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 20190814《靜思妙蓮華》悲智耳目 聞觀眾生 (第1674) (法華經·法師功德品第十九)

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20190814《靜思妙蓮華》悲智耳目 聞觀眾生 (第1674) (法華經·法師功德品第十九) Empty
發表主題: 20190814《靜思妙蓮華》悲智耳目 聞觀眾生 (第1674) (法華經·法師功德品第十九)   20190814《靜思妙蓮華》悲智耳目 聞觀眾生 (第1674) (法華經·法師功德品第十九) Empty周二 8月 13, 2019 9:40 pm

20190814《靜思妙蓮華》悲智耳目 聞觀眾生 (第1674) (法華經·法師功德品第十九)

⊙此〈法師功德品〉,明五種之法師,道力增逸傳承,得六根清淨之自他精純功德。以大慈悲的眼根,觀天下眾生相;以大智慧的耳根,聽天下眾生聲。
⊙「三千大千界,內外諸音聲,下至阿鼻獄,上至有頂天,皆聞其音聲,而不壞耳根,其耳聰利故,悉能分別知。」《法華經法師功德品第十九》
⊙「持是法華者,雖未得天耳,但用所生耳,功德已如是。」《法華經法師功德品第十九》
⊙持是法華者,雖未得天耳:得天耳無障礙者,方能遙聞;今在凡夫地,由於持經力故,能轉識成智。
⊙〈勸持品〉,諸菩薩比丘等,請佛勿慮,願受持法華,而弘道之。繼之,佛更為諸菩薩說:勸人受持弘通,《妙法華經》。
⊙色界諸天人所有之耳根,能聞六道眾生,及遠近麤細一切之音聲者,是以清淨耳多聞一切法,行與法契。
⊙但用所生耳,功德已如是:但用父母所生之體,清淨耳根,通合餘根已能遍聞功德如是。
⊙佛口所生子,法從耳根聞,滋長慧命。謂十方三世語言音聲,一時領覽,悉微其源,明了聞知,皆無障礙,是名天耳智通。
⊙天眼天耳是所依根,智即是二識相應慧,智緣二境無壅名通,從根得證名天眼智,並且得證天耳智通。

【證嚴上人開示】
此〈法師功德品〉,明五種之法師,道力增逸傳承,得六根清淨之自他精純功德。以大慈悲的眼根,觀天下眾生相;以大智慧的耳根,聽天下眾生聲。

此〈法師功德品〉
明五種之法師
道力增逸傳承
得六根清淨
之自他精純功德
以大慈悲的眼根
觀天下眾生相
以大智慧的耳根
聽天下眾生聲

學佛,持《法華經》這樣的法師,在這〈法師功德品〉中,佛陀這樣告訴我們,「明五種之法師」。在經文中說過了,讀、誦、受持、書寫、解說,這法師。其實最重要的,讀、誦這是我們的本分事。讀經、誦經,你不懂經文,不通經理。而我們通經文、知道經理,最好記下來,寫,能夠寫。不只是能夠抄、能夠寫,最好又能夠將法入心,將我們的心意,知法,了解法,從我們的心意解再寫出來,編輯成為書,當然這更好。

因為文字能夠流傳,聲音,說話聽了很快就過去,文字能夠流傳,久久就是文字這樣流傳下去,所以讀經、誦經、抄寫經,又能夠勸人受持,身體力行;身體力行,我們又有辦法再將它編寫,能說、能寫更好。這必定我們要好好修持最重要,修持。我們若是僅僅,能說、能誦、能抄、能寫,但是若不要身體力行去受持,這樣也枉然。所以受持很重要,受持《法華經》,這要分析功德的淺深,甚至也分析我們六根的作用,這都是這樣來比較。眼有八百功德,耳有千二百功德,有這樣來為我們分析。所以修行與作用是一樣,受持、讀、誦、書寫,勸他人說、為他人說,這都是我們若做得到,五項兼行最好。要不然真正我們身體力行,如何做,做得與法會合;經要誦,要懂得說、懂得傳,無法去著作整本書不要緊,我們總是身體力行,這是很重要。

所以這五種法師,若能夠五項俱全,那就是「道力增逸傳承」。我們要走這條路,路很用心開,一段一段已經開通了,愈來愈長了。所以「增逸」,就是暢通無阻,這樣一直傳下去了。所以,「得六根清淨,之自他精純功德」。若能夠這樣五項全都涵蓋起來,這是「自他精純功德」。這六根都具足,能夠互用,若這樣自己好好用心。因為眼睛看東西,我們不要將我們欲念打開,將它放縱掉。看萬物要明見、知是非,這就是我們要去學。不是只有能夠看,見解,看了之後,我們要去解釋、明解。是對的;不對的,一項東西好好分析,這是可用、不可用,這就是我們的心意要好好分析。知道這項東西它的應用方法,與眼睛、與耳朵,耳朵能夠聽出眼睛所看到的。雖然它沒有聲音,能夠了解它的功用。物物有聲,不是無聲,因為物物都有生命。生命,只是那個細小的聲音,我們無法聽,用眼光看萬物,它就有它那個微細的音調。

所以常常說大地有呼吸聲,這就是要來看大地、了解大地,大地它有氣,地氣、地氣,地底下有熱氣,有氣就有聲。所以用眼睛看、用心意去測,這叫做耳,耳通;耳根與眼根會合,互相相通。耳朵聽的,那個聲音是什麼?等於眼睛就能夠知道,這原來是什麼形。眼睛閉起來,時鐘,滴滴答答,耳朵聽,「哦,這就是時鐘的聲音。」聽到外面隆隆,隆隆過去的聲音,「這是什麼聲音?」「哦,火車的聲音。」

火車長什麼樣?在腦筋之中,火車是長什麼形?耳朵聽出它是什麼形,是因為我們的意識之中,曾經有過,眼根看過了,印在我們的意識中。用耳朵聽,原來這是火車的聲音,火車就是這樣的形。這叫做耳與眼能夠會合,聲與色也能夠共通,這就是根來會合,所以需要,「六根清淨之自他精純」。我們要看的、要聽的,不是這麼的近,眼睛常常在看的不是這些,我們能夠「轉識成智」;在我們知識間所聽的法,知識聽的與我們法所入的聲,我們應該要超越。

