The diamond sutra is the worlds earliest dated printed book. It is recorded in huinengs autobiography that when he was an adolescent selling firewood in a marketplace, he heard someone reciting the diamond sutra. When it comes to ancient texts, most are familiar with the big names. The vajracchedika prajnaparamita sutra has been translated from sanskrit into english variously as the diamond sutra, the diamond cutter sutra, the vajra sutra and the vajra cutter sutra. Frontispiece of the chinese diamond sutra, the oldest known dated printed book in the world. Nobody has spoken like that, nobody has taken such flights.
Of all the sutras that teach this teaching, this is the diamond. This copy of the diamond s u tra in chinese language, complete with a beautifully illustrated frontispiece, is the worlds earliest dated, printed book. Historically a copy of the diamond sutra is the oldest known printed book circa 868 ce the term diamond refers to the diamond sword, an allusion to the ease which buddhist teachings cut. The diamond sutra played an important role in the life of huineng 6387, the sixth patriarch of chan. Brevity is one reason for the diamond sutra s popularity. The diamond sutra even cuts through buddhist beliefs. Diamond sutra a new translation of the classic buddhist text. He is the author of many books on buddhism, including trust in mind and the diamond sutra. But buddhism has also inspired some of the greatest philosophical writings of any religion, and two such works. This is the new, oneofakind, common english, straighttalk diamond sutra. Diamond sutra, first printed book on 11 may 868 ce diamond sutra sanskrit. In the centuries that followed, all memory of this vast storehouse seems to have been lost, but the precious artifacts survived in safety until the 20th century, when they were rediscovered by an appreciating world. The full sanskrit title of this text is the vajracchedika prajnaparamita sutra.
The story of the worlds earliest dated printed book wood, frances, barnard, mark on. The book of kells, the gutenberg bible, and the dead sea scrolls. This diamond sutra is a diamond, the most valuable diamond that exists in the world literature. Numerous educational institutions recommend us, including oxford university, michigan state university, and university of minnesota we have also been recommended for educational use by the following publications. Smart news keeping you current five things to know about the diamond sutra, the worlds oldest dated printed book printed over 1,100 years ago, a chinese copy of the diamond sutra. The diamond sutra, along with the heart sutra also available translated by red pine, are arguably the two most popular works of the prajnaparamita group of sutras. That, of course, is putting it simply, as only buddhists can do. To begin reading the diamond sutra just click here for the first page.
Five things to know about the diamond sutra, the worlds oldest dated printed book printed over 1,100 years ago, a chinese copy of the diamond sutra at the british library is one of the most. Printed copy of the diamond sutra the british library. A landmark publication from its first appearance more than forty years ago, buddhist wisdom offers western readers a unique combination of what buddhists worldwide consider the holiest of holy texts the diamond sutra and the heart sutra, or scriptures, ascribed to the early centuries of the first millennium. Everything you need to know about the ancient diamond sutra.
Five things to know about the diamond sutra, the worlds oldest dated printed book. Made in 868 ad and written in chinese, the text contains a significant dialogue on perception, and is one of the most important sacred works of the buddhist faith. The printing itself was done using large wooden blocks and, although earlier printed books have survived, this copy of the diamond sutra is the oldest that bears a specific date. Liu zhankui, an enlightened spiritual master who has realized the reality wisdom, is one of the most fundamental, comprehensive, thorough and wisdom interpretations of the classic diamond sutra. Download the buddhist text the diamon sutra here as pdf ebook. The oldest known printed book in the world the vajracchedika prajnaparamita sutra has been translated from sanskrit into english. Written more than 25 centuries ago, the diamond sutra is the first text to record the buddhas own teachings. Zen buddhism is often said to be a practice of mindtomind transmission without reliance on texts in fact, some great teachers forbid their students to read or write. The diamond sutra vajracchedika prajnaparamita sutra. Online shopping from a great selection at books store. But if you feel that you cannot fly so high, dont close yourself. The diamond sutra book ancient history encyclopedia. This sutra appears in thich nhat hanh, chanting from the. I studied this book on and off for 6 months and i will continue to come back to it as being definitive on the subject.
