09 May 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.
卷(七 ) 持戒波羅蜜
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。