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 20181206《靜思妙蓮華》於法生疑 離菩薩行 (第1495集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)

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發表主題: 20181206《靜思妙蓮華》於法生疑 離菩薩行 (第1495集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)   周三 12月 05, 2018 9:52 pm

20181206《靜思妙蓮華》於法生疑 離菩薩行 (第1495集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)

⊙無正信心,於正法中猶豫無決,迷惘不了,是名疑惑;於佛法中心生疑惑,而不愛樂,是離菩薩行。
⊙「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》
⊙「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。
⊙我從久遠來,教化是等眾:我從久遠曠大劫來,教化是等大菩薩眾。久遠塵點劫前成道,甚大久遠之文。略開近顯遠,正指此也。
⊙此頌結勸生信。佛前言諸菩薩眾為成道後所化,而於此忽言久遠教化。雖欲以佛之果德微示其機,正恐非眾生思議所及,故佛先再三勸信其為實語也。
⊙「爾時、彌勒菩薩摩訶薩及無數諸菩薩等,心生疑惑,怪未曾有,而作是念。」《法華經從地涌出品第十五》
⊙心生疑惑,怪未曾有,而作是念:是時會中聞法大眾心作念。一疑釋尊成道未久,二疑菩薩智慧神通,所以驚怪。
⊙彌勒等既聞菩提樹下瞬時體同太虛,合會覺海,乃教化之。又聞久遠劫來教化等,由此故動執生疑。
⊙一燈燃起,能照破千古闇,佛之心燈,能除滅眾惡癡闇。

【證嚴上人開示】
無正信心,於正法中猶豫無決,迷惘不了,是名疑惑;於佛法中心生疑惑,而不愛樂,是離菩薩行。

無正信心
於正法中猶豫無決
迷惘不了
是名疑惑
於佛法中心生疑惑
而不愛樂
是離菩薩行

各位,要用心!人生要很用心,時光短暫,真的是時間是來不及!日日時間在分秒中流逝過去,每一句話、一個字也是這樣,句句秒秒隨著時間,同樣是無形蹤地消逝。我們要用心、專心,句句入心,我們刻在心版裡,我們才有所得,所以要時時多用心。好像一年的三百六十五天,「多用心啊」,到底說過幾千遍了?是啊,用心才有辦法將佛法和事與理,印證在我們的心版裡,要不然如水流逝,這樣一直流過去,流過沒有痕跡,那就很可惜了。要建立一個「信」也不簡單!雖然信心說起來是這麼容易,但是在人的心真正建立起來,是很不簡單!佛法這樣說,「信為道源功德母,長養一切諸善根」,我們要建立信心,我們才有辦法,產生了我們的心得;若沒有信心,我們就沒有心得了,聽得再多,我們的心都無所得,所以常常叮嚀我們,多用心啊!尤其是要用的是「正信心」,我們若沒有正信心,我們正法就無法入心。

我們日日在面對著事、物、人,我們相信嗎?「相信,我人人都相信,我事事都相信」,你懂得選擇嗎?選擇要相信的,是對的呢?不對的呢?是「是」呢?還是「非」呢?你有所分別嗎?是非清楚嗎?非,你去信,信邪倒見,去信偏差的道理,我們就顛倒了。不可啊!千萬不可,毫釐偏差。我們若是毫釐的偏差,一邪,千千萬萬偏的邪,所以我們要很守得住,這個「正」,正信的心。正信的心,我們所接觸到的事,要如何來接事、要如何做事,這樣就會正確,就是在「正」。我們將正法入心,我們用正信、正心、正思惟等等,自然我們面對的人、事、物,我們就不偏差,所以正信心是多麼重要啊

正信心若建立了,我們才有辦法「正法念」,正法念念在心,要好好用心。要不然,沒有正信念,正法沒有在我們的心中,我們就是猶豫不決。我對這個人,說這個事情;這個人告訴我的,我能夠下決定嗎?唉呀,自己都猶豫了,我對人給我的,要如何來裁決?不知道要如何來決定,又怕,很細心,怕一點點偏差,那責任很大。所以,做事情若沒有正信念,沒有正法,我們時時都會猶豫不決。很多事情,對的事情把握剎那間,要趕緊決定才有辦法。

因緣一縱即逝,因緣在時間裡,所以我們也要很準確,用信心、正念來解決事情,同樣的道理,要不然,那就是常常在那裡猶豫不決。儘管你很虔誠,卻是信心沒有練出來,正信、正法念,我們沒有練成功,凡事來到我們的面前猶豫不決,這樣不行。我們就要很用心,好好正信、正法念心,自然落實在生活中,對人、事、物我們有決斷;不是果斷,是決斷,非常正確。我就是這樣決定了,自然就不會受那個迷惘,你愈想愈多,愈是猶豫不決。我們的信心、信念建立起來,沒有猶豫,就自然很準確就是決定,就不用又在那裡迷惘,不要又在那裡猶豫了。這就是在人間,出世的精神在人間決定人間事。

這我們最近一直在告訴大家,一定智慧要拿出來,「四修法」、「四智」,常常要讓大家很熟悉,和生活合而為一。不論接觸到事情等等,大家開始就要磨練──無間修、無餘修、長時修,還要「尊重修」。這是要時時,連連接接在我們的心中,在這個信念守持,不要間斷掉。這大家已經印在心裡了,隨境,這個根塵接觸,自然我們就「成所作智」,該如何做,我們馬上能夠會合、能夠決定。決定之前,當然「妙觀察智」,已經很用心。所以,這種的心,都是在信心、正法中,這都是關連,在日常生活人、事、物中,一定要訓練出來,要常常用心。所以,我們若能夠沒有猶豫、沒有迷茫,這樣我們就能夠,真正脫離了疑惑。我們若有猶豫不決,或者是有迷茫,無法了解,這都是一直一直,無明不斷重重疊疊,讓我們這樣一直在疑惑中。常常說斷煩惱,斷煩惱,我們就是要除去無明、除去煩惱、除去惑,一切都很清楚;根塵接觸要很清楚,要如何合成去使用?這要很清楚。所以,我們不能在那個地方猶豫,不能在那個地方迷茫,不能在那個地方疑惑,這些都要去除,才能夠好做事。

