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宣化上人開示錄(八)
Venerable Master Hua’s Talks on Dharma Volume Eight 

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

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為什麼要念佛?

Why Recite the Buddha’s Name?


平時念佛,就是為臨終時作一個準備。
Reciting the Buddha’s name in ordinary times prepares us for our final hour.

為什麼我們平時要念佛呢?平時念佛,就是為臨終時作一個準備。為什麼不等到臨終時才念呢?因為習慣是日積月累而成的。你平時沒有念佛的習慣,等到臨命終時,就想不起來要念佛,或根本不知道要念佛。所以平時要學著念佛,修淨土法門,等到臨命終時才不會驚慌失措,而得以平安往生極樂世界。

 

Why do we recite the Buddha’s name in ordinary times? Reciting in ordinary times prepares us for our final hour. Why don’t we wait until the last hour to recite? Because habits are formed by gradually through the days and months. If you’re not in the habit of reciting at ordinary times, at your last moment you won’t remember to recite, or won’t even know what to recite. So it’s important to practice reciting the Buddha’s name and cultivate the Pure Land Dharma-door on a regular basis. Then you won’t panic at the time of death, and you’ll be able to attain peaceful rebirth in the Land of Ultimate Bliss.

為什麼要往生西方極樂世界?因為阿彌陀佛在因地,為法藏比丘時,曾發四十八大願,其中說,我成佛之後,十方所有的眾生,若有稱念我名號者,我一定接引他到我的世界來,將來成佛。在我的世界堙A眾生都是由蓮華化生,故身體清淨無染。因為阿彌陀佛發這種大願,所以一切眾生都應該修念佛法門,這是很對機,很容易修的一個法門。

在經上又說:

末法人修行,一億人修行,
罕一得道,唯以念佛得度。

Why do we want to get reborn in the Land of Ultimate Bliss? Because when Amitabha Buddha was the Bhikshu Fazang (Dharma Treasury) in a past life, he made forty-eight great vows. In one of these vows he said, “After I have become a Buddha, if there are living beings in the ten directions who recite my name, I will receive them and bring them to my land, and they will become Buddhas in the future. In my land, all living beings are born transformationally from lotus flowers, so their bodies will be pure and have no defilement.” Because of these great vows made by Amitabha Buddha, all living beings should cultivate the Dharma-door of reciting the Buddha’s name. This is a very appropriate and easy Dharma-door to cultivate. The Sutras also say,

“In the Dharma-ending Age, it will be rare even for one out of a hundred million cultivators to attain the Way. Only by reciting the Buddha’s name can living beings be saved.”

這就是說一億人修行,一個得道的都沒有,只有念佛才能往生極樂世界而得度。尤其現在末法時代,念佛正與一般人的根機相應。

Only those who recite the Buddha’s name can be reborn in the Land of Ultimate Bliss. Reciting the Buddha’s name is especially appropriate for people in the present Dharma-ending Age.

但在西方,現在不是末法時代,可以說是正法時代。為什麼說是正法時代?因為佛法剛剛傳到西方國家來,正當興旺。所以現在美國有很多人歡喜參禪打坐,這也是正法的表現。在正法時期也可修念佛法門,末法時期也可以修念佛法門,什麼時代都可以修行,如果有人對其他法門,功夫用不上,可以修念佛法門。

However, in the West, it’s not the Dharma-ending Age right now. It’s the Proper Dharma Age, because the Buddhadharma has just been transmitted to the West, and it has just started to flourish. Therefore, many Americans like to sit in meditation and investigate Chan. This is an indication of the Proper Dharma Age. During the Proper Dharma Age, people can also cultivate the Dharma-door of reciting the Buddha’s name, as can people in the Dharma-ending Age. In fact, people of all ages can cultivate this Dharma-door. If people have difficulty developing their skills in other Dharma-doors, they can cultivate the Dharma-door of reciting the Buddha’s name.

永明壽大師說:「有禪有淨土,猶如帶角虎;現世為人師,將來作佛祖。」又參禪又念佛,好像老虎有犄角似的;現世可以為人的師表,將來可以成佛作祖。

Great Master Yong Mingshou said, “With Chan and with Pure Land, one is like a tiger wearing horns-In this life a teacher of people, in the future a patriarch and a Buddha.”

     

所以真正參禪的人,就是真正念佛;真正念佛的人,也就是真正參禪。再深一層地說,真正持戒的人,也就是真正參禪;真正參禪的人,也就是真正持戒。那麼真正講經說法的人,他是為講經而講經,也就是真正參禪。

《永嘉大師證道歌》上說:

宗亦通,說亦通,
定慧圓明不滯空。

One who truly investigates Chan is really reciting the Buddha’s name, and one who really recites is truly investigating Chan. Let me explain further: one who truly upholds the precepts is really investigating Chan, and one who really investigates Chan is truly upholding the precepts. A true Sutra lecturer who speaks Sutras for the sake of speaking Sutras is also truly investigating Chan. The “Song of Enlightenment” by Great Master Yongjia says:

The (Chan) school penetrated and the doctrines
     penetrated.
Samadhi and wisdom are completely clear;
I do not stagnate in emptiness.

又會參禪,又會講經,這是宗說兼通。再進一層說,真正持咒的人,真正修密宗的人,也就是真正參禪。

One who is capable of investigating Chan and explaining Sutras has mastered both the practice of Chan and the doctrines. Further, one who truly recites mantras, a true cultivator of the esoteric school, is also truly investigating Chan.

禪、教、淨、律、密,雖說五種,歸根究底說的都是一個,沒有兩個。其實再深一層說,連一個也沒有,怎麼會有五個呢?真正學佛法的人,在這一點上應該明白。所以有的人有門戶之見,認為念佛法門最高,參禪不對;或者有人說參禪最高,念佛錯誤,這都是沒有明白佛法的人。應知一切皆是佛法,皆不可得,既無法可得,何必又在頭上安頭呢?何必無事找事做呢?你若真明白法了,無法可得。可是對一些不明白法的人,你對他說「根本什麼也沒有。」他就會失望。所以佛說「權法」,就是為了說「實法」;說「權智」,為的是「實智」。實智是什麼呢?實智是一個「歸無所得」。實相無相,無所不相,這才是真實的智慧。

Although there are the five schools-Chan, Doctrines, Vinaya [Ethics], Esoteric, and Pure Land-fundamentally there is only one. Actually, if we take it one step further, there isn’t even one, so how could there be five? A person who is truly studying Buddhism should be very clear about this. People with sectarian prejudices may think that the Dharma-door of reciting the Buddha’s name is the best and investigating Chan isn’t right, or others may say investigating Chan is the best and reciting the Buddha’s name is a mistake. These people haven’t understood the Buddhadharma yet. We should be aware that it’s all Buddhadharma, all equally unattainable. Since there is no dharma to be attained, why add a head on top of a head? Why look for something to do when there’s nothing to be done? If you truly understand the Dharma, there isn’t a dharma to be attained. However, if you tell people who don’t understand the Dharma that there is nothing, they will be very disappointed. So the Buddha used provisional Dharma in order to speak the actual Dharma; he spoke expedient wisdom for the sake of real wisdom. What is real wisdom? Real wisdom is “returning to attaining nothing.” Absolute reality has no characteristics, and yet it characterizes everything. This is true and real wisdom.

法界佛教總會 • DRBA / BTTS / DRBU

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