A Sure Sign of the Proper Dharma:Shurangama Sutra
正法的代表:《楞嚴經》


The Shurangama Sutra Is a Demon-spotting Mirror
《楞嚴經》是照妖鏡


Na Mo Sa Dan Tuo
Su Qie Duo Ye
E La He Di
San Miao San Pu Tuo Xie
Na Mo Sa Dan Tuo
Fo Tuo Ju Zhi Shai Ni Shan
Na Mo Sa Po
Bo Tuo Bo Di
Sa Duo Pi Bi
Na Mo Sa Duo Nan
San Miao San Pu Tuo Ju Zhi Nan
Suo She La Po Jia
Seng Qie Nan
Na Mo Lu Ji E Luo Han Duo Nan
Na Mo Su Lu Duo Bo Nuo Nan
Na Mo Suo Jie Li Tuo Qie Mi Nan
Na Mo Lu Ji San Miao Qie Duo Nan
San Miao Qie Bo La
Di Bo Duo Nuo Nan
Na Mo Ti Po Li Shai Nan
Na Mo Xi Tuo Ye
Pi Di Ye
Tuo La Li Shai Nan
She Po Nu
Jie La He
Suo He Suo La Mo Tuo Nan
Na Mo Ba La He Mo Ni
Na Mo Yin Tuo La Ye

What I just recited was the first twenty-eight lines of the Shurangama Mantra. These twenty-eight lines tell us to take refuge in all the Buddhas, all the Bodhisattvas, all the Hearers, all Those Enlightened by Conditions, and all the gods throughout empty space and the Dharma Realm. The last line, "Na mo yin tuo la ye," refers to what Chinese people call the Jade Emperor. Those who do not understand the Buddhadharma say, "The Jade Emperor belongs to Daoism. We shouldn't bow to him." They don't realize that the Jade Emperor is just Lord Shakra. As Buddhist disciples, we should also respect him and gather him in. This first section of the Shurangama Mantra is the section for protecting and supporting the Triple Jewel. Therefore, when this section is recited, all the demons, goblins, ghosts, and other strange creatures flee far away. They retreat as far as they can go.

Therefore, in Buddhism it is said that if there is even one person in the world who can recite the Shurangama Mantra, then the demons, goblins, ghosts, and all the other weird creatures will not dare to openly show themselves in the world. If not even one person can recite the Shurangama Mantra from memory, then at that point all the demons, goblins, ghosts, and all the other weird creatures will appear in the world. They will wreak havoc, but no one will recognize them. Right now, since there are still people who can recite the Shurangama Mantra, the demons, goblins, ghosts, and all the other weird creatures don't dare to openly show themselves in the world. There is a verse which expresses the meaning of this section of mantra.

A thousand red lotuses protect one's body.

As one sits astride a black unicorn.
Seeing this, the myriad demons go away to hide.
Dharma Master Ji Gong had this wonderful sound.

A thousand red lotuses protect one's body. A thousand red lotuses come to protect your body.

As one sits astride a black unicorn. When you recite the mantra, you are sitting astride a unicorn.

Seeing this, the myriad demons go away to hide. They all flee, because they are afraid to face such awesome virtue. We all know about the character Ji Gong in Buddhism. In his time, Ji Gong used this section of mantra, so the verse says, Dharma Master Ji Gong had this wonderful sound. This verse gives the general meaning of this section of mantra text. If we were to go into detail, the Shurangama Mantra is wonderful beyond words. Thus it is also said:

The esoteric wonder is inexhaustible.
It is truly difficult to fathom.
The secret words of Vajra come from
the inherent nature.
The Shurangama Mantra contains
miraculous wonders.
Cultivators and ordinary people can open
the Five Eyes and Six Penetrations.
The esoteric wonder is inexhaustible. It is truly difficult to fathom. The Shurangama Mantra is extremely wonderful, and its transformations are inconceivable. It is very difficult to fathom. The secret words of Vajra come from the inherent nature. The secret words of Vajra, the Shurangama Mantra, is the secret within the secret. It is Vajra that supports and protects this mantra, which comes from our own Buddha-nature. The Shurangama Mantra contains miraculous wonders. The Shurangama Mantra is also known as a magical text. It is very miraculous and especially potent. That's why it is said, "The Shurangama Mantra contains miraculous wonders." Cultivators and ordinary people can open the Five Eyes and Six Penetrations. If you constantly recite the Shurangama Mantra with single-minded concentration, not thinking of anything else, you can attain the Five Eyes and the Six Penetrations. You can experience inconceivable states and transformations which are beyond the understanding of ordinary people. Therefore, I hope everyone will study and recite the Shurangama Sutra, and recite the Shurangama Mantra from memory.

Most scholars say the Shurangama Sutra is false and claim that it was not spoken by the Buddha. They say they have various pieces of evidence and documents to support it. This is all because they fear the Shurangama Sutra and have no way to deal with the principles in the Shurangama Sutra. What they fear most in the Shurangama Sutra are the Four Clear Instructions on Purity. The Four Clear Instructions on Purity serve as a demon-spotting mirror. All the demons, goblins, ghosts, and weird creatures are reflected in their true form. Furthermore, the section on the Fifty Skandha-demons exposes the celestial demons and externalists to the bone, enabling people to recognize their demonic appearance. Anyone who can memorize the Shurangama Sutra is a true disciple of the Buddha.

In the declining period of the Buddha-dharma, the first Sutra to disappear will be the Shurangama Sutra. Why will it disappear? Because these so-called scholars, professors, and even left-home people all claim it is false. Over time, their theory will become widespread, and people will all believe what they say and take the Shurangama Sutra to be false. Even Buddhist disciples will consider it false, and after a while the Sutra will disappear. That is how the Sutras become extinct. People no longer study them, so they disappear.

In the Shurangama Sutra, the Four Clear Instructions on Purity which explain killing, stealing, lust, and lying, are absolutely accurate and definite. That's why those scholars and professors fear the Four Clear Instructions on Purity. They only want to listen to muddled instructions and are terribly afraid of the Clear Instructions. If they admitted that the Shurangama Sutra is true, they would have no ground to stand upon. They would not be able to defend their smoking, drinking, and womanizing, for everyone would know them for what they are. The principles of the Shurangama Sutra are extremely accurate, extremely logical, and as clear as can be. That is why the entire Shurangama Sutra is a demon-spotting mirror. When this demon-spotting mirror is hung up, the demons, goblins, ghosts, and weird creatures are frightened out of their wits.

If what I have just said about the Shurangama Sutra and Shurangama Mantra does not accord with the Buddhas' mind and the Sutra's meaning, and if the Shurangama Sutra is really false, I am willing to stay forever in the hells and never come out to see the people in the world. Although I am a stupid person, I am not so foolish that I would want to go to the hells and never come out. For that reason, you should all deeply believe in the Shurangama Sutra and Shurangama Mantra.

What I have just said is my vow. If what I said does not accord with the Buddhas' mind, I am willing to go to the hells. I now request the infinite, endless, eternally dwelling Buddhas, Dharma, and San-gha--the Triple Jewel in the ten directions throughout empty space and the Dharma Realm--to silently certify what I have said and to enable all living beings to quickly realize the Buddha Way.

I also request the Bodhisattvas Mahasattvas in the ten directions, the Sound Hearers and Those Enlightened by Conditions in the ten directions, all the Worthies and Sages in the Sangha, and all the Dharma-protecting gods of the Radiant Assembly, to emit light and shine upon all living beings, enabling them to leave suffering, attain bliss, and be liberated from birth and death.

I also pray that all of you Good and Wise Advisors will instruct me if I have said something that disagrees with the Buddha-dharma. Although I am not intelligent, I hope you will try to teach me. Since I am a very stupid person with limited views, my words are far from perfect. Whether you are a left-home person or a layperson, I hope you will kindly teach me. I shall bow in respect and be grateful all my life.

If there is anyone who recites the Shurangama Sutra, I am willing to serve and make offerings to such a cultivator all my life. When the Proper Dharma prospers, the Shurangama prospers. When the Proper Dharma declines, the Shurangama becomes extinct. From this, you should all realize how important the Shurangama Sutra is in Buddhism.

"The Shurangama is for opening wisdom. The Dharma Flower is for becoming a Buddha. The Avatamsaka is for teaching living beings." Therefore, in America I started out by lecturing on the Shurangama Sutra to a group of over thirty students from the University of Washington in Seattle. During the ninety-six days of summer vacation, I lectured on the Shurangama Sutra to those college students. During that time, there was only a half day's break on Saturdays. Aside from that, I lectured on the Sutra every day, and they all took notes. In the beginning, I lectured once a day, and then they studied on their own. After half a month, I assessed the time and the length of the Shurangama Sutra. Fearing that I might not finish in time, I began lecturing twice a day. After a while, I calculated again and decided that I still would not be able to finish, so I started lecturing three times a day. Finally, in the last half month or more, I lectured four times a day.

During the Summer Shurangama Study and Cultivation Session, not only did I lecture on the Sutra, I also cooked the meals, made tea, and did the grocery shopping and everything else for them. You could say I single-handedly took on all the monastic chores. Of course, I could have asked the students to take turns working, but I did not want to interfere with their cultivation and study of the Sutra. So I didn't let a single person help. Although I dare not say I was practicing the Bodhisattva Way, if people wanted to study the Shurangama Sutra, I was willing to dedicate my life to serve and support them. After ninety-six days, I finished lecturing the Shurangama Sutra. With the end of this lecture, people in America were beginning to give recognition to Buddhism.

At the end of the Shurangama Sutra lecture series, five people left the home-life. On New Year's Day, I said to the assembly, "This year, five lotuses will bloom in American Buddhism. In the future, these five lotuses will spread Buddhism in the West." That's what I said then.

After they graduated from the Summer Shurangama Lecture and Practice Session, five Americans left the home-life. I sent them to Hai Hui (Sea-like Assembly) Monastery in Taiwan to receive the precepts. The Good and Wise Advisors in Taiwan told them, "Now it is the Dharma-Ending Age. No one cultivates anymore. You're still eating one meal a day? You've been cheated by your teacher." When my American disciples heard this, they thought, "Oh, so we've been cheated by our teacher. What should we do?" The Good and Wise Advisors said, "Well, go ahead and eat. Drink wine and eat meat." The five people started to have doubts about Buddhism. "How come our teacher taught us to eat one meal a day, and now they tell us we should eat in the morning and evening as well? What's going on? There must be something wrong here." Their minds were swayed, and they wanted to start eating more meals, but they had a meeting and decided to go back and make sure before they did that. They also told the Good and Wise Advisors in Taiwan that they slept sitting up. Some people in Taiwan told them, "You sleep sitting up? People did that when the Buddha was in the world. Now the Buddha isn't around anymore, so why do you do it? It's really a case of Americans being cheated by the Chinese."

What happened then? When they returned, they got mischievous. They said, "In Taiwan, everyone eats three meals a day. We shouldn't eat just one meal." They acted naughty with me. They said more, but I don't remember that much. It took more than three months before their doubts were resolved.

At that time, some people in Taiwan would say, "Dharma Master Hsuan Hua has taken some hippies as disciples in America. There are many hippies hanging out in Golden Gate Park, and Dharma Master Hsuan Hua goes there to meditate. When the hippies see him meditating, they are curious and go up to talk to him. Then Dharma Master Hsuan Hua tells them to go visit the temple. They go to the temple and find that the lifestyle there is pretty similar to their hippie lifestyle, so they all leave the home-life."

There is another rumor in Taiwan: "You know what? Dharma Master Hsuan Hua takes drugs with the hippies in America. The hippies take LSD and marijuana. They can get high on just one capsule of LSD and feel as carefree as if they were in the Land of Ultimate Bliss. But Dharma Master Hsuan Hua can take more than ten capsules without being affected in the least. He doesn't get high or feel as carefree as if he were in the Land of Ultimate Bliss. That's why all those hippies admire him and left the home-life under him. Don't believe in him."

You can talk back and forth, but whether they are hippies or not does not matter. He who works hard in cultivation is good. He who does not work hard in cultivation is not good. If he is not a hippie, but he does not cultivate, that is not good. If he is a hippie and he cultivates, that is just as good. Therefore, in Buddhism, mere talking about cultivation doesn't count. There must be real practice and real benefit. Don't just say, "I have concentration. I have this samadhi or that samadhi." And another person also comes up with another kind of samadhi.

Now I will tell everyone about some lines that I thought of:

Paying lip service to samadhi,
They say, "I am right and you are wrong."
In time, their original appearance is revealed,
And they are covered with offenses.

This is saying that people just pay lip service to Buddhism and treat it as child's play. They talk carelessly without taking responsibility for the cause and effect. Who will fall into the hell of Ripping Out Tongues? Precisely that kind of people. When they get there, their tongues will be ripped out and they cannot talk anymore. In their minds they will think, "What a mess I'm in. If I knew this was going to happen, I wouldn't have fooled around like that."

They always paid lip service to samadhi, saying, "I'm right. You're wrong about everything. Even if you were right, I'd say you were wrong. And if you're wrong, I also say you're wrong." Would you say that is just? In everything, they say "I am right and you are wrong." "In time, their original appearance is revealed."

After a long distance, one will know a horse's stamina.
After a long time, one will see a person's heart.
In time, their true form is uncovered. "And they are covered with offenses." Their bodies are covered by offensive karma. They enter the Hell of Ripping Out Tongues without even realizing it.

"Dharma Master, don't scold people. As you speak the Dharma, why are you scolding people?" you ask. I am not scolding anyone. I bow to the ants and mosquitoes every day; how would I dare to scold people? But I cannot refrain from telling the truth. The truth is just like that.

Let me tell you, it's just those people that criticize me who have taught and helped me, making me the way I am today. So the people who criticize and slander me are all my Good and Wise Advisors. They are all my teachers. My teachers all pay lip service to Chan. The reason I know how to do it is because I learned it from my teachers.

I have another verse which begins: "All people are my teachers." Everyone is my teacher. As long as you have blood and breath, I want to learn from you. If you are good, I learn the good. If you are bad, I learn the bad. I want to learn until I am a martial arts expert, skilled in all weapons. That way, when I am challenged to a fight, I will have many winning moves. "I am a teacher for all people." I am also everyone's teacher. "I always teach myself." I am very often a teacher for myself. I am also constantly a teacher for others. That way, everyone can encourage one another to vigorously advance on the Bodhi Way. Let's not linger in the Saha world, scheming and calculating about wins and losses. Let's see who will reach the Land of Ultimate Bliss first!

