Each of the two Mahayana scriptures in this volume holds special interest for different reasons. The Sutra of Master of Medicine, Beryl Radiance Tathāgata, in addition to focusing on Bhaiṣajyaguru Buddha, serves as a good example of texts representing Buddhism in everyday life in the Indian society of its period. The Sutra of the Girl Candrottarā is one of several Mahayana sutras in which the leading role is played by a female and is thus of particular interest for how women understood and dealt with issues in seeking enlightenment.
The Scripture of Master of Medicine, Beryl Radiance Tathāgata
The Scripture of the Merits of the Former Vows of Master of Medicine, Beryl Radiance Tathāgata is a translation of the Bhaiṣajyaguru-sūtra (fifth to sixth centuries C.E.) done by the scholar-monk Xuanzang in 650 C.E. While the text mentions the supramundane purposes of some of the practices described within it, the main focus is on the worldly benefits provided to believers by the name of Bhaiṣajyaguru Buddha.
Ch. Yaoshi liuli guang rulai benyuan gongde jing (藥師琉璃光如來本願功徳經), from the Skt. Bhaiṣajyaguru-vaiḍūrya-prabhāsa-pūrvapraṇidhāna-viśeṣavistara. 1 fascicle.
The Sutra of the Girl Candrottarā
The Sutra of the Girl Candrottarā was translated into Chinese by Jñānagupta in 591 C.E. The chief protagonist, the girl Candrottarā, discusses some of the finer points of Buddhist doctrine and engages in exchanges with learned disciples and bodhisattvas, demonstrating her understanding of the Buddhist teachings. This text reflects the ambiguity of works of this genre toward issues of gender in regard to the attainment of buddhahood.
Ch. Yueshangnü jing (月上女經) from the Skt. Candrottarādārikā-paripṛcchā. 2 fascicles.