The text of this book has been redacted from the University Books (Hyde Park, N.Y.) edition of 1960 (which bears no copyright notice). This edition, edited by Alan Hull Walton, included lengthy introductory material and one footnote, omitted in this etext. The page numbering in this etext reflects the 1960 edition.
The following portion of the introduction describes some minor editorial changes in the 1960 edition, all of which are retained in this etext:
"Richard's translation, in which he was assisted by an able Chinese Buddhist, and for which he made continual reference to commentaries on the work, has been left as he wrote it with the following exceptions. The term Tathagata has been substituted for his Ju Lai (which he considered might some times best be rendered Messiah in English). The term Bodhisattva has likewise been substituted for his Pusa, or Pusa saints. This brings his version more into line with other translations made from Mahayana scriptures. ... [A] few small faults and some errors in punctuation have been corrected. It has been felt that the text was otherwise best left alone, for Richard has been quoted by various authorities on Buddhism--more particularly by Dr Evans-Wentz in his Tibetan series--and most readers will necessarily wish to refer to his exact wording.
"One Chinese term which offered some difficulty was Chen-jû = true so, like. In Sanskrit this would be translated as Bhutatathata: Buta (= chen) = true, and tathata (= jû) = so, like. In Sanskrit it means Reality, all existence, whilst in Chinese it is usually interpreted as substance, qualities, and immutable law, the universe, or the universal. Suzuki has translated it, justifiably, as 'Suchness', which is the 'Quality of the Void'. Other possible interpretations are 'Thusness', 'The Cosmic Order', the sum-total of all factors which shape the universe, the norm of existence, the womb in which all things take their shape and from whence they are born. Richard has translated this term in various ways--True Form, True Likeness, True Reality, Archetype, True Model, and so on. Occasionally, True Reality has been substituted for Richard's True Form or True Model, etc.
"With these remarks we leave the reader to the text, of which its translator said: 'If we estimate the value of books by the number of adherents to their doctrines, then, after the Bible, the Koran, the Confucian Classics, and the Vedas, this volume, about the size of the Gospel of Mark, ranks next, or fifth, among the sacred books of the world.'"