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 20170103《靜思妙蓮華》以如如智‧契如如境 (第993集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)

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發表主題: 20170103《靜思妙蓮華》以如如智‧契如如境 (第993集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)   周一 1月 02, 2017 11:06 pm

20170103《靜思妙蓮華》以如如智‧契如如境 (第993集)
(法華經•
化城喻品

 
以如如智,契如如境;以境發智,以智照境;境智冥合,即是報身;湛然寂靜,志玄虛漠。
諸子各有種種珍異玩好之具,聞父得成阿耨多羅三藐三菩提,皆捨所珍,往詣佛所,諸母涕泣而隨送之。《法華經化城喻品第七
其祖轉輪聖王,與一百大臣、及餘百千萬億人民,皆共圍繞隨至道場,咸欲親近大通智勝如來。《法華經化城喻品第七
其祖轉輪聖王:大通之父,因孫名祖,轉輪聖王,即是菩薩修行之位。
與一百大臣及餘百千萬億人民:同輔佐者大臣百官,國中所有人之眾。
皆共圍繞隨至道場:諸王子祖,及所生母,國中大臣,人民之眾,皆悉周圍環繞王子,隨逐至於大通如來道場之所。
咸欲親近大通智勝如來:其祖轉輪聖王、十六子諸母眷屬,皆共圍繞,隨至道場,大眾皆欲親近於佛。
祖王隨至者,有道之人,父不得而子得。
大臣人民亦至者,上行而下效。
 
【證嚴上人開示】

「以如如智,契如如境;以境發智,以智照境;境智冥合,即是報身;湛然寂靜,志玄虛漠。」
 
以如如智
契如如境
以境發智
以智照境
境智冥合
即是報身
湛然寂靜
志玄虛漠
 
這個境界聽來,是多麼清淨無染垢,真的是清淨無染垢。人人本具佛性,人人都有真如妙智,這是我們人人本具,佛陀是這樣跟我們說,我們必定要這樣相信。
 
「以如如智,契如如境」。這就是說,我們真如妙智本來就是清淨,無明無法覆蓋我們,污染不了我們的真如本性,煩惱也不會染污到真如妙智。
 
真如妙智清淨本性,無明本來就無法將它覆蓋,只是所說的煩惱,就是外面的境界紛紛擾擾,我們的真如妙智被遮住了。就如布是蓋在鏡子上,不是混進鏡子裡,鏡子,鏡體清淨,只有你,很多層的布,這樣把它污染了。這是我們凡夫,一直都是很多複雜煩惱,這樣在日常的生活中,我們不覺知。我們若能知道,知道我本具佛性,真如妙智在我的內心,就是本來清淨,我們知道,開始我們就懂得提高警覺,時時往內自照,自我觀照,「以如如智」,我們來「契如如境」,回歸我們清淨的境界。
 
這個如如境,是在外面日常生活中,種種的境界,我們到底是用什麼心,來看外面的境界,我們到底用什麼見解,來解外面的人事物?這是看我們是不是有用心。我們若不用心,心就受境轉;而我們若是用心,已經有覺悟了,瞭解佛法,外面的人事物,我們會用心轉煩惱,就是入我們
的真如來。真如,煩惱一轉成為智,轉迷為智,轉煩惱成菩提,轉迷為覺,這就是我們,要在日常生活中去體會。
 
「以境發智」。我們若用心,外面的境界,人、事、物無不都是,啟發我們智慧的資源。慧命就是要從,在人事物中來生長,就如蓮花在污泥,污泥那些濁,污濁就是蓮花的養分,蓮花因為有污泥,所以它會盛開,開得很漂亮,花開果成。
 
這個時候,你若去看看我們(精舍)的蓮花池,花開過了,花謝了,花瓣掉下來了,那個果,蓮蓬,很漂亮。最近他們剪下來,拿進裡面,看。有時候聽,在外面聽人事物,煩惱怎麼這麼多呢?我趕快就伸手將蓮蓬,蓮花的果拿過來,眼睛看,看,花開果成啊!這朵蓮花的(蓮)蓬,那就是從污泥中來的!這是我們現在,你們可以去看看那個蓮花池,雖然我很久沒有,走到蓮花池去了,不過他們剪下來的這朵蓮花,這個果,我若是在聽人、事、物,複雜的事情,我就趕快來看看這個果,對啊!這就是,出於污泥而不染啊!
 
這個蓮花的蓮蓬,又是子就是在裡面。常常算算看,到底這個蓮蓬有幾顆子?有時候算十六顆,有時候算起來是十八顆,有時候超過二十二顆。咦!這個蓮蓬,蓮花的果實有它大小分別,較大朵的,它的容量,裡面的子就多出來,若是較小,它的容量較小,它的子就較少。
 
從這個現實的境界,讓我想到很多,原來人生真如與生俱來,就是這麼單純,卻是它就是在污泥中而生長。看看人世間這麼濁氣這麼重,這朵蓮花是不是要很感恩,這一池污泥的濁,污濁的污泥才能使蓮花盛開,這污泥也幸好有蓮花來美化,才會有人願意親近到這個蓮池,去蓮池邊欣賞蓮花。不就是這樣嗎?
 
