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○自性的大光明藏
 
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自性的大光明藏
Zero: the Great Light Treasury of Your Own Nature

宣公上人开示
A lecture by the Venerable Master Hua

When the O is expanded, it becomes empty space and the Dharma Realm. That is true emptiness. When it is shrunk, it becomes a dust mote. Despite its tiny size, that dust mote is wonderful existence.

○字扩大起来,变 成虚空,变成法界,这是一个真空。 你把它缩小了,变成一粒微尘;虽然微尘是小,这可是妙有。

This great light treasury is originally yours; it not given to you by anyone else, not even by the Buddhas. It is inherent in you.

这个大光明藏是你 自己本有的,不是旁人给你的,也不是诸佛给你的,是你自己本具的。

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Living beings are born without a beginning, and die without an end. They revolve in this beginningless and endless transmigration like dust motes: suddenly up in the heavens, suddenly down on the earth. Just as suddenly they are born as hungry ghosts, or humans, or animals, or hell-dwellers, or asuras. Ah! There is no beginning and no end. You stop transmigrating in birth and death only when you realize the fruition of Buddhahood. Before you become a Buddha, you keep transmigrating. It is said, “Even Bodhisattvas get confused after having gone through rebirth; even Arhats become muddled after having dwelt in the womb.” Even if you are a great knight of the Dharma body (a Bodhisattva) manifesting in this world, sometimes you may be confused by the flow of birth and death and not know how to stop it.

众生生于无始,死于无终,无始无终,就是在这个轮回里头流转生死。众生在这个无始无终的轮回里头,转来转去, 转去又转来,就好像一粒微尘,忽然而天,忽然而地,忽然而人道,忽然而饿鬼,忽然而畜生,忽然而地狱,忽然而修罗。这叫没有一个开始的时候,也没有一个终 了的时候。什么时候你若能证果成佛了,这是把这个生死的轮回停止了。没有成佛之前,都在这个轮回里转。「菩萨有隔阴之迷,罗汉有住胎之昏」,就是你法身大 士,示现人间,也有的时候被这个生死的流,流得头昏脑胀的,不知道怎么样才能截断这个生死的流?

Our birth and death, being born and dying, dying and being born again, is birth and death on a great scale. We also have birth and death on a small scale. There is the day we are born. Although we are born, we will have to die. The day of our death is already set the day we are born. Therefore, our life is birth and death on a great scale. Each passing year brings the death of that year. Thus if we are born one day, we will have to die one day, because once there is birth, there is death. If there is no birth, then there is no death.

我们这个生死,生了又死,死了又生,这是一个大生死。我们还有小生死,由生那一天,虽然有所生,但是也就有所 死了。生出来那一天,就是把死的那一天,已经都准备好了,所以我们这一生,这是一个大生死。我们每一年过去了,这就一年就死了。所以生这一天,也就是死那 一天,因为有生,所以就有死;若没有生,也就没有死了。

As to the “beginningless,” most people explain it as there being no beginning and no end. It refers to time without beginning; it started at a kalpa in the beginningless past, and goes to a kalpa in the endless future. What is without a beginning? And what is without an end? It is something we all recognize: the zero. This O has no beginning and no end. It is the Absolute, without beginning or end. The beginningless is just the O. If you cut this O open, it becomes a “一” (the Chinese character for “one”). This is the beginning. Once there is a one, there is also a two: when you add one to one, that is two. Adding another one makes three, and adding more ones makes four, five, six, seven, eight, nine, ten. From ten, a hundred is produced; a hundred brings forth a thousand; a thousand transforms into ten thousand; ten thousand further transforms into one hundred thousand, one million, ten million, and a thousand million, up to infinity. That is the beginning of numbers.

