金佛聖寺 Gold Buddha Monastery - 教育始於胎教 Education Begins in the Prenatal Period

教育始於胎教
Education Begins in the Prenatal Period

宣公上人一九八八年十月二十五日開示於 UBC 大學   A talk by the Venerable Master Hua on October 25, 1988 at the University of British Columbia

各位善知識,我們今天大家聚會到這一個大的堂裏邊,共同談一談教育的問題。這個教育是人人的一個根本,若把這根本問題忽略了,那就叫捨本逐末,捨近求遠。

教育是由我們有生以來,耳濡目染影響的是我們人一生的行為,所謂「近朱者赤,近墨者黑;染於蒼則蒼,染於黃則黃。」這個教育的問題,甚至於可以這麼說,不單生出來做人受教育,就是沒生出以前,在母親的腹裏,已經就接受教育了。當小孩子在母親腹裏的時候,這個母親如果是有學識的,那麼這個小孩子也影響得會很聰明,很有學問。母親懷著子女的時候,要是願意發脾氣,生出的小孩子脾氣一定很大。母親非常剛強,不接受任何人的勸告,這個小孩子生出來也一定非常剛強,不聽任何人的勸告,他自己有自己的主宰,不是一般人所能左右的。所以胎教這非常重要的。

女人為國民之母,為國家的根本,所有的女人都會教育兒童了,在懷孕的時候,就懂得胎教。這時候也不應該爭,也不應該貪,也不應該妄求,也不應該那麼自私,也不應該那麼自利,也不應該打妄語。因為你打了妄語,你有爭、貪、求、自私、自利這種的行為,你就影響這個胎兒也有這種心理,所以就不會在這個社會上做一個良好的國民。因為這個,所以我們這教育是由父母那兒一懷孕的期間,就應該特別注意這個教育。

等小孩子生出來了,我們做父母的一定要給這個小孩子、給子女做一個好的榜樣,不要那麼爭啊!吵啊!那麼樣子自私自利、爭、貪、求、打妄語啊!如果你有這樣的行為,子女他是見到什麼,就會學什麼。譬如你大人會講話,小孩子也一點一點就會講話了,這種影響力是很大的。所以做父母的不能說能養子女,不能教子女。你能養子女,這是幫助國家生一個國民了;可是你不能教養子女,你不能教育他,你這是沒有負起你對於國家的關心,對於這個社會的關心。你生出的子女你沒有教育好,令他做一個問題的兒童,甚至於危害這個社會國家,這都是做父母的要負責任。剛出生這個子女,做父母的應該負責任。

所以做父母的要以教育子女為當務之急,不要把去賺錢哪,去搞名搞利啊!做為第一了,應該以教育子女做為最要緊的一件事情。你要是把子女教育好了,他知道怎麼樣做人了,他知道怎麼樣愛惜身體了,比你給他賺多少錢都有價值。所以子女在家庭這個階段,沒有入學校,這個教育的責任是父母的。

那麼等到他一踏入學校,這學校做人師表的應該要以身作則,應該影響得學生儘量知道怎麼樣敦品立德,怎麼樣能孝順父母,尊敬長上。這一開始的時候,要教他這個孝道。在萬佛聖城,小學的時候儘量灌輸小學生來孝順父母,在家裏也要替父母來工作,也要順承父母的意思。所以萬佛聖城的小學生回到家裏,他的父母都非常滿意的。

那麼老師以「得天下英才而教育之」做自己一個真正的天職義務,我就是應該負起教育一般人的子女這種責任,那麼令他不抽菸、不喝酒、不吸毒,不男女不守規矩,應該在這個地方著手。那麼這個教育有八種條目,在孔夫子的《大學》裏頭講「三綱領」、「八條目」。這三綱領就是「明明德,新民,止於至善」;那麼八條目就是「格物、知致、誠意、正心、修身、齊家、治國、平天下」。這是一整套做人的方法,也是治家的一種方法,治國的一種方法。所以學生把這三綱領、八條目都能學之於身,行之於身,那麼教育整個世間的下一代,令他們都能以不要捨本逐末。

現在這個一般性的教育,教育學生只知道將來讀書讀成就了,怎麼樣去找一個高的職位,賺錢賺得多,怎麼樣能得到名,怎麼樣能得到利,怎麼樣能做這個世界的名人、世界第一人。你沒有教他基本做人的條件,就教他去爭名奪利,這叫捨本逐末,這叫背道而馳。你背著道去做事情,這是一種大錯而特錯!所以我們做老師的,做教師的,為人的師表,應該注意學生的品德和智慧,要開啟他智慧之源,令他把本有智慧的源泉能發掘出來,那麼要耐心地去教育,所以這個事情是責任非常重大。你若把學生都教育得人人都知道愛護自己的身,人人都知道愛護自己的家,人人都知道愛護自己的國。那麼這樣子,這個世界你不求它和平,它也和平了。因為人人他不給自己麻煩了,也就不給旁人麻煩了。不在自己家庭做不合理的事情,那麼在國裏邊也做循規蹈矩的一個良好公民,在社會上也就能影響一般人都是互相尊重,互相愛敬,不會互相欺騙,互相打妄語。這個地方我相信是很要緊的。

所以我們一般人哪,現在都忽略這根本的問題了,都往這個末梢上去跑,跑來跑去,越跑越遠,越跑離這個做人的本份越遠。我今天本照我很沒有經驗、很沒有學識地對大家來講這一種很普通的道理,可是「白水熬白菜,淡而無味的。」雖然沒有什麼味道,但是你若吃了這個白菜和白菜湯,能解去很多的毒氣。

 

 

All Good and Wise Advisors: Today we have gathered together in this great hall to discuss the matter of education. Education is our roots. If we ignore this basic matter, then we are renouncing the roots to chase the branchtips, overlooking what is near to seek afar.

