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 20190920《靜思妙蓮華》舌根善淨 巧說妙法 (第1701) (法華經·法師功德品第十九)

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20190920《靜思妙蓮華》舌根善淨 巧說妙法 (第1701) (法華經·法師功德品第十九) Empty
發表主題: 20190920《靜思妙蓮華》舌根善淨 巧說妙法 (第1701) (法華經·法師功德品第十九)   20190920《靜思妙蓮華》舌根善淨 巧說妙法 (第1701) (法華經·法師功德品第十九) Empty周五 9月 20, 2019 9:03 am

20190920《靜思妙蓮華》舌根善淨 巧說妙法 (第1701) (法華經·法師功德品第十九)

⊙以是舌根識別甘苦,知足飲食淨如甘露,運用舌根說話讀經,清淨舌根巧說妙法,具得千二百舌功德。
⊙「婆羅門、居士、國內人民、盡其形壽,隨侍供養。又諸聲聞,辟支佛、菩薩、諸佛,常樂見之。」⊙「是人所在方面,諸佛皆向其處說法,悉能受持一切佛法,又能出於深妙法音。」《法華經法師功德品第十九》《法華經法師功德品第十九》
⊙「爾時世尊欲重宣此義,而說偈言:是人舌根淨,終不受惡味,其有所食噉,悉皆成甘露。」《法華經法師功德品第十九》
⊙爾時世尊欲重宣此義,而說偈言:如上長行文精要之義,以是偈文重頌,助以明記。
⊙是人舌根淨,終不受惡味,其有所食噉,悉皆成甘露:以舌根善淨故,惡味不入,一切惡味,入此人口中,善解知足,皆成甘露。
⊙「以深淨妙聲,於大眾說法,以諸因緣喻,引導眾生心,聞者皆歡喜,設諸上供養。」《法華經法師功德品第十九》
⊙以深淨妙聲,於大眾說法:以諸深遠思慮清淨妙音,入於大眾中,演說諸法,能令聞者得以開解。
⊙以諸因緣喻,引導眾生心:以是一切諸善惡因緣,事理譬喻解說,引導所聽法眾生之心之正向。
⊙聞者皆歡喜,設諸上供養:所說深妙法,聞者深心入化,心開意解,皆得歡喜,設諸淨供。

【證嚴上人開示】
以是舌根識別甘苦,知足飲食淨如甘露,運用舌根說話讀經,清淨舌根巧說妙法,具得千二百舌功德。

以是舌根識別甘苦
知足飲食淨如甘露
運用舌根說話讀經
清淨舌根巧說妙法
具得千二百舌功德

要用心,聽聽,舌根有什麼功德?要知道,一個人若欠缺一片舌頭,如何生活?要吞、要食,供應身體的健康、營養,也得要從口來吞食,而口要吞食,最重要的就是舌頭。舌頭有辦法水含著,動舌頭,不論是要伸、要縮,也要吞,真的是要靠舌頭。這個舌根很重要,這是攸關我們人的身體,營養的一大部分,所以我們要很用心。平時都沒有注意它,平時沒有重視它。我們這個時候能夠知道,用舌根也能夠識別,是辣的、是苦的、是甜的,是鹹、是淡,還是要經過舌頭的識,我們現在說神經,舌頭的神經去啖嚐它,它自然就有那個功能去分別出,鹹、酸、苦、淡,辣、酸等等,它能夠分別出來。

所以,「知足飲食淨如甘露」。我們修行就是要知足,不論吃什麼東西,我們都要知足,甜的、鹹的、苦的、酸的、辣的等等,有得吃就好了。不論什麼東西吃進去,就有各種的營養分,用感恩心、知足來飲食,這叫做「清淨心」,吃什麼東西都像是甘露。我們有一種的水果,一種東西這樣小小顆,它一顆,不論多酸的東西,只要前面吃了那顆,後面的東西吃起來就甜多了,沒什麼酸的感覺。世間就有這樣,很多,應我們世間、我們人的需要,總是有種種的物資來供應人,同樣的道理。所以我們人若能夠知足,在飲食裡,我們的心清淨,我們吃什麼,就像甘露一樣都好吃,有吃有營養。

再者這個舌根,我們還能夠再應用,講話、讀經,以「清淨舌根巧說妙法」,還能夠「具得千二百功德」,這些都很淺,文字大家看得懂。我們好好來利用,利用我們這個舌靈活能夠說話,而我們要說的話,是要造功德,還是造惡業。若惡業,惡言、綺語、兩舌、妄語等等,我們都能夠在口的裡面,就能夠很多去使人心亂,使人的感情分散,也會使整個社會動亂,也會使整個舉國傷害,這也是一片舌頭。他要說的話,輕微的力量的人只是造是非,重分量的人說的話,那就影響社會、國家,這都是輕輕一片舌頭,它影響很大。所以,在好的人之中,運用舌根,他說法就是都說好話,好話大家說,鼓勵人人來做好事,這也是舌根的功德。

所以,「舌根說法讀經」,或者是清淨舌根的人,就是有修行的人,開口動舌無不都是道理,道理開闊一條路,用我們的舌來耕,耕一條路。這條路讓人好走,平坦的路沒有差錯,人生正確的軌道,這也是靠舌頭來說話,來指引人正確方向的道路,這就是「清淨舌根巧說妙法」。用種種方法,對人人說出對與鼓勵,很多能夠讓人向善的方向,所以這就是舌的功德。舌頭,好好地來利用它,一來,能夠照顧我們的生命健康,二來,能夠增長我們的慧命清淨無染穢,得千二百功德。所以這片舌根,我們要好好,好好來護持著,將它顧好,注意好它,僅僅在嘴巴裡面的一個舌根,所以我們就要用心利用它,不要去讓它有差錯。這片舌根的主人,我們每一個人要好好顧好,我們才能夠說好話、讀誦經、傳說法,這就是我們要很珍惜它。

