Diamond Sutra

 

二○ ○二年五月十一日

有想,若無想,若非有想,非無想,我皆今入無餘涅槃而滅度 生之類丨若卵生,若胎生,若溼生,若化生,若有色,若無色;若 佛吿須菩提:『諸菩薩摩訶薩,應如是降伏其心:所有一切衆 『唯然,世尊!願樂欲聞』

多羅三藐三菩提心,應如是住,如是降伏其心』

囑諸菩薩」

!汝今諦聽,當為汝說,善男子,善女人,發阿耨

佛言:『善哉!善哉!須菩提!如汝所說:「如來善護念諸菩薩,善付 住?云何降伏其心』

『世尊!善男子,善女人,發阿耨多羅三藐三菩提心,云何應 諸菩薩』

掌恭敬,而白佛言:『希有世尊!如來善護念諸菩薩,善付囑 時長老須菩提,在大衆中,卽從座起,偏袒右肩,右膝著地,合 乞已,還至本處。飯食訖,收衣鉢,洗足已,敷座而坐。 爾時,世尊,食時,著衣持鉢,入舍衛大城乞食。於其城中第 丘衆千二百五十人俱。 如是我聞,一時,佛在舍衛國祇樹給孤獨園,與大比 金剛般若波羅密經

二○ ○二年五月十一日

佛吿須菩提:『莫作是說!如來滅後,後五百歲,有持戒修福者, 信不?

』須菩提白佛言:『世尊!頗有衆生,得聞如是言說章句,生實 佛吿須菩提:『凡所有相,皆是虛妄;若見諸相非相,卽見如來。 ,卽非身相』

『不也,世尊!不可以身相得見如來。何以故?如來所說身相 須菩提!於意云何?可以身相見如來不?

須菩提!菩薩但應如所教住! 『須菩提!菩薩無住相布施,福德亦復如是不可思量。 『不也,世尊!

『須菩提!南、西、北、四維、上、下虛空,可思量不?

『不也,世尊!

虛空,可思量不?

何以故?若菩薩不住相布施,其福德不可思量。須菩提!東方 香,味,觸,法布施。須菩提!菩薩應如是布施,不住於相。 復次須菩提!菩薩於法,應無所住,行於布施,所謂不住聲, 故?須菩提!若菩薩有我相,人相,衆生相,壽者相,卽非菩薩。 之。如是滅度無量無數無邊衆生,實無衆生得滅度者。何以
人所得福德,寧為多不』

『須菩提!於意云何?若人滿三千大千世界七寶,以用布施,是 差別』

不可說,非法,非非法。所以者何?一切賢聖,皆以無為法而有 菩提,亦無有定法如來可說。何以故?如來所說法,皆不可取, 須菩提言:『如我解佛所說義,無有定法,名阿耨多羅三藐三 所說法耶』

『須菩提!於意云何?如來得阿耨多羅三藐三菩提耶?如來有 何況非法』

是義故,如來常說:『汝等比丘!知我說法,如笩喩者,法尚應捨, 非法相,卽著我、人、衆生、壽者。是故不應取法,不應取非法。以 我、人、衆生、壽者。若取法相,卽著我、人、衆生、壽者。何以故?若取 相、無法相、亦無非法相。何以故?是諸衆生,若心取相,則為著 是無量福德。何以故?是諸衆生,無復我相、人相、衆生相、壽者 乃至一念生淨信者,須菩提!如來悉知悉見;是諸衆生,得如 四五佛而種善根,已於無量千萬佛所種諸善根。聞是章句, 於此章句,能生信心,以此為實,當知是人,不於一佛二佛三
說我得無諍三昩,人中最為第一,是第一離欲阿羅漢。世尊! 羅漢作是念:我得阿羅漢道;卽為著我、人、眾生、壽者。世尊!佛 須菩提言:『不也,世尊!何以故?實無有法名阿羅漢。世尊!若阿 『須菩提!於意云何?阿羅漢能作是念:我得阿羅漢道不』

是故名阿那含』

須菩提言:『不也,世尊!何以故?阿那含名為不來,而實無不來, 『須菩提!於意云何?阿那含能作是念:我得阿那含果不』

是名斯陀含』

須菩提言:『不也,世尊!何以故?斯陀含名一往來,而實無往來, 『須菩提!於意云何?斯陀含能作是念:我得斯陀含果不』

入色、聲、香、味、觸、法,是名須陀洹』

須菩提言:『不也,世尊!何以故?須陀洹名為入流,而無所入,不 『須菩提!於意云何?須陀洹能作是念:我得須陀洹果不』

法,皆從此經出。須菩提!所謂佛法者,卽非佛法』

彼。何以故?須菩提!一切諸佛,及諸佛阿耨多羅三藐三菩提 『若復有人,於此經中,受持乃至四句偈等,為他人說,其福勝 說福德多』

須菩提言:『甚多,世尊!何以故?是福德,即非福德性,是故如來
琲e沙數三千大千世界,以用布施,得福多不』

『須菩提!我今實言吿汝:若有善男子,善女人,以七寶滿爾所 須菩提言:『甚多,世尊!但諸琲e,尚多無數,何況其沙』

琲e沙,寧為多不』

『須菩提!如琲e中所有沙數,如是沙等琲e,於意云何?是諸 須菩提言:『甚大,世尊!何以故?佛說非身,是名大身』

須菩提!譬如有人,身如須彌山王,於意云何?是身為大不』

香,味,觸,法生心。應無所住,而生其心! 『是故須菩提!諸菩薩摩訶薩,應如是生淸淨心,不應住聲, 『不也,世尊!何以故?莊嚴佛土者,卽非莊嚴,是名莊嚴』

『須菩提!於意云何?菩薩莊嚴佛土不』

『不也,世尊!如來在然燈佛所,於法是無所得』

不』

佛吿須菩提:『於意云何?如來昔在然燈佛所,於法有所得 所行,而名須菩提是樂阿蘭那行』

漢道,世尊則不說須菩提是樂阿蘭那行者。以須菩提實無 我不作是念:我是離欲阿羅漢。世尊!我若作是念:我得阿羅
『不也,世尊!不可以三十二相見如來。何以故?如來說三十二 須菩提!於意云何?可以三十二相見如來不』

