MASTER SHEN-LONG | Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 132
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Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 132

(Last week we ended with, “The name Amitabha naturally emerges out of the head as “Amitabha, Amitabha…”, one after one, and the flow will remain even if you are not thinking on it. During your recitation, you must hear with clarity; also, you must recite each syllable with clarity, without distracting thoughts and without interruptions. The interruptions mean there is something to interrupt. Does it cut off? No, it does not. When you talk to people, answer the phone, and do things, strangely, it continues and does not cut off. If it cuts off, that is fake, and you do not have the skill. The mindfulness Amitabha does not break off.?) 

Of course, having no doubt is the prerequisite. If there is doubt about the method of mindfulness Amitabha, to have doubt about any method of cultivating oneself in right practice, then one’s cultivation will not work. “Doubt” is the greatest obstacle of Bodhisattva. Proficient diligence is Bodhisattva’s Pure Land. The Pure Land of Bodhisattva establishes proficient diligence. Bodhisattvas in wholeheartedness want to rescue all beings who want to become Buddha quickly to complete the “Three Bodies and Four Wisdoms”. They rescue all beings so they must have proficient diligence. This strength of proficient diligence lets them to devote themselves to perfecting their cultivation of infinite existence of world periods instantly. 

These Bodhisattvas who have already eradicated one grade of the unenlightened condition have attained one grade of realization of the Dharma Body and you are unable to tell their exertion. They make effort among the supernatural powers in which Buddha and Bodhisattva take their pleasures and this is called “to achieve the way of enlightenment leading to nirvana effortlessly”. The primary Stage, the “Joyous stage” of Bodhisattva cultivation for those who have already acquired supernatural powers, one practices effortless ways to attain enlightenment leading to nirvana continuously until the status of Avaivartika (progression towards Buddha-hood never recedes from the position attained) as the Avaivartika Bodhisattva. Within the 41 grades of cultivation tiers between the first grade Bodhisattva (as the 11th of 52 cultivation grades) to the state of Absolute Universal Enlightenment Bodhisattva (Samyak-Sambodi as the 51 of 52 cultivation grades), they are in proficient diligence. This is exceedingly.

Today, can a common person achieve mindfulness Amitabha and have proficient diligence like them? Yes, one can. We need to learn, learn to be like them similarly. But you know, there are some unknown old grandmas, grandpas, men, women young and old, their proficient diligence way of mindfulness Amitabhatheir proficient diligence strength is more awesome than the Absolute Universal Enlightenment Bodhisattva (Samyak-Sambodhi). Why? They have the support of Amitabha’s 48 vows; in addition, they have the proficient diligence power’s support from all Buddhas

So, one can have mindfulness Amitabha to what extent? The state of no distracting thoughts to mindfulness, this is awesome. “No distracting thoughts to mindfulness” is first-class proficient diligenceProficient diligence is divided into three levels of superior, medium, and inferior and also divides into the three ranks and nine classes. The “lower” proficient diligence is when one has the concept and idea of doing so. Others talking about practicing Zen meditation or cultivating the Esoteric teachings you would disregard all and say, “I am mindfulness Amitabha”. This is the lower proficient diligence.

Mindfulness Amitabha every word properly, are you mindful to the state of eradicating your unenlightened conditions? No, not yet; this is still the early stage. Have you unified with Amitabha in mind for 24 hours?  It is getting closer. This is the “lower” state.

The “medium” proficient diligence is when you end the affliction of misleading views and perceptions. To what grade? The attainment of an Arhat – the 4th grade of Arhatship. The “medium level” is the state of “one-pointed concentration without scattering to all phenomena”.

Just now talking about the “lower level” is “unifying with Amitabha in mind for 24 hours unceasingly”. Although affliction has not ended completely and you are unable to escape from the Threefold World (Triloka – the universe divides into three worlds of karmic rebirth, Desire, Form and Formless), you can subdue your affliction like stones press over grass. This is the “lower” proficient diligence

The medium proficient diligence as an Arhat who has attained the Samadhi of the 9th (the mind is fixed and undisturbed) has surpassed the “four meditative concentrations of both the Realm of Form and the Formless Realm, a total of eight meditative concentration levels”. After one surpasses that, one’s mindfulness Amitabha is proficient diligence

Ordinarily, an Arhat would take at least 20,000 existence of world-periods (1,344,000,000 years x 20,000) to turn from the Hinayana teaching to the Mahayana path. For the Pratyekabuddha of Hinayana on the Mahayana path will need 10,000 existence of world-periods (1,344,000,000 years x 10,000). If he turns his mind today to mindfulness Amitabha, less than one existence of world-period is needed. Sincerely with mindfulness Amitabha, instantly he goes and is born to the realm of “Temporary Realm” in Amitabha Pure Land which is above the “Realm of Where All Classes dwell”.  The “Temporary Realm” is for Saints of Hinayana. If you are the 1st grade Arhatship as Srotapanna, by mindfulness Amitabha you can make use of the awe-inspiring Amitabha support to land in the “Temporary Realm”. In Amitabha Pre-Land, the four realms are harmoniously integrated with each other and there is no barrier. This is calledthe “medium level”.            