有天,天上有淨天,就是欲界天、色界天、無色界天,這是經中的道理,就是文字所含其中的理。而這個理,它的形態無法拿出來給我們看,就是要讓我們心意去深解,這不是有形相。相,無相、無不相,這就是道理。要讓我們如何看不到的東西,讓我們心通得到,所以心識,如何將它轉為叫做智慧?智是分別智,慧是平等慧,我們要如何去轉它呢?這就是在佛法中,道理去接受了,那個精與純,自己內修、身體力行的德,才有辦法去體會到。

所以用,要用什麼方法呢?用「大慈悲的眼根」來看東西,從這些東西,再超越東西的道理去體會。眼根看人,人人是佛。不過,佛在人人的內心,我們相信嗎?相信,因為這是佛說的。不過,這個人為何這麼駑鈍?很難纏,怎麼對他說都聽不懂,為何記憶這麼不好呢?說話都不聽,為何這麼鈍劣等等。這種,人還是人,但是人,佛陀告訴我們本具佛性,佛性人人本具,但是我們眾生,就是有這樣的障礙,這個障礙,就是煩惱無明將我們障礙了。而我們現在要如何修行?那就是「以大慈悲心」。

大慈悲心就好說了,大慈悲心,我們身體力行,我們做得出來。什麼叫做無緣大慈呢?什麼樣叫做「同體大悲」呢?常常在解說。我們人做得到,那些人與我們非親非故,只是我們聽到,知道那個地方有困難,而且有災難。那個地方離我們很遠,我們與他們非親非故,不過,我們的心中有大慈,不忍心在遙遠的地方,有這樣大的災難,有這樣嚴重的困難。我們大家要來會合,用心克服層層的困難,我們能夠到那個地方去幫助,救拔了他們的苦難。

就像(二0一九年),從緬甸回來,一群志同道合的菩薩,同一種的見解。這種有無緣大慈的心,同體大悲的念,大家會合。很辛苦,用十天的時間,去幫助四萬多戶,這些生活不好過的,遇到天災了。連連兩個月大水災,淹掉了他們的稻子,田園,就看到將結穗,將要收割了,這結穗的稻田淹掉了。兩個多月後,水退了,一片的田園、稻田,都是水退之後草生,什麼樣的糧食都沒有看到了,看到的就是雜草叢生,這些一期的稻作又泡湯了。

我們慈濟人勘災,苦啊,這些人本來他們就已經負債務,這次要再重耕作,還要再借,債務重重,還是要再負債才能夠復耕。了解他們,看他們的家庭情況。唉!家庭,「家無四壁」,不是「家徒四壁」,是「家無四壁」啊。用草搭的房子,他們草已經爛掉了,壁可以從前面,直看到他們房子的後面,不捨啊。

水退了之後,到再下一季要再播稻種,還有兩、三個月,這段時間能夠好好讓他們應用,只要人要殷勤,土地本來就在那裡,需要的是去整理,耕好土地、除草……等等,去將它耕耘好。只要有種子再落土耕種,自然,有種子落土了,有人照顧了,自然種子它就豐收了。我們這樣的想法,所以再回頭去為他們來規畫,讓他們應用這兩、三個月的時間,來種綠豆。綠豆,我們就再去為他們選,選好上等的綠豆種子,再去分發。當然過程是很辛苦,很複雜。我們要一家一家去了解,所以幾千戶,我們緊急趕快給他們豆種。上等級的豆種,他們很願意再努力去耕作,已經綠豆豐收了,很歡喜。

再接下來,他們開始要再插秧,有四個省,這些稻田還可以趕快來整地,我們期待他們現在的豆子收成,去還舊債,新的不要再負債,所以我們再給他們稻種。慈濟人在那個地方帶動他們,唱歌,唱「靜思語」的歌;在那個地方給他們「靜思語」,這就是法,很歡喜。他們就都這樣分享:這輩子不曾有過的歡喜。

他們遇到這群菩薩,那種真誠的愛,他們一次再一次勘察。勘災之後,以為來看看我們就好了,再也不會見到這一群人。沒想到,再來關心,計畫要給他們豆種。以為這樣也是說一說而已,還會再看到嗎?又再看到了,豆種已經來到面前,一一發放給他們,鼓勵他們要努力用心去種。他們已經種出來了,豐收了,很歡喜啊。這次又能夠得到稻種,又是這麼地輕鬆,又是這一群人就像家人、親友,那種的擁抱,說很多鼓勵他們的話。鼓勵他們自己有辦法,有力量站起來,鼓勵他們:你們也是能夠救人的人,慈濟「竹筒歲月」就是這樣過來;你們大家也是可以,一把米就能夠救人。尤其是你們能夠繼續、繼續,再叫別人也一起來做。所以在那裡菩薩招生,也有一、二千人來登記,就是要做志工,願意將竹筒與米撲滿拿回去,要鼓勵人人做好事。

大家很相信,很相信這輩子的苦,是上輩子沒有造福。這輩子已經了解,更加了解就是點滴就能夠做,是要人幫助人,這叫做菩薩。無所求,一直付出,這才是得大福,道理了解、清楚了,一句一句這都做得到。所以他們所得到內心的歡喜,所得到物資,豆種、稻種。

聽到他們一位一位這樣在分享,那種內心那個法喜,我自己無法去到那裡,聽到這些方法,他們去做到了,那種,那個法,有方法去救他們,這「有法度」,度這麼多人離開苦難,度這麼多人,讓他們能夠見苦知福,這就內心充滿法喜。

