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

《法界音》

 

NEWS FROM THE DHARMA REALM

四眾會議:重申聖城規矩(續)
Four-fold Assembly: A Review of the Rules in the City of 10,000 Buddhas (continued)

比丘恆律、恆來;比丘尼恆良講於萬佛城大殿2000年8月20日星期日晚
By Bhikshus Heng Lyu, Heng Lai; Bhikshuni Heng Liang in the Buddha Hall on the evening of Sunday, August 20, 2000
比丘尼恆懿中譯 Chinese translation by Bhikshuni Heng Yi

在大乘佛教裡面居士團也是很強的,僧團和居士各有自己的責任和位置,彼此和諧地在一起工作來弘揚佛法。僧團主要的工作是修行,包括學習佛法、修行和講法,並且盡量維持清淨的生活,以成為居士的福田;居士主要的工作就是護法,幫忙出家眾不適合參與的世間事務。供給賢聖僧和凡夫僧的生活所需,以利他們修行,然後將此功德迴向給眾生,南傳佛教很嚴格的執行此種方式。   

大乘名之為大乘是因為已包括四眾,這表示僧團除了修行為福田之外,也在行菩薩道,最主要在學習這個捨,因此大乘裡的居士除了供養之外,也有機會修習佛法。即使在是大乘裡,你也難找到像萬佛城這樣的道場。有學校、住宿生,甚至全家人住在這裏道場。世上很難找到像萬佛城這樣的道場。  

我希望你們能夠瞭解這是很特殊的情況,不要認為這是很容易的。我們要瞭解住在這裡的責任,來此不是求物質的享受。如果這裡的四眾能和諧一起工作的話,每個人擔負起責任,那聖城就能成為世界的光明燈。    我們不但可以為這裡住眾,進一步為所有法界的眾生製造更多福報。上人曾說為什麼亞洲的佛教漸漸式微,因為僧團漸漸衰弱,最主要就是因為出家人不在乎世間知識的追求,就是沒有高等學歷。   

事實上,我們離開世俗生活是要發展我們本有的智慧,證得究竟的覺悟。這種本有智慧,不但超越同時也能融合一般人的知識。但是那些人只注重世間知識和成就,不了解也不相信佛法,就看輕沒受教育的出家人,以至於常有出家人受制於在家人的情況。   

所以上人來美國創立法界佛教總會及法界佛教大學時,主要是要教育出家人。同時也要提高美國人的意識形態,讓他們正確認識佛教是高等教育。另外一件事情上人很堅持的,就是出家人在道場裡面要擔起執事的責任,而且完全依照戒律執行。大部分出家人不喜歡這樣的工作,他們喜歡安靜,喜歡集中在修行上,喜歡在後面,不喜歡在前面。上人常常講,說那些來萬佛城的人都喜歡獨處,大部份的出家人喜歡整天在房內研讀藏經、修行。雖然如此,上人三十年以來,一直堅持出家人負起執事的責任,行菩薩道,不可自私。   

中國大陸上佛教會的會長是在家人,上人說這個就是末法的現象。所以法總的法規規定,法總會長一定得是比丘。這並不是我們想掌控一切,而是我們一直都是受這樣的教誨和訓練,所以可以確保正法生根並長存。最近有人來問我,「出家人跟在家人都不一樣的嗎?不同的只是穿的衣服,和出家人剃頭。」我就問她,「你問這個是什麼意思?」她說,「因為出家人還是有習氣。」當然出家人也有習氣,這才是為什麼我們要修行的原因。你看經就知道,一直到四果阿羅漢,人都還是有自己的習氣。眾生和佛不同就是這習氣。   

事實上,出家人修行時他們的習氣會更明顯,因為不想隱藏。我們是認識它而改變習氣,這一點你必須要明白。出家人並不是完美的,任何人希望凡夫僧是完美的,那是錯誤的看法。當然我們希望有一天能像佛一樣的完美,但是那個時候還沒有到。

事實上雖居士尊敬僧團能得到利益,但僧團並非被尊重而得利益,其實接受居士的尊敬是大責任,如果我們接受居士的尊敬,而不修行,不是居士的福田僧,那將來要受無邊的痛苦。所以接受這些,除了督促我們修行外,有何好處?   

