如何学修佛法(下)

益西彭措法师 讲授

六、最大的慈善是闻思修行

现在不论在城里还是农村,都有不少生活在贫困线以下的人,他们非常需要得到人们各种各样的帮助。围绕他们开展的各种慈善活动,能解决他们的不少实际困难,也是佛弟子实践慈悲心的一种方便。但是,在目前佛法逐渐隐没,三宝遭到曲解的情况下,弘扬佛法,闻思修行,比起世间慈善来说,显得更有必要,更加的紧迫。

被曲解的三宝

现在虽然有不少大德在精进地弘扬佛法,但是佛法不被大众理解,甚至被曲解的现象依然很严重。人们提起佛菩萨,就以为只是寺院里供人烧香磕头的雕塑。提起佛法,就以为是迷信。提起僧人,以为就是像电视剧里演的一样,是一群整天打打杀杀的人。这种误解,让很多人失去了进入佛门,获得三宝加持的机会。甚至因为对三宝的不敬和诽谤,造下了很大的罪业。

真正的三宝

那么真正的佛法僧是什么?《随念三宝经》中,佛陀亲口宣说了三宝的功德,下面我们从中摘录一些经文来进行了解。

佛宝是什么呢?是“诸有情师,诸菩萨父,众圣者王,往涅槃城者之商主”。是活生生的有情,是一刻不息地在帮助、救度普天下一切需要帮助、救度的人。佛陀不仅仅救度穷人,也救度富人。佛陀不仅仅在帮助凡夫解脱,还在帮助圣者进步。所以说,无上导师佛陀是世界上最伟大的慈善家。他在引导众生获得彻底的解脱,获得最大的无漏的财富。

那么法宝呢?具有“初善、中善、后善”的殊胜特点。它像黄金一样的珍贵。不管是谁,内道也好、外道也好,只要认真地学下去,就能获得世出世间利益。

僧宝是“所应礼敬,所应合掌”的人。通过僧宝,可以听闻到法宝,并且成为闻思修法宝最好的助伴。

以上经文的具体含义,以及三宝更多的功德,大家可以参阅全知麦彭仁波切的《随念三宝经释·无尽吉祥妙音》。

三宝的核心

三宝之中,最核心的,最重要的是什么呢?不是佛宝,因为佛陀说他并不能直接消除众生的业力和无明;也不是僧宝,因为僧宝还没有完全证悟;最为主要的就是——法宝。

就像世间上的水,能普遍地滋润大地上的一切万物。同样地,佛法也能滋润一切众生的心田。不管他是人类,还是地狱里的众生。不管他是内道,还是外道。不管他是行善积德者,还是充满烦恼恶业的恶魔。都能从佛法中得到利益。佛法为什么具有这么大的功德呢?因为佛陀揭示的因果规律、出离心、菩提心以及无二慧,并不是佛陀无中生有地创立起来的,而是因为这些法义,揭示并且善巧地运用了这个世界本来就存在着的规律,能使众生回归到这个世界暂时与究竟的真相中去。但是众生虽然身处其中,却不认识,不明白这些真相,反而把一些虚假的现象当作真实,所以遭受了各种的苦难,而佛陀通过修证,发现了这些真相并传授给了众生,通过佛陀的传授,众生才有了和佛陀一样修证成就,获得无上安乐的可能。所以对于众生来说,这些内容的价值是无与伦比的,从中能产生出一切的安乐,就像如意宝一样,因此而被称为法宝。

所以佛法并不只属于佛陀,也并不只属于学佛的人,而是适用于任何一位众生的,也是任何一位众生想要得到暂时与究竟的安乐,所应该修学,而且是唯一应该修学的内容。佛陀因为已经证得这些规律,而最终成就了。僧宝们,就是正在如理按照这些规律在修学,而且已经获得了一定的成就的人。现在和以后的众生,也必将因为按这些规律修学,而成为僧宝,直至成为佛宝,而走上自利利他之路的。

佛陀成佛,获得了度化众生的最大能力。那么佛陀是怎么样度化众生的呢?因为众生心相续中的无明,即使以佛陀的力量,也无法直接消除。只有众生通过闻思修佛法来自己主动转化,使原先背离法尔规律的思想和言行转变过来,使它们符合法尔规律,才能逐渐消除无明,获得智慧,从而如大梦初醒,获得解脱。所以佛陀虽然也放光动地,也示现神通,但佛陀度化众生最主要的方便,是依靠传授四谛等的法宝,让众生反观自心。因此说,佛陀传授的法宝,是佛陀示现的最大的神通。请道友们一定把这个问题铭记在心!

从佛法的来源来看,也可以看出它的珍贵性。就像开经偈里说的,佛法是百千万劫难遭遇的微妙法。大家现在学习的法宝,是本师释迦牟尼佛发下五百大愿,历尽千辛万苦,最终成佛而流传下来的。这是导师佛陀给众生留下的最大的财富,是佛陀示现的最大的神通和方便,也是我们最大的无上如意宝。世间的父母,竭尽全力为子女创造好的生活条件,会为子女准备舒适的房子,留下尽量多的存款。同样,佛法就是我们的慈父佛陀为我们留下的房子和存款,通过佛法,也只有通过佛法,我们才会获得佛陀那样的殊胜境界。

由此可以知道,这个世界上最有价值的,最能给大家带来利益的,最不能被忽视的,就是法宝。那么如何才能发挥出法宝的巨大潜力,体现出法宝的珍贵价值呢?

如何发挥法宝的价值

有的人说我对法宝是很重视的。我天天在念诵经典,也抄写经书。也有的人说,家里的佛堂里供了很多的经书,我天天在对经书烧香磕头。这些做法虽然都好,都能产生出不可思议的福报。但是要知道,这些行为的直接结果,也只是福报而已,而没有能从法宝中获得最有加持的殊胜智慧。

对法宝的抄写、读诵、供养、礼拜,是佛陀要求的十法行中的内容。所谓十法行是:书写、供养、施供、听闻、披读、受持、正开演、讽诵、思、修,这十法行,归纳起来就是闻思修。仅仅做其中的部分法行,是难以获得佛法潜在的强大加持的。

通过闻思修,首先能让佛法在自己身上体现出它的殊胜加持,让佛法在自己这位众生上得到了弘扬。同时,听得一分,就可以把这一分介绍给别人。即使还是处在鹦鹉学舌的阶段,但也给别人提供了一次了解佛法的机会,让别人也具备认识烦恼的能力。思得一分,就可以把这一分善巧地传讲给别人,让别人较快地理解这一分佛法的意义,获得压服烦恼的能力。修得一分,就能在这一分上观机逗教,让别人更方便地领悟这一分法的意义。因此,闻思修就是弘扬佛法的一个最大的方便,最有力量的途径。

在这个时代,如果本师释迦牟尼佛,或者说有一位具足法相的善知识,来到我们面前,摄受我们的话,大家想想,他会给我们什么教诫呢?我是这样想的,他会首先说,不管是为自利也好,或者为他利也好,大家首先要调伏自己的烦恼。而我们知道,调伏烦恼最有效,最根本的方法是得到闻思修三慧。另外,如果有一位成就者,有机缘直接赐给我们安乐,那么他会选择什么方法呢?还是会选择指导我们闻思修行。因为解脱的安乐,是最广大、最究竟的安乐。

尤其是有福报出家的僧人,佛陀规定大家应该做的,除了闻思修,就是讲辩著,都是围绕着学修,和弘扬佛法的。僧人们出了家,剃了头,换上了僧衣,就表明志向更高,目标更远,希求的是最有意义,最有价值的自他解脱境界。佛经里没有说,出家僧人还可以做其他的事情。像世间人那样去打工、养孩子、做生意。这不是出家人应做的事情。当年佛陀和大阿罗汉们,给我们示现的,就是过三衣一钵的乞食生活,把时间尽量地利用起来,用到闻思修行上去。

那么出家僧人是否也能作供养和布施呢?在财布施、法布施、无畏布施之中,出家僧人应该做的,就是法供养和法布施。也就是闻思修行,和讲经说法。这比起财布施和无畏布施来说,产生的福报更加的深厚,更加的广大。

另外,在家人对出家僧人的供养,份量是很重的。因为在家人是把出家人当作殊胜福田在进行供养的。也就是说,僧人接受供养后,是需要回向很多福报的。如果精进闻思修,那么戒相能了解得很清楚,戒律能守持得很清净,禅定法门、智慧法门的功德都能相应逐渐产生。这样的行持,本身就能产生出很大的福报,足以回向给供养者。如果不闻思修行,那么该守什么戒律,如何守持等都不清楚,其他的禅定法门、智慧法门也都不了解,这样就难以产生福报,只能用自己旧有的福报去偿还了。

也有的居士说,闻思修佛法,需要那么多的时间和精力,我们工作、家庭都已经很忙碌,怎么可能去投身闻思修呢?还是做点自己能做的事情好了。这话虽然有一定道理,居士的时间毕竟没有像出家僧人那样多。但是一方面,就像世间上流行的一句话:时间就像海绵里的水,只要肯挤总会有的;另一方面,在家人也一样需要获得解脱,因此而需要克服的无明和业障,一点也没有比出家人轻。需要付出的闻思修的努力,也一点也没有比出家人少。而且在家人因为放弃不了俗世的羁绊,本身就是烦恼业障较重的体现。其实对于真正解脱而言,在家人选择了一条更加艰难的道路。因此从对自己前途负责的角度出发,更应该清楚地认识到自己的处境,和下更大的闻思修的决心。而且,如果居士们学修有了一定的成果,趁节假日去给别的人讲解一些佛法,也能和出家法师一样积累甚深广大的解脱资粮。

因此在目前来说,帮助那些缺医少药、生活贫困的众生的慈善事业,虽然也非常需要,但是主要的精力,应该投入到精进的闻思修行中去。因为现在这个阶段,护持佛法的法脉,续佛慧命,是更为紧迫,更应该引起广泛重视的事业。尤其大陆人口那么多,地方那么大,但是闻思修佛法的人很少。原因就是因为没有人去讲经说法,导致大家都没有利用好这暇满人身,这是非常可惜的事情。而且,通过传讲佛法,佛弟子的人数增加了之后,也就意味着将有更多的人参与到扶贫、放生等慈善事业中去,这样慈善事业也就能更加轻松地得以开展起来了。

圣者上师法王如意宝的大愿

上师法王如意宝倾其一生的最大事业,就是组建僧团,弘扬佛法。并且法王上师一再强调佛陀的圣法都是对治烦恼的妙药,应该平等弘扬。并教导弟子在以普贤行愿为指导,以西方极乐世界为此生目标的基础上,广泛地学习佛法的各种微妙法门。法王强调,如果弘扬单独一个法门,则会无形中导致其余法门的隐没,佛法存在的基础就不会稳固,最终会导致专门弘扬的那个法门也会受到削弱,而导致整体佛法的衰退。现在喇荣沟里的高僧大德,能够传播佛法,利益众生,显现上都是法王如意宝带领大家闻思修行的结果。所以闻思修是一条帮助众生的捷径,也是帮助众生的核心。

并且大恩上师法王如意宝以往世的愿力和证悟的法性力的加持,继承并发扬光大了闻思修事业,为我们现在的闻思修奠定了扎实的基础。《法王传记》里说:1986年春季的一天,法王上师在为六千余名僧众进行文殊幻化网灌顶,当诵到迎请天尊仪轨的时候,法王上师突然从法座上站起。过后法王上师对大众说:“刚才,汉地五台山的文殊菩萨、布玛莫扎尊者亲自来此迎请我们前往弘法。我从现在开始与汉地众生结缘,度化他们,以后喇荣五明佛学院将会有许许多多的汉族弟子前来求法、修学,并将显密佛法弘传到世界各地……”

法王上师老人家给我们的闻思修奠定了非常扎实的基础。

 

七、哪些人今生不需要广泛闻思,可以直接修行成就

另外,有极少部分的众生因为善根深厚,可以在现世不通过闻思修这个步骤,直接获得修行成就,这样的众生共有三类:

对甚深了义金刚密法窍诀因缘深厚的众生

这类众生前世种下了深厚的善根,即使没有学过一点点的般若法门等,都可以通过金刚密法的见、闻、系解脱而开悟成就。

比如,以前西藏有一位非常虔诚的老太太,因为生前在别人的超度法会上见到过文武百尊的唐卡,因此死后在中阴身中,见到本尊出现时,立刻能够认识,因此而成就了佛果。后来她儿子去见噶玛巴法王,噶玛巴法王告知了他妈妈成佛的殊胜因缘。

