Bringing Obstacles Into The Path
by His Holiness Gongma Trichen Rinpoche

“My greetings to Dharma Friends all over the world. Tashi delek!

As we all know, a pandemic is currently threatening the entire world, and countless people are undergoing untold amounts of suffering, panic and worry.

It is important to know that panic and worry can only make things worse and that not only do they cause us harm, but that they don’t bring any benefit whatsoever.

The outcome of this situation, as of any other, depends on our personal karma. However, there is a way in which we can better our fortune, and that is to take refuge in the Triple Gem. We need to pray fervently to the Triple Gem, and we need to find the time to do it. It is paramount that we do so at this time.

As we are followers of Sakyamuni Buddha, it is essential that we follow his teachings by striving to transform obstacles into the Dharma path. How can we do this? What is most important? What steps should we take?

The first thing to bear in mind is that we can never only think of ourselves. We need to take on the suffering of all sentient beings, and we need to offer our merits and happiness to them. If we can practice Tonglen in this way, then we can transform obstacles into the Dharma path. And by doing so, we also benefit ourselves. We shouldn’t worry. It is crucial that we remain at peace within ourselves as we weather this crisis.

Parallel to this, it is equally important that we follow the directives that the medical institutions are issuing. All Dharma depends on causes and conditions. Will prayers, visualisations and mantra recitations be sufficient to carry us through? These, of course, are of huge benefit, but it is also of major importance that we strictly observe the recommended rules of personal hygiene and social distancing.

Beyond this, we need to pray to the Guru and to the Three Jewels, and especially to pray to the deities with the necessary uncommon attributes and karmic connections. For instance, in the Snow Land of Tibet, we should pray to Avalokiteshvara and Tara, and particularly during this pandemic, we should pray to Parnashavari. We should pray to these deities, chant their mantras and recite their prayers. I believe that by doing so, we will successfully be saved from this pandemic, and find happiness.

And so, I urge all to please do so!

Throughout this pandemic, we have seen how medical personnel have daily put their own lives at risk, unflinching in the face of hardship, overcoming all kinds of insurmountable obstacles. This has been an extraordinary show of courage.

In our case, courage can take the face of spiritual practice, and this is by far the best that we can do in these circumstances. The essence of Vajrayana is to practise for the sake of others; to concentrate all our efforts on others and forget about ourselves, this is the heart essence of Mahayana Buddhism.

Bearing this in mind, it is also important to inspire others to have faith, to inspire them to exercise determination, and to support them with praise.

And now, I will recite the invocation to Vajrakilaya. All deities are one, there is no difference whatsoever in their merits, compassion and the swiftness of their activities. But, from our side, there is a difference in terms of karma and aspiration.

At the time of Padmasambhava and Khön Nagendra Rakshita, long before the founding of the Sakya Order, Vajrakilaya was already the main deity of the Khön family, and it continues to be so. No matter what obstacles appear, there is no more effective practice than that of Vajrakilaya to expel them.

This invocation is directed to the Gurus in the root tantra, especially the enlightened beings, the Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, wealth gods, and so on. In the Vajrakilaya mandala, we request the ocean-like Holy Beings to grant their blessings and to expel the diseases and obstacles of practitioners, to increase their life span and merits, and to fulfil all their Dharma wishes. This kind of request is called invocation.”

SakyaTrizin 33.

In Buddhism, there are many ways for one to achieve the realisation of emptiness. With the arguments of the Middle Way, one can reason and observe this true reality of all phenomena. Through the pith instructions of Mahamudra or Dzogchen and relying on the guru’s blessing, one can also realise the empty nature of the mind.

No matter which method one chooses, it is essential to bear in mind that although all phenomena are empty, one should not form any attachment to emptiness itself!

— His Holiness Jigme Phuntsok Rinpoche

Jigme Phuntsok Rinpoche (法王如意宝晋美彭措) 58.

修行的真谛
顶果钦哲仁波切

心犹如相续的河流,假如你无法运用你的修持来把握它的每个当下,你做的持咒,观想,念诵,禅修,乃至谈吐高超的见地,显现高超的行为,这些都是在浪费时间。

修行的本质并没有任何奇特的地方,它的实质就是反复的深入我们的心相续,并且改变它,否则,这个宝贵的人身会被浪费,你用一生的时间追逐自己的念头,执着它所创造的轮回,实际上,就是在梦幻中迷失自己而不自觉。

