Footprints In The Dust I (塵土上的足跡)

Shravasti Dhammika, Footprints In The Dust
達爾卡法師    伍煥炤 :〈塵土上的足跡〉

1. The only two of the great religious teachers who were successful during their own lifetimes were the Mohammed and Siddhatta Gotama, the Buddha. Both had long teaching careers and both lived to see their respective religions firmly established. Prof. Basham has written that Buddhism was a minor religion until its adoption and promotion by King Asoka. Basham bases his assumption on the fact that there is no archaeological evidence of Buddhism before Asoka’s time but this seems to me to be a rather weak argument. What physical evidence are wandering ascetics, which are what the Buddha’s disciples were, likely to leave? They established few permanent monasteries and those they did build were made of mud, bamboo and thatch. As for stupas, these did not become an important feature of Buddhist worship until about the 2nd century BCE. The Pali Tipitaka offers ample and convincing evidence that the Buddha was well known throughout wide tracts of northern
India and that his Dhamma attracted large numbers of converts from all classes, especially the elite.

只有穆罕默德和佛陀喬達摩.釋達多這兩位偉大的宗教宗師,在他們有生之年是成功的。兩人均有很長的傳教生涯,並看到各自的宗教穩固地建立起來。巴沙姆 (Basham) 教授提到直到阿育王信奉和提倡佛教之前,它只是個小宗教。巴沙姆的假設是基於沒有發掘到阿育王時代前的佛教文物,但對我來說這個論據非常薄弱。作為遊方的修行者,佛陀的弟子能留下甚麼實質的證據?他們建立了少量固定的寺院,而所建的寺院都是使用泥、竹和茅草來建築,佛塔也是在公元前二世紀才成為供奉佛教的主要特徵。巴利文《大藏經》提供了充份和可信的證據,證明佛陀在印度北部大多處地方廣為人識,他的佛法吸引了很多來自各階層,特別是精英階層的信徒。

2. The highly critical attitude of Jains and brahmins towards the new teaching as recorded in the Tipitaka suggests that they saw it as a real threat. An important cause of the Buddha’s success was no doubt his extraordinary personality. Even despite the great distance in time between he and us, the heavy editing of the suttas and their rather stilted language, the Buddha’s warm and compassionate presence shines through on nearly every page. The logical consistency of his Dhamma must have been an important factor also. However, no matter how appealing a teacher or how common-sense a teaching it will not attract converts unless they can come into contact with it. The Buddha was a missionary from the very beginning and this was, together with the two things mentioned above, the most important factor in the early success of his teachings. He had a still heart but a very mobile body.


3. According to the Tipitaka, almost the first thing the Buddha did after his enlightenment was to embark on a long journey in order to teach others what he had discovered. Equally significantly, his instructions to his first five disciples was that they should ‘wander forth’ to teach others what he had taught them.


4. The area in which the Buddha wandered during his life corresponds roughly to the modern Indian states of Uttar Pradesh and
Bihar. The furthermost east he went which can still be identified is Kajangla (now Kankjol, 18 km south of Rajmahal right on the Indo-Bangladesh border) and the furthermost west he is known to have gone is Mathura, some 180 kilometres south of Delhi. These two locations are nearly a thousand kilometers apart. The Buddha’s movements northwards were of course limited by the then impenetrable jungles of the Himalayan foothills and it is unlikely that he ever went further south than the southern edge of the Ganges watershed. Still, this would mean that his wanderings covered an area roughly equivalent to 200,000 square kilometers, a huge area by any standards.

佛陀在有生之年遊方的地方大約相當於現今印度的北方邦 (Uttar Pradesh) 和比哈爾邦 (Bihar)。最東他所到而仍可辨認的地方是羯朱嗢祇羅國 (Kajangla) (現今坎喀爾Kankjol,南距拉馬霍爾 Rajmahal 十八公里,位於印度和孟加拉邊境)。最西他曾去到馬圖拉 (Mathura, 秣菟羅),約德里 (Delhi) 一百八十公里以南。這兩處地方相距差不多一千公里。佛陀向北的旅程到達喜馬拉雅山腳,被該處茂密的森林阻礙,無法跨過。他也沒有可能到過恆河分水嶺南陲以外的地方。即使如此,這表示他遊方的範圍大約等於二萬平方公里,以任何的標準來說都是一個遼闊的地區。

5. The evidence suggests that the Buddha only occasionally visited the outer edges of this region. For example, he only visited
Mathura once and he probably visited Anga in the east (i.e. Campa, Bhaddiya and Kajangla corresponding to modern Bhagalpur District) only once also. Incidentally, I believe that Bhaddiya or Bhaddiyanagara as it is also sometimes called in the Tipitaka, can be safely identified with the village of Bhadariya some 12 kilometers south of Bhagalpur. However, most of the Buddha’s wanderings took place in the eastern part of this area, between the great cities of Savatthi, Rajagaha, Vesali and Kosambi. The Tipitaka mention carriageways in towns and paths, roads and highways through the countryside. However there is little doubt that these names referred to the frequency of traffic on these arteries, not to the quality of their paving or their width. All roads in ancient India were little more than dusty, rutted tracks in the summer and impassable rivers of mud in the rainy season. Banditry added to the risks of long distance travel.

證據顯示佛陀只偶爾到訪這地區的邊陲,例如他只到過馬圖拉 (Mathura, 秣菟羅) 一次,也可能只到過東面的鴦伽 (Anga) 一次 (例如占婆 Campa、跋提 Bhaddiya和羯朱嗢祇羅國Kajangla,相當於現今的巴加爾布林 Bhagalpur District)。順帶一提,我相信跋提或《大藏經》有時稱為跋提城 (Bhaddiyanagara) 的地方,能準確被辨認為巴加爾布林以南十二公里一條稱為跋提的村落。然而,佛陀大多數遊方的地方集中在這地區的東部,在舍衛城 (Savatthi)、王舍城 (Rajagaha)、毘舍離 (Vesali) 和拘舍彌 (Kosambi) 這些大城市之間。《大藏經》提到城鎮中的車道,以及市郊佈滿小路和大道。但毋庸置疑,這些名稱所指是道路車輛的流量,而不是它們鋪砌的質素或寬度。所有古印度的道路大多是塵土飛揚,夏天時崎嶇不平,雨季時佈滿令人舉步難行的泥濘,盜賊則增加長途旅途的危險。

6. Travellers on the road between Savatthi and Sakheta were often robbed (Vin, IV: 87) and of course the fearsome Angulimala was a robber and murderer who operated in forested areas around Savatthi. Once the Buddha and an attendant were on tour of Kosala when they came to a fork in the road. The Buddha said they should take one fork while the attendant said they should take the other. This debate continued for some time until in a huff the attendant put the Buddha’s bowl down and walked off on the way he thought correct. He hadn’t gone far before he was attacked by bandits who ‘struck him with their fists and feet and tore his robe’ (Ud, 90). In the more remote districts travellers might have difficulty finding food, water and shelter. The Tipitaka mentions a traveller getting down on all fours to drink from a puddle in a cow’s footprint because no other water was available and of two parents lost in the wilderness who saved themselves from starvation by killing and eating their child. More normally thought travel was just uncomfortable, tedious and undertaken only when necessary. And yet it seems that the Buddha spent most of his time on the road in order to reach as many people as possible. Such was his determination and compassion.

往來舍衛城 (Savatthi) 和沙計多 (Saketa, 娑雞帝) 的旅人常被盜賊搶劫 (Vin. IV: 87),央掘摩羅 (Angulimala) 這名令人生畏的盜賊和殺手就是在舍衛城附近的森林出沒。有一次,佛陀與一名侍者前往憍薩羅國 (Kosala),當他們到到達一岔路時,佛陀說應走這一邊,而侍者則說走另一邊。這討論持續了一會,侍者在一怒之下放低佛陀的缽,朝他認為正確的道路走去。他走到不遠就被盜賊襲擊,他們對他「拳打腳踢,並撕破他的僧袍」(Ud. 90)。在一些較為偏僻的地區,旅人可能在找食物、食水和住宿遇上困難。《大藏經》提到一名旅人因為找不到水源,結果要趴在地上,在牛腳印下的水坑喝水。又有一對父母在荒野迷路,他們靠殺死和吃掉自己孩子來充饑才得以保存性命。大多數人認為旅途勞頓和乏味的,只有在必要時才展開。然而,佛陀好像把大多時間用於旅途上,以接觸更多的人。這就是他的毅力和慈祥。

