鲸落  林钰堂

 

 

昨天观视频得知「鲸落」的生态,亦即鲸鱼在海中死后,尸体渐渐落入深海,在长达数十年的过程中供养千多种有情,形成深海裡一方的绿洲,最后枯骨散落海床,还可提供庇护之居所。不由得讚歎此种广大长远的供施,真是菩萨行!

今晨忽然忆起,25年前,有佛友提问:从佛法看来,捐赠遗体之事宜否?当晚我梦见鲸鱼。我想,这是「大心众生」的意思,而菩萨也叫做「大心众生」,也就是说,捐赠遗体以利益他人,是属于「菩萨行」。次日,我即如此回应。并且说明,虽然佛法教示,在死亡的过程中不宜触动遗体,以免干扰自然的神识分离躯体的微细过程,而引起亡者的痛苦;最好等到遗体全凉才触动。然而,捐赠遗体以利益他人,是菩萨行,因此,此功德可以使亡者得到消业往生的净果,而不会对亡者造成觉道上的伤害。 所以,捐赠遗体可以不受对一般死亡过程的教示之拘束,而依医师之决定。然而,菩萨行是基于菩提发心,所以本文所说的是指逝者或其亲属自愿的捐赠遗体。

现在想来,其实当年的梦示,就有「效法鲸落」的意思;可惜我当时尚无此知识,不能了解其中的深义。现在忆起补述,或可利益将来之解梦,并且加深大家对效法菩萨行的认同。

 

二○二一年六月十二日
养和斋    于加州

 


 

 

Whale Fall

Yutang Lin

 

Yesterday I learned, through watching a video clip, about the ecological phenomena of ″Whale Fall″, namely, after a whale died in the ocean, the corpse gradually sinks into deep sea, and during a process lasing over several decades it offers sources of nutrients for over one thousand species of living beings, thus forming an oasis in an area of the seabed, and eventually its dried bones scatter over seabed and yet still offer shelter for some marine lives. I couldn′t help but admire such kind of long-term and widespread offering as, indeed, a Bodhisattva way!

This morning it suddenly occurred to me that, over 25 years ago, some Dharma friend asked me, ″From the Dharma point of view, is it proper to donate organs upon deceased? ″ That night I saw whales in a dream. I thought, this meant ″sentient beings with great mind″ while Bodhisattvas are also called ″sentient beings with great mind″, and hence, it meant that, organ donation to benefit others belongs to the ″Bodhisattva Way″. The next day I replied accordingly, and I also explained, even though in Dharma teachings it mentioned that it is improper to touch a recently deceased corpse during the dying processes lest the natural and subtle processes of awareness separating from the body be disturbed and causes pain to the deceased being, and it is better to touch the corpse after it is completely cool off. However, donating organs to benefit others is a Bodhisattva way, and hence, its merits will enable the deceased to gain the pure fruits of purification of karma and rebirth in Pureland without causing any harm to the deceased on the enlightenment path. Therefore, organ donation can ignore the Dharma teaching on dying processes in general but carried out according to the physician′s professional decisions. Nevertheless, Bodhisattva way is rooted in Bodhi aspirations, and hence the organ donations mentioned in this article are referring to voluntary donations made by the will of the deceased or family only.

Now it seems to me that, indeed the revelation I received in that dream did imply the meaning of ″following the example as set in Whale Fall″; what a pity that I did not have such knowledge at that time, and hence couldn′t comprehend its profound significance. Now that I have recalled it and described it fully, maybe this will benefit future interpretation on dreams, and enhance people′s agreement on following the Bodhisattva way.

 

Written in Chinese and translated into English on June 20, 2021
El Cerrito, California

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