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 20190109《靜思妙蓮華》佛眼圓淨 一切皆見 (第1519集) (法華經·如來壽量品第十六)

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20190109《靜思妙蓮華》佛眼圓淨 一切皆見 (第1519集) (法華經·如來壽量品第十六) Empty
發表主題: 20190109《靜思妙蓮華》佛眼圓淨 一切皆見 (第1519集) (法華經·如來壽量品第十六)   20190109《靜思妙蓮華》佛眼圓淨 一切皆見 (第1519集) (法華經·如來壽量品第十六) Empty周二 1月 08, 2019 5:53 pm

20190109《靜思妙蓮華》佛眼圓淨 一切皆見 (第1519集) (法華經·如來壽量品第十六)

⊙佛眼清淨圓通,具前四眼之用,無不淨澈見知。如人見之極遠處,佛見之則為至近。人見之是幽暗處,佛見之則為顯明。乃至無事不知見,互用思惟,一切皆見。
⊙「諸善男子!於是中間,我說燃燈佛等,又復言其入於涅槃,如是皆以方便分別。」《法華經如來壽量品第十六》
⊙「諸善男子!若有眾生來至我所,我以佛眼,觀其信等,諸根利鈍,隨所應度。」《法華經如來壽量品第十六》
⊙機熟而至,故見說法;緣盡而去,故見涅槃,無一非化身之大用。
⊙諸善男子!若有眾生來至我所:至我所者,即是過去眾生頓漸利鈍兩機,冥扣法身。
⊙我以佛眼,觀其信等,諸根利鈍:以佛慈悲清淨佛眼。觀其信等諸根利鈍,信、進、念、定、慧,名五善根,觀其根性利之與鈍。
⊙佛觀眾生信根利鈍隨宜說法者,如為凡夫示修人天乘,或出世間法,為菩薩示修菩薩道,與授記作佛等事。
⊙佛眼觀者,即久已成佛。佛眼照機,無有差謬,起勝劣兩應而利益之。
⊙信等即五根。慧根即了因,餘信、進、念、定根即緣因。此二善各有利鈍,五乘隨機應度,而現形聲二益。
⊙信等五根即能生一切善法:一、信根:謂信於正道。二、進根:謂修正法無間無雜。三、念根:謂於正法記憶不忘。四、定根:謂攝心不散。五、慧根:謂於諸法觀照明了。
⊙隨所應度:隨所應度,應以何法而度脫之。

【證嚴上人開示】
佛眼清淨圓通,具前四眼之用,無不淨澈見知。如人見之極遠處,佛見之則為至近。人見之是幽暗處,佛見之則為顯明。乃至無事不知見,互用思惟,一切皆見。

佛眼清淨圓通
具前四眼之用
無不淨澈見知
如人見之極遠處
佛見之則為至近
人見之是幽暗處
佛見之則為顯明
乃至無事不知見
互用思惟
一切皆見

用心,要用心!「佛眼清淨圓通」,是「具前四眼之用,無不淨澈見知」。意思這樣說,佛眼是清淨明澈,他具足了總共有五眼,這個地方說「佛眼」,「佛眼」還有包括的是法眼、慧眼、天眼、肉眼,這合起來是「五眼」。因為凡夫是用「肉眼」,我們大家的眼睛就是肉眼;若是天人,是用「天眼」。若聲聞、緣覺是用「慧眼」,若菩薩是用「法眼」,而佛陀是用「佛眼」,這樣一共是「五眼」,以佛的佛眼就具足這「五眼」。因為佛出生在人間,當然和我們人一樣,佛的眼光,佛的眼睛,我們看,和我們都一樣,所以也是肉眼,父母所生,父母所生,給我們的眼睛。

我們就是凡夫,我們所看都是一般;一般的見解,我們就有,就有貪、瞋、癡等等的見解。我看到的東西,我愛、分別、占為己有,這種的見解,這都是凡夫,凡夫、凡夫的見解。若是天眼呢?天(人)他在人間,就已經開始修了,修十大善行具足;十大善行具足了,都在造福人間,就願意付出、付出。這十大行,不論是人倫道德都守得很好,十業都很乾淨,這樣他得果報生天堂。可見他在人間,看法就已經超越凡夫一級,他的看法那就是善,諸善──盡人道的精神,孝養父母、忠孝節義通通守好,十善法,沒有殺、盜、淫等等,戒律,五戒也守得好。這樣的人就不是一般的凡夫人,所以他生天堂,得天眼。

當然,修行,聲聞、緣覺,已經接受到佛的教育,也得到去除煩惱的智慧。對世間人事看透徹了,因緣無常觀都清楚。所以,就像這樣,這一類,他們就得到慧眼了。若是菩薩,就是超越了,所看的無不都是與理會合,人、事,他就是能夠了解佛法、體悟佛法,他事、理合一,稱為菩薩。菩薩,法落實在生活中,這叫做菩薩,這叫做「法眼」。佛陀呢?超越,超越了法眼,所以就是「佛眼」。大徹大悟了,他不論是慧眼、法眼、天眼,全都很具足了,所以完全具足,佛眼圓具了。

所以佛眼就已經具足,前面的四眼之用。在人間裡,法眼是長得什麼樣?「法眼」是一個道理的透徹。那「慧眼」呢?是什麼?只是什麼事情清楚,沒有煩惱,動不動就什麼事情,這樣滾絞在一起,能夠分得清清楚楚,有條有理、是非清楚,這叫做「慧眼」。所以,佛陀這些事情都是很清楚。這在佛的看法,這已經世間一切有形、無形,無不通徹。佛眼完全清淨,所以「無不淨澈見知」,沒有一樣不清楚,沒有一樣不透徹了解,這叫做「佛眼」。

所以,「如人見之極遠處」。我們凡夫看到這些東西、這些事情有形、無形,好像很遠、很遠。有形的東西很遠,很遠,看不清楚。但是佛看,很近!這些道理很清楚,甚至不用看就知道,聽到是什麼東西;聞其名,識其物,說什麼東西的名字,佛陀就知道,這是什麼東西、什麼內容,連它裡面,東西的道理就是透徹清楚。這是別人看的,很遠,甚至說:「看不到!」佛陀,別人看不到,他心裡很清楚,什麼東西都很透徹了。

事情還很遙遠;預測,也很難預測!佛陀頭腦裡,在他的心腦裡已經很透徹了。所以,他能夠為弟子授記,授記在未來無數劫,「你要經過如何、如何修行之後,經過多久的時間,你能夠成佛,你成佛那個國土、世界,名稱叫做什麼,你將來那個國土有什麼樣的人」。眾生的心態、生態都很清楚。

記得嗎?〈授記品〉的時候,佛陀已經為他的弟子授記(為摩訶迦葉、須菩提、大迦旃延、大目犍連等四人授記),在未來長遠劫,將得成佛。那個世界的情形、那裡人民的生態,佛陀都一一告訴過他們了,這是說他們未來。未來還有多遠呢?在我們說,無數劫的遙遠!但是佛陀,那就是很近,未來的是這樣,過去也是一樣。長遠劫、長遠劫以前的燃燈佛,過去、過去以前的,大通智勝佛等等,無量數劫,佛陀也說過去。所以不論是過去、未來,多麼遙遠,佛陀就是看來是很近,「佛見之則為至近」,很近。

「人見之是幽暗處,佛見之則為顯明」。同樣的道理,眾生看去是,前面暗暗的,其實佛陀他所看的,即使暗的地方,有什麼樣的東西、什麼樣的事情,佛陀很透徹清楚,因為佛陀的記憶很明朗。昨天或是白天,所看到這些境界,完全印證在他的內心裡。雖然天暗了,四處都看不到了,但是那個記憶──白天所看到的境界,什麼東西在什麼位置、什麼東西是什麼樣的形態,沒有一項,他不清楚。近的是這樣,遠的以智慧,法眼、佛眼,他也很透徹清楚,沒有什麼是光明、黑暗;在佛陀的內心,永遠都是歷歷分明,沒有黑暗或者是光明的分別,這同樣的道理。

看看我們凡夫,凡夫,有的人就是眼睛雖然沒有看到,受過了訓練,環境他很熟悉,他能夠什麼樣的環境,他只是用耳朵,耳朵聽就知道境界是什麼。甚至只要用手接觸到,他就知道這個東西的大小;這個大小的東西,有什麼樣的斑點、有什麼等等,清楚。

曾向大家分享過了,早期、早期,在家庭訪問的時候,都是我自己出去,去看貧戶,都是委員與師父,這樣家家戶戶去看。有一對夫妻是兩個都看不到,眼睛看不到,他們一個家庭,有三四個孩子。要去家庭訪問時,我們進去到裡面,這間房子裡面是黑漆漆,我們邊走,很不適應裡面的環境,黑漆漆,到底人在哪裡?我們就要出聲:「某某人,妳在不在?」人家她在裡面就應聲了:「哦,是師父來啦,我在這裡。」我說:「妳怎麼黑漆漆的,怎麼不開電燈?」她就,笑聲就出來了:「師父,有電燈和沒有電燈,與我豈有關係呢?來,您向前走就對了,直走。現在要到的那裡,那裡有一個門,有一個門檻,您注意一下。」我們兩三位知道要過一個門檻,就要很注意。

進去了,那就是房間,雖然黑漆漆,人若在暗中,較久一點就會適應;適應裡面,就能看到。看到朦朦的,她坐在大通舖那個地方。我就問她:「妳在做什麼?」「師父,我在穿針。」真的,我再看清楚,她的手是這樣的形勢,但是頭是轉向我這邊,一隻手是這樣。我說:「穿針?妳難道有看到可穿?」她說:「感覺啦,我憑感覺穿,孩子的衣服破了,我要補。」「孩子衣服破了,都妳要補哦。」她說:「要不然要叫誰補?」

就這樣,穿、穿、穿,穿兩三下,這樣就拉過去了。我還沒有看到那支針,只有看到她的手,但是我看她手就這樣去了,這樣拉過去了嗎?她說:「是啊,拉過去了,師父,您摸看看。」摸,「小心,不要被針刺到」。我就拉著她的手,才開始來摸這條線的針。你想,從那時候,我就說:「人人有神通。」這個家庭是在新城(鄉)裡,記憶很深。

所以,若要說暗的,看作明的!這我絕對沒有疑問,絕對沒有疑問。因為,我看到這樣的人,我自己是沒有辦法,但是真的是有這樣的人,兩眼都失明,夫妻被我們幫助也十幾年了,孩子,我們讓他們讀書等等,這樣已經孩子讀中學畢業,孩子去做工,之後這個家庭,才脫離我們名單之中,但是我們還有記錄在,夫妻雙眼失明,這我們去看的,這實在是很不簡單!

所以,暗的地方,要將它當作是光明,只要心是光明,沒有東西看不到,沒有事情做不到。何況佛呢!凡夫,只要用心練出來,沒有事情不清楚。所以,何況佛陀的佛眼,佛的觀念、佛的見解,這個眼是包括見解、包括我們的心眼,從我們的肉眼,一直到我們的心眼、我們的見解,這就是我們要訓練,訓練我們的心眼。我們的肉眼,難免,這是一個器官,難免就有毛病,但是心眼一定要明。看看鑑真和尚,他決心要東渡,去將佛法傳到日本去。他還沒有到日本以前,雙眼就失明了,等到能夠到日本了,已經完全全盲了,但是他的心眼永遠都明亮。他能夠去到日本,又再,日本現在有唐朝的建築,那個建築,其實鑑真的這個建築方法、造型……。他去那個地方也有建寺,「唐招提寺」,就是鑑真,在他的心眼規畫、畫圖。

這樣眼睛沒有看到了,還用他的觀念,讓他的弟子,這樣牽著弟子,看他的手、看他的手勢,「我要建築的是這樣、這樣的形」,弟子就按照,想,這樣要建築,是這樣、這樣、這樣的形,照他的意思,就這樣畫圖出來了。若就畫好,讀給他聽,描述讓他知道這個形,就是在我們在揚州時,我們的時代,我們的建築,差不多是和哪一個地方類似。「師父,您這樣說,對我這樣比,我這樣畫,這樣這個建築,師父有滿意嗎?」這就是這樣完成起來了。甚至漢藥,看病、把脈,望、聞、問、切,將藥草、看病,這傳去日本,也是鑑真和尚,將這個東西傳到日本去。他也會看病。

這是真人實事,這樣的精神,雖然眼睛沒有看到了,他有這種堅決的信心。第六次,為了要去日本,五次受到很大很大的困難,還有海難,遭遇了很多的困難,他就是克服。這種修行的精神,經歷了很多的挫折,經歷了,連他的身體器官都已經衰退了,他還是保持著那念心眼分明,這樣傳法到日本,讓日本的佛法是大乘的佛教。在日本有一個時期很昌盛,這是真人實事,傳在人間。

我們就能夠知道,佛陀出世人間傳法的精神,這個法的真實,我們一定要相信,所以,佛眼見什麼樣的東西,都非常的顯明,凡夫,「見之是幽暗處,佛見之則為顯明」。這就是我們應該要學,佛的知見,我們要好好學。佛陀用心在人間說法,無非就是要講佛知見,希望眾生開佛知見,能夠啟開佛陀的知見。人人眾生的心眼,都能夠開啟佛的知見,這是佛陀的目的。講大法、說大乘經的目的,也只是為了這樣而已,所以希望我們人人,將我們的心眼打開,要有佛知、佛見,這是我們的目標。

