07 Feb Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 76
(Last week we ended with, “Even the soul is all unreal; where is the spirit? The body and soul both do not exist, where is “birth, aging, sickness and death”?”)
Therefore, I speak the first phrase: Is it not wonderful, the blue sky turns out to be an illusory image! If you cannot be disillusioned with all, then the next step is out of the question. So, to learn Prajna, the primary step is to let go of the “self-I”. If holding to the concept of the ego is very serious, this person is done for. Why? One listens to the Sutra explanation which only commits oneself to the behavior of listening; however, going back one is still stuck in their own ways.
Nowadays, this phenomenon is very popular; everyone does not seem as strong as one wishes. Why? One has not put into practice.
After the Song and Yuan dynasty, the teaching of Buddha gradually deteriorated. By the Ming dynasty it was disordered, and in the Qing dynasty it was ruined. By the Republic of China era evil spirits of all kinds danced in riotous revelry up to our present called no medicine to save. The Buddha teaching nowadays does not exist as any medicine to save. Why? No one knows what the teaching of Buddha is about. After 100 years in the future, probably the phenomenon of Buddha image will also be changed. After 9,000 years, the teaching will be annihilated completely. At that time, when you speak to people about the Buddha teaching, people will think that it is something from outer space or believe it to be a fairytale story. The last thing remaining will be this name of Amitabha, in the world for 100 years more. Precisely after 9,100 years, there will be none left, including the name of Amitabha does not exist!
At that time, people’s life span will only be 10 years old. Now people say that they can age to 100 years old and in theory, one can. In that time, people only have 10 years of age, which equals to 100 years now. By age of 2 or 3 years old one gets married, by age 5 one starts to deteriorate, reaching 7 or 8 years old then one dies. At that time, it is the calamity period of “warfare”, go to war, fighting battles with panic and treat everyone as an enemy. It is so severe that even the grass and trees of the environment all turn into knives, it demonstrates that human nature has reached such extreme poor quality. After the calamity period of warfare, then it is the calamity period of famine. After all is dead, the soul will transmigrate to another planet again to receive one’s karmic retribution continuously. This is not a folktale like the Arabian Nights or old wives’ tales; when you have attained a bit of Chanting Amitabha Samadhi then you will see it.
To see matters within 10,000 to 20,000 years is not a big deal. If you truly enter into chanting Amitabha Samadhi, you have full clarity to see billions, hundreds of billion, tens of trillions, or infinite light years. Why? No matter how more time and space an illusion is. Shattering the existence of open space, then the illusions are gone; you see the fundamental reality – the inherent pure nature world of all beings. The fundamental reality is the truth of the pure life of the universe, that is:
There is not a single thing originally, where can dust be provoked.
Eternally there is a phenomenon exist:
The Buddha-nature is unceasing,
The nature of enlightenment is unceasing,
The fundamental essence of life is unceasing.
Modern science mentioned: “The theory on imperishability of life, the imperishability of materiality”; but it has still not been confirmed yet. After you attain Samadhi (an internal state of tranquility, exempt from all sensation), you confirm that not only life and the wisdom life are unceasing, this kind of wisdom phenomena is unceasing. Why? You have recovered the purity of the Dharma Body regarding the cause and effect of all sentient beings, and the “creation, duration, dissolution and state of being dissolved” of the mountains, rivers and the earth, and completely not have something unknown.
The sphere of Jin-Shan Living Buddha, we do not know his level of realization, whether he attained the state of Buddhahood in perfection? Or whether he had eradicated all 41 grades of unenlightened condition? We do not know. At least we know that he has eradicated one grade of unenlightened condition, to realize one grade of the embodiment of truth (Dharma Body); his enjoyment is the same as Tathagata.
Then why are there so many tiers? Because of different forces of habits, the 41 grades are structured to eliminate all habits.
The force of habit is very subtle, so subtle that you are unaware till you are in that sphere. For instance, if your level is the 2nd Stages Bodhisattva, you can view the 1st Stage Bodhisattva in full clarity; however, if the first Stage Bodhisattva looks to the 2nd stage, they are unable to see the habit of the 2nd Stage Bodhisattva, in a similar fashion and so on.
However, everyone is by means of the Buddha-nature for great functioning; and not by means of erroneous thinking and attachments to function. It is not the same, not by means of affliction to function, it is by means of radiant Prajna to function. Since it can function, therefore their way of striving is called “effortlessly doing the way of enlightenment leading to Nirvana”.
The term “effortlessly doing” does not require much strength. They are not like us doing things, which require a lot of effort and brainpower to think through; no need, instead they directly assume responsibility, and they use this skill called “effortless doing”. “The way of enlightenment leading to Nirvana” is “the way of enlightenment” is wisdom, “Nirvana” is the fundamental essence of the purified mind in its nature state. Using wisdom to develop the fundamental essence of the purified mind in its nature state.
卷(五 ) 慧海圓融