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The Dharma Flower Sutra with Commentary


Roll Four, Chapter Fourteen: Happily-Dwelling Conduct

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







你若不息滅這貪瞋癡啊,戒定慧就不能現前。戒,第一就是戒貪,戒貪就是不要貪得無厭,也不要好逸惡勞。定,你若有定了,所謂「你有千條妙計,我有一定之規」,你無論你有什麼方法-”Good ideas you have, I have Samadhi”,你怎麼樣想辦法來搖動我,搖不動;你怎麼樣來,想給我麻煩,沒有法子給,因為我有定力。所以這個瞋,「定」就是對治這個「瞋」的。你就是發了脾氣發得再大,我也不管。


"If you knew that by doing that, your teacher could not leave, then weren't you using force to make him stay?"

"I understand now," he said, "I won't ever do that again. Please, Teacher, forgive me!"

The reason I didn't answer him verbally when he invited me to stay, but only nodded my head in assent, was that he was forcing me into it. What else could I have done? He took my shoes, and without shoes I couldn't walk on the roads, because in Manchuria there's a lot of snow. Actually, I was able to walk barefoot in the snow, but it was difficult to endure. In Manchuria, the snow stays about three feet deep in the winter, and I would walk around in Arhat sandals and no socks. Since I was able to do that, most people said I had virtue. Actually, it wasn't a matter of virtue, it was a matter of being able to bear it. I could be patient and not fear the cold and not fear hunger. I would say to myself:

 Freezing to death, I face the wind!
Starving to death, I stick out my stomach

When I was first practicing wearing only cotton clothing and no padded clothes, I was always freezing. But after you get used to the freezing cold, you are no longer afraid of it. The weather that I'm talking about is not like anything experienced here in America. That kind of freezing weather doesn't occur in America. In Manchuria, people's ears get frozen stiff. It's very painful, and if you flick their ears, they fall right off! That's really true! Even so, I never wore a hat; but I never lost my ears, either. At first, that kind of cold hurts worse than needles, but I would grit my teeth and say, "Go ahead and hurt! Fall off, ears, I don't care!" I endured it and eventually got used to it so that it wasn't so bad.

As to that filial child, Zheng De, I knew when I first saw him that he was to be a left-home person. He was very chubby and had great big ears. His countenance showed that he had tre­mendous blessings. He was also quite intelligent. Children like that are perfectly all right to accept as disciples—the more the better! They are so good and know how to follow the rules; they can cultivate the Way and they are obedient.

 Shramaneras refer here not to elder Shramaneras or young Shramaneras, but to "scarecrow Shramaneras." In the monasteries in China, the monks planted the fields; and when the crows came to try to eat the vegetables, they sent the very young Shramaneras out to scare the birds away. That's how they got the name. Scarecrow Shramaneras are between the ages of eight and twelve.

Shramanera is a Sanskrit word. It is the title given to novice monks. It is derived from the word Shramana, the title given to fully ordained Bhikshus. Shramana means "diligent and resting," because a Shramana diligently cultivates precepts, samadhi, and wisdom and puts to rest greed, hatred, and stupidity. "Diligent" means not being lazy; "resting" means not getting angry. If you diligently cultivate precepts, samadhi, and wisdom, then greed, hatred, and stupidity will be put to rest. Unless greed, hatred, and stupidity are put to rest, you will be unable to diligently cultivate precepts, samadhi, and wisdom. People who are greedy are fond of leisure and don't like to work. In cultivation, you should not be lax. You must be vigorous, and only when you achieve the fruition can you rest at ease. People who are hateful get angry all the time. People who are stupid are always having false thoughts. If one thing doesn't work out, they want to try another, and when that doesn't work out, they think of another. There's a saying that describes this:

At night you travel a thousand roads;
In the morning you still get up and sell bean curd.

As you lie on your bed, there are a thousand possibilities for you to consider. But in the morning, you go back to selling bean curd. That is the false thinking of the stupid mind.

If you don't put to rest greed, hatred, and stupidity, then precepts, samadhi, and wisdom cannot appear. Precepts guard against greed. Most importantly, they help us restrain our greed so that we do not always want more of everything and so that we are not fond of leisure and unwilling to work. If you have samadhi, there's a saying that describes it:

You have a thousand wonderful ideas;
I have a definite principle.

No matter what methods or ideas you have, I have samadhi. No matter what ways you might think of to try to move me, I will not be moved. Regardless of how you might try. to trouble me, you cannot do so, because I have samadhi power. Samadhi guards us against hatred. No matter how angry you get, I don't pay attention.

To be continued


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