Vimalakirti

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Vimalakirti, 8th century wall painting, Dunhuang

Vimalakīrti (Sanskrit: विमल vimala "stainless, undefiled" + कीर्ति kīrti "fame, glory, reputation") is the central figure in the Vimalakirti Sutra,[1] which presents him as the ideal Mahayana Buddhist upāsaka ("lay practitioner")[2] and a contemporary of Gautama Buddha (6th to 5th century BCE).[1] There is no mention of him in Buddhist texts until after Nāgārjuna (1st century BCE to 2nd century CE) revived Mahayana Buddhism in India.[3]

Vimalakīrti is characterized as a wealthy patron of Gautama Buddha.[4] Unlike many other figures of the Mahayana literature, such as Avalokiteśvara, he is generally taken to be a historic, rather than mythic, figure and is not commonly venerated on altars nor in tantric rituals.[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "The Vimalakirti Sutra: The Dharma-Door of Nonduality". About.com. Retrieved April 17, 2013. 
  2. ^ "Vimalakirti and the Doctrine of Nonduality". Metropolitan Museum of Art. Retrieved April 17, 2013. 
  3. ^ Thurman, Robert (2000). The Holy Teaching of Vimalakirti: A Mahayana Scripture. Pennsylvania State University Press. p. ix. ISBN 0271012099. 
  4. ^ Baroni, Helen Josephine (2002). The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Zen Buddhism. The Rosen Publishing Group. p. 369. ISBN 9780823922406. 
  5. ^ Leighton, Taigen Dan. "Boddhisattvas of Compassion Lesson 8: Vimalakirti". Ashoka: the eDharma learning center. DharmaNet International. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 

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