普皆回向 林钰堂

菩提心是慧命根,超出格局为众生;
视野胸襟广无际,整体因果难思量。

尝闻学佛者谓:「修法功德若回向大众,岂非粥少僧多,反而失去功效?不如只为自己或特定之少数人回向,以免劳而无功,并且救一个算一个,才切实际」。甚至有充佛法教师者,戒弟子辈不得为他人祈祷、回向,理由是初修者自力未充,不堪助人。此类见解皆源于未明佛法根本道理,以致于对正确的修法回向都不能信受奉行。

修习佛法的根本原理在于破除自我之局限,而开展全法界一体的视野与胸襟。所有善行与修法,若不回向菩提,亦即与「一切众生早成佛道」有关的事情,则只属有限的个业,虽有福德及其因果,难达解脱。若能在修法及行持上皆源于菩提心,皆回向有关一切众生之菩提大业,则虽是一点一滴,量力而为,却皆与全法界之迷悟、升沉息息相关,而有不可思量的功德。因此,不会有粥少僧多的问题,反而才能获得佛、菩萨超出世间想像的奇迹救护。
  
初修者虽然宿业未消,道力微薄,只要发心纯正,又不涉及供施、回报,则依然可以代人祈祷、回向。因为此举与其个业因果无关,而是佛陀救苦救难无尽大业的一环。并且修行者培养菩提心,成熟慧命,以及增长道力,全赖平日在一念、一言、一行上,皆注意使之符合菩提发心,而后日积月累,经年不辍,方能渐出私心之局限,而融入法界之开阔、清明。
  
此外,在回向菩提大业之后,当然也可为眼前身边的一些人及事而请佛加被。佛慈无限,从小小苦恼到究竟解脱,无不体贴入微地照拂、引导众生。
  
愿有缘见闻此篇者,咸皆在日常生活中经常修习「为一切众生而向一切佛、菩萨祈请加被」。(这是密勒日巴祖师给我的恳切心要开示。)并且将所有善行及修法,皆首先回向于「一切众生早成佛道」


                     一九九九年十一月十八日
                     养和斋     于加州



Dedicating Merits to All Beings

Dedicating Merits to All Beings


Dedicating Merits to All Beings  Yutang Lin

Bodhicitta is the root of wisdom life,
Transcending self to serve sentient beings.
View and mind are boundlessly open,
In oneness causes and consequences are inconceivable.

Comment:

Some Buddhist once said: "If the merits of one's practices are to be dedicated to all beings, would not that become a situation of too little food for a large crowd? Rather just reserve the merits for one's own benefits or dedicate them to only a few people lest the efforts become ineffectual. Furthermore, one could help only so many but not all, hence one should be practical in this matter." There were even people who acted as Dharma teachers that forbade disciples to pray for or dedicate merits to others. The reason given being that, novices as having insufficient spiritual strength are incapable of helping others. These views stemmed from lack of proper understanding of basic Buddhist principles to such an extent that even the correct practice of dedication of merits to all beings could not be adopted.

The fundamental principle of Buddhist practices is to break up the confinement of self so as to expand view and mind to the openness of the whole Dharmadhatu in oneness. The merits accrued from all good deeds and Dharma practices, if not dedicated to Bodhi, i.e., to things related to the noble goal of enabling all sentient beings to soon reach Enlightenment, would belong only to personal karma. As such, even though they would lead to meritorious consequences, they could hardly enable one to reach Enlightenment. If all one's Dharma practices and deeds are rooted in Bodhicitta, and the resulting merits are firstly dedicated to the noble cause of all sentient beings' Enlightenment, then even though the contributions, as much as one could offer, are only drips and drops, they are still inseparable from the Enlightenment of the whole Dharmadhatu. Consequently, the merits become inconceivable. Therefore, there is no such problem as having not enough food for a large crowd. On the contrary, it is precisely due to such compassionate dedication that supernatural intervention from Buddhas and Bodhisattvas could be inspired.

Even though novice practitioners are still with karmic debts and have only little spiritual strength, as long as their motivation is pure and there is no offering or reward involved, then they could pray for and dedicate merits to others. Such deeds are unrelated to their personal karmas but rings in the endless chain of salvation activities of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Furthermore, for a practitioner to cultivate Bodhicitta, mature wisdom life, and accumulate spiritual strength, it all depends on paying attention in daily life to each and every thought, word and act so as to be in accordance with Bodhicitta. Only after days, months and years of uninterrupted endeavors in such efforts could a practitioner gradually break away from the confine of self-centeredness, and merge into the openness and clarity of the Dharmadhatu in limitless oneness.

After having dedicated merits toward Bodhi, one certainly may also include beings and matters that are in sight or in mind in the dedication. Buddhas' compassion is boundless; from minor inconveniences in daily life to ultimate liberation of all beings, all are carefully well taken care of and guided by them.

May all those who come across this article practice constantly in daily life: To pray to all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas for all sentient beings. (This heart-essence teaching of the great Yogi Milarepa was given to me in a dream.) May they always dedicate merits firstly to the Enlightenment of all sentient beings!


Written in Chinese: November 18, 1999
Translated: November 19, 1999
El Cerrito, California


[Home][Back to list][Dedicating Merits to All Beings]