眼盲心不盲2008-04-16 | 紐西蘭翻譯志工
The Buddhist Lotus Bureau in Taidong was reconstructed from a wooden warehouse full of pillars and trestles. A blind man would always come in without a guiding stick, and he never bumped into any of the surrounding pillars. Every time he went near a pillar, his body would naturally dodge away from the hindrance, which amazed me.
One day, I saw him come in, so I silently walked to his side to test his reaction. He reacted very quickly and didn’t make contact with me at all. At that point in time, I thought he could hear people’s breaths - what a sensitive hearing he had! Later on I found out that he could memorise the entire Wonderful Lotus Sutra (Saddharmapundarika Sutra) which has seven volumes and a hundred thousand words! I even checked word by word while he was chanting the Sutra and realised that he did not miss any one word, nor did he make any mistakes. Many have consulted him about the meaning of the Sutra, as well as Buddhism in general. He also mastered music and instrument play, and his numerous talents astonished many people; he epitomises how one could preserve a clear eye in the heart.
Once, I was doing follow-up visits to Gan-en Households (Tzu Chi beneficiaries) at Hualien’s Xincheng Village. There was one family with 4 or 5 children and parents who were both blind. When I arrived, the door wasn’t shut, so I walked in while murmuring, “The door wasn’t closed, seems like someone is here.” Then I heard a reply instantly from the inside, “We’re here.” Following the voice, I found the blind woman sitting bedside, mending clothes by hand, so I stood by her side and watched her sew. Coincidently, the thread she was sewing with had run out, so she tilted her head to one side, with the needle in one hand and the thread in the other, once, twice, and on the third try she managed to thread the needle! This is very admirable, because she used not her physical eyes, but the power of her heart and spirit. Even though she was blind, she was still able to put the thread through the tiny needle eye. This ability is the so-called supernatural power.
Speaking of supernatural powers, there’s also a story in Buddhism.
Analutuo, Buddha’s cousin, followed the Buddha in the practise of Buddhism. Every time the Buddha started to give lectures on the Sutras, Analutuo would doze off as soon as the Buddha spoke. But once the lecture had finished, he would immediately wake up. This happened repeatedly, so the Buddha scolded him, “If you want to sleep so much, you might as well go be a clam on the ocean floor. A clam sleeps for three thousand years at a time.”
Analutuo felt a deep guilt after he heard the Buddha’s comment. Once he returned to the dorm he made a vow, “I will not sleep from today onwards, and will not close my eyes, until I have become enlightened.” Since then, he kept his eyes wide open everyday and did not dare to sleep. When he couldn’t keep them open any longer, he propped up his eye lids with grass stems, and kept them opened for seven days without rest. Although the Buddha came to him many times and tired to persuade him, he refused to take a rest. At last, his eyes turned red and he lost his eyesight.
The Buddha sincerely commiserated for his loss, and compassionately consoled, “Although you have lost your sight, but your heart is still clear.’’ The Buddha taught him how to cultivate calmness, for his return to a bright future. After a period of calm cultivations, Analutuo gained sights to all scenes in heaven and hell. Therefore, Analutuo gained the title as the Buddha of “Half head, heaven eyes”.
A clear heart exceeds bright eyes.
We need to keep our heart rested. To “rest” means to suppress our cravings, greediness and discriminating thoughts. Discriminating thoughts are easily elicited upon exposure to the external world. As we discriminate matters, conflicts and worries arise. People say, “Out of sight, out of mind.” If we do not bother to see anything, our hearts will naturally be pure and clear. When the heart is pure, we can hear clearly and not be affected by outside noises. When we are not affected by outside noises, wisdom will grow. When wisdom are cultivated in our hearts, all senses and reasons shall come to us, and thus reduce our worries and prevent us from creating bad karma.