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《上人法雨》

 

VENERABLE MASTER'S DHARMA RAIN

佛根地念佛法會上人開示
Instructional Talks by the Venerable Master during
Buddha Recitation Session at Buddha Root Farm

宣化上人講於一九七五年八月美國奧立崗州
Given by the Venerable Master in August, 1975, on Buddha Root Farm on the Smith River near Reedsport, Oregon

你是不是用真心念佛,這有一種試驗的。你是用真心念佛,蚊子不會咬你;你要是不用真心念佛呢,那蚊子就會來咬 你了。

你要用真心念佛,也不怕下雨。「下雨下得再大,它也擋不住我這個念佛的心。」你念佛念得風也吹不透,雨也打不 透,這樣只有一個念佛的心。你要能這樣子,這個雨也不會下了;根本就沒有雨下,一定天氣非常好。蚊子也不咬你,雨也不下了。

你看,這就是你真心念佛的感應;要沒有真心呢?那就下雨啊!蚊子也咬啊!坐在那個地方也覺得不舒服;你要真心 念佛,就算蚊子咬你,你也不管它,就像沒有咬我一樣的。「我要忍耐蚊子咬的痛苦,我只有念佛這一個心,所以蚊子咬我也不知道了。」不要說它不會咬;就是會 咬,你也不知道,那就是真心。你也不知道下雨了,那就是真心。那麼你能有這一種的誠心,你一定會有特別感應的。或者你見著阿彌陀佛來給你摩頂;或者你見著 阿彌陀佛放光來攝受你;或者你見著阿彌陀佛放光,來用這個衣來覆你的身體,這都是感應。「衣覆我體,手摩我頭。」阿彌陀佛能這個樣子。

所以你要能不怕蚊子咬,不怕下雨,來回也不怕路不好走,這都是念佛真心的表現。真心就是蚊子咬了也不知道,所 以我說蚊子不咬你。因為你不知道蚊子咬了;蚊子咬也不知道了,那就是真心了。你要是覺得:「啊!這兒有蚊子。啊!這兒又有一個。」盡打蚊子了,那念佛就忘 了。這不是講笑話,這是很重要的。

所以果逾今天對我講,說有小蚊子來咬他。我就知道:「哦!你念佛沒念好;你沒有真心念佛,所以蚊子就咬你。」

一切是考驗,看你怎麼辦;
對境若不識,須再從頭煉。

連個蚊子的魔陣你都退不了,那你--唉!真是白念佛了。

好了,今天就是這樣,希望各位今天晚間,都 good sleep(睡好),沒有蚊子咬你。要是你念佛也念得像睡覺那樣,蚊子來咬的時候,也不知道,那就好了。你睡著的時候,蚊子咬,你也不知道;你念佛念得 好,也是一樣,也是蚊子咬你,你不知道。

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

1975年8月18日星期一下午

今天是念佛七的第一天。這第一天念佛,有的人念過佛就知道念佛的好處;有的人沒有念過佛的,就不知道是做什 麼?南無、南無、南無什麼呢?阿彌陀、阿彌陀,阿彌陀又是什麼呢?是 Buddha。佛是 Buddha。這是做什麼呢?

走著念,站著念,坐著念,說你躺著睡覺的時候,心裏也念,這有什麼用呢?我現在告訴你:「佛前頂禮,罪滅河 沙。」你在佛前拜一拜,你的罪業消滅有恒河沙那麼多。說﹕「那麼我恒河沙那麼多的罪業,我念佛念這麼多,那一定都消沒有了。」你要知道,你由無量劫以來, 由你作人的那個時候開始到現在,不知道有多少生,多少世了。甚至於你自己也不相信,有前生,有今生,有來生。

你不相信,所以在每一生之中,都是迷迷糊糊的,無所明瞭。因為這個,你到現在也不知道,人在人世間所造的罪業 有多少?每一生中所造的罪業,恐怕比恒河沙都更多。所以你念佛,消滅恒河沙的罪業,但是你罪業不知道有多少。我們的罪業幸虧是沒有形相;要有一個形相,每 一個人的罪業都會把虛空都裝滿了。因為它沒有形相,所以虛空還沒有滿,你的罪業就有那麼多。

