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《上人法雨》

 

VENERABLE MASTER'S DHARMA RAIN

宣公上人開示選輯

Excerpts from the Venerable Master Hua Lectures

節錄自六祖壇經淺釋
Excerpted from the Sixth Patriarch’s Sutra

「編輯室整理」by the editorial staff

六祖的傳承,是從印度是第二十八代祖師「菩提達摩」傳入中國的。
當時達摩祖師看中國的大乘根性成熟了,應該把大乘的佛教,帶到中國;於是乎,也不怕路程遙遠、旅行的辛苦,來到中國。
可是當他到了中國以後,就有菩提支流這一班人忌妒他,總是想盡辦法要毒殺這一位祖師,但都沒法子毒死達摩祖師。
以後達摩祖師找到傳法的繼承人慧可大師,就傳衣缽給慧可大師,之後就入涅槃了。

第二位祖師是「慧可大師」,他以前的名字,叫神光。因為他降生的時候,他的父母看見一個金甲的神人,放大光明。這一位祖師,生來非常聰明,記憶力非常強,所謂「目下十行字,耳聽百人音」。

這一位祖師,脾氣最大,講話不投機,就想打。在四十歲以前,連講經說法,都帶著鐵念珠,行俠仗義,有不平的事情,他就要平一平。因為這個,所以見到達摩祖師,他就用念珠打菩提達摩,結果跪了九年,自己把臂斬斷了一隻。你想想,要是沒有脾氣,怎麼能捨得把自己的臂,一刀就斬斷。這就是有脾氣,有火氣,所以把自己的臂斬斷。他的脾氣,是大仁、大勇、大智、大慧的。

後來遇到菩提流支的這一班徒黨,總是妒忌障礙他,想要殺害他。所以慧可大師就假裝瘋狂,就是發顛、發神經病。在發神經病期間,有緣的人,他就度。他雖然假裝有神經病,但是和眾生有緣,所以很多人相信慧可大師。

第三位祖師是「僧璨法師」,是隋朝時代的人。這一位祖師,誰也不知道他從什麼地方來的?姓什麼?叫什麼?沒有人知道。他來見二祖的時候,身上生了很多的瘡,很多的癰疽,就像大痲瘋一樣。

二祖問他說:「你從什麼地方來?你來到這地方幹什麼?」

他說:「我來皈依和尚,學習佛法。」

二祖說:「你病得這個樣子,污濁邋遢,身上這麼樣不乾淨,你怎麼 可以學佛法呢?」

他說:「我這個有病的人,和你和尚,有什麼分別 ,心有什麼不同?」

三祖僧璨法師,也學他師父的樣子,假裝發瘋癲,到處默默教化眾生。他說:「你們都認為坐著死,這是最好了;你們現在看看我,我給你們來一個特別的樣子。我生死自由!」怎麼樣子呢?說完這話,就在當時千僧齋那個地方,前面有一棵大樹,他一隻手攀著一個樹枝子,腳翹起來;並不是上吊,但是可就死了,奄然而化。就這麼手扳著樹枝,就圓寂了。

第四位祖師是「道信禪師」,他是唐朝的時候人,俗家姓司馬,名字叫信。生在很有名望的家族,從小就出家修道。他活了七十二歲,但是,六十年長坐不臥,六十年總是坐著不臥,他眼睛也常常閉著不睜開,可是眼睛一睜開,一般人一看見他的眼睛,就都打戰顫,嚇得就像地震似的,他就是有這種威德。

他的成就,是有不可思議的境界。有一次,他在山上修道,湖北這個城,被賊、土匪給圍困住一百多天。他就到城裏來教化所有的城民,教官和民都念「摩訶般若波羅蜜多」。一念這「摩訶般若波羅蜜多」,沒有好久,賊、土匪就都散去、退了,井裏的水,又都有了,這是一種感應道交的情形。

他教化眾生時,遇到很剛強難化的眾生;他教他們改惡向善,他就改善向惡,不聽教化。他用種種的權巧方便法門,結果把這剛強眾生,也教化得改惡向善,知道自己是錯誤的。他弘揚佛法,有四十多年,所教化的眾生,如稻麻竹葦那麼多。

第五位祖師是「弘忍大師」,生在湖北雙峰山黃梅縣,俗家姓周,七歲就送到廟上修行。他白天勤勞作苦工,任勞任怨。誰說他不對,他就很歡喜地接受,很歡喜地改過自新。七歲的時候,就是這樣一天一天修行,白天做一切的事護持道場,晚間就參禪打坐,認真用功。時間一分一毫也不空過!

