MASTER SHEN-LONG | Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 123
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Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 123

(Last week we ended with, “In the event that you have deep-rooted wholesomeness and do not want to carry-on this way anymore in the next life, you will want to go to the Amitabha Pure Land to recover the essence of tranquil radiance, then this is accomplishment.”) 

During the Qing Dynasty, the chief compilation official, Ji Xiao-Lan, of the Complete Books of the (Imperial) Repositories (四庫全書)and who wrote the Notes on a Minutely Observed Thatched Hut (閱微草堂筆記), a collection of allegedly true supernatural stories. This book recorded many interesting stories mainly about retribution. He wrote down what he personally saw and heard at the time. 

 Here he wrote: One day there was a family, and a young man was extremely disappointed in life and brought two jugs of wine to a graveyard. 

The young man said: “Well, people of the world are scary, so I invite these ghosts to drink.” After he said so, a dozen ghosts came at night. He saw crowds of black smoke and spirit fires coming. 

Have you seen spirit fires before? We have seen them before, especially Chinese and Western cemeteries all have it and there are indeed spirit fires at night. They float, it is chemically changed. 

There were ghosts too and we have seen lots. What were these ghosts doing here? They have nothing to do and saw him bring wine. He poured the wine into a bowl. In the ghost world, they cannot drink through mouths, they inhale the fumes of wine. He put the bowl down and over a dozen came. After they inhaled, he asked these ghosts. 

    He said: “How come you guys became a ghost?”

The ghost said: “I cannot not help it. I do not know where to go in the next life. I am waiting for reincarnation here now.” 

   He asked: “How long have you waited?” 

   Ghost said: “I do not know.” 

The young man then talked: “Since you are a ghost, why do you not repent?” 
The ghost then explained: “No use to repent, it is too late to repent once you enter the ghost world. In the ghost world, repentance is useless. One only receives retribution. Repentance, repent when you are a human.”
Later, everyone left and there was one ghost telling this young man: “Thank you very much for the wine, I have not smelled the wine in thousands of years. I would advise you in one sentence since I have nothing else to give you. To repent is when you are in human form, even just repenting before your last breath.” 

When the story finished, I told my friend and my friend then said: “Why do I need to repent? As a human, I need to repent for what? To reform what? “  

He has no idea about it.  Talking about repenting to modern people: 
1. They immediately feel ill-at-ease. 
2. They think you insult them because they did nothing wrong now they are told to repent.
3. Give you an attitude right away.   

Why? They have a guilty conscience. 

It is too difficult for modern people to follow Tolerance under Insult. This is not what I said, you say that you must bear the insult, how is it possible. One cannot even figure out repentance, on top of the Tolerance under Insult.  

“Repentance” means that the wrongdoing will never happen again. “Reform” means that this matter is wrong and will turn it around. In ancient times people’s minds were relatively simple, and most people had the concept of repentance; however, modern people have none.  Our generation remains with a little bit more of the repentance concept, I do not see this in the next generation. I think the next generation is about the same, completely without the human concept, and only the animal concept. We currently still have the human concept or mixed concepts as human and animal combined. The generation after us will have less human concept.   Going further to the next generation will only exist with the animal concept, the next generation after that will only have the ghost concept which is trouble. Furthermore, the next generation will only exist with the hell world’s concept.  

>>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: 如果善根深厚,想下一生不要搞了,要到極樂世界,去恢復清淨光明的本體,就有成果了。)

清朝編【四庫全書】的主編紀曉嵐寫了一部【閱微草堂筆記】。它裡面講的事情很有意思,【閱微草堂筆記】裡面專講因果報應。這發生在當時的事情,他親自見到、聽到,寫下來。

他說有一個人家,一個年輕人,有一天對於人生非常的失望,就 帶了兩壺酒到墳地。

他說:「這樣,人很可怕,我請這些鬼喝兩杯。」

他這麼說,晚上真的有十幾隻鬼來了,他就看到一群一群的黑煙 來了,靈火來了。

靈火,各位有沒有看見過?我們以前都看過,尤其在墳場,中國墳場外國墳場都有,靈火,到晚上確實是有。它飄,它是化學變的。

鬼也有,我們看得太多了。這些鬼在那裡做什麼?沒事做。看到他帶酒來了。他把酒放在碗裡,鬼界不是用喝的,用吸那個酒氣,吸那個氣。他就擺在碗裡,十幾個都來了。吸完後,他就問這些鬼。

他說:「你們怎麼會做鬼?」

鬼說:「沒有辦法,來生不知道要去那裡,現在在這裡等待轉世。」

他說:「等多久?」

鬼說:「不知道。」

這個年輕人就講,他說:「既然做鬼了,你們為什麼不懺悔?」

鬼就講:「不是懺悔,到了鬼道懺悔都來不及了,到了鬼道懺悔 沒有用,只有受報。要懺悔,要在做人的時候懺悔。」                                             

後來大家散了,有個鬼就跟這年輕人講:「非常謝謝你,請我們 喝酒,幾千年來沒有聞過酒味。奉勸你一句話送給你,我沒有別   的東西送給你,就這句話,懺悔要在做人的時候,那怕最後一口氣沒有斷以前,懺悔。」

故事講完了,我就跟我朋友講。我朋友就說:做人要懺什麼悔?做人到底要懺什麼?要悔什麼?

不知道。現代人,你跟他講懺悔:

一,馬上身心不安。

二,他覺得你侮辱到他,我也沒有做錯事,你叫我懺悔。

三,馬上給你臉色。

為什麼?作賊心虛。

現代人你要跟他講「忍辱」,太難。這不是我講,你說辱要忍,不可能的。連懺悔他都搞不清楚,加個「忍辱」。

「懺」,是做錯事情永遠不再做。「悔」,表示這東西不對,把它轉過來,就這意思。古代的人,民心比較純樸,大部分的人還有懺悔的觀念,現代人沒有了。我們這一代,稍稍微還有,下一代我看就沒有了﹔再下一代大概我看差不多,就是完全沒有人的觀念,就是動物的觀念。我們現在還有人的觀念,人的觀念參半,就是動物的觀念跟人的觀念參半。我們下面沒有了,下代人的觀念很少,再下一代動物的觀念,再下面鬼的觀念,這麻煩。再下去就是地獄道的觀念。

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