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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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fei

sheng

shu

 

bing

bu

shi

不是

聖人的

 

摒棄

is not

sages'

books

to cast away

do not

to look at

若非聖賢所傳述的正經書,一定摒棄不看。
Unless they are proper books written by sages, we should avoid reading them.

bi

cong

ming

 

huai

xin

zhi

掩蓋

聽力好、目光銳(指反應靈敏)

 

損壞

心靈

意志

to cover

intelligence

to destroy

mind

resolve

因為看了會蒙蔽我們的智慧,敗壞我們的意志。
Reading such book would cover up our intelligence and undermine our resolve.

wu

zi

bao

 

wu

zi

qi

不要

自己

傷害

 

不要

自己

放棄

do not

self

to injure

do not

self

to give up

不要作賤自己,也不要放棄自己。
We should not denigrate or give up on ourselves.

sheng

yu

xian

 

ke

xun

zhi

有仁德的人

有才智的人

 

可以

漸漸

到達

sages

and

worthy ones

may

gradually

to reach

只要奮發向上,人人都可以漸漸達到聖賢的境界。
We all can gradually learn to become worthies and sages ourselves.

前面說到書籍是前人智慧和經驗的結晶,讀書可使人受益良多;那是指讀好書、聖賢書。若讀的是一些緋聞綺語,奇譚雜論,那就於身心無益,甚至於有損;至若鼓吹鬼怪、暴力、亂倫、或神道邪魔之說,則其害人又更深了!所以雖說「開卷有益」,要讀的是正當的書;若讀了不正當的書,思想受其影響,所見所聞也就會產生偏差。好像人戴了有色眼鏡,搪著耳塞,怎能期望他耳聰目明而見聞真確呢?

 

Earlier, I talked about how books are the quintessence of wisdom and experience of those who came before us. Reading benefits people immensely, provided they read the good literature of sages and worthies. Gossip columns, sensational magazines, romance novels, horror stories and other such reading material may be not only useless, but harmful. Literature that promotes the eerie, the violent, the immoral, or the bizarre in the realm of the supernatural may damage people even more seriously! Therefore, although "It's beneficial to open up a book," you must peruse appropriate books. If you read indecent books, your thinking will be affected; everything that you perceive and hear will be slightly off. How can you expect people who wear dark glasses and plug their ears to hear well, see clearly, and perceive accurately? 

 

心思主宰人的意志,意志影響人的行為;人之可以為聖賢,就因為立志做聖賢。孔子曾引「堂棣」這首詩為比喻,詩上說﹕「堂棣的花,在風裡搖曳生姿。我怎會不想摘取這朵好花呢?可是實在是距離太遠了!」孔子就批評說﹕「那根本是沒真正想得到!否則哪媟|太遠?」

 

Thinking controls people's consciousness, and consciousness affects people's behavior. The reason that people can be sages is because they resolve to become sages. Confucius once made a reference to the poem "Wild Plums" as an analogy .The poem goes, "The pretty flowers of the wild plums sway gently in the breeze; how can I not think about picking such a fine blossom? But it's simply too far!" Confucius criticized, "They never really wanted it; otherwise it could not be too far!" 

 

所以說,思想是行動的起源。心為人之主,志是心所之。肯發聖賢心,立聖賢志,就往聖賢道上邁出了第一步;讀聖賢書,做聖賢事,便是接續下來要走的步伐。雖說聖賢道上是「任重道遠」,只要有堅固志,又何重難擔?又何遠弗屆?

 

Hence, thinking motivates action. The mind of a person is his master. Aspiration directs the mind. If you make the resolve to become a sage and establish the goals of sages, you have taken the first step on the road to sagehood. The next steps would be to read the books of sages and do the deeds of sages. Although being a sage is a major responsibility and the road to it is long, how can the burden be too heavy to shoulder if your resolve is firm? How can the destination be too far?

反之,一個人的心志,若因讀壞書而喪亂腐壞,他行為的方向就會偏差,又能有什麼好的成就?小者,不能自立自主,成個拖累家庭,妨礙社會的寄生蟲;甚焉者,害人誤己,成了禍害家國,遺患世界的害!

 

Conversely, reading indecent works may wreck and crush someone's resolve, so that one's sense of direction is confused. How can one achieve anything positive in that case? In less serious cases, such individuals become the dregs of society and needy parasites to their families. More seriously, such individuals may injure themselves and mislead others, or even ruin the family, the nation, or the world!

