2014年10月30日星期四

dhamma musings: Putting A Price On The Dhamma

Shravasti Dhammika

http://sdhammika.blogspot.hk/2014/07/putting-price-on-dhamma.html

The Buddha gave the Dhamma freely to all. He often underwent difficulties and inconveniences and on occasions even risked his life, in order to teach the Dhamma to others (Ud.78). The monk Punna was prepared to teach the Dhamma in a district where the people were known for their violence and where he had a good chance of being manhandled or worse (M.III,269). Today, some Westerners go to traditional Buddhist countries to learn Dhamma or meditation, they return to their homelands, and then charge for teaching what they were taught for free. I really think this is unethical. Likewise, some Asian monks put a price on the Dhamma, certain Tibetan teachers being the worst offenders. I once mentioned to the student of a rimpoche that his teacher charged very high prices for his teachings – really high. Rather defensively the student said that air fares, accommodation, etc all cost money. “Why not just ask students for a donation rather than charge them?’ I said. “What if the costs were not covered?” the disciple shot back. I let the subject drop but it seemed a little odd after all the insistence about infinite compassion for all beings. I also couldn’t help thinking that Goenka (and his assistant teachers) rely entirely on donations.

In charging for Dhamma such teachers are turning the precious Dhamma into a commodity and the Buddha clearly said: “One should not go about making a business out of the Dhamma” (Ud.66). When the Buddha said: “The gift of Dhamma excels all other gifts” (Dhp.354) he clearly meant that the Dhamma should be a gift, not something to be sold. During the Buddha’s time people knew that teachers of other religions charged a fee (acariyadhana) but that those teaching Dhamma expected nothing more from their students audience than respect and attentiveness (A.V,347). I think there is nothing wrong with charging for the food, accommodation etc. used during a meditation course. Nor is it improper for a teacher to accept donations. But to charge a fee, even if it is called “sponsorship” or to announce that a “donation” of a certain amount is expected or required, contradicts the most basic ethics and ideals of Buddhism. Those who teach the Dhamma should see what they do as a rare and wonderful privilege and an act of kindness, not a means of livelihood.

中文釋文:Ken Yifertw  〈佛法值多少錢?〉

http://yifertw.blogspot.hk/2014/07/shravasti-dhammika.html

2014年9月19日星期五

故思所造業

法師提到業 (kamma) 的內容。佛教有「故思所造業」(volition / cetanā is Kamma) 的說法,認為意志就是業。行為會否產生業力,就要看是否有意志,例如無意意踏死地上的螞蟻是沒有業力的。我們的日常生活受到過往的業力影響,但這不表示一切都注定不能改變,因為現今的行為又會造成新的業力。日常很多看似平凡、微不足道的事情,假若出於善意和感恩,就能轉化為很大的善業。

2014年8月22日星期五

功德、善業、佛法生活

法師指功德是善業,參與宗教活動,例如禮佛和唱誦都能積累功德。功德有益於個人,應與親人、朋友和眾生分享,希望能為自己和眾生帶來解脫。禮佛和唱誦能培育宗教情感,進行時要持有正念和恭敬,這樣就能帶來功德和善業,若果不然就沒有意思,變成機械式的行為。佛法應融入日常生活,學佛不是純粹為吸取知識。從事佛教研究不僅增進自己對佛法的認識,亦要以幫助別人了解佛法為目的。

2014年8月15日星期五

信、唱誦、禪修

法師談到人都是有情感 / 感情 (emotions) 的,例如慈悲、友情和愛等,又有對家人和朋友的關懷。若果人沒有感情的話,人類和社會就不可能再延續。感情有否正面 (positive) 和負面 (negative) 之分,我們要培養正面的感情,消滅負面的感情。正面和負面的感情不會同時出現,當不斷培養正面的的感情,負面的就會被壓抑,並逐漸消失。

