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The Shurangama Sutra With Commentary

Roll Nine

宣化上人講 Commentary by the Venerable Master Hua
國際譯經學院記錄 Translated by the International Translation Institute
修訂版 Revised version




所以修道的人在這兒修行的時候要注意,最要緊的不要生念頭,不要起心動念。你一起心動念將來就要去受報的。以前有一個老修行在海邊修道,修這個非非想處定,要生非非想處天。他正想要入非非想處定,水裏的魚就來打他閒岔了。這叫打閒岔,是禪堂的口頭語:「你真打閒岔!」「你這個里拉腔!」好講話的人叫里拉腔;你儘好說話,好和人家去搭搭咯咯談話的,這叫打閒岔。你做一個 trouble maker(找麻煩),你要給人家 trouble(麻煩),這就叫打閒岔。




"The nature of consciousness is unmoving, yet within ex­tinction they exhaustively investigate it, attempting to put an end to what is endless. It is as if it existed and yet did not exist, as if it were ended and yet not ended. Such beings are at the Station of Neither Thought nor Non-Thought.

The preceding text discussed the Heaven of Nothing Whatsoever. This is the Heaven of Neither Thought nor Non-Thought, the highest of the heavens. The life span of these celestial beings is eighty thousand great eons. After enjoying that long period of celestial blessings, they too fall back into rebirth. In the Heaven of the Station of Boundless Consciousness, the consciousness still functions occasionally, but here it doesn't move at all. The nature of consciousness is unmoving, yet within extinction they exhaustively investigate it, attempting to put an end to what is endless. With everything extinguished, you investigate in order to know that everything is gone. Within the nothing­ness, you discover the nature of the endless.

When you discover this nature, however, it is as if it existed and yet did not exist, as if it were ended and yet not ended. It seems to be gone, but it isn't. Such beings are at the Station of Neither Thought nor Non-Thought. There is a bit of thought left, but at this station it does not function. They remain in samadhi for eighty thousand great eons. They are the gods with the longest life span. They enjoy eighty thousand great eons of celestial blessings.

People who cultivate the Way should know that the most important thing is to avoid giving rise to thoughts. Once your mind is set in motion and thoughts arise, you are bound to receive the retribution in the future. For example, there was an old cultivator in the past who practiced by the seashore. He cultivated the Samadhi of Neither Thought nor Non-Thought, hoping to be reborn in the Heaven of Neither Thought nor Non-Thought. One day, as he was just on the verge of entering samadhi, a fish in the water disturbed him. In the Chan Hall, incessant talkers who are always interrupting others with questions and discussions create disturbances.

In this case, the old cultivator was disturbed by a fish. It flipped out of the water with a "plunk," and that little acrobatic feat prevented the cultivator from entering samadhi. Unable to enter samadhi, the cultivator got angry, and he thought, "What a nuisance that fish is! I want to enter samadhi, and he comes to trouble me. I don't have any spiritual penetrations yet, but when I get them, I'm going to come back as a kingfisher and eat his species up. That's what he'll get for obstructing my practice!" Of course, since he was so angry the fish didn't dare play around with him anymore. It was scared away. Left undisturbed, the cultivator accomplished his cultivation and was born in the Heaven of the Station of Neither Thought nor Non-Thought. However, after he enjoyed eighty thousand great eons of blessings in that heaven, guess what happened? The retribution came ripe from that one thought of anger he'd had by the seashore that day. He fell into to the mundane world and was reborn as a kingfisher. His entire existence consisted of eating fish from the sea. This continued until Shakyamuni Buddha came into the world and came to where he was to speak the Dharma for him. Only then was he able to relinquish the body of a kingfisher and become a human being. He once again left the home life and cultivated the Way, and this time he attained the fruition of Arhatship.

Whatever you do in cultivation of the Way, then, don't get angry. Whether people are good to you or not, you should main­tain thoughts of loving kindness, compassion, and protection for them. Don't feel hatred toward anyone; don't be upset by them. It won't be a problem if you perfect your cultivation. But if you re­main in the Triple Realm, you will have to undergo retribution for your hatred. There's a saying in Chinese,

You may move the waters of a thousand rivers,
But don't disturb the mind of a cultivator of the Way.

Even though there's a tremendous amount of water in a thousand rivers, it won't matter if you stir them up. However, you must not disturb the mind of a cultivator. To disturb a cultivator and cause him to get angry is a serious matter, and the cause and effect will ripen in the future.

To be continued


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