界,是名世界。 『須菩提!諸微塵,如來說非微塵,是名微塵。如來說世界,非世 須菩提言:『甚多,世尊』

『須菩提!於意云何?三千大千世界所有微塵,是為多不』

須菩提白佛言:『世尊!如來無所說』

須菩提!於意云何?如來有所說法不』

持!所以者何?須菩提!佛說般若波羅密,即非般若波羅密。 佛吿須菩提:『是經名為金剛般若波羅密,以是名字,汝當奉 爾時,須菩提白佛言:『世尊!當何名此經?我等云何奉持』

弟子』

 

上第一希有之法!若是經典所在之處,卽、有佛,若尊重 佛塔廟,何況有人,盡能,受持讀誦?須菩提!當知是人成就最 至四句偈等,當知此處,一切世間天、人、阿修羅,皆應供養,如 等,為他人說,而此福德,勝前福德。復次,須菩提!隨說是經,乃 佛吿須菩提:『若善男子,善女人,於此經中,乃至受持四句偈 須菩提言:『甚多,世尊』

我相、無人相、無衆生相、無壽者相。何以故?我於往昔節節支 密。何以故?須菩提!如我昔為歌利王割截身體,我於爾時,無 須菩提:忍辱波羅密,如來說非忍辱波羅密,是名忍辱波羅 非第一波羅密,是名第一波羅密。 當知是人甚為希有!何以故?須菩提!如來說第一波羅密,卽 佛吿須菩提:『如是!如是!若復有人,得聞是經,不驚、不怖、不畏, 故?離一切諸相,卽名諸佛』

以何者?我相卽是非相,人相、衆生相、壽者相,卽是非相。何以 一希有!何以故?此人無我相、無人相、無衆生相、無壽者相。所 說名實相。世尊!我今得聞如是經典,信解受持,是人則為第 人,成就第一希有功德。世尊!是實相者,卽是非相,是故如來 之經。世尊!若復有人得聞是經,信心淸淨,則生實相;當知是 世尊!佛說如是甚深經典,我從昔來得慧眼,未曾得聞如是 爾時,須菩提聞說是經,深解義趣,涕淚悲泣,而白佛言:『希有! 人,於此經中,乃至受持四句偈等,為他人說,其福甚多』

『須菩提!若有善男子,善女人,以琲e沙等身命布施;若復有 相,即是非相,是名三十二相』

不逆,其福勝彼,何況書寫、受持、讀誦,為人解說』

如是無量百千萬億劫以身布施;若復有人,聞此經典,信心 日分,復以琲e沙等身布施;後日分,亦以琲e沙等身布施; 須菩提!若有善男子善女人,初日分,以琲e沙等身布施;中 邊功德。 則為如來以佛智慧,悉如是人,悉見是人,皆得成就無量無 須菩提!當來之世,若有善男子善女人,能於此經受持、讀誦, 菩薩心不住法,而行布施,如人有目,日光明照,見種種色。 須菩提!若菩薩心住於法,而行布施,如人入暗,則無所見;若 須菩提!如來所得法,此法無實無虛。 須菩提!如來是眞語者,實語者,如語者,不誑語者,不異語者。 一切諸相,卽是非相。又說一切衆生,卽非衆生。 色布施。須菩提!菩薩為利益一切衆生,應如是布施!如來說 生無所住心!若心有住,卽為非住,是故佛說菩薩心,不應住 三藐三菩提心!不應住色生心,不應住聲、香、味、觸、法生心,應 生相、無壽者相。是故,須菩提!菩薩應離一切相,發阿耨多羅 過去於五百世,作忍辱仙人,於爾所世,無我相、無人相、無衆 解時,若有我相、人相、衆生相、壽者相,應生瞋恨。須菩提!又念
善男子善女人,於後末世,有受持、讀誦此經,所得功德,我若 百分不及一,千萬億分,乃至算數、譬喩,所不能及。須菩提!若 後末世,能受持、讀誦此經,所得功德,於我所供養諸佛功德, 千萬億那由他諸佛,悉皆供養承事,無空過者。若復有人,於 須菩提!我念過去無量阿僧祇劫,於然燈佛前,得值八百四 滅,當得阿耨多羅三藐三菩提。 人先世罪業,應墮惡道,以今世人輕賤故,先世罪業,則為消 復次、須菩提!善男子善女人,受持、讀誦此經,若為人輕賤,是 其處。 養;當如此處,則為是塔,皆應恭敬,作禮,圍繞,以諸華香,而散 須菩提!在在處處,若有此經,一切世間天、人、阿修羅,所應供 見、壽者見,則於此經不能聽受、讀誦、為人解說。 三藐三菩提。何以故?須菩提!若樂小法者,著我見、人見、衆生 無有邊、不可思議功德。如是人等,則無荷擔如來阿耨多羅 為人說,如來悉知是人,悉見是人,皆得成就不可量、不可稱、 來為發大乘者說,為發最上乘者說。若有人能受持、讀誦、廣 『須菩提!以要言之,是經有不可思議、不可稱量、無邊功德。如
以實無有法得阿耨多羅三藐三菩提,是故然燈佛與我授』 佛則不與我授記:「汝於來世,當得作佛,號釋迦牟尼」

菩提。須菩提!若有法如來得阿耨多羅三藐三菩提者,然燈 佛言:『如是!如是!須菩提!實無有法如來得阿耨多羅三藐三 多羅三藐三菩提』

『不也,世尊!如我解佛所說義,佛於然燈佛所,無有法得阿耨 三菩提不』

須菩提!於意云何?如來於然燈佛所,有法得阿耨多羅三藐 羅三藐三菩提心者。 相,壽者相,則非菩薩。所以者何?須菩提!實無有法,發阿耨多 一衆生實滅度者。何以故?須菩提!若菩薩有我相,人相,衆生 當生如是心:我應滅度一切衆生;滅度一切衆生已,而無有 佛吿須菩提:『善男子,善女人,發阿耨多羅三藐三菩提心者, 三菩提心,云何應住?云何降伏其心』

