The Essential Scripture...

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The Essential Scriptures of the Buddha and Patriarchs

The Diamond Prajñāpāramitā Sūtra

Section 9

“Subhuti, what do you think? Can a śrotaāspanna conceive of the notion, ‘I have achieved the fruition of being a śrotaāpanna,’ or not?” Subhuti replied, “No, World Honored One. Why is this? Because a śrotaāpanna is called a ‘stream-enterer,’ but there is nothing that he has entered. Not entering into visual, auditory, olfactory, gustatory, tactile, or mental objects—this is called a śrotaāpanna.”
“Subhuti, what do you think? Can a sakṛdāgāmin conceive of the notion, ‘I have achieved the fruition of being a sakṛdāgāmin,’ or not?” Subhuti replied, “No, World Honored One. Why is this? Because a sakṛdāgāmin is called ‘one who goes and come once,’ but in reality there is no such thing as going and coming. This is called a sakṛdāgāmin.”
“Subhuti, what do you think? Can an anāgāmin conceive of the notion, ‘I have achieved the fruition of being an anāgāmin,’ or not?” Subhuti replied, “No, World Honored One. Why is this? An anāgāmin is called a ‘non-returner,’ but in reality there is no non-returning. For this reason, one is called an anāgāmin.
“Subhuti, what do you think? Can an arhat conceive of the notion, ‘I have achieved the path of being an arhat,’ or not?” Subhuti replied, “No, World Honored One. Why is this? Because there is in reality no dharma called ‘arhat .’World Honored One. If an arhat were to conceive of the idea, ‘I have achieved the arhat path,’ then this would in fact entail grasping at a self, a person, a living being, and a soul. World Honored One. The Buddha has said that I am foremost among those persons who have achieved the strife-less samādhi (mujaeng sammae 無諍三昧; alt. the samādhi that is free from all disputation; Skt. araṇavihāriṇ [living in seclusion]) and that I am foremost among the arhats, who are free of desire. I would not conceive of the idea, ‘I am an arhat, who is free from desire.’ World Honored One. If I had conceived of the idea, ‘I have achieved the arhat path,’ then the World Honored One would not have said, ‘Subhuti is one who revels in the practice of araṇā (seclusion].’ Since I, Subhuti, in reality engage in no such practice, I am called ‘Subhuti who revels in the practice of araṇa.’”