22 Feb Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 76
[Series of Master Shen-Long expounding on the Prajna Paramita (Perfection of Transcendent Wisdom) Heart Sutra]
(Last week we ended with, “In the end, you will see that the eradication of the unenlightened condition is true and not false. When you truly are the state of nothing can lay hold of, you then eradicate your unenlightened condition.”)
When Guan-Yin Bodhisattva attained the second grade of realizing the intrinsic truth with an unmoved mind (the 42nd of the 52 cultivation tiers), a Tathagata told her about the Great Compassion Mantra. Advancing quickly, she verified into the state of the 8th Stage Bodhisattva status (the 48th of the 52 cultivation levels) from the 2nd Stage.
Why? Her mind is motionless and no longer moved; she saw the phenomena of nothing can lay hold of and non-receding.
About this, there is no need for us to envy her. We chant Amitabha to go to the Realm of where all classes dwell in Amitabha Pure Land, and even if we go there in the lower rank of the inferior class, we have also attained nothing can lay hold of.
The attainment of nothing can lay hold of in Amitabha Pure Land is hard for all of you to imagine, it is different from us here – the human world. In the Bliss World of Amitabha Pure Land, with the addition of power of Amitabha’s merits and virtues, oneself becomes like Amitabha.
Why do I always encourage people to chant Amitabha? If you truly go to the Bliss World of Amitabha Pure Land, you will see it is an energy field. This energy field is accomplished by all Buddha Bodhisattva. This one praising is precisely one’s accomplishment. After you arrive to the Bliss World of Amitabha Pure Land, even the feeling of no hindrance in one’s mind does not exist.
Living in the Bliss world of Amitabha Pure Land is true living, to what extent? It is the condition where non-creation (beginning) and non-extinction (ending); this is true living. Our present way of living is hovers between life and death.
The ancients had a description:
All kinds flowers will shed till no flower left, however the splendor of Spring is endless. Mountains are naturally high; rivers are naturally deep.
Everyone takes a moment to think about this.
All kinds flowers will shed till no flower left means that all wonderful phenomena will eventually pass.
However, the splendor of Spring is endless; Spring represents our Buddha-nature, and only Buddha-nature will not be cut off and be without end.
Mountains are naturally high, rivers are naturally deep means all people, events, places and objects of this world are mutually not hindered to each other.
[ Sutra text] Hence the Mantra of Prajna Paramita was spoken.
Recite it like this: Gaté Gaté Paragaté Parasamgaté, Bodhi Svaha!
Speaking truthfully, every single word represents the perfect Buddha-nature, all is Infinite Light, Infinite Life. Here I will not do any further translation, I am afraid it will start new attachments that will become something that one can lay hold of.
The whole sutra is perfectly finished here today.
The Heart Sutra (Prajnaparamitahrdaya) itself, for anyone who wants to enter it further, then I hope that you will practice chanting Amitabha more when you activate mind with arising thought. After you chant for a long while, your mind will naturally be without hindrance. You will be identical to Amitabha. You will have perfect insight of being master of one’s-self to initiate omniscient penetrative ability with crystal clear perception that the nature of Five Skandhas (the five-composition element of our existence) are the absence of inherent existence. So releasing oneself from all the obstruction caused by sufferings and misfortunes, as stated in the Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra. You do not need to be envious – this is real.
I believe all of you have this kind of virtuous root, especially when chanting Amitabha sincerely to go to the Bliss World of Amitabha Pure Land in this life. Do not waste time. If you miss the opportunity this life, it is all finished. We do not know which day we will meet again, it is unknown whether we will meet as a dog or a cat, I am also not clear what will be then.
Gatha of Transferring Merit
May the merits of explaining the Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra publicly, to adorn Amitabha Pure Land,
Requiting four kinds of grace from above, relieving the suffering beings in the Three Wretched Realms – Hell, Hungry ghost, Animal.
Wishing all sentient beings as friends, foes, and all karmic debt collectors universally,
All to start the mind for Bodhi (enlightenment), together to be born in the Bliss World of Amitabha Pure Land.