MASTER SHEN-LONG | Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 125
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Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 125

(Last week we ended with, “It is precisely that you have too many erroneous thinking and distracting thoughts. But there is another reason –the most important – is excessive attachment to your own way of thinking, viewing, speaking, doing and holding on too much. When it is excessive, it makes one unable to wake up.  To dream continuously, one is mentally and physically unstable.”)  

So, if you cannot experience the phenomenon of becoming enlightened, then cultivating yourself in right practice is totally useless. Never mind cultivating yourself in right practice,  even the general principle of behaving yourself or doing things, it is all over and you will surely be confused and surely have afflictions and attachments, and it will take you to the next life to experience. 

A person with serious afflictions and attachments, what is one’s life like? Life is like living in the world of hell. The world is already hell; besides, one will be reincarnated in the future to experience torture in the tormenting atmosphere is called hell. Hell is not like how it is described in the novel, Arabian Nights. There is a kind of form or a place; no, there is not. In fact, hell is here; if your body and mind are unpleasant, you will feel the hell. 

What kind of world is hell? It is with Amitabha Pure Land. Amitabha Pure Land also penetrates hell. Like the human world, during the night it is used by the nether world, penetrating each other without hindering each other. 

Formerly we mentioned, after listening to a venerable Master explaining the Sutra, people with a high level of epiphany can instantly experience a certain extent of cosmic truth. 

Regarding Tolerance under Insult, if you still find Tolerance under Insult difficult or feel that insulting word is a humiliation to you, then you have no skill. To be honest, this is where our effort in cultivation displays. The most important is:

Where do we examine our effort? 
How should we look at this and what level has our skill achieved?  
Most importantly, is to look at your thought arising in the mind: 

Are you still stressed? Regarding life in the universe, are there still any pressures? 

Everyone needs to think about it. I think today’s topic about Tolerance under Insult is not a small scope, tolerance, and insult both are not a small scope; it is a phenomenon of your whole way of thinking and behavior in life. This phenomenon of thinking and behavior is manifested in every move of your life and field of living. 

In ancient times, ordinary people have no freedom in life. It was the age of imperial power, so what kind of freedom is there, one is decapitated at every turn. A little bit seems to be inconsistent with the range stipulated by the imperial authority, maybe one was pulled out and chopped. Everyone in that era lived extremely hard. Our time is liberated, but the so-called liberation – the era of freedom, everyone’s affliction is extremely tough. But ancient times are not. In ancient times, their affliction could not show; if you accidentally show it, it was troublesome once known by your boss. If you were dissatisfied with him or have opinions about him, your wealth will not be guaranteed. 

The ancient people practiced under this pressured environment, for what reason can they still have reward at the various stage of attainment? How does one can become a Buddha? Have you ever thought about this, they were under such a strong environment! 

Recently I read the so-called history, for instance, Twenty-Five Dynastic Histories. After reading it, China’s history was terrible. Although a nation of propriety and righteousness, few people use propriety and righteousness. They kill at every turn. If you do not listen, they kill you today. They use “propriety, justice (righteousness), integrity and honor” as a guise to cover their actions and say: “I did this because of so-and-so reasons” or “I have placed righteousness above family loyalty as the reason for why I do this.” But having said that, there was a real sense of some Emperors who truly applied the four social bounds of “propriety, justice (righteousness), integrity and honor” and also used the eight virtuous foundations (loyalty and filial piety, kindheartedness and humanity, trust and justice, harmony and peace) and by means of  “propriety” as the base to be an emperor; there were some but rare. 

The wisdom of Chinese society typical of Chinese people is impressive. Daoism says —effortless action/ letting things take their own course, and the Analects of Confucius of Confucianism contains human wisdom. One is Confucianism and the other is Lao-Zi theory but these wisdoms have never really brought social stability. 

