02 Sep Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 49
(Last week we ended with, “The Great Compassion Mantra is the delicate mind-seal of Guan-Yin Bodhisattva (Avalokitesvara) as the mind is the Buddha-mind in all, therefore it is effective.?”)
Twenty or thirty years ago in Taiwan, I met a Master (or Buddhist nun), Fu-Hui Bhiksuni, who was not a well-known figure but held in their mind the Great Compassion Mantra. For all four seasons, she only wore a worn-out cassock, had nothing at all and also went barefoot. She used the Great Compassion Mantra to help and enlighten all living beings by filling up a bowl of water and then chanting the Great Compassion Mantra. After one drinks the water, was it effective? Yes, it is. She chants the Great Compassion Mantra with the concentration of mind that possesses infinite merit just like how Guan-Yin Bodhisattva (Avalokitesvara) does.
I have seen this person myself: No attachment, pure body and mind without defilement. We went to see her, it was like seeing a Buddhist nun in reverence wanting to make obeisance at her feet; but it was no use, instead the reverse happened, and she made obeisance at our feet. You sat in a chair and she sat on the floor, her body and mind have already reached to this selfless state. Why? She no longer has any attachment. She sees every being as Buddha. We see her status as a Master so we still have attachment.
She sees us as a Buddha or a Bodhisattva, so she sat on the floor and told me to sit on the chair. I found it embarrassing, I wanted to kneel on the floor, but was unable to. Because of what? She was the manifestation of a Buddha or a Bodhisattva.
She left very early, about 49 years old and gone. She was in daily meditation. No talking-having taken a vow of silence. To communicate with her, her disciple would translate. Many people go to ask for her help: people with illness, or some with piles of dubious or hard-to-treat cases. She spoke no word, only nodded her head in acknowledgement and her disciple would say: “The Master means to request for the Great Compassion Mantra water and it will be fine.” I saw a construction worker who fell from a building, broke his spinal cord and was immobile. The doctors could not help him. But when he drank the water of the Great Compassion Mantra, he recovered fully.
This is the Transformation Body of Guan-Yin Bodhisattva (Avalokitesvara), and yet she had no association with any Buddhist societies and was totally unrelated to religion. Therefore, the true Transformation Body of a Buddha or a Bodhisattva do come here to help all living beings, do not have the phenomena of nourishing oneself for fame and wealth at all, and do not speak of having grand manners and style—there is none.
It was very fortunate to run into all who are Buddha and Bodhisattva in my life. Therefore, today to learn the Buddha’s way, we are still able to talk about something because this is how I looked at them and learned from them. They are not ordinary people. Why not? They do not have attachments.
Remember, to practice cultivation you cannot have attachments at all. As soon as you have attachment, then you are obsessed. It is torture. Therefore, the Great Compassion Mantra is the essence, phenomenal characteristics and function of Guan-Yin Bodhisattva’s Prajna wisdom. He has instantly surpassed from the 2nd Stage all the way to the 8th Stage Bodhisattva —which is the level of non-receding. This is very rare and not easy. Just like mentioned in the Lotus of Inconceivable Dharma Sutra Nagakanya, daughter of Sagara-nagaraja (the Dragon King of the ocean), became a Buddha under the training of Wen-Shu Bodhisattva (Manjusri) when she was only 8 years old. She manifests to show us, all Buddha and Bodhisattva come here to perform. The wonderful function of wisdom does not differentiate across age, old and young, time and space, or ranks.
All Buddha teachings emphasizes:
The mind has no attachment, so it arises naturally and uses freely.
The true essential properties implied by the Diamond Sutra is precisely the mind has no attachment, so it arises naturally and uses freely. Therefore, the essence of Prajna is just the same as the indestructibility of the Diamond (Vajra) and is inextinguishable for eternity.
Just talked about daily life, without chanting Mantra is also fine, or letting go of all Buddha teaching is also fine. You must really let go all, then you can eradicate the unenlightened condition. But I tell you that although you are eradicating the unenlightened condition, it is not necessarily to attain Buddha-enlightenment in perfection. You can only be a Bodhisattva and cannot become a Buddha. It is difficult. Why? Because even after eradicating one grade of the unenlightened condition, there remains another 40 grades of the unenlightened condition that needs to be broken.
What is the unenlightened condition? It is the habituated tendencies.
That habituated tendencies are very difficult to be broken, it is not what we imagine. The habituated tendencies, after you have attained the level of Mahasattva with the Dharma Body (Bodhisattva) one cannot see it at all. How to do they cultivate then? It is without thought of doing the cultivation to practice the cultivation.
Our beings now have very serious habituated tendencies that are visible and the self-knows. But once you reach the status of Mahasattva one is unable to tell, but there are still 40 more levels of the unenlightened conditions to break it and it is truly difficult. If you have not attained the 8th Stage Bodhisattva (realizing the intrinsic truth with an unmoved mind, as the 48th of the 52 tiers) and beyond, you still will recede from the position attained. Even if you have attained to the 4th, 5th or 6th Stages Bodhisattva, you would slip again and back to the 1st Stage; just this way of going back and forth, we have gone on for countless existence of world-periods.
Therefore, Buddha with infinite mercy and infinite compassion, by means of Amitabha to be the representative to create this Bliss World of Amitabha Pure Land. It is not just to help us— the common ones, but also to enlighten those Mahasattva (great beings) with Dharma body and even to help the Bodhisattva of Absolute Universal Enlightenment (Samyak-Samadhi as the 51st of 52 tiers) like Guan-Yin Bodhisattva (Avalokitesvara) status. There are many people who have attained the same level as Guan-Yin Bodhisattva but have never had the connection to hear about the Bliss World of Amitabha Pure Land. This was mentioned in the Sutra of Infinite Life.
Those of us who chant Amitabha, it looks like a very simple matter. Due to you having wholesome roots, the blessing arises from your good deeds, and deep-rooted predestined affinity with Amitabha; ourselves do not know because we have been lost for too long. Those Maha-Bodhisattva who have already become Buddha know. Therefore they come to our Saha Land—our Earth specifically, to help us. Without their help, we would know nothing; like after dying then so be it, we then enter a mother’s womb in preparation for rebirth into this world.
This is called the incredible function of Prajna (wisdom) of Buddhism.
很早就走，大概四十九歲就走了。她每天入定，也不講話 – 禁語。你跟她溝通，弟子翻譯，她也不用說話。很多人去求她，有病的，又是疑難雜症一堆。不說話，弟子說：「師父的意思就是你們去請大悲咒水，就會好了」。我見過一個工人從樓上摔下來，脊椎都摔斷了，喝「大悲咒水」好了，脊椎直了。
記住，絕對不能有執著修行。一有執著，著魔了 – 是折磨。所以講《大悲咒》是觀音菩薩「般若」智慧的體、相、用。他從「二地」一超超越到「八地」，「八地」叫不退，是希有，不容易。就像《妙法蓮華經》裡講「龍女成佛」，那龍女幾歲？八歲。八歲小龍女成佛，她示現給你看。這都是諸佛菩薩來演戲，就是智慧之妙用不分年齡、不分老少、不分時空、不分階級。
所以佛大慈大悲，由阿彌陀佛做代表，創造極樂世界，不僅渡我們凡夫，也渡這些法身大士，甚至渡等覺菩薩 – 渡觀音菩薩這樣的人。很多像觀音菩薩這麼有成就的人，沒有緣份聽到彌陀的極樂世界，《無量壽經》都講過。
我們這些人念阿彌陀佛，很簡單。你善根、福德、因緣深厚，自己不知道，因為迷了太久。那些成佛的大菩薩，真正成佛 – 大菩薩知道，所以特別到我們娑婆世界，到我們地球來幫助我們。因為沒有他們幫助，我們什麼都不知道，死了就死了，就投胎轉世去了。這是佛家「般若」之妙用。