接下來,前面的文這樣說:「婆羅門、居士、國內人民、盡其形壽,隨侍供養。又諸聲聞,辟支佛、菩薩、諸佛,常樂見之。」

婆羅門 居士
國內人民
盡其形壽
隨侍供養
又諸聲聞 辟支佛
菩薩 諸佛
常樂見之
《法華經法師功德品第十九》

這些婆羅門、居士、國內所有的人民都盡其形壽,一輩子發心願,都要跟隨、要供養。又諸聲聞、辟支佛、菩薩以及諸佛,這是「四聖」。這「四聖」,聲聞有修行也列為聖人,辟支佛也有修行,菩薩又不用說了,佛是聖人之上,當然人人就是要尊重。這些聖人是為什麼被尊重呢?因為他說法教導人,他們的法入人心,教導眾生知道方向,所以人人敬愛、人人尊重。

再說:「是人所在方面,諸佛皆向其處說法,悉能受持一切佛法,又能出於深妙法音。」

是人所在方面
諸佛皆向其處說法
悉能受持一切佛法
又能出於深妙法音
《法華經法師功德品第十九》

因為他們都向大家去說法了,所以大家聽了之後也能夠傳法,所以諸佛皆向其處,因為這些人聽了之後,會用心去傳法,所以諸佛一直向這些人,在說法的地方特別注意,聽聽大家聽法、說法,有沒有偏差?沒有偏差,會很歡喜向這些人讚歎。所以,這些受法的人,是受持一切佛法,接受到佛陀一切的佛法。所以,「又能出於深妙法音」,受持佛法,這樣永遠所出的聲音都是深妙,因為所說的法,都是很深妙的道理。所以叫做「深妙音」,也是深妙法。

下面接下來:「爾時世尊欲重宣此義,而說偈言。」

爾時
世尊欲重宣此義
而說偈言
是人舌根淨
終不受惡味
其有所食噉
悉皆成甘露
《法華經法師功德品第十九》

這段長行文已經說了,因為也是很重要,所以要再重新用偈文,再說一遍,這樣重複會幫助說明,前面的若有漏掉,這段偈文重複再來補充。

爾時
世尊欲重宣此義
而說偈言:
如上長行文
精要之義
以是偈文重頌
助以明記

偈文當中是這樣說,「是人舌根淨,終不受惡味,其有所食噉,悉皆成甘露」。

是人舌根淨
終不受惡味
其有所食噉
悉皆成甘露:
以舌根善淨故
惡味不入
一切惡味
入此人口中
善解知足
皆成甘露

這就是這樣說「以舌根善淨故,惡味不入,一切惡味,入此人口中」,那就是「善解知足,皆成甘露」,這樣大家看字也應該清楚了。我們因為有修行,事事善解,每樣我們就是知足、感恩,有得吃就很好了,用感恩心來接受各種的食物,所以舌根是「善淨」。我們人善,舌根吃什麼東西都好,所以「惡味不入」。因為再難吃的東西,我們也說,好吃、好吃啦,沒有嫌不好吃的東西,所以說「惡味不入」,就是不好吃的,我們也,好吃啦。所以「一切惡味,入此人口中,善解知足。」什麼樣的惡味,進來到這個人的口中,都「好啦、好啦,好吃,我很滿足、感恩;就像甘露一樣」,沒有嫌,很好啊,感恩!這就是修行者。

接下來這段文再說:「以深淨妙聲,於大眾說法,以諸因緣喻,引導眾生心,聞者皆歡喜,設諸上供養。」

以深淨妙聲
於大眾說法
以諸因緣喻
引導眾生心
聞者皆歡喜
設諸上供養

大家要用心看,與大眾說法,「以深淨妙聲」。佛、菩薩等等,要向大眾說法,都是用清淨妙音,是很用心將這個道理,天下真實理要如何來應天下眾生機?這要用很深的心念去對機施教,所以不是隨便說的,是要很用心。要對不同根機大眾說法,一定要用清淨妙聲;聲音出去了,所說的法,能夠適應大家的根機各有不同,各人都受用,這很困難。明明這麼深的話,根機很淺的人聽,「你有沒有聽懂嗎?」「有啦,聽懂!」「你了解嗎?」「我了解!」「來,你說給我聽,你了解什麼呢?」「師父叫我們凡事要善解,要說好話,要做好事,對嗎?」「對啦,對啦,是啦!」其實,這麼簡單的話,根機很深的人,「你了解嗎?」「了解了,道理真的是很深、適用」。

這麼淺,根機很豐富的人,他聽了很有意思,這幾句話當中能夠受用很多。這就是聲音、這個法,一舉兩得,一句話說出去,不論什麼樣的人,他都聽懂,清楚、了解意義,這就是最有價值的法,有在用的法。什麼樣的人,我聽法、我了解、我改過、我重新,我受法清淨,我對什麼事情都 能夠善解,包括吃東西,我也能夠轉惡味為甜的諸善味,這就是吃的轉變。我們很多人,以前我很挑嘴,很偏食,現在不會了,因為常常在聽法,師父這樣說:「有得吃都要感恩!」也聽到,常常聽到這樣的人,以前很挑剔、很挑嘴,這種的人也有,現在很好養,什麼都吃,什麼都好,這就是將法聽進去了。