「於佛法中,心生疑惑,而不愛樂,是離菩薩行」。我們做事情就不能有猶豫、不能有迷茫,就不能有疑惑了,何況在佛法中呢。我們若是在佛法中有迷惑,或者是有疑,若像這樣,自然你的內心,就無法生起了對佛法的愛樂。我們最近一直說,要好樂佛法,我們若沒有好樂佛法,我們不會去追求,所以我們要好樂,內心要很愛,愛法。因為我們法入心,我們得法喜,很歡喜,每天聽、每天受用,事與理會合在生活中,每天都生活在法喜中,所以生起了這分的愛樂,真正歡喜。我們若有疑惑呢?我們就無法生起了,愛樂佛法的心,所以我們要有愛樂。看看,大家聽法,在這個地方、這個時間說話,多少國家有時差,但是沒有秒差,同這個時間這麼多道場,大家同時聽一樣的聲音、看一樣的影像。每天,若是在亞洲,在我們的地方裡,每天早上都是四點多就要出門,五點多到達,趕上了現在聽經的時間。三、四點就要醒了,準備要出門,這樣到集會的地方去聽經,這都是好樂佛法、愛樂佛法,聽得歡喜,每天、每天連續,幾年來如一日,這叫做「愛樂」。

有時候外地來的菩薩,有事情回來了,看到師父就說:「我早上又得到一個法!」原來是「晨語」聽到的。又再聽到我們的志工菩薩,醫院走一走、看一看,回來醫院志工的心得,他就用早上的法,套上了所看到人生的無常,所聽到的,「哦,這個法,原來我已經用在,什麼樣的環境中」。聽到他們這樣在分享,也是很歡喜!不論是聽來的歡喜,看到事情,事和理會合歡喜,再轉述來說給我們聽,而我們也很歡喜;同一個法,講者歡喜、聽者歡喜,與事、物道理會同,歡喜。這種的感受,歡喜。

現在薰法筆記也出來了,看到他們每一篇的生活中,都與聽法有關,改變他的人生,這叫做「愛樂」;愛樂佛法,把法聽入心了,用在生活中,這叫做「愛樂」。但是心若有疑惑,那就是「而不愛樂」;而不愛樂佛法,這樣就是「離菩薩行」。他無法發心,無法啟發到,他的愛心、信心、念心;無法啟發,自然他就無法接近菩薩行,就是離菩薩行了。所以,我們要聽法要很用心,用正信心、正法心,要在正法中,每天、每天聽,做事情自然就沒有猶豫了。我們要做的事情,準確的決定,我們的心沒有迷茫,也沒有疑惑了,在世間事很清楚,對佛法無疑,完全信任;不只是信任,還是信受奉行,力行菩薩道。這是很重要,要用心!

前面的文就是這樣說:「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》

釋迦佛對彌勒菩薩的回答,就是:「現在地下湧出各地來的,這些菩薩,這些都是我長久以來所教化。」這是再更前面的文。但是現在佛陀卻是說,「我於伽耶城」,那就是今生了,佛陀二千五百多年前,降生在迦毘羅衛國,那個時,皇宮裡面產生了這位太子,長大時出皇宮,就去修行,離開了。在修行的當中,在伽耶城,「菩提樹下」,他眼光與星光接觸了,突然之間,那個覺性,與天體合而為一,天地宇宙之間無法不通了,完全一切通達,那個心境。

這也常常在描述。佛陀的心,心包太虛,那個覺性,已經與天地宇宙合為一體,有什麼事情他不清楚呢?所以,現在佛陀向大家這樣說:「我在伽耶城菩提樹下,開始覺悟之後,成正等覺。」覺悟之後,開始離開了那個道場,開始到鹿野苑,向五位講說「苦、集、滅、道」,轉「四諦」法,成立了佛、法、僧,這完全完成了。

這我們都說過了,從這樣開始,佛陀就是開始走上了,這個教化之道,從那個時候開始,那就是教化。一直設方便法,隨機逗教,不論是小、中、大乘法,三乘法從這樣開始,應眾生的根機,深、淺的法,大、小根機,佛陀能夠一語多觀照。較愚鈍的,他所接受到的那就是淺淺的,他聽得懂;較中根機的,在淺中有含意;更加利根的,含意中有無限量的道理。這就是佛陀他的說法,他有無礙樂說的辯才,所以一語多觀照,能夠什麼人、什麼樣的根機接受到,聽就能接受、能夠了解。這當中,不論什麼樣的根機都能夠接受,所以「令初發道心」的人,他們也能夠接受。

各種不同的根機,大家信受佛陀所教育,一信受就是「皆住不退」,也是有辦法這樣接受佛法,就開始發心了。既發心了,開始修行,立志堅固,自然他方向準確;方向準確了,開始用功。開道者開始堅定的信心,一直向著正確的方向開道,所以「經者,道也;道者,路也」,修行往前走。大家最終也是能夠到,成佛的地點。所以佛陀說:「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》

我現在已經很攤開說真實話,從三乘法一轉,攝為一乘,一實乘法告訴大家。所以,前面已經,十四品之中,已經「跡門」就是都說了,說過去、現在,因緣、譬喻、故事。佛陀用種種法適應種種根機,那個「跡門」這樣過了,現在回到這個時候,就是要趕緊將「本」,「本門」,我們現在要回歸根本。法的源頭如何來?修行是如何開始?這法的源頭。所以,佛陀一直在叮嚀,「本門」,要講源頭,一直要大家相信,這個信心,這段時間一直說要相信,就是要相信。

佛陀在這裡又再說:「我今說實語。」又再很明顯告訴大家,「我現在是說真實的話,大家要很相信,打從內心的真實語說出來,大家應該要一心信,要一心一意來相信。」若不相信,菩薩道就建立不下來;若不相信,佛法無法衍生下去,所以人人要有信心。

所以,接下來的文就這樣說:「我從久遠來,教化是等眾」。你若想要知道這麼多從地湧出,這些菩薩的因緣,我從久遠以來教化,就是這些人。我們前面的文也有說了,是我的弟子。我們前文,大家應該還要有記憶,這些就是我的弟子。

所以,「佛說:我今說實語」,就是要讓大家很知道,佛陀是真語者、實語者,沒有妄語者,《金剛經》是這樣說,所以,在這個地方還要向大家說,佛陀親口告訴大家:「我說真實的話。」這是要讓大家建立那個信心,絕對要相信;不相信,無法再聽下去,一定要相信,才有辦法受用。

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」,過去說或者是現在說。在「跡門」在說過去過去的因緣故事,現在回過頭來說現在今生,從成道、說法……。其實自古至今都是一樣,佛陀所說的法都一樣。「伽耶成道」。在開始,佛陀要來鹿野苑講法,他也經過一番的思考呢!

