V 3-44 Ignorance, Old Age and Death are Phenomena of Samsara 无明和老死均是轮回现象

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.

师父今天给大家讲无明烦恼。无明烦恼分成几种,一种是不明白,叫无明。还有一种是无缘无故的烦恼也叫无明。突然之间发脾气了,也是无明烦恼的一种。还有一种是不明白事理,我不明白什么事情,那也叫无明烦恼。怎么样把无明烦恼灭度和灭尽呢?灭度用白话讲就是把它结束,那么人有烦恼怎么样把它灭掉呢?怎么样把它结束呢?

In this chapter, Master expounds the affliction due to ignorance. There are many kinds, one kind is not knowing, which is ignorance. Another kind is an affliction that develops for no reason, that is also classified as ignorance. Another kind is where one is unreasonable due to ignorance, that is also an affliction due to ignorance. How does one get rid and permanently cease afflictions due to ignorance?


灭掉是可以的,就像一个人发脾气一样,今天发脾气了,过一会可以把它灭掉,但是你能不能把它灭尽呢?比如,马路边上一个丛林带着火了,你可以把这一带林子的火熄灭,但是,如果你没有把它灭完,没有把它灭尽,过一会儿,一阵风一吹,它又烧起来了。就是说人的烦恼不停的有,因为它只能暂时灭度了,而没有灭尽。所以,今天这个烦恼去除了,但是下一个烦恼又来了,这个也叫轮回,你们听得懂吗?

Getting rid of it is possible. Just like when one throws a temper, and after a while, they calm back down. But can you cease it permanently? For example, there has been a forest that has been set ablaze. You may extinguish the fire in one large area of the forest, but if the fire has not been completely extinguished, even a small fire could eventually set the whole forest ablaze again. In other words, one will constantly suffer from afflictions. It might temporarily go away for a while, but it will still continue if it’s not completely ceased. That’s one when one affliction is gone; another affliction develops to take its place. That’s why it’s like samsara - a beginningless cycle of repeated births, mundane existence and death. Do you understand?


今天有这个烦恼,解决了,哎呀,总算解决了,开心啊,什么都忘记了,但是,下一个星期另外一个烦恼又来了,因为你没有灭尽,你没有真正的理解无明烦恼的根源,不知道怎么样去除它,所以,你就不能把它彻底的消灭干净,要把它彻底的消灭干净,就必须把它灭度、灭尽。想想看,你们今天的这些烦恼,再想想你们年轻时的那些烦恼,你们一个一个烦恼都走过来了,怎么现在还有烦恼呢?

When you encounter an affliction, and then finally resolve it, you’re happy that you got it done and you can forget about it. But in the following week, another affliction develops. It’s because you haven’t ceased it completely as you haven’t truly understood about the source of your afflictions of ignorance. If you don’t understand, then how can you eliminate it? That’s why you can’t thoroughly eliminate it so that everything is pure again. Think about it, today, you have this affliction, now think back about the afflictions you had when you were young. All of you have been going through an endless stream of afflictions up till this day. Why do you still experience afflictions?


这就是你们的根没有干净,所以才会惹事生非,因为你们的六根不净,你们才会不断的惹事生非。你的嘴巴不好今天讲人家了,过去不懂,现在学佛了,懂得给人家忏悔了“对不起,我讲错了,请你不要生气了。”好了,人家说:“算了,没有关系了,”此事就结束了,这个事情就临时的灭度了,但是,你们的嘴巴改了吗?没有改,你碰见另外一个人又去讲了,你讲了之后,人家跟你打官司,又骂你,你又开始生烦恼了,这个就是叫没有灭尽,你们听得懂吗?

It’s because your sensory faculties aren’t pure; that’s why you invite and cause trouble for yourself. For example, let’s assume that you have a bad habit of badmouthing others. In the past, you didn’t know that was wrong, and now after learning Buddhism, you understand that you must apologise and repent. “Sorry I shouldn’t have done that. I hope you could forgive me.” Then the other person would say, “Ok, that’s fine.” Then the incident has reached a conclusion, and the situation has temporarily ceased. But have you changed your habit? No. When you encounter someone else you dislike, you still have the habit of badmouthing them. Eventually, they will sue you and scold at you. Then your afflictions begin to develop again. That’s what it means to not cease it permanently, do you understand?


人无老死,人没有老死的,老了,死了,他是生生世世的,他今天死了,等到他投胎了,他又开始生了,对不对?这叫无老死尽,就是永远没有尽头的,投胎在六道轮回。今天死了,明天活了,就像你们每一天从早上到晚上一样,哪一天可以从早到晚都是白天而没有晚上的?又有哪一天都是晚上而没有白天的呢?这就叫轮回,明白了吗?你们的胡子今天刮了,明天又长出了,这也是轮回。果你在痛苦的时候说,我再也不做这个事情了,你这个时候是灭度了,是假性灭度,是临时灭度,是临时的想通了,就像很多人抽烟一样,你要让他改,他今天不抽了,明天又抽了,他能彻底改掉吗?

