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Diamond Sūtra 《金剛般若波羅蜜經》

The principle of the unity of appearances 一合理相分

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The principle of the unity of appearances 合理相分


須菩提善男子善女人三千大千世界微塵云何微塵?」 「甚多世尊何以若是微塵實有微塵所以佛說微塵微塵微塵世尊如來三千大千世界世界世界何以世界實有則是一合相如來一合相一合相一合相。」「須菩提一合相則是不可說但凡貪著其事

Yifa: “Subhuti, if virtuous men and women were to grind a great trichiliocosm into minute particles [paramāṇu], what does your mind say? This assemblage of minute particles would be many [bahu], would it not?”

“Extremely many [asaṃkhyeya], World-Honored One. Why is this? If this assemblage [sañcaya] of minute particles was really existent, then the Buddha would not have spoken of an assemblage of minute particles. How is this? The Buddha says an assemblage of minute particles is not an assemblage of minute particles, so it is called an assemblage of minute particles.”

“World-Honored One, the Tathagata has said a great trichiliocosm is not a great trichiliocosm, so it is called a great trichiliocosm. Why is this? If a great trichiliocosm was really existent, then it would be a unified entity. The Tathagata says a unified entity is not a unified entity, so it is called a unified entity.”

“Subhuti, a unified entity cannot be spoken of. Only ordinary people are attached to this matter [piṇḍagrāha].”

Sanskrit: yaśca khalu punaḥ subhūte kulaputro vā kuladuhitā vā yāvanti trisāhasramahāsāhasre lokadhātau pṛthivīrajāṃsi, tāvatāṃ lokadhātūnāmevaṃrūpaṃ maṣiṃ kuryāt yāvadevamasaṃkhyeyena vīryeṇa tadyathāpi nāma paramāṇusaṃcayaḥ, tatkiṃ manyase subhūte-api nu bahuḥ sa paramāṇusaṃcayo bhavet ? subhūtirāha-evametadbhagavan, evametatsugata| bahuḥ sa paramāṇusaṃcayo bhavet| tatkasya hetoḥ ? sacedbhagavan bahuḥ paramāṇusaṃcayo'bhaviṣyat, na bhagavānavakṣyat-paramāṇusaṃcaya iti| tatkasya hetoḥ ? yo'sau bhagavan paramāṇusaṃcayastathāgatena bhāṣitaḥ, asaṃcayaḥ sa tathāgatena bhāṣitaḥ| tenocyate paramāṇusaṃcaya iti| yaśca tathāgatena bhāṣitastrisāhasramahāsāhasro lokadhāturiti, adhātuḥ sa tathāgatena bhāṣitaḥ| tenocyate trisāhasramahāsāhasro lokadhāturiti| tatkasya hetoḥ ? sacedbhagavan lokadhāturabhaviṣyat, sa eva piṇḍagrāho'bhaviṣyat| yaścaiva piṇḍagrāhastathāgatena bhāṣitaḥ, agrāhaḥ sa tathāgatena bhāṣitaḥ| tenocyate piṇḍagrāha iti| bhagavānāha- piṇḍagrāhaścaiva subhūte avyavahāro'nabhilāpyaḥ| na sa dharmo nādharmaḥ| sa ca bālapṛthagjanairudgṛhītaḥ||30||


Here the Buddha is explaining that anything is made of an aggregation of many other things using the universe as an example. But in the analogy the universe represents the mind and the dust represents delusions.

In Section 3 the Buddha talks about the birth of the many different kinds of living things, now he talks about the universe as a whole. Also, in Section 3 the Buddha introduced the falesness of conception of a self, an individual, sentient beings, or lifespan. Here, the most fundamental delusion, which is conception of a self, is taken to its natural conclusion, which is misunderstanding of the entire universe.

Hui Neng says,

The mind is the root of good and evil. It can be foolish or wise. Its movement and stillness cannot be fathomed. It is vast and without borders. Thus it is called a universe.
(Red Pine 2009, p 413 translation from Hui Neng. Exegesis on the Diamond Sutra 金剛經解義, Manji 0459)

In the English text the term minute particle translates the Chinese 微塵, Sanskrit paramāṇu. The phrase extremely many translates the Chinese 甚多. This is represented in the Sanskrit text by the very large number asaṃkhyeya. The word many translates the Chinese , Sanskrit bahu. The words and phrases speak, spoken to be, and called translate the Chinese word , Sanskrit bhāṣita, except where it translates one instance of nāma.

The English words are a little deceiving because they are modern words that betray the ancient nature of this text. However, it is difficult to find other words in English that would match.

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