爾時,須菩提白佛言:『世尊!善男子善女人,發阿耨多羅三藐 一。 不可思議,果報亦不可思議』

具說者,或有人聞,心卽狂亂,狐疑不信。須菩提!當知是經義
『須菩提!於意云何?如來有慧眼不』

『如是!世尊!如來有天眼』

『須菩提!於意云何?如來有天眼不』

『如是!世尊!如來有肉眼』

須菩提!於意云何?如來有肉眼不』

名莊嚴。須菩提!若菩薩通達無我法者,如來說名眞是菩薩。 佛土,是不名菩薩。何以故?如來說莊嚴佛土者,卽非莊嚴,是 無我、無人、無衆生、無壽者。須菩提!若菩薩作是言:我當莊嚴 菩薩。何以故?須菩提!實無有法名為菩薩。是故佛說:一切法 『須菩提!菩薩亦如是。若作是言:我當滅度無量衆生,則不名 須菩提言:『世尊!如來說人身長大,卽為非大身,是名大身』

是故名一切法。須菩提!譬如人身長大』

來說一切法,皆是佛法。須菩提!所言一切法者,卽非一切法, 如來所得阿耨多羅三藐三菩提,於是中無實無虛。是故如 菩提,須菩提!實無有法,佛得阿耨多羅三藐三菩提。須菩提! 故?如來者,卽諸法如義。若有人言:如來得阿耨多羅三藐三

記,作是言:「汝於來世,當得作佛,號釋迦牟尼」

。何以

說得福德多』

『須菩提!若福德有實,如來不說得福德多;以福德無故,如來 『如是!世尊!此人以是因緣,得福甚多』

是人以是因緣,得福多不』

須菩提!於意云何?若有人滿三千大千世界七寶,以用布施, 去心不可得,現在心不可得,未來心不可得。 以故?如來說諸心,皆為非心,是名為心。所以者何?須菩提!過 佛吿須菩提:『爾所國土中,所有衆生,若千種心,如來悉知。何 『甚多,世尊』

諸琲e所有沙數,佛世界如是,寧為多不』

『須菩提!於意云何?如一琲e中所有沙,有如是沙等琲e,是 『如是!世尊!如來說是沙』

『須菩提!於意云何?如琲e中所有沙,佛說是沙不』

『如是!世尊!如來有佛眼』

『須菩提!於意云何?如來有佛眼不』

『如是!世尊!如來有法眼』

『須菩提!於意云何?如來有法眼不』

『如是!世尊!如來有慧眼』

有少法可得,是名阿耨多羅三藐三菩提。復次,須菩提!是法 佛言:『如是!如是!須菩提!我於阿耨多羅三藐三菩提,乃至無 耶』

須菩提白佛言:『世尊!佛得阿耨多羅三藐三菩提,為無所得 者,如來說非衆生,是名衆生』

佛言:『須菩提!彼非衆生,非不衆生。何以故?須菩提!衆生衆生 法,生信心不』

爾時,慧命須菩提白佛言:『世尊!頗有衆生,於未來世,聞說是 提!說法者,無法可說,是名說法』

故?若人言如來有所說法,卽為謗佛,不能解我所說故。須菩 『須菩提!汝勿謂如來作是念:我當有所說法。莫作是念!何以 足,卽非具足,是名諸相具足』

『不也,世尊!如來不應以具足諸相見,何以故?如來說諸相具 『須菩提!於意云何?如來可以具足諸相見不』

身,卽非具足色身,是名具足色身』

『不也,世尊!如來不應以具足色身見。何以故?如來說具足色 『須菩提!於意云何?佛可以具足色身見不』

爾時,世尊而說偈言: 如來』

。須菩提白佛言:『世尊!如我解佛所說義,不應以三十二相觀 佛言:『須菩提!若以三十二相觀如來者,轉輪聖王,卽是如來』 須菩提言:『如是!如是!以三十二相觀如來』

須菩提!於意云何?可以三十二相觀如來不』

夫,是名凡夫。 有我,而凡夫之人以為有我。須菩提!凡夫者,如來說卽非凡 度者,如來卽有我,人,衆生,壽者。須菩提!如來說有我者,卽非 提!莫作是念:何以故?實無有衆生如來度者。若有衆生如來 須菩提!於意云何?汝等勿謂如來作是念:我當度衆生。須菩 至算數、譬喩,所不能及。 受持、讀誦、為他人說,於前福德,百分不及一,百千萬億分,乃 聚,有人持用布施。若人以此般若波羅密經,乃至四句偈等, 須菩提!若三千大千世界中,所有諸須彌山王,如是等七寶 提!所言善法者,如來說卽非善法,是名善法。 衆生,無壽者,修一切善法,卽得阿耨多羅三藐三菩提。須菩 平等,無有高下,是名阿耨多羅三藐三菩提。以無我,無人,無
須菩提!若善男子善女人,以三千大千世界碎為微塵;於意 說義。何以故?如來者,無所從來,亦無所去,故名如來。 須菩提!若有人言:如來若來、若去、若坐、若臥,是人不解我所 『須菩提!菩薩所作福德,不應貪著,是故說不受福德。 須菩提白佛言:『世尊!云何菩薩不受福德』

以故?須菩提!以諸菩薩不受福德故』

人,知一切法無我,得成於忍,此菩薩勝前菩薩所得功德。何 須菩提!若菩薩以滿琲e沙等世界七寶,持用布施,若復有 提心者,於法不說斷滅相。 心者,說諸法斷滅,莫作是念!何以故?發阿耨多羅三藐三菩 三藐三菩提;須菩提!汝若作是念,發阿耨多羅三藐三菩提 三菩提;須菩提!莫作是念:如來不以具足相故,得阿耨多羅 須菩提!汝若作是念:如來不以具足相故,得阿耨多羅三藐 不能見如來。 是人行邪道, 以音聲求我, 『若以色見我,
受持、讀誦、為人演說,其福勝彼。云何為人演說,不取於相,如』 若有善男子,善女人,發菩提心者,持於此經,乃至四句偈等, 須菩提!若有人以滿無量阿僧祇世界七寶,持用布施; 非法相,是名法相。 如是見,如是信解,不生法相。須菩提!所言法相者,如來說卽 『須菩提!發阿耨多羅三藐三菩提心者,於一切法,應如是知, 見、衆生見、壽者見』

衆生見、壽者見,卽非我見、人見、衆生見、壽者見,是名我見、人 『不也,世尊!是人不解如來所說義。何以故?世尊說我見、人見、 云何?是人解我所說義不』

須菩提!若人言:佛說我見、人見、衆生見、壽者見,須菩提!於意 『須菩提!一合相者,卽是不可說,但凡夫之人,貪著其事。 是名一合相』

故?若世界實有者,卽是一合相。如來說一合相,卽非一合相, 衆。世尊!如來所說三千大千世界,卽非世界,是名世界。何以 是微塵衆。所以者何?佛說是微塵衆,卽非微塵衆,是名微塵 須菩提言:『甚多,世尊!何以故?若是微塵衆實有者,佛卽不說 云何?是微塵衆寧為多不』

為人演說,如如不動,是禪定。 觀自在的佛、道、聖、神,就是觀玄關。 一切有為法,

如夢、幻、泡、影,

如露亦如電,

應作如是觀!

四句偈是: 完。 一切世間天、人、阿修羅,聞佛所說,皆大歡喜,信受奉行。 佛說是經已,長老須菩提,及諸比丘,比丘尼,優婆塞,優婆夷, 應作如是觀』

如露亦如電, 如夢、幻、泡、影, 一切有為法, 何以故? 『如不動。

The Diamond Sutra

The Vajracchedika-prajna-paramita Sutra

published by Singapore Nanyang Buddhist Culture Service in 1976

Thus have I heard. Once upon a time, the Buddha sojourned in the Jetavana park near Sravasti with an assembly of twelve hundred and fifty bhiksus.

One day, at mealtime, the World Honoured One put on His robe, took His bowl, and entered the great town of Sravasti to beg for His food. After He had begged from door to door, He returned to His place. When He had taken His meal, He put away His robe and bowl, washed His feet, arranged His seat and sat down.

At the time, the elder Subhuti who was in the assembly, rose from his seat, uncovered his right shoulder, knelt upon his right knee, respectfully joined the palms of his hands and said to Buddha: "It is very rare, O World Honoured One! how well the Tathagata protects and thinks of all Boddhisattvas.

"O World Honoured One, when virtuous men or women develop the supreme enlightenment mind, how should their minds abide and how should they be subdued?"

The Buddha said: "Excellent, Subhuti! As you say, the Tathagata protects, cherishes and instructs Bodhisattvas so well. Now listen attentively and I will tell you how the minds of virtuous men and women, who develop the supreme enlightenment mind, should thus abide and be subdued."

(Subhuti replied:) "Oh yes, World Honoured One, I shall be glad to hear (your instruction)."

The Buddha said: "Subhuti, all Bodhisattvas and Mahasattvas should subdue their minds as follows: All living beings born from eggs, wombs, humidity or by transformation, with or without form, either thoughtful or thoughtless, and neither thoughtful nor thoughtless are led by me to the final nirvana for the extinction of reincarnation. Although immeasurable, uncountable and unlimited numbers of living beings are thus led to (the final nirvana for) the extinction of reincarnation, it is true that not a living being is led there. Why so, Subhuti? (Because) if a Bodhisattva (still) clings to the false notion (laksana) of an ego, a personality, a being and a life, he is not (a true) Bodhisattva.

"Furthermore, Subhuti, a Bodhisattva's mind should not abide anywhere when giving alms; that is to say, he should give without a mind abiding in form, or he should give without a mind abiding in sound, or in smell, or in taste, or in touch or in things. Subhuti, thus a Bodhisattva should give alms without a mind abiding in false notions of form laksana.

"Why? (Because) if a Bodhisattva's mind does not abide in forms (laksana) when practising charity (dana), his merit will be inconceivable and immeasurable. Subhuti, what do you think? Can you think of and measure the extent of space in the East?"

"I cannot, World Honoured One!"

"Subhuti, can you think of and measure (all) the extent of space in the South, West and North as well as in the intermediate dirctions, including the zenith and nadir?"

"I cannot, World Honoured One!"

"Subhuti, (when) a Bodhisattva practises charity without a mind abiding in forms, his merit is equally inconceivable and immeasurable.

"Subhuti, a Bodhisattva's mind should THUS abide as taught.

"Subhuti, what do you think? Can the Tathagata be seen by means of His bodily form?"

"No, World Honoured One, the Tathagata cannot be seen by means of His bodily form. Why? Because when the Tathagata speaks of bodily form, it is not (real) form."

The Buddha said to Subhuti: "Everything with form is unreal; if all forms are seen as unreal, the Tathagata will be perceived."

Subhuti said to the Buddha: "World Honoured One, will there be living beings who can develop a true belief in these words, sentences and chapters when they are expounded to them?"

