V 3-45 Discussion of ‘Conditioned Arisal’ and ‘Conditioned Genesis’ in the Buddha-Dharma 谈佛法中的缘生缘起

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.

有缘起,就是缘的起源,它就有缘结,就是缘分的结束。告诉你们这才是末法时期真正让你们明白的道理,因为佛法只有用在人世间中,它才能真正体现出佛菩萨的智慧。如果,佛法只在学堂里面,就像很多人在学校学了很多知识毕业后找不到工作一样,没有用的,大学里有多少人毕业后找不到工作?因为你学的东西不一定能用到现实生活当中,而我们现在学的佛法,我们出来就能用在生活当中,这才叫真正的人间佛法,而人间佛法,不离人间事,借假修真,宏法利身。

Conditioned genesis is the birth of a karmic affinity or condition. When there is a beginning, there is also an end. That is what the current age of Dharma decline wants you to understand. It is only when the Buddha-Dharma is practised in one’s daily life, could it truly show the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas’ wisdom. If the Buddha-Dharma is only used at school or in class, then it’s akin to the many things we learnt at school that becomes useless when we go out to society. Aren’t there many university graduates who still couldn’t find any job after they graduated? That’s because what you've learnt may not be practical in one’s daily life. But the Buddha-Dharma we are currently learning is something that’s practical in one’s daily life. That’s the true Buddha-Dharma of the Human Realm, and it is inseparable to the things that occur in the Human Realm. It teaches one to borrow the false to cultivate the real and to practise the Dharma to benefit oneself.


有缘起,就是缘分刚刚起来,就有缘生,就好似缘分生出来了,师父今天把你们招为徒弟,招为弟子实际上就是有这个缘起,什么缘起?因为这个起缘就是你们愿意学佛,对不对?因为你们愿意学佛,然后你们就生出一种智慧,我学佛是怕不明方向,不明道理,我要找到一个好师父,所以这个缘就生出来了,等到师父把你们培养到一定的程度,有的学的非常好,有的学的越来越差,到了最后,差的就离开师父了,好的就越学越好,以后升天,到西方极乐世界,或到四圣道,然后,师父以后也会离开了,那么缘就灭了。

When there’s conditioned genesis, which is when the karmic affinity was just born, then there’s conditioned arisal, where the karmic affinity seems to have manifested. Before Master had accepted you as a disciple, there was a conditioned genesis. What was the conditioned genesis? It was when you were willing to dedicate yourself to learning Buddhism, is that right? It’s because you learnt Buddhism that you developed a kind of wisdom. “I learnt Buddhism because I was afraid of being lost and remaining ignorant; I must search for a good master.” That is why the condition arose. Until the time when Master has cultivated you to a certain level, some will learn very well whiles others may slack. Then, those who didn’t cultivate well will leave Master while those cultivated well gets better and may go to heaven to the Western Pure Lands or the Four Sagely Realms. Then eventually, even Master will pass away, then the karmic affinity would end.


任何一个法门也是这样,让你先缘起,然后缘生,缘熟,有生就有熟,等到缘分成熟了,慢慢地就开始缘灭了。任何的法门,都是让你走进佛法的一条道,而这条道到了一定的时候,等你走过了,缘也没了,听得懂吗?如果当年没有小电视,怎么会有今天的超薄液晶电视呢?也是一种过程过来的。如果没有我们的祖先,宏扬中华优秀文化,我们的文化怎么会传到今天呢?也是走过来的。如果没有过去的法律,哪有现在的法律更新呢?但是,过去的法律有用吗?有用,只能参考参考,学习学习,但是还能用在今天的社会吗?因为天时的变化,所以过去的法律,现在就不能适用了,其实,这些过程都是由缘起,缘生,缘熟,到缘灭。

