介紹《一夢漫言》

沙彌尼近紹講於2012年7月20日星期五晚 萬佛城大殿   A talk give by Shramanerika Jin Shao on July 20 (Friday), 2012 at Buddha Hall of CTTB

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上人、各位法師、各位佛友,阿彌陀佛!今晚輪到近紹來練習結法緣,如果有講得不對的地方,請指正!

今晚我想講講見月律師的自傳《一夢漫言》。見月律師也就是讀體大師,是明末清初人,寶華山中興律宗的一代祖師。初次知道大師的名字是在學習書玉律師所著的《毗尼日用切要香乳記》的時候。在《香乳記》裡,書玉律師簡單地介紹了讀體大師的生平。其中講到,有人說:「讀體大師是『迦舍尊者』的化身」,還有,讀體大師小時候因為很會畫菩薩像而被人稱為「小吳道子」等,都給我留下很深刻的印象。但是,在《香乳記》裡,書玉律師並沒有提到讀體大師的自傳《一夢漫言》。

後來是在翻閱倓虛法師的《影塵回憶錄》的時候,無意中在他的序言裡看到了《一夢漫言》這四個字。說也奇怪,當這幾個字一映入眼簾時,我就迫不及待的想一睹為快。讀過後深受感動,覺得這部《一夢漫言》很能砥礪自己的道心,幫助袪除自己的習氣,值得一讀再讀,用來不時提醒、鼓勵自己。所以,很慶幸自己因一時的好奇而有機會讀到這麼好的書;同時,也覺得應該把它推薦給志同道合的修行者。

《一夢漫言》是見月律師在七十三歲的時候,應弟子和大眾的請求而寫的,記述了他自己一生的經歷。在書的最後,大師解釋了為什麼給書取名為《一夢漫言》。因為,雖然書中所講述的都是事實,也不怕繁冗累贅而一一向大家做了陳述。「然一切有相、皆歸於幻.由後思前、此猶一夢耳.故題為《一夢漫言》」。同時,他還作了一首偈頌:「一夢南來數十秋,艱危歷盡事方休。爾今問我南游跡,仍把夢中境界酬。」讀完全文再看看這首偈頌,我不禁掩卷而嘆。凡夫的一輩子醉生夢死、稀裏糊塗,固然是在做夢;大師轟轟烈烈的一生,可歌可泣的作為,也說是一場夢而已。或許,這就是所謂的「大做夢中佛事吧」!

《一夢漫言》的篇幅並不長,分為上下兩卷。上卷的重點在見月律師行腳參方的苦行事跡;下卷主要講述他幾十年苦心經營、鐵脊承擔、支撐佛門、弘法事業的事跡。那麼,接下來的時間裡,我想主要講講見月律師出家和受戒的因緣,以及他為了求戒、參學而行腳,備受辛苦的一些實際例子,也就是主要講上卷的內容。其實,下卷的內容也是很重要,或許可以說是更重要的。那其中的很多例子體現了見月律師的錚錚鐵骨、凜然正氣,以及他臨危不懼、處變不驚、為法忘軀的精神。總之,充分展現了他作為一代律宗祖師的風采。讀來很能鼓舞人,很有震撼力和感染力。但是,在這裡我選擇只講上卷的內容,主要有兩方面的原因。

一是考慮到有些人可能對見月律師並不熟悉,所以需要先做一點基本的介紹。二是自己對律方面的學習才剛開始,還不能夠對見月律師的貢獻,有深刻的理解體會,不想貿貿然地講。當然,也是因為時間有限,無法做到面面俱到。所以,下卷的內容或許留待以後有機緣再說。

見月律師是明朝末年雲南人。他十四歲的時候,父母相繼逝世,由伯父養育、教誨長大。他天性喜歡到處遊覽,廿七歲時,有一天正在和好友們飲酒作樂的時候,突然接到家裡的來信,得知伯父已經去世的消息。即時「神驚酒醒,心傷淚墮」,他頓時發起出家修行的念頭。當時就對眾好友說:「今決志出家懺罪報恩,從此一別,不復再聚」,說得很乾脆俐落,讀來令我肅然起敬。見月律師先是做道士,他一旦開始修行就--原文這樣說:從前俗氣頓除,真實修行不怠--寥寥片語說得輕鬆簡單,但是一般人卻是很不容易做到的,這也正顯示了他出家的決心和志向。所以,他的真實精進修行當時就感化了很多人對修道生起信心。同時,當時的見月律師也廣行善事、齋僧濟貧,不由他教,自動自覺地行菩薩道。

見月律師從道士到僧人的轉變,起止於兩個夢。起於見月律師自己做的夢,止於他的剃度師父亮如法師做的夢。見月律師剛做道士的時候,曾經做了一個奇異的夢,而且這個夢後來也都實現了。書中原文是這樣描述這個夢境的:「夢見萬里碧空,一輪紅日,行到一大寺,殿台高廣,朱垣環圍,松柏行植,中有一門,其中無數僧人,俱露頂披袈裟。余喜欲進,恨門閾太高不能跨入,再三奮力忽然超進。進已非道,成一僧形。眾中有一高座,上坐一老僧身著丹衣,笑顏召余上座。余排眾而上,老僧持一卷經授予云:汝為眾講。余接立旁講之,眾皆跪聽。」簡單扼要地說,就是:「見月律師夢見自己是和尚而不是道士,並高坐上座,很多出家人都跪著聽他講經。」由這個夢,見月律師知道自己以後必會做佛門的僧人。

後來遇到機緣,請到一部《華嚴經》,他焚香恭敬跪誦。誦完〈世主妙嚴品〉時,又想起了之前所做的夢,想披剃為僧的念頭驟然急切了起來。經過一番周折,終於得剃度於亮如法師座下。而亮如法師在見月律師請求剃度的前一天晚上,也做了一個夢。「夢一僧,身著袈裟,隨眾無數,語云髮長求剃。」由這個夢,亮如法師知道見月律師是再來人。所以,對他很是器重、慈愛。給他取名「讀體」,意思是:自性理體,讀教方成。取號「紹如」,意思是:他可以繼承他的師父弘法利生的事業。

見月律師出家後,有一天他聽到亮如法師教誡威儀不具的幾個沙彌說:「出家必先受沙彌十戒,次受比丘戒,具諸威儀,乃名為僧。若不受比丘戒,威儀不具,不名為僧,有玷法門。」見月律師聽到後就向師父禮拜,請求師父給他受比丘戒,以成為正式的僧人。亮如法師告訴他說:「吾是法師,受比丘戒須請律師。」經過見月律師的多方請求,最後,亮如法師許可他到江南三昩和尚處求受比丘戒。

於是見月律師就開始了他行腳參方的旅程。在旅途中遭遇了很多的磨難、挫折,艱苦備嘗。甚至一度,大師覺得求戒無望,弘法利生的志願恐怕是無法實現了。所以就自己改號為「見月」。「見月」是從他的法名「讀體」衍生而來。也是取《楞嚴經》上「標指見月」之意。

後來,在依三昩和尚受了具足戒後,同期的新戒子都求和尚改法名,唯獨見月律師為了不忘根本,請求並獲許仍舊用他原來的名字。

見月律師的行腳自滇南到北方,又從北方到江南等地。跋山涉水步行兩萬幾千里地,歷時四年多。這其中經歷種種艱辛,或戴月披星、或衝風冒雨、受寒受凍、或忍飢忍渴等,不一而足。當時是明朝末年,時局動盪不安、兵荒馬亂、飢荒遍野,更增加了他行腳的艱辛。

下面,我們來看兩個例子。第一個例子是:「又行數日過盤江,山路屈曲,上下崚險。頃刻大雨,澗流若吼,山徑成溝。四面風旋,一身難立,水從頸項直下股衣,兩腳橫步,如跨浮囊,解帶瀉水,猶開隄堰,如此數次,寒徹肌骨。」

