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《佛說無常經》的傳譯與喪葬禮儀=The Translation of the Sutra of Impermanence as Told by the Buddha and its Relation to Funeral Rituals
Author 白金銑 (著)=Pai, Chin-hsien (au.)
Source 中華佛學學報=Chung-Hwa Buddhist Journal=The Journal of Chinese Buddhist Studies
Pages65 - 103
Publisher中華佛學研究所=The Chung-Hwa Institute of Buddhist Studies
Publisher Url
Location新北市, 臺灣 [New Taipei City, Taiwan]
Content type期刊論文=Journal Article
Language中文=Chinese; 英文=English
Keyword無常經; 喪葬禮儀; 經懺法事; 三啟; 義淨

This article deals with the Chinese translation of the Sutra of Impermanence
(Foshuo wuchang jing 佛說無常經) and its relation to funeral rituals. Yijing translated
this sutra on the 23rd day ofthe 9th month of 701 (during the reign of Empress
Wu of the Tang Dynasty) at Dafuxian Monastery in Luoyang. Soon after, it was
transmitted to Japan and Korea, where new commentaries were written. It also
became a scripture for Buddhist funeral processions in East Asia. The sutra discusses
impermanence and the inevitability of aging, illness, and death. It is very
similar to Anicca-sutta, Dukkha-sutta, and Anatta-sutta found in the Saṃyuttanikāya
of the Pali canon. Thus there is no doubt about the historical authenticity
of the Sutra of Impermanence, which carries the message to the Buddha’s disciples
and people of the time that when facing significant occasions such as birth and
death, they should not hesitate to put aside their bodies, go forward with energy,
and practice Buddhist rules peacefully and wholeheartedly, and should not indulge
in evil thoughts or funeral rituals. However, after the nirvana of Buddha, his disciples
laid emphasis on the chanting ritual of the Sutra of Impermanence, thus
altering the ritual into a law. In the mid-second century, Bodhisattva Aśvaghoṣa
slightly altered the funeral rituals and changed them into a ritual system of “three
awakenings”:“praising the Buddhas in three worlds,”“chanting the principal sutra,”
and “merit-dedication and vow-making” by monks in the monastery every day. At
this time, Hinayana had advanced to Mahayana and the common funeral rituals
had become a form of Mahayana cultivation. After the Sutra of Impermanence was
translated and brought into China, it quickly merged with the Chinese traditional
solemn funeral rituals, and funerals became highly ritualized Buddhist ceremonies,
gradually losing their original features. There are now very few people who genuinely
understand the doctrine of the Sutra of Impermanence. In this democratic
age of the 21st century, we should understand it correctly, make adjustments in
the traditional funeral rituals and Buddhist funeral rituals and, in the course of
the conditioned origination of life, perceive the principles of impermanence and
selflessness and act accordingly.
ISSN10177132 (P)
Created date2007.09.05
Modified date2018.02.27

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