「忽於空中，聞說法聲」：忽然在虛空裏頭聽見講經說法呢！誰講的？只聞其聲未見其人，就聽見說法聲，但是看不見誰說的。其實就是你自己的魂魄、意志、精神互為主賓去講的。「或聞十方，同敷密義」：或者聽到十方虛空裏頭都講經說法呢！這是什麼道理？這個就是因為你在因地 -- 所謂因地就是前生 -- 前生你聽過經，聞過法，在你這魂魄、意志、精神裏頭沒有忘了，所以今生你用功逼拶到極點，就把這個東西都﹝虫＋貢﹞出來了，都跑出來了，就聽到好像講經說法的聲音。
NOTE 5. THE VENERABLE MASTER’S EXPLANATION ON DECEMBER 2,1993
Venerable Master:Our three souls and seven spirits are like children. But they each have only one sense faculty, not many. Because they control our bodies, we are able to speak and perform actions. They are gathered together, and when your cultivation is accomplished, they become what is known as a Buddha in Buddhism or an immortal in Taoism. Some have only eyes and some have only ears, so they help each other. The child who has ears and can hear will help the one who can see. They are interconnected. So when you achieve the interchangeable functioning of the six sense faculties, your ears will be able to eat and talk. There are many states such as these that you cannot even conceive of.
Disciple:Venerable Master, you mentioned that you had a young disciple who went to the heavens to play and was captured by a demon king. He cried, "What can I do? I can't come back!" Did some of his souls and spirits go there?
Venerable Master:Among his three souls and seven spirits, maybe only one went, or maybe two went, or maybe three or four went. It's not for sure. Once they got there, they aggregated together. They were not seven or three separate entities. Once they go out, they unite into one. That's how wonderful and mysterious it is. It's a mass of efficacious energy!
Disciple:Is it because of different levels of cultivation that some people can send out more spirits than others?
Venerable Master:It's better not to send spirits out. If they always go out to play, they risk being caught by the demons. When the souls and spirits are captured, one becomes dumb. Retarded people and people who are "vegetables" are that way because their souls and spirits have been seized by demons. Souls are ghosts, but with some cultivation, they can become spirits, which are yang in nature. With more cultivation, they can become Buddhas. All these states of cultivation are achieved by the same individual soul.
Disciple:If a person is in a "vegetable," or comatose state or has lost some of his three souls and seven spirits, although his physical body is still intact, will the spirits and souls which have left him become another person?
Venerable Master:They don't become another person; they simply go with the demons. That's why the person is sometimes lucid, but sometimes very muddled.
Disciple:What if a cultivator who has sent out some of his three souls and seven spirits encounters Buddhas or Bodhisattvas?
Venerable Master: If a person is truly cultivating, there will be Dharma-protectors invisibly surrounding him. I have met a lot of strange people who can send spirits out of their bodies. Since you haven't encountered such states, you wouldn't recognize or understand them. For instance, the experience of those who act as mediums in Taiwan is described in the Fifty Skandha-demon States.
Disciple: Have they reached that level in their cultivation?
Venerable Master: They are advancing in their cultivation and creating merit. Like all people, some learn to be good and others learn to be bad. Those who learn to be bad join the retinue of the demon kings.
These ten souls, together with the intellect, will, essence, and spirit will be able to interact with one another without affecting his body. They will take turns as host and guests. They trade off roles and assist each other. They take turns playing the roles of the host and the guests.
Then he may suddenly hear the Dharma being spoken in space. Someone is lecturing on the Sutras in space! Who is it? He can hear a voice, but he can't see the person. In fact, it is just his own spiritual and physical souls, his intellect, will, essence and spirit taking turns as host and guests to lecture. Or perhaps he will hear esoteric truths being pronounced simultaneously throughout the ten directions. Maybe you hear the Sutras and the Dharma being spoken in space! Why? Because in your cultivation in previous lives, you heard the Sutras and the Dharma being spoken, and your spiritual and physical souls, intellect, will, essence and spirit have not forgotten that. Thus, in this life, when the pressure in your cultivation reaches a peak, these past experiences come forth.
To be continued
Venarable Master's Dharma Words
If you want to be reborn in the Land of Ultimate Bliss, you must make a clean sweep of your emotions.