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 20170104《靜思妙蓮華》供養恭敬尊重讚歎 (第994集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)

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發表主題: 20170104《靜思妙蓮華》供養恭敬尊重讚歎 (第994集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)   周二 1月 03, 2017 11:39 pm

20170104《靜思妙蓮華》供養恭敬尊重讚歎 (第994集)
(法華經•
化城喻品

 
得菩提道實乘直到彼岸,已證佛精妙智慧真諦理,如是夜睹明星體解大道,佛法現前契天體合真如。
供養恭敬,尊重讚歎。到已頭面禮足,繞佛畢已,一心合掌,瞻仰世尊,以偈頌曰。《法華經化城喻品第七
王子詣佛所,以最恭敬心供養禮讚。詣所,繞佛為禮,偈頌為讚。
供養恭敬,尊重讚歎:陳設供養,盡心恭敬,倍加尊重,發言稱讚。
十六王子與其祖父母親,為欲親近大通佛,所以到佛所,而恭敬禮拜,繞佛尊重讚歎。
到已頭面禮足:到佛所已,以頭至地,面禮佛足。父王頭面禮足:謂在家父母,不受出家子禮,而還其禮。
出家佛弟子,不再拜父母,父母若禮拜時,應避而不受,如此才得世法與佛法,兩全其美。
繞佛畢已,一心合掌:繞佛,表敬。息諸妄念,端謹一心,合十指掌。
一心合掌:是意業虔誠恭敬。瞻仰世尊:是身業誠敬仰慕。以偈頌曰:是口業殷勤讚美。
 
【證嚴上人開示】

「得菩提道實乘直到彼岸,已證佛精妙智慧真諦理,如是夜睹明星體解大道,佛法現前契天體合真如。」
 
得菩提道實乘
直到彼岸
已證佛精妙智慧
真諦理
如是夜睹明星
體解大道
佛法現前
契天體合真如
 
修行,無非就是希望,能夠通達菩提大直道,這是我們人人修行的目標。菩提大直道,「心、佛、眾生,三無差別」,自古以來,無始無終,這條菩提直道,就是一直這樣傳下來,源頭從什麼時候呢?無始無盡頭的以前,原來就是。
 
所以我們凡夫之所以叫做凡夫,這就是每天在說的,生生世世就是這樣,染著無明煩惱,真如未減,只是煩惱增加。我們修行就是要如何,減少煩惱無明,這就是我們要下的功夫。下這個功夫是要在日常生活中,不是一大早上殿禮佛、聽經,這個時候才是叫做在修行,這個時候叫做在減煩惱。到底這個時候,我們的煩惱有減少嗎?若是專心無二志,虔誠禮佛,這段時間,我們的心叫做減煩惱。因為心中沒煩惱,我們是專心虔誠,這個時間就是沒有煩惱。
 
接下來開始聽經了,聽經,這個時候的心,是隨著聲音轉呢?聲音的內容有沒有入心?若有,這個時候就是慧命增長,沒有煩惱。若是聽的當中,心還有雜念,「這個法是這樣嗎?我記得在哪一部經,就不是這樣啊!」這樣,這當中聽法已經分散了,到底你是在依據過去看的法,或者是要聽現在的法?心已經分開了。
 
儘管都是法,但是在這個時候,應該就是要專心,一個方向,將法聽清楚,若是要印證其他的法,等到我們有時間再去印證,到底它的道理,與這個道理是不是會合?或者是一理通徹萬法,這樣也能解釋,這樣也能通,這就沒有什麼好疑了。只要用單純的心探討佛法,也是要用聽了之後,這個專心聽完,有時間去找、去探討,來合這個法,再靜心去體會,這樣心在聽法就無雜念。
 
若能夠專心一向,自然實乘,我們是真正入佛法的乘。就如一輛車,我們是真正上車,這念心隨著這輛車往前走,這樣就是直到彼岸,能從這個地方到那個地方去,專心,這才是真正能得菩提。道理要時時一心,聽法時一心,禮佛時一心,一天的時間,最寶貴就是這個時間,這個時間沒有其它的雜事,只有我們要探討道理的時間,回歸我們真如本性,回歸我們的心地,來找真如的時刻,所以這個時間是多麼寶貴啊!所以要用心。
 
若能「已證佛精妙智慧,真諦理」,能用專心,才有辦法,將佛法一一印證在我們的心裡,佛法若能印證在我們的心,自然道理的微妙,能讓我們四方八達都通用。人事到底是或非呢?道理瞭解,人事是非才會清楚,這就是我們要對佛法要精,若專精,心專,集中精神來探討,微妙的智慧裡面的真諦道理。
 
微妙的智慧到底在哪裡?在我們人人本具真如本性之中。外面的人事物,我們來與它對照,這就是真諦理。用其中的妙智慧,來對照日常生活的人、事、物,去分析,每一件事、每一項物,無不都是天地真理。這就是我們要用心。
 
「如是夜睹明星體解大道」。就如釋迦牟尼佛,他已經在這麼多年的時間,去探討、探討,人修行的方法,他去瞭解、瞭解,五年參訪、六年苦修,這樣很用心去體會,一直到了最後三七日間,最後那一天夜睹明星,天未亮,星空,空中還有星,他在寧靜,那種靜寂清澄的境界,向著天空看,這個時候這樣接觸,恍然大悟,體解大道。
 
我們就是要這樣長時間,菩提實乘,我們要不斷在這上面很用心,真正坐上這輛車或是這艘船,我們身心乘著這個法往前直走,一心一志,這樣才能將佛法的道理,將我們內心精妙的智慧,真如本性與外面的事物理契合,這樣是非清楚。就與佛陀,也是一樣,要修行那麼久的時間,忽然間一個境界來,瞭解了,這種「佛法現前,契天體合真如」了。這就是,平時就是要累積,要不然,什麼時候我們能成佛呢?
 
