V 3-16 Expounding the Principles of Buddhism – An Awakening to Life; Discussion about the Six Realms

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.


我们每一次看见观世音菩萨心里就很难过,因为总觉得自己做得不够,离观世音菩萨的距离太远。虽然讲,每一个人今天做一分钟菩萨的事情,那一分钟你就是菩萨。其实不然。举个例子,就像人身上的细胞一样,红血球、白血球,如果你的白血球只有一点点的话,红血球就会把它吃光,如果你的白血球太多,而红血球只有一点点的话,白血球会把红血球淹没。也就是说,一个人身上孽障太多了,而好事做得很少,功德做得很少,一段时间过去之后,过大于功,这个人就没救了。

Whenever we look at Guan Yin Bodhisattva, we feel upset. That’s because we constantly feel that we’re not doing enough, and we are still too far away from Guan Yin Bodhisattva. Although we feel this way, for every minute that we use to do the deeds of a Bodhisattva, then you are a Bodhisattva for that minute. But it’s not that easy. Here’s an example, just like the cells inside our body, there are red and white blood cells. If you only have a little number of white blood cells, it would be devoured by the red blood cells. Or if there are an excessive amount of white blood cells relative to the red blood cells, the white blood cells would devour the red blood cells. In other words, when a person’s negative karma is too great while the benevolent deeds and meritorious deeds that they did are too little, after a while, one’s faults outweigh one’s merits, this person can’t be saved.


人活在世界上,分分秒秒都要珍惜。虽然时间很宝贵,也要看你怎么用。很多信佛的人,就像瞎子摸象一样,天天在找法门,很多人等辈子要走的时候还没有找到适合他的法门,他就什么法门都没有了。如果你找到一个并不适合你的法门,你的年龄到了,你这辈子也完了。大家知道,在日本,在全世界,有没有极端的宗教?有没有邪教?让他们的信徒火烧村庄、集体自杀,若是进入这类宗教,就是误入歧途了。可是你有什么智慧能够知道这是邪的还是正的呢?

As the person remains alive, they should cherish every minute and every second. Although time is precious, it’s important how you use it. There are many Buddhist believers who constantly look for the right Dharma door (cultivation practice) just like the story of the blind people feeling around the elephant. Many people couldn’t find the right cultivation practice in all their life, even when they will soon pass away. If you are like them, and you couldn’t find the right cultivation practice, and you are already knocking on death’s door, then your life is over. You must understand, in different countries around the way, aren’t there many extreme religious practices? Or any cults? They allow their followers to burn and raze villages to the ground or take part in group suicides. If you have entered into these kinds of religion, then you have been led astray. But what wisdom do you possess to differentiate between right and deviated?


师父就是劝大家好好念经。经文一个字不改,一个字不漏,全部是佛传下来的经文。大家要知道,如果一个经文改了一个字、两个字,那你就要考虑考虑,因为任何改过的经文,你们所有的信徒念出来,不是到观世音菩萨那里了,而是到你们的师傅那里了,由他布施返回给你们,他自己的功力就越来越大。你们都不知道这些的,所以念经不要乱念,就跟吃药不要乱吃一样。师父经常讲一句话,一张白纸可以随便画,已经画成图了,想擦掉就很难了,而且先入为主,在他的概念里,在他的思维里面,他已经形成了他独特的宗教风格。你想再去改变他,很难了。这是因为他不开悟。他以为他所做的这一切都是对的,他所学的东西都是对的。

Master wants to persuade you all to properly recite sutras. One mustn’t change or miss a single character of the sutras. All of these sutras were passed down by the Buddhas. You must understand, if a character or two characters of a sutra had been changed, then you must be cautious. That’s because if you recite any sutras that had been changed, the power of it isn’t channelled to the Bodhisattvas, but to the master who taught you the sutra, and in return, the master gives you their blessing while they get stronger. You are ignorant about it, so you mustn’t casually recite any sutras you find. Just like how you can’t casually take any medicine you find. Master regularly expounds that it’s easy to draw on a blank canvas, but it’s hard to remove it once it has been drawn. Also, a preconceived notion would be formed, and in his thoughts and ideas, he would form a unique preconception towards religion. So when you want to change the person, it becomes difficult. The reason is that they are not awakened. They think that everything they do and had learnt are right.


