Diamond Sutra – Transcending vs. Enduring Hatred
One day, when the Buddha was meditating as a Bodhisattva, king Kaliraja came test the Buddha. He said, ok, now you are practicing the 6 paramitas (charity, precepts, endurance, diligent, concentration, wisdom), let see how enduring and charitable you are! And he start cutting off Buddha’s limbs one by one. The Buddha did not resist, and let Kaliraja cut off his limbs one by one. Not only so, he declared that if Bodhisattva’s compassion is real, the body will resemble by itself. And instantaneously, the body resembled.
How could it be so? In this section of the Sutra, the Buddha explained that at the moment of Kaliraja cutting off his limbs, in his awareness, there was no abiding in the false notion of self, others, beings and immortals (see early post Diamond Sutra – self, others, beings, immortals). Together with high level of practice in concentration and wisdom, the Buddha was not moved and therefore not affected during the test of disembodiment.
Therefore, the Buddha explained that in real endurance, there is actually no “one” enduring any “thing/feeling”, and therefore there is no anger and hatred. In the Daoist tradition, Laozi also recommend transcending hatred over enduring hatred (see earlier post “Daodejing79 – Hatred meditate vs. not rising“.
You may ask, did the Buddha feel the pain? In the process of transcendence, the feeling or sensation could still be there, but there is no “self” who get involved or participate in the process.
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LEAVING APPEARANCES AND STILL CESSATION, FOURTEEN
The Buddha said: “Just so! Subhuti, just so!
If on the one hand, there be a man who listens to this sutra and is not filled with alarm, fear, or dread, you should know that such a person is most rare.
Why? Because, Subhuti, as the Tathagata says,
the first perfection ( paramita) is not so (but) is (merely) called the first perfection (paramita.)
Subhuti, the Tathagata speaks of the Perfection of Patience (ksanti paramita) which is not but is called the Perfection of Patience.
Why? Because, Subhuti, in (a) past (life) when my body was mutilated by Kaliraja,
I had at that time no notion of an ego, a personality, a being and a life.
Why? Because, in the past, when my body was dismembered, if I (still) held the conception of an ego, a personality, a being and a life, I would have been stirred by feelings of anger and hatred.