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《佛學概要》

 

INTRODUCTION TO BUDDHISM

大悲觀世音菩薩
The Greatly Compassionate Bodhisattva Who Observes the World's Sounds

宣化上人撰述     一九六八年十月三日     Composed by the Venerable Master Hsüan Hua on October 3, 1968
國際譯經學院記錄     Translated by the International Translation Institute


千處祈求千處應,苦海常作渡人舟。
Prayers depart a thousand hearts; in a thousand hearts he answers.
Sailing the sea of suffering, he constantly crosses people over.

怎麼叫大悲觀世音菩薩呢?他是慈能與樂,悲能拔苦。悲能拔苦,就是眾生所歡喜的他能幫助你成就。「觀自在菩薩」:《心經》上不是說「觀自在菩薩行深般若波羅蜜多時」嗎?你要「觀自在」,不要觀他在。你自己常常能不打妄想那就是觀自在,你要盡打妄想那就是觀不自在。「在無量劫前」,在很久、很久以前啊!數不出來多少時候以前,「已成佛果」,他已經證成佛果了,「號正法明如來」,那一位佛的名字叫正法明佛。

「大悲願力」:他又因為發這個大悲的願力,「倒駕慈航」:就是隱大示小,他本來已經成佛了,現在又示現菩薩身,化身來做觀世音菩薩。「重返娑婆」:又到這最苦的五濁世界,堪忍的娑婆這個地方來了。「尋聲救苦」,無論誰有什麼痛苦,你稱念大悲觀世音菩薩,他聽見你的聲音,就來解除你的痛苦。「所謂『千處祈求千處應,苦海常作渡人舟』。」無論什麼地方有人求他,有人念觀世音菩薩,他都一定來救度。苦海常作渡人舟,他在我們這個娑婆世界的苦海裡頭,常常就好像渡人的一隻船似的。「虔誠稱名即得救」:你要很虔誠的,很專一的念他的名號,不說信者得救嗎?這也就是信者得救了。

濟「救七難」:七難就是火難、水難、羅剎難、刀杖難、鬼難、枷鎖難、冤賊難、風難、王難、瘟疫流行難啊……總而言之,不只七樣。還有一切的撞車呀!現在常常有人來告訴我說,他常念觀世音菩薩,車子都撞碎了,可是人沒受傷,有很多這種奇蹟。所以「解三毒」:能解除人的三毒,三毒就是貪瞋癡。說是若人多貪,常念恭敬觀世音菩薩,便得離貪。若人多瞋,脾氣很大,你能常常稱念觀世音菩薩,常常恭敬觀世音菩薩,你這脾氣也就減小了,你這脾氣也就沒有了。若人多愚癡,你若很愚癡的,也常念恭敬觀世音菩薩就得離癡。

「應二求」:二求就是求男、求女,你要是願意求個男孩子,就得一個端正有相的男孩子。你願意求個女孩子,就得一個聰明有智慧的,很莊嚴的女孩子,所以叫應二求。

「菩薩在初地時」:初地就是十地之中的第一地(歡喜地)。那個時候,他「遇千光王靜住如來」:千光王靜住佛對他很慈悲,就「傳授大悲神咒」給他,「紫金光手摩頂」:佛又用紫磨金光的手摩他頂。佛給他一摩頂,他即刻「頓超八地」:到八地(不動地)這個地位了,「踊躍歡喜」:於是乎他就很高興啊!也很歡喜啦!那麼「而發誓言」:在這個靜住王佛的面前就發願了。說:「若我未來能利益眾生」的話,「令我即生千手千眼」:令我即刻就能生出千手千眼。「誓畢,大地六變震動」:六種震動就是震、吼、擊、動、涌、起。

→待續

Why is he called the Greatly Compassionate Bodhisattva Who Observes the World's Sounds? He practices "kindness, which can give others bliss, and compassion, which can eradicate their suffering." That is to say, whatever living beings like, he helps them to attain. Bodhisattva Who Observes with Self-Mastery: Doesn't the Heart Sutra say, "When the Bodhisattva Who Observes with Self-Mastery (Avalokiteshvara) was practicing the profound Prajnaparamita"? You have to observe with self-mastery, not mastery of others. If you never indulge in random thoughts, then you are observing with self-mastery. If you have lots of random thoughts, then you are observing without self-mastery. Limitless eons ago, a very long time ago, too long ago to reckon, he attained Buddhahood and was called the Thus Come One Light of Proper Dharma. That Buddha was called the Buddha Light of Proper Dharma.

With a resolve of great compassion, because he made a great compassionate vow, he turned the ship of compassion around, that is, he concealed the great and manifested the small. He has already become a Buddha, but now he m/anifests as a Bodhisattva, transforming into the Bodhisattva Who Observes the World's Sounds (Guanshiyin). And came back to the Saha World. He has returned to this world of five turbidities which is a place of extreme suffering. It is called "Saha," which means "able to endure." Hearing their sounds, he rescues those who are in suffering. No matter who you are and what kind of distress you are in, you can recite the name of the Greatly Compassionate Bodhisattva Who Observes the World's Sounds (Dabei Guanshiyin), and hearing your voice, he will come to alleviate your suffering. As it is said, "Prayers depart a thousand hearts; in a thousand hearts he answers. Sailing the sea of suffering, he constantly crosses people over." Wherever people are praying to him, reciting Guanshiyin Bodhisattva's name, he will surely go to rescue them. In this Saha World, in this sea of suffering, he frequently acts as a ship to take people across. Those who sincerely recite his name are saved. You have to recite his name with great sincerity and concentration. Isn't it said, "Faithful ones are saved"? This is a case where the faithful receive salvation.

He rescues those in the seven difficulties. The seven difficulties are those presented by fire, flood, rakshasas, knives and clubs, ghosts, shackles and chains, thieves, windstorms, the law, and epidemics. Generally speaking, there are more than seven difficulties. For example, there are all the car collisions. People often come and tell me that because they always recite Guanshiyin Bodhisattva's name, even when their cars were totalled in a crash, they themselves escaped without injury. There have been many miraculous cases like this. He neutralizes the three poisons. The three poisons are greed, hatred and stupidity. It's said that if a greedy person frequently recites the name of Guanshiyin Bodhisattva and pays homage, he will be able to free himself from greed. If a person with a big temper frequently recites the name of Guanshiyin Bodhisattva and pays homage, he will be able to reduce or even extinguish his temper. If a person who is stupid can frequently recite the name of Guanshiyin Bodhisattva and pay homage, he will not be stupid anymore. And he responds to the two prayers. The two prayers refer to prayers for a son or a daughter. If you pray for a boy, you will have a boy with handsome and fine features. If you pray for a girl, you will have an intelligent and attractive girl.

When the Bodhisattva was on the First Ground (the Ground of Joy), the first of the Ten Grounds, he met King of a Thousand Lights Thus Come One, who rubbed his crown with his purple-golden hand. King of a Thousand Lights Buddha was very kind and transmitted the Great Compassion Spiritual Mantra to him. Then that Buddha rubbed his crown with his purple-golden hand, and he instantaneously reached the Eighth Ground, the Ground of Motionlessness. Joyful and delighted, he made the resolve. He was very happy, and he vowed before King of a Thousand Lights Buddha, "If I can benefit living beings in the future, then cause me to immediately manifest a thousand hands and a thousand eyes." After the vow was made, the entire earth shook in six ways. The six ways are shaking, roaring, striking, moving, surging and rising.

→To be continued

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