又比如,《法王传记》说:上师法王如意宝在文革期间,一直坚持念诵经论,有一只山羊一直跟随法王,因此听到了很多传承,其中就有密法中最为深奥的《四心滴》、《七宝藏》等窍诀法要。山羊去世后,以法王和密法窍诀的加持,这头山羊先是往生到了香巴拉净土,后又往生到了东方现喜刹土,并在1989年出现在法王的现量境界中,来感恩顶礼。

与大成就者有深厚解脱因缘的众生

这类众生也是前世善根深厚,和大成就者结成了根本上师和根本弟子的因缘关系,也不需要通过闻思修般若等的正见,直接通过大成就者上师的一些表示传,就可以开悟而成就。比如《普贤上师言教》里讲到的,藏王赤松德赞时的大译师贝若扎那来到甲摩擦瓦绒(今属四川省阿坝藏族自治洲)时,遇到了接近八十岁的麦彭滚波,贝若扎那将禅带系在他身上,禅杖靠于他的腰间,并加持开示上师瑜伽的修法,使其当晚就证悟了密宗光明大圆满,并在圆寂时身体完全消失在法界中而成佛。禅宗和大圆满、大手印等的成就者传记中,有许多这样的公案。

另外我们要知道,这种深厚的因缘,都是和解脱相关的,而不是一般的肤浅的因缘。

与殊胜易行道他力净土法门因缘深厚的众生

再就是净土法门的修行人。信心纯厚,说一不二,并且不断增上信愿行,等到临终时,就像坐飞机一样往生到西方极乐世界后,通过西方极乐世界怙主阿弥陀佛的加持力,也能迅速开悟而一生成佛。

比如,谛闲老法师有个弟子,以前是补锅的,人们称“锅漏匠师父”,四十多岁了,来找老法师出家。因为人很笨,又不识字,谛老让他专念南无阿弥陀佛。他很老实,就依教奉行。念了三年多,预知时至,站着去世了。老和尚看到后,赞叹他的成就,超过了一般讲经说法的法师及方丈了。

另外,虚云老和尚有一个弟子,名叫具行,不识字,耳朵聋。白天在菜园种菜,专念观世音菩萨。后来自己找来了一些禾秆,披袈裟跏趺坐,左手拿引磬,右手敲木鱼,面向西方念佛。然后点火自焚。等众人发现时,还跏趺坐在火灰上不动,衣物保持和之前的一样,只有木鱼和磬的柄变成了灰。当时云南的都督唐继尧带领全家来看,走到身前,取下引磬,全身才因此倒下,成一堆骨灰。唐继尧深受触动,以政府的名义为具行和尚举行了三天的追悼会,让成千上万的人对佛法生起了信心。虚云老和尚专门为具行和尚写了《具行禅人行业自化记》,收录在《虚云老和尚年谱》中,建议大家找来拜读一下。

讲到这里,大家可以现量感受一下自己的分别心状态,也可以从比量来推知自己前世的善根,来观察自己是否具有如此三种殊胜的根基,从而来决定自己是否需要次第进行闻思修。

 

八、随信行与随法行

印度那烂陀寺的大班智达静命论师在《中观庄严论自释》中说:“先求真理智,胜解胜义已,缘恶见世间,遍发大悲心,精勤利众生,增长菩提心,受能仁禁戒,悲慧所庄严。诸随信行者,发大菩提心,受能仁禁戒,次勤求真智。”

意思是有两种学法的人。第一种是随法行的修行人。他们先求得般若正见,获得了稳固的正见后,再观察世间时,见到了轮回中的众生,因为将如梦如幻的显现,执著为各种各样实有的事物,而感受到了种种的苦难,因此生起大悲心。再在精勤利益众生的过程中,逐渐增长菩提心,并严格受持佛陀制定的戒律;第二种是随信行的修行人。他们信受大乘善知识和法宝的教导,首先生起大菩提心,受持佛陀制定的戒律,然后再来努力获得般若正见。

这两种闻思修的人:一个是从获得般若慧来进入;一个是从入门的菩提心来进入。在后代的随行的修行者中,除了前面提到过的善根特别深厚,不需要广泛地闻思修的人之外,其他的都是通过这两种才学到佛法的真谛的。

其中般若正见的理解是证悟大乘正道的基础。生起菩提心则是进入到大乘正道的标志,生起出离心是进入到小乘正道的标志。这三个方面,对佛弟子都极为重要。

从随信行的角度来说,大家首先要认识大小乘发心的法相,从心上用功;那么,从随法行的角度,对于现在的广大年轻佛弟子来说,重中之重的,是获得对般若的正见。因为般若能促进出离心与菩提心。般若是佛法的心要,也是证悟的关键。而且般若是禅宗与金刚密法等殊胜法门的基石。下面就从这四个方面来对随信行和随法行做一番分析研究。

 

大小乘的发心

大小乘共同的出离心

小乘的出离心缘的是自身的轮回和涅槃。也就是说,小乘着眼的是自己的问题,比如我执、烦恼、业力、果报,是为自己脱离三界而修行。这样的出离心,除了希求解脱之外,其他的内容也是大乘修行者所需要具备的。所以被称为是大小乘共同的出离心。

小乘的出离,就是厌离三有希求涅槃的心,也名“求解脱心”。这是对苦集灭道四谛理解之后,自然而然在心里生起的一种意乐,一种决心。这种决心由两部分组成,一是对轮回的厌离,这是如理、深入地思维了苦谛和集谛之后,心里的自然反应;二是对解脱的欣乐和希求,这是理解灭谛和道谛之后,心里由衷生起的向往之情。

如理思维苦谛,就要思维苦苦、坏苦和行苦。我们先来看看一般人的出离。普通人平时不会说出离,只有等生活遇到挫折,工作遇到麻烦的时候,才会想到要出离。不用说这样的出离没有希求解脱的成分,就连对轮回的厌离也谈不上,充其量只是消极的逃避,而且只是逃离人道中暂时的苦苦,还没有意识到坏苦和行苦。一旦情况好转,苦苦又消失了,遇到坏苦,也就是众生所谓的生活美满、工作顺利的时候,他们就立即不出离了,高高兴兴地继续世俗生活去了。

对苦苦的厌离,做得最出色的,是地狱里的众生。地狱里的众生,痛苦没有停息的时候,一直处在惊恐、惨叫的过程中,因此他们分分秒秒都在想着离开这个苦难之地。对于地狱,他们连一丝一毫的留恋和不舍都不会生起。只要能够脱离地狱,他们愿意付出任何的代价。但是这还不是出离心,因为他们只是对地狱的厌离,一旦脱离地狱,便又好了伤疤忘了痛,追求五欲享受,也就是坏苦去了。

坏苦就是会变坏的苦,世间则称之为快乐、幸福。也就是一切有漏的乐是坏苦。一切凡夫都喜欢快乐,厌离痛苦。但是什么是快乐,却从一开始就没有弄清楚。凡夫所说的快乐,具体就是欲界的快乐和色界的禅悦,而这些以法宝的智慧眼看来,却统统都是苦难。它们苦在哪里呢?苦就苦在这些所谓快乐的背后,隐藏着更强大、更长久的苦苦。也就是说,想要尝试这些快乐的凡夫,在不久之后,就要面临着难以承受的苦苦。因此佛陀非常智慧、非常贴切地给它取了一个坏苦的名字。

因此坏苦就像一杯毒酒,嗜酒的人喝起来虽然美味,但是后患无穷。有智慧的人,事先就会看到它们的后果,不会被它所诱惑。

人们常说人间的欲乐难以放下,比如说汽车、别墅、爱情等等。其实在欲界天人看来,人间的这些享用是那么地低级,比起他们的优越环境和男女之间的情爱,人间的生活就和猪的生活没有两样。同样,在色界具有禅定的天人看来,欲界天的享用,也是那么的低级,没有档次。色界初禅天获得的,就是断除了欲界追求的一种内在的快乐,因此叫“离生喜乐”。色界天在禅定的内在快乐上越来越深入,最后甚至意识到了禅定的快乐也是一种累赘,而进入到了纯粹的想心所之中去了,这样就进入到了无色界的禅定。

欲界和色界的快乐,都是会变坏的,会失去的。苦苦在之后还是会再卷土重来。所以都属于坏苦,是同样追求不得的。

那么修持境界高的一类外道,对于坏苦的厌离心是非常强的。他们为了消除他们所谓的业障,往往会抛弃现世的一切快乐追求,而专门选择苦行,比如一生都保持单腿站立,甚至有放火自焚等等事情的发生。

因此,作为内道的佛弟子,当自己对世间的一些追求割舍不下的时候,应该想想欲界天人、色界天人,他们可能正在可怜自己呢,甚至可以想想那些苦行的外道,他们为了那些错误的目标,都能够放下一切,精进苦行,那自己还有什么理由去追求那些坏苦呢!

外道苦行的人能放弃坏苦,但是他们不知道坏苦之上,还有一层行苦。这是只有内道佛教之中才宣说了的。

所谓行苦,就是有漏五蕴炽盛之苦。这应该从因和果两个侧面去理解。从果上看,近取的五蕴是从烦恼和业力中产生的,来源就非常的不清净;从因上看,只要有了近取五蕴,烦恼就会和它形影不离,因此而必将制造出各种各样的新的苦来。

要厌离轮回,必然要落实到厌离这个以行苦为本性的有漏五蕴上。

如理思维了这三种苦,获得了思慧的人,会自然而然地厌弃这个轮回。不净坑很脏,人一旦掉进去之后,会马上想办法逃离,但是这还比不上对三苦获得了思慧的人。那他们的心态像什么呢?就像一个人,掉入了火坑,周身的疼痛,和马上面临的死亡,会使他不顾一切的想跳离这个火坑。

但是厌离轮回苦,还不能找到出离苦的办法。只有同时找到苦的根源,才有可能把它断除。

苦的来源是业力,业力的来源则是烦恼,烦恼的来源是我执、无明。这由我执、无明产生的业力和烦恼,就是轮回苦的根源。这个真理,是在集谛中揭示的。

因此一个修出离心的人,不仅仅要厌离三苦,更要厌离自己的业力和烦恼,厌离自己的执著我的我见。这就对自己提出了更高的要求,要求自己能远离任何增长我执的因素。

单有厌离,没有希求,就会产生消极厌世的逃避心理。而在灭谛的开示中,本师佛陀以他的智慧,告诉我们烦恼和业力寂灭后的解脱境界,也就是涅槃的果位。这对于修行者是极大的鼓舞。佛陀同时还在道谛中,详细讲说了获得这种解脱境界的真实方法。

对于一个已经对轮回产生了厌离的修行人来说,灭谛中宣说的解脱境界是他最大的希求和动力。而道谛中宣说的法门,则是他最大的依赖和安慰。

因此,只有把苦集灭道四谛闻思究竟,产生了闻慧、思慧的人,心中才会产生真正到位的出离心。可以看出,这样的出离心,并不是消极的逃避,而是积极向上,充满了阳光,充满了希望的。

大家要知道,对于现在的修行人来说,在开始修出离心的时候,最为重要的,是少欲知足,不对生活提很多的要求。应该减少,直至断除贪求世间八法的名利心。

学佛的人,如果没有真正的出离心,那么所作的一切功德,只能成为感得人天善趣的因,而不能成为解脱生死的正因。而一旦在心里生起了真实出离心,即使还没开始持戒修行,就已经产生出了趣向解脱的功德。如果有出离心摄持,那么所作的事情不论功德的大小,就算是给猫狗喂一餐饭,或者能对五戒中的任何一戒受持上一日一夜,都能成为解脱生死的殊胜资粮。

但同时也要知道,出离心是进入小乘修法的敲门砖,是小乘修法的开始,它并不是小乘修法的全部。在具备了真实的出离心之后,修行的重心,就应该转移到获得无我的空性慧上去了。因为出离心是为了要厌离轮回、希求解脱,要产生轮回、障碍解脱的那股力量,是来自于我执。因此要断除我执,必须要证得人无我的空性慧。在法称菩萨的《释量论》中,就明确地开示了解脱道的入门修法是出离心,解脱道的根本修法是人无我的空性慧。

大乘不共的出离心

大乘修行人在少欲知足的基础上,生起的出离心,是眼光更远、范围更大、程度更深,具体表现为:

1、大乘要出离的,不仅仅是轮回,还要出离小乘的自我解脱,只是自我得到解脱,没有去救度众生,对于具备大乘根基的修行者来说,是一件不愿意的事,是一件自私的事。

2、大乘要希求的,不是小乘的涅槃,而是消除了能所对立的无二慧境界。凡夫的生死和小乘的涅槃两个都是边,还落在观待、对立之中,是不了义的境界。

3、大乘殊胜正见,就是分别心的本性即是大空性,或者自然本智,因此任何的戏论、客尘垢障都是出离的对境。

虽然对一般凡夫来说,小乘阿罗汉的出离心非常的伟大,但对于大乘的出离心来说,阿罗汉的出离心太小了,就像没长大的三、四岁小孩一样。大乘菩萨把为自己闻思修看做是自私心理,根本不会在心里生起为自己成佛的念头。全知麦彭仁波切说:大乘的慈悲心越强烈,就越会对众生生起怜悯心,对阿罗汉也一样,会怜悯他们没有广大的发心。

我们要知道,大小乘的出离心,目的都是为了对治我执而调伏烦恼。但是依据的见解等不同,因此方法也不一样。大乘的出离心,比较高深,理解起来比较难。但是一旦能够运用,则更加的巧妙,收效也更加的迅速。我们现在有缘学习到大乘佛法,应该不辜负如此深厚的因缘和殊胜的妙法。要一开始,就在心里培养起大乘的发心。高的起点,必将带来高的收益,能更快、更有效地利益众生。

大乘菩提心

具备了共同的出离心后,大乘的修行者,就要继续扩大心量,生起大乘的世俗菩提心。大乘的菩提心的生起,标志着进入到大乘的资粮道,开始了三大阿僧祇劫的修行历程。

大乘的世俗菩提心也是心中的一种意乐、一种决心。它必须具备两个部分:一、由大悲心的驱动,生起把一切有情从生死轮回中救拔出来的坚定决心;二、同时由智慧见到要能对他人做究竟的利益,首先必须获得大菩提,因此生起成佛的坚定决心。由此可见,大乘菩提心是全然不顾自己利益,一切都为其他众生考虑的大发心。如《现观庄严论》中说:“发心为利他,欲正等菩提。”《入菩萨行论》中说:“凡愚求自利,牟尼唯利他。”还有地藏菩萨的大愿“地狱不空,誓不成佛”,就是这种精神的体现。

世俗菩提心又可以分为愿菩提心和行菩提心。愿菩提心以大悲缘众生,以智慧缘大菩提,希求的不是佛陀的无限安乐,而是佛陀身口意所具有的恒河沙功德,是佛陀任运、周遍地广转法轮、度化众生的能力。行菩提心缘的是在前者的基础上,菩萨无量无边的六度万行,以三轮如幻如梦,不起实有执著的方式而行持。

大家知道母爱很深,生起菩提心的四无量心或七重因果也是对照母爱而引导的。普通人对于其他的众生很难产生出像母爱那样深切的关怀。但是母爱也有缺憾,它本身就充满了执著。母亲只会对自己的孩子投入感情,这样的爱很难转移到其他的孩子身上。这和大悲心根本不能相提并论。大悲心是对于一切的众生,产生出像母爱那样的悲愍心。而菩提心则更是在这个大悲心基础之上,上求佛果,来度化众生的决心。因此大乘世俗菩提心是非常的深远、非常的厚重。这需要修行者使自己的思想发生彻底的改变,并不是随便想想,念诵几段仪轨就能生起的。也不是仅仅通过做一些善事就能拥有的。

大家要知道,菩提心的修行次第,是以出离心为基础,进一步思维一切有情,都被我执烦恼所束缚,被善恶有漏业所推动,长期沉溺在生死大海之中,为苦苦、坏苦、行苦所逼恼,于是生起深深的大悲心。为救拔有情出离生死苦海,能牺牲掉自己的一切安乐,而急于利他,求大菩提,这就已经生起了世俗大菩提心,进入大乘资粮道了。

体会与落实

从以上的不同发心可以看出,小乘的出离心是为了对治个人的我执,消除个人的苦难。而大乘的菩提心是为了对治掉众生的我执,消除众生的苦难。但这两者又都是以分别心,在轮回、涅槃、佛果、众生等的显现分上,而不是在实相胜义空性分上来生起世俗发心的。

出离心是进入解脱道的起点。即使佛陀时代那些增上慢的声闻,至少也有真实出离心,也把解脱作为第一目标,在真诚地希求解脱。如果不具备出离心,反而以自我为中心的,时时在以顽强的人我见在办事的人,则是没有机会得到解脱的,也不可能在心里生起菩提心来。不具备出离心,表面上也可以做出很多苦行来,但仅仅是行为,不一定说明已经有了相应的认识。要说吃苦,外道也有强烈的厌离和吃苦的精神。因此大家更应该从心里改变自己,让心里产生出相应的功德来。

大乘菩萨无论做任何事情,目标都很明确,都是为了众生。走路的时候,心里愿众生能走到顺畅的路,并能最终走到最殊胜的佛道上。即使看病,也不是为了自己少受点痛苦,延长点寿命,而是为了帮助到众生,需要有一个好一点的身体。

这样大家可以观察自己一下,自己的心里,有没有把自己的我执作为给自己制造违缘的最大的敌人。如果已经有这样的认识了,这已经和真实出离心开始相应起来了。另外,只有当我们认识到所有普天下众生是自己的母亲,并把众生放在第一位,起心动念并不是为了维护自己的利益,而是为了维护众生的利益,并且认识到要获得佛陀那样的能力,才能最大程度地利益众生,这才已经开始和真实菩提心的要求相应了。

只是口头上说为人民服务,并不一定真正在为人民服务。同样,出离心、菩提心不是挂在口头上说说就能实现的,也不是通过做各种事情就能自自然然生起的,而是需要心里思想状态的彻底转变。大家知道思想工作是非常难做的,这首先需要在见解、希求目标上发生巨大的转变。因此要把这些法落实到自己的心相续上,经常将自己的实际情况和佛法的引导进行对照。比如说是在发菩提心,但是和道友们在研讨的时候,一直只想表达自己的观点,不能接受别人的思路,几句话下来,就已经面红耳赤地争辩起来了。我执这么大,对道友的这点包容心都没有,怎么能说有菩提心了呢?如果表面上说是有出离心、菩提心了,已经在做利益众生的事业了,但实际上还是以深重的我执出发,用利益他人的行为来包装自己,那么这是被我执骗了。这和世间上的人追求名利其实没有两样。不同的只是你是隐藏的,没有像人家那样赤裸裸地追求名闻利养,你只多了一层廉耻心而已。这样的善事,做到后来,会逐渐变味的。会被各种因我执而产生的烦恼侵蚀掉,从而失去了善事的意义。

 

般若能促进出离心与菩提心

听到现在,有的人也许心里在想,出离心和菩提心虽然重要,也很殊胜,但是从它们的法相来看,要求太严格了,似乎这辈子没有希望了。那么这随信行的闻思修有没有什么方便方法呢?

方法是有的,要找到方法,首先还是要找到难的原因。

一般人不易生起出离心与菩提心的原因

从大乘了义法门中大家能知道,众生本来是像佛陀那样,清净无染,智慧无边的。但是有了无明导致的人我和法我两种执著后,形成了烦恼障和所知障,因此才遭遇了各种苦难。就像一个大力士,本来力量无穷。但是有了法我执,在他肩上凭空增加了大量看似实有的法,这些法份量很重,于是这个大力士就只能背800斤,再加上了人我执,在他肩上又凭空增加了看似实有的自己与许许多多的他人的份量,这些人更加对他形成了束缚,相互增上了烦恼。于是他就只能背80斤了。老实说,凡夫一切众生是被自己的我执和法执给压垮了。

大家觉得菩提心和出离心难以生起,就是因为心里已经被浓厚的人我和法我两种执著充满了。受此二执的影响,把如幻的显现都看成了实有。把五蕴分成了你、我、他,希望自己能够获得各种圆满的果报,而希望别人过得不如自己。如果能对这些对境去掉实执,那么肩上的重担就能卸下,心就具有了力量,大力士的力气就得到解放,就有助于出离心和菩提心这些世俗发心的生起。能去掉执境界为实有的这个方法,大慈大悲的佛陀已经给我们传授了,这就是般若空性慧。

般若的闻慧和思慧能帮助卸掉重担

以闻思般若而产生的智慧的引导,出离心乃至慈悲心、菩提心都比较容易生起来,而且心里会很轻松,充满了力量。无我的人面对任何困难都无所畏惧,而且对有意义的事情,生生世世都不会厌倦。

有些人说我很痛苦,其实是心在苦,这个我其实一点也没有出现过。快乐也是同样,说我很开心,其实是心在快乐,从来就没有“我”的一丁点事。般若法门,就是促使大家认识到这个真相,减轻身上的压力的一个殊胜的方法。

有人还会问,如果证悟了般若空性,当然就不会有了各种执著的重担。但是要证悟般若空性,又谈何容易呢!

凡夫的大乘般若正见也有巨大的力量

其实,般若的力量并不只是在证悟之后才能显现。凡夫在闻思修中以分别心产生的大乘般若正见,就已经能产生克制烦恼的力量。就像前面提到的,闻思般若产生的闻慧和思慧,就能产生认识一切烦恼和压制一切烦恼的力量。而因为闻思的是般若这一高深的法门,因此所能产生的认识和压制烦恼的作用也更加的强大。

这种通过闻思产生的空性正见,就能和世俗的发心产生相互的促进作用。

随着众生根基和意乐的逐渐增上,能接受的法门随之而加深,观察的对象逐渐从外境转向了内心,见解也越来越了义,越来越接近心的本性,产生的加持力量也越来越强大了。

比如,小乘的见解中已经把蕴聚抉择为空性了,但在外境还留有无分微尘,在内心中还留有无分刹那的心识。唯识宗则打破了外境,宣说了万法唯识的道理,观察到了一切遍计法本来空性,圆成实本来就存在。在万法唯识的基础上,中观宗中的自空中观将心识进一步抉择为是与大空性无二的清净慧,远离一切戏论。他空中观又是在这个基础上,宣说了万法的本来清净如来藏,一切都不离自然智慧而呈现。

这样可以看出,大乘法门抉择的不是迷乱的显现,也不是分别心的境界,不是世俗发心的层面,而是清净的基的究竟本性,是大无为法,并且这些都是心的本性。对于这心的本性,部分证悟的是道般若,全部证悟的是果般若。

一切的有情,不管是天人还是地狱众生,不管是圣者还是魔王,都具足佛性。一切众生都本来是佛,都呈现在清净本基的如来藏之中。险恶的轮回、染污的烦恼等等的现象,只是偶尔出现的客尘。如果苦与集并非客尘,如果众生并非本来是佛,那么不说是三大阿僧祇劫,就是经过千千万万个三大阿僧祇劫,众生也没有成佛的可能。认识到心的这个本性,这是最了义的皈依,具有这样的见解,就能对救度众生产生强大的勇气和力量,自然就能发下乃至虚空界尽、众生界尽、我愿无穷的菩提大愿。

在末法时代,尤其年轻人,执著那么重、烦恼那么强、业障那么深,这样的状态下要行持大乘菩萨行并不是很容易。心中如果没有般若正见的引导,以实执心很难生起世俗的出离心和菩提心,甚至连名利都不容易放下。只能装装菩萨。天天说厌离心啊、出离心啊、菩提心啊,然后东做一些事,西做一些事,似乎觉得这样已经在行菩萨道了。

而且没有般若智慧,凡夫事情做多了,烦恼容易增上,最后控制不住的时候,就会退失,会一层一层地往下退。刚开始还想学大乘发菩提心,后来遇到很多不如意。想想还是先救度自己吧,于是学些小乘的法门,但因为实执心重,出离心也生不起来,于是想把因果给守住吧,但是困难依然很多,最后可能就随波逐流了。

般若是佛法的心要,也是证悟的关键

般若正见是随法行的基础,同时也能减少随信行的难度,可见对于般若法闻思修非常重要。更为重要的是,在闻思修的最后阶段,必须唯一凭借般若慧的力量,才能突破一切障碍,获得证悟。因为世俗的出离心、菩提心等的心愿,都是分别心在对世俗显现产生二取的基础上产生的,没有直接缘实相胜义空性。并且它们属于微细的所知障,只能压制和转变业力,无法直接断除二障的种子和习气。所以寂天菩萨在《入菩萨行论·般若品》中说:“此等一切支,佛为般若说,故求灭苦者,当生般若慧。”又说:“唯空能对治,烦恼所知障,欲得遍智者,何不修空性?”同样,宗喀巴大师在《三主要道》中也说:“不具证悟实相慧,纵修出离菩提心,亦不能断三有根,故当勤证缘起法。”龙树菩萨和法称菩萨等也作了这样的论述。而且佛陀在讲般若法门的时候,跟讲其他的法门有着明显的不同。佛陀讲法前亲自铺设法座,以此表示对般若法门的敬重。由此可见闻思修般若法的重要意义。

三乘菩提都必须依靠般若法而获得证悟。小乘的阿罗汉们突破轮回,获得寂灭的快乐,靠的就是般若空性中的人无我空慧的力量。对于大乘来说,般若慧就是胜义菩提心,只有获得般若这个胜义菩提心之后,这位修行的菩萨才进入大乘出世间见道位。这个时候以世俗菩提心摄持的一切善行,才都能升华为出世间的般若波罗蜜多。而在获得佛陀果位后,一切微细分别心中的功德,都转化成了无分别的究竟般若慧。在这样的法身自然智慧光明的境界里,再也没有世俗的出离心、菩提心的影子了。即是原先以世俗菩提心摄持时,这些功德成为修行者获得见道的功德,而在以胜义菩提心摄持之后,这些功德能引导这位修行的菩萨获得佛陀的果位,而在获得佛陀果位后,这些功德消除了最后的微细垢障,而呈现出最究竟般若的真相。

另外,三殊胜是宁玛派对于修行的不共窍诀教言,三殊胜是前行发心殊胜,正行无缘殊胜,后行回向殊胜。前行是发菩提心,正行是安住于三轮体空的无缘境界之中,也就是应该安住在般若的正见中进行修持,如果只强调世俗菩提心,就没有能按正行的要求修持,也就不可能产生出相应的修法的殊胜功德。

因此般若慧才是成佛的关键,世俗菩提心是随信行的修行者所首先要发起的,而随法行的修行者是在生起了殊胜般若正见后,能自然而然发起慈悲心、世俗菩提心等功德。

般若是禅宗与金刚密法等殊胜法门的基石

禅宗也是基于六度中的般若度而修持的,有些人把六度中的第五度禅定度理解为禅宗“禅”的涵义,这是一种误解,其实第六度般若度才是“禅”的真正涵义。

在《六祖坛经》的“般若品”中,六祖大师开示了般若的意义,比如:“善知识,世人终日口念般若,不识自性般若,犹如说食不饱;口但说空,万劫不得见性,终无有益。”以及“善知识,摩诃般若波罗蜜,最尊最上最第一,无住无往亦无来,三世诸佛从中出。”还有“善知识,我此法门,从一般若生八万四千智慧。”

另外,同样在金刚密乘中的顶严光明大圆满以下,也是不离般若为基石而修持的,比如,修生起次第时必须在真如等持、佛慢心基础上观修。修圆满次第时以无相般若摄持下修炼气脉明点,以及修光明大圆满的直断时本体空性,顿超的四灯中的自然般若灯的修法,都离不开般若空性慧。

我们要知道,金刚密法中对非法器需要保密的,不是世俗菩提心等显教的法门,而是以般若为基石的金刚密法。譬如宁玛派玛哈约嘎(大瑜伽)所讲的大平等、大清净;阿努约嘎(随类瑜伽)所讲的器情世间是普贤王如来的净土及普贤王如来;阿底约嘎(最极瑜伽)所讲的直断、顿超直接六个月等速疾成就佛果的甚深了义窍诀法门。

还有第一怙主普贤王如来就没有发过世俗出离心、菩提心,而以光明大圆满智慧刹那间成就佛果的。在证悟光明大圆满后,包括出离心、菩提心等一切的世俗功德,就都自然具备了。

而且修光明大圆满的时候,会出现无分别、非常快乐等各种各样的觉受。倘若没有安住般若慧,那么就会执著这些觉受,这样就障碍了进一步的修持,并且还会进入歧途。

如圣者法王上师如意宝在《直断要诀依莲花生之窍诀而释——斩断无明网之宝剑》中说:将光明执为自性实有的身体、脸、手臂,将光色之本性执为有相显现,智慧执为有耽著、常有、稳固之本性,即是误入觉性显现之歧途。

进入歧途表现为:认为三身五智是实有的,与自己俱生存在而生起自胜的执著心,我慢一天比一天高涨,说起甚深无生的意义时,则不精通,反而把颠倒的见解执为正见,其他佛菩萨所证也就仅此而已,而失去了对佛菩萨的信心。对其他的各种显现越来越执为实有,完全追求世间八法去了。

这样的后果:因为对外境中显现的有实法顽固贪执,而不能从色界中解脱;因为对于内在觉性之光明执为实有而不能从欲界中解脱;因为对于恒常稳固实有的心识执为三身总体永久的依处,因此与外道大自在宗派一致,无法列入佛教徒中。

那么如何避免这种歧途呢?应当对空性自相明分中显现的明空无二之义生起定解。这点极为关键!

若无丝毫信心、悲心等正道的验相,则无碍地穿越山崖,在空中如鸟一样飞,在水中如鱼一样游,大的变小,小的变大,看他人一眼,就能把他的病治好,在山崖、虚空中取出佛像等伏藏品,将一般的魔降伏后收作眷属,这些都是魔所作违缘的验相,故不能认为是正道。应以慈悲之心降伏魔众,以般若智慧之眼照见并趣向解脱之正道。以上大恩上师法王如是作了详细的解说。

因此,般若是禅宗与金刚密法等殊胜法门的基石。

 

九、如何学修佛法的小结

以上介绍了闻思修佛法的重要性,以及闻思修的正确方法。其中特别强调了学习般若法门的随法行的重要性。在当今这个时代,信佛的人口占总人口的比例很小,佛教内部又比较衰弱,弘法人才非常缺乏,因此佛弟子们应该发愤图强,续佛慧命。尤其是年轻的道友们,更应该挑起弘扬佛法的担子。利用现有的各种良好的学佛条件,如理如法地进行闻思修行。正如世亲菩萨曾在《俱舍论》中所说:“佛正法有二,谓教证为体,有持说行者,此便住世间。”佛弟子要像宗喀巴大师一样地宣讲佛法,如密勒日巴尊者般修持佛法,才能令佛法兴盛不衰。希望大家的闻思修越来越有进步!

普劝护持正法

刚才我们已经研究了如何学修佛法。大家了解到了法宝的重要和法宝的尊贵。我们再来看几个有关法宝重要性的可靠教证。

全知麦彭仁波切在《随念三宝经释·无尽吉祥妙音》中说:“了知所知法范围中能信任不变的事唯有圣法,并对‘三世所有诸佛、菩萨、声闻、缘觉及众生的安乐善道,一切唯从圣法光明中出生’生起信解后,应当发起住持圣法的大愿,经中说此愿含摄佛子无量愿的缘故。”

伟大的佛陀在《胜鬘经》中也说:“菩萨所有殑伽沙数(恒河沙数)无量行愿,皆应摄入一大愿中,所谓护持正法。护持正法是大境界。”

《正摄法经》中也说:“诸佛世尊所有无边无际功德,从法生起,受行法分,法所化现,法为其主,从法出生,正法行境,依于正法,法所成办。”意思是忆念一切功德由正法出生,佛法是诸佛之母、是安乐之源后,应发大愿尽未来际护持正法、光显正法、修持正法。以此大愿力推动,日日夜夜对于正法闻思修行,闻受正法、忆持正法、读诵正法、思维正法、修习正法、演说正法,以此为起点,坚持不懈,最终达到“我为法王,于法自在”的佛果境界。

我们学院的大堪布慈诚罗珠仁波切前几天发过这样一条微博:“在一个发愿中,包含了一切发愿,那就是:发愿生生世世持正法。”所谓“持正法”,是指自己修学,并且布施正法,饶益众生。

佛菩萨、传承上师们异口同声地给我们说,护持正法,尤其是大乘的深广甘露妙法,是最最殊胜的愿,是摄尽了其他一切愿的愿王,是佛菩萨传承上师高度重视的,而且普天下的众生也都能直接间接从中得到利益。

因此,大家要发愿尽自己的力量来护持正法、弘扬正法。最好是能够按成就者所写的发愿文来一条一条如实地发愿。因为成就者的金刚句发愿文,深契妙理,具有无与伦比的殊胜加持力。

下面我给大家念诵的传承就是全知麦彭仁波切写的《持大乘法愿文》,和法王上师如意宝写的《普贤行愿品》的精华——《愿海精髓》,希望大家以信心来谛听,求传承的加持。

《愿海精髓》是上师法王如意宝在1990年朝拜佛陀成道之地的印度金刚座时,从大圆满智慧当中自然流露出来的发愿文,当时由我们的大上师索达吉仁波切笔录下来的。

有心脏病的,刚刚想起来法王、全知、释迦牟尼佛确实有不可思议的大恩大德,但是在这个时代,我们靠自己这样一个凡夫的力量,没有办法弘扬佛法来利益众生,力量特别弱,这样想到上师、全知和佛的时候,好像心脏不是那么舒服。但是凡夫的业力就是这样的,所以求佛菩萨和传承上师加持在座的所有在生生世世舍弃自己为了利益众生日日夜夜闻思修佛法,能够弘扬佛法,这是我真正的求佛菩萨和上师们加持、求僧众加持,不是装的,真的有这么一个自己力量太弱,帮助不了别人的时候,也是有一种惭愧心。但是不管怎么样,自己的心脏不好的状况导致的,也不是别的,请道友僧众们谅解一下。

这里该说的,一会儿《普贤行愿品》念完了以后,“以佛所获三身之加持”这个之前,刚刚念的两个《持大乘法愿文》和《愿海精髓》大家一定要好好随佛、随全知、随法王上师生生世世心心念念一刹那不离的一个因缘,我们今天好好发愿,随学他们护持大乘的深广法为主的一切的正法,饶益有情。

刚才山上的资料已经发下去了,山下也昨天我给主管法师们交代,让负责人印一下。在平时每天发愿回向的时候,这些护持佛法的愿文要多念,如果时间充足的话,要念《普贤行愿品》、《持大乘法愿文》、《大圆满愿词》、《愿海精髓》等,如果时间不是那么充足,就念一个《普贤行愿品》也是很好,如果更没有时间,就念《普贤行愿品》的精华——法王上师的《愿海精髓》。

在殊胜的对境——僧众以及十方佛菩萨前,平时要养成发大愿的习惯,尤其要发起护持深广大乘妙法为主的佛法的大愿,这样的一个善念,即使只有一刹那,也是功德无量,对自利利他、对兴盛佛法、对饶益众生绝对都有好处。《宣说文殊刹土功德经》中说:“诸法依缘生,住于意乐上,何者发何愿,将获如是果。”所以希望大家平时要多重视念《持大乘法愿文》和《愿海精髓》。

尤其上次我单独给山下讲课的时候也说了一句不好听的话,年轻人,比如说般若讲研班的道友们,在国庆节的时候不要到处流浪,我说我们一定要好好复习、要学修珍贵的佛陀的甘露妙法。那么我这次也是花了一点时间,稍稍下了一点功夫,就讲了《如何学修佛法》,这样的话,我的一个希望大家还是下载,然后再听再看,尤其反复看、反复思维,把讲的东西不是别人的,不是讲别人,是讲你,是让你自己思维而自己心里拥有这样的一个加持品的佛法的智慧,这个是非常非常的关键。所以希望在这上面大家不要忽略。佛法一概依法不依人,现在是交流学习佛法的真实方式方法,所以,如果是一个初学者、一个凡夫,跟我这样的一般般的普普通通的人的话,我认为法王上师说的佛法的命根就是闻思修行,这上面我们再次交流过,尤其我一而再再而三地一种口头禅的方式强调了多少次,如果再记不住的话,我就没有办法给你再一起交流了,所以希望大家如理如法地闻思修行非常重要。

下面我们随喜十方三世一切佛、菩萨、声闻、缘觉、凡夫所做的一切闻思修善法的功德,包括从释迦牟尼佛发愿、行菩萨道、成佛、转法轮,直到今天利益众生的事业和功德全部随喜;同样,阿弥陀佛在做法藏菩萨的时候,因地发了四十八大愿,行持了种种的菩萨行,最终成为了阿弥陀佛,使无量无边众生往生到极乐世界,获得了安乐,这个善法的因、善法的功德全部随喜;同样,全知麦彭仁波切从大圆满智慧当中流露出来了众多的深妙论著和仪轨,而且法王上师金刚句说全知老人家的法脉会在七代当中一代比一代更加兴盛,很多的人已经得到,正在得到,或者将要得到不可思议的利益,对全知他老人家为我们众生留下来的这些法宝的功德和加持也都全部随喜;同样的,我们无与伦比的圣者轮涅自在王大恩上师法王如意宝他老人家做了不可思议的弘法利生的事业,建立起了这样的一个殊胜的根本道场,以清净的发心、清净的智慧护持佛法、弘扬佛法,在世界各个角落都能够对众生起到利益,对这一切一切的功德全部如理如法地随喜。

大家随喜时应该没有我慢心,没有执著心,没有偏袒心,不是为自己了脱生死,而是以大悲心引发、以菩提心摄持,让天下一切老母有情,真正得到像法王上师、全知麦彭仁波切、释迦佛、阿弥陀佛那样的究竟的功德。

接下来我们在普贤菩萨十大愿王的摄持下普皆回向,一切一切善根导归极乐,成办自利利他的事业与功德,大家下面就安住在这样的心态中,共修《普贤行愿品》和《持大乘法愿文》以及法王上师的金刚句《愿海精髓》。

 

VI. The Greatest Philanthropy is Listening, Contemplating and Meditating on Dharma

 

Today in cities and rural areas, many people live in poverty and need all kinds of help. Buddhists have done various work with love and kindness to resolve their difficulties, which is a nice way to practice compassion. However given that dharma is waning gradually and misinterpreted more often, it is even more essential and urgent than worldly love and kindness to spread and promote dharma and to listen, contemplate and meditate on it.