佛出人間,這個人間是堪忍的世間,就是五趣雜居的地方,就是污濁,可是佛陀他就是,出生在這樣的地方,這是心願,來度化眾生。說種種法,要將我們的煩惱無明,要為我們轉動,這叫做轉法輪,轉煩惱成菩提,轉迷為覺。我們若能聽,聽法,面對著很複雜的人生,自然我們就時時覺性,我們的警覺性就提高出來,來分析道理,自然防非止惡。我們的「三無漏學」,我們學來的戒、定、慧,具足了很多的法,我們用種種法,去對治種種的煩惱,八萬四千煩惱,就有八萬四千法去對治。
 
昨晚應該有聽到,我們馬來西亞回來的菩薩,三天入經藏。將要入經藏之前,他們就要先讀書會,要讀這部經的意義是什麼,才開始來練歌詞。不只是要背這些詞,連韻律也要調配合起來,有韻律、歌詞,要開始唱誦唸。同時,唱唸歌詞,他們連肢體語言,就是手語,與我們的身體動作就要配合。
 
一次一次的彩排訓練,從遍布各地,各人的社區、各人的團隊,他們去用心,去訓練,然後才來集訓。大家已經讀過書了,也已經背誦了,開始手語也差不多了,集合起來,那就是要調整人與人,同一個時間、同一念心,萬眾一心。就是從小區域、小區域,大家慢慢調,調出了大區域會合時,自然展現出來的,那就是同一秒鐘、同一心念。
 
所以常常說「佛心為己心」,而且,佛心,那就是要經過了一番的大覺悟,才有辦法佛心。這一分大覺悟,要用多長的時間?幾年的時間?應該要說那個種子,是來自於五年前,臺灣的入經藏、大懺悔,他們開始發心。我跟他們說:「臺灣可以,你們馬來西亞也可以啊!這麼的莊嚴,讚歎,你們也是同樣做得到。有心、有願,自然就有力。」這種形象已經三天的時間六場,六萬多人(次),每一場都是名副其實,萬眾一心。
 
這不是這樣就過去了,事後感動的人有多少呢!是真正發露懺悔。在這一場,人人眼睛接觸,耳根所聽的,無不都是字字入心,滴滴如水。法譬如水,洗滌了人人的心,滋潤了一片枯萎的大地,這片土地已經得到法雨滋潤了。我們在<藥草喻品>,不就是一直說嗎?大地需要水,法水就要等待「密雲彌布」,是因緣成熟。要集很多的因緣,密雲集合,那就是表示能下雨之時。雨一下,大地萬物復甦,草木等等,大地受潤,草木繁榮,這也是要用時間、因緣累積。
 
這就如我們人人的心地,我們要養心地。凡夫的心地很乾燥,就是善法的種子落在大地,就如種子在沙漠中,根本無法發芽,這顆種子落沙漠,久而久之,這顆種子也是枯、乾了,也無法再發芽的機會。所以,我們心地要養好,我們要常常有法水來滋潤,法的種子若落,它才能發芽萌苗,菩提種子,菩提芽、菩提樹、菩提林。這就是我們人人要共同來體會。
 
人人本具佛性,佛性與生俱來,但是我們就是外面的境界,一念無明就是生三細,貪、瞋、癡。貪、瞋、癡,外面的境界為緣長六粗,生長出了六粗相的煩惱。起貪念、瞋念,一瞋,開始瞋怒的形態就出來了;癡迷不悟,這就是我們的人生,一癡迷下去,人的道理哪有辦法現前呢?執迷不悟啊!貪在名利、地位,有名的時候,不可一世,驕慢的心就出來了。
 
這種貪、瞋、癡、慢、疑,真正的道理就是抱著懷疑的心,對法不會真誠的信仰,這要如何能夠,讓我們在日常生活,時時覺悟?沒辦法。因為我們已經癡迷了,真正的道理聽不進,外面的境界不斷誘惑我們,這樣一直把我們誘引出去。想,我們真如,「以如如智」,我們本來真如妙智,本來是清淨,就是外面的境界遮蔽了我們,所以癡迷,就是使我們無法啟動覺,覺性,啟動,無心去啟動。
 
我們若能學佛,信。「信為道元功德母」,要相信佛所說的法。佛陀說,過去塵點劫,無始的無始以前的塵點劫,大通智勝佛時,大家是不是願意相信呢?我是很相信,因為我相信佛陀所說法,我相信人人本具佛性,人人無始以來,我們的真如本性,就是這樣跟著我們來來回回,長久的時間,塵點劫以來,我們的佛性都是存在,真如本性不減。
 
這在最近都一直在說這件事,所以,我們應該「契如如境」。如如智要契如如境,外面的境界是如何,我們要趕快覺性提起,防非止惡。「三無漏學」,我們平時所學的戒,戒、定、慧。防非止惡,戒;心要定,不論外面什麼樣的境界,都不會誘引我們,動搖我們的信心;智慧在這裡來分別是非,這就是契如如境。境界在外面,如,真如在我們的內心,我們的內心要如何,在日常生活中,去覺悟這日常生活人、事、物,我們要如何契,與它會合?這就是要時時要自我警覺。
 
所以「以境發智」。我們也要很感恩,有這個境界當我們慧命的資糧。外面就是這麼多境界,讓我們能體會人間,「苦、集、滅」,我們才懂得要修「道」。境,就像他們如何能大懺悔呢?如何這樣上臺,真情的流露,過去的錯誤,未來要好好改過,這種懺悔的心。
 
又像現在(二0一五年),尼泊爾(賑災),一些年輕人在那個地方,每天他們要去負責任,要戰戰兢兢面對那個環境,要如何能達成他們的使命?他們要很謹慎,所以要常常,真如本性,那個覺性常常要提起。所以「以境發智」,在那個境界,他們能啟發,看到人間的無常,看到人類的善良,看到人間的苦難等等,要如何將法回歸到,如來的出生地?這也就是,「以境發智,以智照境」,用智慧在那個境界,明明歷歷,反照回我們的真如本性。鏡子,看外面的境界,照外面的境界,這個鏡子,外面的相一照,境界、相,形象拿走,鏡子是清淨的。像這樣「以智照境」,一面鏡子照外面的境界,很清楚。
 
所以若是在視訊時,他能描述昨天和誰說的話,他的表達,因為臺灣有愛在那個地方,他們看到臺灣現在,有八仙(樂園)的粉塵爆,看到那麼多年輕人受傷患,臺灣這麼多人的愛心啟動,大家用虔誠的心在祈禱,在尼泊爾,也啟動了一群年輕人,他們也是用虔誠的心在祈禱,這樣寫,寫著祝福的卡片,就是要寄來臺灣,要鼓勵大家。一群修行者在他們的道場裡,開始正式開啟了法會,就是為臺灣祝福、來祈禱,為這些的年輕人。
 
這就是互動,境界互動,鏡與境互相相照。尼泊爾苦相我們照到了,照到那個形象,那個苦相,我們啟發我們的真如,我們的愛心去到那個地方。臺灣八仙的粉塵爆,這麼多的年輕人受重傷。臺灣人,大家起動了這分愛,在他們尼泊爾也一樣,照到這個境,也是啟動了他們那分真如清淨的愛,同體大悲,無緣大慈,境界是離那麼遠,但是就是這分愛也啟動起來了。
 
看,「以境發智,以智照境,境智冥合,即是報身」。佛陀來人間這個環境,就是他要來一大事因緣,開示眾生,這就是佛陀的報身,來人間的目的。眾生是不是有悟入呢?要悟入,我們就要用種種的法。方便法入人群,讓大家去看,「哎呀,苦啊!我覺悟了,我相信,我應該要時時提高警覺,人、事、物,我要分析得很清楚。」這就是佛陀教我們,我們是不是能覺悟,我們是不是能,將這個法收入心來,在日常生活中,「湛然寂靜,志玄虛漠」。
 
我們很多的煩惱,不要污染在我們的心裡,就是非常的清淨,「湛然寂靜」。我們的心不受環境污染,不受它擾動。我們立我們的志,開啟我們的心,心包太虛,法遍虛空法界,我們都能透徹,這叫做「(以)如如智,契如如境」。我們的智,心智與外面的境界契合起來,不受外面境界來擾動,我們能發揮,從我們內心的智慧去付出,不論是有形、無形,為眾生去付出。這是佛陀來人間的目的,來教育我們的目標。這是要我們時時用心啊!
 
所以前面的經文這樣說,「諸子各有種種珍異玩好之具,聞父得成阿耨多羅三藐三菩提,皆捨所珍,往詣佛所,諸母涕泣而隨送之。」
 
諸子各有
種種珍異玩好之具
聞父得成阿耨多羅
三藐三菩提
皆捨所珍
往詣佛所
諸母涕泣而隨送之
《法華經化城喻品第七
 
「諸子」那就是,大通智勝佛那個時代,同樣,他也是從王宮出來,發心修行去了。他上面還有父親,國王;下面還有「諸子」,就是有十六個,十六個不是同一個母親生的,所以有「諸母」。諸母就是表示,這位太子他有妻妾,有妻、有妾,所以有這麼多兒子。
 
這麼多兒子,本來王宮的生活很富有,這昨天說過了,但是,大通智勝佛成佛之後,他又回皇宮來說法,大家聽法之後,啟動了覺性,尤其是十六王子,他們體會到了,人間再價值的東西,還是有「壞」,無常,有「成住壞空」。道理清楚了,這有形的器世間不常住,要去追求無為法,不生不滅的真理,所以他們也是捨棄了,很多享受的東西,決心要去追隨他們的父親,現在的佛,他們要去追隨,修行出家。
 
母親不捨,不過也要成全他們。要成全兒子,又會不捨,這是人的常情。人就是這樣,知道這是真理,道理,對的,鼓勵讓兒子去做,但是情難捨,所以就會哭,但是虔誠要送他們到道場。
 
接下來這段(經)文再說,「其祖轉輪聖王,與一百大臣、及餘百千萬億人民,皆共圍繞隨至道場,咸欲親近大通智勝如來。」
 
其祖轉輪聖王
與一百大臣
及餘百千萬億人民
皆共圍繞隨至道場
咸欲親近
大通智勝如來
《法華經化城喻品第七
 
不只是母親送孩子,連轉輪聖王,就是祖父,祖父也送孫子到道場。因為這是真實法,這就是人間的真理,所以連祖父也支持孫子去出家。
 
其祖轉輪聖王:
大通之父
因孫名祖
轉輪聖王
即是菩薩修行之位
 
「其祖轉輪聖王」。轉輪聖王就是,大通智勝佛的父親,而且因為他的孫子,有孫子,才叫做祖父,就是阿公。
 
就這樣「轉輪聖王,即是菩薩修行之位」。轉輪聖王是一位仁王。有仁愛的國王,本來天下若有仁慈的國王,就是用道理,用道、用理來領導他的人民,人民人人都是以道德、道理,家庭倫理這樣很圓滿在生活,這叫做轉輪聖王。就是執政,執掌仁政,用法教化眾生,給他的人民。所以,既然兒子成佛了,真理出現在人間,當然他很支持,支持他的孫子,也能去修行,去出家。所以孫子要出家,「其祖轉輪聖王」,同樣也送他們,甚至帶著「一百大臣、及(餘)百千萬億人民」。
 
與一百大臣
及餘百千萬億
人民:
同輔佐者大臣百官
國中所有人之眾
 
除了他的大臣,連他的人民,他都呼籲:「大家要好好接近道場,聽佛說法。」這是國王的聖旨,希望大臣、人民,都能接近道場,人人都能來聽法。這就是轉輪聖王,轉輪聖王,那就是菩薩的心。
 
「同輔佐者」,就是「大臣」,在輔佐國王推動仁政在民間,有這麼多人在輔佐國王,將人生的道理,推動到人民的生活中去,這叫做大臣。國中所有人叫做「眾」,很多很多老百姓,全都「皆共圍繞(隨)至道場」。
 
皆共圍繞
隨至道場:
諸王子祖及所生母
國中大臣人民之眾
皆悉周圍環繞王子
隨逐至於
大通如來道場之所
 
「諸王子(祖)」,王子與祖父,全部,及所生慈母,與生十六王子的這些母親,「國中大臣,人民之眾」,很多很多人,「皆悉周圍環繞(王子)」,大家都是很歡喜,將要送王子出去這個過程,大家都來祝福。想,出家是多麼殊勝的事情啊!一個國家,十六位王子要出家,阿公就是這麼歡喜,大臣與人民全都圍繞著王子,這個陣容是這麼的盛況,這樣開始,隊伍很盛況這樣往前走。
 
這就是大家都要去,大通智勝如來的道場,這樣浩浩蕩蕩,送著王子,這實在是很歡喜,看到這樣隨喜的功德。王子要出家,大家這麼隨喜,這也是功德啊!莊嚴那時候要出家的形象。
 
實在是釋迦牟尼佛要出家,是要偷跑出去的,他半夜越過了王城去出家。怎麼差這麼多?不過,這是表示要修行的人,真正要突破重重的難關。
 
為什麼大通智勝佛,他成佛,可見他的父親是轉輪聖王,他的父親歡喜讓兒子,出家去修行,修行已經是覺悟了,轉輪聖王當然歡喜,歡喜助道場。所以說來,大通智勝佛要修行,是受他的父王所祝福出去的,這是表示我們人人本具佛性。所以開頭在說,<化城喻品>開頭就說,大通智勝佛的過去生無法說,但是大通智勝佛的這輩子,那就是,就是這麼順利,本來就是具有這個法。雖然坐道場十小劫,這就是表示佛法遍虛空法界,很廣、很大,而且法的精微細小,同時也要說,「契悲運智」。
 
人人要成佛,不能缺少發這一念悲,悲心,同體大悲,與天下眾生合為一體,為眾生,這種回向眾生的心態。久久的修行,累積知見、覺知,這就是表示,我們未來要修行的人要很清楚,源頭是無始以來。我們的真如本性如大通智勝佛,我們現在要修行,要如現在釋迦牟尼佛,他的願力就是願意在娑婆世界,他的願力就是為天下眾生。時間長久,無始以來,生生世世上求下化,這就是無始真如本性。
 
後來我們要回歸如來本性。因為如何叫做回歸?我們已經離開我們的本宅,富有的家庭,曾到外面流浪,成為過貧窮子,現在要再回歸,就要一段路程,五十、二十,五十這樣經過。這就是我們要知道,佛法的道理是這樣,用譬喻讓我們瞭解,無始以來有真如本性,長時間在這五濁惡世,滾滾紅塵,迷失了我們的方向。
 
咸欲親近
大通智勝如來:
其祖轉輪聖王
十六子諸母眷屬
皆共圍繞隨至道場
大眾皆欲親近於佛
 
所以這麼多人大家都來送,送到大通智勝佛,「咸欲親近,大通智勝如來」。轉輪聖王、十六王子諸母,以及人民、大臣全都來,目的就是要來親近,大通智勝如來。「其祖轉輪聖王,十六子諸母眷屬,皆共圍繞至道場」,這段(經)文就是這樣,「大眾皆欲親近(於佛)」。
 
祖王隨至者
有道之人
父不得而子得
 
「祖王」阿公,就是「祖王隨至者」,這樣一起來,就是「有道之人,父不得而子得」,這個道理。
 
原來轉輪聖王,他就是已經是發菩薩心的人,但是真正的道理,這個覺性,人為何生老病死?這種覺性如何來、如何去,還不知道,所以說雖然有道,卻是還無法透徹。父親無法透徹,但是兒子已經透徹了;父親無法覺悟,卻是兒子有覺有悟,天地宇宙萬物真理,回納在一念心智,所以,這已經是「有道之人,父不得而子得」。
 
大臣人民亦至者
上行而下效
 
「大臣人民亦至」,就是表示「上行而下效」。上面的人這樣做,我下面的人就這樣跟、這樣走。轉輪聖王帶動,人民大家就跟隨。所以說,國家人民要如何生活,就要看帶領的人如何帶。
 
總而言之,我們「以如如智,契如如境」,在我們的日常生活中,將我們的內心真如,與外面的境界,如一面鏡來照,不要被外面的境界,污染擾動我們的心,這是最重要。所以我們要時時多用心。


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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: The Wisdom of Suchness (以如如智‧契如如境)
Date: January.03. 2016
 
“With the wisdom of suchness, we resonate with the state of suchness. With external states we awaken our wisdom; with our wisdom we reflect external states. When external states and wisdom are united, that is the reward-body. That mind is deep, clear, still and tranquil, with vows as vast as the universe.”
 
Such a state sounds so pure and undefiled. It is truly pure and undefiled. Everyone intrinsically has Buddha-nature. We all have the wondrous wisdom of True Suchness. It is intrinsic in all of us.
 
The Buddha told us this, so we must believe it to be true. “With the wisdom of suchness, we resonate with the state of suchness.” This is saying that our wondrous wisdom of True Suchness is inherently pure. It is impossible for ignorance to seal or contaminate our nature of True Suchness. Afflictions also cannot defile the wondrous wisdom of True Suchness. The wondrous wisdom of True Suchness, our pure intrinsic nature, can never be completely sealed by ignorance. It is just that these afflictions we speak of and the turmoil of the outside world have covered the wondrous wisdom of True Suchness.
 
It is as if a mirror were covered by a cloth. The cloth is not mixed together with the mirror; the mirror itself is pure and clear. We have merely used many layers of cloth to pollute it. This is because we ordinary people continually generate many complicated afflictions in our daily living, without even being aware of it. If we know that we intrinsically have Buddha-nature, that wondrous wisdom of True Suchness is within us and that it is inherently pure, when we come to know this, we will begin heightening our awareness. We will constantly look within and reflect on ourselves. “With the wisdom of suchness,” we come to “resonate with the state of suchness” and return to our pure state.
 
The state of suchness [is found] in daily life, in dealing with the outside world, in facing all sorts of situations. What state of mind do we use to view the external environment? What kind of perspective do we use to understand people, matters and objects? Everything depends on this; are we being mindful?
 
If we are not mindful, our minds will be transformed by the outside environment. If we are mindful, have awakened and understand the Buddha-Dharma, then in dealing with people, matters and objects we are able to mindfully transform our afflictions. Thus we enter our nature of True Suchness. With True Suchness, once we transform afflictions, they become wisdom. We transform delusions into wisdom, transform afflictions into Bodhi, transform delusion into awakening. This is something we must seek to experience in our daily living.
 
“With external states we awaken our wisdom.” If we are mindful, then external states, those people, matters and objects around us, all become resources for awakening our wisdom. Wisdom-life must be nurtured through interacting with people, matters and objects. This is like a lotus flower in the mud. All the things mixed up in the mud provide the lotus with nutrients. It is because of the mud that the lotus blooms so fully and so beautifully; when the flower opens, the fruit is formed. If you go now and have a look at our lotus pond, the lotus flowers already bloomed and withered, and their petals have fallen off. The lotus seed pod, the fruit, is very pretty.
 
People have recently been cutting them and bringing them inside, and I will look at them. I sometimes hear about people and matters in the outside world and think, “How can there be so man afflictions?” I then quickly extend my hand to take a lotus seed pod and look at it. I see that when the flower opened, the fruit was formed. That lotus seed pod had grown from the mud.
 
You can go now to have a look at the lotus pond. Although I have not been to the lotus pond for a long time, the lotus pods which they have cut down, this fruit, [is placed here]. When I hear of all the complicated situations surrounding people, matters and objects, I quickly go and take a look at these fruits. Indeed! They have grown up out of the mud without becoming defiled!
 
The seed pod of the lotus flower contains seeds inside. I often count to see how many seeds they have inside. Sometimes I count 16 of them. Sometimes I count 18 of them, and sometimes I even find over 22 of them.
 
Even the lotus seed pods, the fruits of the lotus, come in different sizes. The larger seed pods have greater capacities and contain more seeds. The smaller ones have smaller capacities, so they contain fewer seeds. From this real-life phenomenon, I can think of so many things. True Suchness has been present in us since birth. It is so pure and simple, yet it grows amidst defilement.
 
Look at the severity of the world’s turbidities. Shouldn’t the lotus be grateful for the turbidities of the muddy pond? It is only the turbid mud that enables it to fully bloom. The mud is also lucky to have the lotus bringing beauty to it, for this is what makes people want to draw near, to go to the lotus pond to admire its flowers. Isn’t this the case?
 
The world the Buddha was born into was this world which must be endured, this place where the Five Destinies coexist, a world full of impurities. But the Buddha was born into such a place through His own assimilations and vows to deliver and transform sentient beings. He taught all kinds of Dharma to take our afflictions and ignorance and turn them around. This is turning the Dharma-wheel, turning afflictions into Bodhi, turning delusion into awakening. If we can listen to the Dharma, when we are facing this complicated life, naturally we will be constantly aware; our awareness will be heightened so we will be able to analyze the principles and thus guard against wrongs and stop evil.
 
We practice the Three Flawless Studies, the precepts, Samadhi and wisdom we have learned. We are replete with many teachings, and we can use all these many teachings to cure the many different kinds of afflictions. There are 84,000 afflictions, and there are 84,000 teachings to cure them.
 
You probably heard last night that Bodhisattvas have returned from Malaysia. They will perform a musical adaptation for three days. Before performing it, they had to first participate in a study group to study the meaning of the sutra, and then they practice the lyrics. They not only have to memorize the lyrics, but also have to keep time with the rhythm. With rhythm and lyrics, they can begin to sing it. At the same time as they are singing, they also have to know the sign language and how to match it with their physical movements. They have to rehearse it over and over, all in different places, in their own communities and their own teams, training earnestly, before finally gathering together. They have all already studied the books. They have also already memorized the lyrics. They also have the sign language almost down. This is when they come together to adjust how they can perform with each other, keeping the same timing and the same mind.
 
So, 10,000 people have a single mind. They begin training in their own districts, where everyone gradually learns it, so that when they come together in a large group, they naturally display the same timing and the same mind. So we often say, “Take the Buddha’s heart as our own heart.” To have the Buddha’s heart, we must first go through a great awakening, for only then can we realize the Buddha’s heart.
 
How long does it take to attain such a great awakening? Does it take several years? The seeds of this probably came from five year ago in Taiwan, when we first performed the musical adaptation of the Water Repentance. They began to form aspirations then. I told them, “We can do it here in Taiwan, so you can also do it in Malaysia!”It was so dignified and praiseworthy; I told them, “You can do the same too! With the resolve and the vow, you naturally will have the strength.” It was the same scene repeated in six performances over three days, involving 60,000 people. Every performance lived up to its name of having 10,000 people united with a single mind.
 
