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

《法界音》

 

NEWS FROM THE DHARMA REALM

華嚴大法最殊勝 護國息災濟幽冥
——記法界佛教總會台灣之行
The Supreme Flower Adornment Dharma Assembly Protects the Nation, Quells Disasters, and Saves Deceased Souls
—A Report of Dharma Realm Buddhist Association's Visit to Taiwan

編輯部 Compiled by the Editorial Staff

法界佛教總會訪問團於一九九八年七月二十二日啟程前往臺灣,向諸山長老請益學習;並在臺北、新竹、臺中、高雄、花蓮等地,舉辦護國息災華嚴法會,誦念華嚴經普賢行願品、禮拜華嚴懺、傳授三皈五戒及幽冥戒,將一切功德迴向臺灣人民,並祈求世界和平。

訪問團成員共三十餘人,由七位比丘、十餘位比丘尼及男女居士等組成。自一九九五年上人涅槃追思法會後,將近三年間,上人在臺灣的弟子求法若渴,訪問團因而應邀成行,緊湊的行程和法會,使在臺的弟子與信眾們如獲甘露。

七月二十三日下午訪問團活動由記者會揭開序幕,在臺北臺大校友會館,由立法院副院長王金平居士主持,介紹宣公上人在西方建立僧團、翻譯經典、創辦教育,及融合團結各宗教等所做之努力,並回答記者們之問題。

「佛法在西方之展望」座談會,於二十四日下午在中央研究院舉行。佛教界、學術界等人士三百多位共聚一堂參加研討,情況熱烈。在會場外巨大的電子字幕機上,報告著各種活動的訊息;恆實法師想起萬佛聖城的活動,都是用很古老的方式,在布條上以毛筆字書寫,與中華民國最高科學學術機構比起來,很明顯地聖城有點「跟不上時代」。

訪問團的來訪,對新竹清華大學佛學社夏令營確是件大事。從清大校門口起,以及幾個主要街道上,都掛滿了歡迎布條;十一部大型遊覽車由各地趕來,一千多人參加「佛學講座」,大家都法喜充滿。臺灣是個佛教非常興盛的國家,由此可見端倪。

在臺中時,訪問團男眾專程向德高望重的上道下海老法師請益;海公律師慈眼等視眾生,使成員們甚為感動。圓通精舍幼稚園有五十六位小朋友,善根深厚,一起皈依三寶;臺灣佛教在向下紮根方面的努力與成功,是非常可喜的一個現象。

六龜位於臺灣南部山區,正值溽暑,可是也擋不住信眾們的誠心,彈丸之地,擠滿了不畏辛苦揮汗與會的人。訪問團部份成員抽空參訪了妙通寺,這是廣公老和尚座下的清淨道場,道風嚴謹,有三百位比丘尼在此共修。

訪問團來到花蓮走訪慈濟,參觀醫院設施,並瞭解慈濟對臨終病人的照顧等措施;隨後到靜思精含參訪上證下嚴法師,法師在百忙中親自接待並回答問題,讓團員深獲法益。

為盡孝道,每當傳授幽冥戒時,信眾們扶老攜幼前來參加,中國人慎終追遠的民族性表露無遺。捧著牌位,猶如見到久別的親人;香讚聲起,很多人情不自禁地悲泣了起來,兩腿跪得紅腫灼熱也不在乎,為的就是要救拔超度親人離苦得樂。「菩薩畏困,眾生畏果」,如果人人都能諸惡莫作,眾善奉行,這些佛事也都是如夢似幻。

在臺中和高雄傳授幽冥戒時,有數位小朋友都有非常殊勝的感應;一對小兄弟不約而同地目睹上人從法相中走出來,把所有的牌位收走,送到虛空中。消息很快傳了開來,與會者都覺得不可思議,嘆未曾有。

訪問團在臺十六天馬不停蹄的活動,使宣公上人的法兩再度普潤眾生,也使上人在臺的皈依弟子們興起無限的追思與感恩。難怪恆實法師感嘆地說:「不知道哪一天美國人才能夠像臺灣信眾一樣,虔誠地信仰佛教,恭敬地供養三寶,熱心參與法會及護持道場,那麼佛法在西方就大有可為了。」

On July 22, 1998, a delegation from Dharma Realm Buddhist Association set out for Taiwan to pay respects to and learn from the Elder Masters there. In Taipei, Hsinchu, Taichung, Kaohsiung, Hualien, and other places, the delegation also held Dharma Sessions for Protecting the Nation and Quelling Disasters, in which they recited the Avatamsaka Sutra's "Chapter on the Vows and Conduct of Universal Worthy Bodhisattva", bowed the Avatamsaka Repentance, and transmitted the Three Refuges, Five Precepts, and Precepts for the Deceased. All the merit was dedicated to the people of Taiwan and to world peace.

