宁静的力量
文|妮子

宁静高于安静,安静多指环境,而宁静多指心境,宁静除了包括安静的环境以外,更多的时候是指一种心境中的安宁。心理环境的宁静清和、虚明澄澈,不是说要避开车水马龙的喧嚣,而是要在心中修筑篱笆设立一道隔火墙,并以此涵养万物。

宁静是思维的序曲,它来源于简洁、单纯、明净的心灵,它是生命活动里必要的一种间歇和休养,是一根能够帮助生命立起的拐杖,是一堆能够支撑参天大树的树根,是一座架在人与人之间的沟通桥梁。

沉淀自己的内心,静观事态变迁。心静了,才能听到万物的声音,心清了,才能看到万物的本质。

一位父亲丢了一只手表,于是他在家中抱怨着翻腾着,四处寻找,可是找了半天也没有找到。等到父亲出去了,儿子悄悄进屋,儿子不一会就找到了父亲的手表。父亲问儿子:“你是怎么找到的?”儿子淡淡地说:“我就安静地坐在房间里,不一会儿就听到了滴答滴答的声音,所以就找到了。”

由此可见,宁静是通向成功的一道门槛,是一种境界、气度、修养和能力,是心灵和谐的标志,是看透名利得失、荣辱成败后的觉悟,是领悟日月运行、生命成长后的清醒,是对内心本质需要的理解与把握。

如果心灵里没有围墙没有距离,心灵就是自由的。自由的心灵有着无限广阔的天空,是超脱的声音,是最美好的乐章,是最宁静的天籁,也是最奇异的风景。

水静而鉴,火静而朗,心静而慧。静则清,清则明,明则灵,灵气便往来充盈。倘若一个人的心理发生了病变,胆魄出现了倾斜,心灵发生了裂变,就会感觉冷风阵阵、淫雨霏霾、恶念疯长,从而吞没真诚、搅乱宁静,一个人的心灵到了这步田地,宁静就成为奢侈品了。

宁静方能静观,静观方能明断,明断方能正确行动。

宁静的山是心灵的绘画,宁静的水是心灵的诗篇,宁静的夜是精神的书籍,宁静的心是生动活泼、积极进取的动力。拥有了一颗宁静的心灵,就可以超脱地看待世间一切,就能平心静气地去享受生活、享受人生。拥有了一颗宁静自然的心,即使天气特别燥热、心底都会有一股凉爽漾起。

浮躁正好与宁静相反,它违背规律、忽东忽西、运作迷茫,它是对方向的盲动,是对急功近利的期待,是对一夜成名的渴望,是志向的慌乱,是奋斗时的东奔西跑和疲于奔命。浮躁还是水里摁不下去的葫芦,是风中停止不住的经幡,是心灵的躁动不安、神不守舍。浮躁的心灵让人疲惫不堪,欲多则心散,心散则志衰,志衰则思不达。

而宁静是心灵开悟之门,是心海的过滤器,是心灵与自然互通的唯一通道。有了这个通道,一个人就可以沉静地思想,就可以过滤理想上的浅薄和狂妄,就可以澄清思想上的杂质和污浊,就可以沉淀生活中的浮躁和喧嚣,就可以感悟到生命的酸甜苦辣,就可以看穿人间的世事沧桑。

即使事物繁杂,心静自然简洁;即使物欲横流,心也不会沾染。这是“无为即有为”的崇高洗礼,这是“独钓寒江雪”的至美感受,这是“众鸟高飞尽,孤云独去闲”的人生境界。

There is only one mind. It is not that there are two minds, one recognising the other. In the very moment of recognising, it is like a knot that is untied. We don’t have to do anything further than that. Leave it untied… We have already arrived at where we need to arrive at, we are already in the nature of mind.

— Tsoknyi Rinpoche

Love and Emptiness
by Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche

What is buddhahood? It is the attaining of egolessness. But what are we realising the egolessness of?

According to the Theravada school of Buddhism, if we attain egolessness of self, we realise nirvana, enlightenment. This is a common approach: to attain enlightenment for oneself. But when we have discovered the emptiness of the self, what is left? The other. In the Mahayana school, the “Great Path,” egolessness of other is one of the most profound teachings.

