Terebess Asia Online (TAO)
Index

Home

The Diamond Sutra


https://web.archive.org/web/20060620062503/http://www.lamrim.com:80/lamazopa/DiamondCutterSutra.pdf

https://web.archive.org/web/20060424071748/http://web.mit.edu/stclair/www/diamond.html
http://www.buddhistinformation.com/diamondsutra.htm
https://web.archive.org/web/19990203171614/http://www.io.com:80/%7Esnewton/zen/diamndix.html
http://www.sacred-texts.com/bud/sbe49/sbe4929.htm
http://www.eyeofchan.org/special-features/canonical-writings/282-diamond.html
http://www.buddhismtoday.com/english/texts/mahayana/002-The%20Diamond%20Sutra.htm
https://web.archive.org/web/20040616095804/http://www.plumvillage.org:80/DharmaDoors/Sutras/chantingbook/Diamond_Sutra.htm
http://www.acmuller.net/bud-canon/diamond_sutra.html

https://terebess.hu/zen/mesterek/Thich%20Nhat%20Hanh%20-%20The%20Diamond%20That%20Cuts%20Through%20I.pdf
https://terebess.hu/zen/mesterek/Diamond-Sutra.pdf

https://terebess.hu/zen/mesterek/Diamond.html

The Diamond Sutra
(In Sanskrit and English)

[Translated from the Sanskrit by Edward Conze]

------------------------------------------------------------------------

/Om namo Bhagavatyai Arya-Prajnaparamitayai!/

*Homage to the Perfection of Wisdom, the Lovely, the Holy!*

/Evam maya srutam ekasmin samaye. Bhagavan Sravastyam viharati sma
Jetavane'nathapindadasya-arame mahata bhiksu-samghena sarddham
ardhatrayodasabhir bhiksu-sataih sambahulais ca bodhisattvair
mahasattvaih. Atha khalu Bhagavan purvahna-kala-samaye nivasya
patracivaram adaya Sravastim maha-nagarim pindaya praviksat. Atha khalu
Bhagavan Sravastim maha-nagarim pindaya caritva krta-bhakta-krtyah
pascadbhakta-pindapata-pratikrantah patra-civaram pratisamya padau
praksalya nyasidat prajnapta eva-asane paryankam abhujya rjum kayam
pranidhaya, pratimukhim smrtim upasthapya. Atha khalu sambahula bhiksavo
yena Bhagavams tenopasamkraman upasamkramya Bhagavatah padau sirobhir
abhivandya Bhagavantam trispradaksinikrtyaikante nyasidan./

*Thus have I heard at one time. The Lord dwelt at Sravasti, in the Jeta
Grove, in the garden of Anathapindika, together with a large gathering
of monks, consisting of 1,250 monks, and with many Bodhisattvas, great
beings. Early in the morning the Lord dressed, put on his cloak, took
his bowl, and entered the great city of Sravasti to collect alms. When
he had eaten and returned from his round, the Lord put away his bowl and
cloak, washed his feet, and sat down on the seat arranged for him,
crossing his legs, holding his body upright, and mindfully fixing his
attention in front of him. Then many monks approached to where the Lord
was, saluted his feet with their heads, thrice walked round him to the
right, and sat down on one side.*

/Tena khalu punah samayena-ayusman Subhutis tasyam eva parsadi
samnipatito'bhut samnisannah. Atha khalv ayusman Subhutir
utthaya-asanad, ekamsam uttarasangham krtva, daksinam janu-mandalam
prthivyam pratisthapya, yena Bhagavams tena-anjalim pranamya Bhagavantam
etad avocat: Ascaryam Bhagavan parama-ascaryam Sugata, yavad eva
Tathagatena-arhata samyaksambuddhena bodhisattva mahasattva
anuparigrhitah paramena-anugrahena. Ascaryam Bhagavan yavad eva
Tathagatena-arhata samyaksambuddhena bodhisattva mahasattvah parinditah
paramaya parindanaya. Tat katham Bhagavan
bodhisattva-yana-samprasthitena kulaputrena va kuladuhitra va sthatavyam
katham pratipattavyam katham cittam pragrahitavyam?/

*At that time the Venerable Subhuti came to that assembly, and sat down.
Then he rose from his seat, put his upper robe over one shoulder, placed
his right knee on the ground, bent forth his folded hands towards the
Lord, and said to the Lord: 'It is wonderful O Lord, it is exceedingly
wonderful, O Well-Gone, how much the Bodhisattvas, the great beings,
have been helped with the greatest help by the Tathagata, the Arhat, the
Fully Enlightened One. It is wonderful, O Lord, how much the
Bodhisattvas, the great beings, have been favoured with the highest
favour by the Tathagata, the Arhat, the Fully Enlightened One. How then,
O Lord, should a son or daughter of good family, who have set out in the
Bodhisattva-vehicle, stand, how progress, how control their thoughts?'*

/Evam ukte Bhagavan ayusmantam Subhutim etad avocat: Sadhu sadhu
Subhute, evam etad yatha vadasi. Anuparigrhitas Tathagatena bodhisattva
mahasattvah paramena-anugrahena, parinditas Tathagatena bodhisattva
mahasattvah paramaya parindanaya. Tena hi Subhute srnu sadhu ca susthu
ca manasikuru, bhasisye 'ham te yatha bodhisattva-yana-samprasthitena
sthatavyam yatha pratipattavyam yatha cittam pragrahitavyam. Evam
Bhagavann ity ayusman Subhutir Bhagavatah pratyasrausit./

*After these words the Lord said to the Venerable Subhuti: 'Well said,
well said, Subhuti! So it is, Subhuti, so it is, as you say! The
Tathagata, Subhuti, has helped the Bodhisattvas, the great beings with
the greatest help, and he has favoured them with the highest favour.
Therefore, 'Subhuti, listen well, and attentively! I will teach you how
those who have set out in the Bodhisattva vehicle should stand, how
progress, how control their thoughts.' 'So be it, O Lord', replied the
Venerable Subhuti and listened.*

/Bhagavan etad avocat: Iha Subhute bodhisattva-yana-samprasthitena evam
cittam utpadayitavyam: Yavantah Subhute sattvah sattvadhatau
sattva-samgrahena samgrhita anda-ja va jarayu-ja va samsveda-ja
vaupapaduka va, rupino va-arupino va, samjnino va-asamjnino va naiva
samjnino na-asamjnino va, yavan kascit sattvadhatu-prajnapyamanah
prajnapyate, te ca maya sarve nupadhisese nirvana-dhatau
parinirvapayitavyah. Evam aparimanam api sattvan parinirvapya na kascit
sattvah parinirvapito bhavati. Tat kasya hetoh? Sacet Subhute
bodhisattvasya sattva-samjna pravarteta, na sa bodhisattva iti
vaktavyah. Tat kasya hetoh? Na sa Subhute bodhisattvo vaktavyo
yasya-atma-samjna pravarteta, sattva-samjna va jiva-samjna va
pudgala-samjna va pravarteta./

*The Lord said: Here, Subhuti, someone who has set out in the vehicle of
a Bodhisattva should produce a thought in this manner: 'As many beings
as there are in the universe of beings, comprehended under the term
"beings" Ź egg-born, born from a womb, moisture-born, or miraculously
born; with or without form; with perception, without perception, and
with neither perception nor non-perception, Źas far as any conceivable
form of beings is conceived: all these I must lead to Nirvana, into that
Realm of Nirvana which leaves nothing behind. And yet, although
innumerable beings have thus been led to Nirvana, no being at all has
been led to Nirvana.' And why? If in a Bodhisattva the notion of a
'being' should take place, he could not be called a 'Bodhi-being'. 'And
why? He is not to be called a Bodhi-being, in whom the notion of a self
or of a being should take place, or the notion of a living soul or of a
person.'*

/Api tu khalu punah Subhute na bodhisattvena vastu-pratisthitena danam
datavyam, na kvacit pratisthitena danam datavyam, na-rupa-pratisthitena
danam datavyam, na sabda-gandha-rasa-sprastavya-dharmesu pratisthitena
danam datavyam. Evam hi Subhute bodhisattvena mahasattvena danam
datavyam yatha na nimitta-samjnayam api pratitisthet. Tat kasya hetoh?
Yah Subhute'pratisthito danam dadati, tasya Subhute punya-skandhasya na
sukaram pramanam udgrahitum. Tat kim manyase Subhute sukaram purvasyam
disy akasasya pramanam udgrahitum? Subhutir aha: No hidam Bhagavan.
Bhagavan aha: Evam daksina-pascima-uttara-asvadha-urdhvam digvidiksu
samantad dasasu diksu sukaram akasasya pramanam udgrahitum? Subhutir
aha: No hidam Bhagavan. Bhagavan aha: Evam eva Subhute yo bodhisattvo'
pratisthito danam dadati, tasya Subhute punya-skandhasya na sukaram
pramanam udgrahitum. Evam hi Subhute bodhisattva-yana-samprasthitena
danam datavyam yatha na nimitta-samjnayam api pratitisthet./

*Moreover, Subhuti, a Bodhisattva who gives a gift should not be
supported by a thing, nor should he be supported anywhere. When he gives
gifts he should not be supported by sight-objects, nor by sounds,
smells, tastes, touchables, or mind-objects. For, Subhuti, the
Bodhisattva, the great being should give gifts in such a way that he is
not supported by the notion of a sign. And why? Because the heap of
merit of that Bodhi-being, who unsupported gives a gift, is not easy to
measure. What do you think, Subhuti, is the extent of space in the East
easy to measure? ŹSubhuti replied: No indeed, O Lord. ŹThe Lord asked:
In like manner, is it easy to measure the extent of space in the South,
West or North, downwards, upwards, in the intermediate directions, in
all the ten directions all round? ŹSubhuti replied: No indeed, O Lord.
ŹThe Lord said: Even so the heap of merit of that Bodhibeing who
unsupported gives a gift is not easy to measure. That is why, Subhuti,
those who have set out in the Bodhisattva-vehicle, should give gifts
without being supported by the notion of a sign.*

/Tat kim manyase Subhute laksana-sampada Tathagato drastavyah? Subhutir
aha: No hidam Bhagavan, na laksana-sampada Tathagato drastavyah. Tat
kasya hetoh? Ya sa Bhagavan laksana-sampat Tathagatena bhasita
saiva-alaksana-sampat. Evam ukte Bhagavan ayusmantam Subhutim etad
avocat: Yavat Subhute laksana-sampat tavan mrsa, yavad alaksana-sampat
tavan na mrseti hi laksana-alaksanatas Tathagato drastavyah./

*The Lord continued: 'What do you think, Subhuti, can the Tathagata be
seen by the possession of his marks?' Subhuti replied: 'No indeed, O
Lord. And why? What has been taught by the Tathagata as the possession
of marks, that is truly a no-possession of no-marks.' The Lord said:
'Wherever there is possession of marks, there is fraud, wherever there
is no-possession of no-marks there is no fraud. Hence the Tathagata is
to be seen from no marks as marks.'*

/Evam ukte ayusman Subhutir Bhagavantam etad avocat: Asti Bhagavan kecit
sattva bhavisyanty anagate' dhvani pascime kale pascime samaye
pascimayam panca-satyam sad-dharma-vipraloka-kale vartamane, ya imesv
evamrupesu sutranta-padesu bhasyamanesu bhuta-samjnam utpadayisyanti?
Bhagavan aha: Ma Subhute tvam evam vocah. Asti kecit sattva bhavisyanty
anagate' dhvani pascime kale pascime samaye pascimayam pancasatyam
sad-dharma-vipralope vartamane, ya imesv evamrupesu sutrantapadesu
bhasyamanesu bhuta-samjnam utpadayisyanti. Api tu khalu punah Subhute
bhavisyanty anagate' dhvani bodhisattva mahasattvah pascime kale pascime
samaye pascimayam panca-satyam sad-dharma-vipralope vartamane gunavantah
silavantah prajnavantas ca bhavisyanti, ya imesv evamrupesu
sutranta-padesu bhasyamanesu bhutasamjnam utpadayisyanti. Na khalu punas
te Subhute bodhisattva mahasattva eka-buddha-paryupasita bhavisyanti,
na-eka-buddha-avaropita-kusala-mula bhavisyanti, api tu khalu punah
Subhute aneka-buddha-satasahasra-paryupasita
aneka-buddha-satasahasra-avaropita-kusala-mulas te bodhisattva
mahasattva bhavisyanti, ya imesv evamrupesu sutranta-padesu bhasyamanesv
eka-citta-prasadam api pratilapsyante. Jnatas te Subhute Tathagatena
buddha-jnanena, drstas te Subhute Tathagatena buddha-caksusa, buddhas te
Subhute Tathagatena. Sarve te Subhute' prameyam asamkhyeyam
punyaskandham prasavisyanti pratigrahisyanti. /

*Subhuti asked: Will there be any beings in the future period, in the
last time, in the last epoch, in the last 500 years, at the time of the
collapse of the good doctrine who, when these words of the Sutra are
being taught, will understand their truth? ŹThe Lord replied: Do not
speak thus, Subhuti! Yes, even then there will be such beings. For even
at that time, Subhuti, there will be Bodhisattvas who are gifted with
good conduct, gifted, with virtuous qualities, gifted with wisdom, and
who, when these words of the Sutra are being taught, will understand
their truth. And these Bodhisattvas, Subhuti, will not be such as have
honoured only one single Buddha, nor such as have planted their roots of
merit under one single Buddha only. On the contrary, Subhuti, those
Bodhisattvas who, when these words of the Sutra are being taught, will
find even one single thought of serene faith, they will be such as have
honoured many hundreds of thousands of Buddhas, such as have planted
their roots of merit under many hundreds of thousands of Buddhas. Known
they are, Subhuti, to the Tathagata through his Buddha cognition, seen
they are, Subhuti, by the Tathagata with his Buddha-eye, fully known
they are, Subhuti, to the Tathagata. And they all, Subhuti, will beget
and acquire an immeasurable and incalculable heap of merit.*

/Tat kasya hetoh? Na hi Subhute tesam bodhisattvanam mahasattvanam
atma-samjna pravartate na sattva-samjna na jiva-samjna na pudgala-samjna
pravartate. Na-api tesam Subhute bodhisattvanam mahasattvanam
dharma-samjna pravartate, evam na-adharma-samjna. Na-api tesam Subhute
samjna na-asamjna pravartate./

*And why? Because, Subhuti, in these Bodhisattvas (1) no perception of a
self takes place, (2) no perception of a being, (3) no perception of a
soul, (4) no perception of a person. Nor do these Bodhisattvas have (5)
a perception of a dharma, or (6) a perception of a no-dharma. (7) No
perception or (8) non-perception takes place in them.*

/Tat kasya hetoh? Sacet Subhute tesam bodhisattvanam mahasattvanam
dharma-samjna pravarteta, sa eva tesam atma-graho bhavet, sattva-graho
jiva-grahah pudgala-graho bhavet. Saced a-dharma-samjna pravarteta, sa
eva tesam atma-graho bhavet, sattva-graho jiva-grahah pudgala-graha iti.
Tat kasya hetoh? Na khalu punah Subhute bodhisattvena mahasattvena
dharma udgrahitavyo na-adharmah. Tasmad iyam Tathagatena sandhya vag
bhasita: Kolopamam dharma-paryayam ajanadbhir dharma eva prahatavyah
prag eva-adharma iti./

