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 20170130《靜思妙蓮華》借有漏果作無漏因 (第1012集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)

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發表主題: 20170130《靜思妙蓮華》借有漏果作無漏因 (第1012集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)   周一 1月 30, 2017 6:23 am

20170130《靜思妙蓮華》借有漏果作無漏因 (第1012集) 
(法華經•化城喻品第七)

 
尋光明之源來意之至誠,光速自遠不惜光年之遙,天福非常自捨輕安之樂,淨梵靜慮修福而來供佛。
世尊甚希有,難可得值遇,具無量功德,能救護一切。天人之大師,哀愍於世間,十方諸眾生,普皆蒙饒益。《法華經化城喻品第七》
我等所從來,五百萬億國,捨深禪定樂,為供養佛故。我等先世福,宮殿甚嚴飾,今以奉世尊,惟願哀納受。《法華經化城喻品第七》 
⊙捨深禪定樂,為供養佛故:諸梵天王,皆住禪思一心,寂靜之樂;因佛光照,捨禪定樂,自遠而來,為供養佛。
⊙明來意之誠,自遠趨風,不惜光年之遙勞頓。天福非常,故捨禪之樂,而來為供佛故。
⊙我等先世福,宮殿甚嚴飾:我等之輩,以先世時修禪定福,今生梵天,所感宮殿,甚是嚴好。
⊙今以奉世尊,惟願哀納受:今以所乘天寶宮殿,奉獻世尊,惟願哀愍而納受之。求鑑其誠,以納其供。宮殿乃宿福所致,出己所享,上享於佛者,借有漏之果,作無漏之因。
 
【證嚴上人開示】
「尋光明之源來意之至誠,光速自遠不惜光年之遙,天福非常自捨輕安之樂,淨梵靜慮修福而來供佛。」
 
尋光明之源
來意之至誠
光速自遠
不惜光年之遙
天福非常
自捨輕安之樂
淨梵靜慮
修福而來供佛
 
這段文就是要來回應過去,我們一直說,大通智勝佛他說《法華經》,十六王子請法,法會之光照耀到東方世界,淨梵天,就是從東方開始,十方都看到這道光,尋光而來,來的地方都是很遠,五百萬億諸國土。所說的就是空間,橫遍的空間,很遠很長的空間,五百萬億諸國土,又多,又是遙遠,很多的宮殿,從很遙遠的地方而來。就是找這道光,循這道光,這個光明的來源,知道這是大覺,大覺在人間,所以這些梵天(王)、宮殿,都承光而來,就是要來找這道光的源頭。
 
我們說過了,光,這個光明就是道理。道理,對天人來說是至高無上的珍貴,是天人所尋找,一直要找的道理。有形的物質,他們已經享受很多了,再怎麼享受,他們知道天福也有享盡之時,唯有真理,真理是永恆。所以真理,那就如一道光明,他們就要找到這道光明,去找光的來源,就是理,道理的源頭。所以他們「尋光明之源」而來,「意之至誠」,是最虔誠的誠意,要來探尋道理的來源。
 
所以說「光速自遠」,很遠,光年,以光年來計算,是很遠。一光年是九兆四千多億(公里),這就是很很多,只是一光年,何況五百萬億(諸國土),你們想,這是有多長、多廣、多遠啊!我們常常說,四大,應該要說五大,四大,除了地、水、火、風,當中還有「空」,就是遍虛空法界,那是很廣、很大。何況遍虛空法界,不是一個太陽系,還有其他。就如科學家所發現到的,第二顆地球,第二顆地球距離我們的地球,是一千四百光年之遠。
 
光年是算距離,五百萬億的梵天宮殿,這個數字我們就知道,到底是多少、多遠、多廣,所以說「光速自遠,不惜光年之遙」。道理這樣過去,速度很快。在佛的世界,大通智勝佛的世界,他將要轉法輪,這道光速多麼快,多麼遠啊!這麼遙遠的地方,卻是不惜辛勞,這些梵天,還是共同聚集,用很快的時間,找到這道光來聚集,這是表示很誠意。
 
梵天,那就是「天福非常」,天福是很大,才有辦法生到梵天。在梵天,他們就是「自捨輕安之樂」,他能在梵天享受,享受著他物質的快樂,何苦呢?只是為了一個道理,他們很快速從東方向西推尋,十方共聚到佛的道場來。
 
像這樣,「自捨輕安之樂」,他們可以好好的,在他們的宮殿享受,用這麼長的時間,經過這麼大的空間,所以他們必定要用很「光速」,光的速度,那就是很快,「自遠不惜,光年之遙」。多遠啊?算光年的,那麼的遠,又是五百萬億,梵天宮殿,各距離都很長、很遠,這麼開闊,大的距離,要集合向這個地方,佛所說法的道場,可見這就是虔誠。「天福非常」,很大的天福。不過,天福再怎麼大都不是永恆,所以他們願意,捨棄椠那裡享受的天福,雖然輕安快樂,他們也願意捨。
 
所以「淨梵靜慮,修福而來供佛」。在梵天,就是清淨無染的世界,有色界,最乾淨的、最無欲清淨的梵天,那就是至高無上的梵天。色界,有物質看得到的色界,他們最清淨無欲的地方,完全在修靜慮,他們所享受的是禪悅,禪,快樂的境界,這是梵天的生活。
 
