Vajra Cutter Sutra

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The goddess Prajñaparamita

The Vajra Cutter Sutra (aka Diamond Sutra) (Skt. Vajracchedikā-prajñāpāramitā-sūtra, Tib. འཕགས་པ་ཤེས་རབ་ཀྱི་ཕ་རོ་ཏུ་ཕྱིན་པ་རྡོ་རྗེ་གཅོད་པ་ཞེས་བྱ་བ་ཐེག་པ་ཆེན་པོའི་མདོ, pakpa sherab kyi parol tu chinpa dorje chöpa shyé jawa tekpa chenpö do, Wyl. ’phags pa shes rab kyi pha rol tu phyin pa rdo rje gcod pa zhes bya ba theg pa chen po’i mdo) (Toh 16) 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

Modern Translations

In English

  • 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

In French

  • Philippe Cornu and Patrick Carré, Soûtra du diamant et autres soûtras de la voie médiane, (Paris: Fayard, 2001) (translated from Tibetan and Chinese versions)

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