萬佛城金剛菩提海 Vajra Bodhi Sea
萬佛城金剛菩提海 Vajra Bodhi Sea

金剛菩提海:首頁主目錄本期目錄

Vajra Bodhi Sea: HomeMain IndexIssue Index

《人物誌》

 

BIOGRAPHIES

【 水鏡回天錄白話解 】

REFLECTIONS IN WATER AND MIRRORS REVERSING THE TIDE OF DESTINY

須菩提尊者
Venerable Subhuti

宣公上人/講述於一九八六年十月二十一日金山聖寺 by the Venerable Master on October 21st, 1986, at Gold Mountain Sagely Monastery
國際譯經學院/記錄 Translated by the International Translation Institute

須菩提也是大權示現,倒駕慈航來的,因為他過去已經成佛,是青龍佛。現在他隱大示小,現老比丘相來助佛揚化,他這種境界都是不可思議的,是自無化有,自有化無,所以他這個名字「須菩提」,翻譯成中文,叫「空生」。

為什麼他叫空生呢?就因為他出生的時候,家裡所有倉庫裡頭的財寶都沒有了,都空了,所以他的名字就叫「空生」。過了七天之後,這所有的倉庫裡頭的糧食都變成金器,所有的珠寶又都復現出來了,因為這個,也叫「善現」,又叫「善見」。

他在母親肚子裡的時候,他就明白「四大本空,五蘊非有」的道理,所以他出生,就「解空第一」。四大,就是地、水、火、風;五蘊,就是色、受、想、行、識。我們人這個身體是四大和合而成的,又加上五蘊在這兒蓋覆著它,所以把自性的光明就常常隱蔽了,可是這些東西都是空的。

他隨佛出家之後,就「內秘菩薩行,外現聲聞身」。怎麼叫內秘菩薩行呢?就是內裡頭,他存菩薩心腸,他是利益其他人;他外面現現一個比丘身、聲聞相。聲聞是自了漢,那麼菩薩是自度度他。聲聞只能自度,而不能度他;只知道自了,而不知道了他;只知道自覺,而不能覺他。所以他心裡邊是既自覺又覺他,心裡頭存這個心,那麼外邊還是一個比丘的樣子,外現聲聞的身。

他證「無諍三昧」,它和人無爭,他說:「我坐這個地方,眾生若嫌我坐著,我就站著;眾生若不願意我站著,我就坐著也不動,總也在這坐著。」這就是恆順眾生。能以不和眾生爭,眾生叫他怎麼樣子,他就怎麼樣子,所以這恆順眾生,得了無諍三昧。那麼這樣子,他出家之後,修這個忍辱。可是他修忍辱是不著痕跡的,沒有形相的,佛說:「忍辱波羅蜜,即非忍辱波羅蜜,是名忍辱波羅蜜。」所以他明白這個無生法忍,悟無生法忍,那麼忍人所不能忍的,讓人所不能讓的,他這樣。

佛說《金剛經》,他是當機眾。等佛到忉利天為母說法,給母親說法,說《地藏菩薩本願經》度他母親,那麼說了三個月之後,就回來。回來呢,這一些個大弟子,因為有的跟著去,有的沒有去的,沒有去的就很想見佛,知道佛回來了,就去歡迎,都是爭著要先去歡迎佛。你看這個大弟子也是有貪心,爭著要先見佛。可是這個須菩提,他證得無諍三昧,他不和人家爭,他就用「心」去歡迎佛。他在自己的房裡頭,還在那兒補衲衣,補他那個破衣服,可是他的心裡已經去歡迎佛去了,所以佛就說:「先見我者,須菩提也!」你們來歡迎我,你們知道誰先來歡迎我呢?須菩提是最先來的。

在《金剛經》上,有這麼幾句經文說的,說:「凡所有相,皆是虛妄。」所有有形有相的,都是虛妄,都是不實在的,那麼「若見諸相」,你若看見一切有形有相的,你能悟到這個無形無相的地方,你能知道它也是空的,「若見諸相非相,即見如來。」這時候你就見到如來的法身了。

那《金剛經》又有四句偈頌是這樣說的,說:「若以色見我」,若以顏色來見我,你若想用在這個顏色上來找佛的話。「以音聲求我」,或者以音聲來認為佛就是以音聲說法這個聲音,你要想在這個裡邊來求我的話。「是人行邪道」,這個人完全不懂得真正的道理,他是在邪道上用功夫。「不能見如來」,他不能見到那個如來的法身。

