The Seer Vyasa’s Questions

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The Seer Vyasa’s Questions (Skt. Ṛṣivyāsaparipṛcchā; Tib. དྲང་སྲོང་རྒྱས་པས་ཞུས་པ།, Wyl. drang srong rgyas pas zhus pa) is the last of the forty-nine sutras in the Heap of Jewels section of the Dergé Kangyur. The interlocutor in this text is the great seer Vyasa, a non-Buddhist mendicant whose name literally means “compiler.” The name Vyasa is given to a number of figures in Hindu traditions, the best known of whom bears the epithet Krishna Dvaipayana and is credited with arranging the Vedas into four collections as well as compiling various texts of the Brahmanical traditions. The Mahabharata depicts him as an authoritative teacher, a model brahmin who has gained omniscience through asceticism. The Vyasa who acts as interlocutor in this sutra, however, appears to be another great seer by the same name, and not the Vyasa credited with compiling the Vedas and systematizing a large range of Brahmanical literature.

In this sutra, Vyasa, with a large group of his mendicant followers, approaches the Buddha and poses a few questions about the karmic results of giving. Some of the key points taught in this sutra are the merit and karmic results of giving and the distinction between pure and impure giving. A final long passage describes the life in the god realms that is experienced as the fruit of powerful acts of giving, and it explains the signs received by gods of their own impending death and subsequent human rebirth. [1]


The Tibetan translation of this sutra can be found in the Heap of Jewels section of the Tibetan Kangyur, Toh 93.


  1. 84000 Translating the Words of the Buddha.