V 3-36 Learn about the ‘Three Powers’ of Buddhism; Begin to enlighten with a Wondrous Mind

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.

学佛要有师父指引,一个人单单靠自己修炼是成功不了的,修到最后都不知道自己修到什么地方去了,现在很多人都在修,但是要知道自己以后是修到哪里?有人问师父:“跟随你修能否修到西方极乐世界?”师父有据可查的给大家讲,印光大师在文钞菁华录上说:“观音圣号,乃现今之大恃怙,当劝一切人念。若修净业者,念佛之外,兼念。未发心人,即令专念。然念观音,求生西方,亦可如愿耳。”观世音菩萨圣号要劝一切人念,所有的人都来念。苦修净业者,就是要把人间放弃,身体、家庭等等要全部放弃,只有一念要到西方极乐世界去,这叫苦修净业。

Learning Buddhism requires a master or teacher to guide you. If a person solely relies on themselves, their cultivation won’t succeed. They won’t even know where they will be going at the end of their cultivation. Somebody asked Master, “If I follow you and cultivation, would I go to the Western Pure Lands?” His reply is well-founded. The great master Yin Guang had written the following in the Chao Jinghua Record. ‘The Holy Name of Guan Yin, is called as if calling a father or mother, and the one name that must be recited. For cultivators of pure deeds, other than reciting the name of the Buddha, shall also recite that name. For those who have yet to bring forth their resolve, they should also focus on reciting that name. For any who recites the name of Guan Yin, and wishes to reborn in the Western Pure Lands, their wish will be fulfilled.” In plain terms, everybody should recite the Holy Name of Guan Yin Bodhisattva. And for those who cultivate the ascetic way, like abandoning and letting go of everything they have in the Human Realm, for example, their body and family, etc., then with one focused intent, they can transcend to the Western Pure Lands. That is the cultivator of pure deeds.


念净土宗,念佛之外,也要念观世音菩萨。师父曾经给你们讲过师父的法门可以把亡人超度到西方极乐世界去,现在已经有人证明了,念了小房子之后,亡人居然收到上天给他去西方极乐世界的通知。还未发心的人,马上要念经了,专心的念观世音菩萨。印光大师说:然念观音,求生西方,亦可如愿耳。你们想想看,你们跟随师父拜观世音菩萨,修观世音菩萨法门,你们能不能去西方极乐世界?不单单修这个法门能到西方极乐世界,还能到更高的天,而且是在家修行,又能让你在现实生活中受益。所以师父告诉你们这个法门非常的好,大家一定要好好的修。

For those who cultivate Pure Land Buddhism, other than reciting the name of Buddha, they must also recite the name of Guan Yin Bodhisattva. Master mentioned before that his Dharma door could help the deceased to spiritually ascend to the Western Pure Lands. There are already people who can testify this, that after offering Little Houses, the deceased will receive a notification from heaven to go to the Western Pure Lands. To those who haven’t yet brought forth their resolve, they must recite sutras immediately and focus on reciting Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s Holy Name. The great master Yin Guang said, “For any who recites the name of Guan Yin, and wishes to reborn in the Western Pure Lands, their wish will be fulfilled.” Think about it, you are following Master and worshipping Guan Yin Bodhisattva, and cultivating Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s Dharma door, how could you not go to the Western Pure Lands? Not only would cultivating this Dharma Door help you go to the Western Pure Lands, but you can also go to higher realms. Not to mention that you’re cultivating at home, and it can also benefit and improve your daily lives. That’s why Master said that this Dharma door is very good, and every one of you must properly cultivate.


师父现在给大家讲修观世音菩萨法门的几个要点:1. 缘觉妙心。缘觉妙心就是你的心,你度人之心是有妙法的。什么叫妙法?就是如理妙心,也就是说你弘法,救度众生,你有一个非常美妙的心,就是妙法。为什么叫妙法?妙法就是度人的一种方法,一个人度人一定要有方法,要有巧妙的方法。你能够觉悟了,你的智慧能够圆融了,你才会豁然开悟,不要说渡人,就是做人如果你蒙蒙叨叨的整天睡觉,天天起来,一日三餐,这就是一个三等人,等吃、等睡、等死。

Master will now expound a few essential points in cultivating Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s Dharma door: 1. Possessing a mind of wondrous awareness. When you are spiritually awakening others, your mind must be able to think of wondrous methods to do it effectively and efficiently. You must be awakened and enlightened yourself so that your wisdom could become more developed, and can influence others to follow your way. Putting propagation aside, if a person dilly-dallies all day, only thinking of eating and sleeping, then what meaning is there to their existence?


