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嚴持戒律報師恩

 
◎劉鳴 
2007年6月30日 講譯於萬佛聖城大殿

我叫劉親鳴,從馬利蘭州華嚴精舍來。經過一週的戒律學習,昨天終於圓滿了。求受菩薩戒的過程,我感到難遭難遇,非常殊勝的法緣。感到諸佛菩薩的加持,我很感謝萬佛城菩薩戒傳戒委員會提供了這次難得的機會,也非常惋惜此次因故而不能受戒的佛友;雖然我知道他們都有自己的原因,但我仍覺得這是非常的遺憾。我建議這些沒有參加的佛子,下次有機會,他們應該盡各種的努力再來參加。

為什麼呢?我認為第一個原因,這是如法如律的傳戒,第二個原因,我覺得能在萬佛城受戒非常非常殊勝。我們一個星期在這裡,可以看到萬佛城傳戒委員會和整個僧團為這次傳戒的支持與苦心;每天的佛殿功課,到戒律課的學習,到晚上的聞法聽經,甚至每天的出坡,從所有的活動當中,我們都感受到正法對我們的攝護。

通過這種如法如律的戒律學習和受戒,我們也同時學習了怎麼樣去發菩提心。這些殊勝都必須在清淨的僧團下接受這樣的傳承;萬佛城對我來說就是這樣一個最好的地方。因為在這個道場,我們有這麼多善知識,有這麼多善緣的幫助,不只是學習戒律,不只是求受菩薩戒,而是提醒我們在每一個細小處去努力。

舉一個我的例子。以前,我覺得要發菩提心是非常非常困難的,自己每次都是從嘴埵茪ㄛO從心堨X來的。我知道沒有菩提心,是不可能得到菩薩戒的戒體。但是在戒期中,我好像找到了怎樣去發菩提心的軌跡,好像也找到怎樣去強化菩提心的方法。我記不清楚在齋堂,或在戒律課時,法師們說 上人曾經講過一句話,就是:

「在盡虛空、每一片土地,都有釋迦牟尼佛為了救眾生,他捨棄了自己的頭目腦髓;盡虛空、遍法界,無一吋土沒有釋迦牟尼佛這種布施軌跡。」

我以前也聽過這句話,但從來沒有入耳。一天早上我們在拜願,當我拜「南無本師釋迦牟尼佛」的時候,突然就想起這句話,發出一種心,我要向佛陀學習,要感恩,要依佛陀教導的努力實行,早成佛道。

我以前雖知道菩提心有兩個條件,第一是求無上菩提的大願,還有就是要有願力去救度一切眾生。我想佛陀為了救我們這些眾生,在盡虛空遍法界去捨身捨腦,沒有一切可吝惜的,實在是我們應該向他學習,照樣去做的。

我以前視眾生為兩種,一是與我有關係的親友,另一種是與我無關的或對我有敵意的人。但在那一瞬間,我就想眾生變成兩部份,一是對我有恩的──我的六親眷屬,他們還在六道輪迴,因為他們對我有恩,所以我們一定要幫助他們脫離這六道的苦難。另一部份是我的冤親債主,就是我以前在各種時候,以各種因緣傷害過的眾生。因為這些傷害,就要還這些債,也應該發心去救護他們。這時與過去口是心非的發心不同,有一點點要去度一切眾生的感覺,感覺菩提心有那麼一點軌跡可以去遵循。下一次、每次都可以做這種觀想,似乎這個菩提心在一點一點加強。

我並不知道自己是不是真正的得到菩薩戒的戒體,但我非常的希望,也非常的渴望得到它。因為對我而言,以前最難的一點,就是菩提心怎麼發?在傳戒的過程中,我感覺到菩提心跟我合而為一,當法師在問我們能持否?我自己覺得:「Yes, I can !」能夠發出那種力量,我十分希望這力量帶給我們菩薩戒的戒體。最後,我希望用嚴格持戒的方式和行動,來感謝法師這次的傳戒。阿彌陀佛!


