Moraga, Calif. October 19, 2017. BDK America announces publication and immediate availability of The Brahmā's Net Sutra, translated by A.Charles Muller and Kenneth K. Tanaka.
The volume includes the primary text that articulates practitioner precepts from a Mahayana perspective.
BDK America is delighted to bring this translation to a wider audience. The work is especially important because it includes the first known set of instructions with advice to "bodhishattva practitioners," a term that includes lay practitioners. The work shows that many devout Buddhists lived and worked everyday lives. That is, they followed major Buddhist precepts without renouncing the world.
Composed in China around 420, the Brahmā’s Net Sutra is based on various contemporary Mahayana and Hinayana vinaya writings and includes extensive discussion of indigenous Chinese moral concepts such as filial piety, etc. The text is based in the same mainstream Mahayana thought of the Flower Ornament Sutra (Huayan jing), the Nirvana Sutra (Niepan jing), and the Sutra for Humane Kings (Renwang jing).
From the Translators' Introduction
In their translation from the Chinese, A. Charles Muller and Kenneth K. Tanaka stress the importance of the work, and note the following:
This Text and the Three Baskets
The Brahmā's Net Sutra has long been associated with the collection of Buddhist writings known as vinaya. Vinaya is one of the three baskets (tripiṭaka) of the Buddhist canon, and relates primarily to monks and nuns and rules and advice for managing a monastic life. The other two baskets are for sutras (learned discourses from the Buddha) and abhidharma (commentary by Buddhist sages).
The translators, however, note that the work is only partially a vinaya text.
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