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宣化上人開示錄(四)
Venerable Master Hua's Talks on Dharma Volume Four 

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

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宣化老禪師出家的因緣

The Story of the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua's Leaving the Home-life


從事譯經工作,乃是神聖的、清高的、無上的。
Translating the Sutras is the work of the sages: it is exalted and supreme work.

【編按】:宣公上人是吉林省雙城縣人氏,俗姓白,父富海公,一生勤儉治家,務農為業。母胡太夫人,生前茹素念佛,數十年如一日,從未間斷,為人好善樂施,為善最樂,有求必應,鄉里稱讚不已,稱為活菩薩。戊午年三月十六日夜間,太夫人夢見阿彌陀佛降臨,身放金光,照耀世界,震動天地。驚醒之後,方覺異香撲鼻,香味異常,清澈肺腑,真是不可思議的境界。不久,宣公降生人間,連哭三天三夜而止,蓋覺娑婆世界之苦不堪忍受故。今將宣公上人自述出家的因緣,摘錄如下:

 

Editor's Commentary: The Venerable Master Hsuan Hua is a native of Shuangcheng ("Twin Cities") County, Jilin ("Lucky Grove") Province, of Manchuria, China. He was surnamed Bai, His father, Mr. Bai Fuhai,was thrifty and frugal in managing the household, and was a farmer by occupation. His mother's maiden name was Hu. A vegetarian for her entire life, she recited the Buddha's name without cease for years, and was by nature a charitable and generous person who gave to anyone who asked. Her attitude was, "doing good deeds is the utmost happiness." As a result, her neighbors praised her constantly and gave her the name, "The Living Bodhisattva." On the night of the sixteenth day of the third lunar month, Mrs. Bai (Madame Hu) dreamed that Amitabha Buddha, his body shining with golden light that illuminated the entire world, came down, and the earth trembled and shook. Startled awake, she smelled an unusual fragrance that she had never known before. The scent was pure, and permeated her lungs and midriff; a truly inconceivable state of being. Soon after this experience, the Venerable Master was born. He cried incessantly for three days and three nights, perhaps feeling that the suffering of the Saha World was simply too painful for people to bear. The following is the Venerable Master's account of how he came to leave the home-life.

我在十二歲以前,脾氣很倔強,倔強到什麼程度呢?凡是有人惹我的時候,就會哭,一哭起來,就沒有完的時候。父母的話也不聽,非常任性,有時候不吃不喝,拼命地哭,令父母也沒有辦法。當時的想法,知道父母非常疼愛我,我若是不吃東西,父母的心會軟,會向我投降。我那時就是這麼樣不孝,不能體會父母的辛苦,現在想起來,實在不應該這麼樣不乖。

 

Before I reached age twelve, I was obstinate to the extreme. How stubborn was I? Whenever anyone provoked me, I'd always start to cry; and once I began to cry, I wouldn't stop. I disobeyed my parents, and did only what I pleased. Sometimes I refused to eat and drink, and cried my eyes out; my parents simply couldn't handle me. I knew at the time that my father and mother were very fond of me, and if I stopped eating, their hearts would yield, and I would get my way. That's how unfilial I was as a child. I had no appreciation of the trouble my parents went to on my behalf. Reflecting on my behavior, I regret that I was so naughty.

有一次,鄰居的小孩子來到我家,那時我剛會爬,他也是在爬的階段,我們在炕上爬,看誰爬得快?我爬到前頭,不料他用嘴來咬我的腳。愚笨的我,不知反抗,只知道大哭,現在想起來,真可笑!

 

One day the neighbor's boy came over to play, and I'd just learned to crawl. He too, was a new toddler, and we both started to crawl on the bed; we held a race to see who could crawl faster. I took the lead, but then he started to bite my heels from behind. Stupid as I was, it didn't occur to me to resist or fight back; all I could do was to sob and cry. Thinking back on it, it was pretty funny!

   

在十一歲那年,和同村的小朋友到郊外去玩,發現一個嬰兒的屍體。我從來沒有見過這種事情,認為這小孩子在睡覺,但是叫也叫不醒,看他眼睛閉著,又不喘氣,我莫名其妙,所以回家問母親:「為什麼小孩子在郊外睡覺呢?」母親說:「那小孩子死了。」我又問:「為什麼會死呢?怎麼樣才不會死?」當時,有位親戚便說:「若想不死,除非出家修道,才能不死。」那時候,我對死很怕,也就是不願意死,又覺得生生死死沒有意思,遂起了出家的念頭,想要去修道以了生脫死。

 

In my eleventh year I went to the countryside with some other children to play, and discovered the dead body of a small child. Having never before witnessed the phenomenon of death, I assumed that the baby was just sleeping. When I called to it, however, it didn't wake up, and I noticed that its eyes were closed. Further-more, its breath had stopped. I couldn't figure it out, and ran home to ask my mother what the matter was. "Why was the child sleeping out in the countryside?" I asked. She answered, "That child was dead." "Well, why do people die? How can they avoid dying?" I asked. A relative of the family who was visiting answered, "The only way to not die is to leave the home-life and cultivate the Way." The sight of death scared me, and I didn't want to die. The idea of undergoing round after round of birth and death seemed meaningless, and I conceived the idea of leaving the home-life, since only by cultivating the Way can one put an end to birth and death.

   

有一天,我對母親說:「我想出家修行,不知媽媽同不同意?」母親說:「出家是好事,我不能攔阻你。可是等我死後,你再出家也不遲。」母親已經許可我出家,我心中非常高興,但是不能即刻出家。當時的我,反省過去做了不知孝順父母的事,惹父母操心,令他們費了很多精神。怎樣來報答父母的養育之恩呢?我左想右想,想出一個笨法子––向父母叩頭,表示懺悔。想到這個,我就決定發這個心願。

 

One day I said to my mother, "I want to leave the home-life and cultivate the Way. Is that all right with you?" She said, "To leave home is a good thing, and I cannot prevent you from doing so. But I hope you will wait until after I die before you leave home; it won't be too late." Having obtained my mother's permission to leave home made me very happy, even though I could not fulfill my wish right away. At the time I reflected on my unfilial behavior in the past. I recalled how I had made my parents upset and wasted their energy in concern over me. I asked myself how I was going to repay their kindness in raising me and giving me my education. Tossing the question around in my mind, I struck upon a dumb idea: I would bow to them, to demonstrate my shame and remorse for my misbehavior. At that point, I decided to make a vow to do this.

   

當我開始給父母親叩頭的時候,我的父母嚇了一跳,便問:「為什麼要叩頭?」我說:「因為我以前不知孝順父母,惹父母生氣,現在知道不對了,所以從今天開始,向父母叩頭。」父親說:「既然知道錯,能改就好了,不必再叩頭了。」我說:「孩兒的個性一向倔強,說出的話,一定要做到。」父母親知道我的脾氣,不再說什麼,默許我的願心,接受我每天早晚叩頭。

 

As soon as I began to bow to them, my parents were startled, and asked me, "What are you bowing for?" I answered, "Because in the past, before I knew that I should be filial and respectful to my parents, I did many wrong things and made you both angry. Now I know I was wrong, and from today on, I am going to bow to you to make up for the past." My father said, "Since you already know that you were wrong, all you need to do is change; you don't have to keep on bowing like that." I responded, "I've always had a stubborn streak, and whatever I say, I will certainly do!" My parents were well-acquainted with my temperament; they didn't say anything, but silently complied with my wish and accepted the morning and evening bows that I made to them.

   

從此以後,每天清早起來(家人在睡覺時),就到院中向父親三叩頭,向母親三叩頭。每天晚間,家人上炕睡覺之後,就到院中向父母各叩三個頭。叩了一個時期,感覺不夠,於是又向天地叩頭。當時不知有天主、地主、人主等名詞,只知有天、地、君、親、師,所以每天早晚,給天叩三個頭,給地叩三個頭,給國家元首叩三個頭,給父親叩三個頭,給母親叩三個頭,給未來老師叩三個頭。這樣子叩頭,經過一段時期,感覺還不夠,又增加給天下大孝人叩頭,給天下大善人叩頭,給天下大賢人叩頭,給天下大聖人叩頭。以後又增加給全世界所有的好人叩頭,也給全世界所有的壞人叩頭。我對天叩頭,向天禱告,希望大惡、大壞的人,改惡遷善,統統成為好人。

 

From then on, I'd rise early in the morning while the family was still in bed, and go out into the yard to bow three times to my father and three times to my mother. Each evening after my family had retired, I'd go out again and bow three times to each of my parents. Before long I felt that these bows were insufficient, and I added some bows to heaven and earth. At the time I had never heard the names of God, or earth-rulers, or kings among people; I knew only about heaven, earth, the emperor, parents, and teachers. So every morning and evening, I'd bow three times to heaven, three times to earth, three times to the leaders of the nation, three times to my father, three times to my mother, and three times to the teachers I would meet in the future. Time passed and I felt once more that this wasn't enough, so I increased my prostrations to include bows toward all the great filial sons and daughters on earth, and the great samaritans, and also the great worthies the world has known, and the great sages as well. The bows continued to expand to all the great good people, and even to all the great evil people in the world. While bowing to heaven, I made a wish that the really bad, evil people on earth would change their ways, reform, and become wholesome.

