16 May Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 2
[Series of Master Shen-Long expounding on Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra]
(Last week we ended with, “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.”)
While on this subject, I want to mention that currently during this era, Buddha stated:
In the period of degeneration and extinction of Buddha teaching, where different understands and views exist everywhere.
This so-called understand and viewis a concept, a different concept. The concept is identical in the school of Buddhism, there does not exist difference; which means that seeing, talking and doing for every Buddha Bodhisattva is the same.
Why? It is because one has already seen the truth of the universe completely.
In Western society, they emphasize the truth like in Christianity:
That whosoever believeth in I (Jesus, the Christ) shall not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:15)
This I contains multiple meanings. If viewing Ifrom a wisdom perspective, the meaning expands; I does not only represent Jesus Christ, but also represents his full understanding about the phenomena of life in the universe.
In today’s modern society, after you are born the primary contact begins with your parents, brothers and sisters; then education from school, society, and self-training. From all of this education produces many different understandings and views, and different ways of thinking. Furthermore, one’s own reaction after accessing this education in the future, shapes everyone’s different mindsets and behaviors. Different mindsets and behaviors cause everyone to have different perceptions of their living environment which is where the problem is. Some perceive well, and some perceive very painfully. The majority of people on this earth have undelightful life experiences and all are suffering.
Why do they suffer so much? Because they do not know what tomorrow brings.
Regardless what tomorrow brings, just place your finger on a piece of paper and what is written on the reverse page? You do not know.
What is your next thought? Unknown.
Where are you from? Phenomenally, you know that you are from the fetus of your parent. But what is your true origination, you do not know.
What will you do in this life? Unknown.
Of course, the extent of your knowing is through the teaching of traditional education in general. We need to determine what to become, what profession, and what will result in the future. This is all superficial.
Another very important aspect is where you go after death? You also do not know.
This means you have absolutely no idea of what is going on.
Strangely, a person who has verified the truth and uses their wisdom, will know. One not only knows, but one also controls it. One can decide where one’s next life will be and in what kind of living environment.
Where does one come from the past? One is with full clarity.
What to do in one’s present life? Live free and be the master of one’s self.
This is the best benefit of learning to become a Buddha.
We often hear from others talking about what is the benefit of learning to become Buddha? This is the benefit.
The benefit is that there is no more confusion and completely none; it is not half and half, and there is no more uncertainty. To have genuine wisdom, you are certain on all matters; you are not only fully certain, but also able to accomplish.
In our society, people talk about global warming; these worldly disasters are coming and will happen not only happen in the future but also at any moment. Only, it has not flared-up yet.
This kind of catastrophe, how did it form? As a matter of fact, the ultimate source is still from mankind’s thinking. If humans have wisdom, there will unlikely exist any disasters.
Why? To have wisdom, there is: 1. No worry. 2. No afflictions.
No worry and afflictions, then is this society not as we talk about in general as a blissful, serene, and peaceful society. We often talked about the “Bliss World of Amitabha Pure Land”, thinking about it as a fictional, fantasy story like the Arabian Nights; otherwise it makes use of superstition to be the means of education, a religious language to comfort us. We constantly have this kind of notion.
In my childhood, hearing how others manage funeral arrangements particularly in Taiwan where funeral arrangements are very ceremonious. The local Taiwanese do it in accordance to tradition lasting one to two weeks. But in our eyes, it was very odd.
After everyone finished eating, reciting Sutras, what was next? No one knows.
Where did the departed soul go? Unknown.
Later once in touch with Buddhism, it is explained that the bad soul goes down to hell and the good soul goes up to heaven, but there is also no solution. I asked many monks who were without answers. All they did was pull out the Buddhist Scriptures and read it to me, and there were still no solutions. I went to the religion of Christian, Catholic, and Islam; all had no solutions. I asked my parents, they did not know the answer. I asked my classmates and teachers; all of them did not know. Later I contemplated and thought to myself that there must be a solution.
Where is the answer? Eventually, I realized that the solution is within me.
我們社會，現在常常都聽到Global Warming- 世界性的災難；將來會有災難，不要說將來，現在就有，它只是還沒有發作。
為什麼？有智慧，就:(一) 沒有擔憂；(二) 沒有煩惱。沒有擔憂，沒有煩惱，那這社會是不是我們一般講的一個極樂、安祥、和平的社會。