The self has no entity in itself, but it believes it does. Its nature is that it spreads. Wherever it goes it pervades; whatever it encounters it begins to absorb as “I.” For example, when we are born, somehow our consciousness has been able to transfer from our previous life into this body, which exists only in a temporary way. Once we came into this body, we thought, “Hmm, not bad. It’s not mine, but I’ll make it mine.” And once we got used to our body, we immediately began thinking: my mother, my father, my house. Then my city, my state, my country, my planet, and so forth.

Ego has no boundary. It can go on continuously, appropriating other. When we come in contact with something, initially we look at it in a neutral way; we see it as belonging to somebody else, or maybe belonging to no one. If we see a tree, we don’t automatically think, “My tree.” Then we build a house next to it — and after a while, we think, “My tree.” This happens in any situation. When we buy an article of clothing, at first it feels foreign, but then it begins to feel familiar as my shirt. It is other, but the ego is constantly solidifying it as self.

The Mahayana teaches that complete egolessness comes about only when we have understood egolessness of other as well as the egolessness of self. There are two approaches in terms of how to practice the Mahayana: the direct path and the gradual path. On the direct path, we recognise the empty nature of self and other on the spot. On the gradual path, we recognise the nature of things progressively: First we recognise the self as empty. Then we recognise other to be empty. Then we recognise things to be the mind, and that this mind itself is empty.

These teachings direct us toward helping other sentient beings, because being able to help others is grounded in having discovered the emptiness of the self. So Mahayana logic is that we begin to flip from self to other.

A crucial element of the Mahayana is the bodhichitta practice of tonglen, “sending and taking.” In Tibetan, tong means “to send,” and len means “to get.” With a basic understanding of this practice, we begin to draw in the pain of others and send out goodness.

We can practice this exchange in many ways. For instance, we can do it specifically for someone who is ill, taking in that person’s suffering and claustrophobia and breathing out spaciousness. We do that by visualising the inbreath as heavy and the outbreath as light, drawing in negative energy and sending out love.

At first it is important that we take this dualistic approach, because we can use what we see “out there” to incite compassion “in here.” In the same way, it is good that we have emotions, because then we have something to work with. With our breath, we can take in aggression and give out peace. We can breathe in pain and breathe out relief. That’s why human birth is so precious: it provides us with the attributes to go on the path.

Scholars and yogis have divided the ego into fifty-one levels of thought patterns and emotions. They’re listed in several categories, including universal patterns such as form and feeling, occasional patterns such as rapture, unwholesome patterns such as recklessness and lack of shame, and wholesome patterns like faith, love, and compassion.

Love and compassion are wholesome because when we experience them — even at an ordinary level — some kind of openness takes place. Those emotions are a fault line of the ego — when we feel them, the ego breaks down a little and we begin to see that our sense of “me” is not airtight. Even though love is an emotion and is often connected with someone we want, or who makes us happy, it contains some quality of relaxing and letting go. Compassion works in the same way, poking holes in the seeming solidity of self and other.

Tonglen is a very potent practice that helps us develop confidence in kindness and compassion. It brings sanity to us and to others because it provides a practical way of working with our mind. For example, if we are calmly practicing tonglen for someone who is close to us, we are not spinning out of control with worry about what could happen to them. Therefore, the meditation is a way to actually bring some sanity to us and the other person.

When we begin to do tonglen practice, the question arises: who or what is sending out, and who is taking in? Through practicing mindfulness, or shamatha, we have established peace. Now, through practicing insight, or vipashyana, we begin to develop wisdom. We begin to realise that we can’t actually find the mind we have tamed. Where exactly is it? Is the mind in the body? Is it in the eyes? Is it in the feelings? Where is the mind that is following the breath? Where is it coming from? Where is it going? Where is its space? We can’t really say that it’s here or it’s there. Nevertheless, there is definitely a process of experiencing being here — experiencing wildness of mind, and experiencing peace. Where is that peace? If I’m meditating, I feel tranquil. Where is that tranquility?

