Bodhisattvapiṭaka Sūtra

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Bodhisattvapiṭaka (T. བྱང་ཆུབ་སེམས་དཔའི་སྡེ་སྣོད།) is a Mahayana sutra from the Heap of Jewels (Ratnakuta) collection that sets out in detail the stages and practices of the path of the bodhisattva.

Baarvig, et al (2024) state:

In The Collected Teachings on the Bodhisatva, the Buddha describes in detail the views and practices that are to be followed by the bodhisatva, the ideal Mahāyāna practitioner. Through his interactions with human and nonhuman interlocutors, and through stories of various past buddhas, we are led step by step through the topics of renunciation, the mind of awakening, the four immeasurables, and the six perfections. Among the many accounts of past buddhas included in the sūtra, we find the story of the prophecy made by the Buddha Dīpaṅkara to the brahmin Megha about his future attainment of awakening as the Buddha Śākyamuni.[1]


Baarvig, et al (2024) state:

The Collected Teachings on the Bodhisatva[2] is the twelfth and lengthiest among the texts in the Great Heap of Jewels (Mahāratnakūṭa) section of the Tibetan Kangyur, where it makes up nearly an entire volume. It is an extensive presentation of the view and conduct of the bodhisatva, the ideal Mahāyāna practitioner. The title, Bodhisatvapiṭaka, can also be translated as The Basket of the Bodhisatvas, implying that it represents a basket (piṭaka) of teachings separate from the traditional three‍—Sūtra, Vinaya, and Abhidharma‍—distinguishing the path of the bodhisatva from the lesser path of the śrāvakas and pratyekabuddhas.
The first chapter opens with the Buddha traveling through the kingdom of Magadha, ending up at Vulture’s Peak in Rājagṛha. There he is approached by the merchant Bhadrapāla and five hundred other householders who have heard about the Buddha and want to meet him and ask his advice. Having praised him, they ask the Buddha why he became an ascetic, and in reply the Buddha describes the various things one has to suffer in saṃsāra, such as the ten afflictions, the ten situations, and so forth, explaining that he understood the futility of a life invested in these things and therefore left the householder life to become a renunciant. He also elaborates on the twelve links of dependent origination, as well as the empty nature of all experiences, and admonishes the householders to give up their desires. The householders are so inspired by the Buddha’s words that they all become renunciants.
In the second chapter we are presented with the more miraculous side of the Buddha’s abilities. A yakṣa named Kimbhīra who is living in Rājagṛha makes various offerings to the Buddha together with a large group of yakṣas, and as a reply the Buddha displays a smile, followed by a miraculous display of light. This is an indication that the Buddha is making a prophecy that someone in the audience will attain complete awakening in the future. Ānanda asks the Buddha whom the prophecy concerns, and in reply the Buddha explains the course Kimbhīra will take on his way to complete awakening in the future. The scene is then prepared for the Buddha to commence his teaching.
The third chapter starts with Śāriputra asking the Buddha about the distinguishing characteristic of a bodhisatva, what it is that makes them special. The Buddha responds that it is bodhicitta, the mind of awakening, that makes them special, and he goes on to explain what this entails, elaborating on the bodhisatva’s insight and the way they will relate to their surroundings.
In chapter 4 the Buddha explains the ten ways a bodhisatva will perceive a tathāgata — as having an inconceivable tathāgata body, voice, knowledge, radiance, morality, and concentration, magical abilities, power, confidence, great compassion, and unique buddha qualities‍—and these are elaborated on in great detail.
Chapter 5 presents the setting that frames the main section of the discourse. The Buddha tells Śāriputra about the Tathāgata Mahāskandha and his encounter with the prince Vīryacarita, who is later revealed to have been the Buddha in one of his former existences. This chapter also presents Mahāskandha’s teaching to Vīryacarita on the four immeasurables.[3]
The following chapters (6–11) present the six perfections and the four methods for bringing people together.[1]



  1. 1.0 1.1 84000.png Braarvig, Jens; Liland, Fredrik; Welsh, David (2024), The Collected Teachings on the Bodhisatva, 84000 Reading Room 
  2. Baarvig et al prefer the spelling bodhisatva (with one "t"). See Baarvig et al, footnote n1.
  3. See: Apramāṇa#Support_for_bodhicitta.