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 20110405 --- The Meaning of Tomb Sweeping Day (智德傳家勿忘本)

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20110405 --- The Meaning of Tomb Sweeping Day (智德傳家勿忘本) Empty
發表主題: 20110405 --- The Meaning of Tomb Sweeping Day (智德傳家勿忘本)   20110405 --- The Meaning of Tomb Sweeping Day (智德傳家勿忘本) Empty周二 4月 26, 2011 2:18 am

Date: April 5th, 2011 (Tuesday)
Lecturer: Master Zheng-Yan
Subject: The Meaning of Tomb Sweeping Day


Today is Tomb Sweeping Day, which is a major Chinese festival. Back when I was a child, on this day, people would make steamed herbal rice cakes and bring them to the graves of their ancestors to make offerings to the dead.

Before making offerings, people would clean and tidy up the graves, and then everyone would gather together and piously pay respect to their ancestors. At this time, many children from poor families would gather around and wait for people to finish making offerings and then share the herbal rice cakes with them. Some children would bring the cakes home to share with their families. So, while paying respect to their ancestors, people could also help the poor.

This was a custom in the past. Although times have changed and such customs have been lost, the moral value and significance behind such a practice should be preserved as it is very important to pay respect to the dead and pass on the spirit of filial piety.

But, the way people nowadays make offerings to their ancestors truly makes us sign and shake our heads. They spend much money on offerings made of paper that they ask shops to tailor-make for them and then bring these paper offerings to the cemetery to show off to others. Then, after making these offerings to the dead, they burn off everything they’ve purchased. See how deluded and ignorant people are. They do this to let others see how good they are to their deceased parents.

In fact, to be good to our parents, we must do so when they are still alive and cherish the time we have with them. We mustn’t be disrespectful to our parents while they are alive, and then, after they pass away, buy all those phones, cars, etc. made of paper and burn them off to make offerings to them. They won’t be able to use them.

What we should do is to make them feel blessed when they are still around. What kind of people are most blessed? Those whose children and grandchildren are good to them and won’t make them worry. This will make them feel that their children and grandchildren are very filial and make them very proud and that they have no regrets in life. This is true filial piety.

If our parents have passed away, we should give of ourselves to do good by using the body that our parents gave us to benefit humanity. This is how we can truly repay our parents with the merit and virtue we’ve cultivated through doing good.

We often see Tzu Chi volunteers regularly caring for the elderly by helping to clean up their living environments. In the Sutra of Profound Gratitude to Parents, it tells of a story of the Buddha bowing to a pile of bones because the Buddha believed that these bones belong to living beings who have been his parents in one lifetime or another. So, we should be like the Buddha and regard all people as our parents of our past, present, or future lives. Although they may be strangers to us, we should still treat all those older than us as our own parents. That is why Tzu Chi volunteers tirelessly give of themselves to care for the elderly in need and help clean up their homes.

Having said all this, I am not saying that we do not need to go tomb sweeping anymore. There is still much meaning behind the festival as it is a time to remember our ancestors and their virtues and then reflect upon ourselves. We must recollect our ancestors’ virtues, live them out in our lives, and pass them on to our children. If we cannot remember anything about these, we must quickly think about whether we have sown blessings by going good on behalf of our parents. If we haven’t, then we must quickly do so. And if we have, we must continue persistently.

Tom Sweeping Day is also a time when we can bring our children and grandchildren to the cemetery and share with them the lives of their grandparents and what kind of people they were. This is what we can share with the younger generation on this day. So, Tomb Sweeping Day is an occasion where we can teach children about filial piety. This is the meaning behind Tomb Sweeping Day.

However, while cleaning the tombs, we must remember to be careful when lighting fires and burning incense. Our sincere piety is what’s most important. So, it’s best if we can stop burning paper money as it is bad for our health and for the Earth.

We must know that the meaning behind. Tomb Sweeping Day is to pay respect to our ancestors. Moreover, it is to remember their virtues and to reflect upon ourselves. We must pass on the wisdom and virtues of our ancestors to the younger generation so that they will not forget their origins. This is what’s most important.

We could also change our tradition a little by showing gratitude and respect to our ancestors at home every day—Rather than keeping their ashes in a pagoda, they could be kept at home. Burying the body intact was a custom from the past to show people’s filial piety. But if parents can feel the love and respect of their children while they are still alive, that would be true filial piety. And if we cremate them after they pass away, their ashes can be kept at home. Then, we’ll be able to pay respect to them every day. That would be the best offering we can make to them.

We also see that for nearly 20 years, people from the Chinese community in Canada will gather at our office in Vancouver every year on Tomb Sweeping Day to pay respect to their ancestors. This year, they also prayed for the disaster survivors in Japan and for peace and safety in the world. This is the wisest way to spend Tomb Sweeping Day.

