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 20170221《靜思妙蓮華》 造福緣持淨戒 (第1028集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)

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發表主題: 20170221《靜思妙蓮華》 造福緣持淨戒 (第1028集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)   周一 2月 20, 2017 11:25 pm

20170221《靜思妙蓮華》 造福緣持淨戒 (第1028集)
(法華經•化城喻品第七)

 
人間造上上十善福緣,持人間上上善戒淨慧,梵天色界淨善福無染,見奇瑞光相所以心喜。
惟願天人尊,轉無上法輪,擊於大法鼓,而吹大法螺,普雨大法雨,度無量眾生。我等咸歸請,當演深遠音。《法華經化城喻品第七
而吹大法螺:佛法喻吹大法螺聲,能驚醒夢中的人。佛法隨根應機而轉,名吹法螺。
普雨大法雨:佛之說法,如雨露普潤。以譬喻鼓策勵,激發精修之義。螺取施號發令義,雨取潤澤義。教法能令眾生破惑拒魔,力破無明重障,如法鼓摧發猛精進。
法音宣暢,能令遠者悅,近者集齊受道,如聞螺聲聚集聽號令。
一音說法,隨類得解,無不入道,如一雨隨地各得受潤。
度無量眾生:擊鼓吹螺,轉法如輪,雨法雨潤澤大地,總願度脫一切眾生。如來說法,有形聲二益,如如意珠,如藥樹王,所益弘多,故云度無量眾生。
我等咸歸請,當演深遠音:我等咸共依歸勸請,當為眾演深遠法音。聖人談吐,貴在投機,言近指遠,淡中有味,故云深遠音。
 
【證嚴上人開示】

「人間造上上十善福緣,持人間上上善戒淨慧,梵天色界淨善福無染,見奇瑞光相所以心喜。」
 
人間造
上上十善福緣
持人間
上上善戒淨慧
梵天色界
淨善福無染
見奇瑞光相
所以心喜
 
我們這段時間,一直在描述梵天王找光,而集合到佛說法的地方來,用至上虔誠的心獻供,散花圍繞,同時也懇切請佛說法。這段時間,聽起來是這麼長,卻也是我們不能疏忽掉,是我們人人學佛,也就是人間人人,所要具備的虔誠的心。
 
虔誠,日常生活中,待人,人人要虔誠,做事,事事要虔誠,對天、對地,無時不都是在虔誠中,從我們的內心,用虔誠敬意來面對每一件事物。面對每件事物,那就是面對每一件大小事理,我們學佛,不就是要學得法入心嗎?法就是道理,道理要入我們的心來。要去哪裡找呢?就是在心裡,心表達出來就是在事相,人、事、物,一切形象,這就是我們要很注意、用心。
 
稱為梵天王,那就是在人間,就有這樣,時時都是用虔誠的心。對事、對人,人間所造作的是上等上善,所以叫做「上上十善福緣」。我們要做到上上十善福緣,必定要有這分對人事物,時時培養這念虔誠、敬恭的心。還要持的是「人間上上善戒淨慧」。因為我們人人,都是在同一個空間、大地上,不論是臺灣或者是在全球各國,每個人都是在人間,人與人之間,我們要持的是上上的善戒。
 
我們除了造十善,還要持上上的十善戒,就這樣,自然我們對事無私。除了虔誠付出,又沒有私心的善,付出是無所求,這在行善中不求名、不求利、不為自己,就是付出就對了,這叫做上上的善戒。這樣自然就是清淨慧,我們就得到清淨的智慧。這若沒有清淨智慧,哪能做得到呢?
 
所以,在一九九0年那一年,也是八月二十三(日),我人是在臺中,在臺中新民工商有一場,「幸福人生講座」。其中一句呼籲大家,那就是,「用鼓掌的雙手來做環保」。這樣輕輕地說,聽的人重重地就聽進去了,這樣開始發心,一心立志,絕對沒有退失,已經這個願力恆常不動,沒有動搖,這樣一直維持下去了,一直到現在,我們已經十幾個國家(地區)慈濟人,都是這樣把握因緣,就地做環保。
 
看到現在的氣候變遷,有知識的國家學者一直在研究,為什麼氣候一直不調和,氣候變遷這麼的極端?在先進國家,他們的社會,他們愈是體會到,臺灣在推動的環保,環保菩薩用心的投入,愈感覺到這是接近人間的大事。
 
天地人間接近科學的證明,確實,人人的生活中,確實地球的資源,也證實了地球資源,一直消耗掉了。這種工業的發達,所造作出來的東西,在地球上掩埋就是不會爛,整個地球的地表面,受這些垃圾重重疊疊一直埋,整顆地球未來就是不堪設想。一些土已經表面上,都是受這些千年、百年,不會腐爛的塑膠類,這樣整個都掩埋了,土,土壤就會消失,覺得事態嚴重。
 
又是地底下資源的消耗、消磨,推究到底,真的是嚴重的問題。既然慈濟人有這樣的方法,「有法度」,只要將法聽進去,人人伸出雙手來,隨手就能將這些,不會腐爛的塑膠類集中起來,又是能重新再製,資源不消耗,又是能舊的用壞了,翻新來用,這樣也不必再,工業受很大的影響。所以在其他先進的國家,已經跟隨臺灣環保的方法,開始做了。
 
尤其是在這麼熱,衛生沒有照顧好,臺灣南部有潮濕的水,就是產生了蚊蟲。這蚊蟲叮人,現在叫做「登革熱」,以前的人叫做「天狗熱」。這種的病症會傳染,這隻蚊子叮到這個人,再從這隻蚊子再傳給別人,像這樣,用蚊子(傳播),因為環境產生了這種蚊子,這種蚊子叮人,就是傳給人,其他的蚊子再來叮人,再傳給人,這樣的傳染病,所以這種病叫做「天狗熱」,臺南也發現了千多例。
 