*And why? If, Subhuti, these Bodhisattvas should have a perception of
either a dharma, or a no-dharma, they would thereby seize on a self, a
being, a soul, or a person. And why? Because a Bodhisattva should not
seize on either a dharma or a no-dharma. Therefore this saying has been
taught by the Tathagata with a hidden meaning: 'Those who know the
discourse on dharma as like unto a raft, should forsake dharmas, still
more so no-dharmas.'*

/Punar aparam Bhagavan ayusmantam Subhutim etad avocat: Tat kim manyase
Subhute, asti sa kascid dharmo yas Tathagatena-anuttara samyaksambodhir
ity abhisambuddhah, kascid va dharmas Tathagatena desitah? Evam ukta
ayusman Subhutir Bhagavantam etad avocat: Yatha-aham Bhagavan Bhagavato
bhasitasya-artham ajanami, na-asti sa kascid dharmo yas
Tathagatena-anuttara samyaksambodhir ity abhisambuddhah, na-asti dharmo
yas Tathagatena desitah. Tat kasya hetoh? Yo'sau Tathagatena
dharmo'bhisambuddho desito va, agrahyah so'nabhilapyah, na sa dharmo
na-adharmah. Tat kasya hetoh? Asamskrtaprabhavita hy arya-pudgalah./

*The Lord asked: What do you think, Subhuti, is there any dharma which
the Tathagata has fully known as 'the utmost, right and perfect
enlightenment, or is there any dharma which the Tathagata has
demonstrated? Subhuti replied: No, not as I understand what the Lord has
said. And why? This dharma which the Tathagata has fully known or
demonstrated Źit cannot be grasped, it cannot be talked about, it is
neither a dharma nor a no-dharma. And why? Because an Absolute exalts
the Holy Persons.*

/Bhagavan aha: Tat kim manyase Subhute yah kascit kulaputro va
kuladuhita vemam trisahasramahasahasram lokadhatum sapta-ratnaparipurnam
krtva Tathagatebhyo' rhadbhyah samyaksambuddhebhyo danam dadyat, api nu
sa kulaputro va kuladuhita va tato nidanam bahutaram punya-skandham
prasunuyat? Subhutir aha: Bahu Bhagavan bahu Sugata sa kulaputro va
kuladuhita va tato nidanam punya-skandham prasunuyat. Tat kasya hetoh?
Yo'sau Bhagavan punya-skandhas Tathagatena bhasitah, a-skandhah sa
Tathagatena bhasitah. Tasmat Tathagato bhasate: Punya-skandhah
punya-skandha iti. Bhagavan aha: Yas ca khalu punah Subhute kulaputro va
kuladuhita vemam trisahasramahasahasram lokadhatum
sapta-ratna-paripurnam krtva Tathagatebhyo' rhadbhyah
samyaksambuddhebhyo danam dadyat, yas ceto dharma-paryayad antasas
catuspadikam api gatham udgrhya parebhyo vistarena desayet
samprakasayed, ayam eva tato nidanam bahutaram punya-skandham prasunuyad
aprameyam asamkhyeyam. Tat kasya hetoh? Ato nirjata hi Subhute
Tathagatanam arhatam samyaksambuddhanam anuttara samyaksambodhir, ato
nirjatas ca Buddha Bhagavantah. Tat kasya hetoh? Buddhadharma
buddhadharma iti Subhute 'buddhadharmas caiva te Tathagatena bhasitah.
Tenocyante buddhadharma iti./

*The Lord then asked: What do you think, Subhuti, if a son or daughter
of good family had filled this world system of 1,000 million worlds with
the seven precious things, and then gave it as a gift to the Tathagatas,
Arhats, Fully Enlightened Ones, would they on the strength of that beget
a great heap of merit? ŹSubbuti replied: Great, O Lord, great, O
Well-Gone, would that heap of merit be! And why? Because the Tathagata
spoke of the 'heap of merit' as a non-heap. That is how the Tathagata
speaks of 'heap of merit'. ŹThe Lord said: But if someone else were to
take from this discourse on dharma but one stanza of four lines, and
would demonstrate and illuminate it in full detail to others, then he
would on the strength of that beget a still greater heap of merit,
immeasurable and incalculable. And why? Because from it has issued the
utmost, right and perfect enlightenment of the Tathagatas, Arhats, Fully
Enlightened Ones, and from it have issued the Buddhas, the Lords. And
why? For the Tathagata has taught that the dharmas special to the
Buddhas are just not a Buddha's special dharmas. That is why they are
called 'the dharmas special to the Buddhas'.*

/Tat kim manyase Subhute, api nu srotaapannasyaivam bhavati: Maya
srotaapatti-phalam praptam iti? Subhutir aha: No hidam Bhagavan, na
srotaapannasyaivam bhavati: Maya srotaapatti-phalam praptam iti. Tat
kasya hetoh? Na hi sa Bhagavan kamcid dharmam apannah. Tenocyate
srotaapanna iti. Na rupam apanno na sabdan na gandhan na rasan na
sprastavyan na dharman apannah. Tenocyate srotaapanna iti. Saced
Bhagavan srotaapannasyaivam bhaven: Maya srotaapatti-phalam praptam iti,
sa eva tasya-atma-graho bhavet sattva-graho jiva-grahah pudgala-graho
bhaved iti. Bhagavan aha: Tat kim manyase Subhute, api nu sakrdagamina
evam bhavati: Maya sakrdagami-phalam praptam iti? Subhutir aha: No hidam
Bhagavan, na sakrdagamina evam bhavati: Maya sakrdagami-phalam praptam
iti. Tat kasya hetoh? Na hi sa kascid dharmo yah sakrdagamitvam apannah.
Tenocyate sakrdagami-iti. Bhagavan aha: Tat kim manyase Subhute, api nv
anagamina evam bhavati: Maya-anagami-phalam praptam iti? Subhutir aha:
No hidam Bhagavan, na-anagamina evam bhavati:
Maya-anagami-phalam-praptam iti. Tat kasya hetoh? Na hi sa Bhagavan
kascid dharmo yo'nagamitvam apannah. Tenocyate'nagami-iti. Bhagavan aha:
Tat kim manyase Subhute, api nv arhata evam bhavati: Maya-arhattvam
praptam iti? Subhutir aha: No hidam Bhagavan, na-arhata evam bhavati:
Maya-arhattvam praptam iti. Tat kasya hetoh? Na hi sa Bhagavan kascid
dharmo yo'rhan nama. Tenocyate' rhann iti. Saced Bhagavan arhata evam
bhaven: Maya-arhattvam praptam iti, sa eva tasya-atma-graho bhavet
sattva-graho jiva-grahah pudgala-graho bhavet. Tat kasya hetoh? Aham
asmi Bhagavams Tathagatena-arhata samyaksambuddhena-arana-viharinam
agryo nirdistah. Aham asmi Bhagavann arhan vitaragah. Na ca me Bhagavann
evam bhavati: Arhann asmy aham vitaraga iti. Sacen mama Bhagavann evam
bhaven: Maya-arhattvam praptam iti, na mam Tathagato vyakarisyad:
Arana-viharinam agryah Subhutih kulaputro na kvacid viharati,
tenocyate'rana-vihary arana-vihari-iti./

*The Lord asked: What do you think, Subhuti, does it occur to the
Streamwinner, 'by me has the fruit of a Streamwinner been attained'?
Subhuti replied: No indeed, O Lord. And why? Because, O Lord, he has not
won any dharma. Therefore is he called a Stream-winner. No sight-object
has been won, no sounds, smells, tastes, touchables, or objects of mind.
That is why he is called a 'Streamwinner'. If, O Lord, it would occur to
a Streamwinner, 'by me has a Streamwinner's fruit been attained', then
that would be in him a seizing on a self, seizing on a being, seizing on
a soul, seizing on a person. ŹThe Lord asked: What do you think,
Subhuti, does it then occur to the Once-Returner, 'by me has the fruit
of a Once-Returner been attained'? ŹSubhuti replied: No indeed, O Lord.
And why? Because there is not any dharma that has won Once-Returnership.
That is why he is called a 'Once-Returner'. ŹThe Lord asked: What do you
think, Subhuti, does it then occur to the Never-Returner 'by me has the
fruit of a Never-Returner been attained'? ŹSubhuti replied: No indeed, O
Lord. And why? Because there is not any dharma that has won Never
Returnership. Therefore is he called a 'Never-Returner'. ŹThe Lord
asked: What do you think, Subhuti, does it then occur to the Arhat, 'by
me has Arhatship been attained'? ŹSubhuti: No indeed, O Lord. And why?
Because no dharma is called 'Arhat'. That is why he is called an Arhat.
If, O Lord, it would occur to an Arhat. 'by me has Arhatship been
attained', then that would be in him a seizing on a self, seizing on a
being, seizing on a soul, seizing on a person. ŹAnd why? I am, O Lord,
the one whom the Tathagata, the Arhat, the Fully Enlightened One has
pointed out as the foremost of those who dwell in Peace. I am, O Lord,
an Arhat free from greed. And yet, O Lord, it does not occur to me, 'an
Arhat am I and free from greed'. If, O Lord, it could occur to me that I
have attained Arhatship, then the Tathagata would not have declared of
me that 'Subhuti, this son of good family, who is the foremost of those
who dwell in Peace, does not dwell anywhere; that is why he is called "a
dweller in Peace, a dweller in Peace"'.*

/Bhagavan aha: Tat kim manyase Subhute, asti sa kascid dharmo yas
Tathagatena Dipankarasya Tathagatasya-arhatah samyaksambuddhasya-antikad
udgrhitah? Subhutir aha: No hidam Bhagavan, na-asti sa kascid dharmo yas
Tathagatena Dipankarasya Tathagatasya-arhatah samyaksambuddhasya-antikad
udgrhitah./

*The Lord asked: What do you think, Subhuti, is there any dharma which
the Tathagata has learned from Dipankara, the Tathagata, the Arhat, the
Fully Enlightened One? Subhuti replied: Not so, O Lord, there is not.*

/Bhagavan aha: Yah kascit Subhute bodhisattva evam vaded: Aham
ksetra-vyuhan nispadayisyami-iti, sa vitatham vadet. Tat kasya hetoh?
Ksetra-vyuhah ksetra-vyuha iti Subhute, 'vyuhas te Tathagatena bhasitah.
Tenocyante ksetra-vyuha iti./

*The Lord said: If any Bodhisattva would say, 'I will create harmonious
Buddhafields', he would speak falsely. And why? 'The harmonies of
Buddhafields, the harmonies of Buddhafields', Subhuti, as no-harmonies
have they been taught by the Tathagata. Therefore he spoke of
'harmonious Buddhafields'.*

/Tasmat tarhi Subhute bodhisattvena mahasattvenaivam apratisthitam
cittam utpadayitavyam yan na kvacit-pratisthitam cittam utpadayitavyam,
na rupa-pratisthitam cittam utpadayitavyam na
sabda-gandha-rasa-sprastavya-dharma-pratisthitam cittam utpadayitavyam./

*Therefore then, Subhuti, the Bodhisattva, the great being, should
produce an unsupported thought, i.e. a thought which is nowhere
supported, a thought unsupported by sights, sounds, smells, tastes,
touchables or mind-objects.*

/Tad yathapi nama Subhute puruso bhaved upeta-kayo maha-kayo vat
tasyaivamrupa atma-bhavah syat tad yathapi nama Sumeruh parvata-raja,
tat kim manyase Subhute api nu mahan sa atmabhavo bhavet? Subhutir aha:
Mahan sa Bhagavan mahan Sugata sa atma-bhavo bhavet. Tat kasya hetoh?
Atma-bhava atma-bhava iti Bhagavann a-bhavah sa Tathagatena bhasitah.
Tenocyata atma-bhava iti. Na hi Bhagavan sa bhavo na-abhavah. Tenocyata
atma-bhava iti. /

*Suppose, Subhuti, there were a man endowed with a body, a huge body, so
that he had a personal existence like Sumeru, king of mountains. Would
that, Subhuti, be a huge personal existence? Subhuti replied: Yes, huge,
O Lord, huge, O Well-Gone, would his personal existence be. And why so?
'Personal existence, personal existence', as no-existence has that been
taught by the Tathagata; for not, O Lord, is that existence or
non-existence. Therefore is it called 'personal existence'.*

/Bhagavan aha: Tat kim manyase Subhute yavatyo Gangayam mahanadyam
valukas tavatya eva Ganga-nadyo bhaveyuh, tasu ya valuka api nu ta
bahavyo bhaveyuh? Subhutir aha: Ta eva tavad Bhagavan bahavyo
Ganga-nadyo bhaveyuh, prag eva yas tasu Ganga-nadisu valukah. Bhagavan
aha: Arocayami te Subhute prativedayami te yavatyas tasu Ganga-nadisu
valuka bhaveyus, tavato loka-dhatun kascid eva stri va puruso va
sapta-ratna-paripurnam krtva Tathagatebhyo'rhadbhyah samyaksambuddhebhyo
danam dadyat, tat kim manyase Subhute, api nu sa stri va puruso va tato
nidanam bahu punyaskandham prasunuyat? Subhutir aha: Bahu Bhagavan bahu
Sugata stri va puruso va tato nidanam punya-skandham prasunuyad
aprameyam asamkhyeyam. Bhagavan aha: Yas ca khalu punah Subhute stri va
puruso va tavato loka-dhatun sapta-ratna-paripurnam krtva
Tathagatebhyo'rhadbhyah samyaksambuddhebhyo danam dadyat, yas ca
kulaputro va kuladuhita veto dharma-paryayad antasas catuspadikam api
gatham udgrhya parebhyo desayet samprakasayed, ayam eva tato nidanam
bahutaram punya-skandham prasunuyad aprameyam asamkhyeyam. Api tu khalu
punah Subhute yasmin prthivi-pradesa ito dharma-paryayad antasas
catuspadikam api gatham udgrhya bhasyeta va samprakasyeta va, sa
prthivi-pradesas caityabhuto bhavet sa-deva-manusa-asurasya lokasya; kah
punar vado ya imam dharma-pryayam sakala-samaptam dharayisyanti
vacayisyanti paryavapsyanti parebhyas ca vistarena samprakasayisyanti,
paramena te Subhute ascaryena samanvagata bhavisyanti. Tasmims ca
Subhute prthivi-pradese sasta viharaty anyatara-anyataro va
vijnaguru-sthaniyah. /

