萬佛城金剛菩提海 Vajra Bodhi Sea
萬佛城金剛菩提海 Vajra Bodhi Sea

金剛菩提海:首頁主目錄本期目錄

Vajra Bodhi Sea: HomeMain IndexIssue Index


上人法雨 Venerable Master's Dharma Rain

敬老節的真義:老者少之
The True Meaning of Honoring Elders:To Be Young at Heart

1970年4月 5日於美國舊金山「猶太之家」By the Venerable Master at the Jewish Home for the Aged, April 5, 1970
編輯部 英譯 English translation by Editorial Staff

今天來到這個安老院,見著這麼多的長壽的人;世間上長壽的人是最尊貴的。最尊貴的人不是自己尊貴自己,是受到一般人的尊重;因為受到一般人的尊重,所以就有一些個發慈善心的人,把這所有長壽的人請到一起,做一個長壽的大家庭,共聚一堂,歡歡樂樂;這歡歡樂樂,就因為平安的關係,所以大家都非常歡樂,非常高興。

那麼,「老者安之」;這是中國孔子所主張的一種理論,可是我現在希望各位不要這個「老者安之」。要怎麼樣呢?要「老者少之」。年老了就要變成年輕一點,不要叫安到這個老的種境界上;越老越應該強壯,所謂老當益壯,越老越要強壯。怎麼樣子強壯呢?在有生的時候要做一點對世界有益的事情,能做一點什麼工作就做一點。我們做工作,就是貢獻於世界人類。我們人,老和年輕本來沒有什麼分別;老也是這個人,年輕也是這個人,不過你在世間時間久了,就認為自己老了。其實你心裡要是不老,到什麼時候都是年輕的。所以說,我希望各位不要安到這個「老」的位置上,說:「喔!我老了。」要認為「我很年輕的;我沒有老。」

你要是心裡不老,那個老它也就跑了,沒有辦法你,所以說在佛教講「一切唯心造」。你為什麼覺得老?就因為你覺得在世間這麼長的時間了。其實,你就在世界上或者七十年、八十年、九十年、一百年,這也不過是一轉眼,很短很短的時候;在這個短的時候,你覺得它很長,所以就覺得老了。所以你要是覺得它很短,就不會覺得老了。我希望各位把你們這個心都變成年輕一點。所謂返老返童,在老的時候,回來到小孩子的生活裡邊去,不要自己以為自己老了,那麼這樣子更有希望。

這個意思,就是老的時候應該安到少的時代。方才說要我們盡量的工作,來幫助這個世界,我自己問我自己的的確確是不能工作了。我想要做,這個手也不幫忙了;我想要行路,這個腿也不傲亡了;我想要看東西,這個眼睛也不幫忙了;我想要聽東西,耳朵也不幫忙了;想要吃一點好的東西,牙也不幫忙了:這麼多的條件都不幫助我了,我也沒有法子幫助這個世界了。你說的很有道理,不過我還有一個方法,令你幫助這個世界。你雖然眼耳鼻舌身意,這六根有五根都不願意工作了,但是你這意根還很強壯的;你這意,它是沒有老,沒有少,無始無終,它隨時都可以工作的。那麼現在我給你一點工作。什麼工作呢?這個工作一點力也不費力。你無論信哪一個宗教,不必改變你本來的宗教,你去祈禱你那一個宗教;你就用你本來的宗教那種方式去祈檮世界和平。這個世界為什麼不和平呢?就因為人人都不希望這個世界好,不祈檮這個世界和平。你們長壽的人,現在正可以做這種的工作,來祈禱世界和平,令世界上沒有戰爭,沒有互相殘殺。這個工作比任何的工作都重要。

你要是信佛教的,你就以念佛來祈禱世界和平,或者念南無觀世音菩薩,或者念南無阿彌陀佛,求阿彌陀佛和觀世音菩薩,幫助這個世界和平,沒有戰爭。你要是信天主教的,你要祈禱天主,就說「上帝,耶和華!你令這個世界沒有戰爭了,不要殺那麼多人,也沒有天災,也沒有人禍,也沒有地震,也沒有山崩海嘯,這種種的。」你要信天主教,你就天天這樣祈檮。你要信耶穌教,你就求耶穌,說「耶穌,上帝的真子!你能幫助世界。我知道你是有大神通的人,你是世界萬能的。現在這個世界這麼多戰爭,你叫它沒有戰爭了。」你這樣來求。你要是信回教的,你就求穆罕莫德,清真認主。你要是信猶太教的,你們每個人都明白本身的教了。你也有一個祈禱的方法的,你們祈禱文是怎樣,就念你們祈禱文,天天做這個工作。你不要管它是有感應是沒有感應,你就這樣做,這個世界就會好了,功德無量無邊。你不但幫助了這個世界,也直接幫助了你自己的子子孫孫,你的家庭眷屬。

