Saturday, December 02, 2006

Today's Quote

Here are the final lines from the Diamond Sutra (Vajrachedika Prajanparamita Sutra). Somehow, these came to mind today.

"... And in what spirit would he or she illuminate it [the Diamond Sutra] for others? Without being caught up in the appearances of things in themselves but understanding the nature of things just as they are. Why? Because:

So you should view all the fleeting worlds:
A star at dawn, a bubble in the stream;
a flash of lightning in a summer cloud;
A flickering lamp, a phantom, and a dream.

When the Buddha had finished [speaking], Venerable Subhuti, the monks and nuns, the pious lay men and women, the bodhisattvas, and the whole world with its gods, ashuras, and gandharvas were filled with joy at the teaching, and, taking it to heart, they went their separate ways."
This translation appears in Mu Soeng's book of the same name (he is the translator and commentator). Boston: Wisdom Publications, 2000.

The Sutra is one of the major texts of Mahayana Buddhism. It is thought to have been composed in about 350 to 500 C.E. A copy of this sutra found in a Chinese cave is the oldest example of a printed book in the world that is dated. It was printed in 868 C.E. More about the sutra and its themes can be found in the Diamond Sutra article on the Wikipedia.

There are a couple of complete translations available online: One by Charles Muller, and an older one by A. F. Price and Wong Mou-Lam.

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