The Sutra of Recollecting the Three Jewels (Part 1)
by Khenchen Appey Rinpoche

This is the teaching known as The Sutra Recollecting the Three Jewels. In this sutra, what does “jewel” mean? The Sanskrit word ratna has been translated into the Tibetan language as dkon.mchog. The Tibetan translation of the word ratna is not a literal translation. The translator at that time thought that if it were translated into Tibetan as “jewel,” there would be the possibility of it being understood as a gem, gold, silver, coral, and the like. So the translator decided to translate the term as dkon.mchog, which means “excellent rarity” or “rare excellence.” The translator himself revealed this. In the Uttara Tantra, when he was explaining the meaning of “rare excellence,” the Victorious Maitreya said, “Generally, there are six characteristics of something that is very precious: it is rare, stainless, powerful, attractive, superior to other things, and unchangeable.”

What does “recollecting” mean? Recollecting means keeping in mind whatever any person already knows to be the qualities of the Three Jewels. If someone were to ask, “What are the benefits of recollecting the qualities of the Three Jewels?,” it is said that one of the benefits to arise through recollecting the qualities of the Three Jewels is the production of faith. Examples of this faith in the Buddha are that producing faith in the Buddha who shows the path to temporary and ultimate bliss will lead you to taking refuge in the Buddha; it will lead you to producing the Enlightenment Thought for the sake of other sentient beings that is a cause for attaining the state of complete Buddhahood; and it will also motivate you to engage in virtuous actions, such as prostrations and making offerings to the Buddhas. Now, producing faith in the Dharma will inspire you to study the Dharma. After understanding what you have studied, you will then desire to put that into practice. Producing faith in the Sangha will cause you yourself to spontaneously aspire to gain the state of a Bodhisattva, and it will also create a desire within you to make offerings to other Bodhisattvas.

In brief, faith will create a desire within you to engage in virtuous actions. It will lead you to take refuge in the Three Jewels. It will also inspire you to perform such practices as the Seven-Limbed Practice, which is dedicated to the objects of refuge who are endowed with infinite qualities. If you do not have faith in the Three Jewels, no Dharma qualities will be able to arise within your mind. In a sutra it is said, “A flower will not arise from a burnt seed.”

There is enormous merit in remembering the qualities of the Three Jewels. Previously, when the Buddha Kashyapa was teaching, a girl walked by that area and heard the Buddha teaching. In her mind she thought that the Buddha Kashyapa had a very pleasing voice, and because of this she produced faith in the qualities of his voice. Due to the merit arising from this, in her next life she obtained rebirth in one of the heavens. So it was said by the Buddha. If you are able to gain such a result from just recollecting a single quality of a Buddha, then there is no question of the merit accrued by studying, contemplating, and meditating on the qualities found in the sutras and their commentaries.

The Sanskrit word sutra is translated in Tibetan as mdo. The sutras are to be understood as the collection of many different topics spoken by the Buddha. This particular sutra is known as The Sutra of Recollecting the Three Jewels. When the translator began translating this sutra from Sanskrit into Tibetan, he added the words “Prostrations to the Omniscient One.” This sutra is divided into three sections: recollecting the qualities of the Buddha, recollecting the qualities of the Dharma, and recollecting the qualities of the Sangha.

[FIRST, TO EXPLAIN THE RECOLLECTION OF THE BUDDHA:]

There are two sources that explain the first of these, recollecting the qualities of the Blessed Buddha. These are the sutras of the Hinayana school and the sutras of the Mahayana school. According to the first, the Hinayana sutras, his qualities are described in the following manner:

Thus the Blessed One is called the One Gone to Suchness, the Foe Destroyer, the Perfectly Accomplished Buddha, the One Who Possesses Knowledge and Its “Feet,” the One Who Has Gone to Bliss, Knower of the World, the Charioteer Who Tames Sentient Beings, and the Unsurpassable Teacher of Gods and Humans.

The part described here at the beginning of this sutra is the Hinayana version of The Sutra [of Recollecting the Three Jewels]. Up to this point, it seems that there are different translations of the qualities of the Buddha. If we explain this in accordance with the word order in the Hinayana sutra, there are some inconsistencies. Since the word “Buddha,” for example, is omitted [in the Hinayana sutra], a person trying to explain it as it is written would have a difficult time. For this reason, the words “Thus” and “the Blessed One” are placed side by side. Further, if someone were to continue explaining those words from the sutra, they would need to explain the nine qualities of the Buddha starting with “the Blessed One.” In any case, we see that the one who possesses those nine qualities is known as Buddha. This is the meaning of the sutra. Both Asanga and Vasubandhu similarly described it in their two commentaries on the sutra.

Among those nine qualities enumerated in the quote from the sutra, the first one is [that the Buddha is] “the Blessed One” (Tibetan bchom.lden.’das; Sanskrit bhagavan). The meaning of this first quality is that the Buddha is called “the Blessed One” because he has destroyed the enemy that obstructs the attainment of enlightenment. Someone might ask, “What obstacle did the Buddha have?” Just when the Buddha was about to attain enlightenment [under the Bodhi Tree], the Mara of the Son of the Gods created a lot of obstacles for him. Therefore, the Buddha’s main obstacle was the Mara of the Son of the Gods. So the Buddha is known as “the Blessed One” because he attained enlightenment after having defeated that demon. Furthermore, another meaning of “the Blessed One” is that the Buddha destroyed either the three afflicting emotions [i.e., desire, hatred, and ignorance], as understood from the twelve limbs of Interdependent Origination, or the two obscurations [of the afflicting emotions and knowable things]. Therefore, he is called “the Blessed One.”

Normally, in the Sanskrit language, this term, “the Blessed One,” is known as bhagavan. The first part of this word, bhaga, means “to destroy,” “fortunate,” or “excellence.” The second part of that word, van, means “to possess.” Therefore, it means “the one who possesses the quality of destroying,” or “the one who destroys the things that have to be destroyed.” The second part of the word means “the one who possesses those qualities that need to be possessed.” So a person like this is known as bhagavan or bchom. lden. He is also known as “the Blessed One” because he possesses all good qualities.

Now, the second part of the word [bchom. lden.’das, namely,] ’das, was added on by the Tibetan translator. The reason for this is that the word leg.lden. can be substituted for the word bchom.lden. The term leg.lden. refers to worldly gods. In order that the word leg.lden. not be understood to mean “worldly gods or higher beings,” the translator added the word ’das to differentiate it [i.e., bchom.lden.’das] from leg.lden or bchom.lden. The word bchom means “defeating the four Maras”: the Mara of the Afflicting Emotions, such as attachment and aversion; the Mara of the Aggregates, such as the impure aggregates arising from ignorance and the like; the Mara of Death, such as the one who dies by the power of his [or her] individual karma while not having any choice over the matter; and the Mara of the Son of the Gods, who is a god within the realm of desire and who creates obstacles to Dharma practitioners. So bchom.lden means that the Buddha has already overpowered all four of these Maras.

