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 20141215《靜思妙蓮華》回顧前二 開菩提場 (第457集) (法華經•方便品第二)

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20141215《靜思妙蓮華》回顧前二 開菩提場 (第457集) (法華經•方便品第二) Empty
發表主題: 20141215《靜思妙蓮華》回顧前二 開菩提場 (第457集) (法華經•方便品第二)   20141215《靜思妙蓮華》回顧前二 開菩提場 (第457集) (法華經•方便品第二) Empty周日 12月 14, 2014 10:18 pm

20141215《靜思妙蓮華》回顧前二 開菩提場 (第457集)
(法華經•方便品第二)

⊙「佛在靈山會中,暢開心菩提場,啟經序六成就,放光現瑞說法。」
⊙「汝等既已知,諸佛世之師,隨宜方便事,無復諸疑惑,心生大歡喜,自知當作佛。」《法華經方便品第二》
⊙佛在靈山說法,為一大事施教,普令體解大道,入覺性慧海;無奈機鈍難契佛心,今至時開權顯實法,為說法華經一大乘。
⊙序品,六成就,一、如是:為信成就。二、我聞:為聞成就。三、一時:為時成就。四、佛:為說法主成就。五、說法處:處成就。六、聞眾:為眾成就。
⊙靈山法會諸緣具,契佛座默然放光。彌勒文殊對唱,引日月燈明佛,次復有佛亦名日月燈明。
⊙「如是二萬佛,說大乘經,名無量義,教菩薩法,佛所護念」。
⊙而中下等根尚未起信解之心,故為說譬喻使得瞭解,迴小向大。
⊙又於方便品專說實相,此下皆說譬喻、說因緣,皆為引導中下根同明佛乘之義。


【證嚴上人開示】
「佛在靈山會中,暢開心菩提場,啟經序六成就,放光現瑞說法。」

佛在靈山會中
暢開心菩提場
啟經序 六成就
放光現瑞說法


這要要讓大家稍微回顧,我們前面《法華經》在七卷中,第一卷有二品,從<序品>到<方便品>,已經上面告一段落了。還記得昨天在<方便品>,最後這段(經)文,「汝等既已知,諸佛世之師,隨宜方便事,無復諸疑惑,心生大歡喜,自知當作佛。」

汝等既已知
諸佛世之師
隨宜方便事
無復諸疑惑
心生大歡喜
自知當作佛
《法華經方便品第二》


佛陀辛辛苦苦用種種方便、言辭、譬喻,無不都是希望人人能夠體會,道理是真實,只是應根機。所以「汝等既已知」,大家全都瞭解了,佛陀的心意,無非是讓大家趕緊方向一致,提升起來,這是佛陀的一大事,希望讓大家的心能夠體會,最重要的道理就是在這個時刻,佛陀來到人間,總是要適應人間眾生的機,已經是盡心力了。所以「無復諸疑惑」,不要再有懷疑了。大家來到這個地方,應該心要接受,歡喜的時候,能夠聽聞到大法,這個法和我們的慧命,是息息相關。

所以「心生大歡喜,自知當作佛」。大家應該瞭解了,我已經不是芸芸的凡夫了,瞭解六道輪迴、因緣果報始末的源頭。為何漏落為凡夫呢?找到這個源頭了,自然就知道,我們應該怎麼樣,趕緊轉一個方向,走入菩提大直道,這個六道輪迴就能夠完全去除,永遠都是在悠遊法海中。這種靜寂清澄、琉璃世界,這種的境界,是我們將要將這個法,入我們真如本性時,所以歡喜。

所以在這裡地方說,「佛在靈山會中,暢開心菩提場」。過去會考慮這個法,是不是現在能說呢?說出去,眾生能夠接受嗎?若是不能接受,會反作用嗎?考慮很多。現在已經不必再考慮,沒有障礙、暢通,心,佛的心和眾生的心、弟子的心,應該都是暢通。從此度彼,從佛的心要度到眾生的心去,所以這個「暢開心菩提場」,整個心的菩提場打開了。

「啟經序,六成就」,在《法華經》第一卷第一品,那就是叫做<開經序>,每一本經都要照這個次序來。開經的<序品>一定有六成就。在這個六成就,開始佛陀到了,在這個靈鷲山,人,聽的人也到了等等,那個道場本來是空的。靈山那個地方,本來是空的,要講這場的大法,所以慢慢講經的人到了、聽經的人到了,種種的形態,全都集過來,六成就。

