天上人間

譯自巴利文英譯【法句經】及覺音疏

似錦年華,恣意攀折,五陰熾盛,貪樂無饜。

當此之時,死魔驟臨,彼人不覺,終為魔勝。

    年華似錦,恣意攀折-這段教義乃是佛陀駐錫在舍衛國時所說,是關於一個名叫尊夫女的女人的事。這事是在三十三天上開始發生的。

    據說,那天上有一位天子,叫做佩花環天。他帶了一千名天女到他的樂苑裡去遊玩。其中五百名天女飛升到樹上將花丟下來,另外五百名天女就把丟下來的花拾起來,用以嚴飾那天眾。其中有一名天女,在枝頭忽然像燈焰一樣地消失了。

    接著,她在舍衛國一家高種姓的家庭堥生。她一生下來,便能記得前生之事,就自語道:「我是佩花環天的妻子。」她就用香、花之類供佛及僧,祈求來世能和她的前夫再相聚。她十六歲的時候,嫁給另一戶人家,但她仍繼續每半月齋僧一次,並以券食(ticket food)用為佈施,並說道:「願以此功德迴向,來生再與我夫相聚。」

    於是大眾比丘就給她取了個名字,叫尊夫女。他們說:「她旰食夕勞,唯一眷戀的便是她的丈夫。」

    尊夫女經常不斷地照顧著僧眾所坐的殿堂。她拿來乾淨的飲水,又鋪上坐墊。別的人想佈施券食和其他齋品的時候,也都拿到她這裡來,說道:「夫人,請將這些調理一下用以齋僧。」她照這樣子往返奔走,就將五十六種功德,一時具足了。

    接著她有了身孕,滿了十個月,產下一子。到這兒子會走路時,又生了一個,直到她有了四個兒子。

    有一天,她佈施齋僧已畢,聽了佛法,如法持戒,在傍晚時分,忽然得了急病去世,就像將手臂往上舉起般地快速,一瞬間便在她前生的丈夫前再生了。

    在這期間,其他的天女們仍在繼續為佩花環天嚴身。

    佩花環天問:「從今天早起,一直都沒看見妳,你到哪兒去了?」

    「我物化了,大人。」

    「你這是當真嗎?」

    「確實如此,大人。」

    「妳在哪裡降生?」

    「在舍衛國一戶高種姓的家堙C」

    「妳在那邊多久?」

    「大人,我處母胎始十個月才出生。十六歲時嫁給另一戶人家,生了四個兒子。行佈施道以及其他功德事業後,我祈求能和您再在一起,於是又再在您身邊出生了。」

    「人類的壽命有多長?」

    「僅只一百年。」

    「只有這些嗎?」

    「是的,大人。」

    「如果人生下來,壽命只有這麼長,那麼,這時間他們是在睡眠中毫無打算的度過呢?還是他們也行佈施和做其他有功德的事情呢?」

    「才沒那回事呢,大人!人類從來不做打算的,他們以為就像他們生來有數不清年代的壽命,永遠不老也不死一樣。」

    聽了這話,佩花環天大大的激動了起來。

    「這樣看來,人類生來只有一百年的壽命,而他們還要毫無計算地把時間在睡眠中度過,那他們什麼時候才能離苦得自在呢?」

    人類的一百年只等於三十三天的一晝夜,如是三十晝夜就是他們的一個月,如是十二個月便是他們的一年,而他們的壽命是天齡一千歲,也就是人間的三千六百萬年。因此對那位天眾來說,人的一生連他們的一天都尚未過完,其中的間隔似乎只有一俄頃。因此,他想:「壽命短促的人類,沒有算計是極不合適的。」

   

人間的第二天,比丘們走進村子,發現那殿堂沒人照管,坐墊沒舖設,飲水也沒有放好。他們就問道:「尊夫女到哪裡去了?」

    「尊者們,你們還怎麼能見到她?昨天你們各位大德飯畢離去之後,她在傍晚時分就去世了。」

    比丘們聽了,那些尚未見道的,想到她的許多好處,忍不住涕淚滂沱。至於那些已得漏盡的比丘們,也難免深受感動。

    早餐之後,他們回到了寺內,就去問佛陀:「世尊,尊夫女旰食夕勞,廣造善業,只為她的丈夫祈求,如今她死了,請問,她在哪裡再生?」

    「在她丈夫之處再生,比丘們啊!」

    「可是,世尊,她並沒有在她丈夫那裡啊!」

    「比丘們啊!她所祈求的不是這個丈夫。她曾有一個丈夫,名叫佩花環天,是三十三天一位天眾。她在他以鮮花嚴身的時候物化了。現在她又回去在他身旁再生。」

    「世尊,真是這樣嗎?」

    「當然的,比丘們啊。」

    「哎呀!世尊,眾生的壽命何其短促!早上她還伺候著我們,到了傍晚,得了一病,她就死了。」

    「比丘們啊!確實是的,」佛陀說:「一切眾生的生命真是短促,就像這樣子,死魔征服了眾生;他們的感官欲樂的享受還未滿足,就將他們哭哭啼啼地牽走了。」

    這樣說著,他就唱出了下面的一首偈子:

「似錦年華,恣意攀折,五陰熾盛,貪樂無饜。

當此之時,死魔驟臨,彼人不覺,終為魔勝。」

Verse 48

IV (4) The Story of Patipujika Kumari


While residing at the Jetavana monastery, the Buddha uttered Verse (48) of this book, with reference to Patipujika Kumari.

Patipujika Kumari was a lady from Savatthi. She married at the age of sixteen and had four sons. She was a virtuous as well as a generous lady, who loved to make offerings of food and other requisites to the bhikkhus. She would often go to the monastery and clean up the premises, fill the pots and jars with water and perform other services. Patipujika. also possessed Jatissara Knowledge through which she remembered that in her previous existence she was one of the numerous wives of Malabhari, in the deva world of Tavatimsa. She also remembered that she had passed away from there when all of them were out in the garden enjoying themselves, plucking and picking flowers. So, every time she made offerings to the bhikkhus or performed any other meritorious act, she would pray that she might be reborn in the Tavatimsa realm as a wife of Malabhari, her previous husband.

One day, Patipujika fell ill and passed away that same evening. As she had so ardently wished, she was reborn in Tavatimsa deva world as a wife of Malabhari. As one hundred years in the human world is equivalent to just one day in Tavatimsa world, Malabhari and his other wives were still in the garden enjoying themselves and Patipujika was barely missed by them. So, when she rejoined them, Malabhari asked her where she had been the whole morning. She then told him about her passing away from Tavatimsa, her rebirth in the human world, her marriage to a man and also about how she had given birth to four sons, her passing away from there and finally her return to Tavatimsa.

When the bhikkhus learned about the death of Patipujika, they were stricken with grief. They went to the Buddha and reported that Patipujika, who was offering alms-food to them early in the morning, had passed away in the evening. To them the Buddha replied that the life of beings was very brief; and that before they could hardly be satiated in their sensual pleasures, they were overpowered by Death.

Then the Buddha spoke in verse as follows:

Verse 48. Like one who picks and chooses flowers, a man who has his mind attached to sensual pleasures and is insatiate in them is over powered by Death

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