There is also another connotation of this, known as leg.pa.gdrup, which means six excellences or six virtues. What do the “six virtues” mean? First, it can mean six excellent qualities. The first of these six virtues is the excellent quality of power. Here, this denotes that no scholar is able to criticise the Buddha by saying such things as “the logic and reasoning you use in relation to the teaching of the Dharma is incorrect.” The second excellent virtue is the excellent quality of body. The Buddha’s body is very beautiful — even more beautiful than the body of the gods. The third excellent virtue is the excellent quality of glory. The reason for this is that the field of the Buddha’s activities is extraordinarily vast and the Buddha has an infinite number of perfectly trained disciples. The fourth excellent virtue is the excellent quality of fame. His fame has spread to wherever his disciples reside. The fifth excellent virtue is the excellent quality of transcendental wisdom. Through his wisdom, the Buddha has the realisation of knowing all knowable things within the relative and ultimate truths. He knows all things unerringly. The sixth excellent virtue is the excellent quality of diligence. The Buddha can effortlessly and untiringly perform different activities for millions of sentient beings in a single moment.

The second epithet [of the Buddha] is “the One Gone to Suchness” (Tibetan de.zhin.shek.pa; Sanskrit Tathagata). The meaning of this appellation is unmistakably knowing the nature of all things as they are. This quality emphasises that the Buddha is the perfect teacher. For this reason the Buddha has this title “the One Gone to Suchness.” The main reason for calling him “the One Gone to Suchness” is that no matter what teaching the Buddha might give, it always shows the true nature of all phenomena. It is not otherwise. The Buddha has never taught anything that is a perverted wrong view. For this reason, the Buddha is called “the One Gone to Suchness.”

The third epithet is “the Foe Destroyer” (Tibetan dgra.bchom.pa; Sanskrit arhat). The first syllable of this word in Tibetan, dgra, refers to delusional afflicting emotions, such as attachment, hatred, and the like, that arise within our minds. Those afflicting emotions are called “enemies” because they cause obstacles to the practice of virtues. Due to this they also throw us into suffering, and so they are called enemies. Since the Buddha has destroyed all the afflicting emotions, he is called “the Foe Destroyer.” And so it shows that the Buddha has gained the perfection of the abandonment of the afflicting emotions.

The fourth epithet is “the Perfectly Accomplished One” (Tibetan yang.dag.par.dzogs.pa’i.sangs. rgyas; Sanskrit samyaksambuddha). What does “the Perfectly Accomplished One” mean? The one who has accomplished all the qualities of enlightenment and who has accomplished all knowledge is called “the Perfectly Accomplished Buddha.” The Buddha is one who has realised the wisdom that knows all knowable things in a completely perfect way. This explanation shows that the Blessed Buddha is the one who possesses the perfection of realisation. For this reason, it shows that the completely and perfectly enlightened Buddha is the teacher who is superior to other teachers. For example, the Foe Destroyers of the Shravakas possess the quality of a Foe Destroyer because they have abandoned all the afflicting emotions that arise within their own minds. However, they do not have the ability to teach without making some mistakes and they do not know all phenomena as they truly are. Also, the teachers of the heretical schools, such as Hinduism, do not have all these qualities [such as abandonment of the afflicting emotions within their own minds, teaching without fault, and knowing phenomena as they truly are].

The fifth epithet is “the One Who Possesses Knowledge and Its Feet” (Tibetan rig.pa.dang.zhabs. su.ldan.pa). These two terms show the path to attain Buddhahood. If someone were to ask, “practice of what kind of path will help you attain Buddhahood?,” then this is explained in the following manner. First, to explain “knowledge” from the phrase “knowledge and its feet”: Suppose, for example, you need to walk to another country. To do this you need both eyes and feet. In this example, knowledge is analogous to eyes, and feet are analogous to the basis on which you stand and by which you move. So when you walk you look through your eyes and you move with your feet. Similarly, to attain the state of Buddhahood you need both knowledge and basic practice. From among the three higher trainings, knowledge refers to the training of wisdom. “Feet” refer to the other two higher trainings — the training of moral conduct and the training of meditation. These last two play the role of being the basis, or foundation, of wisdom. In brief, this shows that through practicing the three higher trainings the state of Buddhahood is attained.

With respect to wisdom, it is the mind that realises the true nature of phenomena. Moral conduct is to be understood as the mind that is committed to relinquishing non-virtuous actions. With respect to meditation, since at this point we don’t have freedom over our own mind, our mind is not able to rest in one place [i.e., it is distracted]. One-pointed concentration is needed to enable the mind to penetrate into the true nature of phenomena. However, during the recitation of sadhanas [Vajrayana Deity recitation practices] or the performance of rituals, there are chances for the mind to rest in one place or focus on some virtue. That very state of mind is called meditation.

Here is another way to explain this: “knowledge” is understood as the Right View from among the Noble Eightfold Path, while “feet” are understood as the seven remaining limbs of the Noble Eightfold Path. So all eight parts of the Noble Eightfold Path are needed to reach the City of Liberation. Yet again, another way to explain this is that “knowledge” refers to the three supernatural perfections of direct realisation, and “feet” refer to other perfections, such as the perfection of moral conduct.

The sixth epithet [for the Buddha, i.e., “the One Who Has Gone to Bliss,”] is known in Sanskrit as sugata (Tibetan bde.war. gsheks.pa). Su means “bliss” or “happiness.” Gata means “going.” Further, this is explained as: By relying on a pleasant path, you arrive at a pleasant destination. So, understand sugata to mean that you use a pleasing path to reach a happy destination. In some other traditions, the path is not pleasing or happy. For example, in the practice of Hinduism, some practitioners will immerse themselves for a long period of time in cold water during the winter, while others will sit or lie upon a bed of thorns. By these actions, they inflict much pain upon themselves. However, the followers of the Buddha do not practice Dharma in that manner. For them, through a pleasant path and through pleasant Dharma practices, they are able to attain Buddhahood. Thus, sugata means “going pleasantly.” Hindu practitioners claim that if you are too inclined toward the happiness of body and mind, then desire will arise. For that reason they believe that one should practice austere penances. However, these types of Hindu spiritual practices are regarded as faulty by Buddhists. Why do we say this? When you are too happy, you become desirous. Similarly, by inflicting pain upon your body and mind, torturing yourself, you will become depressed and that will lead to anger. Therefore, the performance of virtuous activities is the method that will free you from the entrapment of worldly existence. In other words, through these mind-pleasing methods you will attain liberation from the bonds of samsaric existence. Whatever practice you engage in, you should make sure that your action will lead you to the attainment of freedom from worldly existence. Otherwise, just engaging in an action of penance is meaningless and will never lead you to a higher result.

