44

The Vajra Cutter Sütra

The Vajra Cutter Sütra

1

Care of Dharma Books
Dharma books contain the teachings of the Buddha; they have the power to protect against lower rebirth and to point the way to liberation. Therefore, they should be treated with respect – kept off the floor and places where people sit or walk – and not stepped over. They should be covered or protected for transporting and kept in a high, clean place separate from more mundane materials. Other objects should not be placed on top of Dharma books and materials. Licking the fingers to turn pages is considered bad form as well as negative karma. If it is necessary to dispose of written Dharma materials, they should be burned rather than thrown in the trash. When burning Dharma texts, it is taught to first recite a prayer or mantra, such as OM, AH, HUM. Then, you can visualize the letters of the texts (to be burned) absorbing into the AH and the AH absorbing into you, transmitting their wisdom to your mindstream. After that, as you continue to recite OM, AH,
HUM, you can burn the texts.

The Exalted Mahäyäna Sütra

on the Wisdom Gone Beyond called

THE VAJRA CUTTER

based on the Tibetan Lhasa Zhol printing
Lama Zopa Rinpoche has recommended that photos or images of holy beings, deities, or other holy objects not be burned. Instead, they should be placed with respect in a stupa, tree, or other high, clean place. It has been suggested to put them into a small structure like a bird house and then seal the house. In this way, the holy images do not end up on the ground.

translated into English by Gelong Thubten Tsultrim

(American Buddhist monk George Churinoff)

2

The Vajra Cutter Sütra

The Vajra Cutter Sütra

43

Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition
© George Churinoff, 2002 All rights reserved.

FPMT Education Department P. O. Box 888 Taos, New Mexico 87571 USA Email: materials@fpmt.org

The Foundation for the Preservation of the Mahayana Tradition is an organization devoted to the transmission of the Mahayana Buddhist tradition and values worldwide through teaching, meditation, and community service. We provide integrated education through which people’s minds and hearts can be transformed into their highest potential for the benefit of others, inspired by an attitude of universal responsibility. We are committed to creating harmonious environments and helping all beings develop their full potential of infinite wisdom and compassion. Our organization is based on the Buddhist tradition of Lama Tsongkhapa of Tibet, as taught by our founder, Lama Thubten Yeshe, and spiritual director, Lama Zopa Rinpoche.

FPMT, Inc. P. O. Box 888 Taos, New Mexico 87571 USA Tel: (505) 758-7766 Fax: (505) 758-7765 Email: info@fpmt.org www.fpmt.org

which serves as a repository for the commentaries and transcripts of teachings by Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Lama Yeshe. Boston.5 put away the begging bowl and upper robe.3 together with a great Sangha of bhikêhus of 1. in the morning.42 The Vajra Cutter Sütra The Vajra Cutter Sütra 3 FPMT Education Department THE VAJRA CUTTER SÜTRA In the language of India. The Bhagavän was dwelling at àhrävastï. sat upon the prepared cushion. Then. Thus did I hear at one time. Ärya Vajracchedikä Näma Prajñäpäramitä Mahäyäna Sütra1 In Tibetan. Then.org/shop In English. many bhikêhus approached to the place where the Bhagavän was and. having reached there. and having performed the activity of food.org www. Then. straightened the body upright and placed mindfulness in front. and having assumed the cross-legged posture. He washed his feet.4 since he had given up alms of later food. having gone to the great city of àhrävastï to request alms. Box 888 Taos. in the grove of Prince Jeta. ’Phags pa shes rab kyi pha rol tu phyin pa rdo rje gcod pa zhes bya ba theg pa chen po’i mdo The aim of the Education Department at FPMT International Office is to serve the needs of Dharma centers and individuals in the area of Tibetan Buddhist educational and spiritual materials. New Mexico 87571 USA Tel: (505)737-0550. the Bhagavän afterwards enjoyed the alms food. in the garden of Anäthapiôçada. The Exalted Mahäyäna Sütra on the Wisdom Gone Beyond called “The Vajra2 Cutter” I prostrate to all the buddhas and bodhisattvas. retreat sadhanas and other practice materials. We work in close collaboration with the Lama Yeshe Wisdom Archive. and curricular materials for study programs in FPMT Dharma centers. a variety of study texts and translations. having put on the lower and upper Dharma robes and carried the begging bowl. If we can be of service to you in any way. 1# Email: materials@fpmt. Massachusetts. One of our principal objectives is to serve as a repository for a wide variety of practice texts primarily within the Gelug tradition. the Bhagavän entered the great city of àhrävastï to request alms. O. deity images for meditation. bowing their heads . This includes prayers and practice texts. ext.250 bhikêhus and a great many bodhisattva mahäsattvas. please contact us at: Education Department FPMT International Office P. especially those authored or translated by Lama Zopa Rinpoche and Lama Thubten Yeshe.fpmt.

without discrimination but not without [subtle] discrimination – the realm of sentient beings. it is astonishing. so be it. and the Bhagavän said this: “Subhüti. Subhüti.4 The Vajra Cutter Sütra The Vajra Cutter Sütra 41 to the Bhagavän’s feet. The Tathägata has entrusted the bodhisattva mahäsattvas with the highest entrustment.’ .” the venerable Subhüti listened in accordance with the Bhagavän. no sentient being whatsoever has been caused to pass completely beyond sorrow. all those I shall cause to pass completely beyond sorrow into the realm of nirvana without remainder of the aggregates. how practice. and the Bhagavän said to the venerable Subhüti.6 it is astonishing. with form. the extent to which the Tathägata has entrusted the bodhisattva mahäsattvas with highest entrustment – Bhagavän. therefore. Although limitless sentient beings have thus been caused to pass completely beyond sorrow.” Having replied. how practice. placed the upper robe over one shoulder. one who has correctly entered the bodhisattva’s vehicle should generate the mind [of enlightenment] thinking this: ‘As many as are included in the category of sentient being – born from egg. as many as are designated by imputation as sentient beings. the extent to which the Tathägata Arhat Perfectly Enlightened Buddha has benefited the bodhisattva mahäsattvas with highest benefit. toward the Bhagavän. the venerable Subhüti. “Bhagavän. and I will explain to you how one who has correctly entered the bodhisattva’s vehicle should abide. Sugata. joining that very assembly. Bhagavän. set his right knee on the ground. joining the palms. how should one who has correctly entered the bodhisattva’s vehicle abide. well said. the venerable Subhüti rose from the seat. Then. without discrimination. listen and properly retain it in mind. Also at that time. bowed. it is so. The Tathägata has benefited the bodhisattva mahäsattvas with the highest benefit. here. well said. it is so. how control the mind. and said this to the Bhagavän: “Bhagavän. born miraculously. how control the mind?” That was said. sat down. without form. “Subhüti. Subhüti. born from the womb. circumambulated three times and sat to one side. with discrimination. born from heat and moisture.

Thus. because the heap of merit of that bodhisattva who gives a gift without abiding. the intermediate directions. To the degree there are no perfect marks. above. he is not to be called a ‘bodhisattva. the “Three Hundred Wisdom Gone Beyond” or “Vajra Cutter. below. or a phenomenon. in full. that itself which the Tathägata called perfect marks are not perfect marks. without abiding in discriminating anything whatsoever as any sign. “Bhagavän. Upäsakas and upäsikas are lay men and women who have taken the life-long vows of a lay practitioner. those bodhisattvas…” 69. were translated at various times before that. Compiled. view the Tathägata as marks and no marks. The three other Tibetan texts have “those bhikêhus. if anyone engages in discriminating a sentient being. Tib: gnas brtan) 68. it is not so. 70. is not easy to take the measure of. Novice monks and novice nuns can be included in the categories of bhikêhus and bhikêhunis.40 The Vajra Cutter Sütra The Vajra Cutter Sütra 5 ni kha ton du bklags pa’o). gives a gift without abiding in any phenomenon whatsoever. because if a bodhisattva engages in discriminating a sentient being. a bodhisattva gives a gift without abiding in a thing. or engages in discriminating a living being. The colophon is found in the catalogue of the Lhasa Zhol edition of the collection of Tibetan translations of Buddha’s Words (bka’ ’gyur). smell. “Bhagavän. The actual individual texts in the Lhasa Zhol edition. do you think it is easy to take the measure of space in the south. 67. “From p. the heap of merit of that bodhisattva who gives a gift without abiding is also not easy to take the measure of. what do you think about this? Is one viewed as the Tathägata due to the perfect marks?”7 Subhüti replied. and the ten directions?” Subhüti replied. it is not so. tactility. it is not so. nor should a gift be given abiding in sound.” He replied thus. “Subhüti.” One Section (bam bo). the fully ordained monks and fully ordained nuns. 215 front (till p. “Elder” (Skt: sthavira. A gift should be given not abiding in visual form. 235 back). to that degree there is deception. similarly. revising the translation of the Indian abbot àilendra Bodhi and Yeshe sDe with the new language standard. Why is that? Subhüti. Subhüti. thus does a bodhisattva give a gift. or engages in discriminating a person.” The Bhagavän said. and the Bhagavän said this to the venerable Subhüti: “Subhüti. “Subhüti. what do you think about this? Do you think it is easy to take the measure of space in the east?” Subhüti replied. to the degree there are perfect marks. Subhüti. “Subhüti.’ “Further.’ Why is that? Subhüti. similarly.” “Why is that? Subhüti. taste. The colophon says. Why is that? Because. “Subhüti. Subhüti. west.”9 He said that and the venerable Subhüti replied to the . “Bhagavän.” The Bhagavän said.8 to that degree there is no deception. they are not to be called a ‘bodhisattva. however. The index of the ACIP says the Lhasa Zhol edition was composed in 1934 at the request of the Thirteenth Dalai Lama. one is not viewed as the Tathägata due to the perfect marks. north.