贊日:
空須菩提 實般若智 善見善現 無處不是
離形離相 降心定致 深感佛恩 涕淚悲泣

這「空須菩提」:空,就是沒有了;須菩提是空生,沒有了。「實般若智」:他真實的是什麼呢?是他般若的智慧。「善見善現」,「無處不是」:到什麼地方都是須菩提這個空生的行道處。「離形離相」:他也離開形,也離開相,「降心定致」,「深感佛恩」,是「涕淚悲泣」。這個都不用解釋都差不多都懂了。

又說偈曰:
解空第一大菩提 即相離相斷諸疑
倉庫虛無歎希有 寶篋重現更出奇
行深般若波羅蜜 打破葫蘆泯東西
言語道斷證三昧 行住坐臥露天機

「解空第一大菩提」:這大須菩提,也是佛的大弟子,所以須菩提,他是空生,「離行離相斷諸疑」,他一切的疑悔都沒有了,「倉庫虛無歎希有」:倉庫裡頭什麼都沒有了,這是很稀奇少有的,令人很驚奇的,所以稀有。「實篋重現更出奇」,這事情也很出奇的。

「行深般若波羅蜜」:須菩提他就是行深般若波羅蜜,到這個深般若的地方,「打破葫蘆泯東西」:泯東西也是無東西,就是什麼都沒有,葫蘆打破了,「言語道斷證三昧」:言語道都斷了,沒有了,「口欲言而辭喪,心欲緣而慮亡」,把這個言語道都斷了,「行住坐臥露天機」:他不論是行、住、坐、臥,他都是天機的流露,都是這種佛法,很自然的佛法表現出來。

Venerable Subhuti is also someone great who manifested provisionally, someone who turned the ship of compassion around and came back here to help us. In the past, Venerable Subhuti already realized Buddhahood; he is Green Dragon Buddha. In his life as Subhuti, he hid away the Great and appeared as the Small. He appeared in the body of a Bhikshu to help the Buddha propagate the teachings and transform beings. His is an inconceivable state. He can appear and disappear at will; and so his name is Subhuti, which translates as Empty at Birth.

Why was he called “Empty at Birth”? Well, when he was born all the wealth and treasures in all the family vaults disappeared. They were all empty. Thus he was given the name “Empty at Birth.” After seven days, all the food in the family pantries turned into golden vessels and all the jewels and treasures reappeared. Because of that, he was given another name Good Appearance. If you know that all is empty, “if you perceive all appearances as no appearances, then you see the Thus Come One,” then you will see the Dharma body of the Thus Come One. He was also named "Wholesome Views.”

While still in his mother's womb he understood in principle that the four elements are basically empty and the five skandhas non-existent. That is why later he became Foremost in Understanding Emptiness. The four elements are earth, water, fire, and air; the five skandhas are forms, feelings, thinking, formations, and consciousness. Our bodies are composed of a combination of the four elements and are covered by the five skandhas, which obscure the light of our own nature. However, all those things are empty.

After Subhuti left home under the Buddha, he kept his Bodhisattva practices well-hidden inside and manifested the external appearance of a Hearer.” What does keeping his Bodhisattva practices well-hidden inside mean? Although his heart was that of a Bodhisattva, and he benefited others, he appeared on the outside to be a Bhikshu at the level of Hearer. Hearers are those who take care of themselves. Bodhisattvas are those who rescue themselves and rescue others. Hearers can only rescue themselves; they cannot rescue others. They are only aware of themselves; they are not aware of others. They only want to get enlightened themselves; they cannot enlighten others. Thus, in his mind he awakened himself and awakened others, even though he appeared to be a Bhikshu at the level of Hearer.

He certified to the Samadhi of Non-Contention. He didn't fight with anyone. He said: "If beings get jealous of my sitting here, then I will forever stand; if beings do not want me to stand, then I will  eternally sit unmoving." He always complied with living beings. He basically would not fight with beings. He would do whatever beings asked of him, always according with them until he attained the Samadhi of Non-Contention. After he left the home-life that is the kind of patience he practiced. But he left no tracks in his practice of patience; it was imperceptible and invisible. The Buddha said; "The Paramita of Patience that is not a Paramita of Patience is truly the Paramita of Patience." Thus he came to fathom Patience with the Non-production of Dharmas, he awakened to that kind of patience.  He could  bear  what  others could  not bear; yield what others could not yield.

