MASTER SHEN-LONG | Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 119
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Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 119

(Last week we ended with, “If you let go of the person and “I”, then the heart (or mind) is not there. That knife, where is it?”)

This is speaking about phenomenal characteristics. 

Now, we are going to talk the second part, the other meaning: Authentication. 

If you look at Tolerance under Insult from the perspective of wisdom, it is different. We just talked about life experience and slowly letting go of people and “I”. Now we are not talking from life experience, it is from wisdom to let go of people and “I”. That wisdom is a super energy, the energy of our original life essence that can penetrate all materiality and spirituality. Like our current sun, the sun shines but cannot penetrate. Wisdom is not the same, our original ability of wisdom in life can penetrate. Penetrate what? Most importantly, it penetrates affliction. 

All materiality and spirituality can be penetrated by it and it can shatter afflictions.   

The most unbearable and the most pressure to your materiality and spirituality life in this world is affliction. Where is affliction from? We just talked about inferiority and superiority. Once the omniscient penetrative ability with crystal clear perception of wisdom activates, then the inferiority and superiority no longer exist. 

Inferiority is because one does not understand the true facts about the universe, does not understand the source of life, and does not understand one’s own history.

Do not know where you came from? 
Do not know what to do in this life? 
Also, do not know what to do in the next life.

How to become feeling inferior. Seeing others who are better than you develop the inferiority complex. This inferiority complex is in fact profoundly serious in Chinese society. Especially Asian societies, the inferiority complex is extremely serious. From the highest social class of the Emperor, Commander-in-Chief, and Prime Minister, down to the lowest class of peddlers, carriers, and the middle-class including scholars, farmers, laborers, and businessmen; all have this inferiority complex. All those who are Chinese that I have met, including Japan, Korea of the Greater East Asian regions all have an inferior complex. I did not see a normal one. There are a few normal people. 

Today, we are learning the Buddha’s way, then you must look at yourself and ask if you are feeling inferior or superior?  If feeling inferior, you need to find out the reason. What caused you to develop the inferior feeling. 

Everything is inferior to others, many people are like this. There is another kind of person who feels inferior not only in this life, but when they die, they take that feeling to the coffin. Being a ghost, this inferior feeling remains. Encountering many from the realm of hungry ghosts and feeling inferior.  

I communicate with one: “Do not fool around in the hungry ghost world; do you not know mindfulness Amitabha?” 

    One said: “No, I cannot.” 

His inferior feeling returned: “Amitabha, Amitabha Pure Land is such pure glory, what am I. I have sunken into the hungry ghost world and I am all dirty, how can I go to the Pure Land?” 
This is all over. Even when one becomes a ghost they still feel inferior.

I remember the Ghost Festival of the Buddhist Observance Ceremony before which occurs in the seventh month of the lunar calendar. One day in the ghost world is equivalent to one month of our time here. Therefore, on the 1st, 15th and 30th of the month there are “Religious Ceremonies to help souls find peace”. In the presence of the Buddha, all vegetable dishes are offered upon the alter. What is that for?  An invitation to them (ghost) for a meal. 

For many years, ghosts go about 1,000 to 2,000 years without knowing the taste of rice; they are just hungry. The tube of their throat (larynx) is not like ours, it is like a syringe.  If you do not recite the Mantra of Initiate Eating Dharani, then their throat is unable open to take in the offered vegetables and are unable to eat. 

What kind of people become ghosts? Persons feeling inferior or feeling superior will end up as a ghost. 

In the month of the Ghost’s Festival, the 1st day of the month invites them for breakfast, the 15th day of the month for lunch and the 30th day of the month for supper. They are only let out for one day and then they must return to their ghost world. This illusion is from the Ullambana Sutra, and Buddha explains the Ullambana Festival: The Monk Maudgalyayana, one of the Buddha’s ten disciples, is foremost with supernatural abilities. He was trying to save his mother who sunk into the hell world. The Monk Maudgalyayana tried and exhausted all of his supernatural abilities in vain, he came back and asked Shakyamuni Buddha’s help, who replied:  

Go to practice of giving all your mother’s things; then go to make offering to all the Sangha (the community of committed practitioners of the Buddha teaching) and all Buddha and Bodhisattvas, to dedicate all nirvana merits and enlightenment virtue of the above to your mother. 

