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弟子規淺釋
Standards for Students

孫果秀註釋 Explained by Jennifer Lin

目錄

第八章﹕餘力學文

Chapter Eight ﹕ON LEARNING

不力行,但學文,長浮華,成何人。
但力行,不學文,任己見,昧理真。
讀書法,有三到,心眼口,信皆要。
方讀此,勿慕彼,此未終,彼勿起。
寬為限,緊用功,工夫到,滯塞通。
心有疑,隨札記,就人問,求確義。
房室清,牆壁淨,几案潔,筆硯正。
墨磨偏,心不端,字不敬,心先病。
列典籍,有定處,讀看畢,還原處。
雖有急,卷束齊,有缺壞,就補之。
非聖書,屏不視,蔽聰明,壞心志。
勿自暴,勿自棄,聖與賢,可馴致。

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du

shu

fa

 

you

san

dao

方法

 

三點

注意到之處

to read (to study)

book

method

have

three

places to reach

讀書的方法,有三點必須注意到的地方。
Keep three points in mind when studying.

xin

yan

kou

 

xin

jie

yao

 

確實

必須、具備

mind

eyes

mouth

surely

all

to be needed

心念、眼睛和嘴巴,確實都要並用。
You should use your mind, eyes, and mouth simultaneously.

fang

du

ci

 

wu

mu

bi

學習

這個

 

不要

希求

那個

just

to read

this

don't

to look for

that

才剛讀到這個,不要又想學那個。
Do not think about learning that when you have just started studying this.

ci

wei

zhong

 

bi

wu

qi

這個

還沒有

結束

 

那個

不要

開始

this

not yet

to finish

that

do not

to start

這部分還沒有學完,不要又開始研究那部分。
Be sure to finish one area of study before taking up another.

英國有句古老的諺語﹕「滾動的石頭不長苔。」這是比喻一個人若不能安定在一個崗位上,就不容易有所成就;就像一個滾動的石頭一樣,青苔也就沒法在它表面聚集滋生了。但這不是教人墨守成規,不求進步,或者以少為足,不求淵博;只是教導我們無論求學做事,都要務實務本,不要好高鶩遠,貪快貪多。

 

An old English proverb goes, "Rolling rocks don't grow moss." This is analogous to someone who is discontent in the same position, who there- fore has a hard time attaining any success. Similarly, moss cannot collect and grow on the surface of a rolling rock. This aphorism is not teaching people to stagnate, be entrenched in old routines and refuse to evolve. Rather, this saying instructs us to take one honest step at a time and cover the basics, whether studying or working; we must not be overly ambitious and be greedy for efficiency or quantity .

怎樣叫務實?就是慎始敬終,老實用功;若一味追新求異,這一處工夫還未嫻熟,心就又跟了另一處新鮮奇異的東西轉移了,手腳怎能跟得上?手腳跟不上心,就變成眼高手低,越馳越遠;除了鸚鵡學舌,沒個自己的落腳處。怎樣叫務本?就是掃除外物,直覓本來;若一味摘枝尋葉,這一腳還未跨出,那一手又被旁門左道,繁蕪瑣碎的事情牽絆了,心思怎能放得開?

 

How does one take one honest step at a time? One begins anything cautiously and ends respectfully, working with the utmost earnestness. If you always go after the novel, your mind will already be on a different topic before you master the first subject. How could your arms and legs be able catch up? When your arms and legs lag behind your mind, your eyes are aiming too high and your hands are reaching too low. While you rush headlong without coordination, you further miss your target. You become akin to a parrot that constantly imitates others without a language of its own. How does one cover the basics? One clears away externalities and goes directly to the source. If you only collect extraneous ends, then before you take one step, minutia has already sidetracked and trapped you. How can you possibly expand your horizons?

