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宣化上人開示錄(九)
Venerable Master Hua’s Talks on Dharma Volume Nine

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

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觀世音菩薩
隨類應現,隨方教化

Guanshiyin Bodhisattva Manifests Appropriate Forms to Teach Beings Everywhere


觀世音菩薩觀一切眾生三世的因緣,
然後就用應當的方法去救度眾生,去教化眾生,
用他所修行成就的這種神通去救度眾生。
Observing the causes and conditions in the three periods of time for each living being,
 Guanshiyin Bodhisattva employs appropriate methods for saving and teaching that being.
He uses the spiritual powers he has cultivated to rescue beings.

觀世音菩薩在佛教堙A是佔很重要的地位的。這觀世音菩薩,有的人說他是中國的,有的人說他是外國人;有的人又說他是男人,有的人又說他是女人。現在我告訴各位,這觀世音菩薩,他也不是中國人,也不是外國人。他是哪兒的人呢?他是盡虛空遍法界,哪個地方都是他,哪個地方也都不是他。他是隨類應現,應該以什麼身得度的,他就示現什麼身而為說法。所以他沒有一定的。

 

Guanshiyin Bodhisattva holds a very important position in Buddhism. Some people say Guanshiyin Bodhisattva is Chinese, while others say he is another nationality. Some people say this Bodhisattva is a man, while others say the Bodhisattva is a woman. Now I will tell all of you: Guanshiyin Bodhisattva is neither Chinese nor any other nationality. Where is he from then? He can be found everywhere throughout space and the Dharma Realm, and yet there is no place where he is. He manifests in response to different kinds of beings, appearing in whatever form is most appropriate to speak Dharma for living beings. Therefore, his appearance is not fixed.

這觀世音菩薩他也現佛身來度一切應該成佛的眾生;他也現菩薩身來度一切應該成菩薩的眾生;他也現天上的天王身來度一切眾生。總而言之,這個眾生應該以什麼身得度的,觀世音菩薩就現什麼身,來給這一類的眾生說法。

Guanshiyin Bodhisattva appears in the body of a Buddha to cross over all the living beings who are meant to become Buddhas. He also appears in the body of a Bodhisattva in order to cross over all the living beings who are meant to  become Bodhisattvas. He also manifests the body of a heavenly king to cross over all living beings. In general, Guanshiyin Bodhisattva appears in whatever form a living being needs to see in order to be crossed over, and comes to speak Dharma for that kind of living being.

在佛教媕Y,觀世音菩薩各處去教化眾生,要度一切眾生發菩提心。他先看這個眾生歡喜什麼,他先就投其所好,他一投其所好,這個人就歡喜了,所以他說什麼法,這個人也都歡喜聽,於是乎就把這個眾生度了。所以說觀世音菩薩,他也不一定是男身,也不一定是女身,他也是男身,也是女身,不過都是變化的。那麼觀世音菩薩的本體呢?他是如如不動的,和佛是一樣的;並且觀世音菩薩在很久以前,就已經成佛了。他的名字叫正法明如來,現在他化菩薩身來教化眾生。

In Buddhism, Guanshiyin Bodhisattva goes everywhere to teach and transform living beings. He wants to cross over all living beings and cause them to bring forth the resolve for Bodhi. He first contemplates to see what a living being likes and then caters to his likings. When he caters to that person's likings, the person feels happy and is glad to listen to whatever Dharma he speaks. Thus he successfully crosses over that living being. So I said Guanshiyin Bodhi­sattva is not necessarily male or female; he is both male and female, but that's just his transformation. In his fundamental identity, Guanshiyin Bodhisattva is thus and unmoving, just like the Buddhas. What is more, Guanshiyin Bodhi­sattva became a Buddha a long time ago by the name of Light of Proper Dharma Tathagata. Now he is manifesting as a Bodhisattva to come teach and transform living beings.

在佛教裡他現菩薩身;在外道媄銦A他也現外道的身。所以往往有一個穿著白衣服的,在耶穌教奡N說她是聖母;其實這個聖母是誰?也就是觀世音菩薩去教化那一類的眾生,他去現那麼一個穿白衣服的人的樣子。一般的耶穌教說這是聖母,其實也就是觀世音菩薩,去顯現令這個眾生來發心,無論早晚都會令他明白佛法;明白佛法之後,就要發菩提心。這是觀世音菩薩他這種妙用無窮的一種不可思議境界。

He appears as a Bodhisattva in Buddhism, but he also appears in other religions as personages of those religions. There is a white-robed figure known in Christianity as the Holy Mother. Who was the Holy Mother in fact? She was just Guanshiyin Bodhisattva coming to teach and transform that class of living beings. He appeared as a person in white robes and the Christians all said that was the Holy Mother, but in fact it was Guanshiyin Bodhisattva appearing to inspire those living beings to bring forth resolves. Sooner and later, they would come to understand the Buddha­dharma, and after they understood the Buddhadharma, they would bring forth the Bodhi resolve. That's the inconceivable state of Guanshiyin Bodhisattva's inexhaustible, wonderful functioning.

