Home » Letters » The Buddha’s Warnings Against Demonic False Teachers

Those ignorant, deluded or negligent
of the Buddha’s true teachings
might be ready for Mara’s false teachings.’

‘阿难。彼善男子。受阴虚妙。不遭邪虑。圆定发明。三摩地中。心爱圆明。锐其精思。贪求善巧。尔时天魔。候得其便。飞精附人。口说经法。其人不觉。是其魔著。自言谓得。无上涅槃。来彼求巧。善男子处。敷座说法。其形斯须。或作比丘。令彼人见。或为帝释。或为妇女。或比丘尼。或寝暗室。身有光明。是人愚迷。惑为菩萨。信其教化。摇荡其心。破佛律仪。潜行贪欲。口中好言。灾祥变异。或言如来。某处出世。或言劫火。或说刀兵。恐怖于人。令其家资。无故耗散。此名怪鬼。年老成魔。恼乱是人。厌足心生。去彼人体。弟子与师。俱陷王难。汝当先觉。不入轮回。迷惑不知。堕无间狱。’

– 楞严经之五十阴魔章: 想阴魔之一(佛陀)

In the Surangama Sutra, where the Buddha warned of fifty demonic states that unmindful spiritual practitioners might fall prey to, he spoke of the possibility of how (as summarisd from the Chinese text above)… ‘that good man [or woman]… greedily seeks skilful means [to further spirituality]. Then, Mara [the chief heavenly demon], having awaited to take this convenience, [sends a] flying spirit [demonic ghost] to possess this [or another] person. With one’s mouth preaching the Dharma of the sutras, this person is not aware, that he [or she] is possessed by a demon, self-proclaiming to have attained unsurpassable Nirvana [Buddhahood].

[He or she] comes to others who seek skilful means [too], where the good man [or woman] is, arranging a seat to preach. His [or her] form changes momentarily, perhaps as a Bhiksu [Buddhist monk], for others to see… perhaps as a woman [or man], perhaps as a Bhiksuni [Buddhist nun]… This person [disciple(s) and/or teacher] is deluded and confused, misled that he [or she] is a Bodhisattva. Believing in such [wrong] teachings, the mind is swayed to break the Buddha’s disciplinary rules [monastic and/or lay precepts], to secretly practise [acts of] craving .

[His or her] mouth is fond of speaking about variations of [omens concerning] disasters and auspiciousness… Perhaps speaking of fires [at the end] of kalpas [world cycles], perhaps speaking of wars and fighting, terrorising [frightening] people, causing their families’ wealth [and properties] to be dissipated without [valid] reason.

This is named a “bewildering ghost”, whom when old in years, becomes a demon, who troubles and confuses people. When the thought of being tired and satisfied arises, he [or she leaves to] possess another person’s body. The disciple[s] and teacher, [thereafter] all fall into troubles [difficulties] with the law. You should first be aware [of this, so as] to not [re-]enter rebirth, become confused [deluded] and unaware, [thereafter] falling into the Uninterrupted [Avici] Hell.’

Due to the great weight of the Surangama Sutra’s moral authority, it is also known as a demon-reflecting mirror (照 妖镜), as inner and outer demonic influences are clearly reflected in its final chapter on ‘50 Demonic States Of The Aggregates’, where the above teaching is listed as the twenty-first – out of great compassion and wisdom by the Buddha to prevent truthseekers from straying off the path to enlightenment.

Those who truly strayed away due to demonic influences are those who have not learnt about the teachings in this chapter in time, or who wilfully refuse to see themselves reflected in it, as it reveals their true colours. Being so powerful for recognising demons, this sutra will be the first that Mara seeks to destroy in this Dharma Ending Age (when the Buddha predicted the general decline of the integrity of the Dharma being upheld), to urge forgetfulness of, so as to pave the way for his minions to take greater siege of this world. As such, this is a crucial time to recall and study this teaching. The above passage on doomsday sayers has been selected as representative of a common phenomenon in our times. The following is commentary on it.

Demons can influence both teachers and students with especially strong weaknesses of greed and delusion, that are not always obvious to the unmindful. We ought to note that just because someone appears to preach the Dharma correctly or even excellently to some extent does not mean that person will always do so. No individual teaching by anyone should be received without continual wise discernment.

