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政教

Religious Government

作为实修的人,本应“两耳不闻窗外事,一心只为解脱修”。

For practitioners, it is deemed necessary to “shut your ears to affairs outside the window; endeavor only to practice for liberation.”

但偶尔看看新闻,并因此而对众生的苦难生起悲心,对未来的梦想生起厌离心,也会成为修行助缘的。

But occasional reading of the newspaper could stir in us compassion toward suffering in the world, smother our fantasies about the future, and arouse renunciation; it may thus support our practice also.

翻开报纸,看到国家主席江泽民与美国总统布什的一段对话:“中国有很多公民信教。我不信宗教,但对宗教很感兴趣。我看过《圣经》、《古兰经》、《金刚经》……”看到这里,顿生许多感慨:

Turning the pages of the newspaper, I read what Premier Jiang Zemin said to the President of the United States George Bush: “Many citizens of China are religious. Although I don’t follow any religion, I am interested in it. I have read The Holy Bible, The Noble Quran, and The Diamond Sutra….” This passage elicited deep thought in me.

《金刚经》云:“须菩提!以要言之,是经有不可思议,不可称量,无边功德。如来为发大乘者说,为发最上乘者说。若有人能受持读颂,广为人说,如来悉知是人,悉见是人,皆得成就不可量、不可称、无有边、不可思议功德。如是人等,即为荷担如来阿耨多罗三藐三菩提。”

In The Diamond Sutra, the Buddha says: “Subhuti, unthinkable and incomparable is this discourse on Dharma. The Tathagata has taught it for the weal of beings who have set out in the best, the most excellent vehicle. Those who will take up this discourse on Dharma, bear it in mind, recite, study, and illuminate it in full detail for others, they are completely known by the Tathagata; they are completely seen by the Tathagata. Such people accomplish immeasurable, inexpressible, boundless, inconceivable merit and virtue and thus sustain the Tathagata’s anuttara-samyak-sambodhi.

由此可见,上至一国之主,下至庶民百姓,不论何人,读诵《金刚经》皆可种下善根,获得不可思议功德。

It is clear that for anyone—from the king or a monarch to common people—to recite the Diamond Sutra is to plant virtuous seeds that will accumulate inconceivable merits.

在藏汉的历史上,佛法对于国家的长治久安也起着不可或缺的作用。在无数的史册中,都留下了数不胜数的君主与高僧大德结下不解之缘的美传。

In the history of Tibet, Buddhism has played an indispensable role in the country’s long-term stability and welfare. There are innumerable beautiful accounts on the lasting bond between patron kings and great Dharma masters in historical annals.

且不论赤松德赞与莲花生大师、静命堪布的深厚情谊。仅就元帝忽必烈封八思巴为“皇天之下,大地之上,西天佛子,化身佛陀,创制文字,辅治国政,五明班智达八思巴帝师”之称,也足见佛法于当时朝廷及民众之重要,实非凡夫所能度测。

The profound connections of King Trisong Deutsen, Master Padmasambhava, and Abbot Shantarakshita are most famous. But those between Khublai Khan, Emperor of Yuan, and his Dharma Master Phagspa are equally remarkable. Khublai extolled the master this way: “Under the heaven and above the earth, you are the Buddha’s heir from the Western Heaven and the emanation of the Buddha. You established the national language and assisted in reigning policies. I now honor you, the Pandita of five sciences, as the Court Priest Phagspa.” Thus the Dharma played inconceivable important roles in the imperial court as well as for the general public during that time period.

一代雄主苻坚为了得到道安法师,不惜发动襄阳之战,再次证明了佛法价值的弥足珍贵。

The mighty emperor Fu Jian, urged by his strong wish to retain Dharma Master Dao Ang, did not hesitate to wage the war of Xiangyang. This, again, is a proof of the extreme value of the precious Buddhadharma.

唐朝的武则天对佛法更是恭敬有加,曾写下著名的开经偈:“无上甚深微妙法,百千万劫难遭遇,我今见闻得受持,愿解如来真实义。”

Empress Wu Zetian of the Tang Dynasty had more than just great respect toward the Buddha’s teachings. She wrote the famous Verse for Opening a Sutra:

The unsurpassed, profound, and wonderful Dharma,
In hundreds of billions of eons is difficult to encounter.
Now that I’ve come to see and hear it, receive and uphold it,
I vow to fathom the Tathagata’s true and actual meanings.

该颂流传至今,并成为众多修行人诵经之前必不可少的发愿文。

This verse has been passed down to the present, and for many practitioners, it is an indispensable aspiration prayer before reciting any sutra.

至于达摩与梁武帝之间的微妙关系,也引起过众多世间人的误解,人们都视梁武帝为不懂佛法真谛的笨蛋。其实在我看来,梁武帝的佛学造诣不能说不高,只是众生的根基及因缘不允许他只接受“不立文字”的禅宗而已。于世俗谛广积福德资粮,仍不失为一种令民众积累善根之方便法门,梁武帝能有此超胜于其他君主的远见,不能不令我赞叹。

The elusive relationship between Master Bodhidharma and Emperor LiangWu has been the subject of many misinterpretations. People regard Emperor LiangWu as a fool who could not comprehend the truth in the Dharma. In my opinion, we can hardly say that Emperor Liang did not have a high level of realization. It is only the circumstances and the acumen of his people that prevented him from subscribing solely to the Zen “beyond any word.” However, he did make vast offerings in worldly ways and showed his subjects how to accumulate merit in the context of relative truth. His skillfulness and vision surpass those of other sovereigns. I can’t help rejoicing in what he has done.

君主若能做到不是以统治民众为目的,而是为了民众今生来世的安乐,从心里对佛教生起恭敬心,实乃众生之幸事!

If the ruler of a state has generated heartfelt respect for Buddhism and wishes to bring short and long-term benefits to all citizens, rather than to control them, it indeed is a great fortune for all beings!

壬午年正月初九  
2002年2月21日

9th of January, Year of RenWu
February 21, 2002


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