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 20170203《靜思妙蓮華》雖過萬土不離當處 (第1016集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)

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發表主題: 20170203《靜思妙蓮華》雖過萬土不離當處 (第1016集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)   周五 2月 03, 2017 1:07 am

20170203《靜思妙蓮華》雖過萬土不離當處 (第1016集)
(法華經•
化城喻品

 
尋瑞光因緣必有非常之因,以此推必非天生必是佛出,要知雖過千萬土不離當處。
時彼眾中有一大梵天王,名曰大悲,為諸梵眾而說偈言。《法華經化城喻品第七
是事何因緣,而現如此相?我等諸宮殿,光明昔未有。為大德天生?為佛出世間?未曾見此相,當共一心求。《法華經化城喻品第七
過千萬億土,尋光共推之,多是佛出世,度脫苦眾生。《法華經化城喻品第七
多是佛出世,度脫苦眾生:多分是佛出現於世,度脫一切苦惱眾生。必有非常之人,然後有非常之瑞,以此裁定之,必非天生,多是佛出世。
爾時,五百萬億諸梵天王,與宮殿俱,各以衣裓盛諸天華,共詣西北方,推尋是相。《法華經化城喻品第七
見大通智勝如來處於道場菩提樹下坐師子座,諸天、龍王、乾闥婆、緊那羅、摩睺羅伽,人非人等恭敬圍繞。《法華經化城喻品第七
 
【證嚴上人開示】

「尋瑞光因緣必有非常之因,以此推必非天生必是佛出,要知雖過千萬土不離當處。」
 
尋瑞光因緣
必有非常之因
以此推必非天生
必是佛出
要知雖過千萬土
不離當處
 
我們前面的(經)文,大家還記得嗎?東南方梵天王,與這些天人看到光,光照耀不尋常,好像從來不曾有過這樣,與過去平常不同。光從哪裡來呢?是從西北方這道光,所以從東南方,這群天人大家來合議,看,這必定不是有福的人來生天上,應該是佛出世間。
 
佛出世間是一大事因緣,佛要講大法,更是一大事。因為佛出現人間,當然是為了眾生而出現人間,但是眾生根機鈍劣,要能理解微妙甚深的道理,談何容易啊!而瞭解了道理,能去身體力行,更是難上加難。但是,諸佛的心總是法要傳,眾生要教化,儘管是很頑劣剛強,還是同樣要把握因緣,因緣成熟,一定要出現人間,這是每尊佛的心願。所以,出現人間,佛,是很不容易,這個因緣是非常之因,不是平常之因,不是很容易的。
 
這些梵天王,大家的考慮,這不是普通的天人出生,發出了這道的光芒。一定是大覺者佛出世,才有辦法有這番異於平常的光,照耀出來。這是這群梵天王,大家共同來討論,確定這道光的來處,是來自於西北方,所以大家從東南方這樣決定,向西北方,去推尋這道光的源頭。
 
所以要知道,經過要有多(長)遠的時間呢,大家的記憶應該要想得出來,經過這麼遙遠的光的源頭,是從梵天到發光的地方,要經過這樣千萬億佛國土,這道光明是這麼長,但是大家還是不惜辛苦,同樣還是要追尋這道光的來源。
 
一直要跟大家說,光就是道理,道理,我們用二種來解釋。一種,道理是從無始以前,無法去算計的時間,無始以前。所以在<化城喻品>開頭,釋迦牟尼佛就說,要過三千大千世界塵點劫,三千大千世界的塵點劫,大家要再這個理再回想,再回憶一下,那就是表示大通智勝佛,那就是道理,道理是無始,原來就有,這原來就有的道理,所以無法去算計,時間是有多久以前。
 
「大通智勝」就是一個真理,是道理,也是我們人人本具的真如本性。這就是告訴我們,真如本性對我們現在來說,人人本具,豈不是很近嗎?哪有那麼遠?不過,我們一直隔礙這個道理,很長很遠,因為我們要體會道理很困難。大家就知道人人各具佛性,明明真如本性與我們不離開,偏偏我們的無明,將自己的真如本性,這個真理,自己愈拉愈長,因為我們的無明複製,是愈來愈多。
 
我們人人都是這樣,發心時,發心立願,對自己信心滿滿,「我絕對做得到,我絕對是這樣往這個方向發願,我做得到。」但是,自己對自己做得到的願,自己就慢慢疏遠了這個願力,已經懈怠了。道理是不是聽得進去呢?過去開始聽的時候,發現到的時候,一片熱心,那分自信,但是過了之後,我們隨著時日、隨著人事物,無明就愈來愈多。是別人造給我們的無明呢?還是我們自己所發生的無明?這個因緣,別人無明的緣來引起了,我們內心這念妄動的無明,所以兩邊都是有無明,無明就這樣氣壓會合,心地就狂風作亂,這種的無明風吹掉了,摧毀了,我們那一念發心的初念。
 