A Child's Character Develops under His Mother's Influence
Education includes all the visual and auditory influences we have received since the time of birth that molds our life and behavior patterns. It is said, "Those who draw near rouge turn red and those who draw near ink turn black. Those who are dyed green become green, and those who are dyed yellow become yellow." It can even be said that not only do we receive education after we are born; we are also being educated while in the womb. The mother can influence her baby when it is in the womb. If the mother is very learned, then she will influence her baby to be intelligent and knowledgeable. If the mother often loses her temper during the pregnancy, then she will give birth to a baby with a bad temper. If the mother is very stubborn and does not listen to others' advice, her baby will also be extremely obstinate, not listening to anyone's instructions. He will be willful and people will not be able to influence him. Therefore, prenatal education is extremely important.

Expectant Mothers Should Understand Prenatal Education
Women are the mothers of our citizens. All women should know how to teach children, and should also understand the potential for influencing children during the prenatal period. Thus, a pregnant woman should not contend, be greedy, seek, be selfish, pursue personal benefit, or tell lies. If pregnant women tell lies, contend, are greedy, seek outside, are selfish, or pursue personal benefit then they will influence their babies to have that kind of mental state and such children will not grow up to be a good citizen in society. Therefore, parents should pay special attention to educating their unborn children.

The Top Priority of Parents Is to Educate Their Children
After a child is born, parents should act as role models. Do not contend or quarrel. Do not be selfish, pursue personal gain, be greedy, seek or tell lies. Otherwise, children will see and learn to behave the same way. Children are influenced by what they see and hear. For example, children gradually learn how to talk by imitating grownups. Therefore, parents should not only give birth to their children – they must also educate them. By giving birth to a child, you have given the country one more citizen. However, if you do not educate that child, then you have not shown any concern for the well-being of the country and society. Without the proper education and guidance, he may become a problem child who opposes and harms the society and country. In this case, the parents must take the responsibility. With this in mind, parents’ top priority should be to educate their children, rather than pursue fame and profit. They should see teaching their children as their most important job. If you teach your children well, then you have done something more worthwhile than making any amount of money, because your children will know how to be good people and how to cherish their bodies and lives. Thus, before children begin attending school, the responsibility for their education lies with the parents.

Teachers Should Teach Students to Be Trustworthy and Virtuous
Once children begin school, teachers must set a good example and teach them how to be trustworthy and virtuous, filial to their parents, and respectful to their elders. Start by teaching them the way of filial piety. The elementary school at the City of Ten Thousand Buddhas encourages the younger students to be filial to their parents by working for their parents at home and obeying their parents' wishes. When the students go home, their parents are all are pleased with them.

The mission of teachers is to "Provide education that enhances student’s talents so they can benefit the world." They should be good role models. Teachers should not smoke, drink or take drugs, or behave improperly with those of the opposite sex.

Learn it and Put it into Practice
The Great Learning of Confucius discusses the Three Principles and Eight Articles of education. The Three Principles are to "illustrate the bright virtue, renew the people, and rest in the highest goodness." The Eight Articles are to "get rid of desires, extend knowledge, make thoughts proper, rectify the mind, cultivate oneself, regulate the family, govern the country, and bring peace to the world." This is a complete set of guidelines for being a person, managing a family, and ruling a country. If we can educate the next generation of the world by teaching all students to learn the Three Principles and Eight Articles and put them into practice, then they will not forget what is important. They will not chase after unimportant things.

Typical education today only teaches students how to procure a high-paying position after they graduate, to become famous, and to strive to be number one in the world. Instead of being taught the basic requirements for being a person, they are taught how to contend for fame and profit. This is known as ‘letting go of the root to grasp at the branches’ and is a trend that ‘goes against the Way’. To do things against the Way is a great mistake. Therefore, teachers should serve as good role models, and pay attention to students' integrity and wisdom. Open up the source of wisdom for them, and help them uncover their inherent wisdom. Be patient while educating them, for this is an extremely important responsibility. If you can teach every student to cherish his body and life, his family, and his country, then even if you are not seeking world peace, the world will become peaceful. Why? People will not make trouble for themselves or for others. They will not do irrational things at home, and they will be good law-abiding citizens in the community. In the society, they will influence people to honor and cherish one another and not cheat or lie to one another.

I believe that education in the home and in the school is extremely crucial. However, most people have ignored this fundamental issue, and run off to pursue superficial matters. Running here and there, they get farther and farther away from the basic human obligations. These are my humble words to explain a very simple principle. You may say it is as tasteless as cabbage boiled in plain water but, although there may not be much flavor, if you eat the cabbage and drink the soup, it can neutralize a lot of toxic energy.