每天从细微的小处着手,不要奢望神奇的辉煌,看穿这些虚荣的把戏,仔细观察自己的心吧。

即使在今生,你无法彻底转化你的心,你无法在证悟上取得多大的进展,只要你很小心的守护自己的三业,照顾自己的每一个念头,虽然你无法达到甚至是在睡眠中清醒,或是在重病还能控制自己的心,但是只要你努力的修自己每个念头,努力而虔诚的对待自己彻底的内在,而不是做外表的样子,那么,就好象曲吉旺波在《大圆满三要释吉祥王》中所唱的那样:“即使此生不成就,也内心安详真愉快。”为什么呢?从内在的层次,你已经转化了你的心,从而转化了你的生命,安详、慈悲、放下,已经展示出最大的成就。

成就分为外在的,内在的,秘密的,极其秘密的。

就外在的成就层面,先是心智的成就,但是你虽然掌握了伟大的知识,了解了高深的见地,但是很不幸,它们就好象是在衣服上的补丁,终究会要脱落。例如,我们在健康的时候会感到很自在,而且我们拥有佛法的知识,这一切以一种良好的自我感来暗示:似乎我们是不凡的圣哲,但是,当你遇到重病的时候,你浑身火烧而陷入昏迷,仔细看你的心吧,它根本不受到你的控制,种种接近死亡的业相在梦中显示,即使你厌恶他们而不敢堕入昏睡,但昏迷会迅速将你击垮,哪个时候,你的任何才智,学问,都帮助不了你,于是,修行人应该知道,在重病中出现世俗乃至恐怖的持续梦境,这是修行的耻辱,甚至,这是闻思的耻辱,没有投入修行,或是表面的修行,这是镜子上的雾气,维持不了多久。

其次是验修的成就,当喜悦和光明产生,巨大的宁静伴随深沉的陶醉,甚至可以看到各色奇异的景象,并且能预先知道事情的发生,这些体验就好象对山谷大声叫喊一样,你努力的叫喊,它给你很大的回音,但是随即就消失了。假如你努力的修持,各种奇特的经验发生了,但是记住,这世界上的一切都不免无常,假如你想拥有这些体验,永恒的占有它们,那么,你就会经受好似捕捉水中的月亮一样的痛苦,它们根本就是无常,所以从验修的种种幻想中解脱吧,不企图占有它们,平等的看待它们,而不扰乱内在的心相续,哪怕是在广大的平等定见中,一切显现为不实际的五色烟雾或虹光,而能自在的穿越墙壁或是在岩石上按下手印,但将这些视为开悟的标志并产生我慢,这是着魔的开始,并因为我执而流浪轮回。

最后是广大的明智成就,这预示着我们平等的对待生活,安然的安住在广大的心性中,一切都成为庄严的自然解脱,于自心的智慧中,消除了执着和烦恼,慈悲并心胸宽广,生活之中任何的事物都无法搅乱这内在的明智,超越喜悦和悲哀,安然的任运于当下。

经由心的修持,我们经历各个不同的阶段,最终,我们的心成为空与光明的一味,任何恐惧或是希冀,都无法占据我们的心灵,这就是佛陀之道。

At first, seek a learning that is vast and comprehensive, next, take all the statements of the texts as practical advice, finally, take this to heart by practising by day and night. Dedicating it all to the flourishing of the teachings.

— Lama Tsongkhapa

Embrace Your Fears
by His Holiness Gyalwang Drukpa, Jigme Pema Wangchen

We have so much to feel good about, yet we spend all our time worrying about the things that aren’t quite right, that might go wrong or that we might lose. It is the ‘not knowing’ that sends our minds into a tailspin – playing out possible scenarios and how we might react to them and wishing we could just know the outcome, rather than be faced with so much change and uncertainty in life. We try to forge a path of certainty: if we don’t take any risks, then maybe we’ll be ok and not have to face anything too difficult.

But it is often in our attempts to safeguard our happiness that we instead stifle it and become increasingly fearful or anxious. And if we do not look after our minds, then uncertainty can easily become associated with and attached to fear: fear of the great unknown, fear of death and even fear of life. Worrying is a mental drain; believing instead that anything is possible requires the same investment of energy, only channelled differently. You put your energy to good use, rather than letting it burn away for nothing.

The teachings have taught me to trust myself and to be confident, to be fearless. You need to be a little bit brave to look your idiosyncrasies in the eye and work on yourself; to develop your life and get closer to your nature. Looking in the mirror-like this can be a painful process but as His Holiness said to me once, if you don’t cut now, when? So in the past years, I have been cutting the ties created by my mind – all the fears and worries about who I am and how my life is turning out. JIGME SEMZANG

FREE YOURSELF FROM FEAR AND ANXIETY

Happy is the man who has given up worrying. Attaching yourself to your worries limits you and robs your mind of the mental freedom that allows you to be happy. It’s a perpetual circle of the same kinds of thoughts feeding off each other and going around and around. They take up precious time and they stifle happiness, keeping it suffocated and invisible beneath the surface of a tense, stressed-out mind. Even small, daily worries can build up over time, leaving little room for other things. Then you feel small and inhibited, your thoughts become small and inhibited and, as a result, the same thing happens to your words and actions. So you feel limited in your potential, meaning that you are restricting yourself by allowing worries to take centre stage all the time in your mind.

