参加祈愿法会如何用心

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有几句叮咛给大家,众所周知,祈愿法会是非常神圣庄严而又难得的法会,穷极一生,我们能参加多少次祈愿法会?所以是很稀有的机会。希望大家在参加祈愿法会的时候,要端正好自己的动机,因为我们造业动机非常地重要;也要注意回向,如果我们有一滴水的福报,如何让它生生世世受用不尽呢?一定要回向无上菩提。

发心也是为成就无上菩提,回向也回向无上菩提,那么在祈愿法会中,我们参加的每一场听经、每一次念诵,它的愿望和回向都一样的,所以我们一定会得到这样的结果,这是非常非常精确的,所以大家在发心回向上一定要注意。

还有一点就是在听经的时候注意不要昏沉散乱,不要纵自己的狂心。比如:非理作意、没有敬意,或者坐在法会中胡思乱想,人在法会里坐着,心不晓得跑到哪里去了,这都是最对不起自己的事情。如何防治昏沉和散乱呢?一开始广论上听闻胜利的串习是很重要的,因为听闻前行作不好,法会正行的时候就会进入不了状态,可能听经听了一个小时才慢慢的静下来,或者有人还是无法静下来,就是之前在世间忙的很多事情的续流,无法一下子转到仁波切讲经的所缘上。所以你要思索听闻胜利,想一想佛法多么珍贵难遇,善知识来说法多稀有的机会,生珍惜的、难遇的那种心境起来的时候,就能够把我们狂乱的那个心缘在法上。

其实欢喜心是对昏沉的一种对治。我们非常非常地难得,能一再听闻善知识为我们讲述佛陀的功德。佛陀是我们最大的大恩人,祂从最初、中间、最后成就无上菩提,初发心、中集资粮、成就正等正觉,全都是为了拯救你我痛苦的生命。这一份略一思索会让人生起一种感激涕零、不可名状的感动的这样的一个大悲心,只要我们常去忆念一下,不可能听到佛陀的故事会心无动转。

听到佛陀的故事,生起感动的心,生起效学的心,还有生起那难得的随喜之心。大家都知道嫉妒是一种障碍,障碍善法,而我们生起随喜的心,功德最大的就是佛陀,如果在每一次听经时,都随喜佛陀那样非常非常了不起的功德,用全部的心去听闻,那么在这一场听闻之中,我们所集结的善业是不可思议的。

大家都知道在佛世佛陀说法的时候,有很多人在听经的时候就证得比如:有人证几果、有人登地、又有人发阿耨多罗三藐三菩提心,这是一个那样殊胜的法会。如果我们能对说法的善知识作佛想,像广论中所说的,于说法起药品想,于自己要起疗治想「我是有病的一个人」,这样非常认真、严谨地听闻,我相信一定能获得像广论中所说的那样的胜利。

所以都是花这么多时间听这一座法,到底为自己的来生、为自己的后世,累积多少珍贵的资粮——那种道粮!所以大家一定要、一定要非常的殷重。而且我们认真的听法、恭敬的听法,也是请佛住世、请转法轮、希望正法能够久住的一个身体力行的修为,是所有佛弟子都应该做的,因为我们都知道佛法珍贵、佛陀难遇、善知识难遇,那么我们如何把自己非常珍惜教法的心表示出来,就是用自己身体力行实践听闻轨理,如法的听闻,我们这样做一定会令善知识非常的欢喜,会永远高高兴兴地带着我们学,来摄受我们,我们就永远都能够远离恶知识、亲近善知识,永远都在善知识座下听闻那无与伦比的美妙教法。

所以,我所牵挂的你们,千万要好好珍惜自己的善根,好好在祈愿法会的时候精进修行。人世苦短,能用来修行的时间少之又少,你得到这样的时刻如果还不珍惜的话,寂天菩萨问说:「我心有何物」!讲这些希望与大家共勉,请诸位在法会的时候,多多珍重自己的善根,好好用功,以此报答所有的佛菩萨、感恩善知识、祈愿正法久住。

I have a few reminders for all. As everyone knows, Monlam Festival is a very sacred, solemn and hard to come by festival. Throughout one’s life, how many times would one be able to attend this festival? Hence, it is very rare. I wish everyone of us will set our intentions right when we participate in the festival, because our intention for doing an action (karmic deed) is very important. We should also take note of our dedication. If we have a karmic reward as little as just one drop of water, how are we able to enjoy this karmic benefit in the many life times ahead?  We must dedicate towards supreme enlightenment.

Our aspiration is to accomplish supreme enlightenment, and our dedication is also towards supreme enlightenment. Hence, during the Monlam Festival, for each session of hearing the teaching, or each sutra-recitation session, the aspiration and dedication are similar, therefore we will obtain the same fruition. This is extremely precise. Therefore, we must be very careful in our aspiration and dedication.

In addition, we have to be wary to avoid having a scattered mind, be affected by laxity/drowsiness, or indulge in our unrestrained mind, when we listen to the teachings. For example, thinking of things that are not according to the teaching, having disrespect, or letting the mind go into flights of fancy during the sessions, i.e. even though one is sitting in, the mind has gone astray. All these are the utmost unworthy things we do that let ourselves down. What preventive measures can be taken against a scattered and lax/drowsy mind? From the start, it is very important to continually practice knowing the benefits of hearing the teaching as taught in the Lamrim. This is because, if our preparation before hearing the teaching is not done properly, then the mind will not be prepared in the actual session. Some of us may gradually settle down only after one hour of hearing the teaching, or some may still not be able to settle down, as their mind is caught up in their busyness with worldly activities. As a result, they cannot switch and focus their mind at once to listen to Rinpoche’s teaching.  Therefore, you have to contemplate the benefits of hearing, that Dharma is very precious and hard to come by, that it is a very rare opportunity that the Excellent Teacher has come to give the teachings. So when the thought of cherishing the above arises, then our scattered mind will be able to focus on the Dharma.

In fact, a joyful heart is able to overcome laxity/drowsiness. It is an extremely rare chance to listen to an Excellent Teacher narrate the merits of Buddha. Buddha is our greatest benefactor. From the beginning, in the middle and finally attaining supreme enlightenment, Buddha’s initial aspiration, accumulation of merits and attainment of perfect enlightenment —— all these were for saving all of us from our lives of suffering. Buddha’s heart of great compassion is one, which would move us to tears of gratitude and arouse an indescribable feeling of thankfulness, when we just slightly ponder over it. If we always recall the Buddha’s great compassion, it is impossible that we will not be moved by listening to the Buddha’s stories.

Upon hearing stories of the Buddha, let your heart be moved, wish to emulate, and arise within you a rare heartful of rejoice.  As we are all aware, jealousy is an obstacle, an obstruction to the virtuous teachings; but we feel a sense of rejoice. The Buddha has the most good qualities, thus if we could rejoice the Buddha’s extremely excellent good qualities each time we listen wholeheartedly to the Dharma, then the amount of positive karma we have amassed during this Dharma session would be unthinkable/unimaginable.

As we have learnt, many had achieved attainments while listening to Buddha’s discourses during His time in this world; some attained the fruits at respective levels, some advanced to the bodhisattva grounds, while others attained the supreme, perfect enlightenment.  This is such an excellent Dharma assembly.  If we could view these Excellent Teachers just as we view the Buddha, regard the Dharma as the medicine and oneself as a sick person, as cited in the Lam Rim, and then earnestly listen to the Dharma, then I am confident that we will achieve the victory that the Lam Rim indicated.

Therefore, we spend the same time to attend this discourse, how much precious merits (I.e resources to walk the path) are we accumulating for our afterlife!  Hence, we must be, must be very serious and earnest. In addition, when we listen to the Dharma earnestly and respectfully, we are practicing with our body and mind to request that the Buddhas stay in this world, to turn the Dharma wheel, and wish that the Dharma remain for a long time – this is what all Buddhists should do.  This is because we know how precious the Dharma is, how rare it is to meet the Buddha and the Excellent Teacher. How then do we demonstrate that we cherish the Dharma?  We do so by listening to the Dharma wholeheartedly according to the right method for listening, which will surely delight our Excellent Teachers. Our Teachers will then always delightfully lead us to learn and support us. We will then always steer away from bad friends/teachers with wrong views and remain close to our Excellent Teachers; we will always listen to the unparalleled wondrous Dharma at the base of the seat, where our Teachers give the teachings.

Thus, to all of you whom I care dearly, be sure to cherish your roots of virtues and practice with joyous diligence during the MonLam Festival.  Life has much suffering and is short, and the time available to practice is very short.  If you have such time and yet do not cherish it, then this will be just like what Santideva had commented “I do not know even this!”.  I am sharing this with you, in the hope that all of you will cherish your roots of virtues and practice diligently during this Festival, so as to repay all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas, thank all Excellent Teachers with gratitude and pray that the Dharma will remain for a long time to come.

Translation and review by: Shui Ching Jaw, Lim Siew Cheng and Adeline Tay