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宣化上人一九九三年訪臺開示
Venerable Master Hua's Talks on the Dharma in 1993 in Taiwan

化老和尚開示 Lectures by the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua

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尊老重賢

VENERATING THE ELDERLY AND HONORING THE WORTHY


尊老重賢,這是孔孟教。

Respecting elders and honoring worthy people is what Confucius and Mencius taught.

我現在再講多一點廢話,要講什麼?我要講一講尊老重賢這個道理,因為在舊曆十一月二十七這一天,我舉行一個尊老重賢敬德餐會。這個餐會多數是請了一些老教授、老學者啊!這些個長者,有的年齡到一百零四歲的,是一個出家人;有的年齡九十二、三歲的;有的是八十幾歲的;有的是七十幾歲的,我請的老人是從七十二歲開始。我請他們大家聚會到一起,來論論文、說說話,互相認識一下。

I'll say some more irrelevant things. What do I want to say? I want to talk about the idea of respecting the elderly and worthy. On the twenty-seventh of the eleventh lunar month, I organized a banquet for Venerating the Elderly, Honoring the Worthy, and Respecting the Virtuous. We invited mostly elderly professors and elderly scholars. These elders included a monk who was a hundred and four years old. Some were ninety-two or ninety-three, some were in their eighties, and others were in their seventies. The minimum age was seventy-two. I invited them to get together just to get acquainted, and to have a chat.

那麼其中有一個楊富森教授,他每一年有個「十老還童會」。這十老有九十多歲、有八十多歲的、有七十多歲的。這些個老人也不怕辛苦,都來參加這個餐會,其中就有在臺灣教育部做過次長的老教授、老學問家,是吳俊生教授。其餘有在臺灣當過大學校長的,有當過教務主任的,不少都是老資格啦!其中大約六十多歲的也有來參加的,不過不在請列,那麼他們也隨喜這個餐會。

One of these people is Professor Richard Yang, who attends an annual gathering of Ten Seniors Returning to Youth. These ten seniors include those in their nineties, eighties, and seventies. Not fearing the trouble, these seniors also attended the banquet. Among them, the elder professor and scholar Wu Junsheng used to be the Vice Minister of Taiwan's Education Department. Others had served as presidents of universities in Taiwan or as deans of academic affairs, and most of them had a lot of professional experience. People in their sixties also attended the banquet, although they were not on the honored guest list.

當時舉行這個餐會,我給寫了一副對聯,這副對聯橫批是「松柏長青」,這表示這老年人永遠也都是像小孩子似的,那麼年輕。松柏長青,因為松柏它是不怕寒冷的,冬、夏都長青,所以把這些老人比喻成松柏。你們各位如果願意記,可以用筆記一記。

On the occasion of the banquet, I wrote a matched couplet entitled "Evergreen like the pines and cedars," meaning that our elders should always be youthful and childlike. The pines and cedars do not fear cold, and they are green in winter as well as summer, so I'm comparing the elders to them. If you wish, you may take notes.

尊老重賢耆年壽考福慧雙圓
學佛習聖耄耋齡高道德齊臻

Respect elders and honor the worthy
     for their seniority and longevity, and your blessings
     and wisdom will be complete.
Learn from the Buddhas and study with the sages,
     and at the age of seventy or eighty,
     you will attain both the Tao and virtue.

這個上聯本來是「尊老重賢,耆年壽考,福慧雙圓」,下聯是「學佛習聖,耄耋齡高,道德齊臻」,這是十二字對十二字的對聯。我本來也不懂什麼叫對聯,可是就這麼不揣冒昧地來寫這麼一副對聯。那麼我又把這一副對聯變成四副對聯。

First I made this couplet. It is a matched couplet with twelve characters per line in Chinese. Actually, I don't understand how to match couplets. I just recklessly wrote this matched couplet without much consideration. Then from this couplet, I made four other matched couplets, which I shall explain below.

第一副對聯上聯是

尊老重賢孔孟訓

這是說孔子給我們留下訓誨人的一種方法,要尊老重賢,這是孔孟教。下聯是

學佛習聖釋子傳

這釋家就教化人,令人學佛那種思想和行為,都希望要習聖習賢。釋子傳,這個釋子就是釋迦牟尼佛的弟子,代代相傳,以這個道理來教化人。

The first half of the first couplet says,

To respect elders and honor the worthy is the teaching of Confucius and Mencius.

Confucius left behind this method for people to follow. Respecting old folks and honoring worthy people is what Confucius and Mencius taught. The second half says,

To learn from the Buddhas and study with the sages is the teaching transmitted by Shakyamuni's disciples.

