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Diamond Sūtra 《金剛般若波羅蜜經》

No speaking, no dharma to speak 非說所說分

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No speaking, no dharma to speak


Text


須菩提如來:『有所說法。』何以:『如來有所說法。』即為謗佛不能須菩提說法無法說法。」

“Subhūti, do not say that it occurs to the Tathāgata, ‘I [mayā] have a spoken [deśita] Dharma.’ Do not compose this thought. Why? If someone says ‘The Tathāgata has a spoken [deśita] Dharma,’ then this is like slandering the Buddha, because what I [mayā] have spoken [deśita] cannot be understood. Subhūti, one who speaks the Dharma is unable to speak any dharma, and it is thus called speaking the Dharma [dharmadeśanā].”

Sanskrit: bhagavānāha- tatkiṃ manyase subhūte api nu tathāgatasyaivaṃ bhavati-mayā dharmo deśita iti ? subhūtirāha-no hīdaṃ bhagavan tathāgatasyaivaṃ bhavati-mayā dharmo deśita iti| bhagavānāha-yaḥ subhūte evaṃ vadet- tathāgatena dharmo deśita iti, sa vitathaṃ vadet| abhyācakṣīta māṃ sa subhūte asatodgṛhītena| tatkasya hetoḥ ? dharmadeśanā dharmadeśaneti subhūte nāsti sa kaściddharmo yo dharmadeśanā nāmopalabhyate||

Commentary


The Buddha says this to prevent attachment to the teachings.

The English word spoken translates the Chinese , Sanskrit deśita. This is a classical use of the Chinese word, which in modern Chinese literally just means to speak. However, elsewhere in the text where general conversation is meant the Chinese word is used. Thus to 'speak the Dhárma' really means to teach the Dhárma. This is also conveyed by the Sanskrit compound dharmadeśanā, which is a compound form from the parts dharma + deśanā (English: instruction).

Text


爾時慧命須菩提白佛:「世尊頗有眾生未來世聞說信心?」佛言: 「須菩提眾生眾生何以須菩提眾生眾生如來眾生眾生。」

At that time, Living Wisdom Subhūti addressed the Buddha, saying, “Bhagavān, will there be sentient beings in the next era who will hear [śrutvā] this spoken dharma and give rise to a mind of belief?” The Buddha replied, “Subhūti, there will be neither sentient beings nor will there not be sentient beings [nāsattvāḥ]. Why? Subhūti, the sentient beings that the Tathāgata speaks of are not sentient beings, and are thus called sentient beings.”

Sanskrit: evamukte āyuṣmān subhūtirbhagavantametadavocat-asti bhagavan kecitsattvā bhaviṣyantyanāgate'dhvani paścime kāle paścime samaye paścimāyāṃ pañcaśatyāṃ saddharmavipralope vartamāne, ya imānevaṃrūpān dharmān śrutvā abhiśraddhāsyanti| bhagavānāha- na te subhūte sattvā nāsattvāḥ| tatkasya hetoḥ ? sattvāḥ sattvā iti subhūte sarve te subhūte asattvāstathāgatena bhāṣitāḥ| tenocyante sattvā iti||21||

Commentary


Teaching the Dhárma was mentioned previously in Section 7 and is described in more depth here. When Subhūti reflects on the difficult nature of this teaching he wonders if anybody else will understand it. Subhūti asked the same question in Section 6 but has understanding has advanced since.

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