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The Maha Prajna Paramita



Spiritual quotes of The Maha Prajna Paramita

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S ubhuti delights himself in the practice of silence and tranquility.




Buddhism / Mahayana 3005 | 
Diamond Sutra, 9, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible  







W hile the Tathagata, in his teaching, constantly makes use of conceptions and ideas about them, disciples should keep ill mind the unreality of all such conceptions and ideas. They should recall that the Tathagata, in making use of them in explaining the Dharma always uses them in the resemblance of a raft that is of use only to cross a river. As the raft is of no further use after the river is crossed, it should be discarded. So these arbitrary conceptions of things and about things should be wholly given up as one attains enlightenment. How much more should be given up conceptions of non-existent things (and everything is non-existent).




Buddhism / Mahayana 2536 | 
Diamond Sutra, 6, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible  







M oreover, these sentient beings must have also discarded all arbitrary ideas relating to the conceptions of a personal self, other personalities, living beings and a Universal Self, because if they had not, their minds would inevitably grasp after such relative ideas. Further, these sentient beings must have already discarded all arbitrary ideas relating to the conception of the non-existence of a personal self, other personalities, living beings and a Universal Self. If they had not, their minds would still be grasping after such ideas. Therefore, every disciple who is seeking Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi should discard, not only conceptions of one's own selfhood, other selves, living beings and a Universal Selfhood, but should discard, also, all ideas about such conceptions and all ideas about the non-existence of such conceptions.




Buddhism / Mahayana 2535 | 
Diamond Sutra, 6, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible  







M oreover, Subhuti, what I have attained in Anuttarasamyak-sambodhi is the same as what all others have attained. It is something that is undifferentiated, neither to be regarded as a high state, nor is it to be regarded as a low state. It is wholly independent of any definitive or arbitrary conceptions of an individual self, other selves, living beings or an Universal Self.




Buddhism / Mahayana 2534 | 
Diamond Sutra, 23 A, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible  







T he phenomena of the physical appearance is wholly illusion. It is not until a disciple understands this that he can realize the true Tathagata.




Buddhism / Mahayana 2533 | 
Diamond Sutra, 5, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible  







T he Lord Buddha then said:-Should anyone looking at an image or a likeness of the Tathagata, claim to know the Tathagata and should offer worship and prayer to him, you should consider such a person a heretic who does not know the true Tathagata.




Buddhism / Mahayana 2532 | 
Diamond Sutra, 26, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible  







I t means that Buddhas and Bodhisattvas are not enlightened by fixed teachings but by an intuitive process that is spontaneous and natural.




Buddhism / Mahayana 2531 | 
Diamond Sutra, 7, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible  







S ubhuti, how is it possible to explain this Scripture to others without holding in mind any arbitrary conception of things and phenomena and Dharmas? It can only be done, Subhuti, by keeping the mind in perfect tranquility and in self-less oneness with the 'suchness' that is Tathagatahood. And why? Because all the mind's arbitrary conceptions of matter, phenomena, and of all conditioning factors and all conception and ideas relating thereto are like a dream, a phantasm, a bubble, a shadow, the evanescent dew, the lightning's flash. Every true disciple should thus look upon all phenomena and upon all the activities of the mind, and keep his mind empty and self-less and tranquil.




Buddhism / Mahayana 2530 | 
Diamond Sutra, 32, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible  







T hen the Lord made this more emphatic by saying:-Subhuti, when disciples begin their practice of seeking to attain Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi, they ought thus to see, to perceive, to know, to understand, and to realize that all things and all Dharmas are no-things, and, therefore, they ought not to conceive within their minds any arbitrary conceptions whatever.




Buddhism / Mahayana 2529 | 
Diamond Sutra, 31, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible  







T he Lord Buddha continued:-If any disciple were to say that the Tathagata, in his teachings, has constantly referred to himself, other selves, living beings, an Universal Self, what think you Subhuti? Would that disciple have understood the meaning of what I have been teaching?
Subhuti replied: No Blessed Lord. That disciple would not have understood the meaning of the Lord's teachings. For when the Lord has referred to them he has never referred to their actual existence; he has only used the words as figures and symbols. It is only in that sense that they can be used, for conceptions, and ideas, and limited truths, and Dharmas have no more reality than have matter and phenomena.





Buddhism / Mahayana 2528 | 
Diamond Sutra, 31, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible  







L isten, Subhuti. Within these innumerable Buddha-lands there are every form of sentient beings with all their various mentalities and conceptions, all of which are fully known to the Tathagata, but not one of them is held in the Tathagata's mind as an arbitrary conception of phenomena. They are merely thought of. Not one of this vast accumulation of conceptions from beginningless time, through the present and into the never ending future, not one of them is graspable.




