20 Jan 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?
卷 (九) 精進波羅密