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 20170214《靜思妙蓮華》至誠獻供請轉法輪(第1023集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)

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發表主題: 20170214《靜思妙蓮華》至誠獻供請轉法輪(第1023集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)   周一 2月 13, 2017 11:41 pm

20170214《靜思妙蓮華》至誠獻供請轉法輪 (第1023集)
(法華經•
化城喻品

 
轉佛法輪化度,入眾生心名轉法輪,法水淨流圓通,法化潤澤不唯一人,如車船有輪轉,四季時光喻轉法輪。
「我等諸宮殿,光明甚威曜,此非無因緣,是相宜求之。過於百千劫,未曾見是相,為大德天生,為佛出世間。」《法華經化城喻品第七
「爾時,五百萬億諸梵天王與宮殿俱,各以衣祴盛諸天華,共詣北方,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
「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。」《法華經化城喻品第七
及見十六王子請佛轉法輪:王父生子稱王子,佛口說法生法子長慧命。請佛轉法輪。
時諸梵天王頭面禮佛,繞百千匝表尊敬禮儀規範,以最至誠頭面禮敬,繞百千匝。
即以天華而散佛上將至敬意誠心花虔誠獻妙供。
「所散之華如須彌山,并以供養佛菩提樹。華供養已,各以宮殿奉上彼佛而作是言:惟見哀愍饒益我等《法華經化城喻品第七
所散之華如須彌山並以供養佛菩提樹所積高也請於樹下轉法輪也
華供養已各以宮殿奉上彼佛: 以己受用施用於佛也
而作是言惟見哀愍饒益我等: 願佛攝受求福報也
「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
 
【證嚴上人開示】

「轉佛法輪化度,入眾生心名轉法輪,法水淨流圓通,法化潤澤不唯一人,如車船有輪轉,四季時光喻轉法輪。」
 
轉佛法輪化度
入眾生心
名轉法輪
法水淨流圓通
法化潤澤
不唯一人
如車船有輪轉
四季時光
喻轉法輪
 
就是轉法輪,我們要很用心體會,什麼叫做轉法輪。法輪,法在佛心,佛為一大事來人間,佛已經將他的真如本性,回歸宇宙天體,天體宇宙間,萬法萬物都歸納於佛心覺海裡,佛陀希望將這個法,能夠轉入眾生的心。意思就是說,我知道這件事,而且瞭解這些道理,是我親自體會,我要將這個方法讓大家都知道,大家也能去體會到。這盆水是熱的,冬天能夠泡在水中很舒服,我有這個經驗,我知道,所以要跟大家說,風霜雪凍,趕緊用個熱水來泡腳,通身血路都能很舒暢,感覺會很舒服。我要將這個法跟你們說,讓你們知道。而我若只是這樣說,你們是不是只這樣聽,冷還是歸冷,你們就要好好去燒水,水煮到這樣的溫度,你的腳再泡進水裡,你的感覺,自然就有這樣的感覺,自然你的內心、你的身體很舒服。
 
道理就是這樣,佛已經與天體法界會合在一起,就是一念悲心,這念悲心不捨讓眾生,還在五道輪迴,辛苦啊!尤其是在五道中,人道無明煩惱複製,人間混亂,苦、苦,苦不堪。佛陀就是這念悲憫心,要人的心能淨化,人的心通達道理,所以將他用心、用功,不斷不斷去用功,然後真正的,心,真如本性,與天體法界會合,無事不知,無相不解,無理不通。
 
他就要教我們這樣的方法,讓我們能瞭解人事物相,我們就能心開意解,就沒有再煩惱複製,人間才能祥和,我們的生死才能解脫,這就是佛陀的悲心,我們應該要用心來接受。佛陀用他的法這樣來轉化,度入眾生心,從佛的心這樣將那個法,所得到的法,輪轉來化入眾生,化度入眾生的心,所以叫做轉法輪。將他瞭解的,如輪子一樣,這個法要有車、有輪,從佛的內心,如車輪把法度到大家的心裡去,這叫做法輪。
 
所以「法水淨流圓通,法化潤澤,不唯一人」。也就是說,法水,法水是清淨,法水能滋潤我們的慧命,我們的慧命想要成長,就是要有這樣清淨的法水。就如大地,萬物有了水,有水分,它就會成長,若沒水分,它就會枯萎,就乾掉了。就如現在我的面前,有幾支的乾柴,這些乾柴,這個柴已經都乾了,沒有水分,水分都是流失掉了、抽掉了,或者是自然乾了,就是沒有水分,所以久來就變成了一支乾柴,已經乾掉的柴了。這個再泡水,它也無法發芽生根,這就沒有辦法了。這就是說,它的那個時間、因緣已經斷了,所以就無法,再有恢復它的生機。我們人人也一樣,我們需要趕緊將法水來滋潤,我們有完整的種子,我們有一片的心地,我們種子本來就是在,我們的心地裡,這時候就是缺法水;有了法水,自然土地濕潤,種子有了大地、有了水分,它就會,自然會發芽,空氣因緣來助一下,來助這個法,自然因緣、種子會合,就完全伸根發芽出來,生機就這樣盎然起來了。
 
就如我們人人的真如本性,我們不斷將煩惱無明,一直覆蓋它,已經髒了,缺淨水。法譬如水,法與水一樣,所以「法水淨流」,需要清淨的法水。這樣「圓通」,因為水它能隨方就圓,只要你是水,不論是四方或者長的,或者是圓的,水都是隨著你是什麼樣的形狀,把水倒下去,四方,它就在四方的盆,方方的;若是一條管子,水就隨著這條管道,水管,這樣一直流過去,不論你的水管是粗是細,同樣的,水也會這樣跟著它流過去。
 
