V 11-45 Discussion about the Four Virtues 谈谈四个“德”

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.

人很难避免生老病死的苦,生出来很苦,老了也苦,生病了更是苦不堪言,死亡是恐怖的苦。这四个苦谁都逃不掉,就算你是个亿万富翁,你也逃不掉,再伟大,抑或再卑贱的人,都逃不过生老病死。那么,学佛的人怎么样能够逃脱这四个苦,使自己变得真正地快乐呢?要记住,修心就是让你变得快乐,就是让你的自性流露出佛的光芒。佛陀教导我们,人生的真谛是,你只要到人间来,就是苦空无常,不但很苦,到最后什么都是空的,什么都得不到,整个人生都是无常的,没有一件事情是可以永久的。

Typically, people cannot avoid suffering from birth, old age, illness and death. You suffer when you’re born, suffer when you age, suffer even more when you’re ill, and death brings the suffering of fear. Nobody can escape from these four kinds of suffering. Even if you’re a billionaire, you can’t escape from it. No matter how great or lowly you are, nobody can escape from the process of birth, old age, illness and death. So, how can Buddhists escape from these four kinds of suffering and attain true happiness? Please take note, the reason we cultivate our mind is to make ourselves happy. It’s to make us give off a sense of tranquillity like a Buddha naturally. Gautama Buddha already taught us the truth of life. As long as we are here in the Human Realm, we will find suffering, emptiness and impermanence. Not only do we suffer, but in the end, everything is empty. We gain nothing. Our lives are impermanent. There is nothing permanent here.


今天你跟他好,明天你跟他不好;今天你有钱了,过几天破产了;今天夫妻甜蜜结婚,过几年后凄惨离婚……一切都是无常的。当你知道这些的时候,你的心中已经开始防备了,你就知道人间的一切都是暂时的,你就不会因为这些暂时的痛苦而恼怒,你就不会苦恼,懂得了这个道理,你就不怕了。就像人的身体一样,当你不知道自己生了什么疾病的时候,你很容易死;当你知道自己的这些病应该怎么防治的时候,你倒是不会死。

Today, you and another person are buddies and then tomorrow, you become enemies. Today, you are wealthy, but then you become bankrupt after a few days. Today, you and your spouse are sweet couples, but then you divorce after a few years. Everything is impermanent. When you understand this, you will take mental precautions. Since you know everything in the Human Realm is temporary, then you wouldn’t get hurt, develop grudges or become afflicted for something temporary. You are not afraid. Just like a person’s body, when you are ignorant of your health, then you will die easily. But when you are fully aware of your health and take precautions, you won’t die easily.


知道在人间没有永恒的快乐,你就要开始学会真正理解佛法中快乐的属性。那么,佛法界又说了,佛菩萨让我们快乐,到底佛菩萨让我们怎么快乐?快乐在哪里?举个简单例子,洗澡很快乐,睡觉也很快乐,吃饭也很快乐,但是,睡完觉,人又疲倦了;洗完澡,人又脏了;有人请你吃饭,你白天一整天不吃东西,就等着晚饭大吃一顿,你也是很快乐,但是第二天都没有了。想一想,菩萨给我们的快乐是什么?就是心里的快乐。菩萨说:“你去帮助别人,你会很快乐。”好了,你去帮助别人了,你心里一直会觉得,你帮助别人了,你就会很快乐,然后别人不停地在感恩你,看见你就很尊敬你,你是不是很快乐啊?这个快乐是怎么来的呢?这个快乐来自于你的内心本性,而不是一天两天能够消失的,因为帮助别人的人,别人永远会感恩你。而你帮助自己,让自己过得很好,快乐很快就没有了。

Understand that there’s no eternal happiness in the Human Realm so that you start to learn the nature of happiness in the Buddha-Dharma. The Buddha-Dharma expounds that the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas make us happy. How do they do that? Happiness where? To illustrate this with an example, we are happy when we shower; we are happy when we sleep; we are happy when we eat. Buf after we wake up, we will gradually get tired again. After we showered, we will gradually get dirty again. After we had eaten, we will gradually get hungry again. Think, what is the happiness that the Bodhisattvas give? It’s happiness from within. The Bodhisattvas say, “Go and help others. Then you will be happy.” Then when you go and help others, you will be happy in the back of your mind. That’s because others will constantly show gratitude and respect towards you. So won’t you feel happy? Where did this happiness come from? It came from your inherent nature, and it’s not something that will disappear in one or two days. Because you helped others, others would always be grateful to you. Whereas if you only helped yourself to live better, this feeling of happiness will quickly go away.


快乐的属性是什么?就是快乐本位。一个人怎么能够快乐呢?因为他不贪婪了,不瞋恨了,不愚痴了。不贪的人会得到戒,不瞋恨的人能够定下来,不愚痴的人会有智慧,不会做出傻事。不做错事的人,就会幸福。佛法中就是讲“德”,佛法讲什么德呢?四个“德”,就是“常乐我净”,常德、乐德、我德、净德。我经常快乐,我很干净。“常德”是什么?就是道德的规范化、经常化。“乐德”就是自己有这个快乐,要经常接受这个快乐的德性。北方人骂人的时候就经常说这个人没有德性。“我德”,我自己要不要有道德啊?“净德”,道德是不是要干净?这种快乐就是实践在生活当中把心量越扩越大。

What’s the nature of happiness? And how do people become happy? It’s because they aren’t greedy, they don’t harbour hatred, and they aren’t foolish. People who aren’t greedy could observe the precepts. People who don’t harbour hatred could calm down and concentrate. People who aren’t foolish have wisdom as they won’t do foolish things and will be happy. The Buddha-Dharma expounds that there are four virtues. They are the virtues of permanence, bliss, true self and purity. What is the virtue of permanence? It’s the normalisation of one’s moral code. What’s the virtue of bliss? It’s when one accepts their bright, positive and happy state. The virtue of true self is where one behaves morally. The virtue of purity is where one remains in a pure state. These kinds of virtues, when put into practice, will help broaden our minds.


