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(2010-01-15 15:55:44)


Some of development  Buddhist terms or Philosophical Concepts

in Theravada and Mahayana Mahaparinibbana sutras.


         In the Mahaparinibbana Sutra there are references to some Buddhist philosophical concepts. They are scattered over the chapters II, III and IV of the Sutta. When taken as a whole, some of these lists of philosophical concepts gives us the idea of interpolations free from any logical connection to the narrative of the Sutra. It seems that there must have been a certain amount of enthusiasm to establish the way as practiced by the Theras by the time of the Buddha’s decease and to give authoritative renderings of the same in contrast to the numerous conceptualizations.


      The ethical as well as the idealistic nature of early Buddhism could be determined by these positions or stages of mastery and deliverance. Mastery over sense faculties brings about mental culture and dispels delusion in the perceptual process. Although these lists are quite out of context, here the redactors of the Sutta must have thought of interpolating them in recognition of the significant place they occupy in Buddhist teaching. They have been referred to in many places of the early works of the Pali canon (01).


      It is said in the one discourse (Ariyapariyesana) Sutta that the Buddha had mastered up to the seventh psychic stage i.e. up to the psychic stage belonging to the world of formlessness under the ascetic (Alarakalama) and the eighth i.e. the fourth psychic stage belonging to the world of formlessness under the ascetic (Uddakaramaputta). The ninth, where the cessation of sensations and ideas exists, was discovered by the Buddha Himself by means of prolonged meditation (02).

这就是说在佛经的一段论述之中(圣求经Ariyapariyesana),佛陀已掌握到第七心理阶段,即在禁欲的(Alarakalama)之下的无色界的心理阶段而第八即在禁欲的条件下(Uddakaramaputta)的第四个心理阶段是属于无色界的。第九,那里的感觉和思想停止, 佛陀本人通过了长期的冥想发现了这一点(02)

      The list of the thirty-seven factors or the aggregates of Enlightenment are mentioned only in name(03).  As Rhys Davids points out: This summary of the Buddha’s last address may fairly be taken as a summary of Buddhism, which thus appears to be simply a system of earnest self- culture and self-control. Warder has treated these thirty-seven factors comprehensively, comparing them with relative Mahayana texts and Chinese translations (04).

           第37种因素或觉悟的累积只在名字中提到(03) 正如里斯戴维斯指出:这是佛陀的最后报告的摘要可以公正地作为佛教的总结,因而似乎只是一种认识自我的文化和自我控制。看守在全面处理这些37因素,与相关的大乘佛教的文本和中文翻译相比(04) 。

      At the outset of his discussion, Warder says that this summary appears to have been common to all schools of Buddhism and remarks further: Apart from the versions of the Mahaparinirvana Sutra which gives it such prominence, we find the same list of seven topics, from the four bases of self-possession to the excellent eightfold way, in many other texts of all known schools.


The seven factors or the thirty-seven aggregates of Enlightenment are:

1.The four foundations of mindfulness (CattaroSatipaññhànà)

2.The fourfold great effort (Cattaro Sammappadhànà)

3.The four bases of psychic powers (Cattaro Iddhipàdà)

4.The five spiritual powers (Panca Balàni)

5.The five spiritual faculties (Panca Indriyàni)

6.The seven factors of enlightenment (Satta Bojjhangà)

7.The Aryan eightfold path (Ariyo Aññhangiko Maggo)

3,四种基本的精神力量 (Cattaro Iddhipàdà)
4,五种精神力量(Panca Balàni)
5,五种精神功能 (Panca Indriyàni)
6,七种觉悟的因素(Satta Bojjhangà)
7,雅利安八正道(Ariyo Aññhangiko Maggo)


      There are of course many places where references have been made to these philosophical concepts in the early Pali Nikaya works (05). Undoubtedly, they represent the genuine teaching of the Blessed One. Warder has attempted to trace them in different Mahayana texts and  their relationship with the original teaching as found in the Pali canon. His strenuous effort is commendable for two reasons. Firstly, he recognizes the earliest strata of the canonical works and thereby indirectly establishes the Path as enunciated by the Buddha. Secondly, he tries to identify the trends of development of these thoughts in subsequent Buddhist Sanskrit works. Of course, the list is more or less like a summary of the ethico-philosophical path proclaimed by the Buddha throughout His career of forty-five years. Subsequent to His demise, the stamp of authority was however given by the Theras by including them in the Sutta.

