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Venerable Master Hua’s Talks on Dharma Volume Nine

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



Bodhisattva Guanshiyin Is Wonderful Past Gratitude

觀世音菩薩神通智慧方便,一切一切的, 都是不可思議的。
Guanshiyin Bodhisattva's spiritual powers, wisdom, expedient means, and everything about her is incredible.



The “Guanyin Praise” gives a general description of Guanshiyin Bodhisattva. How does it go?


Bodhisattva Guanshiyin is wonderful      past gratitude. Pure and clear are her adornments, Gained through practice ages long.


This describes the inconceivability of Guanshiyin Bodhisattva's spiritual powers, wisdom, expedient means, and everything about her. There is no way to completely express such an incredible state. Her pure, adorned features were gained through many eons of cultivation, not just one life. She has been cultivating blessings and wisdom in life after life,  for many great eons. That's why she has such pure, adorned features and such a perfect appearance.

朵朵紅蓮安足下,彎彎秋月鎖眉頭   Sea-vast a red lotus flower Fragrant rests beneath her foot. Bay-curve of an autumn moon Is in the crescent of her brows.
觀世音菩薩在他腳下有朵朵紅蓮花,他站在紅蓮花的上邊,非常地妙好。彎彎秋月,觀世音菩薩那個眉毛彎彎的,像秋天那月牙似地鎖眉頭。這個相貌生得非常地妙好,非常地圓滿。   Guanshiyin Bodhisattva has red lotus flowers beneath her feet. She stands upon red lotuses, extremely wonderful and fine. Her curved brow resembles the crescent moon. His appearance is extremely fine and perfect.
 瓶中甘露常遍灑   Everywhere and constantly, Sweet dew sprinkles from her vase.
觀世音菩薩手堮陬菬滬茞b水瓶,他這個瓶媄銎珚邞漪O甘露水。這甘露水向我們每一個人的頭上一灑,我們每個人就得到清涼,災消病散;病也沒有了,災難也消了,罪也滅了,福就會生出來。怎麼叫遍灑呢?遍灑是普遍地,任何人有什麼災難,他都可以去救。   In her hand, Guanshiyin Bodhisattva holds a pure vase filled with sweet dew, which she sprinkles upon our heads, refreshing us and wiping out our disasters and offenses. Our sicknesses disappear, disasters and offenses are wiped out, and blessings are produced. The sprinkling is all-pervasive. She can rescue any person who is in trouble.
手內楊枝不計秋   In her hand, the willow branch, Through the countless autumns.
觀音菩薩手埵陪虓赤K,他用楊枝沾著甘露水這麼一灑,這個地方就清淨了;什麼魔障也沒有了,什麼麻煩也沒有了,一切一切都清淨了。只要觀世音菩薩來用楊枝沾著甘露水一灑,這個地方就平安無事了。說那楊枝不計秋,就是不知道多少年了。   Among the hands of Guanshiyin Bodhisattva, there is a willow branch hand. When she dips the willow branch in sweet dew water and then sprinkles the water, the place is immediately purified. All demonic obstacles and all troubles are gone, and everything is pure and clear. Wherever Guanshiyin Bodhisattva sprinkles sweet dew, that place will be peaceful and untroubled. The willow branch has been there for countless autumns, for who knows how many years.
千處祈求千處應   Prayers depart a thousand hearts; In a thousand hearts she answers.
這觀世音菩薩不是一個地方求,他來救一個地方;你就千處、萬處、百千萬處,有多少人求他,他都遂心滿願,來幫忙這麼多的眾生,令你離苦得樂。   Guanshiyin Bodhisattva doesn't rescue only one person who is praying to her in one place. However many people pray to him, be it a thousand, ten thousand, or a hundred million, she will answer their prayers. She will rescue that many beings from their woes and bring them happiness.
苦海常作度人舟   Sailing the sea of suffering, Crossing people over.
我們這個世界就好像一個苦海一樣,觀世音菩薩在這個茫茫的苦海媄銦A常常地作度人的這麼一條船的樣子。   Our world is like a sea of suffering. In this boundless sea of suffering, Guanshiyin Bodhisattva constantly acts as a ferry to take people across.
觀音菩薩這種的神通妙用、相好莊嚴,講是講不完的。不過我們人知道他一個大概,對觀音菩薩有少的認識,以後好多接近觀音菩薩,多向觀音菩薩來學習——學習觀音菩薩這種的慈悲,這種的普門示現來教化眾生。   One could never finish speaking of the wonderful functioning of Guanyin Bodhisattva's spiritual powers and of her adorned features. However, now at least we have a general idea and know a little bit about Guanyin Bodhisattva, so in the future we will be able to draw near to and learn from Guanyin Bodhisattva. We should emulate Guanyin Bodhisattva's kindness and compassion in manifesting universal doors to teach and transform living beings.




