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弟子规浅释 Standards for Students 第五章﹕信 Chapter Five: LEARNING TO BE TRUSTWORTHY - 5
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第五章﹕信

Chapter Five: LEARNING TO BE TRUSTWORTHY

凡出言,信为先,诈与妄,奚可焉。
话说多,不如少,惟其是,勿佞巧。
苛薄语,秽污词,市井气,切戒之。
见未真,勿轻言,知未的,勿轻传。
事非宜,勿轻诺,苟轻诺,进退错。
见人善,即思齐,纵去远,以渐跻。
见人恶,即内省,有则改,无加警。
凡道字,重且舒,勿急疾,勿模糊。
彼说长,此说短,不关己,莫闲管。
惟德学,惟才艺,不如人,常自励。
若衣服,若饮食,不如人,勿生戚。
闻过怒,闻誉喜,损友来,益友却。
闻誉恐,闻过欣,直谅士,渐相亲。
无心非,名为错,有心非,名为恶。
过能改,归于无,倘掩饰,增一辜。

fan

dao

zi

 

zhong

qie

shu

凡是

 

稳重

而且

舒长和缓

whenever

to say

words

 

to be dignified

and

at a leisure pace

无论说什么话,都要庄重而和缓。
When you speak you should say the words clearly with a dignified manner and at a leisurely pace.

wu

ji

ji

wu

mo

hu

不要

急促

匆忙

不要

不清楚

含混夹杂

do not

in a hurry

quickly

 

do not

blurry

muddled

不要匆促急忙,不要含糊笼统。
Do not rush through your sentences or make ambiguous statements.

bi

shuo

chang

ci

shuo

duan

那个人

 

优点

这个人

 

缺点

that one

to talk about

long points

 

this one

to talk about

short points

那个人议论谁的长处,这个人批评谁的短处。
That person talks about others’ good points and this person speaks about others’ faults.

bu

guan

ji

 

mo

xian

guan

 

关系

自己

 

不要

多余

过问、插手

not

concerning

oneself

 

do not

in a meddlesome

to get involved

只要是和自己不相关的,都不要去管这些闲事。
If something is none of your business, it is best not to get involved.


要与人维持良好的关系,不但内在要诚信,外在也要有技巧。外在要有怎样的技巧呢?这可从讲话的语气、声调和讲话的态度两方面来讲。

If you want to maintain good relations with people, not only do you have to be sincere, you also have to be tactful. What does tact consist of? We can discuss it in terms of the tone of voice and the attitude of speaking.

本章头两句是说﹕无论说什么话,都要「重且舒」。这是说讲话的态度,要庄重而和缓,但是也可以把它解释成语气要有重音,声调也要悠长。接下来的两句,讲话不要匆促急忙,也正是呼应前面所说的,讲话的态度要庄重和缓;讲话不要含糊笼统,也正是说讲话的语气要有重音,声调也要悠长。

The first verse says that no matter what you are saying, you should speak with a dignified manner and at a leisurely pace. That is, your manner when speaking should be earnest and genial. Another explanation is that you should use correct emphasis and pronounce clearly. The next verse says that you should not rush through your sentences, which corresponds to being earnest and genial. Nor should you mumble or garble your words, which corresponds to speaking with correct emphasis and pronouncing clearly.

从一个人讲话的态度,固然可以马上看出他的教养;从他讲话的语气、声调,更可以马上看出这个人的心情是好是坏,或紧张松,而善于相人的,听他的声音,还可以判断出这个人的性情与命运。

From the way a person speaks, one can immediately determine the way he was brought up. From his tone of voice, one can detect whether he is in a good mood or a bad one, and whether he is tense or relaxed. Those skilled in physiognomy can also read a person’s disposition and fate from hearing his voice.

中国春秋时代,楚国的令尹(相当于宰相的官职)公子子文是个出名的贤人。当他的弟弟司马(大将军,相当于国防部长)子良得了个儿子越椒,令尹子文就去看这新生儿,未到屋内,,听见婴儿的哭声,他不由皱起了眉头,等看过了婴儿,令尹子文就对司马子良说﹕「这孩子不可以把他养大!他生成一副熊虎的样子,声音又像豺狼嚎叫,这是心性残忍的大凶之人;你如果把他养大了,他将会导至我们若敖氏这一家族覆灭。俗话说﹕『狼子野心。』这是一匹会吃人的狼啊!怎么可以养他?」子良不同意这么做,子文就起了很大的忧虑。到他老了快死的时候,他召集了族人来,说﹕「如果越椒当权主政时,你们一定要赶快搬离,以免惹上灾。」一面忍不住哭了起来﹕「我们若敖氏的祖先恐怕要没有子孙奉祀了哇!」