看看蘇迪勒颱風,這個颱風,真的,在國際間氣象局來說是罕見,所以很多人都在注目,這個颱風到底會帶給臺灣,是什麼樣的結果呢?這個結果,前後,從登陸到出海,將近三十個鐘頭,才真正整個臺灣脫離暴風圈。
 
臺灣小小的,一個這個大的颱風,將整個臺灣這樣全部蓋起來,從空中來看地面,根本就沒有看到臺灣,只看到一片的颱風,超大的颱風,卻是在這片颱風的下方,就是地上,真正也感受到了風強雨大。但是,幸運的,就是這個颱風碰到中央山脈,使得它的力較偏弱了,但是它的風,可能較高,很快就這樣過中央山脈去了。
 
電話一直問,到處是不是平安呢?平安啊!不過,某個地方屋頂掀掉了,某個地方淹水了。雖然這麼強的颱風,我們也應該說感恩,大颱風,比例起來算是小災情。
 
不過,我們過去人人都說,「人力定勝天」。我去靜思堂看看,人文(志業)中心,大欽就跟我說,他說:「我們的記者覺得現在安全,大家都出去看颱風之後,到底造成什麼環境。其中有一個景觀,海邊有造一顆大石頭,寫著『人定勝天』」。我就問:「是怎麼了?」他說:「瞬間的風將這個『人定勝天』的大石吹倒,路也斷了,我們的記者要去拍,要去拍這個景。」
 
聽到,我的內心就這樣想,是嗎?人力定勝天嗎?我們臺灣這麼小的地方,容納多少人呢?這麼多的人口,卻是這樣的土地,都經不起颱風的摧毀,過後還是算起來很感恩,算是小災情。
 
但是人的心總是包天之大,敢說人力勝天。這就是人的心啊!經不起一陣浪,風浪,聽到颱風要來了,海浪會很高,竟然膽大包天,竟然去站在靠近海邊的地方,要去看浪有多大。這樣經不起一陣浪,大人、小孩就都被拖下去了。多少人冒著危險去找,去救,找,找不到了,救的,救起來的也是回天乏術了。
 
堪嘆人心啊!人的心就是沒有縮小自己,以為自己的力量能夠勝過天威,明知是風雨力量很大,竟然這樣逆著風雨的威力,還是炫耀力勝天。這是我們眾生就是這樣的無明,拉開了真理,這是這樣的比較。
 
所以說,找道理,梵天他們能這麼遠的地方,不惜遙遠,他們要去找真理,要去找這道光的源頭。卻是我們人類,我們的源頭,那念願心、願力,有願,卻是力真的是很不夠。道理,要找道理,道理在我們的內心,卻是無法將我們內心,這分的願力這樣發揮出來,無法發心如初。那個初心,最初那念心、那個願力是這麼微弱,經不起人群、無明,我們很容易受無明的因緣,就引起了我們自己再製造無明,來障礙我們的真如本性,將這個真理這樣拉長、拉開,拉得已經又離我們很遠了。
 
哪怕是每天在誦經,只是開口動舌,並沒有用心。用心,只是這樣一陣過去而已,沒有深入我們的心版裡。這就是堪嘆啊!人生到底什麼時候,才能體會道理呢?一番這種的颱風過去,八八,(二0一五年)八月八日颱風,超過了二十八小時,不是二十四小時,將近三十小時,一陣風,豪雨,這樣造成有的地方山崩、土石流,這也是有。
 
雖然是很慶幸,以這個大颱風來比例,來比較是很慶幸,應該感恩,不過,也有人已經是,災害遺留下來的苦。有的家園被沖掉了,有的是親人,人天永隔了,陣風、豪雨造災遺苦難,遺留下來就是苦難。說什麼「人力勝天」呢?其實,人間的路若走得穩,真正行菩薩道,我們才會走得長。
 
也有看到一群菩薩,也是這樣「不請之師」,在這個時間,有的人就會自己打電話,給鄰里長:「里長,你們的里,有需要我們去幫忙嗎?」里長聽到了,「還是(需要)慈濟人,這個時候要啊!我缺慈濟人來幫忙。」就是這樣,慈濟人「藍天白雲」,這樣的「不請之師」,就開始動員起來,道路,去清掃。一些軍人、阿兵哥去推土,慈濟人進入人家的家裡,去幫忙清掃。不論是在大馬路,不論是在人家的家裡,這都是自己自動自發。在這個時候,大家才想到,慈濟人,很需要。
 
道理是這麼的近,當有困難時,就會發現到這些慈濟人,是能夠幫助人的人,是人(在)人間所需要的。這就是道理,能做給人間所需要,道理就是在我們的身邊,道理就是在人群中。人群,人與人之間互相幫助,這就是真正天下一家親,何必血肉親呢?天地之間都是一家親。這就是道理,不是口號。所以說,追尋道理,天人不怕辛苦,這麼長的時間追尋;凡夫背道而行,平時背道而行,一旦需要時,道理就是在我們的身邊。應該我們瞭解佛法,應該要用在我們,日常生活中。
 
前面的(經)文,就這樣說,「時彼眾中有一大梵天王,名曰大悲,為諸梵眾而說偈言。」
 
時彼眾中
有一大梵天王
名曰大悲
為諸梵眾而說偈言
《法華經化城喻品第七
 
梵天王,名叫做「大悲」。是「同體大悲」,難道不是嗎?在這個時候,人間苦難時,「同體大悲」的菩薩,不就是出現了嗎?天下之間,就是人人是同體。梵天王也是在這個時候出現,這是在東南方的梵天王,看到這道光,來向大家這樣說:「這道光,應該不是天人出現,應該是大覺,大覺者佛出現世間。」
 
所以再說偈言,重複再說一次:「是事何因緣,而現如此相?我等諸宮殿,光明昔未有。為大德天生?為佛出世間?未曾見此相,當共一心求。」
 
是事何因緣
而現如此相
我等諸宮殿
光明昔未有
為大德天生
為佛出世間
未曾見此相
當共一心求
《法華經化城喻品第七
 
道理難會,既然佛出世間,這道光明就是道理,過去很難會,未曾有,現在既出現,大家要趕緊去找這道光,大家要共同一心求。這是大悲梵天王,同體大悲。同體大悲就是一心,人人就是一心,大家的心若合齊,當然力就能勝天。只要大家的虔誠,只要大家心會道理,自然順天理,就減災難。人人要一心同體,同體一心的大道理,大家要合齊,這樣才是人力勝天。虔誠的心上達諸佛菩薩聽,這要有很多人,所以要同體大悲,要共同一心。這就是應我們現在,所以我們要好好用心。
 
接下來這段(經)文這樣說,「過千萬億土,尋光共推之,多是佛出世,度脫苦眾生。」
 
過千萬億土
尋光共推之
多是佛出世
度脫苦眾生
《法華經化城喻品第七
 
長的時間,道理,我們原來本具的良知,我們要好好找回來,我們原來清淨的本性,哪怕離很遠,我們要趕緊找回來清淨心。梵天王就是清淨心,我們要趕緊如梵天王一樣,好好去找究竟的道理。心清淨,也要找究竟了生死的道理。所以「過千萬億土,尋光共推之」。
 
過千萬億土
尋光共推之:
經過遠土
隨光共求
虔誠心遠尋
如是諦理之光
過千萬億等
言此光不在此土
當過千萬億土求之
要知雖過千萬億土
本不離當處
 
「經過遠土」。那個國土很遠,千萬億國土,用光年來算的距離,他們大家還是要去追尋這道光,這就是很遠的地方,「隨光共求」。這必定要用虔誠的心,很遙遠的地方去找「如是諦理之光」。
 
這幾天,有一群從美國(長島)回來,大菩薩帶著小菩薩,千里迢迢就是回來尋根。慈濟是發祥地在臺灣,從美國一群菩薩,帶著他下一代的小菩薩,回來尋根。同樣的道理,梵天王他清淨的心,發現了道理,大覺者佛出現人間,將要大轉法輪,他們還是「過千萬億等」,這個國土,就是要來找這道光。這不是在他們的國土,應該是在很遠很長的國土,所以他們不惜那麼遙遠的,路途遙遠,經過千萬億國土來求。
 
要知道「雖過千萬億土,本不離當處」。雖然說要過千萬億的國土,說實在的,根本就沒有離開那個地方。其實,道理住在人心,要去哪裡找呢?雖然是這樣的形容,要過這麼長、這麼遠的國土,但是還是根本就沒有,離開他的本處。對啊,道理住在人心,根本就沒有離開我們的心,我們還要去哪裡找心呢?心在我們自己的內在,要去哪裡找我們的心呢?道理本來就是。
 
