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 20181214《靜思妙蓮華》人中之寶 世間稀有 (第1501集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)

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20181214《靜思妙蓮華》人中之寶 世間稀有 (第1501集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五) Empty
發表主題: 20181214《靜思妙蓮華》人中之寶 世間稀有 (第1501集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)   20181214《靜思妙蓮華》人中之寶 世間稀有 (第1501集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五) Empty周四 12月 13, 2018 9:34 pm

20181214《靜思妙蓮華》人中之寶 世間稀有 (第1501集) (法華經·從地涌出品第十五)

⊙譬如世之珍寶,富貴之人受用,貧窮之人缺衣失糧,資生困乏;薄福眾生,百千萬世得遇佛難,聞三寶名亦難,得學道者希有。
⊙「佛亦如是,得道已來其實未久,而此大眾諸菩薩等,已於無量千萬億劫,為佛道故勤行精進,善入、出、住無量百千萬億三昧,得大神通,久修梵行。」《法華經從地涌出品第十五》
⊙「善能次第習諸善法,巧於問答,人中之寶,一切世間甚為希有。」《法華經從地涌出品第十五》
⊙善能次第習諸善法:行入人群,是善有為事,力行眾多,亦能前後順序,善能次第隨時修習諸善法。
⊙巧於問答,人中之寶,一切世間甚為希有:如初至時,見佛瞻禮問答之語。其義善巧,於人中真大寶。具四弘辯,故云巧於問答。是世間甚為希有。
⊙巧於問答:具四弘辯,法無礙智,義無礙智,詞無礙智,樂說無礙。
⊙「今日世尊方云,得佛道時,初令發心,教化示導令向阿耨多羅三藐三菩提。世尊得佛未久,乃能作此大功德事。」《法華經從地涌出品第十五》
⊙今日世尊方云,得佛道時:今日世尊,舉佛所說依教持法受化。而今云在伽耶得道之時。
⊙初令發心,教化示導令向阿耨多羅三藐三菩提:自最初始教發菩薩心而導化,令向無上菩提。
⊙世尊得佛未久,乃能作此大功德事!:為後世眾生故顯疑。今世尊得佛未久,四十餘年,教化示導成就如是眾多諸菩薩,乃能作此大功德事!
⊙此釋時期難信。諸菩薩眾,已於無量千萬億劫以前修習成就。而世尊今日,乃謂於自成道後方令發心,以時考之,尤為難信。

【證嚴上人開示】
譬如世之珍寶,富貴之人受用,貧窮之人缺衣,失糧資生困乏;薄福眾生,百千萬世得遇佛難,聞三寶名亦難,得學道者希有。

譬如世之珍寶
富貴之人受用
貧窮之人缺衣失糧
資生困乏
薄福眾生
百千萬世得遇佛難
聞三寶名亦難
得學道者希有

這更加困難,大家要用心!「譬如世之珍寶,富貴之人受用」。是啊,世間的珍寶,這都是富有的人所說的,他們所享有的珍寶,貧困的人哪有辦法?什麼叫做珍寶啊呢?珍寶,在貧困的人根本就無用,也不可能有珍寶。「珍寶」這個東西,是世間人的奢侈品,價值到底在哪裡?卻是人人將它認為是寶。就像世間名利、地位,這「名」又是長得什麼形?地位呢?說高,到底要如何去將它量分寸的高?這都無形,無體相;說它是珍寶,珍寶,雖然在它的相,在人的根,「根」和這個塵的「相」,看起來,哦,這很美!美,是人的執著,所以因為它美,說它很價值、很價值。人的心相,值得就是難得,難得就是寶,這都世間人的名相,喊出來說這是價值,其實它的價值是在哪裡呢?只是在名相中。

有人說這是很價值,價值在人的心裡,那就叫做寶。這個寶到底又是什麼東西?在人又有什麼樣的功用?而擁有它,又是有什麼東西?其實推溯到最後,其實還是平常的東西;只是這個東西得來,是破壞了大地。這些東西確實花用了,很多人的工、身、力,真的是得來不易。為什麼就要這樣,花這麼多人的努力,而且爭取、破壞,取礦,去將這些東西拿出來?這人生實在是想到透徹來,所說的寶物,是對大自然的大破壞所得來,眾生認為那是寶,這些東西是名稱,富有的人所在受用,所以這是世間顛倒了。覺悟的人,那就是一切幻化無常,就沒有煩惱、沒有爭取、沒有無明,就沒有貪著,世間就沒有受破壞的大自然,所以大自然它就很穩定了。總而言之,推究到最後,世間一切富貴、珍寶,又是什麼呢?就是因為人有這樣的執著,所以「貧窮之人缺衣失糧,」資生困難。貧窮的人,因為有顯出了,富貴佔有一切,資源享受,所以會有分別出了貧窮之人。

貧,世間多少貧窮困難人,多麼苦啊!我們平時很多菩薩,去接觸這些貧窮苦難人,貧窮有它的因緣,就是世間有這麼多、這麼多,已經既造成,無始以來人的執著、煩惱無明,所以既已經造成,所以人不斷造業;業累成,所以他就有因緣果報。人生的執著,那個因緣果報,那就是依報、正報,生在這樣貧窮、苦難的家庭。或者是開頭生在富有,富貴人家,人間無常,發生了任何無常事端,古時候的人說,富貴難過三代。這可能幾十年後、百年後,慢慢、慢慢人間無常,世態變遷,無常的事情,慢慢這富有的家庭慢慢就墮落。這種來的時候生活還不錯,長大的時候環境不斷地蛻變,所以一輩子從有一直到貧窮;這樣的人生變化,一直到了這種缺衣、失糧,資生困難,這種的依、正二報。依報、正報,依這個因緣而來生,報在這樣的家庭,原先還不錯,家境、世代很好,背景,但是中落,慢慢、慢慢在一輩子,就變化無常。這樣滑下去之後,這難就苦!