我們不是離開世俗的世界去找朋友來聊天和社交,這個尊敬,包括你跟出家人保持正當的禮儀,你要知道,如果你對出家人太好的話,其實你是損害他的修行。    在場的,有許多即將受具足戒的戒子,要特別注意這點,當你們受了具足戒以後就再也和以前不同了。這些都很難解釋的,但是,是事實。所以戒子們,你們馬上就要受戒了,我希望你們能夠尊敬自己。這些戒子們是何因綠能受具足戒?也許是對僧團極尊敬,想要接近他們,與他們生活一起,然後像他們一樣。   

在家人能夠住在萬佛城,是很榮譽的事,有因緣能住這裡,這是不容易的,你們一定是有很深的善根。所以你也應該要尊敬你自己,因為你們是很特別的。尊敬自己,就是說要學戒,然後盡力去實行;如果我們無法持戒的話,這表示我們不夠尊重我們自己。我們知道,當佛在世的時候,戒的制定是因為某件事情發生才一個一個的制戒。上人常常說法是活的,我們應把法成為生活的一部份,所以當時聖城的規矩成立的情況,就好像佛陀在世制戒的情況一樣。這個規矩使得我們聖城能夠維持,使我們的法身慧命也得以保持。所以現在我想要跟大家重新再看一遍這些規矩,因為每個人都很忙,有時就都忘了。如果我們不注意了,就常常容易變成一種習慣。好像恆律師剛開始講的一樣,這個規矩其實就是每一個人到聖城來時簽的住宿規約,是你要住在這裡的合約。你已經同意要做某些事情,或者同意不做某些事情;如果你不遵守你所答應要做的事情,那會有什麼樣的結果?我不需要說。在世間法上你如果簽了合約,而不去實踐,這是違法的。而在依戒而生活的聖城,你這樣做的話,你所犯的就更加倍。   

規約上開始是講個人的行為,第一條:嚴禁吸毒、吸菸、飲酒、吃肉、賭博、跳舞,男女間不規則行為及同性戀等。同時服裝必須樸素整潔。這第一段是包括在五戒之酒戒以及八關齋戒裡的不搽香水、跳舞等,我們走路的姿態,在什麼情況,什麼時候,跟什麼人講話都要注意。比方說,在聖城男眾和女眾不單獨講話;男眾必須有另外一個男眾陪著,女眾也有另外一個女眾陪著,男女才能互相講話。這個規矩其實可以幫助我們保持完整的威儀,並且專心修行,不會讓我們的心散漫和打妄想。這裡講不能吃肉,我相信在這佛殿裡的人不會吃肉,但是我們要加上不可以有蔥、蒜和蛋。如果你看見有人帶這些東西進來,你要叫他拿出去。囚為這裡邊住的居士們,常有機會跟來訪的客人接觸,你們可以教他們正確的做法。第二條是萬佛聖城的住眾,不論在聖城內外,必須對自己行為負責,隨時遵守聖城的宗旨及規矩。   

不久前我聽到一位比丘尼講,因為她所負責的工作,有時很晚還在做事。她說她有一次很晚的時候,看到一個年輕的男孩子開車從聖城裡到外面去;另外一個晚上看到一個年輕的女孩子半夜開車到外面去。這讓人覺得他們這麼晚出去做什麼?我們聖城的人出去,大家都看得出我們是從聖城出來的,所以即使在家居士,我們的行為,是否能讓我們的鄰居尊敬我們及尊敬佛教或者支持聖城或反對聖城,這都是我們的責任。   

上人曾經有過這樣的規矩,我相信有些人不知道,現在我就告訴你們,已經知道的人我再一次提醒你們,就是城內女眾不可以單獨出城的,一定要有人陪同,即使是居士也不例外。即便在城內,上人的規矩是女眾也不單獨到總辦公室,除非有另外一個女眾陪著妳,這對出家人當然更是如此。我希望住眾能瞭解這是多麼的重要,對我們的安全很重要。

待續

In the Mahayana, the Great Vehicle, there must also be a strong laity. The Sangha and the laity each have their positions and their responsibilities; they work together to propagate the Dharma. The primary responsibility of the Sangha is to cultivate. This includes studying the Dharma, practicing the Dharma, speaking the Dharma, and striving to live pure lives in order to be fields of blessings for the laity. The primary job of the laity is to "Protect the Dharma". This means to support the Triple Jewel by, among other things, taking care of worldly affairs that are not appropriate for monks and nuns to be involved in. It is the responsibility of the laity to supply the basic needs of both Sagely and ordinary Sanghans so that they may live in order to cultivate. The blessings that accrue from this arrange­ment are dedicated to all living beings. This formula is prescribed most strictly in the Theravadan tradition of Buddhism.

