MASTER SHEN-LONG | Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 87
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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.

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

 

(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?)

 

所以我覺得這事情,幫助眾生是我們的本能,但是你幫他的時候,不如以一句佛號來幫他,這樣沒有後遺症。勸他念佛,沒有後遺症,勸他念觀音菩薩,沒有後遺症。

他私人的事情,最好不要去介入。為什麼?你沒有六種神通,沒有煩惱斷盡,難!家家有本難唸的經,他都唸不完了,你怎麼幫他唸。勸他念佛,可以。他有善根,他念佛,自己解決,自然這個能量能解決。他要真的誠心誠意,可以解決。這是幫他。

所以我們在凡夫地說真的,危險,很危險。每一天都在水、火兩邊搖擺不定。好不容易發個善心要渡眾生了,業障就來了,冤家、債主就報到了。

我們社會就是因緣果報聚合的複雜社會,不是冤家不聚頭。講的更直接,

家庭裡面夫妻就是冤家,

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。

小孩也是來報的,孝順你,你很高興;不孝順你,你也很煩惱。每天也是像洗三溫暖。

想一想,怎麼樣才能真正修布施,幫助你周圍的家人、親屬、朋友?

如果自己都醒不了,還是迷惑顛倒,越幫越忙。都是照著自己的意思做,我覺得這樣子很好,你們就照我的意思。好了,每個人都照他的意思,這個社會國家就叫分崩離析;一個家庭就亂七八糟。如果你身心不夠清淨,定力不夠,就被他們全部拉下去了。

如果你真的了解佛家的理論與方法,你日常生活就不迷。不迷,好辦。雖然沒有破無明,每天念佛,得阿彌陀佛威神加持。久了,念佛念到「念而無念」,到了「念佛三昧」,智慧開了,「般若」現前。

古人講過,「一子得道,九族升天」。「般若」現前,破了無明,叫作得道。有能力示現「八相成道」,有能力「百界分身」。我現在講的是「圓教初住」、「別教初地」的菩薩,可以示現成佛,超越「十法界」,這叫得道。

得道了,以自性清淨光明,加上念佛的功德、阿彌陀佛及一切諸佛的加持力,可以幫眾生。這是可以幫眾生的基本的資格。如果你沒有到這地位,我勸你,老老實實念佛,隨緣幫助眾生。

記住,隨緣也不簡單。什麼叫隨緣?

緣分很多種,你能不能真正看清楚是什麼緣?

你怎麼樣下手才能真的讓他得到利益,你自己又不被帶下去?

這個很重要。

不是糊裡糊塗,我來幫助他了,每天跟他鬼混,不可能的。為什麼?一般人的心二十四小時沒有定過;你自己也不定,別人也不定,不定形成一個磁場,叫不定。不定的磁場就把一切的善根變成惡根,把原來的一番好意,變成惡意。每一天分別、執著、妄想、煩惱;不得解脫。

我們這幾十年看到這麼多學佛的眾生,真正能把家庭調得很好的,沒有一個,我沒有看到一個。為什麼?全部都是一廂情願,自說自話。都是一廂情願,我勸你念經,我勸你吃素,我勸你念佛,對你有好處。你搞錯了。因為自己一分煩惱都沒有斷掉。如果你煩惱真的斷了一分,破了一品無明了,幫他有用。雖然現在他不懂,迷迷糊糊,將來要起惑、造業去受報。但是將來這種子會發芽,真正種了一個善根,種了一個「淨緣」。

所以隨緣要記住,隨「淨緣」,不能隨善、惡緣。

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。

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