MASTER SHEN-LONG | Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 93
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Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 93

(Last week we ended with, “Using what kind of method to remove it completely? It still is by chanting Amitabha. If re-arising thought in the mind, you can turn it around by chanting Amitabha. After turning it around, then you will be accustomed to doing the practice of giving.”)

 

I encountered a person who cultivated the practice of giving before, how does he do it?

First, he would search out his most favorite object in his mind, then he set it on a table and look at it every day. Eventually, one day he became disillusioned with it and initiating practice of giving it away. After initiating practice of giving it away, his body and mind was purified of defiling illusion, he felt that the burden was finally gone, and the pressure finally lifted; this talks about the materiality.

Further talking about the affliction in the mind, he exposes his inner afflictions. He examines them daily and at the end, he thinks it over that all of his hopes and efforts come to nothing. Since it was wasted effort, then he let it go.

About worldly possessions; first, you let go of your most attached to worldly possessions. It is not necessary that you need to donate to others; this is not what I mean. You just do not have this attachment in your mind, must have no attachment with regards to worldly possessions then it is all right.

But some people are not this way. Some say: “I would rather practice of giving to this person, than that person whom I do not like.”

No, this way of doing is no good. That means you must reduce this discrimination in your daily life. In fact, once completed, removing attachment, discrimination, and delusional thinking is solved all at once. This is not a short time thing, after a long time of cultivating the practice of giving then you can remove all afflictions, this is called the perfection of Generosity.

If you only do a song and dance externally, this is not enough. You need to get rid of your inner afflictions, also to get rid of the secular idea; even letting go of your life. To let go of your own life is not easy. In ancient times, it was said that:

Self-sacrifice for others, die for a righteous cause.

This is not easy to achieve.

I remember when the Manchurian Qing (Qing dynasty) was overthrown, there was a martyr named Tan Si-Tong (譚嗣同 a Qing writer and politician, and one of the Six Gentlemen martyrs of the unsuccessful reform movement of 1898), who wrote this poem when he sacrificed his life for the country (cause):

     I am facing death by the blade with equanimity and facing the heaven above with smile;

How many people in this world can be such as I.

This is remarkable, he shed his blood and laid down his life for a just cause.  Even though he could escape from this, he did not want to sacrifice others, so he heroically sacrificed his life as a martyr.

What does this mean? This is an act of dying for the righteous cause.

Many people expressed: “He should have been able to escape it, then he would have had a second chance to accomplish his reform movement.”

No, he was not. In his poem: I am facing death by the blade with equanimity and facing the heaven above with smile, viewing death as a way to return home, most people cannot do it.

Therefore, he then said, how many people in this world can be such as I.

Those martyrs of revolutionary times like Qiu, Jin (秋瑾 famous female martyr of the anti-Qing revolution) were all remarkable. If they truly cultivate oneself in right practice, even though they did not put their faith in Buddhism and did not think of cultivation, they all followed the teaching and acted accordingly. What kind of teaching were they following? They followed the teaching of ancient saints and sages. They had truly done it, this carried out the steps of “firm belief, comprehend with wisdom, implement and verify into the state of nirvana”, they had fully “implemented”.

“Firm belief”, they truly believe the teaching of the ancient saints and sages.

“Comprehend with wisdom”, they truly had undertaken the teaching of ancient saints and sages as their way of thinking and truly implemented.

“Verify into the state of nirvana”, dying for the righteousness cause as the reward of the various stages of attainment, the humaneness and rightness attainment. This kind of person at the time of death, if one is without any thought of aversion and resentment, one will ascend to the realm of Heaven to be a deity. If one retains any thought of hate and discontentment, then one will end up as the King of the hungry ghost world, the same as Yue-Fei (1103-1142, Song dynasty patriot and general).

Before, a friend of mine who was on night duty as the messenger of the netherworld went to the hungry ghost world. He saw the General Yu-Fei still fighting the troops of the Jin Dynasty.  Shortly after, there was the Revolution of the Wu-Chang Uprising of 10th October 1911 (that was led by Dr. Sun Yat-Sen—our nation’s father with the Xin-Hai revolution and the fall of the Qing dynasty and the establishment of the Republic of China). The battle started in the hungry ghost world first, and shortly after, the same type of judgement would begin in our world of living.