人人都有一個盼望,都有一個願望。昨天聽馬來西亞,一場的入經藏(分享),很多人回來,將近百人,可以回來的人,只為了要回來與師父分享,分享他們入經藏的心境,他們哪一句法契動了他們的心,影響他們未來的人生。其中有一位藝人,雖然平時也是遊戲人間,電視明星,這一次他也是這樣招呼,招呼當地不論是演舞臺劇的,或是電視劇,他號召這些人。
 
原來是有二十幾位,開始這樣進來,排練,與二三千位,完全沒有受過訓練演技的人,要那麼的有道氣,幾萬人都能合心起來,要配合,不容易啊!這二十幾位一直一直減少,減到剩下他們幾個人參加在這一場之中。
 
他深心受感動,他昨天也在面前發一個願,他說本來這個願都不想說的,但是今天難得機會,來到師父的面前,他一定要說出來。說好幾次才說出來,「我的心願,將來就是要成佛!」願大啊!我就跟他說:「人人都能成佛,你有這個成佛的願,很好啊!但是不要忘了發悲心,度眾生,要先行菩薩道,自然你絕對會成佛。必定要入人群度眾生。」
 
大家都有心想成佛,藝人同樣有心願,他的心願放在心裡很久了──將來要成佛。相信任何一位佛教徒,都有想成佛,是啊!要成佛,我們才更要下決心,佛法現前,就要契天體合真如,心要與天地宇宙合而為一。這種契天體合真如,這是多麼的、多麼的,心那種開闊、寧靜,心境是靜寂清澄,真如與天體合一,多麼舒服啊!
 
這是必定要累積很長久的時間,你要先發現這條菩薩道,你要借重這個法,乘這個實法,心志一致,與法平行,去一一體會精妙的道理。這個智慧、真理,我們要一直,一項一項一直去印證,瞭解了,到了心很寧靜、無染著,這種淨潔無染這個心志,這時候境界現前,自然就是一顆明星,你就能體解大道,與天體合一,合真如。這就是我們修行,必定要有的過程。
 
前面的經文就這樣說,大通智勝佛已經成佛了,坐道場是十小劫,覺悟之後,他為大眾說法,同樣弘揚佛法,將他所得的心理,那種與天體合一那個心境,人人本具,希望人人都能體會到。同樣的,眾生還有小乘、中乘、大乘,根機不相同,他就要應天下眾生機而說法,同樣要過一段時間,佛法才開始能傳出去。
 
皇宮裡知道了,佛成佛了,佛法已經在人間流傳了,就是等待,等待成佛的覺者,回歸王宮來說法。真的,同樣還是回歸王宮說法,王宮裡大家歡喜接受,尤其是轉輪聖王,就是仁王,用他的智慧統領大眾,所以也聽到法了,歡喜,希望他的人民,全部全部都能接近佛的正法。
 
孫子發心,瞭解人間無常,享受就如天上的浮雲一樣,浮雲隨風飄散,這是人間的富貴,只是高高在上,大家抬頭看到白雲藍天,以為是高不可攀,其實同樣的,天,藍也有灰的時候,白天也有黑夜時,雲,白,也有烏雲密布時。天地之間,宇宙的形式都沒有常住,何況人間有形的物質呢?這通通都是有為法,是人間雕琢所製造的,這不是永恆的。所以王子們體悟了,還是要去修行。
 
轉輪聖王贊成,母親不捨,看,這不就是世俗,全都,亙古以來都是一樣,就是這樣,但是也是贊成,所以就與人民、大臣,浩浩蕩蕩地送十六王子到道場。這是前面這段(經)文,全部就是要來親近,大通智勝如來,包括轉輪聖王在內。
 
下面這段(經)文,既然大家都來了,當然那就是「供養恭敬,尊重讚歎。到已頭面禮足,繞佛畢已,一心合掌,瞻仰世尊,以偈頌曰。」
 
供養恭敬
尊重讚歎
到已頭面禮足
繞佛畢已
一心合掌
瞻仰世尊
以偈頌曰
《法華經化城喻品第七
 
這都是一樣,既來到佛的道場,人人全都一樣,要抱持著那一分敬供的心,來了就是讚歎,見面必定要讚歎。「這麼久不見了,莊嚴啊!成佛,佛相莊嚴。」在這種讚歎,同樣的,形態一樣要作禮,這是一個禮數,見面,見佛的禮節,所以「頭面禮足」,這樣的大禮,之後再繞佛周圍,這樣就是表示恭敬,這樣表示敬佛、敬法。是一心合掌,這就是表示恭敬。
 
「王子詣佛所」,到佛所去,大家送他們,到佛的道場。「以最恭敬心供養禮讚」,除了人民、大臣以外,王子也同樣,還是以最恭敬的心,來供養、禮讚。
 
王子詣佛所
以最恭敬心
供養禮讚
詣所
繞佛為禮
偈頌為讚
 
再者「詣所」,那就是「繞佛為禮」。一到了那裡,他們就是這樣繞佛為禮節,同時也是要同樣讚歎。雖然在俗親為父子,禮節照舊,何況父已成佛了,現在要來親近,叫做弟子,所以同樣的,還是要同樣的禮節來繞佛禮敬。
 
