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WHAT IS THE DIAMOND SUTRA?

The Diamond Sutra, also known as the Vajracchedika Prajnaparamita Sutra, is one of the most treasured ancient Buddhist Scriptures in the Mahayana Buddhism, and it is particularly prominent within the Chan (Zen) tradition, along with the Heart Sutra. It is relevantly short, with only 6000 words, and like the shorter Heart Sutra, the Diamond Sutra is said to concisely sum up some of the Buddha’s most important teachings. 


The sutra essentially challenges multiple status quo in regards to the common notion of self, space, and reality. It has a unique way of understanding the world, presenting a set of logic to not only deconstruct the reality but also to rationalize the nothingness of all phenomena. 


The Vajracchedika Prajnaparamita Sutra contains the discourse of the Buddha to a senior monk, Subhuti. Its major themes are anatman (not-self), the emptiness of all phenomena (though the term 'sunyata' itself does not appear in the text), the liberation of all beings without attachment and the importance of spreading and teaching the Diamond sutra itself. 


In his commentary on the Diamond Sutra, Hsing Yun describes the four main points from the sutra as giving without attachment to self, liberating beings without notions of self and other, living without attachment, and cultivating without attainment.


The major goal of the Diamond sutra is the emancipation from the fundamental ignorance of not knowing how to experience reality as it is.

About the Author

Hiromi Saito is a Japanese Chinese contemporary artist, who is a Buddhist, and also the creative director of the Saint Maison. Originally, he was educated in London as designer, at Central Saint Martins (University of the Arts London).


"Even if you are not a Buddhist, it's still worth your time to read the Diamond Sutra, because at the end of the day it's still your gain to at least learn about what one of the greatest thinkers of human history has to offer."

How was it translated?

The main structure of the translation follows the 'Jin Gang Bore Boluomi Jing' by Kumarajiva, which is the most well known and accurate Sanskrit to Chinese translation of the Vajracchedika Prajnaparamita Sutra. 


This new translation is created upon a series of extensive study based on some of the most recognized existing English translations: Max Muller, Thich Nhat Hanh, Edward Conze, Red Pine, Schopen Gregory, Mu Soeng, and Paul Harrison. 


This is then compared with both Sanskrit and Chinese translations to further increase accuracy. Chinese translations include the versions by: Kumarajiva, Bodhiruci, Paramartha, Dharmagupta, Xuanzang, and Yijing. Along with Tibetan translation by Silendrabodhi.

What's the purpose of this project?

This project merges the world of contemporary art and Holy objects (the Diamond Sutra). Although Buddhism teaches us about the non-abiding and non-differentiated characteristics of the universe, it is also incredibly difficult to grasp such teachings, or even to have the opportunity to learn them without a cultural intersection. Hence, the project comes with 3 aims.


1) The cultural differences between the East and the West. The western world had a clear differentiation between the religions and the sciences. The Scientific Revolution/The Enlightenment. Naturally, the separation became more and more apparent, though some do stand inbetween the two.


On the other hand, the Eastern world didn't really have this clear separation point in history. Religion just kind of grew with the sciences. It is so deeply embedded in the standard conception of morality and life, it did not see the need to be detached in anyway. This is why, the Westerner has a greater crave and demand for what is true, logics, rationalization, empiricism, evidentialism, etc, etc. To bring Buddhism to the West, we need to first break this impression of it being a religion. We must first prove that there is indeed a complex logic in each proposition made by the Buddha; like most western philosophies.


2) Many younger generations finds it very difficult to relate to Buddhism because it is culturally and socially perceived as a religion, which undermines its fundamental philosophical properties. This is precisely why many youths have very little to no understanding of Buddhism beyond the stereotypes associated with it: shaved monks, large temples, incenses, and meditation. This project aims to reintroduce the fascinating philosophical nature of Buddhism while blurring the boundaries between the teachings and our general life.


3) The lack of compassion seen in the world is truly heart aching sometimes. Discrimination: gender, race, sexuality...animal abuse, war, crime, poverty, etc... The Diamond sutra does not teach us to be more compassionate because this is good, or the right thing to do; The sutra teaches us that in reality, beyond the material and the physical, there is in fact no differentiation between them and us, you and I. Therefore, being good to one another is in fact being good to yourself, and ultimately there is no self, them, you, us, and so on. It is important that compassion and kindness is not only a segment of morality, but has a satisfying logic behind it. 

Isn't it too difficult for most people to understand it?

To be blunt, Yes, Diamond Sutra is not an easy text to understand. It’s said to be so full of meaning that it can point us directly to enlightenment, so of course, it’s not an easy text. A lot of the passages have to be read multiple times to be understood and it’s so repetitive that it can be overwhelming too. For example, one of the hardest part for most people to grasp is the repetitive use of paradoxical statements. It looks something like this: 


AB is not AB, or not B, therefore it is AB.


