Category Archives: Daily Readings

A day-by-day part of Buddhacarita for your reading pleasure.

Read with me! Buddha’s message for Amrapali (6 Jan 2014) 佛陀向菴摩羅女説法

Chapter 22: Verses 40-55, on Buddha’s message to Amrapali


(A full list of topics can be found on my “Daily Readings” page;                                                  閲讀篇章全部收錄與 “Daily Readings” 頁面)

40. Then when she had seated herself in accordance with the Omniscient’s directions, the Sage addressed her with words suited to her understanding:-

41. “This your intention is virtuous and your mind is steadfast by purification; yet desire for the Law is hard to find in a woman who is young and in the bloom of her beauty.’

42. What cause is there for wonder that the Law should attract men of intelligence or women who are afflicted by misfortune or are self-controlled or ill?

43. But it is extraordinary that in the world solely devoted to the objects of sense a young woman, by nature weak in comprehension and unsteady in mind, should entertain the idea of the Law.

44. Your mind is turned to the Law, that is your real wealth, for since the world of the living is transitory, there are no riches outside the Law.

45. Health is borne down by illness, youth cut short by age, and life snatched away by death, but for the Law there is no such calamity.

46. Since in seeking (for pleasure) one obtains only separation from the pleasant and association with the unpleasant, therefore the Law is the best path.

47. Dependence on others is great suffering, self-dependence the highest bliss; yet, when born in the race of Manu, all females are dependent on others.

48. Therefore you should come to a proper conclusion, since the suffering of women is excessive by reason equally of their dependence on others and of child-birth.”

49. Young in years, but not like the young in disposition, intelligence and gravity, she listened joyfully to these words of the Great Sage.

50. Through the Tathagata’s preaching of the Law, she cast aside the condition of mind that was given up to the lusts, and, despising the state of being a woman and turning aside from the objects of sense, she felt loathing for her means of livelihood.

51. Then entirely prostrating her slender body, like a mango-branch laden with blossom, she fixed her eye with devotion on the Great Sage and again stood with purified sight for the Law.

52. The woman, though modest by nature, yet ever spurred on by longing for the Law, joined her hands like a clump of lotuses and spoke with gently uttered voice:—

53. “O Holy One, You have attained the goal and soothe suffering in the world. Deign in company with Your disciples to make the time of alms-seeking fruitful for me who am ripe for the fruit, in order that I may receive a sermon.”

54. Then the Blessed One, seeing her to be so devoted, and knowing animate beings to be dependent on food, gave His consent by silence and announced His intention to her with a gesture.

55. He, Who possessed the supreme Law and an eye that discerned occasions, rejoiced exceedingly in the vessel of the Law, … knowing that the best gain is by faith. He praised her.

p0042a18║ 世尊命令坐,  隨心為說法:
p0042a19║「汝心已純靜,  表徹外德容,
p0042a20║ 壯年豐財寶,  備德兼姿顏,
p0042a21║ 能信樂正法,  是則世之難。
p0042a22║ 丈夫宿智慧,  樂法非為奇,
p0042a23║ 女人情志弱,  智淺愛欲深,
p0042a24║ 而能樂正法,  此亦為甚難。
p0042a25║ 人生於世間,  唯應法自娛,
p0042a26║ 財色非常寶,  唯正法為珍。
p0042a27║ 強良病所壞,  少壯老所遷,
p0042a28║ 命為死所困,  行法無能侵,
p0042a29║ 所愛莫不離,  不愛而強隣,
p0042b01║ 所求不隨意,  唯法為從心,
p0042b02║ 他力為大苦,  自在力為歡。
p0042b03║ 女人悉由他,  兼懷他子苦,
p0042b04║ 是故當思惟,  厭離於女身。」
p0042b05║ 彼菴摩羅女,  聞法心歡喜,
p0042b06║ 堅固智增明,  能斷於愛欲,
p0042b07║ 即自厭女身,  不染於境界。
p0042b08║ 雖耻於陋形,  法力勸其心,
p0042b09║ 稽首而白佛:  「已蒙尊攝受,
p0042b10║ 哀受明供養,  令滿其志願。」
p0042b11║ 佛知彼誠心,  兼利諸群生,
p0042b12║ 默然受其請。  令即隨歡喜,
p0042b13║ 視聽轉增明,  作禮而還家。

Read with me! Buddha’s warning to his disciples continues (5 Jan 2014) 佛對比丘的告誡

Chapter 22: Verses 26-39, on the continuation of the Buddha’s warning to his disciples


(A full list of topics can be found on my “Daily Readings” page;                                                  閲讀篇章全部收錄與 “Daily Readings” 頁面)

26. By seeing woman as impermanent, suffering, without self and impure, the minds of the adepts are not overcome on looking at her.

