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 20190620《靜思妙蓮華》法性不動 如妙高山 (第1635集) (法華經·隨喜功德品第十八)

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20190620《靜思妙蓮華》法性不動 如妙高山 (第1635集) (法華經·隨喜功德品第十八) Empty
發表主題: 20190620《靜思妙蓮華》法性不動 如妙高山 (第1635集) (法華經·隨喜功德品第十八)   20190620《靜思妙蓮華》法性不動 如妙高山 (第1635集) (法華經·隨喜功德品第十八) Empty周三 6月 19, 2019 8:47 pm

20190620《靜思妙蓮華》法性不動 如妙高山 (第1635集) (法華經·隨喜功德品第十八)

⊙法性不動如山;因法性山動故,譬喻之以山動,入生死無明海。
⊙法性不動如妙高山,何種力量推山使動?唯是眾生業力共聚,多生累世重重疊疊。
⊙說法講經之堂舍,轉權顯實。無量義說法入群,為諸聲聞菩薩大眾次序,都悉集會七寶講堂,廣定道教演暢妙法。
⊙「又,阿逸多!若人為是經故,往詣僧坊,若坐、若立須臾聽受,緣是功德,轉身所生。」《法華經隨喜功德品第十八》
⊙「得好上妙象、馬車乘、珍寶輦輿,及乘天宮。若復有人於講法處坐,更有人來,勸令坐聽。」《法華經隨喜功德品第十八》
⊙得好上妙、象馬車乘、珍寶輦輿,及乘天宮:象馬妙車富貴者用,珍寶輦輿,王者之器。諸天行時,則有宮殿以乘其身。
⊙車馬士夫所乘,象輦王種所乘,天宮天人所乘。
⊙及乘天宮:謂色界天等得乘宮殿往來空中也。
⊙須臾聽經者有專心、散心、隨喜心不同,故所得功德各有差別,天人、君王、士夫身分之異。
⊙若復有人於講法處坐,更有人來,勸令坐聽:如若身心意識,聞法歡喜得受法益,有人來,勸人同坐聽法。

【證嚴上人開示】
法性不動如山;因法性山動故,譬喻之以山動,入生死無明海。

法性不動如山
因法性山動故
譬喻之以山動
入生死無明海

就是要告訴我們,「法性不動如山,因法性山動」。本來我們的法,人人本具佛性,我們清淨的本性是如如不動。但是我們現在,我們的性已經動了,這就是用這樣來譬喻,譬喻我們凡夫,已經是將如來本性,已經被動了。所以因為這樣,我們入了生死無明海。我們就是先有無明,才會動了我們的法性山。從這樣一念無明開始,我們法性山一動,就是非常難以回頭,要再回頭,那也就是很辛苦的事情。所以我們這個時候聽法,要很用心,如何聽?將法入我們的心。法,教導我們,引導我們走,是一條路。路到底要如何走,就要更加清楚來為大家分享。

法性不動如妙高山
何種力量推山使動
唯是眾生業力共聚
多生累世重重疊疊

「法性不動如妙高山,何種力量推山使動?」我們的法性本來就是不動,好像妙高山一樣。人人的性,真如本性本來就是虛空法界,清淨無染,如一座的高妙山。是什麼力量,使我們這個妙高山動了?就是這樣說,「唯是眾生業力共聚」。眾生,「一念無明生三細,境界為緣長六麤」,這是我常常在念的一句偈文。因為無明,一念無明生起了三種很細微,這三種細微,你看不到、摸不到,卻是能夠觸動妙高山,這就是眾生的業力。

我們人人的業力都是從貪、瞋、癡(引起)。你看不到、摸不到,卻是它影響了,我們整個清淨無染,如同妙高山不傾動的本性。就是被三項很微細,這樣來搖動我們,那就是一念,只是僅僅一念無明生,一念無明就生起了三細。這個三細,就去緣這個境界來的,就是我們的五根緣五塵,意去分別,來使我們起心動念。在這根塵境界之中,讓我們起心動念,所動念的無不都是──貪、瞋、癡,這些業力量重重累積,這樣業力共聚,我們眾生就是這樣。

所以,「多生累世重重疊疊」,無不都是這樣,使我們的性分毫之差,千萬里之錯。這就是我們今天,凡夫所面對著大環境,不論是時代環境、氣候環境,這讓我們大家真的是名副其實,佛陀所說的,苦啊!是啊,苦,苦事很多,層層疊疊累積天下間。

就像濟協、慈力這對夫妻,利用一點時間,讓我看他們所剪輯的,二、三大分鐘那個畫面,我們慈濟在幾年幾年來,所走過、所做過、看過,天下苦難事多,不論是人造成的苦難,或者是天下氣候,四大不調造成這個大災難,或者是長期累月,生在貧窮困難等等、等等,千萬般的苦,將它這樣累積起來。

看見菩薩的身影,出現在每一個場合,不論是什麼樣的苦難,看到每一個人,不同的種族,他們所受不同的困難,都是一樣那種悲啼哀叫、呼天叫地。那一種人生的苦,無法在這裡,用多長的時間來描述,集天下苦難,在這樣短暫的時間將它集過來,雖然說,這所剪輯的這些,二、三十分鐘,卻是若要說來,這一張一張閃過去,那個畫面都是說來話長,悲悽慘烈人生,苦不苦呢?苦啊。這樣短短看這一、二十分鐘,感嘆人生苦難偏多。