我們應該要知道,佛陀這個靈山,佛在靈山,佛在靈山的法會上開始要說法,這場的說法和過去不同,這場的說法就是要結束他,這個一大事因緣最重要的關鍵。

所以為一大事,佛陀現相在人間。從出生,住皇宮,長大,體會到人世間種種事物,人間的不平等,那些奴隸、賤民之苦,他不忍心,這是一段的描述。年紀輕輕,又是在富有中生活,能夠體會苦難人,這是很特殊的智慧。慢慢長大,想要如何為人間,解開了這種羈索,這種的立志弘願,唯有要脫離小愛的家庭,去找,找出方法要用什麼方法,來解開了這種封建的繩索。要如何打開?這就是要參訪。

九十六種的外道教,他這樣,參訪遍了所有的叢林,各各的修行方法都不是很究竟,而且各種的方法,不近人性、不近道理。所以,佛陀全都瞭解之後,他感覺應該,還有一條真實、清淨無染,與天地合一的道理。所以因為這樣,五年後,參訪五年之後,開始就去追求,天地間萬物相的涵義、道理。所以六年的時間苦行,身體和大自然,先去體會四季輪轉,於天地間生活種種,然後,這個苦行,一直到九十六種外道教的修行,天地之間和這個修行的方法,他將它會合起來,如何才是真實道?

他靜下心來慢慢思考,因緣成熟了,夜睹明星,與宇宙天體合而為一。這種的境界,就像是諸佛菩薩,在過去無數量的道場,天界無數無數的境界,完全就是展現出來,這個境界稱為華嚴海會,廣無邊際、清淨無染。所有天地萬法,萬萬億億的法,無法算計,一時都納入了覺性法海中,所以很想要與大家分享,這個一大事。

不過,眾生,不是那麼容易能夠接受,佛陀要費盡了苦心,用什麼方法,所以這個施教,要如何來教育呢?要如何讓大家,普令體解大道?讓眾生,所有所有的眾生,全都能普解大道,大家都能夠體會到這個大道理,能夠 體會之後,自然「入覺性慧海」。

佛在靈山說法
為一大事施教
普令體解大道
入覺性慧海
無奈機鈍難契佛心
今至時開權顯實法
為說法華經一大乘


但是無奈,眾生的根機很鈍,要來契合佛的心很難,所以才要讓佛陀四十多年間,就是這麼辛苦,一直到現在。「今至時」,這個時是到時候了;佛陀也將近八十(歲)了,以人間的法則,自然的法則,時間已經剩沒多少。所以「今至時」,這個時間,不得不開權顯實法。這個時候,在法華會,就是在靈山會中,所以佛陀,必定要開權顯實的時候,應該要為大家說,《法華經》的一大乘。這是我們應該要很體會佛心,如何讓我們人人的慧命能夠成長,如何讓牛們人人的智性法海,能夠開啟,這是佛陀對我們眾生的恩德。

現在大家要知道,每一本經必定有六成就。靈山會的開頭,那就是聽法的人來,第一,開始,每一本經,它都是,「如是我聞,一時佛在」,某某地方說法,還有某某人來聽法,這是要全部成就。

序品 六成就
一、 如是:
為信成就。
二、 我聞:
為聞成就
三、 一時:
為時成就
四、 佛:
為說法主成就
五、 說法處:
處成就。
六、 聞眾:
為眾成就。


過去(說)的<序品>,光是「如是我聞,一時佛住」,就已經說很久,簡單來說,「如是」就是信成就——是真實是這樣,你要相信。我們既然要來聽法,我們必定要有信,甚至要講法的人,也要讓人能夠相信,所以這個信成就,若不信就不會來這裡聽法了,要有信,而且要很堅固的相信。

阿難稱「我聞」,「我聞」也是我阿難聽到,你要相信,相信我阿難。在某個地方,佛陀與某一個人,在對答,說法等等的法,我全都聽到;我將佛陀所說的法,原原本本再來複述給大家聽,所以「我聞」,那就是幸好有阿難他的記憶,佛陀所說法重述一次。所以佛法,就是經過了這樣很原始的,大家的背誦,口口相傳。

