Story 4: 咒陀罗尼 Incantation Dharanis


各位菩萨,阿弥陀佛!

Bodhisattvas, Amitabha!

我们今天继续讲第一个佛典故事。因为这个佛典故事里面有特别提到陀罗尼这三个字,所以我们觉得有必要让大家了解陀罗尼的义理,所以有旁征博引了一下。我们上次讲到就是《瑜伽师地论》里面讲到的,菩萨要具有四种的妙陀罗尼——也就是菩萨的法陀罗尼,菩萨的义陀罗尼,菩萨忍陀罗尼,然后最后一个是菩萨的咒陀罗尼。这些每一个陀罗尼,弥勒菩萨都特别冠上“菩萨”这个字眼。换句话说,这些都是菩萨所独有的。

Today we will continue with the first Buddhist Story. Since the word “dharani” is specially mentioned in this story, it is necessary for us to understand the meaning of it to a certain extent. During the last episode, we’ve mentioned that it says in the Yogācārabhūmi-?āstra that Bodhisattvas have to possess four types of dharanis, i.e. Bodhisattva’s Dharma Dharani, Bodhisattva’s Meaning Dharani, Bodhisattva’s Forbearance Dharani, and Bodhisattva’s Incantation Dharani. That Bodhisattva Maitreya added the word “Bodhisattva” to all these terms specifically is because these are what the Bodhisattvas possess in particular.

我们上次讲到是菩萨咒陀罗尼,我们再给大家复习一下。弥勒菩萨说:“菩萨由等持自在而宣说,能除有情灾患之章句,令彼章句悉皆神验无所唐捐。”结果我们上次请大家特别注意的,就是说菩萨会宣说这样的章句,透过自己的定力与神通的力量,然后令这些章句能够在有情对方在持诵这些章句的时候,有所神验。我们上次有特别提醒大家,这个之所以能够神验,其实是菩萨宣说这个章句的菩萨他的力量,而不是说这些章句的本身有它不可思议的写法,或是不可思议的读音。因为往往有许多人都误会了,他们认为咒语都有一些神奇的力量,所以有一些人就迷信说,宇宙间有某一些声音是最神圣的,那些声音只要发出来的话,就有一些神奇的效应出来,这个是有一些人迷信的结果。但是我们在弥勒菩萨这一段的开示里面,很清楚地告诉大家,我们说真正的这个咒陀罗尼,它之所以神验,是菩萨的力量,而不是章句的力量。那回过头来,再来看看《瑜伽师地论》讲到的四种的陀罗尼。

Let’s have a quick review of the Bodhisattva’s Incantation Dharani that we discussed last time. Bodhisattva Maitreya said: “When having equal holding of serenity, the Boddhisattvas preach the chapter and verses which have the potential to diminish the sentient beings’ sufferings. The preaching makes the chapter and verses effective precisely and the efforts are paid off.” We emphasized particularly that it is the Bodhisattvas by whom the chapters and verses are preached that use their meditative concentration and supernatural power to make these chapters and verses effective when they are chanted by the sentient beings. Again, the reason that these chapters and verses are effective is not because of how they are written or read, but the power of the Bodhisattvas who preached them. Many people are confused. They thought that the incantations themselves had some magical power. That’s why many people are superstitious; they believe that some sound from the universe is holy and it has incredible effects. But according to the teaching of Bodhisattva Maitreya, the reason that the incantation dharani is so effective is due to the Bodhisattva’s own power other than the imaginary power of the chapters and verses. Again, let’s take a look at the four types of dharanis mentioned in Yogācārabhūmi-?āstra.

我们说在这四种陀罗尼里面,菩萨咒陀罗尼是跟我们印象中的咒语最接近的;比方说,我们印象中的〈大悲咒〉,那就是属于菩萨的咒陀罗尼里面的一种。至于说其他的菩萨忍陀罗尼、法陀罗尼跟义陀罗尼都各自有各自的适用范围。不过我现在跟大家介绍一个咒,这个咒它是一个陀罗尼,可是它却同时满足了菩萨忍陀罗尼、菩萨法陀罗尼跟菩萨义陀罗尼,这个咒就叫作〈正觉总持咒〉。我们念一次给大家听:

五阴十八界,涅槃如来藏,般若道种智,函盖一切法。
一切最胜故,与此相应故,二所现影故,三位差别故,
四所显示故,如是次第现。具足解脱道,及佛菩提道,
求正觉佛子,一切应受持。

Among these four dharani, Incantation Dharanis are very close to the spells that we know of. For example, the Great Compassion Mantra we know is one type of Boddhisattva’s Incantation Dharanis. As for the other dharanis such as Bodhisattva’s Forbearance Dharani, Bodhisattva’s Dharma Dharani, and Bodhisattva’s Meaning Dharani, each has its own applicable area. I’m going to take this opportunity to introduce you a mantra which is a dharani, but satisfies the functionalities of all the dharanis. It is called “The Dharani of True Enlightenment”, and I will recite it so that you will know what it is like:

The five aggregates and the eighteen elements,
Nirvana and the Matrix of Buddhahood,
Wisdom of the Ultimate Reality,
And Knowledge of the aspects of paths,
All dharmas are summed up in them.
The first is the most supreme among all,
The second is associated with the first,
The third is images projected by the two above,
The fourth stems from variations in the three above,
The fifth is manifested by the four above,
All phenomena emerge in such order.
These five categories of dharmas,
Comprise the Path to Liberation,
And the Path to Buddhahood.
To benefit oneself and others,
Practitioners seeking true enlightenment,
Should comprehend and realize them all.

这个〈总持咒〉很特别的地方,是在于它里面谈到的,有实相的法在里面,所以如果您能够至心持诵这个咒语的话,那您就会有趣向于菩萨的忍陀罗尼,因为在这里面包含了实相的义理。

What makes this dharani so special is that it contains the dharma of true reality. So, if one could chant this dharani with utmost sincerity, he would be interested in Bodhisattva’s Forbearance Dharani because it contains the doctrine of true reality.

至于说法陀罗尼的部分,这个部分确实也包含了所有一切菩萨所该学的法在里面,用最精要的字表示出来。比方说,五阴十八界就已经函盖了一个有情众生他所面对所有的一切法,都函盖在五阴十八界里面,所以我们把它叫作法陀罗尼。义陀罗尼呢,就是从这个咒语里面可以衍生出无量的义理;比方说,五阴十八界接下来谈到的涅槃如来藏,那这个五阴十八界里面跟涅槃如来藏的关系又是如何呢?从这个咒里面如果能够适当地持诵并且了解之后,也就能够对佛法的义理有深入的了解。所以我们说〈正觉总持咒〉它既是菩萨忍陀罗尼,也是菩萨法陀罗尼,也是菩萨的义陀罗尼。

As for the Dharma Dharani, it includes all the dharmas a Boddhisattva should learn and it expresses them with the simplest words. Take the five aggregates and the eighteen elements for instance, they cover all the dharmas a sentient being would face, hence we called it Dharma Dharani. Meaning Dharani means infinite doctrines may be derived from it. The next sentence after “the five aggregates and the eighteen elements” in the Dharani of True Enlightenment is “nirvana and the matrix of Buddhahood”. How are they correlated? When one keeps chanting this dharani and makes commitment to discovering the hidden meaning in it, he will gain a deep understanding of the doctrines of Buddha Dharma. This is why we say that “The Dharani of True Enlightenment” is the Bodhisattva’s Forbearance Dharani, as well as the Bodhisattva’s Dharma Dharani, and the Bodhisattva’s Meaning Dharani.

