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佛陀的启示 第六章 无我论 Chapter VI. The Doctrine of No Soul: Anatta
 
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Chapter VI. The Doctrine of No Soul: Anatta

第六章  无我论

What in generally is suggested by Soul, Self, Ego, or to use the Sanskrit expression Ātman, is that in man there is a permanent, everlasting and absolute entity, which is the unchanging substance behind the changing phenomenal world. According to some religions, each individual has such a separate soul which is created by God, and which, finally after death, lives eternally either in hell or heaven, its destiny depending on the judgment of its creator. According to others, it goes through many lives till it is completely purified and becomes finally united with God or Brahman, Universal Soul or Ātman, from which it originally emanated. This soul or self in man is the thinker of thoughts, feeler of sensations, and receiver of rewards and punishments for all its actions good and bad. Such a conception is called the idea of self.

一般用到‘灵魂’、‘自我’、‘个我’或梵文里的‘神我’( Atman)(编者注: Atman其实只是‘我’的意思,一般均译为‘神我’,沿用已久,但是否与奥义书及吠檀多之哲学相符,甚可置疑。)这些字眼的时候,它们所提示的意义是:在人身中有一恒常不变、亘古长存的绝对实体。这实体就是那千变万化的现象世界背后不变的实质。照某些宗教说,每一个人都有一个个别的灵魂,这灵魂是上帝所创造的。人死后,它即永久地生活在地狱或天堂里,而它的命运则完全取决于它的创造主的裁判。依另一些宗教的说法,这灵魂可以历经多生,直到完全净化,最后乃与上帝或梵天或神我合一,因为当初它就是从这里面流出来的。这个人身中的灵魂或自我是思想者、感受者、一切善恶行为所得奖惩的领纳者,这种的观念叫做我见。

Buddhism stands unique in the history of human thought in denying the existence of such a Soul, Self, or Ātman. According to the teaching of the Buddha, the idea of self is an imaginary, false belief which has no corresponding reality, and it produces harmful thoughts of 'me' and 'mine', selfish desire, craving, attachment, hatred, ill-will, conceit, pride, egoism, and other defilements, impurities and problems. It is the source of all the troubles in the world from personal conflicts to wars between nations. In short, to this false view can be traced all the evil in the world.

在人类的思想史中,佛教是独一无二不承认这灵魂、自我或神我的存在者。根据佛的教诫,我见是虚妄的邪信,与真实绝不相侔。它只能产生‘我’、‘我的’之类有害的思想、自私的欲望、贪求、执著、憎恨、嗔恚、贡高、我慢、自利主义,以及其它染污不净法等种种问题。它是世间一切纷扰的泉源:从个人间的冲突,以至国与国间的战争,莫不以此为根由。简言之,世间一切邪恶不善法,无一不可溯源到这一邪见。

Two ideas are psychologically deep-rooted in man; self-protection and self-preservation. For self-protection man has created God, on whom he depends for his own protection, safety and security, just as a child depends on its parent. For self-preservation man has conceived the idea of an immortal Soul or Ātman, which will live eternally. In his ignorance, weakness, fear, and desire, man needs these two things to console himself. Hence he clings to them deeply and fanatically.

人的心理上,有两种根深蒂固的意念:自卫与自存。为了自卫,人类创造了上帝,靠上帝得到保护、安全与依怙,就像小孩依赖父母一样。为了自存,人类想出了灵魂(神我)不灭的主意,俾得亘古长存。由于他的愚昧、懦弱、恐惧与贪婪,人类需要这两件东西来安慰自己。因此,他紧紧地、狂热地抓住它们。

The Buddha's teaching does not support this ignorance, weakness, fear, and desire, but aims at making man enlightened by removing and destroying them, striking at their very root. According to Buddhism, our ideas of God and Soul are false and empty. Though highly developed as theories, they are all the same extremely subtle mental projections, garbed in an intricate metaphysical and philosophical phraseology. These ideas are so deep-rooted in man, and so near and dear to him, that he does not wish to hear, nor does he want to understand, any teaching against them.

佛的教诫不但不助长这愚昧、怯懦、恐惧与贪欲,反从釜底抽新将这些(劣根性)连根芟除,以使人类得到正觉为目的。根据佛教,上帝与灵魂的概念,是虚妄不实的。虽然神学是一项高度发展的理论,它们仍然只是极精微的前尘心影,不过穿上了深奥难懂的形上学以及哲学名词的外衣而已。这些意念之根深蒂固而为人类所亲所爱,使得人类不愿听闻、更不愿了解任何与之相违反的教诫。

The Buddha knew this quite well. In fact, he said that his teaching was 'against the current' (patisotagāmi), against man's selfish desire. Just four weeks after his Enlightenment, seated under a banyan tree, he thought to himself; 'I have realized this Truth which is deep, difficult to understand… comprehensible only by the wise… Men who are overpowered by passions and surrounded by a mass of darkness cannot see this Truth, which is against the current, which is lofty, deep, subtle and hard to comprehend.'

佛对这点甚为熟知。事实上,他曾说过,他的教诫是反潮流的,是违反人类自私的欲念的。在他证正觉才四个星期的时候,他坐在一棵榕树底下,如是自思:‘我已证入真理。此理艰深,难见难解,......惟智者能知之......为强烈的欲望所征服而为黑暗所包围的人,不能见此真理。这真理是反潮流的,崇高、深奥、微妙、难知。’

With these thoughts in his mind, the Buddha hesitated for a moment, whether it would not be in vain if he tried to explain to the world the Truth he had just realized. Then he compared the world to a lotus pond: In a lotus pond there are some lotuses still under water; there are others which have risen only up to the water level; there are still others which stand above water and are untouched by it. In the same way in this world, there are men at different levels of development. Some would understand the Truth. So the Buddha decided to teach it. [1]
 
他心里这样想著,佛曾一度犹豫。如将他所证真理,解释与世人知悉,是否将徒劳无功?然后他将世间比作一座莲池:在莲池中,有些莲花还淹没在水底,有些已长到水面,有些则已透出水面而不为水所沾濡。同样的,在这世间也有各种根器不同的人。有些人会了解这真理的,佛这才决定说法。[注一]

The doctrine of Anatta or No-Soul is the natural result of, or the corollary to, the analysis of the Five Aggregates and the teaching of Conditioned Genesis (Paticca-samuppāda). [2]
 
无我论(或称灵魂非有论)是缘起论的推论,也是分析五蕴所得到的自然结果。[注二]

We have seen earlier, in the discussion of the First Noble Truth (Dukkha), that what we call a being or an individual is composed of the Five Aggregates, and that when these are analysed and examined, there is nothing behind them which can be taken as 'I', Ātman, or Self, or any unchanging abiding substance. That is the analytical method. The same result is arrived at through the doctrine of Conditioned Genesis which is the synthetical method, an according to this nothing in the world is absolute. Everything is conditioned, relative, and interdependent. This is the Buddhist theory of relativity.
 
在前文讨论第一圣谛(苦谛)的时候,已说明所谓众生或个人是由五蕴综合而成。将五蕴予以分析审察,找不到在它们幕后另有一个可以称之为我、神我或自我的长住不变的实质。这是分析法,但用合成法的缘起论,也能得到同样的结果。根据缘起论,世间没有一件事物是绝对的。每一件事物都是因缘和合的(由条件构成的)、相对的、互为依存的。这就是佛教的相对论。

Before we go into the question of Anatta proper, it is useful to have a brief idea of the Conditioned Genesis. The principle of this doctrine is given in a short formula of four lines:

在正式讨论无我的问题之前,对于缘起论应有一个简明的概念。这一项教义可用四句简短的公式来代表它:

When this is, that is (Imasmim sati idam hoti);
This arising, that arises (Imassuppādā idam uppajjati);
When this is not, that is not (Imasmim asati idam na hoti);

此有故彼有,此生故彼生;
此无故彼无,此灭故彼灭。[注三]

This ceasing, that ceases (Imassa nirodhā idam nirujjhati). [3]
On this principle of conditionality, relativity and interdependence, the whole existence and continuity of life and its cessation are explained in a detailed formula which is called Paticca-samuppāda 'Conditioned Genesis', consisting of twelve factors:

在这缘起、相对、互存的原则下,整个生命的存在、持续,以迄寂灭,都在一条叫做缘起法则的公式里解释得十分周详。这法则共分十二部分:

 

 

 

 

 

 


Through ignorance are conditioned volitional actions or karma-formations (Avijjāpaccayā samkhārā).
一、因为无知,乃有种种意志的活动而成业(无明缘行)。
Through volitional actions is conditioned consciousness (Samkhārapaccayā viňňānam).
二、因为有种种意志的活动,乃有知觉的生起(行缘识)。
Through consciousness are conditioned mental and physical phenomena (Viňňānapaccayā nāmarūpam).
三、因为有知觉,乃有精神与肉体的现象产生(识缘名色)。
Through mental and physical phenomena are conditioned the six faculties (i.e., five physical sense-organs and mind) (Nāmarūpapaccayā salāyatanam).
四、因为有了精神与肉体的现象发生,乃有六根的形成(名色缘六入)。
Through the six faculties is conditioned (sensorial and mental) contact (Salāyatanapaccayā phasso).
五、因为有六根,乃有(感官与心灵)对外境的接触(六入缘触)。
Through (sensorial and mental) contact is conditioned sensation (Phassapaccayā vedanā).
六、因为有(感官与心灵)对外境的接触,乃生起种种感受(触缘受)。
Through sensation is conditioned desire, 'thirst' (Vedanāpaccayā tanhā).
七、因为有种种感受,乃生起种种贪欲‘渴(爱)’(受缘爱)。
Through desire ('thirst') is conditioned clinging (Tanhāpaccayā upādānam).
八、因为有种种贪爱,乃产生执取不舍(爱缘取)。
Through clinging is conditioned the process of becoming (Upādānapaccayā bhavo).
九、因为有执取不舍,乃有存在(取缘有)。
Through the process of becoming is conditioned birth (Bhavapaccayā jāti).
十、因为有存在,乃有生命(有缘生)。
Through birth are conditioned (12) decay, death, lamentation, pain, etc. (Jātipaccayā jarāmaranam…).
十一、因为有生命,乃有十二、败坏、死亡、哀伤、痛苦等(生缘老病死忧悲苦恼)。


This is how life arises, exists and continues. If we take this formula in reverse order, we come to the cessation of the process: Through the complete cessation of ignorance, volitional activities or karma-formations cease; through the cessation of volitional activities, consciousness ceases; … through the cessation of birth, decay, death, sorrow, etc., cease.

生命便像这样生起、存在、持续。假使我们将这公式的顺序倒过来,便得出如下的缘灭的逆定理:

(灭),因为意志活动止息,知觉也同时止息(行灭则识灭)......乃至因为生命的止息而一切败坏死亡哀伤等等一应俱灭。

It should be remembered that each of these factors is conditioned (paticcasamuppanna) as well as conditioning (paticcasamuppāda). [4] Therefore they are all relative, interdependent and interconnected, and nothing is absolute or independent; hence no first cause is accepted by Buddhism as we have seen earlier. [5] Conditioned Genesis should be considered as a circle, and not as a chain. [6]

于此应该明白熟知的是:这缘起法则的每一部分,一方面是由众多条件(缘)和合而生( conditioned缘生的),另一方面又同时构成其它部分生起的条件(condition-ing 缘起的)。[注四]因此,它们之间的关系,完全是相对的、互为依存的、互相联结的。没有一事一物是绝对独立的。所以,佛教不接受最初因,这在前文已讲过。缘起法则是一个首尾相接的环,而不是一条直线的链子。[注五]

The question of Free Will has occupied an important place in Western thought and philosophy. But according to Conditioned Genesis, this question does not and cannot arise in Buddhist philosophy. If the whole of existence is relative, conditioned and interdependent, how can will alone be free? Will which is included in the fourth Aggregate (samkhārakkhandha), like any other thought, is conditioned (paticca-samuppanna). So-called 'freedom' itself in this world is not absolutely free. That too is conditioned and relative. There is, of course, such a conditioned and relative 'Free Will', but not unconditioned and absolute. There can be nothing absolutely free in this world, physical or mental, as everything is conditioned and relative. If Free Will implies a will independent of conditions, independent of cause and effect, such a thing does not exist. How can a will, or anything for that matter, arise without conditions, away from cause and effect, when the whole of life, the whole of existence, is conditioned and relative? Here again, the idea of Free Will is basically connected with the ideas of God, Soul, justice, reward and punishment. Not only so-called free will is not free, but even the very idea of Free Will is not free from conditions.