再經過蘇迪勒這個颱風,樹枝吹斷滿地,垃圾,塑膠類的袋子含著水,也是滿地,清都清不完,但是蚊蟲一直孳生出來,「天狗熱」的病例一直增加。快要開學了,暑假快要過去了,學校和公園,大家很擔心,所以鄰里長拜託慈濟人,是不是能來幫我們大家一下。
 
慈濟人本來就是不請之師,何況重視環保,所以大家歡喜,有受邀的、未受邀的,大家去投入清掃公園。其中臺南一間(億載)小學,這間小學,它學校不大,不過,老師也不多,要清理這間學校真的是很困難。慈濟人就自動去這間學校,動員起來幫他們清掃。而我們臺南,(慈濟)中小學的學生,也是聽到了,趕緊學生也去投入了,投入億載國小。
 
我們的孩子接受訪問時,「你們大家怎麼也來參加?」「是啊!因為快要開學了,開學,很多的小朋友,若被蚊子叮到就會感染登革熱。」所以為了避免學生被蚊子叮,避免再孳生蚊蟲,所以他們願意自己來投入清掃。這就是用心,不為了什麼,是為了要如何避免,這片土地能夠清淨,蚊蟲不要一直孳生起來,預防天狗熱病的傳染,這就是這麼單純。所以大家動員去付出,無所求,只是要維護人人平安、健康。這就是慈濟人在社會,這樣的付出。
 
如彰化一位施林冬花,這位老菩薩,今年已經八十八歲了,做了二十幾年的環保志工,現在年紀大了,拿柺杖出門,沿路撿。兒子、女兒很不捨,一直勸她不要做了,年紀這麼大了,萬一跌倒呢?她就說:「我不只是拿拐杖要做,我還會騎三輪車。」果然,她不只是拿拐杖這樣路上撿,她就是騎著三輪車去村莊裡收,看看她做慈濟、做環保的精神。
 
她說:「我去村裡,除了能環保回收以外,我就是要收會員的(善款)。所以我一直要收,我一直要做,做到無法做為止。」所以希望兒子和女兒,不要阻擋她,讓她過很甘願歡喜的人生。我看她騎三輪車,載那一堆回收,村莊沿路這樣每一戶去收,又要收會款,又要收家家戶戶,「清淨在源頭」,也順便能載回來。
 
還有一對,一對老夫妻,他們是在臺南,許吉彬,今年已經八十歲了,和他的老伴(張靜玲),七十六歲,兩人都受證委員與慈誠,他們也是一直投入環保。他們兩夫妻每天還是開著,三噸半的車,山上這樣去繞,家家戶戶去收,一天兩次,來回將近三百公里。一大早出門,收一趟回來,一趟上山五十幾公里,回來五十多公里,來回百多公里,一天兩次這樣收。
 
他們說:「若不做,我們難道沒有感覺嗎?」他這樣說:「地球上愈來愈熱,就是因為大家所用的東西,太過度了,工業太多了,所以製造的東西,這樣在消費,這樣在浪費。丟掉的東西,埋在地下,不會爛。大家都這樣說,溫室效應,氣候一直熱起來,這與環保有關係啊!我們能做多少,我們就做多少,就是兩個老伴一直做,是為後代子孫好。照顧這片土地,不要埋那麼多垃圾,將土地照顧好,這是為後代子孫好。」要做到何時呢?「就是一直做,做到無法做。」
 
看,這種發心立志,這不就是立弘誓願,發四無量心。這種慈悲與投入菩薩的行列,一個是委員,一個是慈誠,不只是入人群中,與組隊的活動不脫隊,又是堅持在環保,照顧天地。天氣熱,他們就覺得,人家就是這樣說,就是工業太發達,製造的東西太多,所以溫室效應,所以他們要照顧這片大地。你看,這三位就是,我們老菩薩的典範,我們的老菩薩不都是這樣嗎?
 
不只是老菩薩,還有事業家,還有工程人等等,粗重細膩,不論是商、工、農,大家士、農、工、商,任何一位投入慈濟,都是這樣付出。你們想,這不就是,「人間造上上十善福緣」嗎?慈誠、委員在人群中,勤務很多,還要做環保,付出無所求,這不就是持人間上上的善戒嗎?
 
過去,梵天王,他們過去在人間就是這樣做,就是這樣地(造)上上善、(持)上上戒;造善、持戒(修定),生在梵天,還要再求法,所以他們不論是,東、西、南、北,四面十方,梵天王開始紛紛到道場,請佛說法。這就是我們要很用心去體會,佛法不離世間法。法,就是道理,道理是在我們日常生活中,用最虔誠的心面對人、事、物,這樣去付出。剛剛這幾位,我們現代的菩薩,就是典型人物。看看,他們做得到,人人都做得到,所以不困難。佛經雖然很深,其實是離不開我們的生活。
 
我們來看前面(經文),「惟願天人尊,轉無上法輪,擊於大法鼓,而吹大法螺,普雨大法雨,度無量眾生。我等咸歸請,當演深遠音。」
 
惟願天人尊
轉無上法輪
擊於大法鼓
而吹大法螺
普雨大法雨
度無量眾生
我等咸歸請
當演深遠音
《法華經化城喻品第七
 
擊鼓,就是硬的東西,用四大和合,就是天地間,地、水、火、風所形成的物質,有為法,變成了物質,不論是鼓的鼓質,楗槌,槌的質,用這樣互相來擊。叩鐘、擂鼓,這個聲音要來警醒人人,漫漫長夜之迷,讓我們要好好精進,這就是轉法輪,擊法鼓,吹法螺。
 
「普雨大法雨」,就是佛所說法。土地上的乾旱,就如<藥草喻品>一樣,雲,一雲一雨,雲雨滋潤大地,同樣的道理,佛法滋潤大地,大地萬物甦生,就是非常的繁榮,草木都能長起來。所以,佛的說法如雨露普潤,像是雲、雨、露水一樣,能夠普潤大地,我們人人的心地就是需要有佛法來滋潤。
 