The delegation of thirty-some members included seven Bhikshus, over ten Bhikshunis, and laypeople. In the three years since the first Ceremony Commemorating the Venerable Master's Nirvana in 1995, the Master's disciples in Taiwan have thirstily sought the Dharma. In response to their invitations, the delegation followed a tight schedule of Dharma assemblies that was like sweet dew to the faithful disciples.

The delegation's activities began on July 23 with a press conference in the Alumni Association at National Taiwan University in Taipei. Jin-Ping Wang, the Vice Director of the Legislative Assembly chaired the conference. He introduced the Venerable Master's efforts in the West to establish a Sangha, translate the Buddhist Canon, found educational centers, and bring all religions together. He also answered reporters' questions.

A panel discussion on "Propagating Buddhism in the West" was held in the afternoon of July 24th at the Academia Sinica. Over three hundred Buddhists and scholars attended the lively discussion. Outside the hall was a huge computer-controlled electronic sign that blinked the current and coming attractions. Dharma Master Heng Sure reflected, "At CTTB we make the same banners but we do it the old-fashioned way, in hand calligraphy. Clearly we aren't as up to date as the Academia Sinica, the highest scientific academy of the Republic of China."

The delegation's visit was a big deal for the summer session Buddhist studies group at Ching Hua University in Hsinchu. Over the main street, several blocks from the gate of the school, big welcome banners were hanging from the overhead pedestrian walkway. Eleven big tour buses came from various places, and over a thousand people attended the lecture on Buddhism. Everyone was filled with the joy of Dharma. One could see that Taiwan is a country where Buddhism is flourishing.

In Taichung, some of the male delegation members made a special visit to the Venerable Elder Vinaya Master Dao Hai. Everyone was touched by the Venerable Vinaya Master's compassionate regard for living beings. At Yuantong Hermitage, fifty-six kindergarteners with deep good roots took refuge with the Triple Jewel. It was a good sign of Taiwan Buddhism's efforts to inculcate virtue in the younger generation.

The blazing summer heat in Liugui, a village situated in the mountains of southern Taiwan, could not stop the faithful, who crowded into the tiny area and tirelessly wiped away their sweat during the Dharma session. Some delegation members went to visit Miaotong Monastery, a pure and strict Bodhimanda founded by Elder Master Guangqin where three hundred Bhikshunis live and cultivate.

In Hualien, the delegation visited Tzu-Chi, where they toured the hospital and learned how Tzu-Chi took care of patients who were near death. They also paid respects to the Venerable Master Cheng-Yen at Jingsi Hermitage, who took time out of her busy schedule to meet them and answer questions. They learned much Dharma from that visit.

Out of filial piety, people brought their elders and children along to receive Precepts on Behalf of the Deceased. The Chinese tradition of honoring and remembering their ancestors was clearly evident. Holding the plaque, one felt as if one were seeing one's long-departed relative. As the Incense Praise started, many people could not help crying. They knelt until their knees were red and swollen but didn't mind it in the least. All they wished was to rescue their deceased relatives from suffering. "Bodhisattvas are afraid to create bad causes; ordinary beings only fear the consequences." If all people could refrain from evil and practice good, this ceremony would only be an illusory dream.

During the transmission of the Precepts for the Deceased in Taichung and Kaohsiung, several children had wonderful responses. Two brothers simultaneously saw the Venerable Master walk out of his portrait, collect the plaques, and send them up into the air. This piece of news soon spread about, and everyone felt it was inconceivable and unprecedented.

As a result of the delegation's sixteen days of non-stop activities, living beings in Taiwan received the Venerable Master Hua's Dharma rain and the Master's Taiwan disciples felt boundless gratitude and remembrance. Dharma Master Sure remarked, "The day that Americans can be like Taiwan Buddhists—so sincere in their belief, respectful in making offerings, and enthusiastic in attending Dharma sessions and supporting the temples—there will be great hope for Buddhism in the West."

▲Top

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