接下来,我们再来看看,刚才我们看到的咒陀罗尼是菩萨有等持自在而宣说,能够除有情灾患。菩萨为什么要这样作呢?这一点我们也要跟大家交待清楚。在佛陀住世弘法的那个时候,僧团里面其实是禁止比丘随意地展现神通的。比方说,佛陀在摩羯陀国弘法的时候,有一次就有一个在家人,当时他居住在这个摩羯陀国里面有一个城市,我记得应该是那烂陀城,这个城是一个很繁荣的城市;这个在家人他眼见到这个城里面这么多富足的人们,所以他就想说,如果佛法能够在这个城,能够传播开来的话,能够发扬开来的话,必定能够嘉惠许多人。所以,他后来就去觐见佛陀,然后跟佛陀进言说:如果僧团里面的比丘,如果能够当着城里面这些人的面前展现神通的话,必然很快地能够一传十、十传百、百传千,那么全城人恐怕就可以很快地接受佛法了。所以他劝佛陀说,是不是要让僧团的比丘去城里面展现神通。佛陀就明确地讲说,这个并不好;为什么不好呢?佛陀说:如果一个比丘真的在众人面前展现神通,然后信的人看了这个比丘展现神通之后,会很高兴地跟其他人讲说,我今天看到了某某比丘展现了怎么样的神通,真的很厉害、很厉害!可是这些说法,如果让原本就不信佛法的人听了之后,极有可能他就会说:啊!你说的这些神通我知道,因为我在哪一句咒里面也看过了这种的效用,所以这个比丘显然就是因为持诵了这个咒语之后,所以他就具有这个神通了。佛陀就问了这个在家人说:如果这个人说这个比丘展现了神通,是因为持诵了这个咒语。那请问你:这样是不是构成了毁谤的过失呢?这个在家人就跟佛陀说:确实啊!他想想就是说确实,这个确实就是毁谤了那个比丘了。因为这个比丘的神通是由于自身的力量而来的,并不是哪一句神奇的咒语而来的;所以如果有人这样说的话,那就是毁谤了那个比丘了。

Just now, we mentioned that the Incantation Dharani is preached by Bodhisattvas who have equal holding of serenity and it can help diminish the sufferings of the sentient beings. But why would a Bodhisattva do that? We should clear this up first because when the Buddha was living in the world and teaching dharma, the monks were actually forbidden to reveal their supernatural power. In one occasion, when the Buddha was preaching in Magádha (Country’s name), there was a lay practitioner from a prosperous city named Nalanda. He saw a lot of wealthy people in Nalanda, so he thought if Buddha dharmas could be propagated and spread through out the city, it certainly would benefit many people. So, he went to see the Buddha and said to Him, “If a monk from the samgha could show his supernatural power to the people in the city, the news will spread through the city so fast that people will accept the Buddha’s teachings very soon”, so he urged the Buddha to let one of the monks show his power. However, the Buddha rejected him by saying, “This isn’t a good idea because if a monk shows his power in front of people, the believers would happily tell others about the amazing things this monk can do. But when the nonbelievers hear this, very likely they will say: ‘I know about this supernatural power that you said because I know some spell which has this power. Clearly this monk must have chanted this spell to gain this power.’” So the Buddha asked the lay practitioner, “If this person says that the monk is able to have power because of this spell, isn’t he committing a sin of slandering?” The lay practitioner agreed with the Buddha. The monk’s power comes from within, not from some magic spell. So if someone says that the monk’s power comes from some spell, it will be a slander.

所以,佛陀接下来就是讲说,正因为如此,所以僧团里面的比丘不会去城里面去特意展现神通。相反地,我们要向所有城里面的人展现的神通,其实就是我们修行解脱的神通;而这个修行解脱之所以叫作神通,就是因为所有一切世间的人都难以想象什么叫作真实的解脱,更难以触及哪一种叫作真实的解脱。所以今天比丘向城里面的人展现的,将是所谓的解脱的神通,这个才是僧团的比丘应该展现的神通。

After the Buddha explained the reason that no monks should show his supernatural power to the people in town, He further said what the samgha would be demonstrating actually is the supernatural power of liberation through practice. That the liberation through practice is considered a supernatural power is because no sentient beings could ever imagine what a real liberation is, let alone actual experiencing it. So, what the monks would be demonstrating to the town should be the supernatural power of liberation.



所以,从这个小故事来看,我们可以知道在佛陀住世的时候,僧团的比丘是不可以随意展现神通的;只有特殊的需要的时候,才能够展现神通。那另外我们从这个小故事里面也可以学到的所谓的神通,当有人说这个比丘的神通是由某一个咒语而来的时候,显然就构成了毁谤那位比丘了;所以这个表示什么?这个表示就是说真正的神验,仍然是有情本身的神力而来的。如果是从其他的神奇的咒语或章句而得来的力量的话,那毕竟就不是那个当事人本身所拥有的力量,而是借助其他的有情,甚至借助其他鬼神的力量所展现的神通,之所以能够这样子,才会构成毁谤之罪。

What we can learn from this story is that when Buddha was still living in the world, monks were not allowed to demonstrate their power, except under very special circumstances. Another thing we learn is that when someone claimed that the origin of the monk’s power was a particular spell, he obviously was slandering the monk. What does this mean? This means that the actual magic phenomenon derives from the power of sentient beings. If someone claims the power comes from some magical spell or sentences themselves, he has committed a sin of slandering because spells themselves do not have power. The power either comes from those who created them or other sentient beings such as ghosts and deities who are summoned by the spells.

所以,我们从这个故事里面就了解,为什么人家说佛法,真正我们在传播佛法的时候,如果用神通的话只能度到俗人;因为如果靠展现神通来度人的时候,往往度到的人都只想追求神通,就像是佛世的时候的提婆达多一样,他也是一味的就想要追求神通,所以最后才会迷失了自己。那在修行的过程中,我们几乎都常常看到追求神通到最后,往往都是给自己带来很大很大的麻烦;所以才会说神通只能度俗人,真正要学佛的话,不应该去追求神通。

That is why we say when we teach people the Buddha’s teaching, use of supernatural power will only attract worldlings because the people attracted by magic power simply want to achieve such power, just like Devadatta who practiced to gain magical power and lost himself in the end. As Buddhism practitioners, we often see that those who practice for the purpose of gaining supernatural power very likely get into deep trouble eventually. This is why we say use of magical power can only attract worldly people. A true Buddhist practitioner shall not pursue magical power.

可是这里为什么弥勒菩萨要说“菩萨得要有菩萨的咒陀罗尼”呢?那纯粹就是因为有情毕竟就是从刚开始学佛,毕竟就是很难以完全离开了所有一切的欲求跟希望的;所以如果碰到适当的时候,需要用到这样的方式帮有情解除灾患,乃至于说度他入门,那菩萨是可以偶尔用这些方式来帮助众生的。再者也是要看菩萨本身的愿力,比方说,如果菩萨的愿力是要接引许多广大的初机学人,也许对于初机学人来说——毕竟就是有许多人,会希望靠着佛菩萨的力量,能够解除本身的灾患;所以像这种状况来说,菩萨就会透过自己的神通自在的力量,去宣说一些章句,让有缘的有情众生透过诵持这样子的咒陀罗尼,跟这位菩萨相应,乃至于之后一直追随着这个菩萨修习。所以,其实我们如果从更广的层面来看,这个毕竟就是菩萨的度人善巧方便之一。

Then why does Bodhisattva Maitreya still say that Bodhisattvas need Bodhisattvas’ Incantation Dharani? This is because as sentient beings begin to follow Buddhas to learn their teachings, they have not let go of all the desires and wishes. Thus occasionally when needed, Bodhisattvas may use this approach to relieve the sentient beings of their sufferings, or even convince them to follow Buddhas. So, this approach is used by Bodhisattvas to help sentient beings every now and then. On the other hand, it is also driven by Bodhisattva’s wishes. For example, if a Bodhisattva wants to attract more beginners to follow Buddhas, this approach will work because many beginners wish to be relieved from the pains and sufferings with the help of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. And in this case, a Bodhisattva can use his own power at ease to preach some Dharanisso that he may connect to some sentient beings who are willing to chant the dharanis and eventually will follow the Bodhisattva to practice Buddhism. So, from another angel, preaching the dharanis is also one of the Bodhisattva’s expedient ways to convert people.