所以我們,「以譬喻鼓策勵」,法就如鼓來策勵,激發我們精修的意思。來策勵、來勉勵我們。要不然,我們人人本具佛性,只是重重無明覆蓋著。就是來策勵我們,好好地將一層一層的無明撥開,激發出我們要精進,念念的心,分分秒秒,這念虔誠、這念精進的心,一定要激發出來,來鼓勵我們。這樣的意思。
 
螺,吹法螺。看,喇嘛他們,每天都用長長的嗩吶,他就是這樣吹出去,而我們是以敲鐘,叩鐘。他們是用吹的,這個聲音這樣吹出去,它就能聽很遠,因為高曠的地方,這麼多人這樣來吹這個聲,讓大家聽到了,要精進了。
 
螺,就是海螺,有一種海螺很大。以前從海邊撿起來,已經乾掉的海螺,拿來吹,聲音也很響亮。所以這個螺,古時候的人,將有些東西造型成螺一樣,貼在嘴上,就是要合嘴,能吹,吹出去的口較大,自然它的聲音就擴大,就如螺型一般,聲音經過螺,自然聲音就擴大。
 
這是古代發號司令,司令發號就是用螺。尤其是戰地,將要開始作戰,他就是敲鼓吹螺,這就是表示,敵人差不多到什麼地方了,我們要趕緊整裝,盔甲要整齊,準備要上戰場。這種司令發號,就是用鼓、用螺。這也表示,佛法就是不斷在警惕我們,人生苦短,我們要精進,我們要持戒。因為我們在人間人群中,就像入戰場一樣,我們若一不小心,也會被人傷害到,若一不小心,也會受盡了很多,煩惱無明來(障礙)。
 
而吹大法螺:
佛法喻吹大法螺聲
能驚醒夢中的人
佛法隨根應機而轉
名吹法螺
 
《四十二章經》也是有這樣說,修行者如穿盔甲入戰場一樣。所以我們也要聽鼓聲、法螺的聲音,這樣時時警惕我們要有精進的心。
 
所以,說法就如雨,雨露,能潤澤眾生。法是聲音,就如鼓與螺,法,本身就如雨露一樣,能能夠滋潤大地。
 
普雨大法雨:
佛之說法
如雨露普潤
以譬喻鼓策勵
激發精修之義
螺取施號發令義
雨取潤澤義
教法能令眾生
破惑拒魔
力破無明重障
如法鼓摧發猛精進
 
「教法能令眾生破惑拒魔」,能夠破除我們的迷惑,煩惱魔軍一來,我們有辦法將它隔開。我們修行,煩惱一來,我們要趕緊將它破除,清除掉,這叫做拒魔,拒絕無明煩惱入我們的心來。
 
所以「力破無明重障」。法有這個力量,破除我們的無明重障。每天,我若話說完要出去,就聽到大家念:「願消三障諸煩惱」。是啊!三障的煩惱,貪瞋癡等等的煩惱來障礙我們,我們要好好地將它消除。所以,無明,很多很多的無明障礙,我們要使出我們的力量,修行者如入戰場的力量,拒絕很多的無明、煩惱,來障礙我們的道心。所以「如法鼓摧」,這樣摧發勇猛精進心。鼓聲陣陣,我們就能發出助力,向前衝這種的精進心。
 
法音宣暢
能令遠者悅
近者集齊受道
如聞螺聲聚集聽號
 
「法音宣暢,能令遠者悅」,很遠的人聽到法了,也很歡喜,「近者集齊受道,如聞螺聲,聚集聽號令。」如現在沒有秒差,在面前的人,大家集中在這個地方精進。遠方的地方,大家在薰法,他們也是一大早,天未亮就出門了。假如是冬天,他們也是要忍著風雪,大家集合,就是只為了要聽法,同在這個時候。令遠(方)的人聽了,受到法了,他們也能得到法喜充滿,近的人更應該要再齊集,集齊來受道。
 
修行者同在一個空間,在這個環境裡,豈能再懈怠呢?遠方的人都是忍著風霜雪凍,他們都要來聽,聽得很歡喜,何況我們同在一個環境裡,豈能不集齊來受法嗎?所以我們應該要,「近者集齊受道,如聞螺聲,聚集聽號令」,就如法螺一樣,聲音已經響了,叩鐘、擂鼓了,鐘聲,「聞鐘聲,煩惱輕,智慧長,菩提生」。應該大家睡著,聽到鐘聲,就要趕緊起來,不要再有睡眠煩惱,輕快起來。所以「聞鐘聲,煩惱輕」,就沒有想睡的這個,沉重無明煩惱。很輕快,趕緊起來,趕緊集合去精進,「智慧長,菩提生」,這就是聽聞鐘聲。
 
古時候的人就用螺聲,這樣發出這個聲音,所以趕緊聚集來聽號令。法就如號令。我們要如何去破除煩惱?有方法,這就是法。所以我們要好好來聽,我們要如何與無明煩惱惑作戰,我們要精進,無明惑,我們要如何去除,要聽法的號令,告訴我們如何預防,如何去除,如何行善,如何止惡。止惡、行善,這都是佛法能夠在我們的內心,時時發揮精進的作用。
 
所以「一音說法,隨類得解」。
 
一音說法
隨類得解
無不入道
如一雨隨地
各得受潤
 
聲音一出來,我們就能瞭解。就如法鼓,就用「四大」來分析,鼓聲要如何能響起來呢?「四大」,「四大」,不只是鼓的關係,發出這個聲音,人類小乾坤、大乾坤,一切一切的物相,無不都是四大,軟硬兼具都有。所以這是「一音所說法」,讓我們瞭解更多事。所以「隨類得解」,能夠隨什麼樣的根機能瞭解。所以「無不入道」,若能夠瞭解法,一個一個道理慢慢去體會,或者是頓悟的人,一聞千悟,得一個道理,知道四大的道理,所看的,一切一切物質,包括人類,包括世間一切有事有相,道理都包含在其中。
 
