MASTER SHEN-LONG | Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 120
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Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 120

(Last week we ended with, “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.”) 

Most people cannot see them, even in the “Ghost Festival Buddhist Observance Ceremony”. You can feel that there are many spirits on the memorial tablets. Even during the bright noon hours, there is a bunch of misty, gloomy cold wind on the memorial tablets, at the most. The genuine one can truly see them, there are a few. Especially the Master who presides over the Ghost Festival Buddhist Observance Ceremony needs to have the skills acquired through religious cultivation practice. What does that mean? One’s mind must be purified of defiling illusion then he can help these hungry ghosts by giving them some sweet dew and to give a bit of rice as a small token. 

If the hungry ghosts have a high spiritual nature, when you explain the Sutra and expound the teaching he will accept. Even some willing mindfulness Amitabha are met and received by Amitabha right away, go and be born to Amitabha Pure Land.  

We had participated in an Assembly for preaching before and communicated with the ghost world. I just talked about feeling inferior; after one entered the ghost world with feeling inferior, then it is hard to be saved. One can still be saved in the human world, but it is hard to be saved from the ghost world. 

Why do I cite this example? Giving this example, in other words, although we live in the world of the living but there are many people with an inferiority complex. It is like living in the underworld. 

How come? The condition encountered every day is dull and gloomy all around. There are blank future outlooks; they live day to day, calculating day by day, and this kind of living corresponds closely to the hungry ghost world. The more serious is when, if hatred is strong, dissatisfaction with this, dissatisfaction with that, one considers that all things either materiality or spirituality entirely are contrary to one’s wishes, this condition corresponds to the hell world. Talking about Tolerance under Insult, one’s pressure is a kind of insult. No one has insulted him yet, no one pointed his nose to scold him, also no one gave him the feelings of discomfort. It is his own idea that forms an insult. Therefore, there is no way to tolerate this matter, nor it can be endured. This phenomenon has caused more and more people with severe inferiority complex in our world of the living, more and more in both East and West; then how can the society be stable? This talks about feeling of inferiority.

Next, talk about the superiority feeling. Feeling superior is a devastating thought behavior. Looking at the past Chinese history of 5,000 years about the killing. Killing is caused from what?  Feeling superior. 

Where is the source of feeling superiority? It is still from feeling inferiority. There are many kinds of inferiority complex and self-abasement does not harm the society; one feels inferior by oneself. To harm society means that since I feel inferior, it feels unfair to see others so I want a revolution. His revolution is not the same as our National Father Sun Zhongshan (Dr. Sun Yatsen 1866-1925) who revolted for the people. His revolution was for opposing then to oppose it, to him this is a kind of insult. Who insulted him? He feels that the nation and society both let him down, so he revolted. There are so many revolutionary tricks. Looking around at our society now is it not that way. Indeed. 

Therefore, they fight against this and it emerges from feeling inferiority. Feeling inferiority then generates feeling superiority, then fighting against a step up becomes war. Why does our human world experience peace for only a few days then the battles start again? It is because all beings are not at peace.  

When the phenomena of either feeling inferior or feeling superior becomes increasingly stronger, then this will wage nuclear war. If this continues, of course many innocent beings will have bad luck. Those so called “innocent”, on the surface one looks innocent, but in fact they are still brought together by fate with all beings of this world. If one’s mind is completely tranquil, then one is unlikely to be reincarnated in this world. It is just that one’s tranquil mind is a bit higher percentage better than those who feel inferior or superior. Nevertheless, one still has dissatisfaction, small dissatisfaction as tiny as a chicken feather; therefore, one interacts in our society as “people are divided into groups, similar things come together (birds of feather flock together)”.

Many people then state, if we can no longer improve the concept of this society, improve all being’s concept of stubbornly attaching to dissatisfaction, and concept of either feeling inferior or feeling superior; then we will surely be destroyed by it. We destroy ourselves. This was the case with the previous civilization, which was destroyed by nuclear war. I heard that was called the Atlantis civilization. I heard it sank below the ocean. Some researchers just study it. There is indeed this civilization, which was the last civilization. The last civilization completely collapsed caused by nuclear war which means that the land broke and sank into the sea.

>>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: 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。)

一般人間看不見他們,就算「中元普渡」的時候,你可以感覺得到牌位上很多眾生。中午,大太陽的時候,一堆霧氣、陰森的冷風上牌位,頂多如此。真正能看得到的,少。尤其主持「中元法會」的人,他要有道行。

什麼叫道行?心要清淨,他才能夠幫助這些餓鬼,給他吃一點甘露,給他吃一點飯,意思意思。餓鬼如果他靈性高的話,你跟他講經說法,他接受。有的甚至於念佛,當時就被阿彌陀佛接引了,就往生極樂世界了。

那我們以前參加法會,有跟鬼界溝通。剛剛我講自卑。到鬼界自卑以後,就很難救了。人間還有救,到鬼道就難。

我為什麼舉這個例子?舉這個例子就是說我們現在雖然在陽間,可是有很多有自卑感的人,就像在陰間過日子。

為什麼?每天遇到的境界,就是灰濛濛的一片,前途茫然,過一天是一天,過一天算一天,這種日子已經跟鬼界相應了。更嚴重的,如果恨念很強,這不滿意、那不滿意,認為所有的東西,所有的物質也好,所有的精神也好,都不如他的意,這個是跟地獄道相應。你要講「忍辱」,他這個壓力就是一種辱。還沒有人侮辱他,沒有人指著鼻子駡他,也沒有人給他罪受,他自己的觀念就形成一種侮辱。所以說,這事情沒有辦法忍,忍也忍不了。這現象就造成陽間這類自卑感嚴重的人,在世間越來越多,東方、西方越來越多,那這社會怎麼會安定?

這講自卑。要講講自大。自大,是一種毁滅性的思想行為。看歷代,剛剛講中國五千年就是殺。殺,是什麼造成的?自大。

自大的根源從那裡來?還是自卑。自卑感分很多種,自己自卑的人不危害社會,這他自己自卑。危害社會是說我既然自卑,看見別人都感覺上不公平,我要來革命。他不是像國父孫中山,是為了眾生革命,不一樣。他革命是為了反對而反對,這對他是一種辱。這是侮辱的意思。誰對他侮辱了?國家社會對不起他了,所以革命。革命花樣可多了。現在看看這社會是不是!確實。

所以鬥爭,由自卑產生。自卑產生了自大,鬥爭就升格了變成了戰爭。人間,為什麼好不了幾天就要打仗?因為眾生心不平。

自卑、自大的現象,如果越來越強烈的時候,就會爆發核子大戰。這搞下去,當然很多無辜的眾生要倒霉。所謂無辜,表面上看無辜,實際上他還是跟眾生、跟這世間有緣。如果他心是完全平的,他不會投生到這世間。只是說他的心平的程度,比自卑自大的人要好,百分比上要比較高一點。他還是有不平,小小的不平。雞毛蒜皮的不平,所以感應到「人以群分,物以類聚」,到我們社會來。

很多人就講如果再不能改善這個社會的觀念,再不能改善眾生這種執著不平的觀念、自卑自大的觀念,一定會被毁滅。我們自己把自己毁滅。前面一個文明就是這樣,核子戰爭把它毁掉了。聽人家講好像叫Atlantis文明,聽說沉到海洋下面去了。有人就研究,確確實實有這個文明,就是上一個文明。上一個文明是因為核子戰爭完全陸沉,就是地塊斷裂沉到海裡。

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