There is no old age and death. That’s because it’s repeated in perpetuity, so there is no true ‘old age’ and ‘death’ in that sense. When someone dies, they are reborn again, isn’t that right? That is called ‘Non-cessation of old age and death’, there is no cessation of it, people will be reborn again within samsara. Today, you die. Tomorrow, you live. It’s just like day and night. When is there ever a day when the sky remains bright for the whole day? When is there ever a day when the sky remains dark for the whole day? It is akin to the cycle of samara, do you understand? When you shave your facial hair today, it will regrow again tomorrow. That is also akin to the cycle of samsara. When you’re in pain and say, “I will never do it again,” that is just a temporary cessation and a temporary state of mental clarity. Just like it is with many smokers, when you ask them not to smoke, they may not smoke today, but they’ll smoke tomorrow. Could they change themselves thoroughly?


很多赌博的人,把自己的手指都砍了,说:“我再也不赌博了,真的恨自己呀”,等老婆原谅他了,过一段时间又开始赌博了,就像很多人吸毒一样,打自己,恨自己,是没有尽头的,老死也是没有尽头的。无老死尽,无苦集灭道,苦也是无穷无尽的,你们想一想,人到哪一天会说我的苦受完了,但等死掉了还要下去受苦。在人间谁可以说我现在真的享福了,我太平了,有吗?你们年纪大的不是都以为自己享福了吗?到澳洲来享清福了,那你们现在的烦恼还有没有?想到自己的孩子,孙子,外孙等,你们说你们放下了吗?还是放不下呀,你们谁能放得下?是很难的,今天明白了,明天又不明白了,后天明白了,大后天又不明白了,人就这么轮回,轮轮回回,生生死死,能明白什么呢?

Many gamblers chop off their little finger and swear that they will never gamble again in front of their wives to that they would forgive him. But after a while, they begin to gamble again. Just like those who take drugs, they beat and hate themselves for doing it, but there is no end to it. There is also no end to old age and death. No cessation of old age and death, no suffering, no origination, no cessation, no way. Suffering is also limitless and endless. Think about it, when somebody says that their suffering has ended when they die, it doesn’t. After they die, they still have to suffer in the unwholesome realms. Is there anybody in the Human Realm who can proclaim that they are enjoying their life and is blissful? Is there? Aren’t there many of you older listeners who have thought that you could enjoy a happy life when you’re old? Or could enjoy life in Australia? Then do you still have afflictions? When you think about your children and your grandchildren, could you let go? You still can’t let go? Is there any of you who could let go? It’s very difficult. You may understand today but don’t tomorrow. Then you understand again and don’t again. People are always repeating themselves in a cycle of samsara. What could you understand?


所以,连老死都要灭尽,也就是说一个人没有生死了,没有生,也没有死,你这个人才能超脱。那么你们可以问师父:“我没有生死,那我生出来不是事实吗?我要死掉不也是事实吗?”是,但是那是假象,那是假的东西,算不算是真的呢?你们小的时候,年轻的时候,做了很多事情,现在还想的起来吗?都没有了,是,如果你们脱离不了这些杂念,你永远想着自己那些小的时候很不开心的事情,你就永远背着这些东西,听得懂吗?

That’s why one must end even old age and death permanently. In other words, one no longer has the notion of life and death; then they’ll be liberated. You may ask Master, “What do you mean that there is no birth and death? Isn’t my birth real? Isn’t my death real?” But all of it is an illusionary phenomenon; they are fake, could you regard it as real? When you were young, you did many things, could you still recall it? It’s gone. But if you can’t liberate yourself from these distracting thoughts, you will always be thinking about the past unpleasant events, and you will always be burdened by it. Do you understand? You must let it go.


要把它放掉,什么叫灭尽?彻底的把它解决掉,彻底的不要去想它,没有生了,我下辈子再也不想做人了,就是没有死了,对不对?这不就是无老死尽了吗?把生死都灭尽了,什么人间物质都灭尽了就能解脱,过去很贪的人,现在一点都不贪了,你就把这个贪字灭尽了,你就永远不会去贪了。因为你今天抽烟把这个肺抽坏了,你从现在开始说我再也不抽烟了,你不就是把这个抽烟的恶习灭尽了吗?当你把这个恶习灭尽之后,你还会肺不好吗?你等于把这个肺病给灭掉了。

You must let it go. What is permanent cessation? It’s to completely get rid of it and forget about it. There’s no birth, “I don’t want to be reborn as a human again in the next life,” then there’s no death. Is that correct? Isn’t that ‘non-cessation of old age and death’? Cease birth and death; when you cease all material things in the Human Realm, then you’ll be liberated. If you were very greedy in the past and you’re not greedy anymore, then you have ceased your greed, and you won’t get greedy for things anymore. When you have decided to quit smoking because your lungs have been damaged due to such bad habits, then haven’t you ceased your habit of smoking? Afterwards, would your lung become worse? It’s the same as ending the development of your lung disease.


