Teacher’s detailed explanation: Process of seeking the teachings of the Four Interwoven Annotations

A virtuous teacher is a great treasure. Should one possess the good fortune of meeting such a teacher, life will suddenly be enriched, like the poor who found a most valuable treasure. One’s heart will also seem to move from darkness to light and filled with hope.

Everyone has something that must be accomplished in this life. As for myself, looking for a virtuous teacher and learning the Dharma from him are my greatest ideals.   

I was hit by a kind of pain concerning the issue of life and death. Why must birth, old age, sickness and death exist? This issue bothered me relentlessly, as though being pursued by a raging flame. In fact, the longing to hear an explanation on this from a virtuous teacher, had become a protracted pain since I had no idea where and how to find him. If there isn’t this person to explain to me this knot of life and death, what should I do? While bearing such a pain in me, my timid and cowardice self finally worked up the courage to leave my hometown and embark on the journey to look for my virtuous teacher. 

This was how I arrived in Beijing. It was as though I was searching for my very own sparkling star amidst the star-filled sky. I hoped to borrow its light to give me the courage to move forward through the darkness. Whilst looking for my virtuous teacher, I learnt the Pure Land Buddhism and also meticulously studied the Zen Buddhism, leaving no stone unturned, in the hope of finding answers to where life came from and where one would go after death.

One day, a friend gave me a book entitled “Lamrim”. That was my very first sight of “Lamrim”. I was totally absorbed in it. After reading it for a period of time, I was deeply touched by the parts about Virtuous Teachers, Mindfulness of Death and Spirit of Enlightenment. Consequently, I enquired around looking for a Teacher who could explain the “Lamrim”. After several twists and turns, I heard there was such a Teacher. I asked, “[Does he] explain every sentence?” and the reply was “Yes”. As this affirmation made me very keen to get hold of this Teacher’s tape recording, I earnestly enquired around for it. Finally, a Venerable managed to borrow it on my behalf. I could not wait to listen to it. Once I heard Master Jih-Chang’s voice, my tears could not stop falling. It was as if a ray of light illuminated my heart.  The feeling of being rescued instantly touched and filled my heart. From then on, I was unable to leave this voice.

It was summer. I was gathering again with a group of Buddhist devotees who were interested in morning/evening chanting. They hoped that I would join them in paying a formal visit to the Living Buddha at the West Yellow Temple. I was told that it was a rare opportunity as it was not easy to meet him. I asked, “What is a Living Buddha?” I had no knowledge about Tibetan Buddhism then. They replied, “He is a highly accomplished reincarnated monk with knowledge of supernatural powers and incantation.” I then asked, ”Why do we need to pay a formal visit?” They replied, “He is a close disciple of the Panchen Lama. More significantly, the Living Buddha knows mandarin and we could ask him questions directly.” Subsequently, we discussed about the questions we wanted to ask the Living Buddha. One student said, “I wish to seek the Living Buddha’s divination knowledge to ascertain whether I should study abroad.” Another said, “I wish to learn about Tibetan Buddhism.” All of us expressed our respective wishes and anticipated our visit to the temple. As for myself, I still wished to ask the most pressing question that had deprived me of any peace: What is the faster method to escape life and death?

On that day, we took a bus early and amid transferring of buses, we finally arrived at the West Yellow Temple. I was moving closer towards my Guru!

Upon entering the West Yellow Temple, what came into sight were the yellow glazed tiled roof with the red walls standing out against the bright sunlight. The antique temple appeared solemn and dignified. Its grandeur was simply extraordinary.

Before our scheduled meeting time, I was taken through the side door in the west, to circumambulate the reputable Purification Stupa. This was constructed by orders from Emperor Qian Long specially in memory of Panchen Lama VI - Lobsang Baidain Yeshe, who went into nirvana in the West Yellow Temple in Beijing. The stupa reportedly contained the Lama’s robes and head-dress. It is made of marble, standing 15 meters in height, and pristinely white. A pair of white lions stood outside of the barricades. I ran towards the lions as I somehow felt a certain sense of familiarity with them. I patted them on their head and even touched their long tongues which seemed so soft. There was a monk, bare footed, who was circumambulating the stupa with earnest concentration. I followed suit, and strangely, was overwhelmed with emotions. I didn’t stop my circumambulation until I was told that it was time to meet the Teacher. Through the main door of a building and after turning right, a seemingly long and dim corridor stood ahead. As we slowed our pace along the quiet corridor, it felt as if the corridor was widening and the pace of my heart slowed down quickly. But for some strange reasons, there was yet calm and excitement within this silence. There was a sudden sense of déjà vu, as if it was all pre-destined, that my Teacher has been waiting for me since eternity as I traversed through my journey, and it could well be in one of the rooms within the deep recesses of this corridor. While it had been a long journey to reach my Teacher, I know I will eventually get there, I must get there!

After knocking on the door, it swung open and a venerable invited us in. My eyes swiftly fell on the Teacher, looking so dignified with a sutra in his hand, bespectacled and smiling so kindly which seemed like deja vu to me. It felt like I have been to this place before. I was so joyous as the Teacher was like my next of kin, as if he was my father. He became my Master from that day onwards.
     
Rinpoche first taught me “Yellow Manjusri”, “Taking Refuge” and “Praise of the gods in Tusita” etc. He also taught me precious lineage transmission such as “Vajrasattva”. Owing to my frequent meetings with the Rinpoche, I often saw many lay practitioners and monks seeking the Dharma from him. I often asked if I could remain behind to listen to his Dharma teachings. Rinpoche often agreed and I was overjoyed as I also learnt from the teachings which these visitors had sought from Rinpoche.
  
I have always meant to disclose to Rinpoche my practice of listening to Master Jih-Chang’s discourses on the Lamrim, which was fulfilled one day. Rinpoche was happy to learn this and encouraged me to listen well and to learn earnestly. He said he was aware of Master Jih-Chang, someone remarkable from the Chinese region, who was giving discourses on Lamrim. I showed Rinpoche the note-book which I had used to take notes while listening to Master Jih-Chang, with the sole intent of seeking blessings from him. To my surprise, he leafed the note-book through every page and read every single word I wrote, much to my trepidation - because I had numerous doodles in my notebook and illustrations of my own creation, which I worried Rinpoche might disapprove of. For instance, on the chapter of Contemplating Death, I had drawn a huge glowing hammer with the statement “To hammer out all attachments of the current life” under it.

To my surprise, Rinpoche was very happy with what he saw. He encouraged me to continue learning fervently and expressed his delight at my diligent attitude in learning the Lamrim. I retrieved my note-book joyously and continued to take notes and doodled. Sometime later, on my next visit, Rinpoche remarked, “You are making good progress with your Lamrim study and have attained a good level of foundation on the Lamrim. It is best when there is transmission of Lamrim on the foundation that has been established.” Tibetan Buddhism is passed down through lineage. What is this lineage? For example, from the perspective of the Lamrim, its meaning and contents are euphemistically transmitted through the oral discourses by Shakyamuni Buddha and passed on to Master Tsong-Kha-Pa. After Master Tsong-Kha-Pa created the written texts for "The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment", he then created the oral transmission of the same treatise which has been passed on to the present days until it reached my Guru; just like what was elaborated in the "Lineage Masters Prayer". Our lineage is specifically passed down from A-La-La-Ke Rinpoche of Labrang Monastery.  You will receive immense blessing if you could receive the lineage of the oral transmission of the Lamrim because it originated directly from the Great Master himself.  There are many types of lineage for the Lamrim. Besides oral transmission, there are also that of "Recitation" (through lungs) and "Guidance" (through bloodline). Without lineage, it is not in concordance with the Dharma when one conducts a discourse to others."  I began to better comprehend the importance of lineage after listening to Rinpoche's comments, and arose immense confidence.  This led me to request receiving of the oral transmission of “The Great Treatise on the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment" by Rinpoche to which he happily acceded.

The day to receive the lineage teachings was finally arriving. However, it started snowing unexpectedly in Beijing. The snow continued until the next day and with the falling snowflakes, the whole Beijing was wrapped in snow. All the trees by the roads were crystalized and it was such a beautiful sight. My mother brought me to the roadside to wait for taxi cars to fetch us. It was a world of white, which resembles the pure motivation of the Teacher, as if displaying to me a rigorous yet pure lineage of the teachings. We waited very long in the snow and as we were waiting, we were also supplicating. Out of a sudden, a car stopped by and the window winded down, in it, someone asked, “Where are you all going? I will give you a lift.” Therefore, we quickly sat in to his car and realized that it was not a rented car but a privately-owned one. He rejected our payment and said, “I was worried that you would be standing long time in the snow and there were no cars to pick you all up.” I was so touched by his words! It felt that it was better to have a car sent in the snow than having charcoal delivered (translator note: providing help in the hours of need)!

