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妙蓮法音道場 中英雙語開示

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發表於 2013-1-5 11:44 | 顯示全部樓層 |閱讀模式
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妙蓮法音道場   中英雙語開示


我們的導師─上妙下蓮老和尚/Our teacher – the Venerable Master Miao Lien

妙蓮法音道場寫於 2013年1月1日22:04 ·



  上妙下蓮老和尚,西元1922年出生於中國安徽,九歲(1930年)童真入道,二十歲(1941年)於南京大寶華山隆昌寺受具足戒。受戒後即前往蘇州靈巖山寺參學,接受正規叢林訓練。老和尚(1949年)二十八歲,為弘化而至香港,先後於大嶼山及青山閉關潛修,達二十年之久。

  掩關期間,除閱藏念佛,並虔修「般舟三昧」二 十次,每次九十天,晝夜惟經行及禮佛,無有間斷,誓證念佛三昧。老和尚對普賢行願品及金剛經,分別都打過七,睡覺時一樣地念,就好像湧泉之水!

  老和尚為倡印《大智度論》,於1975年首次來到臺灣。老和尚發願創建叢林大道場,使昔日大陸佛教重現於寶島臺灣,期望臺灣寶島轉成佛國,再發揚光大於世界,轉世界為佛剎。遂於1986年建立臺灣靈巖山寺,成為一個清淨莊嚴、培育僧才、度眾共修的十方大叢林。

  問及建寺因緣,老和尚說:「我本是一介貧僧,哪來這麼多的錢做這麼大的事呢?我一向深信觀世音菩薩威神感應無窮,必定會慈悲護念我的一片赤誠丹心,賜我滿願之力。所以常向觀世音菩薩至心祈求,度有福慧的大護法來助我。菩薩果然是廣大靈感,加被許多福德善根深厚的大居士來護持,才合力促成了現在的臺灣靈巖山寺,及海內外分寺。」

  老和尚戒德莊嚴,佛學精湛,日常生活樸實自在,律己甚嚴,精進不懈!更是本著度生悲願,以年邁之軀仍奔波於海內外各地,為督導建寺工程、弘宣正法、培育僧才日夜辛勞。老人家畢生致力於弘揚淨土念佛法門,並為延續佛教僧伽慧命而努力不懈。此種「但為眾生得離苦,不為自己求安樂」的大菩薩精神,怎不令人感動、慚愧!

  我們的慈悲導師 老和尚於2008年6月25日安詳示寂。

  吾等有幸得其法乳滋養者,無不深感 老和尚實乃開啟眾生菩提心門之大善知識,接引眾生離苦得樂之大導師。至心祈願 老和尚早日乘願再來,廣度眾生圓滿菩提﹗

  惟願大眾同發無上菩提心,秉承老和尚的精神、願力,成就化度法界眾生之神聖大業,俾十方叢林早日遍佈塵剎,使佛法久住世間,中外人士同登彼岸,早日圓成佛果菩提,庶不負老和尚建寺之初衷、度生之悲願也。


上妙下蓮老和尚第四十九大願
老和尚為成就佛道、廣度眾生,悲心弘願等如諸佛菩薩。其以阿彌陀佛四十八願為基礎,更發四十九願:

凡見過我的面,聽過我的法,
乃至聞過我名號的人,
我都要度他同生西方極樂世界;
如果他此生不能生西方,
我必定再來化度,直到他生西為止!




    Our Venerable Master Miao Lien was born in China in 1922 and entered monkhood at the age of nine. At twenty he took the “Bhikshu Precepts” and was ordained at the Baohua Mountain Temple in Nanjing. He then went to the Pure Land Lingyen Moutain Temple in Suzhou to receive orthodox monastic training. At 28, he withdrew for twenty years into the Lantau Island and Castle Peak hermitages in Hong Kong.

    There he studied the Buddhist canon, recited the name of Amitabha Buddha, and completed twenty sessions of Pratyutpanna-Samadhi, a difficult practice which required him to prostrate and pace around the Buddha Hall while reciting the Buddha’s name without stopping or resting for 90 days.

    He also went on retreats for both the Chapter on Bodhisattva Samantabhadra’s Conduct and Vows and the Diamond Sutra, becoming so proficient that he could even recite the sutras effortlessly in his sleep!

