In a single volume, here are two irreplaceable works, establishing the wide embrace of the Buddha's teaching.
The Sutra of Queen Śrīmālā of the Lion's Roar
The Sutra of Queen Śrīmālā of the Lion's Roar, generally known by its abbreviated title of Śrīmālā-sūtra, was expounded by Śrīmālā, the daughter of King Prasenajit of Śrāvasti, under the inspiration of Śākyamuni. Its important subjects include the theory of the “One True Vehicle” and the dharmakāya. Distinguished from other sūtras with the leading role played by a woman, and with the guarantee given by Śākyamuni therein, the text celebrates the potential of all people to become Buddhas and provides textual authority to counteract cultural gender bias.
In Japan this sūtra is further distinguished by the commentary (Taishō 106) attributed to Prince Shōtoku, included in his “Commentaries on Three Sūtras” (Jp. San-gyō gi-sho).
Skt. Śrīmālādevīsiṃhanāda-sūtra, translated into the Chinese by Guṇabhadra as Shengman shizihou yisheng defang bianfang guang jing (勝鬘師子吼一乘大方便方廣經). 1 fascicle.
The Vimalakīrti Sutra
In The Vimalakīrti Sutra the protagonist is a layman by the name of Vimalakīrti, well-versed in the profundities of Mahāyāna Buddhism. He happens to fall ill, and the sūtra starts from the point where Śākyamuni, hearing of his illness, asks his disciples to go to visit him. However, since each of the disciples has in the past been got the better of by Vimalakīrti in some way or other, they all refuse to go; so in the end it is Mañjuśrī who agrees to visit him in their stead. As a result a discussion on the profound teachings of the Mahāyāna unfolds between Vimalakīrti and Mañjuśrī. This sūtra is held in high regard in Japan, not least because Prince Shōtoku included a commentary on it (Taishō 107) in his Commentaries on Three Sūtras (San-gyō-gi-sho). Beyond that, the text has considerable appeal due to its dramatic contents, and is an important key to an understanding of the profound thought of Mahāyāna Buddhism.
Skt. Vimalakīrtinirdeśa-sūtra. Translated into the Chinese by Kumārajīva as Weimojie suoshuo jing (維摩詰所説經). 3 fascicles.
Table of Contents
A Message on the Publication of the English Tripiṭaka NUMATA Yehan v
Editorial Foreword MAYEDA Sengaku vii
Publisher’s Foreword Francis H. Cook ix
The Sutra of Queen Śrīmālā of the Lion’s Roar
Translator’s Introduction Diana Y. Paul 5
Text of The Sutra of Queen Śrīmālā of the Lion’s Roar 7
Translator’s Introduction John R. McRae 59
Text of The Vimalakīrti Sutra 67
A List of the Volumes of the BDK English Tripiṭaka (First Series) 211