MASTER SHEN-LONG | Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 74
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Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 74

Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 74

(Last week we ended with, “Shakyamuni, who was a Buddha ages ago, came to our Earth to take material shape 3,000 years ago which was his 8,000th time. He already eradicated all 41 grades of the unenlightened condition and perfectly attained Buddhahood. He manifested 3,000 years ago and he had the connection with all beings of our Earth. Even though his body had already undergone illusory transformation, however, the Buddha teaching is preserved in the world.”)

 

The degeneration and extinction of the Buddha teaching has 9,000 years still. Therefore, the teaching of Buddha remains in the world for 9,000 years. But one year is worse than each year, nowadays, Buddhism is not a Buddhism at all, everyone who is wise can see it.

Buddha teaching emphasizes “the root of all phenomena is the mind”. What is the mind?  It is pureness, equality, enlightenment and compassion.  If you stray away from these four general principles, then it is not the teaching of Buddha, it becomes a philanthropic enterprise; all beings do not benefit from it. Why? When the phenomena of “birth, aging, sickness and death” comes then it is goodbye.

I just spoke about, “To eradicate one grade of the unenlightened condition, to realize one grade of embodiment of truth (Dharma Body)”, phenomena of “birth, aging, sickness and death” fundamentally do not exist and is completely without hindrance. Even time and space both have no way out with you, then how can there be phenomena of “birth, aging, sickness and death” existing.

Someone says, the age when you see the truth of the universe when you have “eradicated one grade of the unenlightened condition, to realize one grade of the embodiment of truth (Dharma Body)”; you will retain your appearance at that age. This is correct; I have seen one like this. I have seen a true enlightened one, even at the age of 80 years old still maintain the appearance of 30 years old and will have the same appearance even when they reach more than 1,000 years old. This is difficult for ordinary beings to believe. Why? They do not have this experience and do not have such feeling.

Since, one is capable of “the eight phases of the Buddha’s life – descent from Tusita, entry into womb, birth, leaving home, subjection of Mara, attaining perfect wisdom, preaching, nirvana”; one can then explain the Twelve divisions of the Mahayana Canons, to transmit the Buddha teaching and help infinite beings. For example, Jin-Shan Living Buddha (金山活佛) is familiar to many people. In the early years of the republic of China era, he helped and enlightened all beings. He stayed at the Jiang-Tian Buddhist Temple at Jin-Shan, Zhen-Jiang city of Jiang-Su Province. His biography indicated that he and Monk Tai-Cang (太滄和尚)lived in the same monastery. Monk Tai-Cang described: Jin-Shan Living Buddha wore a thick cotton padded jacket during hot summer days, and never bathed but always had a body fragrance of sandalwood. He did nothing ordinarily; he spent most of his time chanting Amitabha, especially chanting Amitabha aloud at midnight! He practices Zen Buddhism. He chanted: “Who is chanting Nan-Mo (homage to) Amitabha”. I heard someone still knows his sound but I have never heard it myself. This chanting tune is an outpouring from the tranquil sea of his self-nature, it is not the way of an ordinary person chanting. Why does he chant loudly in the middle of every night? He wanted to awaken all beings.

Then, who is chanting Nan-Mo (homage to) Amitabha? Of course, it is Amitabha chanting Amitabha.

Every one of us is Amitabha; “the self-nature Amitabha chants self-nature Amitabha”. He also pays attention to this. Therefore, when we chant Amitabha we must not look down upon ourselves, to speak of one’s karmic hindrance is very serious. What is karmic hindrance? The erroneous thinking, attachments, discriminations and affliction are called karmic hindrance. You turn these, attain purified of defiling illusion, equality, enlightenment and compassion is called chanting (mindfulness) Amitabha.

You need to transform quickly non-stop. You cannot say that I think about it, there no such thing; this is called “skill of cultivating oneself in right practice”. “Quick transforming” is the skill. “Transforming” means to cultivate. After fully understand, you very relax every day. Once erroneous thinking, attachment, affliction, or greedy thought returns chant the name of Amitabha to turn it away. For a long while, the chanting skill can unite with Buddha for 24 hours, then the body and mind will free yourself of worldly worries enormously and have no more pressures. Life without pressures is a kind of joy people of today cannot experience; few who devote oneself to spiritual development have this experience. Why? The genuine one who cultivates oneself in the right practice does not interconnect whatsoever with the world. One who is in contact with all beings in the world, and works in walks of life; however, one is physically and mentally purified without defilement. In addition, if you chant (mindfulness) Amitabha, and truly eradicate the unenlightened condition, then that kind of joy is called beyond description. Who am I? You have already let go.

This phrase: Shattering the existence of open space (all doubt), who has awakened to the truth; awakening to the truth precisely is Prajna, which is precisely self-nature purity, equality, enlightenment and compassion. Who enters this cognitive sphere? Even the “self-I” has let go also.

If you still have the notion of “I have awakened to the truth”, then there remains attachment, your unenlightened condition has not eradicated yet. The one who has eradicated the unenlightened condition does not have “self-I”.  The “self-I” has already let go, then “awake to the truth” also has let go, “attachment to the reality of phenomena” also let go, “attachment to the concept of the ego” let go. After letting go of attachment to the self and phenomena, then you relax.

