09 May Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 102
(Last week we ended with, “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.”)
Other people emphasize “stealing” decreases one’s secret virtue. To steal out in the open and to take by enforcement is to rob with force. To plunder secretly, taking advantage of a crisis for personal gain, or taking unlawfully and wiping clean your actions by laying blame on others is stealing secretly. Regardless if you steal openly or secretly, the committing of an offence by stealing secretly is more serious. That means you report to the Avici (ceaseless pain) Hell.
The Avici Hell is extremely disastrous; one day there is equivalent to one existence of a world period here of 1,344,000,000 years of our time. How long does one receive karmic retribution? For 100 billion existence world-periods you cannot be out from the Hell.
In today’s modern society, “stealing” happens daily and everywhere, same within your own family. When you are unclear about some matters and cannot tell the difference, you steal from yourself; after stealing from your own, then you steal from someone else. After stealing from someone else, then you steal from all beings. After stealing from all beings, then you steal from the nation. This is precisely how it goes.
Therefore, in the modern era, it is hard for a person to explain the “disciplinary precepts” to survive. If you are the one that explains the “disciplinary precepts” no one wants to listen. After explaining, everyone feels shameful and humiliated. Because everyone has this shortfall; who has not stolen in one’s life? If you are without one stealing thought in your life, then you bring to perfection in cultivation of any method to enlightenment.
Over the past infinite existence world-periods, we have stolen many times. Even our ideas alone exist with stealing, thoughts of “that thing is good” or “I want to have it in the future”, the concept of “making this thing mine” activates again. From “greed” extends to “stealing”; this stealing of many lives so where is the retribution?
Today is very odd, when we talk about “disciplinary precepts” the lights dim. Explaining the “disciplinary precepts” the spiritual beings show their expression, so the light dims once. Why do the lights dim once? Our world is getting darker. Our world is pitiful. Because our world responds to the future karmic retribution in the hell world. Here when we explain the “disciplinary precept”, there are only a few persons listening. In fact, the spiritual beings are all listening, so they indicate this by dimming the lights which means they are listening too.
When talking about “stealing”, the human world and the world of Heaven both pay attention to this, especially the Heaven world. When you think about Heaven, we refer to the Catholic’s world as the Mahabrahman Heaven and in Buddhism as the Sakro-Devanam Indra, the ruler of the Thirty-Three Heavens—Sakra; they all uphold the “Three Refuges” and “Five Precepts”. Uphold to what level? They uphold 100% fully, they would not violate the precept of no killing, no stealing, no excessive sexual misconduct, no false speech, and no intoxication of alcohol. The “Three Refuges” is to return and rely on the Buddha, the Buddha teaching and the Sangha (monks—the Buddhist monastic order); to return and to rely on “enlightenment, and to have the right understandings and right views, and purity”. It is taking “Three Refuges and Five Precepts” to be their own life.
Today we have problems upholding the disciplinary precepts, it is because we do not feel the precept is the ability and standard in our original conscience as our inherent self-nature luminosity (wisdom). Therefore, we are unable to uphold this.
You ask a small kid when he sees other kids having candies, not having any thoughts arise about it, is it possible?
A baby who was born after a few months, when you talk to one: Do you want to eat vegetables? There is no response.
Do you want to eat meat? How about candy?
The baby becomes happy and one’s eyes start blinking.
How come? All are humans reincarnated again. In one’s past life one already had this idea, after encountering the right condition, once one is teased by you, then the potentiality and response unite accordingly.
Therefore, to uphold the precepts of no stealing is truly hard to achieve. Even a needle or thread you cannot take without permission. I must be frank about this, in the society of today, regardless either the monk (or nun) or a lay practitioner at home, there is none who has achieved this; this is the true word. It is not that I want to criticize; while explaining the “disciplinary precepts”, there are not different standards between one who has left home to become a monk/nun and the layman/ lay women, and everyone is naked. If you truly have body and mind purified without defilement, then you have achieved full marks; going from here to a lower grade then no one is qualified.
卷(七 ) 持戒波羅蜜
人家講盜，是損陰德。光明正大的去盜叫強盜，強行拿過來，光明正大的去搶，那是強盜。暗地裡搜括的，順手牽羊的，吃黑抹乾的，就是陰的。陽的盜跟陰的盜是一樣，不過結罪，陰的盜更嚴重 – 就是講到阿鼻地獄報到了。
阿鼻地獄報到，不得了，一天是這裡一劫 – 我們這裡十三億四千四百萬年。受多少報？百千億劫沒有辦法出離地獄。
我們今天之所以沒有辦法守戒，是因為我們不覺得「戒」是我們原來良心當中 – 我們原來自性光明當中的能力、規範，所以我們不能守。