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 20181205《靜思妙蓮華》忍辱不退 信受佛語 (第1494集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)

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20181205《靜思妙蓮華》忍辱不退 信受佛語 (第1494集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五) Empty
發表主題: 20181205《靜思妙蓮華》忍辱不退 信受佛語 (第1494集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)   20181205《靜思妙蓮華》忍辱不退 信受佛語 (第1494集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五) Empty周二 12月 04, 2018 6:27 pm

20181205《靜思妙蓮華》忍辱不退 信受佛語 (第1494集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)

⊙菩薩由忍辱力,總持一切善法,定必常不退失;恆持道心不退,決定知道不遠,精修慧心無懈。明性深入,唯進無退,名不退心。
⊙「如是諸子等,學習我道法,晝夜常精進,為求佛道故。在娑婆世界,下方空中住,志念力堅固,常勤求智慧,說種種妙法,其心無所畏。」《法華經從地涌出品第十五》
⊙「我於伽耶城,菩提樹下坐,得成最正覺,轉無上法輪,爾乃教化之,令初發道心。今皆住不退,悉當得成佛。」《法華經從地涌出品第十五》
⊙佛以菩薩本末因緣,似是近跡,實指遠本。有大道心,而修行者,始自初心,修行於道不退終得成佛。
⊙我於伽耶城,菩提樹下坐:伽耶城:與佛菩提場相近之城。
⊙伽耶:此云山城,即中印土摩竭提國城之西南,佛成道菩提樹下。
⊙得成最正覺,轉無上法輪:圓覺登住,便名正覺。三乘法轉,分上中下;一乘法轉,名為無上。
⊙爾乃教化之,令初發道心:自爾之時我乃常教化之,令其初發無上道心。
⊙今皆住不退,悉當得成佛:今則皆住不退之地,悉當得成無上佛果。
⊙「我今說實語,汝等一心信,我從久遠來,教化是等眾。」《法華經從地涌出品第十五》
⊙我今說實語,汝等一心信:佛說,我今說實語,正敦信立言。昔云今生,伽耶成道,是為劣機,方便而說。今云久成,是說實語。汝等皆當一心信受,勿生疑惑。

【證嚴上人開示】
菩薩由忍辱力,總持一切善法,定必常不退失;恆持道心不退,決定知道不遠,精修慧心無懈。明性深入,唯進無退,名不退心。

菩薩由忍辱力
總持一切善法
定必常不退失
恆持道心不退
決定知道不遠
精修慧心無懈
明性深入
唯進無退
名不退心

不退心,我們要時時多用心!菩薩,菩薩就是要堪忍,學菩薩道在堪忍世界,這個娑婆是我們情甘意願。學道者、修道者,必定行菩薩道,這樣我們才有辦法學佛、成佛,這是很合理的道路。所以我們應該要很用心,知道菩薩道的過程,一定要有忍辱力,忍辱力在這個人間。佛陀很明瞭告訴我們,這個人間,這個世界名稱叫做「堪忍」,在這個堪忍世界,「菩薩所緣,緣苦眾生」,也是很清楚表達了。既然我們的緣,就是要在眾生群中,眾生疾苦,很多很多的苦難,而菩薩在人群中做什麼呢?要持一切善。苦對治的方法,是要用善心、智慧;善心就是要去彌足他的缺陷,智慧就是教育他的苦惱。苦難、苦惱,菩薩要運用善心和智慧,這是一定要有的條件,所以,菩薩是要忍辱力,要具足了忍辱力,而且需要「總持一切善法」,一切的善法。

世間苦,千千萬萬般,什麼樣的苦都有,有的人真的是生活資糧欠缺,維生艱難,維持生活下去很艱難;而有的生活很優渥,物資就是很豐富,但是就是心不滿足,還是覺永遠有欠缺,久缺的事情卻是很多。有的是感情欠缺,不論是一個家庭裡面,是自己夫妻的感情,有的感情是很好,無奈就是生命無常,到底能夠多長的生命、多長的時間相處?唉呀,人生苦!有的就是子女親情,就是無法調和,或者是調和了,中間出問題了,也無法一輩子父慈子孝,也沒有辦法。有時候,路長長的世間,現在的社會生態,很容易讓年輕人心理出狀況。現在的社會是誘惑大呢?或者是壓力大?

總而言之,這個社會已經是很複雜,年輕人方向何去何從?有時候無法專心下來。事事有興趣、事事想要學,事事都不滿足,事事都不安心。做事一定是和人,而人,人人有理想、人人有意見,這種的「煩惱濁」、「見濁」,就在這樣就產生起來了。

「見濁」、「煩惱濁」,甚至「命濁」,都在這樣的這個濁氣滾滾,在人間、社會、家庭,就是這樣的因緣組合起來,所以就會苦。不一定是物質的苦,不一定是遇到自然災難的苦,不一定遇到人禍逃難的苦,不一定,在安逸的社會家庭中,也是苦的事情一大堆。光是一個家庭裡面,見濁、煩惱濁、命濁,在這個大時代就「劫濁」,這是五濁。滾滾,濁氣很重,這是眾生的苦。遇到這些苦要怎麼辦?也就是要總「一切善法」,要發揮如何用這個善法,好好去彌補,要發揮具足的智慧、定力,要如何去輔導他,不會受他影響,也不受環境的左右,這樣用智慧跟慈悲,慈悲智慧的善法入眾生的心。所以這人間,佛陀就這樣向我們明說──堪忍的世界。菩薩必定要堪得忍辱,還要在一切善去歷練;面向著千般萬形,這種的人間疾苦,要去投入。這是菩薩要鍛鍊的。

所以,「總持一切善法」,就要有定力,「定必常不退失,恆持道心不退」。那就是這個道,這條道路堅持,我們知道人間的方向就是這樣,這條路要發心開,我們若沒有開這條路,永遠方向是知道了,但是無路可走。苦難的眾生真是苦不堪,不只是苦難、無明、濁氣很重的眾生,連我們自己知道佛法,我們若不肯向前進步,同樣我們也在這個,濁氣很重的裡面,還是無法得以脫離。所以,開道者雖然很辛苦,我們一方面接受佛陀的教法,道理我們不斷不斷接受、體會、了解,然後身體力行。方向準定開道,付出體力,盡此一報身,盡力量將這條準確方向的道,就是這樣來開。

就像約旦的濟暉(陳秋華),就是這樣,願心、耐心、堪忍的心,這種忍辱,他持這股的力量在約旦,面對著苦難的眾生。那些苦難的眾生,不是約旦的社會,那個地方有的苦難,是來自很多國家,因為人禍造成逃難。逃難,流離失所,逃到約旦的邊界來,在那種沙漠型的曠野裡,在那個地方就建那個難民營,一個一個的小帳篷,在那個地方搭起來。帳篷搭起來了,沙漠型的大地,想想看,風若大,風沙滾滾;若是太陽曬,煎沙煮日,太陽就像在那裡煮過的太陽,沙土就像在那裡炒過的沙土,天煎地逼!

無奈的難民為了求逃命,在那個地方,人群中是幾萬人!常常都是有這樣,不斷、不斷遷入的人。政府有寬大的心,開放這個邊界讓他們進來,但是人口多,(二0一七年)多數的人,還是在那個帳篷區,生活要如何過呢?濟暉在那個地方,已經超過二三十年,慈濟在那個地方,也差不多二十年了,從參加看個案開始發心,從這樣開始。這十幾年來,邊界的國家有多少個國家戰亂?有伊拉克,還有這樣,敘利亞,還有歷史性的,有的國家還是在逃難,中東不安穩,還是逃難的難民。那個國家受難,生活有問題,慈善機構就要在那個地方,去做支援,會有很多機構進去,人道精神的團體,但是年久月深,這些機構慢慢就會撤退了。長期長期在關懷,那就是濟暉。帶著幾位當地的志工,這樣長期關懷。

多少的悲悽的個案,悲苦、悽慘,逃難九死一生,才能夠保得家庭的人平安。有的人是沿路走,沿路損失家庭的人口,剩下來的能夠在那難民營,又剩下來,到達難民營,有的是身體已經受傷了、病了,傷啊、病啊,一個一個悲苦、慘難的家庭。經過了濟暉用心,長期在那個地方陪伴、付出。雖然說,有我們臺灣(慈濟)在支持他,但是在那個地方,精神力量要長期這樣維持下去,不簡單啊!實在是很辛苦。面對著這麼多苦難人,要用什麼方法,能夠在不同的宗教,用心去將他們的心和身帶出來。

儘管大家都是說:「感恩,阿拉派你來、派慈濟來。」他也會這樣堅持在自己的道,不失道心。他也會告訴他們:「我也很感恩,感恩釋迦牟尼佛,感恩慈濟人的支持。」這是很圓滿的對答,你信仰是信仰你的,我信仰我的,保持我的道心、保持我這一條路。很明顯的道路,我是用堪忍的力量、用愛的力量,自發心,我知道人生的方向,我知道我自己要如何走的路。順這個方向,我身體力行在開這條路,能夠讓大家平平安安,一起走過這條人間坎坷的道路。是用這個精神,來面對這種不同的宗教。

不同的宗教,他們有心靈的依靠,但是佛法就是得來了方法,用法自度、度他。要如何自己努力?路要自己開,不是等著別人開。而我們發心,就是發心在我願意開路,大家一起來鋪,或者是大家一起來走,這是永恆的道路。若沒有人願意身體力行,永遠都是沒有路,沒有道。天下無道,就會亂;領導者無道,不知道道理,也會惹來了人禍大亂;不只是引天災,也惹人禍。所以,我們若常常在看,古裝的戲劇,「無道」,無道就會惹成了天下大亂。

修行就是要有路,要有這個道,道我們要開得好,讓人人有道行進,這條路。我們若自己怕辛苦,只是要靠人;這是要靠到什麼時候?應該要有人願意開這條路,整理好這條道,讓人人來走、來鋪,這才是真正根本。開道者、說道者、行道者,這就是要有這樣的方向。所以,我們要「總持一切善法」,我們才能夠「定必常不退失」。路你要走下去,你才不會又有退轉的心,因為在走,身體力行,我們的體會才能深。所以就像濟暉,他就是一直走,他的感受,那些苦難人同理心,同體大悲,看到那些孩子、看到那些人可以站起來,這種那個感受,自然他就會向前一直走去,「恆持道心不退」。這就是有真實心,走下去的心。

「決定知道不遠」。這條路是走對的,繼續一直走去,絕對只要走對路,不怕路長。堪忍的世界我們已經知道,坎坷的道路我們也了解,但是對準的道路用心去鋪它,將坎坷的路,就是要將它鋪到平來。「精修慧心無懈」,就是要好好,除了總「一切善法」,我們要再真精進。總一切善是為眾生苦難,「精修慧心」,是我們要身體力行,道理我們自己要體會,有行道,路有在走,腳踏實地,很穩定的那個真實的感覺,那個道。所以我們要「精修慧心」,不要有懈怠。所以,「明性深入」,唯有進步,沒有往後退,所以唯有精進,無退,名叫做「不退心」。這些事情大家要清楚。每一天要告訴大家,佛陀他是教我們行菩薩道,我們自己要去體會,意義在哪裡?精粹的重要在哪裡?那就要大家用心去體會。現在的人間、現在的時代,社會、家庭、人心,我們全都要不斷不斷去了解,這樣我們讀經,才有辦法通達這個道的理。

