4 - Even the Most Beneficent Practices Are Relative

Furthermore, Subhūti, in the practice of charity a bodhisattva should be detached. That is to say, he should practice charity without regard to appearances-without regard to sound, odor, touch, flavor, or any quality. Subhūti, thus should the bodhisattva practice charity without attachment. Wherefore? In such a case his merit is incalculable.

Subhūti, what do you think? Can you measure all the space extending eastward?

No, World-Honored One, I cannot.

Then can you, Subhūti, measure all the space extending southward, westward, northward, or in any other direction, including nadir and zenith?

No, World-Honored One, I cannot.

Well, Subhūti, equally incalculable is the merit of the bodhisattva who practices charity without any attachment to appearances. Subhūti, bodhisattvas should persevere one-pointedly in this instruction.

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