坐在那裡聽,原來人人在慈濟的裡面,看起來大家都很整齊,穿起「藍天白雲」、「八正道」等等,都是展露出很快樂的笑容,這個世界很平等,安樂、平等的一個很美的世界。但是坐下來,來聽聽分享,生活,為了要薰法,要來聽法是多麼的辛苦,而且距離很遠。有的要來到聽法的地方,一大早,光是要搭計程車來到會所,就要用臺幣差不過九百元;光是來一趟,每天早上來聽經,光是每一趟就要用臺幣九百元,這實在是很大的負擔。

為了希望聽經方便一點,尋尋覓覓,找到了比較近的地方,卻是房屋很小,小到聽起來感覺實在是讓人,行、住、坐,有走路的空間、有住的地方、有可以休息的地方,這是人人很根本的生活。但是,大環境沒辦法,你求得這項,無法滿意那項,只好就是委屈自己的生活,為聽法的方便。聽到這樣的環境,這樣來將就聽法,也是很感動,這都是同一個心性。

有的人很富有,卻是對聽法並不認真。有時候在他的隔壁,走路說不定四、五分鐘,他都嫌太早了;或者是早上在電視重播,在電視一按鈕,手指頭稍微按一下,這個法入他的家庭都懶得看。他有很好的環境,不論是行、住,要出門有司機幫他開車,或者是自己開的車都是名牌,讓人知道,「我出門有這樣的工具」等等,卻是還是嫌不滿足。法離他很遠,這就是我們眾生的心性。我們的內心,我們是要貪瞋癡呢,還是要信願行呢?同樣三個字,你相信嗎?相信,深心信解;願意發心嗎?發弘誓願。求,「佛法無邊,我還是要求,要成就我聽法的心願」,這種用盡心;有的人,就是在那個,貪戀著自己的生活環境,難得放下,他那個纏綿的煩惱無明。

「那麼早喔,我還想睡,叫我一大早起來,只是為了聽經,早上起來,我捨不得這張床」,沉戀在睡眠之中。車子很便利、環境很好,他都不願意。有人,剛才所說的,住在遙遠遙遠的地方,天天花了將近一千元的臺幣,他願意這樣每天每天來聽經。環境不是很好,才會這樣搬到那麼窄的地方,聽他們說,廚房與洗手間是同一個空間,而且,馬桶旁邊,就是她們在切菜的地方。將環境縮成這樣,就是僅僅為了聽經方便,這是讓人很感動。所以我們眾生要很用心,將心再恢復回來,恢復回來這分求法清淨、無染著這念心。

說法講經之堂舍
轉權顯實
無量義說法入群
為諸聲聞菩薩
大眾次序
都悉集會七寶講堂
廣定道教演暢妙法

所以,「說法講經之堂舍,轉權顯實。無量義說法入群」。要講經就要很多因緣來和合,不是你想要聽經,身邊就有了;身邊就有,那就是你的好因緣,要講法的地方,那也要很多因緣來完成。完成了這個地方是要做什麼呢?「轉權顯實」。因為佛陀在人間,用四十二年應機逗教,多數的眾生在這個四十二年間,所接受到的、所歡喜的,那就是「權」。佛陀因為應眾生的根機而說法,既然接受到這樣的法了,他相信、修法。所以佛陀這只是接引的過程,一個權,權巧方便,來到這裡,算算時間已經來不及了。

看,眾生對於權的教法,是不是已經成熟了?還未成熟,還沒有真正深心,全部完全,全都深心信解。雖然還沒有辦法,大家還是很,不是很完全了解,因為有前後次序。就像現在在聽法,同樣有前後次序。是不是前面的人所聽的法,就已經很深信了?也不一定。是不是後面才聽到的,他粗淺理解,也不一定。有的才聽而已,他的信念堅固,希望要再進步。聽很久的人,就停滯在那個地方,原地踏步,這樣的人也大有人在,沒有進步。所以根機還有參差,還沒有整齊,所以佛陀不得不得要轉一個時機,趕緊轉權顯實,無法再等待了;這種參差不齊的根機,無法再等待,因為時間來不及了。快速轉權顯實,講出了「無量義」的說法,先入人群,讓大家知道眾生苦難,這麼多、這麼多,趕快先拔苦,後說法。這就是趕快轉過來,先救再來告訴他,就是用這樣的方式。

所以,佛陀開始,就要為「聲聞、菩薩、大眾次序」,這樣的來說話。所以前面叫做聲聞,後面是菩薩,前面是小乘,後面是大乘。所以這大、小乘次序,這樣定位了,聲聞進來就是在這個座位,菩薩進來在這個地方。所以位置前後次序,他們自己會去分類,就是這樣,這叫做為「聲聞菩薩大眾,班定法時」。自己知道我在這裡,我在那裡,有個次序。就像大家要進來,就要有這個定班,排班,次序進來,這就是一個講經堂,次序,這個地方。

所以全部大家集合,不論是大小乘聞法者,全部及時同一個時間, 同一個堂舍,這樣前後次序,這樣進來了。所以定這個道、教法,來暢演妙法。這就是要讓大家知道,為什麼說法,佛陀要花這麼多這麼多時間,權教、實教前後次序;有時候來不及了,趕快來一個《無量義經》,《無量義經》,我們在《法華經》的開頭,佛說無量義,之後開始入定。這段文是很重要,這個「無量義」,就是讓大家先了解,菩薩道就是要這樣走。就像在印尼,為什麼印尼在不同的宗教,卻是慈濟在印尼,能夠對社會,那些階層的人人那麼的有受用,可以為印尼每一個角落,幫助了不少人。甚至為了要去幫助,這些困難的人,被人罵也好,被人誤會也好,他們願意接受。還是用時間,用方法,去為他們一再一再解釋。那個村落實在是太苦了,人人住的房屋都是漏雨的。這樣連續(整)排下去的房子,沒有一間是完整的。

