The Maharatnakuta Sutra is one of the five major sutra groups in the Mahayana canon. Of the two great schools of Buddhism, Mahayana has the greatest number of adherents worldwide-it prevails among the Chinese, Japanese, Koreans, Tibetans, and Vietnamese-and contains within it a number of movements, notably Zen, which have been of growing interest in the West in recent decades. Yet despite this increased attention and enormous following, translations of Mahayana scriptures have been scarce and fragmentary; clearly, a comprehensive translation of a major work within the canon was called for. This volume addresses that need. It contains 22 of the 49 Sutras of the Maharatnakuta or "Treasury" Sutra, many translated for the first time in a Western language, selected and arranged to give the modern reader a progressive introduction to one of the world's major religious traditions. Subjects covered include Maya and miracles, the teachings on Consciousness, Emptiness, and monastic discipline, the Mystical Light of the Tathagata, and the devotional practice of Pure Land, making this a comprehensive source book of Mahayana Buddhism hitherto unavailable in English.
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Pubhshed in cooperatior. Antonio de Nicol:is. Librarv of Congrcss Cataloging in Publication l ata Tripitakr. A trcasurv of Mahivana slttras. E5 Kuang-Mo Ho and Ms. Tze-Ming Yang bothparticipated the translation in work for. We acknowledge gratitude them. The teammembers are: Dr. Fox, Reu. Jamspal, Ms. Larke, Dr. Maxwell, ProJ. Out of his kindnessand enthusiasm, Dr. Shen inuited uarious Buddhist ':. Berry, ProJ. Chi, Rev.
Jen Ching, Prof. Daye, Dr. Charles Luk, Prof. Pachow, Dr. Penley, Dr. Stablein, proJ. Thurman, Prof. Tsao, Prof. Wan, Ms. Wu Whang, ::,. We aregrateful to allfor the by. Ko prouidedadministrative assistancefor Institute, and Ven.
Hsu and H. Li for their inspirationin theJormationof , i't:tttute. Yin Shun, the renownBuddhistscholar, graciously allowedthe Instituteto use , :. Howevcr, translationsof Mahiya'a sutras remain.. To make the :. Shen of. His aim was ro introducc to the west hitherto.
A team of chinese scholarsin Taiwan was formed to undcrtakc the transla::on task. Anrong the major Mahayana sutra groups, the Maharatnakita sutra, thc Great '-r'cl-Heap Sutra, hcre rendered A Treasuryof Mahayandsltras, is or-re thc most of..
It is actually not one s0tra, but a prodigious collection of forty-nine. Shen chose this work as the first to be ::rnslated. Under the lcadershipof Mr. Shen ar. Fayen Koo, the translationof the -:'. Aftcr much consideration, we dccidedupon the ,:! J --;:r:ril i-nL'tsoithe Mahayanacan be generallysummarizcdunder the topics of Although the infinity of Buddhahood is usually described :'.
The bulk of Mahayana sfitras, including thc Maharatnakuta,present wisdom and compassion as their two cardinal themes. Compassion is perhaps easier to understand, for we have ail cxperienced it at one time or anothcr. However, that which is totally transcendent-the "wisdom that goes beyond," or prajnaparamita-is almost impossiblc to explain. How can one understand that which is simuitaneously existcnt and nonexistent, transcendentaland mundane, a state often describedas totally beyond words and thought?
To express the inexprcssibicand to enablc man to "catch" that which is totally transccndentor empty, tsuddhism in the courseof history has developcd a great variety of methods. As an example, for the intellectuallyinclined, Madhyamika phiiosophy wipcs out the limited intellect by rejecting and refuting all philosophical views; when vicws are abandoned, the door to the understanding of emptiness will eventually open. For those who revolt against Buddhist cliches and prefer a direct approach, Zen Buddhism provides koan cxcrcises,"shock treatment" in the form of kicks, blo'"vs, or enigmatic remarks , and serenc reflective meditation.
One will thus see penetratingly into one's own mind and thereby awak:n to various degreesof Wu or Satori expertence. The problem is that not everyonc is inclined to Midhyamika or Zcn, and can be mislcading and dangerouswithout propcr guidancc.
Eventually this can lead to confusion and a total collapseof faith. Thc method of Nagarjuna and hrs cminent followers was effectivc in some cases,but there also have becn nanv Dharnra-scckcrswho becamc pcdants and at thcir death-bedsfound their study of academictsuddhism. By its proliferating entrre lives rvastcdby excessive pedantr-v,Madhyamika had long ccasedto be a dircct means of liberation; it had.
Concerning Zen Buddhism, no one can dcny its great contribution in bringing thousands to direct realization. Zen is emptiness in action, the living prajnip-ramite. It is hard to find words to praise Zen adcquately.
The more one studies and practices Dharma, the more one appreciatesand admires Zen. However, without proper guidance and sufficient preparation, Zen can also be dangerous and futile. By misconstruing a pseudo-experience true enlightenment,one may dcvelop an as unwarranted self-conceit. Zen can also induce a devil-mav-care attitude and one may eventually lose all ground in one's Dharmic efforts.
The pitfalls of theseand other Buddhist schools,hou'ever, are not unavoidable; they can easily be eschewedby frequently secking guidance in the sutras. Buddhist sutras are rather plain and evident; they contain straightforward Dharma teaching, often in the form of dialogues, with an occasionalinsertiorr of an allegory to illustrate a specific point.
Therefore, they are least likely to be misunderstood. Although we cannot claim that Mahayina sitras are simple enough to be easily r. Furthermore, sutras are the source of all Buddha-Dharmas; all Buddhist schools including Madhyamika and Zen look upon thc.
This is why we have qiven first priority to the translationofthe sutras. Special Characteristics the Maharatnakuta of Sutra lrr rvorking with the Maharatnakita, we obscrvcd the following points: 1. We have found this work to contain a broad coverageof various subjects. The topics discusscd range froin thc monastic prccepts Vinaya to intuitive wis:on Q;rajiia ,from good deportment to the manifcsrarion of the Tarh,gata's lighr, :rorrr illusion mayA and ingenuity pAya to the nature of consciousnessand the i'urc Land practice.
It can perhaps bc called a small encyclopcdiaof Mahiyana 3uddhism, which should bc useful to generalreadcrsas well as to scholars. Emptiness, or iunyata,is thc oursranding,if nor uniquc teachingof Bud,:irsnr. It is the central pillar of the Mahay-na edificc, and every Buddhist school r. Here in thc Maharatnakuta,we frnd It is perhapsone of the most claboratedocumentson ,:rptiness in tsuddhist literature.
Through the introduction of Prajnaparamit-, and Zen literaturc, the doctrine of emptinessis alrcady familiar i' "lJdhyamika, ::! Thc modern reader will mosr likely find fault with the Maharatnakuta. L r: rhc orh. It is common :. Therefore, thc purpose of reading a Buddhist sltra is :r. To achievethis one should not just read the sitra once and digest the information thcr.
This is tantamount to sr. It is for letting the sutra takc this rcason that the intcntional repetition in Buddhist scripturcs should not be treated entirely as a defect, but rather as a constructive and bencficial method for Dharma practice. The texts which we felt arc significant and readable were lcft intact.
We made some deletions in those sutras which have portions that are extremely prolix, repctitious, or insignificant in our vicw.
Most of thc deletions involve only a few sentences;in a few casesa page or two wcre left out. All deletions have bcen indicated by the insertion of thrcc ellipsis points in the appropriate hiatus. In our translation of the Maharatnakuga havc attemPted consistently to offer the closcst English rendcring of the original text.
Howevcr, in those cases where a technical term has too broad a meaning to be adcquately representedby an equivalent English term, we have retainedthc Sanskrit word. The readeris urged to consult the glossary at the end of this volume for all Sanskritterms, as well as for a variety of English phraseswhich have a specialmeaning in Buddhism. A numerical glossary has also been provided for thc standardlists of items of Buddhist doctrine. Priscilla Pederscn, 1. Why these sutras are arranged in thcir present sequenceand form remains a ptzzle to us.
Wc have consultcd many scholarsbut failed to find a satislactorvanswcr. Our guessis that the forty-nine sutras were collected haphazardlv throughout the agcs without a premeditatedplan or scheme.
Atreatsury of Mahayana Sutra Selection From the Maharatnakuta Sutra
Quick links. Forum rules. You're happier not knowing. These are below, with the eight group headings, which give some idea of the large range of topics covered. This Mahayana sutra actually describes a practice of purification by confession and making prostrations to these Buddhas.
A Treasury of Mahayana Sutras : Selections from the Maharatnakuta Sutra [Paperback]
You're happier not knowing. These are below, with the eight group headings, which give some idea of the large range of topics covered. This Mahayana sutra actually describes a practice of purification by confession and making prostrations to these Buddhas. And Notes, authored by Konstanty Regamey.
Pubhshed in cooperatior. Antonio de Nicol:is. Librarv of Congrcss Cataloging in Publication l ata Tripitakr. A trcasurv of Mahivana slttras. E5 Kuang-Mo Ho and Ms.
Mahāratnakūta Sūtra Heap of Jewels Overview