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 20170106《靜思妙蓮華》澹泊無為究竟寂滅 (第996集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)

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發表主題: 20170106《靜思妙蓮華》澹泊無為究竟寂滅 (第996集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)   周五 1月 06, 2017 12:34 am

20170106《靜思妙蓮華》澹泊無為究竟寂滅 (第996集)
(法華經•
化城喻品

 
真如妙智本來清淨無體相,無明網不能覆蓋真如鏡智,照了諸法平等聖凡無差別,以其智如如境謂真如妙境。
大威德世尊,為度眾生故,於無量億歲,爾乃得成佛。諸願已具足,善哉吉無上。世尊甚希有,一坐十小劫。《法華經化城喻品第七
身體及手足,靜然安不動,其心常憺怕,未曾有散亂,究竟永寂滅,安住無漏法。今者見世尊,安隱成佛道。《法華經化城喻品第七
身體及手足,靜然安不動:歎身定也。五根不緣外塵,故身手不動。
其心常憺怕,未曾有散亂:其心常常憺怕無為,未曾昏散,讚歎心定不動。
憺:謂憺安無欲,憺然恬靜,安然自在。
怕:又作泊,即憺泊,亦恬靜,言寂靜清澄。
八識已離內染,故其心常憺怕,即安靜義,其猶月爽天秋,寒光無際。
九識:眼識、耳識、鼻識、舌識、身識、意識、末那識、阿賴耶識、菴摩羅識。
第九識:菴摩羅識,華譯為無垢識,或清淨識,即真如,或真心。
究竟永寂滅:究竟永斷無明惑根,證大寂滅。理至情竭,學無所施,曰究竟。一證此道,盡未來際,故云永。二障種現俱亡,曰寂;二死果報已盡,曰滅。
安住無漏法:安隱住於無漏妙法。轉有為之染法,全是性淨功德,故云安住無漏法。
今者見世尊安隱成佛道:我等今者,得見世尊安然隱寂,成就佛道。
 
【證嚴上人開示】

「真如妙智本來清淨無體相,無明網不能覆蓋真如鏡智,照了諸法平等聖凡無差別,以其智如如境謂真如妙境。」
 
真如妙智
本來清淨無體相
無明網不能覆蓋
真如鏡智
照了諸法平等
聖凡無差別
以其智如如境
謂真如妙境
 
就是說,學佛,本來真如妙智清淨無體無相,常常都跟大家這樣說過了。真如智就是在我們的心,在真如,人人本具是真理,天地人間、宇宙天空,無不都是有它的真理循環,它無體無相,這是與我們人人,本具的真如是一樣。
 
有人說,佛說人人本具真如,真如長什麼樣子呢?可以拿出來看看嗎?能形容嗎?形容真如是什麼?真如就是無體無相,就如你說:「是我這樣想。」你說:「你這樣想?來,你拿出你這樣想,那個『想』是什麼東西?」「沒有啦!拿不出來,但是我畫給你看。」畫的已經是形象,已經是有作為的法。真如、真理是無為,是你想出來的那一念,你的理想,理想是無體無形,就要再經過你的造作,這叫做有為。
 
有為法就是有造作,有造作是來自於理想,理想在哪裡?腦袋裡嗎?腦袋裡怎麼裝這麼多?這個頭能放東西嗎?若有一點點,去檢查,多一顆,零點幾公分,那就不得了了!腦袋裡沒東西是清淨,除了人體自然的組織,什麼東西都沒有,除了他的器官。其實他能想出很多,高樓大廈不就是,人設計出來的嗎?杜拜的大樓,一百六十九層,腦袋裡有辦法裝一百六十九層嗎?就是他的理想,建築師的理想,畫啊畫,畫出了人工建築。腦袋裡沒東西,所以理想就是空,道理也是這樣。
 
所以說,我們的真如本性,那就是清淨無染,不是去破壞其他,來造作有為的、有相的東西,真如智慧不會去做,這種有破壞性的建設,真如,那就是純真無染。所有的道理,天地宇宙萬物的道理,你所看到一切有形的東西,看到我人的形象,我有我的生理,身體上各種器官構成一個人,這個生理隨著大自然的法則,有一個行蘊。所以,從嬰兒時代,一直到少年時代、壯年、中年,老年了,這是生理隨著,大自然的(行)蘊,五蘊(中)就是行蘊,五蘊中的行蘊,這樣大自然的境界,就是隨著它生、老、病、死。
 
這就是道理,你看得到的東西,自然境界也是都是這樣。我們透徹其中的真理,自然我們待人做事,就能順著天理,順著大自然的法則,這樣,自然我們的心,能夠常常很平靜。這就是真如妙智,是能通達種種的道理,沒有去破壞大自然,這是清淨,因為我們通徹道理是無形無體,我們都很透徹、瞭解了。一切的形相、所有的體相都是有為,妙智是清淨,自然它就是無體相,這就是我們要瞭解,要很透徹清楚。
 
因為我們若能到了這樣,自然「無明網不能覆蓋,真如鏡智」。我們若能清楚,不論外面什麼樣的無明、網路,都不會困擾我們的心。現在的科技發達,什麼網路很多,隨著人心的雜念、惡感,就寫出了很多不實、虛幻,虛妄不實,來困擾人的心。人的心就是,本來網是無洞,就是自己,人的心鑽進了網裡去,只要我們人人能夠淡泊、清淨,外面的境界自然就沒辦法,來擾動我們的心境。
 
所以說,若有真如妙智,這個清淨無體相,這個道理透徹了,自然無明網就不會來覆蓋,覆蓋不到真如鏡的智。真如這面鏡子原本就是清淨,你再怎樣覆蓋它,層層覆蓋,只要你層層掀開,那個鏡子還是一樣,那麼的清淨明徹,自然這面鏡子能,「照了諸法平等,聖凡無差別」。這是這面鏡子同樣能照,什麼樣的境界,明明歷歷都是在這面鏡子裡,不論形相長得美、長得醜,還是在這面鏡子裡,平等沒有差別;你是聖人或是凡人,你是富貴或是貧賤的人,完全無差別,在這真如這面清淨的大圓鏡裡,一一都能浮現出來。這是我們人人本具的智慧,所以無差別。
 