自由意志的问题,在西方的思想界与哲学界中,占有很重要的地位。但是根据缘起法,这问题在佛教哲学中是不存在的,也是不能生起的。既然整个的存在是相对的、有条件的(因缘和合的)、互为依存的,我们何能单独自由?意志与其他思想一样是缘生的。所谓‘自由’,其本身就是相对的、缘生的。无论是肉体或精神方面,没有一件事物是绝对自由的,因为一切都是相对的、互为依存的。自由意志的含义,是一个与任何条件及因果效应无关的意志。但是整个生存界都是有条件的(缘成的)、相对的、受因果律支配的。在这里面,如何可能产生一个意志,或任何一样事物,与条件及因果无关?此处所谓自由意志的观念,基本上仍与上帝、灵魂、正义、奖惩等观念相连结。不但所谓自由意志并不自由,甚至自由意志这一观念都不是无条件的。

According to the doctrine of Conditioned Genesis, as well as according to the analysis of being into Five Aggregates, the idea of an abiding, immortal substance in man or outside, whether it is called Ātman, 'I', Soul, Self, or Ego, is considered only a false belief, a mental projection. This is the Buddhist doctrine of Anatta, No-Soul or No-Self.

根据缘起法则,也根据众生为五蕴和合而成的这一分析,在人身内或身外,有一常住不变的实质,名为神我、我、灵魂、自我、个我,这一观念,只能被认为是一种邪信、一种心造的影像。这就是佛教的无我论或称灵魂非有论。

In order to avoid a confusion it should be mentioned here that there are two kinds of truths: conventional truth (sammuti-sacca, Skt. Samvrti-satya) and ultimate truth (paramattha-sacca, Skt. Paramārtha-satya). [7] When we use such expressions in our daily life as 'I', 'you', 'being', 'individual', etc., we do not lie because there is no self or being as such, but we speak a truth conforming to the convention of the world. But the ultimate truth is that there is no 'I' or 'being' in reality. As the Mahāyāna-sūtrālankāra says: 'A person (pudgala) should be mentioned as existing only in designation (prajňapti) (i.e., conventionally there is a being), but not in reality (or substance dravya)'. [8]

为了避免混淆,于此必须申明,真理有两种:世俗的真理(俗谛)与最高的真理(真理)。[注六]我们在日常生活中,用我、你、众生、个人等名词的时候,不能因为实无我及众生等而将上项名词视为妄语。这些名词在世俗共认的意义来说,也是真实的。但是,最高的真理,却是实际上并无我与众生。在《大乘庄严经论》里就说:‘当知“补特伽罗”只是假名安立(依世俗说,有所谓众生),并无实义。’[注七]

'The negation of an imperishable Ātman is the common characteristic of all dogmatic systems of the Lesser as well as the Great Vehicle, and, there is, therefore, no reason to assume that Buddhist tradition which is in complete agreement on this point has deviated from the Buddha's original teaching.' [9]

大小乘各宗派的共同特色,就是否定有不灭的神我。因此,就没有理由假定在这一点上完全一致的佛教传统,已经与佛的原始教诫有了偏差。[注八]

It is therefore curious that recently there should have been a vain attempt by a few scholars[10] to smuggle the idea of self into the teaching of the Buddha, quite contrary to the spirit of Buddhism. These scholars respect, admire, and venerate the Buddha and his teaching. They look up to Buddhism. But they cannot imagine that the Buddha, whom they consider the most clear and profound thinker, could have denied the existence of an Ātman or Self which they need so much. They unconsciously seek the support of the Buddha for this need for eternal existence-of course not in a petty individual self with small s, but in the big Self with a capital S.

