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 20170228《靜思妙蓮華》行因趣果隨緣化度 (第1033集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)

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發表主題: 20170228《靜思妙蓮華》行因趣果隨緣化度 (第1033集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)   周一 2月 27, 2017 10:36 pm

20170228《靜思妙蓮華》行因趣果隨緣化度 (第1033集)
(法華經•化城喻品第七)

 
行因趣果隨緣化諸眾生,富中之富喻從光入明亮,富中之貧喻從光明入暗,貧中之貧喻從冥入黑暗。
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,願垂納處!《法華經化城喻品第七》
時諸梵天王即於佛前,一心同聲,以偈頌曰:善哉見諸佛,救世之聖尊,能於三界獄,勉出諸眾生。《法華經化城喻品第七》
普智天人尊,哀愍群萌類,能開甘露門,廣度於一切。《法華經化城喻品第七
⊙普智天人尊,哀愍群萌類:普佛智慧,天人中尊,哀愍群生,滋潤群萌善根。
⊙普智:二智,如來實智、權智二智圓滿,照法無遺。
⊙群萌:即群生,包括胎卵濕化的一切眾生。
⊙又群萌:眾生雖惡,然而不斷性善。喻草木有萌芽,雖殘害,非無萌生善機焉。
⊙能開甘露門:甘露是諸天不死之藥。佛開法施,令脫生死,名為甘露。
⊙有云甘露樹,中秋露滴於葉上,人取之為長生藥,若入地中化成珠,如人聞法入識,化為菩提種子。
⊙廣度於一切:如來觀一切法,與諸眾生皆悉平等,以大慈悲心,隨其根機,示現開導,令其證入,是名平等性智,救護一切眾生,名為廣度於一切。
 
【證嚴上人開示】

「行因趣果隨緣化諸眾生,富中之富喻從光入明亮,富中之貧喻從光明入暗,貧中之貧喻從冥入黑暗。」
 
行因趣果
隨緣化諸眾生
富中之富
喻從光入明亮
富中之貧
喻從光明入暗
貧中之貧
喻從冥入黑暗
 
我們能夠瞭解。常常說「行因趣果」,常常說是因緣果報不要輕視,每天起心動念,每天舉手動足,一切無不都是一念心開始,我們所造作的一切的起源,有了這個開始,就有結果。東西在那裡,想要把它移來這裡,這個心念一起,手就動作了,去將這個東西這樣拿起,這就是因;搬來這個地方,放另外一個位置,結果就是東西從此移到彼處。這樣一個動作輕輕地,也是在行因趣果中。
 
為什麼?東西放在那裡,你為何要把它換來這裡?這一定是有因緣,一定是東西,放在這個地方不適當,覺得把它搬過來這裡比較順眼,這就是依這個因緣,起了我們的動作,結果的位置。這在日常生活中,都有這樣「行因趣果隨緣」,這麼就是我們日常的生活,這麼小的事情,都沒有離開因緣果,不離開。
 
修行也一樣,不過,修行就是大事情,從今生開始,發心立願,這是今生這顆因、種子,開始就要動作了,入人群去結好緣,隨緣來度眾生。今生此世是這樣,來生來世還是這樣,繼續這顆因的種子,立堅定的道心,走這條菩提大直道,這樣往前,步步踏實走。這當中都沒有離開,過去所結的因、所發的心、所結的緣,累累結果就隨因緣度諸眾生。
 
這是我們的心願,完全不變,道心堅定,不受人間的無明濁氣所污染。我們要相信,有這分如來清淨本性的種子,讓我們生生世世能去布善種子,不只是自己一顆種子完成,還能從這顆種子,累累再去播種,讓人人都有這顆善種子入心,這就是化諸眾生。將這個善念,接受到佛陀的善因,善因就是法,法已經入心了。
 
我們幾天前說轉法輪,將佛心移作為眾生心,眾生的心成為佛心,既然眾生心成為佛心,我們將佛的心,再移給所有的眾生,不斷去布善種子,這就是化諸眾生。
 
「富中之富」,若能用富有愛的心,去教導所有的眾生。眾生有福,原來就是富有,能夠再接受到這分善法,從富中再發揮這分富有愛心,去布施、去救濟、去行善法。像這樣的人,本來就已經富有了,再開啟了心,這念富有愛的心,也是同樣,有累累無窮盡的種子去遍布,也是去做好事、善事。就譬如本來就很亮麗、很光明的人生,再走入那條光明的大道,這就是富中之富,再富有愛心,造諸善事,修諸善法,這就是「從光入明亮」,走入光明的大道。
 
若是「富中之貧」呢?就是譬如今生此世,乘著過去生中的福而來此生,能夠依報就是在富有人家,或者是有了好的因緣,打拚,他成功了,成功,富有一世,卻是不懂得將這個富有的種子,再去播送給貧困的人,好好去造福人生。他就是賺再多錢都是為自己,賺再多錢還不夠,所以永遠都是缺。富,空有外形財物的富有,內在的心還是很貧乏。所以,本來是富有,外在看到財產很多,但是內心空虛,就是慢慢往暗,伙黑暗,從光明入黑暗去了。
 
人生無常啊!今生此世是不是能夠,一輩子都保持一帆風順,都是這麼有錢呢?很難啊!說不定這輩子時光過去,富有的,幸運也會過去,說不定在這輩子大起,也在這輩子大落,人生起落無常,這輩子就從光明,忽然無常的景氣一來時,完全就衰敗了。或者是這輩子,一點點福都沒有造,離開時還是雙手空空地去,來生由不得自己,到底報在哪裡啊?不知。所以這就是「從光明入暗」。
 
