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The Holy Teaching of Vimalakirti: A Mahayana Scripture
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The Holy Teaching of Vimalakirti: A Mahayana Scripture

3.98  ·  Rating Details ·  235 Ratings  ·  20 Reviews
This book presents the major teachings of Mah y na Buddhism in a precise, dramatic, and even humorous form. For two millennia this S tra, called the jewel of the Mah y na S tras, has enjoyed immense popularity among Mah y na Buddhists in India, central and southeast Asia, Japan, and especially China, where its incidents were the basis for a style in art and literature ...more
Paperback, 117 pages
Published October 1st 1990 by Penn State University Press (first published 100)
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Mar 08, 2013 Blaine rated it it was amazing
Generally a better translation than the Burton Watson version... can't go wrong with Vimalakirti's advice here. Chapter nine "The Dharma Door of Nonduality" is worth reading twice a day. I love also the contrast between the silence of Shariputra in chapter seven (p59) and Vimalakirti's silence at the end of chapter nine (p77). Jay Garfield provides a beautiful analysis of the differences between these two silences in his essay "Sounds of Silence: Ineffability and the Limits of Language in ...more
Yến Hải
Feb 15, 2016 Yến Hải rated it it was amazing
Nghe nói nay ngày đẹp nên khai bút trên goodreads :))
Cuốn này là Kinh Duy Ma Cật, bản tiếng Việt rất dễ kiếm trên mạng. Mình biết và đọc kinh này là do hôm mùng 4 đi chúc tết sư ông Sơn được sư ông chỉ cho. May quá có thứ dứt mình ra khỏi chuỗi ngày tự kỉ với An Ni Bảo Bối, tiện thể khai sách đầu năm luôn :)))

Cuốn này đáng đọc, bất kể bạn có phải một Phật tử hay không. Theo mình kinh Duy Ma Cật là một bản kinh phản ánh đúng tinh thần Phật giáo, trí tuệ và an nhiên. (Dùng tạm vài từ để mô tả thôi
Richard St Ruth
Jan 30, 2009 Richard St Ruth rated it it was amazing
Am enjoying reading this for the third time.

My favorite version however is the:
The Teaching of Vimalakīrti (Vimalakīrtinirdeśa), Sacred Books of the Buddhists 32 (London: Pali Text Society, [1976:] 1994). Translated under the name Sara Boin. Translation from Étienne Lamotte, L’Enseignement de Vimalakīrti, Bibliothèque du Muséon 51 (Louvain: Institut Orientaliste, 1962).

Which I was, along with the other members of a Buddhist Study group in London, to get as a photocopy (courtesy of the late Sara
Apr 09, 2016 Edward rated it really liked it
Shelves: buddhism
This is a strange book which was on a college course reading list. It is a classic of Mahayana ancient Buddhism and written about about a knowledgeable yet slightly annoying householder. The book starts off with the householder, Vimalakirti being obnoxious and injecting his unsolicited thoughts into others experiences.

It is not a modern dharma book and as such has mythological literary devices. I will not spoil the book for those who wish to read it, but I will say there are few dharma gems in
Apr 26, 2008 Marcus rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Someone who has meditated for over 1 year
Recommended to Marcus by: Prof. Ambuel
A deceivingly dense Mahayana scripture, it'll likely blow over the heads of most people who fixate on the preposterous tales of supernatural powers which make up half the book and the incredibly dense and lengthy doctrines which predate modern paraconsistent logic, while echoing it's principles into a remarkable moral philosophy.

Paraconsistent arguments typically work backwards of modern logic. Rather than provide complimentarly suppositions which lead to a definitive conclusion, paraconsistency
Jul 19, 2012 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Thurman's is the standard translation, but it's good to get as many translations as possible, and while I'm not a close enough reader to comment on this translation, I'm glad it exists.