因为你无生了,所以就无死了,在人间的一切最后都带不走,也就一无所得故,师父现在给你们讲《心经》,你们背得很熟,但要理解心经的含义,为什么观世音菩萨的经咒这么好?《心经》为什么能开人的智慧?很多人的心脏不好,师父今天讲给你们听,心脏不好的人实际上就是心脏压力太大,就算是遗传的,让你心脏不好也是属于心胸不够宽。但是,除了上辈子的心脏不好,这辈子如果你又吃了很多油腻的东西,所以就促成了你这个燃烧火药的爆炸,心脏不好,听得懂吗?当然,这里面也不是百分之一百的,所以心脏不好的人,念什么经最好呀?

Because there is no birth, there will be no death. You can’t take anything in the Human Realm away with you when you die, so there is nothing to be grasped. Master is now expounding the ‘Heart Sutra’, you must have memorised it very well by now, but you must also understand its meaning. Why is Guan Yin Bodhisattva’s sutra so wonderful? Why does the ‘Heart Sutra’ help people develop wisdom? Many people’s heart condition isn't very good; the reason why it’s so is that they are under too much stress. Even if it’s hereditary, their heart condition is so because the chambers in their heart are too restricted. But other than hereditary causes, if you eat too many fatty foods, it creates the preconditions for a sudden heart attack if the heart was originally weak, do you understand? Of course, it may not happen definitely. So for people with a weak heart, what Buddhist scripture is the best to recite?


是念《心经》,《心经》就是解开你心中的烦恼和疙瘩,《心经》就是让你明白人世间的道理,《心经》就是给你增长智慧,因为人有了智慧之后,才不会烦恼,不会忧伤,你把心中一些不好的东西,全部灭度了,全部灭尽了,那你还会有什么烦恼呢?我连生都不怕了,稀里糊涂就到这个人间来了,我以后也不想再生了,我就想超脱六道轮回,那你哪来的死呢?犹如已经是一个人了,单身了,过去的婚姻给你造成很大的痛苦,你这辈子就不想再找了,那你就不会在感情上再有痛苦了,夫妻都是缘,不是恶缘就是善缘,问题是你没有把你的这个思维砍掉,所以你认为自己还要有下一次婚姻,那等待你的就是下一次的烦恼和业障,然后又继续开始吵呀,闹呀。

It’s the ‘Heart Sutra’, it helps to untangle the afflictions and knots that reside your mind. It’s to help you understand the world; it’s to develop your wisdom. When one is wise, then they won’t be afflicted, and they don’t be depressed. You cease all the unpleasant things in your mind. When you do, would you develop afflictions? “I wasn’t afraid of being born and not knowing what one is about and came to this world. I don’t want to be born again; I want to liberate from samsara.” Then where would death be? Just like when you became single after you were divorced, your previous marriage had created a lot of pain for you, so you have no interest in getting married again, and you won’t suffer again from relationships. Marriage is a karmic affinity; if it’s not an unwholesome affinity, then it’s a wholesome affinity. The problem is that you haven’t gotten rid of your previous thoughts; you still want to try to get into another marriage. Then what awaits you is another stream of afflictions and karmic obstructions, and then you’ll continue to argue again.


我们有一位听众,她的先生已经离她而去了,本应该是件很开心的事情,这个冤家离她而去了,但是,不行呀,我要念经把他念回家,好了念回家了,再吵,再闹,再生烦恼,这不就叫轮回吗?听得懂吗?你们每一个人都给我听一听,讲的是你们每一个人,犹如在生活当中明明这个事情没有了,还要再提起来,再生烦恼,神经病才会把过去的事情拿到现在来讲,还要讲,还要讲,这个就是典型的神经病前兆,听得懂吗?学佛能让人开悟,就是要灭度自己身上不好的东西,要把它灭尽,怎么样灭尽呢?很多做长辈的人怎么会发病的呢?就是一想起过去那些不开心的事情,接下来就发病了。

There was a female listener whose husband left her. It was supposed to be a positive outcome, as her quarrelsome lover has left. But she can’t bear it and recited sutras so that he would return. When he did return, they quarrelled and developed afflictions again. Isn’t that a cycle of samsara? Do you understand? Every one of you must listen as this applies to all of you. If something unpleasant has disappeared from your daily lives, but you recall it again, then you’ll develop afflictions again. Only crazy people would keep recalling their past unpleasant events and keep talking about it. This symptom is a classical precondition for people developing mental illnesses. Do you understand? Learning Buddhism helps one to awaken, it’s to help them cease all unwholesome things in their mind. Why do older people always develop some sudden illnesses? That’s because they keep recalling their past unpleasant memories, so they become ill more often.