That was not the end of it either. Many people were moved by them! They truly repented openly. During the performances, what everyone saw with their eyes and what they heard with their ears entered their hearts word by word, like drops of water. The Dharma is like water; it cleanses everyone’s hearts, moistens this patch of withered earth. Now the land has been moistened by the Dharma-rain.
 
Didn’t we keep discussing this at length in the Chapter on Medicinal Plants? The earth needs water. To attain Dharma-water we must wait for the “gathering of dense clouds,” for the ripening of causes ad conditions. Many causes and conditions must come together. When dense clouds gather, that indicates it is going to rain. When the rain falls, all the things on the earth are revived, the plants and trees and so on. When the land is moistened, the plants and trees thrive.
 
This also requires time and cause and conditions to accumulate. It is the same for the ground of our minds. We needed to nourish the ground of our minds. The ground of ordinary people’s minds is dry, so when the seeds of the virtuous Dharma fall upon that earth, they are like seeds in a desert, with no way for them to possibly sprout. When a seed falls in the desert, with the passage of time, it will shrivel and dry up. It will have no chance to sprout.
 
So, we must nourish the ground of our minds well, constantly using Dharma-water to moisten it. Then when seeds of Dharma fall upon it, they will be able to sprout and grow. These seeds of Bodhi grow into Bodhi-sprouts, Bodhi-trees, then Bodhi-forests. This is what we all must seek to experience. Everyone has Buddha-nature; it is inherent in us, but when we encounter external states, an ignorant thought creates the Three Subtleties. Thus we have greed, anger and ignorance. With greed, anger and ignorance, external states are the conditions that lead us to give rise to the Six Coarse Marks, to the afflictions of the Six Coarse Marks. A thought of greed arises or a thought of anger, and when anger arises, we begin to display a furious attitude. This is an ignorant and unawakened state; this is the kind of life we live.
 
Once we are ignorant and deluded, how can we manifest the principles of being a good person? We cling our delusions and do not awaken! We are greedy for fame, wealth and status. If we become famous, we think we are the best; our arrogance begins to appear. This is greed, anger, ignorance, arrogance, doubt; we may harbor doubt regarding the true principles, or lack sincere faith in the Dharma. Then, in our daily living, how can we remain constantly awakened? It is not possible, because we are already deluded.
 
We do not take in the true principles, and external states are incessantly enticing us, constantly tempting us off course. Think about it; our nature of True Suchness, our “wisdom of suchness,” our inherent wondrous wisdom of True Suchness, has always been pure. It is just that external states have covered us, so we remain deluded, unable to activate our awakened nature. We have no resolve to activate it.
 
If we are to learn the Buddha’s Way, we need faith. “Faith is the source of the Path.” We must believe in the Buddha’s teachings. The Buddha said that dust-inked kalpas ago, beginningless dust-inked kalpas before now, live Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha. Are you willing to believe this? I believe it deeply, because I believe what the Buddha taught. I believe we all intrinsically have Buddha-nature, that everyone, since Beginningless Time, has had a nature of True Suchness that has followed all of us as we come and go. For a long time, for dust-inked kalpas, our Buddha-nature has existed in us; our nature of True Suchness never decreases. Recently, we have kept talking about this.
 
So, we must “resonate with the state of suchness.” The wisdom of suchness must resonate with the state of suchness. Whatever external state there may be, we must immediately arouse our awakened nature to guard against wrongs and stop evil.
 
The Three Flawless Studies are the precepts, Samadhi and wisdom we learn. To guard against wrongs and stop evil, we need precepts. We also must have Samadhi, so that whatever external states we encounter, none can tempt us or cause us to waver in our faith. Wisdom is then applied here in discerning right from wrong. This is resonating with the state of suchness. External states exist outside us, and True Suchness exists in our hearts. What must we do in our daily living so that from deep within us we can awaken to the people, matters and objects in life? How do we resonate with them, unite with them?
 
This requires that we are constantly vigilant of ourselves. So, “With external states we awaken our wisdom.” We should also be grateful for having these states that become provisions for our wisdom-life. There are so many external states that enable us to experience the truth of suffering, causation and cessation in the world, so that we know to practice the Path.
 
These states are things like the way [Malaysian volunteers] practiced great repentance. How did they get up on stage, sincerely reveal their past mistakes and [vow to] earnestly correct them in the future? This is a mind of repentance.
 
Or the way during Nepal’s [2015 disaster relief], a group of young people there had to shoulder responsibilities daily. They had to be on their guard in that environment, thinking about how to fulfill their mission. They had to be very careful. So, they had to constantly arouse their nature of True Suchness, constantly arouse their awakened nature.
 
Thus, “With external states we awaken our wisdom.” In states like those, they can awaken this. As they see the impermanence of life, the goodness of humankind, the suffering of the world and so on, they must also think about how they can bring the Dharma back to the Tathagata’s birthplace. This is also the meaning of “With external states we awaken our wisdom; with our wisdom we reflect external states.” We must apply our wisdom in those states so everything is clear and distinct, then reflect on our own nature of True Suchness. With our mirror, we can see external states; it reflects external states. This mirror reflects external appearances, but once these states, appearances or images are gone, the mirror is pure.
 
So in this way, “With our wisdom we reflect external states.” A mirror reflects external states very clearly. So, during our video conferences, they can describe who they talked to yesterday. They expressed how, because Taiwan has sent so much love there, when [people there] saw in Taiwan the recent powder explosion at the Formosa Fun Coast Resort that injured many young people, and the love of so many in Taiwan wan was awakened, with everyone praying reverently for them, in Nepal, a group of young people was also inspired.
 
