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A SURE SIGN OF THE PROPER DHARMA

【楞 嚴 經】

THE SHURANGAMA SUTRA

■   修持     文     By Xiu Chi

前期提示:見不滅

最近有一位婦人告訴我,她是「佛教徒」 。她的家庭是信奉天主教的,而她本身也受 過教會教育的薰陶,所以她認為自己信奉兩 種宗教。但當我問她,人死後到底是怎樣 的情形,她回答說:「什麼都沒有了,什麼 都結束了,我們只活這麼一生而已。」這是 純斷見主義。

宣公上人在《法華經》〈譬喻品〉的偈頌 裡,對「斷見」和「常見」作了很詳細的解 釋:

「這些外道有時計常,有時計斷。有 時他們說一切都是永恆的。有時算計 :『天上的神仙永遠都是天上的神仙 。人間的人永遠都是人。畜生永遠都 是畜生。什麼都是一定的。這是常的 。永遠都不會改變的。所以,神一定 是神。人永遠都是人。草木永遠都是 草木。沒有變更的可能。』可是有時 候他們覺得這計常的道理不對了,就 換到斷見上去了。『人不是永遠都做 人。人死了就完全斷減了。那麼馬、 牛、雞、豕死了也都就斷滅了。好像 樹木,你砍斷了它就沒有了。』他就 生這麼一種懷疑,有時候他認爲是斷 的,有時候他又認爲是常的。前後矛 盾。斷就不會常。常就不會斷。跑到 左邊變成一個斷。跑到右邊又變成一 個常。他就不在這中道上停止。他就 是一個太過,一個不及。」

→待續

Reminder from last issue: Seeing is Not Annihilated

Recently a woman described herself to me as a "Buddhist" with a Catholic family and schooling—so she thought she embraced both religions. But when I asked her what was going to happen to her after death, she replied, "Nothing. It's all over. We just live this one life and that's it." Pure annihilationism!

Master Hua describes this eternalism/ annihilationism predicament clearly in his comments on verses from the Lotus Sutra's "Parable Chapter."

...those of externalist sects sometimes put forth views of eternalism and sometimes of annihilationism. Sometimes they say everything is eternal. "The saints in heaven," they claim, "are now and forever will be saints in heaven. Human beings will always be people, and animals will always be animals. It's all fixed. It doesn't ever change. God is God, and people are people. Grass and trees will always be grass and trees. There is no possibility of change." But then sometimes they have reservations about this doctrine, and they switch to a view of annihilationism. "People won't be people forever. When they die, they disappear entirely. Horses, cows, sheep, chickens, pigs—all will disappear. It's like cutting down a big tree—there's nothing left at all." They have a lot of doubts about things, and so sometimes they hold to eternalism and other times they switch to annihilationism. The two views are diabolically opposed, which puts these people into quite a paradoxical situation, but they continue to run back and forth between the two extremes. They never stop in the middle, at the Middle Way.

→To be continued

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