王舍城的悲劇:教行信證總序之文的要義

Eiken Kobai Sensei 紅楳英顕

親鸞聖人《教行信證總序之文曰:「竊以:難思弘誓,度難度海大船;無礙光明,破無明暗惠日。然則:淨邦緣熟,調達闍世興逆害;淨業機彰,釋迦韋提選安養。」

阿彌陀佛的本願,乃是「難思弘誓」,非凡夫所能思議,能夠令凡夫渡過生死大海,照破無明暗,無所障礙。

當淨土法門在娑婆弘揚的因緣成熟時,提婆達多(調達)慫恿阿闍世王謀叛父親頻毘娑羅王。在這場王舍城的悲劇中,痛心不已的皇后韋提希夫人,祈請世尊為其廣說無憂惱國,以求往生。最後,世尊為她選擇阿彌陀佛的安養淨土。

在《觀經》中示現這場王舍城悲劇的提婆達多、阿闍世王、頻毘娑羅王、韋提希夫人等,是佛菩薩為度化眾生而應世的「權化仁」,他們化現世間,以幫助受苦眾生出離娑婆三界。這一場王舍城的悲劇,是如來大悲心的示化,用以救度五逆等罪業深重的眾生

親鸞聖人在〈總序之文〉提到王舍城的悲劇,是聖人首先讚嘆不思議的本願力正是要救度像自己這樣的人。

韋提希夫人是古代印度摩竭陀國的皇后,而國王頻毘娑羅王是一個虔誠的佛教徒,他為佛陀蓋了第一個道場:竹林精舍

據經典的記載,頻毘娑羅王和韋提希夫人苦無孩子,便找來相師占卜。相師跟他們說,某深山裡住了一位道人,此道人還有三年的陽壽,等他陽壽一盡,就會投胎來做王子。

然而,頻毘娑羅王等不及,就派使者去找道人,請道人提早離世,並吩咐說,如果道人不肯,就取了他的性命。結果,道人不從,國王的使者便殺了道人。道人臨死前於是發了咒願,說等他投胎成太子之後,他就要把國王殺掉,報一箭之仇。使者於將咒誓回報給頻毘娑羅王知道。

後來,果真如相師所言,韋提希夫人在道人死去的那天晚上懷孕了。頻毘娑羅王很興奮,又請相師來問孩子是男是女。相師回答,這個孩子會當上國王,並且傷害自己的父親。

頻毘娑羅王起初不以為意,但後來還是很擔心,就要韋提希夫人在天井上方臨盆,讓小孩生下來死直接從上面掉下來摔死。然而,孩子卻奇蹟似地活了下來,只折斷了一根小指頭。

這個孩子就是阿闍世王子,他後來反叛自己的父親,將他囚禁在隔有七重牆門的大牢裡,最後致他於死。

提婆達多是世尊的堂兄弟,也是阿難的兄長。他曾經是世尊僧團中的一員,來因為權力鬥爭,另外成立教團。他接近阿闍世王子,在獲得信任之後,慫恿阿闍世王子謀叛父親,以接任王位,而他自己則想取代世尊,接收教團。

提婆達多對阿闍世王子說:「你的父親之前還想置你於死地!他根本不愛你,不會讓你繼承王位的,你應該要把你父親剷除掉,自己登上王位。」

阿闍世王子剛開始不相信,而且很生氣提婆達多竟然慫恿他去殺害自己的父親。提婆達多於是指出他受傷的小指頭,正是父親以前想害死他的證據。於是,阿闍世王子便將父親關進隔有七重牆門的大牢裡,想把他活活餓死。

親鸞聖人在《淨土和讚》第74首中說道:「敕使頻婆娑羅王,不待其宿因之期;殺害仙人遭報應,幽閉七重密牢中。」

韋提希夫人知道之後,便「以酥蜜和麥少用塗其身,諸瓔珞中,盛蒲萄漿」,偷偷送東西去給頻毘娑羅王吃。21天之後,阿闍世王子前去問守門者,了解父親的情況,結果才知道母親餵東西給父親吃,並說:「我母是賊!」

