MASTER SHEN-LONG | Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 104
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Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 104

(Last week we ended with, “Have you seen a baby come out with a joyful smiling face? None. All of them come out with bitter expressions or loud crying at the birth. After you are out, it depends on your personal karmic retribution, the ripening of action from the cause and effect with this family’s members.”)

 

With regards to “lustful thought”, if all beings do not have lustful thought, no one would enter a mother’s womb in preparation for rebirth into this world. Stated in the Suramgama Sutra:

If a true practitioner has lustful thought, then it is cultivating oneself in right practice as if trying to cook sand in a bowl of white rice.

This is impossible. Because the “cause” is not right. The Chinese constantly emphasize:

Everything that is evil is headed by lustful (excessive) thought, of all virtues filial piety is most important.

You should not be mistaken; “lustful (excessive)” as I just mentioned not only applies between man and woman. Everything after indulging and getting greedy refers to “lustful (excessive)”.

The Fifth Patriarch Hong-Ren of Zen Buddhism in his Song of Enlightenment states:

“Moral-precepts, stillness of mind control and wisdom” is precisely “killing, stealing and excessive sexual misconduct”.

“Killing, stealing and excessive sexual misconduct” is exactly “excessive sexual misconduct, anger and ignorance”. That is “moral-precept, stillness of mind control and wisdom.”

This is great! But do not be mistaken you cannot copy him. Of course, he sees the truth of the universe and knows all phenomena manifest from our own Buddha-nature. This is what he is talking about. A lot of people get it wrong. They copy him and as soon as they copy, it is all finished, and one goes to the hell.

When the virtuous Patriarch emphasizes “Greediness, aversion, and ignorance”, it is precisely “moral-precepts, stillness of mind control, and wisdom”; he does not have discrimination. If you are greedy, that is your personal confusion and cognitive distortion. What he sees is your Buddha-nature, pure, bright and without defilement.  Therefore, all beings who devote oneself to enlightenment, cannot obtain competence for two reasons:

One has the feeling of inferiority. The feeling of inferiority one considers themself completely lacking ability. In that case, Buddha or Bodhisattva teaches us to cultivate ourselves in right practice, we are far inferior of it. It is very difficult. We are self-abased.

One has a swelled head. After being over arrogant, one looks down at Buddha and Bodhisattva; one cultivates blindly and practices groundlessly.

Where do these “killing, stealing and excessive sexual misconduct” three fundamentals come from? It is from “greedy, aversion and ignorance”.

Ignorance is “excessive sexual misconduct”.

Aversion is “stealing”.

Greedy thought is “killing”.

Honestly, with greedy there also exists “killing, stealing and excessive sexual misconduct”.  It is the same way with “aversion and ignorance”.

Modern people cultivate like a blind turtle swims in the ocean, when is it able to surface? Passing through the infinite existence world-periods, one encounters the method of chanting Amitabha. The method of chanting Amitabha is like a floating driftwood in the ocean, the turtle just holds on to it to breath out. Therefore, everyone cultivates oneself in right practice and there is no need to bear a burden. What I mean about burden is the “killing, stealing, and excessive sexual misconduct” or “greed, aversion and ignorance”, you took those too seriously which can also hinder your cultivation practice because you have pressure. In the past, a person with a severe stealing habit would chop off his own hand but it was of no use, even without his hand, his mind still thinks of it. Even if he destroys his body or chopped the head off, it is still of no use because the thought remains. He does not understand the “stealing” phenomenon is:

There is not a single thing originally, where can any dust (phenomena) be provoked.  

It is the same way with “excessive sexual misconduct” and “killing”. The more serious you treat it, the heavier the burden you will have. However, the more you want to ignore it then the thoughts of “killing, stealing, excessive sexual misconduct” or “greed, aversion and ignorance” will follow you around daily.

