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从儒释道看中国传统文化的内核

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cheva
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13 days ago4 min read

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最近听了一些讲述佛教、印度教和宗教历史的节目,对这些话题产生了兴趣。
其实在中国文化中影响最大的,一般都说是儒、道、释三家。就是孔子的儒家学说在汉武帝之后,被历代的统治者大力推行,获得了近乎国教的地位,被称为儒教。其次就是道家。这两者都是中国土生土长的思想,由老子、庄子等思想家创立并发展。道家的经典《道德经》,初看上去是一部颇有经营鸡汤的教人为人处事的著作。有一小部分讲究统治者应该如何治理国家,也就是所谓的无为而治,减少干预,颇有些西方古典自由主义的味道。在道家思想基础上发展起来的道教,就将《道德经》解释为养生的书籍,并将其作为修行的依据,修行的目的也是为了达到成仙的境界,永生不死,感觉多少是有些曲解的。
而儒释道中的释就是指的释迦牟尼,也就是佛教。作为这三者当中唯一的外来宗教,佛教对中国的环境适应得相当好。即便它在自己的发源地印度已经消失,但在中国却发扬光大,传播到了东南亚和日本。佛教本来是为了反对阶级压迫的种姓制度而诞生的,其教义中强调众生平等。但种姓制度的等级思想已经渗入了印度这个民族的思想基因当中,它在孔雀王朝、贵霜帝国等政权强力扶持的时期,能够有所发展。佛教在印度竞争不过吸收了佛教元素的改良的婆罗门教——印度教而消失殆尽。
在中国传统文化的这三大主流思想当中,从其内核可以看出,虽然近代以来,多接受西方思想的学者认为,中国的传统思想是导致中国落后的主因,对传统文化中包含了过多的等级思想和愚化民众的因素,但实际上深究起来,佛教强调平等,道教主张统治者无为而治,不要干预民众的生活,最好的治理模式就是小国寡民而非大一统。即便是被大一统王朝拿来为自己合法性背书的儒家,也否定统治者的绝对权威“天命说”,而主张君主可以被合法的取代,而孟子更是提出了大量的民本思想主张。这些思想让作为皇帝的朱元璋非常难受,甚至发布删节版的《孟子》作为科举考试的考纲。
所以,并不能说中国的传统文化里面没有自由平等的种子,只是被这阶级和为统治阶级服务的文人们选择性地忽略了,也有一些和西方的文人。即便现在的互联网上也有很多,因为西方的先进和发达,将其与他们的信仰,特别是基督教信仰联系起来,和中国在各方面文化上的落后,是因为中国人不信神。这显然也是没有什么道理的。中国人对人的态度确实很世俗,就和社会上地位比较高的、可以请托办事的普通人没什么区别,求神拜佛,也是指望那些幻想中的神力能够帮助自己。构成中国传统文化主流的儒释道三家,其实都有非常强烈的无神论倾向。
当然,今天说这么多,是因为最近看了一本介绍佛教在中国发展的书,非常有意思,叫《佛祖到底说了什么》,以后会经常介绍一下这本书中的内容。


I recently listened to some programs about Buddhism, Hinduism and the history of religion, and became interested in these topics.
In fact, it is generally said that Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism have the greatest influence in Chinese culture. After Emperor Wudi of Han Dynasty, the Confucianism of Confucius was vigorously promoted by successive rulers and gained the status of almost the state religion, known as Confucianism. The second is Taoism. Both of these ideas are indigenous to China, created and developed by thinkers such as Lao Tzu and Zhuangzi. The Tao Te Ching, the classic of Taoism, seems at first to be a book with a lot of chicken soup to teach people to do things. There is a small section about how rulers should run their countries, which is called non-governance and less interference, which smacks of classical Western liberalism. Taoism, which developed on the basis of Taoist thought, interprets Tao Te Ching as a book of health preservation and takes it as the basis for practice, the purpose of practice is also to achieve the realm of immortality, immortality, which feels somewhat distorted.
The interpretation in Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism refers to Shakyamuni, that is, Buddhism. As the only foreign religion of the three, Buddhism has adapted quite well to the Chinese environment. Even though it has disappeared in its native India, it has flourished in China and spread to Southeast Asia and Japan. Buddhism was originally born to oppose the caste system of class oppression, and its teachings emphasize the equality of all beings. However, the idea of caste hierarchy has penetrated into the ideological DNA of the Indian nation, and it can develop during the period of strong support of the Maurya Dynasty, Kushan Empire and other regimes. Buddhism disappeared in India in competition with the improved Brahmanism, Hinduism, which absorbed elements of Buddhism.
From the core of these three mainstream thoughts of Chinese traditional culture, we can see that although scholars who have accepted Western thoughts since modern times believe that Chinese traditional thoughts are the main cause of China's backwardness, and traditional culture contains too many hierarchical thoughts and factors that fool the people, in fact, after in-depth study, Buddhism emphasizes equality, Taoism advocates that rulers should rule without doing anything. Do not interfere in the lives of the people, the best governance model is small, not unified. Even Confucianism, which was used by the great unified dynasty to endorse its legitimacy, denied the absolute authority of the ruler, "the mandate of heaven", and advocated that the monarch could be legally replaced, and Mencius even put forward a large number of people-oriented ideas. These ideas made the emperor Zhu Yuanzhang so uncomfortable that he even published an abridged version of Mencius as part of the syllabus for the imperial examinations.
Therefore, it cannot be said that traditional Chinese culture does not contain the seeds of freedom and equality, but it is selectively ignored by this class and the writers who serve the ruling class, and there are also some Western literati. Even now there are many on the Internet, because the West is advanced and developed, and they associate it with their beliefs, especially Christian beliefs, and China is backward in all aspects of culture, because Chinese people do not believe in God. This, too, obviously makes no sense. Chinese people's attitude toward people is indeed very secular, and there is no difference between them and the ordinary people who have a relatively high status in society and can ask for help. Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism, which constitute the mainstream of Chinese traditional culture, all have a very strong tendency of atheism.
Of course, today I say so much because I recently read a very interesting book about the development of Buddhism in China, called What the Buddha Said, and I will often introduce the contents of this book in the future.

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