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第十一章 生活与文化 Chapter 11 Life and Culture
 
[佛教徒信仰的是什么 What Buddhists Believe?] [点击:1107]   [手机版]
背景色

Part Four

Human Life in Society

第四篇 人类的生活与社会

Chapter 11 Life and Culture

第十一章 生活与文化

Traditions, Customs and Festivals

传统.习俗与节目

Buddhism is open to traditions and customs provided they are not harmful to the welfare of others.

The Buddha advised us not to believe in anything simply because it is the traditional custom. However, we are not advised to suddenly do away with all traditions. 'You must try to experiment with them and put them thoroughly to test. If they are reasonable and conducive both to your happiness and to the welfare of others, only then should you accept and practise these traditions and customs.' (Kalama Sutta) This is certainly one of the most liberal declarations ever made by any religious teacher. This tolerance of other's traditions and customs is not known to some other religionists. These religionists usually advise their new converts to give up all their traditions, customs and culture without observing whether they are good or bad. While preaching the Dhamma, Buddhist missionaries have never advised the people to give up their traditions as long as they are reasonable. But the customs and traditions must be within the framework of religious principles. In other words, one should not violate the religious precepts in order to follow one's traditions. If people are very keen to follow their own traditions which have no religious value at all, they can do so provided that they do not practise these traditions in the name of religion. Even then, such practices must be harmless to oneself and to all other living creatures.

只要是不造成伤害、利益群众的传统和习俗,佛教都能接受。

传统与习俗:

佛陀说,不要因为是传统或习俗就相信它,然而,佛教并不鼓励抛弃所有的传统和习俗。

佛陀说:

「你必须试验它们,彻底的检验,如果它们合理、有助于我们的幸福,那么,就应该接受和实行这些传统和习俗。」

《卡拉马经Kalama Sutta》

这是从未有过、最自由的宗教宣言。在其他宗教里,对他人的传统和习俗的容忍就非常的罕见了。有些宗教经常劝告皈依者,放弃他们所有的传统、习俗和文化,不管是好、或是坏的。佛教在弘法的过程中,从来就没有要求信徒放弃他们原有的传统和习俗,不过,这些传统和习俗要在佛教道德范围内,换句话说,一个人不可以为了顺从自己的传统和习俗,而背弃佛教原则。如果人们倾向于自己的传统和习俗,而这些传统和习俗又没有佛教价值,倘若他们不以佛教名义,一样可以奉行他们原有的传统和习俗,但是,不可以对自己或对他人造成伤害,或伤及无辜的生命。 

Rites and Rituals

典礼与仪轨:

These are included within customs and traditions. The rites and rituals are an ornamentation or a decoration to beautify a religion in order to attract the public. They provide a psychological help to some people. But one can practise religion without any rites and rituals. Certain rites and rituals that people consider as the most important aspect of their religion for their salvation are not considered as such in Buddhism. According to the Buddha, one should not cling to such practices for his spiritual development or mental purity.

典礼和仪轨是传统和习俗的一部份。典礼和仪轨美化了宗教,并吸引了群众。典礼和仪轨为某些人提供了心理的帮助。但是,不是所有的修行者都需要靠典礼和仪轨的帮助。在人们心目中,某些仪轨对宗教而言是非常重要的,其实,佛教只重视自我的解脱,并不重视仪轨。依据佛陀的教诲,仪轨化的修持方式,在净化心灵,会造成障碍。

Festivals

节日庆典:

Genuine and sincere Buddhists do not observe Buddhist festivals by enjoying themselves under the influence of liquor and merry-making or holding feasts by the slaughtering of animals. The true Buddhists observe festival days in an entirely different manner. On the particular festival day, they would devote their time to abstaining from all evil. They would practise charity and help others to relieve themselves from their suffering. They may entertain friends and relatives in a respectable way.

正信的佛教徒,不以饮酒作乐、屠杀无辜及可怜的动物来庆祝节日。正信的佛教徒以完全不同的方式来庆祝节日,在节日里,他们专心的杜绝一切邪恶的行为,他们以布施帮助他人解除痛苦与忧愁。

The festivals that have been incorporated with religion sometimes could pollute the purity of a religion. On the other hand a religion without festivals can become very dull and lifeless to many people. Usually children and youths come to religion through religious festivals. To them the attraction of a religion is based on its festivals. However, to a mediator, festivals can become a nuisance.


很多节日庆典都与宗教拉上关系,从而亵渎了宗教的神圣性。对一般人而言,宗教如果没有庆典,就显得沉闷和没有生气。一般,孩子们和年青人都是通过庆典而加入或皈依宗教的,宗教吸引他们的就是庆典。然而,对一个禅定的修行者而言,庆典造成了骚扰。

Of course, some people will not be satisfied with religious observances only during a festival . They naturally like to have some sort of merry-making and outward show. Rites, rituals, ceremonies, processions and festivals are organized to quench that thirst for emotional satisfaction through religion. No one can say that such practices are wrong, but devotees have to organize those ceremonies in a cultured manner, without causing a nuisance to others.

