Cover of Esoteric Texts
BDK America
Publish Date: 
Taisen Miyata, Rolf W. Giebel, and Minoru Kiyota


9.5 x 6.6 x 0.625
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Esoteric Texts presents three important works:

  • The Sutra of the Vow of Fulfilling the Great Perpetual Enjoyment and Benefiting All Sentient Beings without Exception
  • The Mātaṅga Sutra
  • The Bodhicitta Śāstra
Three important works in Esoteric Buddhism


Three classics, each fascinating in its own right.

Taishō 243

Volume 8

The Sutra of the Vow of Fulfilling the Great Perpetual Enjoyment and Benefitting All Sentient Beings without Exception

This Taishō is based on an eighth-century version by Amoghavajra of the Prajñāpāramitānaya-sūtra, a literary work by an unknown seventh-century author. The text depicts an ideal being, Vajrasattva, in its universal drama and offers a pathway to transformation and salvation. This text, in its Japanese version, the Hannyarishukyō, has been extensively used in the Shingon tradition, and is still recited daily in that tradition.

Skt. Adhyardhaśatikā-prajñāpāramitā-sūtra, translated by Amoghavajra into the Chinese as Daluo jingang bukong zhenshi sanmoye jing (大樂金剛不空眞實三麼耶經). 

Translator(s): Taisen Miyata

Taishō 1300

Volume 21

The Mātaṅga Sutra

This Taishō is based on a fifth-Century Chinese version of the Śārdūlakarṇāvadāna, part of the Divyāvadāna, a fourth-century collection of biographical narratives (avadāna). It presents the story of the caṇdāla girl Prakiti and her love for the monk, Ānanda. Typical of avadāna literature, the text presents the story as set in the present; a story set in the past, explaining the karmic background to present circumstances; and a final resolution in which the Buddha clarifies the links between people in the past and people in the present. The text also includes discussions of astronomical and astrological lore; various units of time, weights and measures; intercalcation; and physiognomy.

Skt. Mātaṅgī-sūtra, translated by Zhu Lüyan and Zhi Qian into the Chinese as Modengqie jing (摩登伽經). 2 Fascicles.

Translator(s): Rolf W. Giebel

Taishō 1665

Volume 32

The Bodhicitta Śāstra

This Taishō is based on a text extant only in Chinese translation attributed to Nagārjuna but likely the composition of its translator into Chinese, Amoghavjra. This brief tantric text is one of the most important śāstras in the formulation of the Shingon school of Esoteric Buddhism, and served as Shingon founder Kukai's model for the concept of human-buddha integration that leads to the rapid attainment of enlightenment. 

Ch. Jingangding yuqie zhongfa anouduoluo sanmiao sanputi xin lun (金剛頂瑜伽中發阿耨多羅三藐三菩提心論). 

Translator(s): Minoru Kiyota

Table of Contents

A Message on the Publication of the English Tripiṭaka    NUMATA Yehan    v
Editorial Foreword     MAYEDA Sengaku    vii
Publisher’s Foreword     A. Charles Muller    ix

The Sutra of the Vow of Fulfilling the Great Perpetual Enjoyment and Benefiting All Sentient Beings Without Exception

Translator’s Introduction    5
1. The Way of Supreme Joy    11
2. The Way of Enlightenment    13
3. The Way of Conquest    14
4. The Way of Seeing the Self-nature    15
5. The Way of Discovering the Jewel    15
6. The Way of Karma    16
7. The Way of Turning the Wheel of a Letter (Akṣara-cakra)    17
8. The Way of Entering the Great Wheel (Cakra)    17
9. The Way of Worship    18
10. The Way of Wrath    19
11. The Way of Assembling the Vow (Samaya) 19
12. The Way of Empowerment    20
13. The Way of the Seven Heavenly Mothers    20
14. The Way of the Three Brothers    21
15. The Way of the Four Sisters   21
16. The Way of Perfection    21
17. The Way of the Mysteries    22
Concluding Prayer of Praise    23

Notes    25

The Mātaṅga Sutra

Translator’s Introduction    31
Fascicle One
     Chapter I. The Conversion of Prakṛti    37
     Chapter II. Clarifying Past Connections    45
     Chapter III. Revealing the Truth    55
     Chapter IV. Questions    57
     Chapter Explaining the Star Charts    61
Fascicle Two
     Chapter VI. Observing Misfortune and Good Fortune    67
     Chapter VII. Clarifying Distinctions of Time    85

Notes    93

The Bodhicitta Śāstra

Translator’s Introduction    105
Chapter I. Introduction    109
     1. Awakening    109
     2. The Merits Acquired as the Result of Awakening    109
     3. Practice    109
Chapter II. Vow    111
     1. Definition    111
     2. Tathāgatagarbha    111
     3. Peace of Mind    111
Chapter III. Supreme Truth    113
     1. Definition    113
     2. Ordinary People    113
     3. Non-Buddhist Religious Practitioners    113
     4. Followers of the Two Vehicles    113
     5. Mahayana Practitioners    114
     6. Refutation of the Reality of Dharmas    115
     7. The Emptiness of Dharmas    115
     8. Canonical Sources    116
Chapter IV. Samādhi    119
     1. Definition]    119
     2. The Meditation on the Moon    119
     3. The Five Buddhas    119
     4. The Four Pāramitā-bodhisattvas    120
     5. The Sixteen Mahā-bodhisattvas    120
     6. The Sixteen Phases of the Moon and Their Implication in Meditation    121
     7. The Meaning of the Syllable “A”    122
     8. The Practice of Meditation on the Syllable “A”    122
     9. The Three Mysteries and the Five Stages to Realize Buddhahood    123
Chapter V. Enlightenment    125

Notes    129

G    131
Bibliography    139
Index    141
A List of the Volumes of the BDK English Tripiṭaka (First Series) 151