Finally, we reached the monastery. In that snowy evening from six till nine o’clock, Rinpoche started to give me a discourse. Rinpoche said, “The teachings that I want to pass to you is the lineage of “long”. This lineage is pure and it is from my teacher. I am now passing on the teachings to you.” After saying this, Rinpoche opened the scripture and started reciting the Lamrim. The world became quiet and the place was filled with peace and compassion. Gradually, the universe seemed to disappear, leaving only the voice and figure of Rinpoche. Our hearts felt like they were infiltrated in the beautiful, fluid and poetic ancient melody, and the heart was opening as if there was no boundary, such that we forgot that time was passing by. Just like that, everyday for fifteen days, Rinpoche would recite Lamrim and at times, explained a few sentences. A venerable, my mother and I became the first few Han Chinese students of Rinpoche to receive the transmission of the Lamrim.

That time, I could feel that Rinpoche was getting tired but whenever he was persuaded to take a break, Rinpoche would say that he was not tired and said, “I am very happy to be able to learn the Lamrim one more time!” Only after a few years did I realise that when Rinpoche was in the Buddhist Institute giving the transmission on “Bao Sheng Bai Fa”, of which there were more than 300 initiations to be given with the transmissions. Everyday after giving the discourse, he continued to give me a discourse on the Lamrim for another three hours. Now that I think back about it, I feel so touched again!  In order to propagate the Dharma, the teacher looked pass his own tiredness and took it as his sole responsibility. As his disciple, how could I take the teachings lightly, and not cherish or respect it? 

As such, I continued learning the Lamrim. There was once I asked Rinpoche, “Is there any annotation for the Lamrim? Any lineage Masters from Tibet wrote annotation for that?” Rinpoche replied, “There are many annotations for it in Tibet! There are a few hundreds of it.” In shocked, I replied, “There are actually so many of it! Is there any of it that has already been translated?”, “I cannot seem to find it anywhere.” Rinpoche then replied,” Looks like no one has translated it.” I then asked politely, “At that time when Venerable Fa Zun translated Lamrim, why did he not translate some of the annotations? The annotations were not translated thereafter as well.” Rinpoche replied, “Ah! There are many reasons for that!” I said,” I really wish to have annotation on Lamrim!” Therefore, I asked Rinpoche, “Which annotations are the more popular ones?” Rinpoche replied, “’The Four Interwoven Annotations’ is very popular.” When I heard of the Four Interwoven Annotations, I was startled and immediately knelt down and said to Rinpoche, “Please give me the teachings of the Four Interwoven Annotations!” I then continued on to say, “It is a need for me to learn the Lamrim and I have benefited greatly from listening to Master Jih-Chang’s recorded discourse, but I would really love to learn insight meditation. I want to know how to completely get out of cyclic existence. I beg of you to give me the transmission!” Rinpoche replied, “Panchen Lama set up an Advance level Tibetan Buddhism in China in 1987, and I was the first batch of student. That time, the main textbook that we used during lessons was the Four Interwoven Annotations. I listened to the Four Interwoven Annotations discourse by Xia Ri Dong Rinpoche for nine months. I suppose on one hand, it is the transmission of the teachings, and on the other hand the four Interwoven Annotations can be learnt by discussion!” Since then, I have been longing and looking forward to learn the Four Interwoven Annotations. Once I have the opportunity, I would confess to Rinpoche about this desire to learn.  It was as if I was like a poor son, jusr when I was longing for help, a father sailed back with loads of limitless treasures on a boat, anchoring in my heart once again.

Later when I met Master Jih-Chang, I told him, “I have been seeking to obtain the teachings of the Four Interwoven Annotations from Rinpoche but with no success yet.” Master replied cautiously, “Oh! You must strive to get this extremely important teachings, you must strive for it. Firstly, you must have a clear motive and with continuous supplication, the dharma goal will then be achieved.” Hence, I continued to supplicate earnestly. One day, Rinpoche called and told me he had found time to deliver the Four Interwoven Annotations. I was overwhelmed with joy when I received the good news!

