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Diamond Sūtra 《金剛般若波羅蜜經》

Able to purify obstructions 能淨業障分

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Able to purify obstructions 淨業


Text


復次須菩提善男子善女人受持讀誦為人輕賤先世罪業惡道今世輕賤先世罪業消滅阿耨多羅三藐三菩提

“Moreover, Subhūti, suppose good men [kulaputra] and good women [kuladuhitā] accept, maintain, study, and recite this sūtra. If they are treated badly due to karma from a previous life that would make them fall onto evil paths, then from this treatment by others [paribhūtata] their karma from previous lives will be eliminated in this lifetime, and they will attain Anuttarā Samyaksaṃbodhi.

Sanskrit: api tu ye te subhūte kulaputrā vā kuladuhitaro vā imānevaṃrūpān sūtrāntānudgrahīṣyanti dhārayiṣyanti vācayiṣyanti paryavāpsyanti, yoniśaśca manasikariṣyanti, parebhyaśca vistareṇa saṃprakāśayiṣyanti, te paribhūtā bhaviṣyanti, suparibhūtāśca bhaviṣyanti| tatkasya hetoḥ ? yāni ca teṣāṃ subhūte sattvānāṃ paurvajanmikānyaśubhāni karmāṇi kṛtānyapāyasaṃvartanīyāni, dṛṣṭa eva dharme paribhūtatayā tāni paurvajanmikānyaśubhāni karmāṇi kṣapayiṣyanti, buddhabodhiṃ cānuprāpsyanti||

Comments


In the English text here the Sanskrit word karma (accusative case, plural form: karmāṇi) translates the Chinese 罪業, which could also be translated as sin or unwholesome action in this context. The English phrase evil paths here translates the Chinese 惡道, Sanskrit apāya. Other English translations use the term unfortunate rebirth. The unfortunate rebirths include being born in one of three of the animal, hungry ghost, or hell realms. In the English text Anuttarā Samyaksaṃbodhi translates the Chinese 阿耨多羅三藐三菩提. In the Sanskrit text it is given as buddhabodhi.

The Sanksrit word paribhūtata means humiliation or degradation. The instrumental case is used, meaning for that humiliation.

Text


須菩提過去無量阿僧祇劫然燈佛八百四千萬億那由他悉皆供養復有末世受持讀誦所得功德供養佛功德百分不及千萬億乃至算數譬喻不能

Subhūti, I remember in the past, innumerable, incalculable [asaṃkhyeya] eons before Dīpaṃkara Buddha, being able to meet 84,000 countless myriads of buddhas, and providing offerings to honor them all without exception. Suppose someone in the next era is able to accept, maintain, study, and recite this sūtra. The merits [puṇya] of my offerings to all those buddhas are, in comparison to the merits [puṇya] of this person, not even one hundredth as good. They are so vastly inferior that a comparison cannot be made [kṣamate].

Sanskrit: abhijānāmyahaṃ subhūte atīte'dhvanyasaṃkhyeyaiḥ kalpairasaṃkhyeyatarairdīpaṃkarasya tathāgatasyārhataḥ samyaksaṃbuddhasya pareṇa paratareṇa caturaśītibuddhakoṭiniyutaśatasahasrāṇyabhūvan ye mayārāgitāḥ, ārāgya na virāgitāḥ| yacca mayā subhūte te buddhā bhagavanta ārāgitāḥ, ārāgya na virāgitāḥ, yacca paścime kāle paścime samaye paścimāyāṃ pañcaśatyāṃ saddharmavipralopakāle vartamāne imānevaṃrūpān sūtrāntānudgrahīṣyanti dhārayiṣyanti vācayiṣyanti paryavāpsyanti, parebhyaśca vistareṇa saṃprakāśayiṣyanti, asya khalu punaḥ subhūte puṇyaskandhasyāntikādasau paurvakaḥ puṇyaskandhaḥ śatatamīmapi kalāṃ nopaiti, sahasratamīmapi śatasahasratamīmapi koṭimamipi koṭiśatatamīmapi koṭiśatasahasratamīmapi koṭiniyutaśatasahasratamīmapi| saṃkhyāmapi kalāmapi gaṇanāmapi upamāmapi upaniṣadamapi yāvadaupamyamapi na kṣamate||

Comments


The Sanskrit word kṣamate is a form of the word kṣamatā, meaning ability or capability (Chinese: ). This is used above in the English phrase "a comparison cannot be made."

Text


須菩提善男子善女人末世受持讀誦所得功德有人狂亂狐疑不信須菩提不可思議果報不可思議。」

Subhūti, if there are good men [kulaputra] and good women [kuladuhitā] in the next era who accept, maintain, study, and recite this sūtra, and I [ahaṃ] were to fully explain all the merits [puṇya] attained, the minds [citta] of those listening could go mad [unmāda] with confusion, full of doubt and disbelief. Subhūti, understand that just as the meaning of this sūtra is inconceivable [acintya], its rewards of karma [vipāka] are also inconceivable [acintya].”

Sanskrit: sacetpunaḥ subhūte teṣāṃ kulaputrāṇāṃ kuladuhitṝṇāṃ vā ahaṃ puṇyaskandhaṃ bhāṣeyam, yāvatte kulaputrā vā kuladuhitaro vā tasmin samaye puṇyaskandhaṃ prasaviṣyanti, pratigrahīṣyanti, unmādaṃ sattvā anuprāpnuyuścittavikṣepaṃ vā gaccheyuḥ| api tu khalu punaḥ subhūte acintyo'tulyo'yaṃ dharmaparyāyastathāgatena bhāṣitaḥ| asya acintya eva vipākaḥ pratikāṅkṣitavyaḥ||16||

Comments


In his commentary on the Diamond Sūtra, Seng Zhao (384—414) says,

If your mind is limited, your merit will be slight.
If your thoughts are boundless, your merit will be great.
(Red Pine 2009, p 277 translating Seng Zhao 僧肇 Jingang Jing Zhu 金剛般若波羅蜜經注)


The Buddha said that the four things that cannot be fully comprehended are states of meditation, the effects of karma, the origin of the universe, and a buddha's body of merit. (Red Pine 2009, p 278 referring to the Ekottarika Agama)

In the English text the word incalculable translates the Chinese 阿僧祇, which is a transliteration of the Sanskrit asaṃkhyeya, a huge number approximately equal to 10140. Dīpaṃkara 然燈佛 was mentioned in Section 10. The English phrase 'rewards of karma' translates the Chinese 果報, Sanskrit vipāka.

The English pronoun I translates the Chinese , Sanskrit ahaṃ. The Chinese word also means self but the Sanskrit term for self is ātman.

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