Conversations with Angels, Part II

In my previous post, Conversations with Angels, Part II provided a brief, high-level overview of angels from a historical and cross-theological perspective. Today, I will share my first-hand experience with angels from my yet-to-be-published book Faith without Labels — A Guide to Eclectic Spirituality (projected publication date February 2018). I’ll also examine the enormous popularity of current publications and authors which/who focus largely or entirely on angels.

A year or so ago, I started having regular sessions with Joy*, a medium/intuitive angel healer. I first saw her out of sheer desperation. I was going through a particularly brutal bout with the migraines over which my doctors were powerless. I knew and trusted the owner of the metaphysical book and supplies shop where Joy practices twice a week, and I decided that I had nothing to lose by trying this alternative healing solution.

It’s difficult for me to explain what my sessions with Joy are like. Directed by angels, she hones in on areas of the body that are causing pain and/or disease. On countless occasions, I have been shocked by how she unerringly zones in on a spot at the base of my skull, my back or even one of my toes, sends healing energy to or through that area and it relieves or minimizes the pain in a totally different location. Sometimes, the energy sessions are accompanied by very specific health instructions from the angels about dietary choices, exercise or even attitude adjustments.

Initially, I thought that, as a psychic/intuitive, Joy was “just” picking up cues from my brain. The thought that she was actually communicating with angels seemed rather fantastic to me since I had no point of reference. (Author’s note: See Conversations with Angels, Part I.)

My belief in angels stems directly from my sessions with Joy. She would often tell me that she had a message for me from a particular angel. When she realized that I had some level of psychic ability, she began asking me if I knew which angel wanted to communicate with me. On the most notable occasion, she said that an angel had indicated that he wanted to work with me, then asked me if I knew who it was. I immediately started seeing purple, so I said, “Purple, purple.” She just nodded and asked if I was “getting” a name. I was not, so she asked if I was getting a letter. I said, “J.” She confirmed that his name was Jeremiel, an Archangel who, among other things, helps people with life changes. When I got home, I looked Jeremiel up on the internet and learned that his aura is “eggplant” and that the gemstone associated with him is amethyst. Since that session, I have been working closely with him on changes on my diet, exercise and a life-altering career change.

I was somewhat surprised by how quickly my spiritual worldview expanded to include celestial beings. For me, the proof really was in the pudding. I started making the physical, spiritual and emotional adjustments suggested during my sessions with Joy and things began to shift in a positive way. After meditating, I started having conversations with specific angels, and I received answers. On occasion, the answers were clear, complete and immediate, usually in impressions rather in words. Other times, the answer arrived like a beautifully wrapped present.©

Faith without Labels — A Guide to Eclectic Spirituality© (projected publication date February 2018), Judie Anne Sigdel

*Name has been changed

As wondrous as they are, my experiences are far from unique. Angels on Earth, a bi-monthly magazine published by Guideposts, which was founded by Norman Vincent Peale, has shared “true, inspirational” accounts of modern-day angelic assistance for decades.

While Angels on Earth has a decidedly Christian tone, Doreen Virtue‘s are more New Age despite the fact that she is a “born-again Christian of the Episcopal/Anglican faith.” This New Age feel stems from the fact that Virtue, who has published over 50 books and 25 card decks, claims to communicate directly with angels and teaches others to do the same, which is something that mainstream Christianity doesn’t promote. According to her website, “In January 2017, following a profound life-changing vision experience of Jesus, Doreen shifted her teaching to focus more upon the Holy Trinity and scripture.”

According to Hay House (which is also Doreen Virtue’s publisher), “…at just 28, Kyle [Gray] is one of the most hip and sought-after experts in his field. With his unique ability to stay grounded and keep it real, he reintroduces the idea of angels and spirituality in an accessible way and believes he can bring ancient spiritual knowledge across in a modern way to help the reader of today.” Kyle is a heavily tattooed yoga instructor who is wildly charismatic while remaining totally unpretentious. Like Virtue, Gray has authored a number of best-selling books on angels and angelic divination decks.

Virtue and Gray both have very simple, direct, accessible writing styles. In addition to their published works, each has posted an impressive library of YouTube videos.

I hope that you enjoyed today’s post and Conversations with Angels, Part IThis brief overview of angels is in no means meant to be exhaustive. As always, I would love to hear your opinions and experiences! So please feel  free to share in the comments section below.

Conversations with angels, part I

geSays she talks to angels.
They call her out by her name.
Oh yeah, she talks to angels.
Says they call her out by her name.

— Black Crowes

Although I was raised as a Christian, angels didn’t play much of a role in religion as I understood it. Sure, I was familiar with the New Testament accounts of angels making proclamations: Gabriel advising the Virgin Mary that she would bear the Messiah; an unnamed angel advising Joseph, Mary’s fiance, that the child she carried had been conceived by the Holy Spirit;  an angel announcing to a group of shepherds that Christ had been born… (The word “angel” comes from the Greek “angelos,” which means “messenger.”) Then there were the scary warrior angels who went about smiting people in the book of Revelations. (If you want to read a somewhat humorous account of angels in Revelations be my guest. I can’t bear to recount it here. Seriously. As a Southern Baptist teen, the Apocalypse as described in the last book of the Bible was responsible for most of my nightmares.) Outside of those biblical passages, I don’t think that angels ever crossed my mind. I certainly never considered trying to communicate with them.

I converted to Catholicism in my early twenties, but must have missed the RCIA (Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults) class on angels. If I hadn’t, it’s likely that I would have begun my conversations with angels far sooner than I did. Although it’s not an article of faith, many Catholics believe that a guardian angel is assigned to each human at birth. One of the Church Fathers, St. Jerome, stated that the concept of guardian angels is “in the mind of the Church.”

 …how great the dignity of the soul, since each one has from his birth an angel commissioned to guard it.

— St. Jerome

Fontenot, Justin (3 October 2013). “What Are Guardian Angels?”. Prayerful Anglican.

Catholics also have a number of lovely prayers directed to angels, including this one:

Angel of God, my Guardian dear, to whom His love commits me here, ever this day (or night) be at my side, to light and guard, to rule and guide. Amen.

Angels are certainly not exclusive to Christianity. The Jewish scriptures and the Kabbalah include references to angels, who, in addition to carrying messages, performed a number of tasks for God, including testing and smiting people. In Hinduism, minor gods whose role is to protect humans are called devas.  And belief in angels is one of Islam’s six articles of faith.

As for the Baha’i:

Angels are also those holy souls who have severed attachment to the earthly world, who are free from the fetters of self and passion and who have attached their hearts to the divine realm and the merciful kingdom. They are of the kingdom, heavenly; they are of the merciful One, divine. They are the manifestations of the divine grace and the dawns of spiritual bounty.

‘Abdu’l-Bahá, Bahá’í World Faith, p. 409

Angels also play a starring role in New Age spirituality, which is akin to Eclectic Spirituality in that its practitioners tend to draw upon religious and spiritual practices and ideas and combine them into a belief system that is relevant and deeply personal. Age-old concepts that are common to non-Christian religions, such as reincarnation and ritual magic are common among some New Age practitioners, most of whom would probably never use that label to describe themselves. Because they “pick and choose” what they want to believe rather than “buying into” a mainstream religion hook, line and sinker, New Agers are often criticized for taking their beliefs out of context.

According to New Age theology (as it were), angels communicate with those who seek them and are ready and willing to come to the aid of humans who request their help. Because we humans have free will, they never impose themselves on us; we must ask.

The Pew Research Center surveyed men and women in 63 countries about their belief in heaven, hell and angels. Their finding on the latter was that:

When it comes to belief in angels, men and women are about equally likely to profess belief in these celestial beings in 48 of 63 countries surveyed (76%). In 14 countries, women believe in angels to a greater degree than men do. Only in Pakistan do men believe in angels more than women. Across all 63 countries, a greater share of women than men believe in angels by an average gap of 3 percentage points.

— The Pew Research Center, March 22, 2016, “The Gender Gap in Religion around the World”

In my next post, I will discuss authors such as Doreen Virtue, “the angel whisperer” Kyle Gray and angel intuitives, who claim to communicate with the angels to heal their clients.

In the interim, please share your comments. Do you believe in angels?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Believe in Unicorns

“But is the unicorn a falsehood? It’s the sweetest of animals and a noble symbol. It stands for Christ and for chastity; it can be captured only by setting a virgin in the forest, so that the animal, catching her most chaste odor, will go and lay its head in her lap, offering itself as prey to the hunters’ snares.”

“So it is said, Adso. But many tend to believe that it’s a fable, an invention of the pagans.”

“What a disappointment,” I said. “I would have liked to encounter one, crossing a wood. Otherwise what’s the pleasure of crossing a wood?”
― Umberto Eco, The Name of the Rose

Belief in unicorns is not a central tenet of eclectic spirituality. In fact, eclectic spirituality has no tenets, only the premise that we owe it to ourselves to examine what we believe and to embrace a spiritual belief system that works for us.

But unicorns are at the very heart of my spiritual belief system.

“Oh my…,” I can hear you thinking to yourself. “Judie has finally gone off the deep end. I was okay with her picking and choosing spiritual elements from Christianity, Buddhism, even Wicca. But unicorns? What’s next? Nessie? Big Foot?”

Let me set your mind at ease. While I do believe in Nessie, Big Foot and a whole host of cryptozoological creatures, they are not part of my spiritual belief system.

I can see you shaking your head. Clearly, that didn’t ease your mind one little bit. Now you’re wondering whether I truly believe that unicorns are trotting around in mystical forests, tossing their silky manes under Crayola-colored rainbows.

Of course not.

And of course I do.

Allow me to explain…

When I went to my biofeedback session a couple of weeks ago, I was extremely despondent. I wasn’t totally devoid of hope, but I was dangerously close.

As my regular readers may remember, I go for biofeedback every week in an attempt lessen — and maybe even eliminate — the chronic migraines that I have dealt with for decades. I am I’m blessed to be working with two brilliant, talented, kind, compassionate women: Clinical Director Susan Antelis and Cindy Smalletz, who is training with Susan.  On this occasion, Cindy facilitated my session.

We started the session with a check-in, and I told Cindy that I was going through a really rough time. I explained that I experienced severe side effects from the migraine prophylactic medication that my neurologist had put me on a few weeks before. While I did enjoy a few migraine-free days, I had an intense, constant headache at the base of my skull on the remaining days. There were other side effects as well, so my doctor took me off the med.

Cindy paused, nodded thoughtfully and said something along the lines of, “So, that wasn’t your unicorn.”

This simple, seemingly fanciful statement resonated with me and started a deeply healing conversation. No, that medication was not my “unicorn,” the thing that was going to provide real, lasting migraine relief.

But the statement, “…that wasn’t your unicorn” was full of promise. It implied that there was a unicorn for me. All I had to do was continue to pursue it.

This, of course, would require belief, the one thing that I was running low on at that moment.

And who could blame me? Over the years I have searched high and low for my unicorn. The list of medications that I’ve tried is so exhaustive that more than one neurologist has told me that there is nothing left to try. Which is their way of telling me to give up, that there are no unicorns for me.

I’ve also tried chiropractic, massage and acupuncture to no avail.

A dear friend who also lives with chronic migraine, introduced me to biofeedback, which has provided a day or two a week of relief so far. Over time, the migraine-free days may well increase, but in the interim, I need to be able to hold down a job, to write, to maintain relationships, to care for my pets…

So I continue to seek the elusive unicorn.

In the 12-step rooms, they often say, “Don’t give up five minutes before the miracle.” Which means, “Don’t quit working the Program before sobriety kicks in.”

In other words, “Don’t give up on yourself before you have a chance to succeed.”

Or, more simply, “Don’t give up hope.”

I often think about people who give up five minutes before the miracle; job seekers, couples in rocky marriages, people in chronic pain…

We’ve all been there. Maybe the circumstances were different, but we can all identify with that sense of hopelessness. “I will never get a job,” “My marriage will always be in shambles,” “I will always be in pain…”

“It will never get better.”

But here’s the thing. If we give it time — and don’t give up hope — it usually does.

Shortly after that biofeedback session I received news that my insurance was going to cover Botox for the migraines. I had the injections three days ago. It’s far too soon to tell whether this will be my unicorn. I hope that it is. But if it’s not, I’ll keep on searching. Because, really, what is the alternative?

 

 

 

 

 

Auspicious Birth — Part IV

Today I’m pleased to present the final chapter in the series about bardo, the “transitional” state between lives. As my regular readers know, I am reprinting it with permission from a scholarly work entitled Auspicious Birth by Master Shi Zhiguo, a contemporary Chinese monk.

If you are a new reader…welcome! Please take some time to read the previous posts in the series — Auspicious Birth — PrefaceAuspicious Birth — Part I, Auspicious Birth — Part II and Auspicious Birth — Part III — for background and context before you read the entry below.

Please take a moment and share your thoughts about this series. Did you learn new information and perspectives about bardo? How did this information differ from what you already knew or believed? From what tradition of Buddhism (or other faith) had you learned your information on bardo?

I look forward to hearing your thoughts!

中篇

优生方案

Part Two

A Blueprint for

a Good Birth

中篇

優生方案

第四章

先天方案

Chapter Four

A Blueprint for Inherent Nature

第四章

先天方案

一、

选择有福德之中阴生命入胎

4.1

Choosing to Have a Blessed and Virtuous Bardo Enter the Fetus

一、

选择有福德之中阴生命入胎

 

小孩的优秀素质基础,如果仅靠后天的培养强化来塑造,已为时过晚,况且后天的教育不一定成功。 If molding the foundation of a child’s quality and superiority is dependent entirely upon reinforcing the child’s upbringing in one lifetime alone, then when the time for upbringing is over; additional education may not necessarily be successful. 小孩的優秀素質基礎,如果僅靠後天的培養強化來塑造,已為時過晚,況​​且後天的教育不一定成功。
在如今以独生子女为主要教育对象的社会现状下,高昂的教育成本,繁重的教育科目,一旦后天教育失败,可能会令一个家庭陷入困境。 In today’s social milieu, a family may be caught in a dilemma once education, which is geared toward children normally from single-child households, the high cost of education, and the heavy burden of the curriculum, fails. 在如今以獨生子女為主要教育對象的社會現狀下,高昂的教育成本,繁重的教育科目,一旦後天教育失敗,可能會令一個家庭陷入困境。
因此现代社会对教育的要求越来越高,只许成功不许失败。 Education in modern society has become increasingly demanding for children, permitting only success and not allowing failure. 因此現代社會對教育的要求越來越高,只許成功不許失敗。
这也是众多父母不惜重金,孤注一掷投资教育的良苦用心之所在。 Multitudes of parents with good intentions spare no cost, desperately investing everything they have into their child’s education. 這也是眾多父母不惜重金,孤注一擲投資教育的良苦用心之所在。

 

如果能让先天就已具足福德的中阴生命入胎,相比之下,小孩的起点就要高得多,将来培养起来效率也高,不仅省心而且极容易教化成才。 If a bardo that already has innate blessed and virtuous characteristics enters a fetus, the child of such a bardo would have a much higher starting point in life. Cultivating this child would be more effective. Not only would the parents have peace of mind, but it would be much simpler to help the child advance through education, so that the child will become an accomplished adult. 如果能讓先天就已具足福德的中陰生命入胎,相比之下,小孩的起點就要高得多,將來培養起來效率也高,不僅省心而且極容易教化成才。
这个方案投资不大,不费多少事,还能达到事半功倍的效果,何乐而不为呢? The investment required to bring a bardo that has blessings and virtue to one’s fetus is not great. It would waste nothing, and in the end, would yield greater results with less effort. So why not do it? 這個方案投資不大,不費多少事,還能達到事半功倍的效果,何樂而不為呢?
相反,如果是一个无福德的中阴生命入胎,先天就愚笨顽劣,如同朽木,无论后天如何精心雕琢,挖空心思,劳命伤财,终难成器。 On the contrary, if a bardo without blessings and virtue enters the fetus, it would be inherently dull-witted and difficult to work with like rotten wood. Then no matter how meticulously we attempt to form the child after birth, no matter how hard the parents work, or how much energy and money they invest, it would be so problematic to have the child amount to anything. 相反,如果是一個無福德的中陰生命入胎,先天就愚笨頑劣,如同朽木,無論後天如何精心雕琢,挖空心思,勞命傷財,終難成器。

 

这就是为什么有些地区的佛教领袖一定要寻找转世灵童,而并非将重点放在培养其他僧侣身上的密诣之所在。 Because of this, Buddhist leaders in certain areas use the secret practice of seeking out a physical being for a spiritual rebirth, rather than focusing on cultivating new monks. 這就是為什麼有些地區的佛教領袖一定要尋找轉世靈童,而並非將重點放在培養其他僧侶身上的密詣之所在。

 

理论上,如能择取高素质的中阴生命,未来胎儿一定优秀超凡,培养起来也省心省事。 Theoretically, if parents choose a bardo of high quality, the future fetus will certainly be more outstanding than an ordinary person. Nurturing the future child would also be easy and worry-free. 理論上,如能擇取高素質的中陰生命,未來胎兒一定優秀超凡,培養起來也省心省事。
但实际上,中阴生命处于一个未知的中阴世界中,不可预知和掌握,没有人为选择的可能。 But in fact, a bardo exists in the enigmatic bardo realm. How could someone predict and guarantee which bardo arrives? It is not possible for an ordinary person to select the bardo they want. 但實際上,中陰生命處於一個未知的中陰世界中,不可預知和掌握,沒有人為選擇的可能。

 

不过,在佛经中有这么一段话“若父母尊贵,有大福德,中阴卑贱; However, there is this statement in the Buddhist sutras: “Parents may be decent and worthy of respect with great blessings and virtue, but the bardo that comes to them may possibly be inferior because of their past life negative relationship; 不過,在佛經中有這麼一段話“若父母尊貴,有大福德,中陰卑賤;
或中阴尊贵有大福德,父母卑贱; a bardo may be decent and worthy of respect, but the parents may possibly be inferior for the same reason; 或中陰尊貴有大福德,父母卑賤;
或俱福德无相感业,若如是有亦不受胎”。 if there is no past life karmic affinity at all, the bardo will not be received into the fetus. “ 或俱福德無相感業,若如是有亦不受胎”。
这是一句非常重要,非常有用的经文,提示我们,来投胎的中阴生命应当与今世父母之间须同时具备两种条件方可结缘。 This is a very important and useful statement from the sutras. It reminds us that a bardo needs to have two conditions that form karmic bonds with the parents for a bardo to come to them for rebirth. 這是一句非常重要,非常有用的經文,提示我們,來投胎的中陰生命應當與今世父母之間須同時具備兩種條件方可結緣。

 

(一)福德对等。

中阴生命的福德水平应和父母的福德水平相当,可有望结为“骨肉血缘”。

(1) Equal blessings and virtue.

The level of the bardo’s blessings and virtue ought to be on par with the level of its future parents’ blessings and virtue for a “blood relative bond” to take place.

(一)福德對等。

中陰生命的福德水平應和父母的福德水平相當,可有望結為“骨肉血緣”。

(二)父母和中阴生命之间曾经发生过某种关系,彼此间有一定的恩怨债务的“相感业”因缘,两者一定是“有缘人”。 (2) Between the parents and the bardo, there had to have occurred some kind of a past life relationship. There had to have been causes and conditions of a “past life karmic affinity,” a certain karmic relationship of gratitude, resentment, liability, or interaction that has brought them together as “people with a shared history.” (二)父母和中陰生命之間曾經發生過某種關係,彼此間有一定的恩怨債務的“相感業”因緣,兩者一定是“有緣人”。

 

由此,我们得到一个重要启示,既然中阴生命和后天父母之间存在着一个“福德对等”的潜法则,那么父母虽不能直接影响入胎的中阴生命,却完全可以通过提高自身的福德和修养水平,借以间接地“选择”具备福德的中阴生命,从而实现优生优育计划中至关重要的第一步。 From this we gain an important insight. Since there exists a law of “equivalent blessings and virtue,” karmic affinity between the bardo and the future parents, and although parents cannot directly impact which bardo enters the fetus, they can still absolutely and indirectly “choose” a bardo that possesses blessings and virtue. They can do this by improving their own levels of blessings and virtue. Accordingly, they can realize a crucial first step in accomplishing their project of an auspicious birth and promising nurturing. 由此,我們得到一個重要啟示,既然中陰生命和後天父母之間存在著一個“福德對等”的潛法則,那麼父母雖不能直接影響入胎的中陰生命,卻完全可以通過提高自身的福德和修養水平,藉以間接地“選擇”具備福德的中陰生命,從而實現優生優育計劃中至關重要的第一步。

 

此中的问题并非单一的对等式选择,必须同时满足这两条法则,缺一不可。 The key point here is that which bardo comes to the fetus is not a one-sided choice. It must satisfy the two above mentioned latent laws of “equivalent blessings and virtue” karmic affinity, which is indispensable. 此中的問題並非單一的對等式選擇,必須同時滿足這兩條法則,缺一不可。
福德对等“选择”中阴生命只是一种前提条件,更重要的是它们是否与后天父母有“相感业”,不然福德对等仍属无效。 The bardo in the blessings and virtue equation “choice” is just a prerequisite. More importantly is whether or not the bardo has a “past life karmic affinity” with the future parents. If not, the blessings and virtue equation will be invalid. 福德對等“選擇”中陰生命只是一種前提條件,更重要的是它們是否與後天父母有“相感業”,不然福德對等仍屬無效。

 

这时,如果相感业为“善缘”,即报恩或还债,那就很好; In such a scenario, if the past life karmic affinity is a   “positive relationship,” which is gratitude or repaying a debt, it is very good; 這時,如果相感業為“善緣”,即報恩或還債,那就很好;
如果相感业为“恶缘”,是报仇讨债而来,那么这样的小孩生来仍是一种失败。 if the past life karmic affinity is a “negative relationship,” which results from revenge or collecting on an obligation, then the birth of such a child into a family would be a disappointment. 如果相感業為“惡緣”,是報仇討債而來,那麼這樣的小孩生來仍是一種失敗。
因此,这里就产生了两条优生优育的重要法则。 Therefore, here two important laws of equivalent blessings and equivalent virtue karmic affinities must evolve if the parents want an auspicious birth and a promising period of nurturing the child. 因此,這裡就產生了兩條優生優育的重要法則。
① 父母必须积德修福,提高自身修养; ① Parents must amass virtues and practice acts of kindness which accrue blessings. They must improve their self-development; ① 父母必須積德修福,提高自身修養;
② 今生乃至往昔过去生,未曾亏欠有情生命的财物,从未和有情生命结下恶缘。 ② In this lifetime and even in past lives, parents must never owe any sentient beings anything. They must not create any bonds of negative karmic relationships with any sentient being. They must not harm or kill any being. ② 今生乃至往昔過去生,未曾虧欠有情生命的財物,從未和有情生命結下惡緣。

 

实际上,对于一般人来说,这两条根本不可能达到。 In fact, it is impossible for people in general to uphold these two important laws. 實際上,對於一般人來說,這兩條根本不可能達到。
因此,选择大福德之中阴生命依然是个美丽的梦想,即使勉强能达到第一条,而第二条还是很难保证。 Choosing a bardo with great blessings and virtue is nonetheless a beautiful dream. Even if we manage to uphold the first law, with a lot of effort, the second law will still be difficult to follow through on. 因此,選擇大福德之中陰生命依然是個美麗的夢想,即​​使勉強能達到第一條,而第二條還是很難保證。
久远劫以来,我们得罪的众生太多了,任何一个降生到家中,都会让一家老小不得安宁。 The number of beings that we have offended over countless eons is too many. Any individual born into a home has the potential to bring turmoil to the entire family. 久遠劫以來,我們得罪的眾生太多了,任何一個降生到家中,都會讓一家老小不得安寧。
这就是为什么富贵之家、书香门第,却不一定生个聪明又孝顺,有福又有德的儿孙的缘故。 This is why a wealthy family, or an educated family, may not necessarily give birth to a smart child who shows filial obedience, or to children and grandchildren who have blessings and virtue. 這就是為什麼富貴之家、書香門第,卻不一定生個聰明又孝順,有福又有德的兒孫的緣故。

 

 

二、借助他力选胎 4.2 Choosing a Bardo with the Aid of External Power 二、借助他力選胎

 

对现代人来说,中阴世界是一个完全陌生的未知世界,其中无量无边的中阴生命对我们来说,既无法辨认也无法选择,更不知是否与今世父母有缘,是善缘是恶缘,全然没有一点把握。 The world of the bardo is totally strange and hard for people today to perceive. The limitless number of bardos are indistinguishable to us, and it is also impossible to select one for the fetus. This makes it even more difficult to know whether the past life relationship between the bardo and its present parents was positive or negative. Therefore, which bardo comes to the fetus is completely unpredictable. 對現代人來說,中陰世界是一個完全陌生的未知世界,其中無量無邊的中陰生命對我們來說,既無法辨認也無法選擇,更不知是否與今世父母有緣,是善緣是惡緣,全然沒有一點把握。

 

对于普通人,这完全是一个无可奈何的事情。 These circumstances render ordinary people completely helpless as to what kind of bardo enters the fetus. 對於普通人,這完全是一個無可奈何的事情。
如果在自然情况下碰巧有个福德之中阴身入胎,希望又太渺茫,但是如借助外力,或许情况将会大不一样。 Under normal conditions, the probability that a bardo with blessings and virtue happens to enter a fetus is remote. But if the parents take advantage of help from an outside source, perhaps the situation could turn out to be quite different. 如果在自然情況下碰巧有個福德之中陰身入胎,希望又太渺茫,但是如借助外力,或許情況將會大不一樣。

 

佛经中有这样一段文字:“若有女人,设欲求男,礼拜供养观世音菩萨,便生福德智慧之男;设欲求女,便生端正有相之女,宿植德本,众人爱敬。” The Buddhist Wonderful Lotus Sutra妙法蓮華經觀世音菩薩普門品 Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara Universal Gate Chapter has this passage: “If a woman makes offerings to Bodhisattva Guanyin (Avalokitesvara) and makes prostrations before the bodhisattva she should have the boy that she desires. By doing so, she will give birth to a boy who has blessings, virtue, and wisdom. If she prefers to have a girl, she will give birth to one with nice-looking features, who had done good deeds in past lives and is therefore virtuous and loved by everyone.” 佛經中有這樣一段文字:“若有女人,設欲求男,禮拜供養觀世音菩薩,便生福德智慧之男;設欲求女,便生端正有相之女,宿植德本,眾人愛敬。 ”

 

显然,求助大神通力、大智慧、大福德的观世音菩萨,可以帮助我们选择具备福德智慧,又具备因缘的中阴生命前来入胎。 From this we can see that seeking help from the sacred power of Bodhisattva Guanyin, her great wisdom, blessings, and virtue can help the parents receive a bardo that possesses blessings, virtue, and wisdom, and also holds the causes and conditions to enter the fetus. 顯然,求助大神通力、大智慧、大福德的觀世音菩薩,可以幫助我們選擇具備福德智慧,又具備因緣的中陰生命前來入胎。
如此,问题一下子变得简单多了,而且轻松、简便又准确,可以非常巧妙地绕过障碍,如愿以偿地实现先天优生的决定性的第一步。 Do this, and the problem of selecting a bardo suddenly becomes much simpler. Moreover, parents can skillfully skirt around obstacles easily, expediently, and precisely. They can fulfil their wish to realize the first decisive steps in the innate auspiciousness of their future child. 如此,問題一下子變得簡單多了,而且輕鬆、簡便又準確,可以非常巧妙地繞過障礙,如願以償地實現先天優生的決定性的第一步。

 

 

三、

父母的准备工作

4.3

The Parents’ Preparation Work

三、

父母的準備工作

 

生儿育女虽天经地义,但绝不可马虎对待。 Although parenting is a law of nature, it cannot be done carelessly. 生兒育女雖天經地義,但絕不可馬虎對待。
从古到今,无论一个人一生有多么令人瞩目的事业,辉煌的成就,如后继无人,或有而不坚,如同三国时的刘阿斗,则家业无人可付,宗祧无人可守,到头来未免昙花一现,终归一场空。 From ancient times till today, regardless of what a remarkable career or brilliant achievements a person may have, without posterity, or with incapable successors like Emperor Liu’s weak heir, Ah Dou, in The Romance of the Three Kingdoms, there will be no one to carry on the family legacy. There will be no family line to observe memorial days. Family lineage will bloom and wither quickly with nothing to show for it. 從古到今,無論一個人一生有多麼令人矚目的事業,輝煌的成就,如後繼無人,或有而不堅,如同三國時的劉阿斗,則家業無人可付,宗祧無人可守,到頭來未免曇花一現,終歸一場空。

 

从这个意义上讲,何谓终生大事,常人必异口同音“婚姻大事”,仔细想来,婚姻大事,归根结底还落在传宗接代上,离不开续传祖宗血脉,托付先祖家业之重任,即众人所讲的“接续香火”。 In this regard, what is the most important event in a person’s lifetime? Ordinary people will unanimously say, “marriage.” In the final analysis after thinking it over, though, marriage is all about carrying on a family line. It is inseparable from continuing the ancestral bloodline and the heavy responsibility of entrusting the family legacy to posterity. In Chinese culture, this is called “keeping the family incense burning.” 從這個意義上講,何謂終生大事,常人必異口同音“婚姻大事”,仔細想來,婚姻大事,歸根結底還落在傳宗接代上,離不開續傳祖宗血脈,託付先祖家業之重任,即眾人所講的“接續香火”。
所以说生儿育女之事为终生大事之大事,一点不为过。 It can be said without any exaggeration that bearing children and nurturing them is the greatest of all important lifetime experiences. 所以說生兒育女之事為終生大事之大事,一點不為過。

 

  况且,如能生得出类拔萃之优秀儿女,不仅上能报效国家,造福社会,中能光宗耀祖,传持家风,下则赡养父母,颐养千年,畅享天伦之乐; In addition, if you are able to give birth to outstanding sons and daughters, it would be of service to the nation and benefit society.  It would also bring glory to your ancestors; these children will pass on your family’s legacy. They will provide for you – their parents – and support you in your old age so that you may enjoy your grandchildren. 況且,如能生得出類拔萃之優秀兒女,不僅上能報效國家,造福社會,中能光宗耀祖,傳持家風,下則贍養父母,頤養千年,暢享天倫之樂;    
相反若生得智障低能,身残体弱或品行不端,行为怪异之子,且不谈成龙成凤,报恩父母,单说将来置身社会,独立自主尚无保证,更何况家庭负担,社会压力足以令父母满口喘息,有苦难言。 To the contrary, if you give birth to developmentally disabled children, children who are weak, handicapped, or have bizarre idiosyncrasies, who cannot be taught how to behave properly, there would be no sense in talking about such children growing into “dragons or phoenixes” (capable adults). It would be equally pointless to talk of such children repaying their parents a debt of gratitude. There would be no guarantee that such children would find their place in society or even care for themselves, much less take on the responsibilities of a family. Social pressure on the parents of such children is enough to make them gasp from the suffering that they will not even have the words to express. 相反若生得智障低能,身殘體弱或品行不端,行為怪異之子,且不談成龍成鳳,報恩父母,單說將來置身社會,獨立自主尚無保證,更何況家庭負擔,社會壓力足以令父母滿口喘息,有苦難言。    

 