As we progress in our meditation, emptiness becomes more apparent. Emptiness means that there is no inherent existence. Emptiness and egolessness are very similar in that way. Emptiness is empty of our assumptions, and it is full of compassion. We realise that assumptions are the basis of most of our experiences, and we discover that the mind and the world are actually empty of those assumptions. Discovering our selfless nature is freedom.

Sometimes we misunderstand emptiness to mean that nothing exists, which is nihilism. A more accurate perspective is that without emptiness, we cannot have form, and without form we cannot have emptiness. They are inseparable. Exchanging self for other, we realise the self is empty. Then we realise that other is empty, too. That is how true giving and taking can happen. Exchanging oneself for other is the point where relative and absolute truth meet. The whole notion of self and other starts dissolving. If there’s somebody sending, who’s receiving?

As our meditation progresses, we begin to see egolessness — we can’t find any inherent thing. Compassion seems endless and boundless, but where does compassion come from? Where does insight come from? Where is this mind? Actually, we all have the capacity to know, but we can’t completely understand unless we practice meditation. Mind is empty and luminous: this is its nature. The Mahayana teachings say that with the right view, we can utilise certain aspects of our emotions in order to bring out this natural wisdom. As we develop love and compassion through the practice of tonglen, glimmers of wisdom begin to shine through.

If the meditator is able to use whatever occurs in his life as the path, his body becomes a retreat hut.

— Jigme Lingpa

出去走一走,才知道自己有沒有定力
一誠長老

假設一下,當我們身處深山之中,遠離世間的誘惑,這個時候是不是能夠做到心如止水呢?或許可以。但是一旦踏入滾滾紅塵之中,恐怕就會被花花世界迷了雙眼,在名利、物質面前把握不住自己。

很多時候,需要出去走一走,才知道自己有沒有定力。古人說“中隱隱於市”,就是這個道理。隱居在深山老林裏,不與世俗喧囂接觸,要斷絕功名利祿之心也就容易一些;而居於市井之中,日日與塵俗為伍,這樣子若仍能把持住自己,保住內在的清凈,才稱得上真正有境界的隱士。

佛說俗世之中,處處皆可修行。真正的修行不一定非要在寺廟裏,工作、生活、人際來往中,都可以修養心性,修正行為,修習智慧。定力也不光是說你可以打多久的坐,入定多長時間,更是將內心的這種定力和修養投入現實生活,接受外界的考驗,看是否能在這種考驗中保持下去。

在寺廟裏修行時,覺得自己境界很高了,任什麽也無法動搖自己了,結果一出山門,入了塵世,別人的一個眼神,一句評價,都能讓你煩惱半天;在學校裏讀書時,覺得自己很清高,有傲骨,結果一出校門,踏進社會,遇到挫折,立刻就把傲骨彎折了。這樣的事例並不少見,有些人自覺很有定力,實則只是自以為是的感覺,並不曾擁有真正意義上的定力,證據就是,一旦遇到現實,你所謂的“定力”便立刻只能舉手投降。

世間誘惑很多,名位金錢,面子聲譽,皆是迷惑人心,惹人爭逐的東西。那些貪錢、貪名聲地位的人面對這些誘惑,恐怕很難定得住自己,十萬塊還不動心,一百萬就動心了;一句誇贊不動心,十句誇贊就動心了。所以說,定力是什麽,它是一種定住自己、控制自己、把握自己的能力,有定力的人,目標穩固,信念執著,意誌堅強,冷靜沈著,心如止水,淡定從容,不隨境轉。管它是名利,還是地位,都不能夠使他失去自我,只因他內心有不可動搖的自信。

通常說一個人很自信,那是說他自信於自己的能力、才華,或者身份地位,而和尚說的這種不可動搖的自信,是指站立於天地之間,擯棄了世俗功利束縛,對自我存在的一種絕對自信。它不隨著能力、才華、身份地位的改變而改變。

人為什麽會有這樣的自信?那是因為他的人生開啟了智慧。他對世事人生有清醒透徹的認識,知道世間權位、名聲,金錢利益的虛幻本質,知曉自我在世間的位置。我們看到有些人,一見到比自己有錢、有權,地位比自己高的人,就彎腰點頭,很卑微,一跟領導說話,膽子就變小了,畏畏縮縮,因為他們沒有自信啊,輕易就被名氣、地位、權勢、金錢這些東西給嚇住了。這樣的人怎麽會有定力呢?他們只要走出去,立刻就會成為名利權位的奴隸。

