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《菩提田》

 

BODHI FIELD

試論宣化老和尚的佛學貢獻
Discussion of Venerable Master Hsuan Hua's Contributions to Buddhism

陳由斌/文 by You-Bin Chen

佛雖在經上屢言法滅之說,但佛也有對治法滅的正法意識存在。如《涅槃經》言:「末法之中,有十二萬大菩薩,持法不滅。」由此可知,上人的不准末法之願力,不正是如來的大慈悲心嗎?

上人更感慨的說:

佛法未滅僧自滅,
道德應修人不修。
老實真誠招物譏,
虛偽狡猾受褒優。
舉世五濁清甚鮮,
眾生三醉醒無秋,
殷勤寄語僧青輩,
振興佛教在比丘。

佛法沒有百分之九十九的。若有一分假,便不是「正法」。所以我們應該認清楚,即使在寺院中,都有「邪法與外道」。佛門中有句話說:「寧可千年不往生,不可一日入魔道。」如果我們稍不具「四種清淨明誨」的擇法眼,恐怕成為他們的眷屬尚不自知。

末學在此順便提供七點邪正的分別法要以供參考:

一、以「婚姻雜配、男女荒淫、荒唐怪誕」為餌,以吸引徒眾,強為救世之宗教師,是「邪」。

二、「符咒、財星、某某明王」足以致富,號召貪欲眾生之宗教師,是「邪」。」

三、以「自殺、他殺、殺眾生、食眾生肉」,並以符咒為「被食眾生」作救度之宗教師,是「邪」。

四、「種種奇異苦行,自我傷殘」,企圖牽動眾生的心,妄稱代眾生受苦,是「邪」。

五、法異能、神跡靈能」為工具,以吸引好奇眾生之宗教師,是「邪」。

六、「妄加變更佛門修行果位」,曲解信解修證內容,自立為宗教主角者,是「邪」。

七、「以自立佛門宗派,稱某派宗師,而無佛法理上之根據」,此類宗教師,是「邪」。

第一節 正法與末法

曾經有一位信徒問道:「上人常說:『真認自己錯,莫論他人非,他非即我非,同體名大悲。』為何上人常在萬佛城月刊中公開批評談論他人的是非?這豈不是言行不一嗎?」上人答道 :

「墮地獄的是我不是你。要是真的,這也不是是非;要是假的,一定墮地獄。若說大修行人沒有因果,則墮五百世做狐狸的果報。

我如果是撥無因果的話,拿黑的當白的,拿白的當黑的;拿是當非,拿非當是,說錯話,我入拔舌地獄。如果我沒有說錯話,那我沒有罪的。孟子說過:『予豈好辯哉?予不得已也……楊墨之道不息,孔子之道不著。』我為什麼好說是非?因為佛教裡頭太多是非了!

又什麼黑教、白教、黃教、紅教……都變成了顏色不一樣,把人的眼晴都弄得眼花撩亂,連黑的也不知道是黑的,白的也不知道是白的。所以我要說人所不敢說的話,你們誰如果不高興的話,那沒有關係,我不在乎的 !我是專門破人邪知邪見的 ! 」

由以上這段話,我們可以了解上人那「不忍眾生苦」的大慈憫心。所謂「大慈大悲,近乎殘忍」,正是菩薩教化眾生的方便。上人也曾題一詩以明其志:「我要說真話,不怕打與罵,殺我無所畏,解脫有何掛?」虛雲老和尚說:「秀才是孔子的罪人,和尚是佛的罪人。」也可說:「滅佛法者,教徒也,非異教也;亡六國者,六國也,非秦也;卒秦者,秦也,非六國也。」經上所說末法時期的種種衰相到處可見,如和袈裟變白衣,白衣居上座……等。還有歐陽竟無居士,用他的知見,作《楞嚴百偽說》,來反對《楞嚴》;遠參法師說《華嚴》、《圓覺》、《法華》等經和《起信論》都是假的,這都是末法的現象。

上人對於護持正法則多次的開示說 :

「在佛教裡,所有的經典都很重要,唯獨《楞嚴經》更為重要,凡是有《楞嚴經》所在的地方,就是正法住世。《楞嚴經》沒有了,就是末法現前。《法滅盡經》上說『末法時代,《楞嚴經》先滅,其餘諸經,逐漸而滅。』《楞嚴經》是佛的真身,佛的舍利,佛的塔廟。如果《楞嚴經》是偽經的話,我願墮無間地獄,永遠在地獄裡,不再到世間見所有的人。」「那一位能把《楞嚴經》背得出,能把《楞嚴咒》背得出,那才是真正的佛子。」

釋迦牟尼佛曾在《大般涅槃經》中告訴迦葉尊者說:

「我往昔為國王,名叫有德,為護持正法,與壞亂正法者極共戰鬥而身亡。命終之後,生阿閃佛國,而為彼佛第一弟子。……迦葉!護持正法者,得如是無量功德果報。我以是護持正法因緣,於今日得種種相以自莊嚴,成就金剛不壞之法身。」

法雖無正、像、末,但人心卻有正、像、末。上人認為,什麼時候有人用功修行,什麼時候就是正法。如果沒人修行,沒有人讀誦或背誦《楞嚴經》,那就是末法時代了。因為《楞嚴經》中說的「四種清淨明誨」殺盜淫妄及「五十種陰魔」,把天魔外道的骨頭都給看穿了,說破了,沒有人持戒就是末法,戒在佛法即在也。上人在七十九年返台於高雄勞工中心語重心長的開示:

末法是由在家人「單單」護持「一個」出家人造成的。為什麼會這樣呢 ?上人說:

「出家人一個人住一個廟,稱王稱霸做皇帝;在家人法沒有擇法眼,護來護去護到地獄去。在正法時代,大眾都同住在大叢林大廟中,一起用功修道,而末法時代,人都不願住叢林。一個人住一個廟,你有你一套,我有我一套,把在家人弄得迷糊了。看這個和尚生得很漂亮,我護他的法,給他造個廟,那個又不錯,又給他造個廟。護來護去,把出家人弄得生出貪利心,讓他還俗去了。

 

Although the Buddha mentioned the Dharma's demise many times, still, the fact that the Buddha tried to curtail the demise of the Proper Dharma is clearly evident in such passages as the one in the Nirvana Sutra where he said "During the Dharma Ending Age there will be 120,000 Great Bodhisattvas who will uphold the Dharma and keep it from extinction." From that we should be able to recognize the Master's "not permitting the Dharma's demise"--isn't that really the great kind and compassionate mind of the Thus Come Ones?

The Master made an even more painful remark:

When the Dharma becomes extinct, it is the Sangha itself that becomes extinct.
Virtue in the Way should be cultivated,but people won't cultivate it.
Those who are honest and sincere are ridiculed.
Those who are false and cunning receive praise and precedence.

To make the entire world pure and fresh and to awaken beings forever from their three-layer-deep stupor,
Diligently remind the young Sanghans that
The spreading and flourishing of my teaching depends on the Bhikshus.

In Buddhism there can't be just 99%. If even one part of Buddhism is false, then it is no longer "Proper Dharma." And so we must distinguish clearly, because in temples there are both "deviant dharmas and externalists." There's a saying in Buddhism: "I would rather not get reborn for a thousand years than to enter the paths of demons for a single day." If we lack the wise vision found in the Four Clear Instructions on Purity, we may join the retinue of demons without even realizing it.

This student will take this opportunity to present seven points that are essential in distinguishing the proper from the deviant.

1. A religious teacher who promotes swapping marriage partners, promiscuity, and perverse practices as bait to entice disciples and as means to save the world is deviant.

2. A religious teacher who appeals to people's greed by claiming that he can employ talismans, incantations, and gods of wealth to make them rich is deviant.

3. A religious teacher who advocates direct or indirect killing of beings and eating of their flesh and who claims he can save the souls of the creatures being eaten by means of talismans and incantations is deviant.

4. A religious teacher who tries to impress people by practicing all kinds of weird asceticism and passing it off as undergoing suffering for the sake of living beings is deviant.

5. A religious teacher who uses special psychic and spiritual powers and miracles to attract curious people is deviant.

6. A religious teacher who distorts the stages of Buddhist practice and gives a twisted interpretation of the meaning of faith, understanding, cultivation, and certification, setting himself up as a religious authority, is deviant.

7. A religious teacher who sets himself up as the leader of his own sect without any authentic basis in the principles of Buddhism is deviant.

Section One: Proper Dharma and Dharma Ending

Once a disciple made this inquiry, "The Master often says:

Truly recognize your own faults.
Don't discuss the faults of others.
Others' faults are just my own.
To be one with everyone is called Great Compassion.

And so why is the Master always openly criticizing others in Vajra Bodhi Sea (the monthly journal of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas)?  Isn't that a case of saying one thing and doing another? The Master answered:

The one who will fall into the hells is me, not you. If what I say is true, then it's not gossip; if it's not true, then I will definitely fall into the hells. If someone says great cultivators are not subject to cause and effect, then the retribution for that is 500 lives as a fox.

If I deny cause and effect--calling black white and white black, calling right wrong and wrong right--saying things that are not so, then I will go into the Hell of Plowing Tongues. If I haven't spoken incorrectly, then I have no offense. Mencius said: "I don't like to debate, but I have no choice. If the teachings of Yang (Zhu) and Mo (Zi) aren't put to rest, then the teachings of Kong Zi [Confucius] cannot flourish. "Why do I like to talk about what's right and what's wrong? It's because in Buddhism there are entirely too many rights and wrongs!

There's the black teaching, the white teaching, the yellow teaching, the red teaching--they've become all kinds of different colors that confuse the eye. It's gotten to the point that the blacks don't know they are black, and the whites don't know they are white. And so I like to say things that others don't dare to say. If any of you are offended, it doesn't matter--I'm not concerned. I specialize in breaking through people's deviant knowledge and deviant views.

From the above passage we can recognize the depth of the Master's compassionate mind, which couldn't bear to see living beings suffer. The so-called great kindness and compassion that borders on being harsh is actually an expedient used to teach and transform living beings. The Master once wrote a verse that clarifies his determination:

If I speak the truth,
Then I'm not afraid of being beaten or scolded.
Kill me, I have no fear.
What inhibitions are there in liberation?

Elder Master Hsu Yun said imperial scholars are Confucian criminals; monks are Buddhist criminals. He also said, "The demise of the Buddhadharma is wrought by its own disciples, not by any other teaching. What defeated the Six States was the Six States themselves; it wasn't the State of Qin. What finished the State of Qin was Qin itself; it wasn't the Six States."

These various manifestations of the Dharma's decline can be perceived everywhere--such things as monks with wives, precepts sashes turning into secular clothing, laypeople ascending the high seat, and so forth. There's also Upasaka Ouyang Jingwu who, based on his own opinions, wrote A Discussion of the Many Spurious Aspects of the Shurangama, which is an attack on the Shurangama. Dharma Master Yuan Tsan says that the Avatamsaka, the Perfect Enlightenment, the Lotus and other sutras as well as the Awakening of Faith in the Mahayana are all fraudulent. These are signs of the Dharma Ending Age.

The Master repeated his instructions about protecting and supporting the Proper Dharma many times:

In Buddhism all the sutras are very important, but the Shurangama Sutra is even more important. Wherever the Shurangama Sutra is, the Proper Dharma abides in the world. When the Shurangama Sutra is gone, that is a sign of the Dharma Ending Age. When I explained the Shurangama Sutra, I said, "In the Dharma Ending Age, the Shurangama Sutra will become extinct first. Then gradually the other sutras will also become extinct." The Shurangama Sutra is the true body of the Buddha; the sharira of the Buddha; the stupa of the Buddha. If the Shurangama Sutra is false, then I am willing to fall into the unintermittent hell, stay there forever, and never again come back to the world to see all of you. Whoever can memorize the Shurangama Sutra, whoever can memorize the Shurangama Mantra,  is a true disciple of the Buddha.

In the Mahaparinirvana Sutra, Shakyamuni Buddha said to the Venerable Kashyapa:

In the past when I was a king named Possessing Virtue, in order to protect the Proper Dharma, I went to war against those who wanted to destroy it, and I lost my life. After I died, I was born in Akshobhya Buddha's land and became his foremost disciple... Kashyapa! Those who protect the Proper Dharma receive such rewards of infinite merit and virtue. Because I protected the Proper Dharma, I now am endowed with all kinds of physical hallmarks and have perfected a vajra indestructible body.

The Dharma itself isn't Proper, Image, or Ending; these are merely distinctions that exist in people's minds. The Master's view is that any time people work hard at cultivation is a time when the Proper Dharma abides. If no one cultivates, if no one reads, recites, and memorizes the Shurangama Sutra, then that's the Dharma Ending Age. That's because the Shurangama Sutra's "Four Clear Instructions on Purity" which discuss killing, stealing, lust, and lying and its "Fifty Skandha-Demon States" that expose the very bones of all the heavenly demons and externalists, both say flat out that when people don't hold the precepts, then that's the Dharma Ending Age; whenever there are precepts, there is Buddhadharma. In l990, in a serious talk given at the Labor Hall in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, the Master said that the Dharma Ending Age results from the laity singling out individual left-home people to protect and support. What did he mean? The Master said:

Left-home people go off to live alone in their own temple and act like kings, like dictators, like emperors. The laity lack the "Dharma-selecting eye" and go about protecting here and protecting there until they protect people right into the hells. In the Proper Dharma Age, everyone lives and cultivates together in large monastic complexes. In the Dharma Ending Age no one wants to live in large monastic complexes. It's one person per temple. You have your way of doing things, and I have mine. And this throws the laity into a real quandary. They see that a certain monk is good-looking and decide to protect his Dharma, so they set him up with his own temple. Then they notice another monk who's not bad and build a temple for him. Protecting here and protecting there, they cause the left-home people to get greedy for benefits to the point that they return to lay life.

To be continued


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