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 20170112《靜思妙蓮華》廣行方便饒益有情 (第1000集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)

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發表主題: 20170112《靜思妙蓮華》廣行方便饒益有情 (第1000集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)   周三 1月 11, 2017 10:49 pm

20170112《靜思妙蓮華》廣行方便饒益有情 (第1000集)
(法華經•
化城喻品

 
菩薩以慈悲菩提本覺心,愍念一切眾生廣行方便,饒益攝受是為憐愍眾生。
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
憐愍饒益諸天人民。重說偈言:世雄無等倫,百福自莊嚴,得無上智慧,願為世間說。」《法華經化城喻品第七》
憐愍饒益諸天人民,重說偈言:矜憐哀愍,饒潤利益諸天眾及以人民,復述前意,勸請世尊。
世雄無等倫:世尊大雄,有無等無倫最上勝智,如來智慧,於一切法中無可譬類,亦無過上,故名世雄無等倫。
世雄:佛之異名。佛於世間最為雄猛,斷盡一切煩惱。
無等:比之餘生,無以齊其福。如來智慧,於一切法中無可譬類,亦無過上,故名無等。無倫:十聖無以能及其智慧倫比。
百福自莊嚴:以百種福而自莊嚴。
得無上智慧,願為世間說:證得無上真實智慧;信受正法,心鏡智明銳,照徹無礙,願佛為世間諸眾生說。
 
【證嚴上人開示】

「菩薩以慈悲菩提本覺心,愍念一切眾生廣行方便,饒益攝受是為憐愍眾生。」
 
菩薩以慈悲
菩提本覺心
愍念一切生
廣行方便
饒益攝受
是為憐愍眾生
 
菩薩,菩薩這個名詞,在我們的日常生活中,我們常常脫口而出:「老菩薩啊!」「各位菩薩。」好像叫來很順口。是啊,不只是叫來很順口,說實在的,人人都是菩薩。因為人人本具佛性,人人本具愛心,所以我們待人,人人都要尊重,是我們面前的一位菩薩。
 
菩薩,愛心,就是用慈悲心;慈悲還不夠,還要有菩提心。菩提就是人人本具,人人的本性、人人的本覺,就是真如本性。我們的真如本性是迷失了,所以有愛心,不見得(行)菩提道。我們學佛,抱持這一分愛心而來學佛,都希望能走上這條菩薩道。
 
大家都知道,菩薩道我們要走,菩提道本來是很直,所以「菩提大道直」,卻是有時人說直話,說不定我們將它曲解、彎曲了,差之毫釐,就失於千里了。所以,我們說直話,雖然我們無心,可能我們在不知覺中,讓他聽偏了,擔誤了人家,要入菩提道的時間、的因緣,也說不定,是我們自己不覺知。所以,聽話的人應該要用直心,說話的人要用很圓融的心,這樣才能度人、被度。
 
就如我們的慈誠隊,有一位陳居士,他現在很精進,都在薰法香,每天早上都是這樣在聽法。看到他的菩薩身影,薰法香的故事。看他過去,本來從一九八九年,他就已經認識慈濟了,但是還沒進來,因為他去另外一個道場,這個道場,他選擇的是能修行,坐禪、聽法、讀經,這就是他修行的道場。
 
一直到「九二一」的事情發生,中部大地震,地震一發生,人荒馬亂,很多人都是家庭都有災,有的是房屋倒,有的是家人人天永隔。再回顧「九二一」,真的是很苦!他隨著他修行的這個道場,也有進入災區,卻是在這個災區裡,觸目皆是「藍天白雲」,「藍天白雲」的身影很多,看到這些人這樣投入,日以繼夜在付出,在人群中膚慰苦難,為苦難眾生做很多事情,不論是三餐要吃的,都很有次序。
 
有一群人就是,在張羅香積的事情,另外有一群人,在關懷受傷住院,另外有一群人,就是一直在做膚慰工作。總而言之,那種合心而分工,很分明,大家就是這樣,彼此之間互相合作。他這樣開始,對這個慈濟團體就很嚮往,之後他就投入,開始來當志工,也做得很歡喜。
 
有一天,在慈誠隊之中,只是一位慈濟人快言快語,直接說話,也說不定是無心的一句話,就這樣,他退出了。這樣一退出,一直到八八風災(莫拉克)颱風時,高雄地區、屏東地區,這種大水,大災難,又看到了,慈濟菩薩這樣無私,沒有分你我,大家都是這樣付出,浩浩蕩蕩地,從北部而中往南去,這種無私大愛,用心付出,那種和合,和樂融融,願意為苦難人去付出。
 
看到慈濟人,為了很多無家可歸的人,開始整理土地,建大愛屋等等,他很感動,就這樣開始,又再開始投入進來。這一回,他就很堅定他的道心,瞭解慈濟就是一群社會愛心,在修菩薩道,不只是為社會付出,也是共同讀書會等等都有,所以,他覺得福慧就是這樣修,投入了見習、培訓,這期間又是與慈濟人,委員在帶他。
 
有一天,訪視一個家庭。這個家庭是一位先生,發生了意外,所以已經全身癱瘓了,都是躺在床上,無法上下床。慈濟人開始陪伴這個家庭,關懷這個家庭,所以他和資深委員去看。開始他體會到人生真的是無常,一位看起來是這麼健康的人,整個人都這樣躺在床上,不得動彈,這實在是人生無奈又無常,所以他開始,一直在關心這個家庭。
 
有一天他再去這個家庭,帶了一本《靜思語》,與這位躺在床上的先生,和他互動,說起了人生就是苦,人生苦、空、無常的道理,這樣說給他聽。這本《靜思語》本來闔著,他告訴他:「你看,這本《靜思語》裡面的法,都是很簡單,來,我翻一頁給你看看。」
 
