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《上人法雨》

 

VENERABLE MASTER'S DHARMA RAIN

歐洲弘法紀——中國近百年風雲人物(續)
Dharma Talks in Europe——Major Figures and Events in China during the Past Century (continued)

宣化上人講一九九〇年十月十六日開示於波蘭
A talk given by the Venerable Master on October 16,1990, in Wroclaw, Poland

現在講「袁世凱」:

吉士懷柔,三十年變
豈凡人哉,花一現;
南北東西,龍爭虎鬥,
七八數定,山川初

「吉士懷柔」,吉就是吉祥的「吉」;士就是士人的「士」。懷就是胸懷的「懷」。柔是柔順。那麼「懷」字底下像衣字似的,上頭沒有一橫,沒有一點,所以就「衣」字下邊這一撇、一豎,加到「吉」字下面是個「袁」字,所以叫「吉士懷柔」,而不說是「袁」。叫你推測,看這個字形,知道是個「袁」字。怎麼知道呢?下邊說「三十年變」,一般人以為到三十年就會變了,其實不是。變是指「卅」字底下加一橫,就成「世」字。「豈凡人哉」,豈敢的「豈」再加上一個「凡」字,就是個「凱」字。所以「吉士懷柔,三十年變,豈凡人哉」,就是「袁世凱」三個字。

「曇花一現」,曇花是一種花,開得很快,落得也很快。為甚麼這樣說呢?因為他才作了八十三天的皇帝,連登基,再垮臺一共八十三天。

「南北東西,龍爭虎鬥,七八數定,山川初奠」,南北東西指在這個時候,山西、山東、北方、南方,你和我戰爭;我和你戰爭,所以叫「南北東西、龍爭虎戰」。「七八數定」,就是中華民國七年加八年合在一起就是十五年。在民國十五年這個數早就定了。「山川初奠」,中國在這個時候,稍微平安一點。

蔣介石北伐成功。山東馮玉祥、山西閻錫山,南邊就是吳佩孚,北方就是張作霖,都互相作戰。

我再講「袁世凱」的一個故事給你們聽。袁世凱本來沒有那麼大的膽子,敢做皇帝。可是有一天他喝茶專用的一個玉杯子——這是他最愛惜的一個茶杯,就像是他的生命一樣,是價值連城的。一個服侍他的工人,用這個茶杯送茶去。一進他的門,看見袁世凱在睡覺;一看,睡的不是袁世凱,而是一隻癩蛤蟆。這個人一看,主人怎麼變成癩蛤蟆!嚇得手一震,就把翠玉茶杯摔到地下,摔碎了,那個蛤蟆精還是在那兒睡覺。這個工人就向總管求救,說我把主人的玉茶杯給摔碎了,這下子我的命一定沒有了,你有甚麼辦法可以救我的命呢?

總管一聽就說:「我給你一個妙法,可是你要給我一萬兩銀子,我才告訴你。」那時候,都是行賄受賂的。這個工人天天都有一些外快,收人很多。一萬兩銀子,也不是很大的一個數目。他說:「好,我給你一萬兩銀子,買我的命回來。」

這總管就教他說,你見到主人時,你就這麼說。你說「我一進門,看見主人變成一條五爪金龍,在那兒睡覺。我想主人一定可以做皇帝。」我保證你,一定可以救回你這一條命。

這工人就這樣子去跪在主人面前,說他看見主人變成五爪金龍,嚇了一大跳,就把玉茶杯給摔碎了。袁世凱一聽就樂了,還賞給他十萬兩銀子,說沒有關係,也沒有殺他。所以他以後就一心一意想要做皇帝,就因為他的工人說看見他變成五爪金龍,所以他一定要實現做皇帝的美夢。在中國,一般人都認為做皇帝是要眞龍天子;而五爪金龍,就是龍轉來作人的結果,因此可以做皇帝。

The next verse talks about Yuan Shikai:

        Gentlemen use the pacifying policy. 
        Change thirty years a bit. 
        How could he be a common person? 
        The night-blooming cereus
            briefly appears.
        In the east, west, north, and south, 
        Dragons spar and tigers battle. 
        At seven and eight the fate is fixed, 
        And throughout the land,
            things are roughly stabilized.     

