V 10-7 Discussion of the Twelve Karmic Affinities/ the Twelve Links of Dependent Arising (2/2) 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.

第十一个因缘,生。“生”这个因缘,是你怎么样来生活,并不是说你生出来。在你的生活当中,你好好地活着,你就慢慢地像人一样地活着。并不是这样你会被染着,你不当心会像鬼一样地活着,你就六道投鬼。生就是让自己有限的生命投入到无限的弘法度人中去,有些人把有限的生命投入到无限的赚钱当中,他就会被名利钱财所吞没。第十二个因缘是死。死亡了,就会进入六道轮回。好了,师父给你们大概地讲了讲十二因缘的全过程。死是很痛苦的,但是又避免不了,修得好很多人还会起生。师父跟你们说,好自为之啊。

The eleventh link is growth. The birth link refers to how you live and the process of development, not its basic definition. In your daily life, live properly in an upright manner. If not, then you will be tainted. And if you’re not careful enough and allow yourself to be possessed by your inner demons, then you might be reborn in the lower realms of samsara. Birth is about engrossing yourself into endless propagation of the Dharma and awakening others spiritually. Some people use their limited lifespan to immerse themselves into endless material desires. In the end, they will be devoured by their greed for fame and wealth. The twelfth link is death. After death, you will enter into the next rebirth cycle of samsara. Alright, Master has expounded all the stages of the twelve links of dependent origination in general terms. Death is painful but can’t be avoided. Many people who cultivate well still have to undergo the rebirth cycle. Master wishes that you look out for yourself.


十二因缘里面包括三世二重因果。因为在这十二因缘里面,有三个世:前世、今世、来世。过去有一句话,欲知前世因,今生受者是。要知道我前世是好人、还是坏人,做了多少好事、坏事,我今生吃苦、身体不好,今世被人家骗、被人家坑害,说明你前世不是个好东西啊。欲知来世果,今生作者是。有人问:“师父啊,我下辈子能修好吗?我下辈子能到天上去吗?”你现在在做什么事情,就预示着你以后是到天上,还是到地狱,对不对?

The twelve links of dependent origination also comprise an extra layer to evaluate: the two types of karma over three lifetimes. That’s because the dependent origination is affected and determined by the karmic causes and consequences of the past life, present life and future life. An old Chinese adage goes like so – if you want to know what you did in the previous life, then look at what you are going through in the present life. If you want to know whether you’re a good or bad person and how many good or bad deeds you did in the past life, then look at what you have gone through in the present life. If you experienced many hardships, your health is terrible, or you’ve been cheated, then it means that you weren’t a good person in your past life. If you want to know your next life, then look at what you are currently doing. Someone asked, “Master, would I achieve better in my cultivation in my next life? Can I go to heaven in the next life?” What you are currently doing indicates whether you will be going to heaven or hell in the next life. Isn’t that right?


师父刚才讲的十二个因缘全部包括在这三世、还有两重因果里面。两重因果是什么?就是善因、恶因。那么怎样来区分这两重因果呢?比方说,你有一辈子做了多少好事,比方是百分之五十的好事,那也不少啊。但是他的恶事做了百分之六十,最后可能就投人了。比例拉得越大,那么弹跳力越高,如果这辈子你死的时候,你是做了百分之八十的善事,而不好的事情只做了百分之二十,这就叫带业往生,只带一点点的业。因为你知道因果之后,你从此不做坏事了,那么善事的比例马上上去,你就上去了,就是这个概念。如果你做了很多坏事,好事只做了一点点,那么这个业障就可以把你的好全部去掉。

What Master expounded are the twelve links of dependent origination while encompassing the two types of karma. What are they? They are wholesome and unwholesome karma. So how can one differentiate it? For example, by looking at what percentage of wholesome and unwholesome deeds a person did throughout their lifetime. If it’s half-half, then they might be reborn as a human in their next life. The greater the difference, the greater the swing. If you passed away right now, and 80% of all the deeds you did are wholesome, and 20% are unwholesome, then you might ascend to heaven while carrying some negative karma. After you’re aware of karma and how it works, you no longer dare to commit unwholesome deeds. Then the ratio of wholesome to unwholesome deeds will increase, and you can ascend. That’s the idea. If you did many unwholesome deeds while only doing wholesome ones occasionally, your negative karma could erase all your accumulated positive karma.


师父看过地震,有人问师父,地震的时候死的一万个人中难道没有好人吗?难道一万个人里面全部是坏人啊?你们知道师父怎么回答啊,在一万个人里面至少这些不好不坏的人如果正好碰到恶因成熟的时候,他就随着恶缘去了。如果有善事来的时候,他也会随着共业所为,把他归入了好的地方。举个简单例子,如果这个村庄突然之间开发旅游业兴旺了,所有的老百姓都开始赚钱了,就算你是一个坏人的话,你是不是也能赚钱?那你这个地区发生地震的时候,全部人都死光了,那你不好不坏,你是不是在里面啊?

