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《法界音》

 

NEWS FROM THE DHARMA REALM

金錫振開地獄門——1999年地藏七心得報告(續)
A Golden Staff Splits the Gates of Hells Asunder:
Reflections on the 1999 Earth Store Session (continued)

來自臺灣的劉玉霖居土:
王隆琴 英譯

我的法名叫戒霖。我應該感謝師父上人及佛菩薩。爲什麼呢?因爲我今天終於在三次的靜坐中,可以完全雙盤到開靜。或許大家會笑,雙盤還可以拿來一提?可是對我這個已經年過半百的人,而且從去年才開始學禪坐,在骨頭都已硬化的情況下,盤坐實在是一件很痛苦的事情。

記得第一次去道場參加禪坐時,一開始連單盤腳都拉不起來,甚至還蹺得高高的壓都壓不下,十分鐘後就痛了。後來我體認到旣然學佛,禪坐是一定需要的,於是利用看書時盤坐來練腿。

我也要感謝在禪七時巡香師打我一個香板。那時候我哭了起來;我哭不是因爲他打我。爲什麼哭呢?這一香板令我覺悟到,原來我在禪堂裡苟且偷安,只顧單盤練腿,腳痛得忍不住換來換去。就在我換腿的時候,巡香師看到我這樣不行,打了我一香板。自從挨香板後,我就痛下決心不換腿,盤坐到底,開靜後才放腿。

所以今天能在靜坐中完全雙盤,這可以說是我在地藏七中的一個感應吧!

 

比丘尼恆耐:
王隆琴 英譯

我遇到《地藏經》是我三姨她說唸《地藏經》很好。我也不知道什麼叫做好,我就唸;唸了就感應到我祖母在夢中出現。我出生就沒看過我祖母,我們家裡也沒有她的相片。

可是等我不曉得唸多久以後,我祖母就在夢中出現給我看。我講給母親聽,我的母親就說她就是長得那個樣子。所以從那時以後,我每天都一定一部《地藏經》。這樣唸了十幾年,因爲種了善根,才遇到《妙法蓮華經》,還有《大方廣佛華嚴經》,有機緣一步一步地學習佛法。

無論是哪一部經,都有它的好處及功用,所以不必去執著哪一部經。尤其是我們這個道場是很殊勝的,天天都誦《華嚴經》,大家應該踴躍來參加。

在我唸《地藏經》不久以後,我聽上人親口講《地藏菩薩本願經》。上人解釋得很清楚,但是我業障很重,上人第一次講的時候,我完全聽不懂。表面上的字看起來是很淺,不知道爲什麼我就是聽不懂。第二次聽錄音帶就有點懂了,知道地藏菩薩過去生中做過婆羅門女等的故事。第三次再聽一次的時候,裡面就更精采了,它都在講因果報應的道理。

所以我覺得聽經不要怕聽多,聽越多越好。上人也說不要輕視他講的錄音帶,那時上人正年輕,講得很有力量。在道場裡我有這種感覺,有時候你有困難,一聽經好像上人都是正對著你說法。所以大家應該多多聽經聞法,增長智慧。

很感謝上人的一切安排。我這次爲我父親處理喪事,本來我的親友們都是信道教的,但是因爲臺南和高雄流通處的居士很跟我合作,所以喪事雖然不是完全佛教儀式,但是能夠吃齋拜佛,還唸經,包括《地藏菩薩本願經》。也有居士在誦經時,看到上人在現場加持,因此我那些親友們也對佛教相當有信心了。

 

來自波蘭的澤西居主:
沙彌親峰 中譯

我的俗名是澤西•米亞啟斯,從波蘭來。這是我第一次參訪聖城,轉眼半年多過去了,前後共參加了六次法會,有兩次是觀音七。這些法會與我在波蘭所參加的五十幾個禪七差別很大。在這些法會中,我並未得法喜充滿,或其他深奧的境界,但是這個法會我是永遠不會忘記的——地藏七。我自覺與這位大聖的因緣很深,所以我選他做我的導師和保護人。

這個地藏七對我很重要,因爲通過迴向功德,我可以幫助已過世的父母減輕苦難,遠離惡趣,往生善道。

地藏七之前的兩天,我發了幾個願:願我於諸佛法,永不生疑;願我修習正法,永無退轉;願我護持三寶;願我生生世世,以我身心性命,上奉三寶,作諸供養,下度衆生,除苦除難,證得涅槃,極樂彼岸。