為什麼呢?你一祈禱世界和平,這個世界就沒有戰爭了;沒有戰爭,你的兒子也不會被槍打死,也不會被炮砰死了,也不會被化學戰爭那個毒瓦斯毒死了,所以你的兒子受到這個好處。那麼永遠都沒有戰爭了,你的孫子也受到這個好處了,乃至於你曾孫子都受到這個好處了。

所以你首先是幫助世界,你幫助世界這是大公無私,然後你私人也得到直接的好處了,所以子子孫孫都平安無事,那真是老者安之;你老者,把這個世界也安了,家庭也安了,人人都平安了,那真是真正的老者安之。所以,你能做這個工作那是老者安之;你要不會做這個工作,那就談不到安之了。你沒有令世界平安,你沒有令家庭平安,你沒有令你子孫萬代平安,那怎麼叫老者安之呢?這個老者安之的意思,就有不安的意思在裡頭;要是根本就安了,又何必說安呢?因為他不安了,所以要說老者安之,要你們平安,平安這個世界,平安家庭,平安國,平安每一個地方,平安每一個鄉村。我希望世界每一個國家都做一個大的安老院,把這個國家的老人,幾千人、幾萬人,萬萬的老人,聚會到一起,像兄弟姊妹這樣親親熱熱在一起生活。你說這多好!每一個小的城市又有一個小的安老院,令世界的老人都能平安。世界的老人來平安世界,那才是真正老者安之哪!

世界為什麼不和平?就因為人人都太自私了,人人貪心也很大,瞋心也不小,癡心更比什麼都多,所以搞得這個世界不和平了,不平安了。現在這種神聖的工作,這種最高尚的工作,我現在交給你們去做去。你們無論歡喜的也要工作,不歡喜的還要工作,歡喜不歡喜同時進行這種的工作,希望這個世界明天就沒有戰爭,明天就平安無事,也沒有地震,也沒有這個風災、水災、火災,什麼都沒有。地、水、火、風,這個災都降伏了,叫這個世界都平安了;這個平安了,人們大家都平安了,連我現在也都平安了,那麼我們共同平安。你說這是不是應該最歡喜的一件事呢?

我們各位長壽的人,我希望你們都活到三千歲、五千歲、一萬歲那麼長,幫助這個世界常常的平安。今天把你們寶貴的時間我給用了很多,你們大約聽得很高興的,身體大約有多少疲倦了,因為坐的時間也不少了。我現在也不想對不起你們各位了。謝謝各位。

(「猶太之家」演講文完)

 

Today we meet with many of long life, the world's most honorable people. This is not to say that they honor themselves, but that they receive the respect of others. Out of respect and kindness, they have been gathered to live together as one big "long-life family," and are happy because they live in peace."

"Peace in old age" is a principle taught by Confucius in China, but I hope that you will not acquiesce to it. Instead, you should have "youth in old age," and as you grow older, grow younger. Don't be satisfied with growing old; as you grow older, grow stronger, so that the older you grow, the stronger you become. How does one grow stronger? By benefiting the world. Do what­ever work you can for the common good of all humankind. People age, but youth and old age are basically identical. In both youth and old age, you are still the same person. Having been in the world for a time, you feel old, but your mind is always young. So don't retire and say, "I'm old." Say instead, "I am young!"

If your heart is young, age will depart because it cannot affect you. Buddhism teaches that "everything is made from the heart alone." You have been in this world for seventy, ninety, or even a hundred years. This is actually a short period of time, the blink of an eye, but you feel old because you mistake this short time for a long time. I hope that each of you will resolve to make your heart young. Turn away from old age and return to youth, to childhood. You need only not think of yourself as old and then there is hope. Be young in your old age.

You might be thinking, "A moment ago you told us to work for the world, but I can't. I want to work, but my hands won't help me; I want to look, but my eyes won't help me; I want to walk, but my legs give me no support. Although I want to listen, my ears won't hear, and as for eating good food, my teeth refuse to co­operate; with so many complications, how can I help the world?"

