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 20181227《靜思妙蓮華》深信精勤 漸入佛智 (第1510集) (法華經·如來壽量品第十六)

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20181227《靜思妙蓮華》深信精勤 漸入佛智 (第1510集) (法華經·如來壽量品第十六) Empty
發表主題: 20181227《靜思妙蓮華》深信精勤 漸入佛智 (第1510集) (法華經·如來壽量品第十六)   20181227《靜思妙蓮華》深信精勤 漸入佛智 (第1510集) (法華經·如來壽量品第十六) Empty周四 12月 27, 2018 12:19 am

20181227《靜思妙蓮華》深信精勤 漸入佛智 (第1510集) (法華經·如來壽量品第十六)

⊙佛語為誠實不虛,靜澄為審諦無漏,惟是深信精勤,漸入佛智之量;若欲以自心量比,則反不能得入矣。
⊙信受如來所說,精誠如實奉行;如來所說之法,諸經之終多有如斯信受奉行。
⊙「復告大眾:汝等當信解如來誠諦之語。又復告諸大眾:汝等當信解如來誠諦之語。」《法華經如來壽量品第十六》
⊙「是時菩薩大眾,彌勒為首,合掌白佛言:世尊!惟願說之,我等當信受佛語。如是三白已,復言:惟願說之,我等當信受佛語。」《法華經如來壽量品第十六》
⊙是時菩薩大眾,彌勒為首,合掌白佛言:彌勒及眾,見佛再三如此教誡慇切,故勤重,虔敬合掌口發誠言,誓願弘揚於佛所教法。
⊙世尊!惟願說之,我等當信受佛語:佛之所言教,我等弟子當誠信受無有疑。
⊙如是三白已,復言:惟願說之,我等當信受佛語:如是三次白世尊已,佛猶默然,未蒙首肯許可。
⊙三白:謂佛每一誡敕,彌勒即白佛一次,聲明信受。如來既垂三誡,機眾乃申三請。三請之殷切,如渴思飲,如饑思食,表其信受慇切。既申三請之後,復言惟願說之,乃成四請。既垂三誡之後,復告諦聽,乃成四誡。
⊙「如來從無量劫,現無量身,入無量土,演無量法,化無量眾,皆是方便」

【證嚴上人開示】
佛語為誠實不虛,靜澄為審諦無漏,惟是深信精勤,漸入佛智之量;若欲以自心量比,則反不能得入矣。

佛語為誠實不虛
靜澄為審諦無漏
惟是深信精勤
漸入佛智之量
若欲以自心量比
則反不能得入矣

用心啊!好好聽。聽不只是要「信」,還要「解」!我們前面不是這樣說過嗎?佛陀也是,開始要說很深的法,也是一直叮嚀、交代。大家要相信,法是真實,要心生恭敬信仰的心,將法接受入心,這樣我們才有辦法,受用在平時生活中。學法,就是要學為致用,學來就是要讓我們用。我們聽來,忘記了,沒有用,這樣聽法就是白聽,浪費時間。「時日已過,命亦隨減」,日日過,生命日日減少,盼望在這輩子的人生,生命是消退,我們慧命一定要增長。法沒有入心,慧命怎麼會成長呢?平時的人這樣說:「不經一事,不長一智。」法聽來,了解了、相信了,日常生活遇到事情,「哦,原來這就是與法,互相很貼切」;有這個事情,就能夠用這個法來化解,這就是學以致用。

事理本來就是要會合,事與理若沒有會合,事就是事,理就是理,事理互不相干。若這樣,我們學法、聽法,毫無意義,和我們的生命、和我們的生活,沒有契合、沒有應用,這樣我們浪費時間,是不是很可惜呢?何況生命是我們一生中最重要,有生命,我們生命能夠成就慧命。但是,我們若沒有法,生命就是成就惡業;業力也是從今生此世,累積在來生。而我們若能夠,今生此世接受佛法,知識、智慧──知識在人間,智慧在佛法。我們在人間的知識,就是前五識接觸外境;耳朵聽聲音,因為我們生下來,就是在這樣的環境,聽這樣的聲音,知道、懂得分析,是人事中如何去分別。這是耳聞聲音,耳根與聲塵接觸。

眼睛,眼睛看外面的色,不論是高的、低的、長的、短的,綠的、紅的、黑的、白的,懂得去分別,就是因為這樣的分別,這個眼識和外面的境界,去接觸、去分別,所以心裡面就會養成了:我喜歡這樣的形,我討厭這樣的顏色。慢慢增加到,什麼是寶貴,什麼是便宜,我要貪的、我想要的,是人說,「那是寶」,世間人所說,這是價值的。我們的心就開始,執著在那個價值裡,心就開始要去追、要去愛、要去取等等。複雜的事情就是在眼這樣接觸、耳朵這樣聽,所以累積了聲塵、色塵,這樣會合起來,和身體的感覺;行動身體,要如何去取著,身體開始去接觸。身體接觸,外面的境界,分別這是熱的、這是冷的;這是軟的、這是硬的;我這樣比較舒服、我這樣就不自在。就在那個地方開始去分別等等,就再衍生了,現在物質的享受等等,這都是身,身的「根」,去接觸我們周圍的「塵」。這就是根、塵的接觸,叫做「識」。愛吃好的,愛吃甜的、愛吃鹹的,或者是口欲,造了多少生命體受傷害。

