Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The wisdom of Diamond Sutra - chapter 15


須菩提,若有善男子,善女人,初日分以恆河沙等身布施,中日分復以恆河沙等身布施,後日分亦以恆河沙等身布施,如是無量 百千萬億劫,以身布施。若復有人,聞此經典,信心不逆,其福勝彼,何況書寫受持讀誦,為人解說,須菩提,以要言之:是經有不可思議,不可稱量,無邊功德。如來為發大乘者說,為發最上乘者說。若有人能受持讀誦,廣為人說,如來悉知是人,悉見是人,皆得成就不可量,不可稱,無有邊,不可思議功德。如是人等,則為荷擔如來,阿耨多羅三藐三菩提。何以故?須菩提,若樂小法者,著我見,人見,眾生見,壽者見,即於此經不能聽受讀誦,為人解說。須菩提,在在處處,若有此經,一切世間天人阿修羅,所應供養,當知此處,則為是塔,皆應恭敬,作禮圍繞,以諸華香而散其處。

My rendition of chapter 15: The Merit arising from Faith in Diamond Sutra

“Subhuti, if a good man or good woman should sacrifice their life for helping others in the morning as many times as there are grains of sand in the Ganges, and do likewise at noon and in the evening, continuing thus for immeasurable hundreds of thousands of millions of kalpas (aeons, many years,劫) ; and if someone else heard this Sutra and gave rise to unwavering Faith (聞此經典,信心不逆), the Merit of the latter would far exceed that of the former. How much more the merit of those who transcribe, recite, remember, follow, and explain this Sutra to others!

“In essence, Subhuti, this Sutra carries inconceivable, immeasurable, limitless virtue, and the Tathagata teaches it for the benefit of the aspirants of the Great Vehicle (大乘), and the aspirants of the Supreme Vehicle (最上乘). The Tathagata will know and see those, who are able to recite, remember, follow, and widely teach this Sutra to others, as achieving innumerable, immeasurable, limitless, and inconceivable virtues. They takes the burden of the Tathagata (荷擔如來) in bringing beings to unsurpassed complete enlightenment. Why? Subhuti, those who are content with introductory teachings 小法 (Paul's comment: example of introductory teachings include chi-meditation and prayers for personal benefits) are attached to the views of a self, a person, a sentient being, and an elder. Such people are not able to hear, recite, remember, and explain this Sutra to others. Subhuti, wherever this Sutra is present, all the heavenly and human beings and asuras in all the worlds should come and make offerings. You should know that its presence is equivalent to a Buddha's pagoda that all should venerate and pay homage to, by offers or scattering flowers and incense around.”

Paul's comment: important teachings

1. The teaching of sacrificing one's life to help others (身布施) in introduced.

2. The importance of Faith arising from the teaching of the Diamond Sutra is introduced. (聞此經典,信心不逆), i.e. the Faith that everybody can be Buddha, and that enlightenment comes from our inner insight rather than obtainable from outside.

3. The concept of shouldering the burden of the Buddha to spread the Dharma of attaining nirvana is introduced. The Buddha elaborated on this concept in chapter 17. (荷擔如來)

4. The concept of Supreme Vehicle (最上乘) and introductory practice (小法) is introduced.

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