判教 – Chinese philosophy and culture

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pànjiào 判教

Classification of Teachings

指佛教各宗为了消除分歧、树立本派的正宗地位和权威而对佛教各类经典的意义和地位所进行的分类排序。也称“教判”。各宗派的判教不同,一般由低到高、由浅入深,将本宗的经典教义视为最高的教法。在印度佛教中已有运用,隋唐时期的各宗均有自己的判教,比如天台宗的“五时八教”,将佛陀传法分为五个时期,以华严为首,依次为阿含、方等、般若、法华涅槃;从教化方法上分为顿、渐、秘密、不定四类,从理论性质上分为藏、通、别、圆四类。这是一种带有强烈宗派意识的理论整合方法,对佛教在中国的本土化产生了深远影响。

The term refers to an exegetical classification in which a Buddhist school, in order to bridge theological differences of various teachings or establish its own position and authority, ranks the significance and status of various scriptures. It is also known as jiao pan (classification of the tenets). Different schools and sects adopt different systems of classification. The common practice is to begin with the easy ones, working all the way up to the most profound, and it usually ends with one’s own school as the supreme. Such a practice may take its origin in Indian Buddhism, and the exegetical communities of the Sui and Tang dynasties have particular interest in establishing their own classification. For example, the “five periods and eight teachings” of the Tiantai School divides the Buddha’s instruction chronologically into five phases: (1) Huayan or Avataṃsaka (Garland), (2) Ahan or āgama (Scriptures), (3) Fangdeng or Vaipulya (Broad and equal teaching exemplified by Mahayana), (4) Dabore or Mahāprajñāpāramitā (Great Perfection of Wisdom), and (5) Fahua-Niepan or Saddharmapuṇḍarīka-Mahāparinirvāṇa (Lotus Sutra and The Final Nirvana); or pedagogically into four classes: the sudden, gradual, esoteric, and indeterminate teaching; or in terms of the theoretical inclination, into four classes: the Tripiṭaka, common, distinct, and comprehensive or perfect teachings. These synthetic categorizations are tinted by distinct local sectarian tendencies, hence had profound influence on the acculturation of Buddhism in China.

引例 Citation:

◎诸家判教非一,一云释迦一代不出顿渐,渐有七阶五时,世共同传,无不言是。又云:五时之言,那可得定?但双林已前,是有余不了,涅盘之唱,以之为了。(《妙法莲华经玄义》卷十)

(各家对于教义的判别分类并不一致,一种说法是释迦佛有生之年,仅有顿、渐两类教导,渐教又分五个时期、七个阶段,为世人所共同传颂,没有异议。又有人说,五个时期的教法何以确定?其实,双林示寂以前,是属于佛陀有余涅槃阶段的不了义法,而最终的涅槃示教则属于了义法。)

Different Buddhist communities adopt different classifications of teaching. Some argue that when the Buddha was present in this world, he gave no other than the sudden and the gradual teaching, while it is only later that the seven phases and five periods came into existence, which was then passed down by generations and widely accepted. Others, however, raise the question: how can we be sure that the periods are five? Actually, (there can be only two) before the Buddha passed away, while remaining in his state of “nirvana with remainders,” his teachings were implicit (neyārtha, literally one whose meaning is yet to be brought out); and those he proclaimed at the “double tree” (Buddha’s death scene) are explicit (nītārtha, literally one whose meaning has already been brought out). (Profound Meaning of The Lotus Sutra of the Wonderful Dharma)

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