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《人物誌》

 

BIOGRAPHIES

【 佛祖道影白話解 】

COMMENTARY ON THE LIVES OF THE PATRIARCHS

七十世 爾密明澓禪師
Patriarchs of the Seventieth Generation:Dhyana Master Ermi Mingfu

虛雲老和尚集  Composed by the Elder Master Hsu Yun
宣公 上人/講於 一九八五年六月二十六日Commentary by the Venerable Master Hua on June 26, 1985

師生會稽。王氏。謁貞白珊公於大慈。決志力參。尋探友德清。舟中聞鑼聲。有省。舉似雲門。門曰。此夙根所致耳。尚須知。有向上一著。師唯唯。一日。門上堂曰。放下著。師忽全身脫落。作偈曰。夜半霜寒月忽低。行人到此盡遲疑。翻身踏斷來時路。點點星輝斗柄垂。門可之。越二年。門付之。崇禎戊辰。出世東山國慶寺。次住梅墅。後兩主顯聖席。庚辰仍還東山。壬午夏。示微疾。絕食旬餘。化去時。談笑恍如平昔。塔全身於顯聖。
讚曰
   一聞鑼聲
   忘卻故步
   親到雲門
   青天雲過
   斗柄星輝
   月船夜渡
   薔微洞口

又說偈曰
  決志參究本來人 忽聞鑼聲月西沉
  放下身心勿罣礙 提起菩提有反聞
  夜半霜寒行者少 修道至此莫因循
  回頭踏破生死路 斗柄垂垂笑吟吟

這位是曹洞宗的祖師,叫爾密明澓禪師。這位禪師他生在浙江會稽。這個字也不讀「慧」,也不讀「快」,讀「貴」,會稽。王氏子,這個不是說我說的,你們以後講東西,不要那麼拖泥帶水的。這是普通的一種學問。你有文學的底子,你就知道怎麼樣讀。這不是說「我」說的,不是我留下的,所以你們拉出我來,這是不可以的。

「王氏」:他俗家姓王。「謁貞白珊公於大慈」:他最初參訪貞白禪師;貞白禪師在大慈寺的地方。「決志力參」:那麼他下定決心要參禪。「尋探友德清」:尋,就是過一個短短的時間。他去探訪他的同參道友德清禪師。德清就是憨山大師,這是明朝很有名的一位大德。

「舟中聞鑼聲,有省」:你看古來人,聽見聲音也有開悟的。你們要知道,並不是他聽見了聲音就開悟;這是他平時用功,用到登峰造極的時候了,他在那兒,或者「磕」一下子,他也會開悟;或者「碰」一下子,他也會開悟;或者有一隻鳥叫喚,他一聽見這個聲音,也會開悟的。不是聽那隻鳥叫;聽那個鑼聲;聽那磕的、碰的聲音,他才開悟。就是因為他用功用到極點了,登峰造極了。百尺竿頭,絕處逢生了;他因為在那兒用功用得打成一片了,忽然在這個船裡頭,聽見這個鑼。「轟」……這麼一個聲音,哎!他就開悟了。有省,就是開一點點小悟,不是開大悟。

「舉似雲門」:那麼他到雲門禪師那兒,就說一說他這種境界。究竟他這個境界是怎麼樣子?那麼這是當時才知道。當時「門曰」:雲門就說了,「夙根所致耳」:你呀!前生是個修道的人,所以現在有這種境界。這是不錯!這是給他一個鼓勵。給他鼓勵,就是要他還不要自滿。

所以就又說一句,「尚須知有向上一著」:這個不是究竟呀!你不是就徹底開悟啦!你還要知道向上一著;向上一著,就是最上的。「死處逢生、絕處逢生」,在這個不能忍的地方,你要忍;不能讓的地方,要讓;不能吃的地方,要吃;不能受的地方,要受。受不了的嘛,要受;忍不住的嘛,要忍。這就是最困難的地方,你也不能退步。這向上一著,就是這樣的,就是只有精進,而沒有向後退。向上一著,就是往上爬,百尺竿頭重進步。

