02 Sep Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 66
(Last week we ended with, “Even the Universal Enlightenment Bodhisattvas (Samyak-Sambodhi) like Guan-Yin (Avalokitesvara), Da-Shi-Zi (Great- Strength – Mahasthamaprapta), Wen-Shu (Manjushri) and Pu-Xian (Samantabhardra) all want to go to the Bliss World of Amitabha Pure Land, let alone us, the common ones. This is their performance.”)
From the three Bodies of “Dharma, Transformation, and Reward” to see the “essence, phenomenal characteristics and function”; the “essence, phenomenal characteristics and function” one enter into the absolute fundamental reality through the three insights of all as no phenomenon, unreal and the middle way in daily life. If you have a problem entering the absolute fundamental reality then your cultivation of the three insights “all as no phenomenon, all as unreal and the middle way” will be in vain.
What is “absolute fundamental reality”? It is the true facts about the life of the universe; the apex of reality, the true phenomenon. The true phenomenon is precisely, that every one of us is Amitabha inherently. If you can truly see it, this means you have comprehended and experienced entry into the Buddha-truth. You can truly use the infinite radiance to act as enjoyment to your livelihood, to help yourself and others. This is named as a “Buddha or a Bodhisattva”.
All of you do not be superstitious, Buddha and Bodhisattva are not for you to worship him to send you a refrigerator or a car; no, it is not that way. After you recover your original pureness and brightness, you are called Buddha or Bodhisattva, a person who is enlightened and can help all beings. In “the World of the Lotus Treasury” (Hua-Zang Buddha World) it shows 53 studies being performed by Sudhana on his quest for enlightenment. These 53 studies, the first one was to learn from the superior Buddhist Monk De-Yun, and the last one was to learn from the Ten Universal Vows of Pu-Xian Bodhisattva (Samantabhadra) to lead and return to the Bliss World of Amitabha Pure Land. We explained this a lot last time. It expresses a teaching and tells you that to become Buddha in one’s life is more effective then studying the Dharma Flower Sutra (Lotus Sutra). To become Buddha in one’s life is precisely by chanting Amitabha as the “cause” and becoming Amitabha as the “effect”.
The Lotus Sutra is incomparable to the method of chanting (mindfulness) Ambitabha. We are not involved with the Lotus Sutra. Why? It is the cognitive sphere of Mahasattva (great beings) with Dharma Body.
Chanting (mindfulness) Amitabha is our original role, which we can do in every second. So, the method of chanting (mindfulness) Amitabha is the number one method to enlightenment. All Buddha praise it to be the number one method among all other methods.
The Lotus Sutra states:
There is only the one vehicle method, there is neither two nor three (vehicles).
That statement is aimed at the Mahasattva (great beings) with Dharma Body and is not aimed at us – the common ones. Therefore, all of you should not have any misinterpretation. Most of the great scriptures are not aimed at the common people. There is only the Buddha speaks of Amitabha Sutra and the Infinite Life Sutra which are aimed at us, the common ones. Sutras like the Maha-Prajnaparamita Sutra ascribed to Nagarjuna by Kumarajiva, the Maha-Prajanaparamita-Sutra, the Diamond Sutra, the Lotus Sutra, the Flower Adornment Sutra, the Sutra of Perfect Enlightenment—all of those Sutras are not aimed at us. People can read about it, but those Sutra texts are aimed at Mahasattva who have already attained the Dharma Body.
However, we only need to chant Amitabha to become Buddha which surpasses those who have attained Mahasattvas. From the surface, it seems that the method of “chanting Amitabha to becoming Buddha” is not as good as the Lotus Sutra. But if you penetrate deeply to read the Lotus Sutra, it is inferior to the method of chanting Amitabha because the Lotus Sutra does not meet and receive all beings. The method of chanting Amitabha can meet and receive all beings. It is the marvelous function of Amitaba, no way to describe but praising only!
About the Flower Adornment Sutra, at first glance it surpasses the “method of chanting (mindfulness) Amitabha” but in fact it is inferior to the “method of chanting (mindfulness) Amitabha”.
About the Surangama Sutra, can we be part of it? No, we are not qualified yet.
Surangama requires a person to eradicate one grade of the unenlightened condition, to confirm one grade of Dharma Body. We are not there yet. On the surface, the Surangama Sutra appears to surpass the “method of chanting (mindfulness) Amitabha”, but in fact “the method of chanting (mindfulness) Amitabha” is the true number one method, the supreme method to help all. In that case, how can all of you improve your cultivation practice to be competent? It is very simple; when afflictions and attachment arise, you chant Amitabha to wipe it away. It is to replacing remove affliction and attachment with the name of Amitabha. You do not need to be concerned whether the name of Amitabha is useful or not. For example, when afflictions arise again out of greedy desires, you know it and are very clear, and immediately chant Amitabha to remove it. The Great Master Yin-Guang once said:
When rising a deluded thought, one must put an end to it immediately.
How do you put an end to it? Chanting Amitabha. This is the true method for us to benefit from. There are also other methods, but it is too difficult for the common ones to practice. Why? Because our minds are extremely distracted for 24 hours non-stop. It is in a perturbed state of mind from waking up in the morning to dreaming in the evening non-stop for 24 hours. The subconscious mind is like boiling water, and it is boiling for 24 hours. Other methods must stop the water, the fire must be extinguished, and the fluctuations are gone. Water is like a mirror, reflecting the image of the moon. Seeing it, but the moon in the water is not real. If the true self-nature of yours is like the moonlight and like the sun light, you would have attainment. It is difficult! However, chanting (mindfulness) Amitabha is different, chanting Amitabha is putting the true moon in your self-nature to radiate light naturally. Using the true “Infinite Light” to be your “cause”, when you chant (mindfulness), the future “effect” is the genuine “Infinite Light”. Everyone must be clear with this, the most fundamental emphasis in Buddhism is “cause and effect”, to plant which kind of “cause or seed” will have what kind of “effect or fruition”.
卷 (四 ) 空、假、中三觀
(上星期講到: 連等覺菩薩 – 觀音、勢至、文殊、普賢，都要到極樂世界去，何況我們凡夫。這是表演。)
你講《楞嚴》，我們有沒有份？沒有份。《楞嚴》是「破一品無明，證一分法身」，沒有的。表面上看《楞嚴》超過「念佛法門」；實際上「念佛法門」是真正第一法門，渡生第一大法門 – 念佛法門。 既然如此，各位修行怎麼樣修才能得力？很簡單，煩惱、執著來，念一句佛號把它打掉。把煩惱、執著拿掉，換成一句佛號。你不要管佛號有沒有用。譬如：煩惱來了，又起貪念了，曉得了，自己很清楚，念阿彌陀佛打掉。
怎麼消滅？念佛。這個是我們真正可以受用的法門。其他法門實際上對我們這些凡夫來說太難。為什麼？我們心太亂了，二十四小時沒有停過。七上八下，從早上起床到晚上作夢，二十四小時沒停過。潛意識就像開水，二十四小時在開。其他法門必須水停止，火要熄滅，波動沒有了。水如鏡子，照印月亮，看見了，可是那水中之月不是真的。你要真正自性能像月光一樣，能像日光一樣，成就了。難！可是念佛不是的，「念佛」是把真的月亮擺在自性中自然放光。用真正的「無量光」做為你的「因」，你一念，將來「果」就是真正的「無量光」。這要清楚，佛家最基本講「因果」 – 種什麼「因」，成什麼「果」。