禪,也叫做思惟修,也叫做靜慮,都叫做禪。所以他們放棄了禪悅,很歡喜,禪的輕安快樂,這樣而來供佛。能夠生在梵天,清淨無染的世界,他們是在人間的時候修行,不只是造福,又是持戒(修定),持戒、造福極滿了,所以才能生在梵天,這樣在那裡享受。卻也是為了追尋道理之光,這麼遙遠的地方也來了,可見道理,是諸天所尊重、所恭敬。
 
所以,有一天,佛陀在天將黎明時,在那個地方(靜)坐,忽然間有一位天人,從忉利天,他捧著花,花,很莊嚴來供佛。天人來時,周圍有一道瑞光,大家,僧團都感覺到了,為什麼會有這一道瑞光,集中在佛的周圍呢?這些比丘看到了,境界不可思議,又看到佛陀微微的笑容,大家覺得很奇怪,到底這個時刻,佛陀的心境,周圍的瑞相是怎麼來的?大家共同就來問佛了。
 
佛陀就緩緩地將眼睛睜開,看到這些弟子,已經圍繞在周圍了,佛陀,釋迦牟尼佛就說:在附近有一群婆羅門,他們在一個清池邊,舉行一個花會,盛花會。就是去採集最美的花,來到花池邊,大家來展示各種花的美。這是有錢人、有福的人,他們每年的集會,就是在一個清池,境界很美的地方,圍繞在淨池邊,要欣賞來自各地不同的花。
 
其中有一位婆羅門,請一位採花人去遙遠的深山,要去採花,採來最奇巧的花。這位採花人他真的就去了,從山上採來的花,是這麼的奇特,種種不同的花,他盛在花盆裡,很高興要拿回來。到路上就是遇到佛陀,看到佛那時候起了歡喜心,佛陀三十二相,行路如風,看到,遠遠看到就很高興,由不得自己就向佛的面前,向佛獻花。
 
他的心這樣想,要遇到佛、供佛,很不容易。現在能見到佛,我能親自來獻花供佛,這個機會難得,我供佛之後,我可以趕快再回到山上,再去採花。花再採就有了,要供佛的機會是很不簡單,所以他把握當下,及時獻花供佛。
 
這個人供佛之後,佛陀為他祝福,歡喜,趕緊再回到山上去,開始爬樹採花。到了樹上,一不小心,他從樹上掉下來,就往生了。因為供佛這念很歡喜的心,往生,所以乘這個福,他生在忉利天。所以他自己覺得,我能捨凡間堪忍的世界,轉生,剎那之間就化生在天堂,所看到的,天,境界之美、莊嚴,到處的花都是這麼的,盛開而美麗。他感恩,是託佛陀的福,佛為他說法,他歡喜,就這樣剎那之間,他往生就化生在天堂。為了報佛恩,所以將天花奉上佛陀,在一大早天未亮的這個時候。
 
所以周圍的人,會感受到天人來供花那種瑞相,雖然其他的人沒看到,不過佛陀感受到了。天人供佛,比丘大家感覺到的是瑞相之光,所以來請教佛陀。佛陀說,就是不多久這個時間裡,遇到採花人的供養,這位採花人已經生天了。所以大家不可思議,這種發心供養,歡喜的心,得佛教法這個福,實在是無可限量!聽到佛陀這樣說,看到佛陀的禪悅,在定中受供的那種歡喜,定中受供,所以像是在微笑一樣,這是比丘所看到的瑞相。
 
道理和這個一樣。大通智勝佛,同樣要轉法輪那時候,那種光明的照耀,梵天捨棄了輕安禪悅的快樂,「淨梵靜慮修福」,他們這樣享受放捨,就來到大通智勝佛面前來供佛,這是一個很開闊、很遠的世界,這樣來供佛,道理相近。
 
釋迦佛是娑婆世界的現在佛,大通智勝佛,是在什麼樣的世界呢?我們無法感受得到,但是,是一個壽很長的世界,這是在佛經裡表示出來。這就可見,我們瞭解,佛陀威德、真理光明,能照射遠方,遠方能夠感受到道理,所以這道理之遙。我們要知道,道理沒有空間可隔礙,道理是虛空法界都是很普遍,所以能感受到,道理的來源在哪裡,那才是很遙遠的地方。
 
就如大通智勝佛,對我們現在來說,他是幾劫呢?佛陀說,無央數劫,無始的無始以前的無始劫,那就是很遙遠。所以道理來自很遙遠的源頭,所以要用光速、光年,這麼遠的世界。所以我們要好好珍惜,道理是無處不在,但是道理的源頭來自遙遠。所以我們現在要追求的道理,現在已經到末法這個時代了,我們懂得追求道理,那個源頭又更遠了,所以我們要懂得珍惜。
 
所以前面的(經)文這樣說,「世尊甚希有,難可得值遇,具無量功德,能救護一切。天人之大師,哀愍於世間,十方諸眾生,普皆蒙饒益。」
 
世尊甚希有
難可得值遇
具無量功德
能救護一切
天人之大師
哀愍於世間
十方諸眾生
普皆蒙饒益
《法華經化城喻品第七》
 
因為天(壽)再怎麼長久,福再多,他都有享盡之時,所以「非常」,不是常。他們還是要追求道理,得到道理才是真正得救,不會又在六道輪迴。這是梵天所追求的道理,才會說「天人之大師,哀愍於世間」。唯有佛知道天也非究竟,所以需要佛的道理來救護,不必再來人天或者是六道輪迴,所以請佛,如(天人之)大師,「哀愍於世間,十方諸眾生,普皆蒙饒益」。只要有道理,就能利益群生。
 