Strictly Observing the Precepts to Repay the Kindness of Our Teachers

A Talk Given and Translated by Liu Ming on June 30, 2007
in the Buddha Hall at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas

My name is Liu Chin Ming. I come from the Avatamsaka Vihara in Maryland. After the week-long Precept Study Program and yesterday’s Repentance Ceremony, today we finally successfully completed the Bodhisattva Precept Transmission. I would like to say it is a very rare and difficult-to-encounter event, and I feel very blessed by the Triple Jewel. I’m very grateful to the City of 10,000 Buddhas (CTTB) Precept Committee that organized this wonderful event for all the preceptees. I also would like to express my deepest sympathy for those Dharma friends who wanted to join but couldn’t, for whatever reason. Though I know they may have their own causes and conditions, I feel it is kind of a loss to not join this transmission. Therefore, I would like to encourage them to make every effort to join the next ransmission.

There are two reasons why I make this suggestion. The first is because the Bodhisattva Precept Transmission is really in accord with the proper Dharma. The second reason is because it is done here at CTTB. By means of the proper Dharma, especially the Great Vehicle Dharma, we have learned all the precepts, and we have learned to bring forth the Bodhi mind in order to receive the substance of the precepts.Though we have this proper Dharma, we still need the pure Sangha to transmit it to us, and in my opinion CTTB is the best place to do this. This is because there are so many Good Knowing Advisors and so many wholesome causes and supporting conditions to help us to do so. Through all the religious activities, such as the Dharma assemblies in the Buddha Hall, learning the precepts, listening to Dharma talks, and performing the various ceremonies, the spirit of the proper Dharma is able to shine upon us.

Before, I found it very difficult to make the resolve for Bodhi. I knew that you have to make this kind of vow to receive the substance of the precepts, but I just couldn’t do it. Every time I tried, I didn’t feel like it came from my heart. But this time, I feel that I began to understand how to resolve on Bodhi, and how to continually strengthen this kind of vow. I don’t remember whether it was during lunchtime or during the Precept Class, but one of the Dharma Masters said that the Venerable Master Hua often said,

“Throughout the entire Dharma Realm and the reaches of space, there is not a single place where Shakyamuni Buddha in his past lives on the path to becoming a Buddha had not sacrificed his own head, eyes, brains and marrow in order to rescue living beings.”

I had heard this quote before, but it hadn’t really registered in my mind. This time, it made an impression on me. A few days later, during the universal bowing, after I recited, “Homage to our Original Teacher, Shakyamuni Buddha,” I bowed down, and suddenly this verse came to my mind again. I thought, “Oh, we should follow the Buddha’s teaching and try to become a Buddha.”

I know there are two conditions that are necessary in order to make the resolve for Bodhi. One condition is that you have to make the vow to become a Buddha. The second condition is that one must make the vow to rescue all living beings. If we try to emulate and learn from the Buddha, we must also follow his example in rescuing all sentient beings.

Before, I divided all living beings into two categories. One category is my friends, and the other category is the people unrelated to me and my enemies. During the bowing, I had different thought on how to view all sentient beings. I think there are two groups. In one group are the living beings who really do a lot of good on our behalf, like our parents, our friends, and our friends’ parents, and we have to repay their kindness. If they are suffering in the Six Paths of Existence, we have to help them and enable them to attain liberation from that suffering. The second group of people are those that do a lot of harm to us, trying to collect karmic debts that we owe them from past lives. If they want to get something back from us, we should let them. But the best way to pay them back is to help to liberate them from the suffering of Samsara. Through thinking in this way, I kind of got an inkling of how to make the vow to rescue all living beings. Based on this kind of thinking, I felt I had a way to bring forth the Bodhi-mind.

I don’t know if it is a true resolve for Bodhi. Perhaps it is a very minor resolve or not completely
genuine, but I feel it is a way for me to follow. And I can repeat this kind of contemplation again and again to strengthen my resolve. During the transmission of the Bodhisattva Precepts,
with this kind of resolve for Bodhi, I felt that I really received the substance of the precepts. At least I truly hope so! I would like to thank all of the Dharma Masters for doing the best that
they could in holding the Transmission of the Bodhisattva Precepts. Amitabha Buddha!

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