07 Feb Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 82
(Last week we ended with, “Regardless of which sect of Buddhism or religion you are, or what race you are, or what genius you are born from – the twelve categories; all are inseparable from the self-nature’s purity and equality. After understanding this theory, when looking at all beings we must not have discrimination. We must not pass judgments of right or wrong, beautiful or ugly, or good or bad, because all are Buddha and Bodhisattva. Why? One has Buddha-nature.”)
Normally we look at outward appearances but it is not that way, the outward appearance we see is fake. It is metabolism, where the new replaces the old in moments. We see the depths of one’s soul, where the depth is the pure self-nature’s Buddha-nature, that original nature of enlightenment. Buddha is enlightenment, precisely the original nature of enlightenment. If you view things this way, there is no affliction.
The table and chair are Dharma-nature (the immaterial nature underlying all things); where does it manifest from? It manifests from Buddha-nature.
The materiality manifests from Buddha-nature. Buddha-nature manifests spirituality and materiality, all leads and returns to Buddha-nature.
Since we are lost, the pure self-nature’s Buddha realm then manifests Buddha or Bodhisattva come to our mundane world to be the same as everyone. They live and practice together as everybody here, to transmit the Buddha teaching to all; speak the way of enlightenment repeatedly, and to leave it behind for us. This was the reason of those Patriarchs through the ages wanted to explain the Sutras incessantly. The “Sutra” is the living guidebook, a directory of enlightenment. They leave it behind, across all eras and all explain the same. Why? The Dharma (teaching) is the immutable truth; Buddha teaching is immutability.
All ways that exist can be explained, merely the ways of explanation are not the same. Exposition of the teachings between Tang dynasty and nowadays corresponds to the different spiritual capacities of the audience; however, regarding “the teaching of the Buddha, the principle of the Buddha, the practice of the Buddha, the reward of being Buddha” is exactly the same. Steps to attain enlightenment through “firm belief, comprehend with wisdom, put into practice and verify into the state of nirvana” is the same.
Therefore, if you chant Amitabha wholeheartedly today, truly have moved Buddha to respond, then you must be clear that it originates from your good roots, it is an extremely rare opportunity to come across. You should not let it pass by empty-handed. If this happens, I can guarantee that after the infinite existence of world-periods you may not have this opportunity again. Probably it will take another “boundless” existence of world-periods, if it is the term of “infinite” still can be calculated by numbers, but when speaking in terms of the “boundless existence of world-periods”, that thing is troublesome.
One of the practitioners who has achieved a bit of cognitive sphere, I spoke to him: “You are disillusioned with everything and let go of all; it is great difficulty to have a bit of opportunity, it was from repeated practice in your previous lifetime, so chant (mindfulness) Amitabha properly with a sincere mind.”
What is the benefit of chanting Amitabha? Everything without exception of accomplishing and carry out. After becoming Buddha; how can there be anything not to carry out and bring to a finish? You need to take hold of this opportunity, you are aware that yourself has many erroneous thinking and attachments; no need to be afraid, use the name of Amitabha to turn it. After transforming for a long duration of time, your body and mind have purified of defiling illusion, then you will become more confident. This confidence will not recede, and over time, you have a kind of happiness called “joy of tasting Dharma (Buddha teaching)”. This kind of joy, there is no discrimination, attachments and erroneous thinking which is called “Dharma”; this joy is the highest enjoyment of human life. This enjoyment will lead you to recover purity and equality, to resolve your “birth, aging, sickness and death”; sweeping away all phases of the “creation, duration, dissolution and state of being dissolved”. When you attain this sphere, you will have no problem to go and be born to the Bliss World of Amitabha Pure Land.
What is called “to go and be born to the Pure Land of Amitabha”? You can connect with the energy of Amitabha Pure Land, in future you shed the body like removing clothes, to exchange for an incorruptible adamantine body, arrive to the Bliss World of Amitabha Pure Land to become Buddha. After becoming Buddha, it is the state of adamantine-indestructible; time and space have already been eradicated, and what else is there that can destroy it? By means of the sincere mind to exchange for the state of adamantine-indestructible is truly a great deal. Speaking the truth, no matter how you do the figuring, it is the best bargain.
Today explaining these four Gatha verses, there exists its significance of the era. Although it only is a poem, everyone truly wants to be clear about the principle of Buddhism: “the teaching of the Buddha, the principle of the Buddha, the practice of the Buddha, the reward of being a Buddha” are all within.
If you truly believe the blue sky turns out to be an illusory image, this is the teaching of Tathagata (Buddha).
Truly shatter the existence of open space (all doubt), who has awakened to the truth; this is the principle and method of Buddhism.
If you truly believe in this instruction, to comprehend this method to implement it. After implementation, you will attain the state of perfectly integrated in the ocean of wisdom is truly being the master of one’s self.
After being the master of your-self, no attachment to the reincarnation phenomena of all beings then the noumenon arises, from which the leading Patriarch (Buddha) manifests; not only yourself attain the state of Buddhahood, but you can also help all beings. In a whole lifetime you accomplish and carry out the great work of becoming Buddha, improving yourself and bringing benefit to others, so all can become Buddha.
I wish for everyone to truly memorize these four Gatha verses. Examine yourself daily:
After all, have I disillusioned with all vicissitudes of life?
Have I shattered the open space (all doubt)?
Have I integrated the ocean of wisdom?
Have I truly implemented by following the teaching of scriptures?
Therefore, we summarize the theory and methods and the previously discussed Prajna of four chapters. The theory and methods are all in these four Gatha verses. All of you should spend time to study it. If you sincerely want to recover your pure self-nature, really chant Amitabha properly. After full sincerity chanting Amitabha for 3 days then Buddha will be moved to respond, there will be a phenomenon you know yourself. That requires a sincere mind:
No distracting thought arises in the mind means sincerity.
We end here today.
卷(五 ) 慧海圓融
(上星期講到: 不論你是那個宗派，那個宗教，你是那種人，是那種類生 – 十二類生，全部不離自性清淨、平等。曉得道理以後，我們看一切眾生都不要分別了，是非、美醜、好壞，全是佛菩薩。為什麼？他有佛性。)