心思放不開,就落得作繭自縛,越套越牢,終歸心外求法,沒個真正的受用處。《菜根譚》上說得好﹕「文章做到極處,無有他奇,只是恰好;人品做到極處,無有他異,只是本然。」恰好是個「中」,中就是止於至善;本然是個「純」,純就是歸於至真﹕既善且真,美自在其中矣!誰曰不宜?所以說我們無論求學做事,都要務實務本,不要讓花紅柳綠迷惑了心目,也不要讓那些斷簡殘篇封錮了手腳!

 

When you can't expand your horizons, you end up creating a cocoon that constricts. Finally, you end up seeking dharma outside of the mind and receiving no true benefits. Discourses on the Roots of Vegetables said it well, "A well-written article contains nothing; it's just right. A well-developed character has nothing odd; it's fundamentally natural." To be just right is to be moderate. To be good denotes staying with the mean. Since we were pure to begin with, purity denotes returning to what is natural and true. If you're good and true, then you rediscover the beauty that is already within you! How can anything we do then be considered inappropriate? We must cover the basics and be honest, whether in our studies or at work. Don't let the colorful flowers and foliage confuse you. Furthermore, don't let those choppy reports and poorly-written essays lock you down!

有一位自認書法第一的書法家,他聽說某地有另一位書法家,號稱「天下第一」,就偷偷跑去看;到了那兒,果然見到有個人在大街上擺了個擂臺,桌上擺著紙張筆墨,旁邊插著「天下第一」的旗子,正迎風招展,彷彿在向來往的人挑戰示威。書法家看了看那位「天下第一家」的即席揮毫,便不聲不響地回去,從此閉門苦練了三年。這三年堙A他都練些什麼絕技呢?沒有!說來你不會相信!他什麼奇巧的花招都沒有,單單就練畫圓圈圈。整三年堙A他就只用毛筆畫著一個又一個的圓圈圈,一直到他隨手一畫,每個圈圈都是大小相同,粗細均勻的正圓為止。然後他再去拜訪那位始終無敵手的「天下第一」;到了桌前,他提筆一口氣就畫上幾個圓圈圈。

 

A Chinese calligrapher who deemed himself the best had heard that elsewhere there was another calligrapher with the title, "Number One in the Universe." The first Chinese calligrapher couldn't resist stealing a look. When he got to the main thoroughfare in town, he saw someone on stage with writing material. Staked on the side of the road was a flag headlined, "Number One in the Universe" that fluttered about in the wind, challenging and intimidating all passersby. The calligrapher saw Mr. Universe swing his strokes right on the spot and the observing calligrapher returned home without a peep. From then on this man practiced in seclusion for three years. What kind of outstanding stunt was he doing during these three years? None! You wouldn't believe it if I told you! He didn't have any clever tricks at all; he simply practiced drawing circles. During those entire three years, he drew one circle after another until he was able to pick up his calligraphy pen and draw circles that were equal in size, width, and proportion. Then he went to visit that still undefeated Mr. Universe. When the challenger reached the table, he lifted up the pen and in one breath drew several circles.

所謂「行家伸伸手,便知有沒有」,旁觀的人還莫名其妙,那位「天下第一」先是瞠目結舌,繼之面紅耳赤,一語不發地收拾了東西,捲起「天下第一」的旗招就走了。

 

As it is said, "The expert simply stretches out his hand and you know whether he has it or not. "While observers were still at a loss, the reigning calligrapher glared and remained speechless out of shock at first, and then he embarrassingly packed up his stuff, rolled up the "Number One in the Universe" banner and left without a word.

從這故事我們得到的啟示是:第一,專一其心,必可成就;第二,最偉大的招術,便是沒有招術的招術;最奇巧的技藝,便是不算技藝的技藝。那麼讀書要怎樣才能專一其心呢?古人提出「三到」、「三上」。三到是眼到、口到、心到。眼到,是要字字看得真切;口到,是要句句唸得分明;心到,是要字字句句了然於心。三上則是指飯桌上、寢床上、毛坑上;也就是不單在書桌上是眼到、口到、心到地用功,就是寢食之間,甚至上廁所時,也都用功不輟。古代的廁所又簡陋,又多異味,能在那兒還念得綿綿密密,真是斷除妄想了,毋怪乎功夫可以成就。