佛教認為「信」(saddhā) 是很重要的,它是一種宗教情感。信如種子,需要慢慢的培育。這種信有別於其他宗教,它是基於認識和了解,不是盲目的。然而,只有信是不足的,亦十分危險。信應與智慧 (Paññā) 取得平衡。單有智慧有也有不足,人會過於理智,缺乏宗教情感,關鍵在兩者的平衡。法師引用愛恩斯坦 (Albert Einstein) 的名句:「Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind」,解釋信仰與理智的關係。

宗教儀式,例如唱誦 (chanting) 是培育宗教情感和信的方式,不應忽視其重要性。佛教強調信徒要親身參與儀式,不要假手他人。有些宗教認為信徒可透過祭司與神溝通,祭司進行儀式代信徒表達敬意。

上座部佛教只有佛陀釋迦牟尼的觀念,認為他是一位歷史人物,曾經在世上生活,亦已經逝世。信徒在禮敬佛陀時並不是為尋求外力的保祐,因為這是沒有功用的,有別其他宗教的觀念。禮敬佛陀的目的的表達宗教情感和信。

唱誦時要專注,保持正念  (sati, mindful),把心安住,這亦是一種禪修 (meditation) 的方法。人們禪修時,很多時難以集中,身體雖然盤坐,但心卻不知攀延到那處,專注兩三分鐘已經很難,使用唱誦有助專注。當察覺出現攀延時,就要重新專注。持之以恆地禪修,以十五、二十分鐘為目標,不久就能見到顯注的效果,對事物的觀感有很大轉變。

2014年8月5日星期二

Four groups of people

The Path to Arahantship: A Compilation of Venerable Ācariya Mahā Boowa’s Dhamma Talks About His Path of Practice
Translated by from the Thai by Bhikkhu Dick Sīlaratano

Looking at the state of the world, I felt discouraged. I saw people who lived in total darkness as being hopeless. Being so blind that they’re worthless, the Buddha called such people padaparama. Gazing further up the scale, I saw the types of people known as neyya and vipacitaññu. Persons in the neyya category are capable of being trained in the way of Dhamma. Sometimes they make progress, sometimes they lose ground. Neyya individuals are fully capable of understanding the Teaching and putting it into practice. Should they be careless, however, they’ll lose ground. But if they are earnest in their practice, they can progress rapidly. Depending on the degree of commitment, neyya can go either way.

Vipacitaññu individuals always progress toward the goal; they never lose ground. Still, their progress is slower than that of ugghatitaññu, individuals whose intuitive wisdom is so sharp that they’re always fully prepared to make a decisive breakthrough. Were they cattle, they would be waiting at the corral gate. As soon as the gate opened, they’d come rushing out. Ugghatitaññu are capable of the kind of quick understanding that allows them to pass beyond in one moment of insight.

All living beings must fall into one of these four categories. As I investigated the nature of the world, it separated naturally, of its own accord, into these four types of individuals. I could see that superior individuals existed in that multitude of humanity which I had felt so discouraged about teaching. Ugghatitaññu: they were fully prepared to cross beyond in an instant. In descending order: there were vipacitaññu, those progressing quickly toward the goal; then, the neyya, whose desire to lie down and take it easy competes with their desire to be diligent. Do you see what I mean? Those two opposing forces are vying for supremacy within their hearts. And finally padaparama: those who are human in physical appearance only. They have gained nothing at all to enhance their future prospects. Death for such people is death without distinction. There is only one possible direction they can go—down. And they fall further and further with each successive death. The way up is blocked, for they have gained absolutely nothing beneficial to take along with them. They can only go down. Remember this well! This teaching comes straight from my heart. Do you think I am bluffing and telling you deliberate falsehoods?

When compared with a heart that’s absolutely pure, the world is one big refuse bin, containing different grades of garbage. From the highest, ugghatitaññu, to the lowest and most common grade, padaparama, all possible types are gathered together in the same great receptacle. The entire world of conventional reality is one big contaminated mix of good things and bad things.

