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《菩提田》

 

BODHI FIELD

自性的科學
The Science of Our Own Natures

1998年法界佛教總會臺灣訪問團 Dharma Realm Buddhist Association's Delegation to Taiwan in 1998
比丘恆實講於清華大學佛學講座1998年7月24日
A talk given by Bhikshu Heng Sure on July 24, 1998, at the Buddhist Studies Symposium at Ching Hua University
比丘尼恆音 英譯 English translation by Bhikshuni Heng Yin

各位法師,各位清華大學的教授和同學們,各位來賓,大家好。阿彌陀佛!

今天晚上非常難得有機會和各位來研究「自性的科學」這個題目。各位看到在臺上很多法師,這是從萬佛聖城來的訪問團。我們這次到臺灣來舉辦為國家「祈福消災華嚴大法會」,所以華嚴大法是我們的主題。我們想這是今天晚上最好的題目。大家剛從高速公路下來,可能心還沒有完全定下來,而《華嚴經》是從定中講的;我們如果想要能明白經中甚深的道理,就要在定中聽《華嚴經》。所以為了能靜下來,我們大家一起來念誦「南無大方廣佛華嚴經,華嚴海會佛菩薩。」請跟著我念:「南無大方廣佛華嚴經,華嚴海會佛菩薩。」

大家都念得很好,好像專家一樣。你們都讀過《華嚴經》嗎?聽起來好像你們已經知道怎麼念了。好,我們現在三稱:南無大方廣佛華嚴經,華嚴海會佛菩薩。(三稱)

我們知道佛經有一千多部:最長的、最大的是哪一部?《華嚴經》嗎?不一定。最長的是《摩訶般若波羅密多經》。最短的是什麼?《心經》?不是。最短的是《般若經》--一字般。據說釋迦牟尼佛講出一個「阿」字,就包括所有其他的法在內。所以,長講,短講,般若--智慧,還是最重要。可是佛在七七四十九年講法三百餘會,很多次佛在那兒轉法輪,如果總括起來,佛講那麼多智慧的話,那麼多般若,到底是講的什麼?可以說佛是講人的心、人性--覺悟的性、光明的性。我們現在是處於科學的時代,清華大學也是以研究科學為首的,是名揚四海的研究科學的大學,所以我們一定要用科學的眼光來研究佛所講的經典。

今天晚上,我先講幾句話,先跟各位結個法緣。然後我們想請恆持法師--在我右手邊,也要跟各位介紹一下她今天晚上想講的話。恆持法師講完之後,我們跟果勒居士 Doug Powers特別有緣,他是這位高高大大留了鬍子的美國人,大家不用怕的。他雖然長得那麼大,他不會吃人;他是吃素的,是素食家,所以你們放心好了。他會講一些佛教的心理學。果勒居士講完了之後,我們想介紹恆雲法師;恆雲法師在恆持法師右手邊,她也會講幾句話,做法佈施。然後,我們看看時間,我們大家一起討論研究今天晚上所介紹的一些道理。如果有哪一方面大家覺得不夠深入,或者講得根本不對,或是要補充一點,都可以隨意發表意見。

有兩個麥克風,願意問問題,可以到麥克風前,大家都可以一起共同研究你的問題。大家接受不接受啊?接受。Okay!好。

佛在菩提樹下證果成佛之後,五眼六通、三身四智都圓滿了。他睜開他的法眼,看到全法界所有的真理了。那時,他覺得這種解脫,這種快樂,是無可比的,所以他就宣講他清淨法眼所看到的一切道理。誰在那兒聽呢?據說是菩薩、天人在那兒聽。當時這種華嚴大法,就是當時佛講《華嚴經》時,知道人間還不夠火候,機緣沒成熟,所以就把《華嚴經》收回來。等機緣成熟,龍樹菩薩到龍宮去拿回來小部《華嚴經》;《華嚴經》分大、中、小三部,很長很長的。龍樹菩薩就將小部《華嚴》帶到人間譯成中文,所以我們現在還有小部《華嚴》。中文有,日文、韓文都有。慢慢地,宣公上人帶到美國來,用了九年講解《華嚴經》。每天晚上不差漏,講了九年,才講完《大方廣佛華嚴經》。把佛睜開他的智慧眼所觀見的全宇宙、全法界一切的真理、一切的現象講出來,我們人間才有這種智慧光明寶藏。

我們會不會覺得自己不是菩薩,也不是天人,怎麼會懂呢?很多人說:「《大方廣佛華嚴經》是佛教最高的的哲理,我沒有那個境界。我想我還是看看佛教故事好了,或是因果故事,或是這個「阿」字般若經,那是跟我的程度差不多了,我可以接受。」 

待續

Dharma Masters, professors and students of Ching Hua University, and guests: Amitofo!

