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弟子規淺釋
Standards for Students

孫果秀註釋 Explained by Jennifer Lin

目錄

第三章﹕悌

Chapter Three﹕ FRATERNITY

兄道友,弟道恭,兄弟睦,孝在中。
財物輕,怨何生,言語忍,忿自泯。
或飲食,或坐走,長者先,幼者後。
長呼人,即代叫,人不在,己先到。
稱尊長,勿呼名,對尊長,勿見能。
路遇長,疾趨揖,長無言,退恭立。
騎下馬,乘下車,過猶待,百步餘。
長者立,幼勿坐,長者坐,命乃坐。
尊長前,聲要低,低不聞,卻非宜。
事諸父,如事父,事諸兄,如事兄。

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cai

wu

qing

 

yuan

he

sheng

錢財

物品

看得輕

 

嫌怨

從哪堙B哪

產生

wealth

things

to treat lightly unimportant

resentment

How, from where

to arise, be produced

錢財物品若看得很輕,嫌怨又哪媟|產生?
If we do not think of wealth as important, how could resentment arise?

忿

yan

yu

ren

 

fen

zi

min

言辭

談話

忍讓

 

忿恨

自然地

消失、 泯滅

words

talk

to be patient

resentment

naturally, by itself

to disappear

言談之間能忍讓謙和,忿恨自然消滅無蹤。
When words are both gentle and patient, bad feelings will naturally disappear.

孔子說過﹕

 

Confucius said, 

 

 君子有三戒﹕
 少之時,
 血氣未定,戒之在色;
 及其壯也,
 血氣方剛,戒之在鬥;
 及其老也,
 血氣已衰,戒之在得。

 

A superior person should restrain himself in three ways during his life. 
In his youth, when he is not yet physically mature, 
he should refrain from lust. 
In the prime of life, when his physical vigor is at its peak, he should refrain from fighting.
In his old age, when his physical strength has declined, he should refrain from acquiring things.

 

這說明了凡人的一生,都在造業。雖則世間之人千萬種,造的業也千萬種,歸納起來,只有兩大類﹕一類為爭名,一類為爭利──更多的人則是兼而有之。

 

This quote makes clear that a person creates karma throughout his entire life. There are millions of different kinds of people in the world, and they create millions of different kinds of karma. Yet these various kinds of karma can be divided into two main categories﹕ one is karma created in the struggle for fame, and the other is karma created in the struggle for profit. Most people create both kinds. 

 

既然好爭,名利熏心的結果,往往連親情也不顧,遑論其他?解決爭端的辦法是什麼呢?給他們更多的財富地位嗎?那就像抱薪救 火,火勢愈烈,人只有更貪婪,爭得也更厲害。所謂「人心不足蛇吞象」,「慾望猶如無底洞」;「不足」並非爭的原因,「貪」才是罪源。所以正本清源,從小教育孩子不爭,才是解決個人問題、社會禍亂,以及國際戰爭的根本辦法。

 

Intoxicated with the desire for fame and profit, they may even forsake the close ties of family, how much the more other things. Can the problem be solved by giving them more wealth and status? That would be like using firewood to put out a fire; it only makes the fire blaze higher. Their greed would only increase, making them strive all the more eagerly. As it's said, "People are never satisfied; they are like a snake wishing to swallow an elephant." "Desire is like a bottomless pit." The cause of their strife is not that they do not have enough, but that they are greedy. Therefore the fundamental solution is to teach children not to contend. This is the basic way to resolve personal problems, restore order in society, and stop war between nations.

一切的教育,再沒有比兒童的啟蒙教育更要緊的了,而兒童的啟蒙教育,又肇始於家庭。古聖人教化的次第是﹕「親親而仁民,仁民而愛物」;因此以「孝、悌」為首倡,從善事近親做起。

 

No form of education is more important than the education given to young children. Such instruction begins at home. The ancient sages prescribed the following order of teaching: "From being filial to parents, one learns to be kind to all people. From being kind to all people, one learns to love all creatures." Therefore, they first emphasized filial piety and fraternal respect, and taught people to attend well upon their parents. 

 

孝,是一種從事生、事死,到祭祀的全套作業,是人子終生要拳拳服膺的;終生行孝的人,自然會謹守法度,也能夠慈愛眾人了。所以說﹕「慎終追遠,民德歸厚矣!」孝道是連悌道都包括在內的,前面不是說「兄弟睦,孝在中」嗎?那麼, 怎樣才能令兄弟和睦呢?第一就要教他們「不爭」。怎樣才能令兄弟不爭呢?第一就要教他們「忍」。忍什麼?忍氣、忍苦、忍難;總之,忍一切的不公平。

 

Filial piety involves a full set of duties including serving one's parents when they are alive and after they pass away, including making offerings to them. These are obligations that a child must diligently carry out for his whole life. People who are filial their whole lives will naturally be law-abiding citizens who show tender concern to all. Thus it is said, "Let there be careful attention to performing the funeral rites for parents, and let them be followed when long gone with the ceremonies of sacrifice; then the virtue of the people will resume its proper excellence." The practice of filial piety includes within it the practice of fraternal respect. As the text said earlier, "If brothers and sisters get along harmoniously, then it's clear they know how to be filial." How can there be harmony among siblings? First, they must be taught not to contend. How can they be taught not to contend? They have to be taught to be patient-to have the patience to endure scoldings, sufferings, hard- ships, and all sorts of unfair treatment.

