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Fifth International Conference on Buddhist Heritage of Nepal Mandala-2011 April 23~25, 2011

A Study of Bodhisattva Majusrs Role in the Nine Vaipulya Sutras Abstract Miroj Shakya Adjunct Faculty Department of Religious Studies, University of the West California, USA Bodhisattva Majur is renowned as the prince of the Dharma, because of his profound wisdom. Majur is depicted as holding a flaming sword of wisdom in his right hand and the stem of a lotus flower surmounted by Prajpramit Stra in his left hand. All the attributes of Majur point to the wisdom that he personifies. Majur is mentioned in many of the philosophical discourses attributed to the Buddha akyamuni in the Mahayana Sutras such as the Prajpramit Stra, the Saddharmapu ar ka S tra, and the Avata saka S tra. The Pali Canon, however, makes no mention of him. Because of his deeds, he is an immensely popular and important bodhisattva in the whole of East and South Asia. In Newar Buddhism, the most important Buddhist texts are known as the Nine Dharmas (nava vaipulya sutras): 1. A ashasrik praj p ramit , 2. Gaavyha , 3. Daabh m svara, 4. Samdhi rja, 5. La kvat ra , 6. Saddharmapuarka ,7. Tathgata guhyaka, 8. Lalita-vistara, 9. Suvara-prabhsa. These nine Mahayana Buddhist texts are main texts for Newar Buddhism and are still being worshipped in Nepal today. They are not considered as the canon of a particular lineage or sect. But their role is not less than that of a canon in Newar Buddhism. In these Nine Dharmas, Majur is depicted in a major and significant role. In early Mahayana texts on the perfection of wisdom like Aashasrik and Pacavimsatishasrik, Majurs name occurs occasionally but no prominent role is assigned to him. Specific mention is made of him in the Saptaatik Prajpramit Stra of Prajpramit Literature, the Saddharmapuarka Stra, and the Gaavyha Stra (Avatasaka Stra). In this paper, my research will focus on Majurs role and contribution in these three Stras.