02 Sep Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 67
(Last week we ended with, “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”.)
In the Surangama Sutra, Ananda was in dialogue with the Buddha about searching the intrinsic mind in seven places, and Shakyamuni Buddha exhibited the series of ten noticeable teachings.
Why did Ananda (Shakyamuni’s assistant and cousin) leave home to be a monk?
What kind of cause was he planting?
He saw Shakyamuni Buddha’s 32 distinguishing marks and 80 notable physical characteristics (which are said to take 100 x 1,347,000,000 years to develop) and so he left home; this is the cause he planted.
He said: “You see the Buddha looks so good, there are reasons behind it, so I also want to leave home and become a monk.”
Unfortunately, he planted the wrong cause; it was not the enlightenment cause. He was greedy for the 32 marks and the 80 signs on the physical body of Buddha, so this is the performance of Ananda.
All of you, all Buddhist scriptures have their own causes and effects, you cannot have a superstitious belief. Nowadays people recommend reciting certain Sutras which has infinite merits, or also to do repentance prostration, which are all good. If you do not know its cause and effect, and do not understand its phenomena, how can you practice cultivation correctly?
Nowadays there are lots of people who practice the repentance prostration “The Jeweled Repentance of the Emperor of the Liang Dynasty” (Master Bao Zhi wrote this repentance at the request of Emperor Wu of the Liang Dynasty to release the former Queen Xi from the body of a python) and “The Repentance of Compassionate Samadhi Water” (was written by the National Master Wuda to cure a sore that appeared as a human face on the emperor’s knee) , and other temple fairs.
What does “The Jeweled Repentance of the Emperor of the Liang Dynasty” lecture?
What does “The Repentance of Compassionate Samadhi Water” lecture?
What does repentance prostration practice?
People do not know they only know there is merit in participating, this is called deception. This phenomenon was probably very common after the Ming dynasty, and it has become a habit in our time. Those ways of practice repentance prostration and religious assembly are school group activities. The genuine teacher wants to go to class, the one who has left home and become a monk or nun is the teacher, the followers are students. But nowadays the monks or nuns do not teach, and the students are busy with group activities. The better ones organize philanthropic activities that have cordial and friendly ties among family members and neighbors. The bad ones ask students to pay for the learning workshops. We need to be clear about this phenomenon, it is not the teaching of Buddha. This is called engaging in commercialization.
The genuine teaching of Buddha as I have mentioned, is for you to really want to know the truth of the universe and to recover the radiance and purity of your self-nature. There is a good method of holding on the name of Amitabha, and to make a vow to go and be born to the Bliss World of Amitabha Pure Land. This method achieves enlightenment in a lifetime and recovers purity in a lifetime. This day happens once in a blue moon.
Returning to our main topic, there are so many methods to enlightenment why do we only talk about the method of chanting (mindfulness) Amitabha? It is very simple; the extent of each of us is extremely serious with a variegated mind, erroneous thinking, discriminations and attachments. By not using this name of Amitabha, one is unable to eliminate it.
Chanting the name of Amitabha can eliminate the grave crime of rebirth and death for the eight billion existence of world-periods.
This requires true chanting (mindfulness). What is true chanting (mindfulness)? It is the body and mind focused on going to the Bliss World of Amitabha Pure Land and restoring to purity and radiance. With this determination, then it is chanting Amitabha with earnest and sincerity. It works if you sincerely believe in them. With sincerity, your mind is fixed. Every thought-moment is sincere, then every thought-moment is fixed. Every thought-moment is fixed, then it is to be moved to respond through feelings. What kind of response? It is “purity, equality, enlightenment and compassion” definitely. This four all at once. If you experience these four, then you will surely be free and unfettered and be the master of yourself. As for being disillusioned with all and letting go, you will have already become disillusioned with all and letting go. You will have attained the great sovereignty state and be completely freedom at will. Every day you will live in the Hua-Zang (the Lotus-Treasury – universe of each Buddha for his Reward Body), the world of the Lotus Sutra (it contains the Buddha’s complete truth) and live in the state of Surangama-Samadhi ( an internal state of imperturbability, exempt from all external sensations).
