• 博客等级:
  • 博客积分:0
  • 博客访问:17,182
  • 关注人气:9
  • 获赠金笔:0支
  • 赠出金笔:0支
  • 荣誉徽章:
正文 字体大小:


(2010-01-15 16:16:42)


But we are jumping ahead of ourselves. Let us return to the extracts from the sutra given above. We shall start with the Tibetan version of the parable of the concealed elixir-producing tree. The first thing which we need to note regarding the “elixir-producing tree” is that its home is in the Himalayas: this symbolises the fact that the Buddha-dhatu is exalted and difficult of access. Yet it is not completely impossible to attain -  not like the summit of some Everestian peak seemingly beyond human reach (Mount Everest had not been climbed at the time of the Buddha -  as far as one knows!): the elixir tree is native to the forest areas of the mountains (i.e. not at their summit), so it can be reached, albeit with difficulty. Crucially, the tree itself produces a special elixir known as “bees’ nectar”. Nectar is, of course, the sweet fluid from which bees make honey – their sustaining food. Likewise, the Buddha-dhatu is the sweet, sustaining nutriment of all beings’ Awakening (bodhi), that which gives true life to all beings. And like nectar, it has an attractive fragrance which draws beings to it -  even though it finds itself concealed within masses of entangled foliage. These tangled thickets represent the negative mental states or kleshas (e.g. greed, hatred, delusion, arrogance, stinginess, scepticism about Dharma, lack of conscience, indolence ) which block the Buddha-dhatu from view. Yet it is there all the while. And its inner presence calls us through the sweet scent of its promise. 



      The parable makes clear that it is only a person of immense virtue -  a veritable emperor of righteousness (a chakravartin) – who is enabled to attain the apian nectar of the Buddha-dhatu. All other types of person -  even though they climb up into the mountain forests in quest of that spiritual elixir, digging here and there to get it  – do not possess the power to secure it. They are “sterile in virtue” (as the Dharmakshema version of our text has it). This is important for the practitioner to realise: simply practising meditation, watching the mind, even working hard at such practices is not sufficient to disclose the Buddha-dhatu. It requires the cultivation of virtue if we are to succeed. What virtue? Compassion, lack of selfishness, and elimination of ego-centred desire. Above all, kindliness and friendliness ( “maitri”, which is uniquely presented by the Nirvana Sutra as the supreme Buddhist virtue) are indispensable prerequisites. It also requires abstention from the harming (“ahimsa”) of any creature (including deliberately harming ants and insects). Equally, it demands non-attachment to “me and mine” - to the ego, the false self, and its manifold cravings. Paradoxically, it is seeing what is “not the Self” (anatman) which constitutes one of the gateways to Self (atman). All of these virtues spring from the cutting away of the entangling kleshas in the forest of our mind. 

寓言表明他是一个有着伟大道德的独特的人-一个名符其实的正义的皇帝(一个转轮圣王)-他能够得到佛性的蜂蜜。其它的人-他们爬上山上的森林以寻求精神的妙药,这里挖一点那里挖一点以获得它-不具有获得它的能力。他们在道德上是贫瘠的(我们文本的Dharmakshema 版本中有它)。这对于实践者来说是很重要的:仅仅实践冥想,观心,或者在这个实践上非常努力的工作是不能够发现佛性的。它要求实修我们继承的道德。什么道德?慈悲,不自私,去除自我中心的欲望。首先,善良而友好(弥勒,他是涅磐经中提到的唯一有佛的最高道德的人)是必不可少的先决条件。它同样要求(不杀生)免除对任何生命的伤害(包括故意伤害蚂蚁和昆虫)。同样的,它要求对我和我们没有执著-对本我,错误的自我,和它的多种渴望。不可思议的是,似乎没有自我(无我)恰好是到达自我(自性)之门。所有这些道德是源自于去除在我们心灵的树林之中纠缠的烦恼。

      But there is further important metaphysical matter in this parable, too. We learn that as long as the elixir remains in its home, the tree, it has solely one flavour to it. It is only when it is coaxed out of its resting-place and channelled down differently positioned tubes that it appears to take on a variety of flavours. This represents the straying of beings from their inherent pristine constitution -  the quiescent Buddha-dhatu -  and the tarnishing of their inner “flavour” through karmically unwholesome actions. This causes them to reincarnate as males, females, hermaphrodites, birds, animals, etc., and to appear as separate individuals who each “taste” differently. Their bodily forms are indeed like the different “tastes” of the elixir, having been influenced by the diverse channels of karmic action down which they have flowed from one life to the next. Yet in essence, these beings possess the same core taste, which is the tathagatagarbha, the inner transformative potency of Buddhahood. Their essence (svabhava / prakrti) is universally. 

