MASTER SHEN-LONG | Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 59
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Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 59

Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 59

[Series of Master Shen-Long expounding on the Prajna Paramita (Perfection of Transcendent Wisdom) Heart Sutra]

(Last week we ended with: Therefore, next it states: Also, no ending of the unenlightened condition, at least to no old age and death, also no ending of old age and death.)

We all know the phenomena of “birth, aging, sickness and death”. Every day the older a person’s ages, the deeper the impression one has because you will gradually die.

Some ancient people were also beyond the imagination, where one’s coffin was purchased a long time ago and kept in the house and painted annually. These old ancient people had their tombstones readily inscribed when one was still alive, had one’s grave prepared at the earliest possible time, and some even lay themselves into the coffin beforehand to test out how comfortable it felt. The older men and women of before was this way, they wanted to be like a falling leaf returning to its roots, as with all things all eventually going back to their source. As expected, that person will die.

Why? One prepares oneself to die.

Also, some people say that they are getting old, and prepare a sum of retirement funds.

What is this retirement fund for? It is for medical expenses. One is preparing to get sick. One cannot prepare for being born because one had no choice, but one can prepare for “aging, sickness and death”; this is pathetic and very sad.

Why? Originally, we should be like free-range chickens living happily, and at the time of death, per everyone’s karma may be chopped by a knife or die suffering. This way is not that bad, one does not suffer too much. Nowadays people suffer exceedingly, wanting to have this or thinking of that, and when they are unable to obtain what they want, they feel unwell; or they are alive without choice.

Where are these phenomena from? They are the phenomena of aging and death because there are many things you want to finish immediately before your death. But I am telling you, you are eternally unable to finish them.

Why can it not be finished? If you have attachment and delusional thought in your mind, you are unable to finish it. After you finished it all, I tell you, there is no more time and space.   

Therefore, ancient people regarded time and space as described in a poem by Li Bai (Tang dynasty poet, 701-762):

The year of life having not reached one hundred,

            Yet the heart is in constant worry for a millennium;

            The day is short while the bitter night is long,

            Why not go wandering by candlelight!  

            生年不滿百,常懷千歲憂,晝短苦夜長,何不秉燭遊!

He was expressing: The year of life having not reached one hundred, yet the heart is in constant worry for a millennium; meaning melancholy lasts ten times one’s life span. The day is short daytime is short one is only happy for a few hours or few minutes that was all. While the bitter night is long, the sea of bitterness is vast, and the night is endless, one cannot sleep at night; so why not go wandering by candlelight.  In ancient times, there was no light, and one must hold a candle to walk at nighttime.

What does this mean? It is to live happily with no thought for the future.  Since you cannot sleep. Do not let the night slip by. To amuse yourself within this lacking a better option is known as seizing as much pleasure as possible amidst suffering and pain.

We can consider the life of Li Bai, a Chinese poet (701-762 CE), a genius and romantic figure during the mid-Tang Dynasty. In Chinese history, many people envied him.

His death, how did he go? He died by trying to fish up the moon. While he was rowing a boat, he was drunk and saw the moon reflection in the lake; he tried to fish up the moon and fell into the water and drowned.

Although the story is very dramatic, life is precisely this way.

>>Click here to read the full series of Master Shen-Long expounding on Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra

 

我們都知道「生、老、病、死」,我們年紀越大是越深刻,因為你慢慢就要完蛋了。

有的古代人也很奇妙,棺材早早就買好,在家每一年漆一次。古代老人,自己的墓碑早早的刻好,墳墓早早的挖好,看看棺材躺下去舒不舒服。以前的老人家是這樣,他要落葉歸根。你知道嗎,他一定會死。

為什麼?他準備死。

還有的人說我老了,準備一筆退休金,這退休金拿來做什麼?做醫藥費。他準備生病,「生」他無法準備,因為他無法選擇,「老、病、死」他可以準備,這叫做可憐,可悲。

為什麼?本來我們應該像個土雞一樣,快快樂樂,死的時候,個人的業力可能一刀給砍了,要不然痛苦而死。這還好,痛苦還沒有那麼多。現在人痛苦,我看不得了,要這個,想那個,得不到就難受,不然就活得無奈。

這些現象那裡來?有老、死的現象,因為很多事要在你死以前趕快做完。我告訴你,你永遠做不完。

為什麼做不完?你有心的執著,有心的妄想,你絕對做不完。等你做完了,我告訴你時間,空間也沒有了。

所以古人對於時間,空間他有講:

「生年不滿百,常懷千歲憂,晝短苦夜長,何不秉燭遊」。

他講:人生不滿百歲,憂愁有一千歲,十倍。白天很短,晝短。苦夜長,苦海茫茫,夜晚都睡不著。白天樂也沒幾個鐘頭,幾分鐘而已。晚上是漫漫長夜,何不秉燭遊?古代沒有燈,拿著蠟燭叫秉燭夜遊。

這什麼意思?及時行樂。即然睡不著,夜晚都不放過。這無奈中取樂叫苦中作樂。

我們可以想一想李白這一生,在我們中國歷史上來看,很多人都很羨慕他。

他走的時候,怎麼走?撈月而死。他在划船,划,划,划,他喝醉了,看到水裡有月亮,他要撈月,噗嗵掉到水裡死了。

這雖說是很戲劇性的,人生就是這樣。

>>Click here to read the full series of Master Shen-Long expounding on Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra