The Basket's Display

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The sutra known as The Basket's Display (Skt. Kāraṇḍa­vyūha; Tib. ཟ་མ་ཏོག་བཀོད་པ།, Wyl. za ma tog bkod pa) is found in the General Sutra section of the Tibetan Kangyur (Toh 116).

This sutra is the source of the most prevalent mantra of Tibetan Buddhism: oṁ maṇi padme hūṁ. It marks a significant stage in the growing importance of Avalokiteshvara within Indian Buddhism in the early centuries of the first millennium. The sutra describes Avalokiteshvara’s activities in various realms and the realms contained within the pores of his skin, and culminates in a description of the extreme rarity of his mantra, which, on the Buddha’s instructions, Bodhisattva Sarvanivaranavishkambhin obtains from someone in Varanasi who has broken his monastic vows. This sutra provided a basis and source of quotations for the teachings and practices of the eleventh-century Mani Kabum, which itself served as a foundation for the rich tradition of Tibetan Avalokiteshvara practice.

English Translation