MASTER SHEN-LONG | Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 143
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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. 

>>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: 有實際功夫以後,清淨、平等、覺就不退了。不退到了圓滿,到了百分之百,這叫成佛,叫佛。)

一切經典都是告訴你,怎麼樣把你的煩惱、執著拿掉。真正我們學佛,要想想時間,這一生能不能解決?能不能脫離輪迴?

這還是問題。今天你把思想觀念轉過來了,可以。問題是:

這一生能不能修得成功?今天能保證這一生修成?能保證你能活到幾千歲?

不可能。壽命是個問題。你要「精進」。很多人「精進」,壽命到了再見。在座前生也有發願的菩薩,沒有「見性」的。退轉。退轉也很「精進」。問題是到時候,壽終正寢,又轉世去了,沒有用。為什麼?他隨波逐流,一轉世什麼都忘了。

在座各位過去世都發過願,多多少少都做過菩薩,發過菩薩誓願:「眾生無邊誓願度」。沒有想到四弘誓願的「煩惱無盡誓願斷」,要先斷煩惱,再來渡眾。現在不是,煩惱都不斷,要來幫助眾生,這叫輪迴。

要想想,這可是很重要。要想想壽命那一天突然斷了,一切白幹。所以對生命沒有把握以前,不曉得那一天會掛,沒有把握以前,記住,要念佛。如果真心念,壽命無量,這就是阿彌陀佛為什麼要造極樂世界。因為極樂世界,壽命無量,一切無量。就是今天在地球沒有辦法完成,沒有關係,今天念佛,念到跟阿彌陀佛感應了、跟極樂世界感應了,到阿彌陀佛世界去修行,無量劫在那邊修行,沒事。安心在那修行。不僅安心修,還可以得阿彌陀佛的威神加持,分身無量,回來渡眾生。

雖然這邊一百年都很短,沒關係你不受限制。怎麼樣在所謂我們人間都不會死亡。達摩祖師到中國來,他已經九百歲,根本看不出來。現在很多佛菩薩,當年佛的弟子都留在世間,你見不到,他們是能量,都已經成佛。他能量回來,是化身來幫助眾生。就像我們現在沒成佛,可是念一句佛號往生極樂世界,我們一樣化身來幫助眾生。

我們這裡生命真的很短,在宇宙中灰塵都不如。剎那間我們的命就沒有了,又迷惑顛倒,去作別的夢去了。好不容易得個人身,到我們這世間來,好不容易來人間呼吸一下空氣,沒有多久又要下去。

如果你能體驗到生命短促,國土脆危。什麼叫國土脆危?天災人禍,一下給你翻個身,這個島沒有了,地層下陷全部沒有了。

你能體驗到這個,你念佛徹底解決「生老病死」,徹底解決無量無邊的煩惱執著。

如果你能體驗到這樣,那這叫「精進」;那一句句佛號不念自己念。為什麼?你的生命本體與慧命跟阿彌陀佛磁場接上了,念佛是這樣念的。觀念上清淨、平等、覺,這叫念佛、念覺。身體力行上跟阿彌陀佛極樂世界磁場打成一片了,這叫「圓成佛道」,就是圓滿成就覺悟的這個道。

今天一口氣講的這麼多,無非是希望各位,「真心念佛」才得受用。

要有誠心。「誠心念佛」有一個先決條件,你以什麼心、什麼觀念念佛?這很重要。如果你以清淨心、平等心、覺悟心、光明心念,那有用,跟極樂世界相應。如果以世俗觀念,是非、善惡、美醜、好壞、人我是非,沒有用的,念了也沒有用。

希望大家真的想要徹底解決自身煩惱,成佛以後再回來渡眾。你心裡面要想一想,時間很短暫。這一會,過去無量劫也發生過;這一生因緣到了,又聚會了。下一次還碰面,是不是無量劫後還碰面?還碰。

希望大家碰面都不是凡夫,全部都變成佛,都到極樂世界去。將來又變成凡夫,又回來講一遍,講無量劫,很有意思。

今天就講到這為止。

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