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弟子規浅释

19年8月 竹清助手 中华典籍 博客

第一章﹕開宗明義章

弟子規,聖人訓。首孝悌,次謹信。
泛愛眾,而親仁。有餘力,則學文。

弟子規,聖人訓

di zi gui sheng ren xun

弟弟
年輕的學子子女規矩、標準
 

品德特優的人在此指孔子
 

訓示、教訓

young students, young childrenrules or standards
 

those of superior character,
here referring to Confuciusteachings or instructions

這套為人子弟的規矩,是根據古代聖人的遺言編成的。
The rules for being a student are instructions given by sages.

什麼叫規矩?規是畫圓用的圓規,矩是畫直線用的尺,沒有圓規和尺做為工具,也就畫不好直線,更畫不成圓。所以凡是可以用來做依據和標準的,都叫規矩。這套規矩是依據什麼來的呢?是中國古代的孔聖人的理論。在《論語‧學而》篇的原文是這樣的﹕
This set of rules for young people was compiled from the instructions given by the ancient sages. What is meant by rules (gui ju)? Gui is a compass used for drawing circles, ju is a ruler used for drawing lines. Without the tools of a compass and a ruler, it is not possible to draw a straight line or a perfectly round circle. Therefore, anything that can serve as a basis or a standard can be called a rule (gui ju). What is this set of rules based upon? It is based upon the teachings of the ancient Chinese sage, Confucius. Book One Xue Er of the Confucian Analects says:

子曰﹕「弟子入則孝,出則弟,謹而信,泛愛眾,而親仁。行有餘力,則以學文。」
 

The Master said, “A youth, when at home, should be filial, and abroad, respectful to his elders. He should be earnest and truthful. He should be loving towards all, and draw near to those who are humane. When he has time and opportunity, after the performance of these things, he should employ them in the study of the six arts .”

我們當在下文中一併解釋。聖人,不但是學問很好就夠了,品德尤其重要。人若是聰明有學問,卻沒有道德,那麼他的聰明和學問,就成了造惡的工具,如虎添翼。好像那老虎,本來就已夠兇猛的了,再添上翅膀會飛了,豈不是更能來去自如,為所欲為了嗎?所以好的道德是遠比豐富的學識、技能更要緊的,這也就是為什麼在這個開宗明義章,要把道德放在學識和技術之前。因為聖人教化人,也是希望人人都能成為聖人,成為有品德的人。
 

This quote will be explained later on. A sage (sheng ren) not only has great learning, but he also has a lofty character. If a person is intelligent and learned but lacks virtue, then his intelligence and learning become tools for committing evil; he would be like a tiger with wings. A tiger is already fearsome to begin with, but if it has wings and is able to fly, then it will be able to fly freely and do whatever it wants. Therefore, being virtuous is far more important than having great scholarship and skills. That is why, in the introductory chapter, it is necessary to place virtue and morality before scholarship and skills. When sages teach and transform people, they also hope that each person can become a sage and a virtuous person.
 

所謂﹕「眾生皆有佛性,皆堪作佛」、「人皆可以為堯舜」,佛是大智慧的人所成的,而這個大智慧是眾生本具的,只是自己不知道,被無明障蔽了;現在我們只要能依教奉行,按照佛智慧的教導,就能夠開發本有的智慧,也變得像佛一樣有智慧,那就是成佛了!而堯和舜,是古代兩個有名的聖王,仁慈又孝順,我們只要按照他們的標準去學習,去實行,我們也可以和他們一樣有道德,這不就是成了聖人了嗎?所以孔子把這一套道德的標準流傳下來。好讓我們根據它來學習。
 

There is a saying in Buddhism: “All living beings have the Buddha-nature and can become Buddhas.” There is another saying in Chinese: “All men can become like Yao and Shun.” The Buddha was a person of great wisdom who realized Buddhahood. This great wisdom is inherent in all living beings, but we don’t realize this because we are covered by ignorance. If we can put the Buddha’s teachings of wisdom into practice now, we will develop our inherent wisdom, and when that wisdom becomes the same as the Buddha’s wisdom, we will have realized Buddhahood. Yao and Shun were two famous sage-kings in ancient China who were known for being humane, kind, and filial. If we could learn from them and follow their standards, we can also become as virtuous as they were–and won’t that make us sages as well? And so Confucius handed down the standards of virtue, giving us the chance to learn from them.

孔子又是誰呢?在中國他可真是無人不知、無人不曉的聖人,也是一個最偉大的教育家。他出身貧困.父親又早逝,自小跟著母親做工,因此也學會了很多技能。他又十分好學,不管是生活上的或書本上的知識,他都十分勤勉地去學習實行,所以才能成就他偉大的人格,和無所不知、無所不能的豐富學識和技術。

Who was Confucius? He was a sage whom everyone in China knows; he was also the greatest educator. Since he was born in a poor family and his father died when he was very young, he always helped his mother with the chores and learned various skills in the process. Moreover, Confucius pursued knowledge with great diligence. Whether it was practical knowledge from daily life or knowledge found in books, he would actively study and seek to practice what he learned. In this way he developed his extraordinary character and attained the wealth of knowledge and skills that enabled him to accomplish and be familiar with just about everything.
 

他又不單自己好就好了,還願意成就別人,所以他收了很多的學生,「有教無類」,一點也不去分別學生們的家庭背景、本身智力或能力,凡是願意來學習的,只要按照禮節,準備一個小小的見師禮.他沒有不收的。  

Confucius was not only concerned with self-cultivation, he also wished to help others cultivate their character. That was why he accepted a great many students based on the principle that “in education there should be no distinctions of class.” He never indulged in the slightest discrimination based on the backgrounds, intelligence, or abilities of his students. Anyone who wished to study with him, as long as he prepared a token gift for the teacher according lo etiquette, would be accepted.
 

他教化學生是「因材施教」,按照每個人根性的利鈍,心量的大小及境遇的不同,而做深入淺出的不同教導;「誨人不倦」,從來也不感到厭倦、不耐煩,也不知道要休息。所以他的學生成材的很多,代代傳衍下來,他的儒家思想,就成為中國文明的主流,因此後代的中國人就尊稱他為「至聖先師」,說他是過去最偉大,最有品德的一位老師。
 

He taught students according to their dispositions. Based on the sharpness of their faculties and the measure of their minds, as well as on their various backgrounds and situations, he would give them individualized teachings that were easy to understand but contained deep meaning. He taught without weariness. Confucius never felt tired, never became impatient, and never thought about taking a rest. Therefore, many of his students became capable and productive people, and the Confucian school of thought has been handed down through the generations, becoming the mainstream of Chinese civilization. Later generations have honored Confucius as “the greatest sage and teacher,” meaning that he was the greatest and most virtuous teacher of the past.
 

我們現在能讀到《弟子規》,接受他的這種教育思想,也等於是他的學生一樣的。所以我們要珍惜這種的機緣,好好地向這位老師學習怎麼樣成為一個聖人;而首先,我們要學習怎麼樣來鍛鍊自己的品德,充實自己的學識和技能。所以這一章叫「開宗明義」章,就是把所要強調的宗旨提示出來,把所需明白的道理講明了它。
 

Now we have the chance to study The Rules for Being a Student and to absorb his educational ideals–this is equivalent to being students of Confucius. Therefore, we should cherish this opportunity to learn from him how to become a sage. First of all, we should learn how to develop our virtue and how to enrich our knowledge and skills. That is why the first chapter is called “Revealing the Principle and Explaining the Meaning”; it brings out the principle that we need to emphasize and explains the reason why we need to understand it.

首 孝 悌 , 次 謹 信

shou xiao ti
 

ci jin xin

首先 孝順父母 友愛兄弟姊妹
 

其次 謹慎 信實

first to be filial to one’s parents fraternity; to love one’s brothers and sisters
 

next to be cautious to be trustworthy

首先要孝順父母,尊敬兄長,其次要言行謹慎而有信用。
Of all rules, the first is respect, for your parents and all of your elders, learn to be careful and trustworthy.

首先要孝順父母、尊敬兄長,其次要言行謹慎而有信用。在《論語》中說的是 「入則孝,出則弟」,這個 「入」是說在家裡,「出」是指出門在外。「弟」呢,是 「悌」的古字。本來講的是做人家的弟弟,要友愛、恭敬哥哥;引申出來,就是要尊敬長輩。父母生養我們是十分辛勞的,中國的《詩經》裡就有一首詩歌說﹕

「父兮生我,母兮鞠我,拊我畜我、長我育我、顧我復我、出入腹我,欲報之德,昊天罔極。」
 

First of all, we should be filial to our parents and respectful to our brothers, sisters, and elders; secondly, we should be cautious in our speech and behavior and be trustworthy. In the Confucian Analects it says: “At home one should be filial, and abroad, respectful to one’s elders.” The character ru 入”enter” means at home, chu 出 “go out” means going out, away from home. The character ti 弟”fraternity” was used in ancient times for the modern character ti 悌. Originally, it referred to the affection and respect that a younger brother should have for his older brother; the meaning is extended to include being respectful to elders. Our parents suffer great hardship in bearing us and bringing us up. A poem in the Book of Odes of China says﹕

My father gave me life; my mother nourished me, soothed me, raised me, helped me grow up, taught me, took care of me, looked after me constantly, and took me in her arms wherever she went. I wish to repay their kindness but it is as high as the heavens.

父親賦予了我們生命,母親鞠養我們長大。這個「鞠」,有彎曲、捧持的意思,就像捧在手心上,寒了怕凍著,暖了怕化掉。把我們當心肝寶貝地護持著。「拊」是輕輕拍打撫摸的意思。小寶寶愛哭,媽媽就輕輕拍著他的背哄著他;小寶寶愛撒嬌,媽媽就輕輕摸著他的頭憐惜他,可真是極盡愛護之能事了!「畜」是餵養。
 

Our fathers gave us life, and our mothers nourished us and brought us up. The word for “to nourish” has the meaning of bending over and picking up with both hands, like when our parents hold us in their arms, fearing that we will freeze in the cold or melt in the heat. They protect and cherish us as their dearest treasures, and soothe us with gentle caresses. When a baby cries, his mother gently pats him on back and coaxes him into a good mood. When he’s cranky, his mother tenderly strokes his head and pities him. How our parents love us and do their best to take care of us! They raise us by feeding and rearing us.
 

說到餵小寶寶,相信每位媽媽都有一本難言的苦經;但再苦,只要寶寶吃得健康,媽媽也都忘了!「長」是唸做長大的長,就是拉拔長大;「育」是教育﹕這樣子辛苦地養得大了,還要教育他們做人處世的道理。「顧」是回頭看;「復」是再三再四地﹕這一句是描述父母關心愛護之情,是永不疲倦鬆懈的。「腹」,就是抱在懷裡;出出入入,就把個小不點攬在身上,也不怕行動不方便。啊!就這麼樣把個小小生命帶到大了!
 

Every mother goes through unbelievable suffering in feeding her baby, yet when she sees that baby is nourished, she forgets all about the suffering! After undergoing much hardship to bring up their child, the parents must still educate him in the principles of being a person and handling matters in the world. “Took care of me, looked after me constantly” describe how tenderly parents care for and protect their children without ever becoming weary or lax. The mother takes her child in her arms wherever she goes, not minding the inconvenience. Ah! That is how parents bring up their children!

這麼多的心血,做子女的想要報答父母恩,就好比仰望著無垠無際的虛空,哪裡有報答得完的時候呢?報答不完,還是要盡力報,所以說「首」,首要的,像頭之於人身那麼要緊。而「悌」是孝道的延伸;父母生我們,每個子女對父母而言,都是像十根手指頭一樣;雖然指頭有長有短,子女也有賢與不肖,卻都是不可分割離棄的。因此友愛兄弟姊妹,才能安慰父母的心。
 

The energy and kindness that our parents have devoted to us is as boundless as empty space. When could we ever finish repaying it? We could never finish, but we must still try our best. Thus the verse says that of all rules, Filial piety is the first (literally “head”), which means the most important, just as the head is the most important part of the body. Fraternity is an extension of filial piety. Our parents gave birth to us, and so we are related to our parents as the ten fingers are related to the hands. Although some fingers are long and others are short, just as some children are good and others are not, they cannot separate from or abandon each another. Thus, only by loving and caring for our brothers and sisters can we set our parents’ hearts at ease.
 

而長輩呢,有的是長養我們的法身慧命的老師 ,有的是父母的親友,所以我們恭敬師長,就等於恭敬父母一樣。不但自身可以受到教益而成就,以榮顯父母,更不致讓人以為我們的父母不懂教養子女而遺羞父母 。所以這兩種美德都是最基本,最要緊的。
 

Our elders include our teachers, who nurture our Dharma-body and wisdom-life, as well as our relatives. Respecting our teachers and elders is equivalent to respecting our own parents. By doing so, not only do we gain benefit ourselves and bring honor to our parents, we won’t disgrace our parents by giving others cause to say that our parents don’t know how to teach their children. Therefore, filial piety and fraternity are the most basic and important virtues.

其次呢,除了孝悌外,接下來要有的美德是﹕「謹慎 」和「信實」。因為一個人縱使對父母師長,有足夠的孝心和恭敬心,假使做事莽莽撞撞,又不講信用,不但做不好,還經常會惹出麻煩和禍端來,這也是不孝順,不恭敬的。這是緊接著要具備的美德。
 

After filial piety and fraternity, the next virtues we should have are cautiousness and trustworthiness. Even if a person is sufficiently filial to his parents and respectful to his elders, if he does things in a reckless manner and fails to be trustworthy, not only will things go wrong for him, but he will bring trouble and disaster upon himself. That would also be considered unfilial and disrespectful. Therefore, cautiousness and trustworthiness are the next virtues we should possess.

汎 愛 眾 , 而 親 仁

fan ai zhong
 

er qin ren

普遍地 愛護 眾生
 

而且 親近 仁德的人

universally cherish living beings
 

and draw near humane and virtuous one

要博愛眾生,並且親近仁者。
Be friendly and kind to all, draw near to people who are good.

為什麼要博愛眾生?自己管好不就夠了?俗語說﹕「上天有好生之德。」我們自己想要活得好,卻不教別人或其他生類也能活得好,這就是自私!
 

Why should we cherish all living beings? Why not just look after ourselves? There is a saying: “Heaven has the virtue of cherishing life.” If we think only of our own well-being, but fail to consider the well-being of other people and other living beings,: then we are being selfish.
 

「天道無私」,這不是大自然的道理;大自然的道理是天生萬物,都有其生存的權利,就連一株小花草,也要在寒天過後,掙扎出一朵燦爛的小花,榮耀自己的生命,我們怎忍得輕易摧折了它?大家一起生存在天覆罩、地承運的同樣空間裡,便是百千劫修來的緣分;不能珍惜這際遇的緣分,卻總要互相傷害侵凌,豈不是可惜又可嘆?誰都是人生父母養的,難道就只許我們有父母的愛護,且得以孝敬父母,卻剝奪其他生類的這份權利?
 

“The Way of Heaven is unselfish.” Nature allows the myriad things to. grow naturally; each has its right to survive. Even a small plant will struggle through the winter so that it can produce a resplendent flower in the spring: how could we mercilessly destroy it? The affinities that have brought us together here on this earth were developed through hundreds of thousands of eons. Isn’t it a pity that rather than cherishing these affinities, we always want to hurt and humiliate each other instead? All beings were born from and raised by their parents. Are we the only ones who get to receive our parents’ loving care and to show respect to our parents? Can we take away the right of other beings to do the same for their parents?
 

所以「孝悌謹信」的私德具備了還不夠,我們還得有公德心,慈愛施惠他人,並及於異類的眾生,這便是「仁民愛物」。而為了避免自己不能「諸惡莫作,眾善奉行」,我們還得時時親近善知識,請他們教導我們行善,勸誡我們除惡。所以親近仁者,是很必要的;而所謂「親近」,是說﹕不怕羞,不畏難;不管百里千里也要求去,不是坐在家中,等著善知識上門教你來的。
 

Therefore, it is not enough to respect our own parents and elders and to be careful and trustworthy in our own conduct. We must also be kind and friendly to other people and other beings. That is true humaneness. If we wish to refrain from all evil and practice all good, we should constantly draw near to good teachers and ask them to teach us how to conduct ourselves well and to get rid of our bad habits. In drawing near such teachers, we should not feel shy or embarrassed, nor should we fear difficulty. No matter how far we have to travel, we should still draw near to them, not just sit at home and wait for a good teacher to show up and teach us.

有 餘 力 , 則 學 文

you yu li
 

ze xue wen

還有 多餘的 心力
 

那麼、就 學習 學識文章

have extra strength
 

then study learning

假如以上都能努力去實行,還有更多的能力,就應該研究學問。
Whatever time you have left should be devoted to learning.

如果以上都能努力去實行,還有多餘的時間和精力,那就應該學習更多的知識。
 

If we diligently carry out the things mentioned in the lines above and still have some time and energy left after that, then we should study more to expand our knowledge.
 

為什麼呢?前面說到,如果沒有道德的基礎,才智學識都反而成為作惡的工具;但是假如道德具備了,卻沒有其他的技能知識,也沒有辦法擴展我們的見地,並進一步地幫助開導別人。就好比一個天生純潔的小嬰孩,連站也不會站,更別說懂得做什麼事了!所以「學文」,是十分重要的。但是在學文之初,要先著重道德的修習,所以說「有餘力」;就是在講究道德之後,還要再研究學識。
 

Why is this? As mentioned before, if we possess talent and knowledge but lack a foundation in virtue, then our talent will only serve to help us do evil. On the other hand, if we have virtue but lack skills and knowledge, then we will not be able to transmit our understanding or to help and teach others. We will be like a newborn baby who cannot even stand up, much less do anything else. Therefore, it is important to study. However, the cultivation of virtue should come even before studying. That’s why the line says “whatever time you have left.” After first concentrating on the cultivation of virtue, we should spend some time studying.
 

這個「文」字,在孔子的時代,指的是詩書六藝。也就是包括靜態的書本知識,如六經﹕詩、書、禮、樂、易、春秋;以及動態的技能訓練,如六藝 :禮、樂、射、御、書、數。
 

In Confucius’ time, the scope of learning included the Book of Odes, the Book of History, and the six arts. It comprised both academic knowledge, such as from the six classics the Book of Odes, the Book of History, the Book of Rites, the Book of Music, the Book of Change, and the Spring and Autumn Annals –as well as practical skills, such as the six arts–rites, music, archery, charioteering , writing, and arithmetic.
   

《詩經 》是中國古代的一部詩歌總集,上自君王,乃至文人百官、販夫走卒,都藉著詩歌來傳達他們的心意。讚嘆功德的,既不流阿諛﹕勸諫君王的,亦不顯露骨:悲歎命運的,也不至淒厲。因此,學詩足以陶冶人溫柔忠厚的本性。
 

The Book of Odes is a compilation of songs and poems from the kings, scholars, officials, and common people of ancient China: they used songs to express their thoughts and feelings. The odes praised merit without flattering, remonstrated with negligent rulers without being overly harsh, and lamented fate without being excessive. If we study them, we can develop a gentle and honest nature.
 

《書經》是中國上古的歷史書,讀了可使人通達事理而有遠見。《樂經 》記載著音樂的道理,了解它,會令人知識廣博而平易善良。《易經》雖是一本卜筮的記載,卻窮究天四時之變化﹕讀通了它,人自然而然地敬天畏命,退而能守,進而能取了!《禮》是研習待人處世的種種禮節,學習這門知識,能令人恭敬自重而儉約。《春秋》是孔子褒貶君臣大義的一部史書,我們可以自當中學到如何應對言談。
 

The Book of History, which records the history of China in remote antiquity, can give us a more comprehensive understanding of the facts and principles and a more farsighted view. If we can understand the principles of music theory found in the Book of Music, it will expand our learning and make us more mellow and easy-going. The Book of Change, while used for divination purposes, is actually an exhaustive key to the changes of Nature through the four seasons. Thorough study of it will naturally give us a sense of awe for the universe, we will know when to retreat and guard our position, and when to forge ahead. The Book of Rite. sets forth in detail the various rules of etiquette for inter-acting with others and conducting ourselves in the world. If we learn these rules, we will gain the respect of others, have more self-esteem. and be more thrifty. By studying the Spring and Autumn Annals. in which Confucius praised and disparaged the attitude and conduct of kings and officials, we can learn the proper way to speak in a variety of situations.
 

這六種的知識,陶冶我們六種不同的修養。而六藝呢?那是六種的技能訓練。學習禮節和音樂,有助於調和人莊嚴且和樂。射箭和駕御馬車,是一種智巧和體力配合的最佳體能訓練。書寫,可以磨平人的銳傲氣。算數,卻可以鍛鍊人的敏捷度。這都是古代中國學生的必修課,包括了現代所說的德、智、體、群四育。所以古代的人,事實上是一點也不落伍的。
 

The study of these six classics can refine our character in six different ways. The six arts are six practical disciplines. The study of rites and music instills in us a sense of dignity and harmony. Archery and charioteering are excellent forms of training that require the combined use of wit and physical strength. Writing, or calligraphy, tempers our aggressiveness and arrogance: arithmetic strengthens our mental agility. These were all subjects that students in ancient China were required to study. The elements of moral education, academic study, physical education, and social training are present in them. We can see that, compared to modern people, the ancients were not behind at all.

我們現代的學校教育有我們的學科,這裡是說,在講求道德之餘,我們就該好好地把這些學科都研習了它,不可偏廢。這樣內在和外在兼而有之,才叫做「文質彬彬」。
 

Just as today’s schools have their curriculum, here it says that in whatever time we have left after we have applied effort in cultivating virtue. We should devote ourselves to studying these subjects. In that way, we will have both inner cultivation and external knowledge and skills: we will have both elegance and substance.
   

孔子的學生中,有一個很出名的人物,誰呢?他姓仲名由,字子路。子路為人孝勇信義,豪爽質樸,卻也相當莽撞冒失。在拜孔子為師之前,他自恃勇猛,一向瞧不起那些口誦詩書,躬行揖讓之禮的讀書人,因此初次去見孔子,他就耀武揚威地闖了進去,帽插長長的山雞毛,腰佩熊皮劍套的特長號寶劍,好不威風!
 

Confucius had a well-known student named Zhong You, also called Zilu. As a person, Zilu was filial, brave, trustworthy, righteous, straightforward, and unpretentious. But he was also very reckless. Before he became Confucius’ student, he had always depended on his bravery and looked down on the intellectuals who knew only how to recite from books and who cultivated courteous manners and yielded to others. The first time he went to see Confucius, he marched in with an awesome martial spirit, a long pheasant feather stuck in his cap, along sword sheathed in bearskin hanging from his waist.
 

沒想到孔夫子卻是那麼神色自若,且溫文有禮。再比射箭,孔夫子也神閒氣定,箭箭直入紅心,毫不怯弱。子路自慚形穢,急忙退出,改易儒服,再正式去求見孔子,並拜孔子為師。可是江山易改,本性難移,這麼一個弟子,並非容易教化調伏的。
 

But Confucius’ relaxed, gentle, and courteous manner caught him off guard. They had an archery match, during which Confucius was also calm and relaxed. Confucius shot confidently and hit the bull’s eye every time. Zilu was embarrassed and ashamed of himself. He hurried back and changed into a scholar’s robes, and then he went to visit Confucius formally and to bow to Confucius as his teacher. However, while it is not easy to move mountains and rivers, it is even harder for a person to change his character. Zilu was not a student who was easy to teach and subdue.
 

有一次,他就問老師﹕「南山上有又高又直的好竹子,劈了來做箭,射得又直又遠。可見人只要有好的本質就夠了,又何必一定要學文?」孔子也引他的譬喻,反過來調教他﹕「這支竹箭,若前頭加上金屬的箭頭,後尾飾上羽毛,豈不更可射得遠,又入得深呢?」子路聽了,從此才專心向學,終於成為有用的人才。
 

He once asked his teacher, “An arrow made from the tail. straight bamboo growing on South Mountain will shoot straight and far. Likewise, if a man has a good character, that should be enough: what need is there to seek refinement in learning? Confucius used the same analogy to answer Zilu, saying, “If one adds a metal tip to that bamboo arrow and feathers to its shaft, won’t it shoot even farther and strike even deeper?” Hearing that answer, Zilu was inspired to concentrate on his studies, and he eventually became a very capable individual.
   

開宗明義章只有八句,以後就把「孝」、「悌」、「謹」、「信」、「汎愛眾」、「親仁」和「學文」,逐次分章地解釋出來。
 

We have discussed the eight verses of the first chapter, which explains the principle and meaning of the text. The following chapters will individually explain the concepts of being filial, being respectful to elders, being careful, being trustworthy, being kind and friendly to all, drawing near to good people, and studying.

第二章﹕孝

父母呼,應勿緩,父母命,行勿懶。
父母教,須敬聽,父母責,須順承。
冬則溫,夏則凊,晨則省,昏則定。
出必告,反必面,居有常,業無變。
事雖小,勿擅為,苟擅為,子道虧。
物雖小,勿私藏,苟私藏,親心傷。
親所好,力為具,親所惡,謹為去。
身有傷,貽親憂,德有傷,貽親羞。
親愛我,孝何難,親憎我,孝方賢。
親有過,諫使更,怡吾色,柔吾聲。
諫不入,悅復諫,號泣隨,撻無怨。
親有疾,藥先嘗,晝夜侍,不離床。
喪三年,常悲咽,居處變,酒肉絕。
喪盡禮,祭盡誠,事死者,如事生。

父 母 呼 , 應 勿 緩

fu mu hu
 

ying wu huan

父親 母親 叫喚
 

回答 不要 遲緩

father mother calls
 

respond not slow

父母呼喚我們時,馬上回答,不要遲緩。
When father and mother are calling, answer them right away.

父 母 命 , 行 勿 懶

fu mu ming

xing wu lan

父親 母親 命令

做 不要 遲緩

father mother order
 

Act, do not lazy

父母吩咐我們時,馬上去做,不要偷懶。
When they give you directions, obey them without hesitation.

父 母 教 , 須 敬 聽

fu mu jiao
 

xu jing ting

父親 母親 教導
 

必須 恭敬地 聽從

father mother instruct
 

must respectfully listen

父母教導我們時,必須恭敬地聽從。
When your parents need to instruct you, respectfully do as you’re told.

父 母 責 , 須 順 承

fu mu ze
 

xu shun cheng

父親 母親 責備
 

必須 溫馴地 接受

father mother scold
 

must compliantly accept

父母責備我們時,必須溫馴地接受。
Whenever your parents must scold you, acknowledge your errors and faults.

應,讀去聲,作動詞用,回答之意;不可讀平聲,而解作應該。呼,是高聲叫喚﹕父母或者在遠處,或者在別個房間,所以當父母需要我們時,就會提高了聲音來叫。假如我們不馬上答應,父母或者會以為我們不在,或者會以為我們沒聽見。於是一叫再叫的,嗓子叫啞了都有可能;再不然就是發起脾氣來了!這都很傷健康的。真孝順的孩子,不會希望父母傷身體,更不會裝聾作啞,甚至於被叫煩了,還反過來怪父母。
 

1.When Mother and Father are calling, answer them right away.
When our parents are far away or in another room, they may call out to us when they need us. If we do not respond right away, they may think that we are not around or that we did not hear them, and they will keep calling until they become hoarse or lose their temper, neither of which would be good for their health. A truly Filial child would not want his parents to ruin their health like that. He would not pretend to be deaf or mute when his parents called him, and he would not dare to disobey them even if he is annoyed at being called.

命是當面吩咐,或者是很威嚴地命令,或者是很和藹地交待,總之都得趕快去做,不要找藉口,拖拖拉拉的,或是陽奉陰違,當面答應卻背後搗鬼;又或者做得心不甘情不願的,甚至人前,背後發牢騷。這都不可以的。
 

2.When they give you directions, obey them without hesitation.
When our parents tell us to do something, whether sternly or gently. we should obey them right away and not look for excuses to procrastinate. We shouldn’t act obedient in front of our parents but then disobey them behind their backs; nor should we do things in a reluctant manner and keep complaining in front of our parents or behind their backs.

教,在這裡也是個動詞,念平聲,教導。父母的人生經驗比我們豐富,當他們在指導我們怎麼待人,處事,接物時,我們都要恭恭敬敬地仔細聽明白,牢記在心。不可以當那話是耳邊風,看父母像老骨董。所謂「眾人是我師,我是眾人師。」別人不管好的不好的,都可以做我們的一面鏡子,何況是對自己的父母?父母說得對,要聽從;說得若不合理呢!也可以拿來做參考改進之用,怎麼可以不恭敬呢?
 

3.When your parents need to instruct you, respectfully do as you’re told.
Our parents are much more experienced than we are, and so when they instruct us on how to communicate with other people and how to handle various situations, we should listen respectfully to their words, make sure we understand them, and remember them by heart. We shouldn’t think our parents are too old-fashioned and simply let their words go in one ear and out the other. It is said, “All people are my teachers, and I am everyone’s teacher.” Whether other people are good or bad, we can always learn something from them; how much the more can we learn from our parents! We should listen to our parents if they are right, of course; and if they are unreasonable, we should still be respectful to them, but not follow their example.

再說假如我們做錯了,或者不能滿父母的心意,父母免不了要責備,或者疾言厲色地罵一頓,或者只溫和地教訓幾句。不管怎麼樣,都要溫馴地接受,不可爭辯,更不可強詞奪理來惹父母傷心生氣。
 

4.Whenever your parents must scold you, acknowledge your errors and faults.
If we do something wrong or we let down our parents’ wishes, they may scold us severely or gently remonstrate with us. No matter how they react, we should compliantly accept their admonition, and not argue with them or make them angry or upset.

為什麼把這四項放在孝道之首?因為這是居家生活中,最常面臨的事情。父母子女間是否慈愛、孝順,在這些日常應對中,最容易反映出來。若做子女的,做不到這些,卻說有孝心,任誰也不相信的。可是我們人哪!最容易在這些日常的小事上忽略過去,以為沒什麼要緊;殊不知日積月累的,就足以傷透父母的心了!口口聲聲﹕「我是有那個孝心的!」有心無行,又有什麼用?
 

Why are these four sentences placed at the beginning of the discussion on filial piety? They deal with the most common situations that occur in our homes. We can easily tell from observing the daily interactions between parents and children whether the parents are loving and the children are filial. If the children claim to be filial and yet fail to practice these four basic rules in daily life, who will believe them? Unfortunately, we tend to neglect these small matters of daily life and think that they are no big deal. We don’t realize that if we gradually accumulate these bad habits, we may end up breaking our parents’ hearts. What’s the use of claiming to be filial if we don’t actually practice?
     

以前中國古時有個叫丁蘭的男子,性情十分粗魯,對相依為命的母親總是非打即罵,自己還不覺得那是不孝。有一天,他在田裡工作,忽然看見小鹿是跪著吃母鹿的奶,再看看枝頭的小烏鴉,忙進忙出的找食物餵老烏鴉;他猛然省悟到自己比禽獸還不如,決定等下母親送飯來時,要好好表現一下孝行。
 

In ancient China, there was a man named Ding Lan who was a rough fellow. Although he and his mother had only each other to rely upon, he often scolded and beat his mother without any sense of shame for his unfilial conduct. One day when he was working in the fields, he suddenly noticed a fawn kneeling down to drink its mother’s milk. He also saw some young crows busily looking for food to feed their aging mother. Reflecting on the way he treated his own mother, he realized that he was not even as good as an animal. He made up his mind to be filial to his mother from then on.
 

母親送飯來得晚了,正急得害怕要挨打了,一見兒子朝他奔來,嚇得飯盒一丟,返身就逃。丁蘭一看更急得邊追邊叫媽,母親邊跑邊哭﹕「唉呀!我這回被抓到,準被打死了!真苦命啊!這樣活著沒意思啦!」見著池塘就跳了下去;等丁蘭趕到,水面只浮著一塊薄木板,再也找不到母親了!於是乎,悔恨交加的丁蘭便把木板當作母親,寫上母親的名字,供奉起來。這就是中國人供奉祖先牌位的由來。
 

But it just so happened that on that particular day, his mother was late in sending lunch to him, and she was afraid she would be scolded and beaten again. As she hurriedly walked toward her son, she saw Ding Lan running toward her. Terrified, she dropped the lunch box and turned and fled. When Ding Lan saw his mother running away, he shouted out and ran even faster, trying to tell her his intention. His mother cried as she ran, thinking, “If he catches me this time, he’ll beat me to death for sure! What misery! It’s meaningless to live in this world!” And so when she reached the riverbank, she threw herself in and committed suicide. When Ding Lan reached that place, he saw only a piece of wood floating on the river. Knowing that he would never see his mother again, he picked up the wood and took it home, where he treated it as his mother. He carved his mother’s name on it, set it on the altar, and made offerings to it. And thus the Chinese custom of setting up memorial plaques to their ancestors began.
 

雖然丁蘭省悟了自己過去忤逆母親的不孝,但已是「樹欲靜而風不止;子欲養而親不待了!」所以孝順父母要及早,更要從這些每日的應對做起,培養自己的恭敬心,那便是孝的初步了!
 

Although Ding Lan deeply regretted his rebellious behavior, it was too late. So there is a saying, “The tree wants to be still, but the wind keeps on blowing: a child wishes to repay his parents’ kindness, but they are gone.” If we want to practice filial piety, we should start early by developing a respectful attitude toward our parents when we interact with them in daily life. That is the first step to being filial.

冬 則 溫 , 夏 則 凊

dong ze wen
 

xia ze jing

冬天 就 使他溫暖
 

夏天 就 令他涼爽

winter then warm

summer then cool

冬寒的時候,要設法令父母保持溫暖;暑熱的季節,要設法使父母感覺涼爽。
On cold winter days, we should try to keep our parents warm.
And on hot summer days, we should try to make our parents feel cool.

晨 則 省 , 昏 則 定

chen ze xing
 

hun ze ding

早上 就 探視
(請安)
 

傍晚 就 安定(安頓寢具)

morning then greet

dusk then settle

清晨要去向父母請安問好;夜晚就去幫父母舖床理被。
In the morning, we should greet our parents.
At night, we should arrange the blankets and bedding for our parents.

出 必 告 , 反 必 面

chu bi gao
 

fan bi mian

出外 一定 報告
 

回來 一定 面見

go out must tell
 

return must see, face

出門時,一定要先稟告父母;回來後,一定要再覲見父母。
When we go out, we should tell our parents.
After coming home, we should see our parents again.

居 有 常 , 業 無 變

ju you chang
 

ye wu bian

居住 要有 固定
 

工作 不要 更改

dwell have fixed
 

job, work don’t change

居住要有固定的處所,職業不要經常地變更。
We should reside at a fixed place and not constantly change jobs.

溫,在這裡是個動詞,令人感覺溫暖的意思;或者是給舖上厚厚的被褥啊;或者燒點熱開水,泡杯熱茶的;又或者生個火,在現代來說,調節暖氣。總而言之,在寒冷的冬天,做各種能讓父母感覺溫暖或保持溫暖的事,這樣父母就不會受凍;身子暖和,心也暖和了!
 

Some ways in which we can make our parents warm in the winter are: giving them thick blankets to cover themselves with making hot tea for them to drink, and turning on the heater. We should do our best to keep our parents warm in the cold winter, so that they won’t freeze or catch cold. That way, not only their bodies, but their hearts will also be warm!

凊,也是個動詞,讀如 「靜」。這個字必須特別地注意,它的偏旁是兩點水,冰凍的意思,不是三點水的意思。這兩個點在古中國字是寫成 「」,像冰塊的裂痕,所以有冰凍的意思。凊就是叫人感覺涼爽,好像吃了冰似的。若寫成三點水的「清」,就不對了。清是乾淨,當然是用水來洗才乾淨的。
 

We should pay special attention to the word “cool” jing in Chinese. It has a radical with two drops of water, which means the water is frozen into ice. The ancient form of this radical was . resembling cracks on the surface of an ice cube, so it means chilly or icy. So the word “jing” means to make people feel as cool and refreshed as if they were eating ice. If we write three drops of water as its radical, it becomes the character “qing 清”which means clean, to make things clean with water.
 

那麼方才說好像吃冰似的,指的是在夏天;若冬天就不可以吃冰了!夏天太陽大,屋外是曬得汗流浹背,屋內坐著又燥熱氣悶,那麼父母年紀大一些就會受不了。所以給父母搧搧風,或者開個電風扇、冷氣的,或者打開窗,保持空氣流通,或者倒杯冷開水,切片冰涼的西瓜,這都會讓父母感到清涼又安慰。我們現在是太空時代,科學發達,什麼都很進步,要冬溫夏凊,好像不是太難;若在古代,那可不容易了!也正因為不容易,才顯出孝子的可貴。
 

In the summer we should make people feel as cool as if they were eating ice, but in the winter it would be too cold to eat ice. During the summer, we sweat under the blazing sun outside, and we feel hot and stuffy inside the house. Our aging parents may not be able to bear such heat. We can make our parents feel cool and comfortable by turning on the fan or the air conditioner, or opening the windows to let the air circulate, or serving them ice water or cold watermelon. With modern space age technology, it’s quite easy to keep our parents warm in the winter and cool in the summer. However, it wasn’t so easy in the old days. And precisely because it wasn’t easy, the virtue of filial piety could be revealed through doing it.

中國歷史上有名的二十四孝中,就有個這樣的例子,漢朝的黃香才九歲時,就已經懂得怎樣孝順父親了!那時他母親已去世,所以就由小小年紀的黃香來照顧父親。夏天天熱,到晚上室內的餘溫仍很高,房間像個火爐似的,黃香就先拿扇子把床上的枕蓆搧涼了,才請父親上床睡覺。冬天天氣很冷,床被就像冰塊似的,黃香就先鑽進被窩躺到床也溫了,被子也暖了,再請父親去睡覺。想想看,偶爾做一次都已是不容易了,黃香卻在九歲的幼年,就已能天天這麼做,讓父親可以舒舒服服地睡覺,那是多麼可佩啊!
 

Here is an example from the Twenty-four Filial Sons of Chinese history. In the Han dynasty, there was a boy named Huang Xiang whose mother died when he was only nine years old. Yet he proved that he knew how to be filial and take care of his father at such a young age. On sweltering summer nights when their house was as hot as an oven, Huang Xiang would fan the bed before asking his father to sleep. On cold winter nights, the boy would warm the freezing blankets with his own body before asking his father to go to bed. To do such things even occasionally would not have been easy, yet at his young age Huang Xiang did them night after night so that his father could sleep comfortably. What an admirable child!

省,本義是看;就是早上起來,先去看看父母。為什麼?看看父母夜來睡得安穩否?有什麼吩咐或需要否?定,是安定、安頓,是個動祠。怎麼安定父母呢?到了晚上,去向父母說晚安,替他們把寢具安頓好,這樣父母就可安安心心又舒舒服服地睡了!
 

When we get up in the morning, we should go to see if our parents slept well, if there is something they need, or if they have any instructions for us. How can we make sure our parents get a good night’s rest? In the evening, we can bid them “good night” and pull down the bed covers for them so that they can sleep comfortably and well.

告,是報告,出門一定要先報告父母,講明了去什麼地方,大約什麼時候可以回來,絕不可以不先請示可否外出,就溜走了。去的地方如果有電話,最好留下電話號碼;若是無法按時回家,也要打電話回來說一聲。倘若回來了呢,也不可以自顧自就溜回房,一定要去面見父母,好讓父母安心。否則你若回來老半天,已呼呼大睡了,父母不知道,恐怕還守著燈在等你,內心憂慮得很呀!
 

When we go out, we should let our parents know where we are going and when we will be back. We should never slip away without informing them. We can leave the phone number of the place we are going if there is one, and call our parents if we cannot come home on time. Once we get home, we should report to our parents immediately, and not just slip back to our own room without giving notice, for our parents might stay up and wait for us, worrying about our safety.

現代的人好像很喜歡搬家,換工作,新鮮嘛!可是變動太多,總令人感覺不是你心情不穩定,就是生活不穩定;這都會令父母為你操心的。若父母是和你同住,豈不更要生煩惱?老人家是最怕變動的了!所以可能的話,儘量避免常常搬家,換工作;不得已的時候,也要馬上稟告父母你的新住處和職業,一來安父母的心,二來也方便保持聯繫,否則父母若有要緊事,從哪去找到你呢?
 

Nowadays, many people like to move from place to place and change jobs just for the sake of finding something new. However, we should know that frequent moving and changing of jobs tends to make our moods unstable and our lives insecure. It also causes our parents to worry about us. If our parents live with us and have to move as well, they may become afflicted, because the elderly don’t like to experience changes. Therefore, we should try to avoid moving and changing jobs too frequently. If we are forced by the circumstances to do so, we should inform our parents immediately so that they will not worry and will know where to find us in an emergency.

有一位布朗老太太,自己住在洛杉磯市中心的一棟公寓,唯一的兒子雖然不算太壞,就總是無法安定住一個住所或工作單位上,一年間,就不知要換上幾次;有時他想起來告訴老媽媽,老媽媽的住址簿上登記的,卻往往是他前兩、三個通訊處。布朗老太太提起兒子,總是無可奈何地嘆氣,不但操心他有沒有錢生活,還往往不知現在他人在哪裡。一天布朗老太太腦中風死了,鄰居幾天不見她出來曬太陽,覺得不對,撞門而入,屍體都開始發臭了!翻了住址簿,輾轉幾天才聯絡到那個剛失業,又換過兩次住所的兒子。這是多麼可悲呀!
 

Once there was a Mrs. Brown who lived in an apartment in Los Angeles. Although her son was not a bad person, he had never had a stable residence or job. He moved several times each year. Sometimes he remembered to call his mother to inform her of his new address and phone number, but usually she only had two or three of his old addresses in her address book. Mrs. Brown always sighed sorrowfully whenever she spoke of her son. She always worried about whether he could support himself and wondered where he was living. One day Mrs. Brown died of a brain stroke. After several days of not seeing her, her neighbors suspected that something was wrong and broke into her house, where they found her body, already beginning to stink. After several days of searching, they finally reached her son, who had just lost his job and moved twice. What a sad plight!

事 雖 小 , 勿 擅 為

shi sui xiao
 

wu shan wei

事情 雖然 細小
 

不要 任意地 做

matter although small

do not do as you do

即使是再小的事情,也不可任意妄為。
No matter how small the affair, do not act just as you please.

苟 擅 為 , 子 道 虧

gou shan wei
 

zi dao kui

如果 任意地 做
 

為人子女的 道理 損

if do as you do

a child the way take a loss

如果任意妄為,就虧損了人子的孝道。
If you act just as you please, then you have not performed as a dutiful child should.

物 雖 小 , 勿 私 藏

wu sui xiao
 

wu si cang

物品 雖然 微小
 

不要 私自地 收藏

thing although small
 

do not privately store things

縱然是再小的東西,也不可私自藏起。
Although a thing may be small, do not save it for yourself.

苟 私 藏 , 親 心 傷

gou si cang
 

qin xin shang

如果 私自地 收藏
 

父母親 內心 受傷害

if privately store things
 

parents hearts be hurt

如果私自藏起,就傷害了父母的心意。
If you hoard things for yourself, your parents’ hearts will be grieved.

擅,是擅自,也就是隨自己的心意,很任性地,想要怎樣就怎樣,不徵求父母的同意。苟,是如果,這是一種假設的語氣,不是苟且、隨便的意思。虧,是虧損,當作動詞用,也就是令其不圓滿了。
 

As children, we should not follow our own wishes and do as we please, without consulting our parents. Otherwise, we will not be fulfilling our filial duties. The first two lines emphasize that as children we should respect our parents.

這四句話是講﹕為人子女的要恭敬父母,凡事要請示父母,得父母許可才去做。不要自作主張,自作聰明,以為自己長大了,讀書多,見識廣,把父母當做老骨董或土包子隨隨便便地,一點也不恭敬;或者以為小事沒關係,大事再稟報父母就可以了。殊不知我們已在無形中把為人子女的孝道虧損了!孝道好比圓潤晶瑩的明珠,是天地間的至寶。凡人保護珠寶像命似的,生怕碰壞了,卻不知保護孝道這顆與生俱來的大明珠,輕易就虧損了它。這真是本末倒置,不知輕重啊!這是就處理事情上說的。
 

No matter what we want to do, we should first ask our parents. We should act only after we have received their permission. We should not casually make decisions on our own, thinking we have already grown up. After we receive an education, we should not regard our parents as country bumpkins and be disrespectful to them. Nor should we think that there is no need to bring small matters to their attention and so only report major events to them. If we act in this way toward our parents, we have been remiss in our filial obligations. Filial piety is like a bright pearl. It is the most precious jewel in the world. We cherish jewels and protect them as carefully as our very lives, because we are afraid of damaging them. Yet we fail to protect our filial piety, the bright pearl within us; instead, we carelessly spoil it. Our priorities are truly confused!.

接下來四句,則就收受物品而言,也不要以為那只是個小物件,沒關係的,父母不會知道;就知道了也不要緊,反正父母不會要的。這可真大大地傷了父母的慈心了!天底下哪有漠視人而人家不會傷心落淚,更何況是對自己有生養之恩的父母!
 

The previous section discussed how we should handle matters. The next two lines discuss receiving things. We shouldn’t casually take even a very small object, thinking our parents won’t know about it or won’t care. Such behavior would actually cause them a lot of grief. Anyone feels hurt when he is ignored, how much the more so our own parents.

孝順父母,首要的是存恭敬心;如果光養而不知敬,那和養貓養狗又有何區別?無論如何,恭敬父母,事無巨細,物無大小,都能稟明父母,總是不會錯的。不要因為怕麻煩或存私心,錯了又不改,還給自己當辯護律師,說﹕我只是不想因為這些小事、小物來麻煩父母罷了!或者說﹕我是在訓練自己果斷和獨立的能力呢!結果把天地間至寶的孝道虧損了,把人世間至愛的父母心傷了!
 

Filial piety begins with respect. If we feed our parents but don’t respect them, how is this different from raising cats or dogs? We should show our respect by letting our parents know about everything we do. We shouldn’t think, “Oh, I don’t want to bother them with these small matters,” or “I’m just trying to be more independent.” Such thoughts would only undermine the precious virtue of filial piety and hurt our dear parents.

曾子在孔子學生中以孝聞名,當他的父親曾點(孔子的早期學生)還在世時,曾子以酒肉奉養父親,如有剩餘,一定恭敬地請示要給誰吃?當父親進飲食時,若問還有沒有多餘的?曾子一定回答有,好教父親安心食用。
 

Confucius’ disciple Zeng Zi was renowned for his filial piety. When his father Zeng Dian (one of Confucius’ earliest disciples) was still alive, Zeng Zi would serve him his food and then respectfully ask him who should eat the leftovers, should there be any. While eating, his father would sometimes ask if there was any more food. Zeng Zi would always say “yes,” so his father could eat without worrying whether there was any food left.

後來曾子的兒子曾元侍奉曾子吃飯,吃完就把酒肉收了,也不問問父親如何安排;曾子若問還有沒有多餘的?曾元就說「沒有了!」意思是希望下餐再拿出來給父親吃。因此孟子就評論這件事,認為曾子善於奉養承順父母的心意,而曾元只能奉養父母的口體罷了!試想﹕這樣的小事、小物,曾子都不敢自專,也不擅自私藏,難怪人家尊稱為「大孝曾參」,也難怪孔子把 《孝經》傳授於他了!
 

Later, when Zeng Zi’s son Zeng Yuan served Zeng Zi, after Zeng Zi finished eating, Zeng Yuan would put away the food without asking about how to deal with the leftover food. When Zeng Zi asked his son if there was any food left over, his son would say “no.” Zeng Yuan did this because he wanted to save the food and serve it to his father at the next meal. Mencius’ judgment of the situation was that while Zeng Zi knew well how to serve his parents and comply with their wishes, Zeng Yuan only knew how to feed his parents. Think it over: Even in such a small matter –such a minor detail–Zeng Zi dared not do as he pleased; he dared not keep anything for himself. No wonder people praised Zeng Zi as the “greatly filial Zeng Shen” and Confucius had no second thoughts about teaching the “Classic of Filial Piety” to him.

親 所 好 , 力 為 具

qin suo hao
 

li wei ju

父母親 的事物 喜好
 

盡力地 替 準備周全

parents that which like

do one’s best, use effort for have everything completely

父母親喜好的事物,要盡力地替父母親準備周全。
Whatever your parents like, you should earnestly try to provide for them.

親 所 惡 , 謹 為 去

qin suo wu
 

jin wei qu

父母親 的事物 厭惡
 

謹慎地 替 去除

parents that which dislike

carefully, attentively for get rid of

父母親所厭惡的事物,要謹慎地為父母親去除淨盡。
Whatever your parents dislike, you should carefully try to remove for them.

「所」在中國文言文裡,如放在動詞前,是一個指示代名詞,相當於白話「的人、事或物」;通常居於賓位(做其後邊動詞之受詞)。因此在翻譯成白話時,得先翻後面的動詞。如 「所好」是喜愛的人、事或物;「所惡」是憎惡的人、事或物。好、惡、都是破音字,當動詞用時讀如「浩」、「物」。「為」亦是個破音字,讀如「未」,當「替」講。具,作動詞用時,解釋為「準備」;但它又帶有「周到的、完全的」意思在內。這是說﹕父母喜歡什麼,想要什麼,都能不管怎樣困難,不怕怎樣麻煩,替他們設想得又周到,準備得又完全。這也是對父母的一種歡喜施,令父母得到安慰和快樂。在這種孝心推動下,仁慈、耐心、毅力和勇氣等美德,也就自然而然滋長了。
 

The first line says that whatever our parents are fond of and would like to have, we should go out of our way to provide it fully to them, no matter how much difficulty or trouble we have to go through. We should happily practice giving to our parents, in order to comfort them and make them happy. With this single sincere thought of filial piety, one will naturally grow in the virtues of kindness, patience, perseverance, and courage.

你或者曾在夜晚欣賞美麗的星空,注意到有七顆星組成的星座,形狀像個大杓子似的,那就是大熊星座裡的北斗七星。關於常見的星星,東西各國都有許多動人的傳說和神話,這個大杓子星群亦不例外。在西方,很多孩子都聽過這個孝順女孩的故事。
 

If you have ever gazed at the stars, you may have noticed a group of seven stars shaped like a big soup ladle–this is the Big Dipper in the Ursa Major constellation. Many touching stories and legends are associated with the well-known constellations in both Eastern and Western cultures. The following story, which many Westerners may know, is about a little girl who was very filial.

在不知多久以前,有一個小女孩和她的媽媽,住在靠近黑森林的一間小木屋裡。某個夏天的晚上,小女孩的媽媽覺得很不舒服,怎麼也睡不著,只覺口乾舌燥,好想有杯清涼的水喝。小女孩顧不得睏,跳下床,穿好衣,拿了一把長柄的杓子就去井邊取水。當她把汲桶拉上來時,發現竟然一滴水也沒有,原來井已乾枯了。怎麼辦呢?小女孩想了又想,森林深處有清泉,可是不但距離很遠,還得穿過那黑漆漆的森林;再想到渴望有冷水喝的媽媽,小女孩勇敢地走進了森林的小徑。
 

Once upon a time, a little girl lived with her mother in a small log cabin near the Black Forest. One summer night, her mother in other tossed and turned restlessly, unable to fall asleep. She felt very thirsty and wanted to drink a cup of cool water. The little girl, despite her sleepiness, immediately got out of bed, dressed, and took a ladle with a long handle to get water from the well. Pulling the bucket up out of the well, she found that there was not even a drop of water in it, for the well had run completely dry. “What should I do?” wondered the little girl. “There is a spring deep inside the forest, but it’s very far from here and I have to walk through the dark forest to get there.” But thinking of her mother longing for a cup of cool water, she bravely set out on the path into the forest, groping her way in the dark.
 

小女孩在黑夜的森林小徑摸索前進,貓頭鷹桀桀怪笑著,蝙蝠不時自山洞中飛出;小女孩又害怕又著急,但一想到媽媽在等水喝,她就堅持地往前進。終於聽到淙淙的流水聲了,小女孩舀了泉水,就匆匆往回走。可是在回程中,小女孩先後遇到一隻口渴的狗和一個疲倦的老人,小女孩仁慈地都給了他們一些水。
 

The owls booted eerily, and occasionally bats flew from the caves. The little girl became afraid and worried. But once again, thinking of her mother waiting for the water, she resolutely went forward. Finally, she heard the sound of flowing water. She took some water from the spring and quickly headed back. On the way, she met a thirsty dog and a weary old man. She kindly gave them some water.
 

每布施一次,小女孩手中的長柄杓子就變一次﹕由原先的鐵杓子,變成銀的,再變成金的,照亮了漆暗的小路。等到小女孩給媽媽喝下水,讓媽媽舒服地躺下來時,那柄杓子已經變成閃爍晶亮的鑽石,而且一直向著窗外漆黑的夜空飛去,終於高高地掛在天上,正對大家愉快地瞬著眼睛哩!今天我們看到那七顆杓子星時,是否也會想起曾有過這麼一位孝順、仁慈而勇敢小女孩呢?
 

Every time she gave, the long ladle in her hand changed. The ladle originally made of cast iron, first turned to silver, and then to shining gold, which illuminated the dark path and helped the girl find her way home. After the mother drank the water and lay down comfortably, the ladle turned into brilliant diamond and flew out the window to hang high up into the night sky, twinkling happily for everyone to see. Now when you see the seven stars of the Big Dipper, won’t it remind you of this filial, kind, and brave little girl?

那麼對父母憎惡的人、事、物,我們該用怎樣的態度來處理呢?原則上當然是幫父母去除之;但是要很謹慎,不要反因此驚嚇了父母,甚而傷身敗德。譬如說冒冒失失去趕走一條蛇,反把蛇驚動了,不僅是父母被蛇咬,就是自己也被咬傷。又譬如父母恨不得某人死,難道我們為他們去殺人嗎?所以如何運用智慧去判斷該如何著手,這就是謹。想要行無畏施,去除別人的恐懼和厭惡感,並非有匹夫之勇就可以的;要有大智慧做前鋒,言語舉止自然合宜,那才能真正做到「謹為去」。
 

How should we deal with people, things, and matters that our parents dislike? Basically, of course, we should get rid of them, but in doing so we must be very cautious not to frighten our parents or hurt anyone in the process, as that would go against virtue. For example, if we see a snake and rashly try to chase it away, we may make our parents afraid or even get bitten by the snake ourselves. And if our parents hate someone very much does that mean we should kill the person? We must be cautious; we must make wise judgments. If we want to quell people’s fear and hatred, bold courage alone is not enough. We must have great wisdom to guide us to act in the most suitable and correct manner. Only then will we be able to skillfully remove the things that our parents dislike.

遍觀天下,什麼是人最恐懼和厭惡的?莫若是種種的生之苦(老、病、求不得、愛別離、厭憎會、變遷),以及死亡的恐懼了!那什麼又是最可安慰和快樂的呢?情嗎?財富嗎?還是地位吧?那都是生不帶來,死不帶去的,不真實,不久長的﹕莫若是脫離生死輪迴之苦,而證得不生不滅之樂了!我們唯有精勤修行,了自己的生死,才能救度他人;否則也只是個過江的泥菩薩,還保不住自己吧!
 

In this world, the sufferings that birth entails (old age, sickness, not obtaining what we seek, being apart from those we love, being together with those we hate, constant change) and the fear of death are what people hate and loathe the most. Freedom from the sufferings of birth and death and realization of the eternal bliss of nonproduction and nondestruction are the greatest source of comfort and joy. Emotional love. wealth, and high position are neither real nor lasting; we did not bring them with us at birth, nor can we take them along when we die. Only if we practice diligently and end our own birth and death will we be able to save others. Otherwise, we’ll be like a clay Bodhisattva, who cannot even save himself as he crosses the river.

那麼這種歡喜施,用之於父母曰「孝」,施之於眾人曰「仁」,推及於一切有情曰「慈」,無畏施用之於父母曰「順」,施之於眾人曰「義」,推及於一切有情曰「悲」。孝順的道理,可以自愛敬至親的人開始,推廣到其他的人或生物、非生物,即所謂「親親而仁民,仁民而愛物」的大慈悲境界。
 

When we give joyfully to our parents, we are being filial. When we practice joyful giving to all people, that is called humaneness. If we extend it to all sentient beings, then it is known as kindness. If we give fearlessness to (relieve the fears of) our parents, we are being obedient. To relieve the fears of all people is righteousness. When we expand this to cover all living beings, it is compassion. Thus we can see that the principle of filial piety starts with being kind and respectful towards our dearest ones and then extending this behavior to other people and sentient and insentient beings. This is called the greatly compassionate stage of “loving our own parents in all people and beings.”

身 有 傷 , 貽 親 憂

shen you shang
 

yi qin you

身體 如果有 毀傷
 

留給 父母親 憂慮

body have harm

give, hand down parents worry

身體如果有毀傷,會帶給父母親憂慮;
If you carelessly injure your body, you bring worry and fret to your parents.

德 有 傷 , 貽 親 羞

de you shang
 

yi qin xiu

品德 如果有 毀傷
 

留給 父母親 羞恥

virtue have harm

give to parents shame

品德如有缺失,會帶給父母親羞辱。
If you heedlessly damage your virtue, you bring shame and disgrace to your parents.

前面說到處理父母的愛憎事宜,對我們而言,是相當大的考驗和磨練。這種孝心的實踐,不僅是須要耐心、勇氣和毅力,同時也須要智慧。否則一不小心,我們可能把自己陷入危險或不合乎情、理、法的處境裏,那就會導致有心孝順,而終不孝順了!
 

Above, the text discussed how we should deal with matters that our parents like and dislike, respectively. This presents a great challenge and difficulty. In order to practice filial piety, we must have not only patience, courage, and determination, but also wisdom. Otherwise, in a moment of carelessness, we may put ourselves in danger or else get caught in an unreasonable or illegal situation. Then, even though our intent was to be filial, we end up being unfilial.
 

這話怎麼說呢?因為若為了父母的愛憎,或求之不易,或揮之不去,因而百般冒險犯難,不惜偷搶燒殺,甚至通敵辱國。這小則傷身敗命,大則足以毀家亡國;不但遺父母以憂慮,更令人譏笑父母於子失教,於己失德,真可謂遺臭萬年了!孔子說﹕「父母唯其疾之憂。」舉凡自己身體的,心理的,甚至影響到生命的損傷,都是會令父母不安的;所以愛護自己,間接的亦孝順了父母。
 

What do I mean by this? I am referring to a situation in which our parents like something very difficult to obtain, or else they dislike something which is very difficult to get rid of. In order to please them, we may risk our lives in all kinds of dangerous situations and even resort to criminal acts such as theft, robbery, arson, murder, or treason. On a small scale, we may endanger our own lives, on a larger scale, we may destroy our family and country. Not only will our parents be grieved and worried, but others will ridicule them for not teaching their child well and for lacking virtue. We will have brought upon them a disgrace that will last for tens of thousands of years! Confucius said, “Our parents’ only worry is that we may fall sick.” Our parents are concerned if our bodies, minds, or lives come to harm in any way Therefore, by taking care of ourselves, we are being. filial to our parents indirectly.

孔子就這樣告訴曾子﹕「身體髮膚受之父母,不敢毀傷,孝之始也;立身行道,揚名於後世,以顯父母,孝之終也。」這就是說保健自己的身心,不令父母憂慮,只是行孝的初步;要做到圓滿,還得培養良好品德,進一步利益社會國家,以榮顯自己的父母。
 

Confucius instructed Zeng Zi “Not daring to harm our bodies, hair, and skin, which our parents gave us, is the beginning of filial piety. Establishing ourselves, practicing the Way, and developing a good reputation so that our parents will be honored is the fulfillment of filial piety.” That is to say, staying healthy both physically and mentally so that our parents will not worry about us is only the first step of being filial. To practice Filial piety to perfection, we must develop a good character and bring benefit to the society and nation, thus shedding glory on our parents.

假如覺得這標準太高,最低限度,我們亦得不做惡事或任何不合情理之事,以免令父母蒙羞。《聖經》上亦說:「愛是不自私……不做羞恥的事。」在中國春秋時代,晉獻公因十分寵信驪姬,驪姬就想要晉獻公廢去世子申生,另立她自己的兒子承繼王位。有一回申生送祭肉去給父親,驪姬偷偷在肉裏下毒,然後誣告世子弒父篡位;晉獻公也不察清楚,氣得要殺死親生的兒子。申生想:「父親若沒有驪姬,會寢食不安。何況父親既要他死,怎可違抗呢?」結果也不加辯白,就含冤自殺了。
 

If this standard is too high, at the very least we must refrain from evil deeds and unkind actions, or else we will be a disgrace to our parents. The Holy Bible says, “Love is unselfish…it is to refrain from shameful deeds.” During the Spring and Autumn Period [722-481 B.C.] in China, Lord Xian of the State of Jin was infatuated with his concubine Li Ji, who wanted him to do away with his eldest son (and his heir) Shen Sheng and make her own son heir to the throne. Once when Shen Sheng sent an offering of meat to his father, Li ji secretly put poison in the meat and then accused the eldest son of trying to kill his father and usurp the throne. Lord Xian, without looking into the matter carefully, was so furious he wanted to kill his own son. Shen Sheng thought: “My father would not be happy without Li ji. If he wants me to die, how could I go against his wish?” Then, without defending himself against the unjust accusation, he committed suicide.
 

你說,這麼為順從父親的心意,寧可自己去死的人,在歷史上應被稱嘆是孝子了吧?沒有!他只得了個「恭世子」的諡號。孔子評論,那是因為他只知承順,不懂得孝道的真諦;不但傷身害命是不孝;陷父母於不義,令人唾罵他有這樣不智又不慈的父親,才更是大大的不孝呢!
 

Now, you would think such a person, who killed himself in order to comply with his father’s wishes would be praised as a filial child in history, right? No. He only received the posthumous title of Prince Gong (respect), and Confucius’ judgment was that while he knew how to be obedient, he didn’t understand the real meaning of filial piety. He was unfilial not only because he injured his own body and took his own life, but he put his father in a situation of being seen as unrighteous. Others scolded his father for lacking wisdom and compassion; thus he was being truly unfilial.

所以不管是對父母行歡喜施或無畏施,都要有慧,以不傷身敗德為基本,不但不可以不孝,也不要太過火,而成為愚孝。宣公上人常教化人﹕「做人要愛國愛家愛身命。」真是深深了悟並實踐孝道的聖者之言啊!
 

Therefore, whether we are practicing joyful giving or the giving of fearlessness to our parents, we must have wisdom. We should base ourselves on the rule of not injuring our bodies or ruining our virtue. We should not be unfilial, but on the other hand we should not go overboard and be foolish in our filial piety. The Venerable Master often taught people, “As people we should love our country, love our family, and cherish our own bodies and lives.” These are the words of a sage who has profoundly understood and truly practiced the way of filial piety.

親 愛 我 , 孝 何 難

qin ai wo
 

xiao he nan

父母親 疼愛 我
 

盡孝道 什麼 困難的

parents love me

to be filial what difficult

若父母親慈愛我,我能盡孝,這又有什麼困難呢?
If parents are loving and kind, of course it’s not hard to be filial.

親 憎 我 , 孝 方 賢

qin zeng wo
 

xiao fang xian

父母親 厭惡 我
 

盡孝道 才 賢孝的

parents hate me

to be filial then worthy

若父母親憎惡我,還能盡孝,那才是真正賢德啊!
If parents are hateful and cruel, then it’s truly to be filial.

中國俗語說﹕「禮尚往來。」人家有一分好意,我們回敬一分;人家笑臉相向,我們也板不起面孔。這是很自然的人際關係,更何況父慈子孝是天性!所以父母疼愛我們 ,照顧我們,我們孝順父母是本分,根本就不能自以為是了不起的大孝子了!
 

Chinese proverb says: “Propriety requires that we return the favor.” If someone wishes us well, we should return the courtesy. If others smile at us, we cannot frown back. This is very natural in human relationships, especially in the relationship between a kind father and a filial child. If our parents love us and take care of us, it’s only right for us to be filial to them; we certainly cannot consider ourselves extraordinary filial children for doing so.

假若父母根本就無暇或不願照顧我們,甚至厭惡我們,我們還能孝養父母、承順父母,那才是特別的,有賢德的。
 

However, if we are able to be filial, caring, and obedient to our parents when they fail to care for us and may even hate us, then we are truly exceptional and virtuous. Worldly affairs occur in the realm of dualities.
 

世間法本是相對,一般凡夫總是投桃報李,或以牙還牙。「投桃報李」是《詩經》裡的典故,比喻彼此的友好與互惠;「以牙還牙」,則是彼此的仇恨和報復。我們就因為被相對律牽著鼻子走,不時糾纏於恩怨情仇間,彼此造業;以致從無始劫來,生生世世互為冤親,輪迴無已,所以才叫做「生死凡夫」。
 

Ordinary people are always either “returning the gift of a peach with a plum” or “taking a tooth for a tooth.” “Returning the gift of a peach with a plum” comes from a story in the Book of Odes and represents mutual kindness between friends. “Taking a tooth for a tooth” refers to mutual revenge between enemies. Led by the law of dualities, we are forever entangled in the karmic web of kindness and enmity. Since time without beginning, we have gone through life after life, sometimes playing the role of friend, sometimes being the enemy. We are mortals subject to birth and death.
 

倘若我們能破了這個相對,而以絕對的慈心和不變的悲願,去恭敬安樂他人,去容恕救助他人,無怨無悔,那出世間法就在其中了!因為冤親平等,就宿業漸消,新業不造,哪還有生死輪迴?所以想求佛道,了生死,必先要學做人,而做人的首要道理就是盡孝;不管父母是否慈愛,都能盡足孝順之道,便跨出成功的第一步了!
 

If we can smash through dualities and use a heart of total kindness and vows of constant compassion to respect and bring joy to others, to encompass, rescue, and help others, without grudges and regret, then we’ll transcend the world! If we can view enemies and friends the same way, gradually getting rid of past karma and refraining from creating new karma, how can we remain in the turning wheel of birth and death? If we wish to seek Buddhahood and end birth and death, we first have to learn how to be a proper person. The first principle of being a proper person is to be filial. If we can fulfill our filial duty regardless of whether our parents are kind and loving, we will have taken the first step.
 

中國自古就特別講究孝道,認為「百善孝為先」、「萬行孝為首」,因此孝子的故事不勝枚舉。譬如閔子騫,在父親知道繼母百般虐待他的真相,而要趕走繼母時,他卻極力予以挽留;又如大舜,雖然父親受繼母蠱惑,屢思害死他,他受堯禪讓帝位後,對父母仍孝事不匱。
 

Since ancient times China has emphasized filial piety. “Of the hundred good deeds, filial piety is foremost.” “Among the ten thousand practices, filial piety is ranked first.” There are countless stories of filial children. One example was Min Ziqian. When his father discovered how cruel his stepmother had been to him and wanted to throw her out, Min Ziqian interceded on her behalf. And although Great Shun’s stepmother had deluded his father into plotting to kill him, after inheriting the throne from Emperor Yao Great Shun continued to serve his parents with great filial piety.
 

在西方的道德文化中,雖無「孝」和「因果」的字眼,卻並非全無孝的觀念。西方人的孝,蘊含在仁慈的美德裡頭;西方的故事,也不乏善有善報的例子,如家喻戶曉的灰姑娘和白雪公主。又如傻瓜傑克,雖然受盡父母和兩個聰明哥哥的輕視與欺侮,甚至將他連哄帶騙趕出門,他仍不以為忤;後來由於他樂善好施(聰明人總認為笨蛋才這麼做) 的果報,他莫名其妙地竟娶了公主,又當了國王,他卻還把父母兄長接來一起享福。
 

Although the terms “filial piety” and “cause and effect” are not well-known in Western culture, the concept of filial piety is not wholly unfamiliar, for it is included in the idea of kindness. The moral of goodness being rewarded by goodness is also illustrated in Western fairytales such as “Cinderella” and “Snow White.” In “jack and the Beanstalk,” although Jack was cheated by his parents and two clever elder brothers, who drove him out of the house, he didn’t mind. When, as a result of his goodness and generosity (in clever people’s eyes, he did what only fools would do), he found himself married to a princess and becoming the king, he invited his parents and brothers to share in his fortune.
 

不像現代的孩子,很容易就怪父母忽略自己,不了解自己,以致自暴自棄,動不動就思報復,這實在是舊日道德觀已淪喪之故。
 

Nowadays, in contrast, children often give up on themselves and bear grudges against their parents, blaming their parents for neglecting them or for failing to understand them. How far this is from the moral values of old!
 

雖然這些都只是兒童故事,不是真的;但我們國家未來的主人翁,若能熏陶於這種仁慈的美德下,要挽回暴戾的風氣,應該還有希望。語云﹕「禍福無門,唯人自召。」很多有好福報的人,也都是孝子。而能以德報怨,孝事惡父母的,則更是孝子中的孝子了,上天哪會忍心棄絕於他呢?
 

Even though these are merely children’s tales, if they can instill the qualities of kindness and humaneness in our children—the future leaders of the country–then there is stilt hope for averting the crises of violence in our society. A proverb says﹕ “Calamities and blessings are not fixed; we bring them upon ourselves.” Many people who enjoy blessings are filial children. Those who can repay malice with kindness and be filial to hateful parents are the most filial of filial children, and Heaven will never forsake them!

親 有 過 , 諫 使 更

qin you guo
 

jian shi geng

父母親 如果有 過失
 

勸告 使令 改正

parents have faults

to exhort to cause to change

父母若有過失,要勸告父母改正。
If we recognize faults in our parents, we should exhort them to change for the better.

