The Great Equalizer

Twenty-three: The Great Equalizer

“Furthermore, Subhuti, the dharma called Anuttara-Samyak-Sambodhi is at one with everything else. Nothing in it is at variance with anything else. That is why it is called perfect, unexcelled awakening. It is self-idential through the absence of an ego, a person, a being, or a living soul, and that is why it is fully known as the totality of all the wholesome dharmas. And yet, Subhuti, do dharmas have been taught by the Tathagata. Such is merely a name. Thus they are called ‘wholesome dharmas.’”

It occurs to me that these latter sections of the Diamond Sutra are reminiscent of the “Sagathakam” section of the Lankavatara Sutra, which is essentially a fine-tuning of the salient elements that occur in that sutra as a whole; greatly useful for precise-meditation in deep samadhis. Here, Anuttara-Samyak-Sambodhi is extracted down to its essential element—that being the undifferentiated-union of all auspicious dharmas. It is a recurring-rhythm of all-being-equal on the imageless plane of Bhutatathata (Absolute Suchness). The true “Buddha-Dharma” is devoid of all nominally conceived attributes like ego, person, soul, ect; it is Pure Auspicious Suchness whose ineffable fragrance permeates those who are fully attuned (through Dhammasota—hearing through the sacred imageless sound as whispered by the Sugata) to It. Red Pine provides a marvelous breakdown of what is invoked here as “auspicious”:

“The Sanskrit word used here, kushala (auspicious), is derived from kusha, which is the name of the sacred grass used in ancient India by priests to assist them in gaining entrance to the unknown. This grass was also used by the Buddha and others for their meditation cushions. Thus, auspicious dharmas are those that arise from prajna, that are the fruit of wisdom, which is, itself, the fruit of meditation.” (Red Pine, Diamond Sutra, pg 356)

Love that metaphor of the “sacred grass”; it invokes sitting in the auspicious bodhifield of the Sugatagarbha whilst the blessings of the Sugata permeates-all. Thus, Anuttara-Samyak-Sambodhi is Hearing with equal-measure all that is imparted by the Tathagatas. Hui-neng sums it all up quite nicely:

“As for this dharma of enlightenment, from buddhas above to insects below, they all possess a kind of wisdom that does not differ from that of the Buddha. Hence, it is said to be equal and devoid of superior or inferior, for enlightenment is not partial.” (Red Pine, Diamond Sutra, pg. 357)

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