During the Spring and Autumn Period in China, Zi Wen, the prime minister of the State of Chu, was renowned for his virtue. When his younger brother, General Zi Liang, had his son Yue Jiao, Minister Ziwen went to visit the newborn baby. Before entering the room, he heard the baby cry, raised his brows, and after seeing the baby, said to General Zi Liang, "You must not raise this boy. He has the looks of a bear or tiger, and his voice sounds like a jackal’s howl. He is cruel and vicious. If you raise him, he will bring disgrace to our Ruo Ao clan. He has the wild, ambitious heart of a wolf. He’s a man-eating wolf. How can you raise him?" When Zi Liang did not agree with him, Zi Wen became very worried. When he was old and near death, he summoned his kinsmen and told them, "If Yue Jiao ever comes to power, you must quickly move away to avoid calamity." He couldn’t help but weep as he said, "The ancestors of Ruo Ao may not have any descendants left to worship them!"

子文死后,儿子斗般继任令尹,后来越椒也继父位做了司马,越椒就谋同他的部属伯赢杀掉斗般,自立为令尹,并封伯赢做司马;不久越椒又忌讳伯赢的势力,索性发动若敖家族的兵力,围杀伯赢,更一不做二不休地攻打起楚王。楚王要求讲和,愿意用三个王子做人质,可是越椒并没答应,楚王只好和若敖家开战。越椒仗着艺高人胆大,两次发箭射楚王,竟然都没射中,军队就有了怯意。楚王利用这机会,鼓舞自己的部队说﹕「先王当年征服息国时,获得三支神箭,被越椒偷去两支,现在他已经没有了,我们可以反攻了!」一时士气大振,于是灭掉了若敖氏一家。

After Zi Wen died, his son Dou Ban inherited his position as minister. Later when Yue Jiao inherited his father’s position as general, he plotted with his subordinate, Bai Ying, to murder Dou Ban and usurp the minister’s position for himself, making Bai Ying the general. Shortly afterwards Yue Jiao became envious of Baiying’s power, so he dispatched the Ruo Ao clan’s troops to ambush and kill him. Then he went on and attacked the King of Chu. The King of Chu wanted to reach a settlement and offered three of his princes as hostage, but Yue Jiao did not agree, so he had no choice but to go to battle with the troops of Ruo Ao. Although Yue Jiao was bold and skilled in archery, when both of the arrows he shot at the King of Chu missed their target, his troops lost confidence. The King of Chu took advantage of their hesitation and urged his own troops on, saying, "When our ancestral king conquered the country, he obtained three divine arrows. Yue Jiao stole two of them, but now he’s lost them and we can counter-attack." In a burst of bravado, they annihilated the Ruoao clan.

幸好当时子文有个孙子正奉派出使齐国,在回程中听见乱事,不顾他人好意劝阻,仍然回国交差,并且绑了自己,到司败(大法官,相当于司法部长)那儿待罪。楚王想到子文治理楚国的功劳,便说﹕「假若让子文这样的贤人就此绝了后代,如何能鼓励人向善呢?」于是乎赦免他的罪,又恢复他的官职,若敖一家才没有完全绝种。

It just so happened that one of Zi Wen’s grandsons had been away in the State of Qi on a diplomatic mission. On his way home he heard about the fighting, and not listening to the friendly advice of others, he returned home to report on his mission, then tied himself up and went to the head judge to receive his punishment. The King of Chu, thinking of Zi Wen’s merit in governing the State of Chu, said, "If a person as worthy as Zi Wen had no descendants left, how could later generations be inspired to goodness?" Thereupon the King granted him amnesty and allowed him to retain his position. In that way, the Ruo Ao clan was not completely wiped out.

西汉末年,有个篡汉自立为帝的王莽。在王莽还未窃国之前,他总是装得很谦恭文雅,因此瞒过很多人。有一回,一个走江湖卖艺的人应召入宫表演;有人就问他王莽的相貌好不好?这走江湖的人就品论说﹕「他是个鸱枭眼、老虎嘴,又豺狼声的人,所以不但会吃人,最后也终将被人所杀!」果然王莽在弒帝篡汉之后,终于又败亡,由光武帝中兴了汉朝,是为东汉。

At the end of the Western Han dynasty, Wang Mang usurped the throne and made himself King. Before he became a traitor, he had always put on a pretense of humility and refinement, and he fooled many people. Once, a street hawker was invited into palace to perform. Someone asked him, "What do you think of Wang Mang’s physiognomy?" The hawker said, "He has the eyes of a horned owl, the mouth of a tiger, and the voice of a jackal. Not only will he eat men, he will be murdered in the end!" As it turned out, after Wang Mang killed the Han Emperor and usurped the throne, he was eventually defeated by Emperor Guangwu, who established what became the Eastern Han Dynasty.

