MANUAL OF ZEN BUDDHISM

By

DAISETZ TEITARO SUZUKI

Professor of Buddhist Philosophy in the Otani University, Kyoto

[1935]

CONTENTS

EDITOR'S FOREWORD

EDITOR'S NOTE

AUTHOR'S PREFACE

  1. GATHAS AND PRAYERS
  2. On Opening the Sutra
  3. Confession
  4. The Threefold Refuge
  5. The Four Great Vows
  6. The Worshipping of the Sarira
  7. The Teaching of the Seven Buddhas
  8. The Gatha of Impermanence
  9. The Yemmei Kwamon Ten-Clause Sutra
  10. Prayer on the Occasion of Feeding the Hungry Ghosts
  11. General Prayer
  12. Prayer of the Bell
  13. THE DHARANIS
  14. Dharani of Removing Disasters
  15. Dharani of the Great Compassionate One
  16. Dharani of the Victorious Buddha-Crown

III. THE SUTRAS

  1. The Prajnaparamita-hridaya-sutra, or Shingyo (complete)
  2. The Kwannongyo, or "Samantamukha Parivarta" (complete)
  3. The Kongokyo, or Vajracchedika (the first half and extracts from the second half)
  4. The Lankavatara Sutra, or Ryogakyo (extracts)
  5. The Ryogonkyo, or Surangama Sutra (résumé)
  6. FROM THE CHINESE ZEN MASTERS
  7. Bodhidharma on the Twofold Entrance to the Tao
  8. The Third Patriarch on "Believing in Mind"
  9. From Hui-neng's Tan-ching
  10. Yoka Daishi's "Song of Enlightenment"
  11. Baso (Ma-tsu) and Sekito (Shih-tou)
  12. Obaku's (Huang-po) Sermon from "Treatise on the Essentials of the Transmission of Mind"
  13. Gensha on the Three Invalids (from the Hekiganshu or Pi-yen Chi)
  14. The Ten Oxherding Pictures, I

The Ten Oxherding Pictures, II

  1. FROM THE JAPANESE ZEN MASTERS
  2. Daio Kokushi on Zen
  3. Daio Kokushi's Admonition
  4. Daito Kokushi's Admonition and Last Poem
  5. Kwanzan Kokushi's Admonition
  6. Muso Kokushi's Admonition
  7. Hakuin's "Song of Meditation"
  8. THE BUDDHIST STATUES AND PICTURES IN A ZEN MONASTERY

Buddhas; Bodhisattvas; Arhats; Protecting Gods; Historical Figures

EDITOR'S FOREWORD TO SECOND EDITION

Daisetz Teitaro Suzuki, D.Litt., Professor of Buddhist Philosophy in the Otani University, Kyoto, was born in 1870. He is probably now the greatest living authority on Buddhist philosophy, and is certainly the greatest authority on Zen Buddhism. His major works in English on the subject of Buddhism number a dozen or more, and of his works in Japanese as yet unknown to the West there are at least eighteen. He is, moreover, as a chronological bibliography of books on Zen in English clearly shows, the pioneer teacher of the subject outside Japan, for except for Kaiten Nukariya's Religion of the Samurai (Luzac and Co., 1913) nothing was known of Zen as a living experience, save to the readers of The Eastern Buddhist (1921-1939), until the publication of Essays in Zen Buddhism (Volume I) in 1927.

Dr. Suzuki writes with authority. Not only has he studied original works in Sanskrit, Pali, Chinese and Japanese, but he has an up-to-date knowledge of Western thought in German and French as well as in the English which he speaks and writes so fluently. He is, moreover, more than a scholar; he is a Buddhist. Though not a priest of any Buddhist sect, he is honored in every temple in Japan, for his knowledge of spiritual things, as all who have sat at his feet bear witness, is direct and profound. When he speaks of the higher stages of consciousness he speaks as a man who dwells therein, and the impression he makes on those who enter the fringes of his mind is that of a man who seeks for the intellectual symbols wherewith to describe a state of awareness which lies indeed "beyond the intellect".

To those unable to sit at the feet of the Master his writings must be a substitute. All these, however, were Out of print in England by 1940, and all remaining stocks in Japan were destroyed in the fire which consumed three-quarters of Tokyo in 1945. When, therefore, I reached Japan in 1946, I arranged with the author for the Buddhist Society, London--my wife and myself as its nominees--to begin the publication of his Collected Works, reprinting the old favorites, and printing as fast as possible translations of the many new works which the Professor, self-immured in his house at Kyoto, had written during the war.

This undertaking, however, was beyond the powers of the Buddhist Society, and we therefore secured the assistance of Rider and Co., who, backed by the vast resources of the House of Hutchinson, can honor the needs of such a considerable task.

Of Zen itself I need say nothing here, but the increasing sale of books on the subject, such as The Spirit of Zen by Alan Watts (Murray), and the series of original translations of Chinese Zen Scriptures and other works published by the Buddhist Society prove that the interest of the West is rising rapidly. Zen, however, is a subject extremely easy to misunderstand, and it is therefore important that the words of a qualified Master should come readily to hand.

CHRISTMAS HUMPHREYS

President of the Buddhist Society, London

1948

EDITOR'S NOTE TO SECOND EDITION

All references to the Author's Essays in Zen Buddhism, Series One and Two, and to his Introduction to Zen Buddhism, are to the second edition of these works, published in "The Complete Works of D. T. Suzuki."

PREFACE TO FIRST EDITION

In my Introduction to Zen Buddhism (published 1934), an outline of Zen teaching is sketched, and in The Training of the Zen Monk (1934) a description of the Meditation Hall and its life is given. To complete a triptych the present Manual has been compiled. The object is to inform the reader of the various literary materials relating to the monastery life. Foreign students often express their desire to know about what the Zen monk reads before the Buddha in his daily service, where his thoughts move in his leisure hours, and what objects of worship he has in the different quarters of his institution. This work will partly, it is hoped, satisfy their desire. Those who find my Essays too bulky or too elaborate may prefer these smaller works on Zen.

DAISETZ TEITARO SUZUKI

Kyoto

August 1935

I. GATHAS AND PRAYERS

Gatha is a Sanskrit term meaning "verse" or "hymn". In Buddhist literature it is used to designate the versified portion of the sutras. Chinese scholars have adopted this word for their Versified compositions, which are known as chieh, an abbreviation of chieh-t'o, or as chieh-sang, which is the combination of the Sanskrit and the Chinese. The gathas collected here are not exclusively those of the Zen sect; some belong to general Buddhism.

GATHAS AND PRAYERS

I

ON OPENING THE SUTRA

The Dharma incomparably profound and exquisite
Is rarely met with, even in hundreds of thousands of millions of kalpas;
We are now permitted to see it, to listen to it, to accept and hold it;
May we truly understand the meaning of the Tathagata's words!

II

CONFESSION

All the evil karma ever committed by me since of old,
On account of greed, anger, and folly, which have no beginning,
Born of my body, mouth, and thought--
I now make full open confession of it.

