敬老節外賓致辭

—– 曼都仙諾縣議員丹漢伯格 —–

20121110日    

中譯:符慧元

敬老是佛教的重要教義,因此萬佛城開山祖師宣公上人21年前就在萬佛城這裡首開風氣,發起舉辦敬老節。

宣公上人教導我們,老人是世上最值得尊敬的人,但他們也負有重責大任。

上人開示說,「老者少之」,人要活得越老「越年輕」。

他這句看似矛盾的話究竟是什麽意思?「人活得越老越年輕」到底是什麽意思? 

首先,宣公上人說:「老者安之」。不要以為你活得夠老,你的責任就了了。

相反的,他勸誡我們老當益壯。

這怎麼可能呢?年紀越大體力日衰,當然不會越來越強壯。

我們的手脚雖然日益衰弱,但宣公上人教導我們越能夠利益世界,就會越來越強壯。

人到老年,上人要求老年人「要盡力為全人類的福祉做工作。」

佛陀提醒我們:「世界不和平就因為人人都太自私了,人人貪心也很大,瞋心也不小,癡心更比什麼都多,所以搞得這個世界不和平了,不平安了。」

老年人的責任就是盡力消弭世上的不和平。

我們該如何做呢?

首先,要讓我們自己與家庭和平,然後讓我們的社區和平,繼而讓我們的鄉鎮城市和平,接著讓我們的國家與世界和平。

以這樣的方式,老年人可為世界和平貢獻自己的力量。

要喚起「沒有戰爭或殘殺的世界」,宣公上人開示說,你們長壽的人特別適合做這份工作,來讓世界更和平。

佛家說:「萬法唯心造。」因此人在任何年齡都可以很年輕,無論活到多老,我們都可以更年輕,更堅強,更能幫助這個世界。

老人比年輕人懂事,但我們活在世上的時間不過一轉眼,覺得生命很長不過是幻覺而已。

宣公上人說:「你覺得老,因為你將這短短的時間當作長時間。你為什麼覺得老?就因為你覺得在世間這麼長的時間了。」要記得我們今天在座的人都非常年輕,不要覺得自己老。因此「越老越年輕老者少之」就是他的教誨。

上人說,我們得做他要求我們做的事,別無選擇。

我們別無選擇都得做他所說的要為世界和平貢獻力量這件事。

「我要你們做的事,是最高尚的事,是聖賢的事。無論你喜歡不喜歡,開不開心,都要去做。希望明天世界和平,沒有地震,不打颶風,不鬧洪水,也沒有災難。希望地水火風四大都平安無事。如果你們平安,我也平安,我們大家都平安了。這多快樂!

現在這種神聖的工作,這種最高尚的工作,我現在交給你們去做去。你們無論歡喜的也要工作,不歡喜的還要工作,歡喜不歡喜同時進行這種的工作,希望這個世界 明天就沒有戰爭,明天就平安無事,也沒有地震,也沒有這個風災、水災、火災,什麼都沒有。地、水、火、風,這個災都降伏了,叫這個世界都平安了;這個平安 了,人們大家都平安了,連我現在也都平安了,那麼我們共同平安。你說這是不是應該最歡喜的一件事呢?」

感謝各位今天給我這個機會跟大家講話,最後再次引用上人的話:「祝各位都活上三千歲,五千歲,一萬歲。我們各位長壽的人,我希望你們都活到三千歲、五千歲、一萬歲那麼長,幫助這個世界常常的平安。」

2012敬老節圖片

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Remarks by Supervisor Dan Hamburg

Honoring Elders Day in City of Ten Thousand Buddhas

November 10, 2012

Because honoring of elders is a mainstay of Buddhist teaching, Venerable Master Hua, founder of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, initiated Honoring Elders Day here at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas 21 years ago.

Master Hua taught that elders are the world’s most honorable people but that they also bear great responsibility.

He taught that people should have “youth in old age” ,and as one grows older, one should also “grow younger.”

What did he mean by such a paradox?  What did he mean by “grow younger as you grow older”?

First, Master Hua said, “Don’t be satisfied with growing old!”  Don’t think that your work here is over just because you’ve been around a long time.

To the contrary, he admonished us to become stronger as we become older.

How can this be?  Surely we don’t get stronger but weaker as we grow older.

While we may become weaker in our limbs and backs, Master Hua taught that we become stronger in that we become more able to benefit the world.

When you are an elder, “Do whatever work you can for the common good of all humankind!” he demanded.

The Buddha reminded us that “The world is not at peace because people are too selfish, too greedy and too hostile.”  He chided that “ Man’s spectacular stupidity has brought strife to the world!”

It is the duty of elders to do everything they can to diminish earthly strife.

But how do we do this?

First, by bringing peace to ourselves and to our families.  Then by bringing peace to our communities, our towns and cities and counties.  And then to our nation and finally to the whole world.

It is in this way that we elders can make our great contribution to world peace.

In calling for “a world without murder or war”, Venerable Master Hua explained that people of long life are uniquely capable of doing the work of  bringing about a more peaceful world.

It is taught in Buddhism that “everything is made from the heart alone” and therefore one can have youth at any age, regardless of years.  No matter how many years we have lived, we can become younger, stronger, and more able to help the world.

As we elders know better than the young, our total years on the planet are “the blink of an eye”.  It is just another of our illusions that life is long.

Venerable Master Hua said, “You feel old because you mistake this short time for a long time.”  Instead of feeling old, try to remember that all of us here today are really very young.  So “Be young in your old age!” is the teaching.

Master Hua said that there is no choice but to do the work he demanded.

“The work I have given you to do is the highest work, the work of sages. Whether you like it or not, you must do this work; happy or unhappy, you must do this work. I hope that tomorrow the world will be at peace and that there will be no earthquakes, hurricanes, floods, or calamities. May there be no disasters involving earth, air, water, or fire. When you are all at peace, then I will be peace—together we will be at peace. What great joy!”

Thank you for this opportunity to speak with you today.  And to quote Venerable Master Hua one final time, “May each of you live for three thousand, five thousand, and ten thousand years’ time!”

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