「一時」,就是這個時間,是佛講大法的時候。過去四十多年的時間,凡是每一場的說法,都是「一時」——有一個時間,在某某地方,對誰講法,無法日期記載,你記憶再好,也忘記了到底是什麼時候。何況佛陀的智慧,那時候他對宇宙間的道理很透徹。在我們這裡說早上,在紐約說晚上,何況說在(其)他星球呢?你要說,哪一個月?哪一天呢?所以不如通稱「一時」,這樣就沒有矛盾了,也不會只是說在地球上。

總之,在全球這個時差不同,無法統一一個時間,所以通稱「一時」,所以時成就,現在所指的時,是靈山會那個時候,那個時。

佛,就是說法的人,時間到了,說法的人還沒到,也無法成就;說法的人到了,聽法的人都沒有來,這樣也是不能成就,所以一定要所有都要成就,所以說法主成就,這叫做說法的人是佛,法,說法(處) ,就是處成就。有說法的人、有聽法的人、有這個時間,但是要在哪裡說法呢?就像我們現在,我們是在花蓮,我們是在精舍,我們這個時間,我也在、你們也在,已經有這麼多因緣成熟。佛陀在世時也是這樣,要有地方、有聽眾。人間的人、出家修行的人,社會有國王、有一般的生意家,全都來了;加上了諸菩薩、諸天龍八部,全都到了,是一個很盛況的道場。這叫做「六成就」。

說法主是釋迦牟尼佛,說法的地點是在靈山會,聽眾,靈山法會的緣全都具足了。佛陀坐下來,不斷地放光,那個時候,在那兩眉之間,毫相特別明亮出來。所以大家感覺,得,怎麼這麼久還未出定?因為佛陀在那期間,就是「離言法華」。

「離言法華」之前,就是《無量義經》,因為《無量義經》是教菩薩法,直接就要說菩薩和人間,切切相關的經典,所以佛陀,還未講《法華經》之前,就先講了《無量義經》。為了要讓大家,更清楚這個菩薩法,有從方便然後就要有譬喻,要讓大家知道過去四十年間,權巧方便法沒有離開道理,沒有離開一乘法。所以說來,《無量義經》是精粹,《法華經》來敘述這個菩薩道,和人間道、和佛道,這是一貫連接,這個道不能斷掉,人間道、菩薩道,深入佛道,這是要一連串過來。

所以佛陀從《無量義經》說完,他開始坐下來的時候,放光現瑞相,才開始彌勒、文殊來對唱,才慢慢引出了日月燈明佛。

靈山法會諸緣具
契佛座默然放光
彌勒文殊對唱
引日月燈明佛
次復有佛
亦名日月燈明


而且次復有佛,也名叫做日月燈明佛。這我們在那段時間都一直說,到底多少(尊)呢?二萬(尊)。文殊菩薩一直就是來敍述著,日月燈明佛來來回回,二萬尊佛,所以「如是二萬佛,說大乘經,名無量義,教菩薩法,佛所護念」。

如是二萬佛
說大乘經
名無量義
教菩薩法
佛所護念


這是釋迦佛在打坐時,文殊菩薩敘述過去,二萬尊日月燈明佛出世,全都一樣,還是最後還是講大乘經,名無量義,教菩薩法,這都是佛的心懷,佛的本懷,所以中下等的根機無法信解。

而中下等根
尚未起信解之心
故為說譬喻
使得瞭解
迴小向大


在過去二萬的日月燈明佛,還是同樣這樣,就是要暢演本懷,也要等時機。因為中、下等的根機,沒辦法信解,所以就要說譬喻,要用種種來譬喻、來解釋,這樣才能夠使,這些中、下根機的人,迴小向大。

所以,這是<序品>,佛陀開始說。接下來就是<方便品>。<方便品>專門在說實相。

又於方便品
專說實相
此下皆說譬喻、
說因緣
皆為引導中下根
同明佛乘之義

雖然是說<方便品>,但是是妙權,內涵就是真實道,完全就是在說實相。雖然名稱是方便,其實就是在為我們解釋,事事物物是這樣的形象,但是它其中的道理,是這樣、這樣,這就是在<方便品>中的實相。

