Thursday, July 7, 2011

The wisdom of Diamond Sutra - chapter 8



My rendition: Born from Dharma

“Subhuti, what do you think? If a person were to fill a trichiliocosm (三千大千世界) with the seven jewels and give them away in charity, wouldn’t the merit attained by this person be great?” Subhuti said, “Extremely great, World Honored One. Why? His compassion is without limit and therefore will not be limited by what he gives; therefore the Tathagata says his merit is great.” The Buddha said: “But if a person comprehends and follows this Sutra, like a four-line verse, and teaches it to others, this person’s merit would exceed that of the former example. Why? Subhuti, all Buddhas and the Highest Enlightenment (阿耨多羅三藐三菩提法) are born from this Sutra. Subhuti, on the other hand, Dharma as a physical object to be passed along is not Dharma.

Paul's comment: The essential teaching here is that "all Buddhas and the Highest Enlightenment (阿耨多羅三藐三菩提法) are born from this Sutra." Yet, the Buddha stressed once again, this is not a teaching to be simply passed on. That which can be simply passed on, like taking a course in the Diamond Sutra in a contemporary monastery or institution, is NOT Dharma. It is interesting to note that the Buddha stressed many times that the Sutra can give ultimate Highest Enlightenment, yet he didn't mention "other" requirements, or any "prerequisite". My understanding is that there will usually be, but not necessarily needing any. That's why the Buddha was silent on this matter.

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