V 11-38 The Five Aggregates are Empty (Part 1) 五蕴皆空(一)

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.

今天跟大家讲“五蕴”。《心经》里面经常念到“五蕴皆空”,很多人不知道“五蕴”到底是什么,天天念经,要知道“五蕴”。师父告诉大家,“五蕴”就是色蕴、受蕴、想蕴、行蕴和识蕴,就是色、受、想、行、识。“五蕴皆空”,就是菩萨《心经》里面教导我们,要把色、受、想、行、识这五蕴都要空掉。那么,“蕴”是什么呢?蕴实际上就是一种现象的集合点。比方说色蕴,因为你看到了太多的东西,那么把这种现象集中在一起,它就成为一个蕴,叫色蕴。色蕴就是你眼睛在人间看得到的颜色、房子或者利益……利益是看得见的,是属于色蕴里面的,而名不属于色蕴里面。那么,在五蕴中,除了色蕴是带有物质性的事物现象,其余的四个蕴归根结底都是一个思想性的东西,是内心的东西,而不是外面的,都是属于看不见的精神现象。

In this chapter, we will talk about the ‘five aggregates’. In the ‘Heart Sutra’, we regularly recite the words ‘the five aggregates are empty’, but some people don’t understand what it is, so we shall explain it. The five aggregates refer to the aggregate of form, feeling, perception, mental formation and consciousness. The Bodhisattvas want to teach us that we must perceive them as empty. What does the term ‘aggregate’ here mean? It is an assembly point for a type of phenomenon. For example, for the aggregate of form, because we have seen too many things, it is all collected into an aggregate of form. The aggregate form is things you see visually, like the colours and the look of a house, and the things you see mentally like what you can gain from something. Among the five aggregates, other than the aggregate of form which exists in a material form, the other four aggregates only exist in the mental place or within our mind. They are all invisible and mental phenomena.


首先说色蕴。色蕴是什么呢?就是有色的世界。你们现在看到的这个世界都是有色的世界,是能够感受到的。你们坐的这个椅子,你们能感受到这是椅子;你们眼睛看得见的房子、云彩,或者你看得到的马路上的各种商店、吃的东西……只要是有色的东西,你看得见的,都是属于物质世界的东西。那么,有色的色蕴实际上是属于“地水火风”,“地”也会没有,“水”也会流失,“火”也会慢慢地灭度,“风”也会吹走。其实,一个人的身体也是“地水火风”。“地”就是骨头,“水”就是你的血管,“火”就是你的经络,我们经常说“上火了”。“风”是什么呢?伤风、感冒、风寒都是风,风湿性关节炎也是讲这个“风”字。这些东西都是有色世界的,是属于色蕴里面的,因为人到了死的时候,“地水火风”都没有了。想想看,在现实生活当中,“风、火”都会过去的,有水灾,有火灾,时间长了都没了。

First, we discuss the aggregate of form. What is it? It is the world of forms. What you see in this world exists in forms, and it’s something that you can sense. When you sit on a chair, you can sense it. You can see the houses, clouds and the shops etc. because it has a physical form. All forms are composed of the elements earth, water, fire and wind. The earth can disintegrate, the water can run off, fire will gradually extinguish, and the wind will blow away. In fact, the human body is also composed of the elements earth, water, fire and wind. Our bones represent earth, our blood represents water, our meridians represent fire, and our sense of temperature represent wind. These possess a form, so it is classified within the aggregate for form. When people die, their composition of earth, water, fire and wind also disappears.


第二个是受蕴。受蕴是什么呢?就是你在精神上对一件事情的感受。你们活在这个世界上,精神上的感受是最重要的。如果你们在接受了人间很多的苦和乐之后,精神上的感受到底是苦还是乐,这就是受蕴。有些人把苦作为快乐,有些人把快乐作为痛苦。举个简单例子,妈妈生孩子很痛苦,但是妈妈心里是很快乐的;很多人很有钱,你看他很有钱,你应该感受到他很快乐,但是后来他很痛苦,因为他有了钱之后,投资多了,欠债更多,他投资出去的东西都不知道能否收得回来,他浑身都是压力,觉都睡不好,你说他是享受还是苦受?

The second is the aggregate of feeling. What is it? It is your feeling of something mentally. It is also the most important because it forms your perception of joy and suffering of something. Some people perceive a joyous event as something bitter, while some people perceive a painful effect as joyous. For example, women feel pain when they’re giving birth, but they’re actually happy about it. Many people are wealthy, and they should be happy about it, but they are actually bitter about it because they experience a lot of stress and sleepless nights that come from some of their business ventures. So are they enjoying their wealth or suffering from it?


“受”是一种感觉、感受,是苦受还是乐受,就要看你心中到底是接纳苦,还是接纳快乐。很多人想不通,看见人家很讨厌,那么,你的心中就是接受了自己的这种嫉妒,接受了这种看不起别人、能够伤害自己的元素,因为当你心里不舒服的时候,实际上你已经把自己的心伤害了,所以你的这种感受已经是属于负能量的感受了。

One’s feeling or perception of joy or suffering of something is dependent on one’s tendency to be optimistic or pessimistic. Many people can’t think through things clearly and see others as being hateful. That’s because their mind has already accepted the elements of hate, jealousy and disdain. When your mind feels uncomfortable, it means you’ve already hurt your mind due to the negative energy that you’re developing.


接下去跟大家讲想蕴。想蕴是什么呢?想象力。一个人对某一件事情的想,可以想得非常的开心,一个人站在那里想啊想,想得自己笑出来了。在智慧上、心灵上的想蕴是无边无际的。想蕴实际上就是你想出来的,由心理行为这个动作所想出来的。你去想这个事情,是不是一个动作啊?因为你心里动了,所以叫心动,心动了之后才会有这个蕴出来。实际上,爱憎善恶的念头都是想象出来的。你觉得很恨这个人,你也是想象出来的。所以,你很恨某个人的时候,人家突然之间跟你说:“你知道吗?他在偷偷地为你献血呢。”一下子你的心变了:“哎呀,他是多么的善良!”实际上,你很恨这个人或者很爱这个人,都是你自己想象出来的,所以想蕴是非常复杂的。而且这个想蕴也非常容易让你进入善业和恶业:如果你想了善良,你就会变成一个很善良的人;如果你整天想别人是恶人,你就变成一个恶的人了。

Next, we discuss the aggregate of perception. It is the attitude that somebody takes when they are thinking about something. When somebody daydreams about something they are happy about, it can reflect on their smile. The aggregate of perception is boundless in the realms of wisdom and one’s spirit. In reality, the aggregate of perception develops from one’s thoughts and mental actions. When you are thinking about something, isn’t it a mental action? That’s because your mind has moved. When it does, it will contribute to this aggregate. In reality, the feeling of love and hate, and the idea of good and evil, are all developed from your thoughts. When you detest somebody badly, it is driven by your thoughts. For example, you hate a guy, and then somebody said to you, “Did you know that he is secretly donating blood to you?” You would immediately change your perception of that guy. “Oh, he is so kind.” In reality, your love and hate all develop from your thoughts. That’s why the aggregate of perception is very complicated. It also very easily turns you into a kind person or an evil person. If you perceive others as kind-hearted, then you will become kind-hearted. But if you perceive others as evil, then you will become an evil person.


第四个是识蕴。大家都知道意识很重要,意识实际上对人间的缘分、因果,它种下了意识的种子。有些孩子从小生出来就不大喜欢吃这个菜,从来没吃过,一看这个样子就不要吃,妈妈只要在边上跟他讲:“你看这孩子怪吧,就是不喜欢吃这个菜。”好了,意识种下了,他从小就不想吃,他长大了也不想吃。实际上就是意识种下的种子。又例如,什么叫下流,我们小时候是不知道的。如果你告诉他什么叫下流,他就知道不会去做这些事情。你要是从小在意识当中告诉他:“这有什么下流的?偷东西是无所谓的,偷东西的人多着呢。”他从小种下了这个意识,他一辈子偷东西都会觉得没有什么下流。因为意识受控于缘分和因果,所以这个意识非常重要。

The fourth aggregate is the aggregate of mental formation. Everybody knows that consciousness is very important. In reality, the mental formation of awareness is conditioned by one’s karmic affinities, causes and consequences. For example, some children dislike eating broccoli from when they were born. They never ate it before, but when they look at its appearance, they don’t want to eat it. If the mother said, “Isn’t it weird that he doesn’t like eating broccoli?” Then it may condition the child’s consciousness so that he won’t want to eat it in the future. In reality, it is conditioning. For example, when we were little, we don’t know what’s considered indecent. If you teach children what acts are considered indecent, then they won’t do it. If instead, while they are still little, you said, “What’s indecent about it? It doesn’t matter if you steal; there are plenty of people who steals.” If you condition their consciousness like so when they are still young, then they would never feel that stealing is something indecent. Mental formation of awareness is controlled by one’s karmic affinities, causes and consequences; that’s why it’s very important.


