MASTER SHEN-LONG | Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 17
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Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 17

(Last week we ended with, “What is dysfunctional? The function of omniscient penetrative ability does not work.”)


The beginning three verses of the Heart Sutra state:

Having perfect insight of being master of one’s self Bodhisattva (like the status of Guan-Yin Bodhisattva Avalokitesvara) while practicing the profound Prajna Paramita initiates his omniscient penetrative ability with crystal clear perception that the nature of the Five Skandhas[1]are absent of inherent existence.

The omniscient penetrative ability is thorough penetration.  For example, currently I explain the Sutra and if I initiate the function of omniscient penetrative ability, then I perceive the thoughts of everyone here. Not only would I know, but if you also initiate your function of omniscient penetrative ability, then you will perceive not only my mind activation with arising thought, but also all others around you as well. Not only this, you would know the active minds with arising thoughts of the germs in the air, formless ghosts, and divine essences too.

This is for everyone to experience.  This kind of wisdom is not ordinary. Once the omniscient penetrative abilitymanifests, meaning that you know how to use it, then you are a “Bodhisattva”. Especially after eradication of the unenlightened condition, you can then be called a Mahasattva (the true self of the Buddha present within all beings). The Dharma (true) Body is the indestructible energy eternally without variation.

Da-Shi-Zi Bodhisattva (Mahasthamaprapta) states, “Buddha Bodhisattva who gives rise to the great aspiration for enlightenment, to improve oneself for benefiting others the Buddha-mind is Mahasattva”. How many levels are there? There are 41 levels. The highest one attains the Supreme Perfect Enlightenment stage as the Anuttara-Samyak-Sambodhi.

If today one recovers the “Great Perfect Mirror Wisdom”, one will treat all sentient beings equally.

Why? One would not judge the force of habits of all living beings; one only sees your inherent pure and undefiled essence.

Therefore, one can turn one’s Manas-consciousness where Manas is attachment, turning the stubborn attachment habits into “Wisdom in regarding all things as equal and universal” where all are equal; this is wisdom. This kind of equality never recedes for endless existence world-periods until you become Buddha.

After becoming a Buddha, all phenomena are equal; you see ants and mosquitoes as Buddha Bodhisattva, and also have infinite radiance—this is inconceivable. This inconceivableness is your innate and original ability, which is currently covered by your affliction.

After recovering your “Wisdom in regarding all things equally and universally”, your body and mind starts a kind of transformation where your discrimination disappears. After removal of discrimination then your “Wisdom of inconceivable insight and observation” is recovered. This “inconceivable” means incomprehensible by the human mind, and it is hard to describe with language and words.

What do we use this “wisdom of inconceivable insight and observation” for? It is to help all living beings of all kinds.

To help a herd of pigs, you must transform to be a pig. You must understand its living habits, thoughts and views. This is the Realm of the Animal. If you go to the Realm of the Hungry Ghost where one has habits of “greed, resentment, and ignorance, you must know how to help them by transforming yourself the same as they are not be affected by it.

Going to the Hell world, I trust some people here have recited the Sutra of the Universal Vows of Ksitigarbha Bodhisattvabefore. The conditions of Hell mentioned in this Sutra are only 1 of 10,000,000. There are too many. “Hell” is a place of spirit tormenting.

Di-Zang Bodhisattva (Ksitigarbha) stays in Hell to help all beings, what does he use to save them? He uses the “wisdom of inconceivable insight and observation”.

Otherwise, there is no way he can stay in Hell, not even a day. The crying sound of hell alone is hard to bear.

Does Hell exist? Yes, it exists.  It is different energy.

In the human world, does Hell exist? Yes, there are eight hot Hells and eight cold Hells. For instance, the eight icy coldest Hells are like that of the North Pole and Antarctica and the eight burning Hells are like that of the desert. But we unable to see them.

Once you become a Buddha, you have recovered “the Great Perfect Mirror of Wisdom”, and you will need to enlighten all living beings equally with all through using the “wisdom to regard all things equally and universally” to become the “wisdom of inconceivable insight and observation”, then all beings can be helped. The so-called helping is not like how the average person states, “We appeal to the Buddha, Buddha will protect us”. This is only one kind. Like the description in the Universal Gateway Chapter of the Lotus Sutraregarding all sentient beings, they all have a kind of phenomenon precisely in total equality. This kind of equality is not easy, is without discrimination between hell or heaven, without discrimination between Buddha or Mara (demon).

From the aspect of the living phenomena, we now talk about different living phenomena between germs and humans, different living phenomena between the human world and the heavenly realms, different living phenomena between the heavenly realms and the Bodhisattva world, and the living phenomena between Bodhisattva and Buddha that is manifold diversity. However, after you recover “the Great Perfect Mirror of Wisdom”, using the “Wisdom in regarding all things equally and universally” and then using the “Wisdom of inconceivable insight and observation” again, equally without exception, then all of you can help.

To help one to what extent? To help one to become Buddha. This is unimaginable!


[1]The Five Skandhas are the five composition elements of our existence including, all material phenomena, the feeling towards all material phenomena, the thoughts that start from feeling, the mental formation from thinking continuously, and consciousness.

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


(一)     無住和四智




















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