早饭忙完了,忙午饭,午饭忙完了,忙晚饭,这种人活在世界上有什么意义呢?时间就这么一天一天的混过去了,所以要忙一些有意义的事情,什么叫有意义呢?要做功德,要忙一些能够救度自己家里人的事情,要忙一些能够救度全世界众生的事情,所以,要有妙心来弘法,能豁然开悟。

After having breakfast, then they wait till it’s lunchtime. After having lunch, they wait till it’s dinnertime. Their days pass meaninglessly. That’s why one must find something meaningful to do and keep themselves busy doing it. What tasks are considered meaningful? That’s meritorious deeds. One must be busy doing things that help save and spiritually awaken others, like their family and other sentient beings with a karmic affinity with you. That’s why one must possess a wondrous mind to propagate the Dharma and can reach enlightenment quickly.


2. 寂光增进。寂光增进就是这个光是寂起来的,是团起来的,想一想光散掉好?还是聚起来好,哪一个光照的远?寂光就是安静的光,稳定的光,它是真正的达到了一个境界,也就是说,这个人修心修到什么都圆寂了,圆满什么都能安静下来,没有任何一个事情能让你很难过,很悲伤,你就成功了,一定要记住寂光增进得到真的境界常得显前,你要把这个真正的境界,经常在你眼睛前面出现,就是说当你碰到紧急事情的时候,或在求什么事情时,你还是很安静,你在人间稳得住,定得下,这叫寂光,这样你才能见到真正的境界,也就是说当人寂坐在菩萨面前打坐的时候,意念才会看到很多看不见的东西,明白了吗?

2. Gathering of still light. Think about it, which light can shine the furthest? One that is focused or one that is scattered? Still light is one where it’s stable and quiet, and the level of spirituality where one should strive for. In other words, one must cultivate to a point where they are completely still and at peace. Then they are said to be complete. If nothing can make you upset or sad, then you have succeeded. You must take note that the gathering of still light will regularly help you manifest the desired level of spirituality. In other words, whenever you encounter some hasty matters, or when you’re in a state of emergency, if you can remain in a state of ‘gathering of still light’ where you are still calm and collected, then you have reached the desired level of spirituality. Also, only when you are quietly meditating in front of the Bodhisattvas could you be able to see many invisible things. Do you understand?


否则就会着魔,如果一个人拼命的想去看这些境界,他就会着魔,看不到的拼命的去看,连佛都救不了,菩萨也救不了你。师父曾经已经给大家讲过了,要求了脱生死,要想悟出道理见到菩萨境界,你一定要证分悟,分悟就是把悟性分成很多的段,如说在某一件事情上我开悟了,我悟出道理了,而在另一件事情上不是完全开悟,就像一个人在某一件事情上,哦,我明白了,那只不过是在某一件事情上开悟了,叫分悟。

Otherwise, you would be interfered by your inner demons. If a person keeps thinking with the desire to reach their desired state of spirituality, he will be interfered by their inner demons. They can’t see yet they keep wanting to see it. Even Buddhas and Bodhisattvas can’t help them when they’re like that. Master had mentioned this before that if one wishes to liberate themselves from life and death and become enlightened and reached to the Bodhisattva’s level of spirituality, one must be able to partially awaken at least. Partial awakenment is complete enlightenment but only awakened to various views and things. For example, you are awakened and have become knowledgeable about something from a certain point of view. However, you are still ignorant of that thing if interpreted or viewed from another perspective. That is called partial awakenment.


