先破我执,后破法执

2022-06-15 02:20
佛说三藏十二部的经典,无非是教人破执着。 The Buddha spoke the Three Treasuries and Twelve Divisionsall for the sake of teaching people to break their attachments.

什么是我执?就是执着一个“我”──这是“我的”身体,那是“我的”所有,总而言之,一切以我为前提,把我摆在前边,有我无人,三心未了,四相没空。

What is the attachment to self? It’s the attachment to an “I.” We say: “This is my body; those things are mine.” In general, everything pertains to “I”; we put the “I” out in front. Because there is a self but no others, the three minds aren’t ended and the four appearances aren’t empty. [The three minds are the minds of the past, present, and future; the four appearances are those of self, others, living beings, and a life span.]

怎么样才能知道“我执”破了没有?就要从每日起居饮食,以及日常生活行住坐卧上来看。在这种种举动之中,你是为自己着想?还是为他人着想?或者是为道场着想?如果仅仅为自己着想,那就是自了汉,小乘人的思想,自利而不利他。

How do we know when the attachment to self is destroyed? We can tell from our daily activities, whether we are moving or still, awake or sleeping. In all our actions, are we thinking of ourselves or others? Are we concerned about the Way-place? If we think only of ourselves, then we only care about saving ourselves, which is the philosophy of the Small Vehicle-to benefit oneself without benefiting others.

佛曾说过这种思想是焦芽败种。为什么?因为有这种思想的人,心量太小,我执太重,自己好了就算,不管他人好坏,所谓“摩诃萨不管他,弥陀佛各顾各”,这是小乘人的宗旨。所以他们看三界如火宅,视生死如冤家,自己了生死就好了,不顾众生的生死。

The Buddha compared such people to withered sprouts and spoiled seeds. Why? Because people who think like this are very small-minded and egocentric. They are concerned only with being good themselves, and don’t care whether other people are good or bad. That’s called:Mahasattvas don’t care about others.Amitabha, every man for himself.That’s the objective of the Small Vehicle. Therefore, they perceive the Three Realms as a burning house, and birth and death as an enemy. They end their own birth and death, but don’t care about living beings’ birth and death.

你要是为他人着想,有利他的思想;不但自己得到解脱,也会令一切众生得到解脱,这就是菩萨的思想。换句话说,忘了自己而去利益他人,就是行菩萨道。所谓“佛光普照,法雨均沾”,行菩萨道就是要本着“无缘大慈,同体大悲”的精神。

When you are concerned about others, you think of benefiting them. Not only do you want to liberate yourself, you want all living beings to be liberated. That’s the way a Bodhisattva thinks. Benefiting others and forgetting about yourself is what the Bodhisattva Way is all about. As it’s said, “the Buddha’s light shines everywhere; the Dharma rain sprinkles on everyone.” The practice of the Bodhisattva Way is based upon the motto: “Show great kindness to those with whom you have no affinities. Embody great compassion by regarding all beings as the same substance.”

我们若是为道场来着想,就要处处来拥护道场,不带任何企图,也不为名,也不为利,这才是真正地拥护道场。

If we truly care about the monastery, we should support and protect it in every respect, without any ulterior motives or any wish for fame or profit. That is truly protecting the monastery.

我们每天要反省,是为自己打算的时间多?还是为他人打算的时间多?或者为道场打算的时间多?这样来回光返照,便知“我执”破了没有。这是很浅显的说法。

Every day, we should reflect and see whether we spend more time thinking about ourselves, about other people, or about the monastery. Through this kind of reflection, we will know whether we’ve broken the attachment to self. This is a very simple explanation.

若往深处来说,自己是不是天天怕吃亏?天天怕得不到利益?有则改之,无则勉之。再反省自己有没有忍辱的功夫?如果有人无缘无故骂我,或打我,能不能忍受?是否发了脾气?或者有报复的心理?若有的话,则我执尚未破;若没有的话,则我执已破。各位认真想一想,一切的问题和烦恼是怎么来的?这都是我执在作怪。我执要是没有破,法执更破不了。小乘人破了我执,而没有破法执;菩萨才能“我法双亡”。

On a deeper level, we should daily observe to see whether we are afraid of taking a loss, or afraid of not gaining any advantages. If we have such thoughts, we should change them; if we don’t, we should avoid them. We should further ask ourselves whether we are able to endure insults. If people scold me and beat me for no reason at all, can I take it? Will I lose my temper or have thoughts of revenge? If so, then the attachment to self has not been broken. If not, then self-attachment has been destroyed. Think seriously for a moment: Where do all problems and afflictions come from? They arise from the attachment to self acting up. If the attachment to self is not destroyed, the attachment to dharmas won’t be destroyed either. Small Vehicle cultivators have broken the attachment to self, but not the attachment to dharmas. Only Bodhisattvas can extinguish both attachment to self and attachment to dharmas.

我执破了,然后要破法执。何谓“法执”?就是不明白五蕴(色、受、想、行、识)之法,乃是因缘而生,而执着为实有。如果把对一切法的执着没有了,就能圆融无碍,到无入而不自得的境界。到了我法双亡的时候,才是真正的修道人。真正的修道人,无论在什么时候、什么境界,绝对不为自己打算,有舍己为人、见义勇为的思想,有大公无私、至正不偏的行为。

After breaking the attachment to self, we must work on breaking the attachment to dharmas. What is meant by “attachment to dharmas”? It means not understanding that the dharmas of the five skandhas (form, feeling, thinking, formations, and consciousness) are brought into being by causes and conditions, and getting attached to the idea that they are real. If we can end all attachment to dharmas, we will experience perfect interpenetration without obstruction, and arrive at the state of being at ease in all situations. When we have emptied both self and dharmas, we can be considered true cultivators. True cultivators never calculate on their own behalf, no matter what the situation. They are ever ready to give themselves up for others, and would never hesitate to do what is right. Their actions are public-spirited and unselfish, proper and unbiased.

佛说三藏十二部的经典,无非是教人破执着。可是我们偏偏不听佛的教诲,要做佛的叛徒,总是执着一个“我”,我相不空,人相不空,众生相也不空,寿者相更不空,执着四相舍不得;对于三心了不可得的道理,搞不清楚。

The Buddha spoke the Three Treasuries and Twelve Divisions all for the sake of teaching people to break their attachments. However, we just don’t want to follow the Buddha’s instructions. Instead, we want to be rebels in Buddhism, always attaching to our ego. The marks of self, others, living beings, and a life span are not empty for us. We cling to these four marks and can’t bear to part with them. We can’t understand that the three minds are unattainable.

本来过去心不可得,现在心不可得,未来心不可得,为什么?因为“过去”心已经过去了,你到什么地方去找这个心呢?“现在”根本不停,你说这个是“现在”,可是“现在”又过去了,“现在”是不存在的,所以说现在心不可得。未来心不可得,“未来”就是没有来,没有来讲它干什么?

Actually, the mind of the past cannot be attained, nor can the mind of the present or the mind of the future. Why not? Well, the past has already gone by, so where are you going to find it? The “present” never stops changing. When you say, “This is the present,” it has already become the past. So the present doesn’t exist, and the mind of the present cannot be attained. The mind of the future is unattainable as well, because the future hasn’t arrived yet. Since it isn’t here yet, why talk about it?

在《金刚经》上说:“无我相,无人相,无众生相,无寿者相。”又说:“过去心不可得,现在心不可得,未来心不可得。”这几句经文,人人都会念,可是人人不记得。希望各位在这几句经文上下功夫,四相空了,三心了了,就是真正的修道人。

The Vajra Sutra says, “There is no mark of self, no mark of others, no mark of living beings, and no mark of a life span.” It also says, “The mind of the past cannot be attained, the mind of the present cannot be attained, and the mind of the future cannot be attained.” Everyone can read these lines of the Sutra, but no one remembers them. I hope all of you will apply some effort on these lines. When you have emptied the Four Marks and ended the Three Minds, you’ll be true cultivators.

一九八四年二月十五日开示

A talk given on February 15, 1984


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