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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




緣覺又分兩種:在有佛出世他修十二因緣而悟道叫緣覺;在無佛出世,他修十二因緣而悟道,這叫獨覺。獨覺是獨善其身,不願意兼善天下。怎麼叫獨善其身呢?他認為這個世界壞了,人人都壞了,他就想要不懷,想要修行,所以就遠離塵世和這些個人隔離,自己跑到深山穹谷,年月也看不見一個人,他在那地方修行,也就是「阿蘭若處」。修行,他春天看見百花都開放,他說:「哦!這真是妙不可言,這花,它也會開了!」秋觀黃葉落 —到秋天的時候,他就看見樹葉自己就落到地下去了。你看這樹,春天生出樹葉,開花結果,到秋天樹葉就都落了,自生自滅。他認為這種無常的境界是很妙的。那麼因為萬物無常,他就找這個有常。什麼是有常呢?所以他就想這個十二因緣。





Bodhisattvas cultivate strictly upholding the precepts. They do no evil but rather offer up all good conduct. They practice patience, and they cultivate vigor. Throughout the day and night, they are always vigorous. They also practice dhyana samadhi and wisdom. Thus they cultivate the Six Perfections and the Myriad Practices; they benefit themselves and benefit others. That is the Dharma Realm of Bodhisattvas, and yet the Dharma Realm of Bodhisattvas also does not go beyond a single thought in the mind. If in your mind you want to practice the Bodhisattva Way and with your body you actually put the Bodhisattva Way into practice, then in the future, you will be a Bodhisattva.

3. The Dharma Realm of Those Enlightened by Conditions. Those Enlightened by Conditions cultivate the Twelve Causes and Conditions and awaken to the Way.

The Arising of the Twelve Causes and Conditions
(a) Ignorance is the condition that brings about activity;
(b) activity is the condition that brings about consciousness;
(c) consciousness is the condition that brings about name and form;
(d) name and form is the condition that brings about the six sense organs;
(e) the six sense organs are the condition that brings about contact;
(f) contact is the condition that brings about feeling;
(g) feeling is the condition that brings about love;
(h) love is the condition that brings about grasping;
(i) grasping is the condition that brings about becoming;
(j) becoming is the condition that brings about birth;
(k) birth is the condition that brings about old age and death.

Those Enlightened by Conditions divide into two kinds: Those who cultivate the Twelve Causes and Conditions and awaken to the Way when a Buddha is in the world are known as Those Enlightened by Conditions; those who cultivate the Twelve Causes and Conditions and awaken to the Way when there is no Buddha in the world are called Solitarily Enlightened Ones. Solitarily Enlightened Ones work only at doing well by themselves; they do not want to benefit the world. Why do they want to "do well by themselves"? It is because they consider the whole world to be going bad, as well as all the people in it. They themselves don't want to be bad; they want to cultivate. Since they want to cultivate, they get far away from the defiled world. They separate themselves from all those other people. They go deep into the mountains into isolated valleys, and over the months and years they never see a single person. They cultivate there in an aranya, a "pure and quiet place." As they cultivate, in the spring they see the myriad flowers blossom and consider it ineffably wonderful. In the autumn they watch the yellow leaves fall. They contemplate the trees: in the spring the leaves bud and grow, the flowers blossom, and then the fruit comes forth. In the autumn, the leaves fall from the trees. These cultivators find this entire process to be quite wonderful: the state of impermanence whereby things naturally come into being and cease to be. Because the myriad things are all impermanent, those cultivators search for what is permanent. Thus, they analyze the Twelve Causes and Conditions.

First, they investigate ignorance. Ignorance is just another name for afflictions. If you don't understand something, you become afflicted. Once you get afflicted, you will want to do something. Once you do something and there is activity, then a consciousness comes into being. That is, when you behave in a certain way, there will be a shadow created. That shadow is consciousness. It can also be called a seed or an impression.

Ignorance refers to the mutual "unknown" that arises between men and women—that kind of emotion. Once that emotion based on enticement toward the "unknown" arises, then activity will occur. Sexual intercourse will result. Once there is activity, a consciousness comes into being. A seed is fertilized. Once the fertilized seed exists, name and form come into being—it is called a fetus. Once there is name and form, the six entrances also come into being: eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind. With the forming of the six entrances, contact occurs; there is an awareness of contact. With contact, feeling is experienced. Once there is feeling, love arises. With thoughts of love, one wants to grasp what one loves and have it become one's own. With that becoming, there will be birth into another life, followed by death. Those are the Twelve Causes and Conditions. Those Enlightened by Conditions investigate this problem.

They come to realize that when ignorance ceases, activity will cease. When activity ceases, consciousness will also disappear. Without consciousness, there will be no name and form. Without name and form, the six entrances will naturally not exist. Without the six entrances, no contact will be experienced, because there won't even be a physical body to know the contact. Without contact there will be no feeling. Without feeling, there will be no love. If love does not arise, then there will be no compulsion to grasp. Without grasping there will be no becoming, and without becoming there will be no birth. Without birth there will be no old age and death. They investigate these Twelve Causes and Conditions backwards and forwards until they become enlightened. Thus they are called Those Enlightened by Conditions. They can also become Bodhisattvas of initial resolve.

To be continued


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