Shurangama Sutra


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The Fundamental Importance of the Shurangama Sutra


Shurangama Sutra - Text
Shurangama Sutra - Commentary

Within Buddhism, there are very many important sutras. However, the most important sutra is the Shurangama Sutra. If there are places which have the Shurangama Sutra, then the Proper Dharma dwells in the world. If there is no Shurangama Sutra, then the Dharma-ending Age appears. Therefore, we Buddhist disciples, each and every one, must use our strength and our blood, sweat, and toil to protect the Shurangama Sutra. In the Sutra of the Ultimate Extinction of the Dharma, it says very, very clearly that in the Dharma-ending Age, the Shurangama Sutra will be the first to disappear. The rest of the sutras will follow. As long as Shurangama Sutra does not disappear, then the Proper Dharma Age is present.

Because of that, we Buddhist disciples must use our lives to protect the Shurangama Sutra, must use vows and resolution to protect the Shurangama Sutra, and must cause the Shurangama Sutra to be known far and wide, reaching every nook and cranny, reaching into each and every dust-mote, reaching out to the exhaustion of empty space and of the Dharma Realm. If we can do that, then the Proper Dharma will continue radiating great light for a long time to come.


The Shurangama Sutra is the Buddha's true body


Why would the Shurangama Sutra be destroyed? It is too true. The Shurangama Sutra is the Buddha's true body. The Shurangama Sutra is the Buddha's sharira. The Shurangama Sutra is the Buddha's true and actual stupa and shrine. Therefore, because the Shurangama Sutra is so true, all the demon kings use all kinds of methods to destroy the Shurangama Sutra. They begin by starting rumors, saying that the Shurangama Sutra is phony. Why do they say the Shurangama Sutra is phony? Since the Shurangama Sutra speaks too truly, especially in the sections on the Four Decisive Deeds, the Twenty-five Sages Describing Perfect Penetration, and the States of the Fifty Skandha Demons. Those of off-center persuasions and externally-oriented ways, weird demons and strange freaks, are unable to stand it. Consequently there are a good many senseless people who claim that the Shurangama Sutra is a forgery.

Now, the principles set forth in the Shurangama Sutra are on the one hand proper, and on the other in accord with principle, and the weird demons and strange freaks, those in various cults and sects, are thus exposed. Even so, many people, in particular unwise scholars and garbage-collecting professors “Tread upon the holy writ.” With their extremely scant and partial understanding, they are confused and unclear, lacking real erudition and true and actual wisdom. That is why they resort to baseless criticism. We who study the Buddhadharma should be acutely aware of these circumstances. Therefore, wherever we go, we should mention the Shurangama Sutra. Wherever we go, we should propagate the Shurangama Sutra. Wherever we go, we should introduce the Shurangama Sutra to people. Why is that? It is to help the Proper Dharma long to dwell in the world.


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Investigate the Shurangama Sutra to quickly accomplish Buddhahood


If the Shurangama Sutra is regarded as true, then there is no problem. To verify its truth, let me say that if the Shurangama Sutra were phony, then I would willingly fall into the hells forever through all eternity . for being unable to recognize the Buddhadharma . for mistaking the false for true. If the Shurangama Sutra is true, then life after life in every time I make the vow to propagate the Great Dharma of the Shurangama, that I shall in every time and every place expound upon the true principles of the Shurangama.

Everyone should pay attention to the following point. How could the Shurangama Sutra not have been spoken by the Buddha? No one else could have spoken the Shurangama Sutra. And so I hope that all those people who make senseless accusations will wake up fast and stop creating the causes for suffering in the Hell of Pulling Out Tongues. No matter who the scholar is, no matter what country students of the Buddhadharma are from, all should quickly mend their ways, admit their mistakes, and bring about a change. There is no greater good than that.

I can then say that all who look at the Shurangama Sutra, all who listen to the Shurangama Sutra, and all who investigate the Shurangama Sutra, will very quickly accomplish Buddhahood.


A complete and practical manual for spiritual practice


Many enlightened masters and illustrious monastic scholars have written exegetical commentaries on it. To this day, for both clergy and laity in the Chinese Buddhist tradition, the Shurangama Sutra continues to be the object of devout study, recitation, and memorization. More specifically, the Shurangama Sutra has traditionally been regarded as a complete and practical manual for spiritual practice that will eventually lead to enlightenment.

It gives instruction in the correct understanding of the Buddha-nature, which is the potential within all beings for becoming a Buddha. The Sutra explains how and why this true nature is hidden within our ordinary experience of ourselves and of the world, and it shows how we can uncover this nature and recognize that it is our own true mind. The Sutra also explains that personal integrity and purity of conduct are essential prerequisites for spiritual awakening. It presents the general principles of Buddhist meditation, introduces several specific meditation methods, and recommends which methods are the most effective and the easiest to practice.

Further, a considerable portion of the Sutra is devoted to guidelines for discerning what understandings and practices are correct and which deviate into wrong ones. It explains how our own intentional acts, whether physical, verbal, or mental, directly result in our experiences, including our future rebirths at various levels of being, both human and nonhuman. It shows how correct action can also lead to initial awakenings and eventually to the perfect enlightenment of the Buddhas.


Shurangama Samadhi


Much of the Sutra is devoted to the Buddha Sakyamuni’s instructions to the monk Ananda, whose personal story provides a narrative frame for the entire discourse. Joined by several of his enlightened disciples, the Buddha shows Ananda how to turn the attention of his sense-faculties inward in order to achieve a deeply focused state of meditation known as samadhi.

He tells Ananda that by practicing a particular form of samadhi, the Shurangama Samadhi, he and anyone else who also maintains purity of conduct and develops right understanding can gain an awakening that is equal to the awakening experienced by all Buddhas.

At the heart of the Sutra is the Shurangama Mantra. The Sutra promises that the practice of reciting this mantra, in the context of the other practices taught in the Sutra, can succeed in eliminating whatever internal or external obstacles may lie in the way of spiritual progress. To this day, monks and nuns in the Chinese Buddhist tradition, as well as many practitioners among the laity, recite the mantra every morning as an essential aspect of daily practice.


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大佛頂首楞嚴經


《楞嚴經》是佛的真身


大佛頂首楞嚴經 - 經文
大佛頂首楞嚴經 - 淺釋

在佛教裏面,有很多的經非常重要,但是最重要的經典就是《楞嚴經》:有《楞嚴經》的地方,就是正法住世;《楞嚴經》沒有了,這就是末法現前了。所以我們每一個佛教徒,必須要拿出我們的力量來,拿出我們的血來,拿出我們的汗來擁護這一部《楞嚴經》。

在《法滅盡經》上說得清清楚楚:末法時代,《楞嚴經》先滅,其餘的經典跟著就滅了。如果《楞嚴經》不滅,那麼正法時代就現前。因為這個,我們佛教徒必須要以生命來護持《楞嚴經》,以我們的血、我們的汗來護持《楞嚴經》,以我們的志願來護持《楞嚴經》,令《楞嚴經》發揚光大,流通到每一個角落去,流通到每一粒微塵裏面去,流通到盡虛空、遍法界裏面去;如果能這樣子,這就是正法大放光明的時候!

為什麼《楞嚴經》會先滅呢?就因為它太真了!《楞嚴經》是佛的真身,《楞嚴經》是佛的舍利,《楞嚴經》就是佛真正的塔廟!因為《楞嚴經》這樣真,一切的魔王就用出種種的方法來毀滅《楞嚴經》,首先他就造謠,說《楞嚴經》是假的。為什麼他說《楞嚴經》是假的?就因為《楞嚴經》所說的太真了,尤其是四種清淨明誨、二十五聖各述圓通、五十種陰魔的境界,這都是旁門外道、妖魔鬼怪所受不了的,所以有一些個無知的人,就說《楞嚴經》是偽造的。

《楞嚴經》所說的道理,既正確、又合理,妖魔鬼怪、旁門左道都無所遁形。一般無知的人,尤其是一些無知的學者、無知的教授,妄測聖言;他們一知半解,糊糊塗塗的,沒有什麼學識,沒有真正的智慧,所以就妄加批評。我們學佛法的人要深深知道這種關係,所以我們要到處提倡《楞嚴經》,我們要到處宣講《楞嚴經》,我們要到處為人解說這部《楞嚴經》。為什麼?我們要令正法久住於世。

我願意向大家提出保證,保證《楞嚴經》是真經!如果《楞嚴經》是真的,這當然沒有什麼問題;如果《楞嚴經》是假的,我願意永遠永遠都墮地獄去!因為我不認識佛法,以假當真了。如果《楞嚴經》是真的,那麼我就生生世世都發願要弘揚這個楞嚴大法,隨時隨地我要弘揚楞嚴的真理──這一點各位應該注意的,《楞嚴經》要不是佛所說的,任何人也說不出來的!所以這些個無知的人是妄加批評,希望他們趕快地醒悟,不要再造墮拔舌地獄的這種苦因。無論哪一個學者、哪一個國家學佛法的人,趕快要痛改前非,自己知錯能改,善莫大焉。最後我預祝所有看見《楞嚴經》的人,所有聽見《楞嚴經》的人,所有研究《楞嚴經》的人,都很快早成佛道!


