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 20170119《靜思妙蓮華》大光普照勝諸天光 (第1005集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)

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發表主題: 20170119《靜思妙蓮華》大光普照勝諸天光 (第1005集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)   周四 1月 19, 2017 12:19 am

20170119《靜思妙蓮華》大光普照勝諸天光 (第1005集)
(法華經•
化城喻品

 
佛之說法如虛空中風畫,說而無說故有利物之用,度我及諸他同證菩提願,四悉隨機開顯聞解思修。
四悉檀:世界悉檀、為人悉檀、對治悉檀、第一義悉檀。
其國中間幽冥之處,日月威光所不能照,而皆大明。《法華經化城喻品第七
其中眾生各得相見,咸作是言:此中云何忽生眾生?《法華經化城喻品第七》
又其國界,諸天宮殿,乃至梵宮,六種震動,大光普照,遍滿世界,勝諸天光。《法華經化城喻品第七
又其國界諸天宮殿:又其大通智勝佛所有國界,欲界諸天所居宮殿。
乃至梵宮六種震動:乃至色界十八梵宮,在色界中共有十八層天,六種震動。
六種震動:佛入胎、出生、出家、成道、轉法輪、入涅槃時,法爾有地動光照,有緣者,遠在他方亦覺,無緣者,近亦不知。
大光普照遍滿世界:有大光明普照一切,遍滿化境所有世界。
勝諸天光:佛之光明出過一切,豈與天光之所等倫。
 
【證嚴上人開示】

「佛之說法如虛空中風畫,說而無說故有利物之用,度我及諸他同證菩提願,四悉隨機開顯聞解思修。」
 
佛之說法
如虛空中風畫
說而無說故
有利物之用
度我及諸他
同證菩提願
四悉隨機開顯
聞解思修
 
修行,聽法,其實修是如何修呢?是要修什麼呢?我們要細心好好來思考。修行是一條漫長的道路,修行是要有一股不斷,長期、無間、無餘,時都要心存敬重,這是我們日常生活中,要修、要行,所以修行在日常生活中,不知不覺,總是集四修法,在我們平時生活中展現出來。若能在生活中,這四修法──無餘修、長時修、無間修、尊重修,這四項在我們日常生活中,這樣展現在生活裡,粗細都一樣,有形、無形,我們都是這四項的修行,在在都是在我們每一天、每一刻中,隨著我們的修行,這樣過生活,過日子,這就是修行。          
 
當然,人間菩薩道,明顯的,人人都知道,布施、持戒、忍辱、精進、禪定、智慧。這是人人都會說的,是不是人人做得到呢?這我們就自己問自己。不論是六度、四修,六度四修,若在日常生活中,都有做到,這樣你們就是在修行,依教奉行,這是佛陀的教法。
 
「佛之所說法如虛空中風畫」,意思很深,也是很明顯。佛陀所說的教法,聽了就過去了,到底法是不是入我們的心,用在我們的行動中呢?假使聽了沒有入心,這和在虛空,我們看的,都沒有東西,其實道理存在,我們都沒有去用。若是有去用,儘管是虛空中的風畫。看看這大地上,只要你一顆種子落土,不論你是什麼種子,落土,不必多久,你就看土地上,有小樹的樹種長出來,樹苗、樹種、小樹、大樹,在大地上增加了風畫,大地高高低低的樹木都有了。
 
或者是隨著人的心欲,一片的大地由工畫師開始,將這片大地,就要畫出了高樓大廈,就開大路等等,夠嗎?不夠;高架橋也起來了。過去是一片寧靜的環境,大自然有山有水,空中風畫,這是自然法則,經過了人的心欲,就這個畫面,又沒幾年就變了,變成不是這個畫面。
 
常常若一段時間沒有經過的路,再來經過時,很自然就會驚歎:「怎麼又都不同了!以前這片土地,現在的建設,看,怎麼都不同?」這就是空中風畫,那個圖畫都不同了。這就是本來的大自然法則,經過了人的心所需要,欲、追求,所以就整個都變了。
 
佛陀說法就是要讓我們知道,知道人人本具佛性,大自然法則,本地風光是長什麼樣子呢?但是後天的無明煩惱,就在這片大自然本地風光,就變了,變、變,已經和過去是不一樣了。這是佛陀要我們瞭解,世間萬物無常,變遷不定,這就是世間,所以要我們好好地,如何找回我們的本地風光。
 
所以說法,「說而無說故,有利物之用」。我們若不瞭解道理,一直一念的欲念,一直世間法一直走,一直變了,變得現在的社會,完全變態了,全都不同。知識者,知識,自稱是知識分子,隨順著世間世態的轉變,他就是一直在這世態轉變中,還是把握不住自己本地風光,矛盾的事情很多啊!(對)別人,「你必須這樣做。」而我呢?我是這樣這樣做。看別人,別人能做的犯法,(卻說)你做的事情是對,但是你要做得更對一點。更對一點,不知道要對什麼呢?但是,你一定有力量的,你一定能做得到,這是別人做不到,現在很需要你去做。
 
