Fortunate Aeon Sutra

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Fortunate Aeon Sutra (Skt. Bhadrakalpikasūtra; Tib. བསྐལ་པ་བཟང་པོའི་མདོ་, Wyl. bskal pa bzang po’i mdo) — a large Mahayana sutra taught by Buddha Shakyamuni in Vaishali. He is approached by the bodhisattva Pramodyaraja, who requests meditation instruction. The Buddha proceeds to give a teaching on a samadhi called 'Elucidating the Way of all Phenomena' and subsequently delivers an elaborate discourse on the six paramitas. Pramodyaraja then learns that all the future buddhas of the Good Eon are now present in the Blessed One’s audience of bodhisattvas. Responding to Pramodyaraja’s request to reveal the names under which these present bodhisattvas will be known as buddhas in the future, the Buddha specifies these names and goes on to describe the circumstances surrounding their birth, awakening, and teaching in the world. In the sutra’s final section, we learn how each of these great bodhisattvas who are on the path to buddhahood first developed bodhichitta.

In Tibet this text has long functioned as a special ceremonial scripture that is read aloud by lamas on special occasions to foster well-being and good fortune, and that is often kept on the family altar in Tibetan homes for this purpose.[1]

Text

No complete version of this sutra is extant in any Indic language. We can trace its textual history back to at least 300 ᴄᴇ when it was first translated into Chinese.

Early Translations

  • Chinese translation by Dharmaraksa (Taishō 425).
  • Tibetan text: First translated from Sanskrit into Tibetan by Vidyakarasimha and Bandé Palyang. Translation revised in the 9th century by Kawa Paltsek. The text is listed as the first scripture in the General Sutra section of most Kangyur collections, Toh. 94.

English Translations

  • The Fortunate Aeon: How the Thousand Buddhas Became Enlightened (Tibetan Translation Series), 4 volume set (Berkeley: Dharma Publishing, 1986).
  • Dharmachakra Translation Committee, 84000.png The Good Eon Sutra

Further Reading

  • Peter Skilling on The Good Eon (2010, 2011, 2012)
  • Skilling and Saerji joint publications on this sutra (2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019).

Alternative Translations

  • Good Eon Sutra (84000)

References

  1. 84000 Translating the Words of the Buddha.

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External Links