Monday, June 27, 2011

The wisdom of Diamond Sutra - chapter 4





My rendition: The beauty of unlimited void

"Subhuti, when a bodhisattva spreads the Dharma, he should not be guided by any of his senses. Which means, he should not be limited by what he sees, nor limited by his perceived sound, smell, taste or touch. Subhuti, a Bodhisattva should spreads the Dharma this way, not limited by his senses. Why? without limitation, his Merit will thus have no limit. Subhuti, what do you think? When you look at the void on the East, can you see its limit? (No, Worldly Honored One), Subhuti, look at the void on the West, North and South, four directions with top and bottom, can you see their limits? (No, Worldly Honored One)

Subhuti, spreading the Dharma without limited by one's sense preference, the resulting Merit will likewise be without limit. Subhuti, this is the way a bodhisattva rests his heart.

Paul's comment: The Diamond Sutra can actually be read with amusement if we treat it as a piece of drama. To appreciate a piece of drama, a reader must follow the plot. Sometimes when the plot is not clear enough, a reader must fill in the necessary details, in drama lingo: sub-text. In this chapter, the Buddha continued his approach of using himself (or his thinking, belief etc) as model for the bodhisattvas and monks. In the previous chapter, he argued against (his compassion) being limited by concepts (self, person etc), and in this chapter he argued against being limited by his senses. The sub-text in these two chapter is: Once we have the concept of discrete beings and once we have concept of discrete senses, we will develop "preference". And we will be limited by such "preference". This however doesn't mean we shall do nothing (Empty void 頑空), but a void that doesn't limit our compassion, a void that allow us to achieve unlimited Merit.

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