MASTER SHEN-LONG | Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 113
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Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 113

Today we continue to explain the Six Paramitas. Last time we referred to the Paramitas as ascending to the other shore-nirvana, precisely from the shore of afflictions to arrive to the shore of no afflictions, radiance and purity; however, this is only an analogy.

Last time we explained the Perfection of Generosity (Dana-Paramita) and the Perfection of Compliance with Moral Precepts (Sila-parmita). What we talk about today is important, specifically for Chinese people:

A respected scholar prefers death to humiliation.

This is called the Perfection of Tolerance under Insult (Ksanti-Paramita). The ancient eminent monk translated the Sutratakes the word – Tolerance very, very seriously.

Tolerance has two meanings.

  1. Of course refers to tolerance,
  2. Refers to authenticate.

In the past, Chinese characters often use one character interchangeably for phonetically related characters to take on other meanings; consequently, the word Tolerance functions with multiple meanings.

During the time of transmission of the Six Paramitas, theses eminent monks went everywhere to transmit. After transmission to China, the circumstances of the local people, their social customs and culture had many differences from India, especially about Tolerance under Insult, which is troublesome. Why do I say troublesome? As I have just mentioned about the Chinese, you can kill him but to insult him, surely no; this has caused one to be the enemy with irreconcilable hate and who cannot live under the same sky. Especially, if his parents, brothers, sisters, family, nation or teachers were insulted, then he would fight you without an end; they are profoundly serious about this.

This national patriotism is extraordinarily serious. Speaking bluntly, this is a form of attachment. But in the world especially from the Chinese standpoint, this is not attachment; it is called “the integrity of a nationality”, a national so-called the righteousness.

After the Buddha teaching transmitted to China, it spoke about “tolerance”, to what extent would one need to tolerate? That means insult can be tolerated. Any kind of insult can be handled by tolerance, and furthermore, even do not have to tolerate mentality; it is difficult.

Frankly speaking, from past generations until now ever since humans existed and more directly, ever since there were Chinese until now, there is no way to bear insult. Compulsory self-restraint is like pressing grass over a rock; it is no use. One of these days it will explode.  Therefore, the cultivation of the school of Buddhism, to cultivate Tolerance under Insult is truly harder than previously mentioned generosity (practice of giving) and compliance with moral precepts.

We are going to divide it into two sections; first, we will talk about the meaning as tolerance. Next, we will talk about the meaning as authentication.

Tolerance is the surge resistance, see how long your effort of tolerance can last.

The average person makes an effort of tolerance last approximately 1 to 2 months, or the maximum can last for 2 to 3 years. It’s not easy. The most outstanding ones are those with scholarly knowledge and high morality, who can tolerate for a lifetime. I have seen some but there are very, very few.

To average people, tolerance is a burden and a pressure. For instance:

If you ask them leisurely, chatting and drinking tea after a meal: “How about this tolerance?”

He would reply: “It is nothing.”

But, it is not that way. It is not okay. His mind has generated a phenomenon, a kind of indescribable feeling, it is what we have often mentioned as feeling every little drop all the way down one’s spine.

Returning to our main topic, from ancient until now, although society changes and material civilization becomes more advanced, the phenomenon of tolerance has never changed. Hostility within a family, enmity between countries, various grudges, living discontentment of universe life, mental torture, and all one needs is to have tolerance. Especially to tolerate with the chaotic phenomena of current society.

To have a simple example: We watch television, when we see the program that we are fond of then we feel happy. When there is a program that does not meet self-expectations, especially when it involves the hostility between countries, national hatred particularly between ethnic groups, how to tolerate this then.

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

 

(八)  忍辱波羅蜜

今天繼續講「六波羅蜜」。「波羅蜜」,上次我們講過,是登渡彼岸,就是從煩惱的這岸到達沒有煩惱、光明的、清淨的對岸,這是比方。

上次講了「布施」、「持戒」兩個波羅蜜,今天要講這非常重要,尤其我們中國人講「士可殺不可辱」,叫作「忍辱波羅蜜」。古代譯經的這些大德,對於忍字,非常、非常重視。

「忍」有兩個意思:一個當然是說「忍耐」的忍,第二是「認證」的認。因為古代中國字有借字,借字非常多,所以把「忍」拿來多重意義來用。

當年傳「六波羅蜜」的時候,這些高僧到各地去傳,傳到中國,民情、風俗、文化跟印度很多都不相同,尤其「忍辱」這個事情,麻煩。為什麼說麻煩?剛剛我講中國人你殺他可以,可是要侮辱他,不行,叫「不共戴天」。侮辱到他的父母、兄弟、姊妹、家庭、國家、老師,他跟你是沒有完沒有了,很嚴重。

所謂「民族情結」非常嚴重,講的直接這是一種執著。可是在人間來講,尤其在中國人立場,這個不是執著,是所謂「民族的氣節」,民族的所謂「義 」- 禮義廉恥的「義」

佛法傳到中國後,他就講「忍」要忍到什麼程度?  就是「辱」可以「忍」,任何的侮辱都能忍下來,而且忍到最後,連忍的心理都沒有,這個難。說真的,從歷代到現在,有人類以來,講更直接有中國人以來到現在,辱都沒有辦法忍。強制性的忍,就是石頭壓草,沒有用。總有一天要爆發。所以佛家的修行 – 修「忍辱」這一條,真是可以說比「布施」、比「持戒」,還要難。

現在就分兩部分來講,先講「忍」,忍耐的這個意思。等一下講認證的「認」的意思。

忍耐,「耐」就是耐力,看你忍的功夫,能持續多久。一般人忍耐的功夫,大概了不起一、兩個月,了不起能夠忍兩年、三年,也不容易了。更厲害的,就是學問、道德比較高的,可以忍一輩子。我見過,不過很少、很少。

忍耐對一般人而言,是一個負擔,是一個壓力。

譬如:茶餘飯後的時候,問他說:「這個忍耐怎麼樣?」

他跟你講:「沒事。」

實際上不是,不是沒事,是心裡面會產生一種現象,心裡面有種說不出的滋味;這滋味就是我們常講的點滴在心頭。話說回來了,從古到今,雖然社會變遷,物質文明越來越發達,可是忍的現象,沒有改變過。家裡的仇恨,國家之間的仇恨,各式各樣不同的過節,宇宙人生的生活上的不滿意,精神上的折磨,都需要忍。尤其忍現在社會的亂象,也要忍。舉個很簡單的例子,譬如:我們看電視,看到歡喜的,心裡很高興。看到自己不如意的,看到國家跟國家之間的,尤其民族仇恨,尤其是族群跟族群之間,怎麼忍。

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