It is horrifying but possible that demonic possessions can take place over a long period of time, especially in this Dharma Ending Age, when Mara’s workings are capable of being more elaborately tactical. For instance, a teacher who appears to have built up much confidence in the masses through his or her proper teachings of the Dhama over some time might turn out to be possessed all along, or later, when he or she cunningly confuses followers by subtly introducing poisonous ideas that run counter to the Dharma presented earlier, with pretense of continual good will.

As a glaring sign of having great egos and craving to gather attention and followers, false teachers might claim to be ‘supreme’ masters or ‘true’ Buddhas, or even manifestations of Arhats and Bodhisattvas. This is clearly against the orthodox Buddhist practice of not attracting followers with arbitrarily community or self-appointed status; but only with the pure Dharma and exemplary moral conduct.

Some false teachers might not explicitly claim to be enlightened, while continually dropping hints that they have some special attainments or amazing abilities, or that they are ready to be born in Pure Land (or came from Pure Land), before possibly brushing away suggestions of being highly accomplished or enlightened out of false modesty later. Some know their disciples are openly and continually claiming that they as their teachers are ‘enlightened’, but never admonish for restraint – because this is exactly what they want them to do – to advertise their ‘status’ to attract more followers.

False teachers’ so-called supernormal powers (and special experiences) are usually hearsay, cannot be objectively proven, or can be analysed and disclosed to be sleight-of-hand tricks or psychological mind games. If they often manifest ‘true’ powers, all the more should they be stayed away from, as again, the Buddha taught that only the Dharma should be used to attract followers. Refusal to abide by fully enlightened advice of the Buddha means they cannot be enlightened. Faith in teachers only due to their ‘supernormal’ powers or fame is simply blind faith; not rooted safely in the Dharma.

Demonic influences can occur at many levels – from the workings of personal demons (greed, hatred and delusion) to actual demons’ mental suggestions and physical possessions. Just as demonic influences can come from once ‘trusted’ teachers, they can come from ‘close’ disciples too, who feed their teachers seriously erroneous ideas for propagation to the masses.

As false teachers can even appear to be ‘monastics’, this is why we should rely on the Dharma and not any personality (依法不依人) or the person’s fame and projected status. We must remember that as there are many evil cults with huge followings in history, mere popularity does not equate to truthfulness or worthiness. It was a religiously held belief, for example, by many, that the earth is stationary, which is totally untrue. Amazing as it is, some still believe the earth to be unmoving (and flat)!

Long-time followers of teachers who now advocate questionable teachings have to resist the natural urge to defend these new unsound teachings out of blind loyalty, for true loyalty, as expected by the Buddha, is towards the Dharma; not any misguided persons. (They should correct them with the right Dharma instead. Although real demons are unlikely to easily regret their ways, they should nevertheless try.) Whether the Buddha is around in person or not, he should always be seen as our fundamental teacher,  whose teachings in the sutras we take bearings from after proper reflection.

As deluded followers tend to rationalise unwholesome speech and actions of their beloved teachers, these teachers thus become more audacious in flouting the Buddha’s important moral guidelines, and gradually urge their followers to do the same, openly or discreetly, thus sabotaging their spiritual progress. Acts of craving done might include public or private amassing of fame, wealth and power, and/or having sexual misconduct secretly in the name of ‘spirituality’.

A possible attribute of the false teachers highlighted in the Surangama Sutra excerpt is that to gather attention of larger followings, they like to repeatedly speak of impending terrible or doomsday disasters, especially those that are already proven not to exist, will not exist, or unprovable to have been alleviated by them and their followers. They cause needless panic and fear frequently, disrupting individuals’ peace of mind, familial harmony and societal stability, thus tarnishing Buddhism’s name, especially after having gained popularity in its name. Such is the deviousness of these demons, who build up faith in some right Dharma, only to tear it down later with corrupted teachings unapologetically.

They can cause loss of wealth when donations are suggested for publicising warnings or creating ‘merits’ to alleviate imaginary disasters. There are endless flip-flop contradicting variations of what they say because each time a predicted disaster pronounced with grave ‘exactness’ does not occur, they have to rationalise why the event was cancelled or postponed. Some terrible consequences of being possessed by such demons is that they can wreck havoc in one’s name and person via speech and actions without the person knowing this, getting them and their followers into much legal trouble later.

