The Essential Scripture...

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The Essential Scriptures of the Buddha and Patriarchs

The Diamond Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra

Section 6

Subhuti addressed the Buddha, saying, “World Honored One. Is it really possible that there will be sentient beings who, having heard these sorts of words and phrases, will be able to give rise to genuine faith, or not?” The Buddha replied to Subhuti, “Do not say this. In the final five-hundred years following the Buddha’s extinction, there will be those who, by cultivating merit and keeping the precepts, will be able to generate faith in these words and accept them as genuine. You should know that such people have planted the roots of merit (kuśalamūla ) not just with one buddha, two buddhas, or three, four, or five buddhas; they have already planted the roots of merit in the presence of incalculable tens of millions of buddhas, and have heard such words, etc., even up to . . . in a single moment of thought they have generated pure faith. Subhuti, the Tathāgata knows all and sees all: these sentient beings have in this wise gained immeasurable merit. Why is this? This is because all these sentient beings retain no further conception of a self, a person, a living being, or a soul; they retain no conception of dharma and no conception of what is not-dharma. Why is this? If all those sentient beings’ minds cling to conceptions, then they would be attached to a self, a person, a living being, and a soul. Why is this? If they cling to a conception of what is dharma, they will be attached to a self, a person, a living being, and a soul. If they cling to the conception of what is not-dharma, they will be attached to a self, a person, a living being, and a soul. For this reason, you should neither cling to dharma nor cling to not-dharma. This is why the Tathāgata always says, ‘You, bhikṣus, should know that my preaching of the dharma is like the simile of the raft: you should let go even of what is the dharma, let alone what is not-dharma.’