From historical records to today, was there one who truly used the ideology of Confucius and Mencius or the ideology of Daoism to bring peace to society? No, I do not see one. All was a noticeably short time. Or else, it was precisely used by some Emperors to play politics or a policy of keeping the people ignorant and easily subjugated. There were several examples of this such as the Emperor Wu of the Han dynasty (141-87 BC) and Dong Zhong-Shu (179-104 BC). There is no need for me to talk about this; those who have studied history know. The school of Confucianism originally was all good; however, it was twisted by the Monarch, and was deformed. It is the same way with Buddhism now. The Buddha teaching originally was all good, however it is now being taken advantage and has become a religion. These words speak from where? It is from becoming enlightened.  

>>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: 就是自己妄想、雜念太多了。還有一個原因最重要 – 太過執著,對於自己想法、看法、說法、做法,太過度抓著不放。太過度了,就導致他沒有辦法醒過來,夢一直做。沒有辦法醒過來,身心不安。)

所以領悟的現象,如果你不能體會,修行完全沒有用。不要講修行,就算一般做人做事道理,完蛋了。一定是迷迷糊糊,一定是煩惱、執著,將來帶你到下一生去受用。

煩惱、執著重的人,生活是什麼?生活就像生活在地獄。在人間就已經是地獄,何況將來還要轉世,到折磨的磁場當中去受用,這叫地獄。地獄,不是小說上講有所謂,就像天方夜譚裡講有這麼一個形狀,沒有的;或者有一個地方,沒有的。其實地獄就在我們這裡,如果你的身心很不愉快,感受地獄。

地獄跟什麼樣世界在一起?跟極樂世界是在一起。極樂世界也穿透地獄。就像人間,晚上是陰間用,互相穿透,互相不妨礙。剛剛說聽老師父講經,領悟力高的人,馬上就可以體驗到,一定程度的宇宙真相。

對於「忍辱」這事情,如果你還覺得「忍辱」很困難,或者還覺得辱字對你是一種侮辱,你沒有功夫。說句老實話,真正我們修行那就見到功夫了。最重要:

我們要在什麼地方去勘驗這個功夫?

應該怎麼樣來看看,自己功夫到什麼程度?

最重要就是看看你起心、動念當中:

你還有沒有壓力?對於宇宙人生還有沒有壓力?

各位要想一想。我是覺得今天講「忍辱」不是個小範圍,忍跟辱不是小範圍,它是你人生整個思想行為的一種現象。思想行為的現象表現在生活的一舉一動、生活的磁場上面。

講古代一般的人生活都沒有什麼自由的,是皇權時代,那有什麼自由,動不動就要殺頭的。稍稍有一點點好像跟他規定的範圍不符合,可能拉出去就砍了。那種時代每一個人,都活得很辛苦。我們時代,雖說是解放了,所謂解放 – 自由時代,自己的煩惱很辛苦。可是古代不是,古代煩惱還不能露出來,露出來被你的長官上司知道,麻煩了。如果你對他有不滿、對他有意見,身家財產都不保。

古代的人修行在這種壓力的環境之下,為什麼還可以證果?為什麼還可以成佛?各位有沒有想過,那麼強烈的環境!

最近讀所謂歷史,譬如說【二十五史】這歷史看了,中國真是可怕。雖說禮義之邦,真正用禮、用義的其實很少。動不動就是殺。你不聽我的,今天把你幹掉。幹掉就用禮義廉恥來做幌子,說我是怎麼樣、怎麼樣….,我是大義滅親,怎麼樣、怎麼樣….。可是話說回來,也有是真正以禮義廉恥,以四維八德,以「禮」為基礎來做皇帝,有,少有、少有。尤其中國人典型的中國社會的智慧,沒有話講。尤其道家講「無為」,儒家的「論語」裡所講的,這些都是人類的智慧,一個是「孔子學說」,一個是「老子學說」。可是這智慧始終沒有真正帶給社會安定。

從有歷史記載到今天,真正有用「孔孟思想」、「道家思想」帶給社會長治久安?沒有。我沒看到,都是短暫的。要不然就是被帝王拿來做為權術,做為愚民政策。尤其漢武帝、董仲舒,是不是。這都不需要我去講,學歷史的一看就知道。儒家本來很好,被帝王一用,變了形了。就像現在佛教,佛法本來好得很,被現在利用,變成宗教。這話從那裡講?領悟力。

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