*The Lord asked: What do you think, Subhuti, if there were as many
Ganges rivers as there are grains of sand in the large river Ganges,
would the grains of sand in them be many? ŹSubhuti replied: Those Ganges
rivers would indeed be many, much more so the grains of sand in them.
ŹThe Lord said: This is what I announce to you, Subhuti, this is what I
make known to you, Źif some woman or man had filled with the seven
precious things as many world systems as there are grains of sand in
those Ganges rivers, and would give them as a gift to the Tathagatas,
Arhats, fully Enlightened Ones Źwhat do you think, Subhuti, would that
woman or man on the strength of that beget a great heap of merit?
ŹSubhuti replied: Great, O Lord, great O Well-Gone, would that heap of
merit be, immeasurable and incalculable. ŹThe Lord said: But if a son or
daughter of good family had taken from this discourse on dharma but one
stanza of four lines, and were to demonstrate and illuminate it to
others, then they would on the strength of that beget a still greater
heap of merit, immeasurable and incalculable. Moreover, Subhuti, that
spot of earth where one has taken from this discourse on dharma but one
stanza of four lines, taught or illumined it, that spot of earth will be
a veritable shrine for the whole world with its gods, men and Asuras.
What then should we say of those who will bear in mind this discourse on
dharma in its entirety, who will recite, study, and illuminate it in
full detail for others! Most wonderfully blest, Subhuti, they will be!
And on that spot of earth, Subhuti, either the Teacher dwells, or a sage
representing him.*

/Evam ukta ayusman Subhutir Bhagavantam etad avocat: Ko nama-ayam
Bhagavan dharma-paryayah, katham cainam dharayami? Evam ukte Bhagavan
ayusmantam Subhutim etad avocat: Prajnaparamita nama-ayam Subhute
dharma-paryayah, evam cainam dharaya./

*Subhuti asked: What then, O Lord, is this discourse on dharma, and how
should I bear it in mind? ŹThe Lord replied: This discourse on dharma,
Subhuti, is called 'Wisdom which has gone beyond', and as such should
you bear it in mind!*

/Tat kasya hetoh? Subhute prajnapa ramita Tathagatena bhasita
saiva-a-paramita Tathagatena bhasita. Tenocyate prajnaparamiteti. Tat
kim manyase Subhute api nv asti sa kascid dharmo yas Tathagatena
bhasitah? Subhutir aha: No hidam Bhagavan, na-asti sa kascid dharmo yas
Tathagatena bhasitah. Bhagavan aha: Tat kim manyase Subhute, yavat
trisahasramahasahasre loka-dhatuu prthivi-rajah kacit tad bahu bhavet?
Subhutir aha: Bahu Bhagavan bahu Sugata prthivi-rajo bhavet. Tat kasya
hetoh? Yat tad Bhagavan prthivi-rajas Tathagatena bhasitam a-rajas tad
Bhagavams Tathagatena bhasitam. Tenocyate prthivi-raja iti. Yo'py asau
loka-dhatus Tathagatena bhasito 'dhatuh sa Tathagatena bhasitah.
Tenocyate lokadhatur iti. Bhagavan aha: Tat kim manyase Subhute
dvatrimsan mahapurusa-laksanais Tathagato 'rhan samyaksambuddho
drastavyah? Subhutir aha: No hidam Bhagavan, na
dvatrimsan-mahapurusa-laksanais Tathagato'rhan samyaksambuddho
drastavyah. Tat kasya hetoh? Yani hi tani Bhagavan
dvatrimsan-mahapurusa-laksanani Tathagatena bhasitany, a-laksanani tani
Bhagavams Tathagatena bhasitani. Tenocyante
dvatrimsan-mahapurusa-laksanani-iti./

*And why? Just that which the Tathagata has taught as the wisdom which
has gone beyond, just that He has taught as not gone beyond. Therefore
is it called 'Wisdom which has gone beyond'. What do you think, Subhuti,
is there any dharma which the Tathagata has taught? ŹSubhuti replied: No
indeed, O Lord, there is not. ŹThe Lord said: When, Subhuti, you
consider the number of particles of dust in this world system of 1,000
million worlds-would they be many? ŹSubhuti replied: Yes, O Lord.
Because what was taught as particles of dust by the Tathagata, as
no-particles that was taught by the Tathagata. Therefore are they called
'particles of dust'. And this world-system the Tathagata has taught as
no-system. Therefore is it called a 'world system'. ŹThe Lord asked:
What do you think, Subhuti, can the Tathagata be seen by means of the
thirty-two marks of the superman? ŹSubhuti replied: No indeed, O Lord.
And why? Because those thirty-two marks of the superman which were
taught by the Tathagata, they are really no-marks. Therefore are they
called 'the thirty-two marks of the superman'.*

/Bhagavan aha: Yas ca khalu punah Subhute stri va puruso va dine dine
Ganga-nadi-valuka-saman atma-bhavan parityajet, evam parityajan
Ganga-nadi-valuka-saman kalpams tan atmabhavan parityajet, yas ceto
dharma-paryayad antasas catuspadikam api gatham udgrhya parebhyo desayet
samprakasayed, ayam eva tato nidanam bahutaram punya-skandham prasunuyad
aprameyam asamkhyeyam./

*The Lord said: And again, Subhuti, suppose a woman or a man were to
renounce all their belongings as many times as there are grains of sand
in the river Ganges; and suppose that someone else, after taking from
this discourse on Dharma but one stanza of four lines, would demonstrate
it to others. Then this latter on the strength of that would beget a
greater heap of merit, immeasurable and incalculable.*

/Atha khalv ayusman Subhutir dharma-vegena-asru-ni pramuncat, so' sruni
pramrjya Bhagavantam etad avocat: Ascaryam Bhagavan parama-ascaryam
Sugata, yavad ayam dharma-paryayas Tathagatena bhasito,
'gra-yana-samprasthitanam sattvanam arthaya srestha-yana-samprasthitanam
arthaya, yato me Bhagavan jnanam utpannam. Na maya Bhagavan jatv
evamrupo dharmaparyayah sruta-purvah. Paramena te Bhagavann ascaryena
samanvagata bodhisattva bhavisyanti ya iha sutre bhasyamane srutva
bhuta-samjnam utpadayisyanti. Tat kasya hetoh? Ya caisa Bhagavan
bhuta-samjna saiva-abhuta-samjna. Tasmat Tathagato bhasate bhuta-samjna
bhuta-samjneti. Na mama Bhagavan duskaram yad aham imam dharma-paryayam
bhasyamanam avakalpayamy adhimucye. Ye 'pi te Bhagavan sattva
bhavisyanty anagate 'dhvani pascime kale pascime samaye pascimayam
panca-satyam saddharma-vipralope vartamane, ya imam Bhagavan
dharma-paryayam udgrahisyanti dharayisyanti vacayisyanti paryavapsyanti
parebhyas ca vistarena samprakasayisyanti, te parama-ascaryena
samanvagata bhavisyanti. Api tu khalu punar Bhagavan na tesam
atma-samjna pravartisyate, na sattva-samjna na jiva-samjna na
pudgala-samjna pravartisyate, na-api tesam kacit samjna na-a-samjna
pravartate. Tat kasya hetoh? Ya sa Bhagavann atma-samjna saiva-a-samjna,
ya sattva-samjna jiva-samjna pudgala-samjna saiva-a-samjna. Tat kasya
hetoh? Sarva-samjna-apagata hi Buddha Bhagavantah. /

*Thereupon the impact of Dharma moved the Venerable Subhuti to tears.
Having wiped away his tears, he thus spoke to the Lord: It is wonderful,
O Lord, it is exceedingly wonderful, O Well-Gone, how well the Tathagata
has taught this discourse on Dharma. Through it cognition has been
produced in me. Not have I ever before heard such a discourse on Dharma.
Most wonderfully blest will be those who, when this Sutra is being
taught, will produce a true perception. And that which is true
perception, that is indeed no perception. Therefore the Tathagata
teaches, 'true perception, true perceptions'. ŹIt is not difficult for
me to accept and believe this discourse on Dharma when it is being
taught. But those beings who will be in a future period, in the last
time, in the last epoch, in the last 500 years, at the time of the
collapse of the good doctrine, and who, O Lord, will take up this
discourse on Dharma, bear it in mind, recite it, study it, and
illuminate it in full detail for others, these will be most wonderfully
blest. ŹIn them, however, no perception of a self will take place, or of
a being, a soul, or a person. And why? That, O Lord, which is perception
of self, that is indeed no perception. That which is perception of a
being, a soul or a person, that is indeed no perception. And why?
Because the Buddhas, the Lords have left all perceptions behind.*

/Evam ukte Bhagavan ayusmantam Subhutim etad avocat: Evam etat Subhute
evam etat. Parama-ascarya-samanvagatas te sattva bhavisyanti ya iha
Subhute sutre bhasyamane nottrasisyanti na samtrasisyanti na samtrasam
apatsyante. Tat kasya hetoh? Paramaparamiteyam Subhute Tathagatena
bhasita yaduta-a-paramita. Yam ca Subhute Tathagatah parama-paramitam
bhasate, tam aparimana-api Buddha Bhagavanto bhasante, tenocyate
parama-paramiteti./

*The Lord said: So it is, Subhuti. Most wonderfully blest will be those
beings who, on hearing this Sutra, will not tremble, nor be frightened,
or terrified. And why? The Tathagata has taught this as the highest
(parama-) perfection (paramita). And what the Tathagata teaches as the
highest perfection, that also the innumerable (aparimana) Blessed
Buddhas do teach. Therefore is it called the 'highest perfection'.*

/Api tu khalu punah Subhute ya Tathagatasya ksanti-paramita
saiva-a-paramita. Tat kasya hetoh? Yada me Subhute Kalinga
raja-anga-pratyanga-mamsany acchaitsit, tasmin samaya atma-samjna va
sattva-samjna va jiva-samjna va pudgala-samjna va na-api me kacit samjna
va-a-samjna va babhuva. Tat kasya hetoh? Sacen me Subhute tasmin samaya
atma-samjna-abhavisyad vyapada-samjna-api me tasmin samaye'bhavisyat.
Sacet sattva-samjna jiva-samjna pudgala-samjna-abhavisyad,
vyapada-samjna-api me tasmin samaye'bhavisyat. Tat kasya hetoh?
Abhijanamy aham Subhute'tite'dhvani panca-jati-satani yad aham
Ksantivadi rsir abhuvam. Tatra-api me na-atma-samjna babhuva,
na-sattva-samjna na jiva-samjna na pudgala-samjna babhuva./

*Moreover, Subhuti, the Tathagata's perfection of patience is really no
perfection. And why? Because, Subhuti, when the king of Kalinga cut my
flesh from every limb, at that time I had no perception of a self, of a
being, of a soul, or a person. And why? If, Subhuti, at that time I had
had a perception of self, I would also have had a perception of ill-will
at that time. And so, if I had had a perception of a being, of a soul,
or of a person. With my superknowledge I recall that in the past I have
for five hundred births led the life of a sage devoted to patience. Then
also have I had no perception of a self, a being, a soul, or a person.*

/Tasmat tarhi Subhute bodhisattvena mahasattvena
sarva-samjna-vivarjayitva-anuttarayam samyaksambodhau cittam
utpadayitavyam. Na rupa-pratisthitam cittam utpadayitavyam, na
sabda-gandha-rasa-sprastavya-dharma-pratisthitam cittam utpadayitavyam,
na dharma-pratisthitam cittam utpadayitavyam, na adharma-pratisthitam
cittam utpadayitavyam, na kvacit-pratisthitam cittam utpadayitavyam. Tat
kasya hetoh? Yat pratisthitam tad eva-apratisthitam. Tasmad eva
Tathagato bhasate: Apratisthitena bodhisattvena danam datavyam. Na
rupa-sabda-gandha-rasa-sprastavya-dharma-pratisthitena danam datavyam./

*Therefore then, Subhuti, the Bodhi-being, the great being, after he has
got rid of all perceptions, should raise his thought to the utmost,
right and perfect enlightenment. He should produce a thought which is
unsupported by forms, sounds, smells, tastes, touchables, or
mind-objects, unsupported by dharma, unsupported by no-dharma,
unsupported by anything. And why? All supports have actually no support.
It is for this reason that the Tathagata teaches: By an unsupported
Bodhisattva should a gift be given, not by one who is supported by
forms, sounds, smells, tastes, touchables, or mind-objects.*

/Api tu khalu punah Subhute bodhisattvenaivamrupo dana-parityagah
kartavyah sarva-sattvanam arthaya. Tat kasya hetoh? Ya caisa Subhute
sattva-samjna saiva-a-samjna. Ya evam te sarva-sattvas Tathagatena
bhasitas ta eva-a-sattvah. Tat kasya hetoh? Bhuta-vadi Subhute
Tathagatah satyavadi tathavady ananyathavadi Tathagatah. Na vitatha-vadi
Tathagatah./

*And further, Subhuti, it is for the weal of all beings that a
Bodhisattva should give gifts in this manner. And why? This perception
of a being, Subhuti, that is just a non-perception. Those all-beings of
whom the Tathagata has spoken, they are indeed no-beings. And why?
Because the Tathagata speaks in accordance with reality, speaks the
truth, speaks of what is, not otherwise. A Tathagata does not speak
falsely.*

/Api tu khalu punah Subhute yas Tathagatena dharmo 'bhisambuddho desito
nidhyato, na tatra satyam na mrsa. Tadyatha-api nama Subhute puruso
'ndhakara-pravisto na kimcid api pasyet, evam vastu-patito bodhisattvo
drastavyo yo vastu-patito danam parityajati. Tadyatha-api nama Subhute
caksusman purusah prabhatayam ratrau surye'bhyudgate nanavidhani rupani
pasyet, evam a-vastu-patito bodhisattvo drastavyo yo'vastu-patito danam
parityajati./

*But nevertheless, Subhuti, with regard to that dharma which the
Tathagata has fully known and demonstrated, on account of that there is
neither truth nor fraud.*

*In darkness a man could not see anything. Just so should be viewed a
Bodhisattva who has fallen among things, and who, fallen among things,
renounces a gift. A man with eyes would, when the night becomes light
and the sun has arisen, see manifold forms. Just so should be viewed a
Bodhisattva who has not fallen among things, and who, without having
fallen among things, renounces a gift.*

/Api tu khalu punah Subhute ye kulaputra va kuladuhitaro vemam
dharmaparyayam udgrahisyanti dharayisyanti vacayisyanti paryavapsyanti
parebhyas ca vistarena samprakasayisyanti, jnatas te Subhute Tathagatena
buddha-jnanena, drstas te Subhute Tathagatena buddha-caksusa, buddhas te
Tathagatena. Sarve te Subhute sattva aprameyam asamkhyeyam
punya-skandham prasavisyanti pratigrahisyanti. Yas ca khalu punah
Subhute stri va puruso va purva-ahna-kala-samaye Ganga-nadi-valuka-saman
atmabhavan parityajet, evam madhya-ahna-kala-samaye
Ganga-nadi-valuka-saman atmabhavan parityajet, saya-ahna-kala-samaye
Ganga-nadi-valuka-saman atmabhavan parityajet, anena paryayena bahuni
kalpa-koti-niyuta-satasahasrany atmabhavan parityajet; yas cemam
dharmaparyayam srutva na pratiksipet, ayam eva tato nidanam bahutaram
punyaskandham prasunuyad aprameyam asamkhyeyam. Kah punar vado yo
likhitvodgrhniyad dharayed vacayet paryavapnuyat parebhyas ca vistarena
samprakasayet./