Shakyamuni Buddha taught people to study the thinking and conduct of the Buddhas and to learn from the sages and worthies. That is the principle the disciples of Shakyamuni Buddha have passed down through the generations and used to teach people.

第二副對聯是

耆年壽考祖師教
耄耋齡高天地寬

「耆年壽考祖師教」,耆就是年老而有耆德的這個「耆」。「耄耋齡高天地寬」,就像那個「野鶴無糧天地寬」似的,因為老年人他自由自在,無拘無束,無罣無礙,這是有天地那麼寬。

The second couplet:

Seniority and longevity are reached through the Patriarch's teachings.

To those who are seventy or eighty, the world is vast.

This is from the quote, "Wild cranes have no food, but their world is vast." Old folks are carefree and at ease, with no restrictions or obstructions. Their freedom is as vast as heaven and earth.

第三副對聯是

福慧雙圓黎民慶

這個有福有慧了,福慧雙圓了,老百姓都是很歡喜的,黎民都慶祝這個壽星公、壽星婆,這是這個意思。

道德齊臻草木歡

草木都歡喜,你因為有道有德啊!所以都是鬼神恭敬、草木開顏的,這是草木歡。

The third couplet:

With blessings and wisdom both complete, all the people rejoice.

When blessings and wisdom are both perfected, the common people gather to rejoice with the elderly, who are the stars of longevity.

With the Tao and virtue both attained, even the grass and trees are delighted.

Because you elders have the Tao and virtue, the ghosts and spirits respect you, and the grass and trees smile in delight.

第四副對聯是

梅竹冰雪愧愚志

我願意比這個梅花,冬天冷才開;願意比竹子,再凍它也凍不死。這是我願意受苦、受難、受凍的一個愚癡的志願,願意這樣子。

松柏長青祝君安

我說松柏長青,希望這些個老年的童子啊!都身體健康、精神愉快,一切一切都如意吉祥、平安快樂,這是這個意思。

The fourth couplet:

The plum and bamboo endure the ice and snow, and I am ashamed of my naive resolve to imitate them.

I want to be like the plum blossom, which opens in the cold of winter, and like the bamboo, which does not die in the freezing cold. I want to endure the suffering, the hardship, and the cold. It is my foolish resolve to be like this.

The pine and cedar are evergreen, and I wish that you will be as healthy as they are.

I say, "Just as the pine and cedar are eternally green, I hope you 'elderly youths' are healthy in body and happy in spirit, and that everything turns out as you wish, with peace and joy." That's my intention.

本來我在這個餐會上提出這個對聯,想要這些老教授啊!老學問家啊!大家也都寫一首東西來紀念。可是當時這些教授,也不知道他們是不願意獻醜啊?是怎麼樣子?都說這個很難對的,你這一副對聯,變化成四副對聯,這簡直地從來沒有這種的對聯。我說從來沒有,從今天就有了嘛!這不能說是空前,也不能說是絕後,當時大家就這麼盡歡而散。

At the banquet, I told them about this couplet, hoping that all of those old professors, old scholars, and everyone would also write a matching couplet to commemorate the occasion. The elderly professors, perhaps because they didn't want to embarrass themselves by showing their poor skill, all said it was very difficult to match it. They said, "You have made four couplets from the original couplet. We've never seen any matched couplet like that before." I replied, "You may never have seen one like it before, but today you have." One cannot say that this was unprecedented, nor that it will not happen again. Everyone enjoyed themselves fully before they departed.

這些老教授說:「我這一輩參加過不知多少次宴會,都是在那兒逢場作戲,沒有像今天這麼樣子有意思,有紀念性的,有歷史性的一種餐會。」我說那以後我們每年可以舉行一次尊老重賢敬德餐會,希望大家聚會到一起。

The elderly professors said, "I've been to countless gatherings in my life, but they were just for fun, never something as meaningful, memorable, and historic as today's banquet." I said, "From now on, we can hold a Banquet to Venerate the Elderly, Honor the Worthy, and Respect the Virtuous every year, and we hope everyone can get together."