Arrangement was made for the lessons. As Master Jih-Chang was also around, Rinpoche would start by giving me a four-hour lesson daily, with two hours each in the morning and afternoon. After the lesson, I would report to Master Jih-Chang what I had learned. Master Jih-Chang was always very happy. He said, “I am old and not well, now you have the blessings to learn them, do cherish this rare opportunity! As this lineage has never been passed on to the Chinese region before, this is an earth-breaking matter, even the deities are very happy!” Master also encouraged me, “You must listen attentively and properly, as an excellent teacher is hard to meet, the Dharma teaching is difficult to come across. You mustn’t disappoint Rinpoche as he spent so much time and effort in delivering the teachings to you.” At that time, both Rinpoche and Master met. Master Jih-Chang was very impressed with Rinpoche, and said, “In this era, it is not easy for him to conduct the teachings with a pure mind, maintaining good discipline in the monastery and value greatly the importance of practice, it is very touching indeed to see such a great teacher.” Master also warned me not to seek Dharma in Tibet alone hastily in the near future, I must follow an experienced teacher to seek and learn Dharma, and I need to always ask and seek advice from the excellent teacher.

During that time, Rinpoche was always reading the scriptures besides teaching. He had many scriptures in his study room, he was always found reading throughout the day. I was very happy then as I always felt moved when listening to Rinpoche’s teaching on the Four Interwoven Annotations. Rinpoche explained the profound teaching using simple terms, he was able to move our mind and continuously turn our power of contemplation. Whenever his wise words of Dharma struck deep into my heart, I could feel the intense strength of it, and after listening, I had a strong determination to put them into practice. Hence, I truly felt the difference of obtaining the teachings of the lineage and without it. It made a vast difference in our views and practices.

Although I have obtained the teachings through recitation then, the learning process was mainly through discussion. Later, as Geshe GuJia-ZhiHua of Labrang Monastery transmitted the lineage teachings of the Four Interwoven Annotations to Rinpoche, hence, Rinpoche had obtained the transmission from Jia-Wa Rinpoche too. After some time, Rinpoche delivered lineage teachings of the Four Interwoven Annotations in the Canada Buddhist Institute. Ever since, many sangha members also owned these precious teachings. As I got to listen one more time, I obtained the transmission of the Four Interwoven Annotations twice in total.

I felt the happiest during the class discussion as Rinpoche allowed me to ask questions at any time. I was a troublesome and inquisitive student who always had many questions in mind, and yet Rinpoche used this method to conduct the lessons. I was overjoyed with the way Rinpoche conducted the lesson. I asked whenever I was in doubt. And each question was answered. Rinpoche would listen compassionately to my questions and explain each and every one of them clearly. I felt happy and touched in each lesson, like flying happily in the sky, free and full of joy!  

Initially when we decided to start the class, we wanted to invite Rinpoche to deliver it in Mandarin, but he said it would be more precise with translation. So Master Jih-Chang sent a venerable from Feng Shan Monastery to be the translator. Miraculously on several occasions, when the sangha translator finished the translation, Rinpoche would say, “It is not like this.” He would then translate and explain again in Chinese one more time. The sangha translator stuck out his tongue and admitted that what Rinpoche had explained was more accurate instead.      

After the intense, fast pace learning, I really wished to further my learnings. If time would allow, I would like to translate what I have heard from Rinpoche, and by documenting them into a book, it will be of great benefit to all sentient beings.

However, an unfortunate event befell. Master Jih-Chang passed into pari-nirvana! In the midst of shock and grief, the Sangha of Feng Shan Monastery started the curriculum of The 5 Great Treatises, which spanned across more than 10 years. In the 10 years of learning journey, the vast coverage of Tibetan language studies, memorising of the Sutras, Dharma debates, left no time and energy to translate and compile the Four Interwoven Annotations.

This precious Dharma treasure was left in stillness for this period of time, until the learning of The 5 Great Treatises ended for the first batch of Sangha members. In the year 2014, we started the compilation and translation. A lot of time was spent to listen, translate and cross-reference the materials word by word, sentence by sentence. In the same year, we translated the original copy of the Four Interwoven Annotations. Hence, we spent many years and finally compiled the first copy of Four Interwoven Annotations commentary, after matching and combining what Rinpoche had taught with the original text.

Everyday, the Sangha would gather in a very tiny classroom (it was a tiny classroom because the tables and chairs were really small, and were old furniture collected from other schools. They were little old, and small because they were meant for children in schools. However, everyone was very grateful; this was starting point of our Sutra Translation Institute!) So this was how we started translation word by word, from the blooming Spring to the white snowy Winter, we translated and learnt concurrently, discussed, and we were deeply touched and blessed by Rinpoche’s discourse.

We are so fortunate to have met a humble and wise saint, who led us into the true meaning of Buddha’s teachings! Reflecting on the preciousness of the Dharma source, tears welled up in my eyes, and such feeling in my heart is beyond explanation!

