Diamond Sutra – self, others, beings, immortals
In this Chapter, Buddha described the essential nature of Bodhisattva (enlightened beings that serves in this world): transcendence of the notion of: self, others, beings, and immortals.
self: a separate sense of individual self
others: what appears outside of one’s self
beings: the collective living beings
immortals: any part of life, form or no-form, that continue to exist indefinitely
Why does Bodhisattva not attached to the above 4? For a Bodhisattva is a state of enlightenment which is beyond separation or duality. And alignment with self, others, beings, or immortality implies separation in various levels.
Therefore, the Buddha described that a Bodhisattva that clings to the notion of these 4 is not a real Bodhisattva: I.e. there is no “one” that can be Bodhisattva, no Bodhisattva who could perceive “others” or “collective beings”, and no Bodhisattva who could “last” forever. Clinging or attachment to these 4 notions, therefore, represents sidetracks to, or misunderstanding of, the pathway of Bodhisattva towards spiritual enlightenment.
This transcendence of separation and opposition, as a key direction in spiritual cultivation, is basically in line with the Daoist notion of non-duality, represented in the Tai-chi diagram, which embraces and transcends separations and opposites (Yin and Yang) in perfect harmony.
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THE ORTHODOX DOCTRINE OF THE GREAT VEHICLE, THREE
The Buddha said: “Subhuti, “all Bodhisattvas and Mahasattvas should subdue their minds as follows: “All living beings born from eggs, wombs, humidity or by transformation, with or without form, either thoughtful or thoughtless,and neither thoughtful nor thoughtless, are all led by me to the final nirvana for the extinction of reincarnation. Although immeasurable, uncountable and unlimitable numbers of living beings are thus led to (the final nirvana for) the extinction of reincarnation, it is true that not a living being is led there.
Why so, Subhuti? (Because) if a Bodhisattva (still) clings to the false notion (laksana) of an ego, a personality, a being and a life, he is not ( a true) Bodhisattva.