20 Jan Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 143
(Last week we ended with, “After having practical skills, then the state of “purity, equality and enlightenment” will not backslide. After never receding to reach to perfection as far as 100%, this is known as becoming Buddha. You are called Buddha.”)
All scriptures tell you how to get rid of your affliction and attachment. Genuinely, if we learn the Buddha’s way, we need to consider the time and whether can we resolve this in this lifetime? Can we break away from reincarnation? This is still a problem. Today, if you have turned your thinking concept around, then yes you can. The problem is:
Is it possible to attain this by practice successfully in this life term?
Today, can you guarantee practicing cultivation in this life to perfection?
Can you guarantee that you can live to several thousand years?
It is impossible because the life span is a problem. You need to be proficient diligence. Many people are proficient diligence, but when their life is up one must say goodbye. There are few who attained Bodhisattva status that had initiated the vow in previous lives, but had not beheld the Buddha-nature within oneself. They have turned back from the position they attained, and they were also awfully proficient diligence even when backsliding. The problem is that when life is up, dying in one’s own bed and returning to this life is no good. Why? One is unambitious and drifts with the tide. After transmigration, one forgets everything.
All of you had initiated the vow in previous lives, and were Bodhisattva to some extent before, to swear and vow as Bodhisattva as:
Sentient beings are innumerable, I vow to help them all.
But you did not consider “Afflictions are inexhaustible, I vow to end them all;” of the Four Universal Vows. You need to put an end to your own afflictions, come again to help all beings to cross. Nowadays, it is not this way. People do not get rid of their own affliction to help all beings; this is called “reincarnation”.
Think about it, this is particularly important. Think about your life when it stops suddenly one day and everything is for nothing. Therefore, before having any assurances regarding your life, if you do not know what day you will die, before you are sure remember to have mindfulness Amitabha. If you have mindfulness sincerely, you are infinite life. Therefore, Amitabha wants to build the Pure Land because life is infinite, everything is infinite in Amitabha Pure Land. Even today if you have problems to accomplish it on earth, it does not matter. Today if you have mindfulness Amitabha, until Amitabha moves to respond or Amitabha Pure Land moves to respond, you will go to the Amitabha world to cultivate. To cultivate there for infinite existence of world-periods, it is alright. You can set your mind at rest to cultivate there. It is not only with a peace of mind and you also have the awe-inspiring support of Amitabha, so you able to reproduce yourself with infinitude and anywhere, and to return to our world to help all beings.
Although the lifespan of 100 years in our world is noticeably short; it does not matter, you are unrestrained by this. Be that as it may, in this human world you will not experience death. The Patriarch Bodhidharma came to China and he is 900 years old but one cannot tell at all. Now there are many Buddha and Bodhisattva who are disciples of Shakyamuni Buddha who remain in our world, but you are unable to see them because they are in energy form and have already become Buddha. Their energy comes back; it is their transformation body that comes to help all beings. Just like we have not become Buddha yet, while we chant Amitabha to be reborn in the Amitabha Pure Land, we can also assume in human form or manifold other forms of appearances to help all beings.
Our life here is truly short, not equal to a dust particle in the cosmos. In a split second our life is gone, then again being deceived regarding reality, and gone to dream another dream. It is hard to get a human body to come into our world; finally come to the human world to breathe the air, it does not take long for you to go down again.
If you can experience that life is brief, the land is brittle and fragile. What does it mean the land is brittle and fragile? It refers to natural disasters (flood, drought, earthquake, etc.) and man-made calamities (fire, famine, war, or natural calamities, in addition to human calamity), the earth suddenly turns upside down, the island disappears, or the ground collapses, and everything is gone.
If you can experience this, your mindfulness Amitabha to resolve “birth, aging, sickness and death” thoroughly, to resolve the infinitely boundless afflictions and attachments thoroughly.
If you can experience this then it is called proficient diligence. That name of Amitabha even if you are non-mindfulness, naturally you will do it mindfully. Why? Your life essence and wisdom life links with Amitabha’s energy field and this is mindfulness Amitabha. Conceptually having purity, equality, and enlightenment is known as mindfulness Amitabha or mindfulness enlightenment. Besides practicing what we learned and integrating with the energy of Amitabha Pure Land this is called “perfectly complete the way of Buddha”, precisely it is the perfect accomplishment of the way to become enlightened.
Today, I have explained so much without even taking a break, it is nothing but wishing for everyone is able to have mindfulness Amitabha in sincerity; then and only then to receive it for use.
You must have sincerity. Mindfulness Amitabha with a sincere mind is already a prerequisite, what mind and concept do you use to have mindfulness Amitabha? This is especially important. If you are by means of pure mind, equal mind, enlightened mind, and bright mind to be mindful; that is useful, you unite with Amitabha Pure Land. If you are using the secular concepts with right versus wrong, good versus evil, beauty versus ugliness, advantageous versus disadvantageous, all kinds of disputes of gains and losses with the relationships between people, then it does not work, your mindfulness does not work.
I hope that everyone genuinely wants to thoroughly resolve your own afflictions, and after becoming Buddha, will come back here to help all beings. But you need to think that time is noticeably short. This time we meet has occurred over the past infinite existence world-periods. Our predestined relationship of this life has arrived, and we are getting together again. We shall meet again next time. Would we meet again after infinite existence of world-periods? Yes, we would. Hoping that we will meet again someday, if everyone is not unenlightened, all will become Buddha and go to the Amitabha Pure Land. In the future, when you are transformed into a common person again, you will come back to explain once again, or explain the countless existence of world-periods. This is remarkably interesting.
卷 (九) 精進波羅密