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无穷 Without End
 
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无穷

Without End

有些人认为,佛教中说一切众生皆作过自己父母之理,既不现实也不可能,且不论是否有前世,即使有,但世间众生如此之多,如此之喻如何得以穷尽?

The Buddha says all sentient beings have previously been our own mothers and fathers. Many people find this teaching improbable and impossible. Putting aside the argument about the existence of past lives, even if it were true, how could we ever exhaust all sentient beings, as their number is simply innumerable?

然而,以一般世间人的眼、耳、鼻、舌、身、意来衡量之结果并非正量。《三昧王经》云:“眼耳鼻非量,舌身意亦非,若彼等为量,圣道复益谁?”However, the conclusions reached by the ordinary sense faculties—our eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, and consciousness—are not valid in the ultimate sense. The King of Concentration Sutra says:

Eyes, ears, and nose are not valid instruments of discernment,
Nor are tongue, body, and consciousness reliable.
Should their perceptions be true,
Whom should the holy Doctrines benefit?

只有究竟之智慧,方可照见世间万事万物之本性。若未依甚深佛智,仅依凡夫之分别念,实难彻见纷纭繁杂的现有表象之本质。
 
It is only with supreme wisdom that the true nature of all phenomena will be revealed. Without relying on Buddha’s profound insight, no amount of ordinary conceptual thinking is able to discern the essence of myriad appearances.

无始的概念,一般凡夫的六根是很难揣度的。《亲友书》云:“过去一一生身骨,辗转积若妙高山,地土丸为酸枣核,数己形躯岂尽边。”无始以来,每一众生流转轮回的次数,世间的数字是无法表示的。为业力所转而互为亲怨的数字也同样难记其数。《圣者涅槃经》中云:“此大地土抟成豌豆许丸用以衡量一有情为自父母之数,则可数尽,然一有情为自父母之数却不可胜数。”

Likewise, the notion of time without beginning is difficult to grasp using the six faculties of ordinary being. In Letter to a Friend, The sublime Nagarjuna says: “Should the bones we had through our past lives be piled up, they would be as high as Mt. Meru. Should we try to count our bodies with balls of clay the size of juniper berries, we would run out of earth to count.” Since beginning-less time we have had incalculable lives throughout samsara, the number of times that we had relations of affection, enmity, or indifference with every other being is also countless. The Sages’ Nirvana Sutra says: “Were this great earth made into little pellets as big as a pea to count the number of times someone had been my father and mother, the whole earth would be used up before I could finish counting.”

所以,在未对佛经进行精读、思维前,切不可对佛教之说法妄加评论。对经论进行精研以后再下结论乃为智者之所为。

Hence, until we have thoroughly studied and reflected upon the Buddha’s teachings, we should definitely refrain from making reckless remarks. A wise man will choose not to draw any conclusion until he has carefully reviewed the sutras and shastras.

壬午年二月十六日  
2002年3月29日  
16th of February, Year of RenWu
March 29, 2002


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