Mahāratnakūṭa Sūtra

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The Mahāratnakūṭa Sūtra (Sanskrit; traditional Chinese: 大寶積經; simplified Chinese: 大宝积经; pinyin: dàbǎojī jīng, Tib. dam-chos dkon-mchog-brtsegs-pa) is an ancient collection of Mahāyāna Buddhist sūtras. It is also known simply as Ratnakūṭa Sūtra (寶積經), literally the Sutra of the Heap of Jewels in Sanskrit (kūṭa means ‘accumulation’ or ‘heap’).


The Mahāratnakūṭa Sūtra contains 49 texts of varying length, which are termed "assemblies" by tradition. This collection includes the Śrīmālādevī Siṃhanāda Sūtra, the Longer Sukhāvatī-vyūha Sutra, the Akṣobhya-vyūha Sūtra, a long text called the Bodhisattvapiṭaka, and others.[1] Part of this texts was brought to China and translated by Bodhiruci in the 8th century.[2] Bodhiruci translated some of the texts, and included others which had been previously translated. This later Bodhiruci should not be confused with another Bodhiruci who was the translator of the commentary on Ten Stages Sutra.

The Ratnakūṭa collection totals 49 Mahāyāna sūtras, divided into 120 fascicles in the Chinese translation.[3] Garma Chang, who is listed as General Editor of a volume of select sūtras from the Mahāratnakūṭa translated from Chinese into English, (see below, Further Reading, Garma C.C. Chang, (1983). A Treasury of Mahāyāna Sūtras: Selections from the Mahāratnakūṭa Sūtra. Title Page) summarizes the breadth and variety of texts contained in this collection:[1]

We have found this work to contain a broad coverage of various subjects. The topics discussed range from the monastic precepts (Vinaya) to intuitive wisdom (prajñā), from good deportment to the manifestation of the Tathāgata's light, from illusion (māyā) to ingenuity (upāya) to the nature of consciousness and the Pure Land practice. It can perhaps be called a small encyclopedia of Mahāyāna Buddhism, which should be useful to general readers as well as to scholars.

In the Taishō Tripiṭaka in volumes 11 and 12a, the Mahāratnakūṭa is the text numbered 310, and texts numbered 311 through 373 are various other translations of some of the sutras contained in the Mahāratnakūṭa.

List of sutras[edit]

The 49 sutras found in this collection are as follows:[4]

  1. Trisaṁvara-nirdeśa
  2. Anantamukha-pariśodhana-nirdeśa
  3. Tathāgatācintya-guhya-nirdeśa
  4. Svapna-nirdeśa
  5. Sukhāvatī-vyūha
  6. Akṣobhya-tathāgatasya-vyūha
  7. Varma-vyūha-nirdeśa
  8. Dharmadhātu-prakṛty-asambheda-nirdeśa
  9. Daśadharmaka
  10. Samantamukha-parivarta
  11. Raśmisamantamukta-nirdeśa
  12. Bodhisattva-piṭaka
  13. Āyuṣman-nanda-garbhāvakrānti-nirdeśa
  14. Nanda-garbhāvakrānti-nirdeśa
  15. Mañjuśrī-buddhakṣetra-guṇa-vyūha
  16. Pitāputrasamāgama
  17. Pūrṇa-paripṛcchā
  18. Rāṣṭrapāla-paripṛcchā
  19. Gṛhapaty-Ugra-paripṛcchā
  20. Vidyutprāpta-paripṛcchā
  21. Bhadramāyākāra-vyākaraṇa
  22. Mahā-prātihārya-nirdeśa
  23. Maitreya-mahāsiṁhanāda
  24. Upāli-paripṛcchā
  25. Adhyāśaya-saṁcodana
  26. Subāhu-paripṛcchā
  27. Surata-paripṛcchā
  28. Vīradatta-gṛhapati-paripṛcchā
  29. Udayanavatsarāja-paripṛcchā
  30. Sumatidārikā-paripṛcchā
  31. Gaṅgottarā-paripṛcchā
  32. Aśokadatta-vyākaraṇa
  33. Vimaladattā-paripṛcchā
  34. Guṇaratnasaṁkusumita-paripṛcchā
  35. Acintyabuddhaviṣaya-nirdeśa
  36. Susthitamati-devaputra-paripṛcchā
  37. Siṁha-paripṛcchā
  38. Upāyakauśalya-jñānottara-bodhisattva-paripṛcchā
  39. Bhadrapāla-śreṣṭhi-paripṛcchā
  40. Dārikā-vimalaśuddha-paripṛcchā
  41. Maitreya-paripṛcchā-dharmāṣṭaka
  42. Maitreya-paripṛcchā
  43. Kāśyapa-parivarta
  44. Ratnarāśi
  45. Akṣayamati-paripṛcchā
  46. Saptaśatikā-nāma-prajñāpāramitā
  47. Ratnacūḍa-paripṛcchā
  48. Śrīmālā-devī-siṁhanāda
  49. Ṛṣivyāsa-paripṛcchā


According to the Nikāyasaṅgraha (a Theravādin text), the Ratnakūṭa Sūtra was composed by the "Andhakas", meaning the Mahāsāṃghika Caitika schools of the Āndhra region.[5][6] The texts of the sutra seem to have been collected over a number of centuries, and their varying subject matter is suggestive of historical transitions between major eras of Buddhist thought.[1] The collection may have developed from a "Bodhisattva pitaka" attributed to some of the early Mahayana schools.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d Sangharakshita. The Eternal Legacy: An Introduction to the Canonical Literature of Buddhism. 2006. p. 168-169
  2. ^ Pederson, K. Priscilla (1980). "Notes on the Ratnakūṭa Collection"
  3. ^ "The Korean Buddhist Canon: A Descriptive Catalog (T 310)".
  4. ^ "OpenPhilology | Texts". OpenPhilology. Retrieved 2021-12-24.
  5. ^ Adikaram, E.W. Early History of Buddhism in Ceylon. 1953. p. 100
  6. ^ Paul, Diana. The Buddhist Feminine Ideal. 1980. p. 12

Further reading[edit]

  • Garma C.C. Chang, trans. (1983). A Treasury of Mahāyāna Sūtras: Selections from the Mahāratnakūṭa Sūtra. ISBN 978-0-271-03428-7
  • Pederson, K. Priscilla (1980). "Notes on the Ratnakūṭa Collection" in Journal of the International Association of Buddhist Studies 3 (2), 60-66

External links[edit]