The Mahayana, or "Great Vehicle," on the other hand, is called Great in part because it is more inclusive. In practical terms, this means that sanghans not only serve as a pure field of blessings by practicing the Dharma, but in addition, they follow the Bodhisattva path, a primary prac­tice of which is giving; and it means that the laity not only make offerings and practice all kinds of giving, but they also take every opportunity to practice the Dharma. Though this is true of the Mahayana, we all need to recognize the unique situation--even within the Mahayana tradition--that we find ourselves in at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, with schools, boarding students, and even entire families residing inside its "Mountain Gate"--that is, on monastic grounds. Indeed, another monastic commu­nity such as this one would be very hard to find anywhere in the world. And we need to recognize what a great responsibility we undertake in living here. It is certainly not that we come here seeking material support for ourselves. If in this unique situation, the Fourfold Assembly can main­tain harmony, each member fulfilling his or her proper role, then the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas can be a great bright light for the world and can continue to create blessings for all living beings in the Dharma Realm--not merely for the people who live under its protection.

When the Venerable Master described how Buddhism degenerated in Asia, he explained that a major reason was the weakening of the Sangha. This was partly because most monks and nuns did not care about secular knowledge and academic pursuits—very few held degrees of "higher" learning. Actually, we leave secular life in order to develop our inherent wisdom and certify to ultimate enlightenment. This inherent wisdom at once transcends and yet incorporates all human understanding. Nevertheless, those who respect worldly knowledge and accomplishments and who do not understand or believe in the Dharma, looked down on the illiterates among the Sangha and in many cases the Sangha fell under the control of the laity.

And so the Venerable Master made a point to establish Dharma Realm Buddhist University. One of the major purposes of this University is to educate the Sangha, in order for the Sangha to be strong and able to carry on its responsibility. Another purpose of the University is to raise the consciousness of Americans so they may gain a proper and true perspective and recognize Buddhism as "higher" learning. The Venerable Master fur­ther insisted that monks and nuns take on the responsibility of administra­tive work, and conduct this work fully in accord with the Precepts.

For the most part, monks and nuns do not particularly like this kind of work. Most of us like to be quiet and to concentrate on Dharma practices. Most monks and nuns prefer to work quietly away from the spotlight and find it uncomfortable to be at the front. The Venerable Master used to say that people who live at the CTTB all like to be lonely. Most of the monks and nuns here would be very content to sit quietly in seclusion all day cultivating and investigating the Buddhist Canon.

Nevertheless, the Venerable Master always insisted that monks and nuns practice the Bodhisattva path, not be selfish, and take on administrative responsibilities. The current President of the Buddhist Association of main­land China is a layman. The Venerable Master called this a sign of the Dharma-Ending Age. And so the Dharma Realm Buddhist Association (DRBA) bylaws stipulate that the President of our Association must be a Bhikshu, not because the Sangha is greedy for power. But because this is how we have been taught and trained in the Dharma, and in order to ensure that the proper Dharma take root and be perpetuated in this country.

Recently a laywoman said to me, "Well, isn't it the case that left-home people and laity are the same? Isn't it the case that but for your shaven heads and uniforms you are no different from us?" I said, "What do you mean by that?" And she said, "Left-home people still have their habits, after all."

Well, of course left-home people still have habits; that is why we need to cultivate. We learn from Buddhist teachings that until we reach the fourth stage of Arhatship, we will still have these habits. We living beings are different from Buddhas only in that we have these habits. Actually, left-home people's habits may seem even more obvious, simply because they do not try to cover them up, but rather try to uncover them in order to recognize them and get rid of them. Anyone expecting ordinary sanghans to be perfect has a mistaken view. Of course, that is our goal to reach perfection and realize Buddhahood; but most of us still have a long way to go.

Actually, though, it is beneficial to the laity to respect the Sangha. It is not that the Sangha benefits from being respected. In fact, receiving the respect of the laity is a great responsibility, and if we receive respect and yet do not cultivate and are not pure fields of blessings for the laity, we will have to undergo unbearable suffering in the future. And so what benefit is there in that, other than to urge us on in our cultivation?