前面的文這樣說:「如是諸子等,學習我道法,晝夜常精進,為求佛道故。在娑婆世界,下方空中住,志念力堅固,常勤求智慧,說種種妙法,其心無所畏。」

如是諸子等
學習我道法
晝夜常精進
為求佛道故
在娑婆世界
下方空中住
志念力堅固
常勤求智慧
說種種妙法
其心無所畏
《法華經從地涌出品第十五》

這是我們說過了,這些菩薩來的因緣、所住的地方,他們所走的道路,那就是中道。這昨天已經了解了。

接下來這段文,我們應該要用心:「我於伽耶城,菩提樹下坐,得成最正覺,轉無上法輪,爾乃教化之,令初發道心。今皆住不退,悉當得成佛。」

我於伽耶城
菩提樹下坐
得成最正覺
轉無上法輪
爾乃教化之
令初發道心
今皆住不退
悉當得成佛
《法華經從地涌出品第十五》

更要再更用心,前面有說過了,是釋迦佛無始劫、無始劫以前,所累積化度的眾生,現在已經是成發大心的菩薩。但是,接下來現在這段文,又要再說,「我於伽耶城」,坐於菩提樹下,在「菩提樹下坐」。這段文,我們就是要再很用心來體會了。

佛以菩薩本末因緣
似是近跡
實指遠本
有大道心
而修行者
始自初心
修行於道不退
終得成佛

「佛以菩薩本末因緣」。現在這段在說起來,好像這「跡」很近,好像很近,今生此世佛陀修行過程,來到伽耶城,坐菩提樹下,成道了,之後才開始說法教化,好像這個「跡」很近,今生此世,這個因緣。其實這個道理內涵著是遠本,現在說「現在」,它的含義,在無量數劫以前那個根本。

所以,聽經要常常在「現在」,我們要務實、務本。務實就是現實的人生,我到底在與什麼人說話?這個人與我的因緣有多久?這是很現實。這個人現生與我的因緣,是什麼時候?某年某日有因緣會合,一直延伸下來,這個這段時間,這是今生此世,「近跡」。但是我們要相信因緣,我們的因緣,生生世世的遠因、遠緣,所以我們要去了解,實的「遠本」。常常會向大家提起,〈化城喻品〉十六王子,會常常這樣向大家提起,這就是遠因,很長久。伽耶城是在今生此世,釋迦佛這個時代,看起來表面上很近。這些弟子,我說法,他們聽進去了。其實,聽得進去這個法,這個緣不是今生此世,也有遠因、遠世,很長久,所以叫做「遠本」。

「有大道心,而修行者,始自初心」,真正已經發大道心了。我們已經說過「大道心」,這是累生累世累積,要從開始那個初心開始,所以要不退,這樣一直延續下來,不斷一直到今生,就是要有遙遠、遙遠那個因緣,不斷一直連續一直到今生,今生此世。這時候能夠看到這麼多,累積來的人,這些菩薩,這若沒有前因,就沒有今果,因、果。這個「因」中間要有「緣」,「果」的後面要有「報」,因、緣、果、報,這種形相,前後次序。現在的修行能夠得法,聞法、受法、得法,這些人的因緣是很長久!今時、今生表達能夠得受記,這些都是在今生來完成。因為今生,佛是成佛了,所以今生為他們授記,今天完成了。所以,「我於伽耶城,菩提樹下坐」。

我於伽耶城
菩提樹下坐:
伽耶城
與佛菩提場
相近之城

在這菩提樹下,「伽耶城」是在哪裡呢?「與佛菩提場相近之城」,這個城,就是在佛陀成佛那個菩提樹,那個地點離沒多遠,那個地點和伽耶城離沒多遠。所以這個地方這樣說,山城,伽耶城是一個山城,多山、多丘陵的地方。

伽耶:
此云山城
即中印土
摩竭提國城之西南
佛成道菩提樹下

那就是印度的摩竭提國,這個國的城的西南方,那就是伽耶城,也就是佛陀成佛的那個菩提樹,就差不多在這個範圍的裡面。這就是讓我們了解,佛陀離開皇宮,到處參訪,成佛也是回歸到離他們的皇城,也不是很遠。在這個地方,伽耶城沒有多遠,那個道場裡,在那裡成佛。所以,「得成最正覺,轉無上法輪」。

得成最正覺
轉無上法輪:
圓覺登住
便名正覺
三乘法轉
分上中下
一乘法轉
名為無上

在那個地方,那就是靜謐修持,剎那間與天體合而為一,覺悟了,天地宇宙萬物的道理,無不都收納在佛的覺海中。這佛性慧海,完全容納了這天地宇宙的真理,所以「圓覺登住」,就住在這個地方。佛的心境就是在圓覺這個地點,他永住在這個地方,那是佛的心靈世界。所以,「便名正覺」,這叫做「正覺」。所以,大覺者,覺悟了。所以,「三乘法轉,分上中下」,去轉法輪,在鹿野苑轉法輪,三轉「四諦」法在鹿野苑,這「苦、集、滅、道」,這樣完成了佛、法、僧,五比丘出家,就這樣完成了。這是佛陀開始施教法,那就是以三乘平行。三乘法──聲聞、緣覺、菩薩,這樣的方法,他是觀機逗教。大家的悟性不整齊,佛陀就應根機而施教,各人的根機接受不同的法,這是佛陀的智慧。所以,「一乘法轉,名為無上」。佛陀的法音,佛陀智慧,說法的方法,他可以應不同人的根機,一語能夠有關,大家所想要的道理,這就是佛陀的大覺悟、大智慧。

爾乃教化之
令初發道心:
自爾之時
我乃常教化之
令其初發無上道心

「爾乃教化之,令初發道心」。就是在那個地方成佛之後,開始為起點,就(在)鹿野苑展開了教法,施三乘法開始,三乘法就這樣開始了。所以,「自爾之時,我乃常教化之,令其初發無上道心」。覺悟之後,離開菩提道場,就是這樣開始了,就是說法的生涯。這一生中佛、法、僧具足了,開始展開了教育,度化眾生。所以,「令其初發無上道心」。從聲而聞,用聲音來傳法,靠聲音入心;聲音就是傳法的道器,這樣一個一個體解佛法,這樣接受度化,這就是佛陀能夠對眾生,這樣的教法。

