01 May Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 35
[Series of Master Shen-Long expounding on the Prajna Paramita (Perfection of Transcendent Wisdom) Heart Sutra]
(Last week we ended with, “Therefore, a person’s head is clean, one does not have this kind of problem.”)
Then you say, is a person likely to die?
This so-called death is only a transformation where the body is no longer needed. Just like clothing to a certain degree, or machines that we use to a certain extent; we do not want it, we change to another one.
A person with wisdom will change to what kind of body? They will change to an indestructible and eternally non-damageable body – a Buddha body like the enlightenment body in appearance such as the body appearance of Amitabha.
We originally are Infinite light, Infinite life, Infinite wisdom, and Infinite wealth.
Why infinite? The fundamental essence of the universe is infinite and boundless; we all are the life form wherein. The Buddha-nature is just like the Pacific Ocean and we are all bubbles in the Pacific Ocean. Those bubbles that are us have attachments such as, your bubble is named Smith, and my bubble is named Washington, his bubble is named so and so; we compare with each other and have attachment to each other.
You say to one: “You must become Buddha.”
One reply: “What does that have to do with me?”
One does not think one’s bubble is the Pacific Ocean. You only need to remove the attachment to your own bubble, then you are successful. Even if you do not remove the attachment, you are also a Buddha, only you do not initiate any function.
Here we speak of the bubble is it or is not the Pacific Ocean? Yes, it is.
Either you break your bubble or unbreak your bubble, your bubble is a part of the Pacific Ocean eternally.
Therefore, does life and death exist? No, it does not.
The bubble exists the phenomena of creation (rising) and extinction (perishing), but the Pacific Ocean does not exist the phenomena of rising and perishing. Therefore, regarding the variance of the body and mind; you need to observe the variance of your body and mind are illusion originally and do not real exist completely.
Why? You change target daily, resolving this matter, again starting the worry of the next one. So, one bubble extinct, there again rising another one; after one extinct, again to rise a second one.
Therefore, people speaking of cultivation practice, it is to revise your way of thinking during your mind activation with arising thought. After you have practiced to a certain extent, this is practicing the profound Prajna-Paramita. Your skill becomes more and more useful, you are more and more certain to have control over your life condition. The most important thing of this Sutra is precisely to call attention to us: you must have the ability to control your life and death. If you do not have the ability to control your life and death, all enjoyments in this world are illusory.
Let us think, from the time you were born until now, what things have you obtained?
Those things are merely obtained by your conceptually and not realistically. Within your concept and believe that “I have got this, and I am with peace of mind”. How about there are things you have not obtained, it is also you believe within your concept that you have not obtained them. Therefore, the concept of “gain or loss” has constituted our living behavior standards. When we “gain” we feel happy, when we have “loss” we feel unwell. A moment ago, we talked about many real examples; the main purpose is to wish that all of you do not make life difficult for yourself.
Most people all have the same old shortcomings:
First: The more one cannot get, the more one has curiosity.
Second: The more other people disapprove, the more you insist on your own way of looking at things.
Everybody refuses to obey others, all have this problem. If a person listens to everyone’s word, then one is called ignorant. If a person only listens to the self and not to others, one is having excessive greedy mind. To have attachment, be obstinate and self-opinionated, it is not saying these kinds of phenomena cannot be altered, it absolutely can be corrected. These phenomena itself are the defiled phenomena from us. These phenomena apply the method of having perfect insight and omniscient penetrative ability to fix; when the mind is purified of defiling illusion, that precisely is wisdom, Prajna.
What we have explained you must practice in your daily routine. You cannot detach from it, and you cannot take it as a kind of worship or conviction – that will not work.