這下子,阿闍世王子連母親也想殺害,但被月光和耆婆兩位大臣所阻。最後,阿闍世王子將母親也關了起來。

這時,韋提希夫人遙向耆闍崛山向佛作禮,祈請世尊遣目連尊者和阿難來和她相見。結果,想不到世尊立即前來。

韋提希夫人舉身投地,號泣向佛,曰:「世尊!我宿何罪,生此惡子?世尊,復有何等因緣,與提婆達多共為眷屬?唯願世尊,為我廣說無憂惱處,我當往生,不樂閻浮提濁惡世也。此濁惡世,地獄餓鬼畜生盈滿,多不善聚。願我未來不聞惡聲,不見惡人,今向世尊,五體投地,求哀懺悔,唯願佛力教我,觀於清淨業處。」

「爾時,世尊放眉間光,其光金色,遍照十方無量世界,還住佛頂,化為金臺,如須彌山;十方諸佛淨妙國土,皆於中現。或有國土,七寶合成;復有國土,純是蓮華;復有國土,如自在天宮;復有國土,如玻璃鏡;十方國土,皆於中現。有如是等無量諸佛國土,嚴顯可觀,令韋提希見。時韋提希白佛言:「世尊!是諸佛土,雖復清淨,皆有光明;我今樂生極樂世界,阿彌陀佛所。」

這就是〈總序之文〉所說的:「淨邦緣熟,調達闍世興逆害;淨業機彰,釋迦韋提選安養。」

親鸞聖人在《淨土和讚》第73首中說道:「恩德廣大釋迦佛,敕命韋提希夫人;於光台現國之中,選擇安樂之世界。」

親鸞聖人稱頻毘娑羅王、韋提希夫人、阿闍世王子、提婆達多等為「權化仁」,意思是說他們是菩薩的示現,化現世間以救度眾生。

親鸞聖人視王舍城悲劇的示現,是為了要引導自覺罪業深重、煩惱具足的人,進入本願的救度,因此強調像韋提希夫人這樣獲真實信心的人,是得大救度之人。

〈正信偈〉曰:「行者正受金剛心,慶喜一念相応後,与韋提等獲三忍,即証法性之常楽。」

受金剛心(信心)者,得慶喜心,即和韋提希夫人一樣獲三忍,三忍即善導大師所說之:

(一)喜忍:念彌陀佛而生歡喜心者。

(二)悟忍:念彌陀佛而悟解真理者。

(三)信忍:念彌陀佛而住於正信者。

《觀經四帖疏》中曰,韋提希夫人所得之無生法忍,即為此三忍:「因此喜故,即得無生之忍,亦名喜忍,亦名悟忍,亦名信忍。」

獲三忍,亦即入正定之聚,必定往生淨土成佛。這是現生所獲,亦即是信心決定;此生結束後必定成佛,故階位同如彌勒。

教行信證後文又曰:「獲金剛心者,則與韋提等,即可獲得喜、悟、信之忍。是則往相回向之真心徹到故,藉不可思議之本誓故也。」

獲他力信心者,同韋提希夫人獲喜、悟、信三者,入正定聚,這都是由阿彌陀佛不可思議的本願所令然。

韋提希夫人在逆倫悲劇的極大悲痛之下,向世尊遙泣,世尊現身說法。「釋迦韋提選安養」,韋提希夫人即入本願救度的世界,獲三忍,現生入正定聚。

〈總序之文〉後文又曰:「噫!弘誓強緣,多生叵值;真實淨信,億劫叵獲。」這是親鸞聖人對我們的勸信。

 


 The Osha Castle Tragedy

Essence Of The General Preface to Venerable Master Shinran's Treatise Teaching, Practice, Faith, and Attainment (Kyo-Gyo-Shin-Sho)

王舍城的悲劇:教行信證總序之文的要義

Eiken Kobai Sensei 紅楳英顕

 

The General Preface to the Venerable Master Shinran's Teaching, Practice, Faith and Attainment begins with:

Reflecting carefully, I realize that the difficult-to-consider Universal Vow is a great vessel that bears us across the difficult-to-cross ocean. The unhindered light is the sun of wisdom that vanquishes the darkness of our ignorance. Thus when conditions had matured for the teaching of birth in the Pure Land to be revealed, Jodatsu調達 provoked Jase闍世 to commit great crimes. Using this opportunity, Shakyamuni Buddha lead Idaike韋提 to select the Land of Peace and Happiness by explaining the pure action by which birth (in the Pure Land) is established. 