近幾年來,世界各地的青少年犯罪率,不但節節上升,甚至把作案的地點,移轉到養育他們的家庭堜M教育他們的校園內。美國最近的一次校園慘案,就由於殺人再自殺的學生讀了壞書,中了納粹遺毒,而產生對有色人種的仇殺狂。足徵壞書對一個人思想的可怕影響,從而因一人而造成對多數人的巨大禍害!

 

In the last few years, not only has the teenage crime rate risen everywhere in the world, but the crimes have mostly taken place in the homes that nurture and schools that educate the young. The recent unfortunate shooting of students at a school in the United States and the young killers' own suicide resulted from a poor choice in reading. Upon reading a deplorable book they fell under the lethal Nazi influence and turned into mad killers of non-whites. This exemplifies how unwholesome books can exert a terrifying influence on a person's thinking, leading to subsequent harm on a massive scale. 

 

所以說,出版自由的結果,竟是使得不肖之徒濫用了自由;這些人利用刊物,來對世人進行腐化思想和洗腦的惡行,企圖招徠更多的徒眾,去製造更多的罪惡和恐怖事件。在政治專治的國家,或宗教獨霸的黑暗時代,讀書沒太多選擇的自由,很多禁書固然是無益世道人心,倒不一定都是有什麼大害的;反而是有很多好書,因不同的政治、宗教立場,而被查禁,讓人受益不到。

 

Thus, freedom of the press is often abused by criminals. Some use publications to corrupt and brainwash people worldwide, hoping to attract more followers and commit more crimes and atrocities. In a political dictatorship or the dark ages of religious monopoly, choices in reading tended to be few and far between. Many censored books did not benefit people, but they were not necessarily extremely harmful either. On the other hand, many good books were censored on the grounds of differing political or religious persuasions, and as a result the people could not benefit from them.

現在宗教自由,政治民主的國度堙A言論自由,出版也自由,於是乎百家爭鳴,因此也就龍蛇雜陳;若對某些異端邪說作批評,反會被冠以「干涉自由」。於是乎許多標榜怪力亂神的書刊,因其內容的新奇、神秘、詭異,很能吸引一般人,居然暢銷書肆間。這類腐化邪惡的書籍,有些人只當做消遣無聊的閒書,縱有什麼感覺,也倏忽即過,影響不大;但對於思想不穩定的青少年,或原已有自閉、自殘或虐待狂傾向的人而言,看這類書,就無疑在八識田堨握F一支安非他命針,會使他們心行都瘋狂起來。這暴露了一個事實﹕人類已然被「為惡的自由」所桎梏,逐漸失去了「免於生存於恐懼」的自由。

 

Now, in a country of religious freedom and democracy, there is freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Everyone tries to have a voice, resulting in a conglomeration of the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you criticize some extremists or evil cults, you may be accused of interfering with freedom. Many improper publications dealing with the occult attract people with their novel, esoteric, or bizarre content. In fact, such books suddenly become bestsellers. Most people read these corrupt and evil books casually just to pass the time; whatever feelings they may have flash by without too much of an effect. However, for psychologically unstable teenagers or those with insular, sadistic or abusive tendencies, this type of literature is a shot of amphetamine in the eighth consciousness that causes mental and behavioral insanity .This reveals the reality: the human race is already shackled by "freedom to do evil", - and is gradually losing the freedom to "live without fear".

我們當好好誘導教育自己的子弟,以有選擇讀好書的自由,來多讀一些有益於世道人心的好書,不但充實了自己,更進而影響社會大眾,共同來為世界大同謀求福利。千萬不要自己看輕自己,認為登賢作聖於己無份,因而以善小而不為;更不要自己棄絕自己,認為作奸犯科於人無關,因而以惡小而為之。這就沒了讀書人的本色,也失了讀書人的志向!

 

We should guide and educate our children well so that they have the freedom of reading selectively, reading literature that benefits the world. In that case, we not only develop ourselves, but influence the society-at-large to collectively work toward world peace. Do not neglect to perform small acts of good because you underestimate yourself and think that you cannot be a sage. At the same time, do not casually do even small acts of evil because you have given up on yourself and think that committing crimes won't affect you. With either of these attitudes, one loses the essence and the resolves of a scholar .