我講到這個地方,想起一個公案來,給大家講一講。這公案本來以前也講過,但是有的人還沒有聽過,不妨給這沒有聽過的人再講一講。     At this point, I will tell everyone a true story that has come to my mind. I've told this story before, but since some people haven't heard it before, I will retell it for their sakes.
以前在中國的上虞縣有一個商人,就是做生意的,這個商人什麼生意他都做,但是他信觀世音菩薩,很誠心地念觀世音菩薩,拜觀世音菩薩,又念誦這〈觀世音菩薩普門品〉。    有一天晚間,這個商人就作一個夢,夢見觀世音菩薩來了。觀世音菩薩就告訴他,說:「你呀;將要有一個災難哪。我現在告訴你幾句偈頌;你記得,以後就會應驗。」這個偈頌怎麼說呢?就說:   Once there was a merchant from Shangyu county of China. This merchant, who engaged in all kinds of trade, believed in Guanshiyin Bodhisattva, recited Guanshiyin Bodhi­sattva's name very sincerely, bowed in homage to Guanshiyin Bodhisattva, and recited Guanshiyin Bodhisattva's Universal Door Chapter. One night, Guanshiyin Bodhisattva came to him in a dream and said, "A disaster is about to befall you. Remember this verse that I'm going to tell you now, for it will come true in the future." The verse went:
 逢橋莫停舟,遇油即抹    頭;                 
  When you come to a bridge, don't stop the boat. When you see oil, smear some on your head. One peck of grain yields three pints of rice: Flies will cluster on the tip of the brush.
說了這四句,觀音菩薩就不見了。那麼這商人把這四句也就記得明明白白,很清楚。   After saying these lines, Guanshiyin Bodhisattva vanished. The merchant remembered the four lines very clearly.
 有一天,他就裝上很多的貨物,很多的東西到船上,從這個城市到那一個城市去賣。這個船在江媔}著,就遇到大雨了。這時正遇到一座大橋,好像屋崙橋(奧克蘭大橋)那樣一座大橋。這個擺船的就要把船停到這個橋底下來避雨,不要教雨把東西都打溼了,可是這個商人一想:哦!說『逢橋莫停舟』,現在在這個橋底下,不要停這個舟啊!趕快叫這個擺船的,說:「快開船,這個地方不能停。」那麼就把船開走。過這個橋之後,啊!這個橋就坍塌了,就壞了。如果他在橋下停船的時候,那連人帶東西統統都會打到長江堨h,就人連東西都會沒有了。他說:「觀音菩薩真靈!這回我沒有在這個橋底下停舟,躲過這一個大難。」   One day, he loaded his boat with many goods, intending to travel from city to city to sell them. As the boat went down the river, it began to rain heavily. Just then the boat was approaching a large bridge, similar in size to the Oakland Bridge. The oarsman planned to stop the boat under the bridge to wait out the rain, so the goods would not get soaked. The merchant thought, "Oh! The Bodhisattva said, 'When you come to a bridge, don't stop the boat.' So we'd better not stop the boat under this bridge!" Then he quickly told the oarsman, "Keep on rowing. We can't stop here." After they moved the boat out from under the bridge, the bridge collapsed. If it had collapsed when they were still under it, then both they and the goods would have tumbled into the Yangzte River and that would have been the end of them. The merchant said, "Guanyin Bodhisattva is truly efficacious! Since I didn't stop the boat under the bridge, I missed being caught in that disaster."