他就開始,這位先生,翻開時讓他讀,他讀到的這句話就是,「苦,是一堂寶貴的人生課程。」這句靜思語。就這樣翻開的第一句,要他讀出來,它就是苦,苦很大字,「苦,是一堂寶貴的人生課程。」
 
這位躺在床上的先生,自己讀到這句,好像眼中打著淚珠,在旁邊的人聽了,這群慈濟人也很震撼。這位陳居士後來他在分享,看到這位躺在床上的先生,他讀到這句話那個表情,眼眶,眼眶裡好像打著淚水。他說,其實真正的,就是那麼的對機,這句話應這個根機,這個人現在就是最苦。幾年來,看起來健健康康,卻是整天躺在床上無法動彈,苦不苦呢?這個家庭需要他來維持,一個人倒下去了,這個家庭就完全失去了依靠,家庭苦,人病倒在床上,苦啊!
 
是啊!這是一堂寶貴的,人生課題,這很對機,無非就是因緣。這是法,法在生活中這麼的簡單。所以這位陳居士,他很精進,現在在薰法香,現在我在說話,他應該是在聽。橋頭那個環保站,那個道場也是他每天在那裡,第一個來開,第一個來開,就鋪蒲團。
 
開始一起做早課,精舍在早課,他也跟著早課,等待著人陸陸續續來了,接下來就是開始「晨語」了。聽,很認真做筆記。是啊,覺得聞法者就是說法者,也是傳法者,所以他很認真做筆記,法入心,法在日常生活中。這就是他的日常生活,要上班之前,這就是他現在最虔誠,精進的課題。
 
想想看,我們有時候說一句話,無心的一句話,讓他斷了因緣,到八八水災這當中,再度看到慈濟人,這群佛教徒,這群是投入人群,無私付出,讓他很感動。這次投入,你看,那麼的精進,每天每天都在薰法香,也是精進的幹部之一。看,若是那段時間不讓他斷了,你們想,不就是他的道心、他的慧命更增長嗎?不過,既有因緣,發心就不算晚,現在很精進。這就是「菩薩以慈悲,菩提本覺心」。
 
過去,(大愛臺節目主持人)阿明訪問他時,他說,他過去就是想,既然學佛了,就是這樣打坐、誦經,都修心的清淨,若是與人這樣人我是非,那是浪費時間。好像覺得在人群中,這就是浪費時間。卻是慈濟是恰恰相反,你應該要入人群去,要在人群中淬鍊出來,用你的愛心,在苦難的人群,你去付出,在不同眾生的煩惱、無明中,你去體會,將煩惱無明轉為菩提。如何去人群中,他的苦難,你要趕快去幫助,他的煩惱,你要如何去膚慰;在無明中就是菩提,如何把它轉過來,這就是成長慧命。
 
諸佛菩薩就是這樣歷練過來,悲智雙運。光是慈悲不夠,只想求智慧也不夠,必定要有慈悲、要有智慧,悲智相契合,才有辦法運用在人間菩薩道。人間菩薩道叫做覺有情。你覺悟之後,投入有情人群中,自覺覺他,同時在人群中見苦知福,這都能夠體會、瞭解,真實的佛法,就是在人生的修行中。所以,我們若在日常生活來修行,才是真正體會佛法。
 
體會佛法,發揮慈悲,契悲運智,這樣會合起來,「愍念一切眾生廣行方便」。我們若悲智相契合,我們這一念悲憫心含藏著智慧,智慧的心念,能夠運轉眾生的煩惱成為智慧,就是轉煩惱為菩提。這種聞法、說法、聽法,就是要在這一念悲智雙運,去憫念一切眾生,這條道路,入人群中,用方便法去接近人生。人生受苦難,他是我們的道場,用感恩心,感恩現苦相讓我們體會,所以我們用冷靜的心去付出、去輔導他,這樣就是憐憫廣行方便法,這樣能夠「饒益攝受,是為憐憫眾生」。
 
我們有「四攝法」,饒益有情戒,也就是布施、利行、愛語、同事。這叫做饒益有情戒,這叫做饒益攝受,一切眾生的方便法。這些法我們若沒有學,我們無法真正接近佛的真實法,所以我們必定要用心。
 
看看大通智勝佛,我們要記得,就是我們人人本具,我們的本覺,人人本有,無始以來,我們人人都有。十六王子在四方八達,從聞法,再請法,很明顯來講《法華經》,就是成佛之道。開始聽,聽了之後,佛入靜坐,一坐是八萬多劫,這麼長久的時間,十六沙彌開始分布在四方八達,他們去坐道場,去說法,這就是聞法者、說法者、傳法者。
 
現在這十六王子已經在八方,已經各自成佛了,都成佛了。其中一位,釋迦牟尼佛,就是在我們娑婆世界成佛。娑婆世界成佛的釋迦牟尼佛,是發這樣的願,願意生生世世來五趣雜居,堪忍世間,來為眾生,眾生無明煩惱,轉煩惱為菩提。一大事因緣,開示,就是要等待眾生悟入。這麼長久的時間,其實回歸我們人人本來的本性,本來的本性就是要這樣歷練,如十六王子一樣,聽法、請法,然後再說法。這就是表示我們要殷勤精進,要學十六王子這樣殷勤精進,這叫做「饒益攝受,為憐愍眾生」。
 