Someone says, "Dharma Master, you keep arguing and refusing to admit that you are scolding people. Do you admit it? If you admit that you are scolding people, then you won't scold them anymore. Right?" But the one who scolds people is like "one who spits up into the skies, and gets the spit back on his own face." We should like being scolded, because when people scold us, they are giving us fertilizer. Our fields are not fertile, so they need to be fertilized. Then our crops will be abundant and our fruits will thrive.

"Dharma Master, you just said that all people are your teachers. But there are good people and bad people, and if you take them all as teachers, you will learn to be both good and bad," you object. You have misunderstood. When I say "All people are my teachers," I mean that good people teach me how I should be, and I learn to be like them. Bad people teach me how I should not be, and I learn to not be like them. That's why all people are my teachers. "I always teach myself." We ourselves must always be alert and not make mistakes, not act in ignorance. We should use bright wisdom in handling all matters instead of using stupidity and ignorance to take care of things. We must turn states around, rather than being turned by states. "Do not fail to perform a good deed, thinking it is trivial. Do not perform an evil deed, thinking it is insignificant." Don't think, "That good deed is trivial. I'm not going to do it. That bad deed is really minor. I'll go ahead and do it. It doesn't matter." For example, you think, "I'm vegetarian, but it won't matter if I eat an egg." But in the future when you are reborn as a chicken, you will know that it was because you ate chicken eggs. If you are not clear in these small matters, then you are "mixing good and evil, and the retribution will not be off." It's not fun at all.

I've gone kind of crazy today, and I don't really know what I am saying. If I have offended you, please come up and give me a beating or scolding. I would be very delighted.


南無薩怛他
蘇伽多耶
阿羅訶帝
三藐三菩陀寫
南無薩怛他
佛陀俱胝瑟尼釤
南無薩婆
勃陀勃地
薩多鞞弊
南無薩多南
三藐三菩陀俱知南
娑舍囉婆迦
僧伽喃
南無盧雞阿羅漢多喃
南無蘇盧多波那喃
南無娑羯唎陀伽彌喃
南無盧雞三藐伽多喃
三藐伽波囉
底波多那喃
南無提婆離瑟赧
南無悉陀耶
毗地耶
陀囉離瑟赧
舍波奴
揭囉訶
娑訶娑囉摩他喃
南無跋囉訶摩尼
南無因陀囉耶

方才讀的這一遍,這是〈楞嚴咒〉的前邊二十八句,這二十八句是教我們「皈依盡虛空遍法界,一切諸佛、一切菩薩、一切聲聞、緣覺、一切諸天」。那麼最後那個「南無因陀囉耶」,這一句就是我們中國人所說的玉皇大帝。所以不懂佛法的人,他說:「玉皇大帝那是道教的,我們不要拜他。」他不知道這玉皇大帝就是這個帝釋天;可是我們做佛的弟子,也要恭敬他,也要來攝受他。在〈楞嚴咒〉這前一段,這也是護持三寶的一段,所以念上這一段咒的時候,一切的妖魔鬼怪他都要退避三舍;不止退避三舍,他要退到他所不能退的那個地方去。

所以我們在佛教裏頭,如果有一個人能在這個世界上念〈楞嚴咒〉,這妖魔鬼怪他都不敢公然出現於世;如果一個人也沒有了,也沒有人會背〈楞嚴咒〉了,這時候妖魔鬼怪他們都出現於世了。他們在這個世界上為非作歹,一般人也不認識他們了。現在因為有人會念〈楞嚴咒〉,所以妖魔鬼怪他不敢公然出現於世。你念這一段咒文,有四句話可以來表達這段咒文的意思。這四句話說的:
千朵紅蓮護住身,
坐駒騎著墨麒麟,
萬魔一見往遠躲,
濟公法師有妙音。
「千朵紅蓮護住身」:我們佛教都知道這個蓮華,有千朵紅蓮來護持你這個身。
「坐駒騎著墨麒麟」:你一念這個咒,你這個持咒的人是坐到一個麒麟的身上。
「萬魔一見往遠躲」:他都跑了,不敢面對這種大威德的相。我們人人都知道佛教裏頭有一位濟公,當初濟公就是專用這一段咒文的,所以說「濟公法師有妙音」。這是這一段咒文大概的意思,那麼至於要詳細說呢,這個〈楞嚴咒〉是妙不可言的。所以說:
奧妙無窮實難猜,
金剛密語本性來;
楞嚴咒裏有靈妙,
五眼六通道凡開。
「奧妙無窮實難猜」:〈楞嚴咒〉非常奧妙,它這個變化也是不可思議,很不容易測度的。「金剛密語本性來」:這個金剛密語,〈楞嚴咒〉是密中之密,這是金剛來護持這個咒。本性來,它是從自己那個佛性生出來的。「楞嚴咒裏有靈妙」:這個〈楞嚴咒〉也叫做靈文,因為他特別靈,特別有力量,所以說「楞嚴咒裏有靈妙」。「五眼六通道凡開」:你若能常持〈楞嚴咒〉,專心一致,心不旁騖,你可以得到五眼六通,可以有不可思議那種的境界來變化莫測的,所以不是一般凡夫俗子可能知道的。因為這個,所以希望大家都能讀誦《楞嚴經》,背誦〈楞嚴咒〉。

一般的學者說:《楞嚴經》是假的,不是佛說的,又有什麼考證,又有什麼地方記載。這都是他怕《楞嚴經》,沒有辦法來應付《楞嚴經》這個道理。《楞嚴經》中他們所最怕的,就是〈四種清淨明誨〉。這〈四種清淨明誨〉是照妖鏡,把所有妖魔鬼怪都給照現原形了;還有那個〈五十陰魔〉把天魔外道他們的骨頭都給看穿了,把他們妖怪的這種相貌都給認識了。哪一位能讀誦,能把《楞嚴經》背得出來,那是真正佛的弟子。

《楞嚴經》在佛法末法的時候是先斷滅的。為什麼它斷滅?就因為這一些個學者啊,又是什麼教授啊,甚至於出家人,都說它是假的。那麼他們這種的言論,久而久之,被人以訛傳訛,就認為他們所說的是對的,所以就認為《楞嚴經》是假的了,連佛教徒也認為它是假的,久而久之,這個經就沒有了。所謂經典斷滅也就是這樣子,大家不學習,它就沒有了,就這樣斷滅了。

《楞嚴經》裏〈四種清淨明誨〉說得非常地正確,非常地肯定,就說這個殺、盜、淫、妄,所以一般學者、教授就怕這〈四種清淨明誨〉,他們就想得到不明白的那個誨,這個明誨他們就很怕很怕的。因為如果說《楞嚴經》是真的,他們就沒有立足之地了,他那種又抽煙、又喝酒、又玩女人,就立不住了,被人家都認識他了。所以你看看,《楞嚴經》裏所講的道理,是非常正確的,非常有邏輯學的,再沒有比這個說得更清楚了。《楞嚴經》全部經,就是一部照妖鏡,所以這照妖鏡一懸起來,這個妖魔鬼怪都膽顫心驚。

我方才所說的話,所解釋的《楞嚴經》和〈楞嚴咒〉這個道理,如果不合乎佛的心、不合乎經的意,如果《楞嚴經》是假的,我願意永遠永遠在地獄裏,再不到世上來見所有的人。我雖然是一個很愚癡的人,可是也不會笨得願意到地獄去,不再出來。各位由這一點,應該深信這個《楞嚴經》和〈楞嚴咒〉。

