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Diamond Sūtra 《金剛般若波羅蜜經》

No dharmas may be grasped 無法可得分

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No dharmas may be grasped 無法得分


須菩提白佛:「世尊阿耨多羅三藐三菩提無所得?」 「如是如是須菩提阿耨多羅三藐三菩提乃至無有阿耨多羅三藐三菩提

Subhūti asked the Buddha, “Bhagavān, is the Buddha’s attainment of Anuttarā Samyaksaṃbodhi actually without attainment?” “Thusly, thusly, Subhūti. With regard to my Anuttarā Samyaksaṃbodhi, there is not [nāsti] even the slightest [aṇu] dharma of Anuttarā Samyaksaṃbodhi which may be grasped.

Sanskrit: tatkiṁ manyase subhūte-api nu asti sa kaściddharmaḥ, yastathāgatenānuttarāṁ samyaksaṁbodhimabhisaṁbuddhaḥ ? āyuṣmān subhūtirāha-no hīdaṁ bhagavan| nāsti sa bhagavan kaściddharmo yastathāgatenānuttarāṁ samyaksaṁbodhimabhisaṁbuddhaḥ| bhagavānāha-evametatsubhūte, evametat| aṇurapi tatra dharmo na saṁvidyate nopalabhyate| tenocyate anuttarā samyaksaṁbodhiriti||22||


The Buddha says this to avoid disciples' attachment to enlightenment. The English phrase is not translates the Chinese 無有, Sanskrit nāsti. The Chinese text adds Thus it is called Anuttarā Samyaksaṃbodhi to the end of this passage, which is missing in the English.

The Buddha is not saying that he has not attained enlightenment. In the Kalaka Sutta the Buddha says,

"Monks, whatever in the cosmos — with its devas, Maras, & Brahmas, its generations with their contemplatives & brahmans royalty & common people — is seen, heard, sensed, cognized, attained, sought after, pondered by the intellect: That do I know.
(AN 4.241)

In the Atthinukhopariyaayo Sutta the Buddha explains the criteria for know if one is enlightened,

"Is there, monks, any criterion whereby a monk, apart from faith, apart from persuasion, apart from inclination, apart from rational speculation, apart from delight in views and theories, could affirm the attainment of enlightenment ... ?

"In this, monks, a monk seeing an object with the eye recognizes within himself the presence of lust, hatred or delusion, knowing 'Lust, hatred or delusion is present in me,' or he recognizes the absence of these things, knowing 'There is no lust, hatred or delusion present in me.' ...
(SN 35.1522)

In his commentary on the Diamond Sūtra Hui Neng says,

The Buddha says that he does not actually have any thought of seeking or obtaining enlightenment. And because of this it can be called 'unexcelled, perfect enlightenment'
(Manji 04593)


  1. "Kalaka Sutta: At Kalaka's Park" (AN 4.24), translated from the Pali by Thanissaro Bhikkhu. Access to Insight (Legacy Edition), 30 November 2013,
  2. "Atthinukhopariyaayo Sutta: Is There a Criterion?" (SN 35.152), translated from the Pali by Maurice O'Connell Walshe. Access to Insight (Legacy Edition), 30 November 2013,
  3. Red Pine 2009, p 351, translation of Hui Neng Exegesis on the Diamond Sutra 金剛經解義, Manji 0459

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