MASTER SHEN-LONG | Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 12
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Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 12

Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 12

(Last week we ended with, “To exist with many thoughts of “greed, resentment, ignorance”, or “killing, stealing, excessive lust attachment” does not matter, you must not hold on and not let it go; let it be. Just like boiling water, when you open the lid and see the bubbling water in the pot and how it rolls uncontrolledly, you struggle. There is no need, turn off the burner and then it stops. So, you need to understand how to use this manner.”)

 

We just mentioned a moment ago, how to cultivate “activating the mind with arising thought”; this is convenient. We can engage in cultivation practice anywhere at any time, and let go each mind’s activation with arising thought; this is called “enlightenment” and “chanting Amitabha”.  If you cannot let go during mind activation with thought arousal, then just chanting the name of Amitabha sincerely can suppress this mind activation with arising thought which is also fine. After a long duration of time like 24 hours, you will unite with Amitabha in mind. During this initial state, your afflictions are being subdued like using a stone to press down grass, but the grass roots have not snapped yet. This is the beginning step.

If you do not chant Amitabha, you can divert your affliction during your mind activation with arising thought.

Remember this, affliction cannot be ceased and there is no way to cease it, only to divert. When we talk about ceasing, it is only a descriptive statement. If our affliction ceases, then our Buddha-nature also ceases, and the fundamental essence of enlightenment also ceases.

Where are the affliction of“delusional thoughts, discrimination and attachments” from? It is from the abnormalities of our life’s fundamental essence.

Where are “pureness, brightness, equality, enlightenment and compassion” from? It is the condition of our inherent pure fundamental essence.

“Greed, resentment, ignorance, arrogance, and doubt” are the abnormality, the same as “delusional thoughts, discrimination and attachments”; both are rooted from the same origin.  All it takes for you is to divert. The technique of diverting is very simple. You need to constantly train yourself during your activation of the mind with arising thought. After a period of time, everything ceases all at once. Like the Sixth Patriarch, as soon as he heard other people recite the Diamond Sutra when reading this verse:

The mind does not bound by any tie, the mind initiates naturally and uses freely.

He instantly opened up his intelligence and achieved enlightenment, and all of his afflictions ceased.

Opening up the intelligence and achieve enlightenment is precisely ceasing affliction; that is truly de-activating affliction forever. To disclose this information openly is not worth even a penny, however:

Buddha teaching without proper explanation by a right teacher, even one has the ultimate knowledge still unable to apprehend its profound truth.

The knowledge of this world does not work because worldly knowledge does not have the experience of becoming enlightened. If in our past lives we had the enlightened experience, then we can achieve it very quickly.

Experience of becoming enlightened isfrom where?

How to you know you have had an enlightened experience before?

It is easy just by looking at your action power. If you know this path is the correct way then follow it accordingly, and the effect takes place from your past enlightened experience. This is exactly described as the “good root”. Does not Buddhism speak about one who has the “good root” or “intelligent root” all day long? It precisely refers to you having an enlightened experience before.

However, to have this enlightened experience why do you reincarnate continuously up until now?

(1) You did not persist

(2) You have not taken hold of your most delicate and deeply imbedded afflictions and removed it entirely.

Therefore, the Sixth Patriarch is very important setting a good model for us. Even after he attained enlightenment and understood the truth about the universe, he still stayed in a group of hunters to practice cultivation 15 years afterwards.

What was he up to during those 15 years?  He was diverting his most delicate and deeply imbedded afflictions into brightness.

It is nothing mysterious, it is only a process of an ordinary person’s cultivation practice. He became a model for us.

Here is an example, like a bottle of wine, the wine represents “affliction”.  An Arhat’s wine is all gone without even a drop left however, the bottle still retains the residual smell of the wine, showing the remnants of the Arhat’s old habits. The Sixth Patriarch, neither has a drop of wine left in the bottle nor the smell of wine. He has attained the state of Tathagata (the original utmost pure condition) and genuinely becomes a Buddha in perfection. He had eradicated the entire 41 levels of unenlightened conditions because his old habits were completely removed, and even the wine bottle no longer exists. In that moment he spoke his famous statement:

There is not a single thing originally, where can dust (afflictions) be provoked!

After understanding the theory and methods, you can engage in cultivation practice much easier regardless of whether you chant Amitabha, try to explore and study Dhyana (Zen), or cultivate using Esoteric Buddhism by following this principle which is precisely Prajna (wisdom).

You can then use this way to let go of your afflictions within this life. Without afflictions, the minimal attainment you will be is a Srotapanna, the first fruition of Arhatship of the Hinayana School. This attainment of the first fruition of Arhatship is already quite remarkable. You will no longer associate with our Threefold Worlds (Triloka – the universe is divided into three worlds of karmic rebirth – desire, form and formless) and the six realms of reincarnation, but you have recovered some level of supernatural power.

What is “supernatural power”? It is ability. Recovering the virtuous functions of  the fundamental essence of your purity, equality, enlightenment and compassion is called  “supernatural power”.