所以「多是佛出世,度脫苦眾生」。
 
多是佛出世
度脫苦眾生:
多分是佛出現於世
度脫一切苦惱眾生
必有非常之人
然後有非常之瑞
以此裁定之
必非天生
多是佛出世
 
這就是說,「多分」,大部分應該是佛出現人間,這個道理才能夠這樣發揚出來。有了道理,才有辦法來度苦難的眾生。因為我們自己的心也迷了,我們就要向佛求教。所以哪怕是很遠,也就是要去向佛去請佛開示。
 
所以「必有非常之人」。「非常」就不是普通人,是覺悟者。「然後有非常之瑞」,這道光,絕對不是普通人,這個道理不是平常人,應該這個道理,確定不是天生,佛出世間,因為這個道理,應該就是覺者出世,將要大轉法輪。
 
下面這段(經)文又這樣說,「爾時,五百萬億諸梵天王,與宮殿俱,各以衣裓盛諸天華,共詣西北方,推尋是相。」
 
爾時
五百萬億諸梵天王
與宮殿俱
各以衣裓盛諸天華
共詣西北方
推尋是相
《法華經化城喻品第七
 
因為他們是在東南方,所以方向就(往)西北方,這樣來找這道光,就是從這個地方出來,隨著這個光,向前推尋。所以表示從東南方的梵天王,大悲梵天王,他的誠與敬的心,他集合這麼多五百萬億梵天,共同往西北方去找光的源頭,要去向佛稱讚、禮佛,表示他們的供養。知道,知道是佛出世,確定是佛出世,應該要去表達這番最恭敬的心,所以大家就趕緊(前往)。
 
「爾時,五百萬億諸梵天王,與所宮殿俱」。所有的宮殿俱,全都同時這樣帶來,這也是表示他的誠意。到達了,還是同樣在空中散花,一路一路一直散花,表示歡喜,表示將要見到覺者,佛,請轉法輪。這個距離愈來愈近了,沿路散花,「共詣西北方」。這就是表示那分虔誠,只要找這道光的來源。
 
接下來再說,「見大通智勝如來處於道場菩提樹下坐師子座,諸天、龍王、乾闥婆、緊那羅、摩睺羅伽,人非人等恭敬圍繞。」
 
見大通智勝如來
處於道場菩提樹下
坐師子座
諸天、龍王、
乾闥婆、緊那羅、
摩睺羅伽
人非人等恭敬圍繞
《法華經化城喻品第七
 
看到了,看到這麼多人,已經在東南方梵天王之前,就有東方的梵天王,還有這梵天王更近的天帝釋、護法諸天,已經早就在那個地方守護住。一坐十小劫,多少的天人在那裡守護,天龍八部都在那個地方,守護著這位修行者,即將成佛的修行者,已經早就在那個地方了。所以現在的東南方梵天王到達,來看到了,果然大通智勝佛已經成佛了,在這個菩提樹下,也已經有這麼多諸天、龍王,都已經在那個地方,都是圍繞在那個地方。這與我們前面所解釋的一樣,諸天、龍王,(天龍)八部都在這個地方,這樣圍繞著。
 
我們要知道,發現道理的不是我們最開始,其實發現道理的,早早就已經很多人,都發現道理了。釋迦牟尼佛成佛,其實釋迦牟尼佛的過去,還有無量無數的諸佛,已經成佛了。因為時間向前推是塵點劫,我們若回想起來,就知道時間長久,已經這個道理是無始就有,隨著這個道理修行,成佛也已經無量數了。
 
東南方的梵天王到達的時候,已經很多人,都圍繞在大通智勝佛的法座下。不只是這樣,前面我們還說到,十六王子也已經,請佛轉大法輪了。所以,東南方的天人到達,那個場合,是佛將要大轉法輪之時。
 
所以我們知道,聽法,我們要很用心,法原來就有,只是我們後覺。後覺,我們若不趕緊將先知來追尋,我們要如何,能與這個道理會合呢?我們與道理離那麼的遠,所以請大家真的要用心。
 
我們難道不覺得人間苦嗎?我們難道不覺得人生無常嗎?我們難道不覺得人與人之間很奧妙嗎?這種彼此之間的拉扯,是不是很辛苦呢?所以,我們必定要道理透徹,在人群中,不要去受人群的無明煩惱,影響,引出了我們的無明煩惱,再製造無明,來遠離了我們的真如本性。所以希望大家要多用心,道理自在人心,所以要好好時時多用心啊!


月亮 在 周五 2月 03, 2017 9:41 pm 作了第 1 次修改
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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: Passing Countless Lands Without Ever Leaving (雖過萬土不離當處)
Date: February.03. 2017
 
“They sought the causes and conditions of the auspicious radiance. There must be an extraordinary cause. From this they deduced it was surely not due to someone being born in heaven, but must be a Buddha manifesting in the world. One must know that, though passing over countless lands, they never left the place they were.”
 