If you are someone who tends towards worrying, and you certainly won’t be alone if you are, then if you begin to practise even a few minutes of meditation, focusing on the breath and releasing thoughts as you breathe out, your mind will begin to feel more calm and spacious. Instead of holding on to worries and constantly turning them over and over, wearing out your mind, you will begin to acknowledge them for what they are and allow them to dissolve or float away.

Focus on happiness

If you could take a picture each day of your happiness, what would it look like? One day it might be a familiar face, another day something completely surprising and new. It might be a challenge or fear that you embraced and stepped through. It might be a connection you made. Every day is a chance for happiness. If you take one small action each day towards your happiness, in time those small actions will change the bigger picture and transform your life.

WHERE THERE IS FEAR THERE IS HOPE

I meet many people who feel they could do so much more if they could just throw out their fears and anxieties. But rather than try to ignore fears, perhaps there is something to be said for looking into the heart of them, accepting them and then walking through them. If you can look at your fears or worries from another angle, you will often find something inspiring, something you truly want to do with your life. Someone who is afraid to get married, for example, also knows deep down the potential for happiness in being in a loving, committed relationship. In exactly the same place we imagine failure there is success.

There should be no shame or regret when we turn away from our fears and walk away, but equally, why not jump in and use them as our inspiration? They hold great potential for growth.

Nowhere to hide

Kate does not practise Buddhism, but comes to the retreats for the philosophical teachings, to explore ideas:

I have been to Druk Amitabha Mountain three times on retreat, and each time I am confronted with the realisation that there is nowhere to hide there, physically, mentally or emotionally. The image I have of myself comes right up to the surface and then crumbles away as I quickly realise I am not special, but at the same time we are all as special and important as each other. I arrive with the labels, ‘I am not a Buddhist’, ‘I am shy’ and ‘I am not a group person. And then I realise that to the nuns I am simply a guest who is staying with them for a few days, no labels required. I remember one morning I received some bad news over the phone and I came out of the dorm room crying. As I was passing a nun, she touched my face and said, ‘Don’t be afraid’. It’s funny, with English not being her first language she made me realise just how much I can let fear and anxiety get in the way of my happiness. But I can also be quite good at letting go and jumping in, giving things a go. That’s how I ended up at this incredible place at the foot of the Himalayas in the first place, the place that reminds me to let go of the fussiness, be myself without the need for labels and keep jumping in.

Why not?

I love this question. It makes my mind happy! It is understandable that people often fall into the trap of trying to come up with excuses why they shouldn’t do what is their heart’s desire – why they should let some kind of fear or anxiety put them off. But these two little words – why not? – help to dissolve the monsters and propel us forward. Why not give it a go? Why not take that chance? Why not take a leap? Many very famous and successful business people in the world tell stories, with big smiles on their faces, of all the times they tried and failed at things. We might wonder how they can be so happy about their failures, but not one of them ever felt sad about giving something a try, even if it didn’t always work out. It seems that even bumps along the path can be a source of happiness in some ways.

I’m not saying we need to take risks to be happy, but rather that we should be less controlled by the limiting thoughts that prevent us from giving things try. Doubts will give our minds the impression they are there to protect us, but it is when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable that sometimes we do the most amazing things with our lives. We might fall in love, or accomplish something we never thought possible. We stretch the boundaries of our minds, creating new space to grow.

DEVELOP YOUR LIFE

If you are somehow fearful of doing what you really want to do in life because you feel you lack the back-up of support or somebody to rely on in case things go wrong, then this is the perfect time to develop yourself. You are overlooking the one person who you can lean on, who gives you strength and courage. That person is you. Many people have lost confidence in themselves. They worry that if they make a big mistake, no one will be there to pick them up, so it is better to play it safe and avoid risks as much as possible. This is a very understandable position, but it relies on the fabrication or self-delusion that if we don’t change, the world around us will remain the same too – our job will be secure, our house will be safe and so on. And yet industries are changing all the time; the world economy almost completely collapsed just a few years ago.