Further, if we look in detail about the meaning of the term sugata, then we see that su refers to “good,” “never falling back,” and “complete” or “without exception.” Gata is to be understood as the Buddha’s qualities of relinquishment and realisation. If you were to explain the word good simply in relation to both the Buddha’s quality of relinquishment and his quality of realisation, then the first syllable su should be understood as “not relapsing” with respect to the quality of relinquishment. Once the Buddha has relinquished the afflicting emotions, they will not return. So the Buddha’s quality of relinquishment is a complete abandonment. For example, once you are cured from the disease of smallpox, this disease will never return for the rest of your life. Similarly, once you relinquish the afflicting emotions, such as selfclinging, then no matter what external or internal conditions may appear, self-clinging will never arise within you again. For that reason the Buddha is called “Sugata.” This means that the Buddha has gained perfect and complete relinquishment.

Next, we will explain the term sugata in relation to the Buddha’s realisations. Since the Buddha perfectly realises all knowable things, we address him as “Sugata.” For example, it is similar to a vase full of water to which not even one more drop can be added. Other teachers who impart the Dharma, such as Arhats, Shravakas, and Pratyekabuddhas, have relinquished the afflicting emotions of obscurations so that these afflicting emotions will not return. However, they do not possess the quality of realising all knowable things. Therefore, teachers of other schools do not have the dual qualities that are suggested by the term sugata. The meaning of the qualities of the Buddha, or Sugata, is explained in great detail in Dharmakirti’s Pramanavartika as “good,” “not falling back,” and “without exception” in relation to the Buddha’s qualities of relinquishment and realisation. Also, in the words of the sutra, the Buddha’s names and the qualities of his enlightened activities, such as Knower of the World, Tamer of Sentient Beings, Unsurpassable One, Charioteer Who Tames Sentient Beings, etc., are all explained in great detail. However, here we are explaining them briefly.

The seventh epithet is understood as “Knower of the World” (Tibetan ’jig.rten.mkhyen.pa). Since Buddha knows the races and predispositions of all his disciples, he is addressed as “Knower of the World.” The Buddha knows which disciples have faults, which ones are progressing, which ones are about to go to lower births, and which ones have already arrived in the lower realms. The Buddha has the power to see all this. Further, he has the ability to see which ones need to be placed on the path to higher rebirth from the lower realms and which ones have already been placed on the path to liberation. So, Buddha is an omniscient one and is recognized as the “Knower of the World.”

The eighth epithet is known as “ the Unsurpassable Charioteer Who Tames Sentient Beings” (Tibetan skyes.bu.’dul.ba’i.kha.lo.sgyur. ba.bla.na.med.pa). Why is the Buddha known as “the Unsurpassable Charioteer Who Tames Sentient Beings”? Having seen the movements from birth to birth of sentient beings, the Buddha destroys the afflicting emotions of living beings who are fortunate enough to be able to attain the path leading to the City of liberation. For those beings, the Buddha will steer them along that path.

What does “charioteer” mean here? It is similar to one driving a horse cart or some other vehicle. In accordance with the predispositions and abilities of sentient beings, the Buddha leads them onto the path of liberation. For this reason, the Buddha is addressed as “Charioteer” and “Tamer of Beings.”

“Unsurpassable” should be understood to mean that there is no one superior to the Buddha who can lead sentient beings to the state of liberation. In the sutras there are several reasons cited as to why the Buddha is matchless. Sentient beings who are difficult to discipline can be tamed only by the Buddha. Even those whose mental continuum was filled with delusion were able to be tamed by the Buddha. For example, the Buddha’s younger brother, Nanda, had a difficult time being apart from his wife Pundarika due to his attachment to her. Through very skillful means, the Buddha convinced his brother to become a monk. He then led him in the practice of meditation, and finally Nanda attained the state of Arhatship. Another case involved Angulimala, a frightful and ferocious killer whose mind was filled with anger and hatred. Just hearing his name brought great terror to the hearts of people. Generally speaking, Angulimala was a very famous person due to his renown as a fearsome mass murderer. However, through the Buddha’s assistance, he became a monk and entered the path. Even then, he still frightened people. One time he was listening to the Buddha’s teaching along with an assembly of others that included King Prasanjit of Sarvasti. During the teaching Angulimala happened to cough, and even this caused the king to tremble. In yet another case, there is the story of a dimwitted Stavira monk. During his studies his teacher asked him to memorise the syllables om and bhu. When he tried to memorise the syllable om, he would forget the syllable bhu. When he memorised bhu, then he would forget om again. Even this person was also trained by the Buddha. In order to purify his obscurations, the Buddha first had him clean the shrine room of the monastery. Through this and other skillful means, the Buddha was able to cause him to purify his afflicting emotions and obscurations. Later, he became a learned monk. Not only that, but the Buddha placed him in meditation practice, and later he attained the state of Arhatship. In a similar way, there was another Stavira monk by the name of brtan.rgya.’od.srung who was a very proud and arrogant person. He possessed many qualities, such as clairvoyance and the ability to display miraculous feats. Due to this, he was very haughty and conceited. In order to discipline him, the Buddha himself displayed many miraculous acts. In his mind, though, even when the Buddha demonstrated so many miraculous feats, this monk continued to believe that he had more special qualities than the Buddha. In order to tame him, the Buddha continued to display even more miracles. Finally, this caused the monk to produce true faith in the Buddha. He then received teaching from the Buddha and eventually attained the state of Arhatship.

The ninth epithet is “the One Who is the Teacher of Gods and Humans” (Tibetan lha.dang.mi.rnam. kyi.ston.pa). Generally, the Buddha gives teachings to all sentient beings, without bias and regardless of their race. However, though the Buddha teaches all beings, gods and humans are the only two types of living beings who are capable of practicing the path of liberation. Foe Destroyers (Arhats) are of two kinds: god Foe Destroyers and human Foe Destroyers. There is no such category as animal Foe Destroyer. Therefore, the principal disciples of the Buddha are gods and humans. For this reason, the Buddha is addressed as “the Teacher of Gods and Humans.”

These nine phrases in the Hinayanists’ rendition of this sutra refer back to the Buddha being known as “the Blessed One.” Therefore, this last phrase, “the Teacher of Gods and Humans,” completes the enumeration of terms referring to the Buddha who has the nine qualities that have just been explained.

If someone were to ask, “Who is the Buddha?” we would have to say that that unique person who possesses these nine qualities is none other than the Blessed Buddha. The meaning of the Sanskrit term bhagavan [usually translated as “the Blessed One,” as explained above,] can sometimes also be interpreted as “known as.” Therefore, without using the term “Blessed One,” it is all right to translate the phrase as follows: the one who possesses the nine qualities is “known as the Buddha.”

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When compassion occurs spontaneously toward all sentient beings equally and in a form that wishes to remove their suffering as if they were your own dear ailing children, then it has become fully developed and takes on the name “great compassion.”

— Kamalasila

从人生佛教到人间佛教
惟贤法师

一、人间佛教思想的历史沿革

(一)释迦佛的应化示现是人间佛教的一种典型

释迦佛下天、托胎、出生、出家、降魔、成道、转法轮、入涅槃,这八相成道,都在人间。成道以后说法,组织僧团,祇树给孤独园、竹园精舍、王舍城大讲堂、灵鹫山等地,也都是在人间。这个僧团就不仅只有出家人了,出家在家都有,以此作为榜样,推广到社会,作为一种教育,目的也就是要净化人间。所以古往今来,佛法重在人间。

《金刚经》上讲:“尔时,世尊食时,著衣持钵,入舍卫大城乞食,于其城中,次第乞已,还至本处。饭食讫,收衣钵,洗足已,敷座而坐。”这就充分说明释迦佛在日常生活中,要乞食、募化、洗浴,和普通人一样。因此,释迦佛在生活中得到自在,佛法就在人间,就在生活间,而不是脱离生活的。释迦佛在人间以身作则、体现佛教精神的这种人生,其实就是人间佛教的一种典型。

(二)历代祖师均提倡做人是基础

从佛教发展历史及传播情况来看,不管是在印度还是中国,不管是小乘佛教还是大乘佛教,其各个宗派、历代祖师,首先就是讲做人。人是最殊胜的,《阿含经》中讲:一切众生中,人为第一。

宗喀巴大师的《菩提道次第广论》中把修行的道路分为下士道、中士道、上士道。下士道就是讲做人,然后才有中士道、上士道,把人做好了,才能进一步修解脱行,修大士行。人是基础,宗喀巴大师取名叫增上生,就是以做人为增上缘,可以逐步上升。六道中,天道太快乐,想不起来修行;三恶道(地狱、饿鬼、畜生)太苦,没有办法修行;只有人在苦乐之间,有苦又有乐,由于苦的关系知道上进,故叫增上生。上升下降,人是基础,对于学佛来讲,以人为上升的增上缘,作为人很难得,所以菩提道首先讲,人身难得,要珍重人身。

中国唐代形成的八个宗派是各祖师根据佛经创立的,从不同角度各有发挥,成为代表中国特色的佛教,特别与中国的儒家相结合。儒家就是讲如何做人,孝养父母、恭敬师长、尊老爱幼、怜贫惜苦,以实现淑世善民、净化国土的目标。

综上所述,历代以来,从释迦佛到印度、中国的各祖师们,所讲的教理及阐发的妙义,最基本的都是从人身做起,尽管大小乘经典,妙义各有不同,各个宗派的思想各有侧重,但在“做人”这一方面是基本一致的。做人是基础,离不开人乘,这是各宗各派最基本的思想。

二、人生佛教提出的理论依据和历史背景

近代佛门领袖太虚大师上世纪30年代在重庆北碚的缙云山,首先明确提出人生佛教的思想。当时我只有十几岁,正在汉藏教理院读书,亲耳听他讲过“人生佛教、真现实论、真菩萨行、菩萨学处”。这是太虚大师根据印度的佛法和中国传统的佛教,对佛法进行融贯,并结合现代做出新的判摄后,提出的适应当代佛教的伟大思想,为当今学人明确指出了一条契机契理的修行之路。

(一)太虚大师对佛法的判摄

太虚大师判摄的内容为:教之佛本,三期三系;理之实际,三级三宗;行之当机,三依三趣。

1.教之佛本,三期三系

太虚大师认为:佛在世时,佛为法本,法以佛为主、以佛为归,虽然应机说法差别无量,但并没有分大乘小乘、顿教渐教,故佛为法本,法皆一味,佛怎么说就怎么说。虽闻法者以特殊的机缘关系,解有差殊,但不能以此别为大小,故也就不能分作任何的宗派了。因为佛是唯一的,所以佛所说的法,当然也就是一味了。佛灭度后,佛陀的教法,就不是那么一味的了。依当时印度的法藏结集,和后来教法的流行演变,分作三期三系。 第一个时期,小行大隐时期。佛灭度后第一个五百年,小乘盛行,教典有《阿含经》等,大乘经隐没不彰。现流行于世、保持原状并发扬光大的是以斯里兰卡为中心,流传于缅甸、泰国及越南、马来群岛等地的巴利语系佛教。

第二个时期,大主小从时期。佛灭度后第二个五百年,大乘佛教盛行,包括般若、法相唯识,从马鸣菩萨写《起信论》,到龙树菩萨弘扬般若,再到无著、世亲菩萨弘扬法相唯识。现流行于世的是以中国为中心,由中国而流传于朝鲜半岛、日本及越南等地的汉语系佛教,也可称为中国系佛教。实际上印度三期佛教,中国皆有,但主要以第二期为主。

第三个时期,密主显从时期。佛灭度后第三个五百年,密宗盛行。密宗是佛教一种特殊的形式,讲三密相应,灌顶、修供、念咒。形式上结合当时的印度教,内容上包括大乘中观的思想。密又有东密、西密,西密就是指以中国西藏为中心,东密就是指日本真言宗,但日本的密教还是中国唐朝时传过去的。现存于世的是以中国西藏为中心,由西藏而流传于中国四川省、内蒙古自治区、甘肃省及尼泊尔等国,为藏语系佛教。

2.理之实际,三级三宗

什么叫理之实际呢?就是佛教的教理符合佛陀的本怀,也与客观真理相合,所以就叫实际。

什么叫三级呢?佛教分为五乘:人天乘、声闻乘、缘觉乘、菩萨乘、佛乘。其中,又分为三级:

