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 20170303《靜思妙蓮華》道在人心諦理本具 (第1036集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)

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發表主題: 20170303《靜思妙蓮華》道在人心諦理本具 (第1036集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)   周四 3月 02, 2017 11:51 pm

20170303《靜思妙蓮華》道在人心諦理本具 (第1036集)
(法華經•化城喻品第七)

 
真誠發意道在人心親民,善念如水在地固有明德,美意誠摯處事人圓格物,法源諦理本具覺性遍空。
不從佛聞法,常行不善事,色力及智慧,斯等皆減少。罪業因緣故,失樂及樂想,住於邪見法,不識善儀則。《法華經化城喻品第七
不蒙佛所化,常墮於惡道。佛為世間眼,久遠時乃出,哀愍諸眾生,故現於世間,超出成正覺,我等甚欣慶。《法華經化城喻品第七
不蒙佛所化,常墮於惡道:不蒙如來之所化導,常常墮落惡道之中。住於無明邪見法,不識聖人善儀則,不蒙諸佛法教化,所以生死往返,常墮惡道。
佛為世間眼,久遠時乃出:佛覺慧眼照見諦理,作世間人天眼目,經久遠劫時乃出現。
哀愍諸眾生,故現於世間:為愍念長時空間濁重昏暗,眾生心迷塵厚,所以佛出於世間。
超出成正覺,我等甚欣慶:正覺,超出一切三乘六道,成就無上正等正覺。我等甚是欣喜慶賀。
 
【證嚴上人開示】

「真誠發意道在人心親民,善念如水在地固有明德,美意誠摯處事人圓格物,法源諦理本具覺性遍空。」
 
真誠發意
道在人心親民
善念如水在地
固有明德
美意誠摯處事
人圓格物
法源諦理
本具覺性遍空
 
能瞭解嗎?人與人之間,我們一定要彼此真誠,真誠的心,要發自我們最誠懇這念意。誠意、真誠,這是同一類的話,是從至誠至真的心意,這樣就是我們修行方向的道路。誠意,待人接物,不論是對人、對事,無不都是在一個「誠」字,這個「誠」,真誠的意念,時時在心,那就是「人心親民」。
 
人與人之間,心要常常很乾淨、很快樂。像一件東西,我們要常常洗得乾乾淨淨,就像我們的環境周圍我們要常常打掃得整整齊齊,沒有囤積垃圾,沒有骯髒的東西,沒有污染的水,這樣囤積著。這就像我們人,心中沒有煩惱,常常將我們的心洗得乾乾淨淨,用這樣的誠意,這念誠意來對待人,就是很乾淨,很乾淨的心。每天每天我們都要,清除好我們的心,我們對人就如很誠意在對待人,一片乾淨,沒有污染到雜念,沒有不軌的心念,我們對人就是這麼坦誠,如清新一片,完全與人來交往,對人的親切。
 
「大學之道,在明明德,在親民」。與「新」與「親」,這個字「新」就是清新,「親」就是與人親近。人與人之間清新,就如一片誠意,無污染,沒有抱著不軌道的心。我們就是心寬念純,待人接物用一片誠意,這樣來親近人,人與人就是要這樣互相親近,這種「真誠發意,道在人心親民」。
 
我們的社會若能這樣,人與人就是這樣互相親近,互相啟發我們的心,沒有污穢、沒有雜念、沒有煩惱。「茍日新,日日新」,常常自我內心革新,不要有舊的、髒污的,這些無明煩惱又囤積在心裡,這也是我們所修行,每天我們的內心要日日新。我們對人,人人親,這就是入人群、結好緣,這我們若是做得到,這個人的修行,應該就是很不錯的修行者。
 
「善念如水在地,固有明德」。其實,我們人的生命、天地萬物,都不能缺水,與我們人一樣,人,這個善念不能沒有。人家說「人之初,性本善。」這善念與生俱來,人人本具清淨本性,都是善念,這就是一片清淨誠意的善念,這種的善念人人本具。就如水在地,我們的地球,它所以有這麼多生物、有人類,人類的生活,這麼多的物資供應給人類,就是因為地球,大地含藏著很充足的水分。
 
水在地,就如我們,人人都有一個「固有明德」。明德也是「大學之道、裡面,「在明明德」,我們人,人人要學道,「大學之道,在明明德」,與我們學法,學佛法一樣。佛法,無始塵點劫以前,覺性本具,我們人人本來都有。就如孔夫子所說,「大學之道,在明明德」。學者,覺也。這個「學」與「覺」,我們有時候在寫字時,要寫「學」,不由自己寫成「覺」了。學者,覺也。所以,孔夫子就是(要) ,我們人要好好地學。學,這條路就是,要讓我們能瞭解,瞭解我們人人本具明德。「明」就是動詞,明,就是要瞭解、要知道,知道人人本具明德,人人本有。就如佛陀告訴我們,人人本具佛性,所以「明德」就是我們的佛性。就如我們的善念、本性,人人本具,如在大地,大地原來就有水分在。
 
這幾天,在看我們大愛(臺) ,在報導辛巴威。辛巴威本來是也是一個,很富有的國家,在近史中,有這樣人,人禍,所以變得辛巴威,就在這樣不斷人類的禍端,所以成了現在最貧困的國家。禍端就是來自於人不和,來自於心不在軌道上,所以互相製造了人禍相爭,落得現在的辛巴威,完全就是很貧困,已經貧得,孩子讀書的場所都沒有了。
 
