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宣化上人開示錄(三)
Venerable Master Hua's Talks on Dharma Volume Three 

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

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善惡不離一念心

Good and Evil Are Not Beyond a Single Thought


一念為善,天地增加正氣;一念為惡,天地增加戾氣。
A thought of goodness increases the proper energy in the world;
a thought of evil increases the world's bad energy.

諸惡莫作,眾善奉行;自淨其意,是諸佛教。這是佛教的真諦。人人都明白這個道理,可是人人都不能行這個道理,所以天下大亂。

 

"Do no evil deeds; practice all good deeds; purify your own mind: this is what all Buddhas teach." This is the truth of Buddhism. The world is a mess because, although everyone understands the above statement, nobody puts it into practice.

我們在打禪七,就是「改惡向善」,是「改過自新」最好的機會。一念惡,天地會有狂風暴雨發生,造成災害。如果全世界所有的人類,都能受持五戒,奉行十善,天地會風調雨順,世界會國泰民安。簡言之,上自元首,下至老百姓,守五戒,行十善,這個國家一定會豐衣足食,過著安居樂業的生活。若是犯五戒,造十惡,毫無疑問地,這個國家必定家庭不和睦,社會不安寧,國家不富強,百姓過著顛沛流離的生活。

 

In this meditation retreat, we are engaged in reforming our evil ways. This is a perfect chance to turn over a new leaf and start anew. A single thought of evil can cause gales, deluges, and tragic disasters. Yet if every person in the world could uphold the Five Precepts and practice the Ten Good Deeds, the world would enjoy seasonal rains and gentle winds, and all nations and their citizens would be at peace. To put it simply, if everyone from the national leader down to the ordinary citizens could observe the Five Precepts and practice the Ten Good Deeds, they would surely be blessed with ample clothing and sufficient food, and their lives would be satisfying and happy. But any country whose people break the Five Precepts and violate the Ten Good Deeds will, beyond a shadow of a doubt, be full of broken families and civil strife; it will be a poor and weak nation whose citizens suffer deprivation and hardship.

參禪,就是不殺生、不偷盜、不邪淫、不妄語、不飲酒。在禪堂堙A專心參禪,拿得起,放得下,一念是誰?時刻在尋找,其他妄念就停止下來了,這就是守五戒,也是行十善。所以在禪堂一坐,五戒十善都具足了。因為這個,所以不要浪費時間,打一些無益的妄念,要把握時機來參「念佛是誰?」

 

Investigating Chan is simply a process of refraining from killing, stealing, lustful conduct, lying, and using intoxicants. In the meditation hall, we concentrate our minds on the investigation: raising a question, then letting it go. We busily ask the question "Who?" and look into it at all times, putting a stop to all other thoughts. Doing this is nothing less than holding the Five Precepts and putting into practice the Ten Good Deeds. Thus, as soon as we sit down in the meditation hall, we are replete with the Five Precepts and the Ten Good Deeds. For this reason we must not waste time on useless idle thoughts. We should instead seize the time and ask, "Who is mindful of the Buddha?"

   

參禪時,要努力用功,勇猛精進。要迴光返照,反求諸己,問問自己,生了多少善念?生了多少惡念?打了多少妄想?要統計一番。

未生善念,令生善念;
已生善念,令其增長。
未生惡念,令其不生;
已生惡念,令其消滅。

這就是修行初步的基礎。

 

During your meditation, you should work hard and advance with determination. Reflect inwardly, seek your true self. Ask yourself, "How many evil thoughts have I created? How many good thoughts? How many idle thoughts have I let arise?" Take an inventory.

Bring forth the good thoughts that have not yet arisen; Increase the good thoughts that have already arisen.
Suppress the evil thoughts that have not yet emerged; Wipe out all the evil thoughts that have already occurred.

This is the foundation of a beginner's career in cultivation.

   

世界為什麼會毀滅?因為人們的「善念少、惡念多」的緣故。一念為善,天地增加正氣;一念為惡,天地增加戾氣。所以我們要轉戾氣為祥和,戾氣就是毒氣,生一念貪心,宇宙間的毒氣就多一點;生一念瞋心,宇宙間的毒氣就多一點;生一念癡心,宇宙間的毒氣就多一點。如果用貪瞋癡三毒來處理事情,就會天昏地暗,發生災難。如果用戒定慧來處理事情,天會清,地會寧。所以說,惡人多的地方,災難就重;善人多的地方,吉祥就增加。總而言之,災難或吉祥,都在人為。

 

The world faces imminent destruction because peoples' evil thoughts outnumber their good thoughts. A thought of goodness increases the proper energy in the world; a thought of evil increases the world's bad energy. We want to transform bad energy into auspicious, peaceful energy. Bad energy refers to noxious, toxic energy. Each thought of greed increases the harmful energy in the universe. Each thought of hatred increases the harmful energy in the universe. Each thought of stupidity increases the harmful energy in the universe. If we do things using greed, hatred, and stupidity, then the world will be a murky, dark place, and disasters will occur. If we use precepts, concentration, and wisdom to solve our problems, then heaven and earth will be pure and peaceful. That's why it's said that wherever evil people prevail, calamities will abound. Wherever good people prevail, good fortune will abound. In general, both disasters and good fortune are made by people.