All Dharma doors are the same. You must first have a conditioned genesis before you have conditioned arisal which will mature slowly. When something is born, then it will eventually mature, once it has reached its prime, then it will gradually decline and cease. All Dharma doors are a path for you to learn about the Buddha-Dharma, but when you have reached the end of the path, then the karmic affinity is gone, do you understand? If the TV wasn’t invented in the past, then how would there be the ultra-slim OLED TV that you see today? There was a process involved. If our ancestors didn’t do what they did during their time and propagated traditional Chinese culture, how would it still be relevant and passed down to the current generation? There was a process involved. If laws didn’t exist in the past, then we won’t have the updated laws that we have today. But are the past laws still useful? It is, it can still be used as reference and learning material, but can it still be used in today’s society? Because society and the world have fundamentally changed from before, the past laws would be unsuitable to use in today’s day and age. In reality, it is a process of conditioned genesis, conditioned arisal, maturation of karmic conditions and cessation of karmic conditions.


所以要记住,进入因缘很重要,但是,是进入好的因缘呢?还是进入坏的因缘呢?比如,今天你们到师父这里来学佛学法,你们是进入因缘了,但是这个缘起了之后,你们能不能维持呢?能不能学好佛法呢?那么接下来就产生了一种缘生,缘慢慢地就开始生出来了,哦,我喜欢观世音菩萨,哦,我学佛念经之后,有多么好多么好,你越来越好,学佛进步了,境界上升了,那么缘分就越来越熟了,跟师父的感情也越来越深了,愿意做很多功德了,那么你的境界就慢慢地上天了,最后就是缘灭了,实际上这个缘分就没有了。

That’s why to take note; it’s very important to be careful when entering into a karmic affinity. Is it a wholesome karmic affinity or an unwholesome karmic affinity? For example, you are currently following Master to learn and practise Buddhism, so you have already entered into a karmic affinity. But after conditioned arisal, how long could you continue it for? Could you learn and practise Buddhism well? What follows is that it created another kind of conditioned arisal, and another kind of karmic affinity is born. “Oh, I like Guan Yin Bodhisattva. Oh, after learning Buddhism and reciting sutras, things got better.” When you get better, and your Buddhist practice has improved, and your level of spirituality has risen, then this karmic affinity is maturing, and your relationship with Master deepens. You become more willing to perform meritorious deeds, and your level of spirituality will rise to a level akin to the beings of the Heavenly Realms. Then when you die, that karmic affinity is ceased and disappears.


跟自己的孩子也是这样,孩子从生出来,抱在怀里天天开心的不得了,等到孩子长大成人了,结婚成家了,那种感情就慢慢地淡了,最后等到你走了,缘就灭了,你跟这个孩子的缘分就没有了。人生就是这样,苦尽甘来,甘一到苦又来,苦苦甘甘,甘甘苦苦,就这么缘生缘灭,就这么轮回不断,所以当一个人痛苦的时候,要想到享福的时候,有很多领导人,他们讲的一些理论,跟佛法的理论是很接近的,比方说:在困难的时候,要看到光明和前途。你在要死的时候,要想到今后下辈子能投一个更好的人,因为你这辈子没做坏事,等到你活的时候,要想到死的时候,道理是一样的,所以学佛要用智慧。

It’s also the same with your children. When your child was just born, you would hold him or her in your arms and every day would seem like something to look forward to. But when the child grows up and eventually reach adulthood, get married and a family of their own, then the relationship between you will gradually distance. Then when you finally pass away, the karmic affinity between you and your child ceases and disappears. Life is like that. After hardship ends come happiness, then after a while, hardship returns. It’s a cycle of hardship and happiness, that is the cycle of conditioned arisal and cessation and the endless cycle of samsara. That’s why when a person is experiencing hardships, they must think that they will eventually get to enjoy life. Many motivational speakers talk about principles that are very similar to the Buddha-Dharma. For example, when you are under hardship, you must look for the silver lining. When you are about to die, you must think that you will be able to be reborn as a human with better conditions. That’s because since you haven’t done any unwholesome deeds in your life. While you are living, you must think about how it will be when you die. The principle is the same. That’s why you must use wisdom when practising Buddhism.