「是啊!別人都做不到,連我也做不到。」卻是(對)別人,「你應該要做得到。」像這樣,這種說而無說。佛陀教我們的就不是這樣,卻是你面對的很多事情,就是有說好像沒說一樣,是對或不對呢?我們自己心裡有數。佛陀要我們,對或不對,我們要很清楚,是、非,世間有大是,也有大非,對的,要比它更對,做要做得更對,因為佛法是無止境,修行是無間斷。
 
佛陀說法四十多年間,他用種種方法,凡夫的錯誤,用怎樣的五戒、因緣,來警惕大家,人人有苦、有煩惱,卻是他就是這樣,為我們循循善誘──世間的苦,這是因為這樣的因緣集來的苦,你要去預防這個因緣,不要去造作這樣的緣,自然你就不會有這個果的感受。你要很守自己的戒。所以說苦、說戒,說世間的苦,分析,瞭解,讓大家瞭解因緣果報,教我們要守戒,這就是開示初步。
 
還叫我們要積極去行十善,去修人天福,人間福、天人的福。這是佛陀隨根機而說法,給我們教育,讓我們慢慢回頭是岸,慢慢向我們的真如本性來接近。因為真如本性是清淨的,所以就開始教我們要戒,戒就能防非止惡,預防不對的事情,不要再來污染我們,哪怕是從五戒開始,我們好好守持。這是一般在家弟子,大家全部,人人,從開始聞法、聽法,修行的開頭從五戒十善。
 
開始佛陀就要再說,「十二因緣法」。人生真的苦,苦在內心心體,我們的內心那一念真如本性,我們就是一念妄動開始,就說起了因緣法,如何來投生,怎樣的過程等等。這就是佛陀說法如虛空,擴大開來就是如大虛空,涵蓋了虛空法界,遍虛空法界。落實下來,就如空中的風畫一樣,一幅一幅的圖,人間高山大海、山河大地,自然法則等等,無不都是已含具了道理。
 
<藥草喻品>不就是說盡了天下萬物的道理嗎?所以說,這種虛空中風畫,這是我們的心地風光。每個人的真如本性,法,回歸於虛空法界,我們都要很清楚,大地一切人、事、物的景象,我們也要很瞭解,這是佛陀向我們說的話。同樣的,我們的心假使沒有保持好,外面的境界慢慢不斷變遷,這個變遷就境界完全不同,自然被破壞了,大地風光已變。
 
所以我們要好好聽佛的法。雖然說而無說,佛陀說的話說出來了,你若接受有用,自然有利物之用。他說出來,你若沒有用,這個法還是回歸於空,回歸於道理上;你若是有接受道理,那就是有利物之用。人人接受法,這就是這麼簡單,在日常生活中四修法,我們自然「度我及諸他同證菩提願」。
 
佛陀的說法,每個人的「我」,(你的)「我」也有所求,(我的)「我」也有所求。你們的名稱,自己也叫做「我」,你們的「我」也有所求,希望聽法,我們能透徹瞭解,我們能將佛法轉為入我們的心,成長我們的慧命,增長我們的智慧,我們也是這樣的所求。無量數的「我」,何況這個「我」,就如大通智勝佛成道了,大家慶幸歡喜,請佛說法,利益我(及)諸天人。天與人,天地萬物都能受益,所以叫做「度我及諸他」。「諸他」是天地萬物,天人、地上的人、大地的眾生。
 
大地眾生,人類若有修行,大地眾生就自在,有保障;人心若不修,弱的肉是強的人在吃,軟弱的人是強的人在欺負。這總是希望我們人人,能接受佛的正法,我們大家修行者,同樣是接受佛的教法,要互相尊重,我們要互相讚歎。古人說「僧敬僧,佛法才會興」。是啊!修行的團體彼此尊重,在團體中共同生活的修行者,要共同感恩。
 
我們的常住,我常常說感恩。每天若到餐廳,感恩啊!這個大家庭,天下大家庭,就是有這麼多人,伸出你們的雙手,發你們的心,發心甘願這樣做,我們才能有這樣,天下人認為是他的家庭,所以時時感恩啊!無非讓大家都能來接受到法,在這個訓練菩薩的道場,要如何去行六度,要如何四修法,這就是「同證菩提願」。我自己與大家共同在這個道場能同證菩提願。
 
所以我們「四悉隨機開顯,聞解思修」。我們能顯示聽了之後要解,然後要思考,然後要好好修啊!四修法,常常自己自問,六度行,我們有在起動嗎?
 
