Vajracchedika Prajnaparamita Sutra

Vajra Sutra (Diamond Sutra)


■ Detailed Exposition by Living Buddha Lian-Sheng, Grandmaster Sheng-yen Lu

■ Translated into English by True Buddha School Vajra Sutra Translation Team

Seven—Nothing Gained, Nothing Spoken

“Subhuti, what do you think? Does the Tathagata attain anuttara samyaksambodhi? Does the Tathagata speak on the dharma?”

Subhuti replied, “In my understanding of the meaning of the Buddha's teaching, there is no fixed dharma called anuttara samyaksambodhi, and there is also no fixed dharma spoken by the Tathagata. Why?

Because all teachings of the Tathagata cannot be held and cannot be spoken. They are not dharma, and they are not non-dharma. 

Therefore, all sages are distinguished through the unconditioned dharma.”³⁵

Grandmaster has spoken dharma for so many years, it's tantamount to nothing is spoken. Buddhadharma is spoken to allow you to comprehend and recognize nothing gained, nothing spoken. Once you comprehend that nothing is gained, then your heart will be serene and the world will truly be peaceful. But if you think there is something to gain, there would be wars, disputes and conflicts.

My guru taught me in the past about maggots fighting in cesspool. The small white grubs are fighting endlessly like this. We used to have cesspools, we could see such things, but not anymore. There are no longer big dung pits [old traditional toilets where a big pit was dug in the ground] on the side of the fields; now we use chemical fertilizers instead. We used to squat on the cesspool when we were young, especially in rural areas. And we saw those maggots underneath fighting over each other. Did they gain anything? 

Human beings are like that too! But, there's nothing to gain! When you reach this state, you would be at peace and at ease. If you truly recognize that there is nothing to gain, you are a true spiritual cultivator. Your mind is even keeled; you do not fight and you do not worry because it's all the same at the end. Fundamentally, there really is nothing to gain.

Who can get anything? A house? You think you can get a house? The house survives longer than you! When Grandmaster leaves the world one day, the Tantric Quarter will still be there, the Rainbow Villa will still be there. Right? My ashes will be placed in the Twin Lotus Columbarium. You bought and got a spot [in the columbarium] but it's not necessarily yours either. There is nothing [you own]. This is nothing to gain and nothing to lose.

On Nothing Gained Nothing Spoken, the true dharma cannot be spoken. When we talk about dharma, we are talking about [dharma as] tools. Last time I have said that buddhadharma is just like a raft; even the dharma should be forsaken, let alone the non-dharma. The true buddhadharma should also be abandoned eventually, let alone the non-dharma. I have said it yesterday. Hence, everyone should have peace of mind and have no thoughts; that is spiritual cultivation. No thoughts, no interference; that is spiritual cultivation. 

I have talked about it last night. Don't think that Grandmaster does not care for my own children or grandchildren. It's not that I don't love them, I do! They are my children, so of course I love them. But do you know that your children are your past lives' karmic creditors? Do you know? Some are due to good affinities, and they would be nice to you. Some are with bad affinities and perhaps they would even kill you! It's all about affinity! Affinities and karma from many lifetimes control us.

When you comprehend the buddhadharma, you understand that there is nothing to gain, and your mind will be at peace. You still love your children, but everything depends on themselves; this also applies to grandchildren. It's not being heartless. I want to deliver them and guide them onto the path, but it also depends on their affinities. At the moment, they are still attached to worldly things, grasping at everything mundane, they do not comprehend nothing gained, nothing spoken. 

When you truly comprehend nothing gained, nothing spoken, you are cultivating spiritually. If nothing can be gained, why are you stealing from others? Why do you still fulfil your own lust? If you have enough already, why do you want to hoard or save more things? Why do you still want those? Those things are poisons! Sakyamuni Buddha said that they are like poisonous snakes.

So, let's just be like the intrinsic suchness of all dharma. Whatever should come will come, whatever should go will go, whatever should be received will be received, whatever should not be taken should not be taken, this is the case for all material things; the same holds true for sons, daughters, grandsons, granddaughters. This comprehension is the key meaning of the Vajra Sutra. That's my exposition today on Chapter Seven—Nothing Gained, Nothing Spoken.

Om mani padme hum.


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