A Public Sphere for Poetry, Politics, and Nature
As a lamp, a cataract, a star in space
an illusion, a dewdrop, a bubble
a dream, a cloud, a flash of lightning
view all created things like this.
Translated by Red Pine
Shakyamuni Buddha was the founder of the Buddhist religion. He lived and taught in India in the sixth century B.C.E., a time of burgeoning religious and philosophical thought from Greece to China. One of his most highly regarded teachings is the Diamond Sutra, which contains the discourse of the Buddha to a senior monk, Subhuti. One of its major themes is the liberation of all beings from attachment, or a sense of self. Throughout the teaching, the Buddha repeats that successful memorization and elucidation of even a four-line extract of the sutra can bring about enlightenment. Section 26 ends with the four-line verse quoted above.