Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Five Skandas are Empty

Form is not other than emptiness.
Emptiness is not other than form.
Form is precisely emptiness.
Emptiness is precisely form.
So are sensation, volition, perception and consciousness."

In reference to the Heart Sutra, Buddha has already said that the five skandas were empty, yet he repeats his declaration that each of the five skandas...form, sensation, perception, volition and consciousness are empty. Buddha wants people to understand that true emptiness is total , encompasssing all physical and mental realms. The Buddha makes it clear that he is talking about ultimate emptiness---emptiness as reality---and not self-centered emptiness, analytical emptiness, or emptiness of only the self....There Is No Suffering, A Commentary on the Heart Sutra, by Master Sheng Yen, pg. 46.

The Prajnaparamita Heart Sutra

When the Bodhisattva Avolokiteshvara was coursing in the deep Prajnaparamita, he perceived that all five skandahs are empty, thereby transcending all sufferings.

Sariputra, form is not other than emptiness
And emptiness not other than form.
Form is precisely emptiness and emptiness precisely form.
So also are sensation, perception, volition and consciousness.
Sariputra, this voidness of all dharmas is not born, not destroyed, not impure, not pure, does not increase or decrease.
In voidness there is no form, and no sensation, perception, volition or consciousness;
No eye, ear, nose, tongue, body, mind;
No sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, thought;
There is no realm of the eye
All the way up to no realm of mental cogntion.
There is no ignorance and there is no ending of ignorance through to no aging and death and no end of ageing and death.
There is no suffering, no cause of suffering, no cessation of suffering, and no path.
There is no wisdom to attain, or any attainment.
With nothing to attain, Bodhisattvas relying on Prajnaparamita have no obstructions in their minds.
Having no obstructions, there is no fear and departing far from confusion and imaginings,
They reach Ultimate Nirvana.
All past, present and future Buddhas, relying on Prajnaparamita, attain Anuttara-Samyak-Sambodhi.
Therefore, know that Prajnaparamita is the great mantra of power,
The great mantra of wisdom, the supreme mantra,
The unequalled mantra, which is able to remove all sufferings.
It is real and not false.
Therefore recite the mantra of Prajnaparamita:
Gate, Gate, Paragate, Parasamgate, Bodhi Svaha.

Also check out these Chan sites of interest:

2. How to chan meditate:
3. How to chan meditate: Master Sheng Yen in Facebook

4. The Western Chan Fellowship at http://www.westernchanfellowship.org/

Call Adrian at 250 898 8201,
email adrian2@shaw.ca
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