When you truly chant (mindfulness) Amitabha, all will be attained. To live in the Esoteric Buddhism state of transforming to the rainbow body of light, at once this body becomes a Buddha. The rainbow body of light, honestly speaking, cannot be compared with the Bliss World of Amitabha Pure Land. All beings in Amitabha Pure Land is a rainbow body of light. Fundamentally, rainbow body light is simply transforming to light. The Bliss World of Amitabha Pure Land does not only transform to light, but it also transforms all afflictions, attachments, and it transforms all the Universal Enlightenment Bodhisattvas (Samyak-Sambodhi) and all Buddha. This is the huge difference. All Buddha praise the Bliss World of Amitabha Pure Land because they have seen the uniqueness and superiority of the Bliss World of Amitabha Pure Land. This uniqueness and superiority do not exist in other Buddha lands. That is from the benevolence of Amitabha to almsgiving to the universe in all directions. By means of his vow power to achieve boundless purity and glory, and by means of the boundless purity and glory to be the function of meeting and receiving all beings to attain the utmost purity and glory to become Buddha.
How do the other Buddha lands meet and receive?
Today if we cannot eradicate the unenlightened condition, how can we go to other Buddha lands?
But never mind about the other Buddha lands, you cannot even go up to the heavenly world. Therefore, regardless if you can hold on the name to chant Amitabha, or mindfulness of the contemplation of Amitabha, or if you have attained the state of “one-pointed concentration without scattering”, or “one mind undisturbed in enlightenment”, or “to unite with Amitabha in mind for 24 hours without distracting thought”, if you truly chant (mindfulness) Amitabha and truly chant (mindfulness) with full sincerity, I tell all of you that your current life will be the master of yourself completely freedom at will. Before you go to be reborn to Amitabha Pure Land, you have already merged yourself with it, your six supernatural power manifests, your body and mind are purified without defilement. You will be like everyone here and live the same way; however, your body and mind are completely different from the people around you. Your body and mind with exist with no fluctuations, you will live that kind of true joy, and be full of the joy of tasting the teaching of Buddha. This kind of “joy of tasting the Buddha teaching” one does not to eat, drink and sleep. Every day is without burdens, without any afflictions. You become this unrestrained in advance. After being this unrestrained, when looking at the world does one still have predestined affinity remain? If there are, then you will stay for a few more years longer.
卷 (四 ) 空、假、中三觀
(上星期講到: 「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」。)
不知道。說參加就有功德，這叫騙人。這種現象大概明朝以後就很普遍了，到我們這時代已經變成習慣了。這些懺法、這些法會，都是學校團體活動。真正老師要上課的，出家人是老師，信徒進去是學生。現在出家人不上課了，學生搞團體活動去了。好一點的搞慈善活動 – 敦親睦鄰; 不好的就是叫學生繳錢，學店。這個現象我們要清楚，這不是佛法，叫「企業化經營」。
真正佛法就是我剛講，你真心想了解宇宙真相，想恢復自性清淨光明；有個好法門 – 「持名念佛」，發願往生極樂世界。一生成就，一生恢復，千載難逢之一日。
你真的念佛，這些都得到。活在密教講的「化虹光身」即身成就。虹光身，說老實話，還不能跟極樂世界比。極樂世界每一位眾生都是虹光身。 最基本的虹光，只是化光。極樂世界不僅化光，他化一切煩惱、執著，化一切等覺菩薩，化一切佛，這可不一樣。 一切佛讚歎極樂世界，是因為他們看到極樂世界的殊勝。這個殊勝，別的佛土沒有。那是阿彌陀佛恩德布施八方上下，以他願力成就無邊清淨、莊嚴。以無邊清淨莊嚴，還有作用。作用是接引一切眾生成就最極清淨莊嚴，成佛了。