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四圣谛为佛法根本(林欣)- 著述文集

2013-1-14 23:10 |来自: 著述文集

四圣谛为佛法根本

林欣

四圣谛为佛法之根本,乃世尊于四十五年中所说一切教法之核心,也可以说是佛法的基本教义。佛陀通常被尊称为“正遍知”、“世间解”,他具足了唯有诸佛才有可能证得的“一切知智”(巴 sabbabbutabana),可以清楚地了知一切值得了解的事情。佛陀是“一切知者”(巴sabbabbu),但这并非意味着佛陀无所不知、无所不晓,而是若他有意的话,可以运用一切知智,知道关于过去的知识,关于现在的知识,关于未来的知识,关于世间各种事物和现象的知识,以及关于宇宙空间的知识等等。然而,被称为“一切知者”的佛陀并没有为弟子们解释太多关于世间、关于宇宙方面的知识,即使有许多弟子对此一类的问题总是抱着极大的兴趣。我们通常称佛陀的说法为“狮子吼”,也就是说,尽管佛陀的确孜孜不倦地说法度众,但他却绝不是一天到晚都口若悬河、夸夸其谈,他只说如实的话、有意义的话,对于一些无关紧要的事情,即使佛陀知道,他也没有解释的必要。

有一次,世尊与一些弟子走进拘赏弥城郊的一座申恕波林(Simsapavana)中,他从地上拿起几片申恕波树叶,问众比丘道:

“诸比丘!是我手中的这几片申恕波树叶多呢,还是我们头顶上的申恕波林树叶多?”

诸比丘回答道:“世尊!世尊手中的这几片申恕波树叶极少,而我们头顶上的申恕波林树叶极多。”

世尊说:“正是这样,诸比丘!我知道但没有宣说的很多,而我宣说的只是极小一部分。诸比丘!为什么我没有全部宣说出来呢?因为它们无意义,无助于根本的梵行,无助于厌离,无助于离欲,无助于寂灭,无助于宁静,无助于正见,无助于觉悟,无助于涅槃。所以,我不宣说这些。诸比丘!我所宣说的又是什么呢?我宣说此是苦,此是苦之集,此是苦之灭,此是趣向苦灭之道。诸比丘!我为什么要宣说这些呢?因为它们有意义,有助于根本的梵行,有助于厌离,有助于离欲,有助于寂灭,有助于宁静,有助于正见,有助于觉悟,有助于涅槃。”(《相应部》第五十六相应第31《申恕波经》;汉译《杂阿含经》第404经)

根据世尊的正法、律,学佛弟子所追求的最终目标是为了断除烦恼、解脱生死、证悟涅槃,而要达到这个最终目标,就必须修学佛法。四圣谛是佛法根本,是三世诸佛证觉成佛并度脱有情所宣说之法要,唯有如实地彻知彻见四圣谛,才能够出离生死、证趣圣果。佛陀所关心的只是有情的生死大事,所要解决的也只是有情的烦恼痛苦问题。所以,凡是与生死大事无关的事情,佛陀所采取的态度是搁置不理,而他所宣说的一切法义,都是为了帮助众生脱离苦海。

佛陀在世时,有位名叫鬘童子(巴 Ayasama maluvkyaputta,又作摩罗迦舅)的出家比丘,他对佛陀在看待“世间是否永恒、世界有无边际、肉身与灵魂是否同一、如来死后是否存在”等问题时避而不答的态度感到不满。有一次,他来到佛陀面前,用几乎是带着傲慢无礼的口气说道:假如世尊为他解释世间是否永恒等问题之后,他就继续在世尊的教导下修习梵行;假如世尊不为他解释这些问题,那么他就将放弃梵行,回去过世俗生活;如果世尊知道世界是永恒等这些问题,就请世尊为他解释,如果世尊不知道这些问题的答案,或者根本就没有这种见地,那就请世尊直截了当地承认说不知道。

于是世尊反问鬘童子说:我是否曾经向你承诺过说你来我的座下修习梵行,我就将为你解释世间是永恒的……如来死后是否存在等问题?你是否曾经要求过我说我一定要为你解释这些问题,你才愿意在我的座下修习梵行?

世尊继续说:无论是谁,如果一定要世尊在解释了这一类问题之后才愿意在世尊的座下修习梵行的话,那么,这个人将会在世尊还没有为他解释清楚这些问题之前就已经死掉了。

这就好像一个人被一支毒箭所射伤,他的亲戚朋友为他请来医生治疗。但是那个被箭所伤的人却说:不要把箭取出来,除非我要弄清楚那射伤我的人是属于刹帝利、婆罗门、吠舍还是首陀罗?那人姓甚名谁?属于哪个族姓?身材是高是矮?肤色是黑色、棕色,还是黄色?他来自本村、本镇、本市还是外地人?那张射伤我的弓是弹弓还是弩弓?弓弦是用什么动物或者植物的筋制造的?箭杆是芦杆还是苇杆?箭羽是用哪种鸟的羽毛制造的?箭杆上绑的是哪种筋?用哪一种箭镞?……这个人将在还没有把这些问题弄清楚之前,就已经毒发身亡了。

修习梵行的生活并不依靠世间是否永恒的等理论学说。不论流行的是什么样的理论学说,世间仍然不免存在着生、老、病、死、愁虑、悲戚、痛苦、忧伤和恼乱。世尊所教导的方法,就是要在现世之中消除这些痛苦忧患。世尊之所以不肯回答这些问题的原因,就是因为这种做法是徒劳无益的,它们与清净的生活没有关系,并不能导致厌离、离欲、寂灭、宁静、正见、觉悟以及涅槃。世尊所解释的是苦、是苦的生起、是苦的止息、是苦灭之道。世尊说:

“鬘童子!我所解释了的是什么呢?我解释此是苦,此是苦之集,此是苦之灭,此是趣向苦灭之道。鬘童子!我为什么要解释这些呢?因为它们有意义,有助于根本的梵行,有助于厌离,有助于离欲,有助于寂灭,有助于宁静,有助于正见,有助于觉悟,有助于涅槃,所以,我就予以解释。

因此,鬘童子!你要牢记:我所没有确定的就是未确定的,我所确定的就是确定的。”(《中部》第63《摩罗迦小经》;汉译《中阿含经》第221经《箭喻经》,《箭喻经》)

同时,世尊在《大象迹喻经》中,也曾明确地指出四圣谛乃一切佛法的根本。世尊于经中说:

“诸贤!若有无量善法,彼一切法皆四圣谛所摄,来入四圣谛中,谓四圣谛,于一切法中最为第一。所以者何?摄受一切众善法故。诸贤!犹如诸兽之迹,像迹为第一。所以者何?彼象迹者,最广大故。”(《中阿含经》第30《象迹喻经》;《中部》第28《大象迹喻经》)

四圣谛乃是世尊一代教法中最根本的内容,甚至可以称为全部佛法的总纲。整个佛陀教法的体系,也不外乎是对此四圣谛从不同角度、不同层次的发挥或者具体运用。我们甚至可以说:四圣谛包摄了佛陀一生中所宣说的所有教法,凡是世尊正法、律中各种各样的教义教理及修持法门,都可以说是对此四圣谛从不同角度的发挥、开展,皆可以在四圣谛中找到其根源或者依据。

四圣谛是佛陀正法的实质,如果对此四圣谛建立起正确的知见(正见),就能够清楚而且有系统地理解世尊在四十五年当中所教导的全部内容,把握正法的根本教义。世尊说:

“若比丘于佛有疑者,则于苦圣谛有疑,苦集圣谛、苦灭圣谛、苦灭道迹圣谛则有疑惑;若于法、僧有疑者,则于苦圣谛疑惑,苦集圣谛、苦灭圣谛、苦灭道迹圣谛疑惑。

若于佛不疑惑者,则于苦圣谛不疑惑,苦集圣谛、苦灭圣谛、苦灭道迹圣谛不疑惑;若于法、僧不疑惑者,则于苦圣谛不疑惑,苦集圣谛、苦灭圣谛、苦灭道迹圣谛不疑惑。”(《杂阿含经》第419经)

佛教的根本信仰是佛陀、正法和僧伽三宝,唯有对佛法僧建立起坚定的信仰,才有资格称为真正的佛教徒。对于佛法僧三宝,其核心是正法,因为佛陀是正法的觉悟者和教导者,僧伽则是正法的实践者和传承者。作为三宝之核心的正法,其最根本的内容就是四圣谛。如果一个自称为佛弟子的人怀疑、曲解、篡改,甚至否定四圣谛,那么,其作为佛弟子的身份就值得质疑。同样道理,如果一种打着“佛法”幌子的理论学说与四圣谛相违背,那么,我们可以判定这些理论学说即“非佛说”。

四圣谛乃佛法的根本内容。离开了四圣谛,即非佛法。

--摘自《佛陀的教法》第一品第二节

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