MASTER SHEN-LONG | Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 110
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Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 110

(Last week we ended with, “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.”)

 

At 30, I have established my stand, refers to the whole life when you are starting to build your foundation for career and family.

At 40, I have no delusions, refers to not having any delusions. If after 40 years old, you still have trouble seeing clearly and are unable to be disillusioned, or there is something that is unclear, then it is over.

At 50, I knew the decrees of Heaven. What is the purpose at 50 years old? It is not to resign yourself to fate, do not get it wrong. Knowing the decrees of Heaven means that:

People live happily by the mandate of heaven and there is no need to have doubt.

Tao Yuan-Ming (陶淵明 Jin dynasty writer and poet) stated at the end of his article titled Homeward Bound. If a person does not understand one’s destiny truly, then there is trouble. Heaven stated here precisely means yourself. The heaven refers to ancient statement, and there are two kinds of meaning for heaven: one is the mandate of heaven; the other is cultivated from self-effort. As a matter of fact, both are from self-cultivation.

Speaking of heaven, it is only a kind of figurative expression. From self-cultivation, can one cultivate to attain spiritual peace in all, and have the realization of enlightenment to accept one’s fate; this is the “precepts”. If at 50 and you do not know how to attain spiritual peace, if you are still fooling around in the pile of afflictions, then you will certainly arrive at the three evil paths. I think, you will go directly to Hell. Why? To be tormented. You will surely arrive to Hell. To be at the animal world, there are very few. How about to the hungry ghost world? Since your commission of an offence is profoundly serious, therefore, you will still arrive to Hell. This is particularly important.

If you can be at 40, have no delusions, and not be confused within the phenomena of 40 years old; then at 50, you will know the decrees of Heaven. After another ten years, at 60, hearing various opinions are pleasing to the ear.  Pleasing to the ear refers to no pressure when listening to anything. Pleasing of hearing, hearing the good deeds is good, however saying Amitabha after hearing bad deeds.

Everyone here is the age of 50 to 60, do you behave this way? Regardless when talking or criticizing, do you hear various sayings as pleasing to the ear and your mind does not hold onto any residue?  This is “observing the precepts”. Confucius’ lecturing is all about “moral precepts”. The entire content of the Analects talks about “moral-precepts, stillness of the mind and wisdom”. All without impediments, and whatever others do by “praising, ridiculing, slandering and appraising”, you hold nothing in your mind and live every day peacefully.  So, then “A man seldom lives to be 70 years old since ancient times”.

To live to 70 years old, you are blessed with luck all along then it is following the wish of your heart without crossing over the established standard. When you wish for anything, you will get, and every way of living is fine, but you do not go beyond the established standard. The established standard is the “moral precepts”. You live life skillfully and easily, completely free of obstacle in all life phenomena, thoroughly in brightness and peacefulness; is this not the same as how the Buddha teaching states. The school of Confucianism, Buddhism and Daoism are all the same. Daoism talks about “inaction” which precisely is following the wish of one’s heart without crossing over the established standard.The whole world is one community”, I saw this slogan when I was young and could not understand this. Small children do understand and same with the adults.

Therefore, genuinely emphasizing “precepts” are “to follow the wishes of one’s heart without crossing over the established standard”. If “precepts” are only the established standard, but one cannot follow the wish of one’s heart, then are those precepts of no use? If one cannot obtain omnipotence and joy, then it is only religious dogma; then it is meaningless and becomes religion.

There are too many of this kind of religious phenomena presently. The Ten Commandments of Christianity and the Ten Commandments of Catholicism are not to regulate you. Among the Ten Commandments one can see the similarities with the “Ten Wholesomeness” of Buddhism, all are the phenomena of innate pure self-nature.

Just finished talking about “greed, aversion, ignorance, arrogance and suspicion”. We turn these phenomena around to become “moral-precepts, stillness of the mind, and wisdom”. In fact, during compliance with moral preceptsthat which exists is “stillness of the mind and wisdom”. As just mentioned,

At age 30 with establishment, is “moral precepts”.

At age 40 have no delusions, is “stillness of the mind and wisdom”.

At age 60 hearing various opinions are pleasing to the ear, is “moral-precepts, stillness of the mind and wisdom”.

At age 70 by following one’s wishes without crossing over the established standards, is awesome. There are three kinds of wisdom: “from reading (hearing or instruction), from reflection, from practice of Samadhi”; a higher level. The “moral-precepts, stillness of the mind and wisdom” are a one-pass operation. The three kinds of wisdom “from reading (hearing or instruction), from reflection, from practice of Samadhi” is one-pass operation. Once you have contact with the situation, you will immediately understand what it is.

“Wisdom from reading (hearing or instruction)” is being in contact.

“Wisdom from reflection” is clearly understanding in the mind.

“Wisdom from practice of Samadhi” is making amendments.

You will see it right away, know it right away, and amend it right away; it is af one-pass operation.

Confucius statements are identical with the School of Buddhism. Therefore, proper human relationships and basic education of the ancients were relatively deep-rooted. The childhood of our generation only had a little of these types of concepts, the next generation does not have this, and the generation after the next generation will absolutely behave with “greed, aversion, ignorance, arrogance and suspicion”. The next generation after that there is no need to mention. They will be cutting and killing each other; it will be normal to them.

>>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: 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。)

「三十而立」,立,是整個人生,開始建立你的基礎,事業家庭都有小小的一點基礎了。

「四十歲不惑」,惑是迷惑。不惑,沒有迷惑了。四十歲以後,如果還有看不通、看不破的,完了,還有搞不清狀況的,完蛋了。

「五十知天命」,五十歲要什麼?不是說聽天由命,不要搞錯了。知天命是「樂乎天命夫奚疑」。陶淵明「歸去來兮」不是講過,最後講「樂乎天命夫奚疑」!人要是不能夠真正了解自己的命運,就麻煩了。所謂「天」,就是你自己。所謂「天」,古人講天有兩種,一個是上天賦予的,一個是自己修來的,都叫「天」。上天賦予你的,你自己修來的,實際上都是自己修來的。

講天是一種形容,自己修來的,能不能修到說是一切安心立命,然後認命;這是「戒」。如果五十歲不知道要安心,每天還在煩惱堆子裡面鬼混,這個人一定到三惡道。三惡道我看都難,到地獄道。為什麼?折磨。一定去地獄的,做畜生的,那少有。做鬼道的?這結罪因為太重,所以還是到地獄道去。這個很重要!

你要能夠「四十不惑」,四十歲現象當中,要不迷,然後「五十才知天命」!再過十年,「六十耳順」。耳順是聽什麼都沒有壓力,聽什麼都順。順是通暢通達,好事聽了也蠻好,壞事聽了,說阿彌陀佛。

各位在座都是五六十了,要想想自己有沒有?人家說什麼、批評也好,隨便講,很順,心裡面一點渣子都沒有,這是「守戒」。孔子講的其實就是戒。整部「論語」講的就是「戒、定、慧」。一切沒有障礙,稱譏毁譽,完全沒有擺在心裡,每天過太平日子。那個時候講「七十古來稀」。

活到七十歲,左右逢源,「從心所欲不踰矩」,想什麼得什麼,怎麼過都好,不超過規矩。規矩就是「戒律」。遊刃有餘,一切生活現象完全沒有障礙,完完全全在一片光明、祥和之中;這不是跟佛法講的一樣。釋、儒、道三家都一樣。道家講無為,無為就是「從心所欲不踰矩」。「天下為公」,小時候都看到,看不懂。不要說小孩不懂,大人也不懂。所以真正要講,「戒」就是「從心所欲不踰矩」。如果「戒」只是規矩,而不能從心所欲,那要「戒律」幹什麼?如果不能得自在快樂,只是個教條,就沒有意思了,那這是宗教。

這種宗教現象,現在太多了。基督教十誡,天主教十誡。十誡也不是規範你的,真正在「十誡」當中看到跟「十善業道」差不多,都是自性清淨本有的現象。

剛講完「貪、瞋、痴、慢、疑」,這現象我們把它轉過來,轉成「戒、定、慧」。實際「持戒」當中有定,有慧。剛講:三十而立 -「戒」。四十不惑 -「定慧」。六十耳順 – 「戒、定、慧」。「七十從心所欲不踰矩」 – 這厲害,「聞、思、修」,更高一層了。「戒、定、慧」一次完成。「聞、思、修」一次完成。一接觸境界,馬上心裡就明白是什麼。「聞」是接觸,「思」是心裡明白,「修」是修正。馬上看到,馬上知道,馬上修正,一次完成。

孔子所說的這幾個,跟我們佛家所講的一模一樣。所以古人的倫常跟基本教育比較深厚,我們這一代小時候還有一點這種觀念,下一代沒有了,再下一代絕對是「貪、瞋、痴、慢、疑」。那再下一代不必了,互相砍、互相殺,正常的。

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