“Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra”
Speaker: Master Guangchao
Table of contents
Here I will tell you the “Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra”, referred to as the “Heart Sutra” . , as if you already know it, then the focus is on explaining the meaning of the “Heart Sutra” in depth.
Then the “Heart Sutra” is recorded in this classic, and there are a total of eleven translations in the “Tripitaka”, two of which have been lost, and the “Tripitaka” has these nine versions. In addition, Tibetan Buddhism also has another version of the “Heart Sutra”. Some of these translations use more and some less words, and there are some discrepancies, even the Sanskrit versions are different. The Sanskrit version of the “Heart Sutra” is still handed down, but that is only one of the versions. Then the “Heart Sutra” just said, what is it included in the records of the “Tripitaka”? In the “Tripitaka”, it is classified as the Prajna Department, also known as the Prajna Department. Then there are many classics about this wisdom in the Prajna Department. The largest “Great Prajna Sutra” has 600 volumes, and the Heart Sutra has 260 characters. The meaning of these 260 characters contains the entire “Great Prajna Sutra”. The essence, its essence, that is to say, the “Heart Sutra” can represent the “empty” thought of the entire “Prajna Sutra”.
Then the “Heart Sutra” is in the Southern Buddhism, they don’t have this sutra, so the Southern Buddhism does not recognize the “Heart Sutra” as a Buddhist scripture, but some of them still accept the principles of Buddhism in the “Heart Sutra”. Well, the “Heart Sutra” just said that there are nine translations, but now I say that the “Heart Sutra” is the most popular version, which is the version used by Chinese Buddhists since ancient times. This version was translated by Tang Xuanzang and Tang Sanzang. “Heart Sutra”. Then the “Heart Sutra” he translated did not come from India. He set off from Chang’an, passed the Silk Road, and was on the way to the Western Regions. Because he met an old monk and he took care of the old monk, Then the old monk gave him a Sanskrit version of the “Heart Sutra”. That is to say, before he came to India, he had already obtained this “Heart Sutra”, and after returning to China, he translated this “Heart Sutra”. This is how it came from.
The “Heart Sutra” has been very popular in Chinese Buddhism since ancient times, and it has become something to be recited in the morning and evening classes in temples. Therefore, the “Heart Sutra” has a lot of annotations, and there are more than 70 annotations in the records of the Tibetan scriptures. Then these annotations, because the ancients had a heavy sectarian concept, many annotations have a strong sectarian color. So here I am telling you the Heart Sutra. I am not speaking from the point of view of sects. Of course, I am speaking based on my personal understanding, and my understanding will not exceed the opinions of the ancients. This is for sure. .
So what does the title of this scripture mean? For the words “Prajna Paramita Heart Sutra”, first we will look at “Prajna Paramita” and then “Heart Sutra”. Among them, “Prajna Paramita” belongs to non-translation, that is, it belongs to transliteration, and it is transliterated according to the original sound. Why transliterate it? According to Master Xuanzang of the Tang Dynasty, some classics cannot be translated, and he stipulated it as the five untranslated. The first one is not translating, that is, not translating the secrets, that is, not translating the mantras, because there are some secrets in the mantras. The second is non-translation in a broad sense, that is, the word itself contains a wide range of meanings. If you only translate one of the meanings, it will lose other meanings, so he does not translate it. The third is that everything in this land cannot be overturned, that is, if there is something in India but not in China, then it will not be overturned. For example, the Sala tree translated in the Buddhist scriptures is a kind of tree in India, which does not exist in China, so it is called the Sala tree according to the original Indian pronunciation. The third type is called following the ancient times without translating, which means that the ancients have already translated the noun, and then revert to the original noun used by the ancients. This is called following the ancient times without translating. The fifth type is called “respect without transliteration”, which is the name. Some names are not translated because of respect for this name. For example, the relic in the “Heart Sutra”, the relic is a kind of bird, called the swan, so the Indian sound of the swan was called sari at that time. That Shariputra, one of the Buddha’s disciples, the mother of Shariputra, her name is called Shari, which means 鹙. It seems that some of us Chinese are called Agou and some are called Amao, so you can’t call them Agou or Amao when you translate. Then this Shariputra is the son of Yu. If you translate it like this, people will misunderstand what is the son of Yu, because he will not translate it like this. He is called Shalizi, which is Shari. , the son of this woman is called Shelizi. That’s what it means to be “respect without turning over”.
So since this “Prajna Paramita” is a transliteration, what is “Prajna Paramita”? “Prajna” is a noun, and “Paramita” is also a noun. These two are different nouns. According to the translation, “Prajna” means wisdom, and “Paramita” means reaching the other shore. That being the case, why not translate it into the wisdom of reaching the other shore? Because of this translation, many people take it too lightly and superficially, because the wisdom of prajna in Buddhism is not the wisdom that ordinary people think of.
The first point is that Buddhism divides this wisdom into three wisdoms, which are the three wisdoms of hearing, thinking, and cultivating. Smell is the knowledge you get after listening, which you didn’t know before. For example, human beings went to the moon, took the moon soil back to study, and then wrote a report. Then you didn’t see it yourself, but you believed it when you heard it. This kind of knowledge acquired by hearing is called Wen Hui. As for Sihui, it is the wisdom gained from hearing, judging, observing, and thinking. This kind of wisdom is called Sihui. The third kind is called Xiuhui, which is the wisdom that you have realized through practicing according to the method of Buddhism, called Xiuhui. These three kinds of wisdom are all different in depth. In Chinese Buddhism, these three types of wisdom are referred to as literal prajna, contemplation prajna, and reality prajna. That is to say, what you hear is the wisdom of language, and then you think and observe, which is called contemplative prajna, and then the wisdom you realize after you practice is real, called the wisdom of reality, called prajna of reality.
Then this wisdom Buddha Dharma divides it into transcendental wisdom and worldly wisdom. The wisdom of the world is the wisdom of people in the world, and the wisdom that comes from knowledge is called the wisdom of the world. The wisdom of the world is the wisdom that can lead you to liberation and realize the truth of the world, which is called “beyond the world”. Buddhism regards the world as something other than the world, which is called “beyond the world”. Then this wisdom, the wisdom of “Prajna Paramita” includes the wisdom of the world and the wisdom of the world. It is not only the world, but it is not just the world.
Then “paramita”, “paramita” means to reach the other shore. This goes to the other side. Buddhism says that we are in the samsara of life and death, and there is a so-called practice to liberate this life and death after a certain period of time. The side that is in the cycle of life and death is called this shore, and the other side that is free from life and death is called the other shore. So how did this get to the other side? What does it mean to go to the other side? The other shore means that there is this shore, this shore is in the cycle of life and death, and the other shore means that you have been freed from the cycle of life and death.
So the paramita to reach the other shore, Buddhism says six ways for you to practice, let you go to the other shore, called the six paramitas, so it is also called the six paramitas, which means to reach the other shore. Among them, generosity can overcome greed, observance of precepts can overcome offenses, patience can overcome anger, vigor can overcome laziness, meditation can overcome distraction, and wisdom can overcome ignorance. Then this “Prajna Paramita” is the last of the six to the other side, which is the degree of wisdom. That is to say, in the end, you have to use this wisdom to get to the other shore, because this shore, this shore of life and death, and the other shore of liberation from life and death are all caused by confusion. , is to the other side.
So what is the content of the Heart Sutra mainly about? The content of the “Heart Sutra” mainly talks about the principle of prajna and emptiness . That is, if you look at the content of the scriptures, except for the repetition of the words “empty” and “nothing”, the rest are terms that are often heard in Buddhism. What is it? It is form, feeling, thought, action, and consciousness, which are called the five aggregates, and then the eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, mind, form, sound, smell, taste, touch, and law, these eighteen are called eighteen. boundary. These are the so-called realm of vision, realm of form, and realm of vision and consciousness. Next, there are three realms of ear, sound, and ear-consciousness. Next, the nose realm, the fragrance realm, and the nose consciousness realm are three. There are three realms of tongue, taste, and tongue consciousness. The body world, the touch world, and the body-consciousness world are three. The last three are the Mind Realm, the Dharma Realm and the Conscious Realm. Then these eighteen are called the twelve places, and they are also the Dharma mentioned in the “Heart Sutra”.