They prayed reverently for the [youth in Taiwan], writing cards of blessings and sending them to Taiwan in order to encourage everyone. A group of spiritual practitioners in their practice center there began officially initiating a Dharma-assembly to pray for blessings for Taiwan and for those young people. It is mutual, individual states affect each other.
 
The mirror and states reflect each other. We reflected the state of suffering in Nepal, reflected this phenomenon, their suffering, and thus arousing our nature of True Suchness and sending our love there.
 
With Taiwan’s Formosa Fun Coast Resort explosion, where so many young people were seriously injured, everyone in Taiwan set their love in motion, and in Nepal they did the same. Reflecting this state [in Taiwan] also set in motion the pure love of their nature of True Suchness, that universal compassion and unconditional loving-kindness. Although this state was far away from them, their love was awakened.
 
See, “With external states we awaken our wisdom; with our wisdom we reflect external states. With external states and wisdom are united, that is the reward-body.” The Buddha came to the world, to this environment, for one great cause, to open and reveal [teachings for] sentient beings. This was the Buddha’s objective in coming to the world in His reward-body.
 
Did sentient beings realize and enter? For us to realize and enter, we must use all kinds of methods, skillful means, to interact with people, to help everyone see, “Oh!” This is suffering! “I have awakened and believe. I should always heighten my awareness of people, matters and objects and analyze them very clearly.” This is what the Buddha taught us. Are we able to awaken to this? Are we able to take this Dharma so it enters our hearts? In our daily living, our “minds are deep, clear, still and tranquil, with vows as vast as the universe.”
 
We should not allow our many afflictions to become defilements in our hearts. They should remain extremely pure, “deep, clear, still and tranquil.” Our minds remain undefiled by the environment. They are not disturbed by it. With our vows made, our minds unlocked, our minds can embrace the universe, and the Dharma can pervade the endless void. Our understanding will be complete.
 
This is how “[with] the wisdom of suchness, we resonate with the state of suchness.” When our wisdom, our mind’s wisdom, resonates and comes together with external states without it being disturbed by them, we can then manifest the wisdom inside of us to help others. Whether tangibly, we give for the sake of sentient beings. This was the Buddha’s goal in coming to the world and His goal in educating us. This is something we should always be mindful of!
 
The previous sutra passage says, “Each of these sons had all kinds of precious and marvelous playthings. When they heard that their father had attained Anuttara-samyak-samodhi, they abandoned their precious playthings and went to where that Buddha was. Their mothers all wept and followed them to see them off.”
 
“These sons” refers to the time of Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha, when, like [Sakyamuni], He too left His palace, having resolved to engage in spiritual practice. He left behind His father, the king, as well as “these sons,” His 16 sons. These 16 were not born of the same mother. This is why it says, “their mothers.” By speaking of “mothers” in the plural, it shows that the prince had wives and concubines. He had wives and concubines, so He had many sons.
 
These many sons originally lived a wealthy life in the palace. We talked about this yesterday. Yet, Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha after attaining Buddhahood, returned to the palace to teach the Dharma. After everyone there had heard the Dharma, their enlightened natures were awakened, especially His 16 sons. They realized that however valuable an object might be, It was still subject to “decay,” that it was impermanent and subject to “formation, existence, decay and disappearance.” Once they were clear on the principle that the tangible world of physical existence was impermanent, they wished to seek the unconditioned Dharma, the true principles that do not arise or cease.
 
So, they too abandoned their many pleasurable things and resolved to follow their father, who by then had become a Buddha. They wished to follow Him in spiritual practice and become monastics. Their mothers were reluctant, yet they wished to help them achieve their wishes. They wanted their sons to succeed in their alms, but they were still reluctant. These are the affections of ordinary people. This is how people are. They knew that these were the true principles, that these principles were correct, so they encouraged their sons to do this. Yet, it was difficult for them to let go, so they cried. However, they reverently sent them off to their place of spiritual practice.
 
The next sutra passage then says, “Their grandfather, a wheel-turning sage king, 100 great ministers and the other trillions of subjects all surrounded them and followed them to the place of practice. They all desired to draw near Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Tathagata.”
 
Not only did the mothers send off their sons, their grandfather, a wheel-turning sage king, also accompanied his grandchildren to their place of spiritual practice. Because [they all knew] this was the True Dharma, the true principles of the world, even their grandfather supported his grandchildren in their desire to become monastics.
 
“Their grandfather, a wheel-turning sage king,” refers to the wheel-turning sage king, the father of Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha. Because the [16 princes] were his grandchildren, it calls him “their grandfather.” He was their grandpa. So, a “wheel-turning sage king is a stage Bodhisattvas reach through spiritual cultivation.”
 
A wheel-turning sage king is a benevolent king, a benevolent and loving king. If there is a benevolent king in the world who governs with the principles, using the principles to lead his subjects, the people will all follow morality, as well as family ethics, making for very satisfactory lives. This is a wheel-turning sage king. He rules the country benevolently, using the Dharma to teach and transform all, sharing it with his people.
 
So, since his son had become a Buddha and the true principles had manifested in the world, he of course was very supportive of his grandchildren going to engage in spiritual practice and become monastics. So, when his grandchildren wished to become monks, their grandfather, a wheel-turning sage king, also sent them off, even bringing 100 great ministers and the other trillions of subjects.”
 
100 ministers and the other trillions of subjects: He went with the ministers and officials who helped to govern and all the people in the kingdom.
 
Besides bringing his ministers, he even appealed his subjects to go “Let us all earnestly draw near to the place of practice and listen to the Buddha teach the Dharma.” This was the king’s royal edict. He hoped all of his ministers and subjects might draw near to the place of practice so that everyone could listen to the Dharma.
 
