拜萬佛能除愚癡 Bowing to 10,000 Buddhas Can Dissolve Our Stupidity

沙彌尼近簡 講於2011年6月24日星期五晚 萬佛城大殿  A talk given by Shramanerika Jin Jian on June 24 (Friday), 2011 at Buddha Hall of CTTB

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諸佛菩薩、上人、各位法師、各位善知識:阿彌陀佛!今天輪到沙彌尼親易近簡,藉著這個機會跟大家分享我參加萬佛寶懺的經驗跟感想。如果我有說得不如法的地方,請慈悲指正。

All Budhas, Bodhisattva, Venerable Master, Dharma Master, and all Good and Wise Advisors, Amitabha!Tonight shramanerika Qin Yi Jin Jian would like to take this opportunity to share with everyone my experience and reflections on bowing the 10K Buddhaa Repentance.  If I say anything that is not in accordance with the Dharma, please be compassionate and correct me.

那一天,天氣非常晴朗,我即將離開聖城,觀音七已經結束了。我打包,清潔房子,最後一站就是到行政辦公室;在離開萬佛城,上高速公路開10個小時車回家之前,我就先到了辦公室。因為我是第一次參加聖城的法會,所以離開之前我就去了行政辦公室,去確定我已經辦好了所有離開的手續。但是,到了那裡我才知道,其實並不需要辦一個正式的手續來離開,你可以就這麼樣地直接離開。當時我想:哦!很有趣!好吧,那就再見啦!

It was a beautiful, clear, bright day and I was on my way out.  The Guan Yin session was over and I had packed, cleaned, and now my last stop was the A/O before hitting the freeway for my 10-hour drive home.  Since this was the first time I had attended a dharma session at CTTB, I stopped by A/O before heading out to make sure that I had completed all the necessary checkout procedure before leaving.  Come to find out, there was no formal checkout procedure.  You just leave.  Interesting, I thought.  Okay then.  Sayonara!

就在這個時候,我就想起要問問:聖城將來還有哪一些其他的法會。朱先生以他非常冷靜的聲音告訴我:「快有地藏七、彌陀七、禪七,還有我們招牌的萬佛懺。」他說萬佛懺大概有三個禮拜的時間。當我聽到萬佛懺的時候,我非常地雀躍歡喜,為什麼?我不知道為什麼,在不知道萬佛懺是怎麼一回事的狀況下,我只記得他說「會持續三個禮拜,妳要拜一萬拜。」

Just then I thought of asking about future dharma sessions at CTTB.  Mr. Chu responded in his usual cool and calm voice.  He said that there was the Earth Store session coming up, the Amitabha session, the Chan session, and our signature the 10,000 Buddhas Jeweled Repentance.  He told me that the 10,000 Buddha Repentance was over 3-weeks long.  When I heard of the 10,000 Buddhas Repentance, I was ecstatic.  Why?  I had no idea.  Not knowing at all what the 10,000 Buddha Repentance was about.  All I remember was: 3 weeks and 10,000 bows.

我心裡想:太棒了!什麼時候會有這個萬佛懺呢?那我到哪裡去註冊來參加萬佛懺呢?非常令人失望地,朱先生告訴我,我剛剛失去了參加的機會:「因為今年的已經舉辦過了,妳必須要等到明年才能夠參加。」我非常地失望,因為我必須要等一整年才能夠參加萬佛寶懺。好吧!但是,就是阿諾‧士瓦辛格說的名言,啊!我就會回來的!

Great!  When is it and where can I sign up?  To my disappointment, Mr. Chu told me that I had just missed it and that it won’t be held again until next year.  I was really disappointed because I have to wait a whole year in order to bow the 10,000 Buddha Repentance.  Fine but in Arnold Schwarzenegger’s infamous words, “I’ll be back.”

雖然我不知道拜萬佛懺是怎麼一回事,但是一聽到「萬佛懺」,我的心就下了一個決定:一定要來參加,不管是下雨或者是晴天,我一定要來參加萬佛懺。但是有一個小小的問題,我怎麼能夠請假一個月來參加拜懺呢?我在一個醫院工作。這個醫院一天開24小時,一周開7天,一年開365天,你想我的老板會讓我請假一個月嗎?

Although, I didn’t know what bowing to the 10,000 Buddha Repentance was, immediately after hearing about it my mind had already made the commitment to bow it.  Come rain or shine, I was going to attend the 10,000 Buddha Repentance.  There was just a slight problem.  How was I going to get a month off from work to go bowing?  I worked at a hospital that was open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  Do you think my boss will let me take a month off?

通常在我們工作的地方,我們要根據我們被雇用的時間來決定資歷。你一年只能請一次假,每個人第一次只能申請兩個禮拜的假期。當每一個人都有機會登記他什麼時候要請假的時候,我們才可以另外登記第二個禮拜的假期。因為我在這個醫院裡面是最資淺的人,是在這個圖騰柱裡面的最底端,所以我只能夠等待,而且希望我同事不會選擇我請假的這一段時間,因為在同一個時間內只能有一個人請假。

We normally sign up for vacation time once a year in order of seniority based on your date of hire.  Each person was allowed to sign up for 2 weeks initially and once everyone has had a chance to sign up for time off then we are allowed to sign up for an additional 2 weeks of leave.  Since I was at the bottom of the totem pole, the most junior person in the group, I could only wait and hope that my fellow colleagues would not request the same time off as I was, because only 1 person was allowed to be on vacation at any given time.

很幸運地,事情就好像我希望的一樣發生了:我可以為明年參加萬佛懺請了一個月的假。但是,事情好像沒有那麼容易,當萬佛懺來臨的幾個禮拜前,我的直屬主管告訴我,他終於明白我要連續請假一個月,他很坦白地告訴我:「妳不能這樣子。」我很驚訝地看著他:「啊!你說我不能這樣是什麼意思啊?你已經批准了我的申請了啊!」他告訴我說,原先他並不知道我是要連續4個禮拜的假期:「誰能夠頂替妳的工作呢?沒有人可以在這樣的時間裡,適切地頂替妳的工作的。」所以,事情好像看起來不怎麼妙。

Fortunately, everything turned out as I had hoped.  I was able to sign up for a month of vacation time for the 10,000 Buddha Repentance the following year.  Well, things didn’t turn out to be that easy.  A few weeks before going to the 10,000 Buddha Repentance, my supervisor finally came to the realization that I was going to be on vacation for a whole month.  He frankly told me, “You can’t do that.”  I looked at him in amazement.  “What do you mean I can’t do that?  You’d already approved my request.”  He told me that he didn’t realize that I was taking 4 consecutive weeks off.  Who’s going to cover for you?  Nobody can adequately cover for you for that amount of time.  Things weren’t looking good.

但是,因為我已經下了決心,不論怎麼樣我都要去參加萬佛懺。所以我就跟我的部門主管討論這件事情。因為我是在一個正常的申請手續下,取得的請假時間,所以部門主管沒有辦法,只能讓我能夠如期地這樣休假。我的同事完全不相信這樣的事情會發生,其中有一個人告訴我:「我已經在這個地方工作了20年,從來也沒有可能讓我一次請假超過兩個禮拜,妳怎麼能夠請假到一個月呢?」

But I was adamant about going so I had to take the issue up with the Director of my department.  Because I had followed all the proper procedure in requesting for vacation time, the Director had no recourse but to let me take the time off as requested.  My colleagues were all in disbelief.  One of them said to me, “I have been working here for almost 20 years and I haven’t been able to take more than 2 weeks off at a time.  How is it that you can take a whole month off?”

