Asian art

Angulimaliya Sutra

angulimaliya sutra

View our Buddha Statues in our gallery

The Angulimaliya Sutra belongs to the Tathagatagarbha class of sutra. This sutra is mentioned in the Mahayana Buddhist Scripture. This sutra mainly focuses on the teachings of the Buddha and explains him to be eternal.

The Mahayana Angulimaliya Sutra and the Pali Canon's Angulimala Sutta is a completely different sutra which is included in the Majjhima Nikaya.

Origins and history of Angulimaliya Sutra

buddha

Stephen Hodge mentions that the Sutras like Angulimaliya Sutra, Mahabheriharake Pairivarta Sutra, and Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra were first circulated in southern India. Then the spread was towards the northwest areas being Kashmir as the central area of circulation. The Angulimaliya Sutra provides a detailed account by mentioning the points of distribution as including southern India, Bharukaccha, and Kashmir. After thorough study in this topic, Hodge came to the conclusion that there are strong grounds based on textual evidence that Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra or a major portion of it along with other related texts were compiled in the Deccan during the 2nd half of the 2nd century CE. This compilation was done in the Mahasamghika environment. Later in the 6th century CE, Paramartha mentioned that the Mahasamghikas deeply respect the Angulimaliya Sutra which teaches the Tathagatagarbha.

Central Teachings in Angulimaliya Sutra

According to Michael Radich, the Angulimaliya Sutra shares with the Mahaparinirvana Mahasutra group Tathagatagarbha buddha nature preached as explicitly connected with Atma-dhatu and concealed by defilements, the eternity of the Tathagata, the secret teachings, the promotion of faith toward the teaching of tathagatagarbha, and concern with the worst sinners, including the icchantika.

The sutra is most insistent that the Tathagatagarbha and the self, both are real. The sutra denies their existence is to lapse into a state of dangerous spiritual imbalance. Thus, to seek out the Tathagatagarbha is deemed of great value.

The sutra also mentions that the Buddha teaches the Bodhisattva Manjusri about practicing the spiritual life. He explains that practicing the spiritual life is meaningful only because there is self-principle with which the quest can be rewarded.

The Buddha explains to Manjushri the reason behind the people maintain moral behavior and engage in the holy life. He takes an example of milk. He explains Manjushri the real motive behind people churning milk is to get the butter. He also mentioned that people will avoid churning water because they know that water will not produce any other substances. Hence he concludes that people maintain moral discipline and engage in the holy life just because of the existence of the Tathagatagarbha.

View our collections of statues and arts in our gallery

The Buddha further explains to Manjushri that the people who want gold, they obviously dig in cliffs or in the rocks. They don't dig in the trees to get gold. This is because they know that the gold will not be present in the trees and when they dig in the rocks they are certain that there will be gold-ore. Likewise, the people who discern the presence of the dhatu think to themselves that they shall become a Buddha. They, therefore, maintain the moral discipline and engage in the holy life. The Buddha further adds that if there were no dhatu, the holy life would have been pointless. He further adds that the water will not produce the butter if it is churned even for a billion years. Similarly, there would not be the benefit for those attached to a self who are attached to themselves, those who engage in the holy life and moral discipline but there don't have a self-principle.

The Angulimaliya Sutra is remarkable for the vigor and passion of Angulimaliya. He teaches the Dharma and for its doctrine that at heart of all beings are in one unifying principle- the buddha-dhatu or Tathagatagarbha. Most of the scholars claim that this sutra is strikingly congruent with the parts of Mahayana Mahaparinirvana Sutra.

Share this page

Our collections of Buddha statues and arts

Large antique wooden Burmese Buddha statue

Large antique wooden Burmese Buddha statue

4,200 euro
Old bronze Thai Buddha statue

Old bronze Thai Buddha statue

200 euro
Old bronze Nepali Indra statue

Old bronze Nepali Indra statue

750 euro
Very special alabaster Buddha statue

Very special alabaster Buddha statue

18,500 euro
Old bronze Nepali Tara statue

Old bronze Nepali Tara statue

950 euro
Antique bronze Thai Buddha statue

Antique bronze Thai Buddha statue

1,100 euro
Old bronze Nepali Buddha statue

Old bronze Nepali Buddha statue

275 euro
12th century Terracotta Bagan tablet

12th century Terracotta Bagan tablet

300 euro
Antique wooden Burmese Temple

Antique wooden Burmese Temple

600 euro
Antique marble Jain statue from an Indian temple

Antique marble Jain statue from an Indian temple

2,200 euro
Antique bronze Thai Buddha statue

Antique bronze Thai Buddha statue

275 euro
Antique bronze Thai Rattanakosin Buddha

Antique bronze Thai Rattanakosin Buddha

275 euro
Antike Thai Rattanakosin Buddha statue

Antike Thai Rattanakosin Buddha statue

1,350 euro
Antique wooden Burmese Buddha statue

Antique wooden Burmese Buddha statue

450 euro
Special large antique Burmese Mandalay Buddha

Special large antique Burmese Mandalay Buddha

11,500 euro
Antique bronze Thai Buddha statue

Antique bronze Thai Buddha statue

2,450 euro
Antique bronze Nepali Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara - Padmapani

Antique bronze Nepali Bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara - Padmapani

950 euro
Antique bronze Thai Rattanakosin Buddha

Antique bronze Thai Rattanakosin Buddha

1,750 euro
Old bronze Nepali Vajra

Old bronze Nepali Vajra

150 euro
Bronze Nepali Medicine Buddha statue

Bronze Nepali Medicine Buddha statue

200 euro
High quality old bronze Nepali Bodhisattva statue

High quality old bronze Nepali Bodhisattva statue

4,500 euro
Antique marble Jain Buddha from a temple in Rajasthan

Antique marble Jain Buddha from a temple in Rajasthan

2,200 euro
Old bronze Nepali Medicinebuddha

Old bronze Nepali Medicinebuddha

275 euro
Antique wooden Burmese Shan Buddha

Antique wooden Burmese Shan Buddha

500 euro
Old bronze Nepali Buddha statue

Old bronze Nepali Buddha statue

500 euro
Special antique Burmese Buddha statue

Special antique Burmese Buddha statue

6,000 euro
Antique bronze Thai Buddha with monk statue

Antique bronze Thai Buddha with monk statue

450 euro
Antique wooden Burmese Mandalay Buddha

Antique wooden Burmese Mandalay Buddha

2,950 euro
Very special antique Burmese Buddha head

Very special antique Burmese Buddha head

3,950 euro
Antique marble Mandalay Buddha

Antique marble Mandalay Buddha

1,600 euro
arrow-right keyboard_arrow_right arrow-down chevron-down keyboard_arrow_down chevron-up arrow-left keyboard_arrow_left close menu search twitter facebook youtube-play linkedin envelope instagram google-plus pinterest whatsapp heart-o Wishlist share file-pdf-o printer trash