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IDP Newsletter Issue No. Winter 2. 01. 1–1.

This issue of IDP News is dedicated to the Diamond Sutra(Or. P. 2), including an article on its history and transmission, a preliminary study of the paper of the printed copy found at Dunhuang, as well as extracts from new books on the Diamond Sutra, one of which showcases the conservation work recently completed at the British Library. We also report on the IDP partners’ business meeting held in October 2.

Dunhuang Academy, and the exhibition curated by the Dunhuang Academy on historical photographs of Dunhuang. The Diamond Sutra: History and Transmission. Sam van Schaik. Statue of Kum.

One day he heard a customer reciting the Diamond Sutra, and experienced a sudden clarity of mind. He asked the man where he had learned the sutra. The man replied that he had been to see the fifth patriarch of the Chan school, Hongren, who had told an audience of monks and laypeople that by merely memorizing the Diamond Sutra they would see their true natures and become Buddhas. So Huineng went to find Hongren, joined his monastery, and ultimately became the sixth patriarch of the Chan school. This story shows the high regard in which the Diamond Sutra was held by Chinese Buddhists.

For centuries this text has been thought to encapsulate all that is important in the Buddha’s teachings. Its pithy and paradoxical text is thought to provide the insight into the nature of reality that turns an ordinary being into a Buddha. To understand why the Diamond Sutra was revered in this way, we need to understand its place in the Buddhist. For Buddhists, a sutra is a record of the teachings of the Buddha himself, and every sutra begins with the phrase, . The sutras were first written in the local languages of India, and later in the sacred and literary language of Sanskrit. The Diamond Sutra was part of a Buddhist movement known as the Mah.

By the first century AD followers of the Mah. Bleem Demo Download. The content of these texts was quite varied, but some key themes came to characterise the Mah. One was the altruistic motivation of the bodhisattva, a follower of the path who aims for the enlightenment of all living beings. Another was the doctrine of emptiness (Skt.

The latter theme was expounded in a group of texts known as the Perfection of Wisdom (praj. This indicates that the ideal is not to perfect each of these six, but to transcend the concepts of oneself as an independent self performing a truly existent action.

This again brings us back to the idea of emptiness. According to Edward Conze, who specialized in the study of this literature, the earliest Perfection of Wisdom sutra is the version in eight thousand verses.

It appeared some time between the first century BC and the first century AD. Over the next two centuries this text was expanded into versions in eighteen thousand, twenty- five thousand, and a hundred thousand verses. These large and unwieldy sutras mainly increased the level of repetition in the original version. Then, by the fourth century AD, a trend in the other direction emerged with the appearance more concise Perfection of Wisdom sutras. These included the Diamond Sutra, which contained a mere three hundred verses. However, some Japanese scholars have argued that the Diamond Sutra was actually the earliest of the Perfection of Wisdom sutras, the kernel from which the longer texts developed. The Sanskrit title of the Diamond Sutra is Vajracchedik.

The significance of the vajra (translated here as . As such, it is like the doctrine of emptiness, which cuts through all substantialist concepts.

The earliest Sanskrit fragments of the Diamond Sutra, dating to the late fifth or early sixth century, were discovered by Aurel Stein in the Taklamakan desert site of Dandan Uiliq, near Khotan. More extensive manuscripts, dating from a century or two later, have been found in Gilgit and Bamiyan. Thus we know that the sutra was popular and circulated widely in Gandh. Both places were key stages on the route between India and China travelled by monks and merchants. The Diamond Sutra reached China by the fourth century. The earliest translation of the Diamond Sutra into Chinese was by the Central Asian translator Kum. As Paul. Harrison has shown, Kum.

Such translations were usually done by a team consisting of an Indian master and a Tibetan translator, and the canonical Diamond Sutra translation is credited to the prolific translation team of . Because a technical language was developed in Tibetan specifically to cope with translating Buddhist texts, the Tibetan translation of the Diamond Sutra offers a more literal rendition of the Sanskrit text than any of the Chinese. Another Tibetan translation, found only in the Dunhuang collections, was made from the Chinese. The. Diamond Sutra also exists in other languages, including Sogdian, Khotanese and Mongolian, and a unique manuscript from. Dunhuang rendering the Chinese version in Brahmi script. Essentially, the Diamond Sutra is a dialogue between the. Buddha and his disciple Subhuti.