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四圣谛佛教宣言

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  依据 释迦佛陀正觉及教导的“四圣谛”,作为思想、教说及信仰中心的佛教,至今已有二千四百年以上的传承,而自 释迦佛陀正觉以来的声闻解脱僧团的传承,更是传袭不绝于世,并兴隆于锡兰、缅甸、泰国、柬埔寨、高棉等东南亚地区,以及印度和欧美部份地区。维续“四圣谛佛教”传承的荣耀,是过去二千多年来整体佛教的荣耀,也是现今每一位佛教徒的荣耀和使命。近二十年来,经由南传佛教僧团和部份华人佛弟子的努力,使得有智慧、福德及虔诚信仰的华人世界,能够重新认识“四圣谛”的精义及伟大,肯定“四圣谛”声闻僧团传承的重要与价值,并且承担起传承“四圣谛”及声闻解脱僧团的荣耀和责任。

  在此,传化于锡兰、缅甸、泰国、柬埔寨等“四圣谛”声闻解脱僧团,谨代表南传佛教全体,至诚肯定及热切欢迎:中国大陆、台湾、马来西亚及世界各地华人社群之“四圣谛佛教”的兴起,归向 释迦佛陀的智慧及功德,共同分享“四圣谛佛教”的成就和荣耀,一起担当传扬、维护“四圣谛”及声闻解脱僧团的传承责任,并进一步的荣耀“四圣谛佛教”,成为“四圣谛佛教”当中坚定与可贵的传承。

  华人的文化传统,对于佛教有着虔诚及深厚的信仰,这是传化于华人社会之“汉传菩萨道”的努力和贡献。虽然“四圣谛佛教”与“汉传菩萨道”在教说及信仰上,有相当大的不同,但是“汉传菩萨道”在社会及传扬 佛陀信仰上的贡献,依然需要肯定和赞叹。由于华人的宗教传统,对于“四圣谛佛教”有着相当程度的陌生和误解。因此,为了增进华人社会对于“四圣谛佛教”的认识及了解,促进佛教社会的尊重、和谐及团结,共同合作于社会的和谐发展及佛教的昌隆,我们慎重的向华人社群及社会大众提出以下的联合宣言及呼吁:

  一、佛教的教说及信仰,是依据真实历史之 释迦佛陀及教导为中心。

  二、佛教的传承,起于 释迦佛陀的正觉及解脱,内容就是“四圣谛之三转、十二行”,最初传于憍陈如等五比丘,开启了“四圣谛佛教”及声闻解脱僧团,至今长达二千四百年以上的传承。

  三、健全、完整的佛教,必需包括对 释迦佛陀、四圣谛的依止及信仰,奉守、传承“四圣谛”及解脱律的声闻解脱僧团,还有依止 释迦佛陀、四圣谛,并皈信、护持声闻解脱僧团的居家信士。

  四、释迦佛陀的教导,是以“四圣谛之三转、十二行”为圆满、究竟,总括 释迦佛陀教导的宗枢法要,包含了正觉、离贪、慈悲喜舍、解脱、阿耨多罗三藐三菩提等修证体验。“四圣谛”是究竟、无上的佛法,既不是基础佛法,也不是不究竟的“小乘”佛法。

  五、信仰 释迦佛陀、佛教及学习佛法,必需依据“四圣谛”为标准,怀疑“四圣谛”就是怀疑佛教,离弃“四圣谛”就等同离弃 释迦佛陀、佛法及僧团。

  六、依止“四圣谛”的声闻解脱僧团,起自憍陈如等五比丘,是源自 释迦佛陀的亲传。 释迦佛陀教法的结集及传续,是出自奉守“四圣谛”之声闻解脱僧团的贡献,此一僧团传承是真实、可信,可为佛弟子亲近、学习。

  七、南传佛教出自“四圣谛佛教”传承的巴利圣典,是佛教古老而宝贵的传承,是认识及学习真实佛法的可贵依据。华人佛教社会翻译、传袭的汉译‘阿含圣典’及解脱律藏,也是出自印度“四圣谛佛教”的传承,是华人佛教文化当中的瑰宝,同为佛教古老而宝贵的传承,是巴利圣典以外,探寻佛陀真实教法的重要依据。南传巴利圣典与汉译‘阿含圣典’的对照,有助于了解佛教共通及古老的真实佛法。

