Describing the Benefits of Producing Representations of the Thus-Gone One
In the sutra Describing the Benefits of Producing Representations of the Thus-Gone One (Skt. Tathāgatapratibimbapratiṣṭhānuśaṃsasaṃvarṇana; Tib. དེ་བཞིན་གཤེགས་པའི་གཟུགས་བརྙན་བཞག་པའི་ཕན་ཡོན་ཡང་དག་པར་བརྗོད་པ།, Wyl. de bzhin gshegs pa’i gzugs brnyan bzhag pa’i phan yon yang dag par brjod pa) Shakyamuni Buddha is residing in the Jeta Grove in Anathapindada’s Park in Shravasti when a large number of monks gather nearby and begin discussing how one should respond when asked about the karmic benefits accrued by creating representations of the Buddha. They approach the Buddha for guidance, and the Buddha explains the five kinds of benefits that such virtuous deeds bring.
First, he elaborates on the excellent life circumstances such as happiness and fame that they will experience. Second, he details the characteristics of physical beauty that they will gain. Third, he lists the kinds of wealth they will accrue. Fourth, he states that the donor will become a universal monarch enjoying all the advantages of that position. Fifth, he explains that the donor will be reborn among the gods and enjoy all divine distinctions. The sutra then concludes with the monks rejoicing and praising the Buddha.
There seems to be no extant Sanskrit version of this sutra. Chinese, Tibetan and Mongolian versions are still extant.
The Tibetan translation of this sutra can be found in the General Sutra section of the Tibetan Dergé Kangyur, Toh 320. The text has been classified by Tibetan tradition as a sutra of the Shravakayana. It was translated by the Indian preceptor Dharmakara, the translator Bandé Yeshé Nyingpo, and the chief editor Bandé Paltsek.
- English translation: Alexander Csoma de Kőrös Translation Group, Describing the Benefits of Producing Representations of the Thus-Gone One
- 84000 Translating the Words of the Buddha.