眾生剛強,要說的法,無法直接說,應該要適用辦法。雖然很簡單,人人皆有佛性,直接的話說出去,人人都有成佛的源頭,大家共同有,「心、佛、眾生三無差別」。這這麼簡單的法說出去,眾生無法相信。所以不得不思考如何去說法,讓大家能夠信受人間法,然後這人間法都很清楚了,才有辦法懂得,如何脫離人間的出世法,回歸到真實的本性來。這是佛經過思考過。所以,他必定這四十多年間,「為劣機」,就是較鈍根器的人,就要「方便說」,用方便來說。「今云久成」,前面的文我們說,我久成佛道。「這些都我度的,這些都我教化」,前面我們說過了。這是說實語,這是真實語,若說我現在才成道,這是方便,為了適應眾生,若因緣會合,我就來這個地方示「生」,在這個人間出生,在這個人間長大、修行、成佛,這是顯跡給大家看,這都是方便。

其實佛陀不用再來受生了,他是為了度眾生,所以這都是過程,這個過程就是為了劣根機的人。所以佛就用這樣的方便法,應化身在人間,所以現在說的,在說過去的「久成」,已經很久很久以來,這個道心、這個源頭,就已經有了,這是真實語。「汝等皆當一心信受」。大家要好好相信、要好好接受,不要有疑悔。我們就是要信佛,依教奉行,這個教法我們一定要這樣走。所以,「我從久遠來,教化是等眾」。

我從久遠來
教化是等眾:
我從久遠曠大劫來
教化是等大菩薩眾
久遠塵點劫前成道
甚大久遠之文
略開近顯遠
正指此也

「我從久遠」以來,「曠大劫來」,「久遠」是很長久,「曠大劫」,是無法去計算的數字,很長久。「教化是等大菩薩眾」。所以這這麼長久成就,不斷不斷生生世世在教育,所以長久的時間,陸陸續續。我們過去在說「恆河沙」,很多很多,愈來愈成熟。就像這樣,就是很多,就是用長久的時間、長久的空間、無量數的人間,他就用「曠大劫」,這樣不斷來度化、教育,可見成佛了就是這樣,這麼耐心,成就這麼多人,現在湧現在靈鷲山聽法的大眾。

所以,「久遠塵點劫」。大通智勝佛,塵點劫那以前,已經就聽法了,就已經很透徹了解,再覆講《法華經》,十六王子時。大家,我們應該全都記得。所以,「甚大久遠」。塵點劫,很長久。所以,「略開近顯遠」。就是這樣,開啟了過去過去無量無量世、無量劫的時間,就是這樣一路來,簡單就是要向大家敘述,過去所顯跡是這麼多真實法。這就是過去所教化,現在所成就這麼多的菩薩。這是偈文,這段偈文是覆講在長行文,再複頌。

此頌結勸生信
佛前言諸菩薩眾
為成道後所化
而於此忽言
久遠教化
雖欲以佛之果德
微示其機
正恐
非眾生思議所及
故佛先再三勸信
其為實語也

所以,「佛前言諸菩薩眾,為成道後所化」。佛前面所說的這些菩薩眾,是成道後,才感化過來的,「而於此忽言久遠教化」。明明就是說,在伽耶城菩提樹下覺悟,然後,覺悟之後才開始說法,才開始教化,現在在講法,是這樣。忽然間來到法華會,在這個靈山會上忽然說,這些都是過去所累積來的。佛陀是怕大家要信會起疑,所以佛陀還要再重複,再讓大家了解。

所以,「雖欲以佛之果德,微示其機」,用佛的果德。佛陀已經成佛,那個累積來的,那麼長久的時間,現在已經,已經是成這個果德,那個累積。「六度萬行」也一定要過,而且要那麼長久的時間,累積來的果德,現在要來表現,這不是我們眾生會有辦法,去思考、去測量,這實在是沒辦法,我們的根機,我們的思量,真的無法能夠完成體會了解,佛陀考慮到這樣,一般的人也無法體會。

所以,「佛先再三勸信」。勸信,大家要相信,我說的是真實語。佛陀對眾生要接受,他是累積那麼久的時間度眾生,也怕我們聽法會起疑,不相信,所以佛陀再三告訴我們,「一定要相信,我說的是真實話」。可見我們給佛陀的信心還不夠,眾生的剛強難調伏,佛陀還是要一直交代,「你要相信,我是真實話」,所以,我們要好好用心。

所以,「爾時」,接下來這段文再說:「爾時、彌勒菩薩摩訶薩及無數諸菩薩等,心生疑惑,怪未曾有,而作是念。」

爾時
彌勒菩薩摩訶薩
及無數諸菩薩等
心生疑惑
怪未曾有
而作是念
《法華經從地涌出品第十五》

因為,看,在那個時候,因為彌勒菩薩是大菩薩,尤其是加上有很多菩薩,彌勒菩薩,是代替很多菩薩來請問,問佛陀:「這些菩薩是如何浮起來的?他們的因緣是如何?」但是經過了佛陀來講這些因緣,彌勒菩薩,這個「本門」中。「爾時,彌勒菩薩摩訶薩,及無數諸菩薩等」。就是彌勒和這些菩薩。

雖然問了,佛陀也答了,「心生疑惑,怪未曾有」,還是不可思議,連彌勒菩薩,連群眾,那些菩薩還是有疑惑,怪未曾有,「啊,不曾聽過」。不只是那些人,前面問,不曾看過,現在佛陀所答的,他們也說不曾聽到。這在場的菩薩就有這樣的疑,何況佛陀要對後面的眾生,當然他也要再叮嚀、再交代。

其實彌勒菩薩也是一樣,我們過去,文殊菩薩在〈安樂行品〉,文殊菩薩也擔心,我們眾生要接受佛法,聽到佛陀說要持佛法也會遇到,這樣、這樣、這樣的困難,文殊菩薩也擔心這些人聽到,會退失道心嗎?會嚇到他們嗎?所以,文殊菩薩故意問佛陀:「佛陀!既然這麼困難,要如何去傳法呢?」佛陀才又開始,「安樂行」的方法才又說出來。現在彌勒菩薩也是一樣,彌勒菩薩他也是擔心,佛陀這樣說,就結束了,沒有人問,未來的眾生難道有辦法相信?所以他們用那個時間,要來為未來的眾生,讓他們更清楚、更加信心堅定。因為彌勒菩薩是未來將成佛,現在的補處,未來將成佛,所以娑婆世界的眾生,和彌勒菩薩也有很大的因緣,現在大家好好信,以後要度也較好度。

