Bodhisattva Questions (fwd)

R.Mayer at R.Mayer at
Tue Oct 18 17:39:00 UTC 1994

There are of course the list of lay-bodhisattvas lead by
Bhadrapaala, sometimes eight in number, sometimes, if my 
memory serves me well, sixteen. They feature in early
Mahaayaana suutras, including the earliest datable ones
such as the Pratyutpanna-buddha-sam.mukhaa-vasthita-suutra,
which was translated into Chinese in the 2nd century AD by
Lokaks.ema. There seems reason to believe they influenced
the Tibetan gter-ma tradition, or at least have a bearing
on it. In the Pratyutpanna-suutra, the laymen lead by Bhadrapaala
are prophecied as future revealers of the scriptures the Buddha
intends for the future. Tibetan gter-ston were nearly always
laymen, always with consorts and often with family lineages.
Tibetan rNying-ma-pa evolved lists of the "Eight gter-ston
called gling-pa", ie who had gling-pa as part of their name,
such as Ratna gling-pa, Padma gling-pa, etc. Before long
there were more than 8 gling-pa.
I believe the original grouping was of 16 bodhisattvas,
ie the satpurus.a sodas.a; or did the 8 come first? Forgive
my poor memory.
Yours, Rob

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