Śrīmālādevī Siṃhanāda Sūtra

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Śrīmālādevī Siṃhanāda Sūtra (T. Lha mo dpal phreng gi seng ge’i sgra’i mdo ལྷ་མོ་དཔལ་ཕྲེང་གི་སེང་གེའི་སྒྲའི་མདོ་; C. Shengman shizihou yisheng da fangbian fangguang jing 勝鬘師子吼一乘大方便方廣經), or Sutra of the Lion’s Roar of Queen Śrīmālā, is an early Mahayana sutra belonging to the Tathāgatagarbha sūtras that teaches the doctrines of Buddha-nature and "One Vehicle" through the words of the Indian queen Śrīmālā.[1] After its composition, this text became the primary scriptural advocate in India for the universal potentiality of Buddhahood.[2]

This sutra was especially influential in East Asian Buddhism.[3] Over twenty commentaries on this text were composed in the Chinese language.[3]


A complete Sanskrit version of this text is no longer extant,[4] but extensive quotations are found in the Sanskrit text of the Ratnagotravibhāga as well as some recently discovered fragments conserved in the Schøyen Collection.

Translations into Asian languages


The Śrīmālādevī Siṃhanāda Sūtra was translated to Chinese in 436 CE by Guṇabhadra (394-468) and later by Bodhiruci (672-727).[1]

Korean and Japanese

The text was translated into Korean and Japanese.


The text was translated into Tibetan with the title: ལྷ་མོ་དཔལ་ཕྲེང་གི་སེང་གེའི་སྒྲའི་མདོ། (lha mo dpal phreng gi seng ge'i sgra'i mdo; The Lion's Roar of Śrīmālādevī). This version has not yet been translated into English.[5]

This text is included in the Ratnakuta Sutra within the Tibetan canon.

Translations into the English language

The following translations are available in English:

  • Alex & Hideko Wayman (2007). Lion's Roar of Queen Srimala: A Buddhist Scripture on the Tathagatagabha theory. Motilal Banarsidass. (Based on avaialable Chinese, Japanase and Tibetan texts, as well as Sanskrit fragments.)
  • Diana Y. Paul (2004), The Sutra of Queen Srimala of the Lion's Roar, in The Sutra of Queen Śrīmālā of the Lion's Roar and The Vimalakīrti Sutra. BDK America.


Brian Edward Brown, a specialist in Buddha-nature doctrines, writes that the composition of the Śrīmālādevī Siṃhanāda Sūtra occurred during the Īkṣvāku Dynasty in the 3rd century CE as a product of the Caitika schools of the Mahāsāṃghikas.[2] Alex Wayman has outlined eleven points of complete agreement between the Mahāsāṃghikas and the Śrīmālā, along with four major arguments for this association.[6]


The Tsadra editors state:

In the frame narrative of the Śrīmālādevīsiṃhanādasūtra, young Queen Śrīmālā receives a miraculous visitation from the Buddha, who prophesies that she will attain unexcelled perfect awakening (anuttarasaṃyaksaṃbodhi) and preside over her own Buddha land (a perfect heavenlike world created by the power of a Buddha to provide a perfect environment for sentient beings to attain liberation). Śrīmālā makes ten vows to practice various perfections. On the basis of those vows she performs an act of truth, in which the very truth of her words causes physical manifestations in the visible world, and this causes several miracles (flowers from the sky, heavenly sounds, etc.). Śrīmālā expresses three times the aspiration to teach the dharma in numerous lifetimes. The Buddha bestows on her the eloquence to teach, and she preaches the Śrīmālādevīsiṃhanādasūtra. The Buddha approves and levitates back to Śrāvastī (present-day Saheth-Maheth). Śrīmālā returns to Ayodhyā and converts the entire populace.[7]

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 McRae 2004, p. 5.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Brown 2010, p. 3.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Buswell & Lopez 2014, s.v. Śrīmālādevīsiṃhanādasūtra.
  4. Tola 2004, p. xiii.
  5. 84000.png The Lion's Roar of Śrīmālādevī
  6. Barber 2008, pp. 153-154.
  7. Tsadra commons icon.jpg Śrīmālādevīsūtra, Buddha Nature: A Tsadra Foundation Initiative



  • Paul, Diana (1979). 'The Concept of Tathāgatagarbha in the Śrīmālādevī Sūtra (Sheng-Man Ching)'. Journal of the American Oriental Society 99 (2), 191–203
  • Mark Dennis (trans.). Prince Shōtoku's Commentary on the Śrīmālā-sūtra, Berkeley, Numata Center for Buddhist Translation and Research 2011. ISBN 978-1-886439-43-6
  • King, Richard (1995). Is "Buddha-Nature" Buddhist? Doctrinal Tensions in the Śrīmālā Sūtra: An Early Tathāgatagarbha Text, Numen 42 (1), 1-20
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