所以,「乃至無事不知見,互用思惟,一切皆見」。不論是什麼樣的事情,總是五眼具足。佛陀已經具足佛眼了,所見的一切,沒有一項不知道,沒有一項看不透,所以不論是凡夫,或者是賢聖的人,全都佛陀完全很清楚。佛陀的心腦、思惟,一切一切完全透徹皆見,明瞭沒有缺漏,這就是「佛眼」。

好,我們來了解前面的文,我們要很清楚,不論過去有多長、多遠的事情,我們也都要相信佛所說;未來未來,無窮盡的環境,愈來的環境是長成什麼樣,我們也都要相信。所以,我們要把握在現在,將法都要很清楚;相信過去、未來,更要珍惜現在此刻。

所以,我們看過去這段文:「諸善男子!於是中間,我說燃燈佛等,又復言其入於涅槃,如是皆以方便分別。」

諸善男子
於是中間
我說燃燈佛等
又復言其入於涅槃
如是皆以方便分別
《法華經如來壽量品第十六》

佛陀就是這樣,又為我們再一遍清楚這樣說。從開始一念間,那就是大通智勝佛時代,十六王子聽《法華經》,歡喜了、接受了、發願行菩薩道;第一念間,已經經歷了塵點劫來了,這當中「於是中間」,又經歷了,經歷到了燃燈佛,這是現在再說過的過去。這些「中間」,時間都很長,都是無量數劫,塵點劫的時間,經過這麼長的時間。「又復言其入於涅槃」,說他們從開始一直到結束,佛法全部,都有正法、像法、末法,與釋迦佛一樣,二千五百多年前到現在是叫做末法。「如是皆以方便分別」,這麼長的時間,說這麼多的故事,這麼多的因緣、譬喻,這都是中間的過程。

所以,接下來又再說:「諸善男子!若有眾生來至我所,我以佛眼,觀其信等,諸根利鈍,隨所應度,」

諸善男子
若有眾生來至我所
我以佛眼
觀其信等諸根利鈍
隨所應度
《法華經如來壽量品第十六》

佛陀又再呼喚著在場大家,是再叮嚀、再教誡:「大家一定要相信!若有眾生來至我所」,我現在,現在就是要把握現在。我現在,我,佛陀這樣說:「我以佛眼。」「我用我現在的心眼,『觀其信等』,看他來是虔誠的信嗎?很虔誠的信,那我就為他說,他很想要了解的法,應他的根機,就用適應他的法,來說話。要看是不是誠意,要看他根機是利;利根,是這樣說了,他就能夠清楚,或者是要用譬喻的、要用故事的。」這全部,佛陀這一輩子觀機逗教、應機說法,這是佛陀這一輩子,他就是這樣來度化眾生,所以他是「隨所應度」,隨眾生的根機而化度。

機熟而至
故見說法
緣盡而去
故見涅槃
無一非化身之大用

「機熟而至」,他若是有虔誠的信心,他,自然他就來了。來了,有緣說給他聽,他就開始接近了,這就是根機成熟的人,佛陀就隨他的根機而說法。所以,「機熟而至,故見說法」。所以大家就能夠看到,佛在人間說法,這樣已經四十多年了,有因緣、根機成熟,自然他就一直靠近過來,佛陀就隨這些根機一直說法,而無緣的人也是不會靠近。佛陀在世,能夠真正接近佛法也不算很多。有緣的,叫做「機熟」,來接近法;無緣,與佛法好像一點點都沒有關係,那就是都沒有因緣,無法接近,所以就無法見佛、聽法。

所以,「緣盡而去」。說法幾十年了,在這樣說法幾十年,受過了,應機逗教,從小教一直到現在要轉為大法。「故見涅槃」。佛陀就這樣漸漸要讓大家知道,讓大家知道,因緣剩下沒有多久了,佛陀也慢慢要告訴大家,接近入滅的時間沒有多長了。所以慢慢要讓大家知道,這是自然的法則,所以大家要把握現在,好好接近、好好受法。這是佛陀慢慢要來警惕大家,緣若盡了,所以就要取入涅槃了,大家要把握現在這個時間。不論過去有多長、多久,未來有多長、多久,一定要相信,但是要好好把握現在;現在這個時間,就是要法要好好接受,身體力行。

所以,「無一非化身之大用」。佛來人間,這是一期的壽命,來這裡就是有限量,從出生一直到入滅,是八十年的時間,這叫做一期壽命。這是佛陀應化人間,有形的人、事,在這個人間,有這樣的事情、這樣的時限,所以這叫做化身──應這個時代,化這樣的身形,居在這個地方,所以這叫做化身。所以事事都是「化」,過去的是化身,現在也是化身。佛陀有停歇嗎?沒有,未來,就是我們的現在,沒有停歇;空間,那當中還是來來回回。

所以,有這個「中間」,到處他就是上求、下化,現這個身形──燃燈佛所授記,那一位未來成佛,叫做釋迦牟尼佛。這位也是過去,在無數無數的佛所也已經修行,也已經得授記,也已經有成就,生生世世,只是來人間又是再一段的時間。中間是很多來來去去,無數的生命來來回回,就是有這個化身,一期的壽命,無數、無數。所以,佛陀不是完全離開人間,因為現在還是佛陀的時代,釋迦牟尼佛的時代,「四生慈父」,也是眾生的導師。

諸善男子
若有眾生
來至我所:
至我所者
即是過去眾生頓漸
利鈍兩機
冥扣法身

所以,「諸善男子!若有眾生,來至我所」。就是過去的眾生,有頓根也有漸根。利、鈍兩種的根機,無不都是在這個法上面;「頓根」就是說,過去在度的眾生,也有說一句,說一法,他能夠理解十項,千與百;他就聞一知十、知百、知千。有的人很利根,但是有的人很鈍,所以就慢慢地來。所以,利、鈍兩種的根機,無不都是在這個法上面,有的,早就成就,有的,佛陀還要再來教化。所以,有緣的就能夠先聽到法;無緣的,來生再來度。這就是前前後後,佛陀總是來來去去,成熟的,趕緊先度,還未成熟的,那就後面再接著度,就是這樣的道理。所以,「我以佛眼,觀其信等諸根利鈍」。

我以佛眼
觀其信等
諸根利鈍:
以佛慈悲清淨佛眼
觀其信等諸根利鈍
信、進、念、定、慧
名五善根
觀其根性利之與鈍

我用我佛眼來看他們的信根,是利?是頓或者是漸;是利或是鈍根。這就是佛陀能夠觀機逗教,前後次序不斷、不斷,來人間前後度化,所以才有這麼長的時間,有無量的過去、有無量的未來。所以,無不都是以佛眼,「慈悲清淨」來看天下眾生。「觀其信等諸根」,來看,他們有信心來,有誠意來,就要再觀看,來觀察,觀察他們的根機,是要用什麼法給他們。這個五根,就是信根、精進根、念根、定根、慧根等等,這叫做「五根」,要看他們這五根的利鈍。

