阿 姜 曼 正 傳 

 

第二章第一節:中 年

         

                                 

              

第二章第一節:中 年

    阿姜曼早年從泰國東北部那空帕農府展開了他的頭陀遊腳,他從那裡穿越了色軍府及烏隆府,最後抵達緬甸(Burma,並在那裡短暫停留了一下,再經由北部的清邁府(Chiang Mai)回泰國。他並沒有待太久,又進入了寮國,他先後在寮國的龍坡邦及首都永珍修持頭陀行,之後回到泰國的黎府。從東北部的黎府開始,他走走停停,一路行腳到曼谷,並於Wat Pathumwan 度過雨安居;之後的雨安居則是在沙里卡石窟度過,並在那裡住了幾年。在離開沙里卡石窟後,他回到了東北部。

        在這段漫長的行腳歲月裡,他幾乎都是獨自一人。只有在極少數的情況下,才會有其他的比丘同行,但他們很快又分道揚鑣。因為阿姜曼總是一心一意地修行,這使得他會與其他的比丘分開。他一直都覺得自己一人行腳以及修頭陀行會比較方便自在。只有在他的心達到更高的成就而夠強穩,悲心在心中生起時,才讓他想到要先去指導其他的同修。就是因為這樣悲天憫人的理由,才會讓他離開祥和與寧靜的沙里卡石窟,回到東北部。

        先前,他在東北各府展開頭陀行腳的初期,給了他指導當地比丘的機會。那個時候,有許多來自東北各地的頭陀比丘跟他學習。這一趟回來,阿姜曼決定投注所有的心力去指導那些信任他的比丘及在家人。他回到之前行腳過的各府,發現很快就能贏得每個地方的比丘及在家人的信心。他們許多人,因他的教導而受到感動而決定出家,過著像他一樣的頭陀行生活。甚至還有一些資深的阿姜,放棄了身為禪師的身分,拋棄了自尊,願歸入他的門下修行。他們的心智後來在禪修方面都變得非常地穩固,有充分的自信去指導其他的人。

        阿姜曼第一代的僧伽Sangha弟子包括:阿姜蘇旺(Ācariya Suwan),曾為泰國廊開府Tha Bo縣的Wat Aranyikawat寺的前任住持;阿姜辛(Ācariya Singh)則是泰國呵叻府(Nakhon Ratchasima)Wat Pa Salawan寺的前任住持;以及阿姜瑪哈賓(Ācariya Mahā Pin)是呵叻府的Wat Saddharam寺的前任住持。這三位尊者最初是來自泰國的烏汶府 —— 現在都已不在人世。他們都是非常有影響力的弟子,他們的教學生涯使阿姜曼的遺教得以流芳後世。阿姜辛與阿姜瑪哈賓是兄弟,他們在修行之前,都很認真研究佛教的經典。他們都是阿姜曼的兩位很忠實的資深禪師,摒棄了自尊,願追隨他並受其指導。最後,經由他們努力的教學,幫助了許多來自社會各階層的人士。

        阿姜曼第二代的弟子是阿姜泰,目前在泰國廊開府Sri Chiangmai縣的Wat Hin Mak Peng寺當住持(這位尊者現今應已圓寂)。他也是阿姜曼的資深弟子,他的修行典範也相當令人感動,受到全國幾乎各地的僧伽與在家眾的高度尊敬。他的修行方式一向簡易又樸實,正如大家對他的觀感是異常地謙遜有禮、親和與低調。他嚴以律己,來自社會各階層的人聽他到辯才無礙的開示時,都會深深地著迷。

        當談到氣質或個人的行為,資深禪師在心智及個性方面會展現出不同的天性。有些阿姜的個人行為是大家學習的模範:那些仿效他們的人一定會表現出令人感到愉快、親和,絕不會讓人不舒服;然而,有一些阿姜的個人行徑,只有在親身實際修行時才令人舒服及得體。如果其他人採取同樣的方式,將會讓人感覺很不自然,馬上就讓人覺得不舒服。所以,去模仿這些禪師們獨特的行為,無異是東施效顰。

