View Full Version : In the Buddha's words for Mahayana.

14 Mar 12, 18:58
I'm about to finish up "In the Buddha's Words" which is an a collection of various discourses from the Pali Cannon and it really helped me understand the basics and I was just wondering if there was anything similar out there in terms of Mahayana cannon. You know this should probably have gone in the Mahayana forum, sorry, I'm just so used to asking questions here, if the mods want to move it, feel free to.

14 Mar 12, 19:19
if the mods want to move it, feel free to.

Thanks white_wolf,

I think the thread diserves to be in the Mahayana/Vajrayana Forum so to keep it open for members of the Mahayana tradition.

*Thread moved to Mahayana/Vajrayana Forum.*


Lazy Eye
14 Mar 12, 23:04
Hi White Wolf,

I'm not aware of any Mahayana equivalent -- the Mahayana sutras are generally much longer than the Pali suttas (the Flower Garland Sutra is over 1,600 pages!), and not very conducive to anthologizing. Not only that, but Mahayana is something of an umbrella term covering a host of different traditions, each with its own canon -- core sutras that are important to that school, commentaries and teachings by the school's important teachers, etc.

So, for example, a good Zen anthology (such as this one (/http://www.amazon.com/The-Roaring-Stream-Reader-Companions/dp/088001511X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1331775588&sr=8-1)) could be considered analogous to "In the Buddha's Words". I'm sure there are similar works for the Tibetan traditions, Pure Land and so on. But Mahayana as a whole? It's just too big and disparate.

Hope this helps!

15 Mar 12, 00:45
The closest that I can think of and what I have in my hand is this http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51Q8E1u%2BruL._SL500_AA300_.jpg but even this book is just a selection of eight topics with 22 Sutras from a long collection of 49 miscellaneous Discourses grouped into one major Sutra in the Mahayana collection, but otherwise as what Lazy have stated.

Maybe if you want the challenge to create a Mahayana equivalent of 'In the Buddha's Words', you might have to do some real digging into the Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Vietnamese and Tibetan Tripitakas. The Mahayana Sutra Pitaka is two fold:

the collection of the Agama Sutras (the nearest cousin to the Pali Sutta Pitaka, basically it's the Sutra Pitaka (Basket) of the other earlier but now extinct 17-18 Indian Schools who are the contemporaries of Theravada and on top of that you might

want to learn how to read Chinese and Tibetan as most of the Agama texts are translated into those languages from Sanskrit and modern translations into other languages of today have so far been rather painfully slow.

The Agama Sutras collection in those mentioned Tripitakas are not from just one School but several and from what I was told, it's a mega collection by itself there.

The Agamas collection is most extensive in collection as found in the Chinese, Korean and Japanese and Vietnamese Tripitakas but most scant in the Tibetan) and the second part is the proper Mahayana

Sutras which contains another twofold parts of the exoteric and esoteric (general mantra / dharani practices and the proper Tantra per se: Lower and Higher) Discourses, which is another bulk by itself.

By the way, in case you didn't know, when 'Tripitaka/Tipitaka' is mention, it is literally 'Three Baskets' denoting the Basket of Discipline (Vinaya Pitaka), Basket of Teachings/Discourses (Sutta/Sutra Pitaka)

and the Basket of Distinguished Teachings (Abhidhamma/dharma Pitaka - 'that which exceeds and is distinguished from the Dhamma/Teaching').

So what is being discussed in this thread is just touching on one major part of the 'Buddhist Bible', do you get how massive it is?