The Lotus Sutra   Section I
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The Lotus Sutra 

Section I. The convocation of the assembly

Thus have I heard. upon a time buddha sojourned in anathapindika's park
by shravasti with a great company of bhikshus,even twelve hundred and
fifty. One day,at the time for breaking fast,the world-honoured enrobed,and
carrying his bowl made his way into the great city of shravasti to beg for his
food. In the midst of the city, he begged from door to door according to rule.
this done,he returned to his retreat and took his meal. When he had finished
he put away his robe and begging bowl,washed his feet,arranged his
seat,and sat down.

Section ¥±£®Subhuti makes a request

Now in the midst of the assembly was the venerable Subhuti. Forthwith he
arose ,uncovered his right shoulder,knelt upon his right
knee,and,respectfully raising his hands with palms joined,addressed
buddha thus : world-honoured one, it is most precious How mindful the
tathagata is of all the bodhisattvas,protecting and instructing them so well!
world-honoured one,if good men and good women seek the consummation
of incomparable enlightenment, by what criteria should they abide and how
should they control their thoughts?
Buddha said : very good,subhuti! just as you say,the tathagatha is
ever-mindful of all the bodhisattvas,protecting and instructing them well.
Now listen and take my words to heart: 
i will declare to you by what criteria good men and good women seeking
the consummation of incomparable enlightenment should abide,and how
they should control their thoughts.
Said subhti: pray,do,world-honoured one. With joyful anticipation we long to
hear.

Section III. The real teaching of the great way

Buddha said: subhuti,all the bodhisattva-heroes should discipline their
thoughts as follows: All living creatures of whatever class,born from
eggs,from wombs,from moisture, or by transformation,whether with form or
without form,whether in a state of thinking or exempt 
from thought-necessity,or wholly beyond all thought realms-all these are
caused by me to attain unbounded liberation nirvana. yet when
vast,uncountable,immeasurable numbers of beings
have thus been liberated,verily no being has been liberated. Why is this,
Subhuti? it is because no bodhisattva who is a real bodhisattva cherishes
the idea of an ego-entity,a personality, a being, 
or a separated individuality.

Section IV. Even the most beneficent practices are relative 

Furthermore, Subhuti, in the practice of charity a bodhisattva should be
detached.
That is to say,he should practise charity without regard to appearances;
without regard to sound, odour, touch, flavour or any quality. subhuti, thus
should the bodhisattva practise charity without attachment. Wherefore? in
such a case his merit is incalculable.
Subhuti,what do you think? can you measure all the space extending
eastward? 
No,world-honoured one,i cannot. Then can you, Subhuti, measure all the
space extending southward,westward,northward, or in any other direction,
including nadir and zenith? 
No, world-honoured one, I cannot.
Well, Subhuti, equally incalculable is the merit of the bodhisattva who
practisescharity without any attachment to appearances. subhuti,
bodhisattvas should persevere one-pointedly in this instruction.

Section v. Understanding the ultimate principle of reality 

Subhuti, what do you think? Is the tathagata to be recognized by some
material characteristic? No, world-honoured one; the tathagata cannot be
recognized by any material characteristic. wherefore? because the
tathagata has said that material characteristics are not,in fact,material
characteristics.
Buddha said: Subhuti, wheresoever are material characteristics there is
delusion; but who so perceives that all characteristics are in fact
no-characteristics,perceives the tathagata.

Section VI. Rare is true faith

Subhuti said to Buddha: World-honoured one, will there always be men who
will
truly believe after coming to hear these teachings?
Buddha answered: Subhuti,do not utter such words! At the end of the last
five-hundred-year period following the passing of the tathagata,there will be
self-controlled men,rooted in merit, coming to hear these teachings,who will
be inspired with belief. But you should realize that such men have not
strenghtened their root of merit under just one buddha, or two buddhas,or
three, or four,or five buddhas,but under countless buddhas; and their merit
is of every kind. such men, coming to hear these teachings,will have an
immediate uprising of pure faith, Subhuti; and the tathagata will recognize
them. yes, he will clearly perceive all these of pure heart,and the magnitude
of their moral excellences. Wherefore? it is because such men will not fall
back to cherishing the idea of an ego-entity,a personality,a being, or a
separated individuality. 
they will neither fall back to cherishing the idea of things as having intrinsic
qualities, nor even of things as devoid of intrinsic qualities. 
Wherefore? because if su men allowed their minds to grasp and hold on to
anything they would be cherishing the idea of an ego-entity,a personality,a
being,or a separated individuality; 
and if they grasped and held on to the notion of things as having intrinsic
qualities they would be cherishing the idea of an ego-entity,a personality, a
being, or a separated individuality. likewise, if they grasped and held on to
the notion of things as devoid of intrinsic qualities they would be cherishing
the idea of an ego-entity,a personality, a being,or a separated individuality.
so you should not be attached to things as being possessed of,or devoid
of,intrinsic qualities. This is the reason why the tathagata always teaches
this saying: my teaching of the good law is to be likened unto a raft. the
buddha-teaching must be relinquished; how much more so misteaching!