所以說﹕「佛前頂禮,罪滅河沙。」「捨錢一文,增福無量。」你護持這個道場,有錢的就出錢,再有力量的就出 力;無論你出錢,出力,這都是一樣的功德,都會種你的善根。那麼這是佛前頂禮,罪滅河沙。捨錢一文,增福無量。那麼念佛一聲呢?念佛一聲,能滅九億劫生死 重罪。所以我們現在在沒有佛法的國家,我們能遇著佛法,能以有善知識來教我們念佛的法門,這是很稀有的。所以,各位把這最寶貴的時間,不要隨隨便便地就空 過去。要很注意地,很用功地來念佛,這才是不白來參加這個佛七。

所以你看,我們在這露天念佛,學生有露營--露營就是到外面,到山上去住,上邊沒有什麼蓋的,那叫露營。我們 這現在念佛,也是露營念佛,上邊沒有什麼擋雨的。要不下雨的時候,就在外邊繞佛念佛,這是一個很好的辦法。在深山裏邊,能以有這麼清靜的地方,我們大家在 這兒,不是做旁的事去,或者是去玩哪,或者遊戲啊,或者打球啊,或者放火箭啊,我們現在在這兒不是做那個事情;是在這兒念佛。你看這真是微妙不可思議。在 這個境界裏邊,什麼聲音也沒有;不像三藩市,汽車,叭‧‧‧叭‧‧‧叭。那巴士也來,汽車、火車還有飛機,有那麼多的聲音。在這裏,你看,很清靜的。這是 正好念佛的時候。各位應該特別注意,不要把這寶貴的時間空過去了。

在這個深山裏邊,空氣都是新鮮的,所以一點濁氣也沒有。這個五濁惡世:劫濁、見濁、煩惱濁、眾生濁、命濁,這 就是人多的地方。現在在深山裏邊,這就是清淨極樂世界。你能在這清淨極樂世界修行,這種感應道交的力量,可就和那個鬧市完全不同,容易得到三昧,容易得到 定,容易得到念佛三昧。你念一聲佛,就一念的清淨;你聲聲念佛,就念念都清淨。念念清淨,就得到念佛三昧。

待續


There's a way to determine if you are reciting with a true heart. If you are sincere, the mosquitoes will not bite you. If you are insincere, the mosquitoes will bite you. If you recite with a true heart, you won't be bothered by the rain. No matter how it pours, it won't dampen the mind which recites the Buddha's name. Recite until the wind blows, but doesn't touch you; the rain pours, but doesn't fall on you.

If your only thoughts are to chant the Buddha's name, then it won't rain. The weather will be fine, that's certain. The mosquitoes won't bite you and the rain won't fall. These are some responses that come from sincere recitation of the Buddha's name. If you are simply pretending, then it will rain, the mosquitoes will bite, and you'll be miserable sitting there. If you recite well, however, even when the mosquitoes bite you'll pay no attention to them, and so it will be as if they hadn't bitten.

You should think, “I will endure the pain of being bitten. My only thought is to recite the Buddha's name. If the mosquitoes bite, I won't even know it.” If you don't feel the bugs bite and if you don't know it's raining, that's being true-hearted. If your heart is sincere you will certainly have a special response. You may see Amitabha Buddha coming to rub you on the crown of your head or you may see him bathing you in light. Amitabha Buddha may appear and cover you with his sash. These are all responses:

His hand rubs my head,
His sash covers me...

Amitabha Buddha may respond in these ways.

So if you don't fear that the mosquitoes will bite, if you are unmoved by the rain, and if you're not afraid to walk the rugged path back and forth, then your heart is true. If your heart is true, even when mosquitoes bite, you won't feel it. That's why I say they won't bite. They won't bite because you won't know that you have been bitten! If, as soon as a bug flies near you, you think, “Oh no! Here comes a mosquito!” and try to brush it away, then you've forgotten about reciting.

