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The King Ajātaśatru Sūtra

A Translation of the Ajātaśatrukaukṛtyavinodana Sūtra from the Chinese of Lokakṣema together with three short sūtras on Ajātaśatru

ByShaku Shingan

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King Ajātaśatru is well-known among Buddhists for being misled by the Buddha's jealous brother-in-law and cousin, Devadatta, into bringing about his father's death and usurping the throne of the Kingdom of Magadha. Despite this, he also came to repent his deeds and became a sincere supporter of the Buddha. This publication presents four first English translations of sūtras on Ajātaśatru, his repentance, and the eventual assurance of his attainment of Buddhahood. The King Ajātaśatru Sūtra (Skt. Ajātaśatrukaukṛtyavinodana, Taishō No. 626) presents the process whereby bodhisattva Mañjuśrī helped King Ajātaśatru to see the emptiness of all phenomenal existence and the original purity of mind. Through attaining these insights, the king overcame his doubts about his fate and received assurance of his eventual buddhahood. The Sūtra on King Ajātaśatru's Questions on the Five Heinous Crimes (Taishō No. 508) presents the process whereby the king will overcome his doubts by attaining rootless faith (granted to him by the Buddha) rather than through the realisation of emptiness. The Sūtra on King Ajātaśatru's Reception of his Prediction (Taishō No. 509) sees the king receive his assurance of buddhahood not while the Buddha is in the world, but rather by offering to him after he entered nirvāṇa. It Thus emphasises the transcendent nature of the Buddha's manifestation in the world. The Sūtra on the Flower Pickers (Taishō No. 510) presents a variation on the previous sūtra where the Buddha has not yet entered nirvāṇa. Our sincere wish is that readers will find these sūtra translations a fascinating and valuable addition to their understanding of Buddhism and the redemption of those who have committed grave evils.


Publication Date
Mar 22, 2022
Religion & Spirituality
All Rights Reserved - Standard Copyright License
By (author): Shaku Shingan


Perfect Bound
Interior Color
Black & White
US Trade (6 x 9 in / 152 x 229 mm)

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