Auspicious Birth — Part I

This is the second post in a series about bardo, an “in between” or “transitional” state between lives. It is from a scholarly work by a contemporary Chinese monk, Master Shi Zhiguo, entitled Auspicious Birth. As you can see, I am including the Chinese source as well as the English translation.

For additional background and context, please read Auspicious Birth — Preface.

 

第一章

胎儿的来处

Chapter  One —

Where does It Come from?

第一章
胎兒的來處

 

一、胎儿的先天

— 中阴生命

1.1 Its Inherent Nature –  Bardo life: the intermediate existence between death and rebirth 一,胎兒的先天

中陰生命

佛教认为,人的生命是由物质生命和精神意识两部分组成。 Buddhists believe that the life of a human being is an arrangement of two components – a physical life and a consciousness. 佛教認為,人的生命是由物質生命和精神意識兩部分組成。
精神意识是物质生命的主宰,物质生命是精神意识的依附,两者的关系非常特别,非常微妙。 The relationship between the two is very special, very marvelous. Consciousness governs the physical life.  The physical life is the dependent of the consciousness. 精神意識是物質生命的主宰,物質生命是精神意識的依附,兩者的關係非常特別,非常微妙。

 

用现代术语来打个比方,肉体生命好比电脑的硬件设施,而精神意识则犹如电脑的操作系统,两者相依相存,缺一不可。 To make an analogy using modern terminology, the physical flesh and blood life is like a computer’s hardware, and consciousness is like a computer’s software (operating system). They are interdependent, indispensable to one another, and exist together. 用現代術語來打個比方,肉體生命好比電腦的硬件設施,而精神意識則猶如電腦的操作系統,兩者相依相存,缺一不可。
没有电脑的硬件,操作系统无可依附,不能发挥作用; Without the computer’s hardware, the software has nothing to depend on; it cannot play its role. 沒有電腦的硬件,操作系統無可依附,不能發揮作用;
仅有电脑的硬件,而不安装操作系统,其电脑就好比“植物人”,又呆又傻毫无活力。 A computer that has only the hardware without the software

installed would be like a “human vegetable”; [that is, in a comatose state] stagnant and with nothing to give it vitality.

僅有電腦的硬件,而不安裝操作系統,其電腦就好比“植物人”,又呆又傻毫無活力。
唯有将两者有机结合,化二为一,方可产生勃勃生机而妙用无穷。 The only way to produce vitality of unlimited usefulness is to dynamically integrate the two; combining the two into what appears to be one. 唯有將兩者有機結合,化二為一,方可產生勃勃生機而妙用無窮。

 

和操作系统有相似之处,精神意识并非有形之物,如佛经所讲“……不可以色(物质形象)得见,亦不至色体(物质实体),但以所入(进入生命体内)行作(行为和作用)体现色(物质的存在)”,《贤护长者会经》虽然无形但本质不灭,因他本身非一般物质,故不受物质生命生灭变化的影响。 Consciousness, like computer software, seems imperceptible. It is just as a Buddhist  sutra states:

“…… it is not material [but an image of a material form] and cannot be seen; it is also not impeded by material “things” [a material substance] . Yet once it takes up residence [enters into a physical life], there is activity [behavior and function]; the physical entity revealing its presence [the substance exists within it].”

–         Meeting of the Householder Bhadrapala Sutra

Although it is without form, its essence cannot be destroyed. Because it is not ordinary matter, it is not subject to changes brought about by the birth and death of a physical body.

和操作系統有相似之處,精神意識並非有形之物,如佛經所講“……不可以色(物質形象)得見,亦不至色體(物質實體),但以所入(進入生命體內)行作(行為和作用)體現色(物質的存在)”,《賢護長者會經》雖然無形但本質不滅,因他本身非一般物質,故不受物質生命生滅變化的影響。

the householder Bhadrapāla賢護長者 大寶積經 T 310.11.608a5〕 [Charles Muller]

脱离电脑的操作程序,常需借助可移动的存储设备保存,如硬盘、U盘、光碟、雲系統等。 To break free of the physical computer, the software ordinarily needs the aid of a flash drive, disk, other removable data storage device, or “cloud.” 脫離電腦的操作程序,常需借助可移動的存儲設備保存,如硬盤、U盤、光碟、雲系統等。
同理,脱离肉体的意识,也常和一种极精细轻虚的物质结合,佛教称为“风大”,具有一定形体,名为“中阴”、“中有”、“识神”或“灵魂”。 The same principle applies to consciousness breaking away from a body. It normally combines with an extremely fine, weightless element called the “wind element” in Buddhism and has a definitive form called bardo: “intermediate existence,” “intermediate state,” “discerning spirit,” or “spirit.” 同理,脫離肉體的意識,也常和一種極精細輕虛的物質結合,佛教稱為“風大”,具有一定形體,名為“中陰”、“中有”、“識神”或“靈魂”。

 

中阴生命(中阴身、中有身),即是胎儿的先天成份,是在胎儿之前早已具有的了。 A bardo (bardo body, intermediate state body) resides in an embryo as its innate element, but it had already existed long before the embryo came into existence. 中陰生命(中陰身、中有身),即是胎兒的先天成份,是在胎兒之前早已具有的了。
按佛经记载,这种中阴生命在虚空中的中阴界里大量存在,数量之多难以计数。 According to Buddhist sutras, bardos abound in great numbers in the bardo realm of space. The sheer numbers are so abundant, they are impossible to count. 按佛經記載,這種中陰生命在虛空中的中陰界裡大量存在,數量之多難以計數。

 

对于一个新生命来说,其生命的真正起点也应当始于先天中阴生命和后天父精母血结合的那一刻,现在医学称为受精卵,佛教称为羯罗蓝 (羯羅藍)。 The moment of a new being’s life’s true moment of conception is when the bardo combines with the sperm of the father and “blood” (egg) of the mother. Modern medicine calls this an embryo. Buddhism calls it kalala (the first fetal stage). 對於一個新生命來說,其生命的真正起點也應當始於先天中陰生命和後天父精母血結合的那一刻,現在醫學稱為受精​​卵,佛教稱為羯羅藍(羯羅藍)。

kalala 羯罗蓝also called first fetal stage羯羅藍  Embryo at the first stage of development (Skt. kalala). Also transliterated as 羯邏藍, 羯羅羅, and 迦羅羅. 〔瑜伽論 T 1579.30.283a10〕 [Excerpt from Pierce Salguero, Charles Muller]

 

 

二、中阴生命的形体特征 1.2 The Physical Characteristics of the Bardo 二、中陰生命的形體特徵
未入胎的中阴生命大体上可分为两种。 A bardo that has not yet entered a fetus will generally fall into one of two categories. 未入胎的中陰生命大體上可分為兩種。

 

第一种:

聚善中阴。

Category One: Accumulated Benevolence Bardo 第一種:
聚善中陰。
中阴生命因过去曾经积聚善行,心行仁慈,修持善法,它们感应来的中阴身往往形体端正、体魄俊伟,心裡光明。 Because in past lives a bardo had an accumulation of acts of kindness, thoughts of compassion, and goodness, the bardo physique that it will resonate with will usually be fit, fine looking and strong, with a mind that is clear and bright. 中陰生命因過去曾經積聚善行,心行仁慈,修持善法,它們感應來的中陰身往往形體端正、體魄俊偉,心裡光明。
经文讲“作善业者所得中阴,如白衣光,或晴明夜”,有的身现金黄色,有的身现鲜白色,带有一定的光辉,散发着一定的香气,或者也有穿着类似衣服一样的中阴身。  A sutra states, “One who had created good karma will have a

bardo body like white clothing as radiant as a clear moonlit night.”

Some bodies will manifest golden yellow; others will manifest a bright white color. They will transmit a definitive radiance and give off a distinctive aroma. The bardo will appear to be wearing something similar to clothing.

經文講“作善業者所得中陰,如白衣光,或晴明夜”,有的身現金黃色,有的身現鮮白色,帶有一定的光輝,散發著一定的香氣,或者也有穿著類似衣服一樣的中陰身。

 

第二种:

聚恶中阴。

Category Two:

Accumulated Evil Bardo

第二種:

聚惡中陰。

这种中阴生命因过去曾经积聚恶行,损人利己,烦恼炽盛、作恶多端,心裡黑暗,所以福德浅薄,它们感应来的相貌丑陋,身形矮小,比例失调,晦暗无光。 Because these bardo lives had accumulated evil actions in the past, had benefitted themselves at the expense of others, were ablaze with anguish, and were prone towards doing evil, they accumulated little virtue and few blessings. The bardo physiques that they will resonate with will be ugly. Their bodies will be short and small, the scale out of proportion, and they will look gloomy and lack radiance. 這種中陰生命因過去曾經積聚惡行,損人利己,煩惱熾盛、作惡多端,心裡黑暗,所以福德淺薄,它們感應來的相貌醜陋,身形矮小,比例失調,晦暗無光。
佛经讲“造恶业者所得中阴,如黑羺光,或阴暗夜”,有的全身好似烧焦歪曲的木头一样,有的则呈现烟灰色,或如水般半透明状,有时还带有一定的臭味。 A sutra states, “The bardo of one who committed evil karma would look dark gray or like a gloomy night.” Some would look like charred and twisted wood.

Others will manifest an ashy gray color, or appear as dull water as seen at night. Some will have a distinctive stench.

佛經講“造惡業者所得中陰,如黑羺光,或陰暗夜”,有的全身好似燒焦歪曲的木頭一樣,有的則呈現煙灰色,或如水般半透明狀,有時還帶有一定的臭味。
这时候,“中有之形量,如五、六岁之小儿”,只是中阴身不一定都呈现人形,有的为动物形,或为鬼怪形;或三手、三足、四足、多足或无足,形状各异,形形色色。 At this time, “the size of a bardo body with bad karma would be like that of a five or six year old child.” The bardo body does not necessarily manifest in human form. Some are in the shape of animals, or demons and monsters, with three or more arms and legs or no legs at all. They appear in all kinds of bizarre shapes. 這時候,“中有之形量,如五、六歲之小兒”,只是中陰身不一定都呈現人形,有的為動物形,或為鬼怪形;或三手、三足、四足、多足或無足,形狀各異,形形色色。
这奇奇怪怪的差别,并非造物主、神仙有意制造出来,和世人开玩笑的,也不是偶然巧合形成的,都是各自过去思維和行为的善恶不同感招来的结果,故也称“业报身”。 These odd variations are not brought about frivolously nor by some creator or supernatural being; nor do they form accidentally or coincidentally. They are all the results brought about by a person’s past thoughts and actions that were either good or evil.  Therefore, they are called “karmic result bodies.” 這奇奇怪怪的差別,並非造物主、神仙有意製造出來,和世人開玩笑的,也不是偶然巧合形成的,都是各自過去思維和行為的善惡不同感招來的結果,故也稱“業報身”。

 

 

三、

中阴生命的特点

1.3 The Characteristics of a Bardo 三、

中陰生命的特點

 

中阴生命是胎儿的先天成份,一个个小孩之所以先天秉赋有所差异,究其原因,均在于决定先天因素的中阴生命身上。 Each fetus has an individual bardo, which becomes its innate component. Because of this, every single child has been bestowed with unique qualities, and this difference, without exception, is due to the bardo that determines the child’s innate predisposition. 中陰生命是胎兒的先天成份,一個個小孩之所以先天秉賦有所差異,究其原因,均在於決定先天因素的中陰生命身上。
所以,了解和认识中阴生命的特点便是研究胎儿先天状况的重要内容。 Therefore, it is important to recognize and understand the special characteristics of the arriving bardo, in order to understand the innate tendencies that the fetus will have in the future . 所以,了解和認識中陰生命的特點便是研究胎兒先天狀況的重要內容。
按佛经记载,中阴生命具有五种特点: According to the Buddhist sutras, a bardo has five characteristics: 按佛經記載,中陰生命具有五種特點:

 

(一)

由意识成其形。

(一)

由意識成其形。

中阴生命实际上可以称为意识的临时载体。 The bardo can be actually be called a temporary carrier of a consciousness. 中陰生命實際上可以稱為意識的臨時載體。
本来它们只是一团赤裸裸的无形的意识功能,没有形体,但因其过去生活习惯和生活状态而形成的固有思维为自己假想出来一个形体,而呈现或人或动物的不同形态,故也叫“意生身”。 Originally, a bardo is only a bare, shapeless feature of a consciousness. It has no physical form. Thoughts about past life habits and living situations are the bardo’s self-image, and bring about the bardo’s “shape.” This shape manifests in human, animal, or any other form. Hence, the bardo is also called “a body born from consciousness.” 本來它們只是一團赤裸裸的無形的意識功能,沒有形體,但因其過去生活習慣和生活狀態而形成的固有思維為自己假想出來一個形體,而呈現或人或動物的不同形態,故也叫“意生身”。
这种身形由极为细微的未知物质(佛教称风大)构成,故一般肉眼不能看见(肉眼必须借助可见光才能成像)。 The body that a bardo creates is composed of a nearly imperceptible substance which Buddhism calls “wind element.” It cannot be seen with the naked eye. (The physical eye can only see an object if there is light reflecting from it.) 這種身形由極為細微的未知物質(佛教稱風大)構成,故一般肉眼不能看見(肉眼必須借助可見光才能成像)。
只有中阴生命它们同类之间或修行获得极净天眼(一种神通)的人方可睹见。 Bardos can only be seen by other bardos or by people who, through self-development, have acquired extremely focused psychic vision (psychic ability). 只有中陰生命它們同類之間或修行獲得極淨天眼(一種神通)的人方可睹見。

 

(二)念念求生。 1.3.2. A Barbo Incessantly Seeks Rebirth (二)念念求生。
中阴生命并非生命的稳定状态,因固有思维的缘故,总有一种很强烈的渴望想回到过去的生命状态中,加上中阴世界的阴暗、寂寞、恐惧,它们无助的意识无时无刻不在四处奔走,以寻找下一次获得有形生命体的机会,或于树林、叶洞、草丛、山谷、地窟、旷野、房屋、楼阁之中,无有休止地寻找再一次获得有质生命的机会。 The bardo is not in a consistent state. Because it is able to remember, it has a powerful craving to return to its former existence. Added to this, the bardo world is dark, lonely, and frightening, so the bardo’s helpless state of mind causes it to incessantly dart about everywhere in search of an opportunity to acquire its next physical life. It may go to a forest, hide amongst leaves in a bush, or hide in the grass.

It may seek its next physical life in a valley or ravine, in the plains, or even in a room or a building. It never ceases seeking the chance to again have a physical life.

中陰生命並非生命的穩定狀態,因固有思維的緣故,總有一種很強烈的渴望想回到過去的生命狀態中,加上中陰世界的陰暗、寂寞、恐懼,它們無助的意識無時無刻不在四處奔走,以尋找下一次獲得有形生命體的機會,或於樹林、葉洞、草叢、山谷、地窟、曠野、房屋、樓閣之中,無有休止地尋找再一次獲得有質生命的機會。

 

(三)以香味为食。 1.3.3.  Aroma is a Bardo’s Food (三)以香味為食。
中阴生命的饮食和我们大不相同,由于没有有形的身体,也没有消化系统,由思维意识所假想出来的这个轻虚的身体无法摄入食物,仅靠闻吸人类饮食或植物的香味而满足食欲。 There is a huge difference between our food and the way we eat and that of a bardo. Without a tangible body, there is no digestive system. A bardo’s ethereal body has been conjured up by its imagination and it cannot ingest food. It can only satisfy its desire for food by “smelling” what people eat or the fragrance of plants. 中陰生命的飲食和我們大不相同,由於沒有有形的身體,也沒有消化系統,由思維意識所假想出來的這個輕虛的身體無法攝入食物,僅靠聞吸人類飲食或植物的香味而滿足食慾。
一般中阴生命的寿命一次只有七天,每到第七天就会自然消失,还原成一个无有依附的纯意识,称之为“见”。 The life span of a typical bardo is only seven days, fading away every seven days and changing back into pure consciousness. This is called “awareness,” without a wind element to adhere to. 一般中陰生命的壽命一次只有七天,每到第七天就會自然消失,還原成一個無有依附的純意識,稱之為“見”。
当这个纯意识遇到香气绝佳的食物时,由于固有思维,会马上产生“食欲”,此时这个无形的纯意识会再一次为自己假想出一个和上一次相似的形体,开始了它的二次生命,只是这一次体形要比上一次小一些。 When this pure consciousness bardo encounters a delectable

aroma that reminds it of something, “food desire” arises.  This shapeless pure consciousness bardo will again imagine a body similar to its previous one. This will begin the bardo’s second seven-day life span. The only difference being that this bodily form is somewhat smaller than the previous one.

當這個純意識遇到香氣絕佳的食物時​​,由於固有思維,會馬上產生“食慾”,此時這個無形的純意識會再一次為自己假想出一個和上一次相似的形體,開始了它的二次生命,只是這一次體形要比上一次小一些。
这种生命在佛教的四种诞生方式(胎生、卵生、湿生、化生)上属于化生。 Buddhism describes four modes of birth (womb birth, egg birth, moisture birth, and manifestation birth). A bardo body born from scent would fall under manifestation birth. 這種生命在佛教的四種誕生方式(胎生、卵生、濕生、化生)上屬於化生。
从这个角度讲,中阴生命除了可以称为“意生身”外,也可称作为“闻香身”。 From this perspective, besides calling the bardo life a “consciousness-born body,” we can also call it an “aroma body.” 從這個角度講,中陰生命除了可以稱為“意生身”外,也可稱作為“聞香身”。
这个闻香身虽然可以死而复生,但却是有周期限制的,最多是七次,算下来一共是七七四十九天。 Though the aroma body can die and resurrect, its total rebirth life span is limited to at most seven rebirths. Seven, seven-day life spans totals forty-nine days. 這個聞香身雖然可以死而復生,但卻是有周期限制的,最多是七次,算下來一共是七七四十九天。
四十九天内中阴身一般都会找到投生的去处,从而结束中阴生命的状态。 A bardo would generally find its rebirth destination within these forty-nine days. When this happens, the bardo life state would come to an end. 四十九天內中陰身一般都會找到投生的去處,從而結束中陰生命的狀態。

 

 

(四)两个生命的中间阶段。 1.3.4 A Bardo is the Intermediary Phase Between two Lives (四)兩個生命的中間階段。

 

佛教的轮回观点认为,所有的生命体在经历了一次生、老、病、死的周期之后,会再一次转世,进入下一次生命周期。 The Buddhist perspective on rebirth (samsara) is that after any living entity experiences one cycle of birth, old-age, sickness, and death, it will once again be reborn to begin its next life cycle. 佛教的輪迴觀點認為,所有的生命體在經歷了一次生、老、病、死的周期之後,會再一次轉世,進入下一次生命週期。
如此反复经历生老病死的生命历程,无有止息,尤如旋转的车轮一样无始无终,喻名为轮回。 This repetitive experience of birth, old-age, sickness, and death cycle is without rest. It is like a rotating wheel that is without a beginning or end, therefore called the revolving wheel of rebirth (samsara). 如此反復經歷生老病死的生命歷程,無有止息,猶如旋轉的車輪一樣無始無終,喻名為輪迴。
中阴生命已摆脱上一个的有质生命体,尚未进入下一次有质生命体,正处于前后两次生命交接的中间阶段,所以它是一种相对短暂又十分独特的临界生命状态。 A bardo has already gotten free of its previous physical

life and has not yet entered its next physical life. It is right in the intermediate stage that connects the former and future lives, so it is a relatively brief and unique threshold life state.

中陰生命已擺脫上一個的有質生命體,尚未進入下一次有質生命體,正處於前後兩次生命交接的中間階段,所以它是一種相對短暫又十分獨特的臨界生命狀態。
它没有沉重麻烦的有质身体,故十分自由、轻便,能来去自如,眼、耳、鼻、舌、身、意所有功能统统具足,胜于常人九倍,可谓是聪明过人。 A bardo does not have a heavy, troublesome physical body. It is completely free, lightweight, and can come and go at will. The faculties of sight, hearing, smell, taste, touch, and thought are all entirely complete, and are nine times stronger than the average person. It can even be said that a bardo is more intelligent than a person. 它沒有沉重麻煩的有質身體,故十分自由、輕便,能來去自如,眼、耳、鼻、舌、身、意所有功能統統具足,勝於常人九倍,可謂是聰明過人。
如经中讲,“欲界中阴人,尘垢悉微薄,犹如新成衣,尘土所污染,有目智慧人,抖擞尘悉去,中阴众生类,譬之亦如是”。

《中阴经卷上,后秦凉州沙门竺佛念译,如来五弘誓入中阴教化品第一》

A sutra states, “The dust and dirt of a bardo in the World of Desire is as meager as the dust on a new garment; a wise person who sees it will shake it off. It is the same with a bardo.”

–          Bardo Sutra, upper scroll,

translated by Sramana Zhufonian of Qin Liangzhou,

Chapter One Tathagathas Five Promotion Vows to Enter a Bardo to Transform Sentient Beings through Education

如經中講,“欲界中陰人,塵垢悉微薄,猶如新成衣,塵土所污染,有目智慧人,抖擻塵悉去,中陰眾生類,譬之亦如是”。
《中陰經卷上,後秦涼州沙門竺佛念譯,如來五弘誓入中陰教化品第一》 
在此,佛将中阴生命比喻为新做成的衣服,所沾染的尘土稀少,因此要比一般人干净得多,聪明得多。 Here, the Buddha uses the analogy of the bardo having only a scarce amount of dust contaminating it like a new garment. Because of this, it is much purer than most people, and much smarter too. 在此,佛將中陰生命比喻為新做成的衣服,所沾染的塵土稀少,因此要比一般人乾淨得多,聰明得多。
不仅如此,中阴生命还具有人类所没有的五种超常能力: Additionally, bardos have five supernatural abilities that humans do not have: 不僅如此,中陰生命還具有人類所沒有的五種超常能力:
4.1天眼通:能见到极遥远处如萤火虫般大小的亮光; 1.3.4.1 Psychic vision: able to see things as small as the light of a firefly way in the distance. 4.1天眼通:能見到極遙遠處如螢火蟲般大小的亮光;
4.2 天耳通:能听到极遥远处微细的呼唤他名字的声音; 1.3.4.2 Psychic hearing: able to hear the faintest sound of someone calling its name from far away. 4.2 天耳通:能聽到極遙遠處微細的呼喚他名字的聲音;
4.3神足通:能穿墙越壁(女人的胞宫除外),入水入火不受影响,通过意识的指挥能凌空飞驰,瞬间到达任何地方,犹如雷电; 1.3.4.3 Psychic mobility: the ability to pass through walls and any object (except for a womb, which would trap it), including water and fire, without suffering any ill effects. Directed by its thoughts, it can soar and dart about, arriving anywhere in an instant, with the speed of lightening. 4.3 神足通:能穿牆越壁(女人的胞宮除外),入水入火不受影響,通過意識的指揮能凌空飛馳,瞬間到達任何地方,猶如雷電;
4.4他心通:能觉知他人内心中所思维的内容; 1.3.4.4 Mind reading: able to sense what someone is thinking. 4.4他心通:能覺知他人內心中所思維的內容;
4.5宿命通:能知道自己前一生中生活的种种枝节,犹如电视回放。 1.3.4.5 Psychic knowledge of its past lifetimes: able to know even the most minor detail of past life events, as if rewinding a video. 4.5宿命通:能知道自己前一生中生活的種種枝節,猶如電視回放。

 

(五)一切生命的起点 1.3.5. The Bardo is the Starting Point of all Living Beings (五)一切生命的起點
所有生命体若无中阴生命的进入,则不能完成。 A living entity could not be complete without the presence of a bardo. 所有生命體若無中陰生命的進入,則不能完成。
而中阴生命对于新一轮的生命也有着极强的投生欲望,一旦下定决心,则不顾一切神驰而往,此时任何强大的力量,甚至佛祖也难以改变和阻止这种行为。 Moreover, a bardo has an extremely strong desire for rebirth into a new life cycle. Once it is determined to do so, it goes toward its rebirth regardless of how fast it would have to go. It would be hard for any tremendous power, even a Buddha to change its course or impede it on its way. 而中陰生命對於新一輪的生命也有著極強的投生慾望,一旦下定決心,則不顧一切神馳而往,此時任何強大的力量,甚至佛祖也難以改變和阻止這種行為。
如世人形容急躁的人——“急着投胎去”,大概即是此意。 It is comparable to a Chinese saying describing an extremely impatient person as being “anxious for rebirth.” 如世人形容急躁的人——“急著投胎去”,大概即是此意。
只要一入胎内,原有的中阴身形即刻消失,中阴阶段也随之终止,取而代之的是另一种生命形式的开始。 Once it enters the fetus, the shape the bardo body once had instantly disappears. The bardo stage ends with its passing. It is replaced with the beginning of a different life form. 只要一入胎內,原有的中陰身形即刻消失,中陰階段也隨之終止,取而代之的是另一種生命形式的開始。

 

四、中阴世界 1.4 The Bardo World 四、中陰世界
中阴生命所处的环境是一个与我们完全不同的可怕世界,其特点:一多变,二恐怖。 The world that bardos live in is frightening and completely different from our own world. What makes it distinct is that first, it is constantly changing; second, it is terrifying. 中陰生命所處的環境是一個與我們完全不同的可怕世界,其特點:一多變,二恐怖。
说其多变,实可谓瞬息万变,令人眼花缭乱。 Speaking of changeability, it can be described as changing in the blink of an eye, which dazzles and confuses the bardos there. 說其多變,實可謂瞬息萬變,令人眼花繚亂。
从整体来看,中阴世界不像我们的天空有日月大地,有灯光,有昼夜交替。 In the bardo world, there is nothing like our sun and moon. There is no light to distinguish day from night. 從整體來看,中陰世界不像我們的天空有日月大地,有燈光,有晝夜交替。
大体上它们完全处在一种没有日月,没有灯光,长期生活在一种似明似暗(状如天将破晓或黄昏将入黑夜的临界时段),那种光线昏灰惨淡的世界,极似暴雨欲来,乌云压顶,凄凉铅暗的情景。 By and large, the bardos in this realm are without sunlight, moonlight, or any light, for what seems to be a long period of time for them. It is neither bright nor dark. (It is like the intermediate time when the sun is soon to rise, or dusk has just begun.) It is a world with dim rays and a gloomy faint gray atmosphere. It feels as if a storm is threatening, with black clouds pressing down from above. The bardo world is a scene of dreary lead-colored dimness. 大體上它們完全處在一種沒有日月,沒有燈光,長期生活在一種似明似暗(狀如天將破曉或黃昏將入黑夜的臨界時段),那種光線昏灰慘澹的世界,極似暴雨欲來,烏雲壓頂,淒涼鉛暗的情景。
此外,时常会有恐怖的境况出现。 In addition, terrifying circumstances appear. 此外,時常會有恐怖的境況出現。
经文《明行道六成就法》中这样记述:“如至极强烈发光之巨球体,间夹于无数无量之火焰喷发四射中。 The sutra, Six Successful Methods for Practicing the Path, gives the following account:

“It is as if a huge, extremely fierce flashing ball with tongues of fire leaping from it, is rushing at you.

經文《明行道六成就法》中這樣記述:“如至極強烈發光之巨球體,間夾於無數無量之火焰噴發四射中。
或于身后有极可怖畏之狂风暴雨,相紧逼迫追逐而来。 Or from behind you, a terribly frightening violent storm is fast approaching, 或於身後有極可怖畏之狂風暴雨,相緊逼迫追逐而來。
或忽出现极形忿怒之男女怪身,来相攫捉。” or suddenly there appears deformed and enraged men and women trying to grab you. 或忽出現極形忿怒之男女怪身,來相攫捉。”
有的体形庞大,充斥虚空; Some of their bodies are enormous, taking up every inch of space; 有的體形龐大,充斥虛空;
有的高大如妙高山,最小也比自己大十八倍,莫不令其心惊肉跳,慌忙逃窜。 some are as tall and massive as Mount Sumeru. Even the smallest are 18 times bigger than bardos, definitely causing them to flee in a panic, trembling with fear. 有的高大如妙高山,最小也比自己大十八倍,莫不令其心驚肉跳,慌忙逃竄。
还有四种巨大声响,也会让中阴生命惊恐万分。      There are also four kinds of tremendous sounds that will terrify the bardos. 還有四種巨大聲響,也會讓中陰生命驚恐萬分。
一如山倒之巨声;

 

