The Diamond Sutra (Sanskrit: Vajracchedikā Prajῆapāramitā Sūtra; more fully in English The Diamond that Cuts through Illusion or Diamond Cutter of Perfect Wisdom; also known as the Prajnaparamita in .. Pine, Red. shook up the Buddhist literary community, Red Pine's stunning, self-published translation of The Then came his stunning translation of The Diamond Sutra. The sutra of transparent wisdom. 1. At one The Buddha replied: “Call it: The Diamond Sutra of The Diamond Sutra, Red Pine, Publishers Group West, .
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ALSO BY RED PINE. Lao-tzu's Taoteching. The Collected Songs of Cold Mountain. The Zen Teaching of Bodhidharma. Guide to Capturing a Plum Blossom. A General Explanation of the Vajra Prajña Paramita Sutra .. structible substance , usually represented by diamond. Vajra is here .. Stand like a pine. Sit like a. Also translated and with commentary by Red Pine. Title Page. The Platform . me into his room and explained the Diamond Sutra to me. As soon as I heard the .
The title relies on the power of the vajra diamond or thunderbolt, but also an abstract term for a powerful weapon to cut things as a metaphor for the type of wisdom that cuts and shatters illusions to get to ultimate reality. Early translations into a number of languages have been found in locations across Central and East Asia, suggesting that the text was widely studied and translated. In addition to Chinese translations, translations of the text and commentaries were made into Tibetan , and translations, elaborations, and paraphrases survive in a number of Central Asian languages. It is the most widely used and chanted Chinese version. Using Xuanzang's travel accounts, modern archaeologists have identified the site of this monastery. The Buddha begins by answering Subhuti by stating that he will bring all living beings to final nirvana — but that after this "no living being whatsoever has been brought to extinction". A Nepalese sculpture of a vajra The Buddha continues his exposition with similar statements which use negation to point out the emptiness of phenomena, merit , the Dharma Buddha's teaching , the stages of enlightenment and the Buddha himself.
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. 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? Subhuti replied: No indeed, O Lord.
The 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? The Lord said: Even so the heap of merit of that Bodhi being 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.
What has been taught by the Tathagata as the possession of marks, that is truly a no-possession of no-marks. Hence the Tathagata is to be seen from no marks as marks. The 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.
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. 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. Because a Bodhisattva should not seize on either a dharma or a no-dharma.
Subhuti replied: No, not as I understand what the Lord has said. This dharma which the Tathagata has fully known or demonstrated it cannot be grasped, it cannot be talked about, it is neither a dharma nor a no-dharma. Because an Absolute exalts the Holy Persons. The Lord then asked: What do you think, Subhuti, if a son or daughter of good family had filled this world system of 1, 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?
The 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. 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.
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.
Because there is not any dharma that has won Once-Returnership. Because there is not any dharma that has won Never Returnership. Subhuti: No indeed, O Lord. That is why he is called an Arhat. If, O Lord, it would occur to an Arhat. I am, O Lord, an Arhat free from greed. Subhuti replied: Not so, O Lord, there is not. Therefore then, Subhuti, the Bodhisattva, the great being, should produce an unsupported thought, i.
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? And why so? 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? Subhuti replied: Those Ganges rivers would indeed be many, much more so the grains of sand in them.
The Lord said: This is what I announce to you, Subhuti, this is what I make known to you, if 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 what do you think, Subhuti, would that woman or man on the strength of that beget a great heap of merit?
The 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.
Subhuti asked: What then, O Lord, is this discourse on dharma, and how should I bear it in mind?
Just that which the Tathagata has taught as the wisdom which has gone beyond,just that He has taught as not gone beyond. What do you think, Subhuti, is there any dharma which the Tathagata has taught? Subhuti replied: No indeed, O Lord, there is not. The Lord said: When, Subhuti, you consider the number of particles of dust in this world system of 1, million worlds-would they be many? Subhuti replied: Yes, O Lord. Because what was taught as particles of dust by the Tathagata, as no-particles that was taught by the Tathagata.
And this world-system the Tathagata has taught as no-system. The Lord asked: What do you think, Subhuti, can the Tathagata be seen by means of the thirty-two marks of the superman?
Because those thirty-two marks of the superman which were taught by the Tathagata, they are really no-marks. 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.
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. It 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 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.
In them, however, no perception of a self will take place, or of a being, a soul, or a person. 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. Because the Buddhas, the Lords have left all perceptions behind. 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.
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. 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. 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. 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. 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.
And further, Subhuti, it is for the weal of all beings that a Bodhisattva should give gifts in this manner. 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.
Because the Tathagata speaks in accordance with reality, speaks the truth, speaks of what is, not otherwise. A Tathagata does not speak falsely. 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.
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.
And 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? Moreover, Subhuti, 1 unthinkable and 2 incomparable is this discourse on Dharma.
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. 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. And 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!
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.
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, 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 compared 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 , millionth part.