说这个「无始」,一般人所讲的这个「无始」,就是没有一个开始,没有一个终了,是从无始劫以来,没有开始那个 劫以来;没有开始那个劫,所以也就没有终了那个劫。说来说去,这个「无始」是个什么呢?「无终」是个什么呢?就是我们人人都认识那个字,在英文就叫○,在 中文就叫○(零)。那个○字,是也没有始,也没有终;没有一个开始,没有一个最终了,它是一元化的,那个就是无始无终。这个无始,就是所谓的这个○字。这 个○字,你把它割断了,在一边割断了它,就变成一个「一」字,这是一个开始了,这有始了––有了「一」就会有二,再加一个一就是个二,再加一个一就是三, 再加一个一就是四,五,六,七,八,九,十,有十就会生百,有百就会生千,由千就变化成万,由万又变化出来十万,百万,千万,万万,乃至于数不尽那么多, 这是一个数目的开始。

In the modern scientific age, we can launch satellites into space, where they revolve in their orbits ceaselessly. That’s a beginning. With the help of mathematical calculations, we are able to send rockets into space. That is the function of a beginning; it’s a kind of mathematical transformation. Then is there an end? We don’t know when the end will come. The end corresponds to the stage of emptiness in the four stages—formation, dwelling, decay, and emptiness. The kalpa (eon) of formation is a beginning. Formation lasts for twenty small kalpas. Then there is dwelling for twenty small kalpas, decay for twenty small kalpas, and emptiness for twenty small kalpas. One could say that this is a beginning and an end.

现在这个科学时代,由我们地球造的这个火箭,能打到太空去,入了太空轨道,在太空运行不息,在那儿流转,这是 一个有始。由这个数目来推算,能把这个火箭送到太空去,这都是「有始」的作用,一个数学的变化。那么有终没有呢?现在还不知道什么时候是个终。终的时候, 就是这个成住坏空它「空」的时候,它是终;成劫是一个开始,成二十个小劫,住二十个小劫,坏二十个小劫,空二十个小劫,这也可以说是一个开始,一个终了。

Where have all these living beings that have appeared since beginningless kalpas come from? Take human beings, for example. Did man exist before woman, or woman before man? If you say man appeared before woman, how could there be any men without a woman? If you say woman appeared before man, how could there be any women without a man? This is the “beginningless”—we don’t know where it started. Chickens are another example. Would you say the chicken came before the egg, or the egg before the chicken? For countless ages in the past, there were no chickens. How did the first one come into being? “It was born from an egg,” you may say. Well, if there were no chickens, how could there be eggs? We cannot gain a clear understanding of this principle; it comes from the beginningless. People also came from the beginningless, from the O.

这一切众生无始劫来,所有的众生,你说从什么地方来的?你来研究研究。就拿人类来说,你说,是先有男人?是先 有女人?你说「先有男人」,没有女人,男人怎么会有?你若说「先有女人」,那么没有男人,怎么又会有女人?这个是一个「无始」,不知道从哪个地方开始。就 拿鸡子来讲,你说先有鸡?是先有蛋?无始劫以来,没有小鸡子,那么怎么会有了?说:「由蛋有的。」这个蛋,如果没有鸡,又怎么会有蛋?这也研究不明白这个 道理,这也就是由无始来的;人也就是由无始来的,由那个○字那儿来的。

This O is beginningless and endless; it has neither inside nor outside; it is neither big nor small. In its minutest aspect, the O is nothing but a dust mote. If we expand it, it becomes the Dharma Realm. To the ends of the empty space throughout the Dharma Realm, there is nothing beyond the O. If the empty space throughout the Dharma Realm were smashed into dust motes, not a single dust mote would be beyond the O. Therefore, the O is the source of the myriad births and transformations. It is the principle of true emptiness and wonderful existence, which is without beginning or end. When the O is expanded, it becomes empty space and the Dharma Realm. That is true emptiness. When it is shrunk, it becomes a dust mote. Despite its tiny size, that dust mote is wonderful existence. Therefore, beginningless kalpas have no beginning. The O is true emptiness, and it is wonderful existence. All of you, think about this! If you understand this principle, you understand the true Dharma. If you don’t understand this principle, you’re still a confused person with no real wisdom.