若是「貧中之貧」的人呢?那就是這輩子已經貧而病了,或者是貧中帶著心不健康,身心俱病,又是貧,這輩子的人生很苦啊!很多的業都是在他的身上,這輩子沒有希望。因為自己,由不得自己,過去生中所造作的業力,既不造福,又不受道,所以,今生此世這條道路走得很辛苦,一直都是在黑暗中,沒有貴人,沒有光明的方向,所以這是「從冥入黑暗」。從冥冥中,就是生命中所注定,這種冥冥中,黑暗、迷茫中,走入更黑暗的地方去,這就是貧中之貧。
 
但是在人間,卻也有「貧中之富」。過去生雖然有造了貧困的因,卻是也有造致富的因,所以他今生此世,來人間雖然是貧困,卻是有貴人的誘引,他看到人間的光明,起心動念,往著光明的方向。雖然很辛苦,很願意付出,隨意或者盡心力在付出。這是貧中之富。
 
「貧中之富」。常常舉例現在人間,不只是在我們周圍的人多,在我們周圍的人間菩薩,在造福人群,不一定都是有錢人,有的人自己的生活很貧困,他願意克服自己的貧困,願意去付出。「沒錢,我有力氣,我願意做。」
 
你們若是看看大愛(臺),菩薩身影,你能看到有的富中之富的人生,名利放一邊,放下身段,投入人群。不論是做環保,為大地,守護大地,在人群中願意付出,有形、無形,是錢財,是力量,毫無保留這樣的付出。這是富中之富,不斷在造福,都不後悔,從發心一直一直,絕對向前,不後退,也沒有停滯。這是富中之富。
 
也有「貧中之富」的人,富有愛心,在這個大團體裡人人平等,同樣能夠付出,盡心力。雖然是貧,卻是他盡他的心力,外形看來是貧,內心是富有,富有他的心,富有他的力氣去付出。有的人,八九十歲,從過去人生的故事,一直到了目前,還是同樣,願意付出。不分年齡,就是這樣;不分歲月,也是這樣,這就是很亮麗。
 
雖然看來,這位老菩薩過去的人生這麼苦,現在雖然也不好過,不過他就是很可愛,年輕打拚為一個家庭,孩子撫養大了,孩子做事業,他能享受,卻是他不願意享受,他願意的是為人間付出。也有一輩子很辛苦折磨,孩子長大了,卻是遠離鄉里,還是同樣,老人還是同樣老人孤單一人,孩子不想要在身邊,也不想關懷。
 
也有孝順的孩子,才想著孩子長大了,事業也成就了,但是人生無常,忽然間幻化無常,希望泡影,破滅了,苦啊!遇到貴人來陪伴,來牽引,解開了心,人生無常,看開了,雖然孤單一人,雖然很苦,也進來這個大家庭了。原來菩薩道的伴侶有這麼多,他解開了他的心、他的力量,人生雖然年紀大了,他也專心付出。人生的環境,事相無量數,卻是歸根就是光明,這是生命中都有這樣。雖然今生此世,是在很多種的無奈過程中,卻也有一分他向前,正確的道路,看到光明的路去走,從黑暗的地方走出了光明的路,這就是「貧中之富」的人。
 
人生千萬種,因緣各不相同,所以「行因趣果,隨緣化諸眾生」。我們若起一念堅定的信心,立堅定的願,自然我們所播種的種子,粒粒都是善種子,不只是自己成就,我們也能生生世世,入人群中布善種子,在人群中,能夠更堅定我們的道心,增加我們的慧命。
 
所以,人間道路,真的是一條平坦的菩提道,只要你願意發心,這條大菩提道直,很好走,而且我們可以在人群中,進出不受污染,在人群中「布善種子,遍功德田」。
 
這是因為,佛給我們這一條道路,我們能安心聞法、受道,實行這條菩薩道,這就是我們應該要好好堅持。
 
所以前面的(經)文,我們看梵天王來人間,已經看到大通智勝佛坐在道場,梵天王,人人歡喜,恭敬禮拜,又是散華如須彌山,又供養菩提樹等等來供佛,同時就是「作是言」,大家共同一心,表達最虔誠。
 
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
願垂納處
《法華經化城喻品第七》
 
「惟見哀愍,饒益我等」,這是虔誠請佛發大慈悲心。大家「所獻宮殿,願垂納處」,這是一分虔誠的心,佛,大覺者能瞭解我們,接受我們的虔誠。
 
時諸梵天王
即於佛前
一心同聲
以偈頌曰
善哉見諸佛
救世之聖尊
能於三界獄
勉出諸眾生
《法華經化城喻品第七》
 
所以「時諸梵天王,一心同聲」,就是這樣共同的聲音來懇求,表達他們的誠意。所以說「善哉見諸佛,救世之聖尊,能於三界獄,勉出諸眾生」。
 
三界之內苦難偏多,從無色界而色界而到欲界。雖然無色界,無形無色,不過,我們的心靈,心靈就是無色,我們的心意;我的心意長得怎樣,你們知道嗎?有時候,有人的心意是這樣,卻是表達出來的不是這樣。心,有的人針對人,「我實在是看到這個人,很不高興。」怨、恨、嫉妒,不過已經看到人了,就說:「看到你很高興!好久不見了,來啊!」就牽著手,「來,奉茶」等等。但是內心是很不甘願。「不甘願」又是長得怎麼樣?但是你看到的,就是那一分殷勤的款待,卻是沒有看到那念心意,是長怎麼樣。
 
