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《上人法雨》

 

VENERABLE MASTER'S DHARMA RAIN

歐洲弘法記
DHARMA TALKS IN EUROPE

宣化上人一九九O年十月九日開示於英國倫敦西敏大戲院
A talk given by the Ven. Master on October 9, 1990, at the Westminster Theatre in London, England

接上期:帝堯送天下給巢父

佛教與世界和平

許由見巢父在河裏洗過耳朵,就問他:「你為甚麼要洗耳朵呢?你耳朵怎麼了?」

巢父就對許由說:「方才那個帝堯真無聊得很,他要把他的天下都送給我,叫我去做皇帝,管理天下,我覺得把我耳朵都給弄污濁了,所以我要把耳朵洗一洗,洗乾淨了它。」許由正在放羊喝水,他一聽完這話,就把羊牽到上游去喝水。

巢父就問:「你為甚麼把羊牽到上游去喝水呢?」許由說:「因為你的耳朵邋遢了,你一洗耳朵,就把河水也弄骯髒了,我的牛不能喝這個邋遢水。牠雖然是牛,也不願意飲邋遢的水。」

各位想一想,古來的人,這樣清高,這樣不爭,這樣不貪,送給他整個國家的領土,他也不要。

所以我們現在的人,愈跑愈遠,為的甚麼呢?就為的這個「我」。究竟甚麼叫個「我」?自己也不明白,整天就是「我」,執著這個「我」,把甚麼都忘了。我們人之所以沒有智慧,為甚麼?就因為執著這個「我」,你若能把這個「我」看破放下,那就自在了,甚麼問題都沒有了。可是就因為看不破這個「我」,放不下這個「我」,因此也得不到自在,這個「我」也就糊裏糊塗醉生夢死,在那兒睡完了起身,也不知幹甚麼事,幹完了又去睡覺。吃也是這樣,吃完了第二天又吃,日復一日混過去了幾十年的光陰,就嗚呼哀哉了。那時候「我」也不知道跑到甚麼地方去,連這個「我」跑到甚麼的地方都找不到?可是卻被這個假「我」支配得天天要給這個假「我」吃好的,又給這個假「我」穿好的,又給這個假「我」來做奴隸,又怕這個假「我」餓著,又怕這個假「我」凍著,又怕這個假「我」渴著,又要講衛生,可不知道衛生衛來衛去還是衛死,到時候還要死。你看!忙忙碌碌一輩子,忙得耳朵也聾了,眼睛也花了,牙也掉了,頭髮也白了,腿也跑不動路了,在那兒也不知怎麼辦?這就是因為沒認識這個「我」,所以上了大當,到時不自由,自己不能說了就算。

我們各位想一想,幾千年來,人都是生了又死,死了又生,這樣傳下去。你看人一代忙忙碌碌地過去,又一代忙忙碌碌地過去,幾千年以來,也不過生了又死,死了又生;哭了又笑,笑了又哭。所謂:

「魚在水裏躍,人在世上鬧,
 不知為善德,虧心把孽造;
 金銀堆成山,閉眼全都撂,
 空手見閻君,悔心把淚掉。」

到那時候,就好像犯了法,坐了監獄,才知道後悔,那時已經晚了,我不會太多的英文,但可以講一句 too late。

大不列顛是文化水準非常高的國家,有領導世界文化的程度,我希望在文化上能加上智慧,用智慧的文化來化導國際間一些沒有智慧的人,因為你若有智慧,世界就和平;你愚癡世界就不和平。

要有智慧先要從甚麼地方著手呢?先要不殺生。殺生就沒有智慧,因為你殺其他的生命,其他的生命就要報復,這樣互相都用愚癡來起惑、造業、受果報。你殺牠,牠就殺你;你吃牠,牠就吃你。

在萬佛聖城有一位教授,這位教授大概聽人家說吃齋好,為甚麼要吃齋呢?就因為和眾生不再結冤了,就不受果報。他家裏吃齋,也叫小孩吃齋,因此這小孩生來就吃齋。他灌輸他小孩說:「你吃豬肉吃多了,來生就變豬;吃牛肉吃多了就變牛;吃羊肉吃多了就變羊。所以不吃肉就不變成甚麼;你吃甚麼就變成甚麼。」他這小孩不怎麼佩服他父親這種講法。這孩子多大呢?三歲,就問他爸爸:「你說吃豬變豬,吃羊變羊,吃牛變牛,吃蔬菜為何不會變蔬菜?」他爸爸聽到這話,不知道怎麼答覆?就來找我,把他小孩也抱來,問我這個問題怎麼答覆?

