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《菩提田》

 

BODHI FIELD

點點滴滴憶上人
篳路藍樓話慈興 空穀回音憶上人
Memories of the Venerable Master
The Toil of Building Cixing Monastery—Echoes of the Past

*比丘恆興師 比丘尼恆益師講於華嚴聖寺2000年9月25-27日梁皇寶懺法會
Spoken by Bhikshu Heng Sying Shi and Bhikshuni Heng Yi Shi on September 25-27, 2000, during the Emperor of Liang
Repentance Ceremony at Avatamsaka Monastery
*編輯室整理 Compiled by the Editorial Staff
*摩尼珠英譯 English translation by Mani Pearl

1949年上人拜別虛老,來到香港,先在東普陀掛單,再經人介紹住進芙蓉山觀音洞修行。當時洞內除了四壁之外,空無所有,上人在一塊平滑之石上打坐,因為太潮濕,三天後腿就麻了,不能起身,也沒有飯吃,上人卻完全放下,繼續打坐修行;半個月後,雙腳恢復自如,才每日下山到竹林禪寺乞食。

因洞內太過潮濕,有礙修行,一年後,上人在洞外搭個小茅篷。不料引起隔鄰某法師之嫉妒,指出上人既有能力搭茅篷,又何必乞食,以致竹林禪寺亦不再給予任何齋飯。上人一向的宗旨就是餓死不化緣,這下更好,索性端坐用功,一連數日,未覺饑餓。

時有一勞寬勝居士,被狗咬傷,久不能癒,醫藥罔效;有天夜裡她夢見韋馱菩薩,告訴她去觀音洞供養一位安慈法師,她的腿就會好,並示現上人之相貌。勞居士驚喜之餘,隔天就買了30斤米,揹到觀音洞準備供養上人。豈料隔鄰的法師看到有施主送供養,就硬生生地攔了下來,說應該供養他。

勞居士說韋馱菩薩要我供養的法師並不是你,以致起了爭執。上人在洞內聽到爭執聲,出來察看,勞居士一眼就認出上人正是她夢中所要供養的法師。上人本著不爭不貪的精神,把供養品分一半給隔鄰的法師。勞居士供養上人後,她的腿果然就好了。消息傳開,來供養上人的人就多了,上人總是很慈悲地把供養品對分。現在觀音洞還有人住,住的正是這位法師的女弟子。

不久上人搬到一向鬧水荒之筲箕灣河馬山村山脊的一塊荒地,興建了西樂園寺,當時是由恆定師、恆益師及一位皈依弟子,另請兩位工人,就這樣胼手胝足的把道場興建起來。剛興建完成的西樂園寺沒有水,上人就持咒用一個竹管子插入壁中,說也奇怪,水就這樣汨汨地流出來,解決了飲水問題。可是觀音洞的水源就斷了,所以很多人歎為奇蹟,說是上人把水源給遷走。

其實上人受佛正戒,成就威儀,所到之處,龍天護衛,十方諸佛菩薩歡喜讚歎。在慈興寺也有位居士看到一條龍舞入大殿,在大殿內禮拜,上人到美國後,慈興寺的水源也因而有些不足。

有一次恆益師她們看儲水的水池髒了,就下去清洗池子,這一洗卻洗出了問題,插在壁中的管子不流水了。於是趕緊報告上人,上人說:「妳們要洗池子,為什麼不先跟我講?」原來是因為女眾不清淨,這一下池去,把管送水的龍給驚動了。後來上人又持咒,乾涸的池子終於又有源源不絕的水再度流出。

西樂園開光後,有人在觀音菩薩聖誕時到廟裡來,供養一塊地給上人,便是現在的慈興寺。

當時正是國共相爭關鍵之際,局勢非常混亂,很多出家人顛沛流離地來到香港,沒有安身立命的地方,行乞度日。當時東普陀的住持茂豐老和尚,非常慈悲,自家寺院雖然糧食不足,依然打開寺門接引。就這樣有粥吃粥,有飯吃飯,有一餐便吃一餐,所以香港的法師稱茂豐老和尚為慈悲王。

上人悲心切切,決定在所供養的這塊地上興建慈興寺,接引更多出家人,能夠安心用功辦道。恆益師跟上人說:「師父,要在這裡蓋廟?這地方這麼高,沒水、沒沙、沒石,怎麼蓋啊?」然而這一切都難不倒上人。沒有沙,就到山坑和溪邊去挖,然後淘洗,就像淘金似的,所以每粒沙都很珍貴。沒有石頭,山上多的是,自己去把大石頭挖出來,再請工人把石頭打成長方形,每塊石平均六十到八十斤重,打一塊要兩毫子半,因為自己不會打。但是搬運就得自己來,用肩膀扛回去,或是抬兩塊,也要百多斤,回去得翻山越嶺,甚至過兩個山頭,走很遠的路才能到慈興寺,其艱難困苦,由此可見。為什麼要這麼多大石呢?因為慈興寺的牆都是用石頭砌成的。