心在無明中,卻是我們看不出來,這就是無色。無色,在我們的內心起心動念,這種不歡喜的煩惱、無明,或者是……,總而言之,很多。人世間,明明是至好的朋友,卻是,看,一直牽引他,牽引到最後讓他人財兩空,全部沒有了。也是這樣一段很長的時間,都表達得讓我很滿意,卻是他的內心在想什麼,我們不知道。表達出來的,我們很滿意,結果到頭來,我因為全部靠他,但是,就是因為這樣,我現在什麼都沒有了。這樣的人生也有。
 
這叫做無色,「無色界」。人的心,讓我們看不見,這種看不見的煩惱、無明、惑,所以還在「無色界」裡,在我們人生就有「無色界」。
 
人生有「色界」,色界清淨,很富有,但是很滿足,有餘還能去布施,這是富中之富。就如梵天王,他過去修上上善,也持上上戒,所以他今生此世,在梵天享受天福。
 
就如我們人間,過去所造作十善五戒,此生就是大富大貴,他還能有那一念善念,不貪著。有錢,取於社會,用在社會,心甘意願,願意付出,做得很歡喜,很虔誠,不造作,完全付出無所求,這就是富中之富。這是有佛法,過去生有善法,所以他得救了,他能夠出離「欲界」,也不受內心煩惱無明束縛,也不會受世間色欲,讓他貪著沉溺下去,他還是同樣用世間財,來修出世事,這就是富中之富。
 
貧中之貧呢?那就是苦中再帶業,又再造業,滿心煩惱,想不開,所造作的都是不好的事情,那樣的就是貧中之貧。比較有希望的,雖然過去的業帶來了貧,但是過去應該也有福的因,所以生命中有貴人,他能夠得到佛法。所以他開始很辛苦,願意付出,付出得雖然生命中很辛苦,卻是在他的心靈上很歡喜。
 
看看非洲,看看那些貧困苦難人,「貧中之富」,是富有,心靈富有。雖然自己很辛苦,他也可以這樣出離苦難中,卻是也能去幫助別人。這是「貧中之富」,是心靈的富有,所以能勉出三界。他沒有受到人間的苦難所綁住,他在人間貧窮困苦,卻是能跳脫出來,去做幫助人的人。看,這就是「貧中之富」的人生。
 
所以人生有這幾種,這都是要看我們的「行因」,我們好好把握這個因,我們一定要很注意這個因,就是起心動念這念心,我們若下定決心,堅定的信心,自然受法,我們就很堅固。我們的道心若不堅固,說不定從富中成為富中之貧,在光明中,走入了黑暗的地方去,也說不定。道心若堅定,哪怕是我們帶業來,人中貧,但是他也貧中有富,因為他的心有法,所以,貧中也富,從黑暗中,他也會走出了光明的路,這也是一念心。所以我們道心要堅定,這種因是很重要,大家要有這分心。
 
接下來這段(經)文,「普智天人尊,哀愍群萌類,能開甘露門,廣度於一切。」
 
普智天人尊
哀愍群萌類
能開甘露門
廣度於一切
《法華經化城喻品第七
 
「普智天人尊」,就是佛,大覺者,佛。佛,他已經是超越的大覺者了,所以天與人,天人中的最尊貴,所以稱為「普智」。不只是人間,包括了天,所以是「人天中尊」,人天中最尊貴的人。
 
普智天人尊
哀愍群萌類:
普佛智慧
天人中尊
哀愍群生
滋潤群萌善根
 
佛的智慧裡,是天人中的最尊貴。「哀愍」,永遠都是這樣慈悲憫念眾生,悲眾生之苦,所以叫做「哀愍」。因為佛是慈悲,這個悲是同體大悲,悲念眾生的苦,所以叫做哀愍,不忍心眾生受苦難。
 
眾生的苦難,就是他還放不下,在這五趣雜居地,所以要生生世世在這個五趣雜居地,剛強眾生群中來度眾生,所以他必定要用這一分的愛,如露水一樣,來滋潤群萌,所有的種子,所有的種子,都讓它有機會,能發芽伸根,所以叫做「哀愍群萌類」。意思就是說,無量數的種子,只要有雨露,自然地上有水分、有濕氣,它就會發芽、它就會長苗、它就會伸根,所以滋潤群萌的善根。
 
普智:二智
如來實智、權智
二智圓滿
照法無遺
 
「普智」,普智就是有兩種的智,能夠利益人天,那就是法。如來的實智與權智,二種智都要很圓滿照法無遺。實智,就是用一實乘的法,就是直指人心見性。
 
我們人人本具佛性,只是人人的無明煩惱覆蓋。你本來就有,探手進口袋裡就有明珠,偏偏無法將手伸進口袋裡,明明你身上,懷有價值連城的明珠。這再下去,《法華經》還是有這樣的譬喻。
 
所以人人本具佛性,偏偏我們眾生,佛性知道了,但是要如何能得到佛性現前?如何才是真正回歸到虛空法界,所有,包含地上、天下,一切事物道理,我們要如何才有辦法去體會呢?佛性若不現前,我們就無法遍虛空法界,了達天下一切事物理,我們就沒辦法。
 
但是,佛的實智就是普遍,但是,道理是這麼充足,指南、說西,天南地北,所有的事相物理都分析出來了,還是,我們無法去體會,怎麼辦呢?只好權智,用權,方便法。方便法,很長久的時間適應眾生的根機,眾生的根機,這樣漸漸來滋潤他,實在很辛苦!所以要有這二智圓滿,這才叫做普智,普智就是要具足,如來的實智與權智,這二智圓融,才是能稱為「普智天人尊」。
 
能這樣「照法無遺」,所照的道理,這個法才能光亮起來。要不然,同樣的,我看的人就都是人,儘管佛陀說人人皆有佛性,你將大家都當作佛,但是明明看起來就是人。這個光明,真正這其中「人」的道理,真如現在還看不出來。你們看我也是一樣,明明就是一個人,到底有什麼,又有真如,佛性在哪裡呢?你們看我,我看你們,我們都是人,我們都是凡夫,這種智無法照徹。
 