我們開始學佛,就是期待未來能成佛。未來要成佛,一定要經過這分慈悲、智慧,要身體力行,要去饒益攝受一切眾生,這個過程絕對不可無,大家要用心去體會。
 
前面的經文這樣說,「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
 
大通智勝佛成佛之後開始說法,十六王子也全都出家修行,那一分的精進。這就是表示我們向外修行,還是要廣度眾生,在外面廣度眾生,我們還要再回歸本性,來鞏固我們的道心。還要再鞏固我們的道心,我們的道心就如十六王子,再引出了我們的真如本性、智慧大海,還是要再向廣闊的眾生,要再去付出。其實裡面含藏的意義,最重要的是在這裡。
 
本來人人本具佛性,然後成佛了。成佛,要成佛的過程,就是要那麼長久的時間,再說法,在外面說法,要回向於自己,真如本性也要出來,開始要很普遍,四方八達,所有的眾生,我們要再發弘誓大願,要不斷不斷。這就是要告訴我們,人人本具佛性,所以法要不斷傳。苦難的眾生是無量數,不得安穩就是一念心,這念心不得安穩,唯有佛法能穩定他的心。
 
就如那位,這樣一翻開,不刻意地隨手翻開,躺著的人看了,第一句話就是這樣,苦是一堂寶貴的課程。對啊!這就是苦。佛陀來人間,告訴我們「苦、集、滅、道」,哪一個人間,哪一個人生不苦呢?苦啊!苦難偏多。尤其是在最近,不論是遙遠的地方、國家,種種、種種四大不調的苦,天災,加上了,再看人禍所造成的苦。天災之苦還能很多人趕快,四方八達投入,趕緊大家來幫助他,幾年的時間,他就能站起來。但是人禍不是,人禍是要長久的時間流浪,流離失所。
 
生活苦啊!禍延子孫,這就是人禍所造成。苦不苦?不得安穩之苦很多。所以應該要好好說法,人人要好好覺悟。
 
開示,眾生一定要好好悟入,要覺悟,佛法一定要入心。佛法入心,這條菩提道我們繼續走,才有辦法靠近佛的境界,最終,我們就是要成佛。所以我們要很用心去體會。
 
下面接下來這段(經)文,「憐愍饒益諸天人民」。「諸天人民」,前面就是要安穩眾生,請世尊說法來安穩眾生,「多所安隱」,就是要憐憫饒益。剛剛說過了,饒益攝受,這就是我們,也要努力。過去諸天與十六王子,請大通智勝佛說法,饒益有情。就是說《法華經》,饒益,所以經文也這樣說,「憐愍饒益,諸天人民,重說偈言」。
 
憐愍饒益
諸天人民
重說偈言
世雄無等倫
百福自莊嚴
得無上智慧
願為世間說
《法華經化城喻品第七》
 
前面說的是長行文,現在再接下來,又是偈文,要再重述一次,「世雄無等倫,百福自莊嚴,得無上智慧,願為世間說」。
 
這段(經)文就是說,佛的慈悲。「矜憐哀愍」,就是慈悲,同體大悲,視天下眾生如一子,如父母看子一樣。
 
憐愍饒益
諸天人民
重說偈言
矜憐哀愍
饒潤利益諸天眾
及以人民
復述前意
勸請世尊
 
孩子的這種迷茫,這種顛沛,流離失所,身心沒有一個定位,當然父母也會擔心,就是憐憫他的孩子,這是世間的父母。何況是佛呢?佛陀以天下眾生如一子,這分父母心,大覺者來看天下眾生,受盡了人間這種堪忍,實在是難忍的世間。但是,既然來生在這個世間,人人要堪得忍耐,又是在不知覺的愚迷中,在苦難中還不覺知。
 
就如火宅,大火宅中,一些孩子在那裡,火已經一直逼近了,還在那裡傻傻地玩。大長者著急,也是為了憐憫那些孩子,來設方便(法),設門外三車,同樣的道理。所以,佛陀這種的,「憐愍饒益,諸天人民」,這樣的心志來說法,所以「饒潤利益,諸天眾及(以)人民」。因為佛若說法,才能保持人人的善念。行善、造福,生天堂,這是饒益天的有情界,但是饒益天的有情界,必定要從人,在人間要先為善,人間為善,才有辦法生天堂,享天福。所以說,饒益,「饒潤利益,諸天眾及(以)人民」,與我們人間的眾生。所以「復述前意,勸請世尊」。還是重頌,偈頌再說。所以「世雄無等倫」。
 
世雄無等倫:
世尊大雄
有無等無倫
最上勝智
如來智慧
於一切法中無可譬類
亦無過上
故名世雄無等倫
 
重複過去讚歎佛的語言,所以「世雄無等倫」,意思就是說,「世尊大雄」,就是「有無等無倫最上勝智」。佛成佛了,就是阿耨多羅三藐三菩提,翻譯我們的意思,就是「無上正等正覺」,三界中沒有比佛能更超越的,智慧、慈悲沒有比佛更高,所以稱為世尊,稱為大雄,稱為無上智,最上、無上,沒有比佛還更超越的人。這是如來的智慧,就是「於一切法中無可譬類」,沒有能譬喻,能超越佛的智慧、慈悲的人,「亦無過於上」,這樣叫做「世雄無等倫」。
 
世雄:
佛之異名
佛於世間最為雄猛
斷盡一切煩惱
 
「世雄」是佛的異名。下次你們若再看到「世雄」,那就是佛的另外一個名,佛的異名。「佛於世間最為雄猛」,最有力量的人。因為佛,他的智慧超越、他的慈悲超越,將他的慈悲、智慧,沒有人有辦法比倫過他。這就是世雄,他已經斷盡一切煩惱。人,人所以會很軟弱,就是因為有煩惱,煩惱,經不起幾句話就被打敗了。
 