What else does the Heart Sutra mention? When it comes to the twelve causal links, it means ignorance until old age and death. And the twelve causal conditions are like this, there are twelve of them, namely, ignorance, formations, formations, consciousness, consciousness, name and form, name and form, six entrances, six entrances, contact, contact, feeling, feeling, love, Love leads to attachment, attachment leads to existence, attachment leads to birth, and finally old age and death. In addition to this, the “Heart Sutra” also talks about suffering , origin , cessation , and Tao , which are the Four Noble Truths . The “Heart Sutra” lists the names of the five aggregates, the eighteen realms, the twelve causal relationships, and the four holy truths, and then it says that these Buddhist teachings are all empty in nature, and it mainly talks about “emptiness” in these aspects. So what does the Heart Sutra tell us? It is to tell us the various phenomena mentioned in the Buddhadharma, which are all empty.
Let’s go a step further, talking about “no wisdom and no gain”, this is talking about this enlightenment, “wisdom” is wisdom, and “obtaining” is the realization of fruit status. Then the “Heart Sutra” says that the enlightened person and the enlightened fruit position are also empty. Then let’s go further, this Bodhisattva is a person who practices the Bodhisattva way. It is also because of the realization of this “emptiness” that he is liberated and free, life and death are free to practice the Bodhisattva way, and even becoming a Buddha is also the realization of this “emptiness”. To become a Buddha is to realize the wisdom of prajna-nature and emptiness. Therefore, the “Heart Sutra” focuses on “emptiness”. But what is the object of “emptiness”? In fact, its object is to talk about the five aggregates, the twelve bases, the eighteen realms, the twelve causal relationships, and the four noble truths. Therefore, if we want to understand the “emptiness” mentioned in the “Heart Sutra”, we must first understand the five aggregates , the eighteen realms , the twelve causal relationships , and the four noble truths, and then understand why it is empty. Therefore, the wisdom of “Prajna Paramita”, the wisdom of reaching the other shore, is to observe that the five aggregates, the eighteen realms, the twelve causal relationships, and the four holy truths are empty, which is called the “emptiness” of Prajna Paramita. wisdom.
So what is the meaning of the last two words in this scripture title are “Heart Sutra”? This “heart” refers to the center and the focus, that is to say, where is the focus in the center of wisdom in this practice? It is the principle that the content of the “Heart Sutra” wants to talk about. Then the center and focus of practice is to observe the five aggregates, the eighteen realms, the twelve causal relationships, and the four noble truths, and then to realize emptiness. That is to say, anyone who practices, no matter what method he uses, will inevitably go to and return to the five aggregates, the eighteen realms, the twelve causal conditions, and the four holy truths to observe, so it is called this “heart”. , key points. So what does “jing” mean? “Sutra” refers to the many and countless Dharma taught by the Buddha. Later, the disciples of the Buddha compiled these Dharma taught by the Buddha together, and they are called a Sutra, so “Sutra” has the meaning of running through. Then the Sutra is sometimes translated as the Sutra of the Deed, and the Sutra of the Sutra means that it fits the truth, and it also meets the needs of all living beings, so it is called the Sutra of the Deed.
Now that we’ve finished analyzing the scriptures, let’s look at the scriptures. The first sentence of the scriptures reads, “Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, when practicing the deep Prajna Paramita for a long time, sees that all five aggregates are empty.” The first sentence of the “Heart Sutra” tells us to observe this “emptiness”. First of all, let’s look at what “Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva” is. Bodhisattva is an abbreviation. The real sound of Bodhisattva should be translated into “Bodhisattva”, which is Bodhisattva. Many of the classics translated by Chinese people have long nouns. Abbreviation, so Bodhisattva is the abbreviation of transliteration. According to its meaning, this “Bodhi” is Bodhi, which should be translated as enlightenment, and “Sa” is Sattu, which should be translated as sentient beings, so Bodhisattvas are enlightened sentient beings, and sentient beings are sentient beings with thoughts and perceptions , called sentient beings. So awareness, what is awareness? That is to say, the Buddhadharma says that all living beings are confused about the world, the cycle of life and death, our own troubles, and all kinds of dharmas. Then when a person is enlightened, he is not confused by these external situations and his afflictions, that is called enlightenment. Then “Bodhi” is a special term used in Buddhism, because the Buddha, Sakyamuni Buddha had a tree in Bodhi Kassapa, India, called the Bodhi tree, and he became a Buddha under the Bodhi tree, so Buddhism uses Bodhi to represent wisdom.
So how does this bodhisattva, an enlightened being, become a bodhisattva? Not everyone can call a Bodhisattva. According to the stages of Buddhist practice, a Bodhisattva has to practice for countless kalpas, and it takes a long time to become a Bodhisattva. Then the attainments of bodhisattvas can be divided into the so-called ten stages of bodhisattvas, the first stage, the second stage, the third stage, and the tenth stage. It is not easy to complete the Bodhisattva of the first level, even if his ability surpasses that of an arhat. So it is not easy for a Bodhisattva to do it. What are his conditions?
The first thing is a real Bodhisattva, he must truly observe that this world is unreal and suffering, and then he understands that he should not be confused in this suffering world, so the first thing a Bodhisattva must be very clear about us This world is bitter.
The second thing is that a Bodhisattva knows this suffering and must leave this world. Therefore, a true Bodhisattva will never confuse this world in his heart, and will definitely leave and stay away from this world. Therefore, Bodhisattvas not only When you see suffering, you have to stay away from this mind that confuses the world.
The third point is that after a bodhisattva wants to renounce his renunciation , he needs another kind of heart, which is called great compassion. It is Bodhisattva who observes that sentient beings are deluded in this world and is very distressed, so he arouses this compassionate heart to save sentient beings, and this heart to save sentient beings is the great compassionate heart of Bodhisattva. Because of this great compassion, although he wants to stay away from this world and get rid of the suffering of samsara in this world, he still returns to this world to save sentient beings, so in Buddhism, it is called flying backwards. In other words, a Bodhisattva’s heart is to stay away from the world, but in order to save sentient beings, he throws himself into this world to be with sentient beings. So what can you do with sentient beings? On the one hand, he saves sentient beings, on the other hand, he purifies his body and mind, and increases his wisdom. His ultimate goal is to become a Buddha and save sentient beings. Then one must have this kind of heart to be called a bodhisattva.
So from a human being, how does he cultivate from an ordinary person to become a Bodhisattva? That is to say at the beginning, he must have these hearts. First, he must know that the world is suffering, that is, he must know suffering. The second thing he needs to generate is renunciation. The third thing he needs to have is great compassion. The fourth thing he wants to save sentient beings is to have Bodhicitta. After having these hearts, we call this person a bodhisattva with the first heart. Then there is no difference between a Bodhisattva with just aspirations and an ordinary person, except that he has the above four kinds of hearts. Then he has to practice hard, and after a while, he will attain some fruit status of Bodhisattva, which is the so-called Bodhisattva of the tenth stage. Then, before the bodhisattva reaches the fruit position, the bodhisattva will advance and retreat in his practice. How do you say forward and backward? It is this bodhicitta that he wants to abandon, he does not want to be a Bodhisattva, and he wants to be liberated as soon as possible, then he will not be a Bodhisattva. That is to say, for an ordinary Bodhisattva, after the initial aspiration, he will advance and retreat.