所以,「今皆住不退,悉當得成佛」。現在,讓大家入這個道法之後,永遠就沒有退轉了。

今皆住不退
悉當得成佛:
今則皆住不退之地
悉當得成無上佛果

在這個堪忍的心,在娑婆世界,慢慢養成了從小乘、中乘,而成就大乘,了解世間原來是苦啊!從小乘法就知道了。苦的道理是如何來?一定要自己自滅苦的源頭。要自滅苦的源頭,就要耐心在這個娑婆世界,吸收佛陀的教育,這種煩惱無明才有方法滅除,這叫做自修;還是堪忍在這樣的世界,堪忍在這樣的道場裡,堪忍在這樣的人群裡。

這已經從佛陀讓大家知苦,大家就已經有這樣堪忍,只是發心的程度,有的人,「這輩子我要堪忍,我來生不敢再來了」,這是來生不敢。佛陀就是要讓人人,下輩子不只是敢,還是要再發心,永恆的心,生生世世。這種苦難的地方,你要不厭其煩來來回回,要再來、要再教,因為眾生,濁惡的世間,煩惱愈來愈重、愈來愈亂。天下國家、社會、人間、家庭,這種社會變遷,人心愈來愈複雜了,正是需要人人去,要有願心再來,這就是菩薩要堪忍。

所以,現在大家的心,已經住在不退了,這大乘心發起來,就是不畏,沒有畏懼,堪忍,我堪得忍耐,生生世世在這個地方,我願意。所以,他在此界之下空中住,這種來來回回,沒有離開此界,行在中道上,在中道之上,所以「悉當得成佛」。

就像這樣,走對的路,路沒有多遠,因為雖然路坎坷,我們路一直在開;道一直開,路要一直鋪,有人開道就有人鋪路。這條路一定要鋪到很平坦,就是要將人的心的道要開通;人心無道,那就是天下大亂。人心,領導者要有道,被領導的人也要有道,共同一條道路去走,若這樣整個人間才有辦法改變。路還未開通之前,還是要發心立願,這條道還是要繼續開下去,這是一定的道理。所以,「今則皆住不退之地,悉當得成佛」,這樣一直走去,這條路保證絕對是走得透。

所以,接下來這段文再說:「我今說實語,汝等一心信,我從久遠來,教化是等眾。」

我今說實語
汝等一心信
我從久遠來
教化是等眾
《法華經從地涌出品第十五》

這段文就是要再為我們加強,「我們要有信心,我現在已經告訴大家,真實的話了」。「本」,根本的法和今生這個緣,過去的因、現在的緣,這個將來要結果,在此時讓大家要清楚了解。所以,佛說「我今說實語」,我說的話完全都真的。這個「正」,是要向大家表示,很敦厚、很殷實,你們要建立你們的信心,我說的話每句都是很真實,這個立言是真實,不虛假。

我今說實語
汝等一心信:
佛說
我今說實語
正敦信立言
昔云今生
伽耶成道
是為劣機
方便而說
今云久成
是說實語
汝等皆當一心信受
勿生疑惑

所以,「昔云」。過去說的和現在說的,說過去無量億劫前的因緣,和告訴大家,現在今生成佛的因緣,這不論說過去、談現在,現在在說的伽耶城,成道等等,大家回憶一下就知道了。這生中我是如何來、從哪裡來?如何的目的來修行?這大家都聽懂、都了解了。所以,現在說的伽耶城的故事,即使根機較差的人都聽得懂,舉這個例,這叫做方便法。

現在就是應身在人間,應這個因緣來人間,看得到、體會得到、聽得到,這有形、有相,大家聽得到這個方便法。其實,有形、有相,內含真實的道理,那就是無形、無相,遠古的事情。所以,「今云久成」,那就是實在。現在的相不久住,因為道理來自長久以前,這輩子結束,還是要回歸在長久以前的道理,同樣。所以,「是說實語」,回歸在長久,那是真實語。現在淺顯的大家看得到,這是方便,我這樣的教化,有形,不是長久能夠住著的,不是長久能夠住著的,不是長久能夠住世,還是回歸於無形的,那就是遠古以來,那個精神理念的道理,這就是。

所以,「今云久成,是說實語,汝等皆當一心信受,勿生疑惑」。這段文應該和前面說過的文,應該就是要連結起來,所以大家要用心,而心要用在我們當下。菩薩,要如何行?一念心,總是要忍辱力,要知道過去的根本,還要再用我們現在。我們人人現在都是方便的──方便叫你的名字、方便借你的力、方便我們現這樣的身,我們人人都在方便法中。這是短暫,有期,有一期壽命的時間,不是真實,如夢、如幻、如泡影。不過,回歸到真實,就是要有真正我自己的方向、我自己的道,我自己要知道如何去付出,累積著我們這分記憶,真實的記憶,那就是「識」,回歸到我們的「藏識」,真如本性,能夠讓我們自己作主,我們願意做什麼事情。哪怕在現在,方便的體力去為苦難人,因果所造成的苦難人,我們也要用善因、善果,去庇護著他們,要如何教他們耕心地、播種子、造福田。

雖然這全都是短暫的人生,但是回歸到道理,那是永恆!要,大家要很用心,去體會這個內涵的真實法,所以佛陀要告訴你們真實法,就是在這段(經)文。你們大家要相信,相信我所說的是真實法。」這是佛陀對我們的交代,所以我們一定要相信,相信佛所說法。時時要多用心!


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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: Faithfully Accepting the Buddha’s Words (忍辱不退 信受佛語)
Date: December.05.2018

“Through the power of patience, Bodhisattvas retain and uphold all virtuous Dharma. They must always have Samadhi and never regress or lose it, forever upholding their aspirations without retreating. They know for certain the path is not long and diligently cultivate wisdom without indolence. They clearly understand and deeply penetrate their nature. They only advance and never retreat. This is having a non-retreating mind.”