你们知道吗,有一个少年教养所,当地政府组织了一批知名人士和教育专家去和那些犯罪的孩子交谈,交谈的结果是,百分之八十的孩子以为他们所做的事情是对的。百分之三十的孩子说,我爸爸妈妈能够做,为什么我不能够做呢?为什么不把我爸爸妈妈抓起来,却把我抓起来?很简单,爸爸妈妈是老手,没有被人家发现,而小孩子做这些事情,是新手,没有经验,很容易给别人抓到。举个例子,像Woolworth 、Coles这样的大超市,每天都会有很多偷东西的人被抓到,一把牙刷都不想付钱,这就是人的劣根性,很可悲啊。所以,增长智慧是最重要的。

Do you know? There was a Juvenile Probation Service, and the local government organised a group of public figures and educational professors to have an exchange with the delinquents, the result was that over 80% of the delinquents thought that what they did was right. 30% of the children said that if their parents could do it, why can’t they do it? Why didn’t they arrest their parents but instead arrested them? It’s simple, that’s because their parents were very experienced, and so they did not get caught. But when the child did the same thing, due to their inexperience, they were easily caught. For example, in the big shopping stores like Woolworth and Coles, there are many shoplifters who get caught every day. They don’t even want to pay for a toothbrush, that’s how deeply-rooted their unwholesome nature is, it’s pitiful. That’s why it’s so important to develop wisdom.


学佛贵在坚持,还要破除我执。我执就是我认为的,你认为什么?你那颗最原始的、闪闪发亮的、由天上给你的,就是释迦牟尼佛说的那句话,世人皆具佛性,你那发亮的佛性已经很肮脏了,没有一点地方可以看得见了,你这种人有什么用啊,你能够看出什么东西啊,还以为自己不得了。知觉,因为你知道了,然后你觉悟了,就称为佛菩萨。一个能明白道理的人,就是菩萨。不觉名为凡夫。因为你是愚昧者,你是糊涂的人,所以称为凡夫。成佛成菩萨很难。我们不要做凡夫,我们要做菩萨。但是有几个人一天能做几个小时的菩萨?念经时是菩萨,不骂人的时候,帮助别人的时候,众善奉行的时候,他是菩萨。

The most precious quality in the practice of Buddhism is perseverance, and also to eliminate one’s attachments. Attachment is to think something should be like so, why should something be as you want? Your most primordial nature is bright and was bestowed by heaven; it is what Gautama Buddha expounded, “All people possess a Buddha-Nature.” But the Buddha-nature that you possess now has been covered and defiled, and it can’t be seen. What capability would these kinds of people have? What could they discover? Yet think they think highly of themselves. After you awaken, and you then, you’ll be in the process of enlightenment until finally, you become a Buddha or Bodhisattva. A completely understanding person is a Bodhisattva. The unenlightened are ordinary people. Because you are foolish and deluded, that’s why you’re an ordinary person. It’s very difficult to become a Buddha and Bodhisattva. We don’t want to be an ordinary person but a Bodhisattva. However, how many hours can we be a Bodhisattva in a day? When one is reciting sutras, or if they’re not scolding at others, or when they’re helping others, or when they’re doing other benevolent deeds, that’s when they are a Bodhisatta.


师父接下来给你们讲,“诸恶莫作”实际上是小乘佛法理念的一种,是我不犯罪,所有恶的东西我不去做,就是保住自己,就是各扫门前雪。这不就是救度自己吗?人本来就不应该做坏事的,诸恶本来就不应该做。“众善奉行”实际上就是大乘佛法理念的一种,讲的就是你的智慧开悟后,来做世界上所有的善事。大家知道善事是可以转化为功德的。

Next, Master expounds that the advice ‘refrain from doing all evil’ is a concept from Theravada Buddhism. It denotes that one shouldn’t commit crimes nor any unwholesome deeds to protect themselves; it’s like sweeping the snow just outside your doorstep. Isn’t that for the sake of saving themselves? People shouldn’t be doing bad deeds in the first place anyway. While ‘cultivating all benevolence’ is a concept from Mahayana Buddhism, it denotes that after you have awakened and your wisdom has developed, you should be doing all kinds of benevolent deeds. You must know that benevolent deeds can be transformed into meritorious deeds.


善事就是功德的基础。一个连善事都不懂得去做的人,念经是没有用的。师父今天给你们一个新的概念,不要以为一个人什么好事都不做,又不肯帮助人家,只是念经,他就能成佛吗?他能成菩萨吗?没有用的。举个例子,就像烧烤什么东西一样,这个东西本来是没有味道的,但是它加上了调料,其实里面的东西本身是没有味道的。如果一个念经的人,没有善良的心,没有善事作为他的根基,他念的经文再多,也是没有味道的,也是没有功德的。表里如一才能起作用,才能有效果。这就是为什么既要修心,又要修行。

Benevolent deeds are the foundation of meritorious deeds. If a person is unwilling to do even a single benevolent deed, then it’s useless when they recite sutras. Master wants to expound a new concept to you; do you think that a person who only recite sutras but unwilling to help others and do good deeds could attain Buddhahood? Could they become a Bodhisattva? It’s useless. Here’s an example, just like when you want to roast something to eat, if the thing is originally tasteless, no matter how much seasoning you use on it, when you bite into the core, it’s still tasteless. If a person who recites sutras do not possess a kind heart nor any benevolent deeds as the foundation, then no matter how much they recite, the sutras are still ‘tasteless’ and lack in merit-virtues. It’s only if the exterior and interior are in harmony, then it will have its effect. That is why one must cultivate their mind and behaviour in union.


佛菩萨讲得很清楚,不但要修心,还要修你的行为,你的行为修好了,你还要修你的心灵。你们知道吗,有很多法门只修行为,不修心,他们注重于行,做善事,念经很少。很多居士自扫门前雪,到山上去念经,自己烧香,自己拜佛。这是只修自己,不度别人,是小乘佛法。修心人只管自己,不管自己的家庭,不管自己的孩子,不管自己的父母,这也叫不负责任。这种人是修不好的,大不了修偏了,投一个阿修罗道。你们知道吗,阿修罗也有称为阿修罗道的菩萨。人道里有没有菩萨啊?在人间学菩萨的人,就是人道的菩萨。要好好修啊,时间不多了。想想自己年轻的时候,看看自己老的时候,没有多少时间了。

The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have already been very clear about it, not only must one cultivate their mind but also their behaviour. Then when their behaviour is reformed, they must also reform their spirit. Do you know? There are many Dharma doors (cultivational practices) that only focuses on the cultivation of one’s behaviour, but not on the mind. They only pay attention to their actions, like doing benevolent deeds, but they don’t recite sutras. There are also many laypeople who only ‘sweeps the snow in front of their doorstep’ or go up to the top of the mountains to recite sutras, offer incenses and pray to the Buddhas. They only cultivate themselves and don’t go spiritually awakening others, that’s Theravada Buddhism. If a cultivator is only concerned about themselves, and don’t care about their family, their children, or their parents, then they lack responsibility. These kinds of people won’t cultivate well and would easily deviate, and at the most, reincarnate into the Asura realm. Do you know? In the Asura realm, there are also Bodhisattvas. Are there any Bodhisattvas in the Human realm? People who walk on the path of the Bodhisattva are considered as Bodhisattvas of the Human realm. You must properly cultivate, there’s not enough time. Think about when you were young and now look at how old you’ve become, there’s very little time left.


上次跟大家讲了天道,今天跟大家讲阿修罗道。阿修罗道是有法力的人去的地方。在人间有修为的人,做了很多善事的人,有功德的人,死了之后才能到阿修罗道。修得有偏差的人,也可以到阿修罗道。过去,很多宗教解释六道,把阿修罗道放在人道的下面。实际上,阿修罗道有两种,一种是天上下来的那一层叫阿修罗道,另一种是在地府和饿鬼道之间,是有些法术的、修出偏差的精,比如狐狸精、蛇精等。

Last time when Master talked about the Heavenly realm, he has mentioned about the Asura realm. The Asura realm is where people who possess powers reincarnate into. In the human realm, cultivators, people who have done many benevolent deeds or possess merit-virtues could reincarnate into the Asura realm after death. Those cultivators who have deviated could also reincarnate into the Asura realm. In the past, when explaining about the six realms, the religions put the Asura realm as below the Human realm. In reality, there are two kinds of levels in the Asura realm. The upper levels where it’s just below the Heavenly realm. The other lower levels are situated between the Underworld and the Hungry Ghost realm; the sentient beings also possess powers. They are cultivating spiritual beings that had deviated, like fox demons or snake demons etc.


