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 20170111《靜思妙蓮華》佛轉法輪碾摧惑障 (第999集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)

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發表主題: 20170111《靜思妙蓮華》佛轉法輪碾摧惑障 (第999集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)   周二 1月 10, 2017 11:15 pm

20170111《靜思妙蓮華》佛轉法輪碾摧惑障 (第999集)
(法華經•
化城喻品

 
佛說諸諦因緣六度教法,如車輪旋轉能轉凡成聖,碾摧一切煩惱盡無明惑,佛說法度眾生稱轉法輪。
從冥入於冥,永不聞佛名。今佛得最上安隱無漏道,我等及天人,為得最大利,是故咸稽首,歸命無上尊。《法華經化城喻品第七
爾時,十六王子偈讚佛已,勸請世尊轉於法輪,咸作是言:世尊說法,多所安隱。《法華經化城喻品第七
佛於八千劫說法華經,即入靜室。八萬四千劫間,寂然入定。此時十六王子各上法座,八萬四千劫間為四部眾覆講法華經。今已各成佛,為八方之如來。
勸請世尊轉於法輪:佛雖已成,未曾聞法,故加勸請。
佛於諸天人民,以大慈故多所安隱,以大悲故多所憐愍饒益。
以一切智故,能知一切眾生根性、欲樂、三世因緣而為之轉無上法輪。
勸請:前來誦德慶已,必欲聞法以取聖果,故勸請。
法輪:法喻雙陳,輪乃車輪,有運載摧碾義;如來教法,能載眾生從凡至聖,摧伏眾生一切惑障故。
又車行處,螳螂不能拒轍,喻大教宣時,魔邪不能搪突也。
又三十輻為一轂,當其無,有車之用。佛之說法,如空中風畫,說而無說,故有利物之用。
咸作是言,世尊說法,多所安隱:佛若說法,多有所益,令得安隱。
 
【證嚴上人開示】

「佛說諸諦因緣六度教法,如車輪旋轉能轉凡成聖,碾摧一切煩惱盡無明惑,佛說法度眾生稱轉法輪。」
 
佛說諸諦因緣
六度教法
如車輪旋轉
能轉凡成聖
碾摧一切煩惱
盡無明惑
佛說法度眾生
稱轉法輪
 
佛陀說法,開始一直一直為眾生觀機逗教,所說的法,無不都是諸諦、十二因緣、六度之教法。諸諦,那就是「四聖諦」等等的道理。為聲聞講諸諦理,為辟支佛說十二因緣法,為大乘根機的人就講六度教行。這就是佛陀,釋迦牟尼佛來人間,四十多年間的說法,長時間一直不離這些教法。
 
其實佛佛道同,釋迦牟尼佛是這樣,當然,過去過去無量塵點劫前,大通智勝佛應該也是這樣。因為修行的過程,長短不一,方法是一樣。因為眾生就是共同的煩惱,叫做煩惱無明,卻是有無量無數,都是稱做無明、煩惱、惑,這三項是眾生自古以來,共同的毛病,是心靈的毛病,也是叫做煩惱、無明、惑,這都是自古以來眾生是這樣,佛修行過程也是這樣。
 
無明的人還是輾轉無明複製,發心度眾生,佛、大覺者,他發心立願,也是同樣一念不忍之心,長久的時間修行,每一生世無不都是上求下化,對上不斷求法,對下(為)眾生不斷付出。就像車輪一樣,一定要起動,車輪不斷要轉,轉凡成聖,就是要修行,不斷要修,如轉車輪。六度行,其中「精進」就是這樣,不能停歇,就是要不斷向前,這種輾轉不休息,如車輪旋轉一樣。
 
轉什麼呢?什麼要精進、要修呢?要修、要精進的,就如碾米一樣。稻殼,那就是,稻子雖然用工種植,割下來的稻穗,打下來,粒粒是稻穀,稻穀不能吃,還是要經絞過、碾過,要碾碎,就是一直剝殼,要脫殼,碾開它那一層殼。同樣的,我們眾生,(煩惱)重重疊疊,不就像那粒米,外面有一層稻殼包住,我們人人真如本性,就是被無明殼包住了,必須脫開無明殼我們才有辦法,將我們的真如本性展現出來,所以必定要像車輪,不斷一直旋轉,就如碾米機一樣,要不斷地(風)鼓不斷碾,才有辦法將煩惱殼脫殼。
 
「盡無明惑」。殼若脫開了,粗糠,變成粗糠,裡面就是糙米,糙米再稍微碾一下,就是叫做米糠,米糠稍微去除一下,那就變成了白米。就是這樣。所以,一切的無明再稍微碾一下,這樣「盡無明惑」,稻殼去除了,很厚的米糠稍微再磨一下,去除了雜質,我們的無明就如這樣都去除,展現出我們的真如本性。所以「盡無明惑」,煩惱開始將它碾開,這樣就是脫無明的殼,將外面的雜質再整理一下,很細膩,如米糠這麼小,也把它去除,這樣「盡無明惑」。
 
這就是佛陀來人間,向我們說法,讓我們聲音聽,瞭解人生的苦相,說出了人生來人間的道理,十二因緣。生老病死的起源,就是十二因緣,這些道理讓我們知道,是苦、是無明,這樣重重複複,造了很多的因緣。不好的因緣結合在一起,愛恨情仇不斷交結,讓我們能清楚這都是因緣會合。我們瞭解了道理,就知道要修行,要修行,不是只是自修而已,佛陀還告訴我們,要去行菩薩道,入人群。
 
每天都是這樣說,確實要入人群,菩薩是人當的,是你發一念心,你就有辦法成為人間的菩薩。就如我們的慈誠、我們的委員,社會很多愛心人,他們將他們集中起來,慈誠隊或是委員組,哪個地區有需要,需要幫助,有人,好心人提案給我們,接到這件個案就要趕快很自動去瞭解。
 