我們都有看到他們天地為學堂,席地而坐,頭上沒有屋頂,周圍沒有牆壁,就是這麼的簡單,在沙礫很多的土地上,大小石頭都有,就是這樣就坐下來。頂上可能過去也有帳棚,但是舊了、破了,隨著風飄搖,破掉的帳棚就是一塊一塊破布,風在吹,布就這樣破了,這樣在飃動。老師就是在這樣的帳棚下,綠色的黑板變成了灰白的黑板。每次要上課,孩子就這樣爬,爬在子椅上、梯子上,去掛那塊黑板,掛在邊角的地方,老師寫好的,掛在高高的地方,孩子只有白紙的簿子,短短的鉛筆來寫。
 
孩子很認真,將老師寫上黑板,課本的字,孩子一個一個就是這樣寫下來,自己抄,抄課本。這樣的課本,真的寫下來的字都很漂亮。因為孩子有心,他們知道,若是不讀書,肯定就是一輩子,傳下去代代都是文盲,人人代代都是貧困。他們現在所要打拚的,父母就是給孩子讀書,明白學問,懂得讀書的好處,才能創造時代,青年來創造時代。
 
除了教育很欠缺,物資供應欠缺以外,生活很缺乏的就是水。他們一年到頭,夏天擔心的就是蚊蟲、就是瘟疫,就是沒有清淨的水。所以朱(金財)居士每次回來都是說:「缺水,要有乾淨的水。」水要從哪裡來呢?地下有沒有水呢?有啊,有水,不過就要鑿井,所鑿的井,他們就是用人力挖的井不夠深,淺井水就是污染。因為他們的衛生,沒有廁所的好好的污水 (淨化)的設備,所以到處隨地方便,大地骯髒,所以較在表面的水都是受污染。想要有乾淨的水,必定要深水,深水就要用機器來鑿。
 
所以我們,告訴他,去雇人來鑿井。現在開始,已經鑿二十幾口的井水了。看他們在鑿井,有水來了,有水來了,開始大家展開了笑容。現在的水,從深井提上來的水,與他們過去,在水窪裡淺淺的、全是蚊蟲那樣的水,拿來與這個清水來比,我們安心多了。井,深井水還要再繼續開鑿,目前還是用人工,半人工、半機器開鑿,這樣鑿起來很費時、費力。我們還是一直在臺灣,替他們研究,要如何較能機器化,又能很環保,不必用油,不必用……,如何讓他們較輕鬆,能夠鑿深井水。
 
我們現在一直還在研究中。也在想,這個水到底,看到清水,到底乾淨嗎?有感染嗎?現在首先就是要,給他們一個淨水器。就是說,水雖然清了,我們也再給他們,一個過濾(器)殺菌,沒有病菌的水,生生的水就能用,安心的水。所以在臺灣,現在為非洲國家,尤其是在辛巴威,我們開始在開發,研究、開發出將清水(井水) ,過濾(成)安全的水。沒有水的地方,我們要如何讓他們,能從地底下取出乾淨的水。這兩項因為水,還在進行中,在臺灣開始一直在研究。
 
其實說研究,是好多年了。要如何輕便、很理想,能發送到非洲,普遍的國家都能用到,運送方便、使用方便,要如何讓他們有水源,又是安全的水。這我們也是很用心,為這些沒有水、貧窮苦難的國家,去保護他們的人民,讓地球上人人都能平安。
 
這是水,每個國家都有水,水在大地,就如我們人一樣,水就如人的本性。水,山上很高,很高也是一樣,山上有水脈。看看,幾公尺高的山上,山林,就是大樹,能在那個地方,自然大樹能這麼大,就是因為它有土地、有水分,所以大樹很高大。
 
過去一段時間,高山的地方種很多青菜,這都是有水。但是,人類在高山,破壞了高山,將樹砍下來去賣,大地變成了菜園。所以,大地被破壞了。可見我們能知道,高山上同樣也有水,所以水在地球上,無處不在。就如我們人類,人人本具佛性,如水在地,也像我們人人固有明德,明德就是佛性。
 
釋迦牟尼佛這樣說,孔夫子也是這樣說。雖然釋迦佛說,我們人人本具真如本性,孔子說明明德,只要我們清楚,我們人人本具明德,這就像我們知道,我們人人本具真如本性,道理是一樣。只要我們的善念,真誠的心、善的念,存在我們的心,待人接物,聽法,瞭解道理,按照道理去走,自然我們就能回歸到,如來清淨的本性,自然回歸明白了,我們人人本具佛性。
 
所以,我們要「美意誠摯處事」,對人,我們要用很好的意。「美意」就是很好、很善的念,很好的心意來對人,不要有一點點惡意、惡念。我們應該要培養,對人要有真誠善念、美意,很美的這念心,很誠懇來對人。「處事」,做事就是這樣用很好的心,守我們的本分,盡我們的使命。人生,你到底執行的,是什麼事情呢?為人群付出,盡人事,該做的事,我們要用很誠懇的美意,誠懇的心來處事,這就是「人圓格物」,做人的人格就完成了。
 
是一位科學家,你用心去瞭解科學,有傷害人的事情要預防,不要去發展,這有良知的科學家。有的人發現到,這個東西若發展起來會有很大用處,但是這個東西若發展起來,但是這個東西一發展下去,對人類是一種危機。老實說,我們現在人人在用的東西,都是破壞了大地,所完成的物質。我們人若是這個物質好好利用,用疼惜的心,用感恩的心,製造業者適可而止,就是這樣,就不要再一直推銷下去。
 
人的心理,若能時時保持好我們,固有的道德,愛惜物資,這樣所發明出來的東西,有好的,我們來利用,疼惜物資,就不要一直汰舊換新。現在就是因為人心太過於浪費,光是一直追求、追求,不知修德,只是想要求。這樣人的心,雖然有這麼多人,為了工業、事業去發展,但是發展出來、發明出來的東西,卻是本來是一番的美意,變成過度了,就已經破壞生態。
 