怡 吾 色 , 柔 吾 聲

yi wu se
 

rou wu sheng

使歡愉 我的 臉色
 

使柔和 我的 聲調

to please my appearance

to soften my tone

勸的時候,臉色要歡愉,聲音要柔和。
While speaking to them, we should be gentle in appearance , and soften our tone.

諫是勸告他人,使其改過向善;特別地用在晚輩對長輩,或是地位低者對地位高的人,如兒女諫正父母,臣子諫正君主。「更」讀平聲,作動詞用,改變的意思;也就是說把不好的思想、習慣或行為都改變成好的。這就是說怎麼樣正確地來面對父母的過失和罪業,在現代的社會裡,這尤其是種很不容易處理的事情。
 

To exhort people to change for the better refers? especially to exhorting those of an older generation or in a higher position, for instance, a child exhorting his parents or a minister exhorting the king to change. One exhorts them to change, that is, to correct their bad habits, thoughts, and conduct. This verse describes the proper manner for dealing with the faults and offenses of one’s parents. This is a difficult situation to handle in modern society, because people put too much emphasis on individual development, freedom, and equality.
 

為什麼呢?因為現代人很尊重人性的自我發展,也很重視自由和平等,因此孩子變得很獨立,不再唯父母之命是從了!古代中國人慣有的觀念「天下無不是的父母」,以及古希伯來民族和羅馬人的「君父至上」觀念,早已銷聲匿跡;即或五O年代以前,美國孩子對父母那麼畢恭畢敬,口口聲聲 「Yes,Sir。」(是,大人!)的場面,也不復可見了!這究竟是好,還是壞呢?教育專家公說公有理,婆說婆有理,總也鬧不清楚,豈不是一大難題?這暫且不提,現在先就這段文字,來看看古代中國孩子的作法。
 

Today’s children are exceedingly independent and are not so willing to obey their parents. In ancient China, there was a common idea that one’s parents are faultless. The ancient Hebrews and Romans also believed that their kings and fathers deserved the highest respect. Before the1950’s, American children still addressed their parents with the utmost respect, always answering, “Yes, sir.” But all of these customs have gone with the wind. Is this good or bad? This is quite a controversy among educational experts, who cannot seem to come to a consensus. Let us set it aside for now, and take a look at how traditional Chinese children treated their parents.

當孩子發現父母的過錯時,該替父母覆藏起來?或是勸阻父母?又或者大公無私地予以舉罪?這真是見仁見智,不可一概而論的問題。原則上,當然要規勸父母改正,阻止其再繼續犯錯。因為真正的孝順便是不使父母的人格蒙受污點。若勸父母,而導致父母生氣,怎麼辦才好呢?於理,我們站得住腳,當然要繼續勸導;在事上,就有不同的狀況要應變了!
 

When children see that their parents are at fault, should they try to cover for their parents, or should they try to give their parents some advice? Or should they explode at their parents and demand justice? This is actually a very complicated and delicate question. In general, we should definitely exhort them to not repeat the mistake, and to change for the better. True Filial piety is not just making our parents happy in the short term, but protecting them from a bad reputation. What if our parents get angry at us when we urge them to change? In principle, we have the right to calmly continue to advise them. However, in order to handle such matters appropriately, we need to look carefully at the conditions.
 

若父母的過失小時,一定要堅持勸到底;即使父母怒不可遏,責罵甚至於打我們,也不要放棄。若父母的過失很大,到了傷身害命,甚至毀家賣國的程度,勸也勸不了時,怎麼辦?古中國人的作法是「退而自傷」;也就是說不再規勸,退開一邊,默默的哀傷。其實,最好的辦法就是;自己多作一些善功德,把父母的過惡所帶給人的不便和不幸,盡量彌補過來,再把這些功德迴向給父母,好讓父母早日醒悟回頭。
 

If our parents’ mistakes or faults are minor ones, we should continue to exhort them to change, not giving up even if they get so mad that they scold or hit us. If our parents’ faults are so serious that they might bring harm to other people, the family, or the country, and they refuse to listen to our advice, what should we do? The traditional Chinese solution would be to withdraw and dwell in sadness. However, the best solution would be to keep performing virtuous deeds to make up for our parents’ bad deeds, and to dedicate the merit to our parents in hopes that they will wake up and reform.

中國明朝末年,在滿清佔有大部分領土之際,鄭成功的父親貪生怕死,打算投降滿清,賣國求榮;鄭成功屢勸諫父親,這是不忠不義的行為,父親還反過來責備他年輕不懂事。他的母親深明大義,不滿丈夫的不忠,以死來教育鄭成功,務必移孝作忠。於是,鄭成功帶了一些忠貞的部屬,逃離父親的營區,繼續抵抗滿清。雖然鄭成功的父親被滿清殺害了,明朝也終究是亡了;可是,鄭成功忠君愛國的事跡,與建設臺灣的功勞,卻永垂青史,活在每一個人心中,也讓他的父親免去了被後人唾罵。
 

In the last years of the Ming dynasty, the Manchurians occupied most of China. Zheng Chenggong’s father, a general who owned a great deal of land and had a vast army of soldiers, decided to surrender to the Manchurians in order to save his own life and to gain prosperity. Again and again, Zheng Chenggong pleaded with his father not to surrender, as it was both a disloyal and a dishonorable action, but his father brushed him off as young and inexperienced. His mother, an upright and virtuous woman, disagreed with her husband’s disloyal action and committed suicide in order to teach her son that he should be loyal to the country rather than follow his father in name of a filial son. Consequently, Zheng Chenggong fled from his father’s camp with a group of loyal soldiers, and continued to fight against the Manchurians. Although his father was slain by the Manchurians and the Ming Dynasty perished in the end, Zheng Chenggong’s loyal actions and his merit in developing Taiwan are very important events in Chinese history and in the minds of all the Chinese.
 

鄭成功的移孝作忠,不正是大孝的表現嗎?至於如何勸父母,也得要有技巧;否則勸壞了,自己受害不說,父母也失去了改過自新的機會。勸父母的方式,要與勸朋友或晚輩不同:勸晚輩可以嚴厲指正,也可以溫和誘導;勸朋友,則要「忠告而善道之,不可則止,毋自辱焉。」
 

By his actions, Zheng Chenggong saved his father from being despised and slandered by later generations. Don’t you agree, then, that his loyalty to the country actually was a form of filial piety to his parents? When we remonstrate with our parents, if we are not tactful, not only will we harm ourselves, but our parents will lose an opportunity to change. In admonishing our juniors, we may be either stern or gentle. In remonstrating with friends, we should speak to them seriously, because they are used to joking around with us and may not take us seriously otherwise.
 

這意思是說,勸朋友時,態度要嚴肅正直,否則他們會因為平日的狎暱,而輕忽我們的勸告;但是雖然態度要嚴肅正直,言詞卻必須委婉有技巧,知道怎樣去誘導對方,讓對方容易接受。若朋友固執不聽時,卻還不知停止,令對方惱羞成怒,或者就會侮辱或加害我們了!君子絕不會拿自己的生命來作無謂的冒險。那麼勸父母呢?第一要緊的是絕不可使用嚴肅的態度和聲調。所謂「父子之間不責義」,就是怕彼此扯破臉,而傷了父慈子孝的天性。
 

Yet we must also choose our words carefully, so that they find our advice easy to accept. If they ignore our advice, we should not argue with them, or else they might get angry and harm someone. A wise person will not risk his life for a useless affair. How then should we remonstrate with our parents. First of all, we should never use a harsh tone of voice. It is said that parents and children should not request each other to uphold righteousness, for that would break the natural affection between them.

所以勸父母時,臉色要和悅,言詞要婉轉;總之我們的態度要柔順,要讓父母感受到我們的恭敬和盼望。被恭敬,父母內心會感覺安慰,容易接受勸告;被盼望,父母心中會感覺慚愧,而願意努力去改過。所以說,勸父母改小過時,必須堅持不移,就像橡皮糖一樣;雖然又黏又軟,但是甜,讓人難以拒絕。
 

Therefore, we should use gentle expressions and a soft tone of voice, and let our parents know that we respect them and hold them in high regard. Our parents will then be comforted and willing to accept our advice. Feeling obliged to fulfill our expectations, they will feel shame and try their best to reform. In exhorting our parents to correct their faults, we should be gentle and persistent, like a piece of soft, sticky, and sweet candy, which is impossible to refuse.

以前中國東北有一位常仁大師,未出家前人家都尊稱他「王孝子」。他怎樣得的孝名?王孝子的父親愛抽鴉片,他每日工作所得的錢,都供給父親買鴉片煙,絲毫也無吝惜和怨言。不但如此,王孝子的父親抽了鴉片就昏睡,或久或暫,王孝子都躬身侍候一邊,毫不倦怠,直侍候到父親醒來,才敢離開去睡覺。一日,他父親醒來,自己生了大慚愧心;為不叫兒子辛苦工作之餘,又如此侍奉自己,就下定決心,從此把煙戒除了。
 

The Great Master Chang-Ren was known as Filial Son Wang in Manchuria before he left home. How did he earn this name? His father was an opium addict, and Filial Son Wang used all his wages from his hard work to provide his father with opium. His father would always doze off after smoking opium, but no matter how long his father slept, he would faithfully wait by the bedside until his father woke up before he went off to rest. One day his father woke up and felt very ashamed. He decided to quit smoking opium, because he didn’t want to see his son working so hard during the day and then attending upon him like that after work.

《詩經》裡也有一首〈凱風歌〉,敘述一個有七個兒女的母親想再嫁,孩子們不但沒有怨尤,反而自責沒有盡到人子的責任,才讓母親得不到安慰。這樣委曲求全的孝心,和勸而不勸的勸導,難道不是值得讚歎和學習的?
 

In the Book of Odes, there’s a song called the Soft South-wind describing a widow with seven children who wished to marry again. Her children did not hate her at all, but instead blamed themselves for not fulfilling their duties in comforting their mother. We should learn these kinds of filial thoughts and the gentle ways of advising parents that the ancients used.

諫 不 入 , 悅 復 諫

jian bu ru
 

yue fu jian

勸告 不能 入耳
 

愉快的 再 勸告

to advise cannot to enter

pleasant again to advise

如父母不接受勸告,就等到父母心情好時再勸。
If they cannot accept our advice, wait for better opportunities to exhort them again and again.

號 泣 隨 , 撻 無 怨

hao qi sui
 

ta wu yuan

大聲 飲泣 跟隨
 

鞭打 不 怨恨

to cry loudly to weep to follow

to hit will not to blame

即使勸到聲淚俱下,或者被打,內心也不怨恨。
Even while exhorting them through tears, or if punished, we still will not complain.

前面說到勸父母改小過時,必須堅持到底,但是萬一勸到父母開始不高興時,就要馬上停止,等哪一天父母心情好時,才再繼續勸,就像牛皮糖一樣的黏勁兒,而且甜;不只是甜,還很黏,非纏到父母改過,絕不罷休。必要時還可以聲淚俱下,讓父母不忍心一意孤行下去。萬一父母還是不聽,甚至反過來說是我們的思想錯誤,而要責罵我們,甚至於打我們時,怎麼辦?古代的中國聖人也傳授了一個妙招﹕「小杖則受,大杖則逃。」
 

The previous passage told us that when exhorting our parents to change their faults, we should be persistent. However, if our parents become upset, we should immediately stop and wait for a day when our parents are in a better mood to continue. Our persistence should be like the stickiness of taffy. Not only is it soft and sweet, but it is extremely sticky; we must not give up until our parents change for the better. If the need arises, we may even break down in tears, until our parents cannot bear to be willful anymore. What if, instead of listening to us, our parents scold us and say we are wrong, or even hit us? The ancient sages of China gave a good piece of advice﹕ “If they beat us with a small stick, we should endure it. If they come with a big stick, we should run away.”

以孝順聞名的曾子,有一回挖土,不小心刨了瓜的根;他父親十分生氣,順手抓過一根棍子,打得曾子跛了好幾天。而曾子體會親心入微,怕父親看到難過,還每天高高興興地,不敢讓父親看出他受了重傷。孔子知道後,不但沒誇他孝順,還責備他笨和不孝。為什麼呢?因為他「陷父母於不義」了!假如曾子因此殘廢或者死亡,他的父親豈不是要入獄受刑,並一輩子生活在他人的唾棄,與自已的悔恨之中?所以真懂得孝道真諦的,是不會做個傻孝子的。
 

Zeng Zi (Confucius’ disciple) was renowned for his filial piety. Once when he was digging the earth, he accidentally hacked through the root of a melon plant. His father was so furious that he grabbed a club and gave his son a fierce beating. Zeng Zi was lame for several days. But knowing that his father would feel bad if he knew, Zeng Zi acted happy and didn’t dare let his father find out that he had been seriously hurt. When Confucius heard about this, he not only didn’t praise Zeng Zi for being filial, but rather scolded him for being foolish and not filial. Why? Because he had allowed his parents to incur a reputation of unkindness. If Zeng Zi had ended up permanently crippled or dead, his father would undoubtedly have been imprisoned and punished, and would have had to suffer disgrace and regret for the rest of his life. One who truly understands the meaning of filial piety would not act so foolishly.

父母若是罵,或打我們幾下子,就承受下來,痛一下也就過去了,犯不著小題大作,以為就是虐待。其實,父母都是「打在兒身,痛在娘心」的。但是父母若失去理智,沒命地毒打時,就一定要躲要逃了!
 

If our parents scold or hit us a few times, we might as well bear it, for the pain will go away soon. There’s no need to make a big deal and think they are abusing us. Actually, when parents hit their children, they feel the pain in their own hearts. However, if our parents lose their minds and beat us viciously, then it’s time to run and hide!

現代的人很注重虐待兒童的問題,但是卻有點反應過度,甚而濫用。不少偶爾受罰的孩子,被當作虐待兒童處理,而與父母隔離,造成雙方心理上的不平衡;更有孩子利用這個來要脅父母,弄得父母不敢嚴厲管教孩子,造成一堆問題青少年。今日社會問題之所以層出不窮,難道不是濫用保護政策,與誤解自由平等的結果嗎?
 

Nowadays people pay a lot of attention to the problem of child abuse, but the measures taken to prevent it are sometimes a bit excessive. Parents who occasionally punish their children may be charged with child abuse and have their children taken away from them; this results in unnecessary psychological harm to both sides. Sometimes children take advantage of this situation and use it to threaten their parents, so that parents don’t dare to be stern with their children. The lack of discipline has resulted in large numbers of juvenile delinquents. Today’s endless social problems are perhaps a consequence of the abuse of protective policies and the misunderstood notion of freedom.

凡事總以合乎中道為佳,真正的虐待兒童,我們絕不應漠視,但也不宜反應過度,造成父母師長管教上的困擾。
 

In general, it would be best to find a happy medium. Genuine cases of child abuse should definitely not be overlooked. On the other hand, measures taken to prevent child abuse should not be so over reactionary that it becomes difficult for parents and teachers to discipline children.

有一個女學生,她的母親在離婚後變得更好喝酒,醉了就亂發脾氣;那時若孩子不小心惹了她,不是挨打就是挨罵。有一天,這當時才十二歲的女孩子,見母親打小妹妹,就逃到鄰家,打電話向專管虐待兒童的部門求救。經法院判決,孩子不宜再與母親同住,於是姐妹倆就被兩個不同的家庭認養了。有時這女學生去看望生母,她母親卻看也不看她一眼;她就自己內疚著,以為母親一定恨透了她,而在她那位專靠收養這類孩子為生的養母那兒,又未得到真正的愛和照顧。為應付大人的挑剔,她學會了討好巴結,把一腔不平衡的情緒都發洩到外面,對同年齡的孩子有著暴力的傾向。
 

There was a young girl whose mother got a divorce. After the divorce, the mother often drank and was very temperamental when she was drunk. If she got upset at her daughter, she would scold or beat her. One day the girl, who was twelve years old at the time, saw her mother beating her little sister, so she ran over to a neighbor’s house and called the Child Abuse Hotline for help. The court ruled that the mother was not fit to live with her children. The two sisters were separated and were sent to different foster homes. When the girl went to visit her mother, her mother ignored her. She felt sure that her mother hated her. Yet she found no genuine love or caring in her new foster home either. In reaction to criticism from the adults around her, she learned how to please and flatter them. Sometimes she let out her pent-up emotions and behaved violently toward other children.

上高中後,她比較懂事了,試圖去了解她的生母,才發覺她的生母其實是活在悔恨裡,再加上因思念孩子和孤獨無助,變得更加自暴自棄,振作不起來。這女學生也很希望一家團圓,但是法律上已不許可了!
 

When she grew more mature in high school, she made an effort to understand her biological mother. It was only then that she realized how lonely and without support her mother had been, how much she had yearned for her children and been filled with regret. Her mother was even more helpless than before, unable to set her life straight. The daughter hoped to patch up her broken family now, but the law wouldn’t allow it!
 

話說回來,孩子在成長過程中,或多或少,或久或暫地,都有一段偶像塑造與崇拜的模仿期;誰是他們最早的模仿對象呢?當然是父母、年長的家庭成員了,其次才是師長,接著便是一些社會名人和歷史英雄。既然父母是最早的偶像人選,在童稚的心中,自有其顛撲不破的地位,那麼孩子又能有多少智慧,去判斷父母是否犯下過錯?萬一他們發現了父母也有過錯,他們又會怎樣震驚和失望?孩子們的是非標準和概念,本來就有待大人的教導,而今不但要承擔這種打擊,還要負起規勸的責任,那又是多麼不容易啊!
 

When children are growing up, there is a time when they are looking for models to follow and idols to worship. This time varies in length and intensity from person to person. Of course parents and elder family members are their earliest models, followed by teachers, famous people in society, and heroes in history. Since parents are the earliest models, they hold an indestructible place in a child’s heart. How much wisdom does a child have to judge whether or not his parents are at fault? When children discover that their parents can also make mistakes, imagine their shock and disappointment. Since children rely on adults to give them a standard for right and wrong, how difficult it must be when they not only have to overcome the shock of seeing their parents’ errors, but they have to take on the responsibility of exhorting their parents to change.

但是,我們也不要低估了孩子的良知和良能。假使古代的中國孩子能勉力這樣去做,那麼現代的中國孩子也能;中國孩子能,那麼各國的孩子也能。只不過現代的大人替小孩設想太多,保護太過,令孩子喪失了天賦的適應力,而變得自私自利或神經質罷了!所以從各方面來看,我們還是以實踐這個古老的原則,按照這些方法去做,比較能理事圓融無礙。
 

Nevertheless, we should not underestimate children’s intelligence and capabilities. If the children of ancient China were able to do it, so can the Chinese children of today. If Chinese children can do it, so can those of other nationalities. It’s just that today’s adults are overly protective of children, causing children to lose their natural adaptive abilities and become selfish and neurotic in- stead. Therefore, from all perspectives, it seems that we should go back to the ancient principles; that seems to be the most perfect solution .

親 有 疾 , 藥 先 嘗

qin you ji
 

yao xian chang

父母親 如果有 疾病
 

藥劑 在先地 嘗試

parents have illness

medicine first to taste

父母親有疾病時,所服用的湯藥都要先檢查過;
When parents are sick, examine the medicine before giving the dosage.

晝 夜 侍 , 不 離 床

zhou ye shi
 

bu li chuang

白天 夜晚 侍奉
 

不可 離開 床邊

day night to serve

do not to leave bedside

不論白天夜晚都侍奉著,不離開父母的床邊。
Wait on them day and night, without ever leaving their bedside.

這說的是當父母有疾病時,做子女應有的表現。不過,因為時代的不同,社會的變遷,加之各國風俗民情、文化背景也有異,這在今日就成了一個引人爭論非議的話題。尤其是頭兩句。給父母的藥,怎麼可以先去吃呢?胡亂吃樂,這簡直地太危險了!現在我們先就「嘗」這個中國字來解釋一下,或者會比較容易明白。
 

This verse speaks of the child’s duties when his or her parents are sick. However, due to the changing times and social customs and the differing cultural backgrounds, this verse–especially the first line– has become a source of controversy and has lost its original meaning. If taken literally, how can we taste medicine before we give it to our parents? Isn’t it dangerous to casually take medicine that is not prescribed for one? Let us explain the meaning of the Chinese character “chang 嘗” for “taste,” and then this verse will become easier to understand.

嘗,本來在中國是一種秋祭的名稱,就是秋天農作物收成後,用新穀來祭祀山林土地眾神,以表感恩;祭典之後,人家都吃一點祭過的新穀,看看味道好不好?這叫「嘗新」。因此,嘗就有「用舌頭辨別滋味」的意思,也引申出來「試一試」,或「鑑定」的意思。
 

The character chang was a term used in ancient China during harvest Lime. After the newly harvested crops were ritually offered to the mountain, forest, and earth spirit to give thanks, everyone would taste a little bit of the offering. That was known as chang xin 嘗新”tasting the new.” Thus chang meant “using the tip of the tongue to distinguish the flavor,” and it also came to mean “to taste” or “to give expert evidence. “

因為古代中國的藥,是用天然藥草,加水熬成的一碗濃縮藥汁。在這兒,嘗藥的意思,便是用舌尖輕輕碰觸藥汁,以辨別這個藥;只是淺嘗,並不是叫你吃到肚子裏去。如果是今日的藥丸、藥片,當然就無法嘗了;就是嘗,除舔了到表面的糖衣外,也嘗不出個所以然,所以不需要去嘗它。
 

In ancient China, natural herbs were boiled and decocted to make medicine. Thus, chang meant to lightly taste the herbal decoction with the tip of the tongue, not to swallow it down. Of course, there is no way to taste modern medicines which come in the form of pills and capsules. All you would be able to taste is their sugar coating.

那麼嘗藥的作用,既然是為了辨別,辨別什麼呢?第一,辨別藥汁的溫度;第二,辨別藥的正確性。因為藥汁必須趁熱吃才有藥效;但也不可太燙,而燙傷了虛弱的病人。可是,手對溫度的感覺是不太能憑恃的,它會因人、因碗的質地,以及不同的藥性,而有些差別;唯一的方法,便是以舌尖淺嘗一下了。細心的孝子是不會冒冒失失地,就端一碗熱騰騰或涼兮兮的藥給父母的。
 

The purpose of tasting medicine is to determine (1) how hot it is, and (2) whether it is the correct prescription. Chinese herbal decoctions are effective only if taken warm. However, they cannot be too hot, for overly hot medicine can harm weak patients. Our hands are not reliable for measuring the temperature of the decoction, since the accuracy of the measurement would depend on the person measuring, the material of the container, and the properties of the medicine. The only way to do it is to lightly test the decoction with the tip of one’s tongue. A concerned filial child will not recklessly serve his parents a steaming hot or cold bowl of medicine.

那又怎麼辨別藥的正確性呢?中國藥草之多,較常用的,也有幾千種,卻不外酸、苦、甜、辣、鹹五味,主治心肝脾腎肺五臟。大略地說,味酸的治肝臟、風疾,味甜的治脾胃、鬱悶等病,味苦的治心,味辛辣的治肺、氣管諸疾,味鹹的治腎;把藥汁一嘗,馬上可以試驗出醫生的藥方,或藥房抓的藥,有沒有被搞錯。
 

How can one determine whether the medicine is the correct one? Among the numerous varieties of Chinese medicine, there are several thousand which are commonly used. Yet all of them can be classified according to the five flavors: sour, bitter, sweet, acidic, and salty. The five flavors are primarily used to treat the five organs: the heart, liver, spleen, kidneys, and lungs. Generally speaking, sour medicine’s are used to treat liver diseases and rheumatism. Medicines of a sweet nature are used to treat diseases of the spleen and stomach, depression, and other such ailments. Bitter medicinal herbs are for the heart, acidic herbs for the lungs and bronchial tube, and salty ones for the kidneys.

當然這只能試個大概,除非深諳醫理和藥性的人,無法驗得準確,不過這是孝子的一點心意。所以我們現在對這一段文字比較了解了,應該沒有可以非議的了吧?那麼對於今日的藥丸、藥片,我們的「嘗」,就是檢查,看看父母服用的時間、藥量對不對,有沒有拿錯了藥,因為有的病人並不只吃一種藥。這是我們應該要謹慎服侍在病床邊的理由之一。
 

As soon as one tastes it, one can get a general idea of whether the medicine obtained is the correct one. Although only someone who is well-versed in medical lore and the properties of medicines can get a really accurate idea, tasting the medicine before giving it to his or her parents is a gesture of concern on the part of a filial child. Now that we have a better understanding of this verse, we should have no reason to criticize it. With regard to the pills and tablets of modern medicine, the word “taste” can be interpreted as “examine,” that is, to make sure our parents take the right medicine at the right times and in the right dosages (because sometimes sick people have to take more than one kind of medicine). This is one of the reasons we should carefully attend to our parents when they are sick.

病人或者頭昏眼花,或者行動不便,或者飲食無法自主,甚或大小便都不能自理,在在都需要人照顧。尤其是心情的沮喪、煩躁或恐懼,更需要人的支持與安撫。照顧病人是很苦的事情,尤其你若有自己經濟上的困難、家庭的責任、工作或功課上的壓力,還要奔走醫院,服侍一個心理也可能已不平衡的病人,那真會令人心力交疲。中國有句俗話說﹕「久病床前無孝子。」實在說起來,也不能苛責做子女的,不過孝子之所以是孝子,也正因為他「難行能行、難忍能忍」,和平常人不一樣。
 

Sick people may be dizzy, or have trouble getting around, or be unable to feed themselves or to use the toilet; they need other people to help them in all aspects. When they are sad, afflicted, or afraid, they especially need others to support and console them. Taking care of sick people can be very hard, especially if one has financial difficulties, family responsibilities, or pressures from work or school. If one has to make many trips to the hospital to take care of a sick person who may not be in a normal state of mind, one may become physically and mentally exhausted. There. is a Chinese saying, “There are no filial children by the bedside of one who is chronically ill.” Yet. one cannot really blame the children. A filial child merits the name “filial” because he or she is able to rise above the crowd, practicing what is difficult to practice, and enduring what is hard to endure.

所以這後兩句文字,說不論白天夜晚都侍奉著,不離開父母的床邊;雖然在今日的社會環境中,有些不可能,總以盡心盡力為孝。這個「盡」字,便是一種不自私、不自利,一種完全奉獻的心態。做子女的,只要問自己是否盡心盡力了;至於其作法,是可以因人、因時、因地而制宜,不是一成不變的!
 

The second line of the verse says that we should wait on our sick parents day and night, without leaving their bedside. Although this may not always be possible in our modern society, we should still try our best to be filial. Our spirit should be one of “giving our all” without one bit of selfishness. As children, we should simply ask ourselves if we have done our best for our parents; the methods we use are not fixed, but can depend on the person, time, and situation.

漢文帝親嘗湯藥,名列二十四孝,那是因為他以九五之尊,萬機之忙,卻不假手他人,晝夜親侍候薄太后,殊是不易。我們可不要找藉口,說皇帝富甲天下,不須要勞累工作,當然他有空閒和精力去日夜照顧母親囉,嘗嘗藥又算什麼!那麼古今中外,有幾個孝子是出在豪門的呀?
 

Emperor Wen of the Han dynasty personally tasted his mother’s medicine, and he became one of the Twenty-four Filial Paragons of China. Although he was the emperor and was occupied with the myriad affairs of riding the country, he personally waited upon his mother day and night. This is truly remarkable. We shouldn’t try to find an excuse, saying, “Well, the emperor was wealthy and didn’t have to work to make a living. Of course he had the time and energy to take care of his mother around the clock. What’s the big deal about tasting her medicine once in a while?” Yet take a look at history in China and other countries and see how many filial children have come from rich families.

所以「不論白天夜晚都侍奉著,不離開父母的床邊」,這意思是指孝事父母的那個「心」;不要在那個「時間」上鑽牛角尖,而誤解了聖人所說的真義。
 

The line “Wait upon them day and night, without ever leaving their bedside” is talking about the spirit with which we should serve our parents. We shouldn’t become attached to the details of time and place and misunderstand the true intent of the sages.

讀古書,要以心去領會得書中義理的精神,並行之於日用之間,才能上與古聖先賢遊。斷不能依文解字,以辭害義;否則我們所謂的文字,只不過是古人思想糟粕。若因此一味指責思想落伍,不能產生大用,而人云亦云,那是邪知邪見;若是拿糟粕當精華,囫圇吞棗、照單全收,那叫做屈死古人!
 

In studying the classics, we have to grasp the spirit of the principles and practice them in our daily lives. Then we will be able to roam with the sages and worthies of old. We should not interpret the classics so literally that the meaning is lost, or else we will only taste the dregs of the noble ideas of the ancients. If we insist on condemning all the classics as outdated, we will gain no benefit from them. We are simply repeating what we hear, which is based upon mistaken views. If we treat the dregs as the cream and jump to conclusions like this, we are not doing justice to the ancients.

喪 三 年 , 常 悲 咽

sang san nian
 

chang bei ye

守喪

經常地 悲傷地 哽咽

during the mourning period three year

always with grief to sob

為父母親守喪三年,經常哀慟飲泣;
During the three-year mourning period for one is deceased parents, one should constantly think of them with sorrow.

居 處 變 , 酒 肉 絕

ju chu bian
 

jiu rou jue

平時的起居 舉止動作 改變
 

飲酒 食肉 斷絕

dwelling doings to be changed

drinking wine eating meat to be discontinued

起居作息的方式改變,宴飲食肉的活動戒止。
One should change one’s usual ways of dwelling and doing things, and refrain from consuming alcohol and meat.

喪 盡 禮 , 祭 盡 誠

sang jin li
 

ji jin cheng

辦理喪事 完全做到 合乎禮節
 

祭祀 完全做到 有誠心

to arrange funeral affairs to exhaust one is effort to accord with the rites

to make offerings to the utmost to be sincere

辦理喪事要合乎禮節,進行祭典要出自至誠;
Make sure that the funeral arrangements accord with the rites, and whole-heartedly make offerings on their behalf.

事 死 者 , 如 事 生

shi si zhe
 

ru shi sheng

事奉 去世的 的(人)
 

好像 事奉 活著的人

to serve dead one

as if to serve living one

敬事去世的祖先,一如祖先在世的時候。
One should respectfully serve one’s departed ancestors as if they were still alive.

在中國古時候,父母去世了,做子女的有三年守孝的禮節。在這三年之中,做子女的必須深居簡出,平日的物質享受,如豪華舒適的住所、美味講究的飲食,或者柔軟華麗的衣飾等,統統要改變過來;精神上的享受,如音樂舞蹈的觀賞操演,或晏飲聚會、團遊圍獵等活動,也統統要禁止。
 

In ancient China, people observed a three-year mourning period after their parents’ passing, during which they lived in seclusion and hardly ever went out. They restrained themselves from enjoying such comforts as a luxurious dwelling, fine food, and soft and beautiful garments, and also abstained from pleasures of the spirit, such as watching or taking part in musical or dance performances, banquets, parties, trips, hunts, and so on.

這種喪禮,是上自天子,下至平民,都沒能例外的。因此就有守禮的天子,在三年中不視朝,把政事委交大臣去處理,自己穿著粗麻布衣,吃粗飯淡菜,獨居深宮,不親后妃,不近園池;甚至不理鬚髮,除非必要,連話也不說。這不消說,贏得不少聖人的讚歎。至於做官服公職的,通常會回鄉守制三年,以現代話來說,就是為了在家守孝,而申請留職停薪。那一般老百姓呢?當然也就在家守著,不出去工作了!有極孝順的,還索性在墓旁搭個茅屋住,那就叫「廬墓 」。
 

The rites of mourning applied to everyone from the emperor down to the common citizens. Some emperors went into mourning and stayed away from the court for three years, leaving the government to their ministers. They secluded themselves in the palace, wore coarse garments, and ate bland food. They didn’t visit their concubines or enter their gardens or ponds. They didn’t shave or cut their hair, and did not talk unless it was absolutely necessary. Such behavior won the praise of sages. Other public officials also returned to their villages for three years’ mourning. In modern terms, it would be equivalent to taking a leave of absence to go home. Ordinary people observed mourning by staying at home and not going to work. Those who were especially filial even built huts by the graveside of their parents and dwelt there.

為什麼要這樣約束呢?當年孔子的學生宰予就曾對孔子說﹕「父母去世守三年喪,其實一年都已夠久了!如果全國的人都三年不習禮,不習樂,這樣會禮崩樂壞的。況且物換星移也是一年一度,我認為一年也就夠了!」孔子就問他﹕「父母才死一年,穿好的,吃好的,在你能心安嗎?」宰予也不矯揉做作,很坦白地回答﹕「能安!」孔老夫子沒奈何,只好說﹕「你若能心安,就這麼做!有道的君子在居喪期間,內心充滿哀傷,雖有美食,食之不甘;雖有嘉樂,聞之不樂;一切日常起居,都不覺安適,所以才不願意享樂。現在你既然心安,就這麼去做去吧!」
 

Why did they restrain themselves in this way? Confucius was once asked by his disciple Zai Yu, “Why is there a three-year mourning period for parents? Isn’t one year long enough? If every person in the country stops practicing the rites and performing music for three years, won’t the rites and the music perish? All things, including the seasons, follow a yearly cycle; therefore, I think one year is enough,” Confucius asked him, “Would you feel comfortable wearing nice clothes and eating fine food only one year after your parents died?” Zai Yu answered frankly, “Sure, I’d be comfortable.” All Confucius could say was, “If you would feel comfortable, then just go ahead. When a person of true virtue mourns, he is so filled with grief that even if he eats fine food, he does not taste it; even if he hears fine music, it does not make him happy. In all the affairs of daily life, he feels no comfort or ease. That’s why he has no inclination to indulge in pleasure. If you feel comfortable, go ahead and have your way.”
 

等宰予走後,孔子就評論說﹕「宰予真是不仁啊!子女生下來,至少也得經過三年,才能離開父母的懷抱。守三年喪,是天下通行的喪禮啊!宰予這人,對他父母有過三年的愛慕嗎?」
 

After Zai Yu left, Confucius said, “Zai Yu is truly lacking in humaneness. After a child is born, it cannot leave its parents’ embrace for at least three years. Three years is the standard time of mourning for the whole country. I wonder whether Zai Yu loved his parents for three years.”

這意思是說,禮本來就是依據多數人人情的趨向,來制訂出一套配合的程序,以方便每個人遵循,使上下不亂,並不是用虛文來限制人自由的。遠古的人心比較單純厚道,父慈子孝的天性,幾乎是無時不刻地自然流露;所以在父母死後,當然是寢食難安了!說真的,「父母之恩,昊天罔極」,就一輩子思慕也不為過。
 

The rites were set down according to the sentimental inclinations of the majority of the people, so that everyone would be able to uphold them and order could be maintained in society; they are not empty rules imposed upon people to restrain their freedom. In ancient times, people were more simple and kind-hearted. The instinct for parents to be kind and children to be filial was ever present. Therefore, when their parents passed away, it was natural for people to lose their appetite and have trouble sleeping. Truly, “the kindness of our parents is vaster than the heavens,” and a lifetime of yearning for them would not be too much.

但人生在世,有應盡的義務和責任,不能離群索居,永遠沉湎在哀痛裏,這是不合乎中道的;而一年之喪,又意有未盡。怎麼辦呢?就兩者擇其中,定個三年,也算對父母頭三年推乾就濕,乳養提攜的辛勞,稍稍地回報罷了!這是為什麼定三年的喪期。
 

However we all have duties and responsibilities to fulfill in life, so we cannot withdraw from the world and indulge in mourning forever–that would not be the Middle Way. On the other hand, one year didn’t seem to be enough for mourning, so what could be done? As a compromise between the two, the period of three years was set as a token of repaying our parents for their toil in rearing us for the first three years of our lives.

等三年的喪期滿了,就應該節制自己的哀傷,恢復正常的生活。所以,當年孔子的學生子路,為他唯一的姐姐守完喪期後,還不忍除下喪服,孔子就告誡他﹕「你以為只有你才不忍心是不是?就路上可見的每個人,誰都是不忍心除下喪服的啊!可是先王制禮 ,本就為讓情感超過的人加以節制,讓悲痛不夠的人,能藉形式規定來改變自己。」由此可知,禮本是為了節制人情 ,使人在一個合理的範圍內 ,得到舒展情感的機會,並不在束縛人的手腳。
 

Once the three years are over, one should restrain one’s grief and return to a normal lifestyle. When Confucius’ disciple Zi Lu felt reluctant to take off his mourning garb after completing the period of mourning for his sister, Confucius admonished him, “You think you’re the only one who feels reluctant? Of all the people you meet on the road, who wouldn’t be reluctant to take off the mourning garments? But the reason the ancient kings set forth the rites was to help those who are overly emotional to restrain their emotions, and those who are not sufficiently mournful to transform themselves through the rites.” From this, we can see that the purpose of the rites is to help us restrain our emotions and express them within reason-able limits; it is not to deprive us of freedom. The rites are based upon principle and reason.

「禮者,理也」,倘若你有很足夠的理由 ,譬如賺錢養家、從軍服役或重大公務等,不能做到喪禮所要求的,是沒有人會責備你「 從權」的。禮以真誠為本,假若只拘泥於形式,而沒有誠心,就算守足三年的喪,又有什麼意義?還不如宰予來得坦白不造作。事實上,形式本是為多數人而設,當然也可以為多數人而改。今日的時代與社會,在經歷了這麼大的變遷之後,古人所定的禮儀當然可以不同,但是原則卻是不可移易的。
 

If you have good reason for not being able to carry out the rites of mourning, such as needing to earn money to support the family, being drafted into the military, or being involved in important public affairs, no one will blame you for being expedient. The rites are based on sincerity; if one were to concentrate only on external appearances and not have any real sincerity, then even if one observed the three-year mourning period, what meaning would it have? In that case Zai Yu’s frank and unpretentious manner would be preferable. Actually, since the external formalities were designed for majority of the people, they can certainly be altered by the majority. The present age and society is so different from ancient times, that of course, our rules of etiquette will be different from those followed by the ancients; however, the principle behind them unchangeable.

什麼原則呢?就是盡誠。不唯喪禮如此,葬禮、祭禮,亦復如此。古人說﹕「大孝終身慕父母。」就是說,孝敬之心是生死如一的。世間人有不少在父母生前慳吝不孝,卻在父母的葬禮上,大事揮霍,或者雇請「職業孝子」代哭,又或大辦酒肉筵席,歌舞助陣;這等虛偽無聊的舉動,可恥亦復可憐!
 

What is the principle? It is that of utmost sincerity. This is true not only of the rites of mourning, but also of the rites of burial and worship of the deceased. The ancients said, “One who is greatly filial thinks longingly of his parents for his or her whole life. ” That is to say, the thought of filial respect is the same whether one’s parents are alive or deceased. Some people are mean and not filial when their parents are living, and after their parents die, they may hold a grand funeral, perhaps hiring a professional “filial son” to cry in their stead, or perhaps having a great banquet with music and entertainment. Such hypocritical acts are both disgraceful and pitiful.

子路曾感嘆說﹕「人貧窮真是悲哀!父母在生時,無法好好奉養;死了,又無法好好辦喪事。」孔子就安慰他說﹕「如果能盡心盡力,就算嚼菜根,喝白開水,也能讓父母開心;誰說不能盡孝?就算沒錢買棺木,只能用草蓆包住遺體,不使暴露,也能合於禮法;誰說不能盡孝?那貧窮又有什麼關係?」
 

Zi Lu once lamented, “How miserable it is to be poor. One cannot support one’s parents well when they are alive, and one cannot give them a good funeral after they die.” Confucius consoled him, “As long as you do your best, even if you can only serve vegetable roots and plain water at the funeral, your parents will be happy. Who says you can’t fulfill your filial duties? Even if you can’t afford a coffin, if you can wrap the body with a straw mat so it won’t be exposed, this is in accord with the rites. Who says you can’t be filial? What does it matter if you are poor?”

所以孔子對喪祭之禮的看法是﹕第一,要依照自己的身份地位,並配合家庭經濟狀況,毋過與不及;也就是盡禮,合乎禮儀。第二,要存真正的哀傷之情和敬意;也就是盡誠,出乎至誠。
 

Confucius’ view toward the rites of mourning and worship of the deceased was: first, if one performs them according to one’s status and financial situation, neither going overboard nor doing too little, then one is in accord with the rites. Secondly, one should genuinely feel sorrow and respect, which is to say, one should have the utmost sincerity.

第三章﹕悌

兄道友,弟道恭,兄弟睦,孝在中。
財物輕,怨何生,言語忍,忿自泯。
或飲食,或坐走,長者先,幼者後。
長呼人,即代叫,人不在,己先到。
稱尊長,勿呼名,對尊長,勿見能。
路遇長,疾趨揖,長無言,退恭立。
騎下馬,乘下車,過猶待,百步餘。
長者立,幼勿坐,長者坐,命乃坐。
尊長前,聲要低,低不聞,卻非宜。
事諸父,如事父,事諸兄,如事兄。

兄 道 友 , 弟 道 恭

xiong dao you
 

di dao gong

做哥哥 原則 友愛
 

做弟弟 原則 恭敬順從

to be an older brother the way to be kind to

to be a younger brother the way to be respectful

做為兄長要友愛,身為弟弟須恭順;
The way of an older brother should be gentle, just as younger brother should be respectful.

兄 弟 睦 , 孝 在 中

xiong di mu
 

xiao zai zhong

哥哥 弟弟 和睦
 

孝道 存在 裏面

older brother younger brother to be harmonious

filial piety to be exist in it

兄弟和睦相處,孝道自然存乎其中。
If brothers and sisters get along harmoniously, then it is clear they know how to be filial.

有一首詩說:
 

There’s a verse that goes,

同氣連枝各自榮,
些些言語莫傷情;
一回相見一回老,
能得幾時為弟兄。
 

Born of the same energy,
we are connected branches that grow separately.
Why bicker and hurt each other’s feelings?
Each time we see each other, we are older.
How much time left do we have as siblings?

這意思是兄弟源於同一父母,就像一棵樹的枝幹,雖然各自生長,到底還是同一個根;千萬不要為了幾句話,而互相傷了感情。為什麼呢?因為韶光易逝,一忽兒就各自成家立業,相見也就不容易了;每一回見面,更由不得你不心驚;對方比上一回又見老了!人生短短幾十年,究竟有多長的時間能做兄弟呢?少小不相親睦,長大見面就吵;到了髮白面皺,難道還有力氣再打架?等到先後離世,難道還把怨恨帶到九泉之下去算?古人說﹕「同船共渡,要修五百年。」何況是做兄弟姐妹?想想看,這可不是個小因緣啊!世間人倫,肇始於夫婦,然後縱的發展出父子,橫的敷演成兄弟;自此以至於九族,都源本於這三種親屬關係,所以才叫做「至親 」,怎麼可以不親厚和睦呢?
 

Brothers and sisters were born from the same parents. They are like the branches of a tree: Although they grow up separately, they originally come form the same root. We should never bicker and hurt each other’s feelings. Why not? Because time flies. Pretty soon we will have our own families and careers, and we’ll hardly get a chance to see each other. Every time we meet, we will be shocked to see that the other has gotten older. Human life only lasts a few short decades; how much longer will we have each other as siblings? If we don’t get along when we’re still young, then after we grow up we will bicker whenever we meet. But will we still have the strength to fight when we have wrinkles and gray hair? When we die, will we bring our grudges to the underworld? There’s an ancient saying: “The affinity of riding in the same boat with someone took five hundred years to develop.” How much more time it must take to develop the affinity to be someone’s brother or sister? Think about it: these are not minor conditions! All human relationships begin with that of husband and wife; then there is the vertical relationship of parent to child, and the horizontal relationship between siblings. These three basic relationships, which give rise to the nine generations of relatives, are considered one’s closest kin. How can we not he affectionate and close to them?

中國人把兄弟姐妹叫做「同胞」、「手足」,意思也就是強調這份情誼的貴重和不可分割。做父母的總把孩子們比喻成手指,雖然五指有長有短,卻根根連心,咬了哪 一根都一樣痛;雖然孩子有賢愚肖不肖,就像手心手背,終歸是同一隻手。所以孩子們若有貧富貴賤之別,就算發達的那個用錦衣美食來孝養,做父母的還是會惦掛著落魄的那個 ,難以真正開心;孩子們若再互相殘害,那做父母的就更不會安心了!所以懂得孝道真諦的,一定親厚自己的兄弟姐妹,絕不相爭;甚至在自己發達時,也不忘提拔照顧自己的兄弟姐妹,絕不相忘。
 

The Chinese refer to brothers and sisters as “those of the same womb” and “hands and feet,” emphasizing how important and inseparable our siblings are to us. Parents often compare their children to the fingers of a hand. Although the fingers are of different lengths, they are all connected at the base, and it hurts the same no matter which one is bitten. Children may be wise or foolish, filial or unfilial, but they are just like the palm and the back of the hand, which are part of the same hand. One child maybe wealthy and honored, while another is poor and lowly, but even though the wealthy one provides his parents with fine clothing and food, his parents can hardly feel happy in their anxiety over the less fortunate one. And if the children mutually hurt each other, how much the less could the parents be happy. A child who truly understands how to be filial is kind and affectionate to his siblings and would never quarrel with them. If such a child is successful in life, he/she will not forget to help out and lake care of his siblings.

漢末三國,魏王曹操因為寵愛天資聰穎的三子曹植,幾次想讓他取代長子曹丕的世子位置;等曹丕繼承王位,又廢漢稱帝,就無時不刻想害死曹植了。他的母親雖貴為皇太后,卻是每天提心吊膽,不能安枕。後來曹丕把弟弟貶謫遠地,曹植進朝辭行時,曹丕就故意刁難他,限他七步成詩,想藉機殺了他。沒想到曹植竟在走七步路的短時間內,吟成了這首有名的七步詩:
 

During the Three Kingdoms Period (end of Han Dynasty, c. 241 -277 A.D.) the King of the state of Wei, Cao Cao, tried several times to let his favorite third son, Cao Zhi, inherit the throne in place of his eldest son, the crown prince Cao Pi. When Cao Pi assumed the throne, he removed the Han emperor and became the emperor himself and plotted constantly to kill Cao Zhi. Although his mother was the Empress Dowager, she was so nervous about this that she could never sleep in peace. Finally Cao Pi banished his younger brother to a distant land. When Cao Zhi went to court to bid farewell. Cao Pi deliberately challenged him to compose a poem in seven steps; if his brother failed, he would use it as a pretext to execute him. Unexpectedly, in the short time it took to walk seven steps, Cao Zhi chanted this famous “Seven-step Poem”﹕

煮豆燃豆箕,豆在釜中泣;
本是同根生,相煎何太急?
 

The beans are being cooked Over a fire of bean stalks.
From within the pot, the beans cry out﹕
“We both came from the same root;
Aren’t we being too hasty in torturing each other?

他說,我好比那熱鍋裡被煮的豆子,而用來生火煮我的,卻是哥哥你這同根生長的豆梗;哥哥啊!你為什麼這麼樣迫害我呢?這時一直緊張地躲在後面偷看的太后,忍不住跑出來,抱住曹植哭得死去活來,曹丕也掉下了淚,放曹植遠去了。
 

“Cao Zhi’s meaning was, “I am like some beans being cooked in a pot, and the fuel that is used for the fire to cook me is you, my brother–the bean stalks that grew from the same root. Brother, why do you want to do me in?” Al that point, the Empress Dowager, who had been watching secretly, couldn’t bear it any longer. She ran out, hugged Cao Zhi. and cried for dear life. Cao Pi shed tears, too, and bid farewell to Cao Zhi.

古人說﹕「帝王之家無親情。」為了權力地位,甚至父子相殘;兄弟相殺,就更不計其數,但也不是沒有例外的。舜帝所以被稱為大孝,就因為他對屢次要害死自己的父親和繼母,不但是始終盡孝不渝;對做幫兇的後弟,更不究既往,封予爵祿。這就是真正能體會親心的孝子!
 

An ancient saying goes, “There are no bonds of kinship in the imperial family.” Countless times the desire for power and position pitted father against son, or led brothers to kill one another. However, there have been exceptions. Emperor Shun became known as a greatly filial son because he remained ever filial to his father and stepmother even though they plotted his death many times. As for his stepbrother who was their accomplice, Shun didn’t hold it against him and even bestowed nobility and benefits upon him. This was a filial son who truly understood his parents’ hearts.

又唐玄宗還是皇子時,因為他英武而立有大功,他的長兄就把太子位讓給他。唐玄宗即皇位後,就把他做皇子時住的地方加以整修,又蓋了樓,題為「花萼相輝」;另在四周建造五座宮殿,分賜給他四個親兄弟和一個堂弟,號稱「五王宅」。意思是一登此樓,就可望見五王宅,好像花萼與花一樣相輝映。
 

Another example is Emperor Xuanzong of the Tang Dynasty. Since he had earned great merit in battle as a prince, his eldest brother yielded the position of crown prince to him. After he assumed the throne, he renovated the residence he had used when he was a prince, building a tower which he called “The Mutual Shining of Flower and Calyx” there. On the four sides he built five palaces which he conferred upon his four brothers and a cousin. He called them “The Houses of the Five Kings.” If one climbed to the top of the tower, one could see the five king’s houses; it was just like the calyx and the flower mutually illumining each other.
 

唐玄宗常和兄弟同遊獵,在玩耍時,彼此只行家人禮,從不擺皇帝架子。任何一個兄弟生病,他必寢食不安,殷勤探問;有一次為了替幼弟煎藥,還不小心燒著了鬍鬚。最為人所津津樂道的是「花萼被」和「花萼床」–他特地打了一床六人長枕和大被,並造了一張六人大床,以便和他的兄弟抵足而眠。所以後來的人,就用「花萼」來比喻兄弟的友愛。
 

Emperor Xuanzong often went hunting with his brothers, and during those playful times, the brothers followed the family etiquette among themselves; the Emperor never put on airs. If any one of his brothers got sick, he would not be able to eat or sleep in peace, and would constantly inquire after him. Once when he was boiling medicinal herbs for his little brother, he even burned his beard by accident. The things people like to tell about most are his “Flower and Calyx Blanket” and “Flower and Calyx Bed”-he had a long pillow, large blanket, and large six-person bed custom-made so that he and his brothers could sleep under the same covers. That’s why the term “flower and calyx” has come to be used to refer to brotherly affection.
 

古時候的家庭,孩子幼小時,父母是左手提抱一個、右手牽攜一個這樣地帶著;孩子則是一個抓父母前襟,一個拉父母後裾的跟著。吃飯共一張桌子,衣服也兄弟相傳,有的還同枕共被一床眠;所以縱使孩子有賢愚肖不肖之別,大抵上感情都還親厚;到了各自婚嫁,插入了來自不同家庭背景的新成員,就容易有嫌隙;這時,個人品德的好壞,就很分明地比出來了!大抵而言,小時就著重兄友弟恭的家庭裡,仍是比較經得起考驗的。
 

In the families of ancient times, parents would carry a child in one arm and hold another by the hand; and the children would hang onto their parents’ lapel or the hem of their robe. They would sit down at one long table for meals, and clothing would be handed down form older siblings to younger ones. Siblings even slept under the same covers and shared the same pillow sometimes! And so even if some might be smarter or more obedient than others, in general they were all very close. When they got married and new members joined the family, there tended to be some discord. At that point, each person’s moral calibre would become apparent. In general, families in which siblings were taught to show respect and affection for one another had an easier time of it.

現在的家庭孩子少了,「個人主義」又方興未艾;莫說獨生的不知孝友為何物,就有一兩個兄弟姐妹的,也都自小各行其是,毫無禮讓容忍或與人分享的概念。一個家庭可以有三、四種不同的生活方式,美其名曰「自由」、「進步」;殊不知那已是在開倒車,回到沒有法紀和倫理的原始社會上。恢復舊道德,真是刻不容緩呀!
 

In modern families where there are fewer children, individualism is on the rise. Not only do those who are “the only child” have no idea of what filial piety and brotherly affection are, even those with several siblings still do their own thing ever since they are little; they don’t understand what it means to yield to, to accept, or to share with others. In a single family there might even be people leading three or four different kinds of lifestyles. People call this “freedom” and “progress”; little do they know that we are actually regressing to the state of primitive societies that had no laws or ethics. There is no time to be lose: let us quickly return to our old moral and ethical values!

財 物 輕 , 怨 何 生

cai wu qing
 

yuan he sheng

錢財 物品 看得輕
 

嫌怨 從哪裏、哪裏 產生

wealth things to treat lightly unimportant

resentment How, from where to arise, be produced

錢財物品若看得很輕,嫌怨又哪裏會產生?
If we do not think of wealth as important, how could resentment arise?

言 語 忍 , 忿 自 泯

yan yu ren
 

fen zi min

言辭 談話 忍讓
 

忿恨 自然地 消失、 泯滅

words talk to be patient

resentment naturally, by itself to disappear

言談之間能忍讓謙和,忿恨自然消滅無蹤。
When words are both gentle and patient, bad feelings will naturally disappear.

孔子說過﹕
 

Confucius said,
 

 君子有三戒﹕
 少之時,
 血氣未定,戒之在色;
 及其壯也,
 血氣方剛,戒之在鬥;
 及其老也,
 血氣已衰,戒之在得。
 

A superior person should restrain himself in three ways during his life.
In his youth, when he is not yet physically mature,
he should refrain from lust.
In the prime of life, when his physical vigor is at its peak, he should refrain from fighting.
In his old age, when his physical strength has declined, he should refrain from acquiring things.
 

這說明了凡人的一生,都在造業。雖則世間之人千萬種,造的業也千萬種,歸納起來,只有兩大類﹕一類為爭名,一類為爭利──更多的人則是兼而有之。
 

This quote makes clear that a person creates karma throughout his entire life. There are millions of different kinds of people in the world, and they create millions of different kinds of karma. Yet these various kinds of karma can be divided into two main categories﹕ one is karma created in the struggle for fame, and the other is karma created in the struggle for profit. Most people create both kinds.
 

既然好爭,名利熏心的結果,往往連親情也不顧,遑論其他?解決爭端的辦法是什麼呢?給他們更多的財富地位嗎?那就像抱薪救 火,火勢愈烈,人只有更貪婪,爭得也更厲害。所謂「人心不足蛇吞象」,「慾望猶如無底洞」;「不足」並非爭的原因,「貪」才是罪源。所以正本清源,從小教育孩子不爭,才是解決個人問題、社會禍亂,以及國際戰爭的根本辦法。
 

Intoxicated with the desire for fame and profit, they may even forsake the close ties of family, how much the more other things. Can the problem be solved by giving them more wealth and status? That would be like using firewood to put out a fire; it only makes the fire blaze higher. Their greed would only increase, making them strive all the more eagerly. As it’s said, “People are never satisfied; they are like a snake wishing to swallow an elephant.” “Desire is like a bottomless pit.” The cause of their strife is not that they do not have enough, but that they are greedy. Therefore the fundamental solution is to teach children not to contend. This is the basic way to resolve personal problems, restore order in society, and stop war between nations.

一切的教育,再沒有比兒童的啟蒙教育更要緊的了,而兒童的啟蒙教育,又肇始於家庭。古聖人教化的次第是﹕「親親而仁民,仁民而愛物」;因此以「孝、悌」為首倡,從善事近親做起。
 

No form of education is more important than the education given to young children. Such instruction begins at home. The ancient sages prescribed the following order of teaching: “From being filial to parents, one learns to be kind to all people. From being kind to all people, one learns to love all creatures.” Therefore, they first emphasized filial piety and fraternal respect, and taught people to attend well upon their parents.
 

孝,是一種從事生、事死,到祭祀的全套作業,是人子終生要拳拳服膺的;終生行孝的人,自然會謹守法度,也能夠慈愛眾人了。所以說﹕「慎終追遠,民德歸厚矣!」孝道是連悌道都包括在內的,前面不是說「兄弟睦,孝在中」嗎?那麼, 怎樣才能令兄弟和睦呢?第一就要教他們「不爭」。怎樣才能令兄弟不爭呢?第一就要教他們「忍」。忍什麼?忍氣、忍苦、忍難;總之,忍一切的不公平。
 

Filial piety involves a full set of duties including serving one’s parents when they are alive and after they pass away, including making offerings to them. These are obligations that a child must diligently carry out for his whole life. People who are filial their whole lives will naturally be law-abiding citizens who show tender concern to all. Thus it is said, “Let there be careful attention to performing the funeral rites for parents, and let them be followed when long gone with the ceremonies of sacrifice; then the virtue of the people will resume its proper excellence.” The practice of filial piety includes within it the practice of fraternal respect. As the text said earlier, “If brothers and sisters get along harmoniously, then it’s clear they know how to be filial.” How can there be harmony among siblings? First, they must be taught not to contend. How can they be taught not to contend? They have to be taught to be patient-to have the patience to endure scoldings, sufferings, hard- ships, and all sorts of unfair treatment.

現代很多教育專家,成天呼籲父母師長要注意孩子的感受。過分看重的結果 ,慣得很多孩子凡事就衡量公平不公平,絲毫不肯退讓;只想到自己受不了,不知體諒他人的難處。從小在家,就為了「為什麼哥哥可以出去玩,我不能」、「為什麼姐姐有新衣,我沒有」之類的瑣碎小事而受不了,動不動就叫不公平;受不了不公平便怎麼樣?爭!吵!小時爭小事情,大了就爭大的;在家與兄弟姐妹爭,上學就與同學爭,出社會就與人人爭。上下交征名,上下交征利,社會焉能不動亂?所以從家庭教育做起,教導孩子減輕欲心,學習忍不公平,學習吃虧,這才能人人不爭。
 

Many modern educators do nothing but warn parents to pay attention to their children’s feelings. As a result of the overemphasis of this point, children have become spoiled to the point that they only think about whether or not things are fair to them, and they will not yield in the least. Only aware of their own discomfort, they never give any consideration to others’ difficulties. When they are growing up at home, they complain about small things, such as: “How come my brother can go out to play, and I can’t?” “How come Sis has new clothes, and I don’t?” They complain about every little thing that they think is “not fair.” What happens when they get upset over things not being fair? They fight! They argue! As children they bicker over small things, but by the time they grow up they contend over big things. At home they bicker with their brothers and sisters; at school they argue with their classmates; and in society they contend with their fellow citizens. With such competition over fame and profit at all levels of society, how can chaos not result? Therefore, only by starting at home and teaching children to lessen their desires, to be patient with unfairness, and to learn to take losses, can we stop people from contending.

有個朋友生了三個女兒,每次領薪水,不是給女兒買玩具,就是買衣服;而且買的衣服,一定一式三套。我以經濟的眼光勸他﹕「小孩長得快,衣服馬上就太小不能穿了,一套衣服可以姐妹傳著穿嘛!」她卻情緒激動地叫起來﹕「為什麼做妹妹的就得穿舊衣?」我嚇了一跳,賠小心又試探地問﹕「那也可以每人買個不同式樣的吧?」「不行!式樣不同也是不公平。要是她們認為另一件比自己的好,不是要爭了嗎?我受夠了我媽的不公平待遇,絕對不再讓孩子因為不公平而受傷害。」
 

I have a friend who has three daughters. Every time she gets paid, she goes out to buy toys or clothing for them. And when she buys clothes, she always gets three sets of the same thing. Thinking economically, I advised her, “Children grow very fast and outgrow their clothes almost immediately. Why don’t you buy one of everything and let them hand it down from the older to the younger sisters?” I was taken aback by her sharp retort: “Why should the younger ones always have to wear hand-me-downs?” I cautiously tried to make another suggestion: “Well, at least they could each buy a different style, couldn’t they?” “No. If the style is different, it’s not fair either. If they thought someone else’s was better than theirs, they’d start bickering. I had enough of my mother’s unfair treatment, and I’ll never let my own children undergo that kind of injustice.”
 

後來我才知道;原來她是家中三姐妹的老二,自小總覺得父母看重老大,憐惜老么,自己是最受忽略的一個;因此常與母親及姐妹爭,已很多年不與母親及姐妹來往了。過了十年,我聽說她的三個女兒不但也是彼此不合,還都很怨恨她,她過得很寂寞。由此可見,力求表面的公平,或盡量用物質去滿足孩子,仍無法教孩子不爭啊!說起來,還是從心地下工夫來得根本。只要能教孩子寡欲,孩子又有什麼可爭的呢?只要能教孩子忍不平,孩子又怎麼吵得起來呢?
 

Later I found out that she was the second of three sisters. Ever since she was little, she felt her parents had favored the eldest and adored the youngest, but had neglected her. That’s why she had always quarreled with her mother and sisters, and had not communicated with them for many years. Ten years later, I heard that not only did her three daughters not get along, but they all blamed her, and so she was very lonely. From this, we can see that insisting on superficial fair treatment or trying to please kids with material things is not the way to teach them how not to contend. The fundamental solution is to work on their hearts and minds. If we can teach children to reduce their desires, what could they possibly contend about? If we can teach them to tolerate unfair treatment, how could they possibly get into arguments?
 
古詩說得好﹕   An ancient poem puts it well:
 

兄弟同居忍便安,
莫因毫末起爭端;
眼前生子又兄弟,
皆與兒孫作樣看。
 

With patience,
we can get along well with our brothers and sisters.
Do not start fights over little things.
As siblings, we ought to set a good example
for our children and grandchildren to follow.

所謂毫末,就是不重要的。什 麼是不重要的?財物是不重要的,名也是不重要的,男女私情也是不重要的,因為那些都是無常的。什麼又是重要的?人格道德是最重要的,因為那是不朽的。而人格道德的培育,自孝悌做起。況且自己不知孝悌,當然也教不來兒女孝悌,那就要自嘗苦果了。如是因,如是果,可不慎哉?
 

Little things means trivial matters. What is trivial? Wealth is trivial, and so is fame and romance, because none of them are lasting. What is important? Integrity and moral virtue are the most important things, because they never perish. The development of integrity and virtue begins with filial piety and fraternal respect. If we ourselves do not understand how to be good to our own parents and siblings, then of course we can’t teach our children to be good to their parents and siblings, and we’ll have to suffer the bitter consequences. As is the cause, so will be the result. How can we not take heed?

或 飲 食 , 或 坐 走

huo yin shi
 

huo zuo zou

或者 喝飲料 吃東西
 

或者 坐著的時候 走路的時候

whether drinking eating

whether sitting walking

無論吃喝,或是行走坐臥;
While eating or drinking, or when walking or sitting.

長 者 先 , 幼 者 後

zhang zhe xian
 

you zhe hou

輩分長 的人 在前面
 

輩分輕 的人 在後面

elder one at first

younger one in back

總是禮讓長輩在先,晚輩居後。
Let those who are older go first, the younger ones should follow behind.

道德風氣的形成,不是一蹴可幾的,必須集許多有德之個人來帶動;個人的道德,也不是一朝一夕可以建立的,必須自小由家庭生活培養起。
 

The tradition of virtue cannot be established all at once. It requires the accumulated efforts of a great many virtuous individuals. An individual’s virtuous character is not developed overnight either; it must be nurtured from childhood by his family.
 

中國是個講究禮讓的古國,以禮讓聞名的聖哲君子,不可勝數;以禮讓治國的例子,更不在少數。禮不離讓,讓必合乎禮,二者相輔相成,相得益彰。假如是不合乎禮法的事,根本就不應該去做,更毋須論什麼讓與不讓了!
 

China is an ancient country which values propriety and the ability to yield; it has produced countless sages and great men who were renowned for their propriety and ability to yield. There are many examples in which the country was governed by means of propriety and yielding. Propriety is not apart from yielding; yielding must accord with propriety. The two complement and benefit one another. If something is not in accord with the rules of propriety, it should basically not be done at all; how much the less should one consider whether or not to yield.
 

兄弟之間,講究的是兄友弟恭,因為友愛,做兄姐的總想把好處留給弟妹;因為恭敬,做弟妹的也總想把好處讓給兄姐;如此一來,不就 「家和萬事興」了嗎?
 

Between siblings, the elder sibling should be kind, and the younger one should be respectful. Elder brothers and sisters should want to let their younger siblings enjoy the advantages, and younger siblings should want to yield the advantages to their older siblings. In that way, how can the family not be harmonious and how can there not be prosperity?

周武王是周朝開國之君,他的曾祖古公亶父,有泰伯、仲雍、季歷三個兒子。古公亶父很喜歡季歷的兒子,認為這小孩將來必可昌盛姬氏所建立的周國,因此將這小孩取名為昌,希望讓昌來做周的領導人。可是要由姬昌做領導人,除非昌的父親季歷先繼承王位,因此做長兄的泰伯,便偕二弟仲雍逃到南蠻,以便讓季歷繼承王位。可是在父親去世前後,季歷亦三次禮讓兩位兄長,不肯繼承王位。
 

King Wu of Zhou was the founder of the Zhou dynasty. His great grandfather, the Ancient Lord of Tan, had three sons: Taibo, Zhongy- ong, and Jili. The Ancient Lord of Tan favored the son of Jili and thought this son could certainly cause the Zhou dynasty, founded by the Ji clan, to flourish. That’s why he named this boy Chang (“flourishing”) and wanted him to become the ruler of the Zhou dynasty. However, the only way this could happen would be for the boy’s father Jili to inherit the throne. Therefore the two elder brothers, Taibo and Zhongyong, retreated to Nanman [region inhabited by barbarous tribes in the south of China] so that the throne would pass to their younger brother Jili. However, before and after the death of their father, Jili three times tried to yield the throne to his two older brothers and refused to assume the throne himself.

於是乎泰伯、仲雍就學當地的土著,把頭髮剪短披散,又在身上圖上花紋,以表示不再回國的決心,好讓季歷安心繼位。後來季歷的兒子姬昌果然成為一個聰慧過人,又能以德服人的領導者;四方各小國紛紛背叛暴君商紂王,自動來歸順,竟至三分天下有其二。周武王興師伐紂,統一天下,建立周的皇朝後,便追尊其父姬昌為周文王。周文王不但是個聖明的君王,他的禮教、典章、制度,和所演算出來的「易經八卦」,對中國的歷史、文化,都有深遠的影響。
 

Taibo and Zhongyong resorted to adopting the manner of the local tribes, cutting their hair short and wearing it loose, and making tattoos on their body. They did this to show that they were resolved not to return to their state, so that Jili could assume the throne without worry. Later, Jili’s son Jichang indeed became a leader of exceptional wisdom who won people over by means of his virtue. The various small states from all around turned away from the tyrant Emperor Zhou of Shangand allied themselves under him, so that he gained the support of two-thirds of the country. After King Wu of Zhou attacked EmperorZhou and united the whole country under the new dynasty of Zhou, he bestowed the title “King Wen of Zhou” upon his father, Jichang. KingWen was a ruler of sagely wisdom. His teachings of propriety, his laws, his system of government, and the eight trigrams of the Book of Change which he calculated have had a profound and far-reaching influence on Chinese history and culture.

而逃到南蠻的泰伯、仲雍兄弟,也由於道德才能,被當地的土著推為君長,以後他們建立了虞國。後來虞國的子孫又搬到揚子江下游,建立了吳國,並接受周的招撫,成為一個諸侯。春秋中期,吳國日益強大,到了壽夢王時,已有大國的規模了。壽夢王有四個兒子,其中以最小的季札最有才德。壽夢王認為只有讓季札為王,吳國才能興盛;可是季札無論如何不肯越過三個兄長來做太子。壽夢王臨終時吩咐四個兒子﹕王位不再父子相傳,必須「兄終弟及」,直到傳給最小的季札為止。
 

The two elder brothers, Taibo and Zhongyong, who had retreated to the south of China, were elected as leaders by the local natives because of their outstanding virtue and talent. Later on they founded the state of Yu. The descendants of the state of Yu later moved to the lower reaches of the Yangzi River, where they founded the state of Wu. They accepted the protection offered by Zhou and became a feudal state under the Zhou dynastic rule. During the middle of the Spring and Autumn Period, the state of Wu grew and gained strength until in the reign of King Shoumeng it became a great state. Of the King’s four sons, the youngest one, Jizha, possessed the greatest talent and virtue. King Shoumeng believed that the only way the state of Wu could prosper would be for Jizha to become king. But Jizha adamantly refused to become the crown prince ahead of his three older brothers. Right before he died. King Shoumeng instructed his four sons that the throne was to be passed not from father to son, but from older brother to younger brother, until it passed to the youngest brother, Jizha.

壽夢王去世後,長兄再度讓位季札沒成功,只好先繼位;可是他打起仗來奮不顧身,不多久就在戰事中被射死了。二哥繼位後經常對天禱告,希望自己快點死。為什麼呢?因為他認為吳國之有今日的強盛,是他的祖先太王(即古公亶父)立賢不立長的結果;況且吳國根本就是在泰伯兄弟相讓之下而產生的。兄弟禮讓,既是家風,他也願效法先人美德,所以希望自己快點死,好讓季札有機會早點成為吳王。不多久,二哥也在戰事中死了。
 

After the King passed away, the eldest brother tried to yield the throne directly to Jizha, but had no success, so he could only assume the throne himself first. Since he was always going to battle without regard for his own life, it was not long before he was shot to death on the battlefield. After the second brother became king, he constantly prayed to heaven for an early death. Why? Because he felt the state of Wu had reached its prosperity because its founder (the Ancient Lord of Tan) had chosen its ruler on the basis of virtue rather than seniority. What was more, the state of Wu had been founded as a result of the yielding of the two elder brothers Taibo and Zhongyong. Thus yielding among brothers was a family tradition, and he was willing to emulate this virtue of his ancestors. That’s why he wanted to die sooner so that Jizha could become the King of Wu earlier. Not long afterwards, he was also killed in battle.

三哥繼位後,請季札做宰相,幫忙治理吳國;季札認為戰爭太多,百姓生活不能安定,於是以和平大使的身分,到各國去友好訪問。他高尚的道德和過人的才華,在諸侯間備受敬重,使吳國安享了數年的太平。可是他的三哥也只做了四年的吳王就死了,臨終要把王位傳給季札;季札還是不接受,就跑到延陵一地住下。季札一走,吳國的朝臣們都慌了,匆忙中立了他三哥的兒子公子僚為吳王。
 

When the third brother became King, he asked Jizha to help rule the state as prime minister. Jizha felt that with so much warfare, there was no way for the people to live in peace and security. Thus he traveled throughout the states making goodwill missions as a “peace ambassador. “His lofty virtue and exceptional talent and intelligence won the respect of the other feudal lords, and as a result the state of Wu enjoyed many years of peace. But the third brother died after only four years as king. Right before his death he tried to pass the throne to Jizha, but Jizha still refused and retreated to Yanling to live. With Jizha’s abrupt departure, the ministers of Wu panicked and hastily set up the third brother’s son, Prince Liao, as king.

因此,他長兄的兒子公子光就不高興了,他認為季札不做吳王,那麼王位就該傳回給他,而且吳王僚連讓都沒讓,令他心裡更加不滿。後來,公子光趁著季札去訪問晉國時,派人刺殺了吳王僚。等季札回來,公子光就表示要把王位讓給他,說是尊重祖父、父親和兩位叔叔的意思。季札對公子光說﹕「你一心想做吳王,現在你的目的已達到了,你還讓什麼呢?做君王的,只要能善待百姓,我就會擁護他。」於是公子光就做了吳王,並改名闔閭。
 

At this turn of events, Prince Guang, the son of the eldest brother, was unhappy; he thought that if Jizha didn’t want to be the king of Wu, the throne should pass to him. Yet King Liao of Wu didn’t show the slightest intention of yielding the throne, which dissatisfied him even more. Later, taking advantage of the fact that Jizha was away visiting the state ofJin, he sent an assassin to kill King Liao. When Jizha returned. Prince Guang made a show of yielding the throne to him, saying that he wished to honor the wishes of his grandfather, father, and two uncles. Jizha said to him, “You were dead set on being the King of Wu. Now you’ve obtained what you wanted; what are you yielding it up for? Whoever the king is, as long as he treats the people well, I will support him. ” Thus Prince Guang became the King of Wu and changed his name to He Lyu.

季札對公子光與吳王僚搶奪王位的事情 ,感到非常羞恥,因此就一直住在延陵,不再過問吳國的事,直到老死;歷史上尊稱他為「延陵公子」。而吳王闔閭後來死於對越國的戰爭中,到他兒子夫差時,吳國就被越國滅亡了。
 

Since Jizha felt greatly ashamed at the way Prince Guang had usurped the throne from King Liao, he stayed in Yanling for the rest of his life and did not concern himself with the affairs of the state of Wu anymore. In history he is honorically referred to as the Prince of Yanling. After King Helyu of Wu was killed in battle with the state of Yue and his son Fucai assumed the throne, the state of Wu was conquered by the state of Yue.

從以上兩個故事看,禮讓帶來吉慶,可使一國興盛永久;爭奪導致戾氣,不祥莫大焉。一國如此,一家何嘗不是如此?所以俗話說﹕「兄弟和而家不分。」要想兄弟和,就要教子弟們自小明白長幼有序的道理,從日常生活的飲食起居做,凡事知禮與讓。
 

From the two stories above, we can see that the auspicious blessings brought by propriety and yielding can enable a country to prosper for a long time. On the other hand, there is no greater misfortune than the violence brought about by strife and contention. If this is the case for a country, would it not be the case for a family? There is a common saying, “When siblings get along, the family will not break up.” If we want siblings to get along, we have to teach our children so they can understand the order governing seniors and juniors, and so they will know to practice propriety and yielding in all matters in their daily life.

長 呼 人 , 即 代 叫

zhang hu ren
 

ji dai jiao

長輩 叫喚 他人
 

就、立刻 替 叫喚

elder to call someone

then; immediately do things for others to call

如果長輩叫喚他人,應該立刻替長輩去叫。
If an elder is looking for someone, we should look for that person for him.

人 不 在 , 己 先 到

ren bu zai
 

ji xian dao

他人

在那裏
 

自己 在先的 到前面

someone not there

self first to go to

若是長輩要找的人不在,自己就先到長輩面前應答。
If the person they want is not there, we should first respond to the call.

曾子談論孔子的道是﹕「夫子之道,忠恕而已矣。」所謂「忠」,就是「盡己」,凡事有始有終,這是敬慎心,也就是平等心。所謂「恕」,就是「己所不欲,勿施於人」;這是體諒心,也就是大悲心。要想擁有這些美好的道德,必須自小在家庭生活中培養起。
 

In speaking of the doctrine of Confucius, Zeng Zi said, “The doctrine of our teacher is simply loyalty and forgiveness.” Loyalty means to do one’s best. We must finish whatever we start. It also means having a cautious and respectful attitude, and an attitude of fairness and equality. Forgiveness means not doing to others what you wouldn’t want done to yourself. This is an attitude of considering others’ feelings, and is therefore great compassion. To have these good virtues, one must start developing them at home when one is young.

譬如這裡所說的,替長輩叫人,就可以訓練孩子對人對事的敬慎心。怎麼說呢?長輩一定是有事,才須要找人去;「有事弟子服其勞」,我們當然應該代他去把人找來。萬一要找的人不在,我們若不去回覆,長輩就會在那兒苦等,這樣我們豈不是很沒責任感嗎 ?所以要有頭有尾地完成這件事,不但去回覆長輩,更要進一步請問有沒有自己可以代為效勞的。這種對人對事的敬慎心,就是培養我們的責任感。一個有責任感的人,遇事不會漠不關心或虎頭蛇尾,所以也是個可以付託重任的人。這便是「忠」的精神!不要以為叫叫人只是小事,大道德原都是自微細處實行起的。
 

For example, running errands for our elders can train us to be cautious and respectful in handling business. Why? Our elders must have urgent business to take care of when they call for someone. “When there’s a task to be done, we as disciples should help out,” so of course we must go and find the person they want to see. If the person we are looking for cannot be found and we don’t go back to report to our elders, they will be there waiting and will be very worried. Wouldn’t that be irresponsible on our part? So we must finish the errand completely. Not only should we go back to tell our elders that we can’t find the person, we must ask further if they have anything else we can do. This kind of careful respect will help us to develop a sense of responsibility. A responsible person will not handle matters as if he didn’t care, nor will he start out with big plans but end up doing very little. He is someone who can take on heavy responsibilities. This is the spirit of loyalty. Do not think that running errands for people is a petty chore; great virtues all begin with the practice of small deeds.

不直呼長輩的名字,也是一種敬慎的表現。現代的孩子,不但對兄姐直呼其名,對父母長輩也直呼其名;美其名曰縮短人際距離,其實已開了長幼無序的大門。長幼無序的結果怎樣呢?孩子小時,對父母就狎暱而不知恭敬;稍長,父母稍不滿他的願,就會認為父母不再關心他;長大後,自然動輒忤逆反抗,成為一個不孝子。是故當孩子小時,做父母的若不能以恭敬兄長來要求他,甚至對他不禮貌的言語舉止,還以為逗笑可愛,日後就不免要嘗到氣惱傷心的滋味了!
 

Not calling elders by their first name is also a sign of cautiousness and respect. Children nowadays not only call their elder brothers and sisters by their first names, but also call their parents and elders by name. Some people defend this trend, saying that it lessens the distance between people, but in actuality it is opening the door to there being no distinction between elders and children. What is the result of all this? Children will become too familiar with their parents when they are little, and will not know to respect their parents. When children reach their pre-teens, if the parents do not fulfill their wishes, they will feel that their parents don’t care about them anymore. When they grow up they will rebel and become unfilial children. Therefore when children are young, if the parents do not require them to respect their elder brothers and sisters, and merely think they are kidding and are cute when they speak and act with bad manners, later on the parents will experience anger.
 

那麼又為什麼在長輩面前不該賣弄自己的本事呢?俗話說﹕「逢人但說三分話。」 又說﹕「匹夫無罪,懷璧其罪。」不賣弄自己的本事,可以免去他人嫉害,不但對自己是一種保護,而且對人更是一種慈悲。試想想看﹕如果換了是別人在我們不能的事情上炫耀,我們是不是也很難堪呀?所以從這小事做起,可以長養慈悲心,學會體諒人,這就是恕道!
 

Why shouldn’t we exceedingly show off ourselves in front of the elders? There is a saying which reads, “One should only reveal 30% of himself”, and another which reads, “It is not the one that hides the treasure who is to be blamed, but the treasure that is hidden by him that is to be blamed.” We will cause less jealousy if we do not show off ourselves. It is not only to protect ourselves, but also to show compassion towards others. Just imagine, if someone tries to boast about himself regarding things that we are unable to do, we will we feel intimidated or embarrassed. From these small gestures, we can start to nurture a compassionate mind and learn to be considerate of others. This is “forgiveness.”

稱 尊 長 , 勿 呼 名

cheng zun zhang
 

wu hu ming

稱呼 尊貴的人 年長的人
 

不要 叫 名字

to address honored one elder

do not to call out name

稱呼長官或長輩,不可直呼他們的名字。
In speaking to those who are older, use the proper terms of respect.

對 尊 長 , 勿 見 能

dui zun zhang
 

wu xian neng

面對 尊貴的人 年長的人
 

不要 賣弄 才能

to face honored one elder

do not to show off ability

在長官或長輩前,不要賣弄自己的才能。
When facing our teachers and elders, do not show off or try to look smart.

路 遇 長 , 疾 趨 揖

lu yu zhang
 

ji qu yi

道路 遇見 長輩
 

迅速地 快步向前 拱手作禮

road to meet elder

quickly to go forward to bow

如果在路上遇見長輩,要趕快上前去行禮。
If we meet an elder on the road, we should quickly approach him and bow.

長 無 言 , 退 恭 立

zhang wu yan
 

tui gong li

長輩 沒有 說話
 

退開一邊 恭敬地 站著

elder not speak

to withdraw respectfully to stand

如果長輩沒有說話,要退一邊恭敬地站著。
If the elder does not speak to us, we should respectfully stand aside.

蕭伯納是英國一位很有名的劇作家,他的劇本很受歡迎;可是因為他出身寒微,還是有一些貴族瞧不起他。有一次,他應邀去參加一個盛大的遊園會,一個穿著很講究的年輕人看見蕭伯納,就傲慢地冷笑著問﹕「聽說你爸爸是裁縫,是不是?」蕭伯納微笑著回答﹕「不錯!一點也不錯!」
 

George Bernard Shaw was a famous British playwright whose plays are very popular. But because he was of low birth, there were members of the aristocratic class who looked down upon him. Onetime when he was invited to a big party, a well-dressed young man saw him and asked haughtily, “I heard your father is a tailor, is that so?” Shaw answered with a smile, “You’re absolutely right.”

年輕人又問﹕「那麼你為什麼不學你爸爸呢?」聽了這番蓄意侮辱的話,蕭伯納非但毫不生氣,反而對那傲慢的年輕人說﹕「聽說你父親是位很有禮貌的紳士,是不是?」年輕人一本正經地回答﹕「不錯!一點也不錯!」蕭伯納便反問他:「那麼,你為什麼不學你父親呢?」那傲慢的年輕人不懂敬老尊賢,結果是自取其辱。
 

The man said, “Why don’t you learn from your father? Even though this was quite an insult to Shaw, he showed not the slightest trace of anger. Instead he asked the man, “I heard your father is a very well-mannered gentleman, is that so?” “Absolutely,” replied the young man. “Then why don’t you learn from your father?” asked Shaw. That arrogant young man had not known how to respect his elder, and so he ended up insulting himself.

相反的,中國漢朝的張良,就因為敬老尊賢,才成就他的豐功偉業。有一天,張良路過一座橋,橋頭坐著的老人,故意把鞋甩到橋下,叫他去撿;老人甩三次,張良也不厭其煩地撿三次,又替老人穿上鞋子,於是乎贏得了老人黃石公的嘉許,答應授給他一部奇書。張良就憑著書上出神入化的知識,做了劉邦的軍師,而名列漢朝三大開國功臣之一。
 

In contrast, during the Han dynasty in China there was a man named Zhang Liang. This man was able to accomplish great deeds because he respected his elders. One day he happened to walk across a bridge. At one end of the bridge sat an old man. The old man deliberately threw his shoes under the bridge and told Zhang Liang to go pick them up. He repeated this three times, and Zhang Liang patiently retrieved the shoes three times and help the old man put them on. Thus he won the approval of the old man—the Huangshigong (Venerable Yellow Stone), and as a present the old man gave him a book. Zhang Liang used the esoteric principles in that book to help Liu Bang win his battles, and he became one of three men who helped found the Han dynasty.

從這兩個小故事,我們可以看得出;愈是有內涵的人,愈是敬老尊賢,也愈是得到成就;反之,愈是膚淺無識的人,愈是倨傲,也愈是會受到羞辱。所以對人對事常存敬慎心和慈悲心,其實是利人又利己的。我們若是年幼無知,固然應該敬老尊賢;我們若是已有相當成就,還是要謙虛退讓,絕對不可自恃賣弄。否則,小則個人受辱,大則就有毀身敗家,甚至於破國之虞了。
 

From these two small anecdotes, we can see that the more virtuous and refined a person is, the more he will respect his elders and the more he is likely to succeed. Conversely, the more shallow and uneducated a person is, the more arrogant he is and the more he is likely to get insulted. If we are always cautious, respectful, and compassionate in how we treat people and handle matters, we are really benefiting others as well as ourselves. If we are young and don’t understand much, we should of course respect our elders. If we have some accomplishments, we should still be very humble. We cannot show off our talents, for if the matter is small we might get insulted, and if it’s big we might bring harm and embarrassment to our family. It could even be so serious as to bring the whole country to ruin.

這兒是一則小故事。一位藝術家坐小船渡河,他賣弄地問船夫﹕「你懂得美術嗎?」船夫搖搖頭。藝術家惋惜地說﹕「那麼,你的生命就減少三分之一了!」過了一會,藝術家又問船夫﹕「你懂得音樂嗎?」船夫漫不經心地回答﹕「不懂!」藝術家就說﹕「那麼,你的生命只剩下三分之一了!」不久,風浪洶湧,小船顛簸得很厲害;船夫問藝術家 ﹕「你懂得游泳嗎?」藝術家緊張地回答﹕「不懂!」船夫微笑著說﹕「那麼,你的生命就要減少三分之三了!」朋友!但望我們都不會像那個藝術家一樣幼稚啊!
 

Here is another anecdote. Once an artist was crossing a river on a small boat. He was showing off and asked the boatman, “Do you understand art?” The boatman shook his head. The artist said, “Then you’ve lost one-third of your life.” Then he asked, “Do you understand music?” The boatman said, “Nope” The artist said, “Then you’ve lost another third of your life.” All of a sudden a storm came up, creating a lot of waves. The boat rocked dangerously. The boatman asked the artist, “Can you swim? “The artist nervously said no. The boatman smiled and said, “Then you’ve lost three-thirds of your life” Dear friends, I hope we are not as ignorant as this artist!

很多人以為,現在的年輕人不知禮貌的居多;又說西方人比東方人不懂敬老尊賢。那倒也未必然!因為各個種族、階層和年齡的人,都有善不善;何況禮儀是因地、因時而制宜的,豈能以不同種族、文化、習俗,而逕自分別?要知,人雖有東西、老少、貧富、貴賤,本性良善則一、吾人之所以有善不善之別,實是教育和環境影響所致。
 

Many people think that young people nowadays do not know their manners; or that Westerners are less respectful to elders than Easterners. But such ideas are not necessarily true. There are good and bad people in every race, every social class, and every age group. What is more, the rules of etiquette are set in accord with the time and situation. Why should we discriminate on the basis of differences of race, culture, and customs? Although there are differences of east and west, young and old, rich and poor, and noble and lowly, there is one thing that all people share in common–the basic goodness of the human nature. Whether a person develops a good or bad character depends upon his environment and education.
 

每個國家都有其純樸的古風和合適的禮儀;但因為科學的進步,把世界縮小了,各自的傳統禮儀,就有融和 、改變得更接近些的必要。這種新國民生活禮儀的制定,在取捨之間,不應以哪個國強大先進為標準,而是要合乎人情義理。人生轉眼就七十,人都會老;少時不敬老,老時誰敬汝?所以教育下一代,應以禮敬諸賢長老為先,這樣長幼有序,自然也就上下無爭了。
 

Every country has its own age-old traditions and rules of etiquette which are suited to its people. But now that technology has advanced and the world has shrunk, the culture and traditions of every country must change a little so as to harmonize with those of other countries. In setting up new rules of etiquette, we should choose what is reasonable and proper, rather than taking the most “advanced” and powerful nations as a standard. Our life span passes in the blink of an eye. We will all age and get old. If we don’t respect elders when we are young, who will respect us when we are old? In teaching the next generation, our first priority is to teach them to respect their elders. Then there will be order between young and old, and naturally there won’t be fighting among people.

這段文敘述的是古代中國的禮節,時代、人事雖異,但禮的精神不可廢。我們路上遇見了長輩,一定要主動而有禮貌地上前招呼;在長輩沒有特別指示前,不要浮浮躁躁地,一副恨不得馬上一走了之的樣子。等長輩先行離去,我們雖不須等待他去了有百步之遠才走,但至少也要恭敬地目送,不能掉頭就走。若我們有急事待辦時,也須先行告退,才側身離去,絕不可大搖大擺的走開,這都是一種敬謹的表現。
 

These lines of “The Rules for Being a Student” describe rules of etiquette from ancient China. Although the times have changed, the spirit of these rites cannot be discarded. If we meet an elder on the road, we should take the initiative and greet him first. Before he has dismissed us, we cannot act as if we are in a rush to leave. We ought to let our elder leave first. Although we don’t have to wait until he has taken a hundred steps, we should at least respectfully see him off, not just turn around and leave right away. If we have urgent business and need to leave early, we have to excuse ourselves first; we can’t just turn and leave without any explanation. This is also a sign of respect and cautiousness.

騎 下 馬 , 乘 下 車

qi xia ma
 

cheng xia che

騎坐 下來  

乘坐 下來 車輛

to ride an animal to get down horse

riding to get down carriage

遇見長輩時,我們若騎著馬,要趕快下馬;若坐著車,要立刻下車。
When we riding on a horse or in a carriage and meet an elder walking on the road, we should get down from the horse or carriage to greet him.

過 猶 待 , 百 步 餘

guo you dai
 

bai bu yu

過去 還 等待
 
腳步(的距離) 多

to pass by still to wait

one hundred (the distant of) steps overplus

等到長輩過去百步之遠了,我們才可以上馬或上車。
Having waited until the elder has passed us more than a hundred steps, we can then go on.

七O年代中期,戴芬妮剛到美國加州長堤。那時,她上午由家裏到大學上課,下午由大學去餐廳打工,晚上再自餐廳回家,統統要搭乘公共汽車,而且還得轉兩趟車。因為她每天車程的時間幾乎是固定的,因此她往往搭的是同一位司機開的車;久了,她和司機們也很熟,有時轉車沒接好,他們都會稍稍等她一下。
 

Stephanie moved to Long Beach, California, in the mid-seventies. At that time, she went to classes at a college in the morning, went from the college to her job at a restaurant in the afternoon, and went from there back home in the evening. She got to all of these places by bus, and she had to change buses twice. Since her schedule was pretty regular, she usually ended up seeing the same bus drivers. After some time she became quite acquainted with them. If Stephanie happened to be a little late, the bus drivers would wait for her.
 

大部分的司機年紀都不小,但仍很康健,而且也都很和藹;年輕些的,就比較沒有耐性些,開車也較猛,但人也都還好。如果老人家來不及走到巴士站牌,很多司機往往會停下來等;又或者老人家要下車的地方,離站牌有點兒距離,他們往往就在那兒停下來,省了老人家再走一段路。
 

Most of the drivers were middle-aged, but they were all very healthy and very kind. The younger ones were a little more impatient and drove a bit fast, but on the whole they were nice people. Sometimes if there were elderly people who couldn’t make it to the bus stop on time, the driver would wait for them. Or if some elders needed to get off a little ways before the bus stop, the driver would often stop right there so they wouldn’t have to walk so far.

有位中年的黑人司機,總是對老人家特別尊敬,讓她印象很深刻。老人家行動不便的,他甚至起身去攙扶他們上來,引他們就近坐在前頭的位置,上、下車時,又攙扶他們下去。戴芬妮第二次搭他車時,他就很愉快地和她招呼,誇獎她是個仁慈的好孩子,原來是前一天,她在公共汽車上,讓座位給老人家之故。以後有時乘客少,戴芬妮得以坐在前邊的位置時,他便會有一搭沒一搭地和她聊聊天。那時她英語會話還很差,總是聽的多,說的少;所以從他的言談,也就知道不少他的為人處事。可惜戴芬妮卻沒能記住他長長的姓名,只知道人家叫他艾爾。
 

There was one middle-aged black bus driver who was particularly respectful to the elderly, and who made a deep impression on Stephanie. When some of the elders had trouble getting on the bus, he would give them a hand and have them sit in the front rows. When they reached their stop, he would help them off the bus. The second time Stephanie saw this bus driver, he happily greeted her and praised her for being a good and kind little girl. The reason was that one day when she was on the bus, he had seen her yield her seat to an elderly person. Sometimes when there were few passengers, she would sit in the front rows, and the bus driver would talk to her. At that time her English was very poor , and she could listen more than she could speak. From talking with him she found out a lot about his conduct. It’s too bad she can’t remember his long name. She only knows that others called him Al.
 

艾爾出生在喬治亞州的鄉下,有姐妹兄弟十人,是個虔誠的天主教徒。他說他父母從小就教他們要仁慈、恭敬和忍耐;戴芬妮告訴他,這也正是中國人傳統的教育,他非常開心。幾年後,戴芬妮有個自己的連鎖企業,在長堤附近的分店,很需要一位忠誠負責的經理,她就想到艾爾,卻無從找到他了。不知他是否還在當公車司機?還是已改行或退休了?
 

Al was born in the countryside in Georgia. There were ten children in his family, and he was a devout Catholic. He said that when he was young, his parents taught him compassion, respect, and patience. When Stephanie told him that was similar to the traditional Chinese education, he was very happy. After a few years Stephanie started her own chain of stores, and she needed a good and honest manager near Long Beach. She immediately thought of Al, but she couldn’t find him anywhere. She didn’t know if he was still a bus driver, or if he had retired or changed his job.

一個仁慈善良的人,往往也對人恭敬有禮,能守住進退的分寸;這樣的人,誰都喜歡親近。有一首小詩叫做(可愛的孩子),其中有幾句雖然說的是女孩子,亦可做男孩們的參考;希望每個人自小就能做一個謙恭有禮的好孩子。
 

A kind and compassionate person is always respectful towards others and knows how to carry himself. Other people like to be around him. There is a little poem called “Lovely Child.” Although this poem talks about girls, boys can also learn something from it. Let’s hope everyone can be a good and respectful child.

嫻靜有禮,一如紫羅蘭,
又如玫瑰花蕾般甜蜜。
這樣的小女孩,人人愛見。
 

Modest as a violet, As a rosebud sweet-
That’s the kind of little girl People like to meet.

長 者 立 , 幼 勿 坐

zhang zhe li
 

you wu zuo

年長的 人 站起來
 

年輕人 不可以 坐下來

older one standing

younger ones do not to sit down

年長的人如果站著,年輕的人就不可以坐下。
When an older person is standing, the young ones should not take a seat.

長 者 坐 , 命 乃 坐

zhang zhe zuo
 

ming nai zuo

年長的 人 坐下來
 

吩咐、命令 才、於是 坐下來

older one sitting

to order then to sit down

等長輩坐下來,也吩咐我們坐時,才可以坐下。
We should wait till the elder is seated, and sit down only when we are told.

有一間百貨公司登報要雇辦事員;三天裡來了八十多個人,幾乎每個人都拿封介紹信。經理跟每個人都談了一次話,最後,他錄用了一個沒帶介紹信的青年人。別人都很奇怪,經理就解釋說﹕「旁人的介紹信只有一封,這青年人卻帶了三封。當他走進了我的辦公室,就輕輕把門關上;這是第一封介紹他謹慎的信。他跟我說話時,音調又清晰,對答又有條理,這是一封介紹他聰明的信。當一位老人走進了我的辦公室,他就趕快站起來;這是一封介紹他禮貌的信。他有三封介紹信,都表現在行動上;別人的介紹信,不過表現在紙上罷了!」
 

Once when a department store put a want ad in the newspapers for an administrator, within three days eighty-some people showed up, virtually all of them bringing a letter of recommendation with them. After interviewing all of them, the manager finally hired a young man who had not brought a letter. When others expressed their surprise, the manager explained, “Everyone else brought only one letter of recommendation, but this young man brought three letters. When he walked into my office, he gently shut the door behind him; this was a letter describing his cautiousness. During his conversation with me, his voice was clear and his responses were logical; that was a letter telling me about his intelligence. When an older person came into my office, he quickly stood up; that was a letter telling me about his courteousness. His three letters of recommendation revealed themselves in his behavior; everyone else’s letters were merely written on paper.”

從這故事看來,平常就養成恭敬長者的習慣,鍛鍊出不卑不亢的應對的談吐,是做人做事成功的基礎。人是社會的動物,不能離群而索居。如何與人和睦相處,並獲得發展自我潛能的機會,以服務人群,這是一生都要努力的課程;這個課程,開始得愈早愈澈底,將來的際遇也愈順利。因此,兒童的啟蒙教育,應以孝悌為先,培養他們對父母師長的恭敬心;孩子長大跨入社會,自然就會是個有禮貌的人,這是成功地展開人際關係的第一步。
 

From this story, we can see that developing the habit of respecting our elders and speaking in a way that is neither lowly nor overbearing will ensure our success in dealing with people and matters. People are social creatures who cannot live in total isolation. We must seriously learn how to dwell in harmony with people in order to develop our own potentials so we can help the common good. This is the lesson of a lifetime, and the sooner and the more thoroughly we learn it, the smoother our life will be. Hence, early childhood education should stress filial piety and brotherhood first, teaching children to respect their parents. When they grow up and go out into the society, they will naturally be courteous and well-mannered; that is the first step in relating successfully to other people.

雖然也有人說﹕「大行不顧細節,何必這麼拘謹呢?」但這只是說,小禮儀有時可以不必那麼執著,不表示我們的內心可以不恭敬師長。恭敬應該發自內心,但是每個人內心的看法不同,標準也有異,有時就會遇到難題。時下的孩子,思想大都很活潑,也都很能言善辯;你若教他恭敬師長,他很可能反過來告訴你,這位老師或長輩言行如何如何,言下之意是他們覺得這位師長不值得尊敬。他們往往反問你;「你教我表現得恭敬,豈不是教我作假,裝兩面人嗎?這不誠實。」不少家長啞口無言,不知怎麼回答好。
 

Some people may say, “In doing great deeds, one should not be hampered by fine details, why should we be so rigid?” This is only saying that we don’t always have to be too attached to minor points of etiquette; it doesn’t mean we can be disrespectful to our teachers and elders in our minds. Respect should come from the heart. However, everyone’s outlook and standard is different, so sometimes we run into problems. Children of today are very liberal in their outlook and very good at arguing their own views. If you tell them to respect their teachers and elders, they might respond by telling you certain things about their teacher or elder, implying that the person is not worth respecting. They often ask you, “If you ask me to show respect, aren’t you just asking me to put on a false front? It’s not for real.” Many parents are left speechless; they don’t know how to reply.
 

所以我們為人父母師長的,除了要時常躬自反省,改進自身的品行外,還得灌輸孩子們正確的概念。什麼呢?我們發自內心來尊敬三種人﹕第一是品德比自己好的人;第二是年紀比自己大的人;第三是職位比自己高的人。第一種人,相信誰都會認為值得尊敬;第二、第三種人,不管他的品行如何,還是應該尊敬。為什麼?俗語說﹕「人生不如意,十常八九。」可謂苦多於樂,災患多於平安;想想看,這位長輩,要奮鬥到現在,才能夠活著成為比我們年長的人,難道不值得尊重?這位老師或長官,要努力到現在,才有今天的身份和職位,難道不值得尊重?何況每個人都有機會輪到做尊長的時候,「要怎麼收穫,先怎麼栽」。這麼開解給孩子聽,而能發自內心去敬老尊賢了。千萬不要以權威去強迫孩子虛應事故,讓他戴個禮貌的假面具,而成為偽君子;也不要縱容孩子,讓他長成一個不知天高地厚的狂妄小子。
 

As parents, teachers, and elders, not only should we always reflect upon ourselves and improve our own character and conduct, we should try to teach children the correct way of thinking, which is that we should bring forth heartfelt respect for three kinds of people: (1) those who are more virtuous than we are, (2) those who are older than we are, and (3) those who have higher position than we do. I think probably everyone will agree that the first kind of person deserves respect. But we should also respect the latter two kinds of people regardless of their character. Why? There’s a proverb, “The trials and tribulations take up 80 or 90 percent of our life.” You could say there’s more suffering than joy, more disasters than peace. If you think about how long our elders have struggled to be able to survive and be elders, wouldn’t you say they are worthy of respect? Think about how much hard work teachers and high officials have put in to get where they are now. Don’t they deserve our respect? What’s more, everyone will get a turn to be honored as an elder. Therefore, whatever you want to harvest, you first have to plant. If you explain it to your children like this, they will gradually understand and start to respect elders and worthy ones from their heart. You should never force children into putting on a false show of courtesy and turning into hypocrites. On the other hand, don’t be so lenient with then that they turn into wild kids with no sense of appreciation for all they have received.

「敬老尊賢」一直是中國的優良傳統。《周禮》所制定的〈鄉飲酒〉就是藉著鄉人一起宴飲的場合,一來敦親睦鄰,二來讓年輕人實習敬老尊賢。此外,古中國人尊重老師有如貴賓,坐時主人居東,請老師西向對坐,所以就尊稱老師為「西席」或「西賓」。這種尊師之禮,就是在豪門貴族也不例外;甚至有很多皇帝、皇子在平居時,對老師都恭敬執持弟子之禮,不敢讓老師向自己跪拜。「程門立雪」,更是尊師之千古美談。
 

Reverence for elders and veneration for virtuous ones has always been a wholesome tradition in China. The Zhou Dynasty rite of “toasting,” taken from the custom of the rural villagers, served to strengthen family bonds and neighborly harmony, and to allow young people to practice respecting their elders. Furthermore, in ancient times the Chinese people treated their teachers like honored guests. When sitting, the host would sit on the east side and invite the teacher to sit on the west side facing him. Thus the teacher came to have the honorific title “West-Seated One” or “Western Guest.” Even the nobility followed these rules of etiquette for respecting teachers. Many emperors and princes, when they were living as civilians, would treat their teachers with the respect of a disciple, and would not let the teacher bow to them. The story of how “Cheng’s students stood while it snowed” is a wonderful example of respect for one’s teacher.

故事是這樣的;程頤、程灝兩兄弟都是宋朝有名的大儒,門下弟子都很多。哥哥程灝為人灑脫風趣,時人稱譽他;聽其一席話,「如坐春風三月」;弟弟程頤則嚴謹自持,弟子對他敬畏有加。有一天,兩位弟子陪侍著程頤,程頤忽然睡著,弟子沒得到吩咐,不敢退下,乃恭敬地侍立兩側;等到程頤醒來,弟子才告退,一看門外的積雪都快及膝了。所以「程門立雪」就成了後世禮敬嚴師的典故。現代的社會裡,我們雖然不必拘泥這些舊禮,但恭敬的誠心,應該是古今不渝的。
 

It goes like this: Cheng Yi and Cheng Hao were two brothers in the Song Dynasty who were both renowned Confucian scholars with many disciples. The elder brother Cheng Hao was jovial and quick-witted. People praised him and said that listening to his lectures was like “sitting in the spring breeze for three months.” His younger brother, Cheng Yi, was solemn and serious, and his students held him in respect and awe. Once when two of his students were attending upon him, Cheng Yi suddenly fell a sleep. Since he had not bidden them to leave, the two students dared not do so, but respectfully continued to stand on either side of their teacher. When he woke up, the students took their leave and discovered that the snow outside the door was already knee-deep. This story has been passed down to later generations as an illustration of respect for a stern teacher. Although we need not rigidly hol to old-fashioned rules of etiquette in modern society, the attitude of sincere respect is something that never changes with time.

尊 長 前 , 聲 要 低

zun zhang qian
 

sheng yao di

尊貴的人 年長的人 面前
 

聲音 需要 降低

honored elder in front of

voice should be to lower

在長官或長輩面前,說話的聲音要降低。
When talking in front of our elders, we should lower our voice.

低 不 聞 , 卻 非 宜

di bu wen
 

que fei yi

低微的

聽見
 

反而 不是 合宜的

low can not be heard

on the contrary is not appropriate

但是聲音低到聽不清楚,卻又不恰當。
But to speak so low that no one can hear us is not the appropriate way.

言語應對,也是古人很注重的啟蒙教育。除了恭敬外,談吐也要大方,音調更應高低適中;尤其要避免用尖銳拔高的音調講話,令人感覺你在賣弄本事或爭論。
 

In ancient times, people considered proper manners in speaking and interacting with others an important part of a child’s education. In addition to being respectful, we should speak with others in a forthright manner. We should use a moderate tone of voice, and avoid speaking in a sharp, high-pitched voice, which gives people the feeling that we are showing off or arguing.
 

與任何人交談 ,若是一個勁兒地高談闊論或喧嘩嘻笑,都會予人狂妄之感;反之,若是一味囁囁嚅嚅、嘀嘀咕咕,又會令人看輕和不耐;至於談話中,不時左顧右盼,更顯出輕浮和無知。何況是在尊長前呢?但是如果尊長的聽力不好,就必須大聲講話,但不要流於尖銳。
 

If we keep talking and laughing and making a lot of noise, people will feel we are hyperactive. On the other hand, if we always mumble and whisper, others will feel contempt and impatience. We should not be looking here and there as we speak, because that gives the impression of being frivolous and scatter-brained. How much the less should we do these things in the presence of our elders! If our elders are hard of hearing, we should speak loudly, but not sharply.
 

聲調之外,還要記得配合以適當的禮儀。長輩問話時,我們如果仍坐著不起身,長輩勢必得彎腰低頭;這樣子,不但談話效果不佳,長輩也會感覺累,這也是不恭敬,不懂事理。
 

In addition to modulating the tone of voice, we ought to show the proper courtesy. If we remain seated when our elders ask us a question, they will be forced to bend down to speak to us. Not only is that a poor posture for speaking, but it will tire them out; that shows a lack of respect and understanding on our part.

所謂「趨」,是很快地小步向前走。你可能想﹕晉見長輩要這麼走法,豈不是太矯揉造作了嗎?這聽起來確是奇怪 ,其實那只是真誠恭謹心的自然流露。
 

When we are going to meet our elder, we should approach quickly with small steps. It might seem affected, but actually it’s a way of showing our earnest reverence.
 

古時候的中國,民風醇厚,大部分人對父母師長 ,都有一種孺慕的心態;不但樂於效勞,亦且樂見長輩。因此晉見長輩時,生怕讓長輩久等,想快,又怕大步走或跑步會驚動長輩,所以「其進也趨趨」;告退離去時,雖然依戀不捨,想留,又怕太煩擾長輩,所以「其行也遲遲」﹕舉止進退,總是這樣子小心翼翼,合情又合理。所謂「發乎情,止乎禮」,這哪裡是膚淺冒失的人可以瞭解的呢?又哪裡是虛偽拘泥的人可以學步的呢?
 

In ancient China, when the moral culture was well-developed, most people would regard their teachers and elders as fondly as they would their own parents. Not only were they eager to serve them, but they were delighted to see them. When they had an appointment with an elder, they didn’t want to keep their elder waiting, so they would go quickly. Yet they feared that if they took large strides or ran up to their elder, they would startle him, so they approached with quick, light steps. When it was time to leave, they could hardly bear to go, but they didn’t want to bother their elder too long, so they departed with reluctant steps. They were that cautious in every move they made, always observing courtesy and reason. They acted from their hearts, but restrained themselves with propriety. How could those who are shallow and rash understand this? How could those who are phony or rigid learn this?

我們人外在的一舉一動 ,都是內在感情的反應和表達;當內在感情的反應和表達太過或不足時,就必須用禮儀來糾正和約束,使舉止在合情之餘,亦能合理,所以說「禮者,理也」。但是如果一味拘守禮儀,流於形式,已缺乏那份真摯的情感,那倒又不如有真情感而不懂禮儀的人了!
 

Our every gesture and move is a response to and an expression of our inner feelings. If those responses and expressions are excessive or deficient, they must be restrained or corrected by the rules of propriety. Then our actions will accord with courtesy as well as with reason. Propriety is itself defined as reason. However, if we adhere too rigidly to the rules of propriety and get caught up in the external form, while lacking true feeling, we are even worse than the person who has true feeling but isn’t familiar with the rules of propriety.

有很多家庭或學校的規矩也很嚴謹,父母師長要求孩子要做個有教養的紳士淑女;但仔細考察,你可能發覺,其實很多紳士淑女不但虛偽,而且自私自利。如何教導孩子們合情又合理,那就須要從倫理教育著手;而倫理教育,不但要開始得愈早愈好,更要父母師長以身作則。
 

There are many strict households and schools where parents and teachers expect children to behave like well-brought-up “gentlemen and ladies.” But if you observe these children closely, you might find that many of them arc not only phony, but selfish and self-centered. To teach children to accord with courtesy as well as reason, we must start by educating them in ethics. The earlier ethical education begins, the better; what is more, parents and teachers have to be good role models.

記得有一部英國影片,描寫的是在一所私立住宿高中,有位講義氣的學生,因帶頭反對校長對其室友的嚴苛態度,要被校方開除了。校長是人品高尚的紳士,以管教嚴格出名;不但學生敬畏他,老師也敬畏他。最後真相大白,原來是這位室友,無意中發現校長的隱私,受到校長的要脅;而校長為了掩飾自己的第一個錯誤,一錯再錯,造成很多悲劇。
 

I remember an English film in which the setting was a private boarding school. The protagonist was a righteous student who was going to be expelled, because he had led a protest against the principal for his harsh treatment of his roommate. The principal was a morally upright gentleman who was known for strictness. He was held in awe and respect by students and teachers alike. In the end, it turns out that the roommate had been threatened by the principal after he accidentally found out that the principal was having an affair. In order to cover up his first mistake, the principal made one mistake after another, leading to many tragedies.

先是那位懦弱的室友,不堪身心折磨而自殺;接著是一位老師辭職,因為他不願像別的老師和學生一樣,做偽證以嫁禍該學生;最後是無所適從的學生互打出手,造成學校被封鎖。那學生在法庭朗讀他自殺的室友的遺書時,所有的學生都哭了!遺書中有一句話﹕「我這麼懦弱的人,一直茍且偷生,只因為我想維護我最敬愛的人。今天我勇敢地選擇這樣死去,實在是因為我破裂的偶像已不堪維持了!」
 

First the weak-willed roommate broke down under the pressure and committed suicide. Then one of the teachers resigned, because he refused to bear false witness against that student, the way the other teachers and students had done. Then the leaderless students started fighting among themselves, until the school finally had to be blockaded. When the student read the letter written by his dead roommate, all the students cried. One of the lines in the letter said, “ Being a weak person, I had continued living only because I wished to protect the person I respected the most. Today I have bravely chosen to die in this way, because my shattered idol is no longer worth protecting.”

父母師長們!如果我們希望教育子弟能誠乎其中,宜乎進退,就請以身作則,按著《弟子規》,先自我教育吧!
 

Fellow parents and teachers! If we wish to teach our children and students to be earnest and proper in their interactions with others, let us be good models for them. Let us first learn to follow the, “Rules for Being a Student.” ourselves.

事 諸 父 , 如 事 父

shi zhu fu
 

ru shi fu

侍奉 伯父、叔父、舅父

如同 侍奉 父親

to serve all uncles

as to serve father

侍奉諸位伯叔舅父,如同侍奉自己的父親一樣恭敬。
We should serve all our uncles as respectfully as we serve our own fathers.

事 諸 兄 , 如 事 兄

shi zhu xiong
 

ru shi xiong

侍奉 堂兄、表兄

如同 侍奉 哥哥

to serve all older cousins

as to serve brother

對待各個堂表姻兄,如同對待自己的哥哥一樣友愛。
We should be as friendly with our older cousins as we are with our own older brothers.

有一對聯語說得好﹕

 天下無不是的父母,
 無父母時方知;
 世間最難得者弟兄 ,
 有弟兄時不覺。
 

There is a couplet that says:

There is nothing in the world that does not come from parents;
we realize this only when we are without parents.
Brothers are the hardest to come by in the world.
But we don’t realize it when our brothers are around.

人倫肇始於父母,其次乃有兄弟師長,所以「孝悌」二者,斯為倫理教育的基礎 。所謂「基」,是造屋的地基,要先奠定地基,房子才能夠搭蓋起來;礎,是屋柱的磐石,若不立穩磐石,房子就容易傾斜崩壞。但孝悌二者,卻又不是那麼狹義,只顧自己的父母兄弟而已;我們還要把「孝」擴充到伯叔諸舅,甚至一切長輩上,把「悌」也擴充到堂表兄弟姐妹,甚至一切同輩晚輩上。換句話說,也就是擴充到一切人,一切有情生物上,這就是佛家「無緣大慈,同體大悲」精神的極至。以下我們會講到如何講信修睦,待人接物;現在我們回頭來談基本的「孝悌」,做個結束。
 

Our closest human relationships are with our parents, and secondly with our brothers, teachers, and elders. Therefore, filial piety and fraternal respect are the foundation for education in human ethics. When one builds a house, one must first lay a solid foundation. The foundation stones of the pillars of the house have to be set securely, or else the house may topple. Filial piety and fraternal respect are not be taken in the narrow sense of referring only to one’s own parents and brothers. Filial piety should be extended to our uncles and all our elders. Fraternal respect should expand to include our cousins and all others who are of the same generation or of later generations. In other words, these virtues should encompass all people and all sentient beings. This is the ultimate significance of the Buddhist spirit of “great kindness for those with whom we have no affinities, and the great compassion of being one with all.” The later verses discuss the cultivation of trustworthiness and harmony in one’s social interactions and handling of affairs. For now we will return to and conclude the discussion of the basic virtues of filial piety and fraternal respect.

人倫關係如蜘蛛織網,由內而外,循序漸進,層次分明。居中織網的蜘蛛是「 仁」,其放射網所及之處都是「義」,所經之徑就是「禮」。因此伯叔諸舅和堂表兄弟姐妹,就是在孝悌自已父母兄弟姐妹後,須要孝悌的對象;這是仁愛的第二層發揮,合理合宜。我們敬愛父母兄弟姐妹,父母也敬愛他們的兄弟姐妹;父母慈愛我們,伯叔諸舅當然也慈愛他們的子女。因此敬愛堂表兄弟姐妹,也就是善體伯叔諸舅之心,也就是孝順伯叔諸舅;而孝順伯叔諸舅,就是善體親心,更是孝順父母了。古人說﹕「伯叔如親父」、「見舅如見娘」,都是這個意思。
 

Human relationships are like spiderwebs, spun from the inside out proceeding in orderly succession with clearly defined levels. The spider at the center of the web is “humaneness,” the places its web reaches are “righteousness,” and the paths it takes are “propriety.” After one has practiced filial piety and fraternal respect toward one’s own parents and siblings, one should focus on one’s uncles and cousins. That is the second level of humaneness, and is in accord with principle. We love and respect our parents and siblings, and our parents love and respect their siblings; our parents love us, and our uncles of course love their own children. Therefore, when we love and respect our cousins, we are empathizing with our uncles, which is to be filial to them. Being filial to our uncles is in turn empathizing with our parents, which is to be filial to our parents. The ancient sayings: “Our paternal uncles are like our own father,” and “When we see our maternal uncles, it’s like seeing our own mother,” express this principle.

秦穆公和晉文公是中國春秋五霸中的兩位霸主,秦穆公的夫人是晉文公的長姐。晉文公早年為逃避繼母驪姬的迫害,流亡各國;到秦國時,秦穆夫人已去世了,秦穆公的世子真有「見舅如見娘」之感。晉文公臨別時,秦穆公世子依依難捨,充分流露著孺慕之情。《詩經》裡那首「渭陽」,就是秦康公在即位後,思念舅舅晉文公的作品。可見古人的性情,確是比較淳厚,我們怎能不快快恢復固有道德呢?
 

Lord Mu of the state of Qin and Lord Wen of Jin were two feudal lords during the Spring and Autumn Period of Chinese history. Lord Mu’s wife was the elder sister of Lord Wen. In his youth, Lord Wen fled from his oppressive stepmother Liji and wandered through various states. When he arrived in the state of Qin, Lord Mu’s wife had already passed away. and Lord Mu’s son, the crown prince, really felt that he was seeing his own mother when he saw Lord Wen, his uncle. When Lord Wen was about to leave, the crown prince could hardly bear to let him go; he was filled with yearning. The poem “Wei Yang” in the Book of Odes speaks of Lord Kang of the state of Qin, after assuming the throne, remembering his maternal uncle, Lord Wen. From this one can see how much more virtuous and filial the ancients were. We should quickly return to the virtuous ways of old.

第四章﹕謹

朝起早,夜眠遲,老易至,惜此時。
晨必盥,兼漱口,便溺回,輒淨手。
冠必正,紐必結,襪與履,俱緊切。
置冠服,有定位,勿亂頓,致污穢。
衣貴潔,不貴華,上循分,下稱家。
對飲食,勿揀擇,食適可,勿過則。
年方少,勿飲酒,飲酒醉,最為醜。
步從容,立端正,揖深圓,拜恭敬。
勿踐閾,勿跛倚,勿箕踞,勿搖髀。
緩揭簾,勿有聲,寬轉彎,勿觸稜。
執虛器,如執盈,入虛室,如有人。
事勿忙,忙多錯,勿畏難,勿輕略。
鬥鬧場,絕毋近,邪僻事,絕勿問。
將入門,問誰存,將上堂,聲必揚。
人問誰,對以名,吾與我,不分明。
用人物,須明求,倘不問,即為偷。
借人物,及時還,人借物,有勿慳。

朝 起 早 , 夜 眠 遲

zhao qi zao ye mian chi

早上 起床 早早地 晚上 睡覺 晚晚地

morning to get up early

night to go to sleep late

早上要起得早,晚上要睡得晚。
In the morning we should get up early; at night we should go to bed late.

老 易 至 , 惜 此 時

lao yi zhi xi ci shi

年紀老大 容易地 來到 愛惜 這 時候

old age easily to arrive

to treasure this period

年華很快就會老大,要珍惜眼前的時光。
Old age will arrive very quickly; we should treasure the time we have left.

天地悠悠,亙古常存,不知何始何終;而人命無常,長者不過百年,亦是千萬中不得其一,更何況夭逝者還大有人在。所謂「莫到老年方學道,孤墳盡是少年人」;墳墓裡躺著的全是死人,卻不一定都是老人。人生天地間,就好比蜉蝣之於老椿,滴水之於大海,哪裡能比量?又哪裡能仗恃目前的青春年少? While the universe is vast and eternal, with no known beginning or end, human life is so brief. Maybe only one person in a million lives to be a hundred. Many are those who do not live our their natural life spans. There’s a saying, “Don’t wait till you’re old to practice the Way: the lonely graves are mostly those of young people.” Not all the corpses lying in the graves are old people. Humans born into the world are like ephemeral insects on an old tree, like a drop of water in the ocean. How could their life span compare with that of the universe” How can they think that their present youth will last?

古語云﹕「百年三萬六千日,蝴蝶夢中度一春。」若是把今生虛度,等到黃粱夢醒,兩手空空辭世之後,輪迴無期,苦不堪言;又向何生度此身呢?人身非常難得,既有幸今生為人,就該好好珍惜有限時光,努力做一點無限事業,才不枉來了這一遭!若是日日紙醉金迷,或為三餐忙進忙出,那又何異乎草木禽獸?更別提如此愚癡過日,造罪無數,來生的苦報還無窮無已!那麼什麼是無限事業?又如何來開創這無限事業呢? An old proverb says, “The 36,000 days in a hundred years are no more than a passing spring in a butterfly dream.” If one wastes this life in vain. then when the dream is over, one leaves the world empty-handed and undergoes indescribable suffering in the endless cycle of rebirth. When will one have another chance to liberate oneself? It is extremely difficult to obtain a human body. Since we arc fortunate enough to be humans in this life, we should cherish the limited time we have and work diligently to do something that will last forever. Then our life will not be in vain. If we are merely infatuated with wealth, or busy making a living so we can have three meals a day, how are we different from plants and animals” If we foolishly spend our days creating countless offenses the retribution we suffer in lives to come will have no end. What kind of work can we do that will last forever? How can we go about doing it?

在中國宋朝末年,元兵在元世祖領導下,一路攻城陷鎮,銳不可當。當時識時務的,不是趨炎附勢、忝然無恥地朝事新主子,就是為保身家,不得已棄城投降;稍有氣節的,也都隱名埋姓,幽居鄉野。唯獨一個不怕死的文天祥,偏是知其不可而為之,就做些個「雞鳴不已於風雨」的傻事。 In the final years of the Song Dynasty in China, the Yuan troops under the leadership of Yuan Shizu (the future emperor of the Yuan Dynasty) defeated all the cities and towns in their path: there was no stopping them. Those who saw what was happening either went over to the winning side and shamelessly served the new leader, or else gave up their cities and surrendered in order to preserve their lives and homes. Those who had some sense of honor changed their names and went into seclusion in the countryside. The only one who wasn’t afraid of death was Wen Tianxiang, who did what he knew was impossible, being foolish like a rooster that did not stop crowing even in the storm. 怎麼樣呢?他把家中的錢財都拿出來,組織一支義軍,號召救國衛君。起初倒也有些聲勢,無奈大勢已去,最後宋朝還是完了,他也做了階下囚。元世祖很是愛惜敬重他,勸他投降;但文天祥硬是「富貴不能淫,威武不能屈」,寧死也不降。有名的《正氣歌》就是他在監獄中作的。臨刑前,他更慷慨激昂地說出﹕「讀聖賢書,所學何事?而今而後,庶幾無愧!」 He took all his family savings and used it to organize an army of volunteers to save the country and protect the king. At first the army had some success, but in the end the Song Dynasty still came to an end and he was captured and imprisoned. Out of love and respect for him. Emperor Yuan Shizu exhorted him to surrender. But Wen Tianxiang was “not tempted by wealth and honor, not intimidated by military threats.’ He would rather die than surrender. The well-known “Song of Righteousness” was composed when he was in prison. Right before his execution, he magnanimously and proudly declared, ”What have I learned from reading the books of sages? From today onwards. I have no cause for remorse”‘

我們每個人雖然生來業報不同,能力、願力也不一,但是務必各自發心,精進不懈來自我超越。能力願力小者,至少要獨善其身,不受輪迴;能力願力中者,為社會謀利,為世界造福;能力願力大者,自覺覺他,同超聖地。那麼,我們死時也可以說出﹕「讀聖賢書,所學何事?而今而後,庶幾無愧!」這才真是不虛枉這一生了。這就是無限的事業。要開創無限的事業,又必須具有無限的精神和體魄不可。這無限的精神與體魄,又哪裡得來呢?就必須自小起早眠遲,從灑掃進退的日常小事上來鍛鍊起! Although we are born with different karmic retributions, capabilities, and resolves, we should certainly be determined to work hard and excel our own limits. Even if our capabilities and resolves are slight, we should at least cultivate ourselves so we can free ourselves from the cycle of rebirth. Those with intermediate capabilities and resolves should work for the good of society and the world. Those with great capabilities should enlighten themselves as well as others, so that all can reach sagehood together. Then when we die we can say. “What have we learned from reading the books of sages? Now I can say that I have no cause for remorse!” Then we can truly say that we have not lived this life in vain. That is the kind of work that lasts forever. To do this kind of work, we need limitless zest and energy. And where does this limitless zest and energy come from” It starts with the habit of getting up early and going to bed late. We have to train ourselves starting from the small matters of daily life, such as household chores and social etiquette.

晨 必 盥 , 兼 漱 口

chen bi guan jian sou(shu) kou

早晨 一定 用手接水來洗 並且 沖洗 嘴巴

morning must to wash with hands

and also to rinse mouth

每天晨起,一定要洗臉,並且刷牙漱口。
In the morning, we first wash faces and brush our teeth.

便 溺 回 , 輒 淨 手

bian ni hui zhe jing shou

大便 小便 回來 常常 洗乾淨 手

to go to the toilet to return

always to clean hand

上完廁所,一定要把手洗乾淨。
After we go to the toilet ,we use water and soap on our hands.

冠 必 正 , 紐 必 結

guan bi zheng niu bi jie

帽子 一定 戴端正 紐扣 一定 結好

hat must to put on properly

buttons fasteners must to fasten

帽子要戴端正,紐扣要扣整齊。
We should put on our hats with great care, and fasten our buttons and snaps.

襪 與 履 , 俱 緊 切

wa yu lv ju jin qie

襪子 和 鞋子 都 綁緊 切合

socks and shoes

both be securely bound be fitted

襪子和鞋子都能綁緊且合腳。
The pull up our socks very neatly, and fasten our shoelaces well.

這一章所講的,諸如洗臉、刷牙、漱口、沐手,等等衛生習慣,以及穿衣、戴帽、繫鞋、著襪,種種衣著要領,都是日常生活中所要注意的細節。別輕看了細節,一個人若能在日用之間,持之以恆地去實行,造次必於是,顛沛必於是,這才是真正有道。 This chapter talks about the habits of good hygiene, such as washing our face, brushing our teeth, rinsing our mouth, and washing our hands. It also discusses the principles of good grooming: how we should wear our clothes, wear hats, tie our shoelaces, and put on socks. These are details we have to pay attention in our daily lives. We shouldn’t take them lightly. If a person can always do these things every day, no matter what kind of difficult situation he might find himself in, he is really practicing the Tao.

美國萬佛聖城的開山祖師宣化上人,不但自己以身作則,又不時苦口婆心地教誨眾生﹕「你要得道,在什麼地方修道呢?就是你一天從早晨起身到晚間,這個經過,你都做得合法,做得很正確的,不做邪僻的事,這就是修道。你若離開日用,另外去找一個道,那就是終身不見道,你始終也找不著的。」 The Ven Master Hua, founder of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, not only did all these things himself, but also urged everyone else, saying: “You want to attain the Way? Where can you practice the Way? From the moment you get up in the morning till you retire at night, if you do everything properly without violating the rules, you are practicing the Way. But if you ignore the daily routine things and try to search for the Way elsewhere, you will never encounter it in your whole life.”

這就是教我們不要好高騖遠,所謂「道不遠人」,毋須鎮日向外馳求,裝模做樣,須知日用之間就是道之所在,平實就是道。 He was teaching us that we shouldn’t aim high without doing the fundamental work. It is said, “The Way is not far away from people.” We don’t have to spend the whole day seeking the Way outside somewhere, or put on an act. We should know that the Way is right in our daily activities; simplicity is the Way.

若人有很高的名譽地位,或者很豐富的學識財富,看來是儀表堂堂,生活習慣卻一團糟,即使他瞞得過外人,還是瞞不了身邊的人;躲得過他人的眼睛,卻是躲不了自己的業力牽引。 If a person who is famous, important, well-educated, or wealthy looks graceful and dignified, but has messy habits, he might be able to conceal his bad habits from outsiders, but he can’t hide them from people close to him. He might get away from others’ eyes, he can’t escape the power of his own karmic offenses.

人的起心動念,就是善惡業的因;日用之間的舉手投足,就是因的萌芽。維持良好的衛生習慣,不但確保我們的健康,也確保了他人的健康。實行敬謹的衣著要領,不但可以端正我們的心性,更可以鍛鍊我們的耐心和毅力。反之,若是養成了邋遢的習慣、舉止,那麼個人的不名譽事小,實際上已造了罪業的影響大;個人造罪業的影響小,遺禍大眾的罪業大。人怎麼可以等閒輕之呢? Our every thought is a cause of good or bad karma, and our daily activities are the sprouts of these causes. Developing habits of good hygiene not only makes us healthy, but also protects others’ health. Wearing proper clothes not only helps us to have an upright character, but also trains us to have patience and perseverance. On the contrary, if we develop the habits of being sloppy and messy, our resulting bad reputation is a minor thing, but tile karmic offenses we commit can be very serious. Committing personal karmic offenses is a small matter, but bringing harm to the public is a big offense. How can we take this lightly?

子路原本是個大而化之 、好勇尚義的大老粗,他非常看不起讀書人,總覺得這些人是不事生產,欺世盜名之輩。初見孔子時,故意地穿了一身獵裝,帽上用獵來的山雞毛插得高高的,走起路來一搖三擺;腰上佩劍,又用獵來的野熊皮做了長長的劍套,自以為很神勇。等見了孔子,不覺被孔子的雍雍氣度所折服,就偷偷把山雞毛摘下扔了,隨後換上一身儒服來拜師,願意做個常隨眾,跟著孔老夫子學習詩書禮儀。 Zilu was a tough, brash fellow with a sense of justice. He looked down upon scholars because he thought they were unproductive bums who cheated the society for fame. The first time he went to see Confucius, he purposely wore a hunter’s outfit, his hat decorated with the long feather of a pheasant he had killed. He swaggered as if he were a big shot. The long sword at his hip was covered with the skin of a bear he had trapped. He thought he was very brave. But when he met Confucius, he was naturally subdued by Confucius’ awesome demeanor and quietly removed the feather from his hat.

孔老夫子為他正衣冠,開示他君子之道;經過多年的訓誨調教,子路這塊質而無文的璞玉終於脫穎而出,大放光澤。後來子路在衛國的內亂中被圍攻,力戰至死;因為他帽纓已斷,帽子就歪斜了,臨死,他仍緊緊記得老師的訓誨,掙扎著把帽子重新戴正,因為君子至死都要衣冠端正。 Later on. he changed into scholar’s clothes, bowed to Confucius as his teacher, and followed Confucius constantly in order to study the Book of Odes and the Book of Rites. Confucius adjusted Zilu’s clothes and taught him the way to be a scholar. After years of practicing Confucius’ instructions. Zilu. originally’ a rough man without, learning, finally outshone the others. A few years later. Zilu was attacked from all sides during the civil war in the state of Wei. He fought hard till he as killed. When he was dying, his hat was crooked due to broken straps, but he still remembered his teacher’s instruction and struggled to adjust his hat properly, for a scholar should always be properly dressed.

現在有很多小嬉皮、老嬉皮、故意地頭不梳,臉不洗,身上衣也不扣,腳下鞋也不穿 ,以為那是灑脫;這樣的人,只能說是邋遢、隨便,終其一生沒什麼出息,哪裡配稱灑脫?灑脫是要心無罣礙,念無愛憎,打從內心無所執著於任何人事物,並不是苟且過日。須知不是經過禮教淬鍊出來的灑脫,不算真灑脫。 Nowadays, there are many young and old hippies who intentionally neglect to comb their hair. wash their faces, button up their shirts, and wear shoes, because they think that’s the way to be carefree. Actually they are merely being sloppy and won’t accomplish much of anything in their lives. How can they say they are carefree” Being carefree means being free from desires, love and hatred; not being attached to any person or object. It doesn’t mean goofing off all day long.

切莫小看了這些日常習慣的維持和實踐,君子的品格和毅力就是從這兒培養起來的;唯有具備了君子的品格和毅力,才配談灑脫。 We should know that without the right training in propriety, we cannot truly be carefree. We shouldn’t neglect to maintain our practice of good habits in daily life. that is the only way we can develop a virtuous person’s integrity and resoluteness. Only when we have a virtuous person’s integrity and resoluteness is it possible to be carefree.

置 冠 服 , 有 定 位

zhi guan fu you ding wei

置放 帽子 衣服   固定的 位子

to place hat clothes

have fixed place

擺放帽子和衣服,都要有一定的地方。
Our hats and all others should be put in their own places.

勿 亂 頓 , 致 污 穢

wu luan dun zhi wu hui

不要 隨便地 擺放 招致、弄 髒的 醜惡的

do not sloppily to lay

to cause to get dirty to get soiled

不要隨便亂放,以致於弄得又縐又髒。
They should not be left lying around, they are sure to get wrinkled and soiled.

衣 貴 潔 , 不 貴 華

yi gui jie bu gui hua

衣服 注重 整潔的   注重 華麗的

clothes to emphasize clean

not to emphasize splendor

衣著注重整潔,而不講究華麗。
We should always make sure our clothing is neat, but not care too much about fashion

上 循 分 , 下 稱 家

shang xun fen xia cheng jia

往上來說 依照 身分 往下來說 配合,衡量 家境

above (first) to accord with one’s status or position

below (next) to suit, to match the financial condition of a family

首先要符合自己的身分,其次要衡量自己的家境。
What we wear should reflect common sense and not go beyond our budget.

這一章講衣著方面要注意的事情。首先還是強調衣物的擺放要整潔有序,不要隨隨便便,邋邋遢遢的。在有限的存放空間裏,我們如何把四季應用的衣物擺放整齊,而又方便取用,這是一門書本上都學不到的經濟學。 This section discusses the points we need to pay attention to with regard to clothing. First of all, it emphasizes that we should put our clothes away in a neat and orderly fashion, and not be sloppy or messy. Making the most efficient use of limited closet space to organize clothing for the four seasons neatly and yet allowing clothes to be taken out conveniently, is a lesson in economics that isn’t found in any book. 你或者會說﹕「為什麼我們談著道德的培養,卻又牽扯上經濟學呢?」好似注重道德的人,不應該講究經濟,太世俗了!這你就錯了。真正有道者,是珍惜人力物命,十分注重經濟效益的。我們如果能這樣做,一則已延續了衣物的使用壽命;二則可提昇衣物的外觀價值;三則又絕對會節省下每日的更衣時間;這不就是經濟學所強調的經濟效益嗎?那麼一個懂得生活品質的有道之士,又怎能忽略這種經濟效益呢? “We’re supposed to be talking about cultivation of virtue; what does that have to do with economics?” you might ask, thinking that people who value virtue aren’t supposed to be concerned with such a worldly matter as economics! You’re wrong on that one. People who truly understand the Way will cherish people’s energy and want objects to last long; they are very concerned with economics. If we can practice in this way, then first of all our clothes will last longer, second of all we will look more well-dressed, and thirdly, we will lessen the time it takes to change clothes. Isn’t that the “economic value “that economists are always stressing? How could a person of integrity who appreciates the quality of life disregard economic value in this sense? 有道者,大都有節儉的美德。很多人就又產生一種錯誤的觀念,就把他們的形象局限在衣衫襤褸,不修邊幅,甚至是赤膊跣足,蓬頭垢面可也;這更是大錯特錯了!賢者也有貧富貴賤不同的命運,但是真正到了證聖地步的大聖人,即使再顯貴,也不會驕奢浪費,開了冷氣穿貂皮大衣;再清寒,也不會縐衣髒帽上殿堂。他們一衣一履,都切合自己的身份,也配合場合來穿著,因為這是禮儀,也是戒律。 Since people of moral caliber are usually thrifty, they are often misportrayed as being disheveled and sloppy, and even going around barefoot, with mussed up hair and grimy faces. This is an inaccurate picture. Virtuous people may be rich or poor, noble or common, but if they have reached sage hood, then no matter how rich or noble they may be, they would never be so extravagant and wasteful as to turn on the air-conditioning and wear a fur coat; no matter how destitute they are, they would never go to a formal place with messy clothes or a dirty hat. They always dress fittingly for their own position and for the situation or place they are in; that is the observance of etiquette and precepts.

所謂「貧家淨掃地,貧女淨梳頭;景色雖不豔麗,氣度自然可觀。」這才叫窮得瀟灑!諸如嬉皮妄作灑脫狀,或假道學故示寒酸狀的,莫說不是聖人,連自然忘俗的狂者也稱不上;只能說他們是社會的「剩人」罷了!至於打腫臉充胖子,盡在衣著上費錢費工夫,甚至等而下之,硬在衣著上作怪的「閒人」和「嫌人」呢,實在也犯不著去對他們側目而視,因為他們都是心靈空虛的可憐人,沒有自知之明。 As it’s said, “If a poor household is swept clean and a poor girl combs her hair neatly, then although their appearance is not gorgeous, they will naturally have a pleasing air.” That’s what’s meant by the care freeness of poverty! As for hippies who make a pretense of being free and relaxed, or those hypocrites who deliberately dress in rags, not only are they not sages, they don’t even match up to naturalists who have forgotten the mundane. They can only be called the outcasts of society. As for those who “slap their cheeks so they can pass for plump (affluent) people,” those who spend all their time and money on clothing, or even worse, the leisurely rich or punks who insist on dressing in bizarre styles, there’s no need to be surprised by them. They’re to be pitied because their lives are spiritually empty and they don’t understand themselves.

所以我們要有正知正見,即便在穿衣戴帽上的生活瑣事上,也要嚴謹自持 ,以中道為依歸。所謂「小事不察,大事不明」,過去不知今已知,改過即是聖賢;千萬不要錯拿了「大行不顧細節」或「難得糊塗」作擋箭牌,來給自已做辯護律師。 So we must have proper knowledge and understanding, and even in the trivial matter of clothing, we have to be scrupulous and follow the Middle Way. It’s said, “If we don’t pay attention to small matters, we won’t be clear about the big matters.” Now that we know this, if we can correct our faults, we can be considered sages and worthies. We certainly shouldn’t try to defend ourselves by saying, “In big endeavors, we shouldn’t worry about details,” or “Being muddled is a quality to be cherished.”

中國古代的賢德女子裏,有個「鹿車歸里」的美談。漢朝的鮑宣十分好學,但是家境清貧,他的老師很讚賞他貧賤不移的氣節,不但把女兒桓少君嫁給他,還贈送了婢僕和豐盛的財物以為嫁妝。新婚第二天,新娘子一身錦衣繡服、珠光寶氣地打扮停當,卻發覺新郎板著臉不理她。 Concerning the virtuous daughters of ancient China, there’s a beautiful story called “Returning Home in a Deer Cart.” In the Han Dynasty, there was a diligent student named Bao Xuan who came from a poor family. His teacher admired him for maintaining his resolute integrity despite his poverty and low social class, and gave him his daughter Huan Shaojun to be his wife, as well as servants and a large fortune as a dowry. The day after the wedding, the new wife dressed up in embroidered finery and bedecked herself with glittering jewelry, but to her surprise her husband became sullen and gave her the cold shoulder. 桓少君終究是有教養的淑女,不但不敢發脾氣,還虛心下氣地請教他,自己是否犯了過錯?鮑宣便說﹕「少君生在奢富的家庭,習慣了漂亮的裝扮,可是我們鮑家很窮苦,你這種打扮實在不得體!」桓少君就說﹕「家父因為先生您的道德,才教我來事奉您的起居;既然鮑家的規矩這樣,我當然會遵從。」鮑宣這才歡喜起來﹕「妳能這樣,才是我所希望的。」 Being a refined lady, Shaojun dared not get angry, but humbly asked her husband whether she had done something wrong. Bao Xuan said, “You come from a rich family and are used to wearing fancy clothes, but my family is poor and your attire is not appropriate.” Shaojun said, “Because of your virtue, my father asked me to serve you; I will certainly honor your family’s ways.” Bao Xuan happily said, “I really hoped you would be able to do this.”

於是桓少君馬上遣回所有的婢僕嫁妝,換上了短衣布裙,和鮑宣兩人,牽了鹿車,載著簡單的行李,回到鄉間的鮑家;拜見婆婆後,桓少君取了水桶,就去打水做飯。以後桓少君也真的能謹修婦女的美德,做個稱職的鮑家媳婦,鄉里的人都十分讚歎她。 Shaojun immediately sent back all the servants and dowry and changed into a short jacket and cotton skirt. Then she and Bao Xuan piled their simple possessions on a deer-drawn cart and went to the Baos’ home in the countryside. After paying respects to her mother-in-law, Shaojun took the water pail and went to draw water to do the cooking. Later she proved to be a virtuous wife and worthy daughter-in-law to the Bao family. She earned the praise of all her fellow villagers.

現今的社會裏,處處可以看到很多衣著入時,卻俗豔難耐的人;他們不管自己的身份年齡合不合適,只知盲目追求時尚,這可說是「東施效顰」,醜不自知了!甚至有被物慾所迷的,過份講求衣著,花費往往超出家庭預算;且不論他個人的品味高低,這終究不是好現象。君不見,多少男子為入不敷出鋌而走險,終至家破人亡?多少女子為奢華無度淪落煙花,終至身敗名裂?世間如桓少君的,真是鳳毛麟角,少之又少了!我們能不以為殷鑑嗎? In today’s society, we see many fashionably dressed and yet terribly vulgar people, who blindly strive to be in style without considering whether their attire is appropriate for their age and position. They are like the ugly lady who tried to imitate the pout of a beautiful lady, and only ended up looking more ugly. Some people are so deluded by their materialistic desires that they outspend their budget and ruin their own lives and families. How many girls have spoiled their reputations and lives because of their extravagant taste in clothing? Women like Huan Shaojun are truly rare. We should certainly take her as our inspiration!

對 飲 食 , 勿 揀 擇

dui yin shi wu jian ze

對於 飲料 食物 不要 挑剔 選擇

as to drink food

do not be picky be choosy

對於飲食,不可挑剔。
Do not fuss and complain about tastes when you are given something to eat.

食 適 可 , 勿 過 則

shi shi ke wu guo ze

飲食 恰好 可以承受的份量 不要 超過 準則

eating just right permissible is allowed

do not to go over a limit or standard

吃東西要適可而止,不要超過平日的份量。
Eat enough so that you become full, but do not take more than you need.

年 方 少 , 勿 飲 酒

nian fang shao wu yin jiu

年齡 還 年輕的 不要 喝 酒(麻醉品)

age still young

do not to drink wine (intoxicant)

趁著年齡還輕的時候,不要養成喝酒吸毒的習慣。
Whatever your age or position, do not drink liquid or take harmful drugs.

飲 酒 醉 , 最 為 醜

yin jiu zui zui wei chou

喝 酒(麻醉品) 醉醺醺的   是 醜陋;難看

to drink wine (intoxicant) drink

most is become ugly

喝醉酒的樣子,最是醜陋不堪。
To get drunk is disgraceful and ugly, and brings you nothing but shame.

這一章講的,是飲食該注意的事項。挑精揀肥、暴飲暴食,不但形象不雅,有礙觀瞻,亦且是貪婪之源,終究會令我們傷身敗命,沉淪苦海。《地藏經》上說﹕地藏菩薩化身千百億,在各處辛苦地教化眾生,若遇飲食無度者,就和他們說說宿殃短命的果報,以期警誡他們;可是眾生難調難服,總是像游魚似的,才救得牠出網,牠又因貪婪而入了網。魚餌之所以能奏效,就因為眾生有貪念;因為貪,也就短視了。所以說眾生愚癡 ,甚可憐憫! This section discusses what we should pay attention to in our diet. If we choose only the most delicious and rich foods and eat and drink like gluttons, not only does it make us look bad, but our reputations will be ruined by our greed and we will sink in the sea of suffering. The Earth Store Sutra says: “Earth Store Bodhisattva has millions of transformation bodies that arduously teach living beings everywhere. If he sees someone eating and drinking excessively, he will warn them about the retribution of a short life.” However, living beings are very difficult to tame. They are like fish which, after being freed from the net, get entangled again due to greed. Bait is effective because living beings are greedy, and their greed makes them short-sighted. Thus it’s said that living beings are pitiful in their ignorance.

我們教育子弟,無不希望他往好的運途走;可是,什麼才是好的運途呢?高官厚祿?名成利就?婢美妾嬌?或者子孫滿堂?若說是高官厚祿,可是伴君如伴虎,哪一日身首異處時,又有何樂趣可言?若說是名成利就,可是慾心難止,哪一日家敗名裂時,又有何樂趣可言?若說是婢美妾嬌,可是人心好嫉,哪一日閨房生釁時,又有何樂趣可言?若說是子孫滿堂,可是人多口雜,哪一日禍起蕭牆時,又有何樂趣可言?所以不如趁早好好教育子弟有正知正見,小則個人後福無盡,中者家庭平安,大者社會安定,天下太平。而教育子弟,首要戒貪;一念貪,念念貪。 When we educate our children, we want them to walk on the right path. But what is the right path? Is it high official position and a good salary’? Fame and riches? Beautiful maids and charming mistresses? Or many children? You may say it’s high official position and a good salary, but serving the king is like accompanying a tiger; if one day you are sentenced to death, what fun is there in that? You may say it’s being famous and wealthy, but it’s difficult to stop your desires; if your reputation is totally ruined one day, what fun will that be? You may want to enjoy beautiful maids and charming mistresses, but it’s human nature to be jealous; when they fight amongst themselves in the bed-room, how will that be enjoyable? You may want to have many children, but when there are many people there are bound to be disagreements; if there’s a tragedy in the family, what is the fun? Thus it’s better to teach children the right ideas from the beginning. Then they themselves will enjoy endless blessings and their families will be harmonious. Ultimately, the society will be stable and the world will be at peace. The first thing to teach children is not to be greedy. A single thought of greed leads to endless greed.

古人說﹕「食者天也;色者性也。」又說﹕「民以食為天。」足見飲食本是眾生最原始的慾望,所以說,貪食正是貪財貪色之本;豈能以為是飲食小事,率而輕忽了它呢!至於飲酒,本來小飲兩杯,既不犯殺生,也不致損傷健康,或危害他人,應該沒什麼關係吧?問題是世上能自制的人太少了! There’s an old saying: “Food is all-important; lust is part of human nature.” Another saying goes; “To people, food is all-important.” This goes to show that eating and drinking are basic human desires. Thus there’s another saying: “Greed for wealth and sex stems from greed for food.” How can we overlook the matters of eating and drinking and think they are unimportant? As for drinking alcohol, one might think that having a couple of drinks won’t matter, since it doesn’t violate the precept against killing, damage the health, or hurt anyone else. The problem is, very few people are able to control themselves!

有個修行人自己住著,一天晚上,正在小飲兩杯之際,忽然跑進來一隻小雞;他一看,這可不正是下酒菜?於是也顧不了犯殺戒、盜戒,就把雞殺來吃了。愈吃,酒也愈灌得多;酒愈灌得多,也愈性起。鄰家少婦跑來問雞,他順口扯謊﹕「沒看見!」醉眼矇矓之際,看那女人長得也不錯,就又把她強姦了!年輕子弟血氣未剛者,戒之在色;血氣方剛者,戒之在鬥;而酒能亂性,血氣難伏,一但失去自制,就殺、盜、邪淫、妄語,什麼都做得出來了! Once there was a cultivator who lived by himself .One night when he has having a couple of drinks, a chicken wandered in. Seeing it, he thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice to have some chicken to go with the wine?” Forgetting about the precepts against killing and stealing, he slaughtered and cooked the chicken. Then he ate it and had some more wine. The more he drank, the more excited he got. When his neighbor, a young woman, came looking for her chicken, he lied, “I haven’t seen it.” Seeing the woman through his blurred drunkenness, he found her quite attractive and raped her. Young people are not yet physically mature and should refrain from indulging in lust. When they are in the prime of life, they should refrain from fighting. Intoxicants confuse the nature, making it difficult to subdue energy. Once a person loses self-control, he is liable to do anything, including killing, stealing, acting promiscuously, and lying.

本來佛當初制戒時,飲酒並不在戒中。後來,一位修習有神通的弟子,因為勇伏毒龍,居士很感謝地獻酒供養;他一高興,竟飲酒失度,最後醉臥街頭,有如爛泥。佛看平日這麼一位威武的行者,酒後竟是如此脆弱不堪,醜態百出,從此才把這不飲酒,與不殺、不盜、不邪淫、不妄語,同列在基本五戒之中。 When the Buddha first set up the precepts, he didn’t prohibit intoxicants. Later on, a disciple who had spiritual powers bravely tamed a poisonous dragon. When the grateful laypeople offered him some liquor, he drank it joyfully, lost control of himself, and lay about in the streets in a drunken stupor, like a piece of trash. Seeing that awe-some cultivator become so weak and disgraceful when he was drunk, the Buddha added no intoxicants to the other precepts of no killing, no stealing, no lust, and no lying, to make the five basic precepts.

想想看﹕一位修到那麼高境界的出世者,尚且逃不過酒的考驗,我們凡夫俗子,又怎敢自命不凡地說﹕「沒關係!我就喝兩口罷了!」 Think about it: If such an accomplished cultivator failed the test of intoxicants, how could we ordinary people brag: “I’ll only take a couple of sips; there’s no harm in that.”

步 從 容 , 立 端 正

bu cong rong li duan zheng

步伐 悠閒自在的樣子 站立 端正的 挺直的

pace composed and natural

the way one stand upright proper

走路的步伐要輕鬆自在;站立的姿勢要端正挺直。
Your walk should be easy and graceful, stand with your back tall and straight.

揖 深 圓 , 拜 恭 敬

yi shen yuan bai gong jing

拱手作禮(問訊) 深沉穩重的 圓潤優雅的 跪拜 (頂禮) 恭順的 謹慎的

bow deep full

full bow compliant cautious

彎腰行禮的動作要穩重而優雅;跪拜頂禮的態度要恭順而敬慎。
Your half-bows should be deep and full, and your full bows be made with respect.

勿 踐 閾 , 勿 跛 倚

wu jian yu wu bo yi

不要 踩、踏 門檻 不要 單腳站著 倚靠

do not to step on the door ledge

do not on one foot to lean on

進出之際,不要踩到門檻;站立之時,不要歪斜倚靠。
Watch your step as you enter a doorway, don’t slouch over and shuffle along on one foot.

勿 箕 踞 , 勿 搖 髀

wu ji ju wu yao bi

不要 像畚箕一樣 坐著 不要 動 臀骨

do not to sit in a fan to squat

do not to swing hipbone

不張腿蹲踞而坐;不扭腰擺臀而行。
Do not squat with your legs spread apart when you sit; do not wriggle and squirm when you walk.

自小,父母師長都告誡我們要「站有站相,坐有坐相」;那麼,怎樣才是站相?怎樣才是坐相呢?關於這行住坐臥,古人形容得很妙,即是﹕ Ever since we were little, we were told by our parents, teachers, and elders to “stand and sit properly.” Well, what’s the proper way to stand and sit? The ancients had a marvelous verse to describe how we should walk, stand, sit, and recline :

立如松,坐如鐘,
行如風,臥如弓。 Stand like a pine. Sit like a bell.
Walk like a breeze. Recline like a bow.

我們若能站得像松樹一樣挺拔,坐得像一座大鐘那樣四平八穩,自然英姿爽然,氣概非凡。可是很多人不論坐著、站著,就喜歡懶散地東倚西靠,或者彎腰駝背,尤其喜歡斜斜伸出一足,單單靠另一腳站著來支撐全身重量;躺著時,又是四腳朝天寫「大」字,以為這樣才是舒服。其實,莫說這樣的姿態醜陋而沒精神,久了,脊柱都還會變形。不正確的姿勢,不但難看,而且會導致百病叢生。 If we can stand as tall and erect as a pine tree and sit as firmly and steadily as a great bell, then we’ll have a natural air of dignity and vivacity, which gives us an extraordinary presence. However, most people, whether they are sitting or walking, love to lazily lean to one side, slouch over and hunch their backs, or stand with their weight supported on one leg so they can extend one foot out sideways. When they lie down, they sprawl with their four limbs out in the shape of the Chinese character for “big” (大). People think these are comfortable positions, but actually, not only do they look unpleasant, they end up with deformities of the spine and buttocks. Incorrect posture is not only unsightly, but is the cause of all kinds of disorders.

現代人生活緊張,工作壓力大,頭痛眼花、腰痠背疼已是慣性疾病;止痛藥常吃了也就不見效,更加上一層苦惱。後來研究報告證明了﹕一切毛病源於不健康的脊椎骨上;而不健康的脊椎骨,又源於不正確的躺臥坐立,或取物搬貨的姿勢。於是乎,腳底按摩或指壓等物理治療就大行其道,脊骨神經科醫生也十分吃香。可是許多人發現,效果不是沒有,症狀總是時好時壞,不能根治;那就是因為自己沒有從根本下手,把不正確的姿勢改正過來之故。所以,行住坐臥的姿勢若不正確,不但沒有威儀,也損害健康。 Due to the stress and work pressures of modem life, headaches, dizzy spells, and backaches have become habitual ailments; the pain killers people take soon lose their effectiveness and only add to the suffering. Later, research indicated that all these ailments stemmed from an unhealthy spine, and that an unhealthy spine was due to incorrect posture in reclining, sitting, standing, or picking up or carrying things. That’s when foot massage and finger pressure became very popular, and spinal nerve specialists were widely consulted. However, many people soon discovered that while the results were not nil, their condition would sometimes improve and sometimes regress; they hadn’t cured the root of the problem, because they hadn’t corrected their bad posture. Therefore. if one’s posture in walking, standing, sitting, and reclining is not proper. not only will one have bad comportment, but one’s health will suffer.

但是,即便坐立挺直,若是動作生硬或莽撞,也不能稱得上彬彬君子。這兩句「揖深圓,拜恭敬」,說得真好!「深」,表示行禮的誠敬程度,並不是隨便拱拱手,卯卯腰就算的;「圓」,形容行禮的優雅姿態,絕不是做作或粗魯的。 However, if one only sits and stands erect, yet one’s actions are clumsy and rough, one cannot be considered a refined person. The next two lines really put it well: Your half-bows should be deep and full, and your full bows be made with respect The word “deep” refers to the depth of our sincerity when we bow; bowing is more than just putting our hands together and bending at the waist. “Full” refers to the elegance of our bowing; it should neither be affected nor rough.

古人以「玉樹臨風」來描繪身量修偉英挺,舉止溫文有禮的人,真是再貼切也不過了!一個人若走起路來不疾不徐,行禮進退又自然合度,那就猶如清風徐來,舉手投足間,自見清涼意態。好一個玉樹臨風輕揚,多麼儒雅!又多麼自在!這才是真正的「酷」!至於時下不少青少年,非但言語間蔑視規矩,進退間亦且十分輕浮散漫,這真是大大地錯解了「酷」的真義! The ancients used the phrase of “a jade tree in the breeze” to describe a person who is tall, stately, and handsome, and whose movements are gentle and gracious. Truly an apt description! Someone who is neither hasty nor slow when he walks and whose gestures are always naturally just right, like a gentle breeze, will give people a cool and refreshing feeling, like a jade tree waving gently in the breeze-how refined and carefree! This is what it really means to be “cool.” Today many young people not only hold the rules in contempt. but are very casual and sloppy in their manners; this is a total misconception of what “coolness” really is!

孔子老年時,有 一回去看他童年一起長大的老朋友原壤。這原壤究竟是怎麼樣的一個人呢?他自小就是個四六不明(「四六」,就是隱喻父母;因為中國字「父」是四劃,「母」是六劃)的小混混,大了又不事生產,弄到母親死了也沒法好好安葬。孔子去幫他修治棺具,他看孔子的手修長白皙,居然想入非非,忘了母喪,大唱其小調來。這樣的人,自然一生也沒什麼出息,到老更沒人愛理。可是孔子還是眷戀故情,偶爾去看看他。 When Confucius was advanced in years, he once went to visit an old friend, Yuan Rang, with whom he had grown up. What kind of person was Yuan Rang? Ever since he was young, he was a rascal who had never listened to his parents; when he grew up he didn’t do anything to make a living, and so when his mother died he could not afford to give her a good funeral. Confucius went to help him prepare things for the funeral. When he noticed Confucius’ hands, which were white and delicate, he started thinking of improper things and humming a frivolous tune, totally forgetting about his mother’s death. Being that kind of person, he of course had not achieved anything worthwhile in his life, and was not loved by anyone in his old age. Yet Confucius didn’t forget his old friend and would visit him occasionally. 那回,原壤就懶散地叉開兩條腿,好像承接垃圾的畚箕似的,蹲坐在門口等孔子。孔子真的生氣了,就用手杖敲敲原壤的腳脛,罵他道﹕「你啊!你!小時不知孝順父母,友愛兄弟;大了,也沒什麼值得人稱說的作為;到老還是這麼副賊德性。你活得這麼久幹什麼呀?你!簡直就是個老不修!」像孔子這樣有情有義的人,都忍不住要罵人罵得這麼難聽,可見箕踞而坐,是說多難看就有多難看了! That time, Yuan Rang had lazily stuck out his two legs and looked like a live dustpan waiting for some trash as he squatted by the door waiting for Confucius. This made Confucius really angry, and he knocked Yuan Rang on his shins with his staff, scolding him, “You! When you were little you didn’t know how to be filial to your parents or kind to your siblings. When you grew up, you didn’t do anything praiseworthy. In your old age, you’re still as rascally as ever! What’s the point of living so long? Have you no shame at all?” Even Confucius, as kind and affectionate as he was, couldn’t keep from giving him such a round scolding, which goes to show how ugly it is to sit with one’s legs spread apart.

箕踞而坐不好看,扭腰擺臀的,也不見得好看;有些女孩子卻以為這樣很吸引人,總故意學模特兒在伸展台上走路的樣子,卻不知自己活像老母鴨或火雞似的。唉!愚癡使人目盲,真可憐憫! Squatting with one’s legs apart doesn’t look good, and neither does wriggling and squirming when one walks. Some girls think moving their hips back and forth as they walk makes them look seductive, so they are always trying to imitate the way a model walks on stage. They don’t realize that they really look like ducks and turkeys! How pitiful these people are, blinded by their ignorance!

緩 揭 簾 , 勿 有 聲

huan jie lian wu you sheng

慢慢地 揭開 門簾 不要 發出 聲響

slowly to lift door curtains

do not make sound

開門時要動作輕緩,不要弄出很大的聲響。
When opening or closing a door, do it slowly, without making too much noise.

寬 轉 彎 , 勿 觸 稜

kuan zhuan wan wu chu leng

有餘的 轉移 彎曲處 不要 碰到 稜角

wildly to turn corner

do not to bump into angle, edge

轉彎時要留有餘地,不要碰到任何的稜角。
When going around a corner, make a wind turn and don’t bump into sharp edges.

執 虛 器 , 如 執 盈

zhi xu qi ru zhi ying

拿 空的 器皿 好像 拿 滿的器皿

to carry empty container

as if to carry a full container

端著空的容器,小心地好像裝滿東西時一樣。
You should carry an empty container just as carefully as one that is full.

入 虛 室 , 如 有 人

ru xu shi ru you ren

進入 空的 房間 好像    

to enter empty room

as if have people

進入空的房間,謹慎地就如同裏面有人時一般。
And enter a room that is empty, just as cautiously as one in which there are people.

前一節提到行住坐臥四大威儀,說要「行如風」;我們把它再衍申一下,這個「行」,還不只是「行走」,應該包括一切諸如開關門戶,進出轉彎,甚至取物執事的種種行動。一個人的動作,不但反映出他的個性,也反映了他的道德和教育水準。 The previous section mentioned the four modes of deportment—walking, standing, sitting, and reclining–and said one should “walk like a breeze. ” We can extend this a bit because the word xing (行) not only means walking, but also includes various motions such as opening and closing doors and windows, entering and exiting, turning corners, picking things up, handling things, and so forth. The way a person moves is a reflection not only of his character, but also of his ethical standards and his education.

古時候,進出之處如無門戶,至少會有簾子來分隔內外。簾子的質地種類不一,或者布簾,或者紗簾、竹簾,又或者珠簾、水晶簾、翡翠簾等。總之,都不如木門、鐵門來得堅實。如果粗粗魯魯地一掀一甩,可能不小心波及站在簾邊的人或動物,或驚擾到室內的人,簾子也容易脫落破壞。掀簾、放簾的動作輕緩,不但不會讓聲響干擾他人,也可延長簾子的使用壽命。 In ancient times, in entrances where there were no doors, there would be a curtain to separate the inside from the outside. The curtains were made of various materials, such; as cloth, gauze, bamboo, beads, crystal, and jade. In general, they were not as hard and solid as wooden doors or iron gates. If you roughly whisk the curtain aside, you might disturb the people or animals on the other side or startle those inside the room. The curtain will also fall apart more easily. If you lift the curtain and let it down slowly and gently, you won’t make any sound that would disturb other people, and the curtain will also last longer.

現代人已少有使用門簾的了,但各種質地的門戶雖然較為堅實,相對的,其撞擊所發出的音響和反震力也更大,造成的損傷也更嚴重。因此,開關的動作更要輕緩,以免釀成意外,製造噪音,耗損門戶。 Nowadays door curtains are seldom used, and doors made of various materials are more solid. However, the noise is also louder when you knock against them, and the injury is more serious. For those reasons, we should open and close them gently and slowly to avoid causing accidents, making a lot of noise, and damaging the doors. 手輕輕扶著把手來開關門的,是謹慎而負責的人;用力推門就走,任由門在身後自動合上而發出巨響的,是膽識有餘,不計後果的人,但也往往是不負責任或不太考慮別人感覺的人;握緊把手,慢慢推開門,然後緊緊關上門的,是認真負責,但有時不免畏怯或神經質的人;開門時用力扭轉把手,卻會忘了關門的,是有心負責,卻無力收拾殘局的人。從人開關門戶的動作,真的可以觀察一個人的個性和品行,從而衡量出他將來的成就。 One who gently grasps the doorknob to open and close the door is a careful and responsible person. One who barges through a door and lets it slam shut by itself is someone who has plenty of daring and knowledge, but who doesn’t consider the consequences of his actions. Or he might be an irresponsible individual or a person who isn’t very considerate of others’ feelings. Someone who grasps the doorknob tightly, very slowly opens the door, and then closes it tightly behind him is a diligent and responsible person who is sometimes a bit timid or nervous. Someone who forcefully turns the doorknob to open the door, but then forgets to close it, is one who has good intentions but isn’t able to finish the jobs he starts. From the way a person opens a door, you can tell what his character and personality are like and judge what his future accomplishments might be. 同樣地,在穿越堂屋或轉彎時,不是撞倒這,就是碰翻那,甚至弄傷了自己,總見出這個人莽撞不慎重的個性;而小心翼翼地緊貼著桌椅牆壁走,沒給自己留個空間,又顯得這個人過分的拘執。動作上的「寬」、「緩」,和前一節所強調的「深」、「圓」,正是展現君子自然自在,不卑不亢的瀟灑風度。 Similarly, if a person habitually bumps into things, knocks things over, or even hurts himself when he walks through a room or turns a corner, it reveals a rash and incautious personality .If someone carefully walks along the edges of the tables, chairs, and walls without leaving much room for himself, this shows that he is a little too uptight. The qualities of one’s movements being slow and spacious, like the qualities of being deep and full mentioned in the previous section, illustrate the natural ease and carefree air of a great person who is neither arrogant nor self-demeaning.

當我們執持器物時,不管東西的盈虛輕重,總以兩手端捧在胸前為佳;這樣,不但是一種禮貌,還能培養好「慎始慎終」的習慣,更可以訓練出目不斜視,專心一意的態度。至於進入空屋或獨處虛室之時,還能如同有他人在側,沒有一絲一毫的隨便和放逸,這更是自我淬鍊之所在。古聖人十分強調「誠意正心」的內修工夫,認為應該從「慎獨」著手,曾子說一個人即使是獨處時,也應該嚴謹自持,就像有「十目所視,十手所指」一樣;這是描述君子秉心正氣,端正不阿的獨特品格。 When we carry a container, regardless of whether it is empty or full, light or heavy, the best way is to hold it with both hands in front of our chest. This is the respectful way, and it also trains us to be careful from beginning to end and to focus our attention and not be glancing here and there. When we go into an empty room or stay alone in one, we should act the same as when there are people around; we shouldn’t be the least bit casual or lax; this is the essence of self-cultivation. The ancient sages put great emphasis on the inner cultivation of “making the will sincere and the mind proper,” which they thought should begin with being cautious when one is alone. Zeng Zi [a disciple of Confucius] said that when a person is alone, he should act as prudently as if there were ten eyes watching him and ten hands pointing at him. This describes the unique character of a superior person who maintains right thoughts and is proper at all times.

君子為什麼能做到這樣呢?因為他沒有妄起我法二執;我法二執,就是眾惡的根本。那我法二執又是什麼?說穿了,其實就是意念不誠而已;意念不誠,也就是有個自私心和名利心。人如沒有自私心,哪裏會產生我執?若沒有名利心,更有何法執可言?就因為生出這二種根本的執著,於是乎各種勾心鬥角的是非爭端都跟著衍發了!所以才說,我法二執是眾惡的根本。 Why is a superior person able to be like this? Because he doesn’t have the two attachments to self and dharmas. The attachments to self and dharn1as are the root of all evil. What are these two attachments? Actually, they are just a result of a lack of sincerity .When one is insincere, one is selfish and seeks after fame and profit. If a person is unselfish, how could he have the attachment to self? If he doesn’t seek fame and profit, what attachment to dharmas could there be? Because of these two fundamental attachments, all manner of fighting, scheming, gossip, and arguments arise. That’s why these two attachments to self and dharmas are the source of all evil. 一個人的意念誠不誠,往往流露於舉手投足之際。在人前,他或者警覺性高,還會加以掩飾;獨處時,就難免鬆懈而漏了底,明眼人當然看得出來。所以《大學》上才說﹕「誠於中,形於外,故君子必慎其獨也。」 The degree of a person’s sincerity can be seen in his ordinary gestures. In front of others, he may be very alert and cover up his true thoughts, but when alone he is likely to relax and let his real self show through. Of course an intelligent person can see through his phoniness. Thus the Great Learning says, “When there is sincerity within, it manifests in one’s external appearance; hence the superior person must be cautious when he is alone.”

那麼,君子又為什麼要做到這樣呢?《大學》上說﹕「富潤屋,德潤身,心廣體胖。」想想看﹕人生在世,富貴壽考,都只如海上浮漚,長久幾何?不少生前金玉滿堂,卻諸善莫作,眾惡奉行的人,死後不但遺臭萬年,甚至痛失人身,永劫沉淪地獄、餓鬼、畜生三惡道;反之,以道德嚴身,諸惡莫作,眾善奉行者,生前是坦坦蕩蕩,身後也流芳百世,更有超昇三界、永享極樂的。各位都是聰明的,與其享一時之樂,而身後累世挨罵受苦,何不趁此生嚴持戒律,早修無上道呢? Why does the superior person want to be like this? The Great Learning says, “Riches enhance the household, while virtue enhances one’s self, so that one has a broad mind and a healthy body.” Think about it: All the riches, honor, and longevity that we enjoy in this world are like mere bubbles in the sea–how long do they last? There are many people who are incredibly rich, but who do no good deeds whatsoever and only indulge in all manner of evil. After they die, not only does their notoriety live on, but they may lose their human body and fall into the three evil paths of the hells, hungry ghosts, and animals forever. Conversely, those who conduct themselves ethically, avoiding all evil and practicing many good deeds, enjoy a smooth and carefree life, leave behind a good name, and are able to transcend the Triple Realm and enjoy eternal happiness. All of you are intelligent people. Compared to the prospect of enjoying momentary pleasure and then enduring scoldings and sufferings for many lifetimes afterwards, wouldn’t it be better to seriously uphold the precepts in this very life and quickly cultivate the unsurpassed Path?

明朝的大將軍戚繼光還沒做官時,跟一位朋友進京應試。到了京城,肚子餓了,兩人就在路邊攤子吃飯。吃完,賣飯的不小心,一個銅錢滾落到地上;那位朋友趕緊用腳把銅錢踩住,等賣飯的不注意時,再把錢撿起。他自以為神不知鬼不覺,沒想到被一位散步的過路人瞧見了,而那人正是此次考試的監考官。到了考試那天,那位朋友交卷時,監考官就把他的名字暗地記下;結果戚繼光考取,他卻落了榜。按理,他的文章比戚繼光好,應該考取;可是那位監考官卻說﹕「賣飯的一個銅錢他都想要,如果讓他作了官,他還能不貪污嗎?」由此看來,人怎能不誠乎其中,而慎乎其獨呢? In the Ming Dynasty, there was a great general named Jiguang Qi. Before he became an official, he went with a friend to the capital to take the civil examination. When they reached the capital they felt rather hungry, so they stopped by a roadside stand to get something to eat. After they had finished their meal, the food vendor accidentally dropped a coin on the ground. Qi’ s friend quickly stepped on the coin and then picked it up when the vendor wasn’t looking. He thought no one, not even the ghosts, would know what he’d done, but actually his act had been observed by a passerby who happened to be the examination proctor. On the day of the examination, when Qi’s friend handed in his paper, the proctor silently noted his name. Later it turned out that Jiguang Qi passed the exam, while his friend did not. Actually, Qi’ s friend should have passed, for his essay was better than Jiguang Qi’s. But the proctor had said, “He even wanted that food vendor’s one little coin. If we allow him to become an official, how could he not be corrupt’?” Hearing this story, how can we not maintain an inner attitude of sincerity and not be cautious whenever we are alone?

事 勿 忙 , 忙 多 錯

shi wu mang mang duo cuo

做事 不要 匆忙地 匆忙地 大多 出差錯

to do work do not hurriedly

hurriedly usually mistakes

做事不要匆忙,匆忙往往出差錯。
There is no need to be in a hurry. If you rush you will make a mistake.

勿 畏 難 , 勿 輕 略

wu wei nan wu qing lue

不要 害怕 困難的事 不要 輕忽 簡易小事

do not to fear difficulty

do not to look upon as unimportant small or easy jobs

不要害怕困難,也不要輕忽小事。
Do not be afraid of what is hard, and not casually dismiss what’s easy.

鬥 鬧 場 , 絕 毋 近

dou nao chang jue wu jin

打鬥 喧嘩的 場所 禁止 不要 接近

fighting troublesome, disturbing places

to stop, to cut off do not to go near

爭鬥喧嘩的場所,要嚴格禁止,不可接近。
Never go near rowdy places or places where people are fighting.

邪 僻 事 , 絕 毋 問

xie pi shi jue wu wen

邪惡不正的 標新立異的 事情 絕對 不要 過問

deviant, improper depraved, lowly things

to stop, to cut off do not to ask about

邪惡怪異的事情,要嚴格禁止,不可過問。
Never ask about deviant things. Stay away from all that’s improper.

聖人告誡我們,無論做任何事情,「毋欲速;欲速則不達。」我們做任何事,只要預先有個全盤計劃,如何進行也有個架構,對於時間的掌控留有餘裕;如此,謀定而後動,即使中間有什麼變卦,也不致於慌了手腳。反之,若是衝動有餘,謀略不足,則臨變就慌,慌了便急,愈急則愈亂,愈亂又愈錯,事情想成就都難。 The Sages have warned us that, no matter what we are doing, “Don’t rush, because if you rush you won’t reach your destination.” For any endeavor, if we plan things well before we start, proceed in a systematic way, and give ourselves plenty of time to complete each step, then even if unforeseen circumstances arise, we will not be thrown into confusion. On the other hand, if we are overly impulsive and don’t plan things out in advance, we will panic at any unexpected change and become anxious. The more anxious we get, the more confused we become, and the more confused we become, the more mistakes we make. As a result, it’s difficult to accomplish anything.

所謂「忙中多錯」,君不見經常闖紅燈,出車禍的,都是那種做事沒計劃,又不給自己預留時間、空間的人?所以說性躁心粗的人,總是寡德多敗,一事無成;心平氣和的,自然得道多助,百褔雲集。做人做事是這樣,求學修道也是這樣,總要以平常心對待,按部就班,才能真正有得於心,成就是急不來的。 It is said, “If you rush, you tend to make more mistakes.” Have you noticed that the people who run red lights and get into car accidents are the kind who never think things out before they act or leave enough time and space for themselves? People who are rash and careless tend to lack virtue, and never succeed at anything. People who are calm and composed naturally obtain plenty of help and blessings. This applies to human conduct and work, as well as to studying and cultivation. We should always have an ordinary attitude and do things methodically. Then we will have some true attainment in our mind. Success cannot be rushed.

日本有個劍道名家,看看兒子不成材,就把他趕出門,斷絕了父子關係。這年輕人深受刺激,發憤要學成一流的劍術,就不辭辛苦地爬上深山,想拜當時的名劍手武藏學藝;可是武藏也認為他不能有所成就。年輕人不死心,堅持地問﹕「假使我努力學習,需要多少年才能成為一名劍師?」武藏微微領首﹕「也許十年吧!」年輕人又問﹕「家父年歲已高,我一定得早點學成。假如我加倍努力學習,需要多少年才能學成?」武藏搖搖頭﹕「那得要三十年囉!」年輕人著急地又問﹕「我不惜任何勞苦,一定要在最短的時間內學成。」武藏不禁大笑﹕「你有這種心態,那恐怕要花七十年才能學成了!」。 Once there was an expert swordsman in Japan who saw that his son was a failure and threw him out of the house, disinheriting him. As a result, the boy developed a burning aspiration to become a first-rate swordsman. He went to all kinds of trouble and climbed deep into the mountains to bow to Wuzang, a famous swordsman of the time, hoping to train under him. But Wuzang felt that he was a hopeless case. The boy didn’t give up hope, but persisted in asking, “If I work hard, how many years would it take me to become a great swordsman?” Wuzang shook his head slightly. Maybe ten years.” The boy said, “My father is already old. I must succeed sooner. If double my efforts, how long will it take me?” Wuzang shook his head and said, “Then it’ll take thirty years. ” The boy anxiously asked, “I’m willing to take any kind of hardship, but I must finish my training in the shortest time possible. ” Wuzang couldn’t help laughing and said, ‘With your attitude, it might take you seventy years before you succeed.”

這故事是要我們保持平常心,持續進行,功夫夠了,自然水到渠成,急功近利是不能有所成就的;不在於教人不用努力,慢慢來就可以了。所謂平常心,也就是一個在日用間,不須特別造作的心;也就是一個不畏難也不輕易的心。這世間人對世間事,總是怯懦的人畏怕困難的事,而自負的人輕忽簡略的事;要恆持平常心,確是大不易。 In doing work, we should maintain an ordinary state of mind and make constant progress. When we have put in enough effort, we will naturally succeed. If we rush in our work and try to make a quick profit, we won’t have any success. This does not mean we should take it easy and not work hard. An ordinary state of mind means the state that our mind is in as we go. about our daily affairs. There is nothing contrived or artificial about it. It is a state of not fearing difficulty and not scorning easy things. For this world, timid people are afraid of hard things, and people with a sense of self- importance tend to overlook simple things. To constantly maintain an ordinary state of mind is not at all easy.

常看到很多年輕孩子,總是自以為什麼都會,不論是教他做功課,或讓他做工作,都表現得馬虎不屑,認為那太沒有挑戰性了,因此不想學,不想做;到最後一事無成,就怨天尤人,一副懷才不遇的樣子。殊不知「他山之石可攻錯 」,一洞若通,洞洞皆通。徒具聰明或學歷,沒有基層的實務經驗,最後流於眼高手低,什麼也沒學到,什麼也沒做成。孔子自己就說過,他並非天生多才多智,只不過是從小家庭貧賤,他必須做很多瑣事罷了!所以想啟發孩子的智慧,要從小就鍛鍊孩子把日常小事都做好。 I often see young people who think they know everything. If asked to do their homework or to do some other task, they casually shrug it off as not challenging enough, so they don’t want to study or do the work. fu the end they don’t accomplish anything, and then they complain and blame others, acting as if no one recognized their talent. They don’t understand that “Advice from others may help one overcome one’s defects.” If they master one field of knowledge, they will naturally understand all fields. If they possess talents or academic degrees but lack the foundation of hands-on experience, their situation is that of having great aims but poor abilities; they end up learning nothing and accomplishing nothing. Confucius said that he was not born with much talent and wisdom; it was just that he had to do lots of menial chores because his family was very poor. In order to develop children’s wisdom, we should start by training children to do a good job in the trivial affairs of daily life. 俗云﹕「近朱者赤,近墨者黑。」環境和交往,對人一生的影響真是大!孟母三遷,就為著給小孩換個好的環境。年輕孩子不但好奇心強,模倣得也很快,若是涉足是非地,輕者遭池魚之殃,重者恐怕就會同流合污,再也無法全身而退了。靠近染坊,掉進醬缸,難道還想保持清白? An old saying goes, “He who draws near vermilion becomes red; he who draws near ink becomes black.” A person’s surroundings can make a great difference! Mencius’ mother moved three times only because she wanted to provide a proper environment for her son to grow up in. Young children are curious about everything and quickly learn to imitate what they see. If they are in a bad environment, they might get into trouble or even follow the bad examples of others and never be able to get themselves out of there. When one gets near a dyer’s shop or falls into a vat of dye, how can one expect to stay clean and white?

孔子說﹕「非禮勿視,非禮勿聽,非禮勿言,非禮勿動。」禮者理也,非禮就是指一切不合乎道理的事情;尤其對那些個殘暴悖亂,或者稀奇古怪,驚世駭俗的事情,我們更須塞耳杜口。為什麼呢?因為如今的時代魔強法弱,修羅道大盛,修行貪神通的人亦比比皆是;若是和這些人物太接近,或是知道人家秘密太多,遲早會著魔或惹禍上身,切記切記啊! Confucius said, “Don’t look at improper things; don’t listen to improper things; don’t say improper things; and don’t do improper things.” “Proper” means in accord with principle. “Improper things” refers to things that do not accord with principle. In particular, when we encounter cruel, violent, weird, or scary things, we should plug our ears and zip our lips. Why is that? Because in this age when demons are strong and the Dharma is weak, the ways of asuras are popular and cultivators who crave spiritual powers are everywhere. If you get too close to these people or learn too much about their secrets, you will become possessed or get into trouble sooner or later, Be careful!

將 入 門 , 問 誰 存

jiang ru men wen shui cun

將要 進入   詢問   在 (那裡)

be about to to enter door

to ask who in there

要開門時,先問問有誰在裏面。
When you are going to enter a room, first knock to make sure it’s permitted.

將 上 堂 , 聲 必 揚

jiang shang tang sheng bi yang

將要 登,進入 廳堂 聲音 一定 提高

be about to to enter a hall or meeting room

sound should be to arise

要進廳時,須出聲好教人知道。
Where you are joining a gathering of people, let them all know you are there.

人 問 誰 , 對 以 名

ren wen shui dui yi ming

別人 詢問 是誰 回答 用 姓名

someone to ask who is it?

to reply with, to use name

有人問起我們是誰時,要回答自已的名字。
If someone should ask who you are, you should answer by giving your name

吾 與 我 , 不 分 明

wu yu wo bu fen ming

我 和     清晰的 明白的

me and I

is not distinguished clear

光應一聲「是我」,那是不夠清楚的。
If you only respond, it is me, you are not giving a proper reply. .

我們一般的禮貌,在即將進入他人房間、廳堂等處,還會想到先問一聲「有人在否」,或者敲敲門;但是在自己家裡,就往往忘了這樣做。其實,人最覺放心之處,常常是最易惹出禍端之處。即使是在自家廳堂或一己的房間,只要同個屋頂下還有第二個人存在,進入之際先發聲相詢,或是出聲示警,譬如加重腳步或輕咳兩聲,總是好的;若是在辦公的處所,進出或經過他人辦公室時,更應謹記這點。為什麼呢?因為萬一裡面真的有人,就可避免驚嚇到那個人,這是一種禮貌;不僅如此,也可以保證他人隱私,甚而保護住自己的身心性命。 Before entering a room or a hall, it’s common courtesy to ask: “Is anyone there?” or to knock on the door. However, we usually forget to do this at home. In fact, wherever we feel most comfortable is where we’re most liable to get in trouble. Even if it’s our own living room or bedroom, as long as there are other people in the house, it’s better to ask or make a warning sound–with heavy footsteps or light coughing–before entering. This is especially important when entering or passing others’ offices at work, to avoid scaring anyone who happens to be inside. It’s a basic courtesy. It’s also a way to protect others’ privacy and our own minds and lives.

所謂「知人隱私者,禍必先及之」,如果他人在屋子裡所說所做的,是不可以或不願意他人看見、知道的事情,被你冒冒失失地闖進來瞧見、聽到,事態輕者,彼此感覺尷尬,嚴重者,自己就有危險了!古今中外,因不小心撞見他人隱私,或無意間聽到他人秘密,以至被誣賴陷害,小者丟財去職,大者家破人亡,甚者全家遭殃的,真是大有人在。能不戒慎嗎? There’s a saying: “Those who know others’ secrets are sure to get into trouble.” If you carelessly rush in and discover people saying or doing things they don’t want others to know about, you’ll both be embarrassed and your life might even be in danger . People who accidentally intrude on others’ privacy or overhear secrets often get framed or slandered. In minor cases, they may lose their jobs and fortune; in major cases, they may get killed and bring ruin and misfortune upon their whole family. This happens all the time, so we’d better be careful.

戰國時代的孟子,是個把儒學傳揚光大的哲人,後世尊他為「亞聖」,以示他是大成至聖先師孔子以來的第二人。孟子婚後,有一次自外回家,也沒敲門就入房,他的妻子正巧在換衣服,來不及穿好;孟子氣沖沖地掉頭就走,向母親說媳婦不懂禮,要把她休掉。 Mencius, a philosopher who propagated the teachings of Confucius during the Warring States Period, is honored as the Lesser Sage, for he was second to the Greatest Sage and Teacher, Confucius. After getting married, Mencius returned home one day and walked into the bedroom without knocking. His wife happened to be changing clothes and had no time to get dressed properly. Mencius was furious and walked out right away. He complained to his mother that her daughter-in-law had no propriety and said he wanted to divorce her.

所謂休掉,在古代的男權社會裡,是一種極不平等的單向離婚,只能由男方提出,簽名就算數。女方毫無辯駁餘地,只能帶著隨身衣物回娘家;而娘家人又往往引以為恥,被休的婦女大都含怨和淚度其餘生,或是自盡。當然,男人也不是隨便可以休妻的,必須是妻子犯了重大的敗德行為,即所謂的「七出之罪」;只不過它常常被有些挑剔的惡婆婆或喜新厭舊的丈夫利用,加以「莫須有」之名,而造成無數悲劇。 Divorce was an extremely unfair custom in the patriarchal society of ancient China. Only the husband could initiate divorce proceedings, and his signature was enough to make the divorce official. The wife had no right to protest; all she could do was pack up her personal belongings and return to her parents’ home. What was worse, her relatives were usually ashamed of her. Most divorced women bore deep grudges for the rest of their lives and some even committed suicide. Of course, a man could not casually divorce his wife, but only when she had committed serious licentious acts known as the Seven Divorce Offenses. Unfortunately, these were often misused by a picky mother-in-law or when the husband loved another woman. By charging the wife with these offenses, they caused numerous tragedies.

孟子當然不是這種人,他只是根據那個時代對婦德的標準,認為妻子不知禮。幸好他有個賢明的母親,詳細問明原因,就反問他﹕「你進屋前有沒有先問 一聲呢?」孟子答沒有。孟母於是責備他﹕「《書經》上說,將進門時,要問誰在裏面;要入廳堂時,要高聲說話;進房間時,視線要下垂。這就是說不要趁人不備時,去找人家的過錯。你既沒敲門,她自然不知道你要進去;今天的情形,不懂禮的是你自己呀!」孟子聽了非常慚愧,急忙向妻子道歉。這故事的背景及那些古早的婦德標準我們暫不予置評,單就事論事,以孟子之賢,尚且險些因此不慎而釀成家庭悲劇,何況是我們一般的人? Of course, Mencius was not such a bad man. He simply thought that according to the standards of women’s virtue of the time, his wife had been ill-mannered. Fortunately he had a wise mother who questioned him in detail: “Did you ask before yon went into the bedroom?” Mencius said he hadn’t. She then admonished him, “The Book of History teaches us that we should ask, ‘Who’s there?’ before going into a room. We should also speak in a loud voice before entering a hall. When we step into a room, we should keep our gaze downcast to avoid finding others’ faults when they aren’t prepared. Since you didn’t knock, of course she didn’t know you were entering. You were the one who was impolite!’ Hearing this, Mencius felt very ashamed and immediately went to apologize to his wife. For now we won’t discuss the background of this story or the ancient standards for women’s virtue. This story was told to illustrate that even a man as worthy as Mencius nearly caused a family tragedy due to his carelessness; how much more liable arc we ordinary people to make such mistakes?

此外,敲門、按電鈴,或者打電話時,也應該先自己報名號;若對方先問起,也要把自己姓氏名號說清楚;常見有些人只是萬分親熱地答應﹕「是我呀!還記得我嗎?」或者是故作俏皮地說﹕「猜猜我是誰?」唉!這才真正是「忘了我是誰」了!你以為自己是個什麼特殊人物啊?要是人家想不出或猜不著你是誰,豈非自討沒趣? In addition, when we knock at a door, ring the doorbell, or make a phone call, we should give our own name. If the other party asks first, we should also clearly tell that person our name. Quite often, people reply in a very familiar manner: “It’s me! Remember me?” Or they respond with a wisecrack: “Guess who?” This is really “forgetting who one is”! So you think you’re someone special? If that person can’t figure out who are you, aren’t you just asking for trouble?

談到自己報名號或署名,這也都是有規矩的。舉例說吧!若是打電話或寫信給老師,除非是常在跟前的入室弟子,否則總要連名帶姓報上;若不是應屆生,還得報上自己是某某年次某級某班的學生,否則桃李滿天下的老師如何知道你是誰呢?對於朋友、同事或上司,除非是熟得不能再熟的,否則也要連名帶姓報上,甚至還要報出工作單位。對於父母及同姓尊長,要先稱呼對方,再自報名或小字,不用道姓;道姓則不但見外,且貽笑大方。對於異姓外戚,要先稱呼對方,再自報正名;若久不見面或較疏遠的,不但要報姓,還要提示出自己的父母祖先。 When you introduce yourself and give your name, there are certain rules to follow. Here are a few examples. When you call or write to your teacher, you should give both your first and last names unless you are a student on very familiar terms with him/her. If you are not a graduating student, you should give your grade and class. Otherwise, how can a teacher who has so many students possibly know who you are? When addressing friends, colleagues, or your boss, you should also give your full name and even your department, unless you are a very close friend. When you meet parents and elder relatives with the same surname, you can first greet them and then give your first name or nickname without the surname. If you say your surname to them, it sounds too formal and you’ll get laughed at. When addressing relatives of different surnames, first greet them, then say your full name. If you have not seen them for a long time, you should say your surname and mention your parents and grandparents as well.

對於晚輩親戚,自稱稱謂即可;對於下屬、學生,則在頭銜上還要加姓,以示區分,不必道名,這是比較傳統式的;現代人喜歡民主自由,不愛這許多拘束,不論長晚輩或上下屬之間,只互相稱名,而不尊稱其姓,更不加頭銜,不過對親長,還是以加上尊敬的稱謂為得體。若是在規模龐大的公司,對於屬下,尊稱其姓,可以顯出自己的身份和教養;對於非直屬的上司,更以尊稱其姓為妙,以免被「炒魷魚(解雇)」。總之,時代雖變,禮不可缺廢。人而無禮,猶樹之無皮;無禮則無體,其於禽獸何異? To relatives of a younger generation, you may simply give the title by which they should call you. To subordinates or students, you should give your title and surname without the first name. These are some of the more traditional manners of addressing people. People nowadays prefer to be more free and dislike being tied down by conventions. Elders and young people as well as bosses and subordinates usually call each other by first name without saying the surname and title. However, it is proper to address elder family members using the titles of respect. If you work in a large company, it is more fitting that you call your subordinates by their surnames to show your status and education. And it’s better to respectfully address your superiors by their surnames to avoid getting fired. In general, the times may change, but propriety cannot be abolished. People without a sense of propriety are like trees without bark. Without propriety we’d have no essence, and being this way, how would we be different from animals?

用 人 物 , 需 明 求

yong ren wu xu ming qiu

使用 別人的 物品 必須 明白地 請求

using people’s things

must clearly to request, to ask

使用別人的東西,必須明白請求。
If you use someone else’s belongings ,first be sure that you ask for permission.

倘 不 問 , 即 為 偷

tang bu wen ji wei tou

如果   請問 就 是 偷竊

if do not to ask for

then to become stealing

倘若沒事先問過,這就叫做偷竊。
If you do not get the owner’s permission, then stealing is what you have done.

借 人 物 , 及 時 還

jie ren wu ji shi huan

借用 別人的 物品 到 時候 歸還

borrow people’s things

to catch, to reach due time to return

借用別人的東西,必須準時交還。
If you must borrow something from another, make sure you return it on time.

人 借 物 , 有 勿 慳

ren jie wu you wu qian

別人 借用 物品   不要 吝惜的

people to borrow things

have do not be stingy

別人來借用東西,如果我們有的話,不要吝惜。
If someone asks you for something on loan, and you have it do not be stingy.

自守要廉潔,予人要慷慨,這是古之明訓;慷慨仁慈者,「施恩不望報,與人不追悔。」 We should be uncompromising with ourselves and generous with others; this is an ancient teaching of wisdom. A generous and kind person is one who “does favors for people without expecting any reward, and gives things to others without ever regretting it.”

但是慷慨,必須以廉潔為基礎,如果不是自已的東西,絕不可假公濟私,借花獻佛;廉潔又必須以慷慨為作用,否則就顯得刻薄慳吝,像《史記 》和《儒林外史》裡所嘲諷的那些廉吏、酷吏一樣,令人憎惡。 However, generosity has be to based upon honesty. If something does not belong to us, we can’t take it for our personal use or borrow it to make an offering to the Buddha. Honesty needs to be applied with generosity; otherwise we will be mean and stingy like those detestably self-righteous and cruel officials criticized in the Historical Records and the Chronicles of Chinese Scholars.

總之,就借貸雙方的「取」、「與」事物上,要做到「一芥不以與人,一芥不以取諸人」;凡不屬於自己的,就是一枚小小芥菜子,都不敢苟且隨便。那麼取、與之際,怎樣才能不苟且隨便呢?其實只不過是個「清楚明白」罷了!借方在借的時候,借什麼?借多久?都要說得明明白白,不可順手牽羊,以惡小而為之。還的時候,是否完整?是否如期?都要做到清清楚楚,不可含糊籠統、以善小而不為。 In general, whether we are borrowing or loaning things, we should “not casually give away even a mustard seed, and not casually take even a mustard seed.” If something does not belong to us, even if it’s just a tiny mustard seed, we cannot carelessly take it or give it away. How can we avoid being careless? By making everything very clear. When we borrow something, we should state clearly what we are borrowing and how long we need to keep it. It’s not acceptable to casually take something and think that petty theft is of no consequence. In returning the item, we should ask ourselves whether we are returning it intact and on time. We should be very clear about this. We can’t be vague and neglect the details.

俗話說﹕「天有不測風雲,人有旦夕禍福。」誰也保證不了自己永遠不須求助告貸於人,所以有時勿慳吝,無時也無須忸怩;借者借得爽快,還者還得如期,不是說「有借有還,再借不難」嗎?就算不再借,我一人的信用,必能增強貸方的信心,而更樂意繼續資助他人,這豈不也是間接助人? There’s a saying, “The weather is unpredictable; human fortune is changeable.” No one can guarantee that he or she will never ask for help or borrow from others. Therefore, when you have something, don’t be stingy; when you have nothing, don’t be embarrassed. One should borrow things in a straightforward manner and return them by their due date. Isn’t it said: “Return what you have borrowed, and you can borrow again with ease”? Even if you don’t borrow again, your own trustworthiness can reinforce the confidence of the creditor, who will be more willing to lend to others in the future. Isn’t that just indirectly helping others?

而貸方在借出之際,只能借自己的所有物,若自己沒有,須明明白白說沒有,可以指點借方到別處告貸;千萬不要像《論語》中描述的那個魯國人,人家來借醋,他沒有,偏不直說,還去向鄰居調借來給人,打腫臉充胖子。至於借出物收回之際,更要清清楚楚,明明白白地,不可妄加額外利息,或挾恩求索他事。 As lenders, we can lend only our own belongings to others. If we don’t have what someone wants, we should say so clearly and maybe suggest where the person might get help. Don’t act like that person from the state of Lu, described in the Confucian Analects, who pretended to be what he was not. When someone asked to borrow vinegar, he went to borrow some from a neighbor to lend to him instead of frankly saying that he didn’t have any. When things are returned to us, it’s even more important to be very clear and fair. We can’t demand extra interest or try to get the borrower to do something for us in return for our favor.

再就借貸雙方的存心而言,借方受了恩,不可一日或忘,要常存感恩。貸方卻不可時時不忘,要無「能施」、「所施」與「受施者」;也就是財物借出猶如失去,不存收回的心,那麼對方歸還自己時,豈不等於是雙重的獲得?能這樣無罣礙,才會悠然自得,俯仰無愧乎天地。 As for the attitudes that the borrower and lender should have, the borrower should always remember the favor he has received and not forget it for a single day. The lender, on the contrary, should forget about it; he should have no thought of the giver, the receiver, or the thing given. When we lend money or things out, we should think of them as if we had lost them and not expect to get them back. Then when the borrower returns them, we’ll feel as if we have gained a bonus. If we can be without attachment like this, we will always be at ease and will have a clear conscience .

倘若自己既非借方,又做不起貸方,對於他人的急難,則要感同身受,為之奔走推介,以全貸方之德,並成借方之美;若做不到這樣,最低限度,也不該因嫉妒或私怨,去加以扭曲渲染或破壞吧?但是這種人卻是到處可見。若說是「死生有命,富貴在天」,借方終能度過難關,你這麼做,豈不是違天之命,結己之怨?借方若不能度過難關,你這麼做,難道不會有「我不殺伯仁,伯仁因我而死」之悔?不會有「雪上加霜」、「落井下石」之過?自己不能助人,還要破壞他人助人,真是雙重的損失和罪過!所謂「獲罪於天,無所禱也」,人怎好不自求多福呢? Even if we ourselves are not borrowing anything and cannot afford to be lenders, we still should feel empathy for those in need and try our best to recommend them to a lender. This is a way to help lenders earn merit and help borrowers get what they need. If we aren’t able to do this, at least we shouldn’t twist or exaggerate the facts because of jealousy or personal grudges. Yet people are doing this everywhere. If it’s true that “Life and death are determined by fate; wealth and honor are decreed by destiny,” then if the person in need finally gets through the difficulties, all you’ve done is go against fate and cause the person to hate you. If the person doesn’t survive the crisis, won’t you feel as regretful as the person who said, “I didn’t kill Boren, but Boren’ s death was because of me.” Won’t you be guilty of adding insult to injury and making the situation worse? You can’t help someone yourself, and you want to keep others from helping him. That doubles the harm and the offense! And so it’s said, “When you offend against heaven, there’s no way to pray for mercy.” How can people fail to do merit and create blessings?

關於借貸,在《莊子‧外物篇》裡,有一個很有趣的譬喻。莊子因為不願委屈本性去做官,所以生活常陷窘境。一日,莊子去向監河侯借糧,監河侯滿口答應﹕「行!我即將去收取封邑的田稅,到時再借三百金給你如何?」莊子聽了變了臉色,忿忿地說了個故事來嘲諷這位監河侯﹕「我來的途中,聽到呼喚聲,回頭一看,泥路上車軌碾過留下的小坑窪處,有一條奄奄一息的鮒魚在那兒掙扎。鮒魚要求我拿些水來,好讓牠活下去。我對牠說﹕『行啊!我將到南方去遊說吳王、越王,引發西江的大水來迎候你,可以嗎?』鮒魚變了臉色,忿忿地說﹕『我失去我過慣常的生活環境,沒有安身立命之處。眼下我只要得到一斗一升的水,就可以活命,你卻說出這樣的話,還不如早點到乾魚店裡找我的尸體算了!』」 There’s an interesting analogy for borrowing and lending in Zhuang Zi ‘s Chapter on External Matters. Because Zhuang Zi didn’t want to compromise his principles and work as an official, he was often in poverty .One day, he went to borrow food from the Lord of Jianhe, who agreed right away, “Sure! I’m going to collect the farming tax on my land, and then I’ll lend you three hundred taels of gold. How’s that?” Upon hearing that, Zhuang Zi was furious and told a story making fun of the Lord of Jianhe: “On my way here, I heard someone calling. I looked around and saw a dying fish struggling in a pit made by carts running over the muddy road. The fish begged me to bring some water so it could survive. I told the fish, ‘Sure! Let me go to the South to persuade King Wu and King Yue to release water from the mighty West River to give you a nice treat, alright?’ The fish very angrily retorted, I’ve lost my normal habitat and have no place to live. Now all I want is a dipperful of water to stay alive, yet you say something like that. You might as well go look for my body in the dried fish store soon. “,

這故事的確發人深省。因此有感而寫下這對對聯﹕「濟人當如及時雨,還物須似花信風。」所謂及時雨,就是救急救得及時,草木就不致枯死,施物雖小而福德卻大。所謂花信風,就是言出如山,歸還有期,就像一年二十四個節氣裡,該吹什麼風,開什麼花時,就如期吹什麼風,開什麼花,一點都不耽誤。我們在待人接物上,亦當如是!倘若沒事先問過,這就叫做偷竊。 This story really gives us something to ponder about. Inspired by this story , I wrote a couplet: In helping people, we should be like timely rain. In returning things, we should be like seasonal flowers and winds. Timely rain prevents trees and grasses from withering; that means we should help those in dire need right away. Even though the favors we do may be small, the merit is great. “Like seasonal flowers and winds” means that we should keep our word and return things on time, just as during each of the twenty-four solar terms in a year, certain winds blow and certain flowers bloom. It all happens according to schedule and nothing is delayed. That’s how we should be in dealing with people and things! If you don’t get the owner’s permission, then stealing is what you have done.

This story really gives us something to ponder about. Inspired by this story , I wrote a couplet: In helping people, we should be like timely rain. In returning things, we should be like seasonal flowers and winds. Timely rain prevents trees and grasses from withering; that means we should help those in dire need right away. Even though the favors we do may be small, the merit is great. “Like seasonal flowers and winds” means that we should keep our word and return things on time, just as during each of the twenty-four solar terms in a year, certain winds blow and certain flowers bloom. It all happens according to schedule and nothing is delayed. That’s how we should be in dealing with people and things! If you don’t get the owner’s permission, then stealing is what you have done.

第五章﹕信

凡出言,信為先,詐與妄,奚可焉。
話說多,不如少,惟其是,勿佞巧。
苛薄語,穢污詞,市井氣,切戒之。
見未真,勿輕言,知未的,勿輕傳。
事非宜,勿輕諾,苟輕諾,進退錯。
見人善,即思齊,縱去遠,以漸躋。
見人惡,即內省,有則改,無加警。
凡道字,重且舒,勿急疾,勿模糊。
彼說長,此說短,不關己,莫閒管。
惟德學,惟才藝,不如人,常自勵。
若衣服,若飲食,不如人,勿生慼。
聞過怒,聞譽喜,損友來,益友卻。
聞譽恐,聞過欣,直諒士,漸相親。
無心非,名為錯,有心非,名為惡。
過能改,歸於無,倘掩飾,增一辜。

凡 出 言 , 信 為 先

fan chu yan
 

xin wei xian

無論什麼 說出口 話
 

信實 是 首要的

whatever come out words
 

credibility is first

無論說什麼話,應該以信實為重。
Whatever it is that we say, we should speak so that others can trust us.

詐 與 妄 , 奚 可 焉

zha yu wang

xi ke yan

欺騙 和 虛妄不實

哪裡 容許 呢

cheating or trickiness and lying
 

how to be acceptable this

欺詐和虛妄的言辭,怎能容它存在?
If we lie or try to fool others, how can we be accepted by them?

曾有學生這麼問﹕「在不殺、不盜、不邪淫、不妄語和不飲酒這五戒裡頭,哪個戒最難守得住?」大多數人認為不殺最難,也很多人以為不盜最難;其實不妄語更難!為什麼呢?因為生活在世俗社會的一般人,總是對殺盜淫等大惡較有戒心,對飲酒吸毒也很警惕,唯獨輕忽了妄語的要緊性,以為既不致損身害命,更無傷大雅,於是乎信口一句話或一個玩笑,就已經破妄語戒了!不過講話雖然要誠實,為了顧全大局或大信用,有時卻也不得不說小謊。總之,是否信實,以初發心那一念為憑;醫生為怕病人失去求生意志而說他得的不是癌症,不算破戒。
 

Students have asked, “Among the five precepts of no killing, no stealing, no sexual misconduct, no lying, and no taking intoxicants, which precept is the hardest to uphold?” The great majority of people think not killing is the hardest; many people also think not stealing is the hardest. Actually, not lying is even more difficult! Why? Because while most people who live in this society are relatively careful about avoiding major evils such as killing, stealing, and sexual misconduct, and they are also pretty cautious about drugs and alcohol, they overlook the importance of not lying. Thinking that lying doesn’t endanger anyone or cause any harm, they carelessly blurt something out or crack a joke–and end up breaking the precept against lying. However, while we should generally tell the truth, sometimes the overall situation or the real meaning of honesty requires us to tell a white lie. Honesty is judged by one’s underlying motivation. If a doctor, to keep a patient from losing the will to live, tells him that what he has is not cancer, that is not considered a violation of the precepts.

古希臘有個大政治家撤士德塔兒。一天,他正在花園散步,忽然自外頭跳進一個滿身血污的青年。起先他還以為是小偷,可是那青年卻「撲通」一聲跪倒,急切地哀求他﹕「我因為和人打架,失手把對方打死,別人追著要我償命;不得已,我才跳進牆來躲,請您務必救我的命。」青年一邊說,一邊哭著連連磕頭。撤士德塔兒看他太可憐,就答應救他這一次,把他帶到地窖藏起來。
 

One day, a great political leader in ancient Greece was strolling in the garden, when suddenly a lad covered with blood jumped in from outside. At first he thought it was a burglar , but the lad knelt down before him and beseeched him, “I accidentally killed someone in a fight. Now people are demanding my life. I jumped over the wall to hide from them. Please save me.” Crying as he spoke, the lad bowed down to the ground. Seeing what a pitiful sight he was, the man promised to save him and hid him in the cellar.
 

不料,過了一會兒,許多人抬了具死尸來,死者正是撤士德塔兒的兒子,他救的青年正是兇手。撤士德塔兒想了一下,表示不知情,就叫人把兒子尸體抬出去料理。到了夜晚,撤士德塔兒把青年自地窖帶出,交給他一匹黑馬,說﹕「我本該把你交給那些人,因為你打死的正是我的兒子,但我已答應救你,不能不守信用。你趕快騎這匹馬逃罷 !」
 

A little later, some people carried in a corpse-it was the man’s son. He had saved his son’ s murderer. After thinking about it, he indicated that he didn’t know where the killer was and told the people to take his son’s corpse to be buried. When night fell, he took the lad out of the cellar, gave him a black horse, and said, “I should have turned you over to those people, because the one you killed was my son. But because I’d promised to save you, I couldn’t break my promise. Mount this horse and flee quickly!”

各位善知識!撒士德塔兒為守信用,不惜說小謊,救了殺子兇手;您或許認為他是個傻瓜,一點也不值得這樣做吧?但是,話說回來,死者既已無法復生,何必再賠上第二條命呢?能挽救一個悔過人的命,豈不等於是延續了自己兒子的生命?這樣於私情難捨能捨,於公信難守能守,不是有非凡魄力的人,是做不到的。他之所以能成為一個非凡的政治家,不正因為他有這種不自私和堅守信用的非凡美德嗎?真正有德之士,做任何事都發乎肺腑至誠,根本是連「值不值得」的那一念都沒有的。
 

Good and wise advisors! In order to keep his word, that Greek leader lied to save the killer of his own son. You may consider him a fool for having acted that way. However, since his son could not have been brought back to life, what would have been the point of taking another life? Saving the life of a repentant lad-isn’t that equivalent to prolonging his own son’s life? Being able to relinquish personal affections and maintain trustworthiness with a stranger is not something an ordinary man would be able to do. He was such an extraordinary political leader precisely because of his unselfishness and firm integrity. A truly virtuous person acts out of wholehearted sincerity and never asks whether his deeds will bring him any advantage or not.

因此中國古聖人以「仁義禮智信」為五常──五種必須奉行於日常的不變真理。曾子每日都拿三事做自我的反省檢討﹕為人謀而忠,與人交而信,學而時習之。孔子也說﹕人而無信,就像兩個車輪間沒了鎖住車轅的關鍵,車子還可以帶得動嗎?可見誠信對人的重要。
 

Therefore the ancient sages of China considered humaneness, righteousness, propriety, wisdom, and trustworthiness to be five constants- five invariable truths that must be upheld in daily life. Zeng Zi examined himself on three points every day: whether he faithfully conducted his business with others, whether he was trustworthy in his friendships, and whether he reviewed what he had learned. Confucius also said that an untrustworthy person is like two wheels without the axle to lock them in place-how could they support the cart? This shows the importance of honesty.

記得世俗通語有言﹕「害人之心不可有,防人之心不可無。」又說﹕「逢人但說三分話,不可全掏一片心。」其實,這只是一種老於世故的說辭罷了!說謊就像吸鴉片,是會上癮的。人起初只以不實的言語來保護自己,以為反正不傷害他人;殊不知習慣成自然,謊言越說越順溜;到後來無法自圓其說時,為掩飾,便開始惡意欺詐了。就像攜帶槍械刃棒,雖說原是用來防身的,但最後總歸是把自己也傷害了。君不見死於刀槍下的人,都是挾帶武器的人?「善泳者溺」,也正是這個道理。須知人心真能不設防,才是大防。
 

I remember a worldly proverb: “Never have a thought of harming others, but always be on guard against being harmed by others. ” Another saying goes, “When you meet someone, speak just a little. Don’t pour out your heart to him.” Actually, these are just words of worldly experience. Lying is like smoking opium-it’s addictive. People initially use dishonest words to protect themselves, thinking it won’t hurt anyone; they never expect that it will turn into a habit and they will become so good at telling lies, till finally, to cover up for themselves, they start deceiving people maliciously. It’s like when people carry weapons for self-defense, they end up getting hurt themselves. Haven’t you noticed that people whose death is caused by weapons are usually weapon- carriers themselves? The same principle is found in the saying, “Good swimmers often drown.” We ought to realize that having a totally unsuspecting mind is the greatest defense.

《菜根譚》上有言﹕「信人,示己之誠;疑人,顯己之詐。」何況事情都有其因果本末,今生被騙,就因前生騙人;要認錯要懺悔,而不是在那兒怨天尤人,甚至圖謀報復,徒然累增加罪業。只要一心一意持誠守信,舊業既消,福德自來;你再怎樣天真直率,也不會被騙的。這說起來很妙,也很不可思議;但是你若信根具足,不但不去懷疑這道理,還能拳拳服膺,你自然會逐漸體會受用到這妙處的。所謂至德之人,自然而遵行;中根之人,如利而勉行;下愚之人,疑善而不行。我們縱非至德,也不要做個下愚之人吧?
 

The Vegetable Roots Discourse says, “When you trust others, it shows your own sincerity, When you doubt others, it reveals your own deceptiveness.” How much more is this the case when things are viewed in terms of causes and effects. If you are cheated in this life, it’s because you cheated others in a previous life. You should bear it and be repentant, instead of complaining, blaming others, or seeking revenge, for that would only increase your offenses. As long as you single-mindedly maintain your honesty, your old karma will be eradicated and blessings will naturally come. No matter how naive and straightforward you are, no one will be able to cheat you. This sounds pretty mysterious and inconceivable, but if you have faith, not only will you not doubt it, you will fully accept it and naturally and gradually come to understand and fathom the mystery .The most virtuous people naturally follow this principle. Average people know the benefit and try to follow it. Foolish people doubt what is good and don’t practice it. While we are not the most virtuous people, we don’t want to be fools either, do we?

話 說 多 , 不 如 少

hua shuo duo
 

bu ru shao

言語    
 

比不上  

words to utter a lot
 

not as good as a little

話說得多,不如說得少好。
To talk just a little is better than to chatter non-stop all day long.

為 其 是 , 勿 佞 巧

wei qi shi

wu ning qiao

只有 那 真實、正確

不要 浮華不實 巧妙的

only it is right
 

do not flatter, cunning clever

只有真確的才說,不要花言巧語。
Talk only about what you are sure of. Do not use cunning or flowery words.

苛 薄 語 , 穢 污 詞

ke bo yu

hui wu ci

尖銳 壓迫 言語

下流 誣衊 詞句

cruel, harsh mean words
 

dirty false phrases

尖銳壓迫的言語,下流誣衊的詞句;
Do not dirty your mouth with swear words, or slander with false speech.

市 井 氣 , 切 戒 之

shi jing qi
 

qie jie zhi

市場 水井 氣息
 

一定、徹底 戒止 它

market well atmosphere
 

must, completely to stop it

指人匯聚的場所,以及粗俗鄙陋的氣息,都一定要徹底戒止。
Be sure to stay away from coarse and vulgar manners.

有句話說﹕「口開神氣散。」的確!話說多了是很傷神。所以當父母師長苦口婆心諄諄教誨我們時,不要嫌他們嘮叨,反而應該聽從,以表敬重;須知他們正在嘔心瀝血,耗損著自己的生命來教化我們哩!但是,假如有人以串門聊天為樂,這種人就算因此耗神短命,也不值得敬重了!為什麼呢?
 

It is said, “When the mouth opens, one’s energy scatters.” It’s true! Talking a lot can really be exhausting. And so when our parents or teachers earnestly admonish us, instead of being annoyed at their fussing, we should respectfully obey their words. We should realize that they are expending their life-blood and energy to teach us. However, people who exhaust themselves through idle chatter do not deserve our respect. Why not?

你或許會說﹕有的人只是話多,心裡頭藏不住一點兒秘密,並不兩舌惡口,應該不算大毛病吧?其實不然。須知「舌動是非生」,即使那個人不存心搬弄是非,是非已經由口耳相傳,而在空氣中浮沉泛濫,最後還是難免弄到有人生氣,有人傷心,甚至引發悲劇,更別提一些個故意搬弄是非,或是綺語妄言的人了!所以沒事最好少開口,非說不可時,也應有憑有據,長話短說;切不可加油添醋,以免「禍從口出」,損人又不利己,何苦來哉?
 

