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《菩提鏡》

 

Bodhi Mirror

守得雲開見日出  比丘尼恆品師
Finally the Sun Shines through the Clouds  Bhikshuni Heng Pin Shi

 

雖然在萬佛聖城,近期所舉辦的第八屆三壇大戒中,恆品師依上人為得戒和尚,受了具足戒,成為比丘尼,然而她與佛教及上人的因緣,實則應追溯到四十年代的中國。當她十幾歲時,在上人離開中國前,她就已成為上人的弟子。

事實上,恆品師目擊了東井子的那場洪水,這場洪水在短短幾分中內淹死了將近五六十人。當時上人正在她家裡,他帶著一些小徒弟,水患開始時,上人要他們持誦大悲咒,在恆品師住家的後面,只用竹籬疏鬆地圍成一格格的,孔眼大到可以看穿過去,籬笆裡邊是上人領著弟子在誦咒,洪水只在幾吋高的距離,但在疏鬆的籬笆外邊,水勢高到甚至人站在炕上都免不了被淹死。

上人知道這場水災是一些水怪引起的,他們想要淹死的是上人他自己;當時恆品師及她的家人大概都不曉得這件事。不過大悲咒的神力對他們來說卻是很明顯的,而恆品師的信心,在她早期追隨上人的這些日子中,則更加深厚。

那份信念支持著她經歷了數十年的混亂,終究又帶領她再次來到上人跟前,而成為他的出家弟子,並由他親自授戒。上人鼓勵如今已七十望外的她,要恆念著阿彌陀佛聖號,並賜法名為恆品-永入蓮品。

上人的一首楞嚴咒偈好像就是為他這位年長的弟子而寫的:

西 方 彌 陀 寶 蓮 花
等 候 眾 生 早 到 家
一 心 持 名 恆 不 退
十 萬 億 土 剎 那 蓮

Although Heng Pin Shi received full ordination as a Bhikshuni, with the Venerable Master as Precept-transmitting Master, during the recent Eighth Transmission of the Three Platforms of Precepts held at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, actually her affinities with the Buddhism and the Venerable Master go clear back to the 1940’s in Manchuria. She took refuge with the Master in her teens; and before the Master left Manchuria, she left the home-life under him.

In fact, Heng Pin Shi was an eye-witness to the Well County flash flood that drowned some fifty to sixty people in a matter of minutes. The Venerable Master was at her family’s home at the time. He had brought with him several very young disciples and when the flood began, the Master instructed them to recite the Great Compassion Mantra. Behind Heng Pin Shi’s family home, the back property was fenced with a loose-lattice bamboo fence—with holes big enough to see through. Inside the fence, where the Master led his disciples in reciting the mantra, the flood waters only rose a matter of inches. But outside the fence, the water rose so high that even people who stood on top of their high brick beds were drowned.

The Master knew that the flood was caused by some strange sea-monster demons who wanted to drown the Master himself, a fact that Heng Pin Shi and her family were probably not aware of at the time. But the power of the Great Compassion Mantra was evident to them all, and Heng Pin Shi’s faith grew deeper and deeper as she followed the Master during those early years.

That faith sustained her through several decades of turmoil and eventually brought her to the Master’s guidance again--with a second opportunity to become his left-home disciple and receive precepts transmitted by him. Now in her seventies, she was encouraged by the Master to be ever-mindful of Amitabha Buddha, and was given the ordained name Heng Pin—“Forever in the Lotus Positions.”

The Master’s verse for a line of the Shurangama Mantra is as if written for his long-time disciple:

In the West is Amitabha on a jeweled lotus,
Waiting for beings to quickly return home.
Single-mindedly hold his name and never, ever retreat.
And you can reach billions of Buddhalands in the space of a thought !

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