The Questions of Gangottara

From Rigpa Wiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

In The Questions of Gangottara (Skt. Gaṅgottaraparipṛcchā; Tib. གང་གཱའི་མཆོག་གིས་ཞུས་པ།, Wyl. gang gA’i mchog gis zhus pa) a laywoman named Gangottara leaves her home in the city of Shravasti and visits the Buddha Shakyamuni in Anathapindada's Park. The Buddha asks her from where she has come, sparking a dialogue on the true nature of things. Among other things, they discuss the fact that, from the perspective of ultimate truth, all things, including Gangottara herself, are like magical creations, and thus no one comes or goes or pursues nirvana. After their dialogue, the Buddha smiles. When Ananda asks him why, he explains that a thousand tathagatas of the past have already taught this discourse at this same location to a thousand different laywomen, all named Gangottara; and that through it they have all achieved nirvana. The sutra concludes with a brief explanation of the reasons why the present laywoman named Gangottara received this teaching and how it should be remembered in the future.[1]


The Tibetan translation of this sutra can be found in the Heap of Jewels section of the Tibetan Dergé Kangyur, Toh 75


  1. 84000 Translating the Words of the Buddha.