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【水鏡回天錄白話解 】

Reflections in Water and Mirrors Reversing the Tide of Destiny

The Concept of Propriety

宣公上人講於金山寺 Lectured by the Venerable Master at Gold Mountain Monastery
國際譯經學院記錄 Translated by the International Translation Institute


這一課是很要緊的,孔子一生的血汗都在這裡。這是很重要的,所以你們各位都應該注意一點。就是不能照這樣去做 去,也要知道這個道理;要能照這樣去做去呢,那更好。所以做人子的,應該怎麼樣子,要知道。

「至於犬馬」,你要單單說能養你的父母就算孝了;那個狗你也能養牠;那個馬你也能養牠。那個狗也是你的爸爸 嗎?那個馬也是你的媽媽嗎?「皆能有養」:這個狗和馬,你都很用心來養牠。這就說這狗和馬你也能養;你爸爸媽媽你也能養,這個一樣能養嘛!因為那時候中國 人很多人都歡喜狗的,就和現在美國人拿狗當寶貝那麼樣子一樣一樣的。

有的人又歡喜馬,這騎著一個快馬,好像那個毛澤東說的「快馬加鞭未下鞍」--沒有下這個馬鞍。「今回首」:回 頭看一看。「離天三尺三」:我離天上只有三尺三那麼高了,這在山上跑路這樣講。他寫那個十六字令,他說快馬加鞭,未下鞍;今回首,離天三尺三:這老毛盡講 大話。


顏淵問仁,子曰:「克己復禮為仁。」曰:「何謂克己復禮?」曰:「非禮勿視,非禮勿聽,非禮 勿言,非禮勿動。」

「顏淵問仁」:這個顏淵跟孔子學了很久。孔子盡講仁,講仁義道德。他究竟還不知道這個仁是怎麼回事,他就問老 師了。他說,聽你講這個仁,我到現在還不太清楚。這個仁是怎麼回事?甚麼叫仁呢?「子曰」。孔子就對他說了:「克己復禮為仁」。本來這個不是只一樣答法, 有很多很多種答法。這個地方他答覆克己復禮為仁。

甚麼叫克己呢?就是克除自己的私慾,克除自己的妄想。這克字當能字講。你能克己--把自己的私慾沒有了,復回 來到天理上,這就是個仁。「曰」。這個顏淵又說了:「何謂克己復禮」?什麼叫克己復禮呢?我很不懂哪。什麼叫克除自己的私慾,回到天理上呢?他又問了深一 層。「曰」。這個曰就不是顏淵曰了,是孔子曰了。

孔子就說了,說你要知道什麼叫克己復禮,就「非禮勿視」。不合乎這個禮貌的,你不要看它。好像人打架,那叫不 合乎禮,你不要看它;人家罵人,趕快走,不要聽它的,這非禮勿視,你不要看。喔!人家在那個地方要脫衣服呢!啊!到那地方看看脫衣服去,那就是非禮了。那 個女人在那地方蹦蹦跳跳的,在那脫衣服嘛,你不要看它,你這看就沒有禮了。

你非禮勿聽;不合禮的你不要聽它。那地方做一個小時音樂,又什麼我愛你,你愛我的,這一套的歌。你到那地方去 聽那個音樂,聽得迷迷糊糊的,也不知道是活著呢!或者是死啦!或那個土匪拿著刀比著你,一睜眼才知道,喔!這麼回事。所以非禮勿聽,不要聽那個不合理的那 個音樂。





“But one could support dogs and horses in the same way. If there is no respect involved, what is the difference between the one kind of support and the other?”

This section is very crucial. All of Confucius' efforts in life were concentrated on this point. It's very important. All of you should pay attention. Even if you cannot put it into practice, you should understand this principle. If you can practice it, that's even better. We should know our proper role as children.

But one could support dogs and horses in the same way. If you merely support your parents the way you raise dogs and horses, does that mean dogs are your fathers and horses are your mothers? You take good care of your pets. At that time in China, people liked to raise dogs, just as in America nowadays people treat their dogs as if they were precious treasures.

Some people are fond of horses. Mao Zedong wrote a sixteen-character verse about riding a swift horse up the mountains. He said that upon applying the whip to the swift horse, before he could dismount, he looked back and saw that he was only three feet three inches from the sky—he was already that high. He was always exaggerating.

If there is no respect involved, what is the difference between the one kind of support and the other? If you don't show your parents any respect, what difference is there between supporting your parents and raising horses or dogs?

Yan Yuan asked about humaneness and the Master replied, “It consists of subduing the self and returning to propriety.” The disciple asked, “What is meant by subduing the self and returning to propriety?”

The Master replied, “Look at nothing improper, listen to nothing improper, say nothing improper, and do nothing improper.”

Yan Yuan asked about humaneness. Yan Yuan had studied with Confucius for a long time. Confucius was always talking about humaneness, righteousness, and virtue, but Yan Yuan still didn't understand what humaneness was all about, so he said to his teacher, “I've heard you discourse upon humaneness, but I'm still unclear on the meaning. What is meant by humaneness?” And the Master replied, “It consists of subduing the self and returning to propriety.” Actually Confucius gave many different answers to this question, but this is the reply he gave in this situation.

What does it mean to subdue oneself? It means to subdue one's selfish desires and false thoughts. If you are able to subdue your desires and return to divine principle, then that is humaneness. The disciple, Yan Yuan, asked, “What is meant by subuding the self and returning to propriety? I really don't understand. What is meant by subduing selfish desires and returning to divine principle?” He was asking a level deeper. The Master replied, “Look at nothing improper. Don't look at anything that does not accord with propriety. For example, if people are fighting or someone is scolding another person, don't watch or listen to them. Quickly walk away. If there is a striptease performance going on, where women take off their clothes and dance in the nude, you shouldn't watch it. If you watch, then you are not in accord with propriety. Listen to nothing improper. You shouldn't listen to love songs that talk about how I love you and you love me. If you listen to that kind of music, you'll get so confused that you won't know whether you're alive or dead. A thug could hold a knife to your head and you wouldn't even be aware of it until you opened your eyes. So one should not listen to improper kinds of music. Say nothing improper. Do not say things that are impolite. Do not talk recklessly. And do nothing improper. Don't do anything that is not in accord with propriety. See how wonderful these words are! If you can really put them into practice, you will be genuine, good disciples of the Buddha.

To be continued


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