V 10-6 Discussion of the Twelve Karmic Affinities/ the Twelve Links of Dependent Arising (1/2) 谈十二因缘

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.

师父告诉你们,修在世法,实际上就是要懂得轮回。很多人不懂轮回啊,师父问你们,怎么会轮回的呢?轮回的源头是什么?师父今天跟你们讲讲轮回的源头,十二因缘就是人轮回的源头。十二因缘是指缘分从无明(不明白)到老死的这个过程,从你生出来之后这个缘分开始,一直到你人生什么都不明白,最后一直到死亡,你就会产生这个过程,就是我们说的因缘,因缘果报啊。这个过程就是人的一生,一生所犯的错误,一生必须经历的挫折和思维上的痛苦。

Master tells you, to cultivate worldly Dharma, you must first know about samsara. Many people don’t know about it. Master asks you, “What is samsara? What is the origin of samsara?” In this chapter, he will expound on the origin of samsara, which is the twelve links. The twelve links refer to the process from ignorance to death from old age and its affinities. It started when you were born, where you don’t know anything until you pass away. In this process, the links follow like a shadow as karmic conditions, karmic causes and karmic consequences. This process is a person’s lifetime; it’s also the wrongdoings one did in their life, and also all the suffering they encounter physically and mentally in their life.


在十二因缘中,第一是无明。无明是什么?无明就是你生出来后你什么都不懂、不明白。你们生出来有谁什么都懂的吗?什么都不知道,什么都不明白,然后慢慢地在生活当中开始行。行是第二因缘,行就是走路、行动,就开始生活了,在这个行为过程当中,第三个因缘就是意识,就是生出来不知道,然后生活在这个世界当中,比方说,妈妈给你吃东西,带你出去玩,慢慢地认识事物,你就开始懂了,懂了之后就开始进入你的意识当中,你在意识当中就知道了,这个是公共汽车,那个是飞机,下次再看见就知道了。

In the twelve links, the first link is ignorance. What is ignorance? It’s not knowing. When you were born, you knew nothing. Who could say that they knew everything when they were born? You knew nothing, and you didn’t understand anything. The second link is action. It could be simply be walking or moving, and that’s how you began to start your life. The third link is consciousness. When you were born, you knew nothing. But when you start living your life, you start to develop conscious awareness of the things around you. For example, when your mother fed you and took you out to play. As you become aware of new things, these things enter into your consciousness, and you learn to identify what these things are. For example, when you have seen a public bus or an aeroplane, you know that it’s a public bus or a plane the next time you see the same object.


当你有了“我”的意识之后,你会看到很多的名色。本来你生出来的时候什么都不知道,不知道有“我”的,你是谁啊?有一个小朋友叫师父帮他改名字,人家排到现在都改不出来,这个小孩子都一岁半了,到现在连名字都还没有,叫“无名”,他什么都没有,所以他什么都不知道,好了,无名一直到意识的行,名就是他开始进入意识之后,他看到有色世界,哦,这个阿姨这么好看,然后知道这个房子真漂亮,这个灯这么好看,这个车这么好,有了“我”的意识之后,开始名色,这是第四因缘。

After you have developed a self-consciousness, you will become aware of names and forms. Initially, when you were born, you didn’t know anything or about yourself. Who were you? There was a toddler who was one and a half years old who didn’t have a name, but his parents managed to get Master to give him a name. It was fortunate since many people had queued for me to do so, yet he didn’t have the time to do it. Since he had no name, he was ‘nameless’. He had nothing, so he didn’t know anything. Then he started to take action and become consciously aware of his surroundings, and that’s when he noticed the world of forms. “Oh, this aunt looks pretty. Oh, this house looks beautiful. This lamp and car look good.” After the child develops consciousness, the fourth link of names and forms begin.


第五因缘,叫六入,眼耳鼻舌身意六根进入到了你的意识当中。眼睛看到好东西想买,耳朵听见人家说好话了会笑,鼻子闻到了香味想吃饭,嘴巴尝到了甜头开心,意识想到妈妈下个星期要带我去度假开始莫名地兴奋,慢慢地通过你的五官加上思维进入这个世界,接受世界全方位意识的染着。十二因缘有很多人会讲,但是师父是用白话把十二因缘讲得如此透彻。

The fifth link is the six spheres of the senses, where the senses coming from the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind enter your consciousness. When the eyes see something good, then it might trigger your desire to buy. When the ears hear something pleasant, you will smile. When the nose smells something delicious, it triggers your desire to eat. When your tongue tastes something sweet, you become happy. When your mind thinks your mother will take you on holiday next week, you will feel inexplicably happy. Gradually, you entered into the world through your senses and thoughts and became affected by your surroundings. Many people know how to expound the twelve links, but Master could articulate it better using plain terms.