尤其是更加變遷、更加激烈的無常,那就是人禍造成。看看現在人間的,所造成的人禍有多少啊?突然間,有些人的家庭,在他們的國家還很好,是大地主,是大名醫,也是大財主等等,大企業家。一旦國家不安定,社會動亂了,內戰起來,那就突然之間逃亡,到了都變成難民了。顧命,有時候顧命就無法可俱全,我們若回顧,有多少人,那個難民潮,現在已經分布在幾個國家;幾個國家,也現在頭痛的事情很多,變成了聯合國、國際間,為了難民議題,也很麻煩。而且多少國家,要開門讓他們進來呢?或者是要拒絕呢?進來到裡面又是要如何處理?增加這麼多的人口。

就像約旦,這個國家很寬容,根據濟暉回來在和大家分享,描述著約旦,它這幾十年來,經過了國際不安定,幾次邊界收容難民。根據我們從約旦開始有慈濟,(二0一七年)慈濟在約旦,已經剛好二十年了。就光說這二十年間,我們所知道的,群眾,這種難民潮來到約旦,有從阿富汗,很多的國家,再來是大批的難民潮,那就是伊拉克。經過了一大波,我們也大動員,所以我們有環保毛毯,開始,就是伊拉克的難民潮開始。

臺灣也有媒體,就是和我們大愛一起去採訪,看過了那種苦難,在那個沙漠的裡面,風沙也很大,冬天非常的冷,難民潮在那個地方,所住的帳篷是很簡陋,真的是苦不堪。老人在那裡,冷是冷得這樣,腳鞋子破了,腳都露出來了,用一層層的破塑膠,這樣包在那個破鞋外面,穿在腳上。有一個媒體的記者(台視記者蔣任)同樣在那裡採訪,看到這個老人整個身體,是這樣冷得在那裡一直發抖,整個身體就是這樣破爛的衣服,在那個很單薄的帳篷,也已經破爛了。這種的環境,風飛沙、大風在這樣的沙漠裡,一大群、一大群的難民,這個老人,實在是讓人看了很不捨。人人自顧就沒有辦法,哪有辦法顧這個老人呢?那位記者看到他在那裡發抖,看到他的腳那個塑膠,破掉的袋子,一層又一層套在他的鞋子外,綁在腳上。他不捨。

他一個舉動,我們大愛剛好在那個地方,將他拍下來。他這樣蹲下來,將自己的鞋子脫下來,襪子脫下來,還有體溫,有這位記者的體溫在。他將那位老人腳上的塑膠,將它解開,鞋子脫下來,將他自己的襪子,給那位老人。那一幕一直一直在我的腦海中,多麼溫暖啊!常常在說媒體,其實記者的愛心,在那樣的環境中,動起了那個愛心,是很震撼人心。就像這樣,在人生的無常,到底他們過去的環境是什麼?我們不知道。在那個時間,我們看到的環境就是這樣,貧窮,缺衣、失糧,資生困難,想要活下去都很困難。還有,我們曾經過了,去救濟阿富汗那時候,從美國運來的糧食,從臺灣去,要救濟的,也是,關關卡卡;很多的資糧在路上,資糧在路上就被攔掉了。我們的呢?也是,讓人擋下來,幸好,雖然時間拖延了,到了半夜抵達,我們的油、米、毛毯,雖然拖延了時間,到達的時是已經暗夜時,在冷又暗卡車運到了,要將這些卡車的東西,要搬運下來。那時候,看到在搬運的過程,這都有記錄到!這是要救濟,是經過了層層的難關,大批的資糧,禦寒的毯子、衣物,或者是米、油,這樣運到的時候,那是多麼感動!

而且看到在那裡扛米,思賢也在那裡這樣扛。那時候,我們臺灣也好幾人去,美國也好幾位去,在那個地方會合,走入那個地方,在阿富汗,要去救災。經過了多少辛苦,這種難民的苦難偏多。也有孩子,五歲的孩子,是三個弟弟、妹妹的家長。逃難中存活下來這四個孩子,大哥是五歲。那個環境,那個畫面。看,人生就是這樣,苦難偏多,有的是大自然的災難,有的是人禍的災難;有的就是與生(俱)來,長久累年,世代以來的貧窮、苦難,這都有!所以富貴、貧窮,這人間差距實在是很大,我們到底是為什麼,怎麼會這樣呢?尤其是在約旦,菩薩,就像濟暉,我們總共在那裡,才有幾位慈濟人,幾位?總共好像是七八位而已。我們的慈濟人要去負責,時時有外來的難民,他們難民營要去顧。尤其是照顧戶也要長期照顧,這七十七戶,貧窮困難的人這樣在照顧,也有這樣照顧跨過了三代人,十九年的時間有三代人在照顧。

其中他就有一個故事,叫做阿耶少女,這個阿耶,現在已經大學畢業了,現在也為人的母親。其實從她小時候,她們就受我們照顧,因為她的母親,是十二歲就與表哥結婚。因為近親,所以她連續生四個女兒,三個是智障,才有一個,這個阿耶,最小的這個,阿耶,是健康的。那三個智障,就是這位母親一直要照顧。很不幸,就是父親不顧家庭,又是家暴,所以常常回來,不只是不來顧家庭,回來就是暴力。所以有人就說:「你們離婚嘛。」但是阿耶的媽媽:「我若離婚,我這三個,我這三個孩子,會讓人送去安養院,無人照顧,我不捨。」為了要照顧這三個障礙的孩子,甘願忍受,要養這位正常的,所以一定要扶養她。因為這樣,慈濟就開始來幫助這個家庭。這個家庭,我們幫助足足十九年了,一直陪伴著這個媽媽,我們幫助她的家庭生活,每個月,油、鹽、米,再給她現金,約幣一百元,就是我們的臺幣五千元,每個月這樣幫助,讓她維持家庭。小女兒可以順利讀書,到中學的時候,她一個心願,看能不能讀大學,但是父親就是不肯。後來,經過了濟暉去說服了,我們願意幫助,所以才讓她讀大學。終於大學也畢業了,也結婚了,結婚的對象,也是我們助學金完成的,一位年輕人。已經結婚了,也已經生一個嬰兒,嬰兒很可愛,這個嬰兒也證明是健康的,所以,這是三代人,在那個地方。類似這種苦難的家庭,我們也一直長期在照顧,何況在那個難民營裡面。才是幾個慈濟人已受證,人很少,但是在那個地方,帶起了一群的菩薩群、志工,願意幫助、願意付出,面對著那麼的多,時時都有邊境的難民到達。這就是人間苦難偏多。

但是這麼苦難的地方,因為宗教關係,要聽法、遇佛法也難,所以「薄福眾生,百千萬世得遇佛難」,真的,哪怕是遇到佛法,能夠接受也有一點難。雖然我們在付出的當中,雖然我們也是用這樣的精神,不分宗教、不分國界在付出,也被接受了。但是,真正佛法要入眾生心,真正要表達佛法跟佛教,實在是困難事情重重!所以,「聞三寶名亦難」,真的是困難。「得學道者希有」,真正願意要學道,要能夠信佛法,名正言順,信佛法、精進學道,實在困難。我們能夠常常聽到濟暉說:「我在那個地方,都單獨我自己一個,要聽法,半夜才有辦法一起薰法。」這實在是很孤單。不過他的道心很堅固,哪怕是一個,他也能夠做大佛事;做我們佛法想要做的事情,將慈濟的精神理念,真正的落實在那個地方,發揮救濟眾生,用真誠的愛去付出,他能夠在那個地方深入民心。這是已經用愛在付出,總是愛的力量,若不執著它,我們就能夠做很多事情;若要執著名稱,那做事就難了。

