Are Buddhist sutras considered "apaurusheya"?

John Huntington huntington.2 at OSU.EDU
Sat Nov 16 21:17:48 UTC 2002

>The sutra are the spoken words of Shakyamuni  Buddha, on on occasion
>one of his followers as authorized by Shakyamuni. Some Manayana
>sutras are taught in celestial realms but the majority are taught in
>locations such as Vaishali, Sravasti, Jetavana arama, the Veluvana
>and the like. Gridhakuta the Vulture's peak at Rajagriha is
>especially important for Mahayana sutras.  In the introcuction to
>the majority of sutras there is the a formula "thus i have heard,
>when the Buddha was staying at XXXX."


>As the readers of this list are no doubt aware, the Vedas are traditionally
>considered "apaurusheya", i.e. "divine and not of human composition". They
>are considered pre-existent realities that are only "cognized" or "seen" by
>the authors ascribed to them.
>I was wondering if the Buddhist sutras are considered as having a similar
>status since I seem to remember reading somewhere that the celestial beings
>in heaven are portrayed as chanting certain sutras (to future Buddhas and
>Bodhisattvas?). Or are the sutras traditionally ascribed to particular human
>I assume this system has only become prevalent with the rise of the Mahayana
>and Vajrayana systems.
>Dean Anderson

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