If those who claim to propagate ‘the (near-)end of the world is coming’ for the ‘good’ of all do not cash in (nearly) all their possessions and fortune (since the end is ‘really’ near) to propagate this idea all the way, how do they expect others to believe them all the way? Do they even give up half of it all? If not, what they propagate does not even deserve half a moment of anyone’s attention. For those with large or small organisations, should they not cash in all their assets, such as properties, to spread their crucial final message worldwide? That they do not do so means even they doubt or disbelieve their own propaganda. Or they are outright liars.

Some followers rationalise that it is but a skilful means to spread doomsday hoaxes to urge more spiritual practice. This cannot be the case as such repeated offences are downright lies, which run counter to basic morality. The Buddha himself, being the unsurpassable master of skilful means, neither resorted to nor approved such dangerous methods, which can cause, as we know from history, mass panic, family and job abandonment, violence sprees, depression and even suicide.

The Dharma is most easily destroyed by those who appear to propagate and defend it ‘well’ – by causing subtle but definite growing rifts in the Buddhist community. In fact, the Buddha taught that the Buddhadharma in our world can only be destroyed inside out by false ‘Buddhists’. This includes creation of schism in the Sangha, which is one of the direct paths to rebirth in the deepest hell for the longest time.

With deluded followers uncertain of how to (dis)continue following their once beloved but later wayward yet unrepentant teachers, while lacking ability to sift truth from deceit, their spiritual lives become confused, especially if they do not know any orthodox teacher to address these issues objectively. There is, after all, nothing more treacherous than to build a well with pure water, representing the true Dharma, only to add in a little yet lethal poison later – for drinkers who already have complete trust in the well’s water.

As it takes sharp analytical minds to filter fact from fiction, to sort the precious baby representing the Dharma from the bathwater representing defiled teachings, to see how spiritually and physically dangerous misinformation can be, especially when it involves the Dharma, it is best to altogether avoid teachers suspected to be false, by using the Buddha’s sound guidelines for reference. Only teachers who abide by the Buddha’s teachings should be learnt from and supported, especially in this age, when they will be increasingly rare and precious. (By various Dharma protectors: 19.12.2012)

How can those ignorant, deluded or negligent
of the Buddha’s first teaching to disappear
to ensure his final teaching thrives?’

(This article also appeared at http://www.buddhistchannel.tv/index.php?id=6,11253,0,0,1,0 on 2 January 2013)

Related Articles:

楞严经: 五十阴魔
http://bookgb.bfnn.org/books/0082.htm#a10
Why The World Didn’t End Yesterday (21.12.2012)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3o9udHJZxk
砍伤小学生嫌犯受世界末日谣言影响作案
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4wzNuMBefQ
末日论抢购狂潮
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQ3ccC1CGOA
邪教徒宣扬世界末日论
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KWqm3G9V_GM
World To End 21.05.2011
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DfggHLLjDU

Buddhist Questions & Answers on 2012
http://thedailyenlightenment.com/2011/12/buddhist-questions-answers-on-2012
This Prophecy Could Save Your Life Today (Or Tomorrow)?
http://thedailyenlightenment.com/2012/08/this-prophecy-could-save-your-life-today-or-tomorrow
How To Advise Friends Affected By 2012 Hearsay?
http://thedailyenlightenment.com/2012/08/how-to-advise-friends-affected-by-2012-hearsay
Beware Of ‘Buddhist’ 2012 Hearsay
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Don’t Tell Me You Saved The World
http://thedailyenlightenment.com/2013/01/dont-tell-me-you-saved-the-world

When Are ‘Miracles’ Appropriate?
http://thedailyenlightenment.com/2011/06/when-are-miracles-appropriate
Who Has Been To Pure Land And Back?
http://thedailyenlightenment.com/2012/06/who-has-been-to-pure-land-back
Are The Enlightened Among Us Now?
http://thedailyenlightenment.com/2010/05/are-the-enlightened-among-us-now
Are There Mediums & Manifestations Of Buddhas & Bodhisattvas Around?
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8 Responses to “The Buddha’s Warnings Against Demonic False Teachers”

  1. avatar

    Thanks for the information. My personal belief is that there is no doomsday on 21 Dec. I wonder why there are people who are so concerned about it when the fact is that even without doomsday, we will die one day. It is just a matter of time. Even if there is doomsday, we may actually die before doomsday due to critical sickness or car accident. Hence what is there to worry about? What is important is to live life meaningfully everyday.

