20 Jan 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.
卷 (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。)
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。