The Vimalakirti Sutra

The Vimalakirti Sutra

by Burton Watson
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0231106572

ISBN-13: 9780231106573

Pub. Date: 11/16/2000

Publisher: Columbia University Press

One of the most popular Asian classics for roughly two thousand years, the Vimalakirti Sutra stands out among the sacred texts of Mahayana Buddhism for its conciseness, its vivid and humorous episodes, its dramatic narratives, and its eloquent exposition of the key doctrine of emptiness or nondualism. Unlike most sutras, its central figure is not a Buddha but a

Overview

One of the most popular Asian classics for roughly two thousand years, the Vimalakirti Sutra stands out among the sacred texts of Mahayana Buddhism for its conciseness, its vivid and humorous episodes, its dramatic narratives, and its eloquent exposition of the key doctrine of emptiness or nondualism. Unlike most sutras, its central figure is not a Buddha but a wealthy townsman, who, in his mastery of doctrine and religious practice, epitomizes the ideal lay believer. For this reason, the sutra has held particular significance for men and women of the laity in Buddhist countries of Asia, assuring them that they can reach levels of spiritual attainment fully comparable to those accessible to monks and nuns of the monastic order.

Esteemed translator Burton Watson has rendered a beautiful English translation from the popular Chinese version produced in 406 C.E. by the Central Asian scholar-monk Kumarajiva, which is widely acknowledged to be the most felicitous of the various Chinese translations of the sutra (the Sanskrit original of which was lost long ago) and is the form in which it has had the greatest influence in China, Japan, and other countries of East Asia. Watson's illuminating introduction discusses the background of the sutra, its place in the development of Buddhist thought, and the profundities of its principal doctrine: emptiness.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231106573
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
11/16/2000
Series:
Translations from the Asian Classics Series
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
693,813
Product dimensions:
5.56(w) x 8.42(h) x 0.54(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

Translator's NoteIntroductionThe Vimalakirti Sutra1. Buddha Lands2. Expedient Means3. The Disciples4. The Bodhisattvas5. Inquiring About the Illness6. Beyond Comprehension7. Regarding Living Beings8. The Buddha Way9. Entering the Gate of Nondualism10. Fragrance Accumulated11. Actions of the Bodhisattvas12. Seeing Akshobhya Buddha13. The Offering of the Law14. EntrustmentGlossary

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