法水是隨眾生的根機,水是隨萬物的形,所以眾生的根機需要法,法隨眾生根機,水隨萬物的形所需要,這樣去滋潤,所以法水淨流,隨方就圓叫做圓通,沒有東西它不通。只要有法,我們願意用法,自然法隨機度化。就像水,不論什麼樣的形,它,只要有水,它就有辦法流到了那裡。
 
所以「法化潤澤」。法就是來化度眾生,救度眾生,我們人人清楚這個法。看看,我們現在這品,〈化城喻品〉。除了釋迦牟尼佛,在敘述大通智勝佛,塵點劫,無始以前的無始的無始,那就是本來就有,只是我們經過了很久,我們的真如本性,受了這樣不斷一念偏差,步步皆錯,煩惱無明長久以來就是這樣,一直淨水漏掉了,污染一直重重疊疊,成為凡夫,落入五道四生。淨法漏掉了,所以我們就墮落在五道裡。但是這個法還是存在,有法,還有善的輪,還不斷在轉,這個道理沒有消失掉,所以修行者本性存在,發心,就是這樣一直隨著真理、法,不斷輪轉,生生世世還是不斷輪轉。
 
佛經裡,佛的《本生經》,也是無始無始,無始劫以前,有很多,佛的《本生經》,從修行開始,那是無始劫。也有接受了佛法,順法修行,修善法、守善戒,隨著他的善法、善戒,有人就生在天界,不同的天界,有的大小善法,所造的大小善福,隨著他的大小善的,福與戒所應化,去生在不同的天界。
 
梵天,梵天那就是,(包括)「色究竟天」,雖然是享受天福,卻是他還有少分的,塵沙煩惱還未盡,道理還有一點點還無法瞭解,所以還需要求法,需要再精進。《法華經》大乘法,不只是化度人間眾生,連天界,色究竟天,梵天王他們也會蒙光,承蒙這個光的照耀。就是佛在人間修行,成佛了,一道的光明。欲界諸天在護法,所以欲界諸天護法,十劫坐道場。大通智勝佛,十劫坐道場,很長久的時間,要能通達原始的道理,要用很長久的時間,所以欲界諸天就來護法。
 
所以十劫坐道場,才開始啟悲運智,這十劫的修行中,最後一念啟悲運智,就是要與眾生同體大悲,就是為眾生,這念心起,運用智慧,所以一念間開悟。十劫,開悟在那一念間,那一念間,那就是同體大悲,就叫做啟悲。雖然無緣大慈是很好,最後還是要同體大悲。盼望人人幸福平安,這是佛慈,但是眾生受苦難,就要感覺眾生的苦與我們的苦,苦眾生的苦,這種同體大悲,這種運,啟悲運智,所以會合起來,悲智雙運。這當中,這一念間覺悟了。
 
這樣,諸天開始散花供養,這道光,覺悟之光,道理馬上就這樣透徹到梵天。梵天震動,光明照耀,從東方開始。希望大家再回憶。
 
東方的梵天王,代表者名叫做「救一切」,最先,這位梵天王的代表者,他所期待的就是佛轉法輪。他也是這樣經過了,五百萬億(佛)國,迢迢,很遠的地方,來到大通智勝佛的道場,散花供養,目的就是要請佛轉法輪,他就是為了要救一切,他也是有這樣的心。自己還有少分的煩惱,希望將來,他也能和佛一樣轉法輪。佛是如何成佛?如何能來度眾生?「度脫苦眾生,開涅槃道」,這是救一切梵天王,(請佛)轉法輪,那個目標就是期待,「以大慈力,度苦惱眾生」,這是救一切梵天王,他來請法輪的目標。
 
東南方的梵天王呢?代表者叫做「大悲」。大悲也是同樣的方式,來請佛轉法輪。佛,大通智勝佛默然,他再一次請佛,就是要顯示事相,才有辦法度眾生,因為眾生已經是惡道充滿了,天眾減少了,請佛轉法輪,顯示事相。
 
因為現在的眾生,根機鈍劣、煩惱多,所以要用事、用相,讓大家再更清楚了解,所以希望佛陀用淺顯的道理,這樣來教化眾生。這就是前面東方,與東南方梵天王。救一切,那就是希望人人都能夠,永遠永遠入,涅槃寂靜的境界,人人都是清淨無煩惱,這是慈心。
 
而大悲呢?就是與眾生同體大悲,苦眾生的苦,所以知道惡道增長,善道減少,眾生根機鈍劣,需要用事相,所以東南方的諸梵天王,是用這樣的心情,來請大通智勝佛轉法輪。


再接下來,現在就是南方了。南方的梵天王,代表就是「妙法」。所以現在再下去,「妙法」到底要如何,來請佛轉法輪?同樣是一道光的照耀,他就是從南方要向北方,向北方去找,北方。
 
前面東方是向西的源頭,現在是南方,他就向北方來。同樣的,發光的源頭,在不同的方向,看這個原來的源頭,所以就有東、南、西、北的,名相出來。所以說,法,「法水淨流」,就要隨著這個名相,不論你是名稱四方的,這盆水在這個四方的裡面,這盆水在圓的,圓的,沒有任何的形狀,沒有任何的(器)物,它不能透入。所以法水,「法化潤澤」,法,原來就有。水,這個地球上原來就有水,因為它原來就有水,所以才有生物;原來若沒水,它就沒有生物了,所以它原來有水。這也就是同樣的,無始無始以前,原來就有,但是我們已經就如在那棵樹,已經乾掉了、斷掉了,全都沒有水分,這就無法吸收法,無法再復生,無法,完全與法隔離。
 