This is not a joke. It's a very serious matter. When Guo Yu said to me today that a mosquito had bitten him, I said, “You haven't been mindful and that's why the mosquito bit you.” The mosquitoes are just acting on the principle that

Everything's a test
To see what you will do;
If you don't recognize what's before your eyes,
You have to start anew!

If you can't even deal with the demonic obstacle of a mosquito, then you've really chanted the Buddha‘s name in vain.

That's all for today. I hope you all sleep well, and that the mosquitoes don't bite. If you recite as if you were asleep, then if the mosquitoes bite, you won't know it. When you're asleep you don't feel them bite; if you recite well, it's the same way.

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *    *   *

Monday, August 18, 1975 (afternoon)
Today is the first full day of the Buddha Recitation Session. Those who have chanted the Buddha's name before know of its advantages. Those who have never recited before will not know what we are doing. “Namo, namo, namo--what?”

Amitabha!

“Well, what is Amitabha anyway?”

A Buddha!

“But what are we doing? We recite while we walk, recite while we stand, recite while we sit, and even when we lie down to sleep our minds are still reciting. What use is it?”

I will tell you:

To bow in worship before the Buddhas
Eradicates offenses like the Ganges sands.

If you just bow once before the Buddhas, you eradicate as much bad karma as there are grains of sand in the River Ganges.

You say, “As grains of sand in the River Ganges? Well, I've sung the Buddha's name so many times, certainly my offense-karma has been completely wiped away.”

You should be aware that from limitless eons ago, from the time when you first became a human being until the present, your incarnations are uncountable. You yourself may not even believe that you have past, present, and future lives. In each life you were confused, muddled, and unclear, and therefore, at present, you don't know how much bad karma you have amassed as a human being. There is reason to fear that the bad deeds you have committed in one single life exceed the number of sand grains in the Ganges. Although reciting the Buddha's name will eradicate offense-karma like the Ganges' sands, you don't know how much of it exists. Fortunately, our bad deeds have no material form. If they did, each individual's karma would completely fill empty space. That's the extent of your offenses! But, because karma has no material form, empty space has yet to be filled. So it says,

To bow in worship before the Buddhas
Eradicates offenses like the Ganges' sands;
To give a single penny
Increases your blessings without limit.

In supporting the Bodhimanda, those with money give money. Those with strength give strength. Whether you give money or strength, the merit and virtue are the same, and they help you to plant good roots.

To recite the Buddha's name but once eradicates the grave offenses committed during ninety million eons of birth and death. In America, where the Buddhadharma is new, you now have the rare good fortune to encounter this method. What's more, you've met with a Good Advisor, one who can teach you the method of Buddha Recitation. No one should casually waste this precious time. Be very conscientious, work hard at your recitation, and you will not have attended this session in vain.

Here we are bivouacked out-of-doors under the open sky, camping in the wilds and reciting the Buddha's name. There's nothing to shelter us from the rain. When it's not raining we recite while walking on a circular track. This is truly an excellent method! We have not come to this pure mountain land for sport or recreation. We're not here to play ball or set off rockets, but to recite the Buddha's name. This is truly a subtle, wonderful, and inconceivable environment. There are no sounds at all. It's not like San Francisco with its cars, buses, trolleys, and planes going, “vroooom! vroooom!”—all making a tremendous din. It's very peaceful here, and perfect for Buddha Recitation. So all of you take care not to waste this precious time.

Deep in the mountains the air is fresh and there is not the slightest trace of pollution. The evil world of the five turbidities--the turbidity of the eon, the turbidity of views, the turbidity of living beings, the turbidity of afflictions, and the turbidity of the lifespan—exists in places crowded with people. This wilderness, by contrast, is the clear, pure Land of Ultimate Bliss. If you can cultivate in the Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss, the power of the response of the Way will be completely different from that of the noisy bustle of the city. Here, it is easy to enter samadhi, to gain concentration, to obtain the Buddha Recitation samadhi.

To be continued

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