Themes from the Vimalakirti Nirdesa

by Sangharakshita

Vimalakirti is a Bodhisattva who appears as a layman in order to help “all living beings.” A worker of wonders, he reveals distance universes, feeds thousands of beings with a single bowl of nectar, and wins a philosophical debate with a thunderous silence. Because he is enlightened the means he uses are highly skillful yet utterly inconceivable.

How can we understand and communicate the Buddha’s teaching, learn to practise the spiritual life in association with others, and finally gain our freedom? These are the practical issues, directly relevant to modern life, and illustrated through myth and symbol, which this book explores. Sangharakshita’s commentary illuminates the original text, and can also be read as a teaching its own right, so vividly does it evoke the spiritual power of Vimalakirti, and the significance of his teachings.

Paperback, 168 pages, black and white illustrations
August 1996
List Price: $16.95

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Believe nothing merely because you have been told it… Do not believe what your teacher tells you merely out of respect for the teacher. But whatsoever, after due examination and analysis, you find to be kind, conducive to the good, the benefit, the welfare of all beings — that doctrine believe and cling to and take it as your guide.
The Buddha

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