为什么说意识跟缘分有关系呢?如果你出生在一个爸爸妈妈都非常老实的家庭,父母不贪、不求,就是不会去伤害别人来满足自己的欲望,你可能就是一个很好的孩子,你具足这个缘分,你长大后不会做错事情,你的意识当中很干净、很善良,那你可能一辈子都是很善良的人,所以意识跟缘分有关系;如果你从小就生活在一个很穷苦的家庭,爸爸妈妈天天去偷一点、抢一点,或者去占人家一点便宜来养家糊口,你肯定从小就觉得“爸爸妈妈都是这么做的,所以我做这个事情也是很正常”,你的意识实际上是跟着别人这个缘分而走的。现在的很多演员为什么吸毒?因为他交了坏朋友,坏朋友吸毒,他也跟着吸。

Why is one’s awareness related to one’s karmic affinities? If you were born in an honest family, where your parents are not greedy for anything and doesn’t harm others to satisfy their desires, then you might be a decent child. You possess this affinity, so you won’t commit crimes when you’re older. Your awareness is very pure and kind-hearted; you might remain kind for the rest of your life. That’s why one’s awareness is related to one’s karmic affinities. If you were born in an impoverished family where your parents constantly steal to live, then you would mentally form an awareness that since your parents do it, then it’s normal that you do it too. So your awareness is developed and led by the karmic affinities around you. Why do many artists take drugs? It’s because they have bad friends. Since their friends take drugs, they also take them.


还有一个是行蕴。行蕴是什么呢?就是由行动和你的动作形成的善恶业。你今天做了这个行为了,你就形成了一个意识行为,这就是一个行为、一个行动。你今天做了一个善事就是善行,今天做了一个恶事就是恶行。这个“行”是什么呢?行蕴就是说,你今天已经去动了这个念头,不管是脑子里动的,还是行为上动的,它都会形成一种善恶业。实际上行蕴已经是被意识和想蕴所控制。

Next is the aggregate of consciousness. What is it? It’s your conscious actions and behaviour that forms wholesome and unwholesome karmic causes and consequences. If you suddenly consciously develop a thought, regardless of whether it has caused a mental action or a physical action, it will form a kind of karma that corresponds with that thought. In reality, the aggregate of consciousness is controlled by the aggregate of mental formation and the aggregate of perception.


师父刚刚讲了五蕴,现在要告诉你们,为什么《心经》里面讲“五蕴皆空”呢?要让五蕴空,不是那么容易的。我们回到两千五百年前,释迦牟尼佛悉达多太子在世的时候,他教导弟子,释迦牟尼佛说:你们要观注你们五蕴的生灭。观注五蕴的生灭是什么意思啊?实际上佛陀是特别地般若智慧,他说:先不教你们灭空,你们先观察你们的五蕴的生灭。比方说,你用眼睛去看一件事情,今天你看见这个人很讨厌,但是这个人走掉了,那么你这个“讨厌”最后就灭掉了,对不对?我生出对这个人的恨,但是慢慢地时间长了,我把这个人忘记了,就灭度了。这叫生灭。例如,我刚刚去想一件事,“这件事情我能够得到它多好”,想得很开心,生出了想象力之后慢慢地开始做一点其他事情,几天过去了,一个月过去了,没效果,不去想了,这个想蕴就灭掉了。

Master just explained about the five aggregates. So, in the ‘Heart Sutra’, why does it expound that the five aggregates are empty? To make them empty is not easy. Two thousand five hundred years ago, when Gautama Buddha as Prince Siddhartha was still alive and teaching his disciples, he said to them, “First, I will not teach you about the emptiness of cessation. You must observe the birth and cessation of your five aggregates. For example, if you saw something, like a person you find hateful, and that person has left, then that hate is ceased in the end.” Isn’t that right? You developed hate towards a person, but as time goes on, you might forget about that person, so it has ceased. That’s birth and cessation. For example, you just thought of something like, “Wouldn’t it be great if I can get it?” The more you think about it, the happier you become. After developing this imagination, you start to do things to see if you could get it. But after a few days, and then a few months, and what you did was unfruitful, then you no longer think about it. Then your aggregate of perception has ceased.


