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《人物誌》

 

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【 水鏡回天錄白話解 】

REFLECTIONS IN WATER AND MIRRORS REVERSING THE TIDE OF DESTINY

火宅無安
A Burning House without Peace

宣公上人講於金山寺 Lectured by the Venerable Master at Gold Mountain Monastery
國際譯經學院記錄 Translated by the International Translation Institute

我們現處之境地,終日惶惶,苦難重重。今天地震,明朝山崩,後日海嘯。種種災劫,般般痛楚,無有已時。故古人云:「三界無安,猶如火宅。」昔蓮池大師捨俗出家,然仍返室探視眷屬者再。其妻具大智慧,有大善根,思有以助之。

我們現在這原子時代,從早晨到晚間都很恐慌的。
In the present atomic age, people are particularly nervous and apprehensive all the time.

火宅,什麼叫火宅呢?我們這個世界就叫火宅;這個三界無安猶如火宅。三界就是欲界,色界,無色界。這三界不安穩,就好像火宅一樣。

「我們現處之境地」:這是說我們人類現在所居處的這種環境。「終日惶惶」:尤其在我們現在這原子時代,從早晨到晚間都很恐慌的。惶惶就是很驚恐、驚慌的樣子。「苦難重重」:這苦難左一次來,右一次來。「今天」呢,就「地震」──不一定今天地震,或者明天也不一定。「明朝山崩」:明天呢,就山崩了。這叫山轟,也叫山崩──山崩開,也有很多水,就把人淹死很多。「後日呢,海嘯」:海嘯也是海裡往外流水,這叫海嘯。「種種災劫」:所謂水火風──水災、火災、風災。地災──地震,地發生了災難。那麼山崩、風,火、和海嘯這種種的災劫,都會死人很多的。好像飛機失事,巴士失事,火車失事,死了很多人,這都叫種種的災劫。「般般痛楚」:就是種種的痛楚,天天都有。尤其在這國家,你看,一到holiday(假日)就不知道要死多少人?你說是不是痛楚呢?但是死的這些個人,我知道他們在馬路上,都是不怕死的。我試試看,駕駛車那個人,他也不管,死了沒關係,所以就造成很多的災難。「無有已時」:沒有停止的時候。

所以「古人」:就是以前的人,有這麼說的,說:「三界無安」:說欲界、色界、無色界,這三界沒有一個安樂的地方,沒有平安的地方。「猶如火宅」:就好像一個著了火的宅子一樣。「昔蓮池大師」:以前在明朝有一位高僧,叫蓮池,這位大師「捨俗出家」:他發心出家了。出家之後他還放不下家庭,所以「然仍返室」:雖然他出家了,他還回家裡去「探視眷屬者再」:看他太太去,原來他有太太,不知道她放得下放不下,他暫時回去看他太太去,這個眷屬就說他太太。「其妻具大智慧」:他這太太與一般人不同。她很聰明,也「有大善根」;所以她就想,她的丈夫已經出家了,還放不下,還常常回來。我要想個辦法幫助他修道。

乃設大方便於其室內,挖一土坑,蓄以火種。大師又返,莆入室則足落火中,大驚曰:「此乃火坑乎?」其妻曰:「既知是火坑,幸勿復返。」師大悟,卒為佛教翹楚焉。

蓮池大師這個太太是很聰明的,又很有善根。蓮池大師所以出家,就是她幫助的。她時時刻刻都勸他,說:「出家好修道,在家沒有意思。」有的丈夫想要出家,太太不叫他出家;有的丈夫不想出家,太太叫他出家。這個蓮池大師的性情就有點猶豫不決的。他要出家,又想不出家。對他太太講:「我出家好不好?」他太太說:「好啊!那是最好啦!」他還有點不相信。一次他又問:「我真要出家了。」他太太說:「誰和你說假話啊?」以後他自己覺得太太都這麼樣子鼓勵他,叫他出家。於是乎就出家了。

出家後大約還有點放不下他太太,常常就回家去看家裡的情形。左一次,右一次,大約三五次了。他太太就想:「你就這麼樣子放不下,看不破!既然出家了,還往家裡跑幹什麼啊?」「乃設大方便於其室內」:就想一個方便法門,在家裡「挖一土坑,蓄以火種」:弄個火坑,這叫大方便。在她家裡一進門這個地方挖一個土坑,大約也不太深,一尺深的樣子,那裡邊藏火的種,就是放上火。因為中國都燒木材,煮完了飯,裡面有很多火。她把這火就放到這坑裡了,她大約也知道蓮池大師這一天回來,就設好了,上邊也用東西蓋著,就和這地平的。「大師又返」:蓮池大師回來。「莆入室則足落火中」,剛剛一進門口,這個腳就掉這火裡了。大約腳燒出兩個泡也不一定的,不過這個書上沒有講有泡。也燒得夠受,一定燒得很痛的,就「大驚曰」:嚇得大驚小怪的,就問:「此乃火坑乎」:哇!怎麼這裡有這麼大的火坑呢?

