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《佛學概要》

 

INTRODUCTION TO BUDDHISM

佛教的梗概
A General Outline of Buddhism

【中華民國以來的佛教】

Buddhism after the Founding of the Republic of China

■  岳興華     文     By Yue Xinhua

前期提示:兩宋時期的佛教

滿清政府早已腐朽不堪,當宣統年幼,輔助者攝政王無能,康有為、梁起超變法失敗,西太后的專權變本加厲,故革命勢力風起雲湧。孫中山先生領導革命,推翻滿清政府。但袁世凱由總統又改帝制,孫中山先生又進行二次革命,未能如願,引起軍閥混亂,各據一方,全國變成分裂局面,到處是戰場,民眾經常逃難,流離失所,人民沒有安定的生活。佛教團體不問可知,全國出現一些迷信團體,騙財的會道門,如一貫道,以掛號買福祿、神位,花錢保平安等等,弄得社會烏煙瘴氣,並無人管。日本帝國主義早有野心,計劃侵略中國,製造「九一八」事件,作為藉口,出兵佔據了熱、奉、吉、江四省,假宣統皇帝之牌位,成立偽滿洲帝國,對佛教雖未加迫害,但喪家亡國之下的宗教,焉有獨立自主的權力?一天,偽長春市行政處,招集全市所有宗教和人民團體開會,由偽處長主持說,你們都要重新申請,批准備案後方准活動。凡帶世界和萬國字樣的,如世界紅十字會,萬國道德會都要改為滿洲帝國某某會。最重要者必須和關內斷絕關係,不用說人員往來,連通信也不許可,你們這些團體,都屬於社會事業,共分兩類:
一、教化事業,即講經說法,講道論德,凡是勸人學好的。
二、教濟事業,即放賑捨粥,施衣捨藥等。

以後,開會都要先講訓民詔書,日滿親善等等,以後凡有宣傳事,就找各團體隨他們去宣傳。

蘆溝橋事變,日本侵略毫無忌憚地深入內地,佛教自然不能袖手旁觀,在後方組織,縫做軍衣軍鞋,搬運物質,救濟災民,護送難民工作等。一九四五年日本無條件投降,中國佛教已飽受敵人侵略壓迫之苦。十年內戰期間,絕大多數寺廟被毀,有的把僧尼掃地出門後付之一炬,有的被沒收財產,房屋歸公,不但宗教政策踐踏,公民信仰自由早被剝奪得一乾二淨。極大地傷害了信仰群眾的宗教感情。自一九八二年中央及全國各級政府為了落實宗教政策,恢復了人民宗教信仰自由,修復了被搗毀的寺廟,發還了被佔用的寺廟及房產。

→待續

From last issue: Buddhism during the Two Song Dynasties.

The Qing government had been decadent for a long time. Since Emperor Xuantong was young and the Prince-Regent was incompetent, the political reform initiated by Kang Youwei and Liang Qichao had failed, and Empress Dowager Cixi’s dictatorship had become harsher, the people were ripe for revolution. Dr. Sun Zhongshan led a revolution that overthrew the Qing government. However, as the new President, Yuan Shikai reverted back to monarchic rule. Dr. Sun thereupon initiated a second revolution, but it did not succeed. In the resulting chaos, the warlords divided up China and each occupied a territory. There were battlefields everywhere, and people were constantly fleeing from danger, losing their homes. There was no peace and security in their lives. Under the circumstances, we can imagine the situation of Buddhist groups. Many superstitious cults sprang up all over the country. They specialized in cheating people out of their money. For example, there was the Yi Guan Dao sect, which signed people up to buy blessings, wealth, and divine positions, making people spend money in the hope of securing peace and safety. The whole society was in turmoil, and there was no government maintaining order. The Japanese empire had long since harbored ambitions and made plans to invade China. They plotted the Mukden incident (September 18, 1921) and used it as an excuse to send troops to occupy and control the four provinces of Re, Feng, Ji, and Jiang. They set up the puppet Manchuria Empire in the name of Emperor Xuantong. Though they did not oppress Buddhism, how could the religion of a subjugated nation have any independent power? One day, the executive office of the Changchun city government summoned all the religious and other civilian groups for a meeting chaired by the director. He said, “You should all apply for permission before conducting any activity. Groups whose names include the words ‘world’ or ‘international,’ such as the World Red Cross Society and International Moral Society, should change those words to ‘Manchuria Empire.’ Most importantly, they must sever the relationship with the rest of China. Needless to say, the mobilization of employees and all mail correspondence are prohibited. All of your groups are engaged in social work, which can be divided into two categories:
1. Educational work: This includes lecturing on the Sutras, speaking the Dharma, discussing virtue, and other means of exhorting people to become good.
2. Relief work: This includes providing food, supplies, clothing, medicines, and so on.

From now on when you hold any meeting, you should begin the meeting by talking about the imperial instructions to the populace, the friendly relations between Japan and Manchuria, and so on. If you have any need for advertisements, just go to each group and let them do the promotion.” After the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, the Japanese recklessly drove their invasion deep into the interior of China. Buddhists of course could not stand at the sidelines and watch in apathy. They organized themselves to sew garments and make shoes for soldiers, transport supplies, provide food, shelter, and protective escorts for refugees, and so forth. In 1945, when Japan surrendered unconditionally, Chinese Buddhism had already suffered enough of their oppression. During the ten years of war, most of the monasteries had been destroyed. Some were burned after monks and nuns were kicked out; others were confiscated and turned into government property. Not only had religious policies been trampled upon, the people had been completely stripped of their freedom of belief, and this seriously injured the religious devotion of worshippers. Since 1982, in order to set clear policies for religion, the national government and all levels of government in the country have reinstituted the freedom of belief of the people, rebuilt destroyed temples, and returned confiscated temples and property.

→To be continued

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