我很想去打他,但是没机会,一年、两年过去了,行蕴就灭掉了。只要生出来,就会有灭。佛陀为什么叫弟子们去观察自己的五蕴的生灭呢?实际上,他就是用这个方法教导我们,所有的五蕴都是不长久的。佛陀般若智慧,他叫弟子们自己去看。师父现在跟你们讲,这盆花现在放在这里很好看,对不对?但是,一个礼拜之后花到哪里去了?叫你们自己来看,这朵花生出来了放在这里,慢慢地枯萎了就扔掉了,它就结束了,就灭度了。佛陀就是启发我们说,你所想象的东西是假的,你所想象的行为“我要做”也是假的,你眼睛看见的色蕴也是假的,你的意识也是假的,一切都是假的,对不对?

“I really want to beat him up, but I don’t have the chance yet.” Then after one year or two years pass, this aggregate of consciousness ceases. As long as something is born, one day, it will cease. Why did Gautama Buddha instruct his disciples to observe the birth and cessation of their five aggregates? In reality, he wants to use this method to teach us that the five aggregates are not long-lasting. He was very wise; he told his disciples to look themselves. Master tells you, the pot of flowers in front of you might look beautiful now. But in a week’s time, where does it end up? From its birth and up to its bloom, it will then gradually wither and then thrown away. Its existence has ended, so it has ceased. Gautama Buddha wants to enlighten us on the fact that all imagination is fake. All of your thoughts are fake. Everything you see (the aggregate of thoughts) is fake. Your awareness is fake. Everything is fake. Isn’t that right?


小时候我们在谈到某个同学的时候,经常会说这位同学对自己好得不得了,曾经有过救命之恩,或者在学校里自己做错事情,当时老师说:“是谁做的?站起来!”这个时候你趴着不敢站起来,这位同学很勇敢地站起来替你承担责任:“老师,是我做的。”然后,这位同学被老师罚站或者被告到家长那里。当时你很感激这位同学,觉得自己永远不会忘记他。想蕴来了吧?意识当中感恩他,现在你还记得起来吗?小时候有多少同学帮过你们?有多少同学对你们好?你们感动得不得了,现在还有吗?

When we were young and discussing a certain classmate, everybody would say how great that person was. That person saved them in tight situations, or when you did something wrong at school, and the teacher shouts, “Who did it? Stand up right now.” At the time, you didn’t dare to stand up, but that classmate courageously stood up and took the responsibility instead, “Teacher, I did it,” and then that classmate was punished to stand for the remainder of the class or reported to their parents. At the time, you might have been deeply moved by that classmate and felt that you would never forget about the person. Isn’t that the birth of an aggregate of perception? You were consciously grateful towards the classmate, but now, do you still remember it? Do you still remember the classmates who had helped you or had treated you well? You were moved then. Do you still have the same feelings now?


佛陀就是告诉我们,意识也是假的。很多人的婚姻为什么会破裂?因为结婚的时候,他自己的意识告诉他,他的老婆对他太好了,命都可以给他,对他好得不得了,他的意识说:“我一定要一辈子对她好,我不管怎么样,哪怕死了我也对她好,海枯石烂不变心。”可是,海还没枯,石还没烂,心就变了。现在明白了吗?所以佛陀弘法非常有智慧,他说:你们看看,色受想行识的结尾是什么?生灭,生是开头,尾是什么呢?佛陀叫你们看到底啊,你们把人间的一切,包括你的想象看到底啊,能给你带来什么?灭度了,一切都没了,生灭了。

Gautama Buddha wants to tell you that all consciousness is fake. Why does many people’s marriage break apart? It’s because when the man married, he thought to himself that his wife treats him so well, so he must treat her better for the rest of his life. No matter what happens, he won’t change. But ultimately, he did. Now you understand? Gautama Buddha was very wise when he propagated the Dharma. He said, “Look, what is the end of the form, feeling, perception, mental formation and consciousness? It’s birth and cessation. Birth is the start; what is the end? Gautama Buddha wants you to see through to the bottom of it all. What do everything in the Human Realm and your imaginations bring you? Cessation. Everything is born and then finally disappears.

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