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Dating sutras

dating sutras-7

Sometimes these sutras are referred to as the "prajna" or "wisdom" literature.

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In 1900 a Chinese monk, Abbot Wang Yuanlu, discovered the sealed door to the cave, and in 1907 a Hungarian-British explorer named Marc Aurel Stein was allowed to see inside the cave.There is a common view that the Diamond Sutra primarily is about impermanence.This is because of a short verse in the last chapter that seems to be about impermanence and which often is mistaken as an explanation of the 31 enigmatic chapters that preceded it.For the most part, the oldest surviving versions of these texts are Chinese translations that date from the early first millennium CE.The several texts of the Prajnaparamita Sutras vary from very long to very short and are often named according to the number of lines it takes to write them.They were then hidden for about 500 years and only discovered when people were ready to learn from them.

However, scholars believe they were written in India beginning in the 1st century BCE and continuing for a few more centuries.

Stein chose some scrolls randomly and purchased them from Abbot Wang.

Eventually, these scrolls were taken to London and given to the British Library.

Throughout the sutra, the Buddha instructs us to not be bound by concepts, even concepts of "Buddha" and "dharma."This is a deep and subtle text, not meant to be read like a textbook or instruction manual.

Although Huineng may have realized enlightenment when he first heard the sutra, other great teachers have said the text revealed itself to them slowly.

The Diamond Sutra is one of the most revered texts of Mahayana Buddhism and a jewel of the world's religious literature. A typical English translation contains about 6,000 words, and an average reader could finish it in less than 30 minutes, easily.