那么由○字那儿来的,所以这是无始无终、无内无外、无大无小。这个○,你小,就是一粒微尘;你若把它扩大起 来,就是一个法界。尽虚空、遍法界,没有超出这个○字去;尽虚空遍法界,碎为微尘,那一粒微尘也没有离开这个○字。所以这个○字,是生生化化之源,是无始 无终的一个真空妙有的道理。这个○字扩大起来,变成虚空,变成法界,这是一个真空。你把它缩小了,变成一粒微尘;虽然微尘是小,这可是妙有。所以这个无始 劫以来,就是没有开始的时候。这个○字,就是真空,就是妙有。你们各位想一想,你若明白这个道理,你就是明白真法;你若不明白这个道理,你还是糊涂人,没有真正智慧。

If you are enlightened, then the O is great bright wisdom. If you aren’t, then it is ignorance. Ignorance is the O, and great bright wisdom is also the O. It has no beginning or end, no inside or outside; it is neither big nor small. It’s so big there’s nothing outside of it, nothing bigger. When you draw a zero, you can make it as big or as small as you want. It can be so big that there’s nothing outside, or so small there’s nothing inside. Its bigness transforms into the pure and clean fundamental source—the wonderful true nature. Its smallness and hiddenness represent the initial thought of ignorance. That is how I explain “beginningless.”

这个○字,你若是开悟了,它就是大智慧光明;你要是没有开悟,它就是一个无明。无明,也是这个○字;智慧光 明,也是这个○字。所以这个无始无终、无内无外、无大无小。这个○字,大而无外,没有再比它更大的,你若把它往大的写,你看写多大都可以;你若把它缩小的 写,写多小都可以。所以大而无外,小而无内。那么大而化之,就是清净本源,妙真如性。小而藏之,你把它藏起来,也就是你最初那一念的无明。所以我讲这个 「无始」,是这样的讲法。

Transmigration is also the O. When you transmigrate in the six paths, you are just revolving within the O, unable to break out. Living beings transmigrate in the O for countless great kalpas, eternally revolving in birth and death. Isn’t it scary? You keep turning ’round and round’ in transmigration. Why do you revolve eternally? Your thoughts come into being and cease to be one after another. With a single defiled thought, you become an animal or a hungry ghost, or fall into the hells. If you incline toward purity, you may be born a human or an asura, or ascend to the heavens. It is the mind that brings about transmigration. Your mind creates karma, and so you receive the retribution of transmigration.

Such karma does not start when you receive the retribution. In reality, you had many false thoughts in the past. If you have false thoughts about the heavens, you’ll be born in the heavens; if you have false thoughts about asuras, you’ll be born an asura. With false thoughts of being human, you are born a human; with false thoughts of animals, you are born an animal; with false thoughts of hungry ghosts, you are born a hungry ghost; with false thoughts of the hells, you fall into the hells. If you do nothing but commit offenses, you fall into the three evil paths; if you always establish wholesome merit and virtue, you ascend to the three good paths. This is just a general explanation. If I were to explain this in detail, I wouldn’t be able to finish to the end of time. In short, this world is created from living beings’ false thoughts. If no one had false thoughts, then the world would be empty.

在生死的轮回里边,这个轮回,也就是这个○字。所谓六道轮回,都是在这个○字里面转来转去,没有把这个○字打 破了。生了又死,死了又生,不知多少个大劫在这个六道轮回里来转,这叫生死久流转。这个「久」字,你看看这是不是很可怕的,就是它在轮回里转来转去。怎么 会久流转?就是你那念念生、念念灭造成的,你一念染污心生出来了,就做畜生,做恶鬼,或者堕地狱;你再稍微清净一点,或者做人,或者做阿修罗,或者升天,这都是从你那个心念所造成的这个轮回。那么去受轮回的果报,也因为我们的心已经造这种的业,才去受报。不是受报那个时候,才开始你这个受报这种业,是在你往昔尽打妄想。你打天堂的妄想,就生天;打阿修罗的妄想,就做阿修罗;你打人道这个妄想,就去做人;打畜生道的妄想,就去做畜生;你打饿鬼道的妄想,就去 做饿鬼;打地狱道的妄想,就去堕地狱。你要是尽造罪孽过,就堕落三恶道;你要是尽做善功德,就升三善道。这是大大概概地说一说这种意思,要是详细说,尽未 来际也说不能尽。所以这个世界,都是从众生妄想所造成的,要是人人都没有妄想了,这个世界就空了。

