- 秉承佛陀教法，虔誠恭敬三寶；弘法利生，覺世牖民︰佛、法、僧三寶是我們信仰的中心，也是超越世間的聖財。三寶的利益無窮無盡，佛如光，能圓熟眾生，是人間的救主；法如水，能滋潤眾生，是人生的真理；僧如田，能植福種德，是住持正法的善知識。三寶能長養我們的法身，是我們慧命的家園，唯有仰仗三寶的加被，乘此寶筏，勇渡苦海，才能找到安身立命之處。因此佛光會員最基本的修持，就是要恭敬三寶，具足正知正見。 佛光會員為共成佛道而聚集在一起，所以我們要努力弘揚佛法，利益眾生，因為唯有讓世人了解佛教的教義，才能徹底解決人間憂苦，造福社會群倫；唯有悲智雙運，熱忱助人，才能自他兼濟，得到究竟安樂。
- 倡導生活佛教，建設佛光淨土；落實人間，慈悲濟世︰佛陀出生在人間，修道在人間，證悟在人間，弘法在人間，乃至佛陀所宣說的教義也都是以人為本的人間佛教，所以我們追隨佛陀示教利喜的本懷，應該將佛法落實人間。 經云︰「佛法在眾生中求。」六祖惠能大師也說︰「佛法在世間，不離世間覺，離世求菩提，猶如覓兔角。」佛法和生活不能分離，一旦離開生活，佛法也就失去了意義！然而不知曾幾何時，佛法被人矯枉過正，以致悖離日常生活，不但不能使人得到佛法的好處，反而令人望而生畏。例如︰夫妻被視為冤家，兒女被說成討債鬼，金錢被喻為毒蛇，名利被講成糞土，將一切的功德回向往生他方淨土，將一切的希望寄託於來世。其實菩提眷屬正可以在佛道上互相扶持，淨財越多越能做更多的佛教事業，正當的名利可以激發人們見賢思齊的上進心，現世的安樂應該重於死後的利益。 尤其在今日，越黑暗的世界越需要佛法的光明，越動盪的時代越需要佛法的安定，越紛亂的國土越需要佛法的清淨，越悲苦的生活越需要佛法的喜悅。凡我佛光人應秉持佛陀的慈心悲願，首先在個人的生活上，以佛法為指南，進一步推展至家庭成員，建設佛光人家，繼而分享鄰里，建設佛光社區，冀望有一天，我們能將娑婆穢域轉為佛光淨土。
- 恪遵佛法遺制，融和五乘佛法；修持三學，圓滿人格︰經云︰「三世諸佛只在人道成佛，不在餘道成佛。」所以，太虛大師說︰「人成即佛成，是名真現實。」人格的圓滿就是佛道的完成。 佛教依照每個人不同的根器，將修行方法分為五種層次，稱為「五乘佛法 」，即修習三皈五戒的人乘，修習十善業道的天乘，修習四聖諦法門的聲聞乘，修習十二緣起的緣覺乘與修習六度萬行的菩薩乘。 人、天二乘的佛法側重入世的修持，布施、持戒、禪定是完成人天的三種福行；聲聞、緣覺的佛教則偏重出世的修持，以智慧入門，以忍進為方，漸次修證。我們應該允執厥中，融和人天乘的入世精神與聲緣乘的出世修養，趣入自利利他的菩薩乘，直趨無上的佛果境界。《法華經》云︰「我說一乘法，無二亦無三。」指的就是這個廣利眾生的菩薩道。 六度萬行的德目雖然很多，但總括而言，不出戒、定、慧三無漏學的範疇。換言之，三無漏學與人類追求梵行、忍耐勇猛、累積智慧的特性相通，勤加修習，可對治我人貪、瞋、癡三毒，無論對道德的提升，心靈的淨化，事業的成就，友誼的開拓都具有無比的助益，所以，《大方等大集經》云︰「所謂戒定慧，無上陀羅尼，能令三業淨，一切人所愛。 」凡我佛光會員欲成就無上菩提，欲廣度無量眾生，當融和五乘佛法，以三學六度為修行的圭臬。
The guiding principles of an organization are very important. They express the purpose of the organization and they establish the basis for the activities of its members. It is, therefore, necessary that all members of the Buddha’s Light International Association (BLIA) fully understand its guiding principles.