People should not be superstitious and think that only a deity, ghost or Buddha Bodhisattva have this; everyone has it, it is merely a subsidiary function.

The school of Buddhism also considers supernatural power to be a very important ability, to what extent? Explaining Sutra and expounding on Buddha teachings shows the supernatural power. Practicing cultivation of “activating the mind with arising thought” is exactly the supernatural power or ability.

We shall not misunderstand that the supernatural power or ability is not to move the house or magically create a couple of meals on a table when there is no food. No, it is not. “Supernatural powers” mean inconceivable accessibility, which means reduced affliction. Especially among a group of people with afflicted minds, if you have affliction you will stand out from the masses; this is “supernatural power or ability”. People with afflictions are desperately serious thinking that is an extraordinary phenomenon. No, it is not, it is a normal condition.

>>Click here to read the full series of Master Shen-Long expounding on Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra

 

(一)     無住和四智

(上星期講到:就像開水不停的滾,把蓋子打開,看到開水滾,怎麼滾成這樣,很煩惱。不要,只要把火關掉,它就停了。所以要懂得用這個方式。)

剛剛講就在「起心、動念修」。這個方便了,隨時隨地是修行,在起心、動念中放下,這就叫「覺」,這就叫「念佛」。如果起心、動念中,放不下,「念一聲阿彌陀佛」能把起心、動念壓住,這樣也可以。久了以後,二十四小時變成「打成一片」- 成片,是初步的把你的煩惱伏住,就像石頭把草壓住,但是草根沒有斷,這是初步。

如果你不念佛,起心、動念中能夠把煩惱「轉移」。

記住,煩惱不能斷的,沒有辦法斷,是轉移。我們講斷是形容詞,如果煩惱斷了,那佛性也斷了,覺悟本體也斷了。

妄想、執著、分別煩惱從那裡來?從我們生命本體變態而來。

這清淨、光明、平等、慈悲怎麼來?是我們清淨本體本來的狀況。

「貪、瞋、痴、慢、疑」是變態,所以兩個是一個源頭,你只要把它「轉」過來就好。

「轉」的時候就有技巧,這個技巧就很簡單,你常常在起心、動念中訓練。久了以後,一下就斷掉了。就像六祖大師,一聽到人家念《金剛經》念到「無住生心」,他開悟了,就斷掉了。

「開悟」,就是把煩惱斷掉了,那是真正的不起煩惱,就是這麼回事。說穿來一毛錢都不值,可是「佛法無人說,雖智莫能解」。世間智慧沒有辦法,因為世間智慧沒有開悟的經驗。我們如果過去生有開悟的經驗,很快就能把這事情辦好。

那「開悟」經驗怎麼來?

你怎麼知道你有「開悟」經驗?

很簡單,就是看你的行動力。你覺得這條路是對的,就去做,這就是你開悟的經驗發生效果,這就是我們講「善根」。佛家不是一天到晚講「有善根、有慧根」,就是說你有過這個經驗。

可是有這經驗,為什麼還一直輪迴到現在?

(一) 沒有持續。

(二)沒有真正一次把你的微細煩惱全部去除。

所以六祖大師很重要,他是給我們做示範;就是說他開悟後,雖然了解宇宙道理,他後來還在獵人隊中修行十五年。

這十五年幹什麼?把他細微的煩惱全部轉移成光明,是這樣的,一點都不神祕,就是一個普普通通人的修行過程,由他來做一個表率。

這舉個例:像喝酒的瓶子- 裝酒的酒瓶,酒代表煩惱。阿羅漢,就是酒真的倒掉了,一滴不剩,可還有酒味,這表示習氣還在。六祖,不僅酒倒掉,酒味也沒了。到如來果地,就是真正圓滿成佛。破盡四十一品無明。「無明」就是習氣,全部拿掉了,酒瓶也沒有了。所以那時候講「本來無一物,何處惹塵埃」。

理論、方法講清楚以後,修起來很好修;你念佛也好,參禪也好,修密也好,照這個原則,就是「般若」。

你就用這個方式在這一生當中把你的煩惱放掉。煩惱沒有了,最起碼證「羅漢果」- 小乘須陀洹,初果。到初果就不得了。跟我們三界、六道沒關係,可是有神通。

神通是什麼?能力。恢復你清淨、平等、覺悟、慈悲本體的德用,就是它的作用,這叫作神通。

各位千萬不要迷信,「神通」不是只有神才有,或者鬼才有,或者佛菩薩才有;是人人都有,這只是附帶的作用。

「神通」在佛家講很重要。

重要到什麼程度?講經說法就是神通。在「起心、動念中修」,就是神通。

我們不要誤會,神通不是說把房子移過去,地方沒東西吃變兩盤麵,不是的。「神」是不可思議,「通」是通達。不可思議的通達是煩惱少掉了。你在一個煩惱堆子裡面,本身煩惱少了,看起來就與眾不同,這就是「神通」。有煩惱的人不得了,以為是什麼現象,不是,很普通的,這是正常的。

>>Click here to read the full series of Master Shen-Long expounding on Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra