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什么是佛教 What is Buddhism?
 
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What is Buddhism?

什么是佛教

Buddhism is nothing but the NOBLE TRUTH.

佛教就是神圣的真理。

What is Buddhism? This question has puzzled many people who often inquire if Buddhism is a philosophy, a religion, or a way of life. The simple answer is that Buddhism is too vast and too profound to be neatly placed in any single category. Of course, Buddhism includes philosophy and religion and a way of life. But Buddhism goes beyond these categories.

什么是佛教?这个问题使人混淆和困扰。因此,人们经常提出这样的问题:佛教是哲学?宗教?还是一个人生活方式?简单的说:佛教博大精深,再巧妙的人也无法把它规划到固定的、狭窄的范畴内。当然,佛教包含了哲学、宗教和生活方式,可是,佛教并不限囿于以上的范畴。

The categories or labels given to Buddhism are like signboards to let the people know what is being presented. If we compare Buddhism to a medicine shop, it will be clear that the signboard on the medicine shop will not cure a person of his sickness. If the medicine is effective, then you can use it to heal yourself without being concerned as to the signboard that merely gives a label for the medicine. Likewise, if the Teaching of the Buddha is effective, then use it and do not be concerned about the label or signboard. Do not try to slip Buddhism into any single category or limit it under any signboard.

以固有的范畴或标签来规划佛教,就好像在张贴海报,告诉大家,他们现在在传什么法。如果以药房比喻佛教,我们将会更清楚。药房的告示牌不能治疗人们的病,而药品确实是有治疗作用,我们以药品来治病,从来都不去理会告示牌说的是什么。同样的,如果认为佛教是有效的,就利用它,不要理会它的标签和范畴。不要把佛教硬塞进一个简单和固定的范畴内或任何广告形式的框框内。

Different people live at different times and in different places have given different labels and interpretations to Buddhism. To some people, Buddhism might appear to be only a mass of superstitious practices. To another group of people, Buddhism might be a convenient label to be used for temporal gains. To another group, it is old fashioned. To yet another group, Buddhism will have significance as a system of thought for intellectuals only. To some others, it is a scientific discovery. To the pious and devout Buddhist, Buddhism means his entire life, the fulfillment of all he holds near and dear to him.

不同的人,生活在不同的时代和环境里。对佛教必然有不同的看法和解释。对某些人来说,佛教可能只是一大堆迷信和仪式。对另外一些人来说,佛教可能是获得短期利益的方便工具。有些人认为佛教是古时候流行的时髦玩意。而有些人认为佛教仅仅是对知识份子有意义的思想体系。有些人把它看成是科学的发明。而虔诚的佛教徒,却把佛教看做是他整个的生命,是值得他牺牲一切来完成的人生大事。

Some intellectuals see Buddhism as a product of its Indian environment or as an outgrowth of another kind of Indian religious teaching. Buddhism is nothing but the Noble Truth. It is an intellectual approach to reality. The Buddha's realization of universal problems did not come through a purely intellectual or rational process but through mental development and purification. The intellectual stance reminiscent of the scientific attitude, surely makes the Buddha absolutely unique among religious teachers of all time. Of course, the high standard of intellectual inquiry and ethical endeavor prevailing at the time in India were prime conditions for the re-emergence of the light of the Dhamma from the darkness of oblivion.

某些知识份子把佛教当作是古印度环境的产物,或认为是印度宗教的另一类产品。事实,佛教却不是这样的,佛教是神圣的真理。佛教是获得觉悟、智慧的途径。佛陀觉悟世间的烦恼与困苦,并不纯粹来自知识或理性的过程,而是来自心智的发展和净化。以知识性为立足点,使人联想到科学态度,因此,终于使佛陀成为有史以来独一无二的宗教导师。当然,佛法的曙光在印度出现,是有其智慧探索和伦理建设的社会背景与条件。

Thousands of years of religious and philosophical development had left on the intellectual soil of India a rich and fertile deposit of ideas and ideals which formed the best possible environment into which the seed of the Dhamma could fall. Greece, China, Egypt and Babylonia, for all their loftiness of thought, had not attained the same quality of vision as the forest and mountain-dwelling sages of India. The germ of Enlightenment which had been borne, like a winged seed from distant fields, from worlds in space and time infinitely remote from ours _ this very germ of Enlightenment found growth and development in the north-eastern corner of India. This very germ of Enlightenment found its full expression in the experience of the man, Gautama Buddha.

The fountainhead of all Buddhism is this experience which is called 'Enlightenment'. With this experience of Enlightenment, the Buddha began His Teaching not with any dogmatic beliefs or mysteries, but with a valid, universal experience, which He gave to the world as universal truth. Therefore, the real definition of Buddhism is NOBLE TRUTH. Remember that the Buddha did not teach from theories. He always taught from a practical standpoint based on His understanding, His Enlightenment, and His realization of the Truth.

数百年来的宗教和哲学的发展,孕育了印度本土富饶的土壤,在这种肥沃的条件下,佛法的种子才得以萌芽。在同时代的希腊、中国、埃及及巴比伦,虽然都有其富饶的思想宝藏,但却无法和当时的印度相比。思想启蒙的种子,好像长了翅膀一样,从世界各地,数不清的遥远时空,一齐飞到印度的东北角来,这独特的种子,在佛陀身上获得完整的发育和成长。

佛陀透过觉悟于正自觉的经验。他不以教条或神秘性来获得信徒的追随。他采取了一种有效的,你我都可以证实的经验来阐明佛法。他用最正确的字眼来给予佛法下了一个 实实在在的定义,那就是神圣的真理(圣谛)。我们要知道佛陀不是透过学术理论来教导我们,而是从他的觉悟,他的理解以及他所证实的真理的成就,来教诲我们。

Buddhism began with the Truth embodied over 2500 years ago in the person of Gautama, the Buddha. When the Buddha introduced His teachings, His intention was not to develop the concept of self in man's mind and create more ambition for eternal life and sense pleasure. Rather, His intention was to point out the futility of the worldly life and to show the correct, practical Path to salvation that He discovered.

佛法开始于二千五百年前苟答马佛陀的身上。佛陀在阐释他的教法时,并不仅仅要我们理解生命和世界,而是指出他所发现的真理是正确而实际的解脱之道。

The original Teachings of the Buddha disclosed the true nature of life and the world. However, a distinction must be made between the Buddha's original Teaching (often called the Dhamma or the Buddha Word) and the religion that developed based on His Teachings.

佛陀原始的教义,包括了宇宙和人生的真谛。佛教的开创是扎根于佛陀的教义(佛法)。

The Teachings of the Buddha not only started a religion, but inspired the blossoming of a whole civilization. These Teachings became a great civilizing force that moved through the history of many a culture and nation. Indeed, Buddhism has become one of the greatest civilizations that the world has ever known. It has a wonderful history of achievement in the fields of literature, art, philosophy, psychology, ethics, architecture and culture. In the course of centuries, countless social educational institutions were established in the various nations that were dedicated to the Buddha's Teaching. The history of Buddhism was written in golden letters of brotherhood and goodwill. The religious beliefs and practices turned into a rational, scientific and practical religious way of life for spiritual development from the day the Buddha preached His Teaching and realized the real purpose and meaning of a life and a religion.

佛陀的教义并非专门为佛教而编制,而是为了整个人类的文明。佛陀的教义成为文化的主流,走进历史,成为许多国家的文化。他在文学、艺术、哲学、伦理和文明的建设都取得辉煌的成就。在过去的好几个世纪,无数的国家、社会和教育都和佛教扯上关系。在这些国家的历史中,都光荣的记载了佛教友善和友爱。佛教徒信仰和实践佛陀的教义,他们远离物质生活,享有实际和科学的宗教生活,他们的灵性获得充份的发展。在佛法的指引下,过着有意义的生活。

佛教对文明的冲击:

今天,佛教已形成了文明的主流。这股主流的文明唤醒了无数自大和自我的人们。以心灵的发展唤醒了人类对权力的执着,提升人类的素质,使他们获得宗教的自 由,拥有锐利和纯净的思想,放弃了狭隘的国家和种族的观点。佛教徒理解「我执」是一种自我欺骗,他们致力于发展自己的洞察力「观禅」以求获得最高的境界。二千多年来,佛教满足了超过三分之一人口对心灵的需求。今天的佛教比以往还要来得强大。佛陀的教义使人类获得心灵的慰藉和发展。佛陀的人生观普遍的被接受,佛陀的人生观也使人类获得超凡脱俗的成果。

佛教也令人了解这世间和生命的真正意义。佛教不鼓励人类生活在愚痴的天堂,指示他们远离畏惧和幻觉。佛教告诉我们什么是正确的宇宙观,指引我们如何获得真正的和平、平等和幸福的解脱之道。

人类的今天,依然从宗教中获得道德标准。佛教是最有效的舟乘。佛教是属于人类的宗教,人类从佛陀的教义中获得生活的定律。当一个人成就于成功地控制物质领域时,他会回想他是如何的克服种种困难而获得这一切,而最难克服的就是他自己。一个现代人,很容易的就能在佛法里找到各种问题的答案和解决自己所有疑虑的方法。

今天,佛教受到西方文明社会的欢迎,就是因为透明度高,充满科学性和心灵性。他倡导放弃「我执」和一切不善的行为,符合了现代人的科学观。佛教指出正确的人生,不在于自我造作和自我幻想的境界里。而脱离这一切,就是佛陀的本怀。佛陀那慈悲、关怀与和平的信息,引导着数以百万计的愚痴人类,带领他们走向宗教生活的康庄大道。

佛教对人类的贡献:佛教给予人类美好的希望和鼓舞。他孕育了社会组织中最值得称颂的生活方式,以及心灵的和平与满足的社区精神。它为人类带来最大的福祉。

即使在政治上,佛教也留下了许多有意义的突破。包括了平等的对待一切生命,民主程序和基本的道德价值观等等。佛教赋予东方国家一种光辉的特色。佛教为人类提供精致和道德性的基本人际概念。

事实上,对于那些只撷取部分佛教教义的人来说,佛教巨大的潜力一点也没有体现出来。个人和一般的潜力已被佛教艺术和文学所隐蔽。佛教最大的潜力奠基于它对理性的实践。理性却经常被人们的嗔恚心所排除。理性是属于人类的,理性可以为人类带来文明。不管理性如何被人类的情绪所蒙蔽,理性还是最大的力量。如果佛教的价值观要获得重新的肯定和再发挥,也绝对不是透过世俗的权威或超自然的神祇启示,佛教本身就具备了自我复兴的种子。

佛陀对社会和人类精神领域的进步有着不可磨灭的贡献。佛陀的信息传遍了亚洲许多国家。赢得无数人的爱和感情的奉献。佛陀的贡献是史无前例的。


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