从这两个例子来看,人的声音,真的就是性情的反射。但是天生的性情,是可以用后天的教化和陶冶来改变的;只要性情改变,声音也自然随之而变,以后的命运也就不同了。所以从讲话的态度和声调来约束训练孩子,实在是不容忽视的造命之学,不要认为那没有什么关系。

These two examples show that a person’s voice is a true reflection of his disposition. However, one’s inborn disposition may be altered by education and training. One’s voice will naturally change along with one’s disposition, and one’s fate will also be different! Therefore, we must not overlook the method of changing fate through training children in their manner of speech and tone of voice and think that it is not important.

美国华盛顿总统年轻时抄录的「国民应对手则」中,还有一条说﹕「不要好奇地探听他人的事,也不要接近在私下交谈的人。」这意思就是教人不要好管闲事,不要做「包打听」,以免惹出更多是非,甚至招来杀身之祸。别人的闲话尚且不应当听,更别提说人闲话了!

When U.S. President George Washington was a youth, one of the rules he copied from "Rules of Civility in Conversation Amongst Men" was, "Don’t listen to other people’s affairs out of curiosity; don’t approach people who are engaged in private conversation." In other words, don’t mind other people’s business. Don’t be an eavesdropper, or you might stir up more gossip and even put your life in danger. You shouldn’t listen to gossip, much less utter it.

「国民应对手则」中又说﹕「不要背后说人闲话,因为这是不公正的。」不知真相究竟,就说东说西,岂止是对当事者不公正而已,对自己的人格更是一大伤害!孔子当年游周,看见太庙前有金人铜像的口,被绳索绕了三圈封起来,后面又刻着﹕「这是古代言语谨慎的人。」不由赞叹不已;从此「三缄其口」,就成了慎言的成语了。所以明智的人总是惜话如金,这是很有道理的。

The "Rules of Civility in Conversation Amongst Men" also says, "Don’t gossip about others behind their backs, because that’s unfair." If you don’t know the truth of the matter and you speak recklessly, not only are you being unfair to those involved, you are also degrading yourself. In his travels, Confucius once came upon a bronze statue in front of a temple. The statue’s mouth had been gagged three times around with rope, and on its back were carved these words: "This is a man from ancient times who was cautious in speech." Confucius praised this sight endlessly, and from that incident came the expression, "to be gagged thrice," meaning to be scrupulous in speech. Wise people guard their words like gold, which is a very sensible way to act.

孝事父母,当愿众生,
善事于佛,护养一切。

《大方广佛华严经‧净行品》

When I serve my parents in filial piety,
I vow that living beings.
Will serve the Buddhas skillfully.
And protect and nourish everything.
--Pure Conduct Chapter, Flower Adornment Sutra

中国有一部《孝经》,经上说﹕「夫孝,天之经也,地之义也,民之行也。」孝道是中国传统的美德,是个人立身处世的根本,也是执政者治理天下的准则。古代圣明的帝王是怎样教化人民,使天下人顺从的呢?不是用严刑峻法,也不是用坚兵厚利,而是以德行和道理,使人民自然相亲相爱,尊卑长幼都没有怨恨。所以孔子说孝道,是所有德行的根本,也是一切教化产生的根源。

In China there is a Classic of Filial Piety, which says, "As for filial piety, it is the heavenly mandate, the earthly morality, and the practice of the people." Filial piety is an excellent virtue that has traditionally been honored in China. It is the basis for our life and our relationship with the world, as well as a guideline and standard for governing the nation and world. How did the sage emperors of old influence the people and win their loyalty? It wasn’t through the use of harsh punishments or laws, nor through the use of a strong army or generous rewards; rather, it was by means of virtue and reason that they caused the people naturally to be kind and affectionate, so that there was no resentment between the superior and the subordinate, or between the older and younger generations. Hence Confucius said, "Filial piety is the basis of all virtuous deeds; it is also the source from which all teachings emerge."