第二個例子:「次日至安莊衛道上,砂石凸凹,峻嶒盤曲,不覺履底已穿,脫落難著,即雙棄跣足,行數十里。至晚歇宿,足腫無踝,猶如火炙錐刺。中夜思之,身無一錢,此是孤庵野徑,又無化處,不能久棲,明早必趨前途。...次日仍復強行。初則腳跟艱於點地,漸漸拄杖跛行。行至五六里,不知足屬於己,亦不覺所痛,中途又無歇處,至晚將踐五十餘里,宿安莊衛庵中。」

上面兩個例子是描寫得比較詳細的,也有很簡單扼要、一筆帶過的,像這一句:「咽無點水,腹無粒米,從旦至暮,奔走百餘里。」不過,輕描淡寫的背後盡是艱辛。

在《一夢漫言》裡有好幾處,講到見月律師即使在很惡劣艱苦的環境下,依舊精進用功的例子。例如:在五台山伽藍殿琉璃燈光下讀經的例子。書裡是這樣描述的:「五臺春秋尚寒,況乎冬際,到十月間,衣又單薄,手捧經卷,足立光下,用功時浑忘所以。至於歇息掩卷,則指不能曲,足不能移,通身抖顫,寒徹肺腑。然雖如是,其志願愈堅。」

又譬如:見月律師在路上曾抄寫了一部《法華知音》。在《一夢漫言》裡是這樣子寫的:「是年冬每日大雪,加之屋空,朔風灌入。余惟一衲,就單縮頭鈔寫,雖手指凍皴,筆墨凝滯,亦未少佇。」這裡值得一提的是~古人讀經是很不容易的,過去的人想看某部經典,大多都是自己抄寫,現在是太方便了,因此人也就容易養成一種輕慢經典的習慣。

好了,時間到了,我們今晚就講到這裡,阿彌陀佛!


An Introduction to A Casual Talk of a Dream

Talk given by Shramanerika Jin Shao at the Buddha Hall of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas on July 20, 2012

Venerable Master, dharma masters, and friends in the dharma, Amitabha! It is Jin Shao’s turn to practice tying dharma affinity tonight. Please correct me if I say anything inappropriate.

My topic for tonight is about Vinaya Master JianYue’s autobiography titled A Casual Talk of a Dream. Vinaya Master JianYue, also known as Great Master DuTi, is a patriarch of the Vinaya school from the jewel flower mountain in the Ming dynasty. I first learned about the Great Master’s name when reading Vinaya Master ShuYu’s Commentary on the 53 Mantras for Daily Practice, where Great Master DuTi was briefly introduced. It was said that Great Master DuTi was a transformation body of Venerable Mahakatyayana, and that he was well-known for drawing pictures of Bodhisattvas. But A Casual Talk of a Dream was not mentioned in Vinaya Master ShuYu’s introduction.

I first came across these four Chinese characters in the preface of Dharma Master TanXu’s autobiography. At first sight, strangely enough, I was really eager to read the book. After reading it, I was deeply moved and inspired. I believed it can help to solidify my resolve in the Way and help to discard my bad habits. It can serve as a constant reminder and a timely encouragement. So I felt fortunate to have the opportunity to read and learn from this wonderful book, while at the same time felt obliged to recommend it to my fellow cultivators.

A Casual Talk of a Dream was written upon a sincere request from his disciples when Vinaya Master JianYue was 73 years old. In the end of the book, he explained why he named the book A Casual Talk of a Dream, saying: “Although what has been presented here, detailed and specific, did all actually happen in the past, it is just like a dream to me now as I look back on it, since all appearances eventually become illusionary. Thus the book is titled A Casual Talk of a Dream.” He also wrote a verse to express the same meaning.

Having read the book and pondering on the verse, I thought to myself: The lives of ordinary beings, muddled and confused, are certainly like dreams; but the life of the Great Master, spectacular and inspiring, is also said to be like a dream; it is so called in the sense that one vigorously does all Buddhas’ activities yet is detached from them, as if one is in a dream.

A Casual Talk of a Dream is relatively short in length and has two major parts. The first part focuses on the ascetic practices related to Vinaya Master JianYue’s walking journey; and the second part focuses on how he established, maintained, and reformed the monastery, and protected, upheld, and propagated the dharma, especially Vinaya teachings, over a few decades. For the rest of the time, I am going to talk about the causes and conditions for the Master to leave home and to receive the precepts, and also provide some examples of the hardships he experienced on his journey to request for the precepts, which are basically from the first part.