就如臺南有一個苦難的家庭,其實這個家庭就是,這種的因緣會合。一位父親已經八十多歲了,雖然有家可住,老來病了,又是中風。慈濟人接到這樣的案,就是去看他,可憐啊!從二0一三年,年初開始,我們就開始接案了。我們的慈誠菩薩,有好幾位,邀了委員,其中王志雄居士他住得比較近,他就是比較常來看他,差不多每天都要送食,送來給這位老人吃,就慢慢地這樣餵他,如同在孝順父親,餵父親一般。
 
又經過一段時間,又是提一個案,這件個案與這位,八十多歲的老先生有關的人,那就是他的兒子,今年五十多歲了。這個人長期沒有和父親住,因為他外面自己有家庭,但是好幾年前與太太離婚了,他自己本身有糖尿病,很嚴重的糖尿病。雖然有兩個兒子,一個自己建立家庭了,一個在送貨。平時兒子與父親的感情,並沒有很好,雖然小兒子和父親住,不過兒子早出晚歸,平時感情也不好。
 
這位五十多歲的王先生,有一天,血糖太低也跌倒了,傷到脖子的脊椎,人家發現時,將他送到臺南某一間大醫院。經過開刀,開刀之後,變成兩隻腳無法動、一隻手也無法動,只剩下一隻手能動而已,所以四肢剩一肢能動,就這樣臥床了。也是同樣(有)人提案,(慈濟人)去看他,從那時候開始,就是每天要去幫他換紙尿布,也要去餵他吃飯。
 
這一次,因為這兒子還是不太理父親,整個家裡很骯髒,這個父親已經五個多月,都沒有洗澡,一進到屋裡就很臭。雖然慈濟人,幫他清一下、換一下,但是覺得兒子都沒有為他整理。就動員了慈濟人,這麼熱的天氣,幾天前大家動員起來,三四個人抱著這位患者,進到一間小小的浴室裡,三四位慈誠隊,有的抹肥皂,有的用絲瓜布,全身都洗,頭臉全都清理。
 
王志雄居士就這樣把他抱起來,因為裡面很窄,三四人無法全都去抱他,所以只好一個人來抱。到了外面,趕緊頭、臉,鬍鬚、頭髮都為他整理,整理好了,再全部,最後的清潔。之後這位患者,終於露出了笑容,說出了一句:「感恩你們大家。」
 
大家,師兄、師姊,為他清理家裡,全部,床單全都換過,讓他乾乾淨淨,大家圍在他的身邊,這個家庭已經一亮了。不過,覺得這樣不是辦法,幾天後還是會再弄髒,就為他去找安養之家,去幫他找出了公益,政府公益,免費的床(位),用盡辦法幫他辦到裡面。不過,他的父親有一棟房子,這位王先生的父親有一棟房子,所以還是要再貼補錢,六千元,就慈濟人幫他貼補,讓他住在安養之家。
 
但是這兩個兒子,和父親不怎麼很有話說。所以我們的慈誠隊,也是姓王,王居士,他每天都用手機寫,寫他去看他們的父親的,溫馨對談,去感動他的兒子,總算他的兒子開始懂得,去看父親了,而他也願意負擔部分,三千元,讓父親可以有時候,當一點零用錢。
 
像這樣,這叫做人生,人生的因緣。一個家庭,兩個患者,雖然有兩個兒子,是第三代,感情沒有很好。看看這樣在人間的因緣,愛恨情仇,有緣、沒緣,到底是怎樣呢?明明一個家庭,就離婚了,兩個兒子就是這樣這麼無緣,上面還有父親,八十多歲的父親,也是沒人照顧。這是一個家庭的故事啊!
 
看,這叫做人間,問情何物?只有愛恨情仇,無法去瞭解,到底怎麼了?所以我們瞭解了,這就是因緣,來人生就是苦,造作無明,因緣苦報就是這樣,所以我們要趕快修行,而修行不是獨善其身,一定要兼利他人,行菩薩道。
 
社會若沒有這群菩薩,你們想,多少家庭如垃圾堆,多少孤苦無依、病苦的人,要怎樣過日子呢?就是因為有人間菩薩,不忍眾生受苦難,這樣在投入,這就是入人群的菩薩,這愛的力量,這就是佛陀所教育我們。教育我們,我們就要認真,我們就要精進,就要如車輪,如碾米機一樣,我們自己的無明要不斷脫殼,我們不斷將這個法,再延伸給別人,趕緊將法運到人人的心,如輪,轉法輪,自己去除無明,我們還能用真諦道理去度眾生。
 
所以,佛陀說法度眾生,無非是要我們去度眾生,不是只有佛來人間度眾生。光是一尊佛,又是有限的時間,要如何度眾生呢?將這個法傳給弟子,弟子人人本具佛性,人人秉著佛性,借著人群來磨練我們,讓我們如碾米機脫殼一樣,讓我們行菩薩道,能更精純一點,這我們就要,不斷在人群中去付出,這也是叫做轉法輪。不是只有佛轉法輪,其實我們也要不斷精進,我們也要不斷傳佛法在人間。
 
要不然,前面的(經)文這樣說,眾生是「從冥入於冥,永不聞佛名。今佛得最上安隱無漏道,我等及天人,為得最大利,是故咸稽首,歸命無上尊。」
 
從冥入於冥
永不聞佛名
今佛得最上
安隱無漏道
我等及天人
為得最大利
是故咸稽首
歸命無上尊
《法華經化城喻品第七
 
大通智勝佛已經成佛了,天、人,大家都很高興。因為佛若沒出世,佛若未覺悟,眾生愈來心地愈黑暗,從黑暗中再造作惡業,永遠看不到佛,永遠不能發現,自己內心的自性佛,所以必定要有佛出世來開示,為人間的典範,教我們如何修行。這些天、人,護法很高興,稽首頂禮,皈依大覺者無上尊。
 