現代很多教育專家,成天呼籲父母師長要注意孩子的感受。過分看重的結果 ,慣得很多孩子凡事就衡量公平不公平,絲毫不肯退讓;只想到自己受不了,不知體諒他人的難處。從小在家,就為了「為什麼哥哥可以出去玩,我不能」、「為什麼姐姐有新衣,我沒有」之類的瑣碎小事而受不了,動不動就叫不公平;受不了不公平便怎麼樣?爭!吵!小時爭小事情,大了就爭大的;在家與兄弟姐妹爭,上學就與同學爭,出社會就與人人爭。上下交征名,上下交征利,社會焉能不動亂?所以從家庭教育做起,教導孩子減輕欲心,學習忍不公平,學習吃虧,這才能人人不爭。

 

Many modern educators do nothing but warn parents to pay attention to their children's feelings. As a result of the overemphasis of this point, children have become spoiled to the point that they only think about whether or not things are fair to them, and they will not yield in the least. Only aware of their own discomfort, they never give any consideration to others' difficulties. When they are growing up at home, they complain about small things, such as: "How come my brother can go out to play, and I can't?" "How come Sis has new clothes, and I don't?" They complain about every little thing that they think is "not fair." What happens when they get upset over things not being fair? They fight! They argue! As children they bicker over small things, but by the time they grow up they contend over big things. At home they bicker with their brothers and sisters; at school they argue with their classmates; and in society they contend with their fellow citizens. With such competition over fame and profit at all levels of society, how can chaos not result? Therefore, only by starting at home and teaching children to lessen their desires, to be patient with unfairness, and to learn to take losses, can we stop people from contending.

有個朋友生了三個女兒,每次領薪水,不是給女兒買玩具,就是買衣服;而且買的衣服,一定一式三套。我以經濟的眼光勸他﹕「小孩長得快,衣服馬上就太小不能穿了,一套衣服可以姐妹傳著穿嘛!」她卻情緒激動地叫起來﹕「為什麼做妹妹的就得穿舊衣?」我嚇了一跳,賠小心又試探地問﹕「那也可以每人買個不同式樣的吧?」「不行!式樣不同也是不公平。要是她們認為另一件比自己的好,不是要爭了嗎?我受夠了我媽的不公平待遇,絕對不再讓孩子因為不公平而受傷害。」

 

I have a friend who has three daughters. Every time she gets paid, she goes out to buy toys or clothing for them. And when she buys clothes, she always gets three sets of the same thing. Thinking economically, I advised her, "Children grow very fast and outgrow their clothes almost immediately. Why don't you buy one of everything and let them hand it down from the older to the younger sisters?" I was taken aback by her sharp retort: "Why should the younger ones always have to wear hand-me-downs?" I cautiously tried to make another suggestion: "Well, at least they could each buy a different style, couldn't they?" "No. If the style is different, it's not fair either. If they thought someone else's was better than theirs, they'd start bickering. I had enough of my mother's unfair treatment, and I'll never let my own children undergo that kind of injustice." 

 

後來我才知道;原來她是家中三姐妹的老二,自小總覺得父母看重老大,憐惜老么,自己是最受忽略的一個;因此常與母親及姐妹爭,已很多年不與母親及姐妹來往了。過了十年,我聽說她的三個女兒不但也是彼此不合,還都很怨恨她,她過得很寂寞。由此可見,力求表面的公平,或盡量用物質去滿足孩子,仍無法教孩子不爭啊!說起來,還是從心地下工夫來得根本。只要能教孩子寡欲,孩子又有什麼可爭的呢?只要能教孩子忍不平,孩子又怎麼吵得起來呢?

 

Later I found out that she was the second of three sisters. Ever since she was little, she felt her parents had favored the eldest and adored the youngest, but had neglected her. That's why she had always quarreled with her mother and sisters, and had not communicated with them for many years. Ten years later, I heard that not only did her three daughters not get along, but they all blamed her, and so she was very lonely. From this, we can see that insisting on superficial fair treatment or trying to please kids with material things is not the way to teach them how not to contend. The fundamental solution is to work on their hearts and minds. If we can teach children to reduce their desires, what could they possibly contend about? If we can teach them to tolerate unfair treatment, how could they possibly get into arguments?

 
古詩說得好﹕   An ancient poem puts it well: 
 

兄弟同居忍便安,
莫因毫末起爭端;
眼前生子又兄弟,
皆與兒孫作樣看。

 

With patience, 
we can get along well with our brothers and sisters. 
Do not start fights over little things. 
As siblings, we ought to set a good example
for our children and grandchildren to follow.

所謂毫末,就是不重要的。什 麼是不重要的?財物是不重要的,名也是不重要的,男女私情也是不重要的,因為那些都是無常的。什麼又是重要的?人格道德是最重要的,因為那是不朽的。而人格道德的培育,自孝悌做起。況且自己不知孝悌,當然也教不來兒女孝悌,那就要自嘗苦果了。如是因,如是果,可不慎哉?

 

Little things means trivial matters. What is trivial? Wealth is trivial, and so is fame and romance, because none of them are lasting. What is important? Integrity and moral virtue are the most important things, because they never perish. The development of integrity and virtue begins with filial piety and fraternal respect. If we ourselves do not understand how to be good to our own parents and siblings, then of course we can't teach our children to be good to their parents and siblings, and we'll have to suffer the bitter consequences. As is the cause, so will be the result. How can we not take heed?

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