因此,最近有少数学者[注九],竟然违反佛教精神,妄图将‘我’观念,私自输入到佛的教义之中,实在是奇怪之极。这些学者对于佛及其教义备极尊崇,仰佛教如泰山北斗。但是他们无法想像如佛这般头脑清晰、思虑精深的思想家,竟能将他们所热切需要的神我、自我予以否认。他们下意识地寻求佛陀的支应,以满足他们对永生的需要——当然不是个人的小我,而是大‘我’的永生。

It is better to say frankly that one believes in an Ātman or or Self. Or one may even say that the Buddha was totally wrong in denying the existence of an Ātman. But certainly it will not do for any one to try to introduce into Buddhism an idea which the Buddha never accepted, as far as we can see from the extant original texts.

索性坦白地相信有神我、自我,甚至明白指摘佛不承认有神我自我为错误,都无所谓。可是应要将佛从来不曾接受过的的一种观念注入于佛教之中,那就不成了。这种观念在现存的原始佛典中,就我们所见,是不为佛所接受的。

Religions which believe in God and Soul make no secret of these two ideas; on the contrary, they proclaim them, constantly and repeatedly, in the eloquent terms. If the Buddha had accepted these two ideas, so important in all religions, he certainly would have declared them publicly, as he had spoken about other things, and would not have left them hidden to be discovered only 25 centuries after his death.

相信有上帝与灵魂的宗教,并不以这两种观念为秘密。相反的,他们还经常不断地反覆宣扬它们,极尽辩才吹擂之能事。如果佛曾经接受这两种在一切宗教中极为重要的观念,他一定会公开宣布,如同他谈论其它事物一样,而不会将它们秘藏起来,以留待他圆寂二千五百年后的人来发现。

People become nervous at the idea that through the Buddha's teaching of Anatta, the self they imagine they have is going to be destroyed. The Buddha was not unaware of this.

可是人们一想到佛教的无我,会将他们幻想的‘我’毁灭,神经就紧张了起来。佛对这一点并不是不知道。

A bhikkhu once asked him: 'Sir, is there a case where one is tormented when something permanent within oneself is not found?'

有一个比丘有一次问佛:‘世尊!是否有人因为发现身内无有常住实性而遭受痛苦折磨呢?’

'Yes, bhikkhu, there is,' answered the Buddha. 'A man has the following view: “The universe is that Ātman, I shall be that after death, permanent, abiding, ever-lasting, unchanging, and I shall exists as such for eternity”. He hears the Tathāgata or a disciple of his, preaching the doctrine aiming at the complete destruction of all speculative views… aiming at the extinction of “thirst”, aiming at detachment, cessation, Nirvāna. Then than man thinks: “I will be annihilated, I will be destroyed, I will be no more.” So he mourns, worries himself, laments, weeps, beating his breast, and becomes bewildered. Thus, O bhikkhu, there is a case where one is tormented when something permanent within oneself is not found.' [11]

‘有的,比丘!’佛答道。‘有人执持这种见解:“宇宙就是神我,我死后即将与之合一,常住不变,亘古永存。我将这样地存在,以迄永远。”当他听到如来及其弟子所弘传的教义,目的在摧毁一切臆见(戏论)......消灭‘渴(爱)’,达到无著、寂灭、涅槃时,那人自忖:“我要被消灭了,我要被毁掉了,我将不再存在。”于是他就哀伤、忧虑、焦急不安、椎胸痛哭而精神恍惚,不知如何是好。所以,比丘,因为身内找不到常住实体而为痛苦所折磨的人是有的。’[注十]

Elsewhere the Buddha says: 'O bhikkhus, this idea that I may not be, I may not have, is frightening to the uninstructed world-ling.' [12]

在别的经里,佛也说过:‘比丘们啊!这个没有“我”也没有“我所”的意念,对于无识的凡夫是骇人的。’[注十一]

Those who want to find a 'Self' in Buddhism argue as follows: It is true that the Buddha analyses being into matter, sensation, perception, mental formations, and consciousness, and says that none of these things it self. But he does not say that there is no self at all in man or anywhere else, apart from these aggregates.

想在佛教中找出一个‘我’来的人,是这样辩论的:‘诚然,佛将众生分析为色受想行识,并说这五者中没有一样是“我”。但是他并没有说除了五蕴之外,人身内或其他地方,就完全没有“我”了。’

This position is untenable for two reasons:

这种立论有两种站不住的理由:

One is that, according to the Buddha's teaching, a being is composed only of these Five Aggregates, and nothing more. Nowhere has he said that there was anything more than these Five Aggregates in a being.
 
第一:根据佛说,众生仅由五蕴和合而成。除此之外再无别物。没有一部经中,佛曾说众生身中除了五蕴尚有他物。

The second reasons is that the Buddha denied categorically, in unequivocal terms, in more than one place, the existence of Ātman, Soul, Self, or Ego within man or without, or anywhere else in the universe. Let us take some examples.


第二:佛曾在不只一部经中,毫不含糊地断然否认人身中或身外或在宇宙中之任何一处有神我、灵魂、自我、个我的存在。今试举例以明之:

In the Dhammapada there are three verses extremely important and essential in the Buddha's teaching. They are nos. 5, 6 and 7 of chapter XX (or verses 277, 278, 279).
 
在巴利文《法句经》中,有三首偈极关重要而为佛教之精义。这三首偈就是第二十章的第五、六、七等三偈(或全经中的第二七七、二七八、二七九等三偈)

The first two verses say:

第一、第二两偈中有道:

'All conditioned things are impermanent' (Sabbe SAMKHĀRĀ aniccā), and 'All conditioned things are dukkha' (Sabbe SAMKHĀRĀ dukkhā).

‘一切有为的事物,都是无常的(诸行无常)。’以及‘一切有为的事物,都是苦的(诸行皆苦)。’

The third verse says:

第三偈却道:

'All dhammas are without self' (Sabbe SAMKHĀRĀ anattā). [13]

‘一切法都是没有“我”的(诸法无我)。’[注十二]

Here it should be carefully observed that in the first two verses the word samkhārā 'conditioned things' is used. But in its place in the third verse the word dhammā is used. Why didn't the third verse use the word samkhārā 'conditioned things' as the previous two verses, and why did it use the term dhammā instead? Here lies the crux of the whole matter.

这里请特别注意,在第一、二偈中所使用的是‘有为的事物(行)’一词,但在第三偈中则改用‘法’字了。为什么第三偈不也和一、二偈一样地用‘行’(有为的事物)而要用‘法’字呢?整个的关键就在这里。

The term samkhāra [14] denotes the Five Aggregates, all conditioned, interdependent, relative things and states, both physical and mental. If the third verse said: 'All samkhārā (conditioned things) are without self', then one might think that, although conditioned things are without self, yet there may be a Self outside conditioned things, outside the Five Aggregates. It is in order to avoid misunderstanding that the term dhammā is used in the third verse.

原来,行[注十三]的意思,就是五蕴与一切缘起、依存、相对的事物(精神的和肉体的都在内)。假如第三偈也说:‘一切行(有为的事物)都是没有我的’,那末有人也许会想:虽然有为的事物中无我,但在有为的事物之外,五蕴之外,也许仍有一个‘我’吧!就是为了避免这种误会,所以第三偈中才用了‘法’字。

The term dhamma is much wider than samkhārā. There is no term in Buddhist terminology wider than dhamma. It includes not only the conditioned things and states, but also the non-conditioned, the Absolute, Nirvāna. There is nothing in the universe or outside, good or bad, conditioned or non-conditioned, relative or absolute, which is not included in this term. Therefore, it is quite clear that, according to this statement: 'All dhammas are without Self', there is no Self, no Ātman, not only in the Five Aggregates, but nowhere else too outside them or apart from them. [15]

‘法’字的意义比‘行’字要广大得多。在佛教中,没有一个术语的涵义,比‘法’字更广的了。它不仅包括有为的事物,也包括了无为的‘绝对性’与涅槃。世出世间、善恶、有为无为、相对绝对,没有一样事物不包括在这一个‘法’字中。因此,根据此一申义,‘诸法无我’很显然的是说不仅五蕴之中无我,在五蕴之外或离开五蕴依然无我。[注十四