MASTER SHEN-LONG | Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 108
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Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 108

(Last week we ended with, “Therefore, my feeling is that if you chant Amitabha sincerely, you will get full marks for the “Five Precepts”, then “false speech” will not happen and there will not be any violations. Also, you will not break the precept of theft. After removing “theft and false speech”, then “excessive sexual misconduct” will vanish”).

 

“Greediness” is the root however, after a long time with mindfulness of Amitabha the mind is fixed, and greediness is also gone. Greediness and aversion belong together, and “aversion” is when one cannot get the thing that one desires for resulting in anger, then ill-will is gone.

There is an old saying, if you truly and honestly chant (mindfulness of) Amitabha, then you observe the “Five Precepts” completely and also the “Three Refuges” – to return and rely on “enlightenment, right understanding and right views, purity”. In that case, is not the mindfulness of Amitabha precisely to return and rely on “enlightenment, right understanding and right views, purity” and this attains the full mark too. This is the best and convenient method among all convenience.

Whether you follow a vegetarian diet or not, it is your own decision. If you feel a vegetarian diet is according with circumstances which does not bother other people or family members and it is very convenient, then go ahead. If you feel a vegetarian diet would inconvenience others or even bother yourself, then let go of it and be mindfulness of Amitabha whole-heartedly.

The discourse of Buddha has never stated that a person who eats meat cannot go and be born to Amitabha Pure Land, or only one who follows a vegetarian diet can go; nothing of this sort.

Chanting (mindfulness of) Amitabha covers one either has superior, medium or inferior roots (natural capacity) universally, regardless of one is sharp or dull in quality.

After you chant (mindfulness of) Amitabha to have a purified mind of defiling illusion, then there is no discrimination with regards to whether one follows a meat or vegetable diet.  Meat and vegetables are both formulated by certain chemical equations.

Do you know why eating meat is encumbered with faults? It is because when you eat meat it does not feel well in the mind. This will come for your payment in a future life. It has nothing to do with the meat itself, which is only the transformation of materiality, it is because the soul has not been released. The soul thinks if you eat me today, the next life term I will eat you, and this is how reincarnation started. People should not be mistaken by the problem which is neither about meat nor vegetables.

Killing vegetables also has the feeling of pain, will it have retribution? Of course, it has retribution; we should not even step on grass.

Therefore, all beings are extremely attached and like to hold onto trivial things without letting go. If you figure it out, it turns out that the rivers, mountains, the earth and all beings are manifested from our own mind. Therefore, you need to start from the root to cultivate yourself in the right practice.

What is the root? It is your thought arising in the mind.

What is the root of thought arising in the mind? It is discrimination, attachment and erroneous thinking; precisely these three. After reducing these three, then there will be peace on earth. The external living will let nature takes its course. Oneself will also follow the predestined affinity. You will have mirror-like clarity about everything around; this is the self-mind that observes the precepts as the “precept of prohibit vicious mind”.

I repeatedly explained that the “moral precepts” are not regulated by Buddha Bodhisattva, or the nation, or the communities; it is the standard of your innate sense of right and wrong in the mind, it is the standard of your self-nature’s pure radiance.

After false speech, the next is “alcohol intoxication”. “False speech” comes in four kinds: “talking nonsense, improper remarks, double tongues, and evil mouth”.

Improper remarks are sweet talking to the ear and dishonest rhetoric.

Double tongues incite disharmony.

An evil mouth is to curse at people.

If your mind has purified of defiling illusion, you do not break it.

Regarding “alcohol intoxication”, there is an old saying:

Alcohol does not intoxicate a person, one intoxicates oneself.

It is fine if you take alcohol as medication, such as an elderly person during a cold winter night who drinks a bit to improve blood circulation; this is fine. When we want to improve our health, can one improve the blood circulation with a bit of hard liquor during the cold winter? Yes, it is fine. However, you should not drink alcohol excessively. When you drink excessively you get drunk or if you are not drunk but pretend to be drunk and behave wildly, this is not allowed. Why? By borrowing alcohol and pretending to be uncontrollable to relieve your own unhappiness through piles of garbage words, others do not like to hear it and even you do not like to hear it. There are too many forms of this behavior that when bonded together commission an offense to the world of hell.

