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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

前期提示:八部,有夜叉、有乾闥婆、有阿修羅、緊那羅、迦樓羅、摩侯羅伽等

阿修羅,脾氣最大,好像我們人這個大脾氣,都是有阿修羅在那兒支持著。他性情很暴躁的,常常發脾氣,對也發脾氣,不對還要發脾氣:脾氣是最大的,這就是屬於阿修羅。阿修羅在天上叫無酒,無酒怎麼樣呢?在天上他沒有酒喝;也叫非天,他不是天上的天民,他是一些個非法入境的天民,在天上不合法的。阿修羅是三善道裏頭的,他在天上是不合法的,所以就常常想要和天兵、天將爭地盤,想要把玉皇大帝打倒了,他去做玉皇大帝,做釋提桓因。

阿修羅也有四種,他有天福,沒有天權,可以在天上住,享受天上的福;可是在天上沒有天人的權利,就好像美國的這一些個非法移民一樣的,可以在美國這兒吃牛排,牛油麵包也可以吃,享受美國的福報;可是不能去管理這國家的事情,政府他沒有資格參加,也就是這個樣子,這是阿修羅。

迦樓羅,就是大鵬金翅鳥,牠也是能大能小,能隱能顯。牠這個翅膀有三百三十由旬那麼大,一由旬就有四十個 miles(哩)那麼遠,三百三十個由旬,你看這有多大啊!這翅膀若一搧動,把海裏頭的水就都給搧乾了,搧得沒有了。那麼海裏的水一搧沒有了,這個龍就都露出來了,龍宮也沒有水在那保護著它了,於是乎牠就把這個龍──大龍、小龍、老龍,都給吃了,就有這麼大的本事,你看!說:「能有那麼大本事的嗎?」這還不算大。所以這個迦樓羅也是神通最大,龍是最怕牠的,可是牠們因為都皈依佛了,於是乎都和平共處了,都互相不殘殺。迦樓羅也有四種,你若想知道這四種都叫什麼名字?你看看《妙法蓮華經》第一序品,那都說得很清楚。

這是迦樓羅,就有這麼大的本領。講這個大鵬金翅鳥,牠這種神通變化真是不可思議的,牠用翅膀一搧,能把這個海搧乾枯了;再用翅膀一搧,又能把這個山都給搧平了。把這個山一搧,就能用這個山把海給填平了,所謂移山倒海,牠有這種的本領。

那麼這個緊那羅,牠都會作什麼呢?牠會作音樂。牠頭上長一個犄角,所以牠的名字又叫疑神,牠音樂是作得非常好。

摩侯羅伽,就是大蟒蛇。因為這天龍八部,牠們以前也都是一些個妖魔鬼怪來著,以後都改邪歸正,護持佛教,做佛教的護法。由這看來,這個惡人有的時候他回頭,也會做善,所以說「苦海無邊,回頭是岸。」十惡五逆的人,他若改過自新,也還是一樣不失為好人。那麼這八部鬼神,牠們都覺得牠們過去破壞佛教,傷害佛教,現在牠良心發現了,覺得對不起佛教了,所以就發願做佛教的護法,就是天龍八部。這是八部鬼神等大略的意思。

又有「人非人等」:人,就是指這一切的人來護持佛教;非人,就是其他異類,異類的也有來發心護持三寶。等,就等於前邊所說的這麼多。「無量大眾,恭敬圍繞,而為說法」:那麼這時候,有數不過來這麼多的法會大眾,恭敬圍繞著薄伽梵。而為說法,佛為這個法會大眾來說法,以及未來的眾生說法。

爾時曼殊室利法王子。承佛威神。從座而起。偏袒一肩。右膝著地。向薄伽梵。曲躬合掌。白言。世尊。惟願演說。如是相類。諸佛名號。及本大願。殊勝功德。令諸聞者。業障消除。為欲利樂。像法轉時。諸有情故。

