02 Sep Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 46
(Last week we ended with: “The Lotus Sutra, the first 14 chapters talk about “the cause of becoming Buddha”, and the latter 14 chapters discuss “the effect of becoming Buddha”. It uses himself as an example to explain cause and effect occur simultaneously.”)
Why does the Lotus of Wonderful Dharma have the word Wonderful added before Dharma? Wonderful means it is beyond the description of language and words. Dharma means the essence of Buddha-nature is without discrimination and attachments. This is Lotus of Wonderful Dharma:
Cause and effect occur simultaneously, the vehicle of oneness as the only teaching to become a Buddha, there is neither two nor three.
The Lotus of Wonderful Dharma Sutra talks about:
Becoming Buddha simply is One Vehicle (all living beings will eventually attain Buddhahood).
What does One Vehicle Buddha mean? There is no sequential order, just like chanting Amitabha is the cause and becoming Amitabha is the effect; there is no order. Therefore, the lotus flower is the representative. In that case, this function becomes exceptional.
From the aspect of phenomenal characteristics, to look at the Assembly of all Buddha; what are all the Maha-Bodhisattva doing there? They perform the function of the Lotus of Wonderful Dharma. In that case, we know the exceptional Prajna, all Buddha achieve the fundamental wisdom of Tathagata merits by using Prajna to take the lead as:
The other five Paramitas are as blind, Prajna to be its eye.
Therefore, the essence, phenomenal characteristics and function; the three are one entity. “One entity”, as we explained last time about “moral precepts, stillness of mind control and wisdom” are one entity. It does not mean to keep the “moral precepts” first, and then have “stillness of mind control”, and after having mind control, then “wisdom” begins. No, it is not.
The moment that the essence, phenomenal characteristics and function is one, we know that:
The omniscient penetrative ability with crystal clear perception that the nature of Five Skandhas (the five composition elements of our existence including – all material phenomena, the feeling towards all material phenomena, the thinking starts from feeling, the mental formation from thinking continuously, and consciousness) are the absence of inherent existence. So, release oneself from all obstructions caused by suffering and misfortune.
Since it can release oneself from all obstructions caused by suffering and misfortune, expressing that it does not have fluctuations. Today we need to stress a key important fact about “fluctuations”. We know cosmic rays, thoughts or the interaction between spiritual beings all exist with fluctuations. Prajna is incredible because it does not have fluctuations. Without fluctuations, how does one communicate? It uses omniscient penetrative ability.
Speaking so much about the essence, phenomenal characteristics and functions, and now going back again, it is the swelling sea waves turning around with full power to talk about “the omniscient penetrative ability”. The essence, phenomenal characteristics and function refers that all is the state of tranquility, and it is the essence. Now we talk about the “omniscient penetrative ability”. First, we begin with Realization leads to complete purity, calmness and nirvana of Tathagata attainment. This stage of attainment, the cognitive sphere of Buddha means “attainment”, “stage” expresses the status–the highest position.
The highest position is what phenomenon? It is the state of calmness and extinction.
The “calmness” is purified without defilement. “Extinction” does not mean annihilation, but refers to no attachment to all teaching, no attachment to all phenomena, no attachment to non-teaching and non-phenomena, and no attachment to the idea of non-teaching and non-phenomena. As far as the teaching is concerned, there is no attachment to: “the root of all nature underlying the mind”, “the nature underlying material existences”, “the nature underlying when actions are not interrelated with the mind”. Since there are no attachments to all, then a wonderful function emerges which is the “omniscient penetrative ability”. Therefore, the state of “extinction” itself is the essence of the “omniscient penetrative ability”. The “omniscient penetrative ability” is the function of “extinction”. If we apply this to our daily routine such as, eating a meal, when you eat and pick up the fork to start eating, look at what is in your mind?
If you still have an image of the plate, there is also an image of the meal, and there is also the “I” with the fork and an image of the fork; it shows that your function of “omniscient penetrative ability” has not worked. Modern people are required to be talked to very finely with very detailed illustrations; otherwise, they do not know how to use it.
Then look at the meal: If today’s food is very good, “I” like to eat this; it is all finished because of the thought arising in your mind. If the food is not good, “I” do not like to eat this; again, thought arising in your mind.
Watch attentively when you start to eat, you must keep an eye on your thoughts; you must engage in this kind of kung-fu. If your kung-fu is skillful, you not have distraction, and no obstacle at all. That is, there is a phenomenon, and you have unimpeded accessibility to all phenomena and all teaching of this world.
(上星期講到: 《法華經》講前面十四品是因 – 成佛之「因」；後面十四品講成佛之「果」。它是現身說法講「因果同時」。)
為什麼說《妙法蓮華》加個「妙」字 – 法上加個妙？「妙」是不可思議，非是語言文字所能形容。「法」是不分別、不執著的佛性本體。這是妙法蓮華：「因果同時，唯有一乘，無二亦無三」。
剛剛講了這麼多「體、相、用」，再回去講，就是大海回瀾，回來講「照」。前面講的「體、相、用」全是寂，就是本體。現在講「照」：先講如來果地「寂滅忍」。「果地」：就是成佛的境界叫「果」，「地」表示地位 – 最高地位。
最高地位是什麼現象？寂滅。「寂」，是清淨沒有汚染。「滅」，記住，不是生滅；「滅」是一切法不執著，一切相不執著，一切非法、非相皆不執著，非非法、非非相也不執著。你要講「心法」、「色法」、「不相應行法」都不執著。既然不執著，產生個妙用 – 就是「照」。所以「滅」本身是照的本體，「照」是滅的作用。如果，我們把它用到日常生活，舉例：譬如現在吃一餐飯。你吃的時候，筷子拿起來，碗拿起來，要吃飯了。你看看你是什麼心理？