他们可以在地府自由行走,因为他们有修、有法力,他们很容易变成地府的官员。地狱里有很多很凶的鬼是地狱的执行官,黑白无常也是,可以到处跑。在地狱里如果是罪人的男男女女都不穿衣服的,只有痛苦。如果在人间不好好修,或者修的是旁门左道,就会到这层阿修罗道。师父在电台里给大家看的阿修罗道,指的是上阿修罗道,比人道要高。

They can roam freely in the Underworld. Because they are cultivators and possess powers, they can easily become an officer of the Underworld. In the Hell realm, there are many ferocious ghouls that have become the executors of the Hell Realm, the duo Black and White Impermanence are also one of them; they can roam freely. Sinners in the Hell realm are naked regardless of whether their man or woman, there’s only pain and suffering. If you don’t properly cultivate in the human realm, or if you cultivate deviated cultivation practices, then you would reincarnate into this level of Asura realm. When Master performs his Totem reading in his radio programme, the Asura realm he mentions is the upper level one, which is higher than the Human realm.


阿修罗道的人也有寿命的,比人的寿命要长,和天道天人的性质很像,也有五衰。他们投胎到人间后,会做什么呢?比如只顾赚钱的医生。很多人小聪明,做官、争斗型的也有很多人,奸商、盗贼全部是这些人。他们在自己的集团里有地位,他们吃好的,喝好的,还有人伺候。什么道的人,下来就受什么业报。天上下来的人,可以做高官的孩子,可以是建筑家,歌唱家,等,是正道。

Sentient beings of the Asura realm also has a lifespan, which is longer than a human’s and have qualities similar to the sentient beings in the Heavenly realm, who also possess the five signs of decay. What happens if they reincarnate into the Human realm, what do they do? They would be, for example, doctors who only care about making money. Many clever people, government officials, people who like to fight, crooked business people and thieves are the kinds of people they typically become. They hold a position of authority while they like to indulge themselves. They experience the karmic rewards that are associated with which realm they came from. For example, people who reincarnated from the Heavenly realm typically become the children of government officials, architects, singers etc. They usually live on the right path.


从阿修罗道下来的人,女人投人后,很漂亮;阿修罗道的男人就只想打架,与人斗,与天斗,与地斗。很多人间的美女是从阿修罗道下来的。唱歌的、演戏的,看看他们一生的婚姻能否圆满,飘忽不定啊。阿修罗道的人穿的衣服不像天人那么漂亮,颜色偏深色,绿色的多。为什么你们眼前经常看见一团光绿色或蓝色的,很多人拿手去抓,不能抓的,你抓一抓,接下来你就有麻烦了。什么叫触及灵魂?他们就是灵体,人叫肉体,我们用手去碰他们,感觉不到,但是他们会受伤的。科幻片里不是经常会把看不见的灵体形象化。

The women who reincarnate into the Human realm from the Asura realm become very beautiful. Men who reincarnated into the Human realm from the Asura realm only knows how to fight and compete; they would fight against the heavens and anyone who stands in their way. Many beautiful women in the human realm descended from the Asura realm. Most of them become singers or actresses, but their marriages are usually imperfect and unstable. The way the people of the Asura realm dress are not as pretty as the people in the Heavenly realm, the colours are usually darker, and most of them are green coloured. Some people can regularly see a swarm of bright green or blue balls of light, and they go and try to grab it. You mustn’t do that; otherwise, you’ll get into trouble. People have a physical body while spirits only have a spiritual body. If we use our hand to grab it with force, we don’t feel anything, but they get hurt. In science fiction films, isn’t it popular to give the invisible beings some form for the viewer to see?


阿修罗道的人有一个很大的毛病,就是色欲未断。因为在低层的灵界天,色欲未断。在人间有好色之徒,如果他们到了阿修罗道后,不容易断根,他们虽然在阿修罗,但是就像在人间的仙境一样,意淫未断。只不过一个在上面,一个在下面。但是要想再上去更高的天是上不去的。天上没有钱的概念。在欲界天里,还有男女之分,但是不会发生男女关系,仅仅是握握手而已。你们知道师父怎么上天的吗?师父想上去就上去了,就一秒钟的功夫。看到天堂里,小孩子在荡秋千,那种笑声就像电影里的回音一样的,师父再往下一看,什么都没有的,他们怎么在荡秋千啊,一看自己踩在云上面,那种感觉、那种感受是在脑子里什么都没有了。