接下來的(經)文這樣說,「我等所從來,五百萬億國,捨深禪定樂,為供養佛故。我等先世福,宮殿甚嚴飾,今以奉世尊,惟願哀納受。」
 
我等所從來
五百萬億國
捨深禪定樂
為供養佛故
我等先世福
宮殿甚嚴飾
今以奉世尊
惟願哀納受
《法華經化城喻品第七》
 
「我等所從來」,自我介紹。來到佛的面前,向佛恭敬頂禮,同時獻供,同時繞佛,這都是表示最虔誠的敬佛,之後,他們坐下來,就要自我介紹。「我等所從來」,我們是來自很遠很遠的地方,很遼闊的世界,有五百萬億國,所經過五百萬億國,各個梵天(王)、宮殿,全都集合在佛的面前了。
 
所以橫遍空間所經過的國土,有遠有近,五百萬億,五百萬億的國土,這就是很廣、很長遠,距離以現代人來說叫做光年,這麼長,無法計算的公里數,很長、很廣、很遠。這個大空間,橫遍很廣。所以「其來自廣大遙遠」,來的地方就是那麼遠,這麼開闊的地方,遠,有五百萬億國這麼遠,全都到了。
 
每一個梵宮殿都是天子,全都「捨深禪定樂,為供養佛故」。
 
捨深禪定樂
為供養佛故:
諸梵天王
皆住禪思一心
寂靜之樂
因佛光照
捨禪定樂
自遠而來
為供養佛
 
這些梵天王,他們都是「住禪思一心」,人人都是在靜思惟中,在靜慮中,很輕安、很自在。這樣在享受的境界,他們這樣捨棄了,「捨深禪(定樂)」,就是(捨棄)最高的禪定,那個境界的快樂,那就是叫做輕安自在的快樂。
 
因為一道的佛光,光,光速,這道理,因為道理,所以這個道理之光的照耀。我們大家為了要推尋,這個道理的源頭而來,所以這樣捨禪定樂。為了要找道理的源頭,所以我們大家捨棄了這分輕安自在,這種的快樂,從遠方而來,只有一個目標,就是為供養佛。
 
這段的(經)文,完全都是在敘述梵天的誠意,來意是很虔誠,至誠,無上的至誠。所以他們「自遠趨風」,從在遙遠的地方。「趨風」的意思就是說,用如風速一樣的,很快地,在那個地方,為了找這個光,他就是風速,很快,就是「不惜光年之遙勞頓」。「光年之遙」就是很長很遠。這樣,用快速的時間,這樣雖然是很辛苦,與他們在禪定,靜靜地在那個地方,輕安自在,為了要推尋光的來源,他們就要用很快速,經過了這麼長距離的地方而來。
 
所以說,他們是因為,「天福非常」。這個「非常」,就是不像平常的福,另外一個意,意思,就是也不是永恆。雖然異於平常人的福,平常人再怎麼樣的福,都沒有梵天那麼大的福。所以異於諸天人間的福,就是大很多的福。但是再怎麼樣的大,也無法是永恆,唯有真理是永恆的。所以他們用最誠懇的誠意,乘著風速而到遙遠的地方,來見佛、供佛,這種的誠意。所以他們捨禪定之樂而來供佛。
 
明來意之誠
自遠趨風
不惜光年之遙勞頓
天福非常
故捨禪之樂
而來為供佛故
 
再說「我等先世福,宮殿甚嚴飾」。向佛表達,我們大家都是在梵宮,梵天,生在梵天是因為,就是過去「先世」,就是為人時,他們有接受到道理,懂得修行造福(修定),所以他們生在梵天。所以先世之福,生在梵天,又是在那個地方,心都很清淨,沒有欲想,沒有淫欲、不清淨的欲念,但是物資,所享受的福很多,所以這是禪。
 
禪就是表示清淨無染著,是身心所享受,心安身輕,這叫做輕安。這種輕安自在的福,就是修禪定的福,這就是梵天他們生活的境界,這是梵天所感在享受的宮殿裡,這是表示很莊嚴,很清淨,梵天的境界。這是梵天向佛自我介紹。
 
我等先世福
宮殿甚嚴飾:
我等之輩
以先世時修禪定福
今生梵天
所感宮殿
甚是嚴好
 
 
「今以奉世尊,惟願哀納受」。這時候,用最虔誠的心,將我所有的福,我都帶來供養佛。所以「今以奉世尊」,將那麼莊嚴,所有的福,福報都來供佛。這就是他們禪定的境界,所有的天福,他們願意來供佛。所以「惟願哀納受」,那就是自己很謙卑,對佛很恭敬,所以才叫做「哀納受」。請佛憐憫我們,請佛要接受我們的供養,這是我們的誠意。就是這樣的表示。
 
所以「今以所乘天寶宮殿」,這些都要誠意的供養,奉獻給世尊,請佛陀要納受。文字是這樣,意是至高無上的虔誠。這種就是表示,求佛來鑑定我們的誠意,我們真的是身心奉獻,清淨的梵宮殿,我們都願意奉獻,請佛來鑑定我們的誠意。這就是一直,用我們的話說,就是掏心肝,將我的心肝全都捧出來給佛看,「你看,我是真的很誠意」。所以叫做「求鑑其誠」,要表達他們的最誠意,請佛來納受他們這分誠意。
 
「宮殿乃宿福所致,出己所享受」。自己修,過去生,累世一直修善行、持淨戒,過去生就是一直這樣修淨行,修福、修淨戒。就如緣覺、聲聞,他們要去除煩惱,要去除煩惱,獨善其身,就是修淨戒。像這樣,雖然造福,就是只有求得福,有付出,有所求的福,而且,是持淨戒。還未到發大心、立大願,無所求去付出,還沒有到這樣的境界。所以他們雖然在人間造很多福,也有守戒律,但是他們所受報的是梵天的報,就是很有福的報。
 