One is like the gigantic sound of a mountain crashing down. 一如山倒之巨聲;
二如海啸之巨声; The second is like the huge sound of a tsunami. 二如海嘯之巨聲;
三如火烧树林之巨声; The third is like the enormous sound of a burning forest, 三如火燒樹林之巨聲;
四如千雷齐鸣之巨声。 The fourth is like the tremendous volley of thousands of peals of thunder. 四如千雷齊鳴之巨聲。
遇到上述可怖光相,又闻四种惊心的巨响,免不了因恐惧而逃跑。 Encountering the horrible images mentioned above, then startled by these four kinds of deafening sounds, bardos cannot help but flee in terror. 遇到上述可怖光相,又聞四種驚心的巨響,免不了因恐懼而逃跑。
即刻中阴生命又会遇到极险峻的三座绝壁,一白二红三黑,无法前进。 Instantly, bardos will encounter three dangerously steep cliffs that are white, red, and black. There will be no way for the bardos to progress forward. 即刻中陰生命又會遇到極險峻的三座絕壁,一白二紅三黑,無法前進。
伴随出现的还有数不清的雨雪、狂风、冰雹等恶劣天气。 Along with these cliffs will appear countless rounds of inclement weather – rain, snow, violent wind, hail, etc… 伴隨出現的還有數不清的雨雪、狂風、冰雹等惡劣天氣。
后面又有长相恐怖的大声怒吼的“人”追逐,令它们闻声而逃。 From behind will again come the terrible, loud, enraged roaring of “people” in pursuit, causing the bardos to run when they hear it. 後面又有長相恐怖的大聲怒吼的“人”追逐,令它們聞聲而逃。
或者经不住这种种极度恐怖的境况,免不了因惊恐而昏迷,如此反复经历“昏迷——清醒——逃跑”这一过程,倍受折磨,无可奈何。 When they can no longer bear all these awful circumstances, the bardos’ terror will inevitably cause them to faint. Repeatedly experiencing this process of “passing out – awakening – fleeing – passing out again… ” over and over, the bardos will feel tortured and helpless. 或者經不住這種種極度恐怖的境況,免不了因驚恐而昏迷,如此反復經歷“昏迷——清醒——逃跑”這一過程,倍受折磨,無可奈何。
这样,前期的记忆将会渐渐忘失,类似于人突然受到一次沉重的打击而昏厥,醒来后会变得麻木,反应迟钝,沦为失忆症。 In this way, the originally (free and at ease) bardo-life memories will gradually be forgotten. It is comparable to a person who suddenly experiences a great shock and falls unconscious. After they come around, they are numb and their reactions are listless. They are reduced to a state of “amnesia.” 這樣,前期的記憶將會漸漸忘失,類似於人突然受到一次沉重的打擊而昏厥,醒來後會變得麻木,反應遲鈍,淪為失憶症。
中阴生命也是如此,这也就是为什么小孩不易想起中阴身见闻的原因。 It is the same for bardos. Because of this “amnesia,” children cannot easily recall their bardo experience. 中陰生命也是如此,這也就是為什麼小孩不易想起中陰身見聞的原因。
虽然忘记,却把这种印象留在记忆深处,出生后必然会留有痕迹,如小孩最怕强光,还有大声喊叫和一个人孤独面对黑暗等这些情况。 Though they have forgotten, these impressions remain deep in their subconscious.  After they are born, the traces are there, so children are frightened by bright light, loud shouting, and being left alone in the dark. 雖然忘記,卻把這種印象留在記憶深處,出生後必然會留有痕跡,如小孩最怕強光,還有大聲喊叫和一個人孤獨面對黑暗等這些情況。

 

此时的中阴生命仿佛风中的羽毛四处飘荡,它们 孤独、恐惧、疲惫、伤心,渐渐地,它们会产生一种极 强烈的渴望——寻求藏身避难之处,获得一个有形的身体以求保护。      At this time, the bardos’ life is one of drifting about like a feather in the wind. Bardos are lonely, frightened, exhausted, and dejected. Bit by bit an intense yearning will arise to find a place “to hide” as a refuge, the ideal being to acquire a physical body with which to defend themselves. 此時的中陰生命彷彿風中的羽毛四處飄蕩,它們 孤獨、恐懼、疲憊、傷心,漸漸地,它們會產生一種極強烈的渴望——尋求藏身避難之處,獲得一個有形的身體以求保護。
投胎的意愿也就从此产生了。 And this is what brings about the desire for rebirth. 投胎的意願也就從此產生了。

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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