聽聽大自然的境界不是很美嗎?鳥在叫的聲音。這個時候,一大早,境界寧靜,除了我現在說話以外,就是鳥叫的聲音。大自然的境界,這個自然本來就是美,卻是現在的人,已經對自然的事物,已經是排斥掉了,就是「人力定勝天」,去創造其他聲音、聲塵,很多、很多音樂去創造等等。他們愛聽的是什麼樣的搖滾樂,什麼樣的西樂、中樂等,享受的就是這樣。外面大自然的境界,空氣很好,已經人多了,貪「受」,外面曬太陽,不好,熱,裡面吹冷氣較輕鬆。這就是這「身」和「塵境」,這種為了感觸,所以人類不斷造作、環境不斷改變;變就是破壞,就是這樣。這就是我們人不斷心態改變了,一直在求「識」,求知識;愈求知識,自然,自然本具就一直遠離。因為這樣,我們的人生所接觸到的,無不都是貪欲、煩惱、造業,成就了整個人間不平衡;人間、家庭、社會,整個就是這樣,讓人會很擔心。

因為人群,人類全都是這樣,多數,所以大自然的大環境,無形中也是不斷,年久月深變化了。現在叫做「五濁惡世」,這全都是在,我們不知覺的變化中,都是人類這樣累積過來的,人類,包括我們現在。而我們現在很有幸,佛法,能夠在我們現在,還能夠接觸到佛法,是佛陀留下來,已經是二千五、六百年後的現在。感恩過去有心發願的大德,不論是從佛陀的故鄉,在古印度的系統,或者是在中國發心的大德祖師,就是有這樣──有傳、有取,有去取經、有來傳經,後來慢慢將佛法,就用石刻、木刻等等,很辛苦一字一句這樣編成,留下來經典。

我們這時候還有能夠追蹤,還能夠循痕跡,我們還能夠這樣看下來,靠著文字來體解,體解佛陀的精神、理念。我們從文字上,我們的感動,「哦,原來道理是這樣」。感動,我們信、我們受,信受。除了信受之外,我們要奉行,信受奉行、身體力行,我們才有辦法體解大道,這是必定的道理。若沒有信受奉行,哪有辦法體解大道呢?你若沒有體解大道,這個道要如何繼續開下去?路要如何繼續鋪?所以這個「信受奉行」,我們必定從法要很用心接受,入人群中,經一事、長一智;事的「識」,我們將它轉為法的「智」,所以「轉識為智」。我們不是要求知識,我們要求增長智慧,希望大家能夠了解。「轉識為智」,不是求知識──求知、求識,不只是求知道、求懂而已,我們要身體力行,真正去體會到,那個體解大道,這才是最重要!

我們的生命若能夠體解大道,法是我們的,不是佛的。佛已經離開人間,圓寂是二千多年了。中間有這麼多,祖師大德精神理念,這樣不斷一直將它傳下來。有傳了,這個傳下來的法,我們吸收來,是變成我們的,來應用,應用在人群中。不是說,「這個法是佛的,現在那些人需要法,佛啊!您為他加持」,不是哦!是佛陀給我們的理念,那些人需要法,是我們要去為他們付出,是這樣傳下來的。不是說,「佛會保佑我,開我的智慧,讓我不用求就能夠得;不用去用心、去努力、去接觸,我求佛就好了,我就能夠得智慧」,不是!佛陀留下來的這個法,他的精神理念,中間還有這麼多人將它片段、片段這樣編輯下來,從佛世一直到現在。我們能夠追芳蹤,了解佛陀那時候生態,佛陀那時候的心態。佛陀的時代,我們用歷史去推究,真實在二千多年前,有這樣的國家、有這樣的地點、這樣的時間,真的有這樣的大覺者,出現在那個地方,現在還有古蹟存在,這是真實。

這位聖人,為何在當地會留那麼多古蹟呢?當然就是有他的智慧,在那個時候,影響那個時代的思想,影響那個時代人類的行為,影響那個時代能夠破除迷信,面向著正確的道,影響、提升人的智慧。應該就是有這樣,有這樣的史實存在,所以我們要相信。那時候,這位聖人所說的話,他自己要很自信,「我所體悟到的,我所了解天地宇宙萬物的道理,我一一來分析,大家來聽好。這是人類應該要接觸,不是什麼事情都是歸於主宰,主宰我們人生,是我們自己;人人自己有覺性,人人自己了解,只要我們道理清楚、了解。長時間,長時間會成就什麼是造福人群?大自然會成就了人間萬物,這個道理我們要清楚」。成、住、壞、空,從宇宙間、在天地之間,佛陀已經把宇宙間的道理,說清楚了。

看看,光是在〈湧出品〉,菩薩從地湧出了,這娑婆世界虛空中住。可見,我們就知道,我們的世界是在虛空之中。上有空間、下有空間,東西南北、四維上下,都有它的方向,有它的空間。這是佛陀的智慧,二千多年前,那個境界的描述,我們若好好去探討,這就已經描述出了,在太虛中,虛空中。地球,這個世界是浮在太空,古代叫做太虛;在宇宙間其中的一個世界而已。所以佛陀常常用,很多恆河沙世界來譬喻。沒有錯,虛空中,太虛,太虛中有多少多少的星球,多少的世界!光是在天文學一群的教授來,給我一張太陽系的地圖(大宇宙圖像),有關於地球,到底是周圍多少星球?只是告訴我:「在這裡面,地球的太陽系就是在這裡。」我說:「這裡,這一區有多少世界?」葉教授(葉永烜,現任中央研究院院士暨中央大學天文所及太空科學所教授)就告訴我:「哦!這有無量恆河沙數,無法說那裡有多少。」