You might say, “Some people are just talkative because they cannot keep things to themselves. If they do not cause dissension or say mean things, talking should not be a big offense.” Actually, that is not so. You should know, “When the tongue wags, there is bound to be gossip.” Even if the person did not mean to gossip, his words are spread by word of mouth and float in the air; it is very likely that someone will end up getting upset or hurt, even to the point that a tragedy occurs. How much the worse it is if someone deliberately spreads rumors or speaks profane or false words. Therefore, it is best to avoid talking when possible, and when it is absolutely necessary, speak only the facts and don’t ramble on and on. At all costs, avoid exaggerating or embellishing the truth, for “disasters emerge from the mouth.” Such talk hurts others and is unbeneficial to oneself, so why speak it?

在古早的臺灣民俗故事裡,「白賊七」是個家喻戶曉的小人物。他怎麼叫做白賊七呢?「白賊」,是閩南語「騙子」、「謊話」或「欺騙」的意思。他在大家族排行第七,自小父母雙亡,跟著叔嬸過活。他不但反應敏捷,口才也好極了。見了什麼人,遇著什麼事,他無不唱作俱佳,繪聲繪影地把沒的說成有了,死的也說活轉過來,只可惜都是謊話順口溜,所以才得了這個不雅的外號。若要講他那些令人啼笑皆非的惡作劇 ,可真是三天三夜也說不完。因此村子裡的人見了他 ,莫不敬而遠之,以免成了他捉弄的對象。
 

In ancient Taiwanese folklore, there is a character named White Thief Seven. How did he get such a name? White Thief is the Taiwanese term meaning a fraud, a lie, or to cheat. He was the seventh child in his family. Orphaned at a young age, he lived with his uncle and aunt. He was both quick-witted and a good talker. No matter whom he met or what the situation was, he was able to tell such a convincing story that he could create something out of nothing and bring the dead back to life. It’s too bad that everything he said was a lie, which is how he got his unflattering nickname. We could spend three days and nights telling his malicious deeds that left people not knowing whether to laugh or cry, and we still would not finish. The village people all kept a respectful distance, so as not to become the objects of his jests.

有一天傍晚,又有戶被捉弄的人家氣呼呼地上門來告狀,他叔叔氣得七竅生煙,把他鎖到柴房裡去,也不給晚飯吃。夜裡天冷,他只穿一件單衣,又餓又凍,好不難過;沒辦法,他只好在房裡頭打圈兒跑,跑得氣喘吁吁,汗流浹背。這時,他嬸嬸不忍他凍著,悄悄來看他,只見他熱呼呼地身上還冒煙呢,真是十分驚訝。白賊七就說﹕「嬸嬸,您不曉得吧?我這是件寶衣,冬暖夏涼。神仙見我可憐,給了我穿,您可不能說出這祕密哇!」
 

One evening, yet another family that had been the victim of his practical jokes came to complain to the uncle. The uncle was so furious that he locked “White Thief Seven” in the wood shed without dinner. It was very cold at night, and he was only wearing a single layer of clothing. Hungry and cold, he practiced boxing and jogged around the room until he was breathing hard and sweating profusely. At that moment, his aunt, feeling sorry for him, quietly came to take a look at him. She was amazed to see that he was warm to the point steaming. White Thief Seven said, “Auntie, this is a precious shirt I have here, which keeps me warm in the winter and cool in the summer. The gods took pity on me and gave it to me to wear. But don’t tell anyone–it’s a secret!”
 

嬸嬸羨慕地想用身上的夾襖和他換,白賊七推托了一會,才不捨地把衣脫下,邊說﹕「 嬸嬸養我這麼多年,就算我孝敬您老人家吧!」於是他換上夾襖,回房裡舒舒服服睡大覺去了,把只穿著他那件單衣的嬸嬸鎖在柴房裡試驗寶衣的功效。天亮了,叔叔開了柴房一看,血氣衰弱的嬸嬸早凍死在那兒了。叔叔氣瘋了,把白賊七自被窩裡抓起,裝進麻袋,用麻繩綁緊袋口,扛到了河邊往水裡頭一扔。
 

The aunt enviously eyed his shirt and offered to trade her own padded jacket with him. White Thief Seven thought for a while, and then took off his shirt with a show of great reluctance, saying, “You have raised me all these years, and now I have really been filial to you!” Then he put on her padded jacket and went into the house for a comfortable snooze, locking the poor aunt in the woodshed to try out his precious shirt. The next morning, the uncle opened the woodshed to find the frail aunt frozen to death. Insane with fury, he yanked White Thief Seven from his cozy nest, shoved him into a burlap sack, tied it shut tightly, and carried it to the river bank, where he threw it into the river.

可是也不知是叔叔體力不足,扔得不夠遠,還是白賊七命大,這麻繩被淺水處漂來的樹枝鉤住,麻袋就沒沉下;白賊七竟鬆脫了繩子,爬出麻袋,游回岸上。他拖著那麻袋,抄小路走,在叔叔回家的路上出現,叔叔驚嚇得像撞著了鬼似的。白賊七又信口胡謅道﹕「我坐這寶貝麻袋到龍宮玩了一趟,要不是惦念您老人家,我還不想回來哩!」又形容龍宮多麼美輪美奐,食物又是山珍海味;叔叔羨慕得不斷央求他﹕「我老得快進棺材了,也沒見識過龍宮,你就讓我去玩一會吧!」白賊七裝著很勉強地答應了。
 

But either his strength was insufficient or he did not throw the sack far enough, or White Thief Seven was fated to live, for the sack was snagged by some branches and did not sink. White Thief Seven loosened the rope, slipped out of the bag, and swam to shore. Dragging the bag, he took the back roads and appeared in the path of his uncle, who was on his way home. The uncle was scared out his wits, thinking it was a ghost. White Thief Seven said, “I sat in the precious bag and went to the Dragon Palace to play for a while. I would still be there now, except that I came back because I missed you!” He went onto describe how magnificent the Dragon Palace was, with its exotic delicacies. The uncle enviously begged, “I’m nearly in the grave, and I’ve never even seen the Dragon Palace. Can you let me go once?” With feigned reluctance, White Thief Seven agreed.

叔姪倆於是到了河邊,叔叔等不及地先鑽進麻袋裡去了;白賊七再加進一塊大石頭,綁緊袋口往深水處一扔,然後回家去享用叔叔的家產了。這白賊七後來惡貫滿盈,成了眾矢之的,據說死得很慘;不只這樣,恐怕死後魂魄還要在無邊地獄受拔舌耕犁、灌屎灌尿的苦,永無出期呢!你們想想﹕這豈不是害人又誤己?。
 

They both went to the river bank, and the uncle impatiently jumped into the sack first. White Thief Seven then added a big stone, tied up the bag tightly, and threw the bag into the deep part of the river. Then he went home to enjoy himself on his uncle’s family estate. White Thief Seven later did so many wicked deeds that he is said to have been the target of every arrow. He died in a brutal way, and after death his soul probably went to the Unintermittent Hells to eternally suffer having his tongue ripped out and being drenched with urine and excrement. Think it over﹕ Is this not a case of banning others as well as oneself?

所以,教育子弟就要從小要求嚴格,務求謹言篤行,實事求是;絕不能放縱他們在街坊店肆間流連,學來油滑虛浮的口舌,或是江湖浪子的行徑。等到他們荒唐事積少成多,由小變大,到發生鉅害或重案時,再要收拾爛攤子已收拾不了,想管教又管教不來時,不只孩子一生毀了,家庭也破碎了,那就悔之晚矣!
 

Therefore, one should teach children strictly and insist on honesty. Never let them roam through the streets, where they pick up slippery ways of talking and learn the manners of vagabonds. When their minor misdeeds add up to the point that a major crime or major harm is done, it will be impossible to rectify the situation. When you want to discipline children and can no longer do it, not only will the children’s lives be ruined, but the family will be broken, and it will be too late for regret.

見 未 真 , 勿 輕 言

jian wei zhen
 

wu qing yan

所看到的 還沒 清楚
 

不要 輕易、隨便 說

saw not yet clearly
 

do not casually, lightly to talk about

如果並未看到真實情況,不要隨便亂說。
If you have not seen something quite clearly, do not speak of it as if you know.

知 未 的 , 勿 輕 傳

zhi wei di

wu qing chuan

所知道的 還沒 真確

不要 輕易、隨便 宣傳

to know not yet actually
 

do not casually, lightly to pass it around

如果還不知道明確真相,不要隨便亂傳。
If you are not sure about what exactly happened, do not spread rumors around.

事 非 宜 , 勿 輕 諾

shi fei yi

wu qing nuo

事情 如果不是 合理的

不要 輕易、隨便 答應

affairs if not as it should be
 

do not casually, lightly to agree, to promise

事情如果不合義理,不要輕易對人許諾。
When you know something is wrong, then do not agree to take part.

茍 輕 諾 , 進 退 錯

gou qing nuo
 

jin tui cuo

如果 輕易、隨便 答應
 

前進 後退 犯錯

if casually, lightly to agree, to promise
 

going forward going backward to make mistakes

舉止動作 (all actions)

倘若輕易對人許諾,舉止進退就會失措。
If you make promises lightly, you’ll find yourself in a dilemma.

古人有「一言以興邦,一言以喪邦」的講法,可見得言語謹慎的要緊。領導美國獨立戰爭,而終於成為美國第一任總統的喬治‧華盛頓先生,就有很多以信實聞名的故事流傳下來。最廣為人知的,就是「喬治‧華盛頓和櫻桃樹」,相信很多國家的人,在童年時期就聽說過了。華盛頓去世後,一本他一七四五年使用的記事簿,在他舊居的維琴尼亞州農莊被發現出來。
 

The ancients had a saying, “One word can cause the nation to prosper; one word can cause it to perish.” This shows the importance of being careful in our speech. There are many stories about the honesty of George Washington, who led the Americans in the War of Independence and became the first U.S. President. The most well-known one is about George Washington and the cherry tree. People from different nations probably heard this story in their childhood. After his death, a notebook that he kept in 1745 was discovered in his former home in a farming village in Virginia.

在這本記事簿中,華盛頓親筆抄錄了大約一百一十條的「國民應對守則」。這些言語應對的守則,呈現出十八世紀對青少年充實的人格教育;時至今日,大部分的守則仍然十分適用於現代人的行為。十四歲的華盛頓為什麼抄寫這些守則?可能他是以此為自己的座右銘和言行準繩;毋怪乎能淬鍊出足以成為領導者的良好品德和人際關係了!可惜現代人情澆薄,道德敗壞,家庭和學校的教育不再重視人格教育了,就連領導人的品德,也不再講求,真是可哀啊!
 

In that notebook, Washington had copied by hand some 110 of the Rules of Civility in Conversation Amongst Men. These rules of etiquette reveal that the young people of the 18th century received a strong moral education. Even today, the majority of the rules are still applicable in modern etiquette. Why did 14-year-old Washington copy those rules? They probably served as a standard for his own conduct and speech. No wonder he became a leader of such fine character and social skill! It is unfortunate that our sense of kindness has worn thin and moral values have declined, and the development of character is no longer emphasized in the family or at school. Even the moral caliber of our leaders is no longer important. How sad!

在這些守則中,有一條是關於謹言慎語的﹕「不要愛沾惹明知不實的任何消息;在轉述聽來的話時,毋須講出是誰說的;切勿企圖發現祕密。」這意思和本章所說的十分類似,都是教我們要謹言實語,不要隨便傳播任何不真確事情。可惜人總是等閒視之,總要等到惹出禍事,否則還不知檢討或反悔;甚至有的還懵懵懂懂地,不知禍事正是起源於自己的多嘴饒舌呢!
 

One of the rules of civility concerns cautious speech: “Do not get involved in passing any news that is not true. When you pass on something that you heard, you should not report who said it. Don’t try to discover secrets.” The meaning here is exactly the same as that of this section. They both tell us to be cautious and truthful in what we say, and not casually spread news that may not be true. What a shame that most people treat this casually and do not examine themselves until a calamity happens. Even then, they may still be muddled and not realize that the calamity came from their own tongue-wagging!

華盛頓抄錄的「國民應對守則」中,還有一條﹕「不要接受任何不能做的事情;但卻要小心地信守諾言。」這是教我們要重然諾。所謂「重」,當然是「重視」,但很多人卻不真正明了「重視」的真諦。怎麼說呢?譬如珠寶,人因為重視它的價值,不肯輕易示人,除非在合適的地方,或是面對可靠的人;可是對於比珠寶更值得寶貴的諾言,卻表現得太輕忽,很少考量面對的人是否可靠,去的地方是否合適,做的事情是否正當。
 

Among the rules of civility that Washington copied, another one says, “Do not accept any task that you are unable to perform, but carefully keep your promises.” This is telling us to take our promises seriously. However, many people do not know what being “serious” really means. For example, if they had a valuable gem, they would not casually display it except in a suitable place or in the presence of trustworthy people. Promises are much more valuable than gems, yet people are often too casual. They seldom consider whether the person is reliable, whether the place is suitable, or whether what they are doing is proper.

在答應事情之前,既沒經過謹慎的考量,答應事情之後,往往馬上就後悔了。於是乎,有的就率而毀諾,這等人當然是不重視諾言;即便為了守信,而勉強去做,還是不能謂之重視諾言。為什麼呢?因為他答應得太輕率了!因為他忽略了事情可能造成的後果了!那個後果,也許足以令你毀身害命喪家邦,而你在答應之初,卻不曾細想其結果,反而顓顓執守之,造成難以彌補的憾恨。這樣子的重視諾言,不是真正了了明白重視的真諦,反而不如不守信的好。
 

They hastily make promises without carefully considering these things, and afterwards, they usually regret it. When that happens, they may abruptly break their promise; such people of course are not serious about their promises. Even if one forces oneself to carry out the promise in order to keep one’s word, one still cannot be considered “serious” about one’s promises. Why? Because one was too casual in making the promise! One did not consider the possible consequences, which might be severe enough to ruin oneself, one’s family, or the country. Before making the promise, you failed to consider the consequences; then you insist on holding to it, thereby causing irreparable resentment. One who makes promises in this way does not understand how to make them seriously; it would be better not to keep one’s promises.

所以孔子才說﹕「信近於義,言可復也。」義者宜也,也就是正當而合宜;復者赴也,也就是實行,就是赴湯蹈火也無悔。漢朝的季布,因為言出必行,時人用「一諾千金」來稱譽他;至聖先師孔子的時代,邾國歸魯,也是經他的弟子子路一諾而定,連盟約都不須簽。典型在宿昔,值得我們效法!總之,對於承諾,必須慎乎始,還得信乎終,這樣才可稱之為「重視」。
 

That is why Confucius said, “One who is trustworthy is close to right conduct, and can carry out his words.” Right conduct refers to what is suitable and proper. Such a person will jump into hot water or step into fire without regret, if that is what is required. Since Ji Bu of the Han Dynasty never failed to keep his word, people praised him, saying, “one promise from him is worth a thousand pieces of gold.” In the time of Confucius, that Great Sage and teacher, the state of Zhu was returned to the State of Lu merely on the promise of his disciple Zi Lu, without even a contract needing to be signed. These examples from the past are truly worth following. To sum up, we should be careful in making promises and faithful in carrying them out. Then, our promises can be considered serious.

孔子周遊列國時,曾經三度訪衛。第三次還未到衛都,路經蒲地,意外地發現衛將公叔氏正在操兵,打造武器,企圖叛衛。公叔氏以兵馬重重包圍孔子一行人,意圖爭取孔子的支持,但這是違背孔子忠君的信仰的,孔子怎會答應呢?爭取未遂,對方一來尊敬孔子,二來不願擔「害賢」的惡名,只要求孔子發誓不到衛國,便可通行。當時學生很緊張,答應嘛,則有違孔子的原則;不答應呢,則會當場喪命,又誰來通風報信,挽救衛國的危機?
 

When Confucius was traveling around the feudal states, he visited the State of Wei three times. The third time, before he had arrived at the capital, he accidentally came upon the Gonshu–a general of Wei, leading his troops through its drills in preparation for a revolt against Wei. Gongshu told his mounted troops to surround Confucius and his followers, hoping to convince him to support him. But this would have gone against Confucius’ loyalty to his ruler; how could Confucius agree? Having failed in his attempt, Gongshu, out of respect for Confucius and unwilling to earn the reputation of banning a worthy, asked only that Confucius swear that he would not go to the State of Wei; then he would let them pass. The disciples were very nervous. If Confucius agreed, he would be going against his principles. If he did not, they would lose their lives and no one would be able to inform the State of Wei and save them from the impending threat.

結果孔子鎮定地答應了,但等對方一撤兵,孔子馬上吩咐弟子調轉車頭,直奔衛國。當時學生很疑惑,說﹕「約定好的事,可以不信守嗎?」可是一向強調信實的孔子卻說﹕「被要脅而簽下的盟約,當然可以不遵守。」孔子的知時宜,在中國古代聖賢中,可說是少有的。
 

As it turned out, Confucius calmly agreed. But as soon as the troops were gone, he immediately instructed his disciples to turn around and drive quickly to the State of Wei. The disciples were in doubt: “How can he break his promise?” But Confucius, the one who always emphasized honesty, said, “Of course you don’t have to follow a promise that you were forced into making.” Confucius’ ability to recognize the situation was a rare quality, even among the ancient Chinese sages.

亞聖孟子就尊之為「聖之時者」。孔子自己也說過﹕「顏回比我誠信。」但為什麼顏回是學生,而孔子是老師呢?孔子說﹕「顏回很誠信,卻不知道有時對一些不當的承諾,不去實踐,才是真正的誠信。所以,我們人固然要奉行道德,卻不可不知時宜分寸,反成愚忠愚孝,小信小義之徒,失去中庸之道!
 

Mencius, the Second Sage, honored him as “The Sage of knowing the Time.” Confucius himself said, “Yan Hui is more faithful than I ” Then why was Yan Hui the student and Confucius the teacher? Confucius said, “Yan Hui is very faithful, but does not realize that sometimes, true faithfulness consists in not carrying out inappropriate promises.” And so, while we should practice morality, we should not fail to judge the situation and engage in foolish loyalty, foolish filial devotion, petty trustworthiness, or petty righteousness. To make those mistakes is not the true Middle Way.

見 人 善 , 即 思 齊

jian ren shan
 

ji si qi

看到 他人的 優點
 

就、立即 想 看齊、效法

seeing others good points
 

immediately to think about being the same

看到別人的優點,就立刻想到效法。
When we see good points of others, we should want to become just like them.

縱 去 遠 , 以 漸 躋

zong qu yuan

yi jian ji

即使 距離  

因此 慢慢 升上

though to be distant far ahead
 

be means of gradually to go up to a higher level

縱使差距很大,也能漸漸趕上。
Though we are far behind them now, with perseverance one day we’ll catch up.

見 人 惡 , 即 內 省

jian ren e

ji nei xing

看到 他人的 過錯

就、立即 向內的 反省、檢討

seeing others faults
 

then, immediately inwardly to examine

看到別人的過錯,就立刻自我反省。
When we notice bad habits in others, we should reflect upon ourselves.

有 則 改 , 無 加 警

you ze gai
 

wu jia jing

如有 就、立即 改正
 

如沒有 更加 警惕

if have then, immediately to correct
 

if none even more to be alert

如果自已也有相同的毛病,就改正過來;沒有的話,也要加以警惕。
If we have the same faults, then we should correct them.
If not, we should never let them arise.

這一段話的思想,源自《論語‧里仁篇》孔子的兩句話﹕「見賢思齊焉,見不賢而內自省也。」而更進一步表明了「有過則改」的積極態度。孔子自己是隨時隨地都能跟任何人學習,而且是活到老學到老的人。他常說﹕「三個人在一起,其中就一定有值得我學習的人。」這就是說﹕只要一個人有任何一方面比他強,他一定向對方求教或效法;至於那些不好或不如他的,也可以在反面作為自己的鑑戒,所以還是值得稱做老師。
 

The ideas in this section come from a quote of Confucius found in the Liren Chapter in tile Analects: “When you see worthy ones, strive to equal them. When you see those who are not worthy, reflect upon yourself.” This section goes further to say that if one has faults, one should correct them. Confucius was someone who was able to learn from whomever he was with. He continued learning into his old age. He often said, “Among a group of three, there is bound to be someone worth learning from.” If anyone was better than him in any skill, he would seek instruction and learn from that person. Those who are inferior to one can also serve as mirrors in which one can look for faults in oneself, so they also deserve to be called teachers.

好像佛在《法華經》上說的,佛的堂弟提婆達多,雖然屢次嫉妒陷害釋迦牟尼佛,其實這正是以反面的形相,來幫助釋迦牟尼佛修行,以至於成佛;提婆達多因為這樣的功德,將來也會成佛的。所以不管他人品德好不好,對我們友善不友善,只要我們秉持「見賢思齊」,「有過則改」的信念,他們都是成就我們的道業的老師。
 

For example, in the Dharma Flower Sutra, the Buddha says that although his jealous cousin Devadatta tried time and again to hurt and kill him, he was really helping the Buddha to go forward in his cultivation and accomplish Buddhahood. And it is primarily because of this merit that Devadatta will also become a Buddha in the future. Regardless of how good or bad people are and how well or poorly they treat us, as long as we have the attitude that we should emulate worthy ones and change our own faults, they can all be teachers to help us accomplish the Way.

美國萬佛聖城開山祖師宣公上人就認為﹕法界就是一所大學校,無人不是老師,無處不是學問。所謂「眾人是我師,我是眾人師;時時師自己,自己是常師。」甚至誓願度一切詆譭辱罵他的人比自己更早成佛。上人也經常闡示懺悔的法門,強調不嫉賢能,勇於改過;並稱引《論語》中「子路,人告之以有過,則喜。」和孟子裡所說的「禹聞善言則拜」,苦口婆心地來教化弟子。若是弟子中有嫉妒障礙的情事,上人也必定嚴厲地予以斥責、訓勉。
 

The Venerable Master Hua, founder of the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas, regarded the Dharma Realm as a huge school in which everyone is a teacher and knowledge is everywhere. He said, “All people are my teachers, and I am everyone’s teacher. I always teach myself, so I am also my own constant teacher.” He even vowed to take across people who slandered him so that they would accomplish Buddhahood before he did. The Venerable Master often spoke about the practice of repentance and stressed that we should not be jealous of talented people, but should bravely change our own faults. He earnestly remonstrated with his disciples, often quoting the phrase from the Analects, “If people told Zilu about his faults, he was delighted”; and from the Mencius, “When Yu heard good words, he would bow.” If any of his disciples were jealous or obstructive, the Master would sternly chastise them.

唐太宗李世民是中國歷史上少有的明君,歷代文治武功都盛的皇帝不是沒有,但是如漢武帝、清高宗等,都免不了好大喜功的毛病,因此周圍也就出現了一批諂媚的弄臣;唯獨唐太宗是從諫如流,廣開言路,所以敢諫之臣特別多,最出名的首推魏徵。魏徵本來是唐太祖太子建成的策士,曾經獻謀教太子早日除去功業顯赫的二弟李世民,可是太子不懂得用他,以致於在玄武門兵變時反而敗死,讓李世民當上太子,不久又受禪繼位為帝。後來唐太宗問起這段往事,魏徵還大言侃侃地說﹕「假如當初事成,陛下今天也登不上皇帝寶座!」言下之意,自己的建議沒錯,錯的是太子建成不聽忠言。
 

Li Shiming, the Emperor Taizong of the Tang Dynasty, was a ruler of rare wisdom. Although there have been other emperors skilled in both literary and military arts, such as Emperor Wu of Han dynasty and Emperor Gaozong of Qing, they all had the fault of arrogance and so most of their ministers were flatterers. Emperor Taizong of Tang Dynasty alone allowed his officials to speak freely and easily accepted criticism. Thus, he had many ministers who dared to say what they thought was wrong. The most famous of these was Minister Wei Zheng. Wei Zheng was an advisor of the late Crown Prince Jiancheng of the Emperor Taizu and had advised the late Crown Prince to get rid of Li Shiming — the Crown Prince’s younger brother–as soon as possible because his merits were too overpowering and outshone the Crown Prince. But the Crown Prince didn’t employ him and consequently lost his own life in the coup of Xunwu Gate. Li Shiming subsequently became the Crown Prince and before long was crowned as emperor. Later when Li Shiming asked him about this event, Wei Zeng wasn’t the least bit apologetic and said matter-of-factly, “Had he listened to me, your Majesty would not be on the throne today.” In other words he didn’t think that his idea had been wrong. What was wrong was that Jiancheng, the former Crown Prince, had not listened to him.

唐太宗對魏徵擇善固執的精神十分欣賞,不但沒治他的罪,反而升了他的官。魏徵也相當欽佩唐太宗的器量,從此只要唐太宗的言語行為有任何不當,魏徵都直言進諫,唐太宗也都能虛心接納。唐太宗之所以能成為一代明君,正因為他不但能知賢任賢,更能法賢自賢;不像許多帝王將相,自己才識不足,不懂用人,偏又嫉賢害能,終至毀身敗家亡國。唐太宗真不愧是才智兼備的賢君啊!
 

Emperor Taizong fully appreciated Wei Zeng’s obstinate adherence to what he thought was good, and not only didn’t punish him, but promoted him to an official position. Wei Zeng also admired Taizong’s broadmindedness, and if the emperor ever said or did anything inappropriate, he would frankly tell him. The emperor also humbly accepted the criticism. Emperor Taizong was such a wise ruler because he not only recognized and employed worthy people, he also learned from them and became worthy himself. He was not like many emperors, generals, and ministers who lacked talent and knowledge themselves, didn’t know how to employ others’ abilities, and regarded those of talent with malicious jealousy, thus ruining themselves, their families, and the nation. Emperor Taizong was truly a worthy ruler endowed with both talent and wisdom.

所以我們應該常存學習的心,有不如人之處,就應珍惜時間,努力學習,力求迎頭趕上,毋須把寶貴的精神和時間浪費在對他人的嫉妒上。其實嫉妒他人是很傻的 ;因為你一旦嫉妒他人,不啻已承認自己輸定了,永遠也趕不上他人了,何必這麼沒自信心呢?
 

We should always be open to learning. If you are not up to others, you should use your time well and apply effort in learning so that you make great strides and even surpass others. Don’t waste your precious time and energy being jealous of others. Actually it’s very foolish to be jealous. If you are jealous, you are just acknowledging your inferiority to others and you’ll never be able to catch up to them. Why should you have so little self-confidence?

凡 道 字 , 重 且 舒

fan dao zi
 

zhong qie shu

凡是 說 話
 

穩重 而且 舒長和緩

whenever to say words
 

to be dignified and at a leisure pace

無論說什麼話,都要莊重而和緩。
When you speak you should say the words clearly with a dignified manner and at a leisurely pace.

勿 急 疾 , 勿 模 糊

wu ji ji

wu mo hu

不要 急促 匆忙

不要 不清楚 含混夾雜

do not in a hurry quickly
 

do not blurry muddled

不要匆促急忙,不要含糊籠統。
Do not rush through your sentences or make ambiguous statements.

彼 說 長 , 此 說 短

bi shuo chang

ci shuo duan

那個人   優點

這個人   缺點

that one to talk about long points
 

this one to talk about short points

那個人議論誰的長處,這個人批評誰的短處。
That person talks about others’ good points and this person speaks about others’ faults.

不 關 己 , 莫 閒 管

bu guan ji
 

mo xian guan

  關係 自己
 

不要 多餘 過問、插手

not concerning oneself
 

do not in a meddlesome to get involved

只要是和自己不相關的,都不要去管這些閒事。
If something is none of your business, it is best not to get involved.

要與人維持良好的關係,不但內在要誠信,外在也要有技巧。外在要有怎樣的技巧呢?這可從講話的語氣、聲調和講話的態度兩方面來講。
 

If you want to maintain good relations with people, not only do you have to be sincere, you also have to be tactful. What does tact consist of? We can discuss it in terms of the tone of voice and the attitude of speaking.
 

本章頭兩句是說﹕無論說什麼話,都要「重且舒」。這是說講話的態度,要莊重而和緩,但是也可以把它解釋成語氣要有重音,聲調也要悠長。接下來的兩句,講話不要匆促急忙,也正是呼應前面所說的,講話的態度要莊重和緩;講話不要含糊籠統,也正是說講話的語氣要有重音,聲調也要悠長。
 

The first verse says that no matter what you are saying, you should speak with a dignified manner and at a leisurely pace. That is, your manner when speaking should be earnest and genial. Another explanation is that you should use correct emphasis and pronounce clearly. The next verse says that you should not rush through your sentences, which corresponds to being earnest and genial. Nor should you mumble or garble your words, which corresponds to speaking with correct emphasis and pronouncing clearly.

從一個人講話的態度,固然可以馬上看出他的教養;從他講話的語氣、聲調,更可以馬上看出這個人的心情是好是壞,或緊張鬆,而善於相人的,聽他的聲音,還可以判斷出這個人的性情與命運。
 

From the way a person speaks, one can immediately determine the way he was brought up. From his tone of voice, one can detect whether he is in a good mood or a bad one, and whether he is tense or relaxed. Those skilled in physiognomy can also read a person’s disposition and fate from hearing his voice.

中國春秋時代,楚國的令尹(相當於宰相的官職)公子子文是個出名的賢人。當他的弟弟司馬(大將軍,相當於國防部長)子良得了個兒子越椒,令尹子文就去看這新生兒,未到屋內,,聽見嬰兒的哭聲,他不由皺起了眉頭,等看過了嬰兒,令尹子文就對司馬子良說﹕「這孩子不可以把他養大!他生成一副熊虎的樣子,聲音又像豺狼嚎叫,這是心性殘忍的大凶之人;你如果把他養大了,他將會導至我們若敖氏這一家族覆滅。俗話說﹕『狼子野心。』這是一匹會吃人的狼啊!怎麼可以養他?」子良不同意這麼做,子文就起了很大的憂慮。到他老了快死的時候,他召集了族人來,說﹕「如果越椒當權主政時,你們一定要趕快搬離,以免惹上災。」一面忍不住哭了起來﹕「我們若敖氏的祖先恐怕要沒有子孫奉祀了哇!」
 

During the Spring and Autumn Period in China, Zi Wen, the prime minister of the State of Chu, was renowned for his virtue. When his younger brother, General Zi Liang, had his son Yue Jiao, Minister Ziwen went to visit the newborn baby. Before entering the room, he heard the baby cry, raised his brows, and after seeing the baby, said to General Zi Liang, “You must not raise this boy. He has the looks of a bear or tiger, and his voice sounds like a jackal’s howl. He is cruel and vicious. If you raise him, he will bring disgrace to our Ruo Ao clan. He has the wild, ambitious heart of a wolf. He’s a man-eating wolf. How can you raise him?” When Zi Liang did not agree with him, Zi Wen became very worried. When he was old and near death, he summoned his kinsmen and told them, “If Yue Jiao ever comes to power, you must quickly move away to avoid calamity.” He couldn’t help but weep as he said, “The ancestors of Ruo Ao may not have any descendants left to worship them!”

子文死後,兒子鬥般繼任令尹,後來越椒也繼父位做了司馬,越椒就謀同他的部屬伯贏殺掉鬥般,自立為令尹,並封伯贏做司馬;不久越椒又忌諱伯贏的勢力,索性發動若敖家族的兵力,圍殺伯贏,更一不做二不休地攻打起楚王。楚王要求講和,願意用三個王子做人質,可是越椒並沒答應,楚王只好和若敖家開戰。越椒仗著藝高人膽大,兩次發箭射楚王,竟然都沒射中,軍隊就有了怯意。楚王利用這機會,鼓舞自己的部隊說﹕「先王當年征服息國時,獲得三支神箭,被越椒偷去兩支,現在他已經沒有了,我們可以反攻了!」一時士氣大振,於是滅掉了若敖氏一家。
 

After Zi Wen died, his son Dou Ban inherited his position as minister. Later when Yue Jiao inherited his father’s position as general, he plotted with his subordinate, Bai Ying, to murder Dou Ban and usurp the minister’s position for himself, making Bai Ying the general. Shortly afterwards Yue Jiao became envious of Baiying’s power, so he dispatched the Ruo Ao clan’s troops to ambush and kill him. Then he went on and attacked the King of Chu. The King of Chu wanted to reach a settlement and offered three of his princes as hostage, but Yue Jiao did not agree, so he had no choice but to go to battle with the troops of Ruo Ao. Although Yue Jiao was bold and skilled in archery, when both of the arrows he shot at the King of Chu missed their target, his troops lost confidence. The King of Chu took advantage of their hesitation and urged his own troops on, saying, “When our ancestral king conquered the country, he obtained three divine arrows. Yue Jiao stole two of them, but now he’s lost them and we can counter-attack.” In a burst of bravado, they annihilated the Ruoao clan.
 

幸好當時子文有個孫子正奉派出使齊國,在回程中聽見亂事,不顧他人好意勸阻,仍然回國交差,並且綁了自己,到司敗(大法官,相當於司法部長)那兒待罪。楚王想到子文治理楚國的功勞,便說﹕「假若讓子文這樣的賢人就此絕了後代,如何能鼓勵人向善呢?」於是乎赦免他的罪,又恢復他的官職,若敖一家才沒有完全絕種。
 

It just so happened that one of Zi Wen’s grandsons had been away in the State of Qi on a diplomatic mission. On his way home he heard about the fighting, and not listening to the friendly advice of others, he returned home to report on his mission, then tied himself up and went to the head judge to receive his punishment. The King of Chu, thinking of Zi Wen’s merit in governing the State of Chu, said, “If a person as worthy as Zi Wen had no descendants left, how could later generations be inspired to goodness?” Thereupon the King granted him amnesty and allowed him to retain his position. In that way, the Ruo Ao clan was not completely wiped out.

西漢末年,有個篡漢自立為帝的王莽。在王莽還未竊國之前,他總是裝得很謙恭文雅,因此瞞過很多人。有一回,一個走江湖賣藝的人應召入宮表演;有人就問他王莽的相貌好不好?這走江湖的人就品論說﹕「他是個鴟梟眼、老虎嘴,又豺狼聲的人,所以不但會吃人,最後也終將被人所殺!」果然王莽在弒帝篡漢之後,終於又敗亡,由光武帝中興了漢朝,是為東漢。
 

At the end of the Western Han dynasty, Wang Mang usurped the throne and made himself King. Before he became a traitor, he had always put on a pretense of humility and refinement, and he fooled many people. Once, a street hawker was invited into palace to perform. Someone asked him, “What do you think of Wang Mang’s physiognomy?” The hawker said, “He has the eyes of a horned owl, the mouth of a tiger, and the voice of a jackal. Not only will he eat men, he will be murdered in the end!” As it turned out, after Wang Mang killed the Han Emperor and usurped the throne, he was eventually defeated by Emperor Guangwu, who established what became the Eastern Han Dynasty.

從這兩個例子來看,人的聲音,真的就是性情的反射。但是天生的性情,是可以用後天的教化和陶冶來改變的;只要性情改變,聲音也自然隨之而變,以後的命運也就不同了。所以從講話的態度和聲調來約束訓練孩子,實在是不容忽視的造命之學,不要認為那沒有什麼關係。
 

These two examples show that a person’s voice is a true reflection of his disposition. However, one’s inborn disposition may be altered by education and training. One’s voice will naturally change along with one’s disposition, and one’s fate will also be different! Therefore, we must not overlook the method of changing fate through training children in their manner of speech and tone of voice and think that it is not important.

美國華盛頓總統年輕時抄錄的「國民應對手則」中,還有一條說﹕「不要好奇地探聽他人的事,也不要接近在私下交談的人。」這意思就是教人不要好管閒事,不要做「包打聽」,以免惹出更多是非,甚至招來殺身之禍。別人的閒話尚且不應當聽,更別提說人閒話了!
 

When U.S. President George Washington was a youth, one of the rules he copied from “Rules of Civility in Conversation Amongst Men” was, “Don’t listen to other people’s affairs out of curiosity; don’t approach people who are engaged in private conversation.” In other words, don’t mind other people’s business. Don’t be an eavesdropper, or you might stir up more gossip and even put your life in danger. You shouldn’t listen to gossip, much less utter it.
 

「國民應對手則」中又說﹕「不要背後說人閒話,因為這是不公正的。」不知真相究竟,就說東說西,豈止是對當事者不公正而已,對自己的人格更是一大傷害!孔子當年遊周,看見太廟前有金人銅像的口,被繩索繞了三圈封起來,後面又刻著﹕「這是古代言語謹慎的人。」不由讚歎不已;從此「三緘其口」,就成了慎言的成語了。所以明智的人總是惜話如金,這是很有道理的。
 

The “Rules of Civility in Conversation Amongst Men” also says, “Don’t gossip about others behind their backs, because that’s unfair.” If you don’t know the truth of the matter and you speak recklessly, not only are you being unfair to those involved, you are also degrading yourself. In his travels, Confucius once came upon a bronze statue in front of a temple. The statue’s mouth had been gagged three times around with rope, and on its back were carved these words: “This is a man from ancient times who was cautious in speech.” Confucius praised this sight endlessly, and from that incident came the expression, “to be gagged thrice,” meaning to be scrupulous in speech. Wise people guard their words like gold, which is a very sensible way to act.

孝事父母,當願眾生,
善事於佛,護養一切。

《大方廣佛華嚴經‧淨行品》
 

When I serve my parents in filial piety,
I vow that living beings.
Will serve the Buddhas skillfully.
And protect and nourish everything.
–Pure Conduct Chapter, Flower Adornment Sutra

中國有一部《孝經》,經上說﹕「夫孝,天之經也,地之義也,民之行也。」孝道是中國傳統的美德,是個人立身處世的根本,也是執政者治理天下的準則。古代聖明的帝王是怎樣教化人民,使天下人順從的呢?不是用嚴刑峻法,也不是用堅兵厚利,而是以德行和道理,使人民自然相親相愛,尊卑長幼都沒有怨恨。所以孔子說孝道,是所有德行的根本,也是一切教化產生的根源。
 

In China there is a Classic of Filial Piety, which says, “As for filial piety, it is the heavenly mandate, the earthly morality, and the practice of the people.” Filial piety is an excellent virtue that has traditionally been honored in China. It is the basis for our life and our relationship with the world, as well as a guideline and standard for governing the nation and world. How did the sage emperors of old influence the people and win their loyalty? It wasn’t through the use of harsh punishments or laws, nor through the use of a strong army or generous rewards; rather, it was by means of virtue and reason that they caused the people naturally to be kind and affectionate, so that there was no resentment between the superior and the subordinate, or between the older and younger generations. Hence Confucius said, “Filial piety is the basis of all virtuous deeds; it is also the source from which all teachings emerge.”

平等的孝順
 

IMPARTIAL FILIAL PIETY

《孝經》和《論語》是儒家流傳最廣的典籍。在古代五刑(墨、劓、剕、宮、大辟)所屬的犯罪條例,有三千條之多,其中沒有比不孝的罪行更大的。在宋仁宗時代,《孝經》更列入科舉考試項目中,宋朝忠臣因此特別多。北史《儒林傳》何妥中記載﹕「納言蘇威嘗言於上曰﹕『臣先人每誡臣云﹕唯獨《孝經》一卷,足可立身經國,何用多為。』」在漢明帝、唐玄宗時代,皇帝甚至批注《孝經》,詔令天下誦習,可以暸解中國人對孝道重視的程度。
 

The Classic of Filial Piety and the Confucian Analects are the most well-known texts of Confucian philosophy. In ancient times, of the more than three thousand offenses meriting the five severe punishments (tattooing, cutting off the nose, cutting off the feet, castration, and capital punishment), none was considered worse than being unfilial. During the reign of Emperor Ren of the Song Dynasty, the Classic of Filial Piety became one of the texts covered in the imperial examination. As a result, the Song Dynasty had a particularly large number of loyal ministers. In the He Tuo Chapter of the Northern History’s Annals of Scholars, it is recorded, “Su Wei once said to the Emperor: My late father often admonished me, saying: The study of the Classic of Filial Piety alone provides a sufficient basis for one’s life and for the managing of the nation’s affairs; what need is there to study additional texts?”‘ During the reigns of Emperor Ming of the Han Dynasty and Emperor Xuan of the Tang Dynasty, those emperors even wrote commentaries on the Classic of Filial Piety and instructed all the people to recite and practice it. From this we can see what importance the Chinese place upon filial piety.

那麼孝順父母,該怎麼做呢?《孝經‧士章》說,拿事奉父親的心去事奉母親,其愛心是相同的;拿事奉父親的心去事奉君王,其尊敬的心是相同的。事奉母親,是取其愛心;事奉君王,是取其敬心;而愛心、敬心二者兼有的,則是事奉父親的道理。
 

What is considered being respectful to our parents? The section of the Classic of Filial Piety that talks about being a good official says, “In serving your mother, the love you show towards her should be the same as that shown to your father; in serving your superior, the respect you pay to him should be as much as that you pay to your father. Therefore, emphasizing love towards your father is the way of serving your mother and emphasizing respect is the way of serving your superior. That is to say having both love and the respect is exactly the way of serving your father.”
 

對父母的孝順,要怎樣才算盡孝呢?《詩經‧小雅、小宛篇》上說﹕「夙興夜寐,無忝爾所生。」是不是這樣就夠了呢?在《孝經‧紀孝行章》提到侍奉父母還應注意:居上位的,不要驕傲自大;居下的,不要為非作亂;在同事之間,應和順不可爭奪……。騙、亂、爭三惡若不能除去,讓父母時時擔憂,即使每天用牛羊豬三牲去奉養父母,仍算是不孝順啊!也就是說改掉自己的惡習,就是孝順。
 

What do you have to do to be considered filial to your parents? The Xiaoya Xiaowan Chapter in the Book of Odes says, “From the time you rise in the morning till you retire at night, do nothing that would bring disgrace to those who gave birth to you.” Is that enough? The section of the Classic of Filial Piety that talks about filial conduct says, “In serving your parents, you should also pay attention to the following: If in a high position, do not be arrogant and conceited; if in a subordinate position, do not commit offenses and incite rebellion; get along with your colleagues and avoid contention… If you cannot avoid the three evils of arrogance, rebellion, and contention, causing your parents to worry constantly about you, then even if you served beef, mutton, and pork to your parents every day, you would not be considered filial!” In other words, filial piety consists of changing your own bad habits.

孝事父母時,要想到善事於佛,因為父母賜給我們身體生命,佛卻救度我們的慧命;將事奉父母的愛心和敬心來事奉於佛,夙興夜寐,早起晚睡,勤謹工作,無忝爾所生,不要侮辱了生育你慧命的父母。那麼,孝順佛這樣就夠了嗎?如果你驕慢、爭鬥、貪吝種種的習氣毛病,老也不改,還是讓佛替你擔憂,仍算是不孝順啊!
 

When serving your parents in filial piety, you should also do a good job in serving the Buddhas, for while our parents have given us our physical bodies and lives, the Buddhas rescue our wisdom life. We ought to use the same affection and reverence with which we serve our parents to serve the Buddhas, rising early and retiring late, working diligently, and not doing anything that would bring disgrace to the parents of our wisdom-life, that is, the Buddha. Is that all we have to do to be filial to the Buddhas? If you still don’t change your old habits of arrogance, contention, greed, and other faults, you will cause the Buddhas to worry about you, and how can that be considered filial piety?

孝順是一切佛經道理的本源,地藏王菩薩往昔就是一個孝順的婆羅門女;目連尊者為救生母離餓鬼道,請佛救度,而有盂蘭盆法會。在佛教中,殺父殺母,和出佛身血一樣,是屬於五逆重罪,要墮無間地獄。
 

Filial piety is the source of all the Buddha’s Sutras. In a former life, Earth Store Bodhisattva was a filial Brahman woman. Venerable Maudgalyayana, wishing to free his mother from the path of hungry ghosts, went to ask the Buddha to rescue her, an thus the Ullambana Ceremony came about. In Buddhism, killing one’s father and killing one’s mother, along with shedding the Buddha’s blood, are classified among the Five Rebellious Offenses that merit falling into the Unintermittent Hells.

一個不孝事父母的人,想要祈福,是無有是處的。
 

If a person who is not filial to his parents prays for blessings, there is no way he or she will obtain them.

佛陀時代,在羅閱祇園有一個人,為人兇惡愚昧,不孝父母,欺壓善良,不敬尊長,家道衰落,多不如意事,因此,便去事奉火神,希望求得火神的褔祐。
 

In the Buddha’s time, there was an evil and foolish person in Rajagriha who was unfilial to his parents, cheated good people, did not respect his elders, caused his family to fall into ruin, and had all kinds of bad luck. He decided to go worship the fire spirit in order to seek its protection.

事奉「火神」的方法,就是當太陽剛剛要落山時,點燃一堆大火,向火光跪拜,直到深更半夜火熄為止。他這樣拜火拜了三年,生活還是沒有什麼改善,又改變信仰去事奉「日月」之神。
 

The method of worshipping the fire spirit involved lighting a big fire at the time of sunset and making prostrations to it until midnight, when the fire was extinguished. He worshipped in this way for three years, but there was no improvement in his lifestyle, so then he began to worship the sun-moon spirit instead to go worship the fire spirit in order to seek its protection.

事奉「日月」之神方法是﹕白天太陽出來向太陽膜拜,夜裡月亮升空向月亮膜拜;直到太陽落山,月亮西沉為止。他這樣也拜了三年,仍然得不到褔祐,就又再改事天神,每天燒香對著天空跪拜,同時擺上香花美酒、臘肉、豬羊牛隻,想要獲福。這樣經年累月,終於耗盡家財,弄得貧窮不堪,當然也沒得到什麼好處。他為了拜天,弄得辛苦憔悴,病得不能出門。他聽說舍衛國有一位佛陀,是所有天神所崇敬的,想想應該去事奉他,這樣一定會獲得褔祐。
 

The method of worship involved making prostrations to the sun at sunrise, and making prostrations to the moon when it ascends into the sky at night, bowing continuously until the sun sets behind the mountains, and the moon sets in the west. He bowed like this for three years, but still didn’t receive any blessings or protection, so he changed to worshipping the heaven spirit. Every day he lit incense and made prostrations to the heavens, making offerings of fresh flowers, fine wine, and dried pork, mutton, and beef, hoping to obtain blessings. In bowing to the heavens, he wore himself out until he was too sick to leave his house. Then he heard that there was someone known as the Buddha in Shravasti, whom all the heaven spirits worshipped. He thought he ought to go worship Him as well, for it would certainly bring him blessings.

他便來到舍衛國,見到了佛陀,他便訴說自己九年來的經過,如今皈依佛,希望佛陀賜福給他。
 

He went to Shravasti and met the Buddha, and told the Buddha what he had been doing for the past nine years, saying that now that he had met the Buddha, he hoped the Buddha could bestow blessings upon him.

佛陀告訴他說﹕「祭神求褔報,日後觀收穫,四分不得一,不如敬賢善。能為善謙誠,常敬長和上,四褔自增多,健康長壽安。」──《法句譬喻經‧述千品十七》
 

The Buddha told him, “If you worship spirits hoping for blessings, you will find that you will not gain even a quarter of what you put in. It would be better to venerate good and worthy people. If you can be virtuous, humble, and sincere, always respecting your elders and seniors, the four blessings will naturally increase and you will enjoy health, longevity, and peace.” (Chapter 17 of the Dharmapada Sutra)

一個不孝父母,不敬長老的人,是不可能獲得褔祐的。佛教把一切眾生看作是過去世的父母。「是男子皆是我父,是女子皆是我母。」將孝道擴大了,這是一種平等的孝順,不只孝順自己的父母,更達到三世一切父母,以一種平等心,這可以說是孝道最極致的境界了。
 

A person who is unfilial to his parents and disrespectful to his elders cannot possibly attain blessings and protection. In Buddhism, we consider all living beings to be our parents from past lives. ” All men have been my fathers. All women have been my mothers.” The scope of filial piety is expanded and becomes an impartial filial piety directed not only towards our own parents in this life, but towards all our parents in the past, present, and future. This kind of impartial spirit could be said to be the utmost state of filial piety.

惟 德 學 , 惟 才 藝

wei de xue
 

wei cai yi

只有 品德 學識
 

只有 才能 技藝

only if virtue knowledge
 

only if talents skills

看只有在品德學識以及才能技藝上頭。
If your virtue, learning, and talents,

不 如 人 , 常 自 勵

bu ru ren

chang zi li

比不上 他人

經常 自己 勉勵

not as good as others
 

always self to urge

發現有不如人的時候,應當時時自我勉勵。
Do not measure up to others friends’, then spur yourself on to try harder.

若 衣 服 , 若 飲 食

ruo yi fu

ruo yin shi

至於 上衣 下服

至於 飲料 食物

as to top shirts skirts or pants
 

as to drink food

至於在穿的衣服和吃的食物方面,
If your clothes or your food,

不 如 人 , 勿 生 戚

bu ru ren
 

wu sheng qi

比不上 他人
 

不要 生起 憂傷

not as good as others
 

do not to give rise to sorrow

發現有不如人的地方,不須心生煩惱哀傷。
are not as good as others’, do not be sad or upset.

如果你問﹕「人生在世,什麼是最可寶貴的?」相信很多人都會說是金銀珠寶、良田美宅,或者家庭和樂、事業順利之類的。其實,人最可寶貴的資產是道德;唯有以德為寶,方能致力於德業;唯有致力於德業,方能修道成德;唯有修道成德,方能仰不愧於天,俯不怍於人。所謂「仁者不憂,智者不惑,勇者不懼。」
 

If you ask people, “What is the most important thing in life? ” most would probably give answers such as gold, silver, precious gems, fertile fields and fine houses, or a happy family and a successful career. Actually, the most precious thing we own is our virtue. Only by cherishing virtue as a treasure can we devote ourselves to practicing virtuous deeds; only by devoting ourselves to virtuous work can we cultivate the Way and achieve virtue; and only by cultivating the Way and achieving virtue can we maintain a good conscience and have no cause for remorse before Heaven and people. As it’s said, “The humane are not worried; the wise are not deluded; the brave are not frightened.”
 

究竟不憂不惑不懼什麼?又為什麼不憂不惑不懼?其實說穿了,這中間的關鍵,就是「名」、「利」二字。仁者安仁,不憂名利之有無;智者利仁,不惑名利之得失;勇者好仁,不懼名利之大小。這三種人都是以德為寶,發達時謙虛好禮,窮困時也怡然自得,一生做事堂堂正正,無求於名利;既無求於名利,自然也無所求於人,那麼又有何可憂可惑可懼之事?
 

What is it that they are not worried, deluded, or frightened about? And why are they not worried, deluded, or frightened? Actually, fame and profit are at the bottom of it. The humane dwell in humaneness and don’t worry about whether or not they have fame or profit. The wise help the humane and are not deluded by the gain or loss of fame and profit. The brave admire the humane and are not afraid of whether their fame and profit are large or small. These three types of people all cherish virtue. When they are successful, they are modest and courteous. When they are in poverty, they remain peaceful and content. In whatever they do, they do it properly without seeking fame or profit. Since they aren’t seeking fame or profit, they naturally will not expect things from others, and so what could they possibly be worried, deluded, or frightened about?

像孔子的學生子路,就是個真正的勇者。史上說子路穿著破蔽的衣服,廁身於公卿之間,他也毫不忸怩畏怯。為什麼?因為他操守正直,心胸坦蕩蕩,自然不會畏懼強權而卑微自傷。
 

Confucius’ disciple Zilu, for example, was truly a brave man. It is recorded in history that, dressed in ragged clothes, he mingled with lords and dukes without the slightest embarrassment or fear. Why was this? It was because his character was honest and straightforward, and so he had no reason to feel inferior to or afraid of powerful people.
 

孔子另一個弟子原憲,也是個清淨守節,貧而樂道,不恥惡衣惡食的人。孔子在世時,他就已非常耿介清廉;孔子去世後,原憲也不做官了,就隱居在衛國的鄉野間。雖然他住的房子是架茅草為頂,編蓬草為扉,不但風穿得進,雨也滲得透,吃的更是野菜淡水,還常常有一餐沒一餐的;但是他照樣正襟危坐,弦歌不輟。
 

Yuan Xian, another disciple of Confucius, was a person of virtuous purity who was poor yet delighted in the truth and was not ashamed of his humble clothing or food. When Confucius was still alive, Yuan Xian was already very resolute and incorruptible. After Confucius passed away, he resigned from his government post and became a hermit in the wilderness of the state of Wei. Although his roof was made of thatch and his door of raspberry vines, through which the wind could blow and the rain could seep in, and what he ate was wild vegetables and plain water, and he didn’t always have food for a meal, he continued to sit up straight and study.

子貢做了衛國的宰相後,就衣錦著緞地帶了浩浩蕩蕩一堆人馬,穿荒越野去到貧民戶探望原憲這位老同學。子貢一看原憲衣冠破蔽,又形容枯槁憔悴,很不以為然,衝口而出問他﹕「你病了嗎?」原憲說﹕「我聽說『沒有財產的,叫做貧窮;學了道而卻不能去實踐的,叫做有病 。』像我這樣,只是貧窮,不是有病!」子貢聽了,感到非常慚愧,悶悶不樂地走了;終其一生,子貢都以自己的言語失檢為恥。

After Zi Gong became the prime minister of Wei, he went, dressed in satin and accompanied by a large retinue of mounted men, through the wilderness to where the poor peasants lived, to visit his old friend Yuan Xian. When Zi Gong saw Yuan Xian dressed in tattered clothes and looking gaunt and haggard, he asked in surprise, “Are you sick?” Yuan Xian replied, “I’ve heard it said that, “Those who own nothing are said to be poor; those who study the Way and are unable to practice it are said to be sick.’ I am merely poor, not sick! ” Upon hearing those words, Zi Gong felt very ashamed and left in low spirits. Throughout his life, Zi Gong always felt ashamed if he spoke carelessly.
 

其實子貢原就是口齒伶俐,長袖善舞的生意奇才,和原憲本就貧富懸殊;加上又做了官,既富且貴,子貢還能惦念老朋友而去看望,也是難得了!乍見原憲的清苦,子貢用「學而優則仕」的觀點,對原憲表示不以為然,也是出於對人才的惋惜,我們倒不須對子貢太過苛責;何況子貢聞過則懺,終身恥之,這一點也不是常人的修養所能企及的。至於原憲的不慕富貴,甘苦如飴,則殊屬難能可貴,值得敬佩。
 

Actually Zi Gong was a talented businessman who could express himself very eloquently. He and Yuan Xian were totally disparate in terms of wealth. As an official, Zi Gong was both rich and honored. It’s quite remarkable that he showed such concern for his old friend and went to visit him. Seeing Yuan Xian’s poverty, Zi Gong expressed his surprise from the point of view that “a learned person should become an official and serve the country” and out of grief that his talent was wasted. Therefore, we need not criticize Zi Gong too much, since he was one who would repent and feel lifelong shame whenever he learned of his own faults. This is not a quality found in ordinary people. Yuan Xian’s disregard for wealth and honor is also a rare quality worthy of our admiration.

唐朝的大詩人白居易,曾寫了個續座右銘,其中有四句說﹕

勿慕富與貴,勿憂貧與賤;
自問道何如,貴賤安足云?
 

The great poet Bai Ju-yi of the Tang dynasty once wrote a poem containing the following lines:

Yearn not for wealth and honor.
Grieve not about poverty and low status.
Ask yourself how your cultivation of the Way is,
And that not be concerned with being noble or lowly.
 

這意思和《論語》上說的「君子謀道不謀食」一樣,都是教人以進德修道為要務,毋須為衣服飲食等身外之物去傷神。俗話說﹕「山珍海味,不過日食三餐;華屋廣廈,不過寢時數尺。」有什麼好汲汲營營的呢?況且若為了口腹之欲而恣殺牲禽,那罪過又不只是一生一世的報應了!
 

This is the same principle as that expressed in the line from the Confucian Analects: “The superior person devotes his attention to the Way and not to food.” These sayings tell people that cultivating virtue is the essential thing, and we should not waste our energy on externals such as clothing and food. An idiom says, “You may have all the delicacies of the world, but you cannot eat more than three meals in a day. You may have luxurious, sprawling mansions, but you only take up a few feet of space when you sleep.” What’s the point of working so hectically for such things? And if you kill creatures just to please your palate, you may suffer the consequences for many lifetimes to come!

聞 過 怒 , 聞 譽 喜

wen guo nu

wen yu xi

聽到 過錯 生氣

聽到 讚美 歡喜

hearing faults to get angry
 

hearing praise to be happy

假如聽到別人說自己的過錯就生氣,聽到別人對自己讚美就歡喜。
If we are angry when told of our faults, and happy when praise comes our way.

損 友 來 , 益 友 卻

sun you lai
 

yi you que

有害的 朋友 來到
 

有益 朋友 退開

harmful friends to come
 

beneficial friends to depart

那麼壞的朋友就會包圍上來,好的朋友就會遠遠離去。
Then harmful friends will draw near us, and wholesome friends will depart.

聞 譽 恐 , 聞 過 欣

wen yu kong
 

wen guo xin

聽到 讚美 恐慌
 

聽到 過錯 高興

hearing praise to be anxious
 

hearing faults to delight

假如聽到別人的讚美就惶恐,聽到別人的批評就高興。
If compliments make us uneasy, and we are glad when our faults are brought up.

直 諒 士 , 漸 相 親

zhi liang shi

jian xiang qin

正直 誠信 知識份子

漸漸 前來 親近

upright honest a gentleman or learned person
 

gradually come forward to draw near

那麼正直誠信的有識之士,就會漸漸地前來親近。
Honest and straightforward friends then gradually come to our side.

孔子在去世以前,就對曾參分析說﹕「我死了之後,子夏會一直進步,子貢會一直退步。」曾子奇怪地問﹕「為什麼呢?」孔子說﹕「子夏喜歡和比自己強的人在一起;子貢則喜歡處身在一群不如自己的人之間,好大發議論。我聽說﹕想瞭解一個人,可以從他的父親、朋友來觀察;想瞭解一個君王,可以從他委派的使者來觀察;想瞭解一塊土地的性質,可以從生長的草木來觀察。
 

Before his death, Confucius said to his disciple Zeng Seng, “After I die, Zi Xia will keep making progress, but Zi Gong will keep regressing.” Zeng Seng thought this strange and asked, “Why will that be?” Confucius replied, “Zi Xia likes to be around people who are better than he is, while Zi Gong likes to be surrounded by people who are not as good as he is so that he can always express his own opinions. I have heard it said that one can understand a person by observing his parents and friends; one can understand a ruler by observing the people he appoints, one can evaluate a piece of land by seeing what vegetation grows on it.

所以說﹕『跟好人在一起,像走入種植蘭花的花房一樣,久了就感覺不到香氣;與不好的人相處,就像跑到魚市場一樣,久了也就感覺不到腥臭。』這是因為我們在無形中已受其感染,於是乎對周遭的環境不知不覺了!跟紅顏料放在一起的東西會染紅,跟黑漆擺在一起的東西會變黑,所以君子對身邊相處的人,一定會慎重地加以選擇。」這故事的意思,不只是告誡我們要慎交遊,尤其是明明白白地指出﹕自己是個怎樣的人,就會招致怎樣的朋友。所謂「龍交龍,鳳交鳳,老鼠的兒子會打洞。」就是這個意思。
 

Therefore it is said, “Associating with virtuous people is like entering a greenhouse full of orchids and getting used to the fragrance until you no longer notice it. Being around unwholesome people is like going into a fish market and getting used to the stench so that you don’t notice it.” Imperceptibly, we are influenced by our surroundings until we no longer notice them. Objects that are placed in red dye become red; things dipped in black paint turn black. Therefore, a superior person is careful in choosing the people with whom he associates. “Confucius’ meaning is not only that we should be careful about our associations, but also we attract people of like character to be our friends. There’s another saying, “Dragons like to be with dragons, phoenixes prefer the company of phoenixes, and the sons of mice know how to make holes.” That’s the meaning here.

三國時代諸葛亮的〈前出師表〉,是一篇感人至深的文章,在中國歷史上、文學上,都有其不容忽視的地位。這篇〈出師表〉,完成於諸葛亮病死軍中的前七年。劉備去世後,諸葛亮繼續輔佐其子後主劉禪,經過五年的整治,內政已定,諸葛亮覺得可以親自率兵出征了;臨行,終究是放心不下後主,就上了這篇疏。「出師表」通篇重點,都是在勉勵後主「不宜妄自菲薄,引喻失義,以塞忠諫之路。」並引歷史為證,告誡後主;先漢之所以興隆,是因為「親賢臣,遠小人」;後漢之所以傾頹,是因為「親小人,遠賢臣」。末了,他又一再殷殷盼望後主「亦宜自課,以諮諏善道,察納雅言」。
 

During the Three Kingdoms Period, the military strategist Zhu-ge Liang wrote a profoundly inspiring memorial to the emperor before he departed on a military expedition; this is a text of undeniable importance in Chinese history and literature. This memorial was completed seven years before Zhu-ge Liang died of illness while serving the military, After the death of Emperor Liu Bei, Zhu-ge Liang continued to support his son, Emperor Liu Chan. In five years the government was stabilized, and Zhu-ge Liang felt he could now personally lead the army on an expedition. However, right before his departure, he was still worried about Emperor Liu Chan and wrote this memorial. The text basically urged the emperor, “Do not take yourself lightly and recklessly say things that will make others lose faith in you, which will discourage their faithful exhortations.” The memorial mentions the following case from the Book of History to caution the emperor: The Former Han Dynasty flourished because the rulers “associated with worthy officials and stayed away from petty individuals.” The Later Han Dynasty declined because the rulers “associated with petty people and stayed away from worthy officials.” At the end of the memorial, Zhu-ge Liang again exhorted the emperor, “You should reflect well, so that you will be able to seek wholesome principles and to determine and accept good advice.”

這意思和前面所說的「不宜妄自菲薄」是一樣的,都是希望後主不要看輕自己,就隨隨便便地引用一些不合道理的例子,胡說八道,以致於令人不敢進言;唯有自己多多考察,來訪尋謀求好的道理,明察接納忠臣們正當的勸告,才能得賢人擁護,光大祖業。句句出自肺腑,言之諄諄,可惜後主終究是個「扶不起的阿斗」;阿斗是劉禪的小名,諸葛亮死後,他就忘了告誡,盡和一班弄臣諛臣鬼混,終至亡國。
 

The meaning is the same as the line, “Do not take yourself lightly and recklessly say things that will make others lose faith in you, which will discourage their faithful exhortations.” Zhu-ge Liang hoped the emperor would not casually speak in an unprincipled way that would make others afraid to exhort him, but would instead reflect carefully in order to seek out good principles and look into and accept the exhortations of loyal officials. Then he would win the support of worthy people and bring glory to his ancestors’ legacy. Zhu-ge Liang’s advice was earnest and came from his heart. Regretfully, the emperor was still the ” A’dou who could not stand on his own feet.” (A’dou was his nickname). After Zhu-ge Liang’s death, the emperor forgot his advice and surrounded himself with flattering courtiers, with the result that the dynasty ended.

一般人總說自己願意聽真話,其實不盡然。因為真話多半平實無奇,甚至不怎麼中聽。尤其這真話若是在指陳他的過錯,那他更會受不了,於是乎阿諛諂媚之辭就產生了!人就把諛辭當真話,陶陶然而不覺,反把規過勸善的真話當做是破壞和譭謗,因而怒不可遏。所以說「物以類聚」,大凡愛聽好話的人,招來的也必定是巧言令色,偽善飾非的朋友,專事吹、拍、捧、騙,這就是「損友」;與損友交遊,不論是對自己的人格、道德、學問,甚至在實質的金錢事業上,都只有損害而無益處的。反之,一個願意接受勸誡的人,就會招來益友。
 

Most people say that they wish to hear the truth, but that isn’t really the case. The truth is usually very plain and ordinary, or perhaps not very pleasant to hear. When the truth takes the form of pointing out their faults, people find it unbearable. That’s how flattery developed! People love to hear flattery and take it to be the truth, while they are enraged to hear earnest remonstrance and regard it as malicious slander. So it is said, “People gather with their own kind.” People who like to hear praise attract hypocritical friends who butter up to them, flatter them, and put them on a pedestal with their smooth lies. These are harmful friends. Associating with harmful friends can only be detrimental to one’s character, morality, learning, and even materially to one’s wealth and career. Conversely, one who is able to accept exhortations will attract beneficial friends.

那益友的標準又是什麼呢?「友直、友諒、友多聞」是也,也就是說要交往正直、信實,又能規過勸善的善知識。善知識不是呼之即來,揮之即去的;我們若不能先自律自愛,怎能得到肝膽相照的善知識常相左右?有善知識常相左右,不但自己也成為正直信實的人,在道德、學問、事業各方面,也必定日日增上。那時,真是「與諸上善人聚會一處」了!豈不美哉快哉?
 

What are the criteria for a beneficial friend? A beneficial friend is “a friend who is straightforward, forgiving, and erudite.” That is, he is a good mentor who is straightforward and reliable in his dealings, and who is able to exhort others to change their faults. A good mentor is not that easy to come by. If you do not first discipline yourself and have self-respect, how can you expect to have a good mentor who will constantly be around and with whom you can have heart-to-heart talks? If such a good mentor is always present, you will not only become straightforward and trustworthy yourself, but will also advance in your moral virtue, your knowledge, and your career as well. That would truly be a case of “gathering together with people of superior virtue” [Amitabha Sutra]. How happy and wonderful that would be!

其實,他人的建議,也不一定常是不中聽的話,有時還真會讓人有出人意表的收穫呢!像美國第十六任總統林肯,誰都會對他一臉的鬍子印象很深刻吧?你可知是誰建議林肯留的鬍子?這是一個很有趣的小故事。
 

In reality, other people’s suggestions may not be all that un- pleasant to hear, and they sometimes bring unexpected results. Everyone is familiar with Abraham Lincoln, the Sixteenth U.S. President who sported a full beard. Do you know who suggested that he grow a beard? It’s quite an amusing anecdote.

當林肯在競選總統時,有一天他接到一個小女孩的信,信上說﹕「林肯先生,如果你能留些鬍子,一定會使你那瘦長的臉變得好看些。祝你勝利!」林肯接受了建議,把鬍子留起來;沒想到這個新形象居然大受歡迎,成了林肯的「註冊商標。」林肯當選總統之後,在赴白宮就職的途中,特地在這小女孩住的城市停下,發表演說。演說完畢,林肯在人山人海中,把小女孩請出來,並溫柔地對她說﹕「謝謝妳的勸告。妳看!我現在已經有了鬍子了!」並用那有鬍子的嘴,親了一下小女孩的臉;小女孩高興得漲紅了臉,幾乎忘了把帶來的鮮花獻給林肯。
 

One day when Lincoln was running for President, he received a letter from a young girl. The letter said, “Mr. Lincoln, if you grew a beard, it would make your long, thin face look better. Hope you win!” Lincoln took the suggestion to heart and let his beard grow. His new appearance was unexpectedly popular and soon became his trademark. After Lincoln was elected, he made a special point of stopping in the little girl’s town on his way to the White House. After delivering a speech there, Lincoln invited that little girl to come forward from the crowd and warmly said to her, “Thank you for your suggestion. See? I have a beard now!” Then he gave her a kiss on the face with his bearded mouth. The little girl blushed happily and almost forgot to give Lincoln the bouquet of flowers she had brought.

無 心 非 , 名 為 錯

wu xin fei

ming wei cuo

不存 心地 做錯

稱呼 做 錯誤

not on purpose to do things wrong
 

to be called as mistake

不小心做錯了事,叫做過失。
When an error is not made on purpose, it is simply called a mistake.

有 心 非 , 名 為 惡

you xin fei
 

ming wei e

故意 做錯
 

稱、叫 做 罪惡

on purpose to do things
 

to be called as evil

故意做錯事情,就叫做罪惡。
To deliberately do something wrong is not just a mistake, but an evil.

過 能 改 , 歸 於 無

guo neng gai
 

gui yu wu

過錯 能夠 改正
 

回 到 沒有

to do things wrong can to reform to change
 

goes back to nothing

犯了過錯而能改正,對我們的人格終歸無損。
If we can reform our offenses, our offenses will all disappear.

倘 掩 飾 , 增 一 辜

tang yan shi

zeng yi gu

如果 掩蓋 文飾

增加 一個 罪

if to cover up to hide and gloss over
 

to increase one offense

倘若再加以掩飾覆藏,那就是一錯再錯,罪加一等。
But trying to cover them up will make our offenses much worse.

我們常連著說「過錯」或「罪惡」,其實「過」、「惡」與「罪」三者統而言之,雖然都是犯了錯,但錯得不一樣。怎麼的不一樣法呢?其不同在「用心」。無心造成的過錯,只有造錯的業,而無犯戒的惡;有心造出的過錯,既有造惡的業,亦有犯戒的罪;而不管起初犯錯是無心或有心,錯了怕人知道,因此一而再,再而三地企圖掩飾,把心都染污了,這就罪上加罪,罪不可赦,終難逃惡報。只因為「初發心」的些微之差,就演變成非常不同之結果,正是「失之毫釐,謬以千里」,怎麼可以不戒懼謹慎呢?
 

We often talk about mistakes, evil, and offenses in the same breath. But actually, although they all refer to wrongdoings, they are not the same. In what way are they different? In the underlying mental state. When one unintentionally does something wrong, one creates wrong karma, but is without the evil of breaking precepts. When one deliberately does something wrong, one not only creates evil karma, but has the offense of breaking precepts. And regardless of whether or not one’s wrongdoing was intentional or not, if one is afraid of people finding out, then one will cover it up again and again, defiling one’s mind and adding to one’s offenses until they become unpardonable and there is no way to avoid one’s evil retribution. Such subtle differences in one’s initial thought can lead to such widely different results. It is truly a case of, “Off by a hairsbreadth in the beginning, one misses by a thousand miles in the end.” How can we not be careful?