III

THE THREEFOLD REFUGE

I take refuge in the Buddha;
I take refuge in the Dharma;
I take refuge in the Sangha.
I take refuge in the Buddha, the incomparably honored one;
I take refuge in the Dharma, honorable for its purity;
I take refuge in the Sangha, honorable for its harmonious life.
I have finished taking refuge in the Buddha;
I have finished taking refuge in the Dharma;
I have finished taking refuge in the Sangha.

IV

THE FOUR GREAT VOWS [1]

However innumerable beings are, I vow to save them;
However inexhaustible the passions are, I vow to extinguish them;
However immeasurable the Dharmas are, I vow to master them;
However incomparable the Buddha-truth is, I vow to attain it.

[1. These vows are recited after every service.]

V

THE WORSHIPPING OF THE SARIRA

We prostrate ourselves in all humbleness before the holy Sarira representing the body of Shakyamuni, the Tathagata, who is perfectly endowed with all the virtues, who has the Dharmakaya as the ground of his being, and Dharmadhatu as the stupa dedicated to him. To him we pay our respect with due deference. Manifesting himself in a bodily form for our sakes, the Buddha enters into us and makes us enter into him. His power being added to us, we attain Enlightenment; and [again] dependent on the Buddha's miraculous power, all beings are benefited, become desirous for Enlightenment, discipline themselves in the life of the Bodhisattva, and equally enter into perfect quietude where prevails infinite wisdom of absolute identity. We now prostrate ourselves before him.

VI

THE TEACHING OF THE SEVEN BUDDHAS

Not to commit evils,
But to do all that is good,
And to keep one's thought pure--
This is the teaching of all the Buddhas.

VII

THE GATHA OF IMPERMANENCE [1]

All composite things are impermanent,
They are subject to birth and death;
Put an end to birth and death,
And there is a blissful tranquility.

[1. For the sake of the second half of this gatha the Buddha is said to have been willing to sacrifice his own life. For this reason this is also known as the "gatha of sacrifice".]

VIII

THE YEMMEI KWANNON TEN-CLAUSE SUTRA [1]

[Adoration to] Kwanzeon!
Adoration to the Buddha!
To the Buddha we are related
In terms of cause and effect.
Depending on the Buddha, the Dharma, and the Sangha,
[Nirvana is possible which is] eternal, ever-blessed, autonomous, and free from defilements.
Every morning our thoughts are on Kwanzeon,
Every evening our thoughts are on Kwanzeon.
Every thought issues from the Mind,
Every thought is not separated from the Mind.

[1. Yemmei means "Prolonging life"; when one daily recites this short document in ten clauses relating to Kwannon, one's health is assured for doing good not only for oneself but for the whole world.]

IX

PRAYER ON THE OCCASION OF FEEDING THE HUNGRY GHOSTS

If one wishes to know all the Buddhas of the past, present, and future, one should contemplate the nature of this Dharmadhatu essentially as the creation of Absolute Mind.
Adoration to the Buddhas in the ten quarters;
Adoration to the Dharma pervading the ten quarters; Adoration to the Sangha in the ten quarters;
Adoration to Shakyamuni the Buddha who is our Master; Adoration to Kwanzeon the Bodhisattva, who is the great compassionate and pitying one, ready to save beings from afflictions;
Adoration to Ananda the Arhat who is the expounder of the Teaching.
Namu sabo totogyato boryakite, yen!
Sammola sammola, un!
Namu suryoboya totogyatoya tojito, yen!
Suryo suryo boya suryo boya suryo, somoko!
Namu samanda motonan, ban![1]
Adoration to Hoshin[2] the Tathagata;
Adoration to Taho[3] the Tathagata;
Adoration to Myoshishin[4] the Tathagata;
Adoration to Kohashin[5] the Tathagata;
Adoration to Rifui[6] the Tathagata;
Adoration to Kanroo[7] the Tathagata;
Adoration to Omito[8] the Tathagata.
Namu omitoboya totogyatoya,
Toniyato,
Omiritsubomi,
Omirito,
Shitabomi,
Omirito bigyaratei,
Omirito bigyarato gyamini,
Gyagyano shitogyari,

[1. It is difficult to tell how this dharani came to be inserted here. As most dharanis are, it is devoid of sense from the human point of view; but it may not be necessarily so to the hungry ghosts, for whom the prayer is offered.

Can this be restored to the original Sanskrit as follows?

Namah sarva-tathagatavalokite! Om!
Sambala, sambala! Hum!
Namah surupaya tathagataya!
Tadyatha,
Om, suru[paya], surupaya, surupaya, suru[paya], svaha!
Namah samantabuddhanam, vam!

"Be adored! O all the Tathagatas who are regarded [as our protectors]; Om! Provision, provision! Hum! Adored be the Tathagata Beautifully Formed! Namely: Om! To the Beautifully-formed One! To the Beautifully formed One! To the Beautifully-formed One! Hail! Adored be all the Buddhas! Vam!"

  1. "Jewel-excelled" (ratnaketu).
  2. "Abundant-in-jewel" (prabhutaratna).
  3. "Fine-form-body" (surupakaya).
  4. "Broad-wide-body" (vipulakaya).
  5. "Freed-from-fear" (abhayankara).
  6. "Nectar-king" (amritaraja).
  7. "Amida" (amitabha).]

Somoko.[1]

By the supernatural power of this Dharani the food and drink is purified, and this we offer to the spiritual beings as numerous as the sands of the Ganga. We pray that they shall all be fully satisfied and abandon their greed; that they shall all leave their abodes of darkness and be born in the blissful paths of existence; and further that taking refuge in the Triple Treasure they shall awaken the desire for supreme enlightenment and finally come to the realization of it. The merit they thus attain is inexhaustible and will continue on to the end of time, making all beings equally share in this Dharma-food.

O you hosts of spiritual beings, we make this offering of food to you all, which we pray will fill the ten quarters and that all beings of your kind will partake of it.

By the practice of this meritorious deed we pray that we repay what we owe to our parents, who have done all they could for our sakes. May those who are still alive continue to enjoy their happy and prosperous lives for ever, while those who are no more with us be released from suffering and born in the land of bliss.

We pray that all sentient beings in the triple world who are recipients of the fourfold benefaction, together with those beings suffering in the three evil paths of existence and tormented with the eight kinds of calamities, may repent of all their sins and be cleansed of all their sores, so that they may all be released from the cycle of transmigration and be born in the land of purity.

We pray to all the Buddhas, all the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas in the ten quarters, of the past, present, and future, and to Maha prajna-paramita, that by virtue of this merit universally prevailing, not only we but all beings shall equally attain Buddhahood.

[1. Namo 'mitabhaya tathagataya! Tadyatha, amritodbhave, amritasiddhe, (?)-bhave, amritavikrante, amrita-vikranta-gamine, gaganakirtikare! Svaha!

"Adored be the Tathagata of Infinite Light! Namely: O Nectar-raising one! O Nectar-perfecting one! [O Nectar-] producing one! O One who makes nectar pervade! O One who makes nectar universally pervade! O One who makes nectar known as widely as space! Hail!"]

X

GENERAL PRAYER [1]

By the Bhikshus all present here
The mystic formula of Suramgama has been recited as above,
Which is now dedicated to all the Nagas and Devas who are protectors of the Dharma,
And also to all the holy assemblies of the spiritual beings who are guardians of this monastery and surrounding district.
May all beings in the three evil paths of existence variously suffering the eight kinds of disasters be thereby released from the afflictions!
May all beings in the triple world who are recipients of the fourfold benefaction thereby participate in the merit!
May the state continue in peaceful prosperity with all its warlike activities stopped!
May the wind blow in time, the rain fall seasonably, and the people live happily!
May the entire congregation sharing in the exercise cherish the higher aspirations!
To go beyond the ten stages with a cap, and this without much difficulty!
May this monastery keep on its quiet life, free from disturbances.
And the patrons and devotees grow not only in faith but in wisdom and bliss!
[We pray this to] all the Buddhas and Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas in the ten quarters, of the past, present, and future, and to Mahaprajna-paramita!

[1. This is read, as can be inferred from the text, after the recitation of the Surangama dharani.]

XI

PRAYER OF THE BELL

Would that the sound of the bell might go beyond our earth,
And be heard even by all the denizens of the darkness outside the Iron Mountains (cakravala) !
Would that, their organ of hearing becoming pure, beings might attain perfect interfusion [of all the senses],
So that every one of them might come finally to the realization of supreme enlightenment![1]

[1. It is customary in the Zen monastery to recite the Kwannongo while striking the big bell, which is done three times a day. The present gatha is recited when the striking is finished. As will be seen below, from Kwannon issues a sound which is heard by those who sincerely believe in his power of releasing them from every form of disaster. Each sound emitted by the bell is the voice of Kwannon calling on us to purify our sense of hearing, whereby a spiritual experience called "interfusion" will finally take place in us. See under the Ryogonkyo and the Kwannongyo below.]

II. THE DHARANIS

Properly speaking, the dharani has no legitimate place in Zen. That it has nevertheless crept into its daily service is clue to the general characteristics of Chinese Buddhism of the Sung dynasty, when the Japanese Zen masters visited China and imported it as they found it then, together with the Shingon elements of Chinese Zen. In China the Shingon did not thrive very long but left its traces in Zen.

Dharani, the root of which is dhr, "to hold" or "to convey", is ordinarily translated by the Chinese tsung-ch'ih, "general holder", at neng-ch'ih, "that which holds". A dharani is considered as holding magical power in it or bearing deep meaning. When it is pronounced, whatever evil spirits there are ready to interfere with the spiritual effect of a ritual, are kept away from it.

In the following pages the three most frequently read dharanis are given. When translated they convey no intelligent signification. They mostly consist of invocations and exclamations. The invocation is an appeal to the higher powers, and the exclamation is to frighten away the evil spirits. That the practical result of these utterances is not to be judged objectively goes without saying.

THE DHARANIS

I

DHARANI OF REMOVING DISASTERS

Adoration to all the Buddhas! Adoration to the Teaching that knows no obstructions!
Thus: Om! Khya khya khyahi khyahi (speak, speak)!
Hum hum!
Jvala jvala prajvala prajvala (blaze, blaze)!
Tistha tistha (up, up)!
Stri Stri (?)!
Sphata (burst, burst)!
One who is quiescent!
To the glorious one, hail!

II

DHARANI OF THE GREAT COMPASSIONATE ONE

Adoration to the Triple Treasure!
Adoration to Avalokiteshvara the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva who is the great compassionate one!
Om, to the one who performs a leap beyond all fears!
Having adored him, may I enter into the heart of the blue-necked one known as the noble adorable Avalokiteshvara! It means the completing of all meaning, it is pure, it is that which makes all beings victorious and cleanses the path of existence.
Thus:
Om, the seer, the world-transcending one!
O Hari the Mahabodhisattva!
All, all!
Defilement, defilement!
The earth, the earth!
It is the heart.
Do, do the work!
Hold fast, hold fast! O great victor!
Hold on, hold on! I hold on.
To Indra the creator I
Move, move, my defilement-free seal!
Come, come!
Hear, hear!
A joy springs up in me!
Speak, speak! Directing!
Hulu, hulu, mala, hulu, hulu, hile!
Sara, Sara! siri, siri! suru, suru!
Be awakened, be awakened!
Have awakened, have awakened!
O merciful one, blue-necked one!
Of daring ones, to the joyous, hail!
To the successful one, hail!
To the great successful one, hail!
To the one who has attained mastery in the discipline, hail!
To the blue-necked one, hail!
To the boar-faced one, hail!
To the one with a lion's head and face, hail!
To the one who holds a weapon in his hand, hail!
To the one who holds a wheel in his hand, hail!
To the one who holds a lotus in his hand, hail!
To the blue-necked far-causing one, hail!
To the beneficent one referred to in this Dharani beginning with "Namah," hail!
Adoration to the Triple Treasure!
Adoration to Avalokiteshvara!
Hail!
May these [prayers] be successful!
To this magical formula, hail!

III

DHARANI OF THE VICTORIOUS BUDDHA-CROWN

Adoration to the Blessed One who is the most excellent one in the triple world!
Adoration to the Enlightened One, to the Blessed One!
Namely:
Om! Cleanse [us], cleanse [us]! O one who is always impartial! One who, being in possession of all-pervading, all-illuminating light, is pure in his self-nature, cleansed of the darkness of the five paths of existence!
Baptize us, O Sugata, with an immortal baptism which consists of the best words, of the great true phrases!
Remove disasters, remove disasters, O one who holds an eternal life!
Cleanse us, cleanse us, O one who is as pure as the sky!
O one who is as pure as the victorious Buddha-crown!
O one who is inflamed with a thousand rays of light!
O all the Tathagatas who look over [the entire world]!
O one who is perfect in the Six Paramitas!
O one who holds the great seal empowered with the spiritual power which emanates from the heart of every Tathagata!
O one whose body is as hard and pure as Vajra!
O one who is thoroughly pure, cleansed of all impediments, all fears, and all the evil paths!
Turn us away [from evils] O one who enjoys a purified life!
O one who empowers us with [the power of] the original covenant! O jewel, jewel, the great jewel! O Suchness which is reality-limit and absolute purity!
O one who is pure in his evolved enlightenment!
Be victorious, be victorious, be ever victorious, be ever victorious!
Bear in mind, bear in mind!
O one who is pure being empowered by all Buddhas!
O Vajragarbha who holds the Vajra! Let my body be like Vajra! Let those of all beings too be like Vajra!
O one who is in possession of an absolutely pure body! O one who is absolutely pure from all the paths of existence! And let me be consoled by all the Tathagatas!
O one who is empowered with the consoling power of all the Tathagatas!
Be enlightened, be enlightened, be ever enlightened, be ever enlightened!
Have them enlightened, have them enlightened, have them ever enlightened, have them ever enlightened!
O one who is most pure in a most thoroughgoing way!
O one who holds a great seal empowered with the spiritual power which emanates from the heart of every Tathagata!
Hail!

III. THE SUTRAS

The sutras most read in Zen are the Shingyo (Prajnaparamitahridaya), the Kwannongyo (Samantamukha-parivarta), and the Kongokyo (Vajracchedika). The Shingyo being the shortest is read on almost all occasions. The Ryoga (Lankavatara) is historically significant, but being difficult to understand is very little studied nowadays by followers of Zen. For further information see the author's works on the sutra. The Ryogon (Suramgama) is not so neglected as the Ryoga. It is full of deep thoughts, and was studied very much more in China than in Japan. There are some more sutras of the Mahayana school with which Zen students will do well to become better acquainted, for example, the Kongosammaikyo (Vajrasamadhi), the Yengakukyo (Sutra of Perfect Enlightenment), the Yuimakyo (Vimalakirti-sutra), and the Hannyakyo (Prajnaparamita). None of them have been translated into English, except the Yuima which is difficult to obtain now.

THE SUTRAS

I

ENGLISH TRANSLATION OF THE SHINGYO

When[1] the Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara was engaged in the practice of the deep Prajnaparamita, he perceived that there are the five Skandhas;[2] and these he saw in their self-nature to be empty.[3]

"O Shariputra, form is here emptiness,[4] emptiness is form; form is no other than emptiness, emptiness is no other than form; that which is form is emptiness, that which is emptiness is form. The same can be said of sensation, thought, confection, and consciousness.

"O Shariputra, all things here are characterized with emptiness: they are not born, they are not annihilated; they are not tainted, they are not immaculate; they do not increase, they do not decrease. Therefore, O Shariputra, in emptiness there is no form, no sensation, no thought, no confection, no consciousness; no eye,[5] ear, nose, tongue, body, mind; no form,[6] sound, colour, taste, touch, objects; no Dhatu of vision,[7] till we come to[8] no Dhatu of consciousness; there is no knowledge, no ignorance," till we come to there is no old age and death, no extinction of old age and death; there is no suffering,[10] no accumulation, no annihilation, no path; there is no knowledge, no attainment, [and] no realization,[*] because there is no attainment. In the mind of the Bodhisattva who dwells depending on the Prajnaparamita there are no obstacles;[+] and, going beyond the perverted views, he reaches final Nirvana. All the Buddhas of the past, present, and future, depending on the Prajnaparamita, attain to the highest perfect enlightenment.

"Therefore, one ought to know that the Prajnaparamita is the great Mantram, the Mantram of great wisdom, the highest Mantram, the peerless Mantram, which is capable of allaying all pain; it is truth because it is not falsehood: this is the Mantram proclaimed in the Praynaparamita. It runs: 'Gate, gate, Paragate, parasamgate, bodhi, svaha!' (O Bodhi, gone, gone, gone to the other shore, landed at the other shore , Svaha!)"

NOTES

1 There are two texts with the title of The Hridaya: the one is known as the Shorter and the other the Larger. The one printed above is the shorter sutra in general use in Japan and China.

The opening passage in the larger text in Sanskrit and Tibetan, which is missing in the shorter one, is as follows: [The Tibetan has this additional passage: "Adoration to the Prajnaparamita, which is beyond words, thought, and praise, whose

[* Nabhisamayah is missing in the Chinese translations as well as in the Horyuji MS.

+ For varana all the Chinese have "obstacle", and this is in full accord with the teaching of the Prajnaparamita. Max Muller's rendering, "envelop", is not good.]

self-nature is, like unto space, neither created nor destroyed, which is a state of wisdom and morality evident to our inner consciousness, and which is the mother of all Excellent Ones of the past, present, and future".] "Thus I heard. At one time World-honored One dwelt at Rajagriha, on the Mount of the Vulture, together with a large number of Bhikshus and a large number of Bodhisattvas. At that time the World-honored One was absorbed in a Samadhi (Meditation) known as Deep Enlightenment. And at the same moment the Great Bodhisattva Aryavalokitesvara was practicing himself in the deep Prajnaparamita."

The concluding passage, which is also missing in the shorter text, runs as follows:

"O Shariputra, thus should the Bodhisattva practice himself in the deep Prajnaparamita. At that moment, the World-honored One rose from the Samadhi and gave approval to the Great Bodhisattva Aryavalokitesvara, saying: Well done, well done, noble son! so it is! so should the practice of the deep Prajnaparamita be carried on. As it has been preached by you, it is applauded by Tathagatas and Arhats. Thus spoke the World-honored One with joyful heart. The venerable Shariputra and the Great Bodhisattva Aryavalokitesvara together with the whole assemblage, and the world of Gods, Men, Asuras, and Gandharvas, all praised the speech of the World-honored One."

  1. From the modern scientific point of view, the conception of Skandha seems to be too vague and indefinite. But we must remember that the Buddhist principle of analysis is not derived from mere scientific interest; it aims at saving us from the idea of an ultimate individual reality which is imagined to exist as such for all the time to come. For when this idea is adhered to as final, the error of attachment is committed, and it is this attachment that forever enslaves us to the tyranny of external things. The five Skandhas ("aggregates" or "elements") are form (rupam), sensation or sense-perception (vedana), thought (samjna), confection or conformation (samskara), and consciousness (vijnana). The first Skandha is the material world or the materiality of things, while the remaining four Skandhas belong to the mind. Vedana is what we get through our senses; samjna corresponds to thought in its broadest sense, or that which mind elaborates; samskara is a very difficult term and there is no exact English equivalent; it means something that gives form, formative principle; vijnana is consciousness or mentation. There arc six forms of mentation, distinguishable as seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, and thinking.
  2. Hsuan-chuang's translation has this added: "He was delivered from all suffering and misery."
  3. "Empty" (sunya) or "emptiness" (sunyata) is one of the most important notions in Mahayana philosophy and at the same time the most puzzling for non-Buddhist readers to comprehend. Emptiness does not mean "relativity", or "phenomenality", or "nothingness", but rather means the Absolute, or something of transcendental nature, although this rendering is also misleading as we shall see later. When Buddhists declare all things to be empty, they are not advocating a nihilistic view; on the contrary an ultimate reality is hinted at, which cannot be subsumed under the categories of logic. With them, to proclaim the conditionality of things is to point to the existence of something altogether unconditioned and transcendent of all determination. Sunyata may thus often be most appropriately rendered by the Absolute. When the sutra says that the five Skandhas have the character of emptiness, or that in emptiness there is neither creation nor destruction, neither defilement nor immaculacy, etc., the sense is: no limiting qualities are to be attributed to the Absolute; while it is immanent in all concrete and particular objects, it is not in itself definable. Universal negation, therefore, in the philosophy of Prajna is an inevitable outcome.
  4. No eye, no ear, etc., refer to the six senses. In Buddhist philosophy, mind (manovijnana) is the special sense organ for the apprehension of dharma, or objects of thought.
  5. No form, no sound, etc., are the six qualities of the external world, which become objects of the six senses.
  6. "Dhatu of vision etc." refer to the eighteen Dhatus or elements of existence, which include the six senses (indriya), the six qualities (vishaya), and the six consciousnesses (vijnana).
  7. "Till we come to" (yavat in Sanskrit, and nai chih in Chinese) is quite frequently met with in Buddhist literature to avoid repetition of well-known subjects. These classifications may seem somewhat confusing and overlapping.
  8. "There is no knowledge, no ignorance, etc." is the wholesale denial of the Twelvefold Chain of Causation (pratityasamutpada), which are ignorance (avidya), deed (samskara), consciousness (vijnana), name and form (namarupa), six sense-organs (sadayatana), contact (sparsa), sense-perception (vedana), desire (trishna), attachment (upadana), being (bhava), birth (jati), and old age and death (jaramarana). This Chain of Twelve has been a subject of much discussion among Buddhist scholars.
  9. The allusion is of course to the Fourfold Noble Truth (satya): 1. Life is suffering (duhkha); 2. Because of the accumulation (samudaya) of evil karma; 3. The cause of suffering can be annihilated (nirodha); 4. And for this there is the path (marga).

II

THE KWANNON SUTRA [1]

At that time Mujinni[2] Bosatsu rose from his seat, and, baring his right shoulder, turned, with his hands folded, towards the Buddha, and said this: World-honoured One, for what reason is Kwanzeon Bosatsu so named?

The Buddha said to Mujinni Bosatsu: Good man, when those innumerable numbers of beings--hundred-thousands of myriads of kotis of them--who are suffering all kinds of annoyances, hearing of this Kwanzeon Bosatsu, will utter his name with singleness of mind, they will instantly hear his voice and be released.

Even when people fall into a great fire, if they hold the name of Kwanzeon Bosatsu, the fire will not scorch them because of the spiritual power of this Bosatsu. When they are

[1. Generally known as Kwannon-gyo in Japanese and Kuan-yin Ching in Chinese. It forms the Twenty-fifth Chapter in Kumarajiva's translation of the Saddharma-pundarika, "the Lotus of the Good Law". Its Sanskrit title is Samantamukha Parivarta. It is one of the most popular sutras in Japan, especially among followers of the Holy Path, including Zen, Tendai, Shingon, Nichiren, etc.

The Sanskrit for Kwannon seems, according to some Japanese authorities, originally to have been Avalokitasvara, and not Avalokitesvara. If so, Kwannon is a more literal rendering than Kwanzeon (Kuan-shih-yin) or Kwanjizai (Kuan-tzu-tsai). The Bodhisattva Avalokitasvara is "the owner of voice which is viewed or heard". From him issues a voice which is variously heard and interpreted by all beings, and it is by this hearing that the latter are emancipated from whatever troubles they are in.

The present translation is from Kumarajiva's Chinese. In the reading of the proper names, the Japanese way of pronunciation has been retained.

  1. Bodhisattva Akshayamati in Sanskrit, that is, Bodhisattva of Inexhaustible Intelligence.]

tossed up and down in the surging waves, if they pronounce his name they will get into a shallower place.

When hundred-thousands of myriads of kotis of people go out into the great ocean in order to seek such treasures as gold, silver, lapis lazuli, conch shells, cornelian, coral, amber, pearls, and other precious stones, their boats may be wrecked by black storms, and they may find themselves thrown up into the island of the Rakshasas; if among them there is even a single person who will utter the name of Kwanzeon Bosatsu all the people will be released from the disaster [which is likely to befall them at the hand] of the Rakshasas. For this reason the Bosatsu is called Kwanzeon.

When, again, a man is about to suffer an injury, if he will utter the name of Kwanzeon Bosatsu, the sword or the stick that is held [by the executioner] will be at once broken to pieces and the man be released.

When all the Yakshas and Rakshasas filling the three thousand chiliocosms come and annoy a man, they may hear him utter the name of Kwanzeon Bosatsu, and no wicked spirits will dare look at him with their evil eyes, much less inflict injuries on him.

When again a man, whether guilty or innocent, finds himself bound in chains or held with manacles, he uttering the name of Kwanzeon Bosatsu will see all these broken to pieces and be released.

When all the lands in the three thousand chiliocosms are filled with enemies, a merchant and his caravan loaded with precious treasures may travel through the dangerous passes. One of the company will say to the others: "O good men, have no fear; only with singleness of thought utter the name of Kwanzeon Bosatsu. As this Bosatsu gives us fearlessness, utter his name and you will be delivered from your enemies." Hearing this, all the company join in the recitation, saying, "Kwanzeon Bosatsu be adored!" Because of this uttering the name of the Bosatsu they will be released. O Mujinni, such is the awe-inspiring spiritual power of Kwanzeon Bosatsu Makasatsu.

When people are possessed of excessive lust, let them always reverentially think of Kwanzeon Bosatsu and they will be freed from it. If they are possessed of excessive anger, let them always reverentially think of Kwanzeon Bosatsu, and they will be freed from it. When they are possessed of excessive folly let them always reverentially think of Kwanzeon Bosatsu, and they will be freed from it. O Mujinni, of such magnitude is his spiritual power which is full of blessings. Therefore, let all beings always think of him.

If a woman desire a male child, let her worship and make offerings to Kwanzeon Bosatsu, and she will have a male child fully endowed with bliss and wisdom. If she desire a female child, she will have one graceful in features and in possession of all the characteristics (of noble womanhood], and because of her having planted the root of merit the child will be loved and respected by all beings. O Mujinni, such is the power of Kwanzeon Bosatsu.

If all beings worship and make offerings to Kwanzeon Bosatsu, they will derive benefits unfailingly from this. Therefore, let all beings hold the name of Kwanzeon Bosatsu. O Mujinni, if there is a man who holds the names of all the Bodhisattvas equal in number to sixty-two billion times as many as the sands of the Ganga, and till the end of his life makes them offerings of food and drink, clothing and bedding and medicine, what do you think? Is not the merit accumulated by such a man very great?

Mujinni said: Very great, indeed, World-honored One!

The Buddha said: Here is another man; if he should hold the name of Kwanzeon Bosatsu even for a while and make offerings to the Bosatsu, the merit so attained by this one is fully equal to that [of the previous one], and will not be exhausted even to the end of hundred-thousands of myriads of kotis of kalpas. Those who hold the name of Kwanzeon Bosatsu gain such immeasurable and innumerable masses of blissful merit.

Mujinni Bosatsu said to the Buddha: "World-honored One, how does Kwanzeon Bosatsu visit this Saha world?[1]

[1. That is, sahaloka, world of patience.]

How does he preach the Dharma to all beings? What is the extent of his skilful means?

The Buddha said to Mujinni Bosatsu: O good man, if there are beings in any country who are to be saved by his assuming a Buddha-form, Kwanzeon Bosatsu will manifest himself in the form of a Buddha and preach them the Dharma.

If beings are to be saved by his assuming a Pratyekabuddha-form, the Bosatsu will manifest himself in the form of a Pratyekabuddha and preach them the Dharma.

If beings are to be saved by his assuming a Sravaka-form, the Bosatsu will manifest himself in the form of a Sravaka and preach them the Dharma.

If beings are to be saved by his assuming a Brahma-form, the Bosatsu will manifest himself in the form of a Brahma and preach them the Dharma.

If beings are to be saved by his assuming a Sakrendra-form, the Bosatsu will manifest himself in the form of a Sakrendra and preach them the Dharma.

If beings are to be saved by his assuming an Isvara-form, the Bosatsu will manifest himself in the form of an Isvara and preach them the Dharma.

If beings are to be saved by his assuming a Mahesvara-form, he will manifest himself in the form of a Mahesvara and preach them the Dharma.

If beings are to be saved by his assuming a Chakravartin-form, the Bosatsu will manifest himself in the form of a Chakravartin and preach them the Dharma.

If beings are to be saved by his assuming a Vaisravana-form, the Bosatsu will manifest himself in the form of a Vaisravana and preach them the Dharma.

If beings are to be saved by his assuming the form of a Provincial chief, the Bosatsu will manifest himself in the form of a provincial chief and preach them the Dharma.

If beings are to be saved by his assuming a householder's form, the Bosatsu will manifest himself in the form of a householder and preach them the Dharma.

If beings are to be saved by his assuming a lay-disciple's form, the Bosatsu will manifest himself in the form of a lay-disciple and preach them the Dharma.

If beings are to be saved by his assuming a state-officer's form, the Bosatsu will manifest himself in the form of a state-officer and preach them the Dharma.

If beings are to be saved by his assuming a Brahman-form, the Bosatsu will manifest himself to them in the form of a Brahman and preach them the Dharma.

If beings are to be saved by his assuming a Bhikshu-form, or a Bhikshuni-, or an Upasaka-, or an Upasika-form, the Bosatsu will manifest himself in the form of a Bhikshu, or a Bhikshuni, or an Upasaka, or an Upasika, and preach them the Dharma.

If beings are to be saved by his assuming a female form of the family of a householder, or a lay-disciple, or a state-officer, or a Brahman, the Bosatsu will manifest himself in the form of such a female and preach them the Dharma.

If beings are to be saved by his assuming a youth- or a maiden-form, the Bosatsu will manifest himself in the form of a youth or a maiden and preach them the Dharma.

If beings are to be saved by his assuming a Deva-, Naga-, Yaksha-, Gandharva-, Asura-, Garuda-, Kinnara-, Mahoraga-, Manushya-, or Amanushya-form, the Bosatsu will manifest himself in any of these forms and preach them the Dharma.

If beings are to be saved by his assuming a Vajrapani-form, the Bosatsu will manifest himself in the form of Vajrapani and preach them the Dharma.

O Mujinni, this Kwanzeon Bosatsu performs such meritorious deeds by assuming varieties of forms, and by visiting different lands saves and releases beings. Therefore, you will make offerings with singleness of thought to Kwanzeon Bosatsu. In the midst of fears, perils, and disasters, it is he who gives us fearlessness,[1] and for this reason he is called in this Saha world the one who gives fearlessness.

Mu inni Bosatsu said to the Buddha: I wish now to make j

[1. "Safety", or better "faith".]

offering to Kwanzeon Bosatsu. So saying, he took off his necklace strung with all kinds of precious gems worth hundreds of thousands of gold pieces, and presented it to Kwanzeon Bosatsu with this word: Venerable Sir, accept this necklace of precious gems as a Dharma offering.

Kwanzeon Bosatsu refused to accept it, whereupon Mujinni said to him: Venerable Sir, Pray accept this out of compassion for us all.

Then the Buddha said to Kwanzeon Bosatsu: Out of compassion for Mujinni Bosatsu and all the four classes of beings, and also for the Devas, Nagas, Yakshas, Gandharvas, Asuras, Garudas, Kinnaras, Mahoragas, Manushyas, Amanushyas and others, accept, O Kwanzeon Bosatsu, this necklace of his.

Then because of his compassion for all the four classes of beings and for Devas, Nagas, Manushyas, Amanushyas and others, Kwanzeon Bosatsu accepted the necklace, and dividing it into two parts he presented the one to Shakamunibutsu (Shakyamuni Buddha) and the other to the shrine of Tahobutsu (Prabhutaratna Buddha).

O Mujinni, Kwanzeon Bosatsu who is the possessor of such a miraculous spiritual power, visits in this wise this Saha world.

At that time Mujinni Bosatsu asked in verse, saying:

O World-honored One who is in possession of exquisite features, I now again ask him: For what reason is the son of the Buddha called Kwanzeon?

The Honoured One in possession of exquisite features answered Mujinni in verse: just listen to the life of Kwanzeon! He is always ready to respond to calls from all quarters. His universal vows are as deep as the ocean. For ages beyond conception, he has served myriads of Buddhas and made great vows of purity.

I will briefly tell you about them. When people hear his name and see his body and think of him in their minds not vainly, they will see every form of ill effaced in all the worlds.

If an enemy wishing to harm a man pushes him down to a pit of great fire, let his thought dwell on the power of Kwannon and the fiery pit will be transformed into a pond.

Or if drifting in the vast ocean a man is about to be swallowed up by the Nagas, fishes, or evil beings, let his thought dwell on the power of Kwannon, and the waves will not drown him.

Or if from the top of Mount Sumeru a man is hurled down by an enemy, let his thought dwell on the power of Kwannon, and he will stay in the air like the sun.

Or if pursued by wicked persons a man falls on the Vajra mountain, let his thought dwell on the power of Kwannon, and not a hair on him will be injured.

Or if surrounded by an army of enemies a man is threatened by them, each of whom with a sword in hand is about to injure him, let his thought dwell on the power of Kwannon, and the enemies will cherish a compassionate heart.

Or if persecuted by a tyrant a man is about to end his life at the place of execution, let his thought dwell on the power of Kwannon, and the executioner's sword will at once be broken to pieces.

Or if a man should find himself imprisoned and enchained with his hands and feet manacled and fettered, let his thought dwell on the power of Kwannon, and he will be released from the shackles.

If harm is going to be done to a man by means of magic or poisonous herbs, let his thought dwell on the power of Kwannon, and the curse will revert to the people from whom it started.

Or if a man should encounter a party of Rakshasas, or Nagas exhaling poison, or evil spirits, let his thought dwell on the power of Kwannon, and no harm will ever be done to him.

If a man is surrounded by wild beasts whose sharp teeth and claws are to be dreaded, let his thought dwell on the power of Kwannon, and they will quickly run away in all directions.

If a man is attacked by venomous snakes and scorpions breathing poisonous gas ready to scorch him, let his thought the power of Kwannon, and they will all turn away from him shrieking.

When thunder-clouds burst with flashes of lightning, a storm of hailstones or pouring rain in torrents, thought dwell on the power of Kwannon and the storm will in no time clear away.

If a calamity falls on beings and they are tortured with interminable pain, [let them resort to] Kwannon who, being endowed with the mysterious power of wisdom, will save them from all troubles in the world.

Kwannon is the possessor of miraculous powers, widely disciplined in knowledge and skilful means, and in all the lands of the ten quarters there is not a place where he does not manifest himself.

The various evil paths of existence such as hells, evil spirits, beastly creatures, etc., and the pains arising from birth, old age, disease, and death--they will all by degrees be annihilated.

[Kwannon is] the one who views the world in truth, free from defilement, with knowledge extending far, and full of love and compassion; he is to be always prayed to and always adored.

He is a pure, spotless light and, like the sun, dispels all darkness with wisdom, and also subverts the disastrous effects of wind and fire; his all-illuminating light fills the world.

His body of love he keeps under control like thunder that shakes the world; his thought of compassion resembles a great mass of cloud from which a rain of the Dharma comes down like nectar, destroying the flames of evil passions.

If a man is held at court with a case against him, or if he is intimidated at a military camp, let his thought dwell on the power of Kwannon, and all his enemies will beat retreat.

[His is] a most exquisite voice, a voice that surveys the World, the voice of Brahma, the voice of the ocean-one that excels all the voices of the world. For this reason let our thought always dwell on him.

Let us never cherish thoughts of doubt about Kwanzeon who is thoroughly pure and holy and is really a refuge and protector in trouble, grief, death, and disaster.

He is in possession of all merits, regards all things with an eye of compassion, and like the ocean holds in himself an inestimable mass of virtues. For this reason he is to be adored.

At that time Jiji Bosatsu[1] rose from his seat, and standing before the Buddha said: World-honored One, they are truly furnished with no small amount of merit who listen to his Chapter on Kwanzeon Bosatsu, in which his life of perfect activities is described--the life of one who endowed with miraculous powers, manifests himself in all directions.

When the Buddha finished preaching this Chapter on the All-sided One all the people in the assembly, amounting to 84,000 in number, cherished the desire for the supreme enlightenment with which there is nothing to compare.

III

THE KONGOKYO OR DIAMOND SUTRA [2]

  1. Thus I have heard.

At one time the Buddha stayed at Anathapindika’s Garden in the grove of Jeta in the kingdom of Shravasti; he was together with 1,250 great Bhikshus. When the meal time came the World-honored One put on his cloak and, holding his bowl, entered the great city of Shravasti, where he begged for food. Having finished his begging from door to door, he came back to his own place, and took his meal.

[1. Dharanindhara in Sanskrit, "the supporter of the earth".

2 Kongokyo in Japanese. The full title in Sanskrit is Vajracchedika-prajna-paramita-sutra. It belongs to the Prajna class of Mahayana literature. Those who are not accustomed to this kind of reasoning may wonder what is the ultimate signification of all these negations. The Prajna dialectic means to lead us to a higher affirmation by contradicting a simple direct statement. It differs from the Hegelian in its directness and intuitiveness.

The present English translation is from Kumarajiva's Chinese version made between 402-412 C.E.]

When this was done, he put away his cloak and bowl, washed his feet, spread his seat, and sat down.

  1. Then the Venerable Subhuti, who was among the assembly, rose from his seat, bared his right shoulder, set his right knee on the ground, and, respectfully folding his hands, addressed the Buddha thus:

"It is wonderful, World-honored One, that the Tathagata thinks so much of all the Bodhisattvas and instructs them so well. World-honored One, in case good men and good women ever raise the desire for the Supreme Enlightenment, how would they abide in it? how would they keep their thoughts under control?"

The Buddha said: "Well said, indeed, O Subhuti! As you say, the Tathagata thinks very much of all the Bodhisattvas, and so instructs them well. But now listen attentively and I will tell you. In case good men and good women raise the desire for the Supreme Enlightenment, they should thus abide in it, they should thus keep their thoughts under control."

"So be it, World-honored One, I wish to listen to You."

  1. The Buddha said to Subhuti: "All the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas should thus keep their thoughts under control. All kinds of beings such as the egg-born, the womb-born, the moisture-born, the miraculously-born, those with form, those without form, those with consciousness, those without consciousness, those with no-consciousness, and those without no-consciousness--they are all led by me to enter Nirvana that leaves nothing behind and to attain final emancipation. Though thus beings immeasurable, innumerable, and unlimited are emancipated, there are in reality no beings that are ever emancipated. Why, Subhuti? If a Bodhisattva retains the thought of an ego, a person, a being, or a soul, he is no more a Bodhisattva.
  2. "Again, Subhuti, when a Bodhisattva practices charity he should not be cherishing any idea, that is to say, he is not to cherish the idea of a form when practicing charity, nor is he to cherish the idea of a sound, an odor, a touch, or a quality.[1] Subhuti, a Bodhisattva should thus practice charity without cherishing any idea of form. Why? When a Bodhisattva practices charity without cherishing any idea of form, his merit will be beyond conception. Subhuti, what do you think? Can you have the conception of space extending eastward?"

"No, World-honored One ' I cannot."

"Subhuti, can you have the conception of space extending towards the south, or west, or north, or above, or below?"

"No, World-honored One, I cannot."

"Subhuti, so it is with the merit of a Bodhisattva who practices charity without cherishing any idea of form; it is beyond conception. Subhuti, a Bodhisattva should cherish only that which is taught to him.

  1. "Subhuti, what do you think? Is the Tathagata to be recognized after a body-form?"

"No, World-honored One, he is not to be recognized after a body-form. Why? According to the Tathagata, a body-form is not a body-form."

The Buddha said to Subhuti, "All that has a form is an illusive existence. When it is perceived that all form is no-form, the Tathagata is recognized."

  1. Subhuti said to the Buddha: "World-honored One, if beings hear such words and statements, would they have a true faith in them?"

The Buddha said to Subhuti: "Do not talk that way. In the last five hundred years after the passing of the Tathagata, there may be beings who, having practiced rules of morality and, being thus possessed of merit, happen to hear of these statements and rouse a true faith in them. Such beings, you must know, are those who have planted their root of merit not only under one, two, three, four, or five Buddhas, but already under thousands of myriads of asamkhyeyas of Buddhas have they planted their root of merit of all kinds. Those who hearing these statements rouse even one thought

[1. Dharma, that is, the object of manovijnana, thought, as form (rupa) is the object of the visual sense, sound that of the auditory sense, odor that of the olfactory sense, and so forth.]

of pure faith, Subhuti, are all known to the Tathagata, and recognized by him as having acquired such an immeasurable amount of merit. Why? Because all these beings are free from the idea of an ego, a person, a being, or a soul; they are free from the idea of a dharma as well as from that of a no-dharma. Why? Because if they cherish in their minds the ,idea of a form, they are attached to an ego, a person, a being, or a soul. If they cherish the idea of a dharma, they are attached to an ego, a person, a being, or a soul. Why? If they cherish the idea of a no-dharma, they are attached to an ego, a person, a being, or a soul. Therefore, do not cherish the idea of a dharma, nor that of a no-dharma. For this reason, the Tathagata always preaches thus: 'O you Bhikshus, know that my teaching is to be likened unto a raft. Even a dharma is cast aside, much more a no-dharma.'

  1. "Subhuti, what do you think? Has the Tathagata attained the supreme enlightenment? Has he something about which he would preach?"

Subhuti said: "World-honored One, as I understand the teaching of the Buddha, there is no fixed doctrine about which the Tathagata would preach. Why? Because the doctrine he preaches is not to be adhered to, nor is it to be preached about; it is neither a dharma nor a no-dharma. 'How is it so? Because all wise men belong to the category known as non-doing (asamskara), and yet they are distinct from one another.

  1. "Subhuti, what do you think? If a man should fill the three thousand chiliocosms with the seven precious treasures and give them all away for charity, would not the merit he thus obtains be great?"

Subhuti said: "Very great, indeed, World-honored One."

"Why? Because their merit is characterized with the quality of not being a merit. Therefore, the Tathagata speaks of the merit as being great. If again there is a man who, holding even the four lines in this sutra, preaches about it to Others, his merit will be superior to the one just mentioned. Because, Subhuti, all the Buddhas and their supreme enlightenment issue from this sutra. Subhuti, what is known as the teaching of the Buddha is not the teaching of the Buddha.

  1. "Subhuti, what do you think? Does a Srotaapanna think in this wise: 'I have obtained the fruit of Srotapatti'?"

Subhuti said: "No, World-honored One, he does not. Why? Because while Srotaapanna means 'entering the stream' there is no entering here. He is called a Srotaparma who does not enter [a world of] form, sound, odor, taste, touch, and quality.

"Subhuti, what do you think? Does a Sakridagamin think in this wise, 'I have obtained the fruit of a Sakridagamin'?"

Subhuti said: "No, World-honored One, he does not. Why? Because while Sakridagamin means 'going-and-coming for once', there is really no going-and-coming here, and he is then called a Sakridagamin."

"Subhuti, what do you think? Does an Anagamin think in this wise: 'I have obtained the fruit of an Anagamin'?"

Subhuti said: "No, World-honored One, he does not. Why? Because while Anagamin means 'not-coming' there is really no not-coming and therefore he is called an Anagamin."

"Subhuti, what do you think? Does an Arhat think in this wise: 'I have obtained Arhatship'?"

Subhuti said: "No, World-honored One, he does not. Why? Because there is no dharma to be called Arhat. If, World-honored One, an Arhat thinks in this wise: 'I have obtained Arhatship,' this means that he is attached to an ego, a person, a being, or a soul. Although the Buddha says that I am the foremost of those who have attained Aranasamadhi,[1] that I am the foremost of those Arhats who are liberated from evil desires, World-honored One, I cherish no such thought that I have attained Arhatship. World-honored One, [if I did,] you would not tell me: 'O Subhuti,

[1. That is, Samadhi of non-resistance. Arana also means a forest where the Yogin retires to practice his meditation.]

are one who enjoys the life of non-resistance.' Just because Subhuti is not at all attached to this life, he is said to be the one who enjoys the life of non-resistance."

  1. The Buddha said to Subhuti: "What do you think?

When the Tathagata was anciently with Dipankara Buddha did he have an attainment in the Dharma?"

"No, World-honored One, he did not. The Tathagata while with Dipankara Buddha had no attainment whatever the Dharma."

"Subhuti, what do you think? Does a Bodhisattva set any Buddha-land in array?"

"No, World-honored One, he does not."

"Why? Because to set a Buddha-land in array is not to set it in array, and therefore it is known as setting it in array. Therefore, Subhuti, all the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas should thus rouse a pure thought. They should not cherish any thought dwelling on form; they should -not cherish any thought dwelling on sound, odor, taste, touch, and quality; they should cherish thoughts dwelling on nothing whatever. Subhuti, it is like unto a human body equal in size to Mount Sumeru; what do you think? Is not this body large?"

Subhuti said: "Very large indeed, World-honored One. Why? Because the Buddha teaches that that which is no-body is known as a large body."

  1. "Subhuti, regarding the sands of the Ganga, suppose there are as many Ganga rivers as those sands, what do you think? Are not the sands of all those Ganga rivers many?"

Subhuti said: "Very many, indeed, World-honored one."

"Considering such Gangas alone, they must be said to be numberless; how much more the sands of all those Ganga rivers! Subhuti, I will truly ask you now. If there is a good man or a good woman who, filling all the worlds in the three thousand chiliocosms--all the worlds as many as the sands of these Ganga rivers--with the seven precious treasures, Uses them all for charity, would not this merit be very large?"

Subhuti said: "Very large indeed, World-honored One."

Buddha said to Subhuti: "If a good man or a good woman holding even four lines from this sutra preach it to others, this merit is much larger than the preceding one.

  1. "Again, Subhuti, wherever this sutra or even four lines of it are preached, this place will be respected by all beings including Devas, Asuras, etc., as if it were the Buddha's own shrine or chaitya; how much more a person who can hold and recite this sutra! Subhuti, you should know that such a person achieves the highest, foremost, and most wonderful deed. Wherever this sutra is kept, the place is to be regarded as if the Buddha or a venerable disciple of his were present."
  2. At that time, Subhuti said to the Buddha: "World-honored One, what will this sutra be called? How should we hold it?"

The Buddha said to Subhuti: "This sutra will be called the Vajra-prajna-paramita, and by this title you will hold it. The reason is, Subhuti, that, according to the teaching of the Buddha, Prajnaparamita is not Prajnaparamita and therefore it is called Prajnaparamita. Subhuti, what do you think? Is there anything about which the Tathagata preaches?"

Subhuti said to the Buddha: "World-honored One, there is nothing about which the Tathagata preaches."

"Subhuti, what do you think? Are there many particles of dust in the three thousand chiliocosms?"

Subhuti said: "Indeed, there are many, World-honored One."

"Subhuti, the Tathagata teaches that all these many particles of dust are no-particles of dust and therefore that they are called particles of dust; he teaches that the world is no-world and therefore that the world is called the world.

"Subhuti, what do you think? Is the Tathagata to be recognized by the thirty-two marks [of a great man]?"

"No, World-honored One, he is not."

"The Tathagata is not to be recognized by the thirty-two marks, because what are said to be the thirty-two marks are told by the Tathagata to be no-marks and therefore to the thirty-two marks. Subhuti, if there be a good man or a good woman who gives away his or her lives as many as the sands of the Ganga, his or her merit thus gained does not exceed that of one who, holding even one gatha of four lines from this sutra, preaches them for others."

  1. At that time Subhuti, listening to this sutra, had a deep understanding of its signification, and, filled with tears of gratitude, said this to the Buddha: "Wonderful, indeed, World-honored One, that the Buddha teaches us this sutra full of deep sense. Such a sutra has never been heard by me even with an eye of wisdom acquired in my past lives. World-honored One, if there be a man who listening to this sutra acquires a pure believing heart he will then have a true idea of things. This one is to be known as having achieved a most wonderful virtue. World-honored One, what is known as a true idea is no-idea, and for this reason it is called a true idea.

"World-honored One, it is not difficult for me to believe, to understand, and to hold this sutra to which I have now listened; but in the ages to come, in the next five hundred years, if there are beings who listening to this sutra are able to believe, to understand, and to hold it, they will indeed be most wonderful beings. Why? Because they will have no idea of an ego, of a person, of a being, or of a soul. For what reason? The idea of an ego is no-idea [of ego], the idea of a person, a being, or a soul is no-idea [of a person, a being, or a soul]. For what reason? They are Buddhas who are free from all kinds of ideas."

The Buddha said to Subhuti, "It is just as you say. If there be a man who, listening to this sutra, is neither frightened nor alarmed nor disturbed, you should know him as a wonderful person. Why? Subhuti, it is taught by the Tathagata that the first Paramita is no-first-Paramita and therefore it is called the first Paramita. Subhuti, the Paramita of humility (pa