Therefore, it was passed down to become the “Ghost’s Festival of the Buddhist Observance Ceremony”. Ullambana is a Sanskrit word which means to hang upside down. The suffering condition of hanging upside down expresses the unbearable suffering condition of hungry ghosts in the ghost world like being suspended upside down. 

In the ghost world, one day there is equal to one month our world; what is their lifespan? The shortest life span is 1,000 years calculated by the same 365 days of a year in our world.  When considering multiplying a month by 365, it is equivalent to more than a several thousand years in our time. After thousands of years, where would they go? If one has not finished one’s retribution, then one will continue to the hell world. Consequently, it does not end.

>>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: 如果人、我放下,心,就沒有了。那刀,那裡有?這是講相。)

我們要講第二部分,認證的「認」的意思。

如果從智慧上來看「忍辱」,不一樣。剛剛講從人生經驗,慢慢放下人跟我,現在講不是人生經驗,是從智慧來放下人跟我。那智慧,就像超級的能量磁場,是我們原來生命本體的能量磁場,穿透一切物質跟精神。像我們現在太陽,太陽照是照,沒辦法穿透。智慧不一樣,我們原來生命中智慧的能力 – 穿透。穿透什麼?最重要煩惱。精神、物質都穿透沒錯,煩惱,它可以粉碎煩惱。

人生活這世間,最難受的,最讓你精神物質上受壓力 – 是煩惱。煩惱怎麼來的?就是剛剛講自卑、自大而來。智慧一照,自大、自卑不存在。自卑是因為不了解宇宙真相,不了解生命來源,不了解自己過去來歷。不知道。

不知道自己從那裡來?不知道這一生做什麼?也不知道下一生做什麼?

產生自卑。看到好像別人都比我好,產生自卑感。自卑感,其實在中國社會非常嚴重。尤其亞洲社會,自卑感太嚴重了。上從帝王、將相,下到販夫、走卒,中間講士、農、工、商,都有自卑感。我遇到所有的中國人,包括日本、韓國,就是大東亞地區都有自卑感。我沒有看到一個正常的,正常人少。今天要學佛,就不得不看一看自己,我到底是自卑還是自大?如果自卑,把自卑的原因找出來。到底「自」在那裡?「卑」在那裡?

事事不如人。很多人是這樣。還有一種人,「卑」不僅在他這一生中,死了到棺材裡還要帶去。做鬼,還自卑。遇到很多鬼界的,自卑。

你跟他溝通:「不要在鬼界鬼混了,不是知道念佛。」

他說:「不行了。」自卑感又來了。

他說:「人家阿彌陀佛,極樂世界清淨莊嚴,我是什麼葱,什麼蒜。墮入鬼道已經是一身都是骯髒的,怎麼去清淨的世界。」

完了,做鬼還自卑。

記得以前「中元普渡」,所謂中元普渡就是七月。鬼界一天是我們這裡一個月。所以初一、十五、三十都做「超渡法會」。佛前上供,供的都是蔬菜。幹什麼?請他吃飯。

鬼是長年,大概一、兩千年都不知道飯的味道,就餓。喉管不是像我們這個管,喉管像針管,就打針那針管那麼細。你不念《開食真言》那個咒語,他喉管打不開,給他供的菜,他沒有辦法吃。

做鬼是什麼人?自卑、自大的人就做鬼去了。

「中元普渡」的時候,初一是請他吃早飯,十五中飯,三十晚飯,他就放出來一天,然後又回家了。這個典故是從佛講「盂蘭盆會」。目連尊者是佛十大弟子中神通第一,因為他為救他母親,他母親墮到地獄道去了。他到地獄道去,怎麼用他的神通力,都沒辦法。他回來問釋迦牟尼佛,釋迦牟尼佛說:「你把母親生前的物品布施掉,再去供養僧侶、供養諸佛菩薩,功德迴向給你母親。」所以傳下來變成「中元普渡」。「盂蘭」就是表示倒懸的意思,印度梵文。倒懸之苦,就表示餓鬼在鬼界這種苦,像他們被倒懸吊起來一樣。

他們那邊一天是我們一個月,歲數多少?最短的壽命是一千年,也是三百六十五天那麼算。所以一個月乘三百六十五,要這樣算千年。千年以後到那裡去?罪報沒有受完的,再到地獄去報。所以搞不完。

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