To be determined with learning from a Mahayana master, being certain that attaining Buddhahood is my ideal, determined the Bodhi path is our path of cultivation, for this lifetime and all infinite lifetimes, constantly pursuing without change, is the most wonderful event.

A tree with beautifully bloomed flowers is the result of the person who planted the seed, and carefully nurtured it. Didn’t the virtuous deed that I do today stem from the excellent teachers’ blessings and development?

Following the desire of the heart, we found our way to Rinpoche, leading us to the ocean of the lineage teachings.

The water from the snow mountain top will flow into the river, nourishing all sentient beings, including the me that is so miniscule.

The pain of life and death is very subtle if you don’t observe them, such that one may even feel safe with it. But once one is aware of it, it is in fact shocking. Hence, how can we find a way out of sufferings without the guidance of the Teachers?

A navigator who leads in the darkness with a torch, perhaps I may know the directions ahead, but because of the deep pit ahead I could never overcome it; And it is the one with the torch, that turned around and stretched out their hands to save us from the limitless danger ahead —— is the excellent teacher! My greatly indebted master! My Refuge! My ultimate Teachers and Gurus whom I shall forever respect and follow!

Eng

老师详述:四家合注请法因缘

求法历程及传承来源

善知识是大宝库藏,而有幸值遇,人生会突然富足,犹如贫人得至宝,心也仿佛从黑暗走向光明一样,充满希望。

每个人都有此生一定要完成的事,而寻找善知识并追随学法,那正是我最大的理想。

我被一种痛苦击中,那即是生死问题,为什么一定要有生老病死?这问题犹如火般的追击着我。渴望善知识为我解释生死的心也变成长长的痛,不知他在哪儿,去何处寻觅。如果没有这个人为我解释生死之结,该何以堪?怀着这样的痛苦,胆小怯懦的我,也终于敢离开家乡,踏上寻找善知识之旅。

就这样走到了北京,犹如在满天星辰中,寻找属于自己的那颗璀璨之星。想借着它的光明,在黑暗中也敢前行。一边寻找善知识,一边学习净土念佛法门,一边拼命地钻研禅宗,从一切可能中探索着生从何来,死向何去。有一天,一位友人送给我一本《广论》,那是我此生第一次看到《广论》。捧读之际,竟爱不释手,看了一段时间后,被其中善知识、念死、菩提心等部分深深地触动,所以就到处询问有没有哪位大德讲《广论》,几经辗转居然听说有一位台湾的大德有讲,问:“是每句都有讲吗?”答:“是。”听后立即想得到那套讲解的音档。后来又到处寻找,终于一位法师帮忙借到了这套音档,打开来迫不及待开始听,一听即是常师父的声音,顷刻间眼泪就流下来了,仿佛一道阳光,照临心上,获救的感动瞬间充满着内心,从此就再也离不开这样的声音。

那是一个夏日,我又和一群信佛并喜欢上早晚课的学生相遇,他们说要去拜见西黄寺的一位活佛,希望我也一起去。他们说不太容易见到,机会非常难得。我问:“什么是活佛?”因为那之前完全没有接触过藏传佛法。他们告诉我说:“就是转世多生的成就高僧,有很多法力,还会咒语。”我问他们:“为什么要去拜见?” 他们说:“那是班禅大师的亲传弟子,最重要的是那位活佛会汉文,可以直接问问题。 ”然后我们就讨论说要去问什么。有一个学生说:“我想请活佛算卦,我要不要去留学? ”还有一位说:“我想要了解学习藏传佛法。”我们一起说着各自的愿望,很期待拜会。而我还是想问那日夜揪着我的心,让我无法安宁的问题:生死怎么更快了脱?

于是那一天我们就早早坐了公交车,公交车下来又换了车,终于来到了西黄寺,走向了我的上师!