五祖弘忍大師,為什麼叫弘忍呢?就是什麼他都忍。忍不了的,他也要忍;讓不了的,他也要讓。他身量長得高高大大的,身高八尺,相貌奇特。他眼睛有神,口不隨便講話,天天都是謹言慎行的。他是時時刻刻、行住坐臥都在用功,不把光陰空過。

五祖大師的戒行精嚴,他修行是特別認真的。有一次,土匪就把湖北這個城圍上,弘忍大師忍不住,想要救城裏的老百姓;於是乎,就下山,從東山那個地方,到湖北城裏。可是土匪一見著弘忍大師,卻看到都是些穿金盔金甲的天兵、天將,好像從天上下來的天神一樣,手拿著寶劍,這麼威武奇揚的,就嚇得丟盔卸甲,望影而逃。

第六位祖師是「惠能大師」,他生在唐朝貞觀時代,祖籍是范陽。他生的時候,毫光遍空,異香滿室。出生後,不吃母乳,夜間有神人灌以甘露,所以他不知不覺,天天就長大起來。他家很貧寒,自小就各處去斬柴來賣,以賣柴維持生活。

既長,年二十四歲,這是已冠的時候,可是他仍然斬柴、賣柴。有一天,他賣柴,到一個客人的家裏,把錢收回來,聽見有人在旁讀誦經典。聽到「應無所住而生其心」,他豁然開悟,便往黃梅求印證。

六祖大師生有異稟。五祖見到六祖大師,就認識他是法器、法門的龍象,可是不動聲色,叫他到碓房裏踏碓。他就去勞作、去舂米,一邊舂米,一邊用功。

有一天,五祖問他:「米都做好了沒有?」

他說:「米做好了很久,米已熟矣。」

於是乎,五祖就把衣缽、信物傳給他,令他紹隆佛種,做第六代的祖師。

之後六祖大師南歸,隱遁十六年專門修行,培養福德和智慧;和打獵的人在一起,所謂和光混俗,「挫其銳,解其紛;和其光,同其塵。」在獵人隊裏,韜光晦跡,藏器待時。經過十六年,到唐朝儀鳳元年的時候,正月初八丙子,就在廣州光孝寺,遇到印宗法師;印宗法師就為六祖大師落髮。等到二月初八,又給六祖大師授具足戒。六祖大師受戒之後,和四眾弟子說法,開示單傳直指人心,見性成佛的正法眼藏、涅槃妙心、實相無相的心法。

現在在這兒研究歷代祖師,我們每一個人要迴光返照,自己選擇一個。我要學哪一位祖師?哪一位祖師,是我的榜樣?我願意照著他這樣去修行。我們要這樣想,聽經才有用,對我們自己的身心、生死上,才有幫助。我們如果聽經是經,我是我,我和經分開,我和祖師也分開,那始終不能得到利益。我們要「見賢思齊焉,見不賢而內自省也。」哪一位祖師,我們最佩服,我們就要向他看齊,向他學習,這才不把時間浪費。

-完-

The Dharma that the Sixth Patriarch inherited was transmitted to China by the twenty-eighth Patriarch in India, Great Master Bodhidharma. Patriarch Bodhidharma had observed that the roots for the Great Vehicle were mature in China, and decided that he ought to bring the Great Vehicle Buddhism to China. Therefore, undaunted by the distance and the rigors of the journey, he came to China.
But after he arrived in China, Bodhiruci and his followers were jealous of him. They made many attempts to poison the Patriarch to death, but never succeeded in doing so. Later Patriarch Bodhidharma found a successor to whom he could transmit the Dharma--Great Master Huike. He transmitted the robe and bowl to Great Master Huike, and then he entered Nirvana.

