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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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kuan

wei

xian

 

jin

yong

gong

寬容有餘的

做,設立

期限

 

加緊地

使用

功夫

lofty, broad

to make

a limit

tightly

to use

effort

每一本書,預計讀完的期限要定得長一些,然後加緊用功。
Give yourself abundant time to read a book; then apply effort steadily.

gong

fu

dao

 

zhi

se

tong

努力

到達

 

停頓

不通

貫通、明白

effort

to reach

standstill

obstruction

to penetrate, to understand

只要用的工夫到家了,所有的疑難困惑自然明瞭貫通。
Once your skill has matured, you will understand and resolve all difficulties.

xin

you

yi

 

sui

zha

ji

疑惑

 

隨即、緊接

筆記

mind

have

doubt

follow through

to make

a note

若是心中有了疑惑,要隨時筆記下來。
When you have a question, make a note of it.

jiu

ren

wen

 

qiu

que

yi

跟、接近

他人

請問

 

尋求

真確

意義

to draw near

someone

to ask

to search, to seek

accurate

meaning

等機會請教別人,以求得確切的意義。
Ask someone for the answer when the opportunity arises.

讀書固然要用功,卻也要有正確的方法,否則是事倍功半,費時費力。什麼是正確的方法?第一要澄清心念,確立志向。志是心的方向盤,心是志的舵手;觀念不正確,方向也就會歪;方向一歪,無論再怎麼努力,也到達不了目的地,所以為學以立志為第一要務。志向既立,就一味死用功,這叫做「死讀書」。想不死讀書,就要講方法。如何是好方法?俗話說﹕「緊了繃,慢了鬆,不緊不慢才成功。」這話說來雖容易,緊慢的分寸,卻不易拿捏得準。

 

Although we have to study hard, we must use the correct methods of studying, too; otherwise we only do things halfway, wasting time and effort. What are some correct methods? First, we should calm our mind and clarify our purpose. Purpose is the mind' s steering wheel while the mind drives our purpose. If our perspectives are erroneous, then our direction tilts. Once our direction slants, regardless of how diligent we may be, we will never reach our destination. So the first and most essential task in studying is to establish a purpose. If you have a purpose, and then you begin to study incessantly, you are "studying as if a stiff." If you don't want to study like a stiff, you should learn some other methods. What are some good methods? A common saying goes, "It breaks if too taut; it unravels if too sluggish; you arrive at mastery when you're neither too uptight nor too slow." This is easier said than done. We have a hard time deciphering and adjusting our tension and speed.

總之,原則是:設限之時可以略寬,用功之處卻宜從嚴,也就是不要在未用功之初,就先在結果上給自己太多壓力。人貴自知,自己的資質如何,要先瞭解,不用與人相比;人比人,只有氣死人,於事有損,而於己無補。因此先把為學的志向定了,目標也就有了;然後再從這長程目標,分出來幾段的短程目標,給自己充裕的時間去用功,以循序漸進,逐層上達。

 

In general, we ought to allot more than sufficient time within our plans while strictly observe the schedule when we carry out our plans. That is to say, do not give yourself too much pressure thinking about the results before you even start studying. One knows one's own standing and quality .You must first understand yourself and not compare yourself with others. You only die from frustration if you compare yourself with others. Consequently, you only denigrate your work without helping yourself a bit.

千萬不要好高騖遠,未學爬就想飛,三步併做一步,逼到自己喘不過氣來時,不得不撒手撂下,最後定是信根全斷。譬如說﹕你希望當個物理學專家,這可以分出來小學、初中、高中、大學、研究所等幾個短程目標,逐一去完成。在每一個短程目標裡,你還可以再分出更近的幾層短程目標;如一星期內讀多少物理故事,一月內做多少小實驗,一年內知道多少物理新知。

 

Once you have settled on an aspiration and a goal, you can then set up several short-term objectives within the long-term goal. You give yourself enough time to study, taking one step at a time as you gradually move closer to your target. Never be overly ambitious that you try to fly before you've even learned to crawl or take one step for every three. When you force yourself that way, you become breathless and have to abandon your work. You end up with nothing but a complete loss of confidence. For example, suppose you want to become an authority on physics. What you can do is to establish and follow through on short- term objectives for yourself during your years in elementary school, junior high school, high school, university and graduate school. Within each short-term objective you may further map out short-range targets, such as reading so many physics articles in a week, doing so many small-scaled experiments in a month, or acquiring so much new information on physics in a year.

目標定得寬,容易到,壓力就小,比較能心無旁騖,勇往直前。中間為了生活或興趣,你或者可以去當個中小學教師,甚至大學教授,也可以找個相關的研究工作;卻不宜偏離了方向,做起賣花、推銷保險等不相干的營生。這樣功夫就不易相應,再回程,又是曠時廢日,還不一定成功。

 

The broader your goal, the easier it is to obtain it. You will have less pressure and distractions that way, thus boldly move forward. As your plan unfolds, you may become an elementary or secondary school teacher, or a university professor for the sake of livelihood or interest. You may also find a relevant research job. You do not want to stray off of your target and start selling flowers, promoting insurance, or working in other unrelated fields. If you do that, it's more difficult to become an expert in your field. Having wasted some time, you may have to backtrack; nonetheless your success remains uncertain.

