V 1-14 Moral Discipline and Awakenment 谈受戒与开悟

Disclaimer: The translations are not official nor endorsed by 2OR, so please just treat it as a ‘fan-based’ translation. The Buddha-Dharma is profound. No matter how you convey it, it won’t be completely perfect. Because the Buddha-Dharma is an experience, it’s an awakening 【佛法深奥无比,怎么写,都不会是究竟圆满。佛法是一种悟】. Please enjoy, and I hope it serves as a good filler until the official English version comes out.


今天给你们讲持戒,佛说:“人能持戒、守法,才能得身心安定。”如果一个人能持戒,知道什么事可以做,什么事不可以做,守自己的戒律。守法,这个法在人间指的是法律,在阴间指的是阴律,在天上指的是天律。只有持戒守法,身心才能安定。

Today’s lesson is to discuss the practice of moral discipline. Buddha said, “It is through observing precepts and adhering to the law that the body and mind can be settled.” A person who practises moral discipline is assertive on the dos and don’ts in life, they hold on to their moral discipline and abide by the law - the portal to a settled body and mind (“law” here refers to the governing law in either the human realm, the underworld or heaven, conditional on the realm in question).


身心是怎样安定的呢?因为你持戒守法,所以你知道持戒守法可以医治烦恼、忧愁、恐惧。又如:你今天没做坏事,你就不会有恐惧感,警察上门你都不会惧怕。如果你能持戒就不会有烦恼、忧虑、恐惧。比如:一个很胖的人,医生告诉说:“如果再胖下去就会得心脏病。”如果你听医生的话,守戒不多吃胆固醇过高的食物,不多吃油腻的食物,你就没有忧虑了。没有忧虑,你的身心就能得安定。

How do our body and mind become calm? It is through understanding that practising moral discipline and abiding by the law allows our worries, anxieties and fears to subside. Much the same as when one has committed no evil, they have no fear when the policemen come knocking on their door at night. As long as one can observe moral discipline, they are free from all worries, anxieties and fear. Just like when an overweight person was advised by the doctor, “If you continue to gain weight, you will contract heart disease”. If this person heeds this warning and refrains from eating high cholesterol and oily foods, naturally they would no longer be worried. Their body and mind would be calm.


你们知道修心修的是什么?修心从某种意义上来讲就是守戒,不该做的事,不能做。不该说的话,不能说。不该想的,不能想。事事都要克制自己,把自己身上不好的习气戒掉。如果一个人不能守戒律,这个人就不会真心地修心,只能按照自己的命运走。今天很多人守戒律,修心念经,他们的身体就很健康。佛菩萨说的五戒里的“不偷盗”,如果你不守戒去偷盗了,你们说会不会被警察抓住?“不杀生”,如果你杀人,那你犯的是阳律,即阳间的法律。如果你杀动物,那你犯的是阴律,即阴间的阴律,虽然在阳界,法律上不能惩罚你,但在阴律上,还是要全部受惩罚的,所以五戒对人而言都应该遵守,并不仅针对和尚和尼姑。

Do you know what we are cultivating when cultivating our mind? From a certain perspective, it’s about observing precepts and refrain from doing the things you shouldn’t do, from saying the things you shouldn’t say and from thinking about the things you shouldn’t think. You must constantly practise self-restraint so that you can gradually get rid of your bad behaviours. A person who fails to do so is not a true cultivator of the mind, and they would be at the mercy of their fate and fortune. At present, many people enjoy good health because they have embarked on the path of Buddhist practice, practise moral discipline and recite Buddhist scriptures. Under the Five Buddhist Precepts, should you violate the precept of “not stealing”, don’t you think you’ll be arrested by the police? Similarly, the precept of “not killing” - if you murdered a person or an animal, you would have violated the moral law of the human realm (“Yang” law) and the underworld (“Yin” law) respectively. Even if punishment isn’t served in the human realm regarding the killing of animals, inevitably, you will suffer due punishment in the underworld. Hence, the importance of upholding the Five Precepts is unquestionable, and it is not limited to the monastic community.


关于这个世间,给你们讲两件事:第一,在这世界上发生的事发生了就发生了,你们不要以为,为什么会发生在我身上?为什么我会出这种事情?没有为什么。生癌症就生癌症了;死了就死了。多少人没有思想准备,该发生事的一下子就发生了。第二,在这世界上钱出去了就不是你的了。比如:你被人家骗了钱,付出去了,就不是你的了。有些人贪图利益,想发大财,想在人间创造一些奇迹,要记住,在人间没有奇迹出来。真正的奇迹,也是前世所造,平安就是福,能一辈子平平安安,这个人就是有福之人。师父以前给你们讲过“戒定慧”,因戒得定,因为你戒了之后,身心就会越来越安定,不求任何东西,没有欲望,心就净了。因定得慧,因你能定下来,智慧就开了,碰到事情你就会冷静,不会吵,不会闹。

