新得三新三不少
仁俊長老

新,從佛法的立場說,涵蓋著清淨、光明、真實與「最極究竟」。諸佛所證與所诠的一切,從「法性」的本來如是到「法界」的普遍如是,也就是從性空一味到緣幻無盡無量的種種界類,無一與「天啓」及「世智」所見所說者相同。佛教聖者們所破與能覺的界劃:「我法」與「佛法」。生死雜染的動力–我法,無生寂靜的通道–佛法。依佛法正聞正見,深持深行,學得能體解「幻有」,不玩幻而能明正地入幻、對幻不著;修得能順應「真空」,不撥空而能精純地契空,行空不(偏)證(我空,水到渠成地自然圓證)。世智中雖也談空說有,嚴格究诘:談空的每墮于斷,說有的都落于常;如此斷常,莫不乖背乎中道。佛陀诠空闡有,空呢空得徹頭徹尾,有呢有得立因立緣;徹頭徹尾空脫常執(機械得自囿自陷),因緣會合,則能建立世出世間一切因果。「雖空亦不斷,雖有亦不常」,正好說明了佛法中道。這,超時空而又普遍于一切時空的真理,驗之于當前及過未,無不呈現得的的曆曆、清清晰晰,莫可否定、抹煞或破壞,真可謂「萬古常新」,永恒准則。

釋尊說法的核心:特別著重于人類的三業。世間的一切福善與禍患,無一不與人類的業行息息相關。由于(染淨)業行的潛釀與久熏,世出世間的現象與「實相」,都這麽憑人類業行的迷悟作導向。業的簡略分類:俗情業與真德業。這兩類業的發動與完成,起初,都從人類(意)思業中的一念正否爲關鍵。由思業引發著身語二業,從而構成世間複叠交錯極難測數的無盡現象:從如此現象中體悟、透達其通則,便是出世的一味實相。佛法所說的世間觀,涵蓋著整個的世出世間。從諸佛的徹破與遍覺說,世間與出世,從來就沒有界際的隔劃、障礙。因而也就沒有世界(權威)欲的擴張、戰鬥與殘殺。佛法給予一切人類最大最究竟的啓示、導向:因之相依與緣之相助(相成)。從因之相依中化除我見,從緣之相助中消融我愛,眼界與眼光,心地與心量,瞻察得與諸佛相通,照護得與衆生相見。這麽樣瞻察得一徑虔誠,照護得一片熱摯,不論有形或無形,則自自然地令人看的不離佛法,做的不舍衆生,久了,就同見到諸佛的化身一樣。學佛法,一步一趨地不忘諸佛菩薩,念頭與心底的印象,如此的熟悉了,認定了,許多人才知道我們身住世間而心行(勝)出世(間)。從這般印象中習制成的形象,卓立而堅持得永不倒退,人類則能從我們身心上多少體會到出世氣息,許多人才能逐漸解粘釋縛,從系戀世間而轉爲樂慕出世間。有了出世意念作底襯、做前導、爲中堅,入世就沒有墮敗之虞了。入世與出世,大抵這麽打成一片、融爲一體,這才是最新最完整的世界觀。

現代人常說的「新新人類」,果真有了新之又新的人,這個世界才有最新的起色與活力。依佛法說,最簇新、最超卓的世界觀:「一切得之于世界,一切還償給世界」。世界的別稱–世間,佛教對一切衆生(人類),也稱之爲世間。因爲如洪流般底生命滔滔不絕,奔放前進,過去現在與未來,從未瞬息停止過。世界,從佛法的另一名詞說:「法界」;法界的法,含有染淨二義,所以從佛界乃至地獄界,稱爲十法界。徹悟了十法界的一切,便被尊稱爲佛陀。佛陀悟入的純淨法界,並非染汙法界外的另一法界,乃是即染汙法界的當體而悟入清淨法界。所以,佛是出世圓滿的大覺者,亦是世間人類中的一個人,因此,釋尊說:「我亦在人數」。慧眼洞照的釋尊,把自己和一切人看成一樣;因此他所證的,也是「是法平等,無有高下,是名阿耨多羅三藐三菩提」。從人平等法平等中,脫脫落落地消通了人法的界別、類別,渾融得一(實)相一(解脫)味,整體的、圓性的、最新的文化與文明,就這樣昭示得光輝法界,導照群生。從佛的「亦在人數」中,回過頭來看我們自己,「理性佛性」從未離開身心,只須當下肯認著,便不甘與泛常者同生死。從這裏,體練得事不著相,勘驗得理能契心,便不肯讓佛,亦不敢诳佛。激提得振作雄沈,默了得虛寂廓平,非常與平常之際,與佛法則順應得無憂無喜。觀行在這麽種順應中,佛法便成爲家常事,見佛與見法,爲法與爲人,則調融得平正而平衡,不再爲己而忘(學)佛,爲人而(昧)忽(乎)法。身心的佛化與言行的法化,從此便紮紮實實的了。真實得不爲己作,盡爲人作而無倦慮之感,佛之心腸與己之血汗,就這樣凝合、體效得極真極熱。一切得之于世界,一切還償給世界的心量與眼光,便開濟得軒軒昂昂、充充沛沛的了。

共三乘道的「無作」(一作「無願」),著重決絕地斷除欲私,培育成恬淡高逸的風範。大乘不共的菩薩道,無爲與有爲綜合爲一,即無爲而行有爲–「不住無爲」,即有爲而出無爲–「不盡有爲」,特重透達、遍化(九)法界衆生。以此與二乘(聖者)相較,三毒盡斷而三善(根)不具(足);大乘行者不急斷煩惱(粗猛的致力降伏),一切時處對三善根體踐、發揮得切實而純真、圓淨而絕無瑕疵之善–「三善根」。佛陀所證所行之無上善法,盡是無住之慧與無極之悲的綜攝而成。從無住之慧中深契(不動)法性,從無極之悲中久持(不違)毗尼,始能從純正的因地而進達圓淨的果地。純極之善透脫了有漏之報,才獲得最光熾、最充滿的不可思議的淨報,從這般淨報中流布出的言教與道迹,其力價與功能,足以令一切衆生轉迷趣覺。佛法的學行與(作)證(體)印,念念不忘于善,處處兌現著善;善,成爲生活上的標幟,化爲生命中的力願,事事都發足了此力願,時時則聞到諸佛的呼聲,也聽到衆生的哭(泣)聲;諸佛的呼聲直透心肝,衆生的哭泣痛切肺腑,才知道感報諸佛大恩,肯得拔除衆生劇苦。三善根認定著:時間太可貴了,惜時甚于命,(法性)空間太夠深(廣)了,敬空同瞻佛,這麽樣握准時間不浪費,踐定空間不掠虛,明得的的曆曆,安得泰泰谧谧,三毒就被三善根調伏得沒彈展余地,福德基地就一天天擴充開去。

