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Gandavyuha-Sutra

The  Gandavyuha-Sutra( (Skt. Gaṇḍavyūhasūtra, Wyl. mdo sdong po bkod pa; Sutra of entry into the area of  reality) is regarded as a forerunner of the Avatamsaka Sutra into which it was integrated as chapter 39.

An inscriptional text of it accompanied by paintings can still be found today on the temple walls of the monastic complex at Tabo dating to the tenth century. Scenes depicting the complete narrative of the Gandavyuha were carved into the gallery walls of Barabudur in Java.

The original Sanskrittext from the ~second century had chinese translations(chin. Dàfāngguǎng Fóhuáyán Jīng, Huayan jing)  and a tibetan translation(wyl. mdo-phal-po-che ) in the 9th century and further english translations in the  Kegon - Sutra(jp. Daihōkō Butsu-kegon Kyō) u.a...

The Sutra is a Mahayana - text with the bodhisattva - ideal. It includes the pilgrimage of a pilgrim named Sudhanakumâra to 52 spiritual friends (kalyanmitra) and counselors.

Sudhanakumâra ('Child of wealth ; Shàncáitóngzǐ; Wade–Giles: Shan-ts'ai-t'ung-tzu) is  in China better known as Sudhana('Red boy') and as Shancai or Shancai Tongzi.


In the story spread in the asiatic region, Sudhana is sometimes being assigned to Longnü, the daughter of the Dragon King.

Picture : Guanyin in Bodhisattva jewelery, at her knees on the Lotosthron Shancai (Sudhana) and Longnü (daughter of the dragonking 'long wang', who lives at the bottom of the 'sea' )


The sutra became one of the fundamental texts of the Hua-Yen scool.

From the Yuandun jiao  - sect (of the late Ming), which was founded by Zhang Hao, comes a threefold  division of the above 52 stages :

  1. Asamkhyeya : (from the 11th to the 40th transmission)
  2. Asamkhyeya : (from the 41st stage to the 47th stage )
  3. Asamkhyeya : (from the 48th stage to the 52st)

After this as  53th step the  Samyaksambodhi (absolute universal enlightenment), the last miraculous enlightenment of Samantabhadra, comparable with the Sahaj-Samadhi.


The word gaṇḍa has also the meaning of 'language with double meaing'. Already  D. T. Suzuki proposed to look at the Gandavyuha - Sutra as description of the unfolding and expanding consciousness of a seeker.

The Sutra describes steps 1 to 19 auf the universal path in a secret language embedded in stories. LongNü can be seen as the awakened und cleaned prana-kundalini.


== Literatur ==

  • *  Fontein, Jan (1967). The pilgrimage of Sudhana: a study of Gandavyuha illustrations. Walter de Gruyter. ISBN 978-3-11-156269-8.
  •  Entry into the realm of reality. A translation of the Gandavyuha, the final book of the Avatamsaka Sutra / translated by Thomas Cleary. ISBN 0877734844; 9780877734840
  • Cleary, Thomas. The Flower Ornament Scripture 3, Entry into the Realm of Reality / Transl. by Thomas Cleary. Boulder: Shambhala, 1987
  • Der Bodhisattva-Weg im Gandavyuha - Sutra (de-not deep enough)
  •  Pro - tantric elements in the Gandavyuha sutra
  • Sudhana's miraculous journey in the temple of the Ta pho: the inscriptional text of the Tibetan Gaṇḍavyūhasūtra edited with introductory remarks, Ernst Steinkellner, Istituto italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente, 1995
  •  Paths to liberation , studies in east asian buddhism 7

== Links ==