The Buddha said: "Subhuti, do not speak like that. In the last 500 years, before the final passing of the Tathagata, there will be those who will observe the rules of morality and perform good actions which will result in blessing. These people will be able to develop a faith in these sentences (which they will consider as) embodying the Truth. You should know that they will not have planted good roots in just one, two, three, four, or five Buddha lands. They will have planted them in countless thousands and tens of thousands of Buddha lands. Upon hearing these sentences, there wil arise in them a single thought of pure faith. Subhuti, the Tathagata knows and sees all; these living beings will thus acquire immeasurable merits. Why? (Because) they will have wiped out false notions of an ego, a personality, a being and a life, of Dharma and Not-Dharma. Why? (Because) if their minds grasp form (laksana), they will (still) cling to the notion of an ego, a personality, a being and a life. If their minds grasp the Dharma, they will (still) cling to the notion of an ego, a personality, a being and a life. Why? (Because) if their minds grasp the Not-Dharma, they will (still) cling to the notion of an ego, a personality, a being and a life. Therefore, one should not grasp and hold on to the notion of Dharma as well as that of Not-Dharma. This is why, the Tathagata always said: 'Ye Bhiksus, should know that the Dharma I expound is likened to a raft.' Even the Dharma should be cast aside; how much more so the Not-Dharma?

"Subhuti, what do you think? Has the Tathagata (in fact) obtained Supreme Enlightenment (Anubodhi)? Does the Tathagata (in fact) expound the Dharma?"

Subhuti replied: "As I understand the meaning of the Buddha's teaching, there is no fixed Dharma called Supreme Enlightenment and there is also no fixed Dharma the Tathagata can expound. Why? (Because) the Dharma the Tathagata expounds cannot be clung to and cannot be expressed (in words); it is neither Dharma nor Not-Dharma. Why is this? All Bhadras and Aryas differ on account of the Eternal Asamskrta Dharma."

"Subhuti, what do you think? If someone filled the Universe with the seven treasures and gave them all as alms, would his merit be great?"

Subhuti replied: "Very great, World Honoured One. Why? Because this merit is not the nature of merit, the Tathagata says it is great."

"Subhuti, if on the other hand, someone received and kept even a four line stanza of this sutra and expounded it to others, his merit would surpass that (of the giver of treasures). Why? (Because), Subhuti, all Buddhas and their Supreme Enlightenment Dharma originate from this sutra. Subhuti, the so-called Buddhas and Dharmas are not real Buddhas and Dharmas.

"Subhuti, what do you think? Can one who has entered the stream (srota-apanna) have this thought (in his mind): I have obtained the fruit of entering the stream?"

Subhuti replied: "No, World Honoured One. Why? Because srota-apanna means 'entering the stream', but actually there is no entry into either form, sound, smell, taste, touch or djarma. Therefore, he is called srota-apanna."

"Subhuti, what do you think? Can a Sakrdagamin have this thought (in his mind): I have obtained the fruit of a Sakrdagamin?"

Subhuti replied: "No, World Honoured One. Why? Because Sakrdagamin means 'once more to come', but actually there is neither coming nor going. Therefore, he is called a Sakrdagamin."

"Subhuti, what do you think? Can an Anagamin have this thought (in his mind): I have obtained the fruit of an Anagamin?"

Subhuti replied: "No, World Honoured One. Why? Because Anagamin means 'no-coming', but actually there is no such a thing as no-coming. Therefore, he is called an Anagamin."

"Subhuti, what do you think? Can an Arhat have this thought (in his mind): I have obtained the enlightment of an Arhat?"

Subhuti replied: "No, World Honoured One. Why? Because there is no Dharma which is called Arhatship. World Honoured One, if an Arhat thinks 'I have obtained the enlightenment of an Arhat', he will still grasp and hold on to the notion of an ego, a personality, a being and a life. World Honoured One, the Buddha has declared that I have obtained the Passionless Samadhi and that I surpass all men. I am, therefore, the highest passionless Arhat. World Honoured One, I do not think 'I am a passionless Arhat' for, World Honoured One, if I had thought 'I have attained Arhatship', the World Honoured One would not have said: 'Subhuti takes delight in the calm and quiet, free from temptation and distress.' The fact that Subhuti does not act (mentally) is called the calm and quiet in which Subhuti takes delight."

The Buddha said to Subhuti: "What do you think? Did the Tathagata obtain anything from the Dharma, when in the past He was with Dipamkara Buddha?"

"No, World Honoured One. When the Tathagata was with Dipamkara, He did not obtain anything from the Dharma."

"Subhuti, what do you think? Do Bodhisattvas adorn Buddha lands (by their moral actions)?"

"No, World Honoured One. Why? Because this is not real adornment; it is (merely) called the adornment of Buddha lands."

"Subhuti, this is why all Bodhisattvas and Mahasattvas should thus develop a pure and clean mind which should not abide in form, sound, smell, taste, touch and dharma. They should develop a mind which does not abide in anything.

"Subhuti, supposing a man has a body as great as mount Sumeru, what do you think? Would such a body be great?"

Subhuti replied: "Very great, World Honoured One. Why? Because the Buddha says it is not the real body but is (merely) called a great body."

"Subhuti, if there were as many rivers like the Ganges as there are grains of sand in the Ganges, would the total of grains of sand in all these rivers be very great?"

Subhuti replied: "Very great, World Honoured One! These rivers would be innumerable; how much more so would be their sand-grains."

"Subhuti, I now tell you truly. If a virtuous man or woman filled a number of universe, as great as the number of sand-grains in all these rivers, with the seven treasures, and gave them all away in alms (dana), would his or her merit be great?"

Subhuti replied: "Very great, World Honoured One!"

The Buddha said to Subhuti: "If a virtuous man or woman receives and holds (in mind) even a four-line stanza of this sutra and expounds it to others, his or her merit will surpass that of the almsgiver. Furthermore, Subhuti, wheresoever this sutra or even one of its four-line stanzas is expounded, you should know that all devas, men and asuras should make their offerings there as if the place was a Buddha stupa or a Buddha temple. How much more so if someone is able to receive, hold (in mind), read and recite the whole sutra! Subhuti, you should know that such a person will achieve the highest and rarest Dharma. Wheresoever this sutra may be found, the Buddha and His respected disciples will be there also."

Subhuti then asked the Buddha: "World Honoured One, what name should be given to this sutra and how should we receive and hold it (in mind)?"

The Buddha said: "This sutra should be called 'The Diamond prajna-paramita' under which name you should receive and hold it. Why? Because, Subhuti, the Prajna-paramita as expounded by the Buddha, is not Prajna-paramita but is (merely) so called.