我看的前面這張桌子就是桌子,乾迆柴,但是幾片的綠葉,這樣,看起來就是這樣而已,但是它有它的道理。這支是乾柴,那支就是被限制在小小的盆栽,它的根伸不長,所以永遠就是這麼小的,一棵小樹。若說它是樹,不過,應該是叫做盆栽。你若將它拿到外面,打開小盆,把它放在大地上,自然它就自由,能伸根開闊,天地廣,樹就能長大。
 
這就是我們眾生,如這棵樹,這棵松樹,就是被這個小盆控制住了,所以我們現在,我們的佛性就是與此相同,受無明、人間事相,這樣把我們限制了,我們無法光明普照無遺,我們還是受這個相限制住。它的樹的基因,它裡面真真正正的物理,那個理,只能知道到這裡,其實我們還沒有透徹它到底為何有樹?為何……?這實在是很難以瞭解。
 
群萌:
即群生
包括胎卵濕化的
一切眾生
 
所以群萌就是群生。包括了胎生、卵生、濕生、化生,一切眾生,這叫做群萌;大地一切種子也是叫做群萌。
 
「群」就是很多的意思。「萌」就是發芽生根。就如我們的道心、我們的真如,脫離了限制。這就是眾生都受到限制,業力,將我們綁住了。
 
又群萌:
眾生雖惡
然而不斷性善
喻草木有萌芽
雖殘害
非無萌生善機焉
 
又說「群萌」,就是眾生雖惡,但是他有不斷的善性。譬喻「草木有萌芽,雖殘害,非無萌生善機」。你看,眾生雖然剛強,雖然很惡,卻是他的本性善良猶在。
 
不是看到過去也有,很惡的人被判死刑,到那時候他也說:「我的器官若能救人,他願意。」這不就是他的善嗎?雖然他在行為中、在無明中造作惡業,卻是他的善念還是存在,所以不斷這個善根,善還是在。
 
譬喻「草木有萌芽,雖殘害,非無萌」。這顆種子雖然被破壞了,其實這顆種子你不破壞它,它同樣會發芽。一顆豆子,你若放在地上,這顆豆子只要沒有碎了,只要你不要煮過,它裂開,但是放在地上,它也是一樣,芽又出來。同樣的道理,惡人,還是同樣有善的本性在。同樣的,種子,雖然較差的種子,將它入大地,吸收到空氣、水分,同樣的,它也會發芽萌苗。
 
能開甘露門:
甘露是
諸天不死之藥
佛開法施
令脫生死
名為甘露
 
「能開甘露門」。佛,覺者,他在這大地人間,能夠有甘露,法。法,就如甘露,譬喻甘露。「甘露是諸天不死之藥」,「佛開法施,令脫生死」,名叫做甘露。
 
佛陀開示,法普施給眾生,使令眾生善根不失,讓眾生能夠伸長他的善根,能夠增長他的慧命,所以「令脫生死」,名叫做甘露,就是法。
 
有云甘露樹
中秋露滴於葉上
人取之為長生藥
若入地中化成珠
如人聞法入識
化為菩提種子
 
又有這樣說,就如甘露,滴在樹上,如中秋的露水一樣,到了秋天,露水較重,露水較多,露水在樹葉上,人若去取樹葉上的水,那就很清淨了,「人取之為長生藥」,可以滋潤。若是落地,珠若落在地上,那就是化成珠,如人聽法入識。水若滴落在地上,同樣回歸在地上,就如水,清淨的水,人拿來喝,露成水,拿來喝可以止渴,落地也可以潤濕大地。就如我們的心,心,法若是入心,那就是在識,收入在我們的八識,或者是九識;能夠善用它,那就是歸入九識,那就是佛性,「化為菩提種子」,滴滴都是善用,所以「廣度於一切」。
 
廣度於一切:
如來觀一切法
與諸眾生
皆悉平等
以大慈悲心
隨其根機
示現開導
令其證入
是名平等性智
救護一切眾生
名為廣度於一切
 
「如來觀一切法,與諸眾生皆悉平等」,這是佛陀廣度一切眾生,視眾生都平等。天、人,或者三途的眾生,對大覺者來說都是平等。「以大慈悲心,隨其根機,示現開導」。這就是佛陀來人生,希望能度眾生,人人都能證入,所以叫做「平等性智」。佛陀已經是平等了,對待眾生有實智、權智,會合起來叫做「平等性智」,救護一切眾生,叫做「廣度(於)一切」。
 
所以我們要用心,法都是在我們的生活中,行因趣果,隨緣化度眾生,這是我們要人人很用心,堅定一念心,生生世世,人群中付出。必定要時時多用心。


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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: Practicing Our Cause to Transform Sentient Beings (行因趣果隨緣化度)
Date: February.28. 2017
 
“We practice the causes and obtain the effects of transforming all sentient beings according to conditions. The rich among the rich are likened to those who, from amidst brightness, enter the light. The poor among the rich are likened to those who, from amidst brightness, enter the darkness. The poor among the poor are likened to those who, from amidst blackness, enter the darkness.”
 
We can understand this, for we often say that “We practice the causes and obtain the effects.” We often say to not take karmic cause and effect lightly. Every day, all of the thoughts we give rise to and all of the actions we engage in all begin with a single thought. This is the origin of everything we do. Because there is this beginning, there is a result. Something is over there, and we wish to move it over here. Once we have this thought, we act upon it; we pick this thing up. This is the cause. We move it from there and place it somewhere else, so the result is that this thing has been moved from this place to that one. Even with such small actions like this, we practice the causes and obtain the effects.
 
