|SECTION VIII - THE FRUITS OF
Subhuti, what do you think? If anyone filled three thousand
galaxies of worlds with the seven treasures and gave all away
in gifts of alms, would he gain great merit? Subhuti said: Great
indeed, World-honored One! Wherefore? Because merit
partakes of the character of no-merit, the Tathagata
characterized the merit as great.
Then Buddha said: On the other hand, if anyone received
and retained even only four lines of this Discourse and taught
and explained them to others, his merit would be the greater.
Wherefore? Because, Subhuti, from this Discourse issue
forth all the Buddhas and the Consummation of Incomparable
Enlightenment teachings of all the Buddhas.
Subhuti, what is called "the Religion given by Buddha" is
not, in fact Buddha Religion.
SECTION IX - REAL DESIGNATION IS UNDESIGNATE
Subhuti, what do you think? Does a disciple who has
entered the Stream of the Holy Life say within himself: I
obtain the fruit of a Stream-entrant?
No, World-honored One. Wherefore? Because "Streamentrant"
is merely a name.
There is no stream-entering. The disciple who pays no
regard to form, sound, odor, taste, touch, or any quality, is
called a Stream-entrant.
Subhuti, what do you think? Does an adept who is subject to
only one more rebirth say within himself: I obtain the fruit of a
Subhuti said: No, World-honored One.
Wherefore? Because "Once-to-be-reborn" is merely a name.
There is no passing away nor coming into existence. [The
adept who realizes] this is called "Once-to-be-reborn."
Subhuti, what do you think? Does a venerable one who will
never more be reborn as a mortal say within himself: I obtain
the fruit of a Non-returner?
Subhuti said: No, World-honored
One. Wherefore? Because "Non-returner" is merely a name.
There is no non-returning; hence the designation "Nonreturner."
Subhuti, what do you think? Does a holy one say
within himself: I have obtained Perfective Enlightenment?
Subhuti said: No, World-honored One. Wherefore? Because
there is no such condition as that called "Perfective
Enlightenment." World-honored one, if a holy one of
Perfective Enlightenment said to himself "such am I," he
would necessarily partake of the idea of an ego-entity, a
personality, a being, or a separated individuality. World honored
One, when the Buddha declares that I excel amongst
holy men in the Yoga of perfect quiescence, in dwelling in
seclusion, and in freedom from passions, I do not say within
I am a holy one of Perfective Enlightenment, free from
World-honored One, if I said within myself: Such am I; you
would not declare:
Subhuti finds happiness abiding in peace, in seclusion in the
midst of the forest.
This is because Subhuti abides nowhere: therefore he is
called, "Subhuti, Joyful Abider-in-Peace, Dweller-in-
SECTION X - SETTING FORTH PURE LANDS
Buddha said: Subhuti, what do you think? In the remote
past when the Tathagata was with Dipankara Buddha, did he
have any degree of attainment in the Good Law?
One. When the Tathagata was with Dipankara
Buddha he had no degree of attainment in the Good Law.
Subhuti, what do you think? Does a Bodhisattva set forth
any majestic Buddhalands?
No, World-honored One.
Wherefore? Because setting forth majestic Buddha-lands is not
a majestic setting forth; this is merely a name.
[Then Buddha continued:] Therefore, Subhuti, all
Bodhisattvas, lesser and great, should develop a pure, lucid
mind, not depending upon sound, flavor, touch, odor, or any
quality. A Bodhisattva should develop a mind which alights
upon no thing whatsoever; and so should he establish it.
Subhuti, this may be likened to a human frame as large as
the mighty Mount Sumeru. What do you think? Would such a
body be great?
Subhuti replied: Great indeed, World-honored
One. This is because Buddha has explained that no body is
called a great body.
SECTION XI - THE SUPERIORITY OF UNFORMULATED TRUTH
Subhuti, if there were as many Ganges rivers as the sand grains
of the Ganges, would the sand-grains of them all be
Subhuti said: Many indeed, World-honored One! Even
the Ganges rivers would be innumerable; how much more so
would be their sand-grains?
Subhuti, I will declare a truth to
you. If a good man or good woman filled three thousand
galaxies of worlds with the seven treasures for each sand-grain
in all those Ganges rivers, and gave all away in gifts of alms,
would he gain great merit?
Subhuti answered: Great indeed,
Then Buddha declared: Nevertheless,
Subhuti, if a good man or good woman studies this Discourse
only so far as to receive and retain four lines, and teaches and
explains them to others, the consequent merit would be far
SECTION XII - VENERATION OF THE TRUE DOCTRINE
Furthermore, Subhuti, you should know that wheresoever
this Discourse is proclaimed, by even so little as four lines, that
place should be venerated by the whole realms of Gods, Men
and Titans as though it were a Buddha-Shrine. How much
more is this so in the case of one who is able to receive and
retain the whole and read and recite it throughout! Subhuti,
you should know that such a one attains the highest and most
Wheresoever this sacred Discourse may be found there
should you comport yourself as though in the presence of
Buddha and disciples worthy of honor.
SECTION XIII - HOW THIS TEACHING SHOULD BE RECEIVED
At that time Subhuti addressed Buddha, saying: Worldhonored
One, by what name should this Discourse be known,
and how should we receive and retain it?
Subhuti, this Discourse should be known as "The Diamond of
the Perfection of Transcendental Wisdom" - thus should you
receive and retain it.
Subhuti, what is the reason herein? According to the
Buddha-teaching the Perfection of Transcendental Wisdom is
not really such. "Perfection of Transcendental Wisdom" is just
the name given to it.
Subhuti, what do you think? Has the Tathagata a teaching to
Subhuti replied to the Buddha: World-honored
One, the Tathagata has nothing to teach.
Subhuti, what do you think? Would there be many
molecules in [the composition of] three thousand galaxies of
Subhuti said: Many indeed, World-honored One! Subhuti,
the Tathagata declares that all these molecules are not really
such; they are called "molecules." [Furthermore,] the
Tathagata declares that a world is not really a world; it is
called "a world."
Subhuti, what do you think? May the
Tathagata be perceived by the thirty-two physical peculiarities
[of an outstanding sage]? No, World-honored One, the
Tathagata may not be perceived by these thirty-two marks.
Wherefore? Because the Tathagata has explained that the
thirty-two marks are not really such; they are called "the
Subhuti, if on the one hand a good man or a
good woman sacrifices as many lives as the sand-grains of the
Ganges, and on the other hand anyone receives and retains
even only four lines of this Discourse, and teaches and
explains them to others, the merit of the latter will be the