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《上人法雨》

 

VENERABLE MASTER'S DHARMA RAIN

藥師琉璃光如來本願功德經淺釋
Sutra of the Merit and Virtue of the Past Vows of
Medicine Master Vaidurya Light Tathagata with Commentary

宣化上人/講於一九八三年美國加州洛杉磯金輪聖寺Explained by the Venerable Master Hua in 1983 at Gold Wheel Monastery in Los Angeles

比丘乞食,根本就不講話的,不像那個化子要飯的時候,到人家門口就:「哎!大爺爺、大奶奶,發福生財啊!指日高陞啊!」盡給念這個好聽的話。比丘乞食,什麼也不講的,到那兒,你若布施,給這個飲食,他就拿著;不布施,他就走了,心裏沒有一種煩惱。這乞士和要飯的是不同的。

怖魔,這個比丘,因為他端然有正氣,天魔外道一看見他,就都害怕了,邪魔鬼怪一看見他,也都遠遠就跑了。所以,他為什麼能怖魔?就因為他有正氣,以正降邪。

那麼破惡,一般人不容易破除他的惡習氣,修道的比丘呢,就專門把自己這個壞的習氣能破了它,這個惡劣的性質也改了它,改過自新,改惡向善。因為能改惡向善,所以叫破惡,這比丘有這麼三種的意思。有多少這樣的大比丘呢?有八千人那麼多。

「菩薩摩訶薩三萬六千」:菩薩是梵語,可是在中國這個名詞很流行的,人人都是拜菩薩,也都會說「菩薩」這兩個字。究竟菩薩是什麼意思呢?包括佛教徒,你問他,他也不知道,他說:「菩薩就是菩薩!」

怎麼樣解釋法?「不知道!」那麼我們一談到「菩薩」這兩個字,我們就應該知道,這是大乘裏邊一個聖人。菩薩也是半梵語,具足就叫菩提薩埵,英文又叫 Bodhisattva ,翻譯到中文,它就叫覺有情。有情就是眾生之一,菩薩是九法界眾生之一,也是四聖法界裏邊一個聖人。怎麼叫覺有情呢?就是說他用這個覺悟的智慧,來度脫一切的有情眾生。有血有氣的都叫有情;沒有血沒有氣的,那叫無情。好像一切的植物,這叫無情,可是無情它們都有性,它們都在佛的大光明藏裏邊來生長,所以雖然是無情,可是有性。

那麼菩薩是覺有情的,又是有情覺,怎麼叫有情覺呢?這是說菩薩和我們人是一樣的,和一切眾生都是一樣的,不過他覺悟了。覺悟什麼呢?覺悟「諸惡不作,眾善奉行」。覺悟了,能去一切的習氣毛病,而修這個無上的智慧,所以又叫有情覺,是有情裏邊的一個覺悟者。這覺悟是對迷而言覺,就是有情裏邊的一個眾生,他不迷了;不迷,就是不用無明去做事了。

我們現在這些眾生都是在用無明來處理一切事,為什麼用無明呢?就因為沒有真正的智慧,遇到事了,也不知道怎麼樣做好?進不知進,退不知退,不知如何是好,所以叫一個不覺。我們眾生是不自覺,二乘就是自覺了。自己明白了,不那麼糊塗了;可是他只是自覺了,而沒有用自覺這種的法門,去告訴其他的人,令其他的人也覺悟。菩薩呢?是既能自覺,自己也覺悟了,又能用這種覺悟的智慧來告訴所有的眾生,令所有的眾生,如果願意覺悟的人,都可以用這種方法得到覺悟。所以菩薩是既能自覺,又能覺他;可是他沒能覺滿。覺悟是覺了,可是還不圓滿。佛呢?既能自覺,又能覺他,又能覺滿,所以三覺都圓滿了。自覺也圓滿,覺他也圓滿,那麼自覺、覺他,都圓滿了,所以這叫「三覺圓,萬德具」,萬德具備了。所以名為佛。

現在講這個菩薩,菩薩再往前求進步,就可以證得佛果了,和佛還差一個階級,他是等覺菩薩,等覺了。這個菩薩也不是都一樣的,有初地菩薩、有二地菩薩、三地菩薩、四地菩薩、五地菩薩、六地菩薩、七地菩薩、八地菩薩、九地菩薩、十地菩薩。到十地菩薩,這是等覺,等於佛的覺悟了,可是還差一點。

