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BODHI FIELD

八識規矩頌
VERSES DELINEATING THE EIGHT CONSCIOUSNESSES

唐三藏法師玄奘造 by Tripitaka Master Xuanzang of the Tang Dynasty
易象乾博士英譯並註解,版權所有,1986年。 Translation and explanation by Ronald Epstein, Ph.D. Copyright by Ronald Epstein, Ph.D. 1986.
曾偉峰·王青楠 中譯 Chinese translation by Wayne Zeng and Qingnan Wang

頌文及注釋

書名釋義 八識規矩頌

為便於讀者記憶,『八識規矩頌』以偈頌的行式寫成,然若對唯識宗教義沒有相當的基礎,或者無注釋,此頌文不易明白。

「偈頌」分四章,每章十二行。第一章解釋前五識;隨後三章解釋第六、七、八識。前八行介紹轉識成智之前,識的特點與功用;最後四行介紹轉識成智之後的情形。

「規矩」的中文字義是指圓規與丁字形尺。換言之,這些偈頌成了我們認識八識的範疇與特點的指南。

「八識」:識此處純指心的分別活動,包括能分別與所分別。從佛教的觀點看,識包括平常所說的意識與潛意識。此八識是:

(一)眼識或見識
(二)耳識或聞識
(三)鼻識或嗅識
(四)舌識或味識
(五)身識或觸識
(六)意識或知覺識
(七)末那識,即染污識
(八)阿賴耶識,即藏識

其內涵在解釋偈頌時會介紹。

作者
唐三藏法師 玄奘

「三藏」原為梵文,意為「三籮筐」,指佛教典籍--經、律、論三部份。三藏法師指精通全部三藏的法師。玄奘和尚乃中文佛典的翻譯大家、得道高僧。他所處的年代是初唐,正值中國佛教黃金年代。他出家不久後,注意到大乘佛教,特別是唯識宗內,在義理上有許多爭議之處,乃決心親往印度決疑,並取回正宗佛教典籍,在東土立植正教。他經歷了十四年(一云十七年)長途跋涉往返之後,終於在唐王朝的支持下,建立了佛經翻譯中心,除唯識宗主要的經典之外,還成功地翻譯了許多其他著作。他的教授與譯著為中國的正統唯識宗奠下了基石。

待續

Text and Explanation

Explanation of the Title “Verses Delineating the Eight Consciousnesses”

“Verses”. The work is written in verse so that it can be easily remembered.However, it is not so easily understood without an explanation or without having first studied the doctrinal teachings extensively.

The verses are divided into four sections of twelve lines each. The first section explains the first five consciousnesses, and the remaining three explain the sixth, seventh, and eighth consciousnesses respectively. The first eight lines of each section explain the normal characteristics and functioning of the consciousness, while the final four lines explain the characteristics and functioning after the transformation of consciousness into wisdom.

“Delineating”. The Chinese, guiju, literally means compass and T-square. In other words the verses map for us the boundaries and characteristics of the eight consciousnesses.

“Eight consciousnesses”. Consciousness is used exclusively in the sense of distinction-making activities of the mind, which include both the making of the distinctions and the distinctions made. Conscious awareness and what is normally unconscious are both considered aspects of consciousness in the Buddhist sense of the word.

The eight consciousnesses are:

1) eye-consciousness or seeing,
2) ear-consciousness or hearing,
3) nose-consciousness or smelling,
4) tongue-consciousness or tasting,
5) body-consciousness or tactile feeling,
6) mind-consciousness or cognition,
7) manas, the defiling mind-consciousness which is the faculty of mind, and
8) alaya, or storehouse, consciousness.

They are described in detail in the discussion of the verses themselves.

Author

By Tripitaka Master Xuanzang of the Tang Dynasty.

Tripitaka is a Sanskrit word meaning “three baskets”. It refers to the Buddhist canon with its three divisions—Sutra, Vinaya, and Abhidharma. A Tripitaka Master is one who has thoroughly mastered all three divisions. Tripitaka Master Xuanzang was one of the foremost translators of Chinese Buddhist texts and a great enlightened master in his own right. He lived during the early Tang Dynasty, a golden age for Buddhism in China. During his early years as a monk in China he became aware of a number of doctrinal controversies concerning the Mahayana teachings, particularly those of the Yogacara. He then decided to journey to India to resolve his own doubts and to bring back authoritative texts that would help establish the correct teachings in China. After his fourteen (or according to some, seventeen) year journey, he established a translation bureau under imperial patronage.

He succeeded in translating the major Yogacara texts as well as many others. His teachings and translations served as the foundation for what was considered the orthodox Consciousness-Only School in China.

To be continued

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