It does not bear number, nor fraction, nor counting, nor similarity, nor comparison, nor resemblance. Since, however, Subhuti, the Tathagata has taught this discourse on Dharma as unthinkable, so just an unthinkable karma result should be expected from it. And likewise if the notion of a soul, or a person should take place in him.
He who has set out in the Bodhisattva-vehicle he is not one of the dharmas. 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?
Subhuti 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. And that dharma which the Tathagata has fully known and demonstrated, on account of that there is neither truth nor fraud. What do you think, Subhuti, does the fleshly eye of the Tathagata exist?
Subhuti replied: So it is, O Lord, the fleshly eye of the Tathagata does exist. Subhuti 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. The Tathagata has done so. The 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?
The Lord said: As many beings as there are in these world systems,of them I know, in my wisdom, the manifold trends of thought. Past thought is not got at; future thought is not got at; present thought is not got at.
What do you think, Subhuti, if a son or daughter of good family had filled this world system of 1, 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? Liu Bo raised the issue of the database having been primarily designed for manuscript and photographic material, individual leaves, rather than for codex style books and archives.
Susan Whitfield agreed that this was the basis of its original design but that it had been enhanced to accommodate cataloguing and metadata on archaeological artefacts and paintings as well as archival material including papers, maps and photographs. IDP contains all of these now. She agreed, however, that it would be useful for scholars to have downloadable pdfs of other material.
The discussion moved to the importance of including the archival material but also, as Lin Shitian suggested, modern photographs of excavations such as those shown in the presentations by Abulkasim Anwar and Li Xiao. Barbara Meisterernst stressed the importance of continuing to cater to our core users, the academics and scholars, and ensuring the material is accessible and relevant for teaching and research.
Zhang Yuanlin pointed out that it was also important, for the same reason, to keep abreast of research. Yang Xiuqing concurred and said that, from his position as a scholar, it was important to keep focus. He further raised the importance to scholars of including bibliographies.
There was a discussion about various bibliographies and the discussion ended with agreement that this was an issue that would require further exploration.
The issue of limited funding and the other institutional commitments of all partners also came up several times during the two days. Research The next session consisted of papers on scientific and humanities research. It is planned that their combined data, along with that from other previous studies and methodologies, such as Raman spectroscopy for pigment analysis, will form the foundation of a growing data set that can be used to test hypotheses by the researchers and others.
Their data is being added to the IDP database and will be made available to all. In order to avoid the current lack of clarity between terms for paper types in different languages, IDP is adding terms and definitions to its online glossary, in consultation with scientists, paper historians and others.
It will promote the use of this vocabulary in all publications. The importance of catalogues came across in the respective presentations by Ma De and Barbara Meisterernst, the former talking about his work on the Tibetan manuscripts in Gansu for details of his catalogue see p.
There was a discussion about making the catalogues more accessible, especially those not in Chinese or English. This was a point also discussed later by Nathalie Monnet who raised the possibility of translation to increase access.
Susan Whitfield said she hoped that this would be an area in which IDP could elicit the help of the user community as the institutions did not have sufficient resources or expertise. The attendees had the opportunity to view the exhibition Documenting Dunhuang to which many had contributed images. Technology Vic Swift gave a presentation of the current technical systems used by IDP, the short-term needs and the issues to be decided in the longer term which include the possibilities of switching to Open Source software.
Desmond Durkin-Meisterernst was among those generally supporting this approach. He also gave a presentation on his personal database and the possibilities for incorporating it in IDP. Liu Bo asked whether there would be any issues with exporting data and for further information on Open Source software: there was discussion on this. Vic Swift led a discussion on whether the website CMS should be part of the same database as the cataloguing and other item metadata. Sheng Yanhai and Luo Huaqing both raised the issue of cataloguing data and there was a brief discussion on the current use of XML.
She agreed that the principle of multilingualism was essential and must not be abandoned and that the current database software, chosen in , had been an excellent choice at the time. She raised the issue of access to catalogues in different languages and gave the example whereby catalogues at the BnF had to be submitted in two languages to allow access but agreed this would be difficult for IDP to achieve in terms of cost and time.
There was a discussion about the time required for this. Vic Swift stressed the need for partners to give regular time, if not a lot of time, in areas such as checking multilingual concordances.
These enable users to carry out searches in local languages. Susan Whitfield said she thought that translation of catalogue and metadata would be something that could best be tackled by crowd sourcing and that a new system should allow this. Communication In her presentation, Yoonhee Hong raised several important issues including the need for more convenient direct interaction possibly through internally accessible IDP web pages. Vic Swift confirmed that she had previously tried to use various online communication tools but that many were blocked to British Library users owing to firewalls or were not available to partners in all countries.
She encouraged Yoonhee to try to find a suitable system and also encouraged direct interaction between partners. She confirmed that contact details for all the partners were on the IDP database under the mailing list scholars table. Yoonhee also made several suggestions regarding enabling more scholarly exchange through, for example, IDP posting scholarly papers and arranging special lectures.
Discussion and Roundup Susan Whitfield ran through other questions for discussion.