The Buddhist Precepts III (〈佛教戒律 III〉)

Shravasti Dhammika, The Buddhist Precepts III

達爾卡法師 著   伍煥炤 譯 :〈佛教戒律 III〉

The sixth of the eight Precepts and ten Precepts is Vikala bhojana vermani sikkhapadam samadhiami, I take the precept not to eat at the wrong time. 'Wrong time' (vikala) has long been interpreted to mean after noon or midday, although I know of no place in the suttas where this is specifically stated. The overall purpose of this rule is clear enough – to encourage moderation in eating (Sn.707) and to keep drowsiness due to a full stomach at bay. But the part about not eating after midday is less clear. The origin story in the Vinaya explaining this rule is unconvincing and obviously a later invention. According to this story, a monk was standing at someone's door late at night. As the woman of the house approached the door a sudden flash of lightening illuminated him, frightening the woman half to death, and to prevent this from happening again the Buddha instituted the rule. The only justification the Buddha gives for this rule is that it is good for the health and he does not mention what the 'wrong time' is other than to say the 'evening' or 'night' (ratti). He said, 'I do not eat in the evening and thus I am free from illness and affliction and enjoy health, strength and ease' (M.I, 473). But I can see no reason why eating only in the morning should be any more or less healthy than eating only in the afternoon.

八戒中的第六戒是Vikala bhojana vermani sikkhapadam samadhiami,我遵守戒律不會在不適當的時間進食。雖然我在佛經中找不到特別提及「非時」(vikala) 的地方,但它長久以來都解作過了正午或中午。這條戒律整體的目的是十分清晰的 — 鼓勵節制飲食 (Sn.707) 和避免因滿腹而昏睡。有關午後不進食的部份則不太清晰,《律藏》中解這條戒律來歷的故事並不具說服力,顯然是後來加上的。根據這個故事,一位比丘在晚上站在一家人的門前,一位該戶家庭的女人走近門前,突然而來的閃電照出了他的樣貌,把她嚇得半死。為避免同樣的事情再發生,佛陀制訂了這條戒律。佛陀制訂這戒律的唯一理據是它有益健康,但他沒有提到「非時」是甚麼,只說了「傍晚」或「晚上」(ratti)。他說:「我不在傍晚步進食,因此我會遠離疾病和痛苦,得到健康、力量和安樂」(M.I, 473)。但我看不到只在早上進食是比只在下午進食不健康或更健康。

I suspect that the rule has its origins in two things. That eating before noon was already a well-established convention amongst wandering ascetics and the Buddha simply asked his monks and nuns to follow this convention. And the reason why this convention evolved in the first place was probably because, then as now, Indian peasant women cooked all the day's food early in the morning and the main meal of the day was in the morning. In other words, the most convenient time to go for alms gathering (pindapata) was in the morning. Noon was probably used as the cut-off point for eating because it could be known exactly. It's also pretty certain that monks and nuns only eat one meal a day because, not doing hard physical labour, they did not need that much food. So it is important to understand that noon is not some magical time, after which consuming food becomes a serious moral failing. It is just a convenient, and at that time a practical, way of dividing the day.clip_image001



The Buddhist Precepts II (〈佛教戒律 II〉)

Shravasti Dhammika, The Buddhist Precepts II

達爾卡法師 著   伍煥炤 譯 :〈佛教戒律 II〉

In addition to the five Precepts, serious Buddhists will try to practise the eight Precepts (attha sila), at least on the half and full moon days of every month. The eight Precepts are the same as the five except that the third is replaced by abstinence from all sexual behavior, and the additional three Precepts are: (6) not to eat after midday (7), to abstain from dancing, singing, playing or listening to music, personal adornment and makeup, and (8) not to use high seats and couches. Novice monks and nuns are expected to practise the ten Precepts (dasa sila) in preparation for their monastic life. These ten are: (1) not to harm living beings, (2) not to steal, (3) to abstain from sexual behaviour, (4) not to lie, (5) not to take alcohol or intoxicating drugs, (6) not to eat after midday, (7) to abstain from dancing, singing and musical entertainment, (8) to abstain from adornment and makeup, (9) not to use high seats and couches, and (10) not to use gold and silver, i.e. money.

五戒之外,認真的佛教徒還會嘗試踐行八戒 (attha sila),至少在半月和滿月的日子。八戒與五戒相同,只是第三戒改為徹底禁慾,另加上三樣戒律:(6) 過午不食、(7) 不觀聽歌舞、不香油塗身、不着香薰衣 (8) 不坐臥高廣大床。沙彌或沙彌尼在準備過寺院生活時應踐行十戒 (dasa sila),包括 (1) 不殺生、(2) 不偷盜、(3) 不邪淫、(4) 不妄語、(5) 不飲酒或服用毒品、(6) 過午不食、(7) 不觀聽歌舞、(8) 不香油塗身、不着香薰衣、(9) 不坐臥高廣大床和 (10) 不用金銀財寶,例如金錢。

It will be noticed that while the five Precepts pertain to moral behaviour, the last three of the eight Precepts and the last five of the ten Precepts, are not about morality, but about behaviour that simplifies and uncomplicated one's life so one can focus fully on the spiritual. The failure to understand this (somewhat common in traditional Buddhist countries) can cause all sorts of confusion. Over the next few days I will have a look at these 'lifestyle simplification' Precepts.

