慶祝阿彌陀佛聖誕法會午齋法語

比丘恒實、比丘尼恒禪、方丈恒律講於2012年12月23日星期日 萬佛城五觀堂

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比丘恒實:師父上人,各位佛友:大家阿彌陀佛!各位在拿食物或者等待拿食物的時候,大家都要發一個廣大的忍耐心,我們先開始跟各位分享一些關於佛法,關於修行方面的心得。

The Venerable Master and all Dharma friends, Amitabha! Those of you who are getting food or waiting, please be patient. In the meantime, we will share some cultivation experiences and reflections.

末日沒到,恭喜各位!到了這個來世。可能末日到了我們都不知道;無論到了沒到,我們還要修行。所以就是恭喜各位。我們說,哎呀!怎麼會有人相信?實在有人真的相信。十二月廿二號是最後一天,尤其在臺灣,在中國,很多人相信。我注意到一點,據我所知道,沒有人說「宣化上人已經預告的這個末日來了」;這算有進步。因為你們記得那個SARS病來了,有人趁機會說,「哎呀,這就是宣化上人所說的這個末日的病災!」這次沒有了,他們都沒有這樣子譭謗上人。

First, I would like to congratulate everyone that the Apocalypse did not happen. It might happen in the future or when we least expect it, but no matter what happens, we should cultivate. If you think, “Oh, who would believe in that?” Let me tell you that people do believe in this. Many people inTaiwan, inChinaand many other places believe that December 22nd would be the last day. But I think that there is an improvement, because this year, no one claimed that the Master already predicted the Apocalypse. When SARS was spreading, people took opportunities to say, “Oh, this is just what the Master said about illness and disasters proliferating as we reach the end of the world.” This time, no one used the Master’s words.

上人怎麼說的呢?他說在這個國家,要以德行弘揚佛法,用道德,而不用神通;在這裡沒有人相信神通,可是這裡需要道德,做人的基礎、救國妙藥就是道德。所以,大家現在好像有所進步了,假的末日,沒有人把上人的名字也加進去。恐怕還有一些宣傳大乘佛法的師父,就用這個機會,好像宣告自己有特異功能;那今天他們怎麼解釋末日並沒到呢?他們的神通已經不值錢了。

What did the Master actually say? He said, “We need to govern this country with virtue. We need to spread the Buddha Dharma, but not through spiritual powers for no one will believe in that; instead, we should use virtue as the foundation to remedy society.” Therefore, it is good that everyone has improved. Since the prediction was not true, there are some people who add the Master ‘ name to the list of people that use such occasions to show that they have skill. But how do they explain that the world did not end today? Those people who predict this, their spiritual powers are of no use now.

所以,上人真的告訴我們,在這個國家,在廿一世紀,以德行,以道德作為我們弘揚佛法的基礎這麼一個道理;現在這個時候,真的需要。所以這一點,我們可以說,從末梢回歸到根本,那是很好的現象。廿一世紀有一個好的開始。

Hence, the Master told us that in the 21st century, we need to use virtue and Buddhism as foundations for this country—this is what this country really needs. To start off well in the 21st century, we begin with the peripheral and then are returning to our roots.

已經到了彌陀誕,大家聚會在萬佛城,過彌陀七。我們念的是「南無阿彌陀佛」,一天念了很多次,或者唱念「南無阿彌陀佛……」這樣子。說的什麼呢?說的我願意皈依無量光佛還有無量壽佛,那是Amitāyus。不過,一般來講「阿彌陀佛」的意思,是無量光,就是光明無量,很大光明。你看五觀齋堂,有燈光,外面有太陽光,那是光明。不過,阿彌陀佛的光明是從不同的地方來的。

We now gather at CTTB for the Amitabha Session. When we recite, “Namo Amitabha Buddha” daily, we are saying that we are willing to take refuge in Amitayus, the Buddha of limitless light and life. Amitabha means great and limitless light. Just like the bright lights that shine in the Five Contemplations Hall, Amitabha’s light is bright and comes from all directions.

現在是冬至,就是說陽光最少,黑暗的晚間的時間最長。因為我們的地球這樣子轉,然後又是繞著太陽。這個時侯是陽光最少,白天最短,黑暗的晚間最長的一個時侯。這個有什麼作用呢?人求這個光明,我們都需要光明。所以無論哪個宗教,都是到這個時候,都有光明出來了。好像印度教,他們叫Deepavali,光明節,festivaloflight。還有誰呢?猶太教,Hanukkah,他們點八個蠟燭,一二三四五六七八;每天一支,這樣子呢,有光明。黑人呢,非洲有他們的節日叫Kwanzaa,這也是有燈光的關思。還有什麼?基督教、天主教,Christmas,聖誕節,到處都是光明。Christmastree的燈光,還有房子要貼一些光。一瞅星星,就知道耶穌出生,都是屬於光。

Now being winter, when the earth orbiting around the sun, there is more darkness and less light and day is shorter.  Why do I mention this? People like and need sunlight. Likewise, with any religion, there is light. This Sanskrit, this is called, “deepavili,” the festival of light. This is similar to Hanukkah in Judaism, where they light eight candles, one each day. InAfrica, they have a similar festival called, Kwanzaa; in Christianity, there is Christmas with Christmas trees, and when the light shine, Jesus is born.

