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《菩提田》

 

BODHI FIELD

佛教的梗概
General Outline of Buddhism

岳興華 文 By Xinhua Yue
逸蓮 英譯 English translation by Yilian

種種因果品類差別

因果關係如流水一般:前者逝去,後者生起,因因果果沒有間斷,這是縱的方面;從橫的方面,因果的品類有種種無量的差別。種種品類差別的因果關係固然錯綜複雜,但其間又有井然的法則,一絲不亂;一類的因,產生一類的果。因與果相符,所謂品類繁多,不能—一舉例,簡賅地說如雷雨風雲,有雷雨風雲之因;而雷雨風雲又為其他品類之因。日月星雲亦復如是,緣起法無所不包而絕無有紊亂。

因果更互相符順

緣起法包羅萬象。就以一個人來說,其生存條件依賴地球、空氣、水、食物及社會等等。而食物又依賴地球,地球依賴太陽等。廣而言之,任何一般緣都是各類因果品;任何一緣都是宇宙大緣起中集成他緣不可缺的互相符順。

因果絕無雜亂

緣起法就是作用,因生果是必然的;既有因,想不讓它結果是絕不可能的。時間早晚不是全由緣的關係。例如人吃桃,桃核就是桃樹之因。扔桃核時掉在花畦裡的一個核;這個桃核因遇到溼土,又有日光之暖的緣(條件)很快就生出一棵小桃樹。別的桃核沒有這樣的條件,什麼時候才能生樹結果不可預知,這就是「惡因不報,時期未到」。有因必有果,絕不會錯亂,因果關係是必然的。例如有蒸氣,又遇冷風,這就構成雨因;降雨就是蒸氣冷風之果。雨又是溼潤禾苗及涼爽氣候之因;天氣涼爽,禾苗受到溼潤,正是降雨之果。這是必然的,不依人為的意志為轉移的因果關係,所以說因果絕無雜亂。

緣起法不只是因果報應;整個宇宙都包括在內。有人問佛教的教義是什麼?可以說是「宇宙實際」。它的精髓教人「離苦得樂」。緣起法包括很深的道理。一則頭緒太多,再則是在因果關係上注意,實際對緣起法尚未入門,這是佛教說宇宙第一部重要文件,實際緣起法無所不包。

悉達多太子為了追究人為什麼有「生老病死」,乃在雪山上獨坐六年,而後於菩提樹下臘月初八日悟道,徹底明白了人為什麼有生老病死。為了使人人明白生老病死到底是怎麼一回事,佛單獨用十二因緣說明這個人所欲知的問題。

十二因緣,只述人的三世因果關係,人生實際問題。首先介紹原文。(一)無明、(二)行、(三)識、(四)名色、(五)六入、(六)觸、(七)受、(八)愛、(九)取、(十)有、(十一)生、(十二)老死。這十二支輪轉不休,無始無終,是一切眾生涉歷三世,輪迴六道的原因。

「無明」即是沒有智慧光明,是一種顛倒心。由此癡情顛倒心產生的行為叫行」。「行」就造善惡因;造業就要受報,造業受報就有投胎的污染業識,名為「識」。入胎初期,胎兒尚未成形叫「名色」。(名是精神屬心,色是物質屬身)。胎兒逐漸成長,有了眼、耳、鼻、舌、身、意六根,六處,名為「六入」。十月期滿出生世間,與外界接觸,名為「觸」;逐漸長成嬰兒,領略周圍環境,名為「受」;長大成人受境有所愛名為「愛」;愛莫能捨而設法謀「取」;取時不擇手段又造新業名為「有」;既有新業,還得隨業受生,既生後終歸老死,是為「老死」;老死之前又造新業,死後還要受生。如是生了,死了,生生死死輪轉永無盡期。

待續

Causes and Effects Come in Various Grades

Causes and effects are like flowing water. Those in front vanish, and those in back arise. The causes and effects continue without interruption. Look­ing from another perspective, there are infinite kinds of differing causes and effects, and they are mutually interrelated in complex ways. Nevertheless, the law governing them is always perfectly orderly and unconfused. A cause of one type always incurs an effect of that type. Cause and effect always correspond. There are so many types of causes and effects that they cannot all be enumerated. Generally speaking, thunder, rain, wind, and clouds have their causes, and they are in turn the causes for other types of phenomena, such as the sun, moon, stars, and clouds. The Dharma of conditioned arising explains absolutely everything without any confusion.

