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宣化上人開示錄(一)
Venerable Master Hua's Talks on Dharma Volume One 

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

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佛法在行不在說

The Buddhadharma Is in Practice, Not in Talking


道德是為人的根本,有了道德,我們才能立得住腳。
It's because the Way and virtue are a person's foundation.
Once we have the Way and virtue, we can stand on our own feet.

光陰似箭,日月如梭,江河之水後浪推前浪,韶華易逝,世上青年逐老年,這樣隨之逐之,漸漸又歸於老死朽滅,無蹤無影,足見一切無常。

 

Time is like an arrow; the days and months fly by like a shuttlecock. The waves in the river follow one after another. Glory fades quickly. In the world, youth is followed by old age. In this way, we gradually return to the decay and extinction of old age and death, leaving no trace or shadow. Clearly, everything is impermanent.

正因為一切都是無常,所以我們應該趕快找一個歸宿。在座各位,總算幸運,找來找去,終於信佛了。信佛,能令我們得「常樂我淨」──究竟之樂;所以我們應信佛。可是,也並不是說只是「信」便可以了,也要依法修行,若是只信而不修行,有如說食數寶,於自己本身了無益處。所以古人說:

道是要行的,
不行則要道何用?
德是要修的,
不修則德從何來?

 

Since everything is impermanent, we should quickly find a refuge. All of you can count yourselves lucky, for you have searched around and finally come to believe in the Buddha. Faith in the Buddha enables us to attain the ultimate happiness of permanence, joy, true self, and purity. Therefore we should believe in the Buddha. But it's not enough to say that we believe. We also have to cultivate according to the Dharma. If you believe but don't cultivate, it's like talking about food without eating it, or counting the wealth of othersit doesn't benefit you in the least. So the ancients said:

The Way must be practiced. If it is not
practiced, what use is the Way?
Virtue must be cultivated. If it is not cultivated,
from where does virtue come?

所以,我們應該躬行實踐,常把「生死」二字掛在眉梢,把「道德」二字放在腳下。這一句話看起來很難懂,為什麼說應該把「道德」二字放在腳下呢?因為,道德二字是為人的根本,好像樹在眉梢,把「道德」二字放在腳下。這一句話看起來很難懂,為什麼說應該把「道德」二字放在腳下呢?因為,道德二字是為人的根本,好像樹木的根一樣,所以有了道德,我們才能立得住腳;反之,腳下無根,那麼則無處可立,進退維谷,不能有所作為了。若是我們能把這二字實踐了,那麼,人格更可以立得住,而一切亦自然可以成功了,所以說:「道德二字,是做人的根本。」《論語》上說:「君子務本,本立而道生。」務本才能生出道,這是古有明訓的。

 

We should personally practice, always hanging the words “birth” and “death” on our brows, and putting the words “Way” and “virtue” beneath our feet. Maybe that's hard to understandwhy should we put the words “Way” and “virtue” under our feet? Because the Way and virtue are a person's foundation. They are to us what roots are to a tree. Once we have the Way and virtue, we can stand on our own feet. But with no base under our feet, we have no place to stand. We are in a fix, unable to advance or retreat, and we cannot accomplish anything. If we can actually practice these two things, then we can establish a good character and naturally be successful in whatever we do. So it's said, “The Way and virtue are the foundation of being a person.” The Analects of Confucius also say, “The superior person attends to the root. When the root is established, the Way comes forth.” Only when the fundamentals are tended to can the Way come forth. This is wise advice from the ancients.

   

正如剛才所說,日子是似箭般在不知不覺間過去了,過去的且讓它過去,可是來者可追,對於未來,我們應立下宗旨,不讓它糊里糊塗地度過。

 

As mentioned earlier, the days pass as swiftly as an arrow, but we don't notice it. As for the days gone by, just let them go. Only the future is worth pursuing. We should set guidelines for the future, so we won't let the time pass in a muddle.

   

西樂園一向的宗旨是提倡「淨土法門」,主張大家精進念佛。所以每年的六月十九日和十一月十七日(中國陰曆),都照例地舉行觀音及阿彌陀佛七的念佛法會,可是呢?大家不可以就「照例參加」,馬馬虎虎地敷衍一下就算了,應該一年比一年精進,念茲在茲,在這七天媕Y,在在處處、時時刻刻我們都要勤念菩薩的名號,不可以懈怠。

 

Western Bliss Garden Monastery has always promoted the Pure Land Dharma-door and exhorts everyone to vigorously recite the Buddha's name. Every year, on the nineteenth of the sixth lunar month and the seventeenth of the eleventh lunar month, we will continue as usual to hold Dharma Sessions for reciting the names of Guanyin Bodhisattva and Amitabha Buddha. However, everyone should certainly not just casually “attend as usual,” not taking it seriously and letting it pass lightly. Rather, each year we should be more vigorous than the year before; we should work intensively. During these seven days, no matter when and where we are, we should diligently be reciting the Bodhisattva's name and never become lax .

我們要念菩薩,而不是要菩薩念我們,為什麼說不要令菩薩念我們?因為在這打七的期間,你若是掛打七的名,而雜念紛紛,也不勤稱誦菩薩的洪名,那麼大慈大悲的菩薩,一定會為你這個可憐的眾生而可惜,為你不是誠心來打七而焦急,所以大家應該至誠懇切地念,而且更進一步地要有一顆慈悲喜捨的心。如果能夠這樣,我敢肯定地說一句:「菩薩是絕對會加被各位的。」

 

We should be mindful of the Bodhisattva; it's not that the Bodhisattva should be mindful of us. Why don't we want the Bodhisattva to be mindful of us? If you are nominally participating in this session, but in fact a lot of idle thoughts are keeping you from being diligent in reciting the Bodhisattva's vast name, the Bodhisattva of Great Kindness and Compassion will certainly take pity on you, this poor living being, and be worried because you are not sincerely participating in the session. Therefore, everyone should earnestly and sincerely recite, and go a step further by nurturing kindness, compassion, joy, and renunciation in your mind. If you can do that, then I guarantee that the Bodhisattva will aid and support you.

   

同時,西樂園從來沒有用帖子請過任何一個,大家都是自動發心來參加打七,這點可見大家並不是沒有誠心,而這種自動發心的精神,也很值得嘉許。既然這樣,我們更不要讓這分真誠白費了,我們都要發願念個「水落石出」,念至菩薩現身說法,才不枉這次參加打七一場。

 

Moreover, everyone has come to the session of his own free will; Western Bliss Garden Monastery has never sent invitations to anyone. This shows that everyone is certainly not lacking in sincerity. This spirit of initiative is very commendable. Therefore, we shouldn't let this sincerity go to waste. We should all vow to recite until “stones peep out from the receding water” (the truth is brought to light), until the Bodhisattvas appear before us to speak the Dharma; then, we will not have come to the session in vain.

   

今天是打七的第一天,在這開始打七的今天,我預祝各位今年能有所成就,否則,我要和大家算帳,要是帳算不清,可別後悔!閒話不多講了,還是多念幾句菩薩的洪名吧!

 

This is the first day of the session. On this day, I bless you all and wish you success this year. If you don't have any success, I will have to settle accounts with everyone. And if your account isn't cleared up, you will be sorry. I won't chatter too much; we had better recite the Bodhisattva's vast name some more!

   
     

一九五八年觀音七 六月十三日上午
開示於香港西樂園寺

 

A talk given on the morning of June 13,1958, during a Guanyin Session at Western Bliss Garden Monastery in Hong Kong.

 

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