大家總是來聽、聽、聽,也好像能相信,也好像有一點點的擔心,害怕你說得這麼好,這麼無所求,願意付出,到時候所有權會給我們嗎?大家還抱著這樣的懷疑。房屋為他們蓋好了,三百多戶交出給他們,每一戶所有權,都讓他清清楚楚,甲、乙、丙、丁,誰,張三、李四要住的房子,就是讓他們很清楚。這整個村落將它改造好了,回過頭,大家讚歎:「你怎麼有這樣的魄力,這樣的耐心,去為這個村莊改善得這麼好。」他就告訴大家,他說:「師父說過,他早就將經鋪在路上,《法華經》他已經鋪在地上,鋪在路上了。就是這幾年來所做過的,回過頭看,無不都是在行《法華經》的道。」看到他說這段話,我也是很安慰。

原來他聽法,這樣是不是有每天在聽?卻是每次師父說的話,就是很簡單,一句一偈,他們接受來就是用。其實這很深,無法體會,無法知音,還是不能了解。告訴他們,「師父是用經,《法華經》鋪在路上讓大家走,幾十年來就是這樣」,他竟然有辦法能夠體會進去。他說,一段時間來,每做一件事情回頭看,原來就是《法華經》的路。他能夠利益人群,做了之後自己很心安,效果又很好;三百多戶,六千多人,想要來拿竹筒。他終於相信這個村子的人,一個家庭好幾個人,大人、小孩都很喜歡,這個「竹筒歲月」的道理,希望孩子懂得,節省買糖果的錢來投;年輕人能夠節省,他平時在外面的浪費;中年、老年人他們在生活中…等等。所以這個村裡三百多戶,六千多支的竹筒,這是很不可思議。

聽到他,他們的事情是這樣做過來了,很歡喜。富有人家不輕視那個點滴,他們不斷用竹筒歲月,去向大家解釋,不是哪一個富有的人,來為你們蓋房子;是用零零碎碎、一點一滴,很多人的愛心集合,來幫你們建房子,用耐心這樣說給大家聽。這真的是用方法、用愛,這是妙法。大家把這段故事先聽進去。

我們來看看前面的經文:「又,阿逸多!若人為是經故,往詣僧坊,若坐、若立須臾聽受,緣是功德,轉身所生。」

又 阿逸多
若人為是經故
往詣僧坊
若坐 若立
須臾聽受
緣是功德
轉身所生
《法華經隨喜功德品第十八》

佛陀向彌勒菩薩這樣說:「阿逸多!若有人『為是經』。」就是為這部《法華經》,這樣很殷勤,就是要來聽法,不論多麼辛苦,他就是要去,這叫做「往詣僧坊」。那就是有說法的地方,有出家眾在那裡講法的地方,不論如何我就是要去,所以「往詣僧坊」。不論那個場地是如何,到了,沒有位子可坐,我站著也甘願。或者是這麼的虔誠,哪怕是聽一句、聽一偈,我都很歡喜接受。所以有這種很歡喜接受,克服一切。

剛才在說香港菩薩,他願意克服自己的環境,為了聽經方便。要不然住得遠遠,每天都要用那麼多錢,所以他所取的是方便聽經。這種聽法排在他生命中的第一,是很不簡單。所以「緣是功德」,這就是功德,聞法的功德。不論現實的生活是如何,我的心就回歸到,如如不動的妙高山,就回歸真如本性。什麼樣的環境難不倒我,總是我就是聽法,法才有辦法讓我回歸我原來。所以,對法的精勤,也是很感動人。這就是光聽到就感動了,我們人人都會感動,這也就是感動我們的真如本性。像他這樣的殷勤,這讓我們人人的心感動,這也就是動妙高山。何況說我們人人,凡夫能夠被這個聞法,能感動我們,就表示他本身的轉變,還能夠來讓我們感動,我們也會被度。總是這聽法,聞一法、一句、一偈,用很虔誠的心,不論是坐著、站著,這虔誠的心是一樣,坐、站那個虔誠都一樣。

下面接下來說:「得好上妙象、馬車乘、珍寶輦輿,及乘天宮。若復有人於講法處坐,更有人來,勸令坐聽。」

得好上妙象
馬車乘
珍寶輦輿
及乘天宮
若復有人
於講法處坐
更有人來
勸令坐聽
《法華經隨喜功德品第十八》

這就是在這個講經的地方,虔誠聞法的功德,轉身所生,可以「得好上妙,象馬車乘」。

得好上妙
象馬車乘
珍寶輦輿
及乘天宮:
象馬妙車
富貴者用
珍寶輦輿
王者之器
諸天行時
則有宮殿
以乘其身

以前交通工具很少,全都是要靠這些牲畜,象、馬。印度較少用牛來當搬運的工具,他們對牛也是很尊敬,所以就是用象、用馬。這樣讓牠們拖著車,或是要騎在上面,這全都是要表達他們的身分。他們有了這些好象、好馬,他們還會裝飾著好的工具,所以妙,真正微妙的裝飾,顯出了富貴用的。珍寶輦輿是表示已經是王,國王、至高大臣、王宮的人,他們所用的。若是諸天,就是天人,就是「有宮殿」。這就是表達他們的身分。

車馬
士夫所乘
象輦
王種所乘
天宮
天人所乘

不論是士大夫,就是當官,他的階層是用一般的,要用車、馬;若是象,這個「輦輿」就是皇族所乘;宮殿就是天人所乘,「及乘天宮」。這就是表達是天界等等。

及乘天宮:
謂色界天等
得乘宮殿
往來空中也

所以聽經,「須臾聽經」。有專心,很歡喜的心,或是散的心,散心,散心就是沒有很專的心,啊,有這個因緣,「好啦,我就來聽」。聽,人是坐在那裡,心是不專,這叫做散心;有的人是隨喜,「你邀我,我就來」。有的人是專心來的;有的坐著是散心聽的;有的是你邀我,所以我跟你來,這各人都有不同。所以各人的功德就不同。

所以他就會描述了是一般人,是從很富足的心態呢?還是隨喜歡喜心來的?等等不同的心態。是在那個境界是在描述人,人間聽法的心境,有的專心、有的散心,有的是隨喜心來,這各個功德所受用、報的受用是不同。有像天人一樣那種的心態:隨喜、尊重。他享受他的環境,但是對經、對法,他是尊重,所以他會隨喜、歡喜而來。有的是表示:我也是在信佛,我有這樣世間的品格,也有這樣。各人心懷不同的心態而來。

須臾聽經者
有專心、散心
隨喜心不同
故所得功德
各有差別
天人、君王、士夫
身分之異

所以,「若復有人,於講法處坐,更有人來,勸令坐聽」。而有的人是已經很有心,克服很多的困難,也是要來聽。這種專心而來,有心的人來聽法,這法座上不曾缺少過他,很專心而來。所以「有人於講法處坐」,在這個講法處常常都有這樣的人,願意克服其它,以聽法為第一。在那個地方聽,若是還有人來了,他在那邊緣在走,若看到了,就會很殷勤去邀他,「來啦,來啦,進來聽。」這就是自己歡喜聽,聽得很有心得,看到別人在外面猶豫不決,他會用心勸人,勸人進來聽。

若是到達了,進來了,怎麼會沒有地方坐,他就將他原來的座位讓給他。這種自己願意來聽法,還勸人來聽法,甚至又讓座給人坐。自己不論是站或是坐,沒得坐,他就站,就是專心聽法。所以,「如若身心意識」。觸,緣觸感受法益。「我就是在這個地方,我如果來就很歡喜,聽到受益不淺,我就受很深的法益」。這是各種不相同的心態。這種專心一志就是要聽法,這種真的是很用心的人。

所以自己聽,自己歡喜,希望這個歡喜,別人也能夠與我一樣的感受,「來聽,絕對讓你聽得很歡喜。將我們過去那種貪、瞋、癡,種種無明煩惱,聽聞了佛法之後,會轉變心態,對我們的生活幫助很多」。這就是勸人聽經,自聞喜樂;自己聽很歡喜,並且還勸人一起來聽法。這就是我們聽法的人,不同的心境,各人就有各人的心態。

若復有人
於講法處坐
更有人來
勸令坐聽:
如若身心意識
聞法歡喜得受法益
有人來
勸人同坐聽法

所以好好用心,將我們的心用在聽法中;聽法,你若能清楚,「道」都是在我們的腳下在走。所以,「經者,道也;道者,路也」。看看我們人間菩薩,就是這樣走過來的,就像印尼郭居士,阿源,他就是這樣的根機。師父只是說:《法華經》鋪在地上讓大家走。他終於體會了,甚至與大家分享:這是每次做過之後,回過頭來看,這就是《法華經》所要走的路,就是這樣。

是啊!《法華經》所要走的路,就是這樣。這就是我們的法性,本來就如妙高山,只是受我們眾生的業力所推動。我們要再回過頭來,在過去,迷在只是事業、事業,賺錢、賺錢,現在回過頭來了,賺錢,在社會有權有勢,就要趕緊來應用,應用如何救人,如何安定人生,人的生活,如何穩定社會能夠祥和?這一樣的富有,用不一樣方法來過生活。所以過去都是在貪、瞋、癡之中,回過頭來是走「法華」的道路,用種種方法去幫助人。

各位菩薩,同一個法性,我們到底是要讓業將我們推倒呢?或者是我們要守護我們的法性,回歸我們的真如?這總是要從法去分析。其實分析到最後才要做,來不及了。請大家時時多用心。
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發表主題: 回復: 20190620《靜思妙蓮華》法性不動 如妙高山 (第1635集) (法華經·隨喜功德品第十八)   20190620《靜思妙蓮華》法性不動 如妙高山 (第1635集) (法華經·隨喜功德品第十八) Empty周四 6月 20, 2019 12:04 pm

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發表主題: 回復: 20190620《靜思妙蓮華》法性不動 如妙高山 (第1635集) (法華經·隨喜功德品第十八)   20190620《靜思妙蓮華》法性不動 如妙高山 (第1635集) (法華經·隨喜功德品第十八) Empty周三 10月 09, 2019 9:36 pm

Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: The Dharma-nature Is Unmoving, Like a Mountain (法性不動 如妙高山)
Date: June.20.2019

“The Dharma-nature is unmoving, like a mountain, yet the mountain of our Dharma-nature has been disrupted. Thus, this is likened to a mountain being moved.” This means “we have entered the sea of samsara and ignorance.”

This tells us that “the Dharma-nature is unmoving, like a mountain, yet the mountain of our Dharma-nature has been disrupted.” We all inherently have this Dharma[-nature]. Buddha-nature is intrinsic to us all. Our pure, intrinsic nature is forever unmoving, but now our nature has been disrupted. This is the analogy that is used for us unenlightened beings whose intrinsic Tathagata-nature has been disrupted. So, for this reason, we have entered the sea of samsara and ignorance. It is primarily our ignorance that has disrupted the mountain of our Dharma-nature. As soon as we give rise to a single thought of ignorance, this disrupts the mountain of our Dharma-nature, making it extremely hard to turn back. If we wish to turn back again, this will be a very difficult thing to do. So, we must be very mindful as we listen to the Dharma now. How should we listen? We must take the Dharma to heart. The Dharma teaches and guides us to walk this path. As for how we should walk this path, I will make this all the more clear to you.

The Dharma-nature is unmoving, like Marvelous High Mountain. What sort of force can move mountains? Only sentient beings’ collective karmic forces piled up over the course of many lifetimes [can do this].

“The Dharma-nature is unmoving, like Marvelous High Mountain. What sort of force can move mountains?” Our Dharma-nature is inherently unmoving, like Marvelous High Mountain. Our nature, our nature of True Suchness, is the universe itself, which is as pure and undefiled as Marvelous High Mountain. What sort of power could force our Marvelous High Mountain to move? This passage says that “only sentient beings’ collective karmic forces” [can do this]. For sentient beings, “a deluded thought creates the Three Subtleties.” “External states lead to the Six Coarse Marks.” We recite this verse often. A single thought of ignorance creates three kinds of subtleties. These Three Subtleties cannot be touched or seen, yet they can move Marvelous High Mountain. These are the karmic forces of sentient beings. All of our karmic forces stem from greed, anger and ignorance. We cannot see or touch them, yet they have disrupted our pure and undefiled [nature]. Our intrinsic nature, as unwavering as Marvelous High Mountain, can be disrupted by something as subtle and intricate as these three things. This all starts with a single thought. From but a single thought of ignorance, we give rise to the Three Subtleties. These Three Subtleties connect with our external world as our Five Roots connect with the Five Dusts and our mind discerns between things, disturbing our mind and disrupting our thoughts. As our sense organs [connect with] sense objects in the world, what disturbs our mind and disrupts our thoughts are the three [subtleties] of greed, anger and ignorance. These various karmic forces accumulate, creating our collective karma. This is what it is like for sentient beings. So, [this karma] “piles up over the course of many lifetimes.” Everyone is the same in this way; this causes us to deviate slightly from our nature, which leads us far off course. This is what we unenlightened beings are facing in the world today. Whether it is the state of our times or the state of our climate, we are truly experiencing what the Buddha calls “suffering”.

Yes, there is suffering. There is so much suffering piling up throughout the world. This is like the couple Chi Xie and Tzu Li who took the time to show me a 20-30 minute video they edited about the experiences of Tzu Chi volunteers over the past few years. There is so much suffering in this world. Whether it is man-made suffering, natural disasters caused by the imbalance of the four elements or poor people living amidst hardships year after year and so on, they recorded all these countless hardships. I saw the images of Bodhisattvas emerging amidst every situation no matter what hardships they faced. I saw all kinds of people of different ethnicities and all the different hardships they endure, all making the same poignant cry for help. A life of suffering like this is impossible to describe no matter how much time we spend here trying to do so. [This couple] gathered the world’s hardships. In such a short time, they gathered it all together. Although they might say, “This is just a 20-30 video we edited,” if we were to discuss every scene that flashed by, every one of those images had a long story behind it. Life is so sorrowful and bitter. Is there suffering? Yes, there is.

Just from watching a short 10-20 minute [video], we lamented how life is full of suffering. As all the Tzu Chi volunteers sat there listening, everyone there was so orderly, wearing “the blue and white uniform,” the “Eightfold Noble Path dress” and so on. They all had such joyful smiles on their faces. The world [of Tzu Chi] is very equal, a beautiful world full of peace, joy and equality. But we should sit down and listen to their stories. In order for their lives to be permeated by the Dharma, just to listen to the Dharma, they have to expend so much effort. Some need to travel a very long way. There are some people [in Hong Kong] who, in order to come listen to the Dharma, had to take a taxi early in the morning, which cost about 900 NTD for a single trip. Every morning as they came to listen, they had to spend 900 NTD for just a single trip. This was a huge burden. Hoping to listen to the sutra more easily, they searched and searched until they found a closer place [to move to], but this place is very small. To sounds like it is so small [they can hardly] walk, stand or sit down there. Enough space to walk, live and rest in is a basic life necessity. Yet, their circumstances have made this impossible. They had to [make sacrifices to live closer], so they have no choice but to suffer this hardship in life so that they may listen to the Dharma more easily. To hear about how they live in these conditions, just for the sake of coming to hear the Dharma is very touching.

This is because they all share this single-mindedness. Some people are very wealthy, yet they are not diligent when it comes to listening to the Dharma. Sometimes, they live right next door, just a 4-5 minute walk, but they hate getting up early. Or, when it is broadcast on TV in the morning, they need only to turn the TV on, and the Dharma will come right into their home, but they are too lazy watch it. For some, their circumstances are good whether it comes to transformation or housing. They may even have a driver to take them around, or they drive [expensive] cars so that everyone will know when they go out that they own such [expensive] things. Yet, they still lack contentment. The Dharma is very far from their lives. Such is the nature of sentient beings. Deep in our hearts, do we want to have greed, anger and ignorance? Or do we want faith, vows and actions? This is also a group of three words. Do we have faith? Do we have deep faith and understanding and the willingness to form aspirations? We must make great vows. The Buddha-Dharma is boundless, and we must keep seeking to fulfill our vow to listen to the Dharma. We must give it our all. Some people, due to their greedy attachments to their circumstances in life, are unable to let go of the afflictions and ignorance that bind them. “It is so early; I still want to sleep. You want me to wake us that early just to listen to a sutra lecture. I can’t bear to get out of bed so early.” They indulge in over-sleeping. Despite having the convenience of a car and good circumstances in life, they are just unwilling. Others, like the ones I just mentioned, live very far away. They had to spend almost NTD 1000 daily, yet they were still willing to come listen to the sutra every day. Due to their relatively poor circumstances, they had to move to such a cramped place. I heard them say that the kitchen and bathroom are in the same room, and right next to the toilet is the place where they chop vegetables. They moved to such a small space just to make listening to the sutra more convenient. This is so touching. So, we sentient beings must be very mindful to return to this pure and undefiled mindset that seeks the Dharma.

In the halls for teaching the Dharma and expounding the sutras, [the Buddha] turned from the provisional to reveal the true. He expounded the Sutra of Infinite Meanings’ teachings about going among people. For the ordered assembly of. Hearers and Bodhisattvas, all gathered at eth Hall of Seven Treasures, He widely established the teachings of the path and freely expounded the wondrous Dharma.

So, “In the halls for teaching the Dharma and expounding the sutras, [the Buddha] turned from the provisional to reveal the true. He expounded the Sutra of Infinite Meanings teachings about going among people.” Many causes and conditions must come together for this sutra to be taught. The sutra will not appear beside you just because you want to listen to it. The sutra is here with you because you have the causes and conditions for it. Having a place to teach the Dharma is also accomplished through [the convergence of] many causes and conditions. When [the Buddha] accomplished this, what did He do in these places? He “Turned from the provisional to reveal the true.” When the Buddha was in this world, He spent 42 years teaching according to people’s capabilities. During these 42 years, what most sentient beings accepted and took joy in were “the provisional” [teachings]. The Buddha expounded the Dharma according to sentient beings’ capabilities. Since these were the teachings they accepted, they believed them and put them into practice. In the process of guiding people, the Buddha used the provisional teachings and skillful means. Once He got to this point, He figured that time was running out, and He looked to see whether sentient beings had grown through the provisional teachings. They still had room to grow, and they still lacked true faith and understanding deep in their hearts. They were still unable to do this. They lacked complete understanding because there is a certain order [to the teachings]. This is just like listening to the Dharma today; there is also a certain order to this. Do the people who are first to hear the Dharma have deeper faith? Not necessarily. Do those who start listening later on have a more shallow understanding? Not necessarily. Some have just started listening, yet their faith is firm, and they hope to progress even further. There are those who have listened for very long, and yet they stagnate, stuck in place. There are many people like this who are making no progress at all.

This is because their capabilities are disparate and lack [a semblance] of order. But the Buddha had no choice but to quickly turn from the provisional to reveal the true. He could not wait any longer. For those with disparate or disordered capabilities, He could not wait for them and longer because time was running out. He quickly turned from the provisional to reveal the true and expounded the teachings of the Sutra of Infinite Meanings. First, He went among people to help them understand that sentient beings suffer many hardships. He quickly relieved them of their suffering and then expounded the Dharma for them. This is how He quickly turned [from the provisional to the true], by first saving them and then telling them [about the Dharma]. This was the method He used. So, the Buddha began, “for the ordered assembly of Hearers and Bodhisattvas”, to expound [the teachings].

So, first were the Hearers, and next were the Bodhisattvas. First was the Small Vehicle, and next was the Great Vehicle. So, the order of the Great and Small Vehicles was established like this. When the Hearers entered [the assembly], they had these seats, and the Bodhisattvas went there. So, their places had an order to them, and this is how they would arrange themselves. This was the “ordered assembly of Hearers and Bodhisattvas that [listened to] the Dharma in shifts. They knew their place; there was an order to it. This is just like when everyone comes in at certain arranged shifts, entering according to a certain order. Such are the halls for teaching the sutra; these places have an order to them. So, everyone gathered together there. Whether they were Great or Small Vehicle practitioners, they all promptly assembled at the same time and in the small hall. They came in according to a certain order. It was according to this principle that [the Buddha] freely expounded the wondrous Dharma. This helps us all understand why the Buddha had to spend so much time teaching the Dharma; the provisional and true teachings had to be taught in this order. Time was running out, so He quickly expounded the Sutra of Infinite Meanings. The Buddha taught the Sutra of Infinite Meanings at the beginning of the Louts Sutra. Then, He entered into Samadhi. This sutra passage is very important. This Sutra of Infinite Meanings helps everyone understand how the Bodhisattva-path must be walked.

This is just like in Indonesia. Even though Indonesia has a different religion [from us], Tzu Chi is still accepted in Indonesia by Tzu Chi is still accepted in Indonesia by people of all levels of society. [Tzu Chi volunteers] have been able to serve every corner of Indonesia, helping so many people. They have even been able to help people in hardship despite being abused or misunderstood; they bear all this willingly. They take their time and use various methods, explaining things to them over and over again. The people in that village were suffering so much. Everyone was living in homes with leaking [roofs]. The houses were in a row, and not one of them was left intact. They all came to listen and seemed to believe us, but they were also a bit worried. “You make it sound so good, that you want to help us for nothing in return, but when the time comes, will you give us ownership of the house? They still had this suspicion. We built the house for them, and gave them over 300 houses. The owner of each home was made very clear to them. This house and that house and so on belongs to this person, that person and so on; we made this very clear to them. We rebuilt the entire village. In the end, everyone praised us. “Where do you get such determination and patience to make our village so wonderful?” [Sugianto Kusuma] told everyone, “Master tells us that this path has already been paved for us. This path is the Lotus Sutra, and it has already been paved. Looking back on everything that has been done over the last few years, we have been walking the path of the Lotus Sutra this whole time”. Seeing him say this, I was also comforted. It turns out he had been listening to the Dharma. In this way, he had [not only] listened every day, he had also taken the words I said and expressed these words and phrases in very simple ways that they could accept and put into practice.

In truth, [the Dharma] is very profound, so if we cannot experience it for ourselves or appreciate it, we will not understand it. He told them, “Master uses the sutra, the Lotus sutra, to pave a path for everyone to walk on. It has been like this for decades. [Sugianto Kusuma] was actually able to understand this. He said, "When we look back on everything we have done during this time, we see that it is the path of the Lotus Sutra”. He was able to benefit these people. Once he did this, he felt at peace. Their results were also very good. Over 300 households, over 6000 people were willing to keep a bamboo bank. In the end, he believes that these villagers with so many members to each family, both adults and children, will all take joy in “the spirit of the bamboo banks”. He hopes the children will save the money they used for candy and donate it instead, that the youth will save the money they usually waste on [frivolous things] and that adults and elderly people will [be frugal] in life, and so on. So, this village of over 300 households has over 6000 bamboo banks. This is incredible.

Hearing him [speak] of everything they had been through made me very happy. The rich did not belittle small donations, and [the volunteers] kept summoning the spirt of the bamboo banks to explain to everyone that it was not rich people who built the homes for them, but many loving people who chipped in bit by bit to come together and help build their homes. He patiently explained this to everyone. He truly used these loving methods; this is the wondrous Dharma. We all need to take this story to heart first.

Let us look at the previous sutra passage. “Furthermore, Ajita, suppose that people, for the sake of this sutra, visit monasteries and, whether sitting or standing, listen to and accept it for a moment. Due to these merits and virtues, when they are born again into their next life…”.

The Buddha said to Maitreya Bodhisattva, “Ajita, if there are people who, for the sake of this sutra…. It is for the sake of the Lotus Sutra that we are so diligent in listening to the Dharma . No matter how hard it is, we must go. This is the meaning of “visit monasteries”. This means that wherever the Dharma is expounded, wherever there are monastics teaching it, no matter what, we must go there. So, we must “visit monasteries”. No matter what the place is like, even if we arrive and there is no place to sit, we will happily stand, and we will be so reverent that even if we only hear one sentence or one verse, we will accept it joyfully. So, with this sense of joyful acceptance, there is nothing we cannot overcome. We were just talking about the Bodhisattvas in Hong Kong. They willingly overcame their own circumstances to make listening to the sutra easier for them. Before, since they since they lived so far away, they had to spend so much every day [on taxi fare]. So, they chose to make listening to the sutra more convenient for themselves. To make listening to the Dharma one’s main priority in life no easy feat.

So, “due to these merits and virtues” refers to the merits and virtues of listening to the Dharma. No matter what the practicalities of our lives are like, our mind must return to [our original state] as unmoving as Marvelous High Mountain, returning to our nature of True Suchness. Then, no circumstance will be able to defeat us. We must always listen to the Dharma, for only then will we be able to return to our original state. So, their diligence [in listening to] the Dharma is very touching. Just hearing about it is so inspiring. We all feel inspired by this. This also inspires our nature of True Suchness. Their earnestness moves everyone’s hearts and is even able to move Marvelous High Mountain. Furthermore, as unenlightened beings, we all can listen to the Dharma and be inspired. This shows that when one person turns their life around, this can inspire all of us, and we will also be transformed. Whenever we listen Dharma, even if we hear just a single word or phrase, we must maintain a reverent mindset. Whether we are sitting or standing, we must keep this reverent mindset all the same. Sitting or standing, we should always be reverent.

Continuing on, [the Buddha] says, “…they will attain the finest, most wonderful elephants, horses, chariots and jeweled palanquins, and will even ride in heavenly palaces. Also, suppose that are people who sit at places where the Dharma is taught, and that there are also people who invite others to sit and listen.

With the merits and virtues of reverently listening in places where the sutra is taught, when they are born again into their next life, they will “… attain the finest, most wonderful elephants, horses, chariots…”.

…they will attain the finest, most wonderful elephants, horses, chariots and jeweled palanquins, and will even ride in heavenly palaces: Elephants, horses and wondrous chariots are used by wealthy and noble people. Jeweled palanquins are devices for royalty. When heavenly beings travel, they have palaces as their means of physical transportation.

In the past, public transportation was limited. People were all dependent on animals, such as elephants or horses. In India, they seldom used oxen for transportation. They had great respect for oxen, so they used elephants and horses. They would use them to pull their carts, or they would ride them. This was all done to show off their [high] status. They had wonderful elephants and horses that they also decorated with wonderful accessories. These truly marvelous decorations served to show off their wealth and status. A jeweled palanquin meant they were kings, ministers or royalty. This is what they used.

As for heavenly beings, they “have palaces”. This also represents their status.

Chariots and horses are vehicles for officials. Elephants and palanquins are vehicles for royalty. Heavenly palaces are vehicles for heavenly beings.

