LALITAVISTARA SUTRA PDF

The following outline is a condensed version of the chapter by chapter summary from the Introduction to The Play in Full by the Dharmachakra Translation Committee. One evening, a group of divine beings visit the Buddha and request him to tell the story of his awakening for the benefit of all beings. The Buddha consents. The Bodhisattva in Tushita before his birth as Siddhartha Gautama.

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The sutra consists of twenty-seven chapters:[1] Chapter 1 In the first chapter of the sutra, the Buddha is staying at Jetavana grove with a large gathering of disciples. One evening, a group of divine beings visit the Buddha and request him to tell the story of his awakening for the benefit of all beings. The Buddha consents. Chapter 2 The following morning, the Buddha tells his story to the gathered disciples.

He begins the story by telling of his previous life, in which the future Buddha was living in the heavenly realms surrounded by divine pleasures. In this previous life, he was known as the Bodhisattva.

The Bodhisattva is enjoying the immense pleasures of his heavenly life, but due to his past aspirations, one day the musical instruments of the heavenly palace call out to him, reminding him of his prior commitment to attain awakening. Chapter 3 Upon being reminded of his previous commitments, the Bodhisattva announces, to the despair of the gods in this realm, that he will abandon his divine pleasures in order take birth in the human realm and there attain complete awakening.

Chapter 4 Before leaving the heavenly realms, the Bodhisattva delivers one final teaching to the gods. Chapter 5 The Bodhisattva installs the bodhisattva Maitreya as his regent in the heavenly realms, and then sets out for the human realm accompanied by great displays of divine offerings and auspicious signs.

Chapter 8 The infant Bodhisattva visits a temple where the stone statues rise up to greet him. Chapter 10 The Bodhisattva attends his first day at school, where he far surpasses even the most senior tutors. Chapter 11 On a visit to the countryside as a young boy, he attains of the highest levels of meditative concentration. Chapter 13 The Bodhisattva reaches maturity and is able enjoy life in the palace, where he is surrounded by all types of pleasure, including a large harem to entertain him.

Seeing this, the gods gently remind him of his vows to awaken. Chapter 14 The Bodhisattva takes a trip outside of the palace walls to visit the royal parks. On this trip, he encounters a sick person, an old man, a corpse, and a religious mendicant. Deeply affected by these sights, the Bodhisattva renounces his royal pleasures. Chapter 15 The Bodhisattva departs from the palace to begin the life of a religious seeker on a spiritual journey.

Chapter 16 The Bodhisattva seeks out the foremost spiritual teachers of his day, and he quickly surpasses each of his teachers in understanding and meditative concentration. His extraordinary charisma also attracts many beings, such as the king of Magadha , who requests the Bodhisattva to take up residence in his kingdom, but without success.

Chapter 17 The Bodhisattva follows Rudraka, a renowned spiritual teacher. He quickly masters the prescribed trainings, but once again he is disappointed with the teachings. The Bodhisattva concludes that he must discover awakening on his own, and he sets out on a six-year journey of extremely austere practices. These practices take him to the brink of death.

Chapter 18 The Bodhisattva concludes that the austere practices do not lead to awakening and, encouraged by some protective gods, he begins to eat a normal diet once again, and regains his health. Chapter 20 He arrives at the seat of awakening, and the gods perform a variety of miraculous displays, transforming the area so that it resembles a divine realm, fit for the epic achievement that awaits the Bodhisattva.

Chapter 23 Recognizing his epic achievement, the entire pantheon of divine beings visits the Thus-Gone One, making offerings and singing his praise. Chapter 24 For seven weeks following his awakening, the Buddha remains alone in the forest and does not teach. He is concerned that the truth he has discovered might be too profound for others to comprehend.

During these first seven weeks, the Buddha also encounters some local passersby, but no teaching is given. They visit the Buddha and formally request him to teach the Dharma. They repeat the request four times before the Buddha eventually consents. Chapter 26 The Buddha determines that the most suitable students for his first teaching are his five former companions from the days when he was practicing austerities.

The Buddha travels to Deer Park , outside of Varanasi , to meet his former companions. Initially, the companions are suspicious of the Buddha for having given up their austerity practices, but they are soon rendered helpless by his majestic presence and request teachings from him. The five companions instantly receive ordination and, in a seminal moment, the Buddha teaches them the Four Noble Truths : suffering, the origin of suffering, the cessation of suffering, and the path that leads to the cessation of suffering.

Chapter 27 This marks the end of the teaching proper. Thus, the story ends at the very moment when the Buddha has finally manifested all the qualities of awakening and is fully equipped to influence the world, as he did over the next forty-five years by continuously teaching the Dharma and establishing his community of followers. The Borobodur reliefs Overview The Borobodur reliefs contain a series of panels depicting the life of the Buddha as described in the Lalitavistara Sutra.