就如陳居士,只是一句無心的話,就被打敗了,他就退縮了。這樣一退縮,就幾年還是好幾年的時間,才又恢復回來,現在開始精進。所以道心的堅定,一定要先斷除煩惱無明,才不會小小的一句話、小小的一件事,我們就這樣退失道心。
 
所以我們的道心堅定,需要有世雄的力量,要有這種力量,才不會半途而廢,無功而敗退。我們要修行,就是要有這樣的勇猛精進,乃是大丈夫。丈夫,也就是調御丈夫,也是佛十號其中的一個名。所以,就是要精進,要勇猛,稱為世雄。
 
無等:比之餘生
無以齊其福
如來智慧
於一切法中
無可譬類亦無過上
故名無等
無倫:十聖無以能
及其智慧倫比
 
「無等」就是,「比之餘生,無以齊其福」。那就是福,不只是智慧,又是福也很大,累生累世,無不都是入人群中造福緣,行善為福,在人群中增長慧命,所以他的福很大。「如來智慧,於一切法中,無可譬類」,亦無過於上,所以叫做「無等」。「無倫」就是,十聖無以能及其智慧倫比,所以智慧就是無人可比。
 
百福自莊嚴:
以百種福
而自莊嚴
 
「百福自莊嚴」。智慧、福慧,全都自莊嚴。有福又有智慧,就是「以百種福而自莊嚴」。過去解釋過了,每一善都有十種的善,比如說你不殺生,不殺生,你的心就已經培養了你的愛心;不殺生,你就已經尊重生命,愛護眾生,你開始就有守戒、不惡口等等,十善在你其中的一善,你就已經具足十善了。你不惡口,也是一個善。不惡口的人都懂得說好話,懂得說法,當然你會守戒、守十善。總而言之,你造每一善都有十善在內。
 
所以因為這樣不斷累積,這就是莊嚴,不斷的累積,每善都是具足福,每一福就是具足善,百善為一福,這樣不斷累積。
 
所以,這就是這樣,每做一件好事,你絕對不會再去做壞事。只要你有一念好心,你會做一件好事,你十種善事一定是具足。所以這樣匯集起來,就是每一百個善,那就是叫做一福。就是千福莊嚴,也叫做百福莊嚴。這樣「得無上智慧,願為世間說」。
 
得無上智慧
願為世間說:
證得無上真實智慧
信受正法
心鏡智明銳
照徹無礙
願佛為世間
諸眾生說
 
大家用心用愛這樣去付出,不斷付出,那就是不必去計算多少。我們過去就是塵點劫了,就是說,你所做的一切一切,所累積的,算師與算師弟子無法計其所做。所以這裡說百福,其實我們就是要不斷天天做,每做一項就是具足善,具足善念,不斷不斷累積,自然這就是莊嚴,莊嚴我們的身心。「得無上智慧」,已經是得到無上智慧了,「願為世間說」,來請佛說法。
 
「既證得無上真實智慧」,所以大家都「信受正法」;大家信受正法,心鏡這個智就明銳起來。我們現在凡夫,心就是無明,重重疊疊混沌了。我們若有聽法,我們能信受奉行,這個真實智慧的法,我們能接受進來,我們要好好信受。信受了正法,我們自然地,我們常常就能擦心鏡,不只是不受無明煩惱覆蓋,我們每天都在用功,所以我們的心鏡明銳,智慧浮現,煩惱轉過,就是菩提,我們的智慧。
 
所以鏡子一明,自然「照徹無礙」,我們就不會受人間一切的煩惱,來障礙我們的心,障礙我們精進的念。所以我們要「心鏡智明銳,照徹無礙」。因為這樣,所以需要佛。我們大家的心願,需要佛要為世間諸眾生說,好好地為世間人說法。佛若將這個法留下來,法就能久久流傳了。所以我們聽法,要真正去了解,它其中真實智慧的含藏,所以要時時要多用心。


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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: Widely Practicing Skillful Means Benefits People (廣行方便饒益有情)
Date: January.12. 2016
 
“Bodhisattvas, with their compassion and Bodhi-mind of innate enlightenment, take pity on all sentient beings and widely practice skillful means. They benefit and embrace out of compassion for sentient beings.”
 
Bodhisattvas, the term “Bodhisattva” is something we use causally in our daily living, like “elderly Bodhisattva” or “dear Bodhisattvas.” It seems to just roll off the tongue. Yes! Not only does it come out very naturally, to state a fact, everyone is a Bodhisattva, because everyone inherently has Buddha-nature, and everyone inherently has a loving heart. So, when we interact with people, we should always treat everyone with respect. They are all Bodhisattvas standing before us.
 
Bodhisattvas have loving hearts, which means they exercise compassion. Yet compassion is not enough; we still need the Bodhi-mind. Bodhi is something that we all innately possess, our intrinsic nature, our innate enlightenment. This is our nature of True Suchness. But our nature of True Suchness was lost to us, so though there is love in our hearts, we may not necessarily walk the Bodhi-path.
 
In learning the Buddha’s teachings, we have this love in our hearts as we learn, hoping we can step onto the Bodhisattva-path. Everyone knows we must walk the Bodhisattva-path. The Bodhi-path has always been straight. So, we say the great Bodhi-path is straight. Yet sometimes if people are very straightforward when they talk, we may misconstrue or misinterpret what they say. A slight deviation can take us far off course.
 
So, if we are very straightforward when we talk, though it may not be intentional, though we may not even be aware of it, others may misunderstand us, and this may delay their entering the Bodhi-path. Perhaps we ourselves are completely unaware of it.
 
So, as listeners, we should listen with a straightforward mind, and as speakers, we should be accommodating and harmonious. Then we will be able to transform others and be transformed ourselves.
 
A member of our Tzu Chi Faith Corp, Mr. Chen, is a good example. He is very diligent. He always takes in the fragrance of the Dharma; he listens to the morning Dharma-lecture every day. I saw a short program on Da Ai TV about him, of how he would listen to the teachings.
 
The story tells of his past, about how back in 1989 he had already known about Tzu Chi, but had not yet joined, because he went to a different practice center. At the spiritual practice center he had chosen, he could engage in practice by sitting in meditation, listening to the Dharma and studying the sutras; this was his spiritual practice center. This lasted until the 921 Earthquake, that great earthquake that hit central Taiwan. The earthquake caused tremendous turmoil and chaos. Many families suffered from the disaster. Some people’s houses collapsed, while others lost family members. When I think back on the 921 Earthquake, there was indeed so much suffering! Along with his fellow spiritual practitioners, he also entered the disaster area, but during his time in the disaster area, what he saw everywhere was our volunteers in blue and white. Our Tzu Chi volunteers were everywhere. He saw how these people devoted themselves, how they gave of themselves night and day, how they comforted the suffering, how they did many things for the suffering. In whatever they did, such as providing hot meals, everything was so well-ordered. There was a group of volunteers there who were attending to the culinary work. There was another group there caring for the wounded in the hospitals. There was another group there continuously engaged in consoling [survivors]. In summary, everyone acted together in such unity, with their roles all so clearly defined. There was such a spirit of cooperation among everyone. In this way he began to desire to join this Tzu Chi organization. Afterwards, he joined and began serving as a volunteer and was so happy to do the work.
 
One day a Faith Corp member, a Tzu Chi volunteer, spoke to him carelessly, in a very straightforward way. Though what he said was likely unintentional, Mr. Chen [took offense] and left. He left and stayed away until Typhoon Morakat. In the Kaohsiung and Pingtung regions, there was severe flooding. Again he witnessed the selflessness of Tzu Chi volunteers, making no distinction between self and others, how they all gave to help like this. Such a large group of volunteers from the northern and central regions went down to southern Taiwan. [He witnessed] their selfless great love, how they put their hearts into helping others, their unity, harmony and happiness, their willingness to help those suffering people. Seeing how Tzu Chi volunteers, for the sake of those displaced individuals, began clearing the land for building temporary shelters and so on, he was very moved, and with that he began again. He joined and began dedicating himself again.
 
This time he was very determined in his spiritual aspirations. He understood that Tzu Chi is a group of loving people in society who are practicing the Bodhisattva-path; we not only serve society but also hold study groups together and more. He decided that this was the way to cultivate blessings and wisdom. He joined volunteer training to become certified. During this period, Tzu Chi volunteers and commissioners mentored him. One day they went on a case to visit a family. A gentleman in this family had been in an accident and his entire body was paralyzed. All he could do was lay in bed; it was impossible for him to get out of bed. Tzu Chi volunteers had begun accompanying and caring for this family. He went with some senior commissioners to see them and began to realize first-hand how life was truly impermanent. This man who appeared to be so healthy was unable to get out of bed or even move a muscle. This is truly the helplessness and impermanence of life.
 
So, he started to continually care for this family. One day, he went again to visit the family and brought a copy of the Jing Si Aphorisms with him. He spent time interacting with the bedridden man, talking with him about the suffering of life, explaining to him the principles of suffering, emptiness and impermanence’s. His copy of Jing Si Aphorisms had not been opened. He said to the man, “In Jing Si Aphorisms, the teachings are all quite simple. Come, I will flip to a page and show you.”
 
He began opening to a page and letting the man read. The aphorism the man happened to open to was, “Suffering is a precious life lesson.” This was the first aphorism he opened to and asked the man to read aloud. There it was, suffering, written in big letters, “Suffering is a precious life lesson.” When the bedridden man began reading this sentence, his eyes seemed to well with tears. Those around him listening, Tzu Chi volunteers, were also stunned.
 
Mr. Chen later shared that he saw the expression of the bedridden man as the man read the sentence; his eyes seemed to well up with tears. Mr. Chen said that this particular aphorism truly resonated with the man; that particular sentence seemed to suit his capabilities, for the man was facing his greatest suffering. For someone so healthy several years prior to now instead be bedridden and unable to move, isn’t this suffering? His family needed his support to sustain them. When the man became disabled, his family totally lost their means of support. The family was suffering and the man, bedridden due to illness, was suffering.
 
Yes, this was a precious life lesson! The aphorism was incredibly fitting. This was the karmic causes and conditions. This is the Dharma. The Dharma is so simple when it is applied to life. So, Mr. Chen is very diligent. He now listens to the morning Dharma-lectures and is probably listening to me now as I speak. At the recycling station in Qiaotou, at that spiritual practice center, every day he is the first to arrive and open up. As soon as he arrives, he lays out the cushions. Then he begins the morning recitation with us. As we begin the morning recitation at the Abode, he follows along. He waits for everyone to successively arrive, then they all begin watching the morning teaching. He listens and earnestly takes notes. Indeed! He feels those who listen to the Dharma are also teachers of the Dharma and should spread the Dharma as well, thus he earnestly takes notes so as to take the Dharma to heart and apply it in his daily life. This is his daily living. Before he goes to work, this the subject he reverently and diligently tries to master.
 
Think about it; at times when we may make a remark, even if we say something unintentionally, it can cause someone to stop [volunteering]. It was not until the August 8the floods of Morakot when he again saw a group of Tzu Chi Volunteers, this group of Buddhist disciples, dedicated themselves to society, selflessly helping others; this moved him greatly. This time, upon joining, you can see how diligent he is, how he listens to the Dharma-lectures every day. He is also a leader for group spiritual practice. If he had not stopped during that period, wouldn’t his spiritual aspirations and his wisdom-life have grown much more?
 