所以,彌勒菩薩他又再同樣,代表這些菩薩表現,「心生疑惑,怪未曾有」,感覺很奇怪,過去都不曾聽到,所以「而作是念」。

心生疑惑
怪未曾有
而作是念:
是時會中聞法大眾
心作念
一疑釋尊成道未久
二疑菩薩智慧神通
所以驚怪

這是彌勒菩薩和這些菩薩,要表達的心聲,大家也也有存疑,這是會中聞法的人的心念,他們一來是疑,釋迦牟尼佛成佛還未很久,四十多年而已,到現在講《法華經》,也是才四十多年而已。佛陀方便法是四十二年,四十二年後,才開始講《法華經》,所以佛成道才四十多年,所以成道未久就說度這麼多人,所以他們的心有疑。

第二,是「疑菩薩智慧神通」,所以大家驚怪。因為從地湧出、這些都是看來很有智慧,也是已經德行具足了,這些人,豈是佛從在這個人間成道之後,這樣說法就沒多久,怎麼會成就這麼多人呢?這是他們要表達這個疑念,這是彌勒菩薩的疑念。

彌勒等既聞
菩提樹下
瞬時體同太虛
合會覺海
乃教化之
又聞久遠劫來
教化等
由此故動執生疑

在菩提樹下,佛陀菩提樹下瞬間體同太虛。那種心與天空的星,這樣一接觸到,這完全,釋迦佛那時候,突然之間與宇宙完全合為一體,所以「體同太虛」!這忽然間會合起來,「合會覺海」,那時候佛陀的智慧覺海,完全現前了,他的心與天空、大海完全會合,天地之間完全會合,慧性覺海完全呈現出來。從這樣開始成正覺,才開始來教化。大家知道佛陀成正覺了、開悟了,教化眾生,大家相信。但是要說,那長久劫的時間在教化,大家就會生疑了。度化這麼多人,但是到現在才成佛。而這些菩薩那麼有成就,是如何教?能夠教出了這麼多的菩薩,這麼有成就?這是大家的心疑。

這也是很難怪,因為人人都有一個燈,有一盞燈,我們人人都有一個真如本性,只是我們就是被無明煩惱,將它遮蓋掉了,所以使我們原來的真如本性,被掩覆起來。就像燈,燈火還未點亮,「一燈燃起,能照破千古闇」,只要一盞燈點起來,一間暗室,千古都將它關得密密,黑漆漆,只要你一支燈進去,不就是整間暗室就亮起來了?

一燈燃起
能照破千古闇
佛之心燈
能除滅眾惡癡闇

同樣的道理,佛,佛的心,心燈若點亮了,他開始就能夠,除滅這個惡癡的暗。眾生的心,這種惡劣愚癡、無明闇蔽,只要能夠接收到佛的教法。佛就是叫做「覺」,「覺」叫做「理」,道理;接受到道理,人人心中都有一支蠟燭,我們若接觸到那個道理,就是這個燈光的火源,我們若接觸到,同樣,人人這個千古以來的暗室,也會亮起來。這是一定的!而我們若是常常在暗室裡面,無明複生,造業就很大。

各位菩薩,要,要將這分,我們的心要不斷將無明擦掉,將我們清淨的心念,要常常保持著,這樣很單純、很乾淨。佛法接受了,入人群中,人群的煩惱就是我們的菩提,「煩惱即菩提」,就是我們的道場。我們真正是在這個滾滾紅塵中,看盡了人間疾苦,從遠方宏觀天下,天下間,在現時此刻有多少苦難人,在水深、在火熱之中呢?每一天早會,我們說多少國家?感受過多少國際間?

各位,從這樣之中去探討它,很多眾生無明業招感著。我們要很用心,不論是「晨語」或者是「早會」,這些道理源源可以從人間事中,來印證到,所以我們要珍惜,珍惜在我們現在此刻的平安。現在此刻接受到法,我們要將正信心、正法念,我們要用在我們日常生活中。我們有這樣的心念,我們才有辦法,與菩薩道契合起來,要不然我們離菩薩道會很遠,我們很迷茫、我們會很疑惑,都是在人我是非中在造業,所以我們要時時多用心!


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發表主題: 回復: 20181206《靜思妙蓮華》於法生疑 離菩薩行 (第1495集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)   周日 12月 16, 2018 6:38 pm

Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: To Doubt the Dharma Is to Deviate from the Path (於法生疑 離菩薩行)
Date: December.06.2018

“When we lack right faith and are irresolute regarding Right Dharma, we will be deluded and unable to understand it. This is the meaning of doubt. When we give rise to doubt in our minds about the Buddha-Dharma, we will no longer take joy in it. This is deviating from the Bodhisattva-practice.”

Dear Bodhisattvas, we must be mindful. Life requires great mindfulness. Our years are transient and brief, and there is truly never enough time. Every day, time slips away minute by minute. Every phrase and word also slips away like this. One by one, they follow the passing of time and vanish without a trace. We must be mindful and focused and take every word to heart. It is only when we engrave them into our minds that we will gain anything from [these words]. Therefore, we must always be mindful. It seems like throughout the 365 days of the year, we have said “Be mindful!” many thousands of times. Indeed, only if we are mindful can we engrave the matters and principles of the Dharma into our minds. Otherwise, they flow away like water. If they constantly flow past us like this, without a trace, that would be a pity. Yet, it is not easy to establish “faith”. Although faith is so easy to talk about, establishing it in one’s heart is no easy task. The Buddha-Dharma puts it like this, “Faith is the source of the path, mother of merits. It nurtures all roots of goodness.” We must establish faith before we can find a way to bring forth what we have learned. Without faith, we will learn nothing. Even if we listen more often, we will learn nothing from it.

So, we must constantly remind ourselves to be more mindful. We especially need to [establish] right faith. If we lack right faith, we cannot take Right Dharma to heart. Every day, we face matters and people. Do we have faith in them? “I have faith! I have faith in everyone and everything.” Do we know that we must choose wisely? Do we choose to put our faith in what is right? Or in what is wrong? Is this “right”? Or is this “wrong”? Can we tell the difference? Can we clearly discern right from wrong? If we choose to put our faith in what is wrong, such as deviant beliefs, deluded views or erroneous principles, then we will become deluded. We cannot do this! We absolutely cannot have the slightest deviation. If we deviate even slightly, one deviation will lead to millions more. Therefore, we must carefully abide by what is “right,” this right faith in our hearts. With right faith in our hearts, in everything we encounter, we can accurately assess how to process and manage matters. This is what is “right”. We must take Right Dharma to heart. We must practice right faith, right mindfulness, right thinking and so on. Then, as we deal with people and matters, we will never go astray.