The people of the Asura realm possess one significant shortcoming, and that is their sexual desire is still not completely ceased. That’s because, on the lower levels of spirituality, sexual desires still exist. In the human realm, these people would be considered lustful. If they do manage to ascend into the Asura realm, it’s not easy to eliminate it. Although they’re in the Asura realm, it’s just like a beautiful picturesque environment in the Human realm, their thoughts of desires are still there. The only difference is that their realm is higher than ours. But if they want to ascend to an even higher realm, then it’s impossible for them. There’s no concept of money in the Heavenly realm. In the Desire realm, there’s still a differentiation between man and woman, but sexual intimacy won’t occur, the most they would do is hold each other’s hands. Do you know how does Master go to heaven? If Master wants to go, then he’s there already, it only takes a second. In heaven, I can see childing playing on the swings and their laughter echo throughout heaven. When Master look below, there’s nothing there, how do they play on the swings? It’s because they are treading on clouds. That kind of feeling exists in one’s mind.


师父告诉你们,你们如果能上天的话,人间的一切烦恼全部没了,你们不会难过、不会痛苦的。走的时候,只要能够上天,这些东西全没了。举个例子,你们去桂林旅游,那种美景会让你们脑子全部空掉,这种持续的空,会让你把什么都忘记。因为你到了另外的坏境,环境可以使你们忘却一切。人到了天上,什么都忘记了,不痛苦了。只有在过生日的时候,或者下面有人不停地叫他名字的时候,他才会想到下面的人和事情。他能够听得见,他有感觉被人叫。就像我们现在在人间,能够感觉到另外一个人总惦记你一样。天界有一个望乡台,在其第三层可以看到人间,人间的情景都能看见。

Master tells you that if you are in heaven, all afflictions are gone, you won’t be upset, nor would you feel pain. As long as you’re able to ascend to heaven after death, everything is gone. Let me illustrate this with an example, let’s assume you went to Guilin in China for a holiday, that kind of breath-taking scenery will cause your mind to go blank. This continuation of emptiness will make you forget about everything else. It’s because when you move to a new environment, the environment will make gradually make you forget about the past. When you ascend to heaven, you’ll gradually forget about everything that happened in the Human realm. Only when somebody is commemorating you, or they keep calling out your name repeatedly, would you think about what’s happening down in the Human realm. You could still hear and feel that you’re being called. Just like us in the Human realm, we can feel if there’s still somebody who misses you. In Heaven, there’s a tower that allows you to look at the other worlds beyond. On the third level, you can see the Human realm and all that’s happening within.


你们知道吗,一只母老虎咬死了自己的虎子,也会下地狱的。虎毒不食子,对不对?老虎有没有智商,它也有。上次有篇报道说,狗的智商是相当于人的两岁。犯错了,照样下去。人真的很可怜,天天在外面喝酒、寻欢、作乐,不知道活着是为什么,像畜牲一样。都不知道把自己的命交到哪儿去了。有一位老妈妈查出癌症了,受到很大的打击,平时不做好事,功德没有啊,就只是念经,跟她说多做好事,她说没有时间啊,我这么大的年纪。这么大的年纪就不能做好事了?你怎么会做坏事啊,挑拨离间、恶口、两舌、嗔恨。一个人活在世界上要懂得珍惜自己,如果连自己的佛性都不懂得珍惜,那算什么人?到了人道,已经很可怜了。

Do you know? When a tiger mother kills their own child, they would still descend into hell. There’s a Chinese saying that ‘even a vicious tiger will not eat its cubs’, right? Does a tiger have intellect? Yes, they do. There was once an article that reported that the IQ of a dog is similar to a two-year-old child. If they commit wrongdoings, they will still descend. Humans are pitiful, they only know about indulging themselves in wine and other forms of entertainment, they don’t know why they are living, just like an animal. They don’t know what their life should be used for. There’s an old granny who was diagnosed with cancer, and it gave her a shock. She doesn’t do any benevolent or meritorious deeds, but only recite sutras. Master has already told her many times to do benevolent deeds, but she replies that she has no time, and also she’s too old. Just because you’re old, you can’t do benevolent deeds? Then why does she only know how to do unwholesome deeds, like sowing discord, like talking badly about others, and hating. As long as a person is alive, they should know how to cherish themselves. If they don’t even cherish their own Buddha-nature, then what kind of person are they? It’s already very pitiful here in the Human realm.





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