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佛法双语工作坊 | 佛说四十二章经 第12章(1)

2020年11月24日 15:28:00 天开寺 点击:0

The Sutra of Forty-two Chapters - 12 (1)
佛說四十二章經 第12章(1)
後漢 西域沙門迦葉摩騰 竺法蘭 同譯
Translated jointly by Indian Sramana Kasyapa Matanga and Dharmaraksa in the Later Han Dynasty

法师讲解  第2分钟38秒开始   单词 第6分钟42秒开始

第12章 舉難勸修
Difficulties as Encouragement for Cultivation

The Buddha said: "There are twenty difficult things to attain [or to accomplish] in this world:

(1) It is difficult for the poor to practise charity;
(2) It is difficult for the strong and rich to observe the Way;

(3) It is difficult to disregard life and go to certain death;
(4) It is only a favored few that get acquainted with a Buddhist sutra;

(5) It is by rare opportunity that a person is born in the age of Buddha;
(6) It is difficult to conquer the passions, to suppress selfish desires;

(7) It is difficult not to hanker after that which is agreeable;
(8) It is difficult not to get into a passion when slighted;

(9) It is difficult not to abuse one's authority;
(10) It is difficult to be even-minded and simple-hearted in all one's dealings with others;

(11) It is difficult to be thorough in learning and exhaustive in investigation;
(12) It is difficult to subdue selfish pride;

(13) It is difficult not to feel contempt toward the unlearned;
(14) It is difficult to be one in knowledge and practice;

(15) It is difficult not to express an opinion about others;
(16) It is by rare opportunity that one is introduced to a true spiritual teacher;

(17) It is difficult to gain an insight into the nature of being and to practise the Way;
(18) It is difficult to follow the steps of a savior;

(19) It is difficult to be always the master of oneself;
(20) It is difficult to understand thoroughly the Ways of Buddha."

英文版经文转载自 菩提字幕屋,英译者 D.T. Suzuki
English  version sourced from Bodhi Fansubs, translated by D.T. Suzuki

Commentary:  Difficulties as encouragement for cultivation(1)

This chapter has listed out twenty types of hindrance against cultivation. We shall elaborate on some of them:

Difficult for the poor to give alms: It is true that poor people will have difficulty in money donation, but we have learned in Chapter 11 that the merit of alms giving depends mainly on mentality instead of object. Moreover, poor people can make offerings in terms of courage and the dharma. Giving hope and happiness to others, such as lending a helping hand, or showing appreciations, are within the scope of offering of courage. As for offering of the dharma, it includes teaching the dharma, and encouraging others to believe in karma or to take refuge in the Three Jewels. Offering of the dharma is also the most prestigious among the three kinds of alms giving.

Difficult for the rich to practise: Affluent people, who possess wealth, power, and status, can easily lose themselves. First of all money can bring about a lot of temptation, and secondly practice may imply forfeiture of possessions. There is such a story from the Buddhist sutra: once a bhiksu was suffering from a serious sickness which nobody could cure. Venerable Master Moggallana yet thought of his disciple Jivaka who was a famous doctor. He had often offered medical treatments to monks and therefore had accumulated a lot of merits. It was just that Jivaka had been reborn in heaven after death. When Moggallana was looking for him in heaven, Jivaka happened to be on the ride for indulgence, and he only waved to Moggallana. As a result Moggallana stopped Jivaka by using supernatural power and reprimanded him. However Jivaka defended himself, saying that I have already done well; if other devas were me, they would ignore you.

Difficult to experience the Buddhist sutras: The existence of Buddhist sutras follows the emergence of the Buddha. Dated from the beginning of human history which started several thousands of years ago all the way to the emergence of the next Buddha Maitreya coming in 5.7 billion years, Buddha Sakyamuni’s dharma, which will last for some ten thousand years only, is the only dharma that will exist during this period. Also only those human beings who have a karmic cause can learn and practice it.  

Take the Surangama Sutra as an example; the Great Master Zhi Zhe (538 A.D. - 597 A.D.) , the founder of the Tian Tai School of Buddhism, set up a worship terrace at the peak of Tian Tai Mountain in quest of the Sutra. He worshiped and prayed for the Sutra there for 18 years till his great decease but without success. After more than a hundred years, Master Paramiti, an eminent monk from India, was deeply moved by the deeds of Master Zhi Zhe, so he was determined to bring the Surangama Sutra to China. However, circulation of the Sutra across the border was forbidden at that time. After several unsuccessful attempts, Paramiti hid the scrolls of the Sutra by sewing them into his arms, and successfully brought the Surangama Sutra to China eventually in 705 A.D. It is thus clear that the opportunity of hearing the dharma is very rare.  
就以《楞严经》为例,天台宗始创人智者大师(公元538-597年)为了拜读《楞严经》,在天台山顶设立拜经台,祈求礼拜了整整十八年,直至圆寂时都没有获得。百多年后印度高僧般剌密谛因为智者大师拜经的事迹深受感动, 决定把《楞严经》传到中国。但当时《楞严经》是禁止外传,经过了多次失败,最终般剌密谛把经卷藏在臂膊的肉里,在公元705年成功地把《楞严经》传到中国,可见遇到佛法的机遇是非常难得的。

讲解 | 释宏添   北京天开寺
By Bhiksu Hong Tian,  Tiankai Temple


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