        然而,就這一點來說,阿姜泰的個人行徑是無可指謫的。依照他的高標準,一定會發展出令人愉快、親和、到處都受人景仰的威儀。他的性情謙和慈善,很容易仿效,且不會有冒犯他人的風險。他的典範特別適合佛教的沙門,因為他的舉止總能真實反映出內心的平靜與祥和。我認為阿姜泰是阿姜曼資深的弟子中最值得尊敬的一位。因為我認識他這麼久,我一直都認為他是一位傑出的老師。

        接下來是阿姜豐,他目前住在色軍府Pannanikhom,靠近Na Hua Chang村的Wat Udomsomphon寺裡。他卓越的禪修及戒行,在全國各地廣為人知且受到高度的讚揚。他的心呈現出聖潔高尚的特質,最顯著的部分是對各階層人士的慈悲一視同仁。他是一位深受全國各地人士熱烈的歡迎與尊敬的一位比丘。他真心地以各種可能的方式去幫助人們,不論是在物質或精神方面 —— 就像一個心中有無盡慈悲的人。

        再下一位我要提的資深弟子是阿姜考,他目前住在烏隆府Nong Bua Lamphu地區的Wat Tham Klong Phen寺,因為他是我們這個時代最重要的禪師之一,很可能讀者早已熟悉他響亮的名聲,不論是他的修行模式或解脫成就都值得受到最高的尊敬。他一直喜歡在偏僻及杳無人煙的地方專心修行,也因此就這一方面來說,他的精進在同輩頭陀比丘中可謂無與倫比。就算到了今天,他都已屆八十二歲的高齡,仍不容許日漸衰退的健康削減他一貫的修行熱忱。有些人問我,既然他都已經所作已辦[1],身體又那麼差,為什麼還要那麼刻苦精進呢?他們無法理解為什麼他仍這麼活躍且精神飽滿?我試著跟他們這麼解釋:一個已徹底清除每一個削弱及阻礙他進步因素的人,已經沒有任何使人孱弱的昏沈再令他的心陷入愚痴的魔網。而與此同時,我們這些人卻累積了如山一般高的放逸,遮住了我們的視線。一旦我們開始付出一些有意義的努力,就會開始擔心努力會超出我們所能負荷,我們太早擔心當修行的功課變得很困難時,會讓我們累到不行。到最後,我們得不到任何有益的成果,一事無成。相反的,我們只會用面對困難時的抱怨來填塞空虛的心。於是,放逸懶散,讓我的心枯萎,持續拋出阻礙我們進步的障礙物;而那些在心中連根拔除染著的人,則會一直堅持不懈。他們從不擔心努力會超出自己的能力所載,這些人的心是清淨、無暇的法,已徹底清除了世俗的垢染,且在任何情況下都顯得莊嚴神聖。昏沉、抑鬱的心絕不會在心中生起,這些都使得他們成為世人所追隨的完美典範。

        以上所提到的每一個阿姜曼的弟子,心中都深藏著這些獨特的明亮特質,猶如璀璨的珠寶閃閃發光。如果能有幸遇到這些聖潔的善知識,一定能從令心歡喜的神奇內明中獲益良多 —— 一種他們永遠都珍惜的經驗。

        阿姜曼教導過好幾代的弟子,很多人到後來本身都成為了重要的老師。要成為一位很有聖戒德的高水準禪師,一定非常精於闡述修行的「道」與「果」,就好像將巴利聖藏的濃縮精華版全深烙在心中一般,一如他最初修行時在禪定中看到的禪相所預言的那樣精準。他在各地弘法教導的那段期間,指導過非常多的比丘及在家信眾,而這些信徒也都以深摯的忠誠及對「法」由衷的喜愛來回報他。他的話表達出他完全體會到的真理 —— 不只是對真理「應該是」或「可能是」的一種臆測或戲論。他對於心中生起的真諦完全地肯定確信,他也教導其他的人這個真諦。當阿姜曼離開沙里卡石窟再度回到泰國的東北部時,他就已下定決心竭盡所能去指導比丘及在家信徒這個方法 —— 這包括先前已受過一些訓練的熟人,以及剛開始為自己打下禪修基礎的人。


 

[1] 無學,最高的成就,完成最高的梵行。

   

