Samannaphala-sutta 中，是佛與 Magadha 的 Aja-tashatru 王的對話錄。佛以妙言，巧答 Ajatashatru 王，於他人處所得不到的答案。問題是：「身入沙門，結什麼可見之果 ? 」Ajatashatru 王已先問過了這六外道師，但無一切題之回答，各說其是。耆那教專說其修行，沒有人講得出結什麼可見之果。 Ajivika 教說，人之哀樂由命不由人，七大為主無奈何。 Lokayata 教說，人無不死，愚人智者，其終無二。不可知宗者迴避問題，說即使他知道，他也不回答。 Ajatashatru 王說這是笨蛋中的笨蛋，無知中的無知。聽 Ajatashatru 王這麼一說，佛作此回答：「佛讓 Ajatashatru 王先同意無論是奴隸是農夫，一入沙門，身份頓異。此後，繼續修行，得諸自由，得諸禪樂。」 Ajatashatru 王說這確實是人人看得見的結果。佛續言敘沙門之修學，之歷諸禪定，而悟四聖諦，而終斷諸外漏，而得了生死。 Ajatashatru 王承認這些也都是人人看得見的結果，一層比一層好。 Ajatashatru 王遂於佛前懺悔其囚父王頻比娑 (Bimbisara) 王之罪；懺其為穩坐皇位，餓斃父王。他請佛許他作在家信徒。
有一十六歲的婆羅門少年，名 Kapathika ，問佛說佛是如何看待婆羅門教的古聖經的。這些古聖經中有如此一說：「獨此是真理，其他皆謬理。」佛則問他，婆羅門種之中，是否有人宣稱他已明白，他已洞見這一真理－－「獨此是真理，其他皆謬理。」甚至上溯七代，直至此真理的原作者。婆羅門少年 Kapathika 說:「沒有。」接著佛陀將婆羅門的這一種情況作一譬喻－－譬喻為一群盲人排長龍，人人抓住前面一個人。最後佛勸此少年：「如是明白人，不作此定論：獨此是真理，其他皆謬理。」他可以
From last issue: Buddhism contrasted with the six heterodox schools.
The confused views and desires of such a person would multiply unchecked. In establishing his Middle Way, the Buddha rejected all these erroneous views. Eternalism and annihilationism are seen as the extreme views that are refuted time and again in the Buddhist Sutras.
In general, false views can be grouped in the following five categories:
1. The view of having a self and personality. (Or, in Chinese, the view of having a body, taking the body as one’s self.)
2. One-sided views--extreme views that do not accord with the Middle Way.
3. Clinging to the efficacy of rites; attachment to rules and rituals. (Or, in Chinese, the view of prohibitive morality.)
4. Views of grasping at views--dogmatism, overbearingness, clinging to one's own views.
5. Deviant views--views that do not accord with proper Dharma.
All of the six schools mentioned above fall into the fifth group, and one or several of the others as well. The next section of this paper outlines the basic teachings and philosophical positions that provide the Buddhist answer to the views of these six heterodox schools. In the contemporary jungle of views the Buddha found a Middle Way that sided neither with unwholesome asceticism nor sensual indulgence; neither with annihilationism nor eternalism; neither with existence nor non-existence:
To say that everything exists is an extreme, to say nothing exists is another extreme; rejecting both extremes, the Blessed One teaches a middle position.
While cultivating the Buddhist path, having proper views and proper knowledge is vitally important. Master Hua: “If you make proper use of views, they are an aid to your mind and nature. But if you use them incorrectly, if you have biases, then you can create bad karma.” Generally, however, in Buddhism the term ‘views’ tends to imply ‘wrong views,’ unless it is predicated by ‘right’ or ‘proper.’
