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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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果舜行者出家的因緣

The Story of Cultivator Guo Shun's Leaving the Home-life


念念莫忘生死苦,心心想脫輪迴圈。
In every moment, do not forget the suffering of birth and death.
In every thought, yearn to escape the wheel of transmigration.

果舜是吉林省哈爾濱市人,俗姓姚,以農為業。夙秉善根,感覺世界,萬苦交煎,充滿罪惡,乃萌出世之念,到處訪求明師。有一天,在途中被日本兵(偽滿時代)發現,認為是無業遊民,強迫送到邊界去做苦工。

 

Guo Shun was a native of Jilin (Lucky Grove) Province in China and made his home in the city of Harbin. His surname was Yao, and he was a farmer by occupation. His good roots from lives past led him to realize that the world was full of trials and suffering. His sensitivity to the evils that filled the world gave him the wish to leave the home-life. To realize this wish, he travelled about to seek wise teachers. One day (during the Japanese occupation of Manchuria) a patrol of Japanese soldiers found him, mistook him for a vagrant, and ordered to work in the countryside.

他被送到黑河勞工營中,時時想逃走,可是找不到機會。因為營房的四周,用電網圍繞,如有逃者,不是被守兵槍擊而死,就是被狼犬所咬死,縱使僥倖逃過此二關,也逃不出電網,一定被電所燒死。這等於人間地獄一樣,苦不堪言。

 

He was sent to the Li River forced-labor camp. Imprisoned there, his only wish was to escape, but he never got a chance. An electrified fence encircled the camp, and any person who attempted to escape was either shot to death by the guards, or was savagely attacked by killer dogs that patrolled the perimeters. Even if by sheer luck one escaped the sentries and the watchdogs, there was still the electric fence that immolated anyone who touched it. The camp was a small hell on earth, dreadful to the extreme.

有一天晚上,果舜在夢中,見到有位長鬚老人對他說:「今天晚上是你出離樊籠的時機,在門外有隻白狗,隨牠而去!」果舜驚醒,悄悄走到門外,果然見到有隻白狗,在等著他。於是乎他就跟隨狗的後邊,安全走出電網,逃回家鄉。他慶幸死堸k生,又看破紅塵,所以決心出家修道。

 

One night while sleeping, Guo Shun dreamed of a long-bearded old man who told him, "Tonight is your chance to escape this cage. There's a white dog outside the door. Follow him and run away!" Startled awake, Guo Shun tiptoed to the doorway, and sure enough, saw a white dog waiting for him just outside. He walked behind the dog safely past the electrified fence, and made it all the way home without difficulty. Snatched from the jaws of death, he saw through the illusion of the material world and deeply resolved to leave the home-life to cultivate the Way.

   

民國三十三年冬天,我到大南溝屯為高居士的母親治病。第二天,全屯傳遍高母病癒之奇蹟。這個時候,果舜聽聞了,就想來拜我為師。他長跪不起,我見他很誠心,所以允許他的請求,滿他的心願,並對他開示:「在家修道不易,出家修道更難,所謂『大事未明,如喪考妣;大事已明,更如喪考妣。』修行人還要忍人所不能忍,受人所不能受,吃人所不能吃,穿人所不能穿。要勤修戒定慧,息滅貪瞋癡,這是沙門的本分。」又為他說一首偈頌:

念念莫忘生死苦,
心心想脫輪迴圈;
虛空粉碎明佛性,
通體脫落見本源。

 

In the winter of 1944, I went to the village of Danangou (Big Southern Ditch) to cure Upasaka Gao's mother's illness. The following day, news of the woman's miraculous recovery spread throughout the village. When the story reached Guo Shun, he came to ask me to be his teacher. He knelt down and did not rise. Seeing his sincerity, I permitted him to leave home, thus fulfilling his wish. I gave him these instructions: "It is not easy to cultivate at home, and to cultivate as a left-home person is harder still. It's said that,

Before the great matter is clear to you,
you feel as if you have lost your parents.
After you understand the great matter,
you feel even more as if you have lost your parents.