「四悉隨機開顯」,應機,「四悉檀」大家還記得嗎?「世界悉檀」,為世界;各各「為人悉檀」,為人類;「對治悉檀」,眾生貪、瞋、癡、慢、疑,他什麼樣的心的毛病,我們就用什麼法去對治。最終,佛陀還是以,第一義悉檀,就是一大乘法,希望人人要行菩薩道,入人群中去歷練,去結好緣,去瞭解人間的無明惑這些煩惱,我們清清楚楚,去為他轉煩惱為菩提。
 
四悉檀:
一、世界悉檀
、為人悉檀
、對治悉檀
、第一義悉檀
 
最近每天都說,希望能加強大家的理解與記憶,希望大家要很用心。第一義,就是一實乘法,是佛陀期待我們人人,真的要用心,要去行菩薩道,這條大菩提道,往前走,才能到達了佛的境界,這是必經之道,不論多久的時間。因為我們生生世世,已經整個心煩惱重疊,世世重疊,現在我們也要開始發心,日日將煩惱去除,不要等到生生世世,在今生此世,我們就要層層的煩惱,層層去除,這就是我們要修行的地方。
 
前面的(經)文說,「其國中間幽冥之處,日月威光所不能照,而皆大明。」
 
其國中間
幽冥之處
日月威光
所不能照
而皆大明
《法華經化城喻品第七
 
日月,在宇宙間太陽系,太陽,它就是這樣常光,永遠都是亮的。卻是我們心自作,遮蔽了光。這個光明,是被我們凡夫自作,若是自作的煩惱、無明,惡業重,就永遠看不到光明,永遠都是將這個光明遮蓋起來。所以說,「其國中間幽冥之處」,自己心自障礙的人,他得不到道理,聽不到佛法,心門打不開,自然日月光就透不進來,所以是威光所不能照,「日月威所不能照」。
 
它本來就是有這樣的光,就是眾生自己無明的門關著,一層一層關,關著,所以這無明沒開,日月光就不進來。這就是我們儘管聽法,是不是(如)風中畫,我們聽與沒聽一樣呢?若是這樣,「日月威光」,就是佛法的真理,也沒有入你的心裡去。卻是佛法它在這日月照不到,真正若是因緣成熟了,無明的門開了,真理進來,就光明了。
 
聽,過去不曾聽過的,不知道法就是這樣,聽了之後,「哦!原來就是!」這樣,這就是忽然間,在這個地方,這麼多人,同時若將法入(心),「我體會到了!」他也說:「我瞭解了!」彼此之間互相體會、彼此瞭解,有志一同,共行菩薩道,面向光明,背在黑暗;黑暗的已經過去了,光明在我們的面前。
 
若這樣,就是「其中眾生,各得相見」,因為我們的面前一片光明了。「咸作是言」,這樣的光明,已經照耀到幽暗的地方了,看,那些人,光明,光一照到,出現這麼多人。
 
其中眾生
各得相見
咸作是言
此中云何
忽生眾生
《法華經化城喻品第七》
 
在暗夜中的人,看不到暗暗的地方有人,忽然間,「我看到了!」因為光明一照,人人互相相見。
 
怎麼會忽然間,產生這麼多人出來呢?這些人本來就有,無明覆蓋,只是將無明打開了,光發出了,是自心光發出,能見到光明,我們能瞭解人人,人人瞭解我們,彼此之間互相瞭解。過去的無明,過去的誤解,掩蔽了我們的心,(除去)怨、恨、仇,原來你是對我好的人,原來你是能幫助我力量的人,我們能共同,這也是一樣。明明我們就看到人,但是(以為)他與我無關,其實他與我關係很大,我們能互相瞭解,這也是叫做彼此相見,因為道理我們能體會。
 
下面(經文)再接下來說,「又其國界,諸天宮殿,乃至梵宮,六種震動,大光普照,遍滿世界,勝諸天光。」
 
又其國界
諸天宮殿
乃至梵宮
六種震動
大光普照
遍滿世界
勝諸天光
《法華經化城喻品第七
 
這段(經)文又再說,其國界諸天宮,「其國界」,是哪個地方的國界呢?當然是大通智勝佛那個時代。那個時代,那就是塵點劫那麼久以前。那個國界,有欲界諸天。
 
又其國界
諸天宮殿:
又其大通智勝佛
所有國界
欲界諸天
所居宮殿
 
我們現在的娑婆世界,也是有欲界諸天,我們也說四天王天、忉利天,一直一直到了虛空,其實佛經典中所說的世界很多。不明的星,星,它是不是有生命、有人類、有天人呢?不過,我們都是在,這個虛空法界中,地球也是在虛空法界中,若要說,我們也應該是天人,因為我們是在虛空法界。任何一顆球,任何一顆星,無不都是飄浮在虛空,在這個天體宇宙的軌道上運行。所以界,這個國界,就是我們地球這個界限的地方,我們有我們的地球,我們的地球這個大地的界限,是釋迦牟尼佛他發心願,願意來這個地方,五趣雜居,堪忍的娑婆世界。
 
因為我們地球上的環境是這樣,本來地球的環境是很美,就是因為人類起心動念,來醜化了地球,破壞地球。因為人類人心不規則,所以彼此之間結仇連怨,造成了很多的災禍,污染了整個氣體,空氣等等,這也是在天體的,法界中的一個世界。到底塵點劫以前,大通智勝佛的世界,相信也是同樣有大地、有天空、有境界、有宮殿等等,所以也稱為國界。任何一個地方應該都有。
 
「欲界諸天所居宮殿」。在六欲天界裡,魔王也期待能夠天人增加,不過有的,魔王就會擔心,(他)修行,脫離了生死,就是不去天界,害怕天界會減少了天人,所以處處,有時候就是有天魔擾亂。在經典中常常會看到。
 
