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 20170306《靜思妙蓮華》 遵善行施大愛 (第1037集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)

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發表主題: 20170306《靜思妙蓮華》 遵善行施大愛 (第1037集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)   周日 3月 05, 2017 11:19 pm

20170306《靜思妙蓮華》 遵善行施大愛 (第1037集)
(法華經•
化城喻品

 
佛教菩薩遵善,行布施大愛,勤修持戒忍行,精明正道行;佛法為人間眼,定慧生法中,萬法和合而生,故名是眾生。
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
及餘一切眾,喜歎未曾有。我等諸宮殿,蒙光故嚴飾,今以奉世尊,惟垂哀納受!《法華經化城喻品第七
及餘一切眾,喜歎未曾有:及餘四眾、天龍八部,歡喜讚歎,昔所未有。
佛說法時聽者四眾:一、發起眾。二、當機眾。三、影響眾。四、結緣眾。
佛說法時聽者四眾第一、發起眾:如法華經方便品因舍利弗三請,而發起本經如來有所說,是曰發起眾。
佛說法時聽者四眾第二、當機眾:正當座之機眾也,如諸聲聞,正聞本經得證悟之益者。
佛說法時聽者四眾第三、影響眾:如文殊、觀音來自他方,助佛化,莊嚴法座者。
佛說法時聽者四眾第四、結緣眾:薄福眾生,今無證悟之益,而結見佛聞法之因緣,作未來得道之因緣者。
我等諸宮殿,蒙光故嚴飾:我等梵天,蒙佛光故嚴飾,乘天宮寶殿而來。
今以奉世尊,惟垂哀納受:今以宮殿奉上世尊惟願承蒙垂念,納受,足見慇誠厚重。
願以此功德,普及於一切,我等與眾生,皆共成佛道。《法華經化城喻品第七
願以此功德,普及於一切:願以此至誠之禮拜、恭敬散華、奉宮殿所有功德,普皆遍及利益一切眾生。
我等與眾生,皆共成佛道:我等及與法界眾生,自他共利,同成佛道。
 
【證嚴上人開示】

「佛教菩薩遵善,行布施大愛,勤修持戒忍行,精明正道行;佛法為人間眼,定慧生法中,萬法和合而生,故名是眾生。」
 
佛教菩薩遵善
行布施大愛
勤修持戒忍行
精明正道行
佛法為人間眼
定慧生法中
萬法和合而生
故名是眾生
 
佛陀來人間教育,希望人人成菩薩,遵守我們修行的規則,那就是善,善法就是要行於布施,付出於大愛。這就是我們人人修行最重要,遵佛教育,那就是行善施愛。這很簡單,並不困難。只要我們用心,沒有做不到的事。
 
這一念愛心是人人本具,何況「遵善行」,彼此之間,人與人之間互相遵守善行,這是最歡喜,彼此之間的互動,也是人間本來就應該有的。所以,不困難的事,我們就要更「勤修持戒忍行」,而且要「精明正道行」,要精進,要更瞭解正道的行為。這也不困難嘛!行菩薩道本來就是六度萬行,行善是布施,精進、忍辱,這都是我們,六度中不能缺少,人生正確的行為,實在是一點困難都沒有,只要我們肯發心。
 
所以「佛法為人間眼,定慧生法中」。我們的生活依照佛陀的教育,佛陀是大覺者,他的覺悟,對人世間的道理很分明,路是一條,方向是一致,用這樣教育我們,我們已經將佛陀所看法,就是我們的方向。明眼人來為我們指引方向,我們也是同樣看得到,方向就是往那個地方走,這很固定,並沒有再有其他的邪,或者是錯誤,我們要相信,往這條路走,絕對沒有偏差的道路。
 
這就是「定」,定我們的心,啟發我們的智慧,決定這條路絕對沒有偏差,沒有錯誤。這是從定慧中,行在我們的日常生活中。這是一個善法,善法就是在我們的生活中,生活的方法並沒有離開六度行,這應該我們很清楚。
 
所以行六度,那就是世間一切的善法。世間善法很多,光是用六度就能包含萬法。入人群中去,眾生所需要的是千千萬萬種,你要適應給眾生,給他,布施給他,有很多種,有形、無形,無量數。所以光是一個善行就有很多(種),何況我們布施、持戒,世間多陷阱,很多,我們是不是有定力?佛陀(替引)正確的方法,我們是不是能向前不偏差,不受世間種種的偏邪,將我們誘惑過去,我們能堅持向正道走?這是要看我們的定力、方向。所以我們要布施,我們要持戒行。戒行,就是要有定力的心,凡事都不能有偏差,不能有偏向,這樣往一條正確的道路,這就要看我們的智慧,如何來堅持我們的方向。
 
所以,有了堅持的方向,我們就要精進了。精進有很多種的精進,因為世間有很多欲念,能誘惑我們,我們若較不小心,那就被誘惑了,陷阱踏進去,那就不能自拔。所以你要懂得避過這個陷阱,要懂得堅持,克服難關,這叫做精進。
 
精進的方向也是千百萬種,看我們自己的精進,是不是有定力,這與定力也是息息相關。是不是有那分智慧呢?有智慧,自然就能分別,錯或者是對,對錯分別清楚,這就是要看我們的智慧了。要有定力,要有智慧,我們才有辦法布施、持戒、忍辱、精進。
 
忍辱,世間千千萬萬的困難,如何克服過來,這都是看我們的行為中,在日常生活中,說來是很容易,都不困難,卻是境界現前,有欲念來時,環境浮現時,人與人之間互相互動,會受到影響嗎?這都是在我們日常生活中。要不然,遵佛的教育,一點都不困難,只是外面境界,我們若是一不小心,就被誘惑了。
 
所以說,「萬法和合而生,故名是眾生」。眾生就是有這麼多種,會誘引我們,所以讓我們心起動念,去造作各人的善惡業行,若有各種不同的因緣,那就在五道四生而生,所以萬法和合而生。我們到底是要在畜生道嗎?也就是在人間的時候,不遵守規戒,不遵守人倫道德,這樣和合起來,就生到畜生道去了。世間有萬法,這就是惡法,自然惡業會合,生在畜生道。
 
極品的惡法,那就是殺、盜、淫,種種非常惡劣的行為在人間,將來那極品的惡(業) ,它和合起來,就生在地獄道,那就是變成地獄的眾生。餓鬼道也是一樣,在世時慳貪、嫉妒,種種的行為。看到人的苦難,慳吝不肯捨,在物質上貪而無厭,善事一點都沒有做,貪欲是這麼多,很多貧欲,慳吝、沒有善念,這樣種種會合,他就生在餓鬼道中。
 
當然,人間若能行上上善,持清淨戒,種種的會合,長時間的付出,當然就生在諸天。看他的善到底有多少的善,有多少的福,就生在不同的天界;梵天遍布十方,那就是在色界天。現在我們所在說的尸棄大梵,那是上方的梵天。他能生為梵天,也是在人間所修上上善、(修定)持上上淨戒,所以有這種種的因緣長久累積,所以眾緣和合就生在天上。
 
若是在人間不是很善,所以無法生天堂,但是生在人間,好修行,在人間,有因緣能夠(學佛)。佛就是出生人間,佛法就是流傳在人間。也不是極惡,人間所以
 
我們若是有緣遇到佛出世,那就是佛陀教育我們,瞭解真理,知道方向,我們就一步一步,按照佛陀的教法行在善道。遵循佛教,我們除了聲聞、緣覺,還能普遍人間菩薩道,行施,行布施,為大愛,這也是在人間。雖然佛滅度,法還在人間,現在我們所在用的法,也是釋迦牟尼佛,所流下來的法,所以佛還是三界導師、同樣還是四生慈父。所以佛陀希望我們人人,在日常生活中行菩薩道,這是佛對我們的教育。
 
佛世的時候,盡量就是在人間造因緣。有一天,佛陀跟阿難說:「阿難,外面有因緣,我需要到城裡去。」阿難就很恭敬,追隨著佛陀到城裡。沿路這樣走,這當中,城裡走一趟,大家看到佛都是起恭敬心,看到佛,作禮、稱佛、讚歎佛的威儀莊嚴。這樣走一圈回來了,回到精舍時,其中就有一位婆羅門,這婆羅門光是看到佛,這樣的行儀,就很歡喜恭敬,後面一直跟著佛陀走到精舍,看佛的威儀,看佛的舉止動作,在生活行動中,僧團人人這樣,有規律的生活。
 