“Greed, aversion, ignorance, arrogance and suspicion” causes “killing, stealing, excessive sexual misconduct, false speech and alcohol intoxication” bonded together commission an offense which ends up in hell.

“Arrogance” is self-intoxication which inherently comes with that I am better than or superior to you, you are lesser or lower than I, this is troublesome. This self-intoxication causes an unpeaceful society phenomena; in fact, it is a power struggle. In our society from the highest class to the lowest class, there is no one that does not struggle. Before, there were still kindhearted ordinary people however, in the present even kindhearted ordinary people all need to fight and scheme against each other. Why? To survive in this environment, one needs to fight. Therefore, this is indeed a sturdy struggling society.

Refer to the Buddha scripture which has stated very clearly:

The beings in the period of degeneration and extinction of the Buddha teaching have the nature of sturdy struggling.

To what kind of extent? After reaching one’s death is unlikely to back out of it, arriving to the destiny of hell and one fights as usual.

We need to think it over regarding “killing, stealing, excessive sexual misconduct, false speech, and alcohol intoxication”, or “greed, aversion, ignorance, arrogance and suspiciousness”. There are still “suspicions” which is the most serious one, having suspicions regarding the teaching of Buddha, the human world, and beyond the worldly and everything. Regarding oneself also exists suspicion, let alone about other people. To harbor suspicions on top of struggle, does it not a portray our society today struggling from suspicion.

On the scripture of Buddha:

Suspicion is the biggest hindrance of Bodhisattva’s advancement.

If a Bodhisattva has harbored suspicions, then they are incapable to become Buddha. One who is suspicious about the words of Buddha then all beings have suspicions about the teaching of Buddha or Bodhisattvas.

Description from the Infinite Life Sutra:

There are about one hundred million Bodhisattva who have receded from attainment of Annutara-Samyak-Sambodhi (Supreme Perfect Enlightenment) – the state equal as Buddha.

After hearing this method of chanting (mindfulness) Amitabha, a common person can all go to be born as the lowest inferior rank to Amitabha Pure Land, titled as Avaivartika Bodhisattva who enjoys the non-retrogression meritorious competence from cultivation enlightenment.  Some Bodhisattvas have receded from the position they attained previously. They were startled by this because of this method of chanting (mindfulness) Amitabha has been unheard, hence! What does this unheard refer to? It is not to hear from somewhere externally, it is not to feel through the senses like this; none of that. It is from your self-nature.

Mindfulness of Amitabha is the cause and becoming Amitabha is the effect. 

The Buddha-nature of your self-nature is to be the “cause and effect”, by means of the resulting Buddhahood of Amitabha is to be the “cause and effect”. Both interact mutually, the cause and effect are intertwined bringing the so-called method of chanting (mindfulness) Amitabha to perfection.

Why would one recede? Precisely these Bodhisattva are skeptical about Shakyamuni Buddha’s teaching. From here we can detect whether the good natural capacity of the individual is deep-seated or not. When one has no doubt of the Buddha’s teaching, that is a person with a solid good natural capacity. In fact, no suspicion is precisely “compliance with moral precepts”. To have suspicion is breaking the precepts”.

>>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: 所以我的感受,能夠「真心念佛」,「五戒」就得滿分。「妄語」就不會有,就不會犯了。「盜戒」也不會犯了。「盜」跟「妄語」拿掉後,「淫」就沒有了。)

「貪」是根本。念佛念久了以後,心定了,「貪」也沒有了。「貪」跟「瞋」是在一起,「瞋」是貪不到就生氣;「瞋恚」就沒有了。

所以還是一句老話,你真的老老實實念一句阿彌陀佛,「五戒」守滿,「三皈」也滿 – 皈依「覺、正、淨」。那念佛不是就回頭依靠「覺、正、淨」了,也滿了。這個法門「方便中的方便」。

要不要吃素,自己決定。你覺得吃素很隨緣,不影響別人,不影響家人,很方便,吃素。你覺得吃素不方便,影響別人,影響自己,那就放下,專心念佛。經典上沒有說,吃肉不能往生或吃素可以往生,沒有這種事的。念佛,是「三根普被,利鈍全收」。你念佛心清淨以後,對於肉跟素就不分別了。肉是方程式組合的,素也是方程式組合的。

你知道吃肉為什麼有罪過?因為你吃它,它心裡不爽,來生要找你算帳。不是肉,肉是物質變化的,不是肉本身的問題,是「靈體」它不放過。那靈體想想,你今天來吃我,我下生吃你,是這樣輪迴的。不要搞錯,不是肉的問題,不是蔬菜的問題。

蔬菜你殺它,它一樣有痛覺有感覺,將來會不會報?當然會,草都不能踩。

所以眾生很執著,抓的雞毛蒜皮不放。把它想通了,原來山河大地、一切眾生,自心變現。所以修行要從「根本修」。根本是什麼?起心、動念。

起心、動念的根本是什麼?分別、執著、妄想,就這三個。這三個減輕了,那好了,天下太平。外面一切生活隨緣,自己對自己隨緣。自己,清清楚楚、明明白白,沒有一件事不知道,這就是自心守戒 – 「心戒」。

我一再講,「戒」絕對不是佛菩薩規定的,也不是國家規定的,也不是團體規定的,是心中原來良知的規範,是你「自性」清淨光明的規範。

妄語下面,就飲酒了。實際上語有四種:「妄語,綺語,兩舌,惡口」。「綺語」就是說好聽的,花言巧語。「兩舌」是挑撥。「惡口」是駡人。如果心清淨,不會犯。

講「飲酒」,飲酒是說酒不醉人,人自醉。你說把酒拿來當藥,可以,老年人冬天晚上喝一點酒活血,可以。我們進補,所謂進補,冬天來了,補一補氣血,放一點酒,可不可以?可以。就是酒不能過量。過量如果喝醉了,不行,如果沒有喝醉,借酒裝瘋,也不行。

為什麼?借酒裝瘋講一大堆,別人不喜歡聽,自己也不喜歡聽。太多了,全部結罪結在地獄道。

「貪、瞋、痴、慢、疑」;「殺、盜、淫、妄、酒」,結罪在地獄道。

慢是「我慢」、驕傲。與生俱來的,我就比你高,你就比我低,很麻煩。因為「我慢」,造成社會不安的現象,其實就是鬥爭。我們社會,從上到下沒有一個人不鬥,以前說還有善良老百姓,現在善良老百姓都要鬥。

為什麼?為了環境要鬥。所以這社會真是鬥爭堅固。

經典上講得很清楚,「末法眾生,鬥爭堅固」。

到什麼程度?好像到死了以後都不會反悔,到地獄道照鬥。

要想一想,「殺、盜、淫、妄、酒」;「貪、瞋、痴、慢、疑」。

還有疑,「疑」是最嚴重的,對於聖教懷疑,對於世間懷疑,對於出世間懷疑,都懷疑;對於自己也懷疑,對於別人那更不要講了。鬥爭加上懷疑,是不是現在社會的寫照。由懷疑中鬥爭。經典上講「懷疑」是菩薩最大的問題。菩薩如果有懷疑不能成佛,就是對佛講的話有懷疑,眾生對佛菩薩講的話有懷疑。

《無量壽經》上不是講:「有一億菩薩,退轉阿耨多羅三藐三菩提。」聽到念佛法門,凡夫都可以去,下下品往生享受「阿鞞跋致」,享受不退轉的功德道力。菩薩退轉了。嚇一跳。因為「此法不聽聞故」!聽聞是什麼?不是從外面聽來,不是你這樣感受到,不是的。它是從自性。

「念佛是因,成佛是果」。自性佛性作因果,以阿彌陀佛成佛的果地作因果,兩個互相的感應,互為因果,成就的所謂「念佛法門」。

為什麼會退?就是這些菩薩對釋迦牟尼佛講的話有懷疑。這就看出善根是不是深厚。講善根深厚 – 是對佛講的話,沒有懷疑,其實不懷疑就是「持戒」。懷疑就是破戒。

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