Nothing is certain; nothing stays the same forever. So when you look into your heart, beneath the worries and the fears and the uncertainties, and see the confidence you who feels inspired by something or wants to take a new direction, allow yourself to start connecting and interacting with that inner confidence. You will see that life is too short to waste so much time working through the fifty possible scenarios that may result from one decision or choice. Why don’t you see for yourself what is going to happen and really experience the richness of your life?

Putting positive thoughts into action

Ask yourself: if you could make the world a happier place today, and you couldn’t fail, what would you do? You may want to contemplate this question or even write down your thoughts – whatever works for you. Consider what really motivates you. For me, I always feel ‘activated’ when I consider what we might be able to do when it comes to being more friendly with the environment and with nature. We have turned these thoughts into focused action by collecting all of our rubbish for recycling, putting up solar panels and asking guests to be mindful of their water usage when they visit our monasteries.

So today, I invite you to turn your own positive thoughts into positive words and actions, deepen your connections and interactions with the world around you and share all the wonderful love and kindness that you have in your heart.

FEELING THE FEAR

We contemplate the ‘Five Remembrances’ (below) to help release ourselves from fear. These are designed to remind us of the changing nature of life, and when we reflect on that we become less clinging to our self-beliefs and our fears of what might – or might not – happen. If we are afraid to let go because we have been let down or hurt in the past, or if our past mistakes still loom large in our imaginations, we need to remind ourselves to live in the present, to appreciate everything good in our lives today, to know that we are going to do our best today and not live under the dark cloud of expectation.

1. There is no way to escape growing old.
2. There is no way to escape ill health at some point during life.
3. There is no way to escape death.
4. Everything and everyone that I love is subject to the nature of change. There is no way to escape being separated from them.
5. The only things that I own are my thoughts, my words and my actions. There is no escape from the consequences of these; they are the ground upon which I stand.

Contemplating these statements gently allows us to bring our fears right into our consciousness. Rather than deny them, we put them into a context that reminds us they are really the same as everyone else’s. We cannot stop time, every second we are getting older, we will experience ill health at some point in life (although, of course, there is much we can do to promote good health), and eventually, we will die. Once we genuinely accept these things we awaken to our lives as they exist right now: we rejoice in our relationships, rather than looking for the cracks; we make the most of our body and health, doing everything we can to take care of ourselves; we accept past hurts and mistakes, but no longer allow them to influence our present or our future.

The remembrances are raw and honest, and because of that, they cut through the usual layers of excuses and justifications for not facing our fears – for maintaining the status quo of life, rather than rocking the boat. As you are honest, your inner nature will come to the surface, so that you may begin to feel even more comfortable in your own skin and more fearless in how you approach your life. You will hear what is in your heart and have the courage to follow what you are telling yourself.

The realisation that the only way to change your life is by changing your own thoughts and actions, frees you to focus on what you can improve, rather than holding on to mistakes or hurts that have been and gone. Today is what really counts – come back to your present and you will come into the richness of your life.

Time waits for no man, so don’t put off your own happiness for another minute.

Gyalwang Drukpa 43..jpg

Turning our mind from samsara to enlightenment means that instead of going in circles we now decide to go straight; because if we go in circles, no matter how big or how small the circles are, we still end up in the same place.

— 12th Tai Situ Rinpoche

学佛必须明白因果
昌臻法师

因果问题,属于佛教的基础理论,也是佛法的核心。不明白因果,就不可能真正懂得佛法。所以,弄清因果问题,是学佛的一个重要前提。下面分四个问题谈:

一、因果规律和它的重要性

因果,又叫业、因、果、报。业:梵文译音,意为造作、活动。指一切身心活动,包括身、口、意“三业”。包括善业、恶业、无记业(不受果报的)。这个看不见、摸不着的业,却有很大的力量。可以说,我们人生是受着业力支配的。业就是因。因,就是原因,也叫业因。果,是结果。报,是报应,是回报。缘,就是条件。因缘结合,才产生果报。佛经偈语早已说得明白:“假使百千劫,所作业不亡(亡失,消失),因缘会遇时,果报还自受。”

我们凡做一件事,说一句话,甚至起一个念头,都是在种因,在造业。根据所种的善因或恶因,即造的善业或恶业的不同,都会受到不同的果报。概括说,善有善报,恶有恶报。具体地说,有什么样的善因,就什么样的福报;有么样的恶因,就什么样的苦报,这都是有一定的。这是客观的规律,称为因果规律。

