27 Jan Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 71
[Series of Master Shen-Long expounding on the Prajna Paramita (Perfection of Transcendent Wisdom) Heart Sutra]
(Last week we ended with, “Dream represents your life on earth. Imagination represents your indulgence in flights of fancy, to think of the past, present and future, thinking about going to sleep or thinking I ought to do things this way, and so forth. After you part from these phenomena, then it is nirvana attainment.”)
[Sutra] To enter nirvana thoroughly (the imperturbable stillness of mind after the fires of greed, hatred, and delusion have been finally extinguished)!
To enter thoroughly means making a thorough inquiry about this to the last ultimate point and not be able to continue, for it is already at the end. When reaching completely to the peak state, where all matters are seen clearly by you without cognitive distortion, dream and imagination, then one enters the nirvana.
The meaning here, the state of non-creation (rising) and non-extinction (falling) of all phenomena, is called nirvana. To exist with the condition (beginning) of creation and extinction (falling) is called dream and imagination.
The condition of non-creation and non-extinction expresses there is no beginning and ending; a phenomenon without beginning and ending is called “Eternal Peace and Tranquil Light”. “Peace and Tranquil” means calmness and extinction of all phenomena, and no wave motion. “Light” is a function that can penetrate all materiality, where one has omniscient penetrative ability on all materiality with a head of clarity and understanding. Therefore, to go into nirvana thoroughly means one becomes Buddha and to become perfect Infinite Light, Infinite Life. Through the infinite existence of world-periods one becomes Amitabha. Therefore, here it states:
[Sutra] All Buddha of past, present and future, through reliance on Prajna Paramita hence attains Anuttara-Samyak-Sambodhi (the supreme perfect enlightement).
All Buddha: the word all represents numerous as infinite and boundless Buddha who have comprehended the true facts of the universe thoroughly. They are all people who have gone into nirvana thoroughly. These kinds of people through reliance on Prajna Paramita rely on wisdom to cross to the enlightenment shore. They all have already initiated omniscient penetrative ability and see that the nature of all Five Skandhas (the five composition elements of our existence) are the absence of inherent existence. So releasing oneself from all the obstruction caused by suffering and misfortune. After they rely on this, they attain Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi (the supreme perfect enlightenment).
Why do they add the word supreme to it? It is because there is nothing higher than that.
A Bodhisattva is known as the supreme perfect enlightenment. An Arhat is an enlightened one after one has removed “I-self”. “Perfect” is a Bodhisattva who has cultivated to a certain status. The supreme perfect enlightenment represents the attainment of Buddha Tathagata.
All of you, if you want to recover your Buddha-nature, I encourage you all to better chant Amitabha or have mindfulness of Amitabha. Since you want to become Buddha, why not take the result of becoming Buddha to be the “cause”?
Chanting Amitabha to become Amitabha; this is the definite principle.
Does affliction itself exist?
Everyone take a moment to think about this attentively, do you have any afflictions?
This supreme perfect enlightenment is a state of non-creation and non-extinction of all phenomena. All Buddha of past, present and future, these great enlightened beings rely on Prajna Paramita (the perfection of transcendent wisdom to cross to the enlightenment shore). They all rely on the utter state of no phenomena – impermanent existence nature, and all rely entirely on does no not panic and fear, keeping cognitive distortion, dream and imagination far beyond.
All of you need to think, do you have panic and fear after all? Why, regarding many things, are some people very afraid? Other people emphasize to confront, so then the question is, how to confront it?
The Heart Sutra offers a teaching of non-creation (beginning) and non-extinction (ending) of all phenomena, and regarding the facts of reality, you use a method to go into disillusion thoroughly with all. If you are not disillusioned with all, then it will be difficult as I see it, never mind about your panic and fears, and cognitive distortion that is impossible to remove.
For instance, today if you drive a car and get a ticket for speeding, you look at the ticket and it costs more than $200. Oh my!
What is your way of thinking about this?
You think that you drove too fast?
Or this government is unreasonable?
Or you feel deep regret about the money?
You need to take a moment to think about this. All of this we will encounter during our daily life, some consider this as unreasonable treatment. Or an argument between husband and wife, and all sorts of situations.
All of you need to think that when these kinds of situations happen, you use what way of thinking to face it?
Are you disillusioned with all ultimately? Or are you still unable to be disillusioned with all ultimately?
What kind of mental attitude will you use ultimately?
Therefore, other people have said that to learn to become Buddha, the first thing one needs to learn is the breadth of the Buddha mind. The breadth of the Buddha mind lets go of all. Whether it is reasonable or unreasonable, if you let go of either reasonable or unreasonable, then you will personally be more at ease.