King Udayana of Vatsa’s Questions

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King Udayana of Vatsa’s Questions (Skt. Udayanavatsarājaparipṛcchā; Tib. བད་སའི་རྒྱལ་པོ་འཆར་བྱེད་ཀྱིས་ཞུས་པ།, Wyl. bad sa'i rgyal po 'char byed kyis zhus pa) is a cautionary discourse on the dangers of sense desires and the consequences of acting on them. In this work, King Udayana is driven into a murderous rage by the jealous Queen Anupama, King Udayana launches a barrage of arrows at Queen Shyamavati. King Udayana is terrified when Queen Shyamavati pays homage to the Buddha, cultivates loving kindness, and the arrows are repelled. Awestruck by such a spectacle and inspired by Queen Shyamavati’s words of praise for the Buddha, King Udayana approaches the Buddha and requests a teaching on the inadequacies of women. The Buddha tells King Udayana that he must first understand his own faults and proceeds to deliver a discourse on the four faults of men, such as attachment to sense pleasures and failure to take care of elderly parents. The teaching is delivered with a plethora of analogies and striking imagery to turn the mind away from sensual desires. The work concludes with King Udayana giving up his weapons and going for refuge in the Three Jewels, filled with love for all beings.[1]


The Tibetan translation of this sutra can be found in the Heap of Jewels section of the Tibetan Dergé Kangyur, Toh 73


  1. 84000 Translating the Words of the Buddha.