現在的生態都被破壞了,溫室效應,已經到了現在,連蚊蟲都讓人惶惶不安,登革熱,現在不就是嗎?從南部一直傳到北部,醫界大家也是很擔心。一些孩子要開始讀書了,很多學校家長就很擔心,起動,要如何,學校到底有打掃乾淨嗎?雜草、垃圾清理好了沒?現在大家是為了,孩子要讀書的環境而擔心。
 
這就是氣候已經變到這個時候,大家生活過日子惶惶不安。所以我們做事情,適可而止。怎麼樣做?就是中道。一直發明、一直研究,無止境,無盡期的不斷開發,供應給人類,不斷地浪費,這就是破壞地球。這種的「美意」,就變成這種自利,太過於,創業太過認真了,所以大企業家很多,卻是貧窮、病苦、罕見病例等等,一直一直發現,這都是不平衡。我們若能「美意誠摯」來做事情,自然供應給人生方便,但是就是要守規、守本。
 
「格物」。壞的事情將它革除,存著好的念,壞念革除。就如已經是不好的東西,煩惱無明要完全清除掉,垃圾不要再囤積,髒水不要再囤積,這樣完全清除。這與「格物」的意思一樣。人的心要好好,固守好我們這念清淨,誠,真誠的心,善念的心,美德的意。人人若有這樣,自然我們的人格就圓了,圓了,做事情,待人接物,全都很圓滿。
 
對於物品,真正的,該疼惜的,我們要很疼惜,能用的,我們就要用得,真正到它不能用,這樣才能夠減少垃圾,才能夠讓大地清淨,才真正能夠節省資源。這都是孔子、釋迦佛,他們一番美意的教育。
 
「法源諦理本具覺性遍空」。其實,人到底在爭取什麼呢?瞭解道理之後,法的源頭,真理,其實要告訴我們的是覺性,我們要回歸我們的覺性,覺性就是遍空法界的真理,我們應該要很透徹瞭解。所以用心在法,用心在道,我們自然明明德,透徹真如。這樣的道理瞭解了,還有什麼不懂的呢?所以我們要多用心。
 
就如前面的經文,就說我們就是要聽法,聽法,我們自然,道理都清楚了,都瞭解。所以前面的經文就說,「不從佛聞法,常行不善事,色力及智慧,斯等皆減少。罪業因緣故,失樂及樂想,住於邪見法,不識善儀則。」
 
不從佛聞法
常行不善事
色力及智慧
斯等皆減少
罪業因緣故
失樂及樂想
住於邪見法
不識善儀則
《法華經化城喻品第七
 
我們真正要去瞭解道理。道理,我們若失了,行為方向就偏差;行為方向偏差,我們的人格損失,我們的行為、形象,就完全失去做人的人格。智慧偏差,所造作的,那就錯了,一念差,念念錯,行為所造作的都是業。造惡業,自然道德一失,自然善道就一直減少了,人就一直是煩惱重重。哪怕是賺很多錢,也是一樣患得患失,要再發展更多的事業,這哪有快樂呢?
 
所以我們看,真正在做,為人群付出,雖然貧窮,人家也是做得很歡喜、快樂。依照人間的道理來走,人生足夠生活就好了,能夠為人付出,固守好地球,人類之間大家和睦,若能這樣才是真正的人生。
 
所以下面的經文再這樣說,因為「不蒙佛所化,常墮於惡道。佛為世間眼,久遠時乃出,哀愍諸眾生,故現於世間,超出成正覺,我等甚欣慶。」
 
不蒙佛所化
常墮於惡道
佛為世間眼
久遠時乃出
哀愍諸眾生
故現於世間
超出成正覺
我等甚欣慶
《法華經化城喻品第七
 
我們為什麼不從佛聞法呢?前面的(偈)文說,「不從佛聞法」,所以因為我們不對佛的法,來好好地聽,就是「不蒙佛所化」。佛法,你就不懂了,沒聽法,就不懂法,自然就是「不蒙佛所化」,這樣就是「常墮於惡道」。不蒙如來的教化引導,若這樣,我們常常就會墮落惡道去。
 
不蒙佛所化
常墮於惡道:
不蒙如來之所化導
常常墮落惡道之中
住於無明邪見法
不識聖人善儀則
不蒙諸佛法教化
所以生死往返
常墮惡道
 
我們要時時提高警覺,最好還是要聽法、瞭解道理,按照這個軌道來實行。在人間,這樣比較有保障。
 
所以「住於無明邪見法」。因為我們不懂道理,所以我們會常常在無明中,我們所常行的是不善事。前面的(偈)文這樣說,「常行不善事」,不善的事,就是來自於無明,無明邪見,所以不懂聖人的規則。自然這就是因為我們沒有聽法,沒有受佛的教法,所以往往都是在無明煩惱中,造作業力,這樣就是往返在生死中,這樣叫做「常墮惡道」。來來去去都是在三惡道,或者是五道四生,就是這樣來來回回,生死不斷。
 
「佛為世間眼,久遠時乃出」。
 
佛為世間眼
久遠時乃出:
佛覺慧眼照見諦理
作世間人天眼目
經久遠劫時乃出現
 
佛覺悟是慧眼,佛所看的人、事、物,與我們所看不同。因為佛已經覺悟,他的覺性是遍空法界,天底下,哪件事情不知道呢?所以,佛的眼光,就是「慧眼照見諦理」,所看的事物,佛一眼透見就是道理。我們看的是事、是物,佛所看的是理,事就是理,物的理,所以他很清楚。
 
所以,很多很多事物,我們不清楚。佛「作世間人眼目」,他替我們看,這個東西的道理是這樣這樣,仔細地為我們分析。在人與人之間,為什麼有這樣的不愉快?那就是因為,因緣果報的道理存在。人,為什麼,有的人,生來就是富貴,智慧聰明,事事都這麼如意?有的人生下來,為什麼身心不健全,為什麼貧窮困苦,事事都不如意?人與人之間,為什麼他的緣會那麼不好?這也是再告訴我們「因緣」──如是因,如是緣,如是果報;道理仔細地為我們分析,這就是人間,為人間做眼目。
 