举个简单例子,一个有道德的人,他对别人好,别人也会对他好,你说他的心量会不会大?“乐德”,一个很快乐的人很有道德,看见谁都笑嘻嘻的,乐于帮助别人,什么事情都无所谓,他的心量会不会大?“我德”,做什么事情都有道德,得到的也是好的回报,他的心量是不是会变得很大?“净德”,你的心很干净,你是不是有道德?当一个人的心量越来越大的时候,你才能保持心灵的平静,才能享受人间的快乐。这就是告诉你们,一个有道德的人,一个脱离了低级趣味的人,这个人才会有快乐。整天一大堆私心杂念的人,整天就想着算计别人的人,只知道自己要多好一点、多捞一点的人,这种人哪里来的人间快乐?现在菩萨告诉你们怎么样使自己快乐了吗?这就是佛法。

To illustrate this with an example, an ethical person treats others well. Then others treat them well too. So wouldn’t they be broad-minded? ‘Virtue of bliss’, a happy person usually behaves more morally upright, always smiles, is always happy to help, and is indifferent to anything. Wouldn’t someone like that be broad-minded? ‘Virtue of Purity’, if your mind is pure, wouldn’t you behave more morally upright? When a person’s mind becomes broader, it becomes easier for them to maintain inner peace to enjoy the available bliss in the Human Realm. That’s to tell you that if a person is morally upright or distanced themselves from vulgar interests, they will find happiness. For people who constantly develop selfish and distracting thoughts or are calculating and thinks of taking advantage of others, how could they find happiness? Haven’t the Bodhisattvas told you how to make yourself happy? That’s the Buddha-Dharma.


净则无染,定则无颠。学佛人要懂得,安静了,悟性出来,慈悲的念头就会出来,本原的善就会出来,所以就不会染著世间的尘埃。定,因为你安定了,你的智慧就会生出,你的善因就会结成善果,就会没有“我要主宰别人”的意识,你的心就不会癫狂,你的慈悲信念就会得到纯净。所以无污染则能净,不癫狂则能定。念念离相,道德和本性就会离开我相,最后的假我一定是无染的,所以每个念都是离开染著,每个念就代表着纯净。所以说净则无染,定则无颠。所以学佛人要学会安定。

‘Purity leads to untainted. Concentration leads to the state of non-inverted’. Buddhists must learn that when one’s mind quietens down, one’s power of comprehension develops, one’s compassionate thoughts develop, and the wholesome thoughts of one’s inherent nature develops. That way, they won’t be tainted by the defilements of the secular world. Wisdom develops because you concentrated. Then your wholesome karmic causes would induce a wholesome karmic consequence. You won’t harbour any thoughts of dictating other people, and you won’t act crazy. Your compassionate beliefs would become purer. That’s why not being influenced makes you pure, and not acting crazy helps you concentrate. ‘Separate all thoughts from forms’, then your morals and inherent nature won’t be influenced by the form of self. In the end, the false self will definitely become untainted. That’s how all thoughts become unaffected by attachments and become pure. That’s why purity leads to untainted, concentration leads to the state of non-inverted. That’s why Buddhists must learn to keep calm.


心无狂乱,净念相继;心无颠倒,没有烦恼。什么叫“心无狂乱”?“哎呀,我的心乱了,不知道做什么好。”那么这个人做什么事情都做不好。“心无颠倒”,“这个事情到底要不要去做啊?他那么搞我,我一定要去搞他。”好了,接下去,你制造了他继续搞你的因。就像打官司一样,这场官司我赢了,赢了之后,他上诉了,下一场官司他又在搞你。师父说,心无狂乱心不乱,心不颠倒没有烦恼。

When the mind isn’t frantic, pure thoughts come one after another. When the mind isn’t in a state of inversion, there are no afflictions. “Oh, my mind is a mess. I don’t know what to do.” When you think that way, doesn’t it indicate that your mind is going frantic? Somebody like that won’t get things done well. ‘When the mind isn’t in a state of inversion’ – when somebody offended you, you must have revenge. What comes next is that you and the other party end up in a cycle of retaliation, just like in a lawsuit. Although you may have won the current court case, the other party filed an appeal. So you have to face them again. That’s why when the mind isn’t frantic, one won’t be lost. When the mind isn’t in a state of inversion, there are no afflictions.


没有是非,“是非”是人应该分清是非,但是到了菩萨和佛的境界的时候,是没有是非的。佛菩萨讲的是因缘、缘分,所有的一切都是因果关系,哪里有是非?上辈子你伤害了他,这辈子他变成你的孩子来伤害你这个妈妈,你说什么是“是”、什么是“非”?这就是因果报应。如果心中没有“是”,就没有“非”,你没有认为这件事情你是对的,那么哪里来的“非”呢?就是因为你认为你是对的,所以,别人就是“非”了,别人就不好了,那么是非就出来了。

There’s no right or wrong. Only humans make that distinction, but when one has reached the Bodhisattvas’ and Buddhas’ level of spirituality, there is no right or wrong. They expound about karmic affinities and karmic relationships, not right or wrong. In your previous life, you hurt a person, so he became your child to hurt you in your current life. Would you say that it’s right or wrong? It’s just karmic retribution. If there is no ‘right’ in your mind, there will be no ‘wrong’. If you don’t think that you are right in a situation, then where are the wrongs? It’s because you think that you’re in the right; that’s why you view everybody else are in the wrong. That’s how right and wrong come about.

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