Section VII. Great Ones, Perfect Beyond Learning, Utter no Words of
Teaching

Subhuti,what do you think? Has the Tathagata attained the Consummation
ofIncomparable Enlightenment? Has the Tathagata a teaching to
enunciate?
Subhuti answered: As I understand Buddha's meaning there is no
formulation of truth called Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment.
Moreover,the Tathagata has no formulated teaching to enunciate.
Wherefore? Because the Tathagata has said that truth is uncontainable and
inexpressible. It neither is nor is it not.
Thus it is that this unformulated Principle is the foundation of the different
systems of all the sages.

Section ¥·. The Fruits of Meritorious Action

Subhuti,what do you think? If anyone filled three thousand galaxies of worlds
with the seven treasures and gave all away in gifts of alms,would he gain
great merit?
Subhuti said: Great indeed, World-honoured One! Wherefore? Because
merit partakes of the character of no-merit,the Tathagata characterized the
merit as great.
Then Buddha said: On the other hand,if anyone received and retained even
only four lines of this Discourse and taught and explained them to others,his
merit would be the greater. Wherefore? Because,Subhuti,from this
Discourse issue forth all the
Buddhas and the Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment teachings
of all the Buddhas.
Subhuti,what is called "the Religion given by Buddha" is not, in fact,
Buddha-Religion. 

Section ¥¸. Real Designation is Undesignate

Subhuti,what do you think? Does a disciple who has entered the Stream of
the Holy Life 
say within himself: 
Subhuti said : No,World-honoured One. Wherefore? Because
"stream-entrant" is merely a name. There is no stream-entering. The
disciple who pays no regard to form, sound, odour, taste, touch, or any
quality, is called a Stream-entrant. 
Subhuti,what do you think? Does an adept who is subject to only one more
rebirth say within himself: I obtain the fruit of a Once-to-be-reborn?
Subhuti said: No,World-honoured one.Wherefore? Because
"Once-to-be-reborn" is merely a name. There is no passing away nor
coming into existence. [The adept who realizes¡³-this is called
"Once-to-be-reborn."
Subhuti,what do you think? Does a venerable one who will never more be
reborn as a mortal say within himself: I obtain the fruit of a Non-returner?

Subhuti said: No,World-honoured One. Wherefore? Because
"Non-returner" is merely a name. 
There is no non-returning; hence the designation "Non-returner."
Subhuti,what do you think? Does a holy one say within himself: I have
obtained Perfective Enlightenment?
Subhuti said: No,World-honoured One.Wherefore? Because there is no
such condition as that called "Perfective Enlightenment" World-honoured
One,if a holy one of Perfective Enlightenment 
said to himself "such am I," he would necessarily partake of the idea of an
ego-entity,a personality, a being, or a separated individuality.
World-honoured One, when the Buddha declares that I excel 
amongst holy men in the Yoga of perfect quiescence, in dwelling in
seclusion, and in freedom from passions,I do not say within myself: I am a
holy one of Perfective Enlightenment,free from passions. 
World-honoured One, if I said within myself: Such am I; you would not
declare: Subhuti finds happiness abiding in peace,in seclusion in the midst
of the forest. This is because Subhuti abides 
no where: therefore he is called, 
"Subhuti, Joyful-Abider-in-Peace, Dweller-in-Seclusion-in-the-Forest."

