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LEAVING APPEARANCES AND STILL CESSATION, FOURTEEN
At that time, after listening to this sutra, Subhuti had understood its profound meaning and was moved to tears.
He said to the Buddha: “How rare, O World Honored One!
“The Buddha has expounded such a very profound sutra.
“Since I have acquired the wisdom eye, I have not heard of such a sutra.
“World Honored One, if someone after listening to this sutra believes that his mind is clean and pure, he will realise reality.
“We should know that such a person will achieve the highest and rarest merit.
“World Honored One, this Reality is not Reality but the Tathagata calls it Reality.
“World Honored One, as I now listen to this sutra I have no difficulty in believing, understanding, receiving and holding it,
“but in the last epoch, the last five hundred year period if there be a man who (happens to) listen to this sutra, believes, understands receives and holds it, he will be most rare.
“Why? Because he will no longer (think in terms of) an ego, a personality, a being and a life.
“Why? Because the forms of an ego, a personality, a being and a life are not forms.
“Why? Because when he has rejected all forms he is called a Buddha.”
The Buddha said: “Just so! Subhuti, just so!
“If on the one hand, there be a man who listens to this sutra and is not filled with alarm, fear, or dread,
“you should know that such a person is most rare.
“Why? Because, Subhuti,
“as the Tathagata says,
“the first perfection ( paramita) is not so (but) is (merely) called the first perfection (paramita.)
“Subhuti, the Tathagata speaks of the Perfection of Patience (ksanti paramita) which is not but is called the Perfection of Patience.
“Why? Because, Subhuti,
“in (a) past (life) when my body was mutilated by Kaliraja,
“I had at that time no notion of an ego, a personality, a being and a life.
“Why? Because, in the past, when my body was dismembered, if I (still) held the conception of an ego, a personality, a being and a life,
“I would have been stirred by feelings of anger and hatred.
“Subhuti, I also remember that in the past, during my former five hundred lives, I was a Ksantyrsi and held no conception of an ego, a personality, a being and a life.
“Therefore, Subhuti, Bodhisattvas should forsake all conceptions of form and resolve to develop the Supreme Enlightenment Mind (Anuttara-samyaksam-bodhi).
“Their minds should not abide in form, sound, smell, taste, touch and dharma. Their minds should abide nowhere.
“If minds abide somewhere, it will be in falsehood.
“This is why the Buddha says that Bodhisattvas' minds should not abide in form when practising charity (dana).
“Subhuti, all Bodhisattvas should thus make offerings for the welfare of all living beings.
“The Tathagata speaks of forms which are not forms and of living beings who are not living beings.
“Subhuti, the Tathagatas' words are true and correspond to reality. They are ultimate words, neither deceitful nor heterodox.
“Subhuti, the Dharma the Tathagata has obtained is neither real nor unreal.
“Subhuti, if a Bodhisattva practises charity ( dana ) with a mind abiding in things (dharma), he is like a man entering the darkness where he cannot see anything;
“(but) if a Bodhisattva practises dana with a mind not abiding in dharma, he is like a man with open eyes, who can see everything in the sunshine.
“Subhuti, in future ages,
“if a virtuous man or woman is able to receive, hold (in mind), read and recite this sutra,
“the Tathagata, by means of His Buddha Wisdom, will know and see clearly that such a person will achieve immeasurable and unlimitable merits.