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慈悲与正义--与昭慧法师晤谈

导读:Compassion and Justice—Meeting Venerable Chao Hwei慈悲与正义--与昭慧法师晤谈  By Rebecca Li  美国纽泽西大学社会学副教授  陈悦萱 中译...

  Compassion and Justice—Meeting Venerable Chao Hwei

  慈悲与正义--与昭慧法师晤谈

  By Rebecca Li

  美国纽泽西大学社会学副教授

  陈悦萱 中译

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  July 2, 2006

  Recently, it was my privilege to participate in the Women Faith Leaders Retreat held at Dharma Drum Mountain, Taiwan, on June 20-22. The theme of the retreat was “Compassionate Mind, Compassionate World.” I was there primarily to translate for Shifu in his closing address, but prior to that I had the good fortune to participate in the discussion and meet some amazing women, one of whom was Venerable Chao Hwei.

  今年6月20日到22日,我非常荣幸参与了法鼓山举办的“全球女性慈悲论坛”,论坛的主题是“慈悲的心灵,慈悲的世界”,主要是为惜福会的闭幕致词翻译,正好有机会参加论坛的讨论会,并且遇到了几位令人赞叹的女性,其中一位就是昭慧法师。

  Venerable Chao Hwei is professor of Religion and director of the Research Center of Applied Ethics at Hsuan Chuang University, a Buddhist university in Taiwan. She studied under Venerable Master Yin Shun, author of The Way to Buddhahood, and is a prolific scholar and author. She writes for newspapers to share the Buddhist perspective on issues as wide-ranging as animal rights and the legalization of gambling in Taiwan.

  昭慧法师是台湾玄奘大学宗教研究所的教授,并且也是该校应用伦理中心的主任,这是一所由佛教筹办的大学。法师曾受教于《成佛之道》的作者印顺导师,是位著述非常丰富的学者及作家。她时常在报章杂志上,以佛法的观点解读各种具争议性的社会议题,例如动物权的议题、赌博合法化的议题等等。

  On the first day of the retreat, Venerable Chao Hwei brought up the issue of compassion and justice, arguing that there is no true compassion if we do not face the issue of justice.? I was intrigued by her lucid and forceful argument; this was the first time I had seen a Chinese bhikshuni articulate her moral and intellectual position in such a forthright manner. I was fascinated also because we were discussing compassion, a topic that usually evokes an image of gentle, smiling people helping each other and getting along. This is hardly what comes to mind in debates over issues of injustice, such as the unequal treatment of men and women.

  论坛的第一天,法师就引发了关于“慈悲与正义”这个议题的讨论,她认为我们如果回避正义的课题,就不会有真正的慈悲。这是我第一次看到一位比丘尼,用如此直接的方式,铿锵有力的表现她的智慧与道德,见识到她清晰有力的论辩。但是我也觉得疑惑,因为我们讨论的主题是“慈悲”,关于慈悲,立刻浮现在脑海的,不应该是面带微笑、有礼貌的一群人,彼此互相帮助扶持吗?很难理解为什么要提出诸如男女不平等之类的“不正义”议题来论辩呢?

  In the open discussion and the subsequent conversations I had with her, Venerable Chao Hwei shared her experience advocating the abolition of the “eight deferential practices,” a set of additional precepts taken by fully ordained bhikshunis prescribing deferential manners to be used by bhikshunis (nuns) when interacting with bhikshus (monks). One such precept requires a bhikshuni, even though she is fully ordained with seniority, to bow deferentially to a novice monk. Within the monastic sangha of Dharma Drum Mountain, I was told, while these eight precepts are included in the full precepts taken by bhikshunis, Master Sheng Yen does not require that bhikshunis follow them in their interactions with bhikshus.

  在开场的讨论会及之后的几次交谈中,昭慧法师跟我分享了她推行“废除八敬法运动”的经验。“八敬法”是专门为比丘尼制定的戒法,规范了八种比丘尼应礼敬比丘的方式,例如其中一条说:“即使是年长比丘尼,都必须向新受戒比丘顶礼。”据我所知,法鼓山的僧团里,虽然比丘尼的戒律中涵盖了“八敬法”,但是圣严法师并未要求法鼓山的比丘尼,与比丘互动时必须遵守八敬法。

  However, in many instances, according to Venerable Chao Hwei, the existence of these eight precepts continues to damage the monastic sangha both by instilling a sense of pride, entitlement and superiority in some bhikshus, and a sense of inferiority, shame and a lack of confidence in some bhikshunis. These eight precepts perpetuate the inequality of men and women. In this system, everyone loses. Those in subordinate positions suffer from unfair treatment, while those in dominant positions give rise to pride and arrogance. Venerable Chao Hwei argued that allowing this injustice to continue is uncompassionate as we are not doing anything to help these beings alleviate their suffering.

  但是在昭慧法师举的几个例子里,看到一些比丘因为八敬法,逐渐变得自大与自尊,而比丘尼却变得自卑与缺乏自信,可知八敬法的存在是如何的伤害僧团,并且使得男女不平等的问题永远存在。在八敬法的紧箍咒下,大家都是输家,因为处于受支配地位者,因不平等的对待而受苦,处于控制地位者,却愈来愈自大与傲慢。昭慧法师强调,让不正义的继续存在就是不慈悲,因为我们不曾为减轻他人的苦难尽任何一点的力量。

  Venerable Chao Hwei cautioned against glossing over injustice in the name of maintaining harmony and practicing compassion. She pointed out that in Buddhism, we give such premium to the need to harmonize with everyone that we shy away from speaking out against injustice. Unfortunately, this silence in the face of unjust practices is often interpreted as endorsement of these practices, and we are therefore as guilty as those who defend such injustice. Complicity in injustice is certainly not in accordance with compassion, since we fail to take action to stop a system from inflicting suffering.? In the name of maintaining a community’s harmony, we often fail to speak up against injustice because we do not want to cause open divisions within the community. But Venerable Chao Hwei argues that true compassion prompts us to speak out against injustice. Not only does the effort to end injustice help save the victims from suffering, it also helps the perpetrators, by stopping them from causing suffering, and thus from creating unwholesome karma.