諸佛菩薩身相莊嚴的表征–大福德藏,(因地中)曠劫來,施舍頭顱腦髓、國城妻子等等,才感得如此的表征。福德齊修,菩薩一發心便這麽無間地策提著。活在福德中的菩薩行者,首先誡勵著:甯可苦自己,決不肯苦他人。這樣的心術、心量慣習了,形成了,忍苦耐害,受怨報德,便老是顯現出臉寬嘴柔的溫雅神態。德重于福而以德導福,福順于德則不爲福覆,「不斷亦不破」的堅誓弘願,憑賴的就是如此的品概、作爲與氣骨。造福、回福而擴德,德擴得、愧得太薄、太少,忘卻了享福的世俗情戀,入世行化則不再苦樂萦懷,利衰動心,惟道是務,惟願是償。最極重視「普賢行」的大乘人,一切無不以「現實利益」(衆生)爲前提,由于此,一切人類的腦與眼,才看得明豁,感到暢奮。群衆歡呼中鮮旺熱摯的「生佛」,就這麽爲世界陶冶、鼓鑄成無數的活人與覺者。學佛法,奠固善根爲第一要著,從善根中將善力熏發、操練得足足實實,福德藉善(慧)力的擇覺、把定著:德勝于福,福隨乎德,不肯享福,「以福舍罪」,不敢匮德,致德效佛,必須如此,才能德勝于福,福德齊修。

善力與福德融彙得無滯、無蔽、無匮;從這三無中體認著佛法的活潑、通廓、涵蓋的絕無底際、質性,則自然而必然地觸會因緣。佛法不共于世俗一切的特征–因緣。概括地說:有爲與無爲,生死與解脫,世間與出世,無一不該攝于因緣中。以故,釋尊開示的一切法門,可說是純純粹粹的因緣論。這肯定了:學佛法,就是學因緣,見地與行徑,才會明明准准的不偏不邪,必中必正。「緣起理則」與「緣生事相」,久已成爲佛法中顛撲不破的准量。緊切地體握著這,不僅能透脫流轉而還歸寂滅;進一步說,大乘的即生滅而寂滅,即寂滅而生動、活躍、肆應得入世不倒,出世不住,超越乎凡小的精神與意(態)氣(概),也還是依緣(無盡的開通)而起,從緣(有形的結合)而生。所以,大乘因緣的觀與行,不光是消極的、厭離的還滅,而更能積極的、熱切的創辟。因此,因緣給予我們的大力大用,從衆緣所生中破除了我愛(振脫了自我威脅),從淨緣攝集中完成了大(智大悲,大雄大忍)的「假名我」。諸佛菩薩就是善用此假名(緣起)我而上進而遍覺的。我們學佛菩薩的看准了這,從淨因大緣的開(濟)創(獻)中,盡可能的植善根而增善力,修福德而回福樂,念頭上心底裏,怎也不忘卻此三不可少;從三不可少中透透徹徹地舍身舍心,認定也作定「一切得之于世間,一切還償給世間」;這麽種認定作定得殷勤、真實而遍廓,永無底極永發心,我們才能從三業中一新永新得與三寶同在,從三寶光輝中永遠見得三寶,拔濟三界。

轉瞬間,又屆新春了,讓我重複一下:「一切得之于世界,一切還償給世界」的新觀念,僅是學(行)大乘道的開始喲!  

Ven Ren Zun (仁俊長老) 7.

You should cultivate love, understanding that all the living beings who fill space have been your gracious parents. Thereby you will acquire the higher aspiration that cherishes others more than yourself. Whatever you do, you should maintain the relative enlightened mind that is intended exclusively for the benefit of others.

— Jamgön Kongtrul Lodro Thaye

Jamgon Kongtrul Lodro Thaye (羅卓泰耶) 13.

The Buddhist Attitude Towards Nature
by Lily De Silva

Modern man in his search for pleasure and affluence has exploited nature without any moral restraint to such an extent that nature has been rendered almost incapable of sustaining healthy life. Invaluable gifts of nature, such as air and water, have been polluted with severely disastrous consequences. Man is now searching for ways and means of overcoming the pollution problem as his health too is alarmingly threatened. He also feels that it is irresponsible and morally wrong on his part to commit the future generations to a polluted planet. If man is to act with a sense of responsibility to the natural world, to his fellow human beings and to unborn future generations, he has to find an appropriate environmental ethic today to prevent further aggravation of the present pollution problem. Hence his search for wisdom and attitudes in a hitherto neglected area of knowledge, namely, religion.

Buddhism strictly limits itself to the delineation of a way of life designed to eradicate human suffering. The Buddha refused to answer questions which did not directly or indirectly bear on the central problem of human suffering and its ending. Furthermore, environmental pollution is a problem of the modern age, unheard of and unsuspected during the time of the Buddha. Therefore it is difficult to find any specific discourse which deals with the topic we are interested in here. Nevertheless, as Buddhism is a full-fledged philosophy of life reflecting all aspects of experience, it is possible to find enough material in the Pali canon to delineate the Buddhist attitude towards nature.

The word “nature” means everything in the world which is not organised and constructed by man. The Pali equivalents which come closest to “nature” are loka and yathabhuta. The former is usually translated as “world” while the latter literally means “things as they really are.” The words dhammata and niyama are used in the Pali canon to mean “natural law or way.”

NATURE AS DYNAMIC

According to Buddhism changeability is one of the perennial principles of nature. Everything changes in nature and nothing remains static. This concept is expressed by the Pali term anicca. Everything formed is in a constant process of change (sabbe sankhara anicca). The world is therefore defined as that which disintegrates (lujjati ti loko); the world is so-called because it is dynamic and kinetic, it is constantly in a process of undergoing change. In nature there are no static and stable “things”; there are only ever-changing, ever-moving processes. Rain is a good example to illustrate this point. Though we use a noun called “rain” which appears to denote a “thing,” rain is nothing but the process of drops of water falling from the skies. Apart from this process, the activity of raining, there is no rain as such which could be expressed by a seemingly static nominal concept. The very elements of solidity (pathavi), liquidity (apo), heat (tejo) and mobility (vayo), recognised as the building material of nature, are all ever-changing phenomena. Even the most solid looking mountains and the very earth that supports everything on it are not beyond this inexorable law of change. One sutta explains how the massive king of mountains — Mount Sineru, which is rooted in the great ocean to a depth of 84,000 leagues and which rises above sea level to another great height of 84,000 leagues and which is a very classical symbol of stability and steadfastness — also gets destroyed by heat, without leaving even ashes, with the appearance of multiple suns. Thus change is the very essence of nature.

MORALITY AND NATURE

The world passes through alternating cycles of evolution and dissolution, each of which endures for a long period of time. Though change is inherent in nature, Buddhism believes that natural processes are affected by the morals of man.

According to the Aggañña Sutta, which relates the Buddhist legend regarding the evolution of the world, the appearance of greed in the primordial beings — who at that time were self-luminous, subsisting on joy, and traversing in the skies — caused the gradual loss of their radiance and their ability to subsist on joy and to move about in the sky. The moral degradation had effects on the external environment too. At that time the entire earth was covered over by a very flavoursome fragrant substance similar to butter. When beings started partaking of this substance with more and more greed, on the one hand, their subtle bodies became coarser and coarser. On the other hand, the flavoursome substance itself started gradually diminishing. With the solidification of bodies differences of form appeared; some were beautiful while others were homely. Thereupon conceit manifested itself in those beings, and the beautiful ones started looking down upon the others. As a result of these moral blemishes, the delicious edible earth-substance completely disappeared. In its place there appeared edible mushrooms and later another kind of edible creeper. In the beings who subsisted on them successively, sex differentiation became manifest and the former method of spontaneous birth was replaced by sexual reproduction.

Self-growing rice appeared on earth and through laziness to collect each meal man grew accustomed to hoarding food. As a result of this hoarding habit, the growth rate of food could not keep pace with the rate of demand. Thereupon land had to be divided among families. After private ownership of land became the order of the day, those who were of a more greedy disposition started robbing from others’ plots of land. When they were detected they denied that they had stolen. Thus through greed vices such as stealing and lying became manifest in society. To curb the wrongdoers and punish them a king was elected by the people and thus the original simple society became much more complex and complicated. It is said that this moral degeneration of man had adverse effects on nature. The richness of the earth diminished and self-growing rice disappeared. Man had to till the land and cultivate rice for food. This rice grain was enveloped in chaff; it needed cleaning before consumption.

The point I wish to emphasise by citing this evolutionary legend is that Buddhism believes that though change is a factor inherent in nature, man’s moral deterioration accelerates the process of change and brings about changes which are adverse to human well being and happiness.

The Cakkavattisihanada Sutta of the Digha Nikaya predicts the future course of events when human morals undergo further degeneration. Gradually man’s health will deteriorate so much that life expectancy will diminish until at last the average human lifespan is reduced to ten years and marriageable age to five years. At that time all delicacies such as ghee, butter, honey, etc. will have disappeared from the earth; what is considered the poorest coarse food today will become a delicacy of that day. Thus Buddhism maintains that there is a close link between man’s morals and the natural resources available to him.

According to a discourse in the Anguttara Nikaya, when profligate lust, wanton greed, and wrong values grip the heart of man and immorality becomes widespread in society, timely rain does not fall. When timely rain does not fall crops get adversely affected with various kinds of pests and plant diseases. Through lack of nourishing food the human mortality rate rises.

Thus several suttas from the Pali canon show that early Buddhism believes there to be a close relationship between human morality and the natural environment. This idea has been systematised in the theory of the five natural laws (pañca niyamadhamma) in the later commentaries. According to this theory, in the cosmos there are five natural laws or forces at work, namely utuniyama (lit. “season-law”), bijaniyama (lit. “seed-law”), cittaniyama, kammaniyama, and dhammaniyama. They can be translated as physical laws, biological laws, psychological laws, moral laws, and causal laws, respectively. While the first four laws operate within their respective spheres, the last-mentioned law of causality operates within each of them as well as among them.

This means that the physical environment of any given area conditions the growth and development of its biological component, i.e. flora and fauna. These in turn influence the thought pattern of the people interacting with them. Modes of thinking determine moral standards. The opposite process of interaction is also possible. The morals of man influence not only the psychological makeup of the people but the biological and physical environment of the area as well. Thus the five laws demonstrate that man and nature are bound together in a reciprocal causal relationship with changes in one necessarily bringing about changes in the other.

The commentary on the Cakkavattisihanada Sutta goes on to explain the pattern of mutual interaction further.[8] When mankind is demoralised through greed, famine is the natural outcome; when moral degeneration is due to ignorance, epidemic is the inevitable result; when hatred is the demoralising force, widespread violence is the ultimate outcome. If and when mankind realises that large-scale devastation has taken place as a result of his moral degeneration, a change of heart takes place among the few surviving human beings. With gradual moral regeneration, conditions improve through a long period of cause and effect and mankind again starts to enjoy gradually increasing prosperity and longer life. The world, including nature and mankind, stands or falls with the type of moral force at work. If immorality grips society, man and nature deteriorate; if morality reigns, the quality of human life and nature improves. Thus greed, hatred, and delusion produce pollution within and without. Generosity, compassion, and wisdom produce purity within and without. This is one reason the Buddha has pronounced that the world is led by the mind, cittena niyati loko. Thus man and nature, according to the ideas expressed in early Buddhism, are interdependent.

HUMAN USE OF NATURAL RESOURCES

For survival, mankind has to depend on nature for his food, clothing, shelter, medicine, and other requisites.

For optimum benefits, man has to understand nature so that he can utilise natural resources and live harmoniously with nature. By understanding the working of nature — for example, the seasonal rainfall pattern, methods of conserving water by irrigation, the soil types, the physical conditions required for growth of various food crops, etc. — man can learn to get better returns from his agricultural pursuits. But this learning has to be accompanied by moral restraint if he is to enjoy the benefits of natural resources for a long time. Man must learn to satisfy his needs and not feed his greed. The resources of the world are not unlimited whereas man’s greed knows neither limit nor satiation. Modern man in his unbridled voracious greed for pleasure and acquisition of wealth has exploited nature to the point of near impoverishment.

Ostentatious consumerism is accepted as the order of the day. One writer says that within forty years Americans alone have consumed natural resources to the quantity of what all mankind has consumed for the last 4000 years. The vast non-replenishable resources of fossil fuels which took millions of years to form have been consumed within a couple of centuries to the point of near exhaustion. This consumerism has given rise to an energy crisis on the one hand and a pollution problem on the other. Man’s unrestrained exploitation of nature to gratify his insatiate greed reminds one of the traditional parables of the goose that laid the golden eggs.

Buddhism tirelessly advocates the virtues of non-greed, non-hatred and non-delusion in all human pursuits. Greed breeds sorrow and unhealthy consequences. Contentment (santutthi) is a much praised virtue in Buddhism. The man leading a simple life with few wants easily satisfied is upheld and appreciated as an exemplary character. Miserliness and wastefulness[15] are equally deplored in Buddhism as two degenerate extremes. Wealth has only instrumental value; it is to be utilised for the satisfaction of man’s needs. Hoarding is a senseless anti-social habit comparable to the attitude of the dog in the manger. The vast hoarding of wealth in some countries and the methodical destruction of large quantities of agricultural produce to keep the market prices from falling, while half the world is dying of hunger and starvation, is really a sad paradox of the present affluent age.

Buddhism commends frugality as a virtue in its own right. Once Ananda explained to King Udena the thrifty economic use of robes by the monks in the following order. When new robes are received the old robes are used as coverlets, the old coverlets as mattress covers, the old mattress covers as rugs, the old rugs as dusters, and the old tattered dusters are kneaded with clay and used to repair cracked floors and walls. Thus nothing is wasted. Those who waste are derided as “wood-apple eaters.” A man shakes the branch of a wood-apple tree and all the fruits, ripe as well as unripe, fall. The man would collect only what he wants and walk away leaving the rest to rot. Such a wasteful attitude is certainly deplored in Buddhism as not only anti-social but criminal. The excessive exploitation of nature as is done today would certainly be condemned by Buddhism in the strongest possible terms.