Why, when a thing is over there, do you want to move it here? There must be causes and conditions behind this. It must be that the thing is not well suited to where it is; you think it would look better if it were moved over here. Based on these causes and conditions, we took this action, resulting in a change in its placement. In our daily living, we “practice the causes and obtain the effects according to conditions.” Even in our daily living, such small matters as these are still inseparable from the law of cause and effect.
 
Spiritual practice is the same. However, spiritual practice is a great matter. Beginning in this lifetime, when we form aspirations and make vows, they are our causes, our seeds, in this lifetime. We have begun acting on this by going among people to form good affinities and transforming sentient beings according to conditions. We do this in our present lifetime and will do the same in future lifetimes, continuing this causal seed by establishing firm spiritual aspiration and walking the great, direct Bodhi-path. In this way we keep moving forward with our feet on the ground. This process is inseparable from the past causes we [planted], the past aspirations we gave rise to and the past affinities we formed. With the many results, we can transform all beings according to causes and conditions. This is our heartfelt vow, and it never changes; with our firm spiritual aspirations, we remain undefiled by the ignorance and turbidities of the world.
 
We must believe that we have this seed of our pure intrinsic Tathagata-nature that enables us to spread seeds of goodness lifetime after lifetime. We do not just bring our own seed to fruition, but also from that seed’s many fruits we further sow more seeds so seeds of goodness can enter everyone’s minds. This is transforming all sentient beings. With our good thoughts, we accept these virtuous causes from the Buddha. These virtuous causes are the Dharma; we have already taken the Dharma to heart.
 
A few days ago, we spoke of turning the Dharma-wheel, how the Buddha-mind is transported to become the mind of sentient beings, and sentient beings’ minds become the Buddha-mind. Since our unenlightened mind can become the Buddha-mind, we should then take this Buddha-mind and give it to all other sentient beings by continually spreading the seeds of goodness. This is transforming all sentient beings.
 
“The rich among the rich” means that with minds rich in love, we can guide all sentient beings. When sentient beings are blessed, they already have much wealth. By going further and accepting virtuous Dharma, from their already wealthy lives they can manifest the wealth of their love by practicing giving, providing relief and following the virtuous Dharma. People like this are rich to begin with, but by opening up their hearts, their hearts which are rich with love, they will likewise have an inexhaustible number of seeds that they can spread everywhere. They will be able to do good and virtuous deeds. It is like, with their bright, beautiful and brilliant lives, they further step onto a great, radiant path. These are the rich among the rich, who further have a wealth of love. They do many virtuous deeds, practicing many virtuous teachings. So, “From amidst brightness, they enter the light.” They enter this great radiant path.
 
What about “the poor among the rich?” This is like those who, journeying on their past life’s blessings, come to this life and have the circumstantial retribution to be born into a rich family, or have the good causes and conditions to be able to work hard and achieve success. Their success brings them a lifetime of wealth, but they nevertheless do not know to take the seeds of wealth and spread them among the poor, to earnestly work to benefit their lives. Whatever they can earn, they earn for themselves. However much they make is never enough, so they are forever lacking. They may have superficial appearances of wealth, but they remain impoverished on the inside. So, though they are in fact wealthy and seem to have a lot of wealth on the outside, they are empty inside. Thus they gradually enter the darkness. They go from brightens into darkness. Life is impermanent! Will their present life always be smooth sailing? Will they always be rich? It is hard to say.
 
Perhaps with the passing of time, their wealth and good fortune will also pass. Perhaps with great success in this lifetime, they may also experience great failure. Life is impermanent, with its ups and downs. Their lives may be gloriously bright, but once the impermanence of fortune manifests, everything may completely fall apart.
 
If in this lifetime they do not create even the slightest blessings, they leave this life empty-handed and their next is beyond their control. Where will they end up? No one knows. So, this is “from amidst brightens, entering the darkness.”
 
What about “the poor among the poor?” These are those who in this present lifetime are already poor and sick, or perhaps both poor and mentally ill. If they are both mentally and physically ill, and poor as well, then their lives will be filled with suffering! They carry so much karma in this lifetime. They have no hope in their lives; it is beyond their control. This is the karmic forces created in past lives. Since they did not create blessings or accept the Path, the roads they travel in their present lifetime are filled with hardship. They continue to dwell within the darkness and have no benefactors; no direction brings them to brightness. So, “From amidst blackens, they enter darkness.” Within that blackness, they seal their own fate. From within this darkness and delusion, they enter into even darker places. These are the poor among the poor.
 
Nevertheless, in the world, there are also the “rich among the poor.” Though they created the causes for their poverty in past lifetimes, they also created causes for riches. So, in their present lifetime though they came to the world in poverty, they still have benefactors who enticed them to see the radiance of the world. Then the thought arises in them to head in the direction of the light. Though they may face much hardship, they are very willing to give and readily, wholeheartedly give their strength. These are the rich among the poor.
 
There are many examples of the rich among the poor in the world, not just among the people around us. Among the Living Bodhisattvas surrounding us, who create blessings for others, not all are necessarily rich. Some people’s lives are quite impoverished, but they are willing to overcome their poverty and willing to give to others. “Though I have no money, I have strength, and I am willing to help.” If you watch Da Ai TV, you can see these Bodhisattvas. You can see the rich among the rich, how they put aside their fame and fortune, how they put aside their status and devote themselves to others. Some may do recycling for the sake of safeguarding the earth. They are willing to go among others and give. Whether tangible or intangible giving, whether they give their money or strength, they never hold anything back when they give. These are the rich among the rich. They continually created blessings and never have regrets. From the time they form aspirations, they are always moving forward, never retreating and never stopping. These are the rich among the rich.
 
There are also the rich among the poor, those whose hearts are rich with love. In this large organization, everyone is equal. Everyone is able to give with all their might. Although some may be poor, they give with all their efforts. Although they may look poor on the outside, on the inside they are rich. They are rich in heart, rich in strength which they use to give.
 
Some are 80 or 90 years old. From the stories of their lives in the past right up to the present, they are always the same; they are willing to give. Regardless of their age, it is the same. No matter how much time has passed, it is the same. They have such bright and beautiful lives. Although these elderly Bodhisattvas’ lives in the past appeared to be full of suffering, though their lives even now are hard, they are still quite delightful. Some worked hard for their families when young and raised their children until they had careers of their own. They can now enjoy life’s comforts, but they do not wish to do so. They are willing to give for the sake of the world.
 
There are also those who have lived lives of hardship and torment, whose children have grown up and moved far away. They end up like other people, old and living alone. Their children do not want to be with them and do not want to care for them. There are also those whose children were filial, and their children grow up and succeed in their careers.
 
But life is impermanent. Suddenly in this illusory and impermanent [world], the bubble of their hope is burst. This is suffering! They then met benefactors who kept them company, guided them and helped them open their minds. They understood the impermanence of life and learned to let go. Though they were alone and suffering, once they joined this great family they found many companions on the Bodhisattva-path who helped them open their minds. Though they are in old age, using their strength, they concentrate on giving. When it comes to people’s environments, there are countless matters and appearances. But when we go back to the root, there is light. This always exists in their lives. Although in their lifetimes there is so much beyond their control, there is always a correct path that allows them to keep moving forward. They see this bright road to walk upon, a road of brightness leading out of darkness. These are “the rich among the poor.”
 
There are myriads of different human lives, each with different causes and conditions. So “We practice the causes and obtain the effects to transform all sentient beings according to conditions.” If we give rise to a firm faith and establish firm vows, naturally all the seeds that we sow will all be seeds of goodness that not only result in our own success but will enable us, lifetime after lifetime, to spread seeds of goodness among others. It is by going among people that we can strengthen our spiritual aspirations and nurture our wisdom-life. So, the road of life is truly the smooth Bodhi-path. As long as we are willing to form aspirations, the great, direct Bodhi-path is easy to walk. Furthermore, we can come and go among people without ever becoming contaminated. Among people, we spread the seeds of goodness over the fields of merit and virtue. This is the path the Buddha gave us. We can peacefully listen to the Dharma, accept the Path and put the Bodhisattva-path into practice. This is what we should persevere in.
 
So, in the previous passage, we saw how the Brahma kings came to the world and saw Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha sitting in the place of enlightenment. The Brahma kings and everyone else were joyful and paid respect to Him reverently. They scattered flowers like Mt. Sumeru and made offerings to the Bodhi-tree as well as to the Buddha. Together, “They said these words.” All were of the same heart and expressed utmost reverence.
 
 
Having made offerings with flowers, they each offered their palaces to that Buddha. They said these words, “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. Please look upon us with mercy and benefit all of us.
 
They were reverently entreating the Buddha to exercise great compassion, saying, “As for the palaces that we offer, may You honor us by taking them.” This was the reverence in their hearts. “Venerable Buddha, Great Enlightened One, You are able to understand us and accept our reverence.”
 
So, “at that time, all the Brahma kings, with one mind and in one voice,” with one voice together like this, entreated Him. This expressed their sincerity. So it says, “Excellent! We see all Buddhas, the honored sages who save the world, who, in the prison of the Three Realms, can spur sentient beings to escape.
 
There is much suffering in the Three Realms, from the formless realm to the form realm to the desire realm. The formless realm is without appearance or form. However, our spiritual state is also formless. This is our intentions. “What do my intentions look like? Do you know?” Sometimes people have certain intentions, but their expressions indicate something else. Some people, when they see others, feel, “Whenever I see this person, it truly makes me very unhappy.” This is resentment, hatred, jealousy. But they have already seen her, so they say, “I ‘m so happy to see you! Long time no see! Come on over!” They take her hand, “Come, let’s have some tea.” But in their they are doing it unwillingly. And what does this “unwillingness” look like? What you see is that earnest hospitality, but what the intention looks like cannot be seen. Someone’s mind may be in a state of ignorance, but we cannot see it. This is formless.
 
In this formless state, we give rise to many thoughts, the afflictions and ignorance from our dislike, or … in any case, there are many different kinds. In the world, we see those who were best friends, yet one continues to drag the order down a path so in the end he loses everything; one of them is left with nothing. “For a very long time, everything he did satisfied me, yet no one knew what he was thinking. What he expressed satisfied me. As a result, I came to rely on him completely, but in the end, because of this I was left with nothing.” There are stories like this as well. This is formless, the “formless realm.”
 
We cannot see into people’s hearts, cannot see their afflictions, ignorance and delusions. These all exist in formless realm. In our lives, there is this “formless realm.”
 
In life, there is also the form realm. In the form realm, [people] are pure. They are wealth, but very satisfied. They have enough that they can give to others. These are the rich among the rich. They are like Brahma kings, who in the past practiced supreme good deeds and upheld the supreme precepts.
 
Thus, when born in this life, they can enjoy heavenly blessing. They are like those in our human realm who practiced the Ten Good Deeds and so in this lifetime are very rich. They also have kind thoughts and are not greedy; they use the money earned in society for the benefit of society. They are very willing to give of themselves and they do so with great joy and reverence. They do not create karma; they give completely without expectations. These are the rich among the rich. They have the Buddha-Dharma; they encountered virtuous teachings in past lives, so they have been delivered. They have transcended to desire realm and are not bound ignorance to affliction are not bound by ignorance or afflictions. The world’ sensual pleasures do not cause them to fall due to greedy attachment. They continue to use their worldly wealth to accomplish world-transcending work. These are the rich among the rich. 
 