However, if we have the causes and conditions, it is never too late to form aspirations. Now he is very diligent. This is a “Bodhisattva, with [his] compassion and Bodhi-mind of innate enlightenment.”
 
When Ah-ming interviewed him in the past, he said he used to think that learning the Buddha’s teachings meant meditating and reciting the sutras to purify his mind. Any kind of interpersonal conflict was merely a waste of time. It seemed he felt that going among people was merely a waste of time. But Tzu Chi is exactly the opposite of this. We should want to go among people, for it is precisely among people where we learn to temper ourselves by using our love to give to those who are suffering. Through different sentient beings’ afflictions and ignorance, we can experience how afflictions and ignorance can be turned into Bodhi. How do we go among others and quickly help relieve them of their suffering? How do we comfort people in their afflictions? There is Bodhi amidst ignorance; the question is how to transform, for this is how we increase our wisdom-life.
 
All Buddhas and Bodhisattvas underwent these experiences along the way, exercising both compassion and wisdom. Only having compassion is not enough; merely seeking wisdom is also not enough. We must have compassion as well as wisdom. Only with compassion and wisdom combined together can we exercise them both on the Bodhisattva-path in this world.
 
Those one the Bodhisattva-path in this world are known as enlightened sentient beings. After awakening, we devote ourselves to other sentient beings, awakening ourselves while awakening others. At the same time, by witnessing others’ suffering, we come to recognize our own blessings. All this helps us experience and understand that the true Buddha-Dharma lies in spiritual practice in daily living.
 
So, only by engaging in spiritual practice in our daily living can we truly experience the Buddha-Dharma. When we experience the truth of the Buddha-Dharma, we will manifest our compassion. By exercising compassion and wisdom together, we can “take pity on all sentient beings and widely practice skillful means.” When compassion and wisdom mutually resonate within us, our compassionate thoughts will contain wisdom, and this wisdom can transform the afflictions. This is transforming afflictions into Bodhi.
 
So, listening to and teaching the Dharma is done by exercising both compassion and wisdom. We then take pity on all sentient beings. On this path, we go among people and draw near to them through skillful means. When people are suffering, they become our spiritual training ground. We should be grateful to them for manifesting an appearance of suffering for us to experience. So with a very peaceful mind, we can go help them, advise and guide them. This is taking pity on them and widely practicing skillful means. This is how we “benefit and embrace out of compassion for sentient beings.”
 
We have the Four All-Embracing Virtues,” the precepts that benefit sentient beings. These are charitable giving, beneficial conduct, loving speech and collaborative work. These are precepts that benefit sentient beings. These are skillful means that serve to benefit and embrace all sentient beings. If we do not learn these teachings, it will be impossible for us to truly draw near the Buddha’s True Dharma. So, we must be mindful of them.
 
Look at Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha; we should remember that He represents something we all have, an innate enlightenment intrinsic to everyone. Since Beginningless Time, everyone has had this. The 16 princes went off in all directions. From listening to the Dharma, they then requested the Dharma, then they clearly expounded the Lotus Sutra, the path to Buddhahood. They began by listening, and after listening, that Buddha entered Samadhi and sat in Samadhi for more than 80,000 kalpas, such a very long period of time. The 16 novices then scattered in all directions and sat at [different] Dharma-assemblies to teach the Dharma. They were listeners of the Dharma, teachers of the Dharma and spreaders of the Dharma.
 
Now all of those 16 princes, who had spread throughout the eight directions, had each already attained Buddhahood. One among them, Sakyamuni Buddha, attained Buddhahood in our Saha World. Sakyamuni Buddha, who attained Buddhahood in the Saha World, had made this vow to willingly come lifetime after lifetime to the place where the Five Destinies coexist, this world that must be endured, for the sake of sentient beings. Sentient beings have ignorance and afflictions, [He wished] to turn their afflictions into Bodhi. His one great cause was to open and reveal; then He had to wait for sentient beings to realize and enter. This will be a very long period of time.
 
In fact, returning to our original nature, our intrinsic nature, takes this kind of process, like those 16 princes, who listened to the Dharma, requested the Dharma and later taught the Dharma. This means we must be earnest and diligent. We must learn the earnestness and diligence of 16 princes. Then we can “benefit and embrace out of compassion for sentient beings.”
 
When we begin learning the Buddha’s Way, we hope to attain Buddhahood in the future. To attain Buddhahood in the future, we must go through the process of putting wisdom and compassion into action to benefit and embrace all sentient beings. This process is absolutely necessary. We should all mindfully try to realize this.
 
The previous sutra passage says, “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.”
 
After Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha attained Buddhahood, He began teaching the Dharma. The 16 princes had also all became monastics to engage in spiritual practice. Their diligence shows us that outwardly in our spiritual practice, we need to widely transform sentient beings. To widely and outwardly transform sentient beings, we must return to our intrinsic nature and strengthen our spiritual aspirations. We still must strengthen our spiritual aspirations. With spiritual aspirations like those of the 16 principles, we can draw out our nature of True Suchness, our ocean of wisdom, then further give of ourselves for the sake of the multitudes of sentient beings. Actually, this is the most important meaning that is contained here [in this passage].  Everyone intrinsically has Buddha-nature; then we can attain Buddhahood. The process of attain Buddhahood is a very long one; we must teach the Dharma. When we teach the Dharma to others, we also dedicate it to ourselves, to being out our nature of True Suchness. Then universally, in all directions, for all sentient beings, we must also make the great vows. This must go one continuously. This is telling us that everyone intrinsically has Buddha-nature.
 