Regarding this world, let me share with you two things. Firstly, accept everything that happens in this world happens. Many people ask questions like, “Why did it happen to me? What did something like that happen to me?” There is no ‘why’. If you got cancer, you got cancer. If you die, you die. Many people are mentally unprepared when calamity strikes. You must accept that it is what it is and move on. Secondly, any money that you’ve lost doesn’t belong to you anymore. For example, when somebody swindles you, and you have transferred your money to them, it’s no longer yours. There are others who covet riches and dream about making a fortune through some miracles. Please take note; there is no miracle in this world. Even the so-called miracles are nothing but the karmic causes that you sowed in your previous lives. Peace and security are blessings. If you can remain peaceful and secure in life, then you are blessed. I have told you before on the Three Studies, that is “Moral Discipline, Concentration and Wisdom”. If you wish to obtain concentration, you must begin by holding the precepts. It is through upholding the precepts that your body and mind are pacified because you have no desires. Without desires, your mind is pure. With concentration, one can bring forth wisdom, as it is through a reigned and pacified mind that wisdom arises. No matter what life throws at you, you will remain cool, calm and collected.


今天给你们讲讲小三窍,即称脑子开窍。听,读,入。

Today, I’ll share with you three tips to help your mind awaken. They are to listen, read and immerse.


听佛法,听经文,听道理。要用耳去听,要多听。一个人如果能多听佛法,多听好话,多听善良的话,多听能让人开悟的话,这个人的心就会慢慢入窍,即开窍了。

Listen to Buddhist teachings, scriptures and principles attentively and regularly. The benefit of listening to Buddhist teachings, positive words, kind words, inspirational words goes a long way, as you mind will gradually awaken.


听佛法,读经文,要熟读,听读之后真正地用了,你才能入,才能进入这个境界,不是普通的境界,而是开悟的境界。

Listen to Buddhist teachings, read Buddhist scriptures, become familiar with it. Through listening, reading and putting the knowledge into practice, you immerse yourself within it. Only then could your mind enter a supranormal level of spirituality - awakenment stage.


人的一生有两个根,一个叫身根,即身体。身体是你苦的根本,为什么会苦?是因为这个身体,如:在人间生病了,没工作了,出车祸了等等,都是因为你的身体在造做,这个身体就是你苦的根本。又比如你口渴了想喝水,如果没有水怎么办?想买水,没有钱怎么办?只好用身体去吃苦挣钱。另一个叫物根,即物欲。什么东西都想要,得不到就感到苦,这也是一个病根。

There are two foundations in life. The first being the body, which is the root of our suffering. Why do we suffer? It’s because of our physical body. For example, when we fall ill, when we lose our jobs, when we meet with car accidents, etc. All of these sensory experiences are realised because of your body. Hence it is the root of your suffering. Here’s another example. You’re thirsty, and you crave for water. What if water is not available, then what will you do? You would start to think about buying some. But what if you don’t have any money? You are then left with no choice but to mortify your body through hardship to earn money for this purpose. Next, is the fundamental of materialism, which is related to your desire for materialistic objects. It has to do with your craving for just about anything and everything; when these cravings are not satisfied, suffering is inevitable. This fundamental is also referred to as the root cause of trouble.


人只要有色身就一定会生、老、病、死。只要有物在,即人间所有的物质,有物质的东西一定会成、住、坏、空。比如:一张桌子,先用木头做成桌子,成功了,时间长了木头开始变质腐烂,之后桌子坏了,不能用了,最后扔了,这个桌子就空了。所以你们所看到的世界上所有的事物,实际上都是成、住、坏、空的演变。

人——生、老、病、死;物——成、住、坏、空。

As long as we possess a form, we are bound to the reality of birth, ageing, sickness and death; while all material existence (or substance in this world) pass through the four states of phenomena - formation, existence, destruction and emptiness. For example, a table is made from wood; it has hence come into existence; over time, the wood will start to decay, and the table goes through the destruction phase; it will then be deemed useless and discarded as it enters into the stage of emptiness. This phenomenon applies to all the things and matters we see in this world, that is:

Human - birth, ageing, sickness and death;

Material - formation, existence, destruction and emptiness.