And the poor among the poor? They are those whose karma leads them to suffer and then create further karma. Filled with afflictions, they cannot get past their thoughts. Everything they do is unwholesome. These are the poor among the poor. Those with more hope are people who, though past karma led them into poverty, also created causes of blessings in the past. So, they have benefactors in this life and are able to encounter the Buddha-Dharma. Then, although they initially suffered hardship, they are nevertheless willing to give. They give in such a way that though their lives are full of hardship, spiritually, they are filled with joy.
 
Look at Africa, at the [volunteers] who face poverty and hardship. They are the rich among the poor. Their wealth is their spiritual wealth. Though they face hardships themselves, they are able to transcend their suffering and are even able to help others. They are the rich among the poor; they have spiritual wealth so they are spurred to escape the Three Realms. They are not bound by the world’s suffering. They may live in poverty in the world, yet they are able to transcend it to become people who help others. See, this is the life of the rich among the poor.
 
So, there are these different kinds of lives. Everything depends on the causes we practice. We need to earnestly seize [the time] to create causes. We definitely must pay attention to the causes. Once thoughts arise and stir in us, if we set our resolve and have firm faith, naturally when we accept the Dharma, we will be very strong and steady. If our spiritual aspirations are not strong, perhaps we may become the poor among the rich and go from brightness to places of darkness. This is also possible.
 
If we are firm in our will to practice, even if our karma leads us into poverty, we will find our wealth in the midst of poverty, because the Dharma will be in our hearts. So, because we are rich amidst poverty, from within darkness, we will also walk toward a radiant path. this depends on our minds. So, we should be firm in our will to practice. This kind of cause is very important. It is a mindset we all must have.
 
Next, this passage says, “One of universal wisdom honored by heavenly begins and humans, You have mercy on all kinds of sprouts. You can open the door of ambrosial dew to widely transform all.
 
One of universal wisdom honored by heavenly beings and humans is the Buddha, the Great Enlightened One. The Buddha has already become the transcendent Great Enlightened One, so He was most honored among heavenly beings and humans. Thus He is called “one of universal wisdom.” this is true not only among humans, but among heavenly beings as well. So, He is honored by heavenly beings and humans, the most honored among heavenly beings, humans.
 
One of universal wisdom honored by heavenly beings and humans, You have mercy on all kinds of sprouts: The Buddha’s universal wisdom is honored among heavenly beings and humans. He has mercy on all beings and nourished all sprouts and roots of goodness.
 
The Buddha, in His wisdom, is most honored by heavenly beings and humans. He has “mercy.” He forever has compassion and mercy for all beings. He has compassion for sentient beings’ suffering. This is mercy. The Buddha is compassionate, and His compassion is universal compassion. He feels for those who suffer, so it says that He has mercy. He cannot bear to let sentient beings suffer. Sentient beings’ suffering is something He will never let be. [They live] where the Five Destinies coexist, so He must return, lifetime after lifetime, to the place where the Five Destinies coexist to transform stubborn sentient beings. What He needs to use is love, love like dew, to nourish all sprouts. He wants to give all seeds the chance to be able to sprout and extend their roots, so it says He has “mercy on all kinds of sprouts.”
 
This is saying that for these infinite seeds, as long as there is rain and dew, naturally, with moisture on the ground, they will be able to sprout and grow and extend their roots. So, He nourishes all sprouts and roots of goodness.
 
Having “universal wisdom” means having two kinds of wisdom to benefit humans and heavenly beings: This is the Dharma. The Tathagata has both true and provisional wisdom. Both kinds of wisdom must be perfect and complete to “illuminate all phenomena completely.”
 
True wisdom means using the true Dharma of the One Vehicle, which points directly to the nature of the mind. Everyone inherently has Buddha-nature; it is just covered by ignorance and afflictions. You have always had a bright pearl inside your pocket, but you never put your hand inside your pocket. You have always had this priceless pearl tucked inside your [clothing]. As we continue, the Lotus Sutra also tells this parable. So, everyone intrinsically has Buddha-nature. Unfortunately, though we sentient beings know we have the Buddha-nature, how can we allow this Buddha-nature to manifest, how can we truly return to the principles of all things in the universe including everything between heaven and earth and all matters and objects? What must we do to be able to experience this? If our Buddha-nature does not manifest, we cannot understand the principles of all things throughout the universe and all Dharma-realms. It will be impossible for us, but the Buddha’s true wisdom extends to all.
 
Still, though He has abundant principles to explain everything under the sun in different ways and analyze the physical principles of all matters and appearances, it was still impossible for us to comprehend. What could He do then? He could only use provisional wisdom. He had to use provisional, skillful means. With skillful means, He had to spend a very long time to adapt to sentient beings’ capabilities. He gradually nurtured sentient beings’ capabilities like this. This was truly difficult. So, only by perfecting the two kinds of wisdom could His wisdom be called universal.
 