所以說「法化潤澤,不唯一人」。不只是給人間,其實天也需要這個法。「如車船有輪轉」,不論是車,或者是船,船也有輪子,它要有輪,所以叫做渡輪。渡輪,那就是要有輪子,輪子,它才能轉,東西才能走,飛機也要有輪子。總而言之,所有運輸的器物,都是要有輪子。連現在在製造東西的機器,也要有輪子,所以輪,我們的法也需要,要有法輪。
 
從佛心要轉到,凡夫心、眾生心去,必定要利用法輪。輪就如法,法原來就有,但是我們不會應用它,所以將輪轉到我們眾生的心。就如四季,春、夏、秋、冬,這個時光也有「年輪」。每一年都有四季,春、夏、秋、冬,一年又過去了。同樣的道理,這個輪就是不斷在轉,能轉的東西叫做輪。地球也是一樣,虛空中隨著軌道的輪轉,所以每天天亮,每天天黑,它不斷在公轉輪轉,還是這樣在轉。所以,轉法輪。
 
希望我們人人,大家若能透徹瞭解,我們就要法要好好用心。佛法本來就有,就如水與地球,有了地球,它就是有水分,才有生,植物這些東西出來,生物與植物等等,都是因為有水分。
 
我們人,慧命要成長,一定也要有法水。來,前面的經文這樣說,這都是差不多的經文,我們都是這樣一直(講)過來。「我等諸宮殿,光明甚威曜,此非無因緣,是相宜求之。過於百千劫,未曾見是相,為大德天生,為佛出世間。
 
我等諸宮殿
光明甚威曜
此非無因緣
是相宜求之
過於百千劫
未曾見是相
為大德天生
為佛出世間
《法華經化城喻品第七
 
這我們是再復習一遍,這是在南方的梵天王所見的光。
 
「爾時,五百萬億諸梵天王與宮殿俱,各以衣祴盛諸天華,共詣北方,推尋是相。」
 
爾時
五百萬億諸梵天王
與宮殿俱
各以衣祴盛諸天華
共詣北方推尋是相
《法華經化城喻品第七
 
因為他的方向在南,所以他要向北來找,找這個光的源頭。下面(經文)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
 
除了諸天以外,又有八部龍眾,這就是包括了所有所有,三界之內一切的眾生,包括梵天也是眾生之內,包括一切的天神、人,以及動物,五道都在其中,四生五道都包含在其中,都已經集到大通智勝佛的道場來了。
 
接下來的經文就再這樣說,「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
《法華經化城喻品第七
 
在這個道場裡,也已經有十六王子,在這個道場裡,就是因為十六王子,他們請佛轉大法輪。
 
及見十六王子
請佛轉法輪:
王父生子稱王子
佛口說法
生法子長慧命
請佛轉法輪
 
「王父生子稱為王子」,佛呢?「佛口說法,生法子長慧命」,所以就是叫做佛子,來請(轉)法輪,是十六王子請佛轉大法輪。他們聽法很歡喜,瞭解,從聲音入耳,聲聞,然後覺悟了人間一切無常,所以要如何斷盡生死,要如何度盡眾生?所以十六王子,就請佛再轉微妙的大法。法是很微妙,但是,是大乘法,這是十六王子請佛說法。
 
佛陀開始允許說法,所以光芒,這道光就是這樣透出,這是佛允許要講微妙大乘法,所以發出的光。
 
時諸梵天王
頭面禮佛
繞百千匝
表尊敬禮儀規範
以最至誠
頭面禮敬
繞百千匝
 
所以「時諸梵天王」,就「頭面禮佛,繞百千匝」。這就是依照禮數、儀規,前後到了,前後就是這樣的禮節,表示尊敬的禮儀,這是一個規範。所以「以最至誠」,那就是「頭面禮敬」。就是這樣頂禮下去,頭、臉要碰地,這樣就是表示最虔誠,禮節,印度他們有這樣的禮節,繞,繞佛的周圍,這樣也表示恭敬。以天華而散佛。禮敬之後,再用天花散,散在佛上。
 
即以天華
而散佛上
將至敬意誠心花
虔誠獻妙供
 
不只是佛的頭上,又是散在樹上,散花供養。滿天空,從空而下,花來莊嚴道場。「將至敬(意)誠」的心花,這也是表示虔誠。心花怒放,也是表示很歡喜。這樣的禮節,這種敬(獻)花,就是表示歡喜的禮節,這樣來獻供,獻出微妙的供養。
 
「所散之華如須彌山,并以供養佛菩提樹;華供養已,各以宮殿奉上彼佛而作是言:惟見哀愍饒益我等。」
 
所散之華如須彌山
并以供養佛菩提樹
華供養已
各以宮殿奉上彼佛
而作是言
惟見哀愍
饒益我等
《法華經化城喻品第七
 
所散的花就如須彌山,不只是在佛的頭上,並以供養佛的菩提樹。不只是敬佛而已,花也散在菩提樹上。樹,因為佛坐在菩提樹下,所以可見花從高而下,所以所散下來,菩提樹上也鋪滿了天花,這樣是表示恭敬菩提樹。
 
「華供養已,各以宮殿奉上彼佛」。這是表示所有所有一切的供養,從「宮殿俱」,一切來,來供佛。這分的虔誠就是求佛饒益,來利益,利益(我等),說法。所以這種最高無上,所聚積起來的高,虔誠,至高無上的虔誠,所累積起來,就如須彌山這麼高。
 
