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印证心灵真谛

——佛教的“厌离”与“净信
[作者]坦尼沙罗尊者
[中译]良稹
Affirming the Truths of the Heart "——The Buddhist Teachings on Samvega & Pasada
by Ven. Thanissaro Bhikkhu

原文版权所有 © 1997 坦尼沙罗比丘 。免费发行。 本文允许在任何媒体再版、重排、重印、印发。然而,作者希望任何再版与分发以对公众免费与无限制的形式进行,译文与转载也要求表明作者原衷。


中译版权所有 © 2005 良稹,http://www.theravadacn.org , 流通条件如上。转载时请包括本站连接,并登载本版权声明。

We rarely think of Buddhism as an emotional religion. Early Buddhism in particular is often depicted as centered more in the upper left quadrant of the head than in the heart. But if you look closely at the tradition, you'll find that from the very beginning it has been fueled by a deeply felt emotional core.

我们很少把佛教看成一门感性宗教,尤其早期佛教常被形容为,其重点在脑左前部,非在于心 。不过,你若仔细审视这个传统,会发现其原动力从一开始便以深切的感性为核心。

Think back for a moment on the story of the young Prince Siddhartha and his first encounters with aging, illness, death, and a wandering contemplative. It's one of the most accessible chapters in the Buddhist tradition, largely because of the direct, true-to-the-heart quality of the young prince's emotions. He saw aging, illness, and death as an absolute terror, and pinned all his hopes on the contemplative forest life as his only escape. As Asvaghosa, the great Buddhist poet, depicts the story, the young prince had no lack of friends and family members who tried to talk him out of those perceptions, and Asvaghosa was wise enough to show their life-affirming advice in a very appealing light. Still, the prince realized that if he were to give in to their advice, he would be betraying his heart. Only by remaining true to his honest emotions was he able to embark on the path that led away from the ordinary values of his society and toward an unsurpassed Awakening into the Deathless.

让我们回想一下年轻的悉达多王子初次面对老、病、死、与丛林游方者的故事。它之成为佛教传统中最广为人知的章节之一,主要在于体现了年轻王子内心情感的直接与真切。他视老、病、死为怖畏之极,寄一切希望于丛林梵行这条唯一的解脱之道。据佛教大诗人马鸣对这个故事的叙述,王子身边试劝他放弃己见的亲友不乏其众,作者足有智慧地把世俗人生观描绘得引人入胜。尽管如此,王子意识到,屈服于劝解等于背叛自己的真心。惟有继续诚实地面对这些真切情感,他才得以踏上远离世俗价值、超越生死的觉悟之路。
 

This is hardly a life-affirming story in the ordinary sense of the term, but it does affirm something more important than life: the truth of the heart when it aspires to a happiness absolutely pure. The power of this aspiration depends on two emotions, called in Pali samvega and pasada. Very few of us have heard of them, but they're the emotions most basic to the Buddhist tradition. Not only did they inspire the young prince in his quest for Awakening, but even after he became the Buddha he advised his followers to cultivate them on a daily basis. In fact, the way he handled these emotions is so distinctive that it may be one of the most important contributions his teachings have to offer to our culture today.

这个故事以一般意义而言,很难说是对入世人生观的肯定,然而它却肯定了比生存更重要的一件事: 心灵渴求一种绝对纯净的幸福真谛。这股渴求之力以两种情绪为基础,巴利文称为厌离(samvega)与净信(pasada)。虽然我们当中鲜有闻者,它们却是佛教传统中最基本的两种情绪,不仅激励著年轻的王子对觉醒的求索,在他证悟之后,也鼓励弟子们常长此心。实际上,他处理这些情绪的方式如此独特,对于当今文化来说,是可资采纳的最重要的贡献之一。

Samvega was what the young Prince Siddhartha felt on his first exposure to aging, illness, and death. It's a hard word to translate because it covers such a complex range — at least three clusters of feelings at once: the oppressive sense of shock, dismay, and alienation that come with realizing the futility and meaninglessness of life as it's normally lived; a chastening sense of our own complacency and foolishness in having let ourselves live so blindly; and an anxious sense of urgency in trying to find a way out of the meaningless cycle. This is a cluster of feelings we've all experienced at one time or another in the process of growing up, but I don't know of a single English term that adequately covers all three. It would be useful to have such a term, and maybe that's reason enough for simply adopting the word samvega into our language.