接下來這段(經)文,「爾時,十六王子偈讚佛已,勸請世尊轉於法輪,咸作是言:世尊說法,多所安隱。」
 
爾時十六王子
偈讚佛已
勸請世尊
轉於法輪
咸作是言
世尊說法
多所安隱
《法華經化城喻品第七
 
那就是經過一段時間了,因為佛成佛之後,天人讚歎、歡喜,開始皈依,從此,十六王子也開始出家了,出家,也是一樣來聽佛說法,從四諦、十二(因)緣,一直到六度萬行。所以,十六王子的精進,這是在大通智勝佛(座下),人人精進,出家為沙彌,聽佛講說的法,尤其是六度萬行,更需要佛再講詳細一點,能聽佛說出成佛之道,很明確的法,所以十六沙彌,也請佛來轉大法輪,成佛的法輪。
 
過去講六度萬行的法,其實就是成佛之道。但是,為了讓更多人再更清楚,所以十六王子,再請佛講《法華經》,名稱叫做《法華經》。其實還未講《法華經》之前,就在說菩薩法了,這十六王子為了要讓未聞的人,後來的人能更清楚,所以勸請佛說《法華經》。(佛)也講了很長,八千劫,很長的時間,這樣佛入定了,才又十六王子,開始在各方面,複講《法華經》,希望《法華經》能一次再一次,佛說、沙彌說, 都可以再不斷複講下去,將《法華經》可以傳在人間,未聞者得聞。
 
所以,佛,大通智勝佛,就於八千劫說《法華經》,光是《法華經》就講了八千劫。釋迦牟尼佛談《法華經》才七年而已,大通智勝佛說《法華經》就是八千劫。八千劫是很長啊!用八千劫來講《法華經》。《法華經》講完,他就入靜室,開始時間有多久呢?入靜室的時間是八萬四千劫。
 
佛於八千劫
說法華經
即入靜室
八萬四千劫間
寂然入定
此時十六王子
各上法座
八萬四千劫間
為四部眾
覆講法華經
今已各成佛
為八方之如來
 
這個時間裡就是靜然入定,就在那個地方入定了。這當中,八萬四千劫,這麼長的時間,就由十六王子各個在四方,各個上法座去,四方八達,也是用八萬四千劫的時間,來為四部眾覆講《法華經》。
 
既然大通智勝佛,用八千劫的時間講《法華經》,在這八萬四千劫,佛入定的時間裡,就是由十六王子,再覆講《法華經》,也是用八萬四千劫的時間,來講《法華經》,這是在八方(宣講),現在都已經成佛了。這就是十六王子勸佛轉法輪。為什麼要勸請呢?佛成佛了,還未聞法,「故加勸請」。
 
勸請世尊
轉於法輪:
佛雖已成
未曾聞法
故加勸請
 
這時候也有很多人,有的人在外面,還未聽到法,雖然知道佛,已經出現在人間成佛,但是他不願意來聽法,不願意來見佛。
 
不是說過一個故事嗎?一個小城鎮,總共九萬人,三萬人見過佛、聽過法;另外三萬人有聽到佛的名字,但是沒有來見佛、聽法;又另外三萬人連聽到佛的名字都沒有,哪有辦法見到佛、聽到法呢?很可惜啊!
 
「佛雖已成」,但是還不曾見過佛,也不曾聽到法的人,所以就「勸請」,請佛說法。
 
佛於諸天人民
以大慈故多所安隱
以大悲故
多所憐愍饒益
 
用這樣的因緣,就如釋迦佛一直在,讚佛法,讚智慧,舍利弗瞭解佛的心意,他就三請,請佛再更詳細說出真如的境界,要如何才能回歸真如路?請佛陀再更清楚地向大家說。所以他要三請,佛陀才開始講,正式講《法華經》。要不然《法華經》之前,《無量義經》就已經說了,但是為了要讓後代的人更清楚,釋迦佛這個時候,舍利弗在法會中也來請佛再細述,再詳細地講述,才有《法華經》。
 
與大通智勝佛的時代一樣,當時是十六沙彌(之一) ,請佛來講說《法華經》,所以十六沙彌已經請,佛用這麼長的時間講,又再入定,十六沙彌再覆講,這就是佛,佛子傳佛法。人人本具,都是父親生的,我們人人都有自性佛,自性佛,我們的自性佛還是存在,所以我們要啟發我們的大悲,大慈大悲來安穩眾生,來憐憫眾生,饒益眾生,無不都是發自內心,這個真如本性,佛性,自性佛。
 
以一切智故
能知一切
眾生根性、欲樂、
三世因緣
而為之轉無上法輪
 
「以一切智慧故,能知一切眾生根性」。因為佛的智慧,瞭解一切眾生的根性,眾生所樂欲,還有三世因緣,他所要聽的是什麼,什麼法才能讓這些眾生,接受、相信呢?他就是講說諸諦法,而為轉法輪。
 
釋迦佛這個時代,就推過去無量塵點劫的時代,就是盼望在釋迦佛的時代還能再往下傳,從我們這個時候要再一直傳,再傳到彌勒成佛的時代。像這樣不斷不斷,讓法輪不斷,就是要不斷轉下去,所以必定要有,時時有人勸請,這就是因緣。像佛與舍利弗,若不是舍利弗三請,我們今日,哪有《法華經》可聽呢?就是要勸請。「前來誦德慶已」。
 
勸請:
前來誦德慶已
必欲聞法
以取聖果
故勸請
 
誦過去的德,大通智勝佛,我們也是自己慶幸,我們也有聽到這樣的經,在十六王子覆講《法華經》,我們應該也是聽眾之一,就是這樣很慶幸,我們今生此世,在現在此刻,我們還能聽到《法華經》的名,我們還能將《法華經》,其中的法,我們多來再複習、再瞭解。
 
所以「慶己,必欲聞法」,我們一定要聽法,「以取聖果」。我們現在聽法,希望我們能再回歸,我們的真如本性,「以取聖果」。我們有聽,是修因的過程。過去我們已經在說,修因要很長久,希望在法中,不斷腳踏實地,入人群中去,身體力行,這樣來取得聖果。所以因為這樣,要勸請。法輪,法譬喻用兩種方式。
 
