The Prophecy for Bhadra the Illusionist

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In this sutra, The Prophecy for Bhadra the Illusionist (Skt. Bhadramāyākāravyākaraṇa; Tib. ་མ་མཁན་བཟང་པོ་ལུང་བསྟན་པ།, Wyl. sgyu ma mkhan bzang po lung bstan pa) while the Buddha Shakyamuni is residing at Vulture's Peak Mountain, in the nearby city of Rajagṛiha the accomplished illusionist Bhadra hatches a scheme to humiliate the Buddha and disprove his omniscience in order to win over the people of Magadha. The failure of Bhadra’s plan, in which he conjures the illusion of a resplendent courtyard that, to his dismay, cannot be undone, culminates in a series of surreal and magnificent visions that convince Bhadra of the superiority of the Buddha’s powers. This sutra presents a colourful and often humorous narrative and contains teachings on illusion, emptiness, and the distinction between the illusionist’s mundane abilities and the Buddha’s miraculous display. The Buddha also teaches Bhadra forty-three sets of four qualities that together constitute the bodhisattva path.[1]


The Tibetan translation of this sutra can be found in the Heap of Jewels section of the Tibetan Dergé Kangyur, Toh 65


  1. 84000 Translating the Words of the Buddha.