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萬佛城金剛菩提海 Vajra Bodhi Sea

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《菩提田》

 

BODHI FIELD

真修實證與口頭禪(續)
True Cultivation Versus Scholarly Knowledge (continued)

謹慎 文 By Vigilance
沈海燕 中譯 Chinese translation by Haiyan Sheng

在我們這個社會中,我們總是對那些富於知識的學者優禮有加。一個人如果有高的學位,我們就會認為他是這一領域裡的專家。可是,在佛教裡,單單是學有所長,並不表明他就一定通達佛法。

與其它知識領域有所不同的是,佛陀的教導,是一種生活方式,需要實實在在地修行和訓練。訓練,首先包括德行的培養。當一個人的習性、言談,與道德戒律相吻合時,他的心也隨之得到解脫,擺脫了憂慮、恐怖、障蓋、虛妄等阻礙禪坐功夫的因素。有了禪坐的訓練,我們才會有定力,也才能更確切地觀察到我們內在的思想,與外在事物的本性。隨著覺照的拓展,我們就會削弱外在環境對我們的影響力。通過禪坐所獲得的這種極高的昇華的覺照,會幫助我們開啟深刻的直覺智慧。這種智慧能察見事物之本性。

有人或許會反對,說經典的研究有助於開啟我們本有的智慧。這種說法固然正確,與之並行的還應該有德行及禪定的修養,其意義才能彰顯。在佛教裡稱為「般若」的智慧,不只是學習研究的結果;沒有德行及禪定作為基礎,這種的研究,與世上其它知識的研究,就沒有甚麼區別了,因為它對我們如何生活,及看待世界沒有重大的影響。

至於經典的研究,最好是聆聽有修行的大德高僧的開示。一位在佛法上有實踐的善知識,也可以稱為一位行家,他在開示經典時,所用的方法,能夠直接幫助聽眾的個人修行,與心智發展。這樣他的教導就影響了聽眾的生活。不僅如此,這些教導成為聽眾個人修行的催化劑。這一點很具關鍵性,因為佛教中的真理只有經過真修和實證,才能夠領悟到。因為這些真理是在德行和禪定基礎之上才能顯現的。

所以在有經王之王之稱的《華嚴經》上菩薩問明品第十中說:

如人善方藥,自疾不能救,
於法不修行,多聞亦如是。

如人數他寶,自無半分錢,
於法不修行,多聞亦如是。

如有生王宮,而受餒與寒,
於法不修行,多聞亦如是。

如聾奏音樂,悅彼不自聞,
於法不修行,多聞亦如是。

如盲績眾像,示彼不自見,
於法不修行,多聞亦如是。

In our society we rightfully honor those individuals who are very scholarly and learned. If a person has an advanced degree we expect that he is an expert in that field. However, in the Buddha's teaching, advanced ability in study alone is not by any means an indication of expertise in the Buddhadharma.

Unlike most other fields of knowledge, the Buddha's teaching is a way of life that requires actual practice and training. The training consists firstly of virtuous conduct. When one habitually acts and speaks in accordance with the moral precepts, one's mind becomes significantly freed from the problems of worry, fear, covering, deception, and so on, that obstruct the ability to develop meditative skill. With meditative training, one then develops the power of concentration that can see with far greater accuracy the nature of one's own thoughts inside and the events outside. With this expansion of awareness one is not so controlled by events in the external environment. Based on this greatly heightened awareness from meditation, the profound intuitive wisdom that sees the true nature of phenomena can unfold.

One may object and say that studying the Sutras helps one to unfold one's inherent wisdom. This is absolutely correct. Studying the Sutras is very important, but it must be done in conjunction with virtue and meditative-con­centration in order to be meaningful. This prajna-wisdom, as it is called in Buddhism, is not the result of mere study. Without virtue and the develop­ment of meditative concentration, this sort of study is hardly different from other worldly fields of knowledge in that it has no significant effect on how one lives one's life, and how one perceives the world.

In studying the Sutras, it is best to listen to an experienced practitioner of the teachings lecture on them. A person with experience in the Dharma, who knows the terrain so to speak, lectures the Sacred Texts in a way that is directed towards helping the listeners' personal practice and mental development. In this way, the teachings influence the lives of the listeners, and most importantly, they become a catalyst for personal cultivation. This is most essential because the truths in the sacred teachings of the Buddha can only be verified through actual experience and realization. These are revelations that are based on virtue and meditative-concentration.

Therefore, an entire section of one of the chapters in the "king of kings" among Buddhist Sutras, the Flower Adornment Sutra, says: Like a physician who, though skillful in prescribing medicine, 

Is unable to cure his own illness;
Without practicing the Dharma,
Much study is the same way.
Like one who counts the wealth of others'
But has not a penny of his own;
Without practicing the Dharma,
Much study is the same way.
Like a person born in a King's palace,
Who still suffers hunger and cold;
Without practicing the Dharma,
Much study is the same way.
Like a deaf musician playing tunes
Others enjoy but he himself does not hear;
Without practicing the Dharma,
Much study is the same way.
Like a blind artist whose many drawings
Are displayed for others,
But he himself can never see;
Without practicing the Dharma,
Much study is the same way.

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