「金刚法印」之说明

林钰堂


陈祥耀居士擅于刻法印,曾刻多种给我,包括「随缘不变,不变随缘」之圆转印,已介绍于拙作《无限的智悲》书中。我因此想到以图形表达法义,设计了「金刚法印」,请他刻制。祥耀兄平日精进修持,若非此举可供他藉以修座余之三密相应,并且印成可以结缘通函之佛友大众,我是不敢作此种请求的。

「金刚法印」之构思及所含密法法义如下:

于无限之法性空中,炳然卓现直立五钴金刚杵。上五钴表诸佛之五智,下五钴表法界之五大;由五智御使五大而产生渡生之妙用,圆显诸佛之福德。

杵中心之圆球,乃法界缩影而不异全体法界之金刚坛城,又是出生五智、五大之根本明空。

坛城地基由八瓣莲花构成,表依八正道出离俗尘,依四无量心(四方四瓣)通达本来清净之智慧。密法根本之明空、杵莲、福慧,至此已圆摄。

莲心之滴露,一形而圆彰三法:明点(白菩提)、拙火(红菩提),及收摄入法性空中最后所观之「拉打」;因此也可说是菩提心之表相。

杵为阳文,莲为阴文,滴露为阳文;三层互摄,表密法双运「阳中有阴,阴中有阳」之圆融无碍。

此印圆摄密宗法理之密义及修法之要项,又是我依感应所得开示而设计,故有加持之力用。

祥耀兄在家乡马来西亚槟城向常购印石之店东说明为刻法印,需此种大小之印石。店东经长考之后方才割爱一方本为珍藏,观赏把玩之质地极为细致,颜色浅绿纯净而温润如玉,印钮并有精雕回龙戏珠盘旋之福州寿山印石(福寿印)。

起初拟稿为工笔之杵,整齐而带匠气,遂不拟下笔操刀,而于座暇苦思肖形,为时颇久,且易稿无数;后于梦中见朴拙之杵形,方据之以为成稿。

祥耀兄于一九九二年九月一日运刀雕刻,而于九月六日刻完此印,是夜临睡前在佛坛献供后,将印石及印文陈于佛坛,祈请印证并恳切禀白 陈上师及诸佛、菩萨、护法、龙天说:「若此法印有不当处,希垂冥示。」结果躺卧床上甚久却了无睡意,全身火热,不能成眠,起来饮水解渴,再细察此印,才发现中心滴露处忘了刻成空心,而形成红色之拙火。雕空拙火,即不再觉得火热,上床即能入眠矣。故知此印确含法力。印成后,每一观赏,即觉精神奕奕,有加持之力传来。

祥耀兄恐邮寄误失此法宝,故只寄印文给我观赏。到一九九三年七月二十三日,我在马来西亚弘法三周后,回台时才面交此印,并特此撰颂敬赞此印,附此供众:

「钰堂兄嘱刻法印,尝有特殊感应。 如命完成,赋此敬赞:

莲开八瓣性清净,拙点中持菩提心,
金刚妙用五大智,最胜密义摄藏尽。
弟祥耀 呈拙」

我特撰此文以分享法喜于众。愿有缘见此印者,皆得蒙密法之殊恩!

                     
                     一九九三年七月二十四日 
                     于台北



Significance of the Vajra Dharma Seal

Significance of the Vajra Dharma Seal



金刚法印


Significance of the Vajra Dharma Seal

Yutang Lin


Upasaka Tan Seong Yeow mastered the carving of Dharma seals, and had carved many Dharma seals as offerings to me. Among those was the round seal of "According to situations but remain changeless; changeless yet in accordance with circumstances" that I had introduced in my book, "Boundless Wisdom and Compassion." That seal inspired me to design imagery to demonstrate Dharma significance; hence I designed the Vajra Dharma Seal and asked him to carve it. Brother Seong Yeow was diligent in his daily Dharma practices. If not because this endeavor could serve as his practice of harmony of the three secrets of mind, body and speech during his leisure and the resulting printouts of the seal could be distributed to Dharma friends who are in correspondences with me, I would not have dared to make such a request.My design of the Vajra Dharma Seal and its Tantric significance are as follows:

In the boundless space of Dharma Nature a vertically standing five-prong Vajra vividly appeared. Its upper five prongs represent the Five Wisdoms of Buddhas, while its lower five prongs represent the Five Elements of the Dharmadhatu. Wondrous salvation activities arise as the result of employing the Five Wisdoms in guiding the uses of the Five Elements; thus meritorious virtues of Buddhas are demonstrated perfectly.

The round sphere at the center of the Vajra is the Mandala of the Heruka which is a miniature representation of the Dharmadhatu and yet no different from the whole Dharmadhatu; it is also the fundamental sphere of the union of Brightness and Sunyata from which Five Wisdoms and Five Elements arose.

The ground of the Mandala is formed by an eight-petal Lotus; thus signifies relying on the Eight-fold Noble Path to transcend worldly matters, and also relying on the Four Boundless Minds (the four longer petals in the four cardinal directions) to realize the Wisdom of Original Purity. The fundamental notions in Tantra such as Brightness and Sunyata, Vajra and Lotus, and Merits and Wisdom are all included in the symbolism.

The drip of nectar at the center of the Lotus satisfactorily represents three Dharma objects: Essence Drop (White Bodhi), Tummo Flame (Red Bodhi) and Nada (the hairy shape in the final stage of the visualization of returning everything into Sunyata space). Therefore, it could be regarded as the symbolic expression for Bodhicitta.

The Vajra is carved in Yang strokes (strokes formed by carving out the boundaries of their shapes so that their printouts are in ink), the Lotus is carved in Yin strokes (strokes formed by carving their shapes into the seal so that their printouts will remain blank), and the drip of nectar is carved in Yang strokes. The outer layers contain the inner layers, and the three layers all together symbolize the expression describing the perpetual harmony of Tantric Love practices, "Within Yang there is Yin, and within Yin there is Yang."

This seal completely symbolizes both the secret significance of Tantric theories and the main items of Tantric practices; furthermore, its design was based on some inspiration that I had received earlier; therefore, it has blessing power.

While brother Seong Yeow was in his hometown, Penang, Malaysia, he explained to the owner of the seal shop that he used to purchase seal-stones from, that he needed a seal-stone of such a size for carving a Dharma seal. After long deliberation that owner finally relinquished a piece of seal-stone from Shou Shan (Longevity Mountain) of Fu Zhou (Meritorious County). (Thus it may be called a Meritorious Longevity Seal.) This piece was originally intended for the owner's own treasury and aesthetic enjoyment; its texture is very fine and pure, color light green, and tactility as smooth as jade; its top is a fine sculpture of a winding dragon playing its precious ball.

In the beginning he sketched a Vajra with fine details, very neat but seemed crafty, and hence he did not intend to carve it as such. Instead, over rather long period he pondered over the shape in his leisure, and changed countless sketches. Later he saw in a dream a simple and plain shape of Vajra, only then did he finish the final sketch based on that shape.

On September 1st, 1992 brother Seong Yeow began carving the seal with knives, and completed the seal on September 6th. That night before going to bed he made offerings at his altar, and then displayed the seal and its printout on the altar to supplicate for approval, and he earnestly prayed to Guru Chen and Buddhas, Bodhisattvas and protectors such as Heavenly Kings and Dragon Kings, by saying: if there were some impropriety in this seal, I wished for indications through revelation. Consequently, even though he lay in bed for long time he did not feel sleepy at all, and his whole body was hot as fire that he could not fall asleep, so he got up to drink some water to quench the thirst. Then he reexamined the seal carefully, and only then did he find out that the drip of nectar at the center was forgotten to be carved into a hollow shape, and consequently it took the shape of a red Tummo Flame. As soon as the Tummo Flame was carved into a hollow shape, he no longer felt hot as fire, and fell asleep as soon as he reentered the bed. Thus he knew that this seal did contain Dharma power. After completion of the seal each time he examined it he would feel blessing power coming through and himself invigorated.

Brother Seong Yeow was afraid that sending it by mail might cause this Dharma treasure to be lost by mistake, so he mailed me only a printout for appreciation. Until July 23rd, 1993, after I had propagated Dharma in Malaysia for three weeks, when I had returned to Taipei he gave this seal to me in person. In addition, he especially composed a poem in praise of this seal; it is attached here for all to share:

Elder Brother Yutang told me to carve this Dharma seal, and there had been special inspirations. As I had completed the mission as ordered I composed this in respectful praising:

Blooming Lotus with eight petals is by its nature pure,
Bodhicitta holds Tummo, Essence Drop and Sunyata,
Wondrous use of Vajra in Five Wisdoms and Elements,
All supreme Tantric significances are gathered together.
Younger Brother Seong Yeow offering his unskillful work.

In order to share such Dharma joy with all I had especially composed this article. May all that would have an opportunity to see a printout of this seal will be blessed by the extraordinary blessings of Tantric Dharma!


Written in Chinese on July 24, 1993
Taipei, Taiwan
Translated on October 15, 2004


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