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楞  嚴  經
The Shurangama Sutra

【正法的代表】

A Sure Sign of the Proper Dharma

□    修持    文
By Xiu Chi

真心是我們的法身;如果這個有無常成分的心,是真心,那麼法身也會斷滅。
Our true mind is our Dharma body. If the mind composed of impermanent elements were the true mind,
then that would mean our Dharma body could pass away and cease to exist.

前期提示:
佛陀強烈否定阿難以知覺心為真心。阿難驚懼。佛陀安慰之,並說明心自有全性。

「如果你同意自己的心和前塵是不可分的,我們必須細審這些前塵,他們是無常斷滅的。既然你的心是這些前塵的一部份,那它也同樣是無常斷滅的。而真心是我們的法身;如果你這個有無常成分的心,是真心,那麼法身也會斷滅。如果你的心,你的法身會滅,那能證無生法忍的是誰呢?那能了知一物不存,萬法皆空而又不會感到害怕的又是誰呢?」

使人惑亂的四種獨頭意識
阿難所用的心是第六意識,叫獨頭意識。它是靠眼、耳、鼻、舌、身,或它本身的作用–意的感官刺激而作用。獨頭意識有四種,都和感官上的刺激有關。(一)散位獨頭:我們日常散亂的心態,(二)狂亂獨頭,(三)夢中獨頭,(四)定中獨頭:這是當新的感官刺激未進來,心裡暫時保持的一種寧靜的狀態。這雖是一種定境,不過,以前曾感受到的各種刺激仍然蟄伏在意識中,如影子一般。佛陀最後指出阿難之所以未能超凡成聖,完全是因為他執此第六意識為自己的真心。

在佛與阿難尊者的對話中,佛證明不但阿難的心沒有方所,而且根本是假的。阿難知道佛所說的話都是真實的,所以才害怕。他有點急切地指出,自己為善作惡的動力都來自這顆心;就是發心出家、修行,也來自此心。佛要是否定它的存在,那麼阿難相信,自己就不會有任何的認知了。

雖然佛成功地使阿難體悟妄心不存在,佛還是好言安慰,對他保證真心自有體性。因此,讀那段經文時,不可以照字面來解釋;而是佛為了要阿難和我們得到無生法忍,所做的權巧開示。如果阿難已經得到那種「不見少法生,不見少法滅,忍可於心」的忍力,即使知道真心沒有體,他也不會恐怖了。現在佛只能強調妄心的存在。「離開內在(精神)、外在(有形)的法,你的真心仍善能分別。你仔細推想,你執著的那顆心,能這樣嗎?如果不能,那麼它就是無常的,因為一切法都是無常的。那麼你的法身,有真心的身,也是無常的。如果都是這樣的話,你憑著什麼來證無生法忍呢?」阿難答不出話來。

佛的結論是:「世間一切諸修學人,現前雖成九次第定(還在三界內),不得漏盡成阿羅漢,皆由執此生死妄想誤為真實。是故汝今雖得多聞,不成聖果。」

A reminder from the last issue:
The Buddha strongly negated Ananda's idea that the conscious mind was his mind. Ananda was frightened, so the Buddha comforted him, and explained that the mind should be complete in and of itself.

"Granted that the mind you are using has an inseparable connection with defiling objects, we must examine those objects. They are all impermanent; they will pass away and cease to exist. Since your mind is part and parcel of them, it, too, is impermanent and will pass away and cease to exist. But our true mind is our Dharma body. If the mind you are using, composed of impermanent elements, were the true mind, then that would mean our Dharma body could pass away and cease to exist. If your mind, your Dharma body, could be extinguished, then what would it be that could certify to Patience with the Non-production of Dharmas? What would it be that could come to realize that nothing exists and not be frightened by that realization?"

Dissipation, Insanity, Dreams, and Shadows Delude You
The mind Ananda is using is the sixth consciousness, called the Solitary Mind Consciousness. Its functions rely on sense stimuli from the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, or from its own functions as mind. The Solitary Mind Consciousness has four aspects, all of which exist in relation to the sense stimuli: 1) our ordinary everyday state of mind, which is scattered. 2) insanity. 3) dream states. 4) samadhi, meaning a state of holding to a temporary quietude where new sense stimuli do not enter. But, in this kind of samadhi, the sense stimuli already experienced remain dormant and still exist like shadows. The Buddha ends this discussion by pointing out that the whole reason Ananda is still not a sage is because he attaches to this sixth consciousness as being his mind.

In the dialogue between the Buddha and Ananda, the Buddha has proven that not only does Ananda's mind not have a location, but in fact that it is false to begin with. Ananda, knowing that the Buddha speaks true and actual words, is frightened. A bit desperately, he points out that the impetus to do good comes from that mind and the impulse to do evil also originates in that mind. His own resolve to leave the home-life and cultivate also arose from that mind. If the Buddha is going to negate the existence of that mind, then Ananda is convinced he will be devoid of any cognizant awareness whatsoever.

And so, although the Buddha has succeeded in making Ananda realize the non-existence of his false mind, the Buddha has to comfort Ananda regarding the true mind. Consequently, the Buddha uses provisional teaching to assure Ananda that his true mind certainly does not lack substance. Thus, that passage of text should not be taken literally, but with the understanding that the Buddha wants Ananda and all of us to gain Patience with the Non-production of Dharmas. If Ananda could gain that kind of patience whereby "upon perceiving that not the slightest dharma comes into being and not the slightest dharma ceases to be, he can bear it in his mind," then he will not experience fear even at knowing that the true mind is devoid of substance. For now the Buddha is content to stress the non-existence of the false mind. "Your true mind has the power to distinguish, apart from involvement with any internal (mental) or external (tangible) dharma. Examine your mind. Can it do that? If it can't, then it is subject to impermanence, because all dharmas are impermanent. That would mean that your Dharma-body, embodying such a mind, would also be subject to impermanence. If all that were the case, then by what basis could you certify to Patience with Non-production of Dharmas?" Ananda couldn't answer.

The Buddha concludes: "The reason that cultivators can reach the nine successive stages of samadhi (all still within the Triple Realm), but can't go on and become Arhats is because they attach to this false thinking that is subject to production and extinction and mistake it for being true and actual. And that is the same reason why, although you are learned, you haven't attained sagehood."

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