As an example of how widely the sutra was disseminated, it is said that the Lalitavistara Sutra was known to the Mantranaya [1] stonemasons of Borobodur. The future Buddha tells the gods he has decided to be reborn on earth. Around his waist there is wrapped a cord that supports his right knee. This is a convention used in Borobudur to denote people of high status.

In honor of his upcoming birth, a few gods go to earth to teach Brahmans. Queen Maya and King Suddodana live in a palace in the city of Kapilavastu. The king grants her request to undertake a vow of self-denial.

While Queen Maya sleeps, the Buddha enters her womb in the shape of the elephant. The lotus contains the essence of all creation. Brahma collects the essence in a bowl, and gives the Buddha the essence to drink as a mark of honor. This is one of the most popular scenes in ancient Buddhist art. Queen Maya decides to go to a forest of ashoka trees. She arrives and sends a servant to ask the king to meet her there.

Borobudur The king arrives at the edge of the forest but is not allowed to go any further. The queen tells him of her dream, in which an elephant enters her womb. She asks him to get brahmans to interpret the dream. The brahmans tell the couple that the queen will bear a son who will become either a universal ruler or a buddha. Indra and other gods offer for the queen to stay in their palace during her pregnancy.

The unborn Buddha creates the illusion that the queen is in all palaces to prevent any of the gods or kings to be disappointed. During her pregnancy, the queen acquires certain powers, such as the ability to restore people possessed by supernatural beings to their normal state by letting them view her, and also the power to heal diseases. The king lives as a hermit during her pregnancy. Queen Maya asks the king to be allowed to give birth in the Lumbini Pleasure Garden.

The queen sets out for the garden in a carriage. When she arrives, she walks until she comes to an ashoka tree which magically bends down for her. She grasps the limb, and the Buddha emerges from her right side. The baby takes seven steps in each of the four compass directions, and at each step a lotus springs up. A week after the Buddha is born, Queen Maya dies and becomes a goddess. Some members of the Sakya tribe suggest the child should be taken to the temple.

When the prince arrives, the statues in the temple come to life and kneel before him. Sakyamuni is sent to school when he is old enough. The schoolmaster is Visvamitra, and a god named Subhangga is also there. The story skips a few years and then describes a visit to a rural village. This is where the scene of the first meditation takes place. The prince sits down under a guava tree to meditate. The king wishes Sakyamuni to marry because he remembers the prophecy that his son is to become a buddha or a great ruler.

The prince tells him he will give his answer in seven days. The prince consents and chooses Gopa as his wife. Only she can bear to look at him without being blinded by his radiance. Borobudur Sakyamuni and other princes go out to the city to demonstrate his powers.

He sets a problem that only he can solve. The next test is an archery competition. He shot an arrow through seven trees, and through other various targets including an iron boar. Various gods including Indra and Brahma congratulate him on his marriage and ask when he will begin his quest for enlightenment.

This is one of the most successful compositions on the monument. One day the prince decides to go to a royal pleasure garden. Suddenly an old man appears to him, and the prince goes back to the palace.

This is the first of the Four Encounters which motivate the prince to begin his quest for enlightenment. The second encounter the prince again sets out for the pleasure garden, but sees a sick man.

Another occasion occurs where the prince sees a dead man surrounded by grieving relatives. The last encounter is again created by the gods, and involves a monk. He is at peace compared to the grief and suffering felt by the others. The prince meditates based on the example of the monk and on the path of salvation from suffering. Sakyamuni comforts Gopa that night who had a bad dream, then the next day went to the king and asked permission to leave. After the prince says goodbye to gods and other supernatural beings, he cuts off his hair.

Then he discards his royal robes and puts on orange robes of a passing hunter. The prince goes to two places where brahman female hermits offer him food. Sakyamuni embarks on a life as a wandering monk. Eventually he reaches a kingdom called Vaisali where he asks permission to become a pupil of a brahman named Arada Kalapa.

After some time Arada acknowledges the prince as his equal, and Sakyamuni also becomes a teacher.

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Lalitavistara

The sutra consists of twenty-seven chapters:[1] Chapter 1 In the first chapter of the sutra, the Buddha is staying at Jetavana grove with a large gathering of disciples. One evening, a group of divine beings visit the Buddha and request him to tell the story of his awakening for the benefit of all beings. The Buddha consents. Chapter 2 The following morning, the Buddha tells his story to the gathered disciples.

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Lalitavistara-Sutra

Chapter 1: In the first chapter of the sutra, the Buddha is staying at Jetavana with a large gathering of disciples. One evening, a group of divine beings visit the Buddha and request him to tell the story of his awakening for the benefit of all beings. The Buddha consents. Chapter 2: The following morning, the Buddha tells his story to the gathered disciples. He begins the story by telling of his previous life, in which the future Buddha was living in the heavenly realms surrounded by divine pleasures.

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Lalitavistara-sutra

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