To have a non-retreating mind, we must always be mindful. To be a Bodhisattva, we must be able to patiently endure. We learn the Bodhisattva-path in this world that must be endured. We willingly live in this Saha World. We who learn and practice the Dharma must practice upon the Bodhisattva-path. Only then will be able to learn from the Buddha and attain Buddhahood. This is a very logical path.

So, we must be very mindful and know that the course of the Bodhisattva-path requires the power of patience for us to patiently [endure] this world. The Buddha clearly told us that this world is “hard to endure”. In this world that is hard to endure, “Bodhisattvas arise because of suffering sentient beings.” He made this clear to us as well. Since we must make connections among people and sentient beings face so much suffering, what should Bodhisattvas do among them? We should uphold all that is virtuous. We must treat their suffering with a heart of virtue and wisdom. With a heart of virtue, we seek to make up for their shortcomings. With wisdom, we teach them about their afflictions. [To treat] suffering and afflictions, Bodhisattvas must exercise both virtue and wisdom. These are essential.

So, Bodhisattvas must be replete with the power of patience, and they must “retain and uphold all virtuous Dharma.” In this world, there are countless forms of suffering. Some people lack life’s necessities and struggle to survive. Others enjoy prosperous lives and are very affluent, but inside, they feel discontent and are always lacking something. There are still many things they lack. Some people lack good relationships, whether with their family or their spouse. Others have very good relationships, yet life is impermanent.

Ultimately, how long of a life and how much time will they be able to spend together? Life is full of suffering. Others are unable to have a harmonious relationship with their children. Or perhaps once they have reconciled with them, problems arise again, and they are unable to maintain the natural love between parents and children throughout their life between parents and children throughout their life. Sometimes, on their long path through this world, with the way of life in today’s society, it is easy for young people to develop psychological issues. Aren’t there a lot of temptations and stress in today’s society?

All in all, our society has become very complicated. Which direction should our young people take? Sometimes they cannot focus at all. They are interests in everything and want to learn everything. They are dissatisfied with everything, and they are discontent with everything. They must work with others to accomplish things, but everyone has their own ideas and opinions. This gives rise to the turbidities of afflictions and views. The turbidities of afflictions, views and life, these roiling turbidities, exist within the world, society and families, and when causes and conditions converge, they bring us suffering. This is not necessarily physical suffering, the suffering caused by natural disasters or manmade calamities. This is not necessarily so.

Even in peaceful societies and families, there is still so much suffering. In just a single family, [we can see] the turbidities of afflictions, views and life. This modern era is the “kalpa of turbidity”. [It is filled with] the Five Turbidities. These roiling turbidities are very severe. They bring suffering for sentient beings. What should we do if we encounter this suffering? We should uphold all virtuous Dharma. We should use this virtuous Dharma to remedy [this situation] by exercising the wisdom and power of Samadhi with which we are endowed. We must find a way to guide people without being influenced by them or affected by our environment. When we exercise our wisdom and compassion, the virtuous teaching of our wisdom and compassion will enter the hearts of sentient beings. So, this world, as the Buddha has clearly expressed to us, is the world that must be endured. Bodhisattvas must endure it patiently and train themselves [through upholding] all virtuous [Dharma] while facing the countless forms of suffering in this world and dedicating themselves [to helping others]. This is what Bodhisattvas must practice. So, to “retain and uphold all virtuous [Dharma],” [Bodhisattvas] must have the power of Samadhi. “They must always have Samadhi and never regress or lose it, forever upholding their aspirations without retreating.” This is the path we must persevere upon. We know that this is our direction in this world. We must form aspirations to clear this path. If we do not clear this path, even though we will always know our direction, we will have no path to walk upon.

The suffering of sentient beings is truly unbearable. Suffering is not limited to sentient beings with hardships, ignorance and severe turbidities. Even though we know the Buddha-Dharma, if we refuse to progress forward, we too will remain in this place with severe turbidities, unable to escape. So, though it takes hard work to clear this path, as we receive the Buddha’s teachings, we must constantly accept, realize and comprehend the principles, and we must put them into practice. We must open up the path in the right direction, dedicate our strength and fully dedicate our reward-body. We must give our all to open up this path in the right direction. Chi Hui, [our director] in Jordan, has vows, patience and endurance like this. He upholds this power of patience in Jordan as he faces the suffering sentient beings there. The hardships faced by people there do not stem from Jordanian society, but rather from the many [neighboring] countries where people flee because of manmade calamities. People flee as homeless refugees to the Jordanian border. In the vast wilderness of the desert, a refugee camp has been built. One by one, small tents were erected there. The tents were erected on the desert land. Just imagine! Whenever a hard wind blows, it stirs up a sandstorm. When the sun scorches the sand, it is like the sun is baking the sand. The hot sun presses down on the earth. These helpless refugees flee for their lives to that place. They number in the tens of thousands, and people keep coming in on a constant basis. The [Jordanian] government was generous to open the border to let them in, but there are so many people.

By 2017, most of those people still live in the tent area. How do they get by? Chi Hui has been [in Jordan] for over 20 years by now. Tzu Chi has also been serving there for over 20 years. [Chi Hui] first started [volunteering] by visiting care recipients; this is how he got started. Over the last ten or more years, [Jordan’s] neighboring countries have been ravaged by war, including Iraq and Syria. There are other historical reasons behind this. [People] are still fleeing from certain countries. Due to the instability of the Middle East, refugees are still fleeing. In whichever country they endure suffering wherever people encounter hardships in life, charity organizations will go there to assist them. Many humanitarian organizations will go.