更令他們不能夠相信的是,當他們聽到我請了整個月的假,是要去拜懺!他們說:「那不是假期啊!我以為妳請了假,也許是要去一個度假小島,做一些比較有趣的事情。妳確定整個月的假期,這一整年的假期,妳要拿去拜懺嗎?」

They were even more in disbelief when they heard that I was taking the month off to go bowing.  “That’s not a vacation”, they said.  I thought you were going to take vacation time to do something fun like travel to an exotic island or something.  Are you sure you want to blow all of your vacation time for the entire year to go bowing?

在經過工作上請假的事情發生之後,我終於在2004年第一次來到聖城,參加萬佛懺。接下來幾年我都是這樣,從工作上請假來拜萬佛懺,就這樣。我的同事也很習慣我每年都這樣地請假來拜懺,所以,每年到春天的時候,他們就會自動地提醒我:「妳是不是快要去拜懺了?」到目前為止已經8年了。我也有點驚訝,我能夠連續8年來參加萬佛懺。我自己也覺得自己非常地幸運,能夠有這樣的機緣每年來拜懺。

After jumping through all the hoops to get time off from work, I finally made it to my very first 10,000 Buddha Repentance in 2004.  After a couple of years of taking off from work to attend the 10,000 Buddha Repentance, my coworkers got used to my annual routine.  Each year when it got around to spring time, they would automatically remind me.  Aren’t you going bowing soon? It’s been 8 years now.  I’m a bit amazed that I have been able to bow this repentance for 8 consecutive years.  I feel really fortunate to have encountered all the right conditions in order for me to do the bowing year after year.

我一直想要提醒自己,能夠有這樣的機會是稀有難得的。有多少人在一個場所工作,這個場所可以讓他每年都有一個月的假期呢?我大部分的朋友,他們工作的地方通常只給他們兩個禮拜的假期。如果他們在那個地方工作十年,也許他們可以拿到三個禮拜的假期,但是,有多少的雇主能夠讓他們的雇員度假一個月呢?就算說有一些朋友,有一些人他們有足夠的假期,但是他們的老板也不能讓他們來用這個假期。

I often remind myself how rare it is for me to have encountered such an opportunity.  How many people work at a place that gives them a month of vacation time each year?  Most of my friends working at other companies get 2 weeks off and maybe they will get 3 weeks off if they have worked for 10 years or more.  How many employers will let their employees go on vacation for a month?  Even though some people have enough vacation time but their boss will not let them use it.

同時,又有多少人願意用他們的假期來拜懺呢?大部分的人都希望用他們的假期,去度一個很歡心的假,去旅游,或是跟家人在一起……,等等。又有多少人願意放棄他們社交上,或者是對家人的義務去拜懺呢?大部分的人都有對家人的義務。他們也許需要照顧他們的先生、太太、小孩、父母、親戚、朋友,或者是鄰居,甚至於他們的寵物。他們大多都不願意,或沒有辦法放下這一些義務來拜懺。

How many people are willing to use all of their vacation time to go bowing?  Most would prefer to use their time off to go on some exotic trip, spend time with family, and so on.  How many people are willing to let go of their social or family obligations to go bowing?  Most people have some sort of family obligations.  They have to care for their husband, wife, kids, parents, relatives, friends, neighbors or even their pets.  They are unwilling or unable to put down these obligations in order to go bowing.

另外,也有從經濟層面來考量,有多少人可以有這樣的經濟能力,來做這樣的事情呢?又有多少人體力上可能負荷呢?又有多少人知道有萬佛懺呢?

Then there’s the financial aspect.  How many can financially afford to do so?  How many can physically do so?  How many people even know of the 10,000 Buddha Repentance?

對我來說,我好像拿了大樂透的大獎,也就好像星星們,就在天上完美地排列,在完全正確的地方,在正確的時間,有多少這樣的機緣會發生呢?我想很少吧!所以,當每年我可以來拜懺,我都非常地珍惜,也提醒自己:我可以來,這是多麼的幸運!因為誰知道明年我可不可以有這樣的機會呢?

To me, it’s like winning the lotto.  It’s like the stars were all aligned in the perfect position, in the right place, and at the right time.  What are the odds of that happening?  Very, very slim.  So every year that I was able to go bowing, I always treasured and cherished the fact that I have been blessed with such good fortunate.  Who knows if I will have the same opportunity again the following year.

那為什麼萬佛懺對我來說這麼有意義呢?因為我可以跟我母親一起來拜懺。我母親一直跟我來拜懺,一直到我搬到聖城。對我來說,能夠和母親一起來拜懺,是非常稀有難得的,因為我們可以一直來拜懺,種下善根。雖然我母親在她60多歲,或是在她70歲多一點的時候,她還可以每一支香都來拜懺,甚至於參加了早、晚課。所以,我對她這麼精進非常地驕傲。

What makes the 10,000 Buddha Repentance even more memorable for me is the fact that my mom would always come along with me.  That is until I moved to CTTB.  To me, it’s exceptional rare that both my mom and I were able to go bowing together every year and plant good roots.  Although my mom was in her late 60’s or early 70’s, she managed to bow every incense.  She even went to all the morning and evening recitation.  So, I was a bit proud of her for being so vigorous.

有一年,母親的朋友跟我們一起來參加拜懺,她也是70好幾了。但是,以她的年紀來說,看起來是非常健康的。我記得,有一天走進她們房間的時候,我聽到她很歡悅的聲音在說,「明天的畢業典禮……。」「畢業典禮?什麼畢業典禮呀?」哦!原來隔天是萬佛懺的最後一天,所以她很高興她終於可以完成整個萬佛懺。她對自己很驕傲,她也覺得她好像從一個非常精進的訓練課程,畢業了。可惜的是我沒有一個證書頒獎給她,鼓勵她完成這個萬佛懺。

One year, her friend came with us for the 10,000 Buddha Repentance.  She was in her 70’s but quite healthy for her age.  I remember walking into the room one day and hearing her cheerful voice.  Tomorrow’s graduation!  Graduation?  What graduation?  It turns out that tomorrow was the last day of the 10,000 Budd Repentance and she was elated by the fact that she will have completed the full session.  She was so proud of herself and she felt like she was graduating from a rigorous training program.  It was too bad that I didn’t have a certificate to give to her for completing the 10,000 Buddha Repentance.

我回想自己:為什麼每年參加萬佛懺?動機是什麼呢?我絕對不是被逼來的。我不太確定為什麼,但是當我一聽到「萬佛懺」的時候,我就馬上做了決定:一定要來拜懺。就好像我的內心自性告訴我,這是我應該做的事情。也好像說,我好像在很久很久以前,在很久的過去,我就已經做了這樣的約定,現在是兌現約定的時候了。這種兌現約定的強烈感覺,讓我完全沒有一絲絲的懷疑。雖然說我不知道我到底在做什麼,就好像太陽從東邊出來,從西邊落下一樣,我就知道我一定要來參加拜懺。

What was my motivation for coming to the 10,000 Budd Repentance each year?  For sure, it’s not because I was force to do it.  I’m not really quite sure why though.  Somehow upon hearing about the 10,000 Budd Repentance, I instantly made the commitment to do the bowing.  It’s a bit like I innately knew that this was what I had to do.  In a way, it felt as though I had made this commitment a long, long time ago, in some distant past and now it’s time for me to fulfill that commitment.  The strength of that commitment was overwhelming.  I never had even a moment’s doubt, even though I had no clue of what I was doing.  But just as sure as the fact that sun rises in the east and sets in the west, I was just as sure of the fact that I had to go bowing.

現在回想起來,我覺得自己好笨,因為這些年來我一直在參加拜懺,但是我不知道我為什麼來拜懺。我也不知道拜懺到底有什麼樣的好處,就只是知道我一定要做!所以沒有其他任何的原因,我就來了。

Now that I think about it, I’m quite dumb.  I have committed to doing this for all these years without even knowing the reason or purpose.  I didn’t even know if there were any benefits in doing this.  I did it because I just knew that I had to do it.   There was no other reason.