27. With minds well accustomed to these temptations, like cattle to their pastures, how can men be deluded when attacked by the pleasures of the gods?

28. Therefore taking the arrows of mystic wisdom, grasping the bow of energy in your hands and girding on the armour of awareness, think well on the idea of the objects of sense.

29. It is better to sear the eyes with red-hot iron pins than to look on woman’s rolling eyes with misdirected awareness.

30. If at the moment of death your mind be subject to passion, it binds you helplessly and takes you to a rebirth among animals or in Hell.

31. Therefore recognize this danger and do not dwell on the external characteristics, for he sees truly, who sees in the body only Matter.

32. In the world it is not the sense-organs which bind the objects, nor is it the objects which bind the senses. Whoever feels passion for them (the objects of sense), to them is he bound. 33. The objects and the sense organs are mutually attached, like two oxen harnessed to the same yoke.

34. The eye grasps the form and the mind considers it, and from that consideration arise passion with regard to the object and also freedom from passion.

35. If then great calamity ensues by not properly examining the objects of sense, activity in the domain of the senses is conjoined with all disasters.

36. Therefore not abandoning awareness, faring with the highest heedfulness, and having regard to your own good, you should meditate energetically with your minds.”

37. While He thus instructed the disciples who had not proceeded to the end of the matter, Amrapali, seeing Him, drew near with folded hands.

38. Seeing the Seer seated with tranquil mind under a tree, she deemed herself highly favoured by His occupation of the grove.

39. Then with great reverence, setting her eyes, restless as they were, in order, she did obeisance to the Sage with her head, which was like a campaka flower fully opened.

p0041c24║ 迷亂生德想,  不覺醜穢形,
p0041c25║ 當觀無常苦,  不淨無我所。
p0041c26║ 諦見其真實,  滅除貪欲想,
p0041c27║ 正觀於自境,  天女尚不樂。
p0041c28║ 況復人間欲,  而能留人心?
p0041c29║ 當執精進弓,  智慧鋒利箭,
p0042a01║ 被正念重鎧,  決戰於五欲。
p0042a02║ 寧以熱鐵槍,  貫徹於雙目,
p0042a03║ 不以愛欲心,  而觀於女色。
p0042a04║ 愛欲迷其心,  炫惑於女色,
p0042a05║ 亂想而命終,  必墮三惡道,
p0042a06║ 畏彼惡道苦,  不受女人欺。
p0042a07║ 根不繫境界,  境界不繫根,
p0042a08║ 於中貪欲想,  由根繫境界。
p0042a09║ 猶如二耕牛,  同一軛一鞅,
p0042a10║ 牛不轉相縛,  根境界亦然。
p0042a11║ 是故當制心,  勿令其放逸。」
p0042a12║ 佛為諸比丘,  種種說法已,
p0042a13║ 彼菴摩羅女,  漸至世尊前。
p0042a14║ 見佛坐樹下,  禪定靜思惟,
p0042a15║ 念佛大悲心,  哀受我樹林。
p0042a16║ 端心斂儀容,  止素妖冶情,
p0042a17║ 恭形心純至,  稽首接足禮。

Read with me! Amrapali visits the Buddha and the disciples are warned (4 Jan 2014) 佛陀告誡弟子不把守六根的危險

Chapter 22: Verses 15-25, on Amrapali’s visit to the Buddha and the latter’s warning to his disciples


(A full list of topics can be found on my “Daily Readings” page;                                                  閲讀篇章全部收錄與 “Daily Readings” 頁面)

15. After passing one night there, the Srighana, moved on to the city of Vaisali and abode in a glorious grove in the domain of Amrapali.

16. The courtesan Amrapali, hearing the Teacher was there, mounted a modest equipage and went forth with great joy.

17. She wore diaphanous white garments and was without garlands or body-paint, like a woman of good family at the time of worshipping the gods.