When the bottom half of huai (怀) in "pacifying policy" (which is the character yi (衣 ) without the dot and the top line) is added  below the character ji (吉) in the compound for "gentlemen,"  you get the character yuan ( 袁) . The word "Yuan" isn't given straight out; you have to deduce it from the phrase "gentlemen  use the pacifying policy." How can we know this? The next line  says, "Change thirty years a bit." Most people thought this  meant there would be a change in thirty years, but actually, it's telling us to add a horizontal line on the bottom of the character  for "thirty years" ( 卅 ) ,making the character shi (世) . "How  could he be a common person?" When the characters for  "how" ( 岂) and "common" (凡) are juxtaposed, they form the character kai (凯) . So that gives the three characters of the  name Yuan Shikai. "The night-blooming cereus briefly appears."  The cereus blossom opens and withers very quickly. It symbolizes Yuan Shikai, who was emperor for only eighty-three days. Only eighty-three days passed from the time he ascended the  throne until he lost power.

"In the east, west, north, and south, / Dragons spar and tigers  battle." This refers to how everyone was fighting each other in  Shanxi, Shandong, the north, and the south. "At seven and eight  the fate is fixed, / And throughout the land, things are roughly stabilized." "Seven and eight" is a reference to the fifteenth year of  the Republic (1926). This year was determined long in advance. At that time, China began to have a little bit of peace and calm.

Chiang Kaishek's Northward Expedition [the attempt to unite  the northern part of China] was successful. Elsewhere, there were  Feng Yuxiang in Shandong Province, Yan Xishan in Shanxi Province, Wu Peifu in the south, and Zhang Zuolin in the north, all battling one another.

Let me tell you a story about Yuan Shikai. Originally Yuan Shikai didn't have the gall to proclaim himself the emperor. He had a  very precious and costly jade teacup that he always used, and he  cherished that teacup as much as his own life. One day his servant went into his room to serve him tea in that teacup. As soon as he  stepped into the room, the servant saw Yuan Shikai sleeping--but  the sleeping form was not that of Yuan Shikai, it was a toad. The  man was so shocked to see his master transformed into a toad that  his hands let slip the jade teacup, and it fell to the floor and  smashed to bits. The toad spirit continued to sleep, and the servant  went to the household manager for help, saying, "I've smashed the  master's jade teacup; my life is surely doomed. Do you have any  way to save me?"

The manager said, "I have a very good method, but you have to  pay me ten thousand taels of silver to hear it." There was a lot of  corruption and bribery in those days. The employees of wealthy  households all had extra money and large incomes. Ten thousand taels of silver was not that large a sum. So the servant said, "Okay,  I'll pay you ten thousand taels of silver to ransom my life."

The manager instructed him, "When you see your master, tell  him this: 'When I came into the Master's room, I saw that the Master had turned into a sleeping five-clawed golden dragon. I think  the Master will definitely become the Emperor.' I guarantee that  this will save your life."

The servant went and knelt before his master and explained how  he had seen the master turn into a five-clawed golden dragon, and  was so startled by this that he had dropped the jade teacup. When Yuan Shikai heard that, he was so elated that he rewarded the servant with a hundred thousand taels of silver. He pardoned the servant and did not have him killed. From that time on Yuan Shikai was intent upon becoming the emperor. Because his servant had  told him he had seen him transformed into a golden dragon, Yuan  was determined to make his dream of being emperor come true. In  China it is believed that only a real dragon can become the Son of  Heaven (the Emperor), and that a five-clawed golden dragon is a  dragon who has become a person and is destined to be the Emperor.

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