前幾年在波蘭,我一直有一個願——願在我的身體上燃香供佛,卻不知如何下手?是故遲遲沒有燃成。誰知在波蘭未得成就之願,在聖城竟然得以實現了。

地藏七幾天前,我在萬佛寶殿內,在左臂上燃了十二個香疤以供養佛,並將功德迴向受苦衆生。後來,我決定發另外一個願,我將盡我之力,去除身口意所生的種種壞習氣、毛病和執著。這一回恰遇他人燃香供佛,我亦隨喜參加。儀式是在往生堂舉行,方文和尚主持。他幫我點燃了香頭,這一次我燃的是右臂。燃畢,我手臂上留下三個燒疤,一個永恆的紀念,以誌我以身心奉獻三寶和修行正法之願。

再過十天我就要回波蘭了。感謝聖城讓我來,也感謝幫助過我的法師們。

此行意義深遠。這是一個難得的機會,能認識這個地方,和這個地方的道風。它開拓了我對佛教的認識,明白了什麼是眞正的佛教,以及如何去依法修行。天天修行使我感到我是衆人之中最快活的人。事實上在過去的幾個星期中我猶如置身樂園。我會盡力爭取再回到這裡來修行。

 

來自中國大陸的戰果勇居土講述於9月18日地藏七後:
王隆琴 英譯

我是在1984年前一個偶然機會請到《地藏菩薩本願經》的。沒讀這部經前,一直認為自己是個很不錯的人。對人實在、熱情、重義氣,雖然急性子,有時任性發發脾氣,還寬容自己,人哪能沒脾氣?甚至還責怪都是別人給引出來的。當我讀《地藏經》之後,哇!毛骨悚然。我比地藏菩薩她媽媽在因地時所造的罪業,有過之而無不及:殺生、惡口、墮胎,樣樣都有,我才知道自己是多麼可憐。原來我還是一個因惑造業,因業受苦的顚倒眾生。

沾了滿身泥巴的我,今天能參加這難逢難遇的大法會,給我洗刷汙穢的機會,也讓我這個飽經風霜的遊子重新投入到佛菩薩的懷抱。這種旣慚愧又感恩的心情,真是難以言宣。

 師父上人開示:「打地藏七就是爲了學習地藏菩薩救度衆生的偉大精神。每個修道人都要發願。諸佛在因地時都發過大願,才能成佛的。現在辦不到不要緊,但要發願;願發得越大越好。」法會進行當中,我思維上人的開示。在繞佛時,腦子裡突然浮現出剛讀《地藏經》時做的一個夢,夢中讓我得見宿世一段顚倒迷惑的因緣。我置身在一個非常寬大莊嚴的佛殿裡,兩側站有法師,中間有一位身材非常高大魁梧,披紅袈裟的和尚;我站在他跟前,看樣子要給我落髮剃度。就在那一剎那,我衝了出去,到外邊去掛電話,夢也就醒了。我這一逃逝,不知又轉了多久,又造了多少業,又受了多少苦!可惜當時沒能理解夢境所顯示的意義。

今天當誦經到《閻羅王衆讚歎品》時,有這麼一段經文:「菩薩以方便力拔出根本業緣,而遣悟宿世之事。」現在我深深地領悟到佛菩薩告訴我各種情緣是生死的根本。當我們和菩薩的悲心一旦感通時,這種感恩之心令我無言以對。我繞著佛,情不自禁地流著淚水。我怕哭出聲來,張開了嘴,分不清這是懺悔的淚,還是慶幸自己又回歸到佛菩薩大悲願海中幸福的淚。

全文完

Upasaka Liu Yuling from Taiwan:

English translation by Linda Wang 

My Dharma name is Jielin. I should thank the Venerable Master and Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Why? I was finally able to sit in the full lotus meditation posture for the entirety of the last three silent sits. Perhaps people will laugh and wonder why sitting in full lotus is even worth mentioning. To someone who's already over half a century old, who had just started to learn to sit in Chan meditation last year and whose bones have hardened, sitting cross-legged is a painful matter.

