觀音菩薩出家法會The Renunciation of Guan Yin Bodhisattva

會長菩提長老講於觀音菩薩出家法會前
莊博慧居士中譯及記錄

In Buddhism, a person who vows to become a fully enlightened Buddha is called a bodhisattva. There are different grades of bodhisattvas.

Just as in the university there are students studying for a bachelors’s degree, those studying for a master’s degree, those studying for a PhD, and those with only their dissertation to complete, so too bodhisattvas fall into four broad levels.

在佛法中,一個人,發願成為圓滿覺悟的佛,就稱為菩薩。菩薩有不同的階位。

就好像在大學裏的學生,有攻讀學士學位、碩士學位、博士學位的,還有一些只差論文就完成的。相同的,菩薩也分四個大的等級。

First, there are bodhisattvas who have newly generated bodhicitta, the aspiration for full enlightenment, and have just started to accumulate merits and wisdom. These are like students seeking a BA or BS degree.

Second, there are bodhisattvas who have been diligently practicing the six pāramitās: generosity, etc. These are like students in a master’s program.

首先,是初發心菩薩, 志求圓滿覺悟,才剛開始積集福德智慧資糧。這些就像大學部求取(文學院或理學院的學士)學位的學生。

其次,是精勤修習布施等六波羅蜜的菩薩,這些就像碩士班的學生。

Still further, there are bodhisattvas at a very high level, who have advanced in their practice of the six pāramitās and gained deep wisdom and high realizations. These are like the PhD students.

更有一些相當高階的菩薩,在六波羅蜜上的修習,更進一步,獲得了高深的智慧和證悟。這些就像博士班的學生。

And finally, there are bodhisattvas who are very close to buddhahood, with just a few steps remaining. These are like PhD students who are writing their doctoral dissertation—who are almost finished with their work.

最後,有些菩薩,已經非常接近成佛,就剩幾步了,這些像正在寫論文的博士班學生,即將完工了。

In Chinese Mahāyāna Buddhism, there are four bodhisattvas at this last level who are most highly venerated.

These are: the great wisdom bodhisattva, Manjushri; the great practice bodhisattva, Samantabhadra (Puxian); the great vows bodhisattva, Kshitigarbha (Dizang Wang); and the great compasssion bodhisattva, Avalokiteshvara, or in Chinese, Guan Yin.

在漢傳大乘佛教中,在最後這個階位的菩薩,有四位最受尊敬。

他們是大智菩薩是文殊,大行菩薩是普賢,大願菩薩是地藏王,以及大悲菩薩是觀世音。

In a Buddha, these four qualities are perfectly combined, but bodhisattvas specialize in one or the other. Today we are celebrating the renunciation of Guan Yin, the bodhisattva of great compassion.

在佛陀身上,這四種功德圓滿地結合,但菩薩或這或那各有所長。今天我們所要慶祝的,是大悲菩薩,觀世音菩薩的出家。

In Indian Buddhism, Avalokiteshvara is primarily depicted as a male, but in Chinese Buddhism, at some point, he was transformed into a female. Thus people often describe Guan Yin as “the goddess of mercy.” But actually Guan Yin is not a goddess, but an advanced bodhisattva. I will refer to Guan Yin as female.

在印度佛教,觀音主要說為男身, 但在中國佛教,在某個時候,轉為女身,因此,人們經常稱她為慈悲的觀音娘娘。不過事實上,觀音不是女神娘娘,而是高階的菩薩。我說觀音時,以女身來說她。

The name “Guan Yin” means “one who contemplates sounds,” or Guan Shi Yin, “one who contemplates the sounds of the world.” Why is Guan Yin called by this name? Because Guan Yin directs her mind to listen to the cries of suffering arising from the world.

觀音的的名字,意思是「觀聽音聲的人」,或者,觀世音,是觀聽世間音聲的人。為什麼稱為觀音?因其心,觀聽世間痛苦的音聲。

Every day, millions of beings are undergoing suffering. If they hear of Guan Yin and single-mindedly call her name, then, it is said, she will perceive their cries and deliver them from their suffering.

每一天,有數以百萬的眾生受諸苦惱。如果他們聞觀世音名號,並一心稱名,觀世音即時觀其音聲,聞聲救苦。

Just as sufferings are of many different kinds, so the activity of Guan Yin is of many kinds, corresponding to these different kinds of suffering. Guan Yin delivers those caught in a raging fire; she rescues those caught in a disaster at sea; she rescues those threatened by demons and evil spirits; she rescues those being attacked by bandits. She rescues those overcome by passion from their passions. She helps a woman who wants a child to conceive.

苦有種種,相應不同的苦難,觀音的事行也就有種種:救度為大火所燒的人、救度遭海難的人、救度遭羅剎難、鬼難的人、救度遭賊匪襲擊的人,多於淫欲者離欲,幫助求子的女人得子。

Guan Yin manifests in many different forms in order to benefit beings. She takes on the form appropriate for the people to be trained. The Lotus Sutra mentions 32 forms. She manifests as a Buddha, as a wise disciple of the Buddha, as a deity, as a king, as a monk or nun, as a layman or laywoman. Just as the needs of people are many, so GY’s manifestaions are many.