Great Master Huike was the Second Patriarch. His former name had been Shenguang (Spiritual Light), because when he was born, his parents saw a golden-armoured spiritual being emit brilliant light. This Patriarch was extremely intelligent and had an excellent memory. He could read ten lines in the time it took an ordinary person to read one. In a gathering of a hundred people, all talking at once, he could clearly distinguish each conversation.

This Patriarch, however, had a huge temper. If someone disagreed with him, he was ready to fight. Before the age of forty, he always wore a string of iron recitation beads, even when he was explaining the Sutras or speaking the Dharma. He used them to restore justice wherever he saw injustice being done. That's why, when he saw Patriarch Bodhidharma, he used his beads to hit the Patriarch. But then he knelt for nine years and cut off one of his arms. Think about it. If he didn't have a temper, how could he have chopped off his arm with one stroke? It was his temper--his anger--that enabled him to cut off his arm. His temper displayed great humaneness, great courage, great intelligence, and great wisdom.

Later, the disciples of Bodhiruci tried to obstruct and kill him out of jealousy. For this reason, Great Master Huike feigned insanity. But during that time he continued to teach those people who had affinities with him. Even though he was pretending to be crazy, he still had affinities with living beings, and many people came to believe in him.

The Third Patriarch was Dharma Master Sengcan, who lived in the Sui dynasty. No one knew his origins or his lay name. When he first came to visit the Second Patriarch, his body was covered with repulsive sores like those of a leper.

Where are you from? asked the Second Patriarch. “What are you doing here?

I have come to take refuge with the High Master, and to study and cultivate the Buddhadharma, answered Master Sengcan.

You have a loathsome disease and your body is filthy. How can you study the Buddhadharma? asked the Second Patriarch.

“I am a sick man and you are a high master, he said, but in our true minds where is the difference?”

The Third Patriarch, Dharma Master Sengcan, also feigned insanity just as his teacher had. He went around quietly and taught living beings. He said, You all think that to sit in full lotus is the best way to die. Watch! I'll demonstrate my independence over birth and death in a special way!” Saying that, he went up to a big tree in front of the dining hall where a thousand Bhikshus had been invited to a vegetarian feast. He leapt up and grapped a branch, and although he didn't hang himself, he died right then and there. While swinging from the tree by one hand, he quietly entered Nirvana.

The Fourth Patriarch was Dhyana Master Daoxin (Faith in the Way) of the Tang dynasty. His surname was Sima, and his name was Xin. His family was well-respected. He left the home-life at a young age to cultivate the Way, and lived to the age of seventy-two. For sixty years he sat constantly in meditation, never lying down to rest. Although he seldom opened his eyes, when he did, everyone shook with terror. Such was the magnitude of his awesome virtue.

The realm of his achievement was inconceivable. Once when he was cultivating in the mountains, the nearby city of Hubei was besieged by bandits for more than a hundred days. He went into the city to teach the officials and citizens there to recite “Mahaprajnaparamita.” After they had recited for a time, the bandits fled and water reappeared in the wells. This is the response based on the Way which Master Daoxin evoked.

When the Master encountered stubborn living beings, he taught them to discard their bad habits and become good. Those incorrigible beings, however, often discarded what was good and continued doing evil. They didn't follow his directions. But the Master persisted and by using all kinds of skill-in-means caused these stubborn living beings to realize their mistakes and reform. He propagated the Buddhadharma for more than forty years, transforming living beings greater in number than seedlings of rice, stalks of hemp, shoots of bamboo, or blades of grass.

The Fifth Patriarch was Great Master Hongren (Vast Patience). He lived in Huangmei County near Double Peak Mountain in Hubei Province. His family name was Zhou. When he was seven, he was sent to a monastery to cultivate. During the daytime, he worked diligently and bore the toil and complaints. No matter who criticized him, he would accept it happily and reform his faults. That's how he cultivated day after day when he was only seven, doing all the chores in the temple during the daytime, and vigorously applying effort in Chan meditation at night. He did't let a single moment go by in vain.

