Simha’s Questions

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At the opening of this sutra, Simha’s Questions (Skt. Siṃhaparipṛcchā; Tib. སེང་གེས་ཞུས་པ།, Wyl. seng ges zhus pa) King Ajatashatru’s son Simha and his five hundred attendants approach the Buddha, who is on Vulture's Peak. After paying homage and offering golden parasols, Simha asks the Buddha a series of questions about the conduct of bodhisattvas. The Buddha answers each of Simha’s questions with a series of verses describing the various karmic causes that result in the qualities and attributes of bodhisattvas. Afterward, when Simha and his attendants promise to train in this teaching, the Buddha smiles, causing the three-thousandfold world system to quake. When the bodhisattva Ajita asks the Buddha why he smiled, the Buddha explains that Simha and all of his companions will become buddhas and establish buddha fields similar to that of Amitabha.

Simha’s Questions is listed as the thirty-seventh chapter of the Ratnakuta, Heap of Jewels section of the Dergé Kangyur. The sutra is not particularly well known, but verses of it are quoted in a few Indian commentaries, including Shantideva’s training anthology, the Shikshasamucchaya. It is also quoted in some Tibetan commentaries, usually in the context of using the Buddha’s words to verify that a certain virtuous practice is the concordant cause for developing a particular positive result or quality. . [1]


The Tibetan translation of this sutra can be found in the Heap of Jewels section of the Tibetan Kangyur, Toh 81.


  1. 84000 Translating the Words of the Buddha.