「以其智如如境,謂真如妙境」。我們前日說過了,「如如境,如如智」,其實這就是我們的真如,清淨無染穢,歸納於我們真如本性的境界,那就是大圓鏡智了。學佛就是這樣學,瞭解外面一切的形相,到底它的道理要很徹底去瞭解,一切有為法,所有的有為法,能夠人創造出來,都是我們的內心理想,這個理想就是受外面的欲,將我們牽引了,牽引出了理想。一念偏差錯誤,他的理想就一直一直出來複製,畫出了很多各形各色,隨著人人所要追求的物質,不論是看到什麼樣的物質,無不都是人所創造出來,引起了人的心欲,就是這樣不斷不斷,去複製、牽引。
 
所以,現在的地球,大地已經受破壞,很嚴重了,不論是山河大地,或是廣闊無邊的大海,海洋也受污染了,廣闊無涯的大海,生態也都變了,人為的破壞、人為把生態污染了,大地高山也是被破壞了。所以,很多都是因為人的欲,所以從天空一直到大地、一直到河海,沒有一個地方,不是人類的理想去破壞,就都是人類的有為法去造作,都是來自於這念無明。這個無明本菩提,無明本來是菩提,就是一念偏差,轉成了無明,無所不造。
 
這就是佛陀要告訴我們的法,其實無明一轉就是成菩提;菩提就是覺,這個覺就是一念無明,所以變成了煩惱重重。這都是我們人間,就是這樣的循環,才會說六道輪迴、四生的生態。
 
看到這麼多的動物,這些動物各有因緣果報。看到這麼多的人間苦相,他們各有因緣,由不得自己在人間,受盡了人間因緣的挫折、苦,這都是在那一念間。佛陀要我們很透徹瞭解,四十九年的說法,無不都是要分析讓我們能瞭解,但是時間太少了,佛陀的壽命太短了,所以佛法在人間,並不長。看到大通智勝佛住世,是五百四十(萬)億,那由他阿僧祇劫,所以佛法是無始無終,真實的佛法就是在大通智勝佛時,一直這樣傳下來。
 
釋迦牟尼佛,是在大通智勝佛的時代,就聽《法華經》,不斷不斷就是修行,上求下化,這都是顯有形相在人間,真實無形無相,是從塵點劫、塵點劫,無始的塵點劫前,修行所聽的法一直傳下來,生生世世,無法去算計;若算師、算師弟子,計算都計算不出來,很長久。這就是表示道理是無始以來,分段生死,一段一段的生死,要看因緣,眾生所需要,就依報在哪個地方,現修行的形象,無非就是要來教導我們。這就是我們要很透徹瞭解道理,不要被道理綁住了。
 
道理就是活的道理,佛陀這樣說的道理是無涯、無邊際,所有一切的理都涵蓋在,他所說的每一句話裡,總是我們學佛者心要清淨,清淨心才能大圓鏡智現。這大圓鏡(智)若現,什麼樣遼闊的境界,小小的一面鏡子,他的大圓鏡智已經圓滿,這個智所照的就已經很遼闊,萬事物、天體虛空,無不收納於真妙智之中。這我們要用心啊!
 
前面的經文這樣說,「大威德世尊,為度眾生故,於無量億歲,爾乃得成佛。諸願已具足,善哉吉無上。世尊甚希有,一坐十小劫。」
 
大威德世尊
為度眾生故
於無量億歲
爾乃得成佛
諸願已具足
善哉吉無上
世尊甚希有
一坐十小劫
《法華經化城喻品第七
 
「大威德世尊」。說過了,修行要很長久的時間。大通智勝佛,無始的無始,塵點劫,無始,那就是累積很長久了,這樣在修行,道理無不都是人能弘道,將這個道理,在人間,一一來宣說這個道理,希望人人能接受了道理,「一理通,萬理徹」,希望人人有辦法去體會。時間很長,道理永存,不論你時間過多久,道理永遠存在,所以,大通智勝佛就是表示道理,就是道理,原來的真諦道理,無形無相,所以時間很長久,「為度眾生(故)」。
 
道理本來就是住在人心,是無量億歲,很長久,本來就是。「爾乃得成佛」,就要去用心體會,這個道理本來就住在人心,你本性「大通」,智勝就是在你的內心裡,已經無量數劫,都是在你的內心裡,但是,就是要經過用心去體會,在覺道上再找回我們的真如,向我們的內心找。「人人有個靈山塔,好向靈山塔下修」,我們就要經過這樣的時間好好用心,才能成佛。找到我們的真如本性,就是叫做成佛了。得到道理,這樣叫做覺悟。「諸願已具足」,所體會到的法都圓滿了,很好啊!「善哉」,真的是很好,無法用語言再解釋,「善哉吉無上」。
 
「世尊甚希有」,已成佛,覺者,是世所稀有,其實是人人都有。「一坐十小劫」,心要靜下來,一坐下來就要這麼久。
 
從剛剛我進來到現在,大家坐幾分鐘了?久不久呢?很久啊!為何會那麼久,腳痛了。坐多久,幾十分鐘喊久。十小劫安然不動,那就是道理永遠永遠就是存在。心要靜,靜下心來,十小劫、塵點劫,我們的心若能永遠都是靜,靜到什麼程度?來,下面這段(經)文說,「身體及手足,靜然安不動,其心常憺怕,未曾有散亂,究竟永寂滅,安住無漏法。今者見世尊,安隱成佛道。」
 