所以,「以大慈悲的眼根」。人人,這麼多的菩薩,有這樣同心同志的見解,這就是眼根。我們有聽到那裡的苦難,那就是天下的,我們的耳根;所以我們可以眼根,「觀天下眾生相」,那個地方很苦難,所以由不得我們起大慈悲心去,那就是大慈悲的眼根,來觀天下眾生相,這樣我們做到了。再用大智慧的耳根,聽天下眾生的聲音,這種智慧。這麼遠,我們是要如何救他們呢?這幾百人,兩梯次,這麼多梯次,總共合起來人次,四、五百人次,要如何去救四、五萬個家庭呢?這就是要有同一個看法,同一個聲音,所以,大慈悲的眼根,能夠觀天下眾生相。他們是苦,我們要發揮這樣的慈悲、愛心,去幫助他們。這是大慈悲,用眼觀。

到底他們的苦,是要如何去認識呢?我們要用大智慧的耳根,因為我們人去到那裡,去聽他們的傾訴,聽他們說:「唉!過去我已經累積多少債了,我現在盼望這一期已經泡湯了。我下一期再去借。」這耳朵聽,眼睛看他們環境所住的地方,耳朵所聽他們歷年來的辛苦,來為他們分析,所以,「以大智慧耳根,聽天下眾生聲」。各位,這就是我們聽法之後,所去身體力行造作出來的,那就是大慈大悲、大智慧,為天下眾生苦難的生活,了解他們的心聲,我們去付出,告一段落了,這樣大家歡喜。

所以好好用心來了解。

來,我們前面的經文,就是這麼說:「三千大千界,內外諸音聲,下至阿鼻獄,上至有頂天,皆聞其音聲,而不壞耳根,其耳聰利故,悉能分別知。」

三千大千界
內外諸音聲
下至阿鼻獄
上至有頂天
皆聞其音聲
而不壞耳根
其耳聰利故
悉能分別知
《法華經法師功德品第十九》

上面的文就這樣告訴我們了。是啊,我們就是要用耳根去聽。這「內外」,大千世界內外。臺灣與國際間距離有多遠,很苦難地方的聲音,我們也聽到了,也看到了,哪怕是「上至有頂天」。地獄都看得到了,這種豐富的愛心,清淨無染穢的愛心去付出了,無所求,歡喜回來了,法喜充滿。這與「上至有頂天」,回來的歡喜,法音讓人很歡喜,與這一樣,那種歡喜達極頂,很歡喜。

「皆聞其音聲」,聽到那裡的人很苦、很苦,轉一個話題,「那裡的人歡喜、歡喜,與我們去付出那種感覺的歡喜」,都是清淨的,清淨聲音。所以,「皆聞其音聲」,什麼樣的聲音都聽到了。「而不壞耳根」,大家聽極苦的,我們去幫助過他們了;聽極歡喜的,我們很安慰,所以耳根都沒有受損,都是好聲音。

「其耳聰利故」。有這樣的好意,這個好意──好的心意,我們的心是萬法之器,我們清淨心,所以有這樣的聰耳。「耳聰利」,就是這樣能分別清楚,這樣「悉能分別知」。這是前面的文。這樣我們就知道,不是做不到,經文說到這裡,我們已經做到了;耳朵聽到、眼睛看到,人也走到了,手也伸到、也做到了。聽到這樣的聲音,有這樣的境界,我們已經去付出做到。

所以:「持是法華者,雖未得天耳,但用所生耳,功德已如是。」

持是法華者
雖未得天耳
但用所生耳
功德已如是
《法華經法師功德品第十九》

這就是今天的經文,就這樣說了。這個「持」,「持是法華者,雖未得天耳」。我們,現在我們大家,在讀《法華經》,我們也發心立願,要來受持、身體力行,我們都有這樣的願,我們也這樣,開始在聽經、誦經。不過,我們還是凡夫,我們還是用凡夫的耳根,聽的語言是有聽進去?或沒有聽進去?是不是說的話,我們有沒有理解?這還有一段距離。所以,我們「未得天耳」,因為我們的耳根還是很鈍劣。這是回過頭來,我們現實的境界。

持是法華者
雖未得天耳:
得天耳無障礙者
方能遙聞
今在凡夫地
由於持經力故
能轉識成智

「雖未得天耳」;能夠得到天耳,那就無障礙了,我們心的煩惱完全都去除掉,真真正正清淨的耳根。天耳就已經是清淨的耳根了。

「方能遙聞」,有天人的耳根才能夠聽得到。「今在凡夫地,由於持經力故,能轉識成智」。以現實的,我們還是在人間,因為我們現在聽佛法,我們還是凡夫,但是我們要用心認真聽佛法。所以這樣的力量,我們能夠「轉識成智」。我們還未真正得到天耳,但是仗著我們聽經理解的力量,大家合心同志力,這樣能夠去做到這樣的事情。有這樣的因緣,有這樣的機會,我們就轉識成智。不是凡夫,說:「他們那裡與我們這裡差那麼遠。」我們沒有這樣的想法。想到,值得做,我們就是去做就對了。這就是我們大家,共同的理念、見解──該做,做就對了。

〈勸持品〉
諸菩薩比丘等
請佛勿慮
願受持法華
而弘通之
繼之
佛更為諸菩薩說
勸人受持弘通
《妙法華經》

在〈勸持品〉中,〈勸持品〉那就是第十三品。佛陀也已經表達出,接下來住世沒有多久了。所以,「諸菩薩比丘」,就向佛陀來安慰,「請佛勿慮」,不用擔心,「願受持」,我們大家都有在認真聽,我們大家都願意受持;我們願意以佛陀的教法,這樣聽了之後,將來我們發願,願意為娑婆世界眾生,傳法、教育。諸菩薩就有這樣的發願,「願受持法華而弘通」,聽法要再弘通。「弘通」就是從耳朵聽來,又能夠傳下去。所以佛陀繼續就再鼓勵他們,「佛更為諸菩薩說」。不是只有你們聽而已,最重要還要,「勸人受持弘通《妙法華經》」。

就像他們這次去,除了他們歡喜之外,他們又發願;因為我們再去勸他們,又在那個地方人間菩薩招生。人間菩薩招生,他們又來登記,又有一、二千人,這樣登記下來了,聯絡的地方、名字等等,都登記下來。這就是佛陀所教化我們、教導我們,我們要傳,傳了之後要再勸人,也要受持;勸人也是一樣法要再繼續,菩薩法。受持,就像《法華經》教菩薩法,這個菩薩要繼續再行下去。這就是我們慈濟人,在那個地方所發揮的無不都是,在《法華經》中的意義。

色界諸天人
所有之耳根
能聞六道眾生
及遠近麤細
一切之音聲者
是以清淨耳
多聞一切法
行與法契

「色界諸天人所有之耳根」;他們的耳根,能夠聽到六道的眾生,甚至是遠的與近的,是粗的或者是細的。粗的已經為大家說過了,是我們的人間凡夫善、惡。這種凡夫心進進退退,佛陀就來向我們說得很清楚,因緣果報。這種所看到的因緣果報,與那個細的微妙法,他們天人的天耳都聽到了。所以佛在講經,天人都一直來聽經,每一個道場天人都來聽經。所以這一切的聲音,他們都聽到了,「清淨耳多聞一切法」。

天人就是在人間修極善法,十善俱全了,這種為善無欲,這樣能夠生在色界。無色界呢?就已經再修行到了不貪戀,心不貪戀、意不顛倒,到了靜思惟的境界,那就是在無色界。所以說起來,諸天他們已經都聞一切法了,「行與法契」。他們大家所過程,修行,就是行這個法互相契合。所以我們現在慈濟人,就是去身體力行,在人間行,付出無所求,這樣契合這個法,同樣的道理。

但用所生耳
功德已如是:
但用父母
所生之體
清淨耳根
通合餘根
已能遍聞
功德如是

「但用所生耳,功德已如是」;父母所生給我們的耳根,但是我們的功德,所修行現在在凡夫地、人間,我們有這樣的功德,有這樣聽到外來的聲音,我們不忍心,我們啟動大慈悲心,來觀天下眾生的苦相;我們用大智慧的耳根,來聽天下眾生的苦聲。這就是我們現在,用父母所生的耳朵,我們聽到了。所以這清淨,我們付出無所求,這叫做「清淨耳根」。跑去那麼遠,那麼辛苦,不是想要得什麼利益,只僅僅想要去救人,只僅僅想要用法度眾生,只是這樣而已,所以這叫做「清淨耳根」。「通合餘根」,用耳朵代替眼睛,這樣諸根會合,我們身根、意根也到那裡去了。

而舌根呢?他們回來就告訴我:「師父,我們十幾天,我們只有吃香積飯而已呢!我們每天四點多要出門,我們就用冷水泡香積飯,帶出去,中午吃,很Q、很香哦!我們十幾天都是只有吃這些。」這舌,味,也告訴我香,也告訴我Q,而人也去到那裡,心意也在那裡,這難道不就是五根同時並用呢?這就是我告訴他們:「我很羡慕你們,你們有這樣的機會,去到那個地方。」所以「通合餘根,能遍聞功德如是」,這就是法。

佛口所生子
法從耳根聞
滋長慧命
謂十方三世
語言音聲
一時領覽
悉微其源
明了聞知
皆無障礙
是名天耳智通

「佛口所生子,法從耳根聞」,滋長我們的慧命。我們能夠知道了解這些道理,是因為佛過去說過來的法,我們現在「有法度」,度到苦難人的地方,去救拔苦難眾生,這就是我們用法度,這就是展開我們的慧命。

所以,「謂為十方三世,語言音聲,一時領覽,悉徹其源」。我們現在就要知道,都已經領會、了解,這個法的源頭應該要如何來。所以,「明了聞知,皆無障礙」。心,大家都已經明瞭,這叫做「天耳智通」。已經通了。

天眼天耳是所依根
智即是二識相應慧
智緣二境無壅名通
從根得證名天眼智
並且得證天耳智通

「天眼天耳是所依根,智即是二識相應慧」。在這個智慧中,不論是眼根、耳根會合,相應起來,這就已經轉識成智了,已經這就是運用到智慧了。所以,「智緣二境無壅名通」,就是沒有去障礙到。智與因緣,智慧與因緣,我們這樣突破種種的困難,與這個緣已經會合;智慧與因緣會合了,所以沒有障礙到,已經完成,回來了。所以,「從根得證名天眼智」,「並且得證名天眼智通」。

各位,好好去用心,時間就是要這樣把握,把握時間,我們的大慈悲,要如何累積在我們的心眼中,大智慧如何容納在我們的心器。心是萬法之器,我們的心地如何去轉動,把那些苦難的人,將那個心地變成了福慧地。他們好好用歡喜心、用法,除了穩定他們的家庭,同時穩定他們的心,又成長他們的智慧,能夠人人互相相傳。這種愛的力量造福人間,這就是我們很歡喜的事情。法與現實能夠這樣交合起來,得法自在,時時要感恩,時時要身體力行,那就是多用心!
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發表主題: 回復: 20190814《靜思妙蓮華》悲智耳目 聞觀眾生 (第1674) (法華經·法師功德品第十九)   20190814《靜思妙蓮華》悲智耳目 聞觀眾生 (第1674) (法華經·法師功德品第十九) Empty周三 11月 27, 2019 1:25 pm

Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: Ears and Eyes of Compassion and Wisdom (悲智耳目 聞觀眾生)
Date: August.14.2019

“This Chapter on the Merits and Virtues of Dharma Teachers” exists purely to “demonstrate the five ways of teaching the Dharma. This will enhance our spiritual power and enable us to pass it down unhindered, and we will attain the merits of pure Six Roots that purify ourselves and others. We must use the eye-root of great compassion to observe all sentient beings of the world and use the ear-root of great wisdom to listen to the voices of all sentient beings on earth.”

The Buddhist practitioners, the Dharma teachers who uphold the Lotus Sutra in the Chapter on the Merits and Virtues of Dharma Teachers, as the Buddha tells us, “demonstrate the five ways of teaching the Dharma.” The sutra tells us that reading, reciting, upholding, transcribing and expounding are the five ways of teaching the Dharma. In fact, most important of all are reading and reciting, which are our fundamental duties. As we read and recite, if we do not understand the sutra passage, we will not fully understand the principles. But when we do understand the sutra passage, we will understand the sutra’s principles, and then it is best that we write down [what we can understand]. This does not just mean copying [the passage]; this means being able to write about [its meaning]. It is best if we can take the Dharma to heart and focus our minds on understanding the Dharma. To understand the Dharma, we should write down our insights and thoughts. If we compile them into a book, this is of course even better. This is because the written word can be passed down. Spoken words disappear as soon as we hear them, but written words can be passed on; writings have been passed down like this for ages. We must read, recite and transcribe the sutra, and be able to encourage others to accept and uphold [the Dharma] by putting it into practice. We put it into action, and we are also able to publish what we write. Being able to teach and write about them is even better. Most importantly, we must practice and uphold [the teachings]. If we are only able to expound, recite, transcribe and write about them but fail to uphold them through our actions, then [our efforts] will be futile. Upholding [the Dharma] is very important. Upholding the Lotus Sutra requires us to analyze the depth of our merits and virtues, and we must also extend this analysis to the faculties of our Six Roots through comparison.

The eyes have 800 merits and virtues. The ears have 1200 Meritus and virtues. This has all been broken down for us. Spiritual practice [means] putting the teachings to use. We must accept, uphold, read, recite, transcribe, advise others to teach and teach for them. If we are able to accomplish all five methods simultaneously, this is best. For us to truly put them into practice, we must find a way to align the Dharma with our actions. We must recite the sutra and know how to teach it and spread it. If we are unable to write an entire book, this is okay, but we must always practice [the Dharma]. This is very important. So, regarding these five ways of teaching the Dharma, if we can do all five sufficiently, “This will enhance our spiritual power and enable us to pass it down unhindered.” We must walk along this path, mindfully opening it [as we go]. This path has been opened, section by section, and it grows increasingly longer. So, when [our spiritual power is] “enhanced,” this means we will be unhindered and unobstructed as we continuously pass down [the sutra]. So, “we will attain the merits of pure Six Roots that purify ourselves and others.” If we can do all five of these things, “we will gain perfect merits and virtues for ourselves and others.” Our Six Roots will all be replete [with merits], and they will all be able to help each other. This requires us to work hard be mindful.

Just because our eyes see something [we want], we cannot unleash our greedy thoughts and indulge ourselves. We must see all things clearly and know the difference between right and wrong. This is what we must learn to do. We cannot form opinions from sight alone; once we see something, we must analyze and understand right from wrong. We must analyze each thing meticulously to see if it is useful or not. This requires us to focus our analysis on the best method for putting things to use, by utilizing our eyes and ears. Our ears can hear what our eyes see. Even if it makes no sound, we can still learn the use of something. All [living] things make a sound; none are soundless, because all [living] things have life. There are living things that make tiny noises that we are unable to hear, but we can use our eyes to see all these things that each have their own subtle sounds. I often say that the earth sounds as if it is breathing. We must look at the earth and understand it. The earth contains gasses, hot gasses, which [are found] underground. When gas is present, there is sound. So, by using our eyes to see [the earth] and our minds to infer [its breathing], it is as if we had the [supernatural] power of the ear. Our ear-root works together with our eye-root to help us thoroughly understand [the world]. When our ears hear something and know what is [causing] the sound, this is like having the power of the eye to see this form. When we close our eyes and our ears hear the clock ticking, [we say], “Oh, that is the sound of the clock.” We hear a rumbling sound outside, and as [it] passes by us, [we wonder], “What is that sound? Oh, that is the sound of a train.” What does a train look like? In our minds, we envision the image of a train. Hearing it, our ears can give us this image because our minds have processed it before and our eyes have seen it. Thus, it has been engraved in our consciousness. When we listen with our ears, [we know] that it is the sound of a train, and [we know] what a train looks like. This is how the ears and eyes work in harmony. Sound and form are able to come together. This is how our roots work together. So, we must [attain] “the pure Six Roots that purify ourselves and others.” The things we [truly] want to see and hear are not so close to us. For our eyes to constantly see more than this, we [must] “transform consciousness into wisdom.” We [process] the Dharma we hear with our consciousness, but we must transcend [using] our consciousness to hear the sounds of the Dharam. In the sky above there is the Heaven of Purity, which includes the desire realm, form realm and formless realm. These are the principles of the sutra, the principles contained in its words. These principles are not just something we can pick up and look at. Rather, we must use our minds to understand them. They have no form or appearance. [Thus], all appearance come from non-appearance. These are the principles that enable us to [perceive] these things we cannot see and understand them using our minds. So, how do we transform our consciousness into wisdom? Wisdom is made up of discerning wisdom and impartial wisdom. How do we transform it? The answer lies in the Buddha-Dharma. Once we accept the principles, we can only experience their essence through inner cultivation and external practice, by putting the Dharma into action.

So, what kind of method should we use? “We must use the eye-root of great compassion” to see things. Then, we must transcend these things to comprehend their principles. Everyone that we see using our eye-root is a Buddha. However, do we have faith that everyone has the Buddha in their hearts? We believe this because the Buddha told us so. “But why is this person so dim-witted? He is so hard to deal with. He doesn’t understand anything. How can he have such a poor memory? He doesn’t listen. Why is he so dull?” and so on. People are still people. And for [each] person, the Buddha tells us that the Buddha-nature is intrinsic to us all. Everyone intrinsically has Buddha-nature, but we sentient beings have certain obstructions. This obstruction come from our afflictions and ignorance. How do we engage in spiritual practice now? With “a heart of great compassion.” Great compassion is easy to explain. Great compassion is achieved by putting the Dharma into practice. What is unconditional loving-kindness? What is “universal compassion”? We discuss this quite often. This is something we can achieve. Those people have no relation to us; it is just that we heard about the hardships they are experiencing there and that a disaster occurred. That place may be very far away from us, and we may not have any connection to them. However, the great loving-kindness in our hearts cannot bear for this faraway place to suffer such terrible disasters and endure such severe hardships. So, we all come together and work hard to overcome countless difficulties. We are able to go to [those places] and relieve them of their suffering.

This is like how (in 2019), a group of Bodhisattvas returned from Myanmar, united by a common mission and shared path. They shared the same view. Their unconditional loving-kindness and universal compassion is what united them all. They worked very hard for ten days to help over 40,000 households. Life was difficult for [the people there], and they had been struck by disaster. The flooding lasted for two months and had inundated their crops and fields. They were ready to begin the harvest, but [suddenly], their fields were flooded. After two months, the water receded. Once the water receded from the fields, weeds sprouted up. Not a single crop could be seen. All that could be seen were weeds. An entire season of rice was spoiled. When Tzu Chi volunteers assessed the disaster, they saw so much suffering! These people were already in debt.

Now, to replant their crops, they would need to loan even more money. They would have to go into debt to replant. We learned about them and saw their living situation. Alas, their homes did not even have four walls. It was not “a home with nothing but four walls; it was “a home with no walls”. Their homes were made of thatch, [which] had already rotted away. We could see from the front straight through to the back of the house. It was so tragic.

Once the water receded, the next planting season would not be for another two to three months. We must help them make the most of this time. As long as people worked hard, the land had always [supported] them. They just had to clean it up, plow the soil, pull the weeds and so on. Once the field was plowed, they would just have to sow the seeds. Naturally, one all the seeds were planted, with care, they would reap an abundant harvest. This was our thinking. We went back to make plans with them to help them spend these two or three months planting mung beans. We helped them select the mung beans, choosing top-quality beans and then distributing them. Of course, this was a very difficult and complicated process. We had to assess every household. So, with several thousand household [to help], we rushed to get them the beans. With such high-quality beans, they happily got to work planting them, and they have already reaped an abundant harvest of mung beans. They are very happy.

Next, they must begin to plant rice once again. There were four counties, [with fields that could be leveled quickly. We hoped that after harvesting the mung beans, they could repay their old debts. We did not want them to take out new loads, so we gave them rice seeds to plant [instead]. Tzu Chi volunteers led them in singing the Jing Si Aphorism songs and gave them Jing Si Aphorism [cards]. The teachings [brought them] great joy, and they all shared them with each other. They had never known such joy before in life. They met this group of Bodhisattvas with such sincere love. We surveyed [their situation] again and again. Once they had assessed the disaster, [the locals] thought the volunteers had only come to look around, and they would never see them again. They never expected our volunteers to come care for them again and plan to give them bean seeds. They thought our promises were empty. Would they ever see our volunteers again? They did indeed see them again. The bean seeds had already arrived beforehand, and they had been distributed to each person. [The volunteers] encouraged them to work hard at planting them. They planted and harvested t hem. They were so joyful. This time, they again received the rice seeds. Once again, they felt at ease and again, this group of volunteers, like friends and family, embraced them and gave them many encouraging words. They helped them realize they had the ability and strength to stand up [on their own]. Our volunteers encouraged them, saying, “You can also be someone who help others. This is how Tzu Chi’s bamboo banks came to be”. “Everyone can do this too. A handful of rice can save [lives]. Most importantly, you can carry this forward. You can tell others to join in and help too”.

So, they recruited [more] Bodhisattvas there, and 1000 to 2000 people signed up and became [Tzu Chi] volunteers. They happily took the bamboo banks and rice banks home and wanted to encourage everyone to do good deeds. Everyone had faith that the suffering they experienced in this life was from failing to create blessings in their past life. Now, in this life, they understood even more clearly that in small increments, they are able to help others; this is what it means to be a Bodhisattva. By continuously giving without expectations, one can attain great blessings. They understood the principles clearly and were able to put each one into action. Thus, they attained [spiritual] joy and received the material provisions of bean seeds and rice seeds. One by one, I listened to them share about the Dharma-joy in their hearts.

I was unable to go there myself, but I heard about the methods they implemented. With this Dharma, [the volunteers] were able to rescue them, for they “[used] the Dharma to transform them”. They helped so many people escape suffering. Helping all of these people enabled them to recognize their own blessings by witnessing their suffering and it filled their hearts with Dharma-joy. “We must use the eye-root of great compassion”. There are so many Bodhisattvas who share one common aspiration, which is this eye-root [of great compassion]. Whenever we hear of suffering around the world, it is with our ear-root. So, we can use our eye-root to “observe all sentient beings of the world”. There was great suffering in that place. So, we could not help but give rise to great compassion and go there. It is from the eye-root of great compassion that we observe all sentient beings in the world. Once we have accomplished this, we will then use the ear-root of great wisdom to hear the voices of all sentient beings on earth. [We need] this kind of wisdom. They are all so far away. How can we possibly save them? These several hundred people came in two teams. All the volunteers from these teams add up to 400 to 500 shifts. With 400 to 500 shifts, how could they help 40,000 to 50,000 households. This required everyone to share the same vision and the same voice. So, with the eye-root of great compassion, we can observe all sentient beings. They are suffering, so we must utilize our compassion and go to help them. This takes great compassion and an observant eye. How could we possibly understand their suffering? How could we possibly understand their suffering? We must use the ear-root of great wisdom. When our volunteers went there, they listened to them pour their hearts out. They listened to them say [things like], “Oh, I have already accumulated so much debt”. Now, all of my hopes for this season have been destroyed. Now, I need to take out loans for another season”. We heard this with our ears and saw their living conditions with our eyes. We heard about their years of suffering, and then analyzed [their situation]. We use the ear-root of great wisdom to listen to the voices of all sentient beings on earth.

Everyone, this is now, after hearing the Dharma, we go out and put it into practice. This takes great compassion, loving-kindness and wisdom [to work] for the sake of all suffering beings in the world. We understand what is in their hearts. When we go to help them, once everyone completes their work, everyone is very joyful. So, we must mindfully seek to understand this.

Now, let us look at the next sutra passage, which says, “When it comes to all the sounds within and beyond the great trichiliocosm, from Avici Hell below up to Peak Heaven above, they will hear all these sounds without damaging their ear-root. Because their ears are keen and sharp, they will discern and understand them all.

In this sutra passage, [the Buddha] is telling us, “Yes, we must use our ear-root to listen” [both] “within and beyond” the great chiliocosm. However far Taiwan is from other countries, but we can hear the sounds of those who suffer, and we can also see them. Even if they are all the way “up [in] Peak Heaven” or down in hell, we can see them all. With our abundant love, our pure and undefiled love, we can go help them by serving unconditionally and returning with joy. [This] fills us with Dharma-joy. This is like going “up to Peak Heaven above” and returning with joy. This is just like how the sound of the Dharma makes everyone rejoice This is ultimate joy.

“They will hear all these sounds” [means] we can hear people suffering there. Switching to another subject, “They joy of the people there together with the joy we feel after helping them” are all pure [feelings], with pure sounds. So, “They will hear all these sounds”. We hear all of these sounds without damaging [our] ear-root. When we heard of their extreme suffering, we all went to help them. When we heard of their wonderful joy, we felt soothed. Thus, our ear-root remains undamaged. These are all good sounds. “[Thus, our]” ears are keen and sharp. We have good thoughts like these, for good thoughts come from good minds. Our minds are vessels for all phenomena. When our minds are pure, we will have keen ears like there. With “keen and sharp ears, we will be able to discern things clearly”. Then, we “can discern and understand them all”.

This is from the previous sutra passage. To know this is not impossible for us. As for what the sutra has said up to this [point] we have already done it all. Our ears have heard it, our eyes have seen it. [Some of us] have also walked this path, reaching out their hands to do this work. [They] heard these sounds and faced these challenges. We are already serving others successfully.

“Though those who uphold the Lotus Sutra have yet to attain the heavenly ear, just by using their ears they received at birth, their merits and virtues will already be as such”.

This is what today’s sutra passage says. “Uphold” refers to those who uphold the Lotus Sutra, who have yet to attain the heavenly ear. Now, we are all reading the Lotus Sutra. We have also formed aspirations and made vows to accept and uphold it and put it into action. We have all made these vows. We have also started to listen to and recite the sutras. Yet, we are still unenlightened beings. We still use the ears of unenlightened beings. When we hear someone speak, do we take it in? Or do we not take it in? Do we understand the things they say? We still have some way to go, so we “have yet to attain the heavenly ear”. This is because our ear-root is still very dull. When we reflect on ourselves, this is the state of our reality.

Though those who uphold the Lotus Sutra have yet to attain the heavenly ear…: Only those who attain the unobstructed heavenly ear will be able to hear so far away. Those now in the stage of unenlightened beings, through the power of upholding this sutra, can turn consciousness into wisdom.

[That we] “have yet to attain the heavenly ear” means that we [must] be unobstructed to be able to attain the heavenly ear. We must eliminate all afflictions from our minds. This [means our] ear-root is truly pure. The heavenly ear [requires] a very pure ear-root. They “will be able to hear so far away”. Only the ear-root of heavenly beings can hear like this.

“Those now in the stage of unenlightened beings, through the power of upholding this sutra, can turn consciousness into wisdom”. Practically speaking, we are still in this world; we are listening to the Buddha-Dharma right now. We are still unenlightened beings, but we must mindfully seek to earnestly listen to the Buddha-Dharma. So, it is this kind of power that enable us to “turn consciousness into wisdom”. We are still unable to truly attain heavenly ears. By being able to listen and understand the sutra, everyone will be united by the power of our shared aspirations and common mission. Then we will be able to do these things. These causes and conditions create opportunities for us to turn consciousness into wisdom. As unenlightened beings, [we must not say], “They are so far away from us”. We [should] not think like this. As soon as we think it over and find it worthy, we should just go and do it. This is everyone’s shared values and views. We must do whatever needs to be done.

In the Chapter on Encouragement to Uphold the Sutra, all the Bodhisattvas, bhiksus and so on asked the Buddha not to worry, for they were willing to accept and uphold the Lotus Sutra and spread it widely. Then, the Buddha went on to teach those Bodhisattvas to encourage others to accept, uphold and spread the Wondrous Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra.

The “Chapter on Encouragement to Uphold the Sutra” is the 13th chapter. [Here], the Buddha already expressed that He would not live much longer in this world. So, “all Bodhisattvas, bhiksus and so on” came to comfort the Buddha and “asked the Buddha not to worry. Do not worry. We are ‘willing to accept and uphold’ it. We are all listening very earnestly. We are all willing to accept and uphold it. We are willing to accept the Buddha’s teachings upon hearing them and make vows for the future. We are willing to spread and teach [this sutra] for sentient beings in the Saha World”. All the Budhisattvas had this kind of aspiration. “They are willing to accept and uphold the Lotus Sutra and spread it widely”. They listened to the Dharma and spread it widely.

“Spreading widely” means they heard the Dharma and then passed it down. So, the Buddha kept encouraging them. “The Buddha went on to teach those Bodhisattvas. You should not just listen by yourselves; most importantly, [you must] encourage others to accept, uphold and spread the Wondrous Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra”. This is like [the mission in Myanmar]. In addition to being joyful, the [volunteers] also made vows; in order to keep encouraging [the local people], they tried to recruit Living Bodhisattvas there. They recruited Living Bodhisattvas, and people came to sign up [for training]. There were another 1000 to 2000 people who signed up and gave us their names and contact information, and they have all been registered. This is what the Buddha taught us to do. He taught us that we must spread [the Dharma], and once we spread it, we must encourage others to also accept and uphold it. We must also encourage others to continue on the Bodhisattva Way. We must accept and uphold the Lotus Sutra’s teachings of the Bodhisattva Way so Bodhisattvas may continue to practice them. This is exactly what our Tzu Chi volunteers demonstrated in that place; [this is] the meaning of the Lotus Sutra.

All heavenly beings in the form realm have an ear-root which enables them to hear sentient beings throughout the Six Realms and all sounds far and near, obvious and subtle. They use their pure ears to listen extensively to all Dharma, and their practice accords with the Dharma.

