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解脱心 A Heart Released 十六、初转法轮、中间说法及最后说法的意义
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§16. The significance of the first sermon, the middle sermon, and the final sermon.


The sermons delivered by the Lord Buddha at three points in his career have a great significance to which Buddhists should give special thought and consideration.


A. At the beginning of the Buddha's career he delivered a sermon to the five brethren at the forest in the Deer Park at Isipatana near Benares. This was his first sermon, called the Wheel of Dhamma. He started with the two extremes that those who have gone forth from the household life should not indulge in, saying,

 【 (一 )佛陀初成道时,在波罗附近的鹿野苑为五个同修说法】:这是他第一次说法,称之为‘*轮’。他从两个极端说起,那些已经出家的人所不应陷入的两个极端,‘比丘,有两个极端,那是已经出家的人所不应追求的:放纵于感官的快乐和沈溺于自虐的痛苦中。’解释为:放纵于感官的乐趣是处于贪爱这边,沈溺于自虐的痛苦则处于瞋恨那边,这两边都是痛苦的原由,当我们修习自我净化而未陷入这两边时,我们仍不能说是已经进入了中道,因为当我们正持续地努力于修习而心意变得完全平静和放松时,我们是愉悦的;当心意思虑而变得纷扰和不安时,我们是不悦的。愉悦是放纵于乐趣,不悦是沈溺于自苦。愉悦是情爱,不悦是憎恨,而不明瞭情爱和憎恨则是愚痴。

dveme bhikkhave anta pabbajitena na sevitabba:

'Monks, there are these two extremes that those who have gone forth from the household life should not pursue: indulgence in sensual pleasure and indulgence in self — affliction.' To explain: Indulgence in sensual pleasure lies on the side of love; indulgence in self-affliction, on the side of hate. Both sides are causes of suffering and stress. When we practice self-purification and yet fall into either of these two sides, we can't be said to have entered the middle way, for when we are making a persistent effort to practice and the mind becomes fully calm and relaxed, we are pleased; when the mind thinks and becomes restless and distracted, we are displeased. Being pleased is indulgence in pleasure; being displeased, indulgence in self-affliction. Being pleased is passion, being displeased is aversion, and not being wise to passion and aversion is delusion.


Whoever makes an effort to develop persistence in concentration has to start out by running into these two extremes. If we run into these extremes, we are classed as wrong, but it is only normal that we be wrong before we can be right. Even the Buddha, before his Awakening, was completely wrong in just the same way. Even his two foremost disciples were wrong — and held pernicious doctrines to boot. All the other disciples started out wrong from the beginning as well. But when the Buddha came to follow the middle way while meditating under the shade of the Bodhi tree, after having gained the first two knowledges — remembrance of previous lifetimes and knowledge of the death and rebirth of living beings — in the first two watches of the night, he gained the third knowledge — knowledge of the ending of mental effluents — in the watch toward dawn. This was when he found the genuine middle way, releasing his mind from the error of the two extremes. Released from the clan, class, abodes, lineage, and legacy of convention and supposing, he attained the clan, class, abode, lineage, and legacy of the Noble Ones. The Noble Disciples came to know following the Buddha, acting correctly in line with the knowledge of the ending of mental effluents, and gained release from error just as he had.





As for us as meditators, in the very beginning it is only normal that we will have to be wrong. As long as we let ourselves be pleased and displeased in the development of merit and wisdom, we fall under the sway of the ways of the world (lokadhamma), and when we are under the sway of the ways of the world, we are shaken by pleasure and displeasure. This is called being shaken back and forth.

  【 (二 )佛陀住世时的中间说法】:他在王舍城皇家竹林间的松鼠饲养场,为一千二百五十位阿罗汉的会众解说波提木叉戒法,重点之一如是,

uppanno kho me:

Where do the ways of the world arise? In ourselves. The ways of the world have eight factors, and the path that cures them has eight as well. The eightfold path is the cure for the eight ways of the world. Thus the Buddha taught the middle way as the cure for the two extremes.