Does everyone still remember the previous sutra passage? The Brahma kings from the southeast and the other heavenly beings saw the radiance; its illumination was unusual, something that they had never seen before. It was different from what was usual in the past. Where did the light come from? The ray of light came from the northwest, so, in the southeast, all the heavenly beings gathered to discuss it. They deduced that it could not be due to a person with blessings being born in heaven. It must be a Buddha manifesting in the world.
 
When a Buddha appears in the world, it is a matter of great importance. When He is about to teach the Great Dharma, that is a matter of even greater importance. The reason a Buddha manifests in the world is of course for the sake of sentient beings. But sentient beings’ capabilities were dull and inferior, so how would it be easy for them to understand the profound, subtle and wondrous principles? Even if they understood the principles, to put them into practice would be adding difficulty on the top of difficulty. However, in every Buddha’s heart, each knows the Dharma must be spread, and sentient beings must be taught. Even if sentient beings are stubborn, Buddhas still wish to make good use of causes and conditions. When causes and conditions do mature, They will definitely appear in the world. This is every Buddha’s aspiration.
 
So, it is not easy for a Buddha to manifest in the world; the causes and conditions are extraordinary. These are not ordinary causes, not easily [attained]. The Brahma kings deduced that the birth of an ordinary heavenly being could not emit such radiance. Only the appearance of a Great Enlightened One in the world could cause such an unusual light to shine forth. This is what the group of Brahma kings gathered together to discuss. They determined that the light was coming from the northwest. So, they decided to start out from the southeast and go toward the northwest to investigate the source of this ray of light.
 
Thus, we know that they had to travel for a very long time. You should all still remember this. The source of the radiance was so far away that for the Brahma kings to reach its source, they had to cross trillions of Buddha-lands. This light was so far away. Yet, no one begrudged that hardship and went to search for the light’s source anyway.
 
I always tell everyone that this radiance is the principles. In regards to the principles, there are two explanations of this. First, the principles have existed since Beginningless Time, for a time impossible to calculate, since before Beginningless Time. So, at the beginning of the Chapter on the Parable of the Conjured City, Sakyamuni Buddha tells of how kalpas more numerous than all the dust in the great trichiliocosm had already passed, a trichiliocosm’s worth of dust-inked kalpas. Everyone must think back to this principle and try to remember. This is saying that Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha represents the principles, how the principles are beginningless. The principles have always existed. As the principles have always existed, it is impossible to calculate how long ago they began to exist.
 
“Great Unhindered Superior Wisdom” represents the truth, the principles, and also the nature of True Suchness that is inherent in all of us. This is telling us that in regards to our nature of True Suchness now, since it is intrinsic to us all, shouldn’t it be close by? How could it be so far? But we continue to separate ourselves from this principle. We are very far from it, because it is difficult for us to comprehend the principles.
 
We know that each individual has Buddha-nature, that clearly we are inseparable from our nature of True Suchness, but unfortunately our ignorance separates us farther and farther from our nature of True Suchness, from this principle. This is because our ignorance multiplies and grows greater and greater.
 
We are all like this. When we first form aspirations and make vows, we are filled with confidence in ourselves. “I can definitely achieve this. I am certain that having made vows in this direction. I can achieve them.”
 
However, we gradually distance ourselves from the resolve and power to achieve these vows that we thought we were able to achieve and have already become lax. When we listen to the principles, do we take them in? In the past, when we first began to listen to and discover the teachings, we were full of passion and self-confidence, but after a while, as time passes and we encounter people, matters and things, our ignorance increases more and more.
 
Was it others who created this ignorance for us? Or was this ignorance something that we gave rise to ourselves? This is due to causes and conditions; the conditions of other people’s ignorance can lead to the ignorance in our own minds being stirred up. So, there is ignorance on both sides. Ignorance is like the coming together or atmospheric conditions; in our minds these fierce storms arise and this winds of ignorance blow away and demolish that initial aspiration we had formed.
 
Look at Typhoon Souneler. Meteorological bureaus around the world tell us that a typhoon like this is rarely seen. Thus, many have been carefully observing; when this typhoon came to Taiwan, what kind of impact would it have? This impact, from landfall until it had passed, lasted nearly 30 hours before Taiwan escaped these fierce winds. Taiwan is very small and such a large typhoon had completely covered Taiwan. Looking down from the satellite, you could not see Taiwan at all. All you can see is an immense typhoon. But underneath this typhoon, on the ground, we experienced strong winds and heavy rain.
 
Fortunately, however, when it hit the Central Mountain Range, its strength weakened. But perhaps since the wind was at a high altitude, it quickly passed the Central Mountain Range. We kept calling everywhere to ask whether everyone was safe. All safe! However, in some places roofs were torn off, and there was flooding in others. Though we experienced such a strong typhoon, we should still be grateful, for the damage has so far been minimal for such a large typhoon.
 
In the past, people always used to say, “Man can conquer nature.” When I went to Jing Si Hall, Lin Da-Chin of the Humanities Center told me, “Our news reporters thought it was safe to go outside to assess the damage that the typhoon caused to the surroundings. There was one sight in particular; by the seaside there was a large stone with. Man can conquer nature’ written upon it.”
 
I asked, “What happened?” He said, “In an instant, the wind blew over that ‘Man can conquer nature’ rock, and the road was destroyed as well. Our news reporters are going there to take pictures of this sight.” When I heard this, I thought to myself, “Is that true? Can man conquer nature?” Our Taiwan is such a small place, yet it holds so many people. With such a large population, when even the land cannot withstand the typhoon’s destruction, since it has passed, we should be grateful, for the disaster has been minimal this time. However, this shows how arrogant people can be; we dare to say man can conquer nature. The human mind is like this; it cannot withstand wind and waves. When some people heard that a typhoon was coming and that the waves would be huge, they instead became arrogant and went to stand at a place near the ocean to see how big the waves would be. One of the waves grabbed both adults and children and swept them out to sea. Many braved the danger to search for them, but could not find them. Although they tried to save them, there was nothing that could be done.
 
The human mind is lamentable! People do not know how to be humble. They think they can conquer the might of nature. They knew the wind and rain would be strong but still chose to stand against the might of nature to show off how they could conquer it. This is how the ignorance of sentient beings drags us away from the true principles. This is an example.
 
So, it says, “In seeking the principles, they came from the Brahma heavens so far away.” They did not begrudge the distance, for they wished to find the true principles, the source of that ray of light. In contrast, when we humans [seek] our source, which is our aspiration, the power of our vows, we have vows but not enough power. If we wish to find the principles, the principles are within our minds. But we are unable to exercise the power of the vows inside us. We cannot maintain our initial aspirations. Our initial aspiration, our earliest aspiration, that power of our vows, is so weak that we cannot withstand interacting with others or facing ignorance. So, we are easily affected by the causes and conditions of ignorance, which lead us to produce even more ignorance ourselves. This obstructs our nature of True Suchness and pulls us away from the true principles. Now we have become quite distant from them.
 
Even if we chant the sutras every day, we are just moving our mouths, not being mindful. Even if we are mindful, it is only for a moment and then it passes; we do not take it deeply into our hearts. This is lamentable!
 
When will people ever comprehend the principles? This typhoon just passed us on August 8. This August 8, (2015) typhoon lasted for over 28 hours, not just 24 hours, but close to 30 hours. This wind and heavy rain caused certain places to experience landslides and mudslides. We were very lucky; when we compare this typhoon with others, we were very lucky and should be grateful. However, there are still those who are suffering due to effects of the disaster.
 
Some people’s houses were swept away; some people lost their loved ones. The disastrous winds and rains left them suffering. Suffering was what left in their wake. Can we still say that “Man can conquer nature”? In fact, only if we walk our path in life steadily can we truly walk upon the Bodhisattva-path for a long time. So, we also saw a group of Bodhisattvas who served as “unsummoned teachers.” At the time of the disaster, some called the village heads and asked, “Does you village need our help?” When one village head heard this, he said, “Yes we do; we need Tzu Chi volunteers here! We need them now! We need Tzu Chi volunteers to help out.”
 
And, like that, Tzu Chi volunteers in blue and white uniforms became their “unsummoned teachers.” The began mobilizing; they cleaned up the road. Some soldiers were moving the mud from the road, while Tzu Chi volunteers went into homes to help them clean. Whether working in the roads or in people’s houses, they volunteered out of their own initiative.
 
It is at times like these that people think, “We need Tzu Chi volunteers.” The principles are so close to us. When people are in difficulty, they discover that Tzu Chi volunteers are the ones who can help others; they are the ones who people in this world need. This is a true principle. When we help give the world what it needs, the principles are all around us. The principles are [found] among people. When people mutually help each other, then we are truly one family on earth; why worry about blood ties? Then entire world is one family. This is a true principle, not a slogan.
 
