Diamond sutra, chapter 13

“Subhuti, if on the one hand, a virtuous individual gives up his or her life many times as an act of generosity and continues doing so for countless ages; and if, on the other hand, another person listens to this Sutra with complete confidence and without contention, that person’s happiness will be far greater. But the happiness of one who writes this Sutra down and explains it to others cannot even be compared it is so great.”

“Subhuti, we can summarize by saying that the merit and virtue of this Sutra is boundless. The Buddha has declared this teaching for the benefit of initiates on the path to Enlightenment; he has declared it for the benefit of initiates on the path to Awakening. If there is someone capable of receiving, practicing, and sharing this Sutra with others, he or she will receive boundless merit and virtue. Such a person is known to be carrying the Supreme Enlightenment attained by the Buddha.”

We might be overwhelmed by repetition at this point. This is important to remember: many of these teachings spread by word of mouth first, rather than as written texts. So, it was important to make the same points over and over to ensure that the students remember them. The Buddha is reminding Subhuti that this Sutra is really important. Because we are studying it together, we are carrying the Supreme Enlightenment attained by the Buddha.

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About Daniel Scharpenburg

Daniel Scharpenburg lives in Kansas City with two kids and two cats. He runs the Monday Night Zen Group at the Rime Buddhist Center. Daniel has a BA in English from KU and he works for the federal government. Once a Novice Monk in the Rinzai Tradition, he dropped out of monk school to become a regular person. He has taken his inspiration mainly from Zen renegades and madmen like Ikkyu and Han Shan. Daniel has taken Bodhisattva Vows in both the Nagarjuna and Asanga lineages. He is a frequent guest teacher on Daily Dharma Gathering.

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