************
pada-parama: 'one for whom the words are the utmost attainment'. "Whoever, though having learned much, speaking much, knowing many things by heart, and discoursing much, has not penetrated the truth, such a man is called by that name".

neyya: 'requiring guidance', is said of a person "who through advice and questioning, through wise consideration, and through frequenting noble-minded friends, having intercourse with them, associating with them, gradually comes to penetrate the truth"

ugghaṭitaññu: 'one who already during a given explanation comes to penetrate the truth' (Pug.). This is one of four types of persons classified according to their ability of acquiring insight, mentioned in A. IV, 133. Cf. also vipacitaññu, neyya,pada-parama.

vipacitaññu / vipañcitaññu: 'one who realizes the truth after explanation.' Thus is called one who realizes the truth only after detailed explanation of that which already had been said to him in a concise form.

http://dictionary.sutta.org/
http://dictionary.buddhistdoor.com/

2014年8月4日星期一

The Path to Arahantship

The Path to Arahantship: A Compilation of Venerable Ācariya Mahā Boowa’s Dhamma Talks About His Path of Practice

Translated by from the Thai by Bhikkhu Dick Sīlaratano

The mind itself produces feelings of revulsion, the mind itself produces feelings of attraction; the mind alone creates ugliness and the mind alone creates beauty.

These qualities do not really exist in the external physical world. The mind merely projects these attributes onto the objects it perceives and then deceives itself into believing that they are beautiful or ugly, attractive or repulsive. In truth, the mind paints elaborate pictures all the time—pictures of oneself and pictures of the external world. It then falls for its own mental imagery, believing it to be real.

2014年7月28日星期一

This Delicate, Fleeting Life 脆弱和飛逝的生命

DHAMMA DIARY | Ajahn Manapo
http://foresthermitage.org.uk/dhammadiary/2014/02/24/this-delicate-fleeting-life/

It is a practice of mine to try to ensure that first thing in the morning, before my day gets going – before I straighten out my duvet or become suitably attired; before I open the main gate or drink my cup of sweet and strong Assam tea; before my mind is stirred by the rising currents of the day’s worries and vain desires – I calmly introduce into my awareness certain thoughts. Thoughts of death.

The fact that this could be my last day. The fact that one day I will wake up and it will be my last day, and that this could be the one. The fact that many people are waking up at this very moment who will die on this very day. The fact that my time is limited and that the time I have with those people whom I care for and value is limited. The fact that one day they won’t be here any more, and neither will I. The fact, the only fact, that I will die.

And then I smile, have a cup of tea, open the gate, get dressed (should’ve done that before I opened the gate…), straighten my duvet, and watch the little worries and desires slow and still and cease as the sobering truth of death shows me my priorities.

Teachers will now be cherished; friends and family will be loved. Strangers will be befriended; enemies will be understood. Grudges will gain no foothold; anger will be cast away. The bully fear will be cut down to size; desire will be seen for the empty promise that it is. The quest for meaning will take priority; meaningless priorities will be put aside. And I will not allow to slip away unused this delicate, fleeting life.

我習慣早上,在我的一日開始前 — 在我整理好被子或穿著妥當前;在我打開大門或喝一杯芳香和濃郁的阿薩姆紅茶前;在我的心被當日生起的憂慮和空洞的欲念纏繞前 — 第一件嘗試確保要做的事情,就是平心靜氣地在意識中引入一些意念。死亡的想法。

這日可是我最後的一日。當我起床的一日,這會是我最後的一日,而今日就可能是這日。很多這刻醒來人在當日就會死亡。我擁有的間有限,而我與那些關心和珍惜的人一起的時間亦是有限。有日他們不會再存在,而我亦一樣。雖一的事實是我會死亡。

