02 Sep Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 58
(Last week we ended with, “After your mind is fixed and undisturbed, it is easy in four cardinal behaviors—walking, stopping (abiding), sitting and lying down every day. The sense of responsibility and pressure slowly fades. Not only is the pressure gone, but the pressure of responsibility is gone. People become relaxed and after becoming relaxed, you can truly be responsible, and there is no pressure in responsibility.”)
Remember this, Buddha teaching is neither escaping from reality nor evading the solution of a problem by walking away from it. Do not be fascinated by television drama series, general worldly ideas, or external appearance of present-day Buddhism; it is not like this. The authentic one who has left home and become a monk or nun, become like everyone, a layman or woman or to renounce the secular life; after leaving the home of affliction, eradicating the unenlightened condition, and seeing the truth about the universe is called one who has left home and become a monk or nun. This is the definition.
Prajna appears other than everyday life. In the course of true practice, it will enhance your own cognitive sphere. Only yourself knows this sphere. After your eradication of the unenlightened condition, you will not be confused forever, at that time it is considered true practice. Bodhisattva of the Functional Teachings School whose highest attainment reaches the “Dry (or unfertilized) Wisdom stage”- the first of the ten stages. Many Bodhisattvas of the Functional Teachings School after attainment to this stage then regress. Why does one backslide? One is confused again.
All of you were possible Bodhisattvas before the faraway existence of world-periods, only you have not eradicated the unenlightened condition. There are many kinds of Bodhisattvas; once you have eradicated the unenlightened condition, you will never regress from the position attained. The one who arouses the mind of intention to achieve enlightenment and cultivates Bodhisattva practices would not backslide. To cultivate Bodhisattva practices, one must eradicate the unenlightened condition; solely to be ordained with Bodhisattva Precepts (the rules found in the Brahmajala Sutra) that does not work. After ordained with the Bodhisattva Precepts, one has eradicated the unenlightened condition as a true Bodhisattva. It is called a Mahasattva (great beings) with Dharma Body; then one beholds the Dharma Body’s “essence”. After beholding the essence of the Dharma Body, then one has Dharma Body’s “phenomenal characteristics” and “function”; only until then one enters the insight of all as the absence of inherent existence, then it is truly received for use.
Considering the teaching of the Buddhism sect, everyone should go back to study these cultivation steps. If you have a dictionary of Buddhism or Buddha teaching methods such as these tool books of Buddhist studies, you need to examine them. These cultivation steps are important, such as the 10 grades of the Bodhisattva faith, 10 grades of spiritual characteristics attained, 10 grades of lines of action, 10 grades of dedications (merit transference to save all living beings) and 10 stages – realizing intrinsic truth with unmoved mind; such as these all needs to be understood.
Everyone has mistaken Buddha teaching as doing good deeds and being a good person; this is a misconception. The Buddha teaching is the first step to resolve the problem of life and death. If you can resolve life and death this is the starting of enlightenment. Therefore, within the nature of the absence of inherent existence carries the unrea called the insight of all as unreal.
Unreal is all phenomenal characteristics unified together; as mentioned in the Diamond Sutra:
Every item of the world all is completed by the synergy of numerous natural affinities, or combined form.
A combined form, for example: like a car or a house; it is an assembly of parts. After we take apart the parts, it is no longer a car or house, just a bunch of parts; after we take apart all the parts, then there is nothing left.
In the insight of all as unreal, you should observe where do the mountains, rivers, earth, cosmos, and planets come from? As I have just mentioned before, it comes from the modes of existence, it is from:
One thought of the unenlightened condition arises three extremely fine conceptions; and the object perceived which serves as the affinity occasion to manifest six common concepts
Even though it appears, we see the materiality. Especially like rocks and stones, when we touch and hold it in our hands, is it not solid and real? Of course, when you poke yourself with it you will feel pain. However, that is unreal. You break it down, perform analysis, grind it into powder form and finally into dust. Further grinding of the dust, in the end it becomes the sense of space. I want to let everyone know even space is also unreal. Dhyana (Zen) Buddhism emphasizes to shatter the existence of open space (the great doubt). So, the existence of open space also can be shattered, precisely as we talked about space and time is deceitful. Space and time are absolutely unreal. Modern science has already proven this. When increasing speed, space and time will change. Dimensional space from the 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th dimensions and higher are changing to curved lines. The school of Buddhism states: Space and time do not exist. Buddha has fully attained the levels to the most extreme wisdom, pureness, the true facts of the universe; therefore, he has seen it and will never be deluded by the phenomena of the universe eternally. Undeluded by it, moreover he can control over the universe, surpassing the universe, so much so that he generates a universe. Generating a universe is precisely the insight of all as unreal – the supernatural existence is truly the absence of inherent existence. The supernatural existence is precisely unreal.
Why adding a word of “supernatural” to the existence? It means inconceivable, beyond the description by words.
This kind of inconceivable sphere is what kind? For example: there are candles in front of me, where the candle flame burned the candle on one side. If you apply inconceivable sphere to view this candle, countless beings are reincarnating in this candle. There are infinitely boundless worlds going through the moments of “creation, duration, dissolution and state of being dissolved” in the candle. Just like the Flower Adornment Sutra states:
One can turn the great wheel of Dharma (transmit Buddha teaching) within a pore of hair.
Within this candle, there are Buddha Bodhisattva to help all beings. Although the candlelight will be extinct after this expounding finish, when it becomes extinct means it dies out of the object. Through the stages of “creation, duration, dissolution and state of being dissolved”. This candle is only lit for the duration of this Sutra explaining for about 90 or 105 minutes; its life span is only this short time. When the candle gets relit next time, there will be new beings in there.
I ask you, where are these beings from? They came through metamorphosis and manifestation, through the four forms of birth:
- Viviparous, as with mammals,
- Oviparous, as with birds,
- Moist or water-born, as with worms and fishes,
- Metamorphic, as with moths from the chrysalis, or devas, or in the hells, the first beings in a newly evolved world.
In total, there are twelve categories of manifestation described in the Surangama Sutra. After one is deluded, it manifests from the spirituality. Presently, science has not been able to prove this kind of manifestation. Why? The scientific instruments are too rough, furthermore the instruments often have shortcomings. If one of the links does not connect properly, then it becomes defective. But when you are deeply immersed in the profundity of Samadhi (meditative concentration), you can see these delicate and subtle transformations.
卷 (四 ) 空、假、中三觀