第六个因缘是触。这个触和出生是一样的,人在有了意识之后,就想接触。就像你们谈恋爱一样,先看着她很好看,很喜欢她,接下来就想接触了,有肢体接触。今天你看见商店里的这个东西特别喜欢,口袋里没钱也要把这件衣服拿起来穿一穿,然后再放回去,没钱也要把商场里的这个包包拎一拎,在镜子面前照一照,因为你的眼睛看见了、喜欢了,你一定要用手去接触它、接近它,师父跟你们讲的白话佛法有意思吧?把人生的这些东西让你体验出来,你为什么会轮回?触了之后,你觉得好啊,开心啊。如果是好的,没有关系,如果是恶的呢?闯祸了,抓进监狱了。

The sixth link is contact. The feeling of wanting to make contact is the same as when one was born. After a person has developed consciousness, they want to make contact with others. Just like when you’re dating, when you see a good-looking person that you like, you want to make contact with them. Then there’s bodily contact. For example, when you walk into a clothes shop and see something you like, even though you don’t have any money in your wallet, you would like to try on the clothes and then put them back where you found them. Even if you don’t have money, you would walk into a shop and try a few handbags to see how they look when you’re holding them in front of the mirror. That’s because when you see something you like, you want to use your hands to feel and touch it. Isn’t it interesting when Master puts it into plain terms? Why do you keep going through the same karmic cycles over and over again? It’s because, after contact, you feel good and become happy. If it goes well, then it’s ok. What if it ends badly? Then you get yourself into trouble.


师父让你们现在做一个实验好不好?你们现在看桌子上什么东西都没有,只要放一张钱在上面,很多人的眼睛马上就会转过去的。你们到人家家里,只要看到桌子上有硬币,地板上有钱币,你的意识首先就会被吸引过去,紧接着脑子里马上想到,拿钱,接触了,听得懂吗?为什么有些人很会打扮呢?因为他为了吸引眼球。因为你的思维,你所接触的染着的东西,所以会生出接触的心。

You can experiment. Find a table with nothing on it, and get somebody to put a banknote on it. Many passersby would turn their eyeballs to look at it. At home, if you see some coins on the table or on the floor, it would immediately attract your attention. Then your mind would think about taking and getting into contact with it. Do you understand? Why do women wear makeup? It’s to attract attention. People’s thoughts are dyed by the objects around them, and they develop the desire to make contact.


第七个因缘,受。“受”是什么?接触之后,你就开始承受了。很多人一接触这个女的,被这个女人控制住了,他就开始接受了。很多人就是喜欢吃这个东西,你就被它控制住了。上海人都喜欢吃大闸蟹,被大闸蟹控制住了,馋啊,造业了。还有很多女人喜欢吃核桃仁,整天就是想吃,吃得脸上都发出来了。还有人喜欢吃橄榄,有的人喜欢吃不好的东西,比如抽烟、喝酒、吸毒,到后来不就是要受吗?师父讲的这七个全部会让你在意识当中六道轮回。受报有受好的报应,也有受坏的报应。受好的报应,那么你是享受,受恶的报应,那你叫活受。

The seventh link is feeling. What is feeling? After contact, feelings arise, and they also feel the consequences. When men contact the woman they like, they develop feelings towards her, and she begins to influence the guy. When people like to eat a certain food, it means that food will influence them. Shanghaiese loves to eat Chinese mitten crabs, so they eat them excessively and sin. Many women like to eat walnuts and could eat them all day until it affects them adversely. Some people like to eat olives, while others indulge in unwholesome things like smoking, drinking and taking drugs. In the end, don’t they have to feel the consequences? These seven links are what primarily induces your consciousness to fall into samsara. There are wholesome and unwholesome feelings that one feels as a consequence. If it’s wholesome, then you will enjoy it. If it’s unwholesome, then you’re just getting what you deserved.