就像一個年紀很小的孩子(吳柏謙),五歲,這麼小,西裝筆挺就像一個小慈誠,他穿的服裝就是慈誠服。就來精舍,(二0一九年)南部的慈誠隊,有屏東、有高雄、有臺南。慈誠隊在精舍精進;由委員菩薩來為他們護法,來替他們做機動組、生活組等等、等等,女人當男人用,來護持這些慈誠菩薩,讓他們專心、安心,在這裡來精進。這一位小慈誠,幼小的小慈誠從臺北來了,將要圓緣了,他站在中央,正中央,引導他們唱起慈誠隊的歌,麥克風在他的主持臺,他指揮大家唱慈誠隊歌,有板有眼,很可愛;慈誠隊列隊出來,也有板有眼。在這個地方,他,大家坐下來的時候,站在這裡,還不到一張桌子高,他開始說話,說出了呼籲大家尊重生命愛。

他說到他是素食,師太要他去推素食,「你年紀這麼小,你就一直素食了,你為何要素食?你用你的慈悲、你的愛來素食,你這麼聰明,身體這麼健康,你就去給人看,你就去推素食」,這是我在臺北對他說的話。他聽進去,他到處到處都去推素食。孩子說的話,會影響大人的重視。他說他的經驗,然後他再呼籲,呼籲非洲三個國家,很多人有災難,師太在呼籲,他也是一樣在勸募,非洲三個國家水災。說了之後,他隨身帶著的那個勸募筒,就拿出來,隨時就向師伯說,「各位師伯,我現在不知道,可以向您們勸募嗎?」

我坐在旁邊,先問師太「可以嗎?」「師伯我可以向您們勸募嗎?」師太坐在旁邊就說,「現在先暫時讓他們把握時間,大家要說話,你在那裡等,他們若結束要去餐廳,你去向他們勸募。」這樣,就在那裡乖乖地等,等到我話都說完了,要入餐廳的時候,開始那只筒子捧著就去向人:感恩哦,感恩哦。這小小孩子,他耳朵聽進去了,他嘴巴說出來了,聲聲勸募,聲聲感恩,他的口舌,吃的、所吞食的什麼都好吃,只要不吃肉,不要吃魚,什麼東西他都好吃。孩子小小年紀做得到,我們大人也做得到!所以說舌,舌根的功德,可以讓我們先了解,吃的鹹、甜、苦、澀的功能,最重要就是動口舌。舌頭動了,最大的功能,就是來說好話、來說法,將我們所了解的法,全都用心要如何來對機?這麼多人不一樣的根機,要如何來對機說法?這很重要,所以我們也得要用心。

以深淨妙聲
於大眾說法:
以諸深遠思慮
清淨妙音
入於大眾中
演說諸法
能令聞者
得以開解

所以,「以深淨妙聲,於大眾說法以諸深遠思慮」,平時要好好來思慮。看看人間,世間的事情無常發生了,人與人是如何互動起來?世間事,一個地方有災難,多少的範圍有那種同理心?同理心大家都會說,一旦天下任何一個角落、任何一個人,是近、是遠,有了苦難,而我們這個同理心,真的有提起來嗎?同理心就是感受,他的感受、我們的感受,佛法所說的「同體大悲」,眾生的苦難就是我們的苦難。

在土耳其,一群(敍利亞)孩子、老師,在那一天我說話之後,老師就告訴這些孩子,「現在哪一個地方有災難,非洲這三個國家有災難,開始呼籲了,人人來幫助」。這三個國家在哪裡呢?老師就開始對他們說,將新聞的畫面,就給這些孩子看,那些孩子開始哭了。老師開始呼籲人人發揮同理心,這樣的愛去付出。大家很踴躍,零用錢,人人都來投在錢筒裡。一個女孩子一哭再哭,在看新聞畫面的時候哭,要來捐錢那個時候也哭,老師問她,「你為何一直哭?」哭得很大聲,放聲哭。她說,「看到那裡的人很苦,無家可歸,就像我的兄弟沒有房子可住,我想到就想哭。」這女孩子這麼大而已,年紀小小,她就有這樣的同理心。

還有海地,海地這個國家很苦,他們窮,很貧困,貧得無法去形容,整個國家都是貧啊。我們慈濟人在那裡,已經多久的時間?這十幾年的時間進進出出。那個地方,我們有為他們建學校,工程的時間內,我們與那裡的一個建築單位,是我們臺灣,派在那地方的工程隊。裡面有一位經理,我們就委託他,說:「這裡若有什麼事情,拜託您幫忙,您來幫忙負責這些事情。」這次開始呼籲,這位張經理,也同樣向這些貧困的人來呼籲,大家真的是踴躍來捐。看他們很踴躍捐了,那個場面也很感動,全部捐來的錢多少呢?二千多元的臺幣,二千多塊,那是一分一毫大家的踴躍。這些錢,我也覺得很不簡單,這麼這麼貧困,這一分一毫錢,將他們唯有的一分一角,就這樣捐出來,真的是很感動人。

所以在人間,有什麼事情能夠證明人心,平時大家說大道理,但是真正看到人苦難那個時候,是不是有動起了一分的愛嗎?當然,還要再期待,人人是不是能夠開啟,這分大慈悲心,口口相傳,呼籲人人做好事;這就是道理。你有開啟你內心的一念心嗎?也聽到有人打開手機;看到消息了,從那個手機叫做網路捐款,也有人紛紛這樣捐。一百、五十元都可以,就這樣點點滴滴匯集回來,這也是一分一分的善。每分、大小點,就是盡各人一分心,這都是功德。

