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  • 佛教与公益慈善

     

    1、慈悲为本与智慧相摄

    i. Compassion and Mercy as the Foundation, Combined with Wisdom

    慈悲,按照佛教通常的解说,“慈”是慈爱众生并给予快乐,“悲”是悲悯众生并拔除痛苦,二者合称为“慈悲”。《大智度论》卷二十七说:“大慈与一切众生乐,大悲拔一切众生苦;大慈以喜乐因缘与众生,大悲以离苦因缘与众生。” 唐代道世法师在《法苑珠林》中说:“菩萨兴行救济为先,诸佛出世大悲为本。” 

    “Compassion” is to love living beings and give them happiness; “Mercy” is to feel sad about their sufferings and eradicate their hardships. These two together are called “Compassion and Mercy”. The Great Treatise on the Perfection of Wisdom (Vol. 27) states, “The Great Compassion gives happiness to all living beings, and the Great Mercy eradicates the sufferings of all living beings. The Great Compassion gives living beings the causes and conditions of happiness and joy, and the Great Mercy gives living beings the causes and conditions of being liberated from the sufferings. ” Ven. Master Daoshi in the Tang Dynasty said in Pearls from the Garden of Dharma, “When Bodhisattvas act, saving and relieving suffering of all sentient beings is of the first importance; When the Buddhas manifest in the world, the Great Mercy is the very foundation.”

    佛教倡行慈悲,并将其视为佛法根本。如《佛说观无量寿佛经》说:“诸佛心者,大慈悲是。”《十住毗婆沙论》说:“诸佛法无量无边无尽如虚空,悲心是诸佛法根本。能得大法故,名为大悲。”(卷第十七)

    Buddhism advocates Compassion and Mercy, and regards it as the foundation of Buddhism. As stated in the Amitayus Buddha-mindfulness Sutra, “The Heart of all the Buddhas is Great Compassion and Mercy.” Exposition of the 10 Abodes states, “The Dharma of all Buddhas is countless, boundless and endless, and the mind of mercy is the root that is why it is called the “Great Mercy”, through it, the Great Dharma can be attained by it.” (Vol. 17)

    佛教还极力倡导学修智慧,慈悲与智慧结合才是完善的。唐朝贤首大师在《华严经探玄记》中说:“初,大智离过,不住生死;次,大悲摄生,不住涅槃。”(卷第二)这是大乘菩萨以出世情怀做入世事业的心智境界。佛教空有不二的甚深教义与慈悲济世的广博情怀,为慈善文化提供了丰厚的精神资源。

    Buddhism also urges the cultivation of Wisdom, because only through the combination of compassion and wisdom can one reach the ultimate perfection. Great Master Xianshou of Tang Dynasty said in The Search for the Mysteries of the Flower Adornment Sutra (Vol. 2), “At the beginning, through Great Wisdom we get rid of wrong doings and liberate ourselves from Samsara; then, with Great Mercy, we can benefit other beings who are not abiding in the state of Nirvana.” This is the spiritual state of Mahayana Bodhisattvas to carry out mundane activities with a supramundane intention. The profound doctrine of non-duality of emptiness of existence and the Bodhicitta intention of liberating all sentient beings through compassion and mercy is the essence of Buddhist charity and can be an abundant spiritual resource for all charitable culture in general.

    2、布施为首与五度相辅

    ii.  Giving as the First Importance, Complementing Five Perfections

    大乘菩萨行以六度(又称六波罗蜜,即布施、持戒、忍辱、精进、禅定、智慧)与四摄(布施、爱语、利行、同事)为纲,勤修六度成就自利,广行四摄切实利他,自利利他融成一体。如《(八十卷)华严经》说:“六波罗蜜、四摄法出生大乘。”(卷第五十八)

    The Six Perfections (also called Six Paramitas, that is, giving, precepts, tolerance, effort, meditation and wisdom) and the Four Methods of Attraction (giving, kind speech, altruism and non-discrimination) are the guiding principles of the Mahayana Bodhisattvas. By practicing the Six Perfections, one can benefit oneself, and by broadly exercising the Four Methods of Attraction, one can bring benefit to others. In this way, benefiting self and others is united. As stated in the Flower Adornment Sutra (80 volumes), “The Six Perfections and the Four Methods of Attraction generate Great Vehicle.”(Vol. 58)

    六度、四摄皆以布施为首,可知布施是大乘菩萨道的首要,也是佛教慈悲济世情怀和因果缘起智慧的明显体现。《大乘理趣六波罗蜜多经》说:“其布施者,于六度中最易修习,是故先说。譬如世间诸所作事,若易作者先当作之,是故先说布施波罗蜜多。……菩萨摩诃萨亦复如是,见诸有情贫穷所逼,不能发起无上信心、修行大乘种种事业,先施一切衣服饮食、房舍卧具、病廋医药,令心安乐,然后令发无上正等觉心,修行大乘种种事业。以是义故,六度彼岸布施为门,四摄之行而为其首,犹如大地,一切万物依之生长。以是义故,先说布施波罗蜜多。”(卷第四)

