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《上人法雨》

 

VENERABLE MASTER'S DHARMA RAIN

上人開示:為什麼要出家?
A Talk by the Venerable Master: Why Do We Want to Leave the Home-life?

宣化上人開示 A talk given by the Venerable Master Hua
比丘尼恆大英譯 English translation by Bhikshuni Heng Da

什麼叫造佛?說是我們造佛像用木頭來造。可是造活佛那怎麼造法呀?佛是可以造的嗎?當然可以。那怎麼造法呢?怎麼造法?你只要幫助人出家,就是造佛。出家人將來一定成佛的,你幫助人出家,幫助來幫助去,自己也出了家了。造成其他的佛也把自性的佛造成了。

成就道場的這個功德是最大的,尤其是成就人出家做和尚,這個功德也最大了。在緬甸和暹羅的人,認為出家是很隆重的一件事。要有人出家,就有很多人給這個人錢,來買這個人出家,出家好像比一般人結婚還要隆重。有的有錢人出家,就請幾千人來吃飯。這個錢誰給拿呢?不是他親戚就是他朋友,再不就是佛教的護法,拿出這個錢,說某某人出家了,我拿這錢來請客,來做功德,那麼成就人出家。有的人自己不能出家,自己或者捨不得家庭的妻子、兒女、財產,他就幫助人出家。有人要出家他就給錢,這專門做這個功德,專門成就人出家。

果素的母親這次到我們這兒來,我非常高興,那麼希望留你母親在這兒多住幾天,看一看我們這兒的情形。果素的母親是很賢明,很明白的。她歡喜兒子出家、修行,這是不可多得的。一般的父母都不歡喜兒子出家;寧可自己出家,也不叫兒子出家。

好像去年來那個張太太,你們都認識的,會做齋菜的那一位,她想要出家,但是無論如何不叫她兒子出家。她兒子就問她說:「媽媽妳要出家,為什麼不叫我們出家?嗯?」她沒有話講了。她說:「這個小孩奇怪。他為什麼要這樣問我?」

觀了很多地方,所以她知道佛教是非常的偉大的。這個「一子入佛門,九祖昇天。」過去九世的祖先都會昇到天上去。所以有的人學佛法之後又要退;你怎麼可以退呢?你的父母、祖父母、曾祖父母都在等著你超度他們,等著你來令他們也成佛;你現在一退,他們也都哭起來了、落淚了,所以修道只有精進,不能向後退的。我們人人發菩提心;這菩提心要一天比一天高,一天比一天大,等到發得那個大而無外,小而無內那個時候,那就成功了。

有人說:「我想孝順父母;但是我現在出家了,我父親也不在我的身邊,我母親也不在我的身邊,那我要孝順怎麼辦呢?」你出家了;你出家正是大孝,所謂「一子入佛門,九祖昇天。」你一個後人要是出家、修道,九祖都跟著你借光,就都會昇天的。你看,九祖都超昇,所以你這個不但孝順你今世的父母,就是過去的祖先、過去世的父母,你都孝順了。但是你可要修行,要不修行啊!那九祖又會都墮地獄去了,又都哭起來了。怎麼哭起來呢?「唉!」他說:「我本來以為我有一個後人出家了;因為他修道,我們就都可以昇天了。誰不知他不修道,天天睡覺,懶得不得了。我們現在罪業又都不赦免了,所以又都墮地獄了。」

我們出家要修道,就九祖昇天;你要不修道,九祖一樣墮地獄的。不是說我出了家了,我就有理了,九祖一定要給我昇天,不是的。你要不修行,九祖就不會昇天的;你要修行這就是大孝,把你父親母親都超度了。

這個出家,有出煩惱家,有出三界家,有出無明家。什麼叫出煩惱家?人人都有煩惱,你要能把煩惱放下,不生煩惱,這叫出煩惱家。出三界家呢,「三界」就是欲界、色界、無色界。你雖然住在欲界裡邊,但是你沒有這種淫欲心;你雖然沒有到這個色界,但是這個形色也空了,乃至於無色界也都空了,所以是出三界家。又有出無明家;無明就是根本的煩惱,能把這無明破了,菩提覺道的智慧就圓了,這叫出無明家。