  2. avatar

    dear enlightenment, even the sangha is wrong you cannot point out nor give critic! you can don’t respect him but got to respect his robes. Karma will deal with them if the teach wrongly and not up to us to comment The Buddha forbade us, especially layman to speak up anything aganist sangha members even they commit grave offences. I am upset by your article and decide to give up my readership and support for you.

    Venerable Master Chin Kung is truly teaching the inner true spiritual teachings of Buddhism and he leads us to amitabha buddha’s pureland.

    nawmo benshi amituofo

  3. avatar
    Livarepli December 27, 2012

    If Buddhists do not point out unrepentant Buddhists’ mistakes, who will? Buddhism rots from inside out if Buddhists don’t point out one another’s mistakes. Buddhism is destroyed by those who do nothing to protect it. Such pointing out is crucial when the perpetrators are unrepentant, causing mass fear over nothing.

    It is due to respect for the robes that wayward monastics should be admonished, lest they continue wearing them to sprout nonsense to the masses, thus further spoiling Buddhism’s name.

    If we cannot help be the instruments of karma, and just lay back, why do we have police stations for reporting crimes? And why even comment here?

    If the author, ‘Dharma Protector’ turns out to be a Sangha member, would you be considered slandering a Sangha member too? There are already Sangha members openly teaching about the problem, by the way.

    The article does not mention any specific person, monastic or not. It is accurate commentary on the Surangama Sutra. Does the description fit the person you mentioned? If it does, we have to be careful of him – by abiding by the Buddha’s guidelines in the sutra above.

    南无本师释迦牟尼佛

  4. avatar
    Nianforen December 27, 2012

    Chin Kung heavily advocates a compiled book to be a ‘sutra’, causing much needless division in the world of Pure Land Buddhism. It is important to adhere to the right sutra. Here is why…

    【原译本与汇集本】

        第十八愿的愿文,我这里所引用的都是康僧铠的译本。

        可能有的人读诵的是夏莲居的汇集本,那么,这样就有差距。以我们来讲,我们依善导大师的思想来修学的话,我们是依据康僧铠的原译本。因为我们的祖师善导大师就是依这部经来解释的。

        包括历代的净土宗的祖师,道绰大师、蕅益大师、印光大师,通通都是依据康僧铠的本子,这样我们学习就有传承。

        如果依据现在的汇集本,就没有传承了,因为愿文都不一样了。善导大师当初没有汇集本,这个汇集本是在民国时代,夏莲居老居士用心汇集的。应该说,夏莲居老居士很费了心,不过呢,我们不提倡。

        有人问我对汇集本有什么看法。我说汇集本代表夏莲居老居士修学《无量寿经》五种本子的一种心得体会,这是他个人的心得,不能做为佛经。对于这五部经,他认为“哪里比较通畅、哪里比较重要,我把它集合在一起”,用心很好。但是,毕竟不是圆满果地的佛陀,还是有妄心用事,所以,我觉得这是不可取的。

        所以,不管是我们修学的传承,还是佛陀经言的权威性,我们都应当依据原译,因为有梵文本的根据。

        比如说我们在读诵第十八愿的时候,善导大师是依据康僧铠的本子来解释,这样我们就有依据了。(净宗法师2006年9月29日讲于长春般若寺)

  5. avatar

    印祖是否见到了夏会本?有无文字记载?许多大德都赞夏会本是善本,请问法师怎么看?

    大安法师:

    印祖是否见到夏会本,按常理去推断,应该说印祖是知道夏会本的,何以故呢?印祖是那个时代的净土宗的大德,尽管在印祖身前还没定为祖师,但那个时候是,一提到宏扬净土宗,戒行具优的,大家就会想到印光大师。

    那么,这个夏会本,在1929年开始会集,经过三年,在1932年就出来了,而且还有那些大居士在中央广播电台做了播送,还有些法师讲这部经,还有对这部经的流通。那么,净土教内这么一件重大的事情,印祖怎么会不知道呢?印祖的皈依弟子遍天下啊。那么,印祖,我们注意到,净土五经是印光大师在1934年把它最后定本,广为流通的,这个时间之巧合,大家没有去细细地思维一下,印祖的用意。如果这个本子真的是一个尽善尽美的本子的话,印祖从利益众生宏扬佛法的角度,难道不会有一句赞叹?而反而在这之后,印祖文钞有好几篇文稿特别谈到,对王龙舒、彭绍升、魏承贯三个本子的很严厉的批评,并且有一句话说,前人尚且如此,后人何敢妄充通家,既有无量寿经,何必无事生事。难道我们想到这些话,不是有所指吗?那么,祖师在那个时代,是比较厚道,你不可能让他去指名道姓,非得要批评什么,毕竟是现代人嘛,还在世嘛。