Since we live in the world, we have forgotten about our past reincarnation, what to do in this life is completely unknown, what to do in the future is completely unknown, and where one goes after death is also unknown. If shattering the existence of open space (all doubt), by then you know there exists no various karmic transmigrations of re-birth and death. It is not like how you only live to a certain age then die, enter a mother’s womb in preparation for rebirth into this world again, there does not exist various segment. After you have eradicated the unenlightened condition, it is the transformation-body. When people appeal with need, you can manifest an appearance to help.

For example, if you have 30 years predestined affinity with someone, you will then manifest in appearance for 30 years. Shakyamuni Buddha came to this world, in Perfect Rest at the age 79, he assumed material form on Earth for 79 years. In addition to Shakyamuni Buddha, there are innumerable Transformation Bodies of Buddha on Earth, many more than our population of five billion.

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

 

(五 )     慧海圓融

(上星期講到: 釋迦牟尼佛當然久遠劫前早就成佛,他來地球示現,三千年前是第八千次。久遠劫前他已經破盡四十一品無明,圓證佛果,跟我們世界的眾生、跟我們地球眾生有緣,三千年前來示現。現在雖然身體幻化了,但是佛法留在世間。)

「末法時期」還有九千年,所以佛法住世還有九千年,不過一年比一年差。現在佛教完全不是佛教,各位有智慧的人都看得出來。

佛法講求的是「心法」。心是什麼?清淨、平等、覺悟、慈悲。如果離開這四個總綱,這不是佛法。這就慈善事業,眾生不受用。為什麼?生、老、病、死一來就再見了。

我剛講:「破一品無明,證一分法身」,生老病死,根本就不存在,完全沒有障礙。時間、空間都莫你奈何了,那有什麼生老病死的。

有人講你幾歲看到宇宙真相,「破一品無明,證一分法身」;你永遠就保持那個相貌。是沒有錯,我也看過。我看過真正覺悟的,八十歲還是三十歲樣子,一千歲還是三十歲的樣子。一般眾生不會相信的。為什麼?他沒有這個經驗,沒有這個感受。

那既然能夠「八相成道」,他就能夠講《十二部經》,轉法輪,渡無量眾生。舉個例子:金山活佛,各位聽過?金山活佛在民國初年渡化眾生,他是在鎮江、金山江天寺,在那裡住過。傳記上寫太滄和尚跟他在一起住。他大夏天穿大棉襖,身上也不洗澡,一股檀香味。平常什麼事都不做,念佛,尤其半夜高聲念佛。他禪宗的。他念「誰念 – 南無阿彌陀佛」。那個調子聽說還有人會,我們是沒聽過。但是那音調,那是從自性清淨海中流露出來,不是一般人念的。他為什麼在半夜念?喚醒一切眾生。

那「誰念 – 南無阿彌陀佛」?當然是阿彌陀佛念阿彌陀佛。

我們每個人都是阿彌陀佛,「自性彌陀念自性彌陀」。他也講究這個。所以我們念佛不要自己看不起自己,說業障很重。「業障」是什麼?     妄想、執著叫「業障」;分別、煩惱叫「業障」。這轉掉,轉成清淨、平等、覺悟、慈悲,就叫「念佛」。

你要能轉得快,不能停留,不能說我想一想,沒有這種事的,這叫「修行功夫」。「轉得快」叫功夫,「轉」叫修。弄清楚了以後,每天很輕鬆,妄想、執著、煩惱、貪念一來,一句阿彌陀佛把它轉掉了。久久「功夫成片」以後,身心得到大大的解脫,沒有壓力了。人生沒有壓力,這種快樂,現代人嚐不到,少數修行人嚐得到。為什麼?真正修行人跟世間沒有任何的瓜葛。他一樣在世間與眾生接觸,各行各業都有,他身心清淨,一塵不染。加上如果你念佛,真的破了「無明」了,那種喜悅叫不可思議。我是誰?放下了。

你看「粉碎虛空誰入禪」:「禪」就是「般若」,就是自性清淨、平等、覺悟、慈悲。誰入這境界?連我也放下。

我入禪,還有執著,沒破無明。破無明的人沒有「我」。「我」放下了,然後禪也放下,「法執」也放下,「我執」放下。我、法二執放下,人就輕鬆。

既然我們活在世間,過去投胎轉世也就忘了,可是今生做什麼完全不知道,以後要做什麼完全不知道,就是這一生死了到那裡去,也不知道。如果「粉碎虛空」了,你就知道,那時候生命沒有「分段生死」;不像我們現在活到一個年紀死了,又投胎又轉世了;沒有分段。你破無明以後,變化身。眾生有感,你就可以化現。

譬如說他跟你之間,因緣有三十年,你就化現三十年。像釋迦牟尼佛到世間來,七十九歲圓寂,他化現七十九年到地球來。除了釋迦牟尼佛是代表以外,無數的化身在我們地球,還有非常多,多過我們五十億人口。

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