所以「供養恭敬,尊重讚歎」,不論是人民、大臣,或者是王子,都一樣。
 
供養恭敬
尊重讚歎:
陳設供養
盡心恭敬
倍加尊重
發言稱讚
 
表示的就是「設供」,除了人來了,也要帶著伴手(禮)來供養,要供佛及僧,表示恭敬。所以「陳設」,就是擺設出很多供物。「盡心恭敬」,這都很虔誠,「倍加尊重」,這種有形、無形,無不都是很表達出,加強恭敬的禮節,然後才「發言稱讚」。先禮拜、先獻供,然後才開始發言稱讚。
 
十六王子
與其祖父母親
為欲親近大通佛
所以到佛所
而恭敬禮拜
繞佛尊重讚歎
 
「十六王子,與其祖父」,以及他們的母親,「為欲親近」大通智勝佛,所以大家都到佛所了,都來了,「而恭敬禮拜,繞佛尊重讚歎」。這樣很淺顯,瞭解了,「到已頭面禮足」,到了,所以就要頭面禮足。
 
到已頭面禮足:
到佛所已
以頭至地
面禮佛足
父王頭面禮足:
謂在家父母
不受出家子禮
而還其禮
 
看過嗎?現在一些孩子,年紀小小的,阿嬤帶來,媽媽帶來,就告訴他:「頂禮啊!」孩子開始就這樣整個趴下去,手伸得長長,頭面都在地上,四肢也都在地上。這就是佛成佛時的原始禮,頭面禮足,這叫做五體投地。
 
五體投地是頭與手與腳,全身都是這樣伸直了,這是在印度的大禮節。所以一到,連轉輪聖王也都到了,這個禮,到底轉輪聖王,是怎麼樣的方式呢?轉輪聖王,那就是頭面禮足,同樣,同樣也是與大家,這樣如律如儀。
 
既成佛,是覺者了,在家人,哪怕是國王,他也是俗人,所以同樣用禮節。這就是轉輪聖王到了的時候,與他的大臣等等頭面禮足。因為在家的父母不受出家子禮。其實出家,記得每一次在出家儀式,都有一段文:「現在開始,還未正式剃髮之前,先禮拜父母,後不拜也。」這出家(儀式)的一段文。
 
因為我們已經是辭親割愛了,父母將孩子已經獻給佛,為佛子了,所以既然獻出去了,就是盼望他專心,沒有家庭俗事的掛累。在這個親情,辭親割愛,都已經割斷了,父母供養出去,就已經是別人的了,就是佛的了,是天下眾生的。既不是這個家庭的,因為這樣,「在家父母不受出家子禮」,這是佛門的規矩。
 
出了家,忘了家,因為心無掛礙在小愛短情,沒有這樣了,現在已經是大愛長情了,心沒有家眷的掛累。所以,出家就是已經辭親割愛,在家的父母就不受出家子禮。所以來到這個地方,還要再頂禮,頂禮已經覺悟的覺者。這就是修行與在家,出俗、在俗,有這樣分明的禮節。
 
不過,佛成佛了,記得在佛陀──釋迦牟尼佛,我們的娑婆世界,釋迦牟尼佛,他同樣是出家,辭親割愛,出家之後,成道了,第八年後,有一天,想,應該,該是要回宮的時候了。所以他就是安排好,通知他要回迦毘羅衛國了。淨飯王接到訊息,很歡喜,一直盼望著這一天的來臨。佛陀已經將接近王城了,淨飯王帶著家眷,同時大臣、人民都出城,淨飯王也出城來了,在城外迎接佛。
 
遠遠地,「看到了!來了,僧團到了!」遠遠地來了,大眾非常激動的心。佛與僧團是這麼安詳的步履,這樣一步一步向前,卻是人民、大臣、國王就是,那個心就是非常歡喜踴躍。一直到接近時,淨飯王在迎佛這當中,接近來,淨飯王與所有的大臣,連淨飯王都不由自己,
就這樣頂禮下去。
 
這個時刻,佛陀「踊身虛空,隱身不現」。當淨飯王頂禮時,這時候,佛他這樣踴身,就是騰身到天空,這樣隱起來,等到禮畢,禮結束,頂禮已,之後,佛再從空而降,出現在淨飯王的面前。開始接近淨飯王,問父王,「這麼多年來,平安嗎?」父子相見,那一刻真的是很感動人。
 
禮節是要向佛頂禮,佛就趕緊稍避一下,騰在虛空,避隱起來,等到父親禮畢,他才再現前向父親問安:「大王,近來可好嗎?大王,這幾年來平安嗎?」這就是親情。出家了,佛,弟子,「不再拜父母,父母若禮拜時,也應避而不受」。
 
出家佛弟子
不再拜父母
父母若禮拜時
應避而不受
如此才得
世法與佛法
兩全其美
 
佛就是這樣,但是禮節也是要這樣,你既然出家了,同樣父母還是在俗的信徒,他到了道場,他同樣是要頂禮,我們就避一下,這是一種禮節。雖然不拜父母,我們也要知道,這是生身的父母,所以他要拜,我們就要退一旁,請他禮佛,這就是禮節。
 
出家與在家的親,因為出家,我們一定要常常記得,「辭親割愛」,將天下老者無不都是父母;將年紀與我們差不多,無不都是姊妹兄弟;年紀較輕的,無不都是我們的晚輩。天下一家親,哪有只是單獨一個小家庭呢?這就是出家之後,我們應該有的心境,來應這個世法。
 
雖然我們是要修出世法,卻是也還在人間,也要合世俗的理,所以有這樣的禮節,與佛法兩雙全其美。俗,世俗與佛法,這樣將它合起來,是合情合理的法。
 
所以在這當中,大通智勝佛的道場,有這群從轉輪聖王,這樣所領導來,做這樣的供養、這樣的禮拜、這樣來繞佛,,這麼的虔誠,一心合掌。
 
繞佛畢已
一心合掌:
繞佛表敬
息諸妄念
端謹一心
合十指掌
 
這就是表示一心,就是「息諸妄念」,雙手合掌,意思就是將所有的雜念,歸為一念,合掌在胸前,這就是表示一切的雜念都沒了,歸為一念在心裡,這種的虔誠。「息諸妄念,端謹一心」,完全都在我們的內心。「合十指掌」,合掌不是這樣,不是這樣(十指分開),不是這樣(指間開開),要這樣合起來,十指合一,這才是真正雜念歸一心。無雜念,這就是合掌。合掌的意思就是一心,是意業虔誠恭敬。
 
一心合掌:
是意業虔誠恭敬
瞻仰世尊:
是身業誠敬仰慕
以偈頌曰:
是口業殷勤讚美
 
「瞻仰世尊」。那就是合掌之後,我們的身,我們的耳、鼻、舌,全身都歸向於佛,眼睛要瞻仰著佛,看佛的形象,而且佛在講法等等,這就是表示坐得挺、坐得端正,雙手合掌,眼光向著佛陀。這都是身根,我們的身根,眼、耳、鼻、舌、身,連我們的手,連我們的身體都要很端正,所以這叫做「瞻仰世尊」。這就是「身業誠敬仰慕」,表示我們很仰慕世尊的意思。
 
「以偈頌曰」。這樣很虔誠,開始就口「以偈頌(曰)」,就是要念出聲來,念出聲來,「以口業殷勤讚美」。到佛前來,開始就是要讚歎,讚歎佛所說法。就如昨天聽他們在分享,就說,開始大家在排練時,怎麼練都不整齊。原來,他們的口頭默念,默念就是一二三、一二三。
 
明明偈文,裡面的歌詞、偈文,全都能念出來,韻律也出來,應該大家大聲唱出來,文字句句清楚,配合著文字,你要大聲出來才能整齊,你念得小聲,不整齊,大聲出來,聲音整齊,動作自然就整齊。
 
過去我也跟大家說,念法要大聲念出來,不只是念自己知道,虛空法界,魑魅魍魎,都能分享到你現在誦經,就如說法一樣。你虔誠的心在誦經,就是遍虛空法界在說法。佛陀的教法,從我們的口中出來,應該就是要大聲誦念出來。常常都很少聽到你們大聲,所以才要用麥克風,說:「維那、悅眾要戴麥克風,要不然沒有人聽到。」人這麼多,應該眾口合一,聲振天空,應該是這樣。
 
我們的心聲,聲音應該要遍(虛)空法界,都有佛法存在。卻是我們連這個口,這麼簡單,能大家共同修行的時間,為什麼不肯發出大聲來呢?最好的機會,早課、晚課,就是讓我們能發聲說法,為天空,天龍八部、魑魅魍魎,遍空法界能說法,為什麼我們不要這樣呢?
 
所有所有的眾生,不只是你能看得到的人,看不到的也很多啊!我們既然要度眾生,「六道四生」我們都要度,要怎麼度?佛法度眾生,什麼時候我們才能成佛,來說法度眾生?還很久。現在我們就能藉著大眾一同,出聲說法度眾生,四生六道,我們都能度。所以說,在頂禮,要身口意三業要很虔誠。
 
轉輪聖王與大臣、人民,陪伴著十六王子,到大通智勝佛的道場,就是用這麼虔誠的心,大家「以偈頌曰」,都是很大聲地念出來。所以,「一心合掌」,就是表示意業虔誠。「瞻仰世尊」,是表示身體的恭敬,虔誠的敬供仰慕。「以偈頌曰」,是口業殷勤的恭敬讚美。佛法需要我們人人,身、口、意三業合一,時時虔誠,時時都要為眾生說法。所以要請人人,要時時多用心!


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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: Making Reverent Offerings and Respectful Praise (供養恭敬尊重讚歎)
Date: January.04. 2016
 
“He had attained the True Vehicle of the Bodhi-path and reached the other shore. He had realized the true principles of the Buddha’s subtle and wondrous wisdom. As He saw the morning star in the night sky and comprehended the great path, the Buddha-Dharma manifested before Him; He resonated with the universe and united with True Suchness.”
 
We engage in spiritual practice always in the hope that we can reach the great, direct Bodhi-path. This is our goal as we engage in spiritual practice. On the great, direct Bodhi-path, “The mind, the Buddha and sentient beings are no different [in their nature].” From the past to the present, beyond beginning or end, this great, direct Bodhi-path has been continually passed down. When did it originate? Since before Beginningless Time, it has always been there.
 
So, the reason we are called unenlightened beings is what we talk about every day, that lifetime after lifetime, [our minds] are contaminated by ignorance and afflictions. Our nature of True Suchness has not diminished; it is just that our afflictions have increased. We engage in spiritual practice to reduce the amount of afflictions and ignorance we have. This is something we must work hard on.
 
This effort must be applied in our daily living. It is not only in the morning when we bow to the Buddha and listen to the teachings that we are engaging in spiritual practice, that we are decreasing our afflictions. And even at that time, are we actually decreasing our afflictions? If we are completely focused and undistracted as we reverently pay respect to the Buddha, during this time, the afflictions in our minds will decrease. Because no afflictions are present in our minds, we are focused and reverent; at this time, we have no afflictions.
 
Next, we can begin to listen to the sutra. When we listen to the sutra, do our thoughts change as they follow the sound? Has the content of what we heard really entered our minds? If so, our wisdom-life will grow and we will have no afflictions. If while listening to the teachings we still have discursive thoughts in our minds, [we might think]. “Is that really what the teaching says? I remember that in another sutra the teachings are not like this.” Then when listening to the Dharma, our attention will be divided [by such thoughts].
 
Are we relying on the teachings we have read in the past, or do we want to listen to these teachings now? Our minds are already divided. Although it is all Dharma, during this time, we should focus our minds and have only one direction, to clearly listen to the Dharma. If we want to confirm those other teachings, we should wait until we have the time to do so. Do those principles and these principles actually come together? Or from one principle, can we understand all? It can also be explained that way, can also be understood that way. So, there is no need to have doubts.
 
We should use a simple mindset; to investigate the Buddha-Dharma, we must first listen. After having listened with a focused mind, when we have time we can look and investigate whether the teachings converge with one another. Then, with a still mind, we experience this truth. This way, as we listen to the Dharma we will have no discursive thoughts.
 
If we can be fully focused in one direction, we will naturally enter the True Vehicle of the Buddha-Dharma. This is like riding a car. When we actually get into this vehicle, our minds then follow this vehicle as it advances. Thus we reach the other shore. To get from this place to that place, we must focus; only then do we truly attain Bodhi. We must always be single-minded to comprehend the principles, single-minded as we listen to the Dharma, single-minded as we pay respect to the Buddha. This is the most precious time of our day. At this time, we have no distractions; this is the time to analyze the principles so we can return to our nature of True Suchness, to return to our minds to seek out True Suchness. So, this time is very precious, thus we must be very mindful.
 
If we want to “realize the true principles of the Buddha’s subtle and wondrous wisdom,” we must have a focused mind; only then can we confirm the Buddha’s teachings one by one in our minds. If the Buddha-Dharma is confirmed in our minds, naturally, these subtle and wondrous principles can be applied to anything in the universe. “Is this matter true or false?” When we understand the principles, the affairs of the world will be clear to us. So, we must concentrate on the Buddha-Dharma. With a concentrated and focused mind, we can gather all our attention to investigate the absolute truths within this subtle and wondrous wisdom. Where is this subtle and wondrous wisdom? It is in our intrinsic nature of True Suchness. As for the people, matters and things around us, we can compare them [with this]. These are the true principles.
 
We can use the wondrous wisdom within to compare with the people, matters and things in our daily living, to analyze them. Every matter and object contains the true principles of the world. So, we must be mindful.
 
“He saw the morning star in the night sky and comprehended the great path.” This is like Sakyamuni Buddha. He had already spent so many years investigating. He tried to understand the methods that people used in spiritual practice and spent five years visiting teachers and six years in aesthetic practice. He mindfully sought to comprehend this. In the end, He spent 21 days [under the tree], and on the last night, He saw the morning star in the night sky. It was not yet dawn; stars were still in the sky. He was in a state of tranquility, in that tranquil and clear state, and looked up at the sky.
 
At this time, right as He connected with it, He suddenly achieved great awakening and comprehended the great path. It will also take us such a long period of time on the True Vehicle of Bodhi. We must continually put great effort into this. Once we have gotten in this car or on this ship, our body and mind will journey on this Dharma and move straight forward. We must be single-minded in our resolve; then we can bring the principles of the Dharma, the wondrous wisdom within our minds, our nature of True Suchness, together with all the things around us. Then true and false will be clear.
 
To do so, like the Buddha, we must engage in spiritual practice for a long time. All of a sudden, He reached that state and finally understood [the principles]. “The Buddha-Dharma manifested before Him; He resonated with the universe and untied with True Suchness.” This is something we must accumulate all the time. Otherwise, when will we be able to attain Buddhahood?
 
Everyone has a hope; we all have a wish. Yesterday, we heard Malaysia [sharing abut] this performance of the musical sutra adaptation. There were many people who came back, nearly 100. Those who came back [to Taiwan] did so solely to share with me their feelings on joining this musical adaptation. Which teaching resonated with their minds and will influence them for the rest of their lives?
 
Among them, there was a [famous] performer who is usually carefree and lives with ease. He is a famous television star. This time, he reached out to people, calling on local people, theater performers and actors in soap operas. He appealed to these people. At first more than 20 these actors started coming in to practice. There were also 2000 to 3000 performers who had no training in performing. For the place to be filled with an air of spiritual cultivation, almost 10,000 people must be unified and work together; this was not easy! These twenty-some people gradually decreased until only a few remained to join in this stage performance. He was deeply touched.
 
Yesterday, he also came forward and made a vow. At first, he did not want to say his vow out loud. But today he had the rare opportunity to come see me, and he was determined to tell me what it was. After several attempts, he spoke out loud. “My vow is to attain Buddhahood someday.” This was such a great vow! I told him, “Everyone can attain Buddhahood. It is great that you have this vow. But, do not forget to have a compassionate mind. To transform sentient beings, we must first walk the Bodhisattva-path. Then we will naturally attain Buddhahood. We must go among people to transform all beings.”
 