Buddhism advocates a gentle non-aggressive attitude towards nature. According to the Sigalovada Sutta a householder should accumulate wealth as a bee collects pollen from a flower. The bee harms neither the fragrance nor the beauty of the flower but gathers pollen to turn it into sweet honey. Similarly, man is expected to make legitimate use of nature so that he can rise above nature and realise his innate spiritual potential.

ATTITUDE TOWARDS AND ANIMAL AND PLANT LIFE

The well-known Five Precepts (pañca sila) form the minimum code of ethics that every lay Buddhist is expected to adhere to. Its first precept involves abstention from injury to life. It is explained as the casting aside of all forms of weapons, being conscientious about depriving a living being of life. In its positive sense, it means the cultivation of compassion and sympathy for all living things.[19] The Buddhist layman is expected to abstain from trading in meat too.

The Buddhist monk has to abide by an even stricter code of ethics than the layman. He has to abstain from practices which would involve even unintentional injury to living creatures. For instance, the Buddha promulgated the rule against going on a journey during the rainy season because of possible injury to worms and insects that come to the surface in wet weather. The same concern for non-violence prevents a monk from digging the ground. Once a monk who was a potter prior to ordination built for himself a clay hut and set it on fire to give it a fine finish. The Buddha strongly objected to this as so many living creatures would have been burnt in the process. The hut was broken down on the Buddha’s instructions to prevent it from creating a bad precedent for later generations. The scrupulous nonviolent attitude towards even the smallest living creatures prevents the monks from drinking unstrained water. It is no doubt a sound hygienic habit, but what is noteworthy is the reason which prompts the practice, namely sympathy for living creatures.

Buddhism also prescribes the practice of metta, “loving-kindness” towards all creatures of all quarters without restriction. The Karaniyametta Sutta enjoins the cultivation of loving-kindness towards all creatures timid and steady, long and short, big and small, minute and great, visible and invisible, near and far, born and awaiting birth. All quarters are to be suffused with this loving attitude. Just as one’s own life is precious to oneself, so is the life of the other precious to himself. Therefore a reverential attitude must be cultivated towards all forms of life.

The Nandivisala Jataka illustrates how kindness should be shown to animals domesticated for human service. Even a wild animal can be tamed with kind words. Parileyya was a wild elephant who attended on the Buddha when he spent time in the forest away from the monks. The infuriated elephant Nalagiri was tamed by the Buddha with no other miraculous power than the power of loving-kindness. Man and beast can live and let live without fear of one another if only man cultivates sympathy and regards all life with compassion.

The understanding of kamma and rebirth, too, prepares the Buddhist to adopt a sympathetic attitude towards animals. According to this belief, it is possible for human beings to be reborn in subhuman states among animals. The Kukkuravatika Sutta can be cited as a canonical reference which substantiates this view. The Jatakas provide ample testimony to this view from commentarial literature. It is possible that our own close relatives have been reborn as animals. Therefore it is only right that we should treat animals with kindness and sympathy. The Buddhist notion of merit also engenders a gentle non-violent attitude towards living creatures. It is said that if one throws dish-washing water into a pool where there are insects and living creatures, intending that they feed on the tiny particles of food thus washed away, one accumulates merit even by such trivial generosity. According to the Macchuddana Jataka the Bodhisatta threw his leftover food into a river in order to feed the fish, and by the power of that merit, he was saved from an impending disaster. Thus kindness to animals, be they big or small, is a source of merit — merit needed for human beings to improve their lot in the cycle of rebirths and to approach the final goal of Nibbana.

Buddhism expresses a gentle non-violent attitude towards the vegetable kingdom as well. It is said that one should not even break the branch of a tree that has given one shelter. Plants are so helpful to us in providing us with all necessities of life that we are expected not to adopt a callous attitude towards them. The more strict monastic rules prevent the monks from injuring plant life.

Prior to the rise of Buddhism people regarded natural phenomena such as mountains, forests, groves, and trees with a sense of awe and reverence. They considered them as the abode of powerful non-human beings who could assist human beings at times of need. Though Buddhism gave man a far superior Triple Refuge (tisarana) in the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha, these places continued to enjoy public patronage at a popular level, as the acceptance of terrestrial non-human beings such as devatas and yakkhas did not violate the belief system of Buddhism. Therefore among the Buddhists there is a reverential attitude towards specially long-standing gigantic trees. They are vanaspati in Pali, meaning “lords of the forests.” As huge trees such as the ironwood, the sala, and the fig are also recognised as the Bodhi trees of former Buddhas, the deferential attitude towards trees is further strengthened. It is well known that the ficus religiosa is held as an object of great veneration in the Buddhist world today as the tree under which the Buddha attained Enlightenment.

The construction of parks and pleasure groves for public use is considered a great meritorious deed. Sakka the lord of gods is said to have reached his status as a result of social services such as the construction of parks, pleasure groves, ponds, wells, and roads.

The open-air, natural habitats and forest trees have a special fascination for the Eastern mind as symbols of spiritual freedom. The home life is regarded as a fetter (sambadha) that keeps man in bondage and misery. Renunciation is like the open air (abbhokasa), nature unhampered by man’s activity. The chief events in the life of the Buddha too took place in the open air. He was born in a park at the foot of a tree in Kapilavatthu; he attained Enlightenment in the open air at the foot of the Bodhi tree in Bodhgaya; he inaugurated his missionary activity in the open air in the sala grove of the Malas in Pava. The Buddha’s constant advice to his disciples also was to resort to natural habitats such as forest groves and glades. There, undisturbed by human activity, they could zealously engage themselves in meditation.

ATTITUDE TOWARDS POLLUTION

Environmental pollution has assumed such vast proportions today that man has been forced to recognise the presence of an ecological crisis. He can no longer turn a blind eye to the situation as he is already threatened with new pollution-related diseases. Pollution to this extent was unheard of during the time of the Buddha. But there is sufficient evidence in the Pali canon to give us insight into the Buddhist attitude towards the pollution problem. Several Vinaya rules prohibit monks from polluting green grass and water with saliva, urine, and faeces. These were the common agents of pollution known during the Buddha’s day and rules were promulgated against causing such pollution. Cleanliness was highly commended by the Buddhists both in the person and in the environment. They were much concerned about keeping water clean, be it in the river, pond, or well. These sources of water were for public use and each individual had to use them with proper public-spirited caution so that others after him could use them with the same degree of cleanliness. Rules regarding the cleanliness of green grass were prompted by ethical and aesthetic considerations. Moreover, grass is food for most animals and it is man’s duty to refrain from polluting it by his activities.

Noise is today recognised as a serious personal and environmental pollutant troubling everyone to some extent. It causes deafness, stress, and irritation, breeds resentment, saps energy, and inevitably lowers efficiency. The Buddha’s attitude to noise is very clear from the Pali canon. He was critical of noise and did not hesitate to voice his stern disapproval whenever the occasion arose. Once he ordered a group of monks to leave the monastery for noisy behaviour. He enjoyed solitude and silence immensely and spoke in praise of silence as it is most appropriate for mental culture. Noise is described as a thorn to one engaged in the first step of meditation, but thereafter noise ceases to be a disturbance as the meditator passes beyond the possibility of being disturbed by the sound.

