November 23, 2012

Chapter 26: How to Know the Actual Buddha –– THE DIAMOND SUTRA


     “Subhuti! Do people try to confirm that I’m the Inconceivably Dynamic, Transcendent-Yet-Appearing Individual by examining me for thirty-two ‘buddha-characteristics’?”

     “Yes, World-Honored One, that is what they do. They think they can tell you are an inconceivably dynamic, transcendent-yet-appearing individual by examining you for the thirty-two ‘buddha-characteristics.’”

     “Subhuti! If noticing that I had these qualities was all that was needed to authenticate my buddhahood, then similarly endowed beings like great wheel emperors (chakravartin[s]) would likewise be buddhas. Therefore, an inconceivably dynamic, transcendent-yet-appearing individual like myself won’t be able to be identified by an examination for so-called buddha-characteristics.”

     Subhuti responded, “It seems, World-Honored One, you are saying that it’s not possible to prove you to be the Inconceivably Dynamic, Transcendent-Yet-Appearing Individual by examining you for so-called buddha-characteristics.”

    Then in verse the World-Honored One spake, saying:

      Some think they've heard my holy speech
      Or wondrous buddha think they see
      These folks can't fathom what I teach, 
      They haven't met the real me


          "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