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
Eight—Dharma Arising Accordingly
“Subhuti, what do you think? If one fills the three thousand great thousand worlds³⁷ with the seven kinds of precious jewels³⁸ as an act of giving, would his merits and blessings be enormous?”
Subhuti replied, “Enormous, World-honored One! Why? The Tathagata says his merit is enormous because it has no characteristics of merit.”
The Buddha said, “Should there be someone who upholds this sutra, and furthermore, expounds it to others, even if it is only the four-line verse, his merit exceeds the former. Why? Subhuti! Because all buddhas and all anuttara samyaksambodhi dharma come from this sutra.
Subhuti, the so-called buddhadharma is not buddhadharma.”
Why do we have eight-four thousand kinds of mental ailments? Why? Because you think that there is something to gain, that's why you have ailments. If you don't think there is anything to gain, you will have no ailments. Why do siblings fight for inheritance? A person is in heaven, his money is in the bank, the brothers are fighting for his money, and his wife is lying on the chest of another man. What belongs to you? Think carefully and clearly. Nothing belongs to you! When you realize there's nothing to gain, then the merits and blessings are not merits and blessings. Therefore, they are merits and blessings. Buddhadharma is not buddhadharma; therefore, it is buddhadharma. These kinds of paradoxical phrases are all over the sutra. Otherwise, you will not understand why Sakyamuni Buddha said that the so-called buddhadharma is not buddhadharma. It's quite baffling; he said the buddhadharma is not buddhadharma, then again, he said it is buddhadharma; he also said the same thing about merits.
Today, I have explained it very clearly. The most important sentence in the Heart Sutra is as there's nothing to gain, you are a bodhisattva. Because you comprehend that there is nothing to gain, your mind is at ease and you have no contention whatsoever; you can then gain meditative stability. You are mindful of others, therefore, you are a bodhisattva. Since there is nothing to gain, therefore you are a bodhisattva. A bodhisattva originates from this. If you want to become a bodhisattva, you must first realize that there is nothing to gain. This is the key point of the Vajra Sutra. Buddhadharma arises. Why did buddhadharma arise? Because human beings have eighty-four thousand kinds of illnesses. Due to these eighty-four thousand kinds of illnesses, there are eighty-four thousand kinds of buddhadharma. If there are no humans, there is no need for buddhadharma. If everyone is a sage, there's no need for buddhadharma. [In this case] Buddhadharma is not buddhadharma. In this way, do you understand?
No view of self, no view of others, no view of sentient beings, and no view of lifespan are the four non-views or non-phenomena spoken by Sakyamuni Buddha. If you truly eliminate these four views and if you genuinely comprehend this, you will be completely at peace and at ease. I would not care if I'm only given two hundred dollars by the Seattle Temple and one thousand dollars by the Rainbow Temple. Did the Rainbow Temple give me one thousand dollars? Is that right? [Someone answers, “Yes.”] It is two hundred dollars, right? [Someone answered, “Yes.”] See? I count the money very carefully every time. [chuckles] For the whole week, I only make one thousand and two hundred; I am so poor now. Very poor that even ghosts would not capture me. [Grandmaster jokes and chuckles] Really! This pandemic is miserable. Only very few people visit from out of town or abroad, there have not been any grand ceremonies. Only recently it started to open up a bit, so we have some people coming in from abroad. In the past, when things were not open and countries were under lockdown, nobody came and no disciples appeared. So Grandmaster had no income, I live my life grim and desolate. Life is very bleak relying on the two hundred dollars from Saturday's cultivation and one thousand dollars from Sunday's ceremony [chuckles]. I must take care of my Rolls-Royce, please don't break down! Any repairs will cost me thousands of dollars. One repair needs tens of thousands. Last time when it broke, I had to spend forty thousand dollars. For forty-thousand dollars, how many weeks do I have to give dharma teachings here? Even if I gave dharma teachings until I die, I will not be able to collect forty thousand dollars. [laughter] Only one thousand dollars at the Rainbow Temple. I must take care of my house too and pay taxes. Oh, I am so crestfallen lately [Grandmaster laughs hard].
Fortunately, my mind is completely calm because I know there is nothing to gain. Whether I gain a lot or a little, whether my merits and blessings are enormous or few, I am equally peaceful. If you have this kind of mind, you are unperturbed. You live life with ease. If you have money, then you give or create the so-called merits. Actually, the so-called merits are not merits and because they are not merits, they're [true] merits. It's like this, right? They're all the same. Just be a bodhisattva. Bodhisattvas come from this, Bodhisattvas, arhats, pratyekabuddhas and buddhas arise from this. The Vajra Sutra is the foundation; it is the foundation that destroys everything. Originally, there is nothing, then all arises. That's it; this one is very easy to expound.
“Subhuti, what do you think? If one fills the three-thousand-great-thousand worlds with the seven kinds of precious jewels as an act of giving, would his merits and blessings be enormous?” Subhuti replied, “Enormous.” Really! Seven kinds of precious jewels from the three-thousand-great-thousand worlds for charity. Of course, his merits and blessings would be tremendous.
