The Holy Teaching of Vimalakirti:
A Mahayana Scripture

Robert A. F. Thurman, editor and translator.
Copyright (c) 1976 by The Pennsylvania State University Press.
Reproduced with permission of the publisher.
Available at

Purification of the Buddha-Field
Inconceivable Skill in Liberative Technique
The Disciples' Reluctance to Visit Vimalakirti
The Reluctance of the Bodhisattvas
The Consolation of the Invalid
The Inconceivable Liberation
The Goddess
The Family of the Tathagatas
The Dharma-Door of Nonduality
The Feast Brought by the Emanated Incarnation
Lesson of the Destructible and the Indestructible
Vision of the Universe Abhirati and the Tathagata Aksobhya
Epilogue - Antecedents and Transmission of the Holy Dharma

This Mahayana scripture tells of conversations between Vimalakirti, a Mahasiddha who lived around the time of Gautama Buddha (sixth to fifth century BC). Vimalakirti lived in the city of Vaisali where he was well-known as a Enlightened teacher who also was involved in the business and political scene. Vimalakirti taught wherever people were, and through whatever they were doing -- depicted in the Oxherding pictures as the last one. He used his inconceivable skill in liberative technique to manifest the Lion's Roar of the Buddha -- the ability of an Enlightened being to teach each person in a specific manner that is precisely designed for that person, even if there are hundreds or thousands of people in the room.

As the book opens Gautama Buddha is residing in a park near the city, and he talks with the Bodhisattvas in attendance. Each one relates a teaching they received from Vimalakirti. After awhile the Buddha sends the Bodhisattvas to visit Vimalakirti, who is at home due to illness. The Bodhisattvas go to his house to inquire how he is.

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