我們看不懂的,有佛法,我們若能好好深入,自然我們就能瞭解。道理有聽了,有研究了,我們就樣樣能通達。所以佛要出現人間是很不容易,「經久遠劫時乃出(現)」。真正要能得佛在人間,不容易。佛既然出現人間說法,是很寶貴的事情。法留在人間,就是要讓我們,不斷不斷這樣傳化下去,人人能夠依教奉行,人人都是就軌道。
 
善,誠意,善心,這樣在這個軌道上走,自然他就不會去墮惡道。每天都能知足心常樂,善解、包容,人與人之間互相疼惜,這才是真正人間善道。
 
尸棄大梵、諸梵天王到達時,同樣是誠意供養,同樣禮拜,同樣請佛轉法輪。「哀愍諸眾生,故現於世間」,因為這段偈文是梵天王,尸棄大梵率領大眾,來請佛轉法輪,所以,也是虔誠懇求佛「哀愍諸眾生」。
 
哀愍諸眾生
故現於世間:
為愍念長時空間
濁重昏暗
眾生心迷塵厚
所以佛出於世間
 
不只是為自己求,也為天下眾生求,求佛能夠,「愍念長時空(間),濁氣昏暗」。因為這麼久以來,慢慢的,人心脫軌了,無明煩惱製造了很多的濁氣。請覺者來哀愍,憫念人世間長時以來,這個大空間,就是全世間,已經慢慢地濁氣很重,已經是昏暗了。
 
我們常常看新聞,報導有「塵霾」。「塵霾」就是灰塵,可以飛得很遠,沙塵,因為大地乾化了,沙塵從沙漠一直飛啊飛,飛到,我們臺灣有時候,離那麼遠,蒙古大沙漠的地方,不只是北京,天天抬頭所看到的,看不見藍天,多數都是一片灰灰茫茫,這不是雲,是塵,灰塵,所以這是濁。也是現在的工廠很多、污染多,所以濁。其實,有形的濁是來自人心的濁。所以「濁重昏暗」,有形的,也看到天空昏暗了,何況說我們的人心,也是這樣一片昏暗,這就是我們要時時警惕。
 
「眾生心迷塵厚」。人的心迷,無明一層一層蓋,就如塵沙這樣一層一層,我們都沒有去清理,所以塵土很厚。把一面鏡子放著,幾天後,你都沒有去擦,鏡面就看不清了,完全都是塵沙、塵土。我們的心也一樣,我們若沒有時時用功,去擦心的明鏡,自然它就是一直積著塵。所以,我們眾生的心迷,已經是塵很厚了,塵已經很厚了,所以「佛出於世間」,因為這樣,佛出現在人間。
 
「超出成正覺,我等甚欣慶」。因為佛出現人間,長久以來,佛陀已經出現人間,要好好來哀愍這些眾生長時間不斷累積無明煩惱,讓世間的濁,世間的濁氣已經開始了。可見在塵沙劫以前,梵天王向大通智勝佛說這些話,其實,釋迦牟尼佛,是提一個很長久以前,我們人生本具的佛性,就是長久以來一直迷失了。這是一種很超越的譬喻,要讓我們瞭解。
 
超出成正覺
我等甚欣慶:
正覺
超出一切三乘六道
成就無上正等正覺
我等甚是欣喜慶賀
 
其實說起來,這種濁,濁,就是在現在的五濁惡世。釋迦牟尼佛說,未來世是五濁惡世,不就是我們現在嗎?五濁惡世完全已經浮現了。
 
所以,天人一直,在代替未來的眾生,請佛轉法輪,覺性要趕緊浮現出來。道理,覺,就是真理,真理要趕緊浮現出來,才有辦法超出這種苦難的地方,才能去除濁氣重重,三途苦難。大家看到佛出現世間就歡喜,這是很期待的,長久的時間這樣濁氣重重,佛出現人間是大家歡喜,能夠聽法。
 
佛能夠轉法輪,有法輪開始轉,就如清水能洗滌這些濁氣,所以說正覺,已經超出,已經成正覺,在濁氣中已經「超出成正覺」,就是超出一切三乘六道。三乘是小乘、中乘、大乘,叫做三乘,佛已經是超越三乘,至高無上正等正覺。這個正覺已經超出三乘,更超出六道了。所以「成就無上正等正覺,我等甚是欣慶」,這是梵天王表達他們的心態。
 
所以,我們要用心在法,法永遠在我們的心中,所以要有「真誠發意道在人心親民」。我們待人接物,就是要用很清新的心情來對待,這也就是我們學佛,日常生活中不能離開。因為我們的善念如水,就如水在大地一樣,我們只要好好明明德,我們心裡清淨的水、泉,也能湧現出來。這都是我們要學的,請大家要時時多用心。


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Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: The Way and the True Principles Lie in Our Hearts (道在人心 諦理本具)
Date: March.03. 2017
 
“When we have sincere intentions, the Way lies in our hearts and in being close with people. Good thoughts are like water in the ground. They are our inherent luminous virtue. When we handle affairs sincerely with beautiful intentions, we perfect our character and behavior. The source of the Dharma and the true principles is the enlightened nature that pervades the universe.”
 
Can you understand this? In our relationships with one another, we must have mutual sincerity. Sincerity must be brought forth from our most genuine thoughts. Sincerity and genuine thoughts are really talking about the same thing, about our most sincere and truthful intentions. This is the path that gives direction for our spiritual practice. We handle everything with sincere intentions. Whether dealing with people or matters, we are sincere in everything we do. These true, sincere intentions are always in our hearts, “in our hearts and in being close with people.”
 