3. 圆悟圆见。完全明白了自己悟出的道理,这才叫真的悟出道理了。圆悟就是全部都悟出来了,你悟出一个点是没有用的,悟出了我要做好人,好人有好报,恶人有恶报,这是没有用的,要圆悟圆见,明白吗?师父给大家讲讲念佛,有很多人问我:“台长,我为什么念佛念的不好?”那么师父在这里给大家继续讲要攝耳谛听,这个谛听就是用心来听,比如,你念经的时候要用自己的心来听,不要有漏空的感觉,也就是说当你念经的时候,念的太快了,你就觉得漏空了,所以念经不能有漏空的感觉。当你念经念到一定的时候,忽然之间感觉我怎么空掉一块(漏了一句),对不起,重新念,否则就算你全部念完了,效果也不明显。所以要用耳朵听到自己的声音,久而久之你的身心才能归一,要记住用耳朵来谛听,是非常重要的。

3. Complete awakenment of one’s views. When you completely understand what you’ve comprehended, then that’s complete awakenment of one’s views. If you only awaken a fraction, it’s useless. If you awaken that you must be a wholesome person, where good people will be rewarded wholesomely, and bad people will be punished, it’s useless if you only know this much. You must awaken to it completely, do you understand? Master expounds about sutra recitation. Many people asked him, “Master, why are my sutra recitations bad?” Here, Master continues to discuss how to listen intently. You must listen with your heart and mind. For example, when you’re reciting, you must listen to what you’re reciting intently. There mustn’t be any feeling of missing letters. In other words, if you recite while your mind is distracted or if you recite too quickly, then you’ll feel that perhaps you might have skipped a few letters. If it’s so, then sorry but you must recite it again from the beginning. Otherwise, even if you recited the sutra completely, the effect won’t be obvious. That’s why you must use your ears to listen to the sound of your voice when you’re reciting. If you practise this, soon your mind and body will be as one. That is very important.


而且,师父告诉你们所有的念佛人都必须用耳朵来听自己念的经,能让自己的心集中,而且功德会很深,不管是谁只要用这种谛听法有利无弊,只有好处,没有害处的,大家明白了吗?学佛人应该相信“三力”,我们在学佛当中,人应该有三种力量,一定要相信,而且在我们身上,在我们周围都会存在。

It will help your mind to be focused, and the merit-virtues accumulates will be greater. Regardless of who you are, as long as you use this method, there are only benefits and no drawbacks. Do you understand? Buddhists must believe in the three powers. In the practice of Buddhism, people should have these three powers. One must believe it, it exists within our body and also in our surroundings.


第一力,是法力。每一个人都要相信法力,法力是不可思议的,就是你走到哪里,只要你念观世音菩萨,你就会有感应,你就会逢凶化吉,这就叫法力。不管出了什么事情,有什么灾,有什么难,你只要念观世音菩萨,观世音菩萨法力无边就会来救你,这一点我就不需要再给你们讲了吧?你们每一个人都受到了观世音菩萨法力的庇荫,对不对?

The first power is the power of the Dharma. Everyone must believe in the incredible powers of the Dharma. In other words, wherever you go, whenever you recite Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s Holy Name, you will get feedback and escape from all calamities. That’s the power of the Dharma. No matter what calamity or tribulation you encounter, as long as you recite Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s Holy Name, She will extend her powers to save you. Master trusts that every one of you had experienced Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s blessings before, is that right?


第二力,是佛力。佛力是不可思议的,法力也是不可思议的,佛力就是佛菩萨的力量,佛菩萨的力量是一种无边无际的,所以叫佛法无边。想到佛菩萨你浑身就会有力量,想到佛菩萨你就会增长智慧,这种力量是一般人所能得到的吗?第三力,是自信的功德力。自信的功德力也是不可思议的,什么叫自信功德力?自己学佛法必须要有信心,这叫自信心,功德力是你自己身上有很多的功德,有很多做过的善事转为功德,你今生今世,前生前世,你身上都有一定的功德,叫自身的功德力。

The second power is the power of the Buddha. Buddha’s power and the Dharma’s power are both incredible. Buddha’s power is basically the power of the Buddha and the Bodhisattvas, which are boundless and endless. If you think of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, your whole body feels energised. If you think of the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, your wisdom will increase. Can any ordinary person obtain this power? The third power is self-confidence in the power of merit-virtues. It’s also incredible. What is it? If one learns and practise Buddhism, they must have faith and self-confidence. The power of merit-virtues is the merit-virtues accumulated within you, where your wholesome deeds had been converted to meritorious ones. It had been accumulating throughout your present life and your previous lifetimes, so there must be merit-virtues within your body.


