Auspicious Birth — Part IV

Today I’m pleased to present the final chapter in the series about bardo, the “transitional” state between lives. As my regular readers know, I am reprinting it with permission from a scholarly work entitled Auspicious Birth by Master Shi Zhiguo, a contemporary Chinese monk.

If you are a new reader…welcome! Please take some time to read the previous posts in the series — Auspicious Birth — PrefaceAuspicious Birth — Part I, Auspicious Birth — Part II and Auspicious Birth — Part III — for background and context before you read the entry below.

Please take a moment and share your thoughts about this series. Did you learn new information and perspectives about bardo? How did this information differ from what you already knew or believed? From what tradition of Buddhism (or other faith) had you learned your information on bardo?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts!



Part Two

A Blueprint for

a Good Birth





Chapter Four

A Blueprint for Inherent Nature






Choosing to Have a Blessed and Virtuous Bardo Enter the Fetus




小孩的优秀素质基础,如果仅靠后天的培养强化来塑造,已为时过晚,况且后天的教育不一定成功。 If molding the foundation of a child’s quality and superiority is dependent entirely upon reinforcing the child’s upbringing in one lifetime alone, then when the time for upbringing is over; additional education may not necessarily be successful. 小孩的優秀素質基礎,如果僅靠後天的培養強化來塑造,已為時過晚,況​​且後天的教育不一定成功。
在如今以独生子女为主要教育对象的社会现状下,高昂的教育成本,繁重的教育科目,一旦后天教育失败,可能会令一个家庭陷入困境。 In today’s social milieu, a family may be caught in a dilemma once education, which is geared toward children normally from single-child households, the high cost of education, and the heavy burden of the curriculum, fails. 在如今以獨生子女為主要教育對象的社會現狀下,高昂的教育成本,繁重的教育科目,一旦後天教育失敗,可能會令一個家庭陷入困境。
因此现代社会对教育的要求越来越高,只许成功不许失败。 Education in modern society has become increasingly demanding for children, permitting only success and not allowing failure. 因此現代社會對教育的要求越來越高,只許成功不許失敗。
这也是众多父母不惜重金,孤注一掷投资教育的良苦用心之所在。 Multitudes of parents with good intentions spare no cost, desperately investing everything they have into their child’s education. 這也是眾多父母不惜重金,孤注一擲投資教育的良苦用心之所在。


如果能让先天就已具足福德的中阴生命入胎,相比之下,小孩的起点就要高得多,将来培养起来效率也高,不仅省心而且极容易教化成才。 If a bardo that already has innate blessed and virtuous characteristics enters a fetus, the child of such a bardo would have a much higher starting point in life. Cultivating this child would be more effective. Not only would the parents have peace of mind, but it would be much simpler to help the child advance through education, so that the child will become an accomplished adult. 如果能讓先天就已具足福德的中陰生命入胎,相比之下,小孩的起點就要高得多,將來培養起來效率也高,不僅省心而且極容易教化成才。
这个方案投资不大,不费多少事,还能达到事半功倍的效果,何乐而不为呢? The investment required to bring a bardo that has blessings and virtue to one’s fetus is not great. It would waste nothing, and in the end, would yield greater results with less effort. So why not do it? 這個方案投資不大,不費多少事,還能達到事半功倍的效果,何樂而不為呢?
相反,如果是一个无福德的中阴生命入胎,先天就愚笨顽劣,如同朽木,无论后天如何精心雕琢,挖空心思,劳命伤财,终难成器。 On the contrary, if a bardo without blessings and virtue enters the fetus, it would be inherently dull-witted and difficult to work with like rotten wood. Then no matter how meticulously we attempt to form the child after birth, no matter how hard the parents work, or how much energy and money they invest, it would be so problematic to have the child amount to anything. 相反,如果是一個無福德的中陰生命入胎,先天就愚笨頑劣,如同朽木,無論後天如何精心雕琢,挖空心思,勞命傷財,終難成器。


这就是为什么有些地区的佛教领袖一定要寻找转世灵童,而并非将重点放在培养其他僧侣身上的密诣之所在。 Because of this, Buddhist leaders in certain areas use the secret practice of seeking out a physical being for a spiritual rebirth, rather than focusing on cultivating new monks. 這就是為什麼有些地區的佛教領袖一定要尋找轉世靈童,而並非將重點放在培養其他僧侶身上的密詣之所在。


理论上,如能择取高素质的中阴生命,未来胎儿一定优秀超凡,培养起来也省心省事。 Theoretically, if parents choose a bardo of high quality, the future fetus will certainly be more outstanding than an ordinary person. Nurturing the future child would also be easy and worry-free. 理論上,如能擇取高素質的中陰生命,未來胎兒一定優秀超凡,培養起來也省心省事。
但实际上,中阴生命处于一个未知的中阴世界中,不可预知和掌握,没有人为选择的可能。 But in fact, a bardo exists in the enigmatic bardo realm. How could someone predict and guarantee which bardo arrives? It is not possible for an ordinary person to select the bardo they want. 但實際上,中陰生命處於一個未知的中陰世界中,不可預知和掌握,沒有人為選擇的可能。


不过,在佛经中有这么一段话“若父母尊贵,有大福德,中阴卑贱; However, there is this statement in the Buddhist sutras: “Parents may be decent and worthy of respect with great blessings and virtue, but the bardo that comes to them may possibly be inferior because of their past life negative relationship; 不過,在佛經中有這麼一段話“若父母尊貴,有大福德,中陰卑賤;
或中阴尊贵有大福德,父母卑贱; a bardo may be decent and worthy of respect, but the parents may possibly be inferior for the same reason; 或中陰尊貴有大福德,父母卑賤;
或俱福德无相感业,若如是有亦不受胎”。 if there is no past life karmic affinity at all, the bardo will not be received into the fetus. “ 或俱福德無相感業,若如是有亦不受胎”。
这是一句非常重要,非常有用的经文,提示我们,来投胎的中阴生命应当与今世父母之间须同时具备两种条件方可结缘。 This is a very important and useful statement from the sutras. It reminds us that a bardo needs to have two conditions that form karmic bonds with the parents for a bardo to come to them for rebirth. 這是一句非常重要,非常有用的經文,提示我們,來投胎的中陰生命應當與今世父母之間須同時具備兩種條件方可結緣。




(1) Equal blessings and virtue.