「啊,這麼一角落而已,就那麼多!」他說:「師父您看,太陽才這一小點而已,這一顆就是太陽,地球快要看不見了,這樣而已。」「啊,這麼大張,怎麼光是這一小角而已,就有無法計算的星球在那裡?只是一個太陽系」。各位,我們人是很渺小!總而言之,佛陀是大科學家,了解天文地理,這是佛陀的智慧,所以我們應該要相信。我們只要好好「轉識成智」,不要在我們生活中,只是在這個接觸的環境,去造煩惱、去無明、去起惑,我們趕緊用心體會佛法。所以,在這一段,一直會一而再告訴大家,不一定在經文很多的不可思議,我們必定要相信,「佛語為誠實不虛」。既然是佛經記載,我們一定信它是誠實不虛。前面也這樣說了,再三叮嚀。

所以佛,佛心,他的世界是「靜澄」。因為他的心靈世界就是「靜寂清澄」,他對天地宇宙萬物的真理,「審諦」,非常詳細,瞭如指掌,沒有一項不了解,所以已經都很清楚,這是佛的智慧。道理,「諦」就是道理,完全很清楚;「審諦」,很清楚,已經一點點都沒有漏失。「漏」,「漏」就是煩惱,「漏」就是無明、惑;佛的心境沒有煩惱、沒有無明、沒有漏失。所以,過去也有一段時間,一直告訴大家,我們要好好用心,「三無漏」──戒、定、慧,我們一定要好好,顧好我們的心,守得我們的心,不要在那無明中打轉。所以,佛陀完全這個無明,都已經去除了,沒有了,他的心境是寂靜清澄,所看的事物,那就是「審諦」,完全一項都不會讓它漏掉,這就是真實法。

所以,我們要如何才有辦法,與佛一樣的心靈境界?「惟是深信精勤」。因為我們是凡夫,我們要學佛,唯一的辦法,總是要深信、精勤,我們要,心要很精、我們要很殷勤,才有辦法將接觸到的知識,轉為我們的智慧。我們一定要深信法、要很認真,才能夠在我們的生活中,與道理不斷不斷契合著,這樣就是「無漏」。所以,「漸入佛智之量」,自然我們一直與道理會合。道理會合在人事處理中,這就是在日常的生活,所以我們要很用心。

所以「若欲以自心量比,則反不能得入矣」。我們若是只要用,我們自己所了解的去「量」佛,那這樣永遠都無法體會佛,我們應該要先相信。不是我信我自己,佛說佛的;我聽,有道理,但我不想要去身體力行,我還是同樣做我的,修自己的,佛陀所說的法我們沒有用心,沒有放在心裡,我行我素。不論怎麼跟你說,你就是改不過來,這就是「自心量比」。用自己的心量,做自己的事情,不願意接受佛陀智慧的真實法,這就是教的,我們無法接受。多數的人都是執在「自心量」,還是用自己的,就是自己的心如何想,心理的「知」和「識」,走自己的,所以就會變成了,一直與佛法相反,所以「不能得入」,背道而行。聽歸聽,我們就是有在聽法,做,做我自己的。「是日已過」,生命是愈來愈減少,自己不肯改,佛法不能入你的心,這樣你的生命與道理,就愈離愈開,因為生命短了。道理存在,但是我們法都沒有接到,還是我行我素,自己造自己的業,還是「萬般帶不去,唯有業隨身」。由自己的知識、自己知道的事情,自己做,這永遠都無法與法會合,這實在是很損;損我們自己,損我們自己的時間,損我們自己的生命,這實在是很可惜,所以請大家要很用心。所以,「信受如來所說,精誠如實奉行」。

信受如來所說
精誠如實奉行
如來所說之法
諸經之終
多有如斯信受奉行

我們一定要這樣,要信受,如來所說的法,佛陀所教的法,我們若接受,這個法就是我們在用的,這我們一定要很清楚。很用心接受師傅教,功夫變我們的,同樣的道理。所以,我們要「精誠如實奉行」,要很用心來接受、來體會。所以,「如來所說之法,諸經之終,多有如斯信受奉行」。每一本經,最後不就是「歡喜信受奉行」嗎?不論哪一本經,若誦了之後,就是「歡喜信受而奉行,作禮而退」。每一本經的結束就是這樣。就像我若在說話,「多用心啊」!說話的人有這樣的叮嚀,應該聽話的人,也要有「信受奉行」,這互相對待。是不是真實地落實信受奉行?這就不知道了,不過,還是接受起來,就是自己的,「是日已過,命亦隨減」,我們要將我們的生命,用在與道理會合,所以請大家要很用心。

接下來,我們看看前面的文,佛陀還是:「復告大眾:汝等當信解如來誠諦之語。又復告諸大眾:汝等當信解如來誠諦之語。」

復告大眾
汝等當信解
如來誠諦之語
又復告諸大眾
汝等當信解
如來誠諦之語
《法華經如來壽量品第十六》

這段的前面,「汝等當信解如來」,再接下來,「復告大眾:汝等當信解」,再接下來呢?「又復告」。這樣是不是三次呢?佛陀有「三誡」,誡敕我們,教誡我們、警告我們:「你們既然想要了解,我們現在要說,但是要說之前警告你們,你們要相信,相信佛無不實語。」佛是真語者、實語者、不妄語者、不誑語者,這是佛,你們一定要相信佛陀所說法。

法,聽若不信,容易生毀謗。前面一段文,佛陀遲遲還未說,就三次的告誡,可見下面「本門」要開,就是要大家先建立信心;沒有建立信心,後面的文,大家覺得:這都離開我很遠。其實要很用心。

