02 Sep Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 60
(Last week we ended with, “Because there is such a phenomenon in your mind, like the phenomenon of cattle in your mind, there is a phenomenon of killings. If there is no phenomenon in your mind, your head is completely clean, coming to the end of your life, the moment that you leave will be effortless and pleasant.”)
I also saw one who was at the end of her life who arranged everything neatly with a red envelope and did it according to the local funerary custom. After the whole was good, she left with the body and mind in purity without defilement. The soul left the body very smoothly. But this smooth condition of leaving does not happen often. The average person leaves the body very painfully. Outsiders do not know and hurry to scrub the body with towels and change clothes.
Some fellow practitioners have had a temporary death experience. One shed a little tear and people touched her eyes with a little tissue paper. One tells us: “It sounded like thunder; the whole body felt like it was being cut by knifes.” This situation in the Sutra has been described lots, ordinary people do not believe and say: “Superstition! It is fantasy story like, The Arabian Nights. Buddhism is superstition.”
This person has personally experienced like the scripture stated, she thought that people cut her with a knife. It was not like that, in her own house, her husband and best friend were around her bed side. Her friend said: “I saw teardrop slip down from the corner of your eye. I used Kleenex with a very gentle touch to dab the tears away.” Later, after she recovered from her temporary death, she told us: “That action caused the pain to be so unbearable.” Even the sound of unfolding the Kleenex was like thunderbolts next to her ear, the gentle touch of drying the tear felt like a knife cutting through her flesh causing her whole body to ache.
Why? Because the soul wanted to leave the body, and she was too attached to her body, so it was just like taking the skin off her body.
In fact, leaving the body is very simple, the soul just walks out and then it is done. It is impossible for ordinary people; the average person feels very painful. The description from the scriptures: to pulling a live turtle out of its shell. That kind of pain does not end after the peeling; the pain will last for at least 72 hours. Although you have no experience, you can imagine it. This is what people are going through at the time of death to the average person. The evil person who did many wicked deeds would report to hell very quickly, the soul descends the moment one goes into shock, a patch of darkness before one’s eyes, which means one has gone down. Talking about it today is precisely giving an example.
If you cannot train yourself to have the insight of all as the absence of inherent existence, cannot train your insight of all as unreal, and cannot train to have the insight of middle way which is no attachment to both extreme real or unreal; I promise you when you are dying, there will be this phenomena, and you will not be able to be a human being in your continuous life. It is possible that you will fall to the hungry ghost world, and this is trouble. Ending in the animal world is also trouble. Ending in the hell world is even more trouble. In this case, I believe that people who are older would know from experience. Why? When elders go, you would feel this. One who leaves in good condition are very relaxed and are at ease. Ones that leave badly are very reluctant to leave, even bleeding from the seven apertures of one’s head. Then in case one was killed unjustly, then it becomes an extremely serious situation. Ancient cases that have to open the coffin and re-examine the cause of death, are entirely due to the above-mentioned. This ruling of cause and effect, the ghost of the dead remained there. Even now, this kind of case is handled in the same manner, which we have encountered many times.
Returning to our main topic, if while living you have established a bit of training of the insight of all as the absence of inherent existence, the insight of all as unreal, you are less attached to affairs, being disillusioned with all and let go of all; granted that you have not practiced cultivation, by the time you leave you will be very easy, next life it will still be possible to become a human. Otherwise, I trust most people in their next life will end up in the Three Wretched Realms: ignorant ones go to the animal world, those with greed desires will go to the hungry ghost world, and those with bad temperament will go to the hell world.
If one is half and half with pain and pleasure, half and half good or bad, but has benevolent thought up to the ratio of 50% to 60%, then one will be back as a human again. Become human is gathering with enemies or debt collectors all day long. There is an old Chinese expression Destiny will make enemies meet. Seldom one can be free and be the master of oneself, very few. In this life, I have not seen anyone yet, from old to young; I have not seen anyone who has genuinely let go, become very free and unfettered, very unrestrained; there is none. Of course, except those who practice cultivation but that is another cup of tea.
A practitioner is not necessarily one who has left home and become a monk or nun; you must not be mistaken; I am referring to a person who has truly let go in the mind. Yes, there are few, and I have seen them. For an average person, it is impossible. In that case, why? They have no training. It is one treating oneself wrongly. One without training, without this kind of analytical concept of the absence of inherent existence–being disillusioned with everything and let go of all. None. Not having someone teach this as a child; one’s parents, brothers, and sisters all are the same, there are a lot of secular ideas.
卷 (四 ) 空、假、中三觀
如果你平常不能訓練有「空觀」，不能訓練你「假觀」，不能訓練是「中道」 – 就是兩邊不執著；我保證你臨終的時候，一定有這個現象，而且你生生世世都不見得來做人。可能一下掉到餓鬼道去了，這個麻煩。到畜生道去，也麻煩。到了地獄道，更麻煩。這種情形，相信上了點年紀的人，會有體會。為什麼？看到長輩走的時候，你會有感受。走的好的，很輕鬆。走的不好的，很留戀，甚至七孔都會流血。那如果是冤殺，那還得了。所以古代辦案都有, 就是開棺驗死，都由這個上面來。這「因果」，那鬼魂就在這上面。現在辦案也是一樣，這個事情我們遇到太多了。
我講修行人不見得是出家人，不要搞錯，是真正內心放下，有，我看過。一般人做不到。那為什麼？沒有訓練。很冤枉。就像我剛講他沒有訓練，沒有這種觀念，沒有這種析空的觀念 – 看破、放下。沒有。從小沒有人教，父母、兄弟、姊妹都是這樣，世俗觀念一大堆。