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布施得福 Virtues Cultivated from Dāna

[文献学]  发表时间: 2019-04-04 11:22 点击: [放大字体正常缩小] 关闭
佛陀十大弟子之一的大迦叶,虽然生长于豪门世家,却发愿广度贫苦众生,因此,专向贫寒的人家乞食,让他们有亲近佛法、供养造福的机会,只是,乞来的食物不仅粗糙,甚至可能酸臭腐败,从小到大只受用过上好甘馔的他,肠胃怎堪得住?因此,经典就有大迦叶因为吃了不洁的食物,而下痢病卧在床,佛陀特地带着目犍连前去探视的记载。
 
Although Mahākāśyapa, one of the ten great disciples of Buddha, was born and grew up in a very rich and powerful family, he took a vow to help poor people to attain Buddhahood. Therefore, he purposefully begged poor people for food in order to help them to get closer to Buddha's Dharma and to create opportunities for them to make offerings and accumulate virtues and rewards (to fulfill Dāna paramita). However, the food he received was not only not well prepared, but also sour and stinky or even rotten. How was he, who had been nourished with superb cuisine ever since childhood, able to endure this? As a result, he often suffered from stomach sickness. In the scriptures there are narratives about Mahākāśyapa lying in bed because of his stomach sickness due to the bad food he had and Buddha and Maudgalyāyana came to check on him.
 
在《佛说摩诃迦叶度贫母经》中更有详述,有一次,大迦叶入王舍城后,正想找一户贫穷的人家乞食,正好见到一个独居在垃圾堆旁、又穷又病的老妇,大迦叶以神通得知这位老妇会贫困至此,就是因为她生生世世以来,从不施舍助人所致,而她此生寿命将尽,因此他思惟着,如果现在不设法让她供养培福,只怕她的来世的命运不会更好。
 
In "Fú shuō mó hē jiā yè dù pín mǔ jīng" (a Buddhistsutra 佛说摩诃迦叶度贫母经) it is described more in detail: there was one time when Mahākāśyapa, arrived at the city of Rajgir looking some poor people to ask for food. And suddenly, he saw a poor and sick woman right there sitting next to a garbage heap. Thanks to his supernatural powers he saw the reasons for her misfortune. It was because ever since her birth she had never given anybody anything and her life was about to end. Thus, he thought to himself that if he didn't try now to persuade her to make some offerings to cultivate virtues, her next life would still be the same.
 
于是,大迦叶立刻前去向她行乞,说道:“可不可以施舍我一些食物,你会有大福报的!”这位老妇觉得他太不可理喻,回道:“你看清楚,这个国家还有人比我更穷更惨的吗?你不同情可怜我、施舍我就罢了,还敢跟我乞讨?”
 
Hence Mahākāśyapa immediately approached her and begged for food: "Could you give me some food? You will have great rewardsas return!" The old woman thought that he was senseless and answered: "Look, is there anyone in this country poorer or more miserable than me? It is ok if you don’t care or you don’t want to give me anything, how dare you ask me for things?"
 
大迦叶于是向她说明佛法中如是因如是果的道理,愈是贫穷的人,愈是要有广大的心量施舍,才有改变命运果报的机会。这位老妇听了虽然心动,但想想自己能施舍的东西太有限了,恐怕没什么效果。大迦叶仍不放弃劝说:“就算完全没有东西可以施舍,只要心里存有施舍的善念,也是大布施;反而富贵中人,若是大肆享福而不愿施舍,贫困的日子指日可待……这是因果之道,诚然不虚啊!”
 
Then, Mahākāśyapa explained to her the principle of cause and consequence in the Buddha dharma and let her know that the poorer one was, the more he needed to cultivate generosity because this would give him a chance to change his fate. Even though she was touched, she thought that she had almost nothing to offer and was afraid that there would not be much effect. But Mahākāśyapa didn't want to give up: "Even if you have nothing to offer, it is also a great Dāna as long as you have the kind intention to give in your mind. It is for the same reason that if the rich enjoys living in a lavish life but is unwilling to give, poverty is awaiting them just around the corner. This is how karma works and this is the truth!"
 
老妇被大迦叶说动,想起日前才从富有人家乞来些许米汤,或许可以用来布施,但又想到,米汤都已经酸败了,她不好意思地问大迦叶能不能接受,大迦叶大喜过望地答应,迫不及待地接过老妇的酸败米汤,而且惟恐老妇不信,还当着她的面一口饮尽……
 
Persuaded by Mahākāśyapa, the old woman remembered that the day before she got a little rice soup from a rich family and thought that perhaps she could offer this soup. But then she wondered whether Mahākāśyapa would accept it because the soup had already gone bad. Surprisingly, Mahākāśyapa accepted it with joy. He took over the spoiled soup with no hesitation and drank it all in front of her.
 
几日后,这位老妇果然寿终,往生忉利天成为天女,福报之大,甚至惊动了天帝释提桓因,成为天女的她于是前去向大迦叶散花表示感恩……
 
A few days later, as expected, the old woman passed away and was reborn as a deva in Trāyastriṃśa Heaven. She was rewarded with such great virtues that even king Shakro Devanam Indrah was surprised.
 
佛陀因而告诉弟子们,这位贫妇施舍的东西虽然微不足道,但因为她在贫穷、困厄之中,还能生起施舍的心,给出她仅有的东西,这才是最难能可贵的,她也因此获福无量。
 
And Buddha took this opportunity to enlighten his disciples by saying that even if what this poor woman had offered was really insignificant, that she, being in a very difficult situation, could open her heart to generosity and give the only food she had, is the most precious deed and consequently, she received immeasurable good rewards.
 
因此,布施,不在于所施财物的价值、多寡,而是布施者的心量,所以佛陀也说:“若有贫穷人,无财可布施,见他修施时,而生随喜心,随喜之福报,与施等无异。”
 
So, the significance of Dāna doesn't lie in the value of what we are giving, but in the intention in our heart. Buddha said further: "If you encounter a poor person who doesn't have any money to give,  and you see him cultivates the virtue of giving and rejoice accordingly, the virtuous rewards to you are equivalent to those to of the giver."
 
就算完全没东西可以布施,见到他人受苦时,能生起一念但愿自己有能力帮助他人的心;见到他人布施时,能随喜、赞叹别人的功德,这就跟自己布施没有两样了。
 
Even if there is nothing to offer, but when we simply have the thought of wishing we had the capability to help whoever is in need, or when we see someone offers help, we rejoice accordingly and sing high praises of his virtues, it is the same as we have made the offerings ourselves.
 
“所谓布施者,必获其利益;若为乐故施,后必得安乐。”从因果来看,有施必有得,布施并不是失去,反而是将福报寄存在众生之中。此外,布施的当下,能得到奉献,以及自我价值感的快乐;同时,因为能对治自己的悭吝、自私的心,而得到尊严的快乐;若能以无所求的心布施,更是一种自在无碍的快乐。
 
"One who practices generosity will certainly receive its benefits; one who enjoys giving and practices generosity with perseverance will certainly live in peace and tranquility." 
 
From the "cause and consequence" perspective if one "gives" he will certainly "get". Dāna doesn't mean "to lose". On the contrary, it means storing the virtuous rewards in the sentient beings. Furthermore, Dāna has an immediate effect on our self-esteem and brings feelings of happiness. At the same time it helps one to subdue his stinginess and selfishness and bring forth the feeling of dignity. If one is able to practice Dāna without asking for a return, he will be able to obtain even more unrestrained joy.
 
 
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