「其妻曰」,他這個太太慢慢地說:「既知是火坑,幸勿復返。」你既然知道是火坑了,你再就不要回來了;你回來就被火燒了你了。我給你做著想,你以後不要再回來了。「師大悟」:蓮池大師就開悟了,從此就不回來。所以「卒為佛教翹楚焉」:「卒」字當「終」字講,就是最後他就作佛教的大德了。翹楚就是高僧、大德,這叫翹楚。

(蓮池大師有老虎)去給他化緣。最初所有的居士一看見那老虎來了,都嚇得跑了。以後他叫他這個老虎徒弟倒著走,頭在後,屁股衝前,慢慢地倒著進城。所以人先看見這個虎的屁股,後看見老虎頭,就不害怕了。這個老虎也像個狗似地,也不咬人;像家裡養的貓似地,所以這些個居士都認識牠,看見它,就說:「喔!這是我們師父的那個老虎徒弟。」這個就給放米;那個就給放錢,就供養蓮池大師。蓮池大師所以能有這樣的道德,可以說是他太太幫助他、成就他的。

待續

Text:
The place where we live is forever disturbed by countless terrors, miseries, and troubles. One day there are earthquakes, the next day landslides, and the next, tidal waves. All kinds of calamities follow one upon another endlessly, which is why those of old said, “The triple realm knows no peace; it’s like a burning house.” After he left the home-life, Great Master Lianchi often returned to visit his family. His wife, endowed with much wisdom and many wholesome roots, searched for a method to help him.

Commentary:
What’s meant by the burning house? It refers to the world in which we live. There is no peace in the triple realm: the desire realm, the form realm, and the formless realm. This place is like a house on fire.

The place where we live, the present situation of humankind, is forever disturbed by countless terrors, miseries, and troubles. In the present atomic age, people are particularly nervous and apprehensive all the time. There is one hardship after another. One day there are earthquakes, the next day landslides, and the next, tidal waves. Avalanches or landslides are often accompanied by great floods that can drown many people. All kinds of calamities of water, fire, and wind follow one upon another endlessly. All these disasters--earthquakes, landslides, hurricanes, tornadoes, tidal wives, and so forth, as well as plane, bus, and train crashes--result in many casualties. These disasters happen every day. In this country alone, how many people die on holiday? It’s really tragic. And yet I know the people who die are not afraid of dying. When they are driving on the road, their attitude is, “I’ll try it out. It doesn’t matter if I die.” That’s why there are so many disasters. There’s no end to them.

Which is why those of old said, “The triple realm knows no peace; it’s like a burning house.” There isn’t a single peaceful place in the desire realm, the form realm, or the formless realm. The triple realm is like a house on fire. After he left the home-life, Great Master Lianchi, an eminent monk of the Ming Dynasty, often returned to visit his family. He couldn’t put down his family attachments. He had been married, and wasn’t sure she could really let him go, so he temporarily went back to visit her. His wife, who was exceptional in being endowed with much wisdom and many wholesome roots, searched for a method to help him. She thought, “He’s already left the home-life, and he still comes home all the time. I’ve got to find a way to help him cultivate.”

Text:
She came up with the following means. Just inside the door she dug a pit. In it she set live coals. When the Master set foot inside the house, he stepped into the fire and cried out in astonishment, “Why, there’s a pit of fire here! His wife replied, “Since you know it’s a fiery pit, don’t come back anymore.” The Master then had a great awakening. Later he became an outstanding personage in Buddhism.

Commentary:

捨俗出家了,還放不下家庭,他還回家去看他太太
After he left the home-life, Great Master Lianchi, an eminent monk
of the Ming Dynasty, often returned to visit his family.

Great Master Lianchi’s wife was very intelligent and endowed with good roots. It was with her help that he was able to leave the home-life. She was always telling him, “It’s better to leave the home-life if you want to cultivate. There’s not much point in being at home.” Some men want to leave home, but their wives won’t allow it. Other men don’t want to leave home, but their wives tell them to. Great Master Lianchi was a bit indecisive by nature. He wanted to leave home, but he also didn’t want to leave home. He asked his wife, “Is it okay if I leave home?” His wife said, “Sure, that would be great!” But he still wasn’t completely convinced. Another time he told her, “I’m leaving home for real.” His wife said, “Who said you were lying?” Finally, when he saw how supportive his wife was, he decided to go ahead and leave home.

But after he left home, he probably still couldn’t forget his wife, so he often went home to see how things were. He went home one time, and then another time... After he had gone home quite a few times, his wife thought, “You’re so attached! Now that you’ve left home, what are you coming home for?” She came up with the following means. She had the idea of making a pit of fire. Just inside the door she dug a shallow pit maybe one foot deep. In it she set live coals. In China people used to cook over wood, and after cooking there would be a lot of coals. She put some of these coals in the pit. She probably knew which day Great Master Lianchi was going to come home, so on that day she set up her pit and covered it with something to make it look like level ground. When the Master set foot inside the house, he stepped into the fire and cried out in astonishment, “Why, there’s a pit of fire here!” Maybe he got a couple of burn blisters on his feet, but the text doesn’t mention this. But he must have been burned pretty painfully. So he asked in alarm, “What’s this big pit of fire doing here?”

His wife slowly replied, “Since you know it’s a fiery pit, don’t come back anymore. If you come back, you’ll only get burned. I’m doing this for your own good. Don’t ever come back again.” The Master then had a great awakening, and he stopped going home. Later he became an outstanding personage in Buddhism. He became an eminent monk renowned for his virtue.

Great Master Lianchi had a tiger that would collect donations for him. At first when some of the laypeople saw the tiger approaching, they would run away in terror. Later the Great Master taught his tiger disciple to walk backwards, with his head towards the back and his tail in front. In that way, he would crouch down and go backwards into town. When people saw the tiger’s rear end, and then its head, they were no longer afraid. The tiger was just like a pet dog or cat; it didn’t bite people. The laypeople came to recognize him. They would say, “Oh, there’s our teacher’s tiger disciple.” Then they would bring out rice or money to offer to Great Master Lianchi. The Great Master was able to accomplish such virtue in the Way because of his wife’s help and support.  

to be continued

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