Bring peace to the Middle East! 56: when religions were born 4: Buddhism


中東に平和を! 56: 宗教が誕生する時 4: 仏教 

 

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< 1. A Buddha statue >
< 1.仏像 >

This time, I investigate the birth of Buddhism.

今回は仏教の誕生を追います。

 

The times when Buddha was born
The Indian ancient civilization was born in the Indus basin, but already ruined.
Afterwards, Aryan invaded from the Central Asia, settled down in the upper and middle basin of the Ganges River as they were ruling over the indigenous people.
Then they developed abundant festival, myth, and paean in the last 1000 years and created Brahmanism.
The Brahmanism took root from royal families to every villages
Royal families repeated luxurious festivals, Brahman (priest) made the doctrine and the proceeding of the religious service an absolute secrecy (oral transmission of tales), and their authority exceeded lords occasionally.

A lot of critical freethinkers appeared since about the seventh century B.C., and Buddha played an active part in about the fifth century B.C.
The farming evolved in this area by ironware these days, and trade also developed.
And tribal societies evolved into city states, and a large number of the nations competed for hegemony and repeated war.
A kingdom of Buddha’s father became a prey of a great power, and died out.

 
釈迦が生まれた時代
インドの古代文明はインダス河流域に生まれたが既に廃れていた。
その後、アーリア人が中央アジアから侵入し先住民を支配しながらガンジス河の上中流域へと定住した。
彼らはそれから千年の間に豊富な祭儀と神話、賛歌を発展させ、バラモン教を生み出した。
バラモン教は村々から王家まで根を下ろしていた。
王家は贅沢な祭儀を繰り返し、バラモン(僧)は教義や祭祀手順を極秘(口頭伝承)にし、彼らの権威は王侯を凌ぐこともあった。

紀元前7世紀頃から、批判的な自由思想家が多数出現し、釈迦は紀元前5世紀頃に活躍した。
この頃、この地域は鉄器により農耕が進み、また交易も発展していた。
そして部族社会から都市国家へと進み、多数の国家が覇権を競って戦争を繰り返していた。
釈迦の父の王国も強国の餌食になり滅んだ。

 

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< 2. Festival >
< 2. 祭儀 >

 
The act of Buddha
Buddha was a prince of the small country of the north India, but he threw all things away, and took off on a journey of contemplation.
After getting the enlightenment, he organized a group of live-in followers (samgha), went around villages together and missionized.
In the end, he died surrounded by the followers at 80 years old.

Buddha tried to preach it easily without using difficult concepts that had spread in those days, and was unrelated to the miracle. Annotation 1
He refused the festival-centered Brahmanism, and preached to people about “Realize a truth”.
For example, it is to realize “Life is pain” and “obsession and greed bring suffering”.
He said that the people could acquire it by experiencing simple life and doing righteous deed, without doing ascetic practices.
Therefore he established religious precepts necessary for the life of live-in followers.

釈迦の行い
釈迦は北インドの小国の皇子であったが、すべてを捨て思索の旅に出た。
彼は悟りを得た後は出家集団(サンガ)を作り村々を巡って伝道し、弟子たちに囲まれて80歳で死去した。

釈迦は、当時流布していた難解な観念を用いず平易に説くことを心掛け、奇跡とも無縁でした。注釈1
彼は祭儀中心のバラモン教を拒否し、人々に「真理を悟る」ことを説いた。
例えば、それは「人生は苦である」「執着や我欲が苦しみをもたらす」を知ることです。
これを苦行ではなく、人々は質素な生活と正しい行いを通して体得出来るとした。
その為に、出家集団の生活に必要な戒律を定めた。

Afterwards
After Buddha died, the teaching was handed down by the disciples, and the sacred books were codified the several hundred years later.
Many kingdoms protected the Buddhism, and in addition, performed the enlightenment.
Thanks to it, the religious community developed, but it became specialized, split up and came to stay away from the people.
On the other hand, many graves (stupa) which enshrined ashes of Buddha were constructed in many places, and a lot of believers began to visit.
Buddha statues were born there since about the first century A.D., and the believers began to make the sacred books of Mahayana Buddhism in plenty.
Thing they wished was to get the saving grace by worshiping the Buddha as a god and praying even if they remained in lay believers.

After that, the Buddhism was at the height of the prosperity, spread to the Southeast Asia, and spread from the Central Asia to the East Asia.
On the other hand, the Brahmanism began to change to Hinduism being close to the people.

 
その後
釈迦入滅後、教えは弟子たちにより語り継がれ、数百年後に経典が成文化された。
多くの王国は仏教を保護し教化も行った。
おかげで教団は発展していったが、専門化し分裂し民衆から離れていった。

一方、釈迦の遺骨を祀る墳墓(ストゥーパ)が各地にたくさん作られ、信者らが多数訪れるようになっていた。
紀元1世紀頃、そこから仏像が誕生すると共に大乗仏教の経典が信者によって多数作られ始めた。
それらが目指したものは、釈迦を仏(神)と崇め、祈ることで在家のままでも救いが得られると言うものでした。

この後、仏教はインドで全盛期を迎え、東南アジアや中央アジアから東アジアへと広まっていった。
一方、バラモン教は民衆に密着したヒンドゥー教へと変容していった。

 

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< 3. A big grave (stupa) >
< 3. 墳墓(ストゥーパ) >

Point of the Buddhism
Buddha was negative about autocratic kingdoms, and also about economic activities being likely to become greed.
In addition, he was unrelated to Savior and God.
Therefore, at first, the Buddhism was far from the politics, but kingdoms protected the Buddhism for helping of social stability, and the religious community received favors, too.
It would not conflict with the national law, because the law established by Buddha was a religious precept of the group of live-in followers, only encouraged simple life and did not establish penal regulations.

Probably, the Buddhism was received by many nations by the condition and the popularity of it, and would have developed into a world religion.

This continues the next time.

 
仏教のポイント
釈迦は横暴な王国や私欲に走る経済活動に否定的であった。
また救世主や天上の神とも無縁であった。
したがって政治から離れていた仏教だが、王国は社会の安定に繋がるとして仏教を擁護し、教団も恩恵を受けた。
釈迦が定めた法は出家集団の戒律であり、質素な生活を奨励し、罰則を定めなかったので、国家の法とは抵触することがなかっただろう。

おそらくこの事と大乗仏教の人気が、多くの国家に受容され世界宗教へと発展することになったのだろう。

 
次回に続きます。

 
注釈1.
当時のインド哲学(ヴェーダ)は、宇宙原理(ブラフマンとアートマン)で世界の根本を説明出来るとし、これから梵我一如(ブラフマンとアートマンは同一)の思想が生まれていた。

また、輪廻転生(人は前世の因果を受けて生まれてくる)の観念が定着していた。
この観念はインドの自然風土に背景を持つが、バラモンによって階級差別を合理化するために一層強化された。
これは人々に恐怖であって、この無限のサイクルから脱する為に解脱を望んだ。

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Categories: culture+society, history+evolution, <english language, <japanese language, Series: Bring peace to the Middle East | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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