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 20170207《靜思妙蓮華》世尊希有久遠一現 (第1018集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)

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發表主題: 20170207《靜思妙蓮華》世尊希有久遠一現 (第1018集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)   周一 2月 06, 2017 11:46 pm

20170207《靜思妙蓮華》世尊希有久遠一現 (第1018集)
(法華經•
化城喻品

 
大慈大悲如理光照,與法藥救眾生;身口意善遍虛空界,說如來一實法;散華恭敬一乘教法,莊嚴法會儀則。
及見十六王子請佛轉法輪。時諸梵天王頭面禮佛,繞百千匝,即以天華而散佛上。所散之華如須彌山,並以供養佛菩提樹。《法華經化城喻品第七》
華供養已,各以宮殿奉上彼佛,而作是言:惟見哀愍,饒益我等,所獻宮殿,願垂納受!《法華經化城喻品第七》
爾時諸梵天王即於佛前一心同聲以偈頌曰。」《法華經化城喻品第七
聖主天中王:聖主,頌大通智勝。天中王,謂佛本為天中之天,盡虛空法界,究盡如如理之王。
群賢所尊曰聖主,諸天所宗曰王,以極果聖人,統王十界故。
一百八十劫,空過無有佛:一百八十劫無佛出興出世,表十八界佛性隱埋。
十八界:合眼耳鼻舌身意之六根,色聲香味觸法之六塵,眼識、耳識、鼻識、舌識、身識、意識之六識。
 
《法華經化城喻品第七
 
【證嚴上人開示】

「大慈大悲如理光照,與法藥救眾生;身口意善遍虛空界,說如來一實法;散華恭敬一乘教法,莊嚴法會儀則。」
 
大慈大悲如理光照
與法藥救眾生
身口意善遍虛空界
說如來一實法
散華恭敬一乘教法
莊嚴法會儀則
 
佛陀來人間,所抱持的就是大慈大悲。大慈,是盼望眾生,人人通徹道理,解開了心靈的疑惑。人人道理能通,心無煩惱,能夠快樂、法喜,這是佛陀最大的盼望;是天下眾生人人通情達理,所有的道理都很瞭解了,人人成為覺悟的有情人。
 
但是眾生就是一念偏差,差之毫釐,所以就只是那一念偏差,就造成了很多的無明煩惱,困擾了自己,就這樣開始,惡因惡緣、惡果惡報。佛陀不捨,所以一大事因緣,再來人間說如是理。真如的道理,這個最真實,盡虛空、遍法界的真如理,要讓我們瞭解,就如在黑暗中一道的光明,就如病群中,眾生所需要的藥,來救治。這就是佛陀,應眾生的病而來人間,是在黑暗中,一道的光明,無非是要人人通徹真如道理,希望人人脫離了這種無明惑,這是佛陀的慈悲。
 
所以他用,「身口意善遍虛空界」,來「說如來一實法」。他應身來人間,在人間,在人間成長,在人間身體力行去修行,覺悟之後,如如理入心了,所以他用口來說法,轉大法輪,說三乘法,說真如理,這樣要來度化眾生。佛陀的智慧,他遍虛空法界,應如是法而來人間,來說如是理,一乘法,這是佛陀應世人間。
 
所以「散華恭敬一乘教法,莊嚴法會儀則」。這是在娑婆世界的,釋迦牟尼佛來口述,用他的口說出,塵點劫以前,大通智勝佛成佛的過程,成佛之後的道場,成佛之後,諸天這樣會合,就是來找這一道光明,到底它的原點從哪裡來?必定是大覺者出生人間,大覺者轉大法輪。這是諸天看到異常的光,所以大家的推測,大家的共議。
 
希望人人能透徹瞭解,瞭解光的意義是什麼?光的意義就是原理,原來的道理。塵點劫以前,道理的源頭,無始以來就是,這個道理。我們若能朝這個道理走,我們就能自救救他。因為生死苦難偏多啊!看,梵天王他們瞭解天福有盡,還是同樣輪迴生死,唯有要道理究竟了徹,才能解脫生死的苦。
 
談起了生死苦,聽到大林(慈院) ,陳金城副院長在敘述他的患者。這位患者,他是一位住在南部的人,他原來是在做生意,六十歲就退休了,就開始去種田,回歸田園裡去種菜等等。
 
忽然間在他的身體上有變化,就不知道為什麼,走路就是一直跌倒。他自己覺得很害怕,「到底我是什麼病?」南部各間大醫院都看過了,醫師差不多都告訴他:「可能是你的脊椎有骨刺,骨刺長了。」怎麼檢查,除了長骨刺以外,要不然應該就是癌症,骨癌,(找)不出正確的病理,無法檢查出來。他求人,不得改善他的身體,不得瞭解他的身體,到底是什麼病?一直檢查,病理都無法出來,所以只好靠神。
 
開始就去問神了,問過了三間廟,說很靈,三間廟都是指點他,要他去大林(慈院) ,神也要他去大林,指點迷津。他真的就去大林(慈院)了,找我們的陳副院長,陳金城。開始為他檢查、診斷,就很準確跟他說:「你這個都不是骨刺,也不是癌,應該是,脊椎硬膜(動靜脈廔管)瘤。這種病症到底是,有一百萬人之中,差不多才有五個人會有這樣,就是比例很少,你就是這五個其中的一個。」
 
