Diamond Sutra – There is no Buddha who attained enlightenment
There is no Buddha who obtained enlightenment.
Why? Because real enlightenment cannot be obtained by anyone, as such implied the dualistic paradigm of “someone” obtaining something called “enlightenment”. While in ordinary perception there appear to be a historical Buddha who obtained a state called enlightenment, in reality, or at least in Buddha self-described reality, this is not possible because the state of enlightenment is beyond “self” and its “dualistic paradigm”. Therefore, anyone or being who claims to be enlightened does not aligned with the truth of this Sutra.
Besides in Diamond Sutra, same truth is also expounded in the famous Buddhist Heart Sutra (in enlightenment there is no wisdom nor anything obtained无智亦无得，以无所得故), and in the Daoist classic Qingjingjing (although named obtaining the Dao, in reality there is nothing obtained虽名得道，实无所得).
While this truth might look devastating to the ego, which constantly tries to obtain something and become enlightened, the recognition and realization of this truth brings liberation, and alignment to the authentic truth of spiritual enlightenment.
As there is no one to be enlightened (first level of surrender: self), similarly, there is no fixed truth to be expounded (second level of surrender: teachings). Refer to last week’s discussion on 2 levels of surrender.
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NOTHING ATTAINED, NOTHING SPOKEN, SEVEN
“Subhuti, what do you think? Has the Tathagata(in fact) obtained Supreme Enlightenment (Anubodhi)? Does the Tathagata (in fact) expound the Dharma?”
Subhuti replied: “As I understand the meaning of the Buddha’s teaching, there is no fixed Dharma called Supreme Enlightenment and there is also no fixed Dharma the Tathagata can expound.
“Why? (Because) the Dharma the Tathagata expounds cannot be clung to and cannot be expressed (in words); it is neither Dharma nor Not-Dharma.
“Why is this? All Bhadras and Aryas differ on account of the Eternal Asamskrta Dharma.”