來,接下來這段經文再說:「是時菩薩大眾,彌勒為首,合掌白佛言:世尊!惟願說之,我等當信受佛語。如是三白已,復言:惟願說之,我等當信受佛語。」

是時菩薩大眾
彌勒為首
合掌白佛言
世尊
惟願說之
我等當信受佛語
如是三白已
復言
惟願說之
我等當信受佛語
《法華經如來壽量品第十六》

這是彌勒菩薩同樣也有三請,這個時候,經文就是這樣說。就是彌勒來領眾,與大眾看到佛陀那麼的殷切,再三這樣來教誡,教誡得很殷切,所以大家也真正振作起來,好好整理這念心,所以大家就是也是很殷勤,所以「故勤重」,很殷勤、很慎重,所以非常的虔誠,再次合掌。因為佛陀交代:「你們要很深信,你們一定要很重視。」所以彌勒菩薩,與這群菩薩重振心態,大家開始,開始就很勤,調整態度,很勤、很慎重起來。

所以大家就再虔誠,恭敬、合掌,口中就發出了,這樣很誠懇的語言,來自己發願,就是「誓願弘揚於佛所教法」。「所以,我們會很認真聽」。這是彌勒為首,開始大家調整這個信受的態度,表態出來。

是時菩薩大眾
彌勒為首
合掌白佛言:
彌勒及眾
見佛再三
如此教誡慇切
故勤重
虔敬合掌口發誠言
誓願弘揚於
佛所教法

所以,「世尊!惟願說之,我等當信受佛語」。「惟願說之」,「佛陀啊!但願佛陀您能夠說,我們大家絕對是信受;佛所說的言教,這些弟子一定一定很誠懇信受,心絕對不會再有懷疑了。」這是彌勒菩薩提出懇求的誠意,領導這群菩薩來表達。

世尊
惟願說之
我等當信受佛語:
佛之所言教
我等弟子
當誠信受無有疑

這樣「如是三白已,復言:惟願說之,我等當信受佛語」。所以不是三次而已,前面三次,後面更再懇切的,又再當願世尊說之。「因為我們大家一直就是很虔誠,能夠信受佛所教法」,所以這是尊重。

如是三白已
復言
惟願說之
我等當信受佛語:
如是三次白世尊已
佛猶默然
未蒙首肯許可

佛,因為三次,過去的三次佛陀都默然,現在再次再請。所以佛過去是默然,因為過去有說:「這麼多人,怎麼會說都是您度的呢?大家有疑,請佛您講說。」佛陀還是沒有說。彌勒再說,又用譬喻的:「譬喻年輕人說老人是我的孩子,這沒有人會信,佛陀,大家有疑,您就要說。」佛陀也是默然。彌勒菩薩提出請問,佛陀默然。到了最後佛陀才開始三誡叮嚀:「你們要信受、了解,要體會佛陀是真實語,因為這個法,你們若沒有信受、沒有聽進去也是有損,所以大家還是要信受。」這個時候,彌勒和菩薩們,大家調整了心態,表態再請。這是那時候佛還未說,現在再請。

所以,「三白」就是「謂佛每一教敕,彌勒即白佛一次」。所以,每一個說要相信,佛陀他就是再一次誡敕,一直到最後聲明還是信受。

三白:
謂佛每一誡敕
彌勒即白佛一次
聲明信受
如來既垂三誡
機眾乃申三請
三請之殷切
如渴思飲
如饑思食
表其信受慇切
既申三請之後
復言惟願說之
乃成四請
既垂三誡之後
復告諦聽
乃成四誡

所以,如來既三次教誡我們,「機眾」,那些根機的人,還是三次表達信受,這就是「三誡」和「三請」,過程過來。

所以,「三請殷切」。彌勒三請,「惟願說之」、「惟願說之」,還是再繼續申請。所以這已經到了這時候,大家很殷勤,就像口渴想要喝水,這已經是很殷切了。所以,「如饑思食」、「如渴思飲」,表示他們那個至誠的,「信受慇切」,在座的人已經開始至誠。所以,「三請之後」,復言惟願說之,後面的「惟願說之」,這是等於「四請」了。這是佛陀與那個當場,要開這個「本門」,這段要接,從〈安樂行品〉和〈 涌出品〉開始,「跡門」的結束,「本門」開始就是要重新調整,大家心理的信賴度,能夠相信、能夠接受、能夠依教奉行,這是又重新再提醒,調整大家那個信心的態度,所以現在已經都表達出來。所以等於是過去的三請,後面是第四請,佛陀是三誡,所以再後面也是「復告諦聽」。後面開始要說,也是要說「諦聽」,「仔細聽、仔細聽」,也是有四誡,四次的教敕。三請,三教敕;四請,四教敕。

要用心,我們一定要相信佛之所說,我們一定要記得。前面也向大家說過了,佛陀他是已經很長久在人間,這起初那念心一直到成佛,這個時間是真的,是很長、很長的時間,這樣走過來的路。所以,「如來從無量劫,現無量身,入無量土,演無量法,化無量眾,皆是方便」,這都是顯跡在人間。

如來從無量劫
現無量身
入無量土
演無量法
化無量眾
皆是方便

到《法華經》,接下來這段文開始就是顯本,「本門」,開始開啟那個本門。所以我們要很用心,才有辦法去體會後面要再說下去的法,後面的法真實很深,請大家要時時多用心!


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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: Gradually Enter the Buddha-Wisdom through Faith (深信精勤 漸入佛智)
Date: December.27.2018

“The Buddha’s words are genuine, true and not false. With tranquility and clarity, He examined the truth without Leaks. Only through deep faith and diligence can we gradually enter the measure of the Buddha-wisdom. If we try to measure it with the measure of our own mind, on the contrary, we will be unable to enter it.”

We must be mindful! We must earnestly listen [to the Dharma]. As we listen, we must not just have faith, but we must also understand it. Didn’t we discuss this previously? This is the same with the Buddha. As He began to teach the profound Dharma, He constantly gave us reminders and instructions. All of us must have faith. The Dharma is real, so we must give rise to a reverent and faithful heart to take the Dharma to heart. This way, we can make use of [the Dharma] regularly in our daily living.

We learn the Dharma so we can apply it. As we learn it, we must make use of it. If we listen to the Dharma and then forget about it, it will be useless. The time we spent listening to the Dharma will be wasted. “With each passing day, we draw closer to death.” With each day passing, our life diminishes. We hope that in this lifetime, as our life fades away, our wisdom-life will grow. If we do not take the Dharma to heart, how can our wisdom-life grow? People often say that, “Without experience, we cannot grow in wisdom.” After we listen to the Dharma, we understand and have faith in it.

When we encounter matters in our daily lives, “Oh! It turns out that this is how the Dharma is closely related to this matter.” As we encounter these matters, we can then use the Dharma to resolve them. This is how we make use of what we learn. Matters and principles must come together. When matters and principles do not come together, a matter is just a matter, and a principle is just a principle. They are isolated from one another. If this is the case, it will be meaningless for us to learn and listen to the Dharma. If in our life and our daily living we do not resonate with or make use of [what we learn], then we will be wasting our time. Wouldn’t this be a pity? Not to mention that life is the most important thing in our lifetime. With our life, we will be able to fulfill our wisdom-life.

However, without the Dharma, we will create negative karma during our lives. These karmic forces will then accumulate from this lifetime into our future lifetime. If we can accept the Buddha-Dharma in this lifetime, [we gain] knowledge and wisdom. Knowledge comes from the world, and wisdom comes from the Buddha-Dharma. The knowledge we have in the world comes from connecting the first five consciousnesses with external states. With our ears, we listen to sounds. Because we are born in this environment, as we listen to these sounds, we know to analyze them and discern among people and matters. Our ears listening to sounds is how our ear-root encounters sound-objects. Our eyes can see the forms in our surroundings. Whether something is high or low, long or short, green, red, black or white, we know how to differentiate them. When we differentiate all these, as our eye-consciousness connects with the external states, we differentiate them, and in our minds, we then form [the idea] that we like this form and hate this color. We will gradually go even further to distinguish whether something is precious or cheap. What we have greed and desire for is what people call “a treasure”. When people say, “This is valuable,” our minds will begin to become attached to the value of that [object]. Then, our minds will begin to pursue, to crave, to grasp and so on. Complicated matters [begin] when our eyes see and when our ears listen to things [surrounding us]. So, we accumulate sound-objects and form-objects. These then come together with the feeling of our bodies. As we act with our bodies, we think of how to grasp what we are attached to. Our bodies begin to encounter the surroundings. With our bodies encountering the external states, we can differentiate things that are hot, cold, soft or hard. I feel more comfortable this way while. I feel more uneasy with this. From these points, we begin to discriminate. This then gives rise to our indulgence in material pleasures nowadays. These all come from our bodies. The sense organs of our bodies connect with the sense objects in our surroundings. This is how the sense organs connect with the sense objects, which then creates consciousness. We love to eat tasty foods. Some people crave sweets and savory foods. Due to our craving for taste, we have caused harm to so many living things.

When we listen to [the sounds] of nature, aren’t those beautiful? For instance, we hear the birds chirping. At this time in the early morning, [our environment] is tranquil. Other than my voice speaking right now, there is only the sound of birds chirping. When it comes to the states in nature, nature is intrinsically beautiful, but people nowadays tend to reject natural matters and objects. They believe that “man can conquer nature” and have created other sounds, other sound-objects. They created many genres of music and others. They enjoy listening to rock music, western music and Chinese traditional music. They enjoy these [man-made sounds]. In the natural surroundings outside, the air quality is excellent. However, there are so many people [today] who crave pleasures and think that being in the sun is bad and too hot; it is more relaxing inside with air-conditioning. This happens when our bodies [encounter] external conditions.

For the sake of sensory [pleasures], human beings continuously take actions that constantly change the environment. These changes lead to damage; this is how it is. This is how we humans continuously keep changing our mindset and continuously seek “knowledge”. As we seek more knowledge, naturally, what we intrinsically possess will continue to become more distant from us. Because of this, what we encounter in our lives is nothing but greed, desires and afflictions, [leading us to] create [negative] karma. This creates imbalances in the entire world. This happens to the world, families and society as a whole. It is very worrying. Since more human beings are like this, our greater natural environment, without us being aware, has also continuously [gone through changes] over a long time.

Now, we refer to this world as “the evil world of the Five Turbidities”. These are all changes that we are unaware of. [The changes] were accumulated by people, which includes our [actions] nowadays. Now, we are very fortunate that we can still encounter the Buddha-Dharma, which is what the Buddha left behind for the present, 2,5000 or 2,6000 years later. We must be grateful that in the past, there were people who formed aspirations and made vows. From the Buddha’s birthplace, in the system [of teachings] in ancient India and in China, there were sages and great Dharma masters who formed aspirations to spread and seek the Dharma by obtaining the sutras and spreading them.

Later, they slowly carved the Buddha-Dharma on stones, wood and so on. They laboriously complied every word and sentence into sutras that were passed down. Even today, we can still trace them back, following the traces [left from the past]. We can still read [the sutras], and from these words, we can comprehend the Buddha’s spirit and ideals. From reading these words, we feel touched. “Oh! So these are the principles.” When we are touched, we can faithfully accept it. Apart from faithfully accepting [the Dharma], we must also practice it. Only by faithfully accepting and putting it into practice can we comprehend the great path. This is a definite principle. If we do not faithfully accept and practice [the Dharma], how can we comprehend and understand the great path? If we do not comprehend and understand the great path, how can we continue to clear the path? How can we continue to pave this road? So, we must “faithfully accept and practice”. We must mindfully accept the Dharma. When we go among people, our wisdom comes from our experiences. We must turn the “consciousness” that we develop from matters into the “wisdom of the Dharma. So, we must “turn consciousness into wisdom”. We should not only pursue knowledge, but we must also grow our wisdom. I hope that everyone can understand this.

