Skip to content Skip to footer

The Diamond Needle, Treatise on the Doctrinal Distinctions of the Huayan One Vehicle, The Key to the Secret of the Heart Sutra


Category: Product ID: 5212
PDF Download


The Diamond Needle (Jingang zhen lun, T. 1642), translated by Yuto Kawamura and Jinghao Bai, is a work that critiques the Varṇa system, in which brahmans have the highest status. The author cites classical texts accepted as authoritative by brahmans to undermine their position and refute their claims. The Vajrasūcī, the Sanskrit text of The Diamond Needle, was translated into Chinese by Fatian during the Song dynasty (960–1279 C.E).

The Treatise on Doctrinal Distinctions of the Huayan One Vehicle (Huayan yisheng jiaoyi fenqi zhang, T. 1866), translated by Taitetsu Unno, Mark Unno, and Monica E. McLellan, is a foundational text of Huayan Buddhism that promotes the universal vision of the Avataṃsaka-sūtra (Flower Garland Sutra) as the ultimate realization of the Buddhist teachings. Fazang (643–712) composed the Treatise in the early Tang dynasty, and the text can be best understood as an argument for the organic coherence of Buddhist philosophy as seen from the perspective of the Huayan One Vehicle.

The Key to the Secret of the Heart Sutra (Hannya shingyō hiken, T. 2203A), translated by Matthew D. McMullen, is a commentary on the Heart Sutra of the Great Perfection of Wisdom (Mahāprajñā – pāramitā-hṛdaya-sūtra). Composed by Kūkai (774–835), the revered founder of the Japanese Shingon school and patriarch of Japanese esoteric Buddhism, this brief commentary purports to reveal the underlying secret meaning to the Heart Sutra and functions as an introduction to Kūkai’s view of mantra as well as a polemical comparison of his Shingon school with the dominant Buddhist schools in Japan at the time.

Additional information

Dimensions9.5 × 6.5 in
Publishing Date2023
TranslatorYuto Kawamura and Jinghao Bai Taitetsu Unno, Mark Unno, and Monica E. McLellan Matthew D. McMullen