By writing the Prajnaparamita we create more merit than making offerings to the three great thousand world systems (trichilicosm) completely filled with Mount Merus of stupas made of the seven types of jewels. We receive patience in the profound Dharma, emptiness, and we have no fear of meditating on emptiness, as quickly as the snap of a finger. All previous merits are small compared to this.
After writing the Prajnaparamita, if we reveal it, we collect far greater merit than if we engaged in the five paramitas for ten eons, or listened to teachings on emptiness for ten eons. If we show the teachings of the Prajnaparamita to one sentient being, we collect even greater merit. If, after writing the Prajnaparamita, we meditate on emptiness for the duration of one snap of a finger, we create far greater merit than if we revealed the teachings to others for ten eons.
The Condensed Jewel Qualities
This is in regards to making a stupa with seven types of jewels and making offerings to it. The stupa of one who has completely gone to bliss; one who has passed away into the sorrowless state, is made with seven precious jewels, so we make offerings to that.
Imagine making so many of these stupas that they are equal to the number of sand grains in the river Ganges and multiplying this by ten million, filling up all the realms, so the entire ten thousand million worlds are covered with that many stupas. Then imagine the amount of merit created if all sentient beings in all those worlds make offerings to the stupas; that they don’t do anything else in their lives but make offerings of flowers, incense and ornaments, for eons and more than eons.
If someone writes the Prajnaparamita scripture of those gone to bliss—those who have the ten powers and who lead sentient beings—and then keeps the text, offering flowers and ornaments to it, and offering service, the merit from this is beyond inconceivable. There is more merit than from having built that many stupas and from all the sentient beings in all those worlds and realms making offerings to the stupas.
The river Ganges has two meanings. In relation to bodhicitta, the river Ganges means the ocean, not the river Ganges in India. In relation to the Prajnaparamita, it may mean the river Ganges in India or the ocean. Either way, it's amazing.
Buddha said that any man or woman who makes charity of his or her body to sentient beings three times a day—in the morning, at noon and in the afternoon—as many times equaling the number of grains of sand in the river Ganges, and does this for 10 million eons, a billion times, or even 100,000 times a billion times, does not create as much merit as hearing the Diamond Cutter Sutra and not giving up faith. The merit of this is far greater than the previous action (of making charity of the body that many times.) Hearing the Diamond Cutter Sutra collects an inconceivable amount of merit.
If somebody writes down or receives, memorizes, keeps, reads or tries to understand the meaning of the Diamond Cutter Sutra or reveals it to others, there is no question about the amount of merit it creates. This means that, without doubt, we receive that much merit and we might even receive more merit than that. Before, we had faith, but now, after we've copied the sutra, memorized it, kept it, read it or revealed it to others, the merit is far greater than before.
Please Note: Go to this LYWA page for more information about Tibetan numbers.