Below are some testimonials and comments from readers of this Diamond Sutra translation. These kind words were sent in by readers directly via email.
I hope to add more testimonials in the future as I receive them.
Thanks again for your support!
Thank you so much for your wonderful translation of the Diamond Sutra.
I discovered your Diamond Sutra site about five days before my father died. He was in a deep semi-coma at this stage and my mother, sister and myself would do rounds sitting with him, playing the classical music CDs that he loved.
My shifts were the early morning and from early evening until sometimes late into the night.
I discovered your audio version of the Diamond Sutra and I played it on my iPhone several times each day during the long hours by his bedside. (…..iPhones have quite powerful speakers, as I discovered). I would play the Diamond Sutra, then Imee Ooi’s beautiful chanting of the Heart Sutra (the long Sanskrit version) …and then repeat…..and repeat. It was so beautiful.
Alex, you have a really lovely speaking voice and your recitation of the Diamond Sutra resonates with sincerity, honestly, and unaffected genuineness. Your translation enables the teaching to transmitted clearly and naturally and lucidly, with a pure simplicity and straightforwardness.
On the night he passed, I sat with him into the early hours and he died several hours after I had gone home to rest, and so I returned and played him the Diamond Sutra and Heart Sutra one last time. There was feeling of such profound peacefulness and stillness that pervaded the entire room and stayed with me for days, a sort of blissful tranquility.
The wonderful nursing staff were also deeply affected. Once, one lovely Asian nurse came in and I wondered if I was playing it too loud, but, no, she was in awe and she wanted to listen as she was familiar with the teachings. The Indian male nurse placed a delicate red rose across my father’s throat after he had passed, and the room smelt of the flowers and scents, not of death or decay.
It was extraordinary.
Thank you so much Alex,
with love and respect,
“SJ” from Australia
It was certainly a pleasure reading your translation of The Diamond Sutra. Thank you so much for taking so much time and effort in doing this translation. It is the closest English translation I have come across so far.
As a Hongkonger and a Buddhist, I read the Sutra in Chinese version very often. But since it is in Archaic Chinese, even many Chinese find it super hard to understand. A week ago, I wanted to explain this Sutra to a friend who doesn’t understand any Archaic Chinese but speaks perfect English and Cantonese. I tried to find a good English version but I remember there was none. I bought an English Sutra long time ago but the translation was so poor that it twisted the meaning of the original Chinese version…so I decided to google it and that was how I came across your website!
I have to say your translation is the best and closest English translation I have read so far. It simplifies the right things (e.g. from Bodhisattva to disciple, the word Bodhisattva is very well known to every East Asian but not to the non-EAsians. So I think it makes sense to simplify it.). But at the same time, the translation grasps the philosophical concepts very well (e.g. Attachment to universal self, total enlightenment).
And you catch the tone very well too. Your version and the original Archaic Chinese version both sound solemn. This is the hardest thing to achieve because the English versions I read before either keep the tone too solemn (making them incomprehensible…), or sound too informal and comedic.
I have been spreading this website to my bilingual friends who are interested in understanding the beautiful wisdom of the Buddha. IMO, it shouldn’t be a wisdom only exclusive to the religious people but should be made easily accessible to everyone. Thank you so much for taking so much time in spreading this wisdom and making it easily comprehensible.
Yesterday I read your translation of the Diamond Sutra for the first time, as recommended to me by a mathematician I met at a talk by Khenpo Sodargye in Cambridge. I was deeply moved and found great validation of my own thoughts on the topic of emptiness.
I am not a Buddhist, per se, and although I resonate deeply with a number of the insights of the Buddha, the religious nature of the Buddhist tradition and the somewhat simplistic, worship-oriented practices I’ve come across in the Buddhist community have made me somewhat hesitant in engaging with it optimally. Reading your translation highlighted the critically minded attitude (in the sense of rejecting [easy] explanations) that lies at the core of Buddhism, which has given me great motivation to both pursue my own path and embrace the benefits of Buddhist teachings. It really is a peculiar experience to one’s own general understanding of such a nebulous and (per definition) inconceivable topic emphasized and reiterated by someone like the Buddha.
So thank you. Sincerely, thank you. I’ve dropped you a small donation, but thought you might appreciate something more personal.
All the best,
As I was looking for the translation of a passage in the Diamond Sutra, I saw your page. I read your page about why you decided to do the translation yourself. I can’t agree with you more. I appreciate you taking the time and making the effort to do it. I have not read it yet but I am sure I will enjoy reading it. I just want to salute to you and may you are blessed in many ways in life and spirit.
Your page layout and color are just amazingly comfortable to look at!
Thankyou for making this translation . It has enabled me to interact with this sutra where otherwise I really would not have persevered with learning all the terminology in the old versions.
Alex, I would like to thank you for this beautiful translation of the diamond sutra. It brings the message so close; I hear and feel the Buddha while reading it and even after, when I just think of it, which is most of the day.
Thank you once again,
Dear Mr. Johnson,
Tonight I spent quite some time trying to find a good translation of the Diamond Sutra to study. It was not easy. Even the translations by the FPMT are jumbled and confusing. Then I came across your translation. At first I was unsure because you translated the traditional “Thus I have heard” differently. However, upon closer inspection I found that your translation is remarkable. I am quite certain you have maintained the pure Dharma. For that I would like to thank you. I will be studying your version tonight and from this point forward.
It may be possible for me to donate to your site sometime in the future – now however circumstances warrant my purse strings to be tight. I would however like to wish you the best in all your Dharma and worldly activities for making Buddha’s teaching more accessible to those whose native tongue is English.
Be well, and many, many thanks,
I read one of the Buddha’s sutra’s for the first time today, namely The Diamond Sutra, on your website. I found the translation clear, like a mountain pool, which enabled it’s incredible depth to shine out.
I just wanted to drop you a note, to say thank you for the website & for making this available.
infinite thanks for your translation and website………as i read your translation for the very 1st time one very late night in a dark room, i felt physically lighter and as if someone had switched on the light in the room – and for the 1st time, i could see clearly what’s in it !
i also realize some of the sutra’s concepts coincided with my own thoughts when i was a teenager……..
* To begin reading the Diamond Sutra just Click Here for Chapter 1.