現在有慈濟團體在不同的國家,在幫助有多少,都是不同國的種族,也不同的宗教,是多少呢?也是很圓滿,這就是真正人生不要去執著。什麼叫做富?什麼叫做有?人間事,這種由不得自己的苦難,富有愛心,我們就有餘能夠去幫助人,這就是最和睦的人生,若能夠這樣,那就是最平和的世界。佛法就是期待能夠做到這樣。

我們前面的文這樣說:「佛亦如是」。佛教化眾生,長久以來,不論是長長久久,或者是在任何一生中,示現人間、顯跡人間,都無不是在度眾生。若是無掛礙,就不用去執著時間長短,就是相信。時間,無始以來,這種富有的愛是長長久久,是依誓願而來。眾生是業,依業而來,佛菩薩是乘願而來,所以時間是長。但是彌勒,彌勒菩薩是希望後世的眾生,就是像我們現在。我們現在的人很聰明,看到經文他都會反駁:「哪有可能!佛才這樣這樣成佛,這樣的時間,這樣在教化,說這些人全都是他度的,那麼的成就,這哪有可能!」他就會像彌勒,就用出那個辯駁、問難,最苛的問題來譬喻,就像二十五歲的青年說,「這些百歲的人是他的孩子,沒道理!你看,用這樣來譬喻,這就是代替未來,剛強難調伏的眾生,心生疑惑,故意要辯駁這個人。

這樣的人,彌勒,彌勒菩薩已經代替我們,要為他們解釋,就是代替我們先讓他們清楚。就是有這樣的人,未來也有這樣的人,就像彌勒提出這麼苛的辯駁,來辯駁佛法,所以彌勒菩薩預先告訴大家,提這個,顯示這個疑來問。這就是佛和菩薩的慈悲,為我們後代。佛陀要講這部《法華經》,真的都準備得很妥當,佛、菩薩要如何來完成,這個未來為世代,這個世間度化眾生的,大環境的真妙法,都已經布置好了。所以,我們若用心,我們就能夠很好利用。

所以,前面的文說:「佛亦如是,得道已來,其實未久,而此大眾諸菩薩等,已於無量千萬億劫。」已經很長久的時間,「為佛道故,懃行精進,善入出住無量百千萬億三昧,得大神通,久修梵行」。

佛亦如是
得道已來
其實未久
而此大眾諸菩薩等
已於無量千萬億劫
為佛道故
勤行精進
善入出住
無量百千萬億三昧
得大神通
久修梵行
《法華經從地涌出品第十五》

其實,看起來這些菩薩,就是已經有這樣的功夫了,應該是長久的時間,就已經修行了,修行到現在,出入就全都自在,在這個「三昧」沒有困難。這些人久來就已經有成就了,都是長時間在精進的菩薩。

接下來的文這樣說:「善能次第習諸善法,巧於問答,人中之寶,一切世間甚為希有。」

善能次第習諸善法
巧於問答
人中之寶
一切世間甚為希有
《法華經從地涌出品第十五》

這些人已經能夠在人群中,「善能次第習諸善法」,已經在長久的時間,在這個世間裡,都能夠次第走入人群,前後次第。人群中所造作的,就是善有為法的事情做很多。

善能次第
習諸善法:
行入人群
是善有為事
力行眾多
亦能前後順序
善能次第隨時
修習諸善法

適應眾生,眾生的困難、眾生的苦難、眾生所需要等等等等的善,大有作為在人群中,這群菩薩就是這樣,已經「力行眾多」。所做的事情盡心力,很多很多的善事,為眾生解困、解難的事情,已經做很多。所以,「亦能前後順序」。要如何做、該如何做?前後次序安排得很好、做得很好,所以「善能次第隨時修習諸善法」。這些菩薩已經在人間來來去去,長長久久無不都是在人間,做這麼多好的事情,善有為法。人間愈是動亂、愈是困境,菩薩就不斷地湧現,發揮他們的良能,善有為法,去完成他們菩薩的志業。這就是佛法,妙在這樣因緣會和。所以,「巧於問答」,不只是會做事,解決人人的困難,又再「巧於問答,人中之寶,一切世間甚為希有」。

巧於問答
人中之寶
一切世間
甚為希有:
如初至時
見佛瞻禮問答之語
其義善巧
於人中真大寶
具四弘辯
故云巧於問答
是世間甚為希有

這些菩薩真的是世間很稀有。就像來到大法會中,「見佛瞻禮問答之語」,同樣有次序,去禮佛,然後在所有分身佛的面前,也是互相去問訊,同時這樣繞著,照禮節,也是這樣順序走。不只是在各地在做事情,回來會集了還是那麼有禮節,那麼的有次序,這實在是很稀有。所以,「見佛瞻禮問答之語」,坐下來彼此之間互相分享,分享各地所造作的一切。這不就是這樣嗎?我們慈濟人不就是,若是精進,海外精進營集中回來到臺灣,我們看他們這麼多人,千多人,不同的國家集會回來,大家就互相分享,彼此勉勵、精進。回來,精神理念再取經、再回去。各人的分享,各人共同的方向,「合和互協」,調整之後再出發,再回到他們的國家,我們現在不就是這樣呢?所以,《法華經》真的是,我們現在人間菩薩法的妙法,是我們人人都用得到,這真是適合。所以,每次若說到很適合,就法喜充滿,大家都有參與到,大家都有做到,很體會得到。

所以,「其義善巧」,在這樣大家互相分享、對答,那內容道理都是很善,善作為,也是涵蓋了很大的道理存在。所以,「於人中真是大寶」,是人中之寶,這些人就是苦難人群中的貴人,因為當他們需要的時候,就有這群在他們生命中最需要,出現在他們的面前付出,鼓勵他們的心,啟他們的心門,幫助他們資生的資糧,這不就是人中寶呢?菩薩真的是這苦難中,人生命中的寶,的貴人。所以,他們「具四弘辯」。他們不只是能夠,有形的物質給他們,他們還具足了四辯才,四無礙辯,可以將法、將道理、將言詞編輯起來,把這個法,巧妙應眾生的根機去付出,他們還是很歡喜說,不斷不斷看到人就能夠說,這叫做「四無礙辯」。「故云巧於問答」,所以很用權巧的方便,來與人對答,「是世間甚(為)希有」。真的這種「巧於問答,具四弘辯」,用「法無礙智」,用「義無礙智」、「詞無礙智」、「樂說無礙」。

