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[作者] 約翰-布列特
Two Faces of the Dhamma
by Bhikkhu Bodhi

原文版權所有   1985 佛教出版社. 免費發行。本文允許在任何媒體再版、重排、重印、印發。然而,編者希望任何再版與分發以對公衆免費與無限制的形式進行,譯文與轉載也要求表明作者原衷。

中譯版權所有  2005 良稹,http://www.theravadacn.org ,流通條件如上。轉載時請包括本站連接,并登載本版權聲明。

On first encounter Buddhism confronts us as a paradox. Intellectually, it appears a freethinker's delight: sober, realistic, undogmatic, almost scientific in its outlook and method. But if we come into contact with the living Dhamma from within, we soon discover that it has another side which seems the antithesis of all our rationalistic presuppositions. We still don't meet rigid creeds or random speculation, but we do come upon religious ideals of renunciation, contemplation and devotion; a body of doctrines dealing with matters transcending sense perception and thought; and perhaps most disconcerting a program of training in which faith figures as a cardinal virtue, doubt as a hindrance, barrier and fetter.

初遇佛法,我們面臨一個悖論: 在智力上,它冷靜、現實、非教條,令自由思考者心悅。在世界觀與方法論上,它幾乎還具有科學性。但是我們若走進活生生的佛法内部 ,不久便發現它還有另一副面貌,似乎背離了我們對它的一切理性假設。我們仍不見刻板的教條與隨機的臆测,看見了出離、冥思與崇敬等宗教理想; 我們看見了一套教义,闡述那些超越了官感與思維的事物; 或許更令人困惑的是,我們看見了一個訓練方案,在其中信念被當成一個至關重要的美德,而存疑則是一種妨害、障礙、與羁絆。

When we try to determine our own relationship with the Dhamma, eventually we find ourselves challenged to make sense out of its two seemingly irreconcilable faces: the empiricist face turned to the world, telling us to investigate and verify things for ourselves, and the religious face turned to the Beyond, advising us to dispel our doubts and place trust in the Teacher and his Teaching.

我們在嘗試決定自身與佛法的關系時,最終都會發現受到挑戰,需要對這兩副看上去不可調和的面貌作出合理的解釋: 經驗主義的那一面朝向世界,告誡我們對萬事親自作調查與驗證,宗教性的那一面朝向超世,告誡我們遣除疑念,信賴尊師佛陀與他的教導。

One way we can resolve this dilemma is by accepting only one face of the Dhamma as authentic and rejecting the other as spurious or superfluous. Thus, with traditional Buddhist pietism, we can embrace the religious side of faith and devotion, but shy off from the hard-headed world-view and the task of critical inquiry; or, with modern Buddhist apologetics, we can extol the Dhamma's empiricism and resemblance to science, but stumble embarrassingly over the religious side. Yet reflection on what a genuine Buddhist spirituality truly requires, makes it clear that both faces of the Dhamma are equally authentic and that both must be taken into account. If we fail to do so, not only do we risk adopting a lopsided view of the teaching, but our own involvement with the Dhamma is likely to be hampered by partiality and conflicting attitudes.

我們解決這個困境的辦法,一個是把佛法的一面作爲真法來接受,而把另一面作爲僞造或附贅加以排斥。這樣一來,在傳統的崇拜式佛教裏,我們包容了信仰的宗教性與崇敬那一面,卻回避了腳踏實地的世界觀與批評探索的任務; 或者,爲現代佛法作辯,我們可以贊揚佛法的經驗性、與科學的相似性,但在宗教那一面尴尬地躊躇不前。然而在思考了真正的佛教精神必須具備的因素之後,很清楚,佛法的兩個面貌都是真實的,必須同時兼顧。如果做不到這點,不僅涉險於只接受部分教導的不平衡性,我們個人的佛法修持,也可能受偏向性與沖突態度的障礙。

The problem remains, however, of bringing together the two faces of the Dhamma without sidling into self-contradiction. The key, we suggest, to achieving this reconciliation, and thus to securing the internal consistency of our own perspective and practice, lies in considering two fundamental points: first, the guiding purpose of the Dhamma; and second, the strategy it employs to achieve that purpose. The purpose is the attainment of deliverance from suffering. The Dhamma does not aim at providing us with factual information about the world, and thus, despite a compatibility with science, its goals and concerns are necessarily different from those of the latter. Primarily and essentially, the Dhamma is a path to spiritual emancipation, to liberation from the round of repeated birth, death and suffering. Offered to us as the irreplaceable means of deliverance, the Dhamma does not seek mere intellectual assent, but commands a response that is bound to be fully religious. It addresses us at the bedrock of our being, and there it awakens the faith, devotion and commitment appropriate when the final goal of our existence is at stake.

然而,怎樣協調佛法的這兩面同時避免自我矛盾,仍是個問題。我們認爲,達成這兩面的協調,從而在个人的觀念與修持中確保內在一致性,關鍵在於考慮兩個根本問題: 第一,佛法教導的目的,第二,爲了達到該目的所需的策略。目的是從苦中證得解脫。佛法的本意,並非爲我們提供有關世界的實際知識,因此雖與科學兼容,其目標與內涵必然有异於科學。佛法在最主要、最基本的意義上,是一條通往釋放心智、擺脫輪回之苦的道路。佛法爲我們提供了無可替代的解脫之道,非僅尋求智力上的認同,它指定的態度必然有充分的宗教性。它直指內心深處,於存在的終極意義岌岌可危之際,在那裏喚醒了相應的信念、崇敬與堅定。

But for Buddhism faith and devotion are only spurs which impel us to enter and persevere along the path; by themselves they cannot ensure deliverance. The primary cause of bondage and suffering, the Buddha teaches, is ignorance regarding the true nature of existence; hence in the Buddhist strategy of liberation the primary instrument must be wisdom, the knowledge and vision of things as they really are. Investigation and critical inquiry, cool and uncommitted, constitute the first step toward wisdom, enabling us to resolve our doubts and gain a conceptual grasp of the truths upon which our deliverance depends. But doubt and questioning cannot continue indefinitely. Once we have decided that the Dhamma is to be our vehicle to spiritual freedom, we have to step on board: we must leave our hesitancy behind and enter the course of training which will lead us from faith to liberating vision.

但是對佛教來說,信念與崇敬只能促使我們走上這條路、並堅持走下去; 它們本身卻不能保證解脫。佛陀教導說,束縛與苦的根源,是對真相的無明; 因此佛教的解脫策略中,基本工具必須是智慧,即對真相的如實知見。冷靜而不受約束的調查與批判性的探索,構成了通往智慧的第一步,使我們排疑解惑,對解脫所依的真理有一個概念上的把握。但是疑與問不能永久存在。我們一旦決定佛法是通向靈性自由的載體,就得走上前來: 把存猶置於身後,投身於一個修練過程,它會把我們從信仰引向解脫的洞見。

For those who approach the Dhamma in quest of intellectual or emotional gratification, inevitably it will show two faces, and one will always remain a puzzle. But if we are prepared to approach the Dhamma on its own terms, as the way to release from suffering, there will not be two faces at all. Instead we will see what was there from the start: the single face of Dhamma which, like any other face, presents two complementary sides.


        坦尼沙羅尊者: 信仰與覺醒

        坦尼沙羅尊者: 開啟佛法之門 禮敬在佛教思維與修證中的作用

最近訂正 9-1-2009