一进入西黄寺,映入眼帘的是,黄琉璃瓦的屋顶,亮丽在阳光下,红墙苍松,古色古香的寺院庄严肃穆,气势非凡。

还没有到拜见的时间,他们就带我去礼塔,穿过西侧门,便见到那著名的清净化城塔,是乾隆皇帝为六世班禅修建。六世班禅大师圆寂于西黄寺,据说是六世班禅的衣冠塔,距今已经两百多年了。那是一座由大理石建成的塔,主塔高十五米,塔身洁白,栏杆外有一对白狮子,不知为什么我好像在哪里看过,就朝那对狮子跑过去。竟然拍了拍狮子的头,而且还抚摸了那石狮的舌头,那舌头有些长好像很柔软。当时有一位出家人正在绕塔,他光着脚,非常的虔诚专注。于是我也跟着绕,不知为何,竟然心潮澎湃不已,一直旋绕礼拜着,直到大家叫我,才离开。走进了一栋房子的大门,向右拐,出现了一条似乎很长的走廊。走廊不宽,静静的,也不是很亮,我们的脚步也慢下来了,不知为什么仿佛走向辽阔,心里迅速地安静下来,安静中却有一种莫名的激动和笃定。突然觉得这一切很熟悉,仿佛命里注定,我走向了那位大德,他早已不知在多么久远的时光就等在我的必经之路上,也许就是那走廊深处的某个静室。这走向他的时光虽然好长好长,我听着自己的脚步和心跳,但一定能走到、一定要走到!

在一扇门前,我们停下来,扣门。门打开了,一个印满吉祥八宝的藏式的门帘,被掀开,一位法师请我们进来。我的眼睛一下子就看到那位,威仪端严地捧着长函的经典,戴着眼镜,慈爱熟悉的笑容。心里顿时发亮,这场景竟是如此的亲切,好像在哪里见过?我立刻高兴极了!就拜下去。说真的!那一刻,觉得眼前这位活佛怎么那么像我的亲人!尤其是,觉得好像我的爸爸。自此,我就有了师父!

仁波切最先传我的是,“黄文殊”、“皈依发心”、还有“兜率众神颂”等等,还有 “金刚薩埵”等珍贵传承。因为常常去拜见仁波切,总看到有一群又一群的居士或者出家人都在求法,等到他们求完了,我就说:“我可不可以听?我也要学,让我留下来吧!”几乎每次仁波切都应允了,所以学了一些别人求的法,自己也很高兴。

那时一直很想把听《广论》的事启白仁波切,有一天终于有机会跟仁波切启白:“我在听《广论》,是台湾的常师父讲的。” 然后仁波切听了之后,很高兴,说:“我知道这位法师,我知道!他在讲《广论》,一位汉地的法师讲《广论》,很神奇啊!你要认真听,好好学!”于是我下一次就把自己的《广论》笔记本,拿给仁波切看。本来以为仁波切看一眼,加持就行了。没想到,仁波切拿过来,打开第一页,一个字一个字看下来,一页一页非常非常认真地看完我的笔记本。我有些紧张,因为我的笔记本上,有各种画,是自己创造的插图,很担心仁波切不许我画。记得念死那一章,我就画了一个大铁锤,还放光,下面写着 “锤死贪着现世心”,诸如此类。

没想到仁波切看完了,却非常欢喜地说:“好好学、好好学,没想到你学得这么认真,太好太好了!”于是,就欢天喜地的把本子拿回来,继续写、继续画。隔了一段时间,去拜见仁波切。仁波切静静地对我说:“你现在《广论》学得很好,你学《广论》已经有基础了,在这个基础上有《广论》的传承是最好的。”藏传佛教所有的法都有传承。所谓的传承是什么呢?譬如从《广论》的传承来说的话,它的涵义、它的内容是从释迦牟尼佛亲口传出来的,一直传到宗喀巴大师。从宗大师造了《菩提道次第广论》的文字以后,由大师亲口传的《菩提道次第广论》的口传传承,也一直传到现在,并传到了我的上师,如同《传承上师祈请文》所说一般。我们的这个传承,是拉卜楞寺阿拉拉科仁波切所传下来的。如果能获得《广论》的口传传承,可以得到很大的加持,因为其根源是由大师亲口传的。《广论》的传承有很多种,除了口传传承以外,尚有“讲诵”(谢咙・)及“引导”(赤・)的传承;如果没有得到传承,为别人讲法,是不如法的。〞我听完仁波切这段话后,了解了传承的重要性,并生起无比的信心。当场就向仁波切求《菩提道次第广论》的口传传承,仁波切也很欢喜地接受了我的请求。

去接传承的那天,马上就到了,可是居然北京意外地下起大雪。整夜未停的大雪,一直到第二天,持续飘落的雪花,将偌大的北京变得银装素裹,路边的树也都琼枝玉叶,晶莹圣洁,真是如画般的美丽。妈妈带着我站在路边等车,白色世界,像上师圣洁的心意,对我显示着严谨,和那有如白雪般不染纤尘的清净传承。在大雪中等了很久,一边等一边祈求着,忽然间一辆车停下,车窗摇下来说:“你们要去哪?我送你们一程。”于是我们赶快坐上那车子,发现不是出租车,是一辆私家车。他拒绝收钱,他说:“只是怕你们在雪中站太久等不到车。”我心里一阵感动!雪中送车胜于雪中送炭啊!