因缘生,无明就灭了,当你的因缘生的越快,你的无明习气就灭度的越快,因为你懂得了,你看到了,你想到了,好了,你的无明就灭了很多,这个无明是什么?是不明白,比如你老感觉有一个人会来到你身边,那个时候你就是无明,你这个时候就是无明,不知道,等到到了你的身边了,已经成为事实了,你就知道,哦,我明白了,没有明白就是无明,连感觉也是无明的一种,听得懂吗?缘分进入你的心田,进入你的生活,实际上就是无明,所以,要认清所有的诸法,诸法就是所有的法,生灭都是缘起性的本质,实际上生生灭灭,灭灭生生,就是你的因缘的起步,你的本质,你的缘怎么会来的呢?

When karmic affinity arises, then ignorance ceases. When you know more, observe more and ponder about it more; then ignorance will cease much quicker. For example, when you keep feeling that a certain someone will come to you, at that time, you are ignorant. When they do come to you, and your acquaintance becomes a reality, then you understand. Not knowing is ignorance; even feelings are a kind of ignorance. Do you understand? But when you are entangled in karmic affinities, ignorance also develops. That’s why one must be clear-minded of all Dharmas. Birth and cessation are the nature of conditioned arisals. Where do your karmic affinities come from?


就是因为生生灭灭来的,你们听得懂吗?缘是怎么来的?是生生灭灭,今天有,明天没有了,今天有缘分了,跟他好的不得了,过几天吵架了,缘分就没有了。就像有的人两人好的时候,穿一条裤子都嫌肥,这就是缘起,过了一段时间,慢慢地吵的一塌糊涂,相互不相往来了,这就是缘灭,这就是你的生灭的本质。《三国演义》里第一句话就讲到:分久必合,合久必分。所以要懂得过头了,就产生隔阂了,所以,学佛、修心就是让人有一个明白的理念,让人要懂得诸法无常,所有的法都是没有长久的,所有的人都是无常的,所有的物都是无常的。再好的东西用时间长了也会坏掉的,你们告诉我有什么东西买回来用了之后会不坏的?这个世界有不坏的东西的吗?

It came from the births and cessations of other karmic affinities and conditions, do you understand? Today, you have it, and tomorrow, it’s gone. Today, your relationship with your boyfriend or girlfriend goes swimmingly well, that’s the conditioned genesis. But then after a few days, you get into a big argument, and then you break up, that’s the cessation. In the ‘Romance of the Three Kingdoms’, the very first verse is ‘Those long divided shall be united; those long united shall be divided’. That’s why you must understand that whenever something goes over the top, it will create estrangement. That’s why the aim of learning Buddhism and cultivating is to understand that everything is impermanent and not long-lasting. Even the very best thing will gradually deteriorate. Could you tell me what object that exists in this world that doesn’t deteriorate over time?


比如,什么不锈钢的东西,用的时间长了,最后不是照样也锈掉了吗?你们的脑子不是也锈吗?你今天想通了,过几天又想不通了,对不对?想通的时候,开心的不得了,想不通的时候,烦恼多的不得了,你说难过不难过呀?们说说看,你们做了很多的好事为什么会得不到好报呢?你们念了这么多经,有时候为什么还是困难重重呢?师父这样救度众生,而且,观世音菩萨在师父身上,那么为什么师父还要吃这么多苦,还有人讲师父不好呢?很简单,有了不好的才能显示出许多的好,你这么想,不就想过来了吗?你什么都是好的,你没有对比了,什么是好是坏,你都不能搞懂呀?

For example, even stainless steel good would start to wear and rust when it’s used for too long, is that right? Doesn’t your brain also ‘rust’? Today, you are clear-minded, but then in another day, you become stubborn, is that right? When your mind is clear, you are very happy. But when you’re stubborn, you become overwhelmed by your afflictions and become sad, is that right? Think about why you aren’t receiving wholesome karmic rewards after you have done so many wholesome deeds. You have recited sutras for so long, why are you still encountering so many obstructions and hardships? Master is also going through the same hardships when he is saving and propagating to other sentient beings. Additionally, Guan Yin Bodhisattva constantly overlooks and blesses Master, so why does he also have to suffer so many hardships? Many others slander and criticise him too. It’s simple. If there is no bad, how does one know what is good? If you think like that, wouldn’t you be able to overcome your mental block? If everything is good, then there is no comparison, then what is good and bad? Then you can’t differentiate.