This evening I have the rare honor of discussing with you the topic: The Science of Our Own Natures. You see here on stage many Dharma Masters who are part of the visiting delegation from the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. We have come to Tai­wan this year to hold a Great Flower Adornment Dharma Assembly for Protecting the Nation, Cherishing Blessings, and Quelling Disasters. Therefore, the Great Flower Adornment Dharma is our main topic. Everyone has just come off the highway and probably is not very calm and concentrated yet. The   Flower Adornment Sutra was spoken from within a state of concentration, and in order to understand its profound principles, one must listen to it in a concentrated state of mind. Therefore, let us calm our minds by reciting in unison, "Homage to the Great Means Expansive Buddha Flower Adornment Sutra and to the Flower Adornment Assembly of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas as Vast as the Sea." Please recite after me:  

Homage to the Great Means Expansive Buddha Flower Adornment Sutra and to the Flower Adornment Assembly of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas as  Vast as the Sea  

You have recited very well, like experts. Have you all read the Flower Adornment Sutra before? It sounds like you already know how to recite the name. So let us chant it three times now. [Everyone chants in unison]  

Homage to the Great Means Expansive Buddha Flower Adornment Sutra and to the Flower Adornment Assembly of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas as Vast as the Sea (3x)

There are over a thousand Buddhist Sutras. Is the longest Sutra the Flower Adornment Sutra"? No. It's the Mahaprajnaparamita Sutra. What's the shortest Sutra? The Heart Sutra? No, it's the Prajna Sutra-one word Prajna. It's said that when the Buddha spoke the letter "A", it contained all dharmas within it. No matter how much else was spoken, ultimately Prajna-wisdom-is still the most important. The Buddha taught the Dharma for fortynine years, turning the Dharma wheel numerous times in over three hundred assemblies. What was he talking about? How can we put all that Prajna that he spoke in a nutshell? You could say the Buddha was talking about the mind and nature-the enlightened nature and the bright mind. We are now in a scientific age, and Ching Hua University is a well-known scientific university. Therefore, let us take a look at the Buddha's Sutras through the eyes of science.

Tonight I will first say a few words of Dharma, and then Dharma Master Heng Chih on my right will speak. Then Doug Powers, Upasaka Guo Lei, this tall, bearded American, will speak. Although he is big and tall, you need not be afraid of him; he doesn't eat people, because he's a vegetarian. He will talk about Buddhist psychology. Then Dharma Master Heng Yun will speak a few words of Dharma. Then in the time remaining there can be a discussion in which people may elaborate on, criticize, or correct something in this evening's talks. Feel free to speak out.

There are two microphones, and people may use them to raise questions for everyone to examine. Is this acceptable to all of you? Yes, good.

After the Buddha realized Buddhahood beneath the Bodhi Tree, he had all of the Five Eyes and Six Spiritual Powers. The Three Bodies and Four Kinds of Wisdom were perfected in him. Opening his Dharma-eye, he could perceive all the truths of the universe. In that state of incomparable liberation and happiness, he proclaimed the truths that his pure Dharma-eye could see. Who was the audience? It's said that Bodhisattvas and gods were listening. That was the time that the Buddha spoke the Flower Adornment Sutra, the Great Flower Adornment Dharma. Knowing that people in the world were not ready for it, he stored it away. When the conditions were ripe, Nagarjuna Bodhisattva went to the Dragon Palace to retrieve the smallest version of the Sutra, of which there were three: large, medium, and small. He brought back the smallest version, which was still very long, and translated it to Chinese. This small version still exists in Chinese, as well as in Japanese and Korean. The Venerable Master Hua brought this Sutra to America and lectured on it nightly for nine years without a break. It took a full nine years for him to completely lecture the Flower Adornment Sutra, in which the Buddha speaks of all the truths underlying the phenomena of the universe, and this explanation is still extant in the world.

You might think: "I'm not a Bodhisattva or a god; how could I understand this treasure trove of wisdom, this jewel of bright light? Many people say the Flower Adornment Sutra is at the pinnacle of Buddhist philosophy. I'm not at that level. I think I'd better stick to Buddhist stories of cause and effect, or just the letter 'A' for starters."

To be continued

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