「爾時」:就是當爾之時,「曼殊室利」:就是文殊師利,「法王子」:因為佛為法王;菩薩為法王子,尤其文殊師利菩薩是等覺菩薩,很快就可以成佛了,所以叫法王子──法王之子。「承佛威神」:他仰承著十方諸佛的大威神力,「從座而起」:從他自己的座位就站起來了。「偏袒一肩」:也就是偏袒右肩,不是偏袒左肩。為什麼偏袒右肩呢?第一,這是印度的一個風俗,因為天氣熱,把這個右邊的肩背露出來,沒有那麼熱了,可以調解這種熱氣,這是自己身上的氣溫調解。第二,偏袒右肩,這表示恭敬佛,這是一種禮儀,用身心來恭敬,所以偏袒右肩;隨順世俗而求出世法,表示恭敬。所以這個是真不離俗,俗不離真;真不礙俗,俗不礙真,這樣互相尊敬,所以文殊師利就偏袒右肩。

「右膝著地」:右邊這個膝蓋就跪到地下,「向薄伽梵」:向佛、世尊。「曲躬合掌」:曲躬就是把頭低一點,那麼合起掌來,這都是表示身心恭敬,三業清淨。「白言,世尊」:白言就是對佛說了。

「惟願演說,如是相類」:說我們現在法會大眾都是一條心,這一條心有個願望,就是希望佛演說如是相、如是類;就像這樣的相,也和這個相類的道理。什麼呢?就是「諸佛名號」:所有十方諸佛的名號,以及藥師琉璃光如來的名號。「及本大願」:說本來在往昔所發的大願,是什麼樣子?「殊勝功德」:他行菩薩道的時候,怎麼樣修行的,才能積聚像這樣子的殊勝功德?「令諸聞者,業障消除」:能使令聽見他這個願力的和他的功德的,即刻藉著這種功德願力的力量,業障也消除了,恢復清淨了!

「為欲利樂,像法轉時,諸有情故」:就是想要令一切眾生都得到利益,得到快樂,而不憂愁,沒有損害。像法轉時,在將來像法的時代,人都注重修廟,而不注重修道,那麼廟裏也只剩一個空佛像,那個時候真正修道的人很少。諸有情故,利益在像法時代所有的眾生。有血有氣的,這就叫有情眾生;無血無氣的,好像那一些植物,就是無情的眾生。那麼這是文殊師利請佛來為大眾說法,為我們這個末法時代、像法時代的人請法。

待續

Sutra text from last issue:The eightfold division is comprised of the gods, dragons, yakshas, gandharvas, asuras, garudas, kinnaras, and mahoragas.

There are four kinds of asuras. Asuras have huge tempers. People who have big tempers are controlled by asuras. People with explosive temperaments who are always getting angry, whether they are right or wrong, are considered asuras. In the heavens, asuras are called "those without wine." Why is that? There is no wine to drink in the heavens. They are also known as "nongods" because they are not legal “citizens” of the heavens. They entered the heavens illegally. Asuras are one of the three good paths, but since they are illegal in the heavens, they are constantly at war with Lord Shakra's heavenly troops, hoping to overthrow Shakra (the Jade Emperor) and usurp his throne.

There are four kinds of asuras. They can live in the heavens and enjoy the blessings of the gods, but they do not have any authority there. Their status in the heavens is like that of illegal aliens in America, who live in America and can eat American bread and butter and enjoy American blessings, but who are not qualified to manage the country’s affairs or take part in the government. That’s the asuras.

Garudas are the great golden-winged Peng birds. They also have the ability to grow large or small, and to appear and disappear at will. Their wingspan is 330 yojanas. One yojana is 40 miles long, so you can see how long 330 yojanas must be! With one flap of its wings, a Peng bird dries up the waters of the sea so that it can gobble up all the exposed dragons--big, little, young, and old!

“Do they really have such great skill?” you ask. This is not considered great. Garudas have very great spiritual penetrations, and dragons used to fear them more than anything. But since the garudas have taken refuge with the Buddha, they live in peace with the dragons and don't eat them anymore. Chapter One of the Wonderful Dharma Lotus Flower Sutra explains the four kinds of garudas.

