August 24, 2012

Chapter 20: Buddhas Aren't Identifiable by Their Perfectness or By Reducing –– THE DIAMOND SUTRA

    “Subhuti! What do you think: Can it be observed that I am an inconceivably dynamic, transcendent-yet-appearing individual by the fact that I’ve got a buddha’s highly perfected physical form-body (rūpa-kāya)?”

    Subhuti replied, “No, World-Honored One, we can’t presume that you are a transcendent-yet-appearing individual because you have a buddha’s highly perfected physical form-body. A buddha's highly perfected physical form-body, you would say, is neither perfect nor imperfect. If this we understood, we would know what it means to say that buddhas have highly perfected form-bodies!”

    “Certainly Subhuti! But how about if someone was observed exhibiting the known associated characteristics of a buddha?”

    “The answer is still no, World-Honored One. You wouldn’t know they were a buddha by noticing that they have special buddha characteristics. You’ve taught it is not a good idea to draw conclusions about buddhahood from observations of normally associated buddha characteristics; and of those normally associated buddha characteristics—the normalities, associations and characteristics—they can’t denote what a buddha is.”

       "The Diamond Teaching"  (Vajracchedika Prajna Paramita Sutra)
                On the Essence of Wisdom
                The Lotus Version (TLV) ©, by permission
                Featuring the Buddha in a discussion with his disciple, Subhuti
                And recorded by his disciple, Ananda  

August 1, 2012

Chapter 19: The Excellent Effect of Overcoming Clinging to Positive Effects –– THE DIAMOND SUTRA

    “Now Subhuti! Imagine a person of integrity gave an outrageous sum in the amount that would fill a trillion universes, to support the work of the buddhas! Would that create a huge positive effect?”

    “Yes, World-Honored One! You would say that this great generosity would result in a huge positive effect.”

    “Certainly, Subhuti! But even if you seem to perceive a huge positive outcome, that effect should not be thought of as being real.

    “You see, Subhuti, if people listening to this teaching were to continue to cling to an idea of positive effects as real, then I wouldn’t be able to create such a huge positive effect by telling you all this.”

        "The Diamond Teaching"  (Vajracchedika Prajna Paramita Sutra)
                tr. by Sol Ta Triane
                Featuring the Buddha in a discussion with his disciple, Subhuti
                Recorded by the disciple, Ananda