法輪:
法喻雙陳
輪乃車輪
有運載摧碾義
如來教法
能載眾生從凡至聖
摧伏眾生
一切惑障故
 
輪就是車輪一樣,有運載、有摧碾的意思。如輪子在轉,碾碎了那些東西。如輪子這樣不斷轉,這樣能運載,又能碾碎其他的東西,輪子若放在車子,就是能載物,輪子若放在機器上,它就能碾米,碾碎很多的東西,這就是輪的意思。
 
如來的教法,就如「能載眾生從凡至聖」,從凡夫到聖人,若將它放在其他,如輪子一樣。那就是「摧伏眾生一切惑障」,惑業,這就如碾米機一樣,無明殼要經過碾碎,殼,將它脫殼,連雜質的米糠也能碾去,這樣,就如我們的無明煩惱,就是這樣經過了輪。輪,放在車子能載人,輪,這個輪子裝在機器,它能碾掉了很多硬的殼,這就是譬喻。
 
又車行處
螳螂不能拒轍
喻大教宣時
魔邪不能搪突也
 
「又車行處」,走的地方,就是不斷,很多停歇,這樣不斷,譬喻大教宣傳,不斷一直宣傳下去,再者,魔邪就不會來衝突我們的法,我們的法,絕對是能夠摧伏邪(魔)。什麼樣的道理,佛法的道理就是最真。
 
又三十輻為一轂
當其無
有車之用
佛之說法
如空中風畫
說而無說
故有利物之用
 
所以說,很多的無明殼,很多的邪魔,又「三十輻為一轂,當其無,有車之用」。像這樣放射出去,它能轉,能碾破了很多無明殼。
 
「佛之說法,如空中風畫,說而無說,故有利物之用」。法,佛這樣說了,就過去了,如空中的畫,在空中畫,說與不說是一樣,本來法就是,天地萬物本來就有的,本來就有的,何必要佛講呢?有說與沒說還是一樣。但是我們要聽,聽,因為聲音本來就是沒有;在空中,我在說,到底這個聲音長什麼樣子呢?只是要聽入大家的耳裡,但是,聽進去就有用。
 
也就是因為它無形,所以我們才聽得進;它若有形,就會撞到你的耳朵,要從哪裡入呢?是要從眼睛入,還是從鼻孔入呢?或是要從耳朵入呢?就是它無形,無形,有聲,所以「如空中風畫,說而無說」。有說與沒說一樣,但是道理就是存在,借重聲音,無形的聲音,入人人的耳根裡。
 
咸作是言
世尊說法
多所安隱:
佛若說法
多有所益
令得安隱
 
所以「咸作是言:世尊說法,多所安隱」。世尊所說的法,都是能安穩眾生的心。我們人人若是用心,佛所說的法都是在我們的心裡,刻在我們的心版裡,在我們的日常生活裡,在人群中、苦難處。所有苦難的地方,都是需要有法,有受法的人,有道理,法入心的人,才願意走入苦難人的地方去。
 
有人問:「慈濟人在哪裡?」應該慈濟人都能說:「我在這裡,在為人打掃、洗澡。來啊,請你也來幫忙。」若能這樣輾轉,從在,問你「人在哪裡」,不如我們伸手將他招呼過來,大家出一分力,來為苦難人付出。若這樣,慈濟人無處不在,菩薩到處就是以身說法,用他的身體在說法,不是用口說法,是用他的身,身體力行在說法。所以如空中的風,到處都有,就是如空間的境界,如畫。
 
你說要一棵樹,是啊,空間中有這棵樹,修剪得這麼美;花花草草,修得有型──圓的、四角的。有一天,從外面進來時,「阿喜啊!你很厲害呢!這些草被你剪得這麼整齊,這麼漂亮!」他很高興。其實,日正當中,人蹲在那裡仔細地修、慢慢地剪,將慈濟的Logo剪得很漂亮,一個圓弧,剪得非常圓。這是空中的畫,在這個大空間的畫,這種畫、這個圖是人身體力行,很細心將它修剪起來的一幅圖,真實的圖。所以說,這就是法,是人去身體力行,用身說法。
 
菩薩在人群中、苦難中,一間骯髒的房子,變成了亮麗、乾淨的房子;一個好幾個月、大半年沒洗的身體,變成了乾淨,人人都能親近,人人都能把他的全身摸一摸,潔淨、乾爽。這都是有一群的大菩薩,他們不惜辛苦,不怕臭、不怕污染,就是這樣去,在污染中幫他淨化過來。這就是法,法在心中,如空中風畫,說法而無所說。他們已經法入心了,這樣做出來,去利益眾生,這就是真正有法才有度,「有法度」。
 
所以佛出世,就是要勸請說法。「咸作是言」,這些天人就是這樣(讚歎),「世尊說法,多所安隱」」,只要有這個法在人間,自然眾生就全都得利益了,全都得安穩。是啊,佛法,只要大家聽進去,人人聽,人人身體力行,不就是世間人人都是菩薩嗎?要好好地時時多用心!


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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: Turning the Dharma-wheel to Crush Afflictions (佛轉法輪碾摧惑障)
Date: January.11. 2017
 
“The Buddha taught the Four Noble Truths, [Twelve] Links and Six Paramitas. Like the turning wheels of a cart, they can turn the unenlightened into the noble, crush and destroy all afflictions and eliminate all ignorance and delusions. The Buddha teaching the Dharma to transform sentient beings is called turning the Dharma-wheel.”
 
When the Buddha taught the Dharma, from the beginning, He constantly taught according to sentient beings’ capabilities. All the Dharma He expounded was none other than the teachings of the Four Noble Truths, the Twelve Links of Cyclic Existence and the Six Paramitas.
 
The Four Noble Truths include all the various principles of these truths. For Hearers, He expounded the Four Noble Truths. For Pratyekabuddhas, He expounded the Twelve Links of Cyclic Existence. For those with Great Vehicle capabilities, He expounded the Six Paramitas. This how the Buddha, Sakyamuni Buddha, came to the world and taught the Dharma for more than 40 years. Over this long time, His teachings never deviated from these principles.
 
