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Diamond Sūtra 《金剛般若波羅蜜經》

The virtuous practice of a pure mind 淨心行善分

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The virtuous practice of a pure mind 淨心行善



“Moreover [khalu punaḥ], Subhūti, the equality [sama] of dharmas that has nothing that is better or worse [viṣama], is called Anuttarā Samyaksaṃbodhi, and by means of no self [nirātma], no person [niṣpudgala], no being, and no life [nirjīva], all pure dharmas are cultivated and Anuttarā Samyaksaṃbodhi is attained. Subhūti, these pure [kuśalā] dharmas that the Tathāgata speaks of are not pure [kuśalā] dharmas, and are thus called pure [kuśalā] dharmas.

Sanskrit: api tu khalu punaḥ subhūte samaḥ sa dharmo na tatra kaścidviṣamaḥ| tenocyate anuttarā samyaksaṁbodhiriti| nirātmatvena niḥsattvatvena nirjīvatvena niṣpudgalatvena samā sā anuttarā samyaksaṁbodhiḥ sarvaiḥ kuśalairdharmairabhisaṁbudhyate| tatkasya hetoḥ ? kuśalā dharmāḥ kuśalā dharmā iti subhūte adharmāścaiva te tathāgatena bhāṣitāḥ| tenocyante kuśalā dharmā iti||23||


In this section the English word equal translates the Chinese 平等, Sanskrit sama. The phrase better or worse translates the Chinese 高下, Sanskrit viṣama. The phrase no self translates the Chinese 無我, Sanskrit nirātma. The phrase no life translates the Chinese 無壽, Sanskrit nirjīva. The word pure translates the Chinese , Sanskrit kuśala. It is translated as wholesome by Venerable Yifa, which is a more meaningful word in this context.

The theme of this section is having a non-discriminating and pure mind. The Buddha says that wholesome dharmas are not wholesome dharmas. One understanding of this is that wholesome is not always wholesome. It depends on the particular context and our own state of mind. That is because the concept of wholesome is relative, not absolute. Take the example of drinking alchohol. It is a French custom for a family to have a a glass of wine each with dinner and that is a wholesome custom. However, binge drinking by college students and compulsive drinking by alchoholics is not a wholesome thing.


Can you think of examples of things that are wholesome in some contexts and not wholesome in others?

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