一切无明和老死,都是轮回的现象,实际上你不明白也只是暂时的不明白,很多的人你去劝他信佛念经,他不信佛,对不对?但是,等到他要死的时候,鬼来找他了,他才知道原来真的有鬼,等拉他走的时候,哎呀,早一点相信就好了,实际上他是暂时的无明,他是暂时的烦恼。人的烦恼都是暂时的,人所有的一切都是暂时的,以,对他来讲就是一个暂时的肉体,有什么烦恼呀?今天有,明天就没有了,想一想,你们年轻的时候,有多少事情过不去,在单位里做错事情被老板开除了,出大事情了,不得了了,觉得活不下去了,现在想想,不都过来了吗,今天被人调查了,出大事情了,过几天不是解决了吗?对不对?

All ignorance, old age and death are phenomena associated with samsara. In reality, ignorance is only temporary. Many of you had tried to suggest others to learn Buddhism and recite sutras, but they didn’t believe it, is that right? But when they are about to die, the foreign spirits will look for them, and then they realise that ghosts do exist. When they do pass away and changed into a spiritual form, then they regret that they didn’t learn and believe it sooner. So ignorance is temporary, and the afflictions developed from it are also temporary. Everything is temporary. Today you have it; tomorrow, you don’t. Think about it, when you were young, weren’t there many things that made you think that it’s the end? Like when you worked in your previous job, you got fired by your employer. At the time, you got depressed and thought to yourself how you would survive. But now that you look back, didn’t you overcome it? Then when you got investigated, you thought that it was very serious and didn’t know what to do. But in a few days later, wasn’t it resolved? Is that correct?


所以要明白这一切都是假象,属于轮回现象,轮回现象是什么意思呢?任何事情有的,就没有了,没有了,又有了。你今天有男朋友,就意味着你以后有一天会没有,你今天没有男朋友,就意味着你有一天会拥有。你今天饭吃得很饱的时候,就意味着你会有肚子饿,等到你肚子饿的时候,就意味着你能吃的饱,这不叫轮回吗?所以,都是一种缘起,什么叫缘起?就是缘分,今天有了,就是缘分,明天没有了,它也是自然的没缘分了。今天我有饭吃,我有这个缘分,明天我没有饭吃,我就没有这个缘分了。

That’s why you must understand that everything is an illusionary phenomenon, and it’s associated with samsara. What does that mean? It means that everything has a cycle of existence and non-existence. If you have a boyfriend, then it implies that one day, your boyfriend will be gone. If you currently don’t have a boyfriend, then it implies that one day, you will find a boyfriend. If you were full after eating your lunch, it implies that you will eventually go hungry. Then when you do get hungry, it implies that you can eat until you’re full. Isn’t that a cycle of samsara? That’s why everything is a kind of karmic affinity. If you have something, that’s because you have a karmic affinity for it. If you don’t have something, it means you don’t have a karmic affinity for it. If you have a meal to eat, it means that you have the karmic affinity of having a meal in that given time. If you don’t have anything to eat, it means that you lack the karmic affinity to be full in that given time.


所有的轮回都是一种缘分,我今天做人了,也是一种缘;明天死掉了,也是一种缘。后天被抓起来了,又是一种缘;想不通了,也是一种缘。有多少人自己找麻烦,这就叫自己找缘,但是,问题是前面忘记加一个字,是自己找恶缘还是找善缘?为什么出家人他们不要结婚呢?为什么他们把这个缘份不要了呢?因为他们明白了,他们学佛了,他们懂道理了,所以,这些对他们无所谓,他们认为人和人之间的结合本身就是一种缘,不是恶缘,就是善缘,缘尽了也就没了,那还不如不要,他们为什么想得通呢?因为他们知道这个世界本身就是有生就有灭的生灭体。

That’s why samsara is a karmic system. You’re a human in this life because you have this karmic affinity. If you die tomorrow, it’s also because of karmic conditions. If you arrested, that’s also due to karmic conditions. If you can’t think clearly, that’s also due to karmic conditions. Many people look for trouble themselves by searching for others to get into a relationship with. But the problem is whether that relationship will be a wholesome one or an unwholesome one. Why doesn’t Buddhist monks want to get married? It’s because they don’t want this kind of karmic affinity. It’s because they have understood after learning Buddhism, so they’re indifferent. They think that the relationships between people are just a kind of karmic affinity. If it’s not unwholesome, then it’s wholesome. But even wholesome affinities will eventually come to an end, so they rather not have it. Why could they think so clearly? It’s because they understood that this world is inherently a karmic system of births and cessations.

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