16 Apr Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 1
[Series of Master Shen-Long expounding on Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra]
The profound and true meaning of A-mi-tuo-fo in Chinese or Amitabha in Sanskrit, is really to be immeasurable and boundless, infinite and endless; today we shall take a cursory look at one or two aspects of it.
“A (a)” means infinite. Displaying that all phenomena are inherently non-existing and inherently nothing produces which is the source of all things.
“MITA (mi-tuo)” means capacity or quantity, and there is an unlimited quantity of sentient and non-sentient beings.
“BHA (fo)” is the original enlightenment, the perfect supreme enlightenment, and the indescribable enlightenment. To be a great enlightened one who has thoroughly understood life in the universe is named “Buddha.”
Amitabha represents one who is complete with infinite nirvana merits and enlightenment virtue of infinite life, wisdom, compassion, brightness, and vow power and so on. This is the inherent self-nature and title of all Buddha and living beings, and also the uniquely superb Pure Land and Amitabha name of the Bliss World Amitabha who is with perfect virtue and is endowed with morality. Here, when we chant Amitabhait is chanting our self-nature Amita simultaneously, and chanting the mind nature of the original life of all Buddha and all living beings. It is the state of neither rising nor ceasing, being immovable and immutable, it is constant and everlasting, and with universally shining light, which are the supreme nirvana merits and enlightenment virtues, and Maha-Prajna (great wisdom)!
While chanting Amitabha one must concentrate one’s attention on the name of “Amitabha” and chant at the right tempo, being physically and mentally self-composed. If one can pursue this unrelentingly and become well-versed in this, then one can surely have a flash understanding and eradicate one’s own unenlightened conditions. Then one will verify into the state of chanting Amitabha Samadhi (the highest level of mind concentration) and be able to foresee the time of their leaving to be the master of oneself to be reborn in the Amitabha Pure Land and become a Buddha in perfection! Shakyamuni Buddha became Buddha also by chanting Amitabha (see the Buddha speaks of Amitabha Sutra). All Buddha also became Buddha by chanting Amitabha. The method of chanting Amitabha unifies and embraces all Buddha teachings, and contains the vow power of all Buddha, thus knowing the inconceivability of the forty-eight vows of Amitabha! The inconceivability of chanting Amitabha to become Amitabha! All Buddha proclaim and praise the method of chanting Amitabha, and the forty-eight great vows of Amitabha exhausted to the infinite existence of world-periods and are still without limit; this is unfathomable. Consequently, Vairocana Tathagatha praises Amitabha:
The light emission of the highest revered one, the kind of all Buddha.
(see the Infinite Life Sutra)
The method of chanting Amitabha is marvelous and special, easy to practice and convenient to do any time and place. A person who intends to chant Amitabha should truly make an earnest vow to go and be born to Amitabha Pure Land, one will surely become Buddha, then return to pilot a merciful ferry to help all living beings. This is the career of Tathagatha, the life of normal human beings. Wishing all people who see and hear this will initiate the mind of bodhi (enlightenment), it not only benefits the self but also benefits others to self-enlighten and also help others to become enlightened.
Realizing the major benefits and infinite function of this supreme Prajna (wisdom) of chanting Amitabha to become Amitabhais the indestructible Prajna-Paramita (perfection of transcendent wisdom).
Xiao-Yao comprehends at this moment
阿彌陀佛 (梵語 Amitabha)之玄妙真意，實乃無量無邊、無窮無盡，吾今略說， 姑開顯一二。「阿」即無之意，表一切法本來無有、本來不生，是一切法之源頭； 「彌陀」乃量也，即有情無情一切無量；「佛」是本覺、妙覺、不可思議之覺也，此乃徹解宇宙人生，實際真相之大覺悟者，即名之曰佛。
太一神龍 逍遙 識於當下