    In 1975, he traveled to Taiwan to publish the Mahaprajna-Paramita Sastra. While teaching the Dharma in Taiwan, he vowed to build a monastery that would reproduce traditional Chinese Buddhism in Taiwan and transform the land into a Buddhist country, and ultimately the whole world into a Pure Land. In 1986, he initiated construction of the Taiwan Ling- yen Mountain Temple, a spiritually inspiring and majestic monastery dedicated to training the Sangha and delivering all sentient beings from suffering.

    When he was asked how a simple monk like himself who lived in poverty could create such a magnificent Temple, he humbly replied that he had always believed in the compassionate Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s power to bless him with the accomplishment of his vows. After his prayers to the Bodhisattva, devotees from all over the world came forward and helped to construct Temples not only in Taiwan, but also in many other countries.

    The Venerable Master represented purity and virtue, had a profound knowledge of Buddhism, and lived his life in the most simple and disciplined manner. In keeping with his compassionate vows, the Venerable Master traveled internationally even in his old age to help oversee Temple construction, propagate the Dharma, and educate the Sangha. He devoted his entire life to the propagation of Pure Land teachings, and exerted every ounce of his energy to build up and continue the Sangha lineage. All who met him were deeply touched by his spirit of sacrificing himself to relieve the suffering of others.

    On June 25, 2008, at the age of 88, our Venerable Master and Teacher entered Nirvana in a state of tranquility.

    We who have tasted the sweet dew of his serene presence recognize that he is our great teacher who will lead us in emancipating all sentient beings from suffering, and who will guide us on our paths to bliss in the Pure Land. We pray that our Venerable Master Teacher, in accordance with his vow to save infinite sentient beings, will soon return to this Saha World.

    May we all bring forth the Bodhi mind and carry on our Venerable Master’s spirit and his vows! Only by working towards establishing forest monasteries in every corner of space, by ensuring the continuance of Buddha Dharma, and by helping all sentient beings to transcend suffering and ultimately achieve Buddhahood will we be observing the compassionate vows of our Venerable Master, and continuing his legacy.

The forty-ninth Great Vow of the Venerable Master Miao Lien
    As our Venerable Master strove to realize Buddhahood and guide infinite sentient beings to transcendence, his compassion and vows were one with those of the Buddhas and the Bodhisattvas. With Amitabha Buddha’s forty-eight vows as his foundation, the Venerable Master made a forty-ninth vow:

I will help all sentient beings that have seen me or
heard my sermons, or even just my name,
to transcend to the Western Pure Land of Ultimate Bliss;
for those who do not transcend in this life,
I will continue my mission in future lives until all transcend.

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 樓主| 發表於 2013-1-5 11:45 | 顯示全部樓層
琉璃王滅釋迦族 / How King Virudhaka Annihilated the Shakya Clan

妙蓮法音道場寫於 2013年1月4日11:21 ·



  佛法講因果,不管善業、惡業,「假使百千劫,所作業不亡;因緣會遇時,果報還自受。」那個果報並不是你今天做今天就要受,因果不是同時的。今天做,種下了惡因,明天受嗎?不一定!下一世受嗎?還是再下一世、無量世?也不一定,但總歸有一天會碰到的。這種例子太多了,這裡我說個故事給大家聽。

  我們本師釋迦世尊是生於印度的王族,印度有四姓階級,最高貴的是婆羅門,第二等剎帝利是王族,再次一等吠舍,指一般農工商階級,最末一等叫做首陀羅,即所謂賤民種姓。釋迦世尊是迦毘羅衛國的王族,在迦毘羅衛國附近有一個國家叫憍薩羅國,國主是波斯匿王,他要找門當戶對王族之女結婚,就找到釋迦族去,想同他們聯姻。那時釋迦世尊已經出家了,過著平安寂靜的生活。

  雖然波斯匿王也是王族,但釋迦族總認為他們自己是最尊貴的,還是不願意同他聯姻。可是又怕波斯匿王勢力大,不答應又不好,於是把王族中一名奴婢冒充為公主許配給他。那奴婢雖是賤種之女,但長得非常美貌,看起來還和善、有福的樣子,這就是末利夫人。後來她生了琉璃太子,這太子長大後不但篡了王位,還滅了釋迦族。這時佛陀雖想挽救,但因果業報太重一時救不了。

  為什麼琉璃王要滅釋迦族?這是有近因也有遠因的。近因是琉璃太子小的時候,有一次到迦毘羅衛國學射術,適逢為佛陀新建的講堂將要落成,太子也來遊玩,釋迦族的人認為奴隸所生的孩子走入講堂,污穢了聖地,便下令要把他送回去。並且凡是他足跡所到之處,一律掘地七尺,重換淨土。琉璃太子遭受到這種侮辱,於是憤恨的發誓:「等我將來做了國王,定滅釋迦族!」

  遠因是如何呢?在往昔無量劫前,有一個村莊,村莊裡有個大池塘,在大旱之年,池塘的水因乾旱而快枯竭了,池裡的魚一條條的露出水面,村莊裡的人很輕易的就把魚打起來吃。那時是饑荒之年,人連草根都吃了,有魚怎麼不吃?其中有一條特別大的魚,村人把牠打上來就放在池邊,來觀看的人很多。

  當時釋尊是村裡的一個小孩,那時他手裡拿著一根棒子,看到那條魚那麼大,不禁調皮地在牠頭上打了三下,小孩子好玩嘛!後來村莊的人把這條大魚殺來吃,種下這個惡因,如今業果已成,果報來了!釋迦佛頭疼了三天,而這村莊的人轉世成了釋迦族,這大魚轉投胎就成了波斯匿王的太子-後來的琉璃王,琉璃王因為當時被人宰殺、烹煮來吃,有這瞋恨的遠因,又有被釋迦族侮辱的近因,所以他就滅了釋迦族。這是因果,絕非偶然。

  那時佛陀已經成道了,迦毘羅衛國是他的祖國,釋迦族是他的家族,他想不想救呢?當然想救,可是沒辦法救,業力不可思議嘛!一切法都是因緣生,因果控制一切。這不是用神通力能救的,必定要用功德和解才可以。如果當時村莊裡的人能素口,又怎會感得這個惡報?所以希望大家沒有吃素的就要改口,不要再造這個惡因,否則將來受苦時,再怎樣呼天喊地也沒用呀!




Buddhist teachings state that the Law of Cause and Effect applies to both good and bad karma. As the saying goes, “Karma persists through hundreds of thousands of eons; when causes and conditions come together, one cannot escape their karmic retribution.” The effects of today’s actions are not necessarily felt today, because causes and their effects are not simultaneous events. In other words, if you commit a bad deed today, you will not necessarily experience karmic retribution the very next day, or even in the next lifetime, or in the lifetime after that, or even innumerable lifetimes later. However, you can be certain that the karmic effects will eventually come into play. There are many examples of this, such as the one in this story that I will be telling you.

Our Original Teacher Shakyamuni, the World-Honored One, was born into an Indian royal family. There are four classes of people in India: the highest class is the Brahmana (the priestly class), next is the Ksatriya (the military and political class), then Varisya (the farming, manufacturing and merchant class), and finally, there is the lowest class, the Sudra (or serfs). Shakyamuni, the World-Honored One, belonged to the royal family of Kapilavastu. There was a country nearby called Kosala whose king, Prasenajit, wanted to marry a woman of his same class. He found the Shakya clan and wanted to forge a connection with them through marriage. By that time, Shakyamuni, the World-Honored One, had already left home to become a monk and was leading a peaceful and serene life.

Although King Prasenajit was also from a royal family, the Shakya clan still thought of themselves as the most noble and were unwilling to be associated with him through marriage. However, they did not want to offend King Prasenajit because they were afraid of his great power. Consequently, they chose a female slave from their kingdom to pretend to be a princess and marry him. Although the slave was of lowly descent, she was very beautiful and kind-hearted. Her name was Mallika, and she later gave birth to Prince Virudhaka. This prince not only became the king of Kosala, but he also annihilated the Shakya clan. Shakyamuni Buddha wanted to save them, but because their karma was so heavy, they could not be saved.

Why did King Virudhaka want to destroy the Shakya clan? There was an immediate cause and an underlying cause. The immediate cause was that when Prince Virudhaka was young, he once went to Kapilavastu to learn archery. At that time, the Buddha’s newly built lecture hall was about to be inaugurated. When the prince came to visit, the Shakya clan thought that, as a slave’s child, he would stain their holy ground, so he was told to go home. Workers were then ordered to excavate seven feet of earth from wherever his feet had touched the holy ground, and to replace it with pure soil. After suffering such a humiliation, the prince swore a hateful vow: “When I become king, I shall annihilate the Shakya clan!”

That was the immediate cause, but what was the underlying cause of the Shakya clan’s destruction? It goes back to a time eons ago, to a village that had a large pond. During a time of severe drought and famine, the pond almost entirely dried up, and one by one the fish floated up to the surface, which made it very easy for the hungry villagers to catch them for food. Since there had been no harvest, and the starving people had only roots to eat, how could they have resisted eating the fish? One day, the villagers caught an extremely large fish and displayed it beside the pond, and many people came from far and wide to see it.

At that time, Shakyamuni Buddha was a young child in the village. He had a stick in his hand and had moved to hit the enormous fish three times on the head with it; he was just a child, and it seemed like a bit of fun for him! Later, the villagers killed the fish and ate it, planting the negative cause that ultimately resulted in the retribution they were to suffer at King Virudhaka’s hands. As his karmic retribution for striking the fish, Shakyamuni Buddha suffered from a headache for three days. But the villagers were later reincarnated as the people of the Shakya clan, and the hefty fish they had killed and eaten was reborn as Prasenajit’s son, who later became King Virudhaka! King Virudhaka’s hatred of the Shakya clan came from that time in the distant past when he had been killed, cooked and eaten by the villagers. This underlying cause, along with the immediate cause of Prince Virudhaka’s humiliation by the Shakyas, was what moved him to massacre the entire Shakya clan. The massacre occurred because of cause and effect, and definitely not by coincidence.

When the Shakya clan was facing demise, Shakyamuni Buddha had already achieved Buddhahood, and because Kapilavastu was his native country and the Shakya clan was his home tribe, of course he wanted to save them! But there was no way he could help, because the force of karmic retribution is immutable. The Law of Cause and Effect governs all situations. Supernatural powers cannot arbitrarily save people from karmic retributions; only the cultivation of merits can counteract negative causes. If the villagers had been vegetarian and had not eaten the fish, they would not have had to suffer such a severe retribution. Hence, we hope that everyone who is not yet a vegetarian will change and become one, and not create unwholesome causes anymore. Otherwise, when they suffer the effects of their bad karma in the future, nothing will be able to help them!

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 樓主| 發表於 2013-1-5 11:46 | 顯示全部樓層
雨天晴天都好天/ Sunny Days and Rainy Days are Both Good Days

妙蓮法音道場寫於 2013年1月2日10:07 ·



  有一個老婆婆,天晴她哭,天下雨她也哭;最奇怪的,愈是大晴天愈是哭得厲害,愈是大雨愈哭得嚴重。有位羅漢每次來她家乞食都見到她在哭,就問她:「老婆婆啊!妳為什麼要哭?」她說:「師父!我怎麼不哭呢?你看今天太陽這麼大!」羅漢說:「太陽這麼大不好嗎?行路的人不會被雨淋,晴天好工作,多麼好!」她說:「你不知道啊!我家大女婿賣雨傘,天晴雨傘就沒人要;沒人要,賺不到錢,生活怎麼過?」

  到了大雨天她還是哭,羅漢又問她:「今天又不是晴天,是下大雨,為什麼要哭?」「我二女婿做麵要靠太陽曬,今天下大雨沒有太陽,麵不能做了,我為他們掛心在哭啊!」羅漢就說:「老婆婆啊!你不要這樣想!下雨天你就想大女婿有生意做,大太陽天就想二女婿可以曬麵,你順著想,這不是天晴天雨都好、都快樂?怎麼天晴天雨你都這麼苦苦惱惱的,真是自討苦吃!」

  這雖然是笑話,裡頭很有安心的道理。或者你們要問:「沒做生意總是不好,不能生活怎麼辦?」那你就轉個念頭:「天天做生意好勞動,今天休息一下不是正好?」下雨有下雨的工作,天晴有天晴的工作,在於我們自己分配,只要隨著因緣做事就不苦惱。

  佛法常教人要隨遇而安,這樣到哪裡都好。到了哪個山就砍哪個山的柴,到了哪個江湖就飲它的水。適時、適乎地方,哪裡不自在?哪裡不安樂?哪裡不是道場?要有正智慧,不要自己老是苦苦惱惱,你看冤枉不冤枉?尤其大眾在一起,有些人的舉動不免對你有點妨礙,你不要朝他妨礙你的這方面想,你就想想他於你有利益的,那不就好了嗎?