So, it is very important to have right faith. Only if we establish right faith in our hearts will we be able to keep Right Dharma in mind. To keep Right Dharma in mind requires great mindfulness. Otherwise, without a mindset of right faith, Right Dharma will not be in our hearts, and we will become irresolute. When we discuss something with someone and they tell us something, will we be able to make a decision about it? Alas, we are very irresolute. How can we make decisions about what others tell us? When we do not know what to decide, we get scared and become very cautious, out of fear that we might make the tiniest mistake. This is a great responsibility.

So, if we act without a mindset of right faith and without Right Dharma, we will always be irresolute. When it comes to many things, to seize the present moment to do what is right, we must be able to make a decision quickly. Causes and conditions pass as quickly as they come. They exist in a certain time. So, we must be very precise and resolve issues with faith and right mindfulness. By the same logic, if we do not do this, then we will always be irresolute. We might have great reverence, but if we have not cultivated faith, then we have not successfully practiced right faith and Right Dharma and we will be irresolute about everything. This cannot be. So, we must be very mindful and train ourselves to carefully uphold right faith and Right Dharma in our minds. Then, we will naturally implement them in life. We will treat people and matters with resolve, not with judgment, but with resolve and great rectitude. If we make decisions in this way, we will naturally avoid getting lost in confusion. The more we think, the more we will hesitate. When we establish faith and do not hesitate, we will naturally make the correct decisions. Then, we will no longer remain lost in confusion, and we will no longer hesitate. This all happens in this world. We must maintain a world-transcending spirit in making worldly decisions about worldly matters.

Recently, we have constantly been telling everyone that we must absolutely demonstrate our wisdom. We must help everyone become familiar with the Four Practices and the Four Wisdoms so that they become one with our lives. Even if we encounter issues and so on, we must start refine ourselves through uninterrupted practice, practice with nothing further, extended practice and practice with reverence. This means we must always link [these practices] together in our minds and abide by our beliefs without any interruptions. We have all imprinted this into our minds by now. In all situations, as our sense organs connect with sense objects, we will naturally use “all-accomplishing wisdom”. Regarding the best course of action, we will immediately be able to make a decision. Naturally, before deciding, we must have “profound discerning wisdom,” so that we will be very mindful. So, this kind of mindset lies completely within right faith and Right Dharma. This is all interconnected. Amidst the people and matters of daily life we must practice constant mindfulness. So, if we can be free of hesitation and confusion, then we can truly rid ourselves of doubt. If we remain hesitant, irresolute and confused, we will be unable to understand anything. This is a constant, endless cycle of ignorance that keeps us constantly trapped in doubt. We often talk about eliminating afflictions. To eliminate afflictions, we must eliminate ignorance; as we eliminate afflictions and delusions, everything becomes clear. We must use our senses to perceive things clearly. How do we make use of them altogether? We must understand this very clearly.

Therefore, we cannot hesitate here and remain lost in confusion, mired in our doubts and delusions. Only if we rid ourselves of these can we take correct action. “When we give rise to doubt in our minds about the Buddha-Dharma, we will no longer take joy in it.” This is deviating from the Bodhisattva-practice. When we act, we must not hesitate, and we must not be confused or doubtful; this is even more true with respect to the Dharma. If we are confused about the Buddha-Dharma or doubt it, then naturally, deep inside our hearts, we will be unable to give rise to joy in the Buddha-Dharma.

Recently, we have been discussing how we must take joy in the Buddha-Dharma. If we do not take joy in the Buddha-Dharma, we will be unable to pursue it. Thus, we must take joy in it. We must love it from the depths of our hearts. When we take the Dharma to heart, we will attain Dharma-joy. When we listen to it and apply it every day, we will unite matters and principles in life. If we have Dharma-joy every day of our lives, we will give rise to this joy and genuine happiness. If we are doubtful, then we will be unable to give rise to a heart that takes joy in the Dharma.

Therefore, we must have joy. Look, everyone is listening to the Dharma. Here and now, we are speaking with many countries in different time zones, without even a second’s separation. At this same moment, in so many different places of spiritual practice everyone is listening to the same voice and seeing the same images. Every day, those here in Asia, here [in Taiwan], leave home before 5 am. As they arrive past 5 am, it is time for the sutra lecture. So, they get up at 3 or 4 am and get ready to leave. This is how they gather together to listen to the sutra. This is how they take joy in the Dharma. When we listen joyfully day after day, years will pass like one day. This is having “joy”.

Sometimes, Bodhisattvas in other locations come [to the Abode] to report. When they see me, they say, “Master, I am so happy. In the morning, I learned another teaching.” It turns out they heard it at the morning lecture. I keep hearing from our Bodhisattva-volunteers who go to visit the hospitals and sharp their insights upon returning [to the Abode]. They apply the morning Dharma lectures to see instance of life’s impermanence they see. I keep hearing them say, “Wow, I really am making use of this Dharma in all kinds of places.” When I hear them share about this, I also feel very happy. Whether it is the joy that comes from listening or from seeing matters converge with the principles, they relate it all for us to hear, and this makes us very happy. From the same teaching, both speakers and listeners alike will derive joy from how [the principles] unite with matters. This feeling is joy. Now that people’s “Dharma Study Journals” has been published, we see how they relate every aspect of their lives to the Dharma they hear and how it has changed their lives. This is “joy”. To take joy in the Buddha-Dharma is to take it into our hearts and apply it in life. This is the meaning of “joy”.

However, if we have any doubts in our mind, then we “will not take joy in it”. Not taking joy in the Buddha-Dharma is “deviating from the Bodhisattva-practice”. People like this cannot form aspirations and cannot aspire to love, faith or mindfulness. Without such inspiration, they will naturally be unable to approach the Bodhisattva-practice and will deviate from the Bodhisattva-practice. So, we must listen to the sutras and be mindful. We must have right faith in Right Dharma. We must remain within Right Dharma. If we listen to it every day, then we will naturally act without any hesitation. In all that we do, we will make the right decisions. Our minds will be free of confusion and doubt, worldly matters will be very clear to us, and we will have no doubts in the Buddha-Dharma; we will have complete faith. We will not only have faith in it; we will also faithfully accept and practice it, putting it into action upon the Bodhisattva-path. This is very important, so please be mindful.