So, we must continually spread the Dharma. There are innumerable suffering sentient beings who are unable to achieve peace of mind. They are unable to achieve peace of mind, and only the Buddha-Dharma can bring it to them.
 
It is like that volunteer who opened to that page in the Aphorisms by chance for the man who was bedridden to read. The first sentence he read was, “Suffering is a precious life lesson.”
 
Indeed, this is suffering. The Buddha came to the world to tell us of “suffering, causation, cessation and the Path.” Where is there a place or a life without suffering? Everyone is suffering! There is so much suffering. Especially recently, in countries [near and] far, there is so much suffering due to imbalances in the four elements; there are natural disasters as well as suffering due to manmade calamities. For natural disasters, if many people immediately come from all directions and quickly get involved to help, in a period of several years, [the affected] people can get back on their feet.
 
But manmade calamities are different. Manmade calamities cause destruction and displacement over a long time. Their lives are filled with suffering, and suffering is passed down through generations. This is what manmade calamities bring. Isn’t this suffering? Many suffer from lack of peace and stability.
 
So, we must put effort into teaching the Dharma. We all must make an effort to awaken. The Buddha opened and revealed; sentient beings must mindfully realize and enter. To awaken, we must take the Buddha-Dharma to heart. Only by taking the Buddha-Dharma to heart and continually walking upon this Bodhi-path will it be possible for us draw near the state of Buddhahood. Ultimately, we wish to attain Buddhahood, so we must mindfully try to realize this.
 
The next sutra passage continues, “Have mercy upon and benefit all heavenly beings and humans.” Earlier they said [He would] bring peace and stability to sentient beings; they asked the World-Honored One to teach to being peace and stability to sentient beings. “Many will attain great peace and stability.”
 
Now, the next sutra passage talks about taking pity on and widely benefiting them. We just mentioned “benefiting and embracing.” This is what we need to work on as well. Previously, the heavenly beings and the 16 princes asked Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha to teach the Dharma to benefit sentient beings, They asked Him to teach the Lotus Sutra to benefit all, so the sutra passage says, ‘“Have mercy upon and benefit all heavenly beings and humans.’ They then repeated themselves in verse.”
 
What came before was long-form prose. Now it continues again in verse in order to restate again. “Peerless and Unmatched Hero of the World, who dignifies Himself with 100 blessings and has attained supreme wisdom, may You teach for the sake of the world.”
 
This sutra passage speaks of the Buddha’s “sympathy and mercy, which is compassion, universal compassion He looked upon the world’s sentient beings as His only child, as a parent would look upon his own children.
 
“Have mercy upon and benefit all heavenly beings and humans. They then repeated themselves in verse: Out of sympathy and mercy, He nourishes and benefits all in the heaven realm, as well as all humans. Thus, they reiterated their earlier intent and implored the World-Honored One.
 
If a child becomes lost like this, if he encounters such difficulties and becomes destitute and homeless, with place for body or mind to settle, then of course his parents will worry about him and take pity on him. If parents of this world are like this, then how much more so the Buddha? The Buddha looked upon the world’s sentient beings as His only child. It is with the heart of a parent that the Great Enlightened One sees the world’s sentient beings. We face all kinds of things that must be endured; this is indeed a world difficult to endure. However, since we have been born in this world, we have no choice but to patiently endure it. Furthermore, we remain unaware, deluded and lost; in the middle of this suffering we remain unaware. This is like the burning house. In that great burning house, there were still some children inside. Thought the flames were already pressing closer, they still foolishly played inside. This made the elder worried, so, taking pity on these children, he devised the skillful means of setting up three carts outside the door. The principle is the same. So, the Buddha “took mercy upon and benefited all heavenly beings as well as all humans.” This was His intent in teaching the Dharma, so “He nourished and benefited all in the heaven realms as well as all humans.”
 
Only through the Buddha’s teachings, can people maintain their good thoughts. Doing good deeds and creating blessings leads to rebirth in heaven. This benefits those sentient beings in heaven. But to benefit those in the heaven realm, He had to start in  the human realm; we must first do good deeds in the world. Only by doing good deeds in this world, can we be reborn in heaven and enjoy heavenly blessings. So, it says He benefited them.
 
“He nourishes and benefits all in the heaven realm as well as all humans,” all the sentient beings in this world. So, “They reiterated their earlier intent and implored the World-Honored One.” This is the meaning repeated again in verse.
 
So, He is the “Peerless and Unmatched Hero of the World.”
 
Peerless and Unmatched Hero of the World: The World-Honored One is a great hero, unmatched and peerless, whose superior wisdom is supreme.
The wisdom of the Tathagata is such that nothing can be compared to it, and no one can surpass it.
Hence the name, Peerless and Unmatched Hero of the World.
 
Past praise for the Buddha is repeated here. So, “Peerless and Unmatched Hero of the World” means that “The World-Honored One is a great hero, unmatched and peerless, whose superior wisdom is supreme.” This means that the Buddha had attained enlightenment. He had attained Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi, which, translated, means “supreme, universal and perfect enlightenment.” No one in the Three Realms can surpass the Buddha. No One has greater wisdom or compassion, so He is called World-Honored one, Great Hero, One with Supreme Wisdom; He is the highest and most supreme, There is none more transcendent than the Buddha. This is the wisdom of the Tathagata; it is “such that nothing can be compared to it.” There is nothing that can be compared to it. There is no one who can surpass the Buddha in wisdom and compassion.
 
There is “no one who can surpass it.” He is a “Peerless and Unmatched Hero of the World.”
 
Hero of the World: This is another name for the Buddha. The Buddha is the most heroic and brave in the world; He has completely eliminated all afflictions.
 
Hero of the World is another name for the Buddha. Next time, if you see “Hero of the World,” you will know it is another name for the Buddha. This is another name for the Buddha. “The Buddha is the most heroic and brave in the world.” He is the most powerful person, because the Buddha’s wisdom is transcendent, and His compassion is transcendent. In terms of compassion and wisdom, there is no one who can compare with Him. He is the Hero of the World, for He has completely eliminated all afflictions.
 
Humans are weak because of their afflictions; they can be defeated by even a few simple words. This is like Mr. Chen; because of one unintentional remark, he felt defeated and withdrew. Once he left, he stayed away for many years, before he finally recovered, returned and, now, has become very diligent.
 
So, our spiritual aspirations must be firm. We must first eliminate afflictions and ignorance so that a single small remark or an insignificant incident will not cause us to lose our will to practice. So, for our spiritual aspirations to be firm, we need the strength of a Hero of the World; only strength like this can keep us from quitting halfway and retreating without achieving success. In our spiritual practice, we need such courage and diligence. Then we are a “great person” (practitioners). A “great person” is also a Tamer, one of the ten epithets of the Buddha. So, we must be diligent and courageous to be called Hero of the World.
 
“Unmatched” means “compared to other beings, none can equal His blessings.” These are his blessings; it is not just His wisdom, but His blessings which are also great, for over many lifetimes. He was always going among people to create blessings. He did good deeds to created blessings and nurtured His wisdom-life among others, so His blessings were great. “The wisdom of the Tathagata is such that nothing can be compared to it”; no one can surpass it. Thus, He is called “unmatched.” “Peerless” means that noble beings of the ten grounds are unable to match or compare to His wisdom. So, His wisdom is incomparable.
 
“(He) dignifies Himself with 100 blessings.” With His wisdom, His blessings and wisdom, He is completely dignified. Having both blessings and wisdom, He “dignifies Himself with 100 blessings.”
 
We explained before that the Ten Good Deeds exist in every good deed you do. For example, by not killing, you are already nurturing love in your heart. By not killing, you are already respecting life. You are loving and protecting sentient beings. You have already begun upholding the precepts. By not speaking harsh words and so forth. The Ten Good Deeds exist in every good deed, so we will be replete with the Ten Goods Deeds. Not speaking harsh words is also a good deed. Those who do not use harsh speech understand the value of kind speech; they teach the Dharma, so of course they can uphold the precepts and practice the Ten Good Deeds.
 
In any case, the Ten Good Deeds exist in every good deed you do. The continue accumulation of these [deeds] results in dignity; they continually accumulate. Every good deed is replete with blessings, and every blessing is replete with good deeds. 100 good deeds make up one blessing. They must be continually accumulated like this.
 
So, this is how it is. Whenever you do a good deed, you absolutely are not engaging in a bad deed. When a kind thought arises and you perform one good deed, you are definitely replete with all Ten Good Deeds. So, these good deeds gather together like this. Every 100 good deeds results a single blessing. This is the dignity of 1000 blessings, of dignity of 100 blessings.
 
So, “[You who have] attained supreme wisdom, may You teach for sake of the world.”
 
[You who have] attained supreme wisdom, may You teach for sake of the world: The Buddha had realized and attained supreme true wisdom, thus everyone faithfully accepted Right Dharma; their mind’s mirror wisdom was clear and sharp, illuminating all without hindrance. They prayed the Buddha would teach for the sake if all sentient beings in the world.
 
If we give mindfully and lovingly like this, and continue to give, there will be no need to count [our blessings]. We have already gone through dust-inked kalpas. Everything we have done, everything that accumulated, will be incalculable even by a mathematician or his disciples. So, here it speaks of 100 blessings, but in fact, we must do it continually every day, so everything we do is replete with goodness. If we are replete with good thoughts, by continual and unceasing accumulation, we will naturally become dignified, dignified in our bodies and minds.
 
[“You who have] attained supreme wisdom” means He had already supreme wisdom. “May You teach for the sake of the world.” They asked the Buddha to teach the Dharma. “The Buddha had realized and attained supreme true wisdom, so everyone “faithfully accepted Right Dharma.” When everyone faithfully accepts the Right Dharma, the wisdom of the mirror of our minds will become clear and sharp.
 
Right now we are unenlightened beings whose minds have become severely muddled by layers of ignorance. By listening to the Dharma, we can faithfully accept and put it not practice. If we can take in this Dharma of true wisdom, we should faithfully accept it. By faithfully accepting the Right Dharma, naturally we will be able to consistently polish the mirror of our minds so that, not only will it not be covered by ignorance and afflictions, but because we put in effort every day, our mind’s will become clear and sharp, and wisdom will manifest. When afflictions are transformed they become Bodhi. They become wisdom. So, when the mirror becomes clear, it naturally “illuminates all without hindrance.” None of the world’s afflictions will be able to hinder our minds or our diligent resolve. So, our mind’s “mirror is clear and sharp, illuminating all without hindrance.” This is why we need the Buddha. To fulfill the wish we share, we need the Buddha to teach the world’s sentient beings, to earnestly teach the people of the world. The Buddha has left us this Dharma, so the Dharma can be passed down for a long time. Therefore, when we listen to the Dharma, let us try to truly comprehend the true wisdom contained within it. So, let us always be mindful.
 

(Source: Da Ai TV – Wisdom at Dawn program – Explanation by Master Chen-Yen)
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20170112《靜思妙蓮華》廣行方便饒益有情 (第1000集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)
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