所以,「以諸深遠思慮」。道理,不是只有說道理而已,是要說實用,真正人要發揮你的愛心,這個道理就是這樣,啟發人人的慈、悲、喜、捨。「慈悲喜捨」就是大道理,「慈悲喜捨」,就是佛教的主要的精神,這就是深遠的道理。我們人人,二千多年前到現在,再到未來,佛經不能不見的「慈悲喜捨」,所以很重要。所以,以「清淨妙音」,這些很深的道理,透過舌根發出了聲音,「入於大眾中」。用舌,這舌頭動、語言分明,入大家的心中,這種「演說諸法」,在大眾中來演說,所以「能令聞者得以開解」。聽了之後能夠開解、能夠了解,心開意解了。

以諸因緣喻
引導眾生心:
以是一切
諸善惡因緣
事理譬喻解說
引導所聽法眾生
之心之正向

「以諸因緣喻」,用種種因緣來譬喻,講經講到說,東非洲三個國家的困難,又向大家說到那孩子,這就是譬喻,種種的因緣。因為有非洲這次的苦難,所以我要從人的事,來譬喻給大家知道這種的道理,這叫做「以諸因緣喻」,譬喻,「引導眾生心」,用那件事情來引導大家的愛心。「以是一切諸善惡因緣,事理譬喻解說,引導所聽法眾生,之心之正向」。文字應該大家看懂,我說的大家應該也聽得懂。一切諸善惡的因緣,明明我們能夠做好事,我們不但不要做,還要阻擋人做,這就是惡因;我們願意去做,我們再鼓勵人人來做,這叫做善緣。所以你要種惡因呢,或者是要結善緣呢?

就像用這個時間向大家呼籲,所以這麼多國家都啟動起來了,這就是善緣。這樣一呼籲,人人聽到了,所以發大心,開始才一個傳一個,才能夠已經幾個國家會合,已經讓我們知道,已經回來了,訊息回來了。這就是需要用事理譬喻來解說,讓我們知道,讓我們了解,這就是「引導所聽法眾生,之心之正向」。我們的心,我們要如何向正確的方向。
再來,「聞者皆歡喜,設諸上供養,所說深妙法,聞者深心入化,心開意解,皆得歡喜,設諸淨供。」

聞者皆歡喜
設諸上供養:
所說深妙法
聞者深心入化
心開意解
皆得歡喜
設諸淨供

這些文應該也很清楚了。聽的人,聽了之後很歡喜,這些事情我都做得到,做得到的事情就很歡喜,我願意付出。所教法,我接受這個教法,我身體力行,這叫做行的供養,這就是最上的供養。以前跟大家說過,供養有三種,一種是「利」的供養,一種是「敬」的供養,一種是「行」的供養。利的供養就是物質,其實物質是最淺的功德;第二,進一步就是敬,要法有入心才能夠恭敬,所以這是第二階層,比較深的敬;第三,就是行的恭敬,身體力行,那是成長慧命,這叫做最大的功德,恭敬、身心恭敬,這就是供養,是諸上供養。我們所要的就是這樣,「諸上供養」。

所以「所說深妙法,聞者深心入化」。已經聽,聽了之後,句句入心,化為己有,這已經是聽人說的話,這個話變成我很有受用。就像土耳其,那位(敘利亞)小女孩,聽到哭啊,來捐錢也哭,是為何哭?「非洲那些人無處住,那些人就像我的兄弟。」這難道不就是將她自己,化作那裡的人在受苦呢?所以叫做「深心入化」。法已經拿進來在我的心了,化作是我的慧命,這叫做「深心入化」。「心開意解」,我已經將這個法,開啟了我的心門,法都攬進我的心來,所以叫做「心開意解,皆得歡喜,設諸淨供」;很歡喜,所以我設諸上供。淨,淨供,就是淨無一物,不過,我的身心,已經「心開意解」,我已經「深心入化」。這就是我以最歡喜的心,來設種種清淨的供養,這個清淨的供養就沒有什麼,但是我身心供養,我恭敬、我身體力行,這就是最上的供養,我們了解了。

常常在講法,就會想到世間很多很多苦難,也有很多愛心,那種願意付出,而也有很多,聞而不聞、聽而不解這樣的人,所以這叫做人生。這世間五趣雜居,佛陀說過了,所以愈講經,愈體會,愈了解人間的五趣雜居,感慨很多。但願我們人人,聽聞佛法的人,好好用心在我們日常生活中,我們如何來應用舌根,我們不要放棄,不論是什麼樣的類別,我們都將他當做人人有佛性。這次說,沒有動心,來次再說,希望他一次一次,大家做給他看,一次一次他也動起了分毫的愛心。常常說,不是為了多少錢,看看海地,不知道多少人,看他們在捐這樣很踴躍,合起來是臺幣二千多元。這都是從那個,點滴點滴匯集起來,所以說滴水入大海,滴水功德如海,同樣的道理。所以我們大家聞法要用心,時時多用心!


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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: Skillfully Teaching the Wondrous Dharma (舌根善淨 巧說妙法)
Date: September.20.2019

“With the tongue-root, we discern between sweetness and bitterness. We must eat with contentment, for to a pure [mind, all food] is like ambrosial dew. We must use our tongue-root to speak and read the sutra and use our pure tongue-root to skillfully teach the wondrous Dharma. Then, we will attain all 1200 merits of the tongue.”