佛觀眾生信根利鈍
隨宜說法者
如為凡夫
示修人天乘
或出世間法
為菩薩示修菩薩道
與授記作佛等事

佛眼所看的眾生,這個信根利鈍、隨宜說法,就隨他們的根機這樣應機逗教。譬如,為凡夫,他就告訴他:「要修行啊!修人間的行,要修好,要守五戒,這叫做「人乘」法。你要做好你的人,要做好。」看到這個人的善根較深,他就告訴他「天乘」,「你要,不只是修五戒,你要廣利益眾生,好好要去救濟眾生,為種種的善事,持十戒、行十善」。這樣就是天人的教育,將來照這個方法修,將來就能夠生在天上。而人呢?五戒好好修,才不會失去做人的機會,才不會墮落三惡道。這就是佛陀教育人和天的方法。

或者是出世間法,就是聲聞、緣覺,有意要完全深入佛法,去研討佛法,攸關生命的奧秘要去探討,這種的人,這是專心修行,叫做「出世間法」。就像我們現在,就是專心要去了解,菩薩道要如何走──斷煩惱;要進去磨練,在人群中一定要行菩薩道,才有辦法完成大生命,轉生命為慧命,這就是佛陀教育的菩薩法。所以最後授記,最後成佛。這就是佛陀用他的慧眼,來看眾生根機。

所以,「佛眼觀者,即久已成佛」。佛陀本來就具足佛眼,所以來這個人間,他本來已經久久、久久之前,就已經完成了他的佛(果),覺悟、解脫了,只是為了眾生,不得不這樣生生世世重新再來,這就是佛陀的慈悲。

佛眼觀者
即久已成佛
佛眼照機
無有差謬
起勝劣兩應
而利益之

因為這樣,這「勝」就是殊勝,就是很利根的人,一聞千悟,這種人,他馬上就以菩薩法──大乘法,為他教育。若是鈍根就慢慢地來,從天、人、聲聞、緣覺、菩薩,一步一步走,這樣隨機,根機。所以說「信」,「信等五根。」

信等即五根
慧根即了因
餘信、進、念
定根即緣因
此二善各有利鈍
五乘隨機應度
而現形聲二益

「信等即五根」就是五項。慧根就是「了因」,到了慧根來,已經完全徹了一切,因為慧根已經是要進入了,進入那種求解脫,這是慧根,這就是了因,完全要了斷再來這種凡夫輪迴,這種的境界。這樣的根,就是不論是聲聞、緣覺,都有心要脫離這人天世俗,願意投入完全了脫生死的趣向,這叫做「了因」。但是時間要很長久,所以佛陀就特別為我們說,長久的時間,生生世世一定要入人群、度眾生,菩薩道的重要,要用很長久。

所以除了慧根,這了生死的發心以外,還有最重要的,要在信心、精進心,念,念念不間斷的心;還要定心,這就是要在我們修行中,這叫做「因」,這個緣和因。我們修行不能離開因緣,這個緣,結眾生緣很重要,你要成佛,缺眾生緣,就是說,就像佛來人間,真正能夠信佛來接近,在那個時代,比例起來,人就不多了。何況到末法來,這就是緣不夠,這個法,煩惱無明的眾生愈來愈多,真正親近佛法的人,比例起來,愈來比例愈少了,所以因緣很重要。所以「此二善各有利鈍」。雖然有因緣,這個根機也有利、也有鈍的!所以,「五乘隨機應度」,這個五乘法,有人乘、天乘,有聲聞乘、緣覺乘、菩薩乘。這一定要經過,才能夠到佛的程度,所以這要不斷向前前進。再來,「信等五根」,這五根即是「能生一切善」,它能夠生一切善。一

信等五根
即能生一切善法
一、 信根
謂信於正道
二、 進根
謂修正法無間無雜
三、 念根
謂於正法記憶不忘
四、 定根
謂攝心不散
五、 慧根
謂於諸法觀照明了

「信等五根」,一是「信根」,信根是信正道,第二「進根」,進根就是修正法,好好聽法,我們聽法進去之後,無間、無雜,這當中,我們都不要再有雜念,在這當中,我們要專心一念。第三,「念根」,「謂於正法記憶不忘」。所以一直告訴大家,法聽了之後要記得。第四是「定根」,那就是「攝心不散」。將心要攝受好,不要散心雜念。第五,「慧根」,「謂於諸法觀照明了」。我們看什麼法,我們就要好好觀照,不要隨便這樣就過去;凡事要做什麼事情要審慎,要很清楚,就是靠慧眼來觀照一切。

隨所應度:
隨所應度
應以何法而度脫之

所以,所應度者,「隨所應度」。該度的,我們就要趕緊即時我們就要度,這個緣要把握好。所以,「隨所應度,應以何法而度脫之」,應該度的,用什麼法,讓他能夠脫離這個人間苦難。是啊,人間苦難偏多,有形、無形,苦難很多,所以我們就要好好把握。相信在過去,佛陀所說的,無不都是真實話,我們更要相信,未來這末法的時代,眾生難度化,施教很困難,我們才要堅立信心;這個信心要把握在現在。法若通了,要度化眾生、結眾生緣,那就不困難。所以,我們必定要時時多用心!


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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: The Pure Buddha-Eyes Can See Everything (佛眼圓淨 一切皆見)
Date: January.09.2019

“Buddha-eyes are pure and understand perfectly and encompass all the functions of the four previous eyes. There is nothing that He cannot see clearly or understand thoroughly. What people see as extremely far away, the Buddha sees as very close. Places others see as dark and obscure the Buddha sees as obvious and clear. There is nothing He does know or understand. With His contemplation, He can understand everything.”

We must be mindful! “Buddha-eyes are pure understand perfectly.” They “encompass all the functions of the four previous eyes. There is nothing that He cannot see clearly or understand thoroughly.” The meaning of this is that the Buddha-eyes are pure and clear. He is replete with a total of five kinds of eyes. Here it says “Buddha-eyes”. “Buddha-eyes” also include Dharma-eyes, wisdom-eyes, heavenly eyes, and physical eyes. Together, these are the “Five Eyes”.

Ordinary beings use physical eyes. Our eyes are physical eyes. Heavenly beings use heavenly eyes. Hearers and Solitary Realizers use wisdom-eyes. Bodhisattvas use Dharma-eyes, and the Buddha uses Buddha-eyes. In total, these are the Five Eyes. With the Buddha’s Buddha-eyes, He is replete with these Five Eyes. Because the Buddha was born into this world, He was of course the same as us humans. Regarding His sight and eyes, we can see that they were the same as ours. So, His eyes were also physical eyes given by His parents. Our parents gave birth to us and gave us eyes. We are ordinary beings, so what we see is ordinary. We have ordinary views and understandings. We have views of greed, anger, ignorance and so on. From what we see, we crave, discriminate and claim for ourselves. These sorts of views and understanding are all of ordinary beings. These are ordinary beings’ views and understanding. What about heavenly eyes? Heavenly beings, while in this world, already began cultivating to perfect their practice of the Ten Good Deeds. They perfected their practice of the Ten Good Deeds, always creating blessings for the world, meaning they were willing to give and help others.