「這樣要怎麼辦?醫生,我要怎麼辦?」副院長就跟他說:「開刀。」他說:「我很怕,我不敢開刀。」「你若不敢開刀,不然就要栓塞。」「這有危險嗎?」「當然不敢向你,做百分之百的保證。不然你再去北部找找看,有人能為你栓塞或者開刀?就是這兩種方法而已。你若不敢在這裡開,是不是再北部去找,找你相信的。」真的他就(到)北部,每一間有名的醫療中心,大醫院,去看。醫生都跟他說:「是,你確實是這個病症,但是這開刀是很危險,很難;栓塞,這也是危險。」幾間醫院都不敢開他這一刀,也不敢為他怎麼栓塞,因為這是一個很罕見的病例,沒人開過。所以他還是又回來了,來大林。
 
他就說:「大家都說一樣的病症。但是,既然在南部找不出病症,來這裡讓你找到了,三位神明都跟我說要來這裡,北部沒人敢開刀,可能也是要在你這裡開。所以我決定要開,要不然一個健康強壯的人,突然間就跌倒,所以決定在這裡開。」
 
開始,陳副院長,真的妙手、妙法、妙人醫,既然他幫他,找到病的原理出來了,病理找出來,病源在哪裡,雖然是很危險,他也是盡一分心。要不然,健健壯壯的身體,這種病不會死,卻是開刀很危險,恐怕全身癱瘓了,若不冒這個危險,卻是他就是這樣的生活,愈來會愈無法走路。
 
所以,他(陳副院長)就這樣抱著大慈悲心,為他開刀。七八個小時的刀,開完成了,開始就是慢慢一直復健。這樣,已經要出院時,就是走路來門診,向醫生說:「陳副院長,感恩你啊!我已經要出院了,手續辦好了,我這條命、這輩子是你救的。」這樣來的時候是坐輪椅,走不動,已經到那麼嚴重了,竟然就是這樣,走得很好,回去了。
 
我們想,這不就是,生理原點探討推尋,尋出了生命的真諦,這就是叫做生理、病理。病理、生理在我們的身上,我們都是不知道什麼時候發生,什麼事,所以我們要用心。道理就是這樣,何況天地之間。
 
除了人的身體有病,病來自我們的生理上,到底哪個器官發生了毛病,讓我們有這樣的病、死。病是各形各種,罕見的病例,平常人不曾遇過的,一百萬人中,竟然也有五個人有這樣的病。這是罕見的身體病理,這種病在人生裡,有,但是很多人不知道,回歸他一個健康的身體。若沒有找出這個病理,若沒有這樣,您想,在南部也有很多大醫院,再怎麼找都找不出,後來就說可能是骨刺,在很後面,可能是骨癌,讓他很怕。這真的是病理,有的病讓人很怕,連動都不敢動,這也是其中之一,平常罕見,所以大家想,要開,都不敢動,一開,恐怕全身癱瘓掉。
 
同樣又聽到臺中(慈院),蔡顯揚副院長,分享一位年輕的女孩子,她就是愛滋病的患者,偏偏眼睛得到了眼睛眼角膜(異常),整個眼角膜這樣,整個包掉了她的眼球。來到我們的醫院,母親陪她來,盼望她,這麼年輕,應該眼睛能看得到。這樣眼睛漸漸看不到了,求醫,大家知道,她有這樣愛滋病的病源在,沒人敢幫她開刀,因為愛滋病,這要開刀,不論是器材,不論是……等等。可是在我們的醫院,蔡副院長認為,這麼年輕,如果不幫她開,怎麼辦呢?一輩子在黑暗中。他還是幫她開,真的也用了很長的時間,這樣慢慢地眼睛角膜,不斷這樣用細心,仔細地開,剝開了眼球那一層的膜,這樣全都拿開了,讓她回歸了光明,眼睛掀開了角膜,這樣已經如大放光明。
 
這也是,在小小的身體,在五官裡,只是在眼球,這個眼睛,兩顆都被這層膜蓋起來了,何況她是愛滋病,這在生理上,怎麼會感染這種的病呢?卻是又在眼睛整個黑暗了。只要有找到這個道理,慈悲心,大慈大悲,希望這樣掀開了她的黑暗,這層的膜掀開,她的光明,性命中的光明,已經接觸到外面的境界。
 
你們想,光不就是道理嗎?天下的道理很多,光是人的身體就有很多,算不完,塵點算不完,何況天下人生。佛陀是覺悟大地宇宙萬物真理,包括人的生理,他,生理的源頭都能透徹,生命的原理他也很透徹,何況天下一切的道理呢?
 
所以佛陀,有這麼多的道理,唯有將法從口出,唯有法,多說法,這個法已經在他的腦海中,智慧大海,腦海中,就要從口表達出來。口就是在身體(上),所以「身口意善遍虛空界,說如來一實法」。法從口出,佛陀,所敘述的,就是在塵點劫前,大通智勝佛成佛了,連梵天王,東方與東南方,都一一尋光而來,就是要去找這個大德,大覺的覺者出現在人間,天人也要來人間,要來求法。所以他要用恭敬心,很遠,這麼遠的地方而來了,不只看到諸天,又看到十六王子開始請大法。
 
大通智勝佛,大光明遍照。這我們這麼長的時間解釋,就是要讓大家知道,很多人間事,不離開塵點劫前的原理。佛陀這樣一一向我們開示。
 
所以前面的經文這樣說,「及見十六王子請佛轉法輪。時諸梵天王,頭面禮佛,繞百千匝,即以天華而散佛上。」
 
及見十六王子
請佛轉法輪
時諸梵天王
頭面禮佛
繞百千匝
即以天華而散佛上
所散之華如須彌山
並以供養佛菩提樹
《法華經化城喻品第七》
 
來了就很恭敬,就禮拜,頂禮之後就開始繞佛散花,「所散之華如須彌山」,沿路所散的花很高。所以「並以供養佛菩提樹」。不只是禮佛、供佛,連菩提樹,花散在菩提樹上,菩提樹也很高,所散的花也散在菩提樹上,就是表示恭敬菩提樹,菩提樹是成佛說法的地方。
 
「華供養已,各以宮殿奉上彼佛,而作是言」。
 
華供養已
各以宮殿奉上彼佛
而作是言
惟見哀愍
饒益我等
所獻宮殿
願垂納受
《法華經化城喻品第七》
 
供養佛之後,再說:「惟見哀愍,饒益我等,所獻宮殿,願垂納受」。請佛陀慈悲,憐憫我們,接受我們的供養。因為是虔誠要來聽法,是身心的虔誠,從外表透徹到內心,所以用一切來供養,代表是這分的虔誠。
 
「爾時,諸梵天王即於佛前,一心同聲以偈頌曰」。
 
爾時
諸梵天王即於佛前
一心同聲以偈頌曰
《法華經化城喻品第七》
 
開始用偈文再來求佛說法。這就是先稱讚,這偈文這樣說:「聖主天中王,迦陵頻伽聲,哀愍眾生者,我等今敬禮。世尊甚希有,久遠乃一現,一百八十劫,空過無有佛。」
 
聖主天中王
迦陵頻伽聲
哀愍眾生者
我等今敬禮
世尊甚希有
久遠乃一現
一百八十劫
空過無有佛
《法華經化城喻品第七》
 
可見大通智勝佛,真的是很長久的時間,才在塵點劫以前,那個時候成佛。這是諸梵天王在稱讚,佛陀他成佛,覺悟,表達出了他們的心聲,他們的恭敬。他們對生死未斷這件事,還是很,一直期待,不是只有享受有形的物質,最重要就是要斷生死。所以一直說「哀愍眾生」,因為眾生都沒有離開六道。
 
佛能出世間,包括天、人(道)等等。因為這位大梵天王的名,叫做大悲,他四生五道也都憐憫,所以他就要求佛。用最恭敬的心來,來到佛的面前來敬禮,希望世尊,很難得能有人成佛在世間,這是很難得遇的,所以時間經過這麼久,既然來了,他們就是不願錯過,再遠的路,他們也願意來求法。
 
聖主天中王:
聖主
頌大通智勝
天中王
謂佛本為天中之天
盡虛空法界
究盡如如理之王
 
「聖主天中王」。意思就是說,大通智勝佛是天中王,是諸天中之王。「佛本為天中之天,盡虛空法界,究盡如如理之王」。
 
這是梵天王稱讚大通智勝佛,他已經就是徹盡了真理,虛空法界,如如理之王,遍空法界的真理,無一不清楚,究盡了一切的法。
 
群賢所尊曰聖主
諸天所宗曰王
以極果聖人
統王十界故
 
「群賢所尊曰聖主」。所有的賢人所尊重的,也是叫做聖主。所以諸天所宗敬的,稱為王。「以極果聖人」,就是統領,所以稱為王,統領十法界。這就是佛。佛的道理,已經究盡了虛空法界如如理,他能統領十法界。
 
十法界,過去也說過了,在三界中,就有十種的人,包括菩薩,就是佛來統領,六凡四聖,佛陀的教理來教化,所以稱為王。
 
「迦陵頻伽聲」,那就是妙音。就是用鳥,在群類所有的聲音,迦陵頻伽鳥這種鳥,牠的聲音是最微妙。所有的鳥叫聲裡面的聲音,所有人間的聲音,沒有勝過這種鳥的聲音,很好聽。牠在還未脫殼之前,牠就開始有這個微妙的聲音,這是很特殊的鳥叫聲。
 
迦陵頻伽鳥的聲音,在經典常常出現,不過我們就還不曾看過,不知道哪一種是迦陵頻伽鳥,我也無法向你們譬喻,這個鳥聲到底是多微妙。但是,唯有佛陀的聲音,就是勝過迦陵頻伽鳥之聲。這就是譬喻佛說教的慈妙之音。
 
