26 Dec Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 67
[Series of Master Shen-Long expounding on the Prajna Paramita (Perfection of Transcendent Wisdom) Heart Sutra]
(Last week we ended with, “if you can use the thinking of no wisdom, also nothing can lay hold of, then you will not become this way. From the Diamond Sutra: All phenomena are like a dream, a mirage, a drop of dew, a flash of lightning; that is how to observe them. Primarily, problems are from here.”)
[Sutra] Nothing can lay hold of, hence Bodhisattva, through reliance on Prajna Paramita (perfection of transcendent wisdom), hence have no hindrance in one’s mind.
If you apply this concept to live your life, it becomes nothing can lay hold of. Frankly speaking, nothing can lay hold of means you have not lost anything and have not gained anything also.
We are most afraid of “gain and loss” in our life. “I have lost it”; it is so pitiful.
What have you lost?
Does it not just state here that nothing is entirely lost. In fact, nothing can lay hold of refers to being without the capability to lay hold of gain, without the capability to lose what is lost. There is no loss and no gain, no gain and no loss also.
Bodhisattva is a Sanskrit term meaning an enlightened sentient being.
Why add the word “sentient” to it? This “sentient”, all of you need to be clear, these are living beings that have spirituality, souls, and awakening. These living beings are self-enlightened and have understood the true facts of the universe. One who helps living beings still confused and regard illusion as reality is called a Bodhisattva.
The ancients have a Gatha:
Bodhisattva mind is like the tranquil moon,
who constantly roams in the state of no phenomenon all in all;
To reimburse the debts of the numerous existence of world-periods,
Being vast and mighty like the spring breeze.
Bodhisattva mind is like the tranquil moon, why use moon to represent it? The word moon refers to perfect. Tranquil represents the light of Bodhisattva that is gentle and does not offend the eyes. It expresses the mind of Bodhisattva that brings comfort to all living beings just like receiving the caress of the Spring breeze.
Every one of us has either seen Guan-Yin Bodhisattva (Avalokitesvara) or has seen her statue or has heard her name; you have a feeling that Guan-Yin Bodhisattva is “loved by everyone”.
Why is everyone who hears her name and sees her appearance will imperceptibly arise with a kind of home-like feeling as though reaching one’s destination?
If everyone has the appearance of Guan-Yin Bodhisattva, then the whole world would be at peace. Therefore, everyone in the Bliss World of Amitabha Pure Land has the appearance of Guan-Yin Bodhisattva and has the appearance of Amitabha.
Why does our world not have the same appearance as they do? It is because everyone’s mind is not that way.
Therefore, the Bodhisattva mind is like the tranquil moon, and using Guan-Yin Bodhisattva to represent is the most appropriate.
Then what kind of mind is Guan-Yin Bodhisattva’s mind? It is called to have perfect insight of being master of one-self while to have perfect insight of being master of oneself Bodhisattva as stated at the beginning of this Sutra text.
Why is she the tranquil moon? When she practices the profound Prajna-Paramita, the moment her wisdom attains perfection, her attainment is at least to the eighth grade Bodhisattva (the 48th stage of the 52 cultivation tiers), this kind of non-receding and unmoved wisdom is called the tranquil moon.
Of course, those Bodhisattva who have not eradicated the unenlightened condition do not count, such as Bodhisattva of Functional Teaching school, or the condition of Hinayana all cannot count; because they have not eradicated the unenlightened condition. Eradication of the unenlightened condition is seeing the brightness of one’s self-nature.
This tranquil moon also represents the brightness of self-nature. Her sphere constantly roams in the state of no phenomenon all in all.
No phenomenon precisely refers to the illusory nature of all existence, why does it need to be all in all? It expresses not even with a bit of attachment to no phenomenon entirely.
If we do not have attachment it is pretty good, but she even has no attachment to the idea of “no attachment”.
The meaning of the word constantly of Who constantly roams in the state of no phenomenon all in all, expresses no change. It is not like us here to have “birth and death of various karmic transmigrations”, and “birth and death of inconceivable transformation (as attainment of Arhat, Pratyekbuddha or Bodhisatva); these are two kinds of cycles of birth and rebirth in the six realms of reincarnation and ten states of existence. Our life here is called “various karmic transmigrations”, as one living to the age of 80 and dying of old age, just like how Shakyamuni Buddha came here and demonstrated. He demonstrated Sutra explanation for 49 years, resided on earth until the age of 79, and he also demonstrated life has “birth and death of various karmic transmigrations”.
It is pitiful; people here pursue wealth and fame for themselves, this life on earth is to do what? Before your death is called “busying yourself with unimportant matters”.
Life on earth is very intriguing. What is the meaning of life?
Everyone needs to take a moment to think – the only meaning is to benefit the self but also to benefit others, like saving the self and saving others; this is the meaning of the life on earth. Apart from this, one thinks only for oneself, then this kind of person is not only self-afflicted, but also brings chaos to others. This is a big problem.