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我們現在每一個人要發願了，果默發願不講話，我們發願要在這三步一拜的兩個人，十個 mile（哩）以內不下雨，不下雪，讓他們一路上都沒有雨，也沒有雪才好。因為他們一天只拜五個 mile（哩），方圓十哩內不下雨，不下雪，這樣可以了。我們大家要發這樣的願，一定要這樣；不這樣不行的。好像地震似的，不准地震了。現在我們大家要發這樣的願，不論我們拜佛、念佛，都這麼的迴向。天龍八部在他們兩個三步一拜，十個 mile 以內，每一天不准下雨的，你們看這樣好不好？因為他們兩個太苦了。
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Entirely purifying living beings' defilements,
Causing all enmity and malice to become kindness,
He thus obtains light pervading empty space.
The River Spirit Universal World is glad to see this.
The Buddha is a field of blessings, an ocean of merit and virtue,
Able to lead all beings away from evil,
All the way to the realization of great Bodhi.
This is the liberation of the Spirit Ocean Light.
Entirely purifying living beings' defilements. Living beings have defiled thoughts, but the Buddha turns them into pure thoughts.
Causing all enmity and malice to become kindness. The Buddha transforms all hateful thoughts into compassionate thoughts.
He thus obtains light pervading empty space. Having perfected the practice of causing all defiled beings to become pure and all angry beings to become happy, the Buddha's great wisdom light pervades the Dharma Realm to the ends of space.
The River-Ruling Spirit Universal World is glad to see this. Having understood this state, he is extremely happy.
The Buddha is a field of blessings for living beings, a field where beings can plant blessings, and
an ocean of merit and virtue for living beings. He is
able to lead all beings away from all evil, so that they do no evil and practice all good. As you can see, the Buddha transmitted the precepts to living beings, helping them to refrain from evil and avoid making mistakes, to refrain from all evil and practice all good. If they refrain from all evil, they become separate from evil. Not only are living beings led away from evil—a relatively minor achievement—they are taken
all the way to the realization of great Bodhi, to the accomplishment of Buddhahood.
This is the liberation of the Spirit Ocean Light. This is the liberation door that the River-Ruling Spirit named Ocean Light has understood.
Are there any questions today?
"The gate of giving is vast and inexhaustible, / Bringing benefit to all living beings. / Those who see it depart from stinginess and attachment. / This is what the Spirit Universal Joy has awakened to."
"Has awakened to" means he has just understood it now, and he didn't understand it before. Having understood it, he speaks a verse in praise of the Buddha. The Spirit Universal Joy is a spirit, and yet even he did not understand until now. That is why I say it is not easy to understand. Before you listened to the explanation of the Flower Adornment Sutra, you did not understand either. Now that you've heard the Sutra, you understand a little, but not completely. That's why I said it isn't easy to understand. There aren't any deep or esoteric principles involved; my meaning was just that the Buddhadharma is difficult to get to hear and to understand quickly.
It has nothing to do with that. The wise understand matters of wisdom. The humane perceive things in terms of humaneness. For example, when a wise person sees someone suffering, he wonders, "Why is he in such great misery? Oh, it's because he didn't cultivate in past lives. He only hurt people and didn't help them." He can see the former causes that led to the present results. If a humane person who has no wisdom sees a poor person, he may think, "I ought to give him ten dollars, so he can have a few meals." The wise person understands that those in misery are that way because they didn't do good deeds in their past lives. The purely humane person only commiserates with those in suffering and want to help them right away. He may not understand that their suffering is caused by their past offenses.
Every Friday we are going to hold a meeting to investigate and discuss true principle. Everyone is welcome to take part and bring up questions for people to investigate. You should not regard this as an ordinary event. In the future if this is done on a large scale, people of all religions can get together to investigate how to help the world, how to spread Buddhism throughout the world, and various other questions. So, from now on, every Friday we will hold this meeting from 12:30 - 2:30. During the meeting, everyone should bring up their opinions so we can look into them together. You shouldn't wait for one certain individual to bring up questions for discussion. Everyone has a share in this. It will be an excellent opportunity for you to express your wisdom. Don't be an Arhat who only takes care of himself. Don't be a Mahasattva who doesn't care about others, or say, "Amitabha Buddha, every man for himself". Each one of us should reflect, "How can I help and save living beings? How can I be a true Buddhist and a vigorous cultivator?" We shouldn't let the days pass in vain, eating our one meal a day, sleeping every night, and translating Sutras or listening to explanations of the Sutras every day as part of the daily routine. There's not much point in passing our lives that way. We must make new progress. "Since I'm a Buddhist disciple, I must do something to help Buddhism expand and grow. Otherwise, how can I face up to the Buddhas of the ten directions and in the three periods of time?" We should constantly be thinking about how we can propagate Buddhism and make it prosper.