Once we have cured ourselves of the two extremes, we enter the noble path, cutting across the currents of the world, making the mind cago patinissaggo mutti analayo — relinquish, release, and rest easy.


To summarize: As long as the two extremes still exist in your heart, you are not on the right track. But when your heart gains release from the two extremes, you become unshakable: free from impurities and safe from the flood. This is why the meaning of the Wheel of Dhamma is very significant. When the Buddha explained the Wheel of Dhamma, it caused the elements of the world to tremble. And when the message is so significant, how could they help but tremble? The elements of the world are nothing else but this very body of ours. Our body is composed of the world's elements and it trembles because the mind sees into something it has never seen before. The fact that the mind is released from the two extremes is what causes the elements of the world to tremble. They tremble because the mind is not coming back to give rise to them ever again.

简而言之:只要两个极端仍然存在你的心里,你就不是在正确的道迹上,但是当你的心意从两个极端获得解脱,你就不可动摇了:免于不净且安于洪 ,这就是*轮的意义之所以非常重大的原因。当佛陀解说*轮的时候,引起了世界的震撼。当讯息是那么强大时,它们不得不震撼了。世界不是指其他的东西,而是我们这个身体。我们的身体是由这世界的元素所组成,它震撼是因为心意见到了它所从未看到的东西,心意从两个极端解脱的事实,正是引起世间震撼的原因,它们震撼是因为心意不再回到从前,不再生起旧时心意了。

B. At the mid-point of the Buddha's career he delivered the Patimokkha Exhortation to an assembly of 1,250 arahants at the Squirrels' Feeding Grounds in the Royal Bamboo Grove near Rajagaha. One of the important points was,

【(二)佛陀住世时的中间说法】:他在王舍城皇家竹林间的松鼠饲养场,为一千二百五十位阿罗汉的会众解说波提木叉戒法,重点之一如是,「于佛智教诲起增上心」 「提升心意(中译注:起增上心)那是诸佛的教诲。」提升心意,我们必须要宁静和安详。  

adhicitte ca ayogo etam buddhana-sasanam:


'Heighten the mind: That is the teaching of the Buddhas.' To heighten the mind, we have to be calm and at peace.


iccha lobha-samapanno samano kim bhavissati:


'When we are endowed with desire — greedy, struggling, and deluded — how can we be calm and at peace?' We need to practice by following the discipline as our starting point and by developing our meditation theme, beginning with walking and sitting meditation. We must work at our contemplation of the great frames of reference and develop it repeatedly, starting by keeping track of the body as our frame of reference. At first we should contemplate the parts of the body by means of parikamma savana, i.e., by means of conjecture — that this part is like that, and that is like this — because if we do this mindfully, with self-awareness, the mind won't wander far from the body and will settle down easily. When we practice parikamma savana repeatedly, an uggaha nimitta will arise. We should then master that stage until we reach patibhaga, analyzing the vision into its parts. When we master patibhaga fully, it will turn into insight meditation. We then develop insight meditation to its highest degree so that the mind will reach thitibhutam, as discussed in the strategies of clear insight. This is what is meant by 'practice.' When we have practiced,

  ‘当我们怀有渴望时—贪欲、瞋恚、愚痴—我们怎能宁静和安详?’我们需要遵守戒律去修习,做为我们的起点,并开始以经行和静坐禅思来开发我们的禅思主题。我们必须精勤思惟这个参学的重大架构,并重复地开发它,从持守身体的行迹(中译注:身观念处)开始,做为我们参学的架构,首先我们必须用 parikamma savana '遍作听闻’的方法,也就是一一模拟推想的方法,来观察思惟身体的各部份─这部份像那样,那部份像这样─因为如果我们用心地观察思惟,用自己的意识,心意就不会从身体漫游得太远,而会轻易地安静下来。当我们重复地修习 parikamma savana '遍作听闻’时,一个 uggahanimitta '取相’(禅思时自发地生起的影像)就会生起,然后我们必须熟悉这个阶段,直到我们到达‘似相’(禅思时可以巧妙操纵的幻相)并解析这幻相成为各部份。当我们完全地熟悉‘似相’时,它就会转入内明禅思,然后我们就把内明禅思开发到最高程度,好让心意达到「住地」,就像清净内明的战略(第9节)中所讨论的,这就是修习的意义,当我们已经修习 「最胜」 我们将会横渡并超越(中译注:超渡),因为我们已经完成修习,所以我们将会横渡并超越─超越世间,这就是超凡法(中译注:过人法)的意义, 「安稳」 我们将从束缚中获得解脱。



We will cross over and beyond. It is because of the practices that we have done to completion that we will cross over and beyond — i.e., beyond the world. This is what is meant by the transcendent dhammas.




We will gain relief from bondage.


Thus the message of the middle sermon is significant because it aims at release.


C. At the end of his career, when he was about to enter total nibbana, the Buddha delivered his final sermon in the midst of a gathering of Noble Disciples in the Royal Sala Grove of the Mallian gentry of Kusinara, saying, handadani amantayami vo bhikkhave, pativediyami vo bhikkhave, khaya-vaya-dhamma sankhara, appamadena sampadetha: 'I say to you, monks, do not be complacent. Contemplate fashionings that arise and then decay. When you contemplate in this manner, you will penetrate completely. ' That was all he said and he never said anything further. This is thus said to be his final sermon.

 【 (三 )佛将入灭时,当他将要进入般涅槃时,他在库西那拉的皇家娑罗树林间,为聚集的圣弟子们作最后的说法】:‘比丘,我告诉你们,不要自负,当观察思惟诸行生起然后衰落(中译注:诸行无常)。当你如是观察思惟时,你将会透彻地贯通。’这就是他所说的,他未再说些什么,这就是他的最后说法。

To explain the meaning: Where do fashionings arise? What are fashionings? Fashionings arise in our own minds. They are an effect or condition of the mind that gives rise to all supposings. These fashionings are the culprits that suppose and formulate everything in the world. Actually, the things of the world — in their elementary properties as phenomena — are simply the way they are. Earth, trees, mountains, sky, and sunshine don't say that they are anything at all. Even the human body, which is also composed of the world's elements, doesn't say that it is this or that. Mental fashioning is the culprit that styles these things as being this or that — and we fall for what it says as being true, holding that all these things are ours or ourselves. Passion, aversion, and delusion thus arise, causing the primal mind to stray deludedly after birth, aging, illness, and death, circling around endlessly through innumerable states of becoming and birth — all through the instigation of mental fashioning.


This is why the Buddha taught us to contemplate mental fashionings as inconstant and stressful:


sabbe sankhara anicca, sabbe sankhara dukkha.


We keep at this until we see them with full and clear comprehension — which arises as the fruit of having earlier developed patibhaga — to the point where the mind enters the bhavanga, its underlying state. When the current of the bhavanga disappears, a genuinely intuitive understanding will arise right at the heart: 'That's just how they are — inconstant and stressful.' When we master this and see it clearly and distinctly, we will then be wise to mental fashionings. Mental fashionings will no longer be able to fashion the mind into becoming aroused ever again, as stated in the verse,


akuppam sabba-dhammesu neyyadhamma pavessanto:


When mental fashioning can no longer fashion the mind, the mind doesn't become aroused. It is wise to all knowable dhammas,


— santo:


and thus calm and at peace, reaching release.


The words of this final sermon are truly significant. They can make the person who contemplates them awaken to the ultimate degree — which is why the Buddha stopped speaking and said no more.


The sermons given at these three points in the Buddha's career have a significance over and beyond that of any other he ever gave. The first sermon aims at release, the middle sermon aims at release, the final sermon aims at release. In this way all three of them without exception aim at nothing but release.

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