Cultivation of oneself in right practice, everyone needs to figure out. It must be moderate either being overly excessive or falling short of, both are no good. Regardless, the adjustment for either the body or mind must be moderate. Knowing that “greediness, aversion and ignorance” and “killing, stealing and excessive sexual misconduct” are manifested from one’s own Buddha-nature, then it is easy to handle. Since the Buddha-nature can manifest “greediness, aversion and ignorance”, it can also manifest “moral percepts, stillness of mind control and wisdom”. At the time of manifestation, it is dealt with skillfully and easily. Doing repentance daily, to seek forgiveness daily, this is not the change; it increases your burden as you re-think “killing, stealing and excessive sexual misconduct” over again, and re-think “greediness, aversion and ignorance” again.

What is the true change? It is to switch your secular thought to “purity, enlightenment and compassion” by using the name of Amitabha to be the representation. When you think of Amitabha, I am originally pure without defilement, disillusioned with all, furthermore I have also let go of all. Only the method of chanting Amitabha can help all beings.

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

 

( ) 持戒波羅蜜

(上星期講到: 你有沒有看過那一個是歡歡喜喜笑著出來?沒有。全是苦著臉,要不就是大哭大鬧出來。出來以後,看你個人業報,跟這家人的因果業報。)

所以淫念,一切眾生如果沒有淫念,不來投胎了。《楞嚴經》裡面講:「真正修行人若是有淫念,修行好像將沙想煮成一碗白飯。」不可能的,「因」不對。中國人常講:「萬惡淫為首,百善孝為先」。各位不要搞錯,淫,剛剛我講不只是男女。所有一切事情,起貪念以後浸淫其中,就叫淫。

禪宗五祖弘忍《證道歌》講:「戒、定、慧」就是「殺、盜、淫」。「殺、盜、淫」就是「淫、怒、痴」。「淫、怒、痴」就是「戒、定、慧」。這個厲害。可是大家不要搞錯,我們不能學。他那是看清宇宙真相,他知道一切現象都是從佛性變現,他講的是這個。那很多人搞錯了,他就學,一學,完了, 墮地獄道去了。

祖師大德講「貪、瞋、痴」就是「戒、定、慧」;他是沒有分別。你貪,那是你個人迷惑顛倒。他看到你的是佛性清淨光明、沒有汚染。所以眾生修行不得力,有兩個原因:

一個是自卑感,自卑的就認為自己毫無能力,那佛菩薩教我們修行,我們是望塵莫及,很難,自卑。

一個是自大狂。自大就過頭了,佛菩薩也不看在眼裡了,自己盲修瞎練。

「殺、盜、淫」這三個基本的從那裡來?從「貪、瞋、痴」。

愚痴,是「淫」。瞋恚,是「盜」。貪念,是「殺」。老實說,「貪」當中也有「殺、盜、淫」。「瞋」當中也有「殺、盜、淫」。「痴」當中也有「殺盜淫」。

現代人修行,好像大海當中一隻烏龜瞎了眼睛,什麼時候才能夠浮出水面?

就無量劫來碰到念佛法門,念佛法門就像大海中飄來的一根浮木,剛剛好扒上來呼口氣。所以各位修行不要有負擔。我講負擔是「殺、盜、淫」,「貪、瞋、痴」;你把它看得太嚴重了,也是障礙修行,因為你有壓力。以前人家偷盜把手都砍了,沒有用,心裡還在想。把身體幹掉了,頭砍了,也沒有用;因為念頭還在想。他不知道「盜」的現象是「本來無一物,何處惹塵埃」。「淫」也是一樣,「殺」也是一樣。越是把它看成嚴重,你的心裡負擔就越嚴重。可是越忽略它,這「殺盜淫」,「貪瞋痴」,每天跟著你。

修行,各位要搞清楚,過之而無不及,也不好,要適中。不論調身、調心要適中。知道「貪、瞋、痴」,「殺、盜、淫」是佛性變現的,那就好辦。佛性既然可以變「貪、瞋、痴」,也可以變「戒、定、慧」。變的時候,四兩撥千斤。每天去拜懺,每天又懺悔,這個不是變,這是增加負擔 – 又想一遍「殺、盜、淫」,又想一遍「貪、瞋、痴」。

真正變怎麼變?把世俗念頭換過來,換成清淨、平等、覺悟、慈悲,以一句「阿彌陀佛」為代表。一想到阿彌陀佛,我原來是清淨而沒有汚染的,看破而且是放下的。只有「念佛法門」能夠救一切眾生。

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