這是我在美國洛杉磯舉行的。我所以今天不妨向你們大家來說一說,你們大家有什麼感想,這我都不管。有的人說你這是腐儒之見。腐儒我也不夠格,那腐儒還有個「儒」呢,我這連個「儒」字也沒有。我這四副對聯是包括儒、釋、道、天、地、人,還有我們個人的志願,就包括這麼多。可是這些老教授說是等著我回美國的時候,他們再來交卷子,我不知道他們有什麼高談闊論。

That was the banquet I held in Los Angeles, in the United States, so I thought I would tell all of you about it. I don't care what you think of it. Some people might call me a pedantic Confucian scholar, but I'm not even up to that, because I can't be considered a Confucian scholar. My four matched couplets include the principles of Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism, Heaven, Earth, and Man, as well as each individual's wishes. That is the scope. The elderly professors told me they would turn in their homework when I got back to the United States. I don't know what kind of lofty words they have.

我每一天到這兒,我這個打鬼的杖,都先打打人,然後再打鬼;不過你們都不知道,我也不希望你們知道了。你們知道都會怕的:「噢!還有這麼多鬼來呀!」所以我每一天都會加持你們。來的、不來的,你與這法會有緣的,都會得到加持,也不一定就來到這兒才得到。我若說你們到這兒才得到加持,這是誘惑你們呢,這媄銢O有一點跑江湖的話,所以我不願意講清楚了給你們聽。至於明年我來不來?這不一定的。為什麼呢?我也不知道我還活到明年,活不到明年?所以這個我不能預先來講。可是我若活著,就會來;若死了,就不會來。

Every day I use my ghost-beating cane first to beat people and then to beat ghosts. You don't know, and I don't want you to know. If you knew, you would get scared, thinking, "Oh, I didn't know so many ghosts came here, too!" So every day I give aid and support to all of you. Whether or not you come, if you have affinities with this Dharma Assembly, you will receive aid. You don't necessarily have to come here to receive it. If I were to say that you have to come in order to receive aid, I would be trying to trick you. That would be like the words of a fraud. I don't want to tell you too explicitly. As for the question of whether I will come next year, it is not certain, because I don't know whether I'll live until next year. I can't tell you in advance, except to say I'll come if I'm alive, and I won't come if I'm dead.

(游居士:各位你們聽到了,活著就會來,我們希望把這法會的活動,功德迴向給老和尚,法體康泰,最起碼活到一百二十歲。)

[Upasaka You: "You all heard it; he will come if he's alive. Now we would like to transfer the merit and virtue from this Dharma Assembly to Venerable Master, wishing him health and hoping that he will live to at least one hundred and twenty."]

我也不要你們給我迴向,我若等著你們迴向啊,可能早就沒有了。這個請求是辦不到的事情,因為我有願力,我如果到一百歲,我就要自焚了,要把自己燒了來供佛。我絕對不願意活到一百二十歲,這是很抱歉,不能遵命。

I don't want your transference. If I depended on your transference, I would probably be long gone. I can't grant your request, because I made a vow that if I lived to be one hundred, I would cremate myself as an offering to the Buddhas. I absolutely do not want to live to be a hundred and twenty. I'm very sorry, but I am not able to obey your wishes.

如果有人願意供養呢,我在這兒我不願意接受;我走了,你們願意供養不供養,我都不管的。所以我在這兒我不願意受紅包,受紅包是佛教的一種不良風氣。你一給紅包,令這個受供養者心奡N打妄想了!他想什麼呢?他說:「噢!這紅包多少錢哪?十塊?二十塊?一百塊?一千塊?一萬塊?十萬塊?」他這個貪心哪!不期而然就會生出來了。「寧動千江水,不動道人心」,你這個供養令修道的人這麼打妄想,這都是在造罪業的。所以我也不願意打妄想,我定力還不夠;那麼我若不看見,我就不會打這個妄想了,你們大家懂不懂啊?(大眾:懂。)

If there are people who want to make offerings, I don't want to accept them when I'm here. After I leave, it doesn't matter to me if you make offerings or not. While I'm here, I don't want to accept red envelopes. Taking red envelopes is an unwholesome custom in Buddhism. When you make an offering in a red envelope, you cause the person who accepts it to have an idle thought. What does he think? He thinks, "Oh, I wonder how much money is in that red envelope? Ten dollars? Twenty dollars? A hundred dollars? A thousand, ten thousand, or a hundred thousand dollars?" He can't help but become greedy. It's said, "You would rather disturb the waters of a thousand rivers, than to disturb the mind of a cultivator." If by making that offering you cause a cultivator to have idle thoughts, you are creating offenses. I don't want to have idle thoughts, because I don't have enough samadhi power. If I don't see the offerings, then I won't have idle thoughts. Do you all understand? [Everyone: "Yes."]

一九九三年一月十三日
開示於臺灣板橋臺北縣立體育館

A talk by the Venerable Master Hua on January 13, 1993,
at the Taipei County Stadium in Banqiao, Taiwan

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