Akṣayamatinirdeśa (T. blo gros mi zad pas bstan pa བློ་གྲོས་མི་ཟད་པས་བསྟན་པ།; C. wujinyi pusa pin/achamo pusa jing 無盡意菩薩品/阿差末菩薩經), or The Teaching of Akshayamati, is a Mahayana sutra on the subject of the eighty inexhaustibles (a.k.a. "eighty imperishables," etc.)
Jens Braarvig states:
- For a period of about a thousand years after the beginning of the common era, The Teaching of Akṣayamati had a significant influence on Buddhist thought. The eighty so-called “imperishabilities” (akṣaya) described in the sūtra — qualities to be possessed by the bodhisatvas — were considered to contain the whole way of religious development of the Mahāyāna, and many passages became loci classici employed by the scholars of the Mahāyāna to elucidate their doctrines or to defend certain positions with authoritative sayings.
- The sūtra was often quoted in the two great traditions of Mahāyāna Buddhist philosophical thought, the Madhyamaka and the Yogācāra. The Mādhyamikas referred to the section on definitive (nītārtha) and implicit (neyārtha) meanings to define their position concerning which sūtras were definitive in meaning — the ones teaching emptiness (śūnyatā), the absence of distinguishing marks (ānimitta), and the absence of anything to long for (apraṇidhāna) —and those that needed further explanation, in order to differentiate themselves from the Yogācāra view that the sūtras dealing with the all-ground consciousness (ālayavijñāna) were implicit in meaning. The adherents of Yogācāra, for their part, quoted The Teaching of Akṣayamati on all kinds of matters, and for some of them, e.g., Sthiramati (fourth century), it seems to have been one of the main source books on the way of the bodhisattvas. For the Yogācārins, the doctrine of imperishability was regarded as a very important aspect of the Buddha’s teachings. It is said that the sūtra was held in great esteem by Asaṅga (fourth century), as The Teaching of Akṣayamati and the Daśabhūmika (Toh 44, ch. 31) are supposed to be the two sūtras that convinced his brother Vasubandhu (fourth century) that the Mahāyāna was superior to the Hīnayāna, after Asaṅga had sent one of his disciples to recite them to him. According to tradition, Vasubandhu was the author of the Akṣayamatinirdeśaṭīkā (Toh 3994), a commentary on this sūtra, and although this work seems rather to have been written by Sthiramati or by someone even later than him, it is very valuable for understanding the text.
- English translation: The Teaching of Akshayamati