有一位心理學老師上課時,拿了一張白紙,在上面點了個黑點,然後問學生﹕「這是什麼?」學生毫不遲疑,異口同聲回答﹕「一個黑點!」老師就問﹕「這明明是一張白紙,你們為什麼都說是一個黑點呢?」學生都張口結舌,答不上來。老師就說﹕「這張白紙,好比是我們本來清淨的自性,黑點,就是我們所犯的過錯,當我們犯了過錯,別人一眼就看得出來;就好像你們只注意到這個黑點,而忽略了它是張白紙的本質──至少它白的部分,也仍然大過黑的。所以人是犯錯不得的!」
 

Once a psychology teacher held up before her class a sheet of blank white paper, on which she drew a black dot. Then she asked her students, “What is this?” The students replied in unison, “A black dot!” The teacher said, “This is clearly a sheet of white paper. Why does everyone say that it’s a black dot?” The students were speechless and could not reply. The teacher said, “This white sheet of paper is like our own nature, which is originally pure. The black dot is like the mistakes we make. When we make a mistake, other people can tell right away, just as you only noticed this black dot. Therefore, we’d better not do things wrong.”

老師停了一停,繼續問﹕「萬一犯了過錯,怎麼辦呢?」有幾個學生回答﹕「改過!」「好!你們再看這個!」老師拿起筆,很快地在那黑點上加了幾筆,畫成一隻蜜蜂,再問﹕「這是什麼?」有的學生就說是一隻蜜蜂,有的遲疑著說﹕「是一幅畫吧?」老師就問﹕「這比原來的一張白紙好看嗎?」學生都毫不遲疑地又齊聲回答﹕「好看!」老師拿了另一張點了個黑點的白紙,用白粉塗掉,然後再剪一小塊白紙貼上,又問﹕「好看嗎?」學生都笑起來﹕「好醜怪喔!」老師便說﹕「當我們犯了錯,企圖粉飾,別人還是看得出白紙上的痕跡,只覺得更醜更作怪;可是如果從錯誤中學到教訓,而切實改過了,便是把有黑點的白紙,提昇成為一張漂亮的畫了!」
 

The teacher paused, and then continued, “If you do make a mistake, what should you do?” Several students answered, “Correct it!” “OK! Watch this!” The teacher picked up a pen and quickly added a few more strokes to the black dot, turning it into a bee. Then she asked, “What’s this?” A few students said it was a bee. Others asked, “Is that a picture?’ The teacher asked, “Is this prettier than the blank white pa- per?” The students replied together, “Yes!” The teacher then took another sheet of white paper that had a black dot on it, covered it with white powder, then cut out a small piece of white paper and pasted it over the area. Then she asked, “Does this look nice?” The students all laughed and said, “That’s ugly!” The teacher said, “When we do something wrong and try to cover it up, other people can still see the marks on the white paper and think it’s very ugly and strange. However, if you can learn from your mistakes and sincerely reform, it is like transforming the black dot on the paper into a beautiful picture.” .

《孟子》上也有一段類似的描述和比方﹕「古之君子,其過也,如日月之食,民皆見之;及其更也,民皆仰之。」這裏的「食」就是現在的「蝕」字。日蝕和月蝕,本是一種自然的天象,古時候的人卻以為是不祥的徵兆,都爭先恐後地出來看,又求神問卜的;等到日月恢復光明了,大家才鬆下一口氣,歌舞慶祝。這是用光明的日月,來比方有道德的君子,他的一言一行,都是人們所仰望的;日蝕和月蝕,比喻君子的德行有了污點。但君子並不企圖掩飾污點,只是努力改過,使自己重現光明。
 

Mencius used a similar analogy when he said, “The errors of the ancient worthies were like eclipses of the sun or moon; all the people could see them. When they corrected their faults, the entire populace looked up to them.” Solar and lunar eclipses are natural phenomena. However, people in ancient times considered them bad omens and would rush to inquire about their meaning from oracles and deities. When the sun and moon regained their full radiance, everyone would sigh in relief and sing and dance in celebration. The shining sun and moon are analogies for a virtuous person whose every word and deed is admired by the people. A solar or lunar eclipse represents the staining of a worthy man’s virtue. However, a worthy person would not try to cover up those stains; he would simply diligently reform so that he could be radiant again.

人們對於日月重光,只有更欣喜,更感激;對君子的改過,也是只有更仰慕,更佩服。本來嘛,「人非聖賢,孰能無過?」但我們卻不可以因循苟且,拿這兩句話當藉口;要緊的是「過則勿憚改」,不要怕改過。人為什麼怕改過?因為犯了過錯,不但英名掃地,引來別人的訕笑辱罵,就改過的過程中,也有許多身心的磨難。若能不怕這一切,努力克服自己內心的障礙,這才是大勇。所以說﹕「過而能改,善莫大焉。」若是「過而不改」呢?那可是「不祥莫大焉」了!
 

When the radiance of the sun or moon reappears, people feel only joy and gratitude. When a worthy person reforms, people only admire and look up to him more. Basically, “People are not sages; who can be without faults?” However, that doesn’t mean we can use this statement as an excuse to be careless. The important thing to remember is, “If you have faults, don’t be afraid to change.” Why are people afraid to change their faults? Because once your mistakes are known, your reputation is ruined and people may make fun of you or scold you. The process of reforming can be full of ordeals. To not fear anything and diligently overcome the obstructions in your mind is to be truly courageous. And so it’s said, “There is no greater good than being able to change your faults.” What if you have faults but do not change? There is “no greater misfortune” than that!.

佛云「萬法唯心造」,若把心譬之於水,水能載舟,亦能覆舟;心能造罪,亦能滅罪。佛門的「懺悔偈」說得很切當:

 罪從心起將心懺,
 心若滅時罪亦亡。
 心亡罪滅兩俱空,
 是則名為真懺悔。
 

The Buddha said, “The ten thousand dharmas are made from the mind alone.” We can compare the mind to water. Boats can travel in water, and they can also sink in water. Offenses can be created by the mind, and they can also be eradicated by the mind. A Buddhist repentance puts it aptly:

Offenses arise from the mind and
must be repented in the mind.
When the mind is gone, offenses are also gone.
With mind and offenses gone, both are empty .
That is called true repentance and reform.
 

懺悔必要改過,改過要自根本處下手,把罪福的本源──心,持正了。《大學》裏提到「正心」的功夫﹕

 不欺暗室,不愧屋漏。
 

Repentance involves changing one’s faults. Faults must be changed at their root. One must rectify the mind-the source of all offenses and blessings. The Great Learning discusses the skill of rectifying the mind:

Do not cheat even when alone in a dark room;
do not be ashamed of a leaking house.
 

《格言聯壁》也有一聯﹕

 青天白日之節義,
 自暗室屋漏中培來;
 旋乾轉坤之經綸,
 自臨深履薄處得力。
 

There is a proverb:

Righteousness resembling the blue sky and white sun
is nurtured in situations like a dark room or a leaking house.
The power to change the world comes from being
as cautious as if one were walking on a precipice or treading on thin ice.
 

這是教人要知道「戒懼謹慎」,獨處暗室,一如在大庭廣眾間,裏外如一,毫不欺瞞造作;就是在造次慌亂之時,或顛沛流離之際,亦必如是。
 

This is telling us that we should be as cautious and scrupulous when alone in a dark room as when we are in a crowd. Our inner thoughts and outer actions should correspond, so that we are not the least bit deceptive. We must be this way even when we find ourselves in chaos or wandering without a home.

《朱子治家格言》上亦說﹕「善欲人見,不是真善;惡恐人知,便是大惡。」我們做人若能心胸光明坦蕩,不為別人的稱譏譭譽造作,也不為自己的利衰得失逐求,自然就是個「大丈夫」,活得也才有意義。千萬不要只顧一時的輕鬆光鮮,而令自己「遺臭萬年」啊!
 

Mr. Zhu’s Guidelines for Managing the Household say, “Good deeds that are done for others to see are not truly good. Evil that is done fearing others will find out is great evil.” If our hearts are bright and forthright, and we do not act in ways to seek praise from others or benefit for ourselves, we will naturally be great heroes and our lives will be truly meaningful. We should never let ourselves be tempted by momentary enjoyment or fame into doing something that will bring on eternal disgrace.

第六章﹕汎愛眾

凡是人,皆須愛,天同覆,地同載。
行高者,名自高,人所重,非貌高。
才大者,望自大,人所服,非言大。
己有能,勿自私,人有能,勿輕訾。
勿諂富,勿驕貧,勿厭故,勿喜新。
人不閑,勿事攪,人不安,勿話擾。
人有短,切莫揭,人有私,切莫說。
道人善,即是善,人知之,愈思勉。
揚人短,即是惡,疾之甚,禍且作。
善相勸,德皆建,過不規,道兩虧。
凡取與,貴分曉,與宜多,取宜少。
將加人,先問己,己不欲,即速已。
恩欲報,怨欲忘,報怨短,報恩長。
待婢僕,身貴端,雖貴端,慈而寬。
勢服人,心不然,理服人,方無言。

凡 是 人 , 皆 須 愛

fan shi ren jie xu ai

無論   什麼樣的人

都 必須 愛護

whoever is what kind of people

all must to cherish

無論是什麼樣的人,我們都要關懷愛護。
For everyone throughout the world, one should cherish a kind regard.

天 同 覆 , 地 同 載

tian tong fu di tong zai

天空 相同 覆蓋

土地 相同 承運

sky equally to cover
 

earth equally to carry

因為我們都生活在同一片天空下,也立足於同一個地球上。
Because we all live under the same sky and are supported by the same earth.

對於「愛」的定義,在《聖經》的哥林多前書上,有一段動人的描述﹕「愛是恆久忍耐,又是恩慈。愛是不嫉妒,愛是不自誇,不張狂,不做害羞的事,不計算人的惡;不喜歡不義,只喜歡真理。凡事包容,凡事相信,凡事盼望,凡事忍耐;愛是永不止息。」
 

Regarding the definition of love, there is a very moving description in the Corinthians section of the Bible,” Love is patient, love is kind, It dose not envy, it dose not boast, it is not proud, It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs, Love dose not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, and always perseveres. Love never fails.”

耶穌倡導「博愛」,四處教化人,最後為了代世人受苦,甘願被自已的同胞釘死在十字架上;中國的孔子一生追求「仁」的理想,為了尋求可以實施仁政的國君而周遊列國,至死不渝。這都是在教導我們愛人!
 

Jesus preached universal love. After teaching people across the land, he willingly allowed his fellow men to crucify him, so that he could suffer on behalf of the world’s people. Confucius pursued the ideal of benevolence all his life, in his search for a king who would be able to govern with benevolence; he wandered through various countries until his death. These examples teach us that we should love people.
 

世間上的人,不論種族、國籍、膚色,不論男、女、老、少,不論貧、富、貴、賤,都和我們頂著同樣一片天,踏著同樣一塊地,呼吸著同樣的空氣,這便是百千劫積來的緣分;可是我們卻為了一己的私利與執著,動輒起爭鬥之心,不但自己和自己爭,也和他人爭,甚至家與家爭,公司與公司爭,國與國爭,宗教與宗教爭,各種各類的戰爭無時或已,把原本美麗的世界變得傷痕累累,醜陋不堪。這是誰的錯啊?這是誰的罪呢?
 

People in this world, regardless of their ethnic background, nationality, skin color, gender, age, economic and social status, all live under the same sky, walk upon the same earth, and breathe the same air. This is due to affinities we have created over hundreds and thousands of eons. Yet, because of our desire for personal gain and our attachments, we very easily get into a belligerent frame of mind. We fight not only with ourselves, but with others. This leads to family feuds, competition among companies, wars among nations, and bickering among religions. There are struggles and battles going on all the time, turning what was once a beautiful world into a scarred and hideous world. Who is to blame? Whose fault is it?

曾幾何時,人心日趨狹隘,識見日趨淺薄,因而鬥爭也日趨堅固,最終受害的還是人類自己!所以各種宗教衛道人士都大聲疾呼,四處奔走,希望喚醒世人的愛心,用愛心來挽救我們所生存的世界。
 

Since some unknown time, people’s minds have become more and more narrow and their views more and shallower with each passing day. As a result, aggression and fighting have become more and more prevalent. In the end, it is we ourselves who get hurt! Therefore, people of all religions, those who care about the spiritual path, have been traveling around and speaking out forcefully, hoping to awaken the love in people’s hearts, using love to save the world we live in.

但是一般宗教或哲學所談論的仁愛思想,都還止於「人本主義」,只有佛教,更把愛的觸角深入一切飛潛動植的眾生;所有胎、卵、溼、化,種種不同色身,不同心性,不同知見的有生命體,都包括在內。為什麼呢?因為這種種的眾生,在未開悟成佛之前,都在「迷」中,不知自己與其他眾生在累世輪迴中,互為同類,互為眷屬;今生一旦異形異類相見,就互相傷害,因此怨戾之氣瀰漫在我們所生存的空氣間,眾生呼吸之後心性就更加暴戾乖張。
 

However, the benevolent love that most religions and philosophies speak of is directed at human beings. Buddhism alone extends the. Bounds of love to encompass all living beings, whether they fly, swim, crawl, or remain still; whether they are born from wombs, eggs, moisture, or transformation; creatures endowed with various physical appearances, temperaments, and outlooks. Why? Because all these living beings, before becoming enlightened and achieving Buddhahood, are deluded and do not realize that they have been of the same species and the same families as other beings, in the endless cycle of transmigration. If they happen to have different forms and belong to different species in this life, they mutually want to hurt one another. Thus the atmosphere is suffused with hatred and enmity. When living beings breathe in that air, their dispositions grow more violent and perverse.
 

如是惡性循環,大大小小戰爭也就無了時了,所以佛示現世間,就為了開導迷頑,指示迷津,欲我們省悟,覺今是而昨非,終至入道成佛。所謂佛,就是智慧,就是覺道;成佛,就是返迷歸覺,也就是了悟覺道,證得大智慧的境界。因此,是凡眾生,早晚都要成佛的,不管你這輩子作不作人,信不信佛。
 

In this vicious cycle, great and small wars break out endlessly. The Buddha appeared in the world in order to teach and guide the deluded masses, hoping to wake us up so we realize our past mistakes and do things right from now on, and ultimately realize Buddhahood. The Buddha represents wisdom and enlightenment. The realization of Buddhahood involves turning away from delusion and returning to enlightenment; awakening to Bodhi and achieving a state of great wisdom. All living beings will sooner or later realize Buddhahood, regardless of whether they are human beings in this life and whether or not they believe in Buddhism.

嚴格說來,佛教其實不能算是一種宗教;宗教是有門戶之分的,而佛教超越一切宗派,是一種智慧的教育。所以說佛教是佛陀的教育,亦即是眾生對智慧的追求。而這種大智慧,眾生本具種子,若要它開華結果,必須以慈悲水來灌溉。
 

Strictly speaking, Buddhism cannot be considered a religion. Whereas religions are usually partisan, Buddhism transcends all par- ties and factions. It is the teaching of wisdom. That’s why we say that Buddhism is the teachings of the Buddha, and it is also the pursuit of wisdom by living beings. The seed of this great wisdom is inherent in all living beings. In order for it to bloom and bear fruit, it must be watered with the water of kindness and compassion.

什麼叫做「慈悲」?簡單地說,慈是愛護眾生,給眾生喜樂;悲是體恤眾生,為眾生去苦。《法華經‧觀世音菩薩普門品》中,讚誦觀世音菩薩:

眾生被困厄,無量苦逼身;
觀音妙智力,能救世間苦。

所以觀世音菩薩,又被尊稱為「大悲菩薩」。而那大肚能容,笑口常開的彌勒菩薩,穿的是《法華經》所說的「柔和忍辱衣」,修的是令眾生歡喜的法門,則是「大慈菩薩」。
 

What is meant by kindness and compassion? In simple terms, kindness means cherishing living beings and making them happy; compassion means sympathizing with living beings and eliminating their suffering. “Guanshiyin Bodhisattva’s Universal Door Chapter” in the Lotus Sutra praises Guanshiyin Bodhisattva in this way:

Living beings are beset with hardships and
oppressed by limitless sufferings.
The power of Guanyin ‘s wondrous wisdom can rescue the world from suffering.

Guanshiyin Bodhisattva is also known as the Bodhisattva of Great Compassion. And Maitreya Bodhisattva, with his big belly that holds everything and his ever-laughing mouth, wears what the Lotus Sutra calls “the clothing of gentleness and patience” and cultivates the Dharma door of making living beings happy; he is the Bodhisattva of Great Kindness.
 

《華嚴經‧普賢行願品》說﹕「一切眾生而為樹根,諸佛菩薩而為華果;以大悲水饒益眾生,則能成就諸佛菩薩智慧華果。」眾生好比樹根,菩薩是花果;沒有樹根或有樹根而缺乏灌溉,樹如何茁壯?又如何開花結果?這就是為什麼修學菩薩道者,不但能慈心愛護眾生,更能犧牲自己,用悲心去攝受眾生之故。
上宣下化老和尚發了十八大願,其中第十三願,願代一切眾生受苦,不也就是大悲菩薩的化身?
 

The “Chapter of Universal Worthy’s Conduct and Vows” in the Avatamsaka Sutra says, “The Bodhisattva takes living beings as his roots. By benefiting all beings with the water of great compassion, the Bodhisattva can realize the flowers and fruit of wisdom.” Living beings are like the roots of a tree; Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are its flowers and fruit. If there are no roots, or if the roots are there but they do not get watered, how can the tree grow tall and strong? How can it blossom and bear fruit? That is why those who study and practice the Bodhisattva Path are able not only to cherish living beings with a kind heart, but to sacrifice themselves and compassionately gather in living beings. The Venerable Master Hua made Eighteen Great Vows. Doesn’t his third vow, “to undergo suffering on behalf of all living beings,” make him a transformation of the Bodhisattva of Great Compassion?

根據《法句經》,佛說常行慈悲的人,生生世世可以獲得十二種利益﹕一、褔常隨身。二、臥安。三、覺安。四、不見惡夢。五、天護。六、人愛。七、不毒。八、不兵。九、水不喪。十、火不喪。十一、在所得利。十二、死昇梵天。
 

According to the Dhammapada, the Buddha said that people who al- ways practice kindness and compassion will obtain twelve kinds of benefits in life after life: (1) They are always blessed. (2) They sleep peacefully. (3) They are peaceful when awake. (4) They have no nightmares. (5) They are protected by gods, (6) They are loved by people. (7) They will not be poisoned. (8) They will not be involved in the military .(9) They will not be killed by water. (10) They will not be killed by fire. (11) They will obtain benefit wherever they are. (12) They will ascend to the Brahma Heaven after death.

所以不管是不是佛教徒,常行慈悲,於人於己都好,何苦而不為呢?美國第十六任總統林肯先生,就是個很慈悲的人。當他還住在伊利諾州的春田小鎮時,有一個女孩約了朋友去旅行,事先請好人來幫忙搬行李;誰知到時請的人沒來,那女孩又連火車站在哪都搞不清,急得站在門口哭了起來。恰好林肯經過,問明情形,看看錶還來得及,就扛起行李,教她在後頭跟著。
 

Therefore, whether one is a Buddhist or not, to practice kindness and compassion is beneficial to others as well as oneself. Thus, is there any reason not to practice? The Sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, was a very kind and compassionate man. When he was still living in Springfield, Illinois, there was a girl who had planned a trip with her friend. However, the person she had asked to help her carry her luggage did not show up, and she herself did not even know where the train station was. She was so worried that she stood by the door and started crying. Lincoln happened to pass by and asked what the matter was. Seeing that there was still time to catch the train, he picked up her luggage and told her to follow him.
     

女孩連走帶跑地跟這位長腿先生到了車站,火車還沒開呢!林肯幫她把行李放下,一文錢也不拿就走了。又有一回,他還是律師時,和幾個同事騎馬到外地去辦事,路經一座森林。當大家看見小河,要牽馬去飲水時,才發現林肯不見了。跟林肯同行的就說﹕「林肯拾了一隻被風颳下來的小鳥,他一定是找鳥窩去了!」不久,林肯趕上同伴,告訴他們﹕「總算找著鳥窩了!雖然很不容易找,但是我一定要找到。假如不能讓這可憐的小鳥回到母親身邊,今晚我就要睡不著覺了!」。
 

The girl raced to keep up with the long-legged gentleman, following him to the station. The train had not left yet! Lincoln helped put her bags on the car and then left without taking a cent. Another time, when he was still a lawyer, he and several colleagues made a trip on horseback to take care of some business. On their way, they passed by a forest. The group spotted a stream and went to water their horses. At that time, they discovered that Lincoln was no longer with them. One of his companions said, “Lincoln found a baby bird that had been blown down by the wind. He must be looking for its nest!” Soon afterwards, Lincoln caught up with his companions and told them, “I found the nest! It was difficult, but I was determined to find it. If I didn’t return that poor little bird to its mother, I wouldn’t be able to sleep tonight.”

行 高 者 , 名 自 高

xing gao zhe
 

ming zi gao

品行 高尚 的人
 

名聲 自然 高尚、顯揚

conduct high, lofty of people
 

reputation naturally high, lofty

德行高的人,名聲自然就高。
People whose conduct is fine are sure to have good reputations.

人 所 重 , 非 貌 高

ren suo zhong

fei mao gao

別人 的 (人事物) 看重

不是因為 外表 高貴

others that which to honor
 

is not appearance lofty, high class

一般人所敬重的,並不是他的相貌堂堂。
What people respect in a person is not merely his fine appearance.

才 大 者 , 望 自 大

cai da zhe
 

wang zi da

才幹 偉大的 的人
 

聲望 自然 偉大

talent great of people
 

prestige naturally great

才幹大的人,聲望自然也大。
People who have great ability thereby enjoy great prestige.

人 所 服 , 非 言 大

ren suo fu

fei yan da

別人 的(人事物) 服從

不是因為 言詞 富麗堂皇

others that which to obey
 

is not speech great

一般人所信服的,也並非他的言辭響亮。
When people place their trust in a person, it is merely not because he talks well.

俗話說﹕「人不可以貌相,海水不可用斗量。」孔子的學生裏頭,宰予的口才是一流的,但是他太過恣才任性,每每有超越禮數的言行,終至功敗垂成。澹臺滅明(字子羽)則是相貌醜惡,初見孔子時,孔子也不覺他有什麼才幹,後來才慢慢發現子羽是個謹守法度,行不由徑的俠義君子。因此孔子才感嘆說﹕「俚語云﹕『相馬以輿,相士以居。』弗可廢歟!以容取人,則失之子羽;以辭取人,則失之宰予。」
 

There is a proverb: “people cannot be judged by appearance; sea water cannot be measured by pecks,” Among the disciples of Confucius, Zai yu’s eloquence was first rate. However, he was overly rash and foolhardy. every time he stepped beyond the bounds of propriety in his speech or actions, he inevitably failed. On the other hand, Zhantai Mieming (whose other name was Zi Yu) was rather homely, and at their first meeting Confucius did not think he had much talent. Later, he gradually discovered that Zi Yu was a righteous gentleman who cautiously abided by the law and did not take shortcuts. And so Confucius exclaimed with a sigh, “A folk proverb says, Judge a horse by how it pulls a chariot; judge a scholar by how he lives.” How could we ignore this? If we judged people by appearance alone, we would be wrong about Zi Yu. If we judged people by their speech, we would be wrong about Zai Yu.”

這意思是說,不要廢了俚俗的教訓。看馬好不好,要真正讓馬駕一駕車才知;看一個讀書人,也是要考察他平日起居生活。因為如果光看外表,對子羽就會看走了眼;若只相信言論,就會把宰予給高估了。其結果都可能會因為無法因才適任,而犧牲了對方,也折損了自己。所以看人不能從他外在的言行,武斷地下第一印象。事實上,像宰予這樣聰明有才華,卻又志大行疏的,或者像子羽這樣其貌不揚,卻沉潛有才的人,在我們的周圍並不是沒有,只不過我們很容易犯以貌取人,以言斷人的毛病,而錯失了人才或高估了人才。
 

His meaning was that we should not overlook the advice of that proverb. Before we can determine the caliber of a horse, we have to see how it pulls a chariot. In appraising a scholar, we have to look at his daily living habits. If we only consider a person’s appearance, we will be prejudiced against Zi Yu. If we only believed a person’s words, we will overestimate Zai Yu. It is then very likely that, because we are unable to employ a person according to his talents, we will lose the person and take a loss ourselves! Therefore, we cannot evaluate a person based on the first impression that we get from his external words and behavior . Actually, people like Zai Yu, who was intelligent and talented, yet overambitious and careless in behavior, and like Zi Yu, who had great ability hidden beneath a plain exterior, are around us, too. It is just that we easily make the mistake of judging people by their appearance or by their words, thereby failing to appreciate people’s talents or else overestimating them.

再從另一個角度來說,如果我們貌不驚人,就應該自內在修養鍛鍊起,治世時能大行於邦國,亂世時也能自保於鄉隱。如果我們幸而長得一表人才,更要充實自己,不要做個繡花枕頭,中看不中用,或者一昧逞口舌,而招忌惹禍。這才是中庸之道!
 

Looking at it from another angle, if our own looks are plain, we should start by working on our inner cultivation, so that in times of peace we can come out to serve the country well, and in times of chaos we can retreat into seclusion in the countryside. If we are blessed with the appearance of being very capable, we should also increase our inner virtue, and not be like an embroidered pillow that is pretty to look at but not much use. We should also avoid letting our tongues wag carelessly and bring disasters upon ourselves. This is the Middle Way.

古今中外的英雄豪傑,在他們的日常小事裏頭,都可以看出他們仁慈、謙虛的一面。仁慈、謙虛,便是得人心的基礎;滿腹經世濟用之學,其實都只是教我們如何得人心、善用人心罷了!英雄豪傑之成功,因為得人心;其失敗,也是因為失去了人心。人心所看重和敬畏的,是真實的德行,而非璀燦的言辭,堂皇的外表,或厚重的權勢。
 

If you look at great men and women of the past and present, around the world, you will see the benevolence and humility with which they go about their daily activities. Benevolence and humility are the foundation of the human spirit. All the theories of government and politics boil down to teaching us how to win people’s hearts and skillfully guide them. Great leaders and heroes succeed because they are able to win people’s hearts. Those who fail, fail because they lose people’s hearts. What people value and respect is the practice of genuine virtue, not flowery words, handsome appearance, or great power .

亞歷山大是希臘一位英明的皇帝。有一次他到南部一個城市,城裏的大小官員和地方上有名望的人都去朝見他,只有大哲學家德奧基尼斯沒去,亞歷山大便親自去拜望他。亞歷山大來到德奧基尼斯住所前,看到他正坐在那兒曬太陽,便上前一鞠躬,禮貌地表達久仰,並問﹕「您有什麼需要我幫忙的事情嗎?」德奧基尼斯說﹕「是的!我只要求您站開些,別把太陽擋住就行了!」亞歷山大覺得很有趣,一點也沒生氣就走了。
 

Alexander the Great was a wise king of Greece. One time he visited a city in the south. All the great and minor government officials and all the local men of repute gathered to greet him. Only the great philosopher Diogenes did not go. Thereupon Alexander the Great personally went to pay respects to him. When he arrived at Diogenes’ dwelling, he saw him sitting there, basking in the sun. He went up and made a half bow, said that he had long admired the philosopher, and asked, “Is there any matter in which I can offer my help?” Diogenes said, “Yes. All I ask is that you move to the side a bit so that you don’t block the sun!” Alexander was amused and left without feeling the least bit upset.

美國開國領袖華盛頓當上大總統之後,有一回他穿著便服騎馬出去玩,經過河邊時看見一個軍官,指揮兩個士兵把一段大木頭抬上河堤。可是河堤很高,木頭又重,兩個兵用盡了力氣還是抬不上來。那軍官一逕吼叫﹕「用力!用力!」卻不去幫忙;華盛頓就說﹕「他們力氣已用完了,你去幫幫忙吧!」那軍官瞪眼大聲道﹕「我是尉官,你知道嗎?」華盛頓就說﹕「對不起!我不知道;我若早知道你是尉官,就不冒犯你了!」說完,就脫下外衣跳下去幫那兩個兵把大木頭抬上岸。
 

One time, after George Washington had assumed office as the first President of the United States, he went out on horseback for a pleasure ride, dressed in civilian clothes. Passing by a river, he noticed a military official directing two soldiers, who were trying to lift a large wooden plank onto the river bank. The bank was very high and the plank was heavy, and the two soldiers could not manage to lift it, though they were exerting their utmost strength. The official kept yelling, “Use more strength! Use more strength!” but did not attempt to help them. Washington said, “They have already exhausted their strength! Why don’t you give them a hand?” The official glared and said loudly, “I’m a lieutenant, do you know that?” Washington said, “Sorry, I wasn’t aware. If I had known you were a lieutenant, I wouldn’t have insulted you!” So saying, he took off his coat and jumped down to help the two soldiers lift the plank onto the river bank.

美國另外一個總統艾森豪,當他還是軍官時,一回巡視軍營,發現國旗倒掛著;這在軍隊是很嚴重的錯誤,兩個專管升降旗的旗手都嚇白了臉。但是艾森豪只和藹地對他們倆說﹕「孩子們!你們犯了多麼嚴重的軍法啊!現在我命令你們,立刻把國旗降下來改正,再重新升上去!」艾森豪的仁慈,贏得美國軍民的擁護,都暱稱他的小名「艾克」;他後來能當選總統,也不是偶然的。
 

Eisenhower was another American President. Once, when he was still a military official and was inspecting an army barracks, he discovered the national flag hanging upside down. That was a serious mistake in the army, and the two officers who were in charge of raising and lowering the flag turned pale in fear. But Eisenhower kindly told the two, “Children! You have broken a serious military law. Now I command you to immediately lower the flag, set it upright, and raise it again!” Eisenhower’s kindness won him the support of the entire U.S. military, who fondly referred to him by his nickname, Ike. It was not by mere chance that he later won the Presidential election.

法國著名軍事家拿破崙是個矮子,貌不驚人但卻有過人的意志力和膽識。戰爭期間有一夜他巡營,發現站崗的衛兵居然拄著槍睡著了;拿破崙便站崗到衛兵醒來,衛兵嚇得跪地求饒,拿破崙只說﹕「你跟我作戰太辛苦了,沒空睡覺。現在你睡醒了,要好好看守,別讓敵人有機會偷襲!」你說,以後那衛兵會不盡忠效命嗎?又有一次,在他做了法國皇帝之後,和美麗的皇后約瑟芬穿著便衣在路上散步;迎面來了個揹著重物的人,拿破崙忙把皇后拉過一旁,讓那人先過去。皇后就問﹕「你是皇帝,為什麼讓路給一個普通的老百姓呢?
 

The famous French military leader, Napoleon, was rather plain- looking and short in stature. However, he had remarkable resolve and vision. One night during the war, as he was inspecting camp, he came upon a sentry who had fallen asleep while on duty, leaning on his rifle. Napoleon himself stood guard until the sentry woke up. That sentry was so frightened that he got on his knees and begged forgiveness. Napoleon said, “You have toiled so hard in fighting this war with me that you have not had time to sleep. Now that you have awakened, you must do your job well. Don’t let the enemy sneak in!” Now, wouldn’t you think that sentry would do his best to follow Napoleon’s orders from then on? Another time, after he had become the Emperor of France, he and the beautiful Empress Josephine were strolling in the streets dressed in civilian clothes. A man carrying a heavy load was coming towards them. Napoleon pulled the empress to one side and allowed the man to pass first. The empress asked, “You are the Emperor. Why do you move out of the way for a common civilian?
     

拿破崙說:「皇帝和老百姓一樣是人,他揹著那麼重的東西,我們兩手空空。讓他路,他可以得到方便,我們也沒丟掉皇帝的尊嚴啊!」聰明的約瑟芬從此更加尊敬他,輔佐他成就不少大業。從以上的小故事來看,這些人物之所以受尊敬,豈只是因為他們的豐功偉業和頭銜呢?
 

“Napoleon said, “The emperor and the civilian are both people. He is carrying a heavy burden, while the two of us are empty- handed. If we let him pass first, it makes his job a lot easier; meanwhile, we have not lost the dignity of our royal position.” From then on, the wise Josephine held him in even higher esteem and aided him in achieving great deeds. These anecdotes illustrate that people are respected for their virtue other than their meritorious achievements and titles.

己 有 能 , 勿 自 私

ji you neng
 

wu zi si

自己 有 才能
 

不要 自己 有私心

ourselves have ability
 

do not be selfish

自己若是有才能,不要只為自己的利益打算。
The abilities we ourselves have should not be employed selfishly.

人 有 能 , 勿 輕 訾

ren you neng

wu qing zi

別人 有 才能

不要 輕浮 誹謗批評

others have ability
 

do not lightly to criticize

別人若是有才能,不要輕易地誹謗批評。
The abilities others may have should not be belittled or scorned.

勿 諂 富 , 勿 驕 貧

wu chan fu
 

wu jiao pin

不要 曲意奉承 富貴的人
 

不要 驕傲、看不起 貧賤的人

do not to be obsequious the rich
 

do not to be arrogant the poor

不要諂媚富貴,也不要傲視貧賤。
We should not flatter the rich or look down on the poor.

勿 厭 故 , 勿 喜 新

wu yan gu

wu xi xin

不要 厭棄 舊的(人事物)

不要 喜愛 新的(人事物)

do not to dislike what is old
 

do not to delight in what is new

不要厭棄故舊,也不要喜愛新奇。
What is old need not be rejected; what is new need not be sought after.

在一般的社會裏,有兩種很要不得的風氣,一種是對請益者「秘技藏私」,對有能者「嫉妒障礙」;另一種是對優勢群「趨炎附勢」,對弱勢群「落井下石」。怎麼說呢?
 

In society, there are two kinds of contemptible behavior. The first is to keep your skill and knowledge to yourself and refuse to impart them to those who request to be taught, being jealous and obstructive of those who have ability .The second is to draw near to those who are powerful, hoping to get some influence from them, while making things worse for those who are weak and in a bad situation. What do I mean?

第一種的壞風氣,是自己有某方面的學識技藝,人家來請教時,慳吝不肯指導傳授,生怕別人學成了比自己更行 ,總要藏一手,不肯傾囊相授;到最後,這些學識技藝跟他進了棺材,就此失傳了!而這種人多半自視甚高,對外呢,不是輕蔑,就是妒忌;不但同行相忌,異行也互相詆譭攻訐,弄得社會烏煙瘴氣,雞犬不寧。
 

The first kind of vile practice is when people stingily refuse to impart knowledge and skills to those who seek instruction, out of fear that others will surpass them. Such people always hold something back and don’t pass on all that they know. In the end, their skills and knowledge go with them into the coffin and are lost forever! These people usually have an overly high opinion of themselves and regard others with either contempt or jealousy. Not only are they jealous of those in their own field, they also slander and attack those in other fields, wreaking havoc in society and destroying the peace.
 

真正有仁慈心的人,考慮的是他人,是社會國家整體,絕不怕把自己所知所能的學識技藝與經驗分享他人。其實,個人的榮辱,在人類進化史裏,只是橫切面的一塵沙點,有什麼值得計較的呢?自負藏私,只能顯示自己的識見淺薄;而嫉妒計較,正是暴露自己的缺乏自信。仁者自然不為,智者也不屑為。
 

People who are truly kind and humane always consider the well-being of others as well as the society and country as a whole. They never hesitate to share their own knowledge, abilities, skills, and experience with others. In reality, an individual’s glory or disgrace, when compared against the evolutionary history of humankind, is only a tiny cross-section of a mote of dust. Why should we be so concerned about it? To hide one’s own abilities away only reveals one’s own shallow understanding. To be jealous and obstructive exposes one’s own lack of self-confidence. Humane ones spontaneously avoid such behavior, and wise ones would not stoop to it.

在一個盛大的宴會中,一個小氣的醫生回答了一位女士很多關於醫藥方面的問題之後,便偷偷問鄰座的律師﹕「我該不該向那位女士收費?」律師鄭重地回答﹕「你用專門知識指導她,她當然應該給錢!」第二天,醫生就寄出一張收費通知,請那位女士送十塊錢來。不久,郵差送來了一封律師的信,信上寫著﹕「請付律師費二十元。」這一則笑話,對吝於指導人的,真是一大諷刺。
 

Once, during a large, formal party, a woman asked a petty-minded doctor numerous medical questions. The doctor answered each question. Afterwards, he secretly asked the lawyer next to him, “Should I collect a fee from that woman?” The lawyer’s sober reply was, “Since you have imparted your expertise to her, you should certainly ask her to pay!” The following day, the doctor mailed a bill to the woman for ten dollars. Soon afterwards, the postman delivered a letter from the lawyer. The letter said, “Please pay a legal fee of twenty dollars.” This joke makes fun of people who are stingy about teaching others.

英國的格林費爾自劍橋大學醫科畢業後,因為他的道德、學識和醫術都很好,不多久就成了很有名望的醫生。有一次,他旅經北極附近一個叫拉不拉多的地方;那裏又荒涼又寒冷,三千多個居民靠捕魚維生,生活很苦,病了也沒醫藥,只有等死。格林費爾認為這兒的人更需要他,就留下來專為漁民服務,也不收錢。幾十年間,不知救活了多少人,漁民都十分感激他,當他是神仙般尊敬。
 

Greenfair, after graduating from Cambridge University Medical School in England, soon became an eminent doctor known for his virtue, knowledge, and medical skill. Once he was traveling past a place called Lapland, near the North Pole. It was cold and barren, and the three thousand inhabitants made their living by fishing. Their lives were wretched. If they fell sick, they had no medicine and could only wait for death to take them. Greenfair felt that those people needed him more, so he stayed there to treat the fishermen for free. In several decades’ time, he saved countless people. The fishermen were deeply grateful and respected him as they would a divinity .

他六十歲生日那天,漁民為他開了個慶祝大會。正當大家開心說笑的時候 ,忽然有人來請他到六十哩外的一個村子治病;格林費爾馬上拿了醫藥箱,和大家告別,就冒著大風雪走了。他真是個慈悲濟世的菩薩啊!
 

On his sixtieth birthday, they held a great celebration in his honor. In the midst of the merriment and laughter, suddenly some- one showed up and asked him to go treat a patient in a village sixty miles away. Greenfair immediately grabbed his medicine chest, bid goodbye, and set off in the blizzard. He was truly a compassionate Bodhisattva who came to save the world!

第二種的壞風氣,源自「喜新厭舊」的心態;對物品是這樣,對人也是這樣。諂富驕貧,趨炎附勢,正所謂「錦上添花時常有,雪中送炭古來稀」。這種心態再衍發下去,有時為了攀附,更不惜把別人踩在腳下;甚至看人倒楣了,再落井下石,非至趕盡殺絕不罷休。真是說來令人齒冷,聽著教人心寒!但是這樣無情無義的人,其實才是真可憐憫者,更需要人好好教化!
 

The second kind of vile practice stems from an attitude of liking the new and growing weary of the old. This attitude is held toward things as well as people. Such a person butters up to rich people and is haughty toward the poor. He fawns upon power. As it is said, “There are always people willing to add flowers to brocade, but rarely are there people who will deliver coal when it’s snowing.” In order to elevate his own status, a person with this attitude will not hesitate to step on others. When he sees others in trouble, he will make things worse for them and not stop until he has done them in. Such behavior really makes one’s blood run cold. Actually, such a person, who lacks feeling and conscience, is truly pitiful and in need of teaching.

漢朝古詩裏,有一首詩是敘述一個男人遇著他前妻的對白。那女人大概是看前夫一張苦瓜臉,穿著又邋遢吧,於是很關心地問候他新人好不好?她是在「三從四德」的舊教下長大的典型中國婦女,這樣地不計前嫌,並不算稀奇;倒是那個男人,既已喜新厭舊在前,新婚不如意,竟還拿新妻和舊妻織絹布的手藝、速度來做比較,說﹕「將縑來比素,新人不如故!」年幼時,覺得這種男人真是貪功愛財,寡廉鮮恥。大了一些,常讀歷史,比較能明因果,知體諒了,就只有深深地感謝;感謝中國「溫柔敦厚」的「詩教」,讓我們知所寬恕。
 

In the poetry of the Han Dynasty, there is one poem which describes the dialogue that takes place when a man runs into his former wife. Probably noting the grim expression on her former husband’s face and the disheveled look of his clothes, the woman inquired after his new wife out of concern. Having been raised in the old society, where a woman was taught to serve her father, husband, and son and possess four feminine virtues, her generous behavior was quite normal. The man, who had abandoned his former wife for a new woman who turned out to be dissatisfactory, had the gall to compare the new wife’s skill in weaving to the former wife’s. He said, “In terms of weaving, the new one is not as good as the former!” In my youth, such a man struck me as being totally utilitarian and devoid of modesty . When I grew older, having read a lot of history, I began to understand the law of cause and effect and learned to be more understanding. I am deeply grateful that China has these instructional poems, which teach us to be gentle, virtuous, kind, and forgiving.
 

中國春秋時代,天子弱而諸侯強,到了戰國時代,權力更由諸侯王轉移到王族中聲望最高的人物。這些鬥閥中,最傑出的是「戰國四公子」。當時王侯貴族盛行養士,競相招攬有才藝之士做家中食客,名列「四公子」之首的齊國孟嘗君,更是號稱有「食客三千」。
 

During the Spring and Autumn Period in China, the emperor was weak and the feudal lords were strong. By the Warring States Period, the power shifted from the feudal lords to several people of the highest status in the royal family. Among these, the most eminent were known as the Four Princes of the Warring States Period. It was customary for these lords to surround themselves with talented men. They invited such men of ability to be lodgers in their home. For example, the leader of the Four Princes, Lord Meng Chang of the State of Qi, became known as “the one with three thousand lodgers.”
 

當孟嘗君因聲名威望而招來齊君疑懼,將他罷相遣歸原封邑薛地後,孟嘗君家中的食客走了一大半。後來孟嘗君靠著忠心相隨的馮驩,不但讓齊君把他再請回去當宰相,更增加他千戶的封邑。那些遠走高飛的食客又一一回來了,孟嘗君便想羞辱一下那些人。馮驩忙勸阻他說,肚子餓了就挨近,吃飽了就跑遠;溫熱的就靠攏,寒冷的就離棄﹕這本是人的通病,並非他們對事物的本身有好惡。身有好惡,只是因心中想要的東西在不存在,而產生不同的動向。不要因為這種情況怪罪他們,而杜絕了延攬人才之路。
 

Lord Meng Chang’s increasing renown brought on the suspicions of the King of Qi, who removed him from his post as Minister and sent him back to his estate in Xue. At that point, the majority of Meng Chang’s lodgers deserted him. Later, due to the efforts of his loyal follower, Feng Huan, not only was Lord Meng Chang welcomed back as minister, but he was given a thousand more families to oversee. The lodgers who had previously deserted him came back one by one. Lord Meng Chang wanted to shame them, but Feng Huan hastily stopped him, saying, “When they were hungry, they drew near; having eaten their fill, they ran off. When it was warm here, they came close; when it was cold, they deserted. This fault is common to all people. It was not that they did not like the situation here; however, when they did not find what they want, they naturally thought about going elsewhere. You shouldn’t blame them for this, for that would hinder you from recruiting other men of ability .”

孟嘗君體悟這道理是不錯的,就聽從了馮驩的勸諫。從這小故事,我們對馮驩其人,即使不敢說他是個真正的仁者,若稱之為深明事理因果的智者,可一點也沒過譽啊!
 

Meng Chang recognized the truth of Feng Huan’s words and took his advice. In light of this story, although we dare not say that Feng Huan was one of true humaneness, it would not be exaggerating to say that he was a wise man who deeply understand the causes and results of matters.

人 不 閑 , 勿 事 攪

ren bu xian
 

wu shi jiao

別人 沒有 空閒
 

不要 別的事 攪混

others without free time
 

do not other matter to bother

別人沒有空閒時,不要拿無關之事去打攪。
If you see that a person is busy, don’t bother him with other matters.

人 不 安 , 勿 話 擾

ren bu an

wu hua rao

別人 沒有 安寧

不要 言語 煩擾

others are not calm
 

do not useless words to annoy

別人情緒不安時,不要用無謂的話去吵擾。
If you see that someone’s upset, don’t annoy him with your idle chatter.

人 有 短 , 切 莫 揭

ren you duan
 

qie mo jie

別人 有 短處
 

絕對 不要 揭穿

others have shortcomings
 

definitely do not to expose

發現他人的缺失,絕對不要揭穿。
Although you may know someone’s faults, there is no need to tell everyone.

人 有 私 , 切 莫 說

ren you si

qie mo shuo

別人 有 隱私

絕對 不要 宣傳

others have private matters
 

definitely do not to speak

發現他人的秘密,千萬不要張揚。
The personal business of others should not be the subject of talk.

有些人並非惡人,但卻招人厭惡;有些人並非故意,卻總做出損人不利己的事。原因無他,就是不懂得在何時何地,可否對何人說何話罷了!前面說﹕「凡是人,皆須愛」,但「愛」必須以「義」為依歸,才不會變成亂愛。
 

Some people are not evil, yet they are loathed by others. Some people do not have bad intentions, yet they always do things that hurt others without benefiting themselves. There is no other reason for this, except that such people do not understand the art of saying the right things to the right people at the right time and the right place. A previous line in the text said, “For everyone throughout the world, cherish a fond regard.” However, such fond regard should be based upon what is right, or else it becomes indiscriminate love.
 

所謂「義者,宜也」,也就是說,言行要適宜;言行若適宜,人際關係就圓融無礙了。要人際關係圓融無礙,這可真是一門沒有固定課本,也沒有固定教師,活到老,學到老的終生課程。
 

What is right means what is appropriate. In other words, we should speak and act appropriately. When our words and actions are appropriate, our relationships with others will be smooth and unobstructed. Learning to maintain harmonious relationships with people is a lesson that we continue to study into our old age and for which there is no fixed textbook or teacher .

若談話的時機不適當,就算對適當的人說適當的話,好也變成不好;更罔論是談不適當的話,或是無聊瑣屑的事了。要是談話的對象不適當,就算講的內容適當,也只是「對牛彈琴」;若談話的內容不但不適當,還是與他人聲名休戚相關的,那可是「禍從口出」,後患無窮!所以本章所談的,是基本言談守則,不可掉以輕心。
 

If we speak at the wrong time, then even if we are talking to the right person and saying the right things, what was originally good be- comes bad. How much worse it would be if we are saying inappropriate things or engaging in idle chatter. If we are not speaking to the right person, then even if what we are saying is appropriate, it is like “strumming the lute to a cow .” If the topic of conversation is improper and affects someone else’s reputation, then it is a case of “bringing on disasters with the mouth”-the consequences will be endless. This section discusses the basic guidelines of conversation, which should not be taken lightly.

總之,人不得閒時,再拿別的事來找他,無異是槓上加擔,這會「失人」;別人不安寧時,再拿別的話來煩他,不啻雪上加霜,這是「失言」。至於談話的內容,總以「長話短說,閒話少說」而為旨歸,務必隱惡揚善;否則會傷害他人,既失言又失人,甚至惹禍上身,更禍延家國。

In general, to approach a person who is busy with other matters is like adding more weight to the load on his shoulders; that would be a poor way of dealing with people. To disturb someone who is distressed with unnecessary chatter is like “adding frost to snow”-that would be making a mistake in speech. As to the content of what is said, we should make a point of being concise and to the point and of avoiding unnecessary idle talk. We should definitely expose others , good points and not talk about their shortcomings; otherwise, we will certainly hurt others, which would be a double mistake in speech and human relations. We would then be in trouble ourselves, and also cause trouble for our family and our country.

仁者宅心仁厚,不忍傷人煩人,所以通常寡言;智者觀察入微,不會失人失言,所以通常慎言。寡言不會招來是非,慎言不會招來仇怨;能這樣注意自己的口舌,言語方面可能招來的過失和禍患,也就微乎其微了!
 

Human people are always kind and magnanimous; they cannot bear to hurt or annoy others. Therefore, they usually speak very little. Wise people have a penetrating understanding of things and do not make poor judgments in dealing with people or talking to them; they are always careful in their speech. By speaking little, one avoids gossip. By speaking with caution, one avoids causing resentment. If one is able to watch one’s words in this way, one will hardly make any mistakes or suffer any calamities on account of one’s speech.

孔子說﹕「言寡尤,行寡悔,雖蠻貊之邦行矣!」這就是說﹕能言語忠信,行事篤敬,就可以暢行天下而無阻了!人生在世有什麼比這更自由,更自在的呢?一般人錯解自由,以為想說什麼就說什麼,愛做什麼就做什麼,這就是自由;不知這種胡言亂語,橫行無忌的假自由,會破壞多少人的自由,也會令自己在禍患後,永遠失去自由。
 

Confucius said, “When there is little to blame in one’s words and little to regret in one’s actions, one will travel at ease even in barbaric lands!” In other words, if one’s speech is trustworthy and one’s actions are sincere, one will be able to travel freely throughout the world! In this world, what greater freedom is there? Most people have a mistaken idea that freedom means being able to say and do whatever they feel like. By indulging in the false freedom of speaking and acting recklessly, they intrude upon the freedom of countless others and permanently lose their own freedom when the calamitous consequences of their careless behavior befall upon them.

前面幾章說過﹕「話說多,不如少;惟其是,勿佞巧。」《朱子治家格言》裏也告誡我們﹕「人有喜慶,不可生妒忌心;人有禍患,不可生喜幸心。」事不關己,固然沒有必要嚼舌;人縱有過惡,還是多多包涵為妙。
 

Some lines in a preceding pas- sage of text said: To talk just a little is better than to chatter non-stop all day long. Talk only about what you’re sure of; don’t use cunning or flowery words. Mr. Chu’s Rules for Managing the Household warns us: “When others have cause to rejoice, we must not be jealous. When others suffer disasters, we must not feel glad.” If a matter does not concern us, there is no need to comment on it. Even if people have their bad sides, we should try to be tolerant.

周武王滅殷之後,便謙虛恭敬地去拜訪殷朝的遺老 ,請教他們殷所以滅亡的原因;長者就約他次日某時某地見面再相告。第二天,周武王偕了周公一同去,過時好久了,長者仍未出現。周公明白了,就對武王讚歎說﹕「這位長老真是個賢者啊!他過去的國君雖惡,還不忍心說他的惡;就只用自己約而失信的行動,來暗示我們﹕殷所以滅亡,就因為失信。」
 

After King Wu of the state of Zhou defeated the tyrant emperor Yin, he humbly went to pay his respects to the emperor’s old minister and inquired as to the reason for the emperor’s demise. The elder told him to come back the following day to meet him at a certain time and place. The next day, King Wu and the Duke of Zhou went together. The appointed time passed and they kept waiting for a long time, but the elder did not show up. The Duke of Zhou understood and said to King Wu in praise, “This elder is truly worthy! Although his former ruler was evil, he could not bear to speak about his faults. He could only hint to us, through breaking his own promise, that it was Yin’s untrustworthiness that brought his demise.”

蘇格拉底是古希臘的一位大哲學家,因為他的意見跟當時的人很不相同,所以有很多人不喜歡他。有一天,他正和一位老朋友在雅典城裏散步,忽然有個陌生的年輕人自背後偷襲他,打了他一棍就跑。他的朋友看他受傷不太重,立刻要去追那個年輕人,找他算賬;但是蘇格拉底卻一把拉住他的朋友,像沒發生什麼事似地繼續散步。老朋友奇怪地問﹕「難道你怕事嗎?」蘇格拉底說﹕「一點也不!」老朋友又問﹕「那為什麼人家打你,你也不還手呢?」蘇格拉底笑了笑說﹕「老朋友!你也糊塗了!難道一隻驢子踢了你一腳,你也一定還牠一腳嗎?」
 

Socrates was a great philosopher in ancient Greece. His views differed widely from those of the populace, and for that reason many people disliked him. One day, as he was strolling through Athens with a friend, a young man whom he did not know suddenly picked his pockets, hit him with a stick, and then fled. His friend, seeing that Socrates was not too badly hurt, was about to chase after the young man to even the score. However, Socrates grabbed his friend and continued walking as if nothing had happened. His friend asked him in surprise, “Don’t tell me you’re afraid of trouble!” “No, not at all,” said Socrates. “Then why didn’t you want to get back at the man who hit you?” Socrates smiled and said, “My old friend! Your brain has become addled! If a donkey kicked you, would you kick it back?”

由上面這兩個故事看來,殷朝的遺老不願說故主的過惡,是仁;蘇格拉底不願和惡人計較,是智。我們縱使不是自然而行之的仁者;能不學做個利仁勉行的智者嗎?
 

In these two anecdotes, the refusal of the minister of the emperor of Yin to speak of the former emperor’s faults showed their humaneness; Socrates’ refusal to quarrel with a bad person showed his wisdom. Although we may not be humane by nature, how can we not be wise ones who strive to be humane?

道 人 善 , 即 是 善

dao ren shan
 

ji shi shan

說 別人 長處、好行為
 

就 是 好行為

to tell about others strengths
 

just that is good

能稱道別人的長處,這就是自已的長處。
Praising the good points of others is itself a good point.

人 知 之 , 愈 思 勉

ren zhi zhi

yu si mian

別人 知道 它(這件事)

更加 想 勉勵

others to know it
 

further, more to think to urge on

別人知道了,會更想勉勵向上。
If people hear they have been praised, they will want to improve even more.

揚 人 短 , 即 是 惡

yang ren duan
 

ji shi e

宣揚 別人的 缺點、過錯
 

就 是 罪惡

to spread word others shortcomings
 

just that is evil

若宣揚別人的缺點,那就是自已的罪惡。
There never is anything good in talking of others’ shortcomings.

疾 之 甚 , 禍 且 作

ji zhi shen

huo qie zuo

怨恨 它(這件事) 過分地、極度地

災禍 將 發生

to hate it much, deeply
 

disaster is going to to happen

當別人知道而怨恨我們到了極點,災禍就將要發生了。
If they find out, they will surely hate it and there will be nothing but trouble.

俗話說﹕「寬水養魚終究好,莫因愛惡起風波。」一般世俗的「愛」,都是愛之深、責之切;因為這種執著,往往為一樁小事糾葛就反目成仇。情深,恨更深,所以基本上,人寬厚澹泊一些的好。所謂「愛人者,人恆愛之;敬人者,人恆敬之。」我們若恭敬讚歎別人,不和人計較,別人一高興會更加自愛自勵;就算他們沒有讚歎我們,已是於人有益,又於我何損?
 

There’s a saying, “It is always good to raise fish in a large pond; never stir up waves because of your own likes or dislikes.” With worldly love, it is generally the case that the deeper you love some- one, the more demanding and critical you are of that person. Due to this kind of attachment, people often get into fights with those they love and turn into enemies. If the love was deep, the hatred is even deeper. Therefore, it is a good idea to take a more tolerant and detached attitude towards people. As it is said, “those who cherish others will always be cherished. Those who respect others will always be respected.” If we make a point of being respectful and praising others instead of arguing with them, when others are happy it will only make us cherish ourselves and urge ourselves on. Even if we are not praised for such behavior, others have benefited from it and we have not lost anything by it.

經常聽到有人因吃了虧而忿忿不平,不是苦心積慮想找回公道,就是不爭回顏面利益誓不罷休。因此,委曲、哀怨、仇恨填滿胸臆,每天吃不香,睡不穩,心眼兒只局限在那小小的死結上。其實,吃不吃虧都是自己想的;若不計算就不會感覺吃虧,日日是個好日。若會計算,就容易感覺吃了虧;吃了虧又繼續煩惱,豈不是「賠了夫人又折兵?」最不上算了!為什麼會計算的,卻總計算不到這上頭?
 

We often hear of people who, because they took a loss, are furious and determined to gain revenge. They won’t rest until they have snatched back their own honor and benefit. Filled with grief and resentment at being wronged, they have no appetite and cannot sleep. Their mind becomes limited to a mean and narrow vision of things. Actually, whether or not you have taken a loss is a matter of how you look at it. If you don’t calculate for yourself, you won’t feel that you have taken a loss, and every day is a good day. If you calculate and scheme, it’s easy to feel as if you’ve taken a loss and so you get afflicted. Isn’t that a case of taking a double loss? It’s not worth it at all! Why don’t you ever take this into account in your calculations?

再進一步說﹕為人隱惡揚善,是忠厚的美德;太過剛正、嫉惡如仇,就不是美德了。嫉惡如仇只能算是「俠」,並非「義」(宜),更談不上是「仁」。
 

Further, it is the virtue of tolerance and loyalty to be able to overlook people’s faults and praise their good points. It is not a virtue to be overly righteous and hate evil people with a passion. Such a mentality can only be called chivalry; it cannot be considered righteousness and even less is it humaneness.

中國「春秋五霸」的秦穆公和楚莊王,都是泱泱大度、不揭人短的仁君。這兒有兩個膾炙人口的小故事,足見他們之能稱霸一時絕非倖致,完全是因為他們的一念之仁而得人心之故。

During the Spring and Autumn Era of the five feudal lords, Lord Mu of Qin and Lord Zhuang of Chu were both humane and tolerant rulers who did not talk about others’ shortcomings. Here are two popular anecdotes which show that it was not by luck that they were able to rule. They won people over with their humaneness.

秦穆公有一匹心愛的馬,在山野的圍獵中走失了,便派人滿山遍野地去找。一團騎兵發現煙火便循香找去,看見有一群人生著火在烤馬肉吃,就怒叫道﹕「你們這些野人,好大的膽子!竟敢偷走君王的愛馬宰了吃!」便把這一批吃馬肉的人都押到穆公面前。
 

Lord Mu of Qin had a beloved horse. When this horse disappeared during a hunting expedition, Lord Mu sent scouts all over the mountain to search for it. One party of mounted soldiers party detected smoke and tracked the smell to its source, where they saw a group of people roasting horsemeat over a fire. The soldiers angrily yelled, “You savages have all the gall! How could you steal the King’s beloved horse and slaughter it to eat?” They took those people before Lord Mu.

穆公看著最鍾愛的馬已死,固然心疼;但愛馬的命既已無可挽回,又何必徒然殺死這許多人命呢?於是叫人抬來一缸美酒,並說﹕「我聽說吃了寶馬的肉如不用好酒佐食,腸胃會撐不住。你們快快把酒喝了!」就率兵回城。

Although Lord Mu was saddened to learn of the death of his favorite horse, since there was no way to bring it back to life, he did not see any need to take the lives of all those people. Instead, he sent people to fetch an urn of fine wine and said, “I’ve heard that if one does not accompany fine horsemeat with fine wine, the stomach will not be able to take it. So all of you, please drink up!” Then he led his troops back to the city.

過了幾年秦晉交戰,秦國因為輕敵而大敗,穆公逃到一處山坳間,情況十分危急;忽然一陣巨雷似的響聲,一隊人自山坡滾著大石直衝到敵軍前,奮勇嘶殺把晉兵打得落荒而逃。穆公慚愧地下馬致謝﹕「寡人不曾恩及全國百姓,是何褔德竟蒙冒死相救!」領頭的人也急忙率眾跪下說﹕「大王!我們就是那群吃馬肉的人啊!」
 

Several years later when the state of Qin went to war with the state of Jin, Qin underestimated the enemy and was badly defeated. Lord Mu and his men were driven into a gorge and caught in a precarious situation. Suddenly they heard what sounded like a roll of thunder, and a band of men came rolling huge boulders down the slope, right onto the enemy troops, which they then proceeded to attack and kill. The troops of Jin dispersed and fled for their lives. Lord Mu dismounted in shame and went to thank the men, “I have not treated my people very well. What blessing do I have that makes you risk your lives to rescue us?” The leader motioned for his group to kneel down, and then he said, “Great King! We are the people who ate the horsemeat!”

楚莊王有一回宴請將相大臣,不但把上好的陳年醇酒取出招待,更叫後宮美女輪流敬酒。在昏暗的燈光下,君臣喝得酒酣耳熱,談笑不斷;忽然,他最寵愛的一個妃子悄悄挨近說﹕「大王!方才賤妾敬酒時,有個人趁機對我不規矩,賤妾巳偷偷把他的帽帶子摘斷。您只要把燈點亮,察看有誰的帽帶子斷了,就知道不守規矩的人是誰了!」
 

Lord Zhuang of the state of Chu once invited all the generals, ministers, and officials to a banquet, where he brought out his best aged wine and had his royal concubines take turns serving it. In the evening lamplight, when the officials were inebriated and deep in conversation, his favorite concubine quietly approached him and said, “Your Highness, just now when I was serving wine, one of the men acted improperly towards me. I stealthily snapped his hat strap. If you light up the lamps and take a look, you will know which man it was.”

楚莊王一聽,馬上說﹕「賜人飲酒弄到他酒醉失禮,這是寡人的過失。寡人怎能再用後宮女子的小節去玷污了廟堂大臣的大行呢?」於是下令搬來更多美酒,並把燈火全部吹熄,說﹕「今天我們君臣痛飲,不醉不歸!誰若不喝到帽帶子都捻斷了就不算盡歡盡興!」天明時,一堂醉得東倒西歪的大臣已沒有一個還有帽帶子的了。
 

Lord Zhuang said, “If I give a man wine and make him so drunk that he loses his manners, that is my own fault. How can I defile this great gathering of court officials with the petty ways of a concubine?” Thereupon he ordered more fine wine to be brought out, snuffed out the lamps, and said, “Tonight we, the Lord and his men, must drink until we are thoroughly drunk! Anyone who fails to drink to the point of snapping his hat strap will not have celebrated to the utmost.” By the next morning, the great officials were all dead drunk, and none of them had their hat strap.

後來在一次出使外國的談判中,有一位大臣拼命捍衛楚莊王,又以和對方君王同死做要挾,終使對方君王簽下了和約。任務順利完成,君臣一行也得以安全歸國。途中,楚莊王不解地問那個大臣﹕「寡人似乎不曾特殊地加榮寵於你,你為何這麼樣地拼命保衛我呢?」
 

Later on, while serving as an ambassador in another state, one official did all he could to protect the Lord Zhuang of Chu and even threatened that he would die with the lord of the other state. Finally that lord signed a treaty. After completing his task, Lord Zhuang and his official returned to their own state. On the way, the Lord asked the official, “1 don’t remember having shown you any special favor. Why were you so determined to protect me?”
 

那個大臣回答說﹕「臣就是那個被美人摘斷帽帶子的人!」反過來說,若是喜好幸災樂禍、揭揚人短,不管是有意無心,又會招致怎樣的報應呢?
 

The official smiled and said, “1 was the one whose hat strap was snapped by your concubine.” On the other hand, if you rejoice in other people’s misfortunes and make known their shortcomings, whether deliberately or not, what kind of retribution will you receive?

春秋時代的齊國是大國。一回齊國有大慶典,許多國家都派使者來朝覲;因為場面盛大齊頃公的母親也出來在城門上觀看。當她看到晉、魯、衛、曹四國使者一起出現時,忍不住指著他們大笑起來。為什麼呢?因為很湊巧晉國使者是個瞎子,魯國使者是個禿子,衛國使者是個跛子,曹國使者是個駝子。這四個使者被如此嘲笑都十分羞忿,回國後各自報告受辱經過。晉、魯、衛、曹四國便聯合起來圍攻齊國,把齊兵打得落花流水,災情慘重。這就是「揚人短」所惹出的災禍。
 

During the Spring and Autumn Period, the State of Qi was a large country. Once when it held a large ceremony, many other states sent ambassadors to attend. Because it was a splendid occasion, the mother of the Lord Qin of Qi came out to watch from the city gate. When she saw the ambassadors of Jin, Lu, Wei, Cao appear, she could not help but burst into laughter. Why? Because, by a strange coincidence, the ambassador of Jin was blind, the ambassador of Lu was bald, the ambassador of Wei was lame, and the ambassador of Cao was a hunchback. Embarrassed and furious at being mocked, these four ambassadors returned to their states and reported how they had been insulted. The four states of Jin, Lu, Wei, and Cao then joined together and attacked the state of Qi, defeating the Qi troops so badly that they were reduced to wretched misery . That was a disaster caused by making fun of others’ shortcomings.

善 相 勸 , 德 皆 建

shan xiang quan
 

de jie jian

好事 互相 規勸、勉勵
 

品德 都 建立

good one other to urge on
 

virtue all to establish

朋友之間,互相勸勉向上,那麼彼此的品德,都會增進建立。
If we urge one another toward goodness, then we all will develop our virtue.

過 不 規 , 道 兩 虧

guo bu gui

dao liang kui

過錯 不 規勸

道德 兩人 虧損

faults not to remonstrate
 

morality both to lose

朋友有過,卻不加以規勸,對於彼此的道行,都是一種虧損。
If we fail to correct one another’s faults, hen we all will be deficient in morality.

凡 取 與 , 貴 分 曉

fan qu yu
 

gui fen xiao

凡是 取得 給與
 

注重 弄分明 搞清楚

whatever to get to give
 

to emphasize to be distinct to be clear

無論是收取或給與任何財物,最重要的是交待得清楚明白。
It is important to be clear and distinct on what you give to and take from others.

與 宜 多 , 取 宜 少

yu yi duo

qu yi shao

給與 應該 多

取得 應該 少

to give should, ought to more
 

to take should, ought to less

付出的應當多一些,取得的最好少一點。
When giving you should be generous; when taking you should take a little less.

朋友之間的維繫,不是只靠感情成就,還得有「義」存乎其間;若單靠感情,這樣的交往只能濃郁一時,卻不會芬芳久長。朋友是這樣,古代的君臣或現時社會的雇主員工關係也是這樣;甚至夫婦之間,還是一樣要以義相合,才能維繫得長久而和諧。所謂「君子之交淡如水,小人之交甜如蜜」;誰能天天吃蜜糖而不膩呢?水雖淡而無味,卻不可一日或缺。
 

Friendship is based on more than affection; a sense of duty should also exist between friends. A friendship based solely on affection will be strong only for a while; the good feelings will not last long. Not only is this true of friendships, it also applies to the relationship between kings and officials of old and between managers and workers of modern society. Even between husband and wife, there must be a sense of duty to make the relationship long-lasting and harmonious. There is a saying: The relationship between superior people is as plain as water. The relationship between petty people is as sweet as honey. Who could eat honey day after day and not get tired of it? Water is plain and flavorless, yet we cannot go without it for a single day.
 

既然以上這些人倫關係都得靠「義」來維繫,而義者,宜也;什麼又是最適宜的呢?那就是要互相勸善規過。我們若是一味愛護,有過不規,就是自己虧了義氣;更糟的,對方還可能因了我們的縱容、姑息,而一錯再錯,終至身敗名裂,那這又該是誰的過錯呢?
 

All of the above relationships are based on duty, and “duty” is defined as what is appropriate. What is the most appropriate way to act? It is to urge one another toward goodness and correct one another’s faults. If we merely love and protect our friends but fail to exhort them to change their faults, we will have been lacking in integrity .Even worse, due to our leniency our friends may make one mistake after another until they are totally ruined. Who is then at fault?

有位十分寵愛兒子的母親,兒子小時偶爾打架偷東西,她都護短,說﹕「孩子還小,不懂事!再說又不是什麼大不了的錯!」就一味姑息。兒子越大,偷得越多越厲害,母親想管也管不了了,只好由著他,甚至還幫他掩飾,終至兒子犯下滔天重罪被處死刑。臨刑,孩子要求母親再餵他口奶;結果他狠狠地咬下母親的乳頭,母親痛得差點沒昏過去。死刑犯也哭了,對母親說﹕「妳若早知道痛,在我小時就管教我;我哪會墮落到這地步呢?妳是用妳的愛害了我啊 !」
 

Once there was a mother who adored and spoiled her son. When he was little, he would sometimes fight or steal, but she would defend him, saying, “He’s still young and doesn’t understand anything. Anyhow, he hasn’t committed any serious wrongdoing.” She was always lenient with him. The older he grew, the more he stole and the craftier he became. Eventually the mother had no way to discipline him. She could only let him do as he pleased; she even helped cover up for him. Finally the son committed a major crime and was sentenced to death. Before his execution, he requested his mother to feed him her breast milk. When his request was granted, he fiercely bit off his mother’s nipple. She nearly fainted from the pain. The criminal also wept and said to his mother, “If only you could have felt the pain earlier and disciplined me when I was little, would I have ended up like this? Your love has ruined me!”

相反的,我們若能恪盡言責,不但守住義理,對方也因此道德增上,那真是雙方的褔氣!所以,能規勸人,固然是有才有德;能接受規勸,更是有德有量。
 

Conversely, if we speak when we are supposed to, not only do we maintain our integrity, we cause others to develop their morality, resulting in blessings for both sides. If we are able to exhort and remonstrate with others, we have both talent and virtue. If we can accept others’ remonstrance, we are both virtuous and tolerant.

漢朝中興之主光武帝,便是有德有量的君主。有一回光武帝出郊打獵,獵得高興了,竟忘了時間已晚;車騎回到東城門口時,已是半夜了。鎮守東門的郅惲就是不開門;而且,第二天早朝時,郅惲更直言指責皇帝有二過;知法犯法是其一,畋獵無度是其二。光武帝畢竟是個英明有為的君主,非但沒生氣,還當眾認錯,又賞賜郅惲一百疋布,以嘉獎他的盡職。
 

Emperor Guangwu, whose reign was in the middle of the Han Dynasty, was an example of virtue and tolerance. Once the emperor went out hunting and was so engrossed in the pleasure of the hunt that he did not notice the time. When his carriage reached the east gate of the city, it was already midnight. The guard refused to open the gate. The following morning, the guard bluntly admonished the emperor for two faults: first, knowing the rule and breaking it; second, hunting without restraint. Emperor Guangwu, being a wise and great ruler, did not get angry, but openly acknowledged his mistakes and presented the guard with a hundred bolts of cloth to reward him for his dutifulness.

