The Application of Mindfulness of the Sacred Dharma

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This sutra, The Application of Mindfulness of the Sacred Dharma(Skt. Saddharmasmṛtyupasthāna; Tib. དམ་པའི་ཆོས་དྲན་པ་ཉེ་བར་གཞག་པ།Wyl. dam pa’i chos dran pa nye bar gzhag pa) tells that while on the way to Rajagriha to collect alms, a group of newly ordained monks are approached by some non-Buddhists, who suggest that their doctrine is identical to that of the Buddha, since everyone agrees that misdeeds of body, speech, and mind are to be given up. The monks do not know how to reply, and when they later return to the brahmin town of Nalati, where the Buddha is residing, Sharadvatiputra therefore encourages them to seek clarification from the Blessed One himself. In response to the monks’ request, the Buddha delivers a comprehensive discourse on the effects of virtuous and unvirtuous actions, explaining these matters from the perspective of an adept practitioner of his teachings, who sees and understands all this through a process of personal discovery. As the teaching progresses, the Buddha presents an epic tour of the realm of desire—from the Hell of Ultimate Torment to the Heaven Free from Strife—all the while introducing the specific human actions and attitudes that cause the experience of such worlds and outlining the ways to remedy and transcend them. In the final section of the sūtra, which is presented as an individual scripture on its own, the focus is on mindfulness of the body and the ripening of karmic actions that is experienced among humans in particular. [1]


The Tibetan translation of this sutra can be found in the General Sutra section of the Tibetan Kangyur, Toh 287


  1. 84000 Translating the Words of the Buddha.