V 1-12 Causal Emptiness and Effect Emptiness 谈谈“因空”“果空”

Disclaimer: The translations are not official nor endorsed by 2OR, so please just treat it as a ‘fan-based’ translation. The Buddha-Dharma is profound. No matter how you convey it, it won’t be completely perfect. Because the Buddha-Dharma is an experience, it’s an awakening 【佛法深奥无比,怎么写,都不会是究竟圆满。佛法是一种悟】. Please enjoy, and I hope it serves as a good filler until the official English version comes out.

什么是空?你们知道佛教对世界本质的一种看法就叫空。我们现在非但要学佛,还要超越时空。要把这个“空”字理解为对世界本质的一种看法,也就是说这个“空”是绝对的。但是空有好几种,小乘佛法和大乘佛法对空的理解是不一样的。小乘佛法对空的理解是我空。什么是“我空”?我是空的,世界上没有永恒的精神,也就是说“我”是由精神控制住的,这个世界永远没有精神能控制我。这是小乘佛法对空的认识。还有小乘佛法讲果空。什么叫“果空”?也就是说这个人在因果关系上所有的结果,所有的事实全都是空的,世界上没有永恒的基本元素的聚合物。果空就是我的精神实际上是空的。控制我这个精神的物质永远是空的,实际上是不存在的。譬如:水是由水分子组合的,它是一种聚合物。但是等到水蒸发之后,你们说这个水还有没有?人的思维可以在一秒钟、两秒钟有,但是可以在另外的一、两秒钟瞬间消失,什么都没有了。为什么小乘佛法这么好的理论,在大乘佛法上还是不被承认?因为它是建立在一个已经现有和存在的基础上。因为它讲这个空是建立在有空的基础上。在有空的基础上讲是空的,实际上还是有的,没有空。

What is Emptiness? As all of you may know, the nature of the world is empty from the Buddhism perspective. Not only do we need to practise Buddhism, but also our state of mind needs to transcend beyond time and space. It is essential for us to discern and accept that emptiness is how we should view the fundaments of this world, and that emptiness is absolute. However, there are several ways that emptiness is conceptualised. Theravada Buddhism and Mahayana Buddhism understand the term “emptiness” in different ways.

Theravada Buddhism asserts that the reality of emptiness is the 'not-self' nature. What does that mean? It means there is no self and there is no eternal consciousness in this universe. ; however, there is no locus of control in this world as far as not-self is concerned. This is Theravada’s understanding of emptiness. Theravada Buddhism also postulates “Emptiness of Effect”. It is when one’s understanding of the law of cause and effect, and, the outcomes and the reality in this world are, in itself empty. There is no permanence in the collective fundaments of this world. The emptiness of effect means that one’s state of mind is empty and the element that controls it is eternally empty, it is non-existent.

For example, water is made up of water molecules. Hence, it is a collective compound. But, when water evaporates, can we deny its existence, henceforth? While a person may assume a particular state of mind in one or two seconds, it could also vanish completely within the same lapse of time. What could be the reason for this tenet of Theravada Buddhism, by Mahayana Buddhism? It is because Theravada Buddhism is built on an already available and existing foundation. Its philosophy of emptiness is based on the “existence of emptiness”. Clearly, there is still the phenomena of existence. Hence, it is not empty.


大乘佛法讲因空。什么是“因空”?连这个因果的因都是空的,何况果呢?即没有这个因。譬如:今天有人说你们不好,听都不要听,没有这个因你就不会生气就不会难过,就不会造成这个果。小乘佛法是当你听进去之后,心中就会有这个果,然后消除化解这个因。因空就是没有因,就是根本没有的,就不能成为一个果在你心里,这叫大乘佛法。大乘佛法讲连构成事物的基本元素也是空的。正如禅宗所说的那样“本来无一物,何处惹尘埃”。大乘佛法还讲法空。什么叫法空?眼睛所见的一切事物都是空的,全都是不存在的。所以世界上的一切事物都是空的。不要执著,不要恨,不要迷惑。

Mahayana Buddhism’s mode of explanation, on the other hand, is “Causal Emptiness”. What is causal emptiness? Even the cause (in the context of cause and effect) is empty, let alone the effect. The cause is non-existent. For example, today, someone made a negative comment about you. In the absence of a cause, you would have ignored their comments. Hence, you would neither be angry nor sad. Consequently, the effect has not taken place. However, Theravada Buddhism tends to explain this concept differently that is, after listening to negative comments, upon which an effect takes place in your mind, you then focus on eradicating its cause. With the notion of causal emptiness, the cause is non-existent. As such, no effect shall take place in the mind. This is the advocate of Mahayana Buddhism, where even the fundamental elements that form all matters are also empty. As the Zen Sect stanza says, “Since intrinsically everything is empty, where can dust alight”. The other realisation of Mahayana Buddhism is “emptiness of physical matter”. This means that what we see with our eyes is thoroughly empty and non-existent. As all worldly things have no substantiality, you should not allow yourself to develop attachment, anger or delusion.


大乘佛法讲世界的本原是空的,即这个世界本来就是空的,都是假的。所有自然世界的东西都是虚假虚幻的。在这个世界上什么东西是真的?例如:今天夫妻在一起爱得你死我活,过几天恨得如同仇敌一样,是不是假的?因此一个人一定要有聪明智慧才能战胜自己的愚昧。如果没有聪明智慧就永远战胜不了愚昧。所以,你感觉这个世界上所有的东西都是虚假的,实际上这种不真实的虚幻就是假有。你们现在所拥有的一切都是临时性的有,都不是真实的,都是假有。今天拥有的一切一旦失去,就什么都没有了。如父母一旦过世,父母就什么都没有了。世界上任何东西都是假有,不要认为拥有了就永远拥有。什么都会变的,要用“动”这种客观的思维方式去看,你就不会哭泣,就不会难过,不会伤心。看问题一定要用“动”的标准看,而不要用一种简单的执著方法看,那你这个人就会永远生活在充满希望的生活当中。当一个人生活在希望中,就觉得这个世界无限美好。如果当一个人看到世界万物都不能变的话,他就感觉这个世界对他来讲好比是末日,一想到末日就会感到失落甚至想到自尽。要记住:有智慧的人永远不会伤害自己,伤害自己的人就是没智慧,想不通的人就会伤害自己。

Mahayana Buddhism teaches that the principle of this universe is inherently empty; it is all unreal, and all things in this natural world are fictitious and illusory. What is reality then? For example, a couple is together today, loving each other deeply and affectionately. But after a few days, they hate each other like enemies. Would you consider this to be real or unreal? Hence, one must possess intelligence and wisdom to prevail over one’s ignorance. When you start to feel that all phenomena in this world are fictitious and that in essence, they are devoid of any self-entity, it goes to show that they are unreal. All that you own at this present moment are temporary; it is not permanent; they are not real. If everything you possess today is lost, then it’s gone. Likened to when our parents pass away, then they are gone. Everything in this world is just false possession, don’t think that you can permanently possess something. Everything will change. We must use an objective mentality to see things as being in a state of constant change. This way, we won’t be upset when things don’t go according to our plans. When we encounter a problem, we must use a standard of constant change to see it and not perceive it with a simple one-sided viewpoint. Through this mentality, you will always live a life filled with hope. When one lives amidst hope, one will perceive the world to be boundlessly beautiful. Conversely, when you perceive the phenomena of this world as unchanging, the world will appear to be doomed where all hope is lost, and you may even give up on your life. Take note: self-harm is never an option for a wise person; it is ideation of the unwise and a disconcerted mind.


要用自己的悟性去体验体悟人生。修心是对自我的一种约束,修心是对自己境界的一种提升,修心是要受苦的,所以叫苦修行。要控制自己的各种各样的欲望,要修正自己各种各样的毛病,改掉自己身上的毛病你才能修成正果。

You must use your comprehension to experience and realise life. Cultivation of the mind is a practice of self-restraint and so that our state of mind could ascend towards higher levels of spirituality. It is an arduous process, that’s why it’s referred to as a painful ascetic practice. We must control ourselves to be able to refrain from any forms of desire and correct any of our shortcomings. Only after correcting our shortcomings are we one step closer to attaining enlightenment.



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