We must “turn consciousness into wisdom”. We should not just pursue knowledge or just pursue consciousness. We must not only seek to understand, but we must also put it into practice to truly experience and comprehend the great path. This is what is most important. In our lives, if we can experience and comprehend the great path, the Dharma will be ours, not only the Buddha’s. The Buddha left the world and entered Perfect Rest more than 2000 years ago. In this period, there have been so many great masters and sages in the past who have continuously passed down His spirit and ideals. As for the Dharma that was passed down, we must absorb it and make it our own. Then we can apply it while among people, we must not say, “This Dharma belongs to the Buddha. Now, these people need the Dharma. Venerable Buddha! Please give them Your blessings.” It is not like that! The Buddha provides us with the principles, so when people need the Dharma, we must give it to them. This is how we pass down [the Dharma]. We must not say, “The Buddha will bless us and reveal our wisdom, so we can attain it without seeking it. There is no need to be mindful, to work hard or to approach [the Dharma]. All I have to do is to ask the Buddha, and I will be able to attain wisdom.” It is not like that! “All I have to do is to ask the Buddha, and I will be able to attain wisdom”. It is not like that! This Dharma left behind by the Buddha, His spirit and ideals, has throughout this period been compiled piece by piece by many people from the Buddha’s era to the present. [This way], we can trace His footsteps to understand His way of life at that time and understand His state of mind at that time.

[To know about] the Buddha’s era, we can trace and investigate from history. Truly, more than 2000 years ago, there was this country at this location at that time. There was truly this Great Enlightened One who manifested there. Nowadays, there are still ancient ruins there. All these truly [existed]. Regarding this noble being, why are there so many ruins still remaining? Of course, these all came from His wisdom. During that era, He influenced people’s perspectives and their behaviors, leading them to eliminate their superstitions and go toward the right path. He impacted and elevated people’s wisdom. This is what it was like. There are these historical facts, so we must have faith.

At that time, this noble being was very confident in His own words. “What I realized are the principles of all things in the universe. I shall analyze them for you one by one. Everyone, listen carefully! This is what human beings should encounter. Not everything is controlled by [destiny]. We are in control of our own life. We all have our enlightened nature, and we can understand it ourselves as long as we clearly understand the principles. After a long time, we will be able to benefit people. Nature will fulfill all things in the world. We must clearly understand this principle”.

Formation, existence, decay and disappearance exist in the world and in the universe. The Buddha clearly taught the principles about the universe. See, in the Chapter on Emerging from the Ground, the Bodhisattvas emerging from the ground were abiding in the empty space of the Saha World. We can see that our world is in the universe. There is space above and beneath. The east, west, south, north, the four intermediate directions, above and below all have their own directions and their own space. This is the Buddha’s wisdom from more than 2000 years ago. This is how He described the world. If we earnestly investigate it, we see that this describes the universe and its endless void. Earth, this world, is floating in the universe. In what used to be called “the great void”, in the universe, it is only one of the worlds.

So, the Buddha often used the sands of the Ganges River as an analogy for this. Indeed, the universe consists of so many planets and worlds. There was a group of astronomy professors who came to visit me. They gave me a map of the solar system. [When I asked], how many celestial bodies are there in the vicinity of Earth? [These professors] said, “In this [map], the solar system Earth belongs to is right here”. I said, “In this region, how many worlds are there? Professor Ip told me, “There are infinite [worlds], as many as the sands of the Ganges River. I cannot tell you how many there are”. “Ah! In just a corner of the [universe], there are so many [worlds!]”. He said, “Master, as you can see, the sun is only this small spot here. This dot here is the sun. We can barely see the earth. This is how big it is”. With such a big map, in such a small corner, how could there be countless planets? [We are just] one solar system. Everyone, human beings are truly insignificant.

In short, the Buddha was a great scientist. He understood astronomy and geography. This is the wisdom of the Buddha. So, we must have faith in it. We must earnestly “turn consciousness into wisdom”. In our daily lives, we must not only react to our environment and give rise to afflictions, ignorance or doubt. Instead, we must quickly and mindfully seek to comprehend the Buddha-Dharma.

So, in this passage, we will repeatedly tell everyone that we may discover many inconceivable things in the sutra passages. We must believe that “the Buddha’s words are genuine, true and not false”. Since it is recorded in the sutras, we must believe it to be true and not false.

We have discussed this previously, and [the Buddha has] reminded us many times. So, in the Buddha’s mind, His world is “tranquil and clear”. Because His state of mind is “tranquil and clear”, He examined the true principles of all things in the universe. He “examined the truth” with great detail and knew it like the back of His hand. There was not a single thing He did not understand. So, He already understood everything clearly. This was the Buddha’s wisdom. “The truth” refers to the principles. He thoroughly understood them. He “examined the truth” clearly and without Leaks.

“Leaks” refers to afflictions, ignorance and delusions. The Buddha’s state of mind is free of afflictions, ignorance and Leaks. So, there was a time in the past when I continuously told everyone to earnestly be mindful and practice the Three Flawless Studies. When it comes to precepts, Samadhi and wisdom, we must earnestly take good care of our minds. We must safeguard our minds and not keep circling in ignorance. The Buddha has completely eliminated the ignorance [in His mind]. His state of mind is tranquil and clear. When it comes to the matters and things He sees, He will examine the truth”; He will not let any of them leak away. This is the True Dharma.