Everyone has the desire to attain Buddhahood. Television stars also have this vow. He vow had been in his mind for a long time; he wanted to attain Buddhahood in the future. I am sure that all Buddhists want to attain Buddhahood.
 
Yes! To attain Buddhahood, we must have a strong determination. For the Buddha-Dharma to manifest [before us], we must resonate with the universe and unite with True Suchness. Our minds must be one with the universe. To resonate with the universe and unite with True Suchness is such an… open, spacious and tranquil state of mind, a mind that is tranquil and clear. This True Suchness of being united with the universe is such a comfortable feeling.
 
This must be accumulated over such a long time. We must first discover the Bodhisattva-path. We must rely on these teachings and journey on the True Dharma. With single-minded resolve, we move in parallel with the Dharma as we comprehend the wondrous principles one be one. This wisdom and these true principles must be continually verified one by one. After we understand them, once our minds are tranquil and undefiled, in state of pure and undefiled aspirations, at this time a state will manifest. Then naturally from the sight of one star, we can comprehend the great path, be one with the universe and unite with True Suchness unite with True Suchness.
 
In our spiritual practice, we must undergo this process. The previous sutra passage states that Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha had already attained Buddhahood. He sat in the place of enlightenment for then small kalpas. After He had awakened, He expounded the Dharma to the assembly and spread the Buddha-Dharma. He shared the principles of the mind He realized and His state of being one with the universe, which is something that everyone intrinsically has. He hoped that everyone could comprehend this.
 
Just like now, sentient beings had Small, Middle or Great Vehicle capabilities, all different. He had to adapt to their capabilities to teach the Dharma to all sentient beings. Likewise, after a period of time, the Buddha-Dharma began to spread. The people in the palace learned that the Buddha had attained Buddhahood, and the Buddha-Dharma had already spread in the world. So, they awaited the Enlightened One who had attained Buddhahood returning to the palace to teach the Dharma.
 
Truly, when He returned to the palace to teach the Dharma, everyone in the palace joyfully accepted the Dharma. This was especially true for the wheel-turning sage king, this benevolent king who used his wisdom to lead the assembly. So, when he heard the Dharma, he rejoiced, hoping that the people would all draw near to Right Dharma.
 
His grandsons formed aspirations. They understood that life is impermanent and that pleasures are like fleeting clouds, like clouds that are dispersed by the wind. This what the lives of the wealthy are like. [People think] they are high above all. Everyone looks up at white clouds and blue skies and thinks that they are so high and unattainable. Actually, it is the same [as those people]. The sky is blue, but is also sometimes gray. The daytime also gives way to night. There are white clouds and also dark rainclouds. Between heaven and earth, in this universe, all forms are impermanent, to say nothing of tangible things in our world. All of these are conditioned phenomena. Anything sculpted and created by humankind is not everlasting.
 
So, after the princes awakened to this, they also wanted to engage in spiritual practice. The wheel-turning sage king approved, but their mothers were reluctant. Look, isn’t this how the world is? It has been like this throughout history. This was how it was, but [their mothers] approved. So, together with the people and ministers, they sent off the 16 princes in a grand procession to the place of practice. This was the previous sutra passage. Everyone wished to draw near to Great Unhindered Superior Wisdom Buddha, including the wheel-turning sage king.
 
In the next sutra passage, since everyone had gathered together, of course, they all “made offerings to, showed reverence to, paid respect to and praised Him. Having arrived, they made prostrations with their head at His feet. After they circumambulated the Buddha, with one mind they joined their palms together and gazed at the World-Honored One, then praised Him in verse”.
 
This was all the same. Having come to the Buddha’s place of practice, everyone performed the same actions, maintaining the most reverent minds. They came and offered praise. On seeing Him, they offered praise. It had been so long since they had seen Him, and He was so magnificent. On attaining Buddhahood, the Buddha had a magnificent appearance. With this type of praise, they had to pay their respects with actions, too. This was a form of etiquette, the etiquette for meeting the Buddha. So, they “made prostrations with their head at His feet.” It was such a formal gesture. After this they circumambulated the Buddha. This was to show respect, to show respect for the Buddha and the Dharma. With one mind, they joined their palms together. This was to show respect.
 
“The princes went to where that Buddha was.” Everyone had sent them off to the Buddha’s place of practice. “And with them utmost respect, [they] gave offerings, respect and praise to Him.” In addition to the people and the ministers, the princes all likewise, with the utmost reverence, made offerings and gave praise.
 
The princes went to where that Buddha was and, with the utmost respect, gave offering, respect and praise to Him. They went to where He was, circumambulating Him to give respect and chanting a verse to give praise.
 
“They went to where He was.” Upon their arrival, they “circumambulated Him to give respect.” As soon as they arrived there, they circumambulated the Buddha to pay respect. At the same time, they offered praise. Though they were father and sons, the etiquette was still the same, especially as their father had already attained Buddhahood. Now, when they drew near, they were His disciples. So, like [everyone else], they circumambulated the Buddha to give praise. “They made offerings to, showed reverence to, paid respect to and praised Him.” This was the etiquette; whether it was the people, ministers or the princes, it was the same for all.
 
They made offerings to, showed reverence to, paid respect to and praised Him: They displayed their offerings, showed their utmost reverence and expressed even more respect, then spoke words of praise.
 
