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萬佛城金剛菩提海 Vajra Bodhi Sea

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《佛學概要》

 

INTRODUCTION TO BUDDHISM

佛教的梗概
GENERAL OUTLINE OF BUDDHISM

■     岳興華     文     By Yue Xinhua

前期提示:隋唐以後的佛敎

唐代是中國佛教臻於鼎盛時期。唐朝帝王雖然 自稱是道教教祖老子之後裔,尊崇道教,但實際 上是採取道佛並行的政策,唐太宗在清除割據、 平息騷亂時,曾得僧兵之助,即位後,下詔全國 「交兵之處」建立寺剎,並在大慈恩寺設譯經院 ,延請國內外名僧進行譯經,宣化佛教事業,培 養出大批高僧學者。高宗繼位後,在帝都和州設 官寺祈願國家安泰,武則天更令各州設大雲寺。 終唐之世,佛教僧人備受禮遇,賞賜有加。不空 和尚曾仕玄宗、肅宗和代宗三朝,出人宮門,封 甫國公,入寂後,代宗廢朝三日,以示哀悼。

唐時中國名僧輩出,對佛教義理上的闡發,無 論在深度和廣度上都超過前代,因此,為建立具 有民族特點的很多宗派奠定了理論基礎,而且佛 教信仰深人民間,創造了通俗的俗講、變文等文 學形式。在建築、雕刻、繪畫、音樂和譯經事業 ,也影響甚鉅。

→待續

Reminder from last issue: Buddhism during the Sui and Tang Dynasties.

Chinese Buddhism reached its peak during the Tang Dynasty. Although the emperors of the Tang Dynasty claimed that they were the descendants of Lao Zi, the founder of Taoism, and that they honored and revered Taoism, they actually promoted both Buddhism and Taoism at the same time. Emperor Tai received assistance from the Sangha "armies" when he was uniting the nation. After he ascended the throne, he gave orders to build temples at all the battlefields, to establish a translation institute at Da Ci En (Great Kindness) Monastery, and to invite lofty Sangha members from all over the nation and abroad to translate Sutras and promote Buddhism. A great number of lofty Sangha scholars thus came forth. After Emperor Gao ascended the throne, he established an official monastery in the imperial capital and all the provinces to pray for the nation's safety and peace. Empress Wu Zetian further ordered each province to establish a Da Yun (Great Cloud) Monastery. Throughout the Tang Dynasty, Sangha members were treated with respect, and many presents were bestowed upon them. The Venerable Bu Kong (Not Empty) had been a royal official for Emperors Xuan, Xu, and Dai. He was a frequent visitor to the royal palace during three reign periods and was given the title Duke of Fu Guo. After the Venerable Bu Kong entered the stillness, Emperor Dai was absent from the imperial court for three days to express his mourning.

Many eminent monks lived during the Tang Dynasty. The propagation of Buddhist teachings during the Tang Dynasty surpassed that of preceding dynasties in both depth and scope. Therefore, a philosophical foundation was firmly established for the development of many sects with ethnically Chinese characteristics. Buddhism was deeply absorbed into the popular culture. In the fields of architecture, sculpture, painting, music, and the translation of Sutras, Buddhism also exerted great influence and led to the development of new styles of literature.

→To be continued

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