Ascertaining the Vinaya: Upali’s Questions

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Ascertaining the Vinaya: Upali’s Questions (Skt. Vinayaviniścayopāliparipṛcchā; Tib. འདུལ་བ་རྣམ་པར་གཏན་ལ་དབབ་པ་ཉེ་བར་འཁོར་གྱིས་ཞུས་པ།, Wyl. ’dul ba rnam par gtan la dbab pa nye bar ’khor gyis zhus pa) is a sutra that explores the relationship between the pratimoksha vows and the conduct of a bodhisattva.

The sutra can be loosely divided into two parts: a first section for which the monk Shariputra is the main interlocutor, and which contains the pledge by numerous bodhisattvas to work for the benefit of beings, followed by a general discourse by the Buddha on the conduct of a bodhisattva. In the second section, Upali poses a series of questions that prompt a more in-depth discourse from the Buddha on the relationship between monastic codes of conduct and the commitments of a bodhisattva, with a focus on the views that guide the followers of the shravaka, pratyekabuddha, and bodhisattva vehicles.

It’s a particularly valuable sutra for its inclusion of a special method for confessing misdeeds, the Sutra of the Three Heaps also known as Confession of Downfalls, making it one of the few sources to describe it at length.[1]

Text

The Tibetan translation of this sutra can be found in the Heap of Jewels section of the Tibetan Dergé Kangyur, Toh 68

References

  1. 84000 Translating the Words of the Buddha.