    Giving ranks top in both Six Perfections and Four Methods of Attraction, so we know it is of great importance in Mahayana Buddhism, and is the obvious manifestation of the compassion and mercy of saving the world and the wisdom of causes and conditions of Buddhism. The Sutra on the Path to Six Paramitas of Mahayana Doctrine states, “Giving is the easiest practice among the six paramitas, thus it is placed first. Just like when we carry out the worldly matters, the easy matters should be done first. Therefore, the Giving Paramita is elaborated as the first one… The Bodhisattva Mahasattvas also acts in this way: when they see that the sentient beings cannot give rise to supreme faith or do other Dharma practices of the Great Vehicle due to their impoverished state, they firstly give beings clothes, food, housing, beds, furniture and medicine to cure their disease in order to being them comfort and happiness, and then later help to create the conditions to enable sentient beings to practice Great Vehicle and achieve the unsurpassed perfect universal enlightenment. As we can see, among the Six Paramitas, Giving is the first method or “boat” for a person to reach to the “Other Shore” or Nirvana, and giving is the first conduct of the Four Methods of Attraction, just like the earth relying on which everything grows. Therefore, the Giving Paramita is firstly elaborated.”(Vol. 4)

    在实际布施的时候,如果能具备其它的善法来配合,特别是以持戒、忍辱、精进、禅定、智慧等五度来辅助布施,可使布施更加清净、持久、深广、圆满,远离污垢和缺憾。

    When practicing Giving, if a person can combine Giving with other Dharma practice, especially the Five other Paramitas as precepts, tolerance, vigor, meditation and wisdom, then it will be purer, longer lasting, more profound, and will be done without remorse.

    布施分为财施、无畏施和法施。在其它条件相同的情况下,三种布施所造的业轻重程度不同,以法施最为超胜。财施、无畏施都是暂时的,只能利益一时,不能利益长久;只能利益一人,不能利益所有的人。法施,不但眼前能利益,长远更能利益;不但可以利益一人,还可以通过辗转传诵,利益很多人,乃至现在和将来无量无边的人。但也不是说只要法施就可以了,这取决于受施人的具体情况。一般来说,往往是先施人以财物和无畏,然后再施以法,以便帮助受施者能够自立和觉悟,永远脱离种种不幸之困扰。

    Giving can also be divided into the giving of material things, the giving of protection, and the giving of Dharma. With the same conditions, the three kinds of giving can create positive karma and bring benefit to sentient beings on different levels. Among this three the giving of Dharma is the most extraordinary. The giving of material things and the giving of protection are only temporary, only benefitting a period of time rather than long term, and an individual rather than all people. By contrast, the giving of Dharma can not only benefit in the short term but can also bring long term benefits; it can benefit not only an individual, but will benefit all sentient beings present and future, by virtue of being widely read, and well travelled. However, this does not mean that only the giving of Dharma is enough—this should be up to the specific needs of the recipient. Generally speaking, the giving of material things and protection is done first, and then Dharma is given, so as to help the recipient to be independent and enlightened, and liberate himself from his various misfortunes. 

    3、报恩思想与成佛资粮

    iii. The Idea of Repaying Kindness and the Provisions for Attaining Buddhahood

    佛教主张依正不二、自他不二,万事万物都是息息相关,都于自己或现在、或过去、或将来、或直接、或间接有恩益。佛教倡导上报四重恩(父母恩、众生恩、国家恩、三宝恩)、下济三途苦(地狱苦、饿鬼苦、畜生苦),倡行慈悲不舍众生、智慧不拘一法,即所谓“普渡众生”、“无缘大慈”、“同体大悲”。

    Buddhism holds the view of non-duality: the non-duality of the surroundings and body, the non-duality of self and others. All things, no matter present, past, or in future, direct, or indirect are closely inteerelated and bring benefit to us. Buddhism promtes the idea that one should feel gratitude for kindness on has received and should strive to repay the “Four of Kindness”, namely, the kindness of parents, the kindness of living beings, the kindness of country and the kindness of the Three Jewels, and to mercifully reduce the sufferings of the three lower realms ((the hell realms, the hungry ghosts realm and the animals realm). Buddhism advocates, on the basis of compassion and mercy, not one sentient being should be abandoned, In other words, Buddhist through ”Great Compassion with no cause”, ”Great Mercy based on shared nature” should work “To ferry all living beings out of suffering ”. 

    中国佛教界特别注重布施之比喻“福田”的义理,作为佛教徒,应该知恩、念恩、报恩。播散布施、供养之种子,则能结福德之实。 

    The Chinese Buddhist circle attaches great importance to the doctrine in which the “field of merit” is the metaphor of giving. As Buddhists, we should know to show kindness, contemplate kindness and repay the kindness. If the seed of giving and donating can be spread, the fruit of bliss and merit can be harvested. 

    作为整体佛教,继承和发扬千年的善法传统,使之亘古常新、广度众生、推展十善,本身功德、意义重大,会累积更多的成佛资粮。圣者扭转业力要靠愿力,所有的佛菩萨都是先发大愿,然后去实践。当愿心成为生命的组成部分——真正的成佛资粮,善行的动力就会更强大。

    Buddhism as a whole should inherit and develop the thousand-year tradition of virtuous dharma, keep pace with the time, benefit living beings widely, promote the ten virtuous deeds, which are of great virtue and significance and can accumulate more provisions for attaining Buddhahood. Sacred people change karma with their power of aspiration, so all Buddhas and Bodhisattvas make great wishes first, then to fulfill them. When the aspiration becomes a part of life, the real provisions for attaining Buddhahood, the stimulus for doing virtuous deeds will become more powerful.

    报恩思想、广种福田、积聚成佛资粮的观念,对促进佛陀慈悲济世的精神和悲愿度众的愿力转化为公益慈善事业的世间行持,具有积极的意义。

    The thoughts of repaying kindness and accumulating provisions for attaining Buddhahood by cultivating “virtuous field” have positive significance for transmitting the Buddha’s spirit of compassion and mercy to actual deeds for public welfare and charity.

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