"Subhuti, what do you think? Does the Tathagata expound the Dharma?"

Subhuti said: "World Honoured One, the Tathagata does not expound anything."

"Subhuti, what do you think? Are there many particles of dust in the universe?"

Subhuti replied: "Many, World Honoured One!"

"Subhuti, The Tathagata says these particles of dust are not (real), (but) are (merely) called particles of dust. The Tathagata says the universe is not (real), but it is (merely) called the universe>

"Subhuti, what do you think? Can the Tathagata be received by means of His thirty-two physical characteristics (laksanas)?"

"No, World Honoured One. The Tathagata cannot be perceived by them. Why? Because the Tathagata says they are not real but are (merely) called the thirty-two physical characteristics."

"Subhuti, if on the one hand, a virtuous man or woman, in giving alms (dana), sacrifices as many lives as there are sand-grains in the Ganges, and on the other hand, someone receives and holds (in mind) even a four-line stanza of this sutra, and expounds it to others, the merit resulting from the latter will be greater."

At that time, after listening to this sutra, Subhuti had understood its profound meaning and was moved to tears. He said to the Buddha: "How rare, O World Honoured One! The Buddha has expounded such a very profound sutra. Since I have acquired the wisdom eye, I have not heard of such a sutra. World Honoured One, if someone after listening to this sutra believes that his mind is clean and pure, he will realize reality. We should know that such a person will achieve the highest and rarest merit. World Honoured One, this Reality is not Reality but the Tathagata calls it Reality. World Honoured One, as I now listen to this sutra I have no difficulty in believing, understanding, receiving and holding it, but in the last epoch, the last five hundred year period if there be a man who (happens to) listen to this sutra, believes, understands, receives and holds it, he will be most rare. Why? Because he will no longer (think in terms of) an ego, a personality, a being and a life. Why? Because the forms of an ego, a personality, a being and a life are not forms. Why? Because when he has rejected all forms he is called a Buddha."

The Buddha said: "Just so! Subhuti, just so! If on the one hand, there is a man who listens to this sutra and is not filled with alarm, fear, or dread, you should know that such a person is most rare. Why? Because, Subhuti, as the Tathagata says, the first perfection (paramita) is not so (but) is (merely) called the first perfection (paramita).

"Subhuti, the Tathagata speaks of the Perfection of Patience (ksanti-paramita) which is not but is called the Perfection of Patience. Why? Because, Subhuti, in (a) past (life) when my body was mitilated by Kaliraja, I had at that time no notion of an ego, a personality, a being and a life. Why? Because, in the past, when my body was dismembered, if I (still) held the conception of an ego, a personality, a being and a life, I would have been stirred by feelings of anger and hatred. Subhuti, I also remember that in the past, during my former five hundred lives, I was a Ksantyrsi and held no conception of an ego, a personality, a being and a life. Therefore, Subhuti, Bodhisattvas should forsake all conceptions of form and resolve to develop the Supreme Enlightenment Mind (Anuttara-samyaksam-bodhi) Their minds should not abide in form, sound, smell, taste, touch and dharma. Their minds should abide nowhere. If minds abide somewhere, it will be in falsehood. This is why the Buddha says that Bodhisattvas' minds should not abide in form when practising charity (dana). Subhuti, all Bodhisattvas should thus make offerings for the welfare of all living beings. The Tathagata speaks of forms which are not forms and living beings who are not living beings.

"Subhuti, the Tathagata's words are true and correspond to reality. They are ultimate words, neither deceitful nor heterodox. Subhuti, the Dharma the Tathagata has obtained is neither real nor unreal.

"Subhuti, if a Bodhisattva practises charity (dana) with a mind abiding in things (dharma), he is like a man entering the darkness where he cannot see anything; (but) if a Bodhisattva practises dana with a mind not abiding in dharma, he is like a man with open eyes, who can see everything in the sunshine.

"Subhuti, in future ages, if a virtuous man or woman is able to receive, hold (in mind), read and recite this sutra, the Tathagata, by means of His Buddha Wisdom, will know and see clearly that such a person will achieve immeasurable and unlimitable merits. Subhuti, if (on the one hand) a virtuous man or woman sacrifices in the practice of charity (dana), as many lives as the sand-grains of the Ganges in the morning, at midday and again in the evening, and continues so doing throughout numberless aeons; an if (on the other hand) a person after listening to this sutra believes in his own mind without (further) contradiction, the latter's merit will surpass that of the former. How much more so if this sutra is written, received, held, read, recited and expounded to others!

"Subhuti, to sum up, the merits resulting from this sutra are inconceivable, inestimable and without limit. The Tathagata expounds it to those initiated into the Mahayana and the Supreme Yana. If they are able to receive, hold (in mind), read and recite it and expound it widely to others, the Tathagata will know and will see that they will achieve inexpressible and inconceivable merits that are without measure or limit. They will bear (responsibility for) the Tathagata's Supreme Enlightenment (Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi). Why? Because, Subhuti, those who take delight in the Hinayana and hold the view of an ego, a personality, a being and a life, cannot listen to, receive, hold (in mind), read and recite this sutra and explain it to others.

"Subhuti, wheresoever this sutra may be found, all worlds of devas, men and asuras should make offerings, for you should know that such a place is just a stupa which should be revered, worshipped and circumambulated, with offerings of flowers and incense.

"Furthermore, Subhuti, if a virtuous man or woman receives, hold (in mind), reads and recites this sutra and is despised by others, this person who is bound to suffer from evil destinies in retribution for his past sins and whose karmic sins are now eradicated by the others' contempt, will attain Supreme Enlightenment (Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi).

