V 11-13 Repentance is the Foundation of Buddhists 忏悔是学佛人的根

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.

今天继续讲普贤菩萨的十大行愿。为什么说到普贤菩萨呢?因为《礼佛大忏悔文》的最后是“南无大行普贤菩萨”三称。很多人就问:“为什么《礼佛大忏悔文》的最后没有提到观世音菩萨,或者其他菩萨,而是普贤菩萨?”实际上,这个主要讲的是普贤菩萨的愿力。我们念诵《礼佛大忏悔文》也是一种愿力,你说你再也不做坏事了、你忏悔了,就是一种愿力。

This chapter will continue from the last where we talked about Samantabhadra Bodhisattva’s ten great action-vows. Why is Samantabhadra Bodhisattva mentioned? That’s because, in the ‘Eighty-Eight Buddhas Great Repentance’, we recite ‘O’ Holy Samantabhadra Bodhisattva of great action’ three times in the end. Many people may ask why Guan Yin Bodhisattva or other Buddhas aren’t mentioned at the end of it, but instead, it’s Samantabhadra Bodhisattva. That’s because the main purpose is to uphold the spirit of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva power of vows. When we recite the ‘Eighty-Eight Buddhas Great Repentance’, we are also making vows. We’re repenting, and we vow not to do unwholesome deeds again. So it also incurs a power of vow.


普贤菩萨的第四大行愿是“忏悔业障”。只要在人间,只要在六道里面,一定是有业障的。实际上,“忏悔”两个字要分开来讲。“忏”是什么呢?就是忏其前愆。当一个人做错事情的时候,他就会很后悔,后悔的时候,先是想到这件事情“我做错什么了?”从这件事情的根来看,就叫“前愆”,“愆”就是代表做错的事情。然后呢,悔其后过,就是说,我非常后悔做错这件事情所造成的后果。师父曾经讲过,一个人骂人,把人家骂得气死了,他忏悔的时候说“我后悔去骂人的”,这叫忏其前愆,“我现在非常后悔他死了”,这叫悔其后过,这中间讲的还是一个因果。所以,你们每一个人做人、讲话、做事情,凡是莽撞不考虑后果的,这种人就需要念诵《礼佛大忏悔文》。

Samantabhadra Bodhisattva fourth great action-vow is ‘to repent and reform all karmic hindrances’. As long as you exist in the Human Realm or in any other realms within samsara, it indicates that you definitely have negative karma. Repentance is a process that could be explained in two stages. When somebody has done something wrong, they will harbour feelings of regret. When they have this feeling, they would recall the incident in their memories and identify what they had done wrong. And then from that incident, they would try to introspect and search for the root of the problem. That’s the first stage where the person repents on the cause of the incident. Afterwards, they would regret the consequences or what has happened due to their mistake. That’s the second stage where the person repents on the consequences of the incident. Master once mentioned before that a person had unintentionally caused somebody to suffer a heart attack due to high blood pressure and who subsequently died. When that person repented, they said, “I regret that I badmouthed and infuriated him. I’m very regretful that I caused him to die.” As you could see, repentance is repentance of both the cause and the consequence. In this incident, karma is also involved. That’s why, whenever you speak or act in a reckless way with disregard of the consequences, then you must recite the ‘Eighty-Eight Buddhas Great Repentance’.


不管是佛陀也好,还是其他菩萨也好,他们对忏悔都有一个共同的理解力,就是说,“若此恶业有体相者,尽虚空界不能容受”。如果你的这个恶业已经形成了,你今天骂人,骂得人家吐血了,你骂人的果已经出来了,那么,你已经有体相了,就是说你已经把人家弄成这个样子了。“体”就是体验、体会出来,已经暴露出来了,“相”就是已经造成了这个后果,“尽虚空界”就是宇宙。如果你已经造成了恶果,伤害到别人,整个宇宙空间都会知道。

Regardless of whether it’s Gautama Buddha or any other Bodhisattvas, they all share the same understanding of the action of repentance. It could be summed up in the phrase ‘If one’s unwholesome karma has taken form, they would not be accepted by the universe’. So for example, if you wounded somebody and that person suffered real damage as a consequence and causes another chain reaction of implications, then it means that the unwholesome karma has manifested and taken form. When it does, then the whole universe knows.