自信的功德力,也就是说你自己相信自己一定有功德,有功德能去除你的灾难,有功德能够消除你的业障,功德是很重要的,那么请问你们有几个人有很多的功德呢?你们是否记得佛法上有一句话叫功德圆满,你们能圆能满吗?你们是既不能圆,也不能满。今天做一点善事,明天不做了,碰到一点困难了,经也不念了,这就叫人,没有信心,没有功德力,自己对自己要有信心,要多做功德。当功德越积越多,等有灾难来时自己才能抵挡住。你们现在的功德太少了,虽然你们做了一点功德,但是你们前世加上你们今生,很多的业障是你们根本不能克服的,所以造成了至今还有很多的苦难,这就是你们的功力不够,功德不够,明白了吗?

Self-confidence in the power of merit-virtues, in other words, you must believe that you possess merit-virtues that can eliminate your tribulations and negative karma. Merit-virtues are very important. How many of you can confidently say that you have a lot of merit-virtues? Do you remember that there’s a saying called ‘wishing that your merit-virtues are complete’? Can you be complete? No, you can’t. You do some good deeds today and don’t do it in the following day. And when you encounter some hardships, you stop reciting sutras. That’s what you call being human. There’s no confidence nor power of merit-virtues. That’s why you must be more confident in yourself and do more meritorious deeds. When you have accumulated a lot of merit-virtues, you will remain fine even in the face of calamities. Right now, your merit-virtues are too little. Although you have performed a few meritorious deeds, the amount of negative karma accumulated from the previous and present life is not something your merit-virtues can suppress. That’s why it has created the suffering that you have experienced. Your power is still lacking; your merit-virtues are still lacking. Do you understand?


在这个人世间怎么样发现这三力呢?你又怎么样来发现菩萨的法力是无边的呢?你怎么样来发现佛的力量是无边的呢?你又怎么样来发现自身的功德力是不可思议的呢?告诉你们要有信、愿、行之力。什么叫信、愿、行?首先,要有信心,我相信佛菩萨一定会救我,我相信佛菩萨的法力是无边的。第二,要有愿心(愿力),就是我发愿做出什么,就是要许愿,要发大愿。第三,行,就是要真正的去做,单单有愿力,不去做,那是不行的,单单靠嘴巴,靠念经不去做事情,也是没有行。为什么有的法门是让人做的,而有的法门是让人念的,也就是有的法门让人修行,有的法门让人修心,实际上要修行、修心一起。

How do we discover these three powers? How do we discover that the Bodhisattva’s Dharma powers are boundless? How do we discover that Buddha’s powers are boundless? How do we discover your power of merit-virtues is incredible? Master tells you that you must first have faith, vows and actions. What are they? Firstly, you must have faith that the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas will definitely save you and their powers are boundless. Secondly, you must have powers of vow, where you vow that you will do something. Thirdly, you must take action. If you only vow but not take action, it’s useless. If you simply use your mouth to recite sutras but don’t take physical action, it’s useless. Why are there Dharma doors that require people to take action while others only require people to recite? It’s because some of them are dedicated to the cultivation of one’s behaviour while others are dedicated to the cultivation of one’s mind. In reality, you must do both together.


平等心是指在某一个起点上,大家一起修心,一起进步,在同一个起点上是平等的,而并不是指做了很多的坏事和做了好事的人是平等的,那就没有因果了。要记住只有好好的修,有师父救度,有师父教才行,否则是不行的。所以信愿行是最重要的,信愿行说的是要相信佛菩萨,要有信心,要有信愿力,愿是什么?是我愿意做什么,我要发愿做什么,行是我真的在做了,你们这些徒弟有些是发愿念经,没有行动,有的人是做很多事情,但是没有愿力,所以要发现三力必须要信愿行。

Equality in Buddhism refers to the perspective where everybody is equal when it comes to cultivating. It doesn’t mean that people who do bad things are equal to people who do good deeds. Otherwise, it contradicts the laws of causality and karma. Take note that as long as you properly cultivate, Master will always care about you. You require his guidance; otherwise, you won’t get anywhere. Faith, vows and action are all very important. Faith is where you have faith and confidence in the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Vows are when you make vows and are resolved to do something. Action is when you properly put things to practise. Some of you disciples only vow to recite sutras, but you don’t take action. Some of you do lots of things but lack the powers of vow. That’s why you must have faith, vows and action to discover the three powers.


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