21 Jul Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 46
[Series of Master Shen-Long expounding on the Prajna Paramita (Perfection of Transcendent Wisdom) Heart Sutra]
(Last week we ended with: The “unreal” represents the impermanence of meeting and departing. So, the same is true with form, feelings, thinking, mental formations and consciousness.)
[Sutra] Shariputra, all universal phenomena are absent of inherent characteristics of existence. It does not produce or perish, there is no impurity and no purity, and there is no increase and no decrease.
He again calls Shariputra to listen attentively; you see, this is all universal phenomena are absent of inherent characteristics of existence.
What does this mean? All expresses numerous, referring to all phenomena. The combination of all phenomena, it is absent of inherent characteristics of existence.
No phenomenon is in the same way as the mode of existence, why heexplains it as no phenomenon? He is afraid we have attachment so using no phenomenon to describe. In fact, it should be “all the universe phenomenaareno phenomenon in naturebut appears with phenomenal characteristics”.Therefore, he says: It does not produce or perish.This state of non-produce and non-perish then becomes interesting.
This glass cup, can it be called a state of produce? Yes, it is a phenomenon of produce.
This glass cup, is it a state of perish? Yes, it is a phenomenon of perish.
It does not produce or perish, the phenomena of produce or perishdo not exist. For instance, now my hand is touching the water in the glass; does my hand, the water, and the glass exist any differences? This is: all universal phenomena are absent of inherent characteristics of existence. It does not produce or perish.
And he also states: there is no impurity and no purity, and there is no increase and no decrease.Impuritymeans filthy.Puritymeans clean. Filthy is clean, clean is filthy – this is truly incomprehensible by human mind. For many people who are neat freaks, this is hard to endure. Ancients had a statement: “Gold and stool have no difference.” An enlightened one, one who has verified into the truth about the universe, has no discrimination over this.
In the past, we have seen many examples of Buddha Bodhisattva who take material shape in society. How do they live their life?
You can either scold him, bite him, or kill him; he completely does not activate his mind with arising thought. His way seems unrelated to our way of living. Our way of living focuses on resolving reality issues, for instance: making money to provide for oneself, needing to go see a doctor when ill, needing to eat when hungry. Buddha Bodhisattva life is different from us. He has the same physical body; but his inner condition is different. He eats, and can eat continuously without stopping, and after he has finished eating a mountain of food he can continue to eat another one.
Why? He does not have attachment.
He does not eat; he is able to not eat forever; his mind thought does not have this. Remember this, from start to finish I have spoken precisely about “mind thought”. Today, exactly due to thought, in your thought you believe you are hungry, then you are sure to be always hungry. If your thought does not believe you are hungry, you have not called to mind to be hungry, your digestive system will also not contract – this is normal. Our stomach and our five internal organs of the “heart, liver, spleen, lungs and kidneys” originally had the aromatic scent of sandalwood; no containment. Currently our five internal organs smell, and fermentation in our internal organs means it is not clean.
What is unclean? We have too many thoughts and afflictions. First, we have eaten things that we should not eat.
Ancient people were under the stillness of mind control, exempt from all external sensations, and they absolutely have no need to eat anything.
What is the stillness of mind control? It is when the body and mind have been purified of defiling illusion and have less desire.