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Sutra of Meditation on the Bodhisattva Universal Virtue

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The Sutra of Meditation on the Bodhisattva Universal Virtue (Chinese: 觀普賢菩薩行法經; pinyin: Guān-púsà-xíngfǎ jīng, Japanese: 普賢經; Rōmaji Fugen-kyō), also known as the Sutra of Contemplation on the Dharma Practice of Universal Sage Bodhisattva, is a Mahayana buddhist sutra believed to be translated by Dharmamitra during the mid-fifth century.[1] The Sutra of Meditation on the Bodhisattva Universal Virtue belongs to the so-called Threefold Lotus Sutra, along with the Lotus Sutra and the Innumerable Meanings Sutra. It is not known, however, when or by whom the sutra was first recited, but it is considered by many Mahayana sects to be a continuation (an epilogue) of the Buddha's teachings found within the Lotus Sutra.[2] Also called The Repentance Sutra (Japanese: 懺悔經; Rōmaji: Sange-kyō), this sutra is believed to have followed two earlier translations, including one by Kumarajiva, which are now lost; no original Sanskrit translation has been found.[3]

Bodhisattva Universal Virtue

According to the sutra itself, the Bodhisattva Universal Virtue (Sanskrit: Samantabhadra) was born in the east Pure Wonder Land and whose form was already mentioned clearly by the Buddha in the Avatamsaka Sutra.[4] In the Threefold Lotus Sutra, the chapter preceding the Sutra of Meditation on the Bodhisattva Universal Virtue, chapter 28 of the Lotus Sutra, describes Universal Virtue as a perfect example of an adherent to the four practices[5]:

  • He practices the teachings of the Lotus Sutra.
  • He protects the Dharma teachings from every kind of persecution.
  • He witnesses the merits obtained by those who practice the teachings and the punishments of those who slander the Dharma or persecute the practitioners.
  • He proves that those who violate the Dharma can be delivered from their transgressions if they are sincerely penitent.

It is undeniable that the Meditation Sutra is a continuation of the Lotus Sutra, because the sutra itself testifies to the "Law-Flower Sutra" three times.[6][7] The person who composed this sutra was surely a profound believer of the Saddharma Puṇḍarīka Sūtra (the Lotus Sutra) and took the Bodhisattva Universal Virtue as a role model from chapter 28 of the Lotus Sutra and the Avatamsaka Sutra, when described by the Buddha.

Meaning of Repentance

The denotational meaning of the word "repentance" in a general sense, is the confession or remorse of our own past physical and mental misdeeds, or transgressions. When we repent, we purify our minds and we free ourselves from a sense of sin, and we feel greatly refreshed.[8] Many psychoanalysts have applied this principle in helping many people who are mentally afflicted.[9]

Contemplation of Reality

As explained in the introduction, the Sutra of Meditation is also called The Repentance Sutra. The second chapter of the Lotus Sutra explains in detail the concept of Tathātā, or "Suchness". The Sutra of Meditation emphasizes repentance by means of meditating on "the true aspect of reality" and the "sutras of Great Extent."[10]

The essence of Buddhist repentance is summed up in the following lines from the verse spoken by the Buddha concerning the purification of the six sense organs[11][12]:

"The ocean of impediment of all karmas
Is produced from one's false imagination.
Should one wish to repent of it
Let him sit upright and meditate on the true aspect of reality.
All sins are just as frost and dew,
So wisdom's sun can disperse them."

See also


  1. Reeves 2008, pg. 4
  2. Niwano 1976, pg. 423
  3. 2008, pg. 4
  4. Kato 1993, pg. 348
  5. 1976, pp. 405-406
  6. 1993, pp. 354, 355, and 356
  7. 2008, pg. 4
  8. 1976, pg. 423
  9. Ibid.
  10. 1976, pp. 451-453
  11. Ibid, pg. 453
  12. 1993, pp. 365-366


  • Credits to religion wiki user User:Ano-User
  • Kato, Bunno (1993). The Threefold Lotus Sutra. Tokyo: Kosei Publishing Company. ISBN 4-333-00208-7. p. 348. 
  • Niwano, Nikkyo (1976), Buddhism For Today: A Modern Interpretation of the Threefold Lotus Sutra, Tokyo: Kōsei Publishing Co., ISBN 4-333-00270-2 
  • Reeves, Gene (2008). The Lotus Sutra: A Contemporary Translation of a Buddhist Classic. Somerville: Wisdom Publications. ISBN 0-86171-571-3. 

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Sutra of Meditation on the Bodhisattva Universal Virtue. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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