2012年11月15日 星期四

The Lotus Sutra (tran.Burton Watson)



The Lotus Sūtra (Sanskrit: Saddharma Puṇḍarīka Sūtra) is one of the most popular and influential Mahāyāna sūtras, and the basis on which the Tiantai and Nichiren schools of Buddhism were established.

妙法蓮華經》,簡稱《法華經》,(梵文सद्धर्मपुण्डरीकसूत्र Sad-dharma Puṇḍárīka Sūtra)。梵文 Sad-dharma,中文意為「妙法」。Puṇḍárīka 意譯為「白蓮花」,以蓮花(蓮華)為喻,象徵每個眾生都有本來自性清淨的真如佛性,出淤泥而不染,比喻佛法之潔白、清淨、完美。Sūtra 意為「經」,故此經之全名為《妙法蓮華經》。
《妙法蓮華經》說一乘圓教,表清淨了義,究竟圓滿,微妙無上。《法華經》是佛陀釋迦牟尼晚年所說教法,屬於開權顯實的圓融教法,大小無異,顯密圓融,顯示人人皆可成佛之一乘了義。在五時教判中,屬於法華、涅槃之最後一時。因經中宣講內容至高無上,明示不分貧富貴賤,只要依循「佛菩提道」完成五十二個位階,人人皆可成佛,比起其他經典尚有階級上下之分,所以《法華經》也譽爲「經中之王」。

The Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Law, in eight volumes and twenty eight chapters, translated by Kumarajive in 406 AD. 其中以鳩摩羅什譯本最為通行,七卷二十八品,六萬九千餘字,收錄於《大正藏》第9冊,經號262。只有鳩摩羅什譯本包涵了〈提婆達多品〉,其他版本,連同梵文本在內,都沒有這一品。


法華宗旨

在大乘佛法興起的時代,有了以「聲聞」、「緣覺」為二乘或小乘,以「菩薩」 為大乘的說法。《法華經》就是在這種背景下結集的代表作品,提出了「開權顯實」、「會三歸一」的思想,融會三乘為一乘(佛乘)。以「聲聞」、「緣覺」二乘 為方便(權)說,「二乘」終究要以成佛為最終目標(如「化城喻品」所說),開啟了「回小向大」的門徑,這是一種嶄新的學說思想,也是本經的主旨所在,在佛 教思想史上佔有至關重要的地位。

各品大意

  • 第一序品:是本經的總序,佛說無量義經後,入無量義處三昧,天上降下種種妙華,佛的眉間白毫放大光明。彌勒菩薩因疑發問,文殊師利菩薩作答:過去諸佛宣說《法華經》前,皆現此瑞。暗示佛說此經之殊勝處有別於他經,喚起大眾的注意。
  • 第二方便品:此品與壽量品,是《法華經》的兩大中心,為本經正宗分。佛由三昧起,稱嘆諸佛智慧甚深無量,難解難入,佛說諸佛究竟了知諸法實相——「十如是」。為令聲聞、緣覺二乘人斷苦縛,得涅槃,佛以方便力,曾分說三乘之教,今日所說才是佛的真實教法。五千增上慢者退席,佛乃宣示唯一大事因緣,所謂開、示、悟、入佛之知見;一切眾生皆當作佛,實無三乘。
  • 第三譬喻品:自此品至* 第九「授學無學人記品」為止的七品,是將方便品內容進一步以譬喻及因緣加以說明。本品說明舍利弗最先領解佛意,故被授記為華光如來。佛將三界譬喻為火宅,將三乘喻為「羊、鹿、牛三車」,將一佛乘喻為「大白牛車」,以有名的「火宅喻」和「三車一車」之喻,顯示「於一佛乘,分別說三」及「唯有一乘法,無二亦無三」的深義。
  • 第四信解品:須菩提、迦旃延、大迦葉、目犍連,於上品領解佛意。佛更說「長者窮子」喻,佛喻為大慈悲的長者,三乘譬喻為窮子,導出「於一乘道,隨宜說三」的結論。
  • 第五藥草喻品:佛應四人之請,更以「三草二木」將人天二乘譬喻為大、中、小藥草,將上根、下根菩薩喻為大樹和小樹,將佛的平等智慧譬喻為一味之雨。三千大千世界的大小長短諸種草木,悉受一味之雨而潤澤成長,如同佛以一相一味之法,平等利益一切眾生。
  • 第六授記品:授大迦葉等四人將來成佛之記。
  • 第七化城喻品:先說大通智勝佛時十六王子聽講《法華經》而轉為菩薩沙彌,後乃成佛。次說「化城喻」,三乘之果不外是化城,目的是為入佛智慧、最終成佛。
  • 第八五百弟子授記品:富樓那為上首,五百弟子皆得受記。次說「系珠喻」,五百弟子雖都懷有佛種,但未開悟,由煩惱覆藏,如衣里藏有寶珠,但因不知,故處於窮困之境。
  • 第九授學無學人記品:阿難、羅睺羅為上首。
  • 第十法師品:佛在世或滅度後,凡隨喜聽聞《法華經》者均授予成佛的記別。又舉出修行、受持、讀誦、解說、書寫本經的「五種法施」和供養本經的「十種」功德。說謗法者之罪,並說鑿井喻。
  • 第十一見寶塔品:多寶佛塔從地湧出,證明釋尊所說真實不虛。釋迦如來以神力,三變淨土,分身諸佛咸集,開多寶佛塔。多寶如來,分半座與釋尊同座。
  • 第十二提婆達多品:說如來往昔求法,師事阿私仙得聞妙法。又授提婆達多成佛記。文殊入龍宮說《法華經》,八歲龍女聞經即身成佛,證明《法華經》功德廣大。
  • 第十三勸持品:藥王、大樂說和兩萬菩薩,各各發願弘揚《法華經》。被授記的五百阿羅漢及學無學八千人,以及八十萬億那由他無數菩薩,皆誓願弘此經典。
  • 第十四安樂行品:文殊請問末世持經方法,佛告以身、口、意、誓願四安樂行,並以轉輪聖王髻中明珠罕見授人來譬喻佛不輕易講說經中最尊最勝的《法華經》。
  • 第十五從地湧出品:六萬恆沙菩薩及其眷屬從地湧出,大眾疑惑,不知此等恆河沙數菩薩為誰之弟子?從何處而來?此為佛開顯「久遠實成」佛果的序曲。
  • 第十六如來壽量品:釋尊說明「我實成佛以來,無量無邊百千萬億那由他劫」,而其中間乃至今生,皆是方便示現。又說「佛壽長遠」、「佛身常住」。以 良醫之譬喻說明為救眾生而示現方便。佛實際上是「常在靈鷲山」、「常住說此法」,為使眾生不起懈怠之念,故示現滅度。此品旨在說明佛陀「壽命之無量」、 「教化之無量」、「慈悲之無量」及「救濟之無量」。
  • 第十七分別功德品:說明與會者聞法獲益之多,和五品弟子功德。
  • 第十八隨喜功德品:是繼上品所說者,說明聽聞、講述此經的廣大功德。
  • 第十九法師功德品:明五種法師的功德,得六根清淨神通力。
  • 第二十常不輕菩薩品:說明常不輕菩薩,以隨喜行,得清淨六根,說《法華經》,以此顯示讚歎本經功德。
  • 第二十一如來神力品:佛出廣長舌相,放毛孔光。以此神力,為囑付滅後傳此經,捷要地說此經功德。此經所在之處就是道場,諸佛在此處成道、轉法輪,並在此處涅槃。
  • 第二十二囑累品:此品為對諸菩薩「總付囑」,三摸眾菩薩頂而囑付之。
  • 第二十三藥王菩薩本事品:自此品開始到第二十八勸發品,詳說佛滅後弘此經的必要及弘經的功德。本品舉出藥王菩薩過去為一切眾生喜見菩薩,燒臂供養,以報答聽日月淨明德佛講《法華經》之恩。
  • 第二十四妙音菩薩品:敘述變現34身,說《法華經》的妙音菩薩,從東方淨光莊嚴國來到靈鷲山,禮拜釋尊及多寶佛塔,以顯宣說《法華經》的重要意義。
  • 第二十五觀世音菩薩普門品:無盡意菩薩請問觀世音菩薩的神通因緣,佛為說14種無畏,32種應化身等種種功德。
  • 第二十六陀羅尼品:菩薩及天神等,各各說咒護持受持《法華經》者。
  • 第二十七妙莊嚴王本事品:述說藥王、藥上二菩薩的往昔事跡,他們為淨藏、淨眼二王子時,勸父母歸依其師雲雷音王佛,使他們聽講《法華經》的大善因緣,以顯示遇佛、聽《法華經》之難得。
  • 第二十八普賢菩薩勸發品:佛為普賢說佛滅度後得《法華經》的四個方法。普賢發願護持受《法華經》者。
《法華經》為弘揚佛陀的真實精神,採用了偈頌、譬喻(法華七喻)等,讚歎永恆的佛陀(久遠實成之佛),說釋迦牟尼佛成佛以來,壽命無限,現各種化身,以種種方便說微妙法。由於行文流暢,詞藻優美,在佛教思想史、文學史上,具有不朽的價值,是自古以來流布最廣的經典。


