From Encyclopedia of Buddhism
(Redirected from Bhadrakalpika Sūtra)
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Temple of One Thousand Buddhas, in la Boulaye, Saône-et-Loire, Burgundy

Bhadrakalpikasūtra (T. bskal pa bzang po’i mdo བསྐལ་པ་བཟང་པོའི་མདོ་; C. Xianjie jing) or Fortunate Eon Sutra, is a Mahayana sutra in which the Buddha teaches a special meditation practice for bodhisattvas and provides detailed descriptions of the 1000 buddhas of this Fortunate Eon.[1]


The Dharmachakra Translation Committee states:

While resting in a park outside the city of Vaiśālī, the Buddha is approached by the bodhisattva Prāmodyarāja, who requests meditation instruction. The Buddha proceeds to give a teaching on a meditative absorption called elucidating the way of all phenomena and subsequently delivers an elaborate discourse on the six perfections. Prāmodyarāja then learns that all the future buddhas of the Good Eon are now present in the Blessed One’s audience of bodhisattvas. Responding to Prāmodyarāja’s request to reveal the names under which these present bodhisattvas will be known as buddhas in the future, the Buddha specifies these names and goes on to describe the circumstances surrounding their birth, awakening, and teaching in the world. In the sūtra’s final section, we learn how each of these great bodhisattvas who are on the path to buddhahood first developed the mind of awakening.[2]

Text and translations

According to the Princeton Dictionary, the text was written in c. 200-250 CE, and translated into Chinese by Dharmaraksa about fifty years later.[1] The text was also translated into Tibetan and is included in the Tibetan Kangyur. The original Sanskrit text is now lost.

Chinese translation

The text was translated into Chinese by Dharmaraksa in about 290.[1]

The Dharmachakra Translation Committee states:

Though no complete Indic version of The Good Eon survives, we can trace its textual history back to at least 300 ᴄᴇ when it was first translated into Chinese (Taishō 425). The translator, the monk Dharmarakṣa, was one of the most important translators of Mahāyāna Buddhist texts in China, responsible for the translation of around one hundred and fifty texts, including the first Chinese version of the Lotus Sūtra. In addition to this Chinese translation, two newly identified fragments of another Chinese translation of The Good Eon now support the theory that an additional Chinese translation was produced by the famed translator Kumārajīva (344–411) but, sadly, was subsequently lost.[3]

Tibetan translation

  • The text was first translated from Sanskrit into Tibetan by Vidyākarasiṁha and Bandé Palyang.
  • The Tibetan translation revised in the 9th century by Kawa Paltsek

English translations

  • 84000.png Dharmachakra Translation Committee (2023), The Good Eon , 84000 Reading Room
  • Dharma Publishing (1986), The Fortunate Aeon: How the Thousand Buddhas Became Enlightened, 4 volume set, Berkeley: Dharma Publishing.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Robert E. Buswell Jr., Donald S. Lopez Jr., The Princeton Dictionary of Buddhism (Princeton: 2014), s.v. Bhadrakalpikasūtra
  2. 84000.png Dharmachakra Translation Committee (2023), The Good Eon, 84000 Reading Room
  3. 84000.png Dharmachakra Translation Committee (2023), The Good Eon, 84000 Reading Room

External links