相反,真正有自信、有定力的人,即使穿著一件粗布衣服,他走在一群盛裝的人當中,也不會自慚形穢。他會很坦然,很自在,因為他有獨立於世的信心,不需要靠衣裝來標榜和炫耀自己。這樣的人即使功成名就,也不會刻意去彰顯自己的功名,當他與地位比他高,成就比他大的人講話時,他會不卑不亢,以誠相待。外界的盛贊、歌頌或者是譏謗、侮辱,都不能夠影響到他的情緒,人生的順逆寵辱,也不會動搖他的冷靜,讓他失態。

如果人的定力是一塊金子,那就一定要拿現實這塊試金石來試一試它的成色。虛假的定力,一定會在喧嚷中現出原形,而真正的定力,是一種堅實心,是泰山崩於前而面不改色,是你投身於世俗的洪流之後,仍然能夠保住初心,不為外界所惑,不為名利失去自我。

It is clearly mentioned in the lam-rim that there isn’t a Dharma to be learned and studied and another Dharma to be practised. To think of the Dharma in this way is wrong. It is a huge mistake… Whatever we have learned is meant for practice and whatever we practise is what we have learned.

— Khen Rinpoche Geshe Chonyi

Compassion as the Source of Happiness
by His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama

THE PURPOSE OF LIFE IS TO STRIVE FOR HAPPINESS 

We are here; we exist and we have the right to exist. Even non-sentient beings like flowers have the right to exist. If negative force is exerted against them, then, on a chemical level, flowers repair themselves to survive. But more than that, we human beings including insects, even amoebas, the smallest beings are considered sentient beings. And as sentient beings, we have even more mechanisms to help us survive.

Things that can move under their own will or desire, that’s what a “sentient being” means, according to the discussions that I’ve had with scientists. “Sentient” doesn’t necessarily mean being conscious or being human on a conscious level. Actually it’s difficult to define what “consciousness” or “conscious” means. Usually it means the clearest aspect of the mind, but then, is it that there is no consciousness when we are semiconscious or unconscious? Do insects have it? Maybe it’s better to speak of “cognitive faculty” rather than consciousness.

In any case, the main point that we are referring to here by cognitive faculty is the ability to experience feelings: pain, pleasure, or neutral feelings. Actually, pleasure and pain, and happiness and unhappiness, are things that we need to examine in more depth. For example, every sentient being has the right to survive and, for survival, this means having a desire for happiness or comfort: that’s why sentient beings strive to survive. Therefore, our survival is based on hope – hope for something good: happiness. Because of that, I always conclude that the purpose of life is happiness. With hope and a happy feeling, our body feels well. Therefore, hope and happiness are positive factors for our health. Health depends on a happy state of mind.

Anger, on the other hand, is based on a sense of insecurity and brings us fear. When we encounter something good, we feel safe. When something threatens us, we feel insecure and then we become angry. Anger is a part of the mind that defends itself from what harms our survival. But anger itself makes us feel bad and so, ultimately, it is bad for our health.

Attachment is an element that is helpful for survival. So, even a plant, without any conscious element, still has some chemical aspect that causes it to protect itself and helps its growth. Our body, on a physical level, is the same. But, as humans, our body also has a positive element on the emotional level that brings us to have attachment to someone or attachment to our own happiness. Anger, on other hand, with its element of causing harm, pushes us away from things including happiness. On a physical level, the pleasure that happiness brings is good for the body; while anger and the unhappiness it causes is harmful. Therefore, from the perspective of the pursuit of survival, the purpose of life is to have a happy life.

This is the basic human level that I am speaking about; I am not speaking about the religious, secondary level. On the religious level, of course there are different explanations of the purpose of life. The secondary aspect is actually quite complicated; therefore, it is better to talk just on the basic human level.

WHAT IS HAPPINESS?

Since our goal and the purpose of life is happiness, what is happiness? Sometimes physical suffering can even bring a deeper sense of satisfaction like with an athlete after a grueling workout. So “happiness” means mainly a sense of deep satisfaction. The object of life or our goal, then, is satisfaction.