千万不可只顾贪图男女欲乐,心无顾忌,不知疲厌,不问邪正,置生儿育女之要事于脑后,听其自然,毫无诚意,糊涂成事,草率成胎,若蒙祖上阴德庇护,可有万一之幸,不然所生儿女必不贞良,必不聪慧强壮,稍有不慎,或许烦恼终生。 You definitely cannot let yourself only be absorbed in the joys of sex without ever getting tired or disgusted with it, never inquiring into right and wrong, and with the birth and nurturing of a child as the last thing on your mind. Consider yourself extremely fortunate if blessings from your ancestors help your sloppily conceived baby turn out to be a good child. You are especially fortunate if it was born to you because you let responsibility drift and were muddleheaded about conceiving it. Normally children born under such circumstances are not of good character. They are not intelligent and strong. Conception caused by a slight mistake could become a lifetime of trouble. 千萬不可只顧貪圖男女欲樂,心無顧忌,不知疲厭,不問邪正,置生兒育女之要事於腦後,聽其自然,毫無誠意,糊塗成事,草率成胎,若蒙祖上陰德庇護,可有萬一之幸,不然所生兒女必不貞良,必​​不聰慧強壯,稍有不慎,或許煩惱終生。

 

故欲生得秉赋淳厚,性情温良,福、慧、寿三通皆具之子,须参考佛教中大智慧者所说,从正道起步,顺天然正理以求吉祥如意。 If you would like to give birth to children who have the innate endowments of honesty, a gentle temperament, blessings, wisdom, and longevity, you should refer to what the wise sages of Buddhism have said: Right from the start your first step must be on the Path of Righteousness. Obey Universal Laws to beseech the auspicious birth that you wish for. 故欲生得秉賦淳厚,性情溫良,福、慧、壽三通皆具之子,須參考佛教中大智慧者所說,從正道起步,順天然正理以求吉祥如意。
因此,凡父母欲生子女之前,必须做好足够的思想准备,提前筹备,“修路搭桥”早做打算,绝不可仓皇应付,心存侥幸。 Universal Laws teach that blessings are not a fluke of chance. Therefore, parents need to have ample planning before they bear children.  They must prepare in advance by “repairing roads and building bridges” (referring to a Chinese saying for accruing blessings by serving the community). The parents must plan how they will accumulate these blessings early on, and not manage it haphazardly. 因此,凡父母欲生子女之前,必須做好足夠的思想準備,提前籌備,“修路搭橋”早做打算,絕不可倉皇應付,心存僥倖。
父母应制定科学方案,遵守规范的生活秩序,谨记宜忌,严防密守,以求一步到位,先天圆满。 Parents should formulate a scientific approach, complying with a structured, healthy lifestyle that promotes a positive birth. Keep in mind what is appropriate and what you must avoid when you decide to become pregnant. Do not try to conceive during negative astrological times or negative events, at negative places, or with a negative person. These include both negative mental and physical situations. Carry out your program seriously to the end to acquire a bardo that is innately complete. 父母應制定科學方案,遵守規範的生活秩序,謹記宜忌,嚴防密守,以求一步到位,先天圓滿。

 

(一)积累福德,提升素质  (1) Accumulate blessings and virtue to enhance the quality of your character (一)積累福德,提升素質

 

从以上内容,我们已经明白欲生福德智慧、光宗华国之贵子,必须有福德对等的父母福德基础。 It is clear from the above, that giving birth to children who have blessings, virtue, and wisdom, and who will bring glory to the family and benefit the nation, depends upon the parents being grounded in their own blessings and morality. 從以上內容,我們已經明白欲生福德智慧、光宗華國之貴子,必須有福德對等的父母福德基礎。
不然水大渠小,缘不投合。 This will put the parents on equal footing with a similar bardo. 不然水大渠小,緣不投合。
故依据佛教思想,提议准父母们须提前着手,积累福德。 Buddhism proposes that the parents must commence with accumulating blessings and virtue prior to conceiving a child. 故依據佛教思想,提議準父母們須提前著手,積累福德。

 

建议方案如下: The following are some proposed projects for accumulating blessings and virtue: 建議方案如下:
1、广行孝道,成人之美。 1. Practice filial piety in the home and expand it to include all elders. 1、廣行孝道,成人之美。
万善孝为先。 All kind acts begin with filial piety. 萬善孝為先。
孝道是一切善行的起点,父母必须于生活处处,不辞辛劳,孝顺父母师长及一切长辈,代人之劳,成人之美,真诚无私,勤劳恳切。 Filial piety is the starting point for all good behavior. Prospective parents need to tirelessly show filial piety toward their own parents, teachers, and elders without complaint in every aspect of their lives. Be of service to members of other generations. Help all elders, and do acts of kindness sincerely, selflessly, conscientiously and in earnest. 孝道是一切善行的起點,父母必須於生活處處,不辭辛勞,孝順父母師長及一切長輩,代人之勞,成人之美,真誠無私,勤勞懇切。

 

2、善待眷属,悯恤仆使。 2. Treat family members kindly, and show concern toward your subordinates. 2、善待眷屬,憫恤僕使。
应心存仁慈,待人处事存颗平等心,不择亲疏,尊老爱幼,无论贵贱一视同仁,不傲慢,宽恕他人,体恤属下,等同兄弟。 You should be kind and benevolent. Manage activities with a mind of equanimity. Do not limit your kindness to only those who are close to you. Respect the old and care for the young. Treat people equally and without discrimination, regardless of social status. Do not be arrogant, forgive others, have empathy for subordinates, and identify with others as if they were your own siblings. 應心存仁慈,待人處事存顆平等心,不擇親疏,尊老愛幼,無論貴賤一視同仁,不傲慢,寬恕他人,體恤屬下,等同兄弟。

 

3、爱国爱民,周济孤幼。 3. Love your nation and its citizens, and offer charity to orphans. 3、愛國愛民,周濟孤幼。
赈灾救贫,拔济苦厄。 Get involved in disaster relief and aid those in hardship. 賑災救貧,拔濟苦厄。
应以大同情心,胸怀天下,行大丈夫之举,有如范仲淹“先天下之忧而忧,后天下之乐而乐”的抱负,在日常生活中常存一念忠善心,竭力做一名守道之良民,护国之忠君,久而久之自有感应。 With a compassionate mind, open your heart to the world. Behave like a great sage or bodhisattva. Have the aspirations of Fan Zhongyan who said, “Let me be the first to bear the hardships suffered in this world, and the last to enjoy its pleasures.” Maintain thoughts of devoted kindness in your daily life. Endeavor to be a good law-abiding citizen. If you are a civil servant, be loyal and defend your nation. Over time, you will have an affinity for accruing blessings and virtue. 應以大同情心,胸懷天下,行大丈夫之舉,有如范仲淹“先天下之憂而憂,後天下之樂而樂”的抱負,在日常生活中常存一念忠善心,竭力做一名守道之良民,護國之忠君,久而久之自有感應。

Fan Zhongyan lived from the 5th day of the Ninth Lunar Month 989 to the 19th day of the Sixth Lunar Month 1052. His courtesy name was Xiwen and he was also known as Zhu Yue. During his youth, he was a prominent politician and literary figure in Song dynasty China. He was also a strategist and educator. After serving the central government of the state for many years he finally rose to the seat of vice chancellor over the entire Chinese empire.

2016 July 19 – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fan_Zhongyan

 

4、戒杀放生,劝人行善。 4. Renounce killing, liberate living beings, encourage people to do good deeds. 4、戒殺放生,勸人行善。
放生、护生、不杀生是人世间第一福德善行。 Of all the acts of kindness that people in the human realm can create, not killing living beings, protecting life, and liberating beings that are going to be killed are the greatest for accruing blessings and virtue. 放生、護生、不殺生是人世間第一福德善行。
应励力而行,且随缘随分或印发善书,或良言劝人止恶行善,不害无辜。 We should encourage ourselves to do these things. Moreover, as the opportunity arises and according to one’s ability, print and distribute books that teach people to be good. Use pleasant words to inspire others to stop doing bad and do good. Do not let your emotions harm the innocent. 應勵力而行,且隨緣隨份或印發善書,或良言勸人止惡行善,不害無辜。
尤其能劝人学佛,改过向善,为善中之善,功德最大。 The greatest merit is in urging others to practice Buddhism, so that they may correct their mistakes and become good. This is the greatest of all kindnesses. 尤其能勸人學佛,改過向善,為善中之善,功德最大。

 

5、情性温和,恬淡无争。 5. Be gentle in your behavior, be composed and do not create strife with others. 5、情性溫和,恬淡無爭。
应时时刻刻,调节心态,不暴躁,不刻薄;与人方便,与人和善;闲静宽适,不争人我,心正不邪,一派和谐,不管他人说三道四,心中自有主张。 We should adjust our state of mind at all times to not be irritable and sarcastic. Be accommodating, affable and kind to others. Treat people with a tranquil, agreeable manner free of strife. Have a heart that is upright and not evil. Be pleasant no matter what people may say about you and do not be on the defensive when you stand by your beliefs. 應時時刻刻,調節心態,不暴躁,不刻薄;與人方便,與人和善;閑靜寬適,不爭人我,心正不邪,一派和諧,不管他人說三道四,心中自有主張。
总之,诸恶莫作,众善奉行,净化心灵。 In short, do no evil, pursue all goodness, and purify your mind. 總之,諸惡莫作,眾善奉行,淨化心靈。
遇善则随分随力而行,遇恶则如怨如仇而去。 When you come upon goodness, support it to the best of your ability. When you see evil, resist it as if it were your enemy. 遇善則隨分隨力而行,遇惡則如怨如仇而去。
不遗余力,不求回报。 Spare no effort when doing these things and expect nothing in return. 不遺餘力,不求回報。
一举一动,饶益自他;一言一行,堪为模范。 Every move you make should be of benefit to yourself and others.  Every word you speak should encourage people to take you as their role model. 一舉一動,饒益自他;一言一行,堪為模範。
越多越好,总是有百利而无一弊。 The more acts of kindness you can do, the better, as there is only benefit in doing these things and there is nothing harmful about it. 越多越好,總是有百利而無一弊。
欲得富贵子,须是福德人。 If you desire to have a child that will be affluent and have social status you must create blessings and virtue yourself. 欲得富貴子,須是福德人。

 

6、立誓发愿,祈祷菩萨 6.  Make vows and carry them through, pray to buddhas and bodhisattvas. 6、立誓發願,祈禱菩薩
“福德对等”本身就是一个永无止境的至高点。 It is impossible to assess whether or not “your blessings and virtue are on equal footing with the coming bardo.” “福德對等”本身就是一個永無止境的至高點。
无论多么良善的人,因不知过去世品德如何,祖上阴德薄厚,加之行善时间有限,根本无法确保自己的福德底线,故无论何时都不敢自诩能生得大福德的贵子。 No matter how good people may be, there is simply no way to ensure what the pinnacle of their blessings and virtue may be. This is because we do not know what character they had in their past life, or the strength of their ancestors’ good deeds. Couple this with the limited amount of time they now have in this lifetime to do good. Therefore, at no time should people boast that they are able to give birth to a child with great blessings and virtue. 無論多麼良善的人,因不知過去世品德如何,祖上陰德薄厚,加之行善時間有限,根本無法確保自己的福德底線,故無論何時都不敢自詡能生得大福德的貴子。
加之,又不知是否与自身有相感业缘,因此,在自力行善积德的基础上,还须以至诚恳切心,借助大慈大悲的观世音菩萨的愿力,请求帮助,希望早日福德圆满,因缘现前,受胎得子。 Added to this, you do not know whether or not the coming child will have an affinity with your karmic conditions of this lifetime. Therefore, upon the foundation of the power created by accumulating kindness and virtue, you still need to seek divine help. You can do this by using the power of the vows to help people, made by the greatly compassionate Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara (Guan Yin).  You must sincerely beseech Guan Yin to have your blessings and virtues manifest into the conception of a child soon. 加之,又不知是否與自身有相感業緣,因此,在自力行善積德的基礎上,還須以至誠懇切心,借助大慈大悲的觀世音菩薩的願力,請求幫助,希望早日福德圓滿,因緣現前,受胎得子。

 

同时,为确保万无一失,应于菩萨前立下誓愿,为人处事,存好心,说好话,行好事,发愿广行善事。 To be on the safe side, you should also make your vows before the bodhisattva. Vow to accommodate others, maintain thoughts of kindness, speak kind words, and do good. Vow to do all-encompassing acts of kindness. 同時,為確保萬無一失,應於菩薩前立下誓願,為人處事,存好心,說好話,行好事,發願廣行善事。
并择时称念“南无观世音菩萨”圣号,常怀善念,默默祈祷,为成大事业,愿生贵子。 Set aside a time to recite the bodhisattva’s divine name by saying, “I pay homage to Bodhisattva Guan Yin.” Keep positive thoughts in your mind. Silently pray that your wish to have a good child comes true. 並擇時稱念“南無觀世音菩薩”聖號,常懷善念,默默祈禱,為成大事業,願生貴子。

 

清朝有名的周安士居士曾在佛菩萨面前祷告:凡是不肖的、不好的儿女,不要到我家来;希望到我家来的,都是孝子贤孙。 During the Qing dynasty (CE 1644 -1911), the famous scholar Zhou Anshi prayed before buddhas and bodhisattvas saying, “May no unworthy and bad child be born into my home; I wish that whomever comes to my home has filial piety and is an obedient progeny.” 清朝有名的周安士居士曾在佛菩薩面前禱告:凡是不肖的、不好的兒女,不要到我家來;希望到我家來的,都是孝子賢孫。
宋朝名相吕蒙正,也曾在佛前发愿:不信三宝者,愿不生我家,愿子孙世世食禄于朝,外护佛法。 A renowned high official in the Song dynasty (CE 960 -1279) named Lu Mengzhen also vowed before the buddhas saying, “May only someone who has faith in the Three Treasures (Buddha, Dharma, Sangha) be born into my home. May my children, grandchildren, and posterity all be officials in the dynastic court and support the Buddha Dharma.” 宋朝名相呂蒙正,也曾在佛前發願:不信三寶者,願不生我家,願子孫世世食祿於朝,外護佛法。
这些都是很好的先例。 These are all fine examples of entreating the buddhas and bodhisattvas from ancient times. 這些都是很好的先例。
还有在《了凡四训》里,明朝袁了凡居士曾发愿行善事三千件以求生贵子,后来果然如愿,成为佛教中一段人人皆知的成功案例。 An example of accumulating blessings and virtue is the Ming dynasty scholar, Yuan Liaofan, who wrote Liao-Fan’s Four Lessons.  He vowed to do three thousand acts of kindness to beseech the birth of a good child. His wish came true when he fulfilled his vow. This has become a well-known success story in Buddhism. 還有在《了凡四訓》裡,明朝袁了凡居士曾發願行善事三千件以求生貴子,後來果然如願,成為佛教中一段人人皆知的成功案例。

 

7、保身节欲,以培先天 7. Maintain your health, to foster a healthy bardo entering the fetus 7、保身節欲,以培先天
父性之精气,分有形之精和无形之气,于受孕时将传递子女。 The father’s vital essence comes in two forms:  visible essence and invisible “qi (chi),” at the time of conception these will be transmitted to the child. 父性之精氣,分有形之精和無形之氣,於受孕時將傳遞子女。
佛经讲,“父母之于子女身命,各赐不同。 The Buddhist sutras say, “A child’s life comes from the parents. Each parent grants something different to their child. 佛經講,“父母之於子女身命,各賜不同。
身诸发毛、颊、眼、舌、喉、心、肝、脾、肾、肠、血、软者从其母也; From the mother come the hair, cheeks, eyes, tongue, throat, heart, liver, spleen, kidney, intestine, blood, and the soft parts of the body. 身諸髮毛、頰、眼、舌、喉、心、肝、脾、腎、腸、血、軟者從其母也;
爪、齿、骨、节、髓脑、筋、脉,坚者从父也”,从另一角度讲,子女的身体结构属于阴的物器部分由母亲而来,而属功能、力量、智商、胆量、气魄等属于阳的功能的部分由父亲而来。 From the father come the nails, teeth, bones, joints, brain marrow, tendons and nerves, and other hard parts of the body.” From another perspective, the body structure of a child that belongs to the “yin” material comes from the mother. That which belongs to the “yang” functional part are strength, intelligence, courage, boldness, etc. come from the father. 爪、齒、骨、節、髓腦、筋、脈,堅者從父也”,從另一角度講,子女的身體結構屬於陰的物器部分由母親而來,而屬功能、力量、智商、膽量、氣魄等屬於陽的功能的部分由父親而來。

 

祖国医学讲,阳气具有温煦、气化、生长、推动、统摄等功能,是生命的动力物质和能量物质,极端重要,日常最易匮乏不足。 Traditional Chinese medicine states that “yang qi” possesses warmth, transformation, growth, drive, unifying control, and other functions. It is the material of life’s driving force and the substance of life’s energy. It is extremely important, yet the most likely to be insufficient on a daily basis. 祖國醫學講,陽氣具有溫煦、氣化、生長、推動、統攝等功能,是生命的動力物質和能量物質,極端重要,日常最易匱乏不足。
现代科学中的克隆技术,所复制的生命多数衰老快,寿命短,人多不明根由,殊不知因无父精无形之阳气的缘故,如若不信,不妨用细胞融合技术,将组织细胞的遗传物质种入受精卵中,再试试看。 The majority of beings created by the cloning technology of modern science weaken with age quickly, and have a short lifespan. No one knows the root causes of these issues. People do not realize that it is because there is no father’s invisible “qi.” If you will not believe this, look at cell fusion technology. It takes the cell’s genetic material and implants it into an already fertilized egg. See what happens next. 現代科學中的克隆技術,所複製的生命多數衰老快,壽命短,人多不明根由,殊不知因無父精無形之陽氣的緣故,如若不信,不妨用細胞融合技術,將組織細胞的遺傳物質種入受精卵中,再試試看。

 

因此,受孕前务必请保身节欲半年以上,至少百日。 Therefore, by all means be celibate for more than six months, or for at least 100 days before conception to maintain the father’s life driving force material and his life energy substance. 因此,受孕前務必請保身節欲半年以上,至少百日。
为免纷争,可与妻说明,双方定立协约,另房而住。 To avoid disputes with your wife, explain to her the reason for abstaining from sex so that both spouses agree not to share the same bed. 為免紛爭,可與妻說明,雙方定立協約,另房而住。
每日也不将妻当妻想而作妹看,不得有非礼之邪心,以培先天。 When you look at your wife each day do not look at her as your spouse but as your sister. Do not harbor any sexual thoughts in order to nurture your yang essence. 每日也不將妻當妻想而作妹看,不得有非禮之邪心,以培先天。
否则如祖师所说“精薄气亏,极难受孕。 Otherwise, it will be as the patriarch masters have said: “If the sperm is thin and the qi insufficient, it will be extremely difficult to conceive. 否則如祖師所說“精薄氣虧,極難受孕。
即使勉强成子,也无聪明记忆之心力,未老先衰,无所建树,如是这样虽菩萨满人所愿,而人深负菩萨之恩”。 Even if you do somehow manage to have children, they will not be smart and will have a weak memory. They will age prematurely and will not be able to contribute to the family legacy. By not following this advice, though the bodhisattva has fulfilled your wish, you have negated her grace. “ 即使勉強成子,也無聰明記憶之心力,未老先衰,無所建樹,如是這樣雖菩薩滿人所願,而人深負菩薩之恩”。

 

男婚女嫁,成迤逦之笃,最为人伦之大事。 For a man and woman to marry, finally becoming spouses, is a great event in human relationships. 男婚女嫁,成迤邐之篤,最為人倫之大事。
因上关风化,下承宗祧,共担社会重任。 Because a marital relationship impacts the world, and carries on the family lineage, spouses share a social responsibility together. 因上關風化,下承宗祧,共擔社會重任。
孝养双亲,生育教化子女,延续家风,人生要事,责任重大。 Marriage carries the huge responsibility of showing filial piety to parents, nurturing and educating children, and passing down the family legacy. 孝養雙親,生育教化子女,延續家風,人生要事,責任重大。
为人切不可只图一时快乐,常以男女之欲为乐,置繁衍大事于不理,听之任之,毫不重视。 People often use carnal desire as a source of pleasure and for a moment of happiness. They ignore the great event of reproduction. People are laissez-faire about the act of reproduction and attach no importance to it. 為人切不可只圖一時快樂,常以男女之欲為樂,置繁衍大事於不理,聽之任之,毫不重視。
贪欲炽盛,不分时节,不择正邪。 Flaming lust, with no regard for conception will not produce a clever, successful child. 貪欲熾盛,不分時節,不擇正邪。

 

现代社会网络、影视、书籍,每闺房之事,言为艺术,大肆张扬,令无知青年引动欲火,滥肆发泄或嫖娼或手淫,频频泄其精气,耗伤命元,最终致元阳大败,身弱形乏,不堪重负,甚至婚嫁生育之时,气虚精亏,精神不守,精薄无力,无生化之机。 In modern society, what goes on in the bedroom is wantonly made public on the internet, social media, videos, and in books, and is treated as if it were art. This stimulates the burning desire of ignorant youth to unbridle their flood of release through sex without love or through masturbation. Repeated release of their vital essence consumes and harms their life element. Ultimately this will lead to the collapse of their yang element. Their bodies will weaken and deteriorate. They will be so overwhelmed that by the time they marry and plan to have children, their qi will be vacant and their sperm count low.  Their spirit will not be conserved and their sperm will be thin and powerless. It is not likely that they will have the occasion to have children. 現代社會網絡、影視、書籍,每閨房之事,言為藝術,大肆張揚,令無知青年引動慾火,濫肆發洩或嫖娼或手淫,頻頻洩其精氣,耗傷命元,最終致元陽大敗,身弱形乏,不堪重負,甚至婚嫁生育之時,氣虛精虧,精神不守,精薄無力,無生化之機。
这样虽侥幸成胎,则如秕种不能生芽,更不会茁壮成长,或未成人而夭折,即使有幸不夭折,也必将身单力薄,体弱多病,骨骼瘦小,性格软弱,智力低下,甚至遗传各种病变,终难成器。 If by chance they produce a fetus, it will be stunted and not at all be healthy and strong. It will not grow to adulthood and will most likely die prematurely. If it is fortunate enough not to die young it will have a body that is weak and stunted. It will be frail and sickly, with a delicate frame, with a weak character, low intelligence, and if it can reproduce it will pass on all kinds of genetic ailments. Such a child will grow to ultimately be of benefit to no one, including his or her own self. 這樣雖僥倖成胎,則如秕種不能生芽,更不會茁壯成長,或未成人而夭折,即使有幸不夭折,也必將身單力薄,體弱多病,骨骼瘦小,性格軟弱,智力低下,甚至遺傳各種病變,終難成器。
尤其万不可听信江湖术人,鼓吹男女之欲无伤身命,反能强身,享受快乐,纯属邪见。 In particular, you definitely must not listen to and believe the street talk from popular culture and the porno industry. These advocate that sex does not harm the body or the life force and that it can actually make a person stronger in addition to being pleasurable. These are purely false views. 尤其萬不可聽信江湖術人,鼓吹男女之欲無傷身命,反能強身,享受快樂,純屬邪見。

 

  佛在二千六百年前就曾预言,未来(大概指这个时候)“人命转促,四十头白,男子淫劫,精尽夭亡。 Over 2,600 years ago the Buddha foretold that in the future (probably referring to our present era): “Aging will speed up, people will have gray hair in their forties, men will lose sexual desire, and have low sperm count and premature death.          佛在二千六百年前就曾預言,未來(大概指這個時候)“人命轉促,四十頭白,男子淫劫,精盡夭亡。
或寿六十,男子寿短,女人寿长,七八九十或至百岁”。 Men may live to 60 but their lives will be shorter than women who will live into their 70s, 80s, 90s or even live to be 100. 或壽六十,男子壽短,女人壽長,七八九十或至百歲”。

 

祖国医学《黄帝内经•素问》中也提到,“今时之人……以酒为浆,以妄为常,醉以入房,以欲竭其精,以耗散其真,不知持满,不时御神,务快其心,逆于生乐,起居无常,故半百而衰也”。 In Chinese traditional medicine, Plain Questions of Huangdi’s Internal Classic also noted that “when people today … drink wine like a beverage, take falsehood as truth, have sex when drunk, exhaust their sperm to pleasure, dissipate their qi, do not accumulate energy, do not control delusions, do whatever they like, live their lives contrary to a healthy lifestyle, and do not follow a healthy routine, then they will be old by fifty. “ 祖國醫學《黃帝內經•素問》中也提到,“今時之人……以酒為漿,以妄為常,醉以入房,以欲竭其精,以耗散其真,不知持滿,不時御神,務快其心,逆於生樂,起居無常,故半百而衰也”。

 

古人讲,根朽树枯,水涸鱼死,油尽灯灭,精竭人亡,和佛经观点完全一致。 The ancient sages have said that when roots die the tree dies; when water dries up the fish die; when the oil is finished the flame goes out; when there is no vital essence people die.        古人講,根朽樹枯,水涸魚死,油盡燈滅,精竭人亡,和佛經觀點完全一致。
所以优生优育,节欲节酒,养神养精,实为至真至要之事,绝不可轻视。 Therefore, an auspicious birth with superior nurturing of a child by controlling personal desires and controlling alcohol, and by cultivating your spirit and essence, are actually things you really have to do.  You definitely cannot ignore these things. 所以優生優育,節欲節酒,養神養精,實為至真至要之事,絕不可輕視。

 

 

 

 

Auspicious Birth — Part III

I hope that my regular readers are enjoying this series about bardo, the “transitional” state between lives. As you know, I am reprinting it with permission from a scholarly work entitled Auspicious Birth by Master Shi Zhiguo, a contemporary Chinese monk.

For authenticity, as well as for the convenience of any subscribers who read Chinese, I am including the Chinese source as well as the English translation.

If you are a new reader…welcome! Please take some time to read the previous posts in the series — Auspicious Birth — PrefaceAuspicious Birth — Part I and Auspicious Birth — Part II — for background and context before you read the entry below.

第三章

胎儿的历程

Chapter Three

Progress of the Fetus

第三章

胎兒的歷程

一、

三十八周的成长

3.1 Thirty-Eight Week Growth 一、

三十八週的成長

 

佛经中对胎儿在母腹中成长三十八周的经历有很详尽的记述,最为可贵的是,佛经的描述不仅包含了现代医学生理方面的内容,更有许多现代科学尚未涉及的胎儿心灵世界的内容。 The Buddhist sutras give a detailed account of the 38 weeks the fetus is in its mother’s womb. This account is extraordinary in that it describes not only the physiology as reflected in modern science, but also the world of the fetus’ mind, which modern science has not yet been able to address . 佛經中對胎兒在母腹中成長三十八週的經歷有很詳盡的記述,最為可貴的是,佛經的描述不僅包含了現代醫學生理方面的內容,更有許多現代科學尚未涉及的胎兒心靈世界的內容。

 

佛经不仅讲述了胎儿生理结构的变化,还为我们预知了早期胎儿的心理感受,这将引导我们深入地认识和研究这一科学领域,帮助我们更早、更全面、更真实地掌握胎儿的各方面信息,拓宽了视野,并且指导我们为培育出新一代天赋优越,德、智、体全面发展的下一代,取长补短,优化生育方案,做出一次大胆地尝试。 The sutras not only tell the story of the changes in the fetus’ physiological make-up, but also the fetus’ psychological state in its early stages of development. These insights can guide our research and deepen our understanding in this field. This information helps us master all of the information about a fetus, for a broader, more comprehensive view. Moreover, it can guide us in producing future generations that are talented and superior in health, morality and wisdom.  We can combine the best of both worlds – Buddhism and science – and put Buddhist concepts to the test scientifically . 佛經不僅講述了胎兒生理結構的變化,還為我們預知了早期胎兒的心理感受,這將引導我們深入地認識和研究這一科學領域,幫助我們更早、更全面、更真實地掌握胎兒的各方面資訊,拓寬了視野,並且指導我們為培育出新一代天賦優越,德、智、體全面發展的下一代,取長補短,優化生育方案,做出一次大膽地嘗試。

 

     第一周胎儿尤如皮肤上的一颗小疔疮,样子有点像稀粥一滴或奶酪一滴,称为羯罗蓝。 The sutras tell us that in the first week the embryo is like a minute pimple on the skin. It looks like a tiny drop of watery porridge or a drop of yogurt and is called a kalala. 第一週胎兒猶如皮膚上的一顆小疔瘡,樣子有點像稀粥一滴或乳酪一滴,稱為羯羅藍。
七天内,其体积、形状不会有太多变化,看上去几乎是静悄悄的一动不动,但其内部结构却在不断变化着,逐渐分类出四种不同的功能物质,即:地大的物质部分,水大的湿润部分,火大的暖热功能,风大的运动功能。 Within the first seven days its size will not change much. It will appear to be virtually fixed. But its internal construction is constantly changing, gradually dividing into four parts, with materials that have different functions: one part is earth material, one part moist water, another part has the warming function of fire, and the last part the movement function of the wind. 七天內,其體積、形狀不會有太多變化,看上去幾乎是靜悄悄的一動不動,但其內部結構卻在不斷變化著,逐漸分類出四種不同的功能物質,即:地大的物質部分,水大的濕潤部分,火大的暖熱功能,風大的運動功能。
这些功能物质是胎儿继续生长变化的基础要素。 These functional materials are the fundamental elements for the embryo’s continued growth. 這些功能物質是胎兒繼續生長變化的基礎要素。

 

          近似于一个五六岁小孩大小的中阴生命,一下子要压缩到如一个逗号大小的受精卵内,物质和意识混住在一起,并不好受,如佛经讲“身根及识,同居一处,壮热煎熬,极为辛苦”。 It is very uncomfortable for a bardo to adjust from imagining itself to be the size of a five or six year old child, to being compressed into a fertilized egg the size of a comma on this page. As the Buddhist sutras state, “Body and awareness cohabitate a place of intense heat, torment, and extreme suffering.” 近似於一個五六歲小孩大小的中陰生命,一下子要壓縮到如一個逗號大小的受精卵內,物質和意識混住在一起,並不好受,如佛經講“身根及識,同居一處,壯熱煎熬,極為辛苦”。

 

     此时胎儿的意识会有最明显的两种感受: At this time the embryo will have two very distinct feelings: 此時胎兒的意識會有最明顯的兩種感受:
1) 如掉入铜锅被烧煮一样灸热难熬,痛苦万状,又无可奈何。 1) A feeling of extreme pain and helplessness and unbearable heat, as if it had fallen into a copper pot and is being cooked. 1) 如掉入銅鍋被燒煮一樣灸熱難熬,痛苦萬狀,又無可奈何。
因为此时的他一旦入于此中,就无法自主也无法脱身,被一种无形的力量牢牢地缚住而不能自拔,这种无形的力量佛教称作“爱缚”。 Once it has fallen into this place, it is incapable of doing what it needs to do, and is unable to free itself from being tightly bound up by an invisible force. Buddhism calls this invisible force “bonds of love.” 因為此時的他一旦入於此中,就無法自主也無法脫身,被一種無形的力量牢牢地縛住而不能自拔,這種無形的力量佛教稱作“愛縛”。
因爱生贪,由贪入胎,由胎受困,失去自由。 This is because it was the bardo’s love that led to its attachment, and its attachment caused it to intentionally enter the womb. In the womb it is now suffering hardship and has lost its freedom. 因愛生貪,由貪入胎,由胎受困,失去自由。
② 如置身密室,拥挤,憋闷,难受,有点像人被强迫塞进瓶子里,又盖上盖,呆在里面的那种感觉,近乎窒息,困苦难受。 2) It feels like its body is stuffed into a tight chamber that is cramped, stuffy and uncomfortable. It is like being forced into a bottle with the cap on, and having to stay there suffering near suffocation. ② 如置身密室,擁擠,憋悶,難受,有點像人被強迫塞進瓶子裡,又蓋上蓋,呆在裡面的那種感覺,近乎窒息,困苦難受。
尽管不是滋味,却又无能为力,不可抗拒,人人如此,这就是生命的开端,苦乐相伴的人生就从这里拉开序幕。 For every person, life begins with all this unpleasantness, with feeling impotent and helpless in a place where resistance is useless. The curtain rises on the start of one’s bitter and sweet life with this opening scene. 儘管不是滋味,卻又無能為力,不可抗拒,人人如此,這就是生命的開端,苦樂相伴的人生就從這裡拉開序幕。

 

       第二周胎识的感受和第一周没有什么不同,身体与神识混居一体,蒸煮闷热,拘束压抑。 The second week there is no difference in the embryo’s awareness. Body and consciousness are jumbled together as one, as the fetus swelters, restricted and oppressed. 第二週胎識的感受和第一週沒有什麼不同,身體與神識混居一體,蒸煮悶熱,拘束壓抑。
但生命物质开始发生奇妙的变化。 But physical life begins to experience a marvelous change. 但生命物質開始發生奇妙的變化。

 

     首先是外观上的变化。 This change begins with its external appearance. 首先是外觀上的變化。
由先前的稀薄状态逐渐“熟化”为浓稠小泡状,样子有点像果冻或者稠酪,此时佛经将其称为“安部昙”(译为疱结泡)。 From the initial thin and watery state comes a gradual “ripening” into the shape of a thick little bubble with the consistency of gelatin or thick cream. The Buddhist sutras call this state “arbudam” (translated as “from blister to bubble.”) 由先前的稀薄狀態逐漸“熟化”為濃稠小泡狀,樣子有點像果凍或者稠酪,此時佛經將其稱為“安部曇”(譯為皰結泡)。

 

其次组成未来生命体的四种元素逐渐显现。 Next, the four materials that make up the future body gradually become apparent. 其次組成未來生命體的四種元素逐漸顯現。
其中坚硬的部分成为未来的地大,柔软湿润的部分成为未来的水大,温昀暖热的部分成为后来的火大,其中形成的空隙成为后来的风大的基础。 The earth element becomes the future rigid parts of the body. The water element becomes the future soft moist parts. The fire element becomes the later warm parts. The cavities formed between these parts later become the foundation of the wind element. 其中堅硬的部分成為未來的地大,柔軟濕潤的部分成為未來的水大,溫昀暖熱的部分成為後來的火大,其中形成的空隙成為後來的風大的基礎。

 

     第三周   在前两周的基础上,继续生长。 The third week, the embryo continues to grow, built upon its first two weeks growth. 第三週   在前兩週的基礎上,繼續生長。
此时,从母腹中能产生一股无形的细风,影响胚芽逐渐生长,好似种子发芽一样,形状变得像蚯蚓,并且地、水、火、风四种元素,也随“种子”的发芽而继续分化。 By this time, an invisible stream of fine “wind” [similar to “qi,” vital energy] is produced from the mother’s abdominal cavity. It influences the embryo’s gradual growth, like a sprouting seed as it changes into the shape of a worm. Moreover, the four elements of earth, water, fire and wind follow the sprouting of the “seed” and continue dividing. 此時,從母腹中能產生一股無形的細風,影響胚芽逐漸生長,好似種子發芽一樣,形狀變得像蚯蚓,並且地、水、火、風四種元素,也隨“種子”的發芽而繼續分化。

 

     第四周在上一周的基础上,自然又有一种无形的细风影响胎体,使之进一步增长变化,样子变得越来越不规则。 The fourth week, upon the foundation of the previous week, there naturally occurs another kind of invisible, subtle “wind” that affects the embryo, causing it to grow and change further. Its appearance becomes more irregular. 第四週在上一週的基礎上,自然又有一種無形的細風影響胎體,使之進一步增長變化,樣子變得越來越不規則。
由于内热,使其在外形上有点像发热的石头。 The embryo’s internal heat and appearance are now like a hot stone. 由於內熱,使其在外形上有點像發熱的石頭。
同时,四大也在热力作用下越来越明显了。 At the same time, under the influence of the heat’s power, the four elements become more and more distinct. 同時,四大也在熱力作用下越來越明顯了。

 

     第五周在此期间,又有一股细风影响胎体,继续生长变化,产生五部分:头、两肩、两髋。 During the fifth week, another gentle wind affects the embryo. It continues to grow and change, producing five segments: head, two shoulders, and two hips. 第五週在此期間,又有一股細風影響胎體,繼續生長變化,產生五部分:頭、兩肩、兩髖。
这股细风好似春雨普降,草木复苏,生长枝条一样。 This “wind” is like a spring rain that resuscitates grass and trees as it falls everywhere causing them to give off shoots and branches. 這股細風好似春雨普降,草木復甦,生長枝條一樣。

 

     第六周在此期间,另有一股无形的细风,影响胎体,使之长出身体的四个部分:两肘和两膝。 During the sixth week a different fine “wind” affects the embryo. It grows four more body parts: two elbows and two knees. 第六週在此期間,另有一股無形的細風,影響胎體,使之長出身體的四個部分:兩肘和兩膝。

 

     第七周在原有基础上又有增加四部分:两手、两脚。 In the seventh week, four more parts – two hands and two feet – are added to what already exists. 第七週在原有基礎上又有增加四部分:兩手、兩腳。

 

     第八周长出手足十指,犹如新雨后树木生根。 In the eighth week, the ten fingers and ten toes grow, like the roots of a tree sprouting after the first spring rain. 第八週長出手足十指,猶如新雨後樹木生根。

 

     第九周又增加九孔:两眼、两耳、两鼻、口、下二孔( 肛门,尿道)。 In the ninth week the fetus is fortified with nine orifices: two eyes, two ears, two nostrils, a mouth and two lower orifices (anus and urethra). 第九週又增加九孔:兩眼、兩耳、兩鼻、口、下二孔( 肛門,尿道)。

 

     第十周胎体更加坚实,同时受另一股细风的影响,胎体膨胀,尤如气球。 In the 10th week, the fetus’ body becomes more solid, and at the same time another fine “wind” causes it to inflate like a balloon. 第十週胎體更加堅實,同時受另一股細風的影響,胎體膨脹,猶如氣球。

 

     第十一周又有一种细风影响着胎体,使九个孔窍相互贯通。 In the 11th week another “wind” affects the fetus, causing the nine orifices to connect. 第十一週又有一種細風影響著胎體,使九個孔竅相互貫通。
如果孕母行走活动时,这种细风也会随之变大变小,或上下疏通,渐渐令胎体的各种孔窍增大。 This “wind” will increase or decrease either upward or downward in concert with mother’s walking or moving.  Gradually all the fetus’ orifices will become bigger. 如果孕母行走活動時,這種細風也會隨之變大變小,或上下疏通,漸漸令胎體的各種孔竅增大。
如是朝上运动的细风,即打通上半身的各个孔窍; If the mother moves her body upward, the subtle “wind” will open up the orifices of the upper body. 如是朝上運動的細風,即打通上半身的各個孔竅;
如是朝下运动的细风,就会打通下部的孔窍。 If the mother moves her body downward, the subtle “wind” will open up the orifices of the lower body. 如是朝下運動的細風,就會打通下部的孔竅。

 

     第十二周有另一种细风促使在胎体的两端产生消化道和大肠,样子就像放置在地上的织布线,自然形成十八个转折弯曲,容纳在胎体内。 In the 12th week a different subtle “wind” will prompt the fetus’ digestive tract and large intestines to come into being. They will look like a strand of yarn piled on the ground naturally forming 18 curves. These are packed inside the fetus. 第十二週有另一種細風促使在胎體的兩端產生消化道和大腸,樣子就像放置在地上的織布線,自然形成十八個轉折彎曲,容納在胎體內。
又在另一股细风的促使下,胎体内变现三百二十组树枝状的结构(现在认为可能是神经系统或经脉)及一百一十多个窍穴。(或许是主穴位) Prompted by another subtle “wind”, within the fetus, 320 branches of a dendritic structure (today considered to possibly refer to the nervous system or vital energy channels), along with over 110 vital energy meridian points (or the main vital energy meridian points) come into being. 又在另一股細風的促使下,胎體內變現三百二十組樹枝狀的結構(現在認為可能是神經系統或經脈)及一百一十多個竅穴。(或許是主穴位)

 

第十三周从这一周起,胎儿开始有了饥渴感,借助脐带、先天气息,母亲摄入的各种饮食滋味和营养进入胎体,得以快速成长。 Starting with the 13th week, the fetus begins to have feelings of hunger and thirst. With the help of the umbilical cord and the innate ability for oxygen exchange, everything that the mother ingests – (all food, drink, tastes, flavors and nutrition enter the fetus), enabling it to grow rapidly. 第十三週從這一週起,胎兒開始有了饑渴感,借助臍帶、先天氣息,母親攝入的各種飲食滋味和營養進入胎體,得以快速成長。

 

第十四周又有一种细风促使胎体生长出1000条筋腱,分别分布在身体的前、后、左、右四周,每侧各有250条,成为维系身体的组织结构。 In the 14th week another subtle “wind” enables the fetus to grow 1,000 tendons and sinews. These are distributed respectively throughout the left and right sides of the front of the body, and the left and right sides of the back of the body. Each of the four parts of the body will have 250 of them, forming an organized structure for holding the body together. 第十四週又有一種細風促使胎體生長出1000條筋腱,分別分佈在身體的前、後、左、右四周,每側各有250條, 成為維繫身體的組織結構。

 

          第十五周另有一种细风促使胎体生出20条经脉围绕在身体的前、后、左、右四周,每侧各有5条。 In the 15th week, another kind of subtle “wind” enables the fetus to produce 20 strands of energy channels, surrounding the front, back, left and right sides of the body. Each side will ultimately have five strands. 第十五週另有一種細風促使胎體生出20條經脈圍繞在身體的前、後、左、右四周,每側各有5條。
这些经脉不仅名号、功能各不同,颜色也各不相同,有绿色、黄色、红色、白色、奶油色以及许多混合色。 Not only are the names and functions of these channels different, but they also have different colors – green, yellow, red, white, butter colored and multicolored. 這些經脈不僅名號、功能各不同,顏色也各不相同,有綠色、黃色、紅色、白色、奶油色以及許多混合色。
每条经脉各自又有40条支脉,总数达800条之多。 Each channel will also have 40 branches, totaling as many as 800 strands. 每條經脈各自又有40條支脈,總數達800條之多。
这800条的支脉每支又分出100条络脉,总计达80000条,分布于身体四周。 These 800 strands of the branch channels again divide into 100 strands of collaterals, each totaling 80,000 strands. They are spread over the four sides of the body. 這800條的支脈每支又分出100條絡脈,總計達80000條,分佈於身體四周。
每条络脉上又分布有一个到七个数目不等的小孔,与体表的毛孔相连通, 样子就像藕根上的孔眼。 Upon each strand of the collaterals are between one and seven tiny openings. These connect upward with the pores on the surface of the body and look like the “sockets” in a lotus tuber (or holes of a shower nozzle). 每條絡脈上又分佈有一個到七個數目不等的小孔,與體表的毛孔相連通, 樣子就像藕根上的孔眼。
这一概念极相似于中国医学的经络理论:经脉分出络脉,再到孙络,再分出浮络上达皮部的毛孔。 This description is quite similar to the meridian theory in Chinese medicine: energy channels divide into energy collaterals, and divide again into tertiary collaterals, and divide again into superficial collaterals, which arrive at the pores on the skin. 這一概念極相似於中國醫學的經絡理論:經脈分出絡脈,再到孫絡,再分出浮絡上達皮部的毛孔。

 

          第十六周又有一种细风促使胎儿的两耳、两鼻、口咽、胸臆等处气息和食物的通道处归于正位,保持通畅,各司所职。 In the 16th week, there is another subtle “wind” that prompts the fetus’s two ears, two nostrils, oropharynx, chest cavity, and other areas of oxygen exchange and food passage to stabilize their positions, maintain the openings, and transfer materials among them. 第十六週又有一種細風促使胎兒的兩耳、兩鼻、口咽、胸臆等處氣息和食物的通道處歸於正位,保持通暢,各司所職。
佛经喻为尤如陶艺师取好泥安放在制坯的转轮上,随其旋转,修改器皿的口径部,令其通畅,光滑,圆润。 The Buddhist sutras explain this as being similar to a potter taking good clay, setting it firmly on the potter’s wheel, and following the spin of the wheel, modifying the mouth and neck of a vessel to become smooth and round keeping them unobstructed. 佛經喻為猶如陶藝師取好泥安放在制坯的轉輪上,隨其旋轉,修改器皿的口徑部,令其通暢,光滑,圓潤。

 

          第十七周又有一种细风促使胎儿的眼、耳、鼻、口咽、胸臆、食管等传输要道令其平整,洁净,光亮,无有障碍。 In the 17th week, there comes another subtle “wind” that prompts the circulation of passageways in the fetus’ eyes, ears, nostrils, oropharynx, chest cavity, and esophagus, etc., making them smooth, clean and polished, without impediments. 第十七週又有一種細風促使胎兒的眼、耳、鼻、口咽、胸臆、食管等傳輸要道令其平整,潔淨,光亮,無有障礙。
经文中比喻好似有人用油抹布醮草木灰或者细土去擦拭沾满尘埃的镜子一样,一时光滑油亮。 The sutras describe this as being the same as a person using a rag dipped in plant ashes or fine grains of sand to wipe clean a mirror covered with dust. In an instant it is clean and polished. 經文中比喻好似有人用油抹布醮草木灰或者細土去擦拭沾滿塵埃的鏡子一樣,一時光滑油亮。

 

          第十八周这一周是胎儿关键的一周,在这一周内,有一种细风能促使胎儿眼、耳、鼻、舌、身、意六种功能发育成熟,功能齐备。 The 18th week is the crux of the fetus’ development. During this week a subtle “wind” prompts the growth of the fetus’ six organs – the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, and the faculty of consciousness to mature, becoming completely functional. 第十八週這一週是胎兒關鍵的一週,在這一週內,有一種細風能促使胎兒眼、耳、鼻、舌、身、意六種功能發育成熟,功能齊備。
原本“识身同根”的混沌状态从此结束,独立的六根已经形成,只是生理结构尚未完全。 The original mixed up state of “consciousness and body sharing one root,” will now come to an end. Independent functions will now form. Only the physiological structure is not yet complete. 原本“識身同根”的混沌狀態從此結束,獨立的六根已經形成,只是生理結構尚未完全。
胎儿的感性世界的形像出现了。 The world of the fetus’ senses will now manifest. 胎兒的感性世界的形像出現了。
佛经中这样比喻:好像乌云遮蔽日月,天地一时昏暗不清,忽遇一阵狂风吹来,烟消云散,刹时日月齐明,各各显现,独自成体。 The Buddhist sutras use this analogy:

It is as if dark clouds covered the sun and moon. The sky and the earth are in a dim twilight, and nothing is discernable.  Then suddenly a fierce gale blows away the clouds and the mist clears. In an instant the sun and moon are bright again. Everything  stands out clearly.

佛經中這樣比喻:好像烏雲遮蔽日月,天地一時昏暗不清,忽遇一陣狂風吹來,煙消雲散,刹時日月齊明,各各顯現,獨自成體。

 

          第十九周在此七日内,胎儿的眼、耳、鼻、舌四种器官的组织结构和生理形态进一步发育直至完备,而身根、意根、命根早在开始就已具备了。 During the seven days of the 19th week the organization of the fetus’ four organs – eyes, ears, nose, and tongue take one more step in the growth of their physiological form. The physical sensation root,  consciousness root, and life root were already complete before the growth of the four organs.     第十九週在此七日內,胎兒的眼、耳、鼻、舌四種器官的組織結構和生理形態進一步發育直至完備,而身根、意根、命根早在開始就已具備了。

 

          第二十周有另一种细风促使胎儿生长骨节,从左到右,从下而上,依次长出。 In the 20th week a different subtle “wind” prompts the fetus to grow bones and joints sequentially from the left side to the right and from the bottom to the top of the body.   第二十週有另一種細風促使胎兒生長骨節,從左到右,從下而上,依次長出。
其中两脚各有二十骨,足跟有四骨,辅有二骨,膝有二骨,髀有二骨,腰髋有三骨, The front parts of both feet will have 20 bones each; the heels will have four bones; two bones (fibular) will support the leg bones (tibia); the knees will have two bones; the thighs will have two bones; the hips, three bones; 其中兩腳各有二十骨,足跟有四骨,輔有二骨,膝有二骨,髀有二骨,腰髖有三骨,
脊有十八骨,肋有二十四骨,两手各生二十骨, the spine will have 18 bones; the ribs, 24 bones; the hands will have 20 bones; 脊有十八骨,肋有二十四骨,兩手各生二十骨,
手腕有二骨,臂有四骨, the wrists, two bones; the arms four bones; 手腕有二骨,臂有四骨,
胸有七骨,肩有七骨, the chest will have seven bones; the shoulders, seven bones; 胸有七骨,肩有七骨,
项有四骨,颔有二骨,齿有三十二骨,颅有四骨, the nape of the neck will have four bones; the chin, two bones; the teeth, 32 “seeds;” the skull, four bones. 項有四骨,頷有二骨,齒有三十二骨,顱有四骨,
不算小骨,大骨足有二百多块,算上小骨,共计有三百零六块之多。 Not counting the small bones, the fetus will have over 200 bones. If also counting the small bones, there will be 306. 不算小骨,大骨足有二百多塊,算上小骨,共計有三百零六塊之多。

 

          第二十一周胎儿主要长肌肉。 In the 21st week, the fetus will mainly grow muscle.   第二十一週胎兒主要長肌肉。
经文中有这样的比喻:譬如泥师,先调好泥,涂于墙壁。 The sutras use this analogy:

It is as if an earth plasterer first mixes the earth and then applies it to a wall.

經文中有這樣的比喻:譬如泥師,先調好泥,塗於牆壁。
从现代医学来看,胎儿的体重也于这一周内迅速增加。 From the modern medical viewpoint, during this week the fetus is rapidly gaining weight. 從現代醫學來看,胎兒的體重也於這一週內迅速增加。

 

第二十二周胎儿生血。 In the 22nd week, the fetus produces blood. 第二十二週胎兒生血。
第二十三周胎儿开始长皮。 In the 23rd week, the fetus begins to grow skin. 第二十三週胎兒開始長皮。
第二十四周胎儿的皮肤进一步完善,变得光滑细腻。 In the 24th week, the fetus’ skin is perfected, becoming smooth, with a sheen. 第二十四週胎兒的皮膚進一步完善,變得光滑細膩。
第二十五周胎儿表现为血肉丰满,肌体充实。 In the 25th week, the fetus exhibits a plump and substantially muscled body. 第二十五週胎兒表現為血肉豐滿,肌體充實。
第二十六周胎儿开始生长毛发、指甲,而且所生发甲与体内气脉相连,成为一个整体。 In the 26th week, the fetus begins to grow hair and nails. The hair and nails complete their alignment with the vital energy [qi]  points and channels within the body. 第二十六週胎兒開始生長毛髮、指甲,而且所生髮甲與體內氣脈相連,成為一個整體。

 

第二十七周胎儿的毛发、指甲发育完成。 In the 27th week, the hair and nails have completed their development. 第二十七週胎兒的毛髮、指甲發育完成。
对于小孩来说,这一周至关重要,可以说是未来形体特征、长相、智力等方面的一个转折点。 For the fetus, this is a critical time. It can be said that this is the turning point in the development of the body’s future traits, features, and intelligence. 對於小孩來說,這一週至關重要,可以說是未來形體特徵、長相、智力等方面的一個轉折點。
在此之前,所有的胎体的发育体征大致没有什么差别,在这一周,开始出现个体差异。佛经中这样描述: Before this week, roughly all fetus’ have no obvious differences in the signs of their development. From this week onward though, individual traits begin to appear. The Buddhist sutras describe it this way: 在此之前,所有的胎體的發育體徵大致沒有什麼差別,在這一週,開始出現個體差異。佛經中這樣描述:

 

 “其身相渐得成就,或于先世造诸恶业,于诸资具悭贪吝惜不肯惠施;或复不受父母师长教诲,由是业故而得种种不如意身。 “The shape of its body is gradually achieved. Bad karma created in previous lifetimes causes the body to be inauspicious [i.e. people do not like looking at it. ] This bad karma could be the result of having been greedy and miserly with possessions and not willing to benefit others or give charity, or the result of not accepting the teachings of parents, teachers or elders.  “其身相漸得成就,或於先世造諸惡業,於諸資具慳貪吝惜不肯惠施;或復不受父母師長教誨,由是業故而得種種不如意身。
若以长大、肥白、柔软之身为端正者,而便受得短小、瘦黑、坚硬之身。 If an auspicious body in that locale is considered by the people there to be a body that is tall, large, chubby, white and soft, then a body that is the result of negative karma retribution would be short and small, skinny, dark and stiff. 若以長大、肥白、柔軟之身為端正者,而便受得短小、瘦黑、堅硬之身。
若以短小、瘦黑、坚硬之身为端正者,而便受得长大、肥白、柔软之身; If an auspicious body is considered to be one that is short, small, skinny, dark and stiff, then the retribution of bad karma would cause it to be tall, large, chubby, white and soft. 若以短小、瘦黑、堅硬之身為端正者,而便受得長大、肥白、柔軟之身;
若于其身支分之中,高下、多少、疏密为端正者,而便受得无有高下疏密不具足身。 If an auspicious body is considered to be one with extremities that are a certain size, amount [like hair and teeth], or density, the bad karmic retribution would cause the body not to have that size, amount or density. 若於其身支分之中,高下、多少、疏密為端正者,而便受得無有高下疏密不具足身。
或复受得聋、盲、喑、哑,手足挛躄诸根不具,所有音声人不喜闻,其身丑陋犹如饿鬼。 The body may become deaf, blind, silent [have the mental ability to speak, but still be unable to make sounds due to, for example, having no vocal cords], mute [can make sounds, but not able to articulate speech]. They may have a voice that people find displeasing to listen to or hands, feet or limbs that may be crippled or incomplete. 或復受得聾、盲、喑、啞,手足攣躄諸根不具,所有音聲人不喜聞,其身醜陋猶如餓鬼。
以恶业故而受种种不如意身,父母亲属尚不喜见,况复余人。” The bad karma they created will cause them to have all types of inauspicious bodies. Since even their parents and family members do not take pleasure in looking at them, what about others?” 以惡業故而受種種不如意身,父母親屬尚不喜見,況復餘人。”

 

          概括起来,这段经文说明胎儿在这一周内有可能会发生三方面的改变: In summary, this part of the sutra explains that during this week there will be changes in three aspects of the fetus:   概括起來,這段經文說明胎兒在這一週內有可能會發生三方面的改變:

 

          ①形体方面的改变。由“悭贪吝惜”的原故,不肯以自己的财力、物力、人力“惠施”他人,及“不受父母师长教诲”,忤逆不孝,不敬师长,将会出现体形、容貌、智力等方面的“不如意”改变。 1)  Changes in physical shape:

“Inauspicious” changes in the fetus’ future bodies begin to form in their features, their intelligence, and other characteristics. This is because in past lives they were “greedy and miserly,” not willing to use their own finances or material resources, or their time and energy to “benefit others and give charity.” They would not “accept the teachings of parents, teachers or elders,” were disobedient, were not filial, and did not respect teachers and elders.

   ①形體方面的改變。由“慳貪吝惜”的原故,不肯以自己的財力、物力、人力“惠施”他人,及“不受父母師長教誨”,忤逆不孝,不敬師長,將會出現體形、容貌、智力等方面的“不如意”改變。

 

          本来应长一点好看的(如身高、眉毛、鼻子),反而变短; Features that could have been longer (height, eyebrows, a nose if that is what is considered attractive) instead now will become shorter;    本來應長一點好看的(如身高、眉毛、鼻子),反而變短;
本应短一点的(如下颌),反而变的不协调的长; Features that could have been shorter (the chin for example) will turn out disproportionate; 本應短一點的(如下頜),反而變的不協調的長;
本应粗点的(如大腿),反而细; What could have been broader (like the thighs), will turn out narrow; 本應粗點的(如大腿),反而細;
本应紧凑点的(如牙齿),反而变成怪异的稀疏; What could have been closer together (like teeth), will turn out crooked and have spaces; 本應緊湊點的(如牙齒),反而變成怪異的稀疏;
本应胖点(如脸颊)的,反而出奇的瘦; What could have been full and healthy (like the cheeks), will turn out unusually hollow; 本應胖點(如臉頰)的,反而出奇的瘦;
本应瘦点的(如舌头),反而奇怪的胖; What could have been thin, (like the tongue), will turn out oddly thick; 本應瘦點的(如舌頭),反而奇怪的胖;
本应多的(如毛发),反而格外的少; What could have been abundant (like hair), will turn out exceptionally sparse; 本應多的(如毛髮),反而格外的少;
本应白细的(如手指),反而变的丑黑等等,与正常情况反差很大,显得很不协调、不美观。 What could have been white and slender (like the fingers), will turn out ugly and dark.  The features will become a far cry from what is the accepted norm, appearing disproportionate and unattractive. 本應白細的(如手指),反而變的醜黑等等,與正常情況反差很大,顯得很不協調、不美觀。

 

          ②性格气质方面的改变。

“由身语意造诸不善”,并且“日夜增长”,除了影响到形体,还影响到后天的性格和气质。

2) Changes in character and disposition:

“From the unkindness caused by negative thoughts, speech and actions increasing day by day,” besides impacting physical shape, the characters and disposition of the future person will also be impacted.

②性格氣質方面的改變。

“由身語意造諸不善”,並且“日夜增長”,除了影響到形體,還影響到後天的性格和氣質。

 

          本应胆大反而怯懦,本应怯懦的反成胆大; When they should be brave, they will be cowardly, and when they should be cautious, they will be bold; 本應膽大反而怯懦,本應怯懦的反成膽大;
本应受人喜欢的,反令人讨厌。 When they should be liked by others, they will be despised. 本應受人喜歡的,反令人討厭。
由于气质较差,长相不尽人意,说话不受人喜欢,如经文上讲“所有音声,人不喜闻”,“受种种不如意身,父母亲属尚不喜见,况复余人”。 Because of their poor character, their appearance is not up to people’s standards. People do not like what they say. It is as the sutras relate, “Most people do not like to hear any sound they make.” “They have all kinds of inauspicious physical characteristics that even their own parents do not like looking at, so what about others.” 由於氣質較差,長相不盡人意,說話不受人喜歡,如經文上講“所有音聲,人不喜聞”,“受種種不如意身,父母親屬尚不喜見,況復餘人”。

 

          *③ 生理方面的改变。

“又由恶业,感得恶报”,诸如“聋、盲、喑(能说话但不能发声)、哑(能发声但不能说话),手足挛(挛缩不得伸直),躄(跛足)”“愚钝丑陋”之类的先天性残疾和智力障碍。

*3) Changes in physiology

“And from bad karma comes bad retribution,” forming innate disabilities and mental handicaps such as, “deafness, blindness, being voiceless (having the mental ability to speak, but unable to make sounds due to for example having no vocal cords), mute (able to make sounds, but not able to articulate speech), crippled hands or feet (unable to straighten them), lame…”, “…dull-witted and ugly.”

③ 生理方面的改變。

“又由惡業,感得惡報”,諸如“聾、盲、喑(能說話但不能發聲)、啞(能發聲但不能說話),手足攣(攣縮不得伸直),躄(跛足)”“愚鈍醜陋”之類的先天性殘疾和智力障礙。

 

    相反,如没有上述“不善业”则胎儿又是另一番景象: However, if they lack the above mentioned “karma of unkindness” the fetus will have different prospects. 相反,如沒有上述“不善業”則胎兒又是另一番景象:
“若于前世造十善业,好行惠施,无有悭贪、谄诳之心。  “If in past lives they created karma from the Ten Kinds of Wholesome Behavior, were charitable, were not stingy, did not flatter others to take advantage of them, and did not deceive people. “若於前世造十善業,好行惠施,無有慳貪、諂誑之心。
父母师长所有言教即皆信受。 They trusted, believed in and accepted the teachings of their parents, teachers and elders. 父母師長所有言教即皆信受。
以是因缘若得为人,则不受于如上诸恶业身,而便获得种种殊妙之身。 Because of these conditions, if they were reborn as human, they will not have the bad-karma bodies mentioned above and will, in fact, acquire all kinds of marvelous bodies. 以是因緣若得為人,則不受于如上諸惡業身,而便獲得種種殊妙之身。
颜容端正诸相具足,所有言音而为众人之所爱乐。 Their countenance and appearance will be good-looking and complete, and their voices will be attractive and pleasant to others. 顏容端正諸相具足,所有言音而為眾人之所愛樂。
是故当知由善业故,便得如是胜妙果报。” Consequently, from this we can see that because of kind behavior, they will acquire an especially marvelous karmic reward body. 是故當知由善業故,便得如是勝妙果報。”

 

此外,这一周内,胎儿的整体发育已基本完成。 During this week the fetus’ entire development has basically been completed. 此外,這一週內,胎兒的整體發育已基本完成。
如果胎儿为男,在母腹内,多偏向母亲右胁,两臂交叉于胸前,两手遮面,双腿也交叉, 膝盖蜷缩胸前,以半蹲坐位,面朝母亲而坐; If the fetus is male, it will incline toward the mother’s right side while in the womb, his arms will be crossed at the chest with his hands covering his face. His legs will be bent with the knees at his chest, squatting facing his mother. 如果胎兒為男,在母腹內,多偏向母親右脇,兩臂交叉於胸前,兩手遮面,雙腿也交叉, 膝蓋踡縮胸前,以半蹲坐位,面朝母親而坐;
如胎儿为女,则刚好相反,会偏于母亲的左胁,背对母亲,半蹲坐于母腹。正常情况下,胎儿会是这样。 Under normal conditions, if the fetus is female, she will be positioned in an opposite manner from the male. She will incline toward her mother’s left side, squatting in her mother’s womb with her back to her mother. 如胎兒為女,則剛好相反,會偏於母親的左脇,背對母親,半蹲坐於母腹。正常情況下,胎兒會是這樣。

 

此时胎儿各种器官统统发育完整,功能健全,有了灵敏的感知能力和丰富的思维活动。 At this time, each of the different organs will have completed their development, perfected their functions, will have sensitivity of perception and be rich in reaction thought processes [for example blinking when you think you will be slapped.] 此時胎兒各種器官統統發育完整,功能健全,有了靈敏的感知能力和豐富的思維活動。

 

          第二十八周胎儿开始有了自主的思维活动,归纳起来共有八种不同类型的幻想:①房屋类;②车乘类;③庭院类;④楼阁类;⑤树林类;⑥床座类;⑦河流类;⑧水池类。 In the 28th week the fetus will begin to have its own autonomous thoughts. These can be summed up as eight different types of illusions: 1) being in a room; 2) being in a vehicle; 3) being in a courtyard; 4) being in a building; 5) being in a forest; 6) being in bed; 7) being in a river; 8) being in a pond. 第二十八週胎兒開始有了自主的思維活動,歸納起來共有八種不同類型的幻想:①房屋類;②車乘類;③庭院類;④樓閣類;⑤樹林類;⑥床座類;⑦河流類;⑧水池類。

 

          第二十九周受另一种细风的影响,胎儿的皮肤会变得更加鲜白洁净。 In the 29th week, affected by another kind of subtle “wind,” the fetus’ skin will become clean and pure without flaws. 第二十九週受另一種細風的影響,胎兒的皮膚會變得更加鮮白潔淨。
如先天有“不善业”,则会呈现为各种不如意色,如黧黑、青绿等非正常色,或者皮肤干燥无光,以及留下不同色泽的印记。 If there is “bad karma” from behavior in past lives, it will manifest as inauspicious coloring, such abnormal sallow, dark or greenish colored skin, or the skin will be ashy with “birth marks.” 如先天有“不善業”,則會呈現為各種不如意色,如黧黑、青綠等非正常色,或者皮膚乾燥無光,以及留下不同色澤的印記。

 

          第三十周胎儿的头发和指甲开始生长,头发也会因各自先天的业力,显现黑、黄、白等不同颜色。 In the 30th week, the fetus’ hair and nails begin to grow out. Based upon past life karma, the hair will also appear in different colors – black, yellow, white, etc. 第三十週胎兒的頭髮和指甲開始生長,頭髮也會因各自先天的業力,顯現黑、黃、白等不同顏色。

 

          第三十一周至第三十四周胎儿逐渐长大、长胖。 In the 31st  to 34th weeks, the fetus grows in size and gains weight. 第三十一週至第三十四周胎兒逐漸長大、長胖。
          第三十五周胎儿身体、四肢发育最后完成。 In the 35th week, the fetus’ body and limbs will  complete their development. 第三十五週胎兒身體、四肢發育最後完成。
          第三十六周胎儿已不喜欢住于母腹,开始厌烦了。 In the 36th week, the fetus will no longer enjoy being in the womb and will begin to get frustrated. 第三十六週胎兒已不喜歡住於母腹,開始厭煩了。
          第三十七周胎儿开始产生三种感受和愿望: In the 37th week, the fetus will begin to have the following three feelings and desires: 第三十七週胎兒開始產生三種感受和願望:
1) 感觉到母腹中不干净,不愿久留,向往出离; 1) Feeling that being in the mother’s womb is filthy, and not wanting to stay there, desires to leave it; 1) 感覺到母腹中不乾淨,不願久留,嚮往出離;
2) 认为母腹气味恶臭难闻,不愿久留,向往出离; 2) Feeling that the womb does not smell good, desires to leave it; 2) 認為母腹氣味惡臭難聞,不願久留,嚮往出離;
3) 认为母腹太黑暗,太拥挤,不愿久留,向往出离。 3) Feeling that the womb is too dark, desires to leave it; 3) 認為母腹太黑暗,太擁擠,不願久留,嚮往出離。

 

          另有一种细风,促使胎儿转身向下,长伸两臂,趋向产门,同时胎身翻转,头朝下,脚向上,将出产门。 Another subtle “wind” will urge the fetus to turn downwards, stretch out its two arms, and incline toward the vaginal orifice. At the same time, the fetus will turn around with the head facing downward, and feet toward the top, preparing to exit via the vaginal orifice. 另有一種細風,促使胎兒轉身向下,長伸兩臂,趨向產門,同時胎身翻轉,頭朝下,腳向上,將出產門。
  第三十八周胎儿随时将出生。 In the 38th week, the baby will be born at any time. 第三十八週胎兒隨時將出生。

 

 

二、新生命的降生 3.2 Arrival of a New Life 二、新生命的降生

 

据经文中说,胎儿“……经九月或过九月是极圆满,住于八月者,虽亦圆满非极圆满; According to the sutras, the fetus

“ … is totally complete in nine or more (lunar) months. Although being in the womb for eight months is adequate, the fetus is not fully complete.