I have heard lots of these kinds of stories. I knew a Buddhist monk who told me: “Many things before it happens in our human world, the spirits of the hungry ghost world would appear in my dream and make a request.”

He saw many people, young and old with bloody faces, broken legs, heads hanging, all shapes or forms pleading to him: “You do have to remember, make sure at such time to perform the religious ceremonies to help our souls find peace. “

The Buddhist monk answered: “Okay, no problem.”

Shortly after his dream, there was a serious car accident; the dying ones were the same people who came in his dream. So, he performed the “Chanting Amitabha Ritual from Morning, Afternoon to Night, 24 hours” non-stop to help these souls find peace! This is also a form of interaction to respond to people’s need. If this monk did not have disciplined efficacy in accordance to the Buddha-truth, then the hungry-ghost world would not come to him for help. This is also a form of the practice of giving.

>>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: 那用什麼方式能夠拿乾淨?還是念佛。如果又起心,又動念,一句佛號把它轉過來。轉過來後,布施就習慣了。)

我們以前有碰到修「布施」的,他怎麼修?

先把他心裡面最心愛的東西找出來,找出來後,每天把它供在桌子上看。看到最後,看破了,布施出去了。這一布施後,身心很清淨,覺得負擔終於沒有了,壓力終於解除,這講物質。

再講內心的煩惱,把內心的煩惱抓出來看。每天看,看到最後,想想一場空;一場空,放下了。

身外之物,先把你最執著的身外之物放下。不一定說要捐給別人,我不是講這個意思。就是你心裡面要沒有這個執著,對身外之物要沒有執著才可以。

有的人不是,有人說:「我寧願布施給這個人,那個人我不喜歡。」

不行。就是說你要在日常生活中減少這個分別。其實一次完成,執著、分別、妄想,一次解決掉。而且這事不是短時間。長時間要修,長時修布施能夠把煩惱全部去除,就叫作圓滿「布施」。

如果你只在相上作文章,還不夠。內心煩惱要拿掉,世俗想法要拿掉,甚至於生命也要放下。生命要放下,也不容易。古代講「捨己為人,成仁取義」;不容易!

我最記得推翻滿清的時候,烈士叫譚嗣同。

他成仁取義的時候作了一首詩:「我自橫刀向天笑,世上如我有幾人」。

不簡單,拋頭顱,灑熱血。明明可以逃掉的,不要,慷慨赴義。什麼意思?成仁取義。

很多人又講:「明明可以逃掉的,可以重新再來。」

他不是。「我自橫刀向天笑」,視死如歸,一般人做不到。

所以他就講「世上如我有幾人。」

這些革命烈士像秋瑾,這些人不容易!他們要真正在修行,雖然可能沒有信佛教,沒有想到說要修行;可是他依教奉行。依什麼教?依我們聖賢之教,中國講「聖賢之教」。真的去做了,這實行「信解行證」,他「行」了。

「信」,他真的相信聖賢之教。

「解」,他真的把聖賢的教育,真正放到心裡去了,變成他的思想行為,真的實行。

「證」,成仁取義 – 證果,也是果,仁義之果。這種人死的時候,如果沒有瞋、恨念,到天界做神。如果有恨念、不平,到鬼界做鬼王,跟岳飛一樣。

以前有人走陰差到鬼界去,看到什麼?岳大將軍還在打金兵。沒有多久,武昌起義革命。鬼界先打,陽間就開始報了。

這事情,我聽過很多。以前我認識一個出家人,跟我講很多事還沒有發生以前,鬼界就托夢了。他看到有老老少少滿臉流著血、斷腿的、斷頭的都有。

就跟他講:「記住。什麼時候要超渡我們。」

他說:「好,好。」

沒有多久發生大車禍,死的就這些人。他就去《三時繫念》去超渡。這也是感應,如果他沒有道行,鬼界怎麼會來求他。這也是布施。

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