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上座部佛教和大乘佛教般若涅磐经的韵诗或颂偈 (一)

(2010-01-11 09:39:14)


The Stanzas or Gatha in Theravada and Mahayana Mahaparinibbana sutras.



 The Stanzas or Gatha in Theravada Mahaparinibbana Sutta.


There are a number of stanzas (gàthà.) scattered all over the Mahaparinibbana Sutta. Some of them are comparatively old while some are of later origin. A few are introduced as the utterances of the Buddha while some others are versifications of the preceding prose passages. Yet another group of verses seems to have been taken from a floating mass of narrative ballads and embodied in  the Sutta to make it a complete whole. Undoubtedly, these stanzas of different character and contents belonged to different epochs in the evolution of the Buddha biography.


      Historically, Prince Siddatthas renunciation was a happening which created a great sensation among the people at large. He left wife and child behind abandoning royal pleasure and donned the yellow robe of a mendicant to live on what was received at anothers doorstep. He went against the caste and social position of an individual highly recognised in those days and was capable

enough to make an impact on society with compassion which knew no bounds. It was a selfless and impressive life devoted to the service of mankind.

在历史上,悉达多(Siddatthas)王子的出家在人民之中引起了巨大的轰动 。他放下了皇室的逸乐还有妻子和孩子,穿上了黄色的长袍去做睡在别人门槛外的乞丐,他反对种姓和那个时代有很高社会地位的人,他通过他的仁慈给社会上的人以很深的印象。这是个无私而感人的生命为了人类而服务 。


      Therefore from very early times, ballads of a popular character must have been composed narrating the life and deeds of the Master. The Pabbajja, Padhana and Nalaka Suttas in the Sutta Nipata are remnants of these narrative ballads and they have their counterpart in the Akhyana of Sanskrit literature. They have the common characteristic of alternation between dialogue and stanzas. Discussing the structure of this kind of ballad poetry, Jayawickrama says: The Pabbajja Sutta is essentially a narrative ballad, which on account of the highly interesting dialogue it contains, can be called a dialogue ballad at the same time. No less an authority than Winternitz remarks that they are precious remnants of the ancient sacred ballad poetry from which the later epic version of the Buddha grew in the same way as heroic poetry grew out of secular ballads or Akhyana(01).

因此在很早的时候,民谣的最普遍的特点必须是由叙事诗和大师的事迹构成。在Pabbajja, Padhana 和 Nalaka Suttas 和涅磐经之中叙事性的诗歌,他们在梵文的文学之中有相对应的人物。在对话和韵诗之间他们有一般的特点。考虑到这类民间诗歌的结构,Jayawickrama说:Pabbajja佛经主要是叙事诗,它包含着很有趣的对话,可以叫做同样时代的叙事诗。没有比Winternitz更高的权威了,他报告说他们是以前古代珍贵的叙事诗,从佛经后期的叙事诗中这被当作英雄诗歌的是世俗的诗歌或 Akhyana

      Oldenberg, about a century ago, referring to the stanzas in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta, said: These very old verses which plainly and truly depict a plain situation, beong beyond all doubt to the most trustworthy reminiscences which we have of Buddhas life. In the face of wild phantoms of later works like the Lalitavistara they should not be forgotten by those who are in doubt as to whether the biography before them is that of a man or of a sun-hero (02).



      Therefore it is evident that there must have been balads composed on the life of the Buddha and from them those that dealt with the last days of the Buddhas life were ncorporated into the Sutta in the course of its historical development. However these could be easily recognized and could be taken out without harming the narrative of the Sutta. In many places narration in the ballads is in the third person and, occasionally, in direct speech.

       因此,不难看出这里必须有构成佛陀生活的叙事诗而且他们描述了佛陀最后的生活但在历史的进程之中没有进佛经。 但是这可以很容易被认知到并且提出来而不伤害到佛经的叙述。在许多地方民谣的叙述是以第三人称,偶尔,是以直接的引语。

In total there are thirty stanzas in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta and by analysing the formation, the contents and the sentiments expressed, they can be assigned to various stages of development.



      At the end of the first chapter we come across the first three stanzas of the Sutta, said to have been uttered by the

Buddha to the Magadhan ministers, Sunidha and Vassakara.