These Ten Good Deeds [include] all moral principles, which they upheld very well. Their Tenfold Karma was very pure. Thus, they received the retribution of being born in the heaven realm. It is evident that while they were in this world, their views already surpassed ordinary beings’. Their views were virtuous. They had the spirit of performing virtuous deeds and humanitarian duties. They respectfully cared for their parents, safeguarding all the virtues of loyalty and filial piety. They performed the Ten Good Deeds, did not kill, steal, commit sexual misconduct etc. They also carefully upheld the Five Precepts. People like this are not typical ordinary beings. So, they were born into the heaven realm and attained heavenly eyes. Of course, with spiritual practice, Hearers and Solitary Realizers have already accepted the Buddha’s teachings and attained the wisdom to eliminate afflictions. They see through all worldly matters and people and clearly understand the concepts of karmic cause and effect and impermanence. Thus, this group has attained wisdom-eyes. As for Bodhisattvas, they surpass [all of this]. Everything they see converges with principles. Through people and matters, they are able to understand the Buddha-Dharma, comprehend and awaken to it. They unite matters and principles, so they are called Bodhisattvas. Bodhisattvas implement the Dharma in their everyday life. This is what makes them Bodhisattvas. This is what Dharma-eyes are. What about the Buddha? He further surpassed the Dharma-eyes. Hence, He has “Buddha-eyes”. He attained great and thorough awakening. Be it wisdom-eyes, Dharma-eyes or heavenly eyes, He is replete with all of them. Thus, He has fully attained Buddha-eyes. So, Buddha-eyes already encompass the functions of the previous four eyes.

In this world, what do Dharma-eyes look like? Dharma-eyes refer to having thoroughly penetrated the principles. What about wisdom-eyes? What are they? They refer to how we can see all matters clearly and have no afflictions that jumble things together at the slightest [provocation]. When we can differentiate [things] clearly in an orderly way and be clear on right or wrong, this is what is called wisdom-eyes.

So, the Buddha is very clear on all of this. From the perspective of the Buddha, everything in the world, tangible or intangible, is already comprehended thoroughly be Him. The Buddha-eyes are completely pure. So, “There is nothing that He cannot see clearly or understand thoroughly.” There is not one thing that He is unclear about. There is not one thing that He does not thoroughly understand. This is called Buddha-eyes. So, “What people see as extremely far away…”. When we ordinary beings see these faraway things, whether tangible or intangible, they seem very, very far away. As for tangible things which are very far away, we cannot see them clearly. However, to the Buddha, they seem very close. He is so clear on these principles that even without seeing anything, He knows what it is that He hears of. When He hears its name, He knows what it is. When someone mentions the name of something, the Buddha knows what it is and what it entails. He thoroughly understands even the principles contained in the object. What others see as very far away or even when they say, “We cannot see it,” for the Buddha, what others cannot see, He clearly knows in His mind. He understands everything very thoroughly. For matters that are still far away and are very difficult to predict, in the Buddha’s mind, He has already gained thorough understanding. Therefore, He could bestow predictions of Buddhahood on His disciples. He predicted that in the future countless kalpas, “You must go through such and such spiritual practice. Then after such a length of time, you will be able to attain Buddhahood. The land and world where you attain Buddhahood will be called such and such. In this future land of yours there will be these types of people.”

[The Buddha] is very clear on the states of mind and the ways of living of sentient beings. Do you remember? In the Chapter on Bestowing Predictions, the Buddha already bestowed predictions of Buddhahood upon His disciples, that distant kalpas into the future, they would attain Buddhahood. The situation of those [future] worlds and the ways of life of the people there were explained one by one by the Buddha. He told them about their future. How far away is the future? To us, it is countless kalpas away. But to the Buddha, it is very near. The future is like this, and so is the past. Whether Burning Lamp Buddha distant kalpas ago or Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha’s era a long, long time ago and so on, the Buddha also spoke about [these eras] countless kalpas ago. So, on matter if it is the past or the future, no matter how far away, it looks very near to the Buddha. “The Buddha sees [it] as very close. Places others see as dark and obscure the Buddha sees as obvious and clear.” The principle is the same. When all sentient beings see is darkness in front of them, the Buddha can actually see, even in dark places, what objects or matters [there are]. The Buddha has a clear and through understanding. This is because the Buddha’s memory is very clear. [Whether it was] yesterday or during the day, the external states He sees are completely imprinted in His mind. Although it is dark and nothing can be seen all around, from His memory of the state He saw during the day, where things were positioned and what appearances those things had, there is nothing He is not clear on. This is the case for what is near Him; for things far away, with His wisdom, Dharma-eyes and Buddha-eyes, He also clearly understands all of them. There is nothing that is bright or dark.

In the Buddha’s mind, everything is always clear. He makes no differentiation between darkness or brightness. The principle is the same. If we look at us ordinary beings, among ordinary beings, some people may not be able to see with their eyes, but they can train themselves to become very familiar with the environment. Then they can, in any kind of environment, by just using their ears, listen and know how the environment is. Moreover, simply through touch, they can know the size of an item. An item of this size would have a certain kind of spots and other traits which are clear to them.

I have shared this with everyone before. In the early days [of Tzu Chi], when we did home visits, I went myself to visit poor households. The commissioners and I together visited every family. There was a couple who were both blind. They could not see. This couple, this family had three or four children. When we came there for the home visit, we went inside, and the inside of the house was completely dark. As we walked, we were unfamiliar with the environment. It was so dark. Where were the people? We had to speak up. “So and so, are you home?” She was home and so she replied, “Oh! Master is here! I am right here.” I said, “It is so dark in here. Why don’t you turn on the lights?” She laughed out loud. “Master, whether the lights are on or off, what does that have to do with me? Come, you just need to walk straight ahead. Where you are heading towards now, there is a door. There is a threshold, so please be careful.” Then the two or three of us knew that we had to cross over a threshold. So, we had to pay attention. Once we went through, there was a room. Although it was dark, when people are in the dark, after a while, they adapt. Once our eyes adapted to the inside of the house, we indistinctly saw that she was sitting on the bed. I asked her, “What are you doing?” “Master, I am threading a needle.” It was true! I looked again to see clearly. Her arm was like this, but her head was facing toward my direction. Her other hand was like this. I said, “Threading a needle? Can you see where to thread it?” She said, “I can feel it. I thread it through touch. The children’s clothing is torn, so I must mend it.” “When the children’s clothes are torn, you have to mend them?” She replied, “If not me, who else will mend them?” In this way, she treaded and treaded the needle. After two, three tries, the thread passed through. I did not see the needle. I only saw her hand. However, I saw that her hands went that way. “Did you thread it through?” She replied, “Yes! I threaded it through. Master, try feeling it”. I felt it. “Be careful not to be poked by the needle”. I held onto her hand and then began to feel the needle and the thread. Think about this! From that moment on, I would say that everyone has spiritual powers. This family was in Xinchent Township. They left a deep mark in my memory. So, to say that someone can see in the dark as if it were bright is something I would certainly not doubt. I would certainly not have any doubts. This is because I have seen someone who can. I myself cannot do this, but truly there are people like that. This couple who lost sight in both eyes received our help for over ten years. We helped their children get through school. Once the children graduated from middle school and began working this family was removed from our list.