這位婆羅門看過之後,經過了一段時間,他再來精舍,佛陀說法,他默默在那個地方坐著聽法。佛講法結束了,他手中所捧著,很恭敬,是一塊布,來到佛前恭敬禮拜,將這塊布獻上給佛陀。他這樣說:「佛啊,那一天佛陀在城裡這樣走過,我不由自己很歡喜,仔仔細細,很仔細來看佛的行動,發現到佛陀您的袈裟,就是破了好幾個洞,覺得佛陀您應該,將這件破掉的衣服,要有布來修補。」
 
「又看到僧團也是一樣,大家在刻苦修行中,心雖然無欲,卻是衣服有破了,應該有東西可修補。我很用心去做工,所得來的工資,我趕快去換一塊布,買這塊布就是要來供佛及僧。無法每位給一件袈裟,但是這塊布,除了佛陀能補袈裟以外,還能其他的修行者,大家也能用得到。我雖然生活不好過,我去做工,我能賺錢,我能這樣來完成,請佛,您慈悲納受。」
 
佛陀很歡喜,將這塊布收下來,向這位婆羅門說:「為你祝福,希望你將來與我一樣,發心修行,多布施,行大愛於人間。經過了二大阿僧祇劫,你也和我一樣能成佛。」
 
這個消息傳到外面去,很多人就說:「小小一塊布,能得到佛陀那麼大的授記,佛陀這麼歡喜,大家應該也要發心供養。」就這樣開始,城裡的人人看到出家人,起恭敬心,聽佛說法的人增加了。是什麼道理,布施的功德能夠那麼大?佛陀時時為大家說行十善法。
 
這就是佛陀他觀機逗教,有了這個因緣,這樣出去走一趟,能讓這麼多人這麼注意,連身上穿的衣服都注意到,這樣起(於)行動,所以遵佛善教,行菩薩道,布施行大愛。這也就是愛的力量,看起來是這麼簡單,其實這麼簡單就能萬法和合。萬善就是由一念心起,萬惡也是一念心起,有因緣,佛陀引導很多人來聽法,自然人人行善法,這就是度眾生的方法。
 
我們看看前面,前面的(經)文。佛陀能夠來人間,自然能夠利益很多眾生,自然善道就增長,惡道就減少,有因緣說善法、施善教,眾善奉行,人就多起來了。所以,梵天王來人間要請佛說法,就是佛很久沒出現人間,所以人間善法減少,惡道增長,希望佛來人間要轉善法輪。這是每一方的梵天王來的心願,請佛轉法輪。
 
所以這段(偈)文,就是承上面的(經)文,說佛很久沒在人間。「不蒙佛所化」,因為佛陀沒有出現人間,眾生就沒有受教的機會。
 
「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
 
這是前面說過了,因為佛不在人間,善法就無法轉動,佛來人間能為世間眼,為我們指導方向。
 
下面接下來這段(偈)文說,「及餘一切眾,喜歎未曾有。我等諸宮殿,蒙光故嚴飾,今以奉世尊,惟垂哀納受!」
 
及餘一切眾
喜歎未曾有
我等諸宮殿
蒙光故嚴飾
今以奉世尊
惟垂哀納受
《法華經化城喻品第七
 
這段(偈)文,就是佛已經出現在人間了,已經能夠讓眾生從善減惡,讓人人慢慢能夠瞭解正法,能超出世間,能成為正覺,所以我們大家很歡喜。一直不只是梵天、諸天歡喜,又有,及餘一切眾生。
 
及餘一切眾
喜歎未曾有:
及餘四眾
天龍八部
歡喜讚歎
昔所未有
 
除了梵天以外,又有其他的眾生,大家也都很歡喜,四眾、天龍八部都讚歎,不只是梵天,連四眾也讚歎。因為梵天來時,已經道場成就了,現在就是要轉法輪時。所以有四眾、有天龍八部,聽到梵天也來了,也來請佛轉法輪,大家更歡喜。佛轉法輪的因緣又增加了,大家「歡喜讚歎,昔所未有」,這就是大家都很歡喜。
 
四眾有分成,在場就有四種類。
 
佛說法時聽者四眾:
一、發起眾
二、當機眾
三、影響眾
四、結緣眾
 
第一,就是發起眾。
 
佛說法時聽者四眾
第一、發起眾:
如法華經方便品
因舍利弗三請
而發起本經
如來有所說
是曰發起眾
 
發起眾就如,《法華經》<方便品>那時候,佛陀出定後,一直一直在讚歎佛一乘實法,一直讚歎佛智甚微妙,不斷一直讚歎。那段經文也很長,在會中,舍利弗他「智慧第一」,一直聽佛讚歎佛心靈的境界,那種一大乘法,大乘法的智慧是遍虛空法界,完全容納在佛的心。這種心得,到底要如何才能體會得到?請佛來開示。
 
三請,佛陀三止。舍利弗鍥而不捨,還是一而再,再而三,佛陀才開始說:「你已經三請,我豈得不說?」才開始《法華經》開始,<方便品>接下來,<譬喻品>等等,一直到現在。這就是因為,舍利弗,發起眾。就是在道場的人,人眾中能提出問題來請問,或者是來請教,這叫做發起眾。能發起了這段文或者是這本經,能發起,這樣來請示,佛陀開始說,這叫做發起眾。舍利弗這位『「」,
 
第二,叫做當機眾。
 
佛說法時聽者四眾
第二、當機眾:
正當座之機眾也
如諸聲聞
正聞本經
得證悟之益者
 
也是一樣在法會中,同樣在那個地方,有人起來請法,大家在那個地方坐,也是心靈的期待,請佛能接受舍利弗請求,請佛陀能說法,這叫做當機眾。
 
在那個地方有人請問,佛陀就能說法。所以佛說法,聲音從佛口出,在座的人就從耳根入,這叫做聲聞,聞正法。這就是在會眾中,也是能夠聞法受益的人。佛陀說,瞭解了,雖然是一個人問,大家聽,全部,很多利根器的人,他聽了,他就能瞭解,瞭解受益,這就是當機的人。同樣在那個地方,有這個因緣機會聽到法,這叫做當機眾。
 
第三,叫做影響眾。
 
佛說法時聽者四眾
第三、影響眾:
如文殊、觀音
來自他方
助佛化
莊嚴法座者
 
「影響」就是來助道場。就如<序品>,佛陀講《無量義經》之後,大會不散,佛陀坐在那個地方,放光、瑞相。大家到底,佛陀今天經講完,又是沒有起座之意,佛陀坐下來發光、現光的瑞相,大家面面相觀。那時候有文殊、彌勒、觀音,這都是從他方的菩薩來助道場,來莊嚴道場。文殊、彌勒起來對唱,這就是影響這個道場。道場的人聽《無量義經》之後,本來就,歡喜作禮而退,但是佛陀這樣現光、瑞相,大家沒有離開。
 
這群莊嚴的菩薩,還是同樣在道場中,看大家面面相觀,很自動就來講,講過去釋迦牟尼佛,還未成佛以前,修行的過去,有日月燈明佛,那個時代。這就是「影響眾」,讓大家瞭解,佛原來修行,過去,有這麼長久的因緣,無量劫前。經過了有這樣,他方的菩薩來助道場,來讓大家有這個期待,佛陀現在這個光相,應該是有大因緣,應該是要說大法時。這叫做影響眾,讓大家的內心起著仰慕,期待佛陀能夠出定說法。
 
所以,有舍利弗來發起請佛說法,也有前面影響眾,文殊、彌勒,還有其他很多,八萬菩薩,都在現場,這都叫做影響道場的人,莊嚴道場的菩薩。
 
第四,就是結緣眾。
 
佛說法時聽者四眾
第四、結緣眾:
薄福眾生
今無證悟之益
而結見佛聞法
之因緣
作未來得道
之因緣者
 
結緣眾也就是福薄的眾生。看人家在聽法,我就跟人家一起去聽,來湊熱鬧的,就是「今無證悟」。聽法沒有真正用心,只是來聽聽看,所以這種,法,不會入心,沒有證悟的利益。
 
見到佛、聽到法的因緣,只是做未來能有因緣,再得到佛出世,或者是聽到佛法,只能維持在這個因緣。在佛說法時,他們根本就無心接受法,只是有這個緣,所以這叫做結緣眾。在佛說法時,沒有得到利益,因為他對法沒有入心,多少聽聽,沒有用心,就消失了。這叫做「有漏」,法聽了,就漏掉了。過去有一段時間,一直跟大家說,不要聽一聽法,有漏了,光是在這個地方做一個結緣眾,這樣很可惜。
 