所散之華如須彌山
並以供養
佛菩提樹
所積高也
請於樹下轉法輪也
 
所以請佛轉法輪,用這麼至高無上的虔誠,如須彌山一樣,從高而降,這樣的虔誠來供佛,請佛轉法輪。
 
華供養已
各以宮殿
奉上彼佛:
以己受用
施用於佛也
 
「華供養已,各以宮殿,奉上彼佛」這就是「(以己)受用,施用於佛也」。這就是無形的心(意),但是有形的供養,這叫做「受用」。無形,心理真的是無形,卻是也要表示。禮敬不禮敬,對佛一點關係都沒有,但是是表示,我們面對著佛的禮節。所以對佛來說,有什麼受用呢?只是表示天人付出,那一分,「我最虔誠,所有的一切都願意奉獻。」,這種的「受用」。
 
而作是言
惟見哀愍
饒益我等:
願佛攝受
求福報也
 
「而作是言:惟見哀愍饒益我等;願佛攝受,求福報也。」
 
用這樣的虔誠,向佛開始這樣說。「惟見」,就是最虔誠,內心唯一,我的心念中所期待的。這個「惟」字就是思惟,內心所期待,唯一期待的,就是「佛啊!慈悲哀愍,饒益我等」。因為天福有盡期,要如何斷生死呢?要請佛慈悲開示。還有一點點微分的惑還未除,所以道理還有少分不瞭解,請佛要哀愍,來為我們開示,讓我們能瞭解。所以「願佛攝受,求福報也」。還是求,因為天福將盡,若再墜落下來,要怎麼辦?所以還是要再求佛攝受。
 
接下來再一段(經)文,「所獻宮殿,願垂納受!」
 
所獻宮殿
願垂納受
《法華經化城喻品第七
 
我的虔誠,我所有的一切,我都要供養。這都常常聽到這樣說。「我就盡量賺,事業盡量做,其實做一做,師父,這我都有準備,都要(捐獻)……。」都差不多是這樣的心態。人的心、天人的心,相信都是一樣,求福的心啊!但是梵天王所要求的福,是福與慧,因為前面就有說過了,就是要饒益一切眾生,不是只求自己。
 
下面,所獻的一切宮殿,那就是「願垂納受」。因為他們在下面,要獻供的人在下面,佛高坐在上,所以獻,要用恭敬,高高捧起,佛陀這樣垂手來接受。其實這是無形的,卻是這樣的恭敬。這是表態,一個表態,他的心意,請佛,「您就知道我有這樣的心意,請佛您要納受。」
 
所以「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
 
我們大家所獻,請佛陀來接受,這是諸天要供養的心情,他就是那麼的虔誠。
 
是,要虔誠,我們學佛,欠缺這念虔誠,所互相對待,就無法心與心來同一念心。常常說「合心、和氣、互愛、協力」,最後是「協力」,我們大家協力,才有辦法天下社會人間平安。這個協力,必定要彼此互愛,互相互愛,我們互愛,同一個力,這樣就能扛起來。一件東西很重,大家「我也要盡一分力量,才能減輕你一分的力」,所以人人出一分力,就是互相減輕對方的負擔。
 
若有這念心,力量就會齊;若是沒有這念心,重的,「較重的那頭給你,較輕的給我」,輕的地方,我也沒撐起來,我還把它拉住。因為路走不動了,我就拉著,你幫我拖,我拉著你這個這麼重的東西,前面又要拖重的,又要拉,後面不只沒有幫忙撐起來,又是拉著。這樣,社會如何能祥和呢?不去體會,沒有同理心,哪有辦法有互愛呢?所以一定要互愛。
 
互愛的心,是來自和氣,你看得到的,要互愛,我們看不到,「有啊!有啊!我有愛他啊!」但是,最重要的是我們看得到,和和氣氣,有和氣,我們聽他和他說話的聲音,就知道這說話很圓融,說話都很有庇護,互相庇護,互相讚歎,聲音聽得出來。看臉色,很慈祥,他和他說話,大家互相說話,怎麼都那麼慈祥呢?這看得出來、聽得到,叫做和氣。
 
有和氣才有辦法合心。所以合和互協,這就是最虔誠的心。人與人之間互相對待,也要有虔誠的心,因為人人都是佛。
 
各位菩薩,真真正正的互相尊重,互相轉法輪。小菩薩都會說:「師公,我們要發願,當您小小的護法人、傳法人!」對啊,護法、傳法,這都是現在年紀很小的孩子,都會這樣。同樣的,我們大家都要來傳法、護法。佛法要能在人間,我們大家要合和互協,要時時多用心!


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Subject: Requesting the Turning of the Dharma-Wheel (至誠獻供請轉法輪)
Date: February.14. 2017
 
“The Buddha’s Dharma-wheel is turned to transform, deliver and enter sentient beings’ hearts. This is called turning the Dharma-wheel. The pure flow of the Dharma-water perfectly reaches everything. The Dharma transforms and nourishes, and not just humans. As carts and ships have wheels that turn, and there is the turning of the four seasons, we thus use the analogy of the Dharma-wheel.”
 
This is turning the Dharma-wheel. We must very mindfully seek to comprehend what it means to turn the Dharma-wheel. When it comes to the Dharma-wheel, the Dharma is in the Buddha’s mind. The Buddha came to the world for one great cause. He had already returned His nature of True Suchness to its state of [oneness with] the universe. The universe and all the things within it were encompassed by the Buddha’s ocean of enlightenment.
 
The Buddha hoped to transmit this Dharma into the minds of sentient beings. This is like saying, “I know about this matter, and I understand these principles. This is my first-hand experience. I want everyone to know this method so that they too can experience this.” This basin of water is hot. Soaking in it in the winter is very comfortable. I have experienced this, so I know. Thus, I want to tell everyone that when it is freezing cold, we should quickly soak our feet in hot water. This stimulates our circulation, so we will feel very comfortable. I want to tell you this method so you will know.
 