                    

In the early years, he started in the northeastern province of Nakhon Phanom. From there he traveled across the provinces of Sakon Nakhon and Udon Thani, finally reaching Burma, where he stayed for awhile before returning to Thailand by way of the northern province of Chiang Mai. Staying briefly there he then traveled into Laos, practicing the ascetic way of life in Luang Prabang and later Vientiane before eventually returning to Loei province. From this northeastern locale, he wandered by stages down to Bangkok, spending a rains retreat at Wat Pathumwan monastery.Following that retreat period, he took up residence in Sarika Cave, remaining there for several years. Only upon leaving Sarika Cave did he return to the Northeast region.

During all those years of extensive wandering, he almost always traveled alone. On only a few occasions was he accompanied by another monk, and even then they soon parted company. Ãcariya Mun always practiced with a single-minded resolve, which kept him aloof from his fellow monks. He invariably felt it more convenient to wander dhutanga alone, practicing the ascetic way of life on his own. Only after his heart had been sufficiently strengthened by higher spiritual attainment did the compassion arise which made teaching his fellow monks a priority. Such compassionate considerations were the reason why he left the peace and tranquillity of Sarika Cave to journey back to the Northeast.

Previously, his early years of wandering dhutanga in the northeastern provinces had given him an opportunity to instruct some of the kammaååhãna monks he met there. In those days, he had found a large number of dhutanga monks practicing in various locations throughout the Northeast. In making this return trip, Ãcariya Mun was determined to teach the monks and laity who trusted his guidance, putting all his energy into the task. Returning to the same provinces he had once wandered through, he found that monks and lay people everywhere soon gained faith in him. Many of them, inspired by his teaching, ordained as monks to practice the way he did. Even some senior ãcariyas, teachers in their own right, discarded their pride and renounced their obligations to practice under his tutelage, their minds eventually becoming so firmly established in meditation that they were fully confident of their ability to teach others.

Monks among the first generation of Ãcariya Mun’s disciples included Ãcariya Suwan, the former abbot of Wat Aranyikawat monastery in the Tha Bo district of Nong Khai province; Ãcariya Singh Khantayãkhamo, the former abbot of Wat Pa Salawan monastery in Nakhon Ratchasima; and Ãcariya Mahã Pin Paññãphalo, the former abbot of Wat Saddharam monastery in Nakhon Ratchasima. All three of these venerable ãcariyas came originally from the province of Ubon Ratchathani – all have now passed away. They were influential disciples whose teaching careers helped to perpetuate Ãcariya Mun’s legacy for the benefit of future generations. Ãcariya Singh and Ãcariya Mahã Pin were brothers. Before taking up the way of practice, they thoroughly studied the Buddhist canonical texts. They were two of the senior ãcariyas who gained faith in Ãcariya Mun, discarding their pride and renouncing their obligations in order to follow the practice as he taught it. Eventually, through their teaching efforts they were able to assist many people from all walks of life.

Next in order of seniority was Ãcariya Thet Thesarangsï who presently resides at Wat Hin Mak Peng monastery in the Sri Chiangmai district of Nong Khai province. He is a senior disciple of Ãcariya Mun whose exemplary mode of practice is so inspiring that he is highly revered by monks and laity in almost all parts of the country. His manner is always simple and down-to-earth, as one would expect with his exceptionally gentle, gracious, unassuming character. He conducts himself with perfect dignity, while people from all levels of society are captivated by his eloquent discourse.

When it comes to temperament, or personal behavior, senior ãcariyas differ in their natural qualities of mind and character. There are ãcariyas whose personal behavior is an excellent example for everyone to emulate: those emulating them are bound to behave in a pleasing, amicable manner that’s in no way offensive to other people. The personal behavior of some other ãcariyas, however, is pleasing and appropriate only when practiced by them personally. Should others adopt the same style of behavior it’s bound to appear false, immediately offending anyone exposed to it. So it is inadvisable for most people to imitate the idiosyncratic behavior of these ãcariyas.