那么讲到这里,我们就开始要把前面的两个方向把它结合起来了,在上上次的讲次里面,我们有谈到说,从龙树菩萨的《大智度论》里面,有谈到字入门陀罗尼,就是透过梵语的四十二个根本字,来把佛教的义理摄持进去;所以单一一个字就代表了一个陀罗尼,就代表了一种的佛教的义理。那么从《瑜伽师地论》里面,我们提到咒陀罗尼的层次,谈到了菩萨因为要度人方便,所以也会宣说一些章句,让持诵这个章句的有情众生能够解除灾患。当你把字入门陀罗尼跟菩萨咒陀罗尼,这两个的这种陀罗尼把它结合起来之后,很显然就会产生了越来越靠近我们现在所知道的咒语的状况。所以我们才说慢慢地,特别是到后来晚期的佛教在印度后来就越来越衰弱,到后来乃至于完全就被这个印度教所取代了。那个时候在印度教取代之后,印度教由于它的教义的特质使然,所以印度教里面本来就有很多的咒语,当佛教在印度越来越衰亡,乃至于最后被取代的时候,就会演变成佛教的陀罗尼,跟印度教的坦特罗等等这些咒语逐渐就难以区别。后世的众生往往都会把它混在一起,这些混在一起的状况在当时的印度历史上再往北传,传到西藏地区,就形成西藏地区非常非常多的咒语真言的状况。

And now, we are going to combine what we discussed in the previous episodes together. We previously mentioned that in the Mahaprajna Paramita Sastra, Nāgārjuna Bodhisattva spoke of the Word dharani which is a kind of dharani that summarizes the doctrines of Buddhism and endows them in the 42 Sanskrit base letters, which means that each base letter represents a specific dharani and also a Buddhist doctrine. And we talked about the different levels of dharanies mentioned in the Yogācārabhūmi-?āstra. We also touched on how Bodhisattvas, for the convenience of delivering people, would also preach some chapters and sentences so that the sentient beings who chant them would be relieved from pains and sufferings. Hence, when combining the Word Dharani and Incantation Dharani together, it will be more like an incantation or spell that we know of. In history, the Buddhism became weaker and weaker in influence and it eventually was replaced completely by Hinduism. Incarnations are commonly used in Hinduism, which is decided by the nature of its doctrines. After Hinduism replaced Buddhism, the dharanis of Buddhism and the tantric incantations of Hinduism are mixed up and it is difficult to tell the difference between them. People later could not differentiate them. And this situation spread north to Tibet specifically, and led to the phenomenon of extremely large number of mantras in Tibet.

所以我们可以看到,今天大家对于咒语——如果我们今天随便在网络上面,去搜寻一下陀罗尼的意思,比方说你在维基百科,或是在百度百科上面,你去搜寻陀罗尼在这上面的解释,往往就会跟你讲说,陀罗尼这个汉文的意思,就是叫作真言,或者叫作密语,或者叫作明,或者叫咒,或者叫总持。这里面种种的翻译的意思里面,只有最后一个总持,是跟它原来的义理相近的。但是如果你继续看维基百科,或是百度百科上面的解释,它上面会跟你讲说,陀罗尼是佛教里面,佛菩萨、护法神众、佛弟子们所通用的一种音声语言。请注意到这里面的解释,已经不是原来陀罗尼的意思了,它已经变成了音声语言的一种解释了;这个就是相当于说,它在告诉大家,凡是这些密语、这些咒语的本身,它透过这样音声,透过这样语言,去宣说出来之后,它就开始具有神奇的力量了。比方说,对于像总持这个方面来说的话,一般人解释就是说:例如四十二个梵文字母,只要念诵一个梵音字母,就能通达甚深的般若波罗蜜门。现在这个是你在网络上面,可以查到的关于陀罗尼在总持方面的解释。诸位菩萨不知道有没有看清楚了,这里面总共有四十二个梵文字母,只要念诵一个梵音字母,比方说“阿”,就能够通达甚深的般若波罗蜜门。

If we search online, say on Wikipedia or Baidu for Dharani, we will find that dharani is usually explained as mantra (true word), esoteric words, insight, incantation, or to hold or maintain, among which the one that is closest to its actual meaning in doctrine is to hold or to maintain. And it further explains dharani as a phonic speech generally used by Buddhas, Bodhisattvas, dharma-protecting heavenly beings, and Buddha followers. Notice that the explanation here has already deviated from the original meaning of dharani and it is interpreted as a phonic speech. It implies that the mantra and spells themselves will have the magic power as they are preached though such sound and language. For the meaning of “to hold or to maintain”, a common explanation is that, taking one of the 42 basic Sanskrit letters for instance, as long as it is chanted, it will enable the chanter to attain the deep praj?ā paramita. This is one explanation of dharani that you can find online. You did not read it wrong. It says that if any of the 42 base letters in Sanskrit language is chanted, the chanter will have a thorough understanding of praj?ā paramita.