The level of the bardo’s blessings and virtue ought to be on par with the level of its future parents’ blessings and virtue for a “blood relative bond” to take place.



(二)父母和中阴生命之间曾经发生过某种关系,彼此间有一定的恩怨债务的“相感业”因缘,两者一定是“有缘人”。 (2) Between the parents and the bardo, there had to have occurred some kind of a past life relationship. There had to have been causes and conditions of a “past life karmic affinity,” a certain karmic relationship of gratitude, resentment, liability, or interaction that has brought them together as “people with a shared history.” (二)父母和中陰生命之間曾經發生過某種關係,彼此間有一定的恩怨債務的“相感業”因緣,兩者一定是“有緣人”。


由此,我们得到一个重要启示,既然中阴生命和后天父母之间存在着一个“福德对等”的潜法则,那么父母虽不能直接影响入胎的中阴生命,却完全可以通过提高自身的福德和修养水平,借以间接地“选择”具备福德的中阴生命,从而实现优生优育计划中至关重要的第一步。 From this we gain an important insight. Since there exists a law of “equivalent blessings and virtue,” karmic affinity between the bardo and the future parents, and although parents cannot directly impact which bardo enters the fetus, they can still absolutely and indirectly “choose” a bardo that possesses blessings and virtue. They can do this by improving their own levels of blessings and virtue. Accordingly, they can realize a crucial first step in accomplishing their project of an auspicious birth and promising nurturing. 由此,我們得到一個重要啟示,既然中陰生命和後天父母之間存在著一個“福德對等”的潛法則,那麼父母雖不能直接影響入胎的中陰生命,卻完全可以通過提高自身的福德和修養水平,藉以間接地“選擇”具備福德的中陰生命,從而實現優生優育計劃中至關重要的第一步。


此中的问题并非单一的对等式选择,必须同时满足这两条法则,缺一不可。 The key point here is that which bardo comes to the fetus is not a one-sided choice. It must satisfy the two above mentioned latent laws of “equivalent blessings and virtue” karmic affinity, which is indispensable. 此中的問題並非單一的對等式選擇,必須同時滿足這兩條法則,缺一不可。
福德对等“选择”中阴生命只是一种前提条件,更重要的是它们是否与后天父母有“相感业”,不然福德对等仍属无效。 The bardo in the blessings and virtue equation “choice” is just a prerequisite. More importantly is whether or not the bardo has a “past life karmic affinity” with the future parents. If not, the blessings and virtue equation will be invalid. 福德對等“選擇”中陰生命只是一種前提條件,更重要的是它們是否與後天父母有“相感業”,不然福德對等仍屬無效。


这时,如果相感业为“善缘”,即报恩或还债,那就很好; In such a scenario, if the past life karmic affinity is a   “positive relationship,” which is gratitude or repaying a debt, it is very good; 這時,如果相感業為“善緣”,即報恩或還債,那就很好;
如果相感业为“恶缘”,是报仇讨债而来,那么这样的小孩生来仍是一种失败。 if the past life karmic affinity is a “negative relationship,” which results from revenge or collecting on an obligation, then the birth of such a child into a family would be a disappointment. 如果相感業為“惡緣”,是報仇討債而來,那麼這樣的小孩生來仍是一種失敗。
因此,这里就产生了两条优生优育的重要法则。 Therefore, here two important laws of equivalent blessings and equivalent virtue karmic affinities must evolve if the parents want an auspicious birth and a promising period of nurturing the child. 因此,這裡就產生了兩條優生優育的重要法則。
① 父母必须积德修福,提高自身修养; ① Parents must amass virtues and practice acts of kindness which accrue blessings. They must improve their self-development; ① 父母必須積德修福,提高自身修養;
② 今生乃至往昔过去生,未曾亏欠有情生命的财物,从未和有情生命结下恶缘。 ② In this lifetime and even in past lives, parents must never owe any sentient beings anything. They must not create any bonds of negative karmic relationships with any sentient being. They must not harm or kill any being. ② 今生乃至往昔過去生,未曾虧欠有情生命的財物,從未和有情生命結下惡緣。


实际上,对于一般人来说,这两条根本不可能达到。 In fact, it is impossible for people in general to uphold these two important laws. 實際上,對於一般人來說,這兩條根本不可能達到。
因此,选择大福德之中阴生命依然是个美丽的梦想,即使勉强能达到第一条,而第二条还是很难保证。 Choosing a bardo with great blessings and virtue is nonetheless a beautiful dream. Even if we manage to uphold the first law, with a lot of effort, the second law will still be difficult to follow through on. 因此,選擇大福德之中陰生命依然是個美麗的夢想,即​​使勉強能達到第一條,而第二條還是很難保證。
久远劫以来,我们得罪的众生太多了,任何一个降生到家中,都会让一家老小不得安宁。 The number of beings that we have offended over countless eons is too many. Any individual born into a home has the potential to bring turmoil to the entire family. 久遠劫以來,我們得罪的眾生太多了,任何一個降生到家中,都會讓一家老小不得安寧。
这就是为什么富贵之家、书香门第,却不一定生个聪明又孝顺,有福又有德的儿孙的缘故。 This is why a wealthy family, or an educated family, may not necessarily give birth to a smart child who shows filial obedience, or to children and grandchildren who have blessings and virtue. 這就是為什麼富貴之家、書香門第,卻不一定生個聰明又孝順,有福又有德的兒孫的緣故。



