Vajracchedika Prajnaparamita Sutra

Vajra Sutra (Diamond Sutra)

■ Detailed Exposition by Living Buddha Lian-Sheng, Grandmaster Sheng-yen Lu

■ Translated into English by True Buddha School Vajra Sutra Translation Team

Discourse 7 2021-08-15

Two—Subhuti's Request

At that time, the venerable elder Subhuti was present at the assembly. He rose from his seat, bared his right shoulder, knelt on his right knee, and with palms joined, respectfully bowed and addressed the Buddha saying, “World-honored One, the Tathagata's sublime mindfulness and entrustment to the bodhisattvas is indeed extraordinary. 

“World-honored One, when good men and good women give rise to the mind of anuttara samyaksambodhi and strive for perfect enlightenment, how should they dwell in their minds and how should they master their minds?”

The Buddha said, “Excellent, Subhuti. As you said, the Tathagata is mindful of the bodhisattvas and entrusts the bodhisattvas. Now listen carefully while I tell you how the mind of good men and women should abide when they strive for the perfect enlightenment of anuttara samyaksambodhi and how they should master their minds.”

“Wonderful indeed is your teaching, World-honored One. I will pay heed to what you say.”

I operated on Elizabeth's brain in the dream. I do not dare to use a knife in real life, but I dared to do that in the dream. No more headache for Elizabeth. On the way home to Indonesia, she had a medical check-up in Singapore; the doctors found that the tumor disappeared and there was only a piece of skin left. All of this is due to affinity. I was able to help her because of affinity, and she was cured because of the surgery in her dream. 

Elizabeth also knows of her affinities with Grandmaster in her past lifetimes. Having affinities, she could get a swift recovery. There are many people with affinities with Grandmaster in past lifetimes. Without affinity, it would simply be impossible [for anything to occur].

To take refuge in the Buddha, like Subhuti, one needs an affinity. Subhuti's affinity was created when he pleaded to Sakyamuni Buddha for help when he was a poisonous snake. Having this affinity, he encountered and took refuge in the Buddha in his subsequent life. The Buddha knew about his past lives and talked openly about it, that Subhuti carried hatred and anger in his heart. The Buddha wanted to alleviate his hatred by teaching him to practice the paramita of endurance. He eventually attained the samadhi of non-contention and achieved the realm of unborn endurance, which is a very high-level spiritual realm. 

It is not easy to reach that realm, very difficult indeed. Just like when a chicken feather tickles your nose, you would itch. Due to a few words spoken by someone, you would immediately feel upset, perhaps even aggression. If a couple fights, the marriage is broken. A couple should not fight. As soon as fights happen, it would be imprinted in their hearts, then anger and resentments would arise. You must not chide or speak harshly either. If you speak angrily and yell at someone saying, “Didn't I tell you already to do it this way?! Why didn't you do it?” They'll feel indignant and become even more defiant, thinking, I will never do it your way!

Have you heard of this [joke]? A husband constantly scolded his wife, and she always argued back at him. One day she stopped arguing. The husband felt strange and noticed his wife's behavior has changed, thinking to himself, this is a good thing. But how come she is not arguing anymore? Instead of arguing, she would take a toothbrush and clean the toilet every time he rebuked her. So he asked her, why did she brush the toilet every time he scolded her? She replied, “Oh, I am using your toothbrush to clean the toilet.” [laughter] So she still carried resentment and revenge within her.

Getting along with people is difficult. As a human being we experience three main difficulties. It is difficult to rise into heaven, it is difficult to earn a living and it is difficult to deal with people. Human relationship is very difficult, and you need to practice until you can endure it all. That is the endurance paramita or perfection of endurance. 

No matter what others say, Subhuti stayed unaffected as everything would ultimately return to emptiness. He had attained the samadhi of emptiness. He attained the realm of unborn endurance and ultimately eliminated the seeds of anger and hatred from his past lives. That was the Great Subhuti.

We need to understand that in spiritual cultivation. What do we cultivate? We need to know how to endure, that is spiritual cultivation. But if you cannot endure, you are like a kindergarten baby. You do not know how to be patient; many disciples do not know how to endure at all. Under the same roof, you still fight with each other. You are fellow disciples taking refuge in the same guru, yet you still fight with each other; you argue and denigrate each other.

If you are trained in the practice of the paramita of endurance, then there are no problems whatsoever. On the other hand, for those who do not practice the perfection of endurance, there will be problems.

Learn from Subhuti! He practiced the endurance paramita and he returned everything to emptiness. He discarded all the garbage from his heart and mind. Why do you keep garbage inside you? What for? Throw them out, empty your heart and mind. Nothing is the matter. But if you do not empty your heart and keep the garbage inside it, it would start to rot; not just ferment but you would go crazy from it. [Laughter at the rhyming Chinese words.] When you are holding anger inside yourself, you are angry at yourself. That's foolish and very stupid. Instead, you should have mastered the endurance paramita. 

Today, Grandmaster is teaching you to learn from Subhuti, the perfection of endurance. Empty yourself, discard all your garbage, empty your mind until nothing is the matter. Empty it until nothing exists. You will be at peace and at ease!

If instead, you keep garbage inside yourself, then the garbage would rot and become toxic and poisonous. You might not get Covid-19 but you will die from your own poison and toxin. [Laughter] No one here has Covid, because had anyone have it, we would all run away. [Everyone is laughing.]

In such case, your heart has been poisoned to death. Because you have the seeds of anger and hatred, you will be born in places where poison and toxins exist in your future lives. Today you have heard this, Subhuti was the one who practiced the perfection of endurance and attained the samadhi of non-contention.

Om mani padme hum.