有四種,在那個道場中就有四眾。當然,我們也常常說四眾弟子,四眾弟子──在家二眾、出家二眾。但是現在所說的四眾,就是在佛說法時有這四種──發起(眾)、當機(眾)、影響(眾)、結緣(眾),這四種人都在這個道場。
所以「我等諸宮殿,蒙光故嚴飾」。
 
我等諸宮殿
蒙光故嚴飾:
我等梵天
蒙佛光故嚴飾
乘天宮寶殿而來
 
這是(諸)梵天王,大家這樣說。除了他們歡喜,在座四眾都歡喜。我們大家已經很虔誠,連宮殿都來了,是因為佛的這道光,讓我們隨著光來這裡,追隨光的來源。所以「我等梵天,蒙佛光故嚴飾」,宮殿都很莊嚴,宮殿都這樣,人也都到達了,這就是表示無形的心,有形的色相,都以最虔誠的心來到佛前。
 
「今以奉世尊,惟垂哀納受」。
 
今以奉世尊
惟垂哀納受:
今以宮殿奉上世尊
惟願
承蒙垂念
納受
足見慇誠厚重
 
這時候是很用心、很虔誠。我們將有形、無形,完全虔誠敬供,要獻給佛,請佛陀要慈悲,接受我們。就如那位婆羅門,獻一塊布的心願。雖然那位婆羅門是貧困,但是他看了,發那一念心,盡心力去做工,買來的布就這樣來奉獻,請佛高高在上,能受我們供養。
 
梵天也是一樣,同樣這念心。雖然他們的宮殿,很莊嚴、很富有,同樣一念心也是請佛,「垂哀納受」。希望佛陀也是高高在上,來接受我們,我們虔誠的供養,這就是表達虔誠。這能看出那一分「慇誠厚重」,很虔誠、很殷厚,很厚。這虔誠不是薄薄的虔誠,是很厚的虔誠。「誠意方殷」,你們若有若(誦)<爐香讚>,「誠意方殷」就是這樣,很誠意、很厚,將禮物要供養給佛,這是表達心意。
 
其實,佛陀哪會收這些宮殿呢?但是表達他們的心意,佛瞭解了,這是一種描述。要不然佛陀的生活,真實的生活就如剛才說過的,大家都很刻苦,就是要克服欲念。雖然常常在經文中,說國王來獻供,很多的珠寶,很多的財物,其實那都是描寫大家的誠意,願意這樣的付出。其實佛陀的生活都是三衣一缽,能到每一個地方,僧眾在遷移,就是在人間從近到遠,印度恆河兩岸,都有佛陀走過的足跡。所以僧團來來回回,在不同的國度、不同的城鎮這樣走,哪有說那麼多人供養的東西,他都收下來?沒有啦。這只是一種表達他們的虔誠。
 
接下來的,經文這樣說,「願以此功德,普及於一切,我等與眾生,皆共成佛道。」
 
願以此功德
普及於一切
我等與眾生
皆共成佛道
《法華經化城喻品第七
 
「願以此功德」,我要這樣全都奉獻,所有的一切心、身、一切的物資,我都很虔誠要奉獻。
 
願以此功德
普及於一切:
願以此至誠之禮拜
恭敬散華
奉宮殿所有功德
普皆遍及
利益一切眾生
 
我以願意奉獻虔誠的功德,來禮拜、供養,這都是用虔誠的心,包括在散花供養、奉宮殿等等,這個功德是從內心發出,從外面的奉獻,希望這些功德,普及利益一切眾生。這些東西,真真正正希望功德,都能回向給眾生,那就對了。
 
就有很多人說:「師父,我這些財產都是您的。」「真的嗎?師父用不著。」「沒有,師父您用得著,天下這麼多眾生,那麼的苦難。」我說:「這樣就對了,你的財產應該是天下眾生的。」這是在不久前,有一對夫妻。我說:「你的事業還是那麼忙,事業心那麼重。」他說:「沒有了,師父,我現在多數都是做慈濟,事業交給他們做,我膝下無子,不必給孩子。」
 
這就是功德,真正的「普皆遍及,利益一切眾生」。雖然他的財產很多,名稱說:「師父,這也都是您的。」其實,就是天下眾生的。很多人若到了最後,就將這些東西,交給一個慈善機構,同樣的道理。
 
「我等與眾生,皆共成佛道」。
 
我等與眾生
皆共成佛道:
我等及與法界眾生
自他共利
同成佛道
 
我們大家及眾生、梵天王,不只是求自己,能夠成佛道,包括所有的眾生,皆已成佛道。「我等及與法界眾生」,所有法界的眾生都能夠成佛道,這就是普及六道四生、三界,所有的人人,所有的生靈,都能有因緣接受到佛法,有因緣修行斷生死,能夠成佛道。這就是發大心。
 
我們剛才說過了,佛,教菩薩遵善行,布施大愛,那就是我們剛剛所說的。所以我們要勤修戒、定、慧,六度萬行。梵天王也是一樣,希望能普及天下一切眾生,所施的一切,天下眾生皆有功德。這就是諸梵天王,尤其是尸棄大梵他所發的願。我們人人也要有這樣的心,不只是為自己,還要為天下眾生,祈求佛法永住人間。這是我們要時時多用心。


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[2017年03月06日 上午 5:22] 農曆二月初九,(僅德松個人筆記參考。請多指教,感恩。)


《法華經.勸持品第十三》,靜思清澄(法髓)妙蓮華,慈濟人群菩薩道(一三七七)


1. 釋譯經文:【惡世中比丘,邪智心諂曲,未得謂為得,我慢心充滿。或有阿練若,納衣在空閒,自謂行真道,輕賤人間者。】


2. ★上人偈文:「發誓弘經菩薩,擬於末法惡世,邪智人中振鈴,難測塵劫初心,恆持入世度生,不懼邪行存慢,剛強難調難伏,持願堪忍住娑婆。」


3. 「發誓弘經菩薩」:發誓弘經的菩薩,大家已經都準備好,已經有決心,願意發願在末法惡世,這個世間裡,願意在這個邪智人中來振鈴,這何其難得的大願啊!


4. 「佛陀的心願,為法募人,傳法,度眾生」:為佛法,一大事來教育人間,希望人人將法接收、入心,啟發願力,入人群去傳法,度眾生,這是佛陀的心願。


5. 「三業」:但娑婆世界受苦,嚇到了,人人既然得到佛法,了解娑婆世界是這麼的苦。因緣一不小心,「開口動舌、舉手動足、起心動念」,「身、口、意」三業就造成,這很危險,大家怕,不敢再來娑婆世界。既然知道道理,「苦」是從「集」種種的原因,因緣而來受報。都是在身、口、意這三業中。


6. 「守好六根門」:簡單動一個口舌,話若沒說好,或語言出口傷人,或這「六根」,耳聞人語;耳朵聽人家的話,擾亂心思。將話聽來,惡言惡語或者是綺語或者是兩舌,亂了我們的心。到底什麼「是」,什麼「非」?「惡言惡語重傷我,我起煩惱。」像是這樣,這種的心態,煩惱一起,人與人之間就會造業,起心動念,身體的動作就出來了,表情也出來,舉手動足,行為無不都是造作業力。


7. 「凡夫心總是不穩定,反反覆覆」:開口動舌、舉手動作,起心動念,凡夫心總是不穩定,有時好,有時就是煩躁,像這樣靜和動無法平衡,使得心煩惱滿滿,永遠都是在娑婆世界,因為大家怕。難得人身,更難聞佛法;聞了佛法,又能修行,今生的業力能夠今生了(卻),不要再來娑婆惹煩惱。大家得佛授記,卻發願他方世界去度眾生,不願留在娑婆世界裡。


8. 「契佛心、解佛意」:佛陀一路走過來,面對著弟子,云云教育,所盼望是人人發心、立願,但發心了,已經立願了,但是願生他方世界,這就是讓佛陀失望了。所期待的,希望人人在這個地方學,在這個地方「解」,這個地方解脫,應該要再回饋在這個地方,生生世世,應該要為這個娑婆世界苦難眾生去付出,怎麼人人都要脫離呢?佛陀心,語言停止,就期待是不是有人願意發願沒有?眼觀大家,視一切周圍,終於能夠看到知心人,了解佛陀、契佛心、解佛意。


9. 「行正行,修菩薩道」:這群菩薩願意站起來,來佛的面前,向佛發願,願意再來人間,佛陀所關心的地方,他們都會願意去度眾生,去啟發眾生。人人發心,行正行,修菩薩道。〈勸持品〉,要很用心體會,契佛心、解佛意。


10. 「正法,像法」:這些菩薩就已經這樣「發誓弘經」,這些菩薩心裡已經準備好了,在佛的時代佛法是很昌盛,但是未來的人間,佛法慢慢正法消除或不見,漸漸成為「像法」。大家全都是要怎麼樣求得功德等等,建塔、造廟、造像這都是很盛行,很多很多的國家都這樣。就像緬甸,萬佛之國,萬塔之國。


11. ★「像法時代,舉例,緬甸的萬佛塔」:昨天慈濟大共修:緬甸慈濟人也在裡面。緬甸菩薩要告假時,蘇老師(蘇金國)也在裡面坐著聽,他說,緬甸的佛塔曾高達七位數,是幾十萬的佛塔的這麼多。


12. 「像法時代,有形萬物」:這是像法時代。他們能夠記載故事,蒲甘城(位於曼德勒省Mandalay蒲甘Bagan),萬佛塔,很多很多的佛塔;這些塔,創作在八百年前,有歷史、有故事,有些還留下來到現在。去年的六月間(指:2016年8月24日)一個地震,瞬間差不多有四百多支的塔毀損。慈濟人勘查且看到那些塔的毀損,有參加搬磚塊。一些塔倒後,很多比丘,動員去那個地方,他們就是要將這些磚塊,一塊一塊這樣再收起來;裡面去找,找出塔中有什麼樣的隱藏著的東西。


13. 「凡夫,迷求功德」:他們的村莊,搬得到磚塊,大家也覺得,塔裡面那些磚塊都是寶。因為知道是八百多年前,全都是古代的,尤其是有塔的村莊,所以禁止人去搬,就是有比丘領導的人,才能夠去接近,去搬磚塊。這是真實,不是虛構的故事。為什麼造這麼多塔?就是求功德。這叫做像法。


14. 「現代,末法時代」:我們近代,連「像法」慢慢已經一直損毀掉,不論是人為或者是天災,已經慢慢損毀掉。現在已經是末法的時代,已經對這個有形的「象」都不起恭敬心了,何況對無形的法呢?所以現在叫做「末法」。


15. 「末法惡世」:現在的人,對法已經不重視,人間的人倫道理都不重視,何況出世的諦理呢?當然是離開人更遠,所以叫做末法。人若離開道理,就是沒有人倫,就會是惡世,叫做「末法惡世」。惡的事情不斷會發生,惡世的造成,就是邪智的人很迷,已經沒有正知、正見、正思惟,全都沒有了,所以就叫做「邪」,不正為邪。「邪智」,聰明、利根,但是就是偏差,這叫做「邪智」。


16. 「邪智人中振鈴」:這些菩薩已經發心立願,願意在這「邪智人中振鈴」,大家都睡著了、沉迷了,在個地方就要搖起這個鈴,讓大家能清醒起來。


17. 「早覺:睡眠始寤,當願眾生,一切智覺,周顧十方。 鳴鐘:願此鐘聲超法界,鐵圍幽暗悉皆聞,聞塵清淨證圓通,一切眾生成正覺」:像我們精舍一大早三點多,負責的人要比大家更提早起來,敲板,叫醒大家。鬧鐘的聲音,鈴聲又更響亮,讓大家在沉睡中能醒悟起來,所以叫做「邪智人中振鈴」。


18. 「難測塵劫初心,恆持入世度生」:這些菩薩應該已經在過去過去,難以測量的塵點劫開始就發心。他們人人都是恆持著這念心,入世,助佛道場,不斷發願入世度眾生。佛陀在靈鷲山說法,他們也在這個地方來聽,看到娑婆這些修行者畏懼在娑婆世界,儘管發心,還是要到其他的國度,難免佛陀心非常的落寞。他們看到佛陀眼光這樣接觸到,大家也開始啟發,向佛發願,願意入世度眾生,不怕!


19. 「不懼邪行存慢,剛強難調難伏」:這個濁世法末,這五慢心,慢心很重的剛強眾生,我們不怕,願意投入,大家怕,但是我們不怕,願意投入,不論他多麼的剛強難調伏,我們都願意進去。


20. 「持願堪忍住娑婆」:我們願意持經,發願,立願堪得忍耐,願意住在娑婆世界,來來回回。娑婆眾生苦難偏多,剛強者多,所以受苦難,更需要正法來度化,我們願意。大家向佛陀表達出這樣的心願。


21. ★複習經文:【即時諸菩薩俱同發聲而說偈言:惟願不為慮,於佛滅度後,恐佈惡世中,我等當廣說。有諸無智人,惡口罵詈等,及加刀杖者,我等皆當忍。】


「俱同發聲而說偈言」:這些菩薩向佛表達心意發願。共同發出聲音,向佛再重新表達,表示長行文過了之後,表達心意,很決心,重述一回,大家發心的願力。


在這很恐怖且人心不調和,剛強的娑婆世界,但我們不怕,願意進去,「我等當廣說」,這些人才是需要我們去和他們講話的時候,需要引導他們,大家願意下定決心。


「有諸無智人,惡口罵詈等」:這些都是無智的人,願意入那個地方,失去理智,像這樣要向他講話不聽,不聽我們也不放棄,還是要在他們人群中願意再付出。


「我等皆當忍」:但是有的人不只是不聽,還口出惡言,直接罵,或從旁邊來中傷,誹謗等等,口舌這樣來攻擊。或者不只是用口罵,或用口舌、語言,一人吐虛,萬人傳實,用聲音攻擊,不只是這樣,甚至再起怒,再加上刀、棍,全都出來,這樣的人,在這樣的環境中,我若面對著這樣的人,遇到這樣的環境,大家都能堪得忍耐,這是要讓佛能安心,我們會忍耐,不會為了罵、打等等就退縮了,還是堅持。


22. ★釋譯經文:【惡世中比丘,邪智心諂曲】:惡世之僧,無正智慧,生諸異見,心地不直,諂佞迂曲。


(1)「有像無實,心沒有實,內心沒有誠意」:在末法世代裡,雖然佛法好像在人間,法也已經過去,好像正法的時代,像法也已經過去,現在在末法,但是看來,好像佛法是很昌盛,但是末法,大家心中已經,法已經衰微掉,所大家就是用到那個形象,有像無實,只是一個形,沒有內心的誠意,他只是在這個惡世中,在這個剛強眾生群中,現出了佛教的團體,比丘的形象,這樣的人是「邪智心諂曲」,因為他心沒有實,不是真正要修行。


(2)「惡世之僧,無正智慧」:沒有正確的智慧,說法看來很莊嚴,一些信仰佛法的人,很尊重,「敬佛、敬僧、敬法」,大家都是這樣的心態。但是,修行者自己本身,是不是真修行呢?修行者的心態,沒有正確的智慧,這是在惡世中有部分的僧就是這樣。


(3)「生諸異見,心地不直,諂佞迂曲」:他的心沒有正確的智慧。智是「分別智」,對佛法的薰習,他沒有正確,因緣果報也沒有很清楚,自己的行為,戒、定、慧,都偏差掉,所以「無正智慧」,在人群中,「生諸異見」,對佛法又生起種種不正確的見解,不懂得好好納受,生起很多偏差的意見。


(4)「修行者的心地」:就是不直,雖名稱修行,但不是真實修行,因為他的心對佛法「生諸異見,心地不直」。


(5)「直心為道場;心地不直是『諂佞迂曲』」:心地不直就是「諂佞迂曲」,就是奉承著在家人,護法,向他講好話,不會引導這些信徒好好正知正見,只是要討好大家的支援,就是這樣心思不正,講話都是諂媚。諂媚就是「無信」,講好聽話,講要讓護法者能夠一直擁護他、供應他,諂佞迂曲,不是直接真正能教導人人能夠向於正法,就是偏差,只是大家歡喜就好。


(6)「歡喜,要看是不是有法的法喜」:若只是永遠視佛法就是沉迷在「像法」和「末法」,這樣佛法永遠都無法回歸到佛陀的時代正知正見。


(7)「知見、正見的不同」:佛陀為一大事因緣來人間,是要開導人的智慧,不是要讓人這樣一直沉迷下去,無法體會正法。多聞佛法,總只是加一些見,多「知見」,但是就是無法多「正見」。


23. 【未得謂為得】:如第四禪無聞比丘,本是凡夫,妄自尊大,以為得道,妄言證聖。


(1)「未得謂為得」:自己就還沒有得,說我們自己已經得了,這是裝模樣,就好像是說:「我都得很多了,我已經是到達四禪了。」到達『無學』的地位。


(2)「學與無學」:學,就是在求學的學僧;無學,就是該學的都學了,且也得四果了,到不用再學,已經道理通徹,那叫做無學。無學,就不用再去聽法,這種「四禪無聞比丘」,只是一直一直這樣說:「我坐禪,已經得道了。」就以為得了,其實自己還是凡夫。


(3)「本是凡夫,妄自尊大」:以為自己已經所得很多,以為已經得道,所以「妄言證聖」。以為自己證實果,未得謂為得,告訴大家:「我已經都得到了,我得到什麼程度了。」這都是全都是妄言。


24. 【我慢心充滿】:自高我慢,自命不凡,邪心充滿。末世惡比丘之慢相。


「我慢心充滿」:這種的我慢,就是自高的人。「自命不凡,邪心充滿」。這叫做我慢心。我們人間社會比比皆是!可是在修行團體中,這樣的人也不少!這就是末世,不正修行,是少數有這樣的人。這種邪心充滿。「末世惡比丘之慢相」:非常傲慢,「自高我慢,自命不凡,邪心充滿」,末世的惡比丘,他的形態就是這樣。


25. 【或有阿練若】:此云空靜處,謂或有人修空靜行。阿練若:村落閒寂處,亦云無諍。(一)以三昧力將護眾生,令不起諍。(二)隨順法性,無違無諍。


(1)「阿練若」:又另外或者是「有阿練若」,這裡也叫做「空靜處」。剛才那些是都在人間裡,現在這些是在阿練若,指空閒空靜的地方。有人在修行都去較僻靜的地方,名稱叫做「阿練若」,也就是在「村落閒寂處」。他也需要生活,雖然在閑靜的地方生活,但是也沒有離開人群,還是較僻靜的地方,在村落裡,叫做阿練若。


(2)「阿練若,無諍」,也叫做清淨地方,精舍的意思,也能夠叫做「無諍」。在那個地方專心修行,無諍的修行者。


(3)「以三昧力將護眾生,令不起諍」:在這個修行的小小道場,就是要讓人人的心安靜下來,正知、正見,安靜下來,能夠守護眾生,能夠沒有身、口、意三業,沒有口,和身體和心態的起落,都很安靜。


(4)「隨順法性,無違無諍」:這種修行,住在阿練若裡面,就是獨善其身,好好修行,沒有違背法性,也與人無諍。還有四德。


26. 『有二具四德當住此處:(一)多聞,總持不忘。(二)分別,能解妙義。(三)正念,常不放逸。(四)隨順,如教而行。』


27. 『《寶雲經》云:阿練若者,不與世諍。不近不遠便於乞食有樹蔭,多華果,足淨水,無難事,獨無侶,誦所聞。』


(1)在《寶雲經》裡面,這樣一句話說:「阿練若者,不與世諍」。意思是住在這個阿練若裡,就是與世無爭,對法能夠這樣好好自己修行,很靜的地方。所以,「不近不遠,便於乞食」。因他們也要生活,練若精舍是蓋在那個村落閑靜的地方,不近也不遠。太近都市,太吵鬧;太遠,就要乞食不方便。


(2)「有樹蔭,多華果,足淨水,無難事」:有樹蔭樹林或「多華果」的地方,有很充足的淨水,沒有其他複雜、困難的事情,只是比較沒有伴而已。


(3)「獨無侶,誦所聞」:在練若裡修行,有的是一個人,兩個人,三個人,小小的這樣在修行;東西、環境要很優美,要入人群去托缽也很簡單,這個地方都沒有複雜的事情,這樣的地方生活就是「獨無侶」,只是比較沒有伴而已,很安靜。所以,「誦所聞」。聽法,要再讀誦、誦經等等,就是自修。


28. 【納衣在空閒】:冬夏常被一納之衣。納衣:行頭陀行者之納衣。在彼空閑處修於空靜。


(1)「冬夏常被一納之衣」:像這樣的阿練若這個地方修行,也是「衲衣在空閒」,「冬夏常被一納之衣」,生活很簡單,不只是住在「閑靜」,穿的也簡單,冬天、夏天都一樣,就是「一衲衣」,縫補過,這樣層層疊疊破掉再補,補之後破,又再貼下去,這樣叫做「衲衣」,也叫做「百衲衣」。


(2)「百衲衣」:修行者本來都是穿糞掃衣、百衲衣,這都叫做修行者所穿的衣服。「納衣」就是「行頭陀行者之衲衣」。修苦行者就是穿這樣。「在彼空閑處修於空靜」:專門在修苦行。


29. 【自謂行真道,輕賤人間者】:自謂所行是真實道,輕賤人間行化之者。


(1)「自恃清高」:像這樣在修行,聽起來覺得,哇,很有修行。他以為「你看,我持修行修得這麼清高,我不是像在這樣很繁鬧的地方,這樣自高自大,不是在很豪華的地方,我是在這麼僻靜的地方,我是這麼簡單的修行,我是……,我是很清高。我這樣才是真正修行。」


(2)「自謂行真道,輕賤人間者」:穿梭在人間的人,就是會輕賤,輕視這樣的人。這是兩種極端的修行者,一種在人群中,奉承這些大護法;一種是這樣,說他在修苦行,這是兩種不同的心態,這就是末世有這樣的修行人。


(3)「自謂所行是真實道,輕賤人間行化之者」:有的人是真修行者,聽聞佛法,願意發大心、立大願,入人群,淨化人心,但自己出污泥而不染,像這樣在人間。但這類自以為修在正道,在空閑處,在靜修的人,他就輕賤這些修行在人間道裡,一概他全都輕視。這就是這樣的修行,他是心理沒有很正確。


30. 【人間】:指不居阿練若而與世人之間往來凡居此者,謂調煩惱故,自謂行真道,無多聞。


(1)「『爭』著自己是自清高」:這些阿練若的人認為這些人都不對。但是,這些人不一定都是前面講過的「諂曲心不直」,不一定。因為這些人,他們雖然人間往來,卻是也要調種種的煩惱。阿練若的人,他認為:我才是很清淨,我與世無爭,我全都沒有煩惱,卻不知道自己內心有在「爭」,「爭」著自己是自清高,「爭」著別人是滿心是煩惱。


(2)「自謂行真道」:像這樣的人,他不要在人群,不要聽,只是光說他自己在修行,這就是「阿練若」。


31. 「用心體會佛法」:應該要多了解,「正法、像法、末法」,修行者心靈過程。佛的時代的修行者,因為佛在教育,正法在那個時代。雖然佛在世在教育,但是僧團裡面就有「六群比丘」,再加上了提婆達多,離間僧團,也有很多靠著提婆達多作威作惡,像這樣這種的也有啊!


32. 「根機不同,應機逗教」:一直多數的人都是真修行,直接聞法,也是真正「真修行者」,這就是正法在世。看看舍利弗尊者、目犍連尊者等等所領導的,佛陀所授記的五百人、二千人、八千人等等,六千比丘尼,這些都是真修行者。但只是一個缺點,大家真修行,但不敢住在娑婆世界,想要自我解脫。這是佛陀的時代也有不完美的事情,何況經過像法,大家求功德,何況到了末法,大家總是求供養,求福。


33. 「人心難調伏」:這就是佛法在人間,人間,大家不敢在這個地方,因為人心這麼難調伏。佛陀的時代就難調伏了,何況到現在!這就是修行難啊!所以世間的濁氣這麼重,這不是沒有原因。


34. 娑婆世界就是這麼苦,佛陀在世,就沒有辦法將它淨化,在佛陀的僧團中就難能讓人人真的是勇猛精進,願意發心,在人間好好引導眾生。大家有修行的要逃避,世間永遠都是這樣,欠有發大心、立大願的人。


35. 「佛有十號,『調御丈夫』,用心調伏人心,淨化人心」:看到這些菩薩已經願意,未來惡濁的人間,有這樣的比丘,他們也不怕,願意投入這個人間來調伏修行者,或者是來教化一般的人間。這就是很勇猛的菩薩,我們要了解這種濁世的時代,瞭解人的心態。人人時時要多用心!


****************
36. 心得,感恩上人開示。很警惕,不能成為「惡比丘」,也不能成為「阿練若」,這樣變成了自恃清高的充滿我慢心。謹慎方向,行中道。小小感受,原來多「知見」是增加知識而已,多「正見」是增加智慧,是能長養慧命。


過去一般社會誤解慈濟只有修福,但慈濟人是真實入人群,修福又修慧,是腳踏實地的「行經」,認真聞法,薰法香,將正法用在日常生活及待人處事中。


一直印象很深刻一位南區潘居士曾向上人分享,鑽研佛學三十餘年,還不如來慈濟三天的行經體悟,感受「知行合一」很重要。


諸佛菩薩的總願:四弘誓願,是「眾生無邊誓願度; 煩惱無盡誓願斷;法門無量誓願學; 佛道無上誓願成」,體會在未成佛前,永遠都學不夠的,「眾生無量,法無量」,時時保持心寬念純,要學習謙卑,縮小自已,認真學習「常不輕菩薩」的精神,不輕視任何人,鼓勵每個人發揮良能,自已要努力融入人群,與大家能合和互協,「持願堪忍住娑婆」。共勉之。
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發表主題: 回復: 20170306《靜思妙蓮華》 遵善行施大愛 (第1037集) (法華經•化城喻品第七)   周六 8月 26, 2017 12:47 am

Explanations by Master Cheng-Yan
Subject: Abiding by the Good and Giving with Great Love(遵善行施大愛)
Date:March.06. 2017
 
“The Buddha taught the Bodhisattvas to abide by the good, engage in giving with great love, earnestly uphold precepts, practice patience and diligently seek to understand the practice of the right path. The Buddha-Dharma is the eyes of the world. With Samadhi and wisdom, we live in the Dharma. We come into being when myriad phenomena converge, hence we are called myriad sentient beings.”
 
The Buddha came to the world to teach, hoping that all people will become Bodhisattvas and abide by the rules of spiritual practice, which are goodness. The teachings of goodness must be practiced through charitable giving, through giving with great love. This is the most important thing in our practice, to abide by Buddha’s teachings, which are to do good and give with great love. This is very simple; it is really not difficult. As long as we are mindful, there is nothing we cannot accomplish. This loving intent is intrinsic to all of us, to say nothing of “abiding by the good.” If in our interpersonal relationships we can mutually abide by the practice of goodness, this is the most joyful kind of mutual interaction that we can have.
 
This is always what we should have in our world. So, it is not something that is difficult. We just must “earnestly uphold precepts, practice patience” and furthermore “diligently seek to understand the practice of the right path.” We must be diligent and further seek to understand the practice of the right path. This is also not difficult. Walking the Bodhisattva-path has always been about actualizing the Six Paramitas in all actions. Doing good is practicing giving, diligence and patience, which are all indispensable parts of our practice of the Six Paramitas. Following correct behavior in our lives is truly not something difficult at all, as long as we are willing to form the aspiration.
 
So, “The Buddha-Dharma is the eyes of the world. With Samadhi and wisdom, we live in the Dharma.” Our living is in accord with the Buddha’s teachings. The Buddha is the Great Enlightened One; His awakening gives Him clarity about the world’s principles. There is only one path and one direction. He taught us in this manner, and we have taken the Buddha’s views as our direction. The one with clear eyes pointed the way for us, so we ourselves can also see; our direction is to head toward that place. It is very firmly set, and there are no other deviations or mistakes. We must believe that as we walk on this path, it is certainly not a path with any deviation. This is “Samadhi,” which stabilizes our minds and awakens our wisdom, so we can determine that this path is definitely free of deviation and free of any error. This is how, with our Samadhi and wisdom, we can practice in our daily living. This is a teaching of goodness. Teachings of goodness are practiced in daily life. Our way of daily living is inseparable from the Six Paramitas. We must be very clear on this.
 
So, the practice of the Six Paramitas encompasses all teachings of goodness in the world. There are many teachings of goodness in the world, but the Six Paramitas encompass all of them. When going among people, sentient beings have myriad needs. If we want to give them something suitable, to practice giving, there are many different ways, tangible or intangible, countless different ways. Just one good practice alone is done in many different ways, not to mention practicing giving, upholding precepts [and the rest]. There are many traps and snares in the world. Do we have a steady enough mind so that, with the direction the Buddha indicated, we can move forward without deviation, without being tempted or deluded by the extreme or deviant [views] the world? Can we walk determinedly toward the right path? This depends on our steadiness and direction.
 
So, we must practice giving and practice upholding precepts. To uphold precepts, we need the steady mind of Samadhi. We must never go astray in anything we do. We must not deviate in our direction. To walk along a correct path in this manner depends on our wisdom and how we persist in our direction. Thus, once we are determined in our direction, we must be diligent. There are many kinds of diligence. Because there are many desires in the world that can tempt us, if we are not careful, we will be tempted and fall into a trap. Then we cannot free ourselves. So, we must know to avoid these traps and know to persist and overcome difficulties. This is diligence. There are countless directions to advance in. These depend on whether our diligence is equipped with the power of Samadhi. This is intimately tied to the power of Samadhi. Do we have wisdom? With wisdom, naturally we can discern right from wrong. Clearly discerning right from wrong depends on our wisdom. We need the power of Samadhi and wisdom to be able to practice giving, upholding precepts, patience and diligence.
 
As for patience, there are countless difficulties in the world. How do we overcome them? This depends on our behaviors in daily living. It sounds so easy, as if there is no difficulty at all. However, when challenges appear, when our desires arise or situations manifest, will the way we interact with others be influenced? This all happens in our daily life. Otherwise, abiding by the Buddha’s teaching would not be difficult at all. It is just that with external circumstances, it we are not careful, we will be tempted and deluded.
 
So, “We come into being when myriad phenomena converge, hence we are called myriad sentient beings.” As sentient beings, there are so many different things that entice us, causing thoughts to stir in our minds and leading us to create our individual positive and negative karma. Once there are various causes and conditions, we are born in the Five Realms and four forms of birth. So, we come into being when myriad phenomena converge. Do we really want to be in the animal realm? If, when we are human, we do not follow precepts and disregard human morals, then when conditions converge, we will be reborn in the animal realm. Of the myriad phenomena of the world, these are negative phenomena; naturally, when this evil karma converges, we are born into the animal realm.
 
The most extreme negative [karma] is killing, stealing and sexual misconduct. These various evil behaviors in the human realm will result in the worst negative karma, leading to rebirth in the hell realm.
Then we become sentient beings in hell. It is the same for those in the hungry ghost realm. When human, they were miserly, greedy and jealous, with all kinds of [negative] behavior. When they see other suffering, they are miserly and unwilling to give. They have insatiable greed for material things. They never do any good deeds. They have so much greed and desire and are miserly, without any thought of kindness. When these converge, they will be reborn in the hungry ghost realm.
 
Naturally, if when human, people practice supreme good deeds and uphold precepts of purity, all of these will converge. After a long period of giving, of course they can be born in the heavens. Depending on how much goodness they did and how many blessings they created, they are born in different heaven realms. The Brahma heavens are distributed in the ten directions. This is in the form realm. The Great Brahma King Sikhin we are discussing now resides in the Brahma Heaven above. He was born in Brahma Heaven because as a human he practiced the supreme good deeds.
He also upheld the supreme precepts of purity. So, all kinds of causes and conditions accumulated. Myriad conditions converged, and he was born in heaven. If we are not very kind in the human realm, we cannot be born in heaven. But now we are in the human realm, which is good for spiritual cultivation. With enough causes and conditions in this world, the Buddha appears in the human realm, and the Buddha-Dharma spreads in the human realm. If we have the affinity to encounter the Buddha when He appears in the world, then the Buddha can teach us to understand true principles and know our direction.
 
In this way, we can step by step follow the Buddha’s teachings to walk the path of kindness. In abiding by the Buddha’s teachings, beyond the ways of Hearers and Solitary Realizers, we can widely practice the path of Living Bodhisattvas. We can practice giving and act with great love.
This is also done in the human realm. Although the Buddha entered Parinirvana, the Dharma is still in the world. The Dharma that we are applying now is what Sakyamuni Buddha has passed down. So, the Buddha is still the guiding teacher of the Three Realms, still the kind father of the four kinds of beings. Thus, He hopes that all of us will practice the Bodhisattva-path in our daily living. This is the Buddha’s teaching for us. When the Buddha was still in the world, He did His best to create causes and conditions. One day, the Buddha spoke to Ananda, “Ananda, there is an opportunity. I need to go to into the city.” Ananda very reverently followed the Buddha into the city. Along the way, as they walked toward the city, when people saw the Buddha, they showed reverence and paid respect to Him. They praised the Buddha for His dignified manner. After their visit, as they were returning to the abode, there was a Brahman. Just from seeing the manner in which the Buddha carried Himself, this Brahman became joyful and reverent. He followed the Buddha all the way to the abode. He observed His etiquette, behavior and gestures. In their daily living and actions, everyone in the Sangha was the same; they lived with such discipline.
 