所以他們還未斷生死,天福享盡,還要再墮落。這個道理他們瞭解,所以才會一心,要再去求道理的源頭,能到達斷生死的境界。這就是梵天王他們最虔誠的心,所以求佛哀憫接受他們的虔誠。這就是佛,他是超越了梵天的境界,是得到真理的大覺者。梵天還沒,還無法得到道理究竟,所以他們再來供養,求佛轉法輪開示。
 
所以這是他們過去生所修的,自己所享受,得到梵天的福。現在「上享於佛者」,現在來供佛,就是希望佛陀究竟的真理,能來開示。所以「借有漏之果」,他們現在是得到,梵天享受的果報,這個梵天的物資,借重梵天物資來供佛,這叫做「有漏之果」。已經享受在梵天,但是天福有盡,所以叫做有漏,福若享盡要再墮落。所以「借有漏之果」,就是「有漏」這個福,他會有享盡(的)這個福,所以來供佛,所以叫做「有漏之果」,「作無漏之因」,來求道理、求法。
 
我若能得到真正道理入心,真正能覺悟,這樣我才是到究竟,究竟離開生死輪迴,所以叫做「作無漏之因」。現在來供佛,是借有形的果實來供佛,這也是要做未來,我能覺悟成佛的因。到,能夠覺悟成佛,才是到無漏。所以說「借有漏之果,作無漏之因」,希望大家聽懂。
 
今以奉世尊
惟願哀納受:
今以所乘天寶宮殿
奉獻世尊
惟願哀愍而納受之
求鑑其誠
以納其供
宮殿乃宿福所致
出己所享
上享於佛者
借有漏之果
作無漏之因
 
有東西能趁這個因緣來供佛,供佛之後,聽佛說法能覺悟,瞭解真理,這就是為了求道理,道理比物質,他們更重視。所以學佛修行,供養三寶最重要,因為三寶已經是在,究竟覺悟這個道理路上,在這個菩提道上,沒有偏差的方向,這就是三寶。佛,佛寶、法寶、僧寶,有了佛的覺悟,才有法能流傳。這就如一道光,這道光就如菩提的道路,要有僧團,法才有辦法千古不失,才能這樣一直流傳下去。所以要供養三寶最重要,切不可誤為供養只是天福之福,輕視而不為。
 
其實,我們對三寶要恭敬。不要認為,我若是聽道理,聽道理才是究竟,我就是求法就好了,我難道還要再修其他嗎?不對!法全都要修。所以佛陀要我們入人群,不論是佛法中的三寶,我們也要恭敬,在人群中,我們要用平等的修行,無間修、無餘修,我們要長時(修),我們就是要不斷,用恭敬尊重這樣來修行。所以不必分別,真理本來就是在修供中,修行供養中得來的,這才叫做真修行。
 
所以學佛要用心,在日常生活裡,真正的道理就是很普遍,人人本具。是我們自己的無明覆蓋了,是我們的疑惑,將道理拉開、拉長了,長到什麼程度呢?是算光年的五百萬億,那麼長、廣。這都是說橫的空間,距離,道理離我們這麼遠了,所以,道理,那就是我們要追求的。梵天,他用趨風之速,就是用很快的風速。其實道理是光速,真正的真理是光速,要追求道理,梵天他們用他們最快,用趨風,就是風速。其實風速跟不上光速,這就是道理。
 


哪怕是梵天,他們雖然在四禪的享受,境界已經輕安自在了,但是福若享盡,還是不由自己,還是同樣要墮落三途,所以他們必定要去追求道理。但是風速與光速,還有一段離很遠的距離。何況我們凡夫呢?所以我們求道之心要很懇切,日常生活中,無不是在道理中,是我們自己的無明惑,這樣拉開了距離,距離一開,就是那麼長、那麼遠。所以我們既然現在,在修行的境界中,我們要把握當下,時時要多用心啊!


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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: Cultivate Flawless Seeds through Flawed Fruits (借有漏果作無漏因)
Date: January.30. 2017
 
“Searching for the source of the radiance, their intent in coming was of utmost sincerity. The light speedily came from afar, yet they did not begrudge the distance of light-years. Their heavenly blessings were extraordinary, yet they set aside the joy of ease and peace. In pure Brahma heavens, they meditated and cultivated blessings in order to make offerings to the Buddha.”
 
This passage is in response to the recent [teachings]. We have been talking about how Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha taught the Lotus Sutra. The 16 princes requested the Dharma, and the radiance from the Dharma-assembly illuminated the worlds in the east. In the Brahma heavens, starting from the east, all those in the ten directions saw this radiance and came seeking [the source of] the light. They all came from very faraway places, throughout 500 trillion lands. This is describing the space that was covered; it was very vast and wide. 500 trillion [lands] is so many, and they are so far away.
 
So many came with their palaces from very distant places, just to look for [the source of] this radiance. They followed the light back to its source and thus knew the light was from a Great Enlightened One appearing in the world. So, these Brahma kings, along with their palaces, all came because of this light, wanting to find the source of the light.
 
We have said that this radiance, this light, represents the principles, which for heavenly beings are unsurpassed precious treasures, exactly the principles that the heavenly beings had always been seeking. They already enjoyed much tangible material wealth. But not matter how much they enjoyed themselves, they knew there would be a time when their heavenly blessings would be depleted. Only the true principles are everlasting. So, true principles were like that radiance. They wanted to seek out the radiance, to find the source of the light, which means the source of the principles.
 