So, in what way can we acquire the same state of mind as the Buddha? “Only through deep faith and diligence.” Because we are ordinary beings, to learn the Buddha-Dharma, the only way is to have deep faith and diligence. Our minds must focused, and we must be diligent. This way, we can turn the knowledge we encounter into wisdom in our [minds]. We must have deep faith in the Dharma and be very earnest so that in our daily living, we can continuously resonate with the principles. This is to be “without Leaks”. So, “we can gradually enter “the measure of the Buddha-wisdom”. Naturally, we will continuously come together as one with the principles. The principles will resonate with how we deal with people and matters. This is in pour daily living. So, we must be very mindful.

So, “If we try to measure it with the measure of our own mind, on the contrary, we will be unable to enter it.” If we only use what we understand to “measure” the Buddha, we will never be able to comprehend Him, so we must first have faith in His teachings. We must not only have faith in what we know and [not take in] what the Buddha said. When we listen to it, it makes sense. However, we do not want to put it into practice. We still do things the same way we did. If we only cultivate our own practice and do not put any thought into the Dharma taught by the Buddha, then we do not take it to heart and we continue to act however we like. No matter what people tell us, we will not correct our actions. This is “measuring with our own mind”. We do things with the measure of our own minds. We are unwilling to accept the True Dharma from the Buddha’s wisdom. This is how it is taught, yet we cannot accept it. Most people are attached to “the measure of [their] own mind”. They are stuck in their own ways. They act according to how they think. With their “knowledge” and “consciousness,” they will walk on their own path. So, they will go in the opposite direction of the Buddha-Dharma.

So, “They will be unable to enter,” and they will act against the principles. As they listen to the Dharma, they still just act in their own ways. “With each passing day” our lives get shorter and shorter. If we refuse to change ourselves, we cannot take the Buddha-Dharma to heart. Then, our lives and the principles will grow further apart as our lives shorten. The principles exists, but we have not accepted the Dharma. We continue to act however we like and create our own karma. “We cannot take anything with us when we die. Only our karma follows us to our next life”. With our knowledge, with what we know, we do things in our own way. In this way, we can resonate with the Dharma. This is truly our loss. This is a waste, a waste of our time and a waste of our lives. This is something truly unfortunate.

So, everyone, please be very mindful. So, “We must faithfully accept what the Tathagata taught and practice in accordance with it diligently and sincerely”.

We must faithfully accept what the Tathagata taught and practice in accordance with it diligently and sincerely. Regarding the Dharma that the Tathagata taught, most sutras end with a phrase like. They faithfully accepted and practiced it.

We must be like this and faithfully accept the Dharma the Tathagata taught. With the teachings that the Buddha taught, if we accept them, we will be able to make use of them. So, we must be very clear about this. We must mindfully accept a master’s teachings so that his mastery will become ours. The principle is the same. So, we must “practice in accordance with it diligently and sincerely”. We must mindfully accept and comprehend [the Dharma].

“Regarding the Dharma that the Tathagata taught, most sutras end with a phrase like. ‘They faithfully accepted and practiced it’”. For each sutra, doesn’t it always end with people joyfully and faithfully accepting and practicing it? No matter which sutra we recite, [it ends with people] joyfully and faithfully accepting and practicing it, paying their respects and leaving. This is what they do at the end of each sutra. It is similar to how I end my talks with “Always be mindful!” when a person speaking gives such reminders, those who listen “should faithfully accept and practice it”. This is how [speaker and listeners] interact. Do you truly, faithfully accept and practice [the teachings]? I do not know. But if you accept them, they will be yours. “With each passing day, we draw closer to death”. We must bring our life together with the principles. So, I must ask everyone to be very mindful.

Next. Let’s look at the previous sutra passage. Again He told the assembly, ‘All of you should have faith in and understand the Tathagata’s genuine and true words’. Once again, He told all in the assembly, ‘All of you should have faith in and understand the Tathagata’s genuine and true words’”.

The previous passage says, “All of you should have faith in and understand”. The next passage continues, saying, “Again He told the assembly, ‘All of you should have faith in and understand’.” What happened next? “Once again He told [all in the assembly. Isn’t this three times? The Buddha gave “three admonishments”. He admonished, instructs and warns us that “Since you want to understand it, now, I am going to teach you. But, before I teach, I must warn you. You must believe that every word from the Buddha is true. The Buddha speaks the truth; He does not speak falsehoods or say false things. This is the Buddha. We must believe in the Dharma He teaches. If we do not believe in the Dharma after listening to it, we can easily slander [it].

In the previous sutra passage, the Buddha still had not even begun to speak, He began by admonishing them three times. We can see that He was about to reveal “the intrinsic” next. Everyone must build their faith first. If they had not built up their faith, after reading the next passage, they will feel that this is very far removed from us. In fact, we must be very mindful.

The next sutra passage continues, saying, “At this time, the assembly of Bodhisattvas, with Maitreya as the leader, put their palms together and said to the Buddha, ‘World-Honored One, we only hope that You will teach this. We will faithfully accept the Buddha’s words’. After saying this three times, they said once again, ‘We only hope that You will teach this. We will faithfully accept the Buddha’s words’.”

Maitreya likewise asked three times. At this time, described in the sutra passage, Maitreya led the assembly. They all saw how the Buddha was so earnest in admonishing them three times. He earnestly admonished them, so everyone pulled themselves together and earnestly straightened out their minds. So, everyone was also very earnest. “So, cherishing this,” they were earnest and cautious. Thus, with great reverence, they put their palms together again. The Buddha instructed them, “You must deeply believe in [my words]. You must place great importance on them”. So, Maitreya Bodhisattva and these Bodhisattvas reinvigorated their minds. They began to very diligently adjust their attitudes. They became very diligent and careful.