「師唯唯」:唯唯,是應諾之詞;就是答應,「是」、「是」、「是」、「是」、「是」、「是」。說了幾個「是」。

「一日」:有一天,「門上堂曰」:雲門上堂又說了——因為他這一句話是常常說的。雲門說法的法語,是什麼呢?說「放下著」:叫你快放下!這麼樣子呵一聲。那麼,這一下子怎麼樣啦?把他嚇得都放下著。

「師忽全身脫落」:怎麼叫全身脫落呢?就是沒有啦!這一聲「放下著」,他那個時候,內無身心,外無世界,和這個虛空合而為一了。那麼「虛空雖大,我不小;微塵雖小,我不大」,「於一毫端現寶王剎,坐微塵裡轉大法輪」,有這個境界。那麼這個時候,身心脫落,內無身心可使,外無世界可著,把執著都沒有啦!

「作偈曰」:他就作個偈頌,說「夜半霜寒月忽低」:夜半就是半夜。霜寒,這時候很冷的,霜露戚戚,雨雪霏霏。月忽低,月也要落了,一點光亮都沒有了。可是怎麼樣呢?行人至此,行人,就是修行人。「到此盡遲疑」:到這個地方,就躑躅不前,想要前進吧,就不知道有沒有路?就是百尺竿頭那個地方。也就是天黑夜晚,那個沒有燈光了,這個時候,唉喲!不要走囉!前面路也不好走啦!很難呀!就這麼樣,所以盡遲疑,就在那兒徘徊,不知道是往前進,是往後退,就在進退維谷的時候——進退也都不知道,不知什麼好。遲疑,就是在那兒猶猶豫豫的;猶豫不決,所以盡遲疑。

「翻身踏斷來時路」:翻身,回轉頭。踏斷,這個舉腳踏,把它踩斷了;踩斷什麼呢?來時路。來時是什麼呢?來生路,怎麼樣生來的?可是這個時候呢,將來是死路,來時路去時路,這個來時路踏斷了,也沒有去處啦!不來不去了!這時候,就了生死了。所以生死了了,踏斷來時路,怎麼樣呢?

待續

The Master was born in Guiji, a son of the Wang family. He studied under Master Zhenbai (White Purity), the Venerable Shan, at Daci (Great Kindness) Monastery. He set his mind on investigating Chan. Shortly afterwards he went to visit his friend, Master Deqing. While on a boat, he heard the sound of a gong and had an awakening. He brought it up to Master Yunmen. Master Yunmen said, "The roots you planted in the past have ripened. But you must know that there is still a higher realm. The Master said, "Okay, okay." One day Master Yunmen entered the hall and said, “Put it down.” The Master suddenly experienced complete liberation. He composed a verse: "At midnight, in the cold frost, the moon is suddenly low. When a cultivator reaches that state, his steps falter. Turning back, he steps on and severs the path from which he came. In the dim starlight, the handle of The Dipper falls.” Yunmen expressed his approval. After two years Yunmen entrusted the Dharma to him. In the year of wuchen of the Chongzhen reign period, he became the Abbot of Guoqing Monastery at Dongshan (East Mountain). Next he dwelt at Meishu (Plum Abode), and then he served two terms as Abbot at Xiansheng (Manifest Sage) Monastery. In the year of genchen, he returned to Dongshan. In the summer of the year of renwu, he manifested a slight illness and fasted for over a week. When he was about to pass away, he was still talking and laughing as usual. His body was preserved intact at Xiansheng Monastery.

The name of this Patriarch of the Caodong Sect is Dhyana Master Ermi Mingfu. He was born in Guiji of Zhejiang province. Here the character 會 is pronounced gui, not hui or kuai. You shouldn't say that I'm the one who says it's pronounced that way; this is general knowledge. When you explain things in the future, don't be so roundabout. If you have any learning, you will know how to pronounce it. This is not something that I'm passing down. You shouldn't drag out my name to back it up.

A son of the Wang family. His lay surname was Wang. He studied under Master Zhenbai (White Purity), the Venerable Shan, at Daci (Great Kindness) Monastery. In the beginning he went to study with Dhyana Master Zhenbai, who was living at Daci Monastery. He set his mind on investigating Chan. He resolved to investigate Chan meditation. Shortly afterwards he went to visit his friend, Master Deqing. After a short time, he went to see his fellow cultivator and friend in the Way, Dhyana Master Deqing (Clear Virtue), that is, Great Master Hanshan (Silly Mountain), a renowned monk of great virtue in the Ming dynasty.

While on a boat, he heard the sound of a gong and had an awakening. See how the ancients could become enlightened just by hearing a sound? You should know that he didn't become enlightened solely by hearing a sound. It happened because he usually applied effort in his cultivation. When his cultivation reached the peak of intensity, he might run into something and become enlightened; or bump into something and get enlightened; or he might hear a bird chirping and get enlightened. It's not the sound of the bird chirping, or the sound of the horn, or the sound of bumping or running into something that makes him enlightened. The enlightenment occurs because he has applied effort to the utmost point. At the top of a hundred-foot pole, at a dead-end--he gains new life. Because he was able to be like this, single-mindedly applying effort, when he heard the sound of the gong--bong!--from within the boat--ah!--he got enlightened. "Awakening" means he had a small enlightenment, not a great one.

He brought it up to Master Yunmen. He went to ask Dhyana Master Yunmen about the state he had experienced. What was it all about? Master Yunmen said, "The roots you planted in the past have ripened." He said, "You were a cultivator in your past life. That's why you have had such a state. This is not bad." He gave him some encouragement, but he didn't want him to become self-satisfied, so he added, "But you must know that there is still a higher realm. This is not the ultimate! You haven't reached thorough enlightenment. You should know that above there is still a higher state, where you get to a dead-end and find new life. When things get unbearable, you have to bear them; at the point when you cannot yield, you have to yield. When you cannot eat something, you've got to eat it. You have to take what you cannot take; you have to endure what you find unendurable. Right at the most difficult point, you must not retreat. That's what the higher realm is like. It means you vigorously progress and never retreat. You keep climbing upwards. At the top of a hundred-foot pole, you take another step. That's how you get to a higher state.    The Master said, "Okay, okay." He agreed and said, "Yes, yes, yes."

One day Master Yunmen entered the hall and said something that's very commonly said. What were his words of Dharma? He said, "Put it down." He was telling him, "Quickly put it down." With that one rebuke, what happened? The Master was so taken aback that he put everything down.

The Master suddenly experienced complete liberation. What is complete liberation? It means there is nothing whatsoever. Right at that point, with the words "Put it down," he became unaware of his body, mind, or the outside world. He became one with empty space. Although space is great, I am not small. Although a dust mote is tiny, I am not big. The land of a jeweled king appears on the tip of a hair. Sitting inside a mote of dust, one turns the great Dharma wheel. He had that kind of state. Being liberated in body and mind meant that, inside there is no body or mind to order around, and outside there is no world to cling to. All attachments are done away with!

He composed a verse: "At midnight, in the cold frost, the moon is suddenly low." It was very cold. There was frost on the ground, and the snow fell in flurries. The moon was about to set, and there was no light whatsover. But what happened then? When a cultivator reaches that state, his steps falter. When he gets there, he hesitates and cannot go forward. He wants to advance, but doesn't know if there is a road. It's like being at the top of the hundred-foot pole. It's pitch-black in the night; there are no lamps lit. At this point, he thinks, "Oh, I'd better not go. The road ahead will be very difficult to walk!" That's how he hesitates and considers back and forth, not knowing whether to advance or retreat. He doesn't know whether to go forward or back. He doesn't know what he should do. He can't make up his mind.

Turning back, he steps on and severs the path from which he came. He turned around, lifted his foot, and brought it down, breaking it up. Breaking what up? The road from which he came. That is, the path of his birth, the way he was born. But now, this path will eventually lead to his death. The path from which he came is also the path on which he will leave. When he steps through and breaks the path from which he came, then he has nowhere to go either! He neither comes nor goes! At this point he ends birth and death. When he severs the path from which he came and puts an end to birth and death, what happens then?

To be continued

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