为什么过去说“孝感天地”啊?孝顺父母、孝敬长辈,你可以感动天地。那么,天地在哪里呢?是不是在尽虚空、遍法界?法界,指的是我们人间。尽虚空是什么?是指天上无尽无边的宇宙空间。

In the past, wasn’t there a saying ‘Filial piety could move the heavens and the earth’? It refers to if one is filial towards one’s parents and respectful to one’s elders, then they could stir up the emotions of the heavens and the earth. And what do the heavens and the earth refer to? Doesn’t it refer to all the various realms across the universe and the Dharma realms including the Human Realm?


就是说,尽虚空界都不能容忍你们做了这么多的烂事,你们要忏悔啊。很多人是躲在家里、躲在地下室做坏事,那么果报是从你的心做了坏事之后慢慢地显露出来,报应没有那么快。如果你在马路上做坏事,那么天上马上就会收到这个信息,所以有一句话叫“你竟敢在光天化日之下做坏事”。“光天”是什么?就是指的宇宙。头上三尺有神灵,你竟敢在光天化日之下做坏事?你这个报应就是马上被车撞死。很多人抢劫之后开车,“呼”地一下就冲到了山坡下,车翻人亡,马上受到报应。

‘If one’s unwholesome karma has taken form, they would not be accepted by the universe’. In other words, all the realms won’t accept you if you do too many unwholesome deeds. So you must repent. Many people do unwholesome deeds while hiding in their house or in their basement. And that karmic consequent first gradually matures within their mind before manifesting and taking real form. Karmic retribution doesn’t happen immediately. If you commit unwholesome acts on the road, the heavens will immediately receive this message. You are always being watched, and you dare to do unwholesome deeds in broad daylight. So their karmic retribution could be where they get into a car accident. Many criminals immediately drive away once they’ve robbed someone, then suddenly they get hit when they’re getting away and crash. That’s their karmic retribution.


如果你的一生都在念佛,你能够灭掉八十亿劫的生死重罪。这个念佛并不是说只念“阿弥陀佛”,念经也叫念佛。大家听到“亿”这个量词,是不是会感觉很多啊?就是说,一辈子能够念经的人,会化掉很多的劫难。一辈子都在念佛的人,有什么劫、有什么难啊?过去的尼姑、和尚就是从小出家,到庙里念经一辈子,他们在庙里有什么劫难?看看我们在人间要吃多少苦,有多少劫难啊?所以,佛法真实不虚,虽然你上辈子做了很多的烂事,如果你这辈子能够像和尚、尼姑一样,你就好好地念经、念佛、忏悔,你的这些重罪就会慢慢地化解掉。举个例子,你们秘书处的这些小朋友,如果你们过去在生活上、工作上、家庭中做了很多的重罪,你们现在开始念经、忏悔,你们天天在观音堂做功德,那你们有什么劫啊?很多灾劫就这么化解了。

If you recite Buddhist scriptures for your whole lifetime, you would be able to eliminate eight billion calamities developed from your severe sins. When you heard the word billion, don’t you feel that it’s a lot? In other words, if a person recites Buddhist scriptures during their whole lifetime, they would resolve a lot of calamities. Think about it: how would they encounter calamities if they do? In the past, monks were initiated into the temples and monasteries when they were very young. And they stayed there to recite sutras over the course of their lifetime. How would they encounter any calamities in the monastery? Then look at how many hardships and problems we encounter in the Human Realm. The Buddha-Dharma is real, not fake. Although you might have done a lot of bad things in the previous life, in this lifetime, if you could behave like monks and properly recite Buddhist scriptures and repent, then many of your serious sins will gradually be resolved. For example, if you did many bad things in your daily lives, workplace or household in the past, but you’re now currently reciting sutras daily, repenting and doing meritorious deeds in the Guan Yin Temple, then what calamities would you encounter? Many of your potential calamities would’ve been resolved.


“拔一切业障根本,得生净土陀罗尼”,你们的重罪已经种在你们的八识田中,已经不是消掉的问题,而是要拔出来。你们的恶业已经种在你们的八识田中了,说句不好听的话,如果你们很多人过去偷过东西的话,你说念念经就能够念掉这些恶业吗?那是念不掉的。你要忏悔:“我要把这个恶根拔出来,我许愿我永远不再偷东西了。”这样的话,你才叫“拔一切业障”啊。

‘Pull out the roots of all negative karma, and be reborn in the Pure Lands Dharani’. Your sins and negative karma are already planted deep inside your eighth consciousness, so it isn’t just a problem of resolving it, but to pull it out. So for example, if you stole something in the past, do you think that reciting sutras simply could resolve it? It can’t. Instead, you must also repent, “I vow never to steal again.” Repentance is pulling out the roots of all negative karma.