But if all I do is tell you and all you do is listen, then you will remain cold. You have to make the effort to heat the water, boil it until it is at this temperature, and then soak your feet in it. Then naturally you will experience this feeling. Naturally your mind and your body will feel very comfortable. This is how the principles work.
 
The Buddha had already become one with the universe and all Dharma-realms. This came from His compassion. In His compassion, He could not bear for sentient beings to continue transmigrating in the Five Realms; that is suffering! In particular, in the Five Realms, in the human realm, ignorance and afflictions are reproduced. The human world is in chaos, and the suffering is unbearable. The Buddha, in His compassion, wanted to help people to purify their minds, to thoroughly understand the principles. So, He was mindful and worked hard. He continuously put in this effort, and eventually His mind’s nature of True Suchness became one with the universe and all Dharma-realms. There was nothing He did not know, no appearance He did not understand, and no principle He did not comprehend. He wanted to teach us the method for this, to help us understand people, matters, objects and appearances. Then we could open our minds and understand and no longer replicate our afflictions. Only then would the world become harmonious; only then could we be free from cyclic existence. This is the Buddha’s compassion.
 
We should mindfully accept the Dharma that the Buddha used to transform us by delivering it into sentient beings’ minds. From the Buddha’s mind, the Dharma He attained was turned [like a wheel] to transform sentient beings and be delivered into sentient beings’ minds. So, this is called turning the Dharma-wheel. He took what He understood and [turned it] like a wheel. The Dharma needs a vehicle, needs a wheel, so that from the Buddha’s mind, the Dharma, like a cart’s wheel, can be delivered into everyone’s minds. This is the Dharma-wheel.
 
So, “The pure flow of the Dharma-water perfectly reaches everything. The Dharma transforms and nourishes, and not just humans.” This means that the Dharma-water is pure. The Dharma-water can nourish our wisdom-life. If we want our wisdom-life to grow, then we need this pure Dharma-water. This is like the land; when all things have water, have moisture, they will grow. Without moisture they will wither, they will dry out. For example, right now in front of me, there are these dried branches. These branches have already dried up. There is no moisture in them. The moisture has been lost, sucked out. Or, they have naturally dried up. This means there is no more moisture. So, after a while, they become dry branches. Once branches have already become dry, even if they are soaked in water, it is impossible for them to sprout and grow. There is no way that will happen.
 
This means that, by that time, their causes and cognitions have come to an end. So, it will be impossible for them to recover their vitality. It is the same for all of us. We need to immediately be nourished by the Dharma-water. We have [healthy] seeds and a field in our mind. Our seeds have always been in the fields of our minds, but at this time we are lacking Dharma-water. With Dharma-water, the ground will become moist. When seeds have soil and moisture, naturally they will sprout. The causes and conditions of the air will help, will assist this phenomenon. Naturally when causes and conditions come together with the seeds, the seeds will develop roots and sprout. Their vitality will be so exuberant. This is like everyone’s nature of True Suchness; we have allowed afflictions and ignorance to continually cover it. It is already dirty and lacking clean water.
 
The Dharma is like water; the Dharma is the same as water, so, “the pure flow of the Dharma-water” means we need the pure Dharma-water to perfectly reach everything. Water takes the shape of its container; so long as there is water, whether the container is square, rectangular, or even round, it will always follow that shape. When the water is poured into a square container, it will be square. If there is tube, then the water will follow this tube, this pipe and continue flowing through it. Whether the pipe is thick or thin, the water will likewise flow through it. Dharma-water follows sentient begins’ capabilities; water follows the shapes of all things. So, with sentient begins’ different capabilities, we need the Dharma; the Dharma adapts to sentient beings’ capabilities. Water adapts to the shapes of all things and, according to what they need, nourishes them in this way.
 
So, the pure flow of the Dharma-water can adapt to any shape; this is what is meant by “perfectly reaches everything.” There is nothing it can’t reach. As long as we have the Dharma and are willing to apply it, naturally the Dharma adapts to capabilities to deliver and transform sentient beings. It is like water; regardless of the shape, as long as there is water it will be able to flow to every part. So, the Dharma transforms and nourishes. The Dharma is for transforming and delivering all beings, for saving all beings. Everyone is clear on this Dharma.
 
Look at this current chapter, the Chapter on the Parable of the Conjured City. In addition to Sakyamuni Buddha, it describes Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior from dust-inked kalpas before. Even long ago, before Beginningless Time, this has always been there. It is just that over a very long time our nature of True Suchness has been affected; as thoughts continually go astray, our every step is mistaken. So, we have long been in this state of afflictions and ignorance where we continue to let pure water leak away, and our defilements continue to pile up. Thus we become unenlightened begins in the Five Realms and four forms of birth. The pure Dharma has leaked out, so we have fallen into the Five Realms.
 
But this Dharma still exists; it is still there. The wheel of goodness is still turning; the principles have not disappeared. So, spiritual practitioners’ intrinsic nature continue to follow the Dharma, true principles, as it continually turns and as they continue to transmigrate life after life. In the sutras, in the Buddha’s Jataka Sutra, before the beginning of beginningless kalpas age, there are many stories. The Buddha’s Jataka Sutra tells how He began to engage in spiritual practice beginningless kalpas ago. He too accepted the Buddha-Dharma and followed the Dharma in His practice. He cultivated teachings of goodness and upheld virtuous precepts. By following teachings of goodness and precepts, some are reborn in the heaven realm, in different kinds of heavens. There are great and small [good deeds], so people create great or small blessings. Depending on the great and small good deeds, their blessings and precepts, they will transform and be reborn in different heavens, such as the Brahma heavens; the Brahma heavens include Akanishtha Heaven (the highest heaven). Though they enjoy heavenly blessings there, they still have a small amount of dust-like afflictions they have not eliminated. There are still a few principles they are unable to understand. So, they still need to seek the Dharma and need to be more diligent.
 
