Sun, Sep 18, 2016 - Page 9 News List

The wheel of law
法輪

An old, rusty tricycle sits in front of a house.
屋前停放一輛老舊、油漆已脫落的三輪車。

Photo: Paul Cooper, Taipei Times
照片:台北時報記者古德謙攝

There is an old tricycle in front of a house.

The paint on the tricycle has peeled and flaked away, leaving nothing but the bare metal of the tricycle frame, and the rust corroding it away.

There are two bricks holding the front wheel in place — one in front, the other behind — to stop the tricycle rolling away. But it isn’t going anywhere: there is no air in the front tyre.

There are no cables.

It has no brakes, it has no gears.

The chain remains, but it is unoiled, and rusty, and has fallen away from the chainring.

There is, however, a cart attached between the two rear wheels.

The owner might once have used this for work, to transport heavy things, or to take things to market to sell.

He or she doesn’t use it for that anymore.

They haven’t done so for many years.

It sits among four pots. Two have living plants in them, one has the dried-out stem of a dead plant. The fourth pot, the most brightly colored of them all, is completely empty.

To the side of the house entrance there is a wooden board, painted white with black Chinese characters written on it. Those words are taken from a Chinese translation of an ancient Buddhist text, the Infinite Life Sutra.

The words talk of the difficulty for human beings to understand the deep and extensive wisdom of the Buddha.

如來深廣智慧海 唯佛與佛乃能知

聲聞億劫思佛智 盡其神力莫能測

如來功德佛自知 唯有世尊能開示

人身難得佛難值 信慧聞法難中難

The text was originally written by the hand of a person belonging to an ancient culture, in a country far away.

It was translated over 1,500 years ago.

(Paul Cooper, Taipei Times)

屋前停放一輛老舊的三輪車。

車身的油漆已斑駁脫落;僅留下三輪車的骨架和鏽蝕痕跡。

車頭被兩塊磚頭固定住,一塊放在前輪前,另一塊放在前輪後,避免它滑走。

但它是不會滑走的,因為車子的前輪沒氣了。

這台車沒有煞車、煞車線,也沒有變速器。

車鍊子還在,但已脫落、鏽蝕且沒有上油。

不過,倒是有一台小拖車和後方的兩個輪子相連。

這台車的主人可能曾經騎著它工作、載運重物或是帶著東西到市場賣,但他們已經多年不再使用這台三輪車。

車旁有四個盆栽,兩個盆中的植物仍欣欣向榮,其中一只盆中只剩乾枯的莖,而顏色最亮的盆栽裡卻什麼都沒有。

房子的入口旁有一塊漆成白色的木板,上頭寫著黑色中文字。

這些文字是從古老的《佛說大乘無量壽莊嚴清淨平等覺經》中擷取出來。文字闡述凡人要理解廣大深遠的佛法有多困難。

如來深廣智慧海 唯佛與佛乃能知

聲聞億劫思佛智 盡其神力莫能測

如來功德佛自知 唯有世尊能開示

人身難得佛難值 信慧聞法難中難

這些文字最早是古人在一個遠古的國度寫下的,並在一千五百多年前翻譯而來。

(翻譯:古德謙)

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