有沙有石,廟還是蓋不起來,還得有紅毛泥或英泥(水泥)。山上只有黃泥漿,拿來蓋房子不牢靠。當時空手上山,也要走上一個多小時,而這些水泥全是人工抬上山。一包水泥價錢是二毫子半,請工人抬卻要六毫子一包,這麼貴!恆益師只好自己去抬。香港有句俗話:「妹仔大過主人婆。」1985年恆興師到慈興寺時,雖然已經有車通行,但是路況很差,仍然要用人工抬上山。慈興寺在這麼惡劣的環境下興建,談何容易,所以上人為此憂心仲仲。

當恆興師讀《楞嚴經淺釋》時,看到上人由於過度憂心興建慈興寺的事,頭髮也白了。後來上人放下,頭髮又由白轉黑,不難想像當年上人所費的心血有多大。為了使慈興寺能夠順利興建,上人發願要燃指供佛。因為太多出家人漂泊不定,上人不願看到道友的苦狀。誠如上人的十八大願:「願代一切眾生受苦,願把自己的福樂迥向給眾生。」因此早日把慈興寺建成,便成上人責無旁貸之事。

上人請永惺法師把手指紮好,準備燃指供佛,眾弟子們風聞得知,非常恐慌,而工程又在緊鑼密鼓階段。弟子們對上人說:「師父您若燃指弄傷身體,如何把工程完成?還會造成延誤。」於是跪下求上人切莫燃指。上人恆順眾生,答應眾弟子的請求,不再燃指。當時上人含淚請永惺法師把手指上的布解開,在床頭天花板寫了兩個大字:「死了!」(請看封底照片)

待續

上人語錄
修行是平平靜靜,無煩惱,無貢高我慢。

The Venerable Master bid farewell to Elder Master Hsu Yun in 1949 and went to Hong Kong. He first stayed at East Putuo Monastery. Later someone showed him Guanyin Cave on Mount Furong, and he moved there to cultivate. The cave had nothing inside but four bare walls. The Master sat on a smooth stone slab to meditate. His legs went numb after three days due to the dampness. He could not get up and had no food to eat. Letting go of all attachments, he continued meditating. Two weeks later, his legs returned to normal. He began going down the mountain to Bamboo Grove (Zhulin) Monastery to get food each day.

Since the cave was too damp, after one year the Master built a small hut outside. The Dharma Master next door enviously commented that if the Master had the means to build his own hut, he certainly didn't need to be offered food. From that time on, Bamboo Grove Monastery no longer provided food for the Master. Since the Master had never been willing to beg despite poverty, he took advantage of the circumstances to sit in meditation for several days straight, during which time he did not feel hungry.

Meanwhile an Upasika named Kuansheng Lao had been bitten by a dog and the wound had not healed despite medical treatment. Weitou Bodhisattva appeared in her dream one night and told her that her wound would heal if she made offerings to a Dharma Master An Ci at Guanyin Cave. The Bodhisattva also showed her what the Master looked like. Startled and happy, Upasika Lao bought 30 pounds of rice the next day and carried it up to the cave to give to the Master. Seeing a donor approach, the neighboring Dharma Master intercepted her and insisted on collecting her offering.

Upasika Lao protested, "You're not the Dharma Master that Weitou Bodhisattva told me to make offerings to." The Master heard them arguing and came out of the cave to see what was going on. Upasika Lao immediately recognized him as the monk she was told to make offerings to in her dream. Not wanting to contend or be greedy, the Master divided the offerings evenly with the other Dharma Master. After she had made the offering, Upasika Lao's wound did indeed heal. When the news of the miracle spread, more people began to make offerings to the Master. The Master always kindly divided the offerings with the other Dharma Master. At present, one of that Dharma Master's female disciples still lives in Guanyin Cave.
The Master soon moved to an unused lot on a ridge at Seahorse Mountain (Hemashan) Village at Xiaqi Bay (Shaukiwan) and built Western Bliss Gardens Monastery. He and Heng Ding Shi, Heng Yi Shi, a lay disciple and two hired workers built the monastery with their bare hands. At first, there was no water. The Master recited mantras and inserted a bamboo tube into a crack in the wall. Strangely enough, water bubbled forth, and the water problem was solved. Meanwhile, the spring at Guanyin Cave dried up. Many people praised this as a miracle, saying that the Master had caused the water source to shift.