佛教也是一樣的,也是光明。什麼光呢?無量光;可是不同。有什麼不同呢?這個光,不是外面的燈光。阿彌陀佛是誰呢?是一個人。可是因為慈悲的關係,因為願力的關係,他在自性上回光。那個字很重要──「回光」。他就把他本來具有的光明收回來了,集中。然後,他的無明,他的一切的覆障的東西,被照破了。哦!就有無量光出來了!自性的光,就叫,照千日,就像一千個太陽的光亮。所以稱阿彌陀佛,都是人性真正把它修成了,就是無量光。你也有,我也有,只是阿彌陀佛先修成了,所以稱無量光。

In Buddhism there is also light—limitless light. This light is different from artificial light. With Amitabha Buddha’s compassion and vows, his emits a reflective light. This light shines through darkness like a thousand suns. Therefore, those who recite Amitabha Buddha’s name will have light. I will have it and you will as well; the only difference between Amitabha Buddha and us is that he has accomplished his cultivation, so he is called, “Limitless light.”

那我們每次念「南無阿彌陀佛」,或者說「NammoAyidaFut」,或者說「Namu AmidaButsu」,或者是「Namo Amitābhāya」;無論哪一個語言,Namo Amitābhāya,就是說,我皈依無量光佛。所以,這個時侯,看到我們的同事、朋友,就說過聖誕節,或者Hanukkah什麼的,我們佛教也可以說,「哎!我明白了,祝你放無量光,光光互照,沒有障礙」;這樣子,真的是無量光的意思。

So in whatever language we recite Amitabha Buddha, we are saying that we take refuge with the Buddha of Limitless Light. And instead of wishing our friends, “Merry Christmas!” or “Happy Hanukkah,” we can say, “Wishing you limitless light!”—light that is reflective and will break all kinds of obstacles. This is the meaning of limitless light.

好了,祝各位開車回去的時候,在車上聲聲都是阿彌陀,在萬佛殿裡邊參加佛七的時候,聲聲都是無量光。南無阿彌陀佛!

Alright, when you drive back, remember to recite Amitabha Buddha’s name on the ride. And for those who are staying for the whole session, I hope that in your every recitation, there will be light. Amitabha!

*     *     *

比丘尼恒禪:諸佛菩薩、師父上人、各位師兄弟、各位佛友:今天輪到恒禪跟大家結法緣。

All Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, the Venerable Master, all fellow cultivators and friends, today it is my turn to speak Dharma.

我們現在趁著彌陀七的法會,跟大家分享一些凈土的法門。念佛一句有說不完的意義,可以利益,還有很多的妙處。假如一人受持一佛的名號──阿彌陀佛,現世可以得到諸佛神降,二十五菩薩;乃至一切的菩薩晝夜常隨守護,所有的惡都不會害,災難也不會受。所以,我們應當常常念佛。加上諸佛也會護念我們,阿彌陀佛也常放光攝受念佛的人,令念佛的人心常歡喜,精氣神充盛,所作吉祥,普利大眾。最後,臨終的時候,心無怖畏,正念現前,得見阿彌陀佛及菩薩聖眾,來接引我們到西方極樂,盡未來際受殊勝的妙樂;這是我們參加念佛最重要的因緣。

Since it is the Amitabha Session, I want to share somePureLandmethods with everyone. Reciting the Buddha’s name has limitless meanings, all which are beneficial and wondrous. If some recites the Amitabha Buddha’s name, in this life, Buddhas, spirits, twenty-five Bodhisattvas, will protect him or her, day and night, so that he or she will not encounter disasters. So we should constantly recite the Buddha’s name. Amitabha Buddha will shine light on those who recite his name, giving them peace, energy and auspiciousness. When that person dies, he or she will not be afraid and will see Amitabha Buddha and all the retinue of Bodhisattvas come to bring him or her to thePureLandwhere he or she will be extremely blissful. Hence, we should participate in this recitation session to increase our conditions to go to thePureLand.

