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Who are Lay People? / 甚麼是「居士」?

A layperson is someone who believes in Buddhism, upholds the five precepts, and practices the ten good deeds and who has not left the home-life.

居士,就是居家修道之士,也就是在家相信佛法的人,守持五戒奉行十善的人就叫居士。

What are the Five Precepts? / 甚麼叫「五戒」?

They are the precepts against killing, stealing, engaging in sexual misconduct, and taking intoxicants. People who have received the five precepts are called lay people.

「五戒」,就是不殺生、不偷盜、不邪淫、不妄語、不飲酒,五種戒。受過五戒,就叫居士了。

What are the Ten Good Deeds? / 甚麼是十善?

The ten good deeds are just the opposite of ten bad deeds. The ten bad deeds are: killing, stealing, and sexual misconduct, which are done by the body; greed, hatred, and ignorance, which belong to the mind; and lying, loose speech, harsh speech, and divisive speech, which are committed by the mouth. Notice that the offenses of the mouth account for almost half of the ten.

十善是十惡的反面。十惡是甚麼呢?身有三惡殺盜婬。意有三惡貪瞋癡。口有四惡綺語,妄語,惡口,兩舌,幾乎佔了十惡的一半。

What is Loose Speech? / 甚麼叫「綺語」?

Loose speech is crude or lewd speech, such as talking about how women (or men) behave, or gossiping, and so forth.
"Lying" means not telling the truth.

說話非常不正當,有的說某某女人如何如何,或者說某家如何如何,綺語所說的話近於邪,不正當的話。
「妄言」是打妄語。

What is Harsh Speech/Divisive speech?
甚麼叫「惡口」/「兩舌」?

"Harsh Speech" refers to scolding people, which creates mouth karma.
"Divisive speech" means being double-tongued in the sense that one backbites and causes schisms. Such a person tells A about B and then B about A, trying to split them up. That is how divisive speech works.

「惡口」就是罵人,罵人就是造口業。
「兩舌」,一個人怎麼會長兩個舌頭呢?這不是生了兩個舌頭,是這個人說兩種話,對甲就說乙如何如何,再對乙說甲如何如何,互相挑撥離間,這就是兩舌。

Precepts should be Requested from a Left-Home Person - An Ordained monk
必須向出家人求戒

To uphold precepts is just to do no evil but do all good. How many precepts are there? There are many sets of precepts. First, there are the five precepts. Those who have taken refuge with the Triple Jewel and who like to take another step forward should receive the five precepts. After having received the five precepts, another step forward would be to receive the eight precepts. Following that would come the ten precepts for novice monks and nuns.

持戒就是「諸惡不作,眾善奉行。」戒有多少種呢?有很多種。有五戒--凡是皈依三寶的人,想往前再進步就要受五戒。受五戒後,再往前進步就是受八戒。受八戒後,再受十戒,那就是沙彌(尼)了。

Must Receive Precepts from a Bhikshu
傳戒者一定要是比丘

Lay people who like to receive precepts must request them from an ordained monk. To transmit precepts means to give the precept substance to the preceptees. The person who transmits the precept substance to you must be a Bhikshu. in the Vinaya, a Bhikshuni is not permitted to transmit precepts.

在家人想求戒,一定要向出家人求。傳戒就是給你戒體,這個給你戒體的人,一定要是比丘。在佛的戒律中,不准比丘尼傳戒的。

Don't Miss the Chance to Receive the Five Precepts
不要錯過受五戒的機會

People who receive the five precepts, or the eight precepts, are called Upasaka (for men) Upasika (for women). If they take the Bodhisattva precepts then they are called Bodhisattvas of initial resolve, because they are making a commitment to uphold the Bodhisattva precepts and follow the Bodhisattva path. Left-home people receive and uphold the Bodhisattva precepts. But since Bodhisattvas of initial resolve are people who wish to learn how to benefit both themselves and others, lay people, too, can receive lay Bodhisattva precepts.

不要錯過受五戒的機會。受五戒、八戒的人,都叫「優婆塞」、「優婆夷」,受過菩蕯戒,就叫「菩蕯」。本來只有出家人受菩蕯戒,但因菩蕯是自利利人,所以在家人也可以受菩蕯戒。

Five Precepts, Eight Precepts Ten Precepts and Bodhisattva Precepts
五戒,八戒,沙彌戒和菩薩戒

In Buddhism, receiving and upholding precepts is very important. When there is an opportunity to do so, people should not miss the opportunity.
A person can receive one precept, two precepts, three precepts, four precepts, or five precepts. He can also receive the eight precepts but he is not eligible to receive the ten precepts, as those are reserved for shramaneras (novice monks) and shramanerikas (novice nuns). But you can take the Bodhisattva precepts, the ten major and forty-eight minor precepts.

在佛教,受戒是很緊要的,想受戒的人,不要錯過機會。
你受一戒也可以,受兩戒也可以,受三戒也可以,受四戒、五戒也可以,受八戒也可以,但是不能受十戒;在家人不能受十戒,十戒是沙彌戒,可以受菩薩戒,十重四十八輕戒。

Full Precepts / 全份戒

Receiving one precept is called taking "a minimum share of the precepts,"
Receiving two precepts is called taking "a half share of the precepts,"
Receiving three precepts is called taking "a majority share of the precepts,"
Receiving five precepts is called taking "a full share of the precepts."

受一戒叫「少份戒」;
受兩戒叫「半份戒」;
受三戒叫「多份戒」;
受五戒叫「全份戒」。

The Choice of Receiving Precepts
受戒的選擇

If someone has a problem with receiving the precept of not killing beings, then that person can refrain from receiving that precept and can receive the precept of not stealing. If someone likes to drink, like my wine-drinking disciple who didn't want to take the precept prohibiting the consuming of intoxicants, then that person can refrain from receiving the precept prohibiting the consumption of intoxicants, but can receive the others.

譬如你不能不殺生,不能受殺戒,你可以受不偷盜的戒。你歡喜飲酒,好像我有個酒徒弟,不願受「酒」戒,你不受酒戒可以受其它的戒。

The Choice of Receiving Precepts
受戒的選擇

Someone may say, "I like to boast. I cannot receive the precept against lying." Well, that person can receive the other four precepts.
Another person may say,"I cannot promise not to kill Sometimes, unintentionally, I may kill ants and small bugs. If I kill them after receiving the precepts, my offenses will be greater." That person doesn't have to receive the precept against killing. In general, each person can do whatever he or she prefers, receiving one, two, three or up to five precepts. Just don't miss this opportunity.

「我喜歡講大話,這個『妄語戒』我不能受。」你可以受其他四戒。
「我不能受殺戒,有時候螞蟻小蚊蟲,在無意中我會傷了牠們的生命。如果受戒再犯戒,那更有罪了。」那你可以不受殺生戒,這随你自己的意思。受一戒、兩戒、三戒、五戒都可以,不要錯過這個機會!

Receiving Precepts
受戒

In China, if a person cannot afford to pay (it used to cost two hundred US dollars), then he won't be able to receive the precepts. That money did not go toward the purchase of a sash and robe. The preceptees had to purchase those items by themselves. They could buy better or lesser quality sashes and robes, depending on what they had to spend. Just to receive the precepts, one had to make an offering to the teacher and his temple of at least two hundred dollars.

在中國受戒,你沒有二百塊錢(美金),你受不了的。那個錢不是做縵衣的錢;縵衣袍是要你自己做,那做多少錢不管你。你歡喜做好一點就用多點錢,你想做不好的就用少點錢,你就單單受戒,供養師父及供養廟上,這兩百塊也不算多的。

Consequence of Refrain from Killing
不殺生的果報

The five precepts are the most fundamental rules that Buddhists should follow. They are: not killing, not stealing, not engaging in sexual misconduct, not lying and not consuming intoxicants.
If you receive the precept against killing and constantly refrain from killing, you will be rewarded with longevity. You will live a long life. Why is it that some people have long life spans while others have short life spans? Those who had upheld the precept against killing are rewarded with a long life, while people who liked to kill have the retribution of short lives.