Thus, they came “searching for the source of the radiance,” and “their intent was of utmost sincerity.” It was with utmost reverence and sincerity that they came to seek the source of the principles. So, it says, “The light speedily came from afar.”
 
The distance was calculated by light-years; it was very far. A light year is more than 9.4 trillion kilometers. This is very, very far. This is only one light year, to say nothing of 500 trillion [lands]. Think about how long, how vast and how distant this is! We constantly mention the four elements, or rather, the five elements. Aside from the four elements of earth, water, fire and air, there is also “space,” which is what pervades the universe. This is so vast and broad that it pervades the whole universe. It is not one solar system; there are many others.
 
For example, scientists have discovered that there is a second Earth. The distance of this second Earth from our Earth is 1400 light-years. Light-years are used to calculate long distances. As for the 500 trillion palaces in Brahma heavens, from this number, we can imagine how many, how far and how vast this is. So, “The light speedily came from afar, yet they did not begrudge the distance of light years.”
 
The principles came to them at a fast speed. In the world of the Buddha of Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha, when He was about to turn the Dharma-wheel, that radiance traveled so fast and so far to reach such distant places. Yet, they did not begrudge the trouble of [travelling] from places so far away; these Brahma kings still gathered together and, in a very short amount of time, found this radiance and gathered there. This represents their great sincerity. Those in the Brahma heavens have “extraordinary heavenly blessings.” Only those with very great heavenly blessings are able to be born in the Brahma heavens. In the Brahma heavens, “they set aside the joy of ease and peace.” In the Brahma heavens, they are able to enjoy the pleasures of their material wealth. Why go to such trouble, for just a principle, of speedily travelling from the east to the west in their search? Those from all of the ten directions gathered in the Buddha’s place of enlightenment.
 
Thus, “They set aside the joy of ease and peace.” They could have enjoyed such pleasures in their palaces, but they spent a very long time to pass over a very great distance. So, they needed to travel at the speed of light. The speed of light is very fast. “They came from afar yet they did not begrudge the distance of light years.” How far was it? It was so far that it had to be calculated in light-years. And they had to pass over 500 trillion [lands].
 
Distances among the palaces in the Brahma heavens were very great, very far. Even across such a vast and great distance, they wanted to gather in this place, the Dharma-assembly where He was teaching. It is clear that they were reverent. “Their heavenly blessings were extraordinary.” They had such great heavenly blessings, but however great their heavenly blessings were, they were not everlasting. Therefore, they were willing to set aside the heavenly blessings they enjoyed there. Though they were joyful, at ease and at peace, they were still willing to give all this up.
 
So, “In pure Brahma heavens, they meditated and cultivated blessings in order to make offerings to the Buddha.” The Brahma heavens are a pure and undefiled world. In the form realm, the Brahma heavens are the cleanest, most free of desires and purest. These are the supreme Brahma heavens.
 
In the form realm, where material objects are still visible, these are the places most pure and free of desires.
Everyone there practices meditation. What they take pleasure in is the joy of meditation. In their life, they take pleasure in mediation. This happy state is the life of those in the Brahma heavens.
 
Meditation is also called “cultivating contemplation,” as well as concentration (Samadhi). So, they set aside the joy of meditation, that happiness, the joy of being at ease and peace in meditation, in order to make offerings to the Buddha. They were able to be born in the Brahma heavens, in a pure and undefiled world, because they had practiced when in the human world. They had not only created blessings but also upheld precepts. Having upholding precepts and created blessings to a great extent, they were able to be born in the Brahma heavens and enjoy such pleasures there.
 
Yet in order to seek the light of the principles, they came from such faraway places. It is clear that the principles are respected and revered by all heavenly beings. So, one day, just before dawn, the Buddha sat tranquilly in that place. Suddenly a heavenly being came from Trayastrimas Heaven holding flowers and, in a dignified manner, offered them to the Buddha. When the heavenly being came, there was an auspicious light surrounding him. Everyone in the Sangha felt it. Why was there this auspicious light gathering around the Buddha?
 
These bhiksus saw this and felt this was an inconceivable state. They also saw the Buddha’s faint smile. Everyone felt that it was very strange. At this moment, what exactly was the Buddha’s state of mind and where did this auspicious sign come from? They all came together to ask the Buddha. The Buddha slowly opened his eyes and saw that these disciples had already surrounded him.
 
The Buddha, Sakyamuni Buddha, then said, “Nearby, there is a group of Brahmins holding a flower festival by a clear pond.” They had collected the most beautiful flowers and came to banks of the pond to display all kinds of beautiful flowers.
 
This was a festival that the wealthy, the blessed, would hold every year. It was held by a clear pond, a place with very beautiful scenery. People would surround the clear pond to enjoy different flowers from many places. Among those people, there was a Brahmin who had asked a flower picker to go to a distant and remote mountain to pick the most exquisite flowers for him.
 
The flower picker really went, and the flowers that he picked from the mountain were quite singular. He put various kinds of flowers in a vase and happily returned with his harvest. On his way back, he encountered the Buddha, and on seeing the Buddha, he gave rise to joy. The Buddha possessed the 32 Marks and walked like the wind. Seeing Him from afar, the man was very happy. Unable to help himself, he came before the Buddha and offered the flowers to Him. He thought to himself, “To be able to encounter the Buddha and make offerings to Him is not easy at all. Now I can see the Buddha and personally present flowers as offerings to him. This is such a rare opportunity. After I have made offerings to the Buddha, I can quickly go back to the mountain to pick flowers; I can always pick more flowers, but the chance to make offerings to the Buddha is not easy to come by at all.”
 