讀書人的本色和志向又是什麼呢?「寵辱不驚」,是讀書人的本色;「為天地立心,為生民立命,為往聖繼絕學,為萬世開太平」,則是讀書人的志向。為什麼讀書人要立這種志向?因為讀書人能立大志、深志、堅固志──立志承續天地古今之絕妙學識,締造萬世百姓之太平福祉,才能實心向學;正如學佛之人必發大願、深願、堅固願──願生西方,願度眾生,才能一心修行。以這樣的志向,來刻苦修學,定力夠了,自然能寵辱不驚。

 

What are the essence and resolves of a scholar? "To remain calm despite affection or humiliation" describes the true character of a scholar. "To resolve one's mind for the sake of the universe; to arrange one's life for the sake of the populace; to perpetuate the teachings of sages of the past; to create world peace for the sake of all generations": These are the resolves of a scholar .Why should scholars make these resolves? It is because scholars are capable of great resolves, profound resolves, and steadfast resolves-resolves to perpetuate the incredibly wonderful knowledge of the universe, past and present. If you set out to bring about universal peace and blessings for every generation, you will learn with a sound mind. It is just as Buddhists must make great vows, profound vows, and steadfast vows. If you vow to be reborn in the Western Paradise and to save all living beings, you will cultivate single-mindedly. Studying and practicing with that kind of resolve, you will have enough samadhi to overcome any difficulty, and you will naturally be calm whether you are favored or ostracized.

那麼怎樣是「寵辱不驚」呢?那就是要有骨氣:無論是富裕的享受或高貴的地位,都不能讓我們的志趣因而靡爛;無論是貧窮的生活或低賤的職務,都不能讓我們的節操有所改變;無論是強權或暴力,都不能讓我們的心意為之屈服。多讀聖賢書,熏習聖賢德,學習聖賢事;日之月之,年以繼之,之死彌他。這樣的學習下來,即使尚未臻聖賢之境,聖賢的本色已自然具足,這也就是佛家所說的「常隨佛學」之義。

 

What does it mean "to remain calm despite affection or humiliation"? That means we should have a backbone. We refuse to let our aspirations erode in the face of luxurious riches or honorable position. We refuse to alter our virtuousness when facing a life of poverty or modest duties. We refuse to mentally bow down and submit in the face of oppression or violence. We must read more sagely books, emulate the virtues of sages, and learn the ways of sages. To our dying day, we shall permeate ourselves with their influence. If we study in this fashion, we will naturally possess the character of sages even if we do not reach sagehood. That's what is meant by the Buddhist phrase, "always following and learning from the Buddhas." 

 

隨佛是要學佛,若只是迷信佛,卻自忖無份作佛,便是自絕於佛;這樣雖日誦百課,月禮萬佛地苦修,終如蒸沙欲成飯,妄想!同樣的,若只是崇拜聖賢,卻自認不能登賢成聖,便是自棄於聖賢,這樣雖十載寒窗,焚膏繼晷地苦讀,終如螞蟻啃西瓜皮,無份!所以顏回立志說﹕「舜何人也,予何人也,有為者亦若是。」我們亦當如是效法。

 

To follow the Buddha is to learn from the Buddha. If you are merely believe blindly in the Buddha and think that you will never become a Buddha, you are cutting yourself off from Buddhahood. You may cultivate arduously, participating in a hundred ceremonies daily, bowing to ten thousand Buddhas monthly, but ultimately you're simply indulging in an idle dream, as if hoping to make rice by cooking sand! Similarly, if you worship sages and worthy ones, but write yourself off as a potential sage or saint, you are actually deserting the sages and worthy ones. You may study arduously for decades upon decades in miserable conditions, but ultimately you are no better than the ant that gnaws on the watermelon rind, unable to taste the fruit! Hence Yan Hui resolved, "Who were Shun and Yu [ancient sage-emperors]?

話說回來,人皆可為堯舜,眾生皆堪作佛;但是佛道長遠,卻非一蹴可幾的。本章所謂「聖與賢,可馴至」,關鍵在這個「馴」字。馴者,順也,是順其自然,不強求的意思;也就是說,不宜貪功速進,否則就欲速不達。雖然說發聖賢心,立聖賢志,已跨出了第一步,也讀聖賢書,做聖賢事,走著下一步;但這下一步,卻也是無數步,必須循序漸進,不緊不鬆地用功才行。

 

In other words, anyone can be Yao or Shun; all living beings can become Buddhas. However, the road to Buddhahood is long; it takes more than a few steps to reach your aim. The key to the sentence "We all can gradually learn to become worthies and sages ourselves" is the word "gradually". "Gradually" means in the natural course of things; there's nothing forced here. You do not speed forward out of greed for merit, for you would fail to reach your destination due to your eagerness. Although I said that aspiring to sagehood and making the resolves of a sage is the first step, you may also take the next step by reading the books of sages and doing sagely deeds. However, this next step is actually numerous steps. You must take one step at a time, exerting your- self without rushing or dallying.

