众生父母恩  林钰堂    

 

 

佛法教示,众生根本上的性情都是一样的;所以说,「众生平等」。与牲畜或宠物相处久的人,也都会有这样的体会。佛法教示「六道轮迴」,就是说,众生随着愚迷造业或积德修行,也可能转生为其他类的有情;所以,「众生平等」不只是在根本性质上,就连转化的因缘上,也是平等的。

人类与其所役使或食用的种种生物的关系,基本上是加以控制及利用而已;并且一般都视这种「弱肉强食」为当然。然而,从佛法教示的平等观点来看,这些生物都是出乎无奈地在不断奉献与牺牲,而少有能体会彼等如父母之恩者——就像遇到不懂事、不知亲长辛苦的孩子的父母,只能无奈地在承受任意的要求与挥霍。

在佛法里,通常说「如母有情」,因为在无尽的轮迴里,任一有情都可能曾是宿生的父母。做生意的人常说,顾客是「衣食父母」,因为顾客提供了温饱的来源;如果我们能体会一向被人类役使或食用的种种生物的不断奉献与牺牲之恩,那么,「如母有情」的意义就更加深刻了!

 

二○二○年六月六日
养和斋   于加州


 

 

Parental Grace of All Beings

Yutang Lin

 

Dharma teaches that, all sentient beings are basically the same in their nature; and hence, it says, ″all sentient beings are equal″. People who live with animals or pets for long time also have this kind of comprehension. Dharma teaches about ″Transmigration in the Six Realms″, which means that, sentient beings, depending on their karma of delusive activities or meritorious cultivation of good deeds, may gain rebirth as other kind of beings. Hence, ″all sentient beings are equal″ holds not only on their basic nature but also on the causal conditions of their transformation.

Relations between human beings and all sorts of sentient beings that are utilized or eaten by men are basically that of control and profitable utility; and, ordinarily, people take this kind of ″weak as prey of strong″ as a matter of course. However, from the point of view of equality as taught in Dharma, all these sentient beings are helplessly making incessant offerings and sacrifices, and yet few can appreciate their parent-like grace—just as parents with kids who are ignorant of hardships in life and parents′ sacrifices, can only helplessly bear their arbitrary demands and expenses.

In Dharma it is usually mentioned, ″mother-like sentient beings″ because, in the endless transmigration in the Six Realms, any sentient being could have been our parents in past lives. People in business often refer to customers as ″parents of clothing and foods″ because customers provide sources for warmth and full stomach. If we could appreciate the grace of all those sentient beings that have been incessantly making offerings and sacrifices for human ease and consumption, then the significance of ″mother-like sentient beings″ would become much more profound!

 

Written in Chinese and translated into English on June 6, 2020
El Cerrito, California

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