身體及手足
靜然安不動
其心常憺怕
未曾有散亂
究竟永寂滅
安住無漏法
今者見世尊
安隱成佛道
《法華經化城喻品第七
 
境界美啊!善哉,很美啊!也是吉祥的境界。我們能身心安靜,身體、手足,我們若是靜坐下來,心靜,全身都定下來。這就是表示我們的觀念、思想,自己這樣在外面跑,一念雜念很多,當我們坐下來時,心都要收攝過來,我們的觀念、理想完全收回來,在呼吸間,數息觀,眼觀鼻、鼻觀心,我們的氣息進出等等,都完全靜下來,這就是「身體及手足,靜然安不動」。就是外面的境界不管它,我們就是這樣靜下來。這就是讚歎定,定,我們的定力、定心。
 
身體及手足
靜然安不動:
歎身定也
五根不緣外塵
故身手不動
 
「五根不緣外塵,故身手不動」。我們的眼、耳、鼻、舌、身,五根,已經我們的(身)心,都靜下來了。你沒有走到外面,當然與外面的境界就沒有接觸,所以,外面有什麼聲音嗎?不管,這樣五根不緣在外境,故「身手不動」。所以「其心常憺怕」。
 
其心常憺怕
未曾有散亂:
其心常常憺怕無為
未曾昏散
讚歎心定不動
 
這兩字要唸作「澹泊」,「未曾有散亂」。澹泊,就是說我們的心,常常這樣很澹泊、很安定,我們永遠都是清淨無體相,我們的心完全不受外面境界,來影響我們。無為,已經與無為法合而為一,不會受外面的境界、無明來困擾。因為道理我們都很清楚,心與道理合而為一,不會受有形相的東西,來擾亂我們的心,所以「其心常憺怕無為」,完全心與理會合,未曾有散亂。讚歎心的定,完全定而不動。
 
憺:
謂憺安無欲
憺然恬靜
安然自在
 
「憺」,就是「憺安無欲,憺然恬靜,安然自在」。我們的心都要無欲。心的煩惱、無明,都是因為欲念起,一念無明起,貪、瞋、癡、驕慢、懷疑,就全都起來了,就會去造作很多。所以我們「憺安無欲,憺然恬靜,安然自在」,我們的心很自在。若能在這樣的境界,美啊!很美,真善美,很美。
 
怕:
又作泊
即憺泊
亦恬靜
言寂靜清澄
 
這個字「怕」,其實是「泊」,叫做澹泊,就是「亦恬靜」的意思,也就是靜寂。澹泊就是很恬靜,什麼事情都不會動搖我們的心,我們無欲,無為無欲,在真理,真如本體,就是不受污染,所以叫做澹泊、恬靜。回過來,就是回歸在靜寂清澄。
 
這個澹泊,對我們的生活,在日常生活中,我們過著澹泊的生活,我們無欲、無染著,這就是我們的修行。我們的修行,日常能在靜寂清澄,我們的心常常都很恬靜,沒有受外面等等境界,來擾動我們,這就是我們修行,所要學的功夫。「八識已離內染,故其心常憺怕」。
 
八識已離內染
故其心常憺怕
即安靜義
其猶月爽天秋
寒光無際
 
這個八識,就是前面的六識,那就是我們(六根)去緣境,緣境,相入我們的心,入我們的心之後,自然我們的心會去造作,這叫做「內染」。我們自己的心去緣外面的境,才在我們的內心起煩惱,我想要這個、我想要那個,我要……,那個愛欲所追求的,實在是太多了。或者是我們的無明、煩惱、習氣,心量很窄,看不得別人的好,別人的好是我們的煩惱,若這樣就是錯誤,這就是內染。
 
我們要隨喜功德,別人的成功,別人能進入了修行歡喜的境界,我們要成就他;他能有威儀,能去領眾,我們要讚歎他。不是看到別人有成就,我們就起嫉妒,若這樣,就是八識已經內染了,自己已經受染著。所以,八識要離內染,要離開染著,「故其心常憺怕」。別人的成就,讚歎、歡喜,不是嫉妒,一定要有這樣。弘揚佛法就是要,成就人人能得佛法,慧命成長,要成就大家,這才是我們修行的方向。這樣就是安靜的意思。澹泊就是安靜,不會看到別人的行為,來擾我們的心。
 
「其猶月爽天秋」,就如秋天的月,這樣很清涼的光。月光,天很清,照亮了大地而沒有燠熱的感覺。這就是表示「八識已離內染,故其心常憺怕」。
 
內染,到底是幾項東西染呢?就是眼、耳、鼻、舌、身、意,這叫做六根,緣在外面,回入我們的第六識,那是思惟,理想、思惟。這個思惟,將外面的境界收納在內心裡,用心去思惟,人家說「用心計較」。
 
理想,你要畫出什麼圖來,「心如工畫師」,這個工畫師就是第六識,他看外面的境界,就畫了很多的東西,這就是第六識去造作。就是前面的,眼、耳、鼻、舌、身,(第六識)去造作很多的惡業,歸納到哪裡去呢?阿賴耶識,就是第八識。心欲污染,所以所造作的這些污染的東西,在外面造作成種子,歸納在阿賴耶識,這叫做第八識。這第八,阿賴耶識,也就是煩惱識。「萬般帶不去,唯有業隨身」,也叫做煩惱識,讓我們生生世世不得解脫。
 
九識:
眼識、耳識、
鼻識、舌識、
身識、意識、
末那識、
阿賴耶識、
菴摩羅識
 
我們現在已經瞭解佛法了,所以我們要趕快修,不只是不受八識污染,我們還要清淨,去除所有的煩惱,都清淨,回歸到「菴摩羅識」。這就是第九識,已經清淨了,就是真如本性,就是與佛性會合,無為法,就是真理,與真理會合,無體無形,不受污染,這叫做菴摩羅識。
 