However, we still have on record that the husband and wife were both bind. This is something we saw ourselves. Truly, it is not easy. So, when it comes to treating dark places as bright places, as long as our minds are bright, there is nothing we cannot see and nothing we cannot do. This is not to mention the Buddha! For ordinary beings, as long as we mindfully practice, there is nothing that we cannot understand clearly. So, the Buddha’s Buddha-eyes furthermore include His perspectives and understanding. These eyes encompass views and understanding. They encompass our minds’ eyes. From our physical eyes to the eyes of our minds, what we must train is our views and understanding. We must train the eyes of our minds. Our physical eyes, unavoidably, are an organ that can have problems. But the eyes of our minds must be clear.

Look at Venerable Jian Zhen. He was determined to sail to the east to spread the Buddha-Dharma to Japan. Before he reached Japan, he lost his eyesight. By the time he arrived in Japan, he was completely blind. However, the eyes of his mind were always bright. He was able to go to Japan and introduced Tang Dynasty architecture in Japan. Those buildings were built based on the architectural methods and designs of Venerable Jian Zhen. He also built temples there. “Toshodai-ji” was Jian Zhen’s design which he drew with the eyes of his mind. Though he could not see with his eyes, he still used his perspectives to show his disciples by guiding them to watch his hands and gestures. “What I want to build is this and this shape”. The disciples then followed [his description] and thought about how the building would be such and such a shape. According to his wishes, they drew the architectural plans, they described them to him. They described the shape [of the building] so that he understood. “While we were back in Yanghou, during that time, a certain building of ours was similar to a certain part of the design. Master, based on the way you described it, and how you gestured it, this is the way I drew it. Master, are you satisfied with this building?” This was how they completed the building”. Even when it came to Chines medicine, how to diagnose illnesses, take pulses, look, listen, question and feel the pulse, he introduced herbal medicine, how to diagnose and how to treat illnesses to Japan. It was Venerable Jian Zhen who introduced all of this to Japan. He also knew how to treat illnesses. This is the true story of a real person. This is was his spirit. Although he could not see with his eyes, he had such a resolute faith. This was his sixth trip; to get to Japan, he endured great difficulties over five attempts, including suffering shipwrecks. He encountered many difficulties, but he overcame them. With this spirit of spiritual practice, he experienced so many setbacks. He even experienced the deterioration of his body organs, but he still maintained a clear and bright mind. This was how he spread the Dharma to Japan so that Japan’s Buddha-Dharma would be the Great Vehicle Dharma. There was a period in Japan when [the Buddha-Dharma] flourished, and this true story was passed down in this world. Through this, we can learn the Buddha’s spirit of spreading the Dharma as He appeared in this world. We must have faith in the truth of this Dharma. So, whatever the Buddha-eyes see is very obvious and clear.

“Places others see as dark and obscure the Buddha sees as obvious and clear”. This is what we should learn. We should earnestly learn the Buddha’s understanding and views. The Buddha mindfully expounds the Dharma in the world with no other [purpose] than to teach the Buddha’s understanding and views. He hopes that sentient beings can realize the Buddha’s understanding and views. For the eyes of all sentient beings’ minds to open to the Buddha’s understanding and views is the purpose of the Buddha. His goal in expounding the Great Dharma and the Great Vehicle Sutras was solely this.

So, I hope that every one of us can open the eyes of our minds and attain the Buddha’s understanding and views. This is our goal. “There is nothing He does not know or understand. With His contemplation, He can understand everything”. No matter what it is, He is always replete with the Five Eyes. The Buddha already has the Buddha-eyes. Therefore, in all that He sees, there is nothing He does not know and nothing He cannot understand clearly.

So, whether it be ordinary beings or sages and noble beings, the Buddha completely understands them. The Buddha’s mind, through contemplation, completely understands everything with clarity and without flaws. This is due to His “Buddha-eyes”.

Let us understand the previous passage. We must understand this very clearly. No matter how long ago or how far away it was, we must have faith in what the Buddha said about the environment in the endless future and what that environment will come to look like. We must have faith in this too. So, we must seize the present and understand the Dharma very clearly. We must have faith regarding the past and future but even more, we must cherish the present.

So, let us look at the previous passage. “Good men, during this time, I spoke of Burning Lamp Buddha and others and also said that They entered Parinirvana. These were all distinctions made by skillful means.

The Buddha explained this to us again clearly. His one aspiration began in the era of Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha when the sixteenth prince heard the Lotus Sutra, rejoiced, accepted [the sutra] and made vows to walk the Bodhisattva-path. From this first aspiration, He had already experience dust-inked kalpas. “During this time, He had also [encountered] Burning Lamp Buddha”. This is discussing the past that He was now again explaining. These times “In between were very long”. There were countless kalpas, dust-inked of time. This was how long it had been. And also said that They entered Parinirvana. He spoke about them, from beginning to end. For all of them, the Buddha-Dharma [went through] the era of Right Dharma, Dharma-semblance and Dharma-degeneration. This is just as for Sakyamuni Buddha. More than 2000 years later, this period now is called [the era of] Dharma-degeneration. “These were all distinctions made by skill full means”. For such a long time, [the Buddha] told so many stories, as well as so many causes and conditions and analogies. These all [described] what happened during those time periods.

So, in the next [passage], [He] said, “Good men, if sentient beings come to where I am, I use my Buddha-eyes to observe how sharp or dull their roots of faith and so on are and thus transform them accordingly”.

The Buddha again called upon those present to remind and admonish them, “Everyone must have faith!” If sentient beings come to where I am, I now…”. “Now” refers to seizing the present. “I now…”. Regarding this “I,” the Buddha said, “I use my Buddha-eyes. Now, I use the eyes of my mind to observe their roots of faith. Do they come with reverent faith?” If they have very reverent faith, then I will expound for them the Dharma that they really wish to understand. According to their capabilities, I will give teachings that suit them. This depends on whether they have sincerity and whether their capacities are sharp. If their capacities are sharp, they can understand what I say clearly. If not, I will need to use analogies and stories”. All in all, the Buddha spent His lifetime observing capabilities and teaching according to capabilities. For the Buddha’s entire lifetime, this was how He transformed sentient beings. So, He “transformed them accordingly”. He transformed according to the capabilities of sentient beings.