 

The moral of this story is that, first of all, you can accomplish anything if you concentrate. Second, the greatest trick is a trick that uses no tricks. The cleverest technique is a technique that isn't considered a technique. So how do you study so that you may concentrate? The ancients mentioned the "three presences" and the "three tops." The three presences are the presence of the eyes, the presence of the mouth and the presence of the mind. Having your eyes present means that you read each and every word earnestly; having your mouth present means that you enunciate each line clearly; having your mind present means that you are clear about every word and each line. The three tops refer to being on top of dining tables, on top of beds and on top of toilets. Not only do you study with your eyes, mouth and mind present while at your desk, but you do not let up on your studying during meals, bedtimes and even in the bathroom. Toilets during ancient times were bare and smelly. If you can sit there and still read, you really have severed your false thoughts--your success is inevitable.

現代的廁所又光亮,又潔淨,坐著也很舒服的,所以現代人若要用功,也比較清涼自在。或許正因為得到解放而太自在了,也就有一些現代人真的用功用到廁所去了!怎麼呢?在媕Y一坐,一兩個鐘頭不出來。用的是什麼功呢?就看報紙、雜誌,或言情小說、武俠小說等等的閒書。這真不知是善於利用時間?抑或浪費時間?

 

Contemporary bathrooms are bright, clean and quite cozy, so it's cooler and easier for people today to work in there. However, precisely because modern men have been liberated from many physical restraints and are so comfortable--some individuals really work in their restrooms now! How? They'll sometimes sit in the lavatory for an hour or two. What kind of work are they doing? They're reading newspapers, magazines, romance novels or kung fu books. I honestly don't know whether they save or waste time.

須知人生苦短,庸庸碌碌是一生,充實圓滿也是一生。我們若怕用功太辛苦,專撿現成的做,甚至放逸邪辟,無惡不作,那更苦的可還在後頭,而且是所作所受互為因果,苦海輪迴,難有了期的。

 

We must know that life is brutal and short. To live an average and mediocre existence is one life; to live a fulfilled and perfect existence is one life too. If we're afraid to work hard and only pick what's most convenient, perhaps to the point of complete indolence and vice, severe difficulty will likely follow. More specifically, we reap what we sow; we will end up circulating endlessly in the sea of suffering.

中國清朝時,山東堂邑有個叫武訓的乞丐。他三歲喪父,七歲喪母,家貧如洗,只得靠行乞為生。武訓深深感受到不識字的痛苦,於是立志興學,嘉惠窮人。他刻苦地省吃簡用,把乞來的錢存起來,數十年如一日,到老年時,真的買到地,把學校辦起來了。他又沿戶拜託窮人家送孩子來上學,再拜託有學問的人來教書。若有老師不想教,他就長跪不起地求他教;有學生不想學,他就慟哭不止地求他學。終於感動了一鄉的人都努力助學、向學;到他死時,他已辦了三間學校。

 

During the Qing Dynasty in China, a beggar named Wu Xun lived in Tangyi, Shandong Province. He lost his father at the age of three and lost his mother at the age of seven. He could only beg for a living because his family was so poor. Wu Xun had personally experienced the pain of illiteracy, so he aspired to establish a school to benefit the poor. He endured hardships to save his money. He saved every penny he had received from begging continuously for several decades. In his old age, he indeed purchased land and established a school. Furthermore, he went from one household to another beseeching poor families to send their kids to school, then beseeching the educated to teach. If teachers refused to teach, he would kneel at length; if students refused to learn, he would cry nonstop, pleading with them. Finally, he moved an entire village of people to dedicate themselves to teaching and learning. At his death he had established three schools.