         在第一章的结束后我们穿过了佛经之中三分之一的韵诗,佛对摩羯陀的大臣,Sunidha和 Vassakara.谈到了此事。


 I.Wheresoeer the prudent man shall take up his abode, Let him support the brethren there, good men of self-control,

II.And give the merit of his gifts to the deities who haunt the spot.Revered, they will revere him: honoured, they honour him again;

III.Are gracious to him as a mother to her own, her only son.And the man who has the grace of the gods, good fortune he beholds.

二 将他的礼物奉献于神经常出没之处。崇敬的,他们尊重他,荣耀的,他们再次尊敬他。

      These three stanzas fit in nicely with the foregoing prose passage, nevertheless concepts which took strong footing in later

popular Buddhism are quite clearly visible in them. Dakkhinà (Skt. dakshinà) recommended here is of importance.

   这三段韵诗正好与以前的散文诗相配合,无论是流行的佛教可在他们那里很清楚的看见。Dakkhinà (Skt. dakshinà)建议这是很重要的。


      Here one is requested to offer to the self-controlled virtuous ones and transfer the merits thus accrued to the deities. They, in turn, just as a mother looks after her one and only son, would look after him. The term dakkhinà used in this connection goes back to pre-Buddhistic times. Originally, it was used to indicate the fee or the present given to the officiating priest as a reward (03).


      Thus it has come to be used in Buddhist circles invariably to mean gifts to the monks. However as early as the latter part of the Buddhas life we see the shift of accent from the offering of requisites to monks to the transferring of merits thus accrued to the dead or to the deities. The Therigatha as well as its commentary, take it in the same sense. Rhys Davids has aptly translated the word.


      Therefore dakkhinà is a gift of charity given to the community of monks as well as the transference of merits thus accrued to the departed or to the deities. Hence Buddhaghosa says, commenting upon the word, (Sanghassa dinne cattaro paccaye tasam gharadevatànaü apadiseyyapattiü dadeyya). merits accrued by giving the four requisites to the Sangha would be transferred to the deities associated with the house.

           因此dakkhinà是一个给当地僧侣的慈善礼物 ,正如对逝者和神的优点的颂扬。因此觉音说,由于评论文字(Sanghassa dinne cattaro paccaye tasam gharadevatànaü apadiseyyapattiü dadeyya),供奉僧侣的四个要求的慈悲 ,已经转变为与房屋相连的神。

      Towards the end of the career of the Buddha we see therefore how this religious concept was being evolved within the confines of Buddhist teaching. It was destined to play a prominent role in popular Buddhism in years to come.

关于佛的生涯的最后期,我们因此看到这一宗教概念在佛的教化之中是怎样演化的 ,这注定要在随后的大众佛教之中扮演一个突出的作用。

      However, some of the Chinese texts give different verses (04), being absent in the Tibetan version as well (05).

          然而,在某些中文版本之中有不同的诗句 (04),如缺失在西藏的版本。

      The fourth stanza of the Sutta found at the conclusion of the first chapter is controversial. It runs thus: “They who have crossed the ocean drear Making a solid path across the pools Whilst the vain world ties its basket rafts These are the wise, these are the saved indeed! (06).


      It has been pointed out that the stanza is older than the preceding prose passage in the Sutta. Pande suggested that those who misunderstood the deep meaning of the stanza have taken it to mean a miraculous crossing of the Ganges(07).  In Udana Pali, the stanza appears with the preceding prose passage and is taken to mean a miraculous crossing of the Ganges by the Buddha.

      据说韵诗与前面佛经之中的段落相比要老一点 。潘德建议这些误解了韵诗的深刻含义的人就象他穿越了神奇的恒河。 (07)在 巴利文的优陀那之中,韵诗出现在前一段的散文之中,这意味着通过佛穿越神奇的恒河。

      But, taken as an independent unit by itself, it gives a different meaning. It could just be a paean of joy uttered

by the Buddha in which sense it has been explained by Dhammapala even more comprehensively than by Buddhaghosa. There is definite evidence to show that the Prose and the verse are of diverse origin. The stanza is not found in the Tibetan and also not in many Chinese versions The fact that it has no place either in Tibetan or in Chinese versions does not necessarily mean that it is a later interpolation.



      Rhys Davids, preferring to take the traditional meaning, gives an explanation of the verse and says: That is, those who cross the ocean drear or craving avoiding by means of the dyke or causeway of the Aryan Path, pools or shallows of lust and ignorance and delusion, whilst the vain world looks for salvation from rites and ceremonies and gods. He draws our attention further

to the Dhammapada stanza No. 91 where the crossing over of the flood of Samsara to the further shore is give who wander about taking all these into account, it this side of the bank. could be surmised that the stanza and the passage preceding it represent two different epochs in the evolution of the Sutta.


