The Mahasutra “On Entering the City of Vaishali”

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The Mahasutra “On Entering the City of Vaishali” (Skt. Vaiśālīpraveśamahāsutra; Tib. ཡངས་པའི་གྲོང་ཁྱེར་དུ་འཇུག་པའི་མདོ་ཆེན་པོ།, Wyl. yangs pa’i grong khyer du ‘jug pa’i mdo chen po) — a mahasutra related to the literature of the Vinaya. Invited to visit the city of Vaishali, which has been ravaged by a terrible epidemic, the Buddha instructs Ananda to stand at the city’s gate and recite a proclamation, a long mantra, and some verses that powerfully evoke spiritual well-being. Ananda does so, and the epidemic comes to an end. This text, like other accounts of the incident, has traditionally been recited during times of personal or collective illness, bereavement, and other difficulties.

Like the other mahasutras, this text belongs to the literature of the Mulasarvastivadin school.[1]


This sutra corresponds almost exactly to a passage in The Chapter on Medicines. The present, standalone mahasutra version provides minimal detail of the narrative context in which the event it describes takes place, but from the passages that precede and follow the version in The Chapter on Medicines we can understand why this event was considered so significant.

Tibetan Translation

The Tibetan translation of this text can be found in the General Sutra section of the Tibetan Kangyur, Toh 312. It is also catalogued as Toh 628 in the Action Tantra section of the Tantra Collection, and as Toh 1093 in the Compendium of Dharanis of the Dharani collection.


  1. 84000 Translating the Words of the Buddha.