log par mi gzung ste. grasping a person. Skt: kasyacid dharmasya vinäâaë prajñapta ucchedo va (veti). Furthermore. Subhüti. will not discriminate a living being. The Gilgit fragment has just “selfless” (nirätmakeêu). chad par btags pa. “should be acquired.” The small and Lanchou texts agree with the Lhasa Zhol edition as to “selfless and unproduced” but have (parenthetical material from the commentary of Cone Gragspa. Subhüti.6 The Vajra Cutter Sütra The Vajra Cutter Sütra 39 Bhagavän. those bodhisattva mahäsattvas will not engage in discriminating phenomena nor discriminating non-phenomena. at the end of the five hundred. will any sentient beings produce correct discrimination upon the words of sütras11 such as this12 being explained?” The Bhagavän said. Subhüti. Subhüti. not should be grasped. those who will acquire merely a single mind of faith upon the words of such sütras as this being explained. leaving out “unproduced. “Subhüti. ‘…in the future period. there will be bodhisattva mahäsattvas who have made homage to many hundred thousands of buddhas and produced roots of virtue to many hundred thousands of buddhas. “Bhagavän. will not engage in discriminating a person. the nature body. all those sentient beings will produce and perfectly collect an unfathomable heap of merit. Why is that? Subhüti. the Lhasa Zhol and Tog Palace texts have taken (Tib: blang). The small and Lanchou texts have “know” (Tib: shes). at the end of the five hundred. grasping a person.10 when the holy Dharma will totally perish. when the holy Dharma will totally perish. as the body of ultimate nature (dharmatä) – and the body of the guides. Subhüti. in the future period. grasping a living being. “Subhüti. they will not have produced roots of virtue to just a single buddha. reason of not seeing (in the first stanza) is that it is necessary to view the dharmakäya of the buddhas. the buddhas.14 Why is that? Subhüti. “Subhüti. not wrongly grasp” (Tib: rab ’byor. Subhüti.16 that would be of them grasping a self and grasping a sentient being. when the holy Dharma will totally perish. Although the small and Lanchou texts have the word written (Tib: bris). is not an object to be known by an awareness bound by true grasping. Kamalaâhïla’s commentary (p. do not say what you have said. yongs su gzung mod kyi. 62.” 65. 259a–b). which agrees with the Conze’s Sanskrit edition and the Gilgit fragment (Skt: udgöhya). that itself would be of them15 grasping a self and grasping a sentient being. because the dharmakäya is unable to be known by that awareness. the Tathägata knows. there will be bodhisattva mahäsattvas. 63. Because even if they engage in discriminating phenomena as non-existent. endowed with morality. because those bodhisattva mahäsattvas will not engage in discriminating a self and will not discriminate a sentient being. 265b) explains taken (Tib: blang) as “reading in recitation” (Tib: blangs nas zhes bya ba . they are seen by the Tathägata. endowed with qualities. Subhüti. grasping a living being. ultimate truth. p. in the future period. nor will they engage in discrimination or non-discrimination. Tib: chos la la zhig rnam par bshig gam. those bodhisattva mahäsattvas moreover will not have made homage to just a single buddha. 143) “…if any bodhisattva (directly realized the meaning of) selfless (in dependence on this) Dharma discourse (the wisdom gone beyond text) and attained (the great) forbearance about (the phenomena of) non-production…” 64. endowed with wisdom. “Subhüti. 66. because if those bodhisattva mahäsattvas engage in discriminating phenomena. Skt: parigrahïtavyaë subhüte nograhïtavyaë).” See also the discussion in Kamalaâhïla’s commentary (pp. dharmatä. The Lhasa Zhol text has “selfless and unproduced” as does Conze’s Sanskrit edition (nirätmakeêv anutpattikeêu). at the end of the five hundred. acquire. The Sanskrit reads. will any sentient beings produce correct discrimination upon the words of sütras such as this being explained…’13 Moreover.

Conze’s edition and the Gilgit fragment have the Sanskrit tatra (“for it” or “there. The Sanskrit word dharmatä (Tib: chos nyid) refers to the nature of dharmas. heap of merit. Cone Gragspa’s Tibetan commentary (p. i. The other three Tibetan texts have “explanation” (Tib: bshad pa). ‘Heap of merit. unsurpassed perfect and complete enlightenment. not to be expressed. not just the conventional nature nor the doctrine (as is translated by Conze and Schopen). That son of the lineage or daughter of the lineage would produce an immense heap of merit on that basis.” Therefore. “Bhagavän. the nature of phenomena. were to give gifts. what do you think about this? If some son of the lineage or daughter of the lineage. and the venerable Subhüti replied to the Bhagavän. 117. the Tathägata says. what do you think about this? Does that dharma that was manifestly and completely realized by the Tathägata. the Bhagavän said to the venerable Subhüti. were to give gifts. The Lhasa Zhol and Tog Palace texts have simply “it” (Tib: de) whereas the small and Lanchou texts have “for it” (or “there”) (Tib: de la). completely filling this billionfold world system21 with the seven types of precious things. immense. what need is there to mention nondharmas?”17 Further. if someone. 141) says. 60. also were to . 55. “The “Why is that? Further. 61. “If. “is not observed and does not exist. The small and Lanchou texts have the opposite order. Why is that? Because any dharma manifestly and completely realized or taught by the Tathägata is not to be grasped. Sugata. “Subhüti. “Subhüti. he seems to reconstruct the Sanskrit of “explanation” [Skt: (bhäêyamä)ôäæ] and cites several editions that have a Sanskrit equivalent of “explanation. immense. Here.” but the Tibetan translation takes the Sanskrit bhäväæ as “thoughts” or “inclinations” (Tib: bsam pa).e.” 58. even dharmas should be given up.38 The Vajra Cutter Sütra The Vajra Cutter Sütra 7 “various. having taken23 even as little as one stanza of four lines from this discourse of Dharma. 59. “Bhagavän. because that very heap of merit is not a heap. That dharma that was taught by the Tathägata does not exist whatsoever. that dharma that was manifestly and completely realized by the Tathägata. exist whatsoever? Has any Dharma been taught by the Tathägata?”18 He said that. Why is that? Bhagavän. In Schopen’s “Textual Note about Folio 9b” (p.”) 57.” Conze leaves the verb out. note 6). 56. because a bodhisattva should not wrongly grasp phenomena. Why is that? Because ärya beings are differentiated19 by the uncompounded. Subhüti.” but Conze’s Sanskrit edition and the Gilgit fragment have only “for it. it is not dharma nor is it non-dharma. therefore. it refers to the ultimate nature of phenomena. completely filling this billionfold world system with the seven types of precious things. by those who know this Dharma treatise as like a boat.22 do you think that son of the lineage or daughter of the lineage would produce an immense heap of merit on that basis?” Subhüti replied. The small and Lanchou texts have “inequivalence and equivalence do not exist there. does not exist whatsoever. “Subhüti. unsurpassed perfect and complete enlightenment. as I understand this meaning that was taught by the Bhagavän.. The small and Lanchou texts have “have engaged in the wrong path” (Tib: log pa’i lam du zhugs pa ste) but the Lhasa Zhol and Tog Palace texts read “have wrongly engaged by abandoning” (Tib: log par spong bas zhugs pa ste).’” The Bhagavän said. which agrees with the Sanskrit in Conze’s edition and in the Gilgit fragment. nor grasp non-phenomena. “mithyä-prahäôa-prasötä). the Tathägata said. compared to any son of the lineage or daughter of the lineage who.”20 The Bhagavän said to the venerable Subhüti. thinking of that. inequivalence does not exist whatsoever” (Skt: na tatra kiæcid viêamas).