當我微笑,喝一杯茶,打開大門,穿上衣服 (應在我打開大門前做好),整理好被子,觀察小小的憂鬱和欲念慢慢消散,死亡這使人清醒的事實指示我緩急先後的事情。

現在應敬愛導師;愛護朋友和家庭。與陌生人結交朋友;諒解敵人;不讓恩怨存在;拋棄憤怒。減少讓人害怕的恐懼;視欲望等同虚假的承諾。追求意義優先處理; 沒有意義的要務將放在一邊。我不會讓這脆弱和飛逝的生命未用便溜走。

2014年7月25日星期五

思 Cetanā

法師談到「思」(Cetanā),它不是純粹的思想活動,而是一種意志,與業力 (Kamma) 相連。

思分為前思 (Pubba-cetanā)、現思 (Muñca-cetanā) 與後思 (Apara-cetanā)。前思是推動行為的意志。現思是對所作的行為持有正念 (mindfulness)。後思是行為後感到喜悅。

參考:

2014年6月13日星期五

Rational ritual

Erich Fromm, Psychoanalysis and Religion

We not only have the need for a frame of orientation which makes some sense of our existence and which we can share with our fellow men; we also have the need to express our devotion to dominant values by actions shared with others. A ritual, broadly speaking, is shared action expressive of common strivings rooted in common values.

The rational differs from the irrational ritual primarily in its function; it does not ward off repressed impulses but expresses strivings which are recognized as valuable by the individual. Consequently it does not have the obsessional-compulsive quality so characteristic of the irrational ritual; if the latter even once is not performed, the repressed is accompanied by considerable anxiety. No such consequences are attached to any lapse in the performance of the rational ritual; nonperformance many be regretted but it is not feared. In fact, one can always recognized the irrational ritual by the degree of fear produced by its violation in any manner.

2014年6月10日星期二

「佛教的宗教儀式與其修行意義」暨巴利文經典唱誦

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2014年4月24日星期四

Bhikku Bodhi - Called to Act

How can we balance the need to fight for social and environmental justice with the desire for inner peace and contentment?

I believe the two should go together hand in hand. If we fight for social justice without inner peace—or at least without an effort to cultivate inner peace—our action can be driven by the same kind of destructive anger we are trying to overcome out in the world. If there is simply a quest for inner peace without a concern for social justice, we can easily slip into a narcissistic concern with our inner well-being at the expense of the call for compassionate engagement with the wider social context in which our own life is nested. But when the two are joined, inner balance of mind serves as a platform for developing clear insight into the causes of our predicaments and into practical strategies that can promote effective solutions.

http://spiritualityhealth.com/articles/called-act

2014年4月8日星期二

Painful experience

Ajahn Manapo, Motorbike Crash

Painful experience in all its guises is inherently empty; the problem arises when we desire it to be otherwise. When we experience pain the aversion to it is so closely intertwined that the pain appears to be the enemy. There’s depression: we resist. There’s fear: we run. There’s physical pain: we fight. But fighting and running only reinforce and exacerbate these sensations. Reacting gives them a reality they do not truly possess. By letting the pain be – by allowing it, by opening up to it, by putting aside the instinctive, fearful reaction to it – we allow the mind to experience pain for what it is, just as it is. If the painful experience is left alone in this way its sting is removed and its energy harnessed and transformed.

2014年2月25日星期二

Do Much Good (IV)

As from a heap of flowers many a garland is made, even so many good deeds should be done by one born a mortal.

Ven. Nàrada, Dhammapada

Ven. Kakkapalliye Anuruddha Thera解釋了以上的偈誦。

正如一個花環由眾多的花朵製成,同樣人亦應做很多的善行

在一次布薩日,毘舍佉到寺廟見佛陀。佈薩日是守八戒的日子。佛陀問毘舍佉為何在晚上到來。毘舍佉說當日是布薩日,信眾到寺院守戒。

Visākhūposatha: The Discourse to Visakha on the Uposatha with the Eight Practices 對佛教徒來說是重要的經文,它解釋布薩日的意義。布薩日一月兩次,分別在滿月和新月舉行,是守戒的日子。布薩日在佛教是重要的日子,佛教徒整日進行宗教儀式,會到寺院守八戒。佛教徒平日會守五戒,即不殺、不盜、不邪淫、不妄語、不飲酒。八戒是五戒外加上過午不食;不觀聽歌舞、不香油塗身、不着香薰衣;不坐臥高廣大床。

