Pure Land Perspectives On Some Diamond Sūtra Teachings《金刚经》之净土观

Pure Land Perspectives On Some Diamond Sūtra Teachings

[1] Diamond Sūtra’s Teaching:


– 释迦牟尼佛

All that have forms,
all are false.
If seeing all forms as not forms,
then seeing the Thus Come One.

– Śākyamuni Buddha
(Vajra [Diamond] Prajñā Pāramitā Sūtra)

[Note 1: All with forms are false or unreal, in the sense of being impermanent (无我), and thus without a fixed self-nature (无我,无自性). To see all forms as not forms is to realise that form(s) then is/(are) emptiness (色即是空). Emptiness refers to forms being empty of permanence and self-nature. If this is realised fully, thus becoming a Buddha, then truly seeing the essence of all Buddhas (i.e. Thus Come Ones).]

[1] Pure Land Perspective:


The Pure Land’s all forms,
all are for revealing true form[s].
If born there, seeing these forms,
quickly seeing the true Thus Come One.

[Note 2: All the forms in Āmítuófó’s (阿弥陀佛) Pure Land are foremost skilful means (第一方便) for leading to realisation of true form, which is the ultimate reality that forms then are emptiness, and emptiness then is forms (色即是空,空即是色). If this is realised fully, thus becoming a Buddha, then truly seeing the essence of all Buddhas.]

[2] Diamond Sūtra’s Teaching:


– 释迦牟尼佛

If Bodhisattvas
have self’s form, person’s form,
sentient being’s form, and lifespan’s form,
they are then not Bodhisattvas.

– Śākyamuni Buddha
(Vajra [Diamond] Prajñā Pāramitā Sūtra)

[Note 3: Bodhisattvas are those aspiring to guide one and all to attain Buddhahood. (i) To have self’s form is to be attached to the delusion of having a self, that does not change. (ii) To have person’s form is to be attached to the delusion of having other person(s) out there, outside of one’s ‘self’, each also with a ‘self’. (iii) To have sentient being’s form is to be attached to the delusion that there are many of such other persons out there (i.e. sentient beings; all living beings), each with differences, (which are caused by changing differences in karma). (iv) To have lifespan’s form is to be attached to the delusion that oneself and others have lifespans that begin and end, which is so only if there are selves in the first place, which is not so. There can also be aversion to having short lifespan, with attachment to having long lifespan, also in the context of having a self. While beginner aspiring Bodhisattvas are attached to the four forms, true Bodhisattvas who have realised their emptiness are not attached to them.]

[2] Pure Land Perspective:


If born in the Western Pure Land,
to be without self’s form, person’s form,
sentient being’s form, and lifespan’s form,
they are then as Bodhisattvas.

[Note 4: All born in Āmítuófó’s Western Pure Land Of Ultimate Bliss (西方极乐世界), due to its pure support conditions, will have none of the misperceptions, from attachments to the four forms, despite having (iv) immeasurable life and being willing to deliver (iii) all sentient beings. They are thus able to most skilfully and easily, learn and practise as true Bodhisattvas, for the swiftest progress towards Buddhahood.]

[3] Diamond Sūtra’s Teaching:


– 释迦牟尼佛

If with forms seeing me,
with sounds seeking me,
this person is practising an evil path,
not able to see the Thus Come One.

– Śākyamuni Buddha
(Vajra [Diamond] Prajñā Pāramitā Sūtra)

[Note 5: Since the essence of the Buddha is not in changing and thus unsubstantial (i.e. selfless; without self) forms, sounds, (smells, tastes, touches and thoughts/ dharmas) (色声香味触法), to seek it via these six sense objects is wrong, unable to truly perceive it.]

[3] Pure Land Perspective:


If with mindfulness of Buddha seeing the Buddha’s form,
this is the manifestation body of the Buddha,
this person is practising the right path,
with birth in his Western Pure Land, seeing his true form.

[Note 6: While ordinary forms are seen with delusion, as permanent and substantial, by ordinary beings, if Āmítuófó is seen in the midst of sincere practice of mindfulness of Buddha, such a manifestation is not delusional but really from him, as it inspires one to aspire to further practice to reach his Pure Land, through which the swiftest non-backsliding progress towards Buddhahood is guaranteed. Thus, this is the right path. It is there that Āmítuófó’s true form will be seen too, which represents seeing the essence of the Buddha, the Dharma he realised and teaches.]

[4] Diamond Sūtra’s Teaching:


– 释迦牟尼佛

All conditioned dharmas,
are like dreams, illusions, bubbles and shadows,
like dew, likewise like lightning,
[all] should have such contemplations.

– Śākyamuni Buddha
(Vajra [Diamond] Prajñā Pāramitā Sūtra)

[Note 7: Conditioned dharmas are (physical and mental) phenomena of mind and matter (身心) that arise and cease due to changes in their supporting conditions (助缘) and other external conditions (外缘). Since they are impermanent and thus without fixed selves, they are unsubstantial, like the six physical examples given. All phenomena should be reflected to be thus, so as to realise the nature of reality, to become enlightened, and thus liberated.]

[4] Pure Land Perspective:


As the Pure Land’s unconditioned dharmas,
are for awaking from the dreamlike, to see true form[s],
which then are emptiness, the false and the Middle Path,
[all] should be born there, to awaken to non-birth.

[Note 8: Being spiritually and physically pure, Āmítuófó’s Pure Land is without conditioned dharmas, only with unconditioned dharmas. Thus, all that in his Pure Land offer the best supportive conditions for awaking from mistaking the illusory as real, with permanence and self. True form is the ultimate reality of the Three Truths (三谛) of form, emptiness and the Middle Path (中道) being synonymous and equal (即空即假即中). While the Middle Path is the Middle (Central) Truth (中谛) between the Two Truths (二谛) of form and emptiness, even it should not be attached to, for there to be full enlightenment, complete liberation. With these advantages of the Pure Land, all should aspire and practise to be born there, to realise the unborn (and unceasing), which is Buddha-nature (佛性), to be free from the cycle of birth and death (了生死).]

Related Sūtra:

Vajra [Diamond] Prajñā Pāramitā Sūtra

Related Articles:

How To Reconcile Teachings Of The Vajra Sūtra And The Amitābha Sūtra On Forms?

How To Know The Buddha Met When Dying Is Not A Demon?

Does The Diamond Sūtra Say There Is No Pure Land?

Are The Forms In Pure Land Also Illusory?

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