07 Feb Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 87
(Last week we ended with, “You thought you helped, but the result is the contrary. Why? You have not seen the truth about the universe. What is the background of all beings? What was their previous natural capacity? You do not know; then how can you help them?”)
Therefore, I feel that helping all beings is instinctual; however, when you help them it is better to use the name of Amitabha to help. This way does not have any aftereffects. Encouraging one to chant Amitabha has no aftereffects. Encouraging one to chant Guan-Yin Bodhisattva (Avalokitesvara) has no aftereffects.
It is better never to get involved in their personal affairs. Why? If you do not have the Six Supernatural abilities or you have not ended your afflictions completely, it will be difficult! Every family has their irresolvable problems. Even they are unable to resolve things, how are you able to help? Encouraging them to chant Amitabha is fine. If one has good natural capacity, then one chants Amitabha and one resolves their own problems. Naturally the energy of Amitabha can help to resolve, but one needs to chant with true sincerity then it can be resolved. This is helping them.
Therefore, we are in the land of commoners, speaking honestly; it is dangerous, very dangerous. Every day we vacillate on both sides of fire or water. Uneasily, we issue a good intention to help all beings, the karmic hindrance arrives as old enemies and debt collectors all report for duty.
Our society is a complex assembly of following the chain of cause and effect to receive karma-result as the consequence of one’s action, and destiny will make enemies meet. More directly speaking:
The husband and wife of a household are old enemies.
The family relatives of the husband’s side or the wife’s side are also old enemies, either to demand repayment, to settle old debts, to pay a debt with gratitude, or to want revenge for past injustices. This happens day in and day out, life after life without ending.
Your children are also the same way either paying a debt with gratitude or wanting revenge for past injustices. When they are obedient, you are happy; when they are not, you get very annoyed. Everyday living is like having a sauna of hot baths and cold showers.
You ought to think, how can you genuinely cultivate the practice of giving to help your surrounding family members, relatives or friends?
If you cannot be awakened and are still deluded and confused, and erroneously regard illusion as reality, then the more you help the worse it gets. This is because everything has followed your instruction of doing: I feel that things should be done this way, you just follow my ideas. Well, since everyone follows their own desires, then this nation and society will fall to pieces, and a family will be in a hideous mess. If physically and mentally you have not purified defiling illusion and the imperturbable stillness of mind control is not strong enough, then you are pulled down by all of them.
If you truly understand the theory and method of Buddhism, you are no longer confused in daily life. Without confusion then everything is easy to deal with. Even though you have not eradicated the unenlightened condition, by chanting Amitabha daily will have the aid of the awe-inspiring Amitabha. After a duration of time, chanting Amitabha to a state of chanting without distracting thought to attain Chanting Amitabha Samadhi, your wisdom opens and Prajnamanifests. The ancient people said:
If one person attains enlightenment; the relatives of the nine closest generations can ascend to the heaven.
When Prajna manifests, you have eradicated the unenlightened condition called attaining enlightenment. You can demonstrate the “eight stages of the Buddha life”, have ability to reproduce yourself at infinitum and anywhere. Here I am talking about the Bodhisattva of “the 1st Stage of Perfect Teaching School” equivalent to the “1st grade of the Distinctive Teaching School” manifesting to become a Buddha and transcend the “Ten States of Existence”. This is called “attaining enlightenment”.
After becoming enlightened, using self-nature’s pureness and radiance, plus chanting Amitabha merits, and the supporting power of Amitabha and all the other Buddha, then you can help all beings. This is the basic qualification of helping all beings. If you have not attained to this level, take my advice; it is better for you to chant (mindfulness) Amitabha sincerely and help beings according to circumstances.
Remember this, even helping beings according to circumstances is not that easy. What is according to circumstances?
There are various kinds circumstances of affinity: Can you see clearly what kind of affinity you have with someone?
How you start and let them obtain benefit, but not be pulled down by them?
This is very essential.
It is not being confused as coming to help and to live aimlessly with them every day. This is not possible. Why? The average person’s mind is not composed for 24 hours, your mind is also not composed. This instability forms an energy that is unstable. This unstable energy will change the good (virtuous) natural capacity to an evil natural capacity, and it will turn your original good intention to malicious intention. Every day you have discrimination, attachment, delusional thoughts and afflictions; you cannot free yourself of worldly worries.
Over the past 10 years, we have seen many people study Buddhism but no one can truly harmonize the family well, at least I have not seen one. Why? Everyone follows one’s own wishful thinking entirely and acts on one’s own. I persuade you to recite the Sutras, I persuade you to be vegetarian, I persuade you chant Amitabha, and all these deeds will have good benefit for you which is entirely one’s own wishful thinking. You are wrong because you have not put an end to even one grade of your own affliction; if you have truly eliminated one grade of affliction, have eradicated one grade of the unenlightened condition, then it is useful to help. Even though one does not understand and confused, even in the future one will initiate illusion and temptation from greedy, aversion, ignorance and causing karma to receive one’s own retribution. However, this planted seed will germinate into a good root and a pure affinity has been established.
Therefore, one needs to remember acting in accordance with condition, acting in accordance with pure condition, neither good nor bad condition. Either good or bad conditions will change in the future. Only when your purified mind is without defilements, then you are immutable, and in the state of being fixed and undisturbed to act according to the predestined affinity. Other than this, obtain peace of mind through chanting Amitabha, and encourage others to obtain peace of mind through chanting Amitabha. This way you and others relax.
卷 (六) 布施波羅蜜
(上星期講到: 為什麼？你沒有看到宇宙真相。 眾生的來歷是什麼，他以前是什麼根器，你不知道，你怎麼幫他？)
夫妻的家人也是冤家 – 討債、還債、報恩、報冤，每天沒有完、沒有了。
善、惡緣將來都要變的。只有你內心清淨沒有汚染，你不變 – 「不變隨緣」，可以；「隨緣不變」，可以。其它的？自己安心念佛，勸別人安心念佛，你也輕鬆，他也輕鬆。