Mahaparinirvana Sutra

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Mahaparinirvana Sutra (Skt. Mahāparinirvāṇasūtra; Tib. ཡོངས་སུ་མྱ་ངན་ལས་འདས་པ་ཆེན་པོའི་མདོ།, Wyl. yongs su mya ngan las 'das pa chen po'i mdo), The Sutra of the Great Parinirvana — a large Mahayana sutra which recounts the last year of the Buddha's life and addresses the key topics of buddha nature and summarises the all the methods which lead to enlightenment.

Two shorter versions of this sutra exist:

  • the mahāparinirvāṇamahāyānasūtra in 13 fascicles
  • the mahāparinirvāṇasūtra, a 16 verse fragment, translated from the Sanskrit during the later translation period by the Indian Pandit Kamalagupta and Rinchen Zangpo.


The original Sanskrit text is not extant except for a small number of fragments, but it survives in Chinese and Tibetan translation. It was translated into Chinese twice from two apparently substantially different source texts.

It was translated in Tibetan at the beginning of the 9th cent. by Jinamitra, Jñanagarbha and Devachandra. The text can be found in the:

English Translations of the Chinese Text

  • Yamamoto, Kosho, trans. (1973-1975). The Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra, 3 Volumes, Karinbunko, Ube City, Japan.
  • Blum, Mark, trans. (2013). The Nirvana Sutra: Volume 1 (of a projected 4), Berkeley, Calif. : BDK America (distr.: Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press)
  • Kato, Yasunari, trans. (2014). Daihatsunehankyou Vol.2: Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra Vol.2, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
  • Yamamoto & Page, Dr. Tony, trans. (2015). Nirvana Sutra: A Translation of Dharmakshema's Northern version, CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

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