Skt: bhüta-tathatäyä.” which agrees with the Sanskrit.’” See Schopen (n. 138). “Subhüti. grasping as a person. The small and Lanchou editions have “a being endowed with a human body. one is called ‘stream-enterer. ‘once-returner. p. therefore. Lhasa Zhol and Tog Palace editions have “mi pod”.8 The Vajra Cutter Sütra The Vajra Cutter Sütra 37 explain and correctly and thoroughly teach it to others. Why is that? Subhüti. Why is that? Bhagavän. Why is that? Because the phenomenon called ‘arhat’ does not exist whatsoever. nor into smell.’ Bhagavän. 47. ‘I have attained the result of stream-enterer’?” Subhüti replied. “Bhagavän. “to approach.’”27 The Bhagavän said. one says.” 52. what do you think about this? Does the non-returner think. because one does not enter into anything whatsoever. ‘I have attained the result of arhatship’?” Subhüti replied. because the unsurpassed perfectly completed enlightenment of the tathägata arhat perfectly completed buddhas arises from it. it is not so. “Subhüti.’ “Subhüti.’ One has not entered into form.’ are those buddha dharmas taught by the Tathägata as non-existent. Why is that? Subhüti. they are called ‘buddha dharmas. beating. Therefore. ‘I have attained the result of oncereturner’?” Subhüti replied. 53. The Lhasa Zhol and Tog Palace editions as well as the Gilgit fragment have as here translated. The small and Lanchou editions have “before. p. Why is that? Because the phenomenon of entry into the state of the non-returner does not exist whatsoever. “Different thoughts” (Skt: nänäbhäväæ. the small and Lanchou editions have “nye bar mi ’gro. unfathomable. grasping as a living being.’ that itself would be a grasping of that as a self. one is called ‘stream-enterer. ‘non-returner.” but the general position seems to be that non-meritorious karma is purified by undergoing many types of suffering. and so forth. ‘I have attained the result of nonreturner’?” Subhüti replied. it is not so. unearthing of faults and bondage. it is not so.” 48. one says. Why is that? Because the phenomenon of entry into the state of the once-returner does not exist whatsoever. nor entered into sound. what do you think about this? Does the arhat think. the buddha bhagaväns also are produced from it. “Similarly” here means “he should not be called a ‘bodhisattva. “Bhagavän. “Bhagavän. 137) “that unmeritorious karma could be eliminated as a result of being abused by others for having adopted a particular practice or position. Bhagavän. the heap of merit produced would be much greater. what do you think about this? Does the once-returner think. what do you think about this? Does the streamenterer think. The Lhasa Zhol and Tog Palace editions have “beyond. ‘I have attained the result 119–20) lists “various illnesses and quarrels. Therefore.” The Bhagavän said. “Subhüti. nor into taste. incalculable.25 grasping as a sentient being. it is not so.” Both phrases can be translations of the Sanskrit nopaiti. nor into tactility.” Schopen notes (note 11. because the buddha dharmas called ‘buddha dharmas.24 therefore. The small and Lanchou editions as well as one of the several Sanskrit editions Conze consulted (that of Pargiter) have the additional phrase “or taught. if that stream-enterer were to think ‘I have attained the result of stream-enterer. nor entered into a phenomenon. The small and Lanchou editions and Conze’s Sanskrit edition have “bodhisattva” followed by “mahäsattva. Tib: bsam pa tha dad pa) is translated by Conze as “manifold” and by Schopen as . on that basis.” 54.’”26 The Bhagavän said. Tib: yang dag pa de zhin nyid.” 49. 50. if the arhat were to think. therefore.” 51. disputes. “Bhagavän. 15. The Lhasa Zhol and Tog Palace editions and the Gilgit fragment have “bodhisattva” repeated twice.

as big as Sumeru. Tib: mchod rten.’ those arrangements are taught by the Tathägata as nonexistent. the body of a being were to become thus. Kamalaâhïla’s commentary (p. 43. I do not think. Overpowered. he abides without affliction. the other two Tibetan editions. because arranged fields called ‘arranged fields. Although Schopen notes the Gilgit fragment has “evil king” (Skt: kaliräjaë). Why is that? Subhüti. grasping as a sentient being. it is not so. The Sanskrit paribhüta is translated by Conze as “humbled” and by Schopen as “ridiculed.” 42. ‘The son of the lineage. that body would be big. should generate the mind not abiding in anything. and Conze’s Sanskrit edition chooses “difficult” (Skt: duêkaraæ). Bhagavän. the Tog Palace. 982) defines paribhüta as “1. I am an arhat. taste. he abides without affliction.28 Bhagavän. or phenomenon.” The Bhagavän said. The Sanskrit word stupa is also translated as the same Tibetan word mchod rten but the Sanskrit text has caitya. ‘I shall actualize arranged fields. if I were to think.” 45. and small editions each have an additional phrase here. That dharma that was received by the Tathägata from the Tathägata Arhat Perfectly Completed Buddha Dïpaôkara does not exist whatsoever. is the foremost of those who abide without afflictions.’ Bhagavän. Since not abiding in anything whatsoever. free of attachment. Sugata.’ Since it is taught by the Tathägata as not being a thing. what do you think about this? Would that body30 be big?” Subhüti replied.’ that itself would be a grasping of that as a self. conquered.’ the Tathägata would not have made the prediction about me saying. “Subhüti. therefore. Apte (p. if some bodhisattva were to say. the bodhisattva mahäsattva thus should generate the mind without abiding. Skt: öêi.” Here the Tibetan phrase “mchod rten lta bur ’gyur ro” is translated as “‘will become like a shrine. Subhüti. Tib: bye ba) and hundred billion (Skt: niyuta. 237b). Why is that? Because it is taught by the Tathägata as not being a thing. They should generate the mind not abiding in form. of arhatship. Tib: khrag khrig) are commonly used in denoting large numbers. it is called a ‘body. “Tormented” (Tib: mnar ba. Subhüti.’ Subhüti. ‘I have attained arhatship. Earlier in the text the phrase “mchod rten du gyur” was translated “real shrine. tactility.” The Tibetan mnar ba also refers to torture or excruciating pain in general.” 40. smell.” However. “Bhagavän. as well as the Gilgit Sanskrit fragment all have “astonishing” (Tib: ngo mtshar.’29 they would speak untruly. should generate the mind not abiding in sound. grasping as a living being. that body would be big. there- . ‘I am an arhat. Skt: caitya (caityabhüta). therefore. “Subhüti. “One should understand as just unimaginable also the maturation of this. Although missing in the Lhasa Zhol edition and Conze’s Sanskrit edition. “Bhagavän. 2. 44.36 The Vajra Cutter Sütra The Vajra Cutter Sütra 9 worthy to be explained. slighted.’” The Bhagavän said. “Subhüti. what do you think about this? Does that dharma that was received by the Tathägata from the Tathägata Arhat Perfectly Completed Buddha Dïpaôkara exist whatsoever?” Subhüti replied. Although the Lhasa Zhol and Tog Palace editions have “appreciate” (Tib: mos pa). Disregarded. Skt: äâcaryaæ). 41. but. “Bhagavän. grasping as a person. Ten million (Skt: koåi. they are called ‘arranged fields. Lanchou. it is like this: If. therefore. for example. Skt: paribhüta). The Tibetan commentary by Cone Gragspa (pp. I was declared by the Tathägata Arhat Perfectly Completed Buddha as the foremost of those who abide without afflictions. were to become like this. the king of mountains.” 46. all four Tibetan editions as well as Conze’s Sanskrit have “kaliûga.