其實天魔在哪裡呢?是在心啊!我們人人的心,修行者同樣有煩惱無明,來困擾自己,有這樣的魔的境界,讓他偏差,這種清淨心消失了,佔有心增長,這種欲,佔有的心態也有啊!修行者也會受這種心魔、天魔控制了。所說的天魔就是自然的煩惱,我們人人內心都有,我們要修行,就是連這些自心煩惱也要去除,所以要好好用心。
 
所以,又佛所有的國界,以及欲界諸天所居的宮殿,「乃至梵宮,六種震動」。六種震動,其中是(有)成佛時,其中還有說法時,這都會六種震動。震動是一個形容詞,是我們的心體震撼,「我很感動!」從無明一轉成為清淨菩提的心。
 
乃至梵宮
六種震動:
乃至色界十八梵宮
在色界中
共有十八層天
六種震動
 
這六種震動,不只是在人類世界,「乃至色界十八梵宮」,就是十八層(天)。在色界中,總共有十八層天,六種震動。其實,十八層天要如何體會呢?這對我們來說還不重要,我們最重要的是我們的心,真的一層一層的欲,我們要一層一層去除。
 
六種震動:
佛入胎、出生、
出家、成道、
轉法輪、入涅槃時
法爾有地動光照
有緣者
遠在他方亦覺
無緣者 近亦不知
 
六種震動,佛入胎、出生、出家、成道、轉法輪、入涅槃,這叫做「(動之)六時」。法開始在人間,就是地動光照,「有緣者,遠在他方亦覺;無緣者,近亦不知」。就是佛法已經很明顯在人間了,大地黑暗變成了光明。這就是我們的心地,我們的心體,我們自己的心是非清楚,無明煩惱我們應該要遠離,我們心要有無漏法,法入心,不要漏掉了。
 
這種「有緣者,遠在他方亦覺」;「無緣者」,近在身邊亦不知。真的是,法,遠遠在很遠的地方,道理他聽得進去,他能身體力行,他起很尊重的心,他瞭解。但是無緣的人,哪怕在很近,哪怕在身邊,聽到的法,他也不會尊重,他還是法不會入心。
 
心,覺是背了,背覺入塵去了。我們應該是要「背塵合覺」,修行者,過去的塵埃無明要抖擻掉,完全要去除。但是我們明明在清淨的理,在我們的周圍,我們偏偏就是違背這個理、清淨的法,這樣故意去惹煩惱,這叫做「背覺合塵」,將「覺」相違背了,無明惹煩惱。我們若是真正有緣的人,自然「背塵合覺」,無明我們已經放棄,回歸我們清淨的覺性。所以這只是在有緣與無緣。
 
所以,佛陀一直要我們,要投入人群去歷練,要到人群中結善緣,這就是不要只是,我自己對就對了,這種放棄他人,只有以為自己是,這樣你結不到好緣,你看不到真實煩惱的根源,你哪有辦法去除煩惱,讓我們回歸清淨呢?你必定要在人群中,才能看到他人的錯謬,分析瞭解清淨的道理,應該我們要在人群中得。
 
《無量義經》不是一直告訴大家,人人身上都有一本經,所以我們「無量法門,悉現在前」,就是在人群中,還要再去哪裡找法呢?
 
接下來再說,「大光普照,遍滿世界」。因為六種震動,警惕大家的心。大家已經聽得快要睡著了,所以搖一下,很震撼,大家趕緊提起精神來,這六種震動,心體震動,趕緊再來「大光普照」。
 
大光普照
遍滿世界:
有大光明
普照一切
遍滿化境
所有世界
 
這個道理入心了,「大光普照,遍滿世界」,「有大光明,普照一切,遍滿化境所有世界」。所有的境界,完全出現在我們的心地風光裡,所有的世界,我們都能體會。
 
勝諸天光:
佛之光明
出過一切
豈與天光
之所等倫
 
「勝諸天光」。「佛之光明出過一切」,佛的光明一出來,是超過一切。「豈與天光,(之)所等倫」,不是只有日月的光很亮,其實日月的光,還有受遮蔽的障礙,佛法的真理不受遮蔽。受遮蔽,是人自己的無明,來遮蔽了真理,不是有東西來障礙真理的光明,是我們自己的無明去遮蔽了光。
 
所以說來,佛法是無處不在,無處不照的光明。希望我們人人,能時時用心在菩提道上,寸寸前進,步步穩定,這樣就是一寸一寸地向前,步步若能穩定,自然轉凡夫為聖賢,轉煩惱為菩提。希望人人要時時多用心!


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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: Superior Light Illuminates the Universe (大光普照勝諸天光)
Date: January.19. 2017
 
“The teachings of the Buddha are like drawings in empty space. He teaches without teaching anything; this can benefit all things. He transforms me and all others so we together realize the Bodhi-vow. He used the Four Siddhantas to reveal teachings according to capabilities so all could listen, understand contemplate and practice.”
 
We engage in practice and listen to Dharma. Actually, how do we engage in spiritual practice? What do we practice? We must put in effort to think about this. Spiritual practice is a very long road. When we engage in spiritual practice, we must have extended practice, uninterrupted practice and practice with nothing further. We must constantly have a reverent mindset. In our daily lives, these are the things that we must cultivate and practice. So, as we engage in spiritual practice in our daily living, without realizing it, we are always accumulating these Four Practices, which are gradually expressed in everyday life.
 
In our daily living, we can [cultivate] the Four Practices, practice with nothing further, extended practice, uninterrupted practice and practice with reverence. These four practices can be expressed in our daily living. Whether in actions obvious or subtle, tangibly or intangibly, we are always engaging in these four practices in each day and every moment. We are in accord with our spiritual practice as we live our lives, as we pass the days. This is [the nature of] spiritual practice.
 
Of course, on the Bodhisattva-path in this world, the obvious concepts are known by all. Giving, upholding precepts, patience, diligence, Samadhi and wisdom are things that everyone can say. But are they things that everyone can do? This is something we must ask ourselves. Whether the Six Perfections or the Four Practices, if we are able to exercise them in our daily living, then we are engaging in spiritual practice. We are practicing according to the teachings; these are what the Buddha taught. “The teachings of the Buddha are like drawings in empty space.” This meaning is both very profound and very clear. With everything that the Buddha has taught, after we listen, the teaching is done.
 
Do we really take the Dharma into our hearts and apply it in our actions? If we hear it but do not take it to heart, it is like [a drawing] in empty space; we look and there is nothing there. In fact, the principles exist, we just do not apply them. If we do apply them, though they are like drawings in empty space…
 
Look at the earth. As long as we plant a seed in the ground, regardless of the type of seed, once we plant it, it will not take long for a shoot to grow out from the earth. Shoots, saplings, small trees and big trees all add themselves as drawings to the land. On the land are many trees of varying heights.
 
Or, following the desires of the human mind, on the land an architect can start to draw out tall apartment buildings, wide roads and more. Is this enough? No. Next the highway overpasses are erected. In the past, the environment was very tranquil. It was nature; there were mountains and rivers. This is a drawing in empty space. These are all part of the laws of nature.
 
But due to the desires in the human mind, this image will change after a few years. The drawing will not be like what it is now. Often, when we have not been somewhere for a long time, when we pass by it again we will naturally be surprised. “How come it is different again? The land used to be like this before, but now there are these buildings. How is it so different?” These are all like drawings in empty space. The drawings are now different from before.
 
This is fundamentally a law of nature. And, subject to the needs of the human mind, to our desires, pursuits, everything will have changed completely. The Buddha taught the Dharma to help is recognize that everyone intrinsically has Buddha-nature. In its natural state, what does scenery of our mind look like? But with the ignorance and afflictions that we acquired later, we have caused the natural scenery of this state to continually change. It is already different from the past. This is what the Buddha wanted us to understand. All things are impermanent and change constantly. This is how the world is.
 
So, we must earnestly find a way to return to our mind’s natural scenery. Thus, we say, “He teaches without teaching anything, therefore this can benefit all things.” If we do not understand the principles, but constantly have thoughts of desire, then in accord with the workings of the world, we will constantly change, in a way that causes our society to go astray; it will be completely different. People with knowledge, those who call themselves intellectuals, [also] follow the changes of the world. They are constantly influenced by external changes and cannot grasp their own natural state of mind. There are so many contradictions in them! Toward others, “You must do it this way.”
 
When they see others do something against the law, they still say, “What you are doing is correct, but you should make it even more correct.” What does it even mean for it to be more correct? However, “You have the power to do it; this is something that you are surely able to do. Other people are unable to do this; it is absolutely necessary that you do it now.” Yes! Others are unable to accomplish it, and even we cannot do it ourselves. But we say to other people, “You should be able to do this.”
 
This is also to teach without teaching anything. This is not the way that the Buddha taught us. When [these people] are faced with many things, they can talk without saying anything is this correct or incorrect? We already know this in our heart. The Buddha wanted us to clearly right from wrong, to be able to discern true and false. In the world, there are things that are very right and things that are very wrong. Things that are correct must be made more correct.
 
In doing them we must even better, because the Buddha-Dharma is endless, and spiritual practice continues without interruption. During the time that the Buddha taught the Dharma, for over 40 years, he used all kinds of methods to teach us. For the mistakes unenlightened beings make, He used the Five Precepts and [stories of] causes and conditions to alert us. Everyone has their own suffering and afflictions, but He still patiently guides all of us but He still patiently guides all of us.
 
The suffering in the world is caused by the accumulation of karmic conditions. We must prevent these karmic conditions. We must avoid creating such conditions; then naturally we will not experience this effect. We must strictly abide by our precepts. So, He talked about suffering and the precepts He analyzed the suffering in the world so as to help us understand the law of karma and to teach us to abide by the precepts. This was the first step of His teachings.
 
He also told us to be practice and practice the Ten Good Deeds, to cultivate blessings for humans or heavenly beings, blessings to be born a human or a heavenly being. Thus the Buddha taught according to capabilities. He gave us teachings so we can slowly see our way back and slowly draw near our nature of True Suchness.
 
Because our nature of True Suchness is pure, He began to teach us the precepts. Precepts can guard against wrongs and stop evil. They can prevent wrongdoings, so we will not be defiled again. Even if we begin with the Five Precepts, we must put effort into upholding them. This is what most lay practitioners do. Every one of us, all of us, as we start listening to the teachings, begin our spiritual practice with the Five Precepts and the Ten Good Deeds.
 
Next the Buddha taught the teachings of the Twelve Links of Cyclic Existence. Life is truly full of suffering, and this suffering is in the substance of our mind. In our mind we have the intrinsic nature of True Suchness. Then things began when we gave rise to a single deluded thought. Thus [the Buddha] taught the [Twelve] Links, how we are born into this life and what kind of process we go through, etc.. The Dharma the Buddha taught is like empty space, as vast and spacious as the universe. It encompasses all Dharma-realms of the universe, permeates the whole universe. When it is implemented, it is like the drawings in the air. Each of these drawings of the world, the mountains, seas, rivers and land, the natural states, etc. are all replete with the principles.
 
Doesn’t the Chapter on Medicinal Plants thoroughly explain the principles of all things in the world? So, these drawings in empty space are the scenery of our minds. Everyone’s nature of True Suchness, the Dharma, all return to the emptiness of the universe. We must understand this clearly. All the phenomena of people, matters and things on earth should be thoroughly understood by us.
 
This is what the Buddha taught us. Similarly, if we do not take good care of our mind, as external states are constantly changing, it will also become completely different. When nature is destroyed, the original scenery of the earth will change. So, we must put effort into listening to the Dharma taught by the Buddha.
 
Though He taught without teaching anything, whatever the Buddha taught, if we accept and apply it, naturally it can benefit all things. If after it is taught, we do not apply it, the Dharma still returns to a state of emptiness. It returns to being a principle. If we accept the principles, we will be able to use them to benefit things. When everyone accepts the Buddha-Dharma, it is this simple. In our daily living, as we [engage in] the Four Practice, naturally, “He transforms me and all others so we together realize the Bodhi-vow.”
 
As the Buddha taught, everyone has a “self” [your] “self” has desires [my] “self” also has desire. All of you also refer to yourselves as “me”; your “me” also has desires. I hope that by listening to the Buddha-Dharma, we can thoroughly understand and take the Buddha-Dharma into our mind to develop our wisdom-life, to increase our wisdom. This is what we desire. There are an infinite number of “me.” It is not just this one “me.” So, when Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior attained Buddhahood, everyone was very happy and they asked Him to expound the Dharma to “benefit me and all heavenly beings.” Heavenly beings and humans, all things in the world, are able to benefit. Thus “He transforms me and all others.”
 
“All others” refers to all things in the world, [including] heavenly beings, humans, as well as all sentient beings. For all sentient beings on Earth, if human beings engage in spiritual practice, then all sentient beings can feel at ease and safe. If we do not cultivate our minds, the weak will be eaten by the strong, and those with no strength bullied by those with more. So, we always hope that everyone is able to accept the Right Dharma taught by the Buddha. We spiritual practitioners have likewise accepted the Buddha’s teachings. So, we must have mutual respect for one another and praise one another.
 
In the past, there was a saying that, if those in the Sangha respect one another, the Buddha-Dharma will prosper in the world. Indeed, in an organization of practitioners, we should respect each other. And spiritual practitioners who live together should be grateful toward one another. For all the Dharma Masters [at the Abode], I often express my gratitude. Every day, when I go to the dining hall, I am very grateful! We have this great family that is spread all over the world. We have so many people who have extended their hands, formed their aspirations and willingly given of themselves. Thus, we are able to have this [place] that people all around the world call home. So, I am constantly grateful! This is all to help everyone be able to accept the Dharma. At this spiritual training ground for Bodhisattvas, we find ways to practice the Six Perfections and the Four Practices. This is to “together realize the Bodhi-vow.”
 
I myself and all of you are together in this spiritual training ground, and together we can realize the Bodhi-vow. “He used the Four Siddhantas to reveal teachings according to capabilities so all could listen, understand contemplate and practice.” Once the teachings are revealed, we listen, then [try to] understand. Then we must contemplate them and earnestly practice them! These are the Four Practices. We must often ask ourselves, “Have we begun to practice the Six Perfections?”
 
“He used the Four Siddhantas to reveal teachings according to capabilities.” Does everyone remember “the Four Siddhantas?” “The worldly life siddhanta” is for the world, “the individual siddhanta” is for human beings, and “the curative siddhanta” is for the greed, anger, arrogance and doubt of sentient beings. Whatever defilement they have in their mind, we are able to use the Dharma to treat it. In the end, the Buddha used the “supreme meaning siddhanta.” This is the Great Vehicle Dharma. He hoped that everyone can walk the Bodhisattva-path by going among people to train themselves, to form good affinities and to understand the ignorance, afflictions and delusion in the world.
 
We must be very clear and help others turn afflictions into Bodhi. I have been talking about this every day. I hope this can strengthen everyone’s understanding and memory. I hope everyone is very mindful of this. The supreme meaning is the One Vehicle. The Buddha hoped that everyone can truly be mindful and walk the Bodhisattva-path. We must walk forward on the Bodhi-path in order to reach the state of Buddhahood. This is a path we must go through, no matter how long it will take. This is because life after life, our mind has been covered by layers of afflictions. Now, we must start forming aspirations to eliminate as many afflictions as possible. We should not wait until future lifetimes. In this lifetime, we must eliminate all the afflictions, layer by layer. This is where we must engage in spiritual practice.
 