據經文中說,胎兒“……經九月或過九月是極圓滿,住於八月者,雖亦圓滿非極圓滿;
若经六月,或住七月,非圆满或复缺肢”,这和现代科学观点一致。 By six or seven months the fetus is not complete and a body part or organ may not be fully developed.”

This is the same as the modern scientific perspective.

若經六月,或住七月,非圓滿或復缺肢”,這和現代科學觀點一致。
实际上,等胎期到三十六周时,也就是八月中旬,胎儿已产生“不乐住胎,渴望出生”的念头,只是条件尚不成熟,难以实现自己的愿望。 The fetus has already developed thoughts of “dissatisfaction with staying in the womb; yearning to leave it,” in the 36th week fetal period, which would be the eighth (lunar) month. The conditions, though, are not yet ripe enough making it hard for the fetus to fulfill the desire to leave the womb. 實際上,等胎期到三十六週時,也就是八月中旬,胎兒已產生“不樂住胎,渴望出生”的念頭,只是條件尚不成熟,難以實現自己的願望。
等到胎身回转,“身头向于下,长伸两臂”才是降生时机的到来。 Once the fetus turns, “the body and head facing downward, stretching the arms upward,” the opportune time for birth has arrived. 等到胎身回轉,“身頭向於下,長伸兩臂”才是降生時機的到來。
虽然出生时机成熟,到了即将脱离母体的时刻,就要告别“黑暗”、“臭秽”、“压抑”的母腹,却并不是一件容易的事。 Although the time for birth is now ripe and the moment for the baby to break away from the mother’s body, bid farewell to “darkness,” “the unpleasant smell,” and the “constraints” of the mother’s womb has come, it will not be easy to do so. 雖然出生時機成熟,到了即將脫離母體的時刻,就要告別“黑暗”、“臭穢”、“壓抑”的母腹,卻並不是一件容易的事。
据经文记载“此如坚硬压油具,渐次压迫方得生”,可谓进来容易脱身难! According to the sutras, “It is like being pressed by a hard oil press that bit by bit is forcing the fetus out to be born.” We can say that it was easy getting into the womb but hard to get out! 據經文記載“此如堅硬壓油具,漸次壓迫方得生”,可謂進來容易脫身難!
想当初只因一念贪爱,伴随着一阵美妙的快乐,驰入母腹,到如今脱身之时却要经历如同置身榨油机中的极度痛苦压迫,近乎于窒息的可怕遭遇,被人拽出产道时,又好似从网眼中硬拉扯出来一样,苦不堪言! Remember that it was because of one thought of greedy love, along with having a moment of sexual pleasure that the bardo originally charged into the mother’s womb. Now the experience of breaking away from the womb must be as if its fetus body is being exposed to the excruciating pain of being pressed in an oil press. It is like being frightfully suffocated, or like being heaved out of the birth canal. Or like the unbearable suffering that a fish feels if it is too big to be pulled through the eye of a net. 想當初只因一念貪愛,伴隨著一陣美妙的快樂,馳入母腹,到如今脫身之時卻要經歷如同置身榨油機中的極度痛苦壓迫,近乎於窒息的可怕遭遇,被人拽出產道時,又好似從網眼中硬拉扯出來一樣,苦不堪言!

 

即使如此,尚属幸运。 As bad as this is, such a fetus is still one of the luckier ones. 即使如此,尚屬幸運。
倘若胎儿前世有“不善业”,如有堕他人胎,杀生害命等事,正当胎儿转身之时就会额外出现困难,如经文中说“其身手脚纵横转侧,恶业缘故,于母腹中而便舍命”,故将出生过程称为过“鬼门关”并不夸张。 Supposing the fetus’ previous life experience was that of creating “bad karma,” for example he or she intentionally caused the abortion of someone’s fetus to murder it, or took a life. Such a person’s rebirth fetus would have a much more difficult time turning itself around for the birth process than some other fetus would. The sutras explain this as, “Its feet and hands will move from being correctly vertical or horizontal to shifting to one side squirming as if it were in distress. Bad karma created in former lives may cause it to die in the womb. It may not complete the birth process. To say it is caught at the “Gate of Life And Death” would not be an exaggeration. 倘若胎兒前世有“不善業”,如有墮他人胎,殺生害命等事,正當胎兒轉身之時就會額外出現困難,如經文中說“其身手腳縱橫轉側,惡業緣故,於母腹中而便捨命”,故將出生過程稱為過“鬼門關”並不誇張。

 

临产之时,一般人只知产母“受诸痛苦”、“如千刀搅”,殊不知胎儿也同受无量的极难忍受的种种苦痛。 Most people only think about the mother “experiencing all kinds of suffering,” when about to give birth, “like a thousand knives being twisted into her”.  We can hardly imagine that the fetus is also enduring infinite anguish that is also extremely difficult to bear. 臨產之時,一般人只知產母“受諸痛苦”、“如千刀攪”,殊不知胎兒也同受無量的極難忍受的種種苦痛。
因人而异,有几十分钟即顺产的,也有几小时,一天、两天、五天、六天“艰难出生”的。 Because everyone is different, there are those who are aptly born after scores of minutes, but for some it may take a few hours, a day, a couple of days, five days, and even six days of a “rough birth.” 因人而異,有幾十分鐘即順產的,也有幾小時,一天、兩天、五天、六天“艱難出生”的。

 

在此期间,对于胎儿来说,分分秒秒,皆可用“如度春秋”来形容,其中滋味实难俱说。 For the fetus during this time, every minute, every second can feel “like a year”. What it is experiencing is really hard to put into words. 在此期間,對於胎兒來說,分分秒秒,皆可用“如度春秋”來形容,其中滋味實難俱說。
经文中是这样描述的:“欲产之时,辛苦而出,由彼业风,令手交合,支节拳(蜷)缩,受大剧苦。 The sutras describe it as, “When desiring to be born, the fetus comes out laboriously, its ‘karmic wind’ causes its hands to cross at its face; all the joints of its body are squeezed together as it endures severe suffering. 經文中是這樣描述的:“欲產之時,辛苦而出,由彼業風,令手交合,支節拳(蜷)縮,受大劇苦。
欲出母胎,身体青瘀,犹如初肿(皮肤受伤初发的红肿),难可触着”,同时“饥渴逼迫,心悬热恼”。 “The fetus, desiring to exit the mother, is bruised if touched causing swelling (like the red swelling on skin that has been injured) making contact with anything trying.” At the same time it is, “driven by hunger and thirst causing its mind to be disturbed by anxiety and distress.” 欲出母胎,身體青瘀,猶如初腫(皮膚受傷初發的紅腫),難可觸著”,同時“饑渴逼迫,心懸熱惱”。

 

更可怜的是大人的痛苦能表达出来,能得到别人的关怀、安慰和帮助,胎儿的痛苦既无言语能讲,也无方法能令人感知。 Even more pitiful is that adults, in order to receive care, comfort, and help from others can express their suffering; the fetus on the other hand, cannot express its suffering in words, so it has no means of informing people about what it is feeling. 更可憐的是大人的痛苦能表達出來,能得到別人的關懷、安慰和幫助,胎兒的痛苦既無言語能講,也無方法能令人感知。
稚嫩弱小的身体,只能孤身面对独自承担这无量无边的苦痛。 Thus, the fetus’ soft and immature body can only bear its endless suffering alone. 稚嫩弱小的身體,只能孤身面對獨自承擔這無量無邊的苦痛。
除佛及佛教中具有大智慧的修行人以外,无人能知,无人能信。 Other than the Buddha and Buddhist practitioners who have a high level of wisdom there is no one else who will know what a fetus endures, no one else who can believe it. 除佛及佛教中具有大智慧的修行人以外,無人能知,無人能信。
当然也不可能去安慰关怀他们,更不要说代他们减轻痛苦的事了。 Of course, it is impossible to console or comfort a fetus, much less alleviate its suffering. 當然也不可能去安慰關懷他們,更不要說代他們減輕痛苦的事了。

 

千百年来,除佛教以外,别无有人,想到过考虑胎儿的自身感受和心理渴望。 For thousands of years, with the exception of Buddhism, there is no one who thought of considering the fetus’ own feelings and psychological needs. 千百年來,除佛教以外,別無有人,想到過考慮胎兒的自身感受和心理渴望。
虽然到了高科技的今天,对于这一课题,依旧无人留意,岂不悲哀! Though we are now in a high-tech world, this issue is still of no one’s concern. Isn’t this sad? 雖然到了高科技的今天,對於這一課題,依舊無人留意,豈不悲哀!
甚至每见小孩出生,为强令呼吸,有意拍打臀部,迫其哭叫,而任由大人们在一旁欢笑,根本无视小孩的感受,两者形成明显的对比,在佛教的明眼人看来,似乎有点“讽刺”的味道! Every time a baby is born he or she is even deliberately spanked on the buttocks to force the baby to breathe, compelling it to cry. This makes everyone nearby break out with laughter. They are completely disregarding the baby’s feelings. Their attitudes and their feelings are in sharp contrast with those of the baby. Bright minded Buddhists perceive this as being somewhat “ironic”! 甚至每見小孩出生,為強令呼吸,有意拍打臀部,迫其哭叫,而任由大人們在一旁歡笑,根本無視小孩的感受,兩者形成明顯的對比,在佛教的明眼人看來,似乎有點“諷刺”的味道!

 

 

三、

不被理睬的啼哭

3.3 Crying that is not Heeded 三、

不被理睬的啼哭

 

我们常用“呱呱落地”来形容新生儿,正因为这个哭声太普通了,很少有人去留意和重视它。 We often use, “Wah,  wah…,”to describe the birth of a baby, because the sound of crying at birth is so common. Rarely do people notice it or attach any significance to it. 我們常用“呱呱落地”來形容新生兒,正因為這個哭聲太普通了,很少有人去留意和重視它。
多数人认为小孩的哭声乃是初次呼吸的需要,哭声能启动从未使用过的呼吸系统。 Most people believe that the sound of a baby crying is necessary for the first breath. Crying can initiate the start of the respiratory system that has never been used before. 多數人認為小孩的哭聲乃是初次呼吸的需要,哭聲能啟動從未使用過的呼吸系統。
当然一般人只重视自己所能感知的事物和理论,只承认自己能了解和可以理解的事实、现象,对于未知的如婴儿的感受与思维,因无从着手,常以轻率的态度予以否认。 Of course ordinary people only value things and concepts that they can perceive on their own. They only recognize the truth and phenomena that they themselves can understand and grasp. What such people often flippantly reject is that which they cannot understand because these are not concrete, such as the sensations and thoughts of a baby. 當然一般人只重視自己所能感知的事物和理論,只承認自己能瞭解和可以理解的事實、現象,對於未知的如嬰兒的感受與思維,因無從著手,常以輕率的態度予以否認。

 

大概也是正因为如此,千万年来,一个个无助的小孩,从原始时代一直哭到现在,仍无人理睬。 It is probably for this reason that for thousands of years, helpless babies have been ceaselessly crying like this from primitive times until today. How could it be that no one takes heed? 大概也是正因為如此,千萬年來,一個個無助的小孩,從原始時代一直哭到現在,仍無人理睬。
也难怪,实在是没有人能够感知初生小儿的心理感受和神经感觉。 No wonder there is no one who can perceive the emotions and physical sensations of babies. 也難怪,實在是沒有人能夠感知初生小兒的心理感受和神經感覺。

 

佛经很清楚地告诉我们,因为新生儿初次接触空气,顿时会有如活牛剥皮触墙的极其痛苦的感觉,有苦难言,唯有啼哭,而世人对此却全然不知,往往一笑了之,根本无人在意。 The Buddhist sutras very clearly tell us that because a newborn baby, when it first contacts air, immediately feels extreme torment like that of a calf if it were skinned alive and its raw flesh pressed against a rough wall. The baby’s agony cannot be expressed in words, and all it can do is cry and cry. People have no idea that this is what the baby is feeling and so in most cases they will laugh, no one caring about the baby at all. 佛經很清楚地告訴我們,因為新生兒初次接觸空氣,頓時會有如活牛剝皮觸牆的極其痛苦的感覺,有苦難言,唯有啼哭,而世人對此卻全然不知,往往一笑了之,根本無人在意。

 

无奈,也只能说小儿哭得有理,而大人笑得无理。 All we can say is that there is a good reason for newborn babies to cry, but there is no reason for the adults to be laughing. 無奈,也只能說小兒哭得有理,而大人笑得無理。

 

四、被遗忘的旅程 3.4 The Forgotten Journey 四、被遺忘的旅程

 

我们可能会疑惑:原本是明明白白的入胎,又在意识清醒中念念不断的成长,直到出生降临人间,分明是清清楚楚的一路走来,又为何长大后这些都被遗忘的干干净净,一个个都好像若无其事一样? We may possibly doubt why bardos enter the fetus with complete clarity, and again with a clear mind growth takes place without a break in their thoughts. It continues on like this all the way to rebirth. The path to their arrival into the human realm is traversed with clarity. So why is every iota of their experience forgotten after they grow up? It is as if every single thing in the past had never happened. 我們可能會疑惑:原本是明明白白的入胎,又在意識清醒中念念不斷的成長,直到出生降臨人間,分明是清清楚楚的一路走來,又為何長大後這些都被遺忘的乾乾淨淨,一個個都好像若無其事一樣?
民间相传投胎前要喝阴间的“孟婆汤”,传说是为了让投胎的人忘记前世的记忆。 Chinese myth has it that before moving on to rebirth, we must first drink “Grannie Meng’s Tonic” while still in the bardo realm. This is so that people being reborn lose the entire memory of their previous lives. 民間相傳投胎前要喝陰間的“孟婆湯”,傳說是為了讓投胎的人忘記前世的記憶。
而佛经则更侧重于赞成是由于胎儿遭受到极重“苦受”的缘故,令其“闷厥”昏迷,而淡忘了这一段历尽艰辛的旅程。 The Buddhist sutras particularly emphasize the fact that it is the laborious agony experienced during the rebirth process that makes us go unconscious from “the trauma”. The arduous experience of the hard journey is buried in our memories. 而佛經則更側重於贊成是由於胎兒遭受到極重“苦受”的緣故,令其“悶厥”昏迷,而淡忘了這一段歷盡艱辛的旅程。

 

试想,如果让成年人再重新模拟尝试一次这三十八周胎儿的感受,肯定会留下刻骨铭心的印象,终生难忘。 Just think, if adults were permitted to once again go through the sensations of a fetus’ 38 weeks, they would surely be left with haunting images engraved into their memories that they would not forget throughout their entire lives. 試想,如果讓成年人再重新模擬嘗試一次這三十八週胎兒的感受,肯定會留下刻骨銘心的印象,終生難忘。
为什么小孩在成人后,几乎无一能回忆起这段旅程呢? Why can practically no children remember the journey after they grow up? 為什麼小孩在成人後,幾乎無一能回憶起這段旅程呢?

 

原因只有一点,就是新生命的诞生过程太痛苦了,这种痛苦可能让人思想崩溃,昏迷,窒息。 There is only one reason, and that is because the process of rebirth to a new life is too painful. Remembering such agony would cause a person to faint, suffer apnea, and/or have a mental breakdown. 原因只有一點,就是新生命的誕生過程太痛苦了,這種痛苦可能讓人思想崩潰,昏迷,窒息。
痛苦程度非常剧烈,时间的漫长,足以代替所有的感受,占据所有的记忆空间,冲淡其它平淡的记忆内容。 The level of suffering is very intense, and the time it takes to unfold is so long it replaces all other feelings. This suffering occupies the space for all other memories diluting the content of ordinary memories. 痛苦程度非常劇烈,時間的漫長,足以代替所有的感受,佔據所有的記憶空間,沖淡其它平淡的記憶內容。

 

可想而知,经过这一番众苦相煎的可怕历程,绝大多数小孩的先天记忆,如知识、能力、才华,和中阴身九倍于常人的智力基本上荡然无存,出生后都得从头开始学习。 It isn’t hard to imagine that the congenital memory of the overwhelming majority of children, appears to have been fundamentally wiped out during the experience of their frightening process repeated again and again. This memory included their knowledge, abilities, and talent. Added to these is the intelligence they had while still a bardo, which is nine times higher than the average person. Yet, after they are born, children have to learn everything all over again. 可想而知,經過這一番眾苦相煎的可怕歷程,絕大多數小孩的先天記憶,如知識、能力、才華,和中陰身九倍于常人的智力基本上蕩然無存,出生後都得從頭開始學習。
佛教称之为“隔阴之迷”,就是由于胎中乃至诞生时的种种痛苦折磨,将原本先天的智慧和记忆蒙蔽住了,丝毫回忆不起来 ,还以为自己是另外一个完全不同的人。 In Buddhism this is called “the bardo to baby amnesia divide”. It occurs because the suffering and torment of a fetus, throughout the birth process, overshadows its original wisdom and memory. Not one shred can be recalled.  Babies will grow and develop into people who believe that they are now completely different individuals from their previous life selves. 佛教稱之為“隔陰之迷”,就是由於胎中乃至誕生時的種種痛苦折磨,將原本先天的智慧和記憶蒙蔽住了,絲毫回憶不起來 ,還以為自己是另外一個完全不同的人。

 

 

 

五、借胎与夺胎 3.5 Appropriating and Stealing the Fetus 五、借胎與奪胎

 

 

在胎儿的世界有许许多多我们常人不可知、不可见、不可思议的事情,其中之一就是借胎和夺胎。 There are a great many things in the world of the fetus, which are impossible for us ordinary folks to know about, see, or even imagine. Among them are “borrowing a fetus” and “seizing a fetus”.  在胎兒的世界有許許多多我們常人不可知、不可見、不可思議的事情,其中之一就是借胎和奪胎。

 

一般情况下,中阴生命从进入父精母血内成为羯罗蓝身开始,就一直被困在其中,直到胎儿出生,从先天到后天只有一个中阴生命。 Under normal circumstances, from the time the bardo enters the fertilized egg and becomes the beginning of the kalala (the first fetal stage embryo), it is continuously locked within the fetus all the way until the baby is born. There is only one bardo from the past life to the present life.  一般情況下,中陰生命從進入父精母血內成為羯羅藍身開始,就一直被困在其中,直到胎兒出生,從先天到後天只有一個中陰生命。
特殊情况下,胎儿在临出生时,原中阴生命因故离去,即刻又重新载入另一个中阴生命来接替并成为胎儿的神识,如果前一中阴生命属自主离开的就称借胎,如被迫离开的就是夺胎。 The exception to this norm is when the baby is just about to be born and the bardo departs. Instantaneously, a different bardo downloads itself replacing the first bardo and becomes the fetus’ consciousness. If the first bardo left of its own accord, it is called borrowing a fetus. If the first bardo was forced to leave, it is called seizing a fetus. 特殊情況下,胎兒在臨出生時,原中陰生命因故離去,即刻又重新載入另一個中陰生命來接替並成為胎兒的神識,如果前一中陰生命屬自主離開的就稱借胎,如被迫離開的就是奪胎。

 

          借胎,是一种原因十分复杂的自然现象,是当小孩出生时,或因前一中阴生命因缘到头,寿数已尽,或有意为他人帮忙,或为偿还业债,自己离开,而另一中阴生命刚好机缘成熟,万事具备,借其方便,即入体内成借胎,也叫代受胎。 What causes the borrowing of a fetus is a natural phenomenon that is very complex. There are many reasons for it to occur. Possibly, when a baby is being born, the causes and conditions of the bardo may come to an end. Maybe its lifespan is exhausted, or the original bardo intentionally supported this fetus to help the next bardo. It may have come to repay a karmic debt to the new one. Whatever the circumstances, the first bardo has left of its own accord. Now circumstances have matured so that the new bardo may enter. Everything is in place for the bardo to take advantage of this convenient opportunity to enter the fetus. This is also called bardo replacement.           借胎,是一種原因十分複雜的自然現象,是當小孩出生時,或因前一中陰生命因緣到頭,壽數已盡,或有意為他人幫忙,或為償還業債,自己離開,而另一中陰生命剛好機緣成熟,萬事具備,借其方便,即入體內成借胎,也叫代受胎。
这种情况,后来者往往是有大福德的中阴生命,与父母有特别深厚的缘分,或是乘愿再来的圣人,因福德极大,无须住胎受苦,又恰遇其它中阴所弃之胎,故借胎而生。 In this situation the new bardo, in most cases, is a bardo with a great deal of blessings and merit. It most likely has an especially deep karmic connection with its parents. The new bardo may possibly be a sage, who has come because of a vow made in a former lifetime. Because its blessings and merit are so extremely great it does not have to reside in the fetus and endure the suffering. This sage may just happened to meet up with a fetus that has been abandoned by its bardo. The sage borrows the fetus to be reborn. 這種情況,後來者往往是有大福德的中陰生命,與父母有特別深厚的緣分,或是乘願再來的聖人,因福德極大,無須住胎受苦,又恰遇其它中陰所棄之胎,故借胎而生。

 

在民间,有时在胎儿即将出生时会看到有人前来入胎,多是属于这一类。 There are eyewitness accounts of people seeing a being entering the womb with a baby in it about to be born. This is a bardo coming to borrow the fetus. 在民間,有時在胎兒即將出生時會看到有人前來入胎,多是屬於這一類。
和其他胎儿不同,这样的小孩常生来就有超人的灵敏度,或对前世的记忆历历在目,甚至一生下来即能言语。 A borrowed fetus, unlike other ones, will become a child with a superior intelligence. Such children distinctly remember past life events. They may even be able to speak right after birth. 和其他胎兒不同,這樣的小孩常生來就有超人的靈敏度,或對前世的記憶歷歷在目,甚至一生下來即能言語。
《地藏菩萨本愿功德经》中记载:有一名叫光目的女子,她的母亲死后投胎家中,托生为一侍女之子,出生三日“才知饥寒,即当言说”,讲出许多前世的经历和死后的见闻,这是因为光目女诚心念佛,母亲受佛力帮助,在死后数日内即借胎生于家中的缘故。 It is recorded in The Vows and Merit of Bodhisattva Kṣitigarbha Sutra that the mother of a girl named Guangmu died and was reborn into a household as the child of a female servant there. On the third day after her birth, “…when she was just realizing what hunger and cold were, she was already able to speak….” She spoke a great deal about her former life experiences and what she saw and heard after she died. This was possible because Guangmu sincerely chanted the name of a Buddha transferring the merit to her mother. Her mother, helped by the power of the Buddha, borrowed a fetus a few days after her death and was reborn into that household. 《地藏菩薩本願功德經》中記載:有一名叫光目的女子,她的母親死後投胎家中,托生為一侍女之子,出生三日“才知饑寒,即當言說”,講出許多前世的經歷和死後的見聞,這是因為光目女誠心念佛,母親受佛力幫助,在死後數日內即借胎生於家中的緣故。

 

印光大师对此有更明确的解释:“生时每有亲见其人之入母室者,乃有父母交媾时,代为受胎,迨其胎成,本识方来,代识随去也。” Master Yinguang gave an explicit explanation of this event. “When a relative sees “someone” unexpectedly entering the room of a woman about to have a baby, it is the original bardo coming to reclaim the fetus. This is because when the woman was having sex with her husband, the original bardo that came to them at that time, left and was replaced with a different bardo.  The original bardo waits until the fetus is grown, and for the replacement bardo to leave, before it comes to reenter the fetus. 印光大師對此有更明確的解釋:“生時每有親見其人之入母室者,乃有父母交媾時,代為受胎,迨其胎成,本識方來,代識隨去也。”
夺胎则是因后一中阴生命故意“夺舍”,强占前一中阴生命住胎成果而出生,两者之间大多有刻意讨债的孽缘存在。 A fetus is seized when a bardo intentionally “seizes the place of the first bardo” replacing it. It forcibly occupies the original bardo’s fetus, inhabiting the fetus. This is because the original bardo’s fetus has already grown to fruition and is about to be born.  Among these two types the majority of the bardos that seize a fetus are deliberately taking what is owed to them. This is because of evil conditions from their former lives that cause them to do this. 奪胎則是因後一中陰生命故意“奪舍”,強佔前一中陰生命住胎成果而出生,兩者之間大多有刻意討債的孽緣存在。

 

有时入胎的中阴生命只是神识的一部分,佛教称第八意识,也叫阿赖耶识,它的特点是“来先去后”:住胎时,第八意识首先到来,人临终时又是最后一个离开。 Sometimes, the bardo that enters the fetus is only the eighth of all the eight consciousnesses. In Buddhism this eighth consciousness is called the alaya-consciousness.  Its special characteristic is that, “it is the first to come and last to leave.” The eighth consciousness is the first of the consciousnesses to arrive at the fetus. When people approach their death it is the last to leave. 有時入胎的中陰生命只是神識的一部分,佛教稱第八意識,也叫阿賴耶識,它的特點是“來先去後”:住胎時,第八意識首先到來,人臨終時又是最後一個離開。

alaya-consciousness阿賴耶識: ālayavijñāna, Transliteration of the Sanskrit, meaning store consciousness. The ‘store-house’ consciousness, a distinctive concept of the Yogācāra school 瑜伽行派 of Buddhism. The ālayavijñāna denotes the mental processes that underlie each and every moment of the traditional six forms of manifest cognitive awareness (pravṛtti-vijñāna轉識, 六識) — a term coined to distinguish it from the continuous yet subliminal ‘ālaya’ (阿賴耶) or ‘home’ awareness. The ālayavijñāna is denoted by a variety of synonyms, most importantly: the root consciousness (mūla-vijñāna) 本識), the ‘mind with all the seeds’ (sarvabījaka-citta一切種子識), and the appropriating consciousness (ādāna-vijñāna 阿陀那識). Ignorant beings typically mistaken the ālaya awareness as their self (atman 我).

(Excerpt from William Waldron)

直至胎儿将出生时,其它意识才最后到来,组成胎儿完整的神识。 It is not until the time the baby is being born, that the other consciousnesses will finally arrive.  They will complete the organization of the fetus’ full consciousness. 直至胎兒將出生時,其它意識才最後到來,組成胎兒完整的神識。
如祖师讲“命难未尽,识已投生,直至将生,方始全分心神附彼胎体”。 It is as the patriarchs have said, “When one is not yet dead, some of the consciousnesses have already been reborn, and not until the baby is being born will all of the consciousnesses be entirely attached to the fetus.” [- A Collection of  the Recordings of Master Yin Guang’s Question and Answers from a lecture during a Prajna Chanting Retreat] 如祖師講“命難未盡,識已投生,直至將生,方始全分心神附彼胎體”。
如果等胎儿临出生时,原神识又改道投生别处,则此时住胎的第八识自然离去,其它中阴生命则极有可能乘机接替入胎,成为另一种夺胎的因缘。 If, while waiting for the fetus to be born as a baby, the original consciousness changes its path (direction) to be reborn somewhere else, then at this time, the eighth consciousness residing in the fetus will naturally also leave. It is extremely likely that another bardo may seize this opportunity to take over and enter the fetus. This describes yet another set of causes and conditions for seizing a fetus. 如果等胎兒臨出生時,原神識又改道投生別處,則此時住胎的第八識自然離去,其它中陰生命則極有可能乘機接替入胎,成為另一種奪胎的因緣。

 

以上都是未知界“不可说不可说”因果规律下的自然现象,普通人难以预知和干涉。 The above is a world that is not known to most people. It is portrayed in the sutra as “indescribable and inexplicable,” yet it is composed of natural phenomena existing under the laws of cause and effect. It is difficult for the average person to foresee it and interfere. 以上都是未知界“不可說不可說”因果規律下的自然現象,普通人難以預知和干涉。
我们所要研究的是最后一种可能,即因胎儿临出产时遭受剧苦,一时昏迷,而被其它中阴生命趁虚而入夺胎,占了便宜,实在冤枉。 We need to research the possibility of a fetus “passing out” as it nears the time of its birth because it is subject to more intense suffering than it can endure. At this time another bardo may take advantage of its being unaware to seize the fetus. The new bardo can “come off cheap” (not having to undergo the suffering), and it is truly a grievous injustice for the first bardo. 我們所要研究的是最後一種可能,即因胎兒臨出產時遭受劇苦,一時昏迷,而被其它中陰生命趁虛而入奪胎,占了便宜,實在冤枉。

 

六、四种胎儿 3.6 Four Types of Fetus 六、四種胎兒

 

 

按佛经记载,依中阴生命入胎、住胎、出胎意识的清醒状况的不同,可将胎儿分为四种。 According to the Buddhist sutras, a fetus can be classified into four types based on the specific level of the bardo’s clarity of mind as it enters the womb, resides in it, and is born from it. 按佛經記載,依中陰生命入胎、住胎、出胎意識的清醒狀況的不同,可將胎兒分為四種。
正是这四种不同状况,也决定了未来小孩的四等智商、四等福德及将来四种不同的命运。 These four different levels also determine the future child’s four different levels of IQ, blessings, merit, and probable future. They are: 正是這四種不同狀況,也決定了未來小孩的四等智商、四等福德及將來四種不同的命運。
(一)正念入,正念住,正念出 1. Clarity (exemplified by remembering who it is) when entering the womb, clarity when residing in the womb, and clarity when being born from the womb (一)正念入,正念住,正念出
(二)正念入,正念住,不正念出 2. Clarity when entering, clarity when residing, but lack of clarity when being born (二)正念入,正念住,不正念出
(三)正念入,不正念住,不正念出 3. Clarity when entering, but lack of clarity when residing and lack of clarity when being born (三)正念入,不正念住,不正念出
(四)不正念入,不正念住,不正念出 4. Lack of clarity when entering, lack of clarity when residing, and lack of clarity when being born (四)不正念入,不正念住,不正念出
所谓“正念入,正念住,正念出”,是指入胎时意识清醒,不因贪爱和各种痛苦迷失自我。 “Clarity when entering, clarity when residing, and clarity when being born,” refers to the bardo having sober thoughts when it enters the fetus; its thoughts are not clouded by the greedy love [when entering the womb]; or suffering [while residing in the womb]. 所謂“正念入,正念住,正念出”,是指入胎時意識清醒,不因貪愛和各種痛苦迷失自我。
这种人常常是有大智慧的中阴生命投胎而来,如经文所说,“有大智慧……虽苦来逼,受诸痛恼,心不散乱……,复还正念入母胎内”。 The person with this type of clarity is often reborn with the great wisdom it has as a bardo. It is as the sutras state: “With great wisdom…though pressured by suffering and all kinds of distress, its mind is not disturbed…, again, it still has clarity of thoughts [of its past life] as it enters into the fetus in the mother’s womb.” 這種人常常是有大智慧的中陰生命投胎而來,如經文所說,“有大智慧……雖苦來逼,受諸痛惱,心不散亂……,復還正念入母胎內”。
其在住胎过程中,虽免不了遭受各种各样来自胎中及母亲饮食行为所产生的痛苦,“此胎如是住母腹中。受如斯苦”,尽管如此,“虽受此痛。由利根故正念不散” Having to bear discomfort brought on by the mother and fetus eating and drinking different kinds of foods is unavoidable while the bardo resides in the fetus. Still, “This type of consciousness resides in the fetus, in the mother’s womb, enduring the discomfort … though enduring this distress, its clarity is not lost because its faculties are sharp.” 其在住胎過程中,雖免不了遭受各種各樣來自胎中及母親飲食行為所產生的痛苦,“此胎如是住母腹中。受如斯苦” ,儘管如此,“雖受此痛。由利根故正念不散”
仍神识清醒,意志坚定,无有动摇。 Its mind is still clear and its will is steadfast with no uncertainty. 仍神識清醒,意志堅定,無有動搖。
至临出生时,更少不了要遭受巨大痛苦 “又欲产时辛苦而出。 During the birth process, it will ultimately sustain an even greater amount of suffering, “again when the time for birth arrives and it is born with a great deal of hardship… 至臨出生時,更少不了要遭受巨大痛苦 “又欲產時辛苦而出。
…虽受此苦。由上利根故正念不乱”, … though experiencing this suffering, the sharp faculties of its mind will permit the fetus’ mind to remain undisturbed.” …雖受此苦。由上利根故正念不亂”,
此类胎儿必具足两种殊胜,一是福德殊胜,二是智慧殊胜,常常是佛及大菩萨等大根器的一类人。 Such fetuses grow into people who will certainly have two exceptional qualities: First, excellent blessings and virtue, and second, outstanding wisdom. Often they were buddhas or great bodhisattvas with prominent roots (an aptitude for wisdom). 此類胎兒必具足兩種殊勝,一是福德殊勝,二是智慧殊勝,常常是佛及大菩薩等大根器的一類人。

 

照此看来,这种小孩绝非等闲之辈,以幼小身躯,即能于如此痛苦的环境中,保持镇静,心不错乱,定有先世特殊的因缘。 From this we can see that they definitely will not be ordinary children because they certainly have had former lives with special circumstances, which now causes them to be able to maintain composure although they are only infants. They will not let their minds fall into confusion in an environment of suffering. 照此看來,這種小孩絕非等閒之輩,以幼小身軀,即能於如此痛苦的環境中,保持鎮靜,心不錯亂,定有先世特殊的因緣。
经文讲“有一类凡夫有情,性(习性)爱持戒(遵守戒律法律制度),数习善品,乐为胜事,作诸福行。 The sutras state: “there is a type of ordinary person with a character (habits) that prefers upholding precepts (following precepts, the law and social norms). Such a person has a good lifestyle, takes pleasure in doing great acts that uplift entire societies, and does things that bring blessings to others. 經文講“有一類凡夫有情,性(習性)愛持戒(遵守戒律法律制度),數習善品,樂為勝事,作諸福行。
极善防护,恒思质直不为放逸”,显然,这些小孩过去世就常能积德修善,洁身自制,心直意端,有大智慧,不难预见,将来长大成人,必然聪颖过人,大智大勇,做事有始有终,属利根上器,为人中丈夫,必成大器! People like this will encourage themselves to do only good, and will always remind themselves to improve. They will have integrity, always be true and not hypocritical. ” It is obvious that in past lives they developed virtue and often did acts of kindness. After their rebirth they become good children who can manage themselves well and have good hygiene. Their hearts and minds will be honest and decent, and they will be sensible. You will have no difficulty predicting what will become of them. It becomes obvious that when they grow to be adults they will be more intelligent than their peers, be wise and brave, and they will finish whatever they set out to do. They will belong to that category of people who put their faculties to use helping others. They will become benevolent guides who are of great use to people. 極善防護,恒思質直不為放逸”,顯然,這些小孩過去世就常能積德修善,潔身自制,心直意端,有大智慧,不難預見,將來長大成人,必然聰穎過人,大智大勇,做事有始有終,屬利根上器,為人中丈夫,必成大器!
要么是伟大的精神领袖,新时代新领域的开创者,或新思想,新理念的缔造者,要么是修行大觉大悟的宗教导师。 They may become spiritual leaders, pioneers in a new era or a new realm. They may be creators of a new ideology or way of thinking. They may also be religious instructors of an enlightened practice. 要麼是偉大的精神領袖,新時代新領域的開創者,或新思想,新理念的締造者,要麼是修行大覺大悟的宗教導師。

 

正念入,正念住,不正念出”是指入胎时也能把握自己,心不迷乱颠倒,在神识清醒明白的状态下进入母腹,而且直到住胎的最后,虽也屡经各种痛苦考验,仍能不失正念,坚定不移,保持清醒,只是无法忍受在出生过程中的极剧烈的苦痛,而终究昏迷颠倒,忘失自我。 Clarity when entering the womb, clarity when residing in the womb, and lack of clarity when being born indicates that the bardo will have thoughts of self, place, time and purpose when entering and residing in the womb. Such a mind has not become dazed nor confused. It has entered the fetus alert and lucid. Moreover, though it had experienced all the ordeals of suffering, it never lost clarity. It is steadfast and unmoving, remains alert and knows who it is and its purpose right up until the end of its stay in the womb. But it cannot endure the extremely severe suffering of the birth process which will cause it to become dazed and confused. It will then forget itself. 正念入,正念住,不正念出”是指入胎時也能把握自己,心不迷亂顛倒,在神識清醒明白的狀態下進入母腹,而且直到住胎的最後,雖也屢經各種痛苦考驗,仍能不失正念,堅定不移,保持清醒,只是無法忍受在出生過程中的極劇烈的苦痛,而終究昏迷顛倒,忘失自我。
“可见临产时的痛苦是何等惨烈,一般人根本坚持不下来,更何况是弱小的胎儿。 “From this we can see how wretchedly intense the suffering of birth can be. The average person cannot stand such crushing pain, no less a small and fragile infant. “可見臨產時的痛苦是何等慘烈,一般人根本堅持不下來,更何況是弱小的胎兒。

 

当然能做到“正念入,正念住”这两个阶段不迷失,也的确难能可贵。 Of course to be able to achieve the two levels of “clarity (remembering who it was) when entering the womb, and clarity when residing in the womb,” without becoming dazed is indeed both hard to accomplish and commendable. 當然能做到“正念入,正念住”這兩個階段不迷失,也的確難能可貴。
经文讲这种人“少有智慧”,就是有一些智慧,但没有前一种人的智慧高。 The sutras speak of such people as being “somewhat wise,” which means having some wisdom, but as not being as wise as the type of people mentioned initially. 經文講這種人“少有智慧”,就是有一些智慧,但沒有前一種人的智慧高。
尽管“少有智慧”,也是修行而来,“性乐持戒修习善品,常为胜事作诸福行。 Although they are “somewhat wise” the wisdom of the second type of person came about through self-development. “They naturally take pleasure in upholding precepts and practicing acts of kindness. They will often perform acts that uplift a society and bring blessings to many people. 儘管“少有智慧”,也是修行而來,“性樂持戒修習善品,常為勝事作諸福行。
其心质直不为放逸。 “They will have minds geared toward honesty and hard work. 其心質直不為放逸。
少有智慧临终无悔”。 “People who are somewhat wise will not die with regret,” which will help them earn a good rebirth. 少有智慧臨終無悔”。

 

此类胎儿因“久习多闻,胜思择故”,具足超人的智慧和定力,常常是修道者,独觉、声闻、二乘罗汉之类的人。 Because this fetus was entered by a bardo consciousness from one who “had been learning the Dharma for a very long time in past lives, it knows right from wrong.” It will have wisdom and concentration that surpasses others. Most fetuses like this have received the consciousness of practitioners who in past lives were on a Path of Truth. For example they were arhats of the two vehicles of śrāvakas (hearers of the Dharma, direct disciples of a buddha) and pratyekabuddhas (self-realizers of Universal Truth). 此類胎兒因“久習多聞,勝思擇故”,具足超人的智慧和定力,常常是修道者,獨覺、聲聞、二乘羅漢之類的人。
这种人佛称之为“中利根人”,虽未能善始善终,坚持到最后,但也实属不易,也是有根基的一类人,将来也会是了不起的人物,至少他会心性贤良,知书达理,是端正的文人君子的类型。 This kind of person the Buddha called “one of medium level faculty roots.” Although clarity is not maintained throughout, as it is unable to endure the final stage of birth, still it is worth commending. These are people with a penchant for one day becoming extraordinary, virtuous and good. They are rational and decent literati. 這種人佛稱之為“中利根人”,雖未能善始善終,堅持到最後,但也實屬不易,也是有根基的一類人,將來也會是了不起的人物,至少他會心性賢良,知書達理,是端正的文人君子的類型。
相比之下,他们意志方面稍有欠缺,遇重大事件,或许会柔弱寡断,但其才华和能力也远超乎常人。 In contrast though, they are deficient in will power. When they encounter a major event, they may become weak and indecisive. Yet their talent and abilities are far more than that of the average person. 相比之下,他們意志方面稍有欠缺,遇重大事件,或許會柔弱寡斷,但其才華和能力也遠超乎常人。

 

“正念入,不正念住,不正念出”是指入胎时虽能保持立场,神识清醒,意不颠倒,一旦进入胎中,稍遇痛苦,随即昏迷,反悔,懊恼,乃至出生剧苦降临时,更是迷失得糊涂不堪。 “Clarity when entering the womb, lack of clarity when residing in the womb, and lack of clarity when being born” refers to a bardo consciousness that is able to maintain its remembrance of self when it enters the womb with a clear consciousness, and is not confused.  But once it is in the womb, and in the process of residing in the womb, discomfort causes it to become dazed. It will regret being there and become upset. By the time the severity of the pain of the birth process sets in, it will become even more lost in its suffering and lose its ability to endure because its concentration had already been lost. “正念入,不正念住,不正念出”是指入胎時雖能保持立場,神識清醒,意不顛倒,一旦進入胎中,稍遇痛苦,隨即昏迷,反悔,懊惱,乃至出生劇苦降臨時,更是迷失得糊塗不堪。
虽说不能和前两种人相比,但仍然值得赞叹,他也是先前修行的结果,经文讲“性乐持戒修习善品,常为胜思作诸福行”。 Although it cannot be compared to the previous two kinds of people, it is still worthy of praise. It is still the result of self-development in former lifetimes. The sutras state, “They naturally take pleasure in upholding precepts and practicing acts of kindness. They will often think of doing things that uplift a society and bring blessings to many people. 雖說不能和前兩種人相比,但仍然值得讚歎,他也是先前修行的結果,經文講“性樂持戒修習善品,常為勝思作諸福行”。

 

可以说,这种胎儿同样是有德之人,佛称之为“下利根人”,其原因是智慧少,定力不足的原故。 It can be said that this type of fetus has the consciousness of a person who is virtuous like the others. The Buddha called them, “People of lower faculty roots.” This is because they are not very wise and are deficient in concentration. 可以說,這種胎兒同樣是有德之人,佛稱之為“下利根人”,其原因是智慧少,定力不足的緣故。
这一类人,将来也会是富贵之人,也会比较聪明,唯自制力和判断力差些,耐力不足,相对有些情绪化。 Such people may acquire both wealth and social rank, be somewhat smarter than others, but they lack restraint and the ability to make wise decisions. They have weak stamina and are emotional. 這一類人,將來也會是富貴之人,也會比較聰明,唯自制力和判斷力差些,耐力不足,相對有些情緒化。
此类胎儿因“宿世曾修广大福故”,所以必是大富大贵之人,如领导者、国家元首及转轮圣王等。 Because the consciousness of these kinds of fetuses are from people who, “In past lives only practiced bringing about great blessings for others,” they may only become wealthy with high social rank themselves. They can become leaders, heads of states and benevolent, sagely kings. 此類胎兒因“宿世曾修廣大福故”,所以必是大富大貴之人,如領導者、國家元首及轉輪聖王等。

 

“不正念入,不正念住,不正念出”是指入胎时即已迷失自己,神昏颠倒,惊惧惶恐,贪染嫉妒,迷乱入胎。 “Lack of clarity when entering, lack of clarity when residing, and lack of clarity being born” refers to those who have lost a sense of self when they enter the womb. They are dazed and confused, and so shocked with dread that they fall in and out of consciousness with terror. They were polluted with greed and jealousy as they entered the womb, became lost, and their minds are in chaos. “不正念入,不正念住,不正念出”是指入胎時即已迷失自己,神昏顛倒,驚懼惶恐,貪染嫉妒,迷亂入胎。
及至住胎,一经种种苦恼逼迫,即刻厌恶悔恨,直至出生,痛苦加剧,愈发如刀如割,闷绝昏迷,不知自已是何人。 As soon as they reside in the fetus they are forced to endure all kinds of distress. They instantly detest their situation and feel regret. By the time they are to be born the suffering intensifies. They increasingly feel as if they are being slashed with knives and are so hopeless that they pass out. They do not remember who they were. 及至住胎,一經種種苦惱逼迫,即刻厭惡悔恨,直至出生,痛苦加劇,愈發如刀如割,悶絕昏迷,不知自已是何人。

 

这一类人属下根下智之人,经文讲这种人“乐毁净戒不修善品,常为恶事作诸恶行。 Such people have lower faculty roots and lower wisdom. The sutras speak of such people as, “Taking pleasure in not following the precepts of purity and not cultivating good habits. They use evil to fight evil. 這一類人屬下根下智之人,經文講這種人“樂毀淨戒不修善品,常為惡事作諸惡行。
心不质直多行放逸,无有智慧,贪财悭吝。 “They do not harbor thoughts of integrity and straightforwardness and are not hard working. They have no wisdom, are money-crazed and miserly. 心不質直多行放逸,無有智慧,貪財慳吝。
手常拳缩不能舒展,济惠于人恒有希望(希望得到回报)。 “They hang onto what they possess in clenched fists that they are incapable of opening. They constantly hope for material gain from anything they do and are not sincere. (always looking for payback) 手常拳縮不能舒展,濟惠於人恒有希望(希望得到回報)。
心不调顺,见行颠倒,…其心散乱。 “They are not soft and flexible, what they think and what they do are not in harmony….Their minds are scattered. 心不調順,見行顛倒,…其心散亂
由诸苦恼,不自忆识我是何人。 “Due to their troubled minds they are not aware of who they are, where they came from, or where they should go. 由諸苦惱,不自憶識我是何人。
从何而来,今何处去” 。 從何而來,今何處去” 。

 

由过去的习惯和业力,可以预见,因乏福少慧,自制力差,将来很可能是辛苦平凡之人。 Due to past habits and the power of the karma they had created, we can predict what will become of them. Due to little wisdom and lack of blessings and self-restraint, they will most likely turn out to be ordinary people and everything they do will be painstaking. 由過去的習慣和業力,可以預見,因乏福少慧,自制力差,將來很可能是辛苦平凡之人。
如严重一点的,也可能贪婪自私,狂傲倔强,不服管教; If it is graver than this, they may be greedy, selfish, proud and stubborn, and refuse to accept discipline. 如嚴重一點的,也可能貪婪自私,狂傲倔強,不服管教;
或胸无大志,习性不定,反复无常; They may have no ambition, be incapable of setting their minds to any task and be capricious. 或胸無大志,習性不定,反復無常;
也可能不守礼仪,心无慈孝,不信因果,不敬神明,终难成大器。此即一般人。 They may discard protocol and etiquette. They may not be compassionate nor have filial piety. They may not believe in cause and effect, nor respect sages, bodhisattvas nor buddhas and their teachings. In the end they will not have been of any help to others. They are just average people. 也可能不守禮儀,心無慈孝,不信因果,不敬神明,終難成大器。此即一般人。

 

七、投胎四缘 3.7 Four Conditions for Rebirth 七、投胎四緣

 

小孩投生某个家中,表面上看似随机巧合,其实不然。 The rebirth of a child into a family might appear random and coincidental, but that is not the case. 小孩投生某個家中,表面上看似隨機巧合,其實不然。
如果小孩和此生父母没有千丝万缕的因缘联系,就不可能成为骨肉相亲的一家人,我们常说“不是一家人,不进一家门”。 It would be impossible for a child to become a blood relative in the family if it were not for the countless ties of inter-connecting causes and conditions that the child has with its parents.  In Chinese there is a saying, “If not a family member, you cannot get in the family’s door.” 如果小孩和此生父母沒有千絲萬縷的因緣聯繫,就不可能成為骨肉相親的一家人,我們常說“不是一家人,不進一家門”。

 

在佛教思想中,凡事都讲一个缘字。 In Buddhist ideology, there are reasons (conditions) for everything. 在佛教思想中,凡事都講一個緣字。
所谓有缘千里来相会,那么小孩和此生父母应该具备什么样的缘分方可投胎呢? There is another Chinese saying, “When conditions are right even 1,000 miles cannot keep two people from meeting.” What then are the past conditions needed for a child to be born to its parents? 所謂有緣千里來相會,那麼小孩和此生父母應該具備什麼樣的緣分方可投胎呢?

 

总体说来,大体可归纳为四种:报恩缘、报怨缘、还债缘、讨债缘。 Overall, these conditions can be summed up into four general categories: 1) Conditions for paying a debt of gratitude; 2) conditions for avenging a grievance; 3) conditions for repaying a debt; 4) conditions for collecting payment on a debt. 總體說來,大體可歸納為四種:報恩緣、報怨緣、還債緣、討債緣。

 

报恩缘是指小孩与父母之间是报恩的关系。 Conditions for paying a debt of gratitude refers to a relationship between child and parent(s) where the child is repaying a past life debt of gratitude. 報恩緣是指小孩與父母之間是報恩的關係。
因为小孩过去世曾受过父母某些恩惠,如在困境中曾给予财物、体力、精神上的照顾、支援及保护,心中存有极强烈的感恩报德的意向,念念不忘,今世恰好条件成熟,投母胎以为身,生于此家。 For example, in a past life, the child had received some favor or kindness from the parent(s), possibly when the child was in a predicament. The parent(s) had given him/her material, physical or emotional support, caring, or protection. An extremely powerful intention to show gratitude by repaying this kindness became imbedded in the mind of the child in that past life. This intention was a thought that was never forgotten. Now in this lifetime the conditions are right for that person to be reborn into the fetus of the mother and to be reborn into this family. 因為小孩過去世曾受過父母某些恩惠,如在困境中曾給予財物、體力、精神上的照顧、支援及保護,心中存有極強烈的感恩報德的意向,念念不忘,今世恰好條件成熟,投母胎以為身,生於此家。

 

    这样的小孩,因先天的善念,将来必为孝顺之子,至于其福德能力大小,是否大富大贵,大能大巧,多半取决于个人先前的根基。 Such children, because of their innate thoughts of kindness toward the parent(s), will definitely become children who will be filial and respect their elders in the future. How great or small their blessings, merit and abilities will be, whether or not they will be wealthy, hold status, be capable and skillful, is for the most part determined by their individual innate aptitude .     這樣的小孩,因先天的善念,將來必為孝順之子,至於其福德能力大小,是否大富大貴,大能大巧,多半取決於個人先前的根基。
不過这样的小孩对父母会百依百顺,听话孝敬。 Nevertheless, such children are still unassuming and obedient to their parents. They do what they are told with filial respect. 不過這樣的小孩對父母會百依百順,聽話孝敬。
他们往往从出生就与众不同。 From the birth process we may be able to see that they are different. 他們往往從出生就與眾不同。
佛经讲“若是决为孝顺之子,擎拳合掌,安祥出生,不损伤母,母无所苦”,也就是说,这些小孩在出生的时候,首先是母亲不会太痛苦,一般不会难产,出生后,也会很省事,少病少灾,不太麻烦人,也不太让人操心,自己能够顺利成长。 The Buddhist sutras state: “If the child has filial respect, its hands will be folded together, not grasping and tearing during birth. The child will be born serene without harming the mother who will therefore be free from suffering,” This is to say, that when such children are born, first their mother will not suffer excessively. The majority of their mothers will not have a difficult labor. Second, after they are born, they will not be bothersome, will rarely be sick or cause tragedies. They will not give people trouble or cause people to worry about them. They will grow smoothly on their own. 佛經講“若是決為孝順之子,擎拳合掌,安祥出生,不損傷母,母無所苦”,也就是說,這些小孩在出生的時候,首先是母親不會太痛苦,一般不會難產,出生後,也會很省事,少病少災,不太麻煩人,也不太讓人操心,自己能夠順利成長。
在行为上,他们听话懂事,体恤父母的难处,不会令父母烦恼痛苦; They will behave and be sensible. They can empathize with their parents when their parents are in difficulty, and they will not cause their parents to worry or suffer. 在行為上,他們聽話懂事,體恤父母的難處,不會令父母煩惱痛苦;
在父母衣食起居、生活细节上,百般用心,无微不至,真正是古人所讲的孝子贤孙。 They are attentive to their parents’ daily needs and every detail in their parents’ lives. They are meticulous just like the filial and virtuous children and grandchildren mentioned in ancient myths. 在父母衣食起居、生活細節上,百般用心,無微不至,真正是古人所講的孝子賢孫。

 

报怨缘是指小孩与父母之间是报怨的关系。 Conditions for avenging a grievance refers to children who have had past life grievances with their present parent(s). 報怨緣是指小孩與父母之間是報怨的關係。
与前一种正好相反,这样的小孩由于先天的恶念,将来可能会是忤逆之子。 This is the opposite of the previous conditional category. Innate (past life) evil thoughts toward the present parent(s), which they still harbor may cause these children to be non-filial and disobedient. 與前一種正好相反,這樣的小孩由於先天的惡念,將來可能會是忤逆之子。
他们常因过去世就和父母结下仇恨积怨,或是自身或是其家人受到伤害、侮辱而怀恨在心,难以释怀,等到今世条件成熟,投胎此家。 Often, because of their past life conditions, they may have piled up grievances of hatred toward their present parent(s). In past lives these children or their family member(s) may have been harmed or humiliated, and the grudge they felt then is still harbored in their hearts and minds. This grudge has been impossible to purge from their minds. Now the conditions are just so that they have been reborn into the home of the one(s) whom they hate, who are now their parent(s). 他們常因過去世就和父母結下仇恨積怨,或是自身或是其家人受到傷害、侮辱而懷恨在心,難以釋懷,等到今世條件成熟,投胎此家。
可以想象,将来必是个百般刁难,蛮不讲理的小孩。 You can imagine the number of intentional difficulties caused by such children, who will be quite unreasonable. 可以想像,將來必是個百般刁難,蠻不講理的小孩。
他常常会无事生非,仿佛是故意制造事端,搅得一家人鸡犬不宁,烦恼不断; They will make trouble out of nothing, as if intentionally causing disputes. They will stir up the household producing turmoil and endless worry. 他常常會無事生非,仿佛是故意製造事端,攪得一家人雞犬不寧,煩惱不斷;
或不务正业,触犯王法,锒铛入狱,令父母狼狈不堪,无脸见人,甚至因小事而打伤、杀害父母,搞得家破人亡,人心惶惶。 Or such children may not take on a proper occupation. They may violate the law and be thrown into prison, placing the parents in a difficult position that is hard to bear. The parents will be too ashamed of their child to face people. Such children may even beat or murder their parents over some trivial matter ruining the family and putting everyone into a panic. 或不務正業,觸犯王法,鋃鐺入獄,令父母狼狽不堪,無臉見人,甚至因小事而打傷、殺害父母,搞得家破人亡,人心惶惶。

 

这样的小孩常在出生时,即有征兆,如佛经讲“忤逆之子,破损母胎,扯母心肝,踏母跨骨,如千刀搅,又似万刃攒心”,令母生产时,倍受痛苦,长大后自不必说,一定是有意无意地反复制造事端,让父母受尽折磨,吃尽苦头。 When such children are born it happens with omens. As the sutras state: “A non-filial and disobedient child will damage the mother during birth clawing at her heart and liver, feet planted on her pubic bones [unwilling to be born.] For the mother it is like a thousand knives stirring inside her, ten thousand blades encasing her heart.” When the mother gives birth she will suffer extreme pain. It goes without saying that as such children grow they will create incidents over and over again which appear to be inadvertent. The parents will suffer all kinds of torment and hardships. 這樣的小孩常在出生時,即有徵兆,如佛經講“忤逆之子,破損母胎,扯母心肝,踏母跨骨,如千刀攪,又似萬刃攢心”,令母生產時,倍受痛苦,長大後自不必說,一定是有意無意地反復製造事端,讓父母受盡折磨,吃盡苦頭。

 

还债缘指小孩与父母之间是还债的关系。 Conditions for repaying a debt refer to a past life relationship where the child is repaying the present parent(s) for a past debt. 還債緣指小孩與父母之間是還債的關係。
当然既是还债,仍有报答之意,所以这类小孩一般不太为难父母,但其重点是了债,故和报恩的小孩还是相差甚远。 Of course, since it is the repayment of a debt, there is also the subconscious sense of indebtedness. Such children will normally not make things difficult for their parents, yet their main point is fulfilling the obligation. This will cause a great divide between the parents and the child who wants to pay back a debt. 當然既是還債,仍有報答之意,所以這類小孩一般不太為難父母,但其重點是了債,故和報恩的小孩還是相差甚遠。
这样的小孩,多是因为前世拿了父母钱财物品,或借债未还,或因偷盗,或骗或赊等,和父母有一笔债务未了,今世机缘成熟,投生家中,成为眷属。 Such children feel that there is a debt which they owe to their parent(s) that has not yet been honored.  This is because in a past life such children may have taken money or something material from someone who is now their parent or parents. They may have borrowed something and did not return it, or stolen something, or maybe they deceived their present parent(s) or defaulted on credit, etc. Today conditions are just right for this debtor to have been born into the household as a dependent. 這樣的小孩,多是因為前世拿了父母錢財物品,或借債未還,或因偷盜,或騙或賒等,和父母有一筆債務未了,今世機緣成熟,投生家中,成為眷屬。

 

这种情况下,小孩多数内心从过去世就含有愧疚和羞耻之意, Under such circumstances most of these children will have a subconscious sense of shame and guilt from their past life experience. 這種情況下,小孩多數內心從過去世就含有愧疚和羞恥之意,
故而长大后对待父母相对比较冷淡,关系也比较疏远,有意回避,好像不好意思亲近一般,甚至对父母有轻慢心,或看不惯,讨厌、不耐烦, Therefore, after they grow up, they will act somewhat distant from their parent(s). Their relationship will be estranged. They will deliberately avoid their parent(s), as if they are embarrassed to get to close to them. Parent(s) may feel slighted by them as such children may not be able to stand the sight of their parent(s), be impatient with them or even detest them. 故而長大後對待父母相對比較冷淡,關係也比較疏遠,有意迴避,好像不好意思親近一般,甚至對父母有輕慢心,或看不慣,討厭、不耐煩,
他们会更多地忠情于自己的爱人、小孩、朋友和事业,对父母多少有一点搪塞应付之嫌,偶尔想起,打个电话,问候一声,总显得很勉强, Such children will be loyal and loving toward their own spouse or partner, children, friends and job. They will deal with their parent(s) in a more or less perfunctory way. They will occasionally think of their parent(s) and make a phone call, or ask how they are doing, but it will always appear reluctant. 他們會更多地忠情于自己的愛人、小孩、朋友和事業,對父母多少有一點搪塞應付之嫌,偶爾想起,打個電話,問候一聲,總顯得很勉強,
终不如报恩的小孩殷勤,体贴,温馨。 Such children will not be as considerate, thoughtful, warm and sweet as the children who are paying a debt of gratitude. 終不如報恩的小孩殷勤,體貼,溫馨。
但有一点,在经济问题上,他们绝不小气,每在父母生活、看病、办寿、举丧等事情上,常会出手大方,不惜钱财,却不一定是真心, But there is one point that stands out: These children will never be stingy when it comes to money. They will always be very generous toward their parent(s) in every aspect of their life/lives, be it medical, birthdays, or funerals. They will not begrudge their parent(s) any financial costs, though it may not necessarily be sincere or loving. 但有一點,在經濟問題上,他們絕不小氣,每在父母生活、看病、辦壽、舉喪等事情上,常會出手大方,不惜錢財,卻不一定是真心,
有时是为了尽义务、了心愿,或者为顾及世俗情面,而逢场作戏罢了。 Sometimes, in order to fulfill their obligations, grant a wish, or attend to some mundane “face-saving” situation, they will make appearances for show. 有時是為了盡義務、了心願,或者為顧及世俗情面,而逢場作戲罷了。

 

讨债缘指小孩与父母之间是讨债的关系。 Conditions for collecting payment on a debt refers to children demanding their parent(s) give to them what they feel is owed. 討債緣指小孩與父母之間是討債的關係。
这和前一种情况又相反,讨债的小孩,是向父母讨要过去世所欠的债务来的,所以他们的一生都是以向父母索取为主,基本上是享受、消耗、浪费的一生,这其中免不了掺杂着气愤、埋怨的成分。 This situation is contrary to the previous one. Collecting on a debt comes about because the child will demand a parent(s) to make good on what is owed them from a past life/lives. Such children will always be asking their parent(s) for things. They will live a life that is basically enjoying, consuming, and wasting. Because of this, their relationship with their parent(s) will inevitably be mixed with anger, and complaining. 這和前一種情況又相反,討債的小孩,是向父母討要過去世所欠的債務來的,所以他們的一生都是以向父母索取為主,基本上是享受、消耗、浪費的一生,這其中免不了摻雜著氣憤、埋怨的成分。
因为过去世父母在掠夺其财物的时候,必定会得罪他,当然少不了不满情绪,因此今世在讨债过程中也连带着狠狠地气父母一顿的“密意”。 In a past life/lives when the present parents were pillaging their present child of their property, it was sure to upset the person their child was at the time. Of course their present child was very resentful in that lifetime. And so now, in this lifetime, when they are together again and their child is in the process of getting back whatever is owed, he(s)he will do so with merciless anger caused by the “secret intent.” 因為過去世父母在掠奪其財物的時候,必定會得罪他,當然少不了不滿情緒,因此今世在討債過程中也連帶著狠狠地氣父母一頓的“密意”。
只是这类小孩的重点在钱上,不如前面报怨的小孩那么厉害,但也够人受的。 Though children like these also focus on money, they will not be as intense as the previous type of revengeful child. Still it will be enough to be bothersome. 只是這類小孩的重點在錢上,不如前面報怨的小孩那麼厲害,但也夠人受的。

 

这类小孩有一个最明显的特征,就是“费钱”。 Such children will have a very obvious special characteristic: They will be “costly.” 這類小孩有一個最明顯的特徵,就是“費錢”。
他们要么反复生病,令父母花钱如流水,入不敷出,乃至倾家荡产; They may get sick again and again, causing their parent’s money to flow out like water, making it hard for their parents to make ends meet, or even bankrupting them; 他們要麼反復生病,令父母花錢如流水,入不敷出,乃至傾家蕩產;
或者耗尽父母千辛万苦、省吃俭用的全部积蓄,助其成就学业、事业,等到回报的时候,突然暴病而亡,令父母人财两空,窘迫不堪; or they may exhaust their parents with unending hardships. The parents may live frugally, but all their savings will wind up paying off their child’s academic fees, or to finance their career. Then, when the parents are about to get a return on their investment, the child may suddenly get sick and die. The parents will end up with neither their child nor their savings. The distress will be unbearable. 或者耗盡父母千辛萬苦、省吃儉用的全部積蓄,助其成就學業、事業,等到回報的時候,突然暴病而亡,令父母人財兩空,窘迫不堪;
或游手好闲,不务正业,或偷或骗父母财物,挥金如土,一副花花公子的派头; Or such a child will be idle, incapable of holding down a regular job; or they may steal, or cheat their parents out of their possessions. They may be big spenders, or live a “playboy” lifestyle. 或遊手好閒,不務正業,或偷或騙父母財物,揮金如土,一副花花公子的派頭;
或吃喝玩乐,赌博吸毒,闯下大祸,惹来官司,最后导致家道中落,一贫如洗。 Or such children may only care about eating, drinking, and having a good time.  They may become gamblers or drug addicts, or break the law or bring about lawsuits. And all of this will lead the family into decline and poverty. 或吃喝玩樂,賭博吸毒,闖下大禍,惹來官司,最後導致家道中落,一貧如洗。
无论如何,都会令父母受尽辛苦,伤透心,受够气,落下心病。 No matter what, such children will cause their parents to suffer horribly. The parents will be broken hearted, angry, and constantly anxious. 無論如何,都會令父母受盡辛苦,傷透心,受夠氣,落下心病。

 

以上分类虽然一一分明,各有特点,但现实生活中,多数小孩实际上是混合型的,很少有纯粹单一的报仇或讨债来的。 Although the above classifications are each and every one distinct, with each having its own special characteristics, yet in real life, most children are actually a mixture of these. Rarely are they merely avenging or demanding payment on a debt. 以上分類雖然一一分明,各有特點,但現實生活中,多數小孩實際上是混合型的,很少有純粹單一的報仇或討債來的。
正因为如此,许多事相往往扑朔迷离,似是而非,令人眼花缭乱,真假难辨。 It is just because of this that such things are so complicated that it is hard to tell what is really going on.  The actions and relationships are paradoxical, causing people to see things in a blur, and hard to decipher what it is all about. 正因為如此,許多事相往往撲朔迷離,似是而非,令人眼花繚亂,真假難辨。
常常是还债中又夹杂讨债,报恩中又夹杂报仇等等,也有本是为报仇而来,因受到后天父母的关怀厚爱,以及良好的道德教育,冥冥之中一改初衷,变报仇为报恩了。 Often a repaying-a-debt relationship is mixed up with collecting-on-a-debt relationship.  Repaying a debt of gratitude may be intermingled with revenge. Also, originally the child in this lifetime possibly came to the parents for revenge, but due to the postnatal care and the great love of their parents, along with sound moral education, somewhere along the way the original intention changed; revenge transformed into repaying a debt of gratitude. 常常是還債中又夾雜討債,報恩中又夾雜報仇等等,也有本是為報仇而來,因受到後天父母的關懷厚愛,以及良好的道德教育,冥冥之中一改初衷,變報仇為報恩了。

 

在儿孙问题上,一般人根本看不透事实的真相,也摸不透其中的规律,只能无奈顺从,任其摆布,更因不明白因果法则,不信前世今生,一不小心,结下怨恨,生得不孝子孙,虽然极尽爱心,倍加呵护,用尽辛苦也无怨,可惜到头来,仍事与愿违,落得家破人哭,悔恨终生。 Most people simply cannot see through the problems with their children and grandchildren to get at the truth. Nor can they see the underlying universal laws.  All they do is helplessly submit and allow the manipulation to happen. Because they do not understand the law of cause and effect, do not believe that past lives bring about the present one, they will unintentionally forge resentments. They will give birth to children and grandchildren who have no filial piety. Though they give the best of their love and caring, exhaust themselves from hard work without complaint, yet unfortunately, in the end, things do not turn out as they had hoped. The family falls into ruin with tears flowing and nothing but regret till the end of their days. 在兒孫問題上,一般人根本看不透事實的真相,也摸不透其中的規律,只能無奈順從,任其擺佈,更因不明白因果法則,不信前世今生,一不小心,結下怨恨,生得不孝子孫,雖然極盡愛心,倍加呵護,用盡辛苦也無怨,可惜到頭來,仍事與願違,落得家破人哭,悔恨終生。

 

今藉佛教经典中相关内容,结合佛教高僧大德的言教,整理出适合时代需要的优生优育方案,希望能为当今社会的爱心父母参考一二。 I have compiled these chapters on auspicious birth and childhood education that are suitable and necessary for our modern times by referring to related content in the sutras. To this I added the teachings of highly developed Buddhist masters. It is my hope that this information will be a useful reference for loving parents in today’s society. 今藉佛教經典中相關內容,結合佛教高僧大德的言教,整理出適合時代需要的優生優育方案,希望能為當今社會的愛心父母參考一二。

 

附录一

杜顺和尚解怨

Appendix 3.1 –

Master Du Shun Resolves a Child’s Hatred

附錄一

杜順和尚解怨

 

唐朝的杜顺和尚有一次在外面化缘,有个斋主抱着自己的儿子,求和尚给他消灾延寿。 One day Master Du Shun of the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE) was out on his alms rounds. Some donors came out, holding their son, to offer the monk food. The father of the child begged the monk to grant his child a long life with freedom from misfortune. 唐朝的杜順和尚有一次在外面化緣,有個齋主抱著自己的兒子,求和尚給他消災延壽。
和尚的眼睛盯着孩子看了很久,说“这孩子本是你的冤家,现在应该给他忏悔”。 The monk stared at the child for some time before saying, “You and this child were enemies in a past life. Now you need to ask him for forgiveness.” 和尚的眼睛盯著孩子看了很久,說“這孩子本是你的冤家,現在應該給他懺悔”。

 

用过斋,和尚叫斋主把小孩抱到河边。 After finishing the food that was offered, the monk told the donors to bring their child to the river. 用過齋,和尚叫齋主把小孩抱到河邊。
一到河边,只见和尚突然抓起小孩抛入水中。 As soon as they got to the river, the monk suddenly grabbed the child and threw him into the water. 一到河邊,只見和尚突然抓起小孩拋入水中。
此时斋主夫妇大惊,不禁捶胸顿足号哭起来。 Shocked, the donors beat their chests and stamped their feet as they wailed. 此時齋主夫婦大驚,不禁捶胸頓足號哭起來。
和尚见状,安慰道:“你们的儿子还在那里呢。” Seeing them in such a state, the monk consoled them saying, “Your son is still here.” 和尚見狀,安慰道:“你們的兒子還在那裡呢。”
说完就用手一指,只见斋主的儿子,顿时化作六尺高的男子身,立于水波上,怒目厉声地对斋主斥责道: He then pointed to the river, where standing on top of the waves, stood the donors’ son. He suddenly transformed into an adult man six feet tall. Their son glared at them and angrily rebuked his parents, saying harshly, 說完就用手一指,只見齋主的兒子,頓時化作六尺高的男子身,立於水波上,怒目厲聲地對齋主斥責道:
“你前生拿了我的金银财物,还杀了我,推入水中,要不是菩萨同我解怨,我是绝不会放过你们的。” “You robbed me of my gold and silver in a past life. Then you murdered me by pushing me into turbulent water. If this bodhisattva had not resolved my rage, I would have never forgiven you.” “你前生拿了我的金銀財物,還殺了我,推入水中,要不是菩薩同我解怨,我是絕不會放過你們的。”
于是夫妇俩默默地信服和尚的神力了。 Hearing this, the couple was quietly convinced of the monk’s psychic powers. 於是夫婦倆默默地信服和尚的神力了。

 

原文是这样的:时分卫应供。斋主抱儿,乞消灾延寿之记。尚熟视曰:“此汝冤家也,当与之忏悔。”斋毕,令抱至河边,尚抛之入水。夫妇拊膺号抖。尚曰:“汝儿犹在。”即以手指之。其儿化为六尺丈夫,立于波间,嗔责之曰:“汝前生取我金帛,杀我推溺水中,不因菩萨与我解怨,誓不相赦!”夫妇默然信服。

續藏經 法界宗五祖略記

This original story is from the classic:

Xù Zàng Jīng

(Zokuzōkyō in Japanese and translated from Chinese as Appendage to the Tripitaka Sutras)

Summary Recordings by the Fifth Patriarch of the Dharma Realm School

原文是這樣的:時分衛應供。齋主抱兒,乞消災延壽之記。尚熟視曰:“此汝冤家也,當與之懺悔。”齋畢,令抱至河邊,尚拋之入水。夫婦拊膺號抖。尚曰:“汝兒猶在。”即以手指之。其兒化為六尺丈夫,立于波間,嗔責之曰:“汝前生取我金帛,殺我推溺水中,不因菩薩與我解怨,誓不相赦!”夫婦默然信服。

續藏經 法界宗五祖略記

附录二

地主与仆人的轮回

Appendix 3.b – Rebirth of Land Owners and a Peasant 附錄二

地主與僕人的輪迴

 

张经理是一位大型国企的副总经理,事业上的成功让许多人都非常羡慕她。 Ms. Zhang is the deputy general of a large state-owned enterprise. Success in her career has caused many people to be envious of her. 張經理是一位大型國企的副總經理,事業上的成功讓許多人都非常羡慕她。
然而在家里,虽然与丈夫十分恩爱,但对宝贝儿子强强却束手无措。 But at home, although she is very affectionate toward her husband, she feels helpless when it comes to her dear son, Qiangqiang. 然而在家裡,雖然與丈夫十分恩愛,但對寶貝兒子強強卻束手無措。

 

强强,是一个很聪明的孩子,从小喜欢看书,不太爱说话,在父母心中是个好孩子。 Qiangqiang, is very smart. Since childhood he enjoyed reading and was not very talkative. His parents felt he was a good boy. 強強,是一個很聰明的孩子,從小喜歡看書,不太愛說話,在父母心中是個好孩子。
可是自从上中学后,强强迷恋上了电脑游戏,不分昼夜打游戏,为此耽误了学业,已经辍学半年多了。 But since high school, Qiangqiang became obsessed with computer games. He played games day and night, causing him to forget about his studies. He dropped out of school for more than six months. 可是自從上中學後,強強迷戀上了電腦遊戲,不分晝夜打遊戲,為此耽誤了學業,已經輟學半年多了。
父母亲友、老师同学反复劝阻、教育,都无济于事,发展到后来,还打骂父母,有一次竟然打伤了父亲的右眼。 Parents, relatives, friends, teachers and classmates repeatedly dissuaded him and tried to educate him, but all to no avail. Things got worse and he began arguing with his parents. Once he even struck his father, injuring his right eye. 父母親友、老師同學反復勸阻、教育,都無濟於事,發展到後來,還打罵父母,有一次竟然打傷了父親的右眼。

 

张经理一气之下,和丈夫离家住到了朋友家。 Ms. Zhang was so angry that she and her husband moved out of their home to live in the house of a friend. 張經理一氣之下,和丈夫離家住到了朋友家。
她面容消瘦,眼睛红肿,伤心哽咽地说:“到底是什么原因,我们强强会变成这样?” 望着悲痛欲绝的张经理,我满怀同情地安慰她,并告诉她:“饱受这样痛苦煎熬果报的种子,是因为你前世种下的恶因。” With her face drawn and eyes red and swollen, choking back tears she grievously said to a Chan Master, “What has brought this about? How could our Qiangqiang become this way?” Looking at the inconsolable Ms. Zhang, the Chan Master felt such compassion that he comforted her by saying, “Suffer the agony you are experiencing now, which is the seeds of karmic retribution created by evil deeds you planted in your past lives.” 她面容消瘦,眼睛紅腫,傷心哽咽地說:“到底是什麼原因,我們強強會變成這樣?” 望著悲痛欲絕的張經理,我滿懷同情地安慰她,並告訴她:“飽受這樣痛苦煎熬果報的種子,是因為你前世種下的惡因。”

 

原来张经理和丈夫前世也是夫妻,但男女角色对换一下。 Ms. Zhang and her husband had been married to each other in a past life, but at that time she was the husband and he was the wife. 原來張經理和丈夫前世也是夫妻,但男女角色對換一下。
张经理在当地是有名的地主,为富不仁,恃富欺人。 Ms. Zhang was a famous local landlord who was heartless and rich.  He used his wealth to bully people. 張經理在當地是有名的地主,為富不仁,恃富欺人。
当时,有位年仅12岁的男孩,为了还债来做他们家的仆人。 At that time, there was a boy who had just turned 12. To pay off his family’s debts he became their indentured servant. 當時,有位年僅12歲的男孩,為了還債來做他們家的僕人。
他们俩对男孩的父母耿耿于怀,于是经常打他、骂他。 Because of the grudge they had toward the boy’s parents, they would beat and curse him regularly. 他們倆對男孩的父母耿耿於懷,於是經常打他、罵他。

 

有一天,小男孩不小心把一个名贵的花瓶打碎了,这下更激怒了他们,把小男孩痛打一顿后,将其双手双脚捆绑起来,扔在稻田里。 One day, the boy accidentally broke a valuable vase. This angered the landlords even more. After beating the boy, they bound his hands and feet and threw him into a rice paddy. 有一天,小男孩不小心把一個名貴的花瓶打碎了,這下更激怒了他們,把小男孩痛打一頓後,將其雙手雙腳捆綁起來,扔在稻田裡。
从此孩子的心里埋下了仇恨的种子,他发誓有机会一定要报复他们,讨还这笔血债。 This caused seeds of hatred to bury themselves into the child’s heart. He vowed that as soon as the opportunity arose he would get revenge.  He would get pay back on this blood debt. 從此孩子的心裡埋下了仇恨的種子,他發誓有機會一定要報復他們,討還這筆血債。

 

斗转星移,这世因缘聚合,过去世被欺辱的男孩来做张经理夫妇的宝贝儿子。 Constellations turn, stars move, and with the passage of time the causes and conditions in this world will align once again. The boy who had been humiliated has become the treasured son of the Zhang family. 斗轉星移,這世因緣聚合,過去世被欺辱的男孩來做張經理夫婦的寶貝兒子。
这孩子就是来报仇的。 And this child has come to get revenge. 這孩子就是來報仇的。

 

“呜……”了解了这段因果后,张经理痛哭起来,一旁的丈夫急忙安慰,“别哭,别哭,怪不得,强强从12岁那年就开始学坏,迷上电脑游戏后,又发展到动手打我们,原来是过去我们所造的恶业,伤害过他。 “Ohhh…,” Ms. Zhang began to cry once she understood the cause and effect behind her situation. By her side her husband hurriedly tried to console her, “Don’t cry, don’t cry. No wonder Qiangqiang turned bad at the age of twelve; got addicted to games and then began attacking us. It was all because of the bad karma we created. We had hurt him in the past. “嗚……”瞭解了這段因果後,張經理痛哭起來,一旁的丈夫急忙安慰,“別哭,別哭,怪不得,強強從12歲那年就開始學壞,迷上電腦遊戲後,又發展到動手打我們,原來是過去我們所造的惡業,傷害過他。
那我们现在应该怎么做?” “What should we do now?” He asked the Chan master. 那我們現在應該怎麼做?”

 

“最好的办法就是从现在起开始吃素,在佛前诚心忏悔往昔所造的恶业,跪诵至少49部《地藏菩萨本愿经》回向给强强,这样他才可能原谅你们,断除网瘾,你们也能受益。”

 

“The best thing to do is become vegetarian starting right now. Also, before the Buddha repent the bad karma you had created in the past. Then kneel as you chant the Sutra of the Great Vows of Bodhisattva Ksitigarbha.  Do this at least 49 times and after each time transfer the merit to Qiangqiang. By doing this he may possibly forgive you, break his addiction to games. And you will also benefit.” The Chan Master told them. “最好的辦法就是從現在起開始吃素,在佛前誠心懺悔往昔所造的惡業,跪誦至少49部《地藏菩薩本願經》迴向給強強,這樣他才可能原諒你們,斷除網癮,你們也能受益。”

 

 

过了三个月,张经理打来电话,激动地说:“真的太谢谢您了,佛法太神奇了,我们吃素、忏悔、诵经、回向。 After three months, Ms. Zhang called the Chan Master and said excitedly, “I’m truly so greatful to you.  The Buddha Dharma is miraculous. We have been vegetarian, repenting, reciting the sutra, and transferring the merit to our son. 過了三個月,張經理打來電話,激動地說:“真的太謝謝您了,佛法太神奇了,我們吃素、懺悔、誦經、迴向。
如今,儿子强强已经开始读书了,而且对我们的态度有很大转变,有一天还主动在家里烧饭菜给我们吃呢!” Now our Qiangqiang has already begun studying again. His attitude toward us has changed dramatically. Once he even made a meal for us at home, all on his own! “ 如今,兒子強強已經開始讀書了,而且對我們的態度有很大轉變,有一天還主動在家裡燒飯菜給我們吃呢!”
确实,化解冤结最好的办法就是佛法。 The Dharma is indeed the best way to untie the knots of hatred. 確實,化解冤結最好的辦法就是佛法。

 

这个事例告诉大家:家里有不听话的、很难调教的子女,大多是前生曾伤害过的众生来投胎。 This case tells us that if there is a disobedient child at home who is difficult to educate, it is most likely because he or she is someone who had been hurt by you in a past life and is now reborn into your home. 這個事例告訴大家:家裡有不聽話的、很難調教的子女,大多是前生曾傷害過的眾生來投胎。
作父母的应深信因果,从自身做起,不应该盲目地打骂孩子,要忏悔自己的前生甚至无始劫以来的所作所为,吃素,为子女诵经回向。 By their own conduct, parents of such children can show that they accept cause and effect. They should not blindly strike or scold their children. Instead, they should repent their wrongdoings in past lives. Repent their wrongdoings from even the beginning of time. Become vegetarian and recite the sutras and transfer the merit to their children. 作父母的應深信因果,從自身做起,不應該盲目地打罵孩子,要懺悔自己的前生甚至無始劫以來的所作所為,吃素,為子女誦經迴向。

 

祈愿佛力摄受,使父母与子女的恶缘化解转变为善缘,再循序渐进地教育子女懂得孝养父母等一些做人的道理,时间久了,儿女的行为自然会大为改变。 May parents be able to accept the teachings of the Buddha, which will make the negative karma between them and their children neutralize. May it transform into good karma and systematically and gradually educate their children to understand how to show filial piety toward their parents. May parents teach their children the principles behind becoming a true person. Over time, children’s behavior will naturally and greatly improve. 祈願佛力攝受,使父母與子女的惡緣化解轉變為善緣,再循序漸進地教育子女懂得孝養父母等一些做人的道理,時間久了,兒女的行為自然會大為改變。

 

所以,凡要想让子女转变成好孩子,先要转变自己,断恶修善,亲近佛法,转烦恼为菩提,双方获益,全家获益,使之事半功倍。 Therefore, to let children transform into good children, we must first transform ourselves. We must stop whatever it is we do that is bad and practice kindness. We should become closer to the teachings of the Buddha – the Buddha Dharma. Transform our disturbed minds into minds of bodhi (wisdom; enlightenment). Everyone will benefit from this. The entire family will benefit. We will reap twice as much from what we have planted. 所以,凡要想讓子女轉變成好孩子,先要轉變自己,斷惡修善,親近佛法,轉煩惱為菩提,雙方獲益,全家獲益,使之事半功倍。

 

做子女的,若有不仁慈的父母亦是同理。 And as for the children, if you have parents who are unkind to you, the same principles apply. 做子女的,若有不仁慈的父母亦是同理。
(摘自《现代因果实录》) (From True Accounts of Cause and Effect in Modern Times) (摘自《現代因果實錄》)

 

 

 

 

 

Auspicious Birth — Part II

This is the third post in a series about bardo, the “transitional” state between lives. It is from a scholarly work by a contemporary Chinese monk, Master Shi Zhiguo, entitled Auspicious Birth. For authenticity, as well as for the convenience of any subscribers who read Chinese, I am including the Chinese source as well as the English translation.

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

第二章 入胎 Chapter Two

Entering the Womb

第二章 入胎
一、投胎的愿望 2.1 The Wish for Rebirth 一、投胎的願望
 
在中阴生命的初期,由于轻便快乐的中阴身体,常常使它们会在短时间内沉迷于中阴世界的好奇之中,不太容易产生投胎的意向,直到后来,经历一些可怕的境遇让它们饱受折磨而又疲备不堪,极度的恐惧、寂寞、痛苦和无助,迫使它们不断的东奔西跑,寻求栖身之处,急切地渴望有个有形的身体,到最后这种心念会越来越强烈,几乎是如饥似渴一般。 For a short period of time in the early stages of bardo life, existence is happy, free and at ease. The bardo body is ethereal. This often makes bardos enthralled with curiosity toward their bardo world and so they will not readily develop an inclination for rebirth. Only later, when bardos experience frightening circumstances, are sick of suffering torment, are unbearably exhausted and extremely terrified, lonely, distressed and helpless, do they become compelled to incessantly rush about searching for places of shelter that they begin to desperately yearn for a physical body. In the end this yearning will become stronger and stronger. Almost as strong as hunger and thirst. 在中陰生命的初期,由於輕便快樂的中陰身體,常常使它們會在短時間內沉迷於中陰世界的好奇之中,不太容易產生投胎的意向,直到後來,經歷一些可怕的境遇讓它們飽受折磨而又疲憊不堪,極度的恐懼、寂寞、痛苦和無助,迫使它們不斷的東奔西跑,尋求棲身之處,急切地渴望有個有形的身體,到最後這種心念會越來越強烈,幾乎是如饑似渴一般。
 
有了投胎的愿望,投胎的机缘便接近成熟。 With the wish for rebirth, the conditions for rebirth will approach maturity. 有了投胎的願望,投胎的機緣便接近成熟。
此时它们的体形也差不多到了一个婴儿的大小。 At this time the bardos’ shape is close to the size of an infant. 此時它們的體形也差不多到了一個嬰兒的大小。
中阴境界并不是一个实有的境界,其中的种种境像统统是由中阴生命自己幻想出来的,就如同人类的梦境一样,虚妄不实。 The bardos’ realm is not a realm of real existence. All its conditions are entirely fabricated by the bardos themselves. It is like people’s dream states – fantasized and unreal. 中陰境界並不是一個實有的境界,其中的種種境像統統是由中陰生命自己幻想出來的,就如同人類的夢境一樣,虛妄不實。
好比做梦的人在梦中根本无法觉悟一样,中阴生命也根本无法觉知这种境界的虚妄,会痴情的迷妄为真,倍受折磨,苦不堪言。 It can be likened to a person who is dreaming and is completely incapable of becoming conscious of reality. The bardo is completely incapable of realizing that their realm is illusion.  Because of this, their fabrication of extreme torment and unspeakable suffering that they are obsessed with, is taken as real. 好比做夢的人在夢中根本無法覺悟一樣,中陰生命也根本無法覺知這種境界的虛妄,會癡情的迷妄為真,倍受折磨,苦不堪言。
佛经称之为“猛利倒妄”或“颠倒梦想”。 The Buddhist sutras call this “fiercely sharp confused fantasies” or “confused imaginings.” 佛經稱之為“猛利倒妄”或“顛倒夢想”。
 
正是因为中阴境界的这种“迷妄颠倒”的幻想,才促使中阴生命慌忙逃窜,四处搜寻避难之地,渴望有质身体,从而促成了入胎的前期因缘,否则必然弥留中阴,无有入胎之意向,人间也不会有新生命的诞生。 It is these “obsessions with confused delusions” that prompt bardos to scurry about everywhere for a place of safety and yearn for a physical body. They expedite the early conditions necessary for a bardo to enter a fetus. Otherwise, it is inevitable that bardos would just linger in the bardo realm and not have the inclination to enter a fetus. There would be no new lives coming into existence in the human realm. 正是因為中陰境界的這種“迷妄顛倒”的幻想,才促使中陰生命慌忙逃竄,四處搜尋避難之地,渴望有質身體,從而促成了入胎的前期因緣,否則必然彌留中陰,無有入胎之意向,人間也不會有新生命的誕生。
 
经历如此迷惑恐怖的中阴境界,一般中阴生命很难耐受,实在难熬过这非同寻常的四十九日,故这段时间就像一个极限期间,四十九天之内,一定会找到自己的归宿而投生,中阴状态也因此结束。 Bardos in general cannot endure a bardo realm of confusing terror. It is very hard for them to endure it for this short period of 49 extraordinary days. This time period is the limit of their endurance. Within 49 days they will definitely find their place of refuge to be born into. That is how their bardo state ends. 經歷如此迷惑恐怖的中陰境界,一般中陰生命很難耐受,實在難熬過這非同尋常的四十九日,故這段時間就像一個極限期間,四十九天之內,一定會找到自己的歸宿而投生,中陰狀態也因此結束。

 

 

二、

选胎的可能

2.2 The Possibility of Choosing an Embryo 二、

選胎的可能

 
当中阴生命遭受狂风暴雨,大雪冰雹,深雾黑暗,群体追逐等种种愦闹恐怖境况时,便迫不急待企求避难栖身之所。 As bardos are subject to their dreadful plight through countless forms of chaos and commotion: wind and storms, blizzards and hail, thick fog and darkness, being chased by mobs – they are forced, in desperation, to try to find places to hide. 當中陰生命遭受狂風暴雨,大雪冰雹,深霧黑暗,群體追逐等種種憒鬧恐怖境況時,便迫不急待企求避難棲身之所。
福德浅薄的中阴生命会冲向草丛,树林,洞穴,墙根等处;有大福德的中阴身则朝着高楼大厦,殿堂,床座等处飞驰而去,到达投生之地。 To reach their place of rebirth, bardos weak in meritorious virtues will rush toward grass, brambles, forests, holes, crevices, and the foundations of walls. Those strong in meritorious virtues will as a rule rush to high rises and tall edifices, mansions, thrones and luxurious beds, etc. 淺薄的中陰生命會沖向草叢,樹林,洞穴,牆根等處;有大福德的中陰身則朝著高樓大廈,殿堂,床座等處飛馳而去,到達投生之地。

meritorious virtues:  福德 (Skt. puṇya); beneficial practices; all kinds of good actions and the merit derived from them. [Excerpt from Charles Muller; source(s): Soothill, Nakamura]

这种选择上的差异,都是由各自意识中的惯性思维和固有模式的造作来决定,佛教称之为“业力”。 Where a bardo chooses to go is an innate part of the power of inertia created by each bardo’s particular thoughts (thought inertia) and the bardo’s producing it with its thoughts. In Buddhism this is called “karma.” 這種選擇上的差異,都是由各自意識中的慣性思維和固有模式的造作來決定,佛教稱之為“業力”。
正是因为选择的不同,中阴生命投胎环境的迥异,决定了他们来世出生时的族类及身份,那么来世的贫富贵贱在此即已决定。 These choices determine the rebirth environment of each bardo including race, clan and status at the time of their future rebirth. And so, whether they will be born rich or poor in the future is decided at this time. 正是因為選擇的不同,中陰生命投胎環境的迥異,決定了他們來世出生時的族類及身份,那麼來世的貧富貴賤在此即已決定。
从以上可以看出,一个人的命运完全是由自己决定的,决非“天定”。 From this we can see that a person’s fate is completely decided by him/herself. It is not at all a “mandate from heaven.” 從以上可以看出,一個人的命運完全是由自己決定的,決非“天定”。
都是自己生活中的惯性思维、惯性行为决定的,不关老天的事,所以佛教不提倡算命,而注重改造命运,就是这个原因。 Everything is decided by one’s habitual thoughts and behavior. It has nothing to do with heaven. This is why Buddhism does not promote fortune telling and emphasizes transforming our own destiny. 都是自己生活中的慣性思維、慣性行為決定的,不關老天的事,所以佛教不提倡算命,而注重改造命運,就是這個原因。

 

虽然中阴身已决心投胎,但并不是一次到位,要经历苦苦寻觅,反复试探才有望遇到真正有缘的来世父母。 Although a bardo is now determined to be reborn, it does not arrive at its destination immediately. It has to undergo a long hard search. Time and again a bardo will probe potential next life parents before it can hope to encounter the most suitable parents with whom it has a karmic connection. 雖然中陰身已決心投胎,但並不是一次到位,要經歷苦苦尋覓,反復試探才有望遇到真正有緣的來世父母。
凭借中阴身具有的“天眼通”,如属有缘之处,则无论多远,都会看到宛如萤火虫般大小的淡黄色光点,于是,仗“神足通力”, 便能以超过电光的速度神驰横行而去,瞬间即到;如不属自己的因缘,则与自己毫不相干。 By virtue of a bardo’s “supernormal vision,” it can see where its karmic connection lies no matter how far away it may be, even if it is as small as a lightening bug’s dim speck of yellow light. Then, with the power of its “supernormal motion,” the bardo can travel there faster than the speed of light, arriving in an instant. But that next abode will not correspond with the bardo in the least if the bardo has no karmic connection with it. 憑借 中陰身具有的“天眼通”, 如屬有 緣之處,則無論多遠,都會看到宛如螢火蟲般大小的淡黃色光點,於是, 仗“神足通力”, 便能以

超過電光的速度神馳橫行而去,瞬間即到;如不屬自己的因緣,則與自己毫不相干。

supernormal vision天眼通; divine vision: Eyes capable of seeing everything. (Skt. divya-cakṣur-abhijñā).〔瑜伽論 T 1579.30.470a3〕 [Exerpt from Charles Muller; source(s): Nakamura,Soothill, Hirakawa,Yokoi,Iwanami]

supernormal motion 神足通; supernormal power of unimpeded, rapid, bodily movement. This refers to such abilities as flying, penetrating walls, etc. (Skt. ṛddhi-prātihārya). One of the six supernormal powers.〔長阿含經 T 1.1.54b9〕 [Excerpt from Charles Muller; source(s): Yokoi]

不过,虽然到达投胎之处,如中阴身有大福德,所见父母品德低劣,福德不足,则双方“不投缘”,不能受胎;      Nevertheless, though a bardo has arrived at the place of its rebirth, the bardo and its new parents will not have a “rebirth karmic connection” if the bardo has strong meritorious virtue but the parents that it chooses have inferior virtue. The meritorious virtue will be insufficient and the bardo will not be able to accept the embryo. 不過,雖然到達投胎之處,如中陰身有大福德,所見父母品德低劣,福德不足,則雙方“不投緣”,不能受胎;
反之如中阴身福德浅薄,而父母身有大福德,也不能受胎,如《入胎经》中所讲“父母尊贵,中有卑贱,或中有尊贵,父母卑贱,如此等类亦不成胎”,唯有两者福德相当,且因缘合和,佛经中称必须有“相感业”,才可受胎而成血缘眷属。 Conversely, if the bardo’s meritorious virtue is weak and that of the parents is strong, it will also be unable to accept the embryo. It is as the Entering the Fetus Sutra states,

“The parents, honorable and exalted; the bardo, dishonorable and disparaged. Or the bardo, honorable and exalted; the parents, dishonorable and disparaged. For such kinds, an embryo will not form.”

