The Scariest Enemy: The Afflictions in Our Hearts

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The fourth article of Santideva's Engaging in the Bodhisattva Deeds is the conscientious article. The article states: [Should even all the gods and non-gods, rise up against me as my enemies, they cannot lead me to nor place me in the fires of Relentless Torment. But this foe, the powerful afflictions, in an instant can cast me there, which when met will cause not even the ashes of Mount Meru to remain.]

This sentence means that regardless of beings in the heavenly realms or all beings in the non-heavenly realms (i.e. many, many beings), even if they all harm me, insult me or do anything to me just like what they will do to an enemy, it is not possible for them to throw me into the unrelenting hell in an instant.

The incident whereby someone hurts you might not lead you to fall into miserable realms or even into hell. However, there is an enemy who would immediate lead us to fall into the miserable realms. What is the name of that enemy? It is the strong afflictions. The afflictions that we have are very strong. When we have anger/hatred etc towards an eminent object, these afflictions will instantly propel me to the fire of hell, as if tossing me into the raging inferno of hell. These are the afflictions in our hearts. The ruinous effects of these afflictions will even burn down Mount Meru to the extent that no ashes are left.  

The next sentence that he said was: [All other enemies are incapable of such a length of time. As can my afflictions, the long-time enemy with neither beginning nor end.]

The enemy that has remained in our hearts for the longest time is our afflictions and it has been there for eons of years. The enemies in the mundane world have not lived on for as long as the afflictions have.  Therefore, this enemy in our hearts, the afflictions, the strength of these afflictions is the scariest. 

Then, this sentence reminds us: We should not allow intense anger or vengeance, all these negative thoughts to arise and even affect us till the extent that we carry out vengeful actions, when others harm us physically, emotionally or damage our reputation etc. This is because we will create negative karma when we have these negative thoughts.  And, due to these negative karma, we will fall into miserable realms and might even instantly create causes which lead us to hell. It is a very long period of great suffering in hell.

Once again, this sentence reminds us that what really harms us are the afflictions that we have and not the external enemies. These afflictions are our ignorance, greed and hostility. Are the people who appear to be harming us really harming us or giving us a present of tolerance? It is entirely dependent on how we want to train our minds and how we want to perceive the matter.

Eng

心中的烦恼,才是最可怕的敌人

在寂天菩萨所著的《入行论》的第四品中,就是〈不放逸品〉中,有这样一个偈颂:「纵使天非天,齐来敌对我,然彼犹不能,掷我入无间。强力烦恼敌,掷我入狱火,须弥若遇之,灰烬亦无余。」

这句话的意思就是,纵使天人或者非天,这个非天可以说所有的有情,很多很多的有情,一起把我当成敌人,那样来伤害我、辱骂我,或者做什么、做什么.. ....他们合起来一起把我像仇人一样对待,可是纵使是这样呢,「然彼犹不能」,他们也不可能做到把我一下子扔到无间地狱去。

有人伤害你这件事,并不一定会使你堕落恶趣,乃至堕落地狱。但是却有一个仇敌,会一下子让我们堕落到地狱去。那个仇敌的名字是谁呢?就是「强力烦恼敌」,烦恼的这个敌人力量非常地大。当我们对于殊胜境发起瞋恨心,或者怎样,它们会瞬间掷我入狱火,就像把我投到地狱的烈火中一样。就是我们内心的烦恼,这种这么大的瞋恨,它所产生的过患,连须弥山遇到了,灰烬也会都烧完了,也剩不下。

他下一个偈子说:「吾心烦恼敌,长住无尽期;其余世间敌,命不如是久。」那么我们心中最长久的敌人,其实是烦恼,而且它无始劫来就是这样,居住在我们的心中。然后其余世间的敌人,他没有说从无始劫来一直到现在都是住得这么久的。所以这个心中的敌人、烦恼的敌人的力量,是最可怕的。

然后这句话就提醒我们:我们不要因为人、非人等对我们的伤害,身心的伤害、名誉的伤害......等等,反而在心中现起强烈的复仇啊、瞋恨啊......这些恶念,然后甚至是付诸于行动。因为心中的这个恶念,我们就会造下恶业;因为这个恶业,我们就会堕落三涂,甚至瞬间就会造下地狱的业。地狱业的时间都非常地长、非常地苦。

这句话再度地提醒我们说:真正祸害我们的,其实就是我们心中的无明和贪、瞋这些烦恼,而不是外境上那些敌人。外境上的那些示现来伤害我们的人,他到底是会伤害到我们,还是会送给我们一个忍辱的礼物?完全观待于我们到底要怎样修心,怎样看待这件事。