However, before long, these organizations will slowly start to withdraw. Chi Hui has been providing long-term care there. He and several local volunteers have been providing long-term care. There are so many cases of hardship and misery. People must flee against impossible odds in order to keep their families safe. People lose their family members along the way. Those who remain are eventually abide to reach the refugee camps. Some arrive already injured or sick. They all come from anguished, devastated families. Chi Hui has dedicated himself to serving and accompanying those in that place for the long term. Although he has support from [Tzu Chi] in Taiwan, being in that place and maintaining his morale for the long term is no easy feat! It really is hard work. Faced with so many suffering people with a different religion, he has to find ways to mindfully lead people out of their mental and physical [hardships]. Even though they all say, “We are grateful to Allah for sending you, for sending Tzu Chi here, [Chi Hui] still maintains his own spiritual path without losing sight of his spiritual aspirations. He also tells them, “I am also very grateful. I am grateful to Sakyamuni Buddha. I am grateful for Tzu Chi’s support”. This is a perfect response. “You believe in your religion, and I believe in mine. I uphold my spiritual aspirations, and I uphold my path, this clear path of mine. I use the power of patience and love. I have formed aspirations, and I know my direction in life. I know how I should walk this path. Following along in this direction, I put the Dharma into practice to clear this path so that everyone can safely walk together upon this bumpy path in this world”. This is the spirit with which we must face different religions. [People of] different religions have their own form of spiritual support, but the Buddha-Dharma still gives us ways to use the Dharma to transform ourselves and others. How do we make the effort [to do this]? We must clear the path ourselves instead of waiting for others to do it [for us]. When we form aspirations, it means that we are willing to clear this path. We will clear this path together and walk it together. This is an everlasting path. If no one is willing to put the Dharma into practice, there will be no path. Without a path, there will be chaos in the world. When leaders have no path and do not know the principles, they bring about manmade calamities and chaos, not just natural disasters but manmade calamities as well.

In historical costume dramas, we often see pathless [rulers]. These pathless [rulers] bring about great chaos in the world. To engage in spiritual practice, we must have this path. We must clear this path well so that everyone will have a path to walk. If we fear the hard work and just want to rely on others to do it, how much longer are we going to be dependent? There needs to be people willing to open up this path and clear it so that everyone can walk it and pave it together. They are the true foundation [of this path], the builders and teachers of the path and those who walk it. This is the direction we should take. We must “retain and uphold all virtuous Dharma” so that we can “always have Samadhi and never regress or lose it”. We must keep walking this path so that we never develop the desire to retreat. We put the Dharma into practice as we walk it; only then will we experience [the Dharma] deeply. This is just like Chi Hui, who keeps on walking. He has empathy for those who are suffering. This is universal compassion. Seeing how those people and their children can stand up [on their own two feet], the compassion he feels naturally propels him forward as he “forever uphold [his] aspirations without retreating”. This requires true aspirations and persistence to keep walking onward. We must “know for certain the path is not long”. This is the right path to walk on. We must keep walking it. As long as we know for certain that we walk the right path, we will not fear its length. We already know this world is hard to endure. We already understand that this path is bumpy. Yet we align ourselves along this path and pave it with dedication. We must pave this bumpy path level and even.

“Diligently cultivate wisdom without indolence” means that, in addition to “retaining all virtuous Dharma”, we must be even more diligent. We must retain all virtuous Dharma to relieve sentient beings’ suffering. “Diligently cultivate wisdom” means we must put the principles into practice. We must personally experience the principles. We have been walking the path steadfastly, with a genuine sense of stability upon this path. So, we must “diligently cultivate wisdom” without indolence. [Bodhisattvas] “clearly understand and deeply penetrate their nature”. They only progress and never retreat. So, they only diligently advance and never retreat. This is what it means to have a “non-retreating mind”. Everyone should clearly understand these matters.

Every day, I tell everyone about how the Buddha teaches us to walk the Bodhisattva-path. We must personally seek to experience this. Where does its meaning lie? Where does the core of its essence lie? We must mindfully seek to comprehend this. Be it today’s world, the present era, society, families or the human mind, we must constantly seek to understand them. Only then, as we learn the sutra, will we be able to fully comprehend the principles of the path.

In the previous sutra passage, [the Buddha] says, “All these children learn and practice my teachings of the path. Day and night, they are always diligent for the sake of seeking the path to Buddhahood. They abide in the empty space below this Saha World. Their power of resolve and thought is firm, and they always earnestly seek wisdom. They teach all kinds of wondrous Dharma, and their minds are fearless”.

We have previously discussed this, the causes and conditions behind the arrival of these Bodhisattvas and the place where they abide. The path they walk is the Middle Way. We must be very mindful of this next sutra passage.

“In the city of Gaya, I sat beneath the Bodhi tree, attained the most perfect enlightenment and turned the unsurpassed Dharma-wheel. At that time, I taught and transformed them, helping them form initial spiritual aspirations. Now they all abide in the state of non-retreating and will all attain Buddhahood”.

We need to be even more mindful. As I have said previously, the sentient beings whom Sakyamuni Buddha had transformed Beginning less kalpas ago had now become Bodhisattvas who had formed great aspirations.

However, in the next sutra passage, [the Buddha] states, “In the city of Gaya, I sat beneath the Bodhi tree”. Again, we must mindfully seek to comprehend this passage.

The Buddha made use of His causes and conditions as a Bodhisattva from beginning to end. What seems like a recent manifestation actually leads to the distant intrinsic. People who have great spiritual aspirations and engage in spiritual practice begin from their initial aspiration. By practicing on the path without retreating, they will eventually attain Buddhahood.

This passage states that this manifestation” seems to be very recent. During the Buddha’s course of spiritual practice in this lifetime, he went to the city of Gaya and sat beneath the Bodhi tree. Only after He attained enlightenment did He begin to expound the Dharma, to teach and transform. This manifestation seems very recent, as they are the circumstances of His present lifetime. But actually, the principles contained within [this manifestation] are the distant intrinsic. The “present” we are now discussing was rooted countless kalpas in the past. So, we should always focus on the present while we listen to the sutra. We should be pragmatic and principled. To be pragmatic is to face the reality of life.