“What do you think, Subhuti? Does a bodhisattva create a serene and beautiful Buddha field?"

“No, Most Honored One. Why? To create a serene and beautiful Buddha field is not, in fact, creating a serene and beautiful Buddha field. That is why it is called creating a serene and beautiful Buddha field.” 


How can creating a Buddha-field be not creating a Buddha-field? And that’s why it’s called a Buddha-field? Doesn't it sound contradictory? Almost denying its identity and yet claiming its existence. And the Buddha does, by the way, tell him that he’s right. This type of paradoxical statement is used throughout the entire conversation between Subhuti and the Buddha. So what does it mean? 


What if we said, "a bottle does not have a bottle, therefore it is a bottle". It should make a bit more sense linguistically and logically. Like how a bottle does not need a bottle, a bottle is not essential to a bottle’s identity, which is precisely why a bottle can be what it is.This Sutra takes us beyond the habits of perceiving phenomena in a dualistic manner. The term “serene” is not serenity itself, “beautiful” is not beauty itself, and a “Buddha field” are not Buddha field itself. Those terms are nothing beyond terms, words, and language, it is not essential to the being of something. The sutra suggests that the elimination of those terms, or labels, will allow us to see phenomena as it is, and more clearly. This will eliminate boundaries, lines, and everything differentiating one from another, you and I, them and us, and ultimately there is nothing more real than nothingness itself. 


Like the logic above, which still only scrapes the surface of the sutra, there are many mind-bending ideas that may change the way you see the world. If you are worried about not getting it, don't worry. We have simultaneously launched a project to explain the Diamond Sutra bit by bit in plain terms. 

SUPPORT THIS PROJECT
This project will be funded entirely by your kind donations. The donation will be used for two purposes:
  1. Printing the sutra which will be given out for free to anyone who wants it for as long as possible.
  2. Making the 'Diamond Sutra Explained' series, which will be accessible for anyone from anywhere for as long as possible. The series is there to help students of the Diamond Sutra to decode some of the complex ideas of the sutra. It is inspired by many researchers and philosophers such as: YuxiaoFei from the Nanjing University and professor Paul Harrison from the Stanford University.

何謂⾦剛經?

1、《金剛經》的精髓在於引導眾生探索自我,破解虛我,回歸本我。

2、這部經文能在現實與真相之間來回切換 ,具有強大的穿透力。

3、釋迦牟尼佛告訴世人“無​​法可說”,只是在還原真實。

4、表演者腳下的紅地毯一旦被抽去,所有的偽裝將全部呈現。佛法具備這樣的功能。



《⾦剛經》中闡述的歷史背景及人物,即釋迦摩尼和須菩提的對話。佛教誕生於印度,它的創始人是偉大的思想家釋迦牟尼。德國哲學家雅斯貝爾斯也總結了過去三 千年人類文明史中最具影響力的是蘇 格拉底、釋迦牟尼、孔子和耶穌。特別到了近代,在西方哲學家叔本華、胡塞爾、海德格爾、薩特、韋德根斯坦等大師的著作中, 我們都會清晰看到佛教對他們的影響。



《金剛經》挑戰了凡夫對⾃我,空間,時間,和現實的理解和思維。是在突破科學,物理的基礎之上對宇宙空間概念的了解。提到⼀切⽆常的根源,什麼是真什麼是假,空性,“離相”和語⾔的特質。這部經⽂能改變⼈類對現實世界的了解。啟發在六道輪迴中眾⽣的智慧並得以斷煩惱(貪嗔癡)。



《⾦剛經》⼜稱為《⾦剛般若波羅蜜經》,是⼤乘佛教最珍貴的古代佛教經典之⼀。在般若法⻔中這個經典特別著名,和《般若波羅蜜多⼼經》⼀樣重要。這部經相對短⼩,只有6000字左右,可以說是簡明扼要、綜合了佛教最重要的教義。



這部經的精髓在於挑戰普通⾃我、空間和現實,以一種獨特的⽅式去理解世界,不僅是解構現實,同時解釋所有現象皆為“空”的理論。

关于譯者

斎藤浩実Hiromi Saito是⼀位日中混血现代艺术家,他是佛教徒的同时也是Saint Maison的创意总监。他在日本小学毕业后前往英国留学,在高中时代开始学习哲学,大学就学于中央圣⻢丁艺术与设计学院。


这位聚集了中国,日本和欧美文化教育背景的作者在学习艺术设计的同时继续专研哲学。 并与【金刚经】结下了深厚之缘。法名释法航

“即使你不是⼀个佛教徒,也是值得花时间去研读《⾦刚经》的,因为最终你可以获得⼈类历史上最伟⼤的思想家提供的教义。”