不過我們就是眾生健忘,很容易忘記,就要不斷一而再,再而三,還是出自聲音來說話,話中就是法,所以「隨類得解」。看他的根機是什麼根機,是利根機,鈍根機呢?這種眾生,「隨類得解,無不入道」。不論是利根機的,或者
是較遲鈍的根機,就是這樣靠著聲音,步步精進,事事瞭解,進步就是入道。
 
「如一雨隨地,各得受潤」。像是雨,同樣是雨,雨是一味,都是同樣的,你到了哪裡盛雨水來嚐嚐看,都是淡的,水的味道。
 
「度無量眾生」。法味是一,但是它能復甦大地,所有一切眾生,這就是「度無量眾生」。就如擊法鼓、轉法輪,「轉法如輪」。輪子必定要轉,從塵點劫以前,無始以來就有的道理,千古不變,一直到現在,就是要靠我們這樣,不斷輾轉相傳,這也是叫做轉法輪。
 
釋迦牟尼佛,也是承著無始劫以前的法,這樣不斷在說過去佛所說的法,我們現在,也是要不斷說過去二千多年前,釋迦牟尼佛說過去佛的法,還是同樣要這樣,不斷不斷地轉法如輪,一直輾轉下去。車輪,車子有輪才能愈跑愈遠,這也就是「轉法如輪」。
 
所以「雨法雨潤澤大地」。雨,也就是下雨,下這場雨,那就是要來潤澤大地。大地五榖雜糧要生長起來,要讓人類有活命,而我們的心地也要法雨來滋潤,我們才能活出我們的慧命,所以「雨法雨潤澤大地」。「總願度脫一切眾生」。這就是弘誓願,「眾生無邊誓願度」,這是佛佛道同,誓願度眾生,這是總願。
 
「如來說法,有形聲二益」。有佛出世了,這是佛的形態,出現人間,出現人間,從小到大那個過程,修行,表達出那一分,堪忍、吃苦,修行這個過程,覺悟了,所有的道理瞭解了,發出聲音來說法。這就是如來,如來是(以)身的 形,「乘如是法而來人間」,成佛之後,用他的聲音來說法,所以,有形、有聲二益人間,用聲音與(身)形來利益人間,所以他要出現人間。
 
「如如意珠」,就像如意珠。如意珠是古人將這個如意珠,我想要什麼,只要有這顆明珠,就有什麼東西。「如藥樹王」,人若生病,就是有這樣的藥來治療。所以說生活不必擔心,身體能健康,所饒益弘多,讓人人身心健康,生活無礙,這就是真正佛法在人間。
 
 
度無量眾生:
擊鼓吹螺
轉法如輪
雨法雨潤澤大地
總願度脫一切眾生
如來說法
有形聲二益
如如意珠
如藥樹王
所益弘多
故云度無量眾生
 
「我等咸歸請,當演深遠音」。所以我們大家,就是梵天王,梵天王大家共同願意皈依,聽佛說法,所以希望佛陀的深遠音。佛的聲音有八音,近近地說,遠遠的也能聽到。所以說,遠的人聽到,歡喜,近的人要更精進,要集合(受道)。遠的人,梵天經過五百萬億(國)土,他們也會來。看到這道光,理的源頭,也是要來追求。
 
所以,「遠者悅」,在遠方的地方,梵天王也全都集合來了。所以「我等咸歸請」,共同來歸依佛,希望佛陀能講說究竟大法,這就是請佛轉法輪,也是佛的深妙音。
 
所以,聖人所說的法,貴在投機,不論是人間,天龍八部,或者是梵天,都同樣「一音圓演」,這就是投機。所說出去的聲音,不論是什麼階層的人,聽了,深淺應機吸收。所以「言近指遠」,在近的地方說,其實也指出很多很遠的人在聽,很長久以前的道理,也將它拉到現在這樣說。所以「淡中有味」,雖然是很淡,經文很淡,也是很艱澀、很深,但是你愈是研討,它的滋味,淡中有味,所以叫做深遠音。
 
我等咸歸請
當演深遠音:
我等咸共依歸勸請
當為眾演深遠法音
聖人談吐貴在投機
言近指遠
淡中有味
故云深遠音
 
是啊!法是那麼的深,道理是那麼廣,要如何說得人人能瞭解呢?不過「一切唯心造」,只要我們好好,「在人間造上上十善福緣」,持人間上上的善戒淨慧,自然聽的法,隨機,大家各人吸收,各人不同,所以,深淺都能有受益。所以,人人要時時多用心。


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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: Create Blessed Conditions, Uphold Pure Precepts (造福緣持淨戒)
Date: February.21. 2017
 
“In the world, they create the blessed conditions of the supreme Ten Good Deeds and uphold the pure wisdom of the supreme good precepts. The Brahma heavens in the form realm are pure, good, blessed and undefiled. They saw extraordinary and auspicious radiance and were therefore delighted.”
 
Over this time, we have been recounting how the Brahma kings came seeking the light and gathered at the place where the Buddha was expounding the Dharma. They used utmost reverence to make offerings, scattering flowers and circumambulating Him. At the same time, they also sincerely asked the Buddha to expound the Dharma. Over this period, it seems we have spent a long time on this, but it is something we cannot overlook.
 
For us as Buddhist practitioners, and for everyone in the world, we must have this heart of reverence. Reverence [is important] in our daily living; we must be reverent in interacting with all people. We must be reverent in dealing with all matters. Whether toward the heavens or the earth, we should be in a state of reverence at all times. From the depths of our hearts, we should face all matters and things with reverence and respect. With each thing that we encounter, we encounter the large and small principles within. As we learn the Buddha’s teachings, aren’t we learning to take the Dharma to heart?
 
The Dharma is the principles, and we should take the principles into our hearts. Where do we look for them? They are within our minds. Our minds are expressed outwardly in matters and appearances, so with all people, matters, things and phenomena, we must pay good attention and be mindful. Those who became Brahma kings did so because when they were in the human realm, they always had a reverent heart. When dealing with matters or people, all of their actions in the human realm were supreme good deeds. So, it says they created the “blessed conditions of the supreme Ten Good Deeds.” If we want to create the blessed conditions of the supreme Ten Good deeds, when we deal with people, matters and things, we must constantly cultivate reverence and respect.
 
We also need to uphold “the pure wisdom of the supreme good precepts.” Because we all live in this same space, on the same land, whether we are in Taiwan or in any other country in the world, everyone is living in the human realm. In our interactions with people, we need to uphold the supreme good precepts. Other than practicing the Ten Good Deeds, we need to uphold the supreme ten good precepts. In this way, naturally, in dealing with matters, we will be selfless. In addition to giving reverently, we will not do good deeds selfishly; we must give without expecting anything in return. In doing good, we do not seek fame or benefit or anything for ourselves; we just give. This is called upholding the supreme good precepts. This way, naturally we have pure wisdom; we will be able to attain pure wisdom. Without pure wisdom, how could we achieve this?
 
So, in the year 1990, on August 23, I was in Taichung. At Shin Min High School in Taichung, during one of the “Blessed Life” lectures, I appealed to everyone for one thing, which was to use their clapping hands to do recycling work. While I mentioned this lightly, the people there took it seriously. They began forming the aspiration and single-mindedly established their resolve; they would absolutely not retreat. The power of their vow has remained unchanging, and they remained unwavering, persevering in this vow all the way to the present. Now in more than ten countries, Tzu Chi volunteers likewise seize the opportunity to do recycling work locally.
 
We see how the climate is changing now, and knowledgeable scientists have been studying why the climate has been out of balance and why the climate changes have been so extreme. In developed countries, their societies are better able to appreciate the recycling work we promote in Taiwan. Our recycling Bodhisattvas earnestly get involved, feeling more and more that this is an urgently pressing concern for our world and connected with what science is proving to us.
 
Indeed, in everyone’s living, with the natural resources [we use], it is confirmed that the resources of our Earth are continuously being depleted. With our industrial development, the things we create do not decompose in the landfills on Earth. The entire surface of this world is covered by layers of garbage in landfills. The future of the whole Earth is too dreadful to think of. The soil on its surface had been affected by these plastics that will not decompose for thousands of years. If the whole Earth is covered by plastic, the soil will be gone. This situation feels very serious.
 
Also, underground resources are being consumed. If we examine this, it is a serious issue. Since Tzu Chi volunteers have this method, they have “Dharma to transform.” As long as we take the Dharma to heart, when we all reach out our hands we can conveniently gather these plastics that will not decompose and recycle them into something new to reduce the consumption of resources. Also, if old or broken things can be refurbished, we can also reduce the impact of industrialization. So, other developed countries have already begun to follow Taiwan’s methods of doing recycling. In such hot weather, especially, if public hygiene is not well-kept, the humidity of southern Taiwan can led to many mosquitoes being born. These mosquitoes bite people, causing what we now call “dengue fever.” In the olden days, it was called “breakbone fever.” This disease is infectious, so when a mosquito bites [an infected] person, the mosquito will then spread it to other people. In this way, the mosquito [spreads the disease]. Because the environment led to the increase of mosquitoes, these mosquitoes bite and infect people. When another mosquito bites the infected person, this will spread. This is an infectious disease. So, this disease was called “breakbone fever.”
 
In Tainan, more than 1000 cases were discovered. Then, during Typhoon Soudelor, trees branches were blown everywhere. Trash and plastic bags filled with water were everywhere, too much to be cleaned. So, the mosquitoes kept reproducing, and cases of dengue fever increased. As school was starting and summer vacation ending, everyone was worried about the schools and parks, so the village head asked Tzu Chi volunteers if they could help clean up.
 
Anyways, Tzu Chi volunteers offer help without needing to be asked, not to mention that they value environmental protection. So, everyone was happy to help. Those who were invited and those who were not went to help clean up the parks.
 
There was an elementary school in Tainan. This elementary school was not big, and there were not many teachers, so cleaning this school was difficult.
Tzu Chi volunteers proactively went to this school and mobilized to help them clean. The students of Tainan Tzu Chi Elementary and Middle School heard about this as well. The students also quickly got involved in [cleaning] Yizai Elementary School. Our children were interviewed and asked, “How is it that you all came to help?” [They said,] “School is starting soon, and there will be many children here. If they are bitten by mosquitoes, then they may be infected with dengue fever.” So, to prevent students from being bitten and avoid the increase of mosquitoes, they were willing to help clean. This is mindfulness; they seek nothing in return. They do it just to prevent [disease], so this land can be pure, so mosquitoes will not constantly breed so the spread of dengue fever will be prevented. They are so pure and simple. So, every mobilized to help, without seeking anything in return, only wanting to protect people’s safety and health. This is how Tzu Chi volunteers in society give of themselves.
 
Take Shi-Lin Donghua from Changhua for example. This elderly Bodhisattva-volunteer is 88 years old this year and had been a recycling volunteer. Now that she is older, she takes a cane with her when she goes out to pick up [recyclables and trash] along the road. Her children cannot bear for her to do this and keep telling her to stop, because she is old and risks falling. She said, “I not only carry my cane when I do this, but I also ride my tricycle.” Sure enough, she not only had a cane as she picked up trash, she would ride her tricycle to the villages to collect [recyclables]. You see, this is her spirit in doing Tzu Chi work and recycling work. She said, “When I go to the village, other than recycling, I need to collect donations as well. So, I will continue to collect. I will keep on going until I am unable to.” She hoped that her son and daughter would not stop her, but let her have this joyful lifestyle she chose. We saw how she rides her tricycle, carrying a lot of recyclables. She goes down the street, home by home. She collects member conations and each house’s recycling. [She promotes] “purity begins at the source” and conveniently collects recyclables.
 
There is also another old couple that lives in Tainan. Xu Jibin is already 80 years old this year. He and his wife, at 70 years old, are certified commissioners and Faith Corp members. They also have been doing recycling for a while. Every day, the two of them will drive their 3.5-ton truck around the mountain, collecting recyclables from households twice a day. Their roundtrip is around 300 kilometers. They go out in the early morning and come back after collection [recyclables]. A trip up the mountain is more than 50 kilometers. Coming back is another 50-plus kilometers, so roundtrip is more than 100 kilometers, and in one day they go to collect twice. They said, “If we do not do this, will we really not feel the consequences? The world is getting hotter and hotter, all because the number of things we use have gotten excessive, leading to over-industrialization. So, we manufacture [too many] goods and then consume and waste them this way. These things we throw away are buried in the ground but do not decompose. Everyone says that from the greenhouse effect, the weather will keep getting hotter. This has a lot to do with recycling! However much we can do, we will do it. So, this old couple will keep on recycling for the sake of future generations. To take care of this earth, we must reduce garbage in landfills. Taking care of the earth is for the good of future generations. How long will you do this? We will keep doing this until we are unable to.”
 
Look at their aspirations and vows. Isn’t this making the great vows and cultivating the Four Infinite Minds? With their compassion, they joined the ranks of the Bodhisattvas one a commissioner, the other in the Faith Corps. Not only do they go among the people, always joining the other volunteers in their team, they also persist in doing recycling work to take care of the world. The weather is hot, and they understood that people say this is because of too much industrial development. We are manufacturing too many things, so there is now a greenhouse effect. So, they want to take care of this earth.
 
You see, these three are our elderly Bodhisattva role models. Aren’t our elderly Bodhisattvas like this? We not only have these elderly Bodhisattvas, but also entrepreneurs, engineers and many others as well. Whether it is heavy labor or meticulous tasks, whether merchants, works, farmers, from every walk of life, there are people who join Tzu Chi and give of themselves in this way. Think about it; isn’t this how “In the world, they create the blessed conditions of the supreme Ten Good Deeds?” commissioners and Faith Corps go among people to perform many services and do recycling work. They give without expectations. Isn’t this upholding the supreme good precepts in the world?
 
In the past, the Brahma kings used to do this in the human realm; they used to do supreme good deeds and uphold the supreme good precepts. By practicing good deeds and upholding precepts, they were born in the Brahma heavens. Still, they wanted to seek the Dharma further. So, whether they were from the east, west, south, north or any of the ten directions, the Brahma kings began to arrive one by one at the Dharma-assembly and ask the Buddha to expound the Dharma. This is what we need to mindfully comprehend. The Dharma is inseparable from the working of the world. The Dharma is the principles, and the principles are found in our daily living when we face people, matters and things with the utmost reverence. The individuals we just mentioned are exemplars of modern Bodhisattvas. Look; they are able to do it, so everyone can do it. It is not difficult. Thought Buddhist sutras are profound, they are in fact inseparable from our daily living.
 
Now, let us read the previous passage, “We only pray the one honored by heavenly beings and humans will turn the supreme Dharma-wheel, beat the Great Dharma-drum and blow the Great Dharma-conch. Universally let fall the Great Dharma-rain to deliver countless sentient beings. We all take refuge in and entreat You to teach with the deep and far-reaching tone.”
 
Beating a drum refers to a solid object that is a convergence of the four elements. If refers to the materials in the world, formed by earth, water, fire and air. This is conditioned phenomena; it becomes a material substance. Whether the material of the drum or the material of the drumsticks, these things are stuck together; thus we sound bells or drums. This sound can wake everyone up from the delusion of the long night so that we can practice diligently. This is turning the Dharma-wheel, beating the Dharma-drum and blowing the Dharma-conch. “Universally let fall the Great Dharma-rain.” This refers to the Dharma the Buddha expounds.
 
When the ground is arid, like what was said in the Chapter on medicinal Plants about the one rain from the one cloud, clouds and rain will universally moisten the land. Following the same principle, when the Buddha-Dharma nourishes the earth, all things of the world will be revived, and will flourish exceptionally; the plants and trees will all be able to grow. So, the Dharma the Buddha teaches is like rain and dew that nourishes all universally. It is like clouds, rain and dew that can moisten all of the land. The land of our mind need to be nourished by the Buddha-Dharma. So, “It is likened to a drum spurring us on.” The Dharma is like a drum spurring us on, rousing us to practice diligently. It spurs us on and encourages us. Otherwise, though we have intrinsic Buddha-nature, it is covered with layers of ignorance. So, the Dharma encourages us to earnestly remove layer upon layer of ignorance. It rouses us to practice diligently. With each thought, at every moment, we must awaken this reverence and diligent resolve to encourage ourselves, this is the meaning. When it comes to blowing the Dharma-conch, we see how lamas blow into those very long horns every day, while we strike the bell. They use [instruments] they must blow into. The sound that is emitted can be heard from a great distance. Because [Tibet] is high and wide, when many people blow [the horns] to make sounds, all who hear know they must diligent. There is a kind of sea conch that is very big. In the past, people picked them up by the ocean. When a dried conch [shell] was picked up and blown, it could make a loud sound. Therefore, people in the past designed things to look like the conch. When you put it to your lips and purse your lips to blow, the instrument’s mouth is greater in size, so naturally, the sound will be amplified, just like it is with a conch. After blowing into a conch, the sound will naturally be amplified. In ancient times, commands were given with conches, especially on a battlefield to signal an attack. They would use drumming and the sound of conches to signal that the enemy was getting closer, to signal that the enemy had arrived at the place, that it was time to quickly get ready, put on armor and prepare for battle. This kind of command issued through drums and conches. This represents how the Buddha-Dharma is continuously alerting us that life is painfully short, that we must practice diligently and uphold precepts.
 
