The Skill in Means
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.
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alms Ananda Apadana Asta auditors and independent Bareau birth Bodhisattva great hero Bodhisattva King Bodhisattva takes Bodhisattva's skill brahma gods brahman youth Jyotipala bring sentient Buddhahood Buddhist caused by past Conze demonstrate desire-attachment Devadatta dharma divinities Edited eons ethics Foucher full awakening fully perfected Buddha Ghatikara giving gnosis gods hell hero Jnanottara hundred-thousand ibid incident Jataka karma karmic karmic connections Kasyapa Lamotte Lotus Mara master Ananda maturity measureless monastic monks Mpps Nanamoli nirvana obstacle caused Pali past deeds perfected Buddha Kasyapa perfection of wisdom Priyarhkara Ratnakuta rebirth reborn right and full Sakya Sakyamuni Sariputra Sbhv Senart sentient seven steps shaven head skill in means sramana store of merit Suttanipata Tatz thorn of acacia thought of omniscience thought of supreme thousand Thus-Come Thus-Come-One Tibetan transgression translation Tusita Tusita heaven Upaya Venerable Lord versions vinaya wholesome womb Worthy