So, in searching for the principles, heavenly beings did not begrudge the hardship, though it took a long time to pursue them. Unenlightened beings go against the path. We may ordinarily turn our backs on the path, but when we are in need, the principles are all around us. We should understand that the Buddha-Dharma must be applied in our daily living.
 
The previous passage says, “Then, from amidst that assembly, a Great Brahma King named Great Compassion spoke in verse for those in the Brahma heavens.
 
The name of the Brahma king was “Great Compassion.” He had “universal compassion.” Isn’t that so? During this time when the world is full of suffering, don’t Bodhisattvas with “universal compassion” appear in the world? Everyone in the world is interconnected. The brahma kings also appeared at this time. When this Brahma king from the southeast saw this radiance, he told everyone, “This radiance is surely not “due to someone being born in heaven. It must be a Great Enlightened One, a Buddha, manifesting in the world.” So, this verse is repeated once again.
 
“What are the causes and conditions behind the appearance of such a sign? In all our palaces there is a great radiance like never before. Has a Virtuous One been born in heaven of has a Buddha manifested in the world? We have never seen such a sign before, so we should seek this together with one heart.
 
It was hard for them to understand the principles. Since a Buddha had appeared in the world, this radiance must be the principles, which were hard for them to understand in the past. Now that it had appeared, they quickly went to search for the ray of light. They all shared the heart to search for it. So, Brahma King Great Compassion had universal compassion. Universal compassion is sharing one heart; everyone shares this same hearth. When everyone’s hearts are unified, of course we have the power to conquer nature. As long as we are reverent, as long as everyone understands the principles, naturally, in accordance with principles, disasters will be reduced. Everyone must universally unite as one, uniting body and mind with the great principles. Only when everyone is united together can man then conquer nature.
 
With a reverent heart, [our prayers] reach the ears of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. This requires many people together, so we must have universal compassion, and everyone must share the same heart. This is how we must respond to the present times. So, let us earnestly be mindful of this.
 
The next sutra passage says, “We must pass over trillions of land to seek out this radiance and investigate together. It is most likely that a Buddha manifested to deliver and liberate suffering sentient beings.
 
After such a long time, the principles, the conscience we originally had, must be found again. This is our original undefiled nature; though it may be very far away, we should quickly recover this pure mind. The Brahma King’s minds were pure. We should hurry to be just like those Brahma Kings who earnestly sought out the ultimate principles. With pure minds, they still hoped to find the ultimate principles of ending cyclic existence.
 
So, “We must pass over trillions of lands to seek out this radiance and investigate together.”
 
We must pass over trillions of lands to seek out this radiance and investigate together: They had to pass over distant lands, following the radiance, investigating together. With reverence, they came from afar to seek the radiance of these true principles, passing over trillions of [lands]. This says that the radiance is not in this land; they had to pass over trillions of lands to seek it. One must know that, though they passed over trillions of lands, they never left the place they were.
 
“They had to pass over distant lands. Those lands covered a great distance. They were trillions of lands away; the distance was measured in light-years. Still. They wished to search for the ray of light, even thought it was very far away. They “followed the radiance, investigating together.” It required great reverence for them to travel so far away to seek the radiance of these true principles.”
 
These past few days, a group of Bodhisattvas came back from the US. Adult Bodhisattvas returned with little Bodhisattvas, returning thousands of miles to seek their roots. The birthplace of Tzu Chi is in Taiwan, and this group came back from the US, bringing the next generation of Bodhisattvas. They returned here to seek their roots. In the same way, when the Brahma Kings with their pure minds discovered the principles, discovered that a Great Enlightened One had appeared in the world and was about to turn the great Dharma-wheel, they “passed over trillions of lands” to seek that ray of light. It was not in their own land. It must have been in a very distant land. They did not begrudge the very long distance, the long journey. They passed over trillions of lands to seek it.
 
We should know that “Though they passed over trillions of lands, they never left the place they were.” Although we say that they passed over trillions of lands, in reality, they really never left the place they were. Actually, the principles are within our hearts. Where else can we go to find them? Although they are described as traveling a great distance through many lands, they fundamentally never left where they were. Indeed, the principles abide in our mind. They are nowhere else but in our mind. Where are we going to go to find our mind? Our mind is within us. Where else would we go to find our mind? The principles have always been there.
 
So, “It is most likely a Buddha manifested to deliver and liberate suffering sentient beings.”
 
It is most likely that a Buddha manifested to deliver and liberate sufferings sentient beings: The most likely possibility was that a Buddha had manifested in the world, to deliver and liberate suffering sentient beings. There must be an extraordinary person, and then there must be extraordinary signs. From this they determined that this was not from one born in the heavens. It was most likely a Buddha manifesting in the world.
 