7. In keeping with the rules laid down by himself and in accordance with long established samana tradition, the Buddha spent three months of the rainy season in one location and the rest of the year on what were called ‘walking tours’. According to the commentarial tradition after the 20th year of his ministry he spent every rainy season in or near Savatthi, the capital of Kosala. The fact that more of his discourses are set in this city that in any other place suggests that there is some foundation in this tradition and if it is true he may have decided to limit his wanderings at that time due to age. He would have been sixty years old at the time. All the Buddha’s journeys were undertaken on foot although as there are numerous rivers in the land he knew he must have often had to use boats or ferries despite being no specific mention of him ever actually doing this.

為遵循自己制定的戒律和沙門的一貫傳統,佛陀會在一處地方度過雨季,其他的時間則展開我們所指的「徒步旅程」。根據註釋,在弘法二十年後,他每個雨季都留在憍薩羅國 (Kosala) 的首都舍衛城 (Savatthi) 或附近的地方。佛陀在這城市弘法較任何其他地方多,這顯示了這傳統有一定的根據。又若這是事實的話,他可能由於當時年齡的關係而決定減少遊方,因他當時己經有六十歲。所有佛陀的旅程都是步行的,然而他亦常乘船或擺渡橫過陸上無數的河流,儘管這沒有特別的記錄。

8. We read of monks once crossing a river by holding on to the tails and backs of a herd of cattle that was swimming across the same river suggesting that when there was neither bridges, boats or rafts that the Buddha might have had to improvise as these monks did. There is no mention of the Buddha travelling by carriage or cart. In only one place is he described as wearing sandals, so he probably went bare footed most of the time (Vin,IV:186).

我們讀到有一次比丘們過河的情景,他們抓緊同在過河牛隻的尾巴和背,顯示當沒有橋、船或筏的時候,佛陀也可能像這些比丘般隨機應變。佛經沒有提到他在旅途中乘客運車或運貨車,只有一處地方描述他穿着涼鞋,因此他大多時間都應是赤腳步行(Vin. IV: 186)

9. The Tipitaka mentions the itinerary of many of the Buddha’s journeys giving us an idea of the distances he sometimes travelled. For example, we know that within the first twelve months after his enlightenment he went from Uruvela to Isipatthana via
Gaya and Benares, spent the three months of the rainy season there and then travelled to Rajagaha via Benares, Gaya, Uruvela and Lativanna. All these places can be identified with certainly and thus we can calculate that he must have walked at least 300 kilometers. In the longest single journey recorded in the Tipitaka, he went from Rajagaha: to Vesali to Savatthi and back to Rajagaha via Kitigiri and Avali, a round trip of at least 1600 kilometres (Vin, IV,189). It is likely that he would have started a trip like this at the end of the rains retreat and arrived back in time for the next retreat nine months later. Unfortunately, it is not possible to know how much time these or any of the other journeys might have taken.

《大藏經》提到很多佛陀旅程的日誌,讓我們對他有時行走的路程有點概念。例如,我們知道他在覺悟後的一年內,他由優婁頻羅 (Uruvela) 前住仙人住處 (Isipatthana, 鹿野苑),途經迦耶 (Gaya) 和波羅奈 (Benares),在仙人住處渡過三個月的雨季,然後經波羅奈、迦耶和優婁頻羅和杖林 (Latthivana) 回到王舍城。這些地方可肯定被確認,因此我們能計算他行走了至少三百公里。《大藏經》記載他最長的旅程是由王舍城到毘舍離 (Vesali) 和舍衛城 (Savatthi),然後經迦尸黑山 (Kitagiri) 和曠野國 (Alavi) 折返王舍城,來回至少一千六百公里 (Vin. IV: 189)。他可能在結夏安居後展開這樣的旅程,並準時在九個月後的下一次結夏安居返回來。可惜的是我們無法得知這些旅程所需的時間。