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《楞嚴經》存在,佛法就存在


《楞嚴經》這是佛教裏一部照妖鏡的經,所有天魔外道、魑魅魍魎,一見到《楞嚴經》都現原形了,他無所遁形,什麼地方他也跑不了。所以在過去,智者大師聽說有這一部經,就向印度遙拜,拜了十八年,以十八年這種懇切至誠的心,求這一部經到中國來。過去的大德高僧,所有這一些有智慧的高僧,沒有哪一個不讚歎《楞嚴經》的。所以《楞嚴經》存在,佛法就存在;《楞嚴經》如果毀滅了,佛法也就毀滅了。

怎麼樣末法呢?末法就是《楞嚴經》先毀滅了。誰毀滅的呢?就這一些個天魔外道。這些天魔外道一看見《楞嚴經》,就好像眼中的釘、肉中的刺一樣,坐也坐不住,站也站不穩,所以他必須要創出一種邪說,說《楞嚴經》是假的。我們做佛教徒應該認識真理,《楞嚴經》上所講的道理,每一個字都是真經真典,沒有一個字不是講真理的。所以我們現在研究這五十種陰魔,更應該明白《楞嚴經》這種重要性,這些邪魔鬼怪最怕的就是《楞嚴經》。

虛老(上虛下雲老和尚)活了一百二十歲,他一生,旁的什麼經典也沒註解過,只有註解這部《楞嚴經》。註解《楞嚴經》這個稿子,他是很注意地來保存,保存了幾十年,結果以後在雲門事變時就丟了,這是虛老一生一個最大遺憾的事情。他主張我們身為一個出家人,都應該把《楞嚴經》讀得能背得出來,由前邊背到後邊,由後邊背到前邊,順背倒背,順倒都能背得出來,這是他的主張。所以我知道虛老一生之中,對《楞嚴經》是特別重視的。

有人也對虛老提過,說:「《楞嚴經》有人說是偽造的。」老和尚說這末法怎麼叫末法呢?就因為有這一班人,弄得魚目混珠,是非分不清楚,教你這人都迷了,瞎人眼目,令人認不清楚佛法了。這一班人在那兒,把這個真的,當假的;假的,他又當真的了。你看這一些個人,又是這個人寫一部書,人也拿著看;那一個人寫一部書,他也拿著看。真正佛所說的經典,人都把它置諸高閣,放到書架上,永遠也不看。所以這也就看出來眾生的業障是很重的,若聽邪知邪見,就很相信的;你講正知正見的法,說了他也不信。為什麼?這就是善根不夠,根基不夠的關係,所以對正法有一種懷疑的心,有一種狐疑不信的心。

我們萬佛城這兒要立楞嚴的壇場,最好你們誰發心把這部《楞嚴經》,天天能讀它,或者一個鐘頭、兩個鐘頭,能把它像讀書那麼讀,能記得又能背得出。把這《楞嚴經》、《法華經》,甚至於《華嚴經》都能背誦出來,這是最好的。誰能把《楞嚴經》、《法華經》、《華嚴經》都能背得出來,那世界上這還是正法存在的時候。所以我們萬佛城這麼好的地方,大家要發大菩提心,做一些個事情。不是說我們和人比賽,我們要出乎其類、拔乎其萃,要做這些事情。

我在以前有這麼一個心願,想要把《法華經》背得出來,再能把《楞嚴經》也背得出來。在香港有位弟子,《楞嚴經》能背得出來,《法華經》我教他讀,他最後大約沒有完全背得出來,這是很遺憾的事情。我們這麼好的地方,大家要發大心,把佛經和戒律──《楞嚴經》、《法華經》和《四分律》、《梵網經》都能背得出來,這是最好的,這樣我們這兒一定是正法久住了。


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佛教的照妖鏡、降魔杵、斬魔劍


我今天先要提出來說,我們須要研究一部經典,這部經典就是佛教的一面照妖鏡,佛教的一把降魔杵,佛教的一把斬魔劍!這部是什麼經?就是《楞嚴經》。《楞嚴經》是開智慧的,但是這一部經現在受到世界各國學著的歧視,怎樣說呢?他們說這一部經是假的,不是真的。

為什麼他們說這一部經是假的,我們還要研究這一部經呢?這個它有它的價值,有它值得研究的地方,這一部經說出來所有旁門外道種種邪知邪見,把這種不合乎佛法的知見都給說得清清楚楚;所以這一部經就是照妖寶鏡,就是降魔杵,就是斬魔劍!那麼這一部經若人人都明白了,天魔外道自然就都沒有了,這個世界戰爭也就平息了,所有一切人類都再得到安寧了,所以這一部經是最要緊的!青年人現在應該努力去研究佛學;研究佛學,研究什麼呢?我主張各位都盡心竭力去研究《楞嚴經》。《楞嚴經》是開智慧的,你們若能懂《楞嚴經》了,佛學差不多就可以通了,尤其〈楞嚴咒〉是不可思議的咒。這一位君仲居士總想這個、想那個,無論什麼事情都想得很多,但是這個〈楞嚴咒〉,你一定想不完,你怎樣想也想不通。為什麼?因為它有一種不可思議的力量。〈楞嚴咒〉在佛教裏叫靈文,什麼叫靈文呢?就是妙不可言,說不能完的。我們每一個人要是能把〈楞嚴咒〉讀熟能背得出,都有八萬四千金剛藏菩薩常常來保護著你。〈楞嚴咒〉是最妙的,也是咒中最長的,它大約有兩千三百二十多個字。各位青年人!應該發心學習〈楞嚴咒〉,讀誦《楞嚴經》,把《楞嚴經》能背得出,〈楞嚴咒〉也能背得出,這樣,你佛學的根可以說就紮下去了。

信眾:法師提到大家都應該看《楞嚴經》,而且都應該讀熟《楞嚴經》。請問法師,《楞嚴經》裏邊講些什麼,為什麼我們要看、要讀,不讀可以嗎?

上人:你想要知道它裏邊說的是什麼,那你就應該讀;你若不想知道,根本這個問題就不需要問。

信眾:法師為什麼不介紹《金剛經》?好像六祖大師就是靠著聽了《金剛經》而覺悟;為什麼不介紹《六祖壇經》?因為那本經介紹六祖大師悟道的心得。為什麼法師單單介紹一本《楞嚴經》而已?

上人:《楞嚴經》的重要性,昨天晚間已經講過了。在佛法沒的時候,是《楞嚴經》先沒有的;若《楞嚴經》沒有了,這個世界的妖魔鬼怪都會出現。因為這個世間上有五大魔軍,《楞嚴經》裏邊有〈楞嚴咒〉,〈楞嚴咒〉裏頭有五部,這五部是管著世界的五大魔軍,要是沒有人讀誦〈楞嚴咒〉了,這個世界就壞了,那不堪設想了,那些個妖魔鬼怪都會出世了。現在他之所以不教你看見、不教你聽見,他不敢出現,就因為有〈楞嚴咒〉在這個世界上;那一個地方有人會誦〈楞嚴咒〉,這個妖魔鬼怪都不敢現前!

信眾:法師!廣東話說下降頭,請問有蠱這回事嗎?為什麼許多人親身經歷過?我們學佛的人對蠱的觀念怎樣呢?為什麼允許這種邪惡存在?

上人:在這世間上,千奇百怪,什麼事情都有;所謂天地之大,四海之廣,無奇不有。可是總括起來,我們人要存一種正心;正心、修身、齊家、治國、平天下,我們心正了,什麼旁門外道不會有辦法的。你所以被人落降頭,這種情形,就是你心裏先不正當才會被這個邪來擾亂;你要是心正,所謂邪不勝正,它什麼降頭也沒有什麼靈驗的。

尤其我方才提議各位要研究《楞嚴經》,讀誦〈楞嚴咒〉,你們要是會背誦〈楞嚴咒〉,這什麼降頭也都沒有功效了,都會沒有用的。這個〈楞嚴咒〉就是能破一切魔的羅網,能破一切旁門外道的種種法術,其中那個力量是不可思議的。如果你們想不受這個降頭的擾亂,就讀誦〈楞嚴咒〉,我方才不講過嗎?誰能誠心地讀誦〈楞嚴咒〉,就有八萬四千金剛藏菩薩來擁護你。

信眾:請問我們在什麼時候念〈楞嚴咒〉?

上人:不是拜佛的時候念〈楞嚴咒〉,是你平時行住坐臥都可以念〈楞嚴咒〉,都可以持〈楞嚴咒〉。你持〈楞嚴咒〉就沒有其他的雜念,就如你念觀世音菩薩沒有雜念,你念持〈楞嚴咒〉也是令你得了三昧;三昧就是正定正受,就是令你心不散亂,沒有這麼多雜念。

信眾:我們不懂念〈楞嚴咒〉,可是我們懂念〈大悲咒〉和〈十小咒〉,這也是包含在〈楞嚴咒〉裏面嗎?

上人:〈大悲咒〉和〈十小咒〉雖是早課裏邊的一部分,但不是屬於〈楞嚴咒〉的。〈楞嚴咒〉就是五會,那五會有五部:佛部、蓮華部、寶生部、金剛部、羯磨部,五部是管著五方的。

你說你不會;不會,慢慢學。無論哪一個人當初也都不會的,沒有人生來就會念〈楞嚴咒〉;生來就會念〈楞嚴咒〉,那就是菩薩了。所以這個不會的,就應該學;不可以說「我不會」,就不學習了。你讀書,也因為你沒有畢業,你才讀書;你如果說「我不讀書」,就想要畢業,那是不可以的。