到了第八个因缘,另外一种受又开始报了,这种受是什么呢?爱。这个爱是非常痛的,你们都不懂的,你们以为爱很容易啊?爱是非常痛苦的,这个爱的东西,你只要去碰它,你就准备痛苦吧。你爱孩子,接下来孩子不听你的话,非要跑到外面去,后来出事了,妈妈心里痛啊,对不对?一爱就出事了。夫妻一爱出人命了,出什么人命啊?小孩子出来了,不就是出来一条生命吗?好了,人命来了,接下来更痛苦啊。所以,不能用私心去爱,要用大爱,你就不会痛苦。 实际上,师父告诉你们,大爱也是痛苦的。你说师父爱你们吗?爱。如果你们里面有一个人不好,做错事情,或者在外面吃苦头了,师父也心痛啊。小爱有小爱的痛,自私的痛,大爱有大爱的痛,所以只要一爱,你就得承受了。但是师父可以告诉你们一句话,只要到人间,永恒的主题就是一个爱。这是没有办法的,一个人脱离不了爱,爱物质、爱人、爱名、爱利,有的人爱打麻将,那也叫爱啊,不让他打麻将,比让他去死还难受呢。

The eighth link is love (a craving or desire). The feeling of love is very painful. If you don’t understand, you think that it’s easy. But when you trigger those feelings, then be prepared to be in pain. For example, you love your children. But if your child constantly disobeys you and keep leaving the house, then you’ll get depressed. Isn’t that right? Love can cause trouble. When a couple loves each other, they might bring a new life into the world, which may cause a combination of more happiness and suffering. One shouldn’t be selfish in love; they should love everybody equally and unconditionally. Then there’s no suffering. But in reality, Master tells you, love like is also painful. Do you agree that Master loves you? Yes. If you misbehave and keep doing wrong things, or if you’re suffering at work, then Master would be sad. Conditional love has its share of suffering, while unconditional love also has its share of heartache. As long as there’s love, you must bear with it. But Master could tell you one thing. As long as you’re in the Human Realm, you can’t escape from the subject of love. The subject of love also encompasses the craving for material goods, love for others, desire for wealth and fame etc. Some people crave playing mahjong; that’s also love. If you don’t let them play, then they feel worse than death.


第九个因缘,取。“取”是什么呢?当你在选择的时候,你就会造业,就是制造你六道轮回的因。今天这个事情我能够去做吗?如果你取了不应该做的事情,你就造因了。今天这个事情我应该舍掉的,我不愿意舍掉,你又造因了,轮回啊。我跟这个女朋友谈恋爱,谈到最后,她不要我了,哎呀,我就是不放过她。你看,一个是要报复,还有一个是不要报复,到底你要报复,还是不要报复,我不报复枉为人啊,我一定要报复,好了,你取了报复这个心,接下来你就造了这个因,就是六道轮回的因。在人间取舍是最难的,也是最重要的,因为一个人取了好的东西,就是取了一条正确的道路,那这个人就会一帆风顺。如果一个人取了一个不顺利的东西,那这个人就会永远吃苦头。很多女人嫁错人了,结婚之前有三个男人追求她,她最后选了这个老公,取舍错了,接下来痛苦万分。

The ninth link is grasping. What is grasping? When you make a choice, you are creating karma that keeps the cycle of samsara turning. When you take something that you shouldn’t take, that creates karma. When you give up something that you shouldn’t give, that creates karma. These actions lead to dependent origination. “I dated that girl before, but in the end, she broke up with me. I’m not going to let her get away with this.” You see, then one is torn between the decision of seeking revenge or not. “If I don’t have my revenge, then I’m a wimp. I must make her pay.” Alright, when you make that decision and take action, then you create the karma that keeps you within samsara. In the Human Realm, the decision to take and give is the most difficult, yet it’s also the most important. That’s because if a person takes the right things, then they will be walking on the right path. They will be walking on a smooth path to success. If a person takes the wrong things, then they will always suffer in hardships. Many women marry the wrong person, for example. Maybe the woman had three guys interested in her, but she chose the current husband in the end. That ended up being a mistake, and she is now in agony because of that decision.