關於如何翻譯《⾦剛經》

梵⽂翻譯到中⽂主要有六部。這個項⽬⽤的是鳩摩羅什譯本。但其中還有⼀些語⾔神韻的問題。也有⼈把梵⽂翻譯成英⽂(EdwardConze)。同樣也有⼀些語感和⻛格上的問題。所以做這個項⽬的版本有⽤中⽂,英⽂,梵⽂。基於這些不同的語⾔版本,隨後再與佛學教授的法意解釋(南京⼤學的於曉⾮教授和斯坦福⼤學的PaulHarrison教授)以及⾼僧⼤德/法師的開示⽐較。


主要是依據鳩摩羅什(Kumarajiva,)翻譯的《⾦剛般若波羅蜜經》,亦是最為⼤眾熟悉的梵⽂→漢⽂翻譯版本。為了更加精確翻譯此部經⽂,⼜參照了現存的各種英⽂翻譯版本,並對照梵⽂原版和中⽂譯版,進⾏了⼀系列的覆蓋範圍⼴泛的研究。


參照的英⽂翻譯版包括(但不僅限於以下的版本)MaxMuller,Thich Nhat Hanh, Edward Conze, Red Pine, Schopen Gregory, Mu Soeng, and Paul Harrison。參照的中⽂翻譯版包括,鳩摩羅什,菩提流⽀,真諦,達摩笈多,⽞奘和義淨。還有藏語翻譯,翻譯者是Silendrabodhi。

此項⽬的⽬的是什麼?

主要⽬的是給予受西方教育的年輕⼈有機會接觸金剛經。哪怕當成⼀個藝術品也好,無論以什麼⽅式,只要他們能打開此書,並加以學習此法意即可。為什麼呢?以下有三個理由:


1)在西方社會(也包括亞洲)很多年輕⼈對佛教的理解有很大的誤區,把它當成⼀個宗教迷信。只看到表面上穿僧服的法師,宏偉的寺廟,上⾹,打坐,禮拜。其實這些並不是佛法的宗旨。現代社會特別是在⻄⽅,把佛教理解為宗教,很少⼈有機會和佛法的精髓有近距離的接觸。


關於中西文化差異:西方文化重唯理、思辯。中方重經驗、直覺,哲學,更關注世界本源、主客體關係、事物如何發展變化等。人們有著理性思維的色彩。抽象思辯是西方思維的特徵。而作為東方文明代表的中國古代科學和哲學的各種範疇是靠向內思維得到的,豁然貫通的概念理解與西方向外思維邏輯演繹所得到的不同,理解只能意會而難以言傳。如同對中醫醫理和氣功的理解,又如對一幅書法作品、一幅國畫的欣賞,只能向內領會,才能領略作者的神韻的起伏。


《金剛經》26:若以色見我, 以音聲求我, 是人行邪道, 不能見如來



2)當今社會很少有年輕⼈會特意去書店買⼀本《⾦剛經》研讀,但很多年輕⼈會去追求時尚潮流,欣賞現代藝術、去看漫畫展、藝術品展、時裝秀等. .. 末法時期剛強眾⽣越來越多,社會也存在著諸多的問題,弘法的模式也是應時而生,作為⼀個學佛⼈,雖身未出家但有⼀些⽅便法也是可以利益眾⽣的。藉此因緣把經文與現代藝術結合在⼀起,免費結緣這部英⽂版本《⾦剛經》與有緣之⼈。




3)這個項⽬能幫助到我們感觀之外更多的六道眾⽣。如果能讓這部經書更廣泛地流通於這個世界不是更好嗎?能理解這個理論的必定是⼤乘佛法根性之人,也希望⼀切眾⽣能離苦得樂,擁有⽆上菩提⼼和慈悲⼼。


⾦剛經15:須菩提、在在處處若有此經、⼀切世間天⼈阿修羅所應供養。當知此處則爲是塔。皆應恭敬作禮圍繞以諸華⾹⽽散其處。


⾦剛經12:復次須菩提、隨說是經乃⾄四句偈等、當知此處⼀切世間天⼈阿修羅、皆應供養 如佛

關於如何翻譯《⾦剛經》

梵⽂翻譯到中⽂主要有六部。這個項⽬⽤的是鳩摩羅什譯本。但其中還有⼀些語⾔神韻的問題。也有⼈把梵⽂翻譯成英⽂(EdwardConze)。同樣也有⼀些語感和⻛格上的問題。所以做這個項⽬的版本有⽤中⽂,英⽂,梵⽂。基於這些不同的語⾔版本,隨後再與佛學教授的法意解釋(南京⼤學的於曉⾮教授和斯坦福⼤學的PaulHarrison教授)以及⾼僧⼤德/法師的開示⽐較。