Section ¥¹. Setting Forth Pure Lands

Buddha said: Subhuti,what do you think? In the remote past when the
Tathagatg was with Dipankara Buddha, did he have any degree of
attainment in the Good Law? 
No,World-honoured One. When the Tathagata was with Dipankara Buddha
he had no degree of attainment in the Good Law.
Subhuti,what do you think? Does a Bodhisattva set forth any majestic
Buddha-lands?No,World-honoured One. Wherefore? Because setting forth
majestic Buddha-lands is not a majestic setting forth;this is merely name.
¡²Then Buddha continued:¡³Therefore, Subhuti, all Bodhisattvas,lesser and
great,
should develop a pure,lucid mind,not depending upon sound, flavour, touch,
odour or any quality. A Bodhisattva should develop a mind which alights
upon no thing whatsoever; 
and so should he establish it.
Subhuti,this may be likened to a human frame as large as the mighty Mount
Sumeru. 

What do you think? Would such a body be great?
Subhuti replied: Great indeed,World-honoured One. This is because
Buddha has explained that no body is called a great body.

Section XI. The superiority of Unformulated Truth

Subhuti,if there were as many Ganges rivers as the sand-grains of the
Ganges, would the sand-grains of them all be many?
Subhuti said: Many indeed, World-honoured One! Even the Ganges rivers
would be innumerable; how much more so would be their sand-grains?
Subhuti,I will declare a truth to you. If a good man or good woman filled
three thousand galaxies of worlds with the seven treasures for each
sand-grain in all those Ganges rivers, and gave all away in gifts of
alms,would he gain great merit?
Subhuti answered: Great indeed, World-honoured One!
Then Buddha declared: Nevertheless, Subhuti, If a good man or good
woman studies this Discourse only so far as to receive and retain four lines,
and teaches and explains them to others, the consequent merit would be far
greater.

Section XII. Veneration of the True Doctrine

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
realms of Gods, Men and Titans,as though it were a Buddha-shrine. How
much more is this so in the case of 
one who is able to receive and retain the whole and read and recite it
throughout!
Subhuti, you should know that such an one attains the highest and most
wonderful truth. Wheresoever this sacred discourse may 
be found there should you comport yourself as though in the presence of
Buddha and disciples worthy of honour.

Section XIII. How this Teaching should be Received and Retained

At that time Subhuti addressed Buddha,saying. World-honoured One,by
what name should this Discourse be known,and how should we receive and
retain it?
Buddha answered: Subhuti, this Discourse should be known as "The
Diamond of the Perfection of Transcendental Wisdom" - thus should you
receive and retain it.
Subhuti,what is the reason herein? According to the Buddha-teaching the
Perfection of Transcendental Wisdom is not really such. "Perfection of
Transcendental wisdom" is just the name given to it. Subhuti,what do you
think? Has the Tathagata a teaching to enunciate?
Subhuti replied to Buddha: World-honoured One,the Tathagata has nothing
to teach.
subhuti, what do you think? Would there be many molecules in ¡²the
composition of¡³ three thousand galaxies of worlds?
Subhuti said: Many,indeed,World-honoured One! 
Subhuti, the Tathagata declares that all these molecules are not really such;
they are called "molecules." [Furthermore,]the Tathagata declares that a
world is not really a world; it is called "a world."
Subhuti,what do you think? May the Tathagata be perceived by the
thirty-two physical peculiarities¡²of an outstanding sage¡³No,
World-honoured One, the Tathagata may not 
be perceived by these thirty-two marks. Wherefore? Because the
Tathagata has explained that the thirty-two marks are not really such; they
are called "the thirty-two marks."
Subhuti,if on the one hand a good man or a good woman sacrifices as
many lives as the sand-grains of the Ganges, and on the other hand anyone
receives and retains even only four lines of this Discourse,and teaches and
explains them to others, the merit of the latter will be the greater.