Just explaining the “superior” proficient diligence is like the Sixth Patriarch has eradicated one grade of unenlightened condition and one has realized one grade of Dharma Body. Some can eradicate several grades of unenlightened conditions and realize Dharma Body. If again one has mindfulness Amitabha, it increases efficacy to advance at mindfulness Amitabha. This is exceedingly, one attains the state of “one mind undisturbed in enlightenment”; instantly one becomes the Buddha of the Perfect Teaching School. Division of the Buddha’s teaching of the Tian-Tai School: The “Small Vehicle Teaching, Preliminary Teaching, Final teaching, Immediate Teaching, Complete Teaching”; The “Hinayana School, Mahayana-cum-Hinayana School, Differentiating Teaching School, and Perfect Doctrine Teaching School”. One attains the Buddha status of the Perfect Teaching School.

Therefore, Buddha of the Perfect Teaching School, what is the fastest way to attain is? It is by proficient diligencemindfulness Amitabha.

All of you ought to think where you set your mind. You truly learn the Buddha’s way; do you not want to become a Buddha? The fastest method to become Buddha is proficient diligence mindfulness Amitabha uninterrupted.  

As just explained, mindfulness Amitabha sincerely will not cut off. It is impossible to be interfered by any trivial matters and unable to continue. There is nothing of this sort. It is non-mixing, no distracting thought and erroneous thinking. As just explained by the “Three Ranks and Nine Classes” – superior, medium, and inferior, all are without distracting thoughts and erroneous thinking. When reaching to the top, then is the state of eradication of the unenlightened condition. 

No doubt means having no doubt regarding all of Buddha’s teaching, and their teaching of mindfulness Amitabha. Having no doubt, from a common person’s level, is only to initiate a thought “from now on, I have mindfulness Amitabha all the way to the end” which is called proficient diligence. 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

 (九)  精進波羅密

(上星期講到: 自自然然佛號從腦袋就生出來了,阿彌陀佛、阿彌陀佛,一句句,不念它也一樣。念的時候,聽得清清楚楚,念得清清楚楚,沒有雜念,沒有間斷。間斷是事情來了打個岔。斷了?沒有。你要跟人講話聊天,接電話,一樣做你的事,奇怪它不斷,不會斷的。斷了,那就是假的,沒有功夫了。它不會斷的。)

不懷疑,當然不懷疑是先決條件。如果懷疑念佛法門,懷疑任何修行法門,修不成。「懷疑」,是菩薩的大障礙。「精進」是菩薩的淨土。菩薩的淨土,建立在「精進」。菩薩一心救渡眾生想要快快成佛,圓滿「三身四智」。來救渡一切眾生,他要「精進」。「精進」力量,讓他無量劫修行如一剎那。

這「破一品無明,證一分法身」的法身大士,他們用功你看不出來的,他在遊戲神通當中用功,叫「無功用道」。「初地」 – 「歡喜地」他就得神通力。他就無功用道,一直到「阿鞞跋致」,就是阿惟越致菩薩。初地到等覺當中,四十一個品位,全部都是「精進」,這不得了。

今天凡夫念佛,能不能像他們那樣「精進」?可以。學,要學,學彷彿像他們,相似。但是你知道, 有一些名不見經傳的老太婆、老公公、男女老少,他們念佛「精進」,那「精進力」比等覺菩薩還厲害。

為什麼?得《阿彌陀佛四十八願》加持,得一切諸佛精進力加持。

所以他念到什麽程度?無念而念。這厲害。無念而念是「上乘」精進。「精進」分上、中、下,也分「三輩九品」。「下乘」精進是有概念有意思去做,你也去做。別人跟你講「參禪」很好、修密也好,不管它,你說我就念佛了,這是 「下乘」精進。

一句句佛號好好的念,有沒有念到破「無明」?還沒有,還早。

有沒「成片」?接近了。這是下乘。

「中乘」精進是斷了「見思煩惱」,斷了「見惑」、斷了「思惑」。什麽品位?阿羅漢 – 四果羅漢。中乘是「事一心不亂」。

剛剛講下品是「成片」,就是能夠二十四小時佛號不斷。煩惱雖沒斷,還沒有出三界,不過石頭壓草把煩惱壓住了,這是下品「精進」。

中品阿羅漢得到九次第定,超越四禪八定。超越以後,念佛「精進」。

一般阿羅漢要二萬大劫才回小向大,才走「大乘」的路子。辟支佛要一萬大劫才走「大乘」的路。如果他今天回心念佛,一劫都不要。真心念佛,剎那往生極樂世界,到「凡聖同居土」的上面,叫「方便有餘土」。「方便有餘」,那地方是「小乘」聖人呆的地方。如果你是初果須陀洹,你念佛,乘阿彌陀佛威神加持就到「方便有餘土」。到了那地方,「四土圓融」,沒有隔閡,這叫中品。

「上品」精進,就是剛剛講的,就像六祖大師「破一品無明,證一分法身」。有的是破了幾十品「無明」,證「法身」。如果他再念佛,加功進行念佛。不得了,「理一心不亂」,剎那成「圓教佛」。判教講「小、始、終、頓、圓」,「藏、通、別、圓」,他得「圓教」佛。

所以「圓教」佛,怎麼得最快?精進念佛。

在座各位,你們要想,你的心擺在那兒?你真學佛,不是要成佛?成佛最快的法門 – 精進念佛,不間斷。剛講過「真心念佛」不會斷。不會有個事來打個岔,就斷了,沒這種事。不夾雜,沒有雜念、妄想。剛剛講「三輩九品」 – 上中下,沒有雜念、妄想。到最上,就是破無明了。

不懷疑,沒有對一切諸佛的教誨,教你念佛,有過懷疑。沒有懷疑,這樣從凡夫地,只要生一個念頭,「我從今以後一句佛號念到底」,這叫作「精進」。很重要。

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