Whether it was an official or minister, people of high status used carts and horses. As for elephants with “palanquins,” this was for royalty to ride in. Palaces are for heavenly beings to ride in. [They] “even ride in heavenly places”. This represents the heavenly realm and so on.

…and will even ride in heavenly palaces: This describes how heavenly beings in the form realm are able to ride in their palaces back and forth across the sky.

For “those who listen to the sutra for a moment,” they may be focused and joyful or distracted. A distracted mind is an unfocused mind. “I have this opportunity, so I will come listen”. They sit there listening, but their mind is not focused; this is a distracted mind.

Others rejoice “Since you invited me, I will come”. Some people come with a focused mind. Some get a ride but sit there listening with a distracted mind. Some come with those who invited them. Each person is different, thus each person’s merits and virtues will also be different. So, when it comes to the average person, do they come with a good state of mind? Do they come with a joyful mind? There are many different states of mind. The states that are beings described here belong to people who listen to the Dharma in this world. Some have focused minds, some are distracted, and some come with a joyful mind. The merits and virtues they will receive in retribution are all different. Some have the same mindset as heavenly beings, one of joy and reverence. They enjoy this environment and are reverent toward the sutra and the Dharma. So, they rejoice and come joyfully. Some will express, “I also have faith in the Buddha but I am also worldly in this way”. Every person comes with a different mindset.

Those who listen to the sutra for a moment may be focused, distracted or joyful, for mindsets differ. Thus, the merits and virtues they attain will also differ. Heavenly beings, royalty and officials also differ in terms of status.

“Also, suppose that there are people who sit at places where the Dharma is taught, and that there are also people who invite others to sit and listen”. Some people are already very sincere and have to overcome many difficulties so that they can also come to listen. They come with this kind of focused mind. When sincere people come listen to the Dharma, their Dharma-seat will not go unoccupied. They come with a very focused mind.

So, “There are people “who sit at places where the Dharma is taught”. In this place where the Dharma is taught, we often see people like this who are willing to overcome all else and make listening to the Dharma a priority. As they listen in this place, if someone else comes in, just walking along the peripheries, and they see them, they will very earnestly invite this person, “Come, come and listen”. Because they take great joy in listening and gain great insights from listening, when they see someone hesitating outside, they will mindfully encourage that person to come inside to listen. When someone arrives and comes in but cannot find a place to sit, they will offer their seat to the newcomer. People like this willingly come and listen to the Dharma, encourage others to come listen to the Dharma and even give up their seat for others. It does not matter if they stand or sit. If there are no seats, they will stand and listen to the Dharma with a focused mind. So, “their body, mind and consciousness” connect with and experience the Dharma’s benefits. “I am so happy to come to this place. I benefit greatly from listening, reaping the profound benefits of the Dharma”. Everyone has a different state of mind. Those who listen to the Dharma with focused, single-minded resolve and truly very mindful.

So, as we listen and feel this joy ourselves, we hope that this joy can be shared with and felt by others as well. “Come and listen; it will surely bring you joy. When it comes to our greed, anger, delusions and various afflictions and ignorance from the past, once we hear the Buddha-Dharma, we will be able to change our state of mind. This helps us greatly in our daily lives”. This is how we encourage others to listen to the sutra as we take joy in listening to it ourselves. We ourselves take great joy in listening to it, and we also invite others to come listen to the Dharma with us. Everyone who listens to the Dharma comes with a different state of mind. Everyone has their own state of mind.

Also, suppose that there are people who sit at places where the Dharma is taught, and that there are also people who invite others to sit and listen: If, in their body, mind and consciousness, they feel joy upon hearing the Dharma, they will be able to receive the Dharma’s benefits. When others come, they will invite them to sit together with them to listen to the Dharma.

So, we must be earnestly mindful to engage our minds in listening to the Dharma. As we listen to the Dharma, if we listen clearly, “the path” will be right before our feet. So, “the sutra is a path, and this path is a road to walk on”. Look at our Living Bodhisattvas and the path they have walked. This is just like [Sugianto Kusuma], Ah Yuan, in Indonesia. His capabilities [are so sharp]. All I said was, “The Lotus Sutra paves a path for us to walk on”. He eventually came to understand this and even shared it with everyone else. “Every time we do something, we take a look back [and see] the path of the Lotus Sutra. This is how it is”. Yes, we must walk the path of the Lotus Sutra in this way. This is our Dharma-nature. Originally, it was like Marvelous High Mountain. It is just that our karmic forces have disturbed it. We must take a look back and reflect on ourselves. There are people who lost themselves in their careers in the past, [only thinking about] making money. Now, in retrospect, they have made money and have power and influence in society, so now they must quickly make use of it to help people. How can they bring peace to their lives? How can they create a stable, harmonious society? They can still be wealthy while choosing to live their lives in another way. So, in the past, they were lost amidst greed, anger and ignorance. As they look back, [they can see] the path of the Lotus Sutra that they have walked, using all kinds of methods to help people. Dear Bodhisattvas, we all have this Dharma-nature. Do we want our karmic forces to knock us down? Or do we want to safeguard our Dharma-nature and return to our nature of True Suchness? We must always use the Dharma to determine [how to do this]. But if we [wait too long] to take action, there will not be enough time. Everyone, we must always be mindful!

(Source: Da Ai TV – Wisdom at Dawn program – Explanation by Master Chen-Yen)
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20190620《靜思妙蓮華》法性不動 如妙高山 (第1635集) (法華經·隨喜功德品第十八)
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