    所以我们有一个基本判断,从莲池大师、藕益大师、印光大师,从佛法的纯正性角度来看,是提倡原译本的,但会集本从动机到效果来看,也不能说它一无是处,它也有它的优点,我们要宽容地去看,但一定要有主次之分,以无量寿经原译本为主,以四种会集本为辅的、为参考的一种格局,比较好一些.

    自己整理的文字,录音见下载地址1中录音编号05-3

    第四个(会集本)就是<>,这个本子也许现在海内外修念佛法门的已经是很熟悉了,据说有的居士一天念三遍四遍,倒背如流,半个小时之内解决这部经,对这种精神我们要赞叹,但对于这部经,会集本,到底怎么样,我们也不能矮子看戏—-随人喝彩了,也得要了解一二。

    这是民国年间夏莲居居士会集的,从1932年到1935年,当时他在山东的时候,受一个军阀张宗昌的迫害,就流亡到了日本,在日本三年之后,一回国,他就开始在天津来做这项工作,这位老居士也是发心很大很好了,也想搞一个尽善尽美的本子,应该说这部经典汇集以后也有一些长处,它确实很流畅,比较简练,尤其它很多的文句选择了唐译本里面的文句,我们刚才介绍了唐译本文句是翻译最好的,夏老居士用的比较多,所以说有他一些长处,但是,这部经典(会集本)是不是尽善尽美的,是不是无一字没有来历,无一句都有根据的,是不是读了这一本(会集本)就等于读了五种原译本,是不是末法之后留下的是这部经(会集本),而不是其他的经,这些都是原则问题的。

    当把它(会集本)提到这么高的程度,我们就得要仔细的审视一下了,应该说是有溢美之词的。这部经典(会集本)有它一些致命的弊病。也就是讲这个,” 未顺译法,去句未当”,也在这部会集本里面里体现出来。比如说这个经题啊,我们注意到五种原译本,都是以阿弥陀佛的名号作为经题的,汉译本无量清净平等觉,这个无量清净平等就是无量寿的意思,清净平等就是寿的另外一种表达,那其他象<><>都是这个样子,所以以后一般都是以<>作为这个立名来流传的,那么到了这部经典(会集本),你看他把这个,他会集到是想的很完备了,把所有的这种原译本,把它都整合在一起他就完整了,但你整合在一起,你看看,有无量寿,有清净平等,刚才讲,这个寿就是清净平等的意思,你把他放在一起,床上加床,头上安头,对这一点,印光大师是非常敏锐的指出,这部经典的经题是不能去改的,改了之后” 久迷其源”那,改了之后就不知道他在说那部经了,你再这么一弄以后,大藏经又没有这部经(会集本),人家就说这部经是假的了,如果你当把这个会集本,把(会集本) 作为了五种原译本的一种取代,以它(会集本)为正的时候,又对这部经进行了否定,那不就完蛋了,这是一种很有危险,很有风险的事了,这是我们先从经题来看。第二就从往劫的古佛。五种原译本都有过去无量无数无央数劫以前,有古佛出现,第一尊佛是定光佛,这些古佛的出现,把他一一列出来是意义深远的,一则表明娑婆世界的众生的善根能够感的这些古佛一一示现八相成道,另一方面,这些古佛,悲心不舍众生,首尾两尊佛,一个是定光佛,又叫燃灯佛,是释迦牟尼佛的亲教师,那么,另一端是是世自在王如来,是法藏菩萨,即阿弥陀佛的亲教师,这两者遥相呼应,他是传达了甚深的信息的。说明法藏菩萨是在娑婆世界,以转轮圣王之职出家的,是在这里发大愿的,是跟娑婆世界的众生有甚深的法缘的,都从这个古佛示现里面跟我们传达出来了,你竟然一下子把他不要了。再就是四十八大愿,以二十四段把他分在一起,一个愿里面又包含两愿或者三愿,这种方式是不是可取的?有时候阿弥陀佛是针对十方凡夫众生发的愿,有的时候是对它方世界菩萨发的愿,如果你把他整合在一起,你所面对的,可能针对凡夫众生发的愿,你那个头上戴的帽子是根据菩萨发的愿,这就不对了。