为什么经文叫“拔一切业障”?就是说要把恶业从你的心中拔出来,从此没有这个业障的根了。拔一切业障的根本,就是把最里面的肮脏的东西全部拔出来,“得生净土陀罗尼”,就是得到往生净土陀罗尼世界。很多人连《往生咒》的标题全称都不会念,现在明白了吧?你们懂了标题的意思,再念经的时候感情就不一样了。我过去在感情上做了太多的烂事,我现在坚决不能再在感情上出问题了,我坚决不能再做坏事了,我要改正自己的毛病,我要彻底地拔掉这些恶根,这就叫拔一切根本。

Why do the Buddhist scriptures describe it as ‘pulling out the roots of all negative karma’? That’s because you are removing the source of your unwholesome thoughts and behaviour, and by doing so, you are getting rid of all of your future unwholesome thoughts and behaviour. ‘Be reborn in the Pure Lands Dharani’. Many people don’t even recite the full name of the ‘Amitabha Pure Land Rebirth Mantra’ and simply recite ‘Rebirth Mantra’. When you understand the meaning of the name and recite it, your feeling is not the same. “In the past, I’ve done too many bad things in my love relationship with others. I’m now determined not to repeat it. I must reform my shortcomings. I must thoroughly stop it.” That is to ‘pull out the roots’.


所以,人能够念佛持咒,业障自除。十小咒也是菩萨的经文,有些人不懂,说那是咒语。“咒语”和 “咒”是两个完全不同的概念,比较大的“咒”称为“经”,比如《地藏经》、《礼佛大忏悔文》等,那么小的经文就称为“咒”,不是“咒语”。好比西方人说的“神”和我们中国人说的“神”就不是一个概念。我们中国人说的那个“神”是什么呢?比如地神、天神,或者一个小的鬼神。而西方人讲的“神”,是“God”,是上帝,是最伟大的、最高的、无形无相的。咱们不能把这两个意思搞错。

If one could recite the Buddhist scriptures, then they could eliminate their negative karma. The ten minor mantras are also considered as Buddhist scriptures. Some people don’t understand. They think that mantras are the same as incantations, but the concept is completely different. For example, greater mantras are called sutras, not incantations, just like how the concept of ‘God’ in the western world and China are completely different. In China, the concept of god is like deities or spirits. While in the western world, the concept of God refers to the almighty being who is the greatest and formless. That’s why we mustn’t confuse it.


修行和修心一样的重要。过去的人修行不是很多,主要是念经、念佛,和尚和尼姑一辈子基本上都是念经和念佛。但是,现在人做的动作越来越过分了,人在行为上做了很多不好的动作,所以必须要修行和修心并进,因为你做了坏事的行为,你也要把它修掉。我们小时候在课堂上,做错了一个动作,做错了一件事情,老师就会叫你放学后留下来擦黑板,这就是让你用好的行为来改变你不好的行为,用好的思维来改变你不好的思维。你今天讲错话了,老师叫你重新说一遍,是不是在改变你的口业啊?道理就是这样的。

Both cultivation of one’s behaviour and one’s mind share the same level of importance. In the past, there weren’t a lot of people who cultivate their behaviour. They mainly recite Buddhist scriptures and Buddha’s name. Just like monks and nuns who basically only recite sutras and Buddha’s name for their whole lifetime. But the behaviour of the modern-day people has become more out of order. That’s why they must simultaneously cultivate their behaviour and mind as they must also reform their unwholesome ways. When we were young and acted wrongly, the teacher would put us to detention so that we could reflect on what we’ve done wrong so we could reform ourselves. If you read something wrong, then the teacher would tell you to repeat the sentence. Isn’t that trying to correct your mistake? The principle is the same.


念佛、念经法门,无论是利根还是钝根,利根就是很聪明、很有智慧,钝根就是傻傻的、还没开悟,就是不管你是什么根器,是业轻还是业重,只要你好好地念佛、念经,都能够往生极乐。当然这是有一个原则的,那就是没有恶业和不造新业。

In the cultivational practice of reciting Buddha’s name or reciting Buddhist scriptures, regardless whether you have sharp faculties (people who have sharp faculties are smart and wise) or slow faculties (people who have slow faculties are foolish and unawakened), or whether your negative karma is light or serious, as long as you properly recite Buddha’s name or Buddhist scriptures, then you could be reborn in the Pure Lands. But there is still one main requirement, and that is that you must not create new negative karma.

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