那麼現在在這個藥師法會,有這樣的菩薩中的大菩薩。摩訶薩就是大菩薩;大,他的願力也大;他的智慧也大;他的修行也大,功夫、修行的道業也大。這樣的菩薩有多少呢?有三萬六千那麼多;這是藥師海會的菩薩。

「及國王大臣」:又有一些個國王--就是一國之主--來為老百姓謀幸福。大臣,是幫助這國王來替老百姓謀幸福的。

「婆羅門」:這婆羅門,是印度的貴族之一。印度有四個階級,就有兩種尊貴的,兩種低賤的,這婆羅門就是貴族之一,也就是一種修苦行的外道。他們也吃齋,但是求著生天。那個貪心也沒有降伏,瞋心也沒有降伏,癡心妄想也沒有降伏,只是一種修清淨苦行的。這就好像什麼呢?就好像在中國的這個道士是一樣的。形象是不同,可是修行的宗旨差不多的,這叫婆羅門。婆羅門就是印度的一種外道,很多裏頭也有有一點功夫的修道者。

「居士」:這居士也是一個稱呼。這個稱呼是要旁人稱自己的,不是我自己稱我自己為居士。我看見有一些在家人,既然不是出家了,他覺得他是個居士,居然也就印卡片印上某某居士;對人講話,也說我是什麼什麼居士。這是學問的問題,這種人沒有什麼學識。稱呼,這是旁人稱呼你,可以的。你自己不能稱自己是個什麼什麼居士。我們中國最普通的就稱先生;講居士,你們或者還不懂,就講先生吧!這個先生也是旁人稱自己叫什麼什麼先生,沒有自己稱我自己叫什麼什麼先生的。問你是誰啊?「啊!我是趙先生。」「我是李先生。」「我是錢先生。」「我是孫先生。」問你是誰啊?「我是周先生。」「我是吳先生。」「我是鄭先生。」「我是王先生。」這不是自己稱的,這是旁人來恭敬你,稱你為先生,這可以的;你自己不能自己這樣不要臉,就說我是某某先生!有這麼稱呼的,就是不懂得中國的語言,這是連中國的語言都不懂。這雖然是很普通的,可是這也是很有用的一種常識,所以也不能自己說成我自己是趙居士,我是錢居士,我是孫居士,我是李居士,不能這麼自己稱自己。這個先生,是有學問的人,或者年高有德的人,或者世間的經歷豐富,這都稱先生。居士,要有十種的美德,才夠個居士的稱謂,你若沒有十種美德,根本也就不夠居士的這個名詞。

還有這個「法師」,這也是他人稱自己,稱呼為法師,不能我自己稱我自己叫法師,自我陶醉,自己封我自己做皇帝,這是不對的。皇帝是旁人稱呼的,說:「我主萬歲」,不是我自己稱我自己也叫個萬歲。這一點,我們中國人要懂得這種常識。所以這個「居士」,是旁人稱的,說:「某某居士、某某居士、某某居士」是一種恭敬的意思。恭敬其他人,不是要自己恭敬自己;你自己恭敬自己也可以的,你在內心主敬存誠,那可以,不需要表露出來。所以中國的學問是無窮無盡的,你差之絲毫,就謬之千里。這是社會上普通一般常識,不是什麼大學問;可是這個普通常識,人就都不太清楚,很容易就忽略了。

待續

Bhikshus seek alms in silence, unlike common beggars, who may stand at people's doors and say flattering things, such as, "Sir! Madam! May blessings, wealth, and good fortune be yours!" When Bhikshus seek alms, they stand silently and accept whatever offerings are given. If none are offered, they simply leave, without becoming upset. That's how mendicant monks differ from ordinary beggars.

The second meaning of "Bhikshu" is "frightener of demons." Because a Bhikshu is very proper and upright, the demons from the heavens and the externalists are afraid of him. The demons and ghosts stay far away from him. His proper energy overcomes all deviant beings.

The third meaning is "destroyer of evil." Ordinary people find it difficult to give up their bad habits. Bhikshus who cultivate the Way, however, concentrate on giving up bad habits and reforming themselves. They are able to make a new start, changing their faults and becoming good. That's why they’re called destroyers of evil.

Present in the assembly were eight thousand great Bhikshus and thirty-six thousand Bodhisattvas Mahasattvas. Bodhisattva is a Sanskrit word, but it has be­come a very popular term in China. Although many people use it, most don't know what it really means. "A Bodhisattva is just a Bodhisattva!" they say.

