Main CategoriesBuddha and BuddhismMahayana Sutras Diamond that Cuts through Illusion, The

Diamond that Cuts through Illusion, The

Product no.: 0-938077-51-1

The Diamond Sutra illuminates how our minds construct limited categories of thought, offering us alternative ways to look at the world in its wholeness so that we can encounter a deeper reality.

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Publisher's Synopsis

Thich Nhat Hanh's translation and commentary offer modern readers ways to develop more harmonious communities, families, and relationships and the ability to act in the world skillfully and effectively.


"The collection of Prajnaparamita Sutras, over 40 in number, originate in India and were written in an Indic or Central Asian language other than Sanskrit. The first sutra was the Prajnaparamita Sutra in 8,000 lines in 32 chapters. The development of this particular version, and subsequent versions, can be divided into four distinct phases of development:

  1. Development of the basic 8,000 line version (ca. 100 BC to 100 AD)
  2. Enlargement of the basic text (ca. AD 100 to 300)
  3. Development of shorter sutras and 'versified summaries' (ca. 300-500)
  4. The influence of Tantra and the writing of commentaries (ca. 500-1200)

The Heart Sutra was created in the third stage of development and is 'the best known of all Prajnaparamita texts.' It is recited daily by almost every Buddhist school, except for Pure Land and Nichiren. The Heart Sutra contains the essence of Mahayana Buddhism (the essence of Buddhism itself if you ask a Mahayana Buddhist master), including the four noble truths, the five skandhas, and the method for realizing enlightenment.

The most important and often cited quote from the Heart Sutra is: 'form is emptiness and the very emptiness is form...' This essential Mahayana doctrine is the Madhyamaka philosophical affirmation that all dharmas (fundamental elements of reality) are impermanent, and that this impermanence is the basis for all dharmas."     ~Gary L. Ray

“After I studied the Diamond Sutra... I realized that peeing is also a marvelous and wondrous reality, our gift to the universe. We only have to pee mindfully, with great respect for ourselves and whatever surroundings we are in."

Author Nagarjuna
Translator Hanh, Thich Nhat
Book Type Trade Paperback
Page Count 115 pp.
Publisher Publisher Parallax Press 1992
Browse these categories as well: Mahayana Sutras, Northern Buddhism, Eastern Buddhism and Zen Masters, Hinduism: Gurus and Advaita Vedanta

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