This is saying it was “most likely;” the greatest likelihood was that a Buddha had manifested in the world, for only then would the principles radiate the way they did. Only through the principles can suffering sentient beings be delivered. Since our own minds are deluded, we must seek teachings from the Buddha. Thus, no matter how far it was, they wanted to go to where the Buddha was to ask Him to teach. So, “There must be an extraordinary person.” “Extraordinary” means one who is not average. He is the Great Awakened One. “And then there must be extraordinary signs.” This radiance was not that of an ordinary person. The principles were not those of an ordinary person. They were certain that those principles did not come from one born into the heavens, but from a Buddha manifesting in the world. Because of these principles, it had manifested in the world and was about to turn the Great Dharma-wheel.
 
The passage following this then states, “At that time, these 500 trillion Brahma Kings went along with their palaces. They each used their mantle to hold all kinds of celestial flowers. Together they went to the northwest to seek out this sign.”
 
They were in the southeast, so they set out toward the northwest in their search for [the source] of the light. They set out from there and followed the radiance to investigate. These are the Brahma kings of the southeast. Brahma king Great Compassion had such reverence and respect. He gathered the 500 trillion Brahma kings and set out together to the northwest to search for the source of the light, to praise, pay respect to and make offerings to the Buddha.
 
They knew a Buddha had manifested in the world. They were sure of it and wanted to go express their respect. So, they hurried to meet Him. “At that time,” “these 500 trillion Brahma kings” brought along with them all of their palaces. They brought all of these with them. This shows their sincerity. Upon arrival, they scattered flowers in the air. They continuously scattered flowers to express their joy that they would soon meet a Great Enlightened One and request that He turn the dharma-wheel. They were getting closer and closer, scattering flowers all along the way. “Together they went to the northwest.” This expresses the reverence they felt; they only sought the source of the ray of light.
 
Next, it says, “They saw Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Tathagata in the place of enlightenment, beneath the Bodhi-tree, sitting on the lion throne. All heavenly beings, naga kings, gandharvas, kinnaras, mahoragas, humans, non- humans and so on respectfully surrounded Him.
 
There were already many people there before the Brahma kings of the southeast arrived. The Brahma kings of the east were there, and Sovereign Sakra who was even closer. There were Dharma-protectors and heavenly beings who were already there protecting Him. As He sat for ten small kalpas, many heavenly beings were there protecting Him. The eight classes of Dharma-protectors were all there in that place, protecting that spiritual practitioner, that spiritual practitioner who was soon to attain Buddhahood. They had all already arrived there earlier. So, when Brahma kings of the southeast arrived, they saw that Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha had indeed already attained Buddhahood. As He sat under the Bodhi-tree, there were already heavenly beings and naga kings who had arrived there and were surrounding [the Buddha].
 
This is as we explained before. Heavenly beings, naga kings and the eight classes of Dharma-protectors were all there surrounding the Buddha. We should know that we are not the first to discover the principles. Actually, many came before us who early on had already discovered the principles. Sakyamuni Buddha attained Buddhahood, but there were actually countless Buddhas before Him who had already attained Buddhahood. If we can infer about the time from this, there are dust-inked kalpas to come. If we think back on the past, we will realize it has been a very long time. The principles, existing since Beginningless Time, have been followed by countless others who have engaged in spiritual practice and attained Buddhahood.
 
When the Brahma kings of the southeast arrived, there were already many people who surrounded Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior on His Dharma-throne. Not only that, as we mentioned before, the 16 princes had already asked the Buddha to turn the great Dharma-wheel. So, the heavenly beings from the southeast had arrived. This occasion was when the Buddha was about to turn the Great Dharma-wheel.
 
So, we know that we must be mindful as we listen to the Dharma. The Dharma has always been there, it is just that we awaken to it later. Therefore, if we do not quickly search for them, then how will we be able to come together with the principles? We are still very far off from the principles, so I ask everyone to truly be mindful. Don’t we feel the world is filled with suffering? Don’t we feel that life is impermanent? Don’t we feel that interpersonal relationships are wondrous and profound? When we become entangled with one another, isn’t it painful?
 
So, we must thoroughly understand the principles. When we go among people, we should not allow ourselves to be influenced by their ignorance and afflictions to bring out our own ignorance and afflictions, thus multiplying our ignorance and leading us farther away from our nature of True Suchness. So, I hope that everyone can be mindful. The principles exist naturally within our minds. Therefore, let us always be mindful!
 

(Source: Da Ai TV – Wisdom at Dawn program – Explanation by Master Chen-Yen)
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