MASTER SHEN-LONG | Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 78
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Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 78

(Last week we ended with, “People should not be mistaken about this so-called “infinite mercy and infinite compassion”, because all beings are Buddha in the mind of all Buddha and Bodhisattvas, who have not become Buddha yet are precisely equal to a Buddha.”)

 

However, if people make appeals, do not follow the teaching to appeal, use greedy thought to make the appeal to Buddha or Bodhisattva, they would not respond. Why? If Buddha or Bodhisattva responds to this kind of appealing, does it not send you to the Three Wretched Realms.

Therefore, all of you need to think this over; the mind exists with pain and suffering, and affliction, if you sincerely appeal to Buddha or Bodhisattva for liberation, and wisdom, they will respond. Appealing for making money or getting rich will have no response.

Making money and getting rich, where will one’s future retribution be? It is in the Three Wretched Realms—hell, hungry ghost and animal. People must be clear with this.

 

Buddha and Bodhisattva grant whatever is asked for, depending what you appeal? You appeal for wisdom, to become Buddha, to be purified of defiling illusion, equality, enlightenment and compassion; those are fine. However, if you ask for “greed, aversion and ignorance” there is no such thing.

Di-Zang Bodhisattva (Ksitigarbha) sets a good example for us, even in such an unbearable environment of hell, he can still demonstrate purified of defiling illusion and equality.  Our human world precisely is “all karma causes from the greed”. If your mind is without greed, you would not be in the human world. Greedy for affection, greedy for wealth, greedy for right and wrong, good and bad, or beauty and ugliness; all is greed, as soon as one greedy thought arises and you are here. After being here, you roll in your own thinking way and external appearance.

You have been as a man, a woman, old or young, and entirely all. In the future, where do you end up? You go to the ghost world. After the ghost world, you go to the hell world. In the hell world, one day is equal to numerous existences of world-periods of here. One day in Avici Hell is desperately serious, it will be the infinite existence of world-periods here. After one is out from the hell world, one cannot become a human right away. Those who have some blessed reward left can become human, but after three days of entering the human world, one will have a premature ending, or one will die in the womb. We have seen many cases who have just transmigrated from the hell world; either one is born of not having a full set of five roots or incomplete six sense of organs. Otherwise, the parents were dragged down by them and the parents are also dead.

The school of Buddhism talks about the phenomena of the universe not wanting to frighten you. No, it is not their intention. Talking about the truth of the universe, the impact of a person’s mentality precisely produces your physical phenomena and spiritual phenomena.  To be tormented mentally or to suffer physically is called “Hell”.  To be mentally happy and physically happy becomes transparent is called “Heaven” – ascending to heaven, paradise, realm of heavens, in heaven.

There are many kinds of Heavens; however, we refer to the heaven in the Catholic religion known as the Trayastrimsas Heaven. The Trayastrimsas Heaven is very close to the Heaven described by Catholics. There are 33 divisions, and there is a great sovereign ruler, who is the Lord of the Heavens. The food is excellent over there. The family member, if female, if you did good deeds without attachments in mind you will become a celestial maiden there. If male, if you did good deeds and one’s mind has a kind of virtuous joy, one will become either the son of heaven or the people. A person with great blessed reward and who practices cultivation in the school of Buddhism can be the ruler of Heaven.

But the world of Heaven must go through reincarnation eventually, their life span is approximately 36,500,000 years; it passes by instantly. You can enjoy the blessing reward of heaven, seven days before the ending of your heavenly blessed reward, you will experience five deteriorating phenomena:

  1. Restlessness in the original station or loss of self-awareness.
  2. All family members will leave you and your robe will become soiled.
  3. The seven apertures of the head (eyes, nose, ears and mouth) will run with pus and the body will cease illumination.
  4. The flowery crown withers.
  5. Both mentally and physically giving rise to extreme terrior, to die with a painful death as the heart pierced by thousands of arrows.

Why? One has not cultivated the power of imperturbable stillness of mind control. At the ending of heavenly blessing reward, one falls from grace to the Three Wretched Realms – hell, hungry ghost and animal.

The Heaven Realms are constantly in battle with Asuras. Female Asuras develop properly and are very beautiful, even the celestial maiden of heavens are not able to compete. The food of the Asuras world are not good to eat. Male Asuras are very ugly and unattractive, and their food and drink are very unpalatable and rough. The Heaven Realms are not that way, the men are handsome, and the food is excellent. Because of this, one is for the appearance, one is for appetite (for food), they go to war. They battle every day; therefore, it is not that peaceful. Even they have good blessed reward, but not peaceful. It is like our human world that many people who have a lot of money, wealth and social status; but live unpeacefully. How many are there that can truly enjoy their inner peace, very few.

Therefore, regarding the cognitive sphere of Mahasattva (alternative name of Bodhisattva), you can learn through experience gradually, or to experience for yourself somewhat. Regarding this world, they are completely without any attachments, they have eradicated from the affliction of illusion and temptation through the immense variety of duties in helping all living beings, also the unenlightened condition. Even at just their initial stage, their enjoyment is the same as the Buddha. The ancient virtuous ones describe:

 The initial stage Bodhisattva is like the moon at the first of the month —a crescent moon; Buddha is the full moon.