 

1. The Misunderstanding of Three Jewels

 

Despite the fact that eminent monks are diligently promoting it, dharma isn’t well understood by the mass majority. Misinterpretation or distortion isn’t rare. When mentioning Buddha and Bodhisattvas, some people picture a sculpture in a temple that’s just for burning incense and worship on bended knees. Speaking about dharma, they take it as superstitious religion. As for sangha, people associate it with kongfu gangs as shown on popular TV dramas. Such misconceptions lead them away from Buddhism and miss their chance for the blessing from Three Jewels. Worse, they may even profane Three Jewels and thus accumulate evil karma.

 

2. The Original Three Jewels

 

So what are the original Three Jewels?

 

The Sutra of the Recollection of the Noble Three Jewels says, “Buddha is the teacher of all sentient beings. He is the father of bodhisattvas. He is the king of noble ones. He is the guide of those who journey to the city of nirvana.” The Buddha is a lively sentient being who ceaselessly helps and relieves those who need help and want to be free from suffering. The Buddha helps not only the poor, but also the rich. He liberates not only average sentient beings, but also achieved ones for further advance. Therefore, the unsurpassable guide, the Buddha, is the greatest philanthropist in the world, guiding sentient beings to the ultimate liberation and the utter wealth of wisdom.

 

The dharma jewel, with its characteristic of “good at the beginning, good in the middle, and good at the end”, is as precious as gold. No matter whether one is a Buddhism or Non-Buddhism practitioner, following dharma faithfully will allow him/her to gain worldly and supramundane benefits.

 

The sangha jewel is the people as said in the sutra, “They are worthy of veneration with joined palms. They are worthy of receiving prostration.” We can hear and receive dharma directly from the sangha. They are our best aids in listening, contemplating and meditating on dharma.

 

For detailed meanings of the quotations above and to clearly understand the superior merits of Three Jewels, please refer to Unending Auspiciousness: The Sutra of the Recollection of the Noble Three Jewels, commented by the omniscient Mipham Rinpoche.

 

3. The Core of Three Jewels

 

Among the noble Three Jewels, which is the core and the essence? It’s not the Buddha jewel, because the Buddha had said he cannot directly eradicate karma and ignorance of sentient beings. Nor is the sangha jewel, because the sangha has not attained awakening entirely. So the most important one is the dharma jewel.

 

Like water irrigating and giving life to everything on the Earth, dharma can nurture the heart of all sentient beings. Human and hell beings, Buddhism and non-Buddhism, people accumulating merits with good deeds and people who have committed evil karma, all of them can get benefits from dharma. Why are the merits so great? Because what the Buddha revealed – the law of causality, renunciation, Bodhicitta, and non-dualism – were not invented by him. They are the inherent fundamentals of this world, the relative and ultimate truth of the universe. Sentient beings are ruled by but oblivious to these laws. On the other hand, they take ephemeral illusions for real and so suffer without an end. Through dharma practice the Buddha achieved full realization and saw the truth, and transferred the knowledge to sentient beings. Following the Buddha’s teaching makes possible the same realization and the unsurpassable happiness for all sentient beings. So these teachings are invaluable to all sentient beings. Like a wish-fulfilling gem, all the happiness arises from them. That’s why the Buddha’s teaching is called the dharma jewel.

 

Therefore dharma does not just belong to the Buddha, nor any Buddhist. It’s for every sentient being. Anyone who wants temporary or everlasting happiness should learn and practice dharma. In fact this is the only thing that one ought to follow. The Buddha reached nirvana since he fully realized dharma, and sangha partially realize so they are still learning and practicing dharma. Now and future, whoever practices dharma is guaranteed to attain some level of realization, and will travel the same path as the Buddha and sangha to bless themselves and all other sentient beings.

 

With his full enlightenment, the Buddha became the most powerful in liberating sentient beings. How did he do that? Well, the Buddha can’t directly remove ignorance in sentient beings’ minds. Sentient beings can only tame their own minds through listening, contemplating and meditating on dharma, to tune their thoughts and acts to be consistent with dharma teaching. Then their ignorance can decrease gradually while wisdom arises. Finally one day they will liberate themselves like waking up from deep dreams. Therefore, although the Buddha had emitted radiant light and shaken the world, or shown other supernatural powers, he liberated sentient beings mainly through dharma teaching such as the four noble truths. The teaching enables sentient beings to reflect on their own minds. So the most supernatural power that the Buddha had shown is his teaching, the dharma jewel. We Buddhists must hold this in mind firmly!

 

It also helps to look at how dharma came about, for us to appreciate its preciousness. Like the Sutra Opening Gatha says, the dharma, infinitely profound and subtle, is rarely encountered even in a million eons. Dharma exists in our hand now, is because our Fundamental Teacher Shakyamuni Buddha, took five hundred great vows in his casual stage, went through immense hardships and finally became the Buddha, and then passed down his precious teaching to today. Dharma is the biggest treasure that the Buddha left for all sentient beings. It’s the most astounding marvel and most expedient means for practice, and also the unparalleled wish-fulfilling gem. In worldly life, parents put huge efforts in preparing the best living condition for their children, such as a luxury house and a fat bank account. Similarly, dharma is the house and the money that the Buddha, our compassionate father, left for us. Only with dharma can we attain the superior Buddha-realm.

 

Thus we know, in this world the dharma jewel is the most precious and beneficial, which we should never overlook. Then how can we bring out the huge potential of dharma? How can we demonstrate the precious value of dharma?

 

4. How to Demonstrate the Value of Dharma?

 

Some may say, “I’m paying high attention to dharma, because I chant sutras every day, and also transcribe sutras.” Others have the same thought, as they keep many sutras at home in the meditation hall, and worship and offer incenses every day. These are certainly good practices and are accumulating huge merits for the future. But be aware, such deeds can only give us merits, but not the blessing of wisdom directly from dharma.

 

Transcribing, reciting and offering are what the Buddha required as parts of ten devotions to dharma, which are transcribing, offering, sutra giving, listening, reading, upholding, lecturing, reciting, contemplating and meditating. Listening, contemplating and meditating are just summarization of them. So only practicing some of them won’t give us the deeper blessing from dharma.

 

Through listening, contemplating and meditating, we will experience the superior blessing so that dharma becomes planted in ourselves. Meanwhile, after listening to the dharma teaching, we can introduce what we heard to others. Although it may be crude like parrot talk, we do provide them an opportunity to hear about dharma, thus they may develop the ability to recognize affliction. If we gain something during contemplating, we’ll be able to explain it to others in our own words, so they may easily understand and cultivate an ability of suppressing affliction. If we realize something during meditating, we can even adopt a variety of ways to teach it, so that different audiences may approach and understand dharma more easily. All in all, listening, contemplating and meditating are the most powerful and effective ways to spread dharma.

 

In this age, suppose our Fundamental Teacher Shakyamuni Buddha, or another noble master of high qualifications, came to us, guess what kind of teaching he would give us? I think first he would say, for the sake of benefiting yourself and others, you must overcome your own afflictions. As we know, the most effective tool for that would be attaining the wisdoms through listening, contemplating and meditating. Or suppose a Siddhas has the chance to bless us directly, what he would do? He will guide us to listen, contemplate and meditate on dharma, because these let us attain absolute freedom, which is the most vast and ultimate happiness.

 

Especially for those who have enough merits to become monks or nuns, the Buddha required that they should do either listening, contemplating and meditating, or teaching, discerning and writing, all of which are focused on learning, practicing, and spreading dharma. The renunciant practitioners have left home, shaved their heads and put on monk robes, indicating they have noble aspirations. They pursue the highest meaning of all, which is liberating themselves and all other sentient beings. The Buddha never said monks and nuns could take jobs like ordinary people, working in a company, raising children, or running a business. They shouldn’t do any of those. As the Buddha and all the great Arhats showed us in their time, wearing three garments and begging with one bowl, we should spend all our time on dharma through listening, contemplating and meditating.

 

Can renunciant practitioners make offerings and givings? Among the three kinds of givings, i.e., material wealth, dharma and fearlessness, they should concentrate on dharma offering and dharma giving, which is listening, contemplating, meditating, and teaching. Dharma giving generates much deeper and vaster merits than merely material wealth or fearlessness giving.

 

Moreover, the offerings that laymen making to renunciant practitioners are much more than the stuff being offered, since laymen see renunciant practitioners as a powerful source of merit to grow their own merits. In other words, renunciant practitioners must return a lot of merits to laymen who make offering. Through diligent listening, contemplating and meditating, renunciant practitioners can become experts of dharma disciplines and correspondingly the merits of both meditation and wisdom (Shamatha and Vipashyana) will arise. Such practice can generate enough merits for giving back dedication to the donors. On the contrary, if abandoning listening, contemplating and meditating, a monk wouldn’t know what disciplines to be engaged with, and how to get into the gates of meditation and wisdom. He won’t be able to generate any new merit, and has to pay back the donors with his previous merits.

 

Some laymen may think listening, contemplating and meditating take too much time and effort. How can they dedicate to dharma when they are already so occupied with career and family? So they prefer doing something they can easily handle. This sounds reasonable, because they indeed don’t have as much time as renunciant practitioners. On the other hand, as the saying goes, time is like water in sponge – you can always squeeze out more. Laymen, the same as the renunciant practitioners, also need to seek liberation, to understand the meaning of the ignorance and to conquer karma. Therefore, they need the same amount of effort in listening, contemplating and meditating. Plus not giving up worldly attachment usually indicates that a layman may have severe karma. So in terms of the liberation path, laymen have chosen a bumpier road. To take his future seriously, a layman should see this situation crystal clear and dedicate more to listening, contemplating and meditating. Besides, if he achieves something through learning and practicing, a layman may also teach dharma to others using holiday or vacation time, in the way to accumulate merits for liberation as deep and vast as renunciant practitioners.

 

So as discussed, philanthropy is necessary such as helping people lacking medical care or people in dire poverty, but a Buddhist should direct his main efforts to diligently listening, contemplating and meditating. In this dark age, it’s more urgent to uphold the dharma lineage for the continuity of the Buddha wisdom, and more critical to call for every Buddhist’s attention. Especially in mainland China, such a large population and such a vast land, few are focusing on listening, contemplating and meditating. This is all because nobody is teaching dharma, and most people aren’t taking advantage of the precious human body, which is a terrible waste. If we can spread dharma through teaching, there will be more Buddhists. More people may be influenced into philanthropic acts like poverty and disaster relief or releasing captured animals, in turn it may be easier to prosper philanthropy.

 

5. The Great Aspiration of the Noble Guru H. H. Wish-Fulfilling Gem

 

The most important thing that our noble guru H. H. Wish-Fulfilling Gem had spent his whole life working towards, is to build the Buddhist sangha and spread dharma. H. H. the guru emphasized that all dharma from the Buddha teaching is an excellent cure for afflictions, and should be spread out equally. He encouraged his disciples to study widely all kinds of marvelous dharma teaching under the guidance of practices and vows of Samantabhadra Bodhisattva, as well as with the aspiration of being reborn in West Utmost Joyful Land after this life. He emphasized that sticking to only one dharma teaching would make the other teachings extinct, and then the existence of the whole dharma could lose its stable foundation. The only teaching would also get weakened, leading to the wane of the whole dharma. These days many eminent monks and great virtues in Larung Gar devote themselves to spreading dharma and benefiting all sentient beings. This is exactly the manifestation of their listening, contemplating and meditating guided by H. H. Wish-Fulfilling Gem. Therefore, listening, contemplating and meditating are the expedient way and the key to help sentient beings.