竊以:難思弘誓,度難度海大船;無礙光明,破無明暗惠日。然則:淨邦緣熟,調達闍世興逆害;淨業機彰,釋迦韋提選安養。

In other words, after careful reflection, the Venerable Master realized that Amida Buddha's Primal Vow, which is absolutely beyond the comprehension of the "ignorant filled with base passions" 煩惱具足之凡夫 (bombu), is a great ship that allows us to sail across the ocean of delusion from which it is so difficult to be saved, that it is the light which rips asunder the darkness of doubt without being obstructed by anything.

And because that is what it is, when the Pure Land teaching matured to where it could be revealed in this world, Jodatsu 調達(Daiba, Devadatta提婆達多in Sanskrit) seduced Jase闍世 (Ajase, Ajatasatru阿闍世王in Sanskrit) into turning against his own father, King Binbashara頻毘娑羅王 (Bimbisara in Sanskrit), and finally killing him. This tragic incident resulted in Shakyamuni Buddha leading Idai 韋提(Queen Idaike, Queen Vaidehi in Sanskrit), who desired to live in a world without suffering, to select the Pure Land of Ultimate Joy. That world is attained by reliance on the Nembutsu of Amida Buddha's Primal Vow.

This is called "accommodative virtue" (gonke no nin 權化仁), which refers to a Buddha or a Bodhisattva who has temporarily assumed a form to bring about the salvation of sentient beings. The Venerable Master Shinran considered Daiba, Ajase and Idaike in this story recounted in the Meditation Sutra, to be Bodhisattvas who assumed the forms they did in order to relieve the suffering of sentient beings in this world. What this story tells us is that the Buddha's Great Compassion is what truly saves those who are filled with evil, such as those who commit the "five perversities" (gogyaku五逆罪).

As I have already stated, the above are the opening words of the Venerable Master Shinran's major work, Teaching, Practice, Faith and Attainment. Obviously, he wanted first of all, to praise the virtue of the Primal Vow by which he himself was saved, and therefore described the central character in the Meditation Sutra, Queen Idaike, with the words, "Shakyamuni Buddha lead Queen Idaike to select the Land of Peace and Happiness...."

Queen Idaike was the consort of King Binbashara of the great country of Magda摩竭陀國in ancient India. King Binbashara was a devout Buddhist and well-known in Buddhist history for having constructed the first gathering place for Buddhists, known as Chikurin Temple竹林精舎. According to what is narrated in the sutras, the king and his queen had a very difficult time conceiving a child. Because he was so anxious for an heir, King Binbashara consulted a soothsayer, who told him that an ascetic living deep in the mountains would die in three years and be reborn as the king's child.

King Binbashara was so anxious for an heir, however, that he could not wait three years. He therefore ordered certain of his followers to visit the ascetic and persuade him to end his life immediately. If the ascetic refused, King Binbashara ordered, they were to kill him. And because the ascetic did refuse to kill himself, the king's followers killed the ascetic.

Just before he was killed, the ascetic said that when he was reborn as the king's son, he would in turn kill the king. The king's followers reported this threat to the king.

As the soothsayer had prophesied, Queen Idaike found herself pregnant the night of the ascetic's death. King Binbashara was overjoyed. He called the soothsayer to ask whether the child would be male or a female. The soothsayer replied that it would be a male, and that this male successor would eventually injure the king.

At first King Binbashara did not feel threatened by the impending birth of his son. Finally, however, he became concerned enough that he ordered Queen Idaike to give birth from the top of a cliff, hoping the newly-born infant would be killed. Queen Idaike did so, but miraculously, the infant lived. All it received was a small cut in its baby finger.

The infant grew up to be Prince Ajase who rebelled against his father, imprisoned him in a jail with seven walls and finally killed him.

Daiba was Shakyamuni Buddha's cousin. He is said to have been Anan's (Shakyamuni Buddha's closest disciple) older brother. Although Daiba was also a disciple of Shakyamuni Buddha, he gradually developed the ambition to become the leader of the fledgling Buddhist organization.

To accomplish that end, he approached Prince Ajase, gained the prince's trust, and proposed that Ajase become the political leader of the land by replacing his father as king of Magda. He then tried to take control of Shakyamuni Buddha's organization.

After planning this intrigue, Daiba learned the details of Ajase's birth, which played right into his hands. "Your father planned to kill you!" Daiba told Ajase. "Because he (King Binbashara) does not love you, he will not allow you to succeed him. That's why you should do away with your father and assume the reigns of power yourself!"