The Lotus Sutra

Front Cover
Columbia University Press, 1993 - 359 pages
Since its appearance in China in the third century, the Lotus Sutra has been regarded as one of the most illustrious scriptures in the Mahayana Buddhist canon. The object of intense veneration among generations of Buddhists in China, Korea, Japan, and other parts of East Asia, it has attracted more commentary than any other Buddhist scripture and has had a profound impact on the great works of Japanese and Chinese literature. Conceived as a drama of colossal proportions, the text takes on new meaning in Burton Watson's translation. Depicting events in a cosmic world that transcends ordinary concepts of time and space, the Lotus Sutra presents abstract religious concepts in concrete terms and affirms that there is a single path to enlightenment - that of the bodhisattva - and that the Buddha is not to be delimited in time and space. Filled with striking imagery. memorable parables, and countless revelations concerning the universal accessibility of Buddhahood, the Lotus Sutra has brought comfort and wisdom to devotees over the centuries and stands as a pivotal text in world literature. As Watson notes, "The Lotus Sutra is not so much an integral work as a collection of religious texts, an anthology of sermons, stories and devotional manuals, some speaking with particular force to persons of one type or in one set of circumstances, some to those of another type or in other circumstances. This is no doubt one reason why it has had such broad and lasting appeal over the ages and has permeated so deeply into the cultures that have been exposed to it."



Contents

IV
3

V
23

VI
47

VII
80

VIII
97

IX
117

X
143

XI
154

XIX
233

XX
245

XXI
251

XXII
265

XXIII
272

XXIV
277

XXV
280

XXVI
290

XII
160

XIII
170

XIV
182

XV
190

XVI
196

XVII
212

XVIII
224

XXVII
298

XXVIII
307

XXIX
312

XXX
319

XXXI
325

XXXII
343

Copyright




Popular passages

Page 340 - No-form, are entirely of the mind. If the mind is not at rest, horses and oxen and the Seven Precious Things and Palaces and Pavilions are of no use. With this lonely cottage of mine, this hut of one room, I am quite content. If I go out to the Capital I may feel shame at looking like a mendicant priest...
Page 59 - Shariputra, when the Buddha sees this, then he thinks to himself, I am the father of living beings and I should rescue them from their sufferings and give them the joy of the measureless and boundless Buddha wisdom so that they may find their enjoyment in that. Shariputra, the Thus Come One also has this thought: if I should merely employ supernatural powers and the power of wisdom; if I should set aside expedient means and for the sake of living beings should praise the Thus Come One's insight,...
Page 6 - Therefore, knowledge is symbolized by "the Buddha who emits the ray of light from the tuft of white hair between his eyebrows...
Page 24 - But stop, Shariputra, I will say no more. Why? Because what the Buddha has achieved is the rarest and most difficult-to-understand Law. The true entity of all phenomena can only be understood and shared between Buddhas. This reality consists of the appearance, nature, entity, power, influence, inherent cause, relation, latent effect, manifest effect, and their consistency from beginning to end.
Page 188 - You suppose that in this short time you have been able to attain the unsurpassed way. But this is difficult to believe. Why? Because a woman's body is soiled and defiled, not a vessel for the Law. How could you attain the unsurpassed bodhi? The road to Buddhahood is long and far-stretching. Only after one has spent immeasurable kalpas pursuing austerities, accumulating deeds, practicing all kinds of paramitas, can one finally achieve success. Moreover, a woman is subject to the five obstacles. First,...
Page 164 - Infinite thousand myriad kotis are the sutras I preach, whether already preached, now being preached, or to be preached in the future; and, among them all, this Law-Flower Sutra is the most difficult to believe and the most difficult to understand.
Page 59 - He is born into the threefold world, a burning house, rotten and old, in order to save living beings from the fires of birth, old age, sickness and death, care, suffering, stupidity, misunderstanding, and the three poisons; to teach and convert them and enable them to attain anuttara-samyak-sambodhi. "He sees living beings seared and consumed by birth, old age, sickness and death, care and suffering, sees them undergo many kinds of pain because of the five desires and the desire for wealth and profit.
Page 23 - The wisdom of the Buddhas is infinitely profound and immeasurable. The door to this wisdom is difficult to understand and difficult to enter. Not one of the voice-hearers or pratyekabuddhas is able to comprehend it.
Page xxviii - THE THREEFOLD LOTUS SUTRA The Sutra of Innumerable Meanings, the Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the Wonderful Law, and the Sutra of Meditation on the Bodhisattva Universal Virtue Translated by Bunno Kato, Yoshiro Tamura. and Kojiro Miyasaka, with revisions by WE Soothill, Wilhelm Schiffer, and Pier P.
Page 227 - Thus, since I attained Buddhahood, an extremely long period of time has passed. My life span is an immeasurable number of asamkhya kalpas, and during that time I have constantly abided here without ever entering extinction. Good men, originally I practiced the bodhisattva way, and the life span that I acquired then has yet to come to an end but will last twice the number of years that have already passed.

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