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Diamond Sutra, the

Category: Books sutras and myths

 The Diamond Sutra is a Mahayana Buddhist sutra.  The earliest known Sanskrit title for the sutra is the Vajracchedika Prajnaparamita Sutra, which may be translated roughly as the "Vajra Cutter Perfection of Wisdom Sutra".  It has been translated and used in a number of  Asian countries where Mahayana Buddhism has been traditionally practiced – China, Japan, Korea, Tibet, Vietnam  etc.  The first translation of the Diamond Sutra into Chinese is thought to have been made in 401 CE by the venerated and prolific translator Kumarajiva.  The Kumarajiva translation has been particularly highly regarded over the centuries.

 In the sutra, the Buddha has finished his daily walk with the monks to gather offerings of food, and he sits down to rest. Elder Subhuti comes forth and asks the Buddha a question. What follows is a dialogue regarding the nature of the spiritual world.  It is wonderfully worded, with paradoxes and apparent contradictions, all aimed at showing that 'those who have not been do not know'.  

"What is called the highest teaching is not the highest teaching". The Buddha is trying to help Subhuti unlearn his preconceived, limited notions of the nature of the spiritual world.

All the observations for this Sutra are to be found under Buddha.

References

The British Library website has good entry on the Diamond Sutra, however, a number of good translations also exist