业因果报与生死轮回是密切相关的。我们人生,生了要死,死了要生,生生死死,死死生生,就是由因到果,由果到因,相续不断,形成轮回不停的现象。我们的生命,生从哪里来?死往哪里去?都是受业力支配的。业力好像是种子、信息,它储存在第八识里面。第八识又叫“含藏识”,它是储藏信息的,好象是“精神磁带”,它把一个人前世做的善、恶业带到现世来;又把今生所造的善、恶业带到后世去,就这样轮回不息。我们的身体叫报身,接受果报的主体就是第八识。《八识规矩颂》说,第八识是:“去后来先作主公”。父母生我之前,是它来投胎,所以是“来先”。人死后,脉搏、呼吸都是停止了,第八识还没离开,要到全身冷透时才说明它离开了。所以是“去后”。“作主公”,说明它支配一切,大脑皮质也是属于它支配的工具。它一旦离开人体后,大脑皮质虽然完好,也不起作用了。美国医生穆迪著的《死后见闻》一书(1989年黑龙江教育出版社出版),记录150名死后复生的病员的自述,大部份人说,自己站在躯壳旁边,看见亲人在啼哭;他们讲话,亲人听不见,去拉亲人的手,别人也没有感觉。这证明佛教说的第八识能离开躯壳成为中阴身去投生的观点是可信的。

死了以后往哪里走?这是由业力支配。什么业力?就是善、恶的业力。所以,十善十恶是六道轮回形成的业因,六道轮回是十善十恶应受的果报。

什么是善?利人是善。利人,其实是人已两利,也可以说,利人就是利己。

什么是恶?害人是恶。害人是人己俱害,害人终害己,以害人开始必然以害己告终。

佛经说,善恶分成十种,每种又分为上、中、下三等,叫十善十恶。十恶就是:一杀生;二偷盗;三邪淫(属于身三业);四妄语;五两舌;六恶口;七绮语(属于口四业);八贪;九嗔;十痴;(属于意三业)。反过来说,便是十善:一不杀生而放生、护生;二不偷盗而布施;三不邪淫而修梵行(清净行);四不妄语而说诚实语;五不两舌而说调解语;六不恶口而说柔和语;七不绮语而说直质(正直、朴实)语;八不贪而修不净观;九不嗔而修慈悲观;十不痴而修因缘观。

这十善十恶分成三品,就是三个等级。佛经说:作了上品十善的人生天道;中品十善的人生人道;下品十善的人生阿修罗道(属于天龙八部之一,有福报,有神通;但凶恶好斗)。犯上品十恶人的人堕地狱道;犯中品十恶的人堕饿鬼道;犯下品十恶的人堕畜生道。这是佛陀以慧眼观察六道轮回的现象,亲口开示的。我们绝对要深信不疑。因果规律是客观存在的,不是佛陀制造出来约束众生,而是佛发现并揭示出来教育我们的。佛菩萨也要受因果规律的制约。所以佛经说:“菩萨畏因,众生畏果。”近代高僧印光大师说:“诸佛成正觉、众生堕三途,皆不出因果之外。”虚云大师说:“因果二字,是一切圣凡世间出世间都逃不了的。”因果分为染净两类:诸佛菩萨修因证果,修的清净因,修的菩萨行,发的菩提心,所以证到的是清净的果;而我们众生造的是污染因,结的是污染果。星云大师说:“因果比电脑还准确。因为电脑会发生故障,因果是丝毫没有差错的。所以真正懂得因果规律的人,就知道没有冤假错案。憨山大师当年受了冤案,别人要帮他说人情通关系,他说,用不着,这是偿报呀!因果好像带在你身上的“窃听器” ,甚至比“窃听器”还厉害,“窃听器”对说出来的,它才能记录下来。这个“窃听器”哪怕你起心动念,它都能准确地记录下来。

二、因果贯通三世

《涅槃经》说:“善恶之报,如影随形;三世因果,循环不失。”(不会中断,失误。)可是,有些人认为:人生一切都是偶然,没有什么前因后果 。有人看见好人受恶报,恶人受善报,便怀疑因果。有人说:死了死了,死了便了。如果一死便了,人生就没有价值;学佛修行,就无意义;而一贯作恶的人,就太便宜了。归根到底都是由于不懂因果贯通三世的道理。佛经说得好:

欲知前世因 今生受者是(果报)

欲知来世果 今生作者是(业因)

这说明我们今生所受的善恶果报,都是自己前世所种的业因。比如今生病苦多,那肯定是过去生中杀业太重。而今生所作所为,又该来世去受果报。

种下业因,必受果报,但有早迟的不同。大体上,有三种情况:

1。现报:今生做善事,今生享福报;今生做恶事,今生受恶报。

例如,四川日报登载一件事情,万县市一个公司的副经理,平时爱帮别人的忙,几次跳下水救人。一天,他坐出租车办事返家,经过一条路,平时常堵车,今天却很顺利的通过了。到了江边,听说有小孩?进水里了,他立即停车,跳入水中,抓起这个女孩,原来到竟是他的亲生女儿。觉得脚下还有人,抓起一看,是他的侄女,他把这两个女孩子都救上岸来,自己昏倒了。女孩的妈妈、婆婆闻讯赶来,看见小孩还活着,想感谢救命恩人,回头一看,才是他们的亲人。报纸这样评说:“无巧不成书。”佛教的观点来看,不是巧合,而是受业力的支配。因为他平时多种善因,所以就遇善缘(缘,指条件、机遇等);善因与善缘结合,便产生善报。

另外一个例子,新民晚报登载的:江苏某县一个中年妇女,同一个男子走到江边,听见有人喊“救命!”男子准备去救人。而这个妇女竟说:“少管闲事,我们走路要紧,过一会他会自己浮起来。”旁边一人生气地说:“这女人的心肠太坏了!”后来那位男子还是去把人救了起来,是一个十三岁的初中女生,骑自行车掉入水中,因落水时间过长,已经死了。这女生是谁?原来是那位妇女的亲生女儿。围观的人都说:“这真是现眼现报!”这是恶业的支配,平时种的恶因,必然招来恶报。

2。生报:今生作善、作恶,来生享福、受苦。

父母积阴德,子孙享福报,也属于这类。用同仁堂的例子来说明。同仁堂有二百多年的历史。它的祖先信佛,求功名不成便想做济世活人的事,就开中药店,很认真做药品。一种中成药,需要高温后的黄金做原料。他把家中妇女的金首饰集中起来用。亲友笑他:“像你这样做生意,本钱都要蚀光。你就在广告上写出,用有黄金就行了,买主又看不见。”他却说:“我们每做一件事情都在种因,种了善因,不会得恶报。”仍坚持用了黄金。果然,这种药品疗效很好,生意兴隆。他家两百多年来,又发财又发人。解放后,公私合营,最后一任老板叫乐松生,把全部生产资料无保留的交给国家,被任命为北京市副市长。同仁堂总号主要负责人仍然是他的亲属。他还把秘方全部捐出来。家人劝他要留一点作后路,他不同意,说:“政府的力量大,可以救济成千上万的人,这就是种善因,自然会得好报。”结果,政府给他分红,经济上也有很好的收益。说明这个资本家懂得因果报应。

3。后报:现在作善作恶,到第二,第三世,甚至百千劫后才能受报。

例如,唐代悟达国师,四川人,年轻时出家。一次,在长安一个寺庙挂单,当时一位僧人害病,身体很臭,许多人都感到厌恶,他却去护理。那位僧人病愈,分手时对他说:“你以后有什么灾难,可以到四川彭县一个山上来找我。”后来,他当了国师,外国进贡沉香木椅,皇帝都不敢用,供养给悟达国师。他便产生自满,放松修持,马上就遭到恶报,生了一个人面疮,很痛苦。于是,他去彭县找那个僧人。僧人说:你几百年前在汉朝曾种下一个恶因,现在才受报。原来,他是西汉时代的一个大官,叫袁盎。他的一个同事叫晁错。当时皇帝要削减诸侯的力量,晁错建议,削减诸侯兵权,致使诸侯联合起来围攻中央政府,皇帝吓坏了。袁盎乘机进言,就说不是皇帝的意思,而是晁错的主意,把晁错杀了。晁的冤魂一直想报复。可是,袁死后下一世出家,十世都是高僧,晁无机会报复,直到袁当了国师,坐上沉香木椅而骄傲时,他的修行一退转,护法神便离开了。这样,晁错才找到了报复机会。这时,悟达国师找到了彭县这位高僧,把他的冤业解了才得救。后来,悟达国师留下一个著作《三昧水忏》,序言上,他把用三昧水治好人面疮的事叙述出来。这说明,几百年前种的因,缘法(条件)成熟了,必然受报。

后两种果报,凡夫虽然看不见,但应知道,有因必有果。从今生所受的,可推知前因;从现在所作的,可以预测后果。必须相信:“善恶到头终有报,只争来早与来迟。”

为什么恶人会有善报?这是由于他过去生中培植的善根深厚,现在善缘又先成熟,因此先享福报;如果他今生不作恶事,福报就更好。至于他今生所种的恶因,也不会自行消失,因缘成熟时,必受应得的果报。