二、借助他力选胎 4.2 Choosing a Bardo with the Aid of External Power 二、借助他力選胎


对现代人来说,中阴世界是一个完全陌生的未知世界,其中无量无边的中阴生命对我们来说,既无法辨认也无法选择,更不知是否与今世父母有缘,是善缘是恶缘,全然没有一点把握。 The world of the bardo is totally strange and hard for people today to perceive. The limitless number of bardos are indistinguishable to us, and it is also impossible to select one for the fetus. This makes it even more difficult to know whether the past life relationship between the bardo and its present parents was positive or negative. Therefore, which bardo comes to the fetus is completely unpredictable. 對現代人來說,中陰世界是一個完全陌生的未知世界,其中無量無邊的中陰生命對我們來說,既無法辨認也無法選擇,更不知是否與今世父母有緣,是善緣是惡緣,全然沒有一點把握。


对于普通人,这完全是一个无可奈何的事情。 These circumstances render ordinary people completely helpless as to what kind of bardo enters the fetus. 對於普通人,這完全是一個無可奈何的事情。
如果在自然情况下碰巧有个福德之中阴身入胎,希望又太渺茫,但是如借助外力,或许情况将会大不一样。 Under normal conditions, the probability that a bardo with blessings and virtue happens to enter a fetus is remote. But if the parents take advantage of help from an outside source, perhaps the situation could turn out to be quite different. 如果在自然情況下碰巧有個福德之中陰身入胎,希望又太渺茫,但是如借助外力,或許情況將會大不一樣。


佛经中有这样一段文字:“若有女人,设欲求男,礼拜供养观世音菩萨,便生福德智慧之男;设欲求女,便生端正有相之女,宿植德本,众人爱敬。” The Buddhist Wonderful Lotus Sutra妙法蓮華經觀世音菩薩普門品 Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara Universal Gate Chapter has this passage: “If a woman makes offerings to Bodhisattva Guanyin (Avalokitesvara) and makes prostrations before the bodhisattva she should have the boy that she desires. By doing so, she will give birth to a boy who has blessings, virtue, and wisdom. If she prefers to have a girl, she will give birth to one with nice-looking features, who had done good deeds in past lives and is therefore virtuous and loved by everyone.” 佛經中有這樣一段文字:“若有女人,設欲求男,禮拜供養觀世音菩薩,便生福德智慧之男;設欲求女,便生端正有相之女,宿植德本,眾人愛敬。 ”


显然,求助大神通力、大智慧、大福德的观世音菩萨,可以帮助我们选择具备福德智慧,又具备因缘的中阴生命前来入胎。 From this we can see that seeking help from the sacred power of Bodhisattva Guanyin, her great wisdom, blessings, and virtue can help the parents receive a bardo that possesses blessings, virtue, and wisdom, and also holds the causes and conditions to enter the fetus. 顯然,求助大神通力、大智慧、大福德的觀世音菩薩,可以幫助我們選擇具備福德智慧,又具備因緣的中陰生命前來入胎。
如此,问题一下子变得简单多了,而且轻松、简便又准确,可以非常巧妙地绕过障碍,如愿以偿地实现先天优生的决定性的第一步。 Do this, and the problem of selecting a bardo suddenly becomes much simpler. Moreover, parents can skillfully skirt around obstacles easily, expediently, and precisely. They can fulfil their wish to realize the first decisive steps in the innate auspiciousness of their future child. 如此,問題一下子變得簡單多了,而且輕鬆、簡便又準確,可以非常巧妙地繞過障礙,如願以償地實現先天優生的決定性的第一步。






The Parents’ Preparation Work




生儿育女虽天经地义,但绝不可马虎对待。 Although parenting is a law of nature, it cannot be done carelessly. 生兒育女雖天經地義,但絕不可馬虎對待。
从古到今,无论一个人一生有多么令人瞩目的事业,辉煌的成就,如后继无人,或有而不坚,如同三国时的刘阿斗,则家业无人可付,宗祧无人可守,到头来未免昙花一现,终归一场空。 From ancient times till today, regardless of what a remarkable career or brilliant achievements a person may have, without posterity, or with incapable successors like Emperor Liu’s weak heir, Ah Dou, in The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, there will be no one to carry on the family legacy. There will be no family line to observe memorial days. Family lineage will bloom and wither quickly with nothing to show for it. 從古到今,無論一個人一生有多麼令人矚目的事業,輝煌的成就,如後繼無人,或有而不堅,如同三國時的劉阿斗,則家業無人可付,宗祧無人可守,到頭來未免曇花一現,終歸一場空。


从这个意义上讲,何谓终生大事,常人必异口同音“婚姻大事”,仔细想来,婚姻大事,归根结底还落在传宗接代上,离不开续传祖宗血脉,托付先祖家业之重任,即众人所讲的“接续香火”。 In this regard, what is the most important event in a person’s lifetime? Ordinary people will unanimously say, “marriage.” In the final analysis after thinking it over, though, marriage is all about carrying on a family line. It is inseparable from continuing the ancestral bloodline and the heavy responsibility of entrusting the family legacy to posterity. In Chinese culture, this is called “keeping the family incense burning.” 從這個意義上講,何謂終生大事,常人必異口同音“婚姻大事”,仔細想來,婚姻大事,歸根結底還落在傳宗接代上,離不開續傳祖宗血脈,託付先祖家業之重任,即眾人所講的“接續香火”。
所以说生儿育女之事为终生大事之大事,一点不为过。 It can be said without any exaggeration that bearing children and nurturing them is the greatest of all important lifetime experiences. 所以說生兒育女之事為終生大事之大事,一點不為過。


