MASTER SHEN-LONG | Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 99
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Explanation of the Title: Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra, Part 99

(Last week we ended with, “The “moral precept” is not a standard set by someone or religious dogma specifications; no, it is not. We must be clear with this concept, otherwise there is no way for us to comply with precepts.”)

 

“Strictly adhering to precepts” is the same way as maintaining the precepts. “Vowing to follow the precepts” is the same way as accepting the precepts. For instance, the Buddha teaching is superficially blooming today, everyone is vowing to follow the precepts through to ordination. The lay practitioners are vowing to follow the “Three Refuges and Five Precepts”. In ancient times, many of the most virtuous ones stated:

If one can strictly adhere to the Five Precepts in full marks, then one will ascend to heaven.

 However, if one only adheres to 50%, then one becomes human. Of course, if you are reach 60%, 70%, or 80% you will be a human with a purified mind and have less afflictions comparatively. If you only maintain 40%, 30% or 20%, then you may end up in the Three Wretched Worlds (animal, hungry ghost, hell).

The basic “Five Precepts” are aimed at “killing, stealing, excessive sexual misconduct, lying, and no intoxicating of alcohol”. The moral precepts of “no killing, no stealing, and no excessive sexual misconduct” are the three fundamental moral precepts. Regardless if you are practicing cultivation or conducting one’s behavior, those are the three fundamentals.

What is the real meaning of this scriptural teaching? The scriptural teaching refers to “no killing, no stealing, no excessive sexual misconduct”. The implied meaning within the doctrine refers to “no greed, no aversion and no ignorance”; these are the basics.

First, let’s talk about “greediness”. Of course, we need to start from the “Three Refuges” and “Five Precepts”, and then gradually speak about the “Precepts of Bodhisattva”.

“Greediness” is basic and all humans have greed. Greediness is a kind of uncontrollable karma power. When speaking about the power of karma, it is erroneous thinking and attachments. One cannot help having erroneous thinking and attachment calling you to possess things, or to experience this kind of feeling, or when you have seen others with things and have a thought in your mind that you should have those things.

The “greedy thought” is the primary, and our reincarnation is due to this “greediness”. Previously we spoke about “one thought of the unenlightened condition”; in fact, it is the same way as “greediness”. For instance, the last time we explained, “A sudden breeze blows through, one becomes curious and wonders what is it? Then one has fall into the reincarnation.” “Greediness” is also the same as having curiosity of what is this? It is just like gambling, as soon as one gambles, after having that feeling the second time you will have memorized that feeling. After having it memorized, then you file into the Alaya (the 8th)-Consciousness—the depository filing system in our head. In the future when you encounter the emergence of this situation, the same feeling manifests. This kind of phenomenon is the most common.

Myriad affairs all establish this word “greediness”. Today, when we see the mountains, rivers and the great earth, the splendid nature of being the resultant person and conditioned environment of the Ten States of Existence (the universe) are all results from greediness. All is because we do not understand the universe, then the hallucinations begin. Greediness is the greatest hallucination; this is the most fundamental and primary problem.

If we cultivate ourselves in right practice today and unable to remove “greediness”, then it is ineffective to cultivate anything else. Even if you attend the Ordained Ceremony vowing to follow the “Three Refuges” and “Five Precepts”, and the Master gives you a Buddhist religious name and states that you will vow to follow the precepts; it is not entirely useful.

This is a very, very serious problem. The average person has this misunderstanding and thinks that after vowing to follow the “Three Refuges” and “Five Precepts”, that that are a qualified Buddhist because they have vowed to follow “Five Precepts” and the “Three Refuges” today. In fact, nothing has been done. Honestly speaking, being ordained with the “Five Precepts”, one is required to obtain “the embodiment of the precepts in one’s mind” – after accepted the precepts, psychologically manifest a kind of persist and compulsory effectiveness which can prevent a person from doing anything against the precepts.

What is the embodiment of the precept in one’s mind? In accordance to the Buddhist scripture: It is non-indicative form. Described exactly as a kind of energy field formed naturally, automatically, and not given to you by someone.