主要是依據鳩摩羅什(Kumarajiva,)翻譯的《⾦剛般若波羅蜜經》,亦是最為⼤眾熟悉的梵⽂→漢⽂翻譯版本。為了更加精確翻譯此部經⽂,⼜參照了現存的各種英⽂翻譯版本,並對照梵⽂原版和中⽂譯版,進⾏了⼀系列的覆蓋範圍⼴泛的研究。


參照的英⽂翻譯版包括(但不僅限於以下的版本)MaxMuller,Thich Nhat Hanh, Edward Conze, Red Pine, Schopen Gregory, Mu Soeng, and Paul Harrison。參照的中⽂翻譯版包括,鳩摩羅什,菩提流⽀,真諦,達摩笈多,⽞奘和義淨。還有藏語翻譯,翻譯者是Silendrabodhi。

关于作者

斎藤浩実Hiromi Saito是⼀位日中混血现代艺术家,他是佛教徒的同时也是Saint Maison的创意总监。他在日本小学毕业后前往英国留学,在高中时代开始学习哲学,大学就学于中央圣⻢丁艺术与设计学院。


这位聚集了中国,日本和欧美文化教育背景的作者在学习艺术设计的同时继续专研哲学。 并与【金刚经】结下了深厚之缘。法名释法航。


“即使你不是⼀个佛教徒,也是值得花时间去研读《⾦刚经》的,因为最终你可以获得⼈类历史上最伟⼤的思想家提供的教义。”

《⾦刚经》的教理对于⼤部分⼈不容易理解吗?

是的。 《⾦剛經》是般若法門最重要的⼀部經⽂。要是真的了解《⾦剛經》的話,這個境界是不可思議的,各種開示和法意的解釋只能幫助⼤家去看懂這部經⽂的內容和邏輯,但並不代表使你真正了解這部經文,最終還是需要各自的因緣和根基。這個項⽬是⼀份善因,不敢說你看了就能了解,這點要說清楚。

以下的法意,邏輯。

⾦剛經21:須菩提、說法者無法可說、是名說法。

在《⾦剛經》⾥⾯經常說XXX不是(⾮)XXX,是名XXX。這個邏輯很多⼈覺得難了解。 ⽐如說:

“須菩提、譬如有⼈身如須彌⼭王。於意云何。是身爲⼤不。須菩提⾔。甚⼤世尊。何以故。佛說⾮身、是名⼤身。須菩提、於意云何。菩薩莊嚴佛⼟不。不也世尊。何以故。莊嚴佛⼟者則⾮莊嚴、是名莊嚴。”

為什麼說不是莊嚴,卻又把它叫做莊嚴,⾮身,是名⼤身? “⾮”這個字在英⽂很多翻譯為 ‘IS NOT’(不是某某某)這就成了很大的問題。 1不是1,可是⼜叫它1。看梵⽂,這個語感/韻味就有點不同。 「⾮」其實可以理解成「缺」。英⽂是(LACK OF)。 1缺1。 ⽐如說:書套缺書套,所以書套才是書套。瓶⼦缺瓶⼦,所以才是瓶⼦。要是有書套的書套,那書套即不是書套。也就是說沒有書套的作⽤了。因為書套沒有(缺)⼀個套⼦,才能作為書套。按照這個邏輯,書套不需要有⼈稱它為書套,也能發出作為書套的作用。那你叫它書套的時候其實你只是給它取了⼀個名字為「書套」你沒有真的理解書套的真相。譬如莊嚴是莊嚴。你稱它為“莊嚴” 給它取了個名字了就不是“莊嚴”了。你只是在體驗你說出來的話。

以上這個邏輯只是《⾦剛經》的⼀部分。這部經還會說到1不=1,1=0。也會解釋菩薩是如何利益⼀切眾⽣。說無話可說並非真的無話可說。因為這部經是需要更多⼈「為他⼈說」。的確《⾦剛經》不是⼀本容易理解的經,這部經文充滿了深刻的教意,可以直接啟發我們覺悟,很多經⽂段落需要讀數遍、數⼗遍,也不⻅得能完全明⽩領悟。經中佛陀不厭其煩的重複,令你招架不住。

《⾦剛經》中佛陀建議我們取消這些名⾔,標籤等,會使我們可以看清楚事物的本質。這會取消邊界和所有的區別,你,我,他。 。 。 。最終沒有什麼⽐“空性”本身更真實的了。
支持这个项目
此项目亦是一项慈善资助。捐赠将用于两个目的:
  1. 长期免费提供给对“金刚经”有兴趣的朋友。
  2. 用于制作“金刚经解释”系列,并提供长期免费阅读。帮助大家理解经文中一些复杂的哲学逻辑。(解释系列受众多学者和哲学家的启发:南京大学的于晓非和斯坦福大学的Paul Harrison教授等)