Advice to a King (1)

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In this sutra, Advice to a King (1) (Skt. Rājadeśa; Tib. རྒྱལ་པོ་ལ་གདམས་པ།, Wyl. gyal po la gdam pa) , discerning that the time is right to train King Bimbisara, the Buddha Shakyamuni goes to Magadha, along with his entourage. The king is hostile at first but when his attack on the Buddha is thwarted and a verse on impermanence is heard, he becomes respectful. In the discourse that ensues, the Buddha tells the king that it is good to be disillusioned with the world because samsara is impermanence and suffering. He then elaborates with a teaching on impermanence followed by a teaching on suffering. When the king asks where, if samsara is so full of suffering, well-being is to be found, the Buddha responds with a short exposition on nirvana as the cessation of all suffering and the cause for supreme happiness. Moved by his words, the king decides that he will renounce worldly concerns and seek nirvana. The Buddha praises the king and concludes the teaching with the potent refrain, “When one is attached, that is samsara. When one is not attached, that is nirvana.”[1]


The Tibetan translation of this sutra can be found in the General Sutra section of the Tibetan Dergé Kangyur, Toh 214


  1. 84000 Translating the Words of the Buddha.