       更近一步讲从形而上学来讲这是一个很重要的比喻。我们知道只要妙药仍然在家里,树上,它就有独特的味道。只有当他是从它源住之地流淌出来进入不同位置的管道时它才表现为不同的味道。这代表了生命从他们内在的原始状态已经偏离了-静态的佛性-从他们内在的不健康状态这表现出了生命的偏离。这使得他们转化为男性,女性,两性人,鸟,动物,等等。这就象表现为独立的个体。他们的身体形式确实象不同的妙药的滋味,这已经受到不同的业力行为的影响他们从一个生命流到另一个。然而,本质上,这些生命拥有同样的核心滋味,这就是如来藏,进入佛界的内在的动力。他们的本质(svabhava / prakrti)是普遍的。

      This Buddha-potency of the tathagatagarbha is, we learn, present everywhere, yet hidden by negative mental proclivities, and is the life-force which animates each being. One can kill the “outer” being -  the assemblage of skandhas – but one cannot annihilate or kill the indwelling, animating and nurturing Buddha-dhatu. That is indestructible. So we see that in these ultimate teachings, the Buddha reveals that the being is not just the five elements of the ordinary body and mind (the five skandhas) – indeed, that these things are epiphenomena, not the core reality -  but that what the being truly is at heart is the Buddha-power of the tathagatagarbha. As the Buddha says in the Dharmakshema version of the Nirvana Sutra, “the being is the Buddha-dhatu and the Buddha-dhatu is the being”. 


      It is important to remember this in the face of the claims made by some Buddhists that all there is to the being is the five skandhas and nothing else beyond that. The Buddha indicates otherwise. True, the essential Self of each being -  the tathagatagarbha or Buddha-dhatu, with its shared savour of Buddha-potency -  is not like some tangible, measurable little man sitting within the being, the size of a grain of rice or of one’s thumb (as taught in the Katha Upanishad: "A person the size of the thumb in the Atman always resides within the hearts of men.”). But that is not to say that there is no immortal core whatsoever to the being. There is such an irreducible and indestruct      Tathagatagarbha Buddhism likes to emphasise what it terms “authentic Dharma” or “true Dharma” (sad-dharma). And it is with such True Dharma that we shall conclude this paper.

很重要要记住的是面对佛教徒的声明所有的众生是五蕴而没有任何东西会超越它。佛对其他人说。真实的,每个生命真实的自我-如来藏或佛性,共享佛的能力的滋味-这不象某些有形的,可测量的小人和生命在一起,谷类的种子或者一个人的拇指(正如Katha的奥义书之中:一个自我拇指的大小总是在人们的心内)。但是这不是说这里没有永恒的核心对任何人来讲。这是一个不能减少和不能破坏的。如来的佛教徒喜欢强调“真法”或“实法”的术语(sad-dharma 悲伤)。这就是那个真实的佛法我们将要在本文结束。


      The “authentic Dharma”, like the Buddha-dhatu and the Buddha himself, is, in the end, Mystery. That Dharma (in the sense of the sustaining Law of all beings) is beyond all worldly comparisons. It can only be approximated through language and hinted at through parables and similes. But it is emphatically not simply and merely identical to ever-changing samsara or the Dependent Origination which makes up the misery and suffering of samsara. Such a claim is the epitome of nonsense and the final heresy from the perspective of Tathagatagarbha Buddhism. Instead, the Buddha-dhatu is a Reality which is pointed to and brought within the range of our perception by the use of skilful means and efficacious stratagems. It is thus the pointing out of the way to full vision of the Buddha-dhatu which is the “upaya” - not the Buddha-dhatu itself. A careful reading of the central Tathagatagarbha sutras will confirm that the Dhatu itself is not at all a “device” - but that various devices and methods are employed to bring us, erring and blinded mankind that we are, to a perfect vision of it.



      There now follows a selection of affirmative statements on the reality of the Buddha-dhatu- Tathagatagarbha from the key Tathagatagarbha sutras themselves, which show beyond reasonable doubt, I think (except perhaps to those persons with a penchant for sophistry and distortionism), that there truly does exist (in an ultimately supra-samsaric modus) an immanent and transcendental Buddhic Principle within all beings and creatures which nothing can destroy and which no one should deny, without grave consequences being attendant upon such denial. We shall start with the Mahaparinirvana Sutra itself. There we read the Buddha’s words on how cream of ghee is always present within all forms and modifications of milk, but is undetectable until it has been purified of its obscuring elements. The Tathagatagarbha is likewise:


      Ghee arising from the cow does not arise from something else and does indeed exist in all inherently (prakṛti), nevertheless it is not apparent because it is obscured by defects and subsists mixed mutually with (the milk) as I have just taught previously, the tathâgata-garbha indeed has an intrinsic nature like the cream of ghee, but it appears as something else due to the defects associated with the kleshas.



      The Buddha clearly teaches here that the Tathagatagarbha is the inherent nature of the being, its prakrti  or svabhava -  not merely a clever little verbal ploy “pour encourager les autres” (those alleged unfortunates unable or unwilling to face the stark Madhyamaka truth of no permanency and no abiding core reality to anything, anywhere, anywhen). The Garbha is always present, no matter what mutations and incarnations all beings may pass through during their sojourn in samsara. But the Garbha strikes human, unawakened perception as being not the Essence, since the seeing of that Essence is clouded by obscuring and distorting factors – the moral contaminants called the kleshas.

        佛陀清楚的教导说如来藏是生命内在的本性,它的本性prakrti  or svabhava-不是一个聪明的小玩意“pour encourager les autres”   (这些所谓的不幸不能或不愿意面对赤裸的中观理论由于没有永恒性和没有持久的核心的现实对任何事,哪里,任何时间)。胎藏总是表现出来,无论什么突变和化身所有的生命都将在轮回之中穿过经历他们的小屋。但是胎藏阻止了人们,没有未清醒的观念而不是核心,因此看到这个核心是由遮蔽和扭曲的因素构成-  这种道德的染污叫做烦恼。



      In a chapter on the fundamental dicta of Tathagatagarbha Buddhism called “The Letters”, the Mahaparinirvana Sutra reiterates the Buddha’s previously intimated point (one encountered earlier in this paper) that to deny or reject the Tathagatagarbha is tantamount to committing spiritual suicide. Now the Buddha spells this out unequivocally.



      Like a cow’s udder (ûdas).  For example, just as cow’s milk is delicious, the taste of this sûtra too is similar to that.  Those who abandon the teaching given in this sûtra concerning the tathâgata-garbha are just like cattle.  For example, just as people who intend to commit suicide will cause themselves extreme misery, similarly you should know that those ungrateful people who reject the tathâgata-garbha and teach non-Self cause themselves extreme misery.”



      Far from using the Tathagatagarbha as a mere crutch for, or concession to, the spiritually backward and deficient, the Buddha here makes it clear that acceptance of the reality of the Tathagatagarbha is comparable to the drinking-in of a life-giving and life-sustaining mother’s milk. To reject such vital nutriment is both to display ingratitude to the Buddha and, furthermore, to evince sure signs of spiritual obtuseness (hence the image of the cattle). More importantly, the teaching of non-Self without promulgating the counterbalancing revelation of the Tathagatagarbha is an act which will generate the most severe suffering. The whole raison d’etre of Buddhism is to eliminate suffering -  so to assert, as the Buddha does here, that it is the unqualified non-Self doctrine (not the Tathagatagarbha) which will generate such misery must be taken very seriously indeed.


      When we turn to the parable of the king's wrestler and his lost jewel, we encounter some very interesting facts. Firstly, the wrestler's jewel (as with the poor man's treasure in the preceding parable) is said to be "precious". It is salutary to remember this when scholars -  as some do -  attempt to "rubbish" the doctrine of the Tathagata-garbha or play down its importance. Moreover, the wrestler's jewel is a panacea -  it can eliminate all infections.



This refers to the poisonings which beings inflict upon themselves through indulgence in the kleshas (especially desire, hatred, delusion, and pride of self). The jewel that is the Buddha-dhatu can purge these poisons, these infectious diseases, from the being's system. Next we note that the jewel gets displaced through acts of violence: it is during a bout with a rival that the wrestler's gem gets dislodged from his head and penetrates into his flesh. This is clearly symbolic: we lose contact with our true nature when we give way to acts of aggression, anger and harmfulness. Such emotions cover over our pristine essence, and submerge it in the "flesh" -  the desires and drives of the body.



阅读 评论 收藏 转载 喜欢 打印举报/Report
  • 评论加载中,请稍候...




    新浪BLOG意见反馈留言板 电话:4000520066 提示音后按1键(按当地市话标准计费) 欢迎批评指正

    新浪简介 | About Sina | 广告服务 | 联系我们 | 招聘信息 | 网站律师 | SINA English | 会员注册 | 产品答疑

    新浪公司 版权所有