前面也曾提到過,唐代最英明有為的皇帝太宗,也有個最直言敢諫的魏徵;太宗對魏徵擇善固執的精神十分欣賞,魏徵也相當欽佩唐太宗的器量,因此只要唐太宗的言語行為有任何不當,魏徵必定直言進諫,唐太宗也都能虛心接受。
 

Earlier we mentioned the greatest and most talented emperor of the Tang Dynasty, Taizong, and his minister Weizheng, who was known for his frankness and courage to criticize. Emperor Taizong appreciated Weizheng’s faithful adherence to goodness, and Weizheng admired Emperor Taizong’s magnanimous character. Therefore, whenever the emperor’s words or behavior were the slightest bit inappropriate, Weizheng would speak up right away and the emperor would humbly accept his remonstrances.

此外,太宗還有位長孫皇后,更是唐太宗的賢內助。有一回唐太宗得到一隻名貴的小鷹,十分喜愛,便拿在手上把玩著,並訓練小鷹一些技能。正玩在興頭上,外面通報魏徵覲見。唐太宗心想﹕真是煩!什麼時候不好來,就偏揀在這時辰?待會兒讓這老頭子見了,一定又要囉嗦個半天,講什麼「玩物喪志」的大道理。於是把小鷹藏在衣袖裏,準備早點兒打發魏徵走。
 

Emperor Taizong had an empress, Chang Sun, who was also a worthy helper to him. One time the emperor obtained a precious young falcon. He adored the bird and held it in his hands and played with it, trying to teach it some tricks. Right then, word came that Weizheng was requesting to see him. The emperor thought, “What a bother! He always comes at the most inconvenient time! Once the old man sees the bird, he’ll go on and on about how trifling with amusements is a waste of energy.” Thereupon the emperor hid the young falcon inside his sleeve, thinking to quickly send Weizheng off on some pretext.
 

不料魏徵眼尖,早就看到唐太宗的動作,因此故意大事小事談了一件又一件,說個沒完;唐太宗心裏發急,又不能不應付他。等到魏徵終於告退,唐太宗才噓了口氣;一看,小鷹已悶死了。唐太宗雖然懊惱,卻不敢怪罪魏徵,因為他太想做好一個能納諫的賢君,只好不再玩小鳥了。
 

He didn’t realize that Weizheng’s sharp eyes had noticed his movement, and that the official deliberately brought up large and small matters one after another. It seemed that he would never finish. Taizong was getting anxious, but he could not refuse to listen. When Weizheng finally took his leave, Taizong let out a sigh of relief. However, the little falcon had already died of suffocation. Although Taizong was regretful, he dared not blame Weizheng because he wanted so badly to be a worthy ruler who could accept criticism. In the end, he had to give up the hobby of raising young birds.

又有一次,長樂公主出嫁,唐太宗最疼這個長孫皇后親生的女兒;因此命令備禮要隆重,嫁粧多過另一位不是皇后親生的永樂公主。魏徵又說話了﹕「疼愛之情雖有差別,同是公主的身份卻是一樣的,不可以失了禮制。」唐太宗只好聽從。回宮後告訴皇后,不料皇后不但沒感覺失望,反而讚歎說﹕「以前陛下敬重魏徵,妾未知其故;現在聽了這番勸諫,才知道魏徵真不愧是國家的重臣!」
 

Another time when Princess Chang Le, Emperor Taizong’s most beloved daughter of Empress Chang Sun, was to get married. The emperor ordered especially elaborate gifts and ceremonies. In fact, her dowry surpassed that of Princess Yong Le, who was not the Empress’ own daughter. As usual, Weizheng had something to say: ” Although your affections differ, they are of equal rank as princesses and you should not ignore the rules of etiquette.” Taizong had no choice but to listen. When he returned to the palace and told the empress, to his surprise she was not disappointed, but rather praised the minister, saying, “In the past I did not understand why Your Majesty respected Weizheng so highly, but after hearing his exhortation, I realize that Weizheng is truly worthy of being an important official of the country .”
 

又一次,唐太宗終於受不了魏徵不留情面的勸諫,下朝回宮仍怒不可遏,便說﹕「朕非殺了那個鄉下老頭子不可!」長孫皇后忙問﹕「誰啊?」唐太宗又氣又委屈地說﹕「還有誰!就是那頑固的老傢伙魏徵啊!每次在朝廷當面侮辱我,我皇帝的尊嚴擺哪兒啊?」長孫皇后默然退下,換上了大禮服,恭敬地站在庭階上;皇帝十分不解,皇后就說﹕「妾聽說君主如果聖明,臣子自然正直。今天魏徵這樣正直,全是因為陛下聖明之故,怎麼可以不道賀呢?」高帽子一戴,唐太宗哈哈大笑,自然心開意解了。
 

Another time, Taizong had had it with Weizheng’s merciless admonishments. He left the court and returned to his palace quarters in fury, saying, “I’ve got to take that old country bumpkin’s life, and that’s that!” Empress Chang Sun asked in haste, “Who are you talking about?” The emperor, with anger and indignation, replied, “Who else? That stubborn old fellow Weizheng! He always insults me to my face in court. Where has my dignity as the Emperor gone?” The empress silently withdrew, changed into formal ceremonial dress, and stood respectfully on the courtyard steps. The emperor was totally puzzled. The empress said, “I’ve heard that if the emperor is noble and wise, his ministers will naturally be forthright. Today Weizheng was so frank all because Your Majesty is noble and wise. How could I not offer congratulations?” Once he heard the praise, Taizong laughed and understood.

長孫皇后運用智慧,不但保住丈夫的顏面,更保全了魏徵的老命,使他還有機會繼續直言強諫。所以內能有賢后婉勸,外能納賢臣直諫,這應是唐太宗所以能成為一代明君的原因。明君、德后、賢臣,都流芳青史,相得益彰,豈不印證了「善相勸,德皆建」嗎?
 

With her wisdom, the empress not only saved face for her husband, but more importantly, saved old Weizheng’s life, allowing him to continue to exhort the emperor . The reason Taizong was such an eminent emperor was that he had a worthy empress who offered gentle advice, and he could listen to his worthy minister’s straightforward exhortations. This wise emperor, virtuous empress, and worthy minister shall all be remembered in history as complementing one another. Is this not proof of the verse, “If we urge one another toward goodness, then we will all develop our virtue”?

將 加 人 , 先 問 己

jiang jia ren
 

xian wen ji

打算要 放在上面 別人
 

首先 詢問 自己

be about to to add on others
 

first to ask myself

任何事情想要加到別人身上時,先問問自己是否能承受?
Before we treat others a certain way, first we should question ourselves:

己 不 欲 , 即 速 已

ji bu yu

ji su yi

自己 不 希望、想要

就 迅速 停止

self do not want
 

then quickly to stop

如果是自已也不願承受的,那就要趕快打消這念頭。
Would I want to be treated that way? If not, then do not do it to others.

恩 欲 報 , 怨 欲 忘

en yu bao
 

yuan yu wang

恩德 必須 報答
 

仇怨 必須 忘記

kindness must to repay
 

grudges, resentment must to forget

別人的恩惠要報答;別人的仇怨要忘懷。
Never fail to return others kindness, but do not be one who holds grudges.

報 怨 短 , 報 恩 長

bao yuan duan

bao en chang

回報 仇怨 減少

回報 恩德 增長

to repay grudges to shorten
 

to repay kindness to extend

對他人仇怨的報復,要儘速切斷;對他人恩惠的報答,要綿延久長。
Let grudges be quickly forgotten, let kindness be cherished forever.

從前曾子用一貫之理,總括他老師孔子的學說教化,說是﹕「夫子之道,忠恕而已矣!」只是「忠」和「恕」兩個字,就包括一切待人處事的道理了?好像太簡單了!可是這卻是「三歲小兒道得,九十老翁行不得」的日常戒律。那麼什麼是忠恕?「盡己之謂忠;己所不欲,勿施於人之謂恕」。
 

Zeng Zi once summarized the doctrines of his teacher Confucius by saying, “The Master’s teaching does not go beyond loyalty and reciprocity .” How could loyalty and reciprocity encompass all the principles of dealing with people and handling affairs? It seems too simple! Actually, this is a common truth which a three-year-old child knows, but a ninety-year-old man finds difficult to practice. How do we define loyalty and reciprocity? Loyalty means doing your best. Reciprocity means not doing to others what you wouldn’t want done to yourself.

怎樣才是盡己?我們且用造字的原則來分析。忠,是「中」、「心」二字合起來的;凡事處中,不偏不倚,無黨無私,這就是忠。做任何事既不偏任何一方,也不私己,就是「盡己」–盡自己做人的本份。」
 

What does it mean to do your best? Let us look at the structure of the characters. “Loyalty” is composed of the characters for “middle” and “heart/center.” To stay in the middle in what we do, without being biased or partial, is loyalty .If we do not favor any side, including our own, then we are doing our best to fulfill our basic human duties.

恕呢?是「如」、「心」二字合起來的;常常為人設想,愛人如己,存著「人溺己溺,人饑己饑」的心腸。恕道雖是儒家提出來的,但是對恕道的實踐,卻以佛家最為廣大徹底。佛家不但是要平等待一切人,更進一步要平等待一切眾生;不但「己所不欲,勿施於人」,更進一步要「眾生所不欲,為眾生除之;眾生之所欲,必施於生」。這就是「無緣大慈,同體大悲」,對一切眾生所厭惡的疾苦,皆感同身受,一律平等為其拔除;對一切眾生所企盼的喜樂,不分緣深緣淺,一律平等愛護給予。我們若願為眾生拔一切苦,予一切樂,便是生起求智慧的心,能夠覺今是而昨非了,這叫發菩提心。
 

The character for “reciprocity” is composed of the characters for “like/as” and “mind/heart.” It means to always think on behalf of others, love others as oneself, and maintain the attitude that, “When others are drowning, it is as if I am drowning; when others are starving, it is as if I am starving.” Although reciprocity is a Confucian concept, it is fully realized only in Buddhism. Buddhism teaches us not only to regard all people as equal, but to regard all living beings as equal. Not only must we refrain from doing to others what we wouldn’t want done to ourselves, we must do whatever we can to give living beings what they want. This is “great kindness for those with whom we have no affinities, and great compassion of being one with all.” When we see living beings undergoing suffering which they loathe, we feel as if we are suffering with them, and we try to alleviate their suffering in an egalitarian manner. Regardless of how close to or far from living beings we are we bestow upon them equally the things that bring happiness. When we resolve to eliminate the sufferings of living beings and give them every sort of joy, we are in effect resolving to seek wisdom, acknowledging our past mistakes and starting anew. We are making the aspiration for Bodhi.

「菩提」就是梵語「覺悟、智慧」之意,這是菩薩的發心,種的是佛菩薩的聖因,可以說已經是個因地的菩薩;再要成為果地的菩薩,那就必須從發這個菩提心的當下,每日每時每分都不要忘失了這個菩提心;每日每時每分都腳踏實地去做這種菩提行。
 

(Bodhi is a Sanskrit word meaning enlightenment or wisdom.) This is the aspiration of a Bodhisattva, and it plants the holy cause for Buddha- and Bodhisattvahood. We could be considered Bodhisattvas in the causal stage. To become Bodhisattvas in the stage of fruition, we must never for a moment forget our Bodhi resolve, and we must at all times practice the Bodhisattva conduct in a down-to-earth manner .

人生世間,就有了接觸;有了接觸,就產生取與;在取、與之間又不免愛惡糾葛;有愛惡糾葛,於是乎恩恩怨怨纏繞,結果是苦苦惱惱不休:這都是源於智慧泯沒不覺之故。要想放得下種種恩怨的情緣,先要提得起。
 

Once we are born into the world, we come into contact with others, and giving and taking naturally take place. In the process, there are inevitable feelings of like and dislike. People get entangled in the bonds of love and hate, and there is endless affliction and suffering. This is because wisdom has been buried and cannot manifest. If we wish to renounce the conditions of love and hate, we must first be able to accept things.

中國五代梁朝時,有個和尚契此。他不但長得高大,耳也大,肚皮更是大,成天就揹個大布袋笑嘻嘻地到處走,到處化緣,所以人都喚他「布袋和尚」,久了也就忘了他的原名。人給他什麼吃的、穿的、用的,無論好壞精粗,他一律裝進布袋裏。那布袋說也奇怪,從不會多得裝不下或少得裝不滿,總是不大不小,不脹不癟,就那一個樣兒。
 

During the Liang Dynasty (of the Five Dynasties Era in China), there was a monk named Qi Ci who was tall and had big ears and an even bigger belly. All day long he went around carrying a big cloth bag and wearing a big grin on his face, collecting donations. Everyone called him the Cloth Bag Monk, and after a while his real name was forgotten. If people gave him food, clothing, or articles, regardless of whether they were good or poor quality, he would put them in his bag. Strangely enough, the bag was never too full and never less than full; it was neither big nor small, neither fat nor thin-it stayed the same.

人家問他﹕「咦?布袋和尚!你的布袋是什麼寶貝,為什麼裝不滿呢?」布袋和尚笑嘻嘻地說﹕「喔!這袋子像人心一樣,永遠也不會滿足,所以也就填不滿了!」有一天,他遇著保福和尚,就向保福和尚化一文錢;保福和尚想試試他,便說﹕「你能說得出什麼,我就給。」
 

People asked him, “Hey, Cloth Bag Monk, what treasures have you got in your bag? How come it never gets full?” With a smile the Cloth Bag Monk would reply, “This bag is like people’s minds, which are never satisfied. It can never be filled.” One day, he met the Venerable Baofu and asked for a donation of one cent. The Venerable Baofu decided to test him and asked, “If you can give a good answer, I’ll give it to you.”

布袋和尚笑嘻嘻地把布袋放下,叉手而立。保福和尚便問﹕「如何是眾生?」布袋和尚笑嘻嘻地把布袋提起。保福和尚又問﹕「如何是佛法意?」布袋和尚又笑嘻嘻把布袋放下。保福和尚就知道他是個真悟道的高僧了!
 

The Cloth Bag Monk smiled, set his bag down, and stood there with his hands on his hips. The Venerable Baofu asked, “How would you describe living beings?” The Cloth Bag Monk smiled and picked up his bag. “What is the essential meaning of the Buddhadharma?” asked the Venerable Baofu. The Cloth Bag Monk smiled and set his bag down again. Then Venerable Baofu knew that he was a highly qualified Sanghan who had enlightened to the Way .

果然在布袋和尚圓寂後,人才從他留在破牆上的偈語,明白他原來是將來降生人間成佛的彌勒菩薩。布袋和尚以身說法,告示我們這世間的種種,我們要先提得起,容受得下;若是提不起,受不了,也就放不下,又怎能奢言出離,漫談入道成佛?
 

After the Cloth Bag Monk passed into stillness, people discovered from a verse on a broken-down wall that he was Maitreya Bodhisattva, who will be the next to achieve Buddhahood in this world. The Cloth Bag Monk taught Dharma through his actions. He was telling us that we first have to be able to take all the things of this world; if we cannot take them, we will not be able to renounce them-then how could we talk about transcending the world, entering the Way, and becoming a Buddha?

那麼,怎樣才是提得起呢?就是要好好地做人!佛菩薩都是人成的,人都做不好,又怎能成佛?所謂「世事通曉皆學問;人情練達是文章。」做人圓融了,做事也就無礙了,又何愁修行不成?反之,若頂著修行的護身符,盡做些不通情理的事情,讓別人不斷起煩惱,那麼別人不退失菩提心都算幸運了,還能發菩提心嗎?
 

What does it mean to be able to take things? It means to do a good job of fulfilling one’s human obligations. Buddhas and Bodhisattvas all started out as people. If we aren’t able to fulfill our human obligations, how can we attain Buddhahood? There is a saying, “The understanding of worldly affairs is genuine knowledge. The skill of developing good human relations is comparable to that of writing an essay .” Once we perfect ourselves as people, we will have no hindrance in whatever we do. Then how could we not succeed in cultivation? On the other hand, if we say we’re cultivating, but do a lot of unreasonable things that make others afflicted, we would be fortunate if people didn’t retreat from their Bodhi resolve-how could we encourage people to bring forth the resolve?

所以菩薩是入世修行出世果,先把人情提起,再把恩怨了斷。不要三級跳,未學行就想飛;入世的福德尚未栽,就想攀出世的覺果?栽培入世的褔德就要行仁;仁者人也,也就是忠恕存心,好好做人;做人,第一要知取予,明恩怨。
 

Therefore, Bodhisattvas cultivate in the world and attain a transcendental fruition. First they work on human relations, and then they cut off ties of love and enmity .We shouldn’t try to skip stages or to fly before we can walk. Before we have cultivated worldly blessings and virtue, how can we expect to attain transcendental enlightenment? The cultivation of worldly blessings and virtue happens through practicing humaneness. To be humane means to be human, to be a person with an attitude of loyalty and reciprocity. As a human, our first priority is to understand how to give and take, and to be clear about love and enmity ..

怎樣才是知取予,明恩怨?知取予,前面說過「與宜多,取宜少」,也就是所謂的「分多潤寡」,這是修的歡喜行,能令取、與雙方皆大歡喜。但是要想分多潤寡,須以「自奉簡約」為先決條件;否則,就算貪念可以降服,但自給尚且不足,哪能有餘資不足?
 

What does that mean? To understand how to give and take means, as an earlier line of text says, that “when giving you should be generous; when taking you should take a little less.” It also means to “distribute the wealth to help the needy .” This is a joyful practice which makes both the giver and the receiver happy. In order to practice “distributing wealth to help the needy,” we must first live frugally ourselves. Otherwise, even if we overcame our greed, we would not have any surplus to give to the needy.

而明恩怨,在方法上要「施惠無念;受施莫忘」。所謂「受人涓滴之恩,當思湧泉以報。」因此報人恩要有長久心。至於施恩呢,則施時要有平等心,施後要有平常心。不但不要把它放在心上,更不可挾恩以要人;否則就算沒招致禍端,自己也活得不舒坦。
 

To be clear about love and enmity, our method should be: “When giving, think nothing of it. When receiving, do not forget the kindness done to you.” A saying goes, Having received kindness equal to a drop of water, you should try to repay it with a bubbling spring. Our resolve to reciprocate should be long lasting. When we do others a favor, we should do so impartially and think nothing of it. Not only should we forget about it, but we should never demand that others reciprocate the favor. Otherwise, even if nothing disastrous happens, we will not be able to live in peace.
 

再進一層說,明恩怨,在原則上是要「以德報德;以直報怨」,並不是做沒原則的濫好人或鄉愿。以德報德,並非報之以一時的財物和便利,而是互勉互勵,雙方德業自然日日增上,自然後福無窮,所以說報恩長。以直報怨,是交付公理眾意去裁決,而不循私意,委屈輾轉地去報復,所以說報怨短。
 

Being clear about love and enmity at another level simply means, “to repay kindness with kindness, and to repay enmity with justice.” It does not mean to be lenient with people no matter what. The repayment of kindness with kindness does not refer to a one-time gift or favor; rather it involves mutual exhortation so that both parties grow in virtue and reap boundless blessings in the future. Therefore the text says, “Kindness should be cherished forever.” To repay enmity with justice means to let the public judicial system decide how to handle the matter, instead of dealing with it personally and seeking vengeance in an underhanded fashion. Therefore, the text says, “Let grudges be quickly forgotten.”

若說聖賢怎麼也報怨呢?聖賢只是不存心報私怨,但是對無法或無緣教化的少數惡人,有時亦須任其得到適當的制裁,以保障群體的福祉,令多數人有免於恐懼的自由,這就是君子的報怨;不報怨並非直心。事實上,造惡業者就算能逃得過有形的法律制裁,也終難逃其無形的業報。
 

Do sages also seek revenge? Sages have no personal grudges. However, on rare occasions when they are unable to teach and transform evil people, they must see to it that these individuals receive their just punishment, so that the society will not be endangered or terrorized. Such is the manner in which superior people respond to enmity. If they did not respond, they would not be acting in justice. In actuality, even if wrongdoers escape visible punishment at the hands of the law, they cannot escape their karmic retribution, which is invisible.

總之,古之君子有「交絕不出惡聲」的說法,這是恕道,也是恩怨分明的做法;若是交絕出惡聲,或以新怨忘舊恩,則怨隙日深,便是紛亂的開端,就好像下面這個大象報仇的故事。
 

In general, the great men of old would not slander those with whom they had severed relations. This exemplifies the principle of reciprocity as well as being clear about love and enmity .If people slandered their former friends or forgot about past favors in light of new grievances, enmity would deepen day by day, planting the seeds of turmoil. Consider the following story of the elephant who sought revenge:

從前有個印度人,家裏有頭老實的大象;大象每天渴了想喝水時,就會自己走到小河去;沿途一定會經過一個裁縫舖,裁縫師總是順手給大象一點東西吃。有一天,大象又照例把長鼻子伸入窗戶要東西吃,裁縫師碰巧沒預先準備東西,又正忙得不可開交,就不理會牠。大象或者以為裁縫師沒看見牠,就把長鼻子在窗戶上弄得砰砰響。
 

Once there was an man in India who owned a very obedient pet elephant. Every day when the elephant felt thirsty, he would walk to a small river. Along the way, he would pass by a tailor’s shop, and the tailor would feed the elephant some tidbits. One day, the elephant inserted his trunk into the window as usual, wanting food, but the tailor happened not to have any food at hand and could not interrupt what he was doing, so he ignored the elephant. The elephant, perhaps thinking that the tailor had not noticed him, banged on the window with his trunk, making a racket.
 

裁縫師一回頭,用針在象鼻子上扎了一下,大象疼得趕緊捲起鼻子走了。大象到了河邊,先喝足了清涼的水,又吸了滿滿一鼻子水,就往回走;走到裁縫舖,大象把鼻子從窗戶伸進去,衝著裁縫師就噴,噴得裁縫師一身是水,連桌上名貴的布料也都打濕了。
 

The tailor turned around and pricked the elephant’s trunk with his needle, and the elephant, smarting in pain, quickly curled up his trunk and left-Walking to the river, he drank his fill of cool, refreshing water, then filled his trunk with water and walked back to the tailor’s shop. Sticking his trunk through the window, the elephant sprayed the tailor until he was soaked. The fine cloth on his table also got wet.

我們是高智慧的生靈,不要像這大象一樣,不知體諒,不懂反求諸己,而做出以新怨忘舊恩的事情。
 

As highly intelligent beings, we should not be like the elephant, who, not knowing how to forgive or reflect upon himself, forgot about the kindness done him in the past after one unpleasant experience.

《菜根譚》云﹕「反己者,觸事皆成藥石;尤人者,動念即是戈矛。」人人若能時時反求諸己,事事推己及人,「己不欲,即速已」,自然可以闢眾善之路,更可以濬諸惡之源;那麼,世間又怎麼會有輾轉的紛擾,和連綿的戰禍呢?
 

Vegetable Root Discourses has a saying, ” For those who reflect upon themselves, every situation serves as a medicine. For those who complain about others, every thought is a spear. ” If people could always look within themselves and be considerate of others, not doing to others what they would not like done to themselves, they will naturally open a path of wholesome goodness and stop all evil at its source. In such a situation, how could there be ceaseless turmoil, wars, and disasters?

待 婢 僕 , 身 貴 端

dai bi pu
 

shen gui duan

對待 女傭 男傭
 

本身 重要 端正

to treat female employees male employees
 

oneself important to be proper and just

任對待員工手下,最要緊的是自身的舉止要端正。
With our employees the most important thing is that our own behavior be upright and proper.

雖 貴 端 , 慈 而 寬

sui gui duan

ci er kuan

雖然 重要地 端正

仁慈的 而且 寬厚的

even though important to be proper and just
 

kind and forgiving

雖然舉止的端正很重要,卻也要仁慈而寬厚。
Although it is important to be proper, we should also be kind and forgiving.

勢 服 人 , 心 不 然

shi fu ren
 

xin bu ran

權勢 折服 別人
 

內心 不 這樣

force to submit, to rule others
 

mind, heart not so

倚仗權勢來屈服他人,別人是不會心服的。
If we try to rule others by force, we will never over win their hearts.

理 服 人 , 方 無 言

li fu ren

fang wu yan

道理 折服 別人

才 沒有 話(口實)

reason to lead others
 

then won’t speech, excuse

只有用道理來使他人信服,別人才沒話可說。
If we lead them with principles, then they won’t feel oppressed and abused.

中國明朝時,有個叫洪自誠的人,綜合了儒、釋、道三家的菁華,寫了一部《菜根譚》,對於待人接物,居家處世等道理,有十分深刻睿智的闡發。其中說到﹕「家人有過,不宜暴怒,不宜輕棄。此事難言,藉他事隱諷之;今日不悟,俟來日再警之。如春風解凍,如和氣消冰,才是家庭的典範。」
 

During the Ming Dynasty in China, an author named Hong Zichen integrated the essence of Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism into Discourses Regarding the Roots of Vegetables. In this publication, Hong Zichen expounded immensely profound and wise principles with regard to interacting with people and things, to maintaining a household and to handling mundane business. He mentioned in the book that, “When family members make a mistake, we should not become angry and give up too easily. If an issue is difficult to discuss, then use other matters to allude to the issue at hand. If family members do not understand immediately, then warn them again at another time. The model for families should resemble the spring wind that melts deep-freezes or the balmy air that thaws ice.”
 

《朱子治家格言》上也說到﹕「刻薄成家,理無久享。」這是說,居家待人要寬厚才能維持長久;但雖說要寬厚,卻又要有嚴格的規矩,不但要長幼有序,也要內外有別。所以《朱子治家格言》上又強調說﹕「長幼內外,宜法肅辭嚴。」有的人,或者待人寬厚,卻往往失之過寬,而變成沒內沒外,沒大沒小;或者言行端正,卻往往失之過嚴,而令人敬而遠之。中庸之道是律己端整,待人寬和;就算是自家人,也應相敬如賓,不宜過分狎暱。
 

Mr. Chu’s Proverbs on Managing the Household also said, ” A household established on miserliness will not last.” This is to say that one must be generous and tolerant in treating others and running a home to make family ties lasting. Although you should be generous in maintaining a home and treating people, you must also have some strict rules that ensure levels of seniority between the old and the young and differentiation between insiders and outsiders. At the same time, Mr. Chu’s Proverbs on Managing the Household emphasized that “We should apply serious methods and stern words toward elders, youngsters, insiders and outsiders.” Some people may treat others generously but make the mistake of being too lenient, thus blurring the line between insiders and outsiders. In contrast, some people speak and behave in an upright manner, but make the mistake of being too severe, thus causing people to respectfully keep their distance. The middle way in conducting oneself properly and treating others generously and harmoniously, is to regard family members as if they were guests and not be overly intimate.

中國漢朝時有位好官劉寬,他修養一流,不但不輕易動怒,管理人民也很寬厚。人民犯了罪,他不用重刑,至多用蒲草做的鞭子,輕輕打幾下就算了。有一次,劉寬穿著便服,坐著牛車出門去。半路上,有個農民攔住路,硬說那是他家走丟了的牛。劉寬也不和他爭辯,就下車走路回家。隔幾天,那個農民找回他的牛,又打聽出來,原來讓他這頭牛的竟是大官劉寬;急忙牽牛去還,並跪著認罪。劉寬很溫和地說﹕「東西有相似的地方,事情有誤會的時候。你又不是故意的,有什麼罪?你起來,回去吧!」這一回,那農民連輕輕的蒲鞭都沒挨一下。
 

During the Han Dynasty in China, there was a benevolent government official named Liu Kuan. His cultivation was first-rate; not only was he tolerant and mild-tempered, but he was also very generous and kind to the people. Whenever a local resident violated the law, he refused to use the more severe forms of punishment. At the most, he would lightly spank the offender a few times with a whip made of rushes. Once when Liu was traveling in his oxcart dressed in civilian clothes, a farmer blocked Liu’s path and insisted that the ox Liu was riding was the one the farmer had lost. Liu didn’t even argue with him; instead Liu stepped off the cart and walked home. A few days later, the farmer found his ox and realized that the ox he had claimed belonged to the high-ranking officer Liu Kuan, so he rushed to return Liu’ s ox, even kneeling to apologize. Liu warmly said to him, “Sometimes things appear similar; mistakes are bound to happen. Since you didn’t do this on purpose, what crime have you committed? Get up and run along!” That time, the farmer didn’t even receive a light beating.

因為劉寬修養太好了,他的夫人就想試試他,是不是真的不會發脾氣。一天早晨劉寬穿好了朝服,準備去覲見皇帝;他的夫人就叫老媽子端了一碗熱湯,給他當早點吃,但卻故意把湯打翻。結果老媽子把湯打翻在他朝服上,嚇得不得了,連他的夫人都以為這回他一定要發脾氣了。殊不知劉寬不但沒生氣,反而急急關心老媽子說﹕「燙著手沒有?」然後去另找件衣服換上,才去上朝。像劉寬這樣子待婢僕百姓,就是「慈而寬」了!御下慈而寬,就能得擁護,也才能久長。反之,若以強權大勢壓迫人,只能令人畏服一時,不能心服一世。
 

Since Liu cultivated excellently, his wife wanted to test his temper. One morning, Liu had put on his formal clothing in preparation for a meeting with the emperor. At that time, Liu’s wife told an elderly maid- servant to serve a bowl of hot soup to Liu for breakfast, but Liu’s wife intentionally knocked the soup over so that it spilt onto Liu’s formal robe. The housemaid was alarmed and the wife thought Liu would certainly be outraged this time. To their surprise, not only did Liu remain unruffled, he earnestly inquired after the elderly woman, saying, “Did you burn your hand?” Liu then went to change into another robe before heading to the emperor’s court. Liu consistently treated his servants and his citizens with kindness and tolerance. One who supervises with kindness and tolerance receives lasting support from subordinates. On the other hand, one who uses force and intimidation to oppress people will only make others submit temporarily in fear, but will not win their hearts over for a lifetime..

從前魯定公曾對顏回稱讚東野畢是駕馬車的高手,而盡得孔子心傳的顏回卻說﹕「東野畢技術是沒話說,可是我擔心他的馬隨時會倒下來。」魯定公很不高興。沒想到,三天後東野畢的馬真倒下了兩匹;魯定公忙再把顏回請來,問他怎能預知東野畢的馬會倒下來?顏回就說﹕「以前大舜是號稱最善用民力的,因為他從不竭盡民力;造父是號稱最善御馬的,因為他從不竭盡馬力。所以大舜沒有力盡的人民,造父沒有力盡的馬。
 

In the past, Lord Ding of the State of Lu had praised Dongye Bi’s skill in charioteering to Yan Hui. However, Yan Hui, who had received the mind-transmission from Confucius, replied, “There is no question about Dongye Bi ‘s skill, but I’m concerned that his horses will collapse at any moment.” Lord Ding was quite upset. Incredibly though, three days later, two of Dongye Bi ‘s horses fell; thus Lord Ding scurried to invite Yan Hui back. When Lord Ding asked Yan Hui how he was able to predict the fall of Dongye Bi ‘s horses, Yan Hui answered, “In the past, Da Shun was best known for how well he used the strength of his citizenry because he never drained their energy. Zao Fu was reputed to be the best equestrian because he never drained his horses’ energy. Thus, Da Shun never wore out his citizens while Zao Fu never wore out his horses.

而東野畢的駕馬方式雖中規中矩,但整天奔馳不休,馬跑累了也不讓牠休息,還要做這做那,所以我猜知他的馬支持不久。」顏回更進一步引申﹕「鳥被逼急了會啄人;獸被逼急了會咬人;馬被逼急了會敗蹄;人被逼急了,什麼謊言都會說得出,什麼壞事都會做得出!歷史上從沒有逼壓百姓,而不出事的。」
 

Although Dongye Bi ‘s riding style is technically correct, he rides all day without a break. Even when Dongye Bi ‘s horses are tired, he makes them do this and that rather than let them rest. Therefore I guessed that his horses would not last.” Yan Hui further expostulated, “Birds that are cornered will peck, beasts that are pushed will bite, horses that are treated harshly will collapse, people who are pressured will lie and do all kinds of awful things! Historically, an outburst never fails to occur as a result of oppression.”

第七章﹕親仁

同是人,類不齊,流俗眾,仁者希。
果仁者,人多畏,言不諱,色不媚。
能親仁,無限好,德日進,過日少。
不親仁,無限害,小人進,百事壞。

同 是 人 , 類 不 齊

tong shi ren lei bu qi

同樣 是 人
 

種類 不 一律的

alike are human beings
 

kinds, types not equal

同樣生而為人,但是品類卻很不一致。
Although we are all born as humans, we vary in sort.

流 俗 眾 , 仁 者 希

liu su zhong ren zhe xi

隨順 世俗 很多的

仁德的 的人 很少

to flow, to stray banal commonalities a lot
 

humane one rare

一般的俗人最多,高尚的仁人很少。
Ordinary beings are many; noble and humane beings are few.

果 仁 者 , 人 多 畏

guo ren zhe
 

ren duo wei

真正 仁德 的人
 

一般人 大多 敬畏

true humane one
 

people most to fear

真正有仁德的人,大家都會敬畏。
Everyone reveres those who are truly humane and virtuous,

言 不 諱 , 色 不 媚

yan bu hui
 

se bu mei

言辭 不 隱蓋、私藏
 

臉色 不 巴結討好

words not lead to conceal
 

physical appearance not to flatter

因為他們說話正直無私,容色也不阿諛諂媚。
Since they speak straightforwardly and selflessly and never appear to grovel or fawn.

世間人有塵沙這麼多,不惟有種種形狀、相貌、壽量、族類、名號的差異,亦是各具種種心性和種種知見,因而產生種種欲樂,種種意行,種種威儀的分別。有的人得人喜愛,有的人讓人厭惡,有的人令人尊重,有的人使人鄙視;其千差萬別,其實源乎一心。人由心性產生知見,由知見產生意行,因意行影響欲樂、威儀,因欲樂、威儀又影響先天的形狀、相貌、壽量、族類、名號,再因此影響心性,衍發新的知見、意行,遂導至有後天的種種差別待遇。
 

Since there are as many people in the world as motes of dust, invariably people differ in shape, appearance, life span, race and name. Each individual possesses a particular type of mind and nature as well as a variety of views and knowledge. From such differentiation, we further produce all sorts of desires and joy, will and behavior, comportment and manner. People adore certain individuals and detest others. People respect certain individuals while disdaining others. In actuality, these myriad variations all originate from a single thought. From our mind and nature, we produce views and knowledge. From views and knowledge we give rise to will and conduct. Our will and conduct influence our inclinations and comportment. Our inclinations and comportment affect our congenital shape, appearance, life span, race and name, which further affect the mind and nature, developing new views and knowledge, will and conduct, thus leading to dissimilar experiences after birth.
 

孔子一生不恥沒氣節或巧言令色的小人,但他尤其最痛惡與貌似恭謹的偽君子為伍。所以他說﹕「惡紫之奪朱也。」「鄉愿,德之賊也。」
 

During his life Confucius loathed spineless, fawning sycophants, but he particularly detested being around those phony gentlemen who appeared respectable. Thus Confucius said, “I hate purple, for it robs from the color red. ” “Imposters are the thieves of virtue.”

孔子果真是討厭紫色嗎?其實這只是一種譬喻罷了。因為紫色是從三原色之一的紅色出來的間色,它明明已失去正紅的本色,卻老讓人誤以為是另一種的紅色。就好比貌似恭謹的鄉愿,戴著「老好人」的面具,扛著「君子」的招牌,卻屈仁假義,行其取巧討好世俗之實;而一般人黑白莫辨,不知警覺,不唯把真正特立獨行的正直之士看做異類,還讚歎效法這一類的鄉愿。因此孔子認為偽君子比起令人一見就討厭的小人更危險,偽君子其實才是真小人;不先除偽君子,無法正本清源,收到端正世道人心之功。
 

Did Confucius really hate the color purple? Actually it’s merely an analogy. Purple is a mixed color containing the color red, one of the three primary colors, yet it has clearly lost the original red proper. The color purple nevertheless leads others to mistake it for a variation of red. Similarly, hypocrites who appear respectful, wearing the mask of a “softie” and carrying the sign of a “gentleman” actually warp humaneness and distort righteousness-in reality they practice sycophancy and flattery. Most people cannot discern black from white; thus they fail to be cautious. In fact, people invariably consider those truly unique, independent and straightforward individuals as eccentrics and praise and emulate hypocrites instead. Thus, Confucius deemed those pretending to be honorable individuals more dangerous than scoundrels that people naturally despise upon first glance; fraudulent gentlemen are actually charlatans. Without first eliminating pretenders, we cannot rectify our foundation, purify our origin and receive the merit of straightening people’s minds here in the world.

當孔子受命為魯司寇,甫上任,他就先把以工辯順非見寵,卻心逆行辟的佞臣少正卯殺了;這一著果然收到殺雞儆猴之效,不出三月,魯國大治,再沒有邪辟不正之人;據說當時境內是「路不拾遺;夜不閉戶」。
 

When Confucius received the emperor’s mandate to be the Minister of Crime in the state of Lu, the first thing he did when he arrived on the j ob was to execute Minister Shao Zhen Mo, who with an intractable heart and defiant conduct craftily debated the compliant and gossiped with those he favored. Confucius, move had the effect of “killing a chicken to warn the monkeys.” In less than three months, the state of Lu was well governed; wicked and immoral individuals no longer existed. It was reputed that during that time, “no one picked up lost items; no one closed their doors at night.”
 

緊鄰的齊國恐怕魯國強起來,難以侵凌,就送了一批女樂來;權臣季孫氏收下來,偷偷轉給魯君;魯君沉迷其中,竟然三日不上朝。孔子傷透了心,就辭官離鄉,開始周遊列國;可惜耗費半生,也遇不著一個有眼光,有魄力的明君用他。直至垂垂老矣,孔子憬悟時不我予,才抱憾歸國,把畢生的理想,濃縮在一部《春秋》史裏,以寄寓其褒貶;更把最後的心血,普施於教育後進上,來傳承其理想。
 

Lu’s neighboring state, Qi, was afraid Lu would become so strong that Qi would not be able to invade and pillage it, so Qi sent a troupe of female performers over. High minister Ji Sun Si accepted them and stealthily sent them to the King of Lu. The King was so infatuated with these women that he didn’t appear in court to administer the state’s affairs for three days. Confucius was so heartbroken that he resigned, returned home, then began to travel to various states. Unfortunately, Confucius wasted half of his life without finding a wise ruler with vision and courage willing to employ him. It wasn’t until he was near death that Confucius realized that he didn’t have much time left, so he returned home in disappointment. He condensed all his lifelong ideals into the Annals of Spring and Autumn, which was a critique of political affairs. Furthermore, he poured the last of his lifeblood into educating and promoting the younger generations so that they would inherit his ideals.
 

由此可見,在這個世間,隨順世俗的人很多,真正的仁德之士是很少的。但仁德之士雖少,他們正直無邪的言語,權勢無畏的神色和坦蕩無私的氣度,卻能贏得一般人的尊敬,也使得小人畏懼。這就是為什麼孔子周遊列國期間,雖不獲明君重用,又常遭小人之難,終究是所到之處,國君貴冑爭相延為上賓,希望嬴取「尊賢」的美譽;而惡臣賊子也不敢公然加以殺害,恐怕揹上「害賢」的惡名。
 

This is evidence that many people in this world follow the banal, while so few individuals are truly humane and virtuous. Although humane and virtuous individuals are rare, their straightforward and wholesome speech, their fearlessness in the face of authority and their attitude of munificence and selflessness will win people’s respect and make rascals afraid. This is why although no wise ruler employed Confucius and scoundrels often presented him with difficulties during his travels; nonetheless, the heads of states and members of the nobility all competed to serve Confucius as an honored guest, hoping to win the reputation of “one who honors a sage.” Similarly, malicious ministers and criminals dared not publicly kill and harm Confucius either, fearing the disgraceful title of “one who injures a sage.”

孔子未從政前,魯國是「三桓」─孟孫氏、叔孫氏、季孫氏─當權,國君形同傀儡。孟孫家有個陽虎,野心很大,城府又深。他先是改投當時權傾魯國的季孫氏,靠著巴結討好和才幹,陽虎得到家主季孫意如的重用,高居家宰之位;等到老季孫氏去世,他就爬到新家主季平子頭上了。到了季平子一死,他不但掌控了季孫家,也鎮懾住另外的兩家,更進一步脅控魯君,專攬魯國朝政。
 

Before Confucius entered politics, the state of Lu was controlled by three families-the Meng Sun clan, the Shu Sun clan and the Ji Sun clan–while the king was practically a puppet. Yang Hu of the Meng Sun family had huge ambitions and in-depth deliberations. He initially joined the Ji Sun family who dominated the state of Lu, then through flattery, favors, and competence, Yang Hu attained heavy responsibilities from the head of the household, Ji Sun Yi Ru, becoming the household manager. When the elder Ji Sun passed away, Yang Hu climbed on top of the new head of the clan, Ji Ping Zi. When Ji Ping Zi died, Yang Hu not only con trolled the Ji Sun clan, but also suppressed the other two families by intimidation, further threatening the king of Lu and single-handedly controlling the affairs of state.

陽虎一則為了想嬴取民心,二來也的確需要能人來輔佐他穩定政局,因此他三番兩次去孔家送禮拜訪,想拉攏孔子出仕幫忙。孔子也知道陽虎其實是個比魯君更識才,也更有魄力的統治者;但他生平最痛惡的就是欺君犯上之徒,怎麼會為了可以受重用,而失去正義的原則呢?因此他每次都藉故迴避不見。
 

Hoping to win the hearts of the citizenry on the one hand, and needing someone to assist him in stabilizing the political situation on the other, Yang Hu visited Confucius several times in the hopes of obtaining his help. Confucius knew that Yang Hu could see talent better than the king of Lu and was a more decisive leader besides. However, Confucius had always detested those who cheat their rulers and overstep superiors, how could he compromise his integrity for the sake of being employed in an important position? For that reason, Confucius always invented an excuse to avoid Yang Hu.
     

有一次陽虎親訪,門人照例說「不在」;但等到陽虎上車要走時,孔子卻故意撫琴作樂,好教陽虎知道他不是真的不在,只是不想見他。又有一次,孔子周遊到陳國時,楚國剛剛攻下陳國,佔領了陳國首都;因為西城門壞了,就叫陳國的人民來修理。
 

Once when Yang Hu personally paid a visit, the guard answered as usual, “He’s not here.” When Yang Hu was about to get in his carriage and leave, however, Confucius purposely strummed his instrument and made music, disclosing to Yang Hu that Confucius had been there all along but simply didn’t want to see Yang Hu. At another time, Confucius traveled to the state of Chen right after the state of Chu had invaded and occupied the capital of Chen. The western gate to the city was broken then, so the Chu int1:Uders ordered the people of Chen to fix it.
 

依照周禮,坐車者若在路上遇見兩個人,就要站起來行禮;遇見三人以上,就要下車。但是孔子的車經過城門時,一向最懂禮,也最崇尚禮的孔子竟一反常態,對兩旁的人群視若無睹,動也不動一下。面對弟子的質疑,孔子痛心地表示﹕陳國人民不值得對他們行禮。為什麼呢?起初他們不知國家快滅亡,那是不知;等知道國家快滅亡,而不能團結奮鬥,則是不忠;國已滅亡,又不能戰死,就是不勇。現在他們反而幫敵人來修城,怎麼值得尊重?
 

According to the rites of Zhou, a passenger in a cart must stand and bow if he sees two people on the road; if the passenger sees three or more people, he must get off the cart. When Confucius’ carriage passed the gate, Confucius was unlike himself. Typically polite and observant of all the rites, this time Confucius ignored the people on both sides as if they were invisible. When Confucius’ disciples questioned him, Confucius painfully explained, “The citizens of Chen are unworthy of being bowed to. Why? At first they didn’t know their state was about to be annihilated, so that was ignorance. When the citizens knew that their state was about to be dissolved, they couldn’t unite and fight, which was disloyalty. When their state had been defeated, they could no longer die in battle, which was cowardice. Now they even help their enemy to repair the city. How can they be worthy of respect?
     

故事到此,有人可能說孔子虛偽無禮,或者認為孔子缺乏慈悲心。須知仁者雖然慈悲為懷,平等存心,但表現在行事上,卻絕非沒有愛惡親疏之別;真正懂禮的,會對善者愛之,惡者惡之;賢者親之,不肖者疏之。若人只在表相下功夫,不管對方善惡對錯,都一視同仁,這絕非仁人智士,應該叫做「鄉愿」。
 

At this point of the story, some people may say that Confucius was pretentious and ill-mannered, or consider Confucius to lack compassion. You should know that humane people may be compassionate and nondiscriminatory , yet they still distinguish between love and hate, intimacy and distance, which are manifested through their conduct and decisions. Those who really understand propriety will cherish those who are kind, detest those who are baneful, draw close to those who are worthy, and distance themselves from those who are failures. If people only work on superficialities and treat everyone the same regardless of their wholesomeness, unwholesomeness, right or wrong, then they are not humane and wise ones, but imposters.
 

所以大仁大智的佛陀,教弟子對惡性比丘要「默擯」之;大慈大悲的菩薩,對惡人也會現「怒目金剛」相。佛菩薩的默擯或怒視,絕不同於一般人的棄絕與懲罰,而是一種反面的教育,讓惡人可以因此驚悟己非,自省為何不受歡迎,而終至改過向善。這也就是為什麼孔子對陽虎採取「默擯」的態度,又對遭遇亡國之難的陳國人表現鄙夷的言行。我們絕不可拿世俗的禮儀來責備孔子,認為孔子太過矯情;或者以孔子的「有教無類」來質疑孔子,認為孔子太不慈悲;這正是大行者兼顧正義的禮儀,和大仁者「不教之教」的慈悲。
 

Therefore, even the extremely humane and wise Buddha taught his disciples to ignore evil-natured bhikshus. The remarkably kind and compassionate Bodhisattvas will also appear as “angry-faced Vajras” before evil beings. The Buddhas’ and Bodhisattvas’ silent treatment and angry glares are utterly unlike most people’s use of rejections and punishment. The Buddhas and Bodhisattvas educate from the opposite side, shocking baneful individuals into realizing their own faults and reflecting on why they weren’t welcomed, thus finally correcting their mistakes and becoming good. This is also why Confucius ignored Yang Hu and expressed disgust for the citizens of Chen who had just lost their own state. We absolutely cannot use worldly social etiquette to criticize Confucius, judging him to be too ostentatious. We should not question whether Confucius is violating his own pedagogy of “teaching those from all walks of life,” and judge him to be uncompassionate. In actuality, Confucius was able to maintain the rites of righteousness while practicing the compassion of “teaching by not teaching.”
   

在今日君子道消,小人道長的末法時代,人都賢愚混淆,善惡不明,有時還以非為是,將黑作白。社會上是「笑貧不笑娼」,官場上則是「上下交征利」,公職人員不知「公僕」為何義,小則一派官僚作風,捧上壓下,甚則官商勾結,貪贓枉法,罔顧小百姓利益和人命;說什麼「識時務為俊傑」,自己「陳倉暗渡」,盡做些不光明的勾當,還要拖人下水。在上的若不收紅包,則在下的就怪他「擋人財路」;在下的若不收好處,在上的反怪他「不識抬舉。」流風所至,個個身不由己,結果是紅包層層上遞,好處源源下來,上下同流合污,官商皆大歡喜。
 

In today’s Dharma-ending age, the ways of civility are decreasing while the ways of the scoundrels are increasing. People get worthy people mixed up with fools. Individuals cannot distinguish between good and evil; sometimes they even mistake what’s right for what’s wrong, what’s black for what’s white. The society ridicules poverty but not prostitution while politically, “superiors and subordinates mutually exchange and raid benefits.” Government workers don’t understand what public servants mean; at best they assume the bureaucratic style of flattering superiors and oppressing subordinates, at worst they collude with government contractors, pilfering goods and committing crimes, failing to care about ordinary people’s benefits and lives. They say, “Those who recognize the signs of the times are the outstanding ones”; then they hoard and smuggle, constantly engaging in unmentionable activities, even pulling others down with them. If those up above don’t accept bribes, then subordinates complain that the higher-up’s are “blocking their road to gold.” If those below do not accept payoffs, then their superiors blame these workers for “failing to appreciate recognition.” The trend is so prevalent that people can hardly help themselves; thus resulting in bribes from the lower end of the hierarchy on up and favors curried on down the line. Superiors and subordinates conspire to fall for the same filth while both bureaucrats and merchants are delighted.
 

東漢時有學者楊震,曾因王密有才情,而推薦他做了倉邑縣令。某日楊震路過倉邑,王密特地準備了黃金和禮物,獨自在半夜時送到客驛裏給楊震。楊震婉轉辭謝﹕「我推薦你,並不是為了求你報答。再說,你這樣做,萬一給人知道了,對你我都不好!」王密說﹕「現在是半夜裡,不會有人知道的!」楊震正色道﹕「天知、地知、你知、我知,怎麼說沒人知道呢?」王密慚愧極了,趕忙帶黃金和禮物回去。
 

During the time of the Eastern Han dynasty , a scholar named Yang Zhen had recommended Wang Mi for the position of the Cangyi County Magistrate, because Wang had talent. One day, Yang passed by Cangyi, so Wang Mi waited until midnight when Yang Zhen was alone in his guest house to present specially prepared gold and other gifts. Yang Zhen politely thanked Wang but declined the gifts, saying, “I did not recommend you because I sought repayment. Furthermore, if anyone finds out about your action, it will be detrimental for both of us!” Wang said, “It’s midnight; no one will find out! ” Yang sternly declared, “Heaven knows, earth knows, you know and I know: How can you say no one knows?” Wang was so ashamed that he hastily left with his gold and gifts.
     

如今像楊震這樣嶔奇磊落的正人君子,已是鳳毛麟角了!我們假如不能居仁由義,反而隨順時非,亦步亦趨,縱不是奸惡之徒,也是鄉愿者流,就失去了正人君子的風骨;但是假如一味固持君子的風骨,而棄絕對庸俗凡夫或奸佞小人的教化,又失去了仁人君子的慈悲。所以我們不但要自修自度,更要以端正世風,教化世道為己任。而要端正世風,須從端正人心上頭起步;欲教化世道,亦必在教化人性方面著力。像佛菩薩「悲智雙運」的教化,和古今聖賢睿智懿德的典範,我們又豈能不師法之而時習之呢?
 

Today, open and honest gentlemen such as Yang Zhen are few and far between! If we cannot dwell in humanity and follow righteousness, but let the winds of time blow us around and chase after every step of change, then even if we aren’t crooked villains, we are, at the least, hypocrites who’ve lost the moral fortitude of the upright and civil ones. On the other hand, if we singularly hold fast to incorruptibility and abandon the job of teaching bucolics and villains, then we lose the kindness and compassion of humane gentlemen. Therefore, not only must we cultivate on our own and save ourselves, but we must rectify the trends of the world and shoulder the responsibility of teaching so as to transform the world’s customs. To rectify the trends of the world, we must begin by rectifying the human mind. To teach and transform the world, we must focus on teaching and transforming human nature too. Buddhas and Bodhisattvas teach and transform using both compassion and wisdom while past and present worthy sages model wisdom and virtue; how could we not constantly emulate and practice their dharmas?

能 親 仁 , 無 限 好

neng qin ren
 

wu xian hao

能夠 親近 有道德
 

沒有止境、不可估計 好處

be able to draw near humane
 

unlimited, immeasurable good

如果能親近有仁德的人,那將帶給我們多麼大的好處。
To follow the truly humane will bring immeasurable good.

德 日 進 , 過 日 少

de ri jin

guo ri shao

品德 每日 進步

過錯 每日 減少

virtue daily to progress
 

mistakes daily to reduce

我們的品德會一天比一天進步,我們的過錯會一天比一天減少。
Virtue will grow day by day, day by day our mistakes will be fewer.

不 親 仁 , 無 限 害

bu qin ren
 

wu xian hai

不能夠 親近 有道德
 

沒有止境、不可估計 害處

don’t to draw near humane
 

unlimited, immeasurable harm

如果不親近有仁德的人,那將帶給我們多麼大的害處。
To not follow the truly humane will bring immeasurable harm.

小 人 進 , 百 事 壞

xiao ren jin
 

bai shi huai

沒有品德的人 向前接近
 

每件事情 敗壞

petty people to come forward
 

hundred matters (everything) to be ruined

小人會圍攏上來,各種事情也就敗壞了。
Unworthy people come forward; everything will be ruined.

前面說到唐太宗有個賢德的長孫皇后,還有個直言敢諫的諍臣魏徵。長孫皇后不但賢德守禮,學問也非常好,但是她卻從不因自己的才學而驕矜炫耀,或越禮干政;更不曾以自己的地位,而奢侈浮華,或妒害嬪妃。
 

Earlier we mentioned that Emperor Taizong of Tang Dynasty had an honorable queen, Zhang Sun, as well as a blunt and loyal minister, Wei Zheng. Not only was Queen Zhang Sun virtuous and respectable, but she was very knowledgeable too. However, she never flaunted her talent out of arrogance or improperly interfered with politics. Furthermore, she never used her position to indulge in extravagances or covetously harm the emperor’s concubines.

長孫皇后嫻靜寡言,直到她死後,唐太宗才在她的遺物中,發現了長孫皇后親筆寫的《女則》,不禁感念涕下。為什麼呢?因為這部作品,博徵今古典型,條列賢善儀規,不唯文字簡鍊,更是義理分明。長孫皇后寫這《女則》,生前並無人知,可見她並非寫來賣弄文筆,或者希求稱譽的;這純是她一生默默修持道德和履行禮儀的經驗結晶。
 

Queen Zhang Sun was so modest and laconic that Emperor Taizong did not discover the queen’s Guide for Women among her mementos until her death. The emperor couldn’t help but become emotional over this discovery. Why? This work had collected past and present female role models and compiled imperatives encouraging kindness. The handbook was succinct and lucid. During her lifetime, no one knew that Queen Zhang Sun had written this Guide for Women; therefore we know that she didn’t author this manual to parade her writing skill or to seek praise and reputation. This guide was strictly a product of the accumulated lessons of a woman’s life time of quiet cultivation and propriety in action.

在她以身作則,統領六宮的期間,宮中沒有浪費浮誇之人,也無忌妒邪辟的事;長孫皇后的懿德嘉行真正是女人的典範。這本《女則》,在她身後廣為流傳,一直到清朝,都還是後宮女子必讀的課程呢!即便在今日男女平起平坐的時代,書上敘述的某些禮儀規矩,雖嫌迂腐落伍不復存在必要;但其原則道理,還是很值得現代婦女參考的。
 

During the time that she led the six imperial harems, she served as a role model. Imprudent and boastful people, incidents of jealousy and disarray were absent in these palaces. Queen Zhang Sun’s remarkably virtuous conduct made her an exemplary archetype for women. The Guide for Women was widely circulated after her death. Up until the Qing Dynasty, women in imperial palaces were required to read this manual! Even in the current era of equality between the sexes, modern women may still find this handbook a worthwhile reference for noteworthy rationale and principles behind some of its arcane rites and rules.

接下來,我們再說那個令唐太宗又敬又畏的魏徵。唐太宗固然是聖明天子,能夠虛心納諫;魏徵對於唐太宗的寵信,也是又慶幸又感恩,因此也更加盡心盡力。舉凡有利邦國或有損君主的事情,魏徵無不盡其能諫之事;對魏徵的勸諫,唐太宗也總是讓他有暢所欲言之快。言路既開,賢者自來,唐朝想要不興旺也難。
 

Next, we’ll talk about Wei Zheng, whom Emperor Taizong feared yet respected. Although Emperor Taizong was a holy and understanding son of the heavens who accepted suggestions humbly, Wei Zheng was still glad about and grateful for the emperor’s partiality and trust. Consequently, Wei Zheng dedicated himself wholeheartedly, providing a thorough critique on any matter that benefited other countries or harmed the monarch. Emperor Taizong always let Wei Zheng speak his mind too. Since the path of free speech existed, worthy people were attracted to this ruler, and the Tang Dynasty had no choice but to flourish.

魏徵死後,唐太宗親臨痛哭,廢朝五日,並下令厚葬魏徵。而守正不阿的魏徵,也有個賢德清廉的夫人,她竟然婉拒唐太宗賜予的殊榮,說﹕「徵平生節儉樸素,如今用一品厚葬,不是亡者之志。」結果只用布車運棺。
 

After Wei Zheng’s death, Emperor Taizong personally arrived and grieved in pain. The emperor failed to govern national affairs for five days and mandated an elaborate funeral for Wei Zheng. The just and incorruptible Wei Zheng also had a virtuous and fair wife. Mrs. Wei actually rejected the Emperor’s bequest of honor, saying, “Zheng was typically economical and simple. If we perform the funeral of the highest grade, then that would go against the wish of the deceased. ” As a result, only cloth carriages were used to transport the casket.
     

出殯之日,唐太宗下詔百官送出城郊,自己登樓望喪,痛哭不已。唐太宗說﹕「人有三面鏡子﹕以銅片(那時還沒有玻璃鏡)為鏡,可以把衣帽穿戴端正;以歷史為鏡,可以知道往來興替;以人為鏡,可以觀察自己得失。我常保有這三面鏡子,以防止過錯和疏忽;魏徵一走,我喪失最寶貴的一面鏡子了!」唐太宗一生內無後宮之亂,外則賢能滿朝,把有唐一代,帶到太平盛世。
 

On the day of the funeral procession, the emperor ordered all ministers and officials to accompany the casket out to the countryside while he ascended atop a tower to watch the funeral, crying uncontrollably. Emperor Taizong said, “Each person has three mirrors. Using the mirror of copper (glass mirrors didn’t exist yet), one can dress appropriately. Using the mirror of history, one recognizes the successes and failures of the past and present. Using the mirror of people, one examines one’s own merits and faults. I always keep these three mirrors around to prevent mistakes and negligence. With the departure of Wei Zheng, I have lost one of my most precious mirrors!” It is no wonder that during Emperor Taizong’s lifetime he had no stirrings among his harems and capable sages filled his imperial court.
     

這並非只是唐太宗個人特別能幹;歷史上能幹的君王也不算少了,但像唐太宗這樣德智過人,知道親賢后,納諫臣的,卻是不多,毋怪乎他能成就曠世的豐功偉業。
 

It was not only through his own competence that this Emperor led the Tang Dynasty to peace and prosperity. Historically, there were plenty of gifted monarchs; however, there were few rulers who were virtuous and wise like Emperor Taizong. There was only a handful of heads of state who knew to cherish an exemplary queen and accept a minister’s admonition. Thus, it was no surprise that Emperor Taizong built an empire that reached heights incomparable in the world and throughout history.
     

我們平常人若想進德修業,也是要「親仁者;遠小人」。語云﹕「物以類聚。」我們行仁者之事,仁者自然來相親;仁者來相親,德業會更進步。反之,我們行小人之事,小人自然來相親;小人來相親,德業就會漸頹廢。所以有德君子,總有良師益友和佳偶;無行小人,每多邪師損友與妖姬。
 

For us ordinary people who want to make progress in cultivating virtue and further our aspirations, we must also “draw near humane ones and distance ourselves from scoundrels.” The Analects states, “similar objects tend to gather together”; in other words, “birds of a feather flock together.” If we do the deeds of civilized characters, then civil persons will naturally draw near us; when humane characters draw near us, our virtues advance. In contrast, if we do the deeds of scandalous ones, then villains will naturally draw near us; when villains draw near us, then our virtues deteriorate gradually. Therefore, virtuous people always have good teachers, beneficial friends and helpful partners, while unscrupulous scoundrels usually have evil teachers, harmful friends, and sullen seducers.
     

然則孰是仁者?誰為小人?這似乎是孔子和學生們最喜歡的議題,在《論語》和《孔子家語》中,其定義比比可見。有一次,顏回又問怎樣是小人?孔子解釋說﹕「專把他人的善行說成壞事,卻自喜是辯才無礙;內心狡詐陰險,還自認是聰明絕頂;見人犯錯,就幸災樂禍;自己不虛心向學,反而動輒笑人無知;這都是標準的小人行徑。」那小人的言論有什麼特質呢?孔子又說﹕「君子以實際行事作為語言,小人只靠口舌。所以君子會在合乎義理的事情上相互批評砥礪,私底下卻彼此親敬;小人則是在做壞事時相互倚賴合作,私底下卻彼此仇視。」
 

Who’s considered humane and who’s considered scandalous, how- ever? This appeared to have been one of the favorite debate topics for Confucius and his students. The Confucian Analects and the Words for the Household repeatedly iterated these definitions. For example, once Yan Hill inquired about the definition of a scoundrel. Confucius explained that a crook was “One who purposely depicts others’ good deeds as bad, yet merrily considers oneself flawlessly eloquent. A scoundrel is calculating and endangering, yet one considers himself exceptionally intelligent. One sees others make mistakes and delights in the disaster. One doesn’t try to learn humbly but actually laughs at others’ ignorance. These are some of the typical habits of a scoundrel.” Then what are the outstanding qualities of a civil being? Confucius answered, “The civil one uses action as his language whereas the scoundrel relies only on words. Thus, civil persons will mutually criticize and compare according to reason and pertinence of the issue. Privately they value and respect each other. On the other hand, scoundrels cooperate and depend on one another while committing crime. Privately they treat each other like enemies.”
     

總之,君子小人最大的不同,在於「君子喻於義;小人喻於利」,也就是說一個胸懷公開正直,以義自守;一個居心狹隘自私,唯利是圖。所以君子會面,無不諮諏勸善;小人碰頭,總是狼狽為奸。因此,我們雖說眾生平等,要「汎愛眾」;卻是要善惡明了,以「親仁」為依歸。汎愛眾本是心存等慈,是其原則;親仁則是行事合宜,是個權便。存心當仁,行事須智;仁心智行,就足以頂天立地,通達四海了。
 

In summary, the biggest difference between civilized humanitarians and scoundrels is that “Civil ones are acclimatized to justice while uncivil ones are acclimatized to self-interest.” In other words, one maintains an open and straightforward heart, safeguarding integrity while the other dwells selfishly in narrow-mindedness, caring only for one’s benefits. When gentlemen gather, for instance, they always consult one another and encourage each other to be good. When rascals meet up, however, they always collaborate to do evil. Thus, although we speak of equality among living beings and “love of all beings,” we should be clear about good and evil, using “drawing near humaneness” as an anchor. The principle of loving living beings is basically the principle of maintaining equitable kindness; to draw near civility is an expedient act that concurs with principle. If you intend to be a humanitarian, you must conduct yourself wisely. A humane heart and wise conduct are sufficient to prop up heaven and earth and enter the brilliance of the four seas.

第八章﹕餘力學文

不力行,但學文,長浮華,成何人。
但力行,不學文,任己見,昧理真。
讀書法,有三到,心眼口,信皆要。
方讀此,勿慕彼,此未終,彼勿起。
寬為限,緊用功,工夫到,滯塞通。
心有疑,隨札記,就人問,求確義。
房室清,牆壁淨,几案潔,筆硯正。
墨磨偏,心不端,字不敬,心先病。
列典籍,有定處,讀看畢,還原處。
雖有急,卷束齊,有缺壞,就補之。
非聖書,屏不視,蔽聰明,壞心志。
勿自暴,勿自棄,聖與賢,可馴致。

不 力 行 , 但 學 文

bu li xing
 

dan xue wen

不 努力地 實行
 

但是 學習 書本上的知識

don’t use effort to practice

only to study academic knowledge

如果不努力去實行,只是學習書本上的知識;
If we only study bookishly, but do not apply such knowledge,

長 浮 華 , 成 何 人

zhang fu hua
 

cheng he ren

長大 虛浮不實 華麗
 

成為 什麼 樣的人

growing up superficial vanity

to become what (kind of) people

長大之後浮華不實,能做個什麼樣的人呢?
We will just grow up being superficial and vain. What kind of people will we become?

但 力 行 , 不 學 文

dan li xing
 

bu xue wen

只是 努力地 實行
 

不 學習 書本上的知識

only use effort to practice

don’t to study academic knowledge

如果只是努力實行,卻不去研究學識道理;
Conversely, if we only work hard but refuse to study principles,

任 己 見 , 昧 理 真

ren ji jian
 

mei li zhen

放任、沉溺 自己的 見解
 

隱藏 道理 真實性

to allow, indulge own views

to cover, to hide principle truth

就會固執於自己狹隘的看法,而埋沒了真理。
we will be bound by our own myopic views, thus burying truth.

語云﹕「生年不滿百」,又云﹕「人生如朝露」。我們應以這難得的人身,趁著這有限的命光,及時求知行善,福慧雙修。若光是日日為個虛假的「臭皮囊」犯愁,昏頭昏腦地為其衣食住行的欲樂而忙,轉瞬就過了庸庸碌碌的一生;結果是生前百事無成,身後萬古悽涼,豈不慘哉!
 

It is said, “One rarely lives beyond a century” and “Human lives are ephemeral as morning dew.” In the limited time that we have, we should use the difficult-to-come-by human form to pursue knowledge and practice benevolence, cultivating both blessings and wisdom. If we constantly worry about this fabricated “stinking skin bag,” buzzing about in a daze for the sake of living comfortably, then our banal life will be over soon enough. The result would be a futile life devoid of accomplishments and a sullen legacy in posterity. Wouldn’t that be miserable!

那麼如何是福慧雙修呢?進德是謂修褔;進學叫做修慧。進德不是信口說說,要身體力行;進學也非隨興讀讀,要慎始善終。光學不行,如聽人說食,終不能飽;光修不學,又如盲人摸象,總不能得。
 

Then how do we cultivate both blessings and wisdom? To advance our virtue is to cultivate blessings; to advance our scholarship is to cultivate wisdom. All talk and no action is not to make progress in virtue; we must practice what we say. Reading whenever we please without commitment from beginning to end is not to make progress in scholarship. Erudition without application is as if listening to others talk about food-you don’t ever become full. Implementation without scholarship is as if you are a blind person feeling an elephant–you never quite get it.

怎麼叫「聽人說食,終不能飽?」因為學的知識不去應用,則學了沒用;上材者成個賣嘴皮的痞子,下焉者就成了掉書袋的呆子,都領受不到法喜充滿的喜樂,更得不到學以致用的實惠。這豈不是像聽人說什麼好吃好喝的,就算講得有滿漢全席罷,又怎能真填飽肚子?
 

What does “One never becomes full listening to conversations about food” mean? Since we don’t apply the knowledge we’ve learned, it’s useless to have had the education. The cunning ones may become articulate con artists; the obtuse ones may become nerds who bury themselves in books, failing to realize the benefits of practicing what they’ve learned. Isn’t this similar to hearing people talk about delectable delicacies? Even if you hear the menu of an entire imperial banquet, can you honestly curb your appetite ?

再說該做的事情沒先研究明白,就做得不明白;奮發者會成個不要命的莽漢,保守者就成了死心眼的頑夫,都領受不到心神交會的喜樂,更得不到左右逢源的實惠。這豈不是像瞎子摸大象,摸著腿說像柱子,摸著耳說像風扇,就算摸了百遍千遍罷,又哪裡真的得知全貌?所以這兩種人,最後是想修福,褔沒得到,要修慧,慧也不具足,兩頭都落空!

Next, on taking action before a thorough understanding of the situation. The zealot turns into a ruthless brute who could care less about his or her life. The conservative becomes a stubborn mule who corners oneself. Neither of them experiences the joy of connecting one’s spirit and the mind; furthermore, they don’t obtain any benefits from practice. Isn’t that like one blind person who reaches for the elephant’s leg and claims that an elephant is like a pole while another blind person who touches the elephant’s ear alleges that an elephant is like a fan? Even if these sightless individuals feel the elephant hundreds and thousands of times, they will hardly know the whole truth. Both the con artists and the nerds wanted to cultivate blessings but failed. They wanted to cultivate wisdom, but failed too. They lost on both ends!

福慧雙修,悲智雙運的中庸之道,真的是那麼難知難守嗎?
 

Is it really that difficult to navigate the middle way of cultivating both blessings and wisdom and operating both compassion and intelligence?

現今世上,學而不願行的邪痞子越來越多,所以世風浮誇,邪說橫行。戰國末年,趙括最擅長「紙上談兵」,可謂縱橫天下無敵手,他也沾沾自喜;只有他那身經百戰的父親不看好他。果然趙括一帶兵就全軍覆沒,使趙國提早走向被強秦滅亡的命運。
 

In today’s world, superficiality and drama are in vogue while the language of wickedness reigns supreme because we’ve got more and more hippies who fail to implement what they’ve learned. During the latter years of the Warring States period, Zhao Gua specialized in “warfare on paper.” He was proud of the fact that he was considered the ultimate champion. Zhao’ s father had personally combated in hundreds of battles and was the only person who did not patronize Zhao. As Zhao’s father had expected, Zhao lost all of his battalions when he personally led the troops, dooming the nation Chao to an early death by the strong nation of Qin.

