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萬佛城之行
a Trip to the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas

豆芽/文 By Bean Sprout


清晨三點半,正當黑夜與白晝交替,天地最為黑暗時,一陣有力的打板聲,劃破了靜謐、冷冽的虛空。揉著惺忪的睡眼,慣於晚起的我們,窸窸窣窣的下床、穿衣,然後打著哆嗦地走進佛殿,於禮佛、誦經聲中,正式地展開在萬佛城的一天。

一向非常喜歡萬佛城的氣氛,在晨鐘暮鼓聲中,能產生一種莊重、祥和的力量,幫助人們凝聚心神。如果說以往到萬佛城來,我得到的是喜悅與平靜,那麼這一次它帶給我們的則是震撼。法師們一席席的話,都觸動了我心底的柔軟地帶,觸痛了我不堪一擊的自我。在這三天兩夜的活動中,懺悔法門及自我教育的講課,是令我印象最深刻的。聽法師們一再地強調因果絲毫不爽,又談及人將往生之際,會像看電影一般,觀賞我們自導自演的一部人生影片,我們所做的每一件事、說的每一句話、乃至起的每一心念,都將會一一呈現。想到這裡,我不禁涔涔汗下,捫心自問,我能夠在這生命終點的劇院裡,安心地觀賞這部真實的戲嗎?我是會感到欣慰?亦是慚愧?老實回頭望了望已走過的路,或許慚愧之情將佔多數吧?!這時我心頭掠過一陣恐慌:已做之事已成過去,除了誠心懺悔外,別無它法;可是未來的日子呢?我要依什麼為指南針,以確保我的行為不再偏差呢?

隔天,法師的另一堂課,巧妙地為我解答了難題。那天所講的是普賢菩薩十大行願。想到諸佛菩薩的廣大悲心,我的眼角不禁濡溼了。釋迦牟尼佛何等慈悲,來到我們這混濁的娑婆世界教化眾生。如果沒有他,多少眾生如今還在三界中沉淪。佛恩浩大,我們唯有以學佛、成佛、度眾生為報了!這也就是我在找尋的答案。

我們除了要時時反省自身外,更要發大願,願成佛,度眾生;正如課堂上法師所說:「修行需有福德才能圓滿;福德如牛,願力為御者。」懺悔、改過、行善,是培福德,我們還需要願力幫我們將福德導向究竟之路。人人皆有佛性,皆可成佛。成佛之途雖然艱辛、漫長,卻是條最為正確、殊勝的路。學做佛是可靠的。真信因果的人也不會變壞,希望大家以此共勉之,同以清淨戒行,及堅固的定力,一起開啟智慧之門。

At 3:30 in the morning, the darkest hour of the night before the dawn, the sound of wooden boards being struck together penetrated the silence and the cold air. Rubbing my sleepy eyes, I (ordinarily a late riser) dragged myself out of bed, got dressed, and walked into the Buddha hall shivering. As we bowed to the Buddhas and recited Sutras, another day began at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas

I have always liked the atmosphere at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. The sound of the bell and drum at pre-dawn and in the late evening bring a sense of dignity and peace that help us to focus our mind. Past visits to the City brought me joy and peace; this time I came away feeling shaken up. The Dharma Masters' words kept touching my soft spots and bruising my sensitive ego. During the three-day program, my deepest impressions came from the discussion of repentance and self-education. Listening to the Dharma Masters repeat over and over that cause and effect is never off by the slightest, and that right before we die, we will see the events of our entire life--our every action, word, and thought--pass before our eyes just like a movie, I can't help but break out in a cold sweat. I wonder: when this play is over, will I be able to watch this movie with a calm mind? Will I feel comforted or full of remorse? Taking an honest look at my life, I think I will feel more remorse than anything else. A wave of fear washes over me. What's done is done, and there's nothing I can do but repent for past mistakes. As for the future, what I can rely on for guidance to make sure I don't go wrong again?

The next day, the Dharma Masters very wonderfully answered my question in a discussion of the Ten Great Vows of Universal Worthy Bodhisattva. Tears well up in my eyes as I reflect on the ten kinds of compassion of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. How merciful Shakyamuni Buddha was to come to this turbid world to teach living beings! If it weren't for the Buddha, how many more living beings would still be lost and adrift in the Triple Realm? The Buddha's kindness is vast and great, and only by practicing the teaching and realizing Buddhahood and then saving living beings can we repay it. This is the answer I was looking for.

In addition to reflecting upon our own behavior, we should make great vows to achieve Buddhahood and save living beings. As one Dharma Master said, "To perfect our practice, we must have blessings and virtue. Blessings and virtue can be likened to an ox that is driven by the power of our vows." Repenting of our mistakes, correcting our faults, and doing good deeds are all ways of fostering blessings and virtue. However, we need vows to help direct our blessings and virtue towards the ultimate goal. Every person is endowed with the Buddha nature--the potential for Buddhahood. The path to Buddhahood is long and difficult, yet it is the most supreme and proper path to take. If we study Buddhism, we have something to rely upon. People who believe in cause and effect will not become bad. I hope everyone will follow this advice. Let us all practice the pure precepts, develop strong samadhi, and activate our inherent wisdom.

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