So when a bodhisattva reaches the first stage of cultivation, after he obtains the first bodhisattva fruition, he will never back down. That will not retreat, this kind of Bodhisattva is called non-regression Bodhisattva, also known as Adabazhi Bodhisattva. Since the Bodhisattva has gone through countless kalpas from the beginning of the heart to the cultivation of the Bodhisattva, he has accumulated wisdom and blessings, which are called wisdom and blessings. After the accumulation reaches maturity, he will be able to Prove to the first place. That is to say, after a Bodhisattva achieves success in cultivation, according to Buddhism, when he comes to this world again, he will be different from ordinary people. He will have some things that are superior to ordinary people, which are called the five virtues. The first one is that Bodhisattva will never fall into the evil realm again, and he will lead sentient beings in the good realm life after life after he comes to this world. The second one is that he was born in a wealthy family life after life, because this bodhisattva has accumulated a lot of blessings, so no matter where he goes, he will be a nobleman or a king, and he will be born in a noble family. Thirdly, if a bodhisattva reaches a great level of merit, according to Buddhism, he will often be born as a man and seldom be a woman. Why? Because women have more obstacles, women have to have children, and they are less free than men. Fourth, Bodhisattvas, because of their merits, make them look dignified and possess all faculties no matter whether they are heavenly beings or human beings. Fifth, because this bodhisattva has accumulated good roots for countless kalpas, he never loses his righteous thoughts, saying that he can maintain his righteous thoughts no matter what time he is. This is called the extraordinary thing of the bodhisattva of non-regression.
It is rare for us to meet such a Bodhisattva in this world, and there will still be ones, but such people are rare. So many people easily call someone a Bodhisattva, which is wrong. It is said that when a person does a good deed, and then says “Oh, this person has Bodhicitta, this great Bodhisattva”, such a title is slandering a Bodhisattva, and it is not so easy to do a Bodhisattva. That is to say, when a person becomes a Bodhisattva, he will no longer be attached to anything in the world. So if a person does a little charity, he takes one percent or one tenth of his money, and keeps most of the rest for himself. This is not a Bodhisattva at all. If a person wants to cultivate the path of liberation and liberate himself from life and death, he is willing to give up some money, let alone a Bodhisattva. So don’t think that some people are Bodhisattvas just because they have done some good deeds and made great donations. is very wrong.
Then the scriptures mention this “Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva”, what does it mean that the Bodhisattva has cultivated in practice? Cultivate to “viewing freedom”. So what is “freedom”? Generally, we say that this “comfort” has two aspects, one is that your inner troubles make you uncomfortable, and the other is that external things make you uncomfortable. So the Bodhisattva’s “freedom” is not like this. According to the scriptures, there are ten kinds of freedom for Bodhisattvas.
The first is the freedom of life. It means that a bodhisattva has cultivated to a certain level, and he can go to the place where he can follow sentient beings, and he will go there to reincarnate. Then, he can decide how long he will live in that life to form karma with sentient beings, which is his lifespan. comfortable.
The second is wealth. It is what a Bodhisattva needs. He doesn’t need to work hard, and he can get it naturally if he wants it. And this acquisition is not obtained through supernatural powers, but because of his past retribution. If he wants to have those things, he will naturally get them, which is called wealth.
The third industry is free. That is, all living beings are reincarnated with karma in the cycle of life and death. It is because of the drive of afflictions that you create karma and reincarnate. Then the bodhisattva will not be confused by karma. He can know the karma of his past lives, where he has karma with all beings, and what he should do, so he can reincarnate wherever he is.
The fourth is born freely. As for the bodhisattva, he is at ease during his birth, even during the period of birth and reincarnation. Let’s just say that our Buddhism says that all living beings have the so-called delusion of the Yin Yin in their practice, that is, they are deluded when they enter, stay in, and emerge from the womb. As for Bodhisattvas, when they are born, they are all at ease and not confused. For example, according to the Mahayana scriptures, Shakyamuni Buddha descended from the Tushita Heaven into the womb of Mrs. Maya. He was not deluded in the womb. , He still continues to be in heaven, and the heavenly beings in Tushita Heaven continue to speak to them, but people in the world think that he is in the mother’s womb, and the Bodhisattva is so comfortable when he is born.
The fifth freedom is to be free. It is the vow made by the Bodhisattva, and what he wants to do will definitely be completed satisfactorily. This is called the wish to be free.
The sixth is peace of mind. Our hearts are turned by afflictions, and we are not at ease at all. As for the Bodhisattva, he can control his mind, he can think whatever he thinks in his mind, he will not be turned away by afflictions, and his mind is at ease.
The seventh is called wishful ease. Ruyi is the change of the heart, called Ruyi, which means the so-called supernatural power. That is, when a bodhisattva reaches the first stage of cultivation, he begins to have some supernatural powers to change freely, which is called wishful freedom.
The eighth is the freedom of the law. That is, Bodhisattvas can speak some Buddhist teachings according to the needs of sentient beings, and speak freely, which is called Dharma freedom.
The ninth is called victory and freedom. Bodhisattvas are able to understand all the principles of Buddhism taught by the Buddha, and they will not understand what they have heard.
The tenth is wisdom and freedom. It is wisdom and eloquence.
These ten freedoms are all kinds of freedoms Bodhisattvas get after they get rid of the delusion of this world in their practice. Among them, “Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva”, what does “Avalokitesvara” mainly talk about here? “Guan” refers to observation, so observing the world without being confused, but at ease, this is called “observation at ease”. So what does this “Guanzizi” observe in this world? We talk about observing what is in the world, such as various kinds of money, wives and children. This is what ordinary people call “observation”, observing the world. What does a bodhisattva observe in the world? When he observes the world, it is actually just the effects of the five aggregates, eighteen realms, and twelve causal conditions. He no longer confuses these things in his heart, so he is called “Guanzizi”.
So when this “Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, practicing deep Prajna Paramita”, he said that a Bodhisattva is in the process of practicing, what will he increase? It is necessary to increase the wisdom of this “Prajna Paramita”. So why is this wisdom described in terms of depth and shallowness? The depth of this wisdom is based on the depth of our afflictions. How should we put it? That is to say, our afflictions are hidden very deeply, we cannot see them, they are hidden in our hearts. Well, when a person has this wisdom, he can see deeply and clearly about his afflictions. Therefore, wisdom, the reason why we need deep wisdom is because the afflictions are thick and deep. Therefore, this “walking deep Prajna Paramita”, in terms of his wisdom, the wisdom of Prajna, has to go to the other shore to observe deeply. This “deep” refers to observing deeply into the world of afflictions, so wisdom is There are depths.
So what to observe? In fact, I just said that the depth of wisdom is due to the depth of afflictions, so this Prajna Paramita, the object of his observation, is the confused mind. Cover up. The Buddha often used the sun as a metaphor in the scriptures. He said that it is as if the clouds block the sun. The thicker the cloud is, you can’t see the sun and it becomes dark. When the cloud is thinner, the cloud becomes white. When there are no clouds, the sun becomes very bright. So this means that because we are covered by afflictions, our wisdom has depths. Wisdom itself has no depth.
When it comes to wisdom, some people think that we ordinary people do not have wisdom, and then I practice and cultivate, and finally I will have wisdom. This is a wrong concept. Wisdom is inherently present. Buddhism says that this wisdom is just like the sun’s rays, which are originally there. Well, afflictions do not exist in the first place, just like black clouds. When clouds come and cover the sun, then It seems that wisdom is gone, but afflictions are there. And what do we actually say? That is, as long as you let go of your troubles, wisdom will appear. Therefore, wisdom does not come from additional cultivation. As long as the afflictions are removed, wisdom will appear. This is the kind of wisdom. So this kind of wisdom, he said that he saw that the five aggregates are empty, and he said that he had practiced the deep prajna paramita for a long time. At that time, his wisdom came to see the five aggregates, and he said that he saw that the five aggregates were empty.