In our interpersonal relationships, our hearts should always be kept clean and happy, as if they were an object that we must constantly wash to keep clean. Take our surroundings, for example. We often sweep up to keep everything clean and free from the accumulation of garbage, the accumulation of filthy things or the accumulation of contaminated water. It is the same for us as people when our minds are free of afflictions. We often wash our minds to keep them clean. We use this kind of sincerity to interact with others; this is a very clean and pure mind.
 
Every single day we should clear out our minds so that our intentions are sincere in dealing with others. When our minds are completely clean, free of all contaminating discursive thoughts, without any thoughts that have gone off track, then we can deal with others openly, as if we are totally new and clean, warm and kind in all of our interactions with them. “The path of great learning is in illuminating luminous virtue, in being close to the people.” The [characters] “new” and “close” [are similar]. “New” means fresh and clean. “Close” means drawing near to others. Our relations with others remain fresh and clean, as our intentions are completely sincere and are never contaminated. We do not entertain untoward thoughts and have an open mind with pure thoughts. We deal with people and matters with the sincerest of intentions; this is how we can be close with others. In our relationships, we want to mutually draw close to each other.
 
Thus, “When we have sincere intentions, the Way lies in our hearts and in being close with people.” If our society were like this, then people would draw near to one another and inspire each other’s aspiration. We would have no defilements, discursive thoughts or afflictions. “Every day is a new day.” We can constantly improve our own minds; we must not let the old and the dirty, our ignorance and afflictions, be stored inside. This is also what we do in spiritual practice. Every day we want our minds to have a new day. We want to be close with everyone. This is how we go among the people to create good affinities. People who can do this in their spiritual practice are most likely good spiritual practitioners.
 
“Good thoughts are like water in the ground. They are our inherent luminous virtue.” Actually, we humans and all things cannot live without water. People are the same; we cannot do without good thoughts. It is said, “Human nature is inherently good.” We are born with these good thoughts. We all inherently have a pure intrinsic nature, which is filled with good thoughts. These are all pure and sincere good thoughts. These good thoughts are inherent in everyone. This is like water in the ground, which supports the many living things on Earth, including humans. Human life can be sustained because so many resources are provided to us. This is because Earth contains such an ample supply of water. There is water in the ground the same way that luminous virtue is inherent in everyone. Luminous virtue is also on the “path of great learning.” It is in “illuminating luminous virtue.”
 
All of us must learn the path. “The path of great learning is in illuminating luminous virtue.” It is the same when we learn the Buddha-Dharma. [According to] the Buddha-Dharma, since Beginningless Time, for dust-inked kalpas, we have intrinsically had this enlightened nature; everyone has always had it. As Confucius said, “The path of great learning is ultimately about illuminating luminous virtue.” Those who learn, awaken. The Chinese words for “learn” and “awaken” look so similar that sometimes, when writing “learn,” we mistakenly write the word “awaken.” Those who learn, awaken. So, Confucius wished for us to earnestly learn. The path of learning enables us to understand, to understand our inherent luminous virtue. “Illuminate” is a verb. It means to understand, to know, know that everyone inherently has luminous virtue. Everyone possesses it.
 
This is just like what the Buddha told us, that Buddha-nature is intrinsic to everyone. So, “luminous virtue” is like our Buddha-nature. It is like our good thoughts, our intrinsic nature. Everyone has it, just as the land has always had water in it. These few days, when I watched our Da Ai TV, they have been reporting on Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe used to be a wealthy country, but in recent history continual manmade calamities have transformed Zimbabwe into one of the world’s poorest countries. These disasters come from disharmony among people, from people’s minds going off track. So, people influence each other to create these manmade calamities and conflicts. Thus, present-day Zimbabwe had become completely impoverished so poor children do not even have a place to study.
 
We have all seen how they have classrooms out in the open. They have no seats to sit on, no roofs above them, nor any walls to surround them. What they have is very simple. In a patch of rubble-strewn ground with many big and small rocks, they sit themselves down like that. Perhaps they used to have tents over their heads, but they were now old and broken, just flapping in the wind. All that remained of the broken tents were a few strips of tattered cloth. As the wind blows, the torn fabric just flaps in the wind. It is under these tents that the teacher writes on a green chalkboard faded gray with age. When class starts, the students climb onto chairs and ladders to hang the chalkboard in a corner of the space. When the teacher is done writing, they hang it high above for the students to see; the students only have a notebook of white paper and short, stubby pencils to write with. The children are very attentive. When the teacher writes words from the textbook onto the chalkboard, they write them down one by one, copying them into their notebooks. Their notebook handwriting is really very pretty. The children are all motivated. They know that if they do not study, they will definitely be illiterate their whole life, and their future generations will be as well. Generation after generation will remain poor. What the parents are now working hard for is to give their children an education; they understand the value of education. Only this can create a brighter future. It is up to the youth to create the future.
 
Besides lacking sufficient education and material goods, what they lack most in their lives is water. All year round, they worry about the summertime, that mosquitoes will bring plague and that they will have no clean water.
 
This is why whenever Mr. Zhu returns, he says, “They lack water; they need clean water.” But where will that water come from? Is there water underground? Yes, there is water underground, but they need to drill wells. The wells they can dig using human power are not deep enough, and the water in shallow wells is contaminated because of their unhygienic practices. They do not have toilets with good sewage systems, so people relieve themselves anywhere and everywhere; the land is filthy, so the surface water is contaminated. If they want clean water, then they must go deeper. For deeper water they need machines to dig wells.
 
So, we told him, “Hire people to dig wells!” They have begun and already have drilled more than 20 wells for water. We saw them drill the wells, and when the water comes, smiles break out on everyone’s faces. Their water now is from much deeper wells. This water is so much cleaner than the water from those shallow mosquito-ridden puddles that they used to use before. We are very relieved about this.
 