We must be mindful. From what we [just] heard, what merits does the tongue-root have? As we understand it, if a person lacks a tongue how can they live? Eating, swallowing and providing health and nutrition to the body all starts with consuming food with our mouths. When consuming food with our mouths, the tongue’s [function] is most important. The tongue is able to hold onto water. The movement of our tongue, whether we extend it, retract it or swallow, [is essential], for we rely on [these functions]. This tongue-root is very important because it is related to the primary [ways] that we humans nourish our bodies. So, we must be very mindful. We normally do not pay attention to it; we normally do not value its importance. But this time, [the passage] informs us about how we use our tongue-root to discern what is spicy, bitter, sweet, salty or bland, with the [sensory function] of our tongue. Nowadays, we know about the nervous system and how the tongue’s nerves [allow us to] taste and naturally have the function of distinguishing salty, sour, bitter, bland, spicy and so on. [Our tongue-root] can discern all of these. So, “We must eat with contentment, for to a pure [mind, all food] is like ambrosial dew.” In our spiritual practice, we must be content. No matter what we [have] to eat, we should be content; [whether it is] sweet, salty, bitter, sour, spicy or so on, simply having something to eat is good enough. No matter what we eat, we will take in various nutrients, and when we eat with gratitude and contentment, this is the pure mind, [which makes] everything we eat [taste] like ambrosial dew. There is a type of fruit, which is very small. [If we] eat just one, then no matter what sour food we eat [next], as long as we eat that fruit first, anything we eat afterwards tastes sweeter, and will not [taste] sour. In this world, there are many such [examples], [depending on] our environment and our needs. There are always various resources available to us.

The principle is the same. So, if we humans can be content with our food, then, with our pure minds, anything we eat will be as delicious as ambrosial dew; it will be tasty and nutritious. Furthermore, with our tongue-root, we can also speak about and read the sutra. [When we] “use our pure tongue-root to skillfully teach the wondrous Dharma,” [we will] “attain all 1200 merits of the tongue.” These words are plainly [stated] so that everyone can understand them. So, we must earnestly make good use of our flexible tongue when we speak. Will the words we speak create merits, or will we create evil karma? If [we create] evil karma [through] harsh speech, gossip, flattery and so on, these [words] which come out of our mouths, can create a lot of turmoil in people’s minds, causing rifts in people’s relationships, creating disturbances throughout society and doing harm to an entire country; a single tongue [can cause all of] this. When those with minor influence speak, [their words] only cause interpersonal conflicts. [But] when those with major influence speak, [their words can] impact societies and countries. A single tongue can have immense influence. So, good people use their tongue-roots to teach the Dharma and speak good words. They speak good words to everyone and encourage everyone to do good deeds; these are also merits of the tongue-root. [So, we also use] “our tongue-root to speak and read the sutra.” Those who have a pure tongue-root are spiritual practitioners, who only speak about the principles. The principles open up a path, which we can pave with [the words of] our tongues. Then, people can easily follow this path, for it is smooth and without errors; this is the correct path to take in life. The words from our tongues point people in the right direction of this path. This is how we “use our pure tongue-root to skillfully teach the wondrous Dharma.” We can use various methods to say the right thing and encourage everyone [to advance] in a virtuous direction. These are the merits of the tongue. When we make good use of our tongues, we can first take good care of our health, and second, we can grow our wisdom-life, which is pure and undefined; [this is how] we attain all 1200 merits.

So, we must earnestly safeguard our tongue-root. We must care for it and pay attention to it. We have only one tongue in our mouths, so we must mindfully put it to good use and not cause it [to act] mistakenly. As the master of our tongue-roots, only when each of us earnestly looks after them will we be able to speak good words, read the sutra and teach the Dharam. This is why we must cherish [our tongue-roots].

Continuing on, the previous passage says, “Brahmins, lay practitioners and people of the kingdom will fully devote their lives to following, serving and making offerings to them. Furthermore, all Hearers, Pratyekabuddhas, Bodhisattvas and Buddhas will always take joy in seeing them.”

These Brahmins, lay practitioners and all the people in the kingdom will fully devote their lives; they vow to spend their lives following, serving and making offerings. [Next, it mentions] all Hearers, Pratyekabuddhas, Bodhisattvas and Buddhas. These are the [beings of the] Four Noble Realms. [Among the Four Noble Realms, Hearers have engaged in spiritual practice and are categorized as noble beings. Pratyekabuddhas have also engaged in spiritual practice, and, needless to say, Bodhisattvas [have too]. Buddhas have surpassed the realm of noble beings and are certainly respected by everyone. Why are these noble beings respected? Because they guide people by teaching the Dharma; their teachings enter people’s minds, and they [help] sentient beings to know the way. This is why everyone loves and respects them.

So, “Wherever these people are, all Buddhas will teach the Dharma there. They will be able to accept and uphold all Buddha-Dharma, and they will also be able to utter the profound and wondrous Dharma-sound.”

They have taught the Dharma to everyone, and, after listening, everyone can transmit the teachings. So, all Buddhas will be where They are. Once these people listen to the Dharma, they will mindfully transmit the teachings. So, all Buddhas always pay special attention to where these people teach the Dharma, [to see] whether, in listening to and teaching the Dharma, they have deviated at all. [If] there is no deviation, They are joyful and praise these people. So, these people who have accepted the Dharma will uphold all of the teachings that they received from the Buddha. “They will also be able to utter the profound and wondrous Dharma-sound.” Those who accept and uphold the Buddha-Dharma will always utter this profound and wondrous sound because the teachings they share [contain] profound and wondrous principles. So, these “profound and wondrous sounds” [refer to] the profound and wondrous Dharma. Continuing on, [it says], “At that time, the World-Honored One, wishing to restate His meaning, spoke in verse.”

