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Biographies

【 佛祖道影白話解 】

Lives of the Patriarchs

三十九祖曹山本寂禪師 (續)
Patriarchs of the Thirty-ninth Generation
Dhyana Master Ben-Ji (Original Stillness) of Cao-Shan (Cao Mountain)
(continued)

宣公上人講於一九八四年二 月二日 Lectured by the Venerable Master Hua on February 2, 1984
國際譯經學院 記錄翻譯 Translated by the International Translation Institute

第二天上午到一個地方趕齋去,吃的都是沒有油鹽的菜、飯,跟我去的人,也受我的拐帶,借我的光了,都沒有油鹽吃。吃完飯,一點半鐘,就講 lecture,講開示,講到三點鐘,結束了。三點半又開車回到西雅圖,大概是八點鐘吧!簡單的講一講好了,太多就講不完了,八點多就睡覺了,睡到十一點半,洗臉、漱口,十二點鐘就向回走,到佛根地是早上八點半,就在那兒趕齋吃飯。十二點又開車回萬佛城。無門可入,沒有帶鎖鑰。唉!好吧!回金山寺去。所以昨天晚上十二點到金山寺。又有些個事情,又是這個、那個,囉囉唆唆,七扯八拉地,就做到三點鐘,今天早上睡到六點半,起來了。這個有出息的徒弟,果恩大約起不來了,因為開車開得太累了,果恩,不是恆觀。恆觀大約五、六點就起來了,他是二點半就休息了,這是我旅行的過程。所以我要這麼樣休息休息這個腿,給你們解釋清楚,懂嗎?所以藉著這個桌子來休息休息。

還有一個消息我現在要告訴你們,我這個禮拜,今天 lecture,明天 lecture,下個禮拜,講法時間改了,改到什麼時候呢?改到禮拜五、禮拜六這兩天,還是下午一點半。為什麼我這麼快趕回來呢?就因為我知道我要不趕回來,你們大家該罵我了,說:欸!要給我們講 lecture,又不回來,拿我們都不當一回事。所以我無論如何,日夜不休息,也要趕回來給你們上這個課。你們好好學,不好好學,我不知道了。I don't care。你們願意懶惰也好,勤也好,好了。書歸正傳。

山說:你既然不變異,為什麼要走呢?「曰去亦不變異」,說去也是沒有變異。就是我在這兒也是這樣子,到旁的地方還是這樣子,我不會改變的。

「乃去」,於是乎他就走了。「後開法于宜黃之曹山」,以後就在宜黃的曹山建立道場。「學侶雲萃」,跟著他當參學的人就像雲彩似的,聚會到這兒來跟他學法。

「復立三墜四禁」,又立了三墜,三種怎麼樣會墮落。四種禁,怎麼樣是不可以的。「君臣偏正頌」,怎麼樣叫君、叫臣。你們想要詳細知道,可以找一找佛學辭典,那上面都有的。我今天不講了。偏正頌,他又寫了這些個頌。

「顯發洞山之旨」,他發明他師父洞山之旨。「元復辛酉」,在天復元年的時候,辛酉年。

「問知事曰」,問這個管事情的。「今是何日」,說:現在是什麼日子啊?

「曰六月十五日」,說:這是六月十五日。「師曰明日行腳去」,說:我明天又要出去參方去了。「次日焚香宴坐而化」,第二天他就齋戒沐浴,燒上香,結跏趺座就圓寂了。

「葬於西麓」,葬在曹山西邊的山峰上。「諡元證」,叫元證禪師。「塔曰福圓」,叫福圓之塔。

贊曰

洞水逆流 師嗣其慧 從那邊來
開此五位 寶鏡當台 圓照萬類
虛玄無著 豈究竟會

「洞水逆流」,洞裡的水倒流。「師嗣其慧」,本寂禪師他繼續洞山的法脈。「從那邊來」,從什麼地方來的?

「開此五位」,開佛教禪宗的五位。「寶鏡當台」,這個大圓鏡智在明鏡台上。「圓照萬類」,所有的眾生都照到了。

「虛玄無著」,他虛無飄渺一點無著住的。「豈究竟會」,你怎麼想得到呢?想不到的。

或說偈曰

本寂非漸故無名 從何而來少跡形
智慧可用付大道 行為高明續心燈
不變異處難思議 到寶所時易滿歡
真正自由端坐化 任運解脫覺有緣

那麼我很不自量力,常常要頭上安頭,人家有一個說明了,我又要寫八句偈頌。同時寫得是淡而無味,你們大家要是聽了不怕起盹,可以聽聽,淡而無味就像白水燉白菜,雖然沒有味道,但是能解毒。那麼我寫這個東西,雖然沒有什麼大的意思,但是你要是把它記住了,貪、瞋、癡會沒有,沒有貪、瞋、癡。這個貪瞋癡就是毒。我們人的貪心、瞋心、癡心,都是我們不成佛的原因。

現在第一句,是曹山他自己說的。「本寂非漸故無名」,本寂非漸,說我這個名字可不是人死為鬼,鬼死為漸的那個漸。故無名,所以本寂根本沒有什麼名,無名之名。「從何而來少跡形」,從何而來,要問我從什麼地方來呢?少跡形,我也不知道從什麼地方來的,沒有什麼形跡可找。意思也就是無所從來無所去。不是說成佛了無來無去,這個本也是性無來無去。因為他這麼樣一說,洞山就覺得他很聰明,很有智慧。

「智慧可用付大道」,因為知道他是有來歷,有智慧,有善根的人,所以就把佛教的衣缽傳給他了,就傳法給他了。「行為高明續心燈」,行為高明,因為他修行啊,一切一切的品行、品德、學問都非常高明,他這個高明是凝結品德、修行、用功,不做錯事,總是沒有什麼妄想,所以洞山就把他看中了,很看重他,於是乎就傳法給他,這叫續佛心印,續佛心印法門。「不變異處難思議」,不變異處就是恆常不變的,他自性是不變的,法也不變的。難思議,你想也想不出來的,不可以心思,不可以言議。這叫難思議。

「到寶所時易滿歡」,到寶所時,過了化城自困,直達寶所了,就是收藏寶貝的地方。易滿歡,很容易滿足了,躊躇滿志,很歡喜的。「真正自由端坐化」,真正自由,他能來去自由,願意活著就活著;願意死,我就死。這叫真正自由,不是說要死的時候自己做不得主了,被無常鬼抓去。無常鬼管不著了,這叫真正自由。端坐化,他坐在那個地方無疾而終,去了。「任運解脫覺有緣」,很自在,很沒有造作。覺有緣,覺悟一切的有情眾生,有緣的眾生,和誰有緣,就度誰。

(全文完)

The next morning, we went to receive a meal offering. We had food without oil and salt. Because of me, my companions had tasteless food too.

After lunch, I talked from 1:30 till 3:00. Driving back to Seattle at 3:30, we arrived there around 8:00 p.m. I’ll be brief; otherwise, I can’t finish. Then we rested until 11:30. After washing up, we came back at 12:00 and reached Buddha Root Farm at 8:30 a.m. and later had a meal there. We drove back to CTTB at 12:00, but we couldn’t get in because there was no key. Oh dear! Well, then we came back to Gold Mountain Monastery (GMM). Last night we were back to GMM; there were things to be done, miscellaneous and time-consuming. When we finished, it was 3:00 a.m. I got up at 6:30 this morning. This aspiring disciple, Guo En, probably couldn’t get up, because he was exhausted from driving. Heng Guan rested at 2:30 so he got up around five or six. This was my trip. So that’s why my legs need rest. Do you understand? So I am resting at this desk.

Also, the lecture time this week will be today and tomorrow. For the next week, the lecture will be changed to 1:30 pm on Friday and Saturday. Why did I come back so quickly? Because I knew that if I didn’t rush back, you would scold me, saying, “You are supposed to give a lecture, but you didn’t come back. You just don’t care about us!” So even though I have to go without rest day and night, I have to return to teach you. You have to study hard. If you don’t, then I won’t care. It’s up to you whether you want to be lazy or diligent. Okay, back to our commentary.

The Master replied, “That ‘going’ is also ‘unchanging.’” If I’m here I am this way and remain the same elsewhere. I won’t change. Then he left.

Afterwards he taught the Dharma at Yi-huang on Cao Mountain. Later, he established a Way-place at Yi-huang on Cao Mountain. Students congregated like clouds. People studying under him gathered like clouds. He further established the “three fallings”: three things that cause people to fall, the “four prohibitions,” and the verses on the positions of “King and Minister” (referring to the Five Positions of the Cao-dong School), what is a king and what is a minister. If you wish to understand, you may look it up in a Buddhist dictionary. He was further enhancing Master Dong-shan’s original purport. He strengthened the mission of Master Dong-shan.

