Contemplation Sutra

Contemplation Sutra

Postby Nighthawk » Sat Apr 26, 2014 4:13 pm

Not that it really matters but I've been curious to know where this text was composed. One source I read was that it was compiled in China.

Anyone know a little bit of background for this sutra?
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Re: Contemplation Sutra

Postby Qianxi » Sat Apr 26, 2014 5:36 pm

There's a paper on it avaliable as pdf
Johnathan A. Silk,'The composition of the Guan Wuliangshoufo-Jing: Some Buddhist and Jaina parallels to its narrative frame', Journal of Indian Philosophy 25 (2):181-256 (1997)

which concludes with
The present paper has provided evidence for the Indian origins of the first part of the Prologue section of the [Contemplation Sutra], the narrative frame of the story of Ajatasatru and his father, Bimbisara, further showing that the story recounted there is the common property of the Buddhist and Svetambara Jaina traditions. It is therefore certain that this portion of the text is directly based on Indian materials. However, it is likewise clear that the [Contemplation Sutra] as a whole cannot be an Indian product, and is most likely a work initially composed in the Chinese language, perhaps in Central Asia.


On google books there's also a translation of an article referenced by Silk: Kotatsu Fujita, The Textual Origins of the Kuan Wu-liang-shou ching: A Canonical Scripture of Pure Land Buddhism

The Contemplation Sutra was one of the first sutras I ever read. The progression of the visualisations had quite an effect on me even though I was just casually reading it standing up having pulled the English translation at random from a library shelf.
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Re: Contemplation Sutra

Postby plwk » Sat Apr 26, 2014 5:49 pm

Qianxi :thanks:
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Re: Contemplation Sutra

Postby PorkChop » Sun Apr 27, 2014 3:31 am

Nice job Qianxi!
Just wanted to add that according to legend, it was this sutra that Bodhiruci passed along to Tanluan that ultimately converted him away from Taoism to the Pure Land path.
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Re: Contemplation Sutra

Postby PorkChop » Sun Apr 27, 2014 4:23 am



Whew, for a second there I thought I had misquoted, the link identified 觀無量壽經 with a different name, but wiki found it as the Visualization sutra. :)
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Re: Contemplation Sutra

Postby Nighthawk » Sun Apr 27, 2014 7:46 am

Thanks Qianxi, will give those links a thorough read.
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