MASTER SHEN-LONG | Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 41
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Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 41

(Last week we ended with: “Therefore, Buddhist scriptures also mentioned there are 84,000 methods to help all living beings; the number represents infinite beings, since everyone has different attachments we need to find a summarized method to help them.”)


Since all are different in disposition, everyone’s attachments are different. The way of thinking, ideas, and concept are the essence; the way of doing and speaking precisely reveals everyone’s mental and physical activities. These mental and physical activities show one’s entire energy phenomena.

We observe from here:

What kind of encounter may I have?

Where I will be the next life?

You even know. Just watching the thinking and conduct then you know. If it goes any further:

Gradually you understand your previous incarnation, what had you done before?

What kind of karmic-retribution will you receive in this life?  Very clear.

Doing what in the next life? Also, very clear.

You become more and more clear, at the end you see a phenomenon that turns out that life is but a dream – an unreal dream. However, the dream is neither good nor bad; it is only a continuous phenomenon, precisely that “mental formation” as the thought is unceasing spread which is one of the five compositional elements of our existence – “all material phenomena, feelings, thinking, mental formations and consciousness”. In that case, you slowly experience for yourself this kind of phenomena, step by step penetrating deeply, until the end:

Initiating your omniscient penetrative ability with crystal clear perception that the nature of the Five Skandhas[1] are the absence of inherent existence.

The five composition elements of our existence (as all material phenomena, the feeling towards all material phenomena, the thoughts that starts from feeling, the mental formation from thinking continuously, and consciousness) all are non-existent.

A moment ago we explained the essence of Prajna:

Prajna is omniscient and knows all the answers.

We continue the explanation about the “Phenomenal Characteristics“. Before explaining “phenomenal characteristics”, I shall draw an analogy:

The essence of Prajna is Surangama.

What does Surangama mean?  This is a Sanskrit term; it is a kind of imperturbable stillness of mind control of our original life essence light of wisdom. This kind of imperturbable stillness of mind control one does not lose eternally. If there is opportunity in the future to explain the Surangama Sutra, then we can go further into the details but today, we will only summarize in general.

Surangama, everyone has it; this is our inherent self-nature Samadhi, it is the imperturbable stillness of mind control within our Buddha-nature, regardless of how many times you transmigrate through cyclic existence and will not lose it.

What is the best way to relate to this power of the imperturbable stillness of mind control? Using Prajna. In the Surangama Sutra: Ananda (disciple and attendant to Shakyamuni Buddha, also his cousin) searched seven locations for his mind and none of them were right. At last, the Buddha showed him. Where is the mind?

The mind pervades over the existence of space and everywhere in the universe, it is omnipresent; in addition, the mind exists no phenomenal characteristic, it can manifest all kinds of phenomena. 

In other words, the mind does not have any way of being, however it can manifest myriad affairs and all things of the universe.  All living things are manifested from our inherent Buddha-nature, this is what the Surangama Sutra about. It explains how we become deluded, and afterwards it tells you that everyone has a true mind, and everyone possesses this kind of unimpeded true wisdom of being the master of oneself and self-enjoyment. Therefore, I explain that the Prajna essence uses the Surangama Samadhi to express, and acts as an emblem.

I just explained “the essence”. Using what to express the “phenomenal characteristic”? Using the Flower Adornment Sutra (Sanskrit: the Mahavaipulya Buddhavatamsaka Sutra)—the full title: The Sutra of the Great, Omni-directional and Extensive of the Buddha’s Flower Adornment 大方廣佛華嚴經.

Great means illumination all-inclusively, not an area left out by mistake, throughout all space and pervades the whole universe, it is called “Vairocana” – that is omnipresent, and that is called “Great”.

Omni-directional means to establish directions piercing through the past, present and future.

Extensive means space, and everywhere all-inclusively where the Buddha-nature can reach.

We know the entire universe is merely a droplet of the Buddha nature, the Buddha-nature encompasses all called the “Great, Omni-directional and Extensive”.

Flower represents by the lotus flower. Lotus flowers exist with cause and effect simultaneously. The flower opens with the seeds of the lotus in the center. The “flower” represents the maturation or effect, precisely the “cause”. What is the effect? It is the result from karmic retribution of the law of cause and effect. Cause and effect are concurrent, indicating that the Buddha-nature has never been lost. Presently, every one of us is like the lotus bud, still in the muddy water same as the lotus root in the mud but has not yet germinated. Why? Because there is no Prajna. It grows slowly and grows out of the water.

[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


()   般若的體、相、用  

(上星期講到: 所以經典上也講八萬四千法。渡眾生有八萬四千法 – 表示很多;眾生無量,每個人執著不同,要找出一個歸納法來幫助他。)








越來腦筋越清楚,最後你就會看到一個現象,原來人生是一場夢 – 假的夢。可是夢並不是善、不是惡,只是一種現象的連續現象,就是「色、受、想、行、識」的那個「行」 – 念頭不斷的流行。那你慢慢體驗到這種現象,一步步深入,深入到最後「照見五蘊皆空」- 色、受、想、行、識不存在了。




《首楞嚴》每位眾生都有,這叫「本來性定」, 我們佛性中的定力,怎麼輪迴,不會失掉它。


「心」在那裡?   遍虛空,遍法界,無所不在,處處都在,而且心無相,無所不相。就是說「心」沒有任何相狀,可是它可以變現出宇宙的萬事萬物。一切萬物是我們原來佛性變的,《楞嚴經》就是講這個。講我們怎麼會迷的,然後告訴你每個人都有真心,每個人都有真正的自在、受用的這種無罣、無礙的智慧。所以我就講「般若體」以『首楞嚴定』為一個表示,為一個象徵性。

剛剛講「體」。「相」以什麼為表示?以《華嚴經 – 大方廣佛華嚴經》。

大,是無所不照,沒有一個地方是漏的,盡虛空、遍法界沒有一個地方是漏的,叫毘盧遮那。毘盧遮那就是遍一切處,那叫   「大」。

方,是指方立向,時間 – 過去、現在、未來全部貫穿。



華,是以蓮花做代表。蓮花是「因果同時」,那個花開了,蓮子  在中間,那個實就是果實。「花」表示報 – 就是「因」。「果」是什麼?就是因果業報那個果 – 結果。「因果同時」,表示佛性沒有失去過。現在,每個人就像花苞,蓮花還在汚泥當中,在蓮藕的汚泥當中,還沒有發芽。為什麼?還沒有「般若」。慢慢長,長出水面了。

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