"Subhuti, I remember that in the past countless aeons before the advent of Dipamkara Buddha, I met 84,000 milliards of Buddhas to whom I made offerings and whom I served faultlessly. Now if in the last period (of 500 years) in the Buddha kalpa someone is able to receive, hold (in mind), read and recite this sutra, his merits will far exceed mine which resulted from my offerings made to Buddhas, for mine cannot be reckoned as one hundredth, one thousandth, one ten thousandth or one hundred thousandth part thereof; in fact no computation or comparison is possible. Subhuti, in the last period of the Buddha kalpa, if a virtuous man or woman is able to receive, hold (in mind), read and recite this sutra, my full statement of this person's merits will create derangement, doubt and disbelief in the minds of all listeners. Subhuti, you should know that as the meaning of this sutra is inconceivable, so is the fruit of its reward."

______________

At the time, Subhuti asked the Buddha: "World Honoured One, if a virtuous man or woman is determined to develop the Supreme Enlightenment Mind, how should his or her mind abide and how should it be subdued?"

The Buddha said to Subhuti: "A virtuous man or woman who is determined to develop the Supreme Enlightenment Mind, should thus develop it: I have to lead all living beings to put a stop to (reincarnation) and escape (suffering), and when they have been so led, not one of them in fact stops (reincarnating) or escapes suffering. Why? Because, Subhuti, if a Bodhisattva clings to the notion of an ego, a personality, a being and a life, he is not a (true) Bodhisattva. Why? Because, Subhuti, there is not really a Dharma which can develop the Supreme Enlightenment Mind.

"Subhuti, what do you think? When the Tathagata was with Dipamkara Buddha, did He have any Dharma by means of which He attained Supreme Enlightenment (Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi)?"

"No, World Honoured One. As I understand the meaning of the Buddha's teaching, when He was with Dipamkara Buddha, He had no Dharma by means of which He atained Supreme Enlightenment."

The Buddha said: "Just so! Subhuti, just so! There was really no Dharma by means of which the Tathagata attained Supreme Enlightenment. Subhuti, if there had been, Dipamkara Buddha would not have predicted: 'In your next life, you will be a Buddha named Sakyamuni.'

"Why is it? Because Tathagata means the suchness of all Dharmas. If someone still says: 'The Tathagata obtained Supreme Enlightenment', I tell you, Subhuti, there is no Dharma by means of which the Buddha did so, (because), Subhuti, that Enlightenment was by itself neither real nor unreal. This is why the Tathagata says that all Dharmas are Buddha's Dharmas. Subhuti, these so called Dharmas are not, but are (expediently), called all Dharmas. Subhuti, supposing there is a man whose body is great.."

Subhuti said: "World Honoured One, the great body of which the Tathagata speaks is not great, but is (expediently) called a great body."

"Subhuti, in like manner, if a Bodhisattva says: 'I should lead uncountable living beings to put a stop to (reincarnation) and escape (from suffering)', he cannot be called a Bodhisattva. Why? Because there is really no dharma called the Bodhisattva (stage). Therefore, the Buddha says: "Of all dharmas, there is not a single one which possesses in ego, a personality, a being and a life.' Subhuti, if a Bodhisattva says: 'I should adorn Buddha lands', he cannot be called a Bodhisattva. Why? Because when the Tathagata speaks of such adornment it is not, but is (expediently) called adornment. Subhuti, if a Bodhisattva is thoroughly versed in (the doctrine of) the unreality of ego and of things (dharma), the Tathagata will call him a true Bodhisattva.

"Subhuti, what do you think? Does the Tathagata possess human eyes?"

"Yes, World Honoured One, the Tathagata possesses human eyes."

"Subhuti, what do you think? Does the Tathagata possess deva eyes?"

"Yes, World Honoured One, the Tathagata possesses deva eyes."

"Subhuti, what do you think? Does the Tathagata possess wisdom eyes?"

"Yes, World Honoured One, the Tathagata possesses wisdom eyes."

"Subhuti, what do you think? Does the Tathagata possess Dharma eyes?"

"Yes, World Honoured One, the Tathagata possesses Dharma eyes."

"Subhuti, what do you think? Does the Tathagata possess Buddha eyes?"

"Yes, World Honoured One, the Tathagata possesses Buddha eyes."

"Subhuti, what do you think? Does the Tathagata say that the sand-grains in the Ganges are sand-grains?"

"Yes, World Honoured One, the Tathagata says they are sand-grains."

"Subhuti, what do you think? If there were as many Ganges rivers as sand-grains in the Ganges, and if there were as many Buddha realms as sand-grains of all these Ganges rivers, would there be many world systems?"

"Many, World Honoured One!"

The Buddha said: "The living beings in all these world systems have many different minds which are all known to the Tathagata. Why? Because the minds the Tathagata speaks of are not minds, but are (expediently) called minds. And why? Because, Subhuti, neither the past, the present nor the future mind can be found.

"Subhuti, what do you think? If someone filled the universe with the seven treasures and gave all away in his practice of dana, would this (good) cause enable the giver to gain a great merit?"

"Yes, World Honoured One, because of this (good) cause the giver would gain a great merit."

"Subhuti, if the merit was real, the Tathagata would not say it was great. He says so because there is no merit.

"Subhuti, what do you think? Can the Buddha be perceived by His completely perfect physical body (rupa-kaya)?"

"No, World Honoured One, the Tathagata should not be so perceived. Why? Because the Buddha says the completely perfect rupa-kaya is not, but is called the completely perfect rupa-kaya."

"Subhuti, what do you think? Can the Tathagata be perceived by His completely perfect forms?"

"No, World Honoured One, The Tathagata should not be so perceived, because the Tathagata says the completely perfect forms are not, but are called completely perfect forms."

"Subhuti, do not say that the Tathagata thinks: 'I must expound the Dharma'. Do not have such a thought. Why? Because if someone says so, he will really slander the Buddha and be unable to understand my teaching. Subhuti, when (the Tathagata) expounds the Dharma, there is really no Dharma to teach, but this is (expediently) called teaching the Dharma."

Then the wise Subhuti said to the Buddha: "World Honoured One, will there be in future ages living beings who will believe this Dharma when they hear it?"