One time, after an earthquake occurred, someone asked Master, “Within the 10,000 deaths caused by it, are all of them, bad people? Surely that must also be some good people who died?” Master replied, “Within the 10,000 people who died, there are at least some people who are neither good nor bad who reached the maturity time of their karmic retribution. So they become at the mercy of their unwholesome karmic affinities. If they reach the time when their karmic rewards mature, they will also go with the flow of their wholesome karmic affinities and go to a better place. To illustrate this with an example, if a small town suddenly developed their tourism and became buzzing with activity. Then all the local residents could make money. Even if some of them were bad people, wouldn’t they also make money? So when an earthquake occurs in an area, and everyone there dies, wouldn’t the people who are neither good nor bad be included?


所以,人不好不坏就是没有修,必须做好人,否则你就成不了佛。我从来不讲人家不好,我也不管人家的闲事,我就管好我自己,这个人就不是个好人。好人必须做好事,所以才叫好人好事。你今天不肯修心的人,你就不是一个好人,道理就是这么简单。

That’s why people who are neither good nor bad are people who haven’t cultivated themselves. You must be a good person. Otherwise, you can’t become a Buddha. “I never talk about the shortcomings of others, nor am I nosy about other people’s affairs. I’m only concerned about my own conduct.” Individuals with this attitude are not considered a truly good person. Good people must do wholesome deeds; that’s what makes them good. If you aren’t willing to cultivate your mind, then you aren’t a good person. The principle is that simple.


那么在这一万个人里面,修心的好人碰到灾难会发生什么事情呢?菩萨会把他调出来,比如让他去出差,因为他头上的光环很亮,护法神会做这个工作的。所以地震的时候,有很多人正好出差,或者不在房子里面,这都是菩萨保佑。为什么有280多人的一架飞机失事,我们加拿大的佛友因为肚子痛,就上不了这架飞机?他是真正的好人,要特别好,菩萨就会给他特别的待遇。你们不好不坏,什么都得不到。希望你们要懂得,若能灭无明,你就不会堕落十二因缘。如果你能够没有无明,就是灭掉你自己的无明,你们知道灭掉无明靠什么吗?师父现在给你们讲课就是把你们的无明灭掉,你们知道吗?你们从师父的课里面,知道有多少事情可以做,有多少事情不能做,你们就是明白了,你们就是灭无明,你们就不会因为无明堕入六道轮回了。

Then, within these 10,000 who had died, what about the good people who cultivate their minds? What happens to them when a catastrophe occurs? The Bodhisattvas would allocate them away before it occurs, for example, adjusting their fate to be away from the area when it occurs. For example, their manager gets them to travel to a different location to work. That’s why when an earthquake occurs, many people are fortunate enough to be on a business trip away from the area or not at home. The Bodhisattvas blessed them. Why was it that when there was a plane accident where 280 people on board died, one of our fellow Buddhists from Canada had suffered a stomach ache on the day of the flight, so he couldn’t get on board? He was outstanding and excellent, so the Bodhisattvas gave him special treatment. If you’re neither good nor bad, then you won’t gain anything. Master hopes that you understand that if you could cease your ignorance, then you won’t be bound by the twelve links. Do you know what you must rely on to do so? Isn’t Master currently teaching you how to cease your ignorance? From his teachings, you will understand what you can do and what you can’t do. Then you will cease your ignorance and won’t continue being reborn in samsara.


不明白,要有明师指点,没有师父,你们怎么办啊?如果你现在什么都没有的话,你有一个菩萨保佑,菩萨不会不管你的,很多人就是放不下,你永远放不下,你这里永远得不到。举个简单例子,你到超市去买东西吃饭,比如面包、牛奶、鸡蛋等,没有面包我会饿死的,没有牛奶我怎么过啊,没有水果我吃什么,如果你手里拿的全部是这些东西,那你就吃不到孩子的饭。你首先把手里的东西放下,然后碰到孩子,请你去他家,来,到我们家去,我们家什么东西都有,好了,道理就是这样的。

If you don’t understand, you must have a clear teacher to guide you. If Master is not around, what can you do? If you currently have nothing, don’t worry; you would have Bodhisattvas looking over you. Then you won’t get ignored. The problem with many people is that they can’t let go. If you never let go, then you will never receive. To illustrate this with an example, you went into a supermarket to buy some food for breakfast, like bread, milk and eggs. “If I have no bread, I will starve. How can breakfast be complete without milk? Without fruit, what should I eat?” If you carry all of these things, then you won’t be able to eat breakfast at your child’s home. You have to first let go of all these things and go meet your child. He will invite you for breakfast, “Don’t worry, come to my house. We have everything.” That’s the principle.


