MASTER SHEN-LONG | Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 128
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Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 128

Today we continue with explaining the Six Paramitas (perfections). Last time we explained the perfection of tolerance under insult (Ksanti-Paramita). Tolerance under Insult, practically speaking in our modern society, can we cultivate better than our ancestors? It is exceedingly difficult. The democratic era of the modern society is based on individual independence, and the way of thinking for each person is quite personalized which precisely means that each person’s concept has almost nothing that is the same. Since identical does not exist, you must be able to bear with some notions that are non-equivalent to you, even attacking and slandering you. If you can bear it, then your accomplishment will be higher than the ancients. 

Ancient society was simple. If insulted one has tolerance, this person’s effort of imperturbable stillness of mind control has been reached. To improve or to strengthen the effort of imperturbable stillness of mind control, what method does that need? That will be explained today. It is to use Perfect of Proficient Diligence (Virya-Paramita)

Proficient means to focus on diligence means incessantly, must have improvement to make a breakthrough. 
Proficient diligence is divided into two kinds: One is proficient diligence in the “body”, and one is proficient diligence in the “mind”.

First, we explain from the “body”. This further divides into two categories: one is the proficient diligence of “wealth” and the proficient diligence in teaching.

“Wealth” refers to making money through proper channels. After making money, using money to the practice of giving to all beings and then helping their need in materiality. For instance, I met a friend properly twenty years ago who was doing business well at the time. Before he got in touch with the teaching of Buddha, he wanted to do good deeds and established a benevolent society or association. He wanted to donate his money to help undereducated people or those who lived in backward areas. This was the vow that he made at that time.  Later, when he got in touch with the Buddha teaching, he thought one day he would be able to help all beings by offering the teaching of Buddha to stay in the world eternally. 

One day he ran into a Buddhist monk who devoted all his life to explaining Sutras, he felt good about what this monk has done. Since he had a property, he made an offering to the Buddhist monk to donate this property. After the donation, he has been incredibly good until now. 

The so-called proficient diligence means that you have a goal to work, without slack and doubt.  With regards to these influences around, let go of them completely. Use financial resources to make offerings to all beings.   

There are many offerings made to all beings such as the “Buddha teaching offering” or “money offerings”. The “Buddha teaching offering” is wisdom, to ignite the wisdom of all beings. Therefore, next is talking about that he does not just do the practice of wealth giving like other than doing charity, he has also made well known the Buddha teaching. The Buddha teaching relies mainly on wisdom.        

One day I ran into him and asked: “How is everything with you? What have you been doing for the past few years?” 
He said: “The more I do, the happier I am in my body and mind; the more I do, all of my afflictions and difficulties from the past are all gone.”  
I asked: “What is the best benefit of doing so?” 
He said: “Even though other people receive all of the benefit; however, I receive the biggest reward. The biggest gain is me. "

What is the biggest gain? He is no longer looking at things by using a common custom view. This means he is no longer acting on or shifted by his affection and sentiment, and only uses rational ways. 

Therefore, in the practice of money giving, the impact is big if using rationality. This rationality is simple, exactly as stated when judging matters, to not have the function of shifting one’s affection. There is no idea of helping one relative more than others who are more distant in relationship. Psychologically you should not have that kind of thinking. Remember this because this is particularly important. 

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

卷 (九)  精進波羅密

繼續講「六波羅蜜」,上次談到「忍辱波羅蜜」。「忍辱」,實際講在我們社會,尤其現代社會,是不是能夠修得比古人好,很難。因為現代社會民主時代,個人獨立,每人想法都很個人化。想法個人化,就是每個人的觀念幾幾乎沒有一樣。沒有一樣,要能忍一些觀念跟你不對等的,甚至於攻擊你的、毁謗你的。要能忍下來,成就要比古代人要高。

古代社會至少稍微單純一點。如果辱都能忍,這個人定的功夫就到了。定的功夫,如果要增進、要加強,那要什麼方式?就是今天要講的,要用「精進波羅蜜」。

「精」就是專,「進」是不停的,要有進步能夠突破。「精進」分兩種:一個是「身」精進,一個是「心」精進。

前半段我們先來講「身」。身精進又分兩個:叫「財」精進,還有一個叫「法」精進。

「財」,就是說以正當的管道去賺錢,賺了錢後,以錢來布施給眾生,然後幫助眾生在物質方面的需要。譬如舉例:曾經遇到過一位朋友,大概也是二十年前,他當時做生意做得還不錯。因為還沒接觸到佛法,他就想做善事,成立一個「善心協會」或者說這個叫作Association。他想把錢捐出來,幫助沒有受教育的人或者落後地區的這些朋友。他當時發這個願。後來接觸佛法以後,他就想有一天能夠幫助眾生,能夠請佛法住世。

有一天就碰到一個出家人,出家人他一生都是講經,他覺得不錯。他有一塊地,想供養給他, 地就捐出來了。捐出來後一直到現在都很不錯。

所謂「精進」,就是說你有一個目標努力去做,不懈怠,沒有懷疑。對於尤其是周圍的這些影響,完全放下。用財力去供養眾生。

供養眾生當然有很多種: 有法供養,有財供養。「法供養」是智慧,開啟眾生的智慧。所以下面要講,他不僅是財布施,做慈善以外,他還宣揚佛法。佛法以智慧為主。

有一天我碰到他,就問他說:「怎麼樣?這幾年你做的怎麼樣?」

他說:「越做身心越歡喜,越做以前所遇到的煩惱、困難,現在 都沒有了。」

我說:「那你覺得最大的好處是什麼?」

他說:「最大的好處還是自己有收穫,別人當然都得到利益,可 是最大的收穫是自己。」                                  

什麼樣最大的收穫?就是看事情再也不用所謂世俗的想法去看。也就是移情作用、情感的作用不用了,都是用理智的作用。

所以在「財布施」當中,如果用理智的話,效果大。這理智很簡單,就是就事論事,沒有移情作用。沒有說他是我親戚,我多幫他一點,這是外面的人,好像距離比較遠一點。心理上沒有,記住,這很重要!

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