出家有這三種,在中國來講。

又出家人不一定個個出家都能修行。在中國有這種風氣,這小孩子一生出來有很多病痛,父親母親請醫生也醫治不好。看情形一定要死了,這時候父親母親就說:「好了,反正他都要死了,叫他出家了。把他捨到廟上作小沙彌。」那麼一叫他出家呢,他的病就好了,不死了。

這種人出家,固然是有善根,但是恐怕他也迷了。怎麼迷呢?他不知道修行了。善根是有,可能忘了,所以不一定能修行,或者也有修行的。這是由小的時候許到廟上出家;還有為環境,為生活問題來出家的。有的家裡窮得不得了,就說出家這飯還容易吃,衣服也很容易穿的,於是乎就出家去了。這個出家是為衣食作著想而出家;有的又因為年紀老了,無依無靠所以就發心出家,作和尚,再收個小徒弟,就有人來孝順。徒弟都要孝順師父,無論吃什麼先要供養師父;無論什麼,對師父都要恭恭敬敬的。那麼他沒出家以前是個老人,也沒有子女;這出家了就有個小徒弟,這就有人來照顧他。所以有這種出家想要養老,這一種人也不一定修行。

有的因環境的壓迫而出家。什麼環境壓迫呢?好像窺基祖師,這就是環境叫他出家的,但是他很有修行。還有一種,在中國有這種的法律,無論你殺人放火,造多少罪;你是當士匪啊,你出家了,這政府就找不著你了。為躲避犯法的刑法而出家的,這種也不一定會修行。

待續

How are Buddhas created? Buddha images are made from wood. How are living Buddhas created? Can Buddhas be created? Of course. How? When you help people to leave the home-life, you are creating Buddhas, because left-home people will definitely become Buddhas in the future. When you help many people to leave the home-life, you will eventually leave the home-life yourself. That is to say, when you create other Buddhas, you are creating the Buddha of your own nature.

To establish a Way-place is the greatest source of merit and virtue. In particular, by helping others to leave the home-life to become monks, one achieves the highest merit and virtue. In Burma and Thailand, people think leaving the home-life is the most important affair. If someone wants to leave the home-life, many people will make money offerings to that person. Leaving the homelife is taken more seriously than getting married. If the person who is leaving the home-life is rich, he will invite thousands of people to a meal. Who pays for the meal? It is paid either by his relatives, friends, or Dharma protectors in Buddhism. People will offer money and say, "So and so is leaving the home-life; I will pay for the meal and create merit and virtue." In this way, they help others leave the home-life. Some people cannot leave home themselves, for they are reluctant to renounce their families, wives, children, wealth, and so on. So they help others leave the home-life instead. They make money offerings as a way to help people leave the home-life and create merit and virtue for themselves.

 I am very pleased that Guo Su's mother is able to visit us this time. I hope she will stay for a few more days to get to know how things are done here. Guo Su's mother is a very sensible and capable person. She is happy that her son is leaving the home-life. This is rather rare. Usually parents are not pleased when their sons want to leave the home-life. Some would rather leave the home-life themselves than have their sons leave home. Remember Mrs. Chang, who was here last year, the one who knows how to cook vegetarian food? She wanted to leave the home-life herself. However, she would not permit her son to leave home no matter what. Her son asked her, "Mother, you want to leave the home-life yourself. Why won't you let me leave the home-life?" She could not answer. She said, "What a strange kid! Why would he want to ask me such a question?"