你们放不下,就是不舍得放啊,师父上次讲的道理你们还不明白啊,一个不会游泳的人掉到水池里了,双手拼命地划,两只脚拼命地踩水,人往下沉啊。他想着自己快要死了、累死了,索性不动了,双手双脚都放松,人就慢慢地浮出水面了。你们现在还不明白吗?道理全部在人间啊,你们想破除无明,不堕落十二因缘,你们一定要有师父教导你们。你们是多么的幸福啊,师父小时候就没有这么一个师父来教导自己。没想到师父多年的苦修,开悟解脱,你们看师父现在是多么的幸福啊。

You can’t let go because you’re not willing to let go. Master had illustrated this with an example before. A person who couldn’t swim fell into a deep pool of water and kept struggling by waving his hands around to grab hold of something and moving his legs to find a ground to stand on. Due to this, his body kept sinking. When he thought he was about to die and tired of struggling, he gave up the struggle and stopped moving. When his arms and legs were relaxed, he gradually floated back to the surface. Do you still not understand? The principles can all be found in the Human Realm. If you want to cease your ignorance and not be chained by the twelve links, you must have Master to guide you. Aren’t you blessed? When Master was little, he had nobody to guide him. And unexpectedly, after many years of hard cultivation, he became enlightened and liberated. Aren’t you blessed to encounter Master?


菩萨说,“顿悟虽同佛,多生习气深。”你突然之间明白了:“菩萨啊,我再也不会做坏事了。”顿悟后像佛一样了吧?好像明白了,因为你顿悟,你是明白了,但是你的习气让你顿悟之后又慢慢地迷惑了。你可以当时明白,过一会儿你又失误了。因为你们有好几世做了很多不如理不如法的事情,虽然你们突然之间明白了,但也不能马上把你们过去做错的事情全部改掉啊。

The Bodhisattvas expounded, “Although epiphany could lead one to be like the Buddha, one’s habitual behaviour is too deeply rooted.” For example, you suddenly understand and repent, “Oh Bodhisattvas, I will never do bad deeds again.” So after awakening suddenly, aren’t you like a Buddha? It’s because you finally understand. But your habitual behaviours will gradually cause you to become confused again. Maybe you understood then, but after a while, you become lost again. That’s because you have committed many inappropriate things over your past lifetimes. That’s why even though you may have an epiphany, but you won’t immediately change and reform all the shortcomings and mistakes you made in the past.


所以,“风停波尚涌,理现念犹侵。”风已经停了,但是海面上的波浪还在一波接一波,这些都是菩萨讲的话啊,你们听不懂的,师父要给你们做解释了。就是说,你现在有这个理念了,我顿悟了,是不是一个理念啊?理已经现出来,我懂得了,念头犹如过去被侵犯过,还没有彻底地灭掉啊。所以这句话的意思叫,理现念犹侵。你一个理念我不能再打老婆了,但是打惯了啊。你的念头又犹如自己被侵犯了一样,到时候就会有了。我不能再抽烟了,到时候烟瘾上来了,知道我不能抽烟,但是烟瘾上来了。所以吃斋的人吃那些做成像鱼、像鸭一样的素食,你吃了也有问题,因为你的意念当中还是在吃荤,像鱼、像肉、像虾,好吃、好吃,做成这个样子,是为了让刚刚吃素的人觉得素菜很好吃,改掉吃荤的习惯。学佛人学到后来,意念要干净,口也要干净。


‘When the wind stops, the waves are still surging, and habitual thoughts are still invading.” You may not understand this line, but let Master explain. When you have an epiphany, isn’t it a kind of idea? The logic and reasoning behind the idea have manifested, and you understand. But because your thoughts had constantly developed in a habitual state, it hasn’t ultimately come to a halt. For example, you know you shouldn’t beat your wife, but it has already become a habit. So it’s like your habitual thoughts are invading your mind. When the situation occurs again, those thoughts will arise. You know you mustn't smoke, but when your cravings come, although you know you shouldn’t smoke, you still do it. That’s why when vegetarians eat meat-free dishes that has taken the form of fish or duck, it’s still an issue. That’s because there are still desires to eat fish, meat, prawns, etc. They are made in that form to help make new vegetarians and meat-eaters think that plant-based foods are delicious, so they change their diet and habits. When you have practised Buddhism for a period, your thoughts and tongue must be pure.


举个简单例子,你嘴巴不骂人了,但是你心里一天到晚在骂这个混蛋,你说你算干净吗?夫妻吵架的时候,你说,我从现在开始不再骂你了,我永远不再骂你了,对不对?你算干净吗?希望大家学佛做人不要勉强他人,如果你勉强他人,你就会造业、造恶,你硬要他去做,你就造恶了。这个孩子不行、不听话,你硬是逼着他,你也会造业,因为你动了因果啊。你老婆就不愿意这样,你非要逼着她做,你就造业。你老公不想去,你硬是逼着他去,你就是造业。当今社会,学佛也是这样,劝人学佛尽自己的心,但是对方实在不听,那你就不要勉强。

To illustrate this with an example, if you don’t scold others, but you scold others inside your mind, do you consider yourself pure? Master wishes that fellow Buddhists don’t force things on others. If you force somebody to do something against their wishes, then you are creating negative karma. “This child is disobedient, he never listens, and I have to force him.” If you force him, you create negative karma because you have interfered with his karmic cause and consequences. The same applies to your wife or husband. If you force them to do something against their wishes, you create negative karma. In today’s society, the practice of Buddhism is the same. You should just do your best to persuade others to practise Buddhism, but if they don’t listen, you shouldn’t force them.


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