厌离感(samvega)是年轻的悉达多王子初次面对老、病、死之时所生的感受。这个词很难英译,其内涵复杂,至少并摄了三类感受: 意识到世俗生活的徒劳与空虚而生起的震惊、气馁与疏离的压抑感; 对自耽自满、愚痴盲目地生活至今的自责感; 寻求脱离无谓轮回之道的急迫感。这些感受,我们在成长过程的某个时刻都曾经历过,但我不认为有哪个英语词汇可以同时贴切地表达这三种含义。有这样一个词很实用,也许足以把它直接吸收过来,纳入我们的语汇中。

But more than providing a useful term, Buddhism also offers an effective strategy for dealing with the feelings behind it — feelings that our own culture finds threatening and handles very poorly. Ours, of course, is not the only culture threatened by feelings of samvega. In the Siddhartha story, the father's reaction to the young prince's discovery stands for the way most cultures try to deal with these feelings: He tried to convince the prince that his standards for happiness were impossibly high, at the same time trying to distract him with relationships and every sensual pleasure imaginable. Not only did he arranged an ideal marriage for the prince, but he also built him a palace for every season of the year, bought him only the best clothes and toiletries, sponsored a constant round of entertainments, and kept the servants well paid so that they could put at least a semblance of joy into their job of satisfying the prince's every whim. To put it simply, the strategy was to get the prince to lower his aims and to find satisfaction in a happiness that was less than absolute and not far from pure. If the young prince were alive today, the father would have other tools for dealing with the prince's dissatisfaction——including psychotherapy and religions counseling—— but the basic strategy would be the same: to distract the prince and dull his sensitivity so that he could settle down and become a well-adjusted, productive member of society.

佛教不仅提供了这个有用的词汇,更提供了对治它表达的感受的有效策略——我们的本土文化觉察其威胁性,却素无良方。当然,并非仅西方文化受厌离感的威胁。在悉达多的故事里,面对王子的新生情绪,父王的回应代表着多数文化的应对方式: 他试图说服王子,他的喜乐标准高不可及,同时试以婚姻关系与各样感官极乐转移其注意力。父王不仅替他安排了一桩理想婚姻,还为他盖起宫殿,每季各居一处。不仅为他购置华服美饰,还使他的周围娱乐不断; 受到优待的仆役们极尽能事,奉承王子的一应兴致。其策略简单说,是令王子降低目标,从远离绝对、远非清净的世俗生活中觅得快乐。如果年轻的王子活在今日,那位父王对付王儿的不满情绪则另有其招——其中会包括心理疗法与宗教咨询——不过基本策略不变: 分散注意力,麻醉敏感度,使他安定下来,成为适应社会、有事生产的一员。

Fortunately, the prince was too eagle-eyed and lion-hearted to submit to such a strategy. And again, fortunately, he was born in a society that offered him the opportunity to find a solution to the problem of samvega that did justice to the truths of his heart.

所幸的是,王子有着鹰眼狮心,未曾屈从此计; 更有幸的是,他出生的社会为他提供了寻找厌离感的解答与求证心灵真谛 的机会。

The first step in that solution is symbolized in the Siddhartha story by the prince's reaction to the fourth person he saw on his travels outside of the palace: the wandering forest contemplative. Compared to what he called the confining, dusty path of the householder's life, the prince saw the freedom of the comtemplative's life as the open air. Such a path of freedom, he felt, would allow him the opportunity to find the answers to his life-and-death questions, and to live a life in line with his highest ideals, "as pure as a polished shell."

 

在悉达多的故事里,那个解答的初步象征,正落在王子离宫出游时遇见的第四人——丛林游方者时的反应上。较之被他称为“局限多尘”的世俗生活,王子视这位行者的人生如天空般辽阔。他感到这条自由之道将令他有机会求解生死问题,同时过一种符合自己最高理想的生活,“如磨光的珠贝般纯洁。”

The emotion he felt at this point is termed pasada. Like samvega, pasada covers another complex set of feelings usually translated as "clarity and serene confidence" ——mental states that keeps samvega from turning into despair. In the prince's case, he gained a clear sense of his predicament, together with a confidence that he had found the way out.

这个时刻他感受的情绪,便称为净信(pasada)。如同厌离感,该词也包含一组复杂的感受,通常解作“清明与安详的信心”——这类心态使厌离感不至沦为绝望。在王子的故事里,他对自己的困境有了清晰的了解,同时又对找到超越老、病、死的出路升起了信心。

As the early Buddhist teachings freely admit, the predicament is that the cycle of birth, aging, and death is meaningless. They don't try to deny this fact and so don't ask us to be dishonest with ourselves or to close our eyes to reality. As one teacher has put it, the Buddhist recognition of the reality of suffering — so important that suffering is honored as the first noble truth — is a gift, in that it confirms our most sensitive and direct experience of things, an experience that many other traditions try to deny.