第一级,五乘共法。五乘共同的是要相信因果道理、因果事实,以及因缘生法的原理,这是基础。

第二级,三乘共法。三乘就是指声闻、缘觉、菩萨这三种出世的圣人。共法就是说这三乘虽有差殊,但要断烦恼了生死,修解脱行,必须要通过四谛、三法印的修习,求证出世涅槃,所以叫三乘共法。

第三级,大乘特法。即缘起性空、唯识法相、真如法界,是菩萨所特有、不共于人天二乘的,也叫大乘不共法。

五乘共法的因缘生法,三乘共法的四谛三法印,大乘不共法的缘起性空、唯识法相、真如法界,为三级。大师又将此三级汇成三宗:法性空慧宗、法相唯识宗、法界圆觉宗。这三宗就把中国大乘佛教的八个宗派全部融会起来了,八宗汇成三宗。法性空慧宗,讲般若,为龙树一系的中观派;法相唯识宗,讲唯识法相,是无著、世亲一派;法界圆觉宗,根据《起信论》、《楞严经》、《圆觉经》,直讲真心,回俗向真,转妄成真,直指如来真心,叫法界圆觉宗。

3.行之当机,三依三趣

行就要随机,必须要适应根机而弘法,这是从实践方面来谈。机是根据地点不同、人不同、时间不同来进行,即因地制宜、因机制宜、因时制宜。

(1)依声闻乘行果,趣发大乘心。由佛住世时至正法的千年,是以小乘为主,先求解脱道,后来趋发大乘心,回小向大,大乘心一发,即知已入菩萨道,不难成佛,属正法时期。

(2)依天乘行果,趣获大乘果。天乘行果就是密宗讲的天幻身,净土讲的天国土。密宗讲以天人形象作本尊,先修成天色身的幻身成化身佛,做到三密相应,可以即身成佛。净土如兜率净土和弥陀净土都是天国。依密净的天乘行果,先成天幻身或上生天净土,以期速达成佛的目的,是属于第二千年的像法时期。

(3)依人乘行果,趣向佛乘。依人乘正法,先修成完善的人格,保持人乘的业报,发菩萨心,向上增进,就可以趣修大乘行,得到佛果,这就是第三千年开始的末法时期,这个时期比较长。

太虚大师认为,第一个时期,依声闻乘行果,现在不实际。因为与世隔绝,在山林水边修行,是隐遁、保守的,容易受到讥嫌。第二个时期,依天乘行果,难免带神秘色彩,容易被讥谤为迷信、神秘,也不适合。现在的时代必须依人乘行果趣向菩萨乘而证佛果,才比较切合实际。基于这个理论,他提倡人生佛教。

(二)提出人生佛教的历史背景

太虚大师当时提出人生佛教,除理论上已经成熟,有一套完整的思想体系以外,还有个显著的历史背景。过去佛教是以这两种方式来流行的:一是消极隐遁,躲在深山、岩洞修行,独善其身;二是一说到佛教就给人以神秘感,让人以为就是念点咒、搞点神通等等,带有迷信和神秘色彩。因此,形成了佛教内部不振作、外部受压迫的历史背景。

外部受什么压迫呢?驱僧夺财,庙产兴学,把寺庙拆了、佛像毁了,办学校。在这种情况下,太虚大师就发挥佛法对人生的真义,还原佛教的本来面目,消除隐遁、迷信的色彩,注重人生。通过这样,把佛教教义重新发扬,四众弟子团结一致,佛教就有力量,佛法就可以推动。这是太虚大师的苦心。

太虚大师自从提出人生佛教以后,就开始不停地在各地宣讲、弘扬,边讲边叫弟子整理,编辑成册,一直到他圆寂前,才全部整理成功,共有好几册,我亲眼看到过,是福善法师整理的。

(三)人生佛教的内容

太虚大师人生佛教的内容,简单说来就是“完人、超人、超超人”的三级做人观。

太虚大师讲,做一个人,首先要做一个完人,就要遵守三皈五戒十善,明因识果,保持人身,完成人的人格,提高人的道德;以后就要做超人,超人就要修解脱行,少欲知足,宁静淡泊,求身解脱、心解脱、慧解脱;超人以后要做超超人,超超人就是菩萨,就要具足大悲、大智、大愿、大无畏的精神,发菩提心,修四无量心、四摄六度,去救苦救难,度脱一切苦厄,这就是成佛的因。完人、超人、超超人,成佛就是这么一个过程。佛陀就是一个超超人,完成人格的第一人。

提倡首先完成人格,这样就避免世人对佛教消极保守和神秘迷信的讥嫌,通过人格化、做完人的这么一个目的,现代社会就能适应这种根机。

太虚大师有两首诗也充分说明了这个内容。第一首:“仰止唯佛陀,完成在人格,人成即佛成,是名真现实。”这是他基于人成即佛成的真现实论写的。第二首:“如果发愿学佛,先须立志做人,三皈四维淑世,八德十善严身。”这就把佛教的道德与儒家的道德融合在一起了。三皈就是皈依佛法僧,四维就是礼义廉耻。

太虚大师有本书叫《人乘正法论》,系统讲“人乘”的殊胜。另外还专门把《十善业道经》提出来,说《十善业道经》就是人生佛教的纲领。《十善业道经》就是讲做人,讲五戒十善、明因识果,在这个基础上还要发菩萨心、修菩萨行,趣入佛果,故《十善业道经》是一部奉行人生佛教的宝典。

(四)人乘到佛乘的四个过程

太虚大师提出的人生佛教,与中国现实密切相应,符合佛陀的本怀,有四个过程:

1.人生改善。就是要把人生走向善的道路,首先把人做好。

2.后世增胜。就是在下一辈子仍然能够保持人身,不堕地狱、饿鬼、畜生三恶道,有继续向上的增上缘。

3.生死解脱。要明了“生从何来,死往何去”,彻底了解人生、宇宙的实相,就要发起出离心,求生死解脱。具体就需要严持戒律,修清净行,少欲知足,淡泊宁静,达到去除贪瞋痴,这是很关键的,要想成佛,必须要经过这一关。

4.法界圆明。通过学菩萨,就能得到佛果。佛果就是法界圆明,法界就是恢复法性,圆明就是大圆镜智、智慧光明,圆满遍照,才能成佛。

人生改善、后世增胜、生死解脱、法界圆明,就是从做人开始,到学解脱行、菩萨大士行,一直到成佛,都是挂起钩的,一步步联系起来的。这也就是人乘趣向佛乘的基本过程。

三、从人生佛教到人间佛教

1947年3月17日,太虚大师因病在上海玉佛寺圆寂,在圆寂前4天派人把赵朴初居士找到身边,把新编好的《人生佛教》送给他并说:“这本书,经过多年编辑,现在才成功,我把它交给你,希望你好好学习,好好弘扬。我不久以后要离开上海,到无锡、常州去。”什么叫无锡、常州?无常。赵朴老知道这是太虚大师的遗嘱,授意他继承发扬大师提出的人生佛教。