The Lotus Sutra, the Great Vehicle Dharma, not only transforms sentient beings in the human realm, but also those in the heaven realms, including Akanishtha Heaven. Brahma kings would also receive the light, receive the radiance of the light. When the Buddha practiced in the human realm and attained Buddhahood, there was this ray of light. Heavenly begins in the desire realm then came to protect the Dharma. So, heavenly beings, Dharma-protectors, from the desire realm, [stayed there] as the Buddha sat for ten kalpas Great Unhindered Superior Wisdom Buddha sat for ten kalpas in His place of enlightenment, a very long time. To thoroughly understand the original principles requires a very long time.
 
So, all heavenly beings in the desire realm came to protect the Dharma. Only after sitting for ten small kalpas in His place of enlightenment did He begin to awaken compassion and wisdom. After then kalpas of spiritual practice, in the end He awakened compassion and wisdom. This means He had to have universal compassion for sentient beings, to work for the sake of sentient beings. As this thought arose within Him, He exercised His wisdom. So in the span of a thought, He became enlightened.
 
After ten kalpas, He became enlightened in an instant. In that instant, He had universal compassion. This is the practice of compassion. Though is it very good to have unconditional loving-kindness, in the end we need to have universal compassion. We hope for everyone to be happy and at peace. This is the Buddha’s loving-kindness.
 
But when sentient beings suffer hardship, we must feel their suffering as our own suffering. Feeling sentient beings’ suffering as our own is universal compassion, thus we exercise both compassion and wisdom. So, bringing everything together and exercising compassion and wisdom, in that instant He attained enlightenment.
 
Then, all heavenly beings began scattering flowers as an offering. With this ray of light, the light of awakening, the principles immediately reached the Brahma heavens. The Brahma heavens quaked and were illuminated by the radiance. This began in the east. I hope everyone can recall that the Brahma kings of the east were represented by Saving All.
 
From the very beginning, what this representative of the Brahma kings hoped for most was for the Buddha to turn the Dharma-wheel. He had also passed through 500 trillion lands, from a remote and faraway place, to come to the place of enlightenment of Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha. He scattered flowers and made offerings with the goal of asking the Buddha to turn the Dharma-wheel. This was because he wanted to “save all.” This was his aspiration. He still had slight traces of afflictions. He hoped that in the future. He could turn the Dharma-wheel like the Buddha. How did the Buddha attain Buddhahood? How was He able to deliver sentient beings? “[He] liberated suffering sentient beings by opening the path to Nirvana.” This is why when Brahma King Saving All [asked the Buddha] to turn the Dharma-wheel, his goal, his hope, was through “power of great compassion to deliver suffering, afflicted sentient beings.” This was Brahma King Saving All’s goal in asking the Buddha to turn the Dharma-wheel.
 
And the Brahma kings of the southeast? Their representative was called Great Compassion. Great Compassion also used the same method to ask the Buddha to turn the Dharma-wheel. As Great Unhindered Superior Wisdom Buddha had remained silent, he asked Him once more. Only by His revealing matters and appearances would there be a way to transform sentient beings. Because evil realms were full of sentient beings and those in the heaven realms had diminished, he asked the Buddha to turn the Dharma-wheel, to reveal matters and appearances. Because sentient beings right now have dull capabilities and many afflictions, matters and appearances need to be used to help everyone more clearly understand. So, he hoped for the Buddha to use simple and obvious principles to teach and transform sentient beings. This is how the previous. Brahma kings from the east and from the southeast wanted to save all; they hope everyone could forever be in a tranquil and still state o Nirvana, where all would be pure and free of afflictions. This is loving-kindness. What about Great Compassion? He had universal compassion for sentient beings and felt sentient beings’ suffering as his own. He knew those in the evil realms were increasing and those in virtuous realms were diminishing. As sentient beings’ capabilities were dull, they needed matters and appearances [to understand]. So, the Brahma king of the southeast had this mindset when he asked Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha to turn the Dharma-wheel.
 
After these, now it is the south. The Brahma kings of the south are represented by Wondrous Dharma. Now we will go on to discuss just how Wondrous Dharma came to ask the Buddha to turn the Dharma-wheel. Similarly, because of an illuminating radiance, he came from the south to the north. He went north in his search. Previously, those in the east went west toward the source. Now, those in the south went toward the north. It was the same; the source of the radiance [was viewed] from different directions. As they looked toward the origin of the light, these terms, east, south, west and north, appeared.
 
So, of the Dharma, we say “the pure flow of the Dharma-water” must adapt to these kinds of terms. Whether it is somethings we term “square,” whether the water basin is a square container, or whether it is a round, circular container, there is no shape, no container, that water cannot enter. So, with Dharma-water, “The Dharma transforms and nourishes.” The Dharma has always existed, and when it comes to water, there has always been water on this planet. It is only because water has been here that there ae living things. If there had been no water, then there would be no living things. So, there has always been water. Similarly, since before Beginningless Time [the Dharma] has been here. But we are like those tree [branches] that have dried out and been broken off. There is no moisture in them. The way, we are unable to absorb the Dharma; it is impossible for us to be revived. We have been completely cut off from the Dharma. So, the Dharma transforms and nourishes, and not just humans. It is not just given to the human realm. Actually, those in the heaven realm need the Dharma too. “As carts and ships have wheels that turn…” This applies to both carts and ships; ships also have wheels, the ones with wheels are called ferry boats. Ferry boats are powered by a wheel. Only when this wheel turns can it move. Airplanes also need wheels. In conclusion, anything that transports things needs to have wheels. Even machinery that manufacture things also needs to have wheels. So, our teachings also need to have wheels. We need the Dharma-wheel. To transmit [the Dharma] from the Buddha’s mind into the minds of unenlightened sentient beings, it is necessary to use a Dharma-wheel; this wheel is an analogy for the Dharma.
 
