21 December 2010

Contemplation: The Body of Truth

After considering the guidelines for practice, take this as your object of contemplation:

Subhuti, what do you think? May the Tathagata [the Buddha] be perceived by the thirty-two marks [of a great man]?

Subhuti answered: Yes, certainly the Tathagata may be perceived thereby.

Then the Buddha answered, Subhuti, if the Tathagata may be perceived by such marks, any great imperial ruler is the same as the Tathagata.

Subhuti then said to the Buddha: World-Honored One, as I understand the meaning of the Buddha's words the Tathagata may not be perceived by the thirty-two marks.

Whereupon the World-Honored One uttered this verse:

Who sees me by form,
Who seeks me in sound,
Perverted are his footsteps upon the way;
For he cannot perceive the Tathagata.

Diamond Sutra, chap. 26

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