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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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眾生無邊誓願度

Living Beings Are Boundless; I Vow to Save Them All.


我們能忍心讓他們痛苦,不設法令他們快樂嗎?
How can we bear to let them suffer, and not find a way to bring them happiness?

菩薩畏因,眾生畏果,因、果這兩個字,不但我們眾生逃不了,甚至於連佛、菩薩也不能避免的,只因菩薩的眼光遠大,所以不造惡因,而受的也是樂果,可是眾生卻眼光如豆,只為目前打算,常種惡因,所以也常吃苦果。

 

Bodhisattvas fear causes; living beings fear effects. It is not only living beings who cannot escape cause and effect; even the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas cannot avoid them. However, because Bodhisattvas have far-ranging vision, they avoid creating bad causes and only receive joyful rewards. Living beings, on the other hand, are very short-sighted. Seeing only what's in front of them, they often plant evil causes, and so they must often suffer the bitter retribution.

所謂「多栽桃李少栽荊」。多種善因,無疑地就是替自己預備了錦繡的前程,假若只顧目前,多行不義,不種善因,那麼無疑地也是替自己的前途預備了荊棘的途徑。

 

It is said, “Plant more peach and plum trees, and fewer thorn bushes.” By planting more good causes, you will undoubtedly be laying out a golden future for yourself. But if you only see the present, and you engage in lots of immoral practices and plant no good causes, you will doubtlessly be preparing a thorny path to travel in the future.

什麼是錦繡前程呢?「遙指西方落日邊」,「從是西方。過十萬億佛土。有世界名曰極樂。」

 

What is the golden future? “Point to the distant setting sun in the West.” “To the west of here, passing a hundred thousand million Buddha-lands, is a land called Ultimate Bliss.”

   

什麼是荊棘前程呢?啊!「地獄無門苦自招」,在極樂世界堙A黃金為地,七寶為池,天樂風飄處處聞,事事無不稱心滿意,還可以見聞佛法,速成佛道;然而在地獄堜O?刀山、油鑊、劍樹、洪爐,就是最好的伴侶了。

 

What is the thorny future? “Hell has no gates; you bring suffering upon yourself.” In the Land of Ultimate Bliss, the ground is made of gold and the pools are filled with the seven gems. Celestial music is carried by the breeze and heard everywhere, and everything goes according to your wishes. You can also see the Buddha, hear the Dharma, and quickly accomplish Buddhahood. What about the hells? Your best companions there are the Mountain of Knives, the Oil Cauldron, the Tree of Swords, and the Great Furnace.

   

對於選擇前程,眾生是絕對自由的。若是志在西方,發願要往生淨土的話,那麼要精勤念佛菩薩的名號便可以了;若是歡喜地獄,更簡單,行惡事就墮地獄,這是必然的。可是我敢肯定地說一句,沒有人寧願下地獄,而不願往生西方極樂世界的。除非他不信有地獄和有極樂,除非他不知道有痛苦的地獄和極樂的淨土。

 

Living beings are absolutely free to choose their own future. If you wish to be born in the West and you make a vow to that effect, you can accomplish it by vigorously reciting the names of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. If you prefer the hells, it's even easier─just do evil deeds and you'll fall into the hells for sure. But I can assure you of one thing: no one would prefer falling into the hells to being reborn in the Land of Ultimate Bliss. That is, unless he doesn't believe in the hells and the Land of Ultimate Bliss, or he doesn't know that the hells are misery and the Pure Land is blissful.

對於「斷善根、少信心」的人,我們是沒有辦法度的;可是對於「不知道」的人,我們卻應該生出一種慈悲的心。外道的人常說:「天國近了,天國是你們的」。我們信佛的人,也應該為法忘軀,奔走跋涉,對自己的親友們,說說念菩薩的功德,和極樂世界的好處。「極樂世界是眾生的」,若是你能常常說這種道理,那麼你就是一個大道心的菩薩了,和菩薩一樣行徑的人,就是不退菩薩為伴侶了。

 

If people have cut off their good roots or have little faith, there is no way for us to save them. But if it's a matter of not knowing, we should be compassionate. Other religions often say, “The Kingdom of Heaven is near. The Kingdom of Heaven belongs to you.” We of the Buddhist faith should also forget our bodies for the sake of the Dharma, and hasten to tell our friends and relatives about the merit and virtue of reciting the Bodhisattva's name, and the benefits of the Land of Ultimate Bliss. “The Land of Ultimate Bliss belongs to living beings.” If you constantly proclaim this kind of principle, you are truly a Bodhisattva with a great mind for the Way. Those who walk the same path as the Bodhisattvas will have irreversible Bodhisattvas as their companions.

     

所以,我們不但自己要念菩薩,也應常常勸別人也念菩薩,這樣,才可以說得上是一個佛教徒,才可以說是不忘皈依時所發的四宏誓願,所謂「獨樂樂,不如眾樂樂」。一切眾生,皆有佛性,對於具有相同佛性,與自己無分別的眾生,我們能忍心讓他們痛苦,不設法令他們快樂嗎?

 

Therefore, we should recite the Bodhisattva's name ourselves, and frequently urge others to recite it as well. Then we can be considered Buddhist disciples, and we can say we haven't forgotten the Four Vast Vows we made when we took refuge. It's said, “Solitary happiness is not as good as happiness shared with everyone.” Since all living beings have the same Buddha-nature and are no different from us in that respect, how can we bear to let them suffer, and not find a way to bring them happiness?

   

「有志者,事竟成」,眾生雖然難度,可是我們信佛的人,二六時中,切記不要忘了度眾生。

 

“Where there's a will, there's a way.” Although living beings are hard to save, we who are Buddhists must never forget to save living beings.

   
   

一九五八年六月十八日上午開示

 

A talk given on the morning of June 18, 1958

 

法界佛教總會 • DRBA / BTTS / DRBU

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