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宣化上人開示錄(二)
Venerable Master Hua's Talks on Dharma Volume Two 

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

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好道場難遇 

It's Difficult to Encounter a Good Way-place


想修行,沒有遇到好道場, 也不能修行。
If you can't find a good Way-place, then even if you want to cultivate, you won't be able to.  
我們人從無量劫以來,習氣毛病太多了!不知悔改,也不知修行,所以習氣一天比一天增加,智慧一天比一天減少,業障也一天比一天重。因為這種關係,人若想修行也不容易,想學好也不容易,想出家更不容易,有種種孽緣牽纏不清。在因地時不知不覺造了很多罪業,不怕因果報應,所以到想要修道時,四面八方的障道因緣都發生了。有的是家庭環境不許可,有的是國家環境不許可,有的是個人所行所作發生種種障礙,而不能修行。   From limitless eons in the past until now, we have had too many bad habits and faults. We haven't known how to repent and reform, and how to cultivate, so day by day our bad habits increase, our wisdom decreases, and our karmic offenses grow heavier. As a result, if we want to cultivate, it's not easy. If we want to learn to be good, it's also not easy. If we want to leave the home-life, it's even more difficult. We cannot break free of the various retributions which bind us up. Not fearing the retribution, we unknowingly planted causes that created a lot of offense karma. So now that we want to cultivate, causes and conditions arise from every direction to obstruct our cultivation of the Way. For some, it's the family situation which prevents them from cultivating. Some are prevented by the national circumstances. In other cases, the individual's behavior has generated all kinds of obstacles, making it impossible for him or her to cultivate.

所以真正想修道是難如登天,那麼是不是說這麼多困難就不修了呢?不是的。越難才越要修行,要勉為其難。若是不從困苦艱難中打筋斗打出來,始終是破不了業障關,所以才要修忍人所不能忍的功夫,讓人所不能讓,行人所不能行,做人所不能做的事,吃人所不能吃的,受人所不能受的,能如此地日積月累,才能把善功德增多一點,罪孽減少一點,使智慧天天增長,業障天天減輕。

 

Therefore, if you truly want to cultivate, it's as hard as ascending to the heavens. Now, if it's that difficult, does it mean we shouldn't cultivate? Not at all. The more difficult it is, the more we have to cultivate. We must overcome the hardship. If we don't take a flying somersault to escape from our distress and difficulty, then we will never be able to break through our karmic obstructions. So we have to cultivate the ability to endure what others cannot endure, to yield where others cannot yield, to practice what others cannot practice, to do the things that others cannot do, to eat what others cannot eat, and to put up with what others cannot put up with. In that way, over the days and months, we can increase our wholesome merit and virtue a bit, and reduce our offenses and evil deeds a bit. Day by day, our wisdom grows, and our karmic obstacles become lighter. Since we accumulated the karmic obstacles bit by bit in the past, now we have to reduce them bit by bit. It's like when the weather turns cold, each day is colder than the day before, until winter has arrived. When the cold reaches the utmost point, the weather starts warming up again. But it doesn't warm up instantly. Each day is warmer than the day before, and gradually the hot weather arrives. The hot weather represents the time when our karmic obstacles have been lessened, and the cold weather represents the time when our karmic obstacles are heavy. These are just analogies.

因為以前的業障是一點一點累積下來的,所以現在也要一點一點地減輕它。就好像天氣寒冷一樣,天氣一天比一天冷,就到了冬天,當天氣冷到極點了,就又開始暖和。但也不是立刻就能暖和起來的,而是一天比一天暖和,漸至熱天。熱時就譬如沒有那麼多業障,冷時就好像業障重,這些都是譬喻。

 

As we are here cultivating, you can investigate Chan, recite the Buddha's name, or do whatever, as long as you find something to do, so your mind won't be idle and start having random thoughts. Instead of having random thoughts, you should use the time to recite the Buddha's name, hold mantras, or recite sutras. Don't let the time pass in vain. If you allow your mind to casually indulge in random thoughts, you're just wasting a lot of energy without accomplishing anything.

   

我們在這兒修行,參禪也好,念佛也好,無論你做什麼,總要找點事情做一做,不要令心無事就打妄想。要把打妄想的時間拿來念佛、持咒、誦經,不讓光陰空過。否則令心媕H便打妄想,浪費很多精神,結果一事無成。人身難得,佛法難聞,佛國難生,善知識難遇,好道場難逢。想修行沒有遇到好道場,也不能修行,所以必須要有好道場。我們現在在萬佛聖城,打禪七有打禪七的地方,念佛有念佛的地方,拜懺有拜懺的地方。你願意做什麼,只要你修行就可以,只要不把光陰空過,能老老實實地用功就可以。 

 

"It's hard to obtain a human body. It's hard to be able to hear the Buddhadharma. It's hard to be born in a Buddhist country. It's hard to meet a Good and Wise Advisor. It's hard to encounter a good Way-place." If you can't find a good Way-place, then even if you want to cultivate, you won't be able to. So a good Way-place is essential. Now at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, there is a place for holding Chan Sessions, there is a place for reciting the Buddha's name, and there is also a place for bowing repentances. You can do anything you like, as long as you cultivate and seriously apply effort and don't waste time.

