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圆成佛道 Attainment of Buddhahood
 
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Attainment of Buddhahood

圆成佛道

The attainment of Buddhahood is the most difficult task that a person can pursue in this world.

The Buddhahood is not reserved only for chosen people or for supernatural beings. Anyone can become a Buddha. No founder of any other religion ever said that his followers can have the opportunity or potentiality to attain the same position as the founder.

However, attaining , Buddhahood is the most difficult task a person can pursue in this world. One must work hard by sacrificing one's worldly pleasures. One has to develop and purify one's mind from all evil thoughts in order to obtain this Enlightenment. It will take innumerable births for a person to purify himself and to develop his mind in order to become a Buddha. Long periods of great effort are necessary in order to complete the high qualification of this self-training. The course of this self-training which culminates in Buddhahood, includes self-discipline, self-restraint, superhuman effort, firm determination, and willingness to undergo any kind of suffering for the sake of other living beings who are suffering in this world.

This clearly shows that the Buddha did not obtain this supreme Enlightenment by simply praying, worshipping, or making offerings to some supernatural beings. He attained Buddhahood by the purification of His mind and heart. He gained Supreme Enlightenment without the influence of any external, supernatural forces but by the development of His own insight. Thus only a man who has firm determination and courage to overcome all hindrance, weaknesses and selfish desires can attain Buddhahood.

Prince Siddhartha did not attain Buddhahood overnight simply by sitting under the Bodhi tree. No supernatural being appeared and revealed anything by whispering into His ear while He was in deep meditation under the Bodhi tree. Behind His Supreme Enlightenment there was a long history of previous births. Many of the Jataka stories tell us how He worked hard by sacrificing His life in many previous births to attain His Supreme Buddhahood. No one can attain Buddhahood without devoting many lifetimes practising the ten perfections explains why a Supreme Buddha appears only at every long intervals of time.

Therefore, the Buddha's advice to His followers is that in order to find their salvation it is not necessary for each and every person to wait until he gains his Buddhahood. Aspirants can also find their salvation by becoming Pacceka Buddha (Silent Buddha) or Arahantas - (saints). Pacceka Buddhas appear in this world during the period when there is no other Enlightened Buddha. They are also Enlightened. Although their degree of perfection is not similar to that of the Supreme Buddha, they experience the same Nibbanic bliss. Unlike the Supreme Buddha, they do not preach to the masses. They lead a life of solitude.

Arahantas can also experience the same Nibbanic bliss as the Buddhas do. There is no discrimination or status in Nibbana. The only difference is that Arahantas do not have the Supreme Enlightenment to be able to enlighten others in the same way as the Buddhas do. Arahantas have overcome all their desires and other human weaknesses. They can appreciate the Dhamma which was discovered and taught by the Buddha. They can also show others the correct Buddhist way of life and the Path to salvation.

'kiccho Buddhanan Uppado' Rare is the appearance of the Buddhas.(Dhammapada 182).

圆成佛道是人世间最艰巨的工作。

佛道不是为特选或超级的人类而设定的。任何人都可以圆成佛道。没有一位其他宗教的创始者说过,他的信徒也可以和他一样,达到他的境界。圆成佛道是人间最艰巨的工作。一个人必须勤奋努力,牺牲自己的世俗享受,发展觉悟而净化自己的心、弃除邪见而达到觉悟,这要经过无数次的生死轮回,净化自己、发展自己的灵性而证悟成佛。为了达到这崇高的任务,自我锻炼、不懈的精进努力是必然的事。在这自我锻炼的过程中,要以自律、自修、超然的毅力、坚韧不拔的决心和意志,去承担世间任何的痛苦和解救世间受苦的众生。这显示佛陀成就正自觉,并不是通过简单的膜拜、祷告或祭祀高等的生类而获得的。佛陀以纯净的心,自我觉悟而圆成佛道。这只有当一个人以坚强的意志和勇气去克服所有的障碍、弱点、自私心后,才能达到觉悟的境界。

悉达多太子不是在菩提树下一夜就成佛的。当他在菩提树下进入禅定时,也没有超自然的生灵出现,指点他成佛的奥秘。在他觉悟前,有一段漫长的经历和过程,这些都记录在《本生经》里。《本生经》里很多故事告诉我们,他在过去世时,如何牺牲他的生命来达到成佛的理想。一个人如果要想成佛,必须实践十种巴拉密(parami)──布施、持戒、出离、智慧、精进、忍辱、坚定、真实、慈悲、平等。实践十巴拉密须要花很长的时间,甚至要在无数次生死中不断的学习、锻炼。这说明了崇高的佛陀在这世间的出现,须要经历久远时代磨练的历程。所以佛陀告诫弟子要度化众生,不一定要圆成佛道。他们一样可以通过成就独觉佛或阿拉汉而进入圣道。

独觉佛出生在没有正自觉佛降生的时代,他们通过缘起法──缘生、缘灭而证悟宇宙的真理,虽然他们也一样证悟涅槃,可是他们没有正自觉佛的智慧,不能对众生弘法,只是自己孤独的生活。

阿拉汉(arahant)证悟涅槃的境界和佛陀一样。阿拉汉克服了所有的欲望和人性的弱点,阿拉汉接收佛陀的教诲和认识真理。他们也向世人宣告宇宙间的确存在着解脱生死的真理。所以说能降生在佛陀出世的时代是件非常殊胜的事。《法句经》


Trikaya - The Three Bodies of the Buddha

The three bodies of the Buddha consist of Dharma-kaya (Truth body), Sambhoga-kaya (Enjoyment body), and Nirmana-kaya(Manifestation body).