In the year xin-you (901) he asked the monastery manager, “What day is it?”

The answer was, “The fifteenth of the sixth month.”

The Master said, “Tomorrow I’m going to resume my journey.” I will travel and visit different places. The next day he burned incense, sat upright, and entered the stillness. He fasted, took a bath, burned incense, sat in the lotus posture and entered the stillness. He was buried at the Western Hill. His posthumous title is Dhyana Master “Source of Certification,” and his stupa is called “Blessings Perfected.”

A verse in praise says:
The water of the Cave reversed its flow. The Master was heir to his teacher’s wisdom.
He came from a distant place and set up the Five Positions.
A jeweled mirror was raised up high above the platform.
It perfectly illumined the myriad kinds of beings.
Being profound, mysterious, and itself unattached,
How could it be discerned by willful intent?

Commentary:
The water of the Cave
(that is, Dong-shan, “Cave Mountain”) reversed its flow.

The Master was heir to his teacher’s wisdom. Master Ji continued the Dharma lineage of Dong-shan.

He came from a distant place and set up those Five Positions. Where did he come from? He established the Five Positions of the Chan School.

A jeweled mirror was raised up high above the platform. The great perfect mirror wisdom is on the platform.

It perfectly illumined the myriad kinds of beings. All living beings are in the illumination.

Being profound, mysterious, and itself unattached, So insubstantial, he had not the slightest attachment.

How could it be discerned by willful intent? How could you imagine it? No, you couldn’t.

Another verse in praise says:
Ben-ji is not a ghost, and so he must not have a name.
“Where did you come from?” He left very few traces.
His wisdom was of use;
He was entrusted with the Great Way.
His practice was lofty;
He perpetuated the mind’s lamp.
The unchanging place is hard to conceive of.
Upon arriving at the Treasure Trove
One can easily become fulfilled.
With true and proper freedom,
He sat upright and entered stillness.
He acts effortlessly in liberation
And enlightens sentient beings.

Commentary:
I’ve overestimated my own ability and I would like to put a head on top of a head. There is already an explanation but I wrote another eight-line verse. It is plain and dry. If you are not afraid of dozing off, you may listen to it. It is plain and tasteless like boiled cabbage. Though tasteless, it can neutralize poison. Although my composition doesn’t mean much, if you can remember it, you will be free of greed, hatred and delusion. Greed, hatred and delusion are poisons. They are the reason we have not become Buddhas.

The first line was what Master Ji said. Ben-ji is not a ghost, and so he must not have a name. My name is certainly not jian as in someone who died and became a ghost. Ben-ji has no name. “Where did you come from?” He left very few traces.

His wisdom was of use. “You ask me where I am from. I don’t know myself; there are no tracks to be found. There is nowhere from which I came and there is nowhere to which I’ll go.” He is not saying that he has become a Buddha who neither comes nor goes but that the inherent nature has no coming or going. Because he said this, Master Dong-shan thought he was smart, that he was wise.

He was entrusted with the Great Way. Because he knew his background and that he had wisdom and good roots, Master Shan transmitted the robe and bowl, tokens of the Buddha’s lineage to him. His practice was lofty; he perpetuated the mind’s lamp. Because of his cultivation, his practice, virtue, and knowledge were outstanding. His excellence came from virtue, cultivation and effort. He did nothing wrong and had no false thoughts. That’s why Master Shan selected him and valued him, transmitting the Dharma to him. This is the transmission of the Buddha’s mind seal. The unchanging place is hard to conceive of. The unchanging place is constant. His inherent nature is unchanging and so is the Dharma. It is hard to conceive of; it cannot be pondered or described.

Upon arriving at the Treasure Trove, after stepping over the threshold, one reaches the treasure trove where treasures are kept. One can easily become fulfilled. One is easily satisfied and happy. With true and proper freedom, he could come and go freely—he could live or die as he wished. That is genuine freedom—to be in control and not be caught by the Ghost of Impermanence at the verge of death. The Ghost of Impermanence has no way to order one around. That is genuine freedom. He sat upright and entered stillness. He sat there and passed away without illness. He acts effortlessly in liberation and enlightens sentient beings. He was at ease and made no contrived efforts. He had enlightened sentient beings. Whoever had affinity with him had been crossed over.

(The End)

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