To have universal wisdom, one must be replete with both the Tathagata’s true and provisional wisdom. Only when the two kinds of wisdom are perfected can He be called “One of universal wisdom honored by heavenly beings and humans.” In this way, He can “illuminate all phenomena completely.” Only with the radiance of the principles can all phenomena be brightly illuminated. Otherwise, when we look at others, people are just people. Even if the Buddha tells us that everyone has Buddha-nature and that we should treat everyone as a Buddha, they clearly all still just look like people. Their light, the true principles behind the person, their nature of True Suchness, is still hidden. You look at me the same way. I clearly look like just a person; where is there any nature of True Suchness, any Buddha-nature? When you see me and I see you, we all look like people, like unenlightened beings. Our wisdom cannot penetratingly illuminate. The table I see before me is merely a table. There is a dead branch that still has a few leaves. When I look, that is all they are, yet they have their principles. This one is a dead branch, that, a bonsai that was constrained in a small pot. It could not extend its roots, so it will forever remain such a small tree. We can call it a tree, but we should actually call it a bonsai. If you take it outside, pull it out of the pot and plant it on the ground, it will naturally extend its roots freely. With a vast space it will grow large.
 
We sentient beings are like this tree. This pine tree is constrained by the small size of its pot. This is like us now. Our Buddha-nature is just like this, constrained by ignorance and worldly appearances. We have no way to illuminate all phenomena completely. We are still constrained by appearances. As for the genes of this tree, the true principles of the matter of this tree, we only know this much; we still have not penetrated it completely. Just why is there a tree in the first place? This is indeed very difficult to understand.
 
So, sprouts refer to all living things, including womb-born, egg-born, moisture-born and transformation-born beings, all sentient beings. All these are called sprouts. All seeds upon the earth are also called sprouts. “All” here means many. “Sprouts” means things that sprout and grow roots. This is like our spiritual aspirations, our nature of True Suchness; they transcend limitations. Sentient beings are all restricted, bound by the power of karma.
 
Another meaning of “all sprouts” is that though “sentient beings may commit evil,” the goodness of their nature is never cut off. “This is likened to the sprouts of plants and trees, though damaged, they will again sprout.”
 
You see, though sentient beings are stubborn, though they may do evil, the intrinsic goodness of their natures remain. Haven’t we seen in the past some cruel person who had been sentenced to death, who, when the time for execution came, became willing to donate his organs? Isn’t this the goodness within him? Although in his ignorance he had once created evil karma, the goodness in his mind still remains. So, roots of goodness cannot be cut off, this goodness still remains. “This is likened to the sprouts of plants and trees; though damaged, they will again sprout.” Though a seed may seem to be damaged, if it is not actually destroyed, it will still be able to sprout. If you put a bean in the ground, as long as that bean is not crushed, as long as you do not cook it, even if it is spilt, if you put it in the ground, it will also sprout. The principle is the same; even with evil people, their intrinsic nature of goodness remains. Similarly, with seeds, even if it is not a very good seed, if you put it in the ground and let it absorb air and moisture, it too will still germinate and sprout.
 
So, “You can open the door of ambrosial dew.” The Buddha, the  Enlightened One, gave the world the ambrosial dew of the Dharma. The analogy of ambrosial dew is used for Dharma. “Ambrosial dew is the medicine of immortality for heavenly beings. The Buddha gives teachings of the Dharma to enable them to escape from samsara.” This is called ambrosial dew. The Buddha taught and gave the Dharma universally to all sentient beings, so they would not lose their roots of goodness, so their roots of goodness could grow, and they could develop their wisdom-life. This “enables them to escape from samsara.” This is called ambrosial dew; it is the Dharma.
 
It is said that there is a tree of ambrosial dew. In mid-autumn, dewdrops fall on its leaves, and people take them as a medicine for long life. If the dewdrops fall to the ground, they become pearls. This is like when people listen to the Dharma and take it into their consciousness; it will transform into Bodhi-seeds.
 
It is also said that there is a tree of ambrosial dew. Dew forms on its leaves, just like the dewdrops of mid-autumn. In the autumn, the dew is heavier, so more dew forms upon the leaves. If people take water from these leaves, it is very pure. “People take them as medicine for a long life.” It can nourish them. If they fall to the ground, they transform into pearls, like when we listen to the Dharma and it enters our consciousness. When the water drips upon the ground, if similarly returns to the ground. It is like water, like pure water. People can drinks it; the dew becomes water, and when people drink it, it quenches their thirst. When it falls on the earth, it nourished the land. This is like our mind. When the Dharma enters our mind, it enters our consciousness and is absorbed into our eighth consciousness or our ninth consciousness, where it has beneficial use. That means it returns to our ninth consciousness which is the Buddha-nature. “ It will transform into a Bodhi-seed,” and each drop has its beneficial use. So, He “widely transforms all.”
 
To widely transform all: The Tathagata views all Dharma and all sentient beings as being equal. With His great compassion and according to their capabilities, He reveals manifestations and guides them to enable them to attain and enter [ His wisdom]. This is wisdom of the nature of equality. Saving and protecting all sentient beings is called “widely transforming all.”
 
“The Tathagata views all Dharma and all sentient beings as being equal.” The Buddha widely transforms all sentient beings, for He views all sentient beings as equal. Heavenly beings, humans or those in the Three Evil Destinies are all equal to the Great Enlightened One. “With His great compassion and according to their capabilities, He reveals manifestations and guides them.” The Buddha, in coming to the world, hoped to transform sentient beings so that everyone could realize and attain enlightenment. This is “wisdom of the nature of equality.” The Buddha was already impartial as He treated sentient beings with both true provisional wisdom. Put together this is called “Wisdom of the nature of equality.”
 
Saving and protecting all sentient beings is called “widely transforming all.” So, we should be mindful. The Dharma is always found in our daily living, as we practice the causes and obtain the effects to transform all sentient beings accordingly. This depends on all of us being mindful and remaining determined to go among people and give, lifetime after lifetime. So, we must always be mindful.
 

(Source: Da Ai TV – Wisdom at Dawn program – Explanation by Master Chen-Yen)
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20170228《靜思妙蓮華》行因趣果隨緣化度 (第1033集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)
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