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佛法双语工作坊 | 佛说四十二章经 第12章(2)

2020年12月08日 10:27:00 北京天开寺 点击:0

The Sutra of Forty-two Chapters - 12 (2)
佛說四十二章經 第12章(2)
後漢 西域沙門迦葉摩騰 竺法蘭 同譯
Translated jointly by Indian Sramana Kasyapa Matanga and Dharmaraksa in the Later Han Dynasty

法师讲解  第2分钟38秒开始   单词 第5分钟57秒开始

第12章 舉難勸修
Difficulties as Encouragement for Cultivation

The Buddha said: "There are twenty difficult things to attain [or to accomplish] in this world:

(1) It is difficult for the poor to practise charity;
(2) It is difficult for the strong and rich to observe the Way;

(3) It is difficult to disregard life and go to certain death;
(4) It is only a favored few that get acquainted with a Buddhist sutra;

(5) It is by rare opportunity that a person is born in the age of Buddha;
(6) It is difficult to conquer the passions, to suppress selfish desires;

(7) It is difficult not to hanker after that which is agreeable;
(8) It is difficult not to get into a passion when slighted;

(9) It is difficult not to abuse one's authority;
(10) It is difficult to be even-minded and simple-hearted in all one's dealings with others;

(11) It is difficult to be thorough in learning and exhaustive in investigation;
(12) It is difficult to subdue selfish pride;

(13) It is difficult not to feel contempt toward the unlearned;
(14) It is difficult to be one in knowledge and practice;

(15) It is difficult not to express an opinion about others;
(16) It is by rare opportunity that one is introduced to a true spiritual teacher;

(17) It is difficult to gain an insight into the nature of being and to practise the Way;
(18) It is difficult to follow the steps of a savior;

(19) It is difficult to be always the master of oneself;
(20) It is difficult to understand thoroughly the Ways of Buddha."

英文版经文转载自 菩提字幕屋,英译者 D.T. Suzuki
English  version sourced from Bodhi Fansubs, translated by D.T. Suzuki

Commentary:  Difficulties as encouragement for cultivation(2)

Difficult to find a virtuous mentor: The Lotus Sutra mentioned that it takes very strong karmic causes to meet a virtuous mentor because a virtuous mentor is the one who can nourish our Bodhi mind and guide us towards Buddhahood. Some beginners prefer to learn by themselves through reading, but this kind of self-taught approach is unsound for Buddhism learning because it often causes departure from the right view.

In the eightfold noble path, the right view ranks number one for it is like a navigator when we embark on a long journey. It ensures that travelers can reach the destination accurately without losing their bearing. On the journey towards Buddhahood, we can afford to advance steadily but not off the track. A virtuous mentor is our navigator to guide us towards the right view and thus liberation from cyclic rebirth.

Apart from this, we also need companion mentors to provide mutual support, to encourage us whenever we are in self-indulgence, and to take care of us during sickness, etc. As for monastics, we also need supportive mentors to provide assistance to the Sangha so that we can stay focused on cultivation. Mentors can be categorized as above. Have you ever imagined that you can also be a mentor of others?   

Difficult to liberate others: modern education advocates teaching in accordance with students’ aptitude; the Buddhas also have the perfect wisdom to understand the aptitude of every sentient being, and thus to tell them the suitable dharma accordingly. For this reason, the five vehicles of Buddhism come into being. Nevertheless, the Buddhas’ ultimate goal is to help us attain buddhahood. In the Lotus Sutra, Sakyamuni Buddha had told 7 important parables, namely:
the Burning House,
the Prodigal Son,
the Medicinal Herbs,
the Phantom City,
the Gem in the Jacket,
the Gem in the King's Top-Knot,
and the Excellent Physician.

Each of the parables represents a skillful means leading to buddhahood finally. Take the Buddha’s disciple Panthaka as an example; he was such a slow-witted person who had a very poor memory. He was not able to learn four statements of verse in 3 months, and even his elder brother suggested him to go home. However the Buddha assigned him sweeping the floor and asked him to recite the two words “clean up” repeatedly. Very soon his karmic obstacles were eliminated, and his wisdom manifested to turn him into an arhat. When we want to do missionary work to someone, we also have to use the right means, or it may just become counterproductive.   
就当中每一个都是一种善巧方便,希望众生最终成佛。像佛陀的弟子槃陀伽, 他是个很迟钝的人,记性特别差,学四句偈子三个月都不会,连他哥哥都劝他回家,但佛陀就吩咐他扫地,並反复念着“除垢”两个字,很快他的业障消除,智慧得以显现,最后证得阿罗汉果。我们度人也得用对方法,否则可能会得到反效果。

讲解 | 释宏添   北京天开寺
By Bhiksu Hong Tian,  Tiankai Temple


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