大乘佛法是菩萨的心智心度。大乘佛法讲的是救度一切众生,菩萨非但知道自己很苦要救度,还要救度众生,例如当一个灾难来临时,当一个人去救人的时候,他会想到先救谁后救谁,但菩萨是不分这些的,当然不管什么人都要救。然而在人间学佛像这种大乘佛法救度一切有缘众生的非常少,因为人有分别心。菩萨说:救度无量无边的众生,犹如恒河的沙子一样,即没有数量。而且菩萨救人在大乘佛法里叫平等普度,即在普度众生时是平等的,不论任何情况,不论男女老幼,不论贫富贵贱。比如:今天在这里听师父开示的人,每个人的道行不一样,理解的程度不一样,接受的能力不一样,而师父是平等地给每位弟子讲解,但是每位弟子所接受的能量是不一样的,是不平等,这个不平等是你们自己造成的而不是师父造成的,师父给了你们同等的能量,而你们是否都能接受,取决于你们自身接受的能力与修为。

Mahayana Buddhism is the wisdom and magnanimity of the Bodhisattvas, which aspires to save all sentient beings. They are well aware of the suffering they have to endure in the process, but they still do so. For example, when a disaster happens, an ordinary person would prioritise who to save first. However, this isn’t the case for Bodhisattvas because as far as they are concerned, all sentient beings are equal. In practising Buddhism, it is rare for one to adopt the spirit of Mahayana Buddhism in saving all predestined sentient beings, as humans have a natural tendency to be biased. The sentient beings that Bodhisattva wish to save are so immeasurable and boundless; it is akin to the sand of Ganges River. From the context of Mahayana Buddhism, this approach is referred to as “equal deliverance”. It is not bounded by circumstances – neither does it make a difference if the person they are helping is male or female, young or old, poor or rich, noble or lowly. For example, here we have many people listening to my lesson. The level of cultivation is different for every one of you, so the level of understanding and the ability to assimilate to my teachings are different for every one of you. While I am impartial in imparting knowledge to all disciples, the energy that you receive is different, it is unequal. This inequality is established at your end, not mine. I have given all of you the same amount of energy. However, it is your receptiveness and level of cultivation which shall determine how much energy is gained.


小乘佛法在救度众生时,是看人而立,即要看对方是谁,不喜欢的不度,有执著心,我喜欢的人我度,我不喜欢的人就不度。

There is a prevailing tendency of inequality in Theravada’s approach of delivering sentient beings - only to those that one favour, one extends his helping hand, while those that one dislikes are ignored. Evidently, the condition of attachment prevails in this approach.


我们要修学大乘佛法救度一切有缘众生!小乘佛法还有一点就是众生不求,不度。你们现在有没有这种现象?人家不求你,你就不度。人家不求你,你们会想到主动去救度人家吗?佛法说“无缘不度”,不是说永远不度,而是等到因缘成熟再救度,千万不要误解。菩萨的智慧是圆融的,是正等正觉,修学佛法要全面精进,而不是说高兴就度,不高兴就不度,没有缘分的应该创造缘分也要度,希望你们大家能做到。

All of you must cultivate the spirit of Mahayana Buddhism of saving all sentient beings that have a karmic affinity with us! Another important characteristic of Theravada Buddhism is, “if you don’t ask, you don’t get”, that is, help is only rendered to sentient beings who reach out their hands in need. Tell me, is this the phenomenon you are experiencing now? If others do not ask you for help, would you take the initiative to help them? Though it is said in Buddhism that we should “save only those with karmic affinity”, this should not be misunderstood as never reaching out to them, but rather to wait for their karmic affinities to ripen. The wisdom of Bodhisattva is perfect; it’s supreme enlightenment. In studying and cultivating Buddhism, we need to have complete dedication where helping others is not something we do at our whims and fancies. For the people whose karmic affinities don’t exist yet, be that as it may, create it, and lend your helping hand to them. I hope that this is something that all of you can do.


听讲经,听讲法,你们不要去听他的句子,师父给你们讲经说法,讲的是人生道理,不要去听他的句子,也不要去听他的语言措词,你们应该听他讲的道理,也就是教理。因为师父现在在教导你们,教你们一套理论,你们要去揣摩他的理,这个理要适中,不是歪理,是正理,是一套法理,人间佛法的法理。

When you listen to Buddhist teachings, do not confine your understanding to the verbal constructs. Whenever I am sharing Buddhist knowledge, in essence, I am sharing about the principles of life, so don’t be contented just by savouring its lines of verse. Neither should you merely listen to the characteristics of language and its use. Instead, you should look out for the principles behind it; in other words, the doctrine. I am here to provide you with guidance; I am here to teach you a set of theories, of which you should figure out the underlying principles. The principles ought to be reasonable and never preposterous but upright - it is a set of rules of practice and the principles of Buddha-Dharma.


讲到放生,最大的优点是救未来佛。因为你今天放生所做的一切事情,救度了一条鱼或如果让你的后代看见了,他就会生出一种慈悲心,这孩子说不定将来就是佛,记住榜样的力量是无穷的。要用大无畏的慈悲精神修心,你一定会修出本性。

Let’s talk about performing life liberation. The greatest merit from this act is that you are saving future Buddhas. Think about it, when you liberate a fish from imminent death, and members of the younger generation witness it, the feeling of compassion will arise in them. You can’t say for sure that this child won’t be a Buddha in the future, can you? Please remember, the power of a role model is immeasurable. It stands to reason that your cultivation should be based on fearless compassion as it is a sure-fire way to cultivating your inherent nature.




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