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Maitreya’s Sutras and Prayer With Commentary by Padma Karpo

A sutra of the Buddha, commentary by Padma Karpo, and explanations by Tony Duff

TitleMaitreya’s Sutras and Prayer
Sub-TitleWith Commentary by Padma Karpo
AuthorTony Duff and Tamas Agocs
Details208 pages, 0 colour plate, 6" X 9"(large format), US$25, available in PDF and Kindle e-book formats
ISBNpaper book 978-9937-572-62-0, e-book 978-9937-572-63-7
TextsTibetan texts in Tibetan script included

The Prayer of Maitreya, found in the forty-first chapter of the Ratnakuta Great Vehicle Sutra, is one of the five great prayers of the Great Vehicle tradition and, after Samantabhadra’s Prayer, one of the most popular prayers for all followers of that tradition.  It is recited every day without fail by many Tibetan followers and we think would be recited more often by non-Tibetans if they had access to a reliable translation with a clear explanation.

The prayer is approximately half the size of Samantabhadra’s Prayer, though the content of the two prayers is sufficiently similar that learning about one considerably enhances an understanding of the other.  Thus, this text of Maitreya’s Prayer will be an excellent support for those trying to understand more of Samantabhadra’s prayer and vice versa.  Maitreya’s Prayer is a little less complicated than Samantabhadra’s Prayer and hence easier to understand and also easier to use as a prayer.  Essentially, it consists of the seven limbs followed by an explanation of emptiness followed by explanations of the six paramitas.

In order to understand the prayer, it is necessary to read the sutra in which the prayer is first presented.  Many think that the prayer was made by Maitreya, one of the heart sons of Buddha Shakyamuni.  However, it was not—it was made by a former incarnation of Maitreya many aeons before Maitreya himself appeared.  The Buddha himself recalled the prayer with his omniscience and presented it in an important sutra petitioned by Maitreya.  The Buddha recalled it in order to show the difference between his own approach to enlightenment and the approach taken by Maitreya.  Without reading these events in the sutra, it is not possible to understand the prayer, let alone correctly translate it.  Therefore, the book contains a complete translation of that discourse, and to give the reader even more sense of the bodhisatva Maitreya and his works, includes a second sutra petitioned by Maitreya.

The prayer itself contains many prayers within its twenty-four verses, so a guide to it is needed.  There are not many commentaries available, though a highly informative one by the great Drukpa Kagyu author Padma Karpo is very useful.

Thus, the book is a very rich collection of materials, containing two previously un-translated Great Vehicle sutras, plus the prayer of Maitreya, plus a major commentary to it.  A long introduction clarifying all these materials is also included.  Finally, all of the Tibetan sources are included in Tibetan script to assist translators and those studying the Tibetan language.

The book contains a translation of the following sutras and texts:
Of The Great Stack of Jewels’s hundred thousand chapters of dharma enumerations, the forty first chapter, An Authoritative Statement Petitioned by Noble Maitreya
Of The Great Stack of Jewels’s hundred thousand chapters of dharma enumerations, the forty-second chapter, An Authoritative Statement Concerning Eight Dharmas Petitioned by Maitreya
Maitreya’s Prayer extracted from the forty-first chapter of the Stack of Jewels Sutra
A Commentary to Noble One Maitreya’s Prayer; Asanga’s Understanding Clearly Shown by All-Knowing Padma Karpo

Download Tibetan text in TibetD format: not available yet.

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