巧於問答
具四弘辯
法無礙智
義無礙智
詞無礙智
樂說無礙

這就是巧問答的「四弘辯」。「四弘辯」就是很寬廣,能夠法應機而說,說出來全都義理很整齊,言詞不論你要用什麼種的語言,都可以說得到,而且很歡喜說。這就是我們要學的。

接下來這段文再說:「今日世尊、方云得佛道時,初令發心,教化示導令向阿耨多羅三藐三菩提。世尊得佛未久,乃能作此大功德事。」

今日世尊方云
得佛道時
初令發心
教化示導
令向阿耨多羅
三藐三菩提
世尊得佛未久
乃能作此大功德事
《法華經從地涌出品第十五》

佛其實成佛就還沒有多久,而能夠讓這麼多人,得到這麼大的功德事,這到底是為何呢?「今日世尊」,就是彌勒菩薩,舉出了今天的釋迦佛,就是那時候,佛陀就是依這個教,如何來教化?這些人已經長久,就已經受法、持法、修法了,為什麼佛成佛這麼短的時間,是如何教的?他就是又再這樣的舉問。

今日世尊方云
得佛道時:
今日世尊
舉佛所說
依教持法受化
而今云
在伽耶得道之時

所以,而今云在伽耶城,在那個伽耶城來成道、得道;得道的道場,就是離伽耶城沒有多遠的地方,菩提樹下那個道場裡。才多久?四十多年而已,成佛以來到現在。

所以,這樣這麼短的時間,就開始說法,「初令發心」,就能夠讓這些人,得到這麼的豐富、那麼的深。其實這些人,絕對不是短短的時間,所以用這樣的疑問來問,這是彌勒的含意,要讓大家更了解,人人心中都有這樣的疑問。後世的人,就是那個時候的的未來,也就是我們現在的人,真的是剛強惡劣,這種批判的心態是很重,所以為預防未來,批判道理的人出現,所以他提前用這樣的方式,剛才說過了。所以,這段文我們要很用心,雖然重複再重複,是要一直讓我們去體會、了解,將來若有故意來批判,這種疑問來問難,我們就能夠心理,要有這樣的準備。而我們道理我們自己要通達,通達我們才有辦法分析。所以,「自最初始教發菩薩心」,這樣一直度化,如何讓他們能夠,不斷、不斷向上在菩提道裡。

初令發心
教化示導
令向阿耨多羅
三藐三菩提:
自最初始
教發菩薩心而導化
令向無上菩提

這是要如何去為他們解釋,過去那麼長久又是如何教?現在教,就說能夠完成,很不可思議! 所以,「世尊得佛未久,乃能作此大功德事」。其實,得佛就沒有多久,怎麼有辦法得到,這麼大的功德的事情呢?

世尊得佛未久
乃能作此
大功德事:
為後世眾生故顯疑
今世尊得佛未久
四十餘年
教化示導成就如是
眾多諸菩薩
乃能作此大功德事

這就是為我們後世眾生的懷疑,所以彌勒顯疑。因為「今世尊得佛未久」,才四十多年而已。怎麼能夠教化這麼多,這麼多菩薩呢?而且這些菩薩,還能夠去投入人群、去救度眾生,又在人群中巧於問答,這些菩薩已經有這麼大的成就,到底釋迦牟尼佛是如何度化?這就是彌勒菩薩,故意疑、故意問,就是要讓我們後世來的人,能夠好好多用心、多體會、多了解。

所以,這個時期難信,我們現在這個時期。那個時候,是大家都要將這個問題,這樣更加清楚,為了未來有剛強、難調伏、批判的人,這樣要如何為他們解釋?這就要用這麼的,很反覆(繁複)的文,這樣,經文就這樣來分析。所以,這個時期難信。

此釋時期難信
諸菩薩眾
已於無量千萬億劫
以前修習成就
而世尊今日
乃謂於自成道後
方令發心
以時考之
尤為難信

「諸菩薩眾,已於無量千萬億劫,以前修習成就。而世尊今日,乃謂於自成道後,方令發心」。用這個時間來考據,更加難信,現在佛陀說:「我這個時候才開始讓他們發心。」其實,這些應該是,過去、過去無量萬億劫,就應該就修行了,就修習這些道法,怎麼會今日世尊,「今日」就是那個時候,釋迦佛那個道場,開始佛陀「我於伽耶城」,那個時候開始度化這些人。

說「用這個時間來考據,更加難信」。這就是佛陀怎麼要說:「我現在成佛,教化他們。」這後面還有道理,在這裡既然有浮(現)出來了,應該後面還有道理在。所以,我們要很用心來體會,當時佛陀講這部經,考慮的是為未來。所以,未來濁惡世的時代,需要是什麼法?未來人間的病,是病在哪裡呢?需要用什麼藥?他將藥開好了,在那個地方,但是孩子就不想要服用。他就放著出去了,才去告訴人家:「回去告訴我的孩子,說他父親死了。」孩子才會知道,「哦,我們的父親死了,我有病要怎麼辦?開始要找藥。」我們人間也是這樣,在長時的時間、社會,也是很多人不接受佛法,或者是對佛法在說,有所疑。

佛陀會說出了,是這樣的譬喻,所以,尤其是考慮未來,未來世的世間的病是會很嚴重,因為濁氣;不論是大自然、不論是人心,濁氣很重,所以需要這樣的法。但是,難信、難解,要怎麼辦?在那個時代有文殊、有彌勒;有過去已成就的佛,有未來當成就的佛,會現在釋迦佛,現為菩薩,這樣要來助這個道場,讓這個法能夠很完整。所以,為未來的人發心,為讓未來的人不要有疑問,文殊菩薩保護我們的心,不要退道心,彌勒菩薩保護我們,假如有剛強的眾生來問難時,法要如何去解釋。這實在是很感動。希望大家能夠了解,佛菩薩的用心,我們怎麼能夠不用心呢?所以我們要時時多用心!


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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: Treasures Among People Are Rare in the World (人中之寶 世間稀有)
Date: December.14.2018

“By way of analogy, the world’s precious treasures are enjoyed by the rich, while the poor lack food and clothing and have difficulty making a living. For sentient beings with meagre blessings, it is rare to encounter a Buddha even in trillions of lifetimes. Hearing the name of the Three Treasures will also be rare for them. Being able to learn the path is precious.”

