddhahood before Maitreya. Maitreya is slower than [Sakyamuni Buddha] and will attain Buddhahood later. So, Maitreya and all those Bodhisattvas “who had questions and doubts had been with the Buddha from when He first attained enlightenment until the present time at Vulture Peak.” This is saying that Maitreya Bodhisattva has constantly been there with the Buddha over many lifetimes. All the way through the Lotus Sutra, at Vulture Peak Assembly, he was also there. He led the assembly to ask questions. This was Maitreya Bodhisattva’s unique characteristic. So, “Maitreya and the assembly at Vulture Peak saw those great Bodhisattvas emerge from below. They had never seen this before.”

Maitreya and the assembly at Vulture Peak saw those great Bodhisattvas emerge from below. They had never seen this before, so they had doubts in their hearts and had this thought. The group of sages emerging from below had astonished the assembly. Many kalpas were made to seem like half a day; who wouldn’t think this strange? Seeing these Bodhisattvas as numerous as the sands of 8000 Ganges Rivers, they all had their doubts about that which had manifested. The Loving One, with the wisdom of the one succeeding the Buddha, wished to investigate the reason for this. Thus, he gave voice to his doubts about the manifest and requested [the teachings] so as to resolve both his and others’ doubts.

Maitreya saw these people emerging from the ground. There were so many Bodhisattvas. It seemed they had never seen them before; there were so many of them. Thus, they had doubts in their hearts and began to ask questions. These people emerged from the ground, including so many sages and practitioners. They all emerged in this way. So, many had doubts in their hearts.

In particular, during the previous passage where 50 small kalpas were shortened to half a day, this left everyone feeling great trepidation. How could such a long time, so many kalpas and so many teachings be shortened to half a day? Could they comprehend this? How could they not be surprised and doubtful? It was certainly strange. [The Buddha] shortened such a long time to half a day. This truly made people felt doubtful and strange. Maitreya Bodhisattva still had questions, so he raised these questions. “Seeing the Bodhisattvas as numerous as the sands of 8000 Ganges Rivers, they all had their doubts.” It is the same.

Regarding this manifestation, in the past, before the Buddha attained Buddhahood, how did He walk the path? It was [such a long journey]. He had so many manifestations over such a long period of time, so everyone harbored a bit of doubt and confusion. So, [it says] “the Loving One. The Loving One” is Maitreya. Maitreya has the wisdom of the one who succeeds the Buddha. We can see that he will attain Buddhahood, but to attain Buddhahood, in terms of the time of this world, it is trillions of kalpas away. So, there is still a great deal of time. But in terms of Buddha’s state, he is the Bodhisattva that will succeed the Buddha in the future Saha World, He is now the Bodhisattva who will succeed the Buddha. He is in line behind Sakyamuni Buddha, the Bodhisattva who will succeed the Buddha. With such wisdom, he is now practicing in Tusita Heaven.

However, whenever the Buddha teaches the Dharma, he is always present. So, with the wisdom of one who will succeed the Buddha [he] “wished to investigate the reason for this.” He had to investigate Sakyamuni Buddha’s accumulated lifetimes, the long time, the long kalpas of time he spent “to reveal the manifest,” coming and going. It is truly inconceivable. He shortened these principles to span the time of half a day. Everyone could understand that this was truly a bit strange and doubtful.

Because of the “doubts about the manifest,” the door of the manifest, he raised these questions “so as to” resolve his doubts. Of course, this represents that others had doubts in their minds too. For us to clearly understand [the principles], there must be someone who raises questions. In order to understand the principles, we must ask for clarity. Then it will be explained more clearly. This is just like the start of the Lotus Sutra, where the Buddha sat in silence while Maitreya Bodhisattva and Manjusri Bodhisattva engaged in a conversation. Upon hearing them, everyone felt that the sutra that the Buddha was going to expound would be very special. This made those present want to seek this sutra.

Moreover, when the Buddha emerged from Samadhi, He constantly kept praising this profound and wondrous Dharma. Thus, it lead Sariputra to repeatedly seek it, to repeatedly ask the Buddha. All of this comes from “asking.” When people ask questions, [the Buddha] can begin answering with the Dharma. So, asking questions about the Dharma is extremely important. We must be very mindful to be able to comprehend the Dharma. With understanding, there is doubt, and if there is doubt, we must ask questions. If we ask questions, we will gain clarity. This is the meaning of all this. Therefore, we must always be mindful!

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