November Rinpoche made the following comments on the positive results of reciting the Diamond Cutter Sutra. The Diamond Cutter Sutra is unbelievable. The only antidote to cut that, to get rid of that, and through which to achieve liberation, the total cessation of the causes of suffering — delusions and karma — is the wisdom realizing emptiness. This is the subject of the Diamond Cutter Sutra: emptiness.
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He returned the smiles and saluted some old friends. From the edge of the stage he waved to more distant members of the audience and they waved back, some even jumping up and down for joy. After greeting old friends among the Lamas on the stage, His Holiness took his seat on the throne.
At the beginning of this series of teachings I taught a group of Indian Buddhists, recalling that Buddhism originated in India before spreading across Asia. The Sanskrit tradition in the way it was followed at Nalanda spread to China and from there to Korea, Japan and Vietnam. Later it was carried to Tibet and on to Mongolia.
China was therefore among the earlier countries to which Buddhism spread. In particular I remember a stupa in Beijing that reflected the links between Tibetan Buddhist Masters and the Chinese Emperors, which contained a statue of Vajrabhairava. Later, during the Cultural Revolution all religions were considered aspects of blind faith and efforts were made destroy them.
However, it seems that it takes more than that to uproot long ingrained faith and after Deng Xiao Ping relaxed restrictions, Buddhism has revived. A university survey some years ago found evidence of million Buddhists in China, which friends tell me has grown to million. The key thing is to be sincere and to put what you believe into practice.
All these different traditions teach love, compassion and tolerance even if they hold different philosophical views. While I have immense respect for Buddhist philosophical positions, I never say that Buddhism is the best tradition. To do so would be as mistaken as saying that one particular medicine was the best for everyone in all circumstances.
He said, O monks and scholars, As gold is tested by burning, cutting and rubbing, Examine my words thoroughly And accept them only then—not just out of respect for me.
His Holiness discussed his childhood interest in mechanical toys and how, when he visited China in , he visited factories and power plants and burned with curiosity to know how they worked. Mao Zedong observed that he had a scientific mind. In exile he thought of holding discussions with scientists. When warned that science is a killer of religion he considered the role of reason and logic in the Nalanda Tradition and decided there was no danger.
In fact, the interaction led to mutual benefit and one result is that science is now part of the standard curriculum in many Tibetan monastic institutions. Scientific knowledge has extended Buddhist understanding. Paying homage to Amitabha and simply reciting sutras is not sufficient. I have heard that there are many temples and monasteries in China. They would do well to become centres of learning. As a result of our efforts to extend opportunities to study amongst Tibetans, we now have nuns qualified as Geshemas after almost 20 years of rigorous study.
It requires a change of focus. However, the monks who were alert when I gave empowerments and permissions dozed off when I explained more general teachings. Westerners, people who are not traditionally Buddhist, take notes when they come to teachings. Yet if I were to teach it, no-one would understand, so I shall remain silent here in the forest. He explained the Four Noble Truths in terms of the four characteristics of each truth, as well as the 37 Factors of Enlightenment.
These are clearly recorded in the Three Baskets of the Pali Tradition. Pali was the language of the first council at Rajgir during which the Vinaya was compiled.
His Holiness clarified that the teachings found in the Pali tradition were those that had been given openly in public, whereas those of the Sanskrit tradition were given before a more select gathering. The sutra deals with wisdom and what it cuts through is ignorance.
It begins with the Venerable Subhuti asking the Buddha the following question, "World-Honoured One, if sons and daughters of good families want to give rise to the highest, most fulfilled, awakened mind, what should they rely on and what should they do to master their thinking? His Holiness noted that during the first turning of the wheel of dharma, the Buddha explained that there is no permanent, single, autonomous self. Among the Two Truths, conventional truth is what is designated by worldly convention.
Not only is the person a mere designation, empty of independent existence, but the psycho-physical aggregates that are the basis of designation are also empty of any independent existence.
Recalling what he had been saying earlier about his experience of the way Vinaya is observed in Thailand, His Holiness noted that a monk is to eat before midday. He brought the session to an end in expectation of continuing tomorrow. Members of the audience expressed their enthusiasm by smiling, clapping and waving as His Holiness left the stage.
Diamond Sutra – A New Translation
It is an important Buddhist text that has a long and profound history. In addition to the actual Text of the Diamond Sutra this web site provides a Diamond Sutra Background Page which explains the origins of the Diamond Sutra and information about how this new translation was done. This new translation was done by Alex Johnson, to pass along its message in a modern day format. Please visit the Contact Page for information about contacting Alex or how you can support this site. I knew the message was profound, but I found that I was doing mental gyrations just to try to get into the spirit of the Sutra and understand what was being said in it. I decided to write my own translation.
Diamond Cutter Sutra
Zen Buddhism Expert B. The Diamond Sutra is a brief text. A typical English translation contains about 6, words, and an average reader could finish it in less than 30 minutes, easily. But if you were to ask ten dharma teachers what it is about, you might get ten different answers, because the Diamond defies literal interpretation.