MASTER SHEN-LONG | Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 4
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Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 4

Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 4

[Series of Master Shen-Long expounding on Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra]

(Last week we ended with, “In fact, his demonstration can be achieved by everyone; we simply do not have this kind of enlightenment education from childhood.”)

 

Our ages are about the same, and we are all without this kind of enlightenment education.

Were there any parents who ever told a child: “You need to get enlightened, stop acting confused and deranged daily?” No, there were not. Especially in the past, supplies were not plentiful, except for high ranking officials and prominent people which was another situation; the average person was impoverished, busy trying to fill their bellies with three meals daily, and had the time to chant Amitabha to practice cultivation.

In addition, we did not have proper understanding about Buddhism:

Who would know the meaning of chanting Amitabha?

Who would know the meaning of cultivation practice?

An average person only thinks to practice cultivation which means one does not do bad deeds. “Chanting Amitabha” is a chanting activity for the old generation like our grandpa and grandma with nothing to do. Thus, turning it into superstition belief.

Therefore, I wish everyone can recognize the Buddha teaching in a brand-new way. This is most important.

If you still have a traditional superstitious concept:

  1. If you worship the Buddha Bodhisattvas, they will protect me; this is superstition.
  2. If you think that participating at various Buddhist ceremonial assemblies and reciting Sutras will have merits and virtues; this is superstition.

You try to explain “merit and virtue” but one does not even understand what that means.

“Merit” is being purified of defiling illusions. “Virtue” is the impact after being purified.

If your mind is unpurified while participating in the Buddhist ceremonial assembly, there is no merit and virtue; also, there is no blessing reward that arises from good deeds. “Blessing” refers to no wisdom, but one has kind intention.

Before a person stated: ” One’s blessed virtues and wisdom should be equally distributed”. For example: “An elephant is adorned with necklaces and ornaments, while an Arhat trails through doors with an empty bowl”.

The Arhat has wisdom but he ignored the cultivation of his blessed virtues in past lives, so when he trails through doors with his bowl, although he has wisdom, he receives no food. The elephant belongs to the animal world, it has attained an extreme karmic reward. Pu-Xian Bodhisattva (Samantabhadra) rides on a white elephant with six-tusks, adorned with necklaces and seven jewel ornaments, expressing its good karmic reward, and has the glory of seven treasures (identical to a Buddha). This indicates that wisdom and blessed virtues are not well-distributed. Therefore, when wisdom and blessed virtues are evenly distributed, one is the same as Buddha, and to have a mind perfectly level it is called, “nirvana merits and enlightenment virtues”.

Everyone needs to remember that virtue is the impact of merit.

The Way (Dao) is the truth of the universe world.

What is the universal truth?

 Originally there is not a single thing, where can dust (afflictions) be provoked.

So, it is without discrimination, delusional thoughts or attachment; this is the truth of the universe.

The function of the “truth” is exactly “light or illumination” representing universal illumination, and penetration ability on all. If we had this kind of teaching as a child, it would make a great difference for all of us now. Whether noble or lowly in one’s occupation, one who knows how to cook would become chefs, one who knows how to paint would become artists, one who likes doing repair work would become repairmen to repair windows and doors, and one would become an engineer or lawyer; among all professions there would exist no discrimination.  Our mind would be different, if our mind was happy there is no worry.

Specially, humans have deep attachment to the phenomena of “birth, aging, illness and death”; and always think that “life and death” are real, that “aging and illness” are real. Everyone must have experienced some form of illness before, like catching a cold and we all know what illness feels like. However, “Birth” most people have forgotten. “Aging”, we will all gradually progress into an older state. “Death”, we have all been through it before but have now forgotten and currently do not have feelings about it. Only, we see people die around us.

When one dies, what to do?  Burning the dead body.

Where does the dead soul end up? We do not know.

If we had the enlightenment concept when we were young, then the phenomena of “birth, aging, illness or death” are within our control.

How to control?  When your mind is purified of defiling illusion, then birth phenomenon ceases.

What is “birth”? It is a delusional thought.

Everyone thinks now, what was the first thought you had waking up in the morning?

Every person is different. The first thought initiates, it is the “birth”; waiting after this thought is substituted by the next thought, this thought “extinct” means the death of this thought. After the extinction then the second thought has risen again. Each thought is very brief, goes instantly and therefore, “an instant” is also known as the phenomena of “birth, aging, illness and death”.

What is “illness”? There is the start of having variation; when the variation does not go well it is called “illness”.

Therefore, the phenomena of “birth, aging, illness or death” is from the morning’s first thought to the dreams at night, 24 hours non-stop. Having phenomena of “birth, aging, illness or death” in our life is normal; from past unlimited existences of the world period to the present without ever ceasing, our bodies and minds are total exhausted from it.

>>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:其實他的表現、示現是我們人人都做得到,只是從小沒有這覺悟教育。)

大家年紀也差不多,都沒這個教育。那一個從小,父母會說:「你要覺悟,你可不要每一天迷惑、顛倒。」有沒有?沒有。尤其過去時代,物資不是很豐富,除非你是高官顯要,那另外一回事;一般人都過得很清苦,三餐為肚子温飽都來不及,那有時間去念佛,去修行。

再加上我們對佛教也不了解:

誰知道念佛是什麼意思?

誰知道修行是什麼意思?

一般人認為修行就是不要做壞事,以為這就是修行。念佛,是老人念的,老太婆、老公公他們沒事念佛,變成迷信。

所以希望各位能把佛法重新去認識一遍,這最重要。

如果你還是舊有的迷信式的觀念:

一,我拜佛菩薩,佛菩薩保佑我,這是迷信。

二,做法會、誦經有功德,迷信。

你跟他講功德,他都不知道是什麼意思。

「功」是清淨,「德」是清淨的作用。

如果做法會心不清淨,沒有功德;福德也沒有。福是說沒有智慧,可是心地善良,這叫福。

以前人家講「福慧要均等」。舉個例:「大象掛瓔珞,羅漢托空缽」。

羅漢有智慧,但是沒修福,去沿門托缽; 雖有智慧,托不到一盤菜。大象- 畜生道,福報不得了。普賢菩薩騎的六牙白象;掛瓔珞,是表示它福報好,有七寶莊嚴。這就是「智」跟「福」沒有平均。所以智福平均的時候,就跟佛一樣,心是平的,那個叫「功德」。

記住,「德」是作用。「道」就是宇宙天地的真理。

宇宙天地的真理是什麼?「本來無一物,何處惹塵埃」。

沒有分別、沒有妄想、沒有執著,這叫「道」。

「道」的作用就是「光」,代表普照,代表穿透一切。如果從小有這樣的教育,我們現在不會變成這樣子。職業不分貴賤,今天會炒菜,我炒菜﹔會畫畫,我畫畫﹔會修理門窗,我修理門窗﹔我做工程師,做律師,這個之間沒有差別。可是心不一樣,心是快樂,就沒有擔憂。

尤其人類對生老病死很執著;老以為「生死」是真的,「老病」是真的。相信大家都生過病,得個小感冒都有感受的。「生」,大概一般人忘記了。「老」,大家年紀也不小,漸漸進入老態。「死」,過去都經過,可是忘了,現在還沒有感覺。只是看到周圍的人死掉了。

死了,怎麼辦?燒掉算了。

到那裡去了?不知道。

如果從小有「覺悟」的觀念,生老病死也可以控制。

怎麼控制?你心一清淨,生的現象就沒有了。

「生」是什麼?是妄想。

大家現在想想,早上起來第一個念頭是什麼?

每人不一樣,念頭一起,「生」;等這念頭換下個念頭,這念頭「滅」, 滅就是死的意思。滅了以後,第二念頭又生。

念頭很短暫,剎那剎那,所以「剎那」也叫生老病死。

什麼是「病」?有變化,變化的不好,叫病。

所以「生老病死」,從早上第一念,到晚上作夢,二十四小時沒有間斷。我們人生,生老病死是正常的;從無量劫到今天沒有停過,身心都很疲憊。

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