Actually the second part is equally, if not more, important, as it clearly shows us the words and conducts, the spirits, and the lofty qualities, of the Great Master as a patriarch in the Vinaya school. Nonetheless, I chose to focus on the first part, for two reasons: first, some of us may not know anything at all about this Master, so a bit of general introduction seems appropriate; second, because I am pretty much new to the Vinaya teachings, I don’t think I have enough knowledge to fully recognize, appreciate, or understand his contributions to the Vinaya school. It is also, obviously, due to time constraint. So I will leave the second part for some other time when the condition is right.

Vinaya Master JianYue was born in YunNan of China in the end of the Ming dynasty. His parents both passed away when he was 14 years old, and he was brought up by his father’s elder brother. He liked to travel everywhere. When he was 27 years old, being far away from home for some period of time, one day he was drinking and enjoying himself, together with many friends. Unexpectedly he received a letter from home, and learned that his uncle had passed away. Upon reading the letter, he was suddenly awakened and shed bitter tears, and he immediately brought forth the mind to leave home and to practice the way.

He told his friends that he decided to leave home so as to repent his offences and to repay the kindness given to him. He was very decisive and resolute, without any hesitation. He then became a Taoist priest, and he practiced vigorously and courageously, leaving all his worldly habits behind. Thus he set a good example for people to follow. Inspired by his practice, many people gained confidence in the Way. Meanwhile, he also extensively did all kinds of good deeds, made offering to the Sangha members, and practiced giving to the poor, spontaneously walking the Bodhisattva path.

Two dreams marked Vinaya Master JianYue’s transformation from a Taoist priest to a Buddhist monk. Shortly after he became a Taoist priest, he had a special dream, and that dream later actually came true. To put it simply, in his dream, Vinaya Master JianYue appeared not as a Taoist priest, but as a Buddhist monk. He was seated in high seat and lectured sutra for many Sangha members, who all knelt to listen to his lecture. From this dream, Vinaya Master JianYue believed he would eventually become a Buddhist monk. Some time after that dream, condition ripened and he obtained a set of the Flower Garland Sutra. He lit the incense, knelt down, and respectfully recited the sutra. When he finished reciting the first chapter, he recalled his earlier dream, and got really anxious to get shaved and to become a monk.

With some efforts, he finally was shaved under Dharma Master LiangRu. Interestingly, the night right before Vinaya Master JianYue requested to leave home, Dharma Master LiangRu also had a dream. He dreamt that a monastic on sash and robe, followed by a big crowd of people, requested to be shaved because his hair had grown too long. From that dream, Dharma Master LiangRu knew that Vinaya Master JianYue was not an ordinary person, but one coming with vows, so he regarded highly of Master JianYue. He was given the dharma name DuTi, which means “by reading sutras or teachings, one recognizes one’s self-nature and inherent substance”; and the external name ShaoRu, which means “to continue his teacher’s work in propagating the dharma and benefiting all beings”.

After Vinaya Master JianYue had left home, once he heard Dharma Master LiangRu was admonishing some novices, saying: “A left-home person must first receive the ten precepts, next receive the complete Bhikshu precepts, be adorned with all deportments, then he is entitled to be called a monastic. By contrast, if one does not receive the complete precepts, nor does he show any proper deportment, he is not considered a monastic, instead, he brings disgrace to the Sangha.” Upon hearing what Dharma Master LiangRu said, Vinaya Master JianYue bowed to him, and requested for the transmission of the complete precepts, so as to become a true monastic. But he was told that the complete precepts can only be transmitted by a Vinaya Master, rather than by a Dharma Master.

After requesting it for many times, eventually, he was allowed to leave for the south to seek the precepts from Great Master SanMei. So that is why Vinaya Master JianYue started his journey on foot. On his way seeking for the precepts, he encountered a lot of sufferings and obstructions. Once he even thought he would not be able to receive the precepts, nor to fulfill the wish of his teacher, thus he changed his name to JianYue, which literally means “seeing the moon”. This new name was derived from or related to his dharma name Du Ti. It was also taken from an expression in the Shurangama sutra, which says “one sees the moon by someone’s pointing a finger toward the moon”.

