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You are here : Home > Books > Mahayana > Chinese Buddhism

Vimalakirti Sutra

Vimalakirti Sutra

Author(s) : Watson, Burton
Publishers Price : 18.00
Wisdom Price : 14.40(save 20%)
Availability : Usually available in 7 day(s)
ISBN : 0231106572
EAN : 9780231106573
Cover : Paperback
Pages : 188
Size : 215 x 138mm
Publisher : Columbia University Press
Published : 2000
Category : Chinese Buddhism
Category 2 : Mahayana Buddhism: General
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 it eloquence, humour, and key teachings on emptiness. Unlike most sutras, its central figure is not the Buddha, but a wealthy townsman who epitomises the ideal lay believer. For this reason, the sutra has held particular significance for lay men and women in Asia, assuring them that they can reach levels of spiritual attainment fully comparable to those accessible to the monastic order. However, Vimalakirti was actually a highly advanced and realized bodhisattva manifesting as an ordinary layperson and even the other bodhisattvas and the Buddha's disciples were in awe of him.

Esteemed translator Burton Watson has rendered a beautiful English translation from the Chinese version by Kumarajiva, which is widely acknowledged to be the most felicitous of the various Chinese translations of the sutra, 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 of emptiness.
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