MASTER SHEN-LONG | Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 133
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Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 133

(Last week we ended with, “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.”)   

Everyone needs to think about it, why have you cultivated yourself in right practice for so long and are still unable to be in the state of proficient diligence

 Most of us are progressing in a mixed or confusing way, or even fallback and are not advancing. In fact, regarding the truth of the universe we are not clear. In addition, there is no clear idea of why you are learning the Buddha’s way. When I explained the Sutra talked about this before, many people asked me: “How can I progress in the state of proficient diligence

I only ask one: “You come to learn the Buddha’s way, what are you here for? Are you here to learn the Buddha’s way, to seek supernatural ability, or are you still seeking the blessing of wellness, or are seeking wisdom? What are you seeking?
Many people say: “I ask for wisdom, I come for the blessing of wellness."

No one said to be a Buddha. There was none. Here is a story, we know the great Master, the Sixth Patriarch Hui-Neng of Zen Buddhism. He was very well-known in Chinese Buddhism, no one does not know who he is. He went to see the Fifth Patriarch Hong-Ren, and the Sixth Patriarch was illiterate. What is an illiterate? A countryman who chops wood that nobody looked up to him. Especially in the feudal society of the Tang dynasty, they looked down on common people (like peddlers and carriers of the lower class). 

When he went to pay his respect to the Fifth Patriarch, the Fifth Patriarch asked him: "Why did you come to our Monastery? What are you seeking?"
Hui-Neng said: “No, I have come to become a Buddha.” 

His answer truly shocked. The Fifth Patriarch thought about it that his successor had arrived. 

With so many master hands in the Monastery of Zen Buddhism; here is this illiterate person who is not good looking and comes to the Monastery and states he want to become a Buddha; never heard of this. 

The Fifth Patriarch then said: “I see, you go to the kitchen to help.” 

A person like you who wants to hear the Sutra explanation is impossible. Your position is to help in the kitchen, or to exert oneself like before doing a grinding job like grinding wheat in a mill powered by a donkey. 

After this, the Fifth Patriarch wanted to transmit the Buddha truth. The so-called transmitting the Buddha truth is equivalent to passing on his physical and mental experiences to his apprentice. It will be interesting later when it comes to transmitting the Buddha truth. 

As it turns out there was a chief disciple of the Fifth Patriarch whose name is Shen-Xiu. All of the following thousands of disciples here all say that Shen-Xiu certainly attains the Buddha truth. Then the unthinkable happened: 
The Fifth Patriarch made an announcement: “All my disciples, your experience sphere in learning, write in a poem format and present it to me. If one has truly experienced and I approve, one will be the next Patriarch.” 
Shen-Xiu wrote a poem and presented it to the Fifth Patriarch:
The body is a Bodhi tree, 
The mind likes a clear mirror stand. 
At all times polish it diligently,
Let no dust alight.  

The Fifth Patriarch said: “No, this person has not beheld the Buddha-nature within oneself.”      

This spread around the Monastery. Hui-Neng heard it, and asked: “What did Shen-Xiu (the head monk) write?” 

Others read it out to him, and then Hui-Neng said: “I also have a poem as well.” 

That person said: “You have one? What poem do you have?”  

The Bodhi (the enlightened mind) does not have the idea of tree, 
The clear mirror (wisdom) also is not a stand. 
Originally there is not a single thing,
 Where can dust (afflictions) be provoked!

The person who listened was shocked, he then recited the poem loudly in front of the public and everyone was shocked. 

The Fifth Patriarch also said: “This person has not beheld the Buddha-nature within oneself.” 

Why? In that era if you said the Sixth Patriarch Hui-neng awakened to the truth, people would kill him. Especially during the feudal era, who are you (person in such a low class). It was extremely dangerous under Imperial power. For Hui-Neng’s protection, the Fifth Patriarch did not speak out. In the middle of the night, the Fifth Patriarch met with the Sixth Patriarch Hui-Neng, He said: “Be careful. Someone wants to chase and kill you, go quickly.” 

So, you must think, this case-record is for all eternity; why was the Sixth Patriarch able to attain enlightenment? 

>>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: 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。)

各位要想想,修行為什麼這麼久不能「精進」?    

大部分都是雜進、亂進,甚至於退步了,不進。實際上對於宇宙真相沒有搞清楚。還有對於為什麼學佛,沒有搞清楚。

以前講經的時候講到,有很多人問我:「怎麼樣才能精進?」

我只問他一句話:「你來學佛,是來幹嘛的?你是來:學佛?求神通?還是求保佑平安?還是求智慧?你是求什麽?」                          

很多人跟我講:「我要求智慧,我來求保佑平安。」           

沒有一個人說求成佛。沒有。這裡要講個故事,我們知道禪宗六祖大師在中國佛教界非常、非常知名的,沒有那個不認識他。他當時去見五祖弘忍禪師的時候,六祖是個不認識字的人,就是我們現在講文盲。什麼叫文盲?鄉下人,是個劈柴的,誰瞧得起。尤其唐朝封建社會,那瞧得起販夫走卒。

他去見五祖,五祖問他:「你到我們寺院來幹什麼?你來求什麽?」

他說:「不是,我來成佛的。」

真是嚇一跳,五祖想想接班的人已經來了。

以前禪宗的寺院多少高手,這沒有識字的人,長得其貌不揚,到我寺院來說要成佛,聽都沒聽過。

五祖就說:「好,你到廚房去幫忙。」

想來聽經,不可能的。像你這種地位,廚房幫忙。到廚房去,廚房去磨磨,像以前一個小驢磨磨,在那裡磨了,出力去了。

後來五祖要傳法。所謂傳法,就是等於把他身心體驗的事情傳給徒弟,這是傳法。等下會講到傳法的時候,多有意思。五祖原來有一個大弟子叫神秀。所有下面幾千個徒眾都說神秀一定得法。結果沒想到:

五祖說:「你們把你們體驗到的境界,寫首詩呈上來給我看。如 果是體驗到了,我認可了,就傳。」                   

神秀就講:「身是菩提樹,心如明鏡台,時時勤拂拭,莫使惹塵 埃。」寫了這麼一首詩呈上去。

五祖說:「沒有見性。」

什麼是「見性」?就是見到佛性。

六祖惠能聽到這個事,就問說:「神秀上座,他寫了什麼?」

人家就講給他聽,他說:「我也有一首詩。」

那個人說:「你也有?你寫什麼詩?」

菩提本非樹,明鏡亦非台,本來無一物,何處惹塵埃。

聽的人都嚇一跳,他把這詩念一遍,當著大眾面念,全部人都嚇 一跳。                                                  

五祖也說:「沒有見性。」

為什麼?那個時代,如果你說六祖惠能悟道了,人家會把他殺掉的。那封建時代,你是什麼東西;那種皇權時代還得了。為了保護他,不講。結果半夜,五祖跟六祖惠能見面,他說:「你小心!有人要追殺你,你趕快走。」

所以各位要想,這是千古公案,為什麼六祖能覺悟?

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