He came when their capabilities were mature. Thus they saw Him expound the Dharmam. He left when conditions ended. Thus they saw Him enter Parinirvana. All these were the great applications of His Nirmanakaya.

“He came when their capabilities were mature”. If people had sincere faith, then they would naturally come. Once they came, the affinities were there to expound [the Dharma] to them. They then began to draw near [to the Dharma]. These were people with mature capabilities. The Buddha taught the Dharma according to their capabilities. “He came when their capabilities were mature”. Thus they saw Him expound the Dharma. So, everyone could see that the Buddha expounded the Dharma in the world in this way for over 40 years. Those with affinities, whose capabilities had matured, naturally drew near [to the Buddha]. The Buddha continued to expound the Dharma according to these capabilities. Those without affinities would not draw near. When the Buddha was in the world, there were not many that could truly draw near to the Buddha-Dharma. Those with affinities had “capabilities [that] were mature, so they drew near to the Dharma”.

For those without affinities, it was as if the Buddha-Dharma had nothing to do with them. That means they did not have the causes and conditions to draw near to Him. Thus, they were unable to meet the Buddha or listen to the Dharma. So, “He left when conditions ended”. He expounded the Dharma for a few decades. During the decades of teaching the Dharma, He was experienced in teaching according to capabilities, starting from limited teaching until this point when He turned toward the Great Dharma. At this moment, the Buddha wanted to gradually let everyone know that the causes and conditions would not also much longer. The Buddha also wanted to gradually let everyone know that the moment of entering Parinirvana was not far away. So, He had to gradually let everyone know that this is the law of nature.

So, everyone had to seize the present to earnestly draw near and accept the Dharma. This is how the Buddha gradually warned everyone. Once affinities would come to an end, it would be time for Him to enter Parinirvana. Everyone had to seize the current time. No matter how long the past was and how long the future will be, we must have faith. However, we must earnestly seize the present in the present time right now, we must earnestly accept the Dharma and put it into practice.

So, “All these were the great applications of His Nirmanakaya”. The Buddha coming to this world was one lifespan. There was a limit [to His time] here. Form His birth until His entering Parinirvana, there was a period of 80 years. This is called one lifespan. The Buddha manifested in this world as a tangible person and through tangible matters. In this world, such things happened with this time limit. Therefore, this is called the Nirmanakaya. According to the time, He manifested this form and lived in this place.

Therefore, this is called Nirmanakaya. Therefore, everything is a manifestation. The past is a manifestation, as is the present. Has the Buddha ever rested? No. Into the future, which is our present, He has never rested. Within this space and time, He repeatedly returns. So, “during this time,” He went everywhere to seek [the Dharma] and transform [sentient beings], manifesting this physical form. He received the prediction from Burning Lamp that he would attain Buddhahood in the future with the name Sakyamuni Buddha. In the past, He had already practiced in the presence of countless Buddhas. He had already received predictions. He had also attained fruition throughout countless lifetimes. He just came to the world yet another time. He came and went many times, repeatedly returning for countless lifetimes, meaning He had this Nirmanakaya, one lifetime at a time. [This happened] for countless [lifetimes].

So, the Buddha did not completely leave this world. Even currently, it is still the era of the Buddha. It is the era of Sakyamuni Buddha. He is the kind father of the Four Kinds of Beings and the guiding teacher of all sentient beings. So, “Good men, if sentient beings come to where I am…”. Among sentient beings of the past, there were immediate and gradual capacities. There were people with sharp and dull capacities. This refers to [their capacities for] the Dharma. “Immediate capabilities” refers to sentient beings the Buddha was transforming in the past. If one sentence or one [concept of] the Dharma is taught, they can comprehend ten or thousands or hundreds [of truths]. They can hear one and know tens, hundreds or thousands [of truths]. Some people have sharp capabilities, but there are some that have dull [capabilities] and are thus slower [in learning]. Therefore the two, sharp and dull capabilities, are both with regards to the Dharma; some had already accomplished much early on, while the Buddha still had to teach and transform others. So, those with affinities [with the Buddha] can hear the Dharma first, and those without affinities must be transformed in the next life. This is the sequence [of transformation]. The Buddha has always repeatedly come and gone. For those who have mature affinities, He earnestly transformed them first, and for those whose affinities have not matured, He would continue to transform them afterwards. This is the principle [He followed]. So, “I use my Buddha-eyes to observe how sharp or dull their roots of faith and so on are”.

I use my Buddha-eyes to observe how sharp or dull their roots of faith and so on are: He used His compassionate and pure Buddha-eyes to observe how sharp or dull their roots of faith and so on were. Faith, diligence, mindfulness, Samadhi and wisdom are known as the Five Spiritual Roots. He observed how sharp or dull their capabilities and nature were.

“I use my Buddha-eyes to observe their roots of faith. Are they immediate or gradual? Do they have sharp or dull roots?” This is how the Buddha can teach according to capabilities. In sequence, He continuously came back to the world to transform [sentient beings]. Thus, it has been such a long time; there is the infinite past and the infinite future. So, He has always used His Buddha-eyes, which are “compassionate and pure,” to observe all sentient beings in the world. He “observes their roots of faith and so on”. When He saw that people came with faith and sincerity, He had to then observe their roots and capabilities to see what kind of Dharma He should teach them. These Five [Spiritual] Roots refer to the root of faith, root of diligence, root of mindfulness, root of Samadhi and root of wisdom. These are called “the Five Spiritual Roots”. [The Buddha] observes the sharpness and dullness of their Five Spiritual Roots.

The Buddha observed how sharp or dull sentient beings’ roots of faith were and taught the Dharma according to what was appropriate. For example, for ordinary people, He instructed them to practice the Human and Heavenly Being Vehicles or the world-transcending Dharma. For Bodhisattvas, He instructed them to cultivate the Bodhisattva-path and bestowed upon them predictions of doing the work of the Buddha and so on.

The Buddha observed sentient beings and how sharp or dull their roots of faith were to appropriately teach the Dharma accordingly. He taught according to their capabilities. For example, for ordinary beings, He said to them, “You must engage in spiritual practice. In your spiritual practice in the human realm, you must practice well and uphold the Five Precepts. This is called the Human Vehicle Dharma. You must be a good person and behave well”. When [the Buddha] saw that this person’s roots of goodness were deeper, He would tell him about “the Heavenly Vehicle. Not only must you practice the Five Precepts, you must also widely benefit sentient beings. You must earnestly help sentient beings. You must do various virtuous deeds and practice the Ten Good Deeds”. This is the Heavenly Being [Vehicle]. When we practice according to this method, in the future we can be born in the heaven realm. What about the Human [Vehicle]? [It teaches] earnestly practicing the Five Precepts in order to not lose the opportunity to be human and avoid descending into the Three Evil Realms. These were the methods the Buddha taught to be reborn as humans and heavenly beings.