Buddhism / Mahayana 2527 | 
Diamond Sutra, 18, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible  







S ubhuti, it is just the same when Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas speak of delivering numberless sentient beings. If they have in mind any arbitrary conception of sentient being or of definite numbers, they are unworthy to be called Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas. And why, Subhuti? Because the very reason why they are called Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas is because they have abandoned all such arbitrary conceptions. And what is true of one arbitrary conception is true of all conceptions. The Tathagata's teachings are entirely free from all such arbitrary conceptions as one's own self, other selves, living beings or a universal self.




Buddhism / Mahayana 2526 | 
Diamond Sutra, 17, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible  







T his is only another way of saying that the phenomena of all things is of one 'suchness' with Buddhahood and Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi, and that it is neither reality nor unreality but abides together with all phenomena in emptiness and silence, inconceivable and inscrutable.




Buddhism / Mahayana 2525 | 
Diamond Sutra, 17, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible  







W hat does this mean, Subhuti? It means that what I attained is not something limited and arbitrary that can be called, 'Anuttara-samyak-sambodhi,' but is Buddhahood whose essence is identical with the essence of all things and is what it is, universal, inconceivable, inscrutable.




Buddhism / Mahayana 2524 | 
Diamond Sutra, 17, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible  







T he Blessed One resumed: -Subhuti, should there be among the faithful disciples some who have not yet matured their karma and who must first suffer the natural retribution of sins committed in some previous life by being degraded to a lower domain of existence and should they earnestly and faithfully observe and study this Scripture and because of it be despised and persecuted by the people, their karma will immediately be matured and they will at once attain Anuttarasamyak-sambodhi.




Buddhism / Mahayana 2523 | 
Diamond Sutra, 16, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible  







B esides, Subhuti, I recall that during my five hundred previous lives, I had used life after life to practice patience and to look upon my life humbly as though it was some saintly being called upon to suffer humility. Even then my mind was free from any such arbitrary conceptions of phenomena as my own self, other selves, living beings, and a universal self.




Buddhism / Mahayana 2522 | 
Diamond Sutra, 14B, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible  







T he Lord Buddha continued:-For this reason, Subhuti, the minds of all Bodhisattvas should be purified of all such conceptions as relate to seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, touching and discriminating. They should use the mental faculties spontaneously and naturally, but unconstrained by any preconceptions arising from the senses.




Buddhism / Mahayana 2521 | 
Diamond Sutra, 10, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible  







W hat do you think, Subhuti? Supposing a disciple who has attained the degree of Crotapanna (entered the stream), could he make any such arbitrary assertion as, 'I have entered the stream'?
Subhuti replied:-No, honored of the worlds. Because, while, by that measure of attainment, it means that he has entered the Holy Stream, yet, speaking truly, he has not entered anything, nor has his mind entertained any such arbitrary conception as form, sound, taste, odor, touch and discrimination. It is because of that degree of attainment that he is entitled to be called a Crotapanna.

What think you, Subhuti? Suppose a disciple has attained the degree of Sakradagamin (one more return), could he make any such arbitrary assertion as, 'I have attained the degree of Sakradagamin'?
No, Honored of the worlds. Because by the degree of Sakradagamin, it is meant that he is to be reborn but once more. Yet speaking truly, there will be no rebirth either in this world or in any oth`er world. It is because he knows this that he is to be called a Sakradagamin.
What think you, Subhuti? Suppose a. disciple has attained the degree of Anagamin (Never to return), could he hold within his mind any such arbitrary conception as, 'I have attained the degree of Anagamin'?
No, Honored of the worlds! Because by the degree of Ariagamin it means that he is never to return, yet, speaking truly,
one who has attained that degree never cherishes any such arbitrary conception and for that reason, he is entitled to be called, an Anagamin.

What think you, Subhuti? Suppose a disciple has attained the degree of Arahat (Fully enlightened), could he entertain within his mind any such arbitrary conception as, 'I have become an Arahat'?
No, Honored of the worlds. Because speaking truly, there is no such thing as a fully enlightened one. Should a disciple who has attained such a degree of enlightenment, cherish within his mind such an arbitrary conception as, 'I have become an Arahat,' he would soon be grasping after such things as his own selfhood, other selves, living beings and a universal self. 0 Blessed Lord! Thou hast said that I have attained the samadhi of 'non-assertion' and, therefore, have reached the climax of human attainment and, because of it, am an Arahat. If I had cherished within my mind the thought, 'I am an Arahat free from all desire'! My Lord could not have declared that Subhuti delights himself in the practice of silence and tranquility. But, speaking truly, I have cherished no such arbitrary thought, so my Lord could truly say, 'Subhuti delights himself in the practice of silence and tranquility.'





Buddhism / Mahayana 2520 | 
Diamond Sutra, 9, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible  







T he Lord Buddha continued:-Do not think, Subhuti, that the Tathagata would consider within himself:-I will deliver human beings. That would be a degrading thought. Why? Because really there are no sentient beings to be delivered by the Tathagata. Should there be any sentient beings to be delivered by the Tathagata, it would mean that the Tathagata was cherishing within his mind arbitrary conceptions of phenomena such as one's own self, other selves, living beings and an universal self. Even when the Tathagata refers to himself, he is not holding in his mind any such arbitrary thought. Only terrestrial human beings think of selfhood as being a personal possession. Subhuti, even the expression 'terrestrial beings' as used by the Tathagata does not mean that there are any such beings. It is used only as a figure of speech.