Living beings don’t understand this Dharma of the real appearance of true emptiness and true suchness, the Dharma of true emptiness and wonderful existence. This is known as the actual Dharma. The Dharma of true emptiness and wonderful existence is just the O. The vast universe arises from the O; so does the great world, all the multitudes of living beings, and everything else. The O is not a number. It is beyond numbers and reckoning. It has no beginning or end, no inside or outside, no big or small. “Let it go and it fills the six directions. Roll it up and it hides away in a secret place.” The actual Dharma is just the Dharma of true emptiness and wonderful existence. True emptiness is not empty. Why not? It contains wonderful existence. Wonderful existence does not exist. Why not? It encompasses true emptiness. It is said, “True emptiness does not obstruct wonderful existence, and wonderful existence does not hinder true emptiness.” This principle resolves the question of whether man or woman came first. It also resolves the question of whether the chicken or the egg came first. The O solves all problems, because the O is true emptiness, and wonderful existence and the myriad things arise from it. Yet that wonderful existence is not separate from true emptiness. If you have not received the Buddhas’ mind-seal Dharma, you will not understand this state. If you understand the mind-seal Dharma-door of the Buddhas, you will understand this Dharma. Therefore, it is said, “The actual Dharma is not understood.”

这一切众生都不了解这个真空实相的法、真如实相的法、真空妙有的法,这都叫真实法。真空妙有的法,也就是方才 我说那个○字。这个○字,这么大个天地,是由○字而生;这么大个世界,是由○字而生;这么多的众生,是由○字而生;这一切一切都是从这个○字生出来的。那 个○字,因为它「不堕诸数」,它不在数内,超出数外,无始无终、无内无外、无大无小,「放之则弥六合,卷之退藏于密。」这个真实法,也就是这个真空妙有 法;真空不空,为什么它不空呢?它有妙有。妙有非有,它又不是有,为什么它不是有呢?因为它还有真空,「真空不碍妙有,妙有不碍真空」,这个道理就是解决 「先有男?先有女?」的问题,也就是解决「先有鸡?先有蛋?」这个问题。这一切的问题都在用这个○字,就可以把它解决了,为什么呢?这个○字是一个真空, 真空里边能现出妙有,能现出一切物;妙有可是还没有离开这个真空。这种境界,你若没有得到诸佛心印法的人,你不会明白的;你若明白诸佛以心印心这个法门, 你就明白这种法了!所以说「不了真实法」。

Living beings are forever adding a head on top of a head, or riding on a donkey and looking for a donkey. They run around seeking outside and don’t know that they should look within themselves. Our own natures are originally replete with the actual Dharma. We need not seek outside for it. You may spend 80,000 great kalpas looking for it outside, but you won’t find it. However, if you can return the light and look within, it’s right there. As it is said, “The sea of suffering is boundless; a turn of the head is the other shore.” When you seek outside, you are in the boundless sea of suffering; when you reflect within and work on your own nature, you are turning your head and finding the other shore.