18. In the pride of her beauty,’ she attracted by her united charms the minds and the wealth of the Licchavi nobles.

19. Self-assured in her loveliness and glory, like a forest goddess in beauty, she descended from her chariot and quickly entered the grove.

20. The Blessed One, seeing that her eyes were flashing and that she was a cause of grief to women of family, commanded His disciples with voice like a drum:-

21. “This is Amrapali approaching, the mental fever of those whose strength is little; do you take your stand on knowledge, controlling your minds with the elixir of awareness.

22. Better is the neighbourhood of a snake or of an enemy with drawn sword, than that of woman for the man who is devoid of awareness and wisdom.

23. Whether sitting or lying down, whether walking or standing, or even when portrayed in a picture, woman carries away men’s hearts.

24. Even if they be afflicted by disaster, or fling their arms about weeping, or be burnt with dishevelled hair, yet women are pre-eminent in power.

25. Making use of extraneous things, they deceive by many adventitious qualities, and concealing their real qualities they delude fools.

p0041c05║ 前至鞞舍離,  住於菴羅林。
p0041c06║ 彼菴摩羅女,  承佛詣其園,
p0041c07║ 侍女眾隨從,  庠序出奉迎。
p0041c08║ 善執諸情根,  身服輕素衣,
p0041c09║ 捨離莊嚴服,  自沐浴香花。
p0041c10║ 猶世貞賢女,  潔素以祠天,
p0041c11║ 端正妙容姿,  猶天玉女形。
p0041c12║ 佛遙見女來,  告諸比丘眾:
p0041c13║「此女極端正,  能留行者情,
p0041c14║ 汝等當正念,  以慧鎮其心。
p0041c15║ 寧在暴虎口,  狂夫利劍下,
p0041c16║ 不於女人所,  而起愛欲情。
p0041c17║ 女人顯恣態,  若行住坐臥,
p0041c18║ 乃至畫像形,  悉表妖姿容,
p0041c19║ 劫奪人善心,  如何不自防?
p0041c20║ 現啼笑憙怒,  縱體而垂肩,
p0041c21║ 或散髮髻傾,  猶尚亂人心。
p0041c22║ 況復飾容儀?  以顯妙姿顏,
p0041c23║ 莊嚴隱陋形,  誘誑於愚夫。

Read with me! Women strive to attract Siddhartha Part 1 (2 Jan 2014) 細談婇女如何引誘悉達多

Chapter 4: Verses 26-42, a series of rich metaphors and drama on how the women in the pleasure grove try to attract Siddhartha


(A full list of topics can be found on my “Daily Readings” page;                                                  閲讀篇章全部收錄與 “Daily Readings” 頁面)

26. But what with the king’s command, and the prince’s gentleness and the power of intoxication and love, they soon abandoned timidity.

27. Then surrounded by the women, the prince wandered through the garden, like an elephant through the Himalayan forest, accompanied by a herd of females.

28. In that lovely grove he shone with the women in attendance on him, like Vivasvat surrounded by Apsarases in the pleasaunce of Vibhraja.

29. Then some of the young women there, pretending to be under the influence of intoxication, touched him with their firm, rounded, close-set, charming breasts.

30. One made a false stumble and clasped him by force with her tender arm-creepers, which hung down loosely from her drooping shoulders.

31. Another, whose mouth with copper-coloured lower lip smelt of spirituous liquor, whispered in his ear, “Listen to a secret”.

32. Another, who was all wet with unguents, said as if commanding him, “Make a line here “, in the hope of winning the touch of his hand.

33. Another repeatedly let her blue garments slip down under the pretext of intoxication, and with her girdle partly seen she seemed like the night with the lightning flashing.

34. Some walked up and down so as to make their golden zones tinkle and displayed to him their hips veiled by diaphanous robes.

35. Others grasped mango-boughs in full flower and leaned so as to display bosoms like golden jars.

36. Another lotus-eyed damsel came from a lotus-bed with a lotus and stood by the side of the lotus-faced prince as if she were Padmasri.

37. Another sang a sweet song with gesticulations to bring out the sense, reproving his indifference, as it were, with looks that said, “You deceive yourself”.

38. Another imitated him by drawing the bow of her brows on her fair countenance and making gestures in mimicry of his solemnity.