以上这件事情,是赵朴老本人亲自向我讲的。那是在1988年,我请赵朴老进川协助落实宝顶山圣寿寺的宗教政策时,全程陪同了他好几天。在这期间,他亲自给我讲的。

赵朴老当时还告诉我,由于他长期做红十字会工作,从事慈善事业,在抗战时期作了很多工作,把沦陷区的许多青年送到新四军、八路军中去,所以与周恩来交谊甚笃。解放以后,可以说赵朴老对佛教事业的发展起到了承上启下的作用。后来他在1983年中国佛教协会第四届理事会第二次会议上正式提出来:今后中国佛教各项工作的指导思想就是人间佛教。中国的人间佛教思想,就是这样来的。

四、人间佛教的具体内容

人间佛教就是人生佛教,是继承人生佛教而来的,其核心思想是:立足于人生,趣向于佛陀。结合新的历史时代又有具体内容:一个思想、三个传统、五个建设。这是赵朴老为发展佛教,继承太虚大师的遗志而阐扬出来的思想体系。

一个思想。就是佛法根据时代背景要与社会主义社会相适应,不能违反时代,要与时俱进。

三个优良传统。第一个传统,农禅结合。就是要求僧人不要像过去旧社会那样靠募缘、做功德、赶经忏来生活。要自力更生,要恢复老祖宗的家风,一方面种田,一方面参禅念佛。唐代马祖建丛林,百丈立清规,提出“一日不作,一日不食”,这是我们老祖宗的家风,要恢复,要劳动生产。发扬农禅结合的优良传统,一方面是传统,另一方面结合时代做到自食其力。

第二个传统,学术研究。就是要研究佛法真理。佛法不是迷信的,不是神秘的,历代的各宗派祖师,既有品德又有学问,他们精通诸子百家,而且以佛法来摄持,发扬的是佛法真理。这个真理就在三藏十二部藏经里面体现,讲的是因缘生法、无我法,不是讲鬼神、迷信的那一套。把佛法真理摆出来,才能说服人,让人信服。祖师们研究发扬佛法真理,这是一个优良传统,我们要继承和发扬。

第三个传统,增进国际友谊。佛法传播文化,保卫和平,促进友谊,这是个优良传统。中国历史上的法显法师、玄奘法师、鉴真法师都是以佛法传播国际友谊的使者。法显法师到斯里兰卡,玄奘法师到印度,也到了斯里兰卡,鉴真法师东渡日本,都是传播佛教文化、促进国际友谊,同时也提高了中国的国际影响。这个优良传统,现在应该发扬。

五个建设是佛教最基本的内部建设,有:信仰建设、道风建设、人才建设、教制建设、组织建设。要发挥佛教的优良传统,把佛法传播在世间,庄严国土,利乐有情,这五个建设是基本的。内部没有这五个建设,其他无从谈起,这五个建设之间互相又是连带的。

信仰建设是首要。信仰都没有,学什么佛?少数僧人信仰丧失,道风松弛,人心涣散,这一条就是针对这种毛病讲的。现在特别是在市场经济的冲击下,也影响到了僧团内部,有些僧人开公司、借法物流通赚钱、纯粹搞旅游等等,这样就把护持弘扬佛法的本行丢失了,信仰丧失了。所以内部建设中,信仰建设是首要。

道风建设也很重要。道风建设以戒为主,早晚要上殿过堂、参禅念佛,如律如仪地行持,有一个良好的精神面貌,这也是展现佛家思想的一个重要方面。

人才建设是关键。恢复和建设一个道场,哪怕规划再宏伟、目标再远大,没有人才都无法实现。人才又分为一般人才和专业人才。一般人才是管理寺庙的,需要具备管理上的基本知识;专业人才是在佛学院深造过,系统地进行过佛法的修学,专门宣传、弘扬佛法的。1992年,赵朴老在上海主持召开“全国汉语系佛教教育工作座谈会”,当时明旸法师、妙湛法师还健在,我们几个是主席团的主席。赵朴老在这个会上大声疾呼:当前佛教最严峻的问题,第一是培养人才,第二是培养人才,第三还是培养人才!所以人才建设很重要,培养有信仰有道风的合格人才作为佛教的接班人,非常重要。

教制建设是基础。僧人的集体生活要恢复,僧人的财产归集体所有,不能私人揣进腰包,借佛敛财。在佛教内部建设一个健康有序的高效运行机制是当前非常迫切的任务。

组织建设也是基础。何为组织?就是团体、社团。一个庙,从整体来讲是一个大组织,庙里面的各个部门、团队则是小组织。不管是大组织还是小组织,都要搞好,用现代社会比较时髦的话来讲,就是建设各种高效优质的团队。

五、结语

太虚大师生前提出人生佛教的思想后,不遗余力地四处宣讲弘扬,他亲自跟我说过好几次:中国佛教,若不实现人生佛教、菩萨学处,没有出路。如果说“完人、超人、超超人”的三级做人观是人生佛教的核心指导思想,那么“菩萨学处”就是一个良好的组织形式,即“组织出家菩萨和在家菩萨一起成为一个现代的僧团”。而赵朴老在新的历史时代阐扬出来的人间佛教的内容——“一个思想、三个传统、五个建设”,便是落实人生佛教的具体方案。

Think, “Now that I have a human mind, and have tasted the unsullied Dharma, embraced in the fatherly compassion of a spiritual guide, may I practise well and generate never-ending joy in the flow of consciousness.”

— 7th Dalai Lama

Loosening the Knots of Anger Through Mindfulness Practice

by Thich Nhat Hanh

To be happy, to me, is to suffer less. If we were not capable of transforming the pain within ourselves, happiness would not be possible.

Many people look for happiness outside themselves, but true happiness must come from inside of us. Our culture tells us that happiness comes from having a lot of money, a lot of power and a high position in society. But if you observe carefully, you will see that many rich and famous people are not happy. Many of them commit suicide.

The Buddha and the monks and nuns of his time did not own anything except their three robes and one bowl. But they were very happy, because they had something extremely precious: freedom.

According to the Buddha’s teachings, the most basic condition for happiness is freedom. Here we do not mean political freedom, but freedom from the mental formations of anger, despair, jealousy and delusion. These mental formations are described by the Buddha as poisons. As long as these poisons are still in our heart, happiness cannot be possible.