戒 (Sila) 是道德操守,與日常生活有緊密關係,守戒是覺悟的起點。佛陀指八戒是佛教生活的第一步和基礎。佛教明白人在社會生活,要先整理生活才可潔淨人心。佛教的目的就是要潔淨人心,所有污染的東西都在人的心中。當清除心的污染物後,世界就得到潔淨,人亦能體驗涅槃,得到覺悟。要達到這目的,第一步是遵從戒律。當日常生活沒有麻煩,心就能較易集中。心不集中的話,就無法潔淨了。

我們在社會生活,有時候欲望會增加,這是社會的本質。社會普遍認為有更多的物質,等同文明程度更高,物質是量度文明的標準。佛教認為簡單的生活是文明的生活,當生活越簡化,捨棄社會認為必需的物質,這才是文明。簡單的生活不會製造麻煩,生活越多物質會衍生更多的麻煩。另一方面,社會亦會產生憤怒。我們在社會生活,有時候會與其他人有聯繫,有時候會有不喜歡的人,視他們為敵人,憤怒便因而生起。社會生活也使人感覺混亂。因此佛陀說若要潔淨人心,首先要安排好日常生活,過有秩序和沒有麻煩的生活。

現在,人都不關心道德操守,他們大多受到社會的影響,這是社會壞的一面。世界各處都有殺人的事件,佛教倡不殺生。偷盜和邪淫十分普遍,道德操守不被人尊重。佛教認為道德操守是第一原則,作為佛教徒都應學習。平日守五戒,布薩則守八戒。守戒有以下的特徵:要持續遵守戒律,不能中斷;要堅持遵守;嚴守戒律能帶領心入定。要讓心入定,就要除去污染心的東西。人心好像太陽一樣,污染物就似雲。當雲遮擋太陽時,陽光就消失。同樣,污染物會遮擋明亮的心。

(篇幅太長,下回再說)

2014年2月13日星期四

Do Much Good (III)

As from a heap of flowers many a garland is made, even so many good deeds should be done by one born a mortal.

Ven. Nàrada, Dhammapada

Ven. Kakkapalliye Anuruddha Thera解釋了以上的偈誦。

正如一個花環由眾多的花朵製成,同樣人亦應做很多的善行。

當佛陀的兩大弟子舍利弗 (Sāriputta) 和目犍連 (Moggallāna) 圓寂後,佛陀知道後對比丘們說,感到團很空虛。這是佛陀對舍利弗和目睷連涅槃的感覺。

檀那闍耶送了一個以黃金、銀和寶石造的首飾給女兒毘舍佉作嫁妝,價值非凡,當時只有三位婦女有這樣首飾

毘舍佉抵達舍衛城,受到丈夫富樓那凡達那一家熱烈歡迎。結婚當日,彌迦羅邀請一些裸形外道舉行宗教儀式。彌迦羅和家人不是佛教徒,他們信奉耆那教。

耆那教是佛教前的宗教,由一位稱為瑪哈維拉 (Mahavira) 的釋迦王子創立,他與佛陀有很多相似的地方。在佛經中心瑪哈維拉被稱為尼乾陀若提子 (Nigantha Nātaputta),尼乾陀 (Nigantha) 是沒有任何束縛的意思。尼乾陀是裸形外道,修行者不穿衣服,因為衣服被視為一種束縛。尼乾陀宣傳自我摧殘和非暴力,認為可透過摧殘身體來使靈魂得到解脫,指身體強壯時,靈魂就不能自由。不給飲食,不讓身體有物質享受。尼乾陀認為經過幾年的苦行,他們就能獲得精神力量。另一宗教婆羅門指正確唱誦能產生神力。

