I was commissioned to do a new translation by Mr. C. T. Shen, when I was fresh out of grad school. I fell in love with the wonderful sūtra, so useful in teaching introduction to Mahāyāna Buddhism. I think it is such a great sūtra, so beloved for thousands of years by millions of people, introducing them to Prajñāpāramitā sūtra teachings, Buddha-Avatamsaka sūtra teachings, Pure Land teachings, Jewel Heap sūtra collection teachings, and to the esoteric teachings.
I am delighted that more people around the world will get to meet Vimalakīrti and Mañjuśrī in dialogue by way of the 84000 online publication and through the Menla Online Class Series!
My interpretation has only gotten richer and more delighted over the years, and I’m pleased that, though I was too young to understand some things in it, I still intuitively got the words okay.
When it was first published in 1976, I gave a copy to my root teacher, the late Venerable Geshe Wangyal, to put in his monastery library, as he wouldn’t read the English version. He kept saying to me, “Oh, good, you’re beginning to study this text!”I kept saying, “No, Geshe-la, I translated it.” And he would say, “Yes, you’re beginning to study it!” I got his point, and it has gone deeper and deeper over the decades since – he was always so prophetic.
-Robert A.F. Thurman
This article is excerpted from a 2009 Interview via www.84000.co.
Explore the wisdom of Vimalakīrti with Robert A.F. Thurman during his online class series “Good Wise Sweet Love: The Noble Teachings of Vimalakīrti” broadcasting live from Menla this spring.
Vimalakīrti Teachings on the Bob Thurman Podcast
Meeting Vimalakīrti – Ep. 29 of the Bob Thurman Podcast
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