  我們不是真正的福慧圓滿,真正福慧圓滿生到佛國去,那多麼好!你只要能捨棄凡情、放下執著,合人的性情,人家就會合你的性情,這樣大家都安樂自在!你斤斤計較、沒有容忍之心,自己苦,令人也苦,千萬要不得!

  世事一切法都是相對,不會十全十美的,所謂「針無兩頭利」,一件事有好就有壞,有壞就有好,沒有兩全其美的,當然也不是都壞的。遇到壞的事你想好的,遇到好的事你想壞的,這樣你就可以做到見好不喜、見壞不怒,保持二六時中都在定中,不要因喜怒哀樂而傷害你的心。佛陀八萬四千法門,要活活潑潑運用喔!




There once was an elderly lady who cried when the sun shone and who also cried when it rained. The brighter the sun shined, the harder she cried, and the heavier it poured, the more she wailed. An Arhat who often begged alms from her house noticed her crying every time he came by.

“Madam,” he finally asked, “why are you crying?”

“Oh, Master,” replied the old woman, “how can I not cry when the sun is shining so brightly today?”

“Isn’t the sun good?” asked the Arhat. “Pedestrians aren’t getting soaked by rain, and people are working much more happily in this pleasant weather.”

“You don’t understand.” the lady replied. “My older son-in-law sells umbrellas! If it doesn’t rain, no one will buy his umbrellas, so how will he make a living?”

The next time the Arhat came by, it was a rainy day, yet the old lady was still crying, so the Arhat asked, “Why are you crying again? It’s not sunny today! It’s pouring outside.”

“My younger son-in-law makes noodles and needs to dry the noodles in the sun! I’m so worried for him because he can’t make noodles in the rain. How will he make a living?”

The Arhat then said, “Madam, why don’t you look at it the other way around? Your older son-in-law makes money when it rains, and your younger son-in-law makes money when the sun shines! Looked at that way, the weather is a blessing whether it rains or shines! You are just asking for trouble by looking at the negative side of things; you worry too much!”

Although this is only a story, it does have a moral. You may feel badly when you cannot work because you need to make a living, but why not think outside the box? Tell yourself to relax and take a day off work if the weather isn’t right! Rainy days and sunny days bring about different conditions, suitable for different kinds of work. If you can let causes and conditions take their own course and adapt to changing circumstances accordingly, you will not be easily afflicted.

Buddhism teaches us to find comfort and ease in whatever circumstances that arise. Then you will be fine in any place or situation. Chop your wood in whatever forest you find yourself in, and drink your water by whatever river you are standing beside. Be flexible, and go with the flow! There isn’t a place that is not a monastery for cultivation. Wisdom will put you at ease in any situation, particularly around people. Living within a close-knit community of people will undoubtedly present problems, but if you can ignore others’ faults and focus on their positive attributes, would that not be better?

We have not yet perfected our blessings and wisdom, or we would have already attained Buddhahood. If you can drop your secular sentiments and attachments and learn to accommodate people, they in turn will try to accommodate you. This way, everyone will be content. If you choose to be selfish and uncompromising, you will only drown yourself and others in misery.

Everything in this world is relative to something else and they cannot all be perfect. As the saying goes, “no needle is sharp at both ends.” There are always two sides to any story, nothing can be completely perfect. Thus, always contemplate the positive side when you are confronted with a negative situation, and vice versa; then you will not be affected in either situation. By always staying calm and focused, your mind will not be easily influenced by elation or anger, nor by sorrow or exhilaration. The Buddha taught eighty-four thousand Dharma doors – use them effectively in your life.

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