Buddhism / Mahayana 2519 | 
Diamond Sutra, 25, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible  







S ubhuti, if a Bodhisattva-Mahasattva, in practicing charity, conceives within his mind any of these arbitrary conceptions discriminating himself from other selves, he will be like a man walking in darkness and seeing nothing. But if the Bodhisattva-Mahasattva, in his practice of charity, has no arbitrary conceptions of the attainment of the blessing and merits which he will attain by such practice, he will be like a person with good eyes, seeing all things clearly as in the bright sunshine.




Buddhism / Mahayana 2518 | 
Diamond Sutra, 14 C, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible  







W hen engaged in thinking, he should definitely exclude all thoughts connected with the phenomena of sight, sound, taste, smell, touch, and all discriminations based upon them, keeping his thinking independent of all such arbitrary conceptions of phenomena. The mind is disturbed by these discriminations of sense concepts and the following arbitrary conceptions about them and, as the mind becomes disturbed, it falls into false imaginations as to one's self and its relation to other selves. It is for that reason that the Tathagata has constantly urged the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas in their practice of charity not to be influenced by any arbitrary conceptions of phenomena such as sights, sounds, etc.




Buddhism / Mahayana 2517 | 
Diamond Sutra, 14 C, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible  







M oreover, Subhuti, the Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas, in teaching the Dharma to others, should first be free themselves from all the craving thoughts awakened by beautiful sights, pleasant sounds, sweet tastes, fragrance, soft tangibles, and seductive thoughts. In their practice of charity, they should not be influenced by any of these seductive phenomena. And why? Because, if in their practice of charity they are uninfluenced by such things they will realize a blessing and merit that is inestimable and inconceivable.




Buddhism / Mahayana 2516 | 
Diamond Sutra, 4, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible  







B ecause should there exist in the minds of Bodhisatva-Mahasattvas such arbitrary conceptions of phenomena as the existence of one's own ego-selfness, the ego-selfness of all other, self-ness as divided into an infinite number of living and dying beings, or selfness as unified into one Universal Self existing eternally, they would be unworthy to be called Bodhisattva-Mahasattvas.




Buddhism / Mahayana 2515 | 
Diamond Sutra, 3, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible  







W hy is there no obtaining of Nirvana? Because Nirvana is the realm of no "thingness". If the ego-soul of personality was an enduring entity it could not obtain Nirvana. It is only because personality is made up of elements that pass away, that personality may attain Nirvana. So long as man is seeking highest perfect Wisdom, he is still abiding in the realm of consciousness. If he is to realize Nirvana, he must pass beyond consciousness. In highest samadhi having transcended consciousness, he has passed beyond discrimination and knowledge, beyond the reach of change or fear; he is already enjoying Nirvana. The perfect understanding of this and the patient acceptance of it is the highest perfect Wisdom that is Prajnaparamita. All the Buddhas of the past, present and future having attained highest samadhi, awake to find themselves realizing Prajna-paramita.




Buddhism / Mahayana 2514 | 
Hridaya, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible, p. 86  







T hus, 0 Sariputra, all things having the nature of emptiness have no beginning and no ending. They are neither faultless nor not faultless; they are neither perfect nor imperfect. In emptiness there is no form, no sensation, no perception, no discrimination, no consciousness. There is no eye, no ear, no nose, no tongue, no sensitiveness to contact, no mind. There is no sight, no sound, no smell, no taste, no touch, no mental process, no object, no knowledge, no ignorance. There is no destruction of objects, there is no cessation of knowledge, no cessation of ignorance. There is no Noble Four-fold Truths: no pain, no cause of pain, no cessation of pain, no Noble Path leading to the cessation of pain. There is no decay and no death, and no destruction of the notion of decay and death. There is no knowledge of Nirvana, there is no obtaining of Nirvana, there is no not obtaining of Nirvana.




Buddhism / Mahayana 2513 | 
Hridaya, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible, p. 86  







I f a son or daughter wishes to study the profound Prajna-paramita, how is he to do so?
The Noble Avalokitesvara replied to the Venerable Sariputra, saying: If a son or daughter wishes to study the profound Prajna-paramita, he must first get rid of all ideas of ego-selfness. Let him think thus: Personality? What is personality? Is it an enduring entity? Or is it made up of elements that pass away? Personality is made up of the five grasping aggregates: form, sensation, perception, discrimination, consciousness, all of which are by nature empty of any self-substance.





Buddhism / Mahayana 2512 | 
Hridaya, in Dwight Goddard, A Buddhist bible, p. 85  





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