The Buddha said: "Subhuti, the living beings (you just mentioned) are neither living nor not living beings. Why? Because, Subhuti, the Tathagata says these living beings are not (really), but they are (expediently) called living beings."

Subhuti said to the Buddha: "World Honoured One, does your (own) attainment of Supreme Enlightenment (Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi) mean that you have not gained anything whatsoever?"

The Buddha replied: "Just so, Subhuti, just so. I have not gained even the least Dharma from Supreme Enlightenment, and this is called Supreme Enlightenment. Furthermore, Subhuti, this Dharma is universal and impartial; wherefore it is called Supreme Enlightenment. The practice of all good virtues (Dharmas), free from attachment to an ego, a personality, a being and a life, will result in the attainment of Supreme Enlightenment. Subhuti, the so called good virtues (Dharmas), the Tathagata says, are not good, but are (expediently) called good virtues.

"Subhuti, if (on the one hand) a man, in his practice of charity (dana) gives away the seven treasures piled up in a heap as great as all the Mounts Sumeru in the Universe put together, and (on the other hand) another man receives, holds (in mind), reads and recites even a four-line stanza of this Prajna-paramita Sutra, and expounds it to others, the merit resulting from the former's dana will not be worth one-hundredth, one-thousandth, one-ten-thousandth and one-hundred thousandth part of that obtained by the latter, as no conceivable comparison can be made between the two.

"Subhuti, whar do you think? You should not say the Tathagata has this thought (in His mind): 'I shaould liberate living beings.' Subhuti, you should not think so. Why? Because there are really no living beings whom the Tathagata can liberate. If there were, the Tathagata would hold (the concept of) an ego, a personality, a being and a life. Subhuti, (when) the Tathagata speaks of an ego, there is in reality no ego, although common men think so. Subhuti, The Tathagata says common men are not, but are (expediently) called common men.

"Subhuti, what do you think? Can the Tathagata be recognised by His thirty-two physical characteristics?"

Subhuti replied: "Yes, yes, He can."

The Buddha said: "Subhuti, if the Tathagata can be recognised by His thirty-two physical characteristics, a world ruler (cakravarti) would be the Tathagata."

Subhuti said to the Buddha: "World Honoured One, as I understand your teaching, the Tathagata cannot be recognised by His thirty-two physical characteristics."

Thereupon, the World Honoured One recited the following gatha: "He who sees me by outward appearance; (and) seeks me in sound; tread the heterodox path; (and) cannot perceive the Tathagata. (This is the first 4-line stanza)

"Subhuti, if you have (in your mind) this thought: 'The Tathagata does not rely on His possession of characteristics to obtain Supreme Enlightenment,' Subhuti, banish that thought. Subhuti, if you think it while developing the Perfect Enlightenment Mind, you will advocate the annihilation of all Dharmas. Do not have such a thought. Why? Because one who develops the Supreme Enlightenment Mind, does not advocate the annihilation (of things).

"Subhuti, if (on the one hand) a Bodhisattva gave in his practice of dana, all the seven treasures in quantities sufficient to fill worlds as many as sand-grains in the Ganges, and (on the other hand) another man comprehended that all dharmas were egoless and thereby achieved perfection of patience (ksanti), the latter's merit would surpass that of the former. Why? Because, Subhuti, all Bodhisattvas do not receive reward for their merits."

Subhuti asked the Buddha: "World Honoured One, why do Bodhisattvas not receive reward for their merits?"

"Subhuti, Bodhisattvas should have no longing and no attachment when they practise meritorious virtues; therefore, they do not receive a reward.

"Subhuti, if someone says the Tathagata comes or goes, sits or lies, he does not understand what I mean. Why? Because the Tathagata has neither whence (to come) nor whither (to go); therefore, He is called the Tathagata.

"Subhuti, what do you think? If a virtuous man or woman reduced to dust all the worlds in the Universe, would those particles of dust be many?"

Subhuti replied: "Many, World Honoured One. Why? Because if they really existed, the Buddha would not say they were particles of dust. And why? Because when the Buddha speaks of particles of dust, they are not, but are (expediently) called particles of dust. World Honoured One, when the Tathagata speaks of worlds, they are not, but are (expediently) called worlds. Why? Because if they really exist, they are just agglomerations. The Tathagata speaks of agglomerations which are not, but are (expediently) called agglomerations."

"Subhuti, that which is called an agglomeration cannot be spoken of, but the vulgar man has longing for and attachment to this thing.

"Subhuti, what do you think? If someone says: 'The Buddha speaks of the view of an ego, a personality, a being and a life', Subhuti, does that person understand what I mean?"

"No, World Honoured One, that person does not understand. Why? Because (when) the Tathagata speaks of the view of an ego, a personality, a being and a life, it is not really, (but) is (expediently) called the view of an ego, a personality, a being and a life."

"Subhuti, he who develops the Supreme Enlightenment Mind, should thus know, see, believe and comprehend (all things); he should not set up the perception of things (dharma-laksana) in his mind. Subhuti, the so called form of things (dharma-laksana), the Tathagata says is not, but is (expediently) called the form of things.

"Subhuti, if on the one hand, someone gave away in alms (dana) the seven treasures in quantities sufficient to fill all the worlds in uncountable aeons, and if on the other hand, a virtuous man or woman developed the Bodhi-mind, and received, held (in mind), read and recited even a four-line stanza of this sutra and expounded it to others, the latter's merit would surpass that of the former. In what manner should it be taught to others? By teaching it without attachment to form with the immutability of the absolute.

"Why is it? Because:

"All phenomena are like

"A dream, an illusion, a bubble and a shadow,

"Like dew and lightning.

"Thus should you meditate upon them." (This is the 2nd 4-line stanza and the right, true and perfect one)

When the Buddha had finished expounding this sutra, the elder Subhuti, together with bhiksus, bhiksunis, upasakas, upasikas, and all the worlds of devas, men and asuras who had listened to His teaching, were filled with joy and believed, received and observed it.

THE END - compiled by 13th September 2002

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Edited on 6th June 2008