The Great Lion’s Roar of Maitreya

From Rigpa Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

In this sutra (Skt. Maitreyamahāsiṃhanāda; Tib. བྱམས་པའི་སེང་གེའི་སྒྲ་ཆེན་པོ།, Wyl. byams pa’i seng ge’i sgra chen po) Mahakashyapa poses a series of questions to the Buddha about proper monastic conduct and practice, which the Buddha answers at length. Mahakashyapa then requests the Buddha to remain in the world in order to safeguard the Dharma, but when the Buddha initially predicts that Mahakashyapa himself will do so in the future, Mahakashyapa insists that for the Dharma to remain for long, it must be entrusted to a bodhisattva rather than a shravaka. The Buddha then anoints Maitreya and entrusts him with the responsibility of protecting the Dharma in the future. There follows a teaching from the Buddha about those in the future who will falsely claim to be bodhisattvas and about the proper conduct and practice of bodhisattvas, as well as a description from Maitreya of his own practice of the bodhisattva path. When Mahakashyapa asks the Buddha about those in the future who will be “sham bodhisattvas,” the Buddha offers a series of teachings on the mistaken and blameworthy practice of commercializing the worship of relics, stupas, and images and seeking to make a living thereby, contrasting this with a monastic’s proper practice of ascetic conduct and meditative inquiry. In addition to the Buddha’s criticism, this sutra is notable for its memorable analogies, past life narratives, and emphasis on the ascetic practice of the forest-dwelling monastic.[1]


The Tibetan translation of this sutra can be found in the Heap of Jewels section of the Tibetan Dergé Kangyur, Toh 67


  1. 84000 Translating the Words of the Buddha.