09 May Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 105
(Last week we ended with, “When you think of Amitabha, I am originally pure without defilement, disillusioned with all, furthermore I have also let go of all. Only the method of chanting Amitabha can help all beings.”)
Recently we explained abiding by disciplinary precepts. Who can completely abide by it?
Starting from the Pope of the Vatican to the common people, who can truly abide by precepts?
One who observes precepts genuinely without any violation, is there any? Yes, but it does not exist nowadays, no person of this modern time practices this way, no one can do this. There existed a few during ancient times. The Master and teacher of the rules of discipline, Dao-Xuan (a celebrated Tang monk), was highly perfected and rigorously observed precepts. To what extent? He did not eat human foods, the celestial maiden delivered the meal to him.
One meal per day delivered by the celestial maiden, this is extremely remarkable. His practice was being transmitted to the Trayastrimsa Heaven (heavens of the thirty-three gods) to provide a meal to him. However, currently there was one disciple of Master Xuan-Zang (玄奘大師) , Master Kui-Ji (窺基大師),who was a very interesting person. He did not quite abide by precepts and instead externally he followed in a careless way. The Master and teacher of the rules of discipline, Dao-Xuan, looked down on him. One day Master Kui-Ji wanted to pay a visit to the Master and teacher of the rules of discipline, Dao-Xuan.
Dao-Xuan said: “On the contrary I will lecture him properly on his visit.”
So, he told the celestial maiden: “Since he will come during noon tomorrow, still come with your routine delivery, I want him to look when a person who observes precepts highly perfected and rigorously can transmit to Heaven to provide a meal.”
The next day, Master Kui-Ji came and they met and chatted. When they finished their chatting and Master Kui-Ji was leaving, the celestial maiden still had not shown. After Master Kui-Ji left, the celestial maiden came.
Master Dao-Xuan said: “How come you are showing up now?”
The celestial maiden said: “No, I was on time to deliver your meal, but the whole sky was full of deities, Buddha, Dragon king and devas – Eight groups.”
Dao-Xuan said: “How could this be?”
The Maiden said: “Master Kui-Ji is a Bodhisattva of Mahayana. He is the Transformation body of a Buddha or Bodhisattva. He is not an ordinary person! I could not enter. The Guardian of the Buddha-truth (Dharmalokapalas) blocked the entrance gate and told me to wait outside.”
By then, the Master and teacher of the rules of discipline, Dao-Xuan, realized that Master Kui-Ji was the transformation of a Buddha or a Bodhisattva.
You should not judge others by their outer behaviors. There are many transformations of Buddha and Bodhisattva in our world. You cannot view them from their external appearance or behaviors. You cannot judge them by using a worldly standard. People have commented that one behaved with “greediness, aversion and ignorance”, also conducted themselves with “killing, stealing and excessive sexual misconduct”, and this or that etc. You cannot use these standards. The Bodhisattva of Mahayana has even let go of their mind, there is nothing that can lay hold of.
How does there exist any break of the precepts?
How does there exist any adhering to precepts?
No, there is none. The precepts of his original own nature are precisely Surangama.
Consequently, the Master and teacher of the rules of discipline, Dao-Xuan, was taught a lesson by Master Kui-Ji as blind-sightedness. This gong-an (case-record) provides us with profound inspiration.
Remember, “precepts” are for self-discipline and you should not put it on others. It is not used to be arrogant or to scold on others; those are mistakes. Further to say nothing of yourself also does not follow the precepts. If yourself has been ordained with the “Three Refuges and Five Precepts” or has been ordained with “the Bodhisattva Precepts”, you will think your status is exceedingly higher than others. In the ordination ceremony when you make an offering before Buddha, you demand to wear the Buddhist monk gown and add the Assembly robe. Whether you act in accordance with the Buddha teaching is only for you to know by yourself. Furthermore, you may not even be aware of it. Why? One has a swelled-head and considers oneself a Bodhisattva.
We must have a clear understanding to the “precepts”. Therefore, each arising thought in the mind of Mahayana Bodhisattvas are radiant, which is different from us, the common ones. Currently, we, the common ones, abide by precepts are eager for all surrounding neighbors to know because you want to hear their praising, then you will become exceedingly happy. This is self-intoxication.
卷(七 ) 持戒波羅蜜