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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

有人問:人生是主動自願生還是被動受命生的?答:都不是,又可以說都是。佛法深奧就在於此,故必須詳讀。你能讀到前述的問題不矛盾時,對十二因緣才有所認識。以上所說的十二支包含三世兩重因果,「無明、行」是前世因;「識、名色、六入、觸、受」是過去惑業之因,今生所受之果,是過去現在之一重因果;「愛、取、有」是今生所造的因,未來之果,是現在未來之一重關係;今生所造之因又感來生之「生、老、死」之果。以上是經大德加以注釋的十二因緣;我看了數遍,感到吃力,今再重復一遍。第一,十二因緣聯繫到過去、現在、未來,「自身」三世,無形中顯出輪迴轉生的事實。

「無明」,是生人的主要原因。而「無明」是概念名稱,不具體,總的來說無明是糊塗,或迷;最要者是聰明中的糊塗。例如違法亂紀的人糊塗嗎?不信因果什麼都敢幹。他糊塗嗎?自己覺得高明得很,認為這件壞事「好處很大」。計劃誰也不知道,和妻兒也不能說,內中也許有人命關係,這樣陰損無明一生無人知,不上三惡道就沒有天理了。所以「無明」不等於傻;越精明、聰明人中實際真「無明」,檢查「無明」要自我認真由心做起,由認為人不知所作的這種行為。

「行」就是行為,這是過去世;我說說現在。勞動,是人的第一個任務,每一個人都應工作。在這裡就要現好歹善惡之區分,這是行的關鍵。如為完成自己的任務而行動,就是好善;如被「無明」遮蓋,由七識作祟,處處以我為尊,盡作損人利己之事。不論事情大小巨細都是「無明之行」。「無明」,是無孔不入的,想不受「無明」擺佈就要學佛教徒:工作不講條件;工資不論多少;生活量入為出。除工資獎金之外,再無來財之路,如此實踐,「無明」則「明」矣。

「識」由於過去行為的業因就要受投胎的染污業識。它是生人的無形代表者,也是生前的一切。說說現在的識起些什麼作用,一般人只知有心而不知心在何處,都不知還有識。「識」,這名稱,只有佛教的世親菩薩造《唯識論》,玄奘譯,大家才研究唯識。實際識即心,心即識;心為識之體,識為心之用;因地稱識,果地稱心。在人生最初代表投胎者是「如來藏與無明和合而為阿賴耶識」。「如來藏」是一切法之種子,亦稱藏識。它且常了別自識所現之境(即種子根境),其他識依於阿賴耶識而生。《楞嚴經》云:「真識如來藏也,自性清淨心也。」《起信論》名藏識真心與「無明」和合而生染淨之識體也。業識根本無明之惑而始動本心。轉識,業識轉而生能見之作用。現識半能見之作用而現所見之妄境。以上三識為了阿賴耶識之體份、見份、相份。

待續

Someone asks: "Is a person's birth caused by voluntary will, or does it happen passively according to the dictates of fate? Answer: Neither, and both. The Buddhadharma's profound wonder is right here. You must study in depth until this question is no longer a contradiction, and then you will understand the Twelve Causal Conditions. These twelve factors encompass two types of cause and effect in the three periods of time. Ignorance and activity pertain to past life causes. Consciousness, name and form, the six entrances, contact, and feeling cover past karma of delusion, which is the cause for present life retribution—this is the cause and effect of past and present. Craving, grasping, and existence pertain to causes created in the present life and retributions of the future—the relationship between present and future. Causes in the present life incur the result of future birth, old age, and death. This explanation is based upon the commentaries of the Twelve Causal Conditions given by virtuous masters. I read those commentaries several times and found them difficult to understand. That is why I have gone over them. As links connecting our past, present, and future lives, the Twelve Causal Conditions reveal the realities of transmigration.

Ignorance is the primary cause of our birth, yet it is an abstract concept. In general, it refers to confusion, especially the confusion of intelligent people. For example, when people break the laws and cause trouble, is that not confusion? Those who don't believe in cause and effect dare to do anything. Are they not confused? They think they are quite smart and gain many advantages this way. They keep their plans, which may involve taking human life, secret even from their wife and children. The ignorance which leads them to secret malice may be concealed from others for their whole lives, but if they do not fall into the three evil paths, then there is no justice. Thus, an ignorant person is not necessarily a simpleton. It is actually the most intelligent people who may be truly ignorant. In examining ignorance, we should start by seriously examining our own minds and the way we conduct ourselves when we are alone.

Activity refers to our conduct in past lives. Working is our first duty. Every person should work, and within this good and evil can be differentiated. This is the pivotal point of activity. If we complete our duties, then that is good. If we are confused by ignorance and led by our seventh consciousness to think of ourselves as most important and benefit ourselves at the expense of others, then our handling of all matters great and small is "the activity of ignorance." Ignorance's influence is pervasive. To escape it, we have to study Buddhism and work unconditionally, no matter what the wages are. We should spend only as much as we earn, and wages and scholarships should be our only sources of wealth. In this way, we can turn ignorance into understanding.

Consciousness: The karmic causes of past activity lead to the rebirth of the defiled karmic consciousness, which is the invisible representative of the person that is born. It is all we are before we are born. As for the functions of our present consciousness, most people know only that the mind exists but not where it is located; few are aware of the existence of consciousness. As for the term "consciousness," it was only after Great Master Hsuan Tsang translated Asanga Bodhisattva's Consciousness-Only Treatise that people started to study Con­sciousness-Only. Actually, consciousness is just mind, and mind is just consciousness. Mind is the substance of consciousness; consciousness is the functioning of mind. What is called "consciousness" at the causal stage is known as "mind" at the stage of fruition. At the beginning of life, that which comes to be born is the alaya consciousness, which is the Thus Come One's Treasury (Tathagatagarbha) combined with ignorance. The Thus Come One's Treasury is the seed of all dharmas; it's also called the storehouse consciousness. It con­stantly understands and discriminates the states manifested from the inherent consciousness (fundamental states that serve as seeds); and the other consciousnesses are produced from the alaya consciousness. The Shurangama Sutra says, "True consciousness is the Thus Come One's Treasury, the pure mind of their inherent nature." The Treatise on the Awakening of Faith defines the store consciousness as the substance of consciousness, which is defiled and pure and which is born from a union of the True Mind and ignorance. The delusion of fundamental ignorance of the karmic consciousness causes our original mind to become the "transformed consciousness"; the karmic consciousness is transformed and acquires the ability to perceive. The "manifesting consciousness" has the ability to perceive and also to manifest the false states that are perceived. These three consciousnesses comprise the substance division, the seeing division, and the marks division of the alaya consciousness.

To be continued

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