09 May Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 101
(Last week we ended with, “Greed” itself, is the figment of one’s imagination.)
We have greed in all of our life, what do we get at the end? There is nothing one can lay hold of.
This body of yours; using the body to perform actions because one has this body now.
Laozi (founder of Daoism) once said:
The reason I have great distress is only myself has the body.
I have a serious burden and affliction with this body. Where is the body from? It is from greediness.
Referring to the Buddhist scripture:
We enter a mother’s womb in preparation for rebirth into this world because of greediness.
Taking into the thinking then it turns into the fetus is also called greediness.
You can observe these phenomena carefully. From the moment we open our eyes until sleep and have dreams in our sleep, all are greediness. Therefore, if one vows to follow the precepts would not work.
You must truly accept the embodiment of the precepts in the mind. Refer to the Sutra statement:
One with the sincerest mind before the Buddha Bodhisattva vows to follow the precepts,
Then, it is fine; however, you must move to have Buddha and Bodhisattva manifestation to lay his hand on top of your head. What does this “laying his hand on top of the head” mean? It represents the approval by Buddha and Bodhisattva. Because Buddha and Bodhisattva observe precepts in perfection, their body and mind are purified without defilement. If they have approval, that means you are qualified to vow and follow the precepts and observe precepts. All precepts especially in their various forms need to be understood thoroughly:
When does the breaking of the precepts occur?
When does the ending abstinence occur? When permitted, if Buddha allows it then you can do this.
When are the precepts for faults that require special restraint? That means do not allow, stop.
When to strictly adhere to the precepts?
You must understand thoroughly.
The study of the precepts is a school of learning. The five thousand volumes of the Tripitaka include three baskets: Sutra-pitaka, Vinaya-pitaka, and Abhidharma-pitaka.
Sutrapitaka is learning through meditation.
Vinayapitaka is the study of disciplinary precepts.
Abhidharmapitaka is the study of wisdom.
As a matter of fact, in the Sutrapitaka exists wisdom and precepts, in the Abdhidharmapitaka exists meditation and precepts; actually, the three baskets have included all and there is only a proportional difference in each. In fact they all magnify the phenomena of “discipline-precepts, stillness of mind control, and wisdom”.
We need to talk: if you truly maintain the Five Precepts, your body and mind are purified without defilement; you do not break the precept of killing, stealing, excessive sexual misconduct, false speech, and intoxicating of alcohol.
“Killing” refers to the killing mind, the phenomena of un-equality such as, when others make life difficult for me, I get rid of them but it is a superficial way of doing. There is a more delicate way of rejecting each other inside one’s mind – it is the killing mind. The killing mind is fighting against, and the mind of struggle kills.
“Stealing” is taking things from others without permission; you cannot take it. The precept of no stealing is extremely difficult to abide, while the precept of no killing is also hard, but the percept of no stealing is even harder.
I remember before when the venerable Lee Bing (a lay practitioner) worked at a government office:
Each time he took a piece of notepaper he would report to his boss: “I took the paper”.
After a while, his boss was so annoyed at his reporting he said: “No need to report to me about this all the time. Everyone in the office has done that, taking office notepaper.”
Lee replied: “That is their way, but I observe precepts. I am a Buddhist and I cannot violate the precept of no stealing. I need to mention this to you; if you do not give me permission, and I will not take the paper, but if you say I can have it, then I will take”.
Cultivation this way is not easy. The so-called commission of an offense, precisely after you have broken the precept, you will most likely end up in the hell world.
卷(七 ) 持戒波羅蜜
「戒學」是一門學問。五千卷《大藏經》講的是三種學 – 「經律藏」。「經」是講定，定學。「律」是律學，戒律。「藏」是慧學。其實「經、律、論」，「論」是屬藏，是屬智慧。其實這三個裡面，「經」裡面也有慧、也有律。「論」裡面也有定、也有律，這三個裡面都包括，只是佔的比重不同，其實都是凸顯裡面所講的「戒、定、慧」的現象。
殺，就是殺心；就是不平等的那種現象。人家跟我過不去了，我把他幹掉，這是粗淺。那還有細微是念頭裡面互相排斥 – 殺心。殺心就是鬥爭，鬥爭的心，那是「殺」。
盜，是不予取 – 就是任何別人的東西，沒有經過別人的同意，你不能拿。盜戒太難守，殺戒也很難，盜戒更難。