The Vimalakirti Sutra

ISBN 13: 9780231106573

The Vimalakirti Sutra

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9780231106573: The Vimalakirti Sutra
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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.

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Book Description:

Originally written in Sanskrit, this sutra is one of the most influential works in the Mahayana canon. This beautiful translation of Kumarajiva's popular Chinese version highlights the sutra's frequent touches of humor, the liveliness of its episodes, and its eloquent, orderly exposition of basic Mahayana tenets. Watson includes a brief history of early Buddhism and an introduction to the doctrine of non-dualism, a key tenet in Mahayana thought.

About the Author:

Burton Watson is one of the world's best-known translators from the Chinese and Japanese. His translations include The Lotus Sutra, Chuang Tzu: Basic Writings, Ryôkan: Zen Monk-Poet of Japan, Saigyô: Poems of a Mountain Home, and The Columbia Book of Chinese Poetry: From Early Times to the Thirteenth Century, all published by Columbia.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780231106566: The Vimalakirti Sutra

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ISBN 10: 0231106564 ISBN 13: 9780231106566
Publisher: Columbia University Press, 1996
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9788120816725: The Vimalakirti Sutra: From the Chinese Version by Kumarajiva

Motila..., 2008
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