02 Sep Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 28
(Last week we ended with, “The Reward Body Buddha is the master of oneself. Where does one live? One lives in numerous spatial dimensions. Does one contact with us? Yes, one does contact with us. However, without moving to respond through feelings, you are unlikely to sense it.”)
The Reward Body is majestic.
For example, it is only when your mind is unmoved reaching the state of being undisturbed in enlightenment.
What is the state of “one mind being undisturbed in enlightenment”? Interpenetration (or unimpeded) of the reality of the universe —it is non-creation (rising) and non-extinction (falling) in all phenomena. At this stage, you will see Buddha’s Reward Body which is formless but if you want Buddha to appear, he will manifest.
In that case, regarding all living beings on earth how does he help us? He manifests his Transformation Body to come.
What is the Transformation Body? It is the same way as various Buddha through transmigration returning to this world. In this present period (Bhadrakalpa) or the good existence of the world-period there are 1,000 Buddha; the Shakyamuni Buddha is one of these Buddha in this period. Shakyamuni Buddha appeared in our world in India; the next Buddha will be Mi-Le Buddha (Maitreya).
When will Mi-Le Buddha (Maitreya) come? He will arrive after 5,670,000,000 years, then there will be three assemblies of teachings by him under the Long-Hua tree in the Hua-Lin Garden to enlighten and convert limitless and boundless living beings. Maitreya Buddha is currently waiting in the inner court of Tusita Heaven (the 4th Heaven) of the Desire Realm. The inner court is the place where Bodhisattva prepares to become Buddha in the future, and the outer court is where celestial beings reside. The life span in Tusita Heaven is 4,000 years, one day there is equivalent to 400 earth years. Right now, Mi-Le Buddha (Maitreya) is teaching the Bodhisattva of the Ten stages (realizing the intrinsic truth with an unmoved mind, 41st to 50th tiers within the 52 cultivation levels) and beyond, he has no contact with our human world. After 5,670,000,000 years then he will be born on earth.
This time gap is the period of degeneration and extinction of Buddha teaching. Per the correct doctrine of Buddha:
The correct doctrine of Buddha period was 1,000 years (which states that one who abides by the discipline/commandment can attain enlightenment).
Followed by the Semblance Period of 1,000 years (when with ultimate concentration to Samadhi one could attain enlightenment).
Then followed by the period of degeneration and extinction lasting 10,000 years of which, currently remains 9,000 years.
Then how to function in this period of degeneration and extinction?
What is the period of degeneration and extinction of Buddha teaching? It is precisely when a person who genuinely practices cultivation has capacity for growth, but without capability one cannot settle the mind.
If one cannot settle the mind, how to do this?
In the Age of degeneration and extinction of the Buddha teaching, only relying on chanting Amitabha can be helped.
This is because chanting Amitabha is the “cause”, becoming Amitabha is the “effect”. Using this fundamental means to help all living beings— chanting enlightenment becomes the enlightened one. Therefore, the transformational incarnation of Buddha–Shakyamuni Buddha came to our world. “Shakya” means to have the ability of all-pervasive benevolence; “Muni” means purified of defiling illusion. Our society is neither purified nor benevolent and as we all know, it is becoming more and more troubled.
The ancient period of China was a nation of righteousness; however, after 1949 the Communist party rule under Chairman Mao, all was ended.
The nation of righteousness talks what kind of righteousness? It is wisdom.
However, wisdom itself has a problem, and precisely the phenomena of dynasties were not the same; almost every dynasty had a cultural revolution. A review of 5,000 years of Chinese history demonstrates how every dynasty experienced the karma of killing; killing is the most severe karmic result which supports the following theory:
Long time togetherness will result in separation; long time separation will result in togetherness.
Study how Chinese history has been unfolded precisely in this way. Yet strangely, the transmission of Buddha teaching to China was very prosperous and it will regain its flourish in the future.
Why? Because it is needed by people. A person’s mind needs to find support. A person with high wisdom will seek high-level wisdom for support.
What does “high-level wisdom for support” mean? It relies mainly on wisdom, a kind of spiritual cultivation phenomenon. For the average wisdom person, they will find common religions, and all are looking for support because one cannot rely on the self. If you can rely on yourself, to end the fate of “birth, aging, sickness or death”, and to cut off afflictions, then resolving this problem becomes very easy. You may recover your Dharma Body gradually, recover your Reward Body gradually, and even you may recover the Transformation Body. The response-Transformation Body corresponds to different mental phenomena of an ordinary person and helps.
The Transformation Body, like Shakyamuni Buddha, appears on earth although his Transformation Body was not a long duration. He explained the Sutra for over 300 assemblies, expounded the teaching for 49 years. He passed away at the age of 79 and his total time on earth was 79 years. Some Transformation Bodies come for a very short duration such as for a few seconds, a few minutes or a few days. They do their various manifestations according to time and place. Their Transformation Body will appear during diverse organizations, religions, human races, qualities of understanding; they manifest in all different groups, schools, categories, species, families, branch of studies, genius or classifiers and etc.
Do Buddha Bodhisattva appear in germs? Yes.
How about the animal world? Yes.
How about the world of ghost and hell? Yes.
The Transformation Body comes here to help all living beings, by being in the same environment to teach them how to practice cultivation and how to detach from suffering to attain happiness, all depending on each being’s need. Someone said, “This is good, how about I cultivate on the Fortuna Method to get the five dollars.” He teaches the appealed one. Someone said, “This is no good, my health is no good and is there anything you can do to help? “He teaches the appealed one. Someone said, “Going through life and death is too painful, and can you teach me to detach suffering and attain happiness?” He teaches the appealed one. Still someone wants to become an Arhat or wants to become Bodhisattva to self-benefit and benefit others or wants to become Buddha; he teaches them all. Just like The Bodhisattva Universal Door Chapter of the Lotus Sutra mentions:
One should be helped by whichever form needed, Buddha Bodhisattva will take the material shape in whichever form.
心經 卷(二) 法、化、報三身
什麼叫「理一心」？通達宇宙實相 – 不生不滅。這個階段你看到「報身」佛，他沒有形狀，可是你要他現形，也現出來。
「化身」是什麼？就像一尊一尊的佛來轉世，像我們現在是「賢劫千佛」 – 釋迦牟尼佛。釋迦牟尼佛到我們世間來，投身到印度，下一尊佛彌勒佛。
彌勒佛什麼時候來？五十六億七千萬年以後來 – 龍華三會。彌勒佛現在欲界「兜率天」的內院。內院是「登地」菩薩住，外院是天人居住的。「兜率天」一天是我們這裡四百年。他在那地方教化「登地」以上的菩薩，跟我們人間沒有接觸，他是五十六億七千萬年以後下生。
什麼叫「末法」？就是真正修行的人 – 這個根器有，能力沒有了，心定不下來。
「念佛是因，成佛是果」；用最根本的方式來渡眾 – 念覺成覺。所以化身佛到我們世間來 – 釋迦牟尼，「釋迦」是能仁，「牟尼」是清淨。我們社會是既不清淨又不仁愛，越來越麻煩。