  八、佛教的传承久远,流传的过程必然会融摄不同时代、地域、民族的风俗文化及信仰,而发展为不同特色的地域佛教。虽然饶富不同时代、地域文化的佛教,不能完全代表 释迦佛陀启创的原始佛教,但我们相信“在各个不同特色的地域佛教之中,依然含有古老而彼此共通的真实佛法在内”,而这正是全体佛教世界所共同与宝贵的资产。不同地域的佛教经由相互尊重、了解,则能在“存异求同”之中,彼此合作及学习,促进真实佛法的显现。

  九、佛法的显现与佛教的兴隆,必须立基在佛弟子的团结之上,不同学派、宗门的争竞与对立,只会减损佛教的光辉,无助于正法的流传及昌隆。佛弟子应当努力避免相互的歧视,促进和谐及团结,共同面对时代的困境与问题。

  十、佛教的智慧与精神,在于务实的面对现实的世界,经由明见现实世界的缘生及缘灭,开展增上乐利及灭除众苦的正道,并体认缘生则无常、苦、非我的正见,以尊重生命、珍惜世间、少欲知足的人生观,共为人类的和谐、世间的安和息苦而努力。

  最后,真诚祝福 华人社会安乐繁荣 华人佛教昌盛久长

  (以上宣言内容,由中华、美国、马来西亚原始佛教会导师 Bhikkhu Vūpasama(随佛法师)拟稿,美国原始佛教会翻译,提由锡兰、缅甸、泰国、柬埔寨、寮国等南传佛教僧团长老审视、认可)

  四聖諦佛教僧團

  原始佛教

  中华台湾、美国、马来西亚原始佛教会 Original Buddhism Society

  中道僧团 Sambodhi Saṅgha

  南傳佛教

  锡兰、缅甸、泰国、柬埔寨等僧团长老、尊者

  佛正覺後 2443 年 / 公元 2011 年 8 月 6 日

 

  Joint Declaration of "Buddhism of the Four Noble Truths"

  By the Saṅgha of Original Buddhism and Theravada Buddhism

  The Buddhism based on the “Four Noble Truths” as the core of its thought, doctrine and belief, taught by the Buddha Sakyamuni after his enlightenment, has a lineage of more than 2400 years. The lineage of the Sravaka Saṅgha for liberation since the time of the Buddha’s enlightenment has been also transmitted continuously in the world, especially prosperous in Southeastern Asian countries such as Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, and Laos, as well as in certain regions of India, Europe, and America. The glory to maintain the lineage of “Buddhism of the Four Noble Truths” is the glory of all Buddhists for the past two thousand years, and also the glorious mission for every Buddhist in modern times. For the past twenty years, through the effort of the Theravada Saṅgha and some Chinese Buddhists, the Chinese world with wisdom, merits and devout belief can understand again the essence and greatness of the Four Noble Truths, confirm the importance and value of the lineage of the Sravaka Saṅgha of the Four Noble Truths, and take the responsibility and honor to transmit the Four Noble Truths and the lineage of the Sravaka Saṅgha for liberation.

  Here the Sravaka Saṅgha of the Four Noble Truths from Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos, on behalf of all the Theravada Buddhists, sincerely affirm and earnestly welcome the rise and development of Buddhism of the Four Noble Truths in Mainland China, Taiwan, Malaysia and other Chinese communities in the world, and the inclination to the wisdom and merit of the Buddha Sakyamuni. They will share the success and glory of Buddhism of the Four Noble Truths, and take responsibility to maintain and propagate the Four Noble Truths and the lineage of the Sravaka Saṅgha for liberation, to further glorify the Buddhism of the Four Noble Truths to become a steady and valuable lineage of the Buddhism of the Four Noble Truths.

  The Chinese cultural tradition has a devout and deep belief in Buddhism. It is the effort and contribution of the Chinese Bodhisattva Path in the Chinese Society. The Buddhism of the Four Noble Truths is very different from the Chinese Bodhisattva Path. But the contribution of the Chinese Bodhisattva Path in spreading the belief in the Buddha is still worthy of affirmation and praise. The Chinese religious traditions are quite unfamiliar with and have had misunderstandings in Buddhism of the Four Noble Truths. In order to assist the Chinese Society to understand Buddhism of the Four Noble Truths, and encourage mutual respect, harmony and union among Buddhist societies, and collaborate in the harmonious development in the society and the prosperity of Buddhism, we discreetly bring up the following joint declarations to the Chinese communities and the people in the society:

  1. The doctrine and belief of Buddhism is based on the teaching of the Buddha Sakyamuni in the real history.

  2. The lineage of Buddhism started from the enlightenment and liberation of the Buddha Sakyamuni. It is the three rounds and twelve aspects of the Four Noble Truths, taught to the first five Bhikkhus including Ven. Koṇḍanna. Since then, the lineage of the Buddhism of the Four Noble Truths and the Sravaka Saṅgha for liberation began and continued for more than two thousand four hundred years.