This is even more difficult, so we must all be mindful. “By way of analogy, the world’s precious treasures are enjoyed by the rich.” When it comes to precious worldly treasures, the treasures that the wealthy talk about and enjoy, how could the poor ever be able [to enjoy them]? What are precious treasures? Precious treasures are quite useless for people in poverty and moreover impossible for them to obtain. These kinds of precious treasures are luxury goods for people in this world. What is it actually that makes them valuable? Yet people all view them as treasures.

This is like worldly fame, wealth and status. What does “fame” look like? What about “status”? When we say [someone has] a high status, how do we measure its height? It is intangible and without substance. We say they are precious treasures; they are precious because of their appearances and because of how humans perceive them. When our senses come into contact with the appearance of these objects, we see them [as beautiful]. “Oh, this is very beautiful!” Their beauty is what people become attached to. Thus, because they are beautiful, people claim that they are very valuable. In people’s minds, that which is hard to obtain is valuable. That which is hard to obtain is treasured. This is all a matter of labels created by people in this world. They may claim that something is valuable, but where, in fact, is its value? It exists only in name and appearance.

This thing that some say is very valuable and that possesses value in people’s minds, that is what we call “a treasure”. What exactly is this treasure? What kind of function does it have for people? If we own it, what exactly do we have? In fact, as we trace it to its ultimate source, it turns out to be an ordinary thing. It is just that, in order to obtain this thing, people had to destroy the land. Indeed, these things require much effort, the physical labor and strength of many people; truly they are difficult to obtain. Why must it take so much effort from so many people, fighting over it, damaging the land and mining the ore, to obtain this thing? If we think thoroughly about life, the treasures people talk about are obtained by destroying nature, yet sentient beings view them as treasures. These things are just names, providing enjoyment to the rich.

This is how distorted the world is. Those who have awakened know that everything is illusory and impermanent. Thus, they are free of afflictions, grasping and ignorance. They have no greed or attachments. In this way, the natural world will not be damaged. [This is how] nature can become stable. In short, as we research things thoroughly, what are the world’s wealth, status and precious treasures? It is because people have these attachments that “the poor lack food and clothing” and have difficulty making a living. When it comes to poverty, it is because the wealthy occupy and enjoy [so many] resources that there is this distinction [between rich and] poor. Speaking of poverty, there are many struggling, impoverished people. How greatly they suffer! We have many Bodhisattvas who regularly visit these poor, suffering people. Those in poverty have their causes and conditions. In the world, since Beginningless Time, people have formed so many attachments, afflictions and ignorance. So, having already formed these, they constantly create karma. Due to this accumulated karma, they [experience] retributions due to the law of karma. Due to people’s attachments in life, according to the law of karma, their circumstantial and direct retributions result in them being born into families who suffer from poverty and difficulty. Or some are initially born into a rich family, but due to the impermanence of life, some unexpected incidents happen. People used to say that wealth lasts no more than three generations. After a few decades or centuries, slowly, due to the impermanence of the world, their way of life changes and [misfortune] causes wealthy families to gradually decline. For these people, when they were born, their life was decent, but as they grew up, the conditions constantly changed. So, some people go from living a wealthy life to an impoverished one. [Because of] these changes in their lives eventually they lack food and clothing and having difficulty making a living. This is due to their circumstantial and direct retributions. Their circumstantial retributions cause them to be born into this kind of family. At first, life is good. Their family circumstances and background have been good for generations. But along the way, the family declines and gradually, during their lifetime, things change due to impermanence. After their family declines, they experience hardship and suffering. Moreover, there are sometimes rapid changes and more drastic misfortunes, which are caused by manmade calamities. When we look at this present world, how many manmade calamities are there?

Some families had been doing well in their countries. There were landlords, famous doctors, wealthy people or entrepreneurs. Once their countries were destabilized by social unrest and civil war, they suddenly have to flee and end up becoming refugees to save their own lives. Sometimes, they must give up everything to survive. [This may] remind us of the many people that are part of the refugee crisis, who have now spared through many countries. For these countries, there are now many headaches. The refugee crisis has become a troubling topic for the UN and the international community.

In addition, how many counties are willing to let them in? How many turn them away? After the refugees have entered their countries, how should they manage the great increase in their population? Take Jordan for an example. That country is very generous. In Chi Hui’s sharing when he came back, he described how Jordan, during the past few decades, has been dealing with periods of international instability. Several times, Jordan has taken in refugees at its border. From the time we started Tzu Chi in Jordan (as of 2017) Tzu Chi has been there for 20 years. Just talking about these 20 years, according to what we know, the waves of refugees who came to Jordan included people from Afghanistan and many other [places]. The next great wave of refugees came from Iraq. After a huge wave [of refugees] arrived, we mobilized on a large scale to begin distributing our eco-friendly blankets. This started with the wave of refugees from Iraq.

Journalists from Taiwan also went there to cover the news with Da Ai TV. They saw the suffering in the desert. There were intense sandstorms, and that winter was extremely cold. The refugees lives in that place in shabby tents. Their suffering was truly unbearable.

There was an old man shivering in the cold. His shoes had holes and his feet were exposed. He used layer upon layer of broken plastic to wrap the tattered shoes he wore. There was a journalist from a media outlet who was taking interviews. He was this old man shivering from head to toe in the cold. The old man was wearing ragged clothing and staying in a thin tent which was also worn-out. [It was] in this environment, with sand blowing in the strong desert winds, that this large group of refugees [lived]. This old man’s situation was truly unbearable to see. People could not even take care of themselves, so how could anyone care for this old man? The journalist saw him shivering there and saw how he wrapped layer upon layer of ragged plastic bags around his shoes and tied them on his feet. The journalist’s heart went out to him. What this journalist did happened to be filmed by our Da Ai TV crew there. The journalist knelt down, took off his own shoes and removed the socks that were still warm from his own body. He untied the plastic bags on the old man’s feet, took off the old man’s shoes and put his own socks on this old man’s feet. This scene constantly replays in my mind. How heart-warming this is!

We often talk [negatively] about the media. In fact, the love of this journalist was inspired in that environment. This truly moves our hearts. These instances show us that life is impermanent. What was their environment like in the past? We do not know. At that time, this was the environment we saw. They were poor, lacking clothing and food. They had difficulty making a living. It was difficult for them even to survive.

We also provided relief to Afghanistan. Food shipped from the United States and Taiwan to provide relief had to pass through many barriers. Many provisions for relief were blocked on the road. What about ours? They were also blocker in the same way. Fortunately, despite the delay, [the provisions] arrived at midnight. Our oil, rice and blankets, although delayed, arrived at midnight. It was cold and dark when the truck transporting [all the provisions] arrived, and we had to unload these goods from the truck. At that time, we watched the unloading process. It was all recorded. These necessary relief [supplies] had to pass through many checkpoints. When the big load of provisions, including winter blankets and clothes, rice and oil, finally arrived like this, how touching it was!

We also watched volunteers carrying the rice bags. Stephen Huang was there carrying the rice. At that time, a number of Taiwanese [volunteers] went there, along with several volunteers from the US. They gathered together and went into Afghanistan to provide relief. They had gone through so much hardship for this. The refugees there were suffering greatly. There was a five-year-old child who was the oldest person left in his family of three younger brothers and sisters. These four children survived the escape. The oldest brother was five years old. We saw their condition in the footage. See, this is how life is, so full of suffering.

Some suffer from natural disasters, while some suffer from manmade calamities and others are born into suffering due to generations of poverty and hardship. These conditions all exist. So, there is truly a wide disparity between the rich and the poor in the world. Why does this happen to us? Why is it like this? Especially in Jordan, how many Bodhisattvas, Tzu Chi volunteers like Chi Hui, are there in total? How many? There are only 7 or 8 of them in total. Our Tzu Chi volunteers have to care for refugees constantly coming from other countries. They have to go care for those in the camps.

Moreover, there are some families who require long-term care. There are 77 families in poverty and hardship that they care for. For some families, they have cared for them over three generations, for 19 years. There is a story about a girl named Ayed among these families. Ayed has now graduated from university, and she is now also a mother. In fact, since she was a child, she has been receiving our care. This is because her mother married her cousin when she was 12 years old. Because they are so closely related, among the four daughters they had in a row, three were [born] mentally impaired. Only the youngest one, Ayed, was healthy. The three mentally impaired daughters required their mother’s constant care. Unfortunately, their father did not take care of his family, and moreover, he abused them. So, he often returned home not to take care of his family, but to abuse them. Because of this, some people would say, “You should get a divorce”. But, Ayed’s mother said, “If I get a divorce, these three children of mine will be sent to a care facility. No one will take care of them. I will feel heartbroken”. To care for these three mentally challenged girls, she was willing to endure [abuse] and raise the healthy one. She [felt she] absolutely had to raise her [well].

Because of this, Tzu Chi began to help this family. This family has received our aid for 19 years. We have always been there to help this mother. We helped her household by giving her oil, salt and rice each month. We also gave her cash, about 100 Jordanian dinars, equivalent to 5,000 NT dollars (US$160). Every month we gave her this aid to support her family. The youngest daughter could smoothly go to school, and when she was in middle school, her wish was to study at the university.

However, her father did not approve of this. Afterwards, Chi Hui persuaded the father, saying that we were willing to help. Finally, he allowed her to attend university. Eventually, she graduated from university and also got married. Her husband is a young man who also finished his degree with our financial aid. They are married and have a baby. The baby is adorable and proved to be healthy. So, [we have helped] these three generations.

In that place, we have provided long term care for families in hardship such as this, not to mention those in the refugee camps. There are only a few certified Tzu Chi volunteers. They lack manpower, but in that country, they have mobilized a group of Bodhisattvas and volunteers who are willing to help and serve the many refugees that are constantly coming to the border. Thus, the world is full of suffering. It is a place with so much suffering. Due to religious [differences], it is difficult for people to hear or encounter the Buddha-Dharma.

“Thus, for sentient beings with meagre blessings, it is rare to encounter a Buddha even in trillions of lifetimes”. Indeed, even after encountering the Buddha-Dharma, it is difficult for people to accept it. We serve others with this spirit, regardless of religion or nationality, and we are accepted by them. However, truly bringing the Buddha-Dharma into sentient beings’ minds and expressing the Buddha’s teachings is truly fraught with layers of difficulties! So, “Hearing the name of the Three Treasures will also be rare for them”. This is truly difficult.

So, “Being able to learn the path is precious”. From them to be truly willing to learn the path, to be able to believe in the Buddha-Dharma, to properly believe in it and be diligent in learning the path, is truly difficult. We often hear Chi Hui say, “When I am there, I am always alone. If I want to listen to the Dharma, I can only listen to the Morning Dharma Talk at midnight”. This is truly lonely. However, his aspiration is firm. Even by himself, he can still achieve the great work of the Buddha. He does [the word] our Buddha-Dharma asks us to do and truly implements Tzu Chi’s spirit and ideals in that country. He exercises [this spirit] to help sentient beings and serves with sincere love. So, he can deeply connect with the people there. He has been giving with love. The power of love is always [with us]; if we do not just hold on to it [for ourselves], we can [use it] to achieve many things. If we cling to [it] in name only, it will be difficult to accomplish anything. Now, Tzu Chi is in many different countries. We help many people from different nations, ethnic groups and different religions too. There are so many of them, aren’t there? And they are very harmonious. This is why we truly must not be attached in life. What is wealth? What is it to possess things? in worldly matters, there is so much suffering beyond our control. [But] if we are full of love, we have more than enough to help people. This is the most harmonious life. If we can do this, the world will be the most peaceful. This is what is expected of us in the Buddha -Dharma.

The precious sutra passage states, “The Buddha is also like this”. The Buddha had taught and transformed sentient beings for a long time. Throughout this very long time and in all of His [previous] lifetimes, He manifested in the world entirely to transform sentient beings. if we are free of attachments, we need not be hung up on how long [this will take]; we just need to have faith. Since Beginningless Time, in His abundant love, He has eternally come [to the world] journeying on His vows. Sentient beings come following their karma, while Buddhas and Bodhisattvas come by journeying on [the power of] their vows. This takes a very long time.

However, Maitreya Bodhisattva hoped that sentient beings in the future, like us in the present, [could learn this]. People nowadays are clever. As they read the sutra passage, they will argue, “How is that possible?” “The Buddha had just attained Buddhahood. It was in this period of time that He taught and transformed people. To say that He transformed all these people who were so accomplished, now is that possible?” They [will argue] like Maitreya, asking such difficult questions and using extreme examples to make their point, such as, “How could a 25-year-old young man claim that these 100-year-olds are his children? This makes no sense! We can see how he used this analogy to speak on behalf of future sentient beings, who would be stubborn and hard to train. Their minds are doubtful, and they intentionally debate with [others]. For people like this, Maitreya Bodhisattva, [asked] on our behalf so [the Buddha] could explain to them.