The Dharma has always been there; it is just that we do not know how to apply it. So, [the Buddha] turns this wheel into sentient beings minds. This is like the four seasons, spring, summer, autumn and winter. These periods of time, also turn like a wheel. Every year, we have the four seasons. After spring, summer, autumn and winter, another year has passed. The principle is the same. This is wheel that is continually turning. Things that can turn are called wheels.
 
The earth does the same in the void of space, it turns as it follow its orbit So, we experience light and darkness every day. It unceasingly revolves and rotates; even now it is turning. So, the Dharma-wheel is turned in hopes that everyone can thoroughly understand. So, we must be earnestly mindful of the Dharma. The Buddha-Dharma has always existed. It is like the water on Earth There has to be water on the planet in order for plants and other living things to arise. Living things and plants and so on all exist because of water. For us humans to nurture our wisdom-life, we must also have Dharma-water.
 
This is what the previous passage says. These passages are very similar, and we have continuously discussed them. “In all of our palaces, the brilliant illumination is powerfully radiant. This is not without causes and conditions. We had better investigate this appearance. Hundreds and thousands of kalpas have passed without us ever seeing such a sign. It must be a Virtuous
One born in heaven of a Buddha manifesting in the world.”
 
Let us go over this again. This was the light seen by the Brahma kings of the south. “At that time, 500 trillion Brahma kings went along with their palaces. They each used their mantle to hold all kinds of celestial flowers and together went to the north to seek out this sign.” Because they were in the south, they went north to search for the source of the light.
 
The next passage 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.”
 
In addition to heavenly beings, there were the eight classes of Dharma-protectors. This includes all of the sentient beings in the Three Realms. It includes the heavenly beings of the Brahma heavens, they are also sentient beings. It includes all deities, humans and animals. The Five Realms are all included here. The four forms of birth and the Five Realms are all included in this. They have all gathered together at Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha’s place of enlightenment.
 
The next sutra passage says, “And they saw the 16 princes asking the Buddha to turn the Dharma-wheel. The all the Brahma kings prostrated out of respect for the Buddha, circumambulated Him thousands of times and scattered celestial flowers upon Him.
 
At the place of enlightenment, the 16 princes were already present; they were present at this assembly. The 16 princes were the ones who had asked the Buddha to turn the Great Dharma-wheel. “The sons of a king are called princes.” And the Buddha?
“As Dharma is taught from the Buddha’s mouth, it gives birth to Dharma-children and nurtures their wisdom-life.” So, they were called Buddha-children. They asked [the Buddha] to turn the Dharma-wheel. It was the 16 princes who had asked the Buddha to turn the Great Dharma-wheel. Upon hearing the Dharma, they were very happy, and they understood; the sounds entered their ears as Hearers. Then they awakened to the impermanence of all things in the world, so they wanted to know how to end cyclic existence. How could they deliver all sentient beings? Thus, the 16 princes asked the Buddha to again turn [the wheel] of the subtle and wondrous Great Dharma.
 
This Dharma is very subtle and wondrous, but it was the Dharma of the Great Vehicle. This is what the princes asked the Buddha to teach. When the Buddha consented to teach the Dharma, this light began radiating outwards. The Buddha had consented to teach the subtle and wondrous Great Vehicle Dharma, so this light radiated.
 
“Then all the Brahma kings prostrated out of respect for the Buddha [and] circumambulated Him thousands of times.” This was in accord with etiquette and propriety. As each arrived, each acted in accordance with this etiquette to express their respect. This is setting an example.
 
So, “With utmost sincerity, they prostrated out of respect.” They prostrated this way, with their heads and faces touching the ground. This was an expression of utmost reverence in. India, this was the etiquette practiced. Their circumambulating the Buddha was also an expression of respect. They scattered celestial flowers upon the Buddha. After they paid their respects, they scattered celestial flowers upon the Buddha.
 
And [they] scattered celestial flowers upon Him: The most sincere and respectful flowers of the heart are reverently presented as wondrous offerings.
 
They did not only fall upon the Buddha’s head; they were also scattered upon the tree. They scattered flowers as offerings. Filling the sky, falling from the sky, the flowers dignified the place of enlightenment. “The most sincere and respectful flowers of the heart” are also an expression of reverence. Hearts blooming like flowers symbolize great joy. This etiquette, presenting flowers in this way, expresses joy. In this way, they reverently presented wondrous offerings.
 
“The flowers they scattered were like Mt. Sumeru. They were used to make offerings to both the Buddha and the Bodhi-tree. Having made offerings with flowers, they each offered their palaces to that Buddha and said these words, ‘Please look upon us with mercy and benefit all of us.”’
 
The scattered flowers were like Mt. Sumeru. They scattered them not only on the Buddha’s head, but made offerings to the Bodhi-tree too. Not only did they show respect to the Buddha, they also scattered flowers on the Bodhi-tree, because the Buddha had sat beneath the Bodhi-tree. So, clearly the flowers rained down from high up. With the flowers they scattered, the Bodhi-tree also became covered in celestial flowers. They demonstrated respect for the Bodhi-tree.
 
