Thursday, April 21, 2022

Vimalakirti Nirdesha

VIMALAKIRTI NIRDESHA (Mahayana Buddhist, c. 100 CE)

Tradition says that Vimalakirti was a Buddhist layperson from the Buddha's time who achieved a level of enlightenment that (some said) was second only to that of the Buddha himself. The Vimalakirti Nirdesha (a word meaning "teachings") is one of the major Mahayana sutras. The Mahayana branch of Buddhism embraces layperson and monastic alike, and Vimalakirti's attainment may have been making a point. In one chapter he schools Manjushri, a Bodhisattva said to embody wisdom. In another, he feigns illness so, when sympathetic people come to visit, he can teach them. The sutra seems to have been more popular in East (where the Mahayana is prevalent) than in South Asia.


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