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Dharma Talks in Europe

A talk given on October 12, 1990 at the Avatamsaka Temple in Brussels, Belgium

醉生夢死 難了生死

「能會用者超三界」:你若會用錢,會成佛的。「不會用者墮陰曹」:不會用錢 的人,去造罪業,造到地獄去了。看有多危險!錢究竟有甚麼好處?可是人就這麼糊塗,一個財、一個色,把世界的人,支配得糊糊塗塗的,智慧都沒有了。你如不 愛財,不愛色,本有的智慧就現前。又不要名,不要總想自己爭第一,自己出風頭,人人都知道我,如何打知名度。

「食」:不要名、色、錢財,但放不下吃的。不貪財、色、名了,但吃東西時貪 好味道;菜一來,眼睛睜得比牛眼還大,為了細細看這個是否合我的口味。合我的口味就多夾一點,左一塊右一塊總覺得不夠;要是不合口味,嚐一點點,再也不要 吃。吃東西時這麼有智慧,可是聽法就沒有智慧,吃東西知道甚麼是好,甚麼不好。能把吃東西放下了,但是對於睡覺,少睡一分鐘都不行;如果少睡,就不起來上 班,也不起來做早課。做早晚課時,在打瞌睡,或拜一拜佛,就倒下去睡著了,或站著念佛也是入了定,連步也不知怎麼邁。人就是這麼糊裡糊塗一輩子,就嗚呼哀 哉了,也不知將來又怎樣?

現在這個世界很不堪設想,人人生命都在不可思議的時候,你想像不到,不知哪 個國家,把化學武器放出,就可毀滅全世界,人人同歸於盡。這不是恐嚇你們,真有這麼危險。因為這個,所以我們要溯本窮源,這起源於「爭」,人人應讓而不 爭。

這個責任,在每個國家的元首,要每個國家元首能修德行仁,教化百姓,受五戒 修十善。如果每個國家元首,不知修德行仁,如英國皇太子信佛,但皇家卻規定,皇太子在受國王座時,無論如何也不准他結雙跏趺座。你看連信佛都違背國家法 令。如果每個國家元首都能信佛,國家就沒有戰爭;國家元首不信佛,迷到錢上,變成財迷,國家就有戰爭。所以國家元首要負責任。

其次是宗教領袖要負責任,為甚麼身為宗教領袖,不能以身作則,做個好榜樣? 還這麼貪財、貪色、貪名、貪食、貪睡,所以宗教領袖要負責。

再其次是大學教授,不應把大學學生教成男女亂七八糟,不要命似地吃避孕藥, 大學教授為了賺錢,把學生慣得不守規矩。

所謂「養不教,父之過」,做父母為甚麼不教子女,而讓他自由發展?好像美國 殺人、放火、販毒等等不法行為,皆因作父母的不教導子女守規矩,於是世界人人不守法令,不守規矩。人人以破五戒,殺、盜、淫、妄、酒為生,把世界弄壞了, 形成教育破產。

父母教育沒做好,教授的教育沒做好,宗教人士的教育沒有好,國家不把教育弄 好。因為這個世界亂七八糟,所以宗教人士要負責任整頓教育。各個宗教要合作,不要像過去,「入則主之,出則奴之」,「入主出奴」;天主教的說天主教好,基 督教的說基督教好,佛教說佛教好。其實「好」不是由自己說的,要人家讚歎,人家認識才算好。比如說佛成佛,證佛果,是大家公認成佛的;不是自己覺得自己無 量無邊,就是無量無邊了;不是自己認為成佛了,就是成佛了。

Living as if Drunk and Dying in a Dream, It's Hard to End Birth and Death

 “Those who know how to use it can transcend the Three Realms.” If you know how to use money, you can become a Buddha. “Those who don't fall into the underworld.” If you don't know how to use money right, you use it to create offenses until you fall into the hells. How dangerous that is! What advantages are there to money? Everyone is so confused. Wealth and sex have confused the people of the world so deeply that they have lost their wisdom. If you do not crave wealth and sex, your inherent wisdom will reveal itself. You should not crave fame, either. Don't always strive to be number one. Don't try to get in the spotlight and make yourself known to everyone.

Perhaps you don't want fame, sex, or money, but you can't put down your attachment to food. You aren't greedy for wealth, sex, or a good reputation, but you're greedy for good flavors. When the food is served, your eyes open wider than a cow's, because you want to take a good look to see if it's the kind you like. If it is, you take more--one serving after another, never getting enough. If it's not, you taste a little bit and push it aside. You are clever when it comes to eating, but not so wise when it comes to listening to the Dharma. When it comes to food, you know what's good and what's not.

You may be able to put down your attachment to food, but as for sleep, you can't bear to give up even a minute of sleep. If you haven't had enough sleep, you can't get up to go to work or to do morning recitation. During the morning and evening recitations, you doze off. When you bow to the Buddhas, you fall asleep and don't get up from the bow. Or you stand there and enter samadhi as you're reciting the Buddha's name, so you forget to walk forward. In this way people are confused all their lives, and then they die without knowing what will become of them. 

The world situation now is incomprehensible. People cannot imagine what will happen to them. We don't know when some country will set off a nuclear weapon and annihilate the whole planet and everyone on it. I'm not trying to intimidate you; it's really that dangerous. For this reason, we have to trace the problem back to its source--fighting. Instead of fighting, everyone ought to yield.

This is the responsibility of the leader of every nation. Every head-of-state should cultivate virtue, carry out humane policies, and teach the people to follow the five precepts and practice the ten good deeds. But some national leaders do not cultivate virtue and carry out humane policies. For example, the Crown Prince of England believes in Buddhism, but the royal family made a rule that when he assumes the royal throne, under no circumstances could he sit in full lotus posture. So you see, even being a Buddhist is against the law! If every head-of-state could believe in Buddhism, every nation would be free of wars. On the other hand, if the head-of-state is not Buddhist and is infatuated with money, there will be war in the country. The heads-of-state have to be responsible for this.

Secondly, religious leaders have to be responsible. Why are religious leaders unable to set a good example for others? Why are they so greedy for wealth, sex, fame, food, and sleep? The religious leaders have to assume their responsibility. Furthermore, professors should not teach college students to be promiscuous and take birth control pills like crazy. Professors, thinking only about making money, have spoiled the students and condoned their misbehavior.

It is said, "If the child is raised but not taught well, it is the father's fault." Why aren't parents teaching their children? Why do they let them do whatever they want? For example, American youths commit murder and arson, peddle drugs, and engage in other illegal activities. This is all because their parents didn't teach them to behave well and respect the rules. That's why everyone disregards the law and doesn't follow any rules. In their daily lives, people break the five precepts against killing, stealing, sexual misconduct, lying, and intoxicants. These are the reasons the world has gone to ruin and education is morally bankrupt.

Parents have failed to educate their children; teachers and professors have not done a good job of teaching; and the clergy have not fulfilled their role as educators. The government is not doing anything to reform education, either. Since the world is in such a mess, the religious leaders should make it their responsibility to bring about educational reform. All religions should work together. It should not be like before, with people praising a religion when they were in it and slandering it after they left it. Catholics would say that Catholicism was good, Protestants would say that Protestantism was good, and Buddhists would say that Buddhism was good. Actually, we aren't supposed to praise ourselves. Only the praise and recognition of others counts. For example, everyone recognizes the fact that the Buddha attained Buddhahood. Your thinking of how you are limitless and boundless doesn't make you limitless and boundless. Your deciding that you have become a Buddha doesn't make you a Buddha.


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