We will continue digging deeper wells. Presently, they are still using human power, digging half with manpower and half with machines. Digging like this takes a lot of time and effort. In Taiwan, we are still doing research for them, on how to help them mechanize further, while keeping it environmentally friendly so that they do not have to use gasoline, and no how to make it easier for them to be able to dig deeper wells.
 
Even now we are continuing to do this research. We also thought, “How can we make it easier for them to know whether water is clean or contaminated?” The first thing we want to do is to give them a water purifier. Although the water from the wells may seem clean, we also want to give them a machine that filters bacteria so they can be sure that the fresh water they use is free from bacteria.
 
So, now in Taiwan, for the African countries, and especially for Zimbabwe, we have begun reaching and developing ways for them to filter and to safely use well water. For places without surface water, we are figuring out ways to help them get clean water from beneath the ground. We are proceeding in developing both methods, researching them here in Taiwan. Speaking of research, for many years now, we have been thinking of how to easily and ideally deliver something to Africa that can be used in countries all over Africa, that is easy to ship and easy to use, that will help them to have sources of water that are safe to use. We are putting our efforts into this [to help] these impoverished and suffering countries that are without water to protect their people, so all of Earth’s people can find peace. This is water; there is water in every country. The water is in the ground.
 
This is just like us; water is like people’s intrinsic nature. It is the same in the high mountains; there are aquifers in the mountains. You can see that in very tall mountains forests and tall trees can grow there, too, and naturally grow very tall. That is because they have both earth and water, so these large trees grow very tall. In the past, there was a time when people in the mountains grew many vegetables, for there is water in the mountains. However, people have destroyed the mountains. They cut down all the trees to sell, turned the land into gardens and, in the process, destroyed the land. We clearly know that there is also water high in the mountains; that there is nowhere on Earth without water.
 
We humans are also like this. Everyone has Buddha-nature, just like there is water in the ground. This is also like our inherent luminous virtue; luminous virtue is the Buddha-nature. This is what Sakyamuni Buddha said and what Confucius said as well. Sakyamuni Buddha said we all have an intrinsic nature of True Suchness. Confucius spoke of illuminating luminous virtue. If we are clear that everyone inherently has luminous virtue, this is just like us knowing that everyone has an intrinsic nature of True Suchness. The principle is the same. As long as our good thoughts, our true and sincere intentions and kind thoughts, exist within our minds, as we deal with people and handle affairs, as we listen to the Dharma, understand principles and practice them accordingly, we will naturally be able to return to the pure intrinsic Tathagata-nature. We will naturally return and understand the intrinsic Buddha-nature that all of us have.
 
So, we should “handle affairs sincerely with beautiful intentions.” Our intentions toward others should be very good. “Beautiful intentions” are good, kind thoughts. We treat people with the best of intentions, without the slightest evil intent or thoughts. We should cultivate treating others with sincere and good thoughts, with beautiful intentions, with very beautiful thoughts. Then we are very sincere in treating others. When we “handle affairs” or do things, we must have good intentions, carry out our duties and fulfill our mission. What mission are you carrying out in your life? Giving for the sake of the world. We do what we should to the best of our ability, so we must have sincere and beautiful intentions and a sincere mindset in handling our affairs.
 
Then we “perfect our character and behavior” and become accomplished in moral character. If you are a scientist, you will mindfully try to understand science; it things can harm people, you will prevent them and not develop them. This is what a scientist of conscience would do. Some scientists discover things that they could develop. But if these things are developed, they will be dangerous for humankind. Honestly speaking, all the things that we use today are destroying the land. Many things have already been manufactured; if we are able to use them wisely, cherish them and use them with gratitude, the manufacturers can know to stop [producing]. Then they do not need to continue to market them. If in our minds we can always maintain our inherent virtue and morality, if we love and cherish our resources, then the things we invent, if they are good, can be used wisely. To cherish our resources, we should not always replace the old with the new.
 
People now are excessively wasteful; they just continue to pursue [material things]. They do not cultivate virtue, but only wish to aquire things. People are like this. Though many people develop things for the sake of industry or business the things that they develop, the things that they invent, even if they started out with good intentions, have gotten out of hand. We are already destroying our environment.
 
The environment is being destroyed now. Because of the greenhouse effect, now, even the mosquitos have everyone in a panic. Haven’t the cases of dengue fever increased? It has spread from the south to the north, and everyone in the medical field is worried. Children are staring school, and many school staff and parents are worried about sending their students to school. Have the schools been properly cleaned? Are the weeds and garbage cleaned up? People now are worried about the children and their environment for studying. Since the climate has changed so much, everyone is anxious over its effect on their lives.
 
So, when we do things, we should know when to stop. How do we do that? By taking the middle way. We keep inventing and we keep researching so our development is boundless, without end, providing humans with endless chances for waste. This is destroying Earth. Our “beautiful intentions” have become absorbed by desire for self-profit. We are too eager to develop business. So, there are many big entrepreneurs, yet we are continually finding more and more people suffering from poverty, illness, rare diseases and so on. This is an imbalance. If we can “handle affairs sincerely with beautiful intentions, we can still provide conveniences for living, while abiding by rules and moral responsibility.
 
“Perfecting our behavior” means we must eliminate bad things. We retain good thoughts and eliminate the bad ones. If something is already bad, such as afflictions or ignorance, we totally eliminate it. We should not accumulate garbage. We should not accumulate dirty water. All this must be eliminated. “Perfecting our behavior” is just like this.
 
We must earnestly protect the purity in our minds, the sincerity and goodness of our thoughts, the beauty and virtue of our intentions. If we can all do this, our character naturally becomes perfect. Then the way we do things and treat others will all become perfect and harmonious. When it comes to material things, we should truly try to cherish them. If things are still usable, we should use them; we use them until they cannot be used anymore. This is the only way we will reduce garbage, help purify the earth and conserve our resources. These were the well-intended teachings of both Sakyamuni Buddha and Confucius.
 