所以「哀愍眾生者,我等今敬禮」。哀愍眾生」,唯有大覺聖者,能說法轉法輪,讓他們的心能透徹,如何才能解開,輪迴生死的苦。這就是梵天王,來哀求佛陀大覺聖者,為他們說法。所以「我等今日恭敬作禮」,今天這麼恭敬來了,唯一的心願,就是佛能為我們,解開這念生死源頭的無明。
 
「世尊甚希有,久遠乃一現」。世尊,就是很久很久,才有一尊佛能出世,梵天的福,不知什麼時候就會享盡,所以他們也擔心,佛出現人間的機會不是很常有,就是很長久的時間,要遇到佛不容易,所以「久遠乃一現」,要遇到佛的時間沒有那麼容易,所以我們大家,還是用最虔誠的心,來懇求佛為我們說法。
 
「一百八十劫,空過無有佛」。已經等這麼久了,一百八十劫中,都沒有佛出世過,等很久了。這就是這些梵天王,難得遇到佛出現人間,何況我們人間壽命短,哪一生世能遇到佛出世呢?就如我們,離佛世二千多年了,我們才生在這輩子,到底佛出世那個時候,我們在哪裡呢?是不是我們也有聽過佛說法嗎?這難得啊!雖然我們沒有,現在沒有佛在人間,至少佛法還在人間。雖然我們這個時候都很慨嘆末法了,惡世法末時。
 
我們現在處世這個時代,是惡世法末時,是濁氣很重的惡世。所以現在惡勢力很強,讓我們覺得怎麼會這樣?人生怎麼變這樣?但是無奈,佛陀就這樣對我們說了,《法華經》裡也是這樣說啊!「惡世法末時」。這就是在五濁惡世裡,我們佛法還在,在這個時候,我們還能聽到佛法,我們更是要珍惜這個法,我們要珍惜。不要「有」的時候一直享受,忘記了我們,就是失去的。我去的真理,真如的本性,我們一直被惡世,惡濁的世間,很多無明來遮蓋我們,我們原來本有的,我們被遮蓋,我們又不會珍惜,現在如何來破除這個惡。
 
如那位有愛滋病的女孩子,幸好有這位大醫王,能將她的眼睛,她遮蓋起來的,這樣一層一層將它剝開,這樣她才能看到光明。就如那位一百萬人當中,才有五個,機率的罕病患者,能到了大醫王手中,能到了大醫王手中,巧手妙法,才有辦法除去了他身體的病痛,癱瘓,幾乎一直癱瘓了的身體,已經能站起來走,這就是我們要珍惜。所以說,人生的道理,我們要懂得珍惜。唯有佛世間能將道理傳下來,在現在,雖然是末法了,人心惡濁,卻是道理存在,我們要懂得珍惜。
 
一百八十劫
空過無有佛:
一百八十劫
無佛出興出世
表十八界佛性隱埋
 
所以說「一百八十劫,無佛出興出世」,這是表示十八界,佛性就是隱埋了。什麼叫做十八界呢?大家應該清楚了,經聽那麼久了,十八界是什麼呢?看,六根、六塵、六識。對,這就是在我們的身上,道理,人若不懂道理,就是天下萬物的道理,都被埋沒了。唯有人道理清楚了,外面的境界,六塵,境界在,但是六塵的道理,讓我們接觸到,六根,眼、耳、鼻、舌、身、意,我們接觸到六塵,卻是我們無明迷惑了,不知這到底是什麼道理?常常受六塵污染了,我們六根不斷受迷惑來造業,來增長無明。這六根、六塵,就是回歸到六識。
 
六識,就是(起)無明煩惱,看外面的事物,就將它回收來第六識去造作。因為這個東西我很喜歡,要如何才能得到?我要的,不擇手段,我如何得。這是第六識去用心去想,回歸於第六識,指揮它的身口意去造作一切。這就是因為我們迷,迷在十八界,所以叫做「一百八十劫,空過無有佛」,這是一個譬喻。一百八十劫,就是譬喻十八界。十八界,我們的本性、我們的真如被埋沒了,已經隱沒了,被這些無明煩惱遮蓋,隱去了,所以我們才會這樣,一段一段的人生,苦不堪。
 
十八界:
合眼耳鼻舌身意
之六根
色聲香味觸法
之六塵
眼識、耳識、鼻識
舌識、身識、意識
之六識
 
各位菩薩,真的是要將道理找回來。在這十八界──(六根)眼、耳、鼻、舌、身、意。外面(六塵)色、聲、香、味、觸、法。回歸在六識,我們去緣外面的六塵境,收納進來(第六識),起動了第六識去造作,這樣埋沒了我們的真如,來造作無明業力,回歸到第八識,帶業來去,由不得自己。想想看,道理是這麼簡單,只是我們平時沒有在用心。還是要告訴大家說,我們要時時多用心!


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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: A World-Honored One Rarely Appears (世尊希有久遠一現)
Date: February.07. 2017
 
“With great loving-kindness and compassion, He shines the light of the principle of Suchness. He gives the Dharma-medicine to save sentient beings. With His goodness of body, speech and mind that permeates the universe, He teaches the Tathagata’s Dharma of the One Vehicle. They scattered flowers out of respect for the One Vehicle teaching and to dignify the ritual of the Dharma-assembly.”
 