這是我們做未來的準備工作;那現在要怎麼做呢?上人的《開示錄十一》提到,我們要造一個極樂世界。怎麼造呢?首先,上人說要沒有七情。何謂七情?是喜怒哀懼愛惡欲;把這七種感情調伏了,令它不造反,這時候,我們的心裡太平無事,什麼痛苦的事也沒有了。為什麼會痛苦呢?因為心裡不太平;若沒有痛苦,但受眾樂,這就是人間的極樂世界。

This is all preparation. The Master in Dharma Talks Vol. 1 mentions that we need to create aPureLand. How is this done? The Master said we have to get rid of our seven emotions. These emotions are: joy, anger, sorrow, fear, love, evil and desire. Once we get rid of these desires, we will be at peace and feel no pain. Why do we feel pain? It is because our minds are not at peace, and once we no longer feel pain and are always in peace, this is thePureLand.

阿彌陀佛,梵語是無量壽無量光。那壽對我們來說,就算是幾大劫,還是有個限量;但是阿彌陀佛的無量壽,不是指有限的壽量,而是指福德無量。那無量光呢,光,我們早上晚上從光亮到黑暗;但阿彌陀佛的光是智慧的光,所以是無量的。所以,阿彌陀佛已經修成了神通、辯才、相好、道力,一切一切都是無量無邊跡的。所以,阿彌陀佛和諸佛無所不在,無在無不在。

Amitabha Buddha in Sanskrit means, “limitless light and life.” His lifespan is limitless, which refers to limitless virtue and blessings. His limitless light refers to his wisdom light. This is why Amitabha, in limitless ways, perfected spiritual powers, eloquence, interactions with living beings and the Way. Therefore, he and other Buddhas are here and are also everywhere.

什麼是無所不在,無在無不在呢?《六祖壇經》說到,一切眾生有兩個身。第一,法身,或者叫自性;第二是色身。色身是有形有相的,無常的,會變的,會敗壞;法身呢,這個自性就是無所不在,無在無不在的。就好像昨天晚上法師說,念佛可以回到我們自性的無量壽無量光;那自性就是我們人人乃至眾生本具有的法身。所以,釋迦摩尼佛在菩提樹下禪坐四十九天後悟道,說,「奇哉奇哉!大地眾生皆有佛性,只因妄想執著不能證得。」

What does this mean? In the Six Patriarch Sutra, it says that living beings have two bodies: one is their dharma body—also called “original nature”—the other, the image body. The image body is impermanent and subject to change and decay, while the dharma body is pervasive. Last night the Master said that reciting the Buddha’s name helps us return to our dharma body, our original nature that has limitless light and life. So when Shakyamuni Buddha meditated under the Bodhi tree for forty-nine days and gained enlightenment, he said, “Strange indeed, strange indeed! All living beings have the Buddha nature, but due to thoughts and attachments, they cannot attain it.”

凈土有十念法,說你一口氣念阿彌陀佛,第二口氣乃至十念,必定會投生極樂世界。《華嚴經》〈十無盡藏品〉裡頭,有一位菩薩專修十念法,那是念藏菩薩。另外一位菩薩專修修持法,叫持藏。《華嚴經》的十念法是什麼呢?就是第一要寂靜,第二要清凈,第三不濁,第四明徹,第五離塵,第六種種塵念或者妄想,第七離垢,第八光耀,第九可愛樂之念,第十無障礙念,無障礙嫉妒;這些菩薩都證得重重無盡,無盡窮窮,事理無礙的境界。故我們念佛的人,也要學習這兩位菩薩。持藏菩薩,是持諸佛所說的修多羅法,就是藏經,文句義理沒有忘失的。他的力量可以一聲持不可說不可說的佛名號;他的時間可以持一劫,乃至不可說不可說劫的佛號。所以我們可以看,《華嚴經》裡頭的菩薩的耐力是多麼的無盡!

The PureLandSchoolhas ten ways of reciting that guarantee rebirth in the PureLand. You need to recite Amitabha Buddha’s name and then with another breath, you recite his name ten times. In the Avatamsaka Sutra’s Chapter on Ten limitless Treasures, it mentions the Bodhisattva Mindful of Treasures who cultivated this recitation method, and another Bodhisattva, Upholding Treasures, who specialized in upholding dharmas. What are the ten recitations methods mentioned in the Avatamsaka Sutra? They are: silence, purity, unsoiled, clear, being apart from dust, from false thoughts, and apart from filth, having brightness, happy thoughts and no afflictions or jealousy. These Bodhisattvas perfected these methods and have no obstructions. People who recite the Buddha’s name should learn from these Bodhisattvas. Mindful of Treasuries Bodhisattva upholds each and every word all the Dharmas that Buddhas speak. When he recites the Buddha’s name, he can be mindful for a lifetime, so we can see how much patience this Bodhisattva has!

最後我們可以研究無量和無,因為上人說,無量其實是沒有,是無。要是我們可以了解無量的話,那我們就不會貪,當然所有的習氣就沒了;要是能夠了解都是沒有的,都是空的,那就不會執著。

Finally, let’s discuss the concept of “limitless and no light.” The Master said that limitless light actually means no light at all. If we understand this, we won’t be greedy or have any more anger. If we can truly understand this, we would let go of all attachments and everything would be empty.