Section XIV. Perfect Peace Lies in Freedom from Characteristic
Distinctions

Upon the occasion of hearing this Discourse Subhuti had an interior
realization of its meaning and was moved to tears. Where upon he
addressed Buddha thus: It is a most precious thing, World-honoured
One,that you should deliver this supremely profound 
Discours. Never have I heard such an exposition since of old my eye of
wisdom first opened. World-honoured One, if anyone listens to this
Discourse in faith with a pure,lucid mind, he will there upon conceive an
idea of Fundamental Reality. We should know that such an one establishes
the most remarkable virtue. World-honoured One, 
such an idea of Fundamental Reality is not,in fact,a distinctive idea;
therefore the Tathagata teaches: "Idea of Fundamental Reality" is merely a
name. World-honoured One, having listened to this Discourse, I receive and
retain it with faith and 
understanding. This is not difficult for me, but in ages to come-in the last five
hundred years, if there be men coming to hear this Discourse who receive
and retain it with faith and understanding,they will be persons of most
remarkable achievement.
Wherefore? Because they will be free from the idea of an ego-entity,free
from the idea of a personality,free from the idea of a being,and free from
the idea of a separated individuality. 
And why? Because the distinguishing of an ego-entity is erroneous.
Likewise the distinguishing of a personality,or a being,or a separated
individuality is erroneous. Consequently those who 
have left behind every phenomenal distinction are called Buddhas all.
Buddha said to Subhuti: Just as you say! If anyone listens to this Discourse
and is neither filled with alarm nor dread,be it known that such an one is of
remarkable achievement. Wherefore? 
Because, Subhuti, the Tathagata teaches that the First Perfection¡²the
Perfection of Charity¡³is not, 
in fact, the First Perfection: such is merely a name.
Subhuti,the Tathagata teaches likewise that the perfection of Patience is
not the perfection of
Patience: such is merely a name. Why so? It is shown thus, Subhuti: When
the Rajah of Kalinga mutilated my body, I was at that time free from the idea
of an ego-entity,a personality, a being,and a separated individuality.
Wherefore? Because then when my limbs were cut away 
piece by piece, had I been bound by the distinctions aforesaid, feelings of
anger and hatred would have been aroused within me. Subhuti, I remember
that long ago, sometime during my last past five hundred mortal lives, I was
an ascetic practising patience. Even then was 
I free from those distinctions of separated selfhood.
Therefore,Subhuti,Bodhisattvas should 
leave behind all phenomenal distinctions and awaken the thought of the
Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment by not allowing the mind to
depend upon notions evoked by the sensible world-by not allowing the mind
to depend upon notions evoked by sounds, 
odours, flavours, touch-contacts or any qualities. The mind should be kept
independent of any thoughts which arise within it. If the mind depends upon
anything it has no sure haven. This is 
why Buddha teaches that the mind of a Bodhisattva should not accept the
appearances of things as a basis when exercising charity. Subhuti, as
Bodhisattvas practise charity for the welfare of all 
living beings they should do it in this manner. Just as the Tathagata
declares that characteristics are not characteristics,so He declares that all
living beings are not, in fact, living beings.
Subhuti,the Tathagata is He who declares that which is true; He who
declares that which is fundamental; He who declares that which is ultimate.
He does not declare that which is deceitful, 
nor that which is monstrous. Subhuti, that Truth to which the Tathagata has
attained is neither real nor unreal.
Subhuti,if a bodhisattva practises charity with mind attached to formal
notions he is like unto a man groping sightless in the gloom; but a
Bodhisattva who practises charity with mind detached 
from any formal notions is like unto a man with open eyes in the radiant
glory of the morning, to whom all kinds of objects are clearly visible.
Subhuti,if there be good men and good women in future ages, able to
receive, read and recite this Discourse in its entirety,the Tathagata will
clearly perceive and recognize them by means of 
His Buddha-knowledge; and each one of them will bring immeasurable and
incalculable merit to fruition.

Section XV. The Incomparable Value of This Teaching

Subhuti,if on the one hand,a good man or a good woman performs in the
morning as many charitable 
acts of self-denial as the sand-grains of the Ganges, and performs as many
again in the noonday and 
as many again in the evening,and continues so doing throughout
numberless ages, and on the other hand, anyone listens to this Discourse
with heart of faith and without contention, the latter would be the more
blessed. But how can any comparison be made with one who writes it
down, receives it,retains it, and explains it to others!
Subhuti,we can summarise the matter by saying that the full value of this
Discourse can neither be 
conceived nor estimated,nor can any limit be set to it. The Tathagata has
declared this teaching for the benefit of initiates of the Great Way; he has
declared it for the benefit of initiates of the Supreme Way. 
Whosoever can receive and retain this teaching,study it,recite it and spread
it abroad will be clearly perceived and recognized by the Tathagata and will
achieve a perfection of merit beyond measurement or calculation-a
perfection of merit unlimited and inconceivable. In every case such an one
will exemplify the Tathagata-Consummation of the Incomparable
Enlightenment. Wherefore? Because of doctrines involving the conception
of an ego-entity, a personality, a being,or a separated individuality, are
unable to accept,receive, study, recite, and openly explain this Discourse.
Subhuti,in every place where this Discourse is to be found the whole realms
of Gods, Men and Titans 
should offer worship; for you must know that such a place is sanctified like a
shrine, and should properly be venerated by all with ceremonial obeisance
and circumambulation and with offerings of flowers and incense.