   

這樣子增加下去,最後增加到八百三十個頭,每次要叩兩個半小時的頭,早晚兩次,需要五個小時。我在院中,無論颳風下雨,照叩不誤;就是冬天下雪,也是在院中叩頭,用我的愚誠來祈求風調雨順,國泰民安。

 

I kept adding bows in this way, until the total number of bows reached 830. The entire course of bows took two and a half hours to complete, and I bowed twice each day--morning and night. I spent five hours in the yard each day; regardless of rain or wind, the bowing still went on. Even during the winter while the snow fell, I continued to bow in the courtyard. I used a stupid sincerity to fuel my bowing, and I sought for the winds and rains to be regular and harmonious, for the country to be stable, and for the people to be at peace.

   

這樣叩了幾年,母親往生後,我在母親墓上守孝三年,仍然繼續叩頭。出家之後,開始研究經典,覺得佛經是世界上最完善的經典,也是世界上最豐富的經典,其他宗教的經典,簡直是望塵莫及。

 

My practice of bowing continued for several years. After my mother passed away, I observed filial mourning by her graveside and continued bowing. The period of mourning completed, I left the home-life and began to study the Buddhist Sutras. These Sutras were, in my opinion, the most complete and wholesome texts on earth. I found them to be the richest and fullest resources. The spiritual classics of other religions were simply left in the dust; they couldn't compare.

   

我在未出家之前,參加各種宗教的活動,曾經參加天主教的彌撒儀式、基督教的安息會,還參加了旁門左道的法會。總而言之,到處尋覓了生脫死的方法,到最後很失望,找不到根本解決的方法,各宗教的教義,都不徹底、不究竟。但是發現天主教和基督教,能夠普遍令一般人所接受。為什麼?因為他們將《新約》和《舊約》,翻譯成各國文字,義理淺顯,容易明瞭。

 

Before I left the home-life, I occasionally joined the activities of other religions. I took part in a Catholic Mass and joined a Christian service. I also sat in the assemblies of the various heterodox sects and cults. To sum it up, I took every opportunity to look into the methods for resolving the matter of birth and death; and, frankly, I wound up disappointed by my inability to find any approach that dealt with the fundamental problem. The various methods proposed by the religions were not thoroughgoing and not ultimate. However, I realized that Catholicism and Christianity had been widely accepted by many people. Why? Because their Old and New Testaments had been translated into the languages of each country, and because the principles they contained were quite shallow and easy to understand.

   

佛教的教義,雖然很圓滿,但是文字太深,不是一般人所能明瞭,所以信仰的人很少。當時,我發了一個空願,決心將三藏十二部經典譯為白話文,再翻譯成世界各國文字。可是我不懂世界語言,也沒有機會學習,也沒有這種智慧,不知能否實現呢?

 

The principles of Buddhism in the Sutras, although perfect and complete, were presented in very learned prose which was beyond the understanding of the average reader. Thus believers in Buddhism were very few. At this point, I made a futile vow, making up my mind to translate the entire Three Storehouses and Twelve Divisions of the Buddhist Canon into colloquial speech, and, further, to translate them into the languages of every nation on earth. The vow was "futile" because I myself didn't understand all the languages on earth, nor did I hope to get a chance to learn them. I lacked this wisdom, and didn't know whether or not I could achieve my vow.

   

一九六二年,我來到美國弘揚佛法。到機緣成熟時,美國弟子們,便開始翻譯經典,完成我的志願。經過多年的努力,翻譯的成績頗佳,可是離目標尚有一段距離,希望大家再接再厲,努力工作。從事這種使命,乃是神聖的、清高的、無上的。把三藏十二部全譯成英文,是功德無量的。

 

In 1962 I came to America to propagate the Buddhadharma, and when the opportunities ripened, my American disciples began the work of translation in order to fulfill my vow. After several years of effort, they've had a bit of success, but are still far short of the ultimate goal. I hope they will all forge ahead and work hard. If they can carry out this instruction, they will be doing the work of the sages; it is exalted and supreme work. The merit and virtue of this task, once the Three Stores of the Buddhist Canon are all translated into English, is truly limitless and boundless.

