29 Jun Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 6
[Series of Master Shen-Long expounding on Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra]
(Last week we ended with, “Besides, merit and virtue cannot be attained by doing; it must be initiated from seeking no gain in mind”.)
Returning to our main topic, seeking no gain is too difficult. Our modern generation, how is it possible that you request them to “seek no gain”. Specially, modern education teaches all to seek gain; therefore, “having gain” changes the human mind. You, who seeks gain for a long while, will emerge with greed. After a long period under the state of greed, one becomes confused. After being confused, one starts to have delusional thought, discrimination and attachment.
During that time, Bodhidharma passed the method of Samadhi (the one-pointedness of the mind), precisely it is “this moment”.
What is “this moment”? It is now, at this instant moment, you are without delusional thought, attachment and discrimination.
This is the teaching of Buddha; others are religion. Religion is considered to be comprised of external marks and is artificial.
What is the Buddha teaching? It is your inherent pure fundamental essence. That is the Buddha teaching, the teaching of enlightenment.
The pure fundamental essence manifests from where? It manifests precisely within one’s “eyes, ears, nose, mouth, body and mind” to produce the “sight, sound, smell, taste, touch and idea”; it manifests in our daily life.
Many people state; how to practice cultivation? It is simply by removing the external marks of religion; and to clearly understand its theories and methods.
All religions can be summarized in one condition: purified of defiling illusion.
Before Buddhism was transmitted to China there was Daoism, which emphasized peacefulness and inaction. Also, there was Confucianism, which emphasizedWealth and honors are to me as floating clouds. It is also a state of peacefulness and inaction. After Buddhism transmitted, then Dhyana (Zen) Buddhism was also transmitted, and the Sixth Patriarch integrated all and became the Patriarch Dhyana (Zen) School.
The Dhyana (Zen) school can be divided into two schools:
- Tathagata Dhyana (Zen) Buddhism, from Shakyamuni Buddha transmitted downto the 28th Patriarch – Bodhidharma.
- Patriarch Dhyana (Zen) Buddhism, from Bodhidharma transmitted down to the Sixth Patriarch Hui-Neng.
As a matter of fact, both are one with regards to purity, equality, enlightenment and compassion.
Therefore, when speaking of Prajna (wisdom), the day you are purified of defiling illusion and have the pure natural way of behaving in harmony with the true nature of all things, then it is exactly called Prajna; this is known as wisdom.
In this case, during the time the Sixth Patriarch became enlightened, let us talk about this fundamental essence. That very same year he became enlightened at the age of 24. People say that the day you become enlightened, you retain the eternal appearance of that age. To become enlightened at 5 years old, one looks like a child; the Sixth Patriarch was at the age of 24. Even though he reached 60 years old, he kept the look and appearance of a 24 year old. If you go to Nan-Hua Monastery in China, go visit the full body relic of Master Hui-Neng, this is the testimony he left behind. Although his soul left, his body remains unspoiled.
That is inconceivable, why? To explain in a modern way, it is the energy. His energy has not changed, and has no fluctuations.
No fluctuations. Strangely, one’s body will generate what kind of transformation? It generates the state of being the master of one’s self.
As stated at the beginning of the Heart Sutra:
To have perfect insight of being the master of one’s self.
Where is this being the master of one’s selffrom?
It does not mean that you do not care about anything, no. It means that all phenomena of “birth, aging, sickness, and death” of life in the universe and the living phenomena of all sentient beings are thoroughly understood by you. This is being the master of one’s self.
Islam also emphasizes that you cannot have thought movement.
What is thought movement? No thought of “killing, stealing or excessive lust attachment”. But nowadays, some modern Muslims do not follow this teaching and they distort the meaning.
From the aspect of religion, they also talk about no thought movement, let alone the education of the enlightenment way. Therefore, I say Buddhism is an enlightenment education. All religions are a form of education. Since it is education, then you should know what does it teach.
We need to think, worship Buddha, and chant the name of Buddha daily:
What kind of phenomena are we worshipping?
What mindfulness are you having?