39. A damsel with fine rounded breasts and earrings shaking with her laughter mocked him out loud, saying, “Finish it, Sir”.

40. Similarly, as he was retreating, some bound him with ropes of garlands, and others restrained him with words that were like ankuses but were softened with innuendoes.

41. Another in order to bring about an argument seized a mango-spray and asked, stuttering with intoxication, “Whose flower now is this?”

42. One of them, modelling her gait and outward appearance on those of a man, said to him, “Sir, you have been conquered by women, conquer this earth now!”

p0007a26║ 爾時婇女眾,  慶聞優陀說,
p0007a27║ 增其踊悅心,  如鞭策良馬,
p0007a28║ 往到太子前,  各進種種術。
p0007a29║ 歌舞或言笑,  揚眉露白齒,
p0007b01║ 美目相眄睞,  輕衣現素身。
p0007b02║ 妖搖而徐步,  詐親漸習近,
p0007b03║ 情欲實其心,  兼奉大王旨,
p0007b04║ 慢形媟隱陋,  忘其慚愧情。
p0007b05║ 太子心堅固,  傲然不改容,
p0007b06║ 猶如大龍象,  群象眾圍遶,
p0007b07║ 不能亂其心,  處眾若閑居。
p0007b08║ 猶如天帝釋,  諸天女圍繞,
p0007b09║ 太子在園林,  圍繞亦如是。
p0007b10║ 或為整衣服,  或為洗手足,
p0007b11║ 或以香塗身,  或以華嚴飾。
p0007b12║ 或為貫瓔珞,  或有扶抱身,
p0007b13║ 或為安枕席,  或傾身密語。
p0007b14║ 或世俗調戲,  或說眾欲事,
p0007b15║ 或作諸欲形,  規以動其心。

Read with me! How do nature and the heavenly beings respond to the Buddha’s parinirvana? (30 Dec 2013) 天地宇宙天界衆生對佛入涅做出反應

Chapter 26: Verses 92-106, on the response of nature and heavenly beings to the Buddha’s parinirvana


(A full list of topics can be found on my “Daily Readings” page;                                                  閲讀篇章全部收錄與 “Daily Readings” 頁面)

92. Thereon, as the Sage entered Nirvana, the earth quivered like a ship struck by a squall,’ and firebrands also fell from the sky, as if cast by the elephants of the quarters.

93. A fire, without fuel or smoke and unfanned by the wind, arose burning the quarters, like a forest fire arising in the sky to burn the heavenly garden of Citraratha.

94. Fearsome thunderbolts fell, vomiting fire with hundreds of sparks, as if Indra was hurling them in his wrath, in order to overcome the Asuras in battle.

95. The winds blew violently, splintering the creepers and laden with dust, as if the peaks of the earth-bearing mountains had fallen when struck by raging tempests.

96. The moon’s light waned, and it shone with feeble colourless beams, like a royal goose, when it is covered with muddy water and its body is surrounded by young reeds.

97. Though the sky was cloudless and the moon was up, unholy darkness spread over the quarters, and at that moment the rivers ran with boiling water as if overcome by grief.

98. Then the sala trees that grew near by bent down and showered beautiful flowers, growing out of due season, on to the Buddha’s body to rest on the golden column of His form.

99. In the sky the five-headed Nagas stood motionless, gazing on the Sage with devotion, their eyes reddened with grief, their hoods closed and their bodies kept in restraint.

*100. In the affliction of their minds they gave vent to hot sighs, but, reflecting that the world is impermanent by nature, they refrained from grief and despised it.

101. In the divine abode the virtuous assembly of king Vaisravaria, which was engaged in the practice of the Law of final beatitude, did not grieve or shed tears by reason of their attachment to the Law.

102. The holy Suddhadhivasa deities, though they held the Great Seer in the utmost reverence, were composed and felt no agitation of mind; for they despised the nature of the world.

103. The gods, who rejoice in the good Law, the Gandharva kings, the Naga kings and the Yaksas, stood in the sky, mourning and absorbed in uttermost grief as if confounded.

104. But the hosts of Mara, who had obtained his heart’s desire, uttered loud laughs in their exultation, and showed their joy by gambols, hissing like snakes, dancing and the beating of tattoos on great drums, mrdahgas and patahas.

105. Then on the Bull of seers passing to the Beyond, the world became like a mountain whose peak has been shattered by a thunderbolt, or a despondent elephant when his must has ceased, or a bull whose form is deprived of its hump.

106. From the loss of Him Who destroyed existence, the world became like the sky without the moon, or a pond whose lotuses have been withered by frost, or learning rendered futile by the absence of wealth.

p0049c28║ 以佛涅槃故,  大地普震動,
p0049c29║ 空中普雨火,  無薪而自焰。
p0050a01║ 又復從地起,  八方俱熾燃,
p0050a02║ 乃至諸天宮,  熾燃亦如是。
p0050a03║ 雷霆動天地,  霹靂震山川,
p0050a04║ 猶天阿修羅,  擊鼓戰鬪聲。
p0050a05║ 狂風四激起,  山崩雨灰塵,
p0050a06║ 日月無光暉,  清流悉沸涌,
p0050a07║ 堅固林萎悴,  華葉非時零。
p0050a08║ 飛龍乘黑雲,  垂五首淚流,
p0050a09║ 四王及眷屬,  含悲興供養。
p0050a10║ 淨居天來下,  虛空中列侍,
p0050a11║ 觀察無常變,  無憂亦無喜。
p0050a12║ 歎世違天師,  眼滅一何速?
p0050a13║ 八部諸天神,  遍滿虛空中,
p0050a14║ 散華以供養,  慼慼心不歡;
p0050a15║ 唯有魔王喜,  奏樂以自娛。
p0050a16║ 閻浮提失榮,  猶山頺巔崩,
p0050a17║ 大象素牙折,  牛王雙角摧。
p0050a18║ 虛空無日月,  蓮花遭嚴霜,
p0050a19║ 如來般涅槃,  世間悴亦然。

Read with me! Buddha comforts disciples, enters Parinirvana (29 Dec 2013) 佛慰藉弟子後入涅

Chapter 26: Verses 82-91, on the Buddha comforting his disciples, and entering parinirvana


(A full list of topics can be found on my “Daily Readings” page;                                                  閲讀篇章全部收錄與 “Daily Readings” 頁面)

82. At these words of the noble Aniruddha, the Buddha, though He knew the matter, again took cognizance of it and addressed them affectionately, in order to strengthen the minds of the faithful:—

83. “Since a being may last for an aeon and yet must come to destruction, there is certainly no such thing as mutual union. Having completed the task both for Myself and for others, there is no gain in My further existence.

84. All those in the heavens and on earth, who were to be converted by Me have been saved and set in the stream. Hereafter this My Law shall abide among men through the successive generations of mendicants.’

85. Therefore recognize the true being of the world and be not anxious: for separation must be. Knowing the world to be of this nature, so strive that it may be thus no more.

86. When the darkness has been illuminated with the lamp of knowledge and the spheres of existence have been seen to be without substance, contentment ensues at the suppression of the life-force, as at the cure of an illness.’

87. Who is not pleased at the cessation of life, as at the destruction of calamity-causing enemies, when the stream of the ocean of existence called the body, which is to be abandoned with the opposites, is cut off?

88. Everything, whether moving or stationary, passes away; therefore take ye good heed. The time for My entering Nirvana has arrived. Do not lament; these are My last words.”

89. ‘Then the Best of those who know the trances entered the first trance at that moment, and emerging therefrom went on to the second, and so in due order He entered all of them without omitting any.

90. Thereon having passed through all the trances, the group of nine attainments, in the upward order, the Great Seer following the reverse order returned to the first trance again.

91. Emerging therefrom also, He rose in due order again to the fourth trance, and emerging from the practice of the fourth trance, He passed to realization of the eternal peace.