Who is it I speak to? How long will our affinities last? These are very practical considerations. When did our affinities in this life begin? These causes and conditions came together on a certain day of a certain year and have extended toward this period of time. This is our “recent manifestation” in our present lifetime, but we should have faith in our affinities, our causes and conditions, including the distant causes and conditions from many lifetime ago.

So, we must try to understand the true “distant intrinsic”. I often refer to the 16 princes from the Chapter on the Parable of the Conjured City. I often mention them to everyone. This is a distant cause, somethomg that happened a long time ago. [The events in] the city of Gaya happened during.

Sakyamuni Buddha’s lifetime. On the surface, they seem recent but when these disciples listened to and accepted the Dharma [the Buddha] taught them, actually, this affinity did not come from this lifetime, but rather from distant causes and distant lifetimes. This came from very long ago, thus, it is called the “distant intrinsic”. “People who have great spiritual aspirations and engage in spiritual practice begin from their aspiration”. They had truly formed great spiritual aspirations. We have discussed how great spiritual aspirations are accumulated throughout many lifetimes beginning from that initial aspiration. We must not retreat [from this aspiration]. This is how they continued to sustain it all the way throughout their present lifetime; they had to constantly sustain all the way up to their present lifetime. By this time, there were so many of them, these Bodhisattvas who had gathered there. These present effects would not exist if it were not for those past causes; this is the law of cause and effect. These causes need conditions, and effects are followed by retributions. Causes, conditions effects and retributions appear in this order. Through their present cultivation, they attained the Dharma; they heard, accepted and attained the Dharma because they had [accumulated].

At this time, in this lifetime, they were able to receive predictions of Buddhahood. They completed [this process] in this lifetime because the Buddha had attained enlightenment in this lifetime. Thus, He bestowed predictions upon them in this lifetime.

So, “In the city of Gaya, I sat beneath the Bodhi tree”. He sat beneath this Bodhi tree. Where was the city of Gaya? It “was a city close to where the Buddha attained enlightenment.

This city is not far from the Bodhi tree. This city is not far from the Bodhi tree where the Buddha attained enlightenment. That place is not far from the city of Gaya. People say that it is a mountain city, that Gaya is a mountain city, a place with many mountains and hills. It is southwest of the kingdom of Magadha in India. The Bodhi tree where the Buddha attained enlightenment is also somewhere within that area. From this we know that after the Buddha left the palace to travel everywhere, when He attained enlightenment, He returned to a place not far from their capital. This place was not far from Gaya. This was the place of enlightenment where He attained Buddhahood. Hence, “I attained the most perfect enlightenment and turned the unsurpassed Dharma-wheel.

I attained the mist perfect enlightenment and turned the unsurpassed Dharma-wheel: He ascended to and abided in conplete enlightenment. Thus, this is called perfect enlightenment. When He turns [the wheel of] the Three Vehicles, it is divided into great, average and limited, when He turns [the wheel of] the One Vehicle, it is called “unsurpassed”. In that place, He engaged in tranquil cultivation.

Suddenly, He became one with the universe and attained enlightenment. The principles of all things in the universe were all absorbed into the Buddha’s ocean of enlightenment. This Buddha-nature and ocean of wisdom fully contains the true principles of the universe. Thus, “He ascended to and abided in complete enlightenment”. This is where He abides. The Buddha’s state of mind abides in complete enlightenment. He forever abides in this place; this is the Buddha’s spiritual state. “Thus, this is called perfect enlightenment.”

Thus, the Buddha is called the Enlighted One, the Great Enlightened One who has become enlightened. “when He turns [the wheel of] the Three Vehicles, it is divided into great, average and limited He turned the Dharma-wheel in Deer Park. There, He completed the Three Turnings of the Four Noble Truths, suffering, causation cessation and the Path. This completed [the Three Treasures], the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha. When the five bhiksus became monastics, the [Three Treasures] were complete. The Buddha began to give the teachings by using the Three Vehicle in parallel, the Three Vehicles of Hearers, Solitary Realizers and Bodhisattvas. Using this method, He taught according to capabilities. people have different capacities for awakening so the Buddha teaches according to capabilities. Each person receives different teachings based on their capability. Such is the Buddha’s wisdom.

So, “When He turns [the wheel of] the One Vehicle, it is called ‘unsurpassed”’. The sound of the Buddha-Dharma reflects His wisdom. He expounds the Dharma in various ways according to people’s different capabilities and speaks in relation to the principles they wish [to understand]. Such is the Buddha’s great enlightenment and great wisdom.

“At that time, I taught and transformed them, helping them form initial spiritual aspirations”. After He attained Buddhahood in that place, from then on, He began to teach the Dharma at Deer Park using the Three Vehicle Dharma. Thus, He began [to teach] the Three Vehicle Dharma. So, “Since that time, I constantly taught and transformed them, helping them form their initial unsurpassed aspirations”. After attaining enlightenment, He left the Bodhimanda and began a life of teaching the Dharma. When the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha were fully realized within this life, He began to teach and transform sentient beings.

So, He “helped them form their initial unsurpassed aspirations”. He used His voice to spread the Dharma. He relied on people to take His voice to heart. His voice was His tool for spreading the Dharma. One by one, people came to understand the Buddha-Dharma and accepted transformation. This is how the Buddha was able to use [different] teaching methods for [different] sentient beings. “Now they all abide in the state of non-retreating and will all attain Buddhahood.” Now that He had led them all to this path, they would never retreat from it.

Now they all abide in the state of non-retreating and will all attain Buddhahood: Now they all abide in the state of non-retreating and will all attain the supreme fruit of Buddhahood.