人若還不能接受,再接下來下面這段(經)文,就開始要譬喻了,所以第三品是<譬喻品>。<譬喻品>完全就是要講因緣,這全都是為了,要引導中、下根機的人,能夠全都會合回來,能夠體會佛陀的一乘的道理。

佛陀的用心,用大心,而我們凡夫也應該要學佛,棄小為大,所以也要多用心。


月亮 在 周三 9月 09, 2020 8:10 am 作了第 4 次修改
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薰法香心得札記(二○一四年十二月十六日星期二)

20141215《靜思妙蓮華》回顧前二 開菩提場 (第457集) (法華經•方便品第二)

 

今天上人很慈悲,為我們複習前兩品,重點如下。

 



重點經文與偈文

陀羅尼(自己判斷)

序品第一

佛在靈山說法,為一大事施教,普令體解大道,入覺性慧海;無奈機鈍難契佛心,今至時開權顯實法,為說法華經一大乘。

 

六成就,一、如是:為信成就。二、我聞:為聞成就。三、一時:為時成就。四、佛:為說法主成就。五、說法處:處成就。六、聞眾:為眾成就。

 

「如是二萬佛,說大乘經,名無量義,教菩薩法,佛所護念」。

「如是二萬佛,說大乘經,名無量義,教菩薩法,佛所護念」。

方便品第二

「汝等既已知,諸佛世之師,隨宜方便事,無復諸疑惑,心生大歡喜,自知當作佛。

 

而中下等根尚未起信解之心,故為說譬喻使得瞭解,迴小向大

又於方便品專說實相,此下皆說譬喻、說因緣,皆為引導中下根同明佛乘之義。

 

而中下等根尚未起信解之心,故為說譬喻使得瞭解,迴小向大。

相信自己,相信別人,人人皆有佛性,人人皆能成佛

 

諸佛世之師,隨宜方便事,無復諸疑惑,心生大歡喜,自知當作佛。

 

 

「佛在靈山會中,暢開心菩提場,啟經序六成就,放光現瑞說法。」
「汝等既已知,諸佛世之師,隨宜方便事,無復諸疑惑,心生大歡喜,自知當作佛。」《法華經方便品第二》
佛在靈山說法,為一大事施教,普令體解大道,入覺性慧海;無奈機鈍難契佛心,今至時開權顯實法,為說法華經一大乘。
序品,六成就,一、如是:為信成就。二、我聞:為聞成就。三、一時:為時成就。四、佛:為說法主成就。五、說法處:處成就。六、聞眾:為眾成就。
靈山法會諸緣具,契佛座默然放光。彌勒文殊對唱,引日月燈明佛,次復有佛亦名日月燈明。
「如是二萬佛,說大乘經,名無量義,教菩薩法,佛所護念」。
而中下等根尚未起信解之心,故為說譬喻使得瞭解,迴小向大。
又於方便品專說實相,此下皆說譬喻、說因緣,皆為引導中下根同明佛乘之義。

 

 

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20141215《靜思妙蓮華》回顧前二 開菩提場 (第457集) (法華經•方便品第二) Empty
發表主題: 回復: 20141215《靜思妙蓮華》回顧前二 開菩提場 (第457集) (法華經•方便品第二)   20141215《靜思妙蓮華》回顧前二 開菩提場 (第457集) (法華經•方便品第二) Empty周一 12月 22, 2014 1:11 pm

Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: A Look Back at the First Two Chapters (回顧前二 開菩提場)
Date: December.15. 2014

“The Buddha, at the Vulture Peak Assembly, freely taught in accordance with His mind’s place of enlightenment. In the preface of the sutra, the Six Fulfillments were met. He radiated light and manifested auspicious appearances to teach the Dharma.”

This is a brief review of the first two chapters. In the seven volumes of the Lotus Sutra, the first volume contains two chapters, the Introductory Chapter and the Chapter on Skillful Means. We have now finished our discussion of them. Do you remember yesterday’s final oassage from the Chapter on Skillful Means?

“Since all of you already know how the Buddhas, the teachers of the world, work by giving suitable and skillful means, you should have no further doubts. Let your hearts be filled with joy, knowing that you will attain Buddhahood.”