Your objections are well-founded, but I have a plan by which you may help the world. Five of your sense organs, your eyes, ears, nose, tongue, and body, refuse to work, but the sixth organ, your mind, is still strong. Your mind has no youth or age, no begin­ning or end. It can always work, and so now I am going to give you a job. This job requires no effort, no exertion, and no particular religious affiliation: according to the teachings of your own religion, PRAY FOR WORLD PEACE. You of long life are well able to do this work. Pray for a world of peace, a world without murder or war. This is the most important work there is.

If you are a Buddhist, be mindful of the Buddha. Recite, "Hom­age to the Greatly Compassionate Bodhisattva Who Observes the Sounds of the World" or "Homage to the Buddha of Infinite Light." If you are a Catholic, pray to God and say, "Lord Almighty, Jehovah, rid the world of war. Do not allow so many men to be killed. Let there be no misfortunes or natural disasters, no earthquakes, avalanches or tidal waves." If you are a Protestant, pray to Jesus: "Jesus, Son of God, help the world. I know that you all-powerful and that you can put an end to war." If you are a Muslim, pray to Mohammed: "Allah, let there be peace!" and, if you are a Jew, well, you understand your own religion. You have a method for prayer. Pray in your own way and pray every day. Do not concern yourselves with obtaining a response, simply go ahead and pray. Your daily prayer will help the world. It will also greatly benefit your own children and grandchildren, for if there is no war, your children will never be shot, bombed, or gassed. This great, unselfish, public work benefits you and insures happiness for your children and grandchildren.

Thus in your old age, you contribute to world peace. But if you cannot do this work, if you cannot bring peace to your family or to the world, then there is no "peace in old age." It is because old age is basically not a peaceful time that we speak of "peace in old age," and it is because the world is not at peace that we pray for world peace. If the world were peaceful, we would not have to ask for "peace in old age."

You should, therefore, spread peace throughout the world, in the nations, in the cities, and in your homes. I hope that every country will build homes for the aged and invite billions of old people to live in them as little homes in every village, all working to make the world peaceful.

One elderly man here objects. He thinks, "I refuse to do this work. I have no sons, no grandsons, no daughters and no granddaughters. Why should I make the world peaceful? I just live from day to day and world peace doesn't concern me in the least." You are wrong! Whether or not you have sons or daughters, you are still a part of the world. Perhaps you will have children in your next life, and if you work now, they will receive the benefit. Do not selfishly refuse to see beyond the tip of your nose; look into what I have taught you.

Others object: "Pray for world peace for our children? Not a bad idea. However, my children have been extremely unfilial. They don't treat me as a parent should be treated. They sent me away to this old folks home and not only don't they visit me once a month, they don't even come once a year. Why should I pray for such stingy and ungrateful children?" Your own children may be unfilial, but what about the children who are filial? What about the children who built this rest home and invited you to live there, who help you to get up in the morning and to sleep at night, who bathe and dress you every day? If you cannot pray for your own children, surely you should pray for those who are even closer to you than they.

Ask yourself, "Why are my children unfilial? Is it not because I myself was unfilial to my own parents? How shameful! Whether or not they are good to me, I will be good to my children, and to all the world's children. I shall revere all elders as my elders, and treat all children as my children. As an elderly person, I should revere all old people. I should love all children as I love my own. In this way the world will quickly become peaceful." The world is not at peace because people are too selfish, too greedy and too hostile. Man's spectacular stupidity has brought strife to the world. The work I have given you to do is the highest work, the work of sages. Whether you like it or not, you must do this work; happy or unhappy, you must do this work. I hope that tomorrow the world will be at peace and that there will be no earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, or calamities. May there be no disasters involving earth, air, water, or fire. When you are all at peace, then I will be at peace—together we will be at peace. What great joy! May each of you live for three thousand, five thousand, ten thousand years, and work for peace. I have taken much of your precious time, and although you have enjoyed listening, no doubt your bodies have grown tired. Therefore, I shall not continue to be rude to you. Thank you.

(End of speech at the Jewish Home for the Aged)

上人語錄 Venerable Master's Dharma Words
※希望開悟,希望成佛,這也是妄想,大家切記!只求修行,不求希望。
◆The hope of becoming enlightened; the hope of become a Buddha-- even these are false thoughts. Everyone should remember this point: we should be concerned only with cultivation and abandon all vain hopes.

▲Top

法界佛教總會 │ Dharma Realm Buddhist Association │ © Vajra Bodhi Sea