Among the manuscripts was perhaps the oldest printed book actually a scroll in existence, the diamond sutra, dated 868. In this sutra, the buddha shows even his most important teachings to be provisional. Five things to know about the diamond sutra, the worlds. The diamond sutra and the sutra of huineng shambhala classics by a. The frontispiece of the diamond sutra from tang dynasty china, the worlds earliest dated printed book, ad 868 british museum on may 11, 868, the earliest dated printed book was issued, a chinese copy of the socalled diamond sutra, one of the most important textbooks of buddhism, originally written in the 1st c. The diamond sutra and the sutra of huineng by huineng. The diamond sutra a general explanation of the vajra the diamond sutra, along with the heart sutra, are among the most popular works of the prajnaparamita group of sutra. Jack kerouac was so influenced by the diamond sutra that he studied it daily for years and attempted his own rendition. Text and commentaries translated from sanskrit and chinese book. The diamond sutra book by mu soeng official publisher. It is, in the words of the british library, the earliest complete survival of a dated printed book.
Diamond sutra home page links to individual chapters of the diamond sutra this is what i heard. At one time the buddha was staying in the jeta grove, near the city of sravasti. Here are amazing enlightenment trainings, straight from the buddhas intuitive brilliance, along with his specific directions on how you too could become a bodhisattva. Vajracchedika prajnaparamita sutra is a mahayana buddhist. The buddhist text known as the diamond sutra is believed to be the oldest surviving printed book. A copy of the chinese version of diamond sutra, found among the dunhuang manuscripts in the early 20th century and dated back to may 11, 868, is, in the words of the british library, the earliest complete survival of a dated printed book. A copy of the tangdynasty chinese version of the diamond sutra was found among the dunhuang manuscripts in 1900 by daoist monk wang yuanlu and sold to aurel stein in 1907.
It is an important buddhist text that has a long and profound history. Indeed they are among the most popular sutras within the mahayana cannon as a whole. It is known as the diamond sutra because its teachings are said to be like diamonds that cut away all dualistic thought, releasing one from the attachment to objects and bringing one to the further shore of enlightenment. The opening gatha was composed by thich nhat hanh to precede the translation. This copy of the diamond sutra in chinese language, complete with a beautifully illustrated frontispiece, is the worlds earliest dated, printed book. While this copy of the diamond sutra is now considered the oldest known printed book, its contents are central to indian buddhism, and are. I was asked by a subscriber to my channel to identify five or so books that have been meaningful to me and that i consider important to those on. This and the heart sutra are the two most chanted sutras in zen. But one that most people dont know about is the diamond sutra the worlds earliest dated and printed book the messages of this ancient text are just as powerful today as they were a thousand years ago. In addition to the actual text of the diamond sutra this web site provides a diamond sutra background page which explains the origins of the diamond sutra and information about how this new translation was done. A central text of indian buddhism, the diamond sutra was first translated. With him there was a community of 1,250 venerable monks and. In this book, the diamond sutra is presented in an unsurpassed english translation. Mu soeng, a former zen monk and teacher, is the scholarinresidence at the barre center for buddhist studies.
This book is the offering of no mind, born of compassion for all suffering beings. The diamond sutra, composed in india in the fourth century ce, is one of the most treasured works of buddhist literature and is the oldest existing printed book in the world. The diamond sutra and the sutra of huineng shambhala classics. The british library recently completed a decadelong project to conserve the oldest dated printed book in the work, a scroll copy in chinese of the buddhist text, the diamond sutra from the silk.
The diamond sutra, the earliest surviving dated complete printed. It was produced on the 11 may 868, according to the western calendar. The very first printed book the diamond sutra scihi. Presents a definitive translation of the diamond sutra, one of the fundamental texts of mahayana buddhism, and the heart sutra, along with extensive commentary on. Printed over 1,100 years ago, a chinese copy of the. The diamond sutra distills buddhisms central message that everything changes.
Diamond sutra, first printed book on 11 may 868 ce history. I own a number of copies of the diamond sutra but this is my favourite. This sutra a sanskrit word that means a religious teaching or sermon, in particular that of the buddha is commonly regarded as one of the most revered texts of mahayana buddhism. Prajna paramita heart sutra mantra with lyrics duration. The diamond sutra, composed in india in the fourth century ce, is one of the most treasured works of buddhist literature and is the oldest existing printed book. The diamond sutra by anonymous goodreads share book. Osho comments in a series of talks on these sutras and brings buddhas teachings into the 21st century.28 1589 879 235 1383 461 668 403 658 127 1579 1224 108 529 378 145 333 410 1216 1450 959 1415 1202 515 373 680 1260 1277 340