When the Buddha came to this world, what He had in His heart was great loving-kindness and compassion. With His great loving-kindness, He hoped that all sentient beings would thoroughly understand the principles and resolve the delusions in their minds. If everyone can understand the principles, their minds will be free of afflictions, and they can become happy and full of Dharma-joy. This was the Buddha’s greatest wish, that everyone in the world would be empathetic and understanding. When we really understand all principles, we can all become awakened sentient beings.
 
But because one of our thoughts goes astray, that slight deviation [takes us far off course]. With just that one thought going astray, we create so much ignorance and afflictions, causing trouble for ourselves. Thus begins the cycle of negative causes, conditions, effects, retributions. The Buddha felt for us, so His one great cause was to return to this world to teach the principles of Suchness, the principles of True Suchness. This ultimate truth, the principles of True Suchness, which encompasses the universe and pervades all Dharma-Realms, was what He wanted us to understand.
 
It is like a ray of light shining through the darkness. Among those who are ill, this is the medicine they need to be treated. This is how the Buddha came to the human realm in response to sentient beings’ illness; it was a ray of light in the darkness. His sole purpose was to help everyone thoroughly understand the principle of True Suchness in the hope that everyone can escape this state of ignorance and delusion. This was the Buddha’s compassion.
 
So He used “His goodness of body, speech and mind that permeates the universe” to “teach the Tathagata’s Dharma of the One Vehicle.” He manifested in this world, was born and grew up in this world. In this world, He put the principles into action and engaged in spiritual practice. After His enlightenment, He had taken the principles of Suchness to heart. So, He taught the Dharma through speech; He turned the Great Dharma-wheel. He taught the Three Vehicles and the principles of True Suchness to deliver and transform sentient beings.
 
With His wisdom, He pervades the universe and all Dharma-realms. He responded to the Dharma of Suchness and came to this world to teach the principles of Suchness, the Dharma of the One Vehicle. This was how the Buddha responded to this world. So, “They scattered flowers out of respect for the One Vehicle teaching and to dignify the ritual of the Dharma-assembly.” This was [the Buddha of] the Saha World Sakyamuni Buddha, describing this; He used His speech to explain what happened dust-inked kalpas ago, in Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha’s process of attaining Buddhahood and [the scene] at His place of enlightenment afterwards. After He attained Buddhahood, all heavenly beings gathered together and came in search of this light that shone forth. Where was this ray of light coming from? It must be that a Great Enlightened One had been born into the human realm and was about to turn the Great Dharma-wheel. This was the source of the unusual light all the heavenly beings saw. This was what everyone reasoned, what they discussed together.
 
I hope that everyone can thoroughly understand the meaning of this light. The light represents the original principles, the principles that have always been there. The principles originated dust-inked kalpas ago; they have been there since Beginningless Time. If we can walk toward this principle, we can save ourselves and others, because samsara is filled with suffering.
 
We see how the Brahma kings understood that when they depleted their heavenly blessings, they would continue to transmigrate. Only with ultimate understanding of the principles could they be free from the suffering of samsara. Speaking of the sufferings of samsara, Dalin Tzu Chi Hospital’s deputy superintendent, Chen Jin-Cherng, told this story about a patient. This patient was from southern Taiwan. He was originally a businessman. At age 60, he retired and began to farm. In his fields he grew vegetables and so on.
 
Suddenly, his body experienced some changes. For no reason at all, he kept falling down when he walked. He became really scared. “What kind of illness do I have?” He went to all the major hospitals in the south. Pretty much all the doctors told him, “You probably have bone spurs on your spine.” They checked for bone spurs. “If it isn’t bone spurs, it could be cancer, bone cancer.” No matter how they examined him, they could not provide a concrete diagnosis. They could not figure it out.
 
He sought help, but was unable to improve his health, unable to learn what illness he was suffering from. He kept undergoing tests, but they could not figure out his illness. So, he decided to rely on the gods. He began to consult the gods. He went to three temples that were know of their effectiveness. All three temples pointed him toward Dalin [Hospital]. The gods directed him to Dalin to find answers. So, he actually went to Dalin Tzu Chi Hospital and found Deputy Superintendent Chen Jin-Cherng.
 
They ran tests and diagnosed him, telling him very precisely, “You don’t have bone spurs or cancer. You have a spinal dural arteriovenous fistula. This condition is found in only about five people in every one million. It is fairly rare. You are one of those five.” “So, what can we do about it? Doctor, what should I do?” The deputy superintendent told him, “Have surgery.”
He said, “I’m scared; I don’t dare have surgery.”
“If you don’t have surgery, you will need an remobilization.”
“Is that dangerous?”
“Of course I cannot give you a 100 percent guarantee. Why don’t you go to hospitals in northern Taiwan to see if they can do the remobilization or the surgery. These are your only two options, if you’re afraid to have surgery here, why don’t you find a doctor in northern Taiwan, someone you trust?”
 
So, he actually went to northern Taiwan, visiting every famous medical center and large hospital for a consultation. The doctors all told him, “Yes, you indeed have this disease. But this is a dangerous and difficult surgery. An remobilization would be dangerous too.”
 