Causes and Effects Correspond to One Another

The Dharma of conditioned arising encompasses the myriad phenomena. Speaking in terms of one human being, his or her survival depends on such factors as the earth, air, water, food, and society. Food in turn depends on the earth, the earth depends on the sun, and so on. In general, any class of conditions has its own type to which it belongs, and any given condition is an indispensable factor for the arising of other conditions, and thus condi­tions mutually correspond in the great scheme of conditioned arising through­out the universe.

Causes and Effects Are Never Out of Order or Confused

The Dharma of conditioned arising describes the necessary function of causes producing effects. If there is a cause, there is no way to prevent it from bearing an effect. How soon or late the effect comes is not totally dependent on conditions. Take the example of people eating peaches. Peach pits are the causes for peach trees. Suppose that when the peach pits are discarded, one gets dropped in the garden. Encountering the conditions of moist earth and warm sunlight, it would quickly sprout and grow into a small peach tree. As for the pits that did not encounter these conditions, no one can say when they will grow into trees and bear fruit. As the saying goes, "When evil has not been paid for, it means the time is simply not ripe yet." If there is a cause, there will definitely be an effect; the operation of this law never errs, for the relationship between cause and effect is one of neccesity. For example, when water vapor encounters a cold wind, it becomes the cause of rain. Falling rain is the effect of water vapor and cold wind. The rain in turn is the cause of moisture for the crops and of cool weather. Cool weather and well-moistened crops are the effects of the rainfall. These are necessary relationships of cause and effect that are not influenced by or dependent upon human wishes.

The Dharma of conditioned arising is not only about causes, effects, and retributions; it encompasses the entire universe within its scope. Some people ask what the doctrine of Buddhism is. It could be said to be the "reality of the universe." It teaches people the essentials of how to leave suffering and attain happiness. The Dharma of conditioned arising involves very profound principles. Because on the one hand there are too many threads, and on the other hand the law of cause and effect is emphasized, people have very little understanding of this Dharma. The Dharma of conditioned arising is the first important Buddhist theory of the universe and, in fact, there is nothing that it fails to include.

In order to discover why people must undergo birth, old age, sickness, and death, Prince Siddhartha meditated in the Himalaya Mountains for six years and then, on the eighth day of the twelfth lunar month, while seated beneath the Bodhi tree, he became enlightened. That is, he thoroughly understood why people undergo birth, old age, sickness, and death. In order to help everyone understand what birth, old age, sickness, and death are all about, the Buddha used the Twelve Causal Conditions to explain this matter.

The Twelve Causal Conditions deal only with the relationship of causes and effects in the past, present, and future-with the actual problems of human life. First, let us introduce the conditions themselves. 1) ignorance, 2) activity, 3) consciousness, 4) name and form, 5) the six entrances, 6) contact, 7) feeling, 8) craving, 9) grasping, 10) existence, 11) birth, 12) old age and death.

"Ignorance" refers to a lack of wisdom light, a kind of delusion. The behav­ior that this kind of stupidity and delusion leads to is called "activity." Activity refers to the creation of good or bad karma. Once karma is created, retributions are undergone, and there is a defiled karmic consciousness that enters the womb--this is known as "consciousness." In the initial period in the womb before the fetus has formed, it is called "name and form." (Name refers to the psychological aspect, form to the physical aspect.) The fetus gradually grows and develops eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and mind, which are known as the six faculties, the six locations, and the six entrances. "Contact" refers to contact with the outside world when the infant is born at the end of the ten month term. As the baby grows and begins to perceive his surroundings, there is "feeling." When he grows up, he develops fondness for certain situations, and that is "craving." He cannot renounce what he craves, and does everything he can to "grasp" it, and thereby creates new karma for "existence." With that new karma, he must un­dergo "birth" yet again, and with birth there will ultimately be old age and death. Before aging and dying, he creates new karma, so that after dying he must again be born. Being born and dying in this way, he turns in the wheel of transmigra­tion forever.

To be continued

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