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《菩提田》

 

BODHI FIELD

師恩難報
How Difficult It Is to Repay the Master's Kindness

無為/文 By Wu Wei

歲月如流,一轉眼間,恩師宣公上人涅槃至今六月即滿週年。

回憶與恩師的因緣,雖然自出家以來,未能親近在他老人家的身邊學習佛法,這種遺憾,有如一位同參師兄弟所說的:「我們是一群被遺棄的孤兒。」這話乍聽之下好像是……怎麼回事?其實,只是因為地理環境的關係。上人住在美國,而我們則一直住在台灣。我想很少有人跟隨自己的師父出家,卻是自剃度後,就再也見不到面。等再見面時,已經圓寂了……。這情形除非是在戰亂期間才有可能發生,或者自己先離師而去,否則是很難令人接受這種考驗的。

過去上人幾次回臺時,並沒有忘記教化他這位,既未出家、又愚癡的弟子。記得在一九九○年,初次到中國大陸南方朝山,到了雲南時,不幸,因為途中飲食欠衛生而引起了急性腸炎,嚴重腹瀉並脫水好幾天,幾乎差點喪命……。幸好這顆朝峨嵋山的心很堅定,得以在這整個朝山行程中穩住病情。並且能夠不依賴交通工具,費了三天二夜的時間,爬完這座既高峻、又雄偉,馳名於佛教四大名山寶剎的--峨嵋山。之後也朝了位於大足縣,迦葉尊者在那兒入定的雞足山。

回臺數日後,由於身體不適,感覺肋下內臟部位隱隱脹痛、無飲食慾,才發覺事情不妙。到了幾家醫院檢查,卻找不出病因來。自認從小到大對自己的身體狀況,一直都比醫生還清楚,本身亦是醫護人員。但這回連自己也不知什麼病因了!只好不再理它。

不久,上人又回臺弘法,每回弘法團來臺舉辦法會時,總需要大量的義工幫忙法會的一切事務。這回也不例外,「法界佛教印經會」執事人員,又開始招兵買馬。當時我自不量力,也報名參加這行列。

在法會中的一晚,我幫忙收拾講法桌上的茶杯,拿到洗手臺欲清洗時,遇見一位相識的居士,她見我氣色不好,問我原因,我將上述之事告訴了她,沒想到她聽後就說:「哎呀!這簡單,這麼巧!我這兒剛剛收集了一瓶,上人及法師們的茶水。聽說喝師父用過的水可以治病,倒一杯給你吧!」不過我當時手上也剛好有一杯上人的茶水,正準備洗的,還滿滿地好像沒喝過,我就喝了這一杯。心裡滿懷歡喜的,希望明天這個病能不藥而癒!

次日早課後,發現並不是如此!這個病還再呀!這怎麼回事呢?哦…!原來是師父並沒有用過那杯水!所以沒效囉!自己就對自己這麼的說著。那麼,有了這一次的經驗後,我也就學會了收集上人喝過的茶水這一招。

晚上,當上人在台上講法時,我雖然與大眾一同在台下聽經,卻懷著不同的目的與心境。整個晚上聽經的時刻,我兩眼目不轉睛地釘著上人喝水的過程…。只見今晚上人不知為何?說了兩句話,就拿起茶杯喝水,說三句話後,又拿起茶杯喝水,頻頻喝水。看的我這顆心七上八下地好著急,深怕水被喝光就完了。因此我開始在內心向上人說:「師父啊!師父啊!您老慈悲啊,別把水喝光了,留一點給我喝啊!」這種情景回想起來是很可笑的!

好不容易等到法會一結束時,我這顆忐忑不安的心,終於放下一半,緊接著就像要百米跑似的,眼尖腳快搶先上前去收拾茶杯,趕緊走到沒人又燈光昏暗的地方去,看個究竟!打開蓋子一看!結果……哇!沒水了,全都喝光了,一滴也沒剩,整個希望落得一場空。心裡正在失望之際!伸手入杯底一摸,咦!杯底好像還有什麼東西哩?掏出來看看吧!哦…原來是用來泡茶的人參!心想,也好,就把它吃了吧!不過也分了一半給另一位同伴吃,因她也有病。

隔日,早課時,奇妙的事情發生了……!從我的喉嚨裡有著如泉水般,延綿不斷的口水,猛烈地直往口中湧出來,很甜、很清涼!這種現象從未有過,接著我的兩眼竟不聽使喚的淚下如注,腦子裡也有著一股很強烈的念頭告訴我說:「妳真愚癡,還再這兒幹什麼?還不趕快出家?」就這樣,我終於誓願出家。三年後即如願出家。

猶記得一九八八年十一月一日,在桃園體育館(法會的現場)初次皈依上人時,台上法師宣佈要皈依的人請到台下前面跪著,其餘的人退到後面去。那時整個會場上的人,幾乎都是第一次面見上人的,但不知為何?想皈依上人者,卻只有半數左右。

當大家跪到台前時,上人就開始向我們開示說:「你們想要皈依三寶的人,皈依我呀,不能隨便的、不能再管出家人、不能再欺負出家人!你想要皈依我的都要乖乖地,見到出家人都要叩頭、都要頂禮的!不是那麼對出家人吹鬍子、瞪眼睛的來盡想要找便宜,所以那樣不行,那樣我一定懲罰你的。你們要是怕我懲罰你們,現在就退出去,要不怕懲罰的那麼可以皈依。還有一個條件!皈依我的弟子一定要成佛,如果不成佛,我也會等著得!你不要懶懶的,也不修行,連累我也不成佛了,那你就造罪無量了。」此席由衷之言,表露出他老人家對弟子們諄諄教誨的悲願!

