02 Sep Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 33
(Last week we ended with, “The School of Dhyana (Zen) Buddhism is about letting go. Even the habit of sleep must be let go; only then can you practice cultivation. There are no other special methods to enlightenment.”)
Some say that with the empowerment of Buddha on you, you can advance your cultivation level but only if you have attained a certain extent. The Surangama Sutra describes:
After you attained a certain extent in cultivation, then empowerment of Buddha Bodhisattva can assist your cultivation.
What is “empowerment of the Buddha Bodhisattva”? Their energy penetrates your body and mind daily, but you do not feel it. After gradually reduce your hindrances then you can feel it, this is called “empowerment of the Buddha Bodhisattva”. Furthermore, the pledged vow of Buddha Bodhisattva, their vow’s energy can offer empowerment.
Empowerment means to increase and to maintain. It does not mean he sees that you are good or radiates a light specifically and uses his supernatural ability to help you, there is nothing of this sort. “Supernatural power/ability” is Buddha’s self-enjoyment. To benefit others is possible, of course it is an emergency measure – as the person who has almost achieved enlightenment immediately, he stirs by manifesting phenomena for one to watch. oh, one sees that originally things are this way.
Like chanting (mindfulness) Amitabha to the state of “wholeheartedly concentrating your mind without any improper thoughts”, and seeing the Bliss World of Amitabha Pure Land, that is the empowerment of Amitabha’s supernatural power/ability. Same with Esoteric Buddhism to have “bodily unity in the form of worship, oral unity in chanting, and mental unity in faith where the three are in correspondence with the honored one”. For example, when you chant the Mantra of Wen-Shu Bodhisattva (Manjusri) and you see the image of Wen-shu Bodhisattva identical to that of the Mandala, this can increase your faith. He knows your habit of “greed, aversion, ignorance, arrogance and suspicion” are becoming less. If you persist, and still have piles of “greed, aversion, ignorance, arrogance and suspicion”, chanting 10,000 times or even one million times more would not work.
It is the same with Pure Land Buddhism. If you want to meet with Amitabha Buddha all day long it does not work, he will not manifest. Your mind is chaotic. If you can gradually regard the worldly affairs as unimportant, it is very relaxing. Chanting (mindfulness) Amitabha also will be very relaxed, and with regards to all matters it is as if nothing happens. When the occasion arises, you will see him and even when seeing him you will also unlikely to get overly excited. In addition, when telling people everywhere you had seen so and so Buddha, you would not be overly excited. Inside your mind emerges a feeling free from anxiety and very joyous, without irritable phenomena for 24 hours. Others do not know that your mind is with mirror-like clarity, staying in radiance with the imperturbable stillness of mind control.
What is radiance that we need to be clear with?
For instance, during the evening it is dark outside, but when you are radiant in mind, you have clarity about all phenomena either above the sky, below the sky, underground and left or right. This is our inherent ability, everyone has it even dogs and cats have it.
About small animals, why are some animals able to see at night? This is their retribution for being an animal in this life. It is the same as being a ghost who has already recovered their original five Supernatural abilities (out of the six) but has many afflictions. However, having those five Supernatural abilities one is able to see everything. There are some ghost spirits attached to psychics to help people, so they can see things. This is our original ability, only it is very limited.
Basically, if you are truly disillusioned with all phenomena and let go, then your Dharma Body, Transformation Body and Reward Body will manifest. You have no need to be concerned whether if you have a Dharma Body, Reward Body or Transformation Body. The main path is one path to cultivation, and one is on this path without any barrier. How to be without any barrier? It all depends on you. If you think that there is no barrier, and then there will not be any barrier. If you have truly let go, then there is no barrier. If you have problems of letting go, there is no other way. Some people say: “I am lucky to run into a wise person today, he has taught me a method.” Right. But you need to do it per one’s instruction. If you do not follow it, then you are incapable to attain the result forever.
Today in modern society, most people have mental illnesses, which is just my direct way of speaking. Due to their psychological lack of independence, after a period it will develop into a kind of illness. What kind of illness? They have no confidence in themselves.
If you are learning Buddha’s way and have no confidence, then all is finished. Some people have often commented: “I am not Amitabha; I do not have confidence of success by chanting (mindfulness) Amitabha, or do not know about what my future will be like?” This shows that he is in a dilemma. Indeed, because he is unclear about himself.
Why? He does not understand the true facts about the universe. You try to explain to him, but he does not believe your words. This shows he does not have virtuous roots which means in previous lives he did not experience enlightenment. In this life, he is influenced by worldly erroneous knowledge to be clever and quick-witted. He has extreme world knowledge, he enjoys arguing and resorts to petty tricks. After a long duration of time, he becomes abnormal, turning into a machine – a small computer.
What function does this small computer have? When asking for piles of information from him, he searches all out. Asking him to search information to become Buddha, he finds out for you.
Would he follow the information to do so?
Would he know how to use that information?
Would he practice cultivation accordingly?
No, one will not. This is the problem with the modern people.
Shakyamuni Buddha spoke about our era being this way 3,000 years ago:
During the age of degenerate and extinction of Buddha Teaching, heterodox teachers explain the teaching will be as numerous as the Ganges River sands, India.
Heterodox teachers are those who do not have right (Buddha) understanding and right (Buddha) views.
What is known being without the “right (Buddha) understanding and right (Buddha) views”? Those who have not seen the true facts about the universe, cultivate blindly and practice groundlessly, these kinds of phenomena are as countless as the sand of the Ganges River.
Have any one of you been to the Ganges River in India? If you go travel, you will see the fine sands of the Ganges River which is fine like wheat-flour powder.
It is hard to think of quantities as much as the sand of the Ganges River. This indicates many have no understanding of Buddha teaching. No understanding then it generates reincarnation phenomena.
心經 卷(二) 法、化、報三身
「加」是增加，「持」是保持，是這意思。不是說他看你很好，特別放光，用神通幫你。沒有這事的。「神通」是自受用。他受用可以，那是非常手段 – 就是這人馬上快成就了，給他撥一下，顯一顯現象給他看；喔！原來是這樣。
淨土宗也是一樣。淨土宗, 你一天到晚想見阿彌陀佛，沒用的，他不會現前; 心都亂了。如果你能漸漸把世俗事情看淡，很輕鬆；念佛也很輕鬆，什麼事情好像沒有發生一樣，有機會你就見到。見到也不會大驚小怪，還跟人到處講我看到某某佛了，不會。你心裡面產生一種感覺，很踏實、很歡喜，沒有急躁的現象，二十四小時都如此。外面人不知道，你心裡是清清楚楚，定在光明之中。
佛陀 – 釋迦牟尼佛在三千年前就講過，我們這時代就是這樣。「末法時期，邪師說法如恆河沙。」邪師是沒有正知、正見。