The “moral precepts” are in your inherent luminous self-nature and we originally possess this kind of ability to distinguish between good and bad, right and wrong, good versus evil. When you expand these abilities to the ultimate, it becomes the precepts of the Mahayana School to attain Buddha enlightenment in perfection. This is very, very important.

The average modern person, after vowing to follow the “Three Refuges” and “Five Precepts”, one will want to vow to follow the “Bodhisattva Precepts”.

Regarding the “Bodhisattva Precepts”, many lay practitioners had vowed to follow in the past. Has anyone truly obtained “the embodiment of the Bodhisattva precepts in one’s mind”? Without a doubt, there is none.

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

 

( ) 持戒波羅蜜

(上星期講到: 戒,並不是某人規範的,或者是教條式的規範,不是的。這個觀念一定要把它弄清楚,不然戒沒辦法持。)

「持」就是保持。「受」是接受。譬如一般來講,現在佛法表面看起來很興盛,大家都去受戒,居士受「三皈五戒」。古時候有很多大德講,如果「五戒」守到滿分的話,將來可以升天。百分之五十一半一半的- 來做人。當然百分之六十、七十、八十來做人,做人比較清淨,煩惱少。如果只有百分之四十、三十、二十,那可能要到惡道去了,上三惡道去了。

基本的「五戒」講的是「殺、盜、淫、妄、酒」 。「殺戒、盜戒、淫戒」,這是三「根本戒」。就是不論你今天修行也好,做人也好,三種根本。

講的教相真正的意思是什麼?教相是「殺、盜、淫」,教理裡面的含義是「貪、瞋、痴」,這是最基本的。

先講「貪」。當然先要從「三皈、五戒」開始講,這樣慢慢再講到「菩薩戒」。

最基本是「貪」,每個人來做人都會貪。「貪」就是一種不由自主的業力。講「業力」,就是妄想、執著。不由自主的妄想、執著叫你去想要擁有這個東西,或者是想要經歷這種感覺,或者是你看見別人得到這些東西,心裡面起個念頭,我也應該得到。

「貪念」是最原始,我們輪迴就是「貪」。以前我們講「一念無明」,實際上就是「貪」。譬如上次講「一念無明」,舉個例子:一陣風來,他好奇一下,「這什麼東西?」就墮入輪迴。「貪」也是一樣,「這個什麼東西?」好奇心。就跟賭博一樣,一賭,有感覺以後,第二次那念頭就把那感覺記住了。記住以後,就擺在「阿賴耶識」裡,就是我們腦袋裡的檔案。這個檔案當中,將來遇到境界,又現前了,這種現象最基本。

萬事都建立在「貪」字上面。今天看到山河大地、十法界依正莊嚴,全都是「貪」。全部都是因為我們對於宇宙不了解,起的幻覺。「貪」就是「最大的幻覺」,這是一個最根本、最原始的問題。如果我們今天修行不能把「貪」拿掉,修什麼都沒有用。就算去參加「三皈、五戒」,師父給你個法號,說你受戒了。都沒有用。

這是個很嚴重、很嚴重的問題。一般人誤會,到出家的寺院裡面,接受「三皈、五戒」,你看,我變成佛教徒了,今天受了「五戒」,受了「三皈」了。實際上沒有。說實在話,「五戒」要得「戒體」 – 就是戒的體性。

體性是什麼?經典上講,叫「無作色法」,就是說它是自然而然所形成的一種能量的磁場。自然而然的,不是說誰給你的。

「戒」是你本來自性光明中,本來就有的這種明辨是非、善惡、好壞的能力,原來就有。這擴充到最後,就變成圓成佛道的「大乘戒」。這個相當、相當重要。

一般現代人「三皈、五戒」受完了,還要受「菩薩戒」。

「菩薩戒」這事情,很多在家居士都受。有沒有真正得到「菩薩戒」的「戒體」?當然是沒有。

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