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  • 佛教篇:「新婆羅門族」:問題出在「控制與臣服」的關係

 「新婆羅門族」:問題出在「控制與臣服」的關係

--國史館口述歷史訪談錄片段分享
 
   釋昭慧
 
  教界「白衣上座,比丘下聞」的說法就值得質疑。為什麼要凸顯「白衣上座」?這根本就是「僧尊俗卑」的階級意識作祟!如果我們確認,最重要,最值得珍寶的是引領人向於解脫與正覺的「法」,那麼誰坐上座又有什麼問題呢?重要的是,他說的法如不如實?契不契機?只要說法如實,聞者得大受用,就應把他當作老師,又有什麼好放不下身段的呢?
  早年出家人被社會壓制、歧視,很受委屈,所以我比較幫出家人講話。近年來出家人的社會聲望已經提高,應該多做一點批判,以免他們不自覺且無止盡地自我抬高,因此我對佛教內部的批判就比較嚴厲。有時,我也會從居士的立場去看問題——僧俗之間本來不應該對立,若非出家人把自己擺得高高在上,居士也不會想要強化居士佛教的主體性,這是互為因果的。所以僧俗對立的產生,除了居士之外,出家人也應該要自我反省。
  我常笑這些高抬自己的出家人是「新婆羅門族」!印度婆羅門壟斷教權,宗教儀軌與教義的解釋權,都掌握在他們手裡,遊戲規則由他們制定,把自己封為最高階級,聲稱「婆羅門至上」。佛陀教法正好是要「去婆羅門教化」,否定祭司壟斷的權柄。出家眾怎可背道而行,產生壟斷教權的心理呢?比丘對比丘尼、上座對新學、出家對在家有凌駕心與宰控欲,我都稱他們是「新婆羅門族」。
  我是重視公道的,當佛教僧團的體質較弱,出家眾易被戲辱的時候,我就站在出家眾這邊講話。但是,我不會因為自己是出家人而護短。若是出家人無理、無禮,貢高我慢,這時我會指責僧尼「重視身分超過重視真理」,而且這「身分」高低,還是由他們自己來界定的。如果真的是為學法而出家,覺得「法」很重要,那麼有人講說正法能讓眾生歡喜,我們又為什麼要介意他的頭髮有沒有剃除呢?我們豈不應該這樣想:「佛教弘法行伍,又多了一個生力軍」?為什麼要介意「白衣說法」呢?
  居士佛教在僧伽主導的信眾之外,另行開展教團,有的甚至敵視或反對僧伽。這反映了另外一個問題:出家與在家之間的角色扮演與互動倫理。當然,兩邊都可以再作自我反省,可是我站在出家人的立場,認為出家人應該要好好反省這個問題。我經常聽到出家法師指責那些居士是三寶之外的「第四寶」。但歸根究底,出家人也該謙恭反省:自己真的是「寶」嗎?為什麼把自己當寶,然後去跟人家爭執:「寶只有我家擁有,你家不可以擁有;我才是寶,你不是寶!」這不是很無聊嗎?
  雖然我以前也跟現代禪佛友們有過幾番唇槍舌劍的論戰,但是李元松老師卻與我建立了很深厚的友情。我從來沒有這種「我是寶,你不是寶」的觀念。我認為,現代禪教團之所以會對「僧」有所反彈,僧伽也應該要先反省:出家眾到底有沒有用「我們才是名門正派,你們不是」,「弘法是我們的權利,你們不可撈過界」之類高姿態,甚至用「白衣說法是末法象徵」之類說法,刺激他們反感?
  如果沒有那些高姿態的話語,僧人與居士原可相安無事,也不至於出現當年歐陽竟無那麼激烈的批判。設身處地想想,如果你是歐陽竟無,難道不會覺得「情何以堪」嗎?他在支那內學院講課,對他的學說傳承充滿自信,局外人竟然說三道四,貶抑「白衣上座」,他當然會覺得:出家人的姿態甚高,有一種壟斷教權的傲慢心態!
  比丘與比丘尼,上座與新學,出家與在家的關係,問題都出在這裡——「控制與臣服」的關係。這樣的心性,是生命的重大束縛,本來在佛法的修學中,是要革除、超越的這種束縛的,為什麼反而創造了一種制度,更加強化這種關係呢?這對解脫有什麼幫助?
  我有一位學生是印悅師父,曾經在協助口譯時,看到一位禪法高明的「十戒女」Dipankara法師,跪著向一位比丘指導禪法,而那位比丘竟然就端端坐著聽Dipankara法師說法。印悅師父困惑地告訴我,我向Dipankara法師說:「我知道妳很慈悲,不會介意這種事情,可是為了慈悲這位比丘的緣故,請不要跪著向比丘說法!這個人如果真心為法,就不應該接受妳跪著說法。如果他覺得身分比法更重要,那麼就讓他去保持這個身分,不要學法!」
(略)
  往往只有缺乏自信心的人,才會時常想把自己拉抬得比別人更高。相反的,一個自信心具足的人,對人反而是隨時釋放善意的,令他人與他互動時沒有被壓制的威脅感,感覺到他心裡常存念著別人。但是我在很多修道人身上,看到的卻是非常失敗的例子。他們總是在計較「位階」,選擇對自己最有利的位置。有時候我也會很彪悍地強迫他們改變歧視女性的觀念,我很敢說話,不假辭色,這會給他們帶來威脅感。但還是有所不同,我爭的是「平等的理念」,而不是自己個人的「位階」。
 
「The tribe of New Brahmins」:The problem rooting from the issue of 「Control & Submission」
- an excerpt from the speech at Taiwan Academia Historica's video recording.
 
Original article by: Chao-when Shih, Bhiksuni, Taiwan釋昭慧
Translated by: Chen Hsiongcai, Dharmacharya, Singapore 陳雄財 翻譯
 
There is a serious doubt within the Buddhist community's perception on 「Layman teaching the Dharma rising upon the seat while ordained monastics listening & learning below the stage」a literal translation from 「白衣上座,比丘下聞」, I have always wondered why is there a stress on Layman rising the seat to teach the Dharma? This is a living example of superiority of ordained monastics versus the inferiority of layman householders known as white robes 白衣居士 status at odds! If we all agree that the most important & most vital focus is on the 「Dharma」which lead towards the elimination of suffering & righteous enlightenment, then does it really matters who is teaching the Dharma on the seat? It is more important for us to observe if such a person is teaching the Dharma in accordance to the righteous views of the Buddha in the person's capacity? As long the Dharma teachings taught are of righteous & receivers truly benefit from it immensely, then one should take this person as a learned teacher, there is no issue of status here in reality.
 
Ordained monastics were heavily suppressed, looked down & ill-treated in the earlier days, this is my reason of helping ordained monastics to speak out. But in view of the positive rising social status of ordained monastics in recent years, I see a need to make a fair critic on them incase ordained monastics unknowingly becoming more and more arrogant by raising one's own status & platform, and this is the reason why I hold a harsher critic within the internal Buddhist community. there are times when I will put myself in the shoes of layman householders to look at problems - there should not be a competition between both ordained monastics & layman householders to begin with, only if when ordained monastics had raised their status way above layman, layman would not have strengthened the laity orders within Buddhism, this is an issue of cause & effect. This is why both ordained monastics & laities should self reflect on the issue of this problem instead.
 
I often frown upon ordained monastics as the「New Brahmins 新婆羅門」!It is notably that india's Brahmanism had claimed exclusive rights & access to it's teachings, religious rites & comprehension of it's teachings in their own hands, the game is played in accordance to the rules laid by them, thus self-appointment of the highest status , claiming 「Superiority of the Brahmins 婆羅門至上」. The original intention of the Buddha's teachings was to 「Remove the influences of Brahmins 去婆羅門教化」and deny the exclusive rights of Brahmin priests in the Buddha's time. Therefore, ordained monastics should not defy against the Buddha's original spirit & carry the intention to claim exclusive rights & access to the Buddha-Dharma. Bikkhu vs Bikkhuni, Learned teacher vs new learner, monastics vs layman house holders - all these are examples of the desire to suppress & gain control over another; I usually classify them as 「The Tribe of New Brahmins 新婆羅門族 」。
 