So what is “seeing”? When all sentient beings see, know, and recognize something, we add all kinds of knowledge we have learned to think and discern. This kind of thinking and discerning cannot be called “seeing”. Without any thinking, it is like the sun shining directly on your face without any glass blocking or filtering. This is called “shine”. That is to say, this wisdom sees that the five aggregates are all empty, and he can’t have afflictions involved in it, mixed in it, so he can do it. So this “seeing” means consciously and directly observing. What do you observe? To observe the five aggregates, the mind and body are all empty.
So here, the first thing to talk about is the five aggregates, so what are the five aggregates? The five aggregates are form, feeling, thought, action, and consciousness, which are called the five aggregates, and I will further analyze them later. So what is “empty”? “Empty” does not mean “have”, nor does it mean “no”. “Emptiness” is because we are attached to “existence”, and we are attached to the existence of something. Then the Buddha tells you that those things you are attached to exist, it is an illusion, it does not have its essence, that is to say, its nature , Noumenon, called the existence without reality, called “empty”. So “empty” doesn’t mean to empty everything, it doesn’t mean to lose, but it refers to the essence of the things you are obsessed with and confused, it has no nature, no self-nature, so “empty” “Also known as sexual emptiness, also known as “emptiness without self-nature”.
After “seeing that the five aggregates are all empty”, he “overcomes all hardships”. What is all misery? This suffering, according to our Buddhism, as we said at the beginning, the first thing for a Bodhisattva is to know that this world is a suffering. Then Buddhism tells us the truth of the world. The Buddha used the Four Noble Truths to say that the first Noble Truth is the Noble Truth of Suffering. You have all learned it. That is to say, when you are awakening to this world, what is the first thing you should awaken to? To realize that the causes and conditions in this world are impermanent and not comfortable at all, and we are deluded and have all kinds of afflictions, greed, hatred and ignorance inside, and those afflictions, greed, hatred and ignorance are not comfortable, then this world is not comfortable, and the afflictions, greed, hatred and ignorance are not comfortable at all. Afflictions and discomfort are all the result of suffering.
So now the Bodhisattva “sees that the five aggregates are all empty”, that is, after looking back at this body and mind, after the nature is empty, he can overcome these various sufferings. why? It turns out that our various sufferings are due to our confusion, ignorance and confusion about the five aggregates, body and mind, and various afflictions and reactions of greed, hatred, and ignorance. Then if you stop being attached to the five aggregates, body and mind, and stop being confused by them, then all kinds of suffering you have fallen into before will not appear, so seeing that the five aggregates are empty, you will be able to overcome all sufferings Er.
When it comes to suffering, we sentient beings are really ignorant. Let me give you an example. When I was in the army, I once said to a colleague: “Oh, it is very hard to be a human being. I have to find food. Then I have to find food to meet my body’s needs, but I just eat it and can’t fully absorb it. , go to defecate to get rid of it. Then the stool is very smelly, and I have to go, so eating is also bitter, and defecating is also bitter.” Then, the colleague said: “Why, I am very happy when I eat. I buy it when I want to eat. I like it very much and feel comfortable.” Then, I said that the stool is very hard, and he said that the stool would make it It is very happy to release it, he thinks that all of this is joy. He thinks that as long as he wants to eat, he can solve the problem of eating, and if he wants to have a bowel movement, he can solve the problem of defecation. He said that there will be no suffering. This is the confusion of ordinary people. If he is a wise man, why am I maintaining this body like that? Why do I eat three meals a day? Why do I have to do that every day? Can’t I have one meal a day? Or let me eat twelve meals a day, and he said that twelve meals are very bitter, so these are the worldly people who are confused by this world, and use this affliction, greed, hatred and ignorance to see the “suffering” and “happiness”.
As for the “suffering” mentioned in Buddhism just now, it is because your heart is uncomfortable, confused inside, and you cannot help yourself. This suffering is in this place, because everything is not up to you. According to Buddhism, everything is There are changes of causes and conditions, and no one can make decisions about these changes of causes and conditions, and you have to bear all kinds of retributions, so he said that this world is a bitter retribution, and this bitter retribution is due to our inner attachment, and Come and bear this suffering, if you don’t cling to it, you won’t suffer this suffering. So the wisdom of Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva, he has to see clearly the five aggregates, body and mind, no longer attached, no longer want to accept and bear these retributions, and then he no longer accepts, he will no longer be affected by this retribution, Uncomfortable inside. Well, according to those teachings, when he talked about suffering, there is the so-called suffering of the body, old age suffering, sickness suffering, death suffering, love and separation suffering, resentment and hatred suffering, not being able to get what one wants, and the flaming of the five aggregates. Bitter, I won’t say much here, I will take it as you have heard of it.
So what do I want you to understand? The real suffering is the eighth so-called “flaming suffering of the five aggregates”, so Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva observes these five aggregates, no longer confused, and does not create in it to get rid of this suffering. As for the “emptiness” of “seeing that the five aggregates are all empty”, many people have many misunderstandings. Some people think that “I came empty-handed and left empty-handed”, which is called “emptiness”. They are all empty, and he described this death as empty, which is wrong.
So what do some people say is “empty”? Emptiness means that when everything is destroyed in the end, everything will be destroyed in the end, and it will no longer exist. The houses and cars you see will eventually be destroyed. He said that this is called emptiness, but in fact, he does not understand it. “null”.
Then another kind of person has a little bit of wisdom, so he analyzes everything in this world, and he gets nothing from the result of his analysis. It is also empty, which is considered to be empty from analysis. What is the reason for this emptiness? It is empty in terms of thinking analysis.
What about the other kind of people? They think that “emptiness” is a state, so they say that in practice, you must realize this “emptiness” and enter the state of emptiness. In the realm of emptiness, he said that this is called “emptiness”.
Some people have learned a saying from the Buddhist scriptures, the so-called “the moment is empty”, that is, everything you have right now is empty. He said that what you see, hear, and everything you say now is itself empty.
What about these talks about emptiness, all kinds of talk about emptiness are all misunderstandings about emptiness. So how is Kong going to understand it? Let’s look at the first sentence of the “Heart Sutra”, “Seeing that the five aggregates are all empty.” This “emptiness” cannot be empty by itself, “emptiness” is empty because of “existence”, what does it mean to be empty because of “existence”? Because all living beings are attached to “existence”, and then the Buddha told us “emptiness”. If all living beings are not attached to “existence”, “emptiness” is not available. This is the same thing as “emptiness”. Entity. Then this “emptiness” is called “emptiness” because of “existence”, not because of “existence” because of “existence”? He said that seeing the five aggregates, observing “emptiness” from the side of the five aggregates, rather than observing emptiness from the side of emptiness, then to observe this “emptiness”, one must observe the “emptiness” in the five aggregates, the eighteen realms, and the twelve causal conditions. , Four Noble Truths to observe emptiness, this is the “Heart Sutra” that allows you to understand emptiness in this way. It is to first understand “there is”, what is there? There are the five aggregates, the eighteen realms, the twelve causal relationships, and the four noble truths, so you need to know that they are inherently empty, and understand emptiness in this way. In other words, before we understand “emptiness”, we must first understand what “being” is. That is to say, we sentient beings, according to Buddhism, we are called “existence”, the so-called “three existences”, what are the “three existences”? That is, we have created some karma in the past, the retribution of the realm of form, the retribution of the non-form realm, and the retribution of the desire realm, which are called the three existences. Well, because we have all kinds of causes and conditions in the past, all kinds of thoughts, and karma, so according to the theory of reincarnation of the twelve karma, it is because you have this “karma”, that is, “existence” of these things. So we think that we want to practice, to be liberated, and to realize emptiness, all because we think that there are those things that exist, and we want to get rid of these “beings”. Therefore, we must first understand what is “being”, and then talk about what is empty.
When it comes to observing “existence”, let’s observe the five aggregates, so the next scripture tells us how to observe the five aggregates. The scriptures go on to say, “Shariputra, form is not different from emptiness, emptiness is not different from form, form is emptiness, emptiness is form, and the same is true for thinking and knowing.” Here, this passage is a shortened sentence. If you look at the “Maha Prajna Sutra”, it is said separately. It is said that after the lecture of “form is not different from emptiness”, it also said “feeling is not different from emptiness, emptiness is not different from feeling, feeling is emptiness, emptiness is feeling”, and it is repeated in five. In the “Heart Sutra”, the sentence “Thinking and knowing, and the same is true” is over. That is to say, the five aggregates need to be observed individually. They are all “form is not different from emptiness, emptiness is not different from form, form is emptiness, and emptiness is form”.
Well, as I said just now, if you want to understand “emptiness”, you must first understand what “existence” is. If you don’t understand “existence”, if you say “emptiness”, you are talking nonsense. So let’s first understand what “have” is, what do we have, that is, what do we have? There are five aggregates of form, feeling, perception, formation, and consciousness. what do we have We have eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body, mind, form, sound, smell, taste, touch, and dharma. What do we have? We have these twelve causes and conditions changing over there, and we have these various dharmas, so we observe in these dharmas to see what is going on.
Then the “Heart Sutra” uses the first one, the first “form” of the five aggregates, to say, what is the form aggregate? The first of the five aggregates is called form aggregate, and “form” means matter. If we only talk about the name “form” in Buddhism, it can refer to light, also called “form”, called form dust, or it can refer to matter called form dharma. So the form aggregate of the five aggregates here mainly refers to our body and the physical body. Why do we say that the five aggregates mainly refer to the physical body? It turns out that sentient beings cling to “I” from five angles, but the Buddha uses the five aggregates to break his concept of “I”. Therefore, the “form” in the five aggregates mainly refers to the physical body. Then this physical body is called the form aggregate in the five aggregates, why is it called the form aggregate? Because there are many substances in our body, “form” just means substance, this body is composed of bone, flesh, blood and other substances, and these substances themselves are not single, they are a lot of activities that come together , so it is called the form aggregate.
Then our body, because all beings are attached to “I”, the reason why I have “I” is because the existence of my body is the existence of “I”. Then I just mentioned that the Buddha said that the body is not me, and he said that the body is just the activities of different substances. For example, the flesh and blood you had when you were young, they no longer exist today. If we understand medicine, our body needs to absorb nutrients and excrete waste every day. In this metabolic process, the material in the body does not belong to you for a moment. It is only temporary. After biological and physical changes, it passes through you temporarily. body, and finally it leaves. The bones in your body, those substances in your bones a year ago, they have been replaced after a year, they will not stay there all the time, they are alive, they are always renewing there, so it is not A certain bone, that bone will always be that bone over there, no, that bone will change there immediately, the same is true for flesh and blood, so it is called form aggregate, there is no subject in it, there is no “” I”.
So, what is the aggregate of feelings? As for the feeling aggregate, we have accumulated some karma in the past, which will produce this feeling. This feeling has the feeling of painful feeling, pleasant feeling, and neither painful nor pleasant feeling. And where does this feeling come from? from the sense organs. According to the Buddhist teachings, there are generally three kinds of feelings, namely, painful feelings, pleasant feelings, and neither-painful-nor-pleasant feelings. These “feelings” themselves are not being felt by one thing, but countless thoughts of feeling are moving there. For example, if you think or feel a certain sound is very pleasant, or you eat something delicious and feel comfortable with it, those are different feelings. So this feeling, what is it in terms of modern medicine? It is your sensory organ, which conveys that feeling through your nervous system, then to your brain cells, and then your memory to understand it, but because your most superficial sensory organ, such as the tongue, has different parts There are different sensations. When it eats something, it feels uncomfortable in some places, and comfortable in some places. These feelings are all caused by your sensory organs and past karma. The “feeling” is not one. From this point of view, Buddhism says that there are countless and boundless “feelings”, which are collectively called the aggregate of feeling. In order to break the attachment of all beings, there is an “I” who is receiving, so the Buddha said that receiving is a limitless “receiving”, and the idea of receiving is only active there, which is called the aggregate of receiving.
What is “thinking”? “Thinking” means that when your heart touches a state, it becomes attached to that state to distinguish it. In this separation, it will grasp the image and name, and then think about it, which is called “thinking”. For example, if you think about a flower, a red flower, that is also a “thinking”. You think about the smell of the drumstick, although you can’t smell it, you can think about the smell, it’s also a thought, it’s an image, and the drumstick is a name. Then you think about the feeling of the fragrance and taste at that time, it’s just a thought. That is to say, after you get in touch with the realm, all kinds of immeasurable and boundless thoughts arise in your heart. These perceptions are not independent perceptions, so they are collectively called perception aggregates. Speaking of this thought, many philosophers are studying how “I” exists. He said that I exist, and the most basic and basic thing is that I would think “I think, I exist”, so he said “I think, therefore I am” In”, he thinks that he can think, at least he must exist first, that is, “I”, and then I am thinking about things, so the Buddha said that these people can think and think, but they are just thinking in different minds.
So what is the aggregate of formations? What is “OK”? “Xing” has artificiality and the meaning of change in it. But here, the aggregation of formations mainly refers to fabrication, which refers to a kind of mind in our physical and mental changes, which always reacts to the state to do things, which is called fabrication. For example, when hearing a sound, the ear likes to understand it. It is also an artificiality to listen to it more. People talk about you, and you want to scold him back. When you become angry, it is also an act. If you want to know more, it is artificial to be angry, and it is artificial to be greedy when you see something. Then we have immeasurable and countless artificial minds, which are not created by an independent “I”. Therefore, the Buddha said that this creation is the creation of the aggregate of formations, not an “I” who is creating it. For example, one person likes (coffee) and has a greed for coffee, and another person likes to eat chicken legs and has a greed for chicken legs. These two kinds of greed are absolutely different. You can get rid of one kind of greed, and the other ones still exist, so they are different greeds, not one “I” is greedy.
So what is consciousness? Consciousness aggregate is a perceiving mind, that is, when our mind touches a realm, we first think of that mind, know the existence of that realm, and at the same time know that I am knowing, then this knowing, the knowing mind, is Consciousness. Then this knowing, people in the world think that because there is an “I”, that knowing is me, I know, then the Buddha said, this knowing is the same, it is a different mind that knows. How about a simple analysis, the Buddha said that there is the so-called eye consciousness to know, and the ear consciousness to know, the eye consciousness can only know the light, the ear consciousness can only know the sound, and they are different minds that know. Even your eye-consciousness at this moment and the eye-consciousness at the next moment are all the mind that knows the impermanence of birth and death, so the Buddha called this kind of consciousness collectively the aggregate of consciousness. So simply speaking, “consciousness” is just one consciousness, if you say more, there are six consciousnesses, and if you say more, there are eight consciousnesses, all of which are different thoughts, called consciousness aggregates.
Because all living beings are attached to the five aggregates, there is an “self” in body and mind, so the Buddha will talk about the five aggregates to break the “self-attachment”.
As for sentient beings, they are attached to the five aggregates, the body and mind, and there is a self. What about the Buddha, so he will talk about the five aggregates to get rid of this self-attachment. Why did the Buddha only talk about the five aggregates, not six or seven?
The first point, as I just said, is because all living beings are attached to the body as me; the person who is attached to receiving retribution is me; the person who is attached to thinking is me; the person who is attached to karma is me; the person who is attached to consciousness is me. . Therefore, the Buddha must talk about the five aggregates.
The other reason is because, in our physical and mental activities, the body, that is, material activities, is one of the very intense activities. In addition, this knowing mind, we are always aware of the external environment, this perceiving mind, this consciousness is always active, so this consciousness, the Buddha proposed to talk about it. Then how about practice, greed, hatred, and ignorance are all gathered in the practice, we have countless greed, hatred, and ignorance, why should we talk about it separately? Because greed, hatred, and ignorance do not come out all the time, sometimes greed, sometimes hatred, and sometimes ignorance. But our consciousness, our perceiving mind, is something that we are perceiving the external environment every time we think about it. Unlike greed and hatred, sometimes greed, sometimes anger, and sometimes not at all. So this consciousness, because it is active in every thought, and we don’t realize it, so we need to observe it for practice. Observe this consciousness, so the consciousness aggregate is very important and needs to be observed.
The same is true for feelings and perceptions. Every time we think about consciousness and perception, we have feelings and perceptions. Therefore, the perception aggregate, the consciousness aggregate, and the feeling aggregate, these three kinds of thoughts arise all the time.
So a person, he wants to see this emptiness, and there are many, many dharmas in the five aggregates, body and mind, but before he wants to awaken, he needs to focus on observing thoughts such as feeling, perception, and consciousness. why? Because he is practicing and observing, he has a lot of afflictions, such as greed, anger, and ignorance, but his consciousness, his feelings, and his thoughts are still going on all the time. Therefore, among the five aggregates, feeling, perception, and consciousness occupy a place. This is the principle.
Now let’s look back at the form aggregate of “seeing that the five aggregates are all empty”, that is, “form is not different from emptiness, emptiness is not different from form, form is emptiness, and emptiness is form”. As I said just now, to understand emptiness, one must first understand existence. It is because we are attached to existence that Buddha speaks of emptiness. So now this form is a “being”. What form is there? It refers to our physical body. Then when we are obsessed with having this physical body, we are inside to distinguish whether it exists or not. Then you find that this body exists, and then Buddhism tells you that the existence you think is not a real existence. So in the Mahayana classics, the word “emptiness” is used.
But this existence, Buddhism itself came later, and later Buddhism had various interpretations. That is to say, what we think is the existence of all things in this world. Some people say that the realm and external environment you know have a knowing heart, and then some people say that this heart and the external environment you know are not real; In other words, the external environment known in the heart is real. What is real? Buddhism talks about causation, so some schools say that there are real external causes and conditions at work, while some schools say that there is no such thing as inner workings. For example, when we see a table, some sects say that there is actually an external cause and condition, the cause and condition of the table happened there, and then they say that the cause and condition are combined to form this table. The table you see, those The causal connections of all kinds of causal connections are the so-called combinations of atoms and molecules, which are real, but the combination of causal connections to form this table is called false existence. Then the atoms and molecules that make up this table, it says that there are actually all kinds of causal substances for those atoms, and the earth, water, fire, and wind are making up this table. So the so-called existence, if you don’t understand and recognize it, it’s empty, you’re deceiving yourself and others. So now, is the table you see in front of your eyes real, with atoms acting on it, or is it just an image in your heart? This needs to be understood in depth to be empty.
So, is what we see real? That is to say, is the external real cause and condition at work? Or an inner cause? What is inner cause and fate? That is, there is a sect in Buddhism, such as the Consciousness-Wei School, which says that Consciousness-only has no external environment, and all external environments are illusions, not real. Like watching a movie, the characters in the movie are not real. It says, what is real is that there are those seeds of karma in the heart that played out this image, and those are the real ones. Well, if you look at that movie image, and you say oops, this movie image is empty, that’s easy, anyone can know, but if you are confused, put your heart into that image, and say that the image is empty, you still don’t know. Before you say nothing, you have been fascinated by the image. So, it says that you need to understand emptiness, you need to understand those karmic seeds, and understand there, so as not to be confused, you have to look back at your own heart instead of looking at the external environment.
As for those sects who believe that the external environment is real, for example, according to Theravada, for example, in Theravada Buddhism, they believe that the external material effects are actually caused by those substances. So, in our Buddhism, we say that this emptiness is divided into the so-called human emptiness and dharma emptiness. What is human emptiness and dharma emptiness? That is to say, Buddhism talks about emptiness and no self, and no self is my emptiness. It is in Buddhism. If this emptiness is said to have a so-called “I”, this person does not exist, and it is composed of these five aggregates. The physical and mental function formed by the combination of the five aggregates is real. And I don’t really have, so I’m empty. The combination of the five aggregates works there, and it is said to be a real existence. So this is called, we need to find out what you know about your own body and mind, and then tell me, which aspect of emptiness you are talking about.
So what exactly is this emptiness talking about? The other thing is this existence. There are so-called real “existence” and fake “existence”. What is the real “existence”? That is to say, some sects in Buddhism say that the cycle of life and death is real, and that there is such a thing as Nirvana; while some schools say that the cycle of life and death is just a false name. , Then Nirvana is also a false name, not real, but a false name, because it is called its name. What is the pseudonym Anli? This pseudonym means that there was no such thing in the first place, but you felt that there was such a thing because you established the name. For example, a car, a car is just a combination of many parts, used together, everyone uses it like that, if this thing appears repeatedly, we think there is a car, then this car is not real, it is It’s just those parts, so the combination of those parts is called a car. Then some sects say that everything is established because of karma and predestined names, and these karma and predestined names are established under the pseudonym, calling it a thing. Because of this, he said that everything exists under false names, not real. So, under this pseudonym, he said that there is nothing to talk about. He said that we think that there are those things in our minds, but are there things in the external environment? Some say no.
Then there is this reality, and there is another saying, that is, when all beings are deluded, everything they see is deceived by the deluded scenes, they are all false, and they are all illusions. , This illusory existence is an illusionary existence, not a real existence. Then, after the Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are enlightened, they realize the real state. What is the phenomenon of realizing the truth? It is called realizing the truth. So many schools and schools of study and practice all aim to realize this reality, which is the real existence. Then the false existence, the real existence, the illusory existence, these are all existence, so the “Heart Sutra” now says that these are all empty.
Next, we will continue to talk about this “form is not different from emptiness”. Just now I mentioned that in order to understand emptiness, one must first understand existence. So this existence, there is the so-called false existence and real existence. Regarding the false existence and real existence of this color, that is to say, do you think there is an external environment for the real one? And if you think that the external environment is real, this external environment is real, and there is actually an external environment, then look at the combination of causes and conditions between this external environment, it is empty; the other kind, you think that there is no real external environment, everything It’s all about the change of the mind and consciousness. It’s just like the Consciousness-Only School said that the external environment is just an image. It seems that there is no real karmic effect of those people in the movie. Then you have to look back at the heart, these karma and seeds. , which are themselves empty.
So if you say, see a chair, you say to me “oh, what about this chair, is it real, is it there, or is it not”, and then you don’t talk to me about it, you just say “it’s also empty” , you don’t know everything about you! What is your everything? That is to say, you don’t know how you know this world, but you say it is empty.
So how do we know the world? According to Buddhism, when our mind touches the external environment, the first level of mind is called separation, that is, when the mind is in contact with the environment without any thinking, it is called separation. For example, if you look in front of you, you are focusing on a certain table in front of you. At that time, you were distinguishing that table, but you also know that the things on the edge and side of the table exist, but you no longer think about them. , you no longer think about it and know that it is farewell. Then you go through thinking to add further thinking, this is called separation. Then the time when our heart is in other places is very short, and it will pass in a flash. The other time is all other things in the heart before the separation. Taking a table as an example, when you see the table, you do not see the table itself. At that time, your eyes are the light reflected from the table to your eyes. Then the rays reflected to the eyes let you know the existence of the rays with the image of the table. Then, through your past memory, there are things referred to by the name table, and these things that exist, and then you compare your knowledge of this table and this existence in the past with what you know now. The light of this table exists, and then you know “Oh, this is a table”, and this has already gone through a lot of thoughts. So now what you see is the light reflected from the table to your eyes, you don’t see the table. We can say that, in fact, we cannot consciously and directly know this external phenomenon. For example, in a room, if you turn off the lights, you saw the table before, but you can no longer see it, so it is true that you only see the light, but not the table. So you say, “Oh, that table is empty too”, but you don’t think about it, you only see the light, not the table.
So let’s look back at “form is not different from emptiness”. What do you mean by this form and this substance? So this will involve your inner understanding of the behavior of the table. To go one step further, one must know the Eighteen Realms. According to Buddhism, we take the eyes as an example, the eyes have the field of vision, the field of form and the field of eye consciousness. The eye is an organ, a visual organ, and what the eye is exposed to is light, and the light that enters the eye is called color dust, also called the color world. Then the light stimulates your eyeballs, and your perception of light is called eye consciousness. Then the light from the external environment, the eye faculty, and the eye consciousness, the three cooperate to let you know the light on the table. Then you go a step further, distinguishing various, various things within the known light. What you know and distinguish in the process of distinguishing is called “Dharma” in Buddhism. What happened to the law? It is any thing you know. From the point of view of Buddhism, it is because, in the process of changing karma, you don’t care about the front and back, and you only take what you see and know at the middle stage of the present. The temporary appearance, the brief time that you feel it exists, you call it a Dhamma.
But, if we use wisdom to understand and think about it. For example, you are in a room, and there is moisture in the air in the room. You don’t feel the presence of moisture in the air, because your sensory organs can’t see it now. Then if the moisture in the air is getting thicker and thicker, the smog and fog will be produced. When the humidity of the fog is high, if you see hazy and white patches, you will call it fog. As for the fog, if the sunlight is strong, the fog will gradually dissipate, and you will not say that the fog exists. When you see the fog, you say that the fog exists, and that fog is a law. As for the method of fog, when it didn’t exist at the beginning, it gradually became thicker and thicker until it was thick enough for you to see, and then slowly dissipated again. This is just water vapor changing from light to thin to thick in the air , Thickness becomes thinner again, in such a process, you don’t look at the thinness in front of it, and you don’t care about the thinness behind it, only the thick part in the middle allows you to discover it, and you call it a law, called fog. In other words, what do you think is there, and what is contained in it? It includes the eyesight, eye consciousness, light, and the effect of the fog other than the light, the water vapor in the air is at work, plus the discriminative mind in your heart, and this discriminative mind, it doesn’t care about the front and back, it just cares about it The existence, existence, and dharma that you know now have the substance of materiality, and then you say that this substance is empty, and your emptiness comes from this. So, if you don’t realize existence, you can’t talk about emptiness.
So what is empty? Emptiness is the emptiness of those things that your discerning mind thinks. That is to say, you think there is the law of “fog”. Fog is a pseudonym. It is a process of karma. This process of karma includes water vapor, gravity, light, and your eyes. The karma of many things makes you feel The presence of fog. Because you feel that there is fog, the Buddha tells you that this existence is not real, it is illusory.
Then this illusory unreality has been analyzed into two theories, one is that these various causes and conditions are really at work, and then, the fog formed by causes and conditions, the part you are attached to is false, not real Yes, which part is empty, this kind of emptiness is a kind of analysis, the emptiness of knowing; what about the other kind, that is, if you don’t get attached to the fog, the water vapor in the air changes like that, From thin to thick, thick to thin, if you don’t think that there is a thing called fog in this process, then you will not have fog, and you will not say whether there is fog or not. . So that is to say, in the emptiness of prajna wisdom, you need to consciously see that the process of fog is just a process of karma and condition, and there is no existence of so-called “existence” or “nonexistence” in it. So if you want to understand “emptiness”, you must first break your attachment to “existence”. As for emptiness, I have to explain it to you, and you have to get rid of the attachment to “existence”. But if you want to get rid of the attachment to “existence”, you must first understand how you understand this existence.
Just now I explained how this “existence” and existence come about. Now, I want to analyze what is empty. As for emptiness, it doesn’t mean that there is “emptiness” or there is no “emptiness” in the first place, or what. Emptiness is because all beings are attached to existence, so the Buddha talked about emptiness in order to get rid of all beings’ attachment to existence, but what does emptiness refer to? It refers to the meaning of emptiness without self-nature, which is called emptiness without self-nature, and also called sexual emptiness. What is self-nature? As for self-nature, it means that a thing exists by itself, maintains its own original nature, and does not rely on other people’s nature to complete its own nature. This is called self-nature. What does that mean? For example, let’s talk about a table. Generally, the table has four legs, a board on it, and some nails and materials to form the image of the table. Then we call it a table. Now, the self-nature of the table, if it has a self-nature, then the table must have four legs and the board itself, and it should not use other, those wood branches and branches to saw the legs, Nor should boards be put together to make a table. It means that if the table has its own nature, it will be completed by itself, and it will not be composed by other things. If it is combined by other things, it is called existence by virtue of the combination of causes and conditions, and this is not called the existence of self-nature. So if a thing has self-nature and exists by itself, it will not be affected by any cause and condition, because it exists by itself, that is to say, it can exist independently. If it does not exist by itself, it depends on various causes and conditions. This is called relying on others to exist, and it is called being dependent on others. Things that depend on others must be established under the conditions of causes and conditions before they can be achieved. It can exist only when it appears, but when the cause and condition dissipate, it will not exist. In other words, its properties come from the properties of many causes and conditions, and it takes the properties of others as its own properties, which is not called self-nature.
So what does this emptiness refer to? It refers to all dharmas, which are empty and have no self-nature. They do not have their own nature. why? Because in all the changes of causes and conditions we know, all the laws of the changes of causes and conditions are causes and conditions, not the laws themselves. I mentioned the fog just now, but the fog itself does not have such a thing as fog. The fog is because the water vapor has reached a certain concentration in the air, and it appears. When the concentration is not enough, the eyes can’t see it, and you say it’s not there. Even though it’s not there, people with sensitive noses can inhale the air There is still a difference in humidity. People with rheumatism also feel that the air is more humid and drier, and there is a difference. But, at that time, you didn’t call it fog, because you didn’t think of fog anymore. But when its concentration is felt by you, and you think it exists, then a Dharma has appeared. I just said that there is the existence of Dharma, so does the fog itself have such a thing as fog? Fog is your pseudonym Anli, and you call it fog, because you call one part of the process fog, and you don’t call the other part fog, you call it water vapor. And you can’t see it, and you don’t know it. You just tell you from knowledge and let you know. Therefore, this emptiness has no self-nature, this fog, we say that the fog has no self-nature, because you falsely called its cause and condition as fog, and then you said that the fog exists. Now the emptiness tells you that the fog itself has no self-nature, which is called emptiness without self-nature.
As for the external appearance of fog, the image of fog also has no self-existence. The image of the fog is because we humans are attached to it and think it is a thing, so we think it is an image. To use another metaphor, for example, a pile of soil on the ground rises up, and when the pile of soil rises to a high point, you call it a hill, and if it is higher, you call it a mountain range, and then it is a little higher , you call it a mountain. As for itself, it does not have a definite and fixed image, which is called phase and space. Why phase empty? Because it doesn’t have its own image, it’s you who take the image separately and think that this image is like this, which is called fog. Well, when these things come together, you separate them to exist, then we call them pseudonyms to exist. So the thing that is believed to exist under a false name, but it is actually a multitude of causes and conditions, and because it takes many causes and conditions as its nature, it has no self-nature. So, this void without self-nature, emptiness without self-nature, is what it means.
Well, the analysis I just made just now is actually Nagarjuna Bodhisattva in the “Theory of the Middle Ages”. It is a pseudonym, and it is also a middle morality.” What I want to say here is that all dharmas born of causes and conditions are empty in nature. As for the dharma, it has no self-nature of its own. It is based on causes and conditions, so it has no self-nature. And this dharma, which is empty of self-nature, does not have its own self. It is said because of your pseudonym Anli. You can’t say that it exists, or that it doesn’t exist, in the dharma of emptiness in the pseudonym Anli. why? Then let’s look at another section of “Heart Sutra”, and then go back to the original one.
You can’t say that it exists, or that it doesn’t exist, about the dharma of emptiness under the pseudonym Anli. Why? Then let’s look at another section of the Heart Sutra, and then go back to the original one. Another section of the “Heart Sutra” says: “Sarira, is the empty appearance of all dharmas, neither born nor destroyed, neither dirty nor clean, neither increasing nor decreasing. Yes Therefore, there is no color in the air, and there is no feeling, thought, and awareness.” This sentence means to tell us that the appearance of all dharmas, in its appearance, there is the so-called “birth and death” and the so-called “purification”. , “Increase and decrease”, in fact, there are so-called “come and go”, “one difference”, how to say this? That is to say, all dharmas, when we recognize them, we think that they have certain types of images. Among these images, there are some images that everyone has. There is one thing in this image, which is the appearance of birth and death, which is the law When there is birth and when there is death, it is called the phase of birth and death. There is also that dharma, which has defiled and pure appearance, that is, pure and impure. There is also increase and decrease, that is, increase and decrease, size, number, length, this is called increase and decrease. In addition to this, the Fa also has “coming and going”, and coming and going is its action, movement. In addition to coming and going, there are also comparisons between “same” and “not the same”. These are all the Fa, some comparatively obtained concepts.
So now we say “all dharmas are empty and empty, neither arising nor dying”, then we think that there is reality in the myriad dharmas in the world, and there are things that are arising and passing away. This birth and death is just a delusion. How did this confusion of birth and death come about? It arises and ceases because after you think that there is that dharma, you think that there is such a thing as existence, that there is “being”, and then, from “not having” to “being”, it is called “birth”, from “being” It becomes “nothing”, which is called “destroying”. And the law of “existence”, this concept, has caused you to have the view of “birth and death”, so birth and death are in the wisdom of prajna and emptiness, and it is called “the view of birth and death”. He thinks it is a An opinion, not a real thing. Well, if you don’t look at it from the perspective of prajna and emptiness, in Hinayana Buddhism, it says that birth and death are real, real things are born and die, real birth and death, I want to get rid of real birth and death, and enter the “no birth, no death”. off”. Well, according to the principle of prajna-nature-emptiness, that is a wrong view. Then we need to understand the correct view, birth and death itself is because you are attached to “dharma” and “existence”, then in “dharma” and “existence”, changing from being to nothing is called “extinction”, and never changing to being , called “birth”. Then because we are confused, we think that the existence of the Dharma, and then we generate the “view of arising and ceasing” in it. If you have learned the teachings of Hinayana Buddhism, you will fall into their “view of arising and passing away” and observe arising and passing away all day long. Now, after you have learned the principle of emptiness of nature, you will fall into another problem, that is, it is all empty, and it has no self-body. Just look at the Dharma like this, thinking that Dharma is empty. Regardless of whether you think that dharma is arising and ceasing, or you think that dharma is emptiness, you have fallen into the first view, which is the view of “being”. If you use emptiness, birth and death to destroy your concept of existence, then this has already been placed on top of your head.
Then in the “Heart Sutra”, it tells you that “form is not different from emptiness”, which is what you think of as “existence”. At that time, it was originally exactly the same as “emptiness”. Form is emptiness, and emptiness is form.” That is to say, when you see the dharma, for example, when you see the fog, you must know what the “existence” of the fog is. You need to understand it. To understand emptiness, one must first understand existence. The reason why you know the fog is because you have the function of “separation” in your heart, and then further “separation”, and then, you grasp the dharma of that dharma, and then set up famous sayings, and then think that it is called a “separation”. The reason why you say it is a “law” is because you don’t care about the front, the back, or other factors, just the image you see in front of you, because in this way, you will build up all kinds of You will think that the “dharma” has its nature, then this nature appears, this nature disappears, then there will be birth and death, and all kinds of views will come.
So now, you have to follow the principle of prajna and emptiness, that is, “form is not different from emptiness” and “form is emptiness”. You have to see that there was no such law at that time. It was a name, called fog, and the name of this fog , is a process of karma, and in this process of karma, there is neither existence, nor absence, nor emptiness, but “form” and “emptiness” are the same, why are they the same? You only see that part of karma, that is, you see that part of “emptiness”. If you say it is empty again, you have fallen into “being”. That is to say, suppose I enter a room now, there is water vapor in this room, the water vapor is very thin, we can’t feel it, if you use a humidity measuring instrument, you can measure it humidity. When you come into this room, you don’t think there is fog or there is no fog, and you don’t say whether the fog is there or not. However, these karmic changes of the water vapor are still in operation. Then if the humidity in that place increases, it is still the same when it is seen by you, and it is still the same as when it is not seen by you. And no one doesn’t exist anymore. The water vapor just runs around like this, so sometimes it enters your lungs, sometimes it goes in and out, it doesn’t matter who it is, it has fixed boundaries, like this, if you really know, you can see it like this For some phenomena, you don’t say that there is water vapor, but you still know that their various causes and conditions are at work. In this way, you will know that you are not attached to “existence”, and you don’t need to tell me “empty”, that’s what it means. Then if you don’t know that water vapor exists in the air, then you tell me it’s empty, then you’re talking nonsense, what do you call it? This is called creating something out of nothing, and then calling it empty.
So, now we want to know this emptiness, what should we observe? Oh, the five aggregates, because I said that this “emptiness” is called “emptiness” because of “existence”. If there is no “existence”, there is no need to say “emptiness”. So you have to observe what the five aggregates are all about. As for the five aggregates, it is not that there are five aggregates, nor is there an “I” in them. The main reason why the Buddha talked about the five aggregates is that we are obsessed with the five aggregates as “I”. So now you look at the five aggregates. It is various, various dharmas that work there, and each has various causes and conditions to make it work, but what are these causes and conditions? Let’s look at another passage in the “Heart Sutra” “No eyes, ears, nose, tongue, body and mind, colorless sound, fragrance and touch”. What is this? This is the so-called Eighteen Realms. That is to say, when we understand the world, we humans are in this world, what do you use to know this world, in terms of Buddhism, it is the function of the eighteen realms.
six roots, six dusts, six senses
Faculty of the eye – Facial dust – Faculty of the eye
Root of the ear – sound dust – ear consciousness
Root of the nose – incense – nose consciousness
Root of Tongue – Smell – Tongue Consciousness
Roots of body – touch dust – body consciousness
Mind – Dharma – Consciousness
Because, there is eye faculty, because there is color dust, knowing light, and because there is the karmic habit of eye consciousness working there, then the three together will produce the perception of eye consciousness, and this perception, let you know to what you see. In this kind of process, there is no such thing as you added thinking later, thinking that your eye consciousness knew it, and saw a chair in the color dust. Use the past knowledge in your heart to distinguish it, and then say you see a chair.
Then we have to know ourselves, that is to observe how your body and mind get these “existence” and “existence” dharmas, that is, the eighteen realms work there to let you know that there are things. In other words, all these are the functions of the eighteen realms, seeing with the eyes, hearing with the ears, touching with the hands, and so on. So apart from the role of these eighteen realms, is there any real external environment? Regarding this point, we need to understand our own inner workings. There are two things related to this, because when you say whether there is an external environment that really exists, that is to say, one is existence, the other is external environment, and the external environment involves The knowing heart, all kinds of relationships, these, in terms of the emptiness of Prajna in the Madhyamaka, or the principles of the Madhyamaka, this kind of thinking is wrong. Then I will take four kinds of thinking, that is, when a practitioner observes in practice, he must observe and think about all dharmas in these four aspects, which are called four kinds of thinking.
- Name thought
- Thinking about things
- self (self) hypothetical contemplation
- Difference Hypothesis
The first one is called Xunsi. What is called searching? That is to say, for all dharmas in the world, we use various names, sentences, and words to think about the self-image of that dharma, and the appearance of that dharma, so we always think in this way. For example, if I say a rooster, you think of a rooster. The name rooster is all called names.
The second is called thinking about things. Thinking about things means that Buddhism tells you that the thing you know, why you are so-and-so, where to look for it first, not from the other side of the thing, but in what, in the five aggregates, In the eighteen realms, in the places of the ey