The previous sutra passage says, “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”.

In response to Maitreya Bodhisattva, Sakyamuni Buddha said, Sakyamuni Buddha said, “When it comes to these Bodhisattvas who are currently emerging from the ground, I have been teaching them for a very long time”. [He said] this earlier in the sutra text. Now, when the Buddha said, “in the city of Gaya”. He was referring to this lifetime. The Buddha was born more than 2000 years ago, in the kingdom of Kapilavastu. At the time, a prince was born in the imperial palace. When he grew up, he left the palace to engage in spiritual practice. During the course of his spiritual practice, he came to the city of Gaya and “sat beneath the Bodhi tree”. His eyes met the starlight, and in that moment, His enlightened nature became one with the universe. Throughout the entire universe, there was nothing He did not understand. In this state, He understands all things. In this state, He understands all things. We have discussed this many times before. The Buddha’s mind encompasses the universe. His enlightened nature is one with the universe. How could there be anything He doesn’t understand? So, now the Buddha told everyone about this. “Beneath the Bodhi tree in the city of Gaya, I began to awaken and attained perfect enlightenment”. After attaining enlightenment, He left His place of enlightenment and came to Deer Par, where He taught the five [bhiksus] about “suffering, causation, cessation and the Path, the Four Noble Truths. With this, the Buddha, the Dharma and the Sangha, [the Three Treasures], were brought to completion. We have already gone over this.

Ever since then, the Buddha began to walk the path of teaching and transforming [people]. He has taught and transformed people ever since, always applying skillful means in accordance with capabilities. With the Small, Middle or Great Vehicle Dharma, He began using this Three Vehicle Dharma to suit the capabilities of sentient beings. There are profound and simple teachings, great and small capabilities; with one word, the Buddha can speak to them all. For people of duller capabilities, if what they receive is simple, they will understand it. People of average capabilities find deeper meaning in this simplicity. Those with sharper capabilities find infinite principles within this meaning. This is how the Buddha teaches the Dharma. He has the eloquence of unobstructed joy in teaching, so with one word, He can speak to everyone so that people of all capabilities can accept [His teachings]. As soon as they hear [His teachings], they will be able to accept and understand it.

This way, people of all capabilities can accept [the Dharma]. So, those He “helped to form initial spiritual aspirations” were also able to accept [His teachings]. [Despite] their different capabilities, they all faithfully accepted the Buddha’s teachings. Once they faithfully accepted them, they came to abide in the state of non-retreating. They were able to accept the Buddha-Dharma, thus they began to form aspirations.

Once they formed aspirations, they began their spiritual practice. With firmly established resolve, they naturally headed in the right direction. Headed in the right direction, they got to work. As builders of the path, their faith is firm. They continuously open the path in the right direction. Thus, “The sutras are a path; this path is a road to walk on”. In spiritual practice, we must walk forward. In the end, everyone will be able to reach the point of attaining Buddhahood.

So, the Buddha said, “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.

“Now, I am openly speaking the truth. I turned the Three Vehicles into the One Vehicle. I am telling everyone the True Dharma of the One Vehicle”. So, previously in the sutra, throughout the first 14 chapters, He taught the teaching of the manifest. He taught about past and present causes and conditions, analogies and stories. The Buddha used all kinds of methods to suit every kind of capability. Thus, He finished the “teaching of the manifest”.

Now, at this time, He had to quickly implement the “intrinsic”, the “teaching of the intrinsic”. We must return to our intrinsic roots. What is the origin of the Dharma? How did we begin our spiritual practice? This is the source of the Dharma. So, the Buddha continuously reminds us that the “door of the intrinsic” lies in that source, which He has always wanted us all to have faith in. when it comes to faith, He continuously said that we must have faith and believe in [Him]. Here, the Buddha said once again, “What I speak now is the truth”. Once again, He told everyone very clearly, “What I currently speak is the truth. You must all have deep faith. I am speaking truthfully from my heart. Everyone must wholeheartedly believe in this. You must have faith in this with all your heart”. If we lack faith, we cannot keep building the Bodhisattva-path. If we lack faith, we cannot keep spreading the Buddha-Dharma. So, we all must have faith.

Next, the sutra passage says, “Since a long and distant time ago, I have taught and transformed this group”.

“If you wish to know the causes and conditions of these numerous Bodhisattvas emerging from the earth, I have taught and transformed these people since a long and distant time ago”. He also mentioned this in the previous passage. “I have taught and transformed these people; they are my disciples.”

This is from a previous passage; everyone should still remember this. “These are my disciples.” So, “They Buddha said, what I speak now is the truth”. This was to let everyone know very clearly that the Buddha speaks the truth; His words are true. He does not speak falsehoods.

This is what the Diamond Sutra says. He still had to tell this to everyone here. The Buddha personally told everyone, “I speak the truth”. This was to help them establish that faith, so they would certainly believe it. Without faith, we cannot continue to listen. Only with faith will we be able to accept the Dharma and put it to use.

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 lone age, I am speaking the truth. All of you must wholeheartedly have faith in and accept this; do not give rise to doubt.

So, “Previously, when I said refers to His past and present teachings”. In the “teaching of the manifest, He told stories about past causes and conditions. Now, He went back to speaking about His present lifetime, His present lifetime, about His enlightenment and teaching the Dharma. Actually, this has always been the same. The Buddha has always taught the same Dharma “I attained Buddhahood at the city of Gaya”. At the beginning, the Buddha wanted to teach the Dharma in Deer Park. He had already given this some thought. Sentient beings are stubborn, so He could not directly teach them the Dharma He had to find suitable methods. [The idea] is very simple, that everyone had the Buddha-nature. To put it directly, everyone has source of Buddhahood. We all have this in common. “The mind, the Buddha and sentient beings are no different [in their nature].” But whenever He taught this very simple principle, sentient beings were unable to believe it .

So, He had to think about how to teach the Dharma so that everyone could faithfully accept the worldly Dharma. Once they understood the worldly Dharma, they would be able to understand the world-transcending Dharma to transcend this world and return to their true, intrinsic nature. The Buddha had to consider all of this. So, for more than 40 years, He had to, “for those of limited capabilities, which refers to people of duller capabilities, teach with “skillful means”. “Now, I say I attained Buddhahood long ago.”

