15 Jan Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 22
[Series of Master Shen-Long expounding on the Prajna Paramita (Perfection of Transcendent Wisdom) Heart Sutra]
Our human afflictions come in two kinds: one kind prepares for a rainy day, letting your imagination run wild. The other kind is anxiety and fear, cognitive distortion and fantasizing. So, one day you are in a good mood, and the next day you are in a bad mood. Some people go home after listening to Sutra explaining, in one’s mind with thought that the Sutra explaining was good and one’s shortcomings are getting better; however, after a couple days, all is back to the original state again.
Why? One’s old habits have flared up and temper has turned bad again.
Why? One cannot control one’s own temper, so again it flares up because one cannot see past it and look beyond it.
I think everyone has experienced this.
Why? One makes life difficult with one’s own ideas. If you can see past it then you will be in harmony with all and you will not flare-up anymore because you have seen past it thoroughly and can think clearly. Your words and actions become pleasant, you do not set yourself against others, and do not make life difficult for yourself. This function is like Prajna, but it is not, it is only that you are seeing it thoroughly.
Here talking about using Prajna (wisdom) to cross over to the other shore; that is not the same, and it is just like the description in the [ Sutra text]:
While practicing the profound Prajna Paramita initiates his omniscient penetrative ability with crystal clear perception that all nature of Five Skandhas (the five composition elements of our existence as – all materialistic phenomena, feeling towards all materialistic phenomena, thinking starts from the feelings, mental formation from thinking continuously, and consciousness) are the absence of inherent existence. So releasing oneself from all the obstruction caused by suffering and misfortune.
All Suffering includes no phenomena of life and death.
Returning to this Sutra title – the Heart Sutra, first it talks about Heart, which has three implied meanings:
- Quintessence: The Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra is the most important part of the Maha-Prajnaparamita Sutra canon, it is the best feature.
If you can understand thoroughly the contextual meaning of this section, your wisdom will develop, it is also equal to taking up the “Vajracchedika Prajna”. “Vajracchedika” means “eternally un-destroyable”, eternally indestructible and immutable. Every one of us has this wisdom.
How come it does not seem like it is there now? It is not that truly none is there; rather it does not launch its function. Therefore, Heart represents the quintessence.
- Heart represents wholeheartedly and without scattering.
Why do we speak of wholeheartedly and without scattering and not say it is “three minds and two consciousness”?
Our current mind contains three minds and two consciousness – the 6th consciousness of discrimination, and the 7th (Manas) consciousness of attachment. The “three minds” are the minds of past, present and future. We sit at home every day and we either think about the past, or think about this moment now, or think about the future.
Here it talks about no thinking of the past, present and future; then what does it think? The mind does no thinking.
Why it does no thinking? It has stillness of mind control and unmoved by any phenomena.
After the stillness of mind control and unmoved, then its omniscient penetrative ability is activated. As described in the Sutra text, it means to have perfect insight of being the master of oneself.
I believe everyone looks forward being the master of oneself, and furthermore, someone has already tasted it; but for us it is very hard to maintain.
What is it called “being the master of one’s self”? “Being the master of one’s self” is different from “happiness”. “Happiness” is a kind of perception that passes very fast; but “being the master of one’s self” is a kind of delightfulness with clear-head. One regards one’s life on earth has let go and is disillusioned with everything. In this world, one behaves very proactively, but one follows the predestined affinity and not follow karma, one does not follow one’s delusional thought and attachments. I want to do things the way I want, that means you are following your karmic consequence. To follow the predestined affinity means your purified mind is without seeking any gains.
Just like how we gather to listen the Sutra explaining – it is fulfilled completely by our predestined affinity. It is not necessary when you want to hold an assembly of Sutra explaining, then everyone come and gather here, and you are successful, that is impossible. It requires having a completion of causes and affinity conditions, and it cannot be forced. If you know to follow the natural affinity, your mind will be composed, and you will not be afflicted by the specifications or concepts of society; this is the meaning of the second layer.
The meaning of the third layer: the mind can be in charge. If your mind must be in charge. Of course, the precondition is that your mind is purified, which means it is undefiled and unadulterated.
We all know that the minds of the people of this society are all defiled. It is not truly defiled, but rather their minds are dissatisfied.
第一精華，它是【大般若經】裡面的精華 – 最精要的一段。如果這一段你讀通了，你的智慧就開了。也就等於受持「全剛般若」。「金剛」的意思，就是永遠不會磨滅、永遠不壞、不會動搖的。