文/蓮生活佛  盧勝彥


「什麼法最重要?」
「四加行法最重要。」我答。
「為什麼?」
「因為四加行法是密教成就的『地基』,『地基』不堅固,修什麼法均是空中樓閣。」
我們密法開始起修,先建「地基」,所謂「加行」是須加一段之力才能修行之意。
各有深義,我指明如下:
一、 四皈依法。
二、 大禮拜法。
三、 大供養法。
四、 金剛心菩薩法。
這裏面的四皈依法,是持四皈依咒,堅固道心。大禮拜法,是消除業障。大供養法,是增加福慧。金剛心菩薩法,是懺悔罪業。
要修密教,必須「福慧」二種資糧,如果二種資糧不足,道心不固,魔障叢生,是沒有資格修密法的。
密典有云:「未修二資糧而欲成佛,是欲煮沙出油。」
很多人學密教多年,愈學多法,愈多魔障,甚至到最後竟然「溜尾」了。這是很可笑的事,表示他「四加行法」的根基不穩,也根本連「四加行法」都沒有相應,因為有相應的,根本就不會「溜尾」。
不要小看「四加行法」。道心堅固、業障消除、懺悔罪業、增福增慧。果然太重要了。
因此,「四加行法」必須認真修持,力求圓滿。


The Importance of the Four Preliminaries

Written by Lian-shen Linving Buddha Sheng-yen Lu
Translated by Cheng Yew Chung edited by Victor Hazen
True Buddha Foundation Translation Team

What is the most important practice?”
 
“The Four Preliminaries” I replied.

“Why?”

“The Four Preliminaries Practice is the very foundation of Tantric Buddhism. If the foundation is weak, all cultivation is simply like building castles in the air.”

When we begin our cultivation of the Tantric practices, we must first build the foundation, as preparation for the ground of cultivation is needed, hence, the Preliminaries.

The Four Preliminaries are each embedded with profound significance. I shall elucidate on them:

The Fourfold Refuge.

The Great Homage.

The Great Mandala Offering.

The Vajrasattva Practice.

The Fourfold Refuge Practice is the recitation of the Fourfold Refuge Mantra to strengthen one’s spiritual conviction. The Great Homage functions to remove our karmic hindrances. The Great Mandala Offering is performed to increase merits and wisdom, and the Vajrasattva Practice is practiced for the repentance of wrong doings.

To practice the Tantric teachings, one must gather a sufficient stock of blessings and wisdom. If both of these measures are insufficient, coupled with a lack of spiritual conviction, it will result in the growth of Mara hindrances. Such an individual is not qualified to cultivate the Tantric practices.

A Tantric scripture states, “If one wishes to attainbuddhahood without the accumulation of merits and wisdom, it is like trying to extract oil by cooking sand.”

Many have taken up the study of Tantric teachings for many years, and the more Tantric practices they learn, the more hindrances they face. In the end, they simply give up and leave. This is pathetic. It simply reveals that the individual has not built a firm foundation with the Four Preliminaries, and may not have had any results through them. Those who have gained spiritual responses through the Four Preliminaries would never give up and leave.

Never look down upon the Four Preliminaries. It is of vital importance to strengthen our spiritual conviction, remove karmic hindrances, repent our wrongdoings, and increase blessings and wisdom.

Thus, we need to practice the Four Preliminaries truthfully, and practise them to perfection.

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