Respecting the Sangha involves maintaining a proper degree of formal­ity when interacting with them. We have not left the secular world seeking casual friends to chat and socialize with. You should know that being too nice to Sanghans will ruin their cultivation. Those of you in this Assembly tonight who are novices about to receive the full precepts should pay special attention to this point. You need to understand that once you receive those precepts, you will be different from before you received them. It is difficult to explain, and difficult perhaps to perceive, but nevertheless it is true. Therefore, all of you who will take the full precepts should respect yourselves. How was it that these people have encountered the opportunity to receive full precepts? Well, maybe it is from having a profound respect for the Sangha and what the Sangha represents. It was out of such deep respect for the Sangha that I myself wished to draw near to them, to live like them, and to try to be like them.

As for the laity living in the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, you are in a very honorable position. It is not easy to encounter the causes and condi­tions for living here, and you must all have very deep good roots. Therefore, you should also have respect for yourselves, because you are very special people. Having respect for ourselves means that we want to study the pre­cepts and try our best to uphold them. Failure to uphold the precepts comes about largely because of a lack of self respect--that is, respect for one's own spiritual nature.

When the Buddha was in the world, the precepts came about one by one as a result of certain situations. Moreover, the Venerable Master used to say that the Dharma is alive; it is living, it is present. We should live the Dharma and breathe the Dharma, and it should be part of our lives. The rules for the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas came about in a similar way as when the Buddha was in the world. And these rules and regulations keep the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas alive; and they keep our Dharma body and our wisdom life alive.

Right now, I would like to review them because maybe all of us are so busy, sometimes we forget. If we don't pay attention to them, then we fall into our habits, as Dharma Master Lyu just said. I will only read the list of rules and regulations that anyone who wishes to stay at CTTB must sign. This is like a contract. This is your agreement for being here. All of us who live here have agreed to abide by these rules. In the world, if we do fulfill our agreements--if we breach a contract--it is a legal offense. How much more of an offense is it to break our word in a holy place like this, where we base our daily lives on the precepts.

I'll start with the regulations regarding personal conduct.

First of all, "the use of drugs, tobacco, meat, and alcohol is strictly prohibited. Gambling, dancing, and sexual misconduct are strictly prohibited. Attire must always be modest and neat."

This first regulation covers the precept against intoxicants as well as the eight "vegetarian" precepts, which include no dancing, no wearing perfumes, etc. It also covers the precept against sexual misconduct, which involves how we dress, as well as how we act, how we walk, where we walk, who we talk to, and in what situations we talk to people.

In a monastery, a man should have another man with him, and a woman you should have another woman with her, whenever it is necessary to talk with someone of the opposite sex. This helps us maintain perfect comportment, focus on our cultivation, and not be scattered or have a lot of false thinking.

This regulation also includes not eating meat. Although it is certain that no one here in this Buddha Hall eats meat at the CTTB. However, this regulation also includes abstention from garlic, onions, and eggs. Those things don't belong here at all, and if you see anyone bringing them here, please ask them to get rid of them in some proper way. Sometimes the lay residents have more contact with visitors. You can help to teach them and show them what is the right thing to do in that case.

Second, while in residence at the CTTB, whether on or off the grounds, you are always expected to act in a responsible manner as a lay resident by conducting yourselves in accord with the goals and regulations of the CTTB and DRBA.

I was told that not too long ago, one of the Bhikshunis had to be up late doing some work and saw a single young boy drive out of the CTTB in a car, and another single young girl drive out of the CTTB at midnight. You might ask yourselves, "What are they doing?"

Whenever we go out into the community, most of us, even the laity, are recognized as being from the CTTB. The kind of impression we make on our neighbors will cause them to either respect or disrespect Buddhism, to either support or oppose the CTTB. So we have a certain responsibility.

Maybe some people here don't know about a rule that the Venerable Master made, so I'll remind you that women are not suppose to leave the grounds alone without another lay woman accompanying them. Even within the grounds, the Master made the rule that we're not even supposed to go to the Administration Building without another woman accompanying us. This applies even more for left-home people. I hope that all of you understand how important this is. It's important for our safety.

To be continued

▲Top

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