Ajase did not trust Daiba at first, and actually became angry at Daiba's suggestion that he kill his own father. After being told that his injured little finger was proof that his father had tried to have him killed, however, Ajase began trusting Daiba. At first, Ajase tried to starve his father to death by placing him in a jail with seven walls.

The Venerable Master Shinran wrote about this in Hymns of the Pure Land (Jodo Wasan) in the following way (74):

    Not waiting for the ascetic’s natural death,

    King Bimbisara had him killed.

    In retribution for this horrendous act,

    He himself was placed in a prison of seven nested walls.

敕使頻婆娑羅王,不待其宿因之期

殺害仙人遭報應,幽閉七重密牢中

Last year I went on a Buddhist pilgrimage to India. With my own eyes I saw the remains of the seven-walled jail within which King Binbashara was imprisoned; the remains of wheel tracks of the chariot that the king rode; the remains of Osha Castle where King Binbashara, Queen Idaike and Prince Ajase lived; and finally the remains of King Binbashara's temple, said to be the first Buddhist structure ever built (Chikurin Temple竹林精舎. What remains today, however, was built much later.) The activities of Shakyamuni Buddha, King Binbashara, Queen Idaike, Prince Ajase and Daiba two-thousand-five-hundred years ago came vividly to mind.

Returning to my narrative, Queen Idaike learned that her son had imprisoned her husband in a seven-walled jail and was starving him. She therefore covered her body with a mixture of honey and wheat-flour paste, and filled her ornaments with wine. In this way, she was able to secretly feed her husband. After 'three periods of seven days' (21 days), when Ajase inquired of his guards about his father's condition, he learned how his mother was keeping his father alive.

"My mother has turned against me!" Ajase shouted. "She's a traitor!" 「我母是賊!」

Ajase tried to kill his own mother, but was prevented from doing so by two of his senior counselors, Giba 耆婆 and Gakko 月光 (Jiva and Candraprabha in Sanskrit). Queen Idaike was placed in prison as a compromise.

The problem of a child using violence to solve a family quarrel is the same social problem that exists today, 2,500 years later. I believe that for a parent, nothing is more frightening than to have a child use violence. How much more difficult would it be for a mother who sacrificed herself to give birth to and raise a child, have that child turn against her?

Choked with tears, Queen Idaike faced Mt. Gishaku where Shakyamuni Buddha was then living, and asked him to console her.

Shakyamuni Buddha immediately appeared before Queen Idaike.

"O World-Honored One," Queen Idaike said, "what evil have I committed that I gave birth to such a child?

"Further, O World-Honored One, how could you be related to so evil a person as Daiba?" she asked.

「世尊!我宿何罪,生此惡子?世尊,復有何等因緣,與提婆達多共為眷屬?」

While acknowledging the evil in her own child, Queen Idaike could not help but make allowances for that evil. "If only that even-more-evil Daiba had not been around...if that Daiba had not tempted my precious son, my precious Ajase would not have killed his father." Even as she sought his help, Queen Idaike could not help feeling resentment towards Shakyamuni Buddha because of a desire to protect her own child. Her resentment of Shakyamuni Buddha was all the greater because Daiba was Shakyamuni Buddha's cousin.

Queen Idaike thus reveals herself as a self-centered, deeply-evil individual who is 'ignorant and filled with base passions' (bombu).

But Queen Idaike then asks, "O World-Honored One, please teach me of a world in which there is no suffering or agony. That is where I would like to live. Please use your great powers to show me such a pure world!" 唯願世尊,為我廣說無憂惱處,我當往生,不樂閻浮提濁惡世也。

Shakyamuni Buddha revealed and explained the various Buddha-worlds in the ten directions. Queen Idaike selected Amida Buddha's Pure Land (the Pure Land of Serene Sustenance), and asked to be born there.

This is expressed in the General Preface to the Teaching, Practice, Faith and Attainment in the following way:

    And using this opportunity (to reveal the Pure Land teaching), Shakyamuni Buddha lead Vaidehi to select the Land of Peace and Happiness. 

And in Hymns of the Pure Land (73), the Venerable Master Shinran wrote:

    From boundless compassion

    Shakyamuni Buddha

    Instructed Queen Idaike,

    Leading her to select

    Amida’s world of peace and happiness

    From all the lands

Revealed in the pedestal of light.