我方才所說的我的願力是這樣子,如果不合乎佛心,我願意下地獄。那麼我現在所說的話,也請十方盡虛空遍法界無盡無盡常住佛法僧三寶,在默默中證明,令一切眾生早成佛道。

我再請十方菩薩摩訶薩、十方聲聞緣覺諸聖人、賢聖僧,再請一切護法諸天,光明會上,所有護法放光加被,令所有一切眾生都離苦得樂,了生脫死。

我再請求各位善知識,如果我說的有不合乎佛法的地方,希望明以教我,我雖不敏,請嘗試之。我是一個很愚癡的人,所見的也不圓滿,所以我講的有不圓滿的地方,希望無論出家人、在家人,不吝指導,明以教我,我當叩頭頂禮,盡形壽而感謝。

所以有人讀誦《楞嚴經》,要我盡形壽供養這樣的修道人,我也願意的。因為「正法興,楞嚴興;正法滅,是楞嚴滅。」由這個各位應該知道,這個《楞嚴經》在佛教裏是多麼重要的。

「開慧的楞嚴,成佛的法華,教化眾生的是華嚴。」因為這個,我在美國,頭一次由西雅圖華盛頓大學來了三十幾位大學的學生,我開講《楞嚴經》。第一個暑假班是九十六天,那麼我給這些個大學生講《楞嚴經》,中間只有禮拜六放半天假,放半天香,其餘的時間都是講經說法,他們也都寫筆記。那麼一開始,一天講一次,由他們去研究。過了半個月,我算一算這個《楞嚴經》的篇幅和日期,恐怕講不完,所以就增加一天講兩次。又過一個時期,還是講不完,就一天講三次,那麼最後有半個多月,一天講四次。

在這個「暑假楞嚴講修班」的期間,我一個人,給他們講經也是我,做飯也是我,做菜也是我,燒茶也是我,那麼買菜一切一切都是我,那時候四十八單執事,我一個人兼而行之,就這樣子。那麼這些個學生我本來可以叫他們輪流來做事情,但是我怕耽誤他們的功課,耽誤他們研究經典的時間,所以誰我也不用,那時候不敢說行菩薩道,但是因為有人要學《楞嚴經》,我願意盡形壽來供養這樣的人,所以在九十六天中,把《楞嚴經》講完了。講完之後,這是在美國一般人認識佛教的一個開始。

講完《楞嚴經》,有五個人就出家了,在那年正月初一的時候,我曾經對一切的信眾說過,「今年美國的佛教會開五朵蓮華,這五朵蓮華將來就是把佛教傳到西方去。」這是那時候說的話。

那麼在這個「暑假楞嚴講修班」畢業之後,就有五個美國人要出家,我就派他們到臺灣海會寺去受戒,遇著臺灣的善知識,就告訴這五個人,說:「現在末法時代了,沒有人在修行了,你們還吃一餐哪,被你師父給騙了!」我這些個美國徒弟,一聽這個話,「哦!原來我們是被師父騙了,那我們怎麼辦呢?」這個善知識就說:「吃飯嘛!喝酒嘛!吃肉嘛!」這五個人對佛教就生了懷疑了,「怎麼我師父教我們吃一餐,他們叫我們早晚都應該吃飯的,這是怎麼搞的?這裏頭一定有問題?」心裏就活活動動地就要吃飯,於是乎他們自己就開會,說:「我們回去問清楚再吃飯!」他們又告訴那個臺灣的善知識說:「我們是坐單的。」臺灣有一些個人就告訴他們說:「坐單!那是佛住世的時候,有人坐單;現在佛都不在世了,你們坐什麼單哪?唉!真是美國人被中國人騙了。」

這麼樣一來,怎麼樣呢?回去就調皮了,說:「人家臺灣人都吃三餐,我們不應該吃一餐。」就和我搗蛋了。又說…,唉!總而言之,我也不記得這麼多了。結果搞了三個月之後,這才沒有懷疑了。

那麼當時臺灣就有人說:「這個宣化法師在美國,收了一些個邪皮(嬉皮),他因為到金門公園去,那兒很多邪皮,宣化法師就到那兒去打坐,一打坐,這些邪皮看著很奇怪的,就去和他談話,那麼宣化法師就叫他們去廟上看看,到廟上一看,和他們邪皮過的生活差不多,於是乎就都出家了。」

臺灣又有一個謠言,說:「你知道嗎?宣化法師在美國,和一班邪皮在一起吸毒啊!那個邪皮吃LSD(迷幻藥)、吸大麻,一粒LSD一吃,就惚惚悠悠的,好像到了極樂國似的,這個宣化法師他吃十幾粒,都不動彈,也不這麼惚惚悠悠到極樂世界去。所以這些邪皮都佩服了,於是乎就跟他出家。你們不要相信他!」

那麼說來說去,邪皮也好,不邪皮也好,大家誰用功修行誰就好,誰不用功修行誰就不好。不是邪皮,你若不修行也不好;若是邪皮,你若能修行也一樣好。所以佛教裏頭,不是口頭禪所說的,要有真實的功夫,要有真實的受用,你不要在口頭上說:「我得了定了!我有三昧!我有四昧!」那個人又創出個五昧來。

現在我想起幾句話來,和大家說一說,我說:
口頭說三昧,
我對你不對;
日久現原形,
搞得滿身罪。
這是說的這個盡用口頭禪,把佛教當兒戲,來隨便亂講亂說,也不負因果的責任。誰下拔舌地獄呢?就是這一類人。將來下拔舌地獄,那時候把舌頭給拔出來,他不會說話了,那時候他說不出話,心裏想:「唉呀!我真糟糕!我若知道這麼樣子,我就不應該開那種玩笑。」

總是口頭三昧,總說:「我對,我自己對!你什麼都不對!」你對,我也說你不對;你不對,我也說你不對。這是「我對你不對!」,你說這有公理沒有?什麼事情都是「我對你不對!」。「日久現原形」:時間一久了,「路遙知馬力,日久見人心」,日久那個原形畢露了。「搞得滿身罪」:滿身都是罪業,入了拔舌地獄還不知道。

說:「法師,你不要罵人哪,講法罵什麼人!」唉!我這不是罵人哪!我罵人?我天天都向那個蚊蟲、螞蟻叩頭,我怎麼敢罵人,不過我不能不說真理,真理是如此!

我再告訴你們各位,我有今天,就是這些個說我不對的人,來教我的,來幫助我的。所以這些個說我不對的人、毀謗我的人,都是我的善知識。他們都是我的師父,我的師父都是口頭禪的,我現在所以會說口頭禪,也就因為學我師父的。

我有這麼幾句話,我說:「眾人是我師」:眾人都是我的師父,不論哪一個,你是有血氣的,我都要照你們學習。你們有好的,我就學好的;有壞的,我就學壞的;我要學得全身都是武藝,十八般兵刃件件精通,所以到比起武來,這絕招很多。「我是眾人師」:我也是大家的師父。「時常師自己」:時常我還要以自己作為師父,自己也時常給人家作師父,所以大家互相提攜,互相向這個菩提道路上勇猛精進,不要在娑婆世界這麼打算盤,來爭你強我勝的。我們看誰先走到極樂世界去!

有人說:「法師你盡強辭奪理,罵人還不承認!你承認嗎?你罵人你若承認,你就不會罵人的。對嗎?」可是罵人的人,是「仰天自唾,還岔己身」。那麼要喜歡被人罵,罵人給人加肥料呢!你那土地不肥沃,要上一點肥料,令你那五穀就長得茂盛了,你那果實也堅固了。

說:「法師!你方才說眾人是你的師父,那有好人,有壞人,都是你師父,你也學好,也學壞?」你這是誤會了,所謂「眾人是我師」,善者,是我的法師,我就效法他;惡者,是我的戒師,我自己不要學他那樣子,所以眾人都是我的師父。「時常師自己」,自己要常常提高警覺,不要做錯了,不要用那個無明去做事,要用那個智慧。要用光明智慧來處理一切的問題,不要用那個愚癡、無明處理事情。人要把這個境界轉過來,那個境界不要轉我們人,我們再要「勿以善小而不為,勿以惡小而為之」。不要說,善很小的,我不要做了;那惡事很小的,我要做,做了也不要緊;譬如吃齋,吃個雞蛋沒有關係。沒有關係?將來你去作雞的時候,就知道那關係是從吃雞蛋那兒來的。就這一點點小的問題,你弄不清楚,這叫「善惡夾雜,果報不爽」,不是很好玩的!

今天我又發狂了,也不知道講什麼,我若講的有得罪各位的,請你來打我一頓、罵我一頓,我都很歡喜的!


The Wonderful Effects of the Shurangama Mantra
〈楞嚴咒〉的妙用


The Shurangama Mantra is in the Shurangama Sutra. The word 'Shurangama' has the meaning 'absolutely firm and solid.' In China, this Sutra is considered one of the most important Sutras. It is said: "to become a Buddha requires the Dharma Flower Sutra; to develop one's wisdom requires the Shurangama Sutra." I'm very willing to lecture on the the Shurangama Sutra and the Dharma Flower Sutra, because these two Sutras can develop people's wisdom and lead them to Buddhahood. Not only do I want to talk about them, but I also hope everyone here will study and understand them, especially the Shurangama Sutra.

Speaking of the Shurangama Sutra, I remember in China there was a Great Master named Zhi Zhe ("Wise One") who, upon hearing the name of the Shurangama Sutra, wanted to read it. For that reason he bowed in the direction of India every day, hoping to someday to study it. Although he made full prostrations for eighteen years, he never saw this Sutra. Though the wisdom and intelligence of Great Master Zhi Zhe surpassed that of ordinary people and his eloquence had no limits, he still revered and bowed to the Shurangama Sutra. This shows how important this Sutra is.

As long as the Shurangama Sutra exists in this world, the demons from the heavens and the externalists will be afraid to show themselves. Unfortunately, the Shurangama Sutra will be the first to disappear in the Dharma-ending Age. After this Sutra disappears, the demons from the heavens and the externalists will take advantage of the situation. That is why now there are some who pretend to be experts on Buddhism, who say they are scholars of Buddhist studies or professors of Buddhism in such-and-such universities, and they publicly suggest that the Shurangama Sutra is a spurious Sutra created by the Chinese. All of you just think for a moment: Although China has produced many sages, I doubt that we could find one among them who could have written the Shurangama Sutra. I firmly believe that the Shurangama Sutra is genuine and correct, and that it offers the means to subdue demons from the heavens and control externalists. That is because the phrases in the Shurangama Mantra serve to subdue demons from the heavens and control externalists. From the beginning to the end, each line of the mantra has its mystical effect and inconceivable power. It was because of the Shurangama Mantra that the Shurangama Sutra was spoken.

In the past, someone in Hong Kong translated the Shurangama Sutra into English, but he deleted the section on the rites of setting up the Shurangama Platform and also left out the entire Shurangama Mantra. He said that no Westerners would believe in the Shurangama Mantra, that they wouldn't recite it since they consider mantras to be superstitious and don't believe in the functions of mantras. Therefore, he left out the instructions for setting up the platforms and for practicing and upholding the Great Shurangama Dharma. After coming to this Western country--the United States, I personally realized that there are many Westerners who love to chant the Shurangama Mantra. Not only do they like to chant the Shurangama Mantra, they are even able to recite it from memory! At Gold Mountain Monastery, I had a disciple who joined us in reciting the Shurangama Mantra during morning recitation and again during evening recitation. After twenty-six days of reciting it in the morning and evening, he was able to recite it from memory. The first test I gave to my students in America was on the Shurangama Mantra. I stipulated in the summer session (1968) that whoever could memorize the Shurangama Mantra would pass, and whoever could not would fail. There was one who memorized the Shurangama Mantra in twenty-six days, and another who memorized it in twenty-eight days. And now, many Western Buddhists are familiar with the Shurangama Mantra.

All of us should stop for a moment and think, "Why do these fake Buddhist experts, self-proclaimed scholars, and college professors say that the Shurangama Sutra is false?" It's because the doctrines of the Shurangama Sutra counteract the faults of these people; it clearly exposes their faults. For example, it explains very clearly that the Four Clear Instructions on Purity must not be transgressed. Since these people have no intention of eliminating their faults, they insinuate that the Shurangama Sutra was created by the Chinese. Who were the first ones to say this? The Japanese. Who told the Japanese? It is said that a Chinese Dharma Master informed them that the Shurangama Sutra was counterfeit. I don't know whether that Dharma Master understood the Shurangama Sutra. We don't have to mention his name, because it was a long time ago. Since then, people have been spreading the rumor that the Shurangama Sutra is not genuine. This shows that the Buddhadharma is declining: people within Buddhism made up such a rumor, gradually causing doubts in others. Over a period of time, people became doubtful and disbelieving, and in their disbelief they put this Sutra away in the attic. That's equivalent to destroying it, for no one will study this Sutra or have any interest in it. Over the course of time, the Sutra will disappear, not because of something like the words fading away or the pages falling out, but because, little by little, people will forget about it.

Why have people made up this false theory? Simply because they do not want to follow the rules. The Sutra also states that the various spiritual powers associated with the fifty skandha-demon states are not significant. So those people think, "Even if I had some spiritual powers, they would be considered false." I've heard that a certain cultivator in Japan has spiritual penetrations--it's said that he can point his finger at a candle and cause it to light up. Is this the case? I haven't witnessed it yet. I'm going to Japan on the fourteenth, so maybe I'll look him up. A long time ago he also wanted to see me, so when I visit him we can exchange ideas.

The importance of the Shurangama Sutra and the Shurangama Mantra is beyond words. Even if I were to speak to the end of time, it would be impossible to completely describe its wonderful effects. It is inconceivable. Today I'm using a very honest mind to candidly tell all of you about the wonderful effects of the Shurangama Mantra. When I was in Manchuria, whenever I met people who were sick, I was determined to cure their illness. What power did I use to cure sick people? The power of the Shurangama Mantra.

The Shurangama Mantra contains five divisions: In the East is the Vajra Division, hosted by Akshobhya Buddha; in the south, the Jewel-creating Division, hosted by Creation of Jewels (Ratnasambhava) Buddha; in the center, the Buddha Division, hosted by Vairochana Buddha; in the West, the Lotus Division, hosted by Amitabha Buddha; in the North, the Karma Division, hosted by Accomplishment (Amoghasiddhi) Buddha. These five divisions control the vast demon armies of the five directions. When you recite the Shurangama Mantra, the soldiers of the five demon armies will lower their heads in obedience. They will behave themselves and will not dare to oppose the awesome power of the Shurangama Mantra.

In the Shurangama Mantra, there is a Dharma for Quelling Calamities. When you recite the mantra, all disasters and misfortunes will disappear. There is also a Dharma for Subduing. No matter what kind of demons from the heavens or heretics you encounter, when you recite the Shurangama Mantra, you will destroy the power of the demons and subdue them. There is a Dharma that Increases Benefits. When you are cultivating the Way, this dharma will help you increase your wisdom, your resolve for Bodhi, and the power of your vows; it can increase everything. This is called the Dharma that Increases Benefits. There is an Accomplishment Dharma. When you recite the Shurangama Mantra, no matter what Dharma-door you practice, you will accomplish it. There is another dharma called the Hooking and Summoning Dharma. This dharma is to be employed when you encounter demons from the heavens and heretics and you want to seize them, just as the policemen in our society catch criminals. When you want to catch the demons from the heavens or the heretics, all the kind-hearted Dharma-protecting spirits, the gods and dragons, and the remainder of the eightfold division, and the 84,000 Vajra Store Bodhisattvas will immediately seize them. This is the Hooking and Summoning Dharma.

The Shurangama Mantra consists of five sections and can be divided into over thirty types of dharmas. It was because of the power of the Shurangama Mantra that I was able to treat people's illnesses when I was in Manchuria. However, it is not the case that just anyone can casually use the Shurangama Mantra. When one uses it, one doesn't necessarily have to use the whole mantra, because it contains over thirty types of dharmas. When I mentioned this, some professors in the United States didn't really understand Buddhism, and they thought, "Oh! Now I see that the Shurangama Mantra is just a combination of many little mantras." How ridiculous! They themselves do not understand, so they use the scientific mind of a professor to speculate on the inconceivable state of the Shurangama Mantra. This is what I've heard. What a joke!

Why do we want to talk about the Shurangama Mantra? Because it was for the sake of the Shurangama Mantra that the Shurangama Sutra was expounded. Without the Shurangama Mantra, there wouldn't be any Shurangama Sutra. Therefore, since that person from Hong Kong left out the Shurangama Mantra and didn't translate the rites of setting up the platform, you could say that his English translation is like a person without a head. What can a person do if he has no head? When we translate Sutras, we shouldn't arbitrarily add or delete sentences by interpreting passages out of context or using our own limited understanding and wisdom. If we did, it would be like viewing the sky through a reed or measuring the ocean with a gourd. This is not allowed when we are translating Sutras.

Now, we are also working on Sutra translations at Gold Mountain Monastery, and we absolutely must retain all the text that is in the Sutras. We will not chop off the head or do away with the feet. Nor will we be like a certain professor who translated liang zu zun (which means "Doubly Perfect Honored One") as "Most Venerable of Two Legged Beings," implying that we should "Take refuge with the Buddha's two legs." [The Chinese character zu can mean perfect or foot.] This way of translating (word-for-word) cannot be said to be completely incorrect, but it is quite far from the intent of the text and does not agree with the original meaning in the Sutra. For these reasons, we are extremely attentive and careful in all the Sutras we translate at Gold Mountain Monastery. We would not casually delete a paragraph in the Sutras. Since I'm talking about the Shurangama Sutra today, I have taken an opportunity to bring this up.


《大佛頂首楞嚴經》這一部經其中有〈楞嚴咒〉,這〈楞嚴咒〉的「楞嚴」兩個字,就翻譯成「究竟堅固」。那麼這一部經,在中國來說,是很重要的一部經,所謂「成佛的法華,開慧的楞嚴。」我也很願意講這個《楞嚴經》和《法華經》,因為這兩部經,既能開智慧,又能成佛。所以不單我願意講,我希望每一個人都把它研究明白了,尤其是《楞嚴經》。

講到這個《楞嚴經》,在我們中國有一位智者大師,他在一生之中,只聽見這部經的名字,他就想要讀誦這一部經,就向著印度天天叩頭禮拜,希望見到這一部經。叩頭禮拜十八年,結果也沒有見著這一部經。智者大師他的智慧已經出類拔萃,他的辯才已經是無礙了,那麼他還恭敬禮拜這一部《楞嚴經》,可見這一部《楞嚴經》的重要性。

有這一部《楞嚴經》在世的時候,天魔外道就都不敢出現。可是很不幸地,這一部《楞嚴經》在末法的時候,就先先沒有了,先沒了。等這一部經一沒的時候,這天魔外道就會得便了。所以現在有一些個冒充佛學的專家,也說自己是研究佛法的一個學者,或者是某一個大學裏頭佛學系的教授,那麼他們公然就提倡,說是《楞嚴經》是假的,是中國人偽造的。啊!你們各位想一想,我們中國雖然是出過很多的聖人,但是我相信能造《楞嚴經》的這種聖人,還找不出來哪一個。所以我絕對相信這《楞嚴經》是真的,是正確的,是降伏天魔、制諸外道的一部經。因為〈楞嚴咒〉裏邊所說的,都是降伏天魔、制諸外道的,從一開始到終了,每一句都有它的妙處,都有它不可思議的力量。所以這個《楞嚴經》,就是為〈楞嚴咒〉而說。

以前在香港有翻譯《楞嚴經》的人,把《楞嚴經》翻譯成英文了。那麼翻譯成英文,他就把「設楞嚴壇」這種儀規都刪去了,把那一段經文也不要了,咒也不要了。他說西方人哪一個也不相信〈楞嚴咒〉,他們都不願意誦持咒的,他們對於咒認為是迷信,不相信咒的這種功用。所以他把怎麼樣地設壇啊,怎麼樣修持這個楞嚴大法啊,他都不要了。那麼現在等我到西方國家,到美國,我親身的經驗,在西方人裏,很多很多都是歡喜誦持〈楞嚴咒〉的。不單歡喜誦持〈楞嚴咒〉,而且還都能背得出來。在金山聖寺,我有一個徒弟,他早晨做早課隨著誦〈楞嚴咒〉,晚間做晚課我們也誦持〈楞嚴咒〉,那麼早晚這麼念一念,他念到二十六天,就能背得出來了。我在美國第一個考試,就是考試〈楞嚴咒〉,誰會背〈楞嚴咒〉,誰就第一個考試及格;誰若不會〈楞嚴咒〉,就暫時不及格、不合格。那麼我在那個暑假班是這樣規定的,所以有一位是二十六天能背得出〈楞嚴咒〉,有一位是二十八天能背出〈楞嚴咒〉。所以現在在西方的佛教徒,認識〈楞嚴咒〉的,是很多的。

我們各位應該想一想,這一些個冒充佛學專家,或者一些個自命為學者的,或者是某一個大學裏頭的教授,為什麼他們要倡議說這個《楞嚴經》是假的?就因為《楞嚴經》上所說的,都是對治這些人的毛病,把他們所本有的一些老毛病都說得清清楚楚的。好像其中那個〈四種清淨明誨〉,說得清清楚楚的,不可毀犯。這一些人根本就不願去他們的毛病,所以就提議說:「《楞嚴經》是中國人造的。」這個最初是誰說的呢?是日本人提議出來的。那日本人說誰告訴他的呢?說是一個中國的法師告訴他的,說這個《楞嚴經》是假的。那麼我不知道這個法師究竟他懂不懂《楞嚴經》?這法師的名字不要提他了,因為已經是很早的事情了。那麼就這麼樣以訛傳訛,說《楞嚴經》是假的。這就證明這個佛法沒啊,一點一點地就是由佛教裏邊的人造出這種謠言來,一點一點地就令人生一種懷疑;生一種懷疑,久而久之就狐疑不信了;那麼狐疑不信,就把這一部經會置諸高閣;置諸高閣就等於毀滅了一樣的。所以,你對這一部經也不研究了,他對這一部經也不發生興趣了,久而久之,就這樣毀沒了。不是這個經自己就沒有字了,或者沒有紙了,或者怎麼樣的,而是人們一點一點地就把它淡忘下來了。

為什麼人要提倡這個?就是因為他不願意守這個規矩。那經上又說,五十種陰魔有種種的神通,這都不算一回事。所以他想自己有一點神通的時候,就認為我如果有這個神通,也變成假的了。現在在日本有一個同參,據說他有神通,用手一指,這個蠟燭就著了,那麼究竟是不是這樣子?我還沒有證實。我這一次十四號到日本去,或者見一見這個人,他在很早以前也希望見我,那麼我們去,大家互相交換一下意見。

那麼《楞嚴經》和〈楞嚴咒〉這個重要性,是沒有法子能說得完的,盡未來際也說不完它的這種妙用,所以說不可思議。我今天再用我誠誠實實的這種心,來向你們各位坦坦白白地說一說這個〈楞嚴咒〉的妙用。過去我在東北的時候,每逢遇著人有病,我就一定要令他的病好。我以什麼力量來令一切的人病好?就是這個〈楞嚴咒〉的力量。

這個〈楞嚴咒〉其中有五部,東方是阿閦佛,阿閦佛就是金剛部;南方是寶生佛,就是寶生部;中央是佛部;西方是蓮華部;北方是羯磨部。這五部就是管理這個世界五方的五大魔軍,所以你一誦〈楞嚴咒〉,這五方的五大魔軍他都俯首低頭,那麼老老實實地不敢違犯〈楞嚴咒〉的這種威力。

〈楞嚴咒〉上,又有「息災法」:你一誦這個〈楞嚴咒〉,一切的災難都沒有了。有「降伏法」:就是無論你是什麼天魔外道,一誦〈楞嚴咒〉,就把這個魔的法力都給破了,把他就降伏了。又有「增益法」:你譬如修道,能增益你的智慧,增益你的菩提心,增益你這個願力,一切一切都會增加,這是增益法。有「成就法」:一誦這個〈楞嚴咒〉,你修什麼法門都會成就的,這又是一種。又有一種「鉤召法」:就是遇著天魔外道,你想要把他抓來的時候──舉個例子,就像世間的警察,到那兒把那個犯罪的人抓來了;這鉤召法也就是無論是天魔也好,外道也好,你想要把他抓來,這一切的護法善神、天龍八部、八萬四千金剛藏菩薩即刻就會把他抓來,這是鉤召法。

〈楞嚴咒〉有五會,其中分出來有三十幾部法。那麼我在東北能對治這一切人的病痛,都因為〈楞嚴咒〉的這種力量。可是這個〈楞嚴咒〉不是隨隨便便人人都可以使用的;那麼使用也不是全面的,因為分出來三十幾部,有三十幾部法。我這樣說,那麼在美國有一些個不懂佛法的教授,他們就想了,說:「哦!原來這個〈楞嚴咒〉是很多小咒湊到一起的!」你說這講出來,真是笑死人!自己也不明白,就以教授這個科學的腦袋,來揣測〈楞嚴咒〉這種不可思議的情形。我聽見這麼樣地講,覺得很可笑!

為什麼要講這個〈楞嚴咒〉呢?因為這一部《楞嚴經》,就是為著〈楞嚴咒〉而說的;如果沒有〈楞嚴咒〉的話,根本就不會有《楞嚴經》。所以翻譯英文這一位先生,他把〈楞嚴咒〉不要,把結壇這種儀規也都不翻譯,這可以說,就好像一個人沒有了頭似的。一個人沒有個頭,這有什麼用呢?所以在翻譯經典時,不能武斷,不能自己用自己這個小智小慧,或者以管窺天、以蠡測海,用自己這種知見來斷章取義,妄加去取,對於經上,這是不可以的。

我們現在在金山聖寺也是翻譯經典,那麼凡是經上所有的,絕對是保留的,不會或者把這個經的頭給砍去,或者把腳給剁去了。也不會像某某一個professor(教授),翻譯這個「兩足尊」,他翻譯成什麼呢?就翻譯成「兩條腿」,他說「皈依佛,兩條腿。」那麼這種的翻譯法,也不能說是完全不對,但是有多少是大相逕庭了,與這個經的本意是不相合的。因為這種關係,所以我們金山聖寺所翻譯的這個經典都特別謹慎小心,不是隨便就把經某一段取消了。那麼今天講這《楞嚴經》,順便說一說這個意思。


Disciples of the Buddha Should Recite and Uphold the Shurangama Sutra
佛弟子應誦持《楞嚴經》


The Shurangama Sutra is a Sutra that acts like a demon-spotting mirror in Buddhism. All the celestial demons, externalists, and the li, mei, and wang liang ghosts reveal their true appearance when they see the Shurangama Sutra. They have no way to hide and no place to flee to. And so in the past, when Great Master Zhi Zhe heard of the existence of this Sutra, he bowed in the direction of India for eighteen years. For eighteen years, he used this spirit of utmost sincerity to pray for this Sutra to be brought to China.

Of all the greatly virtuous and eminent monks of the past, all the wise and lofty Sanghans, there was not a single one who did not praise the Shurangama Sutra. Therefore, as long as the Shurangama Sutra exists, the Buddhadharma exists. If the Shurangama Sutra is destroyed, then the Buddhadharma will also become extinct. How will the decline of the Dharma come about? It will begin with the destruction of the Shurangama Sutra. Who will destroy it? The celestial demons and externalists will. They see the Shurangama Sutra like a nail in their eyes and a thorn in their flesh. They can't sit still, and they can't stand steady; they are compelled to invent the deviant theory saying that the Shurangama Sutra is false.

As Buddhist disciples, we should recognize true principle. Every word of the doctrines in the Shurangama Sutra is the absolute truth. There isn't one word which does not express the truth. So now that we are studying the Fifty Skandha-demons, we should realize even more just how important the Shurangama Sutra is. The Shurangama Sutra is what the deviant demons, ghosts, and goblins fear most.

The Venerable Master Hsu Yun lived to be a hundred and twenty years old, and during his whole life, he didn't write a commentary for any Sutra other than the Shurangama Sutra. He took special care to preserve the manuscript of his commentary on the Shurangama Sutra. He preserved it for several decades, but it was later lost during the Yunmen incident. This was the Elder Hsu's greatest regret in his life. He proposed that, as left-home people, we should study the Shurangama Sutra to the point that we can recite it by memory, from the beginning to the end, and from the end to the beginning, forwards and backwards. That was his proposal. I know that, throughout his whole life, the Elder Hsu regarded the Shurangama Sutra as being especially important.