终于到了寺院,在那个大雪的傍晚,从六点到九点,仁波切开始给我上课。仁波切说:“我要传的是咙的传承,这个传承是清净的,是我的上师传给我的,我现在把它传给你。”说完仁波切就打开经典,开始诵念《广论》,世界变得安静了,祥和与慈悲充满着小小斗室。渐渐,宇宙仿佛消失了,只留下仁波切的声音和身影。我们的心浸润在那美妙流畅、如诗如歌般的古老旋律中,心向着无垠逐渐打开、打开,完全忘记了时光在流逝。就这样,每天三小时,一连十五日,仁波切一直诵念着《广论》,有时会解释几句。妈妈和我与一位法师,成为仁波切的汉族弟子中最先得到《广论》传承的人。

那时我能感觉到仁波切累,但每次劝仁波切休息一下,仁波切总说不累,只说:“能再学一遍《广论》很高兴!很高兴!”过了几年后我才知道,那段时间仁波切正在佛学院,传授《宝生百法》的传承,约有三百多个灌顶、随许法的传承。每天传完法之后,还要再传三个小时《广论》的传承给我,现在想来真是不忍又感动!上师为了把法留下来都看淡这份辛劳,将此视为己任。为弟子的我怎能将传承容易看,不好好珍惜、顶戴呢?

就这样,继续学《广论》,有一次就请问仁波切说:“《广论》有没有注释?藏地的大德有没有写注释?”仁波切说:“道次第的注释在藏地可多了!好几百种。”我惊讶说:“居然有这么多!那有没有一本翻译过来呢?”我说:“在各大流通处好像都找不到。”仁波切说: “看起来是没有人翻译过。”我就请问说:“法尊法师当时翻译了《广论》,为什么没有翻译一些注释呢?后来也没有译师翻译。”仁波切说:“啊!原因很多吧!”我说:“我好想好想有一本《广论》的注释啊!”于是我就请问仁波切说:“最著名的是哪几本注释?”仁波切说:“《四家合注》很著名。”听到四家注,心中一震,忽觉千载难逢,不由自主跪下来跟仁波切说:“请您传给我《四家合注》的讲诵传承吧!”然后我说:“我自己学《广论》实在是很需要。听常师父带子已经对我有极大的帮助,但是我真的好想学毗钵舍那,想要彻底知道生死要怎样了脱,求您一定要传给我传承啊!”仁波切说:“过去班禅大师在1987年创建了中国藏语系高级佛学院,我是第一届的学僧,当时主要学习的课本就是《四家合注》。我在夏日东仁波切座前,经历九个月的时间,听完了《四家合注》的讲诵。如果讲《四家合注》,我想一方面是传授传承,一方面也可以用讨论的方式一起学习吧!”从那时候开始,我就期盼着、渴望着,一有机会就跟仁波切启白。仿佛穷子翘首渴望,那远行的父亲驾船归来,承载着无量珍宝的传承之舟,再度停泊于我心灵的渡口。

后来值遇到了常师父,就跟常师父说起:“跟仁波切一直希求但还没有得到《四家合注》的传承。”常师父就非常非常慎重地说:“唉呀!这个传承非常非常重要,那你一定要求到,要以清净的动机,不停地祈求,法缘才会成熟。”所以我又继续祈求,有一天,仁波切打电话来,说他找到时间,可以讲《四家合注》,听了之后,真是欣喜若狂!

约定好了时间,正好那时,常师父也来到了我身边,所以白天跟仁波切上四个小时,上午两小时,下午两小时,下课后再跟常师父汇报一下我听到什么,每次常师父都非常非常开心,常师父说:“我年龄大了,身体又不好,你们有这个福报学习要好好珍惜啊!这传承从来没有传到汉地过,这是一件惊天动地的大事,龙天欢喜啊!”并且一直勉励我说:“你一定要认真地听,一定要好好地学,善知识难遇,教法难逢,不能辜负仁波切费这么多心血来为你讲课。”也就是在那个时候,仁波切和常师父见面了,非常欢喜,常师父赞美仁波切说:“能在寺院里有这样严格的规矩,在这个时代很不容易,用清净的心在传持教法,又如此重视闻思修,令人感动。” 还教诫我说以后要去藏地各处求法的话,不要贸然自己就去,一定要跟随一位有经验的善知识去学、去求,一定要去请问仁波切,要多请问。