觀世音菩薩示現種種身來利益眾生,應以何身得度者,則現何身而度化之,法華經提到有32化身:她示現為佛、有智慧的佛弟子、天、國王、比丘、比丘尼、優婆塞、優婆夷。眾生有種種需求,觀世音的示現也就有種種。

Today’s ceremony celebrates the renunciation of Guan Yin.今天的法會,紀念/慶祝觀音菩薩出家。

The Chinese expression, chu jia, means “to leave home.” This expression has a profound meaning. We usually think that chu jia means merely “to give up the household life to be ordained as a monk or nun.” But that is only part of the meaning.

The “home” in which we have been living is not only a house and family, but at a deeper level, it is “the home of saṃsāra,” of birth and death.

中文出家意味離家,具有深刻的涵意。

通常我們認為出家的意思僅僅是捨離在家的生活,剃度成為出家眾。但這只是一部份的意思而已。我們所居住的家,不僅是一個房子,一個家庭而已,更深一層,是生死輪迴之家。

Because we have been attached to our “home” in saṃsāra through time without beginning, we have been taking birth, growing old, and meeting suffering over and over.

The Buddha says that during our time in saṃsāra we have shed more tears than the water in the great ocean, more blood than the water in the great ocean. So much suffering, it is inconceivable!

The Buddha taught that we wander in saṃsāra because of our craving and attachments.

We’re attached to wife, to husband, to children; to money and position and power, to fame and status. We find it hard to let go.

由於我們無始以來,執著輪迴之家,因此,一再一再地出生,變老、遭遇苦痛。

佛陀說,我們在輪迴中,所流的淚水比大海水還多。所流的血比大海水還多,這麼多的苦,真是不可思議!

佛陀教導我們,我們因渴愛和執著而輪迴。我們執著妻子、丈夫、兒女、金錢、地位、權力、名譽、身份,難以棄捨。

We form attachments because of our ignorance, and thus we live in a false home, an insecure home–the home of impermanence, of birth and death.

因為無明,我們形成執取。因此,居住在一個錯誤的家,不安穩的家,無常生死的家。

But beyond this false home of saṃsāra is our “true home,” the really secure home of nirvāna—the state of perfect bliss and freedom.

To arrive at our true home we have to cut off craving and destroy ignorance. And so we leave our “false home,” our home in birth and death, in order to take up the practice that will lead to our true home.

但超越這個錯誤的輪迴之家,是我們真正的家,涅槃安穩的家,是圓滿快樂自在的境界。

要抵達我們真正的家,必須斷除渴愛、滅除無明。所以我們離開我們錯誤的家,我們生死中的家,為的是要修行,通往真正的家。

That is the deeper meaning of monastic ordination. We enter the monastic life not merely to perform ceremonies and rituals, but to cultivate the Buddha’s path without the obstacles of the household life. One leaves home to be free from the thousand troubles faced by people living at home.

So Guan Yin left home in order to cultivate the path. Having left home, she took up the precepts of a homeless person.

這是出家更深的涵義。進入了出家的生活,不是僅僅做法會儀式而已,而是以沒有在家生活的障礙來修學佛道。

出家之人為了免於在家人所面對的數以千計的麻煩而出家。因此,觀世音菩薩出家,為了修學佛道。出家之後,受戒,成為無家之人。

She practiced meditation and cultivated samādhi, perfecting the one-pointed mind. She developed insight and cultivated wisdom. With her wisdom she broke through her ignorance and delusions and eliminated her defilements. In this way, she gradually entered the world-transcending bodhi path and became an accomplished bodhisattva.

她禪修、修定,成就心一境性。修觀、修慧。

以慧破無明和愚癡,滅除煩惱。如此,漸次進入出世間菩提道,而成為一位有成就的菩薩。

In our own lives, we can rely on the great compassion of Guan Yin to help us in times of difficulty.

But we must develop an affinity with Guan Yin. We cannot just call on her on rare occasions.

在我們生命當中,有困苦的時候,我們依賴觀世音菩薩的大悲來幫助我們。但我們必須培養和觀世音菩薩的親和力,不能只有極少數情況下才去請求她.

We need to practice: to recollect her name, to recollect her qualities, to meditate on her image, to make offerings to her.

She is a light to guide us out of darkness, a boat to carry us to the far shore, a hand that lifts us up when we have fallen, a mother that hears our sorrows and comforts us.

我們要憶念她的名號,憶念她的功德、 觀想她的形相,對她作供養。

她是光,引領我們出黑暗,

是船,運載我們到達彼岸

是手,我們跌倒時將我們扶起

是母親,聆聽我們的哀傷,並撫慰我們。

But we should not only worship Guan Yin. We should try to be like Guan Yin. this means we must listen to the cries of the world and try to help those afflicted with suffering.

但是我們不應該只是禮拜觀世音菩薩而已。我們應當試著像觀世音菩薩一樣,意即,我們應該傾聽世間的哭聲,盡力幫助那些苦難的人。

It is said in the Avatamsaka Sutra (Hua Yen Jing) that the essence of buddhahood is the mind of great compassion. Guan Yin is the bodhisattva who most fully manifests the great compassion of all the buddhas. Therefore, if we wish to follow in the footsteps of Guan Yin, we should not only venerate Guan Yin, but also follow Guan Yin in the practice of great compassion.

華嚴經上說到,大悲心是成佛的要素。觀世音菩薩是最能圓滿展現諸佛大悲的菩薩。因此,如果我們想要跟隨觀世音菩薩的腳步,我們不僅要禮拜觀世音,還要在實踐大悲上追隨觀世音菩薩。

Now we will begin the ceremony. 我們現在法會開始。

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