what do you think about this? Would that man or woman produce much merit on that basis?” Subhüti replied.31 If some man or woman. much. there is no need to mention their grains of sand. holds. Subhüti. were to correctly teach it to others…” The text of the Gilgit fragment for this paragraph accords with the Lhasa Zhol and Tog Palace editions. The Lanchou and small editions have “If someone. completely filling with the seven kinds of precious things that many world systems as there are grains of sand of those rivers Ganges. 236b) accords with that reading and explains “however much” as meaning “explain to the bodhisattvas with however many ways as are . memorizes. other levels of gurus also abide. after taking from this discourse on Dharma but one stanza of four lines. That man or woman would produce much merit on that basis. the later could be translated as “At that place on earth either the Teacher or some such guru abides (sa phyogs de na ston pa’m. At that place on earth [where] the Teacher resides. and properly takes to mind…” 35. The former is as translated above (sa phyogs de na ston pa yang bzhugs te. what is the name of this discourse of Dharma? How should it be remembered?” He said that and the Bhagavän replied to the venerable Subhüti. The wording of the Lhasa Zhol and Tog Palace editions differs from that of the Lanchou and small editions. completely filling that many world systems with the seven types of precious things. on that basis the merit that itself would produce would be much greater. Conze’s translation. at whatever place on earth even a stanza of four lines from this discourse on Dharma is recited or taught. small. Subhüti. reads. and asuras. if someone. “Bhagavän. it should be remembered like that. Why discourse of Dharma. if those very Ganges Rivers were many. taking even as little as a stanza of four lines from this discourse of Dharma. “Subhüti.32 were to offer that to the tathägata arhat perfectly completed buddhas. it is called a ‘big body. understands. “The Lord: And again Subhuti. 39.10 The Vajra Cutter Sütra The Vajra Cutter Sütra 35 fore.” The Bhagavän said. “Furthermore. unfathomable.” mixes elements from other texts. 36. were to give gifts to the tathägata arhat perfectly completed buddhas.’” The Bhagavän said. what need to mention that whoever takes up this discourse of Dharma. and Sanskrit editions have “thirty-two marks of a great being. you should appreciate. that place on earth is a real shrine33 of the world with devas. bla ma lta bu gang yang rung bar gnas so). The Lhasa Zhol and Tog Palace editions both have “thirtytwo marks of the Tathägata” where as the Lanchou. understands. incalculable.” The Bhagavän said.”35 He said that and the venerable Subhüti replied to the Bhagavän. the name of this Dharma discourse is the ‘wisdom gone beyond’. 37. reads. memorizes. what do you think about this? If there were also just as many Ganges Rivers as there are grains of sand in the river Ganges. “Subhüti. having taken even as little as a stanza of four lines from this discourse of Dharma. writes. “Bhagavän. would their grains of sand be many?” Subhüti replied. bla ma’i gnas gzhan dag kyang gnas so). “Bhagavän. as many times as there grains of sand in the river Ganges. demonstrate and illuminate it to others…. suppose a woman or man would day by day renounce all they have and all they are. The Gilgit fragment begins from this point. if. much. humans. compared to someone who. The wording of the Lanchou and small editions differs: “This discourse on Dharma taught however much by the Tathägata…” Kamalaâhïla’s commentary (p. “Subhüti. and if they should renounce all they have and all they are for as many aeons as there are grains of sand in the river Ganges – but if someone else would. “Subhüti. you should understand. were to explain it and correctly and thoroughly teach it also to others. Sugata.” 38. and properly takes to mind34 will be most astonishing.

Why is that? . it is called ‘particle of earth. therefore.882). The Lhasa Zhol edition differs from the other three Tibetan editions and Conze’s Sanskrit edition by saying. the version of the other texts is used here on the assumption of scribal error.if. “Real shrine” (Tib: mchod rten du gyur.” As this would seem to ignore the immediately previous elaborate example. Having wiped away the tears. “Bhagavän.’” The Tathägata said.39 Bhagavän. “Bhagavän. The Lhasa Zhol and Tog Palace editions as well as Kamalaâhïla’s commentary (p. it is called ‘wisdom gone beyond. the body of a being were to become thus. what do you think about this? Is one to be viewed as the Tathägata Arhat Perfectly Completed Buddha due to those thirty-two marks of a great being?” Subhüti replied. “Bhagavän. 34. Sugata. 1. khyod kyis khong du chud par bya’o. they are called ‘thirty-two marks of the Tathägata. However. those sentient beings who will produce correct discrimination upon this sütra being explained will be most astonishing.”36 The Bhagavän said. therefore. it is not so. 233b) agree on this list. they are many. To complicate things further. Kamalaâhïla’s commentary (p. is astonishing. “Bhagavän.’ That which is a world system was taught by the Tathägata as not being a world system. the dharma that is taught by the Tathägata does not exist whatsoever. what do think about this? Are the quantities of particles of earth that exist in a billionfold world system many?” Subhüti replied. it is astonishing.” Thereupon. were to become like this.’”37 The Bhagavän said. Conze’s Sanskrit edition has “ärocayämi te Subhüti prativedayämi te. all four Tibetan editions used for this translation have “rab ’byor. Why is that? Bhagavän. Bhagavän. the particles of earth are many. 233a) has “mos par bya zhes bya ba ni ’dod pa ste. what do you think about this? Does the dharma that is taught by the Tathägata exist whatsoever?” Subhüti replied. compared with some man or woman completely giving up bodies numbering the grains of sand of the river Ganges. if someone.” which he translates as “This is what I announce to you. Subhüti.” 32. Skt: caityabhüta). he replied to the Bhagavän. taking even as little as a stanza of four lines from this discourse of Dharma. 33. Sugata. this is what I make known to you” – both sentences in the first person. shed tears.34 The Vajra Cutter Sütra The Vajra Cutter Sütra 11 word käya is used at the beginning of this paragraph (. because that which is a particle of earth was taught by the Tathägata as not being a particle. for example. Subhuti. “Further. The Lanchou and small editions have “whoever takes up this is that? Subhüti. as big as Sumeru…) 31..38 they would produce on that basis many greater merits. mos pa bskyed par bya’o khong du chud par bya’o zhes bya ba ni rtogs par bya ba ste shes rab bskyed do zhes bya ba’i tha tsig go / ’di la snga ma ni phyi ma’i ’bras bu’o / yang na phyi ma ni snga ma’i bshed pa’o / bshed ces bya ba ni sgra’o / wang dag par bstan zhes bya ba ni ’dod pa ste mos par bskyed pa’i don to. one Sanskrit equivalent of “smos” being “ärocayati” (see Lokesh Chandra. unfathomable. the venerable Subhüti. “…world systems equal to the grains of sand of the river Ganges. khyod mos par bya. because the very same wisdom gone beyond that is taught by the Tathägata is not gone beyond. therefore. therefore. p. it is called a ‘world system. since my production of exalted wisdom. “Subhüti. Bhagavän. “Subhüti. due to the impact of the Dharma. Why is that? Bhagavän.” The first phrase could be translated as “I shall announce to you” if we assume the Tibetan word “mos” (“appreciate” or “believe”) is actually “smos” (“mention” or “announce”).” the second phrase of which translates as “you should understand.. also were to teach it to others. because those thirty-two marks of a great being that are taught by the Tathägata are taught by the Tathägata as no marks. this discourse on Dharma taught thus by the Tathägata.’ “Subhüti. incalculable. I have never before heard this discourse on Dharma.

at that time there did not arise in me discrimination as a self. leave out the following sentence found in the other two Tibetan editions: “Bhagavän. Subhüti. if there had arisen discrimination as a sentient being. if at that time there had arisen in me discrimination as a self. Arranged fields (Skt: kêetra-vyühän. nor discrimination as a person.” Although the Sanskrit word “araôa” can mean “not fighting” (Apte. it is mentioned that Subhüti was recognized as foremost in two categories. 29. Bhagavän. 1. grasping as a person.263). that I imagine and appreciate is not astonishing40 to me. therefore. Conze’s Sanskrit edition has “personal existence” (Skt: ätmabhäva) at this point and in the following paragraph for the word “body” (Skt: käya. 1. those sentient beings who take up this Dharma discourse. Why is that? Subhüti. that itself which is the patience gone beyond of the Tathägata has not gone beyond. it is called ‘highest wisdom gone beyond. and discrimination as a person is not discrimination. Again. discrimination as a sentient being. discrimination as a living being. discriminating a person. Upon this sütra being explained. grasping as a living being. unterrified. ‘I have attained the result of non-returner. taught by the Tathägata. discrimination as a living being. Conze translates this as “the foremost of those who dwell in peace” (Skt: araôä-vihäriôäm agryo. grasping as a living being. at that time there would also have arisen discrimination of malice. grasping as a sentient being. Furthermore. “those who live without conflict and those who are worthy of gifts. at that time there would also have arisen discrimination of malice. those sentient beings who are unafraid. because that which is correct discrimination is not discrimination.12 The Vajra Cutter Sütra The Vajra Cutter Sütra 33 Bhagavän. was also taught by unfathomable buddha bhagaväns – therefore. Why is that? Subhüti. 213) and hence. because. n.’ “Further. because that itself which is discrimination as a self. However the Sanskrit .’ that itself would be a grasping of that as a self. grasping as a person. and understand it will be most astonishing. and will not become terrified will be most astonishing. yet there was also no nondiscrimination. it is so. correct discrimination was taught by the Tathägata saying ‘correct discrimination. Why is that? Subhüti.345. Why is that? Because the buddha bhagaväns are free of all discrimination.’ Bhagavän. it is so. at the end of the five hundred. if the once-returner were to think ‘I have attained the result of once-returner.’ that itself would be a grasping of that as a self.” He said that and the Bhagavän replied to the venerable Subhüti. and in me there was no discrimination whatsoever. Tib: lus). they will not engage in discriminating a self. “Subhüti. the following sentence is left as before: “Bhagavän. Bhagavän. because when the king of Kaliûga41 cut off my limbs and appendages. in that Subhüti was said to be very angry as a youth and had to overcome this faulty behavior in particular to achieve higher realizations. if a non-returner were to think. Tib: zhing bkod pa rnams) [translated by Conze as “harmonies of Buddha-fields” and by Schopen as “‘wonderful arrangements’ in my sphere of activity”] refers to the bodhisattva activity of creating the causes of their future buddha-field. memorize. discrimination as a sentient being. Why is that? Bhagavän. “without conflict” or “peace. Tib: nyon mongs pa med par gnas pa rnams kyi mchog). p. 30. read. discrimination as a person. in the final age.” 28.” 27. because this highest wisdom gone beyond. Sanskrit edition used by Conze. “Subhüti. discriminating a living being. I know with clairvoyance that in the past period. in the final time. will not engage in discriminating a sentient being. grasping as sentient being.” the Tibetan translation of “nyon mongs pa med pa” as “without afflictions” might reflect the intention of this epithet. the highest wisdom gone beyond that is taught by the Tathägata. discrimination as a living being. upon this Dharma discourse being explained. In the translation of The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha (Majjhima Nikäya) (p.