“The source of the Dharma and the true principles is the enlightened nature.” In the end, what are people fighting over? Once we understand the principles, the source of the Dharma, the true principles, tells us that we have enlightened nature. We should return to our enlightened nature, our enlightened nature of the true principles. We must thoroughly understand this. So, if we are mindful of the Dharma and mindful of the Path, we naturally will illuminate luminous virtue and thoroughly understand True Suchness. When we understand these principles, what is there that we do not understand? So, we must always be mindful.
 
This is like the previous passage; it tells us that we should listen to the Dharma. By listening to the Dharma, naturally we come to understand all the principles. So, the precious sutra passage says, They did not listen to Dharma from the Buddha and constantly engaged in unwholesome deeds. The power of their appearance and their wisdom, things like these, have all diminished. Because of the causes and conditions of their negative karma, they have lost all joy and joyful thoughts. They abide in deviant views and teachings and do not recognize goodness, demeanor or rules.”
 
We must truly try to understand the principles; if we lose the principles, our behavior will go off in the wrong direction. If our behavior deviates, it will damage our character. Our behavior and our appearance will completely lose their human character. If our wisdom deviates, all our actions will be in error. If a single thought goes astray, every subsequent thought will be mistaken. We create karma in everything we do. When we Create evil karma, when our morals and virtues are lost, naturally those in the good realms. People will be covered in layers of afflictions. Even if we earn a lot of money, all we worry about are our gains and losses and how to keep developing our business. What happiness is there in this?
 
So, we can see people truly taking action and giving for the sake for the world. Though they may be poor, they can still serve others joyfully and happily. If we can follow the principles of the world and live life satisfied with what we have, we can help others, protect Earth and live in harmony with other human beings. This is how we can truly live.
 
So, the next sutra passage says again, “They have not been transformed by the Buddha and constantly descend into the evil realms. The Buddha serves as the eyes of the world. He only appears after a long time. He has compassion for sentient beings and therefore appears in the world. He transcends all and achieves perfect enlightenment. All of us are deeply joyful and thus celebrate.”
 
Why don’t we listen to the Dharma from the Buddha? In the previous passage it said, “They did not listen to Dharma from the Buddha. So, because we did not come to earnestly listen to the Buddha’s teaching, we “have not been transformed by the Buddha.” We will not understand the Buddha-Dharma. If we do not listen the Dharma, so naturally we “have not been transformed by the Buddha.” If this happens, we will “constantly descend into the evil realms.” If we are not taught, transformed and guided by the Tathagata, we will constantly descend into the evil realms.
 
They have not been transformed by the Buddha and constantly descend into the evil realms: They have not received the Tathagata’s transformation and guidance and constantly descend into the evil realms. They abide in ignorance and deviant views and teachings and do not recognize the goodness, demeanor or rules of noble beings. They have not been taught and transformed with the Dharma of all Buddhas, so they go back and forth in cyclic existence, constantly descending into the evil realms.
 
We should constantly heighten our vigilance. It is best to listen to the Dharma and understand the principles. Then we can follow these guidelines to implement the teachings in the world. This gives us more of a guarantee. So, “They abide in ignorance and deviant views and teachings.” If we do not understand the principles, we will often find ourselves in ignorance, and our regular deeds will not be wholesome ones. The previous passage said, they “constantly engaged in unwholesome deeds.” Unwholesome deeds stem from ignorance. We have ignorant and deviant views, so we do not understand the rules of noble beings. Naturally, because we do not listen to the Dharma, do not accept the Buddha’s teachings, we will always create karma from our state of ignorance and afflictions and go back and forth in cyclic existence.
 
This is known as “constantly descending into the evil realms,” going back and forth within the Three Evil Realms, or in the Five Realms and the four forms of birth. We will go back and forth endlessly in cyclic existence. “The Buddha serves as the eyes of the world He only appears after a long time.”
 
The Buddha serves as the eyes of the world. He only appears after a long time: The Buddha’s enlightened wisdom-eye illuminated the true principles. He serves as the eyes of the world for humans and heavenly beings. He only appears after a long period of kalpas has passed.
 
The Buddha has the enlightened wisdom-eye, so He views people, matters and things different than we do. Because the Buddha is awakened, His enlightened nature pervades the universe. What is there is the world that He does not know? Thus, the Buddha’s vision is a “wisdom-eye that illuminated the true principles.” Whatever He looks at, He instantly sees the principles underlying it. What we see are matters and objects. What the Buddha sees are principles, the principles of matters, principles of objects. So, His understanding is clear. Thus, there are so many matters and objects that we are not clear on. The Buddha “serves as the eyes of the world for humans.” He sees for us, explains the principles of things to us, meticulously analyzes them for us. Why are we unhappy in our personal relationships? It is because of the principles of the law of karmic cause and effect. Why is it that some people are born so wealthy, so wise and intelligent, with everything seeming to go their way? Why, when some are born, are they unsound mentally and physically, in poverty and suffering, and nothing seems to go their way? In personal relationships, why do some always seem to have poor affinities? Again, He told us about causes and conditions; as are the causes and conditions, so are the effects and retributions. By carefully analyzing the principles for us, He served as the eyes of the world.
 
For the things we do not understand, we have the Buddha- Dharma. If we make an effort to penetrate it deeply, naturally we will be able to understand things. Listening to the principles and researching them, we will come to understand everything. So, it is not a simple matter for the Buddha to manifest in the world. “He only appears after a long period of kalpas has passed.”]
 
