The Great Cloud (1)

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The sutra, The Great Cloud (Skt. Mahāmegha; Tib. སྤྲིན་ཆེན་པོ།, Wyl. sprin chen po), features a long dialogue between the Shakyamuni Buddha and a bodhisattva named Great Cloud Essence, who are periodically joined by various additional interlocutors from the vast audience of human and divine beings who have assembled to hear the Buddha’s teaching. The topics of their conversation are diverse and wide-ranging, but a central theme is the vast conduct of bodhisattvas, which is illustrated through the enumeration of the various meditative states and liberative techniques that bodhisattvas must master in order to minister to all sentient beings. This is followed by a conversation with the brahmin Kaundinya concerning the Buddha’s cousin Devadatta, who is revealed to be a bodhisattva displaying the highest level of skilful means. Kaundinya then inquires about the possibility of obtaining a relic from the Buddha, and another member of the audience responds with an explanation of how truly rare it is for a buddha relic to appear within the world. Finally, the discourse ends with the Buddha delivering a series of detailed prophecies describing the principal interlocutor’s future attainment of Buddhahood, and he further explains the benefits and powers that can be obtained through the practice of this sutra itself.[1]


The Tibetan translation of this sutra can be found in the General Sutra section of the Tibetan Dergé Kangyur, Toh 232


  1. 84000 Translating the Words of the Buddha.

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