22. those sons of the lineage or daughters of the lineage who take up this Dharma discourse. Why is that? Subhüti. “that itself would be a grasping of that as a self. One should generate the mind not abiding in sound. “Further. . The “self” of “self-grasping” is not what is being grasped. One should generate the mind not abiding in form. the Tathägata teaches what is without error. he does not see anything whatsoever. seizing of a being. The Lhasa Zhol and Tog Palace editions.” thus includes a billion world systems. 227a) explains “having taken” as “done in recitation” (bzung nas ni zhes bya ba kha ton du byas ba’o). teaches truth. a man with eyes sees various kinds of forms. Subhüti. according to the Präsaûgika Madhyamaka school. Therefore. 93–4). However. even then there did not arise in me the discrimination as a self. discrimination as a person. completely abandoning all discrimination. as well as the during five hundred lifetimes. “that itself would be a grasping to a self of that. The first is grasping to a self of the person and the second is grasping to a self of phenomena. therefore. should generate the mind for unsurpassed perfectly complete enlightenment. 23. 26. likewise should one view the bodhisattva who totally gives up a gift by not falling into anything. whereas Conze’s Sanskrit edition specifies the recipients as the tathägata arhat perfectly completed buddhas. understand. Kamalaâhïla’s commentary (p. the Tathägata taught. likewise should one view the bodhisattva who totally gives up a gift by falling into anything. teaches what is.’ “Further. “Further. “Subhüti. ‘that itself would be grasping of that as a self’ (de nyid de yi bdag tu ’dzin par ’gyur ro) teaches (grasping to) the person and the result as self-grasping and true grasping. Why is that? Because that itself which is abiding does not abide. memorize. ‘The bodhisattva should give gifts not abiding. One should generate the mind not abiding in nonphenomena either. seizing of a person. The Lhasa Zhol and Tog Palace editions both have singular. for example: upon dawn and the sun rising. the dharma that is manifestly and completely realized or shown by the Tathägata has neither truth nor falsity. and correctly and thoroughly teach it to others in detail are known by the Tathägata. Those themselves who were taught by the Tathägata saying ‘all sentient beings’ also do not exist. smell. Subhüti. No recipient is specified in any of the four Tibetan editions nor in Kamalaâhïla’s commentary at this point.” rather than. All those sentient beings will produce an unfathomable heap of merit. taste. 25. The Tibetan commentary says (p. Subhüti.” 24. discrimination as a living being. “To take is to take the words to mind – suitable to apply even to having the text in hand – and to recite. the Tibetan commentary explains the genitive “of that” (“de’i” or “de yi”) as follows (p. Subhüti.32 The Vajra Cutter Sütra The Vajra Cutter Sütra 13 world systems. One should generate the mind not abiding in anything whatsoever.” One might argue that it is better to translate the phrase “de nyid de’i bdag tu ’dzin par ’gyur lags so” as.” However. The Lanchou and small texts both have plural. they are seen by the Tathägata. Conze translates the Sanskrit (section 9a) “sa eva tasya-ätmagräho bhavet sattva-gräho jïva-gräho pudgala-gräho bhaved iti” as “…then that would be in him a seizing of self. read. for example: if a man with eyes has entered darkness. Subhüti. the bodhisattva should thus totally give away gifts for the welfare of all sentient beings. it is like this. because the Tathägata teaches reality. the bodhisattva mahäsattva. the mental action called “self-grasping” or “grasping as a self” (bdag tu ’dzin pa) takes as its referent object the conventional self (of a person or other phenomena) and conceives of it as a truly existent self. 95): “Saying. seizing of a soul. it is like this. there did not arise the discrimination as a sentient being. I was the rishi42 called ‘Preacher of Patience’. that itself which is discrimination as a sentient being is non-discrimination. tactility.” But. or phenomena.

(they are) uncompounded. this Dharma discourse is unable to be heard by those who appreciate the inferior. all those sentient beings will hold my enlightenment on the shoulder. the basic world referred to includes four continents. Because of realizing that. at whatever place on earth this sütra is taught. and the non-alteration of phenomena is ‘the ärya truth. 225b) quotes a text (which he calls Compendium of Buddha.14 The Vajra Cutter Sütra The Vajra Cutter Sütra 31 “Further. if they themselves would produce much greater merit on that basis. to take up. memorizes. Literally. this Dharma discourse is unimaginable and incomparable. what need to mention someone who. 21. which is well known in Buddhist literature. Why is that? Subhüti. hundred billion eons43 – if someone. Tathägata as unsurpassed…” and “Has that Dharma been taught at all…” 19. the desire realm gods. the non-abiding.” 20. the Tathägata having considered this. read. Kamalaâhïla’s commentary (p. reads.’ This (means) whether the tathägatas arise or do not arise. the ärya beings are distinguished by that because the äryas are distinguished by realizing the uniqueness of phenomena (chos kyi de kho na).’ Änanda. and limitless. The “world systems of three thousand” refers to the three categories of such worlds – a thousand basic world systems (with the four continents. the non-disintegration. “Further. That place on earth will become worthy as an object of prostration and worthy as an object of circumambulation. to memorize. compared to some man or woman. Because another unique entity is unsuitable. as it refers to that which distinguishes the ärya beings. because of permanently existing like that and unchangeable. by those viewing a living being. Subhüti. etc. 44 This Dharma discourse was taught by the Tathägata for the benefit of sentient beings who have correctly entered into the supreme vehicle. to read. having written it in letters.” a thousand of those (or a million such world systems) called “the middling thousand. Buddha-saægïti: “Änanda. would not reject it. Subhüti. by those viewing a sentient being. in such number totally giving up bodies for many hundred thousands of ten million.” Perhaps the intention of the editor of the Lhasa Zhol text here is to make “uncompounded” more honorific. and correctly and thoroughly teaches it to others in detail? “Further. the welfare of sentient beings who have correctly entered into the best vehicle. and correctly and thoroughly teach it to others in detail are known by the Tathägata. by those viewing a self. “the great thousand of three thousand . and the first of the form realms of Brahma. whatever son of the lineage or daughter of the lineage takes up the words of a sütra like this. That place on earth will become like a shrine. having heard this Dharma discourse. the sun and moon.) called “the small thousand. said. “the great thousand of three thousand world systems” (Skt: trisähasramahäsähasram lokadhätu. understand. that which is the nonproduction. (Tib: Sangs rgyas yang dag par sdud pa). Being endowed with an unimaginable heap of merit. Subhüti. Tib: stong gsum gyi stong chen po’i ’jig rten gyi khams). immeasurable. that place on earth will become worthy to be paid homage by the world with devas. and to understand because that cannot be.” and a thousand of those (or a billion world systems) called “the great thousand. and asuras. Those who take up this Dharma discourse. Here. those viewing a person are unable to hear. memorize. ‘The ärya hearers (ârävaka) are distinguished by the uncompounded. memorizes. humans. takes it up.45 “Subhüti. incalculable.” The last of the three categories. at the time of dawn. Read “’dus ma byas” for “’dus ma bgyis. incomparable. understands. unfathomable. reads. totally giving up bodies numbering the grains of sand of the river Ganges – also totally giving up bodies numbering the grains of sand of the river Ganges at the time of midday and evening. they are seen by the Tathägata. All those sentient beings will be endowed with an unfathomable heap of merit. Sumeru (king of mountains).

