V 11-10 Discussion of the Five Constants of Confucianism & the Five Precepts of Buddhism 儒家的五常与佛教的五戒

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.

佛陀在将要涅槃的时候,弟子跪在那里哭:“佛陀 啊,您走了我们怎么办呢?”佛陀说:“以戒为本,以戒为师。”你们现在明白师父讲的是什么了吧?戒律就 是自我约束,以戒为师的人会有道德,他会懂得伦理, 就不会犯错误。很多人说:“这个孩子真好,那个孩子 真好。”为什么?“这个孩子有传统的道德。”道德是 怎么来的?就是靠戒律啊。师父带你们出去弘法,人家 看见东方台的弟子坐有坐相,站有站相,嘴巴不乱讲 话,人家就会说东方台来的弟子真好。这是怎么来的? 是靠守戒来的啊。师父管着你们,不就是让你们守戒律 吗?

When Gautama Buddha was about to enter nirvana, his disciples got down on the floor and cried. They said, “Buddha, what are we going to do when you leave us?” Gautama Buddha said, “Live by the precepts.” Do you currently understand what Master is talking about? Observing the precepts is about practising self-restraint. Those who live by the precepts will live morally. They understand about ethics, so they won’t make mistakes. Many people said, “This child is very good. That child is very good.” Why is that? It’s because that child possesses traditional ethical values. Where do they come from? It comes from observing precepts. When Master takes you out to propagate the Dharma, and other people see that his disciples all behave in an orderly action and don’t recklessly speak, they would praise them. Where does it come from? It comes from observing the precepts. When Master supervises you, isn’t it so that you would observe the precepts?


在现在社会上,很多人认为我们学佛的人落伍了、 过时了,其实他们是心灵的堕落,而我们是心灵的提升。举个简单例子,大家都很黑,看见一个很白的人, 大家就会觉得很奇怪。如果我们几个华人跑到澳大利亚 一个偏远一点都是当地人的地方,只要华人一走进去, 所有西人的眼睛都会看着我们华人,他们看我们就像我 们看外国人一样的:“他的头发怎么是黑的啊?应该是 黄色的啊。”

In today’s society, many people think that Buddhists are behind the times. In reality, their spirit is depraved, while our spirit is elevated. For example, if everybody is dark-coloured, and they see a very light-coloured person, they would find them strange. If some Chinese people visit a remote area of Australia where only locals live there, all of the locals will stare strangely at the Chinese people. They see Chinese people like how Chinese people see foreigners. “Why are their hair black? It should be blonde.”


所以,想要获得心灵的提升,发心修行的人必须要 持五戒,如果五戒都做不到,你怎么能守小乘戒、大乘 戒和菩萨戒啊?师父以后会跟你们讲菩萨戒,告诉你们做菩萨应该怎么守戒,现在你们连做人的戒都守不了, 要好好修啊。如果一个人失五戒,他就不会再得人身。 如果一个人一辈子守不住五戒,到时候投人都没有机 会,只能入三恶道,做畜生、做饿鬼、下地狱。

That’s why if one wants their spirit to be elevated, cultivators must observe the five precepts. If you can’t do that, how could you observe the precepts of Theravada Buddhism, Mahayana Buddhism, and the Bodhisattvas? In the future, Master will tell you about the Bodhisattva’s precepts. Now, people can’t even observe the basic precepts of a human being. You must cultivate properly. If a person violates the five precepts, they will eventually lose the chance to be reborn as a human being. They could only descend into the three unwholesome realms – Animal Realm, Hungry Ghost Realm and Hell Realm.


师父讲心里话,在座的弟子守五戒不是很难。不妄语,不讲话不就好了?不喝酒,我们本来就不喝酒;不 邪淫,咬咬牙,不要去看,不要去做就好了;不偷盗, 我们本来就不喜欢偷人家的东西;不杀生,我们现在看 见杀动物就怕,并且已吃素。所以,如果你不想进三恶 道,就要好好地守戒。

To be honest, it isn’t difficult to observe the five precepts. Don’t lie - isn’t it well if you don’t speak? Don’t drink alcohol – we don’t have that habit. Don’t commit sexual misconduct – grit your teeth, don’t look and don’t take action, then won’t it be fine? Don’t steal – we don’t steal anyways. Don’t kill – we are now afraid when we watch animals get slaughtered, and we’re already vegetarians. That’s why if you don’t want to go to the three unwholesome realms, then observe the precepts properly.


儒家教育讲“五常”、“八德”,你们只是听到这 些,却不知道其具体的含义。作为一个普通人,这些都 是要守的戒律。人与人之间的关系不好,基本上是违反 了五常八德。两个人经常吵架、不开心,就是没有五 常,没有八德。常就是仁、义、礼、智、信。很久以 前,哪里来的律师啊?做人就是靠信誉,君子一言既 出,驷马难追。八德是什么呢?就是孝、悌、忠、信、 礼、义、廉、耻。做人要懂得廉耻啊,有些事情是不能 做的,你要脸吗?你知道耻辱吗?你偷了人家的东西, 你知道丢人吗?一个女孩子做那种烂事情,你还有廉耻 吗?百善孝为先,一个不孝顺的人会是一个好人吗?随 便把爸爸妈妈骂骂讲讲、丢丢甩甩的,这个人会好吗?

Confucianism teaches about the ‘five constants’ and ‘eight virtues’. Many of you may have only heard briefly about it yet not know about its general meaning. As an ordinary person, they must still observe some kind of precepts. When a relationship between people becomes bad, it’s basically due to a violation of one of the five constants and eight virtues. When people regularly argue and become upset, it’s because they don’t uphold the five constants and eight virtues. The five constants are benevolence, righteousness, etiquette, wisdom and trustworthiness. A long time ago, you won’t find any lawyers. People depended on their reputation to interact with others. A word spoken won’t be recalled. What are the eight virtues? They are filial piety, fraternity, loyalty, honesty, etiquette, righteousness, integrity and sense of shame. People must know about the sense of shame. There are some things one shouldn’t do; otherwise, it’s shameful. Do you know what humiliation is? When you steal from others, don’t you feel ashames? When a girl casually have sex with other men, doesn’t that feel shameful? Filial piety is the most important of all virtues. Could an unfilial person be regarded as a good person? If they casually scold at their parents, is that person good?


当你守了这些戒律之后,你会越来越感到这个社会 对你不适合。现在社会上有几个人讲仁义礼智信?这个 社会上有几个人如果得不到利益,他们还愿意跟你交朋 友?没有目的,他跟你讲话?没有自己的利益,他会理你吗?现在的人已经变成这样了,失去了太多的本性良 心。师父跟你们说,为什么很多人觉得现在的社会变得 越来越恶,难生存?家庭越来越不圆满?实际上就是因 为现在很多人都是五常不守,更没有守住五戒。

After you have observed these precepts, you will gradually feel that today’s society is unsuitable for you. How many people talk about and uphold benevolence, righteousness, etiquette, wisdom and trustworthiness? How many people would choose to befriend you if they have nothing to gain? If there’s no goal, would they talk to you? If there’s no interest in them, would they care about you? Today's people have already changed to this sorry state, they have lost too much of their inherent nature and conscience. Why do many people feel that today’s society has become increasingly unwholesome and hard to survive? Why do members in many families gradually become dissatisfied with each other? It’s because many people don’t uphold the five constants, let alone the five precepts.


违背五常仁义礼智信,就是违背天理,别人就会说 你这个人不讲信用,违背天理,雷公会劈死你的,所以 做人要讲道理。中国的儒释道,虽然教义不一样,但是 做人的基本道理是一致的。这就是为什么在佛的后期, 佛教在印度很难传承,而后来佛教为什么能够到中华大 地来广泛传播。因为我们的儒家教育、道家思想和佛家 理论是基本一致的,所以佛教很快地就在中华大地上传 承下来了。

Those who violate the five constants - benevolence, righteousness, etiquette, wisdom and trustworthiness also violates the regulation of the heavens. Others will say that you’re not credible, and you will be punished by heaven one day. That’s why people must be reasonable. Although the three ideological teachings of traditional Chinese culture – Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism differ slightly from each other, the fundamental principles on how a person should behave are the same. That’s also the reason why Buddhism was readily accepted and propagated throughout China, even though it was difficult to propagate in India where it originated.


古代的佛家就是以五戒配五常,他们是多么的有智 慧啊!五戒是佛法的,五常仁义礼智信是儒家教育讲 的,过去的学佛人把儒家教育和佛教有机地结合在一起 了,师父现在讲给你们听,非常的精彩。第一,仁者不 杀生,仁慈的人怎么会杀生?第二个,义者不偷盗,讲 义气的人怎么会偷东西啊?第三,礼者不邪淫,懂得礼 貌的人怎么会去做邪淫的事情?第四,智者不饮酒,有 智慧的人怎么会去把自己喝得酩酊大醉啊?让自己的肝 也不好,喝醉酒乱讲话,对不对?第五,信者不妄语。 前面的就是“仁义礼智信”,后面的就是“不杀生、不 偷盗、不邪淫、不饮酒、不妄语”,看见了吧?儒家教 育和佛教有机地结合在一起了,而且是完全自然地合在 一起了,这种佛道的教法就叫自然,所以称“道法自 然”。

Ancient Buddhism made a connection between the five precepts with the five constants so that it could be easily understandable. The people in ancient times were wise. The five precepts belong to Buddhism, while the five constants belong to Confucianism. Master now expounds it. Firstly, those who are benevolent won’t kill. How could benevolent people kill other living beings? Secondly, those who are righteous won’t steal. Isn’t that right? Thirdly, those who have proper etiquette won’t commit sexual misconduct. Would a person who understands the proper social etiquette and abides by it commit sexual misconduct? Fourthly, wise people won’t drink alcohol. Would a wise person drink until they become intoxicated and drunk? It’s not only harmful to their liver but it will also make them lose control, isn’t that right? Fifthly, those who are trustworthy won’t lie. In each connection, the former words are picked from the five constants, and the latter words are picked from the five precepts. Do you see it? Both teachings have combined harmoniously in a natural way.