   

無論哪一位願意用功,我都願意做你們各位的護法,來幫助你們用功。因為當初我想用功,但找不到一個好的地方用功,到處都有很多細節皮毛的事要做。譬如在禪堂,你要學會敲引磬、打鐘板,到時當值、巡香,如何給人倒茶、喝茶、收茶杯,囉囉嗦嗦的一大堆。你想用功都用到喝茶、收茶杯上;用到巡香、當值上,用到敲鐘板、魚鼓這些皮毛上了,這些瑣事最低限度要三個禮拜才能學會,而通常打七也不過打一兩個禮拜,這些零碎的皮毛事就夠你學的了。

 

If any of you are willing to apply effort, I am willing to be your Dharma protector to aid you in applying effort. That's because when I first wanted to work hard on cultivation, I couldn't find a good place where I could do it. In every place I went, there was a lot of detailed, superficial work that had to be done. For example, in the Chan Hall, you had to learn to use the handbell, hit the boards, serve as a proctor who makes rounds, pour tea for people to drink, collect the teacups-a whole bunch of fussy details. You wanted to apply effort, but all your effort went into the trifling matters of serving tea, collecting teacups, making rounds as a proctor, and hitting the bell, boards, wooden fish, and drum. These petty jobs took at least three weeks to learn, and usually the Chan Session only lasted one or two weeks. These miscellaneous tasks were more than enough to keep you busy learning.

現在在萬佛聖城,無論你參禪、念佛、翻譯經典、研究經典,做什麼都好,總而言之,你若專心去研究,則一切都很方便,沒有一些繁文細節,要你當這個值、當那個值,皮毛事多得令你頭昏腦脹。這堿O很簡單,做維那只要止靜、開靜就可以。你在這兒還不知用功,那就不知還有什麼地方可以用功的了?這堿O最可以用功、最方便的地方,你不要一邊用功,一邊打妄想:今天的齋飯不好吃,天氣又冷,今晚又如何去睡覺……。盡打這些無用的妄想,這只是空過時光啊!應該專心致志,拼命用功才是。

  Now at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, you may investigate Chan, recite the Buddha's name, translate the sutras, study the sutras, or engage in other practices. In general, if you practice with a concentrated mind, then everything will be convenient for you. There won't be any of the complicated regulations and petty details requiring you to do this job or that job, making you dizzy with so many superficial matters. It's very simple here. The proctor (wei no) only has to start and end the periods of silent sitting. If you are here and you still fail to apply effort, then I don't know if there's any place where you can apply effort. This is the best place where you can apply skill and have the most convenience. Don't be applying skill and at the same time having idle thoughts, such as: "Today's lunch was awful. It's really cold. How am I going to sleep tonight?" Don't have all these useless idle thoughts, and let the time pass by in vain! You should concentrate your mind and focus your attention, and apply effort as if your life depended upon it.
 

捨不了死,換不了生;
捨不了假,成不了真。

 

If you can't renounce death,
   then you can't exchange it for life.
If you can't renounce the false,
   then you can't realize the true.

 

不單單在念佛堂、禪堂要用功,隨時隨地也都要用功。用功就是眼不被色塵轉,耳不被聲塵轉,鼻不被香塵轉,舌不被味塵轉,身不被觸塵轉,意不被法塵轉。都不被境界轉,而能轉境界,這才叫用功。

 

You should be applying effort not only when you are in the Recitation Hall and the Chan Hall, but at all times and places. Applying effort means your eyes are not turned by sights, your ears are not turned by sounds, your nose is not turned by smells, your tongue is not by turned by flavors, your body is not turned by sensations of contact, and your mind is not turned by dharmas. If you remain unmoved by all those states, and can instead turn those states around, then you are applying effort.

 

行住坐臥不離這個,離了這個便是錯過。所以時時刻刻都要念茲在茲,把念頭制住,把金剛智慧王寶劍舉得高高的,斬盡一切煩惱魔軍!

 

Walking, standing, sitting, and lying down, do not be apart from this. Separating from this is a mistake. In every moment, pay attention to whatever you are doing, and control your thoughts. Raise the Jeweled Sword of the Vajra Wisdom King up high, and slash through all the armies of afflictions and demons!

 

問:為大眾服務,而又被人誹謗,怎麼辦?

 

Q: What should I do if people slander me when I am working for the public?

 

答:為大眾服務,又受人誹謗,就越要去做!若受人誹謗,就不去做,這還不是真的。

 

A: If you are working for the public and are slandered, you should want to do it even more! If you quit because people slander you, you are not really being true.

 

問:為什麼現在佛教徒不懂得正法,而拼命求神通?為什麼現今多數佛教徒反而更愛錢?

 

Q: Why do Buddhists of the present fail to understand the Proper Dharma, and instead do everything they can to obtain spiritual powers? Why are most of today's Buddhists even more in love with money?

 

答:這個問題很重要。因為現在的人都中了錢毒,錢上有一種錢癌毒,這種東西是很毒很毒的。魔無形中灑上這種毒,所以人一接觸到錢,就忘了一切,父母也忘了,只知道錢,認為錢是最親切的,而為錢造了很多罪業。乃至於佛教徒也想盡方法,不擇手段,又講風水,又求密法,貪心比一般不懂佛法的人更多,比天還大,這樣子就叫末法。末法,就是沒有人懂得道理。想要沒有這種毛病,就要守萬佛聖城的六大宗旨:不爭、不貪、不求、不自私、不自利、不妄語,這六個條件能把末法邪惡的風氣改變。不要以為萬佛聖城的六大宗旨是很簡單的,你們平常人不但沒資格學,也沒有資格聽。我講這六大宗旨是講給三步一拜的行者(恆實、恆朝)聽的,我看他們苦幹到如此,若再不說點真法給他們聽,就太可惜了。所以這六大宗旨是破邪知邪見的照妖鏡、降魔杵。

 

A: This question is very important, because people nowadays have all been poisoned by money. There is a kind of cancerous poison on money, which is extremely toxic. Invisibly, the demons sprinkle this poison on the money, and so as soon as people come in contact with it, they forget everything. They forget even their parents, and the only thing they know is money. They regard money as their closest friend and create a lot of offenses for the sake of money. Even Buddhists will think of all kinds of schemes and will do anything to get it, including consulting geomancers and seeking secret dharmas. They are even greedier than ordinary people who don't understand the Buddhadharma-their greed is greater than the sky. This is known as the decline of the Dharma. The decline of the Dharma means that no one understands true principles. If we want to correct this problem, we have to uphold the Six Great Principles of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas-do not contend, do not be greedy, do not seek, do not be selfish, do not pursue personal benefit, and do not lie. These six requirements can reverse the deviant and evil trend of the Dharma-ending Age. You shouldn't think the Six Great Principles of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas are that simple. Ordinary people are not only unprepared to study them, they are not even ready to hear them. It was for the cultivators of Three Steps One Bow (Heng Sure and Heng Chau) that I spoke these Six Great Principles. I saw how hard they were working and thought it'd be a pity if I didn't speak some true Dharma for them. These Six Great Principles are a demon-spotting mirror and a demon-subduing pestle for destroying deviant knowledge and views.

 

至於神通,不是求來的,而是修來的;就是修來的,也不能把它當作一回事。神通在佛教中不算一回事,只是雕蟲小技而已,哄小孩子的一種戲法,根本不可拿它當一回事。學佛的人,如果有求神通的思想,就走錯路了,根本就不是正信佛教徒了。

 

As for spiritual powers, they are gained not through seeking, but through cultivation. And even if you get them as a result of cultivation, you shouldn't think they are a big deal. Spiritual powers are not a big deal in Buddhism. They are just small skills, a kind of child's play, and cannot be considered something important. Students of Buddhism who are out to get spiritual powers have gone down the wrong road and are basically not Buddhists of proper faith.

 

問:為什麼人不拜唐僧玄奘大師,反而拜孫悟空?又真有孫悟空嗎?

 

Q: Why do people pay homage not to the Monk from Tang, Great Master Xuanzhuang, but rather to Sun Wukung (the monkey in Journey to the West)? Also, is there really a Sun Wukung?

 

答:因為孫悟空有金箍棒,會翻筋斗,上天入地,無所不能,所以人人愛。孫悟空、豬八戒、沙僧等都是真有其人,只是他們是無形的精靈,是幫助、護持唐僧去西天取經的。他們並不是凡夫的肉眼可見,他們沒有凡夫的實體,而是一股靈性。而玄奘大師,是個腳踏實地的修行人,他不會翻筋斗,也不會大鬧天宮,只會收斂鋒芒真修實行,憑著堅、誠、恆三個字,一心去取經,利益眾生,因而感動孫悟空等前來護持。

 

A: Since Sun Wukung had the golden rod; knew how to perform somersaults, ascend to the heavens and enter the earth; and was skilled in everything, everyone adored him. Sun Wukung, Ju Bajie, Sha Seng, and so forth, actually existed, but they were invisible spirits. They aided and protected the Monk from Tang on his trip to India to obtain the sutras. They were not visible to the eyes of ordinary people. They didn't possess physical bodies like ordinary people; they were spirits. But Great Master Xuanzhuang was an honest, down-to-earth cultivator. He didn't know how to do flying somersaults, or cause a big uproar in the celestial palaces. He only knew how to hide his talent and truly cultivate the Way. Relying on the three qualities of determination, sincerity, and constancy, he single-mindedly went to obtain the sutras, and dedicated himself to benefiting living beings. As a result, Sun Wukung and the others were moved to guard and support him.

   

一九八二年十一月廿六日開示

 

A talk given on November 26, 1982

 

法界佛教總會 • DRBA / BTTS / DRBU

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