I believe & stress on fairness, as so when the quality of the monastic sangha orders has turned weak & monastics are being defrock upon, I will then stand on the side of the monastics to speak up for them. But, I will not take sides nor display favourism to cover up for monastics as well, if an ordained monastics has no reason nor show no qualities with self conceited arrogance, I too will speak up against these ordained monastics where they stress upon their status more than the focus of the Truth, and the status of high or low is decided & controlled by them instead and if they truly had the intention to receive ordination as a monastic to learn the Dharma and feel that the Dharma if of importance, then they tok should rejoice as long there are people teaching & preaching the righteous Dharma, why should be really bother if the hair on their heads are shaved away? We should instead think I'm this manner: 「The propagation team of the Buddha's teaching has now increased by more capable people」Why should we be bothered with 「layman householders teaching the Dharma? 白衣說法」
 
The laity Buddhist order should be out of the classification as the lay devotees of the ordained sangha order, since the laity had formed their own structured organization, there are also those who do not see eye to eye or even go against the Sangha monastics. This reflects another problem of the roles and exchange played by both ordained monastics & layman householders and I too feel that both monastics & layman householders can do some self reflection, but I take the stand from a monastic myself, that ordained monastics should truly reflect on this issue. I often hear monastics accusing layman Dharma Teachers as the 「fourth Gem」 outside the Buddhist Triple Gem. But to seek the root of this issue, monastic should ask themselves 「Are we truly a Gem?」why do we see ourselves (monastics) as a gem and argue with others saying : 「Only my home has this gem, your house cannot have it; I am a true Gem, your are not a Gem!」Issint this more un-meaningful?
 
Although I had debates with Buddhist friends from the Modern Zen Buddhist Order in the past, but the Late Mr Lee Yuan Song 李元松老師 had built a strong foundation of friendship with me, I never had the attitude of 「I am a Gem and you are not one」。In my perspective, the Modern Zen Buddhist Order 現代禪教團 often perceived as aganist the「sangha monastics」, this should also let monastics to so a self reflection often claiming「 I am from a righteous sect while you are not, only I can have exclusive rights to teach & propagate the Dharma, you should not step over my borderline」or even claim that the phenomena of layman teaching the Dharma as a sign of Dharma ending age」which provoked their reaction?
 
If there wasn't such views and exchange of words, the monastics & laity would have no problems with each other, it wouldn't further arise in the aggressive critics drawn by Ouyang Jingwu 歐陽竟無 in the past, to put oneself in the shoes of Ouyang Jingwu when he was teaching at The China Buddhist Institute 支那內學院, how would he feel and what is he facing when those whom had benefited from his teachings, full of self confidence when outsiders are gossiping and criticsing him a layman who teaches the Dharma? it is no doubt that he would feel that monastics have arrogant attitude because of their status and claim exclusive rights to teach the Dharma.
 
The problems between Bikkhu & Bikkhuni, Learned & new learners, ordained monastics & layman householders all arise from the issue of「control & submission 控制與臣服」. Such attitudes is a obstacle in life, the original intent to learn & Practise the Dharma is to remove & even surpass all these obstacles, but instead it re-created a caste system to strengthen all these problems, what true positive effect does it have on our path towards enlightenment?
I have a student whom acts as my translator, Venerable Yi Yue, she once saw a diligent meditation Ten precept lady 十戒女 known as Venerable Dipankara kneeling down to a Bikkhu monk to teach him meditation methods while the Bikkhu monk is sitting there listening to Venerable Dipankara teaching him. Venerable Yin Yue asked Venerable Dipankara not to kneel down to teach the Dharma to the Bikkhu monk even if she is very compassionate towards this monk! If this person is truly searching for the Dharma, he should not accept you kneeling down before him to teach him instead, because the Dharma is more important than his status, and if he chooses to maintain such an attitude on his status, he should not even learn the Dharma.
 
Very often, it is only people who, are lack of self-confidence which will then require to reinstate their status as "higher than you" attitude, contrary, a person whom is full of self-confidence will always engage in positive exchange with people, as that when they engage with people , issues of pressure , control or threatening thoughts will not prevail but instead let other feel that they are always contained in their hearts. But this is some thing which I seldom see in many Dharma practitioners, they are always engrossed with their status, choosing positions which are most beneficial to themselves. There are times where I forcefully change their attitude on looking down on females, I speak daringly without acting, this will become a threat to them, but the difference is that I am fighting for equality instead of my personal status.
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