18 Feb Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 96
(Last week we ended with, “Even with only one degree is also pretty good, in this thought moment one has purified of defiling illusion is also not bad. To cultivate the practice of giving, you can do it at any time.”)
Cultivation as what I have just mentioned, there is no attachment to the image of self, no attachment to others, and both images of others and the self needs to be let go completely.
When encouraging all beings to chant Amitabha, you must not have your own understanding and views. Must not yearn for him to chant Amitabha properly; it is unnecessary. Your mind is clear and refreshed to persuade, whether he listens or not, that is his business. Doing this way will not have any after-effects.
Do not use mundane mentality to persuade all beings to chant (mindfulness) Amitabha; this is the practice of giving genuinely. Must be by the means of a purified mind of defiling illusion to persuade all beings to chant (mindfulness) Amitabha, use a compassionate mind, and use a shining mind to persuade all beings to chant (mindfulness) Amitabha; this is the practice of giving genuinely.
In ancient times, looking at all the Patriarchs of the Pure Land Buddhism, they all truly displayed a phenomenon, at the time of approaching death none of them left in confusion or with cognitive distortion, and went to be born to the Amitabha Pure Land. All of them left with clear minds.
The most current one is the 13th Patriarch Master Yin-Guang (印光大師). At the time of his leaving, He gave two brief sentences and said: “Amitabha is here and I need to go now”.
He left while sitting in a chair. Those people are certainly our models for the practice of giving.
The true venerable masters of Pure Land Buddhism, when they left none of them were in confusion or cognitive distortion state, and there was none left due to the illness. Yes, there was one who left the auspicious recumbent way, like the venerable lay practitioner Lee Bing-Nan (李炳南老居士), which was his manifestation.
He is a Buddha or Bodhisattva from the Amitabha Pure Land and he manifested to unite with Amitabha in mind by chanting Amitabha 24 hours without any distracting thoughts and without interruption. He manifested this condition and that is the only way all beings can do. He does the practice of giving his whole life; it was remarkable that there were a lot of people under his teaching who went and born to Amitabha Pure Land. Furthermore, he left no surplus from his life in this society; only a few worn-out undershirts, a few pairs of socks and one pair of shoes, and there were some of his Sutra explaining manuscripts; nothing else.
When we went to look at the Great Master of Yin-Guang (印光大師) room, there was nothing.
Why would those people manifest this way?
Some people even comment, does it not look so desolate?
No, they take material form to show us that they had practiced of giving away everything. Those venerable Patriarchs have so many followers and would offer them so many things, some made offering tonics, food and medicines; however, they practiced of giving all, everything, even the money donated from followers.
So, when we explain the Six Paramitas, by means of the practice of giving is the foundation. Indeed, you can practice of giving all completely, to have a clean body and mind until then, you gain competence in chanting Amitabha. “Gaining competence” is getting the supporting power from Amitabha, and to attain the unadulterated progress in your own power.
If you cannot do the practice of giving, then chanting Amitabha will have no power. Why? Because you are self-centered.
The practice of giving cannot be judged from one’s external appearances, you should not be mistaken by this. There are many Buddha and Bodhisattva who manifest with extreme wealth, the clothing and stuff one wears, even just one watch valued at a few million dollars; certainly, there is, one is a Buddha or Bodhisattva. Also, there are many of the rich who are manifestations of Buddha or Bodhisattva returning to this life. You cannot judge others from their outer appearance.
It is strange; he is so wealthy; how come he does not donate two cars to me?
No, we cannot look at the external appearance and you should not have discrimination.
There are many people who live poorly, and I have just mentioned that there are many practitioners who even do not have shoes to wear, their entire life only had one piece of cloth. One does not need anything which is also another way of manifestation. The rich helps the rich people cross over to nirvana, the poor and upright ones help people who are poor and upright to cross over. Those of us who are moderately affluent, the middle class helps the people in the middle class to cross over. Without exception, we cannot cling to all phenomena; once you attach to the phenomenal characteristics, then no one can cultivate well.
卷 (六) 布施波羅蜜
近代第十三代祖師 – 印光大師走的時候，交代兩句話，他說：「阿彌陀佛來了，我要走了。」
所以要講「六度」 – 「六波羅蜜」，以「布施」為基礎。確實你能「布施」的乾乾淨淨，身心乾乾淨淨，念佛才得力。得力就是得到佛力加持，得到自力的「精進」。