The Buddha and his disciples revelled in the silent solitary natural habitats unencumbered by human activity. Even in the choice of monasteries the presence of undisturbed silence was an important quality they looked for. Silence invigorates those who are pure at heart and raises their efficiency for meditation. But silence overawes those who are impure with ignoble impulses of greed, hatred, and delusion. The Bhayabherava Sutta beautifully illustrates how even the rustle of leaves by a falling twig in the forest sends tremors through an impure heart. This may perhaps account for the present craze for constant auditory stimulation with transistors and cassettes. The moral impurity caused by greed, avarice, acquisitive instincts, and aggression has rendered man so timid that he cannot bear silence which lays bare the reality of self-awareness. He, therefore, prefers to drown himself in loud music. Unlike classical music, which tends to soothe nerves and induce relaxation, rock music excites the senses. Constant exposure to it actually renders man incapable of relaxation and sound sleep without tranquillisers.

As to the question of the Buddhist attitude to music, it is recorded that the Buddha has spoken quite appreciatively of music on one occasion. When Pañcasikha the divine musician sang a song while playing the lute in front of the Buddha, the Buddha praised his musical ability saying that the instrumental music blended well with his song. Again, the remark of an Arahant that the joy of seeing the real nature of things is far more exquisite than orchestral music shows the recognition that music affords a certain amount of pleasure even if it is inferior to higher kinds of pleasure. But it is stressed that the ear is a powerful sensory channel through which man gets addicted to sense pleasures. Therefore, to dissuade monks from getting addicted to melodious sounds, the monastic discipline describes music as a lament.

The psychological training of the monks is so advanced that they are expected to cultivate a taste not only for external silence, but for inner silence of speech, desire, and thought as well. The sub-vocal speech, the inner chatter that goes on constantly within us in our waking life is expected to be silenced through meditation. The sage who succeeded in quelling this inner speech completely is described as a muni, a silent one. His inner silence is maintained even when he speaks!

It is not inappropriate to pay passing notice to the Buddhist attitude to speech as well. Moderation in speech is considered a virtue, as one can avoid four unwholesome vocal activities thereby, namely, falsehood, slander, harsh speech, and frivolous talk. In its positive aspect moderation in speech paves the path to self-awareness. Buddhism commends speaking at the appropriate time, speaking the truth, speaking gently, speaking what is useful, and speaking out of loving-kindness; the opposite modes of speech are condemned. The Buddha’s general advice to the monks regarding speech is to be engaged in discussing the Dhamma or maintain noble silence. The silence that reigned in vast congregations of monks during the Buddha’s day was indeed a surprise even to the kings of the time. Silence is serene and noble as it is conducive to the spiritual progress of those who are pure at heart.

Even Buddhist laymen were reputed to have appreciated quietude and silence. Pañcangika Thapati can be cited as a conspicuous example. Once Mahanama the Sakyan complained to the Buddha that he is disturbed by the hustle of the busy city of Kapilavatthu. He explained that he experiences calm serenity when he visits the Buddha in the quiet salubrious surroundings of the monastery and his peace of mind gets disturbed when he goes to the city. Though noise to the extent of being a pollutant causing health hazards was not known during the Buddha’s day, we have adduced enough material from the Pali canon to illustrate the Buddha’s attitude to the problem. Quietude is much appreciated as spiritually rewarding, while noise is condemned as a personal and social nuisance.

NATURE AS BEAUTIFUL

The Buddha and his disciples regarded natural beauty as a source of great joy and aesthetic satisfaction. The saints who purged themselves of sensuous worldly pleasures responded to natural beauty with a detached sense of appreciation. The average poet looks at nature and derives inspiration mostly by the sentiments it evokes in his own heart; he becomes emotionally involved with nature. For instance, he may compare the sun’s rays passing over the mountain tops to the blush on a sensitive face, he may see a tear in a dewdrop, the lips of his beloved in a rose petal, etc. But the appreciation of the saint is quite different. He appreciates nature’s beauty for its own sake and derives joy unsullied by sensuous associations and self-projected ideas. The simple spontaneous appreciation of nature’s exquisite beauty is expressed by the Elder Mahakassapa in the following words:

Those upland glades delightful to the soul,
Where the Kaveri spreads its wildering wreaths,
Where sound the trumpet-calls of elephants:
Those are the hills where my soul delights.

Those rocky heights with hue of dark blue clouds
Where lies embossed many a shining lake
Of crystal-clear, cool waters, and whose slopes
The ‘herds of Indra’ cover and bedeck:
Those are the hills wherein my soul delights.

Fair uplands rain-refreshed, and resonant
With crested creatures’ cries antiphonal,
Lone heights where silent Rishis oft resort:
Those are the hills wherein my soul delights

Again the poem of Kaludayi, inviting the Buddha to visit Kapilavatthu, contains a beautiful description of spring:

Now crimson glow the trees, dear Lord, and cast
Their ancient foliage in quest of fruit,
Like crests of flame, they shine irradiant
And rich in hope, great Hero, is the hour.

Verdure and blossom-time in every tree
Wherever we look delightful to the eye,
And every quarter breathing fragrant airs,
While petals falling, yearning comes fruit:
It is time, O Hero, that we set out hence.

The long poem of Talaputa is a fascinating soliloquy. His religious aspirations are beautifully blended with a profound knowledge of the teachings of the Buddha against the background of a sylvan resort. Many more poems could be cited for saintly appreciation of nature, but it is not necessary to burden the essay with any more quotations. Suffice it to know that the saints, too, were sensitive to the beauties and harmony of nature and that their appreciation is coloured by spontaneity, simplicity, and a non-sensuous spirituality.

CONCLUSION

In the modern age man has become alienated from himself and nature. When science started opening new vistas of knowledge revealing the secrets of nature one by one, man gradually lost faith in theistic religions. Consequently, he developed scanty respect for moral and spiritual values as well. With the advent of the Industrial Revolution and the acquisition of wealth by mechanical exploitation of natural resources, man has become more and more materialistic in his attitudes and values. The pursuit of sense pleasures and the acquisition of possessions have become ends in themselves. Man’s sense faculties dominate him to an unrelenting degree and man has become a slave to his insatiable passions. (Incidentally, the sense faculties are in Pali indriyas or lords, because they control man unless he is sufficiently vigilant to become their master.) Thus man has become alienated from himself as he abandoned himself to the influence of sense pleasures and acquisitive instincts.

In his greed for more and more possessions, he has adopted a violent and aggressive attitude towards nature. Forgetting that he is a part and parcel of nature, he exploits it with unrestrained greed, thus alienating himself from nature as well. The net result is the deterioration of man’s physical and mental health on the one hand, and the rapid depletion of non-replenishable natural resources and environmental pollution on the other. These results remind us of the Buddhist teachings in the suttas discussed above, which maintain that the moral degeneration of man leads to the decrease of his lifespan and the depletion of natural resources.