   

今天有位弟子發願,要將佛經翻譯成英文,讓我想起往日所發的願,盼望我的弟子,大家同心協力,來完成我所發的願力!

 

Today a disciple made a vow to translate the Buddhist Sutras into English, and it brought to mind the vow I made in the past. I hope that my disciples will work together and put their hearts and minds into the completion of my vow!

   

【編按】:宣公上人在南華寺親近虛老的時候,蒙老和尚重視,特委要職,受命為南華戒律學院監學,不久轉為教務主任。在傳戒時,為尊證阿闍梨。以後虛老將溈仰宗法脈傳上人,遂成為溈仰宗第九代接法人。

 

Note: At Nanhua Monastery, when the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua drew near to the Venerable Hsu Yun, he received the Elder's full attention, and was subsequently appointed as Director of the Nanhua Vinaya Academy. Soon the Master's duties were elevated to Director of Education. During the Precept Ordination Ceremonies, the Venerable Master Hua was asked to serve as Certifying Master (Acharya). Later on, the Elder Master Hsu Yun transmitted the "pulse of Dharma" of the Wei Yang Sect to the Venerable Master, making him the Ninth Patriarch of the Wei Yang Chan School.

   

為續佛慧命,上人從香港來到美國,在美開演大乘經典數十部,提倡禪、教、律、密、淨五宗並重,打破門戶之見,以復興佛教為己任。並教導弟子們天天要參禪打坐、念佛拜懺、研究經典,真實修行,以圖匡扶正教,令正法久住於世。

 

In order to continue the Buddha's life of wisdom, the Venerable Master traveled from Hong Kong to America, where he has delivered lectures on several dozen Mahayana Sutras and promoted the five main schools of Buddhism--Chan, Teachings, Vinaya, Secret, and Pure Land--with equal emphasis, eliminating the artificial separations between them. Taking the revitalization of Buddhism as his personal duty, he teaches his disciples that every day they must meditate, recite the Buddha's name, bow in repentance, investigate the Sutras, and genuinely cultivate in order to uphold the orthodox teaching and enable the proper Dharma to dwell long in the world.

   

上人有超人的智慧,過目不忘的記憶力,講經說法,事前不擬草稿,都是觀機逗教,因時、因地、因事、因人而說。上人以無礙的辯才,口若懸河,滔滔不絕,頭頭是道,說出來的義理圓融,令人歎為觀止。

 

The Venerable Master has peerless wisdom, and his memory retains at a glance any material that he reads. Before explaining the Sutras or speaking the Dharma, he has no need to prepare outlines or notes. Instead, he delivers his lectures according to the potentials that he perceives on the spot and talks to the audience based on the particular location, time, events, and people involved. His eloquence is truly unimpeded; the words pour forth in an unending stream, and every sentence tallies with the Way. The principles he elucidates are perfectly meshed and all-encompassing, and those who hear them praise them as worthy of deep consideration.

   

上人講《華嚴經》時,能閉目念誦經文,一字不錯,筆者認為得未曾有,親目所見,親耳所聞,所以衷心地敬佩。在上人座下的弟子,都是受過高等教育的知識青年,對上人的德望學識,皆是佩服得五體投地。

 

When the Venerable Master lectured on the Flower Adornment Sutra, he delivered the words of the text with his eyes closed, reciting from memory without being off by a single word. (I saw and heard the event with my own eyes and ears and felt it was unprecedented. It inspired my deep respect.) The assembly of disciples attending the Venerable Master's lectures include many intelligent, well-educated young people, who display the utmost respect and admiration for the Venerable Master's virtuous conduct and his erudition.

   

在上人德高望重之號召下,有華籍、美籍、越南籍等各國青年男女,紛紛皈依受具、出家修道。其中有博士學位、碩士學位,及學士學位者,他們放下前程似錦的生活,入佛門求證真理。有的修苦行打餓七,或二十一日禁食,或三十六日禁食,或七十二日禁食。這種苦行在美國佛教史上是空前的壯舉,希有之至!又有的為祈禱世界和平,發願三步一拜,二年六個月,從未間斷,風雨不誤,身體力行,做一切佛教徒之榜樣。這些都是因為受上人高蹈懿行所感動,而發心效法上人這種行菩薩道,為人忘我的精神。

 

The young men and women who have responded to the Venerable Master's reputation for excellent virtue and strict standards include natives of China, America, Vietnam, and other countries, who have come to take the Three Refuges and the Complete Precepts, to leave the home-life, and to cultivate the Way. They include holders of Bachelor's, Master's and Doctoral degrees, and many have renounced lucrative occupations and luxurious lifestyles in the world to study the true principles of the Buddhadharma. Some cultivate asceticism, with fasting of one week, or three weeks; some fast as long as thirty-six days, and even up to seventy-two days. Such a vigorous ascetic regimen is unparalleled in the history of Buddhism in America, and can be considered extremely rare! There are also some who, for the sake of world peace, have vowed to bow once every three steps, and they have done so continuously for two and a half years. Undaunted by the wind or rain, they practice this in order to serve as models for all Buddhists. Inspired by the Venerable Master's exalted virtuous conduct, they strive to emulate the Master's spirit of forgetting himself for the sake of others to practice the Bodhisattva Way.

   

上人教導有方,弟子們循規蹈矩,認真修行,遵守佛制,時時搭衣、日中一食、夜不倒單。可以說,全世界現在找不到第二個地方;所以萬佛聖城是世界的佛教中心,對所有佛弟子有不可思議的啟迪作用。

 

The Venerable Master's teaching methods are effective; his disciples are well-behaved. They cultivate earnestly and observe the Buddha's regulations of always wearing their precept-robes, eating one meal a day at noon, and not lying down to sleep. It would be hard to find another place with comparable standards. Therefore, the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas has become a center of world Buddhism and serves as an inspiration for all Buddhists.

   

上人於一九六二年,攜正法西來,歷年來創辦法界佛教總會(前身為中美佛教總會),又成立萬佛聖城及美、加、臺、馬等地各分支道場。為培養世界棟樑之材,特在萬佛聖城設立法界佛教大學、培德中學、育良小學。為令正法久住,造就行解兼顧之佛教人材,遂設立僧伽居士訓練班。為使佛經流通於全世界,又成立國際譯經學院,現有許多僧尼、居士,埋頭苦幹,致力於將佛經翻譯為英文。現已出版一百餘部中、英及其他西方語文之經書,流通世界各地。 

 

In 1962, the Venerable Master brought the Proper Dharma to the West, and in the years that followed, he founded the Dharma Realm Buddhist Association (formerly the Sino-American Buddhist Association), the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, and other Way-places in the United States, Canada, Taiwan, Malaysia, and other countries. In order to educate people to become good citizens of the world, at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas the Venerable Master established Dharma Realm Buddhist University, Developing Virtue High School, and Instilling Goodness Elementary School. For the sake of causing the Proper Dharma to remain in the world and to train Buddhist workers in both theory and practice, he established the Sangha and Laity Training Programs. He also founded the International Translation Institute so that Buddhist Sutras might circulate throughout the world. Many monks, nuns, and laypeople are now diligently working to translate the Sutras into English. Over a hundred volumes of Sutras and Buddhist texts have already been published in Chinese, English, and other languages and are being circulated worldwide.

   

上人一生堅苦卓絕,為法忘軀。時至今日,法界佛教總會之分支道場,雖已遍及美、加與亞洲各地,然而上人仍保持一貫謙遜淡泊之態度,自稱是「一隻小螞蟻」,處在人人之下,絕對不和任何人爭。他曾說:「萬佛聖城不是私人的機構,是屬於全世界佛教徒所有,甚至全世界宗教徒也包括在內。目前在聖城的住眾,終日埋頭苦幹,我只是做一個守門人,一個清道夫,等著有緣的眾生到這埵@同修行。你們不要把自己拋到門外,你們都是萬佛聖城的成員,將來都要成佛。」

 

The Master's whole life has been one of hardship and distinctive achievement, of selfless dedication to the Dharma. Although the branch monasteries of Dharma Realm Buddhist Association have spread throughout the United States, Canada, and Asia, the Venerable Master remains as humble and modest as ever, calling himself a tiny ant that walks beneath everyone else and would never contend with anyone. He has said, "The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas is not a private institution; it belongs to all the Buddhists of the world, and in fact, the followers of all religions have a share in it. The people living at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas are putting their nose to the grindstone everyday; I am just the person who watches the door, a custodian waiting for those living beings who have affinities to come here and cultivate together. None of you should stand outside the door and be afraid to come in; all of you are members of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, and in the future you will become Buddhas.

   
     

一九八一年禪七 七月十六日至廿三日 開示於萬佛聖城萬佛殿

 

A talk given during a Chan Session from July 16-23, 1981 The Hall of Ten Thousand Buddhas, The City of Ten Thousand Buddhas

 

法界佛教總會 • DRBA / BTTS / DRBU

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