I remember the first time that I went to a temple to meditate. I couldn't even pull up one leg at first. That one leg was up so high and I couldn't press it down. It hurt after ten minutes. Later I decided that since I'm studying Buddhism, meditation is necessary, so I used my reading hour to sit cross-legged and train my legs.

I also wish to thank the proctor who smacked me with the incense board during the seven-day meditation session. I cried then—not because he hit me. Why did I cry? This whack made me realize that I was trying to get away with as much comfort as possible in the meditation hall. I only cared to train to sit in half-lotus and switched my legs back and forth whenever I couldn't stand the pain. Just as I was switching my legs, the proctor hit me. Since having been thwacked, I made a commitment to never switch legs and to free my legs only after the bell rings at the end of the sit.

So the fact that I am able to sit during the silent sessions in full lotus can be considered a miracle during my seven-day Earth Store session.

Bhikshuni Heng Nai:

English translation by Linda Wang

I encountered Earth Store Sutra when my Third Aunt said that reciting the Earth Store Sutra is quite good. I didn't know what was meant by "good," but I recited it anyway.  When I recited this sutra I saw my grandmother appear in one of my dreams. I've never seen my grandmother since I was born and we don't have her photo in our house.

After reciting for a certain period of time, I don't know how long, my grandmother showed up in my dream. I told my mother, and my mother said that's exactly what my grandmother looked like. Ever since then, I recite the Earth Store Sutra once in its entirety every day. I recited this way for over ten years. Since I planted some good roots, I then encountered the Wonderful Dharma Flower Sutra and the Great Means Expansive Buddha Flower Adornment Sutra. I had the opportunity and affinities to learn Buddhadharma one step at a time.

Each sutra has its advantages and uses, so you don't need to be attached to a particular one. Our Way-place is especially marvelous because we recite the Flower Adornment Sutra every day. Everybody should enthusiastically participate in this recitation.

Not long after I recited the Earth Store Sutra, I heard the Venerable Master personally explain the Sutra of the Past Vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva. The Venerable Master explained the Sutra very clearly but due to my heavy offenses from the past, I couldn't understand it at that time. The second time I listened to tapes and understood a little more, such as that Earth Store Bodhisattva used to be a Brahman woman in a past life and stories like that. The third time I listened to the explanation, the content was even more exhilarating, as it related the principles of cause and effect.

I feel that no one needs to worry about listening to Sutra explanations too often—the more you listen, the better. The Master had also said to not take his tapes lightly. When the Venerable Master was younger, he spoke with real power. I really felt it as an audience member. During the times when you experience difficulty, you may listen to the Sutra explanations and feel as if the Venerable Master is speaking to you directly. So we should all listen to the Sutras and Buddhadharma to enhance our wisdom.

I'm very grateful for everything that the Venerable Master has arranged. I had to take care of my father's passing away recently. Originally my relatives and friends all believed in Taoism, so the funeral didn't comply completely with Buddhist ceremonial rites. However, due to the cooperation of Upasikas at Tainan and Kaohsiung's distribution centers, the funeral included a vegetarian meal, bowing to the Buddhas, reciting many sutras including the Sutra of the Past Vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva. While reciting Sutras, some Upasikas saw the Venerable Master appear to add his blessings. Consequently, my relatives and friends all strengthened their confidence in Buddhism.

Upasaka Jerzy from Poland:

Chinese translation by Shramanera Chin Feng

My name is Jerzy Miakisz and I come from Poland. It is my first visit and [chance to] study at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas. During the past six months here, I have participated in six various sessions, two of which were Guanyin Sessions. All these sessions were quite different from the fifty some Zen meditation sessions that I attended in Poland. Although during these sessions I did not experience blissful or profound states; nevertheless one of them, the Earth Store Bodhisattva Session, I will remember forever. I feel deep connection with Him, so I chose this Great Sage to be my spiritual patron to protect me.

This session was very important for me because by dedicating merit and virtue, I could help relieve my late parents from suffering and help them leave the evil destinies and gain rebirth in the higher realms.

Two days before the beginning of the session, I made a few vows. I vowed that I will never harbor any doubts about Buddhadharma, that I will never retreat from cultivating the proper Buddhadharma, that I will support and protect the Triple Jewel, that for the sake of all livings I will devote my life, life after life, to the Triple Jewel to relieve [living beings'] suffering and to cross them over to the other shore of Nirvana bliss.