Guo Su's mother has been to many Buddhist countries, so she knows that Buddhism is a great religion. It is said, "When one child enters the Way, the ancestors of the past nine generations ascend to the heavens." Some people want to retreat after they have studied the Buddhadharma. How can you retreat when your parents, grandparents, and great grandparents are all waiting for you to save them? They are waiting for you to help them become Buddhas. When you retreat, they all want to cry. Therefore, when we cultivate the Way, we can only advance with vigor. We may not retreat. After we bring forth the Bodhi resolve, that resolve should grow higher and greater every day. When it has grown to the point of being so great that nothing is outside of it, and yet so small that nothing is inside of it, you will have succeeded.

Some people say, "I want to be filial to my parents. However, since I have left home and am away from my parents, how can I be filial to them?" Leaving the home-life is itself a great deed of filial piety. As it is said, "When one child enters the Way, ancestors of the past nine generations ascend to the heavens." When you leave the home-life, your ancestors of the past nine generations will ascend to the heavens because of you. So, you see? Your ancestors of nine generations will be saved. You are being filial not only to your parents of this life, but to ancestors and parents from past lives as well. However, you must cultivate. If you don't, all of your ancestors will fall into the hells. They will all weep. Why? They will say, "We thought that since we had a descendant who cultivated the Way, all of us could be saved. Who would have guessed that he would neglect his cultivation? He is so lazy; he just sleeps all day. Now all of our offenses cannot be pardoned. We will fall into the hells again."

Therefore, although it's said that leaving the home-life and cultivating the Way causes ancestors of the past nine generations to ascend to the heavens, if you don't cultivate, they will fall into the hells just like before. Leaving the home-life does not guarantee that your ancestors will ascend to the heavens. If you don't cultivate, they won't. Only when you cultivate are you being filial to your parents in a great way, and only then will you be able  to save them.

In leaving the home-life, we leave the home of afflictions, the home of the Triple Realm, and the home of ignorance. What does it mean to leave the home of afflictions? Everyone has afflictions, but it is only when you can put them down and not give rise to them that you leave the home of afflictions. The Triple Realm includes the desire realm, the form realm, and the formless realm. If you can leave the home of the Triple Realm, then although you still live in the realm of desire, nevertheless, you will not have any sexual desire. Even though you have not reached the form realm, still you see that forms and appearances are empty. That is the meaning of leaving the home of the Triple Realm.

In leaving the home of ignorance, you break through ignorance, which is the basis of afflictions. If you can eradicate ignorance, then you will perfect the wisdom of enlightenment. That is the meaning of leaving the home of ignorance, the third of the three kinds of leaving home.

In China, not everyone who leaves the home-life is able to cultivate. Upon seeing that a sickly child is doomed to die, it is customary for the parents to take him to a monastery to leave the home-life as a novice. Often the child becomes well as soon as he leaves the home-life, and he does not die. He leaves the home-life to avoid death. Although such a person has good roots, he may still be confused and not know how to cultivate. He has forgotten how he obtained his good roots, and so it is not for sure that he will be able to cultivate. These people usually go to the monastery to leave home when they are very young.

Then there are people who leave the home-life because they have had a difficult life. They may come from a very poor household, and they leave home because they have heard that one gets food, clothing, and shelter when one leaves the home-life. These people leave the home-life for food and clothing.

Others decide to leave the home-life and become monks because they are old and have no one to take care of them. They then take young disciples who will be filial to them, because the rule for disciples is that they should be filial to their teacher. For example, they should offer whatever they eat to their teacher first, and no matter what the circumstances, they must always be respectful to their teacher. Some elderly people who do not have any sons or daughters leave the home-life so they can take a young disciple who will take care of them. This kind of person leaves the home-life so that he will be taken care of in his old age, and it is not for sure that he will be able to cultivate.

Some people are forced to leave home due to circumstances; the Patriarch Kuiji is one such example. Circumstances compelled him to leave the home-life, and then he was able to cultivate.

In China there was a law which permitted a person to leave home in order to avoid prosecution, even if he was a murderer, an arsonist, or a bandit, and so there were people who left the home-life to avoid being punished for breaking the law. It was not certain that these criminals could cultivate either.

To be continued

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