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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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佛性:是一切眾生的本源

The Buddha-nature: the Original Source of All Living Beings


天地間所以能生生不息,化化無窮, 就因為有佛性。
There can be endless births and infinite transformations in the world, all because of the Buddha-nature.

最初,宇宙鴻濛,開天闢地時,沒有人,也沒有什麼眾生,也沒有所謂世界或不世界,根本什麼都沒有。以後在「成」劫堙A一點一點有了眾生。眾生究竟從何而有?有人說從猴子,可是猴子又從什麼變的?若是以前猴子可變人,為什麼現在就不能變人?奇怪!這都是一些無知無識之士,標異現奇,另立一種別開生面的學說,說人是猴子變的,那你怎麼不說人是老鼠變的?或毛毛蟲變的?你怎不知老鼠是人變的?

 

In the very beginning, the universe was nebulous and indistin-guishable. When Heaven and Earth were created, there were no people and no living beings. You can't really say that there was a world or there wasn't a world. There was basically nothing at all. Later, during the phase of becoming, living beings came into being bit by bit. Ultimately, where did human beings come from? Some people say they evolved from apes. But what did the apes evolve from? If it was possible for apes to turn into people in the past, why can't they change into people now? Strange! Ignorant people who were trying to be different invented this unusual theory that people evolved from apes. Why don't they just say people evolved from mice, or from caterpillars? How do they know that mice didn't evolve from people?

所有飛潛動植:天上飛的羽禽類,水奡憒瑼熙褐噬撳卍,人與其他有血氣的動物,與花草樹木等一切植物,這些飛潛動植的老祖宗都是誰呢?就是佛性。

 

Who is the original ancestor of all the flying, swimming, and roaming creatures and the plants--the birds in the sky, the fish, turtles, shrimp, crabs, and other creatures in the water, the people and other creatures endowed with blood and breath, and the flowers, grasses, trees, and all the plants? The Buddha-nature is.

天地間所以能生生不息,化化無窮,就因為有佛性。若是沒有佛性,一切都毀滅,唯有佛性是歷千古而不滅,經萬世而長存。所以由佛性媗雂ぁX十法界,這十法界皆不離一念心,一念心即是佛性,也是佛性的別名。所以人是由佛性變的,而畜生是由人墮落而成的,在十法界中說得很明白。

 

There can be endless births and infinite transformations in the world, all because of the Buddha-nature. If the Buddha-nature did not exist, everything would cease to be. The Buddha-nature alone endures without perishing for thousands of ages, and exists eternally through myriads of generations, and so the Ten Dharma Realms are transformationally produced from it. The Ten Dharma Realms are not apart from a single thought. That single thought is the Buddha-nature--it's another name for the Buddha-nature. Thus, people are evolved from the Buddha-nature, and animals come into being when people fall lower in the cycle of rebirth. The theory of the Ten Dharma Realms explains it very clearly.

   

愚癡的人硬把人的老祖宗說是猴子,回教說是豬,印度說牛是神,這都是一種偏見,只知一點而不知全體大用,所以把世界弄迷惑了。還著書立說,說這是科學,那是哲學,分門別類,其實都是無事找事做,吃飽了沒事做而來迷惑人。

 

Stupid people insist that apes were the ancestors of people. Islam has a story about pigs, and Hinduism says cows are gods. These are all partial views. They only know a little, but they don't realize the great functioning of the whole reality. And so they have deluded the world, writing books and preaching their doctrines, saying, "This is science. That is philosophy," classifying things into categories. Actually, they are just looking for something to do when there is nothing to do. Having nothing better to do after eating their fill, they go around confusing people.

   

究竟人是怎麼有的?你看雞是怎麼有的,先有雞或先有蛋?沒有雞就沒有蛋,沒有蛋就沒有雞,這是雞的問題,也說不出一個所以然來。至於人,是先有男或先有女?若是說先有男,男是從女腹來的;若是說先有女,但要有男,才會有孕。因為時間久了,人也忘了究竟人是怎麼回事了。

 

Ultimately, how did people come into being? Let's look at how chickens came into being. Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Without a chicken, there's no egg. Without an egg, there's no chicken. That's the "chicken question," which has no final answer. Regarding people, did the man or the woman exist first? If you say the man was first, a man is born from a woman's womb. If you say the woman was first, it takes a man for there to be a conception. Because it was so long ago, people have forgotten just how humans came into being.

