「Buddha 無非一個 P.P. 罷了。」



如我所料,這句注解登時引發哄堂大笑。



我純粹實話實說,並非故作驚人之語。Buddha

是動詞 bujjhati 的過去分詞(past participle,

簡稱 P.P.),有 known, understood, enlightened,

full-blown 等等諸義。巴利文的慣例,形容詞

或過去分詞亦可獨立作名詞之用。是故 Buddha

一字亦可解為「覺者」。



「一詞多義」的有趣現象,在各種語言中不乏

其例。巧合的是,我在澳洲比丘 Bhikkhu Sujato

的研究中讀到類似的見解。就記憶所及,掏出

與同學分享。〔注〕



Buddha 一詞究竟何意,不同的視角會導致殊

異的詮釋。舉例來講,詞源學家在古老的印歐

語中追溯 Buddha 的源頭,從而得出結論,

Buddha 源自一個動詞字根,該動詞基本上意

謂「覺醒」。語法學家則會告訴你,別想太多

了,Buddha 不過是某個動詞的「過去分詞」。

語言哲學家或許會昭告世人,Buddha 此一過

去分詞可不僅止是動詞的一種變化,它指涉的

是「達到或証悟某一狀態」,但未必是某種恆

常不變的存在狀態。然則,宗教歷史學家會怎

樣看待呢?呵,對不起,佛教徒得接受一個事

實,Buddha 這一頭銜並非「佛祖」專屬,若

干宗教,譬如耆那教和婆羅門教,皆稱証悟者

為 Buddha「覺者」。而靜坐導師則可能一聲

棒喝,提醒大家覺察自性中的「覺性」。



如何,夠熱鬧吧?同學鬨笑之餘,我乘機添油

加醋。印度寶萊塢有位家喻戶曉的大明星 Amitabh

Bachchan(1942-),他的大名和阿彌陀佛

一模一樣,都叫 Amitabh(Amitabha)。列

位聲聲呼喚佛號,若聽在印度百姓耳中,究竟

喚的是誰?



由是聯想到,印度人取名字百無禁忌,街坊市

集處處可聞 Vishnu、Ganesh、Sarasvati

等等神祇尊名,甚至 Jesus、Christ,更甭提

Buddha 了。我曾在加德滿都住過一家民宿,

跑腿的小弟赫然名叫 Krishna!每次請他幫忙

茶水時,總不由自主想起為 Arjuna 駕馭戰車

的 Krishna。呼喚來呼喚去,真是不無得意!



我們珍而重之的玩意,換個時空,意義可能別

如雲泥。玩笑歸玩笑,點到為止。





【注】


課後,查看 Bhikkhu Sujato 的原文。抄錄如下:


Bhikkhu Sujato. "A History of Mindfulness:

How insight worsted tranquility in the

Satipatthana Sutta". 2005




An etymologist could tell us that 'buddha'

derives from an ancient Indo-European root,

whose basic meaning is to 'wake up', and

which has several cognates with related

meanings in existing European languages.

A grammarian could tell us that it is a past

participle formed from a verbal stem. A

philosopher of language might find it

significant that the past participle, which

is unusually common in Buddhist language,

denotes the arrival at or emergence into

a certain condition, rather than an eternal,

timeless state of being. A historian of religion

could tell us that the title 'Buddha' is used

to denote an enlightened or consummate

being in several religions, such as Jainism

and Brahmanism, as well as Buddhism. A

meditation teacher, on the other hand,

might emphasize how 'Buddha' refers to the

intrinsic quality of awareness. And so on.

All of these aspects inform and condition

the resonance of the word 'Buddha'; they

are part of the meaning of 'Buddha'. (p.12)




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