Truly, for a Buddha to appear in the world is not easy. Since the Buddha has appeared in the world to teach us the Dharma, it is a very precious thing. The Dharma remains in the world so that we may continually pass it down and transmit it so all can practice according to the teachings and stay on track. If we are wholesome, sincere and good-hearted and continue to stay on the right track, we naturally will not fall into evil realms. We will be content, happy, understanding and accommodating. Only when we mutually cherish one another, will we truly be in a good realm in the world.
 
When Great Brahma King Sikhin and the other Brahma kings arrived, they too made sincere offerings. They also paid their respects and asked the Buddha to turn the Dharma-wheel. “He has compassion for sentient beings and therefore appears in the world.” This passage was the Brahma kings, with Brahma King Sikhin leading the assembly, entreating the Buddha to turn the Dharma-wheel. So, he also reverently asked the Buddha to “have compassion for sentient beings.”
 
He has compassion for sentient beings and therefore appears in the world: He has compassion for those who, over such a great time and space, have been amidst severe turbidity and darkness. Sentient beings’ minds are deluded and thick with dust. Therefore, the Buddha appears in the world.
 
Their request was not only for themselves, but also for the world’s sentient beings. They entreated the Buddha to have compassion for those who, over such a great time and space, have been amidst severe turbidity and darkness. This is because for such a long time people’s minds had gradually gone off track. In their ignorance and afflictions, they created so many severe turbidities. They asked the Enlightened One to have compassion, to have mercy for those in the human realm, in this great space, this world, which had been gradually become filled with such severe turbidities. They were already amidst such darkness.
 
Often we see on the news reports about “haze.” “Haze” is fine dust particles, fine sand, that can fly great distances. Because the earth has become dry, sand flies great distances from the deserts. Taiwan is very far from the Mongolian deserts. However, it is not only in Beijing where they lift their heads but are unable to see the blue sky because it is obscured by haze. These are not clouds; it is dust. So, this is a turbidity.
 
Also, because of all the factories now, there is a lot of pollution. This creates turbidities. In fact, these tangible turbidities have come from the ones in people’s minds, so we are “amidst severe turbidity and darkness.” These tangible things create darkness in the sky, so it goes without saying that people’s hearts are similarly in darkness. We should be constantly vigilant about this.
 
“Sentient beings’ minds are deluded and thick with dust.” People’s minds are deluded, covered by layer after layer of ignorance. This is like when dust builds up in layers. We never clean it, so the dust becomes thick. If you leave a mirror somewhere for several days and never wipe it, the mirror will not reflect things clearly, for it will completely be covered with dust. Our mind is the same. If we do not constantly put in the effort to wipe the bright mirror of our mind, then naturally it will keep accumulating dust. So, the minds of sentient beings are deluded; the dust on them is already thick. The layer of dust has already become thick.
 
“Therefore, the Buddha appears in the world.” It is because of this that the Buddha appears in the world. “He transcends all and achieves perfect enlightenment. All of us are deeply joyful and thus celebrate.” This is because the Buddha appeared in the world. A long time ago, the Buddha had already come to the world. He needs have compassion for sentient beings who had continually accumulated ignorance and afflictions for such a long time. They had made the world turbid; the world had already begun to have turbidities.
 
We can see that dust-inked kalpas previously, this was what the Brahma kings said to Great Unhindered Wisdom Superior Buddha. Actually, Sakyamuni Buddha mentioned that, from long ago, we have always intrinsically had Buddha-nature. We have just been deluded for a very long time. This is a very transcendent analogy that He used to help us understand.
 
He transcends all, achieve perfect enlightenment. All of us are deeply joyful and thus celebrate: Perfect enlightenment: He transcends all in the Three Vehicles attains supreme, universal and perfect enlightenment. All of us are very happy and thus celebrate.
 
Actually, in speaking of these turbidities, the evil world of Five Turbidities is right now. the Buddha, Sakyamuni Buddha, said that the future world would be an evil world of Five Turbidities. Isn’t this the world we are in right now? The evil world of Five Turbidities. So, heavenly beings, for the sake of future sentient beings, kept asking the Buddha to turn the Dharma-wheel, to quickly reveal the enlightened nature. They hoped the true principles of enlightenment would be quickly revealed so they could transcend that place of suffering and rid themselves of severe turbidities and the suffering of the Three Evil Destinies. Everyone rejoiced when they saw the Buddha in the world. They had been hoping for this for the turbidities had long been piling up. When He appeared in the world they all rejoiced, for they could listen to the Dharma. The Buddha could turn the Dharma-wheel, and when the Dharma-wheel begins to turn, it is like clean water washing turbidities away. So, in perfect enlightenment, He was transcendent He had attained perfect enlightenment. Among the turbidities, “He transcends all and achieves perfect enlightenment. He had transcended all in the Three Vehicles as well as the Six Realms. The Three Vehicles are the Small Vehicle, the Middle Vehicle and the Great Vehicle, these are called the Three Vehicles. The Buddha had transcended the Three Vehicles and arrived at supreme, universal and perfect enlightenment. His perfect enlightenment transcends the Three Vehicles and, even further, transcends the Six Realms. So, He has “attained supreme, universal and perfect enlightenment. All of us are deeply joyful and thus celebrate. This is the Brahma kings expressing themselves. So, we should be mindful of the Dharma, for the Dharma is eternally in our minds. Thus, when we “have sincere intentions the Way lies in our hearts.” When we deal with people and handle affairs, we should use fresh and clean intentions. This is something we must do as we learn the Buddha’s teachings and in daily living. This is because our good thoughts are like water, just like the water in the earth. As long as we illuminate luminous virtue, the spring of clear water in our minds will flow forth. This is what we must learn. Everyone, please always.
 

(Source: Da Ai TV – Wisdom at Dawn program – Explanation by Master Chen-Yen)
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20170303《靜思妙蓮華》道在人心諦理本具 (第1036集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)
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