V 1-5 The Meaning of Life expounded by Buddhism 以佛法谈生命的意义

Updated: Jan 21

今天给大家讲,我们要做君子,不要做小人。什么叫君子?简单讲,君子就是每天肯吃亏的人。什么是小人?每天想着占人家便宜的人。我希望每个徒弟每天要自律,要看看自己是君子还是小人。要忏悔自己,看看自己做错了什么。

We must act like an exemplar and refrain from acting immorally. What defines an exemplary person? To put it simply, an exemplary person is someone who is willing to take a loss. What about someone who is morally-debased? The morally-debased are constantly thinking of how to take advantage of others. The Master hopes that all his disciples can practise self-discipline at all times and ask themselves whether they are an exemplary person or a morally-debased person. You must repent and reflect on the things you did wrong in the past.


一个人为什么会无知?无知就是不会反省自己。每个人每天回家要反省自己,今天我做错了什么?别人又为你付出了多少?而现在每个人讲出来的都是自己做了多少好事,帮助了多少人,从来不想想自己做了多少错事。

How does somebody become ignorant? Ignorance stems from one’s failure to reflect upon themselves. Everyone should practise self-reflection when they return home each day, asking themselves, “What have I done wrong today? What have others done for me?” These days, everybody brags about how many good deeds they have done and how many people they have helped but have never pondered the mistakes they committed.


菩萨不觉于世,只觉自己。何以如此呢?因觉自心者,即为觉一切众生之人。

Bodhisattvas have no attachments to worldly affairs; they only pay attention only to their own cultivation. Why is this so? Those who understand themselves are able to enlighten sentient beings.


不觉于世,即不发觉其它的事情,不觉察其它的事情。只觉自己,即只关心自己,关注觉悟自己。如果你认为只关注自己,觉悟自己,不关心别人,这不成了修小乘佛法?那你就错了。因觉自心者,因为你拿感觉觉自己的心,老感觉自己怎样怎样,实际上即为觉一切众生之人。人本身就是一个体,因为每一个人的人体都是由一个元灵出来的。你只要用元灵感觉一下你自己,实际上你感觉的就是世界上的众生。如果你能感觉到自己做的事情对不对,你就是在感觉众生。所以叫同体大悲。“人生最尊贵的事是什么?”请大家谨记:“人生最尊贵的事情就是面对别人的虚伪与不义,仍能保持自己对别人的亲切”。如果你能知道人家虚伪,人家不义,但你仍能笑嘻嘻地对人家很亲切,那你就是菩萨。你们几人能做到?要学会容忍人家,人家没有修,人家是凡人,你是有修的人,你知道自己是假我,所以别把你当成真的。人靠什么才能赢得别人的尊敬,靠的是自身的修养,就是语言、行为。为什么叫修心修行,就是一个语言,一个行为,包括心里的行为。

‘Having no attachments to worldly affairs’ means not observing or being aware of other things. ‘Paying attention only to their own cultivation’ means that they are introspective, focusing on enlightening themselves. You might ask, “focusing on only one’s own enlightenment without caring about others, isn’t that the practice of Theravada Buddhism?” If you thought that this was the case, then you are wrong. Those who understand themselves do so with their feelings. In fact, they are enlightening all sentient beings. Human beings are an entity; each person’s body comes from the same primeval soul. Try to bring awareness to your feelings using your primeval soul, then what you actually feel is feeling all the sentient beings in this world. If you can sense whether or not you are doing the right thing, you are feeling sentient beings. Hence the notion ‘to have great compassion is to regard ourselves as being one with all.’

“What is the most honourable thing in life?” Please bear this in mind: The most honourable thing in life is, even when faced with hypocrisy and injustice from other people, you are still able to maintain kindness towards them. If you find out that the other party is a hypocrite or an unrighteous person, yet you’re still able to extend your warmth to them with a smile, then you are a Bodhisattva. How many of you can do this? Learn to be tolerant of others, as they have not started their spiritual practice; they are just ordinary people. However, you are a practitioner. You know your ‘self’ is just a false self. Therefore, don’t take the ‘self’ as being real. How can we earn respect from others? It is through our cultivation in both our speech and behaviour. That is why we call it ‘cultivation of the mind and behaviour’. It encompasses our speech and actions, including the behaviour of our minds.


一个人的生命,一定要与其他所有人的生命联系在一起才有意义,即有他才有你,有你才有我,有我才有他,实际上就是一个循环。如果人与人的感情不连在一起,这个人就不能活在世界上。比如:一个人不能够容忍人家,没有朋友,与父母不和,与孩子不和,与朋友不和,与任何人都不联系,你们说这人活在世界上有何意义?所以人与人是一个整体,从玄学上来讲,人本身就是一个元灵。每个人最早的时候都是在一起的,所以要相互爱护相互帮助,哪怕看到他的缺点你只要是为他好,就不要担心他会不明白。另外,世界上的万物,实际上和一切有生命的现象也存在着密切的关系。也就是说,世界上的万物都是有情有义的。我们人有情有义,植物也有情有义。譬如:西瓜长出来甘愿让你吃,让你解渴。蔬菜长出来甘愿让你吃,给你得到营养,难道植物就没有生命吗?这个植物被你利用之后就更有其生命的意义。所以人和世界上的万物都是有意义的。记住:不要随便糟蹋粮食,糟蹋粮食就是糟蹋生命!糟蹋粮食,浪费粮食会折福!很多有钱人布施时很大方,自己消费时却很小气,这不是小气是在惜福。因为他们知道这些福来之不易。

A person’s life only becomes meaningful when it’s connected with the lives of others. With them, there is you. With you, there is me. With me, there is them. This is a circle. Without interpersonal relationships connecting us all, one cannot survive in this world. For example, if a person is intolerant of others, has no friends, doesn’t get along with their parents, children and friends, and doesn’t contact anybody, then what’s the meaning of their existence in this world?

We are a community of shared life. From a metaphysical point of view, human beings are from a primeval community. Since the beginning of time, we have been together. Thus, we should help and care for each other. If you see somebody’s shortcomings and point them out for their own sake, you do not have to worry that they will misunderstand you. In fact, everything in the world is closely related to all living phenomena. In other words, everything in this world has its meaning and purpose. We human beings have sentiments, just as vegetables also have the elements for them to grow. For example, watermelons grow to be consumed and help you quench your thirst. Similarly, vegetables grow to be consumed by you and provide you with nutrients. Do you think plants have no life? Their being consumed adds meaning to their lives. Therefore, we human beings and everything in this world have meaning and purpose. Take note, do not waste food. Wasting food amounts to wasting life! Wasting food will diminish blessings! Many wealthy people are very generous when practising the act of giving, but frugal when they spend money on themselves. This is not stinginess, but rather them cherishing their blessings. They know such blessings are hard to come by.


悟道之人,逢苦不忧。人的一切境界得失从“缘”,心无增减,冥顺于道,转凡成圣,即心即佛。

An enlightened person will not be worried in times of hardship. Whatever circumstances they encounter, they act in accordance with karmic conditions; they are not bothered by gains or losses. Their mind remains steady, neither increasing nor decreasing. While conforming with the Way, they turn themselves from an ordinary person into a sage. This very mind is Buddha.


悟道之人,逢苦不忧。一个悟道的人,当他遇到苦难的时候是不会担忧的。因为他悟出了道理,他知道人生必然会吃苦,人的一生就是来吃苦的,我这个苦是自然来的,是应该受的,所以他不会担忧,甘心受苦。担忧的人就是还没有开悟。

An enlightened person will not be worried in times of hardship. An enlightened person will not be worried when they encounter trials and tribulations. This is because they have realized the truth; suffering is inevitable in life. People come to this world to suffer. They know that suffering is natural, and it’s something they ought to endure. As such, there is no cause for worry, they will accept the hardship willingly. On the other hand, those who are still worried has not yet awakened.


人要随缘,要用最好的方法使这个缘能够圆满。执著的人就是不能随缘。学佛人遇事要做到从心里不要有增减。这个增减就是重视与不重视。你若重视了,在你心中就增加了压力,若减少了就无所谓了。一个真正修行的人就连冥府也要顺着你的缘。

We have to act in accordance with karmic conditions and adopt the best approach to perfect those conditions. Those who have attachments are not able to do so. Regardless of the circumstances, Buddhist practitioners need to keep their minds steady, neither increasing nor decreasing. Increasing means that you take matters seriously, while on the other hand, decreasing means that that you don’t take them seriously. When you take something seriously, you put a lot of pressure on yourself. When you choose not to, then you become indifferent. A true practitioner would have even the agents of the Underworld to conform to their karmic conditions.


转凡成圣。即把我们转成圣人。我们是凡人什么事情都烦都贪。众所周知,中国的孔夫子是圣人,他传授的是中国文化。圣人很重要的一点就是能原谅人家,原谅人家实际上就是慈悲心的开始,不原谅人家怎么会生慈悲心呢?不原谅人家就会恨人家,恨人家就不会有慈悲心。

These practitioners turn themselves from an ordinary person into a sage. An ordinary person has endless worries and insatiable desires. We all know that Confucius is a sage; he passed down Chinese culture from generation to generation. The main characteristic of a sage is their forgiving nature. In fact, forgiving others is the beginning of cultivating compassion. How could you be compassionate if you are unable to forgive? If you are unforgiving towards others, you will eventually develop a hatred for them. When you hate someone, you lose compassion.


即心即佛。这四个字包罗万象,也就是说你这个心不要随境界转。如果这个心是佛,你就是佛,如果这个心是魔,你就是魔。

This very mind is Buddha. This phrase encompasses a myriad of phenomena. It means that your mind should not be swayed by various states. If you possess a Buddha’s mind, then you are a Buddha. If you possess a demon’s mind, then you are a demon.


要敬信心。一个人的信心靠什么来维持?就是要尊敬它,不是靠人家尊敬,是你自己尊敬你自己的信心。一个连自己都不相信自己能成功的人怎么能做得好事?一个没有自信的人,怎么能学好佛?今天听这个人说说,感觉有道理。明天听那个人说说也有道理,最后将是一事无成。一个人的能力有限,一辈子只能修学一个法门才能精进。如果什么法门都想学,最后什么也学不成,而且有时修偏差了就会成魔。因此要尊敬自己的信心,发心好好修。

We respect our faith. How are we to maintain our faith? The answer is to respect it. Respect comes not from other people but from yourself. You have to respect your own faith. If you don’t believe that you can succeed, how would you ever be able to do so? How could a person succeed in practising Buddhism if they do not have confidence? A person who is easily swayed by what others say will achieve nothing in the end. As an individual, our abilities are limited. That’s why, for any individual to attain any progress in their spiritual development, they must focus on practising one Buddhist practice for the rest of their lives. If they attempt to learn all Buddhist practices, they are bound to fail. Worse, there’s a possibility that they may go astray and become demons. Therefore, it is imperative that we respect our faith and resolve to diligently practise Buddhism.


方便即是究竟。这个方便并不是指我们人间所说的方便,实际是指一个方法,这个变通的方法叫方便。

The expedient (skill-in-means) is the ultimate. By expedience, we are not referring to convenience, as is often thought. It is a method. An expedient method enables you to adapt your approach to a particular situation.




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