彌迦羅請來裸形外道,他們坐在大廳。當毘舍佉看到這些裸形外道,感到尷尬,於是立即返回房中。當毘舍當時已經證得入流果。由於新娘不在,宗教儀式無法進行,裸形外道對此十會憤怒,指毘舍佉不適合留在這處,吩咐彌迦羅把她送娘家。彌迦羅並不如檀那闍耶般有權勢,說不可輕易送走她。彌迦羅心想為何毘舍佉會做出這樣魯莽的行為。

第二日,彌迦羅在吃東西。有一位比丘在門前化食,彌迦羅沒有理會,只顧繼續吃。毘舍佉看到這情景,於是走出去對人說公公在吃剩餘的飯菜。彌迦羅聽到毘舍佉這樣說非常憤怒,因為自己在吃新鮮食物,因此決定把她送回沙祇城。彌迦羅對毘舍佉說她不適合在這家庭,自己在吃新鮮食物,但她卻對人指這是剩餘的,這是說謊的行為,吩咐她返回沙祇城。毘舍佉回答嫁給富樓那凡達那時,父親聘請八位長者來照顧自已,若果她做錯任何事情,他們會指正。她說彌迦羅應詢問他們自已有否犯錯,然後作出裁決。彌迦羅同意毘舍佉的建意。

這八位長者問毘舍佉是否做錯事,彌迦羅說出之前的事情,指她說謊。他們問毘舍佉是否曾經這樣說,她回答是。然後他們又問為甚麼她要這樣做。毘舍佉說當公公吃東西時,她在背後扇風,看見一位比丘等候食物,但他沒有理會,只顧自己享用。她心想公公正享用前生賺取的東西,前生做了善業,今生能夠受益。但今生他沒有作任何的善行,沒有為來生積聚善業,因此吃的都是「剩餘的食物」。

長者問彌迦羅的話是否真確,彌迦羅回答是。事情得以解決。毘舍佉說自己是清白的人,沒有犯錯,現在可返回娘家。彌迦羅對她說不要生氣,可繼續留下。毘舍佉說自已是佛教徒,若果不能聽比丘說法,不能留下。彌迦羅同意讓毘舍佉舉行佛教儀式。毘舍佉說佛陀在舍衛城,她想請佛陀到家供養。彌迦羅表示同意。

佛陀到來後,毘舍佉請彌迦羅一起禮敬佛陀。當時一些裸形外道同在彌迦羅家中,他們阻止彌迦羅見佛陀。彌迦羅吩咐僕人對毘舍佉說自己不會前往。佛陀和比丘吃過午飯後,佛陀向毘舍佉說法作為道謝。彌迦羅聽到佛陀清晰的聲音,心中感到很喜悅,成為了入流果。入流果是指踏入八正道的人,引領人們到涅槃,消除所有的污泥。八正道的開始是信,終點是智慧。信是指佛陀的信心,智慧使心變得純淨。當人心中存有信,便不會再相信其他宗教,十分堅定,不會動搖。

有一日,舍衛城舉行節慶,毘舍佉前往祈樹給孤獨園見佛陀。她把結婚首飾交給女僕,認為不適宜配戴昂貴的首飾到寺廟。見過佛陀後,毘舍佉跟著看看寺廟的比丘們有甚麼需要。離開寺廟時,女僕忘記帶回首飾。毘舍佉對女僕說若有比丘觸摸過首飾,就不要取回,留給寺廟。阿難陀看到首飾,報告佛陀。佛陀吩咐阿難陀收拾好首飾,待它的主人取回。當女僕到了寺廟,問阿難陀有否見過首飾。阿難陀說已經收拾好。女僕告訴毘舍佉,說阿難陀找到首飾。毘舍佉說首飾現在屬於寺廟,自己不會取回。毘舍佉然後說首飾對寺廟沒有用處,她會取回首飾變賣,然後把所得的金錢用於寺廟。

毘舍佉出售首飾的消息傳出後,因價錢昂貴,沒有人購買。最後,毘舍佉自行買下首飾。她對佛陀我說希望為寺廟做點工作,佛陀建議她興建一所新寺廟。後來,毘舍佉依照佛陀的說話,在舍衛城建一所寺廟,由目犍連負責監督工程。九個月後,寺廟建成。毘舍佉請求佛陀在新寺廟結夏安居,佛陀接受她的邀請。

(篇幅太長,下回再說)

2014年2月5日星期三

Do Much Good (II)

As from a heap of flowers many a garland is made, even so many good deeds should be done by one born a mortal.