This is saving they “displayed their offerings.” In addition to physically going there, they also had to carry something to offer the Buddha and Sangha to show their respect.
 
So, “they displayed” means that they displayed many objects of offering and “showed their utmost reverence.” They were all very reverent [They] “expressed even more respect.” These kinds of tangible and intangible [offerings] were all to express and etiquette of even greater respect. After this, they “spoke words of praise.” First, they paid respects and made offerings; then they began to speak words of praise. “The 16 princes, along with their grandfather” and their mothers, all desired to draw near to Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha. So, everyone who went to where the Buddha was, reverently prostrated, circumambulated the Buddha, paid respect to and praised Him. This is very simple to understand.
 
“Having arrived, they made prostrations with their head at His feet.” The had arrived, so they made prostrations with their head at His feet Having arrived, they made prostrations with their head at His feet: Having reached the place where the Buddha was, they touched their heads to the ground, respectfully facing the Buddha’s feet. His father, the king, prostrated with his head at the Buddha’s feet: This means that lay parents are no longer paid homage by their monastic children, but instead pay homage to them.
 
Have you see this? Now, there are some children who are very young. Their grandmothers and mothers who bring them tell them, “Prostrate.” The children begin to prostrate with arms outstretched and head s touching the ground. All of their four limbs touch the ground. These were the original formalities for seeing the Buddha after He attained Buddhahood. They touched their head to the ground, facing the Buddha’s feet. This was to pay respect with their whole body. A full-body prostration requires the head, arms and legs. The whole body is stretched out straight. This was considered showing great respect in India.
 
So, the wheel-turning sage king also arrived. Did the wheel-turning sage king also use this form of etiquette? The wheel-turning sage king also made prostrations in the same way, just like everyone else, he was very disciplined.
 
Since the Buddha had attained Buddhahood and became the Great Enlightened One, lay practitioners, even the king, as he was also a lay practitioner, had to follow the same etiquette. This was when the wheel-turning sage king arrived. He and his ministers and so on all prostrated to the Buddha. This is because lay parents are no longer paid homage by their monastic children.
 
Actually, In becoming a monastic, during the ordination ceremony, there is a passage [recited]. At this time, before officially shaving the head, the monastic pays respect to his parents, never to do so again. This is recited when becoming a monastic. We have already left our families and loved ones. The parents have already presented their child to the Buddha, to become the Buddha’s child. So, since they have offered their child, they hope he will be focused and not be concerned with family matters. The affections of family have already been renounced and cut off. The parents have already offered their child, and the child is now [the Buddha’s child]. He belongs to the Buddha and all sentient beings. Since he no longer belongs to the family, it means “Lay parents are no longer paid homage by their monastic children.”
 
This is the Buddhist custom in becoming a monastic, family is forgotten. Because their minds are free of the hindrances of limited, temporary love, without these, they can have great, long-lasting love. There are no family burdens in their minds. So, to become a monastic is to leave one’s family and loved ones. For this reason, lay parents no longer receive homage from monastic children.
 
So, In coming to this place, the father still paid respect to the Enlightened One who was already awakened. This is the difference between monastic and lay practitioners. There is this kind of distinct etiquette.
 
However, the Buddha had attained Buddhahood. Do we remember? When Sakyamuni Buddha was in our Saha World. Sakyamuni Buddha also became a monastic, leaving His family. After leaving lay life, He attained enlightenment. Eight years later, one day, He thought that it was time for Him to return to the palace. So, this was arranged and He notified the king He was returning to Kapilavastu. King Suddhodana heard the news and was very happy. He had continually hoped for this day. The Buddha was already approaching the city. King Suddhodana led his family members along with his ministers and people out of the city. King Suddhodana also left the city to greet the Buddha outside of the city. From afar they saw Him “He is coming, the Sangha is here!” As they approached from far away, everyone’s hearts were greatly stirred. The Buddha and the Sangha walked so serenely as step by step they drew near. The people, ministers and king felt so joyful and jubilant in their hearts. As they continued to draw near, King Suddhodana was among those greeting Him; as they drew near, King Suddhodana and all of his ministers spontaneously and without control prostrated to pay their respects to the Buddha. At that moment the Buddha “leapt up into empty space, and His body was not seen. When King Suddhodana paid his respects, the Buddha leapt up; His body flew into the sky and He was concealed. After the respects had been paid, the Buddha descended from midair. He appeared before King Suddhodana and approached the king; He asked His father, “It had been so many years; are you well? When father and son each other, it was a very touching moment.
 
The etiquette [the king] had to follow was. The Buddha quickly avoided this and, escaping into the sky, concealed Himself. After His father had paid his respects, He again revealed Himself and greeted His father. “Father, have you been well? Father, have these years been peaceful?” This is familial love. After becoming monastics, the Buddha’s disciples “no longer bow to their parents. When their parents bow to them, they should avoid it and not accept it.”
 
The Buddha’s monastic disciples no longer bow to their parents. When their parents bow to them, they should avoid it and not accept it. In this way, both the ways of the world and the Buddha-Dharma can be satisfied.
 
The Buddha did this, but this was still the etiquette required. When we become monastics, our parents are still laypeople. On coming to this spiritual training ground, parents must pay respect, and the monastics must still avoid it. This is a type of etiquette. Although the monastic does not bow to his parents, the monastic is also aware that these are his birth parents. So, if they want to prostrate, the monastic must retreat to one side and ask them to pay respects to the Buddha. This is the etiquette between monastics and their family members.
 