Section XVI. Purgation through Suffering the Retribution for Past
Sins

Furthermore,Subhuti,if it be that good men and good women, who receive
and retain this Discourse,are downtrodden, their evil destiny is the
inevitable retributive result of sins committed in their past mortal lives. By
virtue of their present misfortunes the reacting effects of their past will be
thereby worked out,and they will be in a position to attain the
Consummation of Incomparable 
Enlightenment.
Subhuti,I remember the infinitely remote past before Dipankara Buddha.
There were 84,000 myriads 
of multi-millions of Buddhas and to all these I made offerings; yes, all these I
served without the least trace of fault. Nevertheless, if anyone is able to
receive,retain,study,and recite this Discourse at the end of the
last¡²500-year¡³period he will gain such a merit that mine in the service of all
the Buddhas could not be reckoned as one-hundredth part of it,not even
one-thousandth part of it, not even one thousand myriad multi-millionth part
of it-indeed, no such comparison is possible.
Subhuti,if I fully detailed the merit gained by good men and good women
coming to receive, retain, 
study, and recite this Discourse in the last period,my hearers would be filled
with doubt and might become disordered in mind,suspicious and
unbelieving. You should know, Subhuti, that the significance of this
Discourse is beyond conception;likewise the fruit of its rewards is beyond
conception.

Section XVII. No One Attains Transcendental Wisdom

At that time Subhuti addressed Buddha,saying: World-honoured One,if
good men and good women seek the Consummation of Incomparable
Enlightenment, by what criteria should they abide and how should they
control their thoughts?
Buddha replied to Subhuti: Good men and good women seeking the
Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment must create this resolved
attitude of mind: I must liberate all living beings,yet when all have been
liberated,verily not any one is liberated. Wherefore? If a Bodhisattva
cherishes the idea of an ego-entity, a personality,a being,or a separated
individuality, he is consequently not a Bodhisattva,Subhuti. This is because
in reality there is no formula which gives rise to the Consummation of
Incomparable Enlightenment?
Subhuti,what do you think? When the Tathagata was with Dipankara
Buddha was there any formula for the attainment of the Consummation of
Incomparable Enlightenment?
No, World-honoured One, as I understand Buddha`s meaning,there was no
formula by which the Tathagata attained the Consummation of
Incomparable Enlightenment.
Buddha said: You are right,Subhuti! Verily there was no formula by which
the Tathagata attained the Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment.
Subhuti,had there been any such formula, Dipankara Buddha would not
have predicted concerning me: "In the ages of the future you will come to be
a Buddha called Shakyamuni"; but Dipankara Buddha made that prediction
concerning me because there is actually no formula for the attainment of the
Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment. The reason herein is that
Tathagata is a signification implying all formulas. In case anyone says that
the Tathagata attained the Consummation of Incoparable Enlightenment, I
tell you truly, Subhuti, that there is no Formula by which the Buddha attained
it. Subhuti,the basis of Tathagata`s attainment of the Consummation of
Incomparable Enlightenment is wholly beyond; it is neither real nor unreal.
Hence I say that the whole realm of formulations is not really such, therefore
it is called "Realm of formulations."
Subhuti,a comparison may be made with ¡²the idea of¡³a gigantic human
frame. 
Then Subhuti said: The World-honoured One has declared that such is not a
great body; "a great body" is just the name given to it.
Subhuti,it is the same concerning Bodhisattvas. If a Bodhisattva announces:
I will liberate all living creatures, he is not rightly called a Bodhisattva.
Wherefore? Because, Subhuti, there is really no such condition as that
called Bodhisattvaship, because Buddha teaches that all things are devoid
of selfhood,devoid of personality, devoid of entity, and devoid of separate
individuality. Subhuti,if a Bodhisattva announces:

I will set forth majestic Buddha-lands one does not call him a
Bodhisattva,because the Tathagata has declared that the setting forth of
majestic Buddha-lands is not really such: "a majestic setting forth" is just the
name given to it.
Subhuti,Bodhisattvas who are wholly devoid of any conception of separate
selfhood are truthfully 
called Bodhisattvas.