*Furthermore, Subhuti, those sons and daughters of good family who will
take up this discourse on Dharma, will bear it in mind, recite, study,
and illuminate it in full detail for others, they have been known,
Subhuti, by the Tathagata with his Buddha-cognition, they have been
seen, Subhuti, by the Tathagata with his Buddha-eye, they have been
fully known by the Tathagata. All these beings, Subhuti, will beget and
acquire an immeasurable and incalculable heap of merit. ŹAnd if,
Subhuti, a woman or man should renounce in the morning all their
belongings as many times as there are grains of sand in the river
Ganges, and if they should do likewise at noon and in the evening, and
if in this way they should renounce all their belongings for many
hundreds of thousands of millions of milliards of aeons; and someone
else, on hearing this discourse on Dharma, would not reject it; then the
latter would on the strength of that beget a greater heap of merit,
immeasurable and incalculable. What then should we say of him who, after
writing it, would learn it, bear it in mind, recite, study and
illuminate it in full detail for others?*

/Api tu khalu punah Subhute 'cintyo' tulyo 'yam dharmaparyayah. Ayam ca
Subhute dharmaparyayas Tathagatena bhasito'gra-yana-samprasthitanam
sattvanam arthaya srestha-yana-samprasthitanam sattvanam arthaya, ya
imam dharma-paryayam udgrahisyanti dharayisyanti vacayisyanti
paryavapsyanti parebhyas ca vistarena samprakasayisyanti, jnatas te
Subhute Tathagatena buddha-jnanena, drstas te Subhute Tathagatena
buddha-caksusa, buddhas te Tathagatena. Sarve te Subhute sattva
aprameyena punya-skandhena samanvagata bhavisyanti,
acintyena-atulyena-amapyena-aparimanena punya-skandhena samanvagata
bhavisyanti. Sarve te Subhute sattvah samamsena bodhim dharayisyanti.
Tat kasya hetoh? Na hi sakyam Subhute 'yam dharmaparyayo
hina-adhimuktikaih sattvaih srotum na-atma-drstikair na sattvadrstikair
na jiva-drstikair na pudgala-drstikaih. Na-abodhisattva-pratijnaih
sattvaih sakyam ayam dharma-paryayah srotum vodgrahitum va dharayitum va
vacayitum va paryavaptum va. Nedam sthanam vidyate./

*Moreover, Subhuti, (1) unthinkable and (2) incomparable is this
discourse on Dharma. (3) The Tathagata has taught it for the weal of
beings who have set out in the best, in the most excellent vehicle.
Those who will take up this discourse on Dharma, bear it in mind,
recite, study and illuminate it in full detail for others, the Tathagata
has known them with his Buddha-cognition, the Tathagata has seen them
with his Buddha-eye, the Tathagata has fully known them. All these
beings, Subhuti, will be blest with an immeasurable heap of merit, they
will be blest with a heap of merit unthinkable, incomparable,
measureless and illimitable. All these beings, Subhuti, will carry along
an equal share of enlightenment. And why? (4) Because it is not
possible, Subhuti, that this discourse on Dharma could be heard by
beings of inferior resolve, nor by such as have a self in view, a being,
a soul, or a person. Nor can beings who have not taken the pledge of
Bodhi-beings either hear this discourse on Dharma, or take it up, bear
it in mind, recite or study it. That cannot be.*

/Api tu khalu punah Subhute yatra prthivipradesa idam sutram
prakasayisyate, pujaniyah sa prthivipradeso bhavisyati
sadeva-manusa-asurasya lokasya, vandaniyah pradaksiniyas ca sa
prthivipradeso bhavisyati, caitya-bhutah sa prthivipradeso bhavisyati.
Api tu ye te Subhute kulaputra va kuladuhitaro veman evamrupan sutrantan
udgrahisyanti dharayisyanti vacayisyanti paryavapsyanti yonisas ca
manasikarisyanti parebhyas ca vistarena samprakasayisyanti te paribhuta
bhavisyanti, suparibhutas ca bhavisyanti. Tat kasya hetoh? Yani ca tesam
Subhute sattvanam paurva-janmikany asubhani karmani krtany
apaya-samvartaniyani, drsta eva dharme taya paribhutatataya tani
paurvajanmikany asubhani karmani ksapayisyanti, buddha-bodhim
ca-anuprapsyanti. Tat kasya hetoh? Abhijanamy aham Subhute 'tite-dhvany
asamkhyeyaih kalpair asamkhyeyatarair Dipankarasya Tathagatasya-arhatah
samyaksambuddhasya parena para-tarena
catur-asiti-buddha-koti-niyuta-satasahasrany abhuvan ye maya aragita
aragya na viragitah. Yac ca maya Subhute te Buddha Bhagavanta aragita
aragya na viragita, yac ca pascime kale pascime samaye pascimayam
pancasatyam saddharma-vipralopa-kale vartamana iman evamrupan sutrantan
udgrahisyanti dharayisyanti vacayisyanti paryavapsyanti parebhyas ca
vistarena samprakasayisyanti, asya khalu punah Subhute
punyaskandhasya-antikad asau paurvakah punya-skandhah satatamim api
kalam nopaiti, sahasratamim api satasahasratamim api, kotitamim api
koti-satatamim api koti-satasahasratamim api
koti-niyuta-satasahasratamim api, samkhyam api kalam api gananam apy
upamam apy upanisadam api yavad aupamyam api na ksamate. Sacet punah
Subhute tesam kulaputranam kuladuhitrinam va-aham punyaskandham
bhaseyam, yavat te kulaputra va kuladuhitaro va tasmin samaye
punyaskandham prasavisyanti pratigrahisyanti, unmadam sattva
anuprapnuyus citta-viksepam va gacheyuh. Api tu khalu punah Subhute
'cintyo 'yam dharmaparyayas Tathagatena bhasitah, asya-acintya eva
vipakah pratikanksitavyah./

*(1) Moreover, Subhuti, the spot of earth where this Sutra will be
revealed, that spot of earth will be worthy of worship by the whole
world with its Gods, men and Asuras, worthy of being saluted
respectfully, worthy of being honoured by circumambulation, like a
shrine will be that spot of earth. ŹAnd yet Subhuti, those sons and
daughters of good family, who will take up these very Sutras, and will
bear them in mind, recite and study them, they will be humbled, well
humbled they will be! And why? The impure deeds which these beings have
done in their former lives, and which are liable to lead them into the
states of woe, in this very life they will, by means of that
humiliation, (2) annul those impure deeds of their former lives, and (3)
they will reach the enlightenment of a Buddha. Ź*

*With my superknowledge, Subhuti, I recall that in the past period, long
before Dipankara, the Tathagata, Arhat, fully Enlightened One, during
incalculable, quite incalculable aeons, I gave satisfaction by loyal
service to 84,000 million milliards of Buddhas, without ever becoming
again estranged from them. But the heap of merit, Subhuti, from the
satisfaction I gave to those Buddhas and Lords without again becoming
estranged from them Źcompared with the heap of merit of those who in the
last time, the last epoch, the last five hundred years, at the time of
the collapse of the good doctrine, will take up these very Sutras, bear
them in mind, recite and study them, and will illuminate them in full
detail for others, it does not approach one hundredth part, not one
thousandth part, nor a one hundred thousandth part, not a ten millionth
part, nor a one hundred millionth part, nor a 100,000 millionth part. It
does not bear number, nor fraction, nor counting, nor similarity, nor
comparison, nor resemblance. Ź(4) If moreover, Subhuti, I were to teach,
the heap of merit of those sons and daughters of good family, and how
great a heap of merit they will at that time beget and acquire, beings
would become frantic and confused. Since, however, Subhuti, the
Tathagata has taught this discourse on Dharma as unthinkable, so just an
unthinkable karma result should be expected from it.*

/Atha khalv ayusman Subhutir Bhagavantam etad avocat: Katham Bhagavan
bodhisattva-yana-samprasthitena sthatavyam, katham pratipattavyam,
katham cittam pragrahitavyam? Bhagavan aha: Iha Subhute
bodhisattva-yana-samprasthitenaivam cittam utpadayitavyam: Sarve sattva
maya-anupadhisese nirvanadhatau parinirvapayitavyah. Evam ca sattvan
parinirvapya, na kascit sattvah parinirvapito bhavati. Tat kasya hetoh?
Sacet Subhute bodhisattvasya sattva-samjna pravarteta, na sa bodhisattva
iti vaktavyah. Jiva-samjna va, yavat pudgalasamjna va pravarteta, na sa
bodhisattva iti vaktavyah. Tat kasya hetoh? Na-asti Subhute sa kascid
dharmo yo bodhisattva-yana-samprasthito nama./

*[(Subhuti asked: How, O Lord, should one set out in the
Bodhisattva-vehicle stand, how progress, how control his thoughts? ŹThe
Lord replied: Here, Subhuti, someone who has set out in the
Bodhisattva-vehicle should produce a thought in this manner: 'all beings
I must lead to Nirvana, into that Realm of Nirvana which leaves nothing
behind; and yet, after beings have thus been led to Nirvana, no being at
all has been led to Nirvana'. And why? If in a Bodhisattva the notion of
a 'being' should take place, he could not be called a 'Bodhi-being'. And
likewise if the notion of a soul, or a person should take place in
him.)] And why? He who has set out in the Bodhisattva-vehicle Źhe is not
one of the dharmas.*

/Tat kim manyase Subhute asti sa kascid dharmo yas Tathagatena
Dipankarasya Tathagatasya-antikad anuttaram samyaksambodhim
abhisambuddhah? Evam ukta ayusman Subhutir Bhagavantam etad avocat:
Yatha-aham Bhagavan Bhagavato bhasitasya-artham ajanami, na-asti sa
Bhagavan kascid dharmo yas Tathagatena Dipankarasya Tathagatasya-arhatah
samyaksambuddhasya-antikad anuttaram samyaksambodhim abhisambuddhah.
Evam ukte Bhagavan ayusmantam Subhutim etad avocat: Evam etat Subhute
evam etat, na-asti Subhute sa kascid dharmo yas Tathagatena Dipankarasya
Tathagatasya-arhatah samyaksambuddhasya-antikad anuttaram
samyaksambodhim abhisambuddhah. Sacet punah Subhute kascid dharmas
Tathagatena-abhisambuddho'bhavisyat, na mam Dipankaras Tathagato
vyakarisyad: Bhavisyasi tvam manava-anagate 'dhvani Sakyamunir nama
Tathagato 'rhan samyaksambuddha iti. Yasmat tarhi Subhute
Tathagatena-arhata samyaksambuddhena na-asti sa kascid dharmo yo
'nuttaram samyaksambodhim abhisambuddhas, tasmad aham Dipankarena
Tathagatena vyakrto: Bhavisyasi tvam manava-anagate 'dhvani Sakyamunir
nama Tathagato 'rhan samyaksambuddhah./

*What do you think Subhuti, is there any dharma by which the Tathagata,
when he was with Dipankara the Tathagata, has fully known the utmost,
right and perfect enlightenment? ŹSubhuti replied: There is not any
dharma by which the Tathagata, when he was with the Tathagata Dipankara,
has fully known the utmost, right and perfect enlightenment. ŹThe Lord
said: It is for this reason that the Tathagata Dipankara then predicted
of me: 'You, young Brahmin, will be in a future period a Tathagata,
Arhat, fully Enlightened, by the name of Shakyamuni!'*

/Tat kasya hetos? Tathagata iti Subhute bhuta-tathataya etad
adhivacanam. Yah kascit Subhuta evam vadet: Tathagatena-arhatah
samyaksambuddhena-anuttara samyaksambodhir abhisambuddheti, sa vitatham
vadet, abhyacaksita mam sa Subhute asatodgrhitena. Tat kasya hetoh?
Na-asti Subhute sa kascid dharmo yas Tathagatena-anuttaram
samyaksambodhim abhisambuddhah. Yas ca Subhute Tathagatena dharmo
'bhisambuddho desito va, tatra na satyam na mrsa. Tasmat Tathagato
bhasate sarva-dharma Buddha-dharma iti. Tat kasya hetoh? Sarva-dharma
iti a-dharmas Tathagatena bhasita. Tasmat ucyante sarva-dharma
Buddha-dharma iti. Tad yatha-api nama Subhute puruso bhaved upetakayo
mahakayah. Ayusman Subhutir aha: Yo 'sau Bhagavams Tathagatena puruso
bhasita upetakayo mahakaya iti, a-kayah sa Bhagavams Tathagatena
bhasitah. Tenocyata upetakayo mahakaya iti./

*And why? 'Tathagata', Subhuti, is synonymous with true Suchness
(tathata). ŹAnd whosoever, Subhuti, were to say, 'The Tathagata has
fully known the utmost, right and perfect enlightenment', he would speak
falsely. And why? [(There is not any dharma by which the Tathagata has
fully known the utmost, right and perfect enlightenment. And that dharma
which the Tathagata has fully known and demonstrated, on account of that
there is neither truth nor fraud.)] Therefore the Tathagata teaches, all
dharmas are the Buddha's own and special dharmas'. And why?
'All-dharmas', Subhuti, have as no-dharmas been taught by the Tathagata.
Therefore all dharmas are called the Buddha's own and special dharmas.
Ź[(Just as a man, Subhuti, might be endowed with a body, a huge body.)]
ŹSubhuti said: That man of whom the Tathagata spoke as 'endowed with a
body, a huge body', as a no-body he has been taught by the Tathagata.
Therefore is he called, 'endowed with a body, a huge body'.*

/Bhagavan aha: Evam etat Subhute. Yo bodhisattvo evam vaded: Aham
sattvan parinirvapayisyanti-iti, na sa bodhisattva iti vaktavyah. Tat
kasya hetoh, asti Subhute sa kascid dharmo yo bodhisattvo nama? Subhutir
aha: No hidam Bhagavan, na-asti sa kascid dharmo yo bodhisattvo nama.
Bhagavan aha: Sattvah sattva iti Subhute a-sattvas te Tathagatena
bhasitas, tenocyante sattva iti. Tasmat Tathagato bhasate: Niratmanah
sarva-dharma nihsattvah nirjiva nispudgalah sarva-dharma iti. Yah
Subhute bodhisattva evam vaded: Aham ksetra-vyuhan nispadayisyanti iti,
so 'pi tathaiva vaktavyah. Tat kasya hetoh? Ksetra-vyuha ksetra-vyuha
iti Subhute 'vyuhas te Tathagatena bhasitah, tenocyante ksetra-vyuha
iti. Yah Subhute bodhisattvo niratmano dharma niratmano dharma ity
adhimucyate, sa Tathagatena-arhata samyaksambuddhena bodhisattvo
mahasattva ity akhyatah./