“Having made offerings with flowers, they each offered their palaces to that Buddha.” This demonstrated that they made offerings with everything they had. Starting with “each of their palaces,” they made offerings with everything they had. This reverence was in the hope that the Buddha would benefit them, benefit [all of them] and teach the Dharma. So, with their unsurpassed [reverence] the [flowers] piled up so high. Their expression of supreme, unsurpassed reverence accumulated as high as Mt. Sumeru.
 
The flowers they scattered were like Mt. Sumeru. They were used to make offerings to both the Buddha and the Bodhi-tree: [The flowers] were piled up high to request Him to turn the Dharma-wheel beneath the Bodhi-tree.
 
So, they asked the Buddha to turn the Dharma-wheel with supreme, unsurpassed reverence. [The flowers] were like Mt. Sumeru, coming down from high above. With this kind of reverence, they made offerings to the Buddha and asked the Buddha to turn the Dharma-wheel.
 
“Having made offerings with flowers, they each offered their palaces to that Buddha.” This way, “What they used [for themselves] was given for the Buddha to use.”
 
Their mindset was intangible, but their offerings were tangible. This is “what they used.” What was inside the mind is truly intangible, yet they wanted to express it. Whether they were respectful or not would not matter to the Buddha anyway, but they still wished to express it through their etiquette toward the Buddha. To the Buddha, what use were these things? They just represented heavenly beings’ giving, showing “I am the most reverent. I am willing to give everything I have.” These were things “they used.”
 
“[They] said these words,” ‘Please look upon us with mercy and benefit all of us.’ They prayed the Buddha would embrace them for they sought blessed retribution.
 
With this kind of reverence, they began speaking to the Buddha. “Please look upon us” was an expression of utmost reverence. In their minds, they hoped for only one thing. “Please” indicated their thinking, that the only thing they hoped for was, “Venerable Buddha!” “Look upon us with compassion and mercy. Please benefit us!”
 
There is a limit to heavenly blessings. How could they put an end to cyclic existence? They had to ask the Buddha to teach them out of compassion. They still had slight traces of subtle delusions they had not yet eliminated. There were still a few principles they could not understand. “Venerable Buddha, please be merciful and give us teachings to help us understand.”   So, “They prayed the Buddha would embrace them, for they sought blessed retribution.”  They were still seeking, because their heavenly blessings would soon end. If they fell again, what could they do? So, they still asked the Buddha to embrace them.
 
The next passage then says, “As for the palaces that we offer, may you honor us by accepting them. My reverence is such that. I want to make offerings with everything I have.”
 
We often hear people say this “I want to make all the money I can, do all the business I can. But all that I do, Master, is in preparation to [donate] all of it.” This is the mindset some people have. The minds of humans and heavenly beings are the same; all are seeking blessings! But the blessings sought by the Brahma kings were both blessings and wisdom. As I mentioned previously, they sought benefit for all sentient beings, not only for themselves. When they offered all their palaces, they hoped He would “honor us by accepting them.”
 
They were below Him; those making offerings were below, and the Buddha was sitting high above. So, to make offerings with respect, they had to raise them high up, while Buddha had to reach down to accept them. Actually, this was all intangible, but this way of showing respect was their attitude, their expression. Their intent was to ask something of the Buddha. “Venerable Buddha, you know our intent. Please accept these things.”
 
So, “At that time, all the Brahma kings in the presence of the Buddha, with one mind and in one voice, spoke in verse.”
 
“May the Buddha please accept the things we have offered.” This is how the heavenly beings felt when they made their offerings. Such was their reverence. Yes, we must be reverent. As we are learning the Buddha’s teachings, if we are lacking this reverence when we interact with each other, we will unable to be of one mind.
 
I often talk about “unity, harmony, mutual love and concerted effort.” Last is “concerted effort.” Only when we act in concert will the world and all societies be at peace. To act with concerted effort, we must have mutual love. We must love one another, and with mutual love we can focus our efforts to life any burden. If something is very heavy, one can say, “Everyone, I will also offer my strength so I can take some of the burden off of you.” If we all give of our strength, we can help relieve the burden on one another. With this kind of thought, our strength will be in concert.
 
Without this kind of thought we may say, “You take the heavier end; give me the lighter end.” However, we may not even carry the lighter part and instead pull it the wrong way. Then no one can move. “I will hold on; you help to pull. If I just hold on to this heavy object, the person in front is carrying the burden, as I pull the other way. Not only are we not helping to lift the back, we are pulling it the wrong way. If this is the case, how can society be harmonious? If we do not understand, if we have no empathy, how can there be mutual love? So, we must have mutual love.
 
Mutual love comes from harmony. We must love everyone we can see. For those we cannot see, we may say, “Yes, I do love them.” But most important are those we can see. We must be in harmony with them. When we listen to them talking to each other, we know their speech is harmonious. They are very supportive in their speech, offering mutual support and mutual praise. We can hear this in people’s voices. From their expression, we can tell they are kind. As people speak to one another, [others wonder,] How are they so kind?” This can be seen and heard; this is harmony. Only with harmony is unity possible.
 
Unity, harmony, mutual love and concerted effort is utmost reverence. As people interact with each other, they need to treat one another with reverence, because everyone is a Buddha.
 
Dear Bodhisattvas, truly, we must respect on another and turn the Dharma-wheel for each other. They young Bodhisattvas always say, “Grandmaster, we want to make a vow to be your little Dharma-protectors, to be those who spread the Dharma.” Indeed! They protect and transmit the Dharma. Even these very young children aspire to this; similarly, all of us should spread and protect the Dharma. For the Dharma to be in the world, we must have unity, harmony, mutual love and concerted effort. Let us always be mindful.
 

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