When someone informed the Elder Hsu that there were people who said the Shurangama Sutra was false, he explained that the decline of the Dharma occurs just because these people try to pass fish eyes off as pearls, confusing people so that they cannot distinguish right from wrong. They make people blind so that they can no longer recognize the Buddhadharma. They take the true as false, and the false as true. Look at these people: this one writes a book and people all read it. That one writes a book and they read it too. The real Sutras spoken by the Buddha himself are put up on the shelf, where no one ever reads them. From this, we can see that living beings' karmic obstacles are very heavy. If they hear deviant knowledge and deviant views, they will readily believe them. If you speak Dharma based on proper knowledge and proper views, they won't believe it. Speak it again, and they still won't believe it. Why? Because they don't have sufficient good roots and foundations. That's why they have doubts about the proper Dharma. They are skeptical and unwilling to believe.

Here at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, we will be setting up the Shurangama Platform, so it would be ideal if some of you bring forth the resolve to read the Shurangama Sutra every day for one or two hours. You can study it daily just as if you were studying in school, and memorize it so that you can recite it by heart. If you can recite the Shurangama Sutra, the Dharma Flower Sutra, and even the Avatamsaka Sutra from memory, that would be the very best. If someone is able to recite the Shurangama Sutra, the Dharma Flower Sutra, and the Avatamsaka Sutra from memory, then it will mean that this is still a time when the proper Dharma exists in the world. Therefore, in such a wonderful place as the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, everyone should bring forth a great Bodhi resolve to do these things.It is not that we are competing with others. We should be outstanding, rise above the crowd, and do these things.

In the past, I had a wish: I wanted to be able to recite the Dharma Flower Sutra and the Shurangama Sutra from memory. In Hong Kong, there is a disciple named Guo Yi (Heng Ding) who can recite the Shurangama Sutra from memory. I taught him to study the Dharma Flower Sutra, but in the end he probably didn't finish memorizing it, which is very regrettable. In such a fine place as we have here, everyone should bring forth a great resolve to study the Buddhist Sutras and precepts--the Shurangama Sutra, the Dharma Flower Sutra, the Vinaya in Four Divisions, and the Brahma Net Sutra--until he can recite it from memory. That would be the best, for then the proper Dharma would surely remain here for a long time.


《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,牠無所遁形,什麼地方牠也跑不了。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?就是這一些個天魔外道。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,所以牠必須要創出一種邪說,說是《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,其他這些邪魔鬼怪最怕的就是《楞嚴經》。

虛老活了一百二十歲,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。那麼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。他在那兒把這個真的,他當假的;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,放到那個書架子上,永遠也不看。所以這也就看出來眾生的業障是很重的,他若聽邪知邪見,就很相信的;你講正知正見的法,說了他也不信,說了他也不信。為什麼呢?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》若都能背得出來,那世界上這還是正法存在的時候。所以我們這兒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》能背得出來,再能把《楞嚴經》也背得出來。在香港有位果一,就是恆定,他《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,那我們這兒一定是正法久住了。


Don't Plant a Seed for the Hells
不要種地獄的種子


Let me tell you the honest truth about the Shurangama Sutra. The Shurangama Sutra is the Buddha's sharira, the Buddha's real body. It doesn't matter who criticizes the Shurangama Sutra. If it is a Bodhisattva criticizing the Shurangama Sutra as being false, this Bodhisattva will fall into the hells instantly; if it is an Arhat criticizing the Shurangama Sutra as being false, this Arhat will also fall into the hells right away. Needless to say, those ordinary people, those scholars, are nothing but trash; basically they are not qualified to understand the Shurangama Sutra at all, nor are they qualified to criticize the Shurangama Sutra. Therefore, anyone who criticizes the Shurangama Sutra--I don't care who he is--is planting a seed for the hells.

The Shurangama Sutra is a Sutra that represents the whole of Buddhism. If the Shurangama Sutra didn't exist, there wouldn't be any Buddhism. Therefore, the Buddha predicted that when the Dharma is in the process of becoming extinct, the Shurangama Sutra will be the first to disappear. After it disappears, the other Sutras will disappear in succession. As Buddhists, if we want to protect and support Buddhism, we first have to protect and support the Shurangama Sutra. We have to lecture on and explain the Shurangama Sutra in every place, translate the Shurangama Sutra, recite the Shurangama Sutra, and most of all, memorize the Shurangama Mantra. The Shurangama Mantra is the Buddha's Dharma-body. Wherever the Shurangama Mantra is found, that's where the Buddha's sharira is.

I mentioned previously that none of us who are Buddhists should criticize the Shurangama Sutra and say that it is false. You musn't say that! If you say that, you are planting a seed for the hells; you are just trying to fall into the hells. You don't want to be a human being in this world; instead you want to fall into the hells, to be a hungry ghost, and to be an animal in the future. Just by having that one thought of saying that the Shurangama Sutra is false, you are sowing the cause for falling into the Avici Hell forever and never coming out. Do you know why so many people fall into the hells? It's because they do not believe in the Shurangama Sutra. Those Ph.D.'s and scholars who disclaim the Sutra nowadays are completely ignorant. They are not qualified to judge which Sutra is true and which one is false because they do not have the Dharma-selecting Eye! They do not know what the Buddhadharma is all about; all they do is echo the words of others.


關於《楞嚴經》的問題,我告訴你們一個實實在在的話,《楞嚴經》這是佛的一個舍利,這是佛的真身。有人批評《楞嚴經》,無論是哪一個,他要是菩薩,批評《楞嚴經》是假的,這個菩薩即刻就墮地獄;他是阿羅漢,批評《楞嚴經》是假的,這個阿羅漢他也即刻會墮地獄。不要說是一些凡夫俗子,什麼scholar,什麼學者,這些個都是垃圾簍裡頭的東西,他根本就沒有資格明白這個《楞嚴經》,也沒有資格來批評《楞嚴經》。所以任何人批評《楞嚴經》的,我不管他是誰,他都是地獄的種子。

《楞嚴經》這一部經,是整個佛教一部代表的經,若沒有《楞嚴經》就沒有佛教。所以佛才預先就說,法滅的時候,《楞嚴經》先滅;《楞嚴經》滅完了以後,其他的經典才繼續地滅。所以我們佛教徒,要是想護持佛教,先要護持《楞嚴經》,到處來講《楞嚴經》,說《楞嚴經》,翻譯《楞嚴經》,念《楞嚴經》,並且主要地要誦〈楞嚴咒〉。這〈楞嚴咒〉就是佛的法身,有〈楞嚴咒〉的地方,就是有佛的舍利。

所以在前邊我才說,我們佛教徒,無論哪一個,你也不能批評《楞嚴經》是假的,你不能這樣說。你若這樣說,就是地獄的種子,就是想要下地獄去了,在這個人世間不願意做人了,想要去墮地獄、做餓鬼,將來做畜生去。你就動一個念,來說《楞嚴經》是假的,這都是將來入阿鼻地獄永無出期的一個因。知不知道怎麼那麼多的人下地獄?就因為他不相信《楞嚴經》。乃至於就現在的博士、學者,他們自己根本就無知識,沒有資格來批評哪一部經典是真的,哪一部經典是假的,因為他沒有擇法眼呢!他也不認識佛法是怎麼回事,就那麼人云亦云。