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Term Definition
公案《俗语佛源》
本意是官府断案的公文案牍。禅宗认为历代宗门祖师典范性的言行可以判别学人的是非迷悟,故亦称公案。明·株宏《正讹集》指出:“公案者,公府之案牍也,所以剖断是非。而诸祖问答机缘,亦只为剖断生死,故以名之。”禅宗自称“不立文字”、“教外别传”,然而从唐代始,禅门各宗就传诵着许多祖师言行和内省经验,后来陆续记载在各类语录和灯录中。如风幡、立雪、柏树子、西来意、拈花微笑、当头棒喝等,均烩炙人口。“公案”被视为禅门传法的“血脉”,祖师“直指”的法门。其作用在于对机开示,打破情识之网,进而悟入“无分别智”。正如宋·圆悟《碧岩录》第九八则评唱指出:“古人事不获已,对机垂示,后人唤作公案因缘。”禅宗的公案号称有千七百则。如果仅在字面上兜来兜去,不去悟入言外之意,弦外之音,那未公案便成纠缠的葛藤了。“公案翻腾旧葛藤”(元·耶律楚材《和裴子法韵》诗),这是不足为训的。公案不但有一针见血的机锋和理趣,而且还有诙谐活泼的语言和简洁生动的情节,对话本和公案小说的发展有其影响。此外,公案在俗语中亦指一桩事件或纠葛,如谓:了却一桩公案。(李明权)
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