What Is the Three Dharma-Seals About? (5)


© Anonymous, June 19, 2013 at 10:20 PM (http://tantrismuskritik.blogspot.tw/2013/06/what-is-three-dharma-seals-about-4.html?showComment=1371651604410#c8182170712942807094")

We have said that the purpose of learning the Buddha dharma is to attain liberation from births-and-deaths, then what is the perspective from the Buddha dharma regard births and deaths?

We also want to eliminate vexations through learning the Buddha dharma, what then is the perspective from Buddha dharma about vexations?

The answer is “maha prajna paramita,” a term all of you is quite familiar with!

Literally, it means reaching the opposite shore through great wisdoms. Maha means great. Prajna is roughly equivalent to what we called wisdom. What about paramita? It means to arrive at the opposite shore - crossing over the ocean of births and deaths and reaching the shore of liberation.

In other words, maha prajna paramita summarizes what the perspective from the Buddha dharma regards births and deaths and vexations: that we should gain our understanding by means of great Buddhist prajna wisdom and then eliminate vexations and ends the cycles of births-and-deaths. That is why we always say that we have to rely on wisdom to accomplish the above goals.

Let me use an example to illustrate. For instance, everyone uses mirror daily and we all know that the image in the mirror is not real.

Zoologist experimented with monkeys and when monkeys saw their own image in the mirror, they made threatening gestures and tried to fight with their image in the mirror. When monkeys see the image of banana in the mirror, they would throw away the one in their hands and try to grab the one in the mirror. All this shows that monkeys had no idea that the image in the mirror is unreal.

Alternatively, observing that the images in the mirror come and go, monkeys may come to the conclusion that the images in the mirror cannot last forever and is therefore unreal. However, in this case, although they understand the unreal and impermanent nature of the images, they fail to take notice of the existence of the mirror. This is not something hard to imagine.

If there is a giant mirror, so big that we cannot even see the edge of it, then the images in this mirror would oftentimes be taken for real. In the second scenario, one sees the image in the mirror but was unaware of the mirror. One knows the images are impermanent but does not know where the mirror is.

And there could also be a third scenario, in which one sees both the image and the mirror, and understands that the images are what reflected by the mirror. (Part 5)

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