After this Brahman observed them, a period of time passed, and then he again came to the abode. The Buddha was teaching the Dharma. the Brahman sat quietly listening to the Dharma. When the Buddha finished teaching, the Brahman very reverently, with a piece of cloth in his hands, came before Buddha, prostrated to pay respects and offered the piece of cloth to Buddha. The Brahman said, “Oh Buddha, on the day You walked by in the city. I could not help but feel joyful. I very carefully paid attention to Your actions. I very carefully paid attention to Your actions. I noticed that Your robes had several holes in them. I felt that You could use this piece of cloth to mend the torn parts of your robes. I saw that it was the same in the Sangha. Everyone is so hard-working in their practice. Although their hearts are free of desire, there are holes in their robes. They should have something to mend them. I have worked very earnestly.
 
With the wages I earned, I quickly exchanged them for a piece of cloth. I bought this piece of cloth to make offerings to the Buddha and the Sangha. I cannot afford to give everyone a new robe. However, this piece of cloth, apart from mending the Buddha’s robe, can also be used by the other practitioners. Even though I have had a difficult life, I can work and earn money and accomplish this [offering]. I beg You to mercifully accept my offering.” The Buddha was very joyful. He accepted the piece of cloth and said to the Brahman, “I give you my blessings. I hope in the future, you will be like me and form aspirations to engage in spiritual practice and practice giving and great love in the world.”
 
After two great asankyas kalpas you will attain enlightenment just like I did. This news spread around. Many said, “A small piece of cloth in offering led to such a great prediction of Buddhahood from the Buddha. The Buddha was so joyful. We should all form aspirations to make offerings”. Starting with this, whenever the people in the city saw monastics, reverence arose in their hearts, and more people came to listen to the Buddha-Dharma. what was the principle behind these great merits from an act of giving?
 
The Buddha often taught everyone the practice of the Ten Good Deeds. This is how the Buddha taught according to capabilities. With these causes and conditions, He set out on a walk and allowed so many people to notice Him, even down to the robe that He was wearing. This then led to actions. Abiding by the Buddha’s teaching of good deeds, people began to walk the Bodhisattva-path and give with great love. This is the power of love. It seems so easy. Actually, it is this simple for myriad phenomena to converge. Myriad good deeds start from a single thought. All evil also begins with a single thought. With causes and conditions, the Buddha guided many to listen to the Dharma. Naturally, they all practiced good deeds. This is a method to transform sentient beings.
 
Let us look at the previous sutra passage. Since the Buddha could come to the human realm, naturally He could benefit many sentient beings, so naturally, those in the good realms grew, and those in the evil realms diminished. When there are causes and conditions to give teachings of goodness, those who uphold and practice good deeds increase. So, the Brahma kings came to the human realm to ask the Buddha to teach the Dharma. It had been a long time since a Buddha appeared, so good teachings for the human realm diminished while those in the evil realms grew in number. They hoped the Buddha would come to the world to turn the virtuous Dharma-wheel. This was the wish of the Brahma kings from every direction. They asked Buddha to turn the Dharma-wheel.
 
So, this verse is a continuation from the previous sutra passage. It says it has been a very long time, since a Buddha appeared in the world. “They have not been transformed by the Buddha”. Because a Buddha had not appeared in this world, sentient beings had no chance to accept teachings.
 
So, “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 achieve perfect enlightenment. All of us are deeply joyful and thus celebrate.
 
We explained this previously. Because a Buddha did not appear in the world, the teachings of goodness could not be turned and set in motion. The Buddha comes to serve as the eyes of the world and guide us in the right direction.
 
Next, the following verse says, “And with the rest of the assembly, we joyfully praise what never happened before. All of our palaces were magnificently adorned by the radiance. Now we present them to the World-Honored One, only wishing that You mercifully accept them.
 
This verse discusses how the Buddha has appeared in the human realm. He is now able to help sentient beings follow what is good and reduce what is evil, to help all gradually understand Right Dharma so they can transcend the world and achieve perfect enlightenment. So, all of them were very joyful, not just the Brahma kings and all heavenly beings, but also the rest of all sentient beings.
 
And with the rest of the assembly, we joyfully praise what never happened before: The rest of the fourfold assembly and the eight classes of Dharma-protectors all joyfully praised what had never happened in the past.
 
In additions to those from the Brahma heavens, there were other sentient beings. They were all also very joyful. The fourfold assembly and eight classes of Dharma-protectors also gave praise. This is because when beings It was not only those in the Brahma heavens; even the fourfold assembly gave praise in the Brahma heavens come, it means the assembly is complete, and it is now the moment to turn the Dharma-wheel. So, there were the fourfold assembly and the eight classes of Dharma-protectors.
 
They heard that those from the Brahma heavens came and had asked the Buddha to turn the Dharma-wheel, so everyone was even more joyful. The causes and conditions for the Buddha to turn the Dharma-wheel had now increased. “All joyful praised what had never happened in the past. This shows how everyone was very joyful.
 
The fourfold assembly is broken down into four categories of those who were present. When the Buddha teaches the Dharma, those who listen are the fourfold assembly. First, the initiators. Second, the adopters. Third,the influencers. Fourth, the associators.
 
First, there are the initiators. When the Buddha teaches the Dharma, there is fourfold assembly of those who listen. First, the initiators: For example, in the Chapter on Skillful Means in the Lotus Sutra, because Sariputra requested three times, the teaching of this sutra was initiated, and the Tathagta began to teach. So, [Sariputra] was the initiator.
 
The initiators are like [Sariputra] in the Lotus Sutra’s Chapter on Skillful Means. When the Buddha emerged from Samadhi, He continuously praised the One Vehicle Dharma and how wondrous Buddha-wisdom was. He continuously praised it. That sutra passage was also very long. In the assembly, Sariputra, who was foremost in wisdom, heard Him praise the Buddha’s spiritual state, that of the Great Vehicle Dharma. The wisdom of the Great Vehicle Dharma encompasses the whole universe and is completely contained in the Buddha’s mind.
 
How could they also experience such a state of mind? He asked the Buddha to give teachings. He made the request three times; the Buddha stopped him three times. Sariputra was persistent He continued to ask and ask again.
 
Only then did the Buddha start to say, “You have asked me three times, how can I not teach it? Only then did He begin teaching the Lotus Sutra, from the Chapter on Skillful Means to the Chapter on Parables and so on, all the way to [the present chapter]. This is because of Sariputra, the initiator. These are those who are at the assembly, among those gathered, who raise questions or ask for teachings;these are the initiators. They can initiate a passage or even a sutra. They initiate by asking for teachings, and then the Buddha begins to teach. They are called the initiators.
 
Second, there are the adopters. When the Buddha teaches the Dharma, there is the fourfold assembly of these who listen. Second, the adopters: This refers to those sitting there with the right capabilities, such as all of the Hearers. They listened to this sutra and attained the benefit of realization.
 
They were also in the Dharma-assembly. They were also at the same place. Someone then stood up to request the teachings. Everyone sitting there was also hoping and waiting for the Buddha to accept Sariputra’s request. They hoped for the Buddha to teach the Dharma. These are the adopters. At that place, when someone asked, the Buddha was able to teach the Dharma. So, the sound of the Buddha teaching the Dharma came from the Buddha’s mouth, and those present took it in through their ears. These are the Hearers, who heard the Right Dharma. They were those in the assembly who could hear the Dharma and receive its benefit.
 
The Buddha taught and they understood. Although one person raised the question, everyone listened to the whole answer. There were many with sharp capabilities. When they listened, they could understand. Those who understood and received benefit are the adopters. They were also at the same place and had causes and conditions to hear the Dharma. These are called the adopters.
 
Third, we have the influencers. When the Buddha teached the Dharma, there is the fourfold assembly of those who listen. Third, the influencers: This refers to those like Manjusri and Guanyin who come from other places to help the Buddha transform sentient beings and to dignify the Dharma-throne.
 
“Influencers” come to assist at the assembly for instance, in the Introductory Chapter, after the Buddha taught the Sutra of Infinite Meanings, the assembly did not disperse. The Buddha sat there, radiating light with an auspicious appearance. Everyone remained and wondered whether the Buddha had finished teaching that day. However, He had no intention to leave His throne. The Buddha sat down and radiated light. He manifest an auspicious sign of radiance. Everyone looked at each other.
 