After receiving the complete precepts, he didn’t request for a new dharma name from Great Master SanMei as other preceptees did. Instead, he requested to keep his original dharma name so that he would always remember the kindness of the teacher who shaved him, and his request was granted.

Vinaya Master JianYue’s walking journey, started fromYunNanprovince in the south, to the north, and then from the north, to the south of theYangtze River, covered a walking distance of over 20 thousand kilometers, and lasted for several years. The hardships and difficulties he experienced are too many to be enumerated, including all kinds of natural disasters, thirst and hunger, fatigue and bad conditions with people, and so on and so forth. It was the end of the Ming Dynasty: there were confusion and disorder brought about by war, and there was a great extent of famine – all these added extra difficulties to his walking journey.

Now we are going to look at a few examples. The first example is as follows: “The mountain road was winding, precipitous, and dangerous to tread on. All of a sudden, it was raining in torrents. The hillside creek became waterfalls with thundering sounds. The winding roads became streams. Fierce wind blew from all directions, and became a whirlpool. Caught in such a whirlpool, one could not even stand still. The downpour was so heavy that we were entirely soaked. With so much water inside our clothes, we were like riding on the airbag used for crossing the sea. When we untied our belts, it was like opening the gate to let go of water. That happened quite a few times, and it was chilled to the bone.”

The second example is as follows: “The mountain road was covered with gravel, full of bumps and holes, steep, and tortuous. Without our noticing, the soles of our shoes were completely worn out. We threw our shoes away and walked barefoot, and kept walking till that evening. By then, our feet had swollen so badly that the ankles could not be identified. The pain was so severe, like being burned in the fire, or being pierced by an awl. That night, I thought to myself, we were penniless, and being in the middle of nowhere, we simply could not get help from anyone, so we had to move on the next day. The next morning, we grit our teeth and forced our way forward. At first, the heels were in such a pain that they could not even bear to touch the ground. Anyway, we managed to walk slowly with a cane. After covering five or six Chinese li, we did not feel that we had any feet at all, nor could we sense any pain. There was no rest area on the way, and by the end of the day, we had already walked for more than 50 li without any rest.”

In the book, there are detailed descriptions of the hardships such as these two examples, there are also very brief ones, such as the one that follows, with just one sentence: “Without a tiny drop of water to drink, without a single grain of rice to eat, we walked for more than 100 li, from morning to night.” This simple, straightforward style of writing is actually quite powerful in conveying a moving picture of the hardship that was undergone.

Despite all the terrible conditions he encountered, Vinaya Master JianYue was always vigorously applying efforts in his cultivation. Quite a few examples regarding his courageous vigor were given in the book. Here is an example about reading sutra under the light from the Lapis Lazuli lamp in the QieLan hall, described as follows: “It is already pretty cold in theWuTaiMountainin Spring and Autumn, let alone in winter! In October, wearing just single-layered clothes, with the sutra in our hands, we stood and read under the lamp. When we concentrated our minds on the sutra, we didn’t feel any cold. But when we closed the sutra book to take a brief break, we found we were not able to stretch or bend our fingers, and our legs were numb and were not able to move for even a single step. Besides, we were trembling all over, and the cold penetrated to the bottom of our hearts. Nonetheless, we were even more determined, more steadfast in our vows and aspirations.”

Another example is about his writing out a sutra by the name of Fa Hua Zhi Yin, as described below. “During this winter, everyday it snowed heavily, and the room was very spacious, so the north wind kept gusting in. I sat on the bed prepared for visiting monks, wore just a single robe, huddled my head up with cold, and wrote out the sutra. I did not rest for a moment, even though my fingers were stiff and chapped by the cold, and the brush and ink were stagnated.” It is worth mentioning that in ancient times, it is not easy for people to obtain sutras. Usually they have to write out the sutra themselves in order to have a copy to read. It is far more convenient nowadays; so convenient that people do not show enough respect toward the sutras.

Okay, time is up, so we end here tonight. Amitabha!

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