Thanks for watching! Visit Website These texts always take the form of a question-and-answer session between the Buddha and one of his disciples, who serves as a sounding board for the teaching. We find this same give-and-take in many Hindu scriptures, such as the Upanishads and Tantras, where a sage or god is questioned by one of his followers or devotees. In the Diamond Sutra the questioner role is played by an arhan, a "venerable one," named Subuthi. To a certain extent he is, like the questioners in other dialogues, a stand-in for the reader, our partner in learning—though as a highly realized practitioner, Subuthi has the experience and insight to ask pointed questions that might never occur to the average person.

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It is a superb companion to other such works by the American scholar, which include translations of The Heart Sutra and the Lankavatara Sutra. Reading this particular book is a pleasure on several levels. As one of the most important pieces of scripture in Mahayana Buddhism, it is a source of great wisdom. As a an example of fine translation work on the part of its translator and commentator, it is also a wonderful read. Moreover, as a work to dip into and be inspired by the wise utterances of some of the great thinkers of Mahayana Buddhism, it is a thought-provoking and enlightening book.

It takes the form of a dialogue between the Buddha and his disciple the Venerable Subhuti, and is a discussion on the nature of perception, non-attachment and non-abiding. Much of this is undertaken via an apparently somewhat contradictory set of statements by the Buddha, through which he leads Subhuti towards an understanding of enlightenment.

And how so? For, as he recalls, it was only when he came to translate the text for himself, along with the commentaries that accompany it in this edition, did he begin to grasp its meaning. Moreover, it was by studying the Sanskrit version as opposed the Chinese versions he was previously familiar with that the author finally began to penetrate to its particular message. For, while emptiness and the other important factors above are part of the sutra, they are also found in other Buddhist scriptures.

According to Red Pine, the Diamond Sutra is really about the body of the Buddha and those of his noble enlightened disciples. But which body? Under which shell is the real buddha? But to which body was the Buddha referring? Only someone who possesses wisdom can transform and understand them. Thus, there are no actual dharmas that we can talk about or name. What is there to conceive?

What is there to express? It only exists when the mind contains neither subject nor object. Thus, he was born of emptiness. Thus, his birth was also an auspicious sight.

As his name foretold, he was known for his understanding of the doctrine of emptiness. Thus, it was appropriate that he assumed the role of the interlocutor for the assembly on this occasion. He was, however, quite elderly, and not always present when the Buddha spoke. He did not always speak afterwards.

He only spoke when the time was ripe. This, in truth, was a rare occasion. It was the ninth time the Buddha spoke about prajna. Because he was esteemed for virtue and also advanced in years. Other terms and ideas - many much more lofty than this one - are treated with the same devotion throughout the book, and are also accompanied by comments from both Chinese Buddhist masters and some of their Indian predecessors.

The combination of the fine translation that Red Pine has done of the sutra itself, along with the wise words from the masters, make this a book capable of helping us to awaken to the Buddha in this very life.

Reading The Diamond Sutra and deeply reflecting on it is a real opportunity to realize enlightenment, and is therefore a truly wondrous work to hold in our hands.


The Diamond Sutra: The Perfection of Wisdom

Estimates for its date of composition range from the second century B. The original texts are in Chinese and Sanskrit. There are two related explanations for the title "Diamond Sutra": 1. The text consists of 32 chapters the chapter divisions are not in the original sources and about 30 pages. The Diamond Sutra is one of the few texts of whatever type that will repay endless study and which can transform the life of the receptive reader. Red Pine has produced a translation and commentary on the Diamond Sutra which help greatly in exploring it. The organization of the book bears discussing.


The Diamond Sutra (Revised)

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. 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". Emphasizing that all phenomena are ultimately illusory, he teaches that true enlightenment cannot be grasped until one has set aside attachment to them in any form. According to David Kalupahana the goal of the Diamond sutra is "one colossal attempt to avoid the extremist use of language, that is, to eliminate any ontological commitment to concepts while at the same time retaining their pragmatic value, so as not to render them totally empty of meaning.

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