*The Lord said: So it is, Subhuti. The Bodhisattva who would say, I will
lead beings to Nirvana', he should not be called a 'Bodhi-being'. And
why? Is there, Subhuti, any dharma named 'Bodhi-being'? ŹSubhuti
replied: No indeed, O Lord. ŹThe Lord said: Because of that the
Tathagata teaches, 'selfless are all dharmas, they have not the
character of living beings, they are without a living soul, without
personality'. Ź[(If any Bodhisattva should say, 'I will create
harmonious Buddhafields')], he likewise should not be called a
Bodhi-being. [(And why? 'The harmonies of Buddhafields, the harmonies of
Buddhafields', Subhuti, as no-harmonies have they been taught by the
Tathagata. Therefore he spoke of 'harmonious Buddhafields'.)] ŹThe
Bodhisattva, however, Subhuti, who is intent on 'without self are the
dharmas, without self are the dharmas', him the Tathagata, the Arhat,
the fully Enlightened One has declared to be a Bodhi-being, a great being.*

/Bhagavan aha: Tat kim manyase Subhute, samvidyate Tathagatasya
mamsa-caksuh? Subhutir aha: Evam etad Bhagavan, samvidyate Tathagatasya
mamsacaksuh. Bhagavan aha: Tat kim manyase Subhute, samvidyate
Tathagatasya divyam caksuh? Subhutir aha: Evam etad Bhagavan, samvidyate
Tathagatasya divyam caksuh. Bhagavan aha: Tat kim manyase Subhute,
samvidyate Tathagatasya prajna-caksuh? Subhutir aha: Evam etad Bhagavan,
samvidyate Tathagatasya prajna-caksuh. Bhagavan aha: Tat kim manyase
Subhute, samvidyate Tathagatasya dharma-caksuh? Subhutir aha: Evam etad
Bhagavan, samvidyate Tathagatasya dharma-caksuh. Bhagavan aha: Tat kim
manyase Subhute, samvidyate Tathagatasya buddha-caksuh? Subhutir aha:
Evam etad Bhagavan, samvidyate Tathagatasya buddha-caksuh./

*What do you think, Subhuti, does the fleshly eye of the Tathagata
exist? ŹSubhuti replied: So it is, O Lord, the fleshly eye of the
Tathagata does exist. ŹThe Lord asked: What do you think, Subhuti, does
the Tathagata's heavenly eye exist, his wisdom eye, his Dharma-eye, his
Buddha-eye? ŹSubhuti replied: So it is, O Lord, the heavenly eye of the
Tathagata does exist, and so does his wisdom eye, his Dharma-eye and his
Buddha-eye. *

/Bhagavan aha: Tat kim manyase Subhute, yavantyo Gangayam maha-nadyam
valuka, api nu ta valukas Tathagatena bhasitah? Subhutir aha: Evam etad
Bhagavann, evam etat Sugata, bhasitas Tathagatena valukah. Bhagavan aha:
Tat kim manyase Subhute yavantyo Gangayam maha-nadyam valukas tavantya
eva Ganga-nadyo bhaveyuh, tasu ya valukas tavantas ca lokadhatavo
bhaveyuh, kascid bahavas te lokadhatavo bhaveyuh? Subhutir aha: Evam
etad Bhagavann, evam etat Sugata, bahavas te loka-dhatavo bhaveyuh.
Bhagavan aha: Yavantah Subhute tesu loka-dhatusu sattvas tesam aham
nanabhavam citta-dharam prajanami. Tat kasya hetoh? Citta-dhara
citta-dhareti Subhute a-dharaisa Tathagatena bhasitas. Tenocyate
citta-dhareti. Tat kasya hetoh? Atitam Subhute cittam nopalabhyate,
anagatam cittam nopalabhyate, pratyutpannam cittam nopalabhyate./

*The Lord said: What do you think, Subhuti, has the Tathagata used the
phrase, 'as many grains of sand as there are in the great river Ganges'?
ŹSubhuti replied: So it is, O Lord, so it is, O Well-Gone! The Tathagata
has done so. ŹThe Lord asked: What do you think, Subhuti, if there were
as many Ganges rivers as there are grains of sand in the great river
Ganges, and if there were as many world systems as there are grains of
sand in them, would those world systems be many? ŹSubhuti replied: So it
is, O Lord, so it is, O Well-Gone, these world systems would be many.
ŹThe Lord said: As many beings as there are in these world systems, of
them I know, in my wisdom, the manifold trends of thought. And why?
'Trends of thought, trends of thought', Subhuti, as no trends have they
been taught by the Tathagata. Therefore are they called 'trends of
thought'. And why? Past thought is not got at; future thought is not got
at; present thought is not got at.*

/Tat kim manyase Subhute yah kascit kulaputro va kuladuhita vemam
trisahasramahasahasram lokadhatum sapta-ratna-paripurnam krtva
Tathagatebhyo'rhadbhyah samyaksambuddhebhyo danam dadyat, api nu sa
kulaputro va kuladuhita va tato nidanam bahu punya-skandham prasunuyat?
Subhutir aha: Bahu Bhagavan, bahu Sugata. Bhagavan aha: Evam etat
Subhute evam etat, bahu sa kulaputro va kuladuhita va tato nidanam
punyaskandham prasunuyad. Tat kasya hetoh? Punya-skandhah punya-skandha
iti Subhute a-skandhah sa Tathagatena bhasitah. Tenocyate punya-skandha
iti. Sacet Subhute punya-skandho'bhavisyan, na Tathagato'bhasisyat
punya-skandhah punya-skandha iti./

*What do you think, Subhuti, if a son or daughter of good family had
filled this world system of 1,000 million worlds with the seven precious
things, and then gave it as a gift to the Tathagatas, the Arhats, the
fully Enlightened Ones, would they on the strength of that beget a great
heap of merit? ŹSubhuti replied: they would, O Lord, they would, O
Well-Gone! ŹThe Lord said: So it is, Subhuti, so it is. On the strength
of that this son or daughter of good family would beget a great heap of
merit, immeasurable and incalculable. But if, on the other hand, there
were such a thing as a heap of merit, the Tathagata would not have
spoken of a 'heap of merit'.*

/Tat kim manyase Subhute rupa-kaya-parinispattya Tathagato drastavyah?
Subhutir aha: No hidam Bhagavan, na rupa-kaya-parinispattya Tathagato
drastavyah. Tat kasya hetoh? Rupa-kaya-parinispatti
rupakaya-parinispattir iti Bhagavan a-parinispattir esa Tathagatena
bhasita. Tenocyate rupakaya-parinispattir iti. Bhagavan aha: Tat kim
manyase Subhute, laksana-sampada Tathagato drastavyah? Subhutir aha: No
hidam Bhagavan, na laksana-sampada Tathagato drastavyah. Tat kasya
hetoh? Yaisa Bhagavaml laksana-sampat Tathagatena bhasita,
a-laksana-sampad esa Tathagatena bhasita. Tenocyate laksana-sampad iti./

*What do you think, Subhuti, is the Tathagata to be seen by means of the
accomplishment of his form-body? Subhuti replied: No indeed, O Lord, the
Tathagata is not to be seen by means of the accomplishment of his
form-body. And why? 'Accomplishment of his form-body, accomplishment of
his form-body', this, O Lord, has been taught by the Tathagata as
no-accomplishment. Therefore is it called 'accomplishment of his
form-body'. ŹThe Lord asked: What do you think, Subhuti, is the
Tathagata to be seen through his possession of marks? Subhuti replied:
No indeed, O Lord. And why? This possession of marks, O Lord, which has
been taught by the Tathagata, as a no-possession of no-marks this has
been taught by the Tathagata. Therefore is it called 'possession of marks'.*

/Bhagavan aha: Tat kim manyase Subhute, api nu Tathagatasyaivam bhavati:
Maya dharmo desita iti? Subhutir aha: No hidam Bhagavan, na
Tathagatasyaivam bhavati: Maya dharmo desita iti. Bhagavan aha: Yah
Subhute evam vadet: Tathagatena dharmo desita iti, sa vitatham vadet,
abhyacaksita mam sa Subhute 'satodgrhitena. Tat kasya hetoh?
Dharma-desana dharma-desaneti Subhute, na-asti sa kascid dharmo yo
dharma-desana namopalabhyate./

*The Lord asked: What do you think, Subhuti, does it occur to the
Tathagata, 'by me has Dharma been demonstrated'? Whosoever, Subhuti,
would say, 'the Tathagata has demonstrated Dharma', he would speak
falsely, he would misrepresent me by seizing on what is not there. And
why? 'Demonstration of dharma, demonstration of dharma', Subhuti, there
is not any dharma which could be got at as a demonstration of dharma.*

/Evam ukta ayusman Subhutir Bhagavantam etad avocat: Asti Bhagavan kecit
sattva bhavisyanty anagate 'dhvani pascime kale pascime samaye
pascimayam panca-satyam saddharma-vipralope vartamane ya iman evamrupan
dharman srutva-abhisraddadhasyanti? Bhagavan aha: Na te Subhute sattva
na-a-sattvah. Tat kasya hetoh? Sattvah sattva iti Subhute sarve te
Subhute a-sattvas Tathagatena bhasitah tenocyante sattva iti./

*Subhuti asked: Are there, O Lord, any beings in the future, in the last
time, in the last epoch, in the last 500 years, at the time of the
collapse of the good doctrine who, on hearing such dharmas, will truly
believe? ŹThe Lord replied: They, Subhuti, are neither beings nor
no-beings. And why? 'Beings, beings', Subhuti, the Tathagata has taught
that they are all no-beings. Therefore has he spoken of 'all beings'.*

/Tat kim manyase Subhute, api nv asti sa kascid dharmo yas
Tathagatena-anuttaram samyaksambodhim abhisambuddhah? Ayusman Subhutir
aha: No hidam Bhagavan na-asti sa Bhagavan kascid dharmo yas
Tathagatena-anuttaram samyaksambodhim abhisambuddhah. Bhagavan aha: Evam
etat Subhute evam etat, anur api tatra dharmo na samvidyate
nopalabhyate. Tenocyate 'nuttara samyaksambodhir iti. Api tu khalu punah
Subhute samah sa dharmo na tatra kimcid visamam. Tenocyate 'nuttara
samyaksambodhir iti. Niratmatvena nihsattvatvena nirjivatvena
nispudgalatvena sama sanuttara samyaksambodhih sarvaih kusalair dharmair
abhisambudhyate. Tat kasya hetoh? Kusala dharmah kusala dharma iti
Subhute a-dharmas caiva te Tathagatena bhasitah. Tenocyante kusala
dharma iti./

*What do you think, Subhuti, is there any dharma by which the Tathagata
has fully known the utmost, right and perfect enlightenment? ŹSubhuti
replied: No indeed, O Lord, there is not any dharma by which the
Tathagata has fully known the utmost, right and perfect enlightenment.
ŹThe Lord said: So it is, Subhuti, so it is. Not even the least (anu)
dharma is there found or got at. Therefore is it called 'utmost
(anuttara), right and perfect enlightenment'. ŹFurthermore, Subhuti,
self-identical (sama) is that dharma, and nothing is therein at variance
(vishama). Therefore is it called 'utmost, right (samyak) and perfect
(sam-) enlightenment'. Self-identical through the absence of a self, a
being, a soul, or a person, the utmost, right and perfect enlightenment
is fully known as the totality of all the wholesome dharmas. 'Wholesome
dharmas, wholesome dharmas', Subhuti Źyet as no-dharmas have they been
taught by the Tathagata. Therefore are they called 'wholesome dharmas'.*

/Yas ca khalu punah Subhute stri va puruso va yavantas
trisahasramahasahasre lokadhatau Sumeravah parvata-rajanas tavato rasin
saptanam ratnanam abhisamhrtya Tathagatebhyo'rhadbhyah
samyaksambuddhebhyo danam dadyat, yas ca kulaputro va kuladuhita vetah
prajnaparamitaya dharma-paryayad antasas catuspadikam api gatham udgrhya
parebhyo desayed, asya Subhute punyaskandhasya-asau paurvakah
punyaskandhah satatamim api kalam nopaiti yavad upanisadam api na ksamate./

*And again, Subhuti, if a woman or man had piled up the seven precious
things until their bulk equaled that of all the Sumerus, kings of
mountains, in the world system of 1,000 million worlds, and would give
them as a gift; and if, on the other hand, a son or daughter of good
family would take up from this Prajnaparamita, this discourse on Dharma,
but one stanza of four lines, and demonstrate it to others, compared
with his heap of merit the former heap of merit does not approach one
hundredth part, etc., until we come to, it will not bear any comparison.*

/Tat kim manyase Subhute api nu Tathagatasyaivam bhavati: Maya sattvah
parimocita iti? Na khalu punah Subhute evam drastavyam. Tata kasya
hetoh? Na-asti Subhute kascit sattvo yas Tathagatena parimocitah. Yadi
punah Subhute kascit sattvo' bhavisyat yas Tathagatena parimocitah syat,
sa eva Tathagatasya-atma-graho'bhavisyat, sattva-graho jiva-grahah
pudgala-graho 'bhavisyat. Atma-graha iti Subhute agraha esa Tathagatena
bhasitah. Sa ca balaprthag-janair udgrhitah. Balaprthag-jana iti Subhute
a-jana eva te Tathagatena bhasitah. Tenocyante balaprthagjana iti./

*What do you think, Subhuti, does it occur to a Tathagata, 'by me have
beings been set free'? Not thus should you see it, Subhuti! And why?
There is not any being whom the Tathagata has set free. Again, if there
had been any being whom the Tathagata had set free, then surely there
would have been on the part of the Tathagata a seizing of a self, of a
being, of a soul, of a person. 'Seizing of a self', as a no-seizing,
Subhuti, has that been taught by the Tathagata. And yet the foolish
common people have seized upon it. 'Foolish common people', Subhuti, as
really no people have they been taught by the Tathagata. Therefore are
they called 'foolish common people'.*

/Tat kim manyase Subhute, laksana-sampada Tathagato drastavyah? Subhutir
aha: No hidam Bhagavan, yatha-aham Bhagavato bhasitasya-artham ajanami
na laksana-sampada Tathagato drastavyah. Bhagavan aha: Sadhu sadhu
Subhute, evam etat Subhute evam etad, yatha vadasi: Na laksana-sampada
Tathagato drastavyah. Tat kasya hetoh? Sacet punah Subhute
laksana-sampada Tathagato drastavyo 'bhavisyad, raja-api cakravarti
Tathagato'bhavisyat. Tasman na laksana-sampada Tathagato drastavyah.
Ayusman Subhutir Bhagavantam etad avocat: Yatha-aham Bhagavato
bhasitasya-artham ajanami, na laksana-sampada Tathagato drastavyah. Atha
khalu Bhagavams tasyam velayam ime gathe abhasata:/

*What do you think, Subhuti, is the Tathagata to be seen by means of his
possession of marks? ŹSubhuti replied: No indeed, O Lord. ŹThe Lord
said: If, Subhuti, the Tathagata could be recognized by his possession
of marks, then also the universal monarch would be a Tathagata.
Therefore the Tathagata is not to be seen by means of his possession of
marks. ŹSubhuti then said: As I, O Lord, understand the Lord's teaching,
the Tathagata is not to be seen through his possession of marks. Further
the Lord taught on that occasion the following stanzas:*

