Vajra Cutter Sutra

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The goddess Prajñaparamita

The Vajra Cutter Sutra (aka Diamond Sutra) (Skt. Vajracchedikā-prajñāpāramitā-sūtra, Wyl. ’phags pa shes rab kyi pha rol tu phyin pa rdo rje gcod pa zhes bya ba theg pa chen po’i mdo) is a popular Prajnaparamita sutra.

Famous Quotes

གང་དག་ང་ལ་གཟུགས་སུ་མཐོང༌། །

གང་དག་ང་ལ་སྒྲར་ཤེས་པ། །
ལོག་པར་སྤོང་བས་ཞུགས་པ་སྟེ། །

སྐྱེ་བོ་དེ་དག་ང་མི་མཐོང༌། །

Those who see my body as ordinary form,
And hear my voice as ordinary sound,
Have set out upon a mistaken path.
Such people do not truly see me.

Śākyamuni, Diamond Cutter Sūtra


སྐར་མ་རབ་རིབ་མར་མེ་དང༌། །

སྒྱུ་མ་ཟིལ་པ་ཆུ་བུར་དང་། །
རྨི་ལམ་གློག་དང་སྤྲིན་ལྟ་བུ། །

འདུས་བྱས་དེ་ལྟར་བལྟ་བར་བྱ། །

Like a star, hallucination, candle,
Magical illusion, dewdrop, bubble,
Dream, lightning or a cloud—
Know all compounded phenomena to be like this.

Śākyamuni, Diamond Cutter Sūtra


Early Translations

  • Chinese translation, ca. AD 400 by Kumārajīva
  • Chinese translation in the 7th century by Xuanzang
  • Tibetan translation in the 9th century by Śīlendrabodhi and Yeshé Dé

English Translations

  • Gelong Thubten Tsultrim (George Churinoff), The Exalted Mahayana Sutra on the Wisdom Gone Beyond Called the Vajra Cutter (based on the Tibetan Lhasa Zhol printing), FPMT, 2002 Available online here
  • Paul Harrison, 'Vajracchedikā Prajñāpāramitā: A New English Translation of the Sanskrit Text Based on Two Manuscripts from Greater Gandhāra', contained in Jens Braarvig, Paul Harrison, Jens-Uwe Hartmann, Kazunobu Matsuda & Lore Sander, eds., Buddhist Manuscripts in the Schøyen Collection, Hermes (Oslo 2006)
  • Gregory Schopen, 'The Manuscript of the Vajracchedika Found at Gilgit: An Annotated Transcription and Translation' in Luis O. Gómez and Jonathan A. Silk (ed.s), Studies in the Literature of the Great Vehicle: Three Mahāyāna Buddhist Texts

Notes

Further Reading

  • Thich Nhat Hanh, The Diamond that Cuts Through Illusion: Commentaries on the Prajñaparamita Diamond Sutra (Berkeley: Parallax Press, 1992)
  • Edward Conze, The Prajñāpāramitā Literature (1960)

External Links