  况且,如能生得出类拔萃之优秀儿女,不仅上能报效国家,造福社会,中能光宗耀祖,传持家风,下则赡养父母,颐养千年,畅享天伦之乐; In addition, if you are able to give birth to outstanding sons and daughters, it would be of service to the nation and benefit society.  It would also bring glory to your ancestors; these children will pass on your family’s legacy. They will provide for you – their parents – and support you in your old age so that you may enjoy your grandchildren. 況且,如能生得出類拔萃之優秀兒女,不僅上能報效國家,造福社會,中能光宗耀祖,傳持家風,下則贍養父母,頤養千年,暢享天倫之樂;    
相反若生得智障低能,身残体弱或品行不端,行为怪异之子,且不谈成龙成凤,报恩父母,单说将来置身社会,独立自主尚无保证,更何况家庭负担,社会压力足以令父母满口喘息,有苦难言。 To the contrary, if you give birth to developmentally disabled children, children who are weak, handicapped, or have bizarre idiosyncrasies, who cannot be taught how to behave properly, there would be no sense in talking about such children growing into “dragons or phoenixes” (capable adults). It would be equally pointless to talk of such children repaying their parents a debt of gratitude. There would be no guarantee that such children would find their place in society or even care for themselves, much less take on the responsibilities of a family. Social pressure on the parents of such children is enough to make them gasp from the suffering that they will not even have the words to express. 相反若生得智障低能,身殘體弱或品行不端,行為怪異之子,且不談成龍成鳳,報恩父母,單說將來置身社會,獨立自主尚無保證,更何況家庭負擔,社會壓力足以令父母滿口喘息,有苦難言。    


千万不可只顾贪图男女欲乐,心无顾忌,不知疲厌,不问邪正,置生儿育女之要事于脑后,听其自然,毫无诚意,糊涂成事,草率成胎,若蒙祖上阴德庇护,可有万一之幸,不然所生儿女必不贞良,必不聪慧强壮,稍有不慎,或许烦恼终生。 You definitely cannot let yourself only be absorbed in the joys of sex without ever getting tired or disgusted with it, never inquiring into right and wrong, and with the birth and nurturing of a child as the last thing on your mind. Consider yourself extremely fortunate if blessings from your ancestors help your sloppily conceived baby turn out to be a good child. You are especially fortunate if it was born to you because you let responsibility drift and were muddleheaded about conceiving it. Normally children born under such circumstances are not of good character. They are not intelligent and strong. Conception caused by a slight mistake could become a lifetime of trouble. 千萬不可只顧貪圖男女欲樂,心無顧忌,不知疲厭,不問邪正,置生兒育女之要事於腦後,聽其自然,毫無誠意,糊塗成事,草率成胎,若蒙祖上陰德庇護,可有萬一之幸,不然所生兒女必不貞良,必​​不聰慧強壯,稍有不慎,或許煩惱終生。


故欲生得秉赋淳厚,性情温良,福、慧、寿三通皆具之子,须参考佛教中大智慧者所说,从正道起步,顺天然正理以求吉祥如意。 If you would like to give birth to children who have the innate endowments of honesty, a gentle temperament, blessings, wisdom, and longevity, you should refer to what the wise sages of Buddhism have said: Right from the start your first step must be on the Path of Righteousness. Obey Universal Laws to beseech the auspicious birth that you wish for. 故欲生得秉賦淳厚,性情溫良,福、慧、壽三通皆具之子,須參考佛教中大智慧者所說,從正道起步,順天然正理以求吉祥如意。
因此,凡父母欲生子女之前,必须做好足够的思想准备,提前筹备,“修路搭桥”早做打算,绝不可仓皇应付,心存侥幸。 Universal Laws teach that blessings are not a fluke of chance. Therefore, parents need to have ample planning before they bear children.  They must prepare in advance by “repairing roads and building bridges” (referring to a Chinese saying for accruing blessings by serving the community). The parents must plan how they will accumulate these blessings early on, and not manage it haphazardly. 因此,凡父母欲生子女之前,必須做好足夠的思想準備,提前籌備,“修路搭橋”早做打算,絕不可倉皇應付,心存僥倖。
父母应制定科学方案,遵守规范的生活秩序,谨记宜忌,严防密守,以求一步到位,先天圆满。 Parents should formulate a scientific approach, complying with a structured, healthy lifestyle that promotes a positive birth. Keep in mind what is appropriate and what you must avoid when you decide to become pregnant. Do not try to conceive during negative astrological times or negative events, at negative places, or with a negative person. These include both negative mental and physical situations. Carry out your program seriously to the end to acquire a bardo that is innately complete. 父母應制定科學方案,遵守規範的生活秩序,謹記宜忌,嚴防密守,以求一步到位,先天圓滿。


(一)积累福德,提升素质  (1) Accumulate blessings and virtue to enhance the quality of your character (一)積累福德,提升素質