    这些,大家好好看原译本,就能看出这些来。再就是所翻译的那些重要的段落,重要的意思,有时候会集本体现不出来,比如

    边地疑城问题,边地疑城是中辈往生也有疑城,下辈往生也有疑城,我们在会集本看不出来。

    无量寿经里面它非常推崇行作沙门的功德,能够为佛出家是佛的子孙,强调出家的功德,在会集本里面也看不到。

    等等这些,包括一些起码的过失,阿阇世及五百大长者子,过来供养佛,他把这个” 子”字丢掉了,阿阇世及五百大长者,你这个长者子和长者是一回事吗?

    所以这十年来对这部会集本聚讼甚多。那么对这个问题,印光大师在文钞里面有多篇文稿对这个会集本加以了批评,有时候话讲的很严峻的,说前面几个,他主要是探讨王龙舒,彭绍升和魏承贯,” 违经失理”,违反经文,失掉他的理体,” 任意改经,其过大亦”。王氏,王日修啊,” 尚有此失,后人可妄充通家乎”?应该说在这几个会集中,王龙舒的本子还是不错的,而且他的证悟,他的道德,他的学问,也是这四个当中最优的,可以下这个断论,然而王龙舒都有这种过失,后人还能妄充通家乎,” 既有无量寿经,何无事生事”,印祖是这个态度。既然已经有 无量寿经,为什么还要没有事你生出一个事情来。后面一句,” 魏默深更不必言亦,胆大心粗,不足为训”。那都不需要讨论了。

    那么藕益大师我们可以看到他的一个态度,他对于这种<>这个本子很推崇,也准备对它做一个注解的。如果他对于会集本很感兴趣的话,他就会注解会集本了,然而他没有选择会集本。这样我们就能够了解净土宗的祖师,在会集本出来之后对会集本有个基本的态度,为了佛法的纯正性,都是持不赞成的态度。这我们要了解。我们要依照祖师的话去做了。不能随便听一般的人,人云亦云了。

    如果从一开始我们就走准道路,去读诵原译本,我们很多认为精进的同修就大得其益了,现在搞得读(会集本)到现在,听到这个不行了,他心里就疑惑重重了,甚至走一个极端,啊,你们这么多争论,我们就不修这个法门了。所以有时候我们讲这些话都不敢讲,怕众生的信心受到影响,有时候甚至他已经读惯了这个本子,读惯了这个本子,那我们就随顺他,那你就继续读下去了,如果你刚开始选择,我们就劝你选择以康本为好嘛。

    我们了解这些到也并不就是对会集本一棍子打死,应该说这四位大德也是出发心是好的,是尽了自己最大努力的,也是有一定的功绩的。但是我们对待这个事情的看法应该是什么呢?以原译本为主啊,以会集本为辅的格局,你得要摆正这个关系,不能喧宾夺主,如果你心里这个关系摆正之后,你去读读它,或者研究研究他,都没有问题的。就怕你的知见本身就不正,有很多人听说,读了会集本就等于五种原译本都读了,他这一种观念,五种原译本他碰都不碰,试问,接受这种观念的人,他读过五种原译本没有?很少有人读过啊。我是接触过一些搞净土法门,甚至讲无量寿经的,当我提了一个观点之后,他产生怀疑,我跟他回答,我说这个观点是来自无量寿经原译本的哪种哪种,他听了之后是…,因为他没有看过。这个时代众生都是比较懒的,快餐文化滋养出来,既然快餐,唉,既然一本就等于解决五本,那其他的我怎么会去看呢。所以,尽管有些大德说,读了这本是为了引导大家更好的去读五种原译本,但事实上一二十年以来,有几个人通过这个会集本去好好地读五种原译本,如果这个效果达不到,说明它(会集本)就站在了第一线。所以我们得有清醒的头脑来了解这个问题。台湾的律航法师他有个态度,我们觉得是可取的。他对会集本是很推崇的,他曾经是以慈舟法师和夏莲居居士为师,作为他们的学生而自居的。他以中将的身份,然后出家,到了台湾,曾经发心要流通这个会集本,然而印行两周之后,他发现一个情况,流通受到阻碍,受到阻碍他就以后有个观点的改变,他就以康僧铠的本子为主,以净影<>作为注解本来推广这种原译本,而且提出,大家随份随力读诵会集本,主要以原译本为主,我们觉得律航法师这个观点,这种做法,还是比较客观公允的,我们这样去做就好了,也不一定搞得水火不相容.

  6. avatar
    Haohaohufa December 28, 2012

    18 Problems With Using Compiled Texts As ‘Sutras’

    法藏法师:《无量寿经》会集本的问题
     
    下面还有十五分钟时间接着要稍微讲一下另一件事情,希望你们用心听,但是也不要认为我在批评人,我觉得作为一个出家人,固然是无诤,但既然我们有自己对佛法的认识,这里把我们的疑虑谈出来,希望给大家参考。就佛法的立场来说,这种事情应该公开讨论,那就是有关《无量寿经》会集本的问题。从古以来这个会本总共有三会一节,就是有三种会集本,还有一种节录本,把《无量寿经》竟然节录成一卷。很有意思的是这三会一节的作者都是白衣居士,最早的是宋朝的王日休,但是后来遭到了莲池大师的批评。既然大师的批评在前,我有将自己疑虑公开说出的责任。这牵涉到我们怎么去尊重经典以及将来佛法流传的权威性的问题,这需要大家了解一下。其次,面对会本已经流通的事实,最大的疑虑是佛法在将来二百年以后,后代子孙如何面对分歧的事情。我作为一个净宗行者,有责任将这个时代当中对待会本的另一种看法表达出来。对会本我提出十八条质疑,希望大家仔细地思考。
     
    一、古德不弘疑:会集本古即有之,但古来大德皆不弘扬,唯有民国以来才有少数人弘扬。
     
    二、康本流通疑:古来净宗大德皆采用康僧铠译本,持诵、注疏、弘扬,现在福建莆田广化寺佛经流通处印行的《净土五经》中的《无量寿经》,是印光大师选定的,也采用康本。
     
    三、能证非人疑:会集本的证明者——慧明老法师,并不专修净土,也不是学教之人,据云是参禅有悟,而且也修密。如此的背景,不合做为证明者。

    四、勤苦非证疑:有人说会集本的作者很专心、很辛苦地会集佛经。经云:“历劫勤苦非涅盘因。”错用了心,辛苦努力,又能代表什么、证明什么呢?佛法“宁肯千年不悟,不可一日着魔。”法是法,必须拿法的证据出来,佛陀讲:“依法不依人”,不能以“很努力”来做为法或非法的证明。
     
    五、感应非证疑:弘扬会集本的人,宣称有很多人读了会集本,得了感应。其实感应只代表了众生有诚、菩萨有感的事实罢了。感应并不能证明会集本的无误可信,不能纯拿感应印证会集本之正确。
     
    六、割裂经文疑:有些人同情地说,都是经文嘛,应该一样读诵受持、为人演说。《优婆塞菩萨戒经》上讲,倒说经律,抄前著后,犯菩萨轻垢罪。更何况割裂经文!
    佛以一圆音说法,天台判四教,华严判五教,南山律过判三教,净土宗判二教……这些都是为了避免佛法混滥而做的。所以不能说——都是佛法,都是经文,所以就可以一样读诵受持、为人演说!佛说:不得增减经法。所以,对于经法,我们应当明确无误地传承。
     
    七、愿数不同疑:古来有关弥陀本愿之说明、注疏等,皆以四十八愿为本,所谓“四十八愿度众生,九品咸令登彼岸。”《观无量寿经》也讲四十八愿。而会集本仅二十四愿。
     
    八、三辈对应疑:康僧铠译的《无量寿经》十八愿(信)、十九愿(愿)、二十愿(行),三愿与三资粮了了相应。经文下卷也有三辈往生,以对应此三愿。而会集本将三愿抄前著后,完全混滥,无法与三辈往生文相对应。
     
    九、三愿明确疑:弥陀摄取众生的三愿,十八愿以“信”为主,愿、行为辅;十九愿以“愿”为主,信、行为辅;二十愿以“行”为主,信、愿为辅,这样,三资粮的组织次第清晰、明了。而会集本则完全看不出此三愿各具的信、愿、行。
     