然而事實上,上人是不願再看我們墮落於,五濁惡世中輪迴不息,故用他的權巧方便、大慈愍心,來攝受我們、教化我們、幫助我們成長道業,並不是真怕弟子們不成佛,而連累他老人家不能早日成佛。

上人之境界實不可思議,非能以我等凡夫俗輩知見可測量與洞悉。他老人家所給我們這些弟子們的恩澤,亦是難以回報的。曾經有一位同參師兄請問上人說:「師父!我們怎麼作,才能報答您給我們的恩澤呢?」上人答:「你們無法回報的!」

是的!確實我們是無法回報的。唯有成佛證果了,才能報答師恩。願共勉之!

By June, it will have been one year since the Venerable Master entered Nirvana. Time flies...

I regret that after leaving the home-life, I never had a chance to be around my elder Teacher and study the Dharma from him. One of my Dharma-brothers commented: "We're like orphans." Actually, this is only because of geographical factors. The Venerable Master lived in America, while we were in Taiwan. Our situation is probably not very common: after leaving home, we didn't get to see the Master again until he had already passed into stillness. This might happen, say, in wartime, or if a disciple leaves his teacher of his own will. But in our case, it's a difficult test to face.

However, the Venerable Master never failed to teach this foolish disciple on his various trips to Taiwan before I had left home. In 1990, on my first pilgrimage to Buddhist temples in southern China, the unsanitary food caused me to suffer severe appendicitis, diarrhea, and dehydration when I was in Yunnan. I was deathly ill for several days. Fortunately, my determination to continue on the pilgrimage to Mount Emei overcame my sickness, and I became better. Without relying on any form of transportation, I spent three days and four nights climbing the tall and majestic Mount Emei, and later went on to visit Jizu (Chicken Foot) Mountain.

However, my health worsened after I returned to Taiwan. I felt pain and swelling in my chest and didn't have any appetite. I went to the hospital for a check-up, but they couldn't find anything wrong. Having worked in a hospital, and I knew my own body better than any doctor. But this time, even I didn't know what was wrong, so I just ignored it.

Soon the Venerable Master was coming to Taiwan again. Each time his delegation visited Taiwan, the Dharma Realm Buddhist Books Distribution Society would organize a large crew of volunteers to help with the Dharma session. This time was no exception. I also signed up as a volunteer.

One evening as I was collecting the teacups from the lecture table on stage and taking them to the sink, another volunteer saw my pale face and asked me if I was OK. I told her about my health condition. "That's no problem," she said, "Here, I've just collected a pot of tea that was served to the Master and his disciples. They say that drinking water that the Master has drunk from can cure illnesses. Let me pour you a glass!" I also happened to be holding a cup of tea that had been served to the Master. I was about to wash the cup, but first I drank its contents. I was quite pleased and hoped that my sickness would magically disappear by the next day.

But the next day, after morning recitation, I was still the same! What went wrong? Probably the Master didn't drink from that cup, so it didn't work. Well, after this experience I knew what I had to do--next time I would take a cup that the Master did drink from.

That very evening, I listened to the Master's lecture along with everyone else, but my motives were quite different. During the entire lecture, I kept my eyes glued to the Master's cup. I noticed that the Master kept drinking water. After every couple of sentences, he would take a sip. I anxiously prayed that he wouldn't drink all the water. "Master, please be compassionate. Save a little water for me!" It's pretty funny when I think of it now.

When the lecture was finally over, I raced up to the front to collect the cups. I grabbed the Master's cup and went to an inconspicuous corner to take a look. I opened the lid...empty! Not a drop of tea left! I was crushed! I put my hand into the cup and felt something at the bottom. It was the teabag--ginseng tea. Well, I might as well eat that, I thought. I shared the teabag with my roommate who was also sick.

The next day, after morning recitation, something wonderful happened: An endless stream of sweet, refreshing saliva flowed in my mouth, something I'd never experienced before. Crying, I thought to myself, "What are you still doing here, you fool? You ought to quickly leave home!" That's how I resolved the leave the home-life, and I was able to do so three years later.

I still remember taking refuge with the Venerable Master on November 1, 1988, in Taoyuan. The Dharma Masters announced, "Those who want to take refuge should come to the front and kneel; the rest of the people should stay in the back." Most of the people were seeing the Master for the first time, and about half wanted to take refuge.

After we were all kneeling, the Master instructed us, "Those who wish to take refuge with the Triple Jewel should know that taking refuge is not a casual affair; you may not order left-home people around or bully them! Those who want to take refuge with me have to behave well. You have to bow respectfully to left-home people. You cannot get angry and glare at left-home people and try to take advantage of them. If you do, I will certainly punish you. If you are afraid of being punished, you can still withdraw. One more condition--those who take refuge with me must become Buddhas. If you do not become Buddhas, I will wait for you. You cannot be lazy and fail to cultivate. If you prevent me from becoming a Buddha, your offenses will be limitless." From the Master's earnest remonstrance, we can know how compassionate are his vows!

Of course the Master is not really worried that we will prevent him from achieving Buddhahood. He simply doesn't fall to see us turning ceaselessly in the wheel of rebirth in this world of five turbidities. With skillful expedients and great compassion, he encourages us and helps us to grow in our spiritual practice.

The Master's realm is inconceivable, not something that we ordinary people can fathom. His grace and kindness to us is difficult to repay. Once my fellow cultivator asked the Master: "Master, how can we ever repay your kindness?" The Master said, "You have no way to repay it."

It's true. We have no way to repay it. Only when we realize Buddhahood can we repay our kind teacher. Let us all try our best!

雞足山頂,夕陽中的寶塔。
A stupa at dusk on Jizu(Chicken Foot)Mountain in China.

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