New Publication: The Question of Mañjuśrī


Toh 172

The Question of Mañjuśrī

The bodhisattva Mañjuśrī approaches the Buddha and asks about the extent of the merit represented by the Buddha’s “Dharma conch,” which here seems to mean the Buddha’s voice. The Buddha proceeds to illustrate the vastness of this merit by means of a cosmic multiplication‍—sequentially compounding the merit of all beings in a certain realm if they each possessed the merit of a cakravartin, a brahmā god, a bodhisattva, and so forth, each having more merit than the previous one. The expansion continues through a list of the eighty designs marking the body of a buddha and the thirty-two signs of a great being, which, multiplied inconceivably, are said to be equal in merit to the Dharma conch. The Buddha then explains how the voice, body, and light of the Buddha are made known throughout countless realms and take on numberless manifestations to tame beings.

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