五戒是佛教徒最根本要守的戒律,就是不殺生,不偷盜,不邪婬,不妄語,不飲酒。
不殺生,你常常不殺生就得長壽報,壽命會長。為甚麼有的人壽命長?有的人壽命短?壽命長的人,因持不殺戒得長壽報;壽命短的人,因他歡喜殺生就得短命的果報。

Consequence of Refrain from Stealing
不偷盜的果報

Why should we observe the precept against stealing? It is because stealing causes others to lose their wealth. What is stealing? It is covertly taking away properties and materials belonging to others. What's the retribution for stealing others' things? The retribution will be that of not being able to hold one's own wealth long. For example, someone may be rich, and all of a sudden that person gets robbed.

為甚麼要持不偷戒?因為偷,是損壞人的財產福命。甚麼是偷盜?是偷偷的把別人的財產物質偷走了。你儘偷盜別人的東西,你得到甚麼果報呢?將來你就受財產不長久的果報。好像你本來很有錢,突然間被強盜搶走了。

Not Upholding Sexual Misconduct
不守婬戒

Sexual misconduct, lying, taking intoxicants are similar. For instance, someone who does not observe the rule against sexual misconduct might have affairs with others' women. In the future, other men will fool around with that person's own wife or daughter. Those are the kinds of retributions that will happen.

婬、妄、酒,也都是這樣子。就好像你不守婬戒,去姦婬別人的婦女,將來你自己的妻子也被人玩弄,這都是一種果報。

Lying
妄語

As to lying, if we don't deceive people, we will not be deceived. Someone may complain,"I have never deceived anyone in my life. Why it is that many people deceive me?"

妄語,你自己要是不騙人,你就不會被人騙。 說:「我這一生沒有騙人,為甚麼很多人來騙我呢?」

Retribution is not limited to one lifetime
果報不是一生的事情

Didn't i just say that the matter of retribution is not limited to one lifetime? It spans three time periods: past, present, and future. You may not have cheated anyone in this life, but do you know how many people you have cheated in your previous life? "I don't know." You don't know? so it may be fitting that people cheat you now.

我方才不是說過,這種果報不是一生的事情,是有過去、現在、未來,果報是通三世的。你今生沒有騙過人,你可知道你前生你騙過多少人嗎?「我不知道。」你不知道?那有人騙過你,這是應該的。

Boast without Thinking
不假思索就打妄語

A person may not have intended to boast, but it's very easy to tell a lie without even realizing it. Telling lies can happen very fast. A lie comes out before we know it. For instance, someone may ask a person, "Have you stolen something?" The person may reply, "I haven't" without even stopping to think even if he did. If in fact, the person stole, then, by denying it, he commits the offense of lying on top the offense of stealing.

本來不想說大話,但是總是不假思索就打妄語。這個打妄語很快,不用思索,不用想一想要打甚麼妄語。譬如有人問你:「偷東西沒有?你偷了沒有?」就是偷了,你也會說:「我沒有偷。」不用想就說沒有偷。一個「偷」犯了一個戒,「打妄語」又犯了一個戒。

Drinking Wine is Prohibited in Buddhism
酒戒

A little wine doesn't hurt. However, if people drink a lot they will become confused and do crazy things. That's why drinking wine is prohibited in Buddhism.

酒飲少是沒有甚麼問題,喝多了就會亂性,人就顛倒,所做的事也顛倒,所以佛教裡戒酒。

“The Buddha, like a clear, cool moon,    Forever courses in the space.    When the water in sentient beings’ minds is clear,    Bodhi appears within it.”

「菩薩清涼月,常遊畢竟空,眾生心水淨,菩提影現中。」

Avatamsaka Sutra / 《華嚴經》
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