Three Vajras

Mulapariyaya Sutta – The Root of All Things, Majjhima Nikaya 1

The Buddha’s Sermon In aconversation with his disciples, the Buddha states that an untrained person, an advanced disciple, an Arhat and a Tathagata, perceive phenomena in different ways. They perceive the elements of form (earth, water, fire and air), bodily beings, gods, Prajapati, Brahma, the gods of Radiance, the Beautiful gods, the gods of the Perfect Fruit, the ruling gods, infinite space, infinite consciousness, emptiness, nonduality, activity of senses and mind, unity and division, the totality of all phenomena and nibbana – differently. Worlds listed by the Buddha First, the…read more

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16. Mahaparinibbana Sutta

Introduction The Mahaparinibbana Sutta tells us about the last period of the Buddha’s life, about how He gave the last instructions, left his body, and how His disciples behaved, being left without the Teacher. The content of the sutta is imbued with Ananda’s confusion (based on his impressions, the basis of the sutta is recorded). In general, it can be said that this sutta is written not so much about the Buddha as about the Sangha. Advice for Brahman Vassakara Already known from Samaññaphala sutta (Digha Nikaya 2), King Ajatasattu…read more

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15. Mahanidana Sutta

Buddha and Ananda talk about the Interdependent Origin of Suffering One day, Ananda said to the Buddha that although the doctrine of the Nidanas (the links in the chain of the interdependent origin of suffering) is deep and difficult, but he, Ananda, understands it as clearly as possible. In response, the Buddha warns Ananda: you should not say that, because misunderstanding of this doctrine makes the minds of people entangled and restless (one should not become flattered by the understanding he has reached, he must strive to penetrate the thought…read more

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14. Mahapadana Sutta

The Buddhas of the Past The disciples of the Buddha are talking about past lives. Hearing about their conversation, Buddha narrates about the Buddhas of the past. Buddha lists the six Buddhas who were born before him. The first of these Buddhas, Vipassi (“attentive”) lived in an age when a lifespan reached 80,000 years, the next Buddha – in an era with a lifetime of 70,000, then – 60,000, 40,000, 30,000, 20,000, until in the Shakyamuni era, life became brief, rarely reaching 100 years. With all the Buddhas described by…read more

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13. Tevijja Sutta – The Three Knowledges

Introduction At a time when the Buddha was in the village Manasakata, He stopped in a mango grove by the river Acharavati. At that time, many noble and wealthy Brahmins lived in Manasakata. They, each in their own way, preached the teachings of the Three Vedas. (The Vedas are ancient scriptures, consisting mainly of hymns accompanying ritual actions. The study and singing of the Vedic texts was practiced in among Brahmans). The two young Brahmans Vasettha and Bharadwaja had a dispute about which one of the known Brahmans’ paths leads…read more

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Nagarjuna and the Prajnaparamita Teaching

Nagarjuna was presumably born between 150-250 AD in the south of India. There are several versions of his birth and early years. According to one of them Nagarjuna was a sick child, so he was sent to a mountain monastery in order to improve his health. There, near a mountain lake, he experienced a vision of the Nagas’ king and his underwater palace. He had a vision of a Stupa, surrounded by Buddhas and Bodhisattvas. Nagarjuna opened this stupa and saw inside it another one, which was just identical to…read more

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12. Lohicca Sutta

Lohicca and his doubt Brahman Lohicca is in doubt that a person who has attained liberation from suffering can help another being. After all, he cannot convey to someone else the good qualities of his mind. And if it is so, when someone claims to be able to help another, is not this statement caused by greed (the desire to get this or that kind of personal gain)? Experiencing this doubt, the Brahmana decides to see the Buddha. Lohicca sends the barber Bhesika to consult about the state of Buddha’s…read more

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11. Kevaddha Sutta (Kevatta Sutta)

Kevaddha’s Request Once, when the Blessed one was in the village of Nalanda, he was approached by a layman Kevaddha. Kevaddha asked the Buddha if He himself or one of His disciples could reveal some miracle to Nalanda’s laymen. Kevaddha says that in Nalanda – a large village abundant with forest, water, cattle and grain – there are many followers of the Buddha. If the Buddha or one of His disciples could reveal a miracle, then the people of Nalanda would believe even more in the Teachings of the Blessed….read more

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Machig Labdron

Machig Labdron lived in Tibet in the 11th century. Legend says that Padmasambhava predicted that she would be born as a reincarnation of Yeshe Tsogyal. When she was a child she used to read the Prajnaparamita sutra for wealthy patrons. It was thought that repetitively reading the sutra brought merit, and as she was able to read very fast, her services were highly valued (merits’ size was determined by the number of readings). Machig used to walk from house to house until she met the teacher named Lama Sonam Drapa…read more

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Niguma

Niguma, a yogini, bodhisattva, and dakini, lived presumably in the eleventh century. There is not much information about Niguma’s life nor about her birth. Information about her is rather controversial and is wrapped in mystery. According to one legend Niguma was born in Kashmir, in a region called the Country of the Great Magic. During the lifetime of the previous Buddha this land was cowered with water and belonged to the King of Nagas. More recently, this region has become the birthplace of many mahasiddhas, among whom was also Naropa….read more

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