應注意的是五戒涉及道德行為,而八戒的最後三樣戒律和十戒的最後五樣戒律並不是關於道德,而是有關簡化個人的生活,從而使人能專注在精神的層面。未能明白這點的話 (在傳統佛教國家頻為普遍) 會造成各樣的混亂。在往後的幾日,我會研究一下這些「簡化生活方式」的戒律。


The Buddhist Precepts I (〈佛教戒律 I〉)

Shravasti Dhammika, The Buddhist Precepts I

達爾卡法師 著   伍煥炤 譯 :〈佛教戒律 I〉

A precept (sikkhapada) is a self-imposed rule or discipline. The moral rules that all Buddhists commit themselves to and try to live by are called the five Precepts (panca sila). They are (1) not to harm living beings, (2) not to steal, (3) not to engage in wrong sexual behaviour, (4) not to lie and (5) not to take alcohol or other intoxicating drugs. In following these Precepts one gradually develops a respect for the life of others, for their property, their dignity, their right to know the truth and a respect for the clarity of one's own mind. The Buddha called adhering to these Precepts a consideration to others which ‘creates love and respect and which is conducive to helpfulness, non-dispute, harmony and unity’ (A.III, 287; M.I.322). I think this passage needs to be more well-known so I give it in Pali as well…

戒律 (sikkhapada) 是自我願意接受的規則或紀律,所有佛教徒承諾遵從和以此作為人之道的道德規範德稱為五戒 (panca sila),包括 (1) 不殺生、(2) 不偷盜、(3) 不邪淫、(4) 不妄語和 (5) 不飲酒或服用毒品。當人遵從這些戒律,人便會漸漸培養尊重別人生命、財產、尊嚴知道事實真相的權利,並着重個人頭腦的清晰。佛陀指堅持這些戒律是對別人的關懷,「能產生愛與尊重,有利於培育樂於助人、不爭、和諧與團結」(A.III, 287; M.I, 322)。我想這一段句子應讓更多人知道,因此,我會同時寫出它的巴利文:

piyakarana, garukarana, sangahaya, avivadaya, samaggiya, ekibhavaya, samvattanti.

The Buddha saw adherence to the Precepts as a gift (danani) which would benefit both the giver and the receiver. 'When a noble disciple practices the five Precepts he gives the gift of freedom from fear, from hatred and from ill-will to limitless beings. And in giving this gift he thereby partakes in a freedom from fear, from hatred and from ill-will which is limitless' (condensed, A.IV, 246). On another occasion, the Buddha called virtue 'freedom-giving' and 'conducive to concentration' (A.III,132) and he mentioned that one of the most important benefits of practicing the Precepts is that one experiences ‘the happiness of being blameless’ (anavajja sukha, D.I,70). In other words, Buddhists practices the five Precepts because they care about their own welfare and the welfare and happiness of others too.

佛陀認為遵守五戒是一種「布施」(danani),有益於贈予者和受領人。「當聖弟子踐行五戒,他就是向無限的眾生施予無懼、無瞋恚和無惡意的布施」(扼要:A.IV, 246)。在另一個場合,佛陀稱德行為「解脫束縛」和「有益於禪定」(A.III, 132),他提到踐行五戒其中一樣最重要的益處是讓人感到「戒除惡業的快樂」(anavajja sukha, D.I, 70)。換言之,佛教徒踐行五戒是因為他們關心自己福祉,以及別人的福祉和幸福。

Over the next week I am going to have comment on all the Five, Eight and Ten Precepts.







早前完成翻譯了Bhante Shravasti Dhammika的To eat or not to eat meat: a Buddhist reflection,一直都在找出版社出版,但因種種的原因未能成事。但沒有因此而洩氣和放棄,繼續找尋出版社。最近又把稿件送交一間台灣的佛教出版社,每個機會也不能放棄,希望法師的中文釋文終有印刷成書的一日。
























Royal Mail

Royal Mail早前從Wisdom Books購買了Ajahn Brahm的The Art of Disappearing、Sayādaw U Pandita的In This Very Life和Anthony KennedyWarder 的Indian Buddhism,收到時嚇了一跳,三本書居然放在一個印有Royal Mail的大袋內。現正思索如何把這個袋循環再用,找改造成環保袋也不錯。

Ajahn Vajiro & Ajahn Kusalo 佛法講座

主講:阿姜瓦基羅 (Ajahn Vajiro)

主講:阿姜庫沙羅 (Ajahn Kusalo)