我說:「因為豬、牛、羊都有腿,你要殺牠的時候,牠就會跑,你雖然把牠殺了,牠心裏會生了一種瞋恨心,將來牠要把你拉著也去做牠。羊把你拉著做羊去,豬把你拉著做豬去,牛把你拉著做牛去。菜呢?你吃它,它也不會叫,也不會哭,也不會跳,它也沒有長兩條腿,不會拔腿就跑。所以你吃了,大概不會變這個菜。」

「肉」字裏邊兩個人。中國人這個「肉」字,由兩個人組成的,這個人在甚麼地方呢?在口裏頭。「口」下邊那一橫沒有,張著口在那兒吃人,「肉字裡邊兩個人,裏邊罩著外邊人」,裏邊那個人罩著外邊那個人。這是一個吃肉的人,一個被吃的人。「眾生還吃眾生肉,仔細思量人吃人。」講到這兒,想起以前有一個人問我:「吃齋到底有甚麼好處?是不是吃齋好像自己騙自己,自己上了當了?」

我說:「你吃齋覺得上當了,只是活著時上當,可是死後不上當;你不吃齋,活著不上當,死了上當。你把這賬碼拉起來,你欠錢就要還錢,欠甚麼就要還甚麼。」所以由這個道理來研究,我們想要世界和平,大家要斷殺不吃肉,不殺生,這是真正的和平。你不殺牠,牠也不殺你;你不吃牠,牠也不吃你,所以我們大家不管信甚麼宗教,要是都能吃齋,這世界就會和平。

幾十年以前我曾到臺灣去,那時臺灣就怕共產黨來攻打,朝不保夕,總是人心惶惶。他們想要知道共產黨甚麼時候會來攻?就問我:「我們臺灣會怎麼樣子?」當時就有一個人很恐慌的樣子,認為不應該問這個問題。因為如果我答錯了,隨時就有入監獄的機會了。那時候臺灣很敏感,如果說錯了話,被抓起來,就當共產黨放到綠島監獄裏去,這人就怕我答錯。我告訴問的人:「你們臺灣人若都吃齋念佛,不殺生,臺灣就會好;臺灣人若是多多殺生,盡造惡業,臺灣就會壞。諸惡莫作,眾善奉行,臺灣就會好;你要是諸惡多作,眾善不行,臺灣隨時都有危險。」今晚我所說的,或者有一點道理,或者沒有一點道理,希望每個人用自己的智慧去辨別真理之所在,所謂:

「是道則進,非道則退。」

希望各位「擇善而從,不善而改。」最後祝各位身體健康,精神快樂,一切吉祥如意,大家晚安。

From last issue: Emperor Yao offered up his kingdom to Chaofu.

Buddhism and World Peace

When Xuyou saw Chaofu washing his ears in the river, he asked, "Why are you doing that? What happened to your ears?"

"Emperor Yao had nothing better to do, so he came and asked if he could give me his kingdom and let me rule as emperor," Chaofu said. "I feel my ears were defiled by his words, so I'm trying to wash them clean." Xuyou had been watering his cow, but when he heard that, he immediately led his cow upstream to drink.

"Why are you taking your cow upstream?" Chaofu asked.

"If you wash your dirty ears in the river, it'll make the water dirty," said Xuyou, "and I can't let my cow drink dirty water. Even though she's a cow, she doesn't want to drink dirty water, either."

Think it over. See how incorruptible the ancients were! They were so free of greed and contention that when someone tried to give them the whole kingdom, they didn't even want it.

Modern people are getting farther and farther away from the right track, all because of their "self." What is the self? We ourselves don't understand it, and yet all day long we're so attached to the self that we forget everything else. It's just that attachment to self that causes us to have no wisdom. If you can see through the self and let it go, then you'll be free and at ease and there will be no more problems. Because you can't see through it and let it go, you aren't free and at ease. Instead, the self is muddled and confused, living as if drunk and dying in a dream. When you get up from bed, you putter around for a while--I don't know what you do. Then when you're done, you go to sleep again. Eating is like that too. You eat your fill today, but then you have to eat again tomorrow. This goes on every day for several decades, and then it's all over. Who knows where your "self" goes then? You don't even know where your "self" goes, and yet this false "self" drives you find it good food to eat and nice clothes to wear. You slave away for the false "self," fussing over it when it gets hungry, or cold, or thirsty. You try to keep it in the best of health, but when the time comes, it still has to die. Take a look! You scramble around frantically your entire life, wearing yourself out until your ears grow deaf, your eyes grow dim, your teeth fall out, your hair turns gray, your legs can no longer walk, and you don't know quite what to do with yourself. Because you have not recognized your real "self," you've been cheated. When the time comes to die, you aren't free and in control of what happens.