那段时间,除了上课,仁波切都在看经典,仁波切的书房里有很多经典,仁波切好像从早到晚都在看。那段时间过得非常快乐,因为在听《四家合注》的时候常常都会很感动,仁波切讲解深入浅出,能动心意,有转动相续的力量。所以每每在被仁波切的法语震到内心的时候,都觉得那个力量非常地强悍,而且听完之后还带有一种强大的实践法的力量。所以真实地感觉到,得到传承和没得到传承,在见解和行持的力道上,差别应该是很大的。

那时有得到讲诵传承,但是主要以讨论的学习方式。之后因拉卜楞寺固嘉・智华格西为仁波切传授了《四家合注》讲诵传承,所以仁波切就拥有了拉卜楞寺及嘉瓦仁波切的传承。又过了一段时间,仁波切也在加拿大的佛学院传了《四家合注》的讲诵传承,自此很多僧众也拥有了这珍贵传承,而我又完整听了一遍,所以我前后得到两次《四家合注》传承。

讨论学习的时候,最开心的是仁波切开许问问题,随时可举手提问。又像上学一样,我是一个会有很多问题要请问的麻烦学生,而仁波切居然能用这种方式来教导我们,真是太开心了!有疑就问,有问有答,仁波切慈悲听着我的问题,一一解释。每天上课像在天上飞着一样欢喜感动,开心自由啊!

最初决定开始听传承的时候,原本想请仁波切用汉文讲,但仁波切说还是有翻译的会比较精准,所以常师父就派凤山寺一位法师来翻译。最神奇的是有几次,翻译的法师译完了,仁波切说:“不是这样!”于是就用汉语自己翻译一遍,就再重讲一次。翻译的法师听后,也只好吐吐舌头,说仁波切讲的才是准确。

紧锣密鼓的学习结束后,很想再有时间继续学,也想说如果能有精力把听过的部分整理出译稿,并且出书的话,对自他的利益一定会很大。可是不幸降临,常师父示寂!在可怕的打击和悲痛中,凤山寺的法师们开始了五大论学制,长达十多年的学习。在这十年之中,大量的藏文学习、大量的典籍背诵,还有辩论,已经完全没有余暇的体力和时间再来整理译稿。这么珍贵的法宝,结果沉寂了十多年。直到2014年,凤山寺的法师刚一完成了五大论的第一轮学习,随即开始准备译稿。花了大量时间重新逐字逐句地听,逐字逐句地译,逐字逐句地校。也就是2014年同时开始翻译《四家合注》的原文,所以费了这么多年的时间,才有机会把《四家合注》的原文,与仁波切的《四家合注》的讲稿全部对起来,终于完成了第一本译注。

每天每天法师们聚在小小教室(小小桌椅,那是从其他学校退下来不用的桌子和椅子。虽然有些破旧,有些椅子还很小,因为是给小朋友坐的,但是大家已经很感恩,这就是最初的译经院啊!)就这样开始逐字逐句地翻译,从春日翠柳扶疏到冬日白雪飘飞,一边译、一边学习讨论,感动于仁波切的讲解深刻入心,有极大的加持力。在此世间能值遇如此谦虚而又深邃的智者,引领着我们趣入教典的密意,何幸之有!思及此珍贵法源,每每泪盈双眸,不知以何语诠说此心啊!

确定追随一位大乘师长,确认一个要成佛的理想,确认一条修菩提道的人生之路,一生不变乃至生生不变,那真是最最美好的事情。

一树灿灿春花,也只源于那播下种子并悉心呵护的人,弟子今日的善行,哪一点不是善知识的加持、增长陪伴得来的?

延着心中那渴望之路,终于走到了他的面前,走进了有传承的教藏法海。

雪山的溪流汇入了大河,这大河滋润着万类苍生,包括小小的我。

生死之痛当你不去觉察,也许还感到些许安全自在,仿佛没什么感觉。但一旦觉察,是如此怵目惊心,出离苦轮怎能没有善知识引导?

一位引航者,在黑暗中举着火把走在我前面的人,甚或我知道前行的方向,可眼前的深坑,却无力穿越。而那总是持着火把,回过头来伸手相救,大力使我们脱离眼前乃至究竟险境的──即是善知识!我深恩的师长!我永久的皈依处!我将永远礼敬并矢志追随的至尊上师们啊!