02 Sep Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 64
(Last week we ended with, “The secularization of every life is different; every custom is different. Getting worse and worse, the minds of men are getting worse and the secular world is getting worse. In the end, people are completely without an innate sense of right and wrong, the conscience is completely controlled by worldly affairs.”)
Therefore, to return to one’s origin by entering nirvana and getting to the heart of the matter and practice cultivation, is still an altering concept. Learn the Buddha way using the concept of the Buddha. For example, study a Sutra;
To study the Infinite Life Sutra, it is vital learning purified of defiling illusion, equality and enlightenment.
To study the Flower Adornment Sutra, it is vital to learn Surangama-Samadhi of Huayan Assembly all Buddha and Bodhisattva, necessary to eradicate one grade of unenlightened condition, to confirm one grade of Dharma Body.
To study the Dharma Flower Sutra (Lotus Sutra), one must be Bodhisattva who has attained the realization of the Dharma Body, then one can learn the Lotus Sutra.
This has steps. If you cannot comprehend all as the absence of inherent existence, all as unreal, and all as the middle way, then practicing cultivation has hindrance.
If greed cannot be removed, then you become the way of evil. The Surangama Sutra explains 50 kinds of evil-influenced hidden natures that obscure the true nature of things, which it truly exists. When sitting for meditation and the Maras come to interfere. There are many kinds of Mara, coming from the hungry ghost world and also from the world of spirits, or the authentic Deva-Mara (one dwells in the sixth heaven) Paranirmita-vasavartin comes too.
In other words, with regards to life in the universe, you ought to tell yourself to establish a correct concept. Today listening to the topic of Prajna you must have the concept of Prajna. What is the concept of Prajna? The fundamental concept is disillusion with everything and let go of all, no attachments, no erroneous thinking and no discrimination.
Basically, if you can let go, then you will rise above. Afterwards, let go of your affliction of illusion and temptation arises from things seen and thought.
After letting go of the “affliction of illusion and temptation arises from things seen and thought”, again, you will let go of the “affliction of illusion and temptation through the immense variety of duties to help all living beings”.
After letting go of the “affliction of illusion and temptation through the immense variety of duties to save all living beings”, you have eradicated one grade of the unenlightened condition to confirm one grade of Dharma body. Letting go of the unenlightened conditions grade by grade will result in becoming a Buddha in perfection in the end. It comes with steps and precedence. This is the path for ordinary people to practice cultivation. How long does this path take? It takes infinite existence of world-periods. In between, there are very many people advancing and regressing, yet before the rewards of the various stages’ attainment then one will backslide from their attained position.
Speaking honestly, it happens every day. These Bodhisattvas before the eradication of their unenlightened conditions in our world advance and regress daily in cultivation. After eradicating the unenlightened conditions, between the 1st stage to the 7th Stage Bodhisattva (the 41st to the 47th of 52 cultivation tiers) attainment also advance and regress. After one attains the 8th Stage Bodhisattva status and beyond then one settles. At the 8th Stage Bodhisattva attainment one is able to see the movement of the store-consciousness (the 8th alaya-vijnana), which is the movement of Tathagatagarbha – the Buddha-nature, and is crystal clear and as clear as noonday. One who is crystal clear will not backslide and will not be confused. Since one is no longer confused, becoming Buddha still takes two more Asakhyeya (incalculable existence of world periods). From the 8th Stage Bodhisattva to the 10th Stage Bodhisattva advance to the 11th Stage Bodhisattva of Absolute Universal Enlightenment will take one Asakhyeya. From the 11th Stage Bodhisattva to Buddha attainment still needs one Asakhyeya. This is difficult!
The infinite and boundless Bodhisattvas who have already attained the status of Absolute Universal Enlightenment (Samyak-Sambodhi – the 11th Stage) at the Hua-Yan Assembly of All Buddha, they all yearn to become a Buddha more quickly because it is very simple, they only have one last grade of the unenlightened condition to eradicate— the fundamental worry as the first thought activation of unenlightened and confusion; however, it just cannot be eradicated. So, you say what is to be done!
This last grade of the unenlightened condition is difficult to eradicate, truly difficult. Quoting from the school of Dhyana (Zen) Buddhism: It is like a cloth adhering to the skin and flesh. Like the shirt that grows with your skin and flesh together, imagine trying to remove the shirt and keep the skin and flesh intact and in good condition; this is very tough and very difficult.
The Absolute Universal Enlightenment (Samyak-Sambodhi) Bodhisattva, like Wen-Shu (Manjusri) and Pu-Xian (Samantabhadra), are the ancient Buddha re-manifested as Bodhisattva. Comparing the cognitive sphere of Wen-Shu and Pu-Xian to Shakyamuni Buddha, the difference is huge. The things that Shakyamuni Buddha has attained through insight, but they do not see. The things that Vairocana Buddha has attained through insight, Vajrasattva (Vajrapani or Vajradhara) Bodhisattva does not see. The difference of one grade is a difference of miles. To say nothing of us now, never mind this one grade of the unenlightened condition, we are unable to let go one grade of affliction of the common human world.
今天講卷 (四 ) 空、假、中三觀