The Mahāsaṃnipāta Sutra (Chinese: 大集經, pinyin: Dà Jí Jīng, Japanese: Daijikkyō) is a Buddhist text of Mahayana Buddhism. The meaning in English is the Sutra of the Great Assembly. The sutra was translated into Chinese by Dharmakṣema, beginning in the year 414. The sutra enumerates on the notion of the decline of the Dharma, or decline of the Buddha's teachings, dividing this into three eras, subdivided by 5 five-hundred periods of time:
- The Age of True Dharma
- The period in which people's minds are fixed on and devoted to liberation/enlightenment
- The period devoted to meditation
- The Age of Semblance Dharma
- The period of devotion to reading and intoning [sutras]
- The period of devotion to erecting stupa and temples
- The Age of Dharma Decline
- The period where the true Dharma disappears and "devotion to strive and division"
- Kato, Bunno (1989). Threefold Lotus Sutra. Charles E Tuttle Co. p. 309. ISBN 4-333-00208-7.
- The Way to Buddhahood: Instructions from a Modern Chinese Master. Wisdom Publications. 1998. ISBN 0-86171-133-5.
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