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禅宗公案:极度烧脑的无解难题

Zen kōans: unsolvable enigmas designed to break your brain - Puqun Li

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吾人知悉二掌相击之声 然则独手击拍之音又何若?
——节选自 禅宗大师白隐慧鹤 之文
如何阐述无解之事?
How do we explain the unexplainable?
由此问产生了无数传说
This question has inspired numerous myths,
宗教活动 科学探索
religious practices, and scientific inquiries.
但是禅宗佛教徒在9到13世纪
But Zen Buddhists practicing throughout China
在中国进行宗教活动时
from the 9th to 13th century
提出了一个不同的疑问——我们为何求解?
asked a different question – why do we need an explanation?
这些僧人必须克服盲目求解的陋习
For these monks, blindly seeking answerswas a vice to overcome,
学会接受已存的难解之事
and learning to acceptthe mysteries of existence
方能顿悟成佛
was the true path to enlightenment.
但探索无解之事的冲动很难克制
But fighting the urge to explainthe unexplainable can be difficult.
因此为习得与难解之事共处之
So to help practice livingwith these mysteries,
苦修的僧人们用近1700个叫做公案的难解且
the meditating monks used a collectionof roughly 1,700 bewildering
模糊不清的哲学思维实验(来锤炼自身)
and ambiguous philosophicalthought experiments called kōans.
这一名称 源于中文的“公案”
The name, originally gong-an in Chinese,
即“公众档案或事件”之意
translates to “ public record or case.”
但是不同于真实世界的案件 公案有意地让人琢磨不透
But unlike real-world court cases,kōans were intentionally incomprehensible.
它们总出人意料 离奇 还经常自相矛盾
They were surprising, surreal,and frequently contradicted themselves.
表面上
On the surface,
它们包含了与禅宗佛教徒的修道法则相关的警句
they contained a proverb about the Zen Buddhist monastic code –
例如无我无相 无欲无求
such as living without physicalor mental attachments,
无我无他 方能成佛
avoiding binary thinking, and realizing one’s true “Buddha-nature.”
但通过编造这些有悖常理的奇闻轶事一般的训诫
But by framing those lessonsas illogical anecdotes,
它们变成了帮助修道僧人学习接受模棱两可与自相矛盾的测试题
they became tests to help practicing monks learn to live with ambiguity and paradox.
通过探究这些迷惑人的“案例”
By puzzling throughthese confusing “cases,”
冥想的僧人们可以同时内化和练习佛家教义
meditating monks could both internalize and practice Buddhist teachings.
但愿他们能放下
Hopefully, they would let go
寻找一个真正答案的执念
of the search for one true answer
并触发一种精神上的突破
and trigger a spiritual breakthrough.
因为公案的无解是有意为之的
Since these are intentionallyunexplainable,
如果我们尝试解释这些故事就可能被误导
it would be misguided to tryand decipher these stories ourselves.
但是同我们之前的僧人一样
But like the monks before us,
我们可以一起苦苦思索
we can puzzle over them together,
研究一下它们不合常理之处
and investigate just how resistant they are to simple explanations.
试着思考公案对“放下”这一行为的阐述吧
Consider this kōan illustrating thepractice of no-attachment.
两个僧侣 湛山和尺站一起行走在一条泥泞的小路上
Two monks, Tanzan and Ekido, are traveling together down a muddy road.
他们前面有一位漂亮的行人 无法走过泥泞的道路
Ahead they see an attractive traveler, unable to cross the muddy path.
湛山彬彬有礼地施以援手
Tanzan politely offers his help,
把行人背过了小路
carrying the traveleron his back across the street,
然后不出一言地把她放下
and placing her down without a word.
尺站很震惊
Ekido was shocked.
根据佛门清规
According to monastic law,
僧人不应接近女子
monks were not supposed to go near women,
更何况接触一位美丽的陌生女子
let alone touch a beautiful stranger.
步行几里之后 尺站难忍心中疑惑
After miles of walking,Ekido could no longer restrain himself.
“您怎么能背那位女子呢?”
“How could you carry that woman?”
湛山笑道 “我已经放下了她 你还在背着吗?”
Tanzan smiled, “I left the traveler there. Are you still carrying her?”
和其它公案一样 这个故事有很多解读
Like all kōans,this story has numerous interpretations.
但是一个普遍的解读是
But one popular reading suggests
尽管身体没有接触那位行人
that despite never havingphysically carried the traveler,
尺站因心里近了女色而打破了佛门的清规
Ekido broke monastic lawby mentally”clinging to” the woman.
这类型的矛盾——
This type of conflict –
验证了清规的字面意思与其本质内涵的灰色区域
examining the grey area between the letter of the law and the spirit of the law –
在公案中很常见
was common in kōans.
除了探求模棱两可之事外
In addition to exploring ambiguity,
公案还嘲笑
kōans often ridiculed characters
声称大彻大悟之人
claiming total understandingof the world around them.
有一个这样的例子提到了三位僧人
One such example finds three monks
在辩论寺庙中随风飘扬的旗子
debating a temple flagrippling in the wind.
第一个僧人称旗子为飘动的旗帜
The first monk refers tothe flag as a moving banner,
而第二个坚称
while the second monk insists
他们看到的不是那面旗在动
that they are not seeing the flag move,
而是风在吹
but rather the wind blowing.
他们来来回回地争论着 直到最后 第三个和尚掺合进来
They argue back and forth,until finally, a third monk intervenes,
“非旗动 非风动
“It is not the flag moving,nor the wind blowing,
而实为你们心中所想”
but rather the movement of your minds!”
对此公案的一个解读是
One interpretation of this kōan plays
假定争论的和尚们的智慧
on the supposed wisdom of the arguing monks –
第一位强调可观世界的重要性
the first asserting the importanceof the observable world,
第二位更倾向能从世界推断出的深层次知识
the second favoring deeper knowledgewe can infer from that world.
但是每位僧人都坚持自己的答案
But each monk’s commitmentto his own “answer”
对他人的观点置若罔闻 因此
blinds him to the other’s insight,and in doing so,
违背了一条基本的佛家思想:舍弃非此即彼的想法
defies an essential Buddhist ideal:abolishing binary thinking.
第三位僧人将他们的争论视作一个知觉问题
The third monk identifiestheir conflict as a perceptual one –
争论的僧人们都狭隘了
both arguing monksfail to see the larger picture.
当然 所有的这些解读都只是
Of course, all these interpretations only hint
暗示了如何来斟酌这些公案
at how to wrestle with these kōans.
无论是之前修道僧人的智慧
Neither the wisdomfrom practicing monks before us,
还是那些故事中所谓的智者
nor the supposedly wise charactersin these stories
都不能为你解决这些问题
can resolve them for you.
这是因为公案的目的
That’s because the purpose
并非去得到一个简单的解答
of these kōans isn’t reaching a simple solution.
而是奋战于这些似是而非的谜题的行为
It’s the very act of strugglingwith these paradoxical puzzles
挑战着我们的解决问题的欲望
which challenge our desire for resolution,
我们对认知本身的理解
and our understandingof understanding itself.
想试试有解决方案的谜题吗?
Want to try your hand with some puzzles that do have resolutions?
点击我们的谜题列表来试试吧
Check out our riddles playlist and getting solving.

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视频概述

无公案 不禅宗 公案即是佛教禅宗中前辈祖师的言行范例。公案不但有一针见血的机锋和理趣,而且还有诙谐活泼的语言和简洁生动的情节,对话本和公案小说的发展有其影响。

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

来吧!尉英俊

审核员

审核员@XG

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9p5Oi4wPVVo

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