Subhuti was the interlocutor when the Buddha spoke the Vajra Sutra. Later, the Buddha went to the Trayastrimsha Heaven to speak the Earth Store Sutra for his mother. It took him three months to finish speaking. Upon his return, all the senior disciples who had not accompanied the Buddha were anxious to see him. Knowing that the Buddha was returning, they went to greet him; they struggled to see who would be the first to greet the Buddha. Look at that! The senior disciples were still subject to mental greed and fought to be first to see the Buddha. But Subhuti had certified to the Samadhi of Non-Contention and so he did not contend with anyone. He used his mind to greet the Buddha. He remained in his room. But although he was in his room, he adjusted his robes and mentally went to greet the Buddha. That is why the Buddha said, "The one who greeted me first was Subhuti!" You all came to welcome me, but do you know who was the first to greet me?  Subhuti was the very first to come.

A line of the Vajra Sutra says, "All that has appearance is empty and false." Everything with shape and form is empty and unreal. Awakening to there being no appearances, you will know that everything is empty. "If you can perceive all appearances as no appearances, then you see the Thus Come One." At that point you will perceive the Dharma body of the Thus Come One.

The Vajra Sutra has another four-line verse that says: There is another verse in the Vajra Sutra that says, Those who see me in form. Suppose you try to see me as colors and shapes. Those who seek me in sounds. Suppose you think that the Buddha is the sound of Dharma that he speaks. Well, those who search for the Buddha in that way, are practicing a deviant path. Those people do not fathom the genuine principle at all. They are involved in a deviant path. They are unable to perceive the Thus Come One. They cannot perceive the Dharma body of the Thus Come One. That is another meaning of "Good Appearance."

A verse says:
Empty was Subhuti
Actual was his Prajna wisdom.
He maintained his Good Appearance
And Wholesome Views no matter where he was.
Apart from shapes, devoid of forms
He subdued his mind with exceptional samadhi.
Deeply grateful for the Buddha's kindness
He was moved to tears and wept.

Empty was Subhuti. Empty means non-existent; Subhuti was empty at birth, non-existent. Actual was his Prajna wisdom. What was real about him? It was his Prajna wisdom. He maintained his Good Appearance/And Wholesome Views no matter where he was. Every place he went was a place where Subhuti, empty at birth, practiced the Way. Apart from shapes, devoid of forms. He had left visible appearances far behind. He subdued his mind with exceptional samadhi. Deeply grateful for the Buddha's kindness/He was moved to tears and wept. What this means goes without saying.

Another verse in praise of him says:
Great 'Bhuti; foremost in understanding emptiness.
The very appearances are not appearances; his doubts were severed.
The vaults were empty;"How rare!" people exclaimed.
The treasures showed up again;another miracle!
He practiced profound Prajna Paramita;
smashing the gourd, everything came to a stop.
Beyond the function of words and language,
was the Samadhi he attained.
In his movements and stillness, whether awake or resting
the efficacy of his divine mandate was evident!

Great 'Bhuti; foremost in understanding emptiness. Great Subhuti was one of the Buddhas senior disciples. Subhuti's name means Empty at Birth. The very appearances are not appearances;/his doubts were severed. He had no more doubts. The vaults were empty; "How rare!" people exclaimed. Everything was gone from the treasuries. What a strange thing to have happen! Everyone was astonished at such an extraordinary event. The treasures showed up again; another miracle! It seemed entirely impossible that such a thing could happen.

He practiced profound Prajna Paramita. Subhuti practiced the profound Prajna Paramita; he reached the state of deep wisdom. Smashing the gourd, everything came to a stop. Everything came to a stop means there wasn't anything at all. The gourd was crushed. Beyond the function of words and language, was the Samadhi he attained. There was no way to communicate by means of language and words. "The mouth wants to speak but the words don't come out; the mind wants to consider but thought processes don't function." In his movements and stillness, whether awake or resting the efficacy of his divine mandate was evident. In all he did, whether walking, standing, sitting, and lying down, he exhibited his destiny; all of it was Buddha Dharma. The Buddha Dharma was naturally made evident.

▲Top

法界佛教總會Dharma Realm Buddhist Association │ © Vajra Bodhi Sea