早期佛教毫不讳言,困境就在于轮回于生、老、死的毫无意义。其教导并不试图否认这个事实,因此不要求我们欺骗自己,或者装着视而不见。如一位导师所说,佛教对现实之苦的确认——并且郑重其事地尊之为第一圣谛——是一件赠礼。它印证了我们对世事最敏感、最直接的体验,而这种体验是许多其它宗教传统试图否认的。

From there, the early teachings ask us to become even more sensitive, to the point where we see that the true cause of suffering is not out there — in society or some outside being — but in here, in the craving present in each individual mind. They then confirm that there is an end to suffering, a release from the cycle. And they show the way to that release, through developing noble qualities already latent in the mind to the point where they cast craving aside and open onto Deathlessness. Thus the predicament has a practical solution, a solution within the powers of every human being.

从那里出发,早期佛教要求我们进一步提高敏感度,直到看见,造苦的真正原因不在那里——不在外界社会,不在他人——而在这里,在每个人内心的渴求。接著,它确认苦是可以止息的,轮回是可以脱离的。同时它指出了解脱之道——藉由长养内心潜在的尊贵素质,直到止息渴求、趋向涅槃。因此,困境有一条人人得以实践的解脱之道。

It's also a solution open to critical scrutiny and testing — an indication of how confident the Buddha was in the solution he found to the problem of samvega. This is one of the aspects of authentic Buddhism that most attracts people who are tired of being told that they should try to deny the insights that inspired their sense of samvega in the first place.

这条道之具有开放性,接受人们严格的审查与检验,也说明佛陀本人对于解决厌离感的难题何等有把握。对那些倦于受人劝解、拒绝否认引生厌离感的原初领悟的人来说,这也是真正的佛教最吸引他们的原因。

In fact, Buddhism is not only confident that it can handle feelings of samvega but it's also one of the few religions that actively cultivates them to a radical extent. Its solution to the problems of life demand so much dedicated effort that only strong samvega will keep the practicing Buddhist from slipping back into his or her old ways. Hence the recommendation that all Buddhists, both men and women, lay or ordained, should reflect daily on the facts of aging, illness, separation, and death — to develop feelings of samvega — and on the power of one's own actions, to take samvega one step further, to pasada.

实际上,佛教不仅对解决厌离感的问题足有把握,也是少数几个鼓励从根本上长养此心的宗教之一。对于人生困境的解决之道要求如此专注的修持,只有具备了强烈的厌离感,才能够确保行者不至松懈退步、回复旧习。故有此番教诫: 无分男女、在家出家,每日籍省思老病离死,长养厌离之感,下一步,藉由个人自身行动之力,将厌离升华为净信。

For people whose sense of samvega is so strong that they want to abandon any social ties that prevent them from following the path to the end of suffering, Buddhism offers both a long-proven body of wisdom for them to draw from, as well as a safety net: the monastic sangha, an institution that enables them to leave lay society without having to waste time worrying about basic survival. For those who can't leave their social ties, Buddhist teaching offers a way to live in the world without being overcome by the world, following a life of generosity, virtue, and meditation to strengthen the noble qualities of the mind that will lead to the end of suffering. The close, symbiotic relationship maintained between these two branches of the Buddhist parisa, or following, guarantees that the monastics don't turn into misfits and misanthropes, and that the laity don't lose touch with the values that will keep their practice alive.

对于厌离心强,有志于离开世俗纠葛、减少解脱道上的障碍者,佛教既提供了一套久经考验的智慧体系,也提供了僧伽的安全网,这个机构使他们得以离开居家社会,基本生存条件无虞。对于离不开世俗关系者,佛教提供了一套居世而不受其染的生活方式,以布施、持戒与禪定,增强心智中趋向解脱的的尊贵品质。佛教僧俗(parisa)这两个分支的紧密共生关系,保证了僧侣们免于成为边缘人与厌世者,居士们得以继续接触保持其修行活力的根本价值。 

So the Buddhist attitude toward life cultivates samvega — a strong sense of the meaninglessness of the cycle of birth, aging, and death — and develops it into pasada: a confident path to the Deathless. That path includes not only time-proven guidance, but also a social institution that nurtures it and keeps it alive. These are all things that our society desperately needs. In our current efforts at mainstreaming Buddhism, we should remember that one source of Buddhism's strength is its ability to keep one foot out of the mainstream, and that the traditional metaphor for the practice is that it crosses over the stream to the further shore.

因此,佛教的生命观滋养厌离之心——即对轮回于生老死的强烈的无谓感——并将之发展为净信: 对涅磐之道的信心。那条道不仅包括了久经考验的智慧指南,还包括了延续法脉的团体组织。这些都是我们个人与社会迫切需要的。在当前使佛教主流化的努力当中,我们应记得,佛教的力量来自于不随波逐流,修证的传统譬喻是跨越水流、到达彼岸。

最近訂正 6-2-2009