In the previous passage, [He] said, “I attained Buddhahood long ago. These [Bodhisattvas] were all taught and transformed by me.” We discussed this earlier “This is the truth. When I said only attained Buddhahood recently, this was skillful means to suit sentient beings. when causes and conditions converged, I manifested being born here. I was born in this world, grew up here, engaged in spiritual practice here and attained Buddhahood here. This has left traces for everyone to see. This is all skillful means. Actually, the Buddha does not need to be reborn. He returns in order to transform sentient beings. So, this is all part of a process. This process exists for the sake of people with limited capabilities. so, the Buddha uses these skillful means and manifests in the human world.

So, now He spoke about “attaining Buddhahood long ago” in the past. For a very long time, His spiritual aspirations, this source, had always been there. This is the truth. “All of you must wholeheartedly have faith in and accept this. Everyone must earnestly believe in and accept this, without any doubts or regrets. We must have faith in the Buddha and practice according to His teachings. We must walk [the path] of these teachings. So, “Since a long and distant time ago, I have taught and transformed this group”.

Since a long and distant time ago, I have taught and transformed this group: Ever since long, distant and vast kalpas ago, He taught and transformed He had attained Buddhahood long, distant, dust-inked kalpas ago. The passages describing these extremely long and distant [times] briefly open up the near to reveal the far. This is precisely what is indicated. “Ever since long, distant and vast kalpas ago….

“Long and distant” refers to a very long time ago. “Vast kalpas” is incalculable number, this was very long ago. “He taught and transformed this group of great Bodhisattvas.” He spent such a long time bringing them into fruition, teaching them for many lifetimes without stopping. For a very long time, [He brought them] [into fruition] one after another. Previously, we [numbered them] in “Ganges’ sands”. There were so many of them, growing more and more mature. [He had taught] so many of them like this. This took an extensive amount of time and space and countless interpersonal relationships. For “vast kalpas,” He constantly taught and transformed them. Clearly, after attaining Buddhahood, He was very patient in bringing so many people to fruition, this large group who had emerged at Vulture Peak to listen to the Dharma. [These are] “long, distant, dust-inked kalpas”. Since Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha’s era dust-inked kalpas ago, [Sakyamuni] had been listening to the Dharma so He already understood it thoroughly. Then, He retaught the Lotus Sutra as one of the sixteen principles. Everyone should remember this. So for “these extremely long and distant [times],” dust-inked kalpas is a very long time. He “briefly opened up the near to reveal the far. In this way, He opened up His countless past lifetimes throughout the countless kalpas. All along the way, He wanted to teach everyone in simple terms that all His previous manifestations contained so much true Dharma. These were the numerous Bodhisattvas. He had taught and transformed in the past and had recently brought into fruition.

[He taught] this in verse. In verse, He repeated what He had said in prose. This verse conciudes His exhortation to give rise to faith. The Buddha said earlier that those Bodhisattvas were transformed by Him after He had attained Buddhahood. Here, He suddenly said that He had taught and transformed them over a long time. Although He wanted to reveal the virtuous fruit of Buddhahood according to their capabilities, He was afraid that it sould be beyond sentient beings’ comprehension so the Buddha first exhorted them again and again to have faith that what He said was the truth.

“The Buddha said earlier that those Bodhisattvas were transformed by him after He had attained Buddhahood.” The Bodhisattvas the Buddha mentioned earlier were the ones He taught upon attaining Buddhahood. “Here, He suddenly said that He had taught and transformed them over a long time”. He said very clearly that He attained enlightenment beneath the Bodhi tree in the city of Gaya. Only then did He start to teach the Dharma and transform [sentient beings]. The Dharma He taught now was part of this. Now, He came to the Lotus Dharma-assembly on Vulture Peak, where He suddenly revealed that this had all been accumulated in the past. The Buddha feared that everyone would give rise to doubt instead of faith, so He continued to repeat Himself to help everyone understand.

So, “He wanted to reveal the virtuous fruits of Buddhahood according to their capabilities”. He used the virtuous fruits of Buddhahood. The Buddha had already attained Buddhahood. Everything He had accumulated over such a long time had brought these virtuous fruits into being. This was what He had accumulated. He had also needed to actualize the Six Paramitas in all actions. This required a very long time. He now began to demonstrate the virtuous fruits He had accumulated. This is something we sentient beings are unable to comprehend or fathom. This is truly impossible. Our capabilities and mental faculties are unable to fully comprehend this. The Buddha’s way of thinking cannot be realized by ordinary people. So, “The Buddha first exhorted them again and again to have faith”. He exhorted them to have faith. “Everyone must have faith that what I say is true.” The Buddha [needed] sentient beings to accept [the fact] that He had spent so much time transforming them. He feared that as they listened to the Dharma, they would give rise to doubt and lose faith. So, the Buddha told us repeatedly, “You must believe that what I say is the truth”. Clearly, our faith in the Buddha is still insufficient. Sentient beings are stubborn and difficult to tame. The Buddha still had to constantly remind them, “You must believe that what I say is the truth”. Thus, we must all put effort into being mindful.

Continuing on with “at that time,” the next sutra passage says, “At that time, Maitreya Bodhisattva-Mahasattva and those countless Bodhisattvas and others gave rise to doubts in their minds, as such wonders were unprecedented. They thus gave rise to these thoughts”.

See how, at that time, Maitreya Bodhisattva was a great Bodhisattva. There were many other Bodhisattvas there, so Maitreya Bodhisattva questioned [the Buddha] on behalf of these numerous Bodhisattvas. He asked the Buddha, “Where did these Bodhisattvas emerge from? What are their causes and conditions?” But after the Buddha described these causes and conditions, Maitreya [gave rise to doubt]. This was in the “teaching of the intrinsic”. “At that time, Maitreya Bodhisattva-Mahasattva and those countless Bodhisattvas and others…”. This refers to Maitreya and the other Bodhisattvas. Though [Maitreya] had asked and the Buddha had answered, they still “gave rise to doubts in their minds, as such wonders were unprecedented”. This was still inconceivable to them. Even Maitreya Bodhisattva and these Bodhisattvas were still full of doubts, as such wonders were unprecedented. “We have never heard of such a thing.” It was not just these people who asked questions that had never seen this before. Everyone the Buddha responded to also said that [such wonders] were unheard of. The Bodhisattvas at the assembly had these doubts. What is more, the Buddha had to consider future sentient beings. Naturally, He had to keep reminding them. Actually, it was the same for Maitreya Bodhisattva.