  对于那些假藉维持和谐及实践慈悲之名,来掩饰不正义的行为,昭慧法师特别提出告诫,因为佛法告诉我们,人与人之间要维持真正的和谐,决不能怯于伸张正义。对于不正义的行为保持缄默,就是为它们背书的意思,对于这种遭致人痛苦的制度没有任何作为,这与护卫不正义的犯行是一样的,也是不正义的共犯,不能叫做慈悲。但是在维持团体和谐的大帽子底下,为了不愿意承担制造分裂的罪名,使得我们往往不会为不正义的事情发声。然而法师却认为,真正的慈悲,应该是对于不正义的事,勇于立刻表态,因为这不仅能使因不正义而受苦的人远离痛苦,也是在帮助为恶者,令他们不再造成别人的痛苦及不善的业。

  Venerable Chao Hwei pointed out that the practice of compassion requires constant reflection and courage. One needs to reflect critically on why a certain practice is followed. Is it in accordance with wisdom and compassion, or is it merely in compliance with tradition passed down from a different era that may no longer be relevant? It takes courage, as critical examination challenges those in power and those benefiting from the status quo. Speaking out risks being accused of causing conflict within the Buddhist community, of being egotistical, of being uncompassionate, in other words, of being un-Buddhist. Venerable Chao Hwei contends that it is precisely out of great compassion that she challenges unjust practices, of which gender discrimination is one.

  昭慧法师指出,慈悲的实践是需要勇气及持续反省的,我们应该认真去反省,为什么要持守这些戒律?持戒是为了带给我们慈悲与智慧,还是仅仅为了遵循一个早已不合时宜的传统?向传统戒律下的既得利益者挑战是极需勇气的,毕竟他们拥有权威,挑战者很可能被扣上制造教内冲突、自我主义、不慈悲等等,甚至于非教徒的罪名。但是对于向诸如性别歧视之类的不公义挑战,法师并不同意这是不慈悲的行为。

  I suggested to Venerable Chao Hwei that tolerating injustice not only prolongs the suffering of the victims, it is also very damaging to Buddhism’s reputation in the West.? Justice is a very important value in the West, and it is difficult for people in the West to accept a religious tradition that condones unjust practices. Venerable Chao Hwei urged everyone to keep in mind that the Buddha taught that the purpose of the precepts was to preserve the proper Dharma, not to be an end in themselves. Since the equality of sentient beings is at the heart of the Buddha’s teachings, keeping silent about unjust practices is complicity, and is equivalent to slandering the Buddha’s teachings. It is thus the responsibility of every Buddhist practitioner, monastic or lay, to speak out and act against injustice?

  我提醒昭慧法师,容忍不正义的情事,除了增长受害者的痛苦之外,对于佛教在西方的声誉,也会造成相当程度的伤害。公平正义是西方社会很重要的价值观,对于西方社会的人而言,如果一个宗教的传统里,竟然允许不公义的行为,这个宗教是很难让人接受的。因此昭慧法师吁请大家,应牢牢记住,佛陀制戒的目的是“令正法久住”,众生平等是佛教的核心教义,对于不正义保持缄默,就是不正义的共犯,也就等同毁谤佛陀的教法,所以每一个佛弟子,不论出家或在家,都有责任以言语的谴责及行动来对抗不正义。

  Some worry about a schism if some in the Buddhist community push hard for changes while others insist on preserving the tradition. I think this is an excellent opportunity for the Buddhist community to put the Dharma into practice collectively. It is easy to be calm and compassionate when everyone is in agreement. The challenge is to engage in a dialogue and to examine the issues critically, stimulating each other’s thinking, learning the other side’s perspective without being dismissive, and working together to find a satisfactory solution without allowing our self-centered attachments to get in the way. This is not easy.

  或许有人会担心,如果佛教内部有人极力推动改革,又有人坚持维护传统,就会造成分裂,我反倒认为这是促成教界合宜的实践佛陀教法的一个契机。当大家意见一致的时候,慈悲祥和是非常容易的,但是要能仔细检视这些争议,开启相互之间的对话,刺激各自的思考,互相学习对方的观点,过程之中排除自我中心,共同合作找出令彼此满意的答案,这就是挑战了。

  But I believe that if we all put the Dharma into practice while engaging in this debate, applying the Buddha’s wisdom and compassion, this dialogue will help the entire Buddhist community move forward into the 21st century. The process will bring hope to the world as it will illustrate that it is possible to engage in a debate over difficult and controversial issues and to find satisfactory solutions by applying compassion and wisdom. Thus everyone, Buddhist and non-Buddhist, may benefit from this compassionate action.

  但是我相信,如果应用佛陀的慈悲与智慧,透过对话与论辩,能够使佛法真正的实践,这必将带领佛教迈向21世纪。对于一个这么困难的议题,佛教都能够透过对话,应用慈悲与智慧,找到满意的解答,这将带给世人希望,不论佛教徒或非佛教徒,相信都能从这样慈悲的行为中,得到受益。

  (published in the Autumn 2006 issue of Chan Magazine, page 23 to 25)