Several hospitals refused to attempt this surgery or to do the remobilization, because this was a very rare disease, and no one had performed this surgery. So, he eventually returned to Dalin Hospital. He said, “Everyone confirmed this diagnosis. Though none of the hospitals in the south could diagnose this, you discovered it. The three gods I consulted told me to come here, and as no one in the north dared to operate, I’m probably meant to have the surgery here. So, I’ve decided to go ahead with eh surgery. Otherwise, for a healthy and strong man like me to keep falling down unexpectedly is a very embarrassing matter. So, I’ve decided to have the surgery here.”
 
From the start, Deputy Superintendent Chen was a wondrous doctor with wondrous skills and methods. Since he helped him discover the source of his illness, the origin of his problems, even though it was risky, he put his heart [into the surgery]. Since the man was strong and healthy, he would not die from this illness, but the surgery was very risky, and there was the danger of paralysis. But if he did not take this risk, over time the man would gradually have a harder and harder time walking. So, out of great compassion, Deputy Supt. Chen performed the surgery.
 
The surgery took seven or eight hours, and then the man had to go through physical therapy. When the time came for him to be discharged, he walked to the clinic and said to the doctor, “Deputy Superintendent Chen, I’m grateful to you. I’m about to be discharged; I have completed the formalities. You saved my body, saved my life.” He had come to the hospital in a wheelchair. He was unable to walk; his condition was that serious. Now he could actually walk well and go home.
 
Think about it; isn’t this just like exploring and searching for the origins of the principles of life, like seeking out the truths of life? These are principles of life, or of illness. Both kinds of principles will manifest in us; we just do not know when. We do not know, so we must be mindful. This is what the principles are like [in us], let alone in regards to the whole world. Our physical bodies will suffer from illness. Illness occurs through the principles of life. If a certain organ has a problem, it can lead to illness and death. Illnesses take many forms and appearances. There are rare illnesses that the average person will never encounter. Out of one million people, only five people might have this condition. It is a rare kind of illness. Our bodies can develop this kind of illness, but many people are not aware of this. Helping this man recover his health would not be possible without knowing his illness. If that had not happened…
 
Think about it; there are many big hospitals in southern Taiwan, and they could not diagnose the problem. Later, they said it could be bone spurs. Even later, they said it could be bone cancer, which made him very scared. This is the [nature of] illness. Some illnesses create such fear that no one dares touch them. This was one of those. It was so rare. Even if the doctors felt he should have surgery, they were afraid to do it. They feared it would result in his paralysis.
 
I also heard Taichung Tzu Chi Hospital’s Deputy Superintendent, Tsai Hsien-Yang, share the story of a young woman. She was HIV positive and, unfortunately, developed problems with her corneas. Her cornea grew to cover her entire eyeball. When she came to our hospital, her mother came with her, hoping that since she was so young, her eyesight could recover. However, she was gradually losing her sight. While seeking treatment, everyone knew that she was HIV positive, so no one dared to perform surgery on her. For HIV positive patients, having surgery was tricky, in regard to the equipment and so on. But at Tzu Chi Hospital, Deputy Superintendent Tsai felt that for such a young person, if no one did the surgery, what would happen to her? [She] would live in darkness all her life. He agreed to perform the surgery.
 
It truly took a very long time as well. He slowly cut into her corneas and very meticulously and carefully, removed those layers of membrane. He removed them completely. Then she was able to see again. Once the membranes were lifted, her world was bright again. On such a small person’s body, the only organ with problems was her eyes; her eyes were both covered by this membrane. Moreover, she is HIV positive. How did she come to contract this illness?
 
Then her eyes became shrouded in total darkness. As long as someone could find the reason and, with great loving-kindness and compassion, hope to lift this darkness, remove the membranes for her, light would be restored to her life, and she could connect with the world around her again. Think about it; isn’t light like the principles?
 
There are many principles in the world. There are many just in the human body alone. They are incalculable, as countless as dust particles, to say nothing of all the principles of the world. The Buddha had awakened to the true principles of all things in the universe, including the principles of life in humans. He understood the source of life’s principles, understood the original principles of life, not to mention the principles of all things in the world.
 
The only way the Buddha could teach so many principles was through speech, by giving many teachings of the Dharma. The Dharma already existed in His mind, in His great ocean of wisdom. Once it was in His mind, He had to express it verbally, through the mouth, which is a part of the body.
 
So, “With His goodness of body, speech and mind that permeates the universe, He teaches the Tathagata’s Dharma of the One Vehicle.” The Dharma is taught through speech. What the Buddha described was how dust-inked kalpas ago, when Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha attained Buddhahood, even the Brahma kings from the east and the southeast all came seeking the light, one by one. They sought this Virtuous One, the Great Enlightened One who had manifested in the world. Even heavenly beings came to the human realm to seek the Dharma. Thus, with respectful hearts, they came from very faraway places.
 
In addition to seeing all the heavenly beings, [the Brahma kings] also saw the 16 princes starting to request the Great Dharma. Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha’s great radiance shone in all directions. We have spent a lot of time explaining this so that everyone can understand that many of the matters in this world are inseparable from the original principles of dust-inked kalpas ago. The Buddha has explained them to us one by one.
 