Because when we are in the world among people, it can be like entering a battlefield, so if we are not careful, we can get hurt by others If we are not careful, we will suffer from many afflictions and ignorance.
 
Blow the Great Dharma-conch: The Buddha-Dharma is likened to the sound of blowing the Great Dharma-conch. It is able to rouse people from their dreams. The Buddha-Dharma is turned according to capabilities and conditions. This is called blowing the Dharma-conch.
 
The Sutra of 42 Sections also says spiritual practitioners are like warriors donning armor to enter the battlefield. So, we also need to listen to the drums and the sound of the Dharma-conch. In this way, we can constantly be vigilant and practice with diligence. So, the Dharma is like rain, like rain and dew; it can nourish sentient beings. The Dharma is sound, like that of drums or conches. The Dharma itself is like rain or dew that can nourish the great land.
 
Universally let fall the Great Dharma-rain: The Dharma the Buddha teaches is like the rain and dew nourishing all universally. It is likened to a drum spurring us on, rousing us to practice diligently. A conch symbolizes sounding a command. The rain is used to mean nourishment. His teachings enable sentient beings to destroy illusion, repel maras and forcefully eliminate our ignorance and severe obstructions, like the beating of the Dharma-drum that inspires people to be courageously diligent.
 
“His teachings enable sentient beings to destroy illusion, repel maras.” They can destroy our illusions. When Mara’s army of afflictions arrives, we will be able to cut them off. As spiritual practitioners, when an affliction arises, we need to immediately eliminate and clear it away. This is called repelling maras. We refuse to let ignorance or afflictions enter our minds. So, we “forcefully eliminate our ignorance and severe obstructions.” The Dharma has the power to eliminate our ignorance and severe obstructions.
 
Every day, after I finish speaking and am leaving, I hear everyone chanting, “I vow to eliminate the Three Obstructions and all afflictions.” Indeed, the Three Obstructions and afflictions, the afflictions of greed, anger, ignorance, etc., all create obstacles for us. We need to earnestly eliminate them. So, with ignorance, the many different obstructions due to ignorance we need to exert our power, power like the kind needed to enter a battlefield that all spiritual practitioners have. With this, we can reject ignorance and afflictions that obstruct our spiritual aspirations.
 
So, “like the beating of the Dharma-drum, it inspires people to be courageous and diligent.” Hearing the waves of drum beats, we can exercise our power to forge ahead diligently. “The sound of the Dharma is proclaimed freely and enables those far away to be joyful.” People far away can hear the Dharma and also be joyful. “Those nearby can assemble and receive teachings, like how those hearing a blowing conch will assemble to listen to the command.”
 
This is just like how now there is no delay; all the people before me gathered at this place to practice diligently. Even far away, everyone is listening to the Dharma. Early in the morning, they leave home before the sun has risen. If it is winter, they have to endure the wind and snow. Everyone gathers solely to listen to the Dharma. At this time, people from far away listen to and receive the teachings, so they can also be filled with Dharma-joy. People close by really should assemble, should gather to receive the teachings. When we spiritual practitioners gather in this same space, in this environment, how can we be lax [in our practice]? The people far away have to endure freezing wind and snow, yet they gather to listen and listen joyfully, while we are living in the same place; how could we not assemble to receive the teachings?
 
So, we should be [like this]. “Those nearby can assemble and receive teachings, like how those hearing a blowing conch will assemble to listen to the command.” It is just like the Dharma-conch. The sounds have already rung out; the bell and the drum have already been sounded. “Hearing the bell, afflictions are alleviated. Wisdom grows, and Bodhi arises.” When we are sleeping and we hear the bell’s sound we must immediately get up. We must not allow sleep to give us afflictions and spryly get out of bed. So, “Hearing the bell, afflictions are alleviated.” We will not have the heavy afflictions and ignorance of wanting sleep. We should get up very lightly and quickly and swiftly assemble to practice with diligence. “Wisdom grows, and Bodhi arises.” This is when we hear the sound of the bell.
 
Ancient people use the conch to make this kind of sound for people to gather quickly and hear the command. The Dharma is like a command for us to eliminate our afflictions. There is a method, and it is the Dharma. So, we need to earnestly listen. How do we battle our ignorance and afflictions? We need to be diligent. How do we eliminate the delusions of ignorance? We need to listen to the commands of the Dharma, which tell us how to prevent and eliminate them. How do we practice good deeds and stop evil? To prevent evil and do good, the Buddha-dharma in our minds must constantly perform its function of [increasing] our diligence. So, “He teaches the Dharma with one voice, but we attain understanding according to our kind.”
 
He teaches the Dharma with one voice, but we attain understanding according to our kind. All will enter the Path, like when the one rain falls and in all places each receives moisture.
 
Once His voice is heard, we can understand. This is just like the Dharma-drum. The Buddha used the four elements to analyze how the drum is able to sound. The four elements do not only relate to the drum and how this sound can be made. The microcosm of our body, macrocosm of the world and the appearances of all things are all composed of the four elements, whether soft or hard. So, “He teaches the Dharma with one voice,” allowing us to understand more things.
 
Then, “We attain understanding according to our kind.” Those of different capabilities will be able to understand. So, “All will enter the Path.”   If we can understand the teachings, we gradually understand the principles one by one. Or, those who can awaken immediately will hear one thing and realize 1000. When we attain one principle, when we know the principle of the four elements, [we know] all the material objects that we see, including human beings and all the things and matters of the world, contain these principles within them. However, we sentient beings are forgetful; we forget easily, so we need to be continuously reminded. We still need to take, from the sound of speech, the Dharma within this speech. So, “We attain understanding according to our kind.”
 
