涌泉以报  林钰堂  

 

「滴水之恩,涌泉以报」;这是流传的说法。乍看之时,会觉得说得太虚夸,也不合世间的实情。但是,会流传的话,应该有一些道理;所以,我就寻思一番。

这不会是在物质份量、事情轻重上的考量,因为太不对称了;这应当是在情意上的讲究。在世间,每一个人所能关怀、付出的,都极为有限;所以,领受到他人的关怀与付出,都是需要感恩的。而且,每个人的生活都仰赖人际间的互相帮助。在这样的领悟下,他人的恩情,我们应当铭记在心,而不停止回餽的心态——遇有机会及能力报答时,就要回报。这应该是这句成语的深心涵意。

更推而广之,则不止于回报有恩,而是要随缘帮助其他有情众生。如此推恩,则于冥冥中,增添世间少许温暖,几分和气。

想学佛的人,若连这样的感恩、推恩心态都缺乏,而是只依个人的好恶、利害来抉择行止,那就很明显地在觉道上,无从进展,而只能滞留在私心的小圈内打转。

 

二○二○年一月十日
养和斋   于加州


 

 

Paying Back as Spring Flowing

Yutang Lin

 

″Favor of a drop of water is to be paid back as spring flowing.″ This is a well-known Chinese saying. Upon first encounter, it seems to be too boastful, and not in accordance with reality in life. However, if a saying can last and spread, there ought to be some reasons behind it; and hence, I pondered over it.

It could not be based on considerations over material quality and quantity, nor over degrees of seriousness of matters, because it is too unsymmetrical; it should be based on considerations over intentions of caring and helping. In worldly life, what each one can care about and/or help are all very limited; and hence, the favor of receiving care and/or help from others should be well appreciated. Furthermore, each one′s life all depends on mutual support and help among the society. As one comprehends such truth, others′ favors should be well kept in mind, and one should never cease the intention to pay back whenever possible—when opportunity arises and capacity allows, one pays back favors. This should be the profound insight and significance of the idiom.

If we extend the teaching further, then one should not stop at paying back favors received but help other sentient beings whenever the occasion arises, and capacity allows. Extending others′ favor to other beings would, in ways unnoticeable, increase some feelings of warmth and add some air of peace in the world.

For people aspiring to gain full enlightenment, if they lack even this kind of appreciative and helpful attitude, but act only according to personal preferences and self-interests considerations, then, obviously, they have no way to make any progress on the enlightenment path, but can only remain stagnant and keep running around in tiny circle of selfishness.

 

Written in Chinese and translated into English on January 10, 2020
El Cerrito, California


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