We should all think it over. For thousands of years, people have been born, have died, and have been reborn, over and over. People live one hectic life after another. In all these thousands of years, we have merely undergone birth and death, death and birth. We have cried and laughed, laughed and cried. A verse says,

Fish leap in the water;
People clamor in the world.
They don't know enough to do virtuous deeds,
But create bad karma callously.

You may pile up gold and silver high as a mountain,
But when you close your eyes, it's all gone.
Empty-handed you go to see King Yama,
And regretfully you let your tears fall.

Only then, like a criminal who is thrown in jail, do you regret what you've done, but it's already too late. I don't know much English, but I do know the words "too late."

Great Britain is a highly civilized nation, a cultural leader in the world. I hope that it will infuse its cultured civilization with wisdom and use the culture of wisdom to guide the people in the world who lack wisdom. If people have wisdom, the world will be at peace. If people are stupid and ignorant, there will be no peace in the world.

The first requisite for having wisdom is not to kill. Killing is unwise, because if you take the lives of other creatures, they will seek revenge. Due to our stupidity, we become deluded, create karma, and undergo the retribution. If you kill others, they will kill you in turn. If you eat others, they will eat you.

A professor residing at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas heard about the benefits of vegetarianism. He heard that if one is vegetarian, one won't create ties of enmity with living beings and won't have to undergo the resulting retribution. His family was vegetarian, and so he raised his child as a vegetarian, too. He instilled this principle in his child's mind: "If you eat a lot of pork, you will become a pig in your next life. If you eat too much beef, you'll turn into a cow. If you eat a lot of mutton, you'll become a sheep. If you don't eat meat, you won't turn into any of those animals. You become whatever you eat." But the child didn't think much of her father's explanation. She was only three years old, and she asked, "You said that if I eat pork I'll become a pig, if I eat mutton I'll become a sheep, and if I eat beef I'll become a cow. Well, if I eat vegetables, won't I become a vegetable?" Her father didn't know how to answer this question, so he brought his daughter and her question to me.

I said, "Pigs, cows, and sheep all have legs, and when you go to kill them, they try to run away. When you kill them, their hearts are filled with hatred and in the future they will drag you off to become one of them. The sheep drag you off to become a sheep, the pigs drag you off to become a pig, and the cows drag you off to become a cow. But what about vegetables? When you eat them, they don't call out, cry, jump, or grow legs and run away. And so if you eat vegetables, you probably won't become a vegetable."

The Chinese character for "meat" (肉) is composed of two "people" (人) in a "mouth" (口). The "mouth" character is missing the bottom stroke, which means that the mouth is open wide for eating people.

In the character for "meat" (肉) there are two people (人);
The one inside is holding onto the one outside.
Living beings eating the flesh of living beings:
If you really think about it, it's just people eating people.

The two people in the "meat" character represent one who is eating and one who is being eaten. I remember someone once asking, "What are the advantages of being vegetarian? Isn't it kind of like cheating yourself into taking a loss?"

I replied, "You might feel like you're taking a loss while you're alive, but you won't be taking a loss after you die. If you aren't a vegetarian, then you won't take a loss while you're alive, but you will after you die. When the accounts are settled, you have to pay back what you owe." In light of this principle, if we want there to be peace in the world, we all have to stop killing and stop eating meat. Not killing is true peace. If you don't kill others, others will not kill you. If you don't eat others, they will not eat you. No matter what our religion is, if we can all be vegetarian, there will be peace in the world."

When I went to Taiwan several decades ago, the people there were very worried about a Communist invasion. Their lives seemed to be hanging by a thread, and everyone was in a panic. They wanted to know when the Communists would attack, so they asked me, "What will happen to Taiwan?" At that time there was one person who was very nervous about this question being asked, because if I answered inappropriately, I might have been thrown in prison. It was a very sensitive issue, and if anyone said something wrong, they would be arrested, accused of being communist, and sent to the prison on Green Island. This person feared that I would say something wrong. I said to the person who asked the question, "If the people of Taiwan become vegetarian, recite the Buddha's name, and refrain from killing, everything will be fine. But if the Taiwanese people do a lot of killing and commit all kinds of bad karma, things will go badly. If everyone refrains from evil and does good, Taiwan will be fine. But if you do lots of evil and don't do any good, Taiwan will be in danger." What I have said tonight may have some principle to it, or it may not. I hope everyone will use his or her own wisdom to determine where the principle lies. As it is said,

If it's the Way, advance upon it.
If it's not the Way, retreat from it.

I hope all of you will choose what is good and follow it, and take what is bad and change it. Finally I want to wish everyone health, happiness, and luck in all you do. Good night!

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