The Buddha tirelessly taught with various skillful means, expressions and analogies, always hoping that everyone could realize that [all] principles are the truth; they are just taught according to capabilities. So, “Since all of you already know” means they had all understood that the Buddha’s intention was to turn everyone toward the same direction and raise people’s [capabilities for understanding]. This is the Buddha’s one great cause. He hoped everyone could realize that. He was sharing the most important principles at that time. When the Buddha comes to the world, He does everything He can to adapt to the capabilities of sentient beings. So, we “should have no further doubts.” We should not have any misgivings. When we come to a place like this, our minds should be open and accepting and we should be happy we can learn the Great Dharma. This Dharma and our wisdom-life are closely interrelated.
So He said, “Let your hearts be filled with joy, knowing that you will attain Buddhahood.” We should understand that we are no longer ordinary people. We understand the origins of our transmigration in the Six Realms and our karmic retributions. How did we come to be unenlightened beings? Once we discover the reason, we naturally understand that we need to immediately change our course and step onto the great and direct Bodhi-path. This will completely free us from transmigration in the Six Realms so that we can forever roam with ease over the Dharma-sea. This is a tranquil and clear state, as pure as crystal. This is the state we are in when we apply the Dharma to return to our intrinsic nature of True Suchness. So, we feel happy.
That is why I say, “The Buddha, at the Vulture Peak Assembly, freely taught in accordance with His mind’s place of enlightenment.” Previously, His consideration was, “Can I teach the Dharma at this moment? If I teach it, can sentient beings accept it? If they cannot, would it be counterproductive?” He considered many factors. At this time, the Buddha needed no further consideration. Without obstacles, He felt free. The [connection between] the Buddha’s mind and the minds of all sentient beings and of His disciples should be free and unhindered. From His own mind, He delivered that Dharma into their minds.
So, He “freely taught in accordance with His mind’s place of enlightenment.” He fully opened up this place of enlightenment. “In the preface of the sutra, the Six Fulfillments were met.” The first chapter of the first volume of the Lotus Sutra is considered the “sutra preface”. Every sutra is organized in this way. The Introductory Chapter that opens the sutra must include the Six Fulfillments. The Six Fulfillments began with the Buddha’s arrival at Vulture Peak. Then the listeners also arrived. This place for spiritual cultivation was empty; originally, there was no one at Vulture Peak. Before the Great Dharma can be taught, the speaker must arrive, gradually followed by the audience. Beings of various forms all gathered there.These are the Six Fulfillments.
We should understand.What the Buddha did at Vulture Peak before He began teaching at the Dharma-assembly.The way He taught there was different from the way He had taught in the past.In His teachings this time, He summarized and addressed the most essential part of His one great cause.For the sake of His one great cause, the Buddha manifested in the world.
He was born into and grew up in the royal palace, and experienced many matters of the world, like the inequality that existed among humans and the suffering of servants and Untouchables in society.He was saddened by this.This description of how.He had been young and wealthy but was still able to feel for people who suffered shows His exceptional wisdom.As He grew up, He wanted to find a way to resolve these entanglements of the world.The only way to fulfill this kind of great vow was to leave the family He loved and look for ways that He could break the restrictions of the caste system.In order to change this system, He traveled to learn about the 96 religious teachings of the time.The Buddha visited all the spiritual centers.None of these methods led to the ultimate.Moreover, these various spiritual practices were inhumane and irrational.
Therefore, after coming to understand them fully, the Buddha felt that there must be one true, pure, undefiled principle that could unite Him with the heavens and earth.Therefore, after these five years of travel, He began to seek the truth and meaning of all things in the universe.So, over six years of ascetic practices, He tried to connect His body to nature.He first experienced the cycle of the four seasons and then other aspects of living in nature.
Then He considered the ascetic practices of living in nature, in conjunction with the 96 other religious practices, to try to fathom the ultimate path.He calmed His mind and slowly contemplated this.Then His karmic conditions matured, He saw the morning star in the night sky and became one with the universe.In that state, it seemed that all past Buddhas and Bodhisattvas and Their countless places of spiritual practice, along with the countless states of all the heavens, were fully revealed to Him.This state is called the Avatamsaka assembly.
It is vast and boundless, pure and undefiled.All the Dharma in the universe, the trillions, the incalculable numbers of teachings, were instantly encompassed by His ocean of enlightenment.This was what He really wanted to share.This was His one great cause.
However, sentient beings could not easily accept this teaching.
The Buddha expended a lot of effort on figuring out the right methods.What was the best way to give teachings?How could He help everyone realize the great path?How could He help all sentient beings to universally understand the great path?Everyone has the potential to understand it, and when they do, naturally they will “enter the ocean of enlightenment and wisdom”.