第九識:
菴摩羅識
華譯為無垢識
或清淨識
即真如
或真心
 
菴摩羅識,就是指無垢,就是無染著的意思。將「菴摩羅識」翻譯過來,那就是叫做「無垢識」,都不受污染,很清淨的識,就是我們的真如本性。
 
或者是叫做「清淨識」,即是「真如」,就是「真心」。我們要找心,找出了我們的真心在哪裡。我們的真心,不是肉團心,是我們的真如本性,沒有受污染的心。我們人人都有一顆心,心、腦、肺,這全都有關連,哪一條筋塞住了,這條命就會休了。但是我們要找的心,不是找這顆(肉團)心,要找的是真正無染、無所著的清淨心,清淨識、清淨心,真如、真心。
 
所以,能夠找到,那就是「究竟(永)寂滅」,這才是真正我們所要找的心。心不散亂,我們一定要心不散亂,非常恬靜這念心,要不斷好好回歸,在我們的真如本性,走我們應該走的路,才有辦法找出了真真正正,「究竟永寂滅」這念心。這念心本來就是這麼恬靜,永遠都是寂滅,很恬靜的心,很清淨。
 
究竟永寂滅:
究竟永斷無明惑根
證大寂滅
理至情竭
學無所施
曰究竟
一證此道
盡未來際
故云永
二障種現俱亡
曰寂
二死果報已盡
曰滅
 
這種「究竟永斷無明惑」。無明惑,這種惑對我們是很大的損。我們就是常常懷疑,真正的道理,我們起懷疑,人與人之間,真的很難得怎樣相信,這就是在人生混亂了世間。就是這樣,有時候這句話要說,這個人是不是將一句話,變成了是非呢?好壞分不清,惹來了很多的無明困擾,這就是惑,是非不會分,這叫做沒有智慧的人。
 
人人是這樣。到底要做的事情,有時候三叮嚀、四交代,真誠的心,道理就是這樣,要小心說話,才不會被人曲解了、誤解了。因為我們真誠的心待人做事,卻是一點點偏差就曲解、誤解,就亂解,那就是惹來很多重重的障礙,所以這就是人心的混亂啊!我們要修行,就是要好好用心,找出我們的智慧,真如本性,如何在人與人之間能夠互相分享得這念心,回歸於同一念心,這念心就是清淨。
 
這就要斷除無明惑的根本,才有辦法,要證到大寂滅,所以「理至情竭」,完全,情欲完全去除了,無明一切都透徹,就如污濁的水都已經淨化,污濁都沒了,都乾了,變成了清淨的法水在心裡。所以我們一定要學,「學無所施」。你的付出,連我們能付出這念心,都不掛礙,不掛礙我們在付出,做我們該做的事,不掛礙我們到底是做多少了,這樣做到內外完全空,空得以究竟妙有顯出,這才是能回歸菴摩羅識。
 
所以「一證此道,盡未來際」,所以叫做永,永遠。沒有盡頭的過去,沒有盡頭的未來,所以叫做「永」,永寂滅。「究竟永寂滅」,永遠就是沒有盡頭的過去、沒有盡頭的未來,我們的心就是安住不動,在這無漏,沒有雜質、沒有惡濁污染,所以安住不動,這就是我們要用心。
 
「二障種現俱亡」。二障那就是煩惱障、所知障。就是一切的煩惱無明,包括我們所知,很多的知識,這些障礙我們也都要去除。不要說我的知識是多高,我是拿了幾個博士,這也是對我們的障礙。這會驕傲,這種傲慢心,這種所知障,他就會排斥了真理。所以說,煩惱障、所知障,這兩種完全都要去除,就是「俱亡」,都要去除,叫做「寂」,永寂。
 
「二死果報已盡」。二死,分段生死、變易生死,全都斷盡了,這樣叫做滅。所以「安住無漏法」,完全在無漏法,很安穩,住在無漏妙法,就是真如,我們的清淨本性。「轉有為之染法」,有為法就是有造作,「全是性淨功德」,轉有為為無為,就是與真如妙理會合。
 
安住無漏法:
安隱住於無漏妙法
轉有為之染法
全是性淨功德
故云安住無漏法
 
這就是「性淨功德」,就是無為法,這叫做「安住無漏法」。無漏,就是真理沒有漏失。
 
今者見世尊
安隱成佛道:
我等今者
得見世尊
安然隱寂
成就佛道
 
「今者見世尊,安隱成佛道」。我們現在大家,已經看到世尊安然隱寂,已經成就佛道了,所以大家很歡喜。等待這一刻,已經是十小劫了,時間等這麼久,大通智勝佛現出了成道之相。
 
其實,這成道的過程就是這樣,道理本來就是自在,本來就是平等,大圓鏡智只是上面,一層一層無明蓋著,只要我們用功,一層一層掀開,大圓鏡智還是猶然存在。這要看我們修行者,是不是時時多用心。


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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: Calm and Uncontriving in Ultimate Extinction (澹泊無為究竟寂滅)
Date: January.06. 2016
 
“The wondrous wisdom of True Suchness is inherently pure, without substance or appearance. The net of ignorance cannot cover the mirror wisdom of True Suchness. It reflects all phenomena equally, noble and ordinary beings without difference. When this wisdom reflects the state of suchness, this is the wondrous state of True Suchness.”
 
This means, as we learn the Buddha’s teachings, we know the wondrous wisdom of True Suchness is inherently pure, without substance or appearance. I have often spoken with you all about this before. The wisdom of True Suchness lies within our minds. This True Suchness is intrinsic to everyone; it is the true principles. In the world, in the universe, every single thing has its principles and cycles which it follows. These are without substance or appearance. It is the same for the nature of True Suchness that is intrinsic to each of us.
 