        在早期的南传佛教作品之中当然有很多地方涉及到这些哲学概念 (05)毫无疑问,他们代表了圣尊真正的教法。看守试图以不同的大乘佛教版本来描写它并且在巴利文佛经之中发现了它和早期佛教教义。由于两个原因他们的不懈努力是值得赞赏的。首先,他承认早期的佛教经典的地层并且因此直接建立了一条由佛陀阐述的道路。第二,他试图证明这些后来的佛教梵文版本是这些思想发展的支流。当然,列表差不多是一个佛陀四十五年的教育生涯伦理哲学之道的总结。权威的印章是佛经之中包括他们在内的长老所给予的。

      Two concepts found in the Mahaparinibbaõa Sutta in relation to the supreme Bliss of Emancipation are cetovimutti and pannavimutti(06). Rhys Davids, however translates these two terms as emancipation of mind and emancipation of heart respectively and passes it off without any comment on his part justifying his rendering heart forpa¤¤à which obviously stands for insight or reason in the text referred to. The Pali-English Dictionary (P.T.S.) while translating the word pannàvimutti as emancipation

through insight, renders pannàvimutto as a person freed by reason, which actually suggests the earliest meaning of the two terms found side by side in the canonical works. Horner, too, recognises that pannàvimutta is not emancipation from but emancipation through and renders it as the person freed by means of intuitive wisdom(07).



      The first member of the compound, pannàvimutti, is definitely instrumental in meaning and it comes from pannàya and is to be rendered as through or by means of which is also vindicated by the Kitagiri Sutta of the Majjima Nikaya quoted above. The Sutta, defining the term  pannàvimutto,  says that he is a person who has destroyed all cankers by means of insight and consequently the total effect is the freedom from both bondages, emotional and intellectual. The two terms (cetovimutti and pannàvimutti) have been defined in the Anguttara Nikaya in a different manner, taking into account the stage of perfection indicated by the two terms, according to which cetovimutti is freedom from passion while  pannàvimutti  is freedom from ignorance(08).

        这个组合词的第一员,pannàvimutti,明确是有意义的而且它来源于pannàya并被翻译为或通过上面引述的《中部尼柯耶》的《枳吒山邑經》来纠正。佛经,定义了pannàvimutto的术语,所他是一个通过内察而破坏了所有的腐烂的人并且因此最后的效果就是从两种束缚之中解脱出来,感情的和理智的。这两个术语(cetovimutti 和 pannàvimutti)被以不同的方式在增支部之中定义,考虑到这两个术语的完美的说明阶段,根据cetovimutti是从情感之中解脱而pannàvimutti是从物质之中解脱。

      The commentary on the Digha Nikaya in elucidating the word pannàvimutto  as one who is emancipated through insight goes on to say that a person emancipated through insight is a person who has not realised the eight respective stages of deliverance but has been emancipated by the power of insight without any substratum of body and mind being left behind, according to which the pannàvimutti has not traversed the path of the normal course of training marked with the four psychic stages of the world of forms

and the four of formlessness, but has realised the Truth and got himself emancipated then and there by his power of insight.

Ceto of the compound cetovimutti is cetas in Sanskrit and is contracted to ceto in Pali. Cetovimutti is the emancipation of mind which follows the destruction of the fluxes in the mind itself (09).

           长阿含经的评论说明pannàvimutto这个词是通过内照来解脱接着说一个人通过内照获得解脱的人是一个能够认识到解脱的八个阶段的人,是通过内视的力量来解脱而并没有身体和心灵的根据,据此pannàvimutti没有走正常的修理道路即色界的四个阶段和无色界的四个阶段,但是通过内照力已经认识到了真相并且使自己获得解脱。复合词cetovimutti中的ceto是梵文之中的心(cetas)在巴利文中缩写为ceto. Cetovimutti 是从心里解脱的意思这就是伴随着在心灵之中的粘连的破坏。


The word cetovimutti appears in the first sermon of  the Buddha where the Buddha says that His cetovimutti is unshaken and that it is His last birth and there are no more births for Him. By using the word cetovimutti alone, total emancipation is meant in the context because wisdom and vision resulting in Enlightenment have preceded cetovimutti.




      Evidently, the two terms  separately connote the emancipation in respect of the person perfected, liberated. In the commentarial age attempts have been made to differentiate pannàvimutti by giving prominence to the intellectual advancement of the person who achieves liberation without being trained by the normal course of raining. The path is described as consisting of three steps: Sãla (morality) Samàdhi (concentration) and Pannà (wisdom). This classification of gradual ascent of the training is found in numerous places in the canon(10). Buddhaghosa, in writing his thesis Visuddhimagga, followed the elfsame method of classification and based his exposition on a canonical stanza to this effect. The Mahaparinibbana Sutra, too, speaks of these three steps of the Path of training summarily(11) and later in the fourth chapter speaks of four steps thus including an additional one called Vimutti (release). It seems that he compilers of the Sutra tended to highlight the climax of the process of Buddhist training with Release so much so, it could be rightly remarked that the fourth step is but an of the third, Pannà or wisdom.

      在注释时代人们更为重视通过人的智力活动来达到解脱而非通过通常的学习训练过程,试图以此来产生一种慧解脱。这条路被描述为拥有三个步骤:Sãla (道德) Samàdhi (禅定) and Pannà (智慧).这种渐进的上升的区分在经典之中有多处发现。(10)觉音,他写了他的论文清静道论Visuddhimagga,遵循了同样的区分方法并且将他的解释建立在经典中的韵诗这个意思。大乘涅磐经,也,谈到了这三步概括的训练道路。(11)随后在第四章谈到了四个步骤包括一个增加的人叫做Vimutti(解脱)。这看起来象他编辑的佛经倾向于强调佛教徒放松后的高峰体验,它可以正确地说明第四步实际上是第三步的精心完成的成果,般若或智慧。



      The classification of these three steps is however posterior to the first sermon of the Buddha where the Noble Eightfold Path has not been classified in conformity with these gradual steps. This is because, according to the interpretation of the Noble Eightfold Path which classifies it to three steps of training, the first two belong to wisdom and the next three to morality. The last three come under concentration. According to the order of this division of the Path, Pannà comes first and then come Sila and Samàdhi;


1. Sammà ditthi      } Pannà (智慧)

2. Sammà samkappa


3. Sammà vàcà

4. Sammà kammanta}Sila(戒律)

5. Sammà àjiva


6. Sammà vàyàma

7. Sammà sati          } Samàdhi(禅定)

8. Sammà samàdhi


      The division of three steps in its gradual order was very popular even during the time of the Buddha and these steps have become part and parcel of the Buddhas teaching, just as much as the Noble Eightfold Path in early Buddhism.

        这三步的划分是逐渐的有秩序的是非常普遍的,即便在佛陀的时代而且这些步骤已经成为佛陀教育的部分和 3名在其逐步以便步骤分工很受欢迎,在佛陀的时间和步骤,甚至已经成为一部分和一块,这正如八正道在早期的佛教一样。

  Mrs. Rhys Davids is of the opinion that the Eightfold Path is a later systematisation. The omission of the item from the eighth Nipata of the Anguttara Nikaya and the Sangiti Sutta of the Digha Nikaya has been adduced in this connection. One devotees asks her whether the three steps are arranged in accordance with the Aryan Eightfold Path or the Aryan Eightfold Path is arranged in accordance with the three steps. Others one replies that the three steps are not arranged in accordance with Noble Eightfold Path, but that the Noble Eightfold Path is arranged in accordance with the three steps (12). This is certainly clear evidence to show that both classifications are genuine teachings as practiced by the early disciples of the Master. Relying on Mrs. Rhys Davids conjuncture, went on to say that it is not wise to attribute the formula of the Eightfold Path to the Buddha Himself in the absence of more convincing evidence.  If it is so, on the contrary, one can argue if the Noble Eightfold Path is a later systematization as they maintain, it could have been tabularized in conformity with the three gradual steps found in the canonical works themselves!


      The Buddha might have referred to the Path generally without going into the description of the constituents in some instances while defining the Path as eightfold on other occasions. The problem is solved when the Path is taken as an integrated whole, not as a Path consisting of gradual ascending steps. In many places of the Sutta there are references to these three steps, viz.; Morality or virtue (Sãla), Concentration (Samàdhi) and Insight (Pannà). When the Buddha was in Rajagaha He emphasised the importance of Morality which being the basis of Buddhist training, has to be followed at the outset by a disciple (13).



      The realization is to be achieved as a result of deliberate and gradual mental exercise. Therefore, the Path is divided into three successive stages through which the individual is introduced to a graduated course of discipline in respect of his mind and body. The disciplinary training that one has to undergo in becoming a Buddhist is, therefore, called gradual discipline (anupubba sikkhà), gradual action (anupubba kiriyà) and gradual practice (anupubba patipadà). The onward march of the graduated course of training terminates with the acquisition of wisdom. Further, in the discourse, elucidating this course of training, the parable of the thoroughbred horse has been drawn. Addressing Bhaddali, the Exalted One says thus: As a skilled horse-trainer, having received a

skilled thoroughbred horse, first of all accustoms it to the training in respect of wearing the bit, whatever the contortions, capers and struggles while it is getting used to training it was not used to before, yet because of the continual training (abhinha karana)  gradual training (anupubba karana), it is brought to perfection in that respect. The Buddha goes on further to explain how the horse-trainer

gets it used to further training in respect of wearing the harness, in respect of going straight on, in respect of going in a circle, in respect of its hoofs, in respect of galloping, of neighing, of royal tricks and royal acrobatic feats, in respect of matchless speed, matchless swiftness and matchless manners. The horse-trainer exerting constantly, gradually produces a horse endowed with the ten qualities worthy of a king, reckoned as an attribute of royalty (14).