Ven. Nàrada, Dhammapada

Ven. Kakkapalliye Anuruddha Thera解釋了以上的偈誦。

正如一個花環由眾多的花朵製成,同樣人亦應做很多的善行。

這首偈誦與佛教女居士毘舍佉 (Visàkhà) 有關。

在佛世時期,印度分為十六個國家,例如摩揭陀和喬薩羅,它們互相兼併,建立更大的國家。它們部分是部族國家,部分由國王統治。摩揭陀有一富翁孟達卡(Mendaka),他的兒子是檀那闍耶 (Danancaya),孫女就是毘舍佉。毘舍佉嫁給舍衛城富翁彌迦羅 (Migara) 的兒子富樓那凡達那 (Punnavadahana)。摩揭陀和喬薩羅都是富裕的國家。

摩揭陀有五名富翁,喬薩羅只有一位。有一日,喬薩羅想向摩揭陀借一名富翁,以增加國家的名聲。喬薩羅由波斯匿 (Pasenadi) 統治,摩揭陀的國王則由頻婆娑羅 (Bimbisāra) 統治,波斯匿想向頻婆娑羅借一名富翁,因此派信差前往。波斯匿與頗婆梭羅是親屬,兩國締結婚姻聯盟。波斯匿的父親摩訶喬薩羅 (Mahākosala) 有一女兒喬薩羅黛維 (Kosala Devi),她嫁給頻婆娑羅,以迦尸 (Kashi) 作為嫁妝。頻婆娑羅與喬薩羅黛維生了阿闍世 (Ajātasattu),頻婆娑羅後來被兒子所殺。波斯匿對阿闍世弒父的行為非常憤怒,於是向摩揭陀發動戰爭,戰勝並取回迦尸。

頻婆娑羅認為不可借出富翁,因會這使國家貧窮,決定把留著五位富翁。頻婆娑羅為滿足波斯匿的要求,於是打算派檀那闍耶到喬薩羅。後來,波斯匿把檀那闍耶帶回喬薩羅。在往喬薩羅途中,檀那闍耶問所處的是甚麼地方。波斯匿說這是喬薩羅的一部分。檀那闍耶表示想留在該處生活,不前往人煙稠密的首都舍衛城。於是波斯匿就在該處建立城鎮沙祇城 (Saketa)。沙祇城與舍衛城很接近。 檀那闍耶在沙祇城生活,女兒毘舍佉也在當地出生。

舍衛城富翁彌迦羅想為兒子富樓那凡達那找一位妻子。富樓那凡達那不願意結婚,後在父母的催促下,他說若果有女子擁有以下的特徵,包括烏黑長髮、整齊的牙齒、身材均勻、皮膚光亮和樣貌年青,他就願意結婚。彌迦羅派出八位波羅門,帶著一條金頸鏈,四出找尋適合的人選,說若找到符合這些條件的女子,便把金頸鏈交給她,並帶她回來。

這八位波羅門到了很多地方,也找不到人選。後來,他們到了沙祇城。當時是沙祇城的開放日,人們可四處遊玩。當地的年青男子會在該日向心儀的女子提親。毘舍佉與親友外遊,波羅門看到她符合她四個的條件,但看不到她的牙齒。為看到她的牙齒,其中一位婆羅門說誰人與她結婚的話就會挨餓,喻意她是不幸的人。毘舍佉說她並非不幸的人。婆羅門因此看到她的齒,證實她擁有以上全部的條件,希望她能嫁給主人的兒子富樓那凡達那。他們對話時,突然下起大雨來,人們急忙奔跑找避雨的地方,但毘舍佉沒有這樣做。婆羅門問她為甚麼不跑。毘舍佉是聰明的人,她回答世上有四類人和動物是不會公開奔跑的,第一類是國王,因為人們會嘲笑他。第二類是王室大象,因為這就會與其他大象沒有分別。第三類是修行者,因為人們會嘲笑他。第四類是婦女,因為這不符合禮儀。

波羅門返回喬薩羅,報告彌迦羅找到適合的人選,富樓那凡達那與毘舍佉的婚訊在當地傳開。波斯匿知道毘舍佉是檀那闍耶的女兒,因此想與彌迦羅一同前往辦理婚事。檀那闍耶知道後,感到十分憂慮。他問毘舍佉怎樣招待波斯匿和彌迦羅。毘舍佉吩咐父親作好各樣安排。提親的事情辦妥後,檀那闍耶決定製造一樣特別的首飾給女兒作嫁妝,他用了大量的金錢來請金匠製這首飾,費時四個月來完成。

結婚當日,檀那闍耶給予毘舍佉教導,以適應日後的婚姻生活。

  • 不要讓家中的問題外揚,家庭有很多問題,問題應在家內解決,不要在外面討論;
  • 外面的問題不要帶回家;
  • 借東西給會歸還的人;
  • 假如親友向你要求東西,要滿足他們的要求,不應考慮;
  • 在家要格外小心,要尊敬長者,不要佔用高座。吃東西前不要先吃,要讓長輩和丈夫先吃;
  • 尊敬和保護家中的火,要舉行火貢儀式。要尊敬公公和婆婆,他們在當時被視作家中的神。

檀那闍耶以個人的經驗,給女兒毘舍佉一些有用忠告。

(篇幅太長,下回再說)

2014年1月28日星期二

Do Much Good (I)

As from a heap of flowers many a garland is made, even so many good deeds should be done by one born a mortal.

Ven. Nàrada, Dhammapada

Ven. Kakkapalliye Anuruddha Thera解釋了以上的偈誦。

正如一個花環由眾多的花朵製成,同樣人亦應做很多的善行。

人根據業力不斷的生死輪迴,只要他的業力仍存在,他就會輪迴不絕。那些完全輪迴旅程的人 (阿羅漢) 不用害怕業力的影響,他們不會再有生死,因為他們的業力已經耗盡。然而,世界很多的眾生受業力的影響。

善行是善業,佛陀教人要積聚善業。為甚麼要累積善業呢?原因就是為了減弱惡業的影響。在我們生命中 (生死輪迴),我們有意識或無意識地累積不少的善業和惡業。我們不知輪迴的長短,就連佛陀也不清楚。佛陀曾對比丘說輪迴難以想像,看不到開始和終點,它是一個很長的旅程,由業力所決定。人生積聚的業力稱為「行」(Sañkhāra),根據緣起法,「行」會帶來「識」(Vijñāna),導致新的一生。惡業帶來痛苦。佛經提到很多的善行,例如慈心、樂善好施和德行,它們能產生善業。

《中部》(Majjhima Nikāya) 的Maha Kammavibhanga Sutta: The Great Exposition of Kamma (MN 136) 提到一位修苦行的人常詢問佛陀各樣問題,希望得到佛陀的解答。有一次,他問佛陀善業是甚麼意思。佛陀簡單回答,說善業有十種,即不殺、不盜、不邪淫、不妄語、不惡口、不綺語、不兩舌、不貪、不瞋和不癡。只要不做這些惡行,就算是善行。

(篇幅太長,下回再說)

2014年1月13日星期一

Bhante Saranapala: 7 Types of Individuals - What Type of Individual Are You?


Discourse on the Water Simile (AN 7.15), Udakūpama-sutta, translated by Bhikkhu Bodhi

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