At that moment, Manjusri, Maitreya and Guanyin were there. They were Bodhisattvas from elsewhere, coming to support this spiritual train ground and to dignify this assembly. Manjusri and Maitreya stood up and conversed. This influenced those at the assembly. Those who were at the assembly, after hearing the Sutra of Infinite Meanings, would have joyful paid their respects and left. However, the Buddha radiated light, manifesting such an auspicious appearance, so everyone stayed. This group of dignified
 
Bodhisattvas were also ay the assembly. Seeing everyone looking at each other, they took the initiative to speak. They spoke about Sakyamuni Buddha’s past and His practice before attaining Buddhahood. That was the time of Sun-Moon-Lamp Radiant Buddhas. These are the influencers; they helped everyone understand that in the Buddha’s previous spiritual practice, He had causes and conditions from so long ago, countless kalpas ago. Through the actions of these Bodhisattvas from other places who had come to assist at the assembly, everyone was given a sense of expectation. The light that Buddha was manifesting must have great causes and conditions behind it. He must be about to teach the Great Dharma. These are the influencers. They help everyone give rise to admiration and the hope that the Buddha will emerge from Samadhi and teach the Dharma.
 
So, Sariputra initiated the request for the Buddha to teach the Dharma. At the beginning there were also the influencers, such as Manjusri and Maitreya, as well as 80,000 other Bodhisattvas who were all present. They are those who influence and dignify the spiritual training ground. Fourth, there are the associators.
 
When the Buddha teaches the Dharma, there is the fourfold assembly of those who listen.  Fourth, the associators: These are sentient beings with meager blessings. Today, they did not attain the benefit of realization, but they created affinities for seeing the Buddha and listening to the Dharma, which will be their causes and conditions for attaining enlightenment in the future.
 
Associators are beings with meager blessings. Seeing everyone listening to the Dharma,[they think,] “I will just listen along I want to join in the fun.” So, “Today, they did not attain realization.” They did not really mindfully listen to the Dharma. They were just there to listen causally. So, such individuals do not take the Dharma to heart, and they do not attain the benefit of realization. Their causes and conditions of seeing the Buddha and hearing the Dharma were only creating future causes and conditions to again see the Buddha manifest in the world or hear the Buddha-Dharma. They merely maintain such causes and conditions. When the Buddha was expounding the Dharma, they did not take it to heart or accept it. They only formed conditions [through association], so they are the associators.
 
When the Buddha was expounding the Dharma, they did not attain the benefit, because they did not take Dharma to heart. They just listened carefully; they were not mindful, so they lost it all. This is “having Leaks.” After hearing the Dharma, it leaked away. In the past, for a period of time, I kept telling everyone, do not let the Dharma leak away after listening; do not just be an associator in this place. That would be a great pity. In that place of enlightenment, there were these four kinds in the assembly. Of course, we always talk about the fourfold assembly of disciples. The fourfold assembly of disciples is the two kinds of monastics and the two kinds of lay practitioners. But the fourfold assembly discussed here is the four categories present when the Buddha taught. These are the initiators, adopters, influencers and associators. These four groups of people were all there at the place of enlightenment. So, “All of our palaces were magnificently adorned by the radiance.”
 
All of our palaces were magnificently adorned by the radiance: The palaces belonging to us Brahma kings were magnificently adorned by the Buddha’s radiance. We come journeying on our heavenly palaces of treasure.
 
This is what all the Brahma kings said. Besides them, the fourfold assembly present was also joyful. They were all very reverent and had even brought their palaces. Because of the Buddha’s ray of light, they had arrived at this place, by following the light to its source. “The palaces belonging to us Brahma kings were magnificently adorned by the Buddha’s radiance.” The palaces were all very magnificent. All of the palaces were like this, and the people had all arrived. This indicates that with their intangible mindsets and tangible appearances, they had all come before the Buddha with utmost reverence. “Now we present them to the World-Honored One, only wishing that You mercifully accept them.”
 
Now we present them to the World-Honored One, only wishing that You mercifully accept them: Now we present our palaces to the World-Honored One. Only wishing: They hoped He would honor them by accepting [the palaces]. This clearly shows how deep their sincerity was.
 
At this time, they were very mindful and reverent. They completely dedicated all tangible and intangible offerings to the Buddha with reverence, wishing the Buddha would mercifully accept them. This is just like that Brahman’s wish to make an offering with a piece of cloth. Although the Brahman was poor, after what he saw, he formed an aspiration. He put all his effort into working and offered the cloth he bought. We also wish the supremely noble Buddha will accept our offerings. The beings of the Brahma heavens were the same. They shared this same thought. Although their palaces were very magnificent and lavish, they shared the same thought of asking the Buddha to “mercifully accept them”, they hoped the Buddha, supremely noble, would accept their reverent offerings.
 
This is an expression of reverence. We can see “how deep their sincerity was.” They were very reverent and sincere. This sincerity was not weak, but was a very deep and substantial sincerity. This is “deep sincerity.” When we chant the Incense Praise Chant, we say “with deep sincerity”; it is just like this, a very substantial sincerity. Thus they made offerings to the Buddha. This expresses their sincere intent.
 
In fact, how could the Buddha accept the palaces? Regardless, they expressed their sincerity. The Buddha understood this; this was a description. Indeed, the Buddha’s lifestyle in reality was just like what we mentioned. Everyone lived very frugally with simple means in order to overcome desires. However, in the sutra passages, it is often said that many kings came to make offerings, giving many jewels and valuables. In fact, these were all to express their sincerity and willingness to give in this manner. Actually, the Buddha lived with only three robes and one bowl so He could everywhere. The Sangha would move around, going both near and far in this world. All along the two shores of India’s Ganges River are the footprints left by the Buddha.
 
So, the Sangha came and went, traveling to different countries, cities and towns. How could they accept all these items given by people making offerings? They could not. This was just a way to express reverence.
 
Next, the sutra says, “May these merits and virtues universally reach all. May we and all sentient beings attain Buddhahood together.”
 
“May these merits and virtues” means “I want to offer everything just like this.” Everything they had, mind, body and all material possessions, were reverently offered.
 
May these merits and virtues universally reach all: May all the merits and virtues from our prostrating with utmost sincerity, reverently scattering flowers and presenting our palaces universally reach and benefit all sentient beings.
 
So, they willingly dedicated the merits and virtues of their reverence. Paying respects and making offerings must be done with a reverent heart. This includes scattering flowers, offering the palaces and so on. These merits and virtues came from the bottom of their heart and were expressed outwardly through offerings. They hoped these merits and virtues would universally benefit all sentient beings. With these things, they truly hopes all the merits and virtues could be dedicated to all sentient beings. This is the correct way. There are many people who say, “Master, all my wealth is yours.” “Really? But I have no use for it.” “No, Master you can use it. There are so many sentient beings suffering in the world.” I said, “That is correct. Your wealth should belong to sentient beings.” This happened not too long ago; a married couple came to make donations.
 
So, I said, “You are still so busy with your career. You have huge ambitions in your career.” He said, “No, it is not the case anymore. Master, now I mostly volunteer with Tzu Chi. I have delegated my business to others. I don’t have children so I don’t need to leave them anything.” This is merit and virtue that is truly able to “universally reach all” and “benefit all sentient beings.”
 
Although he has a lot of wealth and said, “Master, this is all yours, actually they are for sentient beings. many people, at the very end of their lives, choose to give their wealth to a charitable organization. This is the same principle.
 
“May we and all sentient beings attain Buddhahood together.”
 
May we and all sentient beings attain Buddhahood together: May we and all sentient beings of all Dharma-realms mutually benefit each other and all attain Buddhahood together.
 
“May we and all sentient beings” means the Brahma kings did not just ask for they themselves to be able to attain Buddhahood. They also included all sentient beings and hoped will all attain Buddhahood together. “May we and all sentient beings of all Dharma-realms” means all sentient beings of the Dharma-realms can attain Buddhahood. This universally includes the Six Destinies, four forms to birth and Three Realms. All people and sentient beings can have the chance to accept the Buddha-Dharma and engage in practice to escape cyclic existence and thus attain Buddhahood.
 
This is forming a great aspiration. We just explained this. The Buddha taught the Bodhisattvas to abide by the good and practice giving great love. That was what we just talked about. We must diligently practice upholding precepts, Samadhi and wisdom and universally apply the Six Paramitas in all actions. The Brahma kings are the same. They hoped to universally benefit all beings with everything that they gave so all sentient beings in the world would have these merits and virtues. This is the vow that the Brahma kings, especially Great Brahma King Sikhin, all made. All of us should have the same aspiration, not just thinking about ourselves, but about all sentient beings in the world as we pray for the Buddha-Dharma to remain forever in the human realm. Therefore, we must always be mindful.
 

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