第十个因缘,有。菩萨的话很少,一个字让你想半天,“有”是什么?也是痛苦啊。没有痛苦,有更痛苦。你生不出孩子,痛苦吧?到处去求医,花钱啊,痛苦吧?你现在有了孩子,师父告诉你,以后更痛苦,孩子的一生把你拴住了,牵扯住了。很多人因为有孩子,学佛都不学了。为什么和尚、尼姑要舍呢?生得出就生,生不出就不要生,命里有时终须有,命里无时莫强求。今天有一对夫妻生了个女儿,是师父的弟子,没生孩子的时候,这对夫妻相敬如宾,恩爱非常,等这个女儿出生来之后,妈妈成为第二位,爸爸成为第三位,夫妻两人都要看女儿的脸色,爸爸本来只怕妈妈一个人的,现在怕两个了,幸亏家里没有养宠物,不然爸爸还怕三个呢,这个妈妈和爸爸是不是痛苦啊?还好,这个女儿现在开始学佛了,否则笑都不会笑的。师父就是讲给你们听一个道理,有了,就更痛苦,因为既然拥有,那么一定会有失去的这一天,所以,就有了痛苦,什么都没有了就会没痛苦。

The tenth link is existence. The words of the Bodhisattvas are few. One word could encompass many things. What is existence? That is also a source of suffering. You suffer if you don’t have something, but you will also suffer once you have it. If you can’t have a child, won’t you be in pain? You go to the doctors and spend money to see if you could; isn’t that a painful process? Then when you could bear a child and give birth, Master tells you, you’ll suffer more in the future. Your child will tether and bind you up, so you lose freedom. Many people don’t practise Buddhism because they have a child. Isn’t that why monks and nuns renounce that secular life? If one can give birth, then give birth. If one can’t give birth, then don’t. If something is predestined to be yours, then it will eventually happen. If not, then don’t force it. There was a married couple who gave birth to a daughter. They were Master’s disciples. Before they had a child, they were respectful and affectionate towards each other. But after their daughter was born, the mother became second place while the father became third. Both of them have to take cues from their daughter. Originally, the father was only afraid of one person, which is his wife. Now he’s afraid of two. Luckily he doesn’t have a pet; otherwise, the father would be afraid of three beings. So aren’t both mother and father bearing hardships? Fortunately, their daughter had practised Buddhism. Otherwise, she wouldn’t have treated them well. Master is trying to convey to you the principle. If something exists, it will bring greater suffering. That’s because when you have something, there will be a day when you will lose it in the future, so you will bear the suffering of loss. If you don’t have it, to begin with, then there is no suffering.


师父前几天在新西兰开法会的时候,有一个女孩子得过小儿麻痹症,她后来考上艺术博士,师父问她:“孩子,你痛苦吗?”她说:“我不痛苦,因为我有父母亲的照顾,还有这么多社会上的人对我的爱,我很开心。”“那么,你对人生有没有什么语言来表达呢?”她说:“我只看到我有的,我没有看到我没有的。”这是一个反面的话,就是说,我看到了我拥有的,所以我很满足,但是我不去看人家有的,我没有看到我没有的,我的心态就会好。

When Master was hosting the Dharma convention in New Zealand, a girl contracted polio when she was little and when she got older, she got a doctoral degree in Arts. Master asked her, “Child, are you in pain?” She replied, “I’m not because I’m well taken care of by my parents. Also, many people treated me with love, so I’m very happy.” “Then, do you have any thoughts about life that you want to share with others?” She said, “I only look at what I have. I don’t look at what I don’t have.” That’s an obverse way of speaking. In other words, if you only look at what you possess, then you will be content. And you don’t look at what others have that you don’t. That way, your attitude will be good.


现在的人就是自己拥有了,眼睛里还要看着别人,就像很多人一样,嘴巴里吃着,眼睛还要看着人家的东西。大家在一起吃饭,就能够看出这个人贪不贪。大家一起吃饭,有八个菜,十个人坐在那里,那种嘴巴里吃着,眼睛盯着别的菜,这种人就是不满足的人。你们跟师父出去吃饭,你们吃饭都要当心,师父一看就知道你是什么样的人。人贪是从心里面贪到外面,拥有了,你就痛苦了,家里家产万贯,有钱怕被人家绑架,怕被人家枪杀,怕被怎么样、怎么样,痛苦吧?所以,有就会造业。

People nowadays tend to look at what they have and also what other people have. Just like when people are eating their food, they also look at what other people are eating. You can see whether a person is greedy just by looking at how they eat. Like when ten people are sitting around a table with eight dishes on top. Those who eat while staring at the other dishes are people who tend to be discontented. If you’re eating with Master, you should be careful because he will know what kind of person you are. Greed stems from the inner mind and manifests externally. When you possess something, you will eventually suffer. If vast amounts of wealth are stored in your house, you will be scared of being kidnapped, burgled, or killed. Isn’t that a source of suffering? That’s why it will also create karma.


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