/Ye mam rupena ca-adraksur/

/Ye mam ghosena ca-anvayuh/
/Mithya-prahana-prasrta/
/Na mam draksyanti te janah/

*Those who by my form did see me,*
*And those who followed me by voice*
*Wrong the efforts they engaged in,*
*Me those people will not see.*

/Dharmato Buddha drastavya/
/Dharmakaya hi nayakah/
/Dharmata ca na vijneya/
/Na sa sakya vijanitum./

*From the Dharma should one see the Buddhas,*
*From the Dharmabodies comes their guidance.*
*Yet Dharma's true nature cannot be discerned,*
*And no one can be conscious of it as an object.*

/Tat kim manyase Subhute laksana-sampada Tathagatena-anuttara
samyaksambodhir abhisambuddha? Na khalu punas te Subhute evam
drastavyam. Tat kasya hetoh? Na hi Subhute laksana-sampada
Tathagatena-anuttara samyaksambodhir abhisambuddha syat./

*What do you think, Subhuti, has the Tathagata fully known the utmost,
right and perfect enlightenment through his possession of marks? Not so
should you see it, Subhuti. And why? Because the Tathagata could surely
not have fully known the utmost, right and perfect enlightenment through
his possession of marks.*

/Na khalu punas te Subhute kascid evam vaded:
Bodhisattva-yana-samprasthitaih kasyacid dharmasya vinasah prajnapta
ucchedo veti. Na khalu punas te Subhute evam drastavyam. Tat kasya
hetoh? Na bodhisattva-yana-samprasthitaih kasyacid dharmasya vinasah
prajnapto nocchedah./

*Nor should anyone, Subhuti, say to you, 'those who have set out in the
Bodhisattva-vehicle have conceived the destruction of a dharma, or its
annihilation'. Not so should you see it, Subhuti! For those who have set
out in the Bodhisattva-vehicle have not conceived the destruction of a
dharma, or its annihilation.*

/Yas ca khalu punah Subhute kulaputro va kuladuhita va
ganganadi-valuka-samaml lokadhatun saptaratna-paripurnan krtva
Tathagatebhyo'rhadbhyah samyaksambuddhebhyo danam dadyat, yas ca
bodhisattvo niratmakesv anutpatti-kesu dharmesu ksantim pratilabhate,
ayam eva tato nidanam bahutaram punya-skandham prasaved aprameyam
asamkhyeyam./

*And again, Subhuti, if a son or daughter of good family had filled with
the seven precious things as many world systems as there are grains of
sand in the river Ganges, and gave them as a gift to the Tathagatas,
Arhats, fully Enlightened Ones, 柑nd if on the other hand a Bodhisattva
would gain the patient acquiescence in dharmas which are nothing of
themselves and which fail to be produced, then this latter would on the
strength of that beget a greater heap of merit, immeasurable and
incalculable.*

/Na khalu punah Subhute bodhisattvena mahasattvena punya-skandhah
parigrahitavyah. Ayusman Subhutir aha: Nanu Bhagavan bodhisattvena
punyaskandhah parigrahitavyah? Bhagavan aha: Parigrahitavyah Subhute
nodgrahitavyah. Tenocyate parigrahitavya iti./

*Moreover, Subhuti, the Bodhisattva should not acquire a heap of merit.
昤ubhuti said: Surely, O Lord, the Bodhisattva should acquire a heap of
merit? 曷he Lord said: 'Should acquire', Subhuti, not 'should seize
upon.' Therefore is it said, 'should acquire'.*

/Api tu khalu punah Subhute yah kascid evam vadet: Tathagato gacchati
vagacchati va, tisthati va nisidati va sayyam va kalpayati, na me
Subhute sa bhasitasya-artham ajanati. Tat kasya hetoh? Tathagata iti
Subhute ucyate na kvacid-gato na kutascid agatah. Tenocyate Tathagato
'rhan samyaksambuddha iti./

*Whosoever says that the Tathagata goes or comes, stands, sits or lies
down, he does not understand the meaning of my teaching. And why?
'Tathagata' is called one who has not gone anywhere, nor come from
anywhere. Therefore is he called 'the Tathagata, the Arhat, the fully
Enlightened One'.*

/Yas ca khalu punah Subhute kulaputro va kuladuhita va yavantas
trisahasra-mahasahasre lokadhatau prthivi-rajamsi tavatam lokadhatunam
evamrupam masim kuryat yavad evam asamkhyeyena viryena tad yathapi nama
paramanu-samcayah, tat kim manyase Subhute api nu bahuh sa
paramanu-samcayo bhavet? Subhutir aha: Evam etat Bhagavann, evam etat
Sugata, bahuh sa paramanu-samcayo bhavet. Tat kasya hetoh? Saced
Bhagavan bahuh paramanu-samcayo 'bhavisyat, na Bhagavan avaksyat
paramanu-samcaya iti. Tat kasya hetoh? Yo 'sau Bhagavan
paramanu-samcayas Tathagatena bhasitah, a-samcayah sa Tathagatena
bhasitah. Tenocyate paramanu-samcaya iti. /

*And again, Subhuti, if a son or daughter of good family were to grind
as many world systems as there are particles of dust in this great world
system of 1,000 million worlds, as finely as they can be ground with
incalculable vigour, and in fact reduce them to something like a
collection of atomic quantities, what do you think, Subhuti, would that
be an enormous collection of atomic quantities? 昤ubhuti replied: So it
is, O Lord, so it is, O Well-Gone, enormous would that collection of
atomic quantities be! And why? If, O Lord, there had been an enormous
collection of atomic quantities, the Lord would not have called it an
'enormous collection of atomic quantities'. And why? What was taught by
the Tathagata as a 'collection of atomic quantities', as a no-collection
that was taught by the Tathagata. Therefore is it called a 'collection
of atomic quantities'.*

/Yas ca Tathagatena bhasitas trisahasramahasahasro lokadhatur iti,
a-dhatuh sa Tathagatena bhasitah. Tenocyate trisahasramahasahasro
lokadhatur iti. Tat kasya hetoh? Saced Bhagavan loka-dhatur abhavisyat,
sa eva pinda-graho 'bhavisyat, yas caiva pinda-grahas Tathagatena
bhasitah, a-grahah sa Tathagatena bhasitah. Tenocyate pinda-graha iti.
Bhagavan aha: Pinda-grahas caiva Subhute 'vyavaharo 'nabhilapyah. Na sa
dharmo na-adharmah, sa ca balaprthagjanair udgrhitah./

*And what the Tathagata taught as 'the world system of 1,000 million
worlds', that he has taught as a no-system. Therefore is it called 'the
world system of 1,000 million worlds'. And why? If, O Lord, there had
been a world system, that would have been a case of seizing on a
material object, and what was taught as 'seizing on a material object'
by the Tathagata, just as a no-seizing was that taught by the Tathagata.
Therefore is it called 'seizing on a material object'. 曷he Lord added:
And also, Subhuti, that 'seizing on a material object' is a matter of
linguistic convention, a verbal expression without factual content. It
is not a dharma nor a no-dharma. And yet the foolish common people have
seized upon it.*

/Tat kasya hetoh? Yo hi kascit Subhuta evam vaded: Atma-drstis
Tathagatena bhasita sattva-drstir jiva-drstih pudgala-drstis Tathagatena
bhasita, api nu sa Subhute samyagvadamano vadet? Subhuti aha: No hidam
Bhagavan no hidam Sugata, na samyag-vadamano vadet. Tat kasya hetoh? Ya
sa Bhagavann atma-drstis Tathagatena bhasita, a-drstih sa Tathagatena
bhasita. Tenocyata atma-drstir iti. Bhagavan aha: Evam hi Subhute
bodhisattva-yana-samprasthitena sarva-dharma jnatavya drastavya
adhimoktavyah. Tatha ca jnatavya drastavya adhimoktavyah yatha na
dharma-samjna pratyupasthahe. Tat kasya hetoh? Dharma-samjna
dharma-samjneti Subhute a-samjnaisa Tathagatena bhasita. Tenocyate
dharma-samjneti./

*And why? Because whosoever would say that the view of a self has been
taught by the Tathagata, the view of a being, the view of a living soul,
the view of a person, would he, Subhuti, be speaking right? 昤ubhuti
replied: No indeed, O Lord, no indeed, O Well-Gone, he would not be
speaking right. And why? That which has been taught by the Tathagata as
'view of self', as a no-view has that been taught by the Tathagata.
Therefore is it called 'view of self'. 曷he Lord said: It is thus,
Subhuti, that someone who has set out in the Bodhisattva-vehicle should
know all dharmas, view them, be intent on them. And he should know, view
and be intent on them in such a way that he does not set up the
perception of a dharma. And why? 'Perception of dharma, perception of
dharma, 'Subhuti, as no-perception has this been taught by the
Tathagata. Therefore is it called 'perception of dharma'.*

/Yas ca khalu punah Subhute bodhisattva mahasattvo 'prameyan
asamkhyeyaml lokadhatun saptaratna-paripurnam krtva Tathagatebhyo
'rhadbhyah samyaksambuddhebhyo danam dadyat, yas ca kulaputro va
kuladuhita vetah prajnapara-mitaya dharmaparyayad antasas catuspadikam
api gatham udgrhya dharayed desayed vacayet paryavapnuyat parebhyas ca
vistarena samprakasayed, ayam eva tato nidanam bahutaram punyaskandham
prasunuyad aprameyam asamkhyeyam. Katham ca samprakasayet? Yatha na
prakasayet. Tenocyate samprakasayed iti./

*And finally, Subhuti, if a Bodhisattva, a great being had filled
world-systems immeasurable and incalculable with the seven precious
things, and gave them as a gift to the Tathagatas, the Arhats, the fully
Enlightened Ones, and if, on the other hand, a son or daughter of good
family had taken from this Prajnaparamita, this discourse on Dharma, but
one stanza of four lines, and were to bear it in mind, demonstrate,
recite and study it, and illuminate it in full detail for others, on the
strength of that this latter would beget a greater heap of merit,
immeasurable and incalculable. And how would he illuminate it? So as not
to reveal. Therefore is it said, 'he would illuminate'.*

/Taraka timiram dipo/
/Maya-avasyaya budbudam/
/Supinam vidyud abhram ca/
/Evam drastavyam samskrtam./

*As stars, a fault of vision, as a lamp,*
*A mock show, dew drops, or a bubble,*
*A dream, a lightning flash, or cloud,*
*So should one view what is conditioned.*

/Idam avocad Bhagavan. Attamanah sthavira Subhutis, te ca
bhiksu-bhiksuny-upasakopasikas te ca bodhisattvah
sa-deva-manusa-asura-gandharvas ca loko Bhagavato bhasitam abhyanandann
iti. Arya-Vajracchedika Bhagavati Prajnaparamita samapta./

*Thus spoke the Lord. Enraptured, the Elder Subhuti, the monks and nuns,
the pious laymen and laywomen, and the Bodhisattvas, and the whole world
with its Gods, men, Asuras and Gandharvas rejoiced in the Lord's
teaching. - This completes the Diamond-Cutter of Perfect Wisdom.*

The Diamond Sutra
(The discourse on transcendent awareness in 300 lines)
http://departments.colgate.edu/greatreligions/pages/buddhanet/mahayana325/diamond.txt


Homage to the beautiful, the sacred transcendent awareness.

1 Introduction

1.a The assembly

[1] Thus have I heard at one time. The Buddha was in Sravasti, in
the Jeta Grove, in Anathapindada's park, with a large group of
monks, 1250 monks and many great bodhisattvas. Early in the
morning the Lord Buddha got dressed, took his bowl, and went to
Sravasti for alms. When he had eaten, he returned to the park,
put his bowl and coat away, washed his feet, and sat down on the
seat that had been arranged for him. He crossed his legs, sat
upright, and looked straight ahead. Many monks approached,
saluted his feet, walked around him three times, and sat down to
one side.

1.b Subhuti asks

[2] Then the venerable Subhuti arrived and sat down. After rising
and adjusting his robe, he knelt on one knee and with folded
hands said to the Buddha, "It's great, oh lord Buddha, it's
exceedingly wonderful, oh well-traveled one, how much the
bodhisattvas have been benefited by you, who knows where it's at,
the superior man, the fully enlightened one. It's great how these
bodhisattvas have been so highly favored by you, the one who
knows where it's at, the superior man, the fully enlightened one.
How should such favored bodhisattvas behave, proceed, and tame
their thoughts?

The Buddha answered Subhuti, "Good question, good question
Subhuti. You're right. The one who knows where it's at has helped
the bodhisattvas, greatly helped them, favored them with the
highest favor. So listen up, Subhuti. I'll tell you how those who
have set out on the bodhisattva's way of life should behave,
proceed, and tame their thoughts."

"So be it, Buddha." replied Subhuti, as he perked up.

 

2 The bodhisattva's career

2.a The bodhisattva's intention

[3] The Buddha said, "Subhuti, a person who has set out on the
bodhisattva's way of life should think, 'I must lead all the
beings of the universe to nirvana, whether they are born from an
egg, from a womb, from scum, or they miraculously appear; I must
lead them into nirvana where nothing remains behind. And yet,
although innumerable beings have been thus led to nirvana, no
being whatsoever has been led to nirvana.'

Why is that? If a bodhisattva thinks of a 'being' he or she
is no bodhisattva. Why is that? He or she is no bodhisattva if
they think in terms of a self or a being, or in terms of a living
person or a soul."

[4] "Moreover, Subhuti, a bodhisattva who shares with others
should free themselves. When sharing, they should be free from
lust for beautiful sights, lovely sounds, gourmet tastes or
smells, tactile enjoyments, and seductive thoughts. The
bodhisattva should give to others without being influenced by
seductive things. Why is that? Because a bodhisattva who shares
uninfluenced by such things will reap vast benefits.

"What do you think, Subhuti? Can you comprehend the vastness
of space to the east?"
"No, blessed one! It is impossible to comprehend the
vastness of space in the east."
"Subhuti, is it possible to comprehend the limits of space
in the north, the south, or the west? Or any direction in the
universe?"
"No, world-honored one."
"Subhuti, it is equally impossible to comprehend the vast
benefits that incur to a bodhisattva who shares without being
seduced by appearances."

[5] "What do you think, Subhuti? Can someone see the well-
traveled one in the phenomena of physical presence?"
"No, honored one! It is impossible to even see the well-
traveled one in the phenomena of his physical presence. Why?
Because the phenomena of his physical presence is not the same as
the essential well-traveled one."
"You are right, Subhuti. The phenomena of the physical
presence is wholly illusion. It is not until a person understands
this that he can realize the true well-traveled one."

