Estimates for its date of composition range from the second century B. The original texts are in Chinese and Sanskrit. There are two related explanations for the title "Diamond Sutra": 1. The text consists of 32 chapters the chapter divisions are not in the original sources and about 30 pages.

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Estimates for its date of composition range from the second century B. The original texts are in Chinese and Sanskrit. There are two related explanations for the title "Diamond Sutra": 1. The text consists of 32 chapters the chapter divisions are not in the original sources and about 30 pages. The Diamond Sutra is one of the few texts of whatever type that will repay endless study and which can transform the life of the receptive reader. Red Pine has produced a translation and commentary on the Diamond Sutra which help greatly in exploring it.

The organization of the book bears discussing. The book opens with a translation of the sutra, unadorned by commentary, which consists of about 30 pages. The translation is followed by a Preface in which Red Pine gives some background on the text and on Buddhism, sketches out his interpretation of the text, and explains to the reader how he came to the Diamond Sutra over the years.

The longest section of the book consists of a commentary of about pages arranged in 32 sections, one for each chapter of the Diamond Sutra. He then reproduces again a smaller portion of each chapter -- a paragraph, sentences, or sometimes only a phrase --and offers commentary on it. He also draws down a selection of the enormous commentary the Diamond Sutra has generated over the centuries.

Some of this commentary dates from early Chinese sources and other portions of it are contemporary in origin. I found the various commentaries fascinating in themselves and useful in starting to approach the Diamond Sutra. Pine also gives the reader familiar with the original sources an analysis of textual variations. More importantly, he offers the general reader a glossary of the many names, places and sources to which his commentary refers, which are likely to be unfamiliar to those approaching the Diamond Sutra for the first time.

There is a great deal in the commentary, and in the Diamond Sutra itself, comparing the teaching of the Sutra, with its emphasis on the Bodisattva, who works with compassion for the salvation of all sentient beings, with the earlier, Theravada, school of Buddhism, with its emphasis on the Arahant and on individual enlightenment.

There is deep discussion in the Sutra on no-self, and on non-attachment. It is a text that will reward repeated meditation and readings.


The Diamond Sutra (Revised)

It is a superb companion to other such works by the American scholar, which include translations of The Heart Sutra and the Lankavatara Sutra. Reading this particular book is a pleasure on several levels. As one of the most important pieces of scripture in Mahayana Buddhism, it is a source of great wisdom. As a an example of fine translation work on the part of its translator and commentator, it is also a wonderful read. Moreover, as a work to dip into and be inspired by the wise utterances of some of the great thinkers of Mahayana Buddhism, it is a thought-provoking and enlightening book. It takes the form of a dialogue between the Buddha and his disciple the Venerable Subhuti, and is a discussion on the nature of perception, non-attachment and non-abiding.


The Diamond Sutra: The Perfection of Wisdom

The title relies on the power of the vajra diamond or thunderbolt, but also an abstract term for a powerful weapon to cut things as a metaphor for the type of wisdom that cuts and shatters illusions to get to ultimate reality. Early translations into a number of languages have been found in locations across Central and East Asia, suggesting that the text was widely studied and translated. In addition to Chinese translations, translations of the text and commentaries were made into Tibetan , and translations, elaborations, and paraphrases survive in a number of Central Asian languages. It is the most widely used and chanted Chinese version. The Buddha begins by answering Subhuti by stating that he will bring all living beings to final nirvana — but that after this "no living being whatsoever has been brought to extinction". Emphasizing that all phenomena are ultimately illusory, he teaches that true enlightenment cannot be grasped until one has set aside attachment to them in any form.


The Diamond Sutra: The Perfection of Wisdom by Red Pine

Thanks for watching! Visit Website These texts always take the form of a question-and-answer session between the Buddha and one of his disciples, who serves as a sounding board for the teaching. We find this same give-and-take in many Hindu scriptures, such as the Upanishads and Tantras, where a sage or god is questioned by one of his followers or devotees. In the Diamond Sutra the questioner role is played by an arhan, a "venerable one," named Subuthi. To a certain extent he is, like the questioners in other dialogues, a stand-in for the reader, our partner in learning—though as a highly realized practitioner, Subuthi has the experience and insight to ask pointed questions that might never occur to the average person. These threads are extremely compact packets of information that collectively provide only the skeleton of the teaching.

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