众生都是头上安头,骑驴觅驴;尽是向外驰求,到外边去找去,不知道回光返照。这个真实法,是自性本具的,是自 性恒具的,是自性本有的,不需要到外边去找去;你到外边找,找了八万大劫,你也找不到。你要是回光返照,当下就是!所谓「苦海无边,回头是岸」,也就是你 向外去找,就是苦海无边;你若向内来找,在你自性上用功夫,这就是回头是岸。

People are so upside down! From morning to night we pursue false conditions, using our six sense faculties to chase the six sense objects. We fail to understand the actual Dharma. In the land of eternal stillness and light, the Buddhas sit in full lotus posture and enter samadhi, and in samadhi they come to this world. Why do they come? They see foolish living beings forgetting the real and clinging to the false, and they take pity on us. We don’t know how to turn from delusion and return to enlightenment, to turn from the unreal and return to the real, to use the false to cultivate the true, to reflect upon ourselves. How pathetic we are! The Buddhas in samadhi bring forth great compassion and come to the world to instruct us in our confusion. However, we chase after false conditions and fail to recognize the true Dharma. The more Dharma the Buddha speaks to us, the more we retreat. And so the Buddha shakes his head and is at a loss. What can we do if the Buddha is at a loss? Well, we can turn around. When we do so, the Buddha will come before us and teach us. That’s why the Buddhas appear in the world.

我们人啊!这么颠颠倒倒的,一天到晚,追逐妄缘,随着六根、六尘去跑,不明白真实法。诸佛在常寂光里边,结双 跏趺坐入定,在定中就要跑到这个世界上来,为什么呢?看见你我他这个愚痴的众生,太可怜了,一天到晚都把真的忘了,只执着这个假的,不知道反迷归觉,不知 道反妄归真,不知道借假修真,不知道反求诸己,非常的可怜。所以诸佛在那个定中,生一种大悲心,来到这个世界上,指我们的迷途,可是我们这个人追逐妄缘, 不认识这个真法;佛越给他说法,他越向后转不停,把佛都着急得晃头了。所以没有法子啊!佛没有法子,怎么办呢?你回头转嘛,佛就迎头赶上,再到你面前去, 来教化你,所以「诸佛故兴世」。

The actual Dharma cannot be destroyed by those of externalist paths (heretics). It encompasses everything throughout empty space and the Dharma Realm. Buddhas, demons, and externalists are all included in this true Dharma; they cannot go outside the Dharma Realm. Even the heavenly demons and externalists have to comply with the Proper Dharma, for they cannot destroy it. No one can destroy the Proper Dharma. If it could be destroyed, it wouldn’t be the actual Dharma. It is indestructible.

这种真实法,没有任何的外道可以破坏的。你若明白真实法,这个真实法,是尽虚空遍法界,都在这个真实法里边包 括着。无论你佛啊,魔啊,天魔外道啊,都是在这个真法里边包着,他跑不出这个法界的。所以,天魔外道也就要随顺正法,为什么呢?他不能破坏这个正法。所以 正法没有人能可以破坏的;你能破坏,那它还不是真实法,真实法无可破坏。

The great brightness of self-mastery is just this O. When you have perfected your cultivation, the great light treasury will manifest; the awesome spiritual power of self-mastery will appear. This great light treasury pervades empty space and the Dharma Realm. The Buddha comes to the world to teach all living beings about the Dharma-doors of leaving birth and death, of reflecting upon oneself, and of returning to the source. Your great bright wisdom can shatter ignorance and reveal the inherent Dharma nature. If you don’t believe what I say, you can try it out. When the time is ripe, you won’t be able to disbelieve it. You’ll have to believe it, because that’s the way it is. How can you not believe? This great light treasury is originally yours; it’s not given to you by anyone else, not even by the Buddhas. It is inherent in you.

自在大光明也就是那个○字,你修得圆满了,大光明藏现出来了,自在大威神力、大光明藏都现出来了,这个大光明 藏尽虚空遍法界。所以说普遍来指示世间一切众生,了生脱死的法门、回光返照的法门、还本返原的法门。就是你这个大智慧光明,把这个无明破了,显出你本有的 法性。你要是不相信的话,你只管试试看,到时候你就没有法子不相信;你不相信,也要相信,因为它就是这样子嘛,你有什么方法可以不相信?所以这个大光明藏 是你自己本有的,不是旁人给你的,也不是诸佛给你的,是你自己本具的。


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