Actually, all Buddhas share the same path. Sakyamuni Buddha was like this, and of course, in the past, countless dust-inked kalpas previously, Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha must have also been like this, because though Their process of spiritual practice differed in length, Their methods were the same.
 
This is because all sentient beings share the same afflictions, afflictions and ignorance. Yet they have an infinite [variety], all called afflictions, ignorance and delusions. These three things are the common ailment, the spiritual ailment, that sentient beings have had since ancient times. They are called affliction, ignorance and delusion. Since ancient times, sentient beings have been like this.
 
It was also like this during the process of the Buddha’s spiritual practice. People with ignorance continue to reproduce ignorance; He formed aspirations to transform sentient beings. The Buddha, the Great Enlightened One, had formed aspirations and made vows because He could not bear for sentient beings to suffer. He engaged in spiritual practice for a long time, seeking the Dharma and transforming sentient beings in every lifetime. He constantly sought the Dharma and constantly gave to help sentient beings.
 
It is just like the wheel of a cart. It must be set in motion, and it must constantly turn, turning the unenlightened into noble beings. This requires constant spiritual practice, like a turning wheel. Among the Six Paramitas, the [paramita] of diligence has the same meaning. We cannot stop; we must constantly go forward. Continuing on like this without stopping is like a cart’s wheel turning. What are we turning? What do we need to be diligent with, and what should we cultivate? What we must cultivate and be diligent with is something like the process of milling rice. Rice is planted by farmers working hard, but when they cut it down and harvest it, the rice is still in the husk; it is not edible. It must still be milled to break apart the husk. It must be freed from the husk, that outer layer.
 
In the same way, we sentient beings have layers upon layers [of afflictions]. Isn’t this like the rice that is wrapped in the rice husk? Our nature of True Suchness has been covered by the husk of ignorance. So, we must break open the husk of ignorance in order to be able to reveal our nature of True Suchness. So, we must be like a cart’s wheel that is constantly turning. This is also like a milling machine, which must constantly be grinding so we can remove the husk of afflictions.
 
“Eliminate all ignorance and delusions” means once we remove the husk, we will get the seed. This is brown rice. When we grind it a little bit more, we will be able to remove the bran. Once the bran is removed, it will become white rice. In the same way, when we grind our ignorance a little more [we are] “eliminating all ignorance and delusions.” Once the husk is removed, it is ground a little more to get rid of any defilements. Our ignorance will all be eliminated, and our nature of True Suchness will manifest. So, we “eliminate all ignorance and delusions.” Once we start to grind away our afflictions, we are able to remove the husk of ignorance. When we clean up outer defilements, even if they are as small as the rice bran, we still get rid of them all; this is “eliminating all ignorance and delusions.”
 
The Buddha came to the world and taught us the Dharma. By letting us listen to His voice, we can understand the suffering in life. He taught the principles of how we come to the world, the Twelve Links of Cyclic Existence. The origin of birth, aging, illness and death is the Twelve Links of Cyclic Existence. These principles let us understand that because of suffering and ignorance, we repeatedly create many causes and conditions. When negative causes and conditions combine, we are entangled in love, hate, passion, animosity. He wanted us to understand that all these are due to causes and conditions combining together.
 
Once we understand the principles, we will understand that we must engage in spiritual practice. As we engage in spiritual practice, we do not only do so for our own benefit. The Buddha also taught us that we must walk the Bodhisattva-path and go among people.
 
Every day we say that we truly must go among people. It is people who must be Bodhisattvas. If we form the aspiration, we can become Living Bodhisattvas, just like Faith Corps members and Commissioners. There are many loving people in the society. By gathering them into teams such as the Faith Corps team or Commissioner team, whatever there are places that need assistance, someone with a good heart refers the case to us. Once we receiver the case, we will quickly go to understand the situation.
 
For example, in Tainan, we had encountered a family that was suffering. In fact, this family faced this combination of causes and conditions. The father was over 80 years old. Though he had a place to live, he was old and ill and suffered a stroke. When Tzu Chi volunteers received this case, they went for a home visit; it was so sad. Starting from early 2013, we began to work on this case. Our Faith Corps Living Bodhisattvas invited Commissioners [to come on home visits]. Mr. Wang, who lived close by, came to visit him often. He would bring food to this elder almost every day. [Mr. Wang] would slowly feed him and treated him as a filial son would treat his own father.
 
After a period of time, we received another case where the care recipient was related to this elder. This care recipient was the elder’s son. He was some than 50 years old. This person did not live with his father because he had his own family. However, he had divorced a few years ago. He suffered from very severe diabetes. Though he had two sons, one had formed his own family, and the other worked as a delivery man. The relationship between this man and his sons was not very good. Though his youngest son lived with him, the son went out early and returned late. They did not have a very good relationship.
 
This Mr. Wang was over 50 years old. One day, he fell due to low blood pressure. He injured his neck and spinal cord. When others found out, he was sent to a big hospital in Tainan. After the surgery, he could not move his legs or one arm. He was only left with one arm that could move. Because of this, he stayed in bed.
 
Someone also referred this case to us. So, Tzu Chi volunteers went to visit him. Starting from that time, [volunteers] would change his diaper for him and feed him every day. In this case, because the son did not care for his father, the house was very dirty. The father had not taken a bath for five months. As they walked in, there was a very foul stench. Tzu Chi volunteers came to help him clean and changed [his diaper]. They felt the son did not take care of his father, so Tzu Chi volunteers were mobilized. In such hot weather a few days ago, the volunteers mobilized. Three or four volunteers brought him into the very small bathroom. Three or four Faith Corp volunteers put soap on him and used the luffa to wash his entire body, hair and face. Mr. Wang held him up. As the space was very small inside, all three or four people could not hold him up at the same time. So, only one person could hold him up. Outside, they quickly [cleaned] his head, face and combed his beard and hair.
 
