Translations

How Should Buddhists Regard Ghosts & Gods? 佛教徒应当如何看待鬼神?Ghosts & Gods 鬼神

鬼神
Ghosts [And] Gods

或问:「有鬼神欤?无鬼神欤?」

If asked, ‘Are [there] ghosts [and] gods? [Or] no ghosts [and] gods?’

曰:「有。」

Say, ‘[There] are.’

「 鬼神可信奉欤?不可信奉欤?」

‘[Are] ghosts [and] gods believable, [for] pious worship? [Or] not believable, [for] pious worship?’

曰:「亦可亦不可。」

Say, ‘Also believable, also not believable.’

「 何谓也?」

‘Why [is this] said?’

曰:「夫子不云乎『敬鬼神而远之』?

Say, ‘[Did] Confucius not say, “Respect ghosts [and] gods, yet distance from [them]”?

盖一言尽其曲折矣!

Covered [in this] one line [is] complete [with] that [which is] complicated.

『敬』之云者,有也。

Of “respect” said, have [it].

『远』之云者,信而不奉也。

Of “distance” said, believe yet not worship [them].

祀之以时,交之以礼,如是而已耳。

When [making] of timely offerings, make [them] with respect, [as] such, [and] nothing more.

过信而谄奉焉,冀其报吉凶、降福佑、获灵通,则骎骎然入于邪矣。

[If with] excessive belief then, flattering [with] offerings then, hoping [for] their informing [of the] auspicious [and] inauspicious, descent [of] blessings [and] protection, [and] obtaining [of] spirits’ communication, thus swiftly so, [is] entering of evil [with greed and delusion].

噫!有可敬而不可远者,诸佛诸菩萨是也。

Yes! Those worthy of respect, yet not [to be] distanced [from], are all Buddhas [and] all Bodhisattvas.

胡弗思也?」

How [can this] not [be] considered?’

净土宗八祖莲池大师
Pure Land Tradition’s 8th Patriarch Great Master Liánchí
《竹窗随笔》
Essays Written [By The] Bamboo Window

Namo Amituofo : Translation by Shen Shi’an

Please be mindful of your speech, Amituofo!

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