The Questions of Pūrṇa
Degé Kangyur, vol. 42 (dkon brtsegs, nga), folios 168.b–227.a.
Translated by the Dharmachakra Translation Committee
under the patronage and supervision of 84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha.
In Veṇuvana, outside Rājagṛha, Pūrṇa Maitrāyaṇīputra asks the Buddha about the conduct of bodhisattvas practicing on the path to awakening. The Buddha replies by describing the attitudes that bodhisattvas must possess as well as their benefits. Then, at the request of Maudgalyāyana, the Buddha recounts several of his past lives in which he himself practiced bodhisattva conduct. At the end of the teaching, the Buddha instructs the assembly about how to deal with specific objections to his teachings that outsiders might raise after he himself has passed into nirvāṇa.
Translated by the Dharmachakra Translation Committee under the supervision of Chokyi Nyima Rinpoche. Benjamin Collet-Cassart and Nika Jovic translated the text from Tibetan into English and wrote the introduction. James Gentry then compared the translation with Kumārajīva’s Chinese translation. Finally, Andreas Doctor compared the draft translation with the original Tibetan and edited the text. Ryan Damron and Thomas Doctor also helped resolve several difficult passages.
This translation has been completed under the patronage and supervision of 84000: Translating the Words of the Buddha.
Work on this text would not have been possible without the generous sponsorship of 王学文 and 马国凤, which is most gratefully acknowledged.
Then venerable Pūrṇa Maitrāyaṇīputra said to the Blessed One, “Blessed One, it is a great wonder that in the past, when the Blessed One was practicing bodhisattva conduct, he observed those various types of virtuous qualities so resolutely!”
“Thus it is, Pūrṇa, thus it is,” answered the Blessed One. “For a long time, while I practiced bodhisattva conduct, I observed those virtuous principles very resolutely.” At that point, the Blessed One uttered these verses to explain this clearly:
Then Pūrṇa said to the Blessed One, “Blessed One, who would not train in such an excellent Dharma? In the past, we were lazy and had no hope of developing the insight of the buddhas, nor did we believe that we could ever attain such insight. Therefore, we thought that we would be emancipated through the vehicle of the hearers.
“Blessed One, from now on, I will encourage and take delight in bodhisattvas, and thereby help in their efforts to establish beings in the Dharma of the Buddha. Why is that? Because the Buddha, the Blessed One, has undergone great hardships. When he practiced bodhisattva conduct in the past, he always engaged in such great hardships for the sake of sentient beings. The worthy ones and the solitary buddhas are not able to undergo such hardships, so there is no need to mention other sentient beings!
“Blessed One, it is only the bodhisattva great beings who, when they practice bodhisattva conduct, undergo such immeasurable, boundless, and countless great hardships out of love for all beings. Therefore, Blessed One, after having engaged in such great hardships, those bodhisattvas will awaken to unsurpassed and perfect buddhahood. Then they will turn the Dharma wheel [F.227.a] and liberate sentient beings who are tormented by suffering.”
“Thus it is, Pūrṇa, thus it is!” said the Blessed One. “Just as you have said, bodhisattvas give rise to the mind set on unsurpassed and perfect awakening. Then, concerned for the benefit and happiness of all sentient beings, they develop great love and compassion toward everyone. Therefore, when they practice bodhisattva conduct for the sake of all beings, bodhisattvas have such great aspirations and undergo such very intense, difficult, immeasurable, boundless, and countless great hardships.”
When the Blessed One had said those words, venerable Pūrṇa and the four retinues, together with all gods, humans, nāgas, yakṣas, gandharvas, and demigods, praised the words of the Blessed One with great exhilaration and trust.
This was the eighth chapter, Venerable Pūrṇa.
This concludes The Questions of Pūrṇa, the seventeenth of the one hundred thousand sections of the Dharma discourse known as The Noble Great Heap of Jewels.
’phags pa gang pos zhus pa zhes bya ba theg pa chen po’i mdo (Pūrṇaparipṛcchāsūtra). Toh 61, Degé Kangyur vol. 42 (dkon brtsegs, nga), folios 168b.1–227a.6.
———. bka’ ’gyur (dpe bsdur ma) [Comparative Edition of the Kangyur], krung go’i bod rig pa zhib ’jug ste gnas kyi bka’ bstan dpe sdur khang (The Tibetan Tripitaka Collation Bureau of the China Tibetology Research Center). 108 volumes. Beijing: krung go’i bod rig pa dpe skrun khang (China Tibetology Publishing House), 2006–2009, vol. 42, pp. 168b.1–227a.6.
———. Stok Palace Kangyur (stog pho brang bris ma bka’ ’gyur). Vol. 38 (dkon brtsegs, nga), folios 319v–411v.
富樓那會 (Fu lou na hui). Taishō shinshū daizōkyō (大正新脩大藏經). Vol. 11, 310 (大寶積經), scrolls 77–79.
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