萬事萬象,根本皆是從佛性中自有化無,自無化有,生生不息,化化無窮,所以愈化愈多。好像米中生蟲子,從無情而生有情;佛性能自無化有,化出一切眾生、人類,也是同一個道理。

 

The myriad phenomena fundamentally come from the Buddha-nature, coming into being and returning to nothingness, in an endless series of births and transformations, ever increasing in number like bugs born in rice, which is a case of something insentient producing something sentient. By the same principle, the Buddha-nature can transform nothing into something, producing all living beings and humankind.

若說是猴子變的,這個理論完全不成立。你看,每一個國家的人民面目各不同,有黑、黃、白、紅種人,他們都是什麼變的?說來說去找不出一個頭緒。若歸佛性:自無化有,自有化無,化化無窮,生生不息,這理論則可以講得通,但很少人有智慧達到這個水準。

 

The theory that humans evolved from apes is totally groundless. You can see that the people of different countries have different appearances--there are black, yellow, white, and red-skinned people. What did they evolve from? You can talk about it this way and that, but you'll never find an answer. If we return to the Buddha-nature--which can transform nothing into something, and something into nothing, in endless births and transformations --this is a theory which can explain it, but few people have the wisdom to reach that level of understanding.

人是自無化有,一切眾生亦復如是。修道呢?就是要自有化無,返本還原,回到本有的佛性,你說這有何用?那你做人又有何用?返回本有的佛性,就能早成佛道。佛性是長存的,就算一切眾生都死光了,可是佛性仍然永不磨滅。為什麼我要說這個?因為今天是地藏誕,地藏菩薩的願力催促我講些真實做人處事的根本道理。也就是「自無化有,自有化無」。你若不相信,那為什麼米媟|生蟲?人在世上也好像蟲子一樣,只不過他的知覺性、靈性多一些;可是和佛比起來,就差得太遠囉!相形之下,就像人和蟲子相比是一樣的。

 

People came into being from nothingness, and all other living beings are that way, too. Cultivation is just turning existence into nothingness, returning to the origin, and going back to the inherent Buddha-nature. "What use is that?" you ask. Well, what use is your being a person? If you can return to your inherent Buddha-nature, you will quickly be able to accomplish the Buddha Way. The Buddha-nature exists eternally. Even if all living beings die, the Buddha-nature will never perish. Why am I talking about this? It's because today is the anniversary of Earth Treasury Bodhisattva, and his vows urge me to speak some truly fundamental principles about being a person and handling affairs, that is, about the principle of "nothing turning into something, and something turning into nothing." If you don't believe that principle, then how do you explain bugs being born in rice? People in the world are also like bugs, except that they have a higher level of perceptive ability and a soul. But they are still a long way from the Buddha. Comparing people to the Buddha is just like comparing bugs to people.

你要是懂了,就可以修行。修行要像秤一樣平衡,平平靜靜的,於自性堣@點波浪也沒有。你若真懂佛法,我可以與你說佛法,研究如何修道。若是沒有真懂,還在名利中搞問題,財、色、名、食、睡,什麼都放不下,那我如何與你說真佛法與修道呢?各位要猛省!猛省!

 

If you understand this, then you will be able to cultivate. In cultivation, you must be as steady as a balance, calm and peaceful, with no waves in your own nature. If you truly understand Buddhism, then I can discuss the Buddhadharma with you, and together we can investigate how to cultivate. If you do not truly understand, and you are still involved in seeking name and gain, and you cannot put down wealth, sex, fame, food and sleep--you can't put anything down--then how can I tell you about the true Buddhadharma and cultivation of the Way? All of you should wake up and be alert!

     

一九八二年九月十三日開示

 

A talk given on September 13, 1982

 

法界佛教總會 • DRBA / BTTS / DRBU

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