Sutra of the Wise and the Foolish

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The Sutra of the Wise and the Foolish (Skt. Damamūka-nidāna-sūtra; Tib. མདོ་མཛངས་བླུན་, mdo mdzangs blun; C. hsien-yü ching) is a collection of Jataka tales found in the Chinese and Tibetan canons. The text was translated into Chinese from Central Asian sources circa 445 CE,[1] and was later translated into the Tibetan language from the Chinese source text.


The history of this unusual scripture is still uncertain. Legend has it that the tales were heard in Khotan by Chinese monks, who translated them into Chinese. In the caves of Dunhuang there are many wall paintings illustrating stories from the Sutra of the Wise and the Foolish, as well as painted scrolls on the same theme.

The Tibetan translation can be found in the Derge Kangyur, General Sutra section, Toh 341

The text was translated into Mongolian from Tibetan.

English translations

  • Sutra of the Wise and the Foolish, translated from the Mongolian by Dr. Stanley Frye, Library of Tibetan Works and Archives



Further reading

  • Takakusu, Junjirō (1901) "Tales of the Wise Man and the Fool, in Tibetan and Chinese." Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland (New Series) 33.3: 447-460.
  • Terjék, József (1969). "Fragments of the Tibetan Sutra of «The Wise and the Fool» from Tun-huang." Acta Orientalia Academiae Scientiarum Hungaricae 22.3: 289-334.

External Links

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