Indeed, a heart of sincere piety is most important. Filial piety is the foundation of all goodness. So, by doing good every day, we are practicing the essence of filial piety.

(Source: Da Ai TV 人間菩提)
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發表主題: 回復: 20110405 --- The Meaning of Tomb Sweeping Day (智德傳家勿忘本)   20110405 --- The Meaning of Tomb Sweeping Day (智德傳家勿忘本) Empty周二 4月 26, 2011 2:21 am

20110405 --- The Meaning of Tomb Sweeping Day (智德傳家勿忘本)

Date: April 5th, 2011 (Tuesday)
Lecturer: Master Zheng-Yan
證嚴上人開示
Subject: The Meaning of Tomb Sweeping Day
智德傳家勿忘本

今天是清明節,這樣的清明掃墓,是我們中國人很大的節日,記得小時候都會看到,家家戶戶做「草仔粿」。那個時候,臺灣的名詞叫做「臆墓粿」,做這個「草仔粿」,那都是要到了祖先的墳墓去,去拜拜。
Today is Tomb Sweeping Day, which is a major Chinese festival. Back when I was a child, on this day, people would make steamed herbal rice cakes and bring them to the graves of their ancestors to make offerings to the dead.


要祭拜之前,就要先清理周圍的環境,然後就一家大小,都要很虔誠地祭拜,然後周圍就會有很多很多人;有人家庭比較窮困的,就會有很多的孩子都會圍過來,就是等待一般人祭拜完,那個「墓粿」,那就可以分給了比較清寒的孩子們,拿回家就是一家人都可以吃。就是在祭拜同時,也會關懷到窮困人。
Before making offerings, people would clean and tidy up the graves, and then everyone would gather together and piously pay respect to their ancestors. At this time, many children from poor families would gather around and wait for people to finish making offerings and then share the herbal rice cakes with them. Some children would bring the cakes home to share with their families. So, while paying respect to their ancestors, people could also help the poor.

這是過去,過去的民俗,我們是留不住它,因為時代一直變,我們留不住!可是那一念很具有意義的。而且是人倫道德的這一個念,我們一定要留住它,所以慎終追遠是非常重要,這也都是孝道。
This was a custom in the past. Although times have changed and such customs have been lost, the moral value and significance behind such a practice should be preserved as it is very important to pay respect to the dead and pass on the spirit of filial piety.

可是現在的人,掃墓的方式很令人感慨,他獻給祖先的都要花很多錢,祭品訂做,都要花好幾千元,這種就是拿到墓地,大家互相地炫耀一番--「我給祖先的是這個…」「我是這個…」什麼都有。但是祭拜了以後,就是燒了,一把火把它燒掉,這是真的很顛倒。這種的人生是無明,只是炫耀一下自己是很孝順,什麼都願意給父母。
But, the way people nowadays make offerings to their ancestors truly makes us sign and shake our heads. They spend much money on offerings made of paper that they ask shops to tailor-make for them and then bring these paper offerings to the cemetery to show off to others. Then, after making these offerings to the dead, they burn off everything they’ve purchased. See how deluded and ignorant people are. They do this to let others see how good they are to their deceased parents.

其實,我們應該孝順的觀念,用在即時,對父母,還健在的要珍惜。不要說,在家裡都不聽父母話,等到父母往生了以後,才來用最現代的給他,燒給他,讓他去趕時髦。哪有可能?
In fact, to be good to our parents, we must do so when they are still alive and cherish the time we have with them. We mustn’t be disrespectful to our parents while they are alive, and then, after they pass away, buy all those phones, cars, etc. made of paper and burn them off to make offerings to them. They won’t be able to use them.

真正的人這個時候就是應該我們要給他做一個有福的人。什麼樣最有福呢?子孫孝順,讓他沒有煩惱,讓他在世的這個時候,感覺到--「我的子孫很孝順,我的子孫有成就,我感覺到這輩子很滿足…」這才是真的有孝。
What we should do is to make them feel blessed when they are still around. What kind of people are most blessed? Those whose children and grandchildren are good to them and won’t make them worry. This will make them feel that their children and grandchildren are very filial and make them very proud and that they have no regrets in life. This is true filial piety.

假如父母不在了,我們用自己的身體來做,去付出,把父母給我的身體,好好地去造福人群,這樣的功德也可以回向給父母,這叫做「真功德回向」。
If our parents have passed away, we should give of ourselves to do good by using the body that our parents gave us to benefit humanity. This is how we can truly repay our parents with the merit and virtue we’ve cultivated through doing good.

我們常常看到了慈濟人,他們平常都是為老人家,打掃他的環境。在《父母恩重難報經》,佛陀開頭他就以身作則,給我們看,我們都要知道,過去生的父母無量無數,既然過去生的父母無量無數,我們未來生的父母,還是無量無數。這不就是,也許是過去生的父母,也許是未來生的父母,雖然我不認識他,可是把年長的人,當成了自己的長輩、父母,他現在還活著。慈濟菩薩是長年累月,都在為現在的苦難長輩們,在付出,在為他清掃。
We often see Tzu Chi volunteers regularly caring for the elderly by helping to clean up their living environments. In the Sutra of Profound Gratitude to Parents, it tells of a story of the Buddha bowing to a pile of bones because the Buddha believed that these bones belong to living beings who have been his parents in one lifetime or another. So, we should be like the Buddha and regard all people as our parents of our past, present, or future lives. Although they may be strangers to us, we should still treat all those older than us as our own parents. That is why Tzu Chi volunteers tirelessly give of themselves to care for the elderly in need and help clean up their homes.

不過我這麼說,也不是說不用去清明掃墓,我們清明的這種掃墓,也有它的意義存在,那就是我們要追思先人之德。而且,我們還要省思自己,他們有什麼樣的德行,我們要好好地去追思,我們要用在現在,傳承父母祖先的德。假如想不起來或者是沒有,我們要趕快省思一下自己,我有沒有代替我的父母,去做一些造福人群的事呢?沒有的話,我們要積極,有的話,我們要堅持。
Having said all this, I am not saying that we do not need to go tomb sweeping anymore. There is still much meaning behind the festival as it is a time to remember our ancestors and their virtues and then reflect upon ourselves. We must recollect our ancestors’ virtues, live them out in our lives, and pass them on to our children. If we cannot remember anything about these, we must quickly think about whether we have sown blessings by going good on behalf of our parents. If we haven’t, then we must quickly do so. And if we have, we must continue persistently.

同時在這個時候,是帶著子孫來到這個墓地,是以身作則,在這裡跟子孫談-「過去你們的阿公是多麼辛苦,阿公的過去,他的為人是怎麼樣…」在墓地裡,可以跟子孫一番教育。所以這種的每年掃墓,具有教育的意義存在,這就是教孝的意義,這就是清明的意思。
Tom Sweeping Day is also a time when we can bring our children and grandchildren to the cemetery and share with them the lives of their grandparents and what kind of people they were. This is what we can share with the younger generation on this day. So, Tomb Sweeping Day is an occasion where we can teach children about filial piety. This is the meaning behind Tomb Sweeping Day.

不過在掃墓的時候,最重要大家要記得,謹慎火燭,最好就是用虔誠,不要再製造這種二氧化碳,對身體也不好,對大地也不好。
However, while cleaning the tombs, we must remember to be careful when lighting fires and burning incense. Our sincere piety is what’s most important. So, it’s best if we can stop burning paper money as it is bad for our health and for the Earth.

所以我們要知道掃墓的意義,其實是「慎終追遠」!而且是「追思先人之德」,而且是「省思自己」。我們要傳智慧的德,給後代的子孫,讓後代子孫不忘本,這是最重要。
We must know that the meaning behind. Tomb Sweeping Day is to pay respect to our ancestors. Moreover, it is to remember their virtues and to reflect upon ourselves. We must pass on the wisdom and virtues of our ancestors to the younger generation so that they will not forget their origins. This is what’s most important.

不過我們應該現在還要來改變一下,可以天天在家裡,就能感恩尊重,骨灰不一定要放在塔院,也可以在家。厚葬,入土為安,這是古早人的觀念。現在假如讓父母親活著的時候,享受到了子子孫孫的孝,這是最好的孝;往生了以後,還是跟子子孫孫共處一堂,你若在哪裡享受的環境裡,他就跟到哪裡去享受,這樣就是最好的供養。
We could also change our tradition a little by showing gratitude and respect to our ancestors at home every day—Rather than keeping their ashes in a pagoda, they could be kept at home. Burying the body intact was a custom from the past to show people’s filial piety. But if parents can feel the love and respect of their children while they are still alive, that would be true filial piety. And if we cremate them after they pass away, their ashes can be kept at home. Then, we’ll be able to pay respect to them every day. That would be the best offering we can make to them.

也看到了在加拿大的華人,也都是有這樣的孝思。十多年來,每一年到這個時候,大家都集中在,我們的加拿大的靜思堂,遙祭祖先,同時來發心立願,還虔誠祈禱普天之下都能平安,這都是最有智慧的。
We also see that for nearly 20 years, people from the Chinese community in Canada will gather at our office in Vancouver every year on Tomb Sweeping Day to pay respect to their ancestors. This year, they also prayed for the disaster survivors in Japan and for peace and safety in the world. This is the wisest way to spend Tomb Sweeping Day.

好吧!人生總是有一個心,孝得源頭,那就是善,我們時時行善,回歸溯源那就是孝思。
Indeed, a heart of sincere piety is most important. Filial piety is the foundation of all goodness. So, by doing good every day, we are practicing the essence of filial piety.

(Source: Da Ai TV 人間菩提)
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