Section XVIII. All Modes of mind are Really Only Mind

Subhuti,what do you think? Does the Tathagata possess the human eye?
Yes,World-honoured One,He does.
Well,do you think the Tathagata possesses the divine eye?
Yes,World-honoured One,He does. 
And do you think the Tathagata possesses the gnostic eye? 
Yes,World-honoured One,He does.
And do you think the Tathagata possesses the eye of transcendent wisdom
?
Yes,World-honoured One,He does.
And do you think the Tathagata possesses the Buddha-eye of
omniscience?
Yes,World-honoured One,He does.
Subhuti,what do you think? Concerning the sand-grains 
of the Ganges,has the Buddha taught about them?
Yes,World-honoured One,the Tathagata has taught concerning these
grains.
Well,Subhuti,if there were as many Ganges rivers as the sand-grains of the
Ganges and there was a Buddha-land for each sand-grain in all those
Ganges rivers,would those Buddha-lands be many?
¡²Subhuti replied¡³: Many indeed,World-honoured One!
Then Buddha said: Subhuti,however many living beings there 
are in all those Buddha lands,though they have manifold modes of mind,the
Tathagata understands them all. Wherefore? Because the Tathagata
teaches that all these are not Mind; they are merely called "mind". Subhuti,it
is impossible to retain past mind,impossible to hold on to present mind,and
impossible to grasp future mind.

Section XIX.Absolute Reality is the Only Foundation

Subhuti,what do you think? If anyone filled three thousand galaxies of worlds
with the seven 
treasures and gave all away in gifts of alms, would he gain great merit?
Yes,indeed,World-honoured One,he would gain great merit! 
Subhuti,if such merit was Real,the Tathagata would not have declared it to
be great, 
but because it is without a foundation the Tathagata characterised it as
"great".

Section XX. The Unreality of Phenomenal Distinctions

Subhuti, what do you think? Can the Buddha be perceived by His
perfectly-formed body?
No,World-honoured One,the Tathagata cannot be perceived by His
perfectly-formed body, 
because the Tathagata teaches that a perfectly-formed body is not really
such; 
it is merely called "a perfectly formed body".
Subhuti,what do you think? Can the Tathagata be perceived by means of
any phenomenal 
characteristic?
No,World-honoured One,the Tathagata may not be perceived by any
phenomenal characteristic, 
because the Tathagata teaches that phenomenal characteristics are not
really such; they are
merely termed "phenomenal characteristics".

Section XXI. Words cannot express Truth.

That which Words Express is not Truth 
Subhuti,do not say that the Tathagata conceives the idea: I must set forth a
Teaching. 
For if anyone says that the Tathagata sets forth a Teaching he really
slanders Buddha and is unable to explain what I teach. As to any
Truth-declaring system,Truth is undeclarable; 
so "an enunciation of Truth" is just the name given to it.
Thereupon,Subhuti spoke these words to Buddha: 
World-honoured One,in the ages of the future will there be men coming to
hear a declaration of this Teaching who will be inspired with belief? And
Buddha answered: Subhuti,those to whom you refer are neither living
beings nor not-living beings. Wherefore? Because "living beings",
Subhuti,these "living beings" 
are not really such; they are just called by that name.

Section XXII. It Cannot be Said That Anything is Attainable

Then Subhuti asked Buddha: World-honoured One, in the attainment of the
Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment did Buddha make no
acquisition whatsoever?
Buddha replied : Just so,Subhuti. Through the Consummation of
Incomparable Enlightenment I acquired not even the least thing; wherefore it
is called "Consummation of Incomparable 
Enlightenment".

Section XXIII. The Practice of Good Works Purifies the Mind

Furthermore, Subhuti, This is altogether everywhere, without differentiation
or degree; wherefore it is called "Consummation of Incomparable
Enlightenment". It is straightly attained 
by freedom from separate personal selfhood and by cultivating all kinds of
goodness. Subhuti, though we speak of "goodness" the Tathagata declares
that there is no goodness; such is merely a name.

Section XXIV. The Incomparable Merit of This Teaching

Subhuti,if there be one who gives away in gifts of alms a mass of the seven
treasures equal in extent to as many mightly Mount Sumerus as there would
be in three thousand galaxies of worlds, 
and if three be another who selects even only four lines from this Discourse
upon the Perfection of Transcendental Wisdom, receiving and retaining
them, and clearly expounding them to others, 
the merit of the latter will be so far greater than that of the former that no
conceivable comparison can be made between them.