当然,还有一些人并不满足于节日庆典的宗教仪式,他们还喜欢有些余兴节目。典礼、仪轨、游行等各种形式的庆祝活动,就是用来满足那些对宗教节目有渴求欲的人,但是,没有人会说这些活动是错误的。这些庆典应该在文明的方式下进行,不可以给他人造成骚扰。

Buddhism and Women

佛教与女性

A female child may prove even to be a better offspring than a male.

女孩也能证明她们比男孩强。

Women's position in Buddhism is unique. The Buddha gave women full freedom to participate in a religious life. The Buddha was the first religious Teacher who gave this religious freedom to women. Before the Buddha, women's duties had been restricted to the kitchen; women were not even allowed to enter any temple or to recite any religious scripture. During the Buddha's time, women's position in society was very low. The Buddha was criticized by the prevailing establishment when He gave this freedom to women. His move to allow women to enter the Holy Order was extremely radical for the times. Yet the Buddha allowed women to prove themselves and to show that they too had the capacity like men to attain the highest position in the religious way of life by attaining Arahantahood. Every woman in the world must be grateful to the Buddha for showing them the real religious way of living and for giving such freedom to them for the first time in world history.

女性在佛教的地位是独特的,佛陀给予女性参与宗教的自由和权力,佛陀是给予女性宗教自由的第一位宗教导师。在佛教成立之前,女性活动范围仅限于厨房内,男性不允许女性到寺院进行任何宗教活动,以免亵渎神灵。佛陀时代,女性的地位低微,佛陀给予女性宗教自由时,受到当时社会各阶层猛力的抨击,佛陀成立比库尼僧团,接受女性出家,在那个时代是一种极端的革命行为。然而,佛陀让女性自己证明,她们具备与男性一样的能力,她们也能证得阿拉汉果。每一位女性都必须感谢佛陀,因为,佛陀给予女性自由的宗教生活,并给予她们在人类历史的首度自由。

A good illustration of the prevailing attitude towards women during the Buddha's time is found in these words of Mara:

佛陀时代,一般人们对女性的态度,可以在佛陀与魔罗(Mara)的对话中应证:

'No woman, with the two-finger wisdom (narrow)which is hers, could ever hope to reach those heights which are attained only by the sages.'

Undoubtedly, the Buddha was vehement in contradicting such attitude. The nun (bhikkhuni) to whom Mara addressed these words, gave the following reply:

'When one's mind is well concentrated and wisdom never fails, does the fact of being a woman make any difference?'

King Kosala was very disappointed when he heard that his Queen had given birth to a baby girl. He had expected a boy. To console the sad King, the Buddha said:

'A female child, O Lord of men, may prove

Even a better offspring than a male.

For she may grow up wise and virtuous,

Her husband's mother reverencing, true wife,

The boy that she may bear may do great deeds,

And rule great realms, yes, such a son

Of noble wife becomes his country's guide,'

(Samyutta Nikaya)

「女性以她两根指头大的智慧,是没有希望证悟或圆成圣道的。」毫无疑问的,佛陀不同意这种说法。这时,那位被魔罗攻击的比库尼说话了:「当一个人心识专注,智慧获得全面发展时,是不是女性又有什么关系呢?」

高沙喇(kosala)国王听到王后为他生下一个女孩时,非常失望,他一直想要一名男孩。佛陀安慰这位忧伤的国王:

「啊!陛下。这一个女孩将来能证明她比男孩更优秀。她有智慧、有德性。是一位受婆婆尊敬的好媳妇。她所教养的孩子,做出伟大的功绩,统治广大的领土。是的,像这样的儿子──一位国家的领导,是属于这位高贵的妇人的。」

The Buddha has confirmed that man is not always the only wise one; woman is also wise.

佛陀并不认为男性是唯一聪明的人类,女性也一样聪明。

Nowadays many religionists like to claim that their religions give women equal rights. We only have to look at the world around us today to see the position of women in many societies. It seems that they have no property rights, are discriminated in various fields and generally suffer abuse in many subtle forms. Even in western countries, women like the Suffragettes had to fight very hard for their rights. According to Buddhism, it is not justifiable to regard women as inferior. The Buddha Himself was born as a woman on several occasions during His previous births in Samsara and even as a women He developed the noble qualities and wisdom until He gained Enlightenment or Buddhahood.

某些宗教声称它们奉行男女平等的政策,但是,在今日,我们只需要观察女性在社会的地位时,就会发现女性并没有被获得尊重,她们的权益被某些力量给剥夺了。甚至在所谓文明的西方社会,女性一样要为她们的权益而斗争。佛教并不认为女性是弱者。佛陀在无数的生死轮回中,曾以女相出世,她同样的发展自我的德性和智慧,一直到他证悟正自觉的佛果。


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