Twelve: Consecrated Ground
“Furthermore, Subhūti, if someone were to recite as much as a four line verse of this sūtra, that place would become like a shrine to the Buddha, where the celestials, devas, ashuras, humans, and titans in all the worlds would come and make offerings. How much more so in the case where one completely memorizes and recites the entire sūtra. Subhūti, you should know that such a person has accomplished the most subtle state of awareness. Wherever this sūtra is kept, the place is to be regarded as if the Buddha and most revered disciples are also present.”
There are elements in Traditional Buddhism that are akin to other spiritual-traditions, like Catholicism, in that it reverences certain artifacts (religious relics) like the bones of the earthly bodhisattvas, or sacred sites (stupas) or shrines that are set-up to reverence the Buddha. Traditionally, the Diamond Sutra itself is considered to be Sacred Reliquary that is adored by all sentient beings in the six realms of existence; and cosmically even more so since these “devotees” are indeed of cosmic (of every variety of form, and formlessness) stature. This particular section is even more profound in that the last verse indicates that wherever this Sacred Sutra is kept, read, or recited, all the Tathagatas and Bodhisattvas and sundry Bodhi-Beings are also very much “present”; this “presence” of course is a deep Mind-Realization and the Diamond Sutra is thus a portal into a most Auspicious Buddha-field indeed.
[*Gemmell’s translation includes the following; it is significant in that it relays how one who becomes enraptured with the Diamond Sutra will be bestowed with sundry spiritual powers:
“Subhuti, you should realize that such a disciple will be endowed with spiritual powers commensurate with initiation in the supreme, incomparable, and most wonderful Law. [Dharma]”
Gemmell’s accompanying footnote is also worth consideration:
**The discourses of Buddha are as a divine charm to cure the poison of evil desire; a divine medicine to heal the disease of anger; a lamp in the midst of the darkness of ignorance; a fire, like that which burns at the end of a Kalpa, to destroy the evils of repeated existence; a meridian sun to dry up the mud of covetousness; a great rain to quench the flame of sensuality; a thicket to block up the road that leads to the Narakas (place of the wicked); a ship in which to sail to the opposite shore of the ocean of existence; a collyrium for taking away the eye-film of heresy; a moon to bring out the night-blowing lotus of merit; a succession of trees bearing immortal fruit, placed here and there, by which the traveller may be enabled to cross the desert of existence; . . . a straight highway by which to pass to the incomparable wisdom; a door of entrance to the eternal city of Nirvana; … a treasury of the best things it is possible to obtain ; and a power by which may be appeased the sorrow of every sentient being.” (Eastern Monachism, Spence Hardy)]