如果各位印象犹新的话应该会记得,当时我们在讲《大智度论》的陀罗尼的时候,我们有讲到说,字入门陀罗尼是怎么来的,这个字入门陀罗尼是用梵文的根本,当时根本的四十二个梵文字母,每一个字母把它赋予一个佛教的义理,以至于说你在听到别人讲梵文的时候,凡是听到类似的音你就会透过这个类似的音,帮你提醒、帮你联想起所相关的佛教义理,这是一种善巧方便的总持。

可是现在到了后世的众生之后逐渐演变,反而演变成说,每一个梵音字母,只要念诵梵音字母就能够通达般若波罗蜜门。

其实刚好相反,当时龙树菩萨讲的字入门陀罗尼,其实是你要先知道般若波罗蜜是什么意思,先知道一切法不生是什么意思;也必须要知道一切法不生,在你的行住坐卧中如何去观行;有了这些基础的知识之后,再把所有的这些概念知识,把它跟梵文字母的“阿”连在一起,然后才能够在跟人家交谈,听人家说话的时候,听到“阿”这个字,然后才能够联想到般若波罗蜜门。

You may still remember that when we discussed the dharani in Mahaprajna Paramita Sastra, we talked about what the Word Dharani means. Word Dharani means the 42 base letters in Sanskrit are endowed with Buddhism doctrines, so that when one hears the letters are spoken of or hears similar sound, he will be reminded of the related Buddhism doctrines. This is an expedient way to hold and maintain. However, it evolved into an idea that chanting the base letters in Sanskrit will enable one to gain a full understanding of praj?ā paramita. The truth actually is the opposite. To apply the Word Dharani that Bodhisattva Nagarjuna talks about, one should first know what praj?ā paramita is, understand all dharmas non-arising, and know how to observe one’s behavior through his daily actions. With the basic knowledge, one may fuse them with the base letters in Sanskrit, e.g. Ah. So, when one hears the particular letter, one will immediately recall and relate it to the praj?ā paramita.



所以现在人对于这个解释,已经完全扭曲了当时字入门陀罗尼的意思了;反而变成迷信单一一个字母有什么神奇的功效。就像这里所说的,所谓的念诵一个梵音字母,能够通达甚深的般若波罗蜜门,这真是误会大了!之所以会造成这样的结果呢,纯粹就是众生在学习整个的过程中,是因为自己本身有欲求,然后又不肯好好地按照佛所说的经典来学习;加上之前我说的历史的演进,在印度的佛教衰亡,以至于说被坦特罗的各式各样的咒语所取代了,往北再传到西藏去之后,形成了许许多多奇奇怪怪的咒语。像这些状况,就造成了后世的众生,反而是迷信梵音字母有什么神奇的力量。

So, the explanation of word dharani in modern day has been twisted completely. It has become a superstition that any of the base letters has some kind of magical effect. It is utterly mistaken to believe that through chanting Sanskrit letters one could have a perfect understanding of praj?ā paramita. The reason this happened is simply because when the sentient beings learned Buddhism, they still had selfish desires and were not willing to follow the sutras to learn the Buddha’s teaching. Plus the historical reasons we mentioned earlier, such as Buddhism became weaker and weaker and eventually withered away in India, authentic dharanis were replaced by varioustantric mantra, and as the deformed Buddhism was spread north to Tibet, many eerie and mysterious spells were mixed into it. Under such circumstances, it misleads people to have the superstition that chanting Sanskrit letters will produce magic power.

又比方说,你如果再看一般人对真言的解释,“真言”——他们对于真言的解释就是功效真实超越时空而不变。这个部分,如果你把它紧扣着它是宣说佛教义理的话,那的确是可以承认。可是一般人对于真言这部分的功效,恐怕还是都落在求什么、求什么的立场上,所以也显然是会扭曲了原来陀罗尼的原意。

We may also take a look at the interpretation of mantra. Mantra means the effect is real and it will not cease and change through time and space. This is an interpretation. If this interpretation is about the true Buddhism doctrines, we may not deny its correctness. But the effect of mantra to most people is still the desire being answered. Obviously, this is not the original meaning of dharani.