Also, we should all make vows. Guo Mo ("Fruit of Silence") made a vow not to talk. We should all make vows not to let it rain or snow within a ten mile radius of the monks doing "three steps one bow." They cover a distance of five miles each day, so a ten mile radius should be sufficient. Everyone should make this vow because that's the way it must be; it cannot be any other way. It is similar to how earthquakes are not permitted to occur. When we bow to the Buddhas or recite the Buddha's name, we can dedicate the merit so that the gods, dragons, and the rest of the eightfold division will not allow it to rain or snow within ten miles of the bowing monks, because they are already undergoing too much suffering.
Further, the Crop-Ruling Spirit named Gentle and Superior Flavor obtained the liberation door of giving all living beings a taste of Dharma so that they may accomplish the Buddha body.
After the ten River-Ruling Spirits had each used verses to praise the Buddha, ten Crop-Ruling Spirits in the Flower Adornment Assembly continued to use prose to explain the inconceivability of the realm of Flower Adornment, which is beyond the understanding of common beings and those of the Two Vehicles.
Further indicates that there is a continuation of the explanation of the Sutra's principles.
The Crop-Ruling Spirit named Gentle and Superior Flavor obtained the liberation door of giving all living beings a taste of Dharma so that they may accomplish the Buddha body. In ancient China, Emperor Shen Nong taught the people to farm. He taught them how to till the fields and irrigate and tend them so that the shoots would thrive and grow day by day. The seeds are first planted in the ground. Then sprouts come up, grow, and mature. In the same way, when beings mature, they can attain liberation.
This Crop-Ruling Spirit was called "Gentle and Superior Flavor".
Gentleness is an expedient Dharma that makes living beings very comfortable. Superior flavor refers to a good flavor. The five flavors are sour, sweet, bitter, spicy, and salty. Each person has his or her individual taste. Some people like to eat sour things; others prefer sweet food. Some are fond of bitter-tasting things. Some like to eat hot and spicy food. Others enjoy salty food. Living beings have different dispositions and individual preferences. However, we are talking about ordinary flavors. Here the Sutra is talking about superior flavor, which is the most expedient of expedient means; the most ultimate of ultimate truths. Superior flavor transcends the five flavors of sour, sweet, bitter, spicy, and salty. It's even more aromatic and delicious—more sour, more sweet, more bitter, more spicy, or more salty. It's a special kind of flavor, but don't get me wrong—I don't mean a foul flavor. It is a good flavor.
We can also explain it this way. People in the world all have their preferences. Some are attracted to Catholicism and feel that it is the highest religion. Some prefer Protestantism and consider it to be the best. Others like Confucianism and think that its principles of humaneness, righteousness, propriety, wisdom, and trustworthiness are not bad. " 'Universal love is known as humaneness. Practicing in accord with it is called righteousness.' These are superb principles," they think. Others relish Taoism and enjoy wearing a Taoist cap and letting their hair grow so that you can't tell them apart from women, except for the fact that they have beards. Still others are attracted to Buddhism. They think, "Buddhism is pretty nice. It has a sweet, superior flavor." You haven't had a full taste yet. A full taste would surpass even the most superior flavor, so the text says, "a taste of Dharma."
Each one of us is like a farmer. We should each till our own field and eat our own food, being self-reliant and strengthening ourselves continuously. How do we plant our own field? When we plant a Bodhi seed in the Buddha's field of blessings, a Bodhi sprout comes forth. The Bodhi sprout grows day by day until it becomes a Bodhi tree. The Bodhi tree bears Bodhi fruit. Once you reap that Bodhi fruit, you have attained liberation. That's why it's said, "Enable those who haven't planted good roots to plant them; enable those who have already planted them to make them grow; enable those whose good roots have grown to bring them to maturity; and enable those whose good roots have matured to attain liberation." Crop-Ruling Spirits are involved in that kind of work.
If you plant a Bodhi seed, in the future you will reap a Bodhi fruit. The text says, "giving all living beings the taste of Dharma" Whoever cultivates can get a taste. But those who don't cannot. The attainment depends upon whether or not you cultivate. If you rely on the Dharma in your cultivation, you will obtain the flavor of Dharma and "Will realize the Buddha body." Having obtained the flavor of Dharma, ones will obtain the flavor of 84,000 Dharma doors; you nurture the field of your Dharma nature and realize the Buddha body; that is, you become a Buddha.
"What's so good about becoming a Buddha?" you ask.
After you become a Buddha, you can teach all living beings, let them become Buddhas. The Buddhas' work is just to teach and transform living beings.
The Crop-Ruling Spirit named Gentle and Superior Flavor understood the Buddha's state and entered the liberation door of the flavor of Dharma.
To be continued