In the Mahayana philosophy, the personality of the Buddha is given an elaborate treatment. According to this philosophy, the Buddhas have three bodies (trikaya), or three aspects of personality: the Dharmakaya, the Sambhoga-kaya, and the Nirmana-kaya.

After a Buddha has attained Enlightenment, He is the living embodiment of wisdom, compassion, happiness and freedom. At the beginning, there was only one Buddha in the Buddhist tradition. He is the historical Sakyamuni the Buddha. However, even during His lifetime, He made the distinction between Himself as the enlightened, historical individual, on one hand, and Himself as the Embodiment of Truth, on the other. The enlightened personality was known as the 'Rupakaya' (Form-body) or 'Nirmana-kaya'

(Manifestation-body). This was the physical body of the Buddha who was born among men, attained Enlightenment, preached the Dhamma and attained Maha Parinibbana. The Manifestation-body or physical body of Buddhas are many and differ from one another.

On the other hand, the principle of Enlightenment which is embodied in Him is known as Dharma-kaya or Truth-body. This is the essence of the Buddha and is independent of the person realizing it. 'Dhamma' in this expression means 'Truth', and does not refer to the verbal teachings which were recorded down in scriptures. The teaching of the Buddha also emanates from the 'Essence' or 'Truth'. So the real, essential Buddha is Truth or the principle of Enlightenment. This idea is clearly stated in the original Pali texts of the Theravada. The Buddha told Vasettha that the Tathagata (the Buddha) was Dharma-kaya, the 'Truth-body' or the 'Embodiment of Truth', as well as Dharmabhuta, 'Truth-become', that is, 'One who has become Truth' (Digha Nikaya). On another occasion, the Buddha told Vakkali:'He who sees the Dhamma (Truth) sees the Tathagata, he who sees the Tathagata sees the Dhamma (Samyutta Nikaya). That is to say, the Buddha is equal to Truth, and all Buddhas are one and the same, being no different from one another in the Dharma-kaya, because Truth is one.'

In the Buddha's lifetime, both the Nirmana-kaya and the Dharma-kaya were united in His. However, after His Parinibbana, the distinction became more pronounced, especially in the Mahayana philosophy. His Manifestation-body was dead and enshrined in the form of relics in stupas: His Dhamma-body is eternally present.

Later, the Mahayana philosophy developed the 'Sambhoga-kaya', the Enjoyment-body. The Sambhoga-kaya can be considered as the body or aspect through which the Buddha enjoyed Himself in the Dhamma, in teaching the Truth, in leading others to the realization of the Truth, and in enjoying the company of good, noble people. This is a selfless, pure, spiritual enjoyment, not to be confused with sensual pleasure. This 'Enjoyment-body' is not categorically mentioned in Theravada texts although it can be appreciated without contradiction if understood in this context. In Mahayana, the Enjoyment-body of the Buddha, unlike the impersonal, abstract principle of the Dharma-kaya, is also considered as a person, though not a human, historical person.

Although the terms Sambhoga-kaya and Dharma-kaya found in the later Pali works come from Mahayana and semi-Mahayana works, scholars from other traditions did not show hostility towards them. Ven Buddhaghosa in his Visuddhi Magga referred thus to the bodies of the Buddha.

'The Buddha is possessed of a beautiful Rupakaya adorned with eighty minor and thirty-two major signs of a great man, and possessed of a Dharmakaya purified in every way and glorified by Sila, Samadhi°‚, full of splendor and virtue, incomparable and fully enlightened.'

Though Buddhaghosa's conception was realistic, he was not immune from the religious bias of attributing superhuman power to the Buddha. In the Atthasallini, he said that during the three months' absence of the Buddha, when He was engaged in preaching the Abhidamma to His mother in the Tusita heaven, He created some Nimmita-buddhas as exact replicas of Himself. These Nimmita-buddhas could not be distinguished from the Buddha in voice, words and even the rays of light that issued only by the gods of the higher realms of existence and not by ordinary gods or men. From this description, it is clear that the early Theravadins conceived Buddha's Rupakaya or Sambhoga-kaya as that of a human being, and His Dharma-kaya as the collection of His Dhamma, that is, doctrines and disciplinary rules, collectively.


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