2008年3月5日 星期三

Key point about 'What the Buddha Taught': Chapter 1

What the Buddha Taught

 

Chapter 1: The Buddhist Attitude of Mind

 

[ Refuge by yourself, every can become a Buddha ]

-       He (Buddha) attributed all his realization, attainments and achievements to human endeavour[1] and human intelligence.

 

-       A man and only a man can become a Buddha.

 

-       One is one's own refuge, who else could be the refuge? He admonished his disciples to 'be a refuge To themselves'. and never to seek refuge in or help from anybody else.

 

-       The Buddha says:' You should do your work, for the Tathagatas only teach The way.'

 

-       It is only in the sense that he discovered and showed the Path To Liberation, Nirvana.

But we must tread the Path ourselves.

 

 

[ Doube ]

-       According to the Buddha’s teaching, doubt is one of the five Hindrances to the clear understanding of Truth and to spiritual progress (or for that matter to any progress).

 

 

[ Sin ]

-       In fact there is no ‘sin’ in Buddha, as sin is understood in some religions.

 

 

[ Evil ]

-       The root of all evil is ignorance and Taste views.

 

 

[ Honours all religions ]

-        [2]Emperor Asika: One should not honour only one's own religion and condemn the religions of others, but one should honour others' religions for this or that reason. So doing, one helps one's own religion to grow and renders service to the religions of other too. In acting otherwise one digs the grave of one's Own religion and also does harm to other religions. Whosoever honours[3] his own religion and condemns other religions, does so indeed through devotion to his own religion, think "I will glorify my own religion."' But on the contrary, in so doing he injures his own religion more gravely. So concord is good: Let all listen, and be willing to listen to the doctrines professed by others.’

 

-       This spirit of sympathetic understanding should be applied today not only in the matter of religious doctrine, but elsewhere as well.

 

This spirit of tolerance and understanding has been from the beginning one of the most cherished ideals of Buddhist culture and civilization.

 

 

[ Religion or philosophy? ]

-       [4]The question has often been asked: Is Buddhism a religion or a philosophy?

1. It does not matter what you call it.

2. Truth needs no label.

3. Sectarian labels are a hindrance to the independent understanding of Truth, and they produce harmful prejudices in men's minds.

 

- (p.5 + P.8) This is true not only in intellectual and spiritual matters, but also in human relations.

- People are so fond of discriminative labels that they even go To the length of putting them on human qualities and emotions Common to all.

 

(p.6 + P.9) Human qualities and emotions like love, charity. compassion too, tolerance, patience, friendship, desire, hatred, ill-Will, ignorance, conceit, etc., need no sectarian labels; they belong to no particular religions.

 

 

[ Medicine not necessary to know who and come from]

[5]- If the medicine is good, the disease will be cured.

- It is not necessary To know who prepared it, or Where it came from.

 

 

[ What is 'saddha/sraddha[6]? ]

1. Suddha is not 'faith' as such, but rather 'confidence' born out of conviction.

2. According to Asanga, the great Buddhist philosopher of the 4+h Century A. C., saddha has three aspects:

(1) full and firm conviction that a thing is.

(2) Serene joy at good qualities.

(3) aspiration or wish to achieve an object in view.

 

3. [7]The question of belief arises When there is no seeing-seeing in every sense of the word.

(1) The moment you see, the question of belief disappears.

(2) The phrase in ancient Buddhist texts reads: 'Realizing, as one sees a gem (or a myrobalan fruit) in the palm.'

(3) Buddha says:' I say that the destruction of defilement and impurities is (meant) for a person who knows and who sees, and not for a person who does not know and does not see.'

(4) It is always question of knowing and seeing, and not that of believing.

 

 

[Has see Truth [8]]

- [9]The expressions used everywhere in Buddhist texts referring to persons who realized Truth are: 'He has see Truth, has attained Truth, has know Truth, has penetrated into Truth, has  crossed over doubt, is without wavering.'

1. Thus with right wisdom he sees it as it is.

2. With reference to his own Enlightenment the Buddha said: 'The eye was born, knowledge was born, wisdom i was born, science was born, light was born.'

3. It is always seeing through knowledge or wisdom, and not believing through faith.

 

 

[ Maintaining or protecting Truth ][10]

 

- To explain The idea of maintaining or protecting truth, the Buddha said:' A man has a faith. If he says "This is my faith", so far he maintains truth.

 

 

[ Fetter[11]/ Buddha's teaching is compared to a raft for crossing over ]

-       The Buddha says: 'To be attached to one thing (To certain view) and to look down doe upon other thing (views) as inferior-this the wise men all a Letter.'

 

-       If you cling to it, if you fondle it, if you treasure it, if you are attached to i-t, then you do not understand that the teaching is similar to a raft, Which is for crossing over, and not for getting hold of.'

 

-       Buddha's teaching is compared to a raft for crossing over, and not for getting hold of and carrying on one's back.

 

-       I have taught a doctrine similar to a raft-it is for crossing over, and not for carving (lit. getting hold of).

 

-       You, who understand that the teaching is similar to a raft, should give up even good things (dhamma); how much more then should you give up evil things (adhamma).'[12]

 

 

[ Wilderness of opinion ][13]

-       The Buddha's teaching is meant to carry man to safety, peace, happiness, tranquility, the attainment of Nirvana. The Whole doctrine Taught by the Buddha leads to this end. He did not say things just to satisfy intellectual curious i-y. He was a practical teacher and taught only those things which would bring peace and happiness to man.

 

-       Buddha say:' Of what I have known I have told you only a little, What I have not told you is very much more. And why IO have I not told you (Those things?) Because that is not useful…not leading to Nirvana. That is why I have not Told you those things.'

 

-       The Buddha was not interested in discussing an necessary metaphysical questions which are purely speculative and which create imaginary problem.

 

-       "Ten well-know classical questions on metaphysical problems"[14]:

1.    Example about poisoned arrow[15].

2.    The holy life does not depend on these views.

3.    Because it is not useful, it is not fundamentally connected with the spiritual holy life, is not conducive to aversion, detachment, cessation, tranquility, deep penetration, full realization, Nirvana.

 

 

[ What is Buddha explained? Four Noble Truths ][16]

 

-       I have explained dukkha, the arising of dukkha, the Cessation of dukkha, and the way leading to the cession of dukkha.

 

-       Because it is useful, is fundamentally connected with the spiritual holy life, is conducive to aversion, detachment, Cession, tranquility, deep penetration, full realization, Nirvana. Therefore I have explained them.

 

 

 

 


 



[1] = endeavor

[2] (p.4 + P.7)

[3] = honor

[4] (p.5 + P.7~8)

[5] (p.8 + P.11)

[6]

[7] (p.8 + P.11)

[8] 得淨法眼

[9] p.8 + p.12

[10] 護持正法

[11] 桎梏、纏縛

[12] 法尚應捨,何況非法?

[13] p.12~13 + p.15~16。戲論的原野

[14] 十無記。

[15] 毒箭喻。

[16] P.15+P.21~22

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