他回到家塈颿蘅藐[音菩薩。正在拜佛,在佛前點的油燈就跌到地上,把這個油都灑道地上了。啊!他想:「逢油即抹頭」他現在是有油了。」所以他把這個油往自己頭上都抹上了;抹上油了,等晚間休息睡覺,睡到半夜的時候,啊!他聞見有一股血腥的氣─人有血腥氣的;聞見有這麼一股血腥氣,他醒來一看,啊!他太太的頭被人給割下來了他自己太太被殺了,所以流出很多血,把床都染紅了。那麼在半夜他趕快去到他太太的父母家堨h報告,說:「今天晚間不知怎麼,你的女兒死了。不知被誰殺的?」   When he got home, he bowed in gratitude to Guanyin Bodhisattva. As he was bowing, one of the oil lamps on the altar fell down, spilling the oil all over the ground. "Ah!" thought the merchant, "The verse said, 'When you see oil, smear some on your head.' This must be the oil." So he smeared some of the oil on his head. At night, he went to bed and fell asleep. He woke up at midnight and smelled the rank odor of blood. Becoming wide awake, he took a look—oh! Someone had cut off his wife's head. His wife had been murdered, and all the blood had stained the bedsheets red. At midnight the man rushed over to the home of his wife's parents and reported what had happened. He told them, "I don't know how it happened, but your daughter died tonight. I don't know who killed her."
他這岳父、岳母去一看,說:「這誰殺的?一定是你謀財害命。你信佛,你太太不信佛,你們兩個人一定是意見不合,你不歡喜她了,藉這個題目把她殺死了。你這麼樣子來報告我。」於是乎就告到縣政府去。   His parents-in-law went to take a look and said, "Who killed her? You must have come up with this plot to kill her and take her money. You're a Buddhist but your wife wasn't, so you two must have had a difference of opinions. You were upset with her, so you used that pretext to murder her, and then you came and told us." So saying, they reported him to the authorities.
到了縣政府,這個縣官審問,也審問不出所以然來,於是乎就要判這個商人謀殺的罪名成立。正在拿著筆要判這個罪,啊!這很多的蒼蠅就來了,蒼蠅落到這個筆頭上,這商人就說: 「哦!真奇怪啊!這真太奇怪了!這『蒼蠅捧筆頭』。」   The county magistrate inquired into the case but could not figure out what had happened, so he decided to pronounce the merchant guilty of murder. As he picked up the brush to write the verdict, a swarm of flies suddenly converged on the tip of his brush, covering the brushtip completely. The merchant said, "Oh! How strange! This is really very peculiar: 'Flies will cluster on the tip of the brush.'"
那個縣官就問他:「你說什麼奇怪、奇怪的?」   "What are you talking about? What's so strange and peculiar?" the magistrate asked.
他說:「我是信觀音菩薩的。我在家塈@個夢。觀音菩薩告訴我四句話,現在這三句都應驗了,所以我認為奇怪。」   "I believe in Guanyin Bodhisattva. Guanyin Bodhisattva came to me in a dream and told me four lines of verse, three of which have come true. That's why I think it's very strange," replied the merchant.
這個縣官說:「這三句是什麼呢?」   "How did those three lines go?" asked the magistrate.
他說:「菩薩告訴我『逢橋莫停舟』。我去做生意,這個船到那橋底下,正趕上下雨。這個擺船的要停,我沒叫他停,結果把船開過去那橋,那橋就坍塌了,壞了;如果我在那兒停舟的話,這個船就被那個橋給砸爛了,連人也都沒有了,這是一樣。他又叫我『遇油即抹頭』;遇到這個油,就自己抹這個頭。我在家堳籉礡A佛前的油燈跌到地下,油都灑到地下了,我就把這個油往自己的頭上抹了。等晚間睡到半夜的時候,我自己太太就被人給殺了。   The merchant replied, "The Bodhisattva told me, 'When you encounter a bridge, don't stop the boat.' When I was going to sell my goods, my boat passed under a bridge just as it started to rain. The oarsman wanted to stop, but I told him not to stop there. Right after the boat passed under the bridge, the bridge collapsed. If I had stopped the boat there, it would have been smashed to pieces by the bridge and we would have lost our lives. That's one line. Guanyin Bodhi­sattva also said, 'When you see oil, smear some on your head.' When I was bowing to the Buddhas at home, one of the oil lamps on the altar fell to the ground, spilling the oil. I rubbed some of that oil on my head. That night I slept until midnight, when I woke up and found my own wife murdered.
菩隡又說:『斗穀三升米,蒼蠅捧筆頭。』這『斗穀三升米』,我現在不知怎麼樣?可是現在你這個縣官想要判我罪名,這個蒼蠅來捧筆頭來了。這『蒼蠅捧筆頭』,豈不是也應驗了呢?   "The Bodhisattva also said, 'One peck of grain and three pints of rice: Flies will cluster on the tip of the brush.' I don't know what 'one peck of grain yields three pints of rice' means, but just now when you were going to write out the verdict, all those flies swarmed onto your brush tip. So the line, 'Flies will cluster on the tip of the brush' also came true."
這個縣官一聽,哦!有這麼個事情?現在這三樣都應驗了,就剩一樣,這「斗穀三升米」,就和參謀研究來,研究去,說這一定有一個或者姓米的,或者姓康的,就找這樣一個人,所以就叫密探去到這鄉下一調查,果然有個康七。因為斗穀有三升米,這豈不就是有七升糠,所以就叫康七。   Hearing this, the magistrate thought, "Oh! So that's what's going on. Three lines have come true already, and there's only one left: 'One peck of grain yields three pints of rice.'" He looked into the case with his advisors and deduced that the murderer's surname must be either Mi ("rice") or Kang ("chaff"). A private detective was sent to the village to search for such a person, and indeed, there was a man named Kang Chi. If a peck of grain contains three pints of rice, then there must be seven pints of chaff. And so his name was Kang Chi ("chaff seven").
把這個人拿來一問。原來這個人和做生意這個人的太太,有一種不可告人的事情。他們兩個人準備把這個商人殺了,他們好就同住。結果康七這天晚間殺人,他用手一摸,這個商人的頭髮上有油。他說這有油的頭髮一定是女人的;一定是女人頭髮才擦油的,男人不會擦油的,所以把旁邊那個沒有油的那個腦袋就砍下來了。結果這個縣官一問,問明白了,就把康七定罪了。   When the man was brought in for questioning, it turned out he and the merchant's wife had been doing unspeakable things. The two of them had planned to kill the merchant so that they could live together. That night when Kang Chi went to commit the murder, he had felt the oil on the merchant's hair with his hand. He reasoned that the oily hair must belong to the woman—only a woman would grease her hair, not a man—so he beheaded the other person, the one who didn't have greasy hair. After the county magistrate had questioned him and gotten all the facts straight, he sentenced Kang Chi.
由此之後,做生意這個人一看:「哦!這世界上的事情,因果很厲害的!」於是乎以後也就出家修道,把這個世間一切一切都放下了。由這一點看來,這觀音菩薩,你只要對他有誠心,他就會有感應的。你有什麼災難,他會幫忙的。   After that incident, the merchant reflected, "Ah! The causes and effects that govern the affairs of the world are really devastating." He then renounced the householder's life to cultivate the Way, relinquishing all worldly things. From this story, we can see that as long as one sincerely believes in Guanyin Bodhisattva, the Bodhisattva will respond. Whenever a disaster happens to you, he will come to your rescue.

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