When it comes to world-transcending Dharma, this refers to the Hearer and Solitary Realizer [Vehicles]. This is for those who wish to fully delve into the Buddha-Dharma and study it. They need to explore the profound mystery of life. These people concentrate on spiritual practice. This is the “world-transcending Dharma”. This is like now we are concentrated on understanding how to walk the Bodhisattva-path. To eliminate afflictions, we must enter [among people] to temper ourselves. While being among people, we must walk the Bodhisattva-path in order to live life in a greater [capacity] and transform our biological life into wisdom-life. This is the Bodhisattva Way that the Buddha teaches. Therefore, [the disciples] received predictions and will in the end attain Buddhahood. This is how the Buddha uses His wisdom-eyes to assess the capabilities of sentient beings. In terms of “using His Buddha-eyes to observe, this indicates He had attained Buddhahood long ago”. The Buddha is already endowed with Buddha-eyes. So, although He came to this world, He had already, a long, long time ago, completed His [attainment] of Buddhahood. He had awakened and was liberated. However, for sentient beings, He had to return and start afresh, lifetime after lifetime. This is the compassion of the Buddha.

“In terms of ‘using His Buddha-eyes to observe,’ this indicates He had attained Buddhahood long ago. Using Buddha-eyes to illuminate capabilities, He never makes mistakes. He responds to both superior and limited capabilities to benefit them”.

“Superior” here means exceptional. This means that people with sharp roots can hear one [principle] and comprehend a thousand. For these people, the Buddha immediately uses the Bodhisattva Way and the Great Vehicle Dharma to educate them. If [they have] dull capacities, then [He teaches] slowly, [going from the teachings for] heavenly beings and humans [to] Hearers, Solitary Realizers and Bodhisattvas. He takes it step by step. This is how [He teaches] according to capabilities. So, “The roots of faith and so on are the Five Spiritual Roots”.

The roots of faith and so on are the Five Spiritual Roots. The root of wisdom is the cause of ending. The other roots of faith, diligence, mindfulness and Samadhi are the cause of affinities. People of the two virtues have either sharp or dull capabilities respectively. He accorded with the capabilities of the Five Vehicles to transform people, thus He manifested the dual benefits of His form and voice.

“The roots of faith and so on are the Five Spiritual Roots.” The root of wisdom is the “cause of ending.” Once we have arrived at the root of wisdom, then we have already thoroughly understood everything. This is because the root of wisdom signifies that we are about to enter into seeking liberation. This is the root of wisdom and the cause of ending. It is to completely eliminate cyclic existence that ordinary beings repeatedly return to. This root means that both Hearers and Solitary Realizers have the intention to transcend worldly matters of humans and heavenly beings. They are willing to go in the direction of complete liberation from samsara. This is called the “cause of ending.” However, this process requires a long time. So, the Buddha, especially for our sake, told us that it takes a long time. Throughout many lifetimes, we must go among people to transform sentient beings. [He taught] the importance of the Bodhisattva-path and how it takes a very long time.

So, aside from the root of wisdom and this aspiration to be liberated from samsara, what is most important is having a faithful and diligent heart and never relaxing in our mindfulness. Also, we must have a mind of Samadhi. This is crucial in our spiritual practice. These are called “causes.” When it comes to conditions and causes, we cannot depart from them in our spiritual practice. When it comes to conditions, forming affinities with sentient beings is vital. We wish to attain Buddhahood, but we lack affinities with sentient beings. This is just like how the Buddha came to the world but those that could truly believe in the Buddha and draw near, proportionally speaking, were few in numbers even in that era. It is more so in [the era of] Dharma-degeneration. There are not enough affinities.

When it comes to the Dharma, there are more and more afflicted and ignorant sentient beings. Those who truly draw near the Buddha-Dharma are becoming fewer in relative terms. Thus, causes and conditions are very important. So, “People of the two virtues have either sharp or dull capabilities respectively.” Even with causes and conditions, there are sharp and dull capabilities.

So, “He accorded with the capabilities of the Five Vehicles to transform people.” The Five Vehicle Dharma includes the Human, Heavenly Being, Hearer, Solitary Realizer and Bodhisattva Vehicles. We must go through this process in order to reach the level of the Buddha. So, we must continuously advance forward.

Next, “Faith and the others, the Five Spiritual Roots, can give rise to all that is good.” They “can give rise to all that is good.”

Faith and the others, the Five Spiritual Roots, can give rise to all that is good.
1. The root of faith. This means having faith in the right path
2. The root of diligence. This means practicing Right Dharma without interruption or discursive thoughts.
3. The root of mindfulness. This means remembering Right Dharma and never forgetting.
4. The root of Samadhi. This means focusing and not allowing our mind to become scattered.
5. The root of wisdom. This means observing and understanding all Dharma clearly.

“Faith and the others, the Five Spiritual Roots…”. First is the root of faith. This means having faith in the right path. Second is “the root of diligence.” The Root of diligence is to practice Right Dharma. We should earnestly listen to the Dharma. Once we listen to the Dharma and take it to heart, we must be uninterrupted and undefiled in practice. Throughout all this, we must no longer have discursive thoughts but should be fully concentrated in our minds. The third is “the root of mindfulness. This means remembering Right Dharma and never forgetting.” So, I always tell everyone that after we listen to the Dharma, we must remember it. The fourth is “the root of Samadhi.” This means “focusing and not allowing our minds to become scattered.” We must focus our mind and not be scattered with discursive thoughts. The fifth is the “root of wisdom.” “This means observing and understanding all phenomena clearly.” Whatever phenomenon we see, we should earnestly observe it. We should not freely let it pass by. We should carefully consider whatever it is that we want to do and be very clear [on what we do]. We must use wisdom-eyes to observe everything.

So, as for those that we must transform, we “transform them accordingly.” Those that we must transform, we must quickly transform them in time by earnestly seizing this affinity. So, “’Transforming them accordingly’ refers to using the Dharma He must use to transform and liberate them.” For those we must transform, what Dharma should we use to help them be liberated from the sufferings of this world? Indeed! The world is full of suffering. There is so much tangible and intangible suffering. So, we must earnestly seize [the opportunities]. We must have faith that in the past, all that the Buddha said were words of truth. We must further believe that in the future era of Dharma-degeneration, sentient beings will be hard to transform and difficult to teach. Therefore, we must establish our faith. With this faith, we must seize the present. If we thoroughly understand the Dharma, then to transform sentient beings and form affinities with them will not be difficult. So, we must always be mindful!

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