New Publication: Teaching the Practice of a Bodhisattva

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Toh 184

This sūtra takes place in the city of Vaiśālī, where the Buddha Śākyamuni and his retinue of monks have gone to gather alms. When the Buddha enters Vaiśālī a number of miracles occur in the city, and these draw the attention of a three-year-old boy named Ratnadatta. As the child encounters the Buddha, a dialogue ensues with the monks Maudgalyā­yana and Śāriputra and the bodhisattva Mañjuśrī, in which the boy delivers a teaching on the practice of bodhisattvas and a critique of those who fail to take up such practices.

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The cultivation of generosity, or dāna—giving voluntarily with a view that something wholesome will come of it—is considered to be a fundamental Buddhist practice by all schools. The nature and quantity of the gift itself is often considered less important.