at that time. by those who know the Dharma treatise as like a boat. and they will also attain the enlightenment of a buddha. Subhüti. the sons of the lineage or daughters of the lineage will receive a quantity of heap of merit that. the Lanchou and small texts have “…even if they engage in discriminating phenomena as selfless…” Kamalaâhïla’s commentary does not mention it. to have the Bhagavän say. from whatever I did. Kamalaâhïla’s commentary (p. However.” 18. in even more countless of countless eons. The Lhasa Zhol edition has: “…nor will they engage in discriminating as discrimination or non-discrimination”. Since the Tog Palace and Lanchou editions accord with the Sanskrit as well as with Kamalaâhïla’s commentary (p. a thousandth part. they will be tormented. This entire sentence is lacking in the Sanskrit.46 Why is that? Subhüti. measure. Subhüti. 223a). similarity. having pleased and not having upset those buddha bhagaväns and in the future period. it occurs in one of three variations in the Tibetan editions. there will be in the future period…” This seems to be more in accord with the following word “moreover” in the Lhasa Zhol and Tog Palace editions.30 The Vajra Cutter Sütra The Vajra Cutter Sütra 15 can be read. one who has correctly entered the bodhisattva’s vehicle should generate the mind thinking this: ‘I shall cause all sentient beings to pass completely beyond sorrow into the realm of nirvana without remainder of the aggregates. it is unclear whether the Bhagavän made this statement on this occasion. the small text has: “…nor will they engage in non-discrimination. the venerable Subhüti replied to the Bhagavän. no sentient being whatsoever . “…that would be with them a seizing on a self…” 16.” Conze translates the Sanskrit “tesäm” as “with them” – thus. equivalence. those non-virtuous actions of former lifetimes will be purified. sentient beings would go mad. the other three have “of them. the former heap of merit does not approach48 even a hundredth part. if I were to express the heap of merit of those sons of the lineage or daughters of the lineage. how practice. because whatever non-virtuous actions of former lifetimes that were committed by those sentient beings that would bring rebirth in the lower realms. leaving one to assume it may not have appeared in the version he was using. will be intensely tormented. 17. Subhüti. “Subhüti. how should one who has correctly entered the bodhisattva’s vehicle abide. a hundred-thousandth part. did not upset. “Do not speak thus Subhüti!” and then to say. and understanding. “Bhagavän. and having pleased. from someone taking up this sütra. “Subhüti. we have translated that here. how control the mind?” The Bhagavän said. much beyond even beyond47 the Tathägata Arhat Perfectly Completed Buddha Dïpaôkara. even dharmatä should be given up. as Conze does. or comparison. The Lhasa Zhol edition has “…even if they engage phenomena as non-existent…”. The Lanchou and small texts both have “…realized by the and understands. memorizing. compared to this heap of merit. if. “Subhüti. “Further. this Dharma discourse being unimaginable. would be disturbed. hundred billion buddhas whom I pleased. Although sentient beings were caused to pass completely beyond sorrow like that. its maturation indeed should also be known as unimaginable.” 15. there were eighty-four hundred thousands of ten million. reading. 14. the Tog Palace edition has “…even if they engage in discriminating phenomena as non-existent…”. 224b) quotes the Ärya Ratna Karaôçaka Sütra (’Phags pa dkon mchog za ma tog gi mdo): “Reverend Subhüti. what need is there to mention non-dharmas? Nor is the abandoning of any dharma even non-dharma. calculation. As the next sentence begins by again introducing the Bhagavän as the speaker. at the end of the five hundred. here.” Then. due to torment in this very life. “Yes. does not withstand enumeration. I know with clairvoyance that in the past period. The small text has “by them”.

” He said that and the Bhagavän replied to the venerable Subhüti. the Tathägata Dïpaôkara would not have made the prediction to me. whereas the Sanskrit . “Subhüti. Why is that? Subhüti.”) However. 12.’ Subhüti. in a future period you will become the Tathägata Arhat Perfectly Completed Buddha called àäkyamuni. he is not to be called a ‘bodhisattva. unsurpassed “lakêaôälakêaôatvataë. ‘Young brahmin. unsurpassed perfect and complete enlightenment. therefore. like the magically created Buddha. saying.” 11. in a future period you will become the Tathägata Arhat Perfectly Completed Buddha called àäkyamuni. unsurpassed perfect and complete enlightenment. This dispels the extreme of deprecation. The Lhasa Zhol and Tog Palace editions have “bshad pa ’di la. since that dharma that was manifestly and completely realized by the Tathägata. 221b) “…‘such as this’ means profound and extensive meaning…” 13.’ they would speak wrongly. ‘the end’ is treated in particular because of the preponderance of the five dregs at that time. if someone were to say. whereas our other two editions have “bshad pa dag la. “Subhüti. if that dharma that was manifestly and completely realized by the Tathägata were to exist at all. it is so.” which accords with Kamalaâhïla (p. ‘Thus’ one should view the Tathägata due to marks. thus. the Tibetan translations have: “de bzhin gshegs pa la mtsan dang mtsan ma med par blta’o” (reading our text’s “mtsan dang mtsan med” as the other texts read “mtsan dang mtsan ma med”).’ Why is that? Subhüti. Subhüti. which takes the compound “lakêaôa-alakêaôa” as “marks and no marks” instead of “no-marks as marks. because if a bodhisattva engages in discriminating a sentient being. unsurpassed perfect and complete enlightenment. saying. the Tathägata Dïpaôkara made the prediction to me. Here is indicated how to guard the mind – through abandoning the two extremes. to that degree there is wrong adherence. This indicates here how one should practice – by equipoise in yoga. Kamalaâhïla’s commentary explains this (on p.’ ‘To the degree there are no perfect marks’ is to be understood as explained oppositely. unsurpassed perfect and complete enlightenment. because the dharma called ‘one who has correctly entered the bodhisattva’s vehicle’ does not exist whatsoever.’ Why is that? Subhüti. does not exist whatsoever. does not exist whatsoever. ‘The Tathägata Arhat Perfectly Completed Buddha manifestly and completely realized unsurpassed perfect and complete enlightenment. to the degree there is adherence to the per fect marks. because of not deprecating the nirmäôakäya of the Bhagavän conventionally.49 “Subhüti. 221b) and the Sanskrit. because that dharma that was manifestly and completely realized by the Tathägata. 221a): “‘…To the degree there are perfect marks’ means ‘ultimately. Kamalaâhïla (p. what do you think about this? Does that dharma that was manifestly and completely realized by the Tathägata from the Tathägata Dïpaôkara. All four Tibetan editions have the Bhagavän telling Subhüti not to make the statement that is quoted.’ Why is that? Because. Subhüti. No marks are to be viewed ultimately. “Bhagavän.’ therefore. that dharma that was manifestly and completely realized by the Tathägata from the Tathägata Dïpaôkara. he is not to be called a ‘bodhisattva. ‘Young brahmin.” The Tibetan translation accords with Kamalaâhïla’s commentary (p.” 10. does not exist whatsoever.” or “upon explanations. This dispels the extreme of superimposition. It is so. because marks are not established at all.’ Also. 220a): “Since the doctrine of the Bhagavän is famed “to remain until five sets of five hundred…. if he engages in discriminating a person. exist whatsoever?” He said that and the venerable Subhüti replied to the Bhagavän. ‘Tathägata’ is an epithet of the suchness of reality.” which I find hard to understand. that dharma that was manifestly and completely realized by the Tathägata from the Tathägata Dïpaôkara.16 The Vajra Cutter Sütra The Vajra Cutter Sütra 29 was caused to passed beyond sorrow.

sampad also means “perfection. it is so. without a living being. 6b–7) explains that “the activity of food” includes many aspects of the activity. 5. that dharma that was manifestly and completely realized50 by the Tathägata has neither truth nor falsity.52 Why is that? Subhüti. clear and complete. ‘all dharmas are buddha dharmas’ was taught by the Tathägata.” “excellence.” in accordance with the Tog Palace. The name of one of Buddha’s principal lay sponsors often appears in Pali as Anäthapiôçika.” The venerable Subhüti replied. Therefore. ‘endowed with a body and a large body’ is said. it is like this. “Subhüti. 4. the Tathägata possesses the divine eye. they are also perfect…” (Tib: de dag kyang yul na gnas pa dang. they are called ‘arranged fields. it does not.” “possession. and this indicates three grounds as its subject matter. without a person. “Bhagavän. it is so.” 3. (Apte. therefore. Kamalaâhïla’s commentary (p. ‘I shall cause sentient beings to completely pass beyond sorrow. “One who has Gone to Bliss” (Skt: sugata.’ Why is that? Subhüti. “Subhüti. that taught by the Tathägata.’ is taught by the Tathägata as not being a body.’ he should not be called ‘bodhisattva. small and Lanchou editions. Therefore. it was taught by the Tathägata that ‘all dharmas are without a sentient being. what do you think about this? Does the Tathägata possess the divine eye?” Subhüti replied. 8. which include eating only once during the day.’53 “Subhüti. mtsam phun sum tsogs pa” as “ji tsam du mtsan phun sum tsogs pa. Therefore. because the arranged fields called ‘arranged fields’ are those taught by the Tathägata as non-arranged.’ he is expressed by the Tathägata Arhat Perfectly Completed Buddha as a bodhisattva called a ‘bodhisattva. rdzogs pas phun sum tsogs pa’o).” The Bhagavän said. all those are non-dharmas. 1. “Subhüti. 115: perfect and complete enlightenment.” However.” etc. Literally. Subhüti. does the dharma that is called ‘bodhisattva’ exist whatsoever?” Subhüti replied. 7. “Bhagavän.” The Bhagavän said. it is so. “Due to perfect marks” (Skt: lakêana-sampadä. “Bhagavän. 7b) explains this as referring to the special ascetic virtues prescribed by Buddha (Sanskrit: düta-guôgäë.” . Therefore. Subhüti. it is said that ‘all dharmas are buddha dharmas. ‘a human endowed with a body and a large body.’ he too should be expressed similarly.’ Subhüti. if some bodhisattva were to say. for example: like a human endowed with a body51 and the body became large. gsal ba dang.” The Bhagavän said.” etc. all done to benefit sentient beings in some way.644). Tibetan: sbyangs pa’i yon tan). does not exist whatsoever. Tib: bde bar gsheg pa). whatever bodhisattva appreciates that dharmas are selfless. 220b): “Since situated in position.’ Subhüti. The thin middle indicates the pure grounds of superior intention. ‘all dharmas’. and it is this meaning used in Kamalaâhïla’s commentary (p. “Bhagavän. if some bodhisattva were to say. which is a common epithet of the Buddha. 6. the Tathägata possesses the flesh eye. ‘I shall actualize arranged fields. 9 . What do you think about this? Does the Tathägata possess the flesh eye?” Subhüti replied.’ “Subhüti. it is like the aspect of a vajra. Hence. p. Tib: mtsan phun sum tsogs pas) can be translated from Sanskrit as “due to possessing marks”. Conze’s choice of “possession of his marks. the word sampad meaning “achievement. Hence.” (The Sacred Books of the East edition has on p. Read “‘di ji snyam du sems. Conze and others take “lakêaôa-alakêaôatas tathägato draêåavyaë” as “the Tathägata is to be seen from no-marks as marks. Kamalaâhïla’s commentary (pp. saying ‘dharmas are selfless.28 The Vajra Cutter Sütra The Vajra Cutter Sütra 17 and the buddha ground.

