MASTER SHEN-LONG | Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 109
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Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 109

(Last week we ended with, “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”.)

 

You need to think it over, we reincarnate in the human world for uncountable existence of world-periods. Ever since the innumerable existence of world-periods, we have spent a longer living time in the Three Wretched Worlds (hell, animal, hungry ghost) and a shorter living time in the Three Good Worlds, therefore, we all have severe forces of habit. Everyone behaves daily with “greediness, aversion, ignorance, arrogance, and suspicion” entirely. Let us go back and think about it:

Are you greedy today? Of course, I have greed.

Do you have aversion, ignorance, arrogance and suspicion? Yes, absolutely I have them all.

If the ratio of your “greedy, aversion, ignorant, arrogant and suspicious” is more than 60% to 70%, you will end up in the hell world for sure. You must not ask others; you should ask yourself. We all know people around us where they will end up in which world in the future. You see it and you know; you see it clearly. This has shown that one does not have the concept of observing precepts.

What does it mean by not observing precepts? One does not guard the concept of tranquil radiance in self-nature and does not maintain the tranquil radiance of one’s own nature.

Ancient people who follow compliance with moral precepts genuinely have body and mind purified of defiling illusion. A very ordinary person, lives with all beings and stays very relaxed and pleasant, we even do not feel their existence. Until that day when the time is up, one would just make an announcement to everyone: “I am going to the Amitabha Pure Land.”

I remember a story I heard before, there was a lay practitioner who practiced cultivation in a place of enlightenment. Every time when it was time to circle the Buddha in a line by repeating the name of Amitabha, he would push others aside and squeeze himself to stand at the front of the line. Nobody liked his behavior and he also did not have the appearance for others to like him. He was very annoying-looking, and nobody wanted to be associated with him. Instead, he always insisted on being the first one to lead the reverential salutation.

One day he told the host in charge at that place of enlightenment: “Many thanks to your teaching of the method of chanting (mindfulness of) Amitabha; I am going and will go to be born to Amitabha Pure Land.”

All people startled, thought to oneself: How is a person like you skilled in going and will be born to Amitabha Pure Land. That is such a joke!

People asked him: “When are you going?”

He replied: “After two days.”

After two days, he was truly gone and born to Amitabha Land during the Assembly of chanting Amitabha. He left by standing and clearly witnessed Amitabha to welcome him, and then he was gone.

They talked about it afterwards: “Strangely, such a person like him can go and be born to Amitabha Pure Land, what about us.”

Did any of those people who witnessed how he went and born to Amitabha Land able to be the same way? Of course, there were none.

Why? Many people remained skeptical. Whether the performance was true or fake? The physical vision of the common person sees nothing.

He said he was going and born to Amitabha Pure Land, was it so?  It is what he said.

Leaving by standing or sitting, how do we know where he went?

This was how they displayed their suspicion. Therefore, you need to have a clear mind to find out what are the “precepts”. After you understand it thoroughly, only then you will know that the moral precepts are the best medicine to have our body and mind purified of defiling illusion.

Many people who observe precepts by suppressing such as, this cannot break, or that cannot break; or this is no go or that is no go. They suppress to the last and one cannot go and be born to Amitabha Pure Land.

Why? The mind is constrained too much.

Furthermore, there is another problem that relates to the individual’s personality. Some people are born with the inability to understand this way or be disillusioned with everything; there is nothing they can do about it. All of you should look at yourself, if you ask yourself, am I a person who can understand thoroughly and be disillusioned with everything. This precisely is the “moral precept”. It is not limited to the description by the School of Buddhism’s monastic discipline. “Greed, aversion, ignorance, arrogance and suspicion”; all phenomena express the “precepts”.

Confucius said:

At 30, I have established my stand. At 40, I have no delusions. At 50, I will know my destiny. At 60, hearing various opinions are pleasing to the ear. At 70, I could follow the wishes of my heart without crossing over the established standard.

I want to add one more of my own:

At 80, I foresee the time of my death, I will go and be born to Amitabha Pure Land.

This way of living is much more interesting.

>>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: 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。)

 

要想一想,我們輪迴在人間無量劫。無量劫來,都在惡道生活時間長,在善道生活時間短,所以習氣都很重。每個人習氣都很重,每個人每一天所表現出來的,全部是「貪、瞋、痴、慢、疑」。我們回去想一想:

今天有沒有貪?當然貪。

有沒有痴?有。

有沒有瞋?有。

有沒有慢?有。

有沒有疑?絕對有。

「貪、瞋、痴、慢、疑」,如果比例超過百分之六、七十,將來一定要到地獄道。不能問別人,要問自己。我們都曉得,周圍的人將來去那一道。看了就知道,看得清清楚楚。這個就是沒有守戒的觀念。

什麼叫沒有守戒?就是沒有守自性清淨光明的觀念,沒有保持自性清淨光明。

古人真正「持戒」,身心清淨的人,很平凡,跟一切眾生在一起,輕輕鬆鬆、愉愉快快,我們都不感覺到他的存在。那一天時間到了,他跟大家講:「我要去極樂世界了。」

記得以前我聽到一個故事,有一位居士在一個道場修行,每次繞佛、念佛他都要擠,擠在第一個。大家都不喜歡他,而且樣子也不是很好看,看了討厭,沒有什麼人緣,他一定要站在第一個。

有一天他跟道場的主持講:「非常感謝你們教我念佛法門,我要往生極樂世界。」

全部的人嚇一跳,心裡想,你這樣的人會往生極樂世界,那不就是笑話嘛。「你什麼時候往生?」

他說:「這樣子,過兩天。」

過兩天,真的在大會當中往生極樂世界,走掉了,站著走的,清清楚楚看到阿彌陀佛來接,走了。

事後人家才講:「奇怪,這樣的人都能往生極樂世界,那何況我們。」

看到他往生的這些人有沒有往生?當然沒有。

為什麼?很多人都還懷疑。到底是真的是假的?

肉眼凡夫什麼都看不見。

他說他往生極樂世界了;是不是?他說。

站著走、坐著走。那我們怎麼知道他去那裡?

這就是疑 – 疑惑的疑。所以腦筋要清楚,一定要把「戒律」: 什麼是戒?什麼是律?一定要深入去了解它。你深入了解它,才知道律跟戒是讓我們身心清淨最好的良藥。

很多人守戒是用壓制的;這個不能犯,那個不能犯,這個不行,那個不行。壓到最後也不能往生極樂世界。

為什麼?心裡面壓抑太大。

還有一個問題 – 就跟個性有關係,有人天生就想不通、看不破,沒辦法。大家看看自己,如果你問問自己:我是不是想得通、看得破的人。這是「戒」。不一定是佛家講的戒,「貪、瞋、痴、慢、疑」,所有的現象都是「戒」。你看孔子,

「三十而立,四十不惑,五十知天命,六十耳順,七十從心所欲不踰矩」。

我給它加個「八十預知時至,往生極樂世界」。人生這樣才有意思。

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