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Bodhi Garden


鄭頌英 文 By Cheng Sung-ying

友人 姚嘉鐮居士一九五七年南京大學法文系畢業,家住杭州中山南路四牌樓十五號,是退休的幹部。我於一九八零年後在杭州印經書時,他在校對寄發工作中幫了很多忙。我問他是怎樣信佛的?他告訴我是由於看到了他兩個姊姊夫家的因果輪迴的事實,不能不深信佛教的真實不虛了!

他的 叔父姚寅生先生的次女,嫁給杭州下城區廣興巷附近的袁慰冰爲妻,其家在杭州開設袁震和綢緞莊,家道素豐。她的公公——袁老太爺精於世故,爲富不仁。一日,鄰居失火,前門已被大火封住,鄰家和袁家相隔一道大鐵門,只有從鐵門經袁家逃生了。一家大小十餘口都到鐵門側敲門求救,而狠心的袁老太爺怕被殃及,堅決不開門,致使鄰家十餘口都活活燒死在鐵門邊!不久,袁老太爺暴病卒,後其子慰冰夢父告曰:「我因見死不救,罰墮畜生道,今晚將投生蕭山某村某農家,其中一隻花豬崽額有袁字紋的即我也。子驚覺,翌日如夢言尋訪,果于該農家的豬欄中見到額有袁字紋的新生小豬,即買歸,搭棚僱專人飼養。其家佣人戲乎其老太爺,尚能「唔唔」作應云。

又其二姐姚毓靜,嫁於紹興城內八字橋五號鮑奕華爲妻,其家爲望族,其祖鮑養田爲鹽商,邑內首富。在青年時,偕友遊鎮江金山寺,到寺門前,倚立凝思,告友人曰:「進寺門可見何處殿堂,何處樹林… 。 」友笑其誑,進內果如所言。行至一處,指一寮房說:「此室是我所住的!」至此前生的宿命全現前了,「哦,我就是這裡的某某當家師啊!」從此行善積德,但沒有學敎修持。有一次,當他運鹽船抵岸後,發覺船底有一漏洞,幸賴有一條黑鯉(黑魚)堵塞洞中,得不漏沈。感曰:「凡我子孫世世永不吃黑魚。」妻妾共生十子十六女,家園建築重重高樓。年逾古稀,於一九二六年預知將死,召集子孫,諄諄敎以行善積德,命家人拿大木魚來,邊敲邊念「南無佛,南無法,南無僧。」撒手瞑目而逝。這是非常難得的善終,但還是生人天善道,並沒有了生死,究竟解脫!


My friend Yau Jya-lyan graduated from Nanjing  University in 1957 with a degree in French. He  lives at 15 South Chung-Shan Road, Hang-jou,  in his retirement. Ever since I started printing  Buddhist Sutras in Hang-jou in 1980, he has  helped me greatly with the work of proof- reading and distribution. Once I asked him how  he came to believe in Buddhism. He said that  after witnessing the reality of cause and effect in  the lives of his two brothers-in-law, he could not  help but be totally convinced of the truth of the  Buddha's teaching.

The second daughter of his uncle, Mr. Yau Yan- sheng, was married to Ywan Wei-bin who lived  at Gwang-syin Lane in the Sya-cheng District of  Hang-jou. The Ywans owned a textile store and  had been very well-off. Her father-in-law, old  Mr. Ywan, was a very shrewd character, who  was rich but not benevolent. One day, his  neighbor's house caught fire and their front door  was already in flames. Their house was  connected to the Ywans' house by a thick metal  door, and their only escape was through that door and out from the Ywans' side. The entire  family of young and old, over ten in all, knocked  at the door seeking salvation. But the cruel Mr.  Ywan, fearing the fire would spread to his own  home, firmly refused to open the door, and the  entire family of over ten people was burned alive  outside the door! Not long afterwards, old Mr.  Ywan suddenly became sick and died. His son  Wei-bin had a dream in which his father told  him, "Because I saw people dying and failed to  rescue them, I have been sentenced to the  animal realm. Tonight I will be reborn at So- and-so's farm, in such-and-such a village at  Mount Syau. The mottled piglet with a "Ywan"  character on its forehead will be me." When  the son awoke the next day, he searched for the  farm described in the dream, and indeed, in the  pigpen there he found a newborn piglet with a  "Ywan" character on its forehead. Thereupon  he bought the piglet and hired a person  especially to look after it. The family servant  often teased the pig, saying, "So you are old  Mr. Ywan! You can still squeal in reply!"

The second sister was married to Mr. Bau Yi- hwa of No. 5, Ba-dz Bridge in the city of  Shau-sying. His family was wealthy, and his  grandfather Bau Yang-tyan had been a salt  merchant and one of the most wealthy  members of the district. When he was young,  he traveled with a friend to visit Gold  Mountain Monastery in Jen-jyang. When they  reached the gate of the monastery, he stood  absorbed in thought, and told his friend,  "Once you go in, you will see the halls and  buildings over here in such and such a place,  and the woods over there..." His friend  laughed at his wild talk, but once he entered  the gate, it was just as Bau Yang-tyan had  described. When he walked to a certain spot,  Bau pointed at a room and said, "This is the  room where I lived." He completely recalled  his past life, and mused, "Oh, so I have been  the director of this place!"

From then on, he practiced good deeds and  amassed virtue. However, he did not study  the teachings or cultivate. One time, when his ship carrying salt had reached the port, he  discovered a hole in it. Luckily, a black carp  had blocked up the hole, preventing a leak,  which would have caused the ship to sink. He  was moved to declare, "No descendant of mine  shall ever eat the flesh of black carp." He had  ten sons and sixteen daughters, and there were  many large buildings on his estate. In 1926,  when he was over seventy, he knew his death  was imminent. Summoning his descendants  together, he patiently admonished them to  practice good deeds and cultivate virtue, then  he ordered the large wooden fish to be brought.  Hitting the fish, he chanted, "Homage to the  Buddha, Homage to the Dharma, Homage to  the Sangha." Then he stopped, closed his eyes,  and went. It was an uncommonly peaceful  death. However, he was still destined to be  reborn in either the human realm or in the  heavens, for he had not ended birth and death  and gained the ultimate liberation.

To be continued


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