Happiness, sadness or suffering – for these, there are two levels: a sensorial level and a mental level. The sensorial level is common with tiny mammals, even insects – a fly.  In a cold climate, when the sun comes out, a fly shows a happy aspect: it flies around nicely. In a cold room, it slows down: it shows a sign of sadness. But, if there is a sophisticated brain, then there is even a stronger sense of sensorial pleasure. In addition, though, our sophisticated brain is the largest in size and, therefore, we also have intelligence.

Consider the case of humans who feel no physical threats. They have a happy, comfortable life, good friends, salary, and name. But, even then, we notice that some millionaires, for example – they feel that they are an important part of society, but often these people as persons are very unhappy persons. On a few occasions I have met very rich, influential people who showed a very troubled sense that, deep inside, they had a feeling of loneliness, stress and worry. So, on the mental level, they have suffering.

We have a marvelous intelligence, so the mental level of our experience is more dominant than is the physical level. Physical pain can be minimized or subdued by it. As a small example, some time ago I developed a serious illness. It was very painful in my intestines. At that time, I was in Bihar, the poorest state of India and I passed through Bodh Gaya and Nalanda. There, I saw many very poor children. They were collecting cow dung. They had no education facilities and I felt very sad. Then, near Patna, the capital of the state, I had a lot of pain and sweating. I noticed one old sick person, one sick man, wearing white cloth, very, very dirty. No one was taking care of that person; it was really very sad. That night in my hotel room, my physical pain was very severe, but my mind was thinking of those children and that old man. That concern greatly reduced my physical pain.

Take for example those who train for the Olympic Games. They do very vigorous training, and no matter how much pain and hardship they experience, on the mental level they have happiness. Therefore, the mental level is more important than physical experience. Therefore, what is really important in life is happiness and satisfaction.

THE CAUSES OF HAPPINESS

Now, what are the causes of happiness? I think that since this body element goes well with a calm mind, not with a disturbed mind, therefore a calm mind is very important. It doesn’t matter our physical situation, mental calmness is most important. So, how can we bring about a calm mind?

Now, to get rid of all problems, that would be impractical; and to make the mind dull and forget about our problems, that doesn’t work either. We have to look clearly at our problems and deal with them, but at the same time keep a calm mind so that we have a realistic attitude and we are able to treat them well, deal with them well.

As for those who take tranquillizers – well, I have no experience. I don’t know if, at the time when people take tranquillizers, their intelligence is sharp or dull; I have to ask. For example, in 1959, when I was in Mussoorie, my mother or maybe it was somebody else was disturbed and had a lot of anxiety: the sleep was disturbed. The doctor explained that there were some drugs that they could take, but this would make the mind a little dull. I thought at that time that that’s not good. On one side, you have a little calmness of mind, but on the other side, if the effect is dullness, this is no good. I prefer another way. I prefer having the intelligence fully functional and attentive and alert, but not disturbed. Undisturbed mental calmness is best.

For this, compassionate human affection is really important: the more compassionate our mind is, the better our brain functions. If our mind develops fear and anger, then when that happens, our brain functions more poorly. On one occasion I met a scientist who was over eighty years old. He gave me one of his books. I think it was called We Are Prisoners of Anger, something like that. While discussing his experience, he said that when we develop anger toward an object, the object appears very negatively. But ninety per cent of that negativeness is in our mental projection. This was from his own experience.

Buddhism says the same. When negative emotion develops, we can’t see reality. When we need to make a decision and the mind is dominated by anger; then chances are, we will make the wrong decision. No one wants to make a wrong decision, but at that moment, the part of our intelligence and brain that functions to differentiate right from wrong and make the best decision, that works very poorly. Even great leaders experience it like that.

Therefore, compassion and affection help the brain to function more smoothly.

Secondarily, compassion gives us inner strength; it gives us self-confidence and that reduces fear, which, in turn, keeps our mind calm. Therefore, compassion has two functions: it causes our brain to function better and it brings inner strength. These, then, are the causes of happiness. I feel it is like that.

