净远法师开示:亲近善友

4-2-1.jpg

广论引本生论云(Pg. 38):【悉不应远诸善士,以调伏理修善行,由近彼故其德尘,虽不故染自然薰。】

我28岁那年,只身从新加坡飞到陌生的台湾,寻访师父到了佛学院。那时师父人在台北,我则在寺内开始净人的学习。过了一周,师父回来,听说有位从海外来的年轻人很是勤勉,隔天就召见了我。

师父知道我学佛没多久,而能从新加坡来台湾学佛,称赞我有善根,我听了内心很欢喜。师父接着为我开示了一段学习佛法的要领,内容重点是学佛首先要把道之总体 掌握好;之后,师父语锋一转,告诉我在寺院内要善与人相处。我心里想我很喜欢众师兄,大众也对我很好啊!师父又说,你刚来要学会亲近善友,多向在寺内学得好的法师学习,不要靠近见解还不稳定的人。师父还特别指示我应该常去亲近六位法师,我很听话,常常去找他们帮我解疑,获益很多。

半年后我出家,师父开始闭关。我很幸运得到师父的厚爱,是少数几个可以到关房见师父的人。那年结夏,师父驻锡南投精舍,成立僧团,我因缘不具足而无 法随行,内心很是愁怅。过了两个月,净明法师从精舍来办事,也转达师父捎来的一句话:“师友环境很重要!” 我清楚记得听到这一句话的当下——如雷贯耳。对啊!我既然已决定要跟着师父学广论,就应当好好跟着师父与同行善友啊!当下,我依止师父的心更坚定了。解夏隔天,我就搭巴士到精舍,师父见到我非常欢喜,看到游子归来,一脸很是放心的样子。

 25年过去了,至今想起这一段往事,我仍至极感恩师父的教诲,一生受用不尽。

文/净远法师


Venerable JingYuan Discourse: Relying on the Teacher

The Lamrim cited the Garland of Birth Stories (Pg. 89), stating:

Any intelligent person should not be distant from excellent beings

And should rely on these virtuous beings in a disciplined manner.

Once you are close to them, particles of their good qualities

Will stick to you automatically.

When I was 28 years old, I flew from Singapore to the unfamiliar Taiwan alone and arrived at the Buddhist Institute, in search of Master Jih-Chang. At that time, Master Jih-Chang was in Taipei while I began my pre-ordainment learning at the monastery. One week later, Master Jih-Chang returned and heard about this young man from abroad who was very diligent. He asked to meet me the next day.

Master Jih-Chang knew that I was new to Buddhism and yet was able to travel from Singapore to Taiwan to learn Buddhism, therefore he praised that I have roots of virtue. I was very happy when I heard that. Then, Master Jih-Chang gave me a discourse on the essentials of learning the Dharma. The main point of the discourse was that the first step to learning Buddhism was to have a good grasp of the overall path. After that, Master Jih-Chang’s tone changed and he told me to be good at getting along with others in the monastery. I thought to myself, “I like my fellow Dharma brothers, and they are also very nice towards me!” Master Jih-Chang then said: “You are new here, you should learn to rely on virtuous friends and learn from those who are learning well. Do not get close to those who are not yet firm with their views and understanding.” Master Jih-Chang also specifically instructed me to rely on six venerables frequently. I was very obedient, and benefited greatly when I often looked for them to resolve my doubts.

Half a year later, I ordained to be a monk. Master Jih-Chang began his retreat. I was very fortunate to receive Master Jih-Chang’s generous affection to be one of the few who was allowed to see Master Jih-Chang in the retreat room. At the end of summer that year, Master Jih-Chang stationed at Nantou Jing She (精舍) to establish the Sangha community. As I did not have sufficient causes and conditions, I was unable to go along. I felt dejected. Two months later, Venerable Jing Ming returned from  Jing She to settle some matters. At the same time, he relayed Shifu’s words, “The environment of the Teacher and friends is very important!” I remember clearly when I heard this sentence – it was like thunder piercing my ears. Right! Since I have decided to learn the Lamrim from Master Jih-Chang, I should follow Master Jih-Chang and the virtuous friends well! At once, my desire to rely upon Master Jih-Chang became firmer. The next day, I took a bus to Jing She. Master Jih-Chang was very delighted upon seeing me; seeing the wanderer return, his face beamed with reassurance.

25 years have passed. Whenever I think of this episode, I remain extremely grateful to Master Jih-Chang’s teachings, which I will benefit from endlessly for life.

By Venerable Jing Yuan