MASTER SHEN-LONG | Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 5
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Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 5

Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 5

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

(Last week we ended with, “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.”)

 

We have good blessed rewards in this life where we all live peacefully and work happily, it is pretty good; but we still have afflictions. Today, even if we have everything we want of this world and are as happy as we can be, the one phenomenon of death will still happen.

Death is something where:

No things you can take with you, only your karma tags along.

What is “karma”? It is energy resulting from the fluctuations of your mind movements driving yourself into the self-caused karmic energy.

When religious practitioners do their daily morning and evening exercises, if during your morning exercise they asked themselves if their “birth, aging, illness or death” have lessened a little bit, then it would work. During your evening exercise before sleep, examine how many “birth, aging, illness or death” thoughts arose during the day. If you can follow this way of cultivation for two to three months, you will begin to transform and your worry will lessen.  Simply, none of us have ever practiced this in this life nor have we practiced this way in our past life; saying and doing are two entirely different matters.

The fundamental essence of Prajna (wisdom)Originally there is not a single thing. 

The Sixth Patriarch opened his intelligence and reached enlightenment at the age of 24.

What does “open his intelligence” mean? It means you have truly witnessed yourself and all of the living beings as perfectly pure, with equality, enlightenment and compassion in self-nature, and there are no differences.

What does “reach enlightenment” mean? You are enlightened where your inherent life nature can manifest the infinite and boundless phenomena of all things under the sun.

All of you have the opportunity to read the Platform Sutra of the Sixth Patriarch Hui-NengAs stated by the Sixth Patriarch:

Who would have thought that the self-nature is intrinsically pure! 

Who would have thought that all things are the manifestations of self-nature!

Self-nature is intrinsically puremeans “open the intelligence”;

All things are the manifestations of self-naturemeans “reach enlightenment”.

This is the importance.

Dhyana (Zen) Buddhism, we all know to study and explore Dhyana (Zen):

            It stresses intuition rather than books and other external aids but is a special transmission outside scriptures.

The earliest source was established by Shakyamuni Buddha at a gathering of disciples at Vulture Peak—The Flower Sermon, where the Buddha silently held up a flower with his fingers and admired it with a smile. None of the disciples understood this action. It is the same if when I expound a Sutra, without opening the mouth but instead I just smile, everyone here will feel strange. At that time, only one of the disciples, Mahakasyapa, understood this action.

What did he understand? He understood but could not express it in words. He understood:

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

Dhyana (Zen) Buddhism requires clear understanding and emphasizes the idea of: Originally there is not a single thing, where can dust (afflictions) be provoked.  It is the same as Pure Land Buddhism. Practicing Pure Land Buddhism, when one chants Amitabha to the state of “wholeheartedly concentrating the mind without scattering, absolutely separating the self from phenomena, and obtain the underlying truth of all things with Buddha-nature” and you will behold the identical resultant condition.

Dhyana (Zen) Buddhism was transmitted from Mahakasyapa to Bodhidharma who was the 28th Indian Patriarch. The first Indian Patriarch was Mahakasyapa. Bodhidharma arrived in China around 520 CE and he wished to pass on his self-comprehended enlightenment wisdom.

What did he want to pass on? He wanted to transmit Prajna-as Prajnaparimita, to precisely pass on this teaching.

His first opportunity brought together by fate, was to meet with Emperor Wu of the Liang dynasty. This gong-an (study case) is well known to everyone: Emperor Wu of the Liang dynasty was a unique person, he spent every day and night reciting Sutras, chanting Buddha’s name, bowing down to Buddha statues, and performing the Buddhist repentance ritual. Practicing this way, he thought this is the Buddha teaching. He also encouraged people to become Buddhist monks. He spent a great deal of public wealth on funding over 400 Buddhist monasteries, with those tremendous Buddhist works, could you say he has attained none merits and virtues?