So, for our sake, he helped them understand first. There were people like this [back then], and there will also be such people in the future who will bring up extreme arguments to refute the Buddha-Dharma just like Maitreya did. This was why Maitreya Bodhisattva first said this to everyone He brought up these and asked questions. This is how the Buddha and the Bodhisattvas showed compassion for future generations. The Buddha wanted to teach the Lotus Sutra, and He was truly well-prepared. The Buddha and Bodhisattvas found ways to complete this true wondrous Dharma that would transform future generations of sentient beings in the world. All of this had already been arranged. So, if we are mindful, we can also greatly benefit from this.

The previous sutra passage says, “The Buddha is also like this. It really has not been long since. He attained enlightenment. Yet this great group of Bodhisattvas has already [engaged in spiritual practice] for countless trillions of kalpas. It has been a very long time. For the sake of the path to Buddhahood, they have practiced earnestly and diligently. They excel in entering into, emerging from and abiding in countless trillions of kinds of Samadhi. They have attained great spiritual powers and have long cultivated purifying practices.

In fact, it looked like these Bodhisattvas already had these skills. They must have engaged in spiritual practice for a long time. Now their spiritual practice enable them to freely go in and out of Samadhi with no difficulty. These people had been accomplished [spiritual practitioners] for a long time. These Bodhisattvas had been diligent for an extensive amount of time.

The next sutra passage continues, ”They excel in begin able to practice all the virtuous teachings in sequence. They are skillful in They are treasures among people and are extremely rare throughout all the world.”

By going among people, they “excel in being able to practice all the virtuous teachings in sequence”. For an extensive amount of time, they were in this world and were able to [practice] among people in sequence. In the correct sequence, they [went] among people to accomplish many conditioned good deeds.

They excel in being able to practice all the virtuoys teachings in sequence: Their practice is to go among people. They excel at doing good deeds, putting [teachings] into action in many ways. They are also able to do this in the correct sequence. They excel in being able to, practice all virtuous Dharma.

According to sentient beings’ difficulties, suffering, needs and much more, they did great deeds among people. This is how these Bodhisattvas put [teachings] into action in many ways”. They do everything wholeheartedly and do many good deeds to relieve sentient beings’ hardship and suffering. They do so much. So, “They are also able to do this in the correct sequence. How does one do this? What must be done? They arranged the sequence very well and did [good deeds] very well. So, “they excel in being able to, at all times and in sequence, practice all virtuous Dharma. These Bodhisattvas had been coming and going in the world repeatedly. For a long time in this world, they had been practicing many good deeds, conditioned good deeds. The more chaos and hardship there is in the world, the more Bodhisattvas will continue to emerge to exercise their potential for goodness and perform conditioned good deeds to complete their mission as Bodhisattvas. This is the Buddha-Dharma; its wondrousness lies in the convergence of courses and conditions.

So, “They are skillful in asking and answering questions”. They are not only able to do things to solve people’s problems but also ”are skillful in asking and answering questions. They are treasures among people and are extremely rare throughout all the world.

They are skillful in asking and answering questions. They are treasures among people and are extremely rare throughout all the world: This was like their speech upon arrival, when they saw the Buddha and greeted Him and asked and answered questions. Its meaning was excellent and skillful. They are truly great treasures among people. They possess the Four Eloquence. So, [maitreya] said they were skillful in asking and answering questions and were extremely rare throughout the world.

These Bodhisattvas were truly rare in the world. Take how they came to the great Dharma-assembly, “when they saw the Buddha and greeted Him
and asked and answered questions”. They went in sequence to pay respect to the Buddha. Then they greeted and paid respect to all the manifestations of the Buddha. At the same time, they circumambulated following etiquette and in the proper sequence. They not only do [good] deeds everywhere; when they returned to the assembly, they still followed etiquette in a very orderly [manner]. This is truly special.

So, “They saw the Buddha and greeted Him and asked and answered questions”. They sat down and shared with each other about everything they had done around the world. Are we not like this? This is how Tzu Chi volunteers are. During the advanced training camp for overseas volunteers, people come from abroad and meet in Taiwan. We can see thousands of people gathering from different countries. They share [their experiences] with each other and encourage each other to be diligent. As they come, they once again learn about [Tzu Chi’s] spirit and ideals to take them back [home] with them. Everyone shares about [their experiences] and the common [spiritual] direction they share. They “work in concert with unity” and set off again after [learning from each other]. They then return to their home countries. Are we not all like this now? So, the Lotus Sutra is truly the wondrous Dharma for Living Bodhisattvas. It is something we can all use, and it is truly relevant [to our practice]. Whenever I get to speak about how relevant it is, I am full of Dharma-joy. They all have participated in and done the work [of practicing the Dharma], so they can comprehend it deeply. So, “Its meaning was excellent and skillful”. In this way, everyone shared with each other and answered each other’s questions. The principles and content of their speech were all very virtuous. Their virtuous actions also encompass great principles.

So, they are truly great treasures among people. These people are benefactors for those in suffering. When they are in need, [at the time of] greatest need in their lives, this group of Bodhisattvas appear before them, serve them and encourage them, opening the door to their hearts and providing life-giving resources. Are they not treasures among people? Bodhisattvas are truly treasures and benefactors [for people who are] suffering.

So, “They possessed the Four Kinds of Great Eloquence”. Not only were they able to give them tangible things, but [they] were also replete with the Four Kinds of Great Eloquence, the Four Kinds of Unobstructed Eloquence. They could organize the Dharma, principles and words together. They were able to skillfully give this Dharma to sentient beings according to their capabilities. They took joy in teaching it and could continuously teach whomever they saw. This is “the Four Kinds of Unobstructed Eloquence. So, [Maitreya] said they were skillful in asking and answering questions”. So, they could use skillful means to ask and answer questions among people. They “were extremely rare throughout the world”.

Truly, “they were skillful in asking and answering questions” with “the wisdom of unobstructed Dharma, the wisdom of unobstructed meaning, the wisdom of unobstructed rhetoric and the wisdom of unobstructed joy in teaching”.

These are “the Four Kinds of Great Eloquence,” being skillful in asking and answering questions. “The Four Kinds of Great Eloquence” means being flexible and capable of teaching according to capabilities. Everything they said was organized in meaning and principle. Whatever language they wanted to use, they were able to explain it, and they did so joyfully. This is what we must learn.