Some say, “The Buddha taught that True Suchness is intrinsic to everyone. What does True Suchness look like? Can you take it out and show it to me? Can you describe it?” How does one describe True Suchness? True Suchness is without substance or appearance. It is like when people say, “This is what I think. You say that this is what you think. Take it out and show me what you think.” What is this “thinking”? “I cannot take it out, but I will draw a picture of it for you.” Once you draw it you give it form; then it has become a conditioned phenomenon.
 
The nature of True Suchness, the true principles, are unconditioned phenomena. They are like that thought you had, like your ideals. Ideals are intangible and without substance. They must be given form by our, then they are conditioned phenomena. Conditioned phenomena are things that are created, but those creations originated from an ideal. Where are these ideals? Are they in your brain? How can the brain possibly hold so much? Can things be stored in our head? Is there anything there? Go and check. Some small thing of even a few millimeters would mean big trouble. If there is nothing in our brain it is clean.
 
Besides the body’s natural nerves and tissues, nothing else is in there. It is just an organ. Yet it can actually think up so many things. Aren’t great skyscrapers designed by humans? There is a 169-story high-rise building in Dubai. Can a 169 story skyscraper fit in your brain? It is simply an idea, the idea of an architect. He drew it, drew this man-made structure. There is nothing of it in the brain [physically].
 
So, these ideals are empty. This is true of principles as well. Thus we say our nature of True Suchness is pure and undefiled. It does not go out to destroy things in order to create conditioned, tangible objects. Our wisdom of True Suchness would never create buildings which cause such destruction. True Suchness is something pure and undefiled. [This applies to] all principles, the principles of all things in the world. Anything you see with form [follows principles]. Take my appearance as a human. My body follows the principles of life. All kinds of organs make up my person, and these principles of life follow natural laws. There are infinitesimal changes, so we go from infancy, through youth, to adulthood into middle and old age. These are the principles of life; we follow the natural laws to change with the [aggregate of action]. Among the Five Aggregates, [the aggregate of action] is infinitesimal change. The aggregate of action in the Five Aggregates refers to the states of the natural world; we follow it as we undergo birth, aging, illness and death. These are the principles. All the things we can see and the naturally world are all like this. If we can penetrate the true principles in them, then the way we treat others or do things will naturally be in harmony with nature. When we follow the laws of nature, our mind naturally becomes constantly tranquil. This is the wondrous wisdom of True Suchness; it allows us to comprehend all kinds of principles without destroying nature. It is pure.
 
We have come to understand that the principles are without form or substance. We understand this completely. Everything having form and appearance, everything with substance or appearance, is a conditioned phenomenon. Wondrous wisdom is pure; it naturally has no substance or appearance. This is what we must understand; we must be completely clear about it. If we are able to reach this state, then naturally, “The net of ignorance cannot cover the mirror wisdom of True Suchness.” If our understanding is clear, regardless of the ignorance surrounding us, or [spreading] on the Net, nothing can trouble our minds.
 
Modern technology is very advanced, and there is so much on the internet. In accord with people’s discursive thoughts and ill will, so many false and unreal things are written, false and unreal things that trouble our minds. Our minds are such that even though this net had no opening, we managed to work our way into this net. If all of us could keep our minds calm and pure, it would naturally be impossible for external conditions to disturb our state of mind.
 
So, if we have wondrous wisdom of True Suchness, which is pure and without substance or appearance, if we thoroughly understand this principle, the net of ignorance naturally cannot cover us. It cannot cover the mirror wisdom of True Suchness. The mirror of True Suchness is fundamentally pure. No matter how many layers are covering it, all you have to do is brush these layers away and the mirror itself will still be the same, will still reflect things purely and clearly. Naturally, this mirror can “reflect all phenomena equally, noble and ordinary beings without difference.” This mirror can reflect everything the same way.
 
Whatever the conditions, they are reflected clearly in this mirror. Whether an appearance is beautiful or ugly, it is reflected in this mirror regardless. Everything is equal, without difference [in it]. Whether you are a noble or an ordinary person, whether you are rich or impoverished, the mirror makes no differentiation. In the pure great perfect mirror of True Suchness, all appearances can manifest. This is the wisdom we all intrinsically have. Thus there is no difference.
 
“When this wisdom reflects the state of suchness, this is the wondrous state of True Suchness.” We spoke the day before about the state of suchness and the wisdom of suchness. This is actually our nature of True Suchness, which is pure and undefiled. Encompassed within the state of our nature of True Suchness is great perfect mirror wisdom. This is what Buddhist practitioners must learn; we must understand all external appearances and ultimately penetrate their principles. All conditioned phenomena, all these conditioned phenomena that humans are able to create comes from our minds, from our ideals. These thoughts are affected by external desires and led us astray; [desires] lead us astray. With one deviant or mistaken thought, our ideals will lead us to constantly reproduce and design things of every shape and size according to what material goods people desire. Whatever material things we see, all have been created by humans. They elicit people’s desires so they are constantly reproduced and draw in [more people].
 
This is why the world has now suffered such severe destruction, whether to the mountains, rivers or land, or even the vast and boundless oceans. The oceans have also already been contaminated. The ecology of the vast and boundless oceans has already been changed. Humankind caused this destruction. Humankind has contaminated the earth’s ecosystem. The earth’s great mountains are also being destroyed. So much of this is due to human desires. Thus, from the skies above to the earth below, to the rives and seas, there is not a single place that human have not destroyed for their ideals, all for the sake of the conditioned phenomena created by humankind. This all stems from ignorance. This ignorance was once Bodhi. Ignorance was originally Bodhi, but due to a single deviant thought, it changed to ignorance; thus there is no karma we do not create.
 
This is the Dharma the Buddha wanted to teach us. Actually, once ignorance is transformed, it becomes Bodhi. Bodhi is enlightenment. This enlightenment, due to an ignorant thought, transformed into so many afflictions. This is how our world is. It is because of this kind of cycle that we undergo transmigration in the Six Realms and the ways of life of the four forms of birth.
 