In order to be free from anger, we have to practice, whether we are Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu or Jewish. We cannot ask the Buddha, Jesus, God or Mohammed to take anger out of our hearts for us. There are concrete instructions on how to transform the craving, anger and confusion within us. If we follow these instructions and learn to take good care of our suffering, we can help others do the same.

THE KNOTS OF ANGER

In our consciousness there are blocks of pain, anger and frustration called internal formations. They are also called knots because they tie us up and obstruct our freedom.

When someone insults us or does something unkind to us, an internal formation is created in our consciousness. If you don’t know how to undo the internal knot and transform it, the knot will stay there for a long time. And the next time someone says something or does something to you of the same nature, that internal formation will grow stronger. As knots or blocks of pain in us, our internal formations have the power to push us, to dictate our behaviour.

After a while, it becomes very difficult for us to transform, to undo the knots, and we cannot ease the constriction of this crystallised formation. The Sanskrit word for internal formation is samyojana. It means “to crystallise.” Every one of us has internal formations that we need to take care of. With the practice of meditation we can undo these knots and experience transformation and healing.

Not all internal formations are unpleasant. There are also pleasant internal formations, but they can still make us suffer. When you taste, hear or see something pleasant, then that pleasure can become a strong internal knot. When the object of your pleasure disappears, you miss it and you begin searching for it. You spend a lot of time and energy trying to experience it again. If you smoke marijuana or drink alcohol and begin to like it, then it becomes an internal formation in your body and in your mind. You cannot get it off your mind. You will always look for more. The strength of the internal knot is pushing you and controlling you. So internal formations deprive us of our freedom.

Falling in love is a big internal formation. Once you are in love, you only think of the other person. You are not free anymore. You cannot do anything; you cannot study, you cannot work, you cannot enjoy the sunshine or the beauty of nature around you. You can only think of the object of your love. That is why we speak about it as a kind of accident: “falling in love.” You fall down. You are not stable anymore because you have gotten into an accident. So love can also be an internal knot.

Pleasant or unpleasant, both kinds of knots take away our liberty. That is why we should guard our body and our mind very carefully, to prevent these knots from taking root in us. Drugs, alcohol and tobacco can create internal formations in our body. And anger, craving, jealousy, despair can create internal formations in our mind.

TRAINING IN AGGRESSION

Anger is an internal formation, and since it makes us suffer, we try our best to get rid of it. Psychologists like the expression, “getting it out of your system.” And they speak about venting anger, like ventilating a room filled with smoke. Some psychologists say that when the energy of anger arises in you, you should ventilate it by hitting a pillow, kicking something, or by going into the forest to yell and shout.

As a kid you were not supposed to say certain swear words. Your parents may not have allowed you to say these words because they are harmful, they damage relationships. So you went into the woods or to an isolated place and shouted these words very clearly, very strongly, in order to relieve the feeling of oppression. This is also venting.

People who use venting techniques like hitting a pillow or shouting are actually rehearsing anger. When someone is angry and vents their anger by hitting a pillow, they are learning a dangerous habit. They are training in aggression. Instead, our approach is to generate the energy of mindfulness and embrace anger every time it manifests.

TREATING ANGER WITH TENDERNESS

Mindfulness does not fight anger or despair. Mindfulness is there in order to recognise. To be mindful of something is to recognise that something is there in the present moment. Mindfulness is the capacity of being aware of what is going on in the present moment. “Breathing in, I know that anger has manifested in me; breathing out, I smile towards my anger.” This is not an act of suppression or of fighting. It is an act of recognising. Once we recognise our anger, we embrace it with a lot of awareness, a lot of tenderness.

When it is cold in your room, you turn on the heater, and the heater begins to send out waves of hot air. The cold air doesn’t have to leave the room for the room to become warm. The cold air is embraced by the hot air and becomes warm — there’s no fighting at all between them.

We practice taking care of our anger in the same way. Mindfulness recognises anger, is aware of its presence, accepts and allows it to be there. Mindfulness is like a big brother who does not suppress his younger brother’s suffering. He simply says, “Dear brother, I’m here for you.” You take your younger brother in your arms and you comfort him. This is exactly our practice.

Imagine a mother getting angry with her baby and hitting him when he cries. That mother does not know that she and her baby are one. We are mothers of our anger and we have to help our baby, our anger, not fight and destroy it. Our anger is us and our compassion is also us. To meditate does not mean to fight. In Buddhism, the practice of meditation should be the practice of embracing and transforming, not of fighting.

USING ANGER, USING SUFFERING

To grow the tree of enlightenment, we must make good use of our afflictions, our suffering. It is like growing lotus flowers; we cannot grow a lotus on marble. We cannot grow a lotus without mud.

Practitioners of meditation do not discriminate against or reject their internal formations. We do not transform ourselves into a battle field, good fighting evil. We treat our afflictions, our anger, our jealousy with a lot of tenderness. When anger comes up in us, we should begin to practice mindful breathing right away: “Breathing in, I know that anger is in me. Breathing out, I am taking good care of my anger.” We behave exactly like a mother: “Breathing in, I know that my child is crying. Breathing out, I will take good care of my child.” This is the practice of compassion.

If you don’t know how to treat yourself with compassion, how can you treat another person with compassion? When anger arises, continue to practice mindful breathing and mindful walking to generate the energy of mindfulness. Continue to embrace tenderly the energy of anger within you. Anger may continue to be there for sometime, but you are safe, because the Buddha is in you, helping you to take good care of your anger. The energy of mindfulness is the energy of the Buddha. When you practice mindful breathing and embrace your anger, you are under the protection of the Buddha. There is no doubt about it: the Buddha is embracing you and your anger with a lot of compassion.

GIVING AND RECEIVING MINDFULNESS ENERGY

When you are angry, when you feel despair, you practice mindful breathing, mindful walking, to generate the energy of mindfulness. This energy allows you to recognize and embrace your painful feelings. And if your mindfulness is not strong enough, you ask a brother or a sister in the practice to sit close to you, to breathe with you, to walk with you in order to support you with his or her mindfulness energy.

Practicing mindfulness does not mean that you have to do everything on your own. You can practice with the support of your friends. They can generate enough mindfulness energy to help you take care of your strong emotions.

We can also support others with our mindfulness when they are in difficulty. When our child is drowning in a strong emotion, we can hold his or her hand and say, “My dear one, breathe. Breathe in and out with mommy, with daddy.” We can also invite our child to do walking meditation with us, gently taking her hand and helping her calm down, with each step. When you give your child some of your mindfulness energy, she will be able to calm down very quickly and embrace her emotions.