Patiently enduring this Saha World, we gradually cultivate through the Small Vehicle and Middle Vehicle to reach the Great Vehicle. We understand that this world is inherently full of suffering; we know this from the Small Vehicle Dharma. Where does the principle of suffering come from? We must personally eliminate the source of our suffering. To eliminate the source of our suffering, we must live patiently within this Saha World and accept the Buddha’s teachings. Only then will we have the means to eliminate these afflictions and ignorance. This is the meaning of self-cultivation, to patiently endure this world, to patiently endure this spiritual training ground and to patiently endure being among such people. The Buddha has taught us all about suffering, and we all have this patient endurance; it is just that we form aspirations on different levels. Some people say, “I just want to endure this life. I dare not return again in my next life”. They dare not return in their next life.

The Buddha hopes everyone will do more than dare to return in their next life, but also seek to form everlasting aspirations that will last lifetime after lifetime. To this place of suffering, we must tirelessly return again and again. We must return again to teach others, because sentient beings in the evil world of turbidities are becoming more and more severely afflicted, and the world is becoming more and more chaotic. In this world, countries, societies, communities and families are all undergoing changes. The human mind is becoming more complicated. More than ever, we need people to make vows to return again. Bodhisattvas must be able to endure [this world].

So, by then, [these Bodhisattvas’ minds] abided in the state of non-retreating. They had formed Great Vehicle aspirations and were fearless, [completely] without fear. [They said], “I am enduring and patient, and I am willing to return to this place lifetime after lifetime”. Thus, they abide in the empty space beneath the [Saha] World, going back and forth without ever leaving this world. They walk the Middle Way. So, “[They] will all attain Buddhahood”. We must walk upon the right path like them. This path is not that long. Although this path is rough and bumpy, we have been clearing it all this time. We keep clearing and paving the path. Some clear the path while others pave it. We must pave this path level and even and open up this path in people’s hearts. If our hearts know no path, there will be chaos in this world. Leaders must have the path in their hearts, and so must those who are led. We must walk this same path together. Only by doing so will we be able to change this world. While this path has yet to open up to us, we need to form aspirations, make vows and continue to clear this path. This principle is certain.

Hence, “Now they all abide in the state of non-retreating and will all attain Buddhahood”. If we keep walking forward, we are guaranteed to arrive at the other end of this path.

In the next sutra passage, [the Buddha] says, “What I speak now is the truth. You all should believe this wholeheartedly. Since a long and distant time ago, I have taught and transformed this group”.

This sutra passage reinforces for us that we must have faith. “What I am speaking now is the truth.” We have the intrinsic, the fundamental Dharma, and our karmic conditions in this life. Past causes and present conditions will result in future effects. At this time, He wanted to make sure everyone understood this clearly. So, the Buddha said, “What I speak now is the truth. Everything I say is true”. He wanted to convey what was right to everyone, His honest and sincere [intentions]. “You must establish your faith. Every word I speak is true.” This statement He made is true, not false.

What I speak now is the truth. You all should believe this wholeheartedly: The Buddha said, “What I speak now is the truth”. He spoke with truth, sincerity and faith. “Previously, when I said that in this lifetime, I attained Buddhahood at the city of Gaya, I said this for those of limited capabilities as skillful means. Now, when I say I attained Buddhahood long ago, I am speaking the truth. All of you must wholeheartedly have faith in and accept this; do not give rise to doubt.”

“Previously, when I said….” This refers to His past and present teachings. He taught about His causes and conditions from countless kalpas ago and shared with everyone about His causes and conditions for attaining Buddhahood in this life. Whether He spoke of the past or the present, about attaining Buddhahood in the city of Gaya or so on, everyone could remember all of this. “How did I come into this life? What is the purpose of my spiritual cultivation?” Everyone had heard and understood these things. The story of the city of Gaya, which He spoke of now, is a story that even people of duller capabilities can understand. He raised this example as a form of skillful means. His present transformation-body came to this world in accordance with these causes and conditions. They could see it, experience it and hear it. It had a form and an appearance. They were all able to hear these skillful means. In fact, this form, this appearance contained the true principles, which have neither form nor appearance and have existed since long ago. “Now, when I say I attained Buddhahood long ago,” this is the truth. His present appearance would not abide for long. Because the principles have existed a long time, when this lifetime was to end, He must return to these timeless principles all the same. Thus, [He said], “I am speaking the truth.” By returning to the timeless [principles], He spoke the truth. Everyone can see what is plain and apparent now; this is skillful means. “This is how I teach with what is tangible, with what cannot abide permanently in this world. We must eventually return to the intangible, the timeless principles which constitute our spirit and ideals.”

“Now, when I say I attained Buddhahood long ago, I am speaking the truth. All of you must wholeheartedly have faith in and accept this; do not give rise to doubt.” We must connect this passage with the previous passage we discussed. So, everyone, please be mindful!

We must be mindful of the present moment. How should Bodhisattvas conduct themselves? We must maintain patience in our every thought. We must understand the foundations of our past and apply them in our present. Right now, we are all a form of skillful means. Our names are skillful means. Our strength is skillful means. Our bodies are skillful means. We all function within skillful means. This [life] is transient and temporary, and our lifespan is fixed. We are not real; we are a dream, an illusion, a bubble, a shadow. Let us return to what is real, which means we must truly find our own direction, our own path, and find ways to help others. We accumulate our memories, real memories; this is “consciousness.” They return to our storehouse consciousness, our nature of True Suchness. This enables us to decide for ourselves what we are willing to do. Even now, we must skillfully make use of our strength to help those who are suffering due to the karmic law of cause and effect. We must use the causes and effects of goodness to protect them. We must teach them to cultivate the ground of their mind, to sow seeds and plant a field of blessings. Although this is all part of our transient human life, it all brings us back to the principles, which are everlasting. Please be mindful and seek to comprehend the True Dharma behind this.

So, the Buddha wants to teach us the True Dharma, and this is why, in this sutra passage, [He says,] “You all must have faith. You must have faith that I speak the True Dharma.” This was the Buddha’s request to us. So, we must have faith in the Dharma expounded by the Buddha. We must always be mindful!

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