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西

Term Definition
西天《俗语佛源》
中国古代称印度为“天竺”,天竺在中国西边,故又称“西天”。如宋·晁冲之《以承宴墨赠僧法一》诗:“王侯旧物人今得,更写西天贝叶经。”又如神话小说《西游记》描写唐僧到西天取经,亦指印度。此外,西天指《阿弥陀经》等所说的“西方极乐世界”。净土宗信徒以念佛求生西天为修行的目的。如《敦煌曲子词·普通杂曲》:“修行法净果周圆,必定往西天。”又如明·张岱《夜航船·九流部·释解》:“冤冤相报何时了,劫劫相缠岂偶然。不若与师俱解释,如今立地往西天。”往生西天,一般要在命终后。因此,俗语中有用“上西天”泛指人死去,这并不符合佛教的本义。(李明权)
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