27 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]
Gatha of Opening Sutra
The supreme, profound and exquisite Buddha teaching,
One encounters rarely through the infinite existence world-periods;
Now I have experienced and to accept and remember the teaching,
I vow to understand the true meaning of Tathagata thoroughly.
The nature of non-attachment andFour Wisdoms
I am very glad to have this opportunity to explain the finest section of the Prajna Canon, this is the Maha-Prajnaparamita Sutra (the Large Perfection of Wisdom Sutra). The Heart Sutra on the Perfection of Wisdomtranslated by Master Xuan-Zang.
The Heart Sutra, from the past until now, many people have explained this Sutra. There are many people who can recite this Sutra by memory, and many people who truly put into practice, and furthermore there are many who have attained the state of profound Prajna Paramita using wisdom to cross over to the enlightenment shore. This translation exists with many annotations from many Buddhism schools; in addition to the versions by Master Xuan-Zang and the venerable Master Kumarajiva, there have also been other translators with their own translations through the ages.
The Sutra translator is very important; if the translator does not possess the same Prajna Wisdom described by the Heart Sutra, then one cannot translate the meaning correctly.
Why? If the translators do not fully comprehend the scripture, how can one translate?
A Sutra is a directory, an enlightenment guidebook that guides you to the enlightenment path.
We have often talked about two words “longitude and latitude” used for pointing out position and direction; what does it refer to?
If we are talking about thePerfection of Wisdom Sutra, it simply points out how one employs wisdom to comprehend and to be enlightened with Buddha attainment.
“Buddha” is enlightenment and is precisely how to use wisdom to resolve your afflictions; in a nutshell—Prajna. Shakyamuni Buddha explained Sutra for 49 years during his lifetime, and he explained Prajna for 22 years, indicating how important wisdom is. All kinds of cultivation practices must have the correct method and theory.
What is the method? It is wisdom.
What is the theory? It requires the application of wisdom to understand it.
If you do not know what the right method is, then you would not know how to start; practicing and exercising blindly will not work. Returning to our main topic, among all the annotations regarding Prajna, the clearest and best was done by the Great Master Xuan-Zang.
The original version is in Sanskrit, the original language of India, and this awfully complicated grammar is very different from the Chinese language. The Chinese prefer simplicity and precision. The word wisdom in the Indian language has multiple, maybe countless meanings. Chinese people are sharp and simply translated the sound to its syllables as Prajna, covering its true original meaning. The syllable pronounces the word as Prajnaand its meaning is wisdom. However, the word of wisdom in Chinese could not contain the full extent of wisdom as Prajna,the way the Buddha explained originally.
This is because the enlightenment wisdom of the Trans-mundane teaching is different from intelligence of this Worldly phenomena. The knowledge of the worldly phenomena is sharp but petty-minded, as we are commonly particular about this person is clever, reacts quickly, does things with a clear mind and is also very rational; this is worldly intelligence. However, Prajnais different. Prajnais not only comprised of worldly intelligence, it has another phenomenon that is fully knowing the phenomenon of the origination of life in the universe; this is called Prajna.
Everyone is learning to become a Buddha. First, you need to learn what wisdom is. If you cannot perfect this wisdom, then worshipping Buddha and reciting the Sutras only bond an affinity occasion for future salvation and will have no effect.