阿  姜  曼  正  傳 

 

第七章第一節:留給後人的遺物

     

          

                  

第七章第一節:留給後人的遺物

    在阿姜曼荼毗後的這一段期間裡,他門下傳承的許多弟子因為失去了他們生命中最可靠的庇護,所以一直悲痛欲絕。他們四處徘徊遊盪,猶如斷了線的風箏,隨風向四方飄盪。他們的情緒低落,就像失去了雙親、孤苦無依的孤兒一般。因此阿姜曼門下的比丘發現在荼毗結束後,自己都變得相當不穩定。在他們終於打起精神後,他們都深刻地體會到沒有善知識的害處。一位傑出的阿姜(禪師)的逝世絕非是一件小事。不可避免地,這一定會嚴重影響修行比丘的團體 —— 就像地震撼動他們的基礎。如果他的弟子在修行上已經很穩定,就會有強大的心智去扶持同修,就長遠的影響來說不會變得那麼的負面。不論是家中的家長、社會上的領導、商業的負責人、政府首長,乃至任何一派僧團的導師 —— 一位優秀領袖的死都無疑是巨大的損失。既然這始終是不可避免的,那麼那些依靠他們領導的下屬就應該認真做好準備以防萬一,以保現在和未來都可昌盛。

        當阿姜曼過世後,我看到這樣的損失造成了難以想像的傷害。這不是一個人死了那麼簡單,而是他的死竟造成了廣大的出家與在家眾的悲痛,大家都陷入了被掏空的狀態 —— 就像地基已遭毀損而整個建築結構都即將坍塌的建物。我對這樣的發展感到震驚,因修行比丘一旦失去一位很強的老師,便很容易受到傷害這件事,令我擔心他們的未來。如果我們不趁老師還在世的時候加緊努力修行並證果,一旦他死後,我們就會變得跟活死人一樣,缺少可讓自己堅持的穩定原則。

        我自己當時也因陷入悲傷而感到徬徨。那真是一場可怕的經歷,我感到就像一場龍捲風直接穿透我的心,狂風從四面八方向我襲來。一個「我失去了庇護、我已束手無策」的想法就像一陣狂風暴雨般襲擊我,另一個「從今後,我該依靠誰?」的疑惑也把我吹得暈頭轉向;接著,另一道強風又襲來,告訴我阿姜曼已善逝了,留下我空虛又無助地飄盪,抓不到可讓我依靠的繩索;而另一陣風又襲向我,告訴我他已經走了,如今一切都完了:父親死後我該去親近誰?這難道是我退步墮落的徵兆嗎?我才剛要站穩腳步,父親竟捨我而去,真是何其不幸啊!又一道瑟瑟寒風吹襲這個悲慘不幸的可憐孤兒:這一次我肯定完了,而且就發生在我進展的關鍵時刻。「無明」與「法」正全面開戰,而阿姜曼一直都是我的軍事顧問,協助我擬定各項作戰策略,未來還有誰能這麼慈悲地幫助我?我以前從未走到這般痛苦的地步,我彷彿陷入了極度絕望的地獄深處,當我無法再與他一起生活,彷彿一切的希望都消逝了。

        這就是阿姜曼去世時我內心混亂的狀態,這番經歷讓我成長。從那時起,我不願意看到其他修行的比丘,承受類似的痛苦經歷:只因為缺少支持他們的堅實後盾即無法自行獨立。擔心他們因為後盾的缺席而錯失正確的路,所以我不斷提醒他們這個危險。如果等到太陽都下山後才匆匆尋找庇護之所,我擔心他們可能到最後會跟我一樣感到空虛與絕望。我不希望看到這種情形發生,所以我會提醒他們要趁月色還明亮的時候,他們的心還有意願,他們的身體還可以的時候,趕緊精進修行。因此可以確定的是,想藉由「道」、「果」、「涅槃」的固有財富中證果的人仍然可以這麼做,他們無須在心靈富足的世界中為窮困所苦。

                   

In the period following his cremation, many of the monks in Ãcariya Mun’s lineage remained distraught as they continued to feel the loss of their one reliable refuge in life. Like kites with their strings broken, drifting at the mercy of the winds, they wandered off in all directions. Their spirits depressed, they felt like small, helpless orphans who had lost both parents. Consequently, the circle of practicing monks in Ãcariya Mun’s lineage found itself quite unsettled in the immediate aftermath of his funeral. By the time they eventually began to regroup, they had all realized the harmful effects of being without a good teacher. The passing away of an outstanding ãcariya is never a small matter. Invariably it affects the community of practicing monks in a very serious way – shaking them like an earthquake to their very foundations. If his disciples have already established themselves firmly in the practice, possessing the mental fortitude to hold their own while helping to sustain their fellow monks, then the long-term effects will not be so adverse. Whether it’s a family leader, a social leader, a business leader, a government leader, or a leader in any branch of the community of  monks – the death of a good leader is always felt as a huge loss. Since it is ultimately unavoidable, those subordinates who depend on their leadership should earnestly prepare themselves for such an eventuality so that they may prosper now and in the future.

When Ãcariya Mun passed away, I saw the incredibly harmful effects that such a loss can have. He was only a single individual, but vast numbers of monks and lay devotees were so grieved by his death that they appeared to be left in a state of ruin – like a building whose foundation has been damaged so that its entire structure suffers accordingly. I was shocked by this development, and worried for the future of the circle of practicing monks who could easily suffer damage without the protection of a strong teacher. If we do not make the effort to intensify our practice and get results while our teacher is still alive, upon his death we will be like the living dead, lacking firm principles of our own to hold on to.

I myself was caught woefully unprepared at that time. It was a terrible experience. I felt as if the winds of a cyclone were raging through my heart, blowing me in all directions. One storm blew in to assail me with the thought that I had been left stranded without a refuge; another blew in to fill me with doubts and left me wondering about whom I could possibly rely on now. Then a gale blew through, driving the thought that, having passed away sublimely without any concerns, he had left me behind feeling empty and lifeless to drift along hopelessly without a mainstay to which I could cling. Yet another wind buffeted me with the thought that everything would come to an end now that he was gone: Who would I stay with now that my father had died? Did this really signal my downfall? No sooner had I begun to stand on my own than my father left me. What a terrible misfortune! Another howling wind inveighed against the miserable bad luck of this poor orphan: I am finished for sure this time, and at such a crucial juncture in my own development as well. The kilesas and Dhamma are engaged in a full-scale war, and Ãcariya Mun had been my advisor, helping me to work out a battle plan. Who will have this kind of compassion for me in the future? I had never reached such an agonizing impasse before. I felt as though I had fallen into an infernal pit of mortal despair. All hope seemed lost as I lived on without him.

Such was my troubled state of mind when Ãcariya Mun passed away. That experience chastened me. Ever since then I’ve been loath to see other practicing monks encounter a similar agonizing experience simply because they lack the firm principles needed to stand on their own. Fearing that they will miss their rightful destiny by default, I constantly warn them of the dangers. Should they wait until the sun has already set before rushing to find a safe refuge, I’m concerned they may end up feeling as empty and lifeless as I did. Not wishing to see this happen, I caution them to hurry and intensify their efforts while the moon is still bright, their hearts still willing, and their bodies still able. Thus committed, those desiring to attain the wealth of virtue inherent within magga, phala, and Nibbãna can still manage to do so. They need not live poverty-stricken amid a world of spiritual riches.