轮回的洪水到达远处岸边那些想要把这一切考虑进来的,在这岸边。 可以推测前面的韵诗和章节表现了在佛经的演变之中的两个不同的时代。  

      Two stanzas found in the second chapter next to the stanzas quoted above remind us of the first paean of joy

uttered by the Buddha just after his attainment of enlightenment at the foot of the Bodhi tree in Gaya. The word bhavanetti and punabbhava lead us closer to the concepts peculiar to Buddhism as found in the early teachings of the Master.

         在第二章发现上述韵诗相邻的两首韵诗使我们想起了佛陀在加雅(Gaya)的菩提树下悟道后说的第一个狂喜之歌 。单词bhavanetti和punabbhava使我们更接近佛教特有的概念,如同在佛教的早期教义之中发现的那样。

I. By not seeing the Aryan Truths as they really are, Long is the path that is traversed through many a birth;

II.When these are grasped, the cause of rebirth is removed, The root of sorrow uprooted, and then there is no more  Birth(08).

In the Buddhas first paean of joy also mentioned above similar sentiments have been expressed in metaphorical terms. The first stanza in the third chapter runs thus:

His sum of life the sage renounced, - The cause of life immeasurable or small;

With inward joy and calm, he broke, - Like a coat of mail, his lifes own cause!(09).

由于看不到 雅利安真理的真貌,通过无数生的轮回之路是漫长的;




      Although it is given in the third person singular, the text and the commentary take it to mean a paean of joy uttered by the Buddha. But as it seems, it has been taken from a floating mass of ballad poetry and embodied into the Sutta when the compilation of the Sutta was going on. The stanza and the reason for its utterance is found in the Udana Pali, too(10). Rhys Davids remarks: This verse is obscure and possibly corrupt. The commentator, Dhammapala, has attempted to explain it very enthusiastically and that explanation is generally accepted by the Theravadins.  Mullar and Windish agree in saying that the verse found in the Divyavadana with the fourth line ahinat ko ªamivaõóa sam-bhavam is older than the Pali verse.Apparently the Pali verse is much older than the Buddhist Sanskrit one in view of the language and the concepts expressed therein. Therefore the compilers must have thought it befitting to insert it into the Sutta.

      虽然是第三人称单数,文本和评注中把它当作佛所说的狂喜之歌。但是它就象,在编辑佛经的时候把它当作一首民间流行的民谣诗歌放在佛经之中。韵诗和表达的原因是根据巴利文的优陀那(Udana)。里斯戴维斯表白说:“这个韵诗是晦暗的的也许是损坏的。评论员,护法,很热心地试图要解释它而这一解释被是一般被小乘佛教接受.  Mullar和Windish同意说,在《大譬喻集》(Divyavadana)发现的韵诗第四行ahinat ko ªamivaõóa sam-bhavam 是比巴利文更老的经典。表面上讲巴利文的版本是比佛教徒的梵文版 在语言和概念的表达上是要老一点的,编辑必须考虑到它是否适合放到佛经之中。

      The three stanzas with which the third chapter has been concluded undoubtedly belonged to the oldest strata of the Sutta. They depict the life and career of the Buddha in simple but meaningful terms.


Free from pedagogical expression_rs and classifications found in the foregoing passages of the Sutta, here the Blessed One unfolds that He has come to the end of his earthly career and admonishes the monks to be diligent, mindful and ethical in their own interest. These verses are said to have been proclaimed by the Buddha just after the pronouncement of His decease, which was to take place in three months from that day.

从教学宣传中解脱出来和这一分类是在佛经的前几页发现的 ,这里圣尊引申说他已经到了早期事业的尽头并且告诫和尚要勤奋,专注和乐于伦理道德。 这些经文据说是佛在声明他要逝世后宣布的,从那天后在3个月内发生。

I. My age is now full ripe; my life draws to its close: I leave you; I depart, relying on myself alone!

II. Be earnest then, O brethren, and holy, full of thought! Be steadfast in resolve! Keep watch ore your own hearts!

III. Who wearies not, but holds fast to this truth and law, Shall cross this sea of life, shall make an end of grief (11).

二。保持认真的,哦兄弟 ,和神圣,充满了思想!坚定不要动摇!守住自己的心!

三。 不要倦怠,谨守这个真理和法律,将要穿过生命之海,将要终结悲伤。


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