Section XXV. The Illusion of Ego

Subhuti,what do you think? Let no one say the Tathagata cherishes the
idea: I must liberate all living beings. Allow no such thought, Subhuti.
Wherefore? Because in reality there are no living 
beings to be liberated by the Tathagata. If there were living beings for the
Tathagata to liberate, He would partake in the idea of selfhood,personality
entity,and separate individuality.
Subhuti, though the common people accept egoity as real,the Tathagata
declares that ego is not different from non-ego. Subhuti,whom the
Tathagata referred to as "common people" are not really common people;
such is merely a name.

Section XXVI. The Body of Truth has no Marks

Subhuti,what do you think ? May the Tathagata be perceived by the
thirty-two marks ¡²of a great man¡³?
Subhuti answered: Yes,certainly the Tathagata may be perceived thereby.
Then Buddha said: Subhuti,if the Tathagata may be perceived by such
marks any great imperial ruler is the same as the Tathagata.
Subhuti then said to Buddha: World-honoured One, as I understand the
meaning of Buddha`s words the Tathagata may not be perceived by the
thirty-two marks. Whereupon the World-honoured One uttered
this verse:
Who sees Me by form,
Who seeks Me in sound,
Perverted are his footsteps upon the Way;
For he cannot perceive the Tathagata.

Section ¥¹¥¹¥¶. It is Erroneous to Affirm that All Things are Ever
Extinguished

Subhuti,if you should conceive the idea that the 
Tathagata attained the Consummation of Incomparable 
Enlightenment by reason of HIs perfect form,do not 
countenance such thoughts. The Tathagata`s attainment 
was not by reason of His perfect form.
¡²On the other hand¡³Subhuti,if you should conceive 
the idea that anyone in whom dawns the Consummation 
of Incomparable Enlightenment declares that all manifest 
standards are ended and extinguished,do not countenance 
such thoughts. Wherefore? Because the man in whom 
the Consummation of Incomparable Enlightenment dawns does 
not affirm concerning any formula that it is finally extinguished.

Section ¥¹¥¹¥·. Attachment to Rewards of Merit

Subhuti,if one Bodhisattva bestows in charity 
sufficient of the seven treasures to fill as many worlds 
as there be sand-grains in the river Ganges,and another, 
realizing that all things are egoless,attains perfection 
through patient forbearance,the merit of the latter 
will far exceed that of the former. Why is this, Subhuti?
It is because all Bodhisattvas are insentient as to 
the rewards of merit.
Then Subhuti said to Buddha: What is this saying, 
World-honoured One, that Bodhisattvas are insentient as to rewards of
merit?
¡²And Buddha answered¡³: Subhuti,Bodhisattvas 
who achieve merit should not be fettered with desire 
for rewards. Thus it is said that rewards of merit are not received.

Section XXIX. Perfect Tranquility

Subhuti, if anyone should say that the Tathagata comes or goes or sits or
reclines, he fails to understand my teaching Why? Because TATHAGATA
has neither whence nor whither,therefore is He called "Tathagata".

Section XXX. The integral Principle

Subhuti, if a good man or a good woman ground an infinite number of
galaxies of worlds to dust, would the resulting minute particles be many?
Subhuti replied: Many indeed, World-honoured One! Wherefore? Because
if such were really minute particles Buddha would not have spoken of them
as minute particles. 
For as to this,Buddha has declared that they are not really such. "Minute
particles" is just the name given to them. Also, World-honoured One,when
the Tathagata speaks of 
galaxies of worlds these are not worlds; for if reality could be predicted of a
world it would be a self-existent cosmos and the Tathagata teaches that
there is really no such thing. 
"Cosmos" is merely a figure of speech. 
¡²Then Buddha said¡³: Subhuti, words cannot explain the real nature of a
cosmos. Only common people fettered with desire make use of this
arbitrary method.

Section XXXI. Conventional Truth Should be Cut Off

Subhuti, if anyone should say that Buddha declares any conception of
egoity do you consider he would understand my teaching aright?
No, World-honoured One, such a man would not have any sound
understanding of the Tathagata`s teaching, because the World-honoured
One declares that notions of selfhood, personality, entity and separate
individuality, as really existing, are erroneous-these terms are merely
figures of speech.
¡²Thereupon Buddha said¡³: Subhuti,those who aspire to the Consummation
of Incomparable Enlightenment should recognize and understand all
varieties of things in the same way and cut off 
the arising of ¡²views which are mere¡³aspects. Subhuti, as regards
aspects, the Tathagata declares that in reality they are not such. They are
called "aspects".

Section XXXII. The Delusion of Appearances

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. 

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