人家都不随地吐痰,就显不出你不随地吐痰的好处了,你到农村去每个人都随地吐痰,你就不知道这个随地吐痰好不好了。就像有的人做了这么多事情,为什么碰到有人讲几句话了,马上心里就起烦恼了?这个就叫心里没有一杆秤,你秤不出什么是好的,什么是坏的,你秤不出分量。学佛心中要有一杆旗,什么叫旗帜鲜明?什么叫旗帜不倒?不论怎么样你们也奈何不了我,大不了又怎么样呢?我能怎么样呢?你拿我又怎么样呢?到最后大家都不怎么样,人就是这样,对不对?

If others don’t spit on the streets, then it wouldn’t show your good manners of not spitting on the streets. When you go to the rural towns in China, everybody spits on the ground. If everyone spits on the ground, nobody knows what’s bad about it. Just like some people who have done so many things, but when they receive an unexpected remark, they develop afflictions. That’s because they don’t have a mental steelyard, they can’t discern what is good or bad, and the weight of it. Buddhists must erect a bright, distinct and untoppable pole flag within their minds. What does that mean? It's to possess an attitude that no matter what others do, they won’t bother you. “What’s the big deal? What could I do? What could you make me do?” In the end, isn’t everyone the same? Isn’t that right?


碰到一点事情了,情绪受到影响了,烦恼生出了,就是你的这杆旗倒了,所以你的心就随着外境转,要境随心转才可以,你们是心随境转,你们的烦恼是怎么来的?因为外面的人说你不好了,因为外面的人不理解你了,你的心就随着这个外环境转变了,那你也就不开心了,不舒服了,心情又不好了,那你不就是随着人家的境在变吗?师父是你们越说我,我越要好,你越说我怎么样,我越不怎么样,我是被人家说的倒的人吗?

When you encounter something unexpected, and your mood gets affects, and you develop afflictions, it means that your mental pole flag has toppled. That’s why your mind changes according to the external environment. It should be that the external environment changes in accordance with your mind, but your mind is the one that changes instead, that’s why you develop afflictions. How does it develop? It’s because others criticise or badmouth you, it’s because others don’t understand you, that's why your mind changes in accordance with them. That’s you feel upset and uncomfortable, and your mood is bad. Master has the attitude where if you criticise him, he will do better. Is he someone who would collapse if others speak ill of him?


如果说得倒的话,师父怎么样在全世界弘扬佛法呢?弘法利生什么都不怕,什么都看得清清楚楚的,什么都能舍,还怕什么?你们这些人碰到一点事情,马上就感觉天塌下来了,举个简单的例子,乌云过来的时候,你们能看见天空吗?整个天都是黑的,我怎么活呀?我明天怎么晒东西呢?但是,一会儿乌云过去了,太阳出来了,开心了吧,原来没有什么事情呀?

If that is so, how could he travel around the world to propagate Buddhism? What’s there to be afraid when you are propagating the Dharma to benefit others? You see everything clearly, and you could give away anything, what’s there to be afraid of? When ordinary people encounter something unexpected, they would panic and feel as though the sky has fallen. For example, when dark clouds surround your area, the sun is hidden, and the sky is dark. You might feel troubled because you planned to dry your laundry under the sun or go outside and do something. But then, the dark clouds pass, and the sun reemerges, then you’re happy again. “Oh, so I panicked for no reason.”