       要实现这一点是通过努力和逐渐的心理锻炼的结果。因此,这条道路是被分为三个连续的阶段是关于精神和肉体的逐渐训练的过程。有关戒律的训练是在成为一个佛教徒的必须经历,因此,叫做逐渐的弟子(anupubba sikkhà),逐渐的行为(anupubba kiriyà)和逐渐的实践(anupubba patipadà).。接受这种智慧的培训是一个渐进的过程。进一步,在论述之中,阐明了这个训练的过程,这可以比喻为训练一匹纯种马。安置了Bhaddali,释尊这样说:如一个有经验的训练者,已经获得了有经验的纯种马,已经习惯于定上马衔铁而训练,无论是转弯,跳跃,争斗,它已经习惯于以前没有的训练,由于连续的训练(abhinha karana)逐渐的训练(anupubba karana)。它被认为在这方面是完美的。佛陀进一步解释驯马者怎样习惯于佩戴安全带,关于向前直走,关于转圈,关于它的马蹄,关于奔驰,关于马嘶,关于皇家技巧和皇家杂技,关于无比的速度,无比的快,无比的风俗。驯马者不断施加,逐渐产生具有国王一样十项素质的马,估计是归于王族。


      So the physical and mental training in Buddhism is aimed at producing a man of vision, where morality plays a basic role in governing his behavioral pattern as the initial step of the graduated course of training. In this connection the Pahàràda Sutta also can be cited, where eight wonderful (acchariyà) qualities of the ocean are compared to eight equally wonderful qualities of the dispensation. Just as the mighty ocean slopes away gradually, shelves away gradually, no abruptness like a precipice, even so in the discipline of the Dharma, there is a gradual discipline, a gradual action, a gradual practice with no abruptness such as a penetration of gnosis(15). The Eightfold Path and the graduated course have to be considered mutually inclusive. When these successive stages have been cultivated, the mind is set free from the intoxication of sensuality (kàmàsava), from the intoxication of becoming (bhavàsava), from the intoxication of wrong views (diññàsava) and from the intoxication of ignorance (mohàsava)(16). By these basic tenets, the ethical behavior of the trainee is ensured while emphasizing the importance of  ethical living for the betterment of the individual and society. In this connection, the Sutra gives in detail lists of the fivefold losses and fivefold gains in respect of moral

behavior. The place occupied by morality in early Buddhism remained intact throughout the ages and became an integral part of every form of Buddhism practiced all over the world irrespective of the distinction of Theravada and Mahayana. Theravadins further magnified the importance and gave much more dignity and superiority to discipline (Vinaya) over Morality (Sãla) and pronounced that the Vinaya or discipline of the Buddha was the very life blood of the dispensation.

       所以在佛教之中的身体和心理的训练目的是产生一个人的视觉,那里道德扮演了一个基本的职责以管理他的行为和训练的起步课程。这个关系引用了Pahàràda佛经,那里八个很精彩的(acchariyà)海洋的素质与八个平等的精彩的分配有关。就象浩瀚的大海逐渐的倾斜,货架渐渐远离,没有悬崖峭壁的突兀,即便是大法的弟子,这里有一个逐渐的弟子,一逐渐的行为,一个逐渐的实践而没有直接的顿悟。八正道和渐进的课程已经被认为相互包容。通过这些连续阶段的修炼,心灵从感觉的自我陶醉之中 (kàmàsava),从变化的自我陶醉之中(bhavàsava),从错误观点的自我陶醉中(diññàsava),从无知的自我陶醉中(mohàsava)解脱出来。通这些基本的信条,这个伦理行为的训练是确保的,为了个人和社会的更好,要强调伦理生活的重要性。在这个联系中,佛经从详细列出了关于道德的五倍的损失和五倍的获得。被早期佛教道德影响的地区在那个时代仍然是未开化的,后来演变成了无论何种形式下不可缺少的部分,如果不区分大乘佛教和小乘佛教,佛教的修炼遍及世界。大乘佛教进一步强调了其重要性并且给了弟子更多的尊严和优越感(律Vinaya)或道德感(持戒Sãla)并且宣布佛陀的戒律或训导是避免了每个生命流血。


      There is a very brief conversation between the Buddha and Ananda expressing the attitude to be cultivated by monks towards

womenfolk in the Mahaparinibbana Sutta. It appears suddenly without any connection to the narrative that proceeded or succeeded it, placed after the list of four sacred places which should be visited by believing clansmen. Ananda asks advice from the Buddha:

How are we to conduct ourselves, Lord, with regard to womenkind? As not seeing them, Ananda. But if we should see them, what are we to do? No talking, Ananda. But if they should speak to us, Lord, what are we to do? Keep wide awake, Ananda(17).





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