Cultivators must endure what other people cannot endure; they must take on what others cannot take on; they must eat what others are unable to eat, and wear what others are unable to wear. The Shramana's duty is to diligently cultivate precepts, concentration, and wisdom, and to put an end to greed, hatred, and stupidity.

In every moment, do not forget the suffering of birth and death.
In every thought, yearn to escape the wheel of transmigration.
Obliterate empty space and understand the Buddha-nature.
Cast off the entire substance and see the original source.

   

又對他開示:「現在是末法時代,出家者多,修道者少;信佛者多,成佛者少。你既然發願出家,必要發菩提心,做疾風中之硬燭,烈火內之精金,不可辜負出家之初衷,謹之!慎之!」

 

I gave him further instructions: "We are now in the age of the Dharma's decline. Although there are still many people who leave home, those who actually cultivate the Way are very few. People who believe in the Buddha are many, but very few actually become Buddhas. Since you have now made a decision to leave home, you must make the resolve for Bodhi. Be like a bright candle in a strong gale; be like refined gold in a smelting furnace. Do not fail your initial inspiration to leave home. Work hard, and take care."

   

於是果舜叩頭頂禮,跟我到三緣寺受沙彌戒,法名為果舜。果舜出家之後,勇猛精進,嚴守戒律,不懈怠、不放逸,但專一其心,參禪打坐。每次入定,往往經過一晝夜的時間而出定,在定中能知過去、現在、未來一切的因果,這是很不可思議的境界。

 

Guo Shun bowed to me and then followed me to Sanyuan (Three Conditions) Monastery to receive the Shramanera (novice) precepts; I gave him the Dharma-name of Guo Shun. After he became a monk, he made courageous, vigorous progress. He held the precepts strictly, and was never remiss or lazy. He concentrated his mind in meditation practice. Every time he entered samadhi, he would sit for an entire day and night. While in that state of concentration, he could know the causes and results of all things in the past, the present, and the future. His state was inconceivable.

   

民國三十四年九月,果舜在大南溝屯的西山下,龍王廟之左,自建茅棚,做為自修之所。落成之日,我率領果能、果佐、果植等去開光,當天夜堙A有十位龍神來請求皈依。我對他們說:「汝等職列水祇,受人供養。天時如此奇旱,因何不雨?」諸龍神異口同聲地說:「無玉帝敕命,小神不敢擅行降雨。」我就對他們說:「汝等代吾奏帝釋(玉皇大帝),請求明日降雨,然後再為汝等授皈依。」第二天,果然天降大雨,解除旱災,農民歡喜若狂,感謝神恩,唱戲為酬,人神同樂。

 

In September of 1945, Guo Shun built a cottage to the left of Dragon King Temple, below West Mountain, near Danangou Village, in order to cultivate in seclusion. I took disciples Guo Neng, Guo Zuo, Guo Zhi, and others to inaugurate the temple on the opening day. On that very night, ten dragon spirits came to me seeking to become "refuge disciples." I told them, "You all have the duty of bringing rain and receiving people's offerings. There is an unseasonal drought here now. Why hasn't it rained for so long?" The dragon spirits answered in unison, "Unless the Jade Emperor gives us the order, we little spirits don't dare to randomly make the rain fall." I said to them, "Please relay my request for rain tomorrow to the Jade Emperor. Then I'll let you take refuge." The next day, as it turned out, there was a rainstorm, and the drought came to an end, which set the local farmers dancing for joy. They celebrated with songs and festivities to thank the spirits for their kindness, and everyone was quite happy about the whole thing.

   

因為果舜茅棚開光,有此一段因緣,所以命名為「龍雨茅蓬」,以誌紀念。

 

These were the circumstances that commemorated the events surrounding the dedication of Guo Shun's cottage, which was thereupon named Dragon Rain Cottage.