So, they reverently put their palms together again. From their mouths, they uttered such sincere words to make vows for themselves. “They vowed to spread and advance the Dharma that the Buddha taught. We will earnestly listen to [the Dharma]”. With Maitreya as their leader, everyone began to adjust their attitudes to faithfully accept [the Dharma] and express [their sincerity].

At this time the assembly of Bodhisattvas, With Maitreya as their leader, put their palms together and said to the Buddha: Maitreya and the assembly saw how the Buddha thrice admonished them sincerely like this. So, cherishing this, they reverently put their palms together and spoke sincerely. They vowed to spread and advance the Dharma that the Buddha taught.

“World-Honored One, We only hope that You will teach this. We will faithfully accept the Buddha’s words. We only hope that You will teach this. Venerable Buddha! We only hope that You will teach [us the Dharma]. We will all for sure faithfully accept it. No matter what the Buddha teaches, we, the disciples, will certainly accept it with sincerity and faith. Our minds will never have doubt again”. This is the sincere request raised by Maitreya Bodhisattva. He guided these Bodhisattvas to express this.

World-Honored One, We only hope that You will teach this. We will faithfully accept the Buddha’s words: Whatever the Buddha says and teaches, we disciples will all sincerely and faithfully accept it without any doubts.

“After saying this three times, they said once again, ‘We only hope that You will teach this. We will faithfully accept the Buddha’s words’.” So, it was not only three times. After three times, they sincerely asked again for the World-Honored One to teach this. “Because we are always reverent, we can faithfully accept the Buddha’s teachings”. So, this is their reverence.

After saying this three times, they said once again, “We only hope that You will teach this. We will faithfully accept the Buddha’s words”: After they said this to the Buddha three times, the Buddha still remained silent. They had not gotten His consent or approval.

Because [Maitreya] asked the Buddha thrice and He remained silent during those last three times, so they asked again. The Buddha remained silent before because someone asked, “There are so many people, so how could You say that. You transformed all of them? People have doubts. Venerable Buddha, please explain it”. The Buddha remained silent. Maitreya asked again, but he used an analogy. “It is like a young man saying that these elderly people are his children. No one would believe in it! Venerable Buddha, everyone has doubts. Please speak [and explain for us]”. The Buddha remained silent. Maitreya brought up this question, but the Buddha remained silent. Eventually, the Buddha began to admonish them and give them reminders three times, saying, “You must faithfully accept and understand this. You must comprehend that the Buddha speaks the truth, because if you do not faithfully accept this Dharma and take it in, it will become harmful to you. So, everyone must faithfully accept it”.

At this time, Maitreya and the Bodhisattvas all adjusted their mindsets and requested again. Before that, the Buddha had still not spoken. So, at this point, they asked again. “Saying this three times means that each time the Buddha admonished them, Maitreya spoke to the Buddha once”. Thus, whenever they said they will believe in Him, the Buddha admonished them again. So, in their last statement, they [stated that] they would faithfully accept it.

After saying this three times: This means that each time the Buddha admonished them, Maitreya spoke to the Buddha once to declare that they would faithfully accept this. The Tathagata admonished them three times, so those with the capabilities requested the Dharma three times. They earnestly requested the Dharma three times like the thirsty desire water or the hungry desire food. This demonstrates how earnestly they would faithfully accept [the Dharma]. Once they requested the Dharma three times, they said once again that they only hoped that He would teach this to them. This means they requested the Dharma four times. After He admonished them three times, again He told them to listen carefully. This means He admonished them four times.

So, the Tathagata admonished us three times. “those with the capabilities” still thrice expressed that they would faithfully accept [His teachings]. Thus, this was the process of the “three admonishments” and “three requests”. “They earnestly requested the Dharma three times”. Maitreya asked three times. “We only hope that You will teach this”. They still continued to request. So, at this time, everyone was earnest, like how people who are thirsty desire water. This shows how earnest they were. “So, [they are like how] the thirsty desire water or the hungry desire food”. This demonstrates how sincere they were “and how earnestly they would faithfully accept [the Dharma]”. Those who were present were sincere. “Once they requested the Dharma three times,” They said once again that they only hoped “that He would teach them”. This means that “They requested it four times”. The Buddha wanted to reveal “the intrinsic” to this assembly. This passage continues from the Chapter on the Practice of Bringing Peace and Joy and the Chapter on Emerging from the Ground. “The manifest” had come to an end. Beginning with “the intrinsic,” they needed to readjust themselves. This [was based upon] how much trust people had in their minds. They could now believe, accept and practice according to the teachings. This reminded everyone again to adjust their faith and attitude.

So, now they had all expressed it. Therefore, they requested the Dharma three times, and later they requested it a fourth time. The Buddha admonished them three times. So, later, “He again told them to listen carefully.” After that, He began to want to teach, so He to tell them to “listen carefully.” He admonished them four times. Three requests came with three admonishments; Four requests came with four admonishments. We must be very mindful. We must have faith in what the Buddha taught. We must remember [His teachings]. We talked about this previously. The Buddha has been in the world for a long time. Since His initial aspiration until He attained Buddhahood, it had been truly a very long time. This was the path He journeyed on.

So, “For infinite kalpas, the Tathagata has manifested infinite bodies, entered infinite lands, expounded infinite Dharma and transformed infinite people. These are all skillful means.”

This was how He manifested in the world [He was now teaching] the Lotus Sutra. In the next sutra passage, [He] begins to reveal the intrinsic. He will begin to reveal the intrinsic. So, we must be very mindful in order to comprehend the Dharma we will continue to discuss later. The Dharma we will discuss later is truly profound. Everyone, we must always be mindful!

(Source: Da Ai TV – Wisdom at Dawn program – Explanation by Master Chen-Yen)
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20181227《靜思妙蓮華》深信精勤 漸入佛智 (第1510集) (法華經·如來壽量品第十六)
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