为什么善人会受恶报?这是由于他过去生中所造的罪业深重,现在恶缘先成熟,所以先受恶报。这好似果园里种了几批水果,第一批品种虽然不好,但先成熟,当然先结果,先受报;第二批虽是良种,但后成熟,还没有结果,自然以后才受报。如果他今生不行善,恶报会更重;另一方面,他今生所种的善因,也没有白种,将来必受相应的福报。故先见恶报。

三、转变全由心念

因果既是有一定规律,可以认识的;但又不是刻板的。这和算命、看相的“铁板数”不同,那个是庸俗的“宿命论”,认为一切都是“命中注定”的,不能改。从佛法因果观来看,我们现在时时刻刻在受果报,时时刻刻又在种业因。因缘既可以改变,果报怎么不能改变批!因缘变了,果报一定会变。

佛法是从根本上揭示命相的原理和由来,但并不主张看相算命。因为这是舍本逐末,徒劳无益的事。一个人的相和命,算也是这样,不算也是这样。只有从根本上改变现在的因缘,才能转变未来的果报。明代袁了凡,由一位叫孔先生的给他算命,算的很准,他哪一年考上秀才、举人,哪一年当知县,哪一年该死,等等。后来遇上云谷禅师,给他讲了:改变命运,全由心念,必须多做善事。从此孔先生算的完全不灵了。算他只能当知县,结果调到中央机关工作;算他只能活53岁,结果活到74岁;算他没有儿子,结果生两个儿子,并都成材。他总结一生改造命运的经历,写成《了凡四训》。佛教界的大德高度评价此书,说明了命运是可以转变的。

转变的关键是什么?就是自己的心念,因为“一切唯心造。”心能造业,也能转业,即“转变由心”之理。唐代禅宗六祖惠能大师说:“一切福田,离不开自己的心。能从自己的心田去寻找,是没有得不到感通的。”所以,相随心转,境随心转,命自己立。儒家说:“祸福无不自己求之者。”也说明这个道理。

四、学佛人应这样看待因果

1。必须深信因果,才能树立正知正见。

因果是佛法的核心,不信因果,不可能真正懂得佛法,更不可能得到佛法的利益。虚云大师说:“因果二字,把佛所说的法概括无余了。”当代高僧定因法师在《普门品讲义》一书中说:“世尊说法四十九年,总括一句话,不外‘因果报应’四字而已。所以修学佛法的人,要深信佛说善恶因果规律,知见才算正确;否则,若不深信佛说善恶因果律,那就叫做邪知邪见了。”可见,不信因果规律就是邪知邪见,就是愚痴。《观无量寿经》把“深信因果”列为修净业的正因。虚云法师提出:办道(即学佛、修行)的首要条件即“深信因果”。我们只有在深信因果的基础上,才能自觉地止恶行善。这样,既能转变并消除过去的恶业,又能培植现在和未来的福德。

2。必须按因果规律办事,不能错因果。

佛经说:“菩萨畏因,众生畏果。”菩萨深明因果,知道既种恶因,必受恶报。因而从言行上,甚至在起心动念处,严防种错了因,就避免受恶报。而凡夫不畏因果,平时纵贪嗔痴,犯杀盗淫,大胆妄为,什么坏事都敢做。直到恶报现前,才恐惧后悔,已毫无用处。我们学佛的人,应学菩萨修行,一方面净化身心,检点言行,处处止恶防非,不再种恶因;一方面时时为众生设想,多做利人的事,广种善因。这是一条我们应当遵循的利己利人,对自己、对家庭、对社会都有益的光明大道。要想了生死、出轮回、生净土、成佛道,也必须从这里做起。

总起来说,因果规律是佛法的核心,不懂因果,就不懂佛法;不信因果规律,就得不到佛法得利益。大家都应认识因果,深信因果,按因果规律办事。现在多种善因,现在将来必定消除业障,增长福报。现在种念佛的因,将来必获往生的果。

Ven Chang Zhen (昌臻法师) 8..jpg

In Buddhist practice — and for that matter in any and all activities — the key element is motivation. Suffering saturates life, and the eventual elimination of the suffering of all beings is the main motivation. Such motivation and the activities that flow from it are called bodhicitta, the “heart of awakening.” Bodhicitta includes loving-kindness and compassion.

— Dza Kilung Rinpoche

Dza Kilung Rinpoche 11..jpg

Through its pure light a sunlike awareness illuminates ignorance; this supreme awareness transforms every experience into sublime bliss, the way alchemy changes base metal into gold.