When we look at all the animals, we see that each has its own karmic retribution. Look at all the suffering in the world. Every person has their own causes and conditions. When they come to the world, it is beyond their control, and they face all kinds of frustrations and suffering from their cusses and conditions in the world. All of this is due to a single thought. The Buddha wanted us to thoroughly understand this. He taught the Dharma for 49 years, analyzing everything so that we could understand. However, His time on earth was too short. The Buddha’s lifespan was too short, so the time of the Buddha-Dharma in the world did not last long.
 
Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha abided in the world for 540 trillion nayutas of asankyas of kalpas. So, the Buddha-Dharma has no beginning and no end. The true Buddha-Dharma has, since the time of Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha, been continually passed down. Sakyamuni Buddha, in Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha’s time, had listened to the Lotus Sutra, then continuously engaged in spiritual practice, seeking the Dharma while transforming others. He always manifested an appearance in the world, but the truth is without substance or appearance. For dust-inked kalpas upon dust-inked kalpas, from even before beginningless dust-inked kalpas, He had engaged in spiritual practice and continually passed down the Dharma He had heard. He did this life after life, for an incalculably long time.
 
Not even a mathematician and his disciples could calculate how long it was; it was so long. This means the principles have existed forever. In fragmentary samsara, lifetime after lifetime, depending upon the causes and conditions and the needs of sentient beings, His circumstantial retributions would be there, and He would manifest as a spiritual practitioner. He did all of this just to teach and to guide us so we would thoroughly understand the principles and not become tied up by them. The principles are living principles. The principles taught by the Buddha are endless, without boundaries. So, all of the principles were always present in every sentence that He uttered. As Buddhist practitioners, our mind must be pure, for only when our mind is pure can great perfect mirror wisdom manifest itself. If this great perfect mirror manifests, no matter how vast the conditions, this small mirror, this perfect and complete mirror wisdom, can reflect even the most expansive states. All things, even the emptiness of the universe, are contained within true wondrous wisdom. So, let us be mindful of this!
 
The previous sutra passage says, “The World-Honored One of great might and virtue, for the sake of delivering sentient beings, spent countless billions of years before finally attaining Buddhahood. You have fulfilled all Your vows. Excellent! Your auspiciousness is supreme. The World-Honored One is most extraordinary, sitting for ten small kalpas straight.
 
The World-Honored One of great might and virtue” is what we explained before. He had to spend a long time in spiritual practice. Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha, since Beginningless Time, for beginningless dust-inked kalpas, had long been accumulating [wisdom]. He engaged in spiritual practice in this way. The principles must always be spread by people. He expounded these principles one by one throughout the world, hoping all might accept them. “By grasping one truth, we understand all truths, hoping everyone might comprehend. Although much time has passed, the principles are everlasting. Regardless of how much time passes, the principles will always be there.
 
So, Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha expressed the principles, the original and true principles that are without form or appearance. So, He spent a very long period of time “for the sake of delivering sentient beings.” The principles have always existed in our minds, for countless billions of years, for a very long time. They have always been there. Only then did He “finally attain Buddhahood.” Let us be mindful in understanding the fact that the principles have always existed, that there has always been a Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior inside of us. For a countless number of kalpas, this has always been in our minds. However, we must go through a process of mindfully experiencing it to find our nature of True Suchness again on the path to enlightenment. We must look for it inside ourselves. So, “We each have a stupa on our Vulture Peak. We can practice at the foot of that stupa.” We must pass through this period of time, making the effort to be mindful, before we are able to attain Buddhahood.
 
Finding our nature of True Suchness is what we call attaining Buddhahood. Realizing the principles is what we call enlightenment. “You have fulfilled all Your vows” means the teachings [Great Unhindered] realized were perfect and complete. That is very good! “Excellent!” It is truly great; words cannot really describe it. “Excellent! Your auspiciousness is supreme. The World-Honored One is most extraordinary.” He attained Buddhahood, was an Enlightened One. This is extraordinarily rare in the world. Actually, all people have this [nature].
 
“Sitting for ten small kalpas straight” means His mind had to be tranquil. Once He sat down it would be a very long time. From the time I came in here until now, how many minutes has everyone been sitting? Has it been long? “It has been very long! Why is this taking so long? My legs hurt.” “How long have we been sitting here?” Can we complain that less than an hour is long? He sat unwaveringly for ten small kalpas! This shows that the principles are everlasting and always present. Our mind must be tranquil. If we quiet the mind, whether sitting for ten small kalpas or for dust-inked kalpas, our mind can remain tranquil forever.
 
How tranquil does it become?
Come, the next passage says, “Your body and limbs are still, peaceful and unmoving. Your mind is constantly content and calm and has never been scattered. You ultimately achieved everlasting tranquil extinction and steadily abide in the flawless Dharma. Today we see that the World-Honored One has peacefully attained Buddhahood”.
 
What a beautiful scene! “Excellent!” “Beautiful!” This is also an auspicious scene. When we quiet our bodies and minds, whether our body, hands or feet, when we sit down in meditation, our minds are still, our entire body settled. This expresses that our thoughts [are calm]. We rush about outside all day, and our minds become filled with discursive thoughts. Once we sit down, we need to gather and focus our mind. Our thoughts are all pulled back together, and as we breathe, we count the breaths. The eyes follow the nose; the nose follows the mind. As our breath comes in and goes out, etc., we begin to completely settle down.
 
This is the meaning of “Your body and limbs are still, peaceful and unmoving.” No longer concerned with the world outsides, we settle ourselves down in this way. This is praising Samadhi, the power of Samadhi, of focusing the mind.
 
“The Five Roots do not connect to external Dusts, hence it says body and limbs are unmoving.” Our eyes, ears, nose, tongue and body, these Five Roots, as well as the mind, have all settled down. If you do not go outside, of course you will not connect with the outside world, so whatever sounds are outside, it does not matter. The Five Roots do not connect to external states, “hence it says body and limbs are unmoving.” So, “Your mind is constantly content and calm.”
 