Therefore, when they met, Emperor Wu asked Bodhidharma: “I have accomplished so many Buddhist projects; do I have merits and virtues?”

Bodhidharma replied directly: “None.”

This kind of honest, matter of fact reply indeed speaks the truth by Bodhidharma, neither won favor nor flattered Emperor Wu.

If you asked Bodhidharma: “Is this real or unreal?”

Bodhidharma answered back: “It is unreal, no merit and virtue”.

Why did the Emperor not have any merits and virtues? Because he seeks gain in mind.

“Merit” is for those who seek no gain. Everyone is clear that in this modern era—the period of degeneration and extinction of Buddha teaching, it is not easy to achieve nirvana merits and enlightenment virtues; it is truly difficult.

Why? Your mind has not been purified of defiling illusions, then how is it possible for you to work on merits and virtues.

Besides, merit and virtue cannot be attained by doing; it must be initiated from seeking no gain in mind.

>>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: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。)

雖然現在福報很好,大家能安居樂業,不錯;可是還是有煩惱。就算世間一切都得到,高興得不得了,可是有一個現象就是死亡現象會發生。人一死,「萬般帶不去,唯有業隨身」。

什麼叫「業」?就是你的心念波動造成的磁場;你就投胎到自己造成的磁場當中。

如果你每天做早課、晚課,宗教徒都有早、晚課;早課時如能想想,我這「生老病死」的念頭能不能少一點,這個就有用。晚上睡覺時想想,我今天起了多少「生老病死」的念頭。如果能夠這樣修行個兩、三個月,你的人就變了,就沒有擔憂了。

只是,我們這一生都沒有這樣做過,過去生也沒有這樣做過;聽是聽、講是講,兩回事。

「般若」的本體是本來無一物。

六祖當年二十四歲開悟。

怎麼叫開?「開」,是真正看見自己跟一切萬物在本體上是清淨、平等、覺悟、慈悲,沒有差別。

怎麼叫「悟」?「悟」,是悟到原來自身生命的本體能產生無量無邊的萬物現象。

各位有機會看《六祖壇經》,六祖自己講:「何期自性,本自清淨;何期自性,能生萬法」。「本自清淨」是開,「能生萬法」是悟,這個重要。

禪宗,我們都知道「參禪」叫「不立文字,教外別傳」。源頭是釋迦牟尼佛在靈山會上「拈花微笑」。所有人都看不懂,就像我現在講經,不開口,我就笑一笑,大家都會覺得奇怪。可是當時大迦葉尊者,佛的弟子,他明白。

明白什麼?說不出來。明白就是明白「本來無一物,何處惹塵埃」。

禪宗最著重的,就是你能夠了解「本來無一物,何處惹塵埃」。這跟淨土宗一樣,淨土宗,念佛念到「理一心不亂」就見到。

禪宗從大迦葉傳到達摩祖師- 他是印度第二十八代祖師。第一代是大迦葉尊者。達摩在梁武帝時代到中國來,他希望把他所證悟的道理傳下來。

傳什麼?傳「般若」。就是傳「般若波羅蜜多」,就是傳這個法。

到中國來,第一個有緣見到梁武帝。這個公案大家都知道,梁武帝很妙,一天到晚是念經、念佛、拜佛、拜懺,就是這樣;他以為這是佛法。又渡人出家,又建立很多的寺院,四百多座,你能說他沒有功德嗎?

所以梁武帝碰到達摩祖師就問:「朕做了這麼多,有沒有功德?」

達摩祖師很直接只講一句話:「沒有功德。」

這句話實在講是實實在在說實話;他也沒有巴結他,也沒有恭維他。

你問他:「是真?是假?」

他告訴你:「是假的,沒功德。」

為什麼沒功德?因為是有心所求。

「功」,是無求。

大家都很清楚,在現代「末法時期」,要想做功德很不容易,實在很難。

為什麼?自己心不清淨,怎麼做功德。而且功德不是用做的,功德是你沒有求。

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