29 Jun Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 9
(Last week we ended with, “The description from the discourse of the Sutra asks, “afraid to what extent?” His body was a mix of sweat with blood because he knows the suffering of hell was unbearable, a horrible place of spiritual torture.”)
“Hell” does exist, it is precisely right here. We cannot see it because we do not associate with it since we are not the type of persons who suffer from extreme torment. The Bliss World of Amitabha Pure Land is also here, but we are not in that extremely blissful state or have not let go to the same extent, therefore there is no associating.
What does “associate” mean? It means to be connected as one, unified together as one.
Our human world, good and bad are mixed half and half. Today you are happy, tomorrow not; the day after maybe a bit better again. This happens repeatedly. Yet, this is regarded as a normal person; an abnormal one worries daily. From the discourse of Buddha:
People who drink pain and eat suffering who have not ever lived the days free from worry; when they are already rewarded with everything, they start to worry of impermanence again.
So, one has finally made a bit of a break through, afraid of losing it again.
If today we know how to usePrajna(wisdom), how is one to let go all and be disillusioned with everything?
We turn today, turn to the state of Paramitawhich in Sanskrit means crossing the stream and reaching the enlightenment shore.
What does it mean? From the abyss of worldly suffering and crossing to the pure land of happiness all at once.
Therefore, using wisdom to cross to the enlightenment shore is the central core of abandoning suffering and obtaining happiness from the Buddha teaching. This is the core, it is very important.
For what reason to speak of it as the Heart Sutra? Heartis the most important feature of everything. It must be exercised throughout every day’s activity. It is impossible to say today I am converted as an eminent monk, that he can teach me; there is no such thing. He is not you and you are not him; you follow his method then direct association will happen in the future.
Remember this: Buddha, Bodhisattva, and a monk is only Buddhism’s terminology, you should not be attached to it. Many people say, “I chanted Guan-Yin Bodhisattva (Avalokitesvara) for quite a while, to demand a new refrigerator there is none.” Seeking to gain, you will attach to her under the impression she is a deity who can give you things. If she is a genuine deity, an upstanding and intelligent being of the spiritual world, then if one who practices cultivation how to have things given to you? Let alone the truly enlightened high-level supernatural beings of the universe like Guan-Yin Bodhisattva (Avalokitesvara), Amitabha Buddha, Wen-Shu Bodhisattva (Manjusuri) and Pu-Xian Bodhisattva (Samantabhadra).
The “high level” means one who is eternally without confusion. Life and death simply cannot do anything to them. They can enter the phenomena of life and death, but life and death are at the end of its resources. They are completely unaffected by the phenomena of “birth, aging, illness or death”. Today, learning to become a Buddha is precisely learning this.
To learn what? Learning to let go, let go of your afflictions.
Most people cannot let go of their afflictions, why? They are under the impression that the affliction is real.
- Agonizing not having enough money.
Every generation has different afflictions, the primary affliction of modern people is not having enough money.
- Afraid of being sick.
So, they need insurance such as, health insurance. This is so especially in Western society. In Chinese society there was never this kind of insurance system, like the old Chinese saying: A little dirt never killed anybody, or a couple of germs would not do you any harm.That settles it.
Modern society has transformed into one big family and eventually all systems will be alike.
(1) Afraid not being able to survive
(2) Fear of death
Both are rooted from fear. If you have no fear of these two things, knowing there is no “birth, aging, illness or death”, then would not a person be happy!
If you ask everyone, “Would you die eventually?” He thinks and properly will.
Are you afraid? I am afraid of losing.
The function of Buddha teaching is to help you:
First, to keep away from inverting the dream.
What is called “inversion”? It is without understanding the true facts of the matters, the true facts of the universe, and the truth about life.
Second, to keep away from fear.
People encounter many matters to have fears, why be afraid? They are afraid of losing:
(1) Afraid of losing their life
(2) Afraid of losing things is strongly attached to the mind.
One is material things, and the other is spiritual things; so, you are afraid.
(二) 怕生病。所以要保險，健康保險; 尤其在西方社會。以前中國人那 有什麼保險制度，不乾不淨吃了沒有病，就算了。