I don't think, as someone commented, that it's really about lay Buddhists, though if you draw inspiration from that, that's not horrible. I think the dualism of lay versus monastic is something Vimalakirti would perhaps laugh at, and Mahayana is a reaction to rigid monasticism, so as I say, get that message if yo
Jul 19, 2012 Jack rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent new translation of the "Laughing Buddha" sutra by the living master of such translations. An Indian counterpart to R.D. Liang's "Knots," both explore and expose dualistic thinking and how embracing paradox creates a better mind/consciousness. Not as humorous as its common title, it is funny that when the local master of the art of living takes ill, a zillion of his emulators say why they are not the one to visit him and wish him good health--inevitably he has taught them something ...more
Jun 01, 2009 Thomas rated it really liked it
The teachings here are puzzling in what seems to be a very deliberate manner. The holy sage Vimalakirti enjoys his mystical mischief -- at one moment playing with gloriously absurd allegories of space travel, at others engaging in almost Nagarjunian analyses that lead, ultimately, to the absence of condition and voidness. He moves from inconceivable vastnesses to inconceivable voidness, and it all winds up being a little disturbing. Where Nagarjuna is comfortingly logical, Vimalakirti's ...more
Feb 06, 2009 Chris rated it really liked it
Another book that I read in college. This one I really enjoyed. I remember there were debates as to whether this scripture unfairly represented women, but I fell on the side of the argument that viewed the descriptions of women as purely a form of expedient means in addressing lust to male monks. In other words, the descriptions of the female form as disgusting and fowl should be understood within a very specific context.

Apparently, since it's been a few years since I've read this, the stuff abo
Dec 10, 2012 Cory rated it really liked it
Shelves: for-class
So packed full of references, many of which went right over my head... I feel I'll need to return to this text after learning more of the topic. This is definitely a text that will need multiple read-throughs, separated by much other reading on the topic.
Feb 17, 2010 Erica rated it really liked it
A very profound Mahayana sutra. Robert Thurman has 3 glosseries of sanskrit terms, technical terms, and numerical categories. WARNING: Not an easy read but very profound if you can get through it. (A must for EVERY buddhist scholar or practicing buddhist.)
Elijah Kinch Spector
Nov 19, 2015 Elijah Kinch Spector rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
For a class. This sutra is alternately funny, fantastical, and philosophically dense. I certainly appreciated the first two aspects more than the third (but gee, guess which one I needed to pay the most attention to for my class).
Aug 09, 2014 Romana rated it liked it
Complex text. I would not have been able to fully appreciate it's depth without Robert Thurman's guidance.
Beautiful book! Inspired this sort of lengthy blog post. ;-)
Jesse Whyte
The text itself is seminal, although I think that I prefer the Robert Thurman translation -- both in terms of general readability and authenticity of the translation to the original.
Bill Gusky
Sep 18, 2011 Bill Gusky rated it liked it
Got this as a text file from RAF Thurman himself upon request when it was still a manuscript. A rich, vivid read. Fairly long for a sutra.
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“Reverend Mahakasyapa, the Maras who play the devil in the innumerable universes of the ten directions are all Bodhisattvas dwelling in the inconcievable liberation, who are playing the devil in order to develop living beings through their skill in liberative technique. Reverend Mahakasyapa, all the miserable beggars who come to the Bodhisattvas of the innumerable universes of the ten directions to ask for a hand, a foot, an ear, a nose, some blood, muscles, bones, marrow, an eye, a torso, a head, a limb, a member, a throne, a kingdom, a country, a wife, a son, a daughter, s slave, a slave-girl, a horse, an elephent, a chariot, a cart, gold, silver, jewels, pearls, conches, crystal, coral, beryl, treasures, food, drink, elixers, amd clothes -- these demanding beggars are usually Bodhisattvas living in the inconcievable liberation who, through their skill in liberative technique, wish to test and thus demonstrate the firmness of the high resolve of the Bodhisattvas. Why? Reverend Mahakasyapa, the Bodhisattvas demonstrate that firmness by means of terrible austerities. Ordinary beings have no power to be this demanding of Bodhisattvas, unless they are granted the oppurtunity. They are not capable of killing and depriving in that manner without being freeluy given the chance.

Reverend Mahakasyapa, just as a glowworm cannot eclipse the light of the sun, so Reverend Mahakasyapa, it is not possible without special allowance that an ordinary person can thus attack and deprive a Bodhisattva. Reverend Mahakasyapa, just as a donkey could not muster an attack on a wild elephant, even so, Reverend Mahakasyapa, one who is not himself a Bodhisattva cannot harass a Bodhisattva. Only one who is himself a Bodhisattva can harass another Bodhisattva, and only a Bodhisattva can tolerate the harassment of another Bodhisattva....." -pg 54-5”
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