He was a wheel-turning sage king. A wheel-turning sage king has the heart of a Bodhisattva. Those “who helped to govern” were ministers. They assisted the king in promoting benevolent government among the people. There were many who assisted the king in spreading the principles of life among the people to use in their daily living. These were called ministers.
 
The kingdom’s citizens were “all the people.” these were the many commoners who “all surrounded them and followed them all the way to the place of practice.”
 
All surrounded them and followed them to the place of practice: The princes’ grandfather, their mothers, the ministers and subjects of the kingdom all surrounded the princes and followed them all the way to. Great Unhindered Tathagata’s place of practice.
 
“The princes’ grandfather” means the princes, their grandfather and their warm and caring mothers, the mothers of the 16 princes, [all went]. “The ministers and subjects of the kingdom, so many people, “all surrounded the princes.” Everyone was filled with joy during the process of seeing them off. Everyone had come to offer them blessings. Think about it; becoming a monastic is such a momentous occasion! For a single kingdom to have 16 princes vowing to become monastics, the grandfather must have been so delighted as the ministers and his subjects all surrounded the princes.
 
What a grand formation it must have been. So, they all set out, grandly marching forward in procession. All the people wanted to go to Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Tathagata’s place of practice to send off the princes with a grand procession. This was truly a very joyous occasion. They rejoiced I the princes’ merit and virtue; everyone rejoiced in the fact that the princes were becoming monastics. This too is merit and virtue! It was a magnificent scene as they left lay life.
 
When Sakyamuni Buddha left to become a monastic, He had to secretly leave, climbing over the palace wall in the dead of night. Why was it so different? Nevertheless, this shows that those wishing to engage in spiritual practice have to truly overcome many difficulties. [When] Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha attain Buddhahood, clearly His father was a wheel-turning sage king. His father was joyful that his son became a monastic to engage in spiritual practice. When through practice, He had become enlightened, of course the wheel-turning sage king was happy and was happy to assist at His place of practice.
 
So, this is saying that when Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Tathagata wished to go off and engage in spiritual practice. He received His father’s blessings when He left. This demonstrates that everyone intrinsically has Buddha-nature.
 
So, it says in the beginning of the Chapter on the Conjured City that nothing could be said of the past lives of Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Tathagata but in His present lifetime, everything went very smoothly for Him. He was already replete with the Dharma. Nevertheless, He still sat in spiritual practice for ten small kalpas, which shows how the Buddha-Dharma permeates the universe. It is so vast and great, yet also incredibly subtle and intrinsic. He also needed to “resonate with compassion while exercising wisdom.”
 
If we wish to attain Buddhahood, none of us can lack a heart of compassion, of universal compassion, of being completely one with all sentient beings. We need that sense of dedicating our practice to all sentient beings. It takes a long period of spiritual practice to accumulate these understanding and views, this enlightened understanding. This means that those of us in the future wishing to engage in spiritual practice must be very clear. The source lies in Beginningless Time. Our nature of True Suchness is like that of Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha.
 
If we wish to engage in spiritual practice now, we must be like the present Buddha, Sakyamuni. The power of His vows was His willingness to be born in the Saha World. The power of His vows was to work for the sake of the world’s sentient beings. For a long time, since Beginningless Time, lifetime after lifetime, He sought the Dharma and transformed others. This is the nature of True Suchness, which has existed since Beginningless Time. Since then, we must return to our nature of True Suchness. Why do we say that we are returning? We had already left our original home, our wealth household, and wandered about outside, becoming a poor son. Now that we wish to return home, there is still some way to go.
 
We spoke of spending 20 or50 years this way. This is what we must understand. The principles of the Buddha- Dharma are expressed like this, using analogies to help us understand that True Suchness existed since Beginningless Time. But we have been in the evil world of Five Turbidities for a long time, and in this turbulent world of temptations, we have lost our direction.
 
So, there were many people who sent them off to see Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha. “They all desired to draw near to “Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Tathagata.” The wheel-turning sage king, the mothers of those 16 princes, his subjects and the ministers all went with the goal of drawing near to Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Tathagata. “The grandfather, a wheel-turning sage king, the mothers of the 16 sons and their king all surrounded them and followed them to the place of practice.”
 
This sutra passage describes how “All these people desired to draw near to the Buddha. “Their grandfather” was the king. “Their grandfather, the king, followed them there.” They went together like this. He was a man of the Path; while the father had not attained enlightenment, “his son had.” It turns out the wheel-turning sage king had already formed Bodhisattva-aspirations, but when it came to the true principles, to his enlightened nature, [the questions of] why humans experience, birth, aging, illness and death, and how enlightened nature comes and goes, he still did not know. So, although he was a man of the Path, he still could not understand it thoroughly. The father could not comprehend thoroughly, but the son already thoroughly understood. The father could not achieve enlightenment, but the son had awakened and become enlightened. The true principles of all things in the universe were contained in the wisdom of His mind.
 
Thus, it says, “He was a man of the Path; while the father had not attained enlightenment his son had.” “The ministers and subjects also went,” which means that “what those above did, those below followed.” The people above did so, and the people below them followed. The wheel turning sage king led the way, while his subjects and everyone else followed.
 
Therefore, the way the people of a country live depends upon how their leaders guide them. In summary, “With the wisdom of suchness, we resonate with the state of suchness.” In our daily living, we let the True Suchness inside us encounter external states and reflect them like a mirror. We do not let external states contaminate or disturb our minds. This is of the utmost importance. So, let us always be mindful.
 


(Source: Da Ai TV – Wisdom at Dawn program – Explanation by Master Chen-Yen)
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20170103《靜思妙蓮華》以如如智‧契如如境 (第993集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)
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