《菜根譚》有云﹕「繩鋸木斷,水滴石穿,學道者須加力索;水到渠成,瓜熟蒂落,得道者一任天機。」這是說求學修道,是日積月累的長期用功,寧可笨而實,切勿巧而虛。好比拿繩子鋸木頭,鋸久了,木頭還是會被鋸斷;又好比用水滴滴石頭,滴久了,石頭還是會被滴穿。用功夫時,要不做用功夫想,才不會心浮氣躁;不會心浮氣躁,功夫用久自然深。等到機緣成熟,轟然一響,漆桶脫落,正見天心月圓,道自然成;就好比水過自然成河,瓜熟自然蒂落,一切是天機,強求不得,也預算不來。

 

The Discourse on the Roots of Vegetables states, "Saw the wood with a rope, and the tree will fall. Drip water on a rock, and a hole will form. Students of the Way should apply themselves similarly. When water flows, a brook is formed. When the melon is ripe, the stem breaks off. The achiever of the Way shoulders the secrets of the universe." That is to say, you should work hard for the long term: Study and cultivate day by day and month by month. You would rather be dull and steady than clever and futile. For example, if you tried to saw wood with a piece of rope, you would halve the log after a while. If you tried to pierce a rock with drops of water, you could eventually penetrate the rock. When you are exerting yourself, do not think about your exertion. That way, you will not become restless. Un- perturbed, you will strengthen your skill in the course of time. When the time and conditions are right, the lacquer barrel [i.e. our ignorance] bursts apart with a boom. You will then "see the full moon in the middle of the sky"; you will naturally realize the Way. Just as flowing water naturally forms a stream, when the melon is ripe, it naturally breaks at its stem. Everything is a divine secret; it cannot be obtained by force or predicted.

 

宋末元兵入侵,文天祥以一文人,卻大無畏地散盡家財,組織鄉兵來禦賊勤王;號召所及,聲勢日益盛大。轉戰數年,換了三個君王,他仍是忠勇衛國,累進右丞相、左丞相和信國公。最後兵敗被俘,元世祖愛其才,不忍殺他,幾度招降,威迫利誘,均不為所動。拘燕三年,誓死不屈,遂被殺。

 

In the latter part of the Song Dynasty, the kingdom of Yuan invaded. As a scholar, Wen Tianxiang fearlessly expended all of his assets to organize a defense force of guerilla troops to fight against the villain, King Qin. Wherever he went to call on the people, his power and reputation grew. After several years of war, the kingdom had had three emperors, yet Wen continued to defend the nation loyally and bravely. Tireless, he submitted several proposals to Minister Yo, Minister Zuo and National Advisor Xing. Finally, he was defeated and captured. The King of Yuan appreciated Wen's talent and couldn't bear to kill him. He tried several times to make Wen surrender, using both threats and bribes, but Wen was not moved. Jailed in the state of Yan for three years, Wen vowed that he would die rather than capitulate. Finally, he was executed. 

 

文天祥在獄中曾作一首「正氣歌」,引古徵今,辭情並茂;其末四句言﹕「哲人日已遠,典型在宿昔;風簷展書讀,古道照顏色。」由起始的正氣凜然,到中間的慷慨激昂,復歸於沉穩曠達,視死如歸;真是道盡讀書人本色,展露大丈夫風範!

 

During his imprisonment, Wen wrote "The Song of Righteousness," which contained historical and contemporary references. Rich in sentiment as well as expression, the last four lines say, "It's been long since the days of the wise ones. They are role models from the past. Under the awning I read these classics; indeed, the ancient Way illumines the true colors of all." The tone of the Song's initial section is one of awe-inspiring righteousness; the middle section is impassioned and poignant, while in the end he returns to a firm steadiness and sense of freedom, ready to face death head on. This no doubt illustrates a scholar's true character and displays a great hero's ways! 

文天祥死後,在衣帶中被發現了一張字條,上面寫著﹕「孔曰成仁,孟云取義;唯其義盡,所以仁至。讀聖賢書,所學何事?而今而後,庶幾無愧矣!」我們讀書人,正當「仰天地正氣,法古今完人」,於求學修道上,矢勤矢勇,跌倒再爬起;克始克終,精進再精進。果能如此,到臨終時,我們必定可以坦蕩蕩地說﹕「所作已辦,庶幾無愧!」

 

After Wen Tianxiang died, a note was found in his belt with the words, "Confucius realized humaneness while Mencius apprehended justness. It is only because one has attained humane- ness that one is replete with justness. What else is there to learn from the books of sages? Henceforth, I have no regrets." We students must "emulate ancient and modern models of perfection, relying on the righteousness of the universe." Whether studying or cultivating, we should always be vigorous and courageous from start to finish, picking ourselves up each time we stumble and fall. If we can do that, we can honestly declare before we die, "I have done everything I wanted to do; I have no regrets!"

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