The personal conduct of Ãcariya Thet, however, is unimpeachable in this regard. Following his sterling example, one is bound to develop the kind of pleasing, amicable demeanor appreciated by people everywhere. He has such a gentle, kindly disposition that it can be easily emulated without the risk of offending others. His example is especially appropriate for Buddhist monks, whose personal behavior should always reflect a truly calm and peaceful frame of mind. Ãcariya Thet is one of Ãcariya Mun’s senior disciples who I believe deserves the highest respect. For as long as I have known him, I have always considered him to be an eminent teacher

Next in line is Ãcariya Fan Ajãro who now resides at Wat Udomsomphon near the village of Na Hua Chang in the Pannanikhom district of Sakhon Nakhon province. He is widely known and lauded throughout the country for his excellent spiritual practice and his virtuous conduct. His mind excels in noble qualities, the most prominent being his immense loving kindness for people of all classes. He is a monk truly worthy of the enthusiastic devotion he receives from people of every region of our country. He genuinely puts his heart into helping people in any way he can, whether materially or spiritually – like one whose benevolence knows no bounds

The next senior disciple I shall mention is Ãcariya Khao Anãlyo who presently resides at Wat Tham Klong Phen monastery in the Nong Bua Lamphu district of Udon Thani province. As he is one of the foremost meditation masters of our time, it’s very likely that the reader is already familiar with his outstanding reputation. Both his mode of practice and his level of spiritual attainment are worthy of the utmost respect. He has always preferred to practice in remote, secluded locations with such single-minded resolve that his diligence in this respect is unrivaled among his peers in the circle of dhutanga monks. Even today, at the age of 82, he still refuses to allow his declining health to curtail his customary zeal. Some people have asked me, out of concern for his failing health, why he continues to put such strenuous effort into practice when in truth he has nothing further to accomplish. They can’t figure out why he remains so active and energetic. I try to explain to them that someone, who has completely eliminated the contentious factors that exploit every weakness to sap energy and hinder progress, has no debilitating lethargy left to entrap his mind in a web of delusion. Meanwhile the rest of us have amassed such a debilitating mountain of laziness that it virtually obscures us from view. As soon as we get started on some worthwhile endeavor, we become apprehensive lest the fruits of our efforts overload our capacity to store them. We worry ahead of time about how exhausted we’ll be when the work becomes difficult. In the end having failed to gather those wholesome fruits, we are left with an empty basket, that is, an empty joyless heart, drifting aimlessly with no hard-earned store of merit to fall back on. Instead, we fill our empty hearts with complaints about all the difficulties we face. So laziness, this blight in our hearts, keeps throwing up obstacles to block our way. Those who have cleansed this blight from their hearts remain persistent, persevering in times of hardship. They never worry about overloading their capacity to store the fruits of their efforts. Those individuals whose hearts are pure, unblemished Dhamma, cleared of all worldly defilements, stand out majestically in all situation. Somber, sullen moods never arise in their hearts, making them perfect examples for the world to follow.

Each of the above-mentioned disciples of Ãcariya Mun has certain brilliant qualities buried deep within his heart, shining there like precious gems. People having the good fortune to meet such noble teachers are bound to be rewarded with amazing insights to gladden their hearts– an experience they will cherish forever.

Ãcariya Mun taught several different generations of disciples, many of whom have become important teachers in their own right. Being a meditation master of great stature rich in noble virtues, he was wonder fully clever in the way he elucidated the path of practice and its fruits. It was as though he had a miniature Tipiåaka etched into his heart, as was so accurately prophesied by the initial samãdhi nimitta he saw when he first began to practice. Traveling to many regions of the country during the course of his teaching career, he instructed large numbers of monks and lay supporters, who in turn developed a deep devotion for him and a genuine fondness for the edifying Dhamma he taught. His spiritual impact was a direct result of having realized within himself the true nature of that Dhamma. His words thus represented that Truth which he had fully comprehended – not mere guesswork, or conjecture about what the truth should be or might be. Being absolutely certain about the Truth arising in his own heart, he taught this same Truth to others. When Ãcariya Mun left Sarika Cave to return to the Northeast for the second time, he was fully determined to teach the way to as many monks and laity as possible – both his previous acquaintances who had already undergone some training, as well as those who were just beginning to establish themselves in the practice.