Moral degeneration is a double-edged weapon, it exercises adverse effects on man’s psycho-physical well being as well as on nature. Already killer diseases such as heart ailments, cancer, diabetes, AIDS, etc., are claiming victims on an unprecedented scale. In the final analysis, these can all be traced to man’s moral deterioration. Depletion of vast resources of fossil fuels and forests has given rise to a very severe energy crisis. It cannot be emphasised too strongly that such rapid depletion of non-renewable natural resources within less than two centuries, an infinitesimal fraction of the millions of years taken for them to form, is due to modern man’s inordinate greed and acquisitiveness. A number of simple ancient societies had advanced technological skills, as is evident by their vast sophisticated irrigation schemes designed to feed the fundamental needs of several millions. Yet they survived in some countries over 2000 years without such problems as environmental pollution and depletion of natural resources. This was no doubt due to validity of the philosophy which inspired and formed the basis of these civilisations.

In the present eco-crisis, man has to look for radical solutions. “Pollution cannot be dealt with in the long term on a remedial or cosmetic basis or by tackling symptoms: all measures should deal with basic causes. These are determined largely by our values, priorities, and choices.”[63] Man must reappraise his value system. The materialism that has guided his lifestyle has landed him in very severe problems. Buddhism teaches that mind is the forerunner of all things, mind is supreme. If one acts with an impure mind, i.e. a mind sullied with greed, hatred and delusion, suffering is the inevitable result. If one acts with a pure mind, i.e. with the opposite qualities of contentment, compassion, and wisdom, happiness will follow like a shadow. Man has to understand that pollution in the environment has been caused because there has been psychological pollution within himself. If he wants a clean environment he has to adopt a lifestyle that springs from a moral and spiritual dimension.

Buddhism offers man a simple moderate lifestyle eschewing both extremes of self-deprivation and self-indulgence. Satisfaction of basic human necessities, reduction of wants to the minimum, frugality, and contentment are its important characteristics. Each man has to order his life on normal principles, exercise self-control in the enjoyment of the senses, discharge his duties in his various social roles, and conduct himself with wisdom and self-awareness in all activities. It is only when each man adopts a simple moderate lifestyle that mankind as a whole will stop polluting the environment. This seems to be the only way of overcoming the present eco-crisis and the problem of alienation. With such a lifestyle, man will adopt a non-exploitative, non-aggressive, gentle attitude towards nature. He can then live in harmony with nature, utilising its resources for the satisfaction of his basic needs. The Buddhist admonition is to utilise nature in the same way as a bee collects pollen from the flower, neither polluting its beauty nor depleting its fragrance. Just as the bee manufactures honey out of pollen, so man should be able to find happiness and fulfilment in life without harming the natural world in which he lives.

Lotus 293.

The world is won by those who let it go.

— Zen Proverb

Lotus 287.

略述五重玄义
文|如意

五重玄义,是天台宗智者大师为了深入浅出地解释各种经典的深义,而创立的五种解释经义的方法。分别为:一释名、二辨体、三明宗、四论用、五判教。五重玄义是天台宗判释任何一部经典所采用的基本方法。智者大师在《法华玄义》卷一中详细讲述了五重玄义的内容,及判释方法。本文以《法华经》为例,对五重玄义的内容分述如下:

一、释名

释名就是解释一部经典的题目。佛教所有的经典,不过有七种拟定经题的方式,即单三、复三、具足一。单三是指一部经典可以是单人立题(即作为经典的题目),或是单法立题,或是单喻立题;复三是指一部经典或是人法立题,或是人喻立题,或是法喻立题;具足一是指一部经典是人、法、喻立题。就《妙法莲华经》来说,经题是以法喻为题目。其中“妙”是不可思议之义;“法”是指十界十如权实之法,十界十如是天台宗中总指一切法的名称;“莲华”是譬喻。因为莲蓬所以有华,华开莲便显现,莲成华便脱落。由此经题的三义可以将本经解释为二重譬喻:第一譬喻如来的真实与权巧,因为真实所以用权巧,权巧开真实便显现,真实成权巧便废除了;第二譬喻如来的法本与化迹,因为法本所以用化迹,化迹开法本便显现,法本成化迹便废除了。就整个经题而言,“经”是圣人言教的总名,“妙”是开发如来秘密的奥藏,“法”是指示权实的正当轨则,“莲”是指如来久远的正果,“华”是会通不二的圆融道路,“经”是指定声音为佛事。

二、辨体

辨体,就是辨别一部经典所要解释的体性。如《妙法莲华经》是以“中道实相”为全经所诠的妙体。实相原义为本体、实体、真相、本性等。引申指一切万法真实不虚之体相,或真实之理法、不变之理、真如、法性等。实相是佛陀觉悟的内容,意即本然之真实,举凡一如、实性、实际、真性、涅槃、无为、无相等,均为实相之异名。实相本来是不以言说的,但是不说又难以了解,所以不得已用四种意思来解释。实相是空有的、不二的、不异的、不尽的。空有是说空而不是断无的意思;不二是说空就是有,有就是空的意思;不异是说不是在空有以外,另有一条中道的意思;不尽是普遍一切处所的意思。什么东西普遍一切处呢?并不是另有一种玄妙神奇的事物,只这一切因缘所生法而已。宇宙间一切事物都是因缘所生,这便是实相的不尽;凡是因缘所生法,当然都是空虚的,这便是空有;因缘所生法,就体性上观察是空,就相用上观察却是有,这便是不二。因缘所生法同时又是空又是有,便是中道;无须乎另外有中道,这便是不异。

三、明宗

明宗,即阐明一部经典的宗趣。就是明了一部经典的修行最终目的或旨趣。《妙法莲华经》是以一乘因果为宗。《法华经》归纳总结了一切修行方法,其所追求的终极目的则是为了成就圆满至上的一佛乘。经中通过珠宝等种种譬喻言辞,目的无非是让修学者明白,声闻、缘觉等二乘修行方法都是不究竟的,唯有证得一佛乘之终极果位,方才是佛子所要趣入的终极目的。为了引入众生修一佛乘的顿悟之法,佛陀常用“穷子喻”、“火宅喻”,以及羊、鹿、牛车等种种譬喻,引导众生舍弃小乘,趣入一佛乘的大乘之法。简单说,本经就是以修实相之行为因,证实相之理为果,故称一乘因果为宗。

四、论用

论用,即论说一部经典的功用。《妙法法华经》以断疑生信为用。用,即力用。本经是以大乘妙法开示圆机,于迹门令断权疑而生实信,于本门则令断近疑而生远信,故称断疑生信为用。

本经二十八品中,以迹门十四品为断疑生信之用,以本门十四品为增道损生之用。其实,迹门与本门是为了方便修学而施设,两者本为一体,如来的本即是迹,迹也就是本,核实了都无所谓迹,无所谓本。简单说,就是三种权实二智。在此三种权实二智之中,自行二智是力,两种化他二智是用;力是用的根本,用是力的成绩。本经的功用是破除二乘涅槃的执着,使人明了事理本来都是寂静的。