平等的孝顺

IMPARTIAL FILIAL PIETY

《孝经》和《论语》是儒家流传最广的典籍。在古代五刑(墨、劓、剕、宫、大辟)所属的犯罪条例,有三千条之多,其中没有比不孝的罪行更大的。在宋仁宗时代,《孝经》更列入科举考试项目中,宋朝忠臣因此特别多。北史《儒林传》何妥中记载﹕「纳言苏威尝言于上曰﹕『臣先人每诫臣云﹕唯独《孝经》一卷,足可立身经国,何用多为。』」在汉明帝、唐玄宗时代,皇帝甚至批注《孝经》,诏令天下诵习,可以暸解中国人对孝道重视的程度。

The Classic of Filial Piety and the Confucian Analectsare the most well-known texts of Confucian philosophy. In ancient times, of the more than three thousand offenses meriting the five severe punishments (tattooing, cutting off the nose, cutting off the feet, castration, and capital punishment), none was considered worse than being unfilial. During the reign of Emperor Ren of the Song Dynasty, the Classic of Filial Piety became one of the texts covered in the imperial examination. As a result, the Song Dynasty had a particularly large number of loyal ministers. In the He Tuo Chapter of theNorthern History’s Annals of Scholars, it is recorded, "Su Wei once said to the Emperor: My late father often admonished me, saying: The study of the Classic of Filial Piety alone provides a sufficient basis for one’s life and for the managing of the nation’s affairs; what need is there to study additional texts?"’ During the reigns of Emperor Ming of the Han Dynasty and Emperor Xuan of the Tang Dynasty, those emperors even wrote commentaries on the Classic of Filial Piety and instructed all the people to recite and practice it. From this we can see what importance the Chinese place upon filial piety.

那么孝顺父母,该怎么做呢?《孝经‧士章》说,拿事奉父亲的心去事奉母亲,其爱心是相同的;拿事奉父亲的心去事奉君王,其尊敬的心是相同的。事奉母亲,是取其爱心;事奉君王,是取其敬心;而爱心、敬心二者兼有的,则是事奉父亲的道理。

What is considered being respectful to our parents? The section of the Classic of Filial Piety that talks about being a good official says, "In serving your mother, the love you show towards her should be the same as that shown to your father; in serving your superior, the respect you pay to him should be as much as that you pay to your father. Therefore, emphasizing love towards your father is the way of serving your mother and emphasizing respect is the way of serving your superior. That is to say having both love and the respect is exactly the way of serving your father."

对父母的孝顺,要怎样才算尽孝呢?《诗经‧小雅、小宛篇》上说﹕「夙兴夜寐,无忝尔所生。」是不是这样就够了呢?在《孝经‧纪孝行章》提到侍奉父母还应注意:居上位的,不要骄傲自大;居下的,不要为非作乱;在同事之间,应和顺不可争夺……。骗、乱、争三恶若不能除去,让父母时时担忧,即使每天用牛羊猪三牲去奉养父母,仍算是不孝顺啊!也就是说改掉自己的恶习,就是孝顺。

What do you have to do to be considered filial to your parents? The Xiaoya Xiaowan Chapter in the Book of Odessays, "From the time you rise in the morning till you retire at night, do nothing that would bring disgrace to those who gave birth to you." Is that enough? The section of the Classic of Filial Piety that talks about filial conduct says, "In serving your parents, you should also pay attention to the following: If in a high position, do not be arrogant and conceited; if in a subordinate position, do not commit offenses and incite rebellion; get along with your colleagues and avoid contention... If you cannot avoid the three evils of arrogance, rebellion, and contention, causing your parents to worry constantly about you, then even if you served beef, mutton, and pork to your parents every day, you would not be considered filial!" In other words, filial piety consists of changing your own bad habits.

孝事父母时,要想到善事于佛,因为父母赐给我们身体生命,佛却救度我们的慧命;将事奉父母的爱心和敬心来事奉于佛,夙兴夜寐,早起晚睡,勤谨工作,无忝尔所生,不要侮辱了生育你慧命的父母。那么,孝顺佛这样就够了吗?如果你骄慢、争斗、贪吝种种的习气毛病,老也不改,还是让佛替你担忧,仍算是不孝顺啊!

When serving your parents in filial piety, you should also do a good job in serving the Buddhas, for while our parents have given us our physical bodies and lives, the Buddhas rescue our wisdom life. We ought to use the same affection and reverence with which we serve our parents to serve the Buddhas, rising early and retiring late, working diligently, and not doing anything that would bring disgrace to the parents of our wisdom-life, that is, the Buddha. Is that all we have to do to be filial to the Buddhas? If you still don’t change your old habits of arrogance, contention, greed, and other faults, you will cause the Buddhas to worry about you, and how can that be considered filial piety?

