The Diamond Cutter Sutra is unbelievable. It is one of the most profitable practices, because the root of all sufferings, yours and others, is the ignorance holding the “I” as truly existent, even though it is empty of that; and the ignorance holding the aggregates as truly existent, even though they are empty of that. The only antidote to cut that, to get rid of that, and through which to achieve liberation, the total cessation of the causes of suffering – delusions and karma – is the wisdom realizing emptiness. This is the subject of the Diamond Cutter Sutra: emptiness. So, each time you read it, it leaves such a positive imprint. Without taking much time, without much difficulty, it is easy to actualize wisdom.
You also create a lot of merit, so it helps to actualize bodhicitta quickly, together with all the other realizations. That’s the business, that’s the deal with the Diamond Cutter Sutra. You create so much merit for whatever you wish. You help others and you achieve all your wishes easily. If you recite the Diamond Cutter Sutra many times, of course there is no more worry about death at all: goodbye fear of death, goodbye fear of the lower realms. Almost, you can say, “A Diamond Cutter Sutra a day, goodbye lower realms.” There’s a saying in the West,” An apple a day keeps the doctor away.” With the Diamond Cutter Sutra you can say “Goodbye doctor!” Also, you can say “goodbye” to self-grasping, which has cheated you and totally controlled you from beginningless rebirths, and made you suffer countless times, from beginningless rebirths, in the oceans of hell sufferings, hungry ghost sufferings, animal sufferings, human being sufferings, sura sufferings, asura sufferings, and intermediate state being sufferings, etc. Also, reading it is an incredible way to collect extensive merit. If you read, listen to, or hear about the Diamond Cutter Sutra with faith, your mind collects a mind-blowing amount of merit. It is incredible, wow! It makes you laugh.
By having heard the Diamond Cutter Sutra, and not giving up your faith, merely from that you collect an inconceivable amount of merit. It is far greater than, for example, giving your body in an act of charity to sentient beings, in the morning, for the number of times equaling the sand grains of the River Ganga. This is not the River Ganga in India, it refers to the Pacific Ocean; and the sand grains are not what we usually think of, they are very tiny atoms, one of the seven types of subtle atoms. Then, again at noon, you make charity of your body to sentient beings that many times. Then, in the evening, again, you make charity of your body to sentient beings that many times, of the number of subtle atoms of sand grains in the Pacific Ocean. You do this every day for eons. The merits from even one day practicing that much charity to sentient beings, let alone three times a day for many eons, is immense. Even giving just one body to sentient beings is incredible, and the benefits are equally wonderful.
Even if you practiced charity like that each day for many eons, it collects a small amount of merit compared to hearing the Diamond Cutter Sutra and not giving up faith. That means if you keep it, read it, memorize it, and study its meaning, then you collect far greater merits. Reading the Diamond Cutter Sutra is a powerful source of purification of all previous negative karmas collected since beginningless rebirths. This is in addition to the merit you collect by reading it or just by keeping it with you.
The most important thing is that each time we read it, it plants a seed, an imprint, to realize emptiness. The more you read it, the more imprints it leaves on the mind. So, it becomes easy to realize emptiness. It becomes quicker and quicker to realize emptiness in this life. If you don’t realize it in this life, then you can realize it more quickly in future lives. Then, by developing this wisdom, you achieve the wisdom of great insight unified with shamatha. You can meditate on emptiness unified with shamatha and are able to experience rapturous ecstasy of the body and mind. Then, through this, you are able to achieve the direct perception of emptiness that eliminates the defilements and the disturbing thoughts, first, by eliminating the intellectual all-obscuring thought, and then the simultaneously born one. That is how you achieve liberation, by eliminating that completely, including the imprint, the seed. Then, with bodhicitta, the direct perception of wisdom eliminates even the subtle defilements, and you achieve omniscient mind. With this, you are able to do perfect work for sentient beings. You are able to bring all sentient beings to enlightenment. This is the goal of our life: to bring sentient beings to enlightenment. When that happens, when we are able to do that, we have achieved our goal.
Advice for Performing Many Recitations:
You can do some of your recitations in the form of retreat. At other times, like when you are working, then you can recite it one, two, or three times every day. Then, again, do some recitations in the form of retreat for two, three, seven days, a month, or a few months. When you recite it in the form of a retreat, do a half-hour or one hour lam-rim meditation and then spend the rest of the session reading the Diamond Cutter Sutra, say, for two hours. That is just an idea, the amount of time is up to you. It’s not fixed. If you can combine it with lam-rim meditation, that would be extremely good.