The previous sutra passage states, “The dark places within the lands of those worlds that the mighty light of the sun and moon was not able to illuminate all became clear and bright.
 
The Sun and the Moon are within our solar system. The Sun is always shining; it is always bright. But it is the workings of our own mind that have obstructed the light, this radiance. We unenlightened beings did this ourselves. If we created many afflictions and ignorance, or have severe negative karma, we will never be able to see the light. The light will be forever obstructed by these. So, it speaks of “The dark places within the lands of those worlds. Those whose minds are covered up by [afflictions] are unable to obtain the principles. They cannot listen to the Buddha-Dharma and cannot open the door to their minds. Naturally, the light is unable to shine in. So, the mighty light was not able to illuminate; “The [sun] and moon were not able to illuminate.” This light has always existed, but sentient beings closed the door with ignorance. Layer by layer, it is concealed by [ignorance]. So, if the ignorance is not eliminated, the light of the sun and moon are unable shine through. Then even if we listen to the Buddha-Dharma, it is like drawing in the air; it is the same as not having listened. In this way, the mighty light of the sun and moon, the true principles of the Buddha-Dharma have not entered our mind. With the Dharma, even if light cannot shine in, as long as the causes and conditions mature and the door of ignorance is opened that the true principles enter and everything becomes bright.
 
In the past, we never heard it, so we did not know that the Dharma is like this. After we hear it, we think “Oh, it is like this!” This way, all of a sudden, in this place, there are so many people. If we all take the Dharma to heart at once, [you say], “I have realized it,” [and he says], I also understand it.” They mutually realize and understand that they share the same mission and walk the Bodhisattva-path together. Facing the light, with their back toward the darkness, the darkness has already passed, and brightness is ahead of them.
 
If this is the case, “The sentient beings there could all see one another,” since in front of them it was all illuminated. And all said… This kind of brightness has already illuminated the places of darkness. See, for the people there, when the light shines through, many people suddenly appear in front of them. People who are in the darkness are unable to see if others are also in the darkness. Suddenly, they see each other, because of the light shining there, people are able to see one another. Why did all these people suddenly appear in here? These people have always been here, but covered by ignorance. Once ignorance is opened up, the light shines through, the light of our mind. We will be able to see the light.
 
This way, we can understand everyone, while others can also understand us. We are able to mutually understand one another. The ignorance and misunderstanding from the past had covered up our minds. Once we get of anger and hatred, we realize that others actually treat us well, that they are helping us to develop our strength. We can mutually help one another in the same way.
 
We clearly see people there, but we think they have nothing to do with us. Actually, this person has a lot to do with us. If we can understand one another, this is also called seeing one another. This is because we can realize the principles.
 
The following sutra passage says, “Moreover, the realms of His lands, the palaces of all heavens, and even the Brahma king’s palaces all quaked in six ways. The great light illuminated all universally and filled the entire world. It was superior to all heavenly light.”
 
This sutra passage next talks about the realms of His land and the palaces of all heavens. With “the realms of His lands,” what lands are we referring to? Of course this is from the time of Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha. That era was dust-inked kalpas ago, such a long time before. This was the land. There were all the heavens of the desire realm. In the Saha World that we are in now, there is also all the heavens of the desire realm, that of the Four Heavenly Kings, or Trayastrimsa, all the way to the floating heavens above.
 
In the sutra, many different worlds are mentioned. These are all unknown planets. On those planets, are there life forms, are there humans or heavenly beings? No matter, we are all within the Dharma-realms of the universe. Earth is also within the universe. If we think about it, we are also heavenly beings because we are also floating in the universe. For any planet or star, they are all floating in the universe, travelling their prescribed paths across space. So, the realms of His lands refers to the confines of our planet Earth. We have our planet Earth. Our planet Earth is the area that Sakyamuni Buddha vows to come to He was willing to come here, where the beings of the Five Destinies coexist, this Saha World, the world of endurance, because the environment in the world is like this. The environment on Earth was once very beautiful, but because of human beings’ discursive thoughts, we made it ugly, we damaged it. Because human beings’ minds do not follow rules, many interpersonal conflicts are caused and we create many calamities, pollute the atmosphere and more. This is also a world within the vast universe.
 
Dust-inked kalpas previously, in Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha’s era, I believe there must have been earth, sky, land, scenery, palaces and more. So, these are the realms of His lands; they include all of these places, “as well as the palaces in which all heavenly beings in the desire realm lived.”
 
In the sixth heaven of the desire realm, King Mara also hopes for more heavenly beings. But there are also some people whom King Mara worries about, those who are engaged in spiritual practice, and thus have already transcended samsara; they will not be born in the heavenly realm. [King Mara] worries that there will be fewer heavenly beings, so no matter where, King Mara will sometimes appear to disturb practitioners. This is often seen in the sutras.
 
In fact, where is this King Mara? He is in our mind! In everyone’s minds, in spiritual practitioners as well, we all have afflictions and ignorance that trouble us. These mara-states can cause people to go astray; when their pure minds disappear, desires and possessiveness will grow. Practitioners can also have a possessive mind! They may also be affected by maras of the mind, controlled by King Mara.
 
This King Mara we speak of is our afflictions; we all have them in our minds. When we want to engage in spiritual practice, we must eliminate these afflictions in our minds. So, we must put effort into being mindful. Thus, all the realms of the Buddha’s lands, as well as the palaces in which all heavenly beings in the desire realm lived, “even the Brahma kings’ palaces, all quaked in six ways” They all quaked in six ways, such as when the Buddha attained Buddhahood and when the Buddha expounded the Dharma. There would be these six kinds of quaking.
 
Quaking is just a word used to describe this. It is when the essence of our mind is shaken that we feel deeply moved. Then our ignorance can be transformed into a pure Bodhi-mind. These are the six kinds of quaking. They occur not only in the human world but “even the Brahma kings’ palaces,” that is, in the 18 levels of heaven. In the form realm, there are 18 levels of heaven. All quaked in six ways. How can we understand the 18 levels of heaven? This is not very important for us. The most important thing is that in our mind, we must eliminate our desires layer by layer. All quaked in six ways refers to the Buddha entering the womb, being born, becoming a monastic, attaining enlightenment, turn the Dharma-wheel and entering Parinirvana. These are the “six times [of quaking].” When the Dharma began to be taught in the world, “The earth quaked and radiance shone.” “Those with the affinities, even if far off in other places, also awakened. Those without the affinities even if close, still remained unaware.” Clearly, the Buddha-Dharma was now in the world, so the land turned from darkness to light. This is like the ground of our mind and the essence of our mind. In our minds, we must clearly discern right from wrong and distance ourselves from afflictions and ignorance.
 
We must have the flawless Dharma in our mind; when we take the Dharma to heart, we cannot let it leak away. “Those with the affinities, even if far off in other places, also awakened. Those without the affinities,” even if close, still remained unaware. Truly, with the Dharma, even if someone is far off in other places, they can take the principles to heart, are able to put them into practice, can give rise to reverence in their heart and understand [the Dharma]. But for people without affinities, even if close, even if right next to it, they will not respect the Dharma they hear and will be unable to take it to heart.
 
When our mind turns away from enlightenment, we turn toward objects of desire. We should turn away from desire toward awakening. For spiritual practitioners, all the past dust of ignorance must be shaken off. It must be completely eliminated. But while we are clearly within the pure principles that surround us, we still turn away from these principles, from the pure Dharma. In this way, we intentionally stir up afflictions. This is “turn from enlightenment toward desire.” We go against enlightenment, and thus, in the state of ignorance, we attract afflictions. If we truly have affinity with [the Dharma], naturally we will “turn away from desire towards enlightenment.” We will let go of our ignorance and return to our pure enlightened nature. So, it is a matter of whether we have the affinity or not.
 
Thus, the Buddha always wanted us to train ourselves by helping people. We must go among people and form good affinities. This means that we should not only care about whether we are right. If we forget about others and think that only we are right, we will not be able to form good affinities.
If we are unable to see the root of affliction, how can we completely eliminate afflictions to help ourselves return to purity? We must go among people; this way, we can see others’ mistakes and analyze the pure principles. We should be able to do this among people.
 
The Sutra of Infinite Meanings, as I have always told everyone, says that every person is like a sutra. So, infinite Dharma-doors will readily appear before us when we go among the people. Where else can we go find the Dharma?
 
Next, we will talk about how “The great light illuminated all universally and filled the entire world.” The six kinds of quaking alerted everyone’s mind. Everyone is about to fall asleep from listening, so the shaking will shock them. Then they will pay more attention. These six kinds of quaking are the shaking of the essence of mind. Immediately afterwards comes, “The great light illuminated all universally.” We must take this principle to heart.
 
“The great light illuminated all universally and filled the entire world. There was a great radiance universally illuminating all. It filled all of the worlds in the state of transformation.
 
All these states appear in the scenery of our mind. We are able to experience all of these worlds. “It was superior to all heavenly light. The Buddha’s radiant light surpasses all.” When the Buddha’s radiance shines, it surpasses all other things. “How can heavenly light be compared with it?” The Sun and Moon are not the only bright lights. Actually, the light of the Sun and the Moon can be covered by obstacles. However, the true principles of the Buddha-Dharma cannot be covered by obstacles. It is only our own ignorance that covers these true principles. No object can obstruct the light of the principles. It is our own ignorance that covers the light.
 
So, the Buddha-Dharma is everywhere. Its radiant shines on all places. I hope that everyone can constantly be mindful on the Bodhi-path. We move forward firmly in small steps. If every step is firm, naturally we can transform from ordinary people into noble beings and transform afflictions into Bodhi. I hope everyone can always be more mindful.
 

(Source: Da Ai TV – Wisdom at Dawn program – Explanation by Master Chen-Yen)
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20170119《靜思妙蓮華》大光普照勝諸天光 (第1005集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)
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