In becoming a monastic, we must constantly remember that we “leave our families and loved ones.” All the elderly in the world are our parents. Those who are close to our age are all our brothers and sisters. Those who are younger are all our younger relatives. Everyone in this is one family. How can we still have one small family? After becoming monastics, this is the mindset we should have.
 
We must still adapt to the ways of the world. Although we practice world-transcending Dharma, we are still living in this world and must also harmonize with worldly principles. So, there is also this kind of etiquette that is also in perfect harmony with the Buddha-Dharma. Thus the ways of the world and the Buddha-Dharma are brought into harmony. This is both reasonable and compassionate.
 
So, at this time, at Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha’s place of practice, this group led by the wheel-turning sage king made these offerings and paid respects. After they circumambulated the Buddha, with one mind they reverently joined their palms together.
 
After they circumambulated the Buddha, with one mind they reverently joined their palms together: Circumambulating the Buddha: Expresses respect. Ceasing all deluded thoughts, with one mind they properly and precisely put their ten fingers and palms together.
 
This is to show that they were “ceasing all deluded thoughts.” Putting their palms together means that all their discursive thoughts have returned to a single thought. They placed both palms before their chest to show all discursive thoughts were eliminated and they had returned to a single thought. It was this kind of reverence.
 
“Ceasing all deluded thoughts, with one mind they properly and precisely, completely [unifying] their minds, “put their ten fingers and palms together.” Putting your palms together is not like this. It must be together like this; they had to place their fingers and palms together. In this way all discursive thoughts return to one mind. With no discursive thoughts, we put our palms together.
 
Putting our palms together means to have one mind. “This means their karma of mind was of reverence and respect.”
 
With one mind they joined their palms together: This means their karma of mind was reverence and respect. [They] gazed at the World-Honored One: This means their karma of body was of sincere respect and admiration. Then praised Him in verse: Their karma of speech was of diligent praise.
 
[They] gazed at the World-Honored One. After putting their palms together, their body, their ears, nose, tongue, their entire body turned toward the Buddha. Their eyes gazed at the Buddha, and they saw His appearance. Furthermore, the Buddha was teaching the Dharma. This shows they sat up straight and steady, with palms together and eyes upon the Buddha. This was their body, their eyes, ears, nose, tongue and body. Even their hands, even their entire body, was very upright. So, this was to “gave at the World-Honored One.” This showed that “Their karma of mind was of reverence and respect.” This shows their reverent mind for the Buddha.
 
“They praised Him in verse.” In great reverence they began to “praise Him in verse.” This [praise] must be recited aloud.” Their karma of speech was of dilligent praise.” Coming before the Buddha, they began to praise Him. They praised the Dharma that the Buddha taught. It was like the sharing we heard yesterday. When everyone began rehearsing and staging, why were they not in harmony? It turns out, they were silently reciting. They were reciting the beats one, two, three, even though clearly, the lyrics, the verses could all be recited out loud. Then the rhythm would come out. Everyone should sing out loudly with every verse clear. They could [keep time] with the words. When they sang loudly they would have unity. Quiet reciting could not bring unity. Loudly singing brought their words into harmony. With this the movements were naturally in unison. I had previously told everyone to recite the Dharma out loud, it is not chanting for yourself alone. All sorts of demons and spirits in the universe can share in the sutra you are reciting. It is like teaching the Dharma.
 
To recite a sutra with a reverent mind is to expound the Dharma to the universe. The Buddha’s teachings are spoken from our mouths. Everyone should sing them out loud. I usually do not hear people chanting loudly. So, it is necessary to use a microphone. The karmadana has to wear a microphone. Otherwise, people cannot hear. Since there are so many people, our voices in unison should shake the heavens. This is how it should be. The words from our hearts should sound throughout the universe. All [these words] contain the Buddha-Dharma.
 
But even with something so simple as chanting when we engage in spiritual practice together, why aren’t we willing to chant it loudly? The best opportunity is during the morning and evening recitations. There we can speak the Dharma aloud for the heavens, the Dharma-protectors, all demons and spirits and the entire universe. Why can’t we do this?
 
“All sentient beings” include more than those we can see. There are many we cannot see. Since we want to transform sentient beings, we must transform all in the Six Realms and four forms of birth. How do we do so? It is the Dharma that transforms. When can we attain Buddhahood and teach the Dharma to transform sentient beings? It will still be a very long time. Now we can use the time when we are all together to recite the Dharma to transform sentient beings. We can transform all beings in the four forms of birth and the Six Realms. So, in paying respects [to the Buddha], we must have great reverence in the Threefold Karma of body, speech and mind. The wheel-turning sage king, his ministers and the people sent the 16 princes off to Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha’s place of practice. Using a  reverent mind, everyone “ then praised Him in Verse.” They chanted in a loud voice. So, “They joined their palms together” to show their karma of mind was of reverence and respect.
 
“[They] gazed at the World-Honored One” to show reverence with their body. They had such sincere reverence and respect. “They praised Him in verse.” Their karma of speech was of earnest praise. The Buddha-Dharma needs us all to have harmony, in the Threefold of karma of body, speech and mind. We must continually show reverence and constantly teach the Dharma to transform all sentient beings. Therefore, I ask everyone, please always be more mindful.
 

(Source: Da Ai TV – Wisdom at Dawn program – Explanation by Master Chen-Yen)
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20170104《靜思妙蓮華》供養恭敬尊重讚歎 (第994集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)
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