五、判教

判教,即判立一经之教相,以定一经之评价。“教”是指圣人的垂训;“相”是指分别同异。《妙法莲华经》是以无上醍醐为教相,是纯圆极妙异于偏小之诸教,犹如醍醐上味,不同于乳酪、生熟二酥,故称“无上醍醐”为教相。简单说,就是判释一部经典的教相与价值。《妙法莲华经》是如来一期教化最圆满的教,所以经中四种天华,六种地动,三次变成净土,千大菩萨从地涌出。简单说,本经是最胜的经典,甘露的法门。

五重玄义作为解读经典的一种方法。其中的“名”是表示如来所为的一大事因缘,即开方便门;“体”是表示佛的知见,即真实相;“宗”是由此得以开示悟入佛的知见,自己的迷惑也可以觉悟;“用”是令众生开示悟入佛的知见;“教”是分别各经的同异。

五重玄义的次第,是循序渐进,不能颠倒的。佛陀所说一代时教中,每一部经典各有自己的名称,因而将“释名”列为第一。在经名之下一定有所需要解释的佛法作为经体,因而以“辨体”为第二;任何一部经典所阐述的道理,一定会有所主张的修行,也就是宗旨,因而将“明宗”列为第三;有了修行,必定要有功力才能发挥修行的作用,这个功力就是用,因而以“论用”为第四;最后要区别一部经典是佛陀何时所说,何种教派所收,属于藏通别圆中的哪一种类型,因而将“判教”列为第五。如此逐层推进,方能完整地阐释一部经典的深意。

Lotus 221..jpg

It is precisely because our present life is so inseparably linked with desire that we must make use of desire’s tremendous energy if we wish to transform our life into something transcendental.

— Lama Thubten Yeshe

Lama Yeshe 45..jpg

(12753_sl.tif) Lama Yeshe doing puja. Next to Lama Yeshe is Gelek Gyatso, and Charok Lama (Tenzin Dorje). On the left is Thubten Wongmo (Feather Meston), Thubten Pemo (Linda Grossman), Aleca Moriatis, Helly Pelaez (Jamyang Wangmo). Photo from the 8th Meditation Course at Kopan Monastery, Nepal, 1975.

Navigating Rough Waters
by Jack Kornfield

Every morning when the Dalai Lama wakes up, he begins his morning practices with a prayer from Shantideva: “May I be a guard for those who need protection; a guide for those on the path; a boat, a raft, a bridge for those to cross the flood; may I be a lamp in the darkness; a resting place for the weary, and a healing medicine for all who are sick. For as long as Earth and sky endure, may I assist until all living beings are awakened.” This is the Dalai Lama’s way of reaffirming the direction of his life and the direction of his heart before he starts his day. With this powerful prayer, the Dalai Lama recites his vow of compassion and love for all beings, even in the face of the great difficulties of the Tibetan people.

You too need a reliable compass to set your direction and steer through the rough waters. When you are going through hard times you need a way to guide yourself. But how can you set your direction when you can’t see any clear harbour? And how can you navigate through difficult waters when you’re swamped by overwhelming emotions? There is a wise spirit in us that knows that we can behave with dignity, courage and magnanimity, no matter what the circumstances.

In the Buddhist tradition, one who dedicates himself or herself to the spirit of courage and compassion is called a Bodhisattva. Bodhi means awakened, and sattva means being. A Bodhisattva is a being committed to the awakening of the good heart in everyone. A Bodhisattva is committed to compassion, committed to making known the shining beauty that is possible for the human spirit, not because they believe that it is somehow a “better” way to live but because they know that it is the only way to be fully alive and awake. Living our highest intentions can happen in great ways or in what may seem small — yet critical — ways of refusing to be conquered by the difficulties that come to us in our lives.

We can choose our spirit in spite of everything. Sometimes, all we’ll be able to offer is a smile to the weary or forlorn on the streets. Sometimes it will be to plant a garden where there was none, or plant seeds of patience in a family or of reconciliation in community difficulty. No matter what situation we find ourselves in, we can always set our compass to our highest intentions in the present moment. When you’re overwhelmed by loss, by the difficulties around you, when you feel you are lost in the darkness, sometimes all you can do is to breathe consciously and gently with your pain and anguish and know that with this simple gesture you are resetting the compass of your heart, no matter your circumstances. By taking that one simple, mindful breath, you will return again to compassion and realise that you are more than your fears and confusions.

Whatever your difficulties, you can always remember that you are free in every moment to set the compass of your heart to your highest intentions. You can offer the best of yourself in any circumstance, including in difficult times. In fact, the two things that you are always free to do — despite your circumstances — are to be present and to be willing to love.

Sometimes you may be able to improve a situation immediately, and sometimes you will have to steadily carry the lamp for yourself and others through a period of darkness. Your intuition and your good heart will guide the way.

Jack Kornfield 3.

Samsāra is nothing but imagination — the lack of imagination is liberation.

— Nāgārjuna

Nagarjuna (龙树菩萨) 62.

三主要道是什么
智敏上师

佛教里边,我们佛教徒皈依三宝,是要修行、发心成佛度众生的。那么我们修行到底怎么修?修的内涵到底是哪些?佛说的三藏十二部经,那是多得不可数,里边说的法门有八万四千,每个所说的都是非常殊妙,但是于其中间如何联系起来、它们中间的主要的关键在哪里?共同的点在哪里?这个一般智慧薄弱的人是探讨不出来的。所以说经典,要通过有修有证的那些高僧大德,他们在经里边阐发、做了一些极可贵的论说,把佛的真正的甚深的密意告诉我们。整个佛的三藏十二部经里边修行最重要的三个要点–三主要道。如果我们离开了这三点,就谈不上修行;如果我们把这三点它抓住了,按着这个方法去做的话,不但是修行上路了,就是成佛,也能够达到这个要求!

第一个是出离心。我们修行,如果对世间上的一些安乐依然还放不下,单是求一点人天福报,要求自己身体健康、家庭圆满、事业顺利,这样子做是不是佛教徒?我们说,也可以称为佛教徒(皈依了三宝的),但是严格地说,还不能叫一个佛教徒。真正的佛教徒是要依佛的法修行、有一定方向–出离的,这才够得做佛教徒的资格。如果我们仅仅是希求世间上的安乐、那些享受,那么其他的宗教、其他的哲学也在讲这些,这跟佛教的根本旨趣还是不太符合的。因为我们佛教的看法,这个世界彻底是苦,在这个苦的中间你要求安乐是做不到的。

整个宇宙,以佛教的眼光来看,是六道。六道里边三恶道是苦,这个大家都知道。地狱的苦、饿鬼的苦,虽然我们不能够亲自看到,但是听说、或有些感应,事实上也是证明了这是有的。畜生的苦,这大家都是亲眼看到的,给人杀了、吃了,而且杀得很惨。尤其广东人吃猴脑,活的猴子把它的头剃了、就在桌子上当下打开(脑壳),把那些酱油、辣椒就灌进脑子里去……。这个痛苦,我们想一想,谁也受不了。还有山东,最近为了招徕顾客,就来一个全驴上市,把整个的活的一只驴,把它的腿夹住,然后顾客指定要吃哪一块肉,他们就活活地把这块肉割下来、煮了给顾客吃,这只驴还没有死掉,拼命地叫。这样子大家想一想,畜生的苦,以上不过是举两个例,那是够苦的。