Now other faculties, of course, are also good for happiness. Everybody likes money, for example. If we have money, then we can enjoy good facilities. Usually, we consider these the topmost important things, but I think it’s not like that. Material comfort can come through physical effort, but mental comfort has to come through mental effort. If we go to a shop and offer money to the shopkeeper and say that we want to buy peace of mind, they will say they have nothing to sell. Many shopkeepers will feel that this is something mad and they will laugh at us. Some injection or pill can maybe bring temporary happiness or calmness of mind, but not at the fullest level. We can see with the example of counseling that we need to tackle emotions through discussion and reasoning. Thus, we must use a mental approach. Therefore whenever I give talks, I say that we modern people think too much of external development. If we pay attention only to that level, that’s not enough. Genuine happiness and satisfaction must come from within.

The basic elements for that are compassion and human affection, and these come from biology. As an infant, our survival depends solely on affection. If affection is there, we feel safe. If it’s not there, we feel anxiety and insecure. If we become separated from our mother, we cry. If we are in our mother’s arms and held tight, warmly, then we feel happy and we’re quiet. As a baby, this is a biological factor. One scientist for instance, my teacher, a biologist who is involved with anti-nuclear violence – he told me that after birth, a mother’s physical touch for several weeks is very important for enlarging the baby’s brain and development. It brings a feeling of safety and comfort and this leads to proper development of physical growth, including the brain.

So, the seed of compassion and affection is not something that comes from religion: it comes from biology. We each came from our mother’s womb and each of us survived due to our mother’s care and affection. In the Indian tradition, we consider birth from a lotus in a pure land. That sounds very nice, but perhaps the people there have more affection for lotuses than for people. So being born from a mother’s womb is better. Then we are already equipped with the seed of compassion. So, those are the causes of happiness.

When selflessness is seen in objects, the seed of cyclic existence is destroyed.

— Aryadeva

一切法教源自法身
堪布卡塔仁波切

首先,我们在做任何事时,都必须发展正确的心态――不论是听闻、思考或实修佛法,或做一般的俗事也是一样。

心态是和我们的想法有关。正念与邪念之别,在于精神与物质的层面上;在物质世间里,我们努力读书和工作,只为了名利这样自私的目的。由于无始以来,我们就有这种自私的心理,所以便一直在六道中受苦,无法自轮回中解脱。

因此,当我们在修持或听闻佛法时,必须培养想要利益一切众生的心态,这不仅是短暂的做法而已,最终还要帮助六道众生解脱痛苦――这就是正确的心态。

修行的目的是为了解脱世间的痛苦,而达究竟的喜乐。修行是否能达开悟,要视修行者的心态而定。如果我们的心态是不净的,就会像食物中掺了毒药一样。食物有益健康,但是如果其中含有毒药,就变得很危险。同样地,佛法可以利益我们,但修行是否有结果,则要依个人的心态而定了。

同样一个由上师教导的修行法门,也可能会有不同的结果出现,这完全是依弟子所持的心态而定。例如:秉持正确心态的弟子,便能得到最好的成效。心态正确,但较少聪慧的弟子,效果可能会差一些,但完全不具正确心态者,即使有什么修行也不会有任何成就。甚者,由于心存恶念,这位弟子的烦恼障可能反更增加。由此例可证明心态的重要性。

你不一定很清楚,在听闻、思考和修行佛法时,我们应培养什么样的心态,才能获得修行的圆满成就。我们一定要培养利益他人的心态。首先要知道,众生不仅是现在正受著苦,而是无始以来即不断地在受苦。为何众生由无始至今一直受著永无休止的苦痛?这是由于他们的动机都是自私的,只追求个人的利益、幸福和享乐。为了自己享有这些快乐幸福,他们不断起瞋恨、嫉妒、骄傲等烦恼,也因此累积了恶业。所以,事实上,他们并没有享受到较多的快乐,反而招致更大的苦果。因此,我们要发愿永远救度众生,脱离苦因。这种希望究竟解脱众生的利他心态,就是觉悟的心,或称为菩提心。菩提心非常殊胜,如果一个人能一直保持这种觉悟的心境,它便会发挥很大的力量。