At that time, the World-Honored One, wishing to restate His meaning, spoke in verse, “Their tongue-root will be pure, and they will never experience bad tastes. All the food they eat will turn into ambrosial dew.”

The long-form prose section already explained this. But because of its importance, [the Buddha] always restated His meaning in verse, for repeating it like this helps His explanation. If there was anything missing the [first] time, the verse section then repeats and supplements it.

At that time, the World-Honored One, wishing to restate His meaning, spoke in verse: The essential meaning of the long-form prose from earlier is respected here in verse to help people remember it clearly.

The verse [section] says, “Their tongue-root will be pure, and they will never experience bad tastes. All the food they eat will turn into ambrosial dew.” So, it says, “Because their tongue-root will be virtuous and pure, bad tastes will never enter [their mouth]. Whenever any bad tastes reach their mouth, their understanding and contentment” will then “turn it all into ambrosial dew.”

Everyone should be clear from reading these words. Because we are spiritual practitioners, we [should be] understanding of everything. [If] we are content grateful for everything, then just having something to eat is good enough, and we can accept each kind of food gratefully. This means our tongue-root is “virtuous and pure”. When we are virtuous, anything consumed with our tong-root tastes good. “Bad tastes will never enter [our mouths]; even when we eat the most unpalatable food, we will say, “Delicious! This tastes good!” We will never object to any bad-tasting food. So, “bad tastes will never enter [our mouths].” Even if something tastes bad, we will say, “This tastes good!” So, “Whenever any bad tastes reach our mouths, our understanding and contentment [changes them].” No matter what bad tastes enter our mouths, we will say, “This is good, this is good! Delicious! I am grateful and contented.” It [tastes] like ambrosial dew, so we do not mind. “This is good! I am grateful.” This is how spiritual practitioners [respond].

Next, the following passage says, “With a deeply pure and wondrous voice, they will teach the Dharma in assemblies, using various causes and conditions as analogies to guide the minds of sentient beings. Everyone who hearts them will rejoice and prepare the finest offerings.”

Let us read this mindfully. “With a deeply pure and wondrous voice, they will teach the Dharma in assemblies.” When Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and so on teach the Dharma to an assembly, they use their pure and wondrous voices and very mindfully [explain] these principles. How can the true principles of the world be adapted to sentient beings’ [mindsets]? They must think very profoundly to teach according to [people’s] capabilities. They cannot speak arbitrarily; they must be very mindful. Teaching the Dharma to an assembly of varying capabilities requires a deeply pure and wondrous voice. Speaking with this voice, the Dharma they teach, can be suited to everyone’s varied capabilities; each person can make use [of these teachings]. This is very difficult. We can see the teachings are clearly profound. When heard by those with limited capabilities, [we ask], “Do you understand what you hear? Yes, I understand what I have heard. Do you comprehend it? I comprehend it”. “Tell me, what have you comprehended? Master has told us that we must be understanding about everything. We must speak good words and do good deeds. Isn’t that right?” “Correct! You are right!” In fact, when these simple words are [spoken to] those with great capabilities, [we need only ask], “Do you understand?” “I understand. The principles are truly profound and suitable”. When such simple [words] are heard by those with very developed capabilities, they [find the words] very meaningful and can benefit much from these few words. Thus, the voice [they use to teach] the Dharma achieves two [goals] at once. By speaking a single sentence, [everyone], no matter their background can clearly understand the meaning. Thus, the most valuable teaching. Is that [which] can be put to use. Some types of people can listen to the Dharma, understand it, change their ways and start anew. They accept the Dharma with a pure mind, and they can be understanding about anything, including what they eat, transforming bad tastes into [ambrosial dew]. They can change [their perceptions] about food. There are many of us who [say], “I used to be very picky about food. Now, that is no longer the case because I often listen to the Dharma and Master has explained that we must be grateful to have food to eat”. We often hear about such people who used to be quickly about food. There are people like this who are now very [easygoing about food]; they eat everything and find everything good. This shows that they have taken in the Dharma. For instance, [Wu Baiqian] is a young child of five years old; he is so young. When wearing his formal suit, he looks like a mini Faith Corps volunteer. Wearing this clothing of a Faith Corps [member], he came to visit the abode. This was [in 2019] when Faith Corps members from the Southern Region of Pingtung, Kaohsiung and Tainan came to the abode for a retreat. Our Commissioner-Bodhisattvas [staffed the retreat], taking part in the logistics and hospitality teams and so on. These women did the same work as the men to support this [retreat] for the Faith Corps and help [the Faith Corps members] to focus and relax on their diligence retreat. This mini Faith Corps volunteer, this young volunteer, traveled from Taipei, and at the closing ceremony, he took center stage to direct everyone in singing the Faith Corps anthem. Standing at the podium in front of the microphone, he directed everyone in the Faith Corps anthem. He presented himself [well] and was very cute. When the Faith Corps team entered, the whole team also presented themselves well. So, here, right in front of me, when everyone sat down, he stood right here, not even tall enough to reach the table, and started to speak. He encouraged everyone to respect and love life. He said he is a vegetarian and that I wanted him to promote vegetarianism. “You are so young, but you are already a vegetarian? Why are you a vegetarian? You are vegetarian out of compassion and love. You are so wise and your body is so healthy. Let others see [your wisdom and good health]. Go and promote vegetarian. This was what I told him in Taipei. He took my words to heart to wherever he goes, he promotes vegetarianism. The words of children can impact the values of adults.

