MASTER SHEN-LONG | Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 88
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Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 88

(Last week we ended with, “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.”)

It is not that we do not help all beings; do not be mistaken about this. It is not before a common person learns the Buddha’s way and without eradicating the unenlightened condition that one does not help all beings. One must be under no circumstances and must not misunderstand this.

Many people comment, people who chant (mindfulness) Amitabha are very selfish, they go to the Bliss World of Amitabha Pure Land and do not care about people anymore. This is superstition. This kind of talk is like a kindergarten kid’s language, they have no comprehension of the Pure Land Buddhism theory and method.

To put it bluntly, only by encouraging one to chant (mindfulness) Amitabha is the major cause and effect in the practice of giving genuinely. Because:

Chanting Amitabha is the cause, and becoming Amitabha is the effect,

The “cause and effect” co-exists simultaneously.

The purpose is to awaken all beings to attain Buddha-enlightenment in perfection. To help one become an Arhat is not good enough, to help one to become Bodhisattva is not good enough and to help one to become Buddha is the fulfillment of the whole.

Therefore, a common person has a narrow mind capacity to what extent?  It is like a frog at the bottom of a well.

The frog at the bottom of a well considers things like chicken feathers and garlic skins as trivial matters. Since everyone behaves like the frog at the bottom of a well, then that is no problem, just encourage everyone to chant Amitabha.

What does Amitabha represent? When the frog jumps up to the top of the well and sees the pureness and brightness of the boundless mountains, rivers and earth; this precisely chanting Amitbha.

Encouraging to “chant Amitabha” so that in the future one can jump out from the bottom of the well and see the outside world with such incredible beauty; this is truly helping one. All other methods do not work. All remain living aimlessly at the bottom of the well. In the well:

One jump below the water represents the Three Lower Realms (Hell, Hungry ghost, Animal).

Jumping above the water is the Three Upper Realms (Buddha, Asura, Human).

However, one has not broken away from this well from beginning to end.

The Three Realms (Triloka – the universe divides into three worlds of karmic rebirth as Desire–includes the 6 heavens of desire, Form–includes 18 heavens, and Formless–includes 4 heavens.) is like this well. The Sutra states that:

The Three Realms (Triloka) is like the parable of the burning house in a world of suffering.

Staying in the well is like staying in a burning house. Water and fire are merciless and are more disastrous than this well. At the bottom of the well there is at least water when the fire comes.

One wants to jump out, how to jump out?

Only reply to the method of chanting Amitabha.

Many people say: “This chanting Amitabha is no need, I have a higher natural capacity so I shall cultivate in the method of “bodily unity in the form of worship, oral unity in chanting, and mental unity in faith, all three in correspondence with the Buddha”; or I cultivate myself in the right practice of Zen meditation.

What are those people? These people have no understanding of their own capability levels. They do not know that their afflictions have not even eliminated one grade. They are lost in the teaching of a sect.

What is the teaching of a sect? It is the form and external appearance or conduct of Shakyamuni Buddha’s method (wisdom of Buddha).

Why do you not think what kind of natural capacity are we, can we cultivate ourselves in Zen meditation practice?

Regarding “cultivate ourselves in right practice” we do not understand, how can we enter meditative concentration?

To practice Esoteric Buddhism, the “body, mouth and mind” are in an uproar the whole day, how could it unite with Buddha?

To have “bodily unit in the form of worship, oral unity in chanting, and mental unity in faith, all three in correspondence the Buddha” requires one to be purified of defiling illusion. More directly speaking, it is hard to reach that state even chanting the name of Buddha. Why? As a matter of fact, chanting Amitabha exceeds cultivation of oneself in right practice Zen meditation or learning the method of Esoteric Buddhism; it is just that the method is simple, therefore all Buddha and Bodhisattva teach you to chant (mindfulness) Amitabha.

Nowadays, people have the wrong idea about it. The method of the Pure Land school is for old folks like grandmas and grandpas to do but this is wrong. It is so convenient and everyone can do it, even ants, mosquitoes or bugs can cultivate.

