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

《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

前期提示:大眾中有菩薩摩訶薩三萬六千,及國王、大臣、婆羅門、居士。

又有「天龍八部」:我們現在這個佛教道場,都有天上的龍來擁護的,八部鬼神也是擁護道場的。你們各位如果不是善忘的話,或者還會記得,這個金輪聖寺剛剛搬過來裝修的時候,在天空有人看見觀音菩薩腳踩著鰲魚,在虛空裏示現。還有,在東邊那個街角落的地方,我聽有人告訴我,說那地方是個酒吧來著。那個酒吧裏邊無奇不有,或者販毒的,或者喝酒,或者脫衣舞,古古怪怪,那裏邊那個名堂多得不得了,於是乎蒼蠅就到那兒去了很多。這個蒼蠅就是這些個不守規矩的人,像蒼蠅似的往那兒鑽。正在我們要開幕之前,那個地方就被警察給查封了,所以這個地區本來很不好的。現在這個地區比以前乾淨得很多了。這都是天龍八部來擁護這個道場,才有這樣的感應。

現在我們這個道場,以前因為他們作教堂的時候,也招了很多亂亂糟糟的人在這個地方住,大約這些人也都不乾淨,所以吃東西就也隨地亂撇,於是乎就引來很多老鼠。那麼現在我們在這兒弘揚佛法,天龍八部在這兒要護持這個道場,趕快要把這些個老鼠都給我趕走了牠。我本來也無所謂的,可以許可你在這兒;但是你在這兒,妨礙這個衛生。對所有人來,觀瞻也不好,說我們這兒一定很邋遢,所以有這麼多老鼠。所以現在我們大家要共同來請這個天龍八部,實行他們的職務,把老鼠和這一些個不正當的東西,都給我趕走了牠,不可以再在這個地方,攪亂道場。再若不走嘛,那你這個天龍八部和牠們不需要客氣的。你們有什麼辦法,就用什麼辦法,教牠們趕快搬家,搬到一邊去。

八部,有夜叉、有乾闥婆、有阿修羅、緊那羅、摩侯羅伽、迦樓羅等,這有八部鬼神,在這兒護持這個道場。所以今天我講到這兒了,你們一定要盡你們的責任,來擁護這個佛的道場。

這個八部:天,這是一部;龍又是一部;夜叉是一部;乾闥婆是一部;阿修羅是一部;迦樓羅是一部;緊那羅是一部;摩侯羅伽這也是一部。那麼這八部,天上有天神,他也要護持這個道場,哪個地方有佛真正的道場,他們在過去都是發願要擁護佛的道場。

龍,是一種靈物,也是眾生之一。牠為什麼做了龍呢?就因為在修道的時候,牠乘急戒緩。牠願意修大乘法,願意學這個佛法,願意勇猛精進;可是牠願意走捷徑,願意快,願意有神通。於是乎就各處去找佛法,找密宗,專門要修密宗。修密宗怎麼樣啊?他不注重戒律,不持戒。這持戒的人,要諸惡不作,眾善奉行。這種修密宗的人,有的時候,他把人家的骷髏頭去偷來,念咒,修密宗。有的時候,又把人家祖先的牌位給偷來。他修密宗,要用人家的祖先來役使鬼神。

乘急,他這種的往前去勇猛精進,比那火箭還快,就那麼厲害,所以這叫乘急。戒緩,他對於持戒律,不重視,看這戒律是馬馬虎虎的。他很隨便的,淫戒他也不守;妄語戒他也不守;殺戒他也不守;盜戒,那更不用說了!你看他偷人家的骷髏頭來修法;偷人家的祖先牌位來修法;偷人家墳上的樹木來修法。盡彎彎曲曲,用貪心來求法,這叫乘急戒緩。

因為他乘急,於是乎他就墮落龍身,有神通。戒緩,雖然有神通,可是也還是畜生,龍是畜生之一。可是龍是一種神物,因為牠盡找神通,於是乎牠就修得能大、能小、能隱、能顯。能大,你看著這條龍不知多少長,牠也能變成很小很小的;能隱,忽然間牠就不見了;能顯,忽然間牠又現出來了。牠為什麼這樣呢?就因為牠修神通,墮落龍身,所以有這個神通。可是這龍很怕太陽,太陽若一曬牠,把牠曬得像火燒地那麼痛,於是乎牠就要下點雨淋一淋,take a shower(淋浴),這是天上的龍。