現在跟大家分享上人智慧的法語。上人說:「所有的眾生都是我的家人,宇宙是我的身體,虛空是我的大學,慈悲喜捨是我的功用;我的名字了無形相。」所以我想,大家可以除了常念阿彌陀佛,也常念我們的宣公上人,我們大家的家長。阿彌陀佛!

The Master once said, “All beings are my family; the universe, my body; empty space, my university; emotions, my functions. My name has no image.” Thus, we should be mindful of reciting the Buddha’s name as well as being mindful of our Master, our parent. Amitabha!

*     *     *

方丈恒律:師父宣公上人、各位尊敬的法師們、各位善知識們:阿彌陀佛!歡迎大家回到我們的家,萬佛聖城。

The Venerable Master, all Dharma cultivations and advisors, Amitahba! Welcome back to our home, the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas.

我們今天,大家共聚一堂,慶祝我們的大慈悲父,阿彌陀佛的聖誕。我們都知道,阿彌陀佛歷經數劫艱苦的修行,才成就了無上的佛果。

Today, we gather together to celebrate our compassionate father, Amitabha Buddha. We all know that Amitabha Buddha cultivated vigorously in order to accomplish Buddhahood.

雖然他過去如此精進地修行,他依然遭遇到許多人、事、物的種種困難,就像我們在日常生活中會面臨的一些問題一樣。但是阿彌陀佛,總是選擇去看人、事、物的光明的一面,因此他改變了他的命運,成就了無上光明的佛果及無量光的聖號。

Although he was so vigorous, he still encountered many difficult people and situations, similar to the issues we have daily. However, Amitabha Buddha chose to see the bright side of these situations, changed his life and accomplished Buddhahood with the name, Limitless Light.

我們念阿彌陀佛的聖號,就像剛剛法師講的,會得到種種的利益,以及往生西方極樂凈土。同時我們也可以學習像阿彌陀佛一樣,來看種種的人、事、物的光明面。譬如說,每天早晨我們醒來的時候,我們可以想著,當天生活中可能會發生的美好事情。然後我們加以關注在這些美好的事情上,我們會發現,我們經常會心想事成的。

Just as the previous Dharma Master mentioned, when we recite Amitabha Buddha’s name, we will receive all kinds of benefits and can gain rebirth in thePureLand. We can also learn from Amitabha Buddha and look at the bright sides of things. For example, every morning when we wake up, we can think of pleasant things that might occur that day. Then we can focus on these pleasant things happen, and before we know it, everything is well.

我們也可以試著問自己這個問題,什麼是大家都想要的,而我卻已經擁有的?這個答案可能是您的才華,您的健康,您的家庭,或是您的事業;乃至您當下快樂的心情等等。請不要羨慕或嫉妒他人;因為羨慕或嫉妒他人,是浪費我們寶貴的時間和精力,來數別人的幸福,而不是我們自己的。

We think about what other people need and what do we already have. This could refer to one’s talent, health, family, business or one’s peaceful mind. We should not envy or be jealous of people, because that’s just wasting our precious time and energy; instead of counting other people’s blessing, we should count our own.

如果你覺得你今年很不幸,因為你沒有多餘的錢來買聖誕禮物。你可以試著贊美你自己:「那真是太好了,我可以藉這個機會發揮我的創造力,來做出一些令人難忘的禮物。」我所做的禮物是特殊,而具有個人意義的,不需要去買外面一般毫無特性的普通的禮品。

If you think you are unlucky every year—because you don’t have enough money for Christmas presents—you can try saying this: “Actually no having enough money is a good thing. I can think of ways to create memorable presents for everyone. My present will be meaningful and genuine.”

如果你的老板經常對你大吼大叫,你也可以試著贊美你自己:「這真是太好了,因為他還十分地看重我,願意告訴我他內心中真實的感受;否則他早就把我解雇了。」這就是宣公上人經常告訴我們的,要在反面找好處。

If your employer constantly screams at you, you can say, “This is actually good, because he or she actually cares about me and I am extremely grateful for that. If he or she didn’t really care, he would have fired me long ago.” These are ways the Master wanted us to look for the brighter side of things.

如果我們念佛,同時也能把在反面找好處這個道理,運用在我們的生活上,我們就是把阿彌陀佛無量的光明,融入我們的生活當中。這樣,我們不但是新年快樂,而且是天天快樂,時時快樂;乃至快樂地往生到阿彌陀佛的西方極樂世界。阿彌陀佛!

If we can recite the Buddha’s name and be optimistic, then we are directing Amitabha Buddha’s light on our lives. This way, it will not only be a Happy New Year, but happy times and days. And we will be happy all the way until we reach Amitabha Buddha’sLandofUltimate Bliss. Amitabha!

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