本尊观之真髓

林钰堂

佛法教示「万法本空」,亦即一切事物共通的地方就是没有永恆不变的特性,而是随因缘在迁变着的。因此,「无常」、「无执」、「因缘」是佛法根本的原理。

密法中有「本尊观」的修习。对不明佛理者而言,「自观本尊」,亦即行者自观为某一尊佛或菩萨,似乎是「自我催眠」,或者是教人幻想、妄想以及狂妄自大。而本尊观中的救渡事业观想又像是妄想以意念改变现实的世界。

其实本尊观中一定从修「发菩提心」及「观空」开始,因此并无丝毫的「实执」或「自我」的因素,也不可能有「以意念改变世界」的幻想。

「本尊观」的修习,其实是要行者学习完全忘却一向执着为根本的「自我」、「个人」,而改以佛、菩萨的视野与胸怀来生活。而本尊观中的救渡事业之观想,也是要行者学习「法界整体因缘」的眼光,使弘法渡生的事业,在推展的过程中,免于世间种种的对立手段与纷争。

希望此篇的论述能开解一些不明奥义的误会与批评,并且提醒佛法的修行者,要反省自己处世的胸襟、视野、态度与行径,是否效法佛、菩萨之普渡众生,而不是堕于世间的对立与纷扰。

 

二○一八年四月廿四日
养和斋    于加州

 

Essence of Yidam Visualization

Yutang Lin

 

Dharma expounds that ″all things are of Blank Essence″, namely, that what is common to all things is that it does not have a particular quality that is everlastingly unchangeable, but instead, it is evolving along with all causal conditions. Hence, ″impermanence″, ″no grasping″, and ″causally conditional″ are fundamental principles in Dharma teachings.

In tantric Dharma there are practices of ″Yidam visualization″. To those who does not comprehend the Dharma principles, ″visualization of oneself as an Yidam″, namely, for a practitioner to visualize himself as a Buddha or Bodhisattva, it seems to be a kind of ″self-hypnotization″, or teaching people to indulge in imagination, delusion and arrogant self-deceit, while the salvation activities visualized during Yidam visualization practices seem to be delusion in attempting to change reality in the world via personal willing.

Actually, all Yidam visualization practices begin with ″developing Bodhicitta″ and ″visualization on Blank Essence″, and hence there is no element of ″grasping as real″ or ″self″ in them, and it is, therefore, impossible to involve imagination of ″changing reality in the world via personal willing″.

Indeed, the practice of ″Yidam visualization″ aims at helping a practitioner to renounce completely the ″self″ and ″person″ that he is used to grasping as his root, and, instead, to adopt anew the vision and mind of Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in conducting his daily life. The salvation activities visualization during the Yidam visualization practices also aims at helping a practitioner to learn to adopt the vision of ″universal causation in the Dharmadhatu as a whole″ so that, during the processes of propagation of Dharma to benefit all beings, there will be no presence of all sorts of worldly dualistic handlings and hassles.

May the exposition above resolve some misunderstanding and criticisms born of failure to comprehend the essential and profound significance of such Dharma practices, and furthermore, may this work remind Dharma practitioners to reflect on their own views, intentions, attitudes, and activities in daily life to see if they are following the examples set by Buddhas and Bodhisattvas in universal salvation of all beings, lest they will fall into worldly antagonism and hassles.

 

Written in Chinese and translated into English on April 24, 2018
El Cerrito, California

 

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