 

Moreover, with the blessing of the power from both his former vows and the dharma-nature of enlightenment, H. H. Wish-Fulfilling Gem succeeded and further propagated the dharma activities of listening, contemplating and meditating, and established a rock solid foundation for us. As written in his biography, one day in the spring of 1986, H. H. the guru was bestowing the empowerment of Manjusri’s Magical Manifestation Matrix upon more than 6000 monks and nuns. When chanting the Sadhana of welcoming the most honored devas, he suddenly stood up from the dharma throne. Later he told the assembly, “Just now Manjusri and Venerable Vimalamitra from Mount Wutai came here, asking us to spread dharma to the areas of Han Chinese. So from now on, I will get connection with Han Chinese and transform them with dharma teaching. In the future, our Larung Gar Five Sciences Buddhist Academy will have a lot of Han disciples. They come here to learn and practice dharma, and will further spread both exoteric and esoteric dharma to all over the world.”

 

Thus H. H. the guru established the very solid foundation of listening, contemplating and meditating for us today.

 

VII. Who Can Directly Achieve Enlightenment Without Extensive Listening, Contemplating and Meditating?

 

Extremely rare sentient beings, due to deep virtuous roots, can achieve enlightenment directly without listening, contemplating and meditating in this life. Such beings can be divided into three groups:

 

1. Sentient Beings Who Have Profound Connection with Profound and Definitive Vajrayana Pith Instructions

 

These kinds of sentient being have deep virtuous roots in their previous lives, thus in this life even without learning any prajna dharma, they can still achieve enlightenment through the Vajrayana liberations of seeing, hearing and tying.

 

For example, once in Tibet there was a very devoted old woman. One day she saw the Tangka of Hundred Peaceful and Wrathful Deities in a ceremony of releasing the dying. Then after she died, she saw the deities during her bardo, immediately recognized them, and thus accomplished Buddhahood. Later her son went to see H. H. Karmapa. Karmapa told him this exceptional cause that awakened his mother to become Buddha.

 

One more example as described in his biography, H. H. the guru Wish-Fulfilling Gem kept reciting sutra during the cultural revolutionary chaos, and one goat was following him all the time. Therefore the goat had received a lot of dharma transmission, including the most profound Vajrayana pith instructions such as Four Mind Dew and Seven Treasuries. Upon death, with the blessing of these tantras as well as H. H. the guru, the goat was first reborn in Shambala pure land, and then in the East Joyful Land. In 1989, he came to H. H. the guru’s perceptive state and paid homage to him.

 

2. Sentient Beings Who Have Profound Connection with Mahasiddhas

 

These kinds of sentient being also had deep virtuous roots in their previous lives, and had relationships with certain mahasiddha as root master and root disciple. They needn’t listen, contemplate or meditate on dharma such as prajna, and can be directly awakened by certain acts of their mahasiddha guru. As written in the Words of My Perfect Teacher, the great translator Vairotsana came to Gyalmo Tsawarong in Tibet during the time of Trisong Deutsen, and he met Mipham Gonpa who was over 80 years old. He tied his body upright with a meditation band, laid a meditation staff by his waist, and blessed him by Guru Yoga. In that same night, Mipham Gonpa achieved the luminosity of great perfection as described in Vajrayana, and during his dying, his body dissolved into infinitesimal particles and attained Buddhahood. Such kind of koans is very popular in the history of Zen, Dzogchen and Mahamudra lineage.

 

We should note that such profound connections are all based on liberation, not just worldly shallow relationship.

 

3. Sentient Beings Who Have Deep Connection with the Dharma Gate of Pure Land as the Superior Easy Way Relying on Other Power

 

There’s one more kind of sentient being who practices the dharma gate of pure land. They have deep and pure faith to pure land, one-pointedly focus on it, and meanwhile continue to reinforce their faith, aspirations and practice of being reborn in pure land. As they die, they will be reborn there directly, like taking an airplane. With the great blessing of Amitabha, the refuge and protector in the West Utmost Joyful Land, they will be quickly awakened and become Buddha.

 

For example, the old master Dixian once had a disciple, who used to make a living by mending pot and pans, and so was called “pot mending shifu”. In his forties, he came to the old master and became a monk. Since he looked very clumsy, and also illiterate, the old master just let him one-pointedly recite Amitabha. He very honestly followed the teaching. More than three years later, he predicted his leaving time and passed away while standing. The old master saw this and highly praised his achievements as exceeding those of normal dharma masters and abbots.

 

The old master Xuyun also had a disciple, called Juxing, who was deaf and illiterate. He was working in the garden every day, and only reciting Guanyin Bodhisattva. One day he collected some straw, sat down in full lotus position towards the west, wearing the robe and handbell on his left hand and wooden fish on his right hand. With the mindfulness of Amitabha, he burned the straw and passed away. When people found him, he was still in the full lotus position on the straw ashes, and the robe hadn’t burned at all, except the wooden fish and the handle of the handbell which were left as ashes. The Captain of Yunnan Province of that time, Jiyao Tang, brought his whole family to see him. Right after he went nearby and took away the handbell, the whole body of Monk Juxing collapsed into ashes. Jiyao Tang was deeply moved, and held the ceremony of mourning over his death for three days on behalf of the government. Thus thousands of people aroused strong faith in dharma. The old master Xuyun dedicated an essay to Monk Juxing, The Practice and Nirvana of Zen Monk Juxing, which is collected in his biography. All of us should read and study it.

 

Back to us, we may perceptively observe our conceptualized mind at each moment, or inferentially get to know how deep our virtuous roots were in the previous lives, thus making a reasonable guess whether we are among these three kinds of sentient beings. Then without any doubt, we should be able to determine if we need to follow the sequential cultivation of listening, contemplating and meditating.

 

VIII. Practice According to Faith and Practice According to Dharma Teaching

 

Shantarakshita, as the great Pandita in India Nalanda Monastic University, said in his Self-Explanation of Adornment of the Middle Way, there are mainly two kinds of dharma practitioners, classified by their practice according to faith and according to dharma teaching. For those who practice according to dharma teaching, the first step is to build the prajna view. As the view is getting matured, great compassion will arise as they see this world and realize that all sentient beings in samsara take dream-like illusory phenomena as true existence and end up with countless suffering. Driven by that, they strictly engage themselves with the Buddha’s disciplines, and also diligently benefit others, so Bodhicitta gradually grows up. On the other hand, those who practice according to faith, first arouse great Bodhicitta and accept the Buddha’s disciplines with the guide of noble Mahayana teacher and the related dharma teaching, and then gradually develop the prajna view.

 

So there are two paths of listening, contemplating and meditating. One enters from prajna wisdom, and the other from Bodhicitta. Most dharma practicing followers after the Buddha time realized the dharma truth through these two paths, except those who had deep virtuous root and needn’t listening, contemplating and meditating extensively, as mentioned above.

 

Understanding prajna is the basis of the realization of the dharma taught by the great vehicle Mahayana; rousing Bodhicitta is the sign of entering Mahayana path; and rousing renunciation mind is the sign of entering the small vehicle Hinayana. All of these three are very important to Buddhists.

 

If practicing according to faith, one should get well to know the characteristics of Mahayana and Hinayana motivation, and diligently tune his or her own motivation according to them. If practicing according to dharma teaching, the most important thing for young Buddhists nowadays is to build the prajna view, since it promotes and reinforces renunciation mind and Bodhicitta. Prajna is also the foundation stone of the superior dharma gate such as Zen and Vajrayana. We’ll study more about the two paths of practice from four aspects as below.

 

1. The Motivation of Mahayana and Hinayana

 

(1) The Common Renunciation Mind of Mahayana and Hinayana

 

The renunciation mind of Hinayana comes from one’s own samsara and nirvana. In other words, Hinayana practitioners only focus on their own problems, such as self-attachment, afflictions, karma, retribution, and their purpose of practice is to liberate themselves from three realms. This kind of renunciation, except self-liberation, is required for all Mahayana practitioners, so is called the common renunciation mind of Mahayana and Hinayana.

 

The renunciation of Hinayana is a mind of despising three realms and seeking nirvana, as also called “the mind of seeking liberation”. Being an aspiration or a determination, it naturally arises after fully understanding the four noble truths. It consists of two parts. One is despising of samsara, cultivated through deeply contemplating the truths of suffering and arising of suffering according to dharma teaching. The other is a joyful wish and desire of liberation, arising through fully understanding the truths of cessation and its path.

 

To contemplate the truth of suffering properly, we need to understand and reflect on the suffering of suffering, the suffering of change and all-pervasive suffering. We first take a look at ordinary people’s renunciation. They usually don’t think about renunciation until a lot of troubles appear in their life, such as some difficulties occurring in their careers. This kind of renunciation doesn’t mean they get a feeling of despising samsara, let alone the wish of liberation. It is at most a negative escape. They just want to escape from the temporary suffering of suffering in the human realm, but have no idea about the suffering of change and all-pervasive suffering. Once the situation gets better, as the suffering of suffering disappears and the suffering of change takes place, the so-called renunciation immediately disappears, as ordinary people are so much pleased with mundane life, and perceive perfect life and successful career as true happiness.

 

Sentient beings in hell despise the suffering of suffering most, because they experience suffering without any intermittent, and are tortured with desperate shout all the time. Every second they want to get out of horrendous hell, and won’t hesitate at all if they can leave. They’d like to pay anything to break free from it. However it’s not renunciant mind, since they are just loathing the hell. Once getting out, they forget all the sufferings and go back to pursue the enjoyment of five desires, which is actually the suffering of change.

 

The suffering of change means changing into suffering, and is presumed as joy or happiness in mundane worlds. In other words, all emotional enjoyments are the suffering of change. Ordinary people prefer happiness and hate suffering, but since very beginning they fail to figure out what is happiness. They seek enjoyment in desire realm and delight of dhyana in form realm. Actually all of these are sufferings if examined by the wisdom eye of dharma. Why? Because much stronger and sustainable suffering of suffering hides behind these so-called happiness. After enjoying with such happiness, ordinary people will shortly face intolerable suffering of suffering. That’s why the Buddha with great wisdom named it the suffering of change in such a proper way.

 

Therefore the suffering of change is like a glass of poisonous wine, so tasty that the addicts can’t stop drinking, resulting in endless sufferings. On the contrary, the wisemen won’t be deceived since they are already aware of the poison.

 

People always think the desire of this world is too hard to give up, such as cars, house, love, etc. Actually the heaven dwellers in desire realm think human enjoyment is so inferior. Comparing with their superior living condition and loves between male and female, human life seems not different with pigs. Similarly, the dwellers in form realm think enjoyment in desire realm is inferior too. In the first dhyana heaven of form realm, the dwellers attain inner happiness that eliminate all attachments in desire realm. This is called “Joy Apart from Production”. As the inner happiness of meditation gets deeper and deeper, eventually such happiness itself is recognized as a burden. At that time the dwellers enter into the pure secondary mindset of thinking, which is the meditation of formless realm.

 

However happiness in both desire and form realms keeps changing. Sooner or later it will get consumed, and end up with the suffering of suffering. So merely as suffering of change, they are not worthy of seeking.

 

For some non-Buddhists, their renunciations to the suffering of change are very strong. In order to eliminate their so-called karma, they would rather abandon the pursuit of any pleasure in this current life, and stay with special ascetic practices, such as standing with a single leg in whole life, or in worse case burning themselves out.

 

Therefore, whenever we can’t give up our worldly pursuit, we Buddhists should think about the heaven dwellers in desire and form realms. They might show pity to us! Or we should think about non-Buddhism practitioners. In order to achieve the liberation as they believed, they can abandon everything and concentrate on ascetic practice. How shall we stick ourselves to the suffering of change?

 

On the other hand, ascetic non-Buddhism practitioners completely abandon the suffering of change, but beyond that, they don’t know there’s still all-pervasive suffering. This is only explained in dharma teaching.

 

All-pervasive suffering means the suffering of five defiled aggregates like blazing fire. It can be understood from two aspects, i.e., the role as the cause to future suffering and as the fruit matured from previous afflictions. From the aspect of being the fruit, the near cause of five aggregates is emotional affliction and karma, and their sources are already impure. From the aspect of being the cause, once five aggregates are formed, afflictions keep following them like shadows, and bring up all kinds of new sufferings.

 

So to renounce samsara, one has to one hundred percent despise five defiled aggregates that are inherently all-pervasive suffering.

 

Through contemplating three kinds of suffering according to dharma teaching, the wisdom of despising samsara will arise naturally. Suppose one falls into a pit of shit, it’s so dirty that one will immediately look for the way out. However his will is not as strong as the former, who attain the wisdom of contemplating on three kinds of suffering. Then how can we describe his renunciation mind? It’s like falling into a pit of fire, intolerant pain and the near-to-death situation will force him jump out of the pit without any thought.