很幸運地,雖然我這麼笨,但是來參加萬佛懺這麼多年,在法的浸潤之下,這些年來我終於學到了佛法,也終於聽到拜萬佛懺的一些好處。上人說:拜萬佛懺的功德是很難完全描述的。有一些人可能原來是短命的,但拜了萬佛懺,他們也許可以延壽;有一些人有一些慢性疾病,如果他們很誠心地拜萬佛懺,他們的疾病可能就可以康復了;有一些人,在他們的生活當中沒有很好的運氣,很多事情都是很不順的,但是如果他們誠心禮拜萬佛懺,所有的事情都會變成吉祥如意,可以遂心滿願……,拜萬佛懺的功德是不可思議的。在修行的道路上,如果你可以拜萬佛懺,你可以很快地開悟。

Luckily, for me, even as dumb as I am, in coming to bow the 10,000 Buddha Repentance and basking in the Dharma and this wholesome environment all these years, even I end up learning some Buddhadharma.  I finally got to hear about the benefits of bowing to the 10,000 Buddha Repentance.  The Venerable Master said, “The merit and virtue of this ceremony [Ten Thousand Buddhas Repentance] cannot be fully described. Some people may have been destined to live only a short time, but by bowing the Repentance before Ten Thousand Buddhas, they can prolong their life span. Some people are chronically ill. If they sincerely bow the Repentance before Ten Thousand Buddhas, their illnesses will be cured. Some people haven’t enjoyed much good fortune in their lives; everything has been unlucky for them. If, however, they can sincerely bow the Repentance before Ten Thousand Buddhas, everything will become auspicious and will turn out as they wish. The merit and virtue from bowing this repentance is inconceivable. In cultivating the Way, if you constantly bow the Repentance before Ten Thousand Buddhas, you can quickly become enlightened.

比如說,有一個上人在香港認識的法師,本來他不太會講話,而且識字不多。但是,當他去了加拿大以後,他沒有很多事情可以做,所以就開始拜萬佛懺。拜了5年以後,總共拜了26部的萬佛懺,現在他看起來比較聰明,比以前聰明很多。

For instance, “a Dharma Master I once knew in Hong Kong didn’t talk very well and was not very literate. Then he went to Canada. Since he didn’t have much to do, he bowed the Repentance before Ten Thousand Buddhas every day. Bowing by himself for five years, he went through the repentance twenty-six times. He now appears to be much more intelligent than before.”

所以,當我知道我可以拜萬佛懺,可以消除我的愚笨的時候,我就覺得:哇!好開心!因為對我來說終於有希望了!我們不要想說開悟,或者成佛,也沒有必須要想到說,我可以增長智慧,比別人會更聰明;我是想說,如果我不要那麼聰明,能夠少一點笨的話,那對我來說就是一個很大的成就。

I was jolly as can be when I heard that you can lessen your stupidity by bowing the 10,000 Buddhas Repentance.  My goodness, there’s hope for me after all.  Let’s not even talk about becoming enlightened or attaining Buddhahood.  There’s no need even to think about gaining wisdom and be intelligent.  If I could just be a bit less dumb, that would already be a gargantuan achievement for me.

當我小的時候,我的兄弟常常會取笑我。當我做一些笨事情的時候,他們就會說:「妳真是蠢無藥醫!」所以我就告訴他們:「現在終於有藥醫了。」我希望大家都有機會來拜萬佛懺,能夠消除我們的無明跟愚笨,也希望我們所有的願望都可以實現。阿彌陀佛!

When I was young, my brothers used to tease me all the time.  When I did something really dumb, they would say, “You know there is no medicine for cure stupidity”.  Now, I can tell them that there is a cure. I hope that everyone would have the opportunity to bow to the 10,000 Budd Repentance and rid ourselves of ignorance and stupidity.  May all our wishes be fulfill when we bow to the 10,000 Buddha.  Amitabha!

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