我们已首先发起了利他的心,现在请专心注意的听讲。今天的开示要讲的是传承祖师们。谈到他们,我们必须了解,过去已有多尊佛菩萨示现,来到世间转*轮。依经典所说,未来还有千佛会以同样的目的来到这个世间。

我们目前是在贤劫第四尊佛――释迦牟尼佛的教法指导下。佛陀生於印度,示现在世共八十一年,曾三转*轮。佛法从释迦牟尼佛――化身佛开始,一直传到像龙树、无著等大师,从未间断。他们相继将佛法带入西藏,后来发展成西藏佛教的四大教派。

一切教法都是来自佛的化身。化身佛源自报身佛,而报身则源自法身。举个例子来说明法、报、化三身之间的关系。在此屋里的光亮是来自於屋外,而屋外的光亮则来自太阳。因此,所有的佛法和西藏的四大教派,都源自金刚总持或普贤王如来的法身――觉悟的究竟特质。我们靠著屋外的光亮照亮房间,如前所述,屋外的光亮来自太阳。证悟到金刚总持或普贤王如来的境界,就好像成为太阳本身一样,不再须要依靠外在的光源来照明了。

因此,所有噶举(白教)、格鲁(黄教)、萨迦(花教)等宗派的传承,都源自金刚总持。为什么要回溯到金刚总持,而不是释迦牟尼佛呢?因为金刚总持是觉悟的本质――光源,是太阳本身,而非射出的光线,宁玛派(红教)也是一样,其法教不是源自莲花生大士或释迦牟尼佛,而是来自普贤王如来。因为一切法教的究竟本源是法身,所以西藏佛教的四大宗派都是源自金刚总持或普贤王如来。

至於金刚总持和普贤王如来何者较高的问题,有时也会困扰初学者。由于他们是平等的,便没有优劣之分。从某种意义来看,他们只是名相上的不同而已。举例来说,住在东方的人,认为那是东方的天空,而在西方的人,则认为是西方的。但事实是,天空只有一个,并非东方的天空胜於西方的,也不是西方的天空胜於东方的,所以,根本没有孰为优劣的问题。两方的都是天空,唯一的不同只是处在世界上不同的地方而已,是我们自己有“我们的”天空和“他们的”天空的分别心。所以,事实上,金刚总持和普贤王如来并无不同。

从某种意义层面来看,两者之间并无差别,有的只是二个不同名字的称呼而已。“普贤王如来”的梵文是“沙曼达巴卓”(Samantabhadra),藏文译成“棍都桑波”(Kuntuzangpo)。“棍都”之意为究竟,“桑波”则为美善。所以“棍都桑波”就是本然的离於任何染污、瑕缺或心识上的迷惑。因此,不仅是目前清净,未来也永远不会被染污。金刚总持的梵文是“发嘉达拉”(Vajradhara),藏文译成“多杰羌”(Dorjechang)“多杰”之意为不可摧毁,“羌”则是恒久持有。一切众生都具有佛所证悟的本质,多杰羌之意为圆满了悟或如如不动的证悟特质,此为一切众生所共有。

从唐卡上所绘的普贤王如来和金刚总持,我们可以进一步看到,一尊绘有庄严与衣饰,而另一尊则完全没有。普贤王如来是裸身的,没有任何庄严与衣饰,象徵其开悟的境界完全离於任何心识的投射造作,如法身般本来清净。金刚总持全身珠宝璎珞严饰,并著天衣,象徵他经由报身和化身示现的善巧,不断地利益众生,满足他们的需要。

弥勒菩萨曾在“究竟一乘宝性论”中解释,实际证悟的是普贤王如来,或金刚总持;而证悟的化身则是来到世间的释迦牟尼佛。释迦牟尼佛曾亲自说过,他不曾说过一字,也没给过任何教法,是众生透过自身业力的显现和所具的根器,才领悟到他的教导的。为什么释迦牟尼佛说他从未说过一法呢?因为就法身,或所谓究竟觉悟的境界来论,他未曾说过任何一法。但在另一方面,释迦牟尼佛是化身佛,所以众生能透过其示现或化身,依自己的业力根器而听到不同的佛法。