 

However despising samsara won’t enable us to break free from suffering. We have to find the root of suffering and cut it off.

 

Suffering comes from karma, and karma from afflictions, and afflictions from self-attachment and ignorance. So the root of suffering in samsara is karma and afflictions generated by self-attachment and ignorance. This is explained in the noble truth of arising of suffering.

 

Therefore, to arouse renunciation mind, a practitioner should not only despise samsara, but also despise his own karma and afflictions as well as self-attachment. It requests one to renounce any element that might enhance self-attachment, which is a higher-level requirement and not easy for beginners.

 

One would escape the world negatively if just despising samsara and without aspiration. In the teaching of cessation of suffering, our Fundamental Teacher, the Buddha, with his great wisdom, explained the state of liberation, after karma and afflictions are completely eliminated. This is called nirvana, as a great encouragement to dharma practitioners. The Buddha also explained the methods to achieve nirvana in details, which is the noble truth of the path to the cessation of suffering.

 

If practitioners have strong renunciation to samsara, liberation will be the greatest aspiration and driving force for them, as taught in the truth of cessation of suffering. Similarly, the methods explained in the truth of path are their solely dependence and consolation.

 

Therefore, only if we listen and contemplate the four noble truths and generate two kinds of wisdom, can we really arouse the qualified renunciation mind. This renunciation is not a negative escape. It’s positive and promising, and shining into all aspirations.

 

As today’s practitioners, we should be aware, the most important thing is to keep content and have less desire at the initial stage of renunciation practice. Do not ask for too much, and gradually reduce any of those requirements in life. Eventually we can clear up the eagerness for fame and profit and crush the hope of eight worldly dharmas.

 

Without a true renunciation mind, however, all practice merits will lead to the noble birth of gods and human beings, instead of liberation from birth and death. On the contrary, once true renunciation grows up, even without any practice and precepts, the merits of liberation are growing. Keeping the true renunciation in mind, no matter the activities have huge or small merits, either feeding a dog or a cat, or holding any one of the five precepts for one day and night, all of these will generates superior merits to liberate from birth and death.

 

Further we should understand that, renunciation mind is just the key to Hinayana. Like a brick used to knock a door, it is the initial practice stage of Hinayana, but not the whole. With qualified renunciation, the major practice should focus on the wisdom of emptiness. The purpose of renunciation is to help us despise samsara and aspire liberation, while it is self-attachment that creates samsara and prevents us from liberating. In order to eliminate self-attachment, we have to attain the wisdom of emptiness and achieve the awareness of selflessness. As Bodhisattva Dharmakirti said clearly in his Commentary on Valid Cognition, the gateway of liberating is renunciation mind, and the essential practice is, the wisdom of emptiness.

 

(2) The Uncommon Renunciation Mind of Mahayana

 

With contentment and less desire, the renunciation mind of Mahayana is much more profound and vast. It can be explained as follows:

 

  1. Mahayana renounces not only samsara, but also self-liberation in Hinayana. Achieving self-liberation can’t benefit all sentient beings. This is the most selfish and unfavorable behavior for practitioners with the virtuous root of Mahayana.
  2. Mahayana does not seek the nirvana of Hinayana, and aims for non-dualism wisdom that subjects and objects are completely eliminated. Just like ordinary people’s birth and death, the nirvana of Hinayana is also an extreme confined by relativities and dependences. Both of them are not the ultimate truth.
  3. Mahayana have the supreme view that the nature of conceptualized mind are just emptiness, or primordial wisdom, therefore all conceptual elaboration and adventitious obscurations need to be renounced.

 

Compared to ordinary people, the renunciation mind of Arhats in Hinayana is very great. However compared with Mahayana renunciation, it is too trivial, just like the thoughts of three or four-year old kids. For Mahayana Bodhisattvas, listening, contemplating and meditating for oneself are selfish. They would never become Buddha for the sake of their own benefits. As the omniscient Mipham Rinpoche said, for Mahayana practitioners, the stronger the compassion, the deeper the sympathy that Bodhisattvas feel to sentient beings. They also sympathize Arhats because they miss such a vast motivation of benefiting others.

 

Keep in mind, the purpose of renunciation in both Mahayana and Hinayana is to tame afflictions as an antidote to ego. Due to different views, they have different methods. Mahayana renunciation mind is profound and difficult to understand. However once it becomes practical for us, it works more effectively and neatly. As we’ve already received Mahayana teaching, we shouldn’t waste such excellent opportunity and noble teaching. We should dedicate every effort to cultivate Mahayana motivation from the very beginning. Higher starting point always brings us more achievements, and allows us to benefit sentient beings quickly and effectively.

 

(3) Mahayana Bodhicitta

 

Keeping renunciation in mind, Mahayana practitioners should further expand their hearts and arouse relative Bodhicitta of Mahayana. This is a sign of entering into the Mahayana path of accumulation, thus the practice of three countless eons towards Buddhahood formally starts.

 

As an aspiration and determination, Relative Mahayana Bodhicitta is composed of two parts. The first part is, driven by great compassion, there is an unflinching determination to help sentient beings to break free from the samsara of birth and death. The second part is, realizing that only great Bodhicitta enables one to bring ultimate benefits to others, there is a strong aspiration of becoming Buddha. Therefore, Mahayana Bodhicitta gives great motivation to care for sentient beings without any self-interest. As said in Ornament of Clear Realization, “Generating Bodhicitta is to seek for complete perfect enlightenment for the benefit of sentient beings.” The Way to Bodhisattvas also says, “The childish work for their own benefit, and the Buddha work for the benefit of others.” Similarly one of the great vows of Kshitigarbha Bodhisattva is, “May I not become Buddha until the hell is empty.” All of these are the incarnation of Mahayana spirits.

 

Relative Bodhicitta has two categories, aspiring and entering Bodhicitta. Aspiring Bodhicitta is to care for all sentient beings with great compassion, and to seek great enlightenment with wisdom. It does not desire the ultimate happiness of Buddha, but aims for the merits of Buddha’s body, speech and mind as numerous as the sands of the Ganges. Aspiring Bodhicitta wishes for the ability of turning the dharma wheel and releasing sentient beings spontaneously and extensively. Based on this, entering Bodhicitta is to carry on countless and limitless practices of six perfections, and meanwhile to take the three wheels of actions – beginning, middle and ending – as dreams and illusions without any attachment to intrinsic existence.

 

As we know, mother love is very deep, and ordinary people seldom have such deep love as a mother does. So it can be employed as the guidance to develop four immeasurable minds or the seven-point cause and effect, both of which are the preliminary practice to arouse Bodhicitta. However mother love is also imperfect, because it is rooted in attachments. A mother only loves her own kids and can hardly transfer the same love to other kids. Such love is far more different with great compassion, as the latter is to generate mother-like love to all sentient beings. Furthermore, relative Bodhicitta is the determination of seeking Buddha fruit and liberating all sentient beings. It is much deeper and vaster. Therefore, Mahayana practitioners have to completely change their old thoughts into no self, which cannot be accomplished through just thinking, chanting Sadhanas, or engaging in philanthropic activities.

 

Hence we should understand the process of Bodhicitta practice. It is founded by renunciation mind and is supported by the great compassion. Since beginningless time, all sentient beings are immersed in the sea of birth and death, bound by the afflictions of self-attachment and driven by good and bad karma, thus irritated by the suffering of suffering, suffering of change and all-pervasive suffering. In order to salvage them out of the samsara sea, one would rather sacrifice all personal happiness and eagerly seek the great enlightenment for the ability of releasing them. If a practitioner has such determination deep in his heart, relative Bodhicitta must arise in his mind, as a sign of entering into the Mahayana path of accumulation.

 

(4) Tasting and Behaving

 

As we can see, due to different motivations, Hinayana renunciation mind aims to overcome self-attachment and eliminate one’s own suffering, while Mahayana Bodhicitta focuses on every sentient being’s self-attachment and suffering. Nevertheless, both of them are conceptualized mind based on the manifestation of samsara, nirvana, Buddha-fruit, sentient beings and so on.  Neither of them is directly the ultimate truth of emptiness.

 

Renunciation mind is the starting point of the liberation path. At the Buddha time, even those shravakas with overweening pride had indubitable renunciation mind and sincerely wished to liberate, which was the essential goal of their practice. Without renunciation mind, all behaviors would be self-centered, and rooted in strong attachment to an existent self. It would be impossible to achieve liberation or to arouse Bodhicitta. Austerities seem incredible, but without a true renunciation mind, these activities will not necessarily result in liberation. Some heterodoxy obviously has strong renunciation and hardships. Hence we should focus on our mind and generate internal change, thus grow the corresponding merits.

 

No matter what they do, Mahayana Bodhisattvas clearly have a purpose of benefiting sentient beings. As walking, they wish sentient beings to walk smoothly and eventually follow the sublime Buddha path to become Buddha. As for seeing doctors, they do not ask for less suffering and living longer, but wish to maintain a healthy body to help others.

 

Back to ourselves, do we really view our ego as the biggest enemy that brings troubles to us? If so, then renunciation mind is truly growing up. Furthermore, if we realize that all sentient beings used to be our mothers, thus put them first and satisfy their requirements instead of our own for every consideration, meanwhile believe that the ability of Buddha is a requirement to benefit sentient beings extensively and intensively, then our true Bodhicitta will begin to sprout.

 

Keeping serving people by talking is not really serving them. Similarly, renunciation mind and Bodhicitta cannot really arise purely by repeating words. Neither can they arise spontaneously due to something else. It requires a thorough change in our mind. We know that changing the mind is the most difficult. First of all, we need alter our views and aspirations to be consistent with dharma teaching. Then day to day we must memorize the right views and use them as our behavioral guide. Suppose we are practicing Bodhicitta, but during dharma discussion, we only want to express our own ideas and can’t accept other thoughts. After a few words, we start to argue with each other with red faces. Rather, we should look back inside, holding such a strong ego and having no space for our dharma friends, how can it be possible to arouse Bodhicitta for all sentient beings? If one claims to have renunciation mind and Bodhicitta, and engages oneself with social activities to help others, but deep in the heart the motivation is driven by strong self-attachment, then this is a case of self-cheating, and all behaviors are just serving as a nice package for ego. Such behavior is similar to the pursuit of fame and profit as in ordinary people, except that the latter unashamedly run after them, while the so-called Buddhist sneaks them with a wrapper of shaming. Such kind of philanthropic behavior will gradually blur its original taste, fall into decay with all kinds of afflictions generated by ego, and finally lose the meaning of benefiting others.

 

2. Prajna Can Promote Renunciation Mind and Bodhicitta

 

Based on the discussion above, some may have doubts, because although renunciation mind and Bodhicitta are important and excellent, they have strict requirements and seems hopeless to achieve them within this life. Do listening, contemplating and practicing according to faith have any expedient way?

 

There are some helpful methods, but first let’s see why they are difficult for us.

 

(1) Why Ordinary People Find it Difficult to Arouse Renunciation Mind and Bodhicitta?

 

As taught in the definitive teaching of Mahayana, all sentient beings are originally as pure as Buddha, free from any defilement and full of limitless wisdom. However, it is ignorance that causes two attachments of self and phenomena, and further forms two obscurations of affliction and cognition, which will be followed by all kinds of sufferings. Like a giant with magnificent energy, attachment of phenomena suddenly results in numerous things being loaded on his shoulders, which seem real to him but are actually empty. As a result he can only hold 400 kilograms. Again with one more attachment of self, a very heavy burden of seemingly true existence of self and others is loaded. This tangles with him and causes more afflictions. So he can only hold 40 kilograms. In fact, all ordinary sentient beings are crushed by their own attachments of self and phenomena.

 

So the reason that most of us feel difficult to arouse Bodhicitta and renunciation mind, is that our thinking is full of strong attachments of self and phenomena. We regard all illusory appearance as real existence and divide five aggregates into you, I and he. We hope “I” attain all kinds of perfect rewards, while others are not as good as “I”. If we find a way to eliminate all of these attachments to circumstances, the heavy loads can be taken off from our shoulders. Thus our hearts become recharged with magnificent energy. As the giant wins back his original energy, the relative motivations of renunciation mind and Bodhicitta arise much more easily. The method of eliminating attachments to circumstances is prajna, the wisdom of emptiness, as the Buddha already taught us with his great compassion and profound love.

 

(2) The Prajna Wisdoms of Listening and Contemplating Help Us Remove the Heavy Loads

 

With prajna wisdom cultivated through listening and contemplating, we take great delight in developing renunciation, compassion and Bodhicitta. Our hearts are fulfilled with huge energy, and all of them can arise easily. Without self-attachment, we won’t be scared by any difficulty. Instead, we will diligently benefit others from life to life without ever getting bored.