从以上内容,我们已经明白欲生福德智慧、光宗华国之贵子,必须有福德对等的父母福德基础。 It is clear from the above, that giving birth to children who have blessings, virtue, and wisdom, and who will bring glory to the family and benefit the nation, depends upon the parents being grounded in their own blessings and morality. 從以上內容,我們已經明白欲生福德智慧、光宗華國之貴子,必須有福德對等的父母福德基礎。
不然水大渠小,缘不投合。 This will put the parents on equal footing with a similar bardo. 不然水大渠小,緣不投合。
故依据佛教思想,提议准父母们须提前着手,积累福德。 Buddhism proposes that the parents must commence with accumulating blessings and virtue prior to conceiving a child. 故依據佛教思想,提議準父母們須提前著手,積累福德。


建议方案如下: The following are some proposed projects for accumulating blessings and virtue: 建議方案如下:
1、广行孝道,成人之美。 1. Practice filial piety in the home and expand it to include all elders. 1、廣行孝道,成人之美。
万善孝为先。 All kind acts begin with filial piety. 萬善孝為先。
孝道是一切善行的起点,父母必须于生活处处,不辞辛劳,孝顺父母师长及一切长辈,代人之劳,成人之美,真诚无私,勤劳恳切。 Filial piety is the starting point for all good behavior. Prospective parents need to tirelessly show filial piety toward their own parents, teachers, and elders without complaint in every aspect of their lives. Be of service to members of other generations. Help all elders, and do acts of kindness sincerely, selflessly, conscientiously and in earnest. 孝道是一切善行的起點,父母必須於生活處處,不辭辛勞,孝順父母師長及一切長輩,代人之勞,成人之美,真誠無私,勤勞懇切。


2、善待眷属,悯恤仆使。 2. Treat family members kindly, and show concern toward your subordinates. 2、善待眷屬,憫恤僕使。
应心存仁慈,待人处事存颗平等心,不择亲疏,尊老爱幼,无论贵贱一视同仁,不傲慢,宽恕他人,体恤属下,等同兄弟。 You should be kind and benevolent. Manage activities with a mind of equanimity. Do not limit your kindness to only those who are close to you. Respect the old and care for the young. Treat people equally and without discrimination, regardless of social status. Do not be arrogant, forgive others, have empathy for subordinates, and identify with others as if they were your own siblings. 應心存仁慈,待人處事存顆平等心,不擇親疏,尊老愛幼,無論貴賤一視同仁,不傲慢,寬恕他人,體恤屬下,等同兄弟。


3、爱国爱民,周济孤幼。 3. Love your nation and its citizens, and offer charity to orphans. 3、愛國愛民,周濟孤幼。
赈灾救贫,拔济苦厄。 Get involved in disaster relief and aid those in hardship. 賑災救貧,拔濟苦厄。
应以大同情心,胸怀天下,行大丈夫之举,有如范仲淹“先天下之忧而忧,后天下之乐而乐”的抱负,在日常生活中常存一念忠善心,竭力做一名守道之良民,护国之忠君,久而久之自有感应。 With a compassionate mind, open your heart to the world. Behave like a great sage or bodhisattva. Have the aspirations of Fan Zhongyan who said, “Let me be the first to bear the hardships suffered in this world, and the last to enjoy its pleasures.” Maintain thoughts of devoted kindness in your daily life. Endeavor to be a good law-abiding citizen. If you are a civil servant, be loyal and defend your nation. Over time, you will have an affinity for accruing blessings and virtue. 應以大同情心,胸懷天下,行大丈夫之舉,有如范仲淹“先天下之憂而憂,後天下之樂而樂”的抱負,在日常生活中常存一念忠善心,竭力做一名守道之良民,護國之忠君,久而久之自有感應。

Fan Zhongyan lived from the 5th day of the Ninth Lunar Month 989 to the 19th day of the Sixth Lunar Month 1052. His courtesy name was Xiwen and he was also known as Zhu Yue. During his youth, he was a prominent politician and literary figure in Song dynasty China. He was also a strategist and educator. After serving the central government of the state for many years he finally rose to the seat of vice chancellor over the entire Chinese empire.

2016 July 19 –


4、戒杀放生,劝人行善。 4. Renounce killing, liberate living beings, encourage people to do good deeds. 4、戒殺放生,勸人行善。
放生、护生、不杀生是人世间第一福德善行。 Of all the acts of kindness that people in the human realm can create, not killing living beings, protecting life, and liberating beings that are going to be killed are the greatest for accruing blessings and virtue. 放生、護生、不殺生是人世間第一福德善行。
应励力而行,且随缘随分或印发善书,或良言劝人止恶行善,不害无辜。 We should encourage ourselves to do these things. Moreover, as the opportunity arises and according to one’s ability, print and distribute books that teach people to be good. Use pleasant words to inspire others to stop doing bad and do good. Do not let your emotions harm the innocent. 應勵力而行,且隨緣隨份或印發善書,或良言勸人止惡行善,不害無辜。
尤其能劝人学佛,改过向善,为善中之善,功德最大。 The greatest merit is in urging others to practice Buddhism, so that they may correct their mistakes and become good. This is the greatest of all kindnesses. 尤其能勸人學佛,改過向善,為善中之善,功德最大。