The next sutra passage continues with “Yet today, World-Honored One, You tell us that when You attained Buddhahood, You helped them first form aspirations, taught, transformed and guided them and enabled them to advance toward Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi. It has not been long since the World-Honored One attained Buddhahood and yet You were able to accomplish this work of such great merit and virtue!”

In fact, it had not been long since the Buddha attained Buddhahood, and yet He was able to help so many people accomplish such great merits and virtues. How did He do that? “Yet today, World-Honored One…”. This is Maitreya Bodhisattva asking Sakyamuni Buddha at that time. At that time, how had the Buddha used this teaching to teach and transform [others]? These people had already accepted, upheld and cultivated the Dharma for a long time. How did the Buddha who had attained Buddhahood such a short time ago teach them? He brought up this question again.

Yet today, World-Honored One, You tell us that when You attained Buddhahood…: “For the first time today, World-Honored One, You said that [these Bodhisattvas] follow the teachings, uphold the Dharma and accept transformation. Moreover, today You spoke of when You attained Buddhahood in Gaya.”

So, “Moreover, today You spoke of when You attained Buddhahood in Gaya”. The Buddha came to Gaya and attained Buddhahood. Where He attained enlightenment beneath the Bodhi tree was not far from the city of Gaya. How long had it been? It had only been a little over 40 years since He had attained Buddhahood. So, in such a short time, He had begun to teach the Dharma. He “helped them first form aspirations,” meaning He was able to help these people attain such abundant and profound [teachings]. But in fact, these people definitely had not practiced for a short time. So, this was the question he asked. This was Maitreya’s intention to help everyone better understand this since everyone had this doubt in mind. “Future generations” refers to those of us in the present, who are in the future of that time. People would be truly stubborn, hard to train and have this severely critical attitude. So, in order to prevent people who criticize the principles from appearing in the future, he used this kind of approach in advance.

We just talked about this. So, we must be mindful with this sutra passage. Though it has been repeated again and again, it is meant to help us comprehend and understand this. In the future, if there are people criticizing us intentionally or raising doubts and difficult questions like these, then we must prepare ourselves for them. We must thoroughly understand these principles, so we can analyze them. So, “From the very beginning, He taught them to form Bodhisattva-aspirations”. He continuously guided and transformed them to enable them to continuously advance on the Bodhi-path.

You helped them first form aspirations, taught, transformed and guided them and enabled them to advance toward Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi: From the very beginning, He taught them to form Bodhisattva-aspirations, guided and transformed them, enable them to seek unsurpassed Bodhi.

How did He explain to them that He had taught them for a long time in the past? If He said He taught them now and they were able to succeed, it would have been inconceivable! So, “It has not been long since the World-Honored One attained Buddhahood, and yet You were able to accomplish this work of such great merit and virtue!” In fact, it had not been long since His enlightenment. How was He able to accomplish this work of such great merits and virtue?

It has not been long since the World-Honored One attained Buddhahood, and yet You were able to accomplish this work of such great merit and virtue!: For the sake of future sentient beings, [Maitreya] expressed doubt.
At this point, it had not been long since the World-Honored One attained Buddhahood. In 40 or so years, He taught, transformed, and guided so many Bodhisattvas and was even able to accomplish this work of such great merit and virtue.

Thus, for the sake of future sentient beings, Maitreya expressed his doubt. “At this point, it had not been long since the World-Honored One attained Buddhahood.” It had only been a little over 40 years. How could He have taught and transformed so many Bodhisattvas? In addition, these Bodhisattvas were able to go among people to rescue and transform sentient beings. They also excelled at answering people’s questions. These Bodhisattvas had already achieved such great accomplishments. How exactly did Sakyamuni Buddha transform them? In this way, Maitreya Bodhisattva intentionally brought up his doubts by asking. He did this to help future generations like us to be earnestly mindful to better comprehend and understand this.

So, in our present time, it is difficult to have faith. At that time, [the Buddha] wanted everyone to understand this question more clearly, so they knew how to explain to future people who would be stubborn, hard to train and critical. Thus, He used a very sophisticated sutra passage for analysis. So, at that time, having faith was difficult.

“Those Bodhisattvas had already perfected their practice countless trillions of kalpas ago. Yet today, the World-Honored-One said that it was only after. He attained Buddhahood that he helped them to form aspirations.”

They researched this time period and found it even more inconceivable. Now, the Buddha said, “Only at this time did I begin to help them form aspirations.” In fact, in the past, countless trillions of kalpas ago, they had engaged in spiritual practice and cultivated these teachings of the path. How could the World-Honored One have begun to transform these people today? “Today” refers to that time at Sakyamuni Buddha’s place of enlightenment. The Buddha began when He was “in the city of Gaya” to start transforming these people. He said, “when we research this time period, it is even more inconceivable.” This refers to what the Buddha said, “Now that I have attained Buddhahood, I taught and transformed them.” There are more principles after this. Since these [Bodhisattvas] emerged here, there should be more principles coming after this. So, we must mindfully seek to comprehend this. When the Buddha expounded this sutra, He was taking future generations into account. So, in the future era of evil turbidities, what kind of Dharma would they need? As for the sickness in the future world, where will the sickness lie? What kind of medicine will they need? [In the parable], [the doctor] prepared the medicine they needed, but his children did not want to take it. So, he left the medicine there and went out. Then he asked people to go home and tell his children that their father had passed away. Only then did these children realize, “Oh no, our father has passed away! I am ill, what should I do?” So, they began to look for the medicine. In our world, we are also like this. For a long time in society, many people do not accept the Buddha-Dharma or have doubts regarding the Buddha-Dharma. This is why the Buddha used this kind of analogy.

Moreover, He was considering that in the future the sick the sickness of the world would be very severe due to its turbidities. Whether in nature or in human minds, there was going to be severe turbidities, so people would need this Dharma. But this is difficult to believe and understand, so what should He do? At that time, Manjusri and Maitreya, one who had already become a Buddha in the past and one who is about to become a Buddha, met with the present Sakyamuni Buddh. They appeared as Bodhisattvas, coming to support this Dharma-assembly and helping bring this Dharma to completion.

So, in order to help future generations to form aspirations and to help them not to have doubts, Manjusri Bodhisattvas protected our minds from retreating from our aspirations. As for Maitreya Bodhisattva, he protected us in case there are stubborn sentient beings who come and ask difficult questions, [by asking about] how to explain the Dharma. This is truly touching. I hope that everyone can understand the Buddha’s and the Bodhisattvas’ dedication. How can we not be mindful? So, we must always be mindful!

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