Since the Master had received the true precepts of Buddhism and had perfected the awesome deportment, he was protected by dragons and gods wherever he went. I believe that the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas of the ten directions were pleased and praised his conduct. A layperson at Cixing Monastery reported seeing a dragon soar into the Buddha Hall to bow in worship. After the Master went to the United States, the water supply at Cixing Monastery was sometimes not so adequate.

One time Bhikshuni Heng Yi Shi and others saw that the water reservoir was dirty, so they went down to clean it. However, as they were cleaning, water stopped flowing out of the tube in the wall. They immediately told the Master what happened. The Master said, "Why didn't you tell me you wanted to clean it?" The dragon in charge of delivering water had been scared off when they had gone into the pool, since women were considered unclean. The Master recited some mantras, and water began flowing into the dried-up pool again.

After the opening ceremony was held at Western Bliss Gardens Monastery, someone donated a piece of land to the Master on Guanyin Bodhisattva's Anniversary. That piece of land is now where Cixing Monastery stands.

Since the war between the Nationalists and the Communists was at its height, chaos reigned throughout the land. Many monks fled to Hong Kong for refuge, where they wandered the streets seeking alms. The Venerable Mao Feng, abbot of East Putuo Monastery, generously opened his doors to them, even though his own monastery was already short of food. Everyone ate whatever there was to eat, be it gruel or rice, and took each meal as it came. Venerable Mao Feng was known as the king of compassion among the Dharma Masters in Hong Kong.

The Master compassionately resolved to build Cixing Monastery on that donated land, so that more monastics could have a place to practice. Heng Yi Shi told the Master, "You want to build a monastery here? It's so high. There's no water, sand, or stone. What are you going to build  with?" However, nothing could daunt the Master.

Since there was no sand at hand, they went to the mountain streams to  dig up sand, rinsing it in gold-panning fashion. How precious each grain  of sand was! Since there was no stone, they dug up huge boulders on the  mountains, then had laborers hew them into rectangular blocks weighing  80 to 110 pounds each. Since the Master didn't know how to hew, he  paid twenty-five cents for the hewing of each block. However, he and his  disciples transported the blocks themselves, hauling them on their  shoulders. Two blocks weighed over 130 pounds, and they had to cross  two mountains to reach Cixing Monastery. Imagine the difficulty! All  those huge stone blocks went to make the walls of the monastery.

They had sand and stone, but they still needed cement to build the  monastery. The yellow mud on the mountain would not serve for sturdy  construction. It took over an hour to walk up the mountain to the monastery  empty-handed. All the cement had to be hauled up by human labor. A bag  of cement cost twenty-five cents, and laborers charged 60 cents to haul  one bag up the mountain. It was too expensive, so Heng Yi Shi hauled the  cement herself. There's a proverb in Hong Kong, "The servant surpasses the boss." The monastery was already accessible by car when Heng Sying  Shi went there in 1985, but the roads were in such poor condition that  they still had to haul things up by human labor. Building Cixing Monastery  in such unfavorable conditions was no easy task. It's no wonder that the  Master was so anxious.

Heng Sying Shi read in the Master's commentary on the Shurangama  Sutra that the Master's hair had turned white from over-anxiety when he  was building Cixing Monastery, and later turned black again after he  stopped worrying. Imagine the terrific energy the Master expended on  this project. To ensure the successful construction of Cixing Monastery,  the Master resolved to burn his finger as an offering to the Buddhas. The  Master hated to see the plight of his fellow Sangha members, many of  who were drifting about with no place to stay. As the Master's eighteen  vows say, "I vow to fully take upon myself all sufferings and hardships  of all the living beings in the Dharma Realm. I vow to fully dedicate all  that blessings and bliss that I myself ought to enjoy to all living beings of  the Dharma Realm." With the early completion of Cixing Monastery, the  Master's obligations would soon be fulfilled.

The Master asked Dharma Master Yongxing to wrap his finger with cloth in preparation for burning as an offering to the Buddhas. Thedisciples somehow found out and panicked. The construction wasproceeding at full speed. The Master's disciples pleaded with him, "Whathappens if you hurt yourself? The project will be delayed." They kneltand begged the Master not to burn his finger. Since the Master alwayscomplied with the wishes of living beings, he agreed to their request. Hetearfully asked Dharma Master Yongxing to unwrap the cloth around hisfinger. Then he wrote on the ceiling above his bed: "Dead!"(Please see photos on the back cover)

To be continued

Venerable Master's Dharma Words
※ Cultivation requires a calm, peaceful mind  devoid of affliction and conceit.

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