…the merits have no characteristics of merits. This part people might not understand. Just now, I have said it. Because the merit is not merit, that's why the merit is enormous as spoken by the Buddha. The so-called merit is not merit. Because it has no characteristics of merit, it is merit.
Should there be someone who upholds this sutra, and furthermore, expound it to others, even if it is only the four-line verse… The four-line verse are no phenomena of self, no phenomena of others, no phenomena of sentient beings, and no phenomena of lifespan. I often said that no phenomena of sentient beings refers to the space dimension and no phenomena of lifespan refers to the time dimension. [The definition of] time was determined by human beings. It originally did not exist. The space dimension also did not exist. How big is the universe? Until now, still nobody knows. You cannot even go beyond the solar system. Do you know how big the universe is? In the past, we said “round sky and square earth, execute throughout the nine chapters…” ³⁹ The sky is round while the earth is square [flat]. If you kept walking to the edge then you would fall. That's the wrong concept! We now know the Earth is not flat.
How big or small is it? It cannot be measured. It is immeasurable, unknowable. That is the realm of the unspeakable. How big is the whole universe? It is the unspeakable realm. Last time, someone asked Grandmaster, “Grandmaster, do you know where your emanated bodies have gone to?” I went home and asked the buddhas and bodhisattvas, “How should I explain it?” They told me it's unspeakable; that's the realm of unspeakable. Where do the emanated bodies go to? The emanated bodies go to Taiwan, Japan, Indonesia, Malaysia. Where else? [Whether] giving dharma teaching in your dreams or otherwise, that's the realm of the unspeakable or indescribable. How many emanated bodies do you [Grandmaster] have? It's unspeakable.
In the Journey to the West novel, the Monkey King would pluck all his hair and blow his breath on it, then they all became Monkey Kings. How many Monkey Kings were there? Let me ask you, how many hairs do you have? It's the realm of unspeakable. How many skin pores do you have in your body? It's unspeakable. Even within the human body, there are the unspeakable. How many emanated bodies are there? All the buddhas and bodhisattvas told me that it's unspeakable. When you emanate a body, are you aware? Are you aware of the dharma teaching that you gave? That's the realm of unspeakable. But sometimes, Grandmaster knows.
Do you know? [Someone answered, “No.”] You don't know, because it is unspeakable [Grandmaster chuckles]. Let me tell you something very strange. Someone gave me a scorpion t-shirt recently. Do you know what a scorpion t-shirt is? Yes, let me show you. Did you see my shirt? This is my undershirt; I am wearing it as an undershirt right now. This is called a scorpion shirt because a scorpion is printed on it. I wear it inside. A disciple had a dream that her hands were being bitten by the claws of a scorpion. She asked, “What kind of dream is this? Why?” I told her, “Because I'm wearing this scorpion shirt. That's why you dreamt of a scorpion.” That's a spiritual response. Only very few people know of me wearing this scorpion shirt because it is worn inside, right? People don't know I am wearing this scorpion shirt but she had a dream about a scorpion. She said she never thought of scorpions, and I rarely thought of scorpions as well because we don't see them around here. There are a lot of places where one can see scorpions but not here. In the United States, we rarely see scorpions and don't think of scorpions. However, she dreamed of a scorpion. This is a sign of spiritual response.
Emanated bodies are very strange. When I close my eyes, I know where I was [have gone to]. Don't think that I was drowsing on the dharma throne. It is due to no thoughts; I don't have any thoughts. When everybody was chanting, I didn't. I did not chant because I had no thoughts and my mind was single-pointed. It was not even single-pointed anymore [as it was gone]. I was originally meditating, then I fell asleep. Don't see it as mere sleep! When I fall asleep, I, my soul leaves my body. I did many things before coming back. You think I was just nodding my head [Grandmaster shows a dozing-off posture] but my soul had left my body. I soul-traveled to places and I know what I did, I was aware. This is a delicate matter, an unspeakable state.
Let me tell you, it's not yours! Someone told Grandmaster in the past, “I'm very tight on money so can you loan me some?” I said sure, and I gave him all my savings then. He prepared a cloth bag, put the money inside the bag. As he was walking away, he glanced back at me. I said, “With the turn of his back, it would be hundreds of years.” [Chinese expression meaning by the time you realize it's too late]. I saw his back as he carried it away and I have not seen him again to this day. Lianzhu, Lianshi, you know him, right? The person who took the cloth bag with the surname Pan, right? Yes, I've never seen him since he left with that bag of money. With that turning of head, it would be hundreds of years. I still remember it but I never had the intention to get it back and never looked for him either. He's taken it, so let him take it; besides it's not mine anyway [Grandmaster meant that he doesn't own anything in the end, hence he saw the money as not his]. Do you understand?
Om mani padme hum.

點此入內 線上刷卡


迴向報名表填完之後請傳送E-mail: Email住址會使用灌水程式保護機制。你需要啟動Javascript才能觀看它

燃燈paypal註冊的信箱是Email住址會使用灌水程式保護機制。你需要啟動Javascript才能觀看它 敬請同門善信大德注意,以免無法收款!謝謝!



點選「隨喜贊助」進入PayPal 線上信用卡贊助網頁,填寫數量即是您的贊助金額!






電話:886-49-2312992 分機 362



贊助索閱一年24期紙本雜誌、變更郵寄地址、或 參加「功德主方案

請洽分機 367


請洽分機 368