He shared his experiences, and then he made an appeal. He [spoke about] the three [African] countries, where so many people have experience disaster. [Just] as I appeal to everyone, he also [encouraged everyone] to donate to [help] flood [survivors] in these three African countries. When he was finished, he took out the bamboo bank that he carries, and immediately, he asked the adult volunteers, “Dear Tzu Chi’s uncles, is it ok for me to ask you to donate now [to disaster relief]? I was sitting next to him, so first, he asked me, “Can I do this? [before asking], Tzu Chi uncles, can I ask you to donate?” Sitting next to him, I said, “For now, let them make the most of their time. They are sharing now, but you can wait them. Once this concludes, they go to the dining hall, so you can ask them to donate there”. So, he waited there and was very well-behaved. After I finished talking and everyone started to enter the dining hall, he began to approach people with the bamboo bank, [saying], “Thank you [for your donation]!” This is young child heard [my teachings] with his ears and shared them with his mouth. He used his voice to collect donations and express his gratitude. All food is agreeable to his mouth and tongue. As long as [the food] is not meat or fish, he considers all food to be tasty. If such a young child can accomplish this, we adults can do it too. So, as for the merits of the tongue-root, [this passage] first helps us understand that it has the function [of distinguishing] salty, sweet, bitter and astringent [tastes]. But most importantly, [it enables is to speak]. When our tongue begins to move, its greatest function is to speak good words and teach the Dharma, mindfully adapting the Dharma that we understand to accord with people’s capacities. So many people have varying capabilities, so how can we [adapt] the Dharma to suit them all? This is very critical, so we must be mindfully.

With a deeply pure and wondrous voice, they will teach the Dharma in assemblies: Through deep contemplation and with a pure and wondrous voice, they will go among assemblies to expound all the teachings, enabling everyone who listens to attain understanding.

So, “With a deeply pure and wondrous voice, they will teach the Dharma in assemblies through deep contemplation”. At all times, we must earnestly contemplate. As we look at the world and the incidences of impermanence which take place, how do people interact with one another? In terms of worldly matters, when a disaster strikes somewhere, how many within the vicinity will feel empathy? We can all say the word “empathy,” but when any corner of the world or when any one person, near or far, experiences suffering, do we truly five rise to empathy? To empathize is to feel; we must [try to] feel how others feel. The “universal compassion” of the Buddha-Dharma [means we must] take sentient beings’ suffering as our own suffering.

In Turkey, there is a group of Syrian children and teachers [at the EI Menahil International School]. That day, after my talk, the teachers told the children, “Currently, these three African countries are experiencing disasters.” They appealed to everyone for support. [They asked], “Where are these three countries?” When the teachers explained and showed the news footage to the children, the children began to cry. The teachers encouraged everyone to exercise empathy and offer help with love. Everyone very enthusiastically [brought in] spare change and deposited it all in the bamboo bank. One girl could not stop crying. She cried while watching the news footage, and she cried while donating money. Her teacher asked her, “Why are you crying?” She was crying so loudly. She said, “Seeing the suffering people there with no home to return to, they are just like my brothers, who have nowhere to live. Just thinking about it makes me cry.” This girl was only about this big. She is very young, yet she has such empathy.

The country of Haiti is also suffering greatly. The people there are very impoverished; their poverty is beyond words. The entire country is impoverished. Our Tzu Chi volunteers have been there for a very long time. For over 10 years, we have been [going there]. In that place, we helped them build schools. During the construction period, we worked with a construction agency there, an engineering and construction team, dispatched by Taiwan and stationed in Haiti. We entrusted the manager, Mr. Zhang, [with their care, saying], “If there is anything [they need] here, please, lend them a hand. Please help take care of these matters.” When we began to [ask for donations] this time, this Mr. Zhang also appealed to these impoverished people. [In response], they enthusiastically donated. Seeing them donating so enthusiastically was a very touching sight. How much money was raised altogether? Over NT$2000. Every cent of this NT$2000 [was given] enthusiastically by everyone. This money was not easily [raised]. [The people there] are so impoverished, yet, cent by cent, with all the change in their pockets, they donated [all they had]. This is truly very touching. So, in this world, what can attest to [the love] in people’s hearts? Every day, people talk about great principles, but once they truly see others suffering, does this love arise within them? Of course, we are looking forward to [a time when] everyone can inspire great loving-kindness and compassion in their hearts and, through word of mouth, encourage everyone to do good deeds. This is the principle. Have we inspired this mindset [in ourselves]? We hear about people using their cellphones to read the news and donate money online. One by one, people donate this way. Whether they donate NT$100 or NT$50, little by little, these [donations] accumulate, [demonstrating everyone’s] kindness. Every [donation], whether big or small, [shows] people making their best effort. These are all merits.

So, “through deep contemplation” [means that] principles are not only meant to be spoken; they must be applied. For people to truly exercise their love, this [teaching] of loving-kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity must be inspired in everyone. [The Four Infinite Minds] is a great principle, [which encompasses] the main spirit of Buddha’s teachings. This is a profound principle. From more than 2000 years ago until now, and into the future, the Buddhist sutras that we all [read] never fail to [mention] “loving-kindness, compassion, joy and equanimity”. This is very important.