Why was the Fifth Patriarch named Hongren, “Vast Patience”?  It was because he could be patient with anything. Even what was unbearable, he would bear. What he could not yield, he would yield. Great Master Hongren's physique was tall and big. He was eight feet tall and had an extraordinary appearance. His eyes were very bright, and he did not casually open his mouth to talk. He always spoke and acted with great caution. In every moment, whether he was walking around or standing still, awake or asleep, he was working hard at his cultivation. He never let the time go to waste.

The Fifth Patriarch was very strict in his observance of the precepts. He was especially earnest in his cultivation. Once when the city of Hubei was besieged by bandits, Great Master Hongren immediately decided he had to rescue the city's residents. He descended East Mountain and entered the city. When the bandits looked at Great Master Hongren, what they saw were golden-armored heavenly troops seeming to descend from the heavens, armed with jeweled weapons, manifesting their awesome military strength. They were so terrified that they threw down their helmets and armor and fled.

The Sixth Patriarch was Great Master Huineng (Kind and Able). He was born during the Zhenguan Reign of the Tang Dynasty. His ancestors were from Fanyang. At the time of his birth, a beam of light shined in space and a strange fragrance filled the room. After being born, he did not drink his mother's milk. At night, spirits appeared and poured sweet dew over him. And so as the days went by, he gradually grew up. Since his family was very poor, he had to gather wood to sell in order to support himself.

He grew up, and at the age of twenty-four--when he was already an adult--he still had to gather wood to sell. One day he had to deliver some wood to a customer's home. As he collected the money, he heard someone reciting a Sutra nearby. When he heard the person recite to the line,“One should produce the thought which dwells nowhere,” he suddenly became enlightened. Then he went to Huangmei to seek certification.

From the time he was born, the Sixth Patriarch was different from others. When the Fifth Patriarch saw him, he recognized that the Sixth Patriarch was a vessel for the Dharma, one who would achieve great things in Buddhism, but he didn't let his feelings show. Instead, he told the Sixth Patriarch to go to the threshing room to thresh rice. And so he went there to toil at threshing rice. As he threshed the rice, he worked on his cultivation. One day, the Fifth Patriarch asked him,

Is the rice ready?

The rice has long been ready, he replied.

The Fifth Patriarch then transmitted the robe and bowl--the articles of faith--to him. He thus inherited the lineage of the Buddhas and became the Sixth Patriarch.

Later the Sixth Patriarch returned south and hid for sixteen years, during which he concentrated on his cultivation and nurtured his blessings and wisdom. He lived among hunters, mingling with worldly people. He concealed his talents and went along with mundane customs, softened his character, and dissolved internal complications. He hid among the hunters and waited for sixteen years. Then, on the eight day of the first month in the first year of the reign period Yifeng (A.D. 676), the cyclical year bingzi, he met Dharma Master Yinzong at Guangxiao Monastery in Guangzhou Province. Dharma Master Yinzong shaved his head [so that he could leave home and become a Bhikshu]. On the eight day of the second month, the complete precepts were transmitted to the Sixth Patriarch. After receiving the precepts, he spoke Dharma to the fourfold assembly. He explained the Proper Dharma Eye Treasury and the wonderful mind of Nirvana, the Mind Dharma of the Real Mark which is without marks, which directly points at the mind and causes people to see their natures and become Buddhas.

Now that we are studying the Patriarchs of the past, everyone should turn the light around and shine it within. Each person should ask himself, “Which Patriarch do I want to be like? Which Patriarch is a model that I want to follow in cultivation?” We have to think about it in this way for the Sutra lecture to be of any use. This way, the lecture can help us in body and mind, and with regard to the matter of birth and death. If, after hearing the Sutra, the Sutra is still the Sutra and you are still you, so you are separate from the Sutra and the Patriarchs, then you will never gain any benefit. We have to “emulate the virtuous qualities we see in others, and examine ourselves when we see what is not virtuous.” Whichever Patriarch we admire the most, we should strive to emulate. Then we will not have wasted our time.

-The end-

 

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