— Mahasiddha Saraha

Saraha 4.jpg

谈皈依
堪布卡塔仁波切

无始以来,我们一直处於六道轮回中。如果我们生於舒适环境并具备健全心理,这是由於前世累积功德;如果我们遭受痛苦,这是由於前世累积恶业。无论是何种情况,我们都尚未达到最后究竟及绝对本体,原因是我们缺乏正确的皈依基础。

一般人,尤其是现代西方人,初闻诸佛菩萨名号而陷入自我疑惑时,他们可能感觉有一条大鸿沟隔开他们与已开悟众生,以为平凡众生是不可能开悟的。事实上,开悟者曾经像我们一样――受情绪所支配,他们能够达成开悟,是因为修道之初皈依三宝――佛、法、僧。

所有佛教的宗派都有皈依,由一位心灵上师在正式仪式中授与的。本质上,皈依是尊敬和信赖佛、法、僧的一种表达――佛陀即净化和圆满,佛法是引导开悟的教义,以及尊贵的僧伽、菩萨们。佛法透过僧伽(菩萨们)得以继续弘扬。

皈依佛,是承认自己的潜能可以体验开悟的境界;皈依法,是承认由於自己倚赖拙劣方法来处置自己的困惑,迄今仍困在期望和恐惧的循环中;皈依僧,是承认信赖法侣(上师)之指导、鼓舞、开示的重要,原因是:若和保持原始纯净之佛陀教示的相续传承失去联络,这个人在修道过程中就无法进步。

皈依的三宝中,唯有“佛”被认定是究竟的皈依,我们可用病人寻求治疗法的例子来了解,即使是生病,他或她仍可能痊愈,皈依“法”就像吃药,皈依“僧”就像遵照医师的指示。一旦他被治愈,就不再需要任何药物或医学院疗。同样的,一个人若成佛了,就不再需要皈依“法”及“僧”了。

不论我们是在最初皈依仪式下、或每天修持时间开始来皈依的,在大乘传承中,我们持著一份大愿心皈依,以期奋斗到底直到开悟,且要奉献己力以助所有众生无一例外均达究竟开悟,这是菩萨无条件的悲愿。皈依时,如果发心革除恶习,并且产生为众生著想的积极态度,那么不论我们的习气多重,这悲愿终将领导我们到达开悟的境界。

依照金刚乘(密宗),皈依对象有六个,除了佛、法、僧外,行者尚得皈依三根本:上师、本尊、勇父空行及护法。上师是加持的根本,三宝的化身,尤其是佛陀的化身。本尊是诸佛的示现,以不同的形相具体地显现佛性,以便行者能按照自己的根器去修持,而行者修持其身、口、意与本尊之身、口、意契合时,便显示本具的佛性。因此,本尊是成就的根本。而勇父、空行母和护法是觉悟的众生,他们藉四种佛行实践以去除业障,这四种佛行是息、增、怀、诛,因此。他们被称为佛行的根本,以使佛法得以传扬延续。

皈依的六个对象中,上师是最重要的。佛陀在世时,曾预言於未来末法时代,佛陀将化身为上师形相示现给需要他的指引保护的众生,因而,如果我们视上师为佛陀,便可体验到同沾佛陀化身的法露。

“上师”通常是指已开悟的师父,他已完成广泛的训练,已达到心灵体悟的高层次,且依照一套有根本、完整的传承来传法。西藏的上师能以大智慧、大悲心无犹豫无差别地对待众生,通常被冠称“仁波切”,意指“至高至尊”。

一般人不一定明白师徒关系的本质,因此,来了解为什么上师是必要的?了解弟子对师父的职责为何?是很重要的。纵使我们有与生俱来的聪慧且能接触佛法,但是缺少上师的引导,我们仍然很难在修道上有所突破。这未开悟之心智尚被无始以来累积的习气冲动指使着,若无上师超凡的洞察力和引导,是很难克服的。上师的宽大与悲心,给我们一个机会、改变观察有情世界的习惯性方式。在上师完全无私中,我们找到一面观察真我的镜子,如果我们了解这情况,学习如何对治,那么我们的修持就更有效益了。

因为师徒关系的特质,以虔诚态度来对待上师是极重要的。传统上,经过一段相互考验时期,师徒关系形成,并在修道的阶段一直持续著。修持方法中的智慧与熟练,上师能够洞悉这位弟子的需要与能力,然后教了正确的静坐修持。当弟子有了进展时,上师便给予各种金刚乘修持的灌顶,经由这些直接传承的加持,使观想者能成功地修持。密乘修持是相当深奥、精妙,如果正确地修行,便能即身成就,若是修持不正确——由於错误的动机、了解或行为,就会导致更大的困惑和苦难,因此,众生想直接修持达到开悟,那么一位上师的个别指导是绝对必要的。