你们现在最大的烦恼就是因为你们看见了乌云,你们没有看见阳光,等到乌云散去,阳光又出来了,你们又开心了,那你们一会开心,一会不开心,你们不开心的时候就是神经错乱,就是有毛病,因为你们以为太阳和月亮都没有了,你们看到的只有乌云,等到乌云散去的时候,你们看到太阳的时候,你们的精神又恢复正常了,那不就是神经病吗?象吃了药一样,所以,诸法的生灭,就是说所有的法,今天有,明天没有,都是无常的,记住这是本质。

Many of your greatest afflictions exist because you could only see the dark clouds and not the sun. When the dark clouds pass, the sun reemerges again. So go through mood swings between happiness and sadness. When you’re depressed, you act as though you’ve gone insane. That’s the problem. You think that the sun and moon have disappeared. But when the dark clouds and you see the sun again, you mentally recover back to normal. Isn’t that a kind of mental disease? It’s just like taking drugs. All Dharmas have births and cessations. Today, it exists, tomorrow, it disappears. Everything is impermanent. That is the true nature of all things, take note of it.


接下来给大家讲因缘的生死,因缘生,法生。比如我开始和你好了,那么这个法就生出来了,什么法?把人间都称为法,人也叫法,事物也叫法,比如,师父不是有法身嘛,那么这个事物,这个法物,菩萨称这个人间所有的东西都是法,所以你想跟他好了,你就产生一种缘,而这种缘就生出来一种东西,举个简单例子,你脑子里想做一个炒鸡蛋,这个鸡蛋不是炒的,对不对?因为你脑子里在想我要生一个缘分,炒一个鸡蛋给大家吃,那么你就拿了这个鸡蛋去炒了,当你炒的时候就是生出这个缘了,炒完了之后,这个缘就成功了,这个成功的炒鸡蛋就成为一种法物了,就是现实存在的东西了,所以,缘就是生成你的法,叫缘生即法生,明白吗?

Next, Master expounds about the birth and cessation of karmic affinities. When it’s born, a Dharma is born. What is Dharma? The Bodhisattvas refer anything and everything that can be observed in the Human Realm as a Dharma, it is an aspect of reality. For example, if you start to be friends with somebody, you create a Dharma, you create a kind of affinity, and this will give birth to even more things. For example, you suddenly develop an intent on cooking fried eggs for your guests. Eggs do not exist as a fried form naturally right? Because of that thought, you started to cook it. When you are frying the eggs, the affinity for it is maturing. Once you have finished cooking it, this karmic affinity has succeeded, and the fried eggs have become real and can be seen as a Dharma object. That’s why the birth of affinities also gives birth to Dharmas. Do you understand?


因缘灭,法也灭了,比如,你们夫妻两个感情好的不得了,那么人间之法是什么呢?就是恩恩爱爱,谁都不愿意离开谁,等到两个人中死掉一个了,法灭了,为什么?法就是你看得见的东西,看得见的东西本来是两个人,现在变成一个人了,这个缘就灭了,所以,缘灭就是法灭,你今天脑子里想什么事情,这个缘分就生出来了,在脑子里思维的东西也叫法,脑子里想,我明天能中彩票就好了,想想想,等到第二天早上,你就会去买彩票了,这个缘就生了,事情就存在了,等知道自己没有中彩票时,你这个法就灭掉了,就是你中彩票的这个缘灭掉了,听得懂吗?所以,法缘也会灭掉,其实,人是由因缘和合而成的。

When karmic affinities cease, the Dharma also ceases. For example, let’s say that you and your spouse have a really good relationship with each other. So what is the Dharma of it? It’s love. Neither wants to part ways with the other. But when one of them passes away, then the Dharma ceases. Why? Dharma is something that can be observed. What can be seen is that originally there were two people, but now there’s only one, so the affinity that existed between them has ceased. That’s why when affinity ceases, the Dharma also ceases. Whenever an intent arises in your mind, an affinity is born. All the thoughts that occur in the mind are also Dharmas. When you suddenly think that if only you could win the lottery the next day, then after much thought, you may go out to the shops in the following morning and buy a lottery ticket. Then the Dharma has ceased, which is the affinity of buying the lottery ticket has ceased. Do you understand? That’s why Dharma and affinities will cease. In fact, everyone is created, or become who they are, by the interaction and formation of their karmic conditions and affinities.

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