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宣化上人講 Commentary by the Venerable Master Hsuan Hua
國際譯經學院記錄 Translated by the International Translation Institut













上人:No !(不),師父也一樣的,師父也是修行人嘛,好像那人民教就是這樣子的。這個有一種分別的地方,什麼地方呢?就是有婬欲、沒有婬欲。你有婬欲,那就是魔;沒有婬欲,那才是正的,那才是佛。分別在這裏,他沒有斷婬,他還不能降伏其心。他不過就坐在那兒可以入定了,可是在三摩地中,他還有所貪、有所求的,「潛行貪欲」,就從這兩個,你就可以知道他。


This is a strange ghost that in its old age has become a demon. It disturbs and confuses the good person. But when it tires of doing so, it will leave the other person’s body. Then both the disciples and the teacher will get in trouble with the law.

This is a strange, weird ghost that, after a long time, in its old age has become a demon. It disturbs and confuses the good person. But when it tires of doing so, it will leave the other person’s body. Eventually, it gets bored of playing this game. It has had enough, and so it stops possessing the person. When that happens, then both the disciples and the teacher will get in trouble with the law. The authorities arrest them, accuse them of rabble-rousing, and either execute them or punish them in some other way.

[January 1983]

This is the time to study, and we must keep studying the states, one by one, until we finish. Then everyone will have a better understanding. Right now we’ve just started studying, and some will understand, while others won’t. When each of you comes to the front, you are not here to interrogate anyone, but just to investigate what you have seen and understood with everyone else. The person who just came up here had a correct understanding. When the form skandha is obliterated, the view of self is emptied, so that one no longer has a sense of self, and all physical objects, all things with form and appearance, are also emptied. If you don’t understand this, you can read over the Sutra text a few more times, and then you’ll naturally understand.

All religions operate in the realm of the five skandhas. Later on the text talks about how both the teacher and the disciples get in trouble with the law. The words “teacher and disciples” indicate that this is talking about religion. Being satisfied with their small achievements, they set up their own religion and claim that it is true. Without my having to mention any religions by name, everyone should know what I’m talking about. If you want to know which skandhas those religions fall under, what level they have reached, then you have to gain a thorough understanding of the fifty skandha-demon states.

Instead of just asking questions, you should look into them yourselves. We are all studying together, and it shouldn’t be that one person answers everyone else’s questions, because our wisdom is equal. In our investigation, if everyone agrees to a principle, then we will consider it correct. We are gathering everyone’s opinions, and when we publish the Fifty Skandha-demon States in the future, each person’s opinion should be included. This is a joint investigation, not one person answering others’ questions. Anyone can speak out and express an opinion.

Why do we have only two people reading aloud? Because these two people have adequate Chinese and English. They are giving a general explanation of the meaning, and if what they say is incomplete, people can speak up. People should not be simply asking questions. This is not like when we lectured on the Brahma Net Sutra. This meeting is investigatory in nature, and everyone is equal. There’s no need to request the Dharma or do anything. Everyone should just investigate and study together. No one is debating with anyone else, and anyone can express an opinion. Do you all think this is a good method?

[January 1983, another day]

Disciple: The Sutra text says that the teacher and disciples will both fall into the hells?

Venerable Master: Right, that’s referring to the cultivator!

Disciple: Is the cultivator one of the disciples?

Venerable Master: Not necessarily. The teacher is also that way; he’s also a cultivator. An example of this was the People’s Temple. You can tell by whether or not a person has lust. If he has lust, then he is a demon. If he doesn’t, then he’s proper and he’s a Buddha. That’s where the difference lies. If he hasn’t cut off lust, then he can’t subdue his mind. He may be able to sit there and enter samadhi, but while in samadhi, he is still greedy and seeking. “He correctly indulges his greedy desires.” That’s how you can recognize him.

To be continued


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