So, the previous sutra passage says, “And they saw the 16 princes asking the Buddha to turn the Dharma-wheel. Then all the Brahma kings prostrated out of respect for the Buddha, circumambulated the Buddha thousands of times and scattered celestial flowers upon Him.
 
Upon arrival, they prostrated with great respect. After prostrating, they began to circumambulate the Buddha and scatter flowers. “The flowers they scattered were like Mt. Sumeru.” The flowers they scattered along the way formed tall piles. “They were used to make offerings to both the Buddha and the Bodhi-tree.” They not only paid respect and made offerings to the Buddha, they even scattered flowers on the Bodhi-tree. The Bodhi-tree was very tall, and the flowers they scattered also fell on the Bodhi-tree. This shows the respect they had for the Bodhi-tree. The Bodhi-tree was the place where He attained Buddhahood and taught the Dharma. He attained Buddhahood and taught the Dharma.
 
“Having made offerings with flowers, they each offered their palaces to that Buddha. They said these words.” After making offerings, they again said, “Please look upon us with mercy and benefit all of us. As for the palaces that we offer, may You honor us by taking them.
 
“Venerable Buddha, please be compassionate and have mercy on us by accepting our offerings.” They came to listen to the Dharma with reverence, with a reverence of body and mind that extended from their external appearance to the depths of their hearts. So, they used everything to make offerings; this demonstrated their reverence.
 
“At that time, all the Brahma kings, in the presence of the Buddha, with one mind and in one voice, spoke in verse.” They began speaking in verse to again ask the Buddha to teach the Dharma. They began by praising the Buddha with these verses. “Lord of the sages, king of heavenly beings, one with the sound of kalavinka, who takes mercy on sentient beings, we now respectfully prostrate to You. The World-Honored One is profoundly rare, only appearing after a long period of time 180 kalpas have passed with no Buddha.
 
Clearly Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha had to go through a long period of time before attaining Buddhahood dust-inked kalpas ago. This was the Brahma kings praising how the Buddha attained Buddhahood and awakened. They expressed the thoughts in their hearts and their respect. As to the matter of putting an end to samsara, they were still very hopeful. They did not just want to enjoy material things; most importantly they wanted to end samsara. So, they continuously said, “Take mercy on sentient beings.”
 
This was because sentient beings had not escaped the Six Realms. The Buddha was able to manifest in the world, so in the heaven or human realm [they could benefit]. This Great Brahma King was named Great Compassion, because he had mercy for the four form of birth and the Five Realms. So, he came to make a request of the Buddha. With a mind of utmost respect, he came before the Buddha and paid his respects, hoping the World-Honored One [would teach]. It was precious and rare for a person to attain Buddhahood in this world; this was very rarely encountered.
 
It had been a very long time since this happened, and now that it had, they did not want to miss this opportunity. No matter how far they had to travel, they willingly came to seek the Dharma. “Lord of the sages, king of heavenly beings,” means that Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha is the king of heavenly beings. He is the king of all heavenly beings, which “means that this Buddha was originally the highest beings among heavenly beings. He is the king who pervades the universe and penetrates all principles of Suchness.” This was the Brahma king s praising Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha for already penetrating the true principles; throughout the universe, He was the king of all principles of Suchness.
 
All true principles of all Dharma-realms were clear to Him. He had thoroughly penetrated all Dharma. “One who is respected by all sages is called lord of the sages.” The one who is respected by all the sages is also called lord of the sages. So, one who is respected by all heavenly beings is called king. “As a noble beings who has attained the ultimate fruit, He is the leader, so He is the king.” He leads the Ten Dharma-realms.
 
This is the Buddha, with these principles. He had already ultimately penetrated the principles of Suchness that pervade the universe. Thus, He can lead the Ten Dharma-realms. We have spoken of the Ten Dharma-realms before. In the Three Realms, people come in ten types, Including Bodhisattvas, all led by the Buddha. In the Six Unenlightened and Four Noble Realms, all are taught and transformed by the Buddha. So, He is called the king.
 
“The sound of kalavinka” is a wondrous sound. Among the sounds made by all the birds, the kalavinka is a kind of bird that makes the most subtle and wondrous sound. Of all the various bird calls and all of the sounds made by humans, none can surpass the sound of this kind of bird. It is a beautiful sound. Before he has even hatched, he begins making this subtle and wondrous sound. This is a very special bird call. The kalavinka’s call is often mentioned in the sutras, but we have never seen one. We do not know what a kalavinka looks like. I cannot draw an analogy for you to describe how subtle and wondrous this bird’s call is. However, only the Buddha’s voice can surpasses the sound of the kalavinka’s call.
 
This is an analogy for the Buddha’s kind and wondrous voice when giving teachings. So, “[You] who takes mercy on sentient begins, we now respectfully prostrate to You.” “Take mercy on sentient beings” means that only the Great Enlightened Noble One can teach the Dharma and turn the Dharma-wheel to help people’s minds thoroughly understand how they can be liberated from the suffering of cyclic existence. This was how this Brahma king came to ask the Buddha, the Great Enlightened Noble One, to teach them the Dharma “Today we respectfully prostrate to You.” Today, they came with such great respect. Their only wish was that the Buddha would help them resolve the ignorance that is the source of samsara.
 