夜叉,就是速疾鬼;速疾,走得很快的。有空行夜叉,有地行夜叉,又有水行夜叉,陸海空都有夜叉。牠的行動比汽車快,比飛機也快,大約和火箭來比,火箭也沒有牠那麼快。千里萬里一念就到,就有那麼大的神通,這是夜叉。這個夜叉裏邊,又有千千萬萬那麼多的種類;這龍也有千千萬萬那麼多種類;天上的神,也有千千萬萬那麼多種類,說不能盡的,也就好像人。我們人又有很多種的:白人、黑人、黃種人,很多種類。在這每一種類裏邊,又分門別類,你是南方人,我是北方人,他是東方人,他是西方人,這言語也不同,文字也不一樣。人有千千萬萬那麼多種類,神也是一樣的;那夜叉也是一樣的;龍也是一樣的,不是就都一樣的。龍又有金龍,又有火龍,又有青龍,又有白龍,又有黑龍,這龍也是千千萬萬那麼多種。每一種類的眾生,都是有千千萬萬那麼多種。你看這個世界上,千千萬萬這麼多種類的眾生,組織成這一個世界。那每一類的眾生,又有千千萬萬那麼多不同的形相。

所以這個世界妙就妙在這個地方,你人沒有法子完全都暸解這個世界的祕密。你說:「現在就快暸解了,人若登月球,什麼都實現了!」「什麼都實現了,什麼就都會沒有了。」你們記得這句話:什麼都現出來了,什麼就都沒有了,因為這臺戲唱完了嘛!這個地球,你能到其他的星球,其他的星球和你這個地球互相一交通的時候,一個原子彈爆炸了;一個氫氣彈爆炸了;或者地震了;或者火山爆發了,這都是足以毀滅這個世界人類的一個天災人禍。無論人造的、天造的,都有這些個問題。所以世界愈昌明,昌明到極點,就又該黑暗了。這好像什麼呢?就好像我們一早間起來了,這是白天;白天到極點,又該晚間了,晚間又該睡覺了。人人都眼睛閉上在那兒睡覺,就作夢。但是糊裏糊塗地,什麼也不清楚了,也就是這個道理。這世界上,大同小異,什麼事情,都有一個循環的道理。

乾闥婆,牠會作音樂,音樂作得非常好聽。牠若一作上音樂,令這個神仙都坐在那個地方如醉如癡,就像喝醉酒似地,忽忽悠悠,在天堂上動也不願意動了。牠作音樂作得好,可是你不容易教牠作,但是牠又有牠的一個弱點。玉帝歡喜聽牠的音樂,就因為得到牠的弱點了。牠的弱點是什麼呢?就願意聞香;你這一有了香氣了,牠千里萬里即刻來,來了就願意聞這個香。玉帝那兒有一種香,專門是召集這個乾闥婆的。那麼乾闥婆到了玉帝那地方,聞到這個香,牠就跳舞。在那兒蹦蹦跳跳,就奏音樂,就唱歌,所以這個乾闥婆就叫嗅香神。前面所講的龍王,有八個龍王;這個乾闥婆,總起來有四個乾闥婆王。

待續

Sutra text from last issue: Present in the assembly were eight thousand great Bhikshus and thirty-six thousand Bodhisattva Mahasattvas, also kings, ministers, Brahmans, and lay disciples.

There were also gods, dragons, and the rest of the eightfold division. Our temple is protected by the gods, dragons, and the rest of the eightfold division of ghosts and spirits. You may all remember that when we first moved into Gold Wheel Monastery and began renovating it, some people saw a vision of Guanyin Bodhisattva sitting in mid-air with his foot resting on a tortoise. On the eastern corner of the property, there used to be a bar where drug dealers, winos, strippers, and other disreputable people would hang out. Then, just before our opening ceremony, the bar was closed down for good. It used to be a bad neighborhood, but now it's much cleaner. This is a response from the gods, dragons, and the rest of the eightfold division, who protect the monastery.