The Samannaphala-sutta, a dialogue between Buddha and King Ajatashatru of Magadha, illustrates well the Buddha's superior answer to a question that the king had failed to get satisfactorily answered by other teachers. The question was: What is the visible result, if any, of being a shramana? Ajatashatru had already put this question to the six heterodox teachers, but all their replies had been irrelevant. Each teacher had advocated his own special doctrines and theories, the Jaina had mentioned his practice, but none was able to come up with any results. The Ajivika said that it doesn't matter what one does, since one will experience happiness and unhappiness according to fate, and after all nothing can really happen to the seven elements. The Lokayata said that people all die anyway, the end is the same for fool and wise man alike. The agnostic evaded the question and said he wouldn't give an answer even if he had one. Ajatashatru called him the most foolish and ignorant of all the teachers he met. After having listened to the king's account the Buddha offered his reply. The Buddha got the king to agree that, for a slave or a peasant, becoming a shramana would greatly improve his status. After this result, if he continued cultivating, he would experience the freedom and happiness of meditation. The king agreed that this too is a visible result. The Buddha continued his description of a monk's training, progressing through various meditations to the understanding of the Four Truths, and finally putting an end to all outflows and ending birth and death. Ajatashatru agreed that these all are visible results, each better than the last. At the end of the dialogue Ajatashatru repented of his evil deed of having imprisoned his father, king Bimbisara, and of having starved him to death in order to secure the throne for himself; he also asked to become a lay follower of the Buddha.
What Can Be Known
The Buddha achieved enlightenment by his own efforts; he claimed no inspiration from a god or other external power. Neither did he adhere to any tradition or sacred scripture. His teachings were based on his own experience, so in that sense they can be called empirical. The following dialogue shows the Buddha's attitude towards intolerant insisting on the authority of an unverified tradition.
A 16-year old Brahmin youth named Kapathika once asked the Buddha his opinion about the ancient holy scriptures of the Brahmins, of which they come to the absolute conclusion: ‘This alone is Truth, and everything else is false.’ The Buddha asked him whether among the Brahmins there was a single one who claimed that he personally knew and saw that ‘this alone is Truth, and everything else is false,’ even going back seven generations, or to the original authors. Kapathika frankly anwered, ‘No.’ Then the Buddha compared the state of the Brahmins to a line of blind men, each one holding on to the preceding one. Finally he advised the Brahmins, “It is not proper for a wise man who maintains truth to come to the conclusion: ‘This alone is Truth, and everything else is false.’” One can say "I believe this"--that is maintaining truth. But on the basis of one's faith one cannot dismiss everything else as false.
In Buddhism, attachment to views is a fetter, an obstruction--even attachment to correct views. The Buddha said: "To be attached to one thing and to look down upon other things as inferior--this the wise men call a fetter." This is why the Buddha compared his teaching to a raft, to be used but not to be clung to. Even that which is Dharma has to be discarded; how much the more so that which is not Dharma. The Buddha is critical towards blind faith, but he doesn’t deny that one can obtain valid knowledge through faith. According to the Buddha, right views can be obtained from two primary sources: (1) the testimony of another, and (2) proper reflection. Another grouping identifies three modes of attaining wisdom: (1) the wisdom of hearing or listening; (2) the wisdom of thinking or reflecting; and (3) the wisdom of practicing or cultivating. These three modes are interdependent, not exclusive of each other. There is a clear progression: First one listens, then considers the teachings one has heard, and finally puts them into practice in one's own life.
Many meditators of Upanishadic and other traditions claimed extrasensory powers and based their metaphysical theories on such experiences. As a reaction against these teachings, the materialists totally denied the validity of yogic intuition and extrasensory perception. The Buddha followed a middle path among these extremes. He did not completely deny the validity of intuition and yogic trances, but emphasized their restrictions. To the Buddha extrasensory powers were a limited means of knowledge; they could not answer all questions, much less reveal ultimate reality. They were a means to the end, not an end in themselves. Drawing hasty conclusions of what they had seen with their powers in the heavens or the hells, many yogis totally misunderstood the nature of cause and effect involved in these retributions. Human knowledge tends to be colored by individual likes and dislikes, and due to this unenlightened people are incapable of seeing things as they really are. The Buddha was aware of the shortcomings of different sources of knowledge--reason, sense perception, and extrasensory perception--but this does not make him a sceptic who would deny all possibility of knowledge. He simply criticized those who considered a certain mode of knowledge the only valid one.
To be continued