Once this was all taken care of, they cleaned him one more time. In the end, this patient finally smiled [at the volunteers] and said, “I am grateful to all of you. The Tzu Chi volunteers cleaned the entire house for him. They changed the bed sheets so everything would be very clean. As [the volunteers] gathered around him, the whole house had been brightened up. But they felt this was not a workable solution. After a few days, it would become dirty again. The volunteers helped him find a convalescent home and apply for the national social welfare program, so it would be free of charge. They did all they could to help with the process. However, because his father had house, he had to pay NT$6000 out of pocket. So, Tzu Chi volunteers helped pay for it. This way he was able to stay there. The care recipient’s two sons did not have much connection with their father. So, a volunteer from our Faith Corp Team, another Mr. Wang, used his phone to write to them about the [volunteers’] interaction with their father and their heart-warming conversations to try to touch the hearts of his sons.
 
In the end, the sons realized that they should visit their father and were willing to pay a portion, NT$3000, so their father could have some money of his own. This is how life is.
 
With these causes and conditions, in one family, there were two patients. Though the care recipient had two sons, this third generation did not have good relations with their elders. We can see these kinds of causes and conditions in the world. How do these afflictive emotions, these good or bad affinities, end up coming about? They used to be one family, but then they divorced. The two sons had little affinity with their father or their grandfather. He was over 80 and no one cared for him. This is the story of one family.
 
See, this is our world. What kind of thing is love? With all of these afflictive emotions, we cannot understand what is really going on. Now, we understand that it all due to causes and conditions. When we come to the world, we suffer and create ignorance. Thus karmic retributions of suffering appear. So, we must quickly engage in spiritual practice. We do so not to only benefit ourselves; we must also benefit others at the same time, walk the Bodhisattva-path. Without these Living Bodhisattvas in society, how many families would be living in piles of garbage? How many would live alone, sick and suffering? How do they make it through the day? It is because there are Living Bodhisattvas who cannot bear for sentient beings to suffer and dedicate themselves to help. These are Bodhisattvas who go among the people. This power of love is what the Buddha taught us.
 
He taught us that we must be earnest. We must be diligent. We must be like a cart’s wheel or a rice mill. We must break out of our husk of ignorance and constantly extend the Dharma to others. We must quickly transport the Dharma to other people’s hearts, like a cart’s wheel, like turning the Dharma-wheel. We must eliminate our own ignorance and then use the true principles to transform sentient beings.
 
So, the Buddha taught the Dharma and transformed sentient beings all in the hope that we too would transform sentient beings. It is not the Buddha alone who comes to transform sentient beings. With just one Buddha, His time in the world is limited. How can He transform all sentient beings? He teaches the Dharma to His disciples. His disciples all intrinsically have Buddha-nature. We can hold on to our Buddha-nature and then make use of relationships to train ourselves. Then it is like we are milling rice to remove the husk; as we walk the Bodhisattva-path in this way, we are refining ourselves. To do this we must constantly give of ourselves among the people. This is also turning the Dharma-wheel.
 
It is not only the Buddha turning the Dharma-wheel. In fact, we must also constantly be diligent. We must also constantly spread the Buddha-Dharma in the world. Otherwise, as the previous sutra passage states, “From this darkness, they enter into darkness and will never hear the Buddha’s name. Today the Buddha has attained the supreme peaceful and flawless path. We and the heavenly beings are those who attain the greatest benefit, therefore we all prostrate and take refuge in the supremely honored one.”
 
Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha had attained Buddhahood. Heavenly beings and humans were very happy, because had the Buddha not been born in the world, had He not awakened, then the minds of sentient beings would have continued to head into greater darkness. In the darkness, they create more negative karma. They will never see the Buddha and will never be able to discover their own intrinsic Buddha-nature. So, a Buddha must be born in the world and teach, must serve as a role-model for the world to teach us how to engage in spiritual practice. These heavenly beings and Dharma-protectors were very happy. They prostrated to the Buddha and took refuge with the supreme Great Enlightened One.
 
The next sutra passage states, “At that time, the 16 princes, having praised the Buddha with this verse, implored the World-Honored One to turn the Dharma-wheel. They all spoke these words. If the World-Honored One teaches the Dharma, many will attain great peace and stability.”
 
This was after a period of time. After the Buddha attained Buddhahood, heavenly beings were happy and praised the Buddha. They began to take refuge with the Buddha. At that time as well, the 16 princes began to renounce the lay life. After they became monastics, they continued to listen to the Buddha teach, from the Four Noble Truths and the Twelve Links of Cyclic Existence to actualizing the Six Paramitas in all actions.
 
So, they 16 princes diligently practiced under Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha. They were diligent and renounced the lay life to become novices. They listened to the Dharma taught by the Buddha, especially that of actualizing the Six Paramitas in all actions. What they needed more was for the Buddha to explain in more detail, so they could hear Him teach the way to Buddhahood. That would be a very clear teaching.
 
So, the 16 novices asked the Buddha to turn the Great Dharma-wheel the Dharma-wheel of attaining Buddhahood. In the past, He gave the teachings of actualizing the Six Paramitas in all action. This is actually the path to Buddhahood. But to help everyone gain a clearer understanding, the 16 princes repeatedly requested that He teach the Lotus Sutra. It speaks of the Lotus Sutra, but actually, before teaching the Lotus Sutra, the Buddha taught the Bodhisattvas Way. These 16 princes wanted to help those who had not heard, those who came later, to also understand. So, they implored the Buddha to teach the Lotus Sutra. He taught it for a long time, too. For 8000 kalpas.
 
This was a very long period of time. At that point Buddha entered Samadhi. Only then did the 16 princes begin to teach the Lotus Sutra in different places. They hoped the Lotus Sutra would be [taught] again and again. The Buddha taught it, then the novices taught it, so it could continue to be repeatedly taught. Thus the Lotus Sutra could be widely transmitted around the world so people who had not heard it could hear it.
 
Thus, Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha taught the Lotus Sutra for 8000 kalpas. He taught for 8000 kalpas on just the Lotus Sutra. Sakyamuni Buddha taught the Lotus Sutra for only seven years, but Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha taught for 8000 kalpas. 8000 kalpas is a very long time. He took 8000 kalpas to expound the Lotus Sutra. After He expounded the Lotus Sutra, He entered His meditation room. How long did He stay there? He was in His meditation room for 84,000 kalpas.
 
The Buddha, for 8000 kalpas, taught the Lotus Sutra, then entered His meditation room. For a period of 84,000 kalpas, He sliently practiced Samadhi. During this time the 16 princes each ascended to the Dharma-throne. Over a period of 84,000 kalpas, for the fourfold assembly, they repeatedly taught the Lotus Sutra. Now, each has attained Buddhahood and is a Tathagata in the Eight Directions.
 
During this time, He silently entered Samadhi; in His [meditation room] He remained in Samadhi. During this time, this 84,000 kalpas, during this long time, the 16 princes, in different places, each ascended the Dharma-throne. They also used the period of 84,000 kalpas to repeatedly teach the Lotus Sutra for the fourfold assembly. Since Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha had used 8000 kalpas to teach the Lotus Sutra, during these 84,000 kalpas when the Buddha entered Samadhi, it was up to the 16 princes to repeatedly teach the Lotus Sutra. They also used this period of 84,000 kalpas to repeatedly teach the Lotus Sutra. They did so in all eight directions. Now they have all attained Buddhahood.
 
This was after the 16 princes requested that the Buddha turn the Dharma-wheel. Why did they implore Him? Though He had attained Buddhahood, some had not yet heard the Dharma. “So, they greatly implored Him.” At this time there were many people there. Some people were outside and had not yet heard the Dharma. Though they knew that the Buddha had already attained Buddhahood in the world, they are unwilling to listen to the Dharma and unwilling to meet the Buddha.
 
Haven’t we talked about this story before? In a small village of 90,000 people, 30,000 people had met the Buddha and listen to the Dharma. Another 30,000 people had heard the Buddha’s name, but they had not met the Buddha nor had they listened to the Dharma. The remaining 30,000 people had not even heard the Buddha’s name, so how could they have met the Buddha and listened to the Dharma?
 
This was such a pity! “Though He had already attained Buddhahood, there were still people who had not met Him and people who had not listened to the Dharma.” So, they “greatly implored Him.” They requested that He teach the Dharma.
 
“The Buddha, due to His great loving-kindness, bring great peace and stability to all heavenly beings and humans.” Due to His great compassion, He takes pity on them and benefits them all.”
 
He used these kinds of causes and conditions. This is like how Sakyamuni Buddha was always praising the Buddha-Dharma and [Buddha-] wisdom. Sariputra understood the mind of the Buddha, so he asked three times, asked the Buddha to teach in more detail about the state of True Suchness. “How do we return to our nature of True Suchness?” He requested that the Buddha explain this clearly. So, he requested three times before the Buddha began to teach, to formally teach the Lotus Sutra. After all, before teaching the Lotus Sutra, He already taught the Sutra of infinite Meanings. But for people in the future to understand better, in Sakyamuni Buddha’s time, during the Dharma-assembly, Sariputra requested that the Buddha teach in greater detail. This is the Lotus Sutra we have now. It was the same in the era of Great Unhindered
Wisdom Superior Buddha. It was the 16 novices who requested that the Buddha teach the Lotus Sutra. So, the 16 novices already asked the Buddha, and He taught the Dharma for a long time, then entered Samadhi. The 16 novices then repeated what He taught. They were the Buddha-children spreading the Buddha-Dharma. Intrinsically, everyone is born to their father. We all intrinsically have the Buddha within us. The Buddha within us still exists. So, we must awaken our great compassion and great loving-kindness to bring peace to all, to take pity on and benefit sentient beings. This all comes from the bottom of our heart, from our nature of True Suchness, our Buddha-nature, the Buddha within us.
 
“With the wisdom of all Dharma, He is able to know all of sentient beings’ capabilities.” The Buddha’s wisdom allowed Him to understand sentient beings’ capabilities their desires and the causes and conditions of the Three Periods. Knowing the things they wanted to hear, He knew which Dharma these sentient beings could accept and believe in. He thought the Four Noble Truths and turned the Dharma-wheel for them. From the era of Sakyamuni Buddha, we can trace back to dust-inked kalpas ago. People hoped that in Sakyamuni Buddha’s time, the Dharma could continue to be passed on.
 
Now, we must also continue to pass it on until the era Maitreya attains Buddhahood. The Dharma-wheel must always continue to turn. The Dharma-wheel must always continue to turn. We need the Dharma-wheel to continue to turn.
 
So, we must constantly have people who implore the Buddha. These are the causes and conditions. It is like [Sakyamuni] Buddha and Sariputra; if Sariputra  did not ask three times, how would we have the Lotus Sutra today? So, we must implore the Buddha [to teach].
 
“They had come and praised His virtues and congratulated themselves.”
 
Implore: They had come and praised His virtues and congratulated themselves. They must desire to hear the Dharma in order to attain the noble fruit. Therefore, they implored Him.
 
We praise the past virtues of Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha. We must also congratulate ourselves that we have heard the Sutra. When the 16 princes repeatedly taught the Lotus Sutra, we may have also been one of the listeners so we should congratulate ourselves. In this lifetime and at this moment, we are able to listen to the Lotus Sutra and are also able to [hear] the Dharma within so we can repeatedly study and understand it. Thus, we must “congratulate ourselves.”
 
“Must desire to hear the Dharma” means we must listen to the Dharma. “They sought to attain the noble fruit.” When we are listening now, we hope that we can return to our nature of True Suchness, “seeking to attain the noble fruit.” When we listen, we are in the process of cultivating causes. In the past, we have mentioned that it will require a long time to cultivate causes. We hope that with Dharma, our feet will remain grounded on the path as we go among people and put the teachings into practice. Then we can attain the noble fruit.
 