Your mind is constantly content and calm and has never been scattered: His mind is always content, calm and uncontriving; it has never been confused or scattered. This praises the unmoving Samadhi of His mind.
 
Here it speaks of being “content and calm.” “[It] has never been scattered.” “Content and calm” is saying that our minds become constantly calm and content, very peaceful and stable. If [our mind] can always remain pure, without substance or appearance, it will not be influenced at all by any external states. Uncontriving means it is already one with unconditioned phenomena. No external states nor ignorance can disturb it, because we are very clear on the principles. When our minds are one with those principles, no king of tangible object will be able to disturb us. So, “His mind is always content, calm and uncontriving.” His mind has fully merged with the principles, and it never becomes scattered. This is praising the Samadhi of His mind; it is completely settled and unwavering.
 
“Content” means “being at peace, without desire. He is content, calm, at peace and at ease.”
 
Our mind must be free of desires. The afflictions and ignorance of the mind all arise due to thoughts of desire. When one deluded thought arises, greed, anger, ignorance, arrogance and doubt all arise, thus we create so much [karma].
 
So, if we can be at “peace and without desire, content, calm, at peace and at ease,” our mind totally free, if we can be in this state of mind, that is such a beautiful thing. It is truth, goodness and beauty.
 
The Chinese character “calm” here can also be written as “peaceful.” It means one is content. It also means “quiet and tranquil.” When content, we are quiet and tranquil and nothing can trouble our mind. We are free of desires, uncontriving and without desire. We remain in truth, the essence of True Suchness, and are never contaminated, so we are said to be content, quiet and tranquil.
 
In summary, we return to that tranquil and clear state. If we can be content in our daily living, if we can live very simple lives, without desires and without defilements, that is our spiritual practice. In our spiritual practice, we must tranquil and clear in our daily living, our minds always quiet and tranquil, not disturbed any external states and so on. This is what we must master in our practice. “His eighth consciousness is already free of inner contamination. Thus, His mind is constantly content and calm.
 
His eighth consciousness is already free of inner contamination. Thus, His mind is constantly content and calm. This means it is still and serene, just like the refreshing autumn moon with its boundless cool light.
 
Speaking of the eighth consciousness, the first Six Consciousness are [our Six Roots], which are what connect with external states. When this happens, the appearance enters our mind. Once it enters our mind, our mind naturally goes into action. This is called “inner contamination.” It is only when our mind connects with external conditions that afflictions begin to arise in us. We think, “I want this” or “I want that.” Our wants, these things we crave desire, are truly too numerous.
 
Or, because of our ignorance, afflictions and habitual tendencies, our mindsets become very narrow, so we cannot see the good in others. Others’ good qualities become afflictions for us. If so, this is a mistake; it is inner contamination. We should take joy in others’ merits and virtues, take joy in others’ successes. When others enter this joyful state of spiritual practice, we should help them succeed. When they have a [dignified] demeanor, and can lead others, we should praise them. We should not, upon seeing others succeed, become jealous of them. If we do, our eighth consciousness already has inner contamination; we will have already been defiled.
 
So, we must avoid inner contamination of the eighth consciousness; we must distance ourselves from defilement. “Thus, His mind is constantly content and calm.” We should praise and take joy in others’ success, not become jealous. This is what we must do.
 
Spreading the Buddha-Dharma means helping others to attain the Buddha-Dharma and nurturing their wisdom-life. Helping others to succeed is the direction of the direction of our spiritual practice. This means we are at peace; “content” means we are at peace. We will not allow others’ actions to disturb our minds. This is “just like the refreshing autumn moon.” It is like the autumn moon, the cool radiance of its light.
 
When the sky is clear, it illuminates the land, yet its light does not feel hot. This shows that “His eight consciousnessis already free of inner contamination.” “Thus, His mind is constantly content and calm.” What things cause inner contamination? When the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind, the Six Roots, connect with external phenomena, these enter our [sixth] consciousness. Then contemplation and thinking occurs. To contemplate is to take external states into our minds and then mindfully consider them.
 
People talk about “drawing up plans.” What are you designing in your thoughts? “The mind is like an artist.” This artist is the sixth consciousness. It sees the outside world and begins to paint so many things. This is the sixth consciousness’s function. The previously-mentioned eyes, ears, nose, tongue and body, lead to the creation of mush negative karma. Where does the karma go? The alaya consciousness. This is the eighth consciousness. When our mind is defiled by desire, we create many defiled things. The actions we take externally become seeds, which then are stored in the alaya consciousness. This is the eighth consciousness.
 
The eighth consciousness, the alaya consciousness, is the consciousness of afflictions. So, “We take nothing with us when we die except our karma.” This is also the consciousness of affliction. It is what prevents us from attaining liberation, lifetime after lifetime.
 
The Nine Consciousness: eye-consciousness, ear-consciousness, nose-consciousness, tongue-consciousness, body-consciousness, mind-consciousness, manas consciousness, alaya consciousness, amala consciousness.
 
Now what we understand the Buddha-Dharma, we should immediately put it into practice. Not only must we prevent our eight consciousness from becoming defiled, we must also purify it. We eliminate all afflictions to make it pure and thus return to the amala consciousness. This is the ninth consciousness, which is already pure. This is our nature of True Suchness. Thus we unite with our Buddha-nature, with unconditioned phenomena, with true principles. We are united with true principles. [Our nature] is without substance or appearance, so it never becomes defiled. This is the amala consciousness.
 
The amala consciousness refers to [a consciousness] which is undefiled. This means it is without any defilement. So, a way of translating amala consciousness is to call it the “undefiled consciousness.” It is never defiled; it is a pure consciousness. This is our nature of True Suchness. It is also called “pure consciousness,” which is True Suchness. This is the “true mind.”
 
