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Going for Refuge
by Ven. Thanissaro Bhikkhu

原文版權所有   2001 坦尼沙羅比丘。免費發行。本文允許在任何媒體再版、重排、重印、印發。然而,作者希望任何再版與分發以對公衆免費與無限制的形式進行,譯文與轉載也要求表明作者原衷。

中譯版權所有   2008 良稹,http://www.theravadacn.org , 流通條件如上。轉載時請包括本站連接,并登載本版權聲明。

The act of going for refuge marks the point where one commits oneself to taking the Dhamma, or the Buddha's teaching, as the primary guide to one's life. To understand why this commitment is called a "refuge," it's helpful to look at the history of the custom.


In pre-Buddhist India, going for refuge meant proclaiming one's allegiance to a patron a powerful person or god submitting to the patron's directives in hopes of receiving protection from danger in return. In the early years of the Buddha's teaching career, his new followers adopted this custom to express their allegiance to the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha, but in the Buddhist context this custom took on a new meaning.

在佛教出現之前的印度, 歸依意味著對某位保護者當權者或者神明宣示忠誠,服從該保護者的指示,以期換得遠離危險的安穩庇護。在佛陀傳法生涯的早期,他的新弟子們沿襲了這個傳統,以表達自己對佛、法、僧的忠誠,不過在佛教語境之中,該傳統有其新意。  

Buddhism is not a theistic religion the Buddha is not a god and so a person taking refuge in the Buddhist sense is not asking for the Buddha personally to intervene to provide protection. Still, one of the Buddha's central teachings is that human life is fraught with dangers from greed, anger, and delusion and so the concept of refuge is central to the path of practice, in that the practice is aimed at gaining release from those dangers. Because the mind is the source both of the dangers and of release, there is a need for two levels of refuge: external refuges, which provide models and guidelines so that we can identify which qualities in the mind lead to danger and which to release; and internal refuges, i.e., the qualities leading to release that we develop in our own mind in imitation of our external models. The internal level is where true refuge is found.

佛教不是一個奉神的宗教佛陀不是一位神祗因此一個人歸依,在佛教意義上,並非是請求佛陀親自介入,提供庇護。雖如此,佛陀的一條核心教導是,人生布滿了危險指來自貪、嗔、癡的危險故此,歸依的概念對修證之道具有根本的重要性,因爲修持的目的正是爲了脫離這些危險。由於心既是危險的來源,又是解脫的來源,我們需要在兩個層次上歸依: 外在層次的歸依爲我們提供榜樣與指南,我們得以認清心的哪些素質引生危險,哪些素質引生解脫; 內在層次的歸依,則是效仿我們的外在榜樣,在自己內心培育起來的趨向解脫的素質。這個內在層次才是歸依的真正實現處。  

Although the tradition of going to refuge is an ancient practice, it is still relevant for our own practice today, for we are faced with the same internal dangers that faced people in the Buddha's time. We still need the same protection as they. When a Buddhist takes refuge, it is essentially an act of taking refuge in the doctrine of karma: It's an act of submission in that one is committed to living in line with the principle that actions based on skillful intentions lead to happiness, while actions based on unskillful intentions lead to suffering; it's an act of claiming protection in that, by following the teaching, one hopes to avoid the misfortunes that bad karma engenders. To take refuge in this way ultimately means to take refuge in the quality of our own intentions, for that's where the essence of karma lies.

盡管歸依的傳統古已有之,今日它對我們自己的修行仍具相關性,因爲我們面臨著與佛陀時代的人們同樣的內在危險。我們仍然需要同樣的庇護。當一位佛教徒歸依時,基本上這是對業力法則的一種歸依: 之所以爲遵奉,因爲他承諾在人生中遵奉善業[以善巧動機爲基礎的行爲]趨向幸福,不善業趨向苦痛的原則。之所以爲庇護,因爲藉著服從教導,他希望避開惡業招致的不幸。以這種方式作歸依,終究意味著歸依我們自己的動機的質量,因爲那就是業的精髓。  

The refuges in Buddhism both on the internal and on the external levels are the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha, also known as the Triple Gem. They are called gems both because they are valuable and because, in ancient times, gems were believed to have protective powers. The Triple Gem outdoes other gems in this respect because its protective powers can be put to the test and can lead further than those of any physical gem, all the way to absolute freedom from the uncertainties of the realm of aging, illness, and death.


The Buddha, on the external level, refers to Siddhattha Gotama, the Indian prince who renounced his royal titles and went into the forest, meditating until he ultimately gained Awakening. To take refuge in the Buddha means, not taking refuge in him as a person, but taking refuge in the fact of his Awakening: placing trust in the belief that he did awaken to the truth, that he did so by developing qualities that we too can develop, and that the truths to which he awoke provide the best perspective for the conduct of our life.

佛陀,在外在層次上,指的是悉達多-喬達摩,那位舍棄了王族頭銜,進入叢林禪修,最終證得覺醒的印度王子。歸依佛陀,並非意味著把他作爲個人而歸依,而是對他的覺醒的歸依,也就是置信於: 他的確覺悟真相、他的覺醒是藉著培育我們亦可培育的諸種素質、他所悟得的真諦爲我們的人生行動提供了最佳視野。

The Dhamma, on the external level, refers to the path of practice the Buddha taught to this followers. This, in turn, is divided into three levels: the words of his teachings, the act of putting those teachings into practice, and the attainment of Awakening as the result of that practice. This three-way division of the word "Dhamma" acts as a map showing how to take the external refuges and make them internal: learning about the teachings, using them to develop the qualities that the Buddha himself used to attain Awakening, and then realizing the same release from danger that he found in the quality of Deathlessness that we can touch within.

法, 在外在層次上,指的是佛陀傳給弟子們的修證之道。它又分爲三層: 他的教言、依此教言的實修、修成的覺醒體證。對法一詞作此三部區分[1],如一幅地圖,指明了從外在歸依出發,將其內在化的轉變方式: 即,學習教言,把它們應用於培育佛陀本人藉之證悟的諸種素質,接下來,在由他發現的、我們亦能從內心觸及的不死素質之中,同樣地實現解脫,遠離危險。

The word Sangha, on the external level, has two senses: conventional and ideal. In its ideal sense, the Sangha consists of all people, lay or ordained, who have practiced the Dhamma to the point of gaining at least a glimpse of the Deathless. In a conventional sense, Sangha denotes the communities of ordained monks and nuns. The two meanings overlap but are not necessarily identical. Some members of the ideal Sangha are not ordained; some monks and nuns have yet to touch the Deathless. All those who take refuge in the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha become members of the Buddha's four-fold assembly (parisa) of followers: monks, nuns, male lay devotees, and female lay devotees. Although there's a widespread belief that all Buddhist followers are members of the Sangha, this is not the case. Only those who are ordained are members of the conventional Sangha; only those who have glimpsed the Deathless are members of the ideal Sangha. Nevertheless, any followers who don't belong to the Sangha in either sense of the word still count as genuine Buddhists in that they are members of the Buddha's parisa.

僧伽一詞,在外在層次上有常規與理想兩種意義。在理想意義上,僧伽由所有修練到至少瞥見不死之法者構成,不論在家、出家。在常規意義上,僧伽指出家的比丘與比丘尼組成的團體。這兩種意義有重疊,但不一定等同。有的理想僧伽的成員並未出家; 有的比丘與比丘尼尚未觸及不死。所有歸依佛、法、僧者,皆屬於佛教四衆弟子(parisa)的成員: 比丘、比丘尼、優婆塞(男居士)、優婆夷(女居士)。盡管有一種流行說法認爲所有佛教徒都是僧伽的一分子,其實不然。只有出家者,才是常規僧伽的成員; 只有已瞥見不死者,才是理想僧伽的成員。不過,上述兩種僧伽以外的信衆,作爲佛陀的四衆成員,仍都是真正的佛弟子。

When taking refuge in the external Sangha, one takes refuge in both senses of the Sangha, but the two senses provide different levels of refuge. The conventional Sangha has helped keep the teaching alive for more than 2,500 years. Without them, we would never have learned what the Buddha taught. However, not all members of the conventional Sangha are reliable models of behavior. So when looking for guidance in the conduct of our lives, we must look to the living and recorded examples provided by the ideal Sangha. Without their example, we would not know (1) that Awakening is available to all, and not just to the Buddha; and (2) how Awakening expresses itself in real life.

當一個人歸依外在的僧伽時,他歸依的是兩種意義上的僧伽,但這兩種意義提供了不同層次的歸依。常規僧伽協助延續著教言的生命力,長達兩千五百多年。沒有他們,我們不可能了解佛陀教導的是什麽。然而,並非常規僧伽的所有成員都是可靠的行爲楷模。因此,當我們尋找人生的操行指南時,必須以在世的和記載中的理想僧伽作爲楷模。沒有他們作出的典範,我們不會了解(1)覺醒不僅只有佛陀才能成就,而是對人人開放; (2)覺醒在真實生活中如何體現。

On the internal level, the Buddha, Dhamma, and Sangha are the skillful qualities we develop in our own minds in imitation of our external models. For instance, the Buddha was a person of wisdom, purity, and compassion. When we develop wisdom, purity, and compassion in our own minds, they form our refuge on an internal level. The Buddha tasted Awakening by developing conviction, persistence, mindfulness, concentration, and discernment. When we develop these same qualities to the point of attaining Awakening too, that Awakening is our ultimate refuge. This is the point where the three aspects of the Triple Gem become one: beyond the reach of greed, anger, and delusion, and thus totally secure.

在內在層次上,佛、法、僧是我們效仿外在的榜樣,在自己的內心培育起來的善巧素質。譬如,佛陀是一位智慧、清淨、慈悲者。當我們在自己的內心培育起智慧、清淨、慈悲時,它們就構成了我們在內在層次上的歸依。佛陀藉著培育信念,精進、念住、定力、明辨,嘗得覺悟之果。當我們培育同樣這些素質、達到同樣的覺醒時,該覺醒就是我們的終極歸依。就在此處三寶的三側面合而爲一: 超越了貪、嗔、癡之所及,故此徹底安穩。


[1]中譯注:法一詞的三部區分,指pariyatti,patipatti,pativedha,即,教理、實踐、證得; 或學法、修法、證法。

最近訂正 1-22-2008