類似的情形在美國早年也有。當時美國教育尚未普及,種族歧視又很嚴重。有個叫勃克•華盛頓的黑人青年,很有志氣;白天他到煤礦堸竣u,晚上就去補習學校念書。畢業後,學校看他很上進,功課又優異,就請他當教員。但他並不滿足於一己生活和身分的提昇,他還立志要改善所有黑人的生活品質。後來他借錢買了塊帶草房的地,就招收了三十個學生,創辦起一所黑人小學。他親自帶領學生砍木頭,燒磚瓦,開始蓋教室;又教學生種五穀菜蔬,養雞鴨牛羊,來充實學校的經費。慢慢地,不但生產所得足以自足,學生也在生活日用中學得知識和生產的技術。後來學生越來越多,老師也踴躍前來相助,最後這個學校竟成了世界最大最有名的黑人學校。

 

Similar cases also exist in early American history. Before education in the U.S. became prevalent and when racial discrimination was rampant, an ambitious young African American named Booker T. Washington worked in the mines during the day and studied at night school during the evenings. At his graduation, the school saw he was very hardworking and had excellent grades, so they asked him to be an instructor. However, he wasn't satisfied with his own livelihood and rising status; he aspired to improve the quality of life for all African Americans. Later he borrowed money to purchase straw huts and land. Washington enrolled about thirty students and founded an elementary school for African Americans. He personally led the students in chopping wood, burning bricks, and constructing classrooms. He also taught students to plant grains and vegetables, and raise chickens, ducks, cows and sheep to subsidize the school. Not only did the production gradually pay for the school itself, but students also acquired knowledge and production skills through these daily routines. Later, more and more students enrolled, and more and more teachers enthusiastically came to help. Eventually, this school became the world's largest and most famous school for African Americans .

有一回,他應邀到愛荷華州某地演講。當晚他正和許多名人在旅館的接待室談話,忽然一個鼓手拿著個大銅鼓進來,一看到勃克,以為他是茶房,就對他說﹕「替我拿杯冰水來!然後再把我的行李搬上樓!」勃克連忙回答﹕「好!好!」等勃克從樓上下來時,所有的貴賓都很驚慌;但是勃克卻笑嘻嘻地說﹕「那位先生給我一毛錢小費,我也收下了,兔得他難堪。再說,這一毛錢,對於我窮苦學生的教育,也是有點幫助的。」他就是這樣以身作則,一生奔走於教育事業,不遺餘力。到他去世時,世界各國的報紙,都在頭版大幅地報導追悼他;有十萬黑人還為他造了銅像,又立了個碑。碑上刻著﹕「他除去了民眾的愚昧;他透過教育和工業的道路,去指導民眾。」

 

Once Washington was invited to Iowa State for a speech. That night, as he was talking to many famous people in the hotel's reception room, a drummer with a large copper drum saw Washington. Taking him for a bellman, the musician called out, "Bring me a glass of ice water! Then bring my luggage upstairs!" Washington answered, "Yes, sir!" When Washington came down the stairs, all the honored guests were in a panic, but he smiled, saying, "I accepted that man's tip of a dime to avoid embarrassing him. Furthermore, this one dime will help educate my impoverished students." He served as a role model through his behavior, tirelessly working for the sake of education throughout his life. At his death, newspapers worldwide commemorated him with front-page coverage. Also, one hundred thousand African Americans set up a bronze statue and a stone tablet for him. On the tomb is the inscription, "He eliminated ignorance among the public; through the paths of education and industry he guided the public."

《三字經》云﹕「玉不琢,不成器;人不學,不知義。子不學,非所宜;幼不學,老何為?」想想看,我們有幸生在教育普及的現代,書籍文具又很方便,何不趁現在年紀尚輕,環境也優於古人,而好好用功,以自立立人呢?切莫讓前人專美,更莫令後生恥笑啊!

 

The Three Character Classics states, "Unpolished jade cannot serve as a vessel; the uneducated person cannot understand integrity. Students who do not learn go against the grain. What will be- come of youngsters who do not study? " Think about it: since we're fortunate enough to live in the modem era of public education, abundant books and school supplies and a more conducive environment than that in the past, why don't we study hard while we're still young so that we may help ourselves and help others? Let's not allow previous generations take all the glory; furthermore, let's not be ridiculed by future generations!

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