10. In the famous Mahaparinibbana Sutta we know that he went from Rajagaha to Kusinara via Nalanda,
Patna and Vesali, a total distance of about 300 kilometers. According to the sutta he left Vesali at the end of the rains retreat (October) and of course he is supposed to have attained final nirvana in Kusinara on the full moon of Vesakha (May). This suggests that he took seven months to travel about 95 kilometres. Even allowing for the fact that he was old and in ill health this seems like a very long time. It should be pointed out that only later text in the Tipitaka mention that the Buddha’s parinivana took place at Vesakha and the sutta gives the impression that while his last journey was slow it was at a steady pace. However, it seems likely that the Buddha conducted his journeys at a leisurely pace.

我們從著名的《大般涅槃經》知道他由王舍城出發,經那爛陀村 (Nalanda, 後來的那爛陀寺)、巴特那村 (Patna, 後來的華氏城) 和毘舍離 (Vesali) 到達拘尸那揭羅 (Kusinara, 拘尸那羅),全程約三百公里。根據他在結夏安居 (十月) 後在毘舍離所說的經文,他應在衛塞節 (五月) 的滿明在拘尸那揭羅入滅。這顯示他在七個月行了約九十五公里。即使考慮到他年紀老邁和病了一段頗長的時間,這也像一段很長的時間。必須強調只有《大藏經》後期的經文提到佛陀在衛塞節涅槃,這給人的印象是即使他最後的旅程緩慢,但步伐仍是穩健的。然而,佛陀很可能是悠閒地展開他的旅程。

11. The evidence suggests that he would wake before sunrise, go for pindapata in the nearest town or village just after sunrise and having eaten, would set off while it was still cool. He would walk until the
midday heat became unpleasant and then take an afternoon rest. If there was a village nearby he might stay until the next morning and if not he might continue walking until he got to the next village. How long he stayed at a particular place would have depended on many factors - whether local people came to talk with and listen with him, whether food and water was available, whether the atmosphere was congenial. We know for example that he cut short his first stay in Rajagaha when people began to complain that too many young men were leaving their families to become monks. Once he arrived in the village of Thuna to find that there was no water to drink because the brahmin inhabitants, hearing that he was coming, had blocked up their wells with rice husks and cow dung. The warm and respectful reception that Buddhist monks get today was not always available to the Buddha and his disciples. He is often described as travelling with either 500 monks (a conventional number meaning ‘a lot’) or simply with ‘a large group of monks’. At other times he would dismiss his attendant and companions telling them that he wanted to wander by himself for a while (S.III:94).

證據顯示他在黎明前醒來,剛日出便到最近的城鎮或村落托缽,飯後當天氣仍然涼快時起程,一直行到中午,直到炎熱的天氣使人不適時他便會在下午休息。假如附近有村落他可能逗留到明早,若果沒有的話他可能繼續行程,直到抵達下一條村落。他逗留在一個地方多久取決於很多的因素當地人是否到來聆聽佛法,與自己交談,有沒有食物和食水供應,氣氛是否和睦。例如我們知道他縮短第一次到王舍城 (Rajagaha) 的時間,因為當地人開始投訴太多年青人捨棄家庭出家為僧。(Vin. IV: 43)。有一次他抵達土拿村 (Thuna),發現沒有飲用的食水,原來當地的婆羅門居民在聽到他到來時,便用稻殼和牛糞把他們的水井封起來 (Ud.78)。現今佛教比丘們受到熱情和恭敬的接待,這是佛陀和他的弟子不常遇到的。佛陀常被形容與五百比丘 (慣常解作「很多」的意思) 或簡單地指與「一大群比丘」遊方。他也有時候會辭退侍者和同伴,告訴他們自己想單獨遊方一會 (S. III: 94)