  3. A robust and complete Buddhism must include the refuge and belief in the Buddha Sakyamuni, the Four Noble Truths, the Sravaka Saṅgha who abided by and transmitted along the Four Noble Truths and the liberation vinaya, and the lay devotees who believe in and support the Sravaka Saṅgha.

  4. The teaching of the Buddha Sakyamuni is perfect and ultimate in the three rounds and twelve aspects of the Four Noble Truths that has all the essentials, including the practical methods for enlightenment, abandoning of craving, loving-kindness and compassion, liberation, and the unsurpassed supreme enlightenment. The Four Noble Truths are ultimate and supreme, neither basic Buddhism nor Hinayana Buddhism.

  5. To believe the Buddha Sakyamuni and learn his teaching, we must rely on the Four Noble Truths as the standard. To doubt the Four Noble Truths is to doubt the teaching of the Buddha. To discard the Four Noble Truths is to discard the Buddha Sakyamuni, his teaching, and the Saṅgha.

  6. Take refuge in the Sravaka Saṅgha of the Four Noble Truths that began from the first five Bhikkhus including Ven. Koṇḍanna, taught by the Buddha himself. The collection and maintenance of the Buddha’s teaching is the contribution of the Sravaka Saṅgha who abides by the Four Noble Truths. This Saṅgha lineage is true and trustworthy. All Buddhists should get associated with and learn from them.

  7. The Pali scriptures of the Theravada Buddhism of the Four Noble Truths are the ancient and precious lineage, and the basis for people to learn the true teaching of the Buddha. The Chinese scriptures of the four Agamas and the liberation vinaya are also translated from the Indian Buddhism of the Four Noble Truths. They are the gems in the Chinese Buddhist culture, and the ancient and precious lineage of Buddhism, the important basis to search for the true teaching of the Buddha beside the Pali scriptures. The comparison between the Theravada Pali scriptures and Chinese translated Agama scriptures will help people to understand the common doctrine in Buddhism and the ancient true teaching of the Buddha.

  8. Buddhism has been propagated for a long time. During the process, it has absorbed the customs, cultures, and beliefs in various ages, regions, and races and developed into Buddhism schools with different characteristics. Although Buddhism schools with various regional cultures in various times cannot represent the original teaching of the Buddha Sakyamuni, we believe that there is still the ancient and common true teaching contained in those regional Buddhism with various characteristics. They are the common and valuable gems for the whole Buddhist world. Buddhism schools in various regions, through mutual respect and understanding in their common parts, can collaborate and learn from each other to promote the appearance of the true teaching.

  9. The emergence of the Buddha’s teaching and the prosperity of Buddhism must base on the joint forces of all Buddhists. The conflict and opposition among various schools and sects would only diminish the brilliance of Buddhism, and cannot help the propagation and prosperity of true teaching. All Buddhists should try their best to avoid discrimination against each other, to promote the harmony and union, and to face the difficulties and troubles in modern times.

  10. The wisdom and spirit of Buddhism lies in the pragmatic attitude to face the realistic world. Through the insight into the arising and ceasing from correlative conditions of the realistic world, people can develop the right path to increase their joy and cease their sufferings. They can also understand the right view that everything arising from correlative conditions is therefore impermanent, suffering and has no self. With the view of life to respect living beings, cherish the world, and reduce one’s desire, we can strive together for the harmony for the mankind and peace in the world.

  Finally we wish the Chinese community peace and prosperity, and that Chinese Buddhism flourishes and lasts a long time.

  (The above joint declaration is drafted by Ven. Bhikkhu Vūpasama who is the mentor and preceptor of Original Buddhism Society in America, Malaysia and Taiwan, translated by the staff of Original Buddhism Society in America, and brought up to the Maha thera of Theravada Buddhism from Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos to review and approve.)

  The Buddhist Saṅgha of the Four Noble Truths

  Theravada Buddhism

  Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Thailand and Cambodia.

  Original Buddhism

  Sambodhi Saṅgha in Mainland China, Taiwan, America, Malaysia.

  August 6 of 2011, 2443 years after the enlightenment of the Buddha