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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 a 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 in August 1975, on Buddha Root Farm on the Smith River near Reedsport, Oregon

續前期:August 19, 1975年 8月19日星期二下午

那末法時代呢,不要你說殺他;你說:「你不要信佛了。」他說:「Okay!可以。」不要說殺他,你叫他不信,他就不信。你叫他信呢?那很困難的。

你們算一算,在這世界上有多少人,在這全人類裡頭,能有多少人信佛?這信佛的人你天天跟他講經說法,他也將信將疑的。你要叫他去看看電影,好不好?他即刻就去了;你叫他去聽經呢,「喔!坐那兩個鐘頭很苦的,聽得也沒什麼味道,沒有看電影那樣好看。」所以這是叫末法時代。

末法時代你不要說殺他,叫他不信佛;你就不殺他,你說你信佛了,我給你叩三個頭,那你可以先信了吧?「你給我叩頭幹什麼?」這個人哪,末法時代他就不容易信佛。信信,他也就向後轉;信了兩天半,沒有到三天呢!他就向後轉了。他說:「I amvery tired」tired,tired(累了),你看!這是末法人的根性,就這樣子。你耳提面命說:「Not too much talking.(別講太多話了!)」 Too much talking.(講話太多了!)你叫他不要做什麼,他一定要做;你叫他要做什麼,他一定不要做,末法時代的眾生就是這樣。

那麼末法,這個法,會滅的,會沒有了。為什麼滅呢?這個《楞嚴經》最先沒有了。所我們學佛法的人,都應該先研究《楞嚴經》。有人懂《楞嚴經》,這佛法就不會滅;有人會念(楞嚴咒),這個世界所有的魔王、天魔外道,就不敢來作怪,來興風作浪。所以(楞嚴咒)是幫助世界人的最妙的一個咒;《楞嚴經》是護持正法的一部最好的經。楞嚴經先滅了,沒有了,楞嚴咒更沒有人會念了,因為太長了。我們這兒有人好像都有一年多了,(楞嚴咒)還念不出來。本來這(楞嚴咒)叫愣半年,那麼在西方就有愣一年,愣兩年,愣三年都沒有愣完的。

那麼(楞嚴咒)、《楞嚴經》先滅了,以後就到最後滅的是《佛說阿彌陀經》,也沒有了;世界上就剩「南無阿彌陀佛」這六字洪名,在世界上再存在一百年。

在這一百年,這「南無阿彌陀佛」六字洪名度無量眾生。等到一百年之後,六字洪名又減去兩個字,就剩「阿彌陀佛」、「阿彌陀佛」、「阿彌陀佛」了,就剩四個字。四個字,又等了一百年,這四個字也沒有了。那時候世界的人最苦了,一點福報也沒有了,所吃的東西就和現在的馬糞一樣的,沒有營養了,吃的東西一點營養都沒有了。你天然的也沒有營養了,無論是甚麼吃的東西,比現在那個馬出的那個糞,都難吃的。那時候,為甚麼那樣子呢?就因為人沒有福報了。因為在佛住世的時候,喝的這個水,都比現在喝的這個牛奶都有營養。為甚麼現在的水沒有那麼有營養呢?就因為人沒有那樣大的福報了。

那時候人就像狗那麼高,沒有現在這麼高了。等到那時苦到極點了,那麼又該增劫了;現在是減劫。什麼叫減劫?減劫就是每一百年,人的壽命減去一歲,高度減去一寸,等減到人壽十歲,身上的高度就像現在狗那麼高。那時候人一生出來就有淫欲心,人一生出來就會殺人,就那麼壞的。但是到那個時候又該增了,也是一百年增加一歲,高度增加一寸。那麼增到八萬四千歲,那真是long life(長命)了。然後再減,減到八萬歲那時候,當來下生彌勒尊佛出世了。誰願意生在那時候,見到彌勒尊佛現在就要好好用功。

待續

Continued from last issue: Tuesday, August 19, 1975

Now, in the Dharma-ending Age, you don't even have to threaten a person with death. You just have to say, "Don't believe in the Buddha," and they quickly reply, "Okay, fine." You don't have to threaten them, just tell them to quit believing and they will. It's very difficult to promote faith.

Calculate it for yourself: How many people are there in the world? Among the entire human race, how many people believe in the Buddha? You can lecture the Sutras to these believers every day and they will still waver between doubt and faith. You can conduct a small experiment. Try this. Invite a person out to a movie. He'll accept on the spot and away you go. Then try asking him to a Sutra lecture. He will say, "Ohhh...sitting there for two hours is nothing but suffering and tedium. It's not half as much fun as a movie!"

That's the Dharma-ending age for you. You needn't threaten them with death. You can simply say, "If you believe in the Buddha, I'll bow to you three times." And what do you think happens? They snap, "You go believe in the Buddha yourself. Why bow to me?" In the Dharma-ending Age it is difficult to believe in the Buddha. People may believe for a while but then they retreat. They may believe for two and a half days, but before the third day rolls around, they turn back and say, "I'm tired of Buddhism." Tired. See? That's the basic make-up of people in the Dharma-ending Age. You suggest to him gently or tell him directly, "Don't talk so much!" and he'll continue to talk, talk, talk too much! That's the way it is. If you tell them not to do something, they insist on doing it. If you tell them to do something, they will insist on not doing it. That's the way beings are in the Dharma-ending Age.

In this age, the Dharma will disappear. The first Sutra to disappear will be the Shurangama Sutra. That is why those who study the Buddhadharma should first investigate the Shurangama Sutra. As long as someone understand this Sutra, the Buddhad-harma will not become extinct. As long as there is someone who can recite the Shurangama Mantra, the demon kings, the heavenly demons and those of externalist teachings will not dare come into the world to play their tricks and to make trouble. The Shuran-gama Mantra is the most miraculous mantra for helping the world. The Shurangama Sutra is the primary Sutra which protects and supports the Proper Dharma.

The Shurangama Sutra will disappear first, and then no one will be able to recite the Shurangama Mantra, because it is too long. For example, many among us have been studying it for over a year and still can't recite it. Basically, the Shurangama Mantra should take six months to learn. The Sanskrit "Shurangama" is transliterated into Chinese as leng yan, and those who study it are said to be "leng," that is, in a daze, for half a year while memorizing it. Here in the West, we have people who have been "leng" for one, two, and even three years, and still have not come out of their "daze."

The Shurangama Sutra and the Shurangama Mantra will be the first to disappear. The last Sutra to disappear will be The Buddha Speaks of Amitabha Sutra.

When the Amitabha Sutra has become extinct, only the six-syllable vast name "Na-mo A-mi-to-fo," will remain in the world. It will last another one hundred years and save limitless living beings. After one hundred years the six-syllable vast name will lose two syllables and only "A-mi-to-fo" will remain for another hundred years and then they will disappear. At that time people will be undergoing extreme suffering. They will have no blessings at all. What they eat will be like horse manure. The food will have no nutritive value, even the natural foods. No matter what one eats, it will be harder to swallow than horse manure. Why? Because the people will have no blessings. When the Buddha was in the world the water that people drank was more nourishing than the milk we have today. Why does today's water lack nutritive properties? It's because now the people don't have such great blessings.

At that time, people will be as tall as dogs. When their suffering reaches its peak, things will start getting better, and the eon will begin to "wax." We are presently in an eon of "waning." This means that every one hundred years the average lifespan of human beings decreases by one year and their average height by one inch. When it has decreased to the point that an average lifespan is ten years, and an average height is about the size of our present-day dogs, people will have sexual desire as soon as they are born and they will also be able to commit murder. That's how rotten they will be. But at that time, the eon will begin to wax, and every hundred years people's lifespans will increase by one year and their height will increase by one inch. When the average lifespan has reached eighty-four thousand years—would you call that a long life?—it will begin to decrease once again. When the average lifespan has waned to eighty thousand years, the next Buddha, the Venerable Maitreya, will appear in the world. Whoever wants to meet him at that time should work hard right now.

To be continued

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