太阳和金刚总持从未真正来到这世间,是众生透过其根器和清净心,感受到了阳光和金刚总持的存在。佛是超越任何心灵概念的,就像太阳一样,它并没有想到只要照耀世界上某个地方,或只要对此处或他处有利益。太阳只是照著,众生则依个别的能力,产生对光亮不同的觉受。虽然太阳并未刻意以温暖来利益众生,但有肉身的众生便会感到暖和而受益。有躯体的众生能感受到温暖。是因为他们有此肉身。阳光使人看得清楚东西,是因为他们有眼睛。就像阳光使一切长有眼睛的众生看得见一样,佛也让具根器和清净心的人体验到他的存在,所以金刚总持并未真正示现於世。即使释迦牟尼佛已於二千五百三十年前示寂,我们依然可透过自己的虔诚心、信心和修行得到他的加持,因为究竟证悟的佛性――法身或金刚总持的证悟本质是永远不会消失的。只要太阳高挂在天空,即使暂时有乌云遮住它的光线,也不意味太阳会就此失去它的光辉,它始终是照耀著的。同样地,即使佛陀示寂距今已有很长的时间,但只要我们深具虔诚和信心,精进修持,也会感受到他的加持。因为金刚总持永远在那儿。法身的金刚总持永远不会停止示现。

金刚总持利益众生的佛行是没有任何分别的,就像长在地上的树木都具可燃性一样。任何木头,不管生长在何处,都具有可燃的特性。金刚总持利众事业的本质也是相同的,不分任何众生,都可受到泽被。不仅是究竟证悟的金刚总持才有利益众生的佛性,事实上,一切众生,包括我们自己,都本然具足这个佛性。

我们都知道木材可以燃烧,但也要有起火的因素才行,它自己是不会燃烧起来的。虽然一切众生都本具如金刚总持证悟的佛性,其中包括我们自己,但我们还需因缘使它成熟,才能了悟。这也是为何一切教派的上师都强调传承祖师的重要性。因为他们承袭了不间断的传承的法教,所以,依其所教修持,我们便会遇到使佛性成熟的因缘。

为了使我们能了悟自心,逢遇使佛性成熟的因缘是非常必要的。在法教中曾提到,一盏油灯会点亮另一盏。就像我们有一百根蜡烛,当第一根点亮时,另一根接触到了头一根的火焰,便会跟著燃烧起来。然后,第三根蜡烛又碰到第二根的火焰而点著了。第四根也是一样,这样一直下去。如果你在佛堂上有一根蜡烛,没有火便不能点燃,一定要有这样的因缘才行。

有许多初修者,由於不了解金刚总持的真正含义,便提出一些如:金刚总持的双亲是谁?他的生日是何时等的问题。还有一些行者误认为金刚总持是高高住在天界的人,这些想法都是由于不明证悟的本质所致。由于缺乏了解,即使金刚总持是超于任何概念与言语的,仍有人相信他是具有色身、真实存在、住在我们上面天界的某个天宫中的。虽然金刚总持的境界是超越任何概念与言语,但经由精进修持,便能体会它就在我们的自性之中。金刚总持与我们的自性本为一体。

当我们说金刚总持非以色身形式存在时,还是有人会不同意,因为在唐卡上,我们可以看到一个全身蓝色的人,佩戴珠宝璎珞、穿著丝衣、手握铃杵。这些都是象征性的意义而已,以便行者可以了知证悟的特质。深蓝色、铃和杵都象徵著金刚总持不灭不坏的特质。深蓝色隐喻其永不停息的利众事业,珠宝严饰则象徵广度众生的珍贵。

熟悉大手印祈请文的人都知道,开头要先唸诵:“伟大的多杰羌、帝洛巴、那洛巴……”了解金刚总持的意义是非常重要的,因为其后的一切法教都立基於此觉悟的究竟特质之上。如果我们现在有任何误解,以后便会感到混淆迷惑。我们一定要确知自己已经正确地了解了金刚总持的意义,以便可以正确地衔接上往后的教法。

The more Buddhism you have practiced, the more modest you should be; the more you know, the less arrogant you should be; with greater knowledge, you should show increased humbleness. For example, you should treat people equally and respectfully even when you talk to a beggar.

— Droge Yonten Gyatso Rinpoche