It depends on what kind of capabilities we have. Are they sharp or dull capabilities? Sentient beings “attain understanding according to their kind.     All will enter the Path.” Whether our capabilities are sharp or dull, by relying on the sound, we diligently advance step by step to understand all things. Advancing means we enter the Path. “Like when the one rain falls and in all places each receives moisture.” [The Dharma] is just like rain. The rain is of one flavor; it is the same. Wherever we go, the rain, if we taste it, will always have the plain taste of water. “To deliver countless sentient beings” means the flavor of the Dharma is one but it can revitalize the land and all sentient beings. This is “to deliver countless sentient beings.” This is like beating the Dharma-drum and turning the Dharma-wheel.
 
“Turning the Dharma like a wheel” indicates that wheels must be turned. Since dust-inked kaplas ago, since Beginningless Time, the principles existed. Over time, they have never changed, even up to today. This depends on us continuously passing them on. This is called turning the Dharma-wheel. Sakyamuni Buddha also took up the Dharma from Beginningless Time and continuously recounted the teachings of past Buddhas. Now, we also have to continuously speak of 2000 years ago, when Sakyamuni Buddha spoke of past Buddhas’ teachings. We need to continue on this way and keep on turning the Dharma as a wheel, continue to pass it on. The wheels of a car help it go great distances; this is like “turning the Dharma as a wheel.”
 
“Letting fall the Dharma-rain to nourish the land” is saying that as the rain falls, it nourishes the land, so the land’s crops can grow and humans can live out their lives. Similarly, our mind needs the Dharma to nourish it so that we can live out our wisdom-life. So, “Letting fall the Dharma-rain [and so on] are the universal vows to liberate all sentient beings.” These are the great vows. “I vow to deliver countless sentient beings.” This shows that all Buddhas share the same path, the universal vow to transform sentient beings.
 
So, “When the Tathagata teaches the Dharma, there are benefits of both form and sound.” When a Buddha manifests in this world, that is the Buddha’s appearance. When He appears in this world, during the period from youth to adulthood, He reveals the process of engaging in spiritual practice and patiently enduring suffering. When He is enlightened, He understands all principles and uses the sound of His voice to teach. This is a Tathagata. The Tathagata uses the form of His body; “He journeys on the Dharma of True Suchness to come to this world.” After attaining Buddhahood, He uses His voice to teach the Dharma. So, there are the two benefits of both form and sound for the world. He used His voice and form to benefit the world.
 
So, He had to manifest in our world, “like a wish-granting jewel.” This is just like a wish-granting jewel. Ancient people hoped to use a wish-granting jewel to wish for what they wanted. As long as they had this jewel, they could get whatever they desired. “[It is like] the king of medicinal trees.” If people become sick, this kind of medicine can cure them. So, they do not need to worry in their lives as long as their bodies can be healthy. Thus there is an abundance of benefits. People’s bodies and minds can be healthy, and their lives can be free of obstructions. This is what the Buddha-Dharma does in the world.
 
To deliver counties sentient beings: Beating the drum, blowing the conch, turning the Dharma like a wheel and letting fall the Dharma-rain to nourish the land are the universal vows to liberate all sentient beings. When the Tathagata teaches the Dharma, there are benefits of both form and sound, like a wish-granting jewel or the king of medicinal trees; there is an abundance of benefits. Thus, it says “deliver countless sentient beings.”
 
“We all take refuge in and entreat You to touch with the deep and far-reaching tone.” So, “We all” refers to the Brahma Kings. The Brahma kings were willing to take refuge in and listen to the Buddha expound the teachings. So, they hoped for the Buddha’s far-reaching sound. The Buddha’s voice has eight tones. He speaks to those close by, but those far away can hear. So, those far away can hear and be joyful. Those nearby must be even more diligent, and assemble [ to accept the teachings]. Those from afar are like the Brahma kings who passed through trillions of lands. They also came; seeing this light , the origin of the principles, they wished to seek it as well. So those from afar were joyful. In very far off lands, the Brahma kings had assembled together. So, “we all take refuge in and entreat You.” They together took refuge in the Buddha, hoping for the Buddha to speak the ultimate truth. This is asking the Buddha to turn the Dharma-wheel, and [ to speak with] His wondrous tone.
 
So, a noble being’s speech is precious because it suits people’s capabilities. Whether in the human realms, [to heavenly being] or to the Brahma kings, the Buddha had to “ teach with one perfect voice” to suit their capabilities. Upon hearing the sound of His voice, regardless of their status, they received it according to their capabilities. “He speaks to those nearby but reaches far away.” He speaks to those nearby, but actually He also directs it. Those principles form long ago can be pulled into the present and spoken of.
 
So, [His speech is] “plain but has flavor.” Although it is very plain, though the sutra text is very plain, and also very involved and profound, the more that we investigate and study , the more flavor there is within its blandness. So, this is a “deep and far-reaching tone.”
 
We all take refuge in and entreat You to teach with the deep and far-reaching tone: All together we take refuge in and earnestly entreat You to teach with the deep and far-reaching sound of the Dharma. A Noble One’s speech is precious because it suits people’s capabilities. He speaks to those nearby but reaches far away. His speech is plain but has flavor. Thus, it speaks of His deep and far-reaching tone.
 
Indeed, the Dharma is quite profound, and the principles are very far-reaching. How can it be taught so that everyone understands? Still, “All thing are created by the mind.” We simply must earnestly, “in the world, create the blessed conditions of the supreme Ten Good Deeds” and uphold the pure wisdom of the supreme good precepts. Then naturally the teachings we hear will, according to our capabilities, be absorbed differently by everyone. So, people of all capabilities can benefit. Thus, we must always be mindful.
 

(Source: Da Ai TV – Wisdom at Dawn program – Explanation by Master Chen-Yen)
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20170221《靜思妙蓮華》 造福緣持淨戒 (第1028集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)
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