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Sutra of the wise and the foolish

by Stanley Frye

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One of the great treasures of Buddhist literature is mDo-mdzangs-blun or the Sutra of the Wise and the Foolish as it is known to the Mongols. The text was translated to Mongolian from Tibetan as the Uliger-un delai or Ocean of Narratives. It is one of the most interesting, enjoyable and readable Buddhist scriptures.

For centuries, it has been an inexhaustible source of inspiration, instruction and pleasure for all who have been able to read it. The history of these unusual scriptures is still uncertain. Legend has it that the tales were heard in Khotan by Chinese monks, who translated them (but from what language?) into Chinese, from which it was translated into Tibetan, then into Mongolian and Oirat.

The Narratives are Jatakas, or rebirth stories, tracing the causes of present tragedy in human lives to events which took place in former lifetimes. The theme of each narrative is the same: the tragedy of the human condition, the reason for this tragedy and the possibility of transcending it. But unlike Greek tragedy, Buddhist tragedy is never an end in itself, i.e. a catharsis, but a call to transcend that which can be transcended and need not be endlessly endured.

The people we meet in the Sutra of the Wise and the Foolish, although supposedly living in the India of the Buddha’s time, might also be living at present in New York City, a small rural town or Leningrad, and the problems they face are the same problems that men have had to face always and everywhere.

Table of Contents:

  • Foreword
  • The Beginning of the Narratives
  • Prince Mahasattva Gives His Body to the Tigress
  • The Mendicant Keeps the Precepts
  • The boy Who Sold Himself to Make an Offering
  • The Sea-God Asks Questions
  • The Devaputra Gangadhara
  • Prince Swasti
  • Vajra, the Daughter of King Prasenajit
  • Golden Gem
  • Flower of the Gods
  • Jewel of the Gods
  • Ksantivadin, or the Patient Rishi
  • King Maitrabala Makes a Gift
  • The Taming of the Six-Heretic Teachers
  • The Kunda Beast Gives His Body
  • In Praise of the Blessing of the Monk
  • The Monk Keeps the Precepts
  • The Householder Without Organs
  • The Beggar Woman Gives her Clothing
  • The Slave Woman Sells her Poverty to the Monk Mahakatyayana
  • Golden God
  • The Man with Two Families
  • King Chandraprabha Gives His Head
  • The Seven Sons of Minister Mrgara
  • Maha Kapina
  • Utpala the Nun
  • Sudolagarne
  • King Asoka
  • The Pot of Gold
  • Joy, the Brahmin’s wife
  • Great Charity Goes to the Sea
  • King Mirror-Face
  • Good Searcher and Evil Searcher
  • Prince Virtuous
  • The Householder named Pacifier
  • The Prince Whose Eyes Were Opened
  • Angulimala, or Finger-Necklace
  • The Beggar-Woman Named Relying on Joy
  • Bhasicara
  • The Householder Dandadhara
  • Excellent Honey
  • The Householder Tasila
  • Elephant Helper
  • The Brahmin Gives Patches
  • The First Compassion of the Buddha
  • King Forehead-Born
  • The Ten Sons of Sumana
  • Upagupta
  • The Five Hundred Swans Who Were Born as Gods
  • The Lion With the Firm Mind
  • The History of the Lizard
  • The Monk Kyunte.





Detailed Product Info:

Title: Sutra of the wise and the foolish
Author(s): Stanley Frye
ISBN: 8185102155
Language: English
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