Garudas, that is, golden-winged Peng birds, have very great skill. Their spiritual penetrations and transformations are inconcievable. With one flap of their wings, they can dry up the oceans. With another flap of their wings, they can level the mountains by moving them into the ocean.

Kinnaras are called "doubtful spirits," because they look like humans, except that they have a single horn growing on top of their heads. They also make extremely fine music.

Mahoragas are spirits of huge pythons. The gods, dragons, and the rest of the eightfold division are former demons, ghosts, and goblins who reformed and became Dharma-protectors of Buddhism. So you see, bad people sometimes turn around and become good. As it is said, "The sea of suffering is boundless; yet a turn of the head is the other shore." Those who have committed the ten evil deeds or the five rebellious acts can still start anew and become good. Since the ghosts and spirits of the eightfold division felt bad about the harm they had done to Buddhism before, they vowed to protect Buddhism. This is a general explanation of the eightfold division of ghosts and spirits.

There were also beings human and non-human. People came to protect the Buddha's teaching and support the Triple Jewel, and so did other kinds of beings.

The immeasurable great multitude respectfully surrounded him, and he spoke Dharma for them. The countless beings in the Dharma assembly respectfully surrounded the Bhagavan as he spoke the Dharma for them, as well as for living beings of the future.

Sutra:
At that time, the Dharma Prince Manjushri, receiving the awesome inspiration of the Buddha, rose from his seat, bared one of his shoulders, knelt on his right knee, and, inclining his head and placing his palms together, said to the Bhagavan, "World Honored One! We wish you would speak about such Dharmas as the Buddhas' names, the great vows they made in the past, and their supreme merit and virtue, so that those who hear them will be rid of their karmic hindrances. This request is also for the sake of bringing benefit and joy to sentient beings in the Dharma-Image Age."

Commentary:
At that time, the Dharma Prince Manjushri. The Buddha is the Dharma King, and the Bodhisattvas are Dharma Princes. Since Manjushri, as a Bodhisattva of Equal Enlightenment, is due to achieve Buddhahood very soon, he is called a Dharma Prince, the son of the Dharma King. Receiving the awesome inspiration of the Buddha. He respectfully received the awesome spiritual power of the Buddhas of the ten directions and rose from his seat.

He bared one of his shoulders. He uncovered his right shoulder. Why did he do this? First of all, it was a custom in India, where the weather is extremely warm, for people to expose their right shoulders in order to let the hot air escape from under their clothes. In this way they could keep themselves cool. Secondly, uncovering the right shoulder is a way to show respect for the Buddha. When one uncovers the right shoulder, one is according with worldly conventions on the one hand and seeking the transcendental Dharma on the other. The real and the conventional are inseparable and do not obstruct each other. Manjushri Bodhisattva knelt on his right knee, and, inclining his head and placing his palms together, said to the Bhagavan—the World Honored One. This represents respect in both body and mind and the purity of the three karmas.

"World Honored One! We wish you would speak about such Dharmas. All of us in the Dharma assembly are of one mind right now. We all hope the Buddha will speak of such dharmas as the Buddhas' names, the names of Medicine Master Lapis Lazuli Light Tathagata and the Buddhas in the ten directions, the great vows they made in the past, and their supreme merit and virtue. Please tell us how they amassed such supreme merit and virtue when they were practicing the Bodhisattva Way.

...so that those who hear them will be rid of their karmic hindrances. When living beings hear of the Buddhas' vows and of their merit and virtue, offenses and karmic hindrances will disappear and they will return to purity!

This request is also for the sake of bringing benefit and joy to sentient beings in the Dharma-Image Age. We wish all living beings to be free from worry and suffering. In the Dharma-Image Age, people will build many temples and Buddha images, but there will be very few real cultivators. Manjushri Bodhisattva is requesting the Buddha to speak Dharma for those in the assembly, as well as for people in the Dharma-Image and Dharma-Ending Ages.                            

to be continued

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