Therefore, we must implore Him. As for the Dharma-wheel, this analogy for the Dharma has two meanings.
 
The Dharma-wheel: This analogy for the Dharma has a double meaning. It is a wheel like the wheel of a cart, which can carry as well as crush. The teaching of the Tathagata can carry sentient beings from an unenlightened state to a noble state; it can also crush and tame all of sentient beings’ hindrances of delusion.
 
It is a wheel like the wheel of a cart, which can carry as well as crush. When the wheel is turning, it can crush those things. When the wheel is turning, it can carry things as well as crush things it can carry things as well as crush things. When the wheel is placed on a cart, things can be carried. If the wheel is placed on a machine, it can crush rice and many other things. This is the meaning of a wheel.
 
The teachings of the Tathagata “can carry sentient beings from an unenlightened state to a noble state, turning unenlightened beings into noble beings. If we apply it in another way, just like a wheel, “It can also crush and tame all of sentient beings’ hindrances of delusion, their deluded karma.” This is like a machine milling rice; the husk of ignorance will be crushed and thus removed. Even less pure things like the bran can be crushed. This is just like our afflictions and ignorance; through the use of a wheel [they are crushed]. On a car, the wheels can carry people around, and in a machine, a wheel can crush the all of the stiff husks. This is an analogy.
 
“When a cart moves along,” as it continually moves along, it constantly goes on without stopping. This is an analogy for great teachings spreading. They will continue to spread. Then, maras cannot stand in the way of the Dharma. The Dharma that we have can certainly crush maras.
 
No matter what kind of principles they are, the principles of the Buddha-Dharma are the utmost truth. So, there are many husks of [ignorance], and there are many maras.
 
But “while 30 spokes join one hub, only when the [hub] is empty can they be used to move the cart.” When [the spokes] radiate this way, it can turn and is able to crush many husks of ignorance.
 
“The teachings of the Buddha are like drawings in the air. Thought spoken, they are as if not spoken, thus they can be used to benefit all things.” The Dharma, once spoken by the Buddha, is then gone. The teachings are like drawings in the air, like drawing a picture in the air. Though spoken, they are as if not spoken. The Dharma is something that has always been intrinsic to all things in the world. Since it is intrinsically there, why do we need the Buddha to expound it for us? Teaching it and not teaching it would be the same.
 
But, we must listen. Sound is naturally [intangible]. It exists in empty space; I have asked, what exactly does a sound look like? It simply enter into our ears but once it does, will be able to make use of it? It is because it has no form that we are able to take it in. If it was tangible, it would crash into our ears. Then how would it enter [our mind]? From our eyes? Or from our nose? Or from our ears? It is intangible but it has sound. So, this is “like drawings in the air. Though spoken, they are as if not spoken.
 
Teaching and not teaching will be the same, but these principles do exist. It is through these intangible sounds that they enter through our ears. So, “They all spoke these words, ‘If the World-Honored One teaches the Dharma, many will attain great peace and stability.’” The Dharma taught by the World-Honored One can bring peace to the sentient beings.
 
If we are all mindful, the Dharma taught by the Buddha can be engraved in our minds. [It will be] a part of our daily living, as we go among people and to places of suffering. All places of suffering require the Dharma. Only those who have accepted the Dharma, those who take the Dharma and principles to heart, are willing to go wherever there are people who are suffering. Some people ask, ”Where are Tzu-Chi volunteers?” All Tzu Chi volunteers should be able to answer “I am here. I am helping people clean and wash up. Come, please come join us to help.” If we are able to do this, we can grow. From being asked, “Where are you?” we can extend our hand to bring them along as well. Everyone can contributes some of their strength to help people who are suffering. In this way, Tzu Chi volunteers are everywhere.
 
Everywhere Bodhisattvas go, they teach the Dharma through their actions. They use their lives to teach the Dharma. Instead of using their voices, they are using their body to put the Dharma into practice as a teaching. So, this is like the wind in the air; it can go everywhere. It is like a drawing in empty space. Let us take a tree for example. Here is a space with a tree that is trimmed very beautifully. The flowers and grass are all trimmed in round or rectangular shapes. One day, when I walked in from the outside, I said, “A-xi, you are very good at this! The plants are very neatly trimmed. It is very beautiful!” He was very happy.
 
Actually, at noon, he was squatting there carefully and slowly shaping the tree. He made the Tzu Chi logo very beautiful. The half circle was very round. This is like a drawing in the air, a drawing within this great space. This drawing was created by someone putting teaching into practice and very carefully trimming it into that shape, making a real picture.
 
So, this is the Dharma. It is expressed by people putting it into action, using their bodies to teach the Dharma. When Bodhisattvas go among people, to places of suffering, they can turn a dirty house into a clean and beautiful house. A body that has not been washed for months was able to be clean again so everyone else could approach him. Everyone was able to touch his body; it was very clean and dry. This was done by a team of Lining Bodhisattvas who were not afraid of hard work, being dirty and bad smells. They went and helped him be purified of this filth. This shows the Dharma is in their hearts. it is like a drawing in the air.
 
Though spoken, the Dharma is as if not spoken. They have already taken the Dharma to heart and put it into practice to benefit sentient beings. We must truly have the Dharma to transform others. Thus we can “transform with the Dharma.” So, since the Buddha was born into the world, they wanted to implore Him to teach.
 
“They all spoke these words,” these heavenly beings and humans said this “If the World-honored One teaches the Dharma, many will attain great peace and stability.” If the Dharma is in the world, then all sentient beings can benefit from it. It can bring peace to all sentient beings. If everyone can take the Dharma to heart and all put it into practice, wouldn’t everyone in this world be a Bodhisattva? So, let us always be mindful!
 

(Source: Da Ai TV – Wisdom at Dawn program – Explanation by Master Chen-Yen)
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20170111《靜思妙蓮華》佛轉法輪碾摧惑障 (第999集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)
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