那么人间,应当是快乐的了,离开恶道了嘛。但是上了年纪的人,大家想一想,人间的苦也是相当地严重的。有人说,天上是享乐的,很多宗教认为生到天堂了,就什么苦都没有了。但这是肤浅的看法,以佛教的智慧来看,至少是不确当的。天上还是有天上的苦,而且天上又不能保持他永远不掉下来,当他的福报享完了,天上还是要下来,或者直接到地狱去了。

所以这个轮回的苦,如果我们真正想一想,贪着世间对我们来说一无好处。佛经上讲,我们无始以来流转生死,天上我们不晓得去了多少次了,地狱里边去的时间更多。一般说,从好的方面说,我们所能想象的享受我们过去都享受过,一切男女饮食等等,在人间的时候我们都享受过,但是我们在恶道受的苦、更长的时间我们也尝过。做人的时候,我们的头–无始以来因为冤案而被杀的头,积聚起来比须弥山还要高;无始以来我们被仇人杀死流出来的血,集中起来比四大海还大、还多。

这样子,虽然暂时享了一点福,最后还是要掉下去受苦,一般是苦的时间长,受乐的时间很短,同时在乐的当中本身还有苦的因。这个比较深了。就是说,我们以真正佛教的眼光看,所谓的乐还是一个苦–坏苦,本身就是坏苦。打个比喻,我们身上长了一个疮,这个疮很痛,这是苦苦;但是我们在这个疮上涂一点清凉油,或者冷水洒一下,这个苦减轻了,感到很舒服,这个就是所谓的乐。我们认为乐,只是苦的减轻,我们就认为快乐了,但是这个疮还在。你追求的这个苦暂时停一下的乐,实际上这个苦的因(根子)并没有除掉。

所以说,整个的三界,恶道里边苦苦是很厉害,人间里边苦苦也有,但是总的来说,在色界天以上,该没有苦了吧?还有行苦。行苦是苦苦、坏苦的根子,这个流转生死的行苦不断的话,一切的苦难都会到我们头上来。什么时候来?不知道!那么,我们在这样的情况之下,在真正皈依了三宝之后,难道我们就仅仅求一点很短暂的人天安乐就满意了吗?这个绝对不是佛的本怀!佛是要我们永远离开这个苦难的。所以严格地说,单求一点人天福报还够不上叫修行的人。你说是一个佛弟子了吧?也可以勉强算,因为你皈依三宝了,是佛弟子,但是你说修行的话,还够不上!

真正要修行,至少要有个出离心。出离心有两种。最肤浅的,就是说对于三恶道的苦,我们是不愿受的。这是哪一个都同意的想法。三恶道的苦有谁愿意去受呢?那么脱离恶道,这个出离心该是每一个人都有的吧?如果这个心有了,我们一切行动、思想就依了佛的戒律,要求的不是我们现世的人天福报的享受了,而是追求下一辈子能够再得到一个圆满的身体来修行佛法。以此为起点就算修行人了,这个是最起码的修行人。就是说能够放弃现世的享受,而追求下一辈子再得一个圆满的人身、能够碰到佛教、好好修行,这样子开始是一个修行的人了。此外,在这以下,尽管你也算一个佛弟子,但是没有上修行的路,还在轮转里边。所以说,真正我们要修行,大家都知道,要了生死啦,要度众生啦,要达到这个要求的话,最低的出离心一定要生起。这个出离心生起之后,再经过不断地陶炼,真正出离三界的心也能生起,这才是真正够格的出离心。这个有了,那是真正修行的人了。

但是这个出离心有了之后,我们可以出离三界了,是不是就够了呢?这个还是不够的。因为一切众生和自己是一体的。一切众生,过去都是我们的父母,他现在在地狱、饿鬼(恶道)里受难,难道我们就可以自己走了而不管了吗?这个从理上说,说不通;从我们整个的法身来说,他们就在我们体上,他们没有解决,我们自己也没有解决。我们的党里边有一句话,要解放全人类,才能够解放自己。这句话的意思跟我们一样的,我们要解放一切的众生才能真正地解放自己。有一个众生没有解放(得度)的话,我们自己成佛的可能就没有了。所以说我们要发这个心,要救度一切众生,然后才能真正圆满自己的菩提,真正地达到圆满的境界。这是说要发菩提心了。

以出离心为基础,我们推导到一切众生–自己害怕受苦,那推到一切众生(都是父母),他们也害怕受苦,那么我们就要救他们了。是父母,哪有不救的呢?自己就跑了,没有这个话!所以说我们要发心,一切苦难父母,都要把他们救出来,甚至于自己承受,让他们先脱离苦难。这个心就是菩提心。

道之三要,第一个是出离心,是够上格的成一个修行人;第二是菩提心。真正要修行圆满,非发这个菩提心不可!否则的话,你学佛,学了半天,成佛是成不了的。因为菩提心是佛的因,没有这个因,果从何来呢?所以说,我们发了这个菩提心之后,成佛的可能性才有,自己才能圆满一切功德。那么这两个是我们要发的心。

发的心是对了,心是好了,但是出离三界、度一切众生的方法如何呢?就是如何出离三界?如何度一切众生?这要有一定的善巧方便了。这个(善巧方便)就是空性正见–一切法自性空,这个见生起来。本来我们的苦难就是如幻如化的,正因为我们众生执着才感到自己受苦。经里边经常这么打比喻: 你睡着的时候,梦到老虎来了、狮子来了,把你抓住吃了,感到很痛苦很害怕,但是你醒过来了,什么都没有!所以说你把空性修成功了、证到空性了,一切轮回,哪个在轮回呢?这个「我」(补特伽罗),它有没有体?没有的。能够轮回的人、这个主宰本身是空的,受轮回的世间也是空的,所度的众生也是空的,这样子,一切苦难就除了。《心经》里边说,「照见五蕴皆空,度一切苦厄」,如果五蕴照不空的话,苦也度不完(度不了)。所以说出三界也好、度众生也好,我们唯一的武器(工具、方法)就是要知道一切法自性空,也就是中观正见。

这三个东西有了,不但自己解脱有希望,会成功度一切众生、一切苦难,成佛都能够成办。这三个东西是我们佛教里边修行所不可缺的,同时也是足够的–一个也不能缺,缺一个就不是修行人;而这三个完备的话,好好地照它做的话,成佛有余。所以说,一切宗派,净土宗也好、华严宗也好、天台宗也好、密宗也好、显教也好,都离不开这三个东西–出离心、菩提心、中观见。

Ven Zhi Min (智敏上师) 20.

The nature of inner knowable objects is that which appears as if it were external — this is [what appears as] a referent. While there are no outer referents, that which appears as if it were external definitely exists inside — this is the object condition.

— Dignāga

Dignaga (陈那菩萨) 4.