When this place was a church, some rather messy people came and left food all over the ground, attracting a lot of rats. We are now propagating the Buddhadharma here, so the gods, dragons, and the rest of the eightfold division should protect this temple and quickly chase the rats away. Actually, I wouldn't really mind the rats, except that they give people the impression that our place is very unsanitary. So now we request the Dharma-protecting spirits to do their job and protect this monastery. Chase away the rats and any other beings that should not be here. Don't be polite with them.

The eightfold division is comprised of the gods, dragons, yakshas, gandharvas, asuras, garudas, kinnaras, and mahoragas.

The gods in the heavens made vows in the past to protect the Buddhas' temples.

Dragons are magical beings. When they cultivated in past lives, they were "fast with the Vehicle and slow with the precepts." They practiced Great Vehicle (Mahayana) Buddhism with tremendous vigor. Seeking a shortcut to obtaining spiritual powers, they practiced esoteric dharmas intensely, but neglected to hold the precepts. They weren't careful to abstain from evil and practice good. For their esoteric practices, sometimes they would steal skulls from corpses and recite mantras over them. They would also steal the plaques that people put up to honor their ancestors, and then they would command ghosts and spirits using those ancestors as mediums.

Dragons were cultivators who advanced at a rocket-like speed, but who didn't pay much attention to the precepts. They casually broke the precepts against sexual misconduct, lying, killing, and stealing. They stole human skulls and ancestral plaques, and even the trees growing by people's graves, in order to carry out their practices. They approached the Dharma with a crooked, greedy mind. That's how they were "fast with the Vehicle and slow with the precepts." Because they were fast with the Vehicle, they have spiritual powers when they become dragons. Because they were slow with the precepts, they fall into the animal realm.

Dragons are animals, but they are also spiritual creatures. Through its spiritual powers, a dragon has the ability to change size at will from the very small to the very large and can also suddenly vanish and just as suddenly reappear. However, dragons have a great fear of the sun because when they bake in the sun, it's as painful as being scorched by fire. They have to send down some rain to soak themselves--just like taking a shower. These are dragons that dwell in the heavens.

Yakshas are called "speedy ghosts" because they travel very quickly. There are space-travelling yaksha, ground-travelling yakshas, and water-travelling yakshas. They travel faster than cars, airplanes, and even rockets. They can travel ten thousand miles in a single thought. There are a great variety of yakshas, just as there are great varieties of dragons: golden dragons, fire dragons, green dragons, white dragons, black dragons, and so on. There are also many ethnic groups in the human race, and within each ethnic group or nationality, there are further distinctions of southerners, northerners, easterners, and westerners. All these different groups of people have their own languages and writing systems. In general, countless species of living beings populate the world, and each species contains infinite variations within it. That's the wonder of the world.

People will never completely understand the secrets of the world. Now with people going to the moon, it seems we are about to experience a breakthrough and everything will be understood. However, when everything is understood, the world will come to an end. When everything has been discovered, it will all disappear. The play will be over! Once people on earth can communicate with and travel to other planets, the world's population will be wiped out by nuclear weapons, or by natural disasters such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. No matter how flourishing the world becomes, when it reaches the height of its glory, it will become dark again, just as day turns into night. We rise in the morning and begin the day; and when the day is over, we go to sleep. As soon as we close our eyes, we become muddled and unclear. All things, great and small, in the world, go through cycles.

Gandharvas are spirits that make delightful music. When they play their music in the heavens, the immortals sit there totally enraptured, oblivious to the passing of time. However, gandharvas won't play their music for just anyone. The Jade Emperor can enjoy their music, because he knows their weakness. He knows that once they get a whiff of incense, they immediately come wanting to sniff it, no matter how many tens of thousands of miles away they might be. The Jade Emperor has a special kind of incense that he uses to attract them. When they arrive at his palace and smell the incense, they start dancing and singing. That is why gandharvas are called "incense-inhaling spirits." There are eight dragon kings, and four gandharva kings.

to be continued

▲Top

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