We must find where our true mind resided. We must find where our true mind resides. Our true mind is not the brain. It is our nature of True Suchness, the mind that always remains undefiled. Everyone had a mind, a heart, a brain and lungs, and they are all connected. When one of these stops working, our life ends.
 
However, the mind we are looking for is not this brain. What we are looking for is a truly pure mind, with no defilement or attachment. It is a pure consciousness, our pure mind. It is True Suchness, our true mind.
 
So, we are looking to “ultimately achieve everlasting tranquil extinction.” This is the mind that we truly seek. This mind is never scattered. We must not let our mind be scattered; we must remain very quiet and tranquil. We must continuously return to our nature of True Suchness and to walk the path we should walk. Only then will we truly have a way to find that “ultimate everlasting tranquil extinction,” that state of mind. This state of mind is inherently tranquil, always in a state of tranquil extinction. It is as quiet and tranquil mind, a very pure mind.
 
You ultimately achieved everlasting tranquil extinction: He has ultimately eliminated forever the root of ignorance and delusion and realized great tranquil extinction. He reached the principles, dried up His passions and learned to give unconditionally. Thus it says “ultimately.” Once this Path is realized, it extends to the boundless future, hence it says “everlasting.” The seeds and manifested [retributions] of the two obstructions have completely ceased. This is called “tranquil.” The retributions of the two kinds of samsara have ended. This is called “extinction.”
 
Thus, “He had ultimately eliminated forever ignorance and delusion.” Ignorance and delusion are very harmful to us. They can cause us to constantly doubt, to begin doubting the true principles. In our relationships with others, it will be very difficult for us to trust people. This kind of life will create chaos in the world.
 
Indeed, someone may say something, and it is taken the wrong way, causing a conflict. Unable to distinguish good from bad, we stir up so much ignorance and trouble. This is delusion, the inability to distinguish right from wrong. A person like this is one without wisdom. Everyone can be like this. To get something done, we must sometimes remind others three or four times. We are sincere in intent, and this is how it should be done, yet we must be careful with our words, so others do not distort of misunderstand.
 
We may be sincere in dealing with others, but even a slight deviation, they may distort, misunderstand or completely misinterpret us.
 
This can bring up all kinds of obstacles. This is what happens when minds are confused! To engage in spiritual practice, we must earnestly, mindfully seek out our wisdom, our nature of True Suchness. We must learn how, in interpersonal relationships, to mutually share this state of mind so we can all return the same state of mind.
 
This state of mind is pure. Only with the foundation of having eliminated ignorance and delusion can we do this. We must realize great tranquil extinction. So, “He reached the principles, dried up His passions.” He had totally rid Himself of passion and desire and saw through all ignorance. It is like contaminated water after purification; the defilements are gone, and it is clean. Thus there is pure Dharma-water in His heart.
 
So, we must learn, “learn to give unconditionally.” The way you give, the way we all give, is with a mindset free of hindrances; we do not worry about giving of ourselves. We do what we must do. We do not worry about how much we have done. In this way, we can achieve complete emptiness inwardly and outwardly, so empty that our ultimate wondrousness will manifest itself. In this way, we can return to amala consciousness.
 
So, “Once this path is realized, it extends to the boundless future.” This is why it is called everlasting. It had no beginning in the past, and there is no ending in the future. Thus, it is “everlasting” tranquil extinction. So, “You ultimately achieved everlasting tranquil extinction.” It is everlasting, with no beginning in the past and no ending in the future. Our minds peacefully abide and remain unwavering, without Leaks, without impurities, and without defilements of evil or turbidity.
 
So we peacefully abide and remain unwavering. We must be mindful of this, “The seeds and manifested [retributions] of the two obstructions have completely ceased.” The two obstructions are the obstructions of afflictions and of knowledge. This is all afflictions and ignorance, as well as all of our knowledge. These obstructions must be eliminated.
 
We should not think of how high our intellect is or how many doctorates we have. These also become obstructions for us, for they give rise to pride and arrogance in us. The obstruction of knowledge can lead us to reject true principles. So, there is the obstruction of afflictions and the obstruction of knowledge. Both of these must be totally eradicated, so that they have “completely ceased. This is “tranquility,” everlasting tranquility.
 
“The retributions of the two kinds of samsara have ended.” The two kinds of samara are fragmentary samsara and transformational samara. When both have ended, this is extinction.
 
So, “Steadily abide in the flawless Dharma” means we are always in the flawless Dharma. We very steadily abide in the flawless, wondrous Dharma, which is True Suchness, our pure intrinsic nature.  He “turns defiled, conditioned phenomena,” conditioned phenomena being that which is created, “into the merits and virtues of His pure nature.” He turned the conditioned into the unconditioned; He converged with the wondrous principles of True Suchness. These are “merits and virtues of His pure nature.” These are unconditioned phenomena. This is “steadily abiding in the flawless Dharma.”
 
Flawless means that the true principles will not leak away. “Today we see that the World-Honored One has peacefully attained Buddhahood.” Now, all of them had seen how peaceful and tranquil the World-Honored One was, how He had already attained Buddhahood. So, everyone was very joyful. They had waited for this moment to come for ten small kalpas already. After waiting such a long time, Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha manifested the attainment of Buddhahood.
 
In fact, the process of attaining Buddhahood is just like this. The principles are fundamentally unobstructed. They are equal in everyone. It is just that our great perfect mirror wisdom has been covered by layer after layer of ignorance. As long as we work hard to life these layers, we find that the great perfect mirror wisdom is still there as always. It just depends on whether we practitioners are able to always be mindful.
 

(Source: Da Ai TV – Wisdom at Dawn program – Explanation by Master Chen-Yen)
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20170106《靜思妙蓮華》澹泊無為究竟寂滅 (第996集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)
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