Earlier, in the Chapter on the Practice of Bringing Peace and Joy, Manjusri was also worried about sentient beings accepting the Dharma. He had heard the Buddha say that in upholding the Dharma, we will encounter one hardship after another. Manjusri worried that when people heard this, they may lose their aspirations. Wouldn’t it frighten them? So, Manjusri deliberately asked the Buddha, “Venerable Buddha, since this is so hard,
how will we spread the Dharma?” Only then did the Buddha begin to teach the Practice of Bringing Peace and Joy.

Maitreya Bodhisattva was just like [Manjusri] now. Maitreya Bodhisattva was also worried “If the Buddha says this, and if by the time He finishes, no one has asked any questions, will sentient beings in the future be able to have faith in it?” So, he used that time to help sentient beings of the future understand more clearly and establish firmer faith. Maitreya would attain Buddhahood in the future and succeed the present Buddha, thus the sentient beings of the Saha World also had great affinities with Maitreya. “Now, everyone must have good faith so that people will be easier to transform in the future”. Thus, Maitreya did the same [as Manjusri]. He acted on behalf of these Bodhisattvas to express that they “gave rise to doubts in their minds, as such wonders were unprecedented”. They felt this was all very strange, as they had never heard of any such thing. Thus, “They gave rise to these thoughts”.

[They] gave rise to doubts in their minds, as such wonders were unprecedented. They thus gave rise to these thoughts: At this time, the group who listened to the Dharma at the assembly gave rise to these thoughts in their minds. Their first doubt was about how it had not been long since Venerable Sakyamuni attained Buddhahood. Their second doubt was about the wisdom and spiritual powers of those Bodhisattvas. Therefore, they were shocked and surprised.

These were the thoughts that Maitreya and the other Bodhisattvas expressed. Everyone had doubts in their minds. These were the thoughts of those listening to the Dharma at the assembly. On one hand, they were doubtful because Sakyamuni had attained Buddhahood not long before, only 40 years or so. Before He began teaching the Lotus Sutra, it had only been a little over 40 years. The Buddha’s skillful means lasted 42 years. It was only after 42 years that He started to teach the Lotus Sutra. So, the Buddha had attained enlightenment less than 50 years earlier. It had not been long since then, yet He said He had transformed so many people. Therefore, they gave rise to doubts.

Their second doubt was regarding the “wisdom and spiritual powers of those Bodhisattvas”. They were all shocked and surprised because those who emerged from the ground seemed to have such great wisdom and to be so replete in virtues already. Had He really taught all these people since attaining enlightenment in this world? He had not been teaching for long; how could He have brought so many people to fruition? Therefore, they wanted to voice these doubts. This was Maitreya’s doubts.

Maitreya and others had heard that beneath the Bodhi tree, the Buddha had instantaneously become one with the universe and untied with the ocean of enlightenment. Only then did He begin to teach and transform. Then, they also heard that, ever since long and distant kalpas ago, He had been teaching and transforming. Because of this, they gave rise to doubts.

Beneath the Bodhi tree, the Buddha instantaneously become one with the universe. His mind became one with the stars in the sky in that moment of completion. Sakyamuni Buddha suddenly became one with the universe. Thus, He “became one with the universe.” It was an instantaneous union. “He united with the ocean of enlightenment.” At that moment, the Buddha’s ocean of enlightened wisdom manifested in full. His mind fully united with the sky and the ocean, fully united with the heaven and earth and the ocean of enlightened wisdom manifested in full. At that point, His perfect enlightenment began; only then did He begin to teach and transform.

Everyone knew the Buddha had attained perfect enlightenment, that He awakened and [began] to transform sentient beings. Everyone believed [this]. Yet He said that He had spent long kalpas teaching and transforming. So, everyone gave rise to doubt. He had transformed so many people, but He had only attained Buddhahood recently. These Bodhisattvas were so accomplished; how had He taught them? How could He have taught so many Bodhisattvas so successfully? These were the doubts in everyone’s mind. This is not surprising. Every person has their own light, their own lamp. We all have our nature of True Suchness; it is just that our ignorance and afflictions have obscured it. As a result, our intrinsic nature of True Suchness has been covered up, like a lamp that has yet to be lit. “When one lamp is lit, it can illuminate and dispel ancient darkness.” As long as a single lamp is lit, an entire pitch-black room that has been hidden away in darkness for ages will be illuminated by a single lamp.

When one lamp is lit, it can illuminate and dispel ancient darkness. The lamp of the Buddha’s mind can eliminate the darkness of all evils and ignorance.

It is the same with the Buddha’s mind. Once this light was illuminated, He was able to eliminate the darkness of evils and ignorance. The minds of sentient beings, which are shadowed by evil and ignorance, need only accept the Buddha’s teachings. “Buddha” means “enlightenment.” “Enlightenment” refers to the principles. The principles, when we accept them, are like a candle in our heart. If we can connect with these principles, they are the source of that lamplight. If we can connect with them, in the same way, this ancient dark room inside us all can be illuminated. This is certain. However, if we remain forever in the darkness, our ignorance will fester, leading us to create much evil karma.

My dear Bodhisattvas, we must hold onto this love. We must constantly cleanse our minds of ignorance. Once our minds are pure, we must always keep them simple and pure. As we accept the Buddha-Dharma and go among people, their afflictions are Bodhi for us. “Afflictions are Bodhi.” This is our spiritual training ground. We are truly in a turbulent world of temptations and have seen all kinds of human suffering. When we look far into this world, in this world, at this very moment, how many people are suffering? Do they face deep water or burning flames? Every day during the Volunteer Assembly, how many countries do we speak about? How many countries do we feel for?

Dear Bodhisattvas, we must delve into the Dharma from this perspective. So many sentient beings create karma out of ignorance. We must be very mindful! Whether it is during the morning lecture or the volunteer assembly, we can always verify these principles through worldly matters. Therefore, we must cherish the peace we feel at this moment and use this moment to accept the Dharma. We must apply right faith and right Dharma in our everyday lives. So long as we have this aspiration, we will have a way to resonate with the Bodhisattva-path. Otherwise, we will stray far from the Bodhisattva-path. We will get lost, give rise to doubts and create karma through our interpersonal conflicts. Therefore, we must always be mindful!

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