The guiding principles of the BLIA can be grouped under the following four headings.
The BLIA is founded on belief in the teachings of Buddha, on respect for the Triple Gem of Buddhism, and on the desire to preach the Dharma for the good of all sentient beings. The Triple Gem of Buddhism – Buddha, Dharma, Sangha – is the center of our belief, and the means by which we are able to transcend the mundane world. The wonder and power of the Triple Gem is without limit.
Buddha is like a brilliant light that shines on all beings, no matter where they are. He is our teacher, and his teachings will save us.
The Dharma is like water that flows everywhere and nourishes all beings. It is the truth by which we must live our lives.
The sangha is like a field in which virtue can be planted and grown. It
is the place that supports the Dharma and helps us manifest it in our lives.
The BLIA was formed so that its members could practice Buddhism together. The BLIA is dedicated to preaching the Dharma and helping all sentient beings. It is only through helping people under- stand the truths of Buddhism that we can ever hope to fully overcome the suffering of this world. Only through the truths of Buddhism will this world succeed in uniting, so that all of us can live wise and compassionate lives for all sentient beings. It will be found only in this way and not in another.
The Dharma is for people
As BLIA members, we must advocate a living Buddhism that seeks to make a Pure Land of this world.
Our job is to preach the Dharma in this world and to practice compassion for the good of this world.
Sakyamuni Buddha was born in this world, cultivated himself in this world and was enlightened in this world. The teachings of the Buddha are based on human nature, and Buddha disseminated them for the good of people living in this world. The Buddha taught a Human- istic Buddhism. Those of us who follow the Buddha should consider the spreading of his teachings to be one of our most important tasks.
The Vimalakirti Sutra says, “The Dharma is to be found among people.”
Huineng (638-713), the Sixth Patriarch of Chan Buddhism said, “The Dharma is to be found in this world and not in another. To leave this world to search for the Dharma is as futile as searching for a rabbit with horns.”
The Dharma cannot be separated from life. If the Dharma could somehow ever be separated from life, it would have no significance at all!
Over the years, there have been many people who have tried to separate themselves from life while practicing Buddhism. None of them succeeded. People like that not only fail to obtain the benefits of Buddhism for themselves, but they also cause enormous trouble for those around them. Often they treat their spouses like enemies and their children like burdens on their freedom. They think money is evil and a good reputation an insult to their independence. They place all their hope in the next life and do everything they can to be reborn in the Pure Land.
The truth is, one can live fully in this world and practice Buddhism at the same time. The two endeavors support each other perfectly.
Money is not a bad thing. If one has a little extra money, it can be used to help Buddhism. If one has a good reputation, then one is setting a good example that can inspire others to better themselves, too. We should all place more emphasis on the peace and well-being of this world than on advantages to be gained only in the next life.
This present era is especially critical. The darker the times, the more the light of Buddhism is needed. The more turbulent the times, the more the peace of Buddhism is necessary. The more tragic life becomes, the more the joy of Buddhism is wanted.
All members of the BLIA must embrace the compassion of Buddha. We must take the Dharma as our guide in establishing peaceful and harmonious family lives. From there, we can begin to build on our relationships until more and more people are included in our circle of compassion. At last, one day this mundane world itself will become a Pure Land in its own right.
We must revere the practices bequeathed to us by the Buddha. We must complete the development of our characters by practicing the Three Studies: morality, meditative Concentration and wisdom.
The sutras say that all throughout the three periods of time – past, present and future – one can only achieve Buddhahood in the human realm and not in another. This is why Master Taixu (1889-1947) said, “We achieve Buddhahood through our human nature. This is the deepest truth of Buddhism.” The human path is the path that leads to Buddhahood.
The practice of Buddhism is divided into five vehicles, or levels, because each sentient being’s character is unique and different from all others. Human beings take refuge in the Triple Gem and observe the Five Precepts. The heavenly beings observe the ten wholesome acts. Sravakas follow the Four Noble Truths. The pratyekabuddhas observe the twelve links of dependent origination, and the bodhisat- tvas practice the six perfections.
Human beings and heavenly beings practice a Buddhism that places its major emphasis on life in this world. This practice includes the three blessings of generosity, upholding the precepts and medita- tive concentration. The Buddhism practiced by sravakas places its main emphasis on the transcendental practices of wisdom, patience and a gradual movement toward enlightenment.
BLIA members should do their best to follow a middle path between these two practices.
We should fully live and practice in this human realm, even as we cultivate in ourselves all the virtues and strengths of sravakas who transcend this world. In blending these paths, we will learn to help others as we help ourselves, and by that means, we will achieve the ultimate rewards of the Buddha realm.
In the Lotus Sutra Buddha says, “I speak of one Dharma, not two Dharmas and not three.” When Buddha said that, he was speaking of the bodhisattva path, which benefits all sentient beings.
There are countless forms of virtue, but in the end, all of them can be subsumed under three basic headings: upholding the precepts, meditative concentration and wisdom. Simply stated, these three indis- pensable kinds of virtuous behavior, if practiced diligently, will cure us of the defilements of greed, ignorance and anger. If we patiently and consistently practice these virtues, we will soon begin to elevate our characters, purify our spirits, improve our friendships and increase our effectiveness in all areas of our lives.
The Mahavaipulya-mahasamnipata Sutra says, “Upholding the precepts, meditative concentration and wisdom are the incomparable Dharani. They have the power to cleanse all karma of body, mouth and mind, and they are beloved by all people.”
The three studies and the six perfections are the fountainhead of all practice. Through them, BLIA members will succeed in incorporat- ing the five vehicles, in helping all sentient beings and in realizing in themselves the awesome beauty of the bodhi mind.
As BLIA members, we must cultivate broad-minded characters capable of embracing all cultures and societies in the world. It is the philosophy of the BLIA that the whole world is our home and that all people are one. This requires us to open our hearts and do whatever we can to help others.
We must publish books and magazines, teach, and do other necessary chores to bring the Dharma to its fullest fruition. BLIA members should make no distinction as to race, nationality, creed, age or gender. Wherever we find ourselves, that is where we should expend our energies in preaching the Dharma and helping others.
In the Diamond Sutra, Buddha says, “I will save all beings, whether they are born of eggs, of moisture, of wombs or of transfor- mation. I will lead all of them into Nirvana without remainder. I will save all sentient beings, and not one will be left behind.”
One can see in this statement that Buddha saw no distinction between himself and others. When we help others, we help ourselves. Helping others does not just mean helping them materially. It is much more important for us to help them understand Buddhism, because through the practice of Buddhism, they will be able to help themselves. Buddhism will lead them to Nirvana. This is the goal of the BLIA, and it will be accomplished only if we fully engage ourselves in publish- ing, teaching and disseminating the Dharma.
Through cultural activities like these, we will be instrumental in spreading the Dharma to all parts of the globe and in educating people everywhere. Many verses in the sutras sing the praises of spreading the Dharma. Over and again they tell us that a single act of preaching carries more merit than thousands of acts of material generosity. Compassion and the generosity of preaching will save countless beings from the dangers of ignorance, and they will impart a far-ranging influence on the world that will be felt for all time.
For these reasons, since its inception, the BLIA has engaged itself not only in disaster relief, but also in many international activities such as: camps for young people, international good-will visits, internation- al study groups, the World Buddhist Examination, and international cultural exchanges. In addition to those activities, the BLIA provides scholarships for Buddhist studies. It has also published the entire Chan Buddhist canon. Copies of this fifty-one volume canon have been given to libraries and individuals all over the world.
In sum, the guiding principles of the BLIAcan be stated as follows:
- The BLIAis founded on belief in the teachings of Buddha,
on respect for the Triple Gem of Buddhism, and on the desire to preach the Dharma for the good of all sentient beings.
- As BLIA members, we must advocate a living Buddhism that seeks to make a Pure Land of this world. Our job is to preach the Dharma in this world and to practice compassion for the good of this
- As BLIA members, we must revere the practices bequeathed to us by the Buddha, and we must fully develop our characters by practicing the three studies: morality, meditative concentration and
As BLIA members, we must cultivate broad-minded characters capable of embracing all cultures and societies in the world. We must always be willing to open our hearts and do whatever we can to help others.