“All heavenly beings in the form realm have an ear-root…”. With their ear-root, they can hear sentient beings of the Six Realms, whether their sounds are far or near, obvious or subtle. We have already discussed the obvious [sounds], the good and evil [sounds of] unenlightened beings. The minds of unenlightened beings fluctuate. So, the Buddha told us very clearly about the law of karmic retribution. This law of karmic retribution that we see and the subtle and wondrous teachings are all heard by the heavenly ears of heavenly beings. When the Buddha taught the sutra, heavenly beings all came to listen to the sutra. Heavenly beings came to every Dharma-assembly to listen to the sutra. So, they can hear all the sounds [by] “[using] their pure ears to listen extensively to all Dharma”. Heavenly beings proactively cultivated the good teachings when they were in this world. Replete in the Ten Good Deeds and free of desires, they were thus able to be born in the form realm. And the formless realm? [Those beings] engage in spiritual practice until they are free of greed. Without greed or deluded thoughts, they reached the state of calm contemplation; that is the formless realm.

So, to sum things up, all heavenly beings have already heard all Dharma “and their practice accords with the Dharma”. Their course of spiritual practice is in full accord with the Dharma. Now, as Tzu Chi volunteers, we must put the Dharma into action. We practice in this world by serving others without expectations. This is in accord with the Dharma; it is the same principle.

Just by using their ears they received at birth, their merits and virtues will already be as such: This is just by using the body they received from their parents at birth. With their pure ear-root, in combination with other roots, they are already able to hear sounds everywhere, for their merits and virtues are as such.

“Just by using their ears they received at birth, their meritus and virtues will already be as such.” Right now, [we have] the ears we received from their parents at birth. Our merits and virtues, our spiritual cultivation, is in the ground of unenlightened beings; it is in this world. We have these ears and these merits and virtues. This is how we hear external sounds. Unable to hear [the sound] [of suffering], we give rise to great compassion and observe the suffering of all sentient beings in the world. We use the ear-roots of great wisdom to hear the bitter cries of sentient beings throughout the world. This is how, right now, using the ears our parents gave us at birth, we are able to hear them.

So, with this purity, we serve others without expectations. This is “the pure ear-root”. We go so far and work so hard, [but] we do not expect to attain any benefit. We only want to save people and use the Dharma to transform them. This is all we want. So, this is using our “pure ear-root in combination with other roots”. We use our ears in place of our eyes. In this way, all of our roots work together. They also took their body-root and mind-root there. What about their tongue-root? [The volunteers] came back and told me, “Master, we were there for over 10 days. We only had instant rice to eat. Every day we went out at 4 am we soaked the instant rice in cold water and took it out to eat at lunchtime. It was so tender and delicious. This is all we ate for over 10 days.” They told me that [what] their tongues tasted was very delicious and tender. The people who went there also used their mind-root. Isn’t this how we use all Five Roots at once? I said to them, “I admire you all so much. You had this opportunity to go to this kind of place”. Thus, “in combination with other roots, they are already able to hear sounds everywhere, for their merits and virtues are as such”. This is the Dharma.

As children born of the Buddha’s speech, we listen to the Dharma through our ear-root, nourishing our wisdom-life. When we hear all the languages and sounds throughout the ten directions and Three Periods, we will immediately comprehend them and apprehend all their sources. To clearly hear and understand without any obstructions at all is known as the power of the wisdom of the heavenly ear.

“As children born of the Buddha’s speech, we listen to the Dharma through our ear-root,” nourishing our wisdom-life. We are able to know and understand the principles because the Buddha taught the Dharma in the past. Now that we “have the Dharma to transform them,” we can go where people are suffering and rescue [them]. This is how we use the Dharma to transform them while we develop our own wisdom-life. “When we hear all the languages and sounds throughout the ten directions and Three Periods, we will immediately comprehend them and apprehend all their sources.” Now we need to realize that we already comprehend and understand the source of where this Dharma comes from. So, “We clearly hear and understand without any obstructions at all.” We already understand this clearly. [With] “the power of wisdom of the heavenly ear,” [we] understand completely.

The heavenly eye and heavenly ear are sense organs for us to rely on. Wisdom arises when these two consciousnesses [of the eye and the ear] resonate with each other. When wisdom connects with both external conditions [of sight and sound] unobstructed, this is power. Those who attain realization through their roots are said to have the wisdom of the heavenly eye, and they will also attain the power of the wisdom of the heavenly ear.

“The heavenly eye and heavenly ear are sense organs for us to rely on. Wisdom arises when these two consciousnesses of [the eye and the ear] resonate with each other.” In [giving rise to] this wisdom, our eyes and ears work together and resonate with each other. This is [how we] turn consciousness into wisdom. We are already making use of this wisdom. “When wisdom connects with both external conditions [of sight and sound] unobstructed, this is power.” This is what it means to be unobstructed. With wisdom and causes and conditions, we can overcome all kinds of difficulties and harmonize with our conditions. By [applying] their wisdom to their conditions, they became unobstructed, [enabling them] to accomplish their mission and return. “Those who attain realization through their roots are said to have the wisdom of the heavenly eye and they will also attain the power of the wisdom of the heavenly ear.”

Everyone, we must work hard to be mindful. We must make the most of our time. We must seize the time to grow great compassion in our minds and store great wisdom in the vessel of our minds in the vessel of our mind. Our minds are vessels for all phenomena. We must transform the ground of our minds to help those who are suffering by turning the ground of their minds into a field of blessings and wisdom. They will earnestly rejoice and apply the Dharma, not only to bring stability to their families, but also to bring peace to their minds and grow their wisdom-life. Everyone can spread this power of love to each other and create blessings in this world. This is something that brings us great joy.

The Dharma and our reality can be harmonized. By attaining the Dharma, we become free. We must always be grateful and constantly put the Dharma into practice. So, we must always be mindful!

(Source: Da Ai TV – Wisdom at Dawn program – Explanation by Master Chen-Yen)
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20190814《靜思妙蓮華》悲智耳目 聞觀眾生 (第1674) (法華經·法師功德品第十九)
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