至於學而不能行的書呆子,古來最多,今人也不少;不是精神失常,就是得了社會性自閉症。這兩種不知力行、但修空慧的人,繪成了浮世兩極圖。
 

As to bookish nerds who can only study but not act, there have been more than plenty since ancient times and not too few in the present day either. These people either go insane or become sociopaths. In short, these categories of individuals who do not practice but only collect impractical knowledge portray the two extremes of our artificial world today.

而另一方面,光行而不願求新知,處處倚老賣老的老頑固比比皆是,成了社會進步的絆腳石;相反的,不學無術,卻自以為行俠仗義,動輒揮刀拔槍的魯莽漢也時時可見,猶如社會治安的炸彈。這兩種瞎力行的人,也在社會造成兩極效應。為什麼產生這兩極?只因他們自專自是:魯莽的,任他見;頑固的,任己見。任他見叫做無知障;任己見則是知識障﹕都是把真理迷昧不明了,總言迷障!
 

On the other hand, stubborn old mules who only work, pull rank and never desire updated knowledge become the ball and chain of social progress. In contrast, brutes who refuse to learn yet wield a weapon and proclaim themselves heroes are also everywhere. These two types of action-takers, time bombs that threaten societal peace, blindly exercise their strength and demonstrate two radical reactions in our society. Why do we have these two extreme responses? It is because these individuals are domineering and self-righteous. The boorish ones may follow others’ ideas while the obstinate ones only follow their own views. Those who follow others’ ideas are obstructed by ignorance; those who follow their own ideas are obstructed by knowledge. Both types are obscured from and confused about truth. In short, delusion envelops these individuals!

子路曾問孔子﹕「可不可以不管傳統,直接依據心意行事?」孔子說﹕「不行!以前東方有個夷人,他很仰慕華夏文明的禮法。他女兒死了丈夫,他就依據寡婦不再婚之禮,教女兒不許再嫁,卻私下給女兒養了個男人;這說是未改嫁,實則已違貞潔的真諦。南方蒼梧有個蠻人,娶了美婦,卻讓給其兄;這看來好似兄弟相讓,實則不合禮讓之意義。所以說,若棄置傳統,任憑心意行事,就會像這兩個例子,做出似是而非之事,就悔之不及了!」
 

Zi Lu once asked Confucius, “Could you ignore tradition and just follow the call of your heart?” Confucius answered, “No! In the past a tribal native east of China really admired the rites of China. When his son-in-law died, he taught his daughter to not remarry according to the rule that widows should not remarry. However, he clandestinely allowed his daughter to be with a man. Although the woman didn’t remarry, she had already violated the principle of chastity in reality. A tribe member of Cang Wu in southern China married a beautiful wife but conceded her to his elder brother. Outwardly these brothers appear to confer generously, but in actuality, they failed to abide by the true meaning of giving. That’s why I believe that if you abandon traditions and do as you please, you may do what seems correct, only to find out too late that your actions were wrong, as illustrated by my two examples.”

孔子教學生,最強調存仁以固其本質,學禮以表其文采:文質彬彬,然後君子。所以對本質淳厚,卻不好禮文的子路,他譬喻說﹕「用南山之竹做出來的箭,雖是又直又美;若再用金屬做個尖尖的箭頭,用羽毛裝飾箭尾,射起來就更快更遠!」鼓勵他力行之餘,更要學文。而對文采斐然,翩翩公子的子貢,孔子則嘉許他已經明白「繪事後素」的道理,鼓勵他要在美好本質的基礎上用功。
 

In teaching his students, Confucius strongly emphasized humaneness as the foundation of one’s character, the study of rites to demonstrate one’ s erudition-a scholar and a gentleman. Confucius counseled the basically wholesome Zi Lu who disliked propriety and culture, with an analogy. ” An arrow made with the bamboo of Southern Mountain may be straight and beautiful, however, if one mounts a sharp metallic arrowhead and append feathers to the tail of the arrow, then the arrow will shoot even faster and farther!” He encouraged Zi Lu to study more rather than spend all his time working. Conversely, to the cultured and debonair scholar, Zi Gong, Confucius commended him on his understanding of the idea, “to devise a plan then follow suit,” encouraging Zi Gong to work on the fundamentals of quality character.

這都是說明為人求學的次第,首要重敦品勵德,次要讀書習文。《朱子治家格言》上說﹕「子孫雖愚,經書不可不讀。」因為書是前人智慧的結晶,讀其書就等於吸收前人的經驗,可以少走幾步錯路。
 

All these explain the sequence of character and education. One must first develop morals and integrity before studying academically. Mr. Chu’s Aphorisms on Managing a Household said, “Even if your children and grandchildren are stupid, they must read.” Since people before us have compiled their wisdom for us in books, we are essentially absorbing their experiences by reading their books; thus we can avoid some wrong turns on the road.

本性雖愚而肯讀書者,讀久也能明理;資質本佳又善讀書者,則更如虎添翼。讀書可以變化人的氣質,心地乾淨純正的人,才能把書讀通;讀通了書的,一定思想超遠,氣度曠達。反之,讀書習文則恰恰成了助長他劣苗的惡緣。《菜根譚》上說得很好﹕「心地乾淨,方可讀書學古。不然,見一善行,竊以濟私;閱一善言,假以覆短。是又藉寇兵而齏盜糧矣。」這是說﹕心地齷齪邪逆,讀書不但無法變化其氣質,反讓他假借書中的典故以偽善,巧取書中的道理來飾非。就好比把武器交給強盜,把糧食借給賊寇,都是非常危險的。
 

Those who aren’t so bright by nature will understand many principles if they are willing to learn. Those with promising aptitudes and study well are like tigers with wings. Reading can change people’s persona. Only those with a pure and unadulterated mind can penetrate their subject of study. Once they have comprehended their studies, they will surely be visionary and embody both depth and breadth in their thinking. In opposition are individuals who use their education to help others breed errant sprouts. The Discourses on Vegetable Roots put it well, “One can only study and learn about antiquity with a clean mind ground. Otherwise, one will see a good deed and seize that credit for oneself; one will hear compliments and attempt to disguise one’s weaknesses. In other words, they borrow bandits to steal grain.” Therefore, if one’s mind is filthy and vicious, then not only will scholarship fail to alter one’s persona, but one will actually borrow morals out of stories to feign decency and cleverly pilfer principles out of books to mend misdeeds. This is comparable to handing muggers some weapons or lending food to thieves-danger looms at-large.

讀 書 法 , 有 三 到

du shu fa
 

you san dao

讀 書 方法
 

有 三點 注意到之處

to read (to study) book method

have three places to reach

讀書的方法,有三點必須注意到的地方。
Keep three points in mind when studying.

心 眼 口 , 信 皆 要

xin yan kou
 

xin jie yao

心 眼 口
 

確實 都 必須、具備

mind eyes mouth

surely all to be needed

心念、眼睛和嘴巴,確實都要並用。
You should use your mind, eyes, and mouth simultaneously.

方 讀 此 , 勿 慕 彼

fang du ci
 

wu mu bi

才 學習 這個
 

不要 希求 那個

just to read this

don’t to look for that

才剛讀到這個,不要又想學那個。
Do not think about learning that when you have just started studying this.

此 未 終 , 彼 勿 起

ci wei zhong
 

bi wu qi

這個 還沒有 結束
 

那個 不要 開始

this not yet to finish

that do not to start

這部分還沒有學完,不要又開始研究那部分。
Be sure to finish one area of study before taking up another.

英國有句古老的諺語﹕「滾動的石頭不長苔。」這是比喻一個人若不能安定在一個崗位上,就不容易有所成就;就像一個滾動的石頭一樣,青苔也就沒法在它表面聚集滋生了。但這不是教人墨守成規,不求進步,或者以少為足,不求淵博;只是教導我們無論求學做事,都要務實務本,不要好高鶩遠,貪快貪多。
 

An old English proverb goes, “Rolling rocks don’t grow moss.” This is analogous to someone who is discontent in the same position, who there- fore has a hard time attaining any success. Similarly, moss cannot collect and grow on the surface of a rolling rock. This aphorism is not teaching people to stagnate, be entrenched in old routines and refuse to evolve. Rather, this saying instructs us to take one honest step at a time and cover the basics, whether studying or working; we must not be overly ambitious and be greedy for efficiency or quantity .

怎樣叫務實?就是慎始敬終,老實用功;若一味追新求異,這一處工夫還未嫻熟,心就又跟了另一處新鮮奇異的東西轉移了,手腳怎能跟得上?手腳跟不上心,就變成眼高手低,越馳越遠;除了鸚鵡學舌,沒個自己的落腳處。怎樣叫務本?就是掃除外物,直覓本來;若一味摘枝尋葉,這一腳還未跨出,那一手又被旁門左道,繁蕪瑣碎的事情牽絆了,心思怎能放得開?
 

How does one take one honest step at a time? One begins anything cautiously and ends respectfully, working with the utmost earnestness. If you always go after the novel, your mind will already be on a different topic before you master the first subject. How could your arms and legs be able catch up? When your arms and legs lag behind your mind, your eyes are aiming too high and your hands are reaching too low. While you rush headlong without coordination, you further miss your target. You become akin to a parrot that constantly imitates others without a language of its own. How does one cover the basics? One clears away externalities and goes directly to the source. If you only collect extraneous ends, then before you take one step, minutia has already sidetracked and trapped you. How can you possibly expand your horizons?

心思放不開,就落得作繭自縛,越套越牢,終歸心外求法,沒個真正的受用處。《菜根譚》上說得好﹕「文章做到極處,無有他奇,只是恰好;人品做到極處,無有他異,只是本然。」恰好是個「中」,中就是止於至善;本然是個「純」,純就是歸於至真﹕既善且真,美自在其中矣!誰曰不宜?所以說我們無論求學做事,都要務實務本,不要讓花紅柳綠迷惑了心目,也不要讓那些斷簡殘篇封錮了手腳!
 

When you can’t expand your horizons, you end up creating a cocoon that constricts. Finally, you end up seeking dharma outside of the mind and receiving no true benefits. Discourses on the Roots of Vegetables said it well, “A well-written article contains nothing; it’s just right. A well-developed character has nothing odd; it’s fundamentally natural.” To be just right is to be moderate. To be good denotes staying with the mean. Since we were pure to begin with, purity denotes returning to what is natural and true. If you’re good and true, then you rediscover the beauty that is already within you! How can anything we do then be considered inappropriate? We must cover the basics and be honest, whether in our studies or at work. Don’t let the colorful flowers and foliage confuse you. Furthermore, don’t let those choppy reports and poorly-written essays lock you down!

有一位自認書法第一的書法家,他聽說某地有另一位書法家,號稱「天下第一」,就偷偷跑去看;到了那兒,果然見到有個人在大街上擺了個擂臺,桌上擺著紙張筆墨,旁邊插著「天下第一」的旗子,正迎風招展,彷彿在向來往的人挑戰示威。書法家看了看那位「天下第一家」的即席揮毫,便不聲不響地回去,從此閉門苦練了三年。這三年裏,他都練些什麼絕技呢?沒有!說來你不會相信!他什麼奇巧的花招都沒有,單單就練畫圓圈圈。整三年裏,他就只用毛筆畫著一個又一個的圓圈圈,一直到他隨手一畫,每個圈圈都是大小相同,粗細均勻的正圓為止。然後他再去拜訪那位始終無敵手的「天下第一」;到了桌前,他提筆一口氣就畫上幾個圓圈圈。
 

A Chinese calligrapher who deemed himself the best had heard that elsewhere there was another calligrapher with the title, “Number One in the Universe.” The first Chinese calligrapher couldn’t resist stealing a look. When he got to the main thoroughfare in town, he saw someone on stage with writing material. Staked on the side of the road was a flag headlined, “Number One in the Universe” that fluttered about in the wind, challenging and intimidating all passersby. The calligrapher saw Mr. Universe swing his strokes right on the spot and the observing calligrapher returned home without a peep. From then on this man practiced in seclusion for three years. What kind of outstanding stunt was he doing during these three years? None! You wouldn’t believe it if I told you! He didn’t have any clever tricks at all; he simply practiced drawing circles. During those entire three years, he drew one circle after another until he was able to pick up his calligraphy pen and draw circles that were equal in size, width, and proportion. Then he went to visit that still undefeated Mr. Universe. When the challenger reached the table, he lifted up the pen and in one breath drew several circles.

所謂「行家伸伸手,便知有沒有」,旁觀的人還莫名其妙,那位「天下第一」先是瞠目結舌,繼之面紅耳赤,一語不發地收拾了東西,捲起「天下第一」的旗招就走了。
 

As it is said, “The expert simply stretches out his hand and you know whether he has it or not. “While observers were still at a loss, the reigning calligrapher glared and remained speechless out of shock at first, and then he embarrassingly packed up his stuff, rolled up the “Number One in the Universe” banner and left without a word.

從這故事我們得到的啟示是:第一,專一其心,必可成就;第二,最偉大的招術,便是沒有招術的招術;最奇巧的技藝,便是不算技藝的技藝。那麼讀書要怎樣才能專一其心呢?古人提出「三到」、「三上」。三到是眼到、口到、心到。眼到,是要字字看得真切;口到,是要句句唸得分明;心到,是要字字句句了然於心。三上則是指飯桌上、寢床上、毛坑上;也就是不單在書桌上是眼到、口到、心到地用功,就是寢食之間,甚至上廁所時,也都用功不輟。古代的廁所又簡陋,又多異味,能在那兒還念得綿綿密密,真是斷除妄想了,毋怪乎功夫可以成就。
 

The moral of this story is that, first of all, you can accomplish anything if you concentrate. Second, the greatest trick is a trick that uses no tricks. The cleverest technique is a technique that isn’t considered a technique. So how do you study so that you may concentrate? The ancients mentioned the “three presences” and the “three tops.” The three presences are the presence of the eyes, the presence of the mouth and the presence of the mind. Having your eyes present means that you read each and every word earnestly; having your mouth present means that you enunciate each line clearly; having your mind present means that you are clear about every word and each line. The three tops refer to being on top of dining tables, on top of beds and on top of toilets. Not only do you study with your eyes, mouth and mind present while at your desk, but you do not let up on your studying during meals, bedtimes and even in the bathroom. Toilets during ancient times were bare and smelly. If you can sit there and still read, you really have severed your false thoughts–your success is inevitable.

現代的廁所又光亮,又潔淨,坐著也很舒服的,所以現代人若要用功,也比較清涼自在。或許正因為得到解放而太自在了,也就有一些現代人真的用功用到廁所去了!怎麼呢?在裏頭一坐,一兩個鐘頭不出來。用的是什麼功呢?就看報紙、雜誌,或言情小說、武俠小說等等的閒書。這真不知是善於利用時間?抑或浪費時間?
 

Contemporary bathrooms are bright, clean and quite cozy, so it’s cooler and easier for people today to work in there. However, precisely because modern men have been liberated from many physical restraints and are so comfortable–some individuals really work in their restrooms now! How? They’ll sometimes sit in the lavatory for an hour or two. What kind of work are they doing? They’re reading newspapers, magazines, romance novels or kung fu books. I honestly don’t know whether they save or waste time.

須知人生苦短,庸庸碌碌是一生,充實圓滿也是一生。我們若怕用功太辛苦,專撿現成的做,甚至放逸邪辟,無惡不作,那更苦的可還在後頭,而且是所作所受互為因果,苦海輪迴,難有了期的。
 

We must know that life is brutal and short. To live an average and mediocre existence is one life; to live a fulfilled and perfect existence is one life too. If we’re afraid to work hard and only pick what’s most convenient, perhaps to the point of complete indolence and vice, severe difficulty will likely follow. More specifically, we reap what we sow; we will end up circulating endlessly in the sea of suffering.

中國清朝時,山東堂邑有個叫武訓的乞丐。他三歲喪父,七歲喪母,家貧如洗,只得靠行乞為生。武訓深深感受到不識字的痛苦,於是立志興學,嘉惠窮人。他刻苦地省吃簡用,把乞來的錢存起來,數十年如一日,到老年時,真的買到地,把學校辦起來了。他又沿戶拜託窮人家送孩子來上學,再拜託有學問的人來教書。若有老師不想教,他就長跪不起地求他教;有學生不想學,他就慟哭不止地求他學。終於感動了一鄉的人都努力助學、向學;到他死時,他已辦了三間學校。
 

During the Qing Dynasty in China, a beggar named Wu Xun lived in Tangyi, Shandong Province. He lost his father at the age of three and lost his mother at the age of seven. He could only beg for a living because his family was so poor. Wu Xun had personally experienced the pain of illiteracy, so he aspired to establish a school to benefit the poor. He endured hardships to save his money. He saved every penny he had received from begging continuously for several decades. In his old age, he indeed purchased land and established a school. Furthermore, he went from one household to another beseeching poor families to send their kids to school, then beseeching the educated to teach. If teachers refused to teach, he would kneel at length; if students refused to learn, he would cry nonstop, pleading with them. Finally, he moved an entire village of people to dedicate themselves to teaching and learning. At his death he had established three schools.

類似的情形在美國早年也有。當時美國教育尚未普及,種族歧視又很嚴重。有個叫勃克‧華盛頓的黑人青年,很有志氣;白天他到煤礦裏做工,晚上就去補習學校念書。畢業後,學校看他很上進,功課又優異,就請他當教員。但他並不滿足於一己生活和身分的提昇,他還立志要改善所有黑人的生活品質。後來他借錢買了塊帶草房的地,就招收了三十個學生,創辦起一所黑人小學。他親自帶領學生砍木頭,燒磚瓦,開始蓋教室;又教學生種五穀菜蔬,養雞鴨牛羊,來充實學校的經費。慢慢地,不但生產所得足以自足,學生也在生活日用中學得知識和生產的技術。後來學生越來越多,老師也踴躍前來相助,最後這個學校竟成了世界最大最有名的黑人學校。
 

Similar cases also exist in early American history. Before education in the U.S. became prevalent and when racial discrimination was rampant, an ambitious young African American named Booker T. Washington worked in the mines during the day and studied at night school during the evenings. At his graduation, the school saw he was very hardworking and had excellent grades, so they asked him to be an instructor. However, he wasn’t satisfied with his own livelihood and rising status; he aspired to improve the quality of life for all African Americans. Later he borrowed money to purchase straw huts and land. Washington enrolled about thirty students and founded an elementary school for African Americans. He personally led the students in chopping wood, burning bricks, and constructing classrooms. He also taught students to plant grains and vegetables, and raise chickens, ducks, cows and sheep to subsidize the school. Not only did the production gradually pay for the school itself, but students also acquired knowledge and production skills through these daily routines. Later, more and more students enrolled, and more and more teachers enthusiastically came to help. Eventually, this school became the world’s largest and most famous school for African Americans .

有一回,他應邀到愛荷華州某地演講。當晚他正和許多名人在旅館的接待室談話,忽然一個鼓手拿著個大銅鼓進來,一看到勃克,以為他是茶房,就對他說﹕「替我拿杯冰水來!然後再把我的行李搬上樓!」勃克連忙回答﹕「好!好!」等勃克從樓上下來時,所有的貴賓都很驚慌;但是勃克卻笑嘻嘻地說﹕「那位先生給我一毛錢小費,我也收下了,兔得他難堪。再說,這一毛錢,對於我窮苦學生的教育,也是有點幫助的。」他就是這樣以身作則,一生奔走於教育事業,不遺餘力。到他去世時,世界各國的報紙,都在頭版大幅地報導追悼他;有十萬黑人還為他造了銅像,又立了個碑。碑上刻著﹕「他除去了民眾的愚昧;他透過教育和工業的道路,去指導民眾。」
 

Once Washington was invited to Iowa State for a speech. That night, as he was talking to many famous people in the hotel’s reception room, a drummer with a large copper drum saw Washington. Taking him for a bellman, the musician called out, “Bring me a glass of ice water! Then bring my luggage upstairs!” Washington answered, “Yes, sir!” When Washington came down the stairs, all the honored guests were in a panic, but he smiled, saying, “I accepted that man’s tip of a dime to avoid embarrassing him. Furthermore, this one dime will help educate my impoverished students.” He served as a role model through his behavior, tirelessly working for the sake of education throughout his life. At his death, newspapers worldwide commemorated him with front-page coverage. Also, one hundred thousand African Americans set up a bronze statue and a stone tablet for him. On the tomb is the inscription, “He eliminated ignorance among the public; through the paths of education and industry he guided the public.”

《三字經》云﹕「玉不琢,不成器;人不學,不知義。子不學,非所宜;幼不學,老何為?」想想看,我們有幸生在教育普及的現代,書籍文具又很方便,何不趁現在年紀尚輕,環境也優於古人,而好好用功,以自立立人呢?切莫讓前人專美,更莫令後生恥笑啊!
 

The Three Character Classics states, “Unpolished jade cannot serve as a vessel; the uneducated person cannot understand integrity. Students who do not learn go against the grain. What will be- come of youngsters who do not study? ” Think about it: since we’re fortunate enough to live in the modem era of public education, abundant books and school supplies and a more conducive environment than that in the past, why don’t we study hard while we’re still young so that we may help ourselves and help others? Let’s not allow previous generations take all the glory; furthermore, let’s not be ridiculed by future generations!

寬 為 限 , 緊 用 功

kuan wei xian
 

jin yong gong

寬容有餘的 做,設立 期限
 

加緊地 使用 功夫

lofty, broad to make a limit

tightly to use effort

每一本書,預計讀完的期限要定得長一些,然後加緊用功。
Give yourself abundant time to read a book; then apply effort steadily.

工 夫 到 , 滯 塞 通

gong fu dao
 

zhi se tong

努力 到達
 

停頓 不通 貫通、明白

effort to reach

standstill obstruction to penetrate, to understand

只要用的工夫到家了,所有的疑難困惑自然明瞭貫通。
Once your skill has matured, you will understand and resolve all difficulties.

心 有 疑 , 隨 札 記

xin you yi
 

sui zha ji

心 有 疑惑
 

隨即、緊接 做 筆記

mind have doubt

follow through to make a note

若是心中有了疑惑,要隨時筆記下來。
When you have a question, make a note of it.

就 人 問 , 求 確 義

jiu ren wen
 

qiu que yi

跟、接近 他人 請問
 

尋求 真確 意義

to draw near someone to ask

to search, to seek accurate meaning

等機會請教別人,以求得確切的意義。
Ask someone for the answer when the opportunity arises.

讀書固然要用功,卻也要有正確的方法,否則是事倍功半,費時費力。什麼是正確的方法?第一要澄清心念,確立志向。志是心的方向盤,心是志的舵手;觀念不正確,方向也就會歪;方向一歪,無論再怎麼努力,也到達不了目的地,所以為學以立志為第一要務。志向既立,就一味死用功,這叫做「死讀書」。想不死讀書,就要講方法。如何是好方法?俗話說﹕「緊了繃,慢了鬆,不緊不慢才成功。」這話說來雖容易,緊慢的分寸,卻不易拿捏得準。
 

Although we have to study hard, we must use the correct methods of studying, too; otherwise we only do things halfway, wasting time and effort. What are some correct methods? First, we should calm our mind and clarify our purpose. Purpose is the mind’ s steering wheel while the mind drives our purpose. If our perspectives are erroneous, then our direction tilts. Once our direction slants, regardless of how diligent we may be, we will never reach our destination. So the first and most essential task in studying is to establish a purpose. If you have a purpose, and then you begin to study incessantly, you are “studying as if a stiff.” If you don’t want to study like a stiff, you should learn some other methods. What are some good methods? A common saying goes, “It breaks if too taut; it unravels if too sluggish; you arrive at mastery when you’re neither too uptight nor too slow.” This is easier said than done. We have a hard time deciphering and adjusting our tension and speed.

總之,原則是:設限之時可以略寬,用功之處卻宜從嚴,也就是不要在未用功之初,就先在結果上給自己太多壓力。人貴自知,自己的資質如何,要先瞭解,不用與人相比;人比人,只有氣死人,於事有損,而於己無補。因此先把為學的志向定了,目標也就有了;然後再從這長程目標,分出來幾段的短程目標,給自己充裕的時間去用功,以循序漸進,逐層上達。
 

In general, we ought to allot more than sufficient time within our plans while strictly observe the schedule when we carry out our plans. That is to say, do not give yourself too much pressure thinking about the results before you even start studying. One knows one’s own standing and quality .You must first understand yourself and not compare yourself with others. You only die from frustration if you compare yourself with others. Consequently, you only denigrate your work without helping yourself a bit.

千萬不要好高騖遠,未學爬就想飛,三步併做一步,逼到自己喘不過氣來時,不得不撒手撂下,最後定是信根全斷。譬如說﹕你希望當個物理學專家,這可以分出來小學、初中、高中、大學、研究所等幾個短程目標,逐一去完成。在每一個短程目標裡,你還可以再分出更近的幾層短程目標;如一星期內讀多少物理故事,一月內做多少小實驗,一年內知道多少物理新知。
 

Once you have settled on an aspiration and a goal, you can then set up several short-term objectives within the long-term goal. You give yourself enough time to study, taking one step at a time as you gradually move closer to your target. Never be overly ambitious that you try to fly before you’ve even learned to crawl or take one step for every three. When you force yourself that way, you become breathless and have to abandon your work. You end up with nothing but a complete loss of confidence. For example, suppose you want to become an authority on physics. What you can do is to establish and follow through on short- term objectives for yourself during your years in elementary school, junior high school, high school, university and graduate school. Within each short-term objective you may further map out short-range targets, such as reading so many physics articles in a week, doing so many small-scaled experiments in a month, or acquiring so much new information on physics in a year.

目標定得寬,容易到,壓力就小,比較能心無旁騖,勇往直前。中間為了生活或興趣,你或者可以去當個中小學教師,甚至大學教授,也可以找個相關的研究工作;卻不宜偏離了方向,做起賣花、推銷保險等不相干的營生。這樣功夫就不易相應,再回程,又是曠時廢日,還不一定成功。
 

The broader your goal, the easier it is to obtain it. You will have less pressure and distractions that way, thus boldly move forward. As your plan unfolds, you may become an elementary or secondary school teacher, or a university professor for the sake of livelihood or interest. You may also find a relevant research job. You do not want to stray off of your target and start selling flowers, promoting insurance, or working in other unrelated fields. If you do that, it’s more difficult to become an expert in your field. Having wasted some time, you may have to backtrack; nonetheless your success remains uncertain.

美國發明電燈的愛迪生,自小就好奇心特別重,而且還很有實驗精神。有一次,愛迪生看見母雞孵小雞,為了研究,他也坐到卵上,專心地孵了一整天。正因為諸如此類的行為太多了,大家都笑他傻,連學校老師也認為他是個低能兒,可是他的母親卻認為世俗的教學方式不適合兒子,就在家自己教愛迪生,充分予他自由思考和實驗發明的機會。愛迪生慢慢長大,發明的各種小玩意兒也愈來愈多,愈來愈有實用性。他之所以能成為當代最偉大的發明家,實得力於他的專心致志,努力不懈。
 

Edison, the American inventor of the light bulb, was an especially curious child who loved to experiment. Once, Edison saw some hens hatching chicks. For the sake of research, he sat on some eggs for a day in full attention. Precisely because he behaved in this manner so frequently, everyone laughed at how stupid he appeared. Edison’s schoolteacher thought he was an idiot too. His mother, on the other hand, thought teaching methods in typical schools were inappropriate for her son. She taught Edison at home, providing him with plenty of opportunities to think and analyze freely, to experiment and to invent. When Edison grew up, he invented more and more gadgets that also became increasingly practical. He became the greatest inventor of contemporary times because of his focus on his goal and tirelessness.

有一次他在實驗時,肚子餓了,他就起身去煮個蛋,但等到蛋該熟時,愛迪生打開鍋蓋一看,鍋內躺著的是他方才脫下來放在桌上的錶,而那個雞蛋還好端端地在桌子上頭哩!他結婚那天,車子正巧經過實驗室,他便下了車進去,一直到他做完實驗出來,天已黑了,這才發現那又餓又累可憐的新娘,還在車上等著他呢!
 

Once Edison was hungry during experimentation, so he went to boil an egg. After what seemed a suitable amount of cooking time, Edison lifted the lid and saw his watch in the cooker whereas an egg was still on the table! On his wedding day, the couple drove by the laboratory. Edison got off the car and entered the lab. It was already dark by the time he finished his experiments, yet he found his poor bride, tired and hungry, still waiting for him in the car!

當然,我們也不是鼓勵你像愛迪生這樣。但是從專心致志的工夫中,得到心領神會,心開意解的那一剎那,的確是讀書最樂之處。《菜根譚》有兩句話,非是過來人說不出的﹕「善讀書者,要讀到手舞足蹈處,方不落筌蹄;善觀物者,要觀到心融神洽時,方不泥跡象。」讀書本須專心一志,「精誠所至,金石為開」;工夫更須下得切實,鑽研得深。「他山之石,可以攻錯」,工夫純熟就能通;一樣通,就樣樣通了。用功也是要活用功,知之為知之,不知為不知;若強不知以為知,別人不再教你,你也失去明了真義的機會。所以讀書切忌囫圇吞棗,含糊蒙混。囫圇吞棗是貪,貪多貪快都不可,那像是急性病,會斷了命根;含糊蒙混是懶,懶記懶想也不行,那像是慢性毒藥,會蝕了支柱。古今中外,絕沒有貪惰之人而能竟全功的例子。
 

Of course, we’re not encouraging you to imitate Edison. However, you should realize that the happiest part of studying is when you concentrate until you understand and everything clicks for you. A couple of lines in the Discourse on the Roots of Vegetables were obviously articulated by veterans, “When your study fathoms the true meaning in a book, you have transcended the barriers of language. When your spirit has meshed with the object of your observation, you are no longer attached to phenomena.” Studying requires full concentration; “metal and stone will break apart if you’re sincere enough.” You must study thoroughly and investigate deeply. “The faults of others can be used to attack one’s own faults.” Once the work becomes second nature to you, you will easily master your subject; once you become an expert in one subject, you become an expert in all subjects. Also, you must be flexible while studying. If you know it then you know it; if you don’t know it then you don’t know it. If you pretend to know when you don’t, others will refuse to teach you. You will have lost an opportunity to truly understand. Therefore you must avoid biting off more than you can chew and pretending to be a specialist. You’re being greedy when you try to swallow a large chunk all at once. Avoid being greedy for quantity or speed; otherwise by analogy you’ll lose your life to a sudden illness. You’re being lazy when you play a charlatan. If you you’re too lazy to memorize or think, then by analogy a slowly spreading virus will nibble away your pillar of support. Throughout the history of the world, no greedy or lazy person has been completely successful.

所以用功要寬緊相濟,常存疑情;疑情既生,則當思當問,務必弄到水落石出;切勿草草罷休,功虧一簣。若是望文解字,不疑不悟,則是「讀死書」;讀死書,死讀書,終歸是讀書死。以孔夫子那樣博洽淹貫的禮學專家,尚且「入大廟,每事問」,可謂是「打破砂鍋問到底,還要問砂鍋哪裏買的」;因此惹得一些閒人笑話他:「誰說孔氏知禮啊?知禮的怎會問個沒完?」但是孔夫子稟持他一貫「知之為知之,不知為不知」的理念,說明這種謹慎謙虛的態度,才是真正的懂禮。孔夫子認真向學的態度,與實事求是的精神,真值得我們效法!
 

Therefore, while studying you must balance relaxation and discipline, and always ask questions. Once you have a question, you should think, ask and make sure you understand. Do not readily toss your doubt aside and give up just as you’re about to cross the finish line. If you take words at their surface and never doubt, you fail to understand, as if reading lifeless books. Reading lifeless books or reading like a stiff-either way it’s dead reading. Even an erudite expert in rites and scholarship such as Confucius still “enters the grand temple and inquires about everything.” One should “get to the bottom of the wok until it breaks; even then one still pursues with yet another question, inquiring about the purchase place of the wok.” There- fore, some busybodies joked, “Who says that Confucius knows about manners? How can someone who understands manners ask questions endlessly?” Nonetheless, Confucius maintained his typical attitude: “If you know it then you know it; if you don’t know it then you don’t.” This cautious and humble attitude exemplifies someone who truly understands manners. We ought to emulate Confucius’ serious attitude toward learning and his matter-of-fact spirit!

房 室 清 , 牆 壁 淨

fang shi qing
 

qiang bi jing

房間 保持清爽
 

牆壁 擦乾淨

room to keep neat

wall to cleanse

房間應保持清爽;牆壁要收拾乾淨。
Our room should be kept neat and tidy with the walls uncluttered and clean.

几 案 潔 , 筆 硯 正

ji an jie
 

bi yan zheng

桌子 弄整潔
 

毛筆 硯台 放端正

table, desk to tidy up

pen ink slab well arranged

書桌應清理整潔;文具要擺放端正。
Our desk should be kept in good order, pens and papers well arranged.

墨 磨 偏 , 心 不 端

mo mo pian
 

xin bu duan

墨條 研細、摩擦 歪斜的
 

心 不 端正的

ink stick to grind slanted

mind not upright

墨磨得歪斜了,這就表示心不端正。
If our ink stick is ground at an angle, it’s likely our minds are not upright.

字 不 敬 , 心 先 病

zi bu jing
 

xin xian bing

字 不 工整的
 

心 首先地 有毛病

writing not neat

mind first to have problem

字寫得潦草,那是因為心不在焉。
If our writing is sloppy and careless, it is because we are absent-minded.

練習書法的人都知道「心正筆正」的道理,所以古代的中國人把練習書法列為「六藝」(即六種必修的技藝課程)之一。另外的五種技藝課程是禮儀、音樂、射箭、駕御馬車、工藝(有人把第六種的「數」,解讀做「數學」,愚意以為解做「工藝」比較恰當。一則因為純數學是書本知識,不算是「技藝」,應用數學則已包括在工藝裏頭;二來從先秦諸子百家的言論,可以發現很多用造車輪、舟船、油漆或木工來做的比喻,足見當時的讀書人對工藝的瞭解,也不遜於詩書之類的書本知識,由此可證,他們一定學過工藝。)只可惜後來的讀書人變成了「純讀書」,只重視「六經」,不重視「六藝」,到後來只剩了禮儀、音樂、書法三種比較靜態的藝,還有人注重,其餘三種講求手腦並用的技藝,就被輕視為「形而下」之事;以至於造成後世的讀書人只知為讀書而讀書,不知運動,更不懂得生活,予人以「手無縛雞之力」、「百無一用是書生」的文弱印象。
 

People who practice calligraphy know that, “If their minds are straight, their characters will be upright.” Thus, in ancient China calligraphy was considered one of the Six Arts (the six skills an educated person was required to learn). The other five Arts were rites, music, archery, chariot driving, and applied arts. (Some have interpreted this sixth art as mathematics, but I think “applied arts” is more apt. First of all, pure mathematics is academic knowledge and cannot be considered a skill. Applied mathematics is included in applied arts. Secondly, since the pre- Qin period, philosophers have drawn analogies such as making carriage wheels, boats, and ships; painting; and carpentry, indicating that scholars in those days understood applied arts as well as academics. Thus, they must have studied applied arts.) It is a pity that later scholars began to focus purely on academics, valuing the Six Classics but not the Six Arts. Now, only rites, music, and calligraphy–the three less active Arts, are still valued. The other three, which require hand-and-brain coordination, have been scorned as physical activities. As a result, modern-day scholars do nothing but study, get very little exercise, and have no idea of how to live a balanced life. They are pictured as effete intellectuals, “weaklings who can’t truss a chicken,” and “useless scholars.” On the other hand, since calligraphy has been regarded as a tool for cultivating one’s moral character and spirituality , and as art also involves a certain beauty, it has had the fortune of surviving until the present.

話說回來,就因為將練習書法當做「修心養性」的工具,而書法本身又是一種具有「美感」的藝術,因此才幸運地被流傳到現在。既然把練習書法當做修心養性的工具,這從陳列桌椅、擺置紙筆硯墨,到磨墨、持筆、寫字,就處處都有其講究了。
 

As a tool for spiritual cultivation, the art of calligraphy involves arranging the desk and chair; setting out the paper, brush, ink slab, and ink; holding the brush; and writing the characters. These guidelines are described in the present verses.
 

怎樣呢?就是本章所說的:房間應保持清爽,牆壁要收拾乾淨;書桌應清理整潔,文具要擺置端正。環境預備好了,心就能清靜,這是基礎;然後要注意寫字的姿勢:磨墨應端端正正,握筆要不鬆不緊。這樣寫出來的字,即使不夠美,卻是方正有力;至於美,那是藝術,就要再加上不斷的練習和揣摩,是屬於技巧的講求。
 

The room must be kept neat and tidy, the walls uncluttered and clean, the desk in good order, and the writing utensils well arranged. When the environment is well-prepared, the mind will be calm. With this foundation in place, one then attends to posture: grinding the ink stick evenly, holding the brush neither too tightly nor too loosely. In this way, one’s characters will be even and firm at the least, if not beautiful. For calligraphy to be beautiful as art, one must develop one’s technique through continuous practice and adjustment.
 

總之,不要小看了事前的準備工夫,以為若要字美,只需勤練就可。須知練出來的字,若無先前這番日用的準備工夫,就缺少一種磅礡的氣勢,顯得華而不實,在藝術價值上都減了幾分,更何況於身心無補呢!
 

In general, the preparatory work should not be taken lightly. Don’t think that diligent practice suffices to produce beautiful characters. If you neglect the daily preliminary work, your characters will be frivolous rather than magnanimous. Their artistic quality will be diminished, and you will suffer an irreparable physical and psychological loss.

現代的父母們,很多犯了好高騖遠的毛病,以為孩子能把書念好又多才多藝,已很傑出;孩子不會去吸毒耽玩,已很乖了。因此寧可自己做一家之「煮」和老媽子,不教孩子幫忙家務,以免影響孩子功課;甚至孩子自己的房間,還得幫他整理,要不就視而不見,任其滿室零亂。結果造就出一大批不知天高地厚的青少年,不是生活無法獨立自主,就是感情經不起挫折;遇事既不知慎謀能斷在先,又不能縝密快速處理於中,最後又無法堅忍持續到底。
 

Modern parents make the mistake of having lofty expectations that overlook the basics. They consider children who do well in school and are talented to be outstanding. They consider children who don’t do drugs or party a lot to be well-behaved. Thus, they slave away doing all the household chores and cooking, but dare not ask their children to help, lest it adversely affect their homework. They even tidy their children’s rooms or pre- tend not to notice the mess. As a result, we have a bunch of un- grateful, frivolous young people. They cannot survive on their own or weather emotional crises. Unused to planning ahead and making decisions, they are neither efficient nor careful in their work. Consequently, they cannot persevere to the end.
 

古人說得好﹕「一室之不治,何以天下國家為?」整理房間雖然是私事、小事,似乎和辦公事、大事無關;但是如果連私事都無法掌控得好,又哪有餘力去顧及公事?如果連小事都無法管理得當,又哪有能力去處理大事?每日做家事,可以培養韌性、毅力和責任感;而把家事在最短的時間中料理得最好,則可以訓練管理頭腦和組織能力。以這樣的韌性、毅力、頭腦、能力和責任感,若為生活而謀差使,都是游刃而有餘;若一朝風雲際會,更能運籌天下於帷幄間而無礙。誰能說整理房間只是一己的私事,或不重要的小事?
 

As an old proverb says, “If you cannot keep a room in order, how can you maintain order in the nation?” Keeping one’s room tidy may seem a trivial, personal affair unrelated to important, public matters. Yet, if one cannot even keep one’s personal affairs in order, what energy could one have to take care of public affairs? If one handles small matters poorly, how can one handle large matters capably? Doing daily household chores nurtures one’s tenacity, perseverance, and sense of responsibility .Efficient performance of household chores fosters management acumen and organizational skills. With such tenacity, perseverance, acumen, skills, and responsibility, one will quite easily find a job to support oneself. When the opportunity arises, one will be able to calmly plan strategies to skillfully tackle national and international issues. How can anyone say that tidying the room is a personal, trivial matter?
 

《中庸》說﹕「君子動而世為天下道,行而世為天下法,言而世為天下則。」這種君子,並非「十載寒窗苦讀」所能成就的;他們的心性、品格和能力,都是自小在灑掃應對的家務小事中,長期培養鍛鍊出來的。人之所以貧窮,在於不懂教育及生活,和天資高低,祖產多寡無關。一個人自小就能條理井然地處理自己的居住環境,長大了也就能條理井然地處理一切事情;那麼任何事務也難不倒他,任何情況也困擾不了他。
 

The Doctrine of the Mean says, “The actions of the cultivated person serve as a path for the world; his practices serve as laws for the world; his words serve as regulations for the world.” Such a cultivated person is not one who merely “studies for ten years by the window in the cold.” His temperament, character, abilities were forged through a long period of doing routine household chores from childhood onwards. A person who does not understand how to learn and live is truly poor; poverty has nothing to do with one’s natural talent or wealth. A person who learns how to keep his own living space and belongings in order at a young age will be capable of handling all matters in an organized fashion as an adult. He will be able to surmount any difficulty and rise above any situation.

粗茶淡飯,一家怡然,何貧窮之有?真正的貧窮是心靈枯寂零亂,遇事慌張失措或處事首尾失據的人。有「西方孔子」之美譽的古希臘哲學大師蘇格拉底,就強調說﹕「條理井然的心靈,是唯一真正快樂,也是唯一有資格過美好的生活。」既然「每個人是自己的支配者」,那麼我們何不及早訓練孩子在「整潔有序」上下工夫,讓孩子支配自己的人生,成為一個心靈條理井然的人呢?
 

As long as a family is happy, though they subsist on plain fare, how can they be considered poor? Genuine poverty is experienced by those who are psychologically starved or confused, who err out of nervousness, and who cannot handle anything well. Socrates, the great Greek philosopher hailed as the Confucius of the West, insisted, “The ordered soul is the only truly happy one, the only one capable of living the good life.” Since “Every man is his own ruler,” why not teach our children to be neat and organized, so they can take charge of their own lives and be ordered souls?

列 典 籍 , 有 定 處

lie dian ji
 

you ding chu

陳列 書籍
 

有 固定 地方

to arrange in order books

have fixed place

排放書籍雜誌,要有一定的位置。
Each book that you use should have its own place on the shelf.

讀 看 畢 , 還 原 處

du kan bi
 

huan yuan chu

讀 看 完、結束
 

歸回 原來 地方

study reading to finish

to return original place

讀看完畢,要放回原來的地方。
After you finish reading, put the books back where they belong.

雖 有 急 , 卷 束 齊

sui you ji
 

juan shu qi

即使 有 緊急
 

捲成一卷 用繩子捆紮 整齊

although to have an urgent matter

to roll to bind tidily and neatly

就是有急事,也要把書收拾整齊。
Even when in a hurry , you should close your books the right way.

有 缺 壞 , 就 補 之

you que huai
 

jiu bu zhi

有 殘缺不全 破損
 

那麼、立即 修補 它

to have missing damaged

then; right away to repair them

書籍如果有殘缺或破損,就隨時把它修補好。
If the pages or cover are damaged, be sure to take time to repair them.

前章說到﹕我們應及早訓練孩子在「整潔有序」上下工夫,讓孩子支配自己的人生,成為一個心靈條理井然的人;這不唯是對居家的環境而說,甚至對於所有穿戴應用的衣服物品也要珍重愛惜。
 

The previous passage said that we should teach our children early on to be tidy and orderly, so that they will know how to lead their own lives and be disciplined in spirit. They ought to cherish not only their home environment, but their clothes and belongings as well.
 

前面講「謹」的部份已提過,不但穿衣戴帽,著襪納履要端正緊切,就是衣帽也要有定位,不可隨用隨丟,弄得又髒又亂;這兒再強調:對於書籍也是一樣,要保持整潔有序。一絲一縷,固然當思來處不易,對於聖賢之言的典籍,更要深生珍重之心。書籍的擺放要分門別類,各有其一定的位置,用時才方便:讀看過後,再歸回原處,下次讀用時,即時可以找到,豈不省了多少翻找的時間?
 

The earlier section on “Learning to Be careful” mentioned that one’s clothes, hat, socks, and shoes should be neat and kept in their proper places; one must not casually leave them where they might get dirty or ruined. This section stresses that books ought to be kept in order as well. One must remember that even a piece of thread is hard to come by; how much the more should one treasure books containing the words of sages. Books should be classified and stored according to type, making them convenient to use. If they are returned to their place after one is done reading them, they will be easy to locate the next time one needs them, thus saving a lot of time.

古代中國的書籍,從最早的竹策、葦編,到後來的線裝紙面書,都很容易產生脫線缺頁,或磨損模糊的現象;所以取讀時必須小心,輕拿輕放,有破損缺頁,應馬上補修重釘,以免繼續散失或損毀。即使是現代的平面精裝版,若不加以愛護,也一樣會破損脫落或散失流佚;那麼下回再讀用時,是否得再買呢?若是絕版書,就有錢也買不到了!因此,日用間的條理井然,整潔有序,節省的不單是時間,也是金錢。一個人是不是有成就,是不 是能做自己的主,端看他日用間是否愛惜物事,條理井然 。
 

Ancient Chinese books-from the earliest bamboo tablets and reed pages to later string-bound paper books-tended to fall apart and lose their pages, or the writing would fade and rub off. Thus, it was essential to treat books carefully, picking them up and setting them down gently, and immediately repairing any damage. If pages were missing, one would immediately rebind the book to prevent further loss. If one does not handle a modern hardcover book gently, even it will fall apart and lose pages, and one will have to buy another copy the next time one wants to read it. If it is out of print, however, that simply won’t be possible. Thus, the habit of being organized in one’s daily life saves not only time but money. To tell whether people are successful and in control of their own lives, observe to see how organized they are and how carefully they handle things from day to day.

好學的阿伯拉罕‧林肯,自小家境貧窮,必須半工半讀;林肯買不起許多書,大部份的書,都是他向人借來讀的。他在少年時候,就很佩服美國第一任總統喬治‧華盛頓;一天,他跟朋友借到了一本《華盛頓傳》,他看了又看,總是手不離書,書不離手。一個夜裏,大雨傾盆,他簡陋的小屋漏水,把《華盛頓傳》打濕了;書烘乾後,仍是縐縐的,書皮也顯得很髒。
 

Abraham Lincoln, known for his love of learning, was born in a poor family and had to work to support his schooling. Since Lincoln could not afford to buy many books, he borrowed most of them from others. As a young boy, he looked up to George Washington, the first President. One day his friend lent him a biography of Washington. He read it over and over, unable to set it down. One night during a huge downpour, the roof of his humble home leaked and the book got wet. After he dried it by the fire, the pages were all wrinkled and the cover was stained.
 

林肯很難過,心想:「如果把這樣的書還給朋友,以後人家有書,就再也不肯借我了!」因此他就去給人家做了三天工,把所得的工資,買了一本新的《華盛頓傅》,然後還給朋友。他的朋友很高興林肯的這種行為,把新書收下,卻又把書錢給他,叫他再買別的書來看。林肯感激得差點兒掉下淚來。後來他把那本淋過雨的《華盛頓傳》,天天捧著讀,把華盛頓當做自己的老師。從這個小故事看來,林肯自小就這麼珍視書籍,努力學習,又講究信用,因此終於能成就他的學問事業,解放了黑奴,當上美國的第十六任總統;這一切豈是用偶然和幸運可言的呢?
 

Lincoln thought in despair, “If I return the book to my friend in this shape, people will never lend me another book again!” Then he worked for three days, and used his wages to buy a new copy of the biography of Washington for his friend. His friend approved heartily of Lincoln’s deed. After taking the book, he paid Lincoln for it and told him to buy another book with the money. Lincoln was grateful almost to the point of tears. Later, he reverently held the rain-drenched biography of Washington and read it every day, regarding Washington as his teacher. From that anecdote, we see that from his childhood, Lincoln cherished books, studied hard, and was absolutely trustworthy. Thus, he succeeded in completing his studies at last, freed the black slaves, and served as the sixteenth President of the United States. How could all of that have been mere chance or luck?

書籍是前人的智慧和經驗的結晶,讀書可以增長見聞,累積他人的知識學問為己用,做起事來就事半功倍;更重要的是可以從中熏習,養成正確的觀念,良好的品德,好處真是說也說不完!可是不論中外,年代愈是古老,造書愈是不易,書籍也就愈貴,加上政治社會造成的階級制度,教育亦不能普遍;因此很多貧寒低下的人家,因為無法就學,世代永難出頭。但是事在人為,歷史上也多的是苦學成功的例子,像林肯,還有前面提到的黑人教育家勃克‧華盛頓。中國古代也有很多大學問家,都是以毅力和智慧來克服沒有書的困難。
 

Books are crystallizations of the wisdom and experiences of those who came before us. Reading broadens our perspective and enables us to adapt others’ knowledge for our own use, so that we do things more efficiently. More importantly, we can develop proper concepts and good character through the influence of what we read. The benefits are endless! In every culture, the earlier we go back in history, the harder it was to make books and the more expensive they were. Due to the social and political systems in the past, education was not universal. Thus most poor and lowly families had no access to schooling and no opportunity to improve their lot. However, people can determine their own destinies, and there have also been examples of people who underwent hardships and achieved success, such as Lincoln and the black educator, Booker T. Washington. In ancient China, there were also many great scholars who overcame the hardship of the dearth of books by determination and intelligence.
 

《三字經》說﹕「披蒲編,削竹簡;彼無書,且知勉。」就說的漢朝的路溫舒和公孫弘。
 

A line in the Three Character Classic goes, “They wove rushes and shaved bamboo slips. Though they had no books, they pushed themselves to study.” That line alludes to Lu Wenshu and Gong Sun Hong of the Han dynasty.
 

路溫舒自小家貧,替人放羊;他就把寬寬的乾蒲草編在一起,然後向人借書來抄在上面,以便反復研讀,後來終成有名的文學家和政治家。公孫弘家境也很窮,一直到五十歲,還為人放豬度日。他為了想讀書,就利用在林中放豬的時候,把竹子削成片,去掉青皮,再把借來的《春秋》刻寫在竹片上;如此苦讀,終於當到了宰相。
 

Lu Wenshu came from a poor family and worked as a shepherd for others. He would copy books borrowed from others onto sheets of dried rushes that he had woven, so that he could read and study them over and over. Thus he became an eminent writer and statesman. Gongsun Hong also came from a poor family. Even at age fifty, he still herded pigs for others to support himself. Wishing to study, he whittled bamboo into slips, shaving off the green skin, then carved the Spring and Autumn Annals onto it from a book he had borrowed. Studying under such difficult circumstances, he eventually became the prime minister.

又宋朝的大文豪歐陽修,自小喪父家貧,母親歐陽夫人就在地上鋪了沙子,用荻草為筆,教子識字,給了歐陽修很好的啟蒙教育。這些故事,都是沒有書而仍能苦學成功的典範。我們現在印刷業發達,教育普及,人人可以讀書受基本教育;可是卻有越來越多的孩子不但不珍惜書籍,甚至逃學去做荒唐事,蹧蹋了個人的大好青春時光,更成為妨害國家社會的寄生蟲和害蟲,真是可惜可惜之至啊!
 

The great writer Ouyang Xiu of the Song dynasty also came from a poor family and lost his father at a young age. His mother, Mrs. Ouyang, taught her son to read by spreading sand on the ground and using a reed as a brush. She gave Ouyang Xiu an excellent primary education. Those are all stories of people who studied hard and succeeded despite the lack of books. Nowadays, with advanced publishing techniques and universal public education, everyone can get a basic education. However, not only are more and more children unappreciative of books, they even skip school to engage in improper activities, wasting their precious youth and becoming parasites and scoundrels of society. What a terrible pity!

非 聖 書 , 屏 不 視

fei sheng shu
 

bing bu shi

不是 聖人的 書
 

摒棄 不 看

is not sages’ books

to cast away do not to look at

若非聖賢所傳述的正經書,一定摒棄不看。
Unless they are proper books written by sages, we should avoid reading them.

蔽 聰 明 , 壞 心 志

bi cong ming
 

huai xin zhi

掩蓋 聽力好、目光銳(指反應靈敏)
 

損壞 心靈 意志

to cover intelligence

to destroy mind resolve

因為看了會蒙蔽我們的智慧,敗壞我們的意志。
Reading such book would cover up our intelligence and undermine our resolve.

勿 自 暴 , 勿 自 棄

wu zi bao
 

wu zi qi

不要 自己 傷害
 

不要 自己 放棄

do not self to injure

do not self to give up

不要作賤自己,也不要放棄自己。
We should not denigrate or give up on ourselves.

聖 與 賢 , 可 馴 致

sheng yu xian
 

ke xun zhi

有仁德的人 和 有才智的人
 

可以 漸漸 到達

sages and worthy ones

may gradually to reach

只要奮發向上,人人都可以漸漸達到聖賢的境界。
We all can gradually learn to become worthies and sages ourselves.

前面說到書籍是前人智慧和經驗的結晶,讀書可使人受益良多;那是指讀好書、聖賢書。若讀的是一些緋聞綺語,奇譚雜論,那就於身心無益,甚至於有損;至若鼓吹鬼怪、暴力、亂倫、或神道邪魔之說,則其害人又更深了!所以雖說「開卷有益」,要讀的是正當的書;若讀了不正當的書,思想受其影響,所見所聞也就會產生偏差。好像人戴了有色眼鏡,搪著耳塞,怎能期望他耳聰目明而見聞真確呢?
 

Earlier, I talked about how books are the quintessence of wisdom and experience of those who came before us. Reading benefits people immensely, provided they read the good literature of sages and worthies. Gossip columns, sensational magazines, romance novels, horror stories and other such reading material may be not only useless, but harmful. Literature that promotes the eerie, the violent, the immoral, or the bizarre in the realm of the supernatural may damage people even more seriously! Therefore, although “It’s beneficial to open up a book,” you must peruse appropriate books. If you read indecent books, your thinking will be affected; everything that you perceive and hear will be slightly off. How can you expect people who wear dark glasses and plug their ears to hear well, see clearly, and perceive accurately?
 

心思主宰人的意志,意志影響人的行為;人之可以為聖賢,就因為立志做聖賢。孔子曾引「堂棣」這首詩為比喻,詩上說﹕「堂棣的花,在風裡搖曳生姿。我怎會不想摘取這朵好花呢?可是實在是距離太遠了!」孔子就批評說﹕「那根本是沒真正想得到!否則哪裏會太遠?」
 

Thinking controls people’s consciousness, and consciousness affects people’s behavior. The reason that people can be sages is because they resolve to become sages. Confucius once made a reference to the poem “Wild Plums” as an analogy .The poem goes, “The pretty flowers of the wild plums sway gently in the breeze; how can I not think about picking such a fine blossom? But it’s simply too far!” Confucius criticized, “They never really wanted it; otherwise it could not be too far!”
 

所以說,思想是行動的起源。心為人之主,志是心所之。肯發聖賢心,立聖賢志,就往聖賢道上邁出了第一步;讀聖賢書,做聖賢事,便是接續下來要走的步伐。雖說聖賢道上是「任重道遠」,只要有堅固志,又何重難擔?又何遠弗屆?
 

Hence, thinking motivates action. The mind of a person is his master. Aspiration directs the mind. If you make the resolve to become a sage and establish the goals of sages, you have taken the first step on the road to sagehood. The next steps would be to read the books of sages and do the deeds of sages. Although being a sage is a major responsibility and the road to it is long, how can the burden be too heavy to shoulder if your resolve is firm? How can the destination be too far?

反之,一個人的心志,若因讀壞書而喪亂腐壞,他行為的方向就會偏差,又能有什麼好的成就?小者,不能自立自主,成個拖累家庭,妨礙社會的寄生蟲;甚焉者,害人誤己,成了禍害家國,遺患世界的害!
 

Conversely, reading indecent works may wreck and crush someone’s resolve, so that one’s sense of direction is confused. How can one achieve anything positive in that case? In less serious cases, such individuals become the dregs of society and needy parasites to their families. More seriously, such individuals may injure themselves and mislead others, or even ruin the family, the nation, or the world!

近幾年來,世界各地的青少年犯罪率,不但節節上升,甚至把作案的地點,移轉到養育他們的家庭裏和教育他們的校園內。美國最近的一次校園慘案,就由於殺人再自殺的學生讀了壞書,中了納粹遺毒,而產生對有色人種的仇殺狂。足徵壞書對一個人思想的可怕影響,從而因一人而造成對多數人的巨大禍害!
 

In the last few years, not only has the teenage crime rate risen everywhere in the world, but the crimes have mostly taken place in the homes that nurture and schools that educate the young. The recent unfortunate shooting of students at a school in the United States and the young killers’ own suicide resulted from a poor choice in reading. Upon reading a deplorable book they fell under the lethal Nazi influence and turned into mad killers of non-whites. This exemplifies how unwholesome books can exert a terrifying influence on a person’s thinking, leading to subsequent harm on a massive scale.
 

所以說,出版自由的結果,竟是使得不肖之徒濫用了自由;這些人利用刊物,來對世人進行腐化思想和洗腦的惡行,企圖招徠更多的徒眾,去製造更多的罪惡和恐怖事件。在政治專治的國家,或宗教獨霸的黑暗時代,讀書沒太多選擇的自由,很多禁書固然是無益世道人心,倒不一定都是有什麼大害的;反而是有很多好書,因不同的政治、宗教立場,而被查禁,讓人受益不到。
 

Thus, freedom of the press is often abused by criminals. Some use publications to corrupt and brainwash people worldwide, hoping to attract more followers and commit more crimes and atrocities. In a political dictatorship or the dark ages of religious monopoly, choices in reading tended to be few and far between. Many censored books did not benefit people, but they were not necessarily extremely harmful either. On the other hand, many good books were censored on the grounds of differing political or religious persuasions, and as a result the people could not benefit from them.

現在宗教自由,政治民主的國度裏,言論自由,出版也自由,於是乎百家爭鳴,因此也就龍蛇雜陳;若對某些異端邪說作批評,反會被冠以「干涉自由」。於是乎許多標榜怪力亂神的書刊,因其內容的新奇、神秘、詭異,很能吸引一般人,居然暢銷書肆間。這類腐化邪惡的書籍,有些人只當做消遣無聊的閒書,縱有什麼感覺,也倏忽即過,影響不大;但對於思想不穩定的青少年,或原已有自閉、自殘或虐待狂傾向的人而言,看這類書,就無疑在八識田裏打了一支安非他命針,會使他們心行都瘋狂起來。這暴露了一個事實﹕人類已然被「為惡的自由」所桎梏,逐漸失去了「免於生存於恐懼」的自由。
 

Now, in a country of religious freedom and democracy, there is freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Everyone tries to have a voice, resulting in a conglomeration of the good, the bad, and the ugly. If you criticize some extremists or evil cults, you may be accused of interfering with freedom. Many improper publications dealing with the occult attract people with their novel, esoteric, or bizarre content. In fact, such books suddenly become bestsellers. Most people read these corrupt and evil books casually just to pass the time; whatever feelings they may have flash by without too much of an effect. However, for psychologically unstable teenagers or those with insular, sadistic or abusive tendencies, this type of literature is a shot of amphetamine in the eighth consciousness that causes mental and behavioral insanity .This reveals the reality: the human race is already shackled by “freedom to do evil”, – and is gradually losing the freedom to “live without fear”.

我們當好好誘導教育自己的子弟,以有選擇讀好書的自由,來多讀一些有益於世道人心的好書,不但充實了自己,更進而影響社會大眾,共同來為世界大同謀求福利。千萬不要自己看輕自己,認為登賢作聖於己無份,因而以善小而不為;更不要自己棄絕自己,認為作奸犯科於人無關,因而以惡小而為之。這就沒了讀書人的本色,也失了讀書人的志向!
 

We should guide and educate our children well so that they have the freedom of reading selectively, reading literature that benefits the world. In that case, we not only develop ourselves, but influence the society-at-large to collectively work toward world peace. Do not neglect to perform small acts of good because you underestimate yourself and think that you cannot be a sage. At the same time, do not casually do even small acts of evil because you have given up on yourself and think that committing crimes won’t affect you. With either of these attitudes, one loses the essence and the resolves of a scholar .

讀書人的本色和志向又是什麼呢?「寵辱不驚」,是讀書人的本色;「為天地立心,為生民立命,為往聖繼絕學,為萬世開太平」,則是讀書人的志向。為什麼讀書人要立這種志向?因為讀書人能立大志、深志、堅固志──立志承續天地古今之絕妙學識,締造萬世百姓之太平福祉,才能實心向學;正如學佛之人必發大願、深願、堅固願──願生西方,願度眾生,才能一心修行。以這樣的志向,來刻苦修學,定力夠了,自然能寵辱不驚。
 

What are the essence and resolves of a scholar? “To remain calm despite affection or humiliation” describes the true character of a scholar. “To resolve one’s mind for the sake of the universe; to arrange one’s life for the sake of the populace; to perpetuate the teachings of sages of the past; to create world peace for the sake of all generations”: These are the resolves of a scholar .Why should scholars make these resolves? It is because scholars are capable of great resolves, profound resolves, and steadfast resolves-resolves to perpetuate the incredibly wonderful knowledge of the universe, past and present. If you set out to bring about universal peace and blessings for every generation, you will learn with a sound mind. It is just as Buddhists must make great vows, profound vows, and steadfast vows. If you vow to be reborn in the Western Paradise and to save all living beings, you will cultivate single-mindedly. Studying and practicing with that kind of resolve, you will have enough samadhi to overcome any difficulty, and you will naturally be calm whether you are favored or ostracized.

那麼怎樣是「寵辱不驚」呢?那就是要有骨氣:無論是富裕的享受或高貴的地位,都不能讓我們的志趣因而靡爛;無論是貧窮的生活或低賤的職務,都不能讓我們的節操有所改變;無論是強權或暴力,都不能讓我們的心意為之屈服。多讀聖賢書,熏習聖賢德,學習聖賢事;日之月之,年以繼之,之死彌他。這樣的學習下來,即使尚未臻聖賢之境,聖賢的本色已自然具足,這也就是佛家所說的「常隨佛學」之義。
 

What does it mean “to remain calm despite affection or humiliation”? That means we should have a backbone. We refuse to let our aspirations erode in the face of luxurious riches or honorable position. We refuse to alter our virtuousness when facing a life of poverty or modest duties. We refuse to mentally bow down and submit in the face of oppression or violence. We must read more sagely books, emulate the virtues of sages, and learn the ways of sages. To our dying day, we shall permeate ourselves with their influence. If we study in this fashion, we will naturally possess the character of sages even if we do not reach sagehood. That’s what is meant by the Buddhist phrase, “always following and learning from the Buddhas.”
 

隨佛是要學佛,若只是迷信佛,卻自忖無份作佛,便是自絕於佛;這樣雖日誦百課,月禮萬佛地苦修,終如蒸沙欲成飯,妄想!同樣的,若只是崇拜聖賢,卻自認不能登賢成聖,便是自棄於聖賢,這樣雖十載寒窗,焚膏繼晷地苦讀,終如螞蟻啃西瓜皮,無份!所以顏回立志說﹕「舜何人也,予何人也,有為者亦若是。」我們亦當如是效法。
 

To follow the Buddha is to learn from the Buddha. If you are merely believe blindly in the Buddha and think that you will never become a Buddha, you are cutting yourself off from Buddhahood. You may cultivate arduously, participating in a hundred ceremonies daily, bowing to ten thousand Buddhas monthly, but ultimately you’re simply indulging in an idle dream, as if hoping to make rice by cooking sand! Similarly, if you worship sages and worthy ones, but write yourself off as a potential sage or saint, you are actually deserting the sages and worthy ones. You may study arduously for decades upon decades in miserable conditions, but ultimately you are no better than the ant that gnaws on the watermelon rind, unable to taste the fruit! Hence Yan Hui resolved, “Who were Shun and Yu [ancient sage-emperors]?

話說回來,人皆可為堯舜,眾生皆堪作佛;但是佛道長遠,卻非一蹴可幾的。本章所謂「聖與賢,可馴至」,關鍵在這個「馴」字。馴者,順也,是順其自然,不強求的意思;也就是說,不宜貪功速進,否則就欲速不達。雖然說發聖賢心,立聖賢志,已跨出了第一步,也讀聖賢書,做聖賢事,走著下一步;但這下一步,卻也是無數步,必須循序漸進,不緊不鬆地用功才行。
 

In other words, anyone can be Yao or Shun; all living beings can become Buddhas. However, the road to Buddhahood is long; it takes more than a few steps to reach your aim. The key to the sentence “We all can gradually learn to become worthies and sages ourselves” is the word “gradually”. “Gradually” means in the natural course of things; there’s nothing forced here. You do not speed forward out of greed for merit, for you would fail to reach your destination due to your eagerness. Although I said that aspiring to sagehood and making the resolves of a sage is the first step, you may also take the next step by reading the books of sages and doing sagely deeds. However, this next step is actually numerous steps. You must take one step at a time, exerting your- self without rushing or dallying.

《菜根譚》有云﹕「繩鋸木斷,水滴石穿,學道者須加力索;水到渠成,瓜熟蒂落,得道者一任天機。」這是說求學修道,是日積月累的長期用功,寧可笨而實,切勿巧而虛。好比拿繩子鋸木頭,鋸久了,木頭還是會被鋸斷;又好比用水滴滴石頭,滴久了,石頭還是會被滴穿。用功夫時,要不做用功夫想,才不會心浮氣躁;不會心浮氣躁,功夫用久自然深。等到機緣成熟,轟然一響,漆桶脫落,正見天心月圓,道自然成;就好比水過自然成河,瓜熟自然蒂落,一切是天機,強求不得,也預算不來。
 

The Discourse on the Roots of Vegetables states, “Saw the wood with a rope, and the tree will fall. Drip water on a rock, and a hole will form. Students of the Way should apply themselves similarly. When water flows, a brook is formed. When the melon is ripe, the stem breaks off. The achiever of the Way shoulders the secrets of the universe.” That is to say, you should work hard for the long term: Study and cultivate day by day and month by month. You would rather be dull and steady than clever and futile. For example, if you tried to saw wood with a piece of rope, you would halve the log after a while. If you tried to pierce a rock with drops of water, you could eventually penetrate the rock. When you are exerting yourself, do not think about your exertion. That way, you will not become restless. Un- perturbed, you will strengthen your skill in the course of time. When the time and conditions are right, the lacquer barrel [i.e. our ignorance] bursts apart with a boom. You will then “see the full moon in the middle of the sky”; you will naturally realize the Way. Just as flowing water naturally forms a stream, when the melon is ripe, it naturally breaks at its stem. Everything is a divine secret; it cannot be obtained by force or predicted.
 

宋末元兵入侵,文天祥以一文人,卻大無畏地散盡家財,組織鄉兵來禦賊勤王;號召所及,聲勢日益盛大。轉戰數年,換了三個君王,他仍是忠勇衛國,累進右丞相、左丞相和信國公。最後兵敗被俘,元世祖愛其才,不忍殺他,幾度招降,威迫利誘,均不為所動。拘燕三年,誓死不屈,遂被殺。
 

In the latter part of the Song Dynasty, the kingdom of Yuan invaded. As a scholar, Wen Tianxiang fearlessly expended all of his assets to organize a defense force of guerilla troops to fight against the villain, King Qin. Wherever he went to call on the people, his power and reputation grew. After several years of war, the kingdom had had three emperors, yet Wen continued to defend the nation loyally and bravely. Tireless, he submitted several proposals to Minister Yo, Minister Zuo and National Advisor Xing. Finally, he was defeated and captured. The King of Yuan appreciated Wen’s talent and couldn’t bear to kill him. He tried several times to make Wen surrender, using both threats and bribes, but Wen was not moved. Jailed in the state of Yan for three years, Wen vowed that he would die rather than capitulate. Finally, he was executed.
 

文天祥在獄中曾作一首「正氣歌」,引古徵今,辭情並茂;其末四句言﹕「哲人日已遠,典型在宿昔;風簷展書讀,古道照顏色。」由起始的正氣凜然,到中間的慷慨激昂,復歸於沉穩曠達,視死如歸;真是道盡讀書人本色,展露大丈夫風範!
 

During his imprisonment, Wen wrote “The Song of Righteousness,” which contained historical and contemporary references. Rich in sentiment as well as expression, the last four lines say, “It’s been long since the days of the wise ones. They are role models from the past. Under the awning I read these classics; indeed, the ancient Way illumines the true colors of all.” The tone of the Song’s initial section is one of awe-inspiring righteousness; the middle section is impassioned and poignant, while in the end he returns to a firm steadiness and sense of freedom, ready to face death head on. This no doubt illustrates a scholar’s true character and displays a great hero’s ways!

文天祥死後,在衣帶中被發現了一張字條,上面寫著﹕「孔曰成仁,孟云取義;唯其義盡,所以仁至。讀聖賢書,所學何事?而今而後,庶幾無愧矣!」我們讀書人,正當「仰天地正氣,法古今完人」,於求學修道上,矢勤矢勇,跌倒再爬起;克始克終,精進再精進。果能如此,到臨終時,我們必定可以坦蕩蕩地說﹕「所作已辦,庶幾無愧!」
 

After Wen Tianxiang died, a note was found in his belt with the words, “Confucius realized humaneness while Mencius apprehended justness. It is only because one has attained humane- ness that one is replete with justness. What else is there to learn from the books of sages? Henceforth, I have no regrets.” We students must “emulate ancient and modern models of perfection, relying on the righteousness of the universe.” Whether studying or cultivating, we should always be vigorous and courageous from start to finish, picking ourselves up each time we stumble and fall. If we can do that, we can honestly declare before we die, “I have done everything I wanted to do; I have no regrets!”

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