5、情性温和,恬淡无争。 5. Be gentle in your behavior, be composed and do not create strife with others. 5、情性溫和,恬淡無爭。
应时时刻刻,调节心态,不暴躁,不刻薄;与人方便,与人和善;闲静宽适,不争人我,心正不邪,一派和谐,不管他人说三道四,心中自有主张。 We should adjust our state of mind at all times to not be irritable and sarcastic. Be accommodating, affable and kind to others. Treat people with a tranquil, agreeable manner free of strife. Have a heart that is upright and not evil. Be pleasant no matter what people may say about you and do not be on the defensive when you stand by your beliefs. 應時時刻刻,調節心態,不暴躁,不刻薄;與人方便,與人和善;閑靜寬適,不爭人我,心正不邪,一派和諧,不管他人說三道四,心中自有主張。
总之,诸恶莫作,众善奉行,净化心灵。 In short, do no evil, pursue all goodness, and purify your mind. 總之,諸惡莫作,眾善奉行,淨化心靈。
遇善则随分随力而行,遇恶则如怨如仇而去。 When you come upon goodness, support it to the best of your ability. When you see evil, resist it as if it were your enemy. 遇善則隨分隨力而行,遇惡則如怨如仇而去。
不遗余力,不求回报。 Spare no effort when doing these things and expect nothing in return. 不遺餘力,不求回報。
一举一动,饶益自他;一言一行,堪为模范。 Every move you make should be of benefit to yourself and others.  Every word you speak should encourage people to take you as their role model. 一舉一動,饒益自他;一言一行,堪為模範。
越多越好,总是有百利而无一弊。 The more acts of kindness you can do, the better, as there is only benefit in doing these things and there is nothing harmful about it. 越多越好,總是有百利而無一弊。
欲得富贵子,须是福德人。 If you desire to have a child that will be affluent and have social status you must create blessings and virtue yourself. 欲得富貴子,須是福德人。


6、立誓发愿,祈祷菩萨 6.  Make vows and carry them through, pray to buddhas and bodhisattvas. 6、立誓發願,祈禱菩薩
“福德对等”本身就是一个永无止境的至高点。 It is impossible to assess whether or not “your blessings and virtue are on equal footing with the coming bardo.” “福德對等”本身就是一個永無止境的至高點。
无论多么良善的人,因不知过去世品德如何,祖上阴德薄厚,加之行善时间有限,根本无法确保自己的福德底线,故无论何时都不敢自诩能生得大福德的贵子。 No matter how good people may be, there is simply no way to ensure what the pinnacle of their blessings and virtue may be. This is because we do not know what character they had in their past life, or the strength of their ancestors’ good deeds. Couple this with the limited amount of time they now have in this lifetime to do good. Therefore, at no time should people boast that they are able to give birth to a child with great blessings and virtue. 無論多麼良善的人,因不知過去世品德如何,祖上陰德薄厚,加之行善時間有限,根本無法確保自己的福德底線,故無論何時都不敢自詡能生得大福德的貴子。
加之,又不知是否与自身有相感业缘,因此,在自力行善积德的基础上,还须以至诚恳切心,借助大慈大悲的观世音菩萨的愿力,请求帮助,希望早日福德圆满,因缘现前,受胎得子。 Added to this, you do not know whether or not the coming child will have an affinity with your karmic conditions of this lifetime. Therefore, upon the foundation of the power created by accumulating kindness and virtue, you still need to seek divine help. You can do this by using the power of the vows to help people, made by the greatly compassionate Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara (Guan Yin).  You must sincerely beseech Guan Yin to have your blessings and virtues manifest into the conception of a child soon. 加之,又不知是否與自身有相感業緣,因此,在自力行善積德的基礎上,還須以至誠懇切心,借助大慈大悲的觀世音菩薩的願力,請求幫助,希望早日福德圓滿,因緣現前,受胎得子。


同时,为确保万无一失,应于菩萨前立下誓愿,为人处事,存好心,说好话,行好事,发愿广行善事。 To be on the safe side, you should also make your vows before the bodhisattva. Vow to accommodate others, maintain thoughts of kindness, speak kind words, and do good. Vow to do all-encompassing acts of kindness. 同時,為確保萬無一失,應於菩薩前立下誓願,為人處事,存好心,說好話,行好事,發願廣行善事。
并择时称念“南无观世音菩萨”圣号,常怀善念,默默祈祷,为成大事业,愿生贵子。 Set aside a time to recite the bodhisattva’s divine name by saying, “I pay homage to Bodhisattva Guan Yin.” Keep positive thoughts in your mind. Silently pray that your wish to have a good child comes true. 並擇時稱念“南無觀世音菩薩”聖號,常懷善念,默默祈禱,為成大事業,願生貴子。


清朝有名的周安士居士曾在佛菩萨面前祷告:凡是不肖的、不好的儿女,不要到我家来;希望到我家来的,都是孝子贤孙。 During the Qing dynasty (CE 1644 -1911), the famous scholar Zhou Anshi prayed before buddhas and bodhisattvas saying, “May no unworthy and bad child be born into my home; I wish that whomever comes to my home has filial piety and is an obedient progeny.” 清朝有名的周安士居士曾在佛菩薩面前禱告:凡是不肖的、不好的兒女,不要到我家來;希望到我家來的,都是孝子賢孫。
宋朝名相吕蒙正,也曾在佛前发愿:不信三宝者,愿不生我家,愿子孙世世食禄于朝,外护佛法。 A renowned high official in the Song dynasty (CE 960 -1279) named Lu Mengzhen also vowed before the buddhas saying, “May only someone who has faith in the Three Treasures (Buddha, Dharma, Sangha) be born into my home. May my children, grandchildren, and posterity all be officials in the dynastic court and support the Buddha Dharma.” 宋朝名相呂蒙正,也曾在佛前發願:不信三寶者,願不生我家,願子孫世世食祿於朝,外護佛法。
这些都是很好的先例。 These are all fine examples of entreating the buddhas and bodhisattvas from ancient times. 這些都是很好的先例。
还有在《了凡四训》里,明朝袁了凡居士曾发愿行善事三千件以求生贵子,后来果然如愿,成为佛教中一段人人皆知的成功案例。 An example of accumulating blessings and virtue is the Ming dynasty scholar, Yuan Liaofan, who wrote Liao-Fan’s Four Lessons.  He vowed to do three thousand acts of kindness to beseech the birth of a good child. His wish came true when he fulfilled his vow. This has become a well-known success story in Buddhism. 還有在《了凡四訓》裡,明朝袁了凡居士曾發願行善事三千件以求生貴子,後來果然如願,成為佛教中一段人人皆知的成功案例。


7、保身节欲,以培先天 7. Maintain your health, to foster a healthy bardo entering the fetus 7、保身節欲,以培先天
父性之精气,分有形之精和无形之气,于受孕时将传递子女。 The father’s vital essence comes in two forms:  visible essence and invisible “qi (chi),” at the time of conception these will be transmitted to the child. 父性之精氣,分有形之精和無形之氣,於受孕時將傳遞子女。
佛经讲,“父母之于子女身命,各赐不同。 The Buddhist sutras say, “A child’s life comes from the parents. Each parent grants something different to their child. 佛經講,“父母之於子女身命,各賜不同。
身诸发毛、颊、眼、舌、喉、心、肝、脾、肾、肠、血、软者从其母也; From the mother come the hair, cheeks, eyes, tongue, throat, heart, liver, spleen, kidney, intestine, blood, and the soft parts of the body. 身諸髮毛、頰、眼、舌、喉、心、肝、脾、腎、腸、血、軟者從其母也;
爪、齿、骨、节、髓脑、筋、脉,坚者从父也”,从另一角度讲,子女的身体结构属于阴的物器部分由母亲而来,而属功能、力量、智商、胆量、气魄等属于阳的功能的部分由父亲而来。 From the father come the nails, teeth, bones, joints, brain marrow, tendons and nerves, and other hard parts of the body.” From another perspective, the body structure of a child that belongs to the “yin” material comes from the mother. That which belongs to the “yang” functional part are strength, intelligence, courage, boldness, etc. come from the father. 爪、齒、骨、節、髓腦、筋、脈,堅者從父也”,從另一角度講,子女的身體結構屬於陰的物器部分由母親而來,而屬功能、力量、智商、膽量、氣魄等屬於陽的功能的部分由父親而來。


祖国医学讲,阳气具有温煦、气化、生长、推动、统摄等功能,是生命的动力物质和能量物质,极端重要,日常最易匮乏不足。 Traditional Chinese medicine states that “yang qi” possesses warmth, transformation, growth, drive, unifying control, and other functions. It is the material of life’s driving force and the substance of life’s energy. It is extremely important, yet the most likely to be insufficient on a daily basis. 祖國醫學講,陽氣具有溫煦、氣化、生長、推動、統攝等功能,是生命的動力物質和能量物質,極端重要,日常最易匱乏不足。
现代科学中的克隆技术,所复制的生命多数衰老快,寿命短,人多不明根由,殊不知因无父精无形之阳气的缘故,如若不信,不妨用细胞融合技术,将组织细胞的遗传物质种入受精卵中,再试试看。 The majority of beings created by the cloning technology of modern science weaken with age quickly, and have a short lifespan. No one knows the root causes of these issues. People do not realize that it is because there is no father’s invisible “qi.” If you will not believe this, look at cell fusion technology. It takes the cell’s genetic material and implants it into an already fertilized egg. See what happens next. 現代科學中的克隆技術,所複製的生命多數衰老快,壽命短,人多不明根由,殊不知因無父精無形之陽氣的緣故,如若不信,不妨用細胞融合技術,將組織細胞的遺傳物質種入受精卵中,再試試看。


因此,受孕前务必请保身节欲半年以上,至少百日。 Therefore, by all means be celibate for more than six months, or for at least 100 days before conception to maintain the father’s life driving force material and his life energy substance. 因此,受孕前務必請保身節欲半年以上,至少百日。
为免纷争,可与妻说明,双方定立协约,另房而住。 To avoid disputes with your wife, explain to her the reason for abstaining from sex so that both spouses agree not to share the same bed. 為免紛爭,可與妻說明,雙方定立協約,另房而住。
每日也不将妻当妻想而作妹看,不得有非礼之邪心,以培先天。 When you look at your wife each day do not look at her as your spouse but as your sister. Do not harbor any sexual thoughts in order to nurture your yang essence. 每日也不將妻當妻想而作妹看,不得有非禮之邪心,以培先天。
否则如祖师所说“精薄气亏,极难受孕。 Otherwise, it will be as the patriarch masters have said: “If the sperm is thin and the qi insufficient, it will be extremely difficult to conceive. 否則如祖師所說“精薄氣虧,極難受孕。
即使勉强成子,也无聪明记忆之心力,未老先衰,无所建树,如是这样虽菩萨满人所愿,而人深负菩萨之恩”。 Even if you do somehow manage to have children, they will not be smart and will have a weak memory. They will age prematurely and will not be able to contribute to the family legacy. By not following this advice, though the bodhisattva has fulfilled your wish, you have negated her grace. “ 即使勉強成子,也無聰明記憶之心力,未老先衰,無所建樹,如是這樣雖菩薩滿人所願,而人深負菩薩之恩”。


男婚女嫁,成迤逦之笃,最为人伦之大事。 For a man and woman to marry, finally becoming spouses, is a great event in human relationships. 男婚女嫁,成迤邐之篤,最為人倫之大事。
因上关风化,下承宗祧,共担社会重任。 Because a marital relationship impacts the world, and carries on the family lineage, spouses share a social responsibility together. 因上關風化,下承宗祧,共擔社會重任。
孝养双亲,生育教化子女,延续家风,人生要事,责任重大。 Marriage carries the huge responsibility of showing filial piety to parents, nurturing and educating children, and passing down the family legacy. 孝養雙親,生育教化子女,延續家風,人生要事,責任重大。
为人切不可只图一时快乐,常以男女之欲为乐,置繁衍大事于不理,听之任之,毫不重视。 People often use carnal desire as a source of pleasure and for a moment of happiness. They ignore the great event of reproduction. People are laissez-faire about the act of reproduction and attach no importance to it. 為人切不可只圖一時快樂,常以男女之欲為樂,置繁衍大事於不理,聽之任之,毫不重視。
贪欲炽盛,不分时节,不择正邪。 Flaming lust, with no regard for conception will not produce a clever, successful child. 貪欲熾盛,不分時節,不擇正邪。