 

Some think “I’m hurt deeply”. Actually it is the mind being hurt, and so-called “I” never comes into appearance. Similarly for happiness, saying “I’m very happy”, it is actually the mind feeling happy, and has nothing to do with “I”. Prajna is an excellent teaching to show us the truth of emptiness and relieve our distress.

 

Some may ask, with the realization of prajna emptiness, for sure one wouldn’t have any burden of attachment, but how is it possible to realize emptiness so easily?

 

(3) The Mahayana View of Prajna in the Mind of Ordinary People Is Powerful Too

 

Actually, it is not only after realization that the power of prajna will take into effect. Through listening, contemplating and meditating, the prajna view developed by ordinary people’s conceptualized mind is already powerful enough. As we mentioned above, the wisdoms of listening and contemplating can recognize and suppress afflictions. Here the two wisdoms are more potent as they arise from the powerful teaching of prajna.

 

The prajna wisdom cultivated through listening and contemplating can work hand in hand with the relative motivation for enlightenment. They promote and reinforce each other.

 

As their capacity and interests grow, sentient beings can accept deeper dharma teachings. Their observations gradually turn from the external to the internal, their views draw closer to the utter truth and the nature of mind, and they get more blessings from dharma.

 

For example, Hinayana already declares aggregates are emptiness, but external indivisible particles are still real and so are internal indivisible moments of consciousness. Chittamatra discards all external things and determines that all phenomena are just consciousness. Chittamatra realizes that all forms pervasively imputed are empty, and that the thoroughly established nature of reality is always there. Having established consciousness as the foundation of everything, Rangtong in Madhyamaka further discovers consciousness is pure wisdom, has no distinction with the great emptiness, and is free from any conceptual elaborations. Shentong further declares the nature of all phenomena to be primordial purity of tathagatagarbha, and their appearance is never apart from primordial wisdom.

 

As we can see, Mahayana doesn’t focus on deluded manifestation, neither the states of conceptualized mind nor worldly motivation. It deals with the ultimate nature of ground, which is pure and unconditioned. For this primordial nature of mind, part-realization is the prajna path, and fully realization is the prajna fruit.

 

No matter celestial beings, hell beings, sages or Mara King, all sentient beings have Buddha nature. They are actually Buddha and appear within the pure ground of tathagatagarbha. Trapping samsara and defiling afflictions are all adventitious coming up by chance. Were suffering and the cause of suffering not adventitious, were all sentient beings originally not Buddha, then not to say three countless eons, even after thousands of three countless eons, they wouldn’t become Buddha. So the ultimate refuge is to realize the primordial nature of mind. Keeping it in mind will bring us huge courage and power to help sentient beings, and will naturally lead us to the great vows of Bodhisattvas, such that the void space is ended, the worlds of beings are ended and that my vows are endless.

 

In our degenerating time, people especially the young are so entangled in desires of attachment and karmic afflictions. With such deeply negative karma, it isn’t easy for one to practice Bodhisattvas. Without prajna views, mundane renunciation and relative Bodhicitta can hardly sprout from a clinging mind and sometimes it is even difficult to give up fame and wealth. One can pretend to be Bodhisattva, simply by repeating the words of renunciation mind, Bodhicitta, and pursuing random things here and there, seemingly on the way of Bodhisattvas, but actually, this is just a delusion and not on the correct track.

 

Even worse, without the wisdom of prajna, ordinary people easily incur more afflictions when dealing with more work. As their afflictions get stronger and their motivation weakens, they may not be able to keep it up. At the beginning, they are eager for Mahayana’s Bodhicitta. After some setbacks, they may settle for the idea of self-liberation and effectively turn to Hinayana. Yet holding on to things as being real and concrete will prevent renunciation arising and make it difficult to achieve self-liberation, too. They may further make the compromise to just live the discipline of causality. Even that can be difficult, so in the end they may follow the worldly belief and again get lost and wasted in samsara.

 

3. Prajna is the Mind Essence of Dharma and the Key to Enlightenment

 

The Prajna view is the foundation if one practices according to dharma teaching, also it can overcome difficulties if practicing according to faith. Therefore listening, contemplating and meditating on prajna are essential. More importantly, in the final stage of listening, contemplating and meditating, one must rely on prajna to clear the final obstacles and achieve enlightenment. Any other relative aspirations, such as renunciation and Bodhicitta, are based on duality, the way that our conceptualize mind discerns mundane phenomena. They are not directly based upon the original emptiness in ultimate level, in fact they are a subtle obscuration of cognition. They can only suppress and transform karma, but not eradicate the seeds of two obscurations and habitual tendencies. As Shantideva said in Prajna Chapter of The Way to Bodhisattvas, “All of these practices were taught by the Buddha for the sake of wisdom, therefore those who wish to pacify suffering should generate prajna wisdom.” He also said, “The remedy for the darkness of afflictive and cognitive obscurations is meditation of emptiness, therefore why do those who wish to quickly attain omniscience not meditate on emptiness?” Similarly, Lord Tsongkhapa said in The Three Principles of the Path, “Even if renunciation of worldliness and Bodhicitta have been cultivated, but the wisdom that realizes the nature of phenomena is lacking, one is unable to cut the root of cyclic existence. Therefore, exert yourself in the means of realizing dependent origination.” Many Bodhisattvas such as Nagarjuna and Dharmakirti made similar statements. The Buddha also differed his teaching of prajna from other teachings. He showed high respect to prajna by preparing and decorating the dharma throne himself. By now we shall realize the importance of listening, contemplating and meditating on prajna.

 

All three vehicles must rely on prajna to achieve enlightenment. In Hinayana, it is the prajna power of no self that enables Arhats to break free from samsara and to attain happiness of nirvana. In Mahayana, prajna is exactly ultimate Bodhicitta. Only with prajna can a practitioner enter the supermundane path of seeing. In the path of seeing, only with prajna can the deeds based on relative Bodhicitta transcend to supermundane prajna paramita. When further attaining Buddha fruit, the merits in all subtle conceptualized thoughts are transformed into the ultimate wisdom of non-conceptualization. Within such luminous states of Dharmakaya’s primordial wisdom, there’re no renunciation mind or relative Bodhicitta. In other words, the merits generated by relative Bodhicitta help Mahayana practitioners to enter the path of seeing and all merits accumulated through ultimate Bodhicitta lead them to the stage of Buddha. When accomplishing Buddhahood, all of these merits will purify the final subtle obscurations and exhibit the true essence of prajna.

 

In addition, the unshared pith instructions in Nyingma practice embody three kinds of wholesomeness. They are wholesomeness of motivation before practice, wholesomeness of non-duality during practice, and wholesomeness of dedication after practice. The motivation for practice is Bodhicitta, but during practice one should rest in the state of no clinging, i.e., the emptiness of three wheels guided by prajna. If only stressing relative Bodhicitta, then one isn’t practicing the second wholesomeness, hence cannot gain the corresponding merits.

 

Therefore, the wisdom of prajna is the key to accomplish Buddhahood. Relative Bodhicitta is the initial motivation for those who practice according to faith. Those who practice according to dharma teaching would naturally accumulate the merits of compassion and relative Bodhicitta once they cultivated the supreme prajna view.

 

4. Prajna Is the Foundation Stone of Zen and Vajrayana and other Supreme Dharma Teachings

 

Among six paramitas, the practice of Zen meditation relies on the sixth prajna paramita. Some misunderstand Zen as the fifth dhyana paramita. Actually the true meaning of Zen is the perfection of prajna wisdom.

 

In Prajna Chapter of The Platform Sutra of The Sixth Patriarch, the great master Huineng explained the meaning of prajna. He said, “Noble friends, people speak of prajna all day, yet they do not recognize the prajna inherent in their nature.  Just as talking about food cannot appease your hunger, talking about emptiness for countless eons will not reveal your true nature; ultimately it is of no benefit.” He also said, “Noble friends, the Maha-prajna-paramita is the most noble, most exalted, and foremost. It neither stays nor comes nor goes. Buddhas of the past, present, and future all emerge from it.” “Noble friends, in my teaching, this prajna gives rise to 84,000 kinds of wisdom.”

 

Similarly, the practice of Vajrayana up to the most glorious luminosity of great perfection relies on prajna. For example, development stage requires the samadhi of unfabricated suchness and divine pride as the basis of visualization. At completion stage, the practitioners visualize prana, nadis and bindu with the wisdom of signless prajna. The practice of tregchod (cutting through resistance), i.e., recognizing the inherent emptiness in the luminosity of great perfection, and the practice of natural light of prajna within the four lights of thodgal (sudden transcendence), cannot provide success without prajna wisdom of emptiness.

 

As we know, Vajrayana needs to be kept secret from unqualified practitioners. Not like exotoric dharma such as relative Bodhicitta, Vajrayana is rooted in prajna. In Nyingma lineage, Mahayoga (great yoga) explains the great equality and the great purity, Anuyoga (further yoga) declares that worlds of all sentient and insentient are the pure land of Samantabhadra and himself, and Atiyoga (perfect yoga) teaches tregchod and thodgal which can accomplish Buddhahood in short six months. All of these are profound pith instructions based on the definitive dharma teaching.

 

The primary lord Samantabhadra didn’t cultivate renunciation mind and relative Bodhicitta, but relied on the luminous wisdom of great perfection and became Buddha within one moment. Having realized the luminosity of great perfection, all relative merits of renunciation and Bodhicitta are naturally accumulated.

 

When meditating the luminosity of great perfection, a practitioner can encounter non-discriminating awareness and deep rapture. If a practitioner doesn’t rest within prajna wisdom, he or she may cling to those feeling and thus obstruct further practice. And worse, the practitioner could even digress in a wrong direction.

 

H. H. the guru Wish-Fulfilling Gem had explained this in The Pith Instruction of Tregchod According to Padmasambhava – Jewel Sword of Cutting Off Ignorance Net. If a practitioner assumes luminosity as true existence of body, face and arms, takes the form of luminosity as characteristic phenomena, and grasps wisdom as attachable, permanent and stable in nature, he has entered the wrong path, misled by the appearance of awareness.

 

The wrong path is indicated as follows: one believes three kayas and five wisdoms truly exist and are inherently together with “I”. Thus the clinging mind of self-superiority arises and his pride inflates day to day. He doesn’t understand the profound meaning of nonarising, but takes his wrong views as right. He believes the realizations of all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are just similar with his states, and has lost his faith in them. He holds on to phenomena so strongly that he completely turns to the eight worldly dharmas.

 

The results would be: obstinately grasping external phenomena as real prevents one to be liberated from form realm; grasping the luminosity of intrinsic awareness prevents one to be liberated from desire realm; grasping the persistent stable and truly existent mind as the forever basis of three kayas, one falls into Heretic Shambhu, and is no longer a Buddhist.

 

Then how to avoid the wrong path? One should develop the certainty of non-duality of luminosity and emptiness, since the nature of emptiness has a part of luminosity. I cannot stress this enough.

 

Lack of the characteristics of the noble path such as faith and compassion, even if one can freely go across mountains, fly in the sky like birds, swim in the water like fish, change big to small and small to big, or cure patients by just taking a look, and take out Buddha statue or other terma from mountains or empty space, or subdue normal ghosts to be his followers, these are all nothing but showing that Mara is appearing. So one shouldn’t assume these as being progress on the noble path. In fact, one should subdue Mara with great compassion, perceive and follow the noble path of liberation with the eye of prajna wisdom. These are detailed teachings from H. H. the guru.

 

Therefore, prajna is the foundation stone of Zen and Vajrayana and other supreme dharma teachings.

 

IX. Summary

 

We’ve discussed the importance of listening, contemplating and meditating and their correct methods in dharma learning. We emphasized the study of prajna according to dharma teaching. Nowadays, the percentage of Buddhists in the whole population is a tiny fraction. Within Buddhism too, the number of talented followers who can spread dharma is waning. Therefore, we followers of the Buddha should diligently devote ourselves to maintaining the continuity of the Buddha wisdom. In particularly, younger Buddhists have more responsibility for promoting dharma, and should utilize all kinds of convenient facilities to listen, contemplate and meditate on dharma properly. Bodhisattva Vasubandhu once said in his Abhidharma Kosa Shastra, “The Buddha’s noble dharma has two types, characterized by doctrine and realization. If there are both dharma teachers and practitioners, the Buddha teaching will remain in the world.” Therefore, Buddhists should have the aspiration of teaching dharma like the great master Tsongkhapa and practicing dharma like Venerable Milarepa, so that dharma can prosper forever. We wish all of us will be able to make great progress in the way of listening, contemplating and meditating!