Can ants, mosquitoes or bugs cultivate the method of “bodily unity in the form of worship, oral unity in chanting, and mental unity in faith, all three in correspondence with the Buddha”?

Can ants, mosquitoes or bugs cultivate oneself in Zen meditation practice by sitting?

It is impossible. Therefore, do not miscomprehend this.

The attainment of Pure Land Buddhism is to bring 41 grades unenlightened conditions to perfection, to eradicate 41 grades of unenlightened conditions, and have Buddha attainment of the Perfect Teaching School (Mahayana). Those methods of “cultivate oneself in Zen meditation practice by sitting”, or to be “bodily unity in the form of worship, oral unity in chanting, and mental unity in faith, all three in correspondence with the Buddha”; their levels are no more than eradication of a few grades of unenlightened conditions; it has not perfected the state of Buddhahood of the Perfect Teaching School. If you are truly clear about the theory and method, when you cultivate the practice of giving, to encourage people to chant (mindfulness) Amitabha, your nirvana merit and enlightenment virtue is infinitely boundless.

If you are unclear with this, your lack in confidence and persuasion of others to chant Amitabha, others will not believe.  Why? The penetrative power of your physically and mentally energy is not strong enough and others will not believe. The power of drawing is not powerful enough.

>>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: 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。)

不是我們不渡眾生,不要搞錯。不是今天凡夫學佛沒有破「無明」以前不渡眾生,千萬不要誤會。

很多人講念佛這些人很自私自利,到極樂世界去,不管我們了。這叫迷信。這是幼稚園小孩子講的兒話,小貓叫小狗跳,完全不懂淨宗的理論、方法。

真正你要說穿了,只有勸念一句佛號,那是真正的「布施」的大因果。因為「念佛是因,成佛是果」,「因果同時」。目的是喚醒眾生圓成佛道。渡他變成羅漢,不夠。渡他變成菩薩,不夠。渡他成佛,這是圓滿。

所以凡夫心量很小,小到什麼程度?井底之蛙。

井底之蛙,做些事情 – 雞毛蒜皮。大家都是井底之蛙沒關係,勸他念佛。

佛是什麼?青蛙跳上了井上面,一看到無邊的山河大地清淨、光明,這就是「念佛」。

勸念佛,就是將來他能夠從井底,一跳就跳到井外面,看到外面如此的美好,這是真的渡他。其它的,都沒用,都是在井裡面鬼混。在井裡,一下跳,跳到水下面,是「三惡道」﹔跳到水上面,是「三善道」,始終沒有脫離這個井。

「三界」就是這個井。經典上講「三界如火宅」;像燒了火的房子。水火無情,那比這個井還可怕。井還有水,它火啊!

要跳出來,跳出來怎麼跳?「唯依念佛」,只有念佛。

很多人講這個念佛不用,我根器很高來修「三密相應」、我來修「參禪」打坐。

這些人是什麼?不知道他的能力到什麼程度,不知道他煩惱一分都沒有斷。迷在教相當中。什麼是教相?釋迦牟尼佛法門的形相、外相。

你不想想我們是什麼根器,能「參禪」?「參」字,都不懂,怎麼入禪。

「密」,身口意,一天到晚亂哄哄,怎麼會有相應的時候?

三密要清淨。講的更直接,連念佛都沒有辦法。為什麼?其實念佛比參禪、比學密還要高,只是它方法很簡單,所以諸佛菩薩教你念佛。

現在很多人都搞錯了。淨土宗那是老太婆、老阿公念的,搞錯了。因為它太方便了,人人可修,螞蟻蚊蟲都可以修。

「三密相應」,螞蟻蚊蟲能做?

螞蟻蚊蟲能夠「參禪」打坐?

不可能。所以不要誤會。

淨土宗成就是成就四十一品,把四十一品無明都斷掉,成圓教佛果。「參禪」打坐、「三密相應」,不過破幾品無明,沒有成圓教佛果。你真把理論、方法搞清楚了,當你修「布施」的時候,勸人念一句佛號,功德就無量無邊。

你要沒弄清楚,自己都心虛,勸人家念,人家不會相信。為什麼?你身心磁場的穿透力不夠,別人不會信的,攝受力不夠。

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