The Buddha taught the Dharma at Vulture Peak for the sake of one great cause, to help everyone realize the great path and enter the ocean of enlightenment and wisdom.Sadly, people’s capabilities were dull and they found it hard to resonate with the Buddha-mind.Now was the time to open up the provisional and reveal the true for the sake of expounding the One Vehicle of the Lotus teachings.

Sadly, sentient beings’ capabilities were dull, so to resonate with the Buddha-mind was very difficult.This was why the Buddha, for over 40 years, had to work very hard, up to this point; “now was the time”.This was the right time.The Buddha was almost 80 years old.
According to the natural course of life, He did not have much time left.So, “now was time”; the Buddha had to open up the provisional to reveal the True Dharma.This happened at the Lotus Dharma-assembly, which took place at Vulture Peak.When the Buddha had to open up the provisional to reveal the true, it was time to teach the One Vehicle Dharma [found in] the Lotus Sutra.So, we must deeply comprehend the Buddha’s mindset.]
He finds ways to help us develop our wisdom-life and open up our sea of wisdom. That is the grace the Buddha shows to all beings. Now, all of us should understand that every sutra have the Six Fulfillments. At the beginning of the Vulture Peak Assembly, the listeners arrived. First, every sutra begins with, “Thus have I heard. One time, the Buddha” taught at some place, and certain people came to listen. All this must first be fulfilled.

The Six Fulfillments in the Introductory Chapter.
1.Thus: Fulfillment of Faith
2.I have heard: Fulfillment of Hearing
3.At one time: Fulfillment of Time
4.the Buddha: Fulfillment of Host
5.Where the Buddha Taught: Fulfillment of Place
6.The group of listeners: Fulfillment of Assembly


In the Introductory Chapter, just discussing. “Thus have I Heard, One Time, the Buddha…” took a very long time. Simply put, “Thus” is the fulfillment of faith. This is the truth. We must believe in it. Since we want to listen to the Dharma, we must believe in it. Moreover, the one who recounts the Dharma must enable people to have faith in it. This is Fulfillment of Faith. Those without faith will not listen to the Dharma. So, we must have faith, a very firm faith.
Ananda proclaimed, “[Thus] have I heard”. “I heard” refers to the things he had [learned]. He wants us to believe that, at a certain place, te Buddha and certain people engaged in a dialogue where He gave teachings and that he heard all of it. Everything that the Buddha taught was precisely repeated by Ananda for everyone else.
So, he could say, “I have heard”. Fortunately, Ananda had a great memory and could repeat the teachings of the Buddha. So, the Buddha-Dharma was first passed down through the primitive method of recitation and oral transmission. “One time” refers to the moment, the time when the Buddha taught the Great Dharma. Over those 40-plus years, everyone Dharma-assembly happened at “one time”. The Buddha taught a certain time and place, to certain people; the date could not recorded. No matter how good one’s memory is, one can still forget the actual time.
Moreover, at that time, the Buddha had the wisdom to thoroughly understand the principles of the universe. For instance, morning in Taiwan is nighttime in New York, not to mention the time on other planets! How would we specify a [universally applicable] month and day? Thus we generally refer to this as “one time”. Then there will not be any contradictions. Even if we just peak in term of time to Earth, basically, there are different time zones, so there is no universal time. So, we generally refer to “one time”.
That is the Fulfillment of Time. The time referred to here is the time of the Vulture Peak Assembly. The Buddha was the one who taught the Dharma. If the time comes and the speaker is not yet there the conditions cannot be fulfilled. When the speaker is there but the listeners are not, the conditions cannot be fulfilled either. Therefore, all the conditions must be fulfilled. There has to be the Fulfillment of Host. Thus the “host” is the Buddha. The place where the Dharma is taught satisfies the Fulfillment of Place. There is a person to teach, people to listen, and the right time. But where is the Dharma being taught?
For instance, at this moment, we are in Hualien, at the Jing Si Abode. At this moment of time, I am here and so are all of you. So many causes and conditions have matured. Similarly, during the Buddha’s lifetime, there had to be a place, as well as listeners. Everyone in the world, from monastics, to kings, to ordinary merchants, all came. One top of that, all Bodhisattvas and the eight classes of Dharma-protectors also arrived. This was such an exceptional Dharma-assembly. These are the Six Fulfillments.
The host, the speaker, was Sakyamni Buddha. The palce for teaching was Vulture Peak, and with the listeners, the conditions for the Vulture Peak. Dharma-assembly were completely fulfilled. While the Buddha was sitting, He radiated light. At that time, the tuft of hair between His brows became especially bright. Everyone wondered why He remained in Samadhi for such a long time. During that period of time, He was teaching the “unspoken Lotus Sutra”.
Prior to teaching the “unspoken Lotus Sutra”, He taught the Sutra of Infinite Meanings, as this sutra taught the Bodhisattva Way. It clearly explained the close connection between Bodhisattvas and this world. So, prior to teaching the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha taught the Sutra of Infinite Meanings to help everyone gain a clearer understanding of the Bodhisattva Way.Beside skillful means, He also used analogies. He wanted everyone to know that for 40-plus years, the skillful means that He taught never deviated from true principles or from the One Vehicle Dharma.
So, the Sutra of Infinite Meanings is the essence of the Lotus Sutra, which describes how the Bodhisattva-pat, the human path and the path to Buddhahood are all one continuous path. This path must not be severed. The Human path and the Bodhisattva-path help us deeply penetrate the path to Buddhahood. This had to be done in sequence.
So, after teaching the Sutra of Infinite Meanings, He sat down and began to radiate light and manifest auspicious appearances. Then Manjusri engaged in a dialogue, referencing Sun-Moon-Lamp Radiant Buddha.

At the Vulture Peak Assembly, all conditions [for teaching] were fulfilled. The Buddha sat, radiating light in silence. Maitreya and Manjusri engaged in a dialogue, referencing Sun-Moon-Lamp Radiant Buddha and all the subsequent Buddhas also named Sun-Moon-Lamp Radiant.

There was sequence of Buddhas, each named Sun-Moon-Lamp Radiant Buddha. We talked about them for a while. How many in total were there? 20,000. Manjusri Bodhisattva kept talking about how Sun-Moon-Lamp Radiant Buddhas constantly returned. There were 20,000 such Buddhas.

These were the 20,000 Buddhas “who expounded the Great Vehicle sutra named Infinite Meanings. They taught the Bodhisattva Way.”

When Sakyamuni Buddha sat in meditation, Manjusri Bodhisattva described how, in the past, 20,000 Buddhas appeared in the world and did the same thing. In the end, they all taught a Great Vehicle sutra named Infinite Meanings, of the Bodhisattva Way. Every Buddha shared this same original intent. Those with average and limited capabilities could not develop faith and understanding.

Those with average and limited capabilities who have not developed faith and understanding were taught with analogies so they could understand and turn from the Small [Vehicle] to the Great.

In the past, the 20,000 Sun-Moon-Lamp Radiant Buddha also taught in this way. Before freely expressing Their original intent, they waited for the right time because those with average and limited capabilities could not believe and understand. Therefore, They taught with analogies. With various analogies, They explained things so those with average and limited capabilities could turn from the Small [Vehicle] to the Great. This was what the Buddha began to teach. This was what the Buddha began to teach in the Introductory Chapter.
Next is the Chapter on Skillful Means, which focuses on ultimate reality.

Next is the Chapter on Skillful Means, which focuses on ultimate reality. It includes teachings of analogies and causes and conditions to guide those of average and limited capabilities to clearly understand the meaning of the Buddha Vehicle.

Although it is called the Chapter on Skillful Means, these are wondrous provisional teachings; their essence is the True Path. Everything is teaching the ultimate truth. Although it is titled Skillful Means, it is actually explaining to us the appearances of matters and objects and [the nature of] their underlying principles. This is how the Chapter in Skillful Means teaches [the principles of] ultimate reality.
If people still cannot accept this, then the next section of the sutra will start drawing analogies. The third chapter is the Chapter on Parables, which is entirely focused causes and conditions. Its sole purpose is to guide those with average and limited capabilities to come together and realize the principles of the One Vehicle.
The Buddha was mindful, with great aspirations; as ordinary beings, we must learn from Him and set aside the Small Vehicle for the Great. Therefore, we must always be mindful.

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