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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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早起晚睡為誰忙

Rising Early and Retiring Late, for Whom Are We Busy?


我們要夙興夜寐地去禮佛、念佛,為求消滅罪障,為法忙。
From morning till night, we should bow to the Buddhas and recite the Buddhas' names to eradicate our obstructions from offenses, and we should be busy for the sake of the Dharma.

夙興夜寐為誰忙?
眾生難度頗堪傷;
迷諸塵勞性顛倒,
耳提面命化無方。

 

Rising up early in the morning,
going to bed late at night,
for whom are we busy?
Living beings are hard to save:
it's pretty sad.
Confused by the wearisome dust,
their natures are upside-down.
Boxing their ears and commanding them directly,
there is still no way to teach them.

夙興,是早起;夜寐,是夜眠,有很多人兢兢業業,早起夜眠,為的是什麼?究竟是為我忙呢?還是為你忙呢?還是為他忙呢?這個問題,我相信很多人都無法回答,甚至於有人索性就說:「無事忙!」

 

Getting up early in the morning and going to bed late at night, many people are busy all day doing all kinds of work. For the sake of whom? In the last analysis, is the person busy for the sake of himself? Is he busy for your sake? Or is he busy for the sake of others? I believe that a lot of people can't come up with a satisfactory answer to this question; even to the point that some people make a point of flippantly saying “busy doin’ nothin’.”

啊!那可奇怪了。然而卻偏偏有人去做連自己也不清楚的事;譬如商人,他們一天到晚都想著自己的「生意」,弄到睡也睡得不安眠,這就是夙興夜寐為「錢」忙,乃至於士、農、工、商,凡是想成功的,便會不由自主地要「朝起早,夜眠遲」了。

 

Ha! That's strange. But indeed, there are people who do things without really knowing why. For example, some people spend every waking moment intent upon their business, almost to the point of perpetual insomnia. This is being busy from morning till night for the sake of money. And so it is with scholarship, farming, laboring, business: if we want any accomplishment, then we can't do as we please or be our own boss, but instead we must get up early and retire late.

   

《詩經》埵陶o麼一段:

雞既鳴矣,朝既盈矣,
匪雞則鳴,蒼蠅之聲。

 

As a passage from the Book of Odes says,

The cock has already crowed!
The morn is already full!
Oh, that's not that cock that's crowed
It's just the buzzing of a fly.

   

這幾句話,如果照普通的口氣來說,就是「雞好像已經啼了吧!現在已是早上了嗎?啊!原來不是雞在啼,只不過是蒼蠅的聲音罷了!」這段《詩經》是形容古代的賢明君主。你看,身為皇帝,晚上尚且不得好睡,整晚惦記著只要天亮了便應臨朝理事,以致神經過敏地把蒼蠅的聲音聽為雞在鳴叫,這就是夙興夜寐為「民」忙了。所謂「一人有慶,兆民賴之。」若是遇著了這樣賢明的仁君,老百姓就可以過著刀槍入庫、馬放南山的幸福生活。那麼,身為君主的,難道可以不夙興夜寐地為人民謀幸福嗎?

 

In ordinary language, we could paraphrase the poem, “It seems that the cock has already crowed. Is it morning already? Oh! That wasn't the cock crowing, it was just the sound of a fly buzzing.” This is describing one of the virtuous and wise emperors of old. As an emperor, he didn't sleep easily at night. The whole night long, he thought of nothing but the dawn, when he could get on with the day's business. In his anxiety for the night to pass, he rested so fitfully that he started at the sound of a buzzing fly and mistook it for the cock's crow. This is an instance of being busy from morning till night for the sake of the people. It is said, “If there is a single man with blessings, the masses will put their trust in him.” If there is a humane ruler who is worthy and intelligent, the populace will be able to put away their weapons, let their horses out to the pasture, and live in peace. However, the emperor himself must rise early and retire late, working for the prosperity of the people. How can he not do that?

至於我們修道的人,也要夙興夜寐,既不是為利忙,也不是為名忙,而是為「法」忙。我們要「夙興夜寐,以事諸佛。」要朝起早、夜眠遲地日日禮佛誦經,表示我們是個忠實、誠摯的佛教徒,並不是口是心非,能說而不能做的。

 

We who cultivate the Way should also be busy from morning till night, not for the sake of profit, nor for the sake of fame, but for the sake of the Dharma. We should “serve the Buddhas without laxness in the morning and evening.” We should get up early in the morning and go to bed late at night, and every day bow to the Buddhas and recite sutras to display our devotion and sincerity as Buddhist disciples. It should not be that we say the right things but our hearts are false. It should not be that we can talk but not practice.

     

況且禮佛,又包含了專一其心,恭敬其身的意思,並且禮佛更能消除業障,所謂「佛前頂禮,滅罪恆沙。」罪,幸虧是無形的,若是有形的東西,便會把恆河沙那麼多的世界都充滿了,所以,我們要夙興夜寐地去禮佛、念佛,為求消滅罪障,為法忙。

 

When we bow to the Buddhas, we should concentrate single-mindedly and show respect with our bodies. Bowing to the Buddhas can eradicate obstructions which result from offenses. It is said“To bow before the Buddhas can eradicate offenses as numerous as the grains of sand in the Ganges.” It is a good thing offenses are formless. If they were solid objects they would fill up worlds as numerous as the Ganges’ sands. Therefore, from morning till night, we should bow to the Buddhas and recite the Buddhas’ names to eradicate our obstructions from offenses, and we should be busy for the sake of the Dharma.

   

可是眾生的品性,是極其難測的,譬如他歡喜吃甜的,給他酸的便不高興;歡喜酸的而給他甜的,他也不高興。諸如此類,若是不認識眾生的性,就無法去度眾生了。可是佛有智慧,他能夠熟知眾生的根性,所以便能隨類應化,時常奔走跋涉,不辭勞苦地去度眾生。不過眾生並不因此而感動,反而不肯接受佛、菩薩的度化,所以說:「眾生難度頗堪傷」,傷就是悲傷,為了眾生的愚昧顛倒而悲傷;佛菩薩是常常生大悲心的。

 

But living beings’ dispositions are extremely difficult to fathom. For instance, if they like to eat sweets and you give them something sour, it makes them unhappy. But on the other hand, if you give sweet things to people who like to eat sour things, then they get upset. That's the way they all are. If you don't understand each individual's disposition, you will have no way to save people. Only the Buddha's wisdom is sufficient to be familiar with living beings’ basic natures, and because of that, the Buddha can offer teaching that is appropriate to each one. He constantly travels and roams about, accepting toil and suffering in order to save living beings. But even that doesn't suffice to move living beings. They still will not accept the teachings of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. So it is said, “Living beings are hard to save: it's pretty sad.” “Sad” means deep regard to the point of grief. Because living beings are so stupid and upside-down, the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas constantly give rise to hearts of great compassion on their behalf.

   

為什麼眾生會這樣難度呢?「迷諸塵勞性顛倒」,這就是一個答案。因為眾生在無量劫媕Y深染六塵,於是便在苦海中,頭出頭沒,輾轉沈淪,弄得顛顛倒倒,以苦為樂,以非為是。譬如現在的人,明明知道服裝太時髦了,就不莊嚴,也會生出不良的後果來,可是呢?人人都明知故犯,互相比賽競爭,卻不知道「苦海無邊,回頭是岸。」又譬如戰爭中所用的武器,人類不但不把它消滅,反而「精益求精」,努力尋求發明一些愈多愈妙的殺人武器。你說!這不是顛倒是什麼?

 

Why are living beings so hard to save? “Confused by the wearisome dust, their natures are upside-down.” That's one answer. Because throughout limitless eons, living beings have become deeply stained by the six defiling objects, the six dusts, they constantly bob around in the sea of suffering, sinking, thrashing, totally upside-down. They take suffering for bliss and the false for the true. Thus people of today become so caught up in “fashion,” that even when the current styles are unattractive and may lead to undesirable reactions, they still compete to stay in fashion. People don't know that the sea of suffering is boundless, but a turn of the head is the other shore. Take military weapons for instance: not only do people fail to get rid of them, they seek to break their own records. Great effort is exerted as they seek to invent new weapons for killing people─the more outrageous the better. If that isn't upside-down, what is?

   

為了眾生的顛倒,一切聖人、善知識都苦口婆心地諄諄勸導我們這般可憐的眾生,像長輩提著小輩的耳朵來當面訓導一樣,可是呢?眾生卻置若罔聞,甚至還千方百計地隱瞞自己的罪過,不被師長們知曉,這真是「耳提面命化無方」了。

 

In order to put an end to living beings’ upside-downness, sages and wise advisors earnestly admonish us and repeat their exhortations over and over in order to guide us pitiful creatures. They are like elders who pull on the ears of their youngsters and admonish them directly. But living beings ignore those messages as if they hadn't even heard them, to the point that they employ thousands of methods and hundreds of schemes to hide away their offenses so their teachers and elders won't find out about them. This is truly a case of “boxing their ears and commanding them directly, there is still no way to teach them.”

   

啊!眾生犯罪的本領,可謂至矣!盡矣!連佛、菩薩也感到難以化度我們這般可憐的眾生,你說這不是很值得悲哀嗎?

 

Ah! The talent living beings have for committing offenses is truly endless! Even the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas feel it is hard to save us pitiful creatures. What a sad situation!

   
   

一九五八年六月十六日上午開示

 

A talk given on the morning of June 16, 1958

 

法界佛教總會 • DRBA / BTTS / DRBU

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