RECOGNISING, EMBRACING, RELIEVING THE SUFFERING OF ANGER

The first function of mindfulness is to recognise, not to fight. “Breathing in, I know that anger has manifested in me. Hello, my little anger.” And breathing out, “I will take good care of you.”

Once we have recognised our anger, we embrace it. This is the second function of mindfulness and it is a very pleasant practice. Instead of fighting, we are taking good care of our emotion. If you know how to embrace your anger, something will change.

It is like cooking potatoes. You cover the pot and then the water will begin to boil. You must keep the stove on for at least twenty minutes for the potatoes to cook. Your anger is a kind of potato and you cannot eat a raw potato.

Mindfulness is like the fire cooking the potatoes of anger. The first few minutes of recognising and embracing your anger with tenderness can bring results. You get some relief. Anger is still there, but you do not suffer so much anymore, because you know how to take care of your baby. So the third function of mindfulness is soothing, relieving. Anger is there, but it is being taken care of. The situation is no longer in chaos, with the crying baby left all alone. The mother is there to take care of the baby and the situation is under control.

KEEPING MINDFULNESS ALIVE

And who is this mother? The mother is the living Buddha. The capacity of being mindful, the capacity of being understanding, loving and caring is the Buddha in us. Every time we are capable of generating mindfulness, it makes the Buddha in us a reality. With the Buddha in you, you have nothing to worry about anymore. Everything will be fine if you know how to keep the Buddha within you alive.

It is important to recognise that we always have the Buddha in us. Even if we are angry, unkind or in despair, the Buddha is always within us. This means we always have the potential to be mindful, to be understanding, to be loving.

We need to practice mindful breathing or walking in order to touch the Buddha within us. When you touch the seed of mindfulness that lies in your consciousness, the Buddha will manifest in your mind consciousness and embrace your anger. You don’t have to worry; just continue to practice breathing or walking to keep the Buddha alive. Then everything will be fine. The Buddha recognises. The Buddha embraces. The Buddha relieves, and the Buddha looks deeply into the nature of anger. The Buddha understands. And this understanding will bring about transformation.

The energy of mindfulness contains the energy of concentration, as well as the energy of insight. Concentration helps you to focus on just one thing. With concentration, the energy of looking becomes more powerful.

Because of that it can make a breakthrough that is insight. Insight always has the power of liberating you. If mindfulness is there, and you know how to keep mindfulness alive, concentration will be there too. And if you know how to keep concentration alive, insight will also come. So mindfulness recognises, embraces and relieves. Mindfulness helps us look deeply in order to gain insight. Insight is the liberating factor. It is what frees us and allows transformation to happen. This is the Buddhist practice of taking care of anger.

Every time you give your internal formations a bath of mindfulness, the blocks of pain in you become lighter and less dangerous. So give your anger, your despair, your sorrow a bath of mindfulness every day — that is your practice. If mindfulness is not there, it is very unpleasant to have these seeds come up. But if you know how to generate the energy of mindfulness, it is very healing to invite them up every day and embrace them. And after several days or weeks of bringing them up daily and helping them go back down again, you create good circulation in your psyche, and the symptoms of mental illness will begin to disappear.

Mindfulness does the work of massaging your internal formations, your blocks of suffering. You have to allow them to circulate, and this is possible only if you are not afraid of them. If you learn not to fear your knots of suffering, you can learn how to embrace them with the energy of mindfulness, and transform them.

Thich Nhat Hanh 45.

Intangible devils occur in this way: good and bad sensations of mental objects that are distinguished by one’s own thoughts are revealed as the intangible devils. Apart from being products of naturally arising mind, fixating on good gods as gods, fixating on bad demons as demons, and all thought-provoking mental hopes and fears are one’s own devils rising up to oneself.

— Machig Labdrön

世事无常,何必执着
净空法师

不生执着,在佛法里头非常重要的一句话,世出世间一切法都不能执着。为什么不能执着?它不是真的。佛法也是因缘生法,既然是因缘生法就不是真的;真的是不生不灭,因缘生法有生有灭。你看佛所说的,说得真好,佛法有人讲、有人听、有人学、有人证果,这叫正法。

反过来,没有人讲、没有人听、没有人学,这叫灭法,有生有灭。既是有生灭法,它就是无常的,它不是真的。所以《金刚经》上说,「法尚应舍,何况非法」,这个话说的有道理。世间法是生灭法,佛法也是个生灭法,众生有感它就生了、就应了,没有感它就灭了。不生不灭的才是真的,什么东西不生不灭?真心不生不灭。

真心是什么?能起念头的那个心,不是念头,念头有生灭。念头从哪里生的、从哪里灭的,那个能起念头的那是真心,那个东西不生不灭。就像波浪一样,波浪有生有灭,有大浪有小浪,波浪从哪里来?水。水没有生灭,再大的浪它还是水,平静的它也是水,它不生不灭。我们从这个比喻里面去晓得,就是真心不生不灭,妄心就是风浪,真心好比水,妄心是浪。

我们就知道了,佛讲的清净心即是真心,平等心是真心,清净、平等起的作用就是觉悟。大乘经教上佛常说,「觉心不动」,动就是不觉,一念不觉,无明就生起来了,无明就是阿赖耶,阿赖耶是动的。所有物质现象是动的,绝对没有一个物质是静止的,没有,全是动的。因为能生物质的是阿赖耶,阿赖耶是动的,动的它不会生个不动的。这些道理我们学了之后要常常去思惟它,然后利用这些东西来观照,来看世间万事万物,我们就真正看到像佛经上讲的无常。

我们现在如何回归到自性?方法很多,从理论上讲,任何方法都能够回归,你只要反其道而行之,它就回归了。反其道里头最重要的,就是不起心、不动念,不分别、不执着是辅助,它的核心是不起心不动念。不分别不执着是它的前方便,从这里下手,这就是禅定的原理,原理原则。

不起心、不动念是自性本定,起心动念是控制意识,最重要是控制第六识跟第七识。我们明白这个道理,虽然甚深禅定我们现在还做不到,能把世缘看淡一点,执着不能完全放下,也要淡薄一点,那就有进步。进步不能自己满足,为什么?我们还没有到出离六道,距离出离六道轮回还很遥远。

见思烦恼都断了才真正出离六道,就是说对于世出世间一切法真不执着了,这是四果阿罗汉他能做到的,超越六道轮回了。还超越不了十法界,超越十法界必须是不起心不动念,因为十法界也不是真的。