今天我就給各位講一講 「觀世音菩薩」這幾個字。

Today I will briefly explain the name of Guanshiyin Bodhi­sattva, the "Bodhisattva Who Contemplates the Sounds of the World."

怎麼叫「觀」呢?這「觀」是一種 「觀智」——能觀的智慧;「世音」就是所觀的境界。以這個能觀的智慧,觀這個所觀的境界,觀這個世間所有一切的境界,一切的音聲。這音聲有苦聲,有樂聲,有善聲,有惡聲,有好聲,有壞聲;觀世音菩薩觀看這世界種種的音聲,他就遂心滿願。眾生無論向觀世音菩薩求什麼,觀世音菩薩一定就遂心滿願的。

What is contemplation? It refers to a contemplative wisdom, the wisdom that is able to contemplate. The sounds of the world are the state that is contemplated. The wisdom that is able to contemplate is used to contemplate the state that is contemplated—all the states within this world, all the sounds. The sounds include sounds of suffering, sounds of happiness, wholesome sounds, evil sounds, good sounds, bad sounds. Guanshiyin Bodhisattva observes all the various sounds of the world. He fulfills all wishes. No matter what living beings seek from Guanshiyin Bodhi­sattva, he will grant their wishes for sure.

「世」,有過去世、現在世、未來世,這三世。觀世音菩薩觀這一切眾生過去世的因緣,現在世的因緣,未來世的因緣,觀看他三世的因緣,然後應該用什麼方法去救度這個眾生,去教化這個眾生,觀世音菩薩用他所修行成就的這種神通去救度眾生,所以這叫「觀世音」。   The Chinese character shi (¥@ ) for "world" can also refer to "period of time," as in the three periods of time—past, present, and future. Guanshiyin Bodhisattva contemplates the past causes and conditions, present causes and conditions, and future causes and conditions of all living beings. Observing the causes and conditions in the three periods of time for each living being, Guanshiyin Bodhisattva employs whatever method is suitable for saving and teaching that being. He uses the spiritual powers he has accomplished through cultivation to rescue living beings. Thus, he is called the One Who Contemplates the Sounds of the World.
     
「菩薩」是半梵語,具足叫「菩提薩埵」,翻譯成中文的意思「菩提」,就是覺;「薩埵」就是有情,就叫覺有情,覺悟這一切的有情。又有一種講法,說是有情媄銂漱@個覺悟者。什麼叫有情呢?就是一切有知覺性的,有感覺,有氣血的這一些個有生命的東西都叫有情。觀世音菩薩以前和我們是一樣的,就因為他不怕苦難去修行而覺悟了,是有情眾生媄銂漱@個覺悟者。也就是他以他這個覺悟的這種智慧,再來覺悟我們這一切的眾生,這叫菩薩。   Pusa is an abbreviated transliteration of the Sanskrit word "Bodhisattva" in Chinese. The meaning is translated thus: "Bodhi" means enlightenment and "sattva" means sentient being, so it means "one who enlightens sentient beings," and also "an enlightened one among sentient beings." What is meant by "sentient being"? It refers to any living thing endowed with awareness, sentience, breath, and blood. Guanshiyin Bodhisattva used to be the same as all of us, but because he cultivated without fear of suffering or hardship and became enlightened, he is an enlightened one among sentient living beings. Moreover, he uses the wisdom of his enlightenment to further enlighten all of us living beings. Such a one is called a Bodhisattva.
     
菩薩又有一個名稱叫「大道心的眾生」,他這個道心最大的;有大道心的眾生這就叫菩薩。觀世音菩薩也就是這一類的眾生。   Bodhisattvas have another name: They are called beings with a great resolve for the Way. They have the greatest resolve for the Way. Beings with a great resolve for the Way are Bodhisattvas. Guanshiyin Bodhisattva is such a being.
     
在沒有成佛以前,所有的菩薩也都叫眾生,不過他是眾生媄鉹@個覺悟的眾生,而不是迷昧的一個眾生。迷昧的眾生遇到一切的境界,就執迷不悟,遇著一切的事也都看不破,放不下。觀世音菩薩對一切的事也都看得破,放得下,無所執著了,所以他覺悟;不單自己覺悟,而且又覺悟其他一切沒有覺悟的眾生,所以這叫「觀世音菩薩」。這是觀世音菩大概的意思。   Before they become Buddhas, Bodhisattvas are called living beings, but they are enlightened living beings, not confused ones. When confused beings encounter any kind of state, they cling to it and fail to awaken. No matter what situation they come across, they cannot see it for what it is and let go of it. Guanshiyin Bodhisattva is able to see through and let go of all matters. Since he is not attached to anything, he is enlightened. Not only is he himself enlightened, he can also enlighten all other unenlightened beings. Therefore, he is called Guanshiyin Bodhisattva. That's a general explanation of the Bodhisattva Who Contemplates the Sounds of the World.
     
     
一九六八年九月於三籓市佛教講堂   A talk given in September, 1968, at the Buddhist Lecture Hall, San Francisco, during the Shurangama Sutra lecture series
     

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