The Skill in Means (Upayakausalya) Sutra

by Mark Tatz


  • ISBN: 9788120809154, 8120809157
  • Year of Publication: 2001
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Edition: 1st
  • No. of Pages: 128
  • Language: English
  • Regular price ₹ 595.00

    Tax included.

    This rare sutra, ancient but timely, has long been treated with

    circumspection because of its liberal attitude toward sexuality and other

    ethical concerns. One of the original statements of the early Mahayana

    School, it is here collated from Chinese and Tibetan translations, and from

    passages that remain in the original Sanskrit. Originally part of a larger

    sutra on the six perfections that included the well-known perfection of

    Wisdom sutra, the Skill in Means sutra explicates the other five

    perfections of the bodhisattva. The translator has traced its source to

    verses of the Ratnagunasamcaya-gatha that have no counterpart in the

    Perfection of Wisdom. The Skill in Means is also found as part of the

    Ratnakuta collection of sutras, under the title "The Question of

    Jnanottara'.

    In Part One, this Sutra establishes the liberal, even anti-monastic

    observance of Bodhisattva ethics, especially in matters of sexual

    involvement, introducing 'skill in means' into the fabirc of Buddhist

    ethical life. Parts Two and Three constitute a reinterpretation of the life

    of the Buddha, demonstrating his motivation by 'skill in means'; this is a

    primary source for the Buddhology of the Mahayana.

    The older and newer versions are translated side by side; extant Sanskrit

    passages are included. An introduction places the text in historical and

    literary prospective. There are copious notes, indexes and a bibliography.

    Review(s)

    This little volume is a valuable contribution to the textual and doctrinal

    history of early Mahayana Buddhism.

    JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN ORIENTAL SOCIETY

    About the Author(s)