现代社会网络、影视、书籍,每闺房之事,言为艺术,大肆张扬,令无知青年引动欲火,滥肆发泄或嫖娼或手淫,频频泄其精气,耗伤命元,最终致元阳大败,身弱形乏,不堪重负,甚至婚嫁生育之时,气虚精亏,精神不守,精薄无力,无生化之机。 In modern society, what goes on in the bedroom is wantonly made public on the internet, social media, videos, and in books, and is treated as if it were art. This stimulates the burning desire of ignorant youth to unbridle their flood of release through sex without love or through masturbation. Repeated release of their vital essence consumes and harms their life element. Ultimately this will lead to the collapse of their yang element. Their bodies will weaken and deteriorate. They will be so overwhelmed that by the time they marry and plan to have children, their qi will be vacant and their sperm count low.  Their spirit will not be conserved and their sperm will be thin and powerless. It is not likely that they will have the occasion to have children. 現代社會網絡、影視、書籍,每閨房之事,言為藝術,大肆張揚,令無知青年引動慾火,濫肆發洩或嫖娼或手淫,頻頻洩其精氣,耗傷命元,最終致元陽大敗,身弱形乏,不堪重負,甚至婚嫁生育之時,氣虛精虧,精神不守,精薄無力,無生化之機。
这样虽侥幸成胎,则如秕种不能生芽,更不会茁壮成长,或未成人而夭折,即使有幸不夭折,也必将身单力薄,体弱多病,骨骼瘦小,性格软弱,智力低下,甚至遗传各种病变,终难成器。 If by chance they produce a fetus, it will be stunted and not at all be healthy and strong. It will not grow to adulthood and will most likely die prematurely. If it is fortunate enough not to die young it will have a body that is weak and stunted. It will be frail and sickly, with a delicate frame, with a weak character, low intelligence, and if it can reproduce it will pass on all kinds of genetic ailments. Such a child will grow to ultimately be of benefit to no one, including his or her own self. 這樣雖僥倖成胎,則如秕種不能生芽,更不會茁壯成長,或未成人而夭折,即使有幸不夭折,也必將身單力薄,體弱多病,骨骼瘦小,性格軟弱,智力低下,甚至遺傳各種病變,終難成器。
尤其万不可听信江湖术人,鼓吹男女之欲无伤身命,反能强身,享受快乐,纯属邪见。 In particular, you definitely must not listen to and believe the street talk from popular culture and the porno industry. These advocate that sex does not harm the body or the life force and that it can actually make a person stronger in addition to being pleasurable. These are purely false views. 尤其萬不可聽信江湖術人,鼓吹男女之欲無傷身命,反能強身,享受快樂,純屬邪見。


  佛在二千六百年前就曾预言,未来(大概指这个时候)“人命转促,四十头白,男子淫劫,精尽夭亡。 Over 2,600 years ago the Buddha foretold that in the future (probably referring to our present era): “Aging will speed up, people will have gray hair in their forties, men will lose sexual desire, and have low sperm count and premature death.          佛在二千六百年前就曾預言,未來(大概指這個時候)“人命轉促,四十頭白,男子淫劫,精盡夭亡。
或寿六十,男子寿短,女人寿长,七八九十或至百岁”。 Men may live to 60 but their lives will be shorter than women who will live into their 70s, 80s, 90s or even live to be 100. 或壽六十,男子壽短,女人壽長,七八九十或至百歲”。


祖国医学《黄帝内经•素问》中也提到,“今时之人……以酒为浆,以妄为常,醉以入房,以欲竭其精,以耗散其真,不知持满,不时御神,务快其心,逆于生乐,起居无常,故半百而衰也”。 In Chinese traditional medicine, Plain Questions of Huangdi’s Internal Classic also noted that “when people today … drink wine like a beverage, take falsehood as truth, have sex when drunk, exhaust their sperm to pleasure, dissipate their qi, do not accumulate energy, do not control delusions, do whatever they like, live their lives contrary to a healthy lifestyle, and do not follow a healthy routine, then they will be old by fifty. “ 祖國醫學《黃帝內經•素問》中也提到,“今時之人……以酒為漿,以妄為常,醉以入房,以欲竭其精,以耗散其真,不知持滿,不時御神,務快其心,逆於生樂,起居無常,故半百而衰也”。


古人讲,根朽树枯,水涸鱼死,油尽灯灭,精竭人亡,和佛经观点完全一致。 The ancient sages have said that when roots die the tree dies; when water dries up the fish die; when the oil is finished the flame goes out; when there is no vital essence people die.        古人講,根朽樹枯,水涸魚死,油盡燈滅,精竭人亡,和佛經觀點完全一致。
所以优生优育,节欲节酒,养神养精,实为至真至要之事,绝不可轻视。 Therefore, an auspicious birth with superior nurturing of a child by controlling personal desires and controlling alcohol, and by cultivating your spirit and essence, are actually things you really have to do.  You definitely cannot ignore these things. 所以優生優育,節欲節酒,養神養精,實為至真至要之事,絕不可輕視。





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