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Term Definition
弹指《俗语佛源》
原指印度的习俗。其法,弯曲食指,再用大拇指捻弹作声。印度人用弹指表示喜悦、赞叹等意思。如《法华经·如来神力品》:“释迦牟尼佛及宝树下诸佛现神力时,满百千岁,然后还摄舌相。一时声欬,俱共弹指。”智顗注:“弹指者,随喜也。”在古代,中国人已熟悉印度人的这个习俗。如《世说新语·政事》载:“公因便还到过任边,云:‘君出,临海便复无人。’任大喜悦,因过胡人前弹指云:‘兰阇,兰阇!’”后在诗文中,多用“弹指”表示激愤。如宋·文天祥《与湖南大帅江丞相论秦寇事宜札子》:“凡怀忠愤,无不弹指!”不过,今天人们用“弹指”一词,多表示短暂易逝的时间。如毛泽东《水调歌头·重上井冈山》:“三十八年过去,弹指一挥间。”又如郭沫若《北上纪行》诗之五:“弹指人将老,回头憾苦多。”亦作“一弹指顷”。如赵朴初《满庭芳·为人民大会堂作》词:“一弹指顷恒沙涌,楼殿重重。”此比喻意亦出于佛经。《无量寿经》谓:一心念佛的人,临命终时蒙佛接引,“如弹指顷,即生彼国(西方净土)”。“一弹指顷”有多长呢?或说“心九百六十转”康僧会《大安般守意经》序),或说“二十念为一瞬,二十瞬名一弹指”(《翻译名义集·时分》)等。可见,“弹指”之间虽很短暂,但已有许多念头在生生灭灭了。(李明权)
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