再来,关于密语的部分。许多人就说密语是佛菩萨为了利益度化众生,将祂的无量劫的修行的愿力功德结晶为一句的密语,让弟子们只要专心持念就可以得到不可思议的功德。这个同样也是倒果为因,因为所有一切的陀罗尼都是为了帮助我们修学佛法;如果说光是一句密语就能得到不可思议的功德,那佛陀为什么还要花四十九年,留下这么多详细解说的经典呢!所以透过这个立场,你可以想象到说,所谓的透过持念一句密语就能得到不可思议的功德,那纯粹是后世的众生,因为自己的欲求使然,曲解了原来陀罗尼的意思

比方说“明”这个字,常常有人觉得说持明,持明就是表示说诵念了什么咒语,可以让身口意得到净化,进而甚至是说发出光明。可是我们都知道啊!咒语本身它只是一个音声而已,真正要净化的一定是要你要自净其意,而不是透过咒语的方式,要帮你净化你的身口意啊!那要如何自净其意呢?当然就要顺着佛陀的教导,好好去修解脱道。

About the true words (mantras), many say that the true words are the distillation of wishes and virtues that Buddhas and Bodhisattvas have accumulated through countless eons of practice to rescue the sentient beings. As long as Buddhist practitioners are devoted to remembering and chanting the expressions, they will be awarded with amazing virtues. This saying actually mistakes consequences as causes because all dharanis are for helping us to learn the Buddha Dharma. If merely chanting a simple secret word could help one to acquire unbelievable virtues, why would the Buddha spend 49 years preaching on the dharmas and leave us with a large number of detailed sutras? Therefore, we have to know that the saying above misinterprets the meaning of dharani due to the interpreters’ desires and wishes. Let’s take Ming (明- Light) for another example. Some people believe that Holding Ming (持明), in other words chanting some mantra, would purify the body, speech and mind, and eventually give out light. But we all know that spells themselves are simply sounds. The proper approach would be to self-cleanse the mind, instead of using some mantra to help one purify his body, speech and mind. Then how does one do the self-cleansing? Of course, it should be to follow the Buddha’s teachings and to practice the way of liberation.

最后谈到是说,所有一切的咒语,如果你不曲解了,按照陀罗尼原来的意思,那你诵念之后会不会得到诸佛菩萨的祝愿加持呢?这倒是肯定的。实际上只要每一个佛弟子,好好地修学佛法的话,佛菩萨没有哪一个佛弟子,会不加持的,所以不管你是用陀罗尼来修行也好,或者认真去读经典也好,或者是好好地去接近善知识上课也好,只要你好好地学佛,佛菩萨都会加持的。所以我们整个看来的话,我们特别要叮咛大家的是:咒语的本身,按照佛教的方式来说,陀罗尼就是要帮助大家学习佛法义理的。那我们要注意的,是不要把陀罗尼全部都扭曲成是一个神奇的章句,或是神奇的发音,或是神奇的梵文书写的方式,希望从这里面,只要专心诵念或是专心书写,甚至还有一些人把它刻在一个轮子上面,然后拼命在转,就是希望说透过这样转经轮,俨然就可以净化自己的身口意;那我要告诉大家,这样就叫缘木求鱼。

Last, for the authentic Buddhist dharanis, will one gain the blessings from the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas if he chants them? The answer is definitely yes. As a matter of fact, for any true Buddhist practitioners who work hard on studying and practicing the Buddha Dharma, they will be blessed by the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. For this reason, it does not matter whether we practice by means of chanting dharanis, or reading sutras, or simply attending classes given by enlightened mentors, so long as we are devoted to follow Buddhas to learn their teachings, we will be blessed by the Boddhas and Bodhisattvas. So please be reminded that dharanis in true Buddhism are there to assist us to learn Buddhist doctrines. We have to be careful not to misunderstand the dharanis as some magical sentences, or magical pronunciation, or magical ways of writing and wish to purify our body, speech and mind through wholehearted chanting or writing. Some people even carve the dharanis on wheels and keep turning them, hoping to cleanse themselves in such a way. Such actionis no difference from trying to catch fish in a tree.

今天我们就先说到这里。

阿弥陀佛!

We will stop here today, Amitabha!


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