孝顺是一切佛经道理的本源,地藏王菩萨往昔就是一个孝顺的婆罗门女;目连尊者为救生母离饿鬼道,请佛救度,而有盂兰盆法会。在佛教中,杀父杀母,和出佛身血一样,是属于五逆重罪,要堕无间地狱。

Filial piety is the source of all the Buddha’s Sutras. In a former life, Earth Store Bodhisattva was a filial Brahman woman. Venerable Maudgalyayana, wishing to free his mother from the path of hungry ghosts, went to ask the Buddha to rescue her, an thus the Ullambana Ceremony came about. In Buddhism, killing one’s father and killing one’s mother, along with shedding the Buddha’s blood, are classified among the Five Rebellious Offenses that merit falling into the Unintermittent Hells.

一个不孝事父母的人,想要祈福,是无有是处的。

If a person who is not filial to his parents prays for blessings, there is no way he or she will obtain them.

佛陀时代,在罗阅祇园有一个人,为人凶恶愚昧,不孝父母,欺压善良,不敬尊长,家道衰落,多不如意事,因此,便去事奉火神,希望求得火神的褔佑。

In the Buddha’s time, there was an evil and foolish person in Rajagriha who was unfilial to his parents, cheated good people, did not respect his elders, caused his family to fall into ruin, and had all kinds of bad luck. He decided to go worship the fire spirit in order to seek its protection.

事奉「火神」的方法,就是当太阳刚刚要落山时,点燃一堆大火,向火光跪拜,直到深更半夜火熄为止。他这样拜火拜了三年,生活还是没有什么改善,又改变信仰去事奉「日月」之神。

The method of worshipping the fire spirit involved lighting a big fire at the time of sunset and making prostrations to it until midnight, when the fire was extinguished. He worshipped in this way for three years, but there was no improvement in his lifestyle, so then he began to worship the sun-moon spirit instead to go worship the fire spirit in order to seek its protection.

事奉「日月」之神方法是﹕白天太阳出来向太阳膜拜,夜里月亮升空向月亮膜拜;直到太阳落山,月亮西沉为止。他这样也拜了三年,仍然得不到褔佑,就又再改事天神,每天烧香对着天空跪拜,同时摆上香花美酒、腊肉、猪羊牛只,想要获福。这样经年累月,终于耗尽家财,弄得贫穷不堪,当然也没得到什么好处。他为了拜天,弄得辛苦憔悴,病得不能出门。他听说舍卫国有一位佛陀,是所有天神所崇敬的,想想应该去事奉他,这样一定会获得褔佑。

The method of worship involved making prostrations to the sun at sunrise, and making prostrations to the moon when it ascends into the sky at night, bowing continuously until the sun sets behind the mountains, and the moon sets in the west. He bowed like this for three years, but still didn’t receive any blessings or protection, so he changed to worshipping the heaven spirit. Every day he lit incense and made prostrations to the heavens, making offerings of fresh flowers, fine wine, and dried pork, mutton, and beef, hoping to obtain blessings. In bowing to the heavens, he wore himself out until he was too sick to leave his house. Then he heard that there was someone known as the Buddha in Shravasti, whom all the heaven spirits worshipped. He thought he ought to go worship Him as well, for it would certainly bring him blessings.

他便来到舍卫国,见到了佛陀,他便诉说自己九年来的经过,如今皈依佛,希望佛陀赐福给他。

He went to Shravasti and met the Buddha, and told the Buddha what he had been doing for the past nine years, saying that now that he had met the Buddha, he hoped the Buddha could bestow blessings upon him.

佛陀告诉他说﹕「祭神求褔报,日后观收获,四分不得一,不如敬贤善。能为善谦诚,常敬长和上,四褔自增多,健康长寿安。」──《法句譬喻经‧述千品十七》

The Buddha told him, "If you worship spirits hoping for blessings, you will find that you will not gain even a quarter of what you put in. It would be better to venerate good and worthy people. If you can be virtuous, humble, and sincere, always respecting your elders and seniors, the four blessings will naturally increase and you will enjoy health, longevity, and peace." (Chapter 17 of the Dharmapada Sutra)

一个不孝父母,不敬长老的人,是不可能获得褔佑的。佛教把一切众生看作是过去世的父母。「是男子皆是我父,是女子皆是我母。」将孝道扩大了,这是一种平等的孝顺,不只孝顺自己的父母,更达到三世一切父母,以一种平等心,这可以说是孝道最极致的境界了。

A person who is unfilial to his parents and disrespectful to his elders cannot possibly attain blessings and protection. In Buddhism, we consider all living beings to be our parents from past lives. " All men have been my fathers. All women have been my mothers." The scope of filial piety is expanded and becomes an impartial filial piety directed not only towards our own parents in this life, but towards all our parents in the past, present, and future. This kind of impartial spirit could be said to be the utmost state of filial piety.


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