01 Jul Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 43
[Series of Master Shen-Long expounding on the Prajna Paramita (Perfection of Transcendent Wisdom) Heart Sutra]
(Last week we ended with, “Why is it this way? It is the result of your past life affinities plus conditions. You have both good affinities and bad affinities.”)
All of you need to think, all material phenomena, feeling, thinking, mental formation, and consciousness has brought us the phenomena of “birth, aging, sickness and death”; the phenomena of “birth, aging, sickness and death” we have just spoken of is unnecessary and unjust.
Recently I ran into a friend whose relative just passed away, and within this matter of life and death she comprehended one thing:
Nothing you can take with you. The body suit you came in is the same one you go out.
Never mind at the time of death that nothing can be taken with you, even the moment now you already cannot take anything with you.
What can you take with you at this moment?
Nothing can be taken from your past; nothing can be taken from your future. Ancient people said:
Past, present and future are all unreal.
It only lives in your way of thinking, looking, saying and doing; it does not exist in the “reality” as we talked; it is certainly impossible. Therefore, today we learn to become Buddha, learn to not deceive ourselves.
How to face it? You need to face yourself 100 percent.
You cannot do just one percent and then call it quits, I cannot accomplish this like the “river and mountains may change, my essential nature will not”. You are being fooled again.
The description of “river and mountains may change, my essential nature will not;” this is what other people tell you. It is the common education in this society. If you lived in outer space, then you fundamentally would not have this kind of education. If you lived in another enlightened family, it would not be possible for you to have this kind of concept.
I once encountered a person, he was very simple. He could read people clearly; however, his mind was unmoved by any phenomena.
Why unmoved? He told me it was simple – our way of thinking is different.
How come? He rarely has his way of thinking. He does not have dreams at night, and his body is healthy and lived long. He knows when he will leave the earth.
Are there many people like him? Yes, there are many.
For example, in earlier agrarian-based societies there were many people like him. They did not have any worries and afflictions. Every day they get up to work at sunrise and retire at sunset – the societal condition was very simple. As the result, people of ancient times when they listened to Sutra explaining could become enlightened.
What is becoming enlightened? It is when one sees the truth about the universe.
Modern people are relatively difficult.
Why? There is too much to be concerned about, too much to worry about. They not only need to manage their own affairs, but they also need to manage others.