In the last few years, I had a wish to burn incense on my body as an offering to the Buddha, but I did not know how to do it properly, so I didn't do it in Poland. Who would have imagined that the wish I did not fulfill in Poland was fulfilled here in the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas?  How did it go?

Several days before the Earth Store Session, I offered twelve pieces of incense to the Buddha and then put them piece by piece on my left arm with my sleeve rolled up. I lit them and after a short while twelve dots of scars appeared. Then I transferred the merit to all livings to relieve their suffering. I decided to make another vow, that I would do my utmost best to get rid of all my bad habits, faults and attachments created from my body, mouth and mind.  This time I joined the group of people who made the incense burning offering in the Rebirth Hall. The abbot hosted the ceremony and he helped me light three small pieces of incense on my right arm. The burning left a permanent scar on my body, a sign of my devotion to the Triple Jewel and of my vows to cultivate the Buddhadharma; a sign I should always be mindful of, as it reminds me of the vows I should fulfill.

In ten days I will be leaving for Poland. To the people here, who gave me an opportunity to come and who took care of me, I'd like to express my deep gratitude. My visit means a lot to me: I had a chance to know this place—its customs and religious practice; I also have expanded my knowledge of Buddhism and understood what real Buddhism is and how to practice it properly. I felt as if I was the happiest of people everyday. In fact, for the last few weeks, it was like being in a paradise. I will do my best to come back to cultivate here.

Upasika Zhan Guo Yong from China on September 18, after the Earth Store Session

English translation by Linda Wang

Through a rare opportunity, I obtained the Sutra of the Past Vows of Earth Store Bodhisattva in 1984. Prior to reading this sutra, I've always considered myself a pretty good person. I'm sincere, passionate and loyal to others. Although I'm impatient, sometimes indulging myself in a temper tantrum or two, I usually forgave myself, claiming, "Who has no temper whatsoever?" Sometimes I even blame others for bringing out my anger.

When I read the Earth Store Sutra, wow! Myhairs stood on end. I had committed many more offenses in the past than Earth Store Bodhisattva's mother. I have killed, spewed insults, aborted, and everything else. I then knew how pathetic I was. I was actually a confused being who committed crimes due to confusion and who endured suffering because of my karma.

For someone covered with muck to participate in this rare and terrific Dharma assembly is to have an opportunity to wash away my filth.  Also this session allows a wandering child like me, who has weathered many a storm, to again throw herself into the arms of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. It's difficult to articulate this concurrent feeling of shame and gratefulness.

The Venerable Master had instructed, "To participate in a seven day Earth Store Session is to imitate Earth Store Bodhisattva's great spirit to save living beings. Each cultivator should make vows. All Buddhas in the causal ground had made great vows, therefore they became Buddhas. It's okay that we can't fulfill our wishes now, but we must make those vows, and the bigger the better."

During the Dharma session, I was contemplating the Venerable Master's instruction. While circumambulating the Buddhas, a dream that I had when I initially read the Earth Store Sutra appeared in my head. The dream showed me some of my confusion in past lives. I was in a wide and beautiful Buddha Hall. On the two sides were Dharma masters. In the middle stood a tall and statuesque monk wearing a red sash. I was standing in front of him as he was about to shave my head and ordain me. Right at that moment, I raced out to make a phone call outside. Then I woke up. Since my flight, who knows how much longer I have turned in the wheel of birth and death, how much more karma I have committed, and how much more suffering I have undergone. Unfortunately I didn't understand the significance of my dream at the time.

This is a portion of the text from the Chapter of the Praises of the Multitude of King Yamas, "The Bodhisattva uses the power of expedience to uproot elemental karma so that we realize our past lives." Now I truly realize that the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have told me how sentimental affinities engender birth and death. Such connections with the Bodhisattvas' compassion bring about an appreciation that leaves me speechless.

As I circled around the Buddhas, I couldn't help but weep. I was afraid to cry out loud, so I opened my mouth. I couldn't tell whether these were tears of repentance or of joy in having the fortune to return to the great compassionate sea of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas' vows.

 
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