师父上次跟大家讲了佛的称号,今天跟大家继续讲 “如来”。大家知道如来佛是谁吗?我们小时候不懂, 会问:“如来佛大,还是释迦牟尼佛大?”因为我们小时候很喜欢比哪个佛大。如来,就是佛乘真理而来,因为佛和如来都是一样的,只是叫法不同。孩子可以叫你 “爸爸”,也可以叫你“Daddy”,也可以叫你“父 亲”,还可以叫你“爹”,其实都是一样的,只是叫法 不一样。如来,就是佛乘真理而来,由真如而现身。

In a previous chapter, Master talked about the Buddha’s title; in this chapter, he will continue to talk about the ‘Thus Come One’. Do you know who is Thus Come One Buddha? We didn’t understand when we were little. We would ask, “Who’s greater? Thus Come One Buddha or Gautama Buddha?” That’s because little kids like to compare which Buddha is greater. Thus Come One means the coming of the truth of Buddhism. So the name Buddha and Thus Come One means the same just said differently. Some children may call their male parent ‘father’ while others may call them ‘daddy’ instead. But the meaning is the same. Thus Come One is the coming of the truth of Buddhism, or manifestation of the truth.


由真如而现身是什么?就是说,在人间,佛完全是 真的,佛不会撒谎,佛对人是真心的,所以为真如而现 身,因此称为如来,来了,真的本性来了。如来是什 么?就是佛,所以人家就把如来、佛放在一起了。把如来佛再分开,就叫“如去”,真如之道而去。去往哪 里?往佛果涅槃的道而去。涅槃是什么?就是彻悟,彻 底地开悟。佛的果是什么?就是无上正等正觉。往佛果 涅槃的道而去,彻底地开悟,进入无上正等正觉,行六 波罗蜜,得成佛道,故名如来。

What is the manifestation of the truth? In other words, in the Human Realm, Buddha is real and true. The Buddha does not lie and is completely sincere towards others, that’s why they are the manifestation of the truth, and also known as Thus Come One. It has come, the true inherent nature has come. What is the Thus Come One? It is Buddha. That’s why people have combined the name Thus Come One with the word Buddha. If you separate it, it’s called ‘Thus Gone’. Where does it go to? It’s gone via the way of nirvana. What is nirvana? It is a complete awakenment. What is the fruit of the labours of becoming a Buddha? It is the unsurpassed, complete and perfect enlightenment. By going through the way of nirvana, complete awakenment, and entering into the state of unsurpassed, complete and perfect enlightenment, practising the six paramitas to fulfil the way of the Buddha, that is known as Thus Come One.


师父跟大家讲,学佛人如果不懂佛的理论,不懂佛 的道,你很快就会觉得学佛学得没劲了。如果你们一辈 子仅仅是念小房子,没有师父在这里给你们讲解,很多 人修到后来念经就念不下去了,很多人就会不想念经。 其实佛法是非常有哲理的,绝对不是单单念经,我们不 能像小和尚那样念经有口无心,学佛人要懂道理。我们 以后到天上去,听菩萨讲法也是这样的。你们现在学的 东西太少了,师父相信你们以后到了天上,等到听大菩 萨讲法,就会想到我们的师父很多没有讲过嘛。并不是每一个师父都是完全圆满的,但是佛是圆满的。学习圆 满无碍的佛法,成就佛的无上正等正觉。

If you don’t understand the theories and ways of the Buddha when you’re practising Buddhism, you will quickly lose motivation. If you simply recite and offer Little Houses throughout your life without listening to Master’s explanation, after a while of cultivating, you may lose interest in reciting sutras and stop. In reality, the Buddha-Dharma is very philosophical; it is not simply about reciting sutras. We must not behave like the junior monks who recite without putting their mind into it. Buddhists must know the principles. In the future, when we ascend to heaven and listen to the Bodhisattvas expounding the Dharma, it is the same. What you are currently learning is too little. Master believes that when you go to heaven and after you have listened to the Dharma taught by the greater Bodhisattvas, then you would realise that there are a lot more things that were not taught by Master. Not every master is completely perfect, but the Buddha is perfect. One must learn the perfect and unhindered Buddha-Dharma and attain Buddha’s unsurpassed, complete and perfect enlightenment.

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