MASTER SHEN-LONG | Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 114
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Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 114

(Last week we ended with, “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.”)


To examine Chinese history, ancient times from the written record to the present, one thing that is unavoidable is killing. Across five thousand years of Chinese history, flipping to any chapter randomly, there is karmic-killing. Every emperor, even the best ones, must still kill. One needed to kill some of the people who was against him. After all opposition was killed, society became stable. After settling for a while, the long unification must be divided over time. Why? The division is due to the discontented minds. As a result, people lived in opposition.

What does opposition mean? The Chinese word – “human” is: “人” with two left and right downward brush strokes reflecting opposition. The Chinese character is wonderful, I often use this as a metaphor. One is gain and one is loss, one is good and one is evil, one is right and one is wrong, and all are in opposition. One is tolerance, and one is non-tolerance, all is in opposition.  Opposition, as mentioned, can be seen from killing. If you are physically and mentally discontented, then you move to karmic killing.

As we explained before, compliance with moral precepts “greed, aversion, ignorance” causes “killing, stealing and excessive sexual misconduct”. It all starts from greediness. If your mind is without greediness, then there is no phenomenon of tolerance. Why do we have tolerance? It is because things are disagreeable with my ideas of thinking, or this thing is not right, or it is unreasonable; therefore, this “I” needs to tolerate. The more tolerant, the more oppressive physically and mentally.

Last time I also provided an example about the era of our Nation’s Father of the Republic of China when he wanted to overthrow the Manchurian Qing dynasty. Talking about that era is closer to us. Those martyrs who were willing to lose their heads and shed their blood in sacrifice for the country. What kind of determination did they hold? It was inevitable death, the determination of inevitable death must endure humiliation as part of an important mission, and they have all been through the discipline. From the standpoint of the Qing dynasty, to settle the demands with the Han race, they also had to be tolerant before they could have full political power to control the Central Plains of the country. They also had to wait for the right opportunity to establish their regime. These two examples are the most vivid examples in modern Chinese history.

Let us relook at our National father’s revolution. He had hoped that China could quickly recover, and everyone could live a peaceful life. Consequently, it was unthinkable that year after year there were too many disasters of war which lasted until the end of the Cultural Revolution by Mao Ze-Dong, and the Chinese rested a little bit. All was tolerance. This speaks about the Chinese. Also, it is the same with Western countries, where there was World War I, World War II, and in the future, there will be World War III. Regardless of which side, either speaking from the aspect of righteousness or speaking from the aspect of evilness, everyone is under tolerance. Eventually tolerance becomes so unbearable, it explodes. Therefore, this phenomenon in our human race is becoming too severe and extremely serious.

How can one achieve Tolerance under Insult? Insult, if you can bear it, needs you to have wisdom. We have talked about Prajna before, Prajna is wisdom. If you have wisdom, you may jump out to see national enmity and family hatred, discontentment in the human world, or the hypocrisy of the world from another point of view. Today we cannot see it clearly because every day we rotate around the chaotic cycles established by ourselves. Everything is done by speculation, we assume this way or that way, checking here or there, while others also reckon, the opposite enemy also speculates, you and him both assume. In the end, it becomes a blurry mess. Thus, we must have wisdom.

When having wisdom, the true idea of opposition is what?

They may not have this kind of intention. Opposition is also uncontrollable by themselves and they also speculate about us.

We do not have that idea. If opposition has wisdom, one will know we did not have that kind of intention. From the reverse, if we have wisdom, we can truly see and not with speculation, we can genuinely see one’s inner mind – one’s thought arising in the mind.

If one has evil (bad) intention, then we avoid them. Since one does not like us, there is no need for us to cross a narrow road. If you know that one will come from the east direction today, then you avoid the eastern path and walk on the west because there is no need to face them.

But all beings of today do not follow this. If they know that you are coming on this road, the more they want to block the road and not allow you to pass. This is the habit of the people on Earth, they do not permit others to have a better life. As time passes, the inherent inner essence of pure radiance is not functional.

In earlier times, when explaining Sutra I constantly mention our original life phenomena is pure, radiance, unrestrained, happy and delightful. Now it is no longer. Living in the world now, once born, one lives under the condition of deep water and scorching fire.

I recall some time ago about a few friends of mine, and it had been one month after the birth of their newborn baby. We think that one was just a little baby. It was remarkable; the baby could see clearly what all the adults were doing.

The baby thinks to them self, “what are the adults are doing? What does their language mean?”

The baby starts this within only the first couple months after being born.

How come? A baby is a human also. A person returns to this life, and one used to have this habit in the past. All performances of the parents, brothers or sisters enter the baby’s head.

>>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

(上星期講到: 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。)



上次我們講,「持戒」裡面「貪、瞋、痴」 – 「殺、盜、淫」,就講一切由貪開始。如果你心裡沒有貪,忍的現象就沒有了。為什麼會忍?因為東西不合「我」意,這東西不對的,這不合情、不合理的;所以「我」要忍耐。越忍身心就越沉重。

上次也舉過例子,就是講民國時代國父推翻滿清,從那時代我們講比較親切一點。這些先烈,拋頭顱、洒熱血。他們抱的是什麼決心?必死。必死的決心,有四個字叫「忍辱負重」,都經過「忍」的鍛鍊。站在清朝的立場,要把漢族擺平,還沒有奪到中原政權以前,他也要忍。他等待機會,怎麼樣來把政權建立。這兩個例子,是活生生的,在我們中國歷史上 -近代史。

再看看,近代國父革命完畢後,希望中國能復原,能夠安安靜靜的過日子。結果沒想到連年的戰禍,太多了。最後到了毛澤東 – 文革完畢,中國人稍稍微休息。一樣都是忍。這是講我們中國人。外國不是也一樣,一次大戰,二次大戰,將來還有三次大戰。不論講那一邊,講正義這邊也好,講邪惡這邊也好,大家都在忍。忍到最後受不了,爆發了。所以這現象在人類中太嚴重、太嚴重。





我們不是這個意思。如果有智慧,他就知道說我們沒有這意思。那反過來,我們如果有智慧,就真正看到,不是猜,真正看到他內心 – 起心、動念。








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