古人說:「善惡兩條道,修的修,造的造。」修善者能出離三界,造惡者就墮落三塗。善惡只在一念之間,有智慧就是善念,有愚癡就是惡念。

 

The ancients had a saying that goes, "Good and evil are two different roads; you cultivate the one or commit the other as you walk." People who cultivate goodness can leave the Triple Realm; evildoers can fall into the Three Evil Destinies. Both good and evil lie with a single thought. Wisdom is the occurrence of good thoughts; stupidity is the occurrence of evil thoughts.

   

世間一切都在說法,有的說善法,有的說惡法,有的說旁門左道邪知邪見的法,有的說中道了義正知正見的法。換句話說,說善法,就是教人看得破,放得下,得到自在;說惡法,就教人看不破,放不下,得不到自在。人為什麼顛顛倒倒?就因為執著,所以一切放不下。古詩云:

古來多少英雄漢,
南北山頭臥土泥。

 

All things in the world are constantly expounding the Dharma. Some things expound wholesome Dharma, while others expound unwholesome dharma. Some things speak of the deviant knowledge and views of heretics and cultists; other things speak of the proper knowledge and views of the Ultimate Meaning of the Middle Way. In other words, those that speak wholesome Dharma teach people to see through things, to let them go, to become free. Those that speak unwholesome dharma teach people to preserve their illusions and cling tightly to them. They do not allow people to get free. Why are people muddled and disoriented? It's simply because they're attached and unable to let go of things. An ancient verse reads,

How many of the great heroes from times past
Are lying in the mud beneath the mountains.

   

你們想一想,看一看,世間所有的人,誰能逃出生死關?在一生之中,圖個好名,死了,名也沒有了!貪個大官,死了,官也沒有了!一切都成空了。中國有個秦始皇,他修萬里長城,為了保護子孫萬代做皇帝。不料才傳到第二代胡亥時,只做了三年的皇帝,就被丞相趙高所弒,這不是枉費一番心機嗎?

 

So think it over carefully, all of you, and take a good look: of all the people in the world, who can avoid entering the gate of death? Our lives are spent in seeking good reputations; but after we die, where does a good name go? We long for a powerful political office; but after we die, that position vanishes. Everything returns to the void. The First Emperor of the Qin Dynasty of China built the Great Wall to protect his descendants, so that they could continue as emperors for many generations. Unluckily for him, the rule passed only into the next generation, when his son Hu Hai lasted a mere three years as emperor before being murdered by Zhaogao, the Prime Minister. Wouldn't you call this a waste of effort?

   

古今中外,發大財、當大官的人,糊塗過一生,爭名奪利,造了多少孽障;等到死的時候,兩手空空去見閻王。由此觀之,我們參禪一定要用功,不可懈怠,不可放逸,錯過機會,就後悔莫及了。所謂「一寸時光,一寸命光。」有人說:「等我功成名就時,再放下一切,專心修道。」可是時光不等待人的,到那時就晚了。

 

From ancient to modern times, from East to West, people who strike it rich or who occupy high status, for the most part, run through their lives in confusion, striving for name and gain and creating huge karmic obstacles in the process. But when they die, they go empty-handed to pay a visit to King Yama, Lord of the Underworld. When we look at it from this perspective, it compels us to work hard here in our Chan meditation. We must not be lax, nor can we be careless, or else we will miss our chance, and our regrets will come too late. It's said, "An instant of time is an instant of life." Someone may suggest, "Wait until I make a name for myself and get some success, and then I can put it all down and concentrate on cultivating the Way." Unfortunately, time does not wait for people; by then it will be too late.

   

參禪也好,念佛也好,只要認真修行,都能出離生死關。到臨終時,身無病苦,心不貪戀,如入禪定,含笑往生,這才是對生死大事有把握!

 

Whether you practice Chan meditation or recite the Buddha's name, what matters is that you get serious about your cultivation: then any method can lead you out through the gate of birth and death. Then, when you approach your end, your body will suffer no sickness, your mind will not be fettered by craving, you'll be as if in Chan samadhi, and you'll go off to rebirth with a smile. That's called taking charge of your own birth and death!

     
     

一九八○年禪七 十二月開示

 

A talk given during a Chan session
in December, 1980

 

法界佛教總會 • DRBA / BTTS / DRBU

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