[6] Subhuti respectfully asked the lord buddha, "Honored one! In
the future, if a person hears this teaching, or a part of it,
whether a section or a sentence, will true faith awaken in their
mind?"
"No doubt about it, Subhuti. Even 500 years after the
nirvana of the well-traveled one there will be some who,
practicing charity and keeping the faith, will believe in
sections and sentences of this scripture and will awaken their
minds purely. Know, however, that such persons, long ago, planted
seeds of goodness, not simply before one buddhist temple, or two,
or five, but before hundreds of thousands of buddhas, so that
when they hear sections and sentences of this scripture a pure
faith will awaken within their minds.
"Subhuti, the well-traveled one knows that the sentient
beings who awaken faith upon hearing sections or sentences of
this scripture will accumulate inestimable blessings and merit.
How do I know this? Because these sentient beings must have
already discarded such arbitrary conceptions of phenomena as
one's own self, other selves, living beings, and a universal
self. If they had not, their minds would inevitably grasp after
such things and they would then not be able to practice charity
nor keep the precepts.
"Moreover, these sentient beings must also have discarded all
arbitrary notions of a personal self, other personalities, living
beings, and a universal self. Otherwise their minds would
inevitably grasp after such relative conceptions. Furthermore,
these sentient beings must have already discarded all arbitrary
notions of the non-existence of a personal self, other
personalities, living beings, and a universal self. Otherwise,
their minds would still be grasping at such notions. Therefore
everyone who seeks total enlightenment should discard not only
conceptions of their own selfhood, other selves, living beings,
and a universal self, but they should also discard all notions of
the non-existence of such conceptions.
When the well-traveled one, in teaching, uses conceptions
and ideas, people should remember the unreality of all such
concepts and ideas. They should recall that the well-traveled
one, in teaching spiritual truths, always uses such notions in
the way that a raft is used to cross a river. The raft is of no
more use when the river has been crossed, and should be
discarded. So these arbitrary conceptions of and about spiritual
things should be given us as one attains enlightenment. How much
more should one give up conceptions of non-existent things?"

[7] "What do you think, Subhuti? Has the well-traveled one
attained anything that can be described as complete
enlightenment? Has he ever given you any such teaching?"
Subhuti replied, "As I understand the teaching of the lord
buddha, there is no such thing as complete enlightenment, nor is
it possible for the well-traveled one to teach any fixed
spiritual truth. Why? Because the things taught by the well-
traveled one are, in their essential nature, inconceivable and
inscrutable; they are neither existent nor non-existent; they are
neither phenomena nor noumena. What does this mean? It means that
buddhas and bodhisattvas are not enlightened by fixed teachings,
but by an intuitive process, spontaneous and natural."

[8] "What do you think Subhuti? If a follower gave treasures
enough to fill 3,000 universes, would that person gain
considerable blessings and merit?"
Subhuti replied, "Considerable blessings and merit. Why?
Because what the lord buddha has referred to as blessings and
merit does not refer to anything objective, he merely refers to
such things in a relative way.
The lord buddha continued, "If another, after studying and
observing even a single stanza of this scripture, explains its
meaning to others, their blessings and merit will be much
greater. Why is that? Because from explanations such as these
buddhas have attained unsurpassed enlightenment, and their
teachings come from this sacred scripture. However, Subhuti, I
must take back my words as soon as they are uttered, for there
are no buddhas and no teachings."

[9] "What do you think, Subhuti? Suppose someone has entered the
flow. Could that person arbitrarily say, 'I have entered the
flow'?"
Subhuti replied, "No way man. Because, even though they have
entered the flow, truly they have not entered anything, nor has
their mind entertained such arbitrary conceptions as form, sound,
taste, odor, tactile thing, or discrimination. Thus are such
people known to have entered the flow."
"What do you think, Subhuti? Suppose someone has only one
more life to traverse? Could that person say 'I have only one
more life to go'?"
"No way man. Because even if set to return only one more
time, truly there is no rebirth either in this world or any
other. By knowing this someone has only one more life to
traverse."
"What do you think Subhuti? Suppose someone will never be
reborn. Could that person say, 'I won't be reborn again'?"
"No way man. Because even though they won't be reborn, they
don't really think in such arbitrary terms. Because of which they
won't be reborn again."
"What do you think, Subhuti? Suppose someone is completely
awake. Would that person think, 'I am awake'?"
"No way man. Because there really isn't such a thing as a
truly awakened person. If someone harbored a thought such as 'I
am awake' they would find themselves attached to ideas about a
self, other selves, living beings, and a universal self. Oh Lord,
you have said that I have become passively atuned, have reached
the pinnacle of my potential, and am therefore awakened. If I
cherished the thought, 'I am awake, free of desire!' you, good
lord, would not have said that I delight in the practice of
silence and tranquility. But, in truth, I have cherished no such
arbitrary thought, so you could truly say, 'Subhuti delights in
the practice of silence and tranquility."

[10] "What do you think, Subhuti? When the well-traveled one was,
in a previous life, with Dipankara buddha, did I receive any
definite teaching or attain any definite degree of self-control,
whereby I later became a buddha?"
"No, honorable one. When the well-traveled one was a
disciple of Dipankara buddha, in truth, he received no definite
teaching, nor did he attain any definite supremacy."
"What do you think, Subhuti? Do the great bodhisattvas
embellish the elysian fields to which they go?"
"No way man. And why is that? Because what you mean by the
expression, 'embellish the elysian fields' is self-contradictory,
for elysian fields thus embellished would no longer be called
elysian fields. Therefore the expression 'embellishment of the
elysian fields' is merely a figure of speech."
The lord buddha continued, "Therefore, Subhuti, the minds of
all bodhisattvas should be purified of all thoughts that relate
to seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, touching, and
discriminating. They should use their mental faculties
spontaneously and naturally, without being constrained by
preconceived notions arising from the senses.
"Subhuti, suppose a person's body was as big as the highest
mountain. What do you think? Would that body be considered huge?"
"Exceedingly huge, world-honored one! Because what you
really mean by the expression 'huge body' is not limited by any
arbitrary conception, so it can correctly be called huge."

[11] "What do you think, Subhuti? If there are as many Ganges
Rivers as there are grains of sand in the river Ganges, will
these rivers be numerous?"
"Exceedingly numerous, lord."
"Suppose there were these innumerable rivers, how
immeasurable would be their grains of sand! Subhuti, if a good
and faithful person, whether man or woman, were to give gifts of
desirable things equal to those grains of sand in all those
Ganges Rivers, would the merit accrued be considerable?"
"A very considerable merit, my lord."
"Subhuti, if another person, after studying and observing
even one stanza of this scripture, were to explain it to others,
their merit would be greater."

[12] "Furthermore, Subhuti, if any person in any place were to
teach even one stanza of this scripture, that place would become
sacred ground and would be revered by numerous kinds of beings,
as if it were a sacred temple. How much more sacred would the
place become if that person studied and observed the whole
scripture! Be assured, Subhuti, such a person will attain total
enlightenment, and the place where this scripture is reverenced
will be like an altar consecrated to the buddha, or to one of his
honored followers."

[13a] Subhuti said to the blessed one, "By what name shall we
know this scripture, so that it can be honored and studied?"
The lord buddha replied, "This scripture shall be known as
The Transcendent Awareness that Cuts Like a Diamond. By this name
it shall be revered and studied and observed. What does this name
mean? It means that when the buddha named it, he did not have in
mind any definite or arbitrary conception, and so named it. This
scripture is hard and sharp, like a diamond that will cut away
all arbitrary conceptions and bring one to the other shore of
enlightenment.
"What do you think, Subhuti? Has the well-traveled one given
you any definite teaching in this scripture?"
"No blessed lord, the well-traveled one has not given us any
definite teaching in this scripture."

[13b] "What do you think, Subhuti? Are the atoms in 3,000 worlds
very numerous?"
"Very numerous indeed, lord."
"Subhuti, when the well-traveled one speaks of atoms, it
does not mean I am thinking any definite or arbitrary thought, I
merely use the words as a figure of speech. It is just the same
with the word universe; these words do not assert any definite or
arbitrary idea, I merely use the words as words."

[13c] "What do you think, Subhuti? Can someone grasp the well-
traveled one's personality by its 32 marks of physical
excellence?"
"No blessed one! We cannot grasp the well-traveled one's
wonderful personality by its 32 marks of excellence. Why? Because
what the well-traveled one has expressed as '32 marks of physical
excellence' does not convey any definite or arbitrary assertions
as to the qualities of a buddha. The words are merely used as a
figure of speech."

[13d] "Subhuti, if a good and faithful follower, whether male or
female, has, for the sake of charity, been sacrificing their life
for generation upon generation, for as many generations as the
grains of sands in 3,000 universes; and another follower has been
merely studying and observing a single stanza of this scripture
and explaining it to others, their blessings and merit will be
greater."

[14a] As Subhuti listened intently to the words of the lord
buddha, the teachings of this scripture penetrated his awareness,
and he realized it to be the true path to enlightenment. With
tears in his eyes, he said, "Oh, blessed lord, I have never
before understood this profound scripture. You have opened my
eyes to transcendent awareness.
"Honored one, what has been taught about the true
significance of phenomena has no arbitrary or limited meaning.
This teaching is, as you say, a raft to carry us to the other
shore. Noble lord, when, as now, I have the chance to hear this
scripture, it is not difficult to concentrate my mind upon it and
clearly understand its significance; it awakens within my mind a
pure faith. In the future, after 500 years, if there are any
ready to hear it and ready to attain enlightenment, able to
concentrate their minds upon it, able to clearly understand it,
able to awaken a pure faith in it, such a person will thereby
become a wonderful and preeminent person. And if there are such
people, they will be able to awaken pure faith because they have
ceased to cherish any arbitrary notions of their own selfhood,
other selves, living beings, or a universal self. Why? Because if
they are cherishing any arbitrary conception as to their own
selfhood, they will be cherishing something that is non-existent.
It is the same with all arbitrary conceptions of other selves,
living beings, a universal self. These are all expressions of
non-existent things. Such a person, able to discard all arbitrary
conceptions of and about phenomena, will immediately become a
buddha."
The lord buddha was very pleased with this reply, saying,
"True, quite true. If a person, having heard this scripture, is
not surprised, nor frightened, and does not shrink from it, they
are a truly wonderful person."

[14b] "In talking about the practice of transcendent patience,
the well-traveled one does not hold onto any arbitrary
conceptions about the phenomena of patience, he merely refers to
it as the practice of transcendent patience. And why is that?
Because when, in a previous life, the Prince of Kalinga severed
the flesh from my limbs and my body, even then I was free from
such ideas as my own self, other selves, living beings, and a
universal self. For if, at the time of my suffering, I had
cherished any of these arbitrary notions, I would have fallen
into impatience and hatred.
"Besides, Subhuti, I remember that during my five hundred
previous lives I had used life after life to practice patience
and to look upon my life humbly, as though I were a saint called
upon to suffer humility. Even then my mind was free of arbitrary
conceptions of the phenomena of my self, other selves, living
beings, or a universal self."

[14c] The lord buddha continued, "When a great bodhisattva
begins to practice toward attaining unsurpassed enlightenment, he
or she must give up attachment to arbitrary ideas about reality.
When thinking, he or she should definitely banish all thought
connected with the sensory phenomena of sight, sound, taste,
smell, touch, and all discriminations based thereupon, keeping
the mind free of such arbitrary conceptions about reality. The
mind becomes disturbed by discriminating in terms of sense data
and the arbitrary conceptions that arise in their wake; as the
mind gets disturbed it begins to falsely imagine a self and its
relationship with other selves. Therefore the well-traveled one
has constantly urged the great bodhisattvas, in their practice of
sharing, not to be influenced by any arbitrary ideas about
reality, such as sights, sounds, and so forth.
"Great bodhisattvas should share uninfluenced by any
preconceived notions as to a self and other selves, and for the
sole purpose of benefitting sentient beings, always recalling
that both phenomena and sentient beings are to be considered as
mere expressions. Nevertheless, Subhuti, the teachings of the
well-traveled one are all true, credible, unchangeable; they are
neither extravagant nor chimerical. The same is true of the
attainments of the well-traveled one--they are neither real nor
unreal.
"Subhuti, if a great bodhisattva, in practicing charity,
holds within his or her mind any of these arbitrary conceptions,
thereby discriminating self from other selves, he or she will be
like a person walking in the darkness and seeing nothing. But if
a great bodhisattva, in practicing charity, has no arbitrary
conception of receiving blessings and merit by such practice, he
or she will be like a person with clear sight, seeing all things
in bright sunshine.
"If, in the future, there is a worthwhile man or woman able
to observe and study this scripture, their success and attainment
of inconceivable blessings and merit will be instantly known and
appreciated by the overarching vision of the well-traveled one.

[15] The lord buddha continued, "Subhuti, if a good person,
whether male or female, in their zeal to practice charity is
willing to sacrifice their life in the morning, at mid-day, or in
the evening, on as many occasions as there are grains of sand in
the river Ganges, and these occasions recur for a 100,000 eons,
would the blessings and merit be great?"
"It would be great indeed, lord buddha."
"Supposing, Subhuti, another person were to observe and
study this scripture with pure faith. Their blessings and merit
would be greater. And if still another person, besides observing
and studying this scripture, were to enthusiastically explain it
to others and copy and circulate it, their blessings and merit
would be far greater.
"In other words, Subhuti, this scripture is invested with an
inestimable, illimitable, ineffable virtue and power. The well-
traveled one elucidates this scripture only to those persons who
are earnestly and perserveringly seeking to perfectly realize
total enlightenment and attain the bodhisattva stages of
compassion that characterize the greater path. As people are able
to enthusiastically and faithfully observe and study this
scripture, explain it to others and circulate it widely, the
well-traveled one will recognize and support them until they
succeed in attaining its inestimable, illimitable, and wonderful
virtues. Such people will share with the well-traveled one its
task of compassion and its reward of total enlightenment.
"And why, Subhuti, is this promise limited to the followers
of the greater path? Because the followers of the lesser path
have not yet been able to free themselves from such arbitrary
conceptions as personal selfhood, other personalities, living
beings, and a universal self, and are therefore not yet able to
faithfully and earnestly observe and study and explain this
scripture to others.
"Listen up Subhuti! Wherever this scripture shall be
observed and studied and explained, that place will become sacred
ground to which countless spiritually advanced beings will bring
offerings. Such places, however humble they may be, will be
reverenced as though they were famous temples, and countless
pilgrims will come there to worship. Over them spiritually
advanced beings will hover, sprinkling that place with celestial
flowers."

[16] The blessed one continued, "Subhuti, should there be among
the faithful some who have not yet matured their karma and who
must first suffer the natural retribution of evils committed in
some previous life by being degraded to a lower life form, and
should they earnestly and faithfully observe and study this
scripture, and thereby be despised and persecuted by people,
their karma will immediately mature and they will attain supreme,
total awakening.
"Subhuti, I recall that long ago, numerous eons before the
time of Dipankara buddha, without my having been at fault, I
served and worshiped and received spiritual instruction and
discipline from 84,000 myriad buddhas. Yet in the far future ages
of the last era of this world, if a student faithfully observes,
studies, and puts into practice the teachings in this scripture,
the blessing that will accrue will far exceed that acquired by me
during those long years of service and discipline under those
many buddhas. Yes, it will exceed my poor merit, billions to one.
Yes, even more, it will exceed uncountable myriads to one.
The lord buddha continued, "Subhuti, in contrast to what I
have said about the inestimable blessing that will come to
earnest followers who observe and study and practice this
scripture in that far off time, I must tell you that there will
probably be some students who, upon hearing this scripture, will
become bewildered and will not believe what they hear. Subhuti,
you should remember that just as the spiritual message of this
scripture transcends human thought, so also the effect and the
final result of studying it and putting it into practice is
inscrutable."