美國發明電燈的愛迪生,自小就好奇心特別重,而且還很有實驗精神。有一次,愛迪生看見母雞孵小雞,為了研究,他也坐到卵上,專心地孵了一整天。正因為諸如此類的行為太多了,大家都笑他傻,連學校老師也認為他是個低能兒,可是他的母親卻認為世俗的教學方式不適合兒子,就在家自己教愛迪生,充分予他自由思考和實驗發明的機會。愛迪生慢慢長大,發明的各種小玩意兒也愈來愈多,愈來愈有實用性。他之所以能成為當代最偉大的發明家,實得力於他的專心致志,努力不懈。

 

Edison, the American inventor of the light bulb, was an especially curious child who loved to experiment. Once, Edison saw some hens hatching chicks. For the sake of research, he sat on some eggs for a day in full attention. Precisely because he behaved in this manner so frequently, everyone laughed at how stupid he appeared. Edison's schoolteacher thought he was an idiot too. His mother, on the other hand, thought teaching methods in typical schools were inappropriate for her son. She taught Edison at home, providing him with plenty of opportunities to think and analyze freely, to experiment and to invent. When Edison grew up, he invented more and more gadgets that also became increasingly practical. He became the greatest inventor of contemporary times because of his focus on his goal and tirelessness.

有一次他在實驗時,肚子餓了,他就起身去煮個蛋,但等到蛋該熟時,愛迪生打開鍋蓋一看,鍋內躺著的是他方才脫下來放在桌上的錶,而那個雞蛋還好端端地在桌子上頭哩!他結婚那天,車子正巧經過實驗室,他便下了車進去,一直到他做完實驗出來,天已黑了,這才發現那又餓又累可憐的新娘,還在車上等著他呢!

 

Once Edison was hungry during experimentation, so he went to boil an egg. After what seemed a suitable amount of cooking time, Edison lifted the lid and saw his watch in the cooker whereas an egg was still on the table! On his wedding day, the couple drove by the laboratory. Edison got off the car and entered the lab. It was already dark by the time he finished his experiments, yet he found his poor bride, tired and hungry, still waiting for him in the car!

當然,我們也不是鼓勵你像愛迪生這樣。但是從專心致志的工夫中,得到心領神會,心開意解的那一剎那,的確是讀書最樂之處。《菜根譚》有兩句話,非是過來人說不出的﹕「善讀書者,要讀到手舞足蹈處,方不落筌蹄;善觀物者,要觀到心融神洽時,方不泥跡象。」讀書本須專心一志,「精誠所至,金石為開」;工夫更須下得切實,鑽研得深。「他山之石,可以攻錯」,工夫純熟就能通;一樣通,就樣樣通了。用功也是要活用功,知之為知之,不知為不知;若強不知以為知,別人不再教你,你也失去明了真義的機會。所以讀書切忌囫圇吞棗,含糊蒙混。囫圇吞棗是貪,貪多貪快都不可,那像是急性病,會斷了命根;含糊蒙混是懶,懶記懶想也不行,那像是慢性毒藥,會蝕了支柱。古今中外,絕沒有貪惰之人而能竟全功的例子。

 

Of course, we're not encouraging you to imitate Edison. However, you should realize that the happiest part of studying is when you concentrate until you understand and everything clicks for you. A couple of lines in the Discourse on the Roots of Vegetables were obviously articulated by veterans, "When your study fathoms the true meaning in a book, you have transcended the barriers of language. When your spirit has meshed with the object of your observation, you are no longer attached to phenomena." Studying requires full concentration; "metal and stone will break apart if you're sincere enough." You must study thoroughly and investigate deeply. "The faults of others can be used to attack one's own faults." Once the work becomes second nature to you, you will easily master your subject; once you become an expert in one subject, you become an expert in all subjects. Also, you must be flexible while studying. If you know it then you know it; if you don't know it then you don't know it. If you pretend to know when you don't, others will refuse to teach you. You will have lost an opportunity to truly understand. Therefore you must avoid biting off more than you can chew and pretending to be a specialist. You're being greedy when you try to swallow a large chunk all at once. Avoid being greedy for quantity or speed; otherwise by analogy you'll lose your life to a sudden illness. You're being lazy when you play a charlatan. If you you're too lazy to memorize or think, then by analogy a slowly spreading virus will nibble away your pillar of support. Throughout the history of the world, no greedy or lazy person has been completely successful.

所以用功要寬緊相濟,常存疑情;疑情既生,則當思當問,務必弄到水落石出;切勿草草罷休,功虧一簣。若是望文解字,不疑不悟,則是「讀死書」;讀死書,死讀書,終歸是讀書死。以孔夫子那樣博洽淹貫的禮學專家,尚且「入大廟,每事問」,可謂是「打破砂鍋問到底,還要問砂鍋哪媔R的」;因此惹得一些閒人笑話他:「誰說孔氏知禮啊?知禮的怎會問個沒完?」但是孔夫子稟持他一貫「知之為知之,不知為不知」的理念,說明這種謹慎謙虛的態度,才是真正的懂禮。孔夫子認真向學的態度,與實事求是的精神,真值得我們效法!

 

Therefore, while studying you must balance relaxation and discipline, and always ask questions. Once you have a question, you should think, ask and make sure you understand. Do not readily toss your doubt aside and give up just as you're about to cross the finish line. If you take words at their surface and never doubt, you fail to understand, as if reading lifeless books. Reading lifeless books or reading like a stiff-either way it's dead reading. Even an erudite expert in rites and scholarship such as Confucius still "enters the grand temple and inquires about everything." One should "get to the bottom of the wok until it breaks; even then one still pursues with yet another question, inquiring about the purchase place of the wok." There- fore, some busybodies joked, "Who says that Confucius knows about manners? How can someone who understands manners ask questions endlessly?" Nonetheless, Confucius maintained his typical attitude: "If you know it then you know it; if you don't know it then you don't." This cautious and humble attitude exemplifies someone who truly understands manners. We ought to emulate Confucius' serious attitude toward learning and his matter-of-fact spirit!

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