恩德廣大釋迦佛,敕命韋提希夫人

於光台現國之中,選擇安樂之世界

The Venerable Master Shinran said that in order to lead Queen Idaike from her grief and sorrow as a result of the treachery of her own sonin response to her desire for a realm without suffering or anguishShakyamuni Buddha lead her to wish birth in Amida Buddha's Pure Land of Ultimate Joy.

The Venerable Master Shinran considered King Binbashara, Queen Idaike, Prince Ajase and Daiba to be bodhisattvas who took human form in order to "save" deluded beings. He considered this tragedy of Osha Castle a means to lead those who are aware of the "weight of their karmic evil" (zaiaku jinju罪惡深重) and their "ignorance and base passions" (bombu) to the realm of salvation through the Primal Vow. That is why the Venerable Master emphasized that, like Queen Idaike, those with true and real shinjin would receive great salvation.

In his Hymn of True Faith正信偈, the Venerable Master wrote:

    When doers correctly receive the diamond-like mind,

    In accord with the one-thought-moment of joy;

    They acquire the “three-fold insight”

    And reveal the eternal bliss of dharma-nature

    Just as Queen Idaike did.

行者正受金剛心 慶喜一念相応後

与韋提等獲三忍 即証法性之常楽

As expressed here, those with the settled 'diamond-like mind' (SHINJIN) and the resulting joyous mind and heart, acquire the same 'three-fold insight' (joy, awakening, confidence).

The Venerable Master Shinran considered acquiring the 'three-fold insight' to be the same as entering the 'group of those assured (of birth in the Pure Land)' and that doing so guarantees we will be born in the Pure Land where we will attain Enlightenment.

Essentially, what this part of the Hymn of True Faith states is that in this present life, those with 'settled SHINJIN' will dwell in the same 'group of those assured (of birth in the Pure Land)' that Shakyamuni Buddha taught Queen Idaike in the story of the Tragedy of Osha Castle.

Regarding this point, in the Chapter on Faith of the Teaching, Practice, Faith and Attainment, it states that since those with 'settled SHINJIN' are guaranteed to become a Buddha, they are the same as Miryoku Bosatsu. Following this passage, the Venerable Master continued:

    Moreover, those who receive the diamond-like mind are the equals of Queen Idaike and realize the insights of joy, awakening, and confidence. This is because they have the true mind directed toward them '(in the aspect of) going (to the Pure Land),' which accords with (the working of) the 'marvelously mysterious' Primal Vow. 獲金剛心者,則與韋提等,即可獲得喜、悟、信之忍。是則往相回向之真心徹到故,藉不可思議之本誓故也。」

In other words, those who receive the SHINJIN of "Buddha-centered power" receive the same "three-fold insight" of "joy" (ki), "awakening" (go) and "confidence" (shin) that Queen Idaike did, and dwell in the "group of those assured (of birth in the Pure Land)." All this, the Venerable Master Shinran said, is solely due to the power of Amida Buddha's Primal Vow.

He expressed this in the General Preface to his Teaching, Practice, Faith and Attainment: "... Shakyamuni lead (Queen) Idaike to select the Land of Peace and Happiness" after being oppressed by her own son and being jailed, after barely escaping being killed herself. While lamenting her difficulties, Queen Idaike heard and seriously considered Shakyamuni Buddha's Dharma Talk. As a result, she entered the world of salvation through the Primal Vow, received the 'three-fold insight' and entered the 'group of those assured (of birth in the Pure Land)' in her present life. This is what the Venerable Master Shinran emphasized and urged us to also become.

    Near the end of the General Preface are the words: 

Ah, hard it is to encounter, even in many lifetimes, the decisive cause of birth (in the Pure Land), Amida's universal vow! How hard it is to realize, even in myriads of kalpas, pure SHINJIN that is true and real! 「噫!弘誓強緣,多生叵值;真實淨信,億劫叵獲。」

As expressed here, the true and real 'pure SHINJIN' (jo shin) is difficult to receive, but when it is received, we are able to appreciate the 'power of (Amida Buddha's) Primal Vow' (honganriki), and take the greatest of joy in it.

I believe this expresses very well the Venerable Master Shinran's mind and heart that urges us to receive SHINJIN.

 

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