” The Bhagavän said. enormous. as many sentient beings as exist in those world systems. if a heap of merit were a NOTES 1. Therefore. nor does future consciousness exist as an observable. do you think that son of the lineage or daughter of the lineage would produce an enormous heap of merit on that basis?” Subhüti replied. Sugata. it is so. following Max Mueller.’ Why is that? Subhüti. Alternatively. completely filling this billionfold world system with the seven types of precious things. what do you think about this? If. what do you think about this? Does the Tathägata possess the dharma eye?” Subhüti replied.” The Bhagavän said. Because it cuts off the afflicted obstructions and the subtle obstructions to omniscience. the Buddhist scholar Edward Conze said (p.54 Why is that? Subhüti. what do you think about this? Does the Tathägata possess the wisdom eye?” Subhüti replied. “Subhüti. it is so. but strictly speaking. “Subhüti. However. 7): “It is usual. it is so. it is more than unlikely that the Buddhists here understand vajra as the material substance which we call ‘diamond. it is so. the Tathägata possesses the wisdom eye. it is the ‘vajra cutter’ in two ways. Vasubandhu. I totally know their continua of consciousness of different thoughts. the Tathägata possesses the dharma eye. what do you think about this? If someone. because past consciousness does not exist as an observable. the Tathägata possesses the buddha eye. “Bhagavän. The words of the title of the sütra have a slightly different order in the various editions. it is called a ‘continuum of consciousness. “Subhüti.” The Tathägata said. there being also just as many Ganges Rivers as there are grains of sand in the river Ganges. In fact. because a so-called ‘continuum of consciousness’ is that taught by the Tathägata as a non-continuum. “Subhüti. There is no reason to discontinue this popular usage.” The Tathägata said. naming it merely “Prajñäparamitä”: “Subhüti. 2. Similarly. those world systems would be many. were to give gifts. “Subhüti. Subhüti. It is so.” The Bhagavän said. that son of the lineage or daughter of the lineage would produce an enormous heap of merit on that basis. what do you think about this? Does the Tathägata possess the buddha eye?” Subhüti replied. the word “vajra” used in the title is not explained as meaning “diamond” in either the sütra itself or the Indian commentaries we have access to (those of Asaûga. there were just as many world systems as there are grains of sand of those.18 The Vajra Cutter Sütra The Vajra Cutter Sütra 27 The Bhagavän said. “Bhagavän. it is so. “Subhüti. would those world systems be many?” Subhüti replied. enormous. 204a) takes “vajra” to mean the adamantine implement: “Like this. to render Vajracchedikä Sütra as <<Diamond Sutra>>. “Bhagavän. “Bhagavän.’” Kamalaâhïla’s commentary (p. the Buddha does not even mention the word “vajra” in the discourse itself (at least not in the Tibetan or Sanskrit editions). which are as difficult to destroy as the vajra – this indicates the necessity to abandon the two obstructions. Often translated as Diamond Sütra or Diamond Cutter Sütra. “Subhüti.” In his introduction to his edition and translation. the cutting is ‘vajra-like’ since it is similar to the shape of the vajra: the vajra is made bulbous on the ends and thin in the center. it should be remembered like that. nor does present consciousness exist as an observable. “Bhagavän. and Kamalaâhïla). this wisdom gone beyond is also taught as extensive in the beginning and the end – the ground of aspirational activity . the name of this Dharma discourse is ‘the wisdom gone beyond’.

what do you think about this? If it is thought that the Tathägata considers. “Bhagavän.26 The Vajra Cutter Sütra The Vajra Cutter Sütra 19 Materials for a Dictionary of the Prajñäpäramitä Literature. one should not be viewed as the Tathägata due to total achievement of the form body. Why is that? Bhagavän. Tokyo.’” The Bhagavän said.’ “Subhüti. “Bhagavän. “Subhüti. what do you think about this? Does that dharma that was manifestly and completely realized by the Tathägata. the venerable Subhüti said to the Bhagavän. Why is that? Because that which was taught by the Tathägata as perfect marks was taught by the Tathägata as not being perfect marks. therefore. unsurpassed perfect and complete enlightenment. Rinsen Book Co. what do you think about this? Is one to be viewed as the Tathägata due to perfect marks?” Subhüti replied. Edward Conze. ‘the dharma is demonstrated by me. Subhüti. what do you think about this? Should one be viewed as the Tathägata due to total achievement of the form body?” Subhüti replied. “Subhüti. if someone were to say ‘the dharma is demonstrated by the Tathägata. the Tathägata would not have taught a heap of merit called a ‘heap of merit. in the future period. one is not to be viewed as the Tathägata due to perfect marks.’ does not exist whatsoever. Kyoto. having heard this demonstration55 of such a dharma as this.’ Subhüti. exist whatsoever?” . 1973. Why is that? Subhüti.’ which is referred to saying ‘demonstrated dharma. “Subhüti. because that demonstrated dharma called ‘demonstrated dharma. 1992. will clearly believe?” The Bhagavän said..’” The Bhagavän said. 1982. Tibetan-Sanskrit Dictionary. Why is that? Subhüti. Rinsen Book Co. Vaman Shivaram Apte. it is called ‘total achievement of the form body. will there be any sentient beings who.’ “Subhüti. therefore are called ‘sentient beings. Kyoto. heap of merit. because ‘total achievement of the form body’ is that taught by the Tathägata as not being total achievement. Suzuki Research Foundation. do not view it like that. it is not so. because the dharma that is demonstrated by the Tathägata does not exist whatsoever..’ because they were taught by the Tathägata as non– sentient beings. he would deprecate me since nonexistent and wrongly seized. they are not sentient beings nor non–sentient beings. therefore.” Then. “Bhagavän. they are called ‘perfect marks.’ Subhüti. it is not so. so-called ‘sentient beings. The Practical Sanskrit-English Dictionary. Lokesh Chandra.

Subhüti. Vajracchedikä Prajñäpäramitä. inequivalence58 does not exist whatsoever. does not exist whatsoever. are therefore called ‘virtuous dharmas. The Vajra Cutter Sütra. Extensive Commentary of the Exalted Vajra Cutter Wisdom Gone Beyond (’Phags pa shes rab kyi pha rol tu phyin pa rdo rje gcod pa’i rgya cher ’grel pa). edited and translated by Edward Conze.’ “Further. compared to any son of the lineage or daughter of the lineage collecting a heap of the seven types of precious things about equaling whatever Sumeru. therefore. “Subhüti. mDo ’grel ma 204a–67a. if someone. “Subhüti. Istituto Italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente.57 therefore. for it. yet that is grasped by childish ordinary beings.’ that is taught by the Tathägata as non-grasping. what do you think about this? Is one to be viewed BIBLIOGRAPHY The Vajra Cutter Sütra. Subhüti. what do you think about this? If it is thought that the Tathägata considers. grasping a living being. Subhüti. Subhüti. 89–139. that dharma that was manifestly and completely realized by the Tathägata. that dharma is equivalent since. 13. A. grasping a sentient being.’ Subhüti. “The Manuscript of the Vajracchedikä Found at Gilgit. because those sentient beings who are liberated by the Tathägata do not exist whatsoever. ‘Sentient beings are liberated by me. vol. grasping a self. they are called ‘childish ordinary beings. compared to this heap of merit. and Yeshe sDe.” The Bhagavän said.’ they. from the Lhasa Zhol bKa’-’gyur. does not withstand comparison.56 even the least dharma does not exist and is not observed. from volume mDo ’grel ma of the sDe dge bstan ’gyur. The Vajra Cutter Sütra. without living being. virtuous dharmas called ‘virtuous dharmas. TOH 3818. unsurpassed perfect and complete enlightenment. it is called ‘unsurpassed perfect and complete enlightenment. without person – is manifestly and completely realized through all virtuous dharmas. 1957. grasping a person. Jinamitra. 51. shes phyin sna tshogs. pp. therefore. Silk. Why is that? Subhüti.’ “Further. Subhüti. vol. originally printed in 1934. it is so. were to teach it to others.20 The Vajra Cutter Sütra The Vajra Cutter Sütra 25 The venerable Subhüti replied.’ “Subhüti. if some sentient being were to be liberated by the Tathägata. and giving gifts. from the Tog Palace Manuscript of the Tibetan Kanjur. O. 1989. For it. do not view it like that. Ann Arbor: The University of Michigan. folios 215a–235b. so-called ‘childish ordinary beings. so-called ‘grasping a self. having taken up even as little as a stanza of four lines from this wisdom gone beyond. translated by the team Mañjuârï.” In Studies in the Literature of the Great Vehicle: Three Mahäyäna Buddhist Texts. it is so. edited by L.’ That unsurpassed perfect and complete enlightenment – equivalent as selfless. Serie Orientale Roma. An Annotated Transcription and Translation by Gregory Schopen. exist in a billion world systems. king of mountains. by Kamalaâhïla. Leh. that itself would be. Subhüti. vol. of the Tathägata. Subhüti. without sentient being. taught by the Tathägata as just non-dharmas. the former heap of merit having not approached even a hundredth part. ka. Gómez and J. small edition republished by FPMT (details unknown) Lanchou edition of the Vajra Cutter and Its Commentary (rDo rje gcod pa dang de’i ’grel ba bzhugs so) containing the Vajra Cutter Sütra with the commentary of Cone Gragspa. it is called ‘unsurpassed perfect and complete enlightenment. . 1979.’ they were taught by the Tathägata as just non-beings. “Bhagavän.

Subhüti. completely filling with the seven kinds of precious things as many world systems as there are grains of sand of the rivers Ganges. whoever knows me as sound. one is not viewed as the Tathägata due to perfect marks. therefore.’ Subhüti. The buddhas are dharmatä60 viewed. “Bhagavän.”61 “Subhüti. the venerable Subhüti said to the Bhagavän. One is not viewed as the Tathägata due to perfect marks.’ Subhüti. by Gelong Thubten Tsultrim (the American Buddhist monk George Churinoff). it should not be viewed so. It was completed on 22 March 2002 at the Chandrakirti Tibetan Buddhist Meditation Centre. if one grasps that ‘some dharma has been designated as destroyed or annihilated62 by those who have correctly entered the bodhisattva’s vehicle. as the Tathägata due to perfect marks?” Subhüti replied. what do you think about this? If one grasps that ‘the Tathägata Arhat Perfectly Completed Buddha is due to perfect marks. were to give gifts. those who have correctly entered the bodhisattva’s vehicle have not designated any dharma whatsoever as destroyed or annihilated. it is so. and having viewed several excellent earlier English translations. even a chakravartin king would be the Tathägata.” The Bhagavän said. Since dharmatä is not to be known. New Zealand. “Subhüti. “Further. you should not view so for. it is so. as I understand the meaning of what the Bhagavän has said.” Then. “Subhüti. having compared it with various other Tibetan printings as well as with Sanskrit versions. revising the translation of the Indian abbot àilendra Bodhi and Yeshe sDe with the new language standard. “Bhagavän. the guides are the dharmakäya. it is unable to be known. the Tathägata Arhat Perfectly Completed Buddha does not manifestly and completely realize unsurpassed perfect and complete enlightenment due to perfect marks. has wrongly engaged by abandoning. compared to any son of the lineage or daughter of the lineage who. Subhüti.24 The Vajra Cutter Sütra The Vajra Cutter Sütra 21 Colophon to the Lhasa Zhol text: 70 Compiled. near Nelson. Subhüti. one is not viewed as the Tathägata due to perfect marks.59 those beings do not see me. if one were viewed as the Tathägata due to perfect marks. if any bodhisattva .” Then. Colophon to the English translation: This translation of the Vajra Cutter Sütra is based on the Tibetan Lhasa Zhol text. it is not so. these verses were spoken by the Bhagavän at that time: “Whoever sees me as form. one is not viewed as the Tathägata due to perfect marks.

it is called ‘acquire. if any son of the lineage or daughter of the lineage who. on that basis the merit he himself would produce would be more. into powder like a collection of subtlest atoms. it would not. the elder67 Subhüti. Subhüti. should view. those bodhisattvas. “Subhüti. one says ‘discrimination as a dharma. called ‘discrimination as a dharma. were to memorize or read or understand or correctly and thoroughly teach it to others in detail. Subhüti. were to give gifts. a dream. asuras. highly praised that taught by the Bhagavän. Why is that? Subhüti. therefore. was taught by the Tathägata as no viewing. That collection of subtlest atoms would be many. “Bhagavän. having taken66 as little as a stanza of four lines from this perfection of wisdom. overjoyed. “Bhagavän. should appreciate all dharmas like this. 68 the fourfold disciples – bhikêhus. if some son of the lineage or daughter of the lineage were to render as many atoms of earth as exist in a billionfold world system.” The venerable Subhüti replied. not abiding whatsoever in any discrimination as a dharma. one says ‘billionfold world system. if someone were to say. compared to any bodhisattva mahäsattva who. if someone says. ‘The Tathägata goes or comes or stands or sits or lies down. Why is that? Subhüti. because that which was taught by the Tathägata as viewing as a self.’ Why is that? Bhagavän.’ is taught by the Tathägata as nondiscrimination. “How should one correctly and thoroughly teach? Just how one would not correctly and thoroughly teach. one says.63 on that basis the heap of merit they themselves would produce would be much greater. “Bhagavän. humans. therefore. one says. Sugata. one says. the Bhagavän would not have said ‘collection of subtlest atoms. Subhüti. therefore. they should appreciate65 like this.’ “Further. unfathomable.22 The Vajra Cutter Sütra The Vajra Cutter Sütra 23 attained forbearance that dharmas are selfless and unproduced.’” The Bhagavän said. yet it is grasped by ordinary childish beings. incalculable. should not a heap of merit be acquired by the bodhisattva?” The Bhagavän said. therefore. because if there were to be a world system. a lamp. ‘viewing as a self.’ “Subhüti. that itself would be grasping a solid thing. grasping a solid thing is itself a convention. therefore. not wrongly grasp. it is so. therefore. Further. completely filling unfathomable and incalculable world systems with the seven kinds of precious things. because discrimination as a dharma. those who have correctly entered the bodhisattva’s vehicle should know. . and a cloud – view all the compounded like that. a bubble.’ That ‘billionfold world system’ that was taught by the Tathägata was taught by the Tathägata as no system. an illusion. “Subhüti. one says ‘collection of subtlest atoms.’” The Bhagavän said. The Exalted Mahäyäna Sütra on the Wisdom Gone Beyond called ‘The Vajra Cutter’ is concluded. That taught by the Tathägata as grasping a solid thing was taught by the Tathägata as no grasping. it would not. dew. ‘the Tathägata Arhat Perfectly Completed Buddha. and gandharvas.’ Subhüti. bhikêhunis. that dharma does not exist as expressed. ‘Viewing as a self was taught by the Tathägata and viewing as a sentient being. would that be spoken by right speech?” Subhüti replied.’ “Further. lightning. upäsakas and upäsikas69 – and the world with devas.” That having been said by the Bhagavän.’ “As a star. Subhüti. acquire. therefore.’ he does not understand the meaning explained by me. ‘correctly and thoroughly teach. because if there were a collection. like this for example. Why is that? Bhagavän. because ‘the Tathägata’ (‘the One Gone Thus’) does not go anywhere nor has come from anywhere. a visual aberration. one says ‘grasping a solid thing. “Subhüti. viewing as a living being. what do you think about this? Would that collection of subtlest atoms be many?” Subhüti replied. Subhüti.’ Why is that? Because that ‘collection of subtlest atoms’ that was taught by the Bhagavän was taught by the Tathägata as no collection. Why is that? Bhagavän. a heap of merit should not be acquired by the bodhisattva.64 therefore. viewing as a person was taught by the Tathägata.

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