The Detailed Account of the Previous Aspirations of the Seven Thus-Gone Ones

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The Detailed Account of the Previous Aspirations of the Seven Thus-Gone Ones (Skt. Saptatathāgatapūrvapraṇidhānaviśeṣavistāra; Tib. དེ་བཞིན་གཤེགས་པ་བདུན་གྱི་སྔོན་གྱི་སྨོན་ལམ་གྱི་ཁྱད་པར་རྒྱས་པ།, Wyl. de bzhin gshegs pa bdun gyi sngon gyi smon lam gyi khyad par rgyas pa) opens in Vaishali, where the Buddha Shakyamuni is seated with a sangha of eight thousand monks, thirty-six thousand bodhisattvas, and a large gathering of gods, spirit beings, and humans. As Shakyamuni concludes his teaching, the bodhisattva Manjushri rises from his seat and requests that the Buddha give a Dharma teaching that will benefit all the human and non-human beings who are present in the assembly. Specifically, he asks Shakyamuni to teach them about the previous aspirations of seven buddhas, their Buddha fields, and the benefits that those buddhas can bring to beings who live in the final five hundred years, when the holy Dharma is on the verge of disappearing. Shakyamuni agrees to this request and proceeds to give a detailed account of the previous aspirations of those seven buddhas to benefit beings who are veiled by karmic obscurations, tormented by illnesses, and plagued by mental anguish and suffering.[1]

Text

There is no known Sanskrit edition or manuscript of this version of the tantra, but a large portion of the text is almost identical with a shorter sutra, Toh 504, which survives in three Sanskrit editions.

The Tibetan translation by Jinamitra, Danashila, Shilendrabodhi and Bandé Yeshé Dé, which dates from the early ninth century, can be found in the Action Tantra section of the Tibetan Kangyur, Toh 503.[2]

References

  1. 84000 Translating the Words of the Buddha.
  2. Although both royal Tibetan catalogs indicate that this text was originally classified as a sutra, Butön lists it in different works as both a sutra and a tantra, and in all Kangyurs it is placed with the tantras of the Action (kriya) class.