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Garbhāvakrānti-sūtra, or Sutra on the Entry into the Womb, describes how a being enters the mother's womb and then develops during the course of the pregancy.

Contemporary scholar Robert Kritzer states:

The Garbhāvakrāntisūtra (The Sūtra on the Descent into the Womb) is a detailed account of how a new being is conceived, is carried in the mother's womb for 38 weeks, and is finally born, only to be afflicted by the various miseries of existence. The text clearly presupposes some medical knowledge, and I have suggested elsewhere that the sūtra and the classical Indian medical literature perhaps relied on a common source for at least some of their material on conception, gestation, and childbirth (Kritzer, 2004:1094). Furthermore, the sūtra is one of the main sources for discussions of embryology in Tibetan medical texts (Garrett, 2008:136).[1]

This text is no longer extant in Sanskrit, and there six different versions of the text in the Chinese and Tibetan canons: three versions in the Chinese canon and three in the Tibetan canon.

For details on the Chinese and Tibetan translations, see Kritzer (2022) and Kritzer (2013) below.

Translations into English

An English language translation is available of one version of the text from the Ratnakuta section of the Tibetan canon (Toh 58):


  1. Kritzer 2013, p. 738.


  • Garrett, Frances (2008). Religion, Medicine and the Human Embryo in Tibet. Abingdon, Oxon; New York: Routledge. Critical Studies in Buddhism series.
  • Kritzer, Robert (translator) (2022), 84000.png The Teaching to Venerable Nanda on Entry into the Womb
  • Kritzer, Robert (2013), "Garbhāvakrāntau ('In the Garbhāvakrānti')", in Kragh, Ulrich Timme, The Foundation for Yoga Practitioners, Harvard University, Department of South Asian Studies