p0049c07║ 佛以阿那律,  種種憂悲說,
p0049c08║ 復以慈愍心,  安慰而告言:
p0049c09║「正使經劫住,  終歸當別離,
p0049c10║ 異體而和合,  理自不常俱。
p0049c11║ 自他利已畢,  空住何所為?
p0049c12║ 天人應度者,  悉已得解脫。
p0049c13║ 汝等諸弟子,  展轉維正法,
p0049c14║ 知有必磨滅,  勿復生憂悲,
p0049c15║ 當自勤方便,  到不別離處。
p0049c16║ 我已燃智燈,  照除世闇冥,
p0049c17║ 世皆不牢固,  汝等當隨喜。
p0049c18║ 如親遭重病,  療治脫苦患,
p0049c19║ 已捨於苦器,  逆生死海流,
p0049c20║ 永離眾苦患,  是亦應隨喜。
p0049c21║ 汝等善自護,  勿生於放逸,
p0049c22║ 有者悉歸滅,  我今入涅槃。」
p0049c23║ 言語從是斷,  此則最後教。
p0049c24║ 入初禪三昧,  次第九正受,
p0049c25║ 逆次第正受,  還入於初禪,
p0049c26║ 復從初禪起,  入於第四禪,
p0049c27║ 出定心無寄,  便入於涅槃。

Read with me! Disciples’ anxiety over Buddha’s death (28 Dec 2013) 佛弟子為佛入涅憂心

Chapter 26: Verses 71-81, on the disciples being anxious over the Buddha’s impending passing into parinirvana


(A full list of topics can be found on my “Daily Readings” page;                                                  閲讀篇章全部收錄與 “Daily Readings” 頁面)

71. I have done all that should be done by a compassionate sympathetic Master, Who aims at others good; do you apply your-selves and bring your minds to tranquillity.

72. Then, wherever you may be, on the mountains or in empty dwellings or in the forest, ever be strenuous in religions practice and do not give way to remorse.

73. It is for the physician, after full consideration of their constitutions, to explain the proper medicines to his patients, but it is the sick man, not the physician, who is responsible for attending to their administration at the proper time.

174. When the guide has pointed out the magnificent straight level road which is free from danger, and those who hear him do not proceed along it but go to destruction, there is no debt in the way of instruction still due from the guide.

75. Whoever of you has any desire about My teaching of the Four Truths, suffering and the rest, let him confidently speak out to Me at once and cut off doubt.”

76. When the Great Seer thus spoke aloud, they were free from doubt and said nothing. The saintly Aniruddha, penetrating their minds with his mind, then uttered these words:—

77. “Though the wind cease from movement, the sun become cold and the moon hot, yet it is not possible to prove the four steps (of the Truths) to be false in the world.

78. What is declared to be suffering is not pleasure; there is no other producer of suffering than that which is its cause; liberation inevitably comes from suppression of the cause, and the path thereto is certainly the means.

79. Therefore, 0 Great-souled One, the disciples have no doubt about the Four Truths; but those who have not accomplished their object suffer, thinking that the Teacher is about to pass away.

80. Even he in this assembly, who from the newness of his vows had not yet seen the goal, sees it to-day in its entirety, as by a flash of lightning, through this Your sermon.

81. But even those, for whom there is nothing remaining to be done and who have crossed to the further shore of the ocean of existence, are anxious in heart on hearing that the perfect Lord is about to pass away.”

p0049b13║ 安慰慈悲業,  所應我已畢,
p0049b14║ 汝等當精勤,  善自修其業,
p0049b15║ 山林空閑處,  增長寂靜心。
p0049b16║ 當自勤勸勉,  勿令後悔恨。
p0049b17║ 猶如世良醫,  應病說方藥,
p0049b18║ 抱病而不服,  是非良醫過。
p0049b19║ 我已說真實,  顯示平等路,
p0049b20║ 聞而不奉用,  此非說者咎。
p0049b21║ 於四真諦義,  有所不了者,
p0049b22║ 汝今悉應問,  勿復隱所懷。」
p0049b23║ 世尊哀愍教,  眾會默然住。
p0049b24║ 時阿那律陀,  觀察諸大眾,
p0049b25║ 默然無所疑,  合掌而白佛:
p0049b26║「月溫日光冷,  風靜地性動,
p0049b27║ 如是四種惑,  世間悉已無。
p0049b28║ 苦集滅道諦,  真實未曾違,
p0049b29║ 如世尊所說,  眾會悉無疑。
p0049c01║ 唯世尊涅槃,  一切悉悲感,
p0049c02║ 不於世尊說,  起不究竟想。
p0049c03║ 正使新出家,  情未深解者,
p0049c04║ 聞今慇懃教,  疑惑悉已除。
p0049c05║ 已度生死海,  無欲無所求,
p0049c06║ 今皆生悲戀,  歎佛滅何速?」