So, with “a pure and wondrous voice,” these profound principles are spoken using the tongue-root, [as they] “go among assemblies”. By moving their tongues to [generate] clear speech that can penetrate everyone’s minds, [they] “expound all the teachings” like this. They go among assemblies to expound [the Dharma] and thus “enable everyone who listens to attain understanding”. [Everyone who] listens can attain understanding by opening their hearts.

Using various causes and conditions as analogies to guide the minds of sentient beings: They will use all kinds of positive and negative causes and conditions and matters and principles as analogies to explain, guiding all sentient beings who hear the Dharma to set their minds in the right direction.

“Using various causes and conditions as analogies” [means] they make examples of various situations in order to expound the sutra. [Talking about] the difficulties in those three East African countries and [the story from earlier] about that child [were all] analogies that made use of various causes and conditions. With the current disaster in Africa, I wanted to share these people’s situation as an example so that everyone can understand these principles. This is “using various causes and conditions as analogies to guide the minds of sentient beings”. I used these events to guide everyone [to exercise] the love in their hearts. “They will use all kinds of positive and negative causes and conditions and matters and principles as analogies to explain, guiding all sentient beings who hear the Dharma to set their minds in the right direction”. Everyone should understand this by reading it and know what I am saying by listening. There are all kinds of positive and negative causes and conditions. If we are clearly able to do good, but we refrain from doing it and further obstruct others from [doing good also], then we form negative causes. If we are willing to do [good] and further encourage everyone to do [good deeds], then we create positive conditions. So, will we plant negative causes, or do we want to create positive conditions? For example, I have been using this time to encourage everyone [to contribute], and as a result, many countries have taken action. This is [how we create] positive conditions. Once we appeal to them, everyone hears us and forms great aspirations. Once I began [my appeal, the message] was spread until several countries came together. They have already [reported back] responding and sending news [of their efforts]. Thus, [the use of] examples to explain and [connect] these matters and principles has helped us understand [the situation there]. This is how we “guide all sentient beings who hear the Dharma to set their minds in the right direction”. We must set our own minds in the right direction.

Next, [it says], “Everyone who hears them will rejoice and prepare the finest offerings. When it comes to all the deep and wondrous Dharma they teach, their listeners will take it deeply to heart and will be transformed, becoming open-hearted and understanding. They will all attain joy and prepare various pure offerings”.

[The meaning] of this passage is very clear. Everyone who hears this will rejoice [and say],” I am able to do all these things!” They are happy to be able to do these things. “I am willing to help out I accept these teachings and will put them into practice”. This is [making] offerings of our conduct, which are the most supreme offerings. I have explained to everyone before the three types of offerings. First are offerings of wealth, second are offerings of reverence and third are offerings of conduct. [First] are offerings of wealth, which refer to material goods. [Making offerings of] material goods [grants only] the shallowest merits. Second are [offerings of] reverence, which are a step up. Only when we take the Dharma to heart can we make offerings of our reverence. So, the second, more profound level is making offerings of reverence. Third are offerings of conduct. When we put the teachings into practice, we develop our wisdom-life, which [grants] the greatest merits. When we are reverent in our bodies and minds, these are the finest offerings we can make. What we want is to [make] “the finest offerings”. So, “when it comes to all the deep and wondrous Dharma they teach, their listeners will take it deeply to heart and will be transformed”. After listening, they take each phrase to heart and [make the teachings] their own. Having heard other speak, they benefit greatly from these words.

For example, the Syrian girl in Turkey cried upon hearing [of people’s suffering], and she also cried as she donated money. Why was she crying? “Those people in Africa have nowhere to live. They are just like my brothers”. Isn’t this [an example of] putting herself [in the place of] those who are suffering there? So, this is “taking [the Dharma] deeply to heart and becoming transformed”. We have already taken the Dharma to heart and have transformed it into wisdom-life. This is “taking [the Dharma] deeply to heart and becoming transformed. Becoming open-hearted and understanding” [means that] we have already allowed this Dharma to open up the doors of our hearts and have welcomed the Dharma inside. This is being “open-hearted and understanding. We will all attain joy and prepare various pure offerings”. We are joyful, so we prepare the finest offerings. Pure offerings means there is no object, [as our minds are] pure and free of defilements, and our bodies and minds are already “open-hearted and understanding”. We have “taken [the teachings] deeply to heart and become transformed”. So, with joyful hearts, we prepare various pure offerings. These pure offerings are nothing [material], but we make [them with pure] bodies and minds. We understand that the most supreme offerings that we can make are our reverence and putting the teachings into action. Often, as I teach the Dharma, I think about the many who suffer in this world, as well as the many loving hearts who willingly help others. [But] there are also many who hear the teachings but do not understand. Such is life.

In this world, the Five Destinies coexist. The Buddha taught us this, so the more we explain the sutra, the more we realize and understand how the Five Destinies coexist in the human realm. We cannot help but greatly lament this. I hope that every one of us, as we hear the Buddha-Dharma, can put effort into being mindful in our everyday living and make use of our tongue-roots [to share the teachings]. We must not give up. No matter what kinds of [people we encounter], we must [treat them with the knowledge that] everyone has Buddha-nature. If they are not moved by our words this time, we can explain again and keep demonstrating for them, time after time. Each time [we do this], we can inspire the slightest love in their hearts. We constantly say that we do not aim to raise [a certain sum of money]. In Haiti, we saw how so many people donated enthusiastically and accumulated over NT$2000. All of this was accumulated, drop by drop. So, we describe them as drops in the ocean. With each drop, we accumulate merits [as vast as] the ocean. It is the same principle. So, we must be mindful as we listen to the Dharma. We must always be mindful.

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