   

茅棚中共有三人同修,是同村人。劉居士和楊居士,隨果舜作早晚功課,以誦〈大悲咒〉為主課。後來劉居士出家為僧;楊居士被徵,參加八路軍,參軍之後,常常寫信回家,以後消息突然斷絕,家人十分惦念,懷疑彼已不在人間。 民國三十七年某日,果舜和高居士在茅棚中誦〈大悲咒〉,忽然聽見有人叫門的聲音,開門一看,原來是楊居士回來了。他一言不發,就到屋後去了。果舜繼續誦〈大悲咒〉,誦畢,到屋後去看楊居士,想問他這兩年到哪兒去了?一進門,就看見一隻狐狸,挾尾而逃。

 

Three people lived and cultivated there, all of whom were neighbors from the same town. Two laymen, Mr. Liu and Mr. Yang, did morning and evening ceremonies with Guo Shun, and they recited the Great Compassion Mantra as their primary method of cultivation. Layman Liu later left home to join the Sangha, and layman Yang was drafted into the Eighth Route Army. After becoming a soldier, he regularly sent letters home, but one day the letters suddenly stopped, much to the anxiety of the entire family; they assumed right away that their boy was no longer alive.

One afternoon in 1948, Guo Shun and Mr. Gao were reciting the Great Compassion Mantra in the hut when they heard a knock on the door. They opened it to find that Mr. Yang had returned. He walked in without saying a word, and continued on to the back of the building. Guo Shun continued to recite the Great Compassion Mantra until the end of the hour. Then he went to the room at the back to see Mr. Yang, and asked where he had been during the last two years. When they entered the room they saw a fox that shook its tail and ran out.

   

果舜因為持〈大悲咒〉,已具威德,狐狸無法擾亂其心,乃現原形。大概是因為楊居士在戰場死了,其頭腦被狐狸所噬,所以現楊居士之形來引誘。豈知果舜的定力到了不動轉的程度,邪不侵正,狐狸精始知難而退。所以修道人要經得起考驗,不要被境界所轉。

 

Because Guo Shun recited the Great Compassion Mantra and led a life of virtue, the fox had no way to disturb his mind, and could only revert to its true identity. They surmised that Mr. Yang had been killed on the battlefield, and his brain had been eaten by a fox. That animal later came to their cottage to make mischief disguised as Mr. Yang. The fox spirit didn't expect that Guo Shun's samadhi-strength was already imperturbable, and that he could not be overpowered by the deviant magic. The fox spirit met its match and ran away in defeat. The story illustrates that cultivators must face all kinds of tests and take care not to be moved by circumstances.

   

民國三十四年七月十五日盂蘭盆法會,我率領弟子,在佛前燃香,我乃發願:「若能活到百歲,則燒全身,供養佛陀,求無上道。」當時每個弟子,都發心願。果舜也發願:「弟子果舜!若遇相當機會,願效藥王菩薩,燃身供佛,不待百歲。」我在觀察中知道他宿有此願,所以允許他發這個願。

 

On the fifteenth of the seventh lunar month in 1945, the day of the Ullambana celebration, I led a group of disciples to offer incense to the Buddhas and make this vow: "If I am allowed to live to the age of one hundred, I will burn my entire body as an offering to the Buddha, in quest of the supreme Way." All of the disciples present at the time made the same vow. Guo Shun also made the vow, "Disciple Guo Shun vows that if the opportunity appears, I will imitate Bodhisattva Medicine King and burn my entire body as an offering to the Buddha; I will not wait until my hundredth year before making this offering." Through my meditative contem-plation, I knew that he made this vow in past lives as well, so I permitted him to make the same vow this time.

   

民國三十八年四月十八日,果舜感覺一切無常,而佛教破產,痛不堪言,悲不忍睹,乃發心燃身,以殉教難。自備油柴,端坐其上,自焚其身。次日,村人方知,大家來看,果舜已全身成灰,唯心未焚化。村人敬之,於是將其骨灰及心埋葬於殉難之處。

 

On April 18, 1949, Guo Shun felt that all in the world was impermanent and that Buddhism had grown decadent. His pain at seeing these two truths was bitter beyond words. His grief was indescribable. Thus he vowed to burn his body, to die for the sake of Buddhism. He gathered a pile of tinder, soaked it with oil, sat on top of it in the meditation posture, then burned himself. The next day, when news of the event reached the local people, everyone came out for a look. Guo Shun's entire body had burned to ashes; only his heart remained unburnt. The villagers respected him greatly, and they buried his ashes and heart in the place where he had given up his life.

   
     

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

 

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