Thursday, February 6, 2020

SFTS Lodge Dharma Message for January-February-March 2020: "Subhuti, You Should Know That ..."

Frontispiece, Diamond Sutra from Cave 17, Dunhuang, ink on paper.
A page from the Diamond Sutra, printed in the 9th year of Xiantong Era of the Tang Dynasty, i.e. 868 CE.
According to the British Library, it is “the earliest complete survival of a dated printed book” (Wikipedia)

Excerpts from "The Diamond Sutra (The Jewel of Transcendent Wisdom)" Translated by A.F. Price


Furthermore, Subhuti, you should know that wheresoever this Discourse is proclaimed, by even so little as four lines, that place should be venerated by the whole realm of Gods, Men  and Titans, as though it were a Buddha Shrine. How much more is this so the case in the case of one who is able to receive and retain the whole and read and recite it thorough out!

Subhuti, you should know that such a one attains the highest and most wonderful truth. Wheresoever this sacred Discourse may be found, there you should comport yourself as though in the presence of Buddha and disciples worthy of honor.


Subhuti, someone might fill innumerable worlds with the seven treasures and give all away in gifts of alms, but if any good man or any good woman awakens the thought of Enlightenment and takes even only four lines from this Discourse, reciting, using, receiving, retaining and spreading them abroad and explaining them for the benefit of others, it will be far more meritorious.

Now in what manner may he explain them to others?
By detachment from appearances-abiding in Real Truth.

So I tell you -

Thus shall you think of all this fleeting world:  
A star at dawn, a bubble in a stream;  
A flash of lightening in a summer cloud,
A flickering lamp, a phantom, and a dream.

When Buddha finished this Discourse the venerable Subhuti, together with the bhikshus, bhikshunis, lay-brothers and sisters, and the whole realms of Gods, Men and Titans, were filled with joy by His teaching, and, taking it sincerely to heart they went their ways.