“The World-Honored One is profoundly rare, only appearing after a long period of time.” As for the World-Honored One, it takes a long time for a Buddha to manifest in this world. In the Brahma heavens, they do not know when their blessings will be depleted. So, they were very worried. A Buddha does not often manifest in the world; It takes a long period of time, so encountering a Buddha is not easy. “Only appearing after a long period of time” means that encountering a Buddha is not that easy.
 
Therefore, everyone must, with a mind of utmost reverence, sincerely ask the Buddha to teach the Dharma. “180 kalpas have passed with no Buddha.” They had already been waiting such a long time. For 180 kalpas, no Buddha had appeared in the world. They had waited for a very long time. Those in the Brahma heavens rarely encounter a Buddha born in this world, to say nothing of us and our short human lifespans. In which lifetime will we encounter a Buddha manifesting in this world?
 
For us, over 2000 years have passed between the Buddha’s lifetime and when we were born into this life. At the time the Buddha was in the world, where were we? Did we also listen to Him teach the Dharma? That would have been a precious [opportunity]! Although there is no Buddha in this world now, at least the Buddha-Dharma is still here. Now at this time, we lament we are in an era of Dharma-degeneration, in this evil world of Dharma degeneration. The era we are living in right now is a time when the Dharma is deteriorating and the world is evil and filled with turbidities.
 
So, evil forces are very strong right now, causing us to wonder how things can be this way. How could life be like this? But nothing can be done. The Buddha has explained this to us. The Lotus Sutra talks about this as well. “This evil world of Dharma degeneration” refers to the evil world of Five Turbidities. The Buddha- Dharma is still here at this time; we can still listen to the teachings. So, we must cherish the Dharma even more. We must cherish it. While the Dharma is “still here,” we must not become so lost in enjoyment that we forget, and therefore lose, the true principles, our nature of True Suchness. We are continually covered by so much ignorance in this evil, turbid world. What we originally had has been covered. We also do not cherish the opportunity we have now to eliminate this evil. We are like the HIV-positive girl. Fortunately, her doctor was able to operate on her eyes and peel away the membrane, layer by layer, enabling her to see light again.
 
We are like the man who was one of the five out of one million. His doctor, with dexterous hands and great skill, was able to remove the cause of his illnesses. A body that had been nearly paralyzed can now already stand up and walk. This is something we must cherish. So, when it comes to the principles of life, we must know to cherish them.
 
Only a Buddha who manifests in this world can pass down the principles. Now, we are in an era of Dharma-degeneration, and people’s minds are evil and impure, but the principles still exist, so we must cherish them.
 
So, it says, “For 180 kalpas, there has been no Buddha manifesting or born in the world.”  This means that in the 180 Realms, the Buddha-nature has been hidden and buried. What are the 180 Realms? Everyone should be clear on them, as we have listened to teachings for so long. What are the 18 Realms? The Six Roots, Six Dusts and Six Consciousnesses. Correct, these exist in our body. If we do not understand the principles, the truths of all things in the world will all be buried. So, we have to be clear on life’s principles. Our external conditions are the Six Dusts. These conditions simply exist, but with principles of the Six Dusts, we connect with them through the Six Roots, eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind. We come in contact with the Six Dusts, however, we are deluded by ignorance so we do not recognize the principles. We are constantly being defiled by the Six Dusts. Confused by delusion, our Six Roots constantly lead us to create karma and add to our ignorance.
 
The Six Roots and Six Dusts return to the Six Consciousnesses. The [sixth] Consciousness gives rise to ignorance and afflictions. Upon seeing external matters and things, upon taking them in, our [sixth] consciousness leads us to act. “Because I like this thing, I want to find a way to obtain it. I will do anything to get what I want.” This is the [sixth] Consciousness at work. It all goes back to the [sixth] consciousness, which directs the actions of our body, speech and mind. This is because we are confused; this confusion is in the 18 Realms.
 
So, it says, “For 180 kalpas, there has been no Buddha manifesting or being born in the world.” This is an analogy. The 180 kalpas are an analogy for the 18 realms. In the 18 realms, our intrinsic nature, our nature of True Suchness, has been buried. It has already been hidden, covered by our ignorance and afflictions, hidden by them. This is why we go through lifetime after lifetime of unbearable suffering.
 
The 18 Realms: Eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind, the Six Roots. Form, sound, smell, taste, touch and thought, the Six Dusts. The eye-, ear-, nose-, tongue-, body- and mind-consciousness, the Six Consciousnesses.
 
Dear Bodhisattvas, we truly must find the principles again. In the 18 realms, eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind, encounter external objects of form, sound, smell, taste, touch and thought and return to the Six Consciousnesses. We connect to the Six Dusts in external conditions and take them in, causing our [sixth] consciousness to take action. This buries our nature of True Suchness and creates ignorance and karmic forces, which are stored in the eighth consciousness. Without any control, we bring our karma with us. Think about it; the principles are so simple. It is just that we are not mindful in daily living. I still want to remind everyone, we must always be mindful.
 

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