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佛法在行不在说 The Buddhadharma Is in Practice, Not in Talking
 
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佛法在行不在说

The Buddhadharma Is in Practice, Not in Talking

道德是为人的根本,有了道德,我们才能立得住脚。

It’s because the Way and virtue are a person’s foundation.

Once we have the Way and virtue, we can stand on our own feet.

光阴似箭,日月如梭,江河之水后浪推前浪,韶华易逝,世上青年逐老年,这样随之逐之,渐渐又归于老死朽灭,无踪无影,足见一切无常。

Time is like an arrow; the days and months fly by like a shuttlecock. The waves in the river follow one after another. Glory fades quickly. In the world, youth is followed by old age. In this way, we gradually return to the decay and extinction of old age and death, leaving no trace or shadow. Clearly, everything is impermanent.

正因为一切都是无常,所以我们应该赶快找一个归宿。在座各位,总算幸运,找来找去,终于信佛了。信佛,能令我们得「常乐我净」──究竟之乐;所以我们应信佛。可是,也并不是说只是「信」便可以了,也要依法修行,若是只信而不修行,有如说食数宝,于自己本身了无益处。所以古人说:

道是要行的,

不行则要道何用?

德是要修的,

不修则德从何来?

Since everything is impermanent, we should quickly find a refuge. All of you can count yourselves lucky, for you have searched around and finally come to believe in the Buddha. Faith in the Buddha enables us to attain the ultimate happiness of permanence, joy, true self, and purity. Therefore we should believe in the Buddha. But it’s not enough to say that we believe. We also have to cultivate according to the Dharma. If youbelieve but don’t cultivate, it’s like talking about food without eating it, or counting the wealth of others─it doesn’t benefit you in the least. So the ancients said:

The Way must be practiced. If it is not

practiced, what use is the Way?

Virtue must be cultivated. If it is not cultivated,

from where does virtue come?

所以,我们应该躬行实践,常把「生死」二字挂在眉梢,把「道德」二字放在脚下。这一句话看起来很难懂,为什么说应该把「道德」二字放在脚下呢?因为,道德二字是为人的根本,好像树在眉梢,把「道德」二字放在脚下。这一句话看起来很难懂,为什么说应该把「道德」二字放在脚下呢?因为,道德二字是为人的根本,好像树木的根一样,所以有了道德,我们才能立得住脚;反之,脚下无根,那么则无处可立,进退维谷,不能有所作为了。若是我们能把这二字实践了,那么,人格更可以立得住,而一切亦自然可以成功了,所以说:「道德二字,是做人的根本。」《论语》上说:「君子务本,本立而道生。」务本才能生出道,这是古有明训的。

We should personally practice, always hanging the words “birth” and “death” on our brows, and putting the words “Way” and “virtue” beneath our feet. Maybe that’s hard to understand─ why should we put the words “Way” and “virtue” under our feet? Because the Way and virtue are a person’s foundation. They are to us what roots are to a tree. Once we have the Way and virtue, we can stand on our own feet. But with no base under our feet, we have no place to stand. We are in a fix, unable to advance or retreat, and we cannot accomplish anything. If we can actually practice these two things, then we can establish a good character and naturally be successful in whatever we do. So it’s said, “The Way and virtue are the foundation of being a person.” The Analects of Confucius also say, “The superior person attends to the root. When the root is established, the Way comes forth.” Only when the fundamentals are tended to can the Way come forth. This is wise advice from the ancients.

正如刚才所说,日子是似箭般在不知不觉间过去了,过去的且让它过去,可是来者可追,对于未来,我们应立下宗旨,不让它糊里胡涂地度过。

As mentioned earlier, the days pass as swiftly as an arrow, but we don’t notice it. As for the days gone by, just let them go. Only the future is worth pursuing. We should set guidelines for the future, so we won’t let the time pass in a muddle.

西乐园一向的宗旨是提倡「净土法门」,主张大家精进念佛。所以每年的六月十九日和十一月十七日(中国阴历),都照例地举行观音及阿弥陀佛七的念佛法会,可是呢?大家不可以就「照例参加」,马马虎虎地敷衍一下就算了,应该一年比一年精进,念兹在兹,在这七天里头,在在处处、时时刻刻我们都要勤念菩萨的名号,不可以懈怠。

Western Bliss Garden Monastery has always promoted the Pure Land Dharma-door and exhorts everyone to vigorously recite the Buddha’s name. Every year, on the nineteenth of the sixth lunar month and the seventeenth of the eleventh lunar month, we will continue as usual to hold Dharma Sessions for reciting the names of Guanyin Bodhisattva and Amitabha Buddha. However, everyone should certainly not just casually “attend as usual,” not taking it seriously and letting it pass lightly. Rather, each year we should be more vigorous than the year before; we should work intensively. During these seven days, no matter when and where we are, we should diligently be reciting the Bodhisattva’s name and never become lax .

我们要念菩萨,而不是要菩萨念我们,为什么说不要令菩萨念我们?因为在这打七的期间,你若是挂打七的名,而杂念纷纷,也不勤称诵菩萨的洪名,那么大慈大悲的菩萨,一定会为你这个可怜的众生而可惜,为你不是诚心来打七而焦急,所以大家应该至诚恳切地念,而且更进一步地要有一颗慈悲喜舍的心。如果能够这样,我敢肯定地说一句:「菩萨是绝对会加被各位的。」

We should be mindful of the Bodhisattva; it’s not that the Bodhisattva should be mindful of us. Why don’t we want the Bodhisattva to be mindful of us? If you are nominally participating in this session, but in fact a lot of idle thoughts are keeping you from being diligent in reciting the Bodhisattva’s vast name, the Bodhisattva of Great Kindness and Compassion will certainly take pity on you, this poor living being, and be worried because you are not sincerely participating in the session. Therefore, everyone should earnestly and sincerely recite, and go a step further by nurturing kindness, compassion, joy, and renunciation in your mind. If you can do that, then I guarantee that the Bodhisattva will aid and support you.

同时,西乐园从来没有用帖子请过任何一个,大家都是自动发心来参加打七,这点可见大家并不是没有诚心,而这种自动发心的精神,也很值得嘉许。既然这样,我们更不要让这分真诚白费了,我们都要发愿念个「水落石出」,念至菩萨现身说法,才不枉这次参加打七一场。

Moreover, everyone has come to the session of his own free will; Western Bliss Garden Monastery has never sent invitations to anyone. This shows that everyone is certainly not lacking in sincerity. This spirit of initiative is very commendable. Therefore, we shouldn’t let this sincerity go to waste. We should all vow to recite until “stones peep out from the receding water” (the truth is brought to light), until the Bodhisattvas appear before us to speak the Dharma; then, we will not have come to the session in vain.

今天是打七的第一天,在这开始打七的今天,我预祝各位今年能有所成就,否则,我要和大家算账,要是帐算不清,可别后悔!闲话不多讲了,还是多念几句菩萨的洪名吧!

This is the first day of the session. On this day, I bless you all and wish you success this year. If you don’t have any success, I will have to settle accounts with everyone. And if your account isn’t cleared up, you will be sorry. I won’t chatter too much; we had better recite the Bodhisattva’s vast name some more!

一九五八年观音七六月十三日上午

开示于香港西乐园寺

A talk given on the morning of June 13,1958, during a Guanyin Session at Western Bliss Garden Monastery in Hong Kong.


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