This metaphor: a crescent moon increases grade by grade to a full moon, which represents the reduction of one’s force of habit grade by grade.

Can we attain to this kind of sphere? If without the method of chanting (mindfulness) Amitabha, it is impossible to achieve. If we whole-heartedly chant Amitabha, we can achieve that; furthermore, you can attain it in this life term. Some people achieve this in 3 to 5 years, but that will depend on you, can you shatter the existence of open space (all doubt)?

Although we are talking, you need to put it into practice and implement during “eating, drinking, playing and enjoyable”. How to implement?  To strive an effort.  If you do not have skill, then the “eating, drinking, playing and enjoyable” will take you down.

The “genuine skill” is before the rising of greedy thoughts, the name of Amitabha has maintained uninterrupted, this is the importance!

>>Click here to read the full series of Master Shen-Long expounding on Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra

 

(五 )     慧海圓融

(上星期講到: 所謂大慈大悲,各位不要誤會,在佛菩薩心裡面一切眾生是佛,是未成之佛,就等於是佛。)

可是眾生求他,非法而求,以貪念求他,他不應。為什麼?他要應,不是送你到三惡道去了。

所以各位要想一想,內心有痛苦、煩惱,你真的求佛菩薩,求解脫、求智慧,會有感應。求賺錢、求發財,不會有感應的。

賺錢、發財將來果報到那裡?三惡道 – 地獄、餓鬼、畜生。這大家要清楚。

佛菩薩是有求必應,有求是求什麼?求智慧,求成佛,求清淨、平等、覺悟、慈悲,可以。求「貪、瞋、痴」,沒有這回事的。

地藏菩薩給我們做一個表率,在地獄極苦之中,能示現清淨平等。像我們人間就是「一切業皆由貪而造」,你心要是不貪,你就不來我們世間了。貪情、貪財、貪是非、善惡、美醜。貪,一貪就來了。來了,每天滾,自己思想滾來滾去,外相滾來滾去。男女老少都做盡了。將來到那裡去?到鬼道。鬼界去了以後,到地獄去了。地獄一天不得了,是我們這裡百千萬劫。在阿鼻地獄一天不得了,百千萬劫。地獄出來了,還不能做人。有一點福報做人,三天就夭折了。要嘛,就在胎裡面死掉。我們看過很多地獄道剛剛轉世,要嘛,就五根不全,六根不全。要不然就是父母被他帶下去了,父母也死掉。

佛家講宇宙現象不是要嚇唬你,不是的。它講宇宙真相,就是人的心理作用產生了你身體的現象,精神的現象。精神上折磨,身體痛苦,叫地獄。精神上快樂,身體快樂透明,叫天 -升天、天堂、天界、在天堂。

天有很多種,講天主教這個天,講忉利天這個天。「忉利天」這個天跟天主教這個天很接近,三十三個區域,它有一個管轄的,就是天王。它那地方飲食非常好。那裡的眷屬,女性如果你做善,心裡面沒執著,到那邊變天女;男性如果是做善,心裡有一種善的喜悅,到那邊做天子、做人民。福報大的,在佛門修行的,做天王。

可是天要輪迴,天的壽命大概三千六百五十多萬年,一剎那就過去了。享受天福,如果你的天福要盡以前七天,產生五種現象,就是五種「衰相」: 不安本座,眷屬離你而去,七孔流膿,頭上花冠凋謝,身心產生大恐怖,最後萬箭穿心而死。為什麼?沒有修定力。天福享盡了,墮落,墮落到三惡道。

天界,一天到晚要跟修羅道打仗。修羅道的女人長的端正,非常美,天女都不如。可是修羅道沒有好吃的東西。修羅道男人長的都醜八怪,他們飲食也很難吃、很粗糙。天界不是。天界男人長的很端正,飲食非常好。就為了這個,一個為色,一個是為食欲,打仗,每天打,所以不太平。福報雖好,不太平。就像我們世間有福、有錢的人很多,富貴的人很多,不太平。那幾個人真正享受到內心的太平了,很少。

所以我們對於「法身大士」的境界,你慢慢去體會,稍稍去體驗。他對於世間一切完全不執著了,塵沙、無明都破了。初初得受用的時候,就跟佛的受用是一樣。不過古德有形容,「初地是初一的月亮,月芽;佛是滿月」。這樣來比喻,一分一分增,表示一分一分習氣減少。

我們能不能到這境界?如果沒有念佛法門,做不到,不可能做到。如果我們真心「念佛」了,做得到;而且這一生就做得到,有的人三年五年就做到。那就看你了,你能不能粉碎虛空?

雖然我們講你要實行,在吃、喝、玩、樂中實行。

怎麼實行?用功夫。如果沒有功夫,被吃、喝、玩、樂,帶下去了。

真正功夫是你起那個貪念以前,佛號保持不斷,這個重要。

>>Click here to read the full series of Master Shen-Long expounding on Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra