Six Paramita (1)
Hello everybody. Happy New Year!
Today I’d like to talk about the Six Paramita, one of the main subjects of the Heart Sutra because I’m not satisfied with how it’s translated into English and also how it’s ordinarily explained, not only in the West, but also in Japan and many other places.
For example, I think the word “fuse” [pronounced “fooh-set” (“t” is silent)], the first paramita, is sometimes translated as “donation” or “generosity” and other words like that, but what is the real meaning of fuse? It’s not on the level of donation or generosity because the basic meaning of the Chinese character for fuse is “cloth that is waving in the wind or undulating in a stream and expanding,” which means that the dharma is spreading to the people.
But please don’t misunderstand that “dharma” or “teaching” means knowledge or philosophy, or those kinds of things.
The meaning of spreading dharma is the sharing of the great love of the universe, the great love of the universal Buddha, the great love of Amida Buddha.
It’s the same motivation that Christian saints such as Mother Teresa and others like her have when they work for sick people and poor people. Why do those Christian saints work for sick people and poor people? Is it for donations? Is it out of generosity? No. It is because they cannot stand people’s suffering. It’s an expression of the great love of Amida.
Amida is the source of ourselves. Amida Buddha’s heart is always with those who suffer patiently, and so Amida Buddha sends people to this world to help those who are suffering. Those saints cannot stand to see people suffer because they have a big desire to let other people know how much god or Buddha offers great love to those who are suffering.
But how can you get those suffering people to understand that they are loved and can be loved? By saying the words? No. They have had such a hard time that they don’t believe they are worthy of love.
But there are some people who will go and stand and sit beside them and take care of them and that is when they can feel love. Through those kinds of actions they can feel that “God or Buddha might love me.”
Otherwise, how can they feel the love that is being offered to them? They can only begin to accept and experience this love by receiving it through people’s actions, and that’s why donation and generosity are not enough, at all, as words to explain what fuse means.
Fuse means to feel the pain and share the pain of others and share the great love with other people. That’s why we practise Nembutsu with the same heart, feeling the pain of other people.
Our prayers for other beings are based on feeling the pain of other people because we cannot stand that this pain exists in the world.
That is the motivation of the Bodhisattva. That’s why the first practice for Bodhisattva is “fuse” — it means much more than donation, it is much more than generosity.
It is the act of sharing great love with other people.
See you again.