A "Bodhisattva" is a sage of the Great Vehicle. The full Chinese transliteration of the Sanskrit term is putisaduo, but the Chinese use the abbreviated form pusa. "Bodhisattva" means "one who enlightens sentient beings." Bodhisattvas are one of the nine Dharma Realms of living beings and also one of the Four Dharma Realms of Sages. A Bodhisattva uses his enlightened wisdom to rescue and liberate all sentient beings, beings with blood and breath. Although beings without blood and breath, such as plants, are considered insentient, they do have natures, and they are born and grow within the Buddhas' great bright light treasury.

A Bodhisattva is also defined as "an enlightened sentient being." The Bodhisattva is the same as other living beings, except that he is enlightened. Being enlightened, he "does no evil and practices all good deeds." He has no bad habits or faults. Having attained supreme wisdom, he is not confused anymore, so he does not act out of ignorance.

Ordinary living beings always bungle things up in their ignorance. They don't have any real wisdom. When confronted with a problem, they don't know how to handle it, because they are unenlightened. Those of the Two Vehicles are self-enlightened--they have come to understanding and are no longer confused. However, they have not tried to teach other people the method by which they themselves became enlightened. Bodhisattvas are self-enlightened, and they also share their enlightened wisdom with other living beings, teaching those beings to become enlightened through the method they themselves used. Bodhisattvas enlighten themselves and also enlighten others, but their enlightenment is not complete. A Buddha is one who has enlightened himself, enlightened others, and perfected his enlightened practice. Since he is perfect in the three enlightenments and replete with the myriad virtues he is called a Buddha.

When Bodhisattvas continue to advance, they can attain Buddhahood. There are many different levels of Bodhisattvahood; for example, there are Bodhisattvas of the First, Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Seventh, Eighth, Ninth, and Tenth Grounds. When Tenth Ground Bodhisattvas reach the level of Equal Enlightenment, their enlightenment is virtually equal to that of the Buddhas--they are only one step away from Buddhahood.

"Mahasattvas" are great Bodhisattvas endowed with great vows, great wisdom, and great skill and accomplishment in cultivation. There were thirty-six thousand of such Bodhisattvas in the assembly of Medicine Master Buddha, which was as vast as the ocean.

Also kings, ministers. Various kings were also present. Kings rule the country in order to bring blessings and prosperity to the people, and they are assisted by ministers.

Brahmans. The Brahmans [the priestly class] were one of the two noble classes in ancient India. While practicing, Brahmans, like Buddhists, may observe certain ascetic practices and be vegetarian, but their goal is to be born in the heavens. Although they cultivate purity and asceticism, they do not work on subduing greed, anger, and delusion. Their equivalent in China are the Taoists. Despite their external differences, Brahmans and Taoists share similar practices and beliefs. There are quite a few skilled cultivators among the Brahmans.

Lay disciples. While others may address you by the title of "Upasaka" or "Upasika" [titles for a Buddhist layman and laywoman, respectively] it is not permissible to use these titles to refer to yourself. Some laypeople print business cards giving their names as "Upasaka So-and-so," and they also speak of themselves as Upasakas. Such people do not know the proper etiquette. Maybe you don't understand what I mean, so let me talk about "Mr." instead. In China, xiansheng ("Mr.") is the most common form of address. Other people may address you as "Mr. So-and-so" out of respect, but you certainly wouldn't introduce yourself as "Mr. Smith" or "Mr. Jones." If you shamelessly call yourself xiansheng, you simply don't understand the Chinese language. This is something everyone should know. Remember not to call yourself "Mr. Smith" or "Upasaka Smith." "Mr." is a title reserved for learned, virtuous elders, and "Upasaka" is used for a layman who has ten kinds of virtue.

"Dharma Master" is also a title used by others to address you. If you call yourself a Dharma Master, you are praising yourself. It's like calling yourself the emperor. Others can hail the emperor, "Long live your Majesty!" but the emperor does not say that to himself. That's common sense. The same goes for the title "Upasaka" and "Dharma Master." These are respectful forms of address. You use them to respect others, not yourself. Of course you should respect yourself, but you don't need to make a show of it. The lore and knowledge of Chinese culture is boundless and inexhaustible. If you miss one small point, you may end up making a big blunder. These rules of etiquette are commonly overlooked.

To be continued

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