[17] Then Subhuti asked the lord buddha, "Suppose a good person,
either man or woman, having aimed themself toward total
enlightenment, still finds their mind to be disturbed. How are
they to keep the mind tranquil, how subdue wandering thoughts and
cravings?"
"The lord buddha replied, "Subhuti, any good person who
concentrates on attaining total enlightenment should cherish one
thought: the intention to attain the highest transcendent
awareness in order to show all sentient beings the eternal peace
and freedom of nirvana. If this intention is sincere, these
sentient beings are already freed. And yet, Subhuti, if the full
truth is realized, one knows that not a single sentient being has
ever been freed. And why, Subhuti? Because if the great
bodhisattvas have held onto any such arbitrary conceptions as
one's own self, other selves, living beings, or a universal self,
they could not be called great bodhisattvas. And what does this
mean, Subhuti? It means that there are no sentient beings to be
freed and there is no selfhood that can begin the practice of
seeking to attain total enlightenment.
"What do you think, Subhuti? When the well-traveled one was
with the buddha Dipankara did he have any such arbitrary
conception of the spiritual truth by which he sought to attain
total enlightenment intuitively?"
"No, blessed lord. As I understand what you are saying, when
you were with buddha Dipankara you had no such arbitrary
conception of spirituality by which you sought total
enlightenment intuitively."
The lord buddha was very pleased with this, and said, "You
are right, Subhuti. Speaking truthfully there is no such
arbitrary conception of spiritual truth as that. If there had
been, Dipankara would not have predicted that in some future life
I would attain buddhahood under the name Shakyamuni. What does
this mean Subhuti? It means that what I attained is not something
limited and arbitrary that can be called 'total enlightenment,'
but is that buddhahood whose being is identical with the being of
all things and is what it is--universal, inconceivable,
inscrutable.
"Suppose, Subhuti, there were a student who asserts that the
well-traveled one had some ideas about the spiritual truth that
warranted his seeking to attain complete enlightenment.
Understand, Subhuti, that the well-traveled one truly had no
ideas of the spiritual truth by which he sought to attain total
enlightenment."
The lord buddha emphasized this by saying, "Subhuti, the
buddhahood which the well-traveled one attained is both the same
and not the same as total enlightenment. This is merely another
way of saying that the phenomena of all things is one beingness
with buddhahood and complete enlightenment, and is neither
reality nor unreality, but is together with all phenomena in
openness and silence, inconceivable and inscrutable. Subhuti,
that is why I say that the spiritual truth of all things can
never be encompassed by any arbitrary conception of phenomena,
however universal that conception may be. That is why it is
called the truth, and that is why there is no such thing as the
truth.
"Subhuti, suppose I were to speak of the largeness of the
human body. What would you understand thereby?"
"World-honored one, I would understand that the lord buddha
was not speaking of the largeness of the human body as an
arbitrary conception of its being. I would understand that the
words carried merely an imaginary meaning."
"Subhuti, it is just the same when the great bodhisattvas
speak of delivering numberless sentient beings. If they have in
mind any arbitrary conception of sentient beings or of definite
numbers, they are unworthy of being called great bodhisattvas.
And why, Subhuti? Because the very reason they are called great
bodhisattvas is because they have abandoned all such arbitrary
conceptions. And what is true of one arbitrary conception is true
of all conceptions. The well-traveled one's teachings are
entirely free of all such arbitrary conceptions as one's own
self, other selves, living beings, and a universal self."
To make this teaching even more empathic, the lord buddha
continued, "If a great bodhisattva were to speak as follows, 'I
will add embellishments to the buddhafields' he would be unworthy
of being called a great bodhisattva. Why? Because the well-
traveled one has explicitly taught that when a great bodhisattva
uses such words, they must not bear in mind any such arbitrary
conception of phenomena; they are to use such expressions merely
as so many words.
"Subhuti, it is only those students whose understanding can
penetrate deeply enough into the meaning of the well-traveled
one's teachings concerning the egolessness of both things and
living beings, and who can clearly understand their significance,
that are worthy to be called great bodhisattvas."

[18] The buddha then asked Subhuti, "What do you think? Does the
well-traveled one have ordinary eyes?"
"Subhuti replied, "Sure, he has ordinary eyes."
"Does he have the eyes of enlightenment?"
"Of course, the well-traveled one has the eyes of
enlightenment, otherwise he would not be the buddha."
"Does the well-traveled one have the eyes of transcendent
intelligence?"
"Yes, the well-traveled one has the eyes of transcendent
intelligence."
"Does the well-traveled one have the eyes of spiritual
intuition?"
"Yes, lord, the well-traveled one has the eyes of spiritual
intuition."
"Does the well-traveled one have the buddha eyes of love and
compassion for all sentient beings?"
Subhuti agreed and said, "Lord, you love all sentient life."
"What do you think, Subhuti? When I referred to the grains
of sand in the river Ganges, did I assert that they were truly
grains of sand?"
"No blessed lord, you only spoke of them as grains of sand."
"Subhuti, if there were as many Ganges rivers as there are
grains of sand in the river Ganges, and if there were as many
buddhalands as there are grains of sand in all those innumerable
rivers, would these buddhalands be considered numerous?"
"Very numerous indeed, lord buddha."
"Listen up, Subhuti. Within these innumerable buddhalands
there are every form of sentient beings with all their various
mentalities and attitudes, all of which are fully known to the
well-traveled one, but not one of them is held in the well-
traveled one's mind as an arbitrary conception. They are all
merely thought of. Not one of this vast accumulation of
conceptions since beginningless time, through to the never ending
future, not one of them is graspable."

[19] The buddha continued, "What do you think Subhuti? If a
follower were to give away enough goods to fill 3,000 universes,
would a great blessing and merit incur to him or her?"
Subhuti replied, "Honored one, such a follower would acquire
considerable blessings and merit."
The lord buddha said, "Subhuti, if such a blessing had any
substantiality, if it were anything other than a figure of
speech. The well-traveled one would not have used the words
blessings and merit."

[20] Again the lord buddha inquired of Subhuti, saying, "Can the
well-traveled one be fully known through any manifestation of
form or idea?"
"No, world-honored one! The well-traveled one cannot be
fully known through any manifestation of form or idea. Why?
Because the phenomena of form and idea are inadequate to express
buddhahood. They can only serve as mere expressions, a hint of
that which is inconceivable.
"What do you think, Subhuti? Can the well-traveled one be
fully known through any of his transcendent transformations?"
"No, world-honored one! The well-traveled one cannot be
fully known even by his transcendent transformations. Why?
Because what the well-traveled one has referred to as
'transcendent transformations' is merely a figure of speech. Even
the most advanced bodhisattvas are unable to fully realize via
intuition that which is essentially inscrutable."

[21] The lord buddha then warned Subhuti, saying, "Subhuti, do
not believe that the well-traveled one ever thinks, 'I ought to
present a system for teaching spiritual truths.' You should never
entertain such an idea. Why? Because if anyone thinks this way,
they will not only be misunderstanding the teachings of the well-
traveled one, but they will be slandering as well. Furthermore,
what has been referred to as 'a system of teaching' has no
meaning, because truth cannot be cut up into pieces and arranged
into a system. The words can only be used as figures of speech."
Then Subhuti, blessed with enlightened, transcendent
intelligence, said to the buddha, "Blessed lord, in future ages
when any sentient beings happen to hear this scripture, will the
essential elements of faith arise within their hearts?"
The lord buddha said, "Subhuti, why do you still think in
such arbitrary terms? There are no such things as sentient
beings, neither are there any non-sentient beings. Why? Because
what you think of as sentient beings are unreal and non-existent.
When the well-traveled one has used such words in is teachings,
he has merely used them as figures of speech. Your question is
therefore irrelevant."

[22] Subhuti again asked, "Blessed lord, when you attained
complete enlightenment, did you feel in your mind that nothing
had been acquired?"
The buddha replied, "That is it precisely, Suhuti. When I
attained total enlightenment, I did not feel, as the mind feels,
any arbitrary conception of spiritual truth, not even the
slightest. Even the words 'total enlightenment' are merely words.

[23a] "Furthermore Subhuti, what I have attained in total
enlightenment is the same as what all others have attained. It is
undifferentiated, regarded neither as a high state, nor a low
state. It is wholly independent of any definite or arbitrary
conceptions of an individual self, other selves living beings, or
a universal self."

[23b] "Subhuti, when someone is selflessly charitable, they
should also practice being ethical by remembering that there is
no distinction between one's self and the selfhood of others.
Thus one practices charity by giving not only gifts, but through
kindness and sympathy. Simply practice kindness and you will
become fully enlightened.
"Subhuti, what I just said about kindness does not mean that
when someone is being charitable they should hold onto arbitrary
conceptions about kindness, for kindness is, after all, only a
word and charity needs to be spontaneous and selfless."

[24] The buddha continued, "Subhuti, if a person collected
treasures as high as 3,000 of the highest mountains, and gave
them to others, his or her merit would be less than what would
accrue to the person who simply observed and studied this
scripture and, out of kindness, explained it to others. The
latter person would accumulate hundreds of times the merit,
hundreds of thousands of trillions of times the merit. There is
no comparison."

[25] The lord buddha continued, "Do you think, Subhuti, that the
well-traveled one would consider in his own mind, 'I will deliver
human beings'? That would be a degrading thought. Why? Because
there are not really any sentient beings to be delivered by the
well-traveled one. Should there be any sentient beings to be
delivered by the well-traveled one, it would mean that the well-
traveled one was harboring in his mind some arbitrary conceptions
about phenomena, such as a self, other selves, living beings, and
universal self. Even when the well-traveled one refers to himself
he is not holding on to such arbitrary thoughts. Only earth
people think of selfhood as a personal thing. Subhuti, even the
expression 'earth people' as used by the well-traveled one does
not mean that there are any such beings. It is merely used as a
figure of speech."

[26] Then the buddha inquired of Subhuti, "What do you think
Subhuti? Is it possible to recognize the well-traveled one by the
32 physical marks?"
Subhuti replied, "Yes, world-honored one, the well-traveled
one may thus be recognized."
"Subhuti, if that were true then Chakravartin, the
mythological king (who also had the 32 marks) would be called a
well-traveled one."
Then Subhuti, realizing his error, said, "World-honored one,
now I realize that the well-traveled one cannot be recognized
merely by his 32 physical marks of excellence."
The lord buddha then said, "Should anyone, looking at an
image or likeness of the well-traveled one, claim to know the
well-traveled one and worship him, that person would be mistaken,
not knowing the true well-traveled one."

[27] The lord buddha continued, "Subhuti, do not think the
opposite either, that when the well-traveled one attained total
enlightenment it was not by means of his possessing the 32 marks
of physical excellence. Don't think that way. Otherwise, when you
begin the practice of seeking total enlightenment you would think
that all systems of phenomena and all conceptions about phenomena
are to be rejected. Don't think that way. Why? Because when a
person seeks to attain complete enlightenment, they should
neither grasp after nor reject arbitrary conceptions of reality."

[28] The lord buddha continued, "Subhuti, if someone gives
treasures equal to the number of sands on the shores of the
Ganges River, and if another, having realized the egolessness of
all things, thereby understands selflessness, the latter would be
more blessed than the one who practiced external charity. Why?
Because great bodhisattvas do not see blessings and merit as a
private possession."
Subhuti inquired of the lord buddha, "What do you mean
'great bodhisattvas do not see blessings and merit as a private
possession'?"
The lord buddha replied, "Because those blessings and merit
have never been lusted after by those great bodhisattvas, they do
not see them as private possessions, but as the common possession
of all beings."

[29] The buddha said, "Subhuti, if any person were to say that
the well-traveled one is now coming or going, or sitting up or
lying down, they would not have understood the principle I have
been teaching. Why? Because while the expression 'well-traveled
one' means 'he who has thus come, thus gone,' the true well-
traveled one is never coming from anywhere or going anywhere. The
name 'well-traveled one' is merely an expression."

[30] The lord buddha resumed, "Subhuti, if any good person,
either man or woman, were to take 3,000 galaxies and grind them
into microscopic powder and blow it into space, what do you
think, would this powder have any individual existence?"
"Subhuti replied, "Yes, lord, as a microscopic powder
infinitely dissipated, it might be said to have a relative
existence, but as you use words, it has no existence. The words
have only a figurative meaning. Otherwise the words would imply a
belief in the existence of matter as an independent and self-
existent thing, which it is not.
"Furthermore, when the well-traveled one refers to the
'3,000 galaxies,' he could only do so as a figure of speech. Why?
Because if the 3,000 galaxies really existed, their only reality
would consist in their cosmic unity. Whether as microscopic
powder or as galaxies, what does it matter? Only in the sense of
the cosmic unity of ultimate being can the well-traveled one
rightfully refer to it."
The lord buddha was very pleased with this reply and said,
"Subhuti, although earth people have always grasped after an
arbitrary conception of matter and galaxies, the concept has no
true basis; it is an illusion of the mortal mind. Even when it is
referred to as 'cosmic unity' it is inscrutable."

[31] The lord buddha continued, "If any person were to say that
the well-traveled one, in his teachings, has constantly referred
to himself, to other selves, to living beings, and a universal
self, what do you think, would that person have understood my
meaning?"
Subhuti replied, "No, blessed lord. That person would not
have understood the meaning of your teachings. For when you refer
to them, you are not referring to their actual existence, you
only use words as figures of speech, as symbols. Only in that
sense can words be used, for conceptions, ideas, limited truths,
and spiritual truths have no more reality than have matter and
phenomena."
Then the lord buddha made his meaning even more emphatic by
saying, "Subhuti, when people begin their practice of seeking to
attaining total enlightenment, they ought to see, to perceive, to
know, to understand, and to realize that all things and all
spiritual truths are no-things, and, therefore, they ought not to
conceive within their minds any arbitrary conceptions
whatsoever."

[32] The lord buddha continued, "Subhuti, if anyone gave to the
well-traveled one treasures sufficient to fill the universe; and
if another person, a good man or woman, in seeking to attain
complete enlightenment were to earnestly and faithfully observe
and study even a single stanza of this scripture and explain it
to others, the accumulated blessing and merit of that latter
person would be greater.
"Subhuti, how can one explain this scripture to others
without holding in mind any arbitrary conception of things and
phenomena and spiritual truths? It can only be done, Subhuti, by
keeping the mind in perfect tranquility and in selfless harmony
with the thusness of being well-traveled. Why? Because all the
mind's arbitrary conceptions of matter, phenomena, and of all
conditioning factors and all conceptions and ideas relating
thereto are like a dream, a phantasm, a bubble, a shadow,
evanescent dew, a flash of lightening. Every true student should
see all phenomena and all activities this way, and thus keep the
mind free and selfless and tranquil."