Only when meritorious virtue matches, with causes and conditions that match, which the sutra calls “mutually needed karma,” will the bardo accept the embryo, becoming the parents’ blood relative.

反之如中陰身福德淺薄,而父母身有大福德,也不能受胎,如《入胎經》中所講“父母尊貴,中有卑賤,或中有尊貴,父母卑賤,如此等類亦不成胎”,唯有兩者福德相當,且因緣合和,佛經中稱必須有“相感業”,才可受胎而成血緣眷屬。

 

     通过这一点,已提示我们小孩先天的优劣好坏,实际上间接取决于父母的福德积累和道德修养;      Thus we are reminded that the strengths or weaknesses, goodness or badness of our child’s innate character, in all actuality, indirectly depend on the parents’ accumulation of meritorious virtue and cultivation of morality. 通過這一點,已提示我們小孩先天的優劣好壞,實際上間接取決於父母的福德積累和道德修養;
暗示我们,想要生个聪明懂事、福德深厚的孩子,首先要提高父母的福德水平。 This implies that if we want to give birth to a deeply intelligent, thoughtful, and virtuous child, parents have to first raise the level of their own virtue. 暗示我們,想要生個聰明懂事、福德深厚的孩子,首先要提高父母的福德水準。
不然渠高水低,难以实现。 Otherwise, “the canal will be high and the water low,” meaning it will be difficult to make it happen. 不然渠高水低,難以實現。

 

三、入胎的条件 2.3 Conditions for Entering the Embryo 三、入胎的條件
 
当中阴身到达来世父母之前,会看到来世父母于床铺行男女欲事,如上所说,若两者福德对称,有“相感业”,便具备了投胎的基本条件,但还需一个重要的助缘——投胎意向,经文称为“二种颠倒”: Before a bardo arrives at the place of its future parents, it will see them in bed having intercourse. As mentioned above, if the meritorious virtue of both bardo and parents match, there will be “mutually needed karma.” This will meet the first basic condition for rebirth. But rebirth still needs an important supporting condition – the rebirth inclination which in the sutras is called, “the two contrary inclinations.” [i.e. contrary to liberation from samsara] 當中陰身到達來世父母之前,會看到來世父母於床鋪行男女欲事,如上所說,若兩者福德對稱,有“相感業”,便具備了投胎的基本條件,但還需一個重要的助緣——投胎意向,經文稱為“二種顛倒”:
 
(一)对男女欲事产生极大兴趣。 The first contrary inclination is extreme interest in sexual desire. (一)對男女欲事產生極大興趣。
在一般人的潜在记忆中,对男女之事,尤其贪爱,难割难舍,好似一种极坚固的本能的思维惯性。 Sexual attraction in the average person’s subconscious, especially regarding greedy love, is hard to cut off or let go of. It is like a solidly grounded instinct brought about by the inertial force of a thought. 在一般人的潛在記憶中,對男女之事,尤其貪愛,難割難捨,好似一種極堅固的本能的思維慣性。
如成年男女看黄色影视,每见淫秽镜头,皆如痴如醉,百看不厌。 It is like adult men or women watching pornography. When they see eroticism, it is as if they become dumbfounded or drunk and can watch the eroticism even 100 times without getting tired of it. 如成年男女看黃色影視,每見淫穢鏡頭,皆如癡如醉,百看不厭。
中阴身也是如此,见此情景,由于先前的习气,会身不由己地随之产生爱染心,不能自控,有意旁观而不肯远离。 The bardo is the same. When the bardo sees its own future parents having intercourse, the bardo’s habitual behavior of its former lives causes it to automatically be desirous. It cannot control itself. It will watch its future parents in the act of intercourse with jouissance from the sidelines unwilling to keep away. 中陰身也是如此,見此情景,由於先前的習氣,會身不由己地隨之產生愛染心,不能自控,有意旁觀而不肯遠離。

 

(二)主动参与意识。 The second contrary inclination is the bardo’s strong desire to take the role of one of their future parents in the act of intercourse. (二)主動參與意識。
有了爱染之心随即也会有贪心。 From the bardo’s mind that is now full of sexual desire, avarice will arise. 有了愛染之心隨即也會有貪心。
贪心一起,便会忘记自我,不知自己本无有质身体,糊里糊涂地只凭当下一念邪心,一味想参与进去,置身其中。 When the mind of avarice arises, most bardos will forget themselves. They forget that their bodies are not real. By these crazy, irrational desirous thoughts, they will blindly think of becoming one of the parents. 貪心一起,便會忘記自我,不知自己本無有質身體,糊裡糊塗地只憑當下一念邪心,一味想參與進去,置身其中。
或对其中男性动心,或对其中女性动心,急与之行男女事,满己一时之欲。 Such a bardo wants to fulfill its moment of desire. It is moved by the male or female of the pair having intercourse. It will want to take the role of the man, or woman. 或對其中男性動心,或對其中女性動心,急與之行男女事,滿己一時之欲。
或者虽明知自己本无身形,但此时早已迷失自我,浑然不知自己的状况,在不知不觉中,经妇人产道,被冲入母亲的胞宫,陷入到父精母血的混合体里(受精卵),不能自拔。 Or, if a bardo knows it has no body, it loses itself at the moment the thought of greed arises. It is totally unaware of its physical situation and at the moment of obsession it is unwittingly flushed by way of the birth canal into the woman’s uterus. The bardo does not yet know that it has been caught in the mixture of its father’s sperm and its mother’s blood (the fertilized egg) and will not be able to get out. 或者雖明知自己本無身形,但此時早已迷失自我,渾然不知自己的狀況,在不知不覺中,經婦人產道,被沖入母親的胞宮,陷入到父精母血的混合體裡(受精卵),不能自拔。
在这刹那间,中阴身将会感受到原始生命的第一次极大的喜悦感,称作“俱生喜”。 Instead, at that moment, the bardo will experience the first feeling of extreme delight in its primitive life. This is called the “natural delight of birth.” 在這刹那間,中陰身將會感受到原始生命的第一次極大的喜悅感,稱作“俱生喜”。
但如于男女之事不感兴趣,感觉乏味羞耻则无法入胎。 But if a bardo is not interested in the acts of sex and feels bored and ashamed by it, it will not enter the fertilized egg. 但如於男女之事不感興趣,感覺乏味羞恥則無法入胎。
 
伴随“俱生喜”的逐渐消散,中阴生命已被彻底地封闭在精血之中,逃脱不得。 Accompanying the gradual dissipation of “natural delight of birth,” the bardo will desperately want to escape being completely sealed in the fertilized egg. 伴隨“俱生喜”的逐漸消散,中陰生命已被徹底地封閉在精血之中,逃脫不得。
先前的神足通力,随即丧失,新生命的历程从此正式开始,痛苦的里程也从此开始。 The bardo’s initial “supernatural motion” is now lost. Its new life process will now truly begin, and its journey of suffering also sets off from here. 先前的神足通力,隨即喪失,新生命的歷程從此正式開始,痛苦的里程也從此開始。
等逐渐到达精血中央时,马上就会感受到好似在大锅中烧煮一样的炽热,痛苦万状,悔之晚矣! When the bardo is gradually melded into the center of the fertilized egg it will feel heat as if it is being cooked in a big cauldron. It will endure extreme suffering, but it is too late for regret. 等逐漸到達精血中央時,馬上就會感受到好似在大鍋中燒煮一樣的熾熱,痛苦萬狀,悔之晚矣!

 

四、生男生女的秘密 2.4 How to Give Birth to a Boy or Girl 四、生男生女的秘密
现代科学证明,人的性别由遗传基因来决定,是由精子和卵子随机组合而最终获得的,纯属巧合,一般情况下无法测知他们结合的情况。 According to modern science, gender is determined by inherited genes and by the random combination of a sperm and an egg. It happens by chance. Under normal circumstances there is no way to predict the gender of a baby.  現代科學證明,人的性別由遺傳基因來決定,是由精子和卵子隨機組合而最終獲得的,純屬巧合,一般情況下無法測知他們結合的情況。
但佛教的经典却从另一角度明确地告诉我们,性别的秘密全在中阴生命在投胎时的那一念之间。 However, the Buddhist canon explicitly tells us that the secret of gender is wholly determined by the thoughts of the bardo at the time of rebirth. 但佛教的經典卻從另一角度明確地告訴我們,性別的秘密全在中陰生命在投胎時的那一念之間。

 

当中阴生命来至父母身旁,见其行男女之事,必动之于情,爱之于心,迷之于性。 When the bardo arrives near its parents it sees them in the sex act. Moved by passion, its mind is powerfully attracted. The bardo will be lost in sex. 當中陰生命來至父母身旁,見其行男女之事,必動之於情,愛之於心,迷之於性。
由于与生俱来的天性,如佛所说“一切众生皆以淫欲而正性命”,中阴生命也不例外,于男女之事根本不能自主,便自然产生颠倒邪心,而邪心生起的那一刹那就是性别的分水岭。 As the Buddha said, “Sentient beings believe that lust is the most important thing in their lives,” (Surangama Sutra) on account of the natural instincts with which we are born. It is no different for the bardo, which cannot control itself when it comes to sex. It will naturally generate immoral thoughts of “contrary inclinations.” The moment these immoral thoughts arise is the watershed of its gender. 由於與生俱來的天性,如佛所說“一切眾生皆以淫欲而正性命”,中陰生命也不例外,於男女之事根本不能自主,便自然產生顛倒邪心,而邪心生起的那一刹那就是性別的分水嶺。

 

其中,如对父性角色生爱欲心,同时对母性角色产生极大的嫉妒心和嗔恨心,必然厌恶排斥于母性角色,而极力想取而代之,与其父交合; Among these thoughts, when the bardo lusts for sex with its father it will see itself as female. At this time, extreme jealousy and hatred for the mother in her sexual role will arise. The bardo will inevitably detest and be repulsed by the mother as she has sex. The bardo will make every effort to replace her and have sex with its father. 其中,如對父性角色生愛欲心,同時對母性角色產生極大的嫉妒心和嗔恨心,必然厭惡排斥於母性角色,而極力想取而代之,與其父交合;
若于其中母性角色产生爱欲之心,则必然讨厌其父性角色,一心要排斥并取代之。 If the bardo lusts for sex with its mother, then it will inevitably detest the father in his sex role. The bardo will see itself as male and with a mind consumed by repulsion toward the father in his sex role, will try to replace him. 若於其中母性角色產生愛欲之心,則必然討厭其父性角色,一心要排斥並取代之。

 

当中阴身很痴迷的将自己置身于男女之事中,并情不自禁地想取代其中一个角色而参与进去,以至于完全投入,那么它的意识中就只剩下男女二根的局部,忘记了男女身形的整体形像,它会变得昏沉而局限,它的意识几乎呈现一片空白,甚至于父母排出精血,也全当成自己的,那种自我陶醉感完全受过去的顽固习气的支配,中阴生命的所有记忆,统统抛之脑后。 When the bardo is obsessively placing itself into the sexual act between this man and woman, it cannot keep from thinking of replacing one of the roles and taking part in sex. The bardo will become completely involved. In the bardo’s consciousness it will gradually become nothing but a male or female sex organ. The bardo will forget the image of its original male or female physical shape.  It will become dazed and confined. Its mentality will practically be a blank, and the bardo will even fantasize the semen and egg of the parents as being its own. The ego it conjures will be dominated by its obstinate habitual behavior of its past lives, yet every single memory of the bardo will be forgotten. 當中陰身很癡迷的將自己置身於男女之事中,並情不自禁地想取代其中一個角色而參與進去,以至於完全投入,那麼它的意識中就只剩下男女二根的局部,忘記了男女身形的整體形像,它會變得昏沉而局限,它的意識幾乎呈現一片空白,甚至於父母排出精血,也全當成自己的,那種自我陶醉感完全受過去的頑固習氣的支配,中陰生命的所有記憶,統統拋之腦後。

 

也正是因为这种专注,无形之中在意识里存贮了性别的概念:如贪爱其父而憎嫉其母的,急欲取代并在心中培下了女性意识的根,生来必为女孩;

 

It is all because of this engrossment that the concept of gender unwittingly enters into bardo’s consciousness. Craving for its father and hatred and jealousy for its mother, along with intense desire to take her place, will foster the roots of female consciousness, and it will be born a female. 也正是因為這種專注,無形之中在意識裡存貯了性別的概念:如貪愛其父而憎嫉其母的,急欲取代並在心中培下了女性意識的根,生來必為女孩;
如贪爱其母而憎嫉其父的,心中已播下了男性意识的种子,生来必是男孩。

 

Likewise, craving for its mother and hatred and jealousy for its father, will sow the seeds of male consciousness and it will be born male. 如貪愛其母而憎嫉其父的,心中已播下了男性意識的種子,生來必是男孩。

 

这一过程提示我们:

①基因不是性别的控制因素,基因只是显现了性别。真正决定性别的端点因素就是中阴生命当初的一念“特别的爱”,而基因只是随顺它们的一种意识,并为此作了一个对应的服从和修改罢了。

This process informs us that:

1) Genes are not the governing factor of gender. They only show gender. The main factor that truly decides gender is the bardo’s initial thought of “a very special love.” The genes are only modifying to and complying with the bardo’s mindset.

這一過程提示我們:

①基因不是性別的控制因素,基因只是顯現了性別。真正決定性別的端點因素就是中陰生命當初的一念“特別的愛”,而基因只是隨順它們的一種意識,並為此作了一個對應的服從和修改罷了。

②淫欲心是人的天性,人因淫欲心和嫉妒心而生,所以也可以说爱和嫉妒是人的本性中的东西,与生俱来。 2) Lust is human nature. People are born because of lust and jealousy and so we can say that love, which is brought about by lust, and jealousy, are human nature and exist at birth. ②淫欲心是人的天性,人因淫欲心和嫉妒心而生,所以也可以說愛和嫉妒是人的本性中的東西,與生俱來。
常言道“自私的爱”,因为爱得自私就免不了爱得苦了,也显得很没智慧,就成为了“痴”,所以这就是为什么佛教要说众生的三个根本烦恼是贪欲、嗔恨、愚痴(也称作三毒)的缘故了。 This is what is commonly called, “selfish love.” Because love is selfish, it is unavoidable that love will cause suffering. It is also obvious that there is no wisdom to selfish love and it causes a person to become “mentally deficient.” This is why Buddhism teaches that the three causes of people’s fundamental troubles are greed (selfishness), hatred, and ignorance (also called the three poisons). 常言道“自私的愛”,因為愛得自私就免不了愛得苦了,也顯得很沒智慧,就成為了“癡”,所以這就是為什麼佛教要說眾生的三個根本煩惱是貪欲、嗔恨、愚癡(也稱作三毒)的緣故了。

 

五、中阴生命与精血、胎儿的关系 2.5 Bardo Life, Father’s Sperm and Mother’s Blood (egg) and their Relationship with the Embryo 五、中陰生命與精血、胎兒的關係

 

现在我们知道胎儿起始于精血结合物,在佛经内称之为“羯罗蓝”,译为凝滑,其色如蜂蜜和奶酪之混合物,其状则如奶酪上附着的凝固的膏状物,一种肥腻半透明的胶状物,有点像果冻的样子。 We now know that the embryo begins with the combination of sperm and blood (an egg). In the Buddhist sutras this combination is called “kalala” (first fetal stage). Translated into Chinese kalala means “congealed and slippery.”  It is the color of honey blended with yogurt.  Its shape is like that of the curdled cream that adheres on top of yogurt whey and is like a transparent oily gum with the consistency of jelly. 現在我們知道胎兒起始於精血結合物,在佛經內稱之為“羯羅藍”,譯為凝滑,其色如蜂蜜和乳酪之混合物,其狀則如乳酪上附著的凝固的膏狀物,一種肥膩半透明的膠狀物,有點像果凍的樣子。
这是中阴生命所依附的有质实体,也是胎儿生命在第一个星期内的大致形状。 This is the entity to which the bardo attaches. It is also the approximate form of the embryo during its first week. 這是中陰生命所依附的有質實體,也是胎兒生命在第一個星期內的大致形狀。

羯罗蓝first fetal stage; Embryo at the first stage of development, i.e. the first week after conception; the first of the five or eight phases of the human fetus (Skt. kalala). [Excerpt from Pierce Salguero, Charles Muller]

羯罗蓝,医学上称之为受精卵。 In medical terminology the kalala is called the embryo (fertilized egg). 羯羅藍,醫學上稱之為受精卵。
医学仅承认它是两性遗传基因的结合体,一个单细胞。 Medicine merely recognizes it as one individual cell: the union of inherited genes from two genders. 醫學僅承認它是兩性遺傳基因的結合體,一個單細胞。
而在佛教看来,还要加上另一层内容,即意识载入,此时它才具有生长裂变的活力,没有动力,生命不能成长。 But for this embryo to have the vitality needed to split into cell growth, Buddhism sees another layer joining in at this point in time which is consciousness. 而在佛教看來,還要加上另一層內容,即意識載入,此時它才具有生長裂變的活力,沒有動力,生命不能成長。

 

因此,依照佛经应这样定义载有神识的受精卵: Buddhist sutras defines kalala as a zygote with consciousness: 因此,依照佛經應這樣定義載有神識的受精卵:

 

羯罗蓝身=神识+父精+母卵 kalala body = consciousness + father’s sperm + mother’s egg 羯羅藍身=神識+父精+母卵

 

羯罗蓝身虽为生命的起点,究其成份是由各种内在物质和外在条件共同促成的综合质,是由物质和意识在有机结合后产生的另外一种具有新结构和新功能的全新事物,绝不仅仅是这三个“原材料”的简单混合。 The kalala body is the starting point of a life, the sum total of organic substances animated by the spark of consciousness.

The kalala is a completely new thing that has a new construction and new function produced through the combination of organic matter and consciousness.

It is more than a simple mixture of these three “raw materials.”

羯羅藍身雖為生命的起點,究其成份是由各種內在物質和外在條件共同促成的綜合質,是由物質和意識在有機結合後產生的另外一種具有新結構和新功能的全新事物,絕不僅僅是這三個“原材料”的簡單混合。
如佛在金刚经上说:是微尘,非微尘,是名微尘。 As the Buddha says in the Diamond Sutra, “it is a micro-particle, yet not a micro-particle, called micro-particle.” 如佛在金剛經上說:是微塵,非微塵,是名微塵。
同样组成最初的受精卵羯罗蓝的各种条件既各自独立,又相互依存,彼此合和相关而成。 Likewise, the various independent conditions that compose the fertilized egg, the kalala, coexist, and so the kalala comes into being through the joining together and relationship of these conditions with each other. 同樣組成最初的受精卵羯羅藍的各種條件既各自獨立,又相互依存,彼此合和相關而成。

 

经文中有这样的比喻:好比青草上的虫子,以草叶为食而生存,但青草并不是虫体,而虫子也不是草叶。 The sutras make this example, “It is like an insect living on green grass. The insect survives by eating the grass, yet grass is not the insect’s body and the insect is not grass. 經文中有這樣的比喻:好比青草上的蟲子,以草葉為食而生存,但青草並不是蟲體,而蟲子也不是草葉。
虫子依赖草叶而有生命,且因为草的原故,虫子呈现青草的绿色。 The insect relies on the grass to live. Moreover, because of the grass the insect is green like the color of grass. 蟲子依賴草葉而有生命,且因為草的緣故,蟲子呈現青草的綠色。
同理,父精母卵就好比青草叶,而载有神识的羯罗蓝则如虫子,两者虽看似关系相近却又有质的区别,“不一也不异”,似又不是。 With the same reasoning, the father’s sperm and the mother’s egg are like the grass, and the kalala with its consciousness is like the insect. Although the two have a close relationship, there are also distinctions in their nature. They are “not one and yet not different,” resembling each other, yet not the same. 同理,父精母卵就好比青草葉,而載有神識的羯羅藍則如蟲子,兩者雖看似關係相近卻又有質的區別,“不一也不異”,似又不是。
离开青草此虫难存,离开虫子,青草不会自然生虫。 It would be hard for the insect to exist without the green grass. Yet the grass does not produce insects naturally. 離開青草此蟲難存,離開蟲子,青草不會自然生蟲。
所以,羯罗蓝是各种条件整合出来的多元体,也证实了佛教的一句惯用语“诸法因缘生”。 Hence, kalala is an organic synthesis which comes from the integration of all conditions – internal and external. This verifies a characteristic phrase in Buddhism, “All phenomena is born of causes and conditions.” 所以,羯羅藍是各種條件整合出來的多元體,也證實了佛教的一句慣用語“諸法因緣生”。

 

青草中的虫子因为青草而呈现绿色,红枣、牛粪、乳酪所生虫子,则各依其所处环境、生活条件分别呈现红枣的红色、牛粪的黄色、乳酪的白色。 Insects that thrive in grass take on its green color. Insects that thrive on red dates, cow dung, yogurt, will, depending upon the living conditions of the environment they are born into respectively take on the red color of dates, the brown of dung, and the white of yogurt. 青草中的蟲子因為青草而呈現綠色,紅棗、牛糞、乳酪所生蟲子,則各依其所處環境、生活條件分別呈現紅棗的紅色、牛糞的黃色、乳酪的白色。
羯罗蓝身,也将会因父精母卵的基因条件及神识中的先天因缘,将来成长为与父母容貌特征相似的并带有自己天生性格特征的新生命。 The kalala body, also because of genetic conditions of the fertilized egg along with the innate causes and conditions of its consciousness, will grow to have characteristic features similar to its parents but also a new life with its own innate individual character. 羯羅藍身,也將會因父精母卵的基因條件及神識中的先天因緣,將來成長為與父母容貌特徵相似的並帶有自己天生性格特徵的新生命。
这就是佛陀所讲的因缘“四譬喻”。 These are the “four analogies” of cause and conditions of which the Buddha spoke. (No. 310 大寶積經Ratnakūṭa-sūtra  (Volume 56) T11, p0328c) 這就是佛陀所講的因緣“四譬喻”。

 

 

现代科学因主客观条件的局限,常常对神识的精微物质生命无法下手展开研究,因而保持一种有意无意的回避和否认态度。 It is impossible to try to unfold and research consciousness, which is the subtle essence of material life, because of the limitations of modern science. And these limitations are the main objectives of modern science itself. As a result, science maintains an intentional and unintentional avoidance and silence on the subject of consciousness. 現代科學因主客觀條件的侷限,常常對神識的精微物質生命無法下手展開研究,因而保持一種有意無意的迴避和否認態度。
随着时代发展的需要,在倡导优生优育的特殊历史条件下,研究这一课题便显得非常有意义。 Due to the limitations brought about by new developments [one-child policy], and present conditions for initiating the bearing and rearing of better children, research on this topic is obviously very meaningful. 隨著時代發展的需要,在倡導優生優育的特殊歷史條件下,研究這一課題便顯得非常有意義。

 

在佛教看来,人的后天智力与先天智力有着极密切的关联,甚至于先天智力常起到一定的决定性作用,而盲目的现代人,只一味地倾情于后天智力的开发与强化,从佛教看来为时已晚,而且代价要大的多,效果也非常有限,更何况数不清的先天智障儿童,等出生后常令家庭社会束手无策,困惑不解,头痛都来不急,还谈什么智力开发。 From the Buddhist perspective, there is an extremely intimate correlation between a person’s acquired intelligence and innate intelligence, but innate intelligence takes precedence.

Modern people are blind to this reality.  They blindly focus on developing and strengthening acquired intelligence.

From the Buddhist perspective this is an error and a lesson learned too late, and at a great price. Working to change innate intelligence by developing acquired intelligence is very difficult. No wonder there are countless children with congenital mental retardation. After they are born the family and society are hard pressed to care for them and it is useless to talk about their intellectual development.

在佛教看來,人的後天智力與先天智力有著極密切的關聯,甚至於先天智力常起到一定的決定性作用,而盲目的現代人,只一味地傾情于後天智力的開發與強化,從佛教看來為時已晚,而且代價要大的多,效果也非常有限,更何況數不清的先天智障兒童,等出生後常令家庭社會束手無策,困惑不解,頭痛都來不急,還談什麼智力開發。
殊不知,佛教早在两千五百年前,就已对这方面有了明确的论述。 Little do they know that 2,500 years ago Buddhism already unequivocally expounded upon this. 殊不知,佛教早在兩千五百年前,就已對這方面有了明確的論述。

 

六、成长的要素 2.6 Elements for Growth 六、成長的要素

 

新生命的起点羯罗蓝身是由多种条件复合而成,在其成长的过程中,也同样离不开各种条件的支持和配合。 The starting point of a new life, the kalala, comes into being from a composite of various conditions. And in its growth process, the kalala cannot escape from the support and coordination of these conditions. 新生命的起點羯羅藍身是由多種條件複合而成,在其成長的過程中,也同樣離不開各種條件的支持和配合。

 

如同一粒新种子,我们要小心保管,不能被高温烫伤,不可被湿气沤霉,或者被虫咬伤,硬物损伤,等到适宜的季节,寻找适当的地域,选择湿润肥沃的土壤,还要有足够的光照,小心谨慎的看护与照顾,方有望生根发芽,开花结果,获得丰收。 The kalala is like a new seed. We have to nurture a seed carefully. We cannot allow a seed to be scalded by hot water, mildewed through excessive dampness, eaten by insects, or injured by hard objects, etc. When the season is right, we must plant it in moist, fertile soil. The seed must also have enough sunshine. Carefully and prudently we must tend to it to ensure that it roots and sprouts. It will produce flowers, yield fruit and be prolific if all is done well. 如同一粒新種子,我們要小心保管,不能被高溫燙傷,不可被濕氣漚霉,或者被蟲咬傷,硬物損傷,等到適宜的季節,尋找適當的地域,選擇濕潤肥沃的土壤,還要有足夠的光照,小心謹慎的看護與照顧,方有望生根發芽,開花結果,獲得豐收。
不然,其中任一环节发生差错,都会招致失败而一无所获。 Otherwise, if we make a mistake anywhere along this chain of nurturing, everything will be lost and nothing gained. 不然,其中任一環節發生差錯,都會招致失敗而一無所獲。
新生命也同样,羯罗蓝就如一颗种子,要小心翼翼收藏保管,护送其入胞中坐床保育,中途不可出现失误。 It is the same for a new life. The kalala is just like a seed. We need to cautiously store and care for it. Escort it into the womb, enthrone it there and nurture it. No mistakes can be made along the way. 新生命也同樣,羯羅藍就如一顆種子,要小心翼翼收藏保管,護送其入胞中坐床保育,中途不可出現失誤。
如佛经说,“如草上珠,朝不保暮,晨聚将来,午消散去”,这里佛用草上的露珠来比喻羯罗蓝,其脆弱程度就可想而知了。 The Buddhist sutra (《佛說父母恩重難報經》 The Buddha Speaks the Sutra: Hard to Repay a Parent’s Deep Kindness) states, “Like a pearl on a blade of grass; hard to protect from morning till dusk. It collects in the morning, yet is dispersed by noon.” The Buddha’s analogy of a drop of dew on a blade of grass helps us realize the fragility of a kalala. 如佛經說,“如草上珠,朝不保暮,晨聚將來,午消散去”,這裡佛用草上的露珠來比喻羯羅藍,其脆弱程度就可想而知了。
并非只要有羯罗蓝就一定会成长为胎儿,也不是说,只要有胚胎生长的胞宫就能出生胎儿,而是要各方面相关的有利条件统一合作,有机结合,在各种外在条件的积极促成下,中途无任何漏洞,或者即便有一些欠缺但能及时得到调解和纠正,才有望最终发育成为胎儿。 Having a kalala will not guarantee the growth of a fetus. That is to say, just because there is a womb for a fetus to grow in, a baby will not necessarily be born. A variety of interrelated, beneficial factors working in concert, with the synthesis of opportunities, under active facilitation by various external conditions are needed. Nothing can fall through the cracks along the way, or if there are some shortcomings they must be reconciled and corrected in time. Then, most likely, a fetus will finally develop. 並非只要有羯羅藍就一定會成長為胎兒,也不是說,只要有胚胎生長的胞宮就能出生胎兒,而是要各方面相關的有利條件統一合作,有機結合,在各種外在條件的積極促成下,中途無任何漏洞,或者即便有一些欠缺但能及時得到調解和糾正,才有望最終發育成為胎兒。

 

归纳起来,最初的生命主要由四种重要因素促其快速成长、发育成胎,佛教称之为四大:地大、水大、火大、风大。 It can be deduced that a life, in its initial stage, is mainly promoted by four elements for rapid growth and development into a fetus. In Buddhism these are called the Four Great Elements: earth, water, fire, and wind. 歸納起來,最初的生命主要由四種重要因素促其快速成長、發育成胎,佛教稱之為四大:地大、水大、火大、風大。

您好,四大性,指此四特有的功能,或称性质。此性与众生之本性,非同一意思。

Four Great Elements四大, the four mahā-bhūta, of which all physical substances are composed. They are:

earth地 element (Skt. prthivī dhātu), which has the basic quality of hardness and the function of protection;

water 水element (Skt. ab-dhātu), which has the function of gathering and storing wetness;

fire 火element (Skt. teja-dhātu), which is the nature of heat and has the function of warming;

wind 風element (Skt. vāyū-dhātu), which has the function of giving motion to all living things; motion produces and maintains life.