    十、有违古例疑:古德也有不满前人译本不尽善尽美的,因此找出梵本,重新翻译,但是绝对不采用会集的作法。且会集佛经,从古至今都是白衣居士所为;古今高僧大德,历代以来,从来没有出家人做会集本的事情。
     
    十一、轻视梵本疑:《无量寿经》十二译,均属出家大德所为,都采用由梵本重译,表示对法的慎重,对梵本的重视与尊重。
     
    十二、分经招报疑:昭明太子分《金刚经》为三十二段,一字未改,也未抄前著后,竟惨遭地狱苦报,更何况会集本分割五部经文,抄前著后,又另立标题。要知佛陀无尽的智慧,无量的功德,你读《华严》才懂——“刹尘心念可数知,大海中水可饮尽,虚空可量风可系,无人尽说佛功德。”佛的功德,并非凡夫俗子小心小量所能测度的。而且佛意深广、圆妙,昭明太子强以已见分经,尚有地狱惨报,何况会集五本,令各经文意大乱呢?
     
    十三、各解不同疑:佛以一音说法,众生随类得解;况且佛在不同地方说同样的法门,自会有不同的经文产生,这也是梵文原本各有不同的原因之一。而会集本全然不考虑梵本各有不同的存在事实,硬是牵强附会地将不同的译本进行会集,自然大失原貌,也让众生失去接受不同经典的熏陶机会。
     
    十四、体系不同疑:应知会集本采用的五种现存版本,是在不同的时代,由不同的人,在不同的佛法背景下所译的。不但各时代用字、遣词不同,而且各译本所据的梵文原本更是完全不同。尤其是各大译师对佛法、对净宗的立场、认识亦不尽相同,因此他们所译的经文,其内容、立场亦有大同小异之处,从而各自形成体系。如今会集本无视文句、体系不同的客观事实,而完全以个人私见做所谓的“整合”,只有坏乱佛法、贻误众生罢了。
     
    十五、信力不足疑:古德译经者无一不是有修有证者,方能译经。如安士高、玄奘法师、久远劫来发愿译经的千佛译师鸠摩罗什等。而会集佛经的人,修证并未得到普遍之认可。而且古代译经,大多奉诏而译,皇帝集天下之人力、物力、财力于译经场所,是如履薄冰一样地谨慎从事。今只一人,修证尚未受到普遍之肯定,轻率地以一已之力而会集佛经,信力何在?
     
    十六、有违传承疑:中日莲宗历代祖师,皆以康僧铠之译本做注。而会集本一旦推行,将使祖师注解渐趋无效,也等于断了莲宗传承。
     
    十七、今人不许疑:今日有许多法师,或默默摒除会集本,将其束之高阁;或作少分说明,不应受持会集本。例如台湾性梵老法师就讲:“会集本不能当作另外的译本。”慧净法师也讲:“会集本不了弥陀三愿,混乱弥陀三愿。
     
    十八、舍利非证疑:有人说会集本的作者临终后烧出舍利,证明他道德修持好,从而肯定会集佛经这件事没有做错。其实,一个人稍有修行,就以为他所说、所做的一切都对,这正是泛修行论!如此将造成依人不依法的过失。对泛修行的迷信,将导致坏乱佛法,贻误众生,罪过真是大极了!弥陀法门是特异、一乘、圆顿、究竟、了义的捷径法门,居士肯修行,蒙佛接引,烧出舍利是很平常的事,常看《净土圣贤录》、《法华经持经记》等,就明了深信了。但这并不意味会集本就是上契佛陀之理,下契众生之机!
     
    以上是对会集本的十八点质疑。一部经的弘扬,牵涉到法门的兴衰。我是爱护法门,所以提出肤浅的看法,希望能普遍引起有心护法的大德的反省。弥陀法门难解、难信、难思。我诚挚希望护法大德在弘扬净土的作法上,能更加谨慎。这是众生之幸,佛教之幸!  —————来源:愿生西方净土中

  7. avatar
    simpleminded January 5, 2013

    Personally I like the article. My feeling is that the writer has good intention in writing the article. He wanted us to gain the awareness that there could be false teachers around.

  8. avatar

    There are interesting updates at
    http://thedailyenlightenment.com/2012/01/beware-of-%E2%80%98buddhist%E2%80%99-2012-hearsay
    in the main article and comments

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