So, he seized the moment and immediately presented the flowers as offerings to the Buddha. After this man made his offering to the Buddha, the Buddha gave him His blessings. He was happy and quickly went back to the mountain. He began to climb a tree to pick flowers. After he reached the treetop, he was careless and fell from the tree to his death. Because of his joyful mind after having made offerings to the Buddha, after he died, he journeyed on these blessings and was reborn in Trayastrimsa Heaven.
 
He reflected on how he had been able to leave this world of unenlightened beings, this world that must be endured, and in an instant, be transformation-born in heaven. There, all he saw were beautiful and magnificent states in that heaven, and everywhere all the flowers were in full bloom and beautiful. He was grateful; he owed this to the Buddha’s blessing. The Buddha taught him the Dharma, and he was happy. Thus in that instant, when he died, he was transformation-born in heaven. In order to repay the Buddha’s grace, he presented these celestial flowers to Him at this time early in the morning before dawn. This was why people around the Buddha felt the auspicious sign of this heavenly being coming to offer flowers.
 
Although the others could not see him, the Buddha felt this heavenly being making offerings to Him. What the bhiksus felt was an auspicious sign of a radiance, so they came to ask the Buddha, and He said that it was not long ago that He had received this flower picker’s offerings. Now this man had already been reborn in heaven.
 
So, everyone thought it was inconceivable. This man formed an aspiration to make an offering and thus felt joyful. The blessings of receiving the Buddha’s teaching are truly limitless. They heard the Buddha speak of this and saw the Buddha’s joy of meditation and the joy of receiving offerings in Samadhi. He had received offerings while in Samadhi, so He seemed to be smiling.
 
This was the auspicious sign that all bhiksus saw. The principles [here] are is same as this. When Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha was about to turn the Dharma-wheel, likewise, His radiance shone brightly. The Brahma kings abandoned the pleasure of being at ease in the joy of meditation.
“In pure Brahma heavens, they meditated and cultivated blessings.” They abandoned their enjoyment and came before Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior to make offerings. They came from a vast and distant world to make offerings and draw near the principles.
 
Sakyamuni Buddha is the Saha World’s present Buddha. What kind of world was Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha in? We have no way to experience it. Yet, it was a world where people’s lifespans were very long. This is expressed in the Buddhist sutras. This is clear for us to understand. The Buddha’s might and virtue and the bright radiance of the principles can reach faraway places.
 
Even those far away can feel the principles. So, the principles have a far reach. We must know that the principles cannot be kept away by any space. They exist throughout the entire universe. So, the Brahma kings could sense where the source of principles was; it was indeed in a very faraway place.
 
For example, how many kalpas before us was Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha? The Buddha said there were countless kalpas, Beginningless kalpas before Beginningless Time. That means very far away. So, the principles come from a source. In a very faraway place. It is so distant that it must be calculated by light speed and light years. It is such a faraway world.
 
So, we must earnestly cherish this. The principles exist everywhere, but their source lies in the distance. So, as we are seeking the principles, we are already in the era of Dharma-degeneration. We realize that we must pursue the principles, yet their source is even farther away. Therefore, we must know to cherish them.
 
Thus, in the previous passage, it says, “A World-Honored One is profoundly rare and difficult to encounter. You are replete with infinite merits and virtues and are able to save and protect all Great teacher of heavenly beings and humans, have compassion for the world and all sentient beings of the ten directions, so that all will universally receive benefits.
 
However long heavenly beings’ lifespans are, however many blessings they have, they will eventually be depleted. So, their [blessings] were extraordinary and impermanent, thus they still wanted to pursue the principles. Only by attaining the principles would they truly be able to be saved and be free from transmigration in the Six Realms. These were the principles that those in the Brahma heavens were seeking.
 
This is why they said, “Great teacher of heavenly beings and humans, have compassion for the world.” Only the Buddha could help them. They knew the heavens were not the ultimate, so they needed the Buddha’s principles to save and protect them from being reborn again as humans or heavenly beings, or transmigrating in the Six Realms. So, they asked the Buddha, the great teacher of heavenly beings and humans, to “have compassion for the world and all sentient beings of the ten directions, so that all will universally receive benefits.” As long as the principles are available, all beings can be benefited.
 
In the next passage, it says, “We who have come from the 500 trillion lands have set aside the joy of deep Samadhi in order to make offerings to the Buddha. With blessings from our former existences, our palaces are magnificently adorned. Now we present them to the World-Honored One, only wishing that You mercifully accept them.
 
“We who have come” was how they first introduced themselves. They had come before the Buddha and prostrated with reverence, and at the same time they made offerings to and circumambulated the Buddha. These show the utmost reverence for the Buddha. Then, they sat down and introduced themselves. “We who have come” means they had come from very distant places, a vast area covering 500 trillion lands. After passing through 500 trillion lands, the Brahma kings and their palaces all gathered before the Buddha. So, in this area of space, among the lands they had passed over, some were near and some far; there were 500 trillion lands. 500 trillion lands covers such a vast area, such a great distance. This distance, in modern terms, is light-years. It is so far, a number of kilometers impossible to calculate. Very far, vast and distant, that is the space which [these lands] cover. So they “came from a vast and great distance away. The place they came from was so far away and such a vast space, as far as 500 trillion lands away, and they had all came.
 
In every palace was a heavenly king, and all “had set aside the joy of deep Samadhi in order to make offerings to the Buddha.”
 
[They] set aside the joy of deep Samadhi in order to make offerings to the Buddha: all these Brahma kings abide single-mindedly in Samadhi and the joy of stillness and tranquility. Because of the Buddha’s radiance, they set aside the joy of Samadhi and came from afar in order to make offerings to the Buddha.
 
This Brahma kings all “abide single-mindedly in Samadhi.” Every one of them was in calm contemplation; they were at ease and free in meditation. They took pleasure in being in such a state. Yet they gave this up. “[We] have set aside the joy of deep Samadhi.” This means they gave up the joy of beings in the state of highest Samadhi. That is the joy of being free and at ease.
 
This was because of a ray of the Buddha’s light, which arrived at the speed of light. This was because of the principles. Since the light of the principles shone brightly, they all came wanting to explore and seek out the source of the principles. Therefore they set aside the joy of deep Samadhi. In order to seek the source of the principles, they all let go of this joy of being at ease and free and came from afar with only one goal, which was to make offerings to the Buddha.
 
This passages entirely describes the sincerity of the Brahma kings. Their intent in coming was very reverent; they had utmost reverence and sincerity. So, they came from afar like the wind. They came from faraway places. “Like the wind” means they very quickly, like the speed of the wind. They came to this place to seek out the radiance; they were as swift as the wild and “did not begrudge the trouble of traveling the light years of distance.”
 
“Light years of distance” is very far. Yet they [crossed it] in a very short time. Although this was quite difficult [in contrast] to when they were in Samadhi, sitting quietly in that place, at ease and free, in order to seek the source of the radiance, they wanted to very swiftly pass through this place across such a distance.
 
So, this was because “Their heavenly blessings were extraordinary.” The word “extraordinary” means their blessings were unusual. It can be read another way, which means that they were also impermanent. Their blessings were usual compared to those of ordinary people. No matter how great ordinary people’s blessings, they never equal those of the Brahma heavens. So, these are different from the blessings of other heavenly beings and humans. They are much, much greater.
 
Yet, however great they are, they can never be everlasting. Only true principles are everlasting. So, with utmost reverence and sincerity, they traveled with the speed of the wind to a faraway place to see and make offerings to the Buddha. This was their sincere intent. They set aside the joy of Samadhi in order to make offerings to the Buddha.
 
This explains that their intent in coming was sincere, and they came from afar at the speed of the wind and did not begrudge the trouble of traveling the light years of distance. Their heavenly blessings were extraordinary, yet they set aside the of Samadhi in order to come to make offerings to the Buddha.
 
Next, they said, “With blessings from our former existences, our palaces are magnificently adorned.” They expressed to the Buddha that they all lived in Brahma palaces. They were born in the Brahma heavens because in their “former existences,” which means when they were humans, they had accepted the principles and knew to practice and create blessings. Thus, they were born in the Brahma heavens. So, due to blessings from their former existences, they were born in the Brahma heavens, and in that place, their hearts were pure, free from desires. They were free from sexual desires, from any impure desires. Yet their material wealth and the blessings they enjoyed were plentiful. This was their meditative state.
 
This means a pure and undefiled state of enjoyment in both body and mind. Being at ease and at peace means the mind is at peace and the body at ease. The blessing of being at peace and ease comes from meditation; they cultivated the blessings of Samadhi. This is the state in which those beings of the Brahma heavens lived. This was what beings in the Brahma heavens received in response and enjoyed in their palaces.
 
This means the state of the Brahma heavens is very magnificent and pure. This is how the Brahma kings introduced themselves to the Buddha.
 
With blessings from our former existences, our palaces are magnificently adorned: We have all cultivated blessings of Samadhi in previous lifetimes and were thus reborn in the Brahma heavens. The palaces we received in response are truly magnificent and wonderful.
 
“Now we present them to the World-Honored One, only wishing that You mercifully accept them.” At this time, with utmost reverence, they brought all their blessings to make offerings to the Buddha. So, “Now we present them to the World-Honored One” They presented all their magnificent blessings as offerings to the Buddha. This is their state of Samadhi. With all their heavenly blessings, they were willing to make offerings to the Buddha, “only wishing that You mercifully accept them.”
 
This means they were very humble and very reverent to the Buddha. Therefore, it says, “mercifully accept them.” They asked that the Buddha have mercy on them and accept their offerings. This was their sincerity. This is how they expressed themselves. “They now used the palaces of heavenly treasures that they journeyed on.” These are all offerings sincerely presented to the World-Honored One in hopes He would accept them. This is what it says in the passage. Their intent was of supreme reverence. This expresses that they entreated the Buddha to examine their sincerity; they were truly offering body and mind. They were all willing to offer their pure Brahma palaces and asked the Buddha to examine their sincerity. They kept, to use our figure of speech, “baring their hearts;” they took their hearts out for the Buddha to see. “Look! We are truly very sincere.” So, it says that they “requested that He examine their sincerity. They wanted to express their utmost sincerity and asked the Buddha to accept this sincerity.
 
“Their palaces were attained as the result of their blessings from past lifetimes. They presented their own enjoyment.” They had practiced in their past lives. From many lifetimes, they had constantly practiced good deeds and upheld pure precepts. In past lifetimes, they had constantly engaged in purifying practices. They cultivated blessings and upheld pure precepts.
 
For example, Solitary Realizers and Hearers want to eliminate their afflictions. To be rid of afflictions and awaken themselves, they must uphold pure precepts. In doing so, though they may create blessings, they are acting in order to attain blessings. They give, but these are blessings from giving with expectations. Furthermore, though they uphold pure precepts, they have not yet formed great aspirations or make great vows to give unconditionally. They have not yet reached this state. So, although they had created many blessings and also abided by precepts, their retribution was still being born in the Brahma heavens, a retribution of great blessings, but one still not free from samsara. Once their heavenly blessings were exhausted, they would again fall. They understood this principle, so they wanted wholeheartedly to seek the source of the principles in order to be able to reach the state of freedom from samsara.
 
This is the Brahma kings’ most sincere intent. So, they asked Buddha to accept their sincerity. This is because the Buddha is one who transcends the state of the Brahma heavens. He is the Great Enlightened One, who has attained the true principles. The beings in the Brahma heavens still had not attained the ultimate principles, so they came again to make offerings and ask the Buddha to turn the Dharma-wheel.
 
So, due to their practice in past lifetimes, they attained and enjoyed the blessings of the Brahma heavens. Now, they wanted “to share with the Buddha.” The make offerings to the Buddha in hopes that He would teach them His ultimate true principles. So, “This is using flawed effects.” At that time they had attained their retribution of enjoyment in the Brahma heavens. They used the Brahma heavens’ material wealth  to make offerings to the Buddha. This is called the “flawed effects.” They already enjoyed comforts in Brahma heavens. Yet heavenly blessings will be depleted, so they are called “flawed.” Once they depleted their blessings, they would again fall [into a lower realm].
 
Therefore, this is called “using flawed effects.” It means their blessings are “flawed” and would eventually be depleted. They used these to make offerings to the Buddha. So, this is called “using flawed effects to cultivate flawless causes.” They were seeking the principles and the Dharma. If they were able to attain the true principles and be truly enlightened, then they would achieve the ultimate and be free from cyclic existence. So, this is called “cultivating flawless causes.”
 
They made offerings to the Buddha by using their tangible [blessed] retributions. This was also to cultivate the causes of being able to be enlightened and attain Buddhahood in the future. To be able to attain Buddhahood is to reach the flawless state. Therefore, it says, “this is using flawed effects to cultivate flawless causes.” I hope that everyone can understand this.
 
Now we present them to the World-Honored One, only wishing that You mercifully accept them: They now used the palaces of heavenly treasures that they journeyed on to make offerings to the World-Honored One. They only wished He would mercifully accept them. They requested that He examine their sincerity and accept their offerings. Their palaces were attained as the result of their blessings from past lifetimes. They presented their own enjoyment to share with the Buddha. This is using flawed effects to cultivate flawless causes.
 
They were able to, under these karmic conditions, have something to offer to the Buddha. After making offerings the Buddha, they could listen to the Buddha teach the Dharma, awaken and understand the true principles. It was for the sake of seeking the principles. They placed more importance on the principles than on material wealth. So, in practicing the Buddha’s teachings, it is most important to make offerings to the Three Treasures, because the Three Treasures are already on the path of the principles toward ultimate enlightenment. They are on the Bodhi-path, and their direction does not deviate. These are the Three Treasures, the Buddha-treasure, the Dharma-treasure, and the Sangha-treasure. With the Buddha having attained enlightenment, there is the Dharma that can be passed down. This is a ray of radiance, and the radiance is like the Bodhi-path. There must be the Sangha so that the Dharma is able to exist through the ages and to be passed down continuously. Therefore, it is most important to make offerings to the Three Treasures. We must never mistakenly think that making offerings only creates heavenly blessings; then we look down on it and do not practice it.
 
In fact, we must respect the Three Treasures. Do not think, “I just need to listen to the principles. Listening to the principles is the ultimate path. I just seek the Dharma, and that is good enough. Do I still need to engage in other practices?”
 
That is not right. We need to practice all Dharma. That is why Buddha wanted us to go among people. In the Buddha’s teachings, we must be respectful to the Three Treasures. When among people, we must practice with an indiscriminating mind, practice uninterruptedly and with nothing further. We must do this for an extended period time. We must continuously practice with much reverence and respect. So, there is no need to discriminate. True principles are attained through practices and making offerings. This is called “true spiritual practice.”
 
As Buddha practitioners, we must be mindful. In our daily living, the true principles are found everywhere. Everyone intrinsically possesses them, but they are covered by our ignorance. It is our doubt and delusion that pull the principles away from us. How far away have they been pulled? Light-years away, across 500 trillion [lands]. This is so far. This is the horizontal distance in space. The principles are so far away from us. Therefore, the principles are what we must seek. The Brahma kings sought them out with the speed of the wind, very swiftly.
 
In fact, the true principles travel at the speed of light. In order to seek out the principles, the Brahma kings used their fastest speed, the speed of the wind. In fact, the speed of wind cannot catch up with the speed of light. That is the principles. Although those in the Brahma heavens enjoyed the state of Four Dhyana Heavens and were at ease and free, when their blessings were depleted, they would, beyond their control, again fall to the Three Evil Realms.
 
Therefore, they must seek the principles. But, between the speed of wind and speed of light, there is still a very huge distance, to say nothing of us ordinary people. So, we must be very earnest in our aspirations for seeking the Path. In our daily living, the principles exist in everything. It is our ignorance and delusion that pull them away from us. Once this distance is opened up, it is so long and so far. Therefore, now that we are in the state of spiritual practice, we must seize the moment. We must always be mindful.
 

(Source: Da Ai TV – Wisdom at Dawn program – Explanation by Master Chen-Yen)
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20170130《靜思妙蓮華》借有漏果作無漏因 (第1012集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)
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