[excerpt from Charles Muller; source(s): Yokoi, Hirakawa, JEBD]

 

地大,构成生命的固体物质,即坚实的形体和完善的生理结构等类,如筋骨、肌肉、发甲,具有支撑、维系、包裹、盛装等物理功能,佛经中称作“能持性”。 Earth makes up a life’s solid material, which is an ample body and perfect physiological constructions such as bones and tendons, muscles, hair and nails that have the physical functions of propping up, holding together, encasing, filling, and holding. The Buddhist sutras call it the “function of support.” 地大,構成生命的固體物質,即堅實的形體和完善的生理結構等類,如筋骨、肌肉、髮甲,具有支撐、維繫、包裹、盛裝等物理功能,佛經中稱作“能持性”。

 

水大,是体内的液体部分,如血液、淋巴等,具有流动、湿润、运输等生理功能。佛经中称之为“能摄性”。 Water is the liquid part of the body such as blood, lymph, etc., that have the physical functions of flowing, moisturizing, and transporting. The Buddhist sutras call it the “function of absorption.” 水大,是體內的液體部分,如血液、淋巴等,具有流動、濕潤、運輸等生理功能。佛經中稱之為“能攝性”。

 

火大,指体内与温度有关的功能,主要指体温,热量等具有保暖、温热等功能,佛经称之为“能熟性”。 Fire refers to functions related to internal heat mainly referring to body heat, energy and other functions of maintaining body heat and hyperthermia. The Buddhist sutras call it the “function of ripening.” 火大,指體內與溫度有關的功能,主要指體溫,熱量等具有保暖、溫熱等功能,佛經稱之為“能熟性”。

 

风大,指体内物质的能动性和气态物质,如心跳、气息,肌肉收缩、胃肠蠕动等,经文中称之为“能长性”。 Wind refers to internal substances moving such as the heart beating, muscle contractions, gastrointestinal peristalsis, and gaseous substances such as breathing, among other things. The sutras call it the “function of growing.” 風大,指體內物質的能動性和氣態物質,如心跳、氣息,肌肉收縮、胃腸蠕動等,經文中稱之為“能長性”。

 

正常情况下,这四种要素之间紧密相关,相互作用,缺一不可。 Under normal circumstances, these four elements are closely related. They mutually interact and all are indispensable. 正常情況下,這四種要素之間緊密相關,相互作用,缺一不可。
如果只有地大的物质结构,而无湿润功能的水大配合,对羯罗蓝来说,这个生命体将变得干燥,失去活力,各组织将因此萎缩独立起来,经文中比喻为就像用手握着的一把干面粉,无论如何也不能成为一个整体; If there is only the physical construction of the earth element and there is no absorption of the water element to match it, the living body of the kalala will dry up. It will lose its life force. Each element’s structure will deteriorate and not congeal. The analogy of this in the sutras is like having a handful of dry flour. No matter how much you knead it, without water, it will never shape into dough. 如果只有地大的物質結構,而無濕潤功能的水大配合,對羯羅藍來說,這個生命體將變得乾燥,失去活力,各組織將因此萎縮獨立起來,經文中比喻為就像用手握著的一把乾麵粉,無論如何也不能成為一個整體;
同样如果只有水大的湿性而无地大的坚性,水大便会流失离散,如将油滴在水上一样,四下散开,互不相干。 Similarly, if you only have the moisture of water and no structure from the earth element, the water element would just flow away like dripping oil into water. It will flow in all directions forming into nothing. 同樣如果只有水大的濕性而無地大的堅性,水大便會流失離散,如將油滴在水上一樣,四下散開,互不相干。
所以地大与水大关系十分密切,因水大的缘故,地大不会萎缩独立,因地大的缘故,水大不会流失分散。 And so the relationship between the earth element and the water element is very intimate. Because of the water element earth will not deteriorate. Because of the earth element water will not flow away and disperse. 所以地大與水大關係十分密切,因水大的緣故,地大不會萎縮獨立,因地大的緣故,水大不會流失分散。

 

同样,若无火大的熟性,地大就会腐烂坏死,如同夏天阴暗不通风处的肉团一样,将会很快变质分解。 Similarly, if there is no warmth from the fire element, the earth element would just die and decay. It would be like a lump of meat during the summer in a dark place with no ventilation. It would soon decompose. 同樣,若無火大的熟性,地大就會腐爛壞死,如同夏天陰暗不通風處的肉團一樣,將會很快變質分解。
而羯罗蓝如无风大,就不能生长变化,类似于吹糖人一样,如鼓动气流,则内部才会膨胀,形成内部的莲藕般的半中空状态,增大体积并具有各种生理功能。 And a kalala without the wind element could not grow and change. It would be like a blown-up sugar doll that can only inflate when air is stirred up [this is an ancient analogy, similar to today’s plastic but inedible toys]. Many physiological functions need to take place for a lotus rhizome to grow to its half-hollow state. 而羯羅藍如無風大,就不能生長變化,類似於吹糖人一樣,如鼓動氣流,則內部才會膨脹,形成內部的蓮藕般的半中空狀態,增大體積並具有各種生理功能。
因此,生命的成长过程是一个复杂的多因素共同作用的过程,其复杂程度,令人惊叹! And so, the process of life growing is a complicated, multi-factored, synergic progression. Its complexity marvels us. 因此,生命的成長過程是一個複雜的多因素共同作用的過程,其複雜程度,令人驚歎!

 

 

七、入胎便有思维 2.7  There is Thinking when It Enters 七、入胎便有思維

 

从表面讲,羯罗蓝身虽然只是一种具有活性的细胞,现代科学无论如何也不会承认其有意识行为,但佛经中却早已明确告诉我们,羯罗蓝身并不是一个呆裸裸没感情的单细胞,从一开始入胎它即具有两大生命成分:一是实质生命部分;二是作为人的意识活动功能部分。 Modern science does not acknowledge that the kalala has a conscious thinking process since superficially speaking its body is only a living cell. Long ago, though, the Buddhist sutras explicitly told us that the kalala is not an empty, blank cell without feelings. From the moment it comes into being the kalala has two important life components: one is the life essence (sperm and egg); the other is the mental faculty of consciousness (from a bardo) that cause it to become a human. 從表面講,羯羅藍身雖然只是一種具有活性的細胞,現代科學無論如何也不會承認其有意識行為,但佛經中卻早已明確告訴我們,羯羅藍身並不是一個呆裸裸沒感情的單細胞,從一開始入胎它即具有兩大生命成分:一是實質生命部分;二是作為人的意識活動功能部分。

 

“父母不净成羯罗蓝,号之为色、受、想、行、识,即是其名,说为名色”,此处,色即生命的原点羯罗蓝身的有形物质,受、想、行、识为无形的意识功能,因只有其功能和名称,而无实质,故佛教称之为“名”,两者合称为“名色”,也指羯罗蓝身的两大构成部分,或者称为“身根”和“意根”。 The parents bring about the kalala’s body which in Buddhism is called the “form aggregate.” Besides a physical body, the kalala also possesses sensations, mental images, impulses, and consciousness. In its entirety it is called “name and form.” Here, form means the physical substance of the origin of a life, the kalala body.  Sensations, mental images, impulses, and consciousness are the imperceptible mental functions. Because these are only mental functions with no substance, Buddhism calls them name. Together these two important components that make up a living being, the kalala, are called “name and form.” They are also called “body root” and “consciousness root.” “父母不淨成羯羅藍,號之為色、受、想、行、識,即是其名,說為名色”,此處,色即生命的原點羯羅藍身的有形物質,受、想、行、識為無形的意識功能,因只有其功能和名稱,而無實質,故佛教稱之為“名”,兩者合稱為“名色”,也指羯羅藍身的兩大構成部分,或者稱為“身根”和“意根”。

name and form  名色The term ‘name and form’ in Buddhism, refers to mind and body, or psycho-physical existence (Skt. nāma-rūpa). It is interpreted as the five aggregates 五蘊 , i.e., a ‘body,’ with sensation , mental images , impulse , and consciousness being the ‘name’ and the body, rūpa  the ‘form’; the first-named is material and the last four are mental. Rūpa is described as the minutest particle of matter, that which has resistance; the embryonic body or fetus is a nāmarūpa. [excerpt from Charles Muller, Stephen Hodge; source(s): Yokoi]

我们已经知道,胎儿先天的中阴生命原本就有意识,在进入精血复合体的瞬间,会感到一阵特有的“俱生喜”,这种感觉名为“受”,虽受此喜乐,而其意识总以为所排出的精或血是自己的,此即为“想”; We already know that the congenital bardo of an embryo has consciousness. The instant it enters the composite of sperm and egg it has a certain “natural delight of birth” sensation. This feeling would be called “sensation aggregate.” As it is sensing this delight, its consciousness thinks the discharged sperm and egg are itself. This thought is “image aggregate.” 我們已經知道,胎兒先天的中陰生命原本就有意識,在進入精血複合體的瞬間,會感到一陣特有的“俱生喜”,這種感覺名為“受”,雖受此喜樂,而其意識總以為所排出的精或血是自己的,此即為“想”;
秉此妄想,贪爱之心尤难割舍,便自主投入其中,这就是“行”; Grasping onto this delusion is a mind of greedy love that is particularly difficult to let go of and the bardo of its own impulse wants to join. This is “impulse aggregate.” 秉此妄想,貪愛之心尤難割捨,便自主投入其中,這就是“行”;
进入其中,神识也因此封存在内,出来不得,并以此作为自己的栖身之处,就成为“识”,五者合起来在佛教称作“五蕴”或“五阴”。 Because of this impulse, the bardo consciousness enters and becomes sealed in the fertilized egg. It cannot get out and this becomes the residence of the “consciousness aggregate.” These five – form, sensations, images, impulse, and consciousness – join together into what is called the “Five Aggregates” or “Five Skandas” in Buddhism. 進入其中,神識也因此封存在內,出來不得,並以此作為自己的棲身之處,就成為“識”,五者合起來在佛教稱作“五蘊”或“五陰”。

 

五蕴Five Skandas  (five aggregates) ‘Skandha’   means “accumulation.” The collection of the five compositional elements of our existence. The five skandhas are the division of matter and mind into five categories, which are form, sensations, images, impulses and consciousness. “Form” (rūpa) is matter in general, the body or materiality. “Sensations” (vedanā) is receptive or sensory function. “Images” (saṃjñā) refers to images that surface in the mind. “Impulse” (saṃskāra) is will, intention, or the mental function that accounts for craving. It is also understood as all of the general mental functions not included in the skandhas of feeling or perception. “Consciousness” (vijñāna) is the cognitive, or discriminating function – knowing through discrimination (Skt. Pañca-skandha). The first is physical, the other four mental qualities are associated with mental functioning. (Skt. Skandha-pañcaka,) [Excerpt from Charles Muller; source(s): JEBD, Soothill, Hirakawa, Ybh-Ind, Yokoi]

 

由于羯罗蓝身尚无眼、耳、鼻、舌、身等感觉器官,故对外来的色(图像)、声(声音)、香(气味)、味(味道)还不具备感知能力,唯有其意识活动孤灵独耀,只是不能通过声音语言或肢体行为表现出来,但却可通过心灵感应的方式和母亲及其他亲人在默默中相互“感通”。 As the kalala does not as yet have the sense organs – eyes, ears, a nose, tongue, body, etc. –  it does not yet possess the ability to perceive external objects, sounds, smells and tastes.  All it has are its own consciousness activities (from collections of past life images) like a solitary star twinkling all alone. It cannot express anything by making sounds or through language or physical motions. But through its mental telepathy with its mother and close relatives is has a quiet “rapport.” 由於羯羅藍身尚無眼、耳、鼻、舌、身等感覺器官,故對外來的色(圖像)、聲(聲音)、香(氣味)、味(味道)還不具備感知能力,唯有其意識活動孤靈獨耀,只是不能通過聲音語言或肢體行為表現出來,但卻可通過心靈感應的方式和母親及其他親人在默默中相互“感通”。

 

这种仅靠心灵感应互相传递信息的方式,相当于现代人所说的“第六感觉”。 This method of merely relying on mental telepathy to mutually transmit information, is equivalent to what today is called the “sixth sense.” 這種僅靠心靈感應互相傳遞信息的方式,相當於現代人所說的“第六感覺”。
这种无形的信息感通,有时表现为“胎梦”,有时则直接显现在孕妇的性格、思维和行为上。 This imperceptible information rapport is sometimes expressed in “pregnancy dreams,” and sometimes directly manifests in a pregnant woman’s disposition, thoughts and behavior. 這種無形的信息感通,有時表現為“胎夢”,有時則直接顯現在孕婦的性格、思維和行為上。

 

八、母子间的相互感通 2.8  The Mutual Resonance between Mother and Embryo 八、母子間的相互感通

 

     常言道“母子心相通”。 A common Chinese saying goes, “A Mother and her child’s minds are connected. 常言道“母子心相通”。
的确,因羯罗蓝身刚从中阴世界投胎过来,在一定时间内,中阴身所本具的“他心通”感应能力还是较强的,甚至于可能改变母亲的性格。 Indeed, at that specific moment when a kalala, newly arrived from the bardo world, is born into the mother’s womb, the bardo’s telepathic powers “to read the minds of others” are rather strong. These telepathic powers can even change their mother’s character. 的確,因羯羅藍身剛從中陰世界投胎過來,在一定時間內,中陰身所本具的“他心通”感應能力還是較強的,甚至於可能改變母親的性格。

他心通to read the minds of others (Skt. cetaḥ paryāya-jñāna),  Super normal ability to read the minds of others; one of the six super normal powers.〔瑜伽論 T 1579.30.494c19〕 [exerpt from Charles Muller]

如据《贤愚经》记载,弥勒菩萨的母亲在怀胎时明显一反常态,“其怪异常,其母素性不能良善(本性不良善),怀妊已来,悲矜苦厄(同情受苦的人),慈润黎元(关心老百姓),等心护养”。后来相师告诉他的父亲,“此是儿志!因为立字,号曰‘弥勒’”。因“弥勒菩萨为成就众生,由初发心即不食肉”的缘故。 As the Damamūka-nidāna-sūtra records, when Bodhisattva Maitreya’s mother was pregnant with him, “She became strange and different from normal; his mother usually was not a good or caring person, but once pregnant she became kind. She was compassionate and sympathetic toward those suffering and in hardship, and helped them.  Later, a fortune teller told Maitreya’s father, “This is the personality of your son! And so you may call him ‘Maitreya’ (Compassionate One).” From the very beginning Maitreya practiced liberating all sentient beings from suffering. He vowed never to eat meat. 如據《賢愚經》記載,彌勒菩薩的母親在懷胎時明顯一反常態,“其怪異常,其母素性不能良善(本性不良善),懷妊已來,悲矜苦厄(同情受苦的人),慈潤黎元(關心老百姓),等心護養”。後來相師告訴他的父親,“此是兒志!因為立字,號曰‘彌勒’”。因“彌勒菩薩為成就眾生,由初發心即不食肉”的緣故。

 

 

     虽然胎儿的意识活动和成人的意识活动在功能上没有多少差别,但在内容上却有较大的不同。      Although there is little difference between the mental activities of an embryo and an adult, in content there is a big difference. 雖然胎兒的意識活動和成人的意識活動在功能上沒有多少差別,但在內容上卻有較大的不同。
成人的思维可能会较多的盘计金钱、爱情、地位,而胎儿的意识则可能会更多的集中在住胎的舒适度、安全度等方面。 An adult may think more about money, love relationships, and position. Whereas an embryo may think more about the level of comfort and security in the womb. 成人的思維可能會較多的盤計金錢、愛情、地位,而胎兒的意識則可能會更多的集中在住胎的舒適度、安全度等方面。
两者有一个共同点,那就是两者的思维都是在念念迁变不息,刹那刹那不曾间断的,佛教称之为“妄念相续”,这也是未经过修行的所有众生的共同特征。 These two do have one thing in common though. When it comes to thoughts, both have thoughts that are never-ending, constantly changing, and instantaneously arising uninterrupted. Buddhism calls this, “continuous illusion.”  It is a common characteristic of the minds of all sentient beings that do not practice self-development. 兩者有一個共同點,那就是兩者的思維都是在念念遷變不息,刹那刹那不曾間斷的,佛教稱之為“妄念相續”,這也是未經過修行的所有眾生的共同特徵。

 

     不过因人而异,胎儿的先天素质不同,其意识活动的内容、频率、影响力也不尽相同。      Nevertheless, the content and frequency of the embryo’s mental activity and its impact on its mother and others is also different because each embryo has its own unique, innate qualities.      不過因人而異,胎兒的先天素質不同,其意識活動的內容、頻率、影響力也不盡相同。
同样,孕妇个人思维的灵敏度,意识的清净程度、精细度不同,对胎儿的意识活动的感知能力也会有所不同。 At the same time, the sensitivity of each pregnant woman’s thinking process and the level of the purity and refinement of her awareness are different. For this reason, the power of each pregnant woman’s perception of her embryo’s mental activity will differ. 同樣,孕婦個人思維的靈敏度,意識的清淨程度、精細度不同,對胎兒的意識活動的感知能力也會有所不同。
对于一般人来说,入睡状态下,意识活跃度较低,心意较静,往往可以感通并察觉胎儿的思想意识,但在传感过程中,又多受母亲潜意识中固有思维的干扰而失真,等最后“翻译”过来后,就会变成奇奇怪怪甚至荒诞不经的闹剧,待醒来后,往往会被人付之一笑而忽略不信,这大概就是胎梦亦真亦假,似是而非的缘故吧! When the average person sleeps, the level of their mental activity is lower, intent is quieter. In most cases a pregnant woman can have a rapport with her embryo and perceive what it is thinking and what it is aware of while she is asleep. But the mother’s inherent subconscious will cause alterations and distortions of what she picks up from the embryo during the mental telepathy process. After awaking, what finally had been “translated” by the mother can appear to be strange, even an absurd comedy that may cause the awakened mother to just laugh it off and ignore it. This is why the truth or untruth behind pregnancy dreams are such a paradox. 對於一般人來說,入睡狀態下,意識活躍度較低,心意較靜,往往可以感通並察覺胎兒的思想意識,但在傳感過程中,又多受母親潛意識中固有思維的干擾而失真,等最後“翻譯”過來後,就會變成奇奇怪怪甚至荒誕不經的鬧劇,待醒來後,往往會被人付之一笑而忽略不信,這大概就是胎夢亦真亦假,似是而非的緣故吧!

 

在佛教,佛祖的母亲摩耶夫人就曾梦到六牙白象,被认为是诞生贵子的吉梦,随后生下悉达多太子,即后来的释迦牟尼佛。 The Buddha’s mother, Queen Māyā, dreamed of a six tusked white elephant when she was pregnant. This was believed to be an auspicious dream meaning that a precious son was going to be born to her. Soon afterwards Prince Siddhartha was born. He went on to become Shakyamuni Buddha. 在佛教,佛祖的母親摩耶夫人就曾夢到六牙白象,被認為是誕生貴子的吉夢,隨後生下悉達多太子,即後來的釋迦牟尼佛。
中国的圣人孔子,

据说其母也曾梦到一只麒麟而生下孔子的。

It is said that the mother of the Chinese sage Confucius, also had a dream and it was about a Qilin (an auspicious mythical Chinese animal). 中國的聖人孔子,

據說其母也曾夢到一隻麒麟而生下孔子的。

故胎梦一事,常常因为寓意不直观,令人捉摸不透,因而让人半信半疑。 Pregnancy dreams are ambiguous and not direct. Because of this, mothers do not know whether to believe in them or not. 故胎夢一事,常常因為寓意不直觀,令人捉摸不透,因而讓人半信半疑。

 

    尽管如此,依据经验,有心的人还是将胎梦解析出来,藉此来推断胎儿的一些特征,也不无道理。      Be that as it may, there are those who can deduce some of the future child’s characteristics through serious analysis of pregnancy dreams. 儘管如此,依據經驗,有心的人還是將胎夢解析出來,藉此來推斷胎兒的一些特徵,也不無道理。

 

胎梦举例 Examples of Pregnancy dreams from Chinese Tradition 胎夢舉例

 

暗示生儿子的胎梦: Pregnancy dreams which imply the birth of a son: 暗示生兒子的胎夢:

                                      

梦见龙,预示将来出生的儿子能够成为大人物。 Dreaming of a dragon predicts the birth of a son who can become a powerful person. 夢見龍,預示將來出生的兒子能夠成為大人物。
梦见龙头,预示生下的儿子不但长相好,将来还会成就一番伟业。 Dreaming of a dragon’s head predicts the birth of a son who is not only good-looking but will also become successful in a specialized field. 夢見龍頭,預示生下的兒子不但長相好,將來還會成就一番偉業。
梦见老虎,是将来会生出堂堂正正、勇猛儿子的征兆。 Dreaming of a tiger is a sign that a son who is dignified, imposing, bold and powerful is going to be born. 夢見老虎,是將來會生出堂堂正正、勇猛兒子的徵兆。
梦见骑仙鹤在天空中飞翔,会生下高贵且虚怀若谷的儿子。 Dreaming of riding a red-crowned crane as it flies through the sky is a sign that a son who is noble yet humble and tolerant (all-embracing), will be born. 夢見騎仙鶴在天空中飛翔,會生下高貴且虛懷若谷的兒子。
梦见海龟,意味着将来出生的儿子,会有很大的权势。 Dreaming of a sea turtle implies that the son to be born will have power and influence. 夢見海龜,意味著將來出生的兒子,會有很大的權勢。
梦见猪,暗示财和福,还暗示将来生下的孩子多财多福。 Dreaming of a pig hints at a wealthy and fortunate son being born. 夢見豬,暗示財和福,還暗示將來生下的孩子多財多福。
黑猪暗示生儿子,白猪暗示生女儿。 Dreaming of a black pig signifies a son, a white pig hints at a daughter. 黑豬暗示生兒子,白豬暗示生女兒。
梦见公牛,意味着将来会生下特别孝顺的儿子。 Dreaming of a bull predicts the future birth of a filial son. 夢見公牛,意味著將來會生下特別孝順的兒子。

 

暗示生女儿的胎梦: Pregnancy dreams from Chinese tradition which imply the birth of a daughter : 暗示生女兒的胎夢:

 

梦见龙尾或摸到龙尾,是生下漂亮女儿的征兆。 Dreaming of the tail of a dragon or touching the tail of a dragon is the sign of a pretty daughter being born. 夢見龍尾或摸到龍尾,是生下漂亮女兒的徵兆。
梦见鲤鱼,表示将生下才艺高超、美丽、智慧的女儿。 Dreaming of a carp shows that a superbly talented, beautiful, and intelligent daughter will be born. 夢見鯉魚,表示將生下才藝高超、美麗、智慧的女兒。
梦见母牛或温顺的牛,暗示要生女儿。 Dreaming of a cow or a gentle ox hints that a daughter will be born. 夢見母牛或溫順的牛,暗示要生女兒。
梦见牛犊跟随身后,预示会生下伶俐可人的女儿。 Dreaming of a calf following you predicts that you will have a lively, clever daughter, loved by all. 夢見牛犢跟隨身後,預示會生下伶俐可人的女兒。
梦见蝴蝶或蝴蝶翩翩起舞,表示生女儿。 Dreaming of a butterfly fluttering about shows the birth of a daughter. 夢見蝴蝶或蝴蝶翩翩起舞,表示生女兒。
鸳鸯暗示会生漂亮的女儿。 Mandarin ducks hint at the birth of a pretty daughter. 鴛鴦暗示會生漂亮的女兒。
鲜花盛开的梦或站在花丛的梦,暗示将来生下漂亮可爱的女儿。 Dreams of fresh flowers in bloom or standing amongst clumps of flowers hint at the birth of a pretty and cute daughter in the future. 鮮花盛開的夢或站在花叢的夢,暗示將來生下漂亮可愛的女兒。

 

总体说来,胎儿的意识感通能力比其母要强些,越是入胎初期,这种能力越强,他们对母亲的思维活动几乎能十分精确地探知,并随之产生自己的意识反应,即前面所提到的“受、想、行、识”。      By and large, an embryo’s mental telepathy is somewhat stronger than that of its mother. The earlier the embryotic stage the stronger this power will be. Such an embryo can fully and precisely detect the mother’s mental activities. Moreover, it can produce it’s own mental response simultaneously. This is what was mentioned before as “sensations, mental images, impulses, and consciousness.” 總體說來,胎兒的意識感通能力比其母要強些,越是入胎初期,這種能力越強,他們對母親的思維活動幾乎能十分精確地探知,並隨之產生自己的意識反應,即前面所提到的“受、想、行、識”。
只是这里的“受”不是神经感受,而是纯意识的“第六感觉”的灵知。 It is just that here, “sensation,” is not the feelings of the senses but the gnosis (insight) of “sixth sense” pure consciousness. 只是這裡的“受”不是神經感受,而是純意識的“第六感覺”的靈知。

 

附录一

一则母子相感的实例

Appendix 2.a

An Example of  Mental Telepathy between

Mother and Embryo

附錄一

一則母子相感的實例

 

事情发生在1987年。 This event took place in 1987. 事情發生在1987年。

 

台湾屏东县的林美惠女士,婚后已生有两女,再怀第三、第四胎时,因为害怕又生女儿,就把胎儿拿掉了。 Ms. Mei-hui Lin of Taiwan’s Pingtung County had two daughters after her marriage. She aborted her third and fourth pregnancies because she wanted a boy and was afraid of having another daughter. 臺灣屏東縣的林美惠女士,婚後已生有兩女,再懷第三、第四胎時,因為害怕又生女兒,就把胎兒拿掉了。
到了十一月,她再一次怀孕,就和丈夫商定,等他有空,就去妇产科拿掉肚里的胎儿。 November of that year, she fell pregnant again. After consulting with her husband, they decided that once he was free, they would go to obstetrics and abort the embryo she was carrying. 到了十一月,她再一次懷孕,就和丈夫商定,等他有空,就去婦產科拿掉肚裡的胎兒。
做这个决定的当晚,她不知不觉做了一个梦,不同于以往模糊的梦,这个梦很清晰。 The night her decision was made she unsuspectingly had a dream. This dream was very clear, unlike the vague dreams she had in the past. 做這個決定的當晚,她不知不覺做了一個夢,不同於以往模糊的夢,這個夢很清晰。
在梦中,她看到天空放出一望无际白色的大光明,她非常欢喜。 She dreamt that a great boundless light appeared in the sky. It made her feel very happy. 在夢中,她看到天空放出一望無際白色的大光明,她非常歡喜。
这时耳边忽然响起小孩的声音:“妈妈!求求你留下我好不好?” Suddenly she heard the voice of a child saying right into her ear, “Mother! I beg you to let me stay, okay?” 這時耳邊忽然響起小孩的聲音:“媽媽!求求你留下我好不好?”
声音很细柔、很好听,可是她无心去欣赏这样好听的声音,脱口就说:“不行啦,万一又是女儿怎么办?” The voice was very gentle and soft. It had a nice sound to it, but she was in no mood to enjoy it. Instead she blurted out, “No way! What if you’re another girl?” 聲音很細柔、很好聽,可是她無心去欣賞這樣好聽的聲音,脫口就說:“不行啦,萬一又是女兒怎麼辦?”
小孩继续求着:“妈妈!求求你留下我好不好?我会很乖很乖的啦。” The child continued to beg, “Mother! I beg you to let me stay, okay? I will be very, very good.” 小孩繼續求著:“媽媽!求求你留下我好不好?我會很乖很乖的啦。”
她仍然拒绝:“不行啦,万一又生到女儿怎么办?” Still she refused, “No, what would I do if I have another girl?” 她仍然拒絕:“不行啦,萬一又生到女兒怎麼辦?”
结果声音消失,她就醒过来了。 Finally the voice faded away and she woke up. 結果聲音消失,她就醒過來了。

 

当时她并不在意这个梦兆,仍旧照常上班下班。 At that time she paid no attention to the dream omen and as usual she went to work, came home, etc. 當時她並不在意這個夢兆,仍舊照常上班下班。
奇怪的是,晚上又做了同样的梦,又响起轻柔的声音:“妈妈!求求您留下我好不好,我会很乖很乖的啦。” The strange thing is that she had the same dream with the soft and gentle voice again, “Mama! I beg of you, keep me. I will be very, very good.” 奇怪的是,晚上又做了同樣的夢,又響起輕柔的聲音:“媽媽!求求您留下我好不好,我會很乖很乖的啦。”
非常诚恳的乞求,但她依然拒绝:“不行啦,万一又是个女儿怎么办?” It sincerely implored her. But she none the less refused, “No, what would I do if you are another girl?” 非常誠懇的乞求,但她依然拒絕:“不行啦,萬一又是個女兒怎麼辦?”
相同的梦境大约持续七天左右,小孩总是在请求得不到回应后,消失于梦中。 She continued to have the same dream for about six nights. The child never got the response it wanted and it disappeared along with the dream. 相同的夢境大約持續七天左右,小孩總是在請求得不到回應後,消失於夢中。
当时梦中清楚地觉得是两个人在对话,但又感觉好像自言自语似的。 The dream seemed as if it were a conversation between two people, but then again it seemed as if she were talking to herself. 當時夢中清楚地覺得是兩個人在對話,但又感覺好像自言自語似的。

 

第七天晚上梦中,小孩又来了,仍然很诚恳地祈求留下她,而且是不断反复请求,林女士也是反复地拒绝,最后一次小孩说:“妈妈!求求你留下我,我会很乖很乖的啦,我跟两个姐姐不一样喔!” On the seventh night the dream of the child came again, sincerely begging her, over and over to keep it and over and over again Ms. Lin refused. But the last time it beseeched her the child said, “Mother! I beg you to keep me. I will be so good. I am different from my two sisters!” 第七天晚上夢中,小孩又來了,仍然很誠懇地祈求留下她,而且是不斷反復請求,林女士也是反復地拒絕,最後一次小孩說:“媽媽!求求你留下我,我會很乖很乖的啦,我跟兩個姐姐不一樣喔!”
说完之后,不等回答,小孩就不再理她,直接消失于梦中,她也随即醒来。 So saying, and without waiting for her to respond, the child left her alone. The dream disappeared and Ms. Lin woke up. 說完之後,不等回答,小孩就不再理她,直接消失於夢中,她也隨即醒來。

 

林女士做梦之后,就和丈夫商量,考虑到这次梦境很特别,连续一个礼拜小孩一直这样祈求,而且还说和两个姐姐不一样,他们认为应该是个男孩,就决定把孩子留下。 After Ms. Lin had this dream, she discussed it with her husband taking into consideration that this dream was special. The child begged her the way it had for a week, but this time it said that it was different from its sisters. To the parents it meant this was probably a boy. They decided to keep the child. 林女士做夢之後,就和丈夫商量,考慮到這次夢境很特別,連續一個禮拜小孩一直這樣祈求,而且還說和兩個姐姐不一樣,他們認為應該是個男孩,就決定把孩子留下。
后来生下来还是个女孩。 In the end she gave birth to a girl again. 後來生下來還是個女孩。
但孩子从小就很善良,很聪明,很懂事,幼小的心灵就知道慈爱众生。 But this child was so kind, intelligent, and thoughtful from the very beginning. This little girl was compassionate and loving to all beings. 但孩子從小就很善良,很聰明,很懂事,幼小的心靈就知道慈愛眾生。
在她三岁那年,农历除夕在婆婆家过年时,婆婆正忙着杀鸡,她把小脸挨过去问婆婆干什么,婆婆说:“我在杀鸡,拜过之后,挑最大的鸡腿给你吃。” When the child was three years old she was at her grandma’s house for Chinese New Year’s Eve. As her grandma was busy killing chickens, the little girl pressed her cheek to grandma’s and asked her what she was doing. Her grandma said, “I’m killing chickens. After we offer them to the gods I will save the biggest drum stick just for you.” 在她三歲那年,農曆除夕在婆婆家過年時,婆婆正忙著殺雞,她把小臉挨過去問婆婆幹什麼,婆婆說:“我在殺雞,拜過之後,挑最大的雞腿給你吃。”
孩子听了竟然板起面孔,一只小手叉着腰,大